Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My WHY to being strong, healthy, and fit.

When someone decides that they need a change in their life, whether it be their job, the people they associate with, their daily activities, their health, fitness, and nutrition, or anything that keeps them from reaching their ultimate goal, they MUST search out their WHY? Why is this change needed? So today I will share my Why. Why I need to make a change in my health and fitness. Let me first give you my background.
I had never in my life been someone active in sports, physical fitness, or really even nutrition. No, I didn't eat out at fast food restaurants daily; I didn't eat all processed foods when at home. I cooked meals...even meals from scratch; however, they were not always the most nutritious choices. We grilled year round, so our meats were for the most part healthy, however, we did use pasta and rice mixes from the box 2-3 times a week. Other nights were typically mashed potatoes. We also always had boiled or steamed veggies with our meals. 

When I was growing up as a child and even into my teen years, I could eat whatever I wanted and I didn't gain weight. My grandma always said to me "It will catch up to you" but I ate what I wanted when I wanted. When I got married, I was 5'7" and weighed 129 lbs. Well within a healthy weight for my height and frame size. Then it happened... two weeks after getting married, I became pregnant with my first and only child. Because I was being treated for hypertension (first discovered my Senior year in HS, when I attempted to donate blood, but my blood pressure was borderline, though it was not treated until a  year later) I was put on bed rest right away when I became pregnant. My mother in law moved in with us 5 months after we were married. She was in control of cooking our meals at that point. She used LOTS of processed foods in her cooking. Being unable to do any sort of exercise, slowly I began gaining weight and losing muscle tone. I believe I only gained 26-30 lbs. during my pregnancy; however, I didn't lose it after my daughter was born in March. In May I went shopping for summer shorts. I was almost in tears as I had gone from a size 9/10 pre-pregnancy to a size 14 post pregnancy!

I would start dieting off and on for years. I'd lose a bit, and then I'd gain it back plus some. This went on until my daughter was in 7th grade. At that time, my husband had deployed to Korea for a year. I finally decided enough was enough. I had reached 168 lbs. I was tired all the time, I had digestion issues; I was not sleeping well, felt bloated, and just down right awful. By this time, my hypertension had already regulated itself and I was taken off meds. Strange huh, I was put on medication when I was a healthy weight, and taken off when I was overweight. I was embarrassed of how I looked. We lived in Lynn Haven, FL at this time, and I would not take off my t-shirt whenever we went to the ocean or lakes. If I did, I quickly laid on the beach towel to "hide" as everything looks better laying down right or I would quickly slip into the water so to not been viewed.

It became my new year’s resolution that I was going to lose weight. I was going to make the changes I needed to for myself. So, I joined Curves and began working out fist 3-4 times a week...then I picked up walking in between my workouts, I was lifting weights at home. I was losing the weight I had put on and in about 4 months, I dropped to 138 lbs. I was a size 9 again! I was ecstatic. I was sleeping through the night, I was confident about my outward appearance, I had compliments from people (something I NEVER got prior...even in school, I felt as I was the ugly duckling) all the time. 

Then, it happened all over again. My husband came home from his yearlong deployment to Korea, we moved to North Dakota, and I went back to my old routines and I gained weight again. I would still periodically go with friends to the gym to work out, but I wasn't consistent and I wasn't eating healthy, though it did get somewhat better after my husband was diagnosed with Diabetes. Our marriage started to decline again as it had over the years and I decided that I wanted a divorce and I moved back home 2-1/2 years after we had moved to ND. 

I lived with my Grandfather for the first year then he bought me and my daughter a house.  I was stressed due to the divorce and becoming a single mom, physically tired all the time and ended up taking on a second job just to make ends meet. I would work, 8 in the morning until 12 midnight at times. I would go a month or two at time without a day off from both jobs. I was eating from the deli, and fast food. I was never home long enough to cook healthy meals. Eventually, I reached my highest weight ever... 170 lbs.

