Tuesday, July 29, 2014

is it HARDER for you?


On my journey I often felt sorry for myself for so many reasons.
It was an excuse that worked well for me.
I was heavier, "big boned", taller than my friends...so it was tougher for me to lose weight.

Seemed like the odds were ALWAYS stacked against me no matter how hard I tried.  
I felt inferior because my friends could eat this or that and NEVER struggle while if I even looked at a bag of chips, I'd gain 5 pounds.

You see THAT was my problem.  Always comparing myself to the people around me.  
Thinking, well it's easy for them to stay thin and much easier for me to stay unhealthy.  
That reasoning worked for YEARS.  It was my comfort and I wanted to make sure everyone could see my struggles on the outside so I kept gaining and gaining...

"It wasn't fair" is what I told myself, "why did I have to fight twice as hard when it came so easy for others" so if the odds weren't in my favor then I would just give up and give in to the life I had created for myself even if that meant my health would suffer and I would wrap myself into my own, pitiful world.  After a while that just becomes our lives and we accept it...and that's unfortunate. 



My thinking has changed drastically and while I still have my moments of pity and doubt, 
I realize that my brick walls are MUCH different 
than those around me.  

If we are honest with ourselves and with others, we will see that we ALL have flaws, insecurities and fears.  It's when we "pretend" that can lead to self-destruction.  I would "pretend" that my weight and health didn't bother me or interfere with my day to day life but truth is-IT DID.  
Every day.

Today I choose to face my fears and doubts head on.  I like to express them to the people around me so they know that life isn't always easy.  Losing weight is HARD and changing your mindset is even HARDER but it's worth it and it makes us stronger.  My "brick walls" tried to stop and defeat me for years...and many times they knocked me down but I kept getting back up and that's the important lesson I've learned.  
It's not about being perfect and never failing.  
It's about learning from the failure, picking ourselves back up and TRYING again and again!  
It's about Never Quitting!

I know look at my walls and obstacles as challenges that nobody understands but ME.  
I know every day is a struggle for me and I fight hard to stay in control of ME and my health.  
I know that each day I put my health as a priority is a day that I become stronger.
Each day that I allow fear to be in control is a day that sets me back...but those days will make me stronger as well.  Always learning from mistakes I made and always knowing that I am worth it.  I am always worth dusting myself off and trying over and over again...AND YOU ARE TOO!

As women we lose sight of ourselves by putting others first.  By putting our children, careers, husbands, life, family, pets...all above ourselves and it's time to give ourselves the confidence to fight back.  To stay healthy and to remain strong again and again.  

Looking fear in the face and breaking down our WALLS!  



Monday, July 28, 2014

Do Something!

I find that most of the time my "hunger" is based on boredom. 

If I am hanging around in my pj's, snacking on crackers and watching TV I tend to stay that way throughout the day.  IF I make wiser choices the moment I wake up then I'm more eager to make positive choices throughout the day.  For me, it's a fact that you if you leave me with nothing to do, I'll snack.  If you leave me feeling overwhelmed or anxious, I'll snack.  
SO to fight the temptation or mindless eating...
I STAY BUSY!
At work, simply stay away from the workroom/lounge if there's leftovers galore or a cake sitting in there calling your name.  If you can't see it, it's less likely to tempt you.  

I plan ahead which is VERY important when maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
It is SO easy to just grab food as you move through your daily routine.  
IF we plan ahead and have quick, healthy alternatives then we are more likely to stay satisfied rather than think of the million things lingering in the vending machine, right?!  RIGHT!

For me, I plan my meals the evening before.  I run it quickly through my head and then move on with my day.  It's simple and keeps me focused.  

I wake up and decide EVERY morning to make a healthy breakfast 
because I know myself well and if my routine gets out of whack, 
I'll come crashing down allowing one unhealthy meal after another...

Simple solutions?  Keep it Quick and easy!  Oats, high fiber/high protein cereal or a quick egg/egg white combo, sprouted bread and fruit!  Bam!  Simple and delicious.  

I'm one that WILL NOT eat the same foods day after day.  I know that in my past this led to crash and burn where I'd gain more than I lost in the first place :( ...yep, the old two steps forward, three steps back.  



