Wednesday, September 30, 2015

5 Running Tips for People Who Hate to Run

I have a definite love hate relationship with running.  You would think if someone runs, it's because they love to run but I'll be honest, that's simply not always true.  I've heard from so many people that I've tried to connect with to go for a run that they're not really good at running but they like it, or immediate explanations of how slow they are but they still like it.  I know I really am not a good runner and that is so intimidating when I try to go for a run with someone.  What if they're faster than me, or if they can run longer than me?  I always feel like I need to prepare them but it's all completely fine!!

I'm not going to go into all of the benefits of running because I'm pretty sure you already have heard a lot of them.  Instead, here are 5 things I've learned about running that makes me love to run (even though I hate it) and a few tips mixed in to try to get you to really give running a shot because you just might figure out that you love it. 

1.  Running gives me an excuse to buy an awesome new pair of sneakers and workout clothes that I can be seen in outside of my own home. 

I always work out at home.   I hate the gym.  I don't have a love hate relationship with the gym, I just hate it.  When I work out from home, I literally wear my pajamas some days.  It's not cute, but nobody is watching, so who cares?  I'm not really trying to impress any one when I'm running, I just like wearing real workout clothes (that I can be seen in), some cute sunglasses and really awesome running shoes.  Let me take a minute to discuss the HUGE importance of getting a great pair of running shoes.  Cute is a plus but in this case, function over form ladies!  Let me explain why.

When I was younger, I didn't know yet that I loved to run.  Every time I tried it, my ankles hurt, my shins hurt, my feet hurt, my arches hurt and I got blisters... there was nothing that was loveable about that and I figured I just wasn't a runner.  Then one day, I read an article about running sneakers and supination and pronation.  Basically, there are 3 types of gaits.  For some people, when they run, their ankles roll in (flat footed or over pronated), then there's a normal or neutral gait, and for others their ankles roll out (high arches, supination).  There are 2 ways to tell which is you.  You can look at your shoes or sneakers and see which end is worn.  If it's worn pretty evenly throughout, you probably have a neutral gait.  If he inside is worn, you probably pronate and if the outside is worn, you probably supinate.  The 2nd way is to go to a reputable running store.  Most of them will have a treadmill set up and a way for the sales rep to determine which type of shoe you need.

Running sneakers are made specifically for one of these types of gaits.  When I was running, I bought sneakers because they looked awesome!  My very first pair of running shoes which I used to work out in the gym were Saucony Guides, which I later found out were stabilization sneakers made primarily for those who over pronate.  Because I have a pretty neutral gait or sometimes supinate, the sneakers were forcing my feet to move in ways that my body was not made for and it HURT!.  When I went to the running store, they directed me to the Saucony Rides and it completely changed the way I looked at running and I realized that although I'm never going to run marathons (simply because it's not a goal of mine, I'm not saying I never could if I decided to), I actually could run for fun.  Added bonus, I get to call these my running sneakers and only put them on when I go for a run!!  Some extra motivation for me!

2.  I get to be outside...  by myself...  and listen to whatever music I want!!  I have 2 daughters, a 5 year old and a 2 year old.  For those of you who have young children, you know that going outside can be stressful.  You need to keep one eye on each child (definite problem when they run in different directions) and really can't be sure what will happen next so taking your eyes off of them for even a second is really not an option. 

Thank goodness for my husband who understands that running is not something for children to be involved in.  My 5 year old isn't quite fast enough on her training wheels bike and my 2 year old will not stay in the jogging stroller for any period of time no matter what I bribe her with.  My wonderful husband lets me just go for it, by myself, knowing that I'll be back in under an hour. 

I love being outdoors!!  When I run, I hit the pavement.  I don't believe in the hamster wheel some people call a treadmill, I believe in getting out, breathing in some fresh air, and appreciating the season you are in.  It's relaxing, refreshing, and can really center you when you're feeling stressed out or scattered.  Plus, you get to appreciate the season and just let your mind wander.  My absolute favorite seasons to run are Spring and Fall.  Getting a while to appreciate the beauty of these seasons is worth running even on days that I decide I hate to run (yes, these days do still happen even though I usually love to run).

