Now Reading
Getting Stronger Outside and In

Getting Stronger Outside and In

Once Gloria Gaus changed her mindset she changed her entire life.

I love the timely wisdom of scripture and quotes. “A negative mind will never give you a positive life.” How true this was for me for a number of years. I had unrealistic ideas of what success and wealth were. I thought working harder and being driven to the point of sacrifice for perfection was success. I sacrificed my relationships, including my 39-year marriage, and my health. In the end, my “success” left me alone, weak, used up, angry and exhausted.

The change: Freeing myself from unnecessary responsibility and clutter

I realized the first choice I had to make was to change my thinking. Norman Vincent Peale said, “Change your thoughts, and change your world.” I had to learn to ask for help, relinquish control, forgive and forget and trust. It was a tall order for me; I’ve been self-employed as a business owner since 1982. But by giving others the freedom and ability to do their jobs, my business, Creative Surroundings, has never been so successful.

Not so successful was my marriage, ending in 2011 after 39 years. “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon but that we wait so long to begin it,” said W.M. Lewis. I realized I was beginning a new life, but during the process, I realized how much “stuff” I had accumulated. I have thrown out, donated, recycled, sold and given away truckloads of possessions. It was so freeing. My overwhelmingly cluttered, hectic life started becoming almost manageable.

My health

I became much more aware of how deteriorated my health had become. The past decade of my life was spent sitting at my desk or on the sofa at night watching TV. Weekends were spent resting and recovering from my self-imposed stress of perfection and  control. My diet was full of multiple Diet Cokes a day, fat, sugar and carbs. I was tired and hungry all the time, I had extremely high blood pressure, my blood sugar was a roller coaster and so were my emotions. I was miserable.

On the advice of a friend, I went to Columbia Strength and Conditioning. I was embarrassed by how unbalanced, uncoordinated and weak I was. My knees hurt, creaked and cracked; I had a chronic back problem from the 1980s; I had limited range of motion in my arms; and a long list of complaints. I was convinced all these problems would limit my ability to ever be strong. I had no idea the healing power of the mind and body, but lucky for me, Nate Kesterson, my CSC trainer, knew. He had the patience to work with me and coach me in basic activities such as properly walking up and down stairs, how to sit down and stand up. He worked on my balance and small muscles at first.

We also worked on my nutrition. He stressed plenty of water and good, clean food. He would ask, “Do you want to fuel your jet with
rocket fuel or with kerosene?” He was right; I could tell the workout days when I didn’t eat well, and so could he. I’m a reluctant chef, so thank goodness for Lucky’s Market. I filled my freezer with fruits, vegetables, meat and beef from Show-Me Farms. I bought a small barbecue grill — and two fire extinguishers. Grilling, it turns out, is an incredibly easy way to cook. I also like to stir-fry everything in one pot in coconut oil; it’s quick, and cleanup is easy. For snacks I like hard-boiled eggs, almonds, grape tomatoes, gluten-free crackers on occasion or blue chips and Lucky’s fresh salsa. I also like to get gluten-free pizzas and add more sauce, meat and vegetables. With my new eating habits, I don’t experience the high- and low-blood sugar spikes I used to. Now, I have little trouble going from meal to meal without snacking.

The reward

Nate has such a positive outlook on life that I look forward to my workouts. “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the  countenance of his friend” (Prov. 27:17). He trains my attitude as well as my muscles. In the beginning, I continued to persevere
— three to four days per week for 30 minutes a visit — and at each visit I would show up with another ache or pain I was sure would keep me from working out that day. But these where just challenges for Nate.

Nate has an incredible working knowledge of the human body, and he would rewrite my program based on my current limitation and needs. If he didn’t know the answer right then, he would research and consult others and be ready for me when I came in the next day. He never let me off the hook, and he never wavered in his faith that he could make me stronger. I thank the Lord that
Nate never gave up on me. I am absolutely amazed at what I can do now, and I can’t wait to see what he has planned for me next. I’m not striving for a bikini body, but my new strength and ability have more than opened up a new, incredible life for me.

My life now

I consciously made the choice to be kind to myself. Now that I was feeding my body good nutrition and seeing results, I started to feed my mind and soul with goodness. I have given myself permission to relax and renew before I have to do it out of necessity. I’ve reduced my obsessive escape into TV to less than a few hours per week and have replaced it with beautiful music and thought-provoking reading material. I enjoy looking at beautiful things and art. I spend time in my art studio and out in nature.

Last fall I went on a two-week painting trip to New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona, guided by my painting partner, Stephen Rust, and his wife, Deshay. Stephen and I produced about a dozen oil studies each for studio paintings this winter. I was able to effortlessly load, lift and carry my own gear. I hiked and stood to paint for hours each day without fatigue. It was great.

I love my new life, and I thank God every day for my abundance and blessings. It’s such a gift to have a second chance at wellness and strength. In June 2014, I turned 60 years old. We celebrated with my greatest weakness — cake from Abigail’s Restaurant in Rocheport with ice cream. It was all good!


What's Your Reaction?
Not Sure

404 Portland St, Ste C | Columbia, MO 65201 | 573-499-1830
© 2023 COMO Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Website Design by Columbia Marketing Group

Scroll To Top