Thursday, February 28, 2013

truth.

I follow so many former BL contestants and Biggest Loser Joe posted this on IG today!  
Talk about TRUTH.



Yes, seeing a shoe made from junk food is pretty gross but so true at the same time.  If both diet and exercise aren't perfectly balanced, you won't see the results you want!  Make sure you find BALANCE, it's not about perfection and always being 110% on your game, but it is about finding your BALANCE that works for you and only you.  There will be times when we fall short, skip a workout or eat that cookie but that's okay...find a happy place for both diet and exercise and then you'll truly find success!  


Today's eats so far, 
early a.m was one slice of Ezekiel toast and neufchael cheese

then after my son's running club, 
it was 1 egg and 2 egg whites on nothing other than a Lightning McQueen plate...
because that's how I roll!  Ha!

**tips for Goal setting**
You can make daily, weekly or monthly goals for yourself but keep in mind to celebrate the small stuff too!  Be proud of every step you take, every healthy food you consume, every small moment that you're making toward a healthier YOU!  
Too often we don't look back at how far we've come, we're too busy focusing on the journey that is ahead BUT if we live in the moment and take each step as a positive one, the places we will go are beyond our imagination!  

Write down your goals on paper, dry erase board, post-it, the bathroom mirror, or in your car...somewhere that will always remind you of those goals you've set for yourself.  
So many times we say we'll start tomorrow but tomorrow comes and goes...without change.  
Don't say tomorrow, say today and DO IT!
Life is short, obstacles will always be there so no more excuses :)

REACH and AIM HIGH with your health and fitness goals this week...
remember ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!  
Thanks to Biggest Loser Joe for today's motivation!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

heated topic...

I was listening to one of our local radio stations this morning as usual.  They mentioned that a few of our local schools were taking children's BMI measurements and if they fell under the overweight or obese category, they were having a letter sent home to parents regarding this issue.  The schools mention the risks for overweight and obese children such as heart disease and diabetes and then offer up ways to help their families eat healthier and exercise.  
   And then the debate began...some parents from these schools complained that the overweight kids were being bullied from the children that did not receive this letter, basically it was singling out those students at risk  

The listeners were texting and calling in regarding this issue and the DJ's had their opinions too.  The DJ's said that parents are in control, but the school should step in to a certain point because some parents are misinformed when it comes to healthy living but some parents are in fact, lazy.  Well that made listeners angry...I was sitting in my driveway at this point, I was not missing the rest of this issue.

One caller said it was none of the schools business what happened at home, they were the parent and they'd deal with things on their own with their children.
-I had to disagree on this one, I do think as educators and schools they have an obligation to step in when they see the epidemic of childhood obesity, they are watching these children each day in comparison to the whole.  They see how these children suffer socially, physically and emotionally so I, being a former educator disagreed with this caller.  

Next it was, what about single parents that work 2-3 jobs and have no time for physically activity or healthy eating with their families.  
Oh wow, this made the DJ's fire off...they said parents are lazy.  They know good foods from bad but the parents choose the easier route because of tiredness and other reasons.  They said kids should be involved with after school sports instead of video games while their parents are working/busy.  And if money was an issue, they can just simply get outside with their children or show they healthy things to do while they are at work...
   -On this one, I was torn.  I am a child of a single parent, she did the best she could and was busy juggling work and being a parent.  I think she did good but yes, after school while she was at work I'd sit in front of the TV for hours while munching on as much junk food as I could find.  Was that her fault?  No.  Plus a lot of children go straight from school to daycare due to parents working late, when do these children get to exercise other than the 30 minutes of PE they may be getting each day, but most schools don't even require PE 5 days a week anymore :(  Budgets.  
   But these DJ's and callers suggested that the sports after school could take the hassle from parents because they could come home from work, pick them up for after school practices and go home thus not allowing the child to sit and home, watch tv, play video games and eat.  
   For me, this one was tough because by the time I was old enough to come home alone while my mom was at work, I was overweight and felt intimidated when it came to most sports, so saying I'd go out for the tennis and soccer team at that age was probably out of the question, sadly enough for me.  
What do you think?

The DJ's went on the mention that they see parents EVERY day in our city and communities allowing their children to drink soft drinks like water, have bags of Cheetos and then going home and playing video games. He said what's wrong with a family bike ride and if your family has financial issues, they can afford a bike from a garage sale and ride together, every day after school/work. 
   -For me, I agree because I observe parents and what they feed their children as well as things they choose to do with or without their children.  It's like a lot of people in our area don't choose to be active for whatever personal reasons they may have and their children suffer because of it, so this one was hard for me too.  I also see that children learn from OUR example and if the one that is set is not positive, our children may suffer because of it.  
   Also, watching Biggest Loser this week( ya know I bring points up with this show often, because I think it opens so many viewers eyes) when Sunny was confronting her mother about her obesity issues and that she was enabling her daughter to losing weight and showing her right from wrong from her struggles.  I am sure so many children with obese parents feel that way.  Maybe they fear their parents will die, or they are saddened by the fact that their parent can't ride bikes, roller coasters, do active things with them...that's sometimes hard for children and we don't always realize the consequences.  
   But there's so many issues to take into consideration on this topic because I was overweight but neither of my parents were.  I struggled with emotional eating but my parents didn't.  I often think my father leaving and never truly BEING THERE for me is what triggered me to lean on foods.  They were always there.  I could depend on them more than I could on my relationship with my father.  Sadly enough, I think that's where it all began for me.  