3.  There is such awesome tech for running!  I'm a little bit of a tech girl and I get to use it when I go for a run.  I don't unplug because I need my phone but I don't answer the Facebook notifications, Twitter notifications, texts, Periscope, or Instagram.  I tell my husband if he needs to talk to me, he needs to call me because I won't look down at my phone. 

My favorite apps for an amazing run are all available for android or iPhone (no idea about Windows) and are all absolutely free.  I either use Rocket Player to play my favorite running play list (mostly Rock music) or Pandora (club dance station) because really, what's the point of running if you don't have good music in your ear. 

I also use the Free Couch 2 5K app which will interrupt the music to tell you when you should start warmup, running, walking, or cool down and completely take looking down at time every second out of your run so you can just get in the moment.  I also use Map My Run which lets you track your runs and your progress while connecting with friends in typical social media fashion to cheer each other on.  Feel free to find me on Map My Run at Cristin Marchica Xavier.  Get all your info in one place with this awesome app which uses GPS to tell you your pace, how far you ran, what your mile times are, splits, and so much amazing info.  Again, added bonus, if you're afraid of getting lost, other people can find you if you're off the grid for too long (yes, this is a real concern of mine, especially when on vacation).

4.  You get to really track your goals and realize how much power your mind actually has over reaching these goals.  The couch to 5K app I mentioned in the paragraph above is amazing for this.  It's broken up by week and you get to progress to a new workout each time you run. 

I primarily workout from home because with my kids, I really can't get out for a run more than on the weekends and don't actually use the plan the couch to 5k app provides but I'll often push myself to try another week and see if I can do it.  There are absolutely times that I pick a week and quickly realize that I can't do it only to try it a month later and be able to do it and then some.  This is an amazing feeling and a great motivator to do it again!  Plus, you get to see the effect that the other workouts you're doing are having on how well you run. 

There are also very few workout programs that I've come across that you can use to truly prove to yourself that what you can accomplish is often in your mind.  I've heard the saying "if you believe you can, or you believe you can't, you're right!"  There have been so many times that I start thinking I can't do it and need to stop but change to repeating in my head "You Got This,"  only to realize that I was able to do it with the right positive thoughts in my mind.  This reminds me of a lot of HIIT workouts where you just need to get out of your head and into the zone to get it done.

5.  There is no other stretch like the one that comes after a good run.  When I get home, everything kind of hurts.  If I just stop and lie down and call it a day, everything will hurt tomorrow  If I take a good 10 minutes and cool down and really stretch it all out, my body thanks me for every single second of it.  Don't believe me, go get in a run, right now and let me know how amazing the stretch after was!!

If running is your goal, or if it isn't your goal but you'd really like to get more fit, I can help you.  I love helping women to feel at their best and comfortable in their own skin.  Lets find your confidence and what you love together.  Make fitness an opportunity instead of an obligation.  If you'd like to be considered for my next challenge, fill out my online application by clicking here.

Have you started running and beat your own time?  Let me know so I can cheer you on!  And don't forget to find me on Map My Run!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Priorities, Consistency, Persistence - A Formula for Success

Do you have problems with consistency? 

Of course you do.  We all have problems with consistency in some part of our lives.  We all have that one thing that you wish you did more because it would make something better.  I want you to take a minute and think about "that thing."  There may be a few things, but think of the one thing that's most important for you to change.  By the end of this article, I'm going to help you to become more consistent in whatever it is that you're thinking about right now.

Why is consistency so important?  Simply stated, because consistency is a direct factor of success in reaching your goals.  It's hard to make a sudden huge change in yourself, it would be like moving a mountain.  However, if the huge change you're looking for is the effect of a number of small but consistent changes in your behavior, it's not quite so scary and it becomes possible.  I'm going to talk primarily about consistency in exercise and healthy eating but this really applies to anything that you thought of in the last paragraph.  Here are 4 steps you need to do to become more consistent.

