Am I punishing myself???…

Someone felt the need today to reach out to me after I posted my swelfie on Instagram. A good friend, who I am not upset with…but baffled! She asked me when I would learn to love myself as I am and when I would be “fit enough”. She said she doesn’t understand why I still workout every day and eat the way I do.

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WOW!!!! Am I not doing a good enough job of explaining my lifestyle? Do my friends not know my heart well enough? I think I’m pretty transparent. But let me be clear. I’m the farthest thing from selfish or vain. Yes, I want to look decent and have confidence in myself. I know what it’s like to shy away from social situations ashamed of my body. I know what it’s like to constantly wear a jacket and tug at my pants and shirt trying to make sure everything is covered up and tucked into place so I look as presentable as possible. I still LOVED myself. I still knew I was a fantastic person. I still knew I would show up for a friend AT ANY HOUR FOR ANY REASON!!! I love to help strangers in any way I can. I am a bleeding heart. I donate WAY more to all sorts of causes and funds than I can actually afford to. If I love you, I will stop at NOTHING to help. I’ve picked up extra hours or odd jobs to help my loved ones before. I’ve labored and toiled and learned new trades to help. I’ve sacrificed sleep, I’ve literally put in blood, sweat, and tears for my loved ones. I’ve risked illness and injury. I’ve never regretted it. I LOVE people. I want to be someone you can count on in a crisis. Whether it’s physical, financial, emotional, or spiritual. I want to be of some service, in some small way. I wish I could do more! Do my friends not know this about me???

Teamcup5

I am NOT pushing play every day and pounding the pavement for some number on a scale, a bikini, any title, a number on the barbell, or I don’t know…a clothing size. I am doing it to make me a STRONGER, HEALTHIER, BETTER PERSON. One who will be around for YEARS to come. One who has 60 more years of giving, loving, and helping in me. That’s why I try to limit the poisons I put into my body. Yes, guys…we are literally poisoning our bodies with chemicals and sugars! That’s disgusting. I’m not punishing my body for not looking “perfect” I’m thrilled with how far I’ve come. I’m happy to have been in the same size for the past 7 years. I’m thrilled with how much faster and stronger I am than I once was. I work hard to keep my body HEALTHY! I don’t want to age beyond my years. I don’t want heart disease or diabetes. I want to HELP those who suffer from these issues, not be the one looking for help! I LOVE HEALTH AND FITNESS. I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT IT!!! No, I’m not trying to lose weight or get smaller. Yes, I want my guns to be a little bit bigger. Yes, I would love more defined abs and less cottage cheese on the back of my legs…but that’s not what I’m focused on when I get out of bed in the morning. That’s not what I’m focused on when I lace up and hit the road. That’s not what I’m focused on when I’m lifting with the Beast, doing burpees with Tony & Autumn, jumping into the air with Shaun T, or bending over backward with Chalene. That’s not what I will be focused on when I’m punching out obstacles in the winter with Joel & Jericho. I’m focused on being here for a LONG time and being ABLE to give back.is who you are meant to be. NOTHING wrong with wanting to lose a certain number of pounds (As long as it’s healthy, and I find when talking to clients, it usually is), nothing wrong with wanting to be able to curl 30 pounds, nothing wrong with wanting to look good in a bathing suit, or have your wedding dress taken in. When I pressed play on P90X 7 years ago…weight loss WAS the goal. I wanted to pass my PT test and STOP being counseled every month for being overweight by the Army standard, I wanted to be a thinner bride! I achieved those goals and then some! That’s no longer where I am AT THIS POINT IN MY JOURNEY!

Let me also be clear in saying THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THOSE GOALS. There is NO shame in wanting to be a certain size that you feel

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I’m lucky enough to have been blessed with an abundance of love in my life. My family and friends mean everything to me. I just feel compelled to pay that love forward. I know not everyone is as fortunate but I also know that we are each the master of our own destiny. So no, I’m not punishing myself. No, I won’t ever quit working out almost every day. NO, I won’t quit nourishing my body to the best of my ability. I like the feeling of healthy. I like being able to run and jump when someone asks me to. I like being able to carry heavy things for pregnant friends, injured strangers, or older family members.