I think it was a heated topic for listeners, the DJ's and the schools that are choosing to send these letters home regarding the health of their children.  Also, these parents probably don't want to admit that their child is not healthy or not the norm, so they get defensive which is a totally normal reaction, I think.  None of us want to admit failure, it's a hard one to swallow.  
   The DJ's were stressing the importance that it should be an issue addressed, no matter what and I agree, especially the area that we live in.  I feel that active living should be stressed MUCH more these days, our world is too revolved around social media, video games, movies and while these things are FUN, we should also be exposing our children to healthy foods and active lifestyles before it's too late and our younger generation is in more trouble than they are now...very frightening. 
And I worry too, that parents that aren't overweight or struggle will be unable to relate to those children that suffer from obesity because although the parents are fine eating cheeseburgers each week, their child obviously has underlying issues that must be addressed and need more healthy examples in their lives.  
Your thoughts on this issue?


And moving on...
My kindergartner had his first day of Running Club-Fun and Fit Club yesterday morning.   It's a before school activity that involves running or walking and tips on healthy eating and healthy snacks for after exercise.  I knew I wanted my boys involved in this when I was a teacher at this school.  It's a HUGE success and lots of children look forward to it each week.  I LOVED the first day.  Lots of parents who are actively involved, cheering on the kids and the kids are EXCITED to exercise!  Yay!
As the child completes a lap (5 is one mile), they receive a mark on their hand.  The kids push hard to get as many "marks" as possible and they can also log home miles.  The outside/home miles got my boy SO exciting, he came home from school yesterday and we went running!  


They also receive this necklace with track foot beads....they earn a bead for every 3 miles completed.  At the end of the season, they earn awards, medals etc.  He was PUMPED!  
  After only one day, we were having dinner and he told me he loves baseball so much but RUNNING is his favorite sport ever!  He ran 6 laps in 10 minutes and said he would make sure and get 10-11 laps on Thursday...precious how hard he wanted to push for this!  He says he wants to compete against other kids and try and run more miles than the fifth graders!  Woohoo, way to find that competitive side, Jake!  LOL!  
Honestly though, he's a lot like my husband...he doesn't show excitement the way myself and my youngest son do, so it's hard to gauge whether or not they really like or enjoy something.  Well it's a given that he's happy with Running Club and we can't wait to see where this semester will take him!  
*I also think I need to look back in my college books and figure out more about track.  He says he wants to join a local track team and I am CLUELESS but you better believe I'll learn and ask around...
A lot of you, my readers are former track stars...pointers and suggestions?  

And a few eats...
Yesterday after my workout which was a 5K in 32:12, my fastest yet!  and protein shake, it was time for 2 egg whites/1 egg on half sandwich thin, neufchael cheese and an orange!

Last nights dinner was quick and easy since I had a lot of errands to run with baseball's Opening Day is Saturday and I'm team mom :) 
So I made the boys their quick and easy pizza and hubby and I had the NAAN bread topped with salt free/sugar free sauce, and leftover lean beef patties from camping, torn up along with lots of veggies...I piled zucchini, carrots, green beans, cauliflower on top of the sauce, then the meat and popped in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes!  It turned out ultra crispy and DELICIOUS!!!  My husband went on and on about how great it was and I kept laughing because it literally took like 5 minutes to prepare!  Love meals like that!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

And now I get it

This weekend was camping with family and using our travel trailer in Austin Tx at McKinney Falls State Park...so pretty and so much fun, as always.

As we were going through our pictures last night and taking about the fun weekend, It all made sense to me. Last week I posted about my weight frustrations and living by the scale, obsessing over thoughts of good, healthy foods and last night, it all came together! While I'm obsessing over pounds on and off the scale, workouts etc I'm not realizing the TRUE impact, in a positive way that we are having on our family.
We went camping and each day would start with a hilly 3-mile run while the boys rode their bikes, then we'd stop by the creeks and have a piece of fruit and string cheese, explore and go another 3-4 miles through the rocks and cliffs. We'd hear back, play at the campsite, cook a healthy meal and ride bikes throughout the park. Ya see, I am so worried about little things and finally I focused on the BIG PICTURE. My family is healthy and we all enjoy active, healthy things together! Our boys are the happiest outdoors, being active. That makes me PROUD. They don't complain when biking, hiking, running and exploring together, as a family. My husband and I, our way of life is impacting our boys....that's what it's ALL about!
From now on when I'm down in the dumps, I will remember these moments that are priceless that are helping teach our kids that getting outside, exercising and being healthy is all worth it! I am able to do this with them, keep up and not be tired because of the daily choices I make and commit to my eating and fitness!
I am no longer that lazy girl and I must remind myself not to feel trapped by those old thoughts and feelings, as some of my readers comments suggested, I am living proof that life can turn around and that we are new people, new healthy people!









Friday, February 22, 2013

honesty...

I wanna be honest and share my frustrations with all of you throughout this process, so that you guys know that it's never easy and there will always be days where we feel defeated, 
it's all part of the journey...

I am the first person to admit that I allow the scale to reflect my mood/attitude for the day when it comes to clean eating and exercise but why?  I should know better and should understand that if I'm dropping sizes in my clothes and feeling MUCH better about myself both on the inside and out and the eating is reflecting through my workouts then what is there to be frustrated about, right?  WRONG.  My old thoughts come creeping in...

