Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I try to often not take it personally when someone thinks they want change but when they find out how much work it takes to get healthy or healthier, they stop's tough!

THE hardest part of my job is knowing that I can't make every person I come into contact with, WANT IT! I can't do the work for them or show them success they think they desperately want and must come from within.  It comes from a place that often times, people forget that they have...way down deep!  

What do I hold onto that keeps me coming back for more and never giving up on these women??  Knowing that once they DO find it...their life will be forever changed!
And if I change one life at a time, then I'm doing what I set out to do and strive to do every day!
I see it LONG before they see it in themselves but getting them there to that ah ha moment?  There's nothing quite like it!  It's worth every time they give up or stop trying because I know even after quitting a million times, all it takes it ONE time to be successful!  

A lady spoke honestly with me yesterday about how she's put herself last lately.  Life is hectic, children and a husband, full time job and her health has slowly declined because of "life" getting in the way.  I wouldn't dare tell her to "find a way" because honestly, priorities come a dime a dozen and we all feel pulled in a zillion directions so for me to tell her to suck it up would be wrong...what I did do was tell her how she'd feel even if she'd dedicate 20 min to a walk around in a's movement!  It's freeing the mind, getting the blood pumping and one, small change can lead to giant successes later on so baby steps is always okay! I told her to carry around her tennis shoes at work and if she gets 10 min of free time, lace them up and walk around the building...hey, it's better than nothing!  It ALL counts!!!  
But aside from her hectic schedule, the part I found most heart breaking was that she said, "I feel like I'm in someone else's body and it's hard to be comfortable with all this..."
It silenced me.
It is never okay for us to physically paralyzed in our own skin.  It is not okay to feel so helpless that we forget what feeling good felt like.  It is not okay to want change almost enough to make it a priority but never get there...

This woman, among all of the others I work with, changed me. 

It's so much bigger than wanting change, it takes finding that balance within ourselves.  It takes getting fed up with feeling like a stranger in your body and mind.  There's no greater priority than feeling good and breathing in LIFE.  Nothing better than spending time with your family, smiling, laughing and doing things together.  Sitting back and watching is NOT experiencing all that life can offer...
I think to get that feeling, I'd do just about anything wouldn't you?
But I'd never tell anyone how to live their life but I can share what living BOTH ways felt like and why I would never go back because I've experienced what healthy FEELS like.  
Sadly I know what unhealthy felt like and it was a death sentence...a slow one.    

She made me see that THIS problem we face as women to find a way to be healthy and make it all work is HARD and I've known this but how do we change it???

 My little blog and my community workouts 
can't bring BIG change unless we each want it, crave it and work for it!  
I'm not YOU, I'm not her...we shouldn't want to be like anyone but ourselves but because of our different lives, we must learn to achieve balance on our own.  
It's SO hard for me to not just hand it out like free business cards and immediately it ALL CLICKS, but I'm only human...and if I could, I would...
But what I can do is be there when they are ready and to me that's better than nothing!

I spread my love for health and fitness to all who will listen and I pray that one day, ALL WILL LISTEN AND TRY...and SUCCEED!!!  
It's a big dream but why not dream BIG??! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I want it, but how?

I credit A LOT of my success from having lived the opposite lifestyle for so many years.
When I'm at a social event, dinner with friends, lunch with my family I think about this...
It's a reminder I must repeat to myself OFTEN.
The day I forget what it's like to FEEL HEALTHY, that's when I should be afraid...

On the bad days I'm reminded that when my mind wants to quit, my body will always step in and finish what I started because I am strong!  You must remember I felt like crap for YEARS.  My stomach was always "off", I was bloated, had little energy, was sluggish and had no motivation to truly change because the cycle repeated itself over and over again...
it's the only thing I knew. 
A HUGE lesson I've learned on this journey is that failing is okay...

For so long I'd fail and then QUIT but I had it all wrong...
I can fail but I must get back up and the more I fail, the more inspiration I give myself to TRY AGAIN!  With failure comes growth, strength and I use each obstacle that knocks me down as a lesson that I learn from and before I know it, I've succeeded. 