If I'm craving something sweet, I practice moderation and use what I have on hand because if I wander into a store hungry or craving a specific food, I'll walk out with ENTIRELY too much and find myself unable to control my portions at all.  
For someone who loves to eat just to eat, this can lead to BAD things.  

The other day I had a sweet tooth so I created this low carb/high fiber tortilla layered with 2tbs Neuftchael cheese, cinnamon and a small, chopped Gala apple.  
I rolled it up, put it in the toaster oven at 400 until crispy and bubbly.  

We split it into thirds.  The boys and I shared this healthy treat and it was DELICIOUS!  
The cheese is so creamy and bubbly and then the slight crunch from the apple...OH SO GOOD!

The key is to NOT allow yourself to fail.  
Pick yourself back up and keep trying no matter what.  Try new things.  
If you get tired of the same workout routine then CHANGE IT UP!
If you are sick of eating chicken every night for dinner then CHANGE IT UP!
The way I see it, we must find things that we enjoy.  
Whether it's spin class at the gym or an outdoor boot camp.  

If we don't enjoy it, then we're more likely to think of a million reasons to QUIT.  

Same with your diet, if you find yourself eating dry chicken breasts on lettuce five nights a week, you will start to cringe as you prepare it which only leads to a major break down, leading to binge eating at the local buffet.  Eeeeek.  This method I knew all too well. 

So find foods the whole family loves.  If you try a new recipe and it's a major failure...
keep trying and changing it until it becomes something you like.  

I am 100% positive that those full-fat, full of grease cheeseburgers I used to crave and devour were DISGUSTING but in my mind they'd fill a void for me time and time again...whether it was stress, exhaustion, frustration...that cheeseburger would fill it 
and then leave me feeling empty and lost. 

PICK YOURSELF UP and find something FUN to do with your time rather than waste away in front of the TV or inside that bag of chips!  

You will never regret a workout, a hike with family or a bike ride with friends.  
You will never regret opting away from the cheeseburger and french fries 
but grabbing that grilled chicken breast and veggies. 

You will NEVER regret feeling healthy and strong.  
You will always regret feeling sorry for yourself rather than doing something about it so 
TODAY, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

To change the world, we must create a world where it's popular to make the healthy choice.  
A place where HEALTHY IS THE NORM!
I envision a world where the line to grab a funnel cake is non-existent while the line for fresh fruits and whole foods wraps around the building!!!  Wouldn't that be great?  But many of you probably laugh because it is SO far from where we are today as a society...but it honestly frightens me.  

Our obesity epidemic is rising, our restaurant and take-out portions are 2-3 servings and we are treating health-related illnesses more than ever...
YET we can't seem to understand WHY or how to change it?!  
*We went to Houston Texans training camp today and had a BLAST but it did bother me that the ONLY food options were deep-fried funnel cakes (they were everywhere!) and ice cream.  
Really Houston?  
I shouldn't be surprised since the Houston Rodeo was awful as well.  Deep fried twinkies and turkey legs so large that you needed two people to hold it...EEEEEK.  
We must change TOGETHER and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT TOGETHER!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

they are watching YOU


As a child, breaking a sweat was something I hated.  
I loved watching TV with snacks in hand and would be content doing that for HOURS...
What I wouldn't give to have those years back...
Those behaviors continued throughout my childhood, along with over eating that led to more weight gain, insecurities and fear of failure...and that only grew worse.  
The eating, the sedentary lifestyle and insecurities ALL increased as I grew older.  

I believe we learn behaviors at a very young age.  We watch and learn from others.  If we have positive experiences with exercise, healthy foods and getting outdoors rather than sitting inside on electronics then we are more likely to continue these behaviors as we age.  
As I've said a million times on here, I don't blame my mother.  She was a single-mother, working to provide for us so that meant doing what was easy most of the time.  Fast food or if she cooked, it was just the two of us so there was plenty for seconds, thirds, etc.  If she worked or was out late, that meant a free for all in my pantry and fridge.  YUP, when nobody was watching the eating was frighteningly out of control...


My passion to help others NOT develop these habits is what drives me to do what I do every day.  First it was teaching PE, feeling like I could reach these children in a way they hadn't been exposed to and while most of the time I felt good about that, something was always missing.  Now with my Move It Mommas being "Momma's" I am able to reach MANY children and do what I love most.  These kids watch and learn.  They see their Mom's working hard and they want to model those behaviors.  They see us sweating and running around like crazy and then follow.  I hope to teach the Mom's valuable healthy tips that they can carry with them and use at home with their families. 

