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Wednesday, July 31, 2013


So in preparation for my clean eats/no cheats August, I'm on sort of a free for all, no calorie counting, do whatever I want kind of day today. Even without the challenge, I eat really healthy most of the time. Sweets are my go to though, so I don't normally indulge much on greasy, salty, or fried fatty foods. I just prefer healthier options. At least until desert....

So today I somewhat skipped breakfast. I grabbed a banana on my way out the door to run errands, but that was all I had. Normally I will have yogurt, wheat toast and pb, or oatmeal, maybe eggs. My breakfast is always clean, but in a rush to get out the door today, along with the mindset of knowing I'm intentionally going to eat freely today, I just didn't take the time to eat properly. It happens. 

My parents called and invited my kids and I to lunch today. We had Mexican and I ate a chimichanga. It wasn't that great. Afterwards I found myself craving something sweet and feeling totally ill for an hour or so. Not to the point of puking..... Just generally feeling bogged down and in need of a nap and a great deal of water. 

I began to think to myself, we get in these "kicks" where we primarily eat unclean foods the majority of the time, and our bodies become so accustomed to these foods that we don't realize how horrible they make us feel. We just think, "I'm so tired everyday after lunch", or "I don't know why I have insomnia", or "I always deal with acid reflux", or "I have diabetes", and so on.... We are so used to eating these terrible foods that we don't make the connection in our brains because we never give ourselves the opportunity to heal from the inside out. Especially if we are already thin... It isn't until we take the time to clean up our diets, that we realize how horrible these foods are making us feel. 

So instead of medicating yourself for symptoms associated with eating poorly and not taking care of yourself, why don't you (for the month of August) rely on natures medication? Clean foods.... Yes....some of us have diseases that are genetic and can not be controlled by diet, but if you're totally honest with yourself, have you really ever even given it a try to see what could happen on a clean diet? I'm not suggesting that you quit your medications.... I'm suggesting that you take your health into your own hands and get to the point that you no longer need them. 

You don't have to eat salad for every meal. You don't have to feel hungry. You don't have to miss out on goodies. You just need to alter the way you cook them and the ingredients that you use. You need to know what you're eating. And, as much as possible, you need to eat from your own kitchen. 

My observation wasn't all that impressive. I'm not the first person to think these things up. It's something that I've noticed many times before. The thing is, we all are human. It's 2013. We are busy. We have families and crazy busy lives. It's a challenge to just get dinner on the table some nights, let alone a healthy one. With a little preparation and a lot of hard work, your efforts will become your habits, and your habits will become your preference. Soon, you won't even have to think. I mean how much do you really think about your meals now? If you're like most people, you think a great deal about what "sounds good" or what you "want". But how often do you just think about what you NEED? 

No one can change you. No one can swap out a couple of gas station donuts for some oatmeal and fruit in the morning. It has to be you. All I can do is challenge you to do it with me, and be here for you along the way. So that's what I'm doing. I'm doing my part. Now you do yours!:)

Good luck to you. I know you got this!! Can't wait to hear all about it next month! And I'm praying SOMEONE has a success story for us!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

August Challenge

I recently decided to challenge myself to a "no cheat" August, meaning clean foods only for me. If you are looking for a good kick start, recharge, or reset to your health and fitness, I encourage you to take this challenge with me. 

Normally I allow myself to eat freely on the weekends. When I am truly focused on weight loss, I allow myself no more than one cheat per week. Eating clean is very rewarding to your body from the inside out. 

There is a lot of gray area to clean eating. I encourage you to do some research and decide for yourself what best fits your lifestyle and your goals. The more extreme you are with it, the more extreme your results will be. Personally, I like to find a balance. Living in a small town, whole food stores are not really available. Also, I have kids and my family and I like to eat out. I focus on nutritional value, a short shelf life, and lean foods that have been modified as little as possible. 

My preferences and view of clean eating and what works best for me, may not work for you. It takes time to figure out what you can live with and what you can live without. It doesn't have to be hard, and maybe you would do best to start off slowly. But, if you're ready to jump in with both feet, join me and a few of my friends in this challenge. 