The first step towards consistency is prioritizing what it is that you want.  In March of this year, I wanted to start working out, but didn't.  I knew I wanted to.  I spoke about it. I thought about it.  I just didn't do it!  Part of the reason was that it just wasn't a priority in my life.  There were too many things that were more important than me working out or making good choices when it came to eating.  We all have priorities in our lives.  It's much easier to tend to the more important things and tending to those priorities can keep us very busy.  Things that aren't as important to us, may not happen on a regular basis (oh, hello laundry).  As a wife and mom, my husband and kids are my priority.  Everything that I do is in someway connected to them.  So with that in mind, why wasn't my health a priority? 

When I realized that my health actually was connected to my biggest priority, my family, that was when I really started feeling a motivation to get healthier.  Sure, there was the desire to look better, and the fact that I didn't have a lot of energy but when I started connecting the fact that I was unhealthy with the fact that I could die young, or that I may not be available if my family needed me due to sickness, or that I was delivering messages to my daughters through my own actions that health wasn't important, that really made it click for me.  Chances are, whatever you'd like to be more consistent in has a strong reason behind it, but you may need to think about it for a minute.  It took me a year to figure out.  But once I figured it out, there was no stopping me.

The second step towards consistency is not taking no for an answer and finding someone to keep you accountable.  Once my health became a priority, I started taking action.  I wasn't totally sure where to start because time and being so busy was still a factor, but I knew that I wasn't going to let time keep going by without me finding my answer.  I knew I couldn't go to the gym because of time and my husband wasn't really on board with me going when he got home from a long day at work.  I'd worked out at home before so I knew that would work but working out at home is easy to give up because nobody is watching.  Before I knew exactly why I wanted to get started, these all would have become excuses and reasons for me to quit before I really even started.  But this time I didn't take no for an answer.  I kept looking until I found my answer.

Someone to hold you accountable doesn't have to be someone doing it with you.  That can be too hard to find depending on what your goals are and yet another reason to give up.  The person who will keep you accountable just has to be someone you can tell about your goals.  Someone you can talk to.  This works best if it's an accountability partner.  If you're trying to lose weight, they don't have to be trying to lose weight, they just need a goal.  It can be spending more time with their kids or spending less money... anything.  The best partnerships are formed when you both have something you'd like to help each other work towards.  Luckily, I came across my coach and she was starting a group.  So I got to join a group of people who all had the same goal and trust me, this helps.  If fitness is your goal, I can help match you up with accountability partners and it makes the whole experience better and much more rewarding when you have people to celebrate with when you reach your goals. 

The third step towards consistency is consistency.  Consistency is defined as a steadfast adherence to the same principle, course, form, etc.  Your first goal towards consistency should be something small.  Don't list 12 things you'd like to improve.  Just start with 1 thing, but make it meaningful to you.  Also, your first goal should be just 7 days.  Even in the first 7 days, there will be days you don't want to do it.  That's when you have to think of the first step I spoke about, and connecting it with your priority.  If it's important, you will make it happen.  Do you come up with excuses to not feed your kids?  It needs to be that important. 

Another thing I see often when it comes to consistency is people taking off on the weekend.  For the next 7 days, I want 7 to mean 7... not 5.  From my own experience, there is a huge difference in mindset when you do something every single day.  I'm not a scientist so I can't explain why, but I've tried both and the 7 days in a row is what really made the difference.  Plus, if you mark the calendar when your first day is, you get to say you did it every single day.  That feels amazing when 7 days turns into 14 and eventually 50 or even 100.  Keep it going!  It will become another reason you don't want to stop.

Once you get to the 7th day of whatever it is you wanted to do, celebrate!  Then set your next goal, 7 more days!  After the 14th day, celebrate some more!  Then set your next goal, 7 more days.  This is consistency and what it feels like.  From my own experience, connecting with the reason you started on a daily basis and doing whatever it is you decided to start, will absolutely become a habit in 21-30 days.  I've seen this work.  Have you heard before that it takes 21 days to make a habit?  I challenge you to try it for yourself and get to that 21st day.

