Stuck in an exercise RUT???

Life gets busy and we can get thrown off track from our goals. Family issues come up, kids get sick, you get stuck at work, you get stuck in traffic, etc. All of a sudden you notice that your workout routine goes from regular to nothing. I totally get this and have done it more often than you know. The problem is when you miss a few more workouts and then all of a sudden you’re in an exercise rut. So, how do you go about getting back on track? If you have been off track recently, or need a motivation boost, I have some of my personal tips to help you restart your exercise routine and get back into the swing of the healthy routine again. Ready? Set? GO!

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1. Take a 30 day challenge
Short challenges can help us kick start our routines again. Breaking a plan into smaller time frames makes it much more achievable. Need a 7 day program? Join my next group here. Want a 30 day refresher plan? Let’s get you started HERE. You’ll be surprised how much easier this is to get back into the swing of things and then once the challenge is complete, you will feel better and be back on your way to a fitness and healthy routine again.

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2. Start with just 5 minutes
I know how hard it seems to start a workout that is 30-60 minutes long. The mental challenge is the hardest part; but if that feels like too much then just plan to workout for at least 5 minutes. That is so much more do-able than a longer and more grueling workout. The awesome thing about this, is most times, once we are up and moving our bodies and the endorphins kick in, we are more likely to just keep moving. Start with 5 minutes and if you truly need to stop after the time is up, give yourself permission to do so. That way, you are more apt to do the same thing again another time and 5 minutes of activity beats nothing every day!

3. Speaking of endorphins…
Sometimes we focus too much on the effort of it, rather than the outcome. The idea of the workout is that although it is a challenge while we are sweating through it, the feeling we are left with when it’s over is completely awesome. Am I right? I always say that the cool down and stretch is my favorite part because it means that the actual workout is done. Reveling in the feelings of accomplishing a workout is a feeling you’ll not want to forget for too long. You may regret the workout that you didn’t get to; but nobody regrets completing a great workout.

4. Schedule it in your diary
If you are looking for an excuse to not workout, then you will find every for a distraction to deter you. That’s why it’s important to clear your schedule and make time specifically for your daily exercise. Make sure it’s scheduled in the day for a time that you won’t get easily distracted. If you know that you get caught up at work in the evenings, then schedule your workout in the mornings. If mornings are too busy, then schedule your workout in the evenings. If you know it’s going to be a crazy busy day, then just commit to a quick fifteen-minute HIIT session, as doing something is always better than doing nothing.

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5. Plan ahead
If you’re like me and love to start the day with exercise (before our brains fully wake up and realize what the heck is going on!), the tough part is getting out of bed! I now train myself to put my alarm across the room so I have to get out of bed to turn it off. I also have my workout clothes and shoes set up by my bed to jump into as soon as my feet hit the ground. If you need some help with energy in the early hours, we have our Energy & Endurance formula which has saved me more times than I can count!

6. Just start simple
Simple is always better. We tend to get excited when planning our new habits and goals and add the most ridiculous and challenging plan that we can find because someone we know had some great results with it, right? You don’t have to start with something extreme (and you really shouldn’t start there!) Just get back to basics. You can start by walking for 15 minutes or more. If you have more energy and want to add in some jogging, take it up a little bit more. The point is to just start moving…and then KEEP moving. This only creates more confidence and endurance in our bodies and we want to add more as we are able to.

7. Get a support system 
It’s easy to skip your workout if it’s just you holding yourself accountable. Who would know if you decided NOT to walk or do your workout today, anyway, right? Well, the secret is having accountability to your goals. Doing what you said you’d do is the key to success. Get yourself into a challenge group (we have monthly groups forming at all times), get your family and friends involved in holding you accountable. Ask someone to help motivate you when you need and to help you stick to your plans. It not only helps add more social fun in our lives, it also makes life more fun this way since it forces us to turn the attention off of us and onto others to help everyone enjoy the success along the way.