The secret?  
We owe it to ourselves to feel good, to be the best mothers to our children, best wives to our husbands...It will add new meaning to your life and you'll never want to turn back!

Another lesson I learned when it comes to healthy eating?
When I ate unhealthy on a regular basis, I felt awful afterward.  
It didn't matter if the food tasted delicious or not, I felt awful because I didn't know how to turn my brain off while I ate.  It was like each bite triggered my brain into wanting more and more...and more.  I'd stop eating, feel like a failure, bloated and miserable.  
Now that I eat healthy 90% of the time, I feel GOOD.  
But when I do get off the path and eat not so great, I FEEL IT for hours...

I've learned that my body responds positively to good foods and exercise and it rebelled against me when I didn't treat it right.  If your body only knows you mistreating it, then it probably doesn't know what it's like to feel good and perform at its best...give it that opportunity to do what it's designed to do!  It's as simple as breathing once you get in the hang of it and you'll wonder why you hadn't done that all along  

Do I still have days where I want to be lazy, eat junk food and not be productive?  Well YES, I'm human and sometimes we just run out of steam...
But I think about that top quote, suck it up and push forward!  

My journey all started with WANTING CHANGE...
the rest is history and is being written every day with each workout and each healthy meal choice...that's what it's all about!  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

In my workout classes we talk A LOT about the journey, the imperfections and the struggles...

I HATE my tummy and my loose skin on my arms and legs BUT...

My imperfections are exactly that...not perfect.
But I didn't have surgeries or other quick fixes to attain my goals...
I've worked my A@& off for every, SINGLE one of them.
On the bad days, I'll destroy myself over them, but on good days I look at them and smile because they remind me of who I used to and who I'll never be again...sometimes we need to be reminded especially when the journey seems so hard and so far away...

And while normally, I'd rip these photos apart-I'm deciding to take the opportunity to let it inspire those of you that can't seem to jump on board to your healthiest life...those that are stuck, frustrated or want to see the negative when it comes to your body and results...or lack thereof.  
WE MUST LEARN TO BE THE BEST THAT WE CAN BE...and stop comparing ourselves to that "perfect image" gets us nowhere but defeat and haven't we stayed in defeat territory long enough?  I sure did.  

For that, I must embrace these imperfections because they brought me where I am today.
I cringe looking at these photos but if I'm here to inspire women to conquer big goals and get healthy once and for all, it's important that they understand that when the journey feels conquered, it may not be that "perfect" image they have in their heads.  
What is perfect anyway? 

I am strong, healthy, have endurance, have lean muscle,
 I push HARD through every that perfect?  
I have stretch marks, loose skin, a flabby that perfect?  Don't think so...
but it's REAL.  It's ME and it's a far better situation than I started with...
My mountain may seem hard to climb certain days but it doesn't mean I give up.  When I put on a two piece bathing suit and see EVERY FLAW, does it mean I'm not strong and healthy?  NO WAY...
It just means my road to where I am today took a few side turns and had to be re routed on more than one occasion...over a dozen occasions but I'm here and I'll continue to fight to be stronger every day because if we are going to inspire one another, we take the good with the bad...the imperfections help us grow and see where we started...

Here's my "PERFECT"...
My son looked at me in my bathing suit the other day and said, "Mom, what's that?" as he touched my loose skin on my oldest son answered before I could speak...
"That's when Mommy was unhealthy and now she's healthy and teaches other ladies to be healthy too" and when he said that I cried and thought-he's right! It's why I do what I do...
that's as perfect as it gets because if I couldn't relate to the struggle, I wouldn't have the tools to help other women that fight similar battles within themselves.  It's who I am and that's why women come to me for support and guidance.  Not because of my degree-they are a dime a dozen in this industry but it's because I'm honest with my imperfections and I don't give them a false sense of what the road will be like...
that would be unfair.  

We MUST become vulnerable to make change!  We cannot expect to stay in our comfort zone and change our lives...
so here's my uncomfortable...out there for all to see...
If THIS is needed to show that we ALL have imperfections, so be it! 