My boyfriend made a comment last summer about how he had never seen me in a dress. We grew up in an era where women and girls wore dresses and he liked that. So, I decided one day to surprise him and went to Kohl’s to buy a dress. I was excited to take a handful of cute dresses in to try them on only I HATED how each and every one of them looked on me. My arms, legs, stomach, everything just looked bloated and fat. I was so discouraged that I left the store on the verge of tears. I went straight to Walgreen and bought a bottle of Hydroxicut. I took it for 2 months and NOTHING. I didn't lose a pound. I was so disappointed. 

I missed how I felt when I had lost the weight years before. I missed the confidence I had in myself, I missed the healthy feeling. I missed the muscle tone, the strength I had gained. I missed everything I had worked so hard for in the past. I decided again, it was time for me to do something about it. Nobody could do it but me. I had been hearing about 21 Day Fix and wanted to try it. I wanted to lose the weight once and for all. AND I wanted to learn to eat properly. No more processed foods, no more additives, no chemicals, nothing but REAL, HEALTHY, FUEL MY BODY foods!

My boyfriend and I decided that we would purchase 21 Day Fix. It was the BEST thing I had ever done for myself. Even better than Curves! This program taught me healthy eating, the proper macros, the proper portions, and it gave me a 30 minute workout to do daily. We stuck to if faithfully for 2 rounds. I lost 15 pounds in 42 days! I continued to lose weight over the next few months following mainly just the food. Total I had lost 25 lbs, taking me to 145 lbs.  I was the size I wanted to be, however, I still had toning to do as my weight was not where I wanted it to be. I was so excited with my or OUR accomplishments as my boyfriend had lost 35 lbs. total over the 2+ weeks we were following the program. 

BUT... life happens. The holidays came around. Work picked up (I'm still working two jobs), I didn't have total control of all the meals being prepared for holiday parties. My daughter came home from school and we had to do our traditional Christmas cookie baking. I forgot about my meal preps, I forgot about my meal plans, I forgot about working out. I again, lost all motivation. 

After the New Year, it was going to be on again. I was going to lose the weight again and get back on track...but I didn't. Then come March, my Grandfather passed away. The man who was my rock. The man that was always there for me. The man who had walked me down the aisle so many years ago. Stress, sadness, and the family drama that soon followed had me eating whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted. On top of all that, my full time job has become extremely stressful so again, I gained weight. I am currently about 157 lbs. again.

So now you have the history of my health and fitness... Now to the WHY I want and need to get back into my routines. 

I've had a history of Hypertension myself, my family has so  many different medical issues that run rampant throughout...diabetes, heart disease, leukemia, hypertension, kidney stones, migraines, seizures, ADD, ADHD, bi-polar, you name it, it's there. I rather enjoy not having to depend on medications to control my blood pressure, so I really do NOT want to go back on them. 15 years was long enough to depend on them. I don't want to be another statistic in the cancers, diabetes, etc. that run through my family bloodline. 

I want to lose the weight once and for all. I want to learn to maintain my weight once I reach my goal weight again. That has been my biggest struggle. I learn to eat a set amount of food to lose, but then feel like I am starting over when I reach goal weight and have to learn again how to eat and how much to eat. I want to continue my journey and not give up on myself because I feel as if I'm starting over yet again. It's NOT starting over! It IS learning the next step of the process.

I want to have strong, healthy bones. I have scoliosis a curvature of the spine. Mine is a double curve in the shape of a backward S. I need healthy bones to support my back. Due to my scoliosis, I have one hip higher than the other which creates back pain, hip pain, and even pain in my feet as the scoliosis throws everything out of alignment. The more flexible and the stronger the muscles, the less pain I feel.

I want to have a strong core, strong arms, and strong legs. I want my muscles to be flexible. Not only does it give my body strength, it gives me confidence in myself. When I look good and feel good, I tend to feel good in many areas of my life. I have pep in my step, I feel more confident in the way I carry myself and how I do things. 

