Wednesday, January 29, 2014

can't stop and we must NEVER QUIT

Some words that hit home for me on my favorite show, Biggest Loser last night,
Rachael (my favorite contestant) said it felt so good to live life and to no longer allow food and emotions to control her.  
YES.
She was living behind closed doors, allowing such small things like FOOD to control her?  
Uhhh I think I can relate to that one.  

While on the outside looking in, everything seemed fine in my life as an overweight, sedentary child, teen and then as a college student where my weight went out of control.  That life I was living on my own was a different story.  It revolved around late night drive thru's, Little Debbie's hidden in my pantry, and portions that were 3-4 servings at a time.  
As a child I never knew how to back away from the dinner table.  It was like the more I ate, the better I felt mentally but it only brought worse feelings physically. Then I'd feel guilty and start it all over again.  
I was trapped with no way out.   A feeling no person should go through.  


I thought I broke free in 2001 as the weight started to fall off.  I was getting my life back.  I started to focus on feeling good, fueling my body and working out hard.  It all felt good.  MUCH better feeling than I'd felt in the past, was this it?  My life had finally transformed into the person I wanted to be for so long...
Or was I wrong?

Ya see the weight stayed off for a while but I never really understood my addiction to that feeling of fixing the emotions with food.  Yes I know it's controversial to talk about emotional eating but I truly ate through my emotions, one day at a time.  Of course by this time I was taking college courses and earning a degree in Health and Exercise but was I changed forever?
I still wouldn't let go of the emotional baggage.  The divorce of my parents.  Feeling abandoned by my father and how I didn't hold first place in his heart or maybe he didn't love me enough to stay around?  Ugh each emotion I felt, I ate right on through it in my former days so what was stopping me now?  Well I was teaching aerobics, I had lost weight and was eating healthy...seemed to have it all together BUT WAIT,
I would not step food in a restaurant, ate very specific foods, never found balance in every day life. I would control binging by only keeping certain foods in my pantry and fridge.  I hadn't learned self-control, I had learned how to isolate myself in my own environment.  
Uh oh...what's wrong with that?
It was only a matter of time before I'd have to walk into a restaurant and face my fears.  Only a matter of time where new foods would come back into my home then marriage, pregnancies...the perfect excuses for my old ways to slowly creep back in :(  
I HAD TO FIGHT BACK....

My oldest son was 3 1/2 and we took him to pick strawberries at Froberg Farm in that picture above, on the left.  Wow.  Sure don't know those people anymore.  Funny how looking back, we never quite felt that we looked the way that we did.  Guess you've figured out that my old ways took control in my happy life.  You see I focus on unhappiness and self-doubt a lot from my past but that doesn't mean I wasn't happy with my life.  My husband is my best friend, the man of my dreams and he is my everything.  When my son's were born they made my life even more complete.  They are my world!  But I still battled with mixing food with emotion.  I'd be stressed, I'd eat.  Happy and I'd eat.  Tired and I'd eat...you name it and I could relate it to food.  
BUT it does mean I wasn't fully living my life.  It was semi-controlled by food.  Honestly.

And in January 2013 I decided to FINALLY BREAK FREE.  And this time I have EVERY intention of this road only getting better, me getting stronger and conquering more goals and helping more people do as I've done for myself.  I strive EVERY day.  It's never easy and it won't get easier.  The road keeps going and the obstacles keep popping up along the way but I've learned to use them to inspire, to push and to fuel me.  To go further, harder, make bigger changes and help change the lives of others.  My hope is for all women to break free from that burden of food, emotions and self-doubt.  We are all worth more than that.  
My husband fought his own battle with food and his weight.  He has lost over 100lbs and has kept it off for over 2 years now!  Amazing!  Of course he's fortunate to have a women like me that prepares delicious, healthy meals each day :)  Haha!  But he fights hard and doesn't give up.  He is a runner through and through...watching him while he runs is freeing for me!  
He looks so happy out there conquering his fears and pushing hard!  I watched him gain weight over the years and live a life trapped with food and late night eating but it took one day of work testing and being told his blood pressure was too high to continue and it changed him FOREVER.  
Isn't it funny how we all have that one, pivotal moment in life that changes us forever?  

How will you BREAK FREE AND NEVER QUIT?




Some meal ideas because no post is complete without FOOD!  Ha!