8. The gym isn’t the only place to “get fit” 

Do you equate getting fit by going to the gym? In reality, the gym has nothing to do with getting fit. It is primarily the idea for getting into shape but over the years as a trainer, I know that it’s more about having a plan and support. Find ways to mix up your workouts, enlist a coach (ummmm..hello!), join a walking/running group, or just getting out and walking your dog. Movement beats laying on the couch any day so just get up and go!

9. Do it for yourself, not anyone else
You can only succeed when you work towards goals for yourself. Being fit and healthy should be about you feel awesome about yourself, and not someone else telling you what they think you should do or look like. It helps us also to gain confidence and wanting to do better along the way. It’s a great accomplishment to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and reach goals along the way.

Remember habits are created by the consistent daily activities we chose to put our time towards. So, the more consistent you are with your exercise routine, the easier it is to form healthy habits. Then, once it’s a habit, you just go on autopilot, and exercising is part of your daily life.

Let’s Move Mountains Today

Today I write about the ability to move mountains.

We tend to fall into society’s mold of what we should do and how we should behave. We start to lose focus of the open-ended dreams we had as children. The wonder of what is truly possible if we just decided to go for it. But something happens along the way. We start to doubt our awesomeness because we have stumbled. In those stumbles, instead of gaining confidence and finding another way, we lose focus and start to buy into the chatter going on around us.

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You can’t do that. It’s time to grow up. That’s not the way life works. Follow the guidelines of ‘normal’…

and so on. But it’s actually about breaking the mould that is “normal” to everyone else in finding our own greatness. What inspired you when you were young? What did your dreams consist of? Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about a “better life” or some deep-down desire that is weighing on you?

What’s to stop us from going after it? Aside from everyone else’s opinions and “realities”; the only real thing standing in our ways is US. 

Now, life isn’t ever going to go as planned, right? We can follow the blueprints and do what everyone else is doing and somewhere along the way; things will fall apart. It’s not within our control and most times and it’s the way it’s supposed to happen for us (whether you believe in God, destiny or mother nature; this is true) but we can tend to self-blame ourselves and fall into a deeper hole of being “safe” versus acceptance and restructure.

Safety is a good habit, if practiced correctly. Safety is about, well, being safe from harm. What it isn’t is, being safe from a challenge. Challenges and risks are part of life. If we didn’t risk anything, we would never change. But playing it “safe” can be downright boring and sooner or later, we will look at those who jumped in with both feet and are now enjoying some rather amazing results and wonder why not me? 

I had my own life mapped out, just like you did. I knew I’d be married and have a family. I knew we’d be church-attending, God-fearing people. I knew that we’d work to do our best and provide for our family and raise the kids to do pretty much the same thing we did.  What I realize now, is that my “dreams” were kind of vanilla. They were downright BORING. 

What I missed out on were the “details”.

Details are never included in our daydreams. I missed out on the fact that our family would have adventures. What I missed out on was the fact that we would attempt to cross the great big blue ocean and reside in another country; not once, but twice. I missed out on the fact that my children had their own wants and needs and desires and that we would unite as a family and make decisions that I could never have dreamed up. I missed out on the fact that the economy would tank – and in doing so – wipe us out financially and emotionally and make us re-think our “normal” lives.

What I’ve learned from our challenges and learning curves weren’t that life was cruel (although at many times I was guilty of thinking this); or that we made some “wrong turns” (which is what most people might think) or that we had to throw up our hands and concede to life’s challenges. What I learned, instead, was that this was our LIFE. 

This was how it was supposed to be written. It was glorious, it was gut-wrenching at times, it was amazing, it was humbling. But all in all, it taught me lessons I could never have daydreamed about. My family has never understood each other better. Each of my children have learned lessons that my husband and I could never have “taught” them in our perfect daydreams. We have become closer and more understand of each other than I could ever hope to be. Our hard work in digging in and finding a way to get out of our hardships and through the challenges we faced, have forced us to be better and more capable people than we could ever have thought.