I guess I'm just going through that phase where I feel sorry for myself that I feel like I try SO hard and worry about my eats and exercise 24/7 and never a break.  Even on a "cheat meal" or a "rest day", it's all I think about and those are suppose to be the days where we chill!!!

Don't get me wrong, it's totally worth the worry and the reward is greater than we can ever imagine, but every now and then am I entitled to a little pity party?  

Keep in mind, I am all about healthy eating and exercise!  I know it's reducing my risk for heart disease and other health-related illnesses.  It helps me to NEVER go back to that dark place where I felt so alone when I was over 200lbs, addicted to fast food and had zero motivation to exercise...ever.  I love running and the way it makes me feel afterward and I really loving adding strength training to my workouts so much these days...makes me feel STRONG!  I know I am being a better role model for our children.  I LOVE that I am able to share my story and somehow inspire and motivate others to change their habits and lives as well 
BUT...

Every now and then it would be nice to not care...
Even when I had a let a little weight creep back on, I was still very cautious with my foods and my workouts were on target, always!  As I've said before, the workouts come easy for me-I love it!  But the foods, why can't I just not care once?  In a different world, one that didn't consist of me struggling with my weight most of my life and didn't study the way the body works/moves etc, I'd probably go to a restaurant and order loaded nachos or some Alfredo pasta with no meat...just straight fattening carbs!  LOL!  Or possibly just simply eat an entire loaf of bread for a meal!  Ha! Not that I'd really do it but there's always the guilt that comes with splurging.  I totally agree that we should have splurges and "cheat meals" because every now and then indulges are okay but seriously...to once not think about it, care or panic when it comes to ordering food at a restaurant or even at home.  

I guess I should STOP and think about the days when I didn't care...
What was my quality of life?  What was my health like back then?  How did I feel?
The answer to all of the above: AWFUL!  

I SNAP BACK INTO REALITY and realize that it's okay to have moments where we doubt ourselves and ask ourselves why?  Where we realize that this journey, this life is all for a reason.  I am able to appreciate things SO much more since I have battled and overcome my weight issues for so long.  I am reminded of that former life I led.  It was miserable.  I felt so sad and alone.  I was unable to live and appreciate all the amazing, active things that life has to offer.  Trust me, this new life sure beats sitting on the couch, stuffing my face while watching hours of TV.  Yuck!  That old body of mine felt sick all of the time and just BLAH!  

So thanks for letting me be honest and share my struggles, it shows that we're ALL human, no matter what our struggles in life may be...

And onto my eats for today!  
I am really trying to increase the protein in my diet and eat the foods that will help me burn the most calories efficiently!  
Plain Greek Yogurt topped with frozen blueberries and a little TJ's High Fiber O's

4 mile interval run, pushing my son in the jogging stroller...whew, I hadn't pushed him in a while and it sure adds work!  Hats off to the Momma's that get out there and PUSH their babies while they exercise!  
then it was a protein shake mixed with Isopure, ice and water plus 15 almonds!

And in between these meals I had a 300 calorie salad, skipping the dressing at a restaurant meeting a friend for lunch!  It was very tasty and since we usually never go out to eat, it was a nice change and great visiting with one of my closest friends :)

 And this was delicious this evening...1/2 sm sweet potato mixed with lentils and turkey mixture!

The best snack!  apples with cinnamon and PB2!  Ya know you can leave out the PB2 and enjoy with cinnamon and it tastes like dessert!  So yummy and a great, healthy snack!  
*My boys love this warmed a little in the microwave and topped with raisins!  

And what I can't wait to try...it's all the buzz on Pinterest for clean eating!  Zucchini noodles!  

Looks so yummy, right?  Takes the place of noodles and a great alternate to spaghetti squash, just to change things up a little!

How do you focus and overcome your frustrations when it comes to health and fitness?
For me, I remember the girl that I used to be.  I focus on the positive things and how far I've come.  I remember that I'm healthier, happier 
and the best Mom and Wife that I can be for myself and my family :) 
YOUR TURN!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

finding your groove!

It takes believing in ourselves, pushing ourselves and lots of hard work and dedication!  
But once you find that GROOVE, you'll never want to look back!   
I was in the groove this morning, so I decided to burn some calories not in one workout, not two but THREE!  A little crazy, I know!  
I ask myself during workouts, can I push myself harder?  
If the answer is yes, then I tell myself I better start working harder if I want my body the healthiest it can be.  Sometimes we get in the groove but are limited on time, so just make every second count!  If it's a 15 minute workout, you can still give it your all!  If your only chance to workout is on your lunch break-plan it out and make it effective.  
Any way you can get moving, get your heart rate up, and find your groove!  

And for me, good music always helps when I'm trying to find that groove- or that moment that turns the blah workout into something amazing!  
Today I was totally pumped up to "Feel this Moment" by Pitbull and Christina!  It had me feeling like Beyonce at the Superbowl and I can't believe I'm admitting it but I was singing the heck out of "Ain't Nobody" by Chaka Khan on my run!  It felt so good just to let loose and act like a crazy person...
wait a minute, I do this pretty often!

Today's Workouts: This morning I did a 58 minute workout video via GaiamTV!  Then I did another shorter kickboxing workout video for 35 minutes but hit the bag instead of just punching in the air.  THEN I went for a 2.5 mile run around the neighborhood while it was sprinkling!  Ha, a little intense but I told ya...
find that groove and you'll amaze yourself!


Breakfast was plain oats with frozen blueberries...YUM!  