Breakfast casserole-
12 eggs-beaten
1 lb breakfast turkey sausage 
2 cups frozen hash browns
Layer hash browns on bottom, then breakfast turkey sausage, then beaten eggs.  Place in 375 preheated oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through.  I usually take this out after 30 minutes and when edges are cooked and browned, I fluff with fork and place back in oven additional time.  It helps to not dry out the casserole.  I top the kids with shredded cheddar and here it is served with fruit...YUM!  Raspberries and a clementine :)
*While hash browns are starchy, I make sure we consume these early in the day...this leaves plenty of time to burn it off!  
**Remember it's not about saying NO to foods, it's about limiting and learning balance with all foods.  

-this is on a small, appetizer plate!  Get in the habit of using smaller plates for meals.  We are so set on BIG, filling meals when it should be more about fueling and less about enjoyment.  We eat ALL of our meals this way, never the large plate because we'll want to fill it up more and that's not the main goal.  Less is more and chances are, we're eating far too large of portions throughout the day....THIS can make a huge difference with your weight loss goals, trust me!

A dinner idea:
Sauteed veggies in coconut oil-cauliflower, broccoli and string beans, side salad that is 1c lettuce, 2 strawberries-chopped, 1 tsp Feta, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  The meat under those sauteed mushrooms and onions is 5oz lean sirloin patty.  I saute the mushrooms and onions with a little extra virgin olive oil and garlic.  Delicious and BALANCED!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Challenges?

I think the most important thing that I've learned on this journey of ups and downs and gains and losses is that we MUST KEEP TRYING.  
Challenges are meant to come our way and I think it's how we deal with those challenges that make us stronger...

If I look back on my life, the hard times and struggles that made me ashamed of my physical appearance, it was an example of allowing challenges to defeat me.  

For me, I always attached my moods and emotions with a food.  It could instantly gratify any obstacle.  And in my mind, it worked.  It would "fix" that issue for the moment then immediately following that defeat, I'd settle back into my guilt of allowing yet another challenge to take control and win. 

Ever felt that way?  Similar?  
It's no way to live and it will become a cycle faster than we can handle.

This journey was meant for me to grow as a person and to eventually help others as I try to do now.  Each step on this road has led me to the place where I now face challenges head on.  I deal with the raw emotion of day to day life and don't eat my way through it...bad analogy but SO TRUE

After our Move It Momma workouts each day we spent time reflecting.  On our challenges as mothers, wives, friends, children and any other role we take on in our lives.  It can be tough and many women carry those same issues as I do and others are facing an entirely different obstacle.  It's nice to know that we're not alone.  Other women struggle just as we do and I think we make it safe to discuss.  
Often times as women we shut the emotion part out of our lives as much as possible.  
Especially with a workout group?  
Are you kidding?  Who talks about personal issues with their workout partners?  WE DO!
And I honestly think it's what keeps us together and reaching goals that we've set.
We need to express our worries, doubts, defeats and challenges...

we can only grow if we know WHY we feel as we do and it's okay to feel crappy some days and other days we can take on the world, isn't it?  YES!

EVERY DAY WE ARE STRONGER!
NEVER QUIT!!



Rice Cake HEAVEN!!!
These are what keep me sane most days!  I gotta have that crunch in all different varieties and these work for me.  They may not be for you and I can't have the bite size rice cakes because I tend to count a few extras in that serving size from time to time :( but these larger ones do the trick time and time again so allow me to share some winning combinations!


Apple Cinnamon Rice Cake topped with 1 tbs Neuftchael cheese and sprinkled with cinnamon!


Caramel Rice Cake topped with 1 tbs whipped Greek cream cheese and fresh raspberries!

And not pictured, 
White Cheddar Rice Cake topped with 1 tbs PB, cinnamon and 1/2 banana
This one hits the salty/sweet like none other!!!  


My Instagram FFCHECKIN post from yesterday really hit home for me, 

Food IS the most abused anxiety drug and was always there for me...very readily available so we must learn to overcome ANY challenge that comes our way.  Yours may not be food, it may be exercise or lack of it, it may be confidence and truly believing in yourself and that you are worth more for your health and the health of your family.
Exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant...OH HOW TRUE THIS IS!
A bad day can truly be fixed by one grand workout!  TRUST ME!  I've been there and I've overcome it time and time again...it's amazing what a little sweat, blood flow and heart pumping will do for a bad day!  It's a prescription like NOTHING ELSE!  