I am a control freak. I love a challenge. But it has always needed to be in “my” control. If things didn’t go my way, I’d seriously freak out. I suffered from ridiculous panic attacks, that simply put, were brought on by my need to have things to “my way”. I never allowed detours or changes in what needed to be. Through the past few years, I’ve learned to have faith and do what needed to be done…but also in seeing that changes will happen and I could either fight them and have a tantrum about it; or I could re-assess the situation and make another plan.  I needed to learn patience and acceptance. And these lessons were soooo hard for me to learn. It was in just letting go of my “control” and trusting in the fact that my life was on the right track with God’s lead, that I was able to find my own peace.

I now suffer less anxiety. I feel more love and compassion for everyone in my life. I want to do more and be more and accept more of what is. Life didn’t go as planned; but what fun would that be? And what type of person would I be if that was the case?

Be you. Be willing to go through challenges and learn from them. Be willing to accept that there will always be challenges. Learn to adapt and to grow and to thrive in those challenges.

That’s the way our lives are meant to be lived.

How did I get here?

In my blog, I share so much about where I am now; how I’m doing with my current progress in my fitness and health journey and tips and ways to help you succeed in your own personal fitness and health goals.

But today, I thought I’d change it up. I thought it would be a great time to reflect on where I started and why I started. You might be dealing with your own struggles along the way and I always find it helpful when I hear from others on the issues and stories that transformed their lives so that I know I’m not in this alone.

And neither are you.

I’m asked from time to time, how much weight I’ve lost; how long I’ve kept my weight off; how I juggle my goals with my at home coaching business and my family life. But the latest question I was asked had me stop and say hmmmmm

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And to make me stop and reflect on anything has got to mean something! 🙂

I was asked, “What was the reason you started to exercise and eat right?”

Like the actual reason?

Wow! What a question, indeed! Why do any of us actually start to watch our weights, to start a new diet, to embark on a new fitness program at all? For me, I have to go back to where the pain began. Because for most of us, we start a fitness and health plan to move away from pain or uncomfortable situations.

For example, if you just thought about losing weight one day, how likely are you to start making changes that very day? Most of us wouldn’t bother until we found the best plan for us; picked the  best day to start (and it’s usually a MONDAY) and then procrastinate for awhile still. But what if you went to the doctor and he/she told you that you were on the brink of a health issue or were in serious risk of developing a disease? Now, how likely are you to start now? 

See the difference in the scenarios? We tend to want to move away from pain versus moving towards pleasure more rapidly. Sure, looking and feeling good sounds like an awesome idea but do we really want to start sweating and feeling uncomfortable in starting a new plan NOW? And what about cutting out our favorite foods? Who really wants to give up leisurely sitting on the couch and watching our favorite tv shows while enjoying our favorite foods as our chillax time? Not many..

So back to the question I was asked…what was my deep rooted reason???

I grew up in a large and happy family; the eldest of five children. I was shy and reserved and felt a bit “odd” at times to most as I felt my family life was a bit “different” and “old fashioned”. I felt that I couldn’t keep up with the trends and social status among the other kids my age. I was a major introvert. I would have rather just eat my lunch alone at school and play on the playground jungle gym in my own aloneness at recess…

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My first grade picture; before the insecurities were formed

But that wouldn’t seem cool or “normal”… I had to have at least one or more friends. And I did. But just as childhood friends go, they can be fickle and hyper-critical of anything different and there I was, all different and stuff.

Now, this could have all been my own perceptions and maybe not even accurate in the least but nonetheless it was my truth. I seemed to find the “friends” who were just as insecure as I was, and then be swayed in another direction from some of the “bullies” and “divas” instead. I know it was a long time ago and my childhood memories are a bit sketchy, but I was usually the one student left out of the main cliques. I always wanted to be part of the “IN” crowd but I also knew that would never happen because I was so NOT the in crowd. I wasn’t even part of the “side” crowd; if there is such a thing. I can almost bet that I probably hardly spoke many words to anyone at school since I was so awkwardly shy; but in my memories, I was mistreated by so many so-called “friends”.