Today while I sent my Momma's on a mile run around the neighborhood, I decided to put these kiddos through their own kid-style boot camp!  It was FUN!  
I was able to see myself through each of these children.   As a child this would have intimidated me, but not these kids...they jumped right in seeing who could perform best!  I loved it!  

It is our JOB and responsibility to make healthy living and exercise a FUN experience.  

They were so proud of their perfect push-ups!  As I'd walk around complimenting form they would ask, "Miss Marissa are mine the best? What about these?  Look at my biceps!"  It was hilarious.

We "crawled like a bear", "ran like a cheetah", "galloped like a horse" and "hopped like a frog"

25 jumping jacks?  NO PROBLEM for these kids!  They kept asking for more...and yes the boys threw off their t-shirts!  


EXPOSING them is key to long-term success.  
They see YOU changing and becoming stronger and healthier and they'll want to be a part of it.  If we make it FUN, ENCOURAGING and NOT INTIMIDATING then beautiful things can happen within each of us.  I see the same happen with the women.  They feel safe, can show up and work hard without intimidation and you should see them change, take on a whole new attitude and conquer the world TOGETHER!  It's incredible to watch...
I am amazed every day that THIS is my job.  

One of the Mom's snapped this picture of her daughter mocking our routine the other day.  
I LOVE THIS PICTURE!  
It's proof that the little ones ARE watching us.  
They are seeing the change and want to be a part of it.  

Let's ALL be that example for our children.  

If we struggled with body image, our weight or health problems run in our families 
WHY in a million years would we want to repeat that cycle with our children?  
Have them go through the pain of feeling worthless?
Shame on us because we KNOW how it feels to be left out, be the girl with NO self-esteem or the one that failed at everything she attempted to try.    BREAK THAT CYCLE forever...for the sake of our kiddos growing up in a world full of judgement, heart disease, childhood diabetes and other health-related illnesses.  Don't let them make those mistakes without a fight.  Fight for them and fight WITH them!  Make a difference together because I promise in some way they are watching every move you make.  

They are watching you say you'll start exercising but never actually do, they are watching you sit in front of the TV munching on chips, they are watching you get winded climbing a flight of stairs and they are watching you look at yourself each night in the mirror-feeling defeated.  
They are watching and learning so what do you want them to learn from YOU?!

The other day on our golf cart ride home from boot camp, my boys said "Mom we're sweaty and tired just like you because we ran around and played hard, that counts as exercise right Mom?"
ABSOLUTELY!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

moments in life...

I often think about moments in life, both big and small that allow me see things differently.  Some are life-changing moments and others would pass us by if we didn't give them much thought.  I believer that all of these make us who we are.  The good and the bad.  

My family LOVES the outdoors.  And I've had cousins jokingly say, "Wow, you used to hate being outside and sweating when you were a kid." and it's sadly true.  I was intimidated by the outdoors.  I didn't want to be the sweaty, chubby kid who couldn't keep up.  And I wouldn't dare try something new in front of others for fear of failing so I found myself just in my own world.  
It was safe there and I rarely stepped out of my comfort zone.  That was ALL me, feeling pity and making excuses any chance I'd get.   However, my dad never exposed me to the outdoors because he was "busy" with his things.  The saying, the family that plays together-stays together that I use often-I BELIEVE IT.  We did neither.  

Moments like THOSE changed my outlook on life.  Especially reflecting on who I am today.
I want to explore all of the things I was afraid of for so long.  Life isn't living without trying new things.  Stepping out of our comfort zone and seeing what life has to offer.  Yes our routine is safe but what if we're missing out on more?  Moments from my childhood help in raising my children to LOVE the outdoors, to try new things and escape from the ordinary.  They are exposed and then able to decide if it's something they want to try.  Giving the opportunity to take a hike together, ride bikes or throw rocks into a pond or lake...fishing, swimming, jumping, swinging...life's little moments that bring us joy!  

We LOVE camping as a family.  Yes, I'm a bit of a wuss and we don't tent camp but we take our family on many adventures, as often as possible!  It's FUN!