Make working out FUN!  The process must be enjoyable so that you crave it daily.  That feeling when the workout is complete and you've pushed hard...use that as fuel to focus on the next day.  It works!  That's a pic of me dancing to "Beat It" by Michael Jackson yesterday during class!  Oh yes, see my Mommas tired and staring at me like I'm from another planet?  We MUST enjoy the physical change, the process, THE WORK!  If we focus on that, there's no stopping us or the places we'll go with our health and fitness.  
Believe in yourself, all that you are capable of and the sky is the limit!


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Monday, January 20, 2014

what a change!

This quote means so much to me, not only realizing two weeks of change but a lifetime...

Yesterday I completed my fourth half marathon at the Chevron Houston and Aramco Half Marathon!!!  Woohoo!
This experience?  FAR DIFFERENT than the first time I completed this half back in 2012. 
On the Left: Aramco Half in 2012          On the Right: Aramco Half yesterday 2014
I didn't realize the physical change on the outside until we arrived home and I looked back and compared photos...Wow.  CANNOT believe that was me.  
Sad part?  This was not the beginning of my weight loss journey.  Oh no but I thought my journey had ended.  Of course I wasn't a size 22 anymore and I worked out HARD, 5 days a week but I had allowed life to set me back.  I was a size 14 in that picture but yes, I loved working out.  As I've said a million times, the workouts come easy for me but the FOOD is a totally different story.  The food loves to take control and my mind, at moments of weakness allows it to do so.  
In that picture on the left I still had my degree, worked on keeping my blog truthful and talked about moments of weakness and strength, but I never understood the meaning of "lifestyle change" until last year.  It is SO important to commit to this lifestyle FULLY.  It takes BALANCE of all aspects of health.  
Looking further back on my journey, in 2001 I was an overweight, out of shape smoker who allowed her life to revolve around FOOD.  Yes a full time smoker, drinker...no foods left untouched.  I wasn't picky either I enjoyed ALL unhealthy, fried food.  I indulged all of the time but why?  Did it taste fabulous?  Did it make me feel great?  No and NO. I felt awful afterward, EVERY SINGLE TIME.  
My stomach always hurt, I was always bloated and without going into too much detail, I was never "regular".  This feeling helped me lack energy so going to workout was NOT going to happen, EVER.  And if I did workout then in my mind I figured I "deserved" that junk food even more.  Ugh.  

Fast forward to 2012 at that half marathon (picture on left) I felt better about myself.  I had made many changes toward better health and I made exercise a priority in my life but NOT MY HEALTH.  There's a big difference.  
So why did I keep the weight on?  I believe that my "healthy" foods lacked wholeness.  Meaning I was eating a lot of packaged "healthy" foods and personally I have a weakness to those crunchy, salty snacks and I'm sure with intentions of single-size portions, I was overindulging quite a bit.  Today I try to keep my diet full in whole foods-very little from a box!  And it has improved my life SO much.  I truly believe that I understand and practice BALANCE for the first time in my life and it makes sense.  I love the feeling I get from being able to push my limits more and settle less.  My body feels at its best when it's fueled properly which improves my workouts...it's like a pyramid and if all of the pieces of my health don't stack up, it falls down.   

My husband was again, right by my side at the start of the race and he waits for me at the finish line.  Of course he was there in 2012, running but my experience was so awful that I didn't cherish that moment with my wonderful husband.  So sad.  But luckily we had two, great half marathons in 2013 that changed the experience for me and yesterday was SO meaningful.  The same race that defeated me in 2012 was conquered in a big way yesterday!  I pushed hard, crushed my PR by 14 minutes...YES 14 minutes.  I am not fast and never claim to be but 2:32 was HUGE for me!!!  Woohoo!  I was crying from excitement!  Then I received a text from my husband at mile 12 telling me "you've got this, keep going and I love you"....I first started to cry and then started pushing harder until I crossed that finish line!  Oh YES!!!!  

There he was....waiting for me with a smile on his face!
He had qualified yet again!  He's so determined and I focus on my journey quite a bit on this blog but its about him too.  He is my best friend and what keeps me going.  His weight loss story is incredible, losing over 100lbs and changing his life from an overweight, smoker that loved late night fast food to my running partner.  We have late night discussions about the people that we "used" to be and it feels so good to reflect on how far we've come TOGETHER.  
There's no stopping us and I can't wait to meet him at the finish line next month at our 5th half marathon!!!  