And so it began, my youngest memories of feeling insecure and without any confidence or confidants. I would just hide my feelings from everyone, even my family. What would they think of me anyway, not having friends?  I had to hold on to my status in some way or another. So I just pretended and imagined everything was “fine”. I would fake being sick many days so that my mom would just let me stay home; away from the drama and the trauma at school. I know, now it sounds almost ridiculous but to a child; these issues are ginormous.

It was during my 5th grade year that I remember being the first one in my class to develop.  I was taller than most everyone in class. I hovered over the boys and felt like a ginormous monster. Not cool for an 11 year old girl.

I did all that I could to “fit in” but as I wasn’t quite comfortable in my own skin, it never came across in the right way. Now I know you’re probably thinking, “seriously? this is what your first memories of struggles are?” and to that I say YES! What we struggle with as young children stick with us in such a strong and permanent way; since these are our “development” years. So, in essence, I was “developed” into my struggles with food.

I would come home and EAT. Eating soothed my insecurities. With foods, I didn’t have to prove anything. I felt wonderful; I felt loved and I felt comforted from my life’s childish stresses. Now, this wasn’t a terrible problem for me until I hit the age of 14; and noticed in a picture of some of my peers that they were now as tall as I was…but I was quite a bit ROUNDER than they were.

This was horrifying in a whole new way. I tried “hiding” my thighs in clothing that wouldn’t accentuate my lower heavier self but it didn’t make much of a difference. Obesity has grown in recent years but when I was a young teen, this “shape” didn’t seem quite “normal” and here I went again on my insecurities of standing out. Some of my “friends” would even go as far to say that “boys like thinner girls’ bodies…and not ones like yours”….

I would have been happy to hide behind others and never be seen.  Yes, I know at that time of my life I was too scared to speak up and allow others to hear the ridiculous things I had to say. I preferred to be quiet and enjoy the chatter of others, who were more confident in their skins.

I set out to “right” my eating issues. I would restrict all that I ate and reasoned that just as eating too much allowed me to gain weight; the choice to eat too little would remedy that and I’d lose the weight again and be “normal” among my peers.

Not so much. This was the time that my starvation/binge period began. I’m thankful that I never resorted to “rid” myself of what I would binge on but it would start the awful cycle of starving myself for as long as I could handle it…or until the next bout of depression/anxiety and emotional issues would hit. At this point, I could eat the entire refrigerator contents and not blink an eye.

It was at this point, my mom saw what I was struggling with and decided to sign me up at the local gym and at Weight Watchers.

It was at these centers, I finally belonged. 

I heard stories from other women and young ladies who struggled in much of the same issues I was. At the gym, we attended small group exercise classes and the women in those classes accepted me in; just as one of them. I was invited, quite frequently, to choose my favorite move and “lead” in front of the class.

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I was hooked. It was my place. I was finally one of the “in” crowd.

This was also the time I realized I could feel good about myself and still lose the extra weight that I had been struggling with. I lost my first initial 20 lbs and was recognized and celebrated among the other women in our weight loss group and it was a HIGH.

If I missed a class at the gym, the other ladies would actually notice and ask where I had been. So, this is how it felt to be accepted!! I couldn’t believe how wonderful this new world was! I wanted more! I wanted to SHARE with the world!!!

I looked up to and followed one of the fitness instructors and trainers; Syliva.

She was my ultimate role model. She embodied fitness, helpful tips, personality and vitality. She put up with this “pesty” young girl, following her around after classes, asking tons of training questions and food tips. Sylvia was so amazing with me that she even accepted to show me the “other side” of the gym; aka: weight room. Now, how many women do you know who actually go into the weight room? This was the area that seemed off limits because it was predominantly men who spent most of their time there. I wanted to be the exception to the rule. And so Sylvia marched me proudly into the weight room and showed me how to utilize the machines and free weights.