I want to have good night’s rest. I don't want to continue with my being tired all day and not being able to sleep at night. I want to have so much energy during the day, that I am more motivated to get off the couch and clean my house, go outside and work in the yard, go for an evening stroll around the neighborhood, or even shovel snow when winter hits us hard. I want to feel like I am accomplishing things in my life and not just living day to day.

I want to feel beautiful. I want to believe my boyfriend when he tells me I'm beautiful instead of responding with "if you say so" or "yeah, right". I want to feel sexy. I want to be his "Goddess" as he sometimes refers to me. I really want to feel what he sees in me!

This is my WHY. This is WHY I want to be a better version of me. This is WHY I need to get up off my duff and work towards my goals. I need to focus on my WHY and not let it out of my sight. Nobody can make it happen for me except myself!

Thursday, May 14, 2015


We all need to step out of our comfort zones and take the steps necessary to reach our goals and make our dreams come true. If we don't, we will be left right where we currently are and no progress will be seen.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Brownie Batter Overnight Protein Oatmeal.

OH MY GOSH! This is the most amazing stuff ever. I have always been a fan of oatmeal; ever since I was a small child. It was a staple on cold, snowy, Michigan mornings.

Over the last year or two, since becoming a coach, I have seen so  many posts about overnight oatmeal. I was reluctant to try it, simply for the fact that the oats were not being cooked, but rather, mixed with other ingredients and placed in the fridge until morning. You could eat them cold or just reheat in microwave a few seconds.  I wasn't sure I'd like the texture mainly.

Well, I came across one for Brownie Batter Overnight Protein Oatmeal, and I finally convinced myself to give it a shot. This stuff is addicting! I didn't follow the recipe I found exactly... I'm a big time improviser when I don't have something the recipe calls for.  The substitutions I made were absolutely AMAZING!

Mix up a batch and give it a shot, then shoot me a message on how well you liked it!


1 Cup Coconut Milk
1 medium sized banana
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan Salt
2 Tablespoons Raw Honey
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
(Creamy or Crunchy, I prefer Crunchy)
1 scoop or Packet Chocolate Shakeology1 Cup Old Fashion Rolled Oatmeal

Mash banana, add all ingredients except oatmeal. Mix until well combined, then fold in the oatmeal. This makes 2 servings, however, I divide it into three as it better fits my 21 Day Fix meal plan. 

I place mine into 1/2 pint Ball Jelly Jars, top with lid and ring, and place in refrigerator. Chill at least one hour, or over night. Oats can be served warmed up in microwave or eat as is, straight from the fridge. I have yet to try it warmed, I love it cold!

Tips for boosting your fitness level

Are you ready to feel in the zone? How about ready to take on new fitness challenges? Maybe you are interested in increasing your speed for your next 5K Marathon, or lift heavier weights.  If you want to increase your cardiovascular fitness and increase your strength, it's time to push your fitness level to new heights.  By incorporating these tips into your fitness routine, you will ready yourself for more energy and performing at your best possibility.

1.  Use your body weight to become stronger. Your muscle is more metaboically active than your fat. Muscle burns more calories per day at a resting heart rate than your body fat does. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn daily.  Strength training also increases your joint mobility and allows you to feel good while doing your daily activities.  Dedicate 3-4 days each week to strength training to build muscle and become stronger.

2.  Workout at home with Fitness DVDs.  Working out at home with fitness DVDs eliminates the excuses. You don't have to pay for a gym membership or feel intimidated by other gym members. No excuse that it's too cold, snowy, rainy, icy, etc. outside to go out to run, walk, or participate in outdoor sports.  Working out at home is easy, time effective, and gets you moving. So pop in a DVD and start sweating! Message me if you need workout DVD ideas!

3. Cross-train. If you have one workout that you love to do and do it day in and day out, you are putting stress on the same muscles, joints, and bones that are involved in that particular exercise.  By doing this, you increase your risk of injury due to overuse.  By cross-training, you work different muscles in your body with each different exercise so you can do more activities safely. Mix up your workout types so that you increase your performance and fitness without pushing your body past it's own limits.