This past weekend we visited our favorite place to camp on the lake.  It's beautiful, relaxing and has gorgeous views.  As I enjoyed my morning oatmeal the other day, I watched the families as they played, gathered around the picnic tables, went on walks, rode bikes and scooters, told stories, swam and laughed.  It didn't matter if they were in tents, group shelter areas or travel trailers and motor homes...they were ALL enjoying the moments.  We can be tall, short, rich or poor but it's how full our life is that matters, isn't it?  All those moments wrapped into one...the joy we get from watching our child pedal without training wheels for the first time, the moment your child first says, "I love you Mom" or the moment your child makes friends with another child just because-not judging the way they look, act or where they live.  
It doesn't get any better than that, right?

Well maybe if I had that beautiful ski boat that camped across from us??!  Ha!



Little moments like making healthier choices because we want to live longer, we want to better our lives and the lives of our families.  I had the choice as I woke up this morning to make a positive food choice, didn't I?  For years I always opted for the endless bowl of Lucky Charms but that was my choice and in the moment I made the wrong one every time because overeating just felt better in my mind, not my body.  

We have choices throughout the day and we must consciously make them in order to succeed.  


It's Move It Momma shout out time again...
Another insanely strong, beautiful Momma with A LOT to be proud of!  
She took the moment and opportunity to better herself and while I thought she looked healthy and incredible "before", who knew where this journey would lead...and look at her NOW??!  
AMAZING!
I had the privilege of running beside her as she completed her first half marathon in Feb and she's signed up for another in Dec!  
If we allow moments of opportunity to pass us by, we may never know how much further we can fly.  
She's proof that anything is possible...whether it's 5lbs we want to lose or 500.  
I am so proud of you and all you've accomplished and can't wait to see where the future takes you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

tough day...

You might wonder why I'm sharing a personal struggle OTHER than healthy living but in reality it's a trigger.  A bump in the road would always bring an opportunity, a choice to fail or succeed with my emotional eating...it'll make more sense in a minute.

We had to say goodbye to our sweet Dixie.  Our yellow lab that was born Aug 8, 2002.  My husband and I were dating in college and his birthday request was a yellow lab puppy!  I searched until I found the perfect breeder and was able to choose from the liter.  Oh my goodness from the second I saw her, I knew she was our baby.  Her ears were as big as her head and her brothers and sisters were all piled on top of her and she was so happy!  On our way home, I stopped and picked out the BIGGEST red bow I could find, tied it loosely around her neck and we took her to meet "Daddy" for the first time!  He was SO excited! You must remember were in college...no real responsibility so these puppies changed our lives.  Training, feeding, making sure she didn't chew every item in our house.  It was FUN and eye-opening worrying about someone other than ourselves.  She was our "first child".  
As the boys grew, they shared moments with her just as we did...

 From day 1 she was OBSESSED with her "bird"...retrieving toy!  
If you showed it to her, her eyes lit up, tail wagging, barking and ready to PLAY! 

  
Years passed and she lived a life full of swimming, running, eating people food, meeting new furry friends and finding a best friend and sister in Gracie-my mom's lab mix (pictured above-left).

As to not drag things on too terribly long, Dixie was 12 years old, had some tumors and issues were arising.  She was not eating, couldn't play or run...she had become helpless.  She was skin and bones with a large belly from the tumor taking all of the blood from the rest of her body.  It was sad.  We knew the best thing for her would be to send her on to the next, happiest life to reunite with her sister, Gracie.  It was SO hard saying goodbye.  My heart aches.  Watching an animal that you loved let go of life is gut-wrenching but it was best.  She is no longer suffering.  

Why am I sharing this sad story with my Move It Momma readers? 

So you understand that in my past, moments such as these destroyed me.  
I would consume food until I made myself physically ill.  
The food would coat the emotions.  
In an odd way it helped me relax to simply gorge myself into a food coma.  Sad but true. 
Yesterday it was a mind game for me.  I had to argue with my own self to NOT give in.  

To let emotions be emotions and for food to be only FOOD.  

And I am happy to report that I kept myself in control.  Drinking water, playing with my boys and our lab, Molly really helped to ease the stress and sadness.  I focused on positive things instead of eating.  I made sure to stay clear of the kitchen at most times and KEPT BUSY.  