To start, on August 1, you need to take a photo of yourself wearing something fitted (preferably with your stomach visible). You also need to weigh. You may want to take some measurements. Your photo, clothing, and measurements will show results more than the scales will, so don't be discouraged if you haven't lost 20 pounds by the end. 

There will be days that are harder than others. You will face temptation. You will have cravings. If you're hungry, eat. Understand the difference between hungry and snacky. If you're snacky, drink water and snack on low calorie veggies. 

I hope you decide to take the challenge with me. I believe you can do this and that you will be very happy with the results. I'd love to hear from you about your experience with the no cheat August challenge. If you have any questions, or just need someone to talk you through a temptation, feel free to email me. My email is Also, if you have any good clean recipes that you would like to share, please do! We can all use some help with creativity! I'm not that great of a cook..... Yea, my poor family....clean eating August + not a very good cook. They're so lucky. Haha. 

Good luck to you on the challenge!! Keep me posted on your progress!! Oh, and after you weigh on the 1st....PUT THE SCALES AWAY!!! No need to weigh again until the end. It will only mess you up! Trust me... 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hitting the Wall

Sitting in church this morning, our pastor was talking about how we need to rededicate ourselves to God daily. I am a fitness freak and a runner. Suddenly the phrase "hitting the wall" entered my mind and I began to think about how we do this spiritually as well as physically. 

As a distance runner, I have a good understanding of what my body needs before a long run. I'm pretty confident in how to fuel properly, and fully expect the consequences on the days that I fail in fueling up. I know that if I haven't given my body the things it needs, it's not going to perform well for me, and I risk hitting the wall. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it is used to describe the moment that your energy suddenly leaves you high and dry during a workout because your glycogen stores in the liver and muscles have all been depleted. When this happens, you suddenly feel like your limbs are dead weights. Your brain is telling your legs to move, but they're not listening. Yes, you may be able to walk back home, but your run has ended at this point. Your body has failed you because you failed your body. 

This is my fitness blog. I write about fitness. But I am first and foremost a christian. Somehow I always seem to be able to relate the two. I have been known to relate Christianity to fitness on my blog, but I'm mixing it up today. After all, it is the Lords day. 

How often can you say that you have spiritually hit the wall? When I'm running and I hit the wall, I refuel. It's that simple. Why can't I do this with my relationship with Christ? Or I should say, why DON'T I? Why don't I refuel as a christian the same way I do with my physical self? Is it laziness? Mixed up priorities? Procrastination? Denial? I dont know. But I do know that it's pretty cool that God uses our passions to get our attention. 

My mind drifting off about running during church, wasn't really about running at all. It was a wake up call. It was Him pointing out to me that the things that are wrong in my life right now are a result of me hitting the wall in my relationship with Him. My prayer life is lazy. My bible is dusty. My radio is typically tuned into secular radio. I don't always watch the most wholesome tv shows and movies. I think about myself a lot more than I should. It's not rocket science. I've hit the wall and I need to refuel. Only, as my pastor pointed out, I need to refuel daily. I need to refuel and be prepared to face every day. And when I haven't prepared in this way, it should be no surprise to me when I hit the wall. The good news is that we CAN refuel.

It's not always a bad thing to become empty. It's not a bad thing to find our energy depleted. It's not always a bad thing to need to refuel. "Absence makes the heart grow stronger", right? 

So, for me, it's time to refuel. It's time to dust off my bible, change the radio station, spend more intimate time in prayer, die to my selfish ways, and what's hardest for vulnerable. Yep, I have walls. And I like it that way. Ha! Maybe those are the walls I'm hitting? How about you? Have you hit a wall? I'm not going to lecture anyone on this issue. This blog serves as sort of a journal for me. But, I always hope to inspire, motivate, and encourage anyone who drops by to read. So, I hope that I have somehow encouraged you to refuel today. 

Below is a picture of a statue depicting a man hitting the wall. It is a little bit R rated, but it is such an awesome statue. Good night everyone. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Don't be fooled

I'm gonna go ahead and just tell you now that if you're going to "cheat" on your eating plan, don't waste your time with fat free, low fat, low carb, sugar free, or any other "diet" food. 