4,  Find ways to reduce your stress.  Stress is a huge factor for some people who struggle with weight loss or weight gain.: both of which, can keep you from reaching your higher fitness levels. If you struggle with high stress levels, your body produces a hormone called cortisol, and if it is not controlled, your body can increase it's fat storage. Take control of your stress by going for a walk, get a breath of fresh air, read a book, do something fun, call a friend, or just seek some alone time if that is what your need.  Find ways to reduce your stress and partake in those activites often during the week.

5.  Make fitness your lifestyle. No, you don't have to change professions or become a personal trainer or coach to make it a lifestyle. Make fitness an important part of your daily and weekly routines.  Losing weight, getting healthy, or becoming more fit is not something you can just do  whenever the mood strikes. You must commit to eating healthy and doing something physical every day. Think of this as a lifestyle, not a gimmick, fad, or trend.

6. Get your head in the game. Getting healthy or fit doesn't start in the gym or in your kitchen. It starts in your head. You have to be mentally prepared to take on the challenge. Once you have prepared our mind for this new lifestyle, you can and will succeed in your journey.  Don't be afraid to reach out to someone to help you get your mind in the game. Talk to people who are already there, feed off their mentality. Learn everything your can to make your journey successful. The more your mind thinks health and fitness, the easier it is to make this a lifestyle.

7. Eat clean so your body can perform at it's highest potential.  The relationships we develop with food are extremely powerful. The choice is ours... we can make choices that support our health, fuel our energy, and help us to lead a long life or we can make choices that ultimately weigh us down--physically, emotionally, and energetically.  As the saying goes, we are what we eat!

8. Do HIIT Traiining. HIIT Training is a great way to stay on top of your health. Tabata Training, which is a form of HIIT Training, uses only 4 minutes of your time. 20 seconds at a 80-90% of your capacity and a 10 second rest period. You do this continually until you hit the 4 minute mark.

9. Increase your intensity. If you continually do the same workout, you will hit a plateau and stay the same. You can do the workout you love, but try mixing it up in terms of effort, duration, speed, or intensity. Put a bit more pep in your aerobics class, add an extra mile to your walk or run, increase the incline on the treadmill or add a few extra minutes, or add a few extra reps or more weight to a strength training program. When you increase the intensity, you increase your fitness level also.

10. Take action.  If you struggle with weight loss, eating healthy, or maybe getting fit.  Maybe you spend a lot of time on blogs, reading health and fitness magazines, write out lists, goals, and workout plans. Maybe you are a collector of fitness programs but you still struggle with making a successful story for your self. I have one question for you. What are you doing with all that information?  Take all the knowledge you are getting and take action! Use this knowledge to boost your fitness to the next level.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Workout because you love your body, not because you hate it.

'We need to let go of the negativity when it comes to our health and our bodies. We need to learn to love ourselves and believe that our bodies are worth the price it takes to be healthy. Don't let the price of real foods or unprocessed foods determine the nutrition you fuel your body with. Don't let the price of a gym membership, or workout program keep you from getting a healthy body. The more we invest in our own health, the more our body and health gives back to us.'

We need to let go of the negativity when it comes to our health and our bodies. We need to learn to love ourselves and believe that our bodies are worth the price it takes to be healthy. Don't let the price of real foods or unprocessed foods determine the nutrition you fuel your body with. Don't let the price of a gym membership, or workout program keep you from getting a healthy body. The more we invest in our own health, the more our body and health gives back to us.

When we fuel our bodies with crap, our bodies don't work at it's best potential than as if we fuel it with food straight from Mother Earth. Fill your body with artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, chemicals, preservatives, etc., our bodies do not know what to do with it all. Therefore, it stores it as fat as it can not process it properly.  