The fourth step towards consistency is persistence.  Persistence is defined as firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.  Persistence and Consistency go hand in hand.  The difficulty or opposition you face may be you!  Don't listen to the excuses in your head.  Just keep going.  Persistence and Consistency are what lead to real results.  If it is fitness, you may be sore, if it's eating better, you may be hungry, if it's growing a business, you may be tired but just keep going!  Don't give up!  You won't regret starting but you may regret stopping if it means never reaching your goals.

In exercise or just about anything, a small change for a week, really won't be earth shattering.  But a small change over a year may lead you to be a truly better version of yourself.  A small change for 5 years will lead to a supremely supreme version of who you once were.  Don't think in terms of that year though.  Just go day by day, week by week and then a year from now, you can look back and see how far you've come.

There is one more thing that I'd like to add that isn't a step towards consistency, but simply an observation.  Picture whatever it is you chose to start, as an opportunity to reach your goals and be successful.  Don't see it as a chore, or something you have to get in.  Life is all about your attitude.  You can be positive or negative.  You chose this thing that you'd like to be more consistent in because it's important to you.  If you look at it as something you have to get in, you won't want to do it.  Put a positive spin on it and it will be much easier.

Feel free to comment below on what it is you chose to be more consistent in.  I'd love to hear what you're working towards.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Are you a Good Leader?

I'm always talking about leading by example, but what do I really mean by that?  There are so many different types of leaders and so many different types of people who will follow but what kind of leader are you?

So many people don't consider themselves to be a leader in any sense of the word.  However, you don't have to be the leader of a large group of people to be a leader.  I truly believe that all you need is a belief in something to become a leader. 

You may not think you have to change the world, although you might; you just need to believe that something can be better.  As a woman, and a wife, and a mother, I lead my family.  I believe that the four walls we call home should be filled with love and kindness (among other positive things of course!).  As a fitness coach, I lead my challengers.  I believe they all have the ability to become a healthier version of themselves and are also able to pay it forward.  As the leader of a team, I try to lead other members of my team.  I believe they can know success beyond their wildest dreams and continue to help other people find their confidence and better health. 

All of these leadership roles require different approaches for obvious reasons but we all are leaders in some sense of the word.  Through my own experience, I recognize the different approaches to leadership based on different motivations and different people, but I also recognize a few similarities. If you're going to be a leader, don't you want to be a good leader?  Here are a few of the similarities I've seen in good leaders.

Good leaders make every effort towards a specific purpose and lead by example.  Do you make every effort to show people what you're doing is right?  If you're leading your family, I'm sure you pour your heart into being the best mother you can be.  If you're anything like me, you can lose sleep over a bad decision, even if it wasn't that bad.  For years, my daughters watched me be unhealthy.  I made poor food choices and didn't exercise at all.  Now, when I work out, I know my daughters are watching.  Julia, my 2 year old, works out with me every time she sees me doing it.  She'll stand up and go into downward dog or stretch, or do the butterfly with her legs.  They're watching.  I make every effort to make sure they know it's important because they see me doing it. 

Everyone needs to know that what they're doing is important.  Not that it's important to me, but that it's important to you.  Life is not about my goals for you, it's about your goals for you.  If you're able to connect with the reason why you're doing something, the why that makes your heart smile, then it will make the hard times that much easier to get through.  To help lead you towards your goals, I make every effort to connect you with the reason why you're doing what you're doing to help you to stay inspired and reach your goals.