Unclean foods are not good for us, but the added chemicals in foods that are pretending to be better for you are just as bad, if not worse, than just going ahead and splurging on the regular unclean version of whatever it is you're reaching for. The truth is, it's easier to justify that chocolate chip cookie when it's sugar free, but the sugar free isn't doing you any favors. When we justify these foods, we eat more of them and we fall into the belief that "veggie chips" are healthy, or baked chips are good for you. 

If "diet" foods are a regular part of your diet, you're most likely going to lose weight, but you're doing absolutely nothing for your overall health. The weight you lose will not be coming off at a healthy rate, and when you get to your goal weight it's not likely to stay off. 

The chemicals that are used in processed foods, diet or otherwise, are not easily digested. This is why it is said that abs are made in the kitchen. Those processed foods are going to hang out in your digestive track way longer than they should, leaving you looking and feeling pudgy around the middle. So, if your weight loss attempts leave you with left over belly fat, that's the reason. 

If you truly want to live healthy and get fit, you have to rely on nature's foods. I am always open and honest about my love for food and the fact that I believe cheating keeps us all sane, but if the majority of your diet isn't clean, you are on the wrong path. 

Don't be fooled by the promises of "diet" foods. Don't restrict calories so that you can continue to eat a fatty diet. Food is our energy, but we need good clean energy. Eating clean foods regularly throughout each day will change you. I encourage you to start today. It's not expensive. It's not boring. It's not difficult. You have no excuse. We all like bad food and its hard for everyone to get started. Your weight loss will be slow. Your body will change fast. Your energy level will increase. Your cravings will subside if you're eating enough. What are you waiting for? Don't be fooled any longer! 

For great recipe ideas, you can check out These are all clean foods. If you can grow it or kill it, eat it. If it has an expiration date, eat it. If it has an acceptable list of ingredients that you can pronounce and identify, eat it. And if you have questions....ask! Google it. Email me. Text me. I'll help however I can. Don't be overwhelmed. Don't over think it. Just learn to enjoy the fact that you CAN lose weight and still feel full and satisfied. Enjoy the journey because its forever. 

My email is 
Good luck to you! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Perfection vs Reality

I follow a lot of body building websites and intense athletes on social networks and blogs. One thing I find that they have in common is that they give 100% effort, 100% of the time, and it shows. I see the results they obtain from this certain lifestyle. Gallons of water per day, egg whites eaten by the dozen daily, absolutely no cheating, etc. While I would love to look like some, or all of them, I really prefer not to live like them. Plus my husband would hate it, so.....

The same happens in a persons' mind when they compare themselves to anyone that has what looks like the perfect body. We see perfection, we admire it, we want it, but the majority of us aren't willing to do what it takes to accomplish and maintain it. This is because it is not a very realistic way to live. And it is not a healthy way to live, I should add.

If you are one that has arrived to that state of perfection, great job! I applaud you and your determination. But for the rest of you out there, don't put that kind of pressure on yourself. With extreme measures, you will achieve extreme results. There is extreme living, and there is realistic living.

I have absolutely no judgement toward those that go to the extreme, but like anything done to the extreme, there are risks involved. I have to constantly remind myself why I do what I do. My goal is to be healthy and fit. It isn't to be overly ripped with unhealthy levels of body fat to the plus OR minus. It isn't just about what size I am or how much I weigh. It's about the fact that I can comfortably (at age 38) put on a swimsuit and play around in the pool with my kids. It's about the fact that I can truck through a theme park in Florida in the heat of summer for a full day and have no trouble keeping up with them. It's about the the fact that I have the energy go knee boarding with them. And that my husband and I have still have the energy and confidence to get fixed up for date night, attempting to turn each others' heads, and we do!

Perfection has its rewards. It has its place, but reality is oh so much more fun! Take your kids for Fro-yo and pizza without guilt. Go on a long vacation and enjoy the relaxation guilt free. Go on a date and share a bottle of wine with your spouse, alongside a romantic dinner where the calories don't matter. The whole reason I do what I do, is to enjoy my life while I have breath. I don't need to be perfect, and neither do you. We just need to have fun!

I hope that you make, or have made the decision to live healthy, in reality. If it seems extreme, it probably is. Don't be afraid to have big goals. Goals that you have to work hard for. Goals that may seem out of reach, even. But whatever you do, keep it real. Like me, remind yourself why you do what you do, and what you want from it. For me, I want a certain lifestyle. An active one. One that leaves me feeling energetic, strong, healthy, and ready to wake up and play each day, if I so choose. I want my body to be there for me, but I have to take care of it properly if that's going to happen.