I'm SO tired of women destroying themselves verbally 
because they aren't what society defines as "perfect"

I say perfect should be a good wife, mother, motivational and strong woman that wants to help every woman see her well as embrace her imperfections.  
Because believe it or not, imperfections are beautiful too.  
I'm perfect on the inside because I nourish my body, I push my limits with workouts and races...that's what matters isn't it?  HOW WE FEEL...because that's what radiates on the outside!  THAT is beautiful so today embrace your imperfections and be proud of where you are on your journey to your healthiest life...
That's what makes us all beautiful!!!  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

about the kids...

If you read my blog then you'll know I'm extremely passionate about getting kids healthy...

Today at my workout class, we ran quite a bit and because it's summer and we workout at my park, kids are everywhere!  Most of the time they play on the playground, tag, basketball, etc but today was a bit different...they ran with us...MOST OF THEM!
All ages and it was beautiful...

A picture of me as a kid...when I first started gaining weight but visibly I was larger than many, if not all of my peers.  I loved food, food loved me and I got it wherever I could. exercise?  
Oh I hated it and I felt pain A LOT.  Emotional pain because I felt lost while others were improving at sports, meeting boys, shopping at the mall, I was sitting in front of a TV thinking of bad foods to eat...and while most of the time I was playing and having fun with friends-I felt the shadow of my fears always chasing me.  "Oh you can't do that because you're big" "I can't run fast because I'm big" "I'm out of breath because I'm heavy..." and those clouds of doubt followed me EVERYWHERE.  They tore me down and I held it all inside for fear that nobody would understand the chubby girl and her problems with food and her weight gain. 
So I bottled it up and held on for dear life.  I hid my terrible eating habits from everyone...even my mother.  I would eat when she was sleeping or while she was still at work.  I'd eat in the dark and then starve myself in public.  I didn't want the world to see the "fat girl eating"...I wanted to make an excuse for my weight such as, "I'm a bigger girl, I'll never be skinny" and they'd believe it if they never witnessed a binge, right?  I remember being told one day, "you must be the fat friend" and I wanted to die inside.  I came home and downed an entire bag of chips thinking it would dull the pain, only making it worse once the binge ended. 

The girl above is the reason I do what I do...
Girls are held to a high standard when it comes to image.  Don't hide from it, help them.  I'm not sure the right way to go about it because I would've cried if my mom would have confronted me and put me on a diet at such a young age but the best advice I can give is to get the ENTIRE FAMILY ON THE SAME PAGE.  It's not fair if your son and daughter must eat their veggies while Dad stuffs his face full of Oreos.  It's also not okay to have Mom eating her healthy, perfectly balanced meal while the family enjoys pizza night or a bucket of chicken. DO IT TOGETHER!  Stress the importance of all of you being healthy...NEVER about weight.  
It's about being HEALTHY AT ANY AGE.  

It's about healthy families.  Not just helping the Mom's.  Of course I LOVE helping women find their strength and get healthy but what about their kids that are always watching?  I channel the girl above with EVERY workout and it helps...
I strive to help all women bring that healthy balance into their homes and it will work if we all come together.  My Pinterest page is Move It Momma Marissa and there you'll find thousands of "healthy and active kids" ideas for the whole family!  

There were no awards or trophies for their efforts today but to see how excited they'd become when I told their Mom' it's time to run!  They were run?  YES! 
That would've never been me and for that, I am forever grateful that my kids pick up on our good habits rather than bad.  I knew the girl I used to be would help me somehow and today I saw the's THIS.  THIS is what it's all about.  A healthy mom is only so strong but a healthy family?  NOTHING CAN STAND IN THEIR WAY!  
The kids watch us and are constantly joining in!  It's precious!

They see their Mom's being courageous and strong...they see that hard work does pay off!  

All ages amazed me today...their Mom's as well!  
It's far beyond a workout...
it's SO much more! 

