A glimpse into our NO SUGAR private forum

Here we are only 3 1/2 days left of the 14 Day NO SUGAR challenge and I’m a bit surprised at how well it’s gone. You’d think with cutting out all sugars; real and artificial, healthy options and natural options – that life would get a bit crazy and uncontrollable, right?

I thought so too..but these ladies that are part of the challenge this month are rockstars and hardcore committed to finishing stronger than they started. I’ve also done better than I’d imagined since I didn’t even think I needed to stay strong because I’ve done this before (excuses much???) but when I say I’ll do something, I stick to my word. What’s life without having integrity?

Today I will share actual comments and shares from these women who are keeping me motivated every day and helped me bypass a fancy ice cream waffle cone this past weekend, that was decorated in the shape of a rose. 🙂

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NO SUGAR CHALLENGE Challenger comments:

“It’s getting easier to turn down foods and drink with sugar in it. I started the challenge well, then got hit hard by cravings and hostility (who knew I’d be so bitter!). Now I’m nearing the end, and am fighting every day to finish well. I went to another dinner tonight where I could’ve easily taken one bite or sip and no one would have ever known. But I would know. I couldn’t undo all the hard work. I couldn’t let down the other women in my challenge group. I wanted to say ‘yes,’ many times, but actively chose to say ‘NO.’ Gonna finish strong.
As hard as I’m fighting for food health, I need to also fight for my body. I feel a cold coming on; I made an executive decision to sit this one out. My body needed the rest, so no workout today.”
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“Yesterday I had a non scale victory when a friend told me it looked like I lost weight! I have been trying to cut and lean out from body beast. I was excited to hear that even though the scale hasn’t moved a ton, which I am totally okay with.”

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“I am grateful that today was the second day I woke up early and did my t25 speed workout. Burpees involve a little hop to the back. I am glad I can do that since my shoulder was out of commission all year. I’m hoping to get stronger day by day.”

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“I am seeing RESULTS! 21-Day fix with Shakeology…I’m not getting hungry because I’m eating the right things before I feel that “ravenous” feeling I used to get when cutting calories. Now I never get there and I know what to reach for!”

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“I am so grateful for all the wonderful new friends I have made in these groups! All of you have been so great and supportive -“

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So, I’m not done clearing out the sugar yet, but I had a dream last night and I refused to eat sugary treats even while sleeping!#breakthrough “

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“My change I made this week is that I went grocery shopping, took my time and made sure to get what I had on list not just rushing through grabbing unhealthy choices that fill the belly! Felt great plus I have eaten breakfast everyday this week and can notice I feel so much better!!!!”

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Do you see how I’ve been able to stick to this for almost 14 days now? If it was just me, honestly, I would have easily caved during the weekend ice cream treat. Who wouldn’t, right? I know I may have seemed a bit psychotic in passing up the gorgeous treat but it was more of a victory to stick to the goals that I had made for myself. We all wrote out a contract to follow and are working towards earning a reward we’ve promised ourselves if we finish the challenge without giving in…and there is also a punishment for not following through and we have to “give up” something in exchange for slipping up.

Easy? Not really, but if the goal and the commitment is strong enough then the practice becomes easier to handle as our bodies, minds and willpower get strengthened. What is your biggest vice of the moment and would you be willing to forego the habit for 14 days?

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10 Commitments you MUST make to reach your goals

I am learning more in this decade of my life than in any other. It’s crazy how I could have lived over 40 years, been married over 20 of these years and have 3 grown children and actually have this epiphany that I’m finally freaking LEARNING things that matter.

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Like really deep, right?

Maybe it’s cuz I finally have the time to do so! 🙂 In any case, this year I looked at my life in it’s entirety and measured what I was doing in my day to day that was making me truly happy. When I say “happy”, I mean that feeling you get when you are just HIGH on life. When you can’t sit still because you are jumping out of your own skin. That kind of happy. Do you even feel that feeling any more?