Good leaders lead with an open heart.  I lead out of love.  Even if I don't know you very well yet, it means so much to me to see you experience success.  That feeling comes from a need to pay it forward.  I know how I felt before, and I know how I feel now.  If I can lead 20 people to that improvement, the world will be a little bit better, even if it's just an improvement in the world according to you!  Is there something that you believe would make the world a little bit better?  You should act on it!  We're all here to help each other along this journey we call life.  Don't wait until tomorrow when you can help someone today. 
Good leaders encourage people around them and continue to build people up.  Again, this holds true both in my home and towards all of my challengers.  When I do homework with my daughter, sometimes I get frustrated.  Every time I've gotten frustrated, she ends up frustrated and homework becomes a terrible experience that night.  However, when I'm patient, and kind, it may take a little longer, but it gets done and she feels good about what she was able to accomplish.  I try to do this with everyone.  A little patience and kindness goes a long way in so many situations.  I'm not perfect by any means but for the most part, when something goes wrong, I see what it was, and it almost always starts with my own frustration.  It's so cliché but the best thing to do when you're seeing your own frustration grow is to just take a deep breath and refocus.  Try to remember that what your doing is out of love.
And finally, good leaders continue to spend time seeking out ways to improve themselves.  This personal development is a key of good leadership.  Recognizing a weakness in yourself, whether it be physical, emotional, or intellectual and seeking out a way to improve it, can make or break a good leader.  Time and time again, I hear people with fitness goals who have a problem with consistency.  I love that I can help them with that and that they often seek me out to do just that!  Sometimes people need to read a book about loving themselves more, or feel like they've improved some part of themselves.  A lot of moms I know get into a rut sometimes because they feel so busy but just a few minutes each day of listening to an empowering pod cast or finding a hobby can really change your life.  Setting a goal and reaching it can make you feel like you can conquer the world...  and you can!!  It will make you a better person, a better mom, a better woman, and a better you.  Strive to be a better you... just a little bit better every day, and a few months from now, you'll be a lot better... in a year, you might not even recognize yourself.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Weight Loss Plateaus and Changing Your Mindset

The beginning of most weight loss journeys start with a moderate to substantial weight loss.  This is a very exciting time for most people if your goal is to lose weight.  It gets exciting and you start re-evaluating goals and how long you think it will take you to reach those goals.

Inevitably, with any weight loss journey, you're going to hear about weight loss slowing down and weight loss plateaus.  Without being too scientific (because I'm by no means, a scientist), basically what happens is as you lose weight, your body burns fewer calories in a day because it's carrying less weight.  If you've lost the weight that you've lost so far by only modifying your nutrition and eating fewer calories each day, chances are you've lost some muscle as well as fat.  As a result of having less muscle, your metabolism slows.  If you've lost the weight by modifying your nutrition along with increasing exercise, your body may be changing even though the weight stays the same.  To illustrate this, I'd like for you to see this picture.

This is a picture of me while on my journey.  The difference in weight was only 3-5 lbs., but can you see the difference?  I feel like it's obvious.  This picture is of the difference in my arm because it's my favorite body part to show off but the difference was all over my body.  My pants size changed, shirts were looser, and you can even see that my face changed. 
In my challenge groups, I'm always talking about non-scale victories.  What are non-scale victories?  They're the things that you're proud of that have absolutely nothing to do with Monday morning weigh in.  Can you think of some of these things?  Having to shop for clothes because your old ones don't fit, compliments you receive, fitting back into your skinny jeans, confidence, feeling happy with the way you look in pictures... there are so many.  But why, despite all of these things, do we get so fixated on seeing the scale move?
I think it's hugely because of our society.  I've seen time and time again that women become mortified when I tell them that I need to know their starting weight to help track their progress.  The number on the scale is about progress, not perfection.  If you start a new food and exercise plan and immediately lose no weight at all, the plan may have to be adjusted a bit to suit you.  Also, weighing yourself regularly is a great way to stay accountable and make sure that if you gain a few pounds, it gets corrected quickly and doesn't lead to gaining a few more pounds.
My friends and I used to talk about our weight and how frustrating it is that the number on the scale was getting higher as we were getting older and having kids, and getting married, and various other things that led to larger versions of who we once were (lol).  I've heard time and time again that women lie about their height to make their weight acceptable.  I used to laugh and say that I lied about my height so I wouldn't be morbidly obese.  I want you to consider the picture below for a moment.  It's one of my favorites that at challenger of mine shared on a Monday morning weigh in.