My outlook has changed so much that it totally takes over on the course.  
I was receiving text messages from family and wonderful friends and each time they'd write sweet words, I began to cry.  Happy tears, of course! SO nice to have the support from the people that matter most :)  
Yesterday there was a fork in the course where the half stayed to the left, marathoners went to the right...as I stayed to the left, I thought about SO many things.  For a person that HATED running and avoided it at all costs in her life, I actually enjoyed every moment.  The moments that were joyful-seeing my mom, dad and boys cheering me on and the hard moments-where my ankles were tight and hamstrings were aching.  But as you look around, you see motivation, dedication and determination on all faces.  You look around and see women and men of all age pushing themselves to the finish, it makes for some of the most inspiring moments of my life.  


THOUSANDS AT THE START!!!
Pretty awesome :)  

My cousin ran her first half marathon yesterday too!  VERY cool that she was there with us before the race began.  She claims that I was part of her inspiration to run the race in the first place, which means so much but she ran her heart out and it showed in her finish time...Congratulations to her.  

My man and I before the start!  

And these SOL REPUBLIC Everyday Active Relay ear buds were AWESOME!!!  They had great sound, held up perfectly throughout the race and stayed in my ears effortlessly thanks to these different size covers!  See all of them?  Pretty neat that it's like a one size fits all and will help each runner find that great fit.  These are compatible with the iPad, iPhone and iPod models and retail at $79.99 each.  
The sound is incredible, in comparison to other models that I've tried.  
I love the neon yellow color-bright and bold but they do come in black as well.  If you look, you'll see a black pouch for carrying the headphones.  That came in handy on the way to the race and that's where they will be stored to avoid losing them or getting them tangled in other wires or knotted together.  There was a volume tab built in which made for easy volume control and the clip located near the top was a great way to keep the wires from crossing and bouncing while running.  I clipped it toward the top of my shirt and it stayed out of my way.  There wasn't a chance of these slipping out of my ears and that meant A LOT when my headphones are the last thing I should be worried about during my run.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

SECRET?

As I talk to women in my community and many of you that read my little blog from all over the world, we all want to know the HOW don't we?  
I wanted to know that SECRET so badly for so many years...
How do we overcome our struggles with poor diet, obesity, exercise, heart health, diabetes, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, back pain, and so on.
Why is it SO HARD?
If I had the "secret" then I probably wouldn't have struggled with my weight and health for most of my life.  Unfortunately I think we must come to a place where we find ourselves at the bottom.  No where but up is left for us to turn.  We find ourselves STUCK with no way out of our current situation whether it is weight or other health concerns and we just think THIS IS IT.  This is how my life is and I will deal with it and move on.  
Instead I think we should come to a place where we FIGHT BACK.  
We are worth more than a "I've been heavy for so long, why worry about it now?" or "I can maintain my weight so why exercise?" Or what about "I'm too busy and have to feed a family, I can't worry about eating healthy."...whew, sounds like I'm talking to you huh?  It's because I've lived it, I STILL LIVE IT EVERY DAY.  But the difference in myself now? I fight back.  Each day that I wake up, each hour and every minute of the day I am fighting.  Fighting to lead a healthy life for myself, my family, my boys and my wonderful husband-who also works hard to FIGHT BACK. 
Now that I know how much better it can be when food doesn't control my life, I wish I would have fought back sooner.  I was never living but instead, I was hiding.  
Ashamed that I allowed food and lack of exercise to put me in a bubble.  A bubble of self-doubt and fear.  I was afraid of change and failure.  
Ya see I can lose 20 lbs like it's going out of style, but keeping it off?  
Whew TOTALLY different story.  It's HARD.  I battle triggers throughout my day whether its "Do I really want to workout today?" Or "I really want that juicy, fattening cheeseburger"... but rather than feeling sorry for myself and saying yes to those questions, I now FIGHT BACK!
I think about how I feel at my best and at my worst.  

My best-when I eat right, exercise and conquer my goals and fears.
My worst-those days where I cried myself to sleep, where I wished things could be different but never put forth the effort to make that change possible.

How will you FIGHT BACK and lead your healthiest life?? 

Things that are my go-to's?
Water with lemon-
sounds so simple but it works!  I'm hungry and it's not quite time to eat, I drink water with a lemon wedge!  SO many benefits of drinking water and adding lemon will help in so many ways...plus curb the appetite so keep lemons on hand at all times!

Quick lunch bowls:
ground turkey, long grain brown rice, Trader Joes chopped veggie medley.
Makes a quick lunch for those crazy days!!