Today's smoothie, this time I kept it full of protein, raspberries and blueberries...no spinach!

After my second workout I had grilled chicken, 1 tbs greek yogurt and carrots, handful almonds.


For my boys:  Daddy is working and since I was keeping it easy before our camping trip this weekend, I decided to make their favorite...PIZZA!  But this is no ordinary pizza!  No, ya know I have to put my own, healthy twist on every, single thing that they eat so dinner was this...
EASY 12 minute PIZZA!
1 1/2 cup heart-healthy baking mix
1/3 c boiling water
Add the boiling water to the mix and stir about 15 times until dough forms.  
Spread dough onto a pizza pan and I curved up the edges to make it more authentic :)
Top with 2 tbs flaxseed meal, sprinkled around.
Then I added a little sauce, ground turkey meat-browned, and low fat cheese.
Bake at 450 for 12 minutes and DINNER IS SERVED!
I totally kept it simple and served this with a strawberry banana Chobani tube!
Seriously, there are going to be nights where we just don't feel like making elaborate foods for our family and that's okay!  
We are all entitled to that every once in a while, so I keep these simple recipes on hand when needed!

And after pizza and yogurt, you gotta burn those calories!
 I am kidding!  But it was really funny that the boys and I were playing upstairs and they asked if they could punch the bag like Mommy and Daddy!  So I helped them put on the gloves and they went to town!
Oh my gosh, it was hilarious watching them get after it!
They were both really good, guess they take notes when they see us in there!

and while my guys enjoyed pizza I settled for roasted Brussels, spaghetti squash and my turkey meat hash!
It's really good and the garlic gives it great flavor!
I am trying to really get my eats in order before our camping trip this weekend.  It's not like we'll go wild out there, but I'm not bringing my blender for smoothies on the travel trailer!  I wanna keep myself in check, but at the same time I wanted to see more weight loss on the scale this week.  But it's just a number and I need to focus on being my healthiest and building lean muscle!
I need to tell myself that like 100 times, so it'll stick!

How will you focus on finding your groove this week?  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

are you annoying?

I don't think that I want this question answered honestly by any of my family and friends...

There are times when I feel talking about my passion is too much.  Well even when it's too much, I still do it...I can't help myself!!
Seriously, I know there are people in my life that will allow me to go on and on about working out, my healthy foods and being active, and they look interested.  For all I know they are probably sitting there thinking, "will she EVER stop talking"  Ha!
But I have a hard time NOT talking about something health and fitness related....
does that make me annoying?   
Have you ever thought about it?  
Sometimes I feel like I have to turn that part of my life off for a bit which is okay but it's so hard for me.  Like really hard...

I'm not sure if it's that I used to be unhealthy and I want to share how great life feels these days with people that I love...
or if it's that I truly believe that just talking about healthy living will magically make the entire world stand up and start working out, wherever they are-they'll throw out the junk food and start living a whole new way of life!  *ya know I totally wish it was the second one!

Since I have started using social media A LOT more via Instagram and Twitter, I find myself wanting to post every workout, recipe and calorie burned.  
But then I stop and think, oh my gosh I must be SO annoying to some people...
Of course I totally feel better when I scroll through IG and Twitter finding SO many others doing the exact same thing and they aren't annoying to me.  And when my husband and I talk about health and fitness, we get so excited that we have to calm ourselves down or if we're both in an intense workout, we get each other all sorts of pumped up!  Yea we are that crazy couple!

So that leads me to... 
  I was fat, unhealthy, had high blood pressure and never wanted to sweat ON PURPOSE.  I thought exercise was the devil.  I loved junk food and anything that came in a box or bag...especially a fast food bag.  My husband did the same thing and I truly believe when you've been there, experienced it and overcome it, you have a whole new outlook on life and you wanna share that excitement with everyone you know, even if it makes you annoying :)
I have faced the fact that some will listen, some won't.  
All I want is to help as many people as possible understand that anything is possible.  Anything!  And that it's never too late to turn your life around.  

post-workout pose!  Burned 585 calories AT HOME!
 You don't need a gym to get your sweat on...get out there, burn some calories and make changes that will positively impact your health, your life and the lives of your family and friends!

Yesterday's EATS
Meal 1:  2 eggs, spinach and oven turkey omelette!  Easy and delicious...
was prepared in 5 minutes!  
No excuses!
 Meal 2:  post-workout Green smoothie!  2 cups spinach, water-combine until liquid.  Add 1 scoop Isopure zero carb protein powder-vanilla, coconut milk, 4 strawberries, 1/2 banana, 1/2 kiwi.  Blend and enjoy!  

Meal 3: romaine lettuce, carrots, broccoli, 1/4 avocado, 1 c lentils-warmed.

Meal 4: 1 small apple sprinkled with cinnamon and a graham topped with almond butter.

Meal 5: roasted Brussels that were prepped on Monday. Spaghetti squash topped with the Italian-style turkey medley you can find HERE.  

Make this week a great one!  I know I am staying focused by thinking that pretty soon here in Texas, it'll be time for swimming and the beach.  Ugh the dreaded bathing suit season :( but I am focused, I am determined and I WILL SEE RESULTS!  I have already made huge strides since Jan 1st and the sky is the limit...and that goes for YOU too!
  
In conversation, is it hard for you to NOT talk about health and fitness?

What are your weekly goals?  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

prep work!

Food prepping on Monday's is really helping us stay focused!  When we get started, it's usually "ugh, why do we have to make this big mess and cook for hours..."  BUT when it's finished and things are packed away for the week, we are thankful that it's one less worry and we can focus on our clean eating and workouts!