I realized that I wasn’t and it made me reconsider everything, for the first time in my life. Yes, I am blessed. I am so thankful for everything God has blessed me with and I have zero regrets because I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t gone through all that I have been through. I’ve lived the life that I was given and I very much love most, if not ALL of it. Ups and downs are inevitable but unless we embrace these too, we won’t truly understand the value and the lessons that the challenges brought us. I’ll save these stories for another time…

Maybe 😉

So as I sat and truly reflected on everything at the end of last year, I found myself at the crossroads that I’ve been before…at just wanting to freaking DUMP everything I was doing that didn’t make me want to jump out of bed every morning, and start over. You know…like pressing “CTRL + ALT + DELETE”? That’s the feeling that usually plagues me every few years and other than feeling overwhelmed (which is a word I’ve come to despise) I never understood that it was simply because I wasn’t getting enough pleasure and happiness from my daily tasks and work.

So here are the tips I have for you if you are needing to PURGE (or at least refocus) on the areas that are SUCKING life’s happiness and meaning from your bones and spirit. I wrote down every commitment that I was holding onto and how important each of these commitments were to  me and my happiness and future. The one thing that stood out to me was that I needed to cut back on trying to juggle too many roles in my world. I knew in my heart of heart that I needed to let go of my hours of teaching fitness classes, in order to create more time in growing myself and in growing my at home business. It was much like the day I decided I needed to quit my job as a personal trainer.

I knew how hard this would be for me. Here was a position that I held since I was just 18 years of age. That’s almost 30 years of teaching. That’s a part of me that I have known longer than before I was both a wife and a mother. This role always seemed to define me, for some reason. I felt valued, I felt needed and I knew I was helping others find their energy to do more.

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When I made the decision to give notice for my classes, I sat in my car in the gym’s parking lot and sobbed like a baby. This was a part of me. It may sound ridiculous but it was a LOSS. In order for me to grow into my next level of happiness and life’s roles that I knew would ultimately create more success and happiness for me and my family, I had no other choice. But it hurt so deeply.

Whether you’re deeply invested in your career or starting a business, I’ve learned that successful people commit to certain decisions that help shape them into becoming the elite. 

Choose to make every moment count. Every day is an opportunity and a gift to master new skills and further our goals. Success comes down to having the right attitude and making smart decisions. I know I made a smart decision because my heart is happier and I can’t explain it more simply and fully than that.

Here are 10 tips to help you find your own inner happiness again.

1. See the good in your life/job/work or find it again.
Find ways to love the life you’re in. If you aren’t getting the happiness you once had, do some research on where you are being drawn to instead.

2. Always risk failures
Commit to letting fear be your motivator but don’t let it become your master when you approach a new opportunity or change in your life. Fear only shrinks our success.

3. Work hard.

Measure your success by your work ethic. If all you are looking for is to simply make money, be careful as the need to make money can become a feeling of “needing to always create more of it”. It’s a feeling of LACK versus REWARD and this does not make for a happy life.

 

4. Be willing to grow
Be committed to thinking bigger than you have ever allowed yourself. Always be grateful for the accomplishments but never satisfied to stop. Continue creating bigger goals along the way.

We are always just beginning the next phase. I know that in my making these changes; I’m not “done” and I will always continue to ask “What’s next?”

 

5. Consistency is the key to success.
It will take commitment to working consistently without breaks and interruptions. It’s only through consistent and diligent work, along with having patience and understanding, that we can continue to climb higher towards more success.

6. Be in love with what you’re doing.
Decide to be passionate about what you do. Passion is the fire that ignites our desire to work harder. Just like a car can’t run without gas, our businesses cannot succeed if we aren’t passionate, focused, and hardworking.

7. Have self-respect.
Having self-respect gives us pride in ourselves; brings more confidence in every area of our lives and brings about the feeling of true happiness through and through. It’s also important to treat others with respect and having integrity in all that we do in order to keep that self-respect.