I used this chopped veggie mix with ground turkey to prep for the week!  The key is MAKE DIFFERENT MEALS out of the same foods to keep things interesting!
I put that mixture on the whole wheat pizza crust and add a little chicken sausage...


The hardest part for me these days?  
Staying focused and not slipping into my old ways.  Each day I must FIGHT BACK and know that I am stronger than my obstacles and you are too!  Whatever they may be, FIGHT BACK TODAY
Celebrate each milestone!  I have focused on my running and it has really paid off!  I have improved my pace and distance so much and I actually ENJOY RUNNING!  If you would have paid me a million dollars back then to run a mile, I would have let you keep your money...
but not today!  I know that it makes me strong, it is my time to reflect on my former self and a way for me to see my own strength and how much stronger I have become...
I will keep growing and gaining strength and I will share my knowledge AND passion with as many women as possible until I change the world.  High hopes and dreams, I know 
BUT I will NEVER QUIT and NEVER GIVE UP and I hope you won't either!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

NEVER QUIT

When it comes to getting healthy, losing weight, reaching health and fitness goals... 

With my old ways, I'd quit and talk myself out of changing my life days before I had even started and this option always left me feeling empty and defeated.  
-It's no wonder why I kept quitting on myself...I mean, why not?  

I had tried starting something, only to quit days later...and sadly, I did this one most frequently.  
-I would think about the "end" and figure it was so far away so why fight so hard to make such slow progress?  

I have also experienced starting something, sticking to it for a number or days, weeks or months only to quit when I thought I was "finished".  
-This would be where I'd lose weight, get healthy and think BAM! I'm done...back to my old ways of stuffing my face and sitting on the couch watching TV all afternoon right?  Woohoo :(  

I have also tried the "Yay I've successfully zipped this pair of jeans (my goal) now off to tear up some Mexican food".  
-Why is this is a problem, I reached my goal didn't I?  

Trouble with all of these experiences?  
All of these made me a quitter.
I now choose to NEVER QUIT and each day I must make up my mind to believe that.

With healthy living, there are NO days off.  Yes we have rest days and days where we give into temptation a little but the journey never ends, we NEVER QUIT.  I say this often because it is so true.
I never knew how true it was until January 2013.
I would push myself hard only to fall short months later when things were tough.  Or I had bad days, felt sick, lacked energy or motivation and now instead of throwing in my towel, I dust myself off and keep going.  There's no "starting over Monday".  You just bounce right back where you left off.  Whether the previous day was good or bad, MOVE ON.  NEVER QUIT.  
I now understand the truth to the statement, QUITTING IS NOT AN OPTION  :)  


Some healthy suggestions that get me through and help me reach my goals:

Greek Yogurt Parfait:
fresh raspberries
plain Greek yogurt
Go Lean Crunch almond flax
-Layer 5oz plain Greek yogurt, then 1/4 c fresh berries and 1/4 c high protein/high fiber cereal
-Great breakfast option or quick, on-the-go snack or dessert. 



What keeps me focused on my goals and positive attitude toward health living?
My family, friends, my goals and THESE STRONG WOMEN.
We had a private class at my cousin Jason's MMA facility, Furia Training Center and we had a blast.  He's so great with all fitness levels and it made for another great field trip and different experience.  
I always try to keep things interesting and never boring for these women.  
My goal is to make exercise and healthy living FUN for all of us no matter our age, fitness level, goals or obstacles...we are all strong!


S'mores?
To me it tasted pretty darn close!
handful of almonds, few marshmallows and few mini chocolate chips!  BAM!!!

Move It Momma Greek Egg Salad:
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped ( 2 per person)
1 tbs plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tbs yellow mustard
Mix and enjoy!  WATCH OUT-it's delicious!
Serve over lettuce medley and a serving of fruit



Move It Momma Pulled Pork BBQ potato:
1 lb boneless pork loin
1/2 bottle Stubb's Original BBQ Sauce (much lower sugar than other brands!)
Garlic and pepper to taste
Pork Loin in Crock Pot with sauce on top, heat on low 8 hours until flakes with fork.  We remove pork loin and chop but you can also shred-a personal preference :)  

-We serve on 1/2 baked sweet potato, topped with pork, little extra bbq sauce and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt for dipping!  I'm telling you we make this once or twice a month-it's delicious!