It's about modeling positive behaviors, about showing these children that if they work hard and stay dedicated-the sky is the limit!  We want the world for our children...we never want them to hurt, suffer or feel pain and while it's inevitable that they will...we are in charge of making them feel good about working for what they want!  They need to learn their body and how it should feel at its best.  I didn't know that feeling for SO many years and I now embrace it and never take it for granted because I know how it feels at its best and unfortunately at its worst...cramming junk food is what I thought felt good, not knowing that it was a false substance.  Not real.  Lets show them differently together! Eating right and pushing hard through an hour workout? That's real.  It builds you up and helps you keep reaching again and again...
Healthy kids are our future...

Set the positive example and let them see YOU fighting for what you want!  
It will inspire change...
I witnessed it today and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life...

Monday, July 13, 2015

2 week challenge

I challenge YOU!

Give yourself two weeks to make a change that will last a lifetime!

It can be BIG or SMALL but always make it COUNT!

Get moving and eat right!

Fuel your body properly and get that metabolism going throughout your smart by snacking every few hours on some healthy options!  Here's 55 ideas to get you through your day!  Keep it simple but make sure you add variety because your body doesn't want repetition in workouts or with the foods you eat!  Change it up!  

Wanna step it up even more?

Weigh yourself TODAY, write it down and set a goal!  

Being healthy is NOT about a number but it's a great way to see change.  If you have someone that can take your measurements, inches lost always motivate me to keep pushing forward!  WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU EAT, WHEN YOU EAT IT 

Lets hold one another accountable and make these two weeks COUNT!  
Get your family involved...they will enjoy it as well!

It's about being HEALTHY, feeling GOOD and making changes ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!
This is YOUR time for change...your time to feel how you've wanted to feel for a long time...

At my heaviest and unhealthiest I would've given anything for something like this...something to keep me motivated and accountable!  Here I am and I'm here to help throughout your journey...ask away!!!!  Be sure to "like" me on Facebook:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I decided today would be a great day to rummage through my closet and THROW THINGS OUT!  I have too much useless clothing that I haven't worn in YEARS...yes YEARS!

I started pulling things out and I stood there speechless.  They didn't look like my clothes...

Old, college T-shirts that were XL and XXL
Nike workout pants XL, Dri-fit shirts in 2X
ohhh and then there was THIS pair of workout capris...
I held onto all of it because sadly I pictured myself slipping right back into it for YEARS...

They were MY FAVORITE!
This 2XL t-shirt and these size 18 pants were right by each other in a pile...
I put the shirt on and then the pants...WOW
Please remember THIS post is not about sizes or a number on a scale. 

I felt like they weren't MY clothes, it was strange.
I couldn't picture ever wearing them...but I remember them. 
it was an eye-opening experience because while the number on the scale has changed drastically since then, I don't let that number dictate how I feel or set my mood.  Instead I reflect during my workouts on how strong I am- my endurance improving and my muscles getting stronger, squats getting better and my body changing!  
(I wear a S in t-shirts and a size 4 in clothes ) 
 I was throwing out bras in 42DD and 3XL sports bras!!!! 
 (I wear a 34C now and a M sports bra) 

I focus SO much energy on the way I feel and how good being healthy FEELS that I forget that the physical stuff is pretty amazing too!  
It's an added perk but not the fuel in my fire, that's for sure! 

My fire is knowing I can do things I once could NOT!!! but this was definitely a bonus! 
However it is NOT the reason I push myself because I wouldn't be able to get through the really hard days if it were only about fitting into a certain size or seeing a specific number on a scale.  
It has to be SO much more than that BUT...

I clearly remember always saying to myself, "I"m a bigger person so XL suits me right." "I have a big chest, shoulders and I'm not petite so XXL is okay." 
I could TOTALLY justify it in my mind and if you would've asked my former self to imagine herself healthy and fit, she might have laughed because who I am today was not even a possibility for who I used to be...