I remember the feeling of finally finding my “calling”. My heart was pulled into learning more about this side of life. How is it possible that I had believed for so long that just eating more or less would allow me to reach my ultimate goals? How was I not aware of this side of the world before?

Now, I realized that I had the power to tone and strengthen up my body to become fitter and healthier versus “good and bad” on my current “diet” mentality. It was about empowerment in all areas of my life; my beliefs and my confidence. Whatever you love; go out and do it whole-heartedly and you’ll never be the same again.

That’s my early story…and I’m sticking with it! Although, that is not the end of my struggles, it helped to shape my newfound passion and calling in life. I knew I would be helping to empower other women to find the workout plan for them and meal plans that best suited their needs and help them achieve the goals of feeling confident, beautiful and powerful.

What about you? 

Finding Time for Fitness

It’s amazing how much more efficient we can get with technology and multi-tasking in our lives; and yet we seem to have less time than ever. What is that about? I find that the better I get at organizing and getting things done; the more I actually do and less time is left after all has been said and done.

And it’s not just ME, I am hearing this common issue from so many women these days. We are so busy taking care of everyone else that we tend to overlook our needs and goals. Then one day, we “wake up” and wonder what the heck happened and why are we feeling so neglected and out of touch with ourselves?

There is nothing wrong with setting some time aside to take care of what we really want to do. And it it should actually be a NON-NEGOTIABLE practice to take care of our health and fitness. If we don’t, who will? It’s easy to overlook the fact of eating the freshest and most natural foods; and getting in some daily activity to help our goals and bodies run their best and stay strong and happy along the journey.

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But who has time for long workouts these days? The days seem to start off with a bang the moment we drag ourselves out of bed and don’t slow down or stop until we fall into bed, completely exhausted.

But what will that do for us in 10, 20, 30 years from now? What are the long term effects of running on empty and not taking the time to keep ourselves humming along through these years? They will pass either way; isn’t it a better idea to take hold of what you can do NOW instead of that elusive time called “ONE DAY”??

I know there are no shortcuts to getting fit and being healthy. It takes proper attention and the best care. To get a lean and toned body, you need to be consistent and willing to do the work that makes the changes. But what do we do about those times when life gets hectic, (like most of the time?), when the “to-do” lists begin to pile up and all of a sudden you realize that you’ve missed out on another entire week of getting started. Trust me, we all have been there at one time or another. I can definitely relate. Which is why I’m going to share some simple tips to start right now and add into your daily routine, that will help start you and keep you on track to reaching your goals.

Short on time during your day, too? Here you go! 😉

1. All you need is “10 minutes”…
If the idea of heading to the gym or completing an hour long workout is not going to work, consider doing 10 minute fitness bursts throughout your day. You know you can find a spare 10 minutes, especially during your lunch time break. I find that it’s really amazing how many calories you can rack up in a short amount of time if done right. In order to really torch some calories, you need to get your heart rate up. Consider doing HIIT type workouts…which stands for “HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING”. So give it just 10 minutes but give it all that you’ve got. If you need an idea, here is a short workout for you to try now..

2. Let’s get “sneaky” about some extra cardio…
You don’t need to go for an hour run to get cardio into your day. Look at ways you can add small amounts of cardio in, that will add up over time. Park your car further away in the parking lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and get up and walk around when you are talking on your phone. These are all small changes you can add into your daily routine, so that although they may not feel like much, they are a great way to burn more calories, without committing to hours on that boring treadmill.

3. Do super sets…
One of my favorite and most effective ways to get the most out of your workouts, is to start adding in supersets with your weight training. This is one training technique done in many of our workouts with Beachbody and I’ve noticed that Sagi def adds it throughout his Body Beast plan. Not sure how to do a superset? You simply pick a muscle group that you want to work on, and then do a few different exercises for that muscle group, with little or no rest in between.

For example, if you want to work your legs, you could start with deadlifts, weighted squats and dumbbell walking lunges. Once you have gone through one round of exercises, repeat it a few more times. Not only do supersets cut your workout time down, they also keep the intensity levels high which help you to burn your calories and fat from your body.