A huge victory-hate using that word in a time of sadness but it was knowing I am in control.
I told myself that the food was a TEMPORARY fix that would 100% leave me feeling worse than I started.  It would take me 3 steps back after working so hard to get to where I am today.
  So I cried...and cried...and cried.
It was a therapy much healthier than stuffing my face full of Oreo's and crackers.  

Life throws many obstacles, bumps, happy and sad moments our way. 
It is how we deal that makes us stronger.  
Our strength is tested in SO many ways, but we must understand that no matter what-
we are worth fighting for.  
Both happy and sad times in life make our lives greater.  
We learn from the sadness and focus on the happiness and making memories with the people that matter most.  
I will miss Dixie forever...
but I will also celebrate knowing that I did not allow this sad moment in life bring me back to the person that I used to be...





Some foods I've been enjoying lately:

1/2 c oats with 1/3 chopped peach and sprinkled cinnamon!  This took less than a minute to prepare!  NO EXCUSES!

My famous go-to berry parfait with plain Greek yogurt, fresh blueberries and TJ's high fiber O's

HUGE hit from the weekend...
I served these with turkey breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs...don't forget a little sugar-free syrup!  

Snacking on the go?
Caramel rice cake topped with crunchy PB...Mmmm, my fav!  And some fresh berries :)

Brown rice pasta lasagna!  Delicious and effortless...a great combo for my family and I!  
Served with fresh string beans that were SO yummy!

Made sure to not overcook these noodles, layered them in the Pyrex...
Topped it with diced tomatoes and sauce sauteed with browned Jenni-O breakfast sausage and 1lb lean ground turkey...combine in skillet with onion and garlic-lots of garlic, add tomato sauce, diced and juices!  Layer and between layers I added small tsp of low fat Ricotta.  A little goes a long way, so using the smallest container, I only used less than half for a large Pyrex of lasagna!  Bake at 350 until bubbly...Mmmmmm!  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Game changer?

When you accept your life the way that it is, then then your expectations become little to nothing.
If you want more out of your life then you must accept the challenge.  No matter the obstacle and stop making excuses for the way things are.  You must CHANGE.  
For my husband and I, our way of thinking, our attitude...it all changed.  It had to in order for us to truly change our lives...

The best way tot describe it for me is that I had to stop "dieting", stop "it's not fair" and stop the blame game..."my back hurts, I can't run, I'm too tired, I'll never look like that so why try"
...I had to stop ALL OF IT.  

My husband and I met at my thinnest at the time.  I was on a roll with my healthy lifestyle, going to the gym seven days a week for 2-3 hours at a time.  I was finally getting the life I wanted so badly for SO many years.  I met the man of my dreams, we worked out together and were in love.  What else could I ask for?

As we dated, we started to gain weight together.  Dinner on Friday nights, getting comfortable and life taking over and us making excuses of why we had to eat out, why we were driving through the local restaurants late at night.  We were a team and now we were losing our battle with our health one day at a time.  


                                                                           ****

After the birth of our second son, things really took a turn.  He was heavier than he'd ever been.  I was gaining weight but I had a great excuse, didn't I?  I had JUST had a second child.  I was a mother so things wouldn't look the way they had before children, right?  Whew, what a great excuse...and it worked.  


Fast forward to today!
WE ARE TRULY LIVING LIFE.  WE ARE HAPPY, HEALTHY and are teaching our children the same, valuable lessons in life.  We promise to never teach our children our bad habits, but we will teach them to learn from our mistakes.  We were both heavier children, teens and then adults our weight ballooned out of control off and on.  
The game changer was changing our minds, our hearts and our bodies...FOREVER. 

More than anything I believe weight loss and getting healthy is a mind game.  Our mind is a powerful tool and it can make or break us.  Days where my head isn't in it, I have to put my heart into it THAT much more.  The days where my mind is right and I'm inspired, 
I feel unstoppable and my heart follows.    

Last night on Extreme Makeover-no I won't spoil it for you but will say that his girlfriend was asked at the finale, how she felt about all of this (transformation).  Her response was something like, I have loved the past several months because he has been a better boyfriend than he had been for 7 years because he was so limited...and now that the weight is gone we can do so many things together that we couldn't before.  
THAT'S IT!  If we aren't truly living, what are we doing?  Wasting time?  Embrace your body and what life has to offer!  It's always worth that!!  

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