 

8. It’s a balancing game.
You cannot get where you want to go all by yourself. Learn to delegate activities and jobs. Knowing when to delegate means knowing your strengths and weaknesses.

9. Grow and nurture relationships.
Be choosy when adding others to your team or business. When you find the right team mates and members, nurture them along their goals of success in order to keep morale high and infusing them with your passion, vision and purpose.

10. Always ask for feedback.
Take it from me, don’t be a “know it all”. Professionals actively seek out feedback in order to grow. Every piece of feedback is a seed of knowledge, which is capable of furthering to expand both you and your business. Feedback forces you to keep an open mind and being available to new opportunities that may never have even been an option before.

In order to be happier and more successful in business and in life, commit to making wise and self-aware choices. Our success is a direct reflection of our decisions, our attitudes and our thinking. It’s important to ask ourselves when our business isn’t where we want it to be, we must start making new decisions. In order to grow our work, our happiness; we must first grow ourselves.

I believe this is exactly the next natural step for me too.

 

Journey To Success: Stage or Not

The big weekend is here!! Summit 2015 in Nashville, TN has arrived and over 20 thousand Beachbody coaches are in attendance! Crazy and a bit scary, if I can be honest! 😉

My plans, as you are most likely aware, were to compete on stage with many other Coaches who have trained and followed the meal plans to reach the goals that warrant award ceremonies. Perseverance and dedication are just a few of the practices and mindset needed for this type of training. Life has so many ups and downs, vacations and weekends, celebrations and time to let go of our “shoulds”….but for competitions of this nature, that is not an option unless you decide you’re not that committed.

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Well, I do have to say that I am 2 weeks shy of the last phase of Body Beast. The meal plan proved challenging at times but the higher calorie range helped my intense hunger while I was building muscle and dropping much needed fat stores. There were days that my body felt as though it wouldn’t be able to complete another rep or set of an exercise (especially BUILD LEG day!) but the decision to stick to the end was the ultimate goal and I wouldn’t waver or let myself off the hook with any type of mental “loophole”.

*sidenote: I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s new book, “Better Than Before” and she dives into mastering everyday habits for success and I will be sharing many points of interesting info that I’ve been learning and actually implementing into my life since I’ve become obsessed with the tips and strategies she teaches.

Anyway, the point of this blog post is to celebrate those who are competing this week in Nashville. Best wishes to all who worked their butts off (quite literally, I might add!) and dealt with cranky mood swings, deprivation of carbs, sore muscles, waning motivation and more. I know we are all winners in our hearts, minds and families. This is not something to casually give a round of applause to..this is about changing EVERYTHING we know about being comfortable, happy, lazy and sometimes just care-free. This style of training takes a mental shift like no other “fitness or weight loss” program. So stand up and give a huge round of applause to those who are walking across the stage; tanned; donned in swimsuits; barefoot or high-heeled. I know I will be leading the applause because I understand the commitment.

The difference in my results are not in the commitment level (because I will complete these final 2 weeks of the BEAST) or the fact of my accomplishment; but only in the fact that I cannot be in attendance in Nashville this weekend to join those who are celebrating their success and hard work. Like I mentioned earlier, life has it’s ups and downs and unfortunately, I was unable to travel to Tennessee this weekend for personal reasons but I am there in heart and spirit and I am completing my journey at home.

I will share my before and after. I will celebrate my success. I will be proud of what I have done and what I will continue to accomplish in new goals along the way. Would this be devastating to most? You bet! And I was no different when I had to make the difficult decision to change my travel plans at the last minute. But what I value most is the learned behavior to NOT complain; not make excuses and not stop pushing for more. I am proud of the accomplishments I have made so far; and will continue to make in the next two weeks – and more.

It’s not about a “FINISH LINE” when we create goals and challenges for ourselves. It’s about reaching a level of success and then renewing and finding another level to achieve. This is just a small (yet disappointing) road bump; but I know there is a light at the end of this goal and there will be another road ahead.