And no, I don’t hate myself. I LOVE myself! I’m very proud of being a good person. I’m not perfect and yes, I have goals. Physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial. I want to help way more than I do now. I let myself and others down sometimes. I’m human. Of course I struggle with the same issues of body image, confidence, and self worth as every person and especially every woman, but at the end of the day…I AM ENOUGH AS IS…but that doesn’t mean I can’t be better! That doesn’t mean I can’t contribute MORE. Yes, I work hard…not because I am unhappy with who I am, but because I know what I’m capable of. Because I believe God put me here for a reason! I believe the same for you!

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Wrapping my head around Summit…

I’m still struggling to wrap my head around everything I experienced last weekend, so this is going to more of a random babble than a blog post that makes sense!

I spent Thursday-Saturday soaking it all up like a little sponge. Coach Summit is the BIGGEST EVENT OF THE YEAR for Coaches with Team Beachbody. I learned about leadership, nutrition, fitness, goal setting, time management, team building, you name it…I learned it. I got to work out with CELEBRITY SUPER TRAINERS! It was UNBELIEVABLE! Tony Horton & Sagi Kalev in smaller sessions and then the Saturday morning Super Workout with Tony, Sagi, Autumn Calabrese, Shaun T, Chalene Johnson, Joel Freeman & Jericho McMatthews. I got a tiny sample of brand new program that won’t even be launched until November! The Super Workout was about 30,000 Coaches lining Broadway in Nashville to work out at 6:00 AM! I heard from amazing speakers, motivators, business geniuses!

I have my favorite moments. The workouts, of course! That’s the heart of it for me! The speakers; Gary Vaynerchuck was awesome! He didn’t sugar coat anything…he tells it like it is, in a real way, not in a fake political way! Maysoon Zayid was so inspiring and hilarious! She had me crying and laughing at the same time and I don’t mean laughing so hard tears came out, I mean one minute she has me in tears and the next minute she has me laughing so hard it hurts my abs! Shaun T always sets my heart on fire and was such a pleasant surprise since he wasn’t listed in the agenda. And Chalene Johnson, she has the best energy! She is truly the definition of the word FABULOUS! Hearing from the CEO & Co-creator of the whole Beachbody empire Carl Daikler. The whole thing was just amazing! The great thing about Coach Summit is you always find new people who inspire you…who speak to you in some way. I had a session with a top coach who I didn’t know previously. Turns out she is JUST LIKE ME! If she can do it, I can do it! Give me a few years and I can be on that stage presenting!

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The best part, I leave knowing I CAN DO HARD THINGS and with a fire in me to help MORE PEOPLE. To help people harder & never give up on someone, even when they’ve given up on themselves! I will be going over notes and videos for a while but I’m not wasting any time implementing what I’ve learned. Heck, I’ve already started!

I was reminded of WHAT IT MEANT TO ME when this opportunity was placed in front of me, what it’s done for me. WHAT IT MEANT TO ME when I got those P90X dvd’s and how everything changed! I can’t deny someone else that turning point!

I’ve already got my ticket for Coach Summit 2017 in New Orleans and some of my team members have already reserved theirs as well 🙂 I LOVE COACHING!

Sweet Treats!

After sticking to a pretty extreme meal plan and failing to convince myself to dig deeper….I’ve decided to go off the rails a little bit here. I usually just live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy treats IN MODERATION but I had been pushing pretty hard for a while and trying to push through the stresses life has thrown my way recently… it just sort of backfired. SO…I’m indulging within reason and getting it out of my system to TRY HARDER! Here is one of the awesome treats I’ve had along with some of my favorite indulgences that are not so guilty! Heck…I think I’ll even head to Sheetz tonight for some no-bakes! Tomorrow I will start to clean things up again…easing myself into it.

I LOVE cool whip! But God only knows what’s in there! So I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN make your own delicious whipped topping and YOU get to control what goes in it! Here’s mine:

1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp pure maple syrup (don’t worry…it won’t be maple flavored whipped cream)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whip till light and fluffy! (appx 5 minues)

strawberries

 

Some of my other go-to treats I love are: Quest bars (if you microwave the brownie flavor for 5-10 seconds…it’s like a warm brownie fresh from the overn…YUM). I also love to take organic dark chocolate chips and stuff one inside a raspberry, I will eat like 10 of those…YUM. RAISINS! Yes, I LOVE to satisfy my sweet tooth with a hand full of raisins. AND THESE THINGS ARE MY GO-TO!!!!