Another successful Move It Mommas field trip to Trader Joes!
They are so wonderful to us and make us feel like celebrities!  We are walked aisle by aisle with the managers, we taste test and we stroll and explore!  We find new, healthy options and the demo station was set up with all low fat, healthy options for the Momma's to taste!  SO MUCH FUN!  


And if you're lacking motivation and forgetting why you want to be happy and healthy, 
REMEMBER THIS:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I am a runner!

The Commitment Day 5K was another huge success.   
This race photo perfectly summed up the day for ME-
HAPPINESS!
I think it's safe to say that I AM A RUNNER.  
And this time I finally believe those words...
I placed 9th in my age group and finished in 29 minutes.  This is a HUGE accomplishment for me.  Running has a very special place in my heart, it has time and time again proven that I really don't know how strong I am until I push further...and further.  
I am not a runner because of my place or finishing time, I am a runner because I finally believe in myself and all that I am capable of.  

Nothing like a good reflection down memory lane right?  Here we go...by the way, writing this out is like therapy for me :)  Glad you guys are there to listen!  

My first 5K was in March 2007 after my first son was born.  I HATED running.  It's okay to say that isn't it?  It is the truth.  It held only negative memories for me.  I remember as a child, I didn't want to be the "slow kid" so I'd make up an excuse to not run relays or ride my bike while my friends ran through the neighborhood-sadly, I thought of running as an obstacle that would make me look like the out of shape kid that I was so I avoided it every chance possible.  Here I was, 27 years old I had lost weight, changed my life, graduated with a degree in health and exercise and STILL I was terrified of running.  But why?  I was in far better shape, I was teaching aerobics part-time, working out 6 days a week, what's left to fear?  
Oh plenty...
There was failure and that was more than enough for me.
I was always setting myself up for failure before I began something new so why would running be any different?  It wasn't.  Here I was staring at a new obstacle and I was absolutely terrified.  
The good news?  I finished the race but hated every second.  :(  Yes, it's true.  I felt defeated, slow and all of those fears came rushing back into my life.  
Would I fight back?

I decided that instead of beating myself up over what I DIDN'T DO, I'd reflect on what I DID.  
And here I am today, still running but what has changed?  I LOVE IT.  I am a runner.  
Who would have thought?  
I find happiness in setting a goal and using my strong body, mind and determination to finish!
and that feels incredible to me.  
Of course I have times of doubt, where I struggle to finish but there's one thing for sure...
I WILL NEVER QUIT.  And I hope you won't either.  No matter what you set out to do, FINISH IT.  I think that's what I enjoy so much about running.  I sign up, I set the goal and I finish it.  I let nothing stand in my way, each mile is a reflection of the journey I am on and it feels so good.  I'm addicted.  LOL!  I am not fast.  I do not want to be the fastest, but I want to do MY BEST.  It's all I can ask for and I'm okay with that.  I signed up for my fourth half marathon today and I'm so excited!  
My first half marathon in 2012 I again let doubt, fear and failure get the best of me.  I did not enjoy the experience and beat myself up for DAYS about how "slow" I finished.  But why?  Why not reflect on the fact that the former fat girl-turned health nut FINISHED A HALF MARATHON!  I did it!  With the help of nobody else, I did it.  I didn't quit, I kept pushing forward although my body was hurting and doubt began to fill my mind, I FINISHED.  
Funny how powerful the mind can be, isn't it?  Part of my journey is accepting my faults and learning from my mistakes so the two half marathons I ran in 2013 were MUCH better.  Huge time for me to realize how far I've come, to be proud of who I am and what I can do!  
I want to share my love with as many women as possible to help them find passion in physical fitness and healthy living!  And I think by me sharing my honest, raw emotions with my local Mommas as well as all of you, I have inspired others to give running a try!  All I ask is that they TRY, they don't quit and they keep trying.  They may not grow to love it as I do, but they sure appreciate it!  My goal for the group is for us to run one race a month so the Commitment Day 5K helped us start off strong!  

Just look at these pictures...
If this doesn't show you how powerful running/exercise can be...I'm not sure what will!  
When I first saw these, I cried.  Tears of happiness, of course!  We are ALL beautiful, strong women.  We must truly believe in ourselves before the true change can occur.  Finding others that believe in us can be a powerful thing as well.  I honestly believe in these ladies, their strengths and what they are capable of accomplishing.  It's beautiful...
We were laughing, smiling...at moments they said their bodies hurt and they were going to hurt me later BUT they thankfully did not follow through with that YET :) 

I wake up each day inspired by these women in my life.  I am inspired by all of you and your sweet comments that help me believe that my little blog is somehow helping you push through and find strength and determination to get healthy.  