This week, 
We did spaghetti squash in the microwave which turned out perfectly!  The last time I attempted this it was a huge fail, so I was very happy that it was family approved!
Those balls of foil are actually 1/2 sweet potatoes that I roasted along with Brussels and eggplant!  
SO good!

I took the ground turkey, browned it and separated it into two pans.  The pan on the left was ground turkey, a little cumin and chili powder, onion, zucchini and black beans for a more Mexican-style dish for the week.  On the right I did ground turkey, onion, chopped garlic-lots of it, zucchini and cannelini beans and pepper.  I then added to the right, a can of no sugar added diced tomatoes and made this dish more Italian-style!
 All of the prepared goods were packed along with grilled chicken that my husband marinated in Italian dressing...so good.  We also prepared our weekly salads and smoothies were portioned with spinach and the fruits separately.  

With these prepared turkey dishes, I add them to our morning eggs, a FlatOut wrap, salads, a slice of Ezekiel bread...I could go on and on.  Basically it's a way to have a prepared protein to add to endless sides.  Makes living a healthy lifestyle very simple.  My husband packages his meals and is ready for breakfast and lunch each day at work, which really helps him stay on track since he leaves for work at 4am!

Yesterday's lunch!  An egg, 1/2 sweet potato pre-cooked and topped with ready to eat lentils from TJ, a little low fat cheese and a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt!  Sounds like it wouldn't taste like a fabulous combo but it SO is!  And this picture makes it look covered in greek yogurt but I think it's the angle...I promise it was one tsp!  My husband was skeptical of this one, but once he tried it he agreed it was delicious and very filling!


And these two boys love being like Mommy and Daddy.  
First it was their DeDe having to buy them boxing gloves to match ours.  Then they wanted to run with us the other day, had their iTouch's and everything...and then last night it was ab work during Biggest Loser.  Hilarious that they take it so seriously too.  Jake, our oldest kept telling the little man to breath out and keep his back down on the ground...like a little coach!  Too cute!  I figure if they choose to take part, I'm more than willing to allow it since they are watching our example.  
Gosh, as a mother and healthy living advocate, all we can hope is that these habits stick!

Yesterday's weather wasn't perfect but we took advantage of our son's day off and Daddy being home, so we played a family game of soccer then football.  It was so fun to play two on two and laugh and giggle together! 

Oh and I totally cheated to beat my husband and oldest son...hello?  They had the unfair advantage, right?  RIGHT!

Down, set...and my youngest would take off too soon EVERY time!  

I went back to smoothies with spinach and kale.  The collars from our garden unfortunately did NOT agree with my tummy!  Bummer because it was a tasty way to get in a variety of greens!

Honestly, my frustrations are kicking in.  Our weekend workouts rocked and I really pushed hard...really hard!  
I know, I know we've only been going at this clean eating since Jan 2nd, but I am upset that I sort of stopped losing weight...haven't lost another pound since Wednesday of last week BUT I cannot get hung up on that darn scale!  It's like once I allow it to take over, I start living each day by what number appears and that is SO wrong.  SO wrong.  And I know better.  Plus I feel better, stronger and leaner even in these past few days.  I know my workouts have improved...
I can't let my head get into this game unless it's positive.  I do this to myself each time, setting myself up to fail before I've failed.  And when we do that, the old habits find their way back into our lives BUT not this time.  I am fully aware of my capabilities and beyond so I wish push through this  day of feeling not-so-great and stop living the life based on my scale...yuck!  

I am so blessed to have the support of my husband who supports and lives this way of life right alongside me each day!  We have one another to support, push and reach goals together!  I know some of us out there may not have that 100% support at home, but you must understand that the strength comes from within yourself.  You need no other person to tell you that you're worth it or that you can do it...YOU WILL DO IT!

*If you watched Biggest Loser last night, you would have seen how quickly those children have started to make HUGE strides when it comes to their health and fitness level.  Amazing right?  I started crying when I watched Bingo crush his sit up goal!  Crazy!  You can see how quickly the body responds and reacts to healthy change.  Impressive, wasn't it?  Or what about when the girls were running, side by side helping and supporting one another to the finish.  They were both in it together and neither of them were giving up!  Ah, it was a cool moment and one of the reasons that I love BL so much!  So inspiring.  Helps to show people that anything is possible and you WILL see change, feel different and gain a whole new life!  
My gosh, I hope you all understand where I'm coming from and I don't sound like a goofball!

My goal for the week:  to focus on what I have changed, what I have overcome and how much stronger I am because of the work and dedication I've put in! what's yours?  
And a progress pic!  I'm two months in and on the way to reaching my goal.  How about you?

And I love the past Biggest Loser contestants that stay connected with all of their fans.  Courtney is definitely one of those as well as Hannah and Olivia, those are three of my fav's!  
It's time to help one of them appear on a Subway commercial with Jared- on his 15th anniversary of keeping his weight off!  
I voted and I hope you will too :)  
Go to nbc.com/subway to place your vote and learn more!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

PIZZZZA and a few other eats...