I tell my story and use so much truth and honesty because it's the ONLY way to help change the world.  If I could put what I thought I knew then with what I know now, I'd be a billionaire because you wouldn't believe it if I tried to tell you.  
I have flipped my ENTIRE way of thinking-
which changed my way of living!  
You have to stop making excuses for the way things are 
and change it!
You have to stop giving yourself an "it's okay, I'll start again on Monday" lecture.
You have to stop quitting when it gets hard...
the hard is what brings change!

How did THAT girl become who I am today?
She stopped giving up on herself and started believing she could...

I BELIEVED. It's the only thing that takes me across those finish lines time after's what pushes me through a TOUGH workout, it's what helps me fight temptation at a party when I'm surrounded by junk food and it's what helps me pass up those crappy fast food restaurants on every corner.  I learned that having a crutch like that only brought me down and held me back from MOST things in my life...
I never want to feel that way again. 

I'm often asked, "Where do you find the energy when you teach boot camp or run 13.1 miles?" because I'm all over the place dancing, singing, yelling and motivating of course.  My answer is what I wrote above...I never want to feel what unhealthy felt like again, EVER!  So I take THAT and it drives me through the entire hour or another race again and again...
I LOVE IT! and if you knew me back when, you'd think I was kidding but I truly love it!  
I wouldn't stick with it if I didn't...and it gives me what food never could.  My life back, the life I dreamed of having and I'm able to be active with my kids, play a basketball game against my husband, set a goal and attain it without hesitation and just HAVE FUN instead of worrying about my health or lack thereof...NOTHING can replace that feeling.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

the journey

This "PIN" sums up the journey...

While it feels like a roller coaster of ups and downs, 
it has made me stronger and who I am today.
If it weren't for the hard days then I wouldn't appreciate the process and where this journey has taken me.  
People I've met, goals I've reached, finish lines I've crossed...
It wouldn't matter as much BUT because of the hard times, 
I'm able to appreciate my victories THAT much more!

Recipe Time!

Ranch Crock Pot Chicken:
You'll Need:
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can no salt added corn, with juice
1 can mild Rotel with juice
1 dry ranch packet
1 block 1/3 less fat cream cheese or Neuftchael cheese

Layer chicken in bottom of crock pot set on HIGH 6 hours
Add other ingredients in no specific order, put on lid and 6 hours later you'll have juicy, fall apart chicken that I served over 1/2 c long grain brown rice!  Family hit that I will be cooking often :)

These ladies keep me sane!  They keep me grounded and they help me see my own strength while finding theirs!  We are one!  We lean on each other through the hard times and laugh and congratulate through the good times!  It's like family...
The kids are watching and playing while we push hard and then as we gather for our after-workout picture, the kids are laughing and smiling right beside us!  
They see us work hard and you can see how proud we make them with each workout :)  
Find people to lift you up on this is SO important for success!!!  

raising healthy kids

If you can't seem to find the motivation it takes to improve your health, 
take a moment and think about your children.  If you don't have kids, think about IF you did...and then ask yourself...

What example are YOU setting?

I was unhealthy and overweight for MOST of my life.  This was not my mother's fault, friends or anyone else in my life and my mom tried her very best to help as much as she could, but I struggled where she couldn't relate.  I had emotional "issues" with food. 

As an overweight child, there are many things that "others" do not see.  They don't understand that while it may not be addressed, many children know they are overweight.  They can clearly see that they look different than their peers.  I ALWAYS knew, as long as I can remember, that I was bigger.  If they are anything like me, they have a relationship with food that exceeds, "I'm hungry".  The food became a friend to me and that is where it became dangerous.
I hated exercise, moving and most of that came from the way that I fueled my body. I was fueling improperly which made it difficult to find the energy to move.  

Kids should be KIDS-they should be playing, having fun and moving! They should NOT have to worry about fitting into their clothes, being made fun of in PE, or being the last one to finish their laps.  Encourage your family to MOVE together!  Children can be cruel, so don't let your child's weight gain go unnoticed.  Speak positively and tell them it's about the way they FEEL, NEVER about their physical appearance.  We don't want our children to develop insecurities brought on by us or anyone else but always about HOW HEALTHY FEELS!!!

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