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For a full fitness and nutrition program that can help you achieve the body of your dreams, start with some simple goal setting so I can send you some info regarding my next online fitness challenge. Sign up HERE.

All levels are welcome and encouraged. This is not a “quick fix”; it’s about learning lifestyle behaviors and working around common issues that can keep us from achieving our biggest goals and dreams. They truly will change your life.

Stronger than my Anxiety Issues

 

I have been sharing small pieces of my story on how I’ve had to deal with my anxiety and panic disorder over the years. It hasn’t been easy; but with that description, who would think that it would be? It is a topic I don’t enjoy talking too openly about but I’ve heard from so many others who are dealing with similar issues that hiding it only hurts us more.

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Being honest and open about this subject will allow us to understand what is happening and begin to actually heal. Anxiety is more than just feeling “stressed out” or “tense”. It goes so much deeper than this and at first, we assume it’s a fleeting issue that just came out of nowhere. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

I remember when the feelings would overcome my body, mind and being. I would start to have trouble catching my next breath. My breathing would become quicker and more shallow in unsuccessful attempts to catch my breath and relax. By this time, my body was tensing and my brain was screaming don’t let this happen again!!! 

I’d become light headed, I’d have to sit down. If anyone was nearby, I became more nervous because they might figure out what was happening. I couldn’t let them know and I didn’t want them looking at me. It became a vivid nightmare come true each time.

The enormity of the moments would expand until the panic was all consuming. I’d have to find someone or something to ground me again. This would leave me completely exhausted after my body couldn’t handle anymore and the panic eventually subsided.

I remember thinking that it was only due to stressful times. But then I also suffered through happier times of my life and couldn’t figure out what was causing the problem. I would always have to find a “reason” to blame…instead of just looking at the main issues that were creating it in the first place. How do you get yourself out of a panic when you are smack dab in the midst of it? For most people who don’t understand it (as I was), it becomes a roller coaster ride of emotions and more adrenal which only fuels the anxious feelings.

I finally had to take medication to allow me to sleep at night; as the feelings would become overpowering in the middle of the night.

Yes, I visited the ER more than once due to these attacks.

This year I’ve decided enough was enough. I was going to take my life back and I wouldn’t be held hostage to these stressful times any longer. I immediately stopped taking the medication each night as they were creating strange jolt like sensations in my legs at times and I did not want to be in need of any medication for something I knew I could overcome.

Since becoming a Beachbody coach and learning more about Personal Development, my understanding in all areas has improved like never before. I now understand other people’s personalities better; heck, I understand why I do the things that I do! I used to just think I was weird or a “spazz”! I now listen more to what others have to say and not try to talk over them to tell them what I know or think. I have learned that we are all the same, in so many ways and if we disregard the people around us (whether we know them personally or not), we are doing a disservice to ourselves.

This level of understanding and constant learning has taught me to just do what needs to be done and let go of the rest. I can sense ahead of time, when my shoulders and hands start to tense up. I notice when I’m holding my breath or breathing shallow in my chest. I have techniques to relax and let go. It took some time and patience, but I have never felt so free and strong in over 22 years!

My Happy Friday Soapbox!

Here are the techniques I practice as much as I need to in order to break through an anxiety hold:

  1. Pray. I mean honestly, when you think you can control it all that means that you are not giving it up to God.  We cannot control the uncontrollable so we have to be able to bless and release.
  2. As soon as I wake up in the morning, I smile to myself and tell myself, “Today is going to be a great day!” It all begins in our mindset and attitudes, which in turn seeps into the people that we come into contact with every day. Starting the day with my personal development definitely helps. Keeping a list of at least 10 things I feel most blessed about is also a wonderful tool. How can you be upset and anxious when reading about the amazing and wonderful blessings we have in our lives?
  3. Workout!  Working out isn’t just about looking good, its about the feel good endorphins.  It’s about something I can control, it’s about taking my own 30 minutes each day to feed my soul and to clear my mind.  Working out is MY ZONE!  It’s ME time.  It makes me better equipped to take on the day.  I remember a time of my life when the anxiety would eat at me constantly and I was battling severe bouts of depression; and the only thing that actually HELPED me was to just RUN. As far and as fast as my body would allow, but with each step, I envisioned everyone who was hurting me and all the areas that stressed me getting further and further away. It was freeing. It was MY happiness.
  4. Eating whole and clean foods and nothing processed or filled with unhealthy ingredients.  Clean eating gives me energy to push through the physical and mental demands of my day.  Eating clean gives me stable blood sugar so I don’t have the highs and lows in energy levels.  It also helps me to feel more confident, have more energy to crush my workout and stay healthier.
  5. Drinking my Shakeology daily: It really does boost your immune system, it gives your body the vitamins your body needs to help reduce stress and anxiety along with curb cravings for sweets and other things! I remember when I first started to drink it and thought to myself, “here I go, drinking the kool-aid”…and many people can think this true of anything we don’t quite understand. But the funny thing was, was I realized my body was not craving sugary sweets anymore…which was an issue I fought with since I was a young teenager. I also realized my energy was stable and I didn’t suffer the highs and low of sagging energy needed a jolt of caffeine to PEP me up!
  6. Having support. I have accountability groups for fitness and health that keeps not only my challengers on track to reaching their goals; but it keeps ME on track right along with them. I actually need them just as much as they say they need me…so win-win! I also have an accountability partner for keeping up on my business goals. As a business owner, we have to be careful not to put off the important tasks in order to do what we want…or even to procrastinate something seemingly “more important” at the time. Accountability helps in all areas and it will help in anxiety issues too. Find those who understand and support you no matter what. Judgement is ugly and has no place in this environment so if you know anyone who is nasty and negative; just distance yourself from them until your contact is limited and you don’t carry their energy.

So, there you have it. My “MAGIC” steps on staying on track with my stress and emotions. You can honestly achieve whatever it is that you believe is possible. It starts with the first step….

and then in never stopping.

 

Pesto Zucchini Noodles & Chicken

RECIPE ALERT!!

Don’t you just LOVE when you find a new simple and healthy recipe that the whole family loves too??? I do! I do!

So I had to share this from the Beachbody blog today and it is the bomb dot com! (thanks, Chalene!) 🙂

Will you let me know if you try it and what your honest opinion is? I’ll be sharing more of these awesome nuggets so we can all succeed together; once and for all!

Have you tried zucchini noodles yet? Dude! They are all the rage with healthy eaters, and now I know why!

They are super duper low in calories and carbs, and they make a great swap out for pasta. I’ve heard the term  “zoodles,”  for them before too..but zucchini noodles can be made with a vegetable peeler, a mandolin, or a Spiralizer (which was used for this recipe).

The pasta-like texture is a perfect base for all types of sauces and toppings and they don’t get soggy like pasta does, so they work great when meal prepping too!!  Cook them gently and they’ll stay ‘al dente’ til you’re good and ready to eat them.

This recipe called to top them with pesto sauce (yayyyyy for pesto!) and sautéed mushrooms with garlic. Also, you know that it wouldn’t be the same without some chicken breasts on top! If you are a 21 Day Fix container “user”, this totally fits the count as 1 1/2 green, 1 red and 1 1/2 teaspoons.

 

Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Chicken

So, here we go!!!

—> Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Chicken <—-

Ingredients:
1 tsp. olive oil
½ medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 medium zucchini
1 Tbsp. basil pesto sauce
6 oz. cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless, sliced, warm

Preparation:
1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
3. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
4. Add mushrooms and basil; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until mushrooms release liquid. Set aside.
5. Using a vegetable peeler, cut each zucchini into lengthwise strips about ⅛ inch thick. Turn zucchini slightly after cutting each strip to work evenly around the outside, stopping when you hit the seeds at the core. Discard cores. Cut slices lengthwise into ½- inch ribbons. Set aside.
6. Add zucchini to onion mixture; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 2 to 4 minutes, or until heated through.
7. Add pesto; mix well.
8. Evenly divide zucchini mixture between two serving plates; evenly top with chicken.