My email is Feel free to shoot me an email if I can help you out in any way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Overcoming Failure

One of the most frustrating, yet rewarding things about working really hard to reach a goal, is all of the road blocks and moments of struggle that feel like failure, steal my focus, and make me want to quit. I also know that when I have a goal, I make up my mind in the very beginning that no matter how hard I fall, I WILL get back up on my own, learn from my failure, and keep moving toward what I set out to accomplish. I never expect to be THE best at anything I do, even with my competitive nature. I only expect to be MY best......

I don't know about you, but when I set out to accomplish something, the harder it was to get there, the more satisfied I am. There is a great sense of healthy, hard earned pride when we overcome all obstacles that stand in our way. We all know that there is very little joy in the easy way out. The results are temporary, the journey is boring, the reward is little, and in the end you can't really take pride in the fact that things just fell into place for you without any effort on your part.

The thing about fitness and healthy living is that as long as you are doing nothing, you are failing. You may not be the fastest. You may have two left feet and look like a total idiot during zumba. You may be extremely overweight and feel like your goal weight is too far out of reach. You may be getting up there in years and get winded just walking to the bathroom in the night. You may even have extreme physical challenges that seem too huge to overcome. Whatever you're facing, it will not get any easier with the wait. There will be days that you blow it. There will be days that you hate every second of it. There will be aches, pains, injuries, blisters, illnesses, etc. But these things do not make you different than the rest of us out there dealing with similar challenges. Challenges and failures are part of the journey. They are part of life. And though some of us have more extreme struggles than others, we all still struggle and we all still fall flat on our faces from time to time.

I don't know if your goal is to lose weight, or if it is to improve your appearance, or just your health. Whatever you are working toward, believe that it can be yours as long as you're willing to overcome all obstacles. Expect to fall. Expect it to be hard. Expect to have days that you feel like you just conquered the world, along with days that you feel like the world just conquered you. The best part of the journey is that the success BY FAR outweighs the failure.

One thing I hope for, for all of you, is that you learn to enjoy and live a healthy and active lifestyle, without needing a crutch. The difference between a workout buddy or personal trainer, and a crutch is that a crutch is something or someone that you depend on. A crutch is the thing that we lean on when we fall. We all need a support system, but I hope and pray that you can build enough confidence in your own abilities that you understand that you can get out there go for it ALL BY YOURSELF!  And when you have a day that eats you alive, I pray that you can learn to overcome it ALL BY YOURSELF!

I see so many people, women in particular, limit their abilities because they never get gutsy enough to branch off on their own and test themselves. You will never know how strong you are if you never have to depend on yourself. There is a time and place for fitness buddies, and we all need encouragement from time to time, but I strongly encourage you to test yourselves and find out what YOU like to do and what YOU are good at. There needs to be balance. I am not saying that you should never have a workout buddy or a confidant. It's fun to workout with a friend. I love it. We all do. What I am saying is that a workout partner should never make or break you. They should not be a crutch. Take responsibility for your own health by avoiding the crutch! A crutch will leave you eventually. It may not be there a year from now, so never become dependent on it. It has to be by your own will that you keep going when the going gets tough.

I want you close your eyes and visualize yourself reaching your goal, whatever that is. It may be a fitness goal, a weight loss goal, a health goal, or all of the above. Think about small changes you could make to get you one step closer to that goal. Think about what needs you have to help you get there, and what you need to do to get those needs met. Don't be afraid to set goals that seem huge. "Where there's a will, there's a way", right? Now that you can see where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there, think about this goal with a more permanent mindset. Meaning, healthy living never stops. It's a lifestyle. One reason we fail on our way to our goal, is we see it as having an ending. You may have a goal to be a size 4, but once you get to a size 4, you're journey isn't over. What good does it do to work toward a goal, arrive at it, then return to your original starting place? When you run a race, you don't cross the finish line, then circle on back to the start. You move on to the next race, the next goal. We want to change! For good! Forever! Therefore, we have to work for good, forever! If we look at a goal as having an ending, it adds a great deal of pressure to you. You put expectations on yourself that are just exhausting, unhealthy, and unrealistic. I say the challenges make us stronger, but we don't need to go looking for them. We just need to be prepared to handle and overcome them when they show up......