Our Valentine's Day looked like this...
 a green smoothie-(that looked purple) while making chocolate-covered strawberries!  
Only in our house :)

Valentine's Day workout was a morning boxing session on our new bag with a 30 minute leg workout.  Then in the afternoon, my boys rode their bikes while I ran!  It was only a 2 mile run, but hey I'll take what I can get!  My philosophy is if I wear workout clothes all day long, I can workout when I get the urge to eat junk!  Ha!  It works!  If you're at a desk all day, on the computer spend a few minutes opening a document, write down your goals for the day and your eats too.  
It will help you stay in control of what you're eating and how you're staying active each day.  Remember accountability is a huge part of successful weight loss and creating healthy habits!

And for some reason lately, I've had pizza on the brain!  I'm sure with all the healthy, clean eats...and not leaving much room for fattening cheeses and bread!  Ha!
So when you are living a super healthy lifestyle and taking care of your body, how do you conquer that PIZZA craving? 

You create healthy alternatives like these...
kicking the craving #1: Cauliflower crust pizza!
2 cups of cauliflower- florets chopped in a food processor
1 egg
1/2 cup cheese of your choice
2 tbs flaxseed meal
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.  Add toppings and bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.  YUM, YUM, YUMMY!!!  I used TJ sauce, grilled chicken we had meal prepped for the week and low fat mozz cheese.  


And kicking the craving, pizza option #2: Kashi pizza with additional toppings!
I bought the Kashi Roasted Veggie pizza and then added grilled chicken, extra zucchini and broccoli and baked as instructed on the box!


Pizza craving kicked in the booty!  Both of these options were delicious and perfect because they hardly took any time to prepare!  I have decided I need to keep these on hand for when that next pizza craving comes our way!

And this morning I woke up to a 2 egg, turkey and spinach omelette along with a slice of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread topped with Neufchael cheese!  AMAZING way to start our Sunday!  Then that decision led to a 3.5 mile run at a personal best time/pace for me :)  
I'm telling ya, the food choices are 90% of the work.  I've always known it but never wanted to dedicate myself to fully living it, ya know what I mean?  I am proof!

And we've been using our collards from our garden in the smoothies.  When we all collards, we use more fruit to cut the flavor of the collards because it tends to be a little stronger than we prefer, but if ya add the right amounts, it tastes amazing!

And as for our meal #2 today, it was smoothies,
HIS AND HERS GREEN SMOOTHIES...awe, how sweet and romantic!  ha!
 For today's smoothies, I changed it up and it was awesome!  I used spinach, kale, coconut milk, ice, frozen pineapple and 1/2 cutie orange!  Mmmm!  it was very tropical and enjoyable!

It's gorgeous here in Texas this weekend so as a family today, we traveled to our local farmer's market and although strawberry picking season doesn't start until next weekend, we still needed a family photo IN the strawberries, right?  Absolutely!

And since it's a long weekend-kiddos don't have school tomorrow, we will meal prep tomorrow afternoon and spend the rest of the day just chillin'!  

Hope you're staying focused and on track.
Ya know sometimes as I look around I feel jealous at the fact that I have to be 100% aware of my exercise and what foods I put into my body if I want the results I am looking for, others sometimes do not. Some people out there don't have to worry 24/7 and keep count, and make sure they get that daily workout, calorie burn in their daily routine 

BUT ya know what?  
I don't feel sorry for myself for long.  I know my body and heart are thankful of the thought, effort and time I put into my healthy lifestyle.  I wouldn't change it for the world because at least I know what it's like on both ends...to be the unhealthy girl trying to change and then being the girl that DID change and DOES want to help others achieve their greatest self-in regards to health and fitness.  I wouldn't change the fact that I have pushed my body further than I ever thought possible or I've set out to do something and successfully completed it!  
So be proud of yourself too and don't dwell on the fact that it takes work to change...the work is worth it!  The sweat, the tears, the pushing...it's all worth it.  The reward is HUGE and the journey is something I don't regret, not even for a second!  Don't you regret it either!  
Keep at it and stay focused, stay strong, write your goals, live your goals and push through those workouts and food cravings!  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's your WHY?

a funny post title but it means SO much more to me.  
WHY do I exercise?
WHY do I strive to eat healthy every day?
WHY do I push myself to do things beyond my comfort zone?
WHY did I study health and exercise physiology in college?
WHY do I want to help all of my family and friends exercise and stay fit?
WHY did I have such a strong motivator going into teaching health and physical education?
WHY do I have such a passion for wanting to help others, especially children on their journey to health and fitness?
WHY does my heart ache for children struggling with obesity, yet unsure how to help themselves?
WHY do I get so upset when I hear of children sitting all day, watching TV and playing video games and rarely stepping foot outdoors and MOVING?

Well, for me the answer is simple.  
I lived it. I lived the unhealthy cycle of eating too much, the guilt, eating more, more guilt and then going to bed feeling worthless because I ate three helpings of dinner on top of snack after snack after school.  I literally cry when I watch the Biggest Loser contestants each week confessing that they would eat the fast food quick, so nobody would know.  OMG, that was me too.  
It is also because I know the statistics for diabetes, obesity, heart disease and it scares me.  I watched my grandmother suffer from heart disease-congestive heart failure which also took the lives of several of her brothers and sisters.  I watched my grandfather take his last breath after suffering from lung disease.  I studied to effects of sugary drinks, deep fried donuts and various other heart-attack-waiting-to-happen foods that our world is addicted to these days.  I saw first-hard what these foods and inactive lifestyles can and will eventually do to us.  
Teaching PE, I listened to the children complaining of being tired and worn out after only running one lap around the gym.  I heard them talking about their fast food filled weekends.  I watched the out of shape children unable to finish a single push up or sit up.  That is something that stood out in my mind...it made me want to help each child and their family BE HEALTHY.  LIVE HEALTHY.