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I hope you find this helpful. What are your favorite healthier treats???

Worthy Wednesday…a different take

I’m feeling so happy and blessed right now!!!!

Hey boys and girls. It’s Wednesday again and today I want to talk about a different kind of Worthy cause. Not an organization or charity. I want to talk about KINDNESS!!! Do you have any idea how much a SIMPLE gesture can mean to someone?

If you’ve been following me on social or even reading my blog you know the past few months have hit us pretty hard. I’m not the kind of person to get all gloomy and wallow in self-pity. I’m the person looking for a way to improve each negative situation, correct the situation, or cope if it’s beyond my control. I trust God, I am not very fearful, I always believe things will look up (and they always have). Today I checked the mail and there was an envelope in there with no return address. I’m expecting a wedding invitation and thought that was what I was opening, but when I opened it…I found a super cute little card with a hand written note inside. There was a Lowe’s gift card inside. The note made me cry so much, tears of joy. The anonymous sender said some really nice things about my husband and I and just wanted to shed some light during a rough time for us. It meant so much more to me than the amount of the gift card. It meant so much more than something to help with the basement, or to help us with our lawn or go toward a grill that we so badly want. It just means SO MUCH to know that there are kind people out there who care about us.

I have sent out anonymous blessings before, and I do believe what you put out into the world you get back. I know what you give with a kind heart, God will bless you with even more. BUT I didn’t expect it to be so literal. Like to get something in the mail like that! I KNOW it feels GREAT to be the kindness you want to see in the world, but let me tell you…it also feels great to be the one receiving such kindness!

Today I encourage you to do a random act of kindness. Actually, why not do one all week and see what happens, do it for a month…or every Saturday…watch how it comes back to you and how you bless people. You NEVER KNOW what someone is going through, even a stranger on the street. You never know what smile or kind word might mean to them. You never know how much the person with the cardboard sign might actually NEED five bucks! TELL your cashier or customer service rep on the phone when they made your day, tell them if they are doing a fantastic job. Tell your waitress she is stunning (in a non-creepy way of course). Let’s all share more positive thoughts and actions! Bless, and be blessed!!!

It’s BACK! Worthy Wednesday!

Sorry, I’ve been off the ball for 2 months with my Worthy Wednesday’s. A lot has been going on…some good…some really bad. But I’m hanging in there. Today I have a great cause to discuss with you! Have you ever heard of Compassion International?

This is something I have participated in previously and just in the past few weeks decided to sponsor another child with my extended family!

Their Mission Statement:
Releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name

In response to the Great Commission, Compassion International exists as an advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.

Compassion was grown from one minsters visit to the troops during the Korean War. While there, he was disturbed to learn of the war orphans who were living and dying alone in the streets. Starving and freezing to death. He had to help and soon developed this method for American citizens to make a difference in the lives of Korean War orphans and since then it has grown to a worldwide outreach.

You can make a one time donation or choose to sponsor a child for a monthly fee. Remember, compassion is a world wide organization and a little goes a long way in many countries. What I love most about Compassion is you get to send and receive letters from any child you sponsor so you really get to know them and can encourage them in many ways more than just financially.

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.”
– Proverbs 19:17

 What could be more important or rewarding than making a difference in the life of a child?
To learn more please visit: http://www.compassion.com

What Genes???

How many reasons do I need?

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I am not chasing after an image, I am not chasing after a weight. I am chasing after numbers though…I want a LOWER 5k time. I want MORE reps. But most of all, I want MORE YEARS to live this beautiful life we’re all blessed with and I want those years to be lived independently & healthy as long as possible! If I can be the 96 year old who still lives in her own home, makes her own meals, and travels that would awesome!!!

I’ve already stated this week, I’m struggling right now to maintain the level of fitness I had been maintaining for quite some time. My GENES don’t want me to be fast, athletic, strong, or fit. None of that came naturally to me! Heck, my genes wouldn’t even dictate I be healthy. Dig back just a few generations and my family history isn’t all sunshine & roses. There is cancer, heart disease, alzheimer’s, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, allergies, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, digestive disorders…I could go on.