Fuel our bodies with fresh veggies, fresh fruit, whole grains, lean protein and it will utilize every bit of the nutrients provided to help our bodies run efficiently. We will sleep better, have more energy, feel less pain, swelling, inflammation, and have less bloat. We will have less trips to the doctor. We lessen our chances at diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and oh so many other ailments created by or brought on by the processed foods and the chemicals we consume.

Move each and every day. Whether you go to the gym or workout at home in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Get your heart rate up to create a strong heart, burn the fat, strengthen your core and body. As we age, we really need to focus more on our health. We don't have to let nature take over and lesson our bone density, cause weight gain, etc. We have to work to maintain what our bodies tend to do on it's own when we were younger. Yes, it will talk some time, dedication, and effort, however, in the long run when you are the grandparent out chasing your grandkids in the yard, living an active life while others your age are getting around slowly and taking life easy, you will be enjoying life!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Getting Back On Track

Since my post the other night telling how I have been slacking on my meal prep, I have been eating much better the last couple days even getting my veggies in...and let me tell you, my stomach is thanking me. I am feeling less bloated as my body eliminates the the excess carbs, as I fuel it with healthier high fiber foods and getting the portions and macros back on plan.

We really need to learn to listen to our bodies. Listen to our brain as it tells us that pop you just drank, tasted good in the moment, but not long after, a feeling of bloat  then a sugar crash happened....

That extra large serving of pizza, cake, cookies , icecream, yeah you know, all those foods that tempt us, and sometimes we think we can not pass up. Again, the bloat and discomfort we feel afterward. Oh, and let's not forget the guilt we feel. I'm sure you get it... listen to your body, it knows best what you need....

Tonight I also got in a thirty minute workout. It was NOT one of my Beachbody programs tonight, however, I still put an effort in and said "No Excuses, I WILL workout!"  Tonight I thought an old favorite would be fun, so I pulled out my step and did step aerobics.  It was definitely a challenge tonight as my 12 week old kitten decided to join me. 

Today's Body Blessing:

Breakfast: Brownie Batter Overnight Protein Oatmeal (I will HAVE to share this recipe), Eggsalad

Snack: Homemade BBQ Pork/Beef, (meat only, as my breakfast took up most of my allowed carbs for the day.

Lunch: Salad from the deli at work, mixed lettuce, carrots, cukes, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, cheese, turkey, egg, with Honey Mustard dressing

Dinner: Spaghetti Squash with marinara sauce and cheese. 

Only beverages today, WATER and Plain Iced Tea

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Even coaches fall

Confession time: even coaches can fall off track....

I did some meal prep tonight for the next week. I have still been eating fix approved meals, however. I haven't always gotten the right amounts of each container, and I've had a few cheats here and there because I had not planned my days. Planning is so important in making our health and fitness journey a success.

My biggest problem has been getting in my veggies. So tonight I made up my cucumber and tomato salad with Italian seasoning, olive oil, and vinegar dressing  and some homemade pickles (cukes, onion, dill weed, acv, and water). Now I have my snacks prepared (i did well using these as my morning snack before)or sides to eat with my meals if I don't have time to stop for a break while at work.

I also prepped the overnight oatmeal recipe I shared earlier on my Facebook group.  I got into a habit of eating my Greek yogurt, banana, cinnamon, and honey for breakfast usually adding granola too.... then watching TV at night I would make another. Not that it is bad for me, but I need more of a variety and this gives me a heartier first meal of the day.

The oats will help me feel fuller in the mornings, plus I am getting protein with the added shakeology and I'm still getting a serving of fruit. Overall it is a more rounded and a well balanced breakfast to start my day.

I also boiled up some eggs, and will make egg salad out if them tomorrow after my yogurt is done so I can use those for lunches, or a snack. I do like to use it in the mornings on top of toast too for another breakfast option.

Now to figure out what to do with the left over pork and beef roasts. I already have it shredded. Thinking maybe homemade bbq. I found a really good recipe on pinterest a few weeks ago for sloppy joes. May make it up with the roast.

Now that I have a plan, I can get all my containers in and get back on track...