Who wants to eat now???

 

Post Summer Goals

So, Labor Day weekend has now come and gone and it’s hard to believe that we are heading into Fall season soon because it is still so gosh darned HOT here in southern California. Not a fan of 100 degree and muggy weather but I’m also not a fan of complaining so I’ll leave it there.

As many of you have heard me say for the past few months, I have been busy building lean muscle and cutting the fat on my body. I’m not sure how many of you can relate, but I am a BEAST when it comes to my workouts but the foods can be MEH over time. Know what I mean? 😉 It has been true with the Body Beast plan too. I did amazingly well the first round just before summer season. I logged in all of my foods, tracked my workouts every day and logged in my weight selection and stats in my progress and I was blown away at how much stronger I became and how much I changed in my updated photos.

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I guess when the plan says you should be eating over 2,000 calories each day, you worry that you will actually LOSE weight, right? I also freaked out when the second month of the program was named “BULK” phase and the calorie needs actually went UP another few hundred calories each day.

Wait…what? But I’m not a guy! Have you ever thought this? Well you are not alone and I had to suck it up and just follow the plan as it was laid out (and trust in the process as I always tend to preach about! lol). The exciting part was that I started to see my results in becoming more LEAN and more TONED as I also dropped body fat and inches in my body. My clothes became looser and baggier and I needed to drop down a size (or more)…that made it all worth it!

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As we now move into the season, I have noticed that this second round of the Body Beast hasn’t been as successful in my nutrition. I do get my workouts done and tracked, as before, but now my foods are done “on automatic pilot” and it’s easy to “fudge” along the way as I’m not tracking as I was before.

I’ve learned this is a wake up call that I need a CHANGE again! Our bodies and minds are good at adapting to what we are becoming more efficient at but in doing so, we then must create new challenges in our training and focus in our foods. So my plan is to MAKE THE CHANGE! (imagine hearing a screeching record player sound…)

My new plan is to change up my meals again and my workouts and the best way for me to do so is the following:

–> Get a jumpstart on my body’s habits by completing our “3 Day Refresh” program on Sept 18-20th.

–> Immediately follow the results with the PIYO workout and meal plan program – on Sept 21st.

This program has helped me:

  1. Achieve a stronger core and noticeable definition
  2. Complete the dreaded “tricep” pushups on my toes!
  3. Releasing tension and stress in my body through the flexibility aspects.
  4. Get back on my nutrition plan by changing it up enough to make it FUN again!

The funny thing is, even though there are NO weights in this program, I know that the strength from using my own body weight is truly amazing. (saves on having to get heavier weights this season!)

I also noticed that with Piyo, I don’t just feel like I am becoming stronger from the OUTSIDE only but also building internal strength at the same time. I focus more on my mindset, my emotions, my breathing, my stretching and just being more in tune with my body as a whole.

Now the food plan is a bit different than what I’ve been doing and here’s why. Obviously 80% of the results from any program lie in the foods we put (or not put) into our bodies. If we replace our old habits with better habits – we won’t just have a short term “fix” to a lifelong weight loss goal but a lifelong habit of making better choices, day in and day out.

We work on feeding our bodies 5-6 times a day with small, portioned meals that are set up to help our individual needs and goals. We focus on hydrating with at least 1/2 of our body weight in ounces of water daily and fueling ourselves with optimal foods that are nutritionally dense and never processed! I’m not a “fancy” meal type eater but these foods are definitely something we can live of and enjoy for the rest of our lives! I will share my meal plan with you soon to see what I mean.

Follow my journey this month on my Facebook Page and  if you’d like to join me for one of the programs above (3 day refresh or Piyo); or even BOTH, fill out your info here so I can send you all the details:  Shred the FAT

Or send me an email for more information: spazzykay@gmail.com