I thank you all for your support along the past few months and the encouragement to keep going because without that I may have decided this was all for naught. I know better and I want to challenge you to look at the next disappointment you encounter in your life; the visions that change shape or roads that take a slight left turn instead of a right turn and make it into your new success reality.

Don’t ever give up and don’t ever let yourself get caught up in negativity and disappointment. Turn that frown upside down (as cliche as it sounds) and make a new goal for yourself. I am going to surprise everyone again and will be open to the next opportunity that comes my way.

Until then, get up and get your workout in!

Feeling the Fear; and Loving it!!!

Change can be scary, it can be uncertain and it can be paralyzing at times. What’s the saying, “Feel the fear and do it anyway?”

How often has this rang true in your life? I know that it’s been almost a constant and some of the decisions were my own; but many were just where God wanted me to go.

Fear is something we all experience. You may look at someone who is very successful and think they are completely fearless, but I guarantee you they have their own share of fear.

I have fear all the time. What if I fail? What will someone think of me? What if I’m not good enough? The past few years were full of fears and experiences that were not guaranteed to turn out the way I wanted. In fact, many of the experiences didn’t go how I would have chosen; but I have faith that God lead me exactly where I needed to be and where I am today. How can anyone argue with that?

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I competed in my first fitness competition and received many negative remarks that I went into it as an “un-Godly” woman and that really shook my life. I had to question my motives and if I was truly looking at it for my ego or something else. And you know what? Once I did it, it felt amazing.   I then decided to run my very first marathon…that’s 26.2 miles, in case you weren’t paying attention! That’s a LOT of miles for someone who doesn’t even enjoy running. True story.  But I did it. And the feeling of accomplishment overrode all of the sacrifices I had made to reach both of these achievements. Our family sold everything and moved overseas to another country. Talk about fear!!! It was scary, it was hard, it was awesome and it was ultimately a blessing.

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My whole life is full of blessings. Some were tough to go through but what came out later was something I could never have accomplished or experienced without it.

 

This year, I have taken on another huge and super scary goal. You know the kind of goals that make you a little weak in the knees and kind of wanting to throw up?

Ya, that’s the type of goal I set for this year. I don’t believe if I hadn’t gone through all the challenges before, that I would even consider working towards this type of commitment. Whatever brings you passion and yet keeps your top priorities in place, is the key to your success and happiness.

 

A key difference between being successful and not, is either letting the fear stop you from reaching your goals or feeling the fear and going for it anyway. The moment we can learn to embrace fear then we open ourselves up to so many opportunities. The moment you let fear take hold and stop you from doing things, then you shut yourself off from reaching your true potential.

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What will this year bring? Stay tuned….I’m just getting warmed up!

Are You Struggling Today?

It’s amazing to me when I hear people assume that if you don’t complain or talk about your struggles; that you must no have any.

BULL!!! 

Our struggles are our stories!!! Embrace them and learn to grow from them.  That is your message to the world around you.

In keeping with today’s topic; I will share some of mine…

I am a very happily married woman of almost 20 years to my amazing hubby.  Do you think that it’s been bliss ever since the day we said, “I Do”???

FAR FROM IT!!!

…and to those of you who are, or have been married know that it would have been a complete lie for me to say otherwise.

We started out as your average “happy” young couple with dreams of a family life, successes, growing in our faith and many blessings.

While I can’t say we aren’t enjoying all of these today, it sure has not been “easy” in any respect.

Which reminds me of a joke my son told us this summer;

“Why did the washing machine stop working?…. Somebody threw the towel in…”

=D =D =D

We all have struggles and if we stick with what needs to be done consistently; we can work our ways through them and come out stronger than ever. This doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to complain to everyone around you or share all over social media about your issues…

Because there is such a thing as an “unfollow” button and that will get pressed if you make complaining a habit. Instead, act as though everything is going great and your reality will become so. You have more power over your progress and success than you know.