We are all in in TOGETHER and WE WILL NEVER QUIT!  
Say it as many times as you need until you TRULY BELIEVE IT!  
What are your goals for 2014?  Are you a runner?  


Mmmm, recipe time!
This one is so easy it'll make your head spin...
Lots of Trader Joes items here so modify when necessary.  
The sauce is 1 can no salt diced tomatoes with sauce, 1/2 jar Organic no salt added marinara sauce from TJ's, two bags of frozen gumbo mix veggies, chopped onion and garlic and 1lb browned lean ground turkey.  To that mixture, add one package of TJ's turkey meatballs!  That's it.  This recipe took maybe 15 minutes TOTAL.  No excuses.  
I browned the turkey, added garlic and onion.  Dumped in the can of diced tomatoes and 1/2 jar of sauce, stirred and combined both packages frozen veggies, covered and allowed to simmer to thaw veggies.  Once mixture was hot and ready, I added turkey meatballs and simmered for an additional 20 minutes.  Serve with side salad and enjoy and for lunch leftovers I served this over 1/2 cup serving of brown rice pasta from Trader Joes :)


AMEN for Amenzone REBEL fitness DVD's!  
I burned over 500 calories on DVD 1 and can't wait to try the other.  Thank you Amenzone for sending these my way.  Great workout DVD's are hard to find, especially ones that are intense and burn a good amount of calories.  My only disappointment is that I was unable to use a tire when needed. I used 10lb weights instead and it worked great!  I felt good, it was definitely high intensity level and very motivating.  The music was good and I felt like it pushed me to my limits the entire 45 minutes.  
I think adding a tire would be really cool and I'd feel really STRONG!  Ha, a silly upset but maybe I can find one soon...
He focuses on the mind as well as the body, which is what I always focus on during my workouts so I really enjoyed that.  
The moves are performed and described before you begin and he gives a perfect amount of rest time between intervals/rounds.  
I had plenty of room in my living room to complete all of the movements and exercises so I'd highly recommend adding this DVD set to your collection.  
I would say it's more advanced, but there are ways to modify when necessary.  
I'll have to lend it to some of my local Move It Mommas to get their thoughts as well.  
Stay tuned...


DINNER TONIGHT!
My baked chicken and Asparagus with lemon juice 
It looks so small but it's on a bigger plate than usual so maybe that's why?  Ha!  
My chicken is on the "recipe" link and I hope you'll try. It's a family favorite that my kids enjoy and I like it because it doesn't take long to cook/prepare!  The Panko gives a good crunch and the small amount of extra virgin olive oil keeps it very moist and tender.    

Thursday, January 2, 2014

SHOUT OUT 2013 EDITION!

Quite a few changes took place in 2013!
Although my heart has been 110% about healthy living, my mind was getting the best of me.  

Last year on Jan 1st I made a commitment to myself.  I ran the race pictured below and knew I could do better.  I could push harder.  I could commit to my health EVEN more.  I took on the challenge not knowing where it would lead...
Fast forward to today.  
Oh how my life has changed.  My husband and boys are my world but my love of fitness has grown much more.  I have lost 50lbs, improved my 5K time from 36-38 minutes to 28-29 minutes and God has brought a group of amazing women into my life...The Move It Mommas.  
For 2014 my goals are not only for myself but also for these women and all of you who read my blog from around the world.  I want us to come together and PUSH ONE ANOTHER, REACH FURTHER and CONQUER MORE TOGETHER.  When we are our healthiest, our family benefits, our children benefit and we are that role model that our family deserves, that we deserve.  We are able to be more, experience more and live life to its fullest...allowing NOTHING to stand in our way when we are TOGETHER.  


So not only for my local women, for ALL OF US lets get together and make a change.  I use the hashtag on my social media, #themoveitmommas and if you'd like please use it to post recipes, workouts, motivation and MORE!  This way we're able to virtually inspire one another!  
Today is a great day to make a change.  NEVER QUIT and never give up!  You must continue your journey for a lifetime, always setting new goals and conquering new things!  