Go ahead and start chasing those dreams. Fall down, get up and brush yourself off, and chase them some more. I believe in you and you should too! Don't let past failures keep you at bay. You only failed because you gave up on yourself, but it's not too late to start again. Go for it!

My email address is and I am here for you if you need help on your journey in any way. Fitness is my passion. I love to help people see and reach their potential. No question is too dumb, so let me know what you need and I can steer you in the right direction.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 12, 2013


Dedicated to my friend, Princess, as she prepares to run her first half marathon this Sunday. I'm so so proud of you, P!

Some days our mind shows up and our body doesn't. Some days our body shows up and our mind doesn't. When we're lucky, we get to experience the less frequent times that both mind and body show up. But what I live for are those days that my spirit shows up. It's those days that it doesn't matter how fast you run or what the conditions are like. It doesn't matter what your abilities are or how hard you've trained. You just run with a smile on your face and an attitude that can not be crushed, no matter the challenges you face. 

I think about the amputee, mentally/physically challenged, cancer fighting, disease stricken, and all other challenged athletes there are in the world, and about how inspiring it is to hear about them and watch them perform without allowing their limitations to keep them from their dreams. Their abilities don't move them. Their minds don't move them. They are moved by something much bigger. Their spirit. 

Today I want us all to get out of our own way. Make a conscious decision to fill your mind with positive thoughts. Don't allow the negativity and doubt to decide your outcome. Maybe things haven't happened as you planned. Maybe you're not down the 20 pounds you hoped to be by now. Maybe you don't run as fast as you want to. Maybe you haven't been able to train for that race the way you planned to. Change how you speak about it. Change how you think about it. Don't let your own mind destroy your spirit. Move out of the way of it and do the best you can, and be ok with it. Be proud of yourself for persevering, because you should be. And most important...embrace and enjoy the journey and never ever give up!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Will Power

Will power is one of those things that seems to come easier to some than others, but that's not exactly the case. Will power is a muscle. You have to strengthen it just like any other muscle if you want to make it stronger. Remember when you first started working out and the weights seemed to take a lot more effort to pump? Or the idea of going on a 3 mile run seemed like the impossible? Your will power is the same...

If we lead a lazy lifestyle, we will feel lazy. We don't feel lazy just because. Some of us are naturally more energetic than others. Some of us require more rest than others. But as long as we act lazy, we will be lazy. As long as we are inactive, it will take more and more effort to perform certain activities. As long as we aren't exercising, the harder it will get to exercise. And as long as we aren't often or almost always saying "no" to the foods we should not eat, the weaker our will power will get. 

The ability to resist unhealthy foods and make good choices with our lifestyle is something we have to train ourselves to get good at. It doesn't just happen easy for anyone. Fit people have to work to be fit. Fit people have to exercise their will power just like anyone else. Fit people are fit because they decided to take action. They made a decision that they want a certain lifestyle and they realize it isn't going to just happen with no effort on their part. 

The easy thing to do is sit around and complain about how hard it is for us to maintain a healthy weight, and let ourselves go. The easy thing to do is believe that we are not capable of more. The easy thing to do is to believe all of the negative talk and doubt because its not taking any of your effort or time or energy or work. Even though this is "the easy thing to do", its also very much the hardest thing to do because it gets you further and further from your dreams. 

The first thing you need to do to begin changing your will power is stop believing    that yours is broken. Stop believing you can't have what you want. Stop believing that you could never have better or that this is as good as it gets for you. It doesn't mater what your age, gender, fitness level, or limitations are, there is always room for improvement. And so much of our health and fitness level is dependent on our eating habits. It has to start there. 

The best way to get started is to start with the easy things. Don't take on more than you can handle. You wouldn't run a marathon with no training, so why would you expect to be able to make a complete and total change in your lifestyle with no training? If you wanted to learn to run, you would start with a little at a time, adding more as your body allows. Do this with your new lifestyle, and don't beat yourself up and give up just because you had a binge on ice cream and pizza. It takes time to get it right, and no matter what your fitness level is, you're still going to have days that you binge on pizza and ice cream. But you move forward. You don't give up. It doesn't mean you're doomed. It means you're human. 