And I always go back to one, painful moment in my life that ended up being a positive, turning point in the end...
It was Mother's Day and we were all at the local hotel buffet, very formal and we were having brunch.  My family was there together, well not my dad because he rarely came around at that time.  We were having a good time and my younger cousin was eating McDonalds. Yes, she was a very picky eater and at that time, she would not eat foods from the hotel brunch so my Aunt picked up her food before we arrived.  I was minding my own business and my grandpa looked up like he had something to say.  He was strong-willed and when he spoke, we all stopped and listened.  Keep in mind, at this time I was very heavy probably the heaviest I had ever been.  I was most likely stuffing my face, but can't remember those details.  He put down his fork and looked at my young cousin who was eating her french fries and said, " You better quit eating like that or you'll end up like HER"...and you can probably guess who he pointed to?  

Well just writing that and I have tears pouring down my face.  That HURT.  It hurt bad.  I couldn't contain the tears, so I jumped up and ran to the restroom as fast as I could.  I was horrified and embarrassed.  I mean, it was the obvious and the truth but did it have to be said at Mother's Day brunch in front of my entire family.  Who, yes all knew I was struggling with weight, didn't exercise and ate horribly but still...
This experience is why I always tell you to never speak to your family and friends about their weight or inactivity.  You do not know the hurt they may feel after words like that.  As an overweight teen, I was always paranoid that someone would single me out because of my size.  I was always taller, bigger, louder than my friends and family so I stuck out already...then you add the chubby face and body and you've got a target on your back...or so you think.  I was always the funny girl, so I'd make sure and crack a joke as soon as I walked into a room so people would laugh at my personality rather than my appearance.  
I remember my Mom jumping up from the table and running after me.  She shouted something to my grandpa but I don't quite remember what.  I know she was furious and she held me in that hotel bathroom while I cried.  And so there was more emotions that I'd go home and eat through...and through until it no longer hurt so badly.

Obviously my grandpa loved me and I know that now.  He probably didn't choose the best way to bring my weight and health issues to the attention of the family, right then and there.  But I knew he meant well.  Good news is that before he passed away in his bedroom, I was sitting right next to him.  Holding his hand.  I had lost 80lbs and changed my major to health and exercise physiology by that time, was working at the gym and was HEALTHY.  He told me how proud he was of me and my weight loss.  He said he told his brother in New Orleans that I looked amazing.  Ah, it felt so good.  
Please understand that you do not lose weight, get healthy or regularly exercise for anyone except YOURSELF.  You need nobody's approval to show or tell you that you're good enough or worth enough, but it did feel good knowing I was healthy for ME and my grandfather noticed.  It feels good when people see your changes and can see that eating healthy and exercise does pay off in a very big way!  My blood pressure was very high in my former life :) and it's now perfect!  My resting heart rate is excellent and I feel as healthy as a horse!  It pays off BIG TIME. 

And with all that hurt from those moments that stand out in my past, I don't regret any of if.  
It is my WHY.  
It is what makes me who I am today.  I want to help others do the same.
It is why I write this blog, talk about all the workouts and healthy foods that I am eating, to anyone that'll listen!  I LOVE IT!  I live this life with pride and compassion!  I am always educating my children when it comes to the foods we eat, the ACTIVE things that we do to take care of our heart.  
It's all my WHY.
What's yours?  


And randomly, some foods we're eating and loving...
1/2 baked sweet potato topped with lentils from TJ's!  Yum! and roasted Brussels topped with pepper, red wine vinegar and lemon juice!  Double YUM!

EGGS!   Who doesn't love eggs?!  I had frozen grapes, 2 eggs and a 1/2 whole wheat sandwich thin for meal #3 following my green smoothie and TJ O's with almond milk
* Been using coconut milk in my green smoothies, makes them even creamier!  Give it a try!


and one more WHY;
FOR MY HUSBAND AND MY BOYS :)
They are my life, my happiness and the reason I wake up with a smile on my face each and every day!

Neon Splash Dash GIVEAWAY!!!

Still jumping with excitement from the Color In Motion themed race on Feb 2nd, I'm now getting pumped up for the 
NEON SPLASH DASH!!!






So now you see where they get the NEON in their name!  Fun right?
I think people of all ages and fitness levels would love getting out and being active TOGETHER!  I love the competitive races too, but this race would be about having fun, making memories and getting family and friends to exercise that may not otherwise!  What a great way to JumpStart their healthy lifestyle, right?  Their first 5K and it would all be thanks to YOU!  
A way to spread healthy living to the people we love!  
I'm sure going to try and motivate as many people as possible to run along with us!

Here's a little more about the run,
"A 5K run complete with performers, DJ's, and a huge afterglow party!  At the start line, runners are under UV black lights and then they are off to run through different "glow zones".  Each zone will spray the runners with a different color of super intense UV glow water and finally at the finish line it will all come together again under black lights where runners will be ready to party covered in different colored glow water!  We believe we have a unique concept, and our goal is to make this an annual event locally, and to numerous locations nationwide!"

There is a location near us, but what about near you?  
Check the site HERE for all location dates and times.  

So what about a FREE race entry for one of my loyal readers/followers?  
Yes ,the folks at NEON SPLASH DASH want you to experience the excitement of a fun, themed race and they'll pay for it!  