LEFT: Race day Jan 1, 2013 RIGHT: Race day Jan 1, 2014-50lb weight loss, I achieved 9th place in my age group with a PR of under 29 minutes on 3.2!  AND I WILL KEEP REACHING...
My 2014 long-term goals: Run 6 half marathons and my first triathlon, gain more muscle and decrease belly fat, motivate and inspire as many women as possible to live their healthiest life :)
I'll introduce you to some local Mommas that are putting their health as a priority!  Can't wait to see what is in store for these women in 2014!  I'm sure they will amaze me even more...if that's possible.  They are all beautiful inside and out, they are strong, determined and SO inspirational. My only regret is that all of you will not "know" them in person but I'll do my best virtually!

Meet Tammy. 
A mom to two, handsome boys.  She has lost 58lbs and completed a series that included 2 10k's and ended with her first half marathon across the largest bridge in Texas!  AMAZING right?  And her journey is only beginning.  She has many goals for the future and this year will bring so many exciting changes to her life and her health!  She is such a sweet person with a huge heart.  She motivates the group and keeps a smile on her face even while I'm pushing her beyond her limits! SO proud to call her a friend and fellow Move It Momma... 

Although the temps have been chilly, they come out and they keep reaching further and inspiring myself and one another :)  I WISH all of you could meet this amazing group of women...
All with their own story to tell, fears to overcome and goals to reach.  It really is INSPIRING just being around them, watching each of them push their limits and fight for what they want...

SO many physical and emotional changes with this group in 2013, which only means 2014 will be the year that The Move It Mommas take over the nation!?  Ha, well obviously I have BIG DREAMS for these ladies...so stay tuned!!!


Meet Lisa.
I met her years ago, before my husband and I were married.  We met up again at my son's preschool and the rest is history.  She's a flight attendant/mother to a beautiful girl named Ella and a super strong woman!  She's a single mother who puts her daughter first and sets an outstanding example of putting others before herself.  She's so positive and full of life!  She has lost almost 30lbs since starting The Move It Mommas and beyond the physical changes, she has changed SO much on the inside.  She recently completed her first 5K and I can't wait to see what else she takes on this year!  Her confidence and energy levels, the smile that I wait to see each day, she brings so much to this group!  She pushes others and reminds me each day of how silly and foolish I am when I'm dancing around pretending every famous person wants to meet ME!  LOL!  
I am so proud of her and her journey is far from over...proud to call you friend, Lisa.  

Meet Jeri.
I met Jeri years ago.  I went to high school and was friends with her husband, Mark.  I ran into her husband at the grocery store, he realized I had lost quite a bit of weight and we started talking about my blog, workouts, healthy eating and more.  He immediately called Jeri and told her she should try it out!  She showed up and BAM! her results AMAZE ME!  She is a lean, mean strong machine!  She is full of energy and life, a great mother and friend!  She rocks the workouts and gives a whole, new meaning to the NEVER QUIT attitude!  I am convinced that I will have her running half marathons before 2014 ends so stay tuned.  
This girl may be petite but she's quite the fighter!  She goes beyond her limits with each class and claims that I'm the reason for her change BUT little does she know, I am inspired by HER :)



Meet Krystal,
I met Krystal last year when her son and my oldest were in kindergarten together.  She's super sweet and was my FIRST Move It Momma!  Yep, just her and I sweating like crazy at the park one day and I thought to myself, Wow! if I can motivate one woman then I've done my job and she LOVED IT!  I loved that she loved it and I loved it...BOOM! Although she lives pretty far from where we run boot camp, she has been putting in the work from her house eating healthy and stepping up her workouts!  SEE, it can be done without attending the workouts locally...
All it takes is determination and setting goals for yourself no matter the circumstances.  Amazing job, Krystal.  Thank you for being my first official Move It Momma and standing by my side!
I am hoping that I can share many more successes with all of you and that you are able to see how incredible these women are.  YOU are capable of so much more than you think.  Get your mind right, know that change is possible and the rest comes easy...well maybe not EASY but it will come.  If you have before/after and weight-loss successes please SHARE!  I'd like to feature all of us, TOGETHER!  When we know that we truly are IN THIS TOGETHER, I believe we'll find a beautiful support system in each other!  You appreciate the process a lot more when it's tough and on those really hard days when we want to quit and give up, we can lean on each other for support and inspiration.  If it was easy, all of us would be doing it and unfortunately it took me years to believe in myself and what I could accomplish.  I just needed one person to believe that I COULD do it and I was my hardest critic.  I didn't believe in myself so how could others?  
Make up your mind today and DO IT! 

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