Good luck to you in your journey. It doesn't matter who you are or where you're at, I believe in you. You need to believe in you too. Don't be afraid to dream big. Don't be afraid to fail, because you will at times. Be afraid to stay where you're at, because as long as you're not trying to change for the better, you're only going to change for the worse. Harsh, I know.....but true. If I can help you get started, please reach out to me. I want you to experience healthy living. And I want to help you get there. My email is 

Take care!!:)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Clean Eating

I am sure that most of you are familiar with "clean eating", or at least have heard about it at some point. Just like any health journey, there are always questions and a learning curve. What may seem complicated in the beginning, hopefully will turn into lifelong habits.

I am not a fan of diets. Diets don't work. Their main purpose is to change the number you see when you step on a scale. We don't really need scales to know that we are over or under weight, fit, fat, or anything in between. Weight management is an important part of our well being. But, when our motives for eating certain foods becomes all about the number on the scale, the focus is no longer about pure fitness and healthy living.

I will never hide the fact that I love food. I like to eat. I love sweets, pastas, and carbs of any kind, really. I will also never lie about the fact that I do eat these foods. What I DON'T do is LIVE on these foods. Just like anyone, I go through periods of gluttony, but they are phases that never make or break me.

So here's the deal with clean eating...... The good news is, it isn't complicated. Eating clean doesn't have to be boring, and it doesn't have to break the bank. Here is the general rule. If you can't kill it or grow it, don't eat it. It's that simple. You've heard the "shop on the outside of the box" saying before, I'm sure. If it has a long shelf life, don't buy it. Dairy is considered "clean", but the lower the fat content, the better it is. Butter? Actually, it's clean. But it is a saturated fat so go easy. Why is butter clean? Because it's churned cream, which comes from unpasteurized cow's milk (basically milk fat). Don't misunderstand. Saturated fat is not a healthy fat, but we need some of it in our daily diets. The point is, it is of the earth, and that's what we are looking for in "clean' foods. If it is overly processed, the ingredients list is going to be a mile long, contain trick words like "other ingredients", or "artificial flavors", or words you can't pronounce or identify. I wish I could give you a list of everything that is considered to be "clean", but that would be a monster of a list. Organic is always the best choice, no matter what you are buying, but that isn't always affordable, or available. The closest it is to it's natural state, the more clean it is.

So how do I eat clean, enjoy my favorite foods, and still stay fit? Balance! My goal is to allow myself 1 guilt free, or "cheat" day per week. I would love to have 6-pack abs and less fat on my body, but as long as I indulge as I do, that is unlikely to ever happen. What I desire the most out of my lifestyle is quality of life, so that is what I live for. It's up to you to decide for yourself what you want out of your efforts. Everyone is different, but if you decide to live a clean lifestyle, you will not regret it. Just like anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes my 1 day of cheating turns into an entire weekend. But I never let it go any further than that, unless I'm on vacation:).

Once you get started on clean eating, you will find that you do not want to eat junk anymore. And when you do, it's not EVEN as good as you hoped it would be. But I believe that indulging 1 day per week keeps me sane. I'm still in touch with the things I love to eat, keeping me from feeling deprived. As long as you know you have a free day coming, it makes it easier to stay committed. It is amazing how much more energy you will have, and just how much better you will feel.

I believe that if you know the McDonald's menu by number, if ice cream is a nightly late night snack, there's no fruit or veggies in the house, you're all stocked up on chips and soda, and you have no clue how many calories you consume in a day, it is time to make a change! It's time to pay attention. I always recommend as a food journal. I have tried dozens of different apps, and this is still my favorite. If you like another one better, great! Use it! The point is to keep track of what you're eating so that you see what you need to change and you have accountability. If you are going to eat it, you are going to have to log it in your food journal!

If you are looking for some good "clean" recipes, I really like I wish I was a better cook, because I would so make just about anything on that website. It all looks so good! And it's healthy! And it can help you take the guess work out of whether it is or isn't clean. And as always, if you have questions for me, my email is and I'd love to help you get on track!

Take care:)