I know some of these diseases are not understood, they very well may be completely random and unavoidable. Some of them are still QUITE a medical mystery. However, some diseases are 100% avoidable and brought on by our own poor choices. I will not go looking for those! If an unavoidable disease finds me, well…I better be in good fighting shape for it huh?

I love the feeling of accomplishment I have gotten each time I hit a milestone. The first time I passed a PT test after failing for too long. The first time I realized it was a given that I would pass and I no longer had to fear failure. The first time I maxed my PT test score. The first time I ran a race. The first time I ran 5 miles, then 10 miles, then 15 miles. The first time I completed a brutal workout program from start to finish (P90X) and each one I’ve completed since.

I love the feeling of blood rushing through my veins when I work out. I love HOW FREE I feel when I run. I love how strong I feel when I press play. I love feeling like sweat pouring out of my body is cleansing my body of anything it doesn’t want! I love the feeling of knowing what I’m putting into my body will nourish it and help it to perform at high levels. I love the feeling of pride and accomplishment when I don’t poison my body. I’m not talking arsenic and meth, I’m talking McDonalds, sugar, hotdogs, and soda-pop. I love how my body no longer even wants most of that garbage. I will always struggle with sweets…but I love the days that go by without sugar!

Yes, my genes make it harder for me than it is for some people. My genes also make it easier for me than it is for some people. We are all different but we can all achieve health (at least outside of those issues we can’t avoid or understand) if we strive for it. My genes mean I will never look a certain way, but that doesn’t mean I can’t look good! I will never be 5’9, I will always be a bit of a pear. But I can be the fastest, strongest, sexiest pear out there!

My genes DO NOT determine who I am. I DO! The choices I make day in and day out! Thank God!

Come Back Kid!!!

Let’s talk setbacks!
They can happen to all of us…at any time. The thing about a setback is, you usually don’t see it coming or don’t know how quickly it will spiral out of control. Setbacks come in the form of injury, illness, life-changing events, devastating news, loved ones needing help, stress, depression, chaos, even things that are great for your life, like a marriage or new career opportunity can become a fitness setback!

The important thing is to know that YOU CAN COME BACK!

I JUST came back from a week long setback! I went out of town for two days with friends and got a phone call that changed my plans! I was on my way home to return to my normal activities when I got a call that a family member had been hospitalized, so I turned around and spent the week in Maryland. It wasn’t that I didn’t have access to Beachbody On Demand, or a place to run, or even a gym if I wanted to pay drop in fees, I just felt that I should be with my family. We spent all hours of the day in the hospital, we ate more fast food than I typically eat in a year. We didn’t have the time or energy to cook meals. Emotional exhaustion is so much more tolling on your body than physical exhaustion. I chose to put my loved ones first and figure the rest out later. I made the best choices I could at the restaurants. I chose places I knew I could get a somewhat nutritious meal. Nothing like I eat at home, but at least I could get a chicken sammy with a whole grain bun (Thanks Smashburger) or a chicken burrito bowl with brown rice & black beans (Thanks Chipotle). I DID have my precious Shakeology to get me through. It was my only source of truly phenomenal nutrition for a week and is what kept my energy up and kept me going.

My point is, you never know what life has in store for you. You never know where you may get called to be, what your job situation may become, what home ownership will throw your way. It doesn’t matter the reason you are taking time away from your healthy habits. Maybe you’re in an accident and can’t work out for a period of time. Maybe your house caught on fire and you don’t have a kitchen to cook in. The important thing is you do your best and GET BACK TO IT when you can!

I did gain a few lbs and I am weaker than I was 2 weeks ago. I got right back to my routine yesterday after returning home Sunday night. I had to modify where I hadn’t been modifying before. I had to take it a little slower than usual. It made me sweatier than usual. It was hard. IT WAS WORTH IT! 2 days in, I feel like I’m on track to losing the few pounds I gained (guessing by clothes and a mirror, I don’t own a scale by choice), I’m back on track to gaining my strength and being on top of my game again. Depending on your setback it may take you longer…and that’s OKAY!!! It’s never too late to return to a healthy habit and it’s never too late to start new ones! Make yourself proud! Live your life to the FULLEST!

In all honesty, I would and likely will do it again because of the circumstances. I will try to make better preparations and choices when I return to Maryland…BUT the most important thing is family!

Health…Fitness…Happiness