**And if you're in the area, sign up under my team, Movin' Mommas 
and you'll receive $5 off your entry fee!

Contest will end on Friday, March 1st so enter and spread the word TODAY!
Mandatory Entry:  
1.  If you won, who would you have run with you?  
2. "Like" them on Facebook HERE 
You must answer question 1 and "Like" Neon Splash Dash on Facebook to be entered.  Leave a comment with your answer and tell me you've "liked" them as well.

Extra Entries: 
1.  Follow my blog (+1)-if you already do, leave a separate comment letting me know!
2.  Follow me on Twitter here (+1)-if you already do, leave a separate comment 
3.  Follow me on Instagram here (+1)-if you already do, leave a separate comment 
4. RT, re-post or show me how else you're spreading the word about my giveaway (+1)

I received a free race entry and one for a reader, in exchange for my honest opinion and coverage of my experience.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions and thoughts are 100% mine.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

the Domino effect

I was shocked this morning as I started to compare my photos from a little over a month ago! The left photo was taken at Commitment Day 2013, on January 1st of this year.  The middle about three weeks ago and the one on the right, taken today before my run!

 Pardon the blurry pictures, I did this on InstaFrame but ya get the idea!  Crazy!  I am shocked and saddened that I had allowed some of that weight to come creeping back into my, now healthy life.  How sad.  

But folks, we're all real people and it's a lifelong journey that I'm on.  Obviously I have a relationship with food that will never full go away, but I have the power and MUST choose to be healthy every, single day.  Each day is a new beginning, a chance for me to do better and be my healthiest self.  We ALL have that choice.  We owe it to ourselves and our families.  I must understand and get over the fact that not all people struggle with food the way that I do. When we stop feeling sorry for ourselves and accept who we are and what we're capable of, we will truly see the best part of ourselves!  And guys, my new way of life has trickled down to my family...they see the changes in my behavior, my happiness and it makes them happier too!  So, I've picked myself up and stopped before things got out of control, so I must focus on that positive!

Here's the deal, 
I LOVE to workout.  I love the way it makes me feel, the way it feels to conquer a goal that I've set out to reach.  So for me the working out comes easy.  It has since my journey started over 11 years ago!  

THE FOOD?  That's a different story.  I love carbs.  I'm sure it's partly the Italian in me but I can't go on blaming my heritage for everything!  Or can I?  All foods were served with breads and pastas, so it's not my fault right?  I was raised that way.  UH NO, Marissa...we are accountable for ourselves.  Nobody else is to blame and when we stop blaming ourselves and others and DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE, the results will come!  Sadly, I crave food when I'm happy, sad, bored, tired or any other emotion out there so for me, I MUST ALWAYS BE PREPARED or as you can see, I will fall short and give in to those temptations. 

It's a lot like dominoes-no, not the pizza!

Healthy Living is a lot like dominoes.  
One domino out of place and the entire stack will come tumbling down...it's a "domino effect"
If we START our day with a healthy breakfast, write down and truly think about what we want out of life, we will make ANOTHER healthy decision.  Maybe it's walking on your lunch break, or finding a group of friends to workout after school/work/errands.  Time to think about another domino falling into place, what's for dinner??  Hopefully a healthy choice since you've stayed on track and kept those dominoes in a row throughout the day...no use in spoiling it now, you've worked too hard and stayed focused!  Why quit?  And now it's the weekend, so keep those dominoes in order by preparing and planning the meals for the week ahead!  
And the dreaded "domino effect" can work both ways, so be careful!  If you make a bad choice because you're running around like a crazy person for breakfast, STOP the dominoes from tumbling down.  STOP with that one, bad choice and try to improve throughout the day :) 
*My issue was always giving up and allowing that stack to fall after I had made one mistake, one unhealthy choice!  We should NEVER give up, no matter what is thrown in our direction.  One day it might be not having time to fit in that workout, or m&m's looking too good to pass up, or maybe some fresh, baked bread smelling too good to resist (oh yea, there's my weakness).  We are in control.  
It's always our choice so today, choose to be healthy!  

From personal experience, it can easily get out of control without us even being FULLY aware.  Make today the day you keep your dominoes in a row and allow none of them to fall out of place!  You will be healthier, feel better, look better, perform your workouts with more strength and endurance...the possibilities are endless!

My new, favorite obsession...
Trader Joes, Organic High Fiber O's!  I'm thinking of ordering in bulk and having these babies delivered straight to my door!  I'm kidding but they're seriously good!  They kick my carb craving with a little almond milk early in the morning and I'm ready to face the day...with my game face on!  
*Having foods ready to eat and serve is amazing and takes the stress out of healthy cooking!  My entire family has plenty of options, portioned out in the fridge and pantry!  There's no reason to fall off track when we're prepared!  For me, I must be prepared when that hunger kicks in or I begin to eat or think about eating every, single thing in sight.  Sad but true.  


Commit to Be Fit in physical education yesterday! 
I'm not sure where he gets it from but this kid loves to exercise...run, play, be outside, baseball (he's SO good this year)anything that involves being active so he was SO excited when parents were asked to visit PE for the day.  And a cool thing is that I used to teach PE at this school, so it was a really neat experience for me, being a parent instead of a teacher!  I loved being with him while he stretched, did push ups and sit ups! SO FUN!  And uh, he's one heck of a hula-hooper and he definitely does NOT get that from me :(  We used the stethoscope to listen to our healthy hearts and he climbed the rock wall like a champ!  A very cool day for a Mom and her boy!

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