My point is that although life has had it’s share of ups and downs for us, we never gave up. We kept refocusing on helping each other and moving forward in the best way we could understand at the time. There is no fairy tale life. There is no perfection for anyone. I know we will continue to have our struggles but without them, we wouldn’t be as happy and as strong as we are today. My hubby is my best friend and I know he has my back just as much as I do, his.

But you have to get a little bit (sometimes, a LOT) uncomfortable before you feel proud of where you’ve come from…

Let’s focus in on the happy parts of today!

Is it Graduation Season yet???

Whoa! It’s been awhile since I last posted and I realized I left you hanging with my “panic disorder” announcement….

Did you think my issues went array??? Not so much! I’m back and I’m so glad to be here…although I really hadn’t “gone” anywhere to tell of. I just have a busy life, just like you do, and have to really plan my tasks accordingly or the day (aka; my kids and hubby) “eats” it all up before I get a chance to realize it.

Yes, I ended about my panic disorder and how that has definitely brought me to where I am today and giving me an awareness that I know I would never have had the patience to understand. We all fight our “inner demons” and battles; large or small.  We all have the same choice to either lie down and let it beat us; or stand up and fight like you’ve never fought before…

And you WILL win!

This is an example I want to instill upon my children. Yes, I tell them quite often that they need to be strong; stand up for what they know is right; think in a positive light; etc…but there is nothing better and more lasting than good ol’ experience!

Take for instance, my 18 year old daughter. She has been through a lot of moving around while attending high school.. and mind you, high school is ONLY 4 years!!! But we have been in and out of the country many many many times and let’s just say it hasn’t done well for her school credits…as a whole.

Now, don’t think for a second that I am complaining, because I am most definitely NOT! (although I’ve heard through the grapevine that many have thought my writing about our recent moves were negative…NOT!)  I am thankful for everything our family has done. I know that it has taught us so much and it continues to do so. My children have experiences that will last them their entire lives and we have all come together as a family in a new way completely.

Back to my daughter and her less than stellar high school credits. The first time we withdrew her for our overseas adventure, she was a freshman in high school and we left just prior to year end finals. Although we had returned soon enough and re-enrolled her back to her previous school; she was starting off the year behind the rest due to the fact of final scores missing.

The second time we decided to move, she missed more than a semester and although we tried to enroll her in school overseas, it proved to be far too complicated due to the last few years of high school and the credits needed to graduate at her level. (that just means she would have had to attend school overseas for an extra year or more to catch up to their standards and obtain their assignments and scores). She has re-enrolled one more time this past January and let me tell you, this girl is a trouper!!!

OMG!

Seriously, her counselor helped her tremendously (and we could never have done it without her help!!); she assured us that my daughter would indeed earn her diploma this school year but also warned us of the work load that was to come.

And she wasn’t kidding…

It seems like she went into overdrive starting this past January and hasn’t stopped since. In fact, the work load just continues to INCREASE as the time ticks closer to graduation day. But, it isn’t deterring my daughter from her goal of graduating with her class. And I could not be more proud as a mother. Talk about a lesson of life and commitment!!

She wanted to graduate with her friends and since it was such a deep desire within her, she has decided to give up (for now anyway) time with her friends on the weekends, staying up late/sleeping in late, and just acting like a “normal” teenager. She has decided, instead, to start up a workout program with me and follow the meal plan that is included. This is NOT a “diet” but a way to follow the best guidelines for her meals, food choices and portion sizes.

All in all, I have to say that my daughter has become my hero of the moment. I don’t know many people who would do what she is doing and with a great energy and drive that I know will help her continue into her early adulthood following her graduation ceremony.

This serves as a lesson for us all.  She took a difficult situation and made a solid decision to see it through to the end.  Are you able to do something this challenging without wavering and throwing in the towel; for a reward at the end of the struggle? I know I’m pushing harder these days because of her 😉

and guess which parent will be sobbing like a baby on May 28th at a local high school graduation? And I will do it proudly…and maybe without mascara!!! 😉

 

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