So how frustrating is it, as a woman, and a coach, and someone who is currently still on my own weight loss journey when that scale just doesn't budge.  After hitting a plateau I re-evaluated my mindset and came up with a few things to take into consideration when you're feeling "stuck.".
The first thing is when you really think about it, are you eating as well as you were when you first started?  I've weighed within 5 lbs the whole Summer.  I knew that I wasn't being aggressive about losing weight though and that my nutrition was not on point.  I wasn't using my 21 Day Fix Food containers and was allowing myself to go off course on the weekend, or when people came over, or whenever I felt like being "social."  I made a choice that I was okay with that.  I would step on the scale every Monday and see what the damage was and be able to reset back to my weight or less by Friday, often to start the process again for the following week.  Again, this was within a 3-5 lb fluctuation, not more then that so as to not turn it into a yo-yo which I was so used to from past failures when it came to losing the weight.
I've seen a few times now that when you weigh the same amount for a while, that becomes your weight.  You might fluctuate 3-5 lb in either direction but when you eat normally, you will keep going back to this weight.  When you go on what I've come to know as a "food bender" and just eat what you want for a vacation, or a weekend, or whatever, you're sure to go up a few pounds but I've come to call this weight visiting weight because if you keep weighing yourself consistently and get on right back on track, it will come off in a few days to a week.
The next thing to think about is are you working out as much as you were when you started?  Are you working out harder than when you started?  As you get more comfortable with your weight, and the way you look, it gets easier to start skipping workouts or going for the easier workouts and that's perfectly okay if you decide you're happy with your current weight.  I think it would be better to go for the easier workouts instead of skipping them if you're in a maintenance phase so as to not allow old habits to creep in but lets be honest, life does get in the way sometimes.  However, if you want to lose more weight or continue to see improvement, it's important to know that you must continue to increase the intensity of your workouts.  This means increasing your weights (NO!  You won't get huge for increasing your weights ladies!!), or the number of breaks you take, or the amount of time you work out.  Sometimes you don't have to increase the time (I'm all about 30 minute workouts), but you just have to change it up.  We've all heard that your body can get used to a specific workout and you'll stop seeing results.  Lucky for you, there are so many options and I can absolutely help you find one that will help you keep seeing results. If you've found your soulmate program (Mine is absolutely 21 day fix) this doesn't mean you have to give away the DVDs...  just do a month or 2 of something else and come back to it. 
Another thing that may effect your weight loss is stress and lack of sleep.  When your body is stressed or not rested, it releases cortisol which makes your body store fat.  This stress or lack of sleep may be something beyond your control but know that once your sanity is restored, you may continue to lose weight.
I know first hand that plateaus can be frustrating but it's so important to not allow yourself to go back to bad habits.  Reconnect with the reason you started.  I hope it wasn't just to look better in a bikini lol.   Think of how far you've come and how much healthier you are.  Think of how much more comfortable you are in your skin or who you're doing it for (or who's watching you do it, I do it so my daughters can lead a healthy lifestyle).  I hope you have the support you need to keep going on your journey.  If you don't, please come talk to me.  I'd love to be your coach and help you!  Remember that you're changing your life, not just your waistline.  In the end, once you reach your goal, you will want to stay at that weight, so think of this as training to stay at a weight for a while.  The fact that you're not yo-yoing like you have in the past is a success in itself so celebrate that!! 
Speaking of celebrating!  Fall is almost here so I'd like to leave you with one of my favorite fall recipes.  It's 21 day fix approved so feel free to enjoy it even if you are at a plateau.  Enjoy!!
21 Day Fix Approved Baked Apples                        

  • 4 Apples
  • Coconut Oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground Cloves
  • Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 400.  Chop up apple into bite sized pieces.  Place in oven safe dish.  Layer with Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Ground Cloves.  Add tablespoon of coconut oil on top and bake for 15 minutes.  Add some honey on top if you’d like.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Finding your Passion and Trying New Things

Do you have something that you're really passionate about?

I have to be honest, a few months ago, I really didn't.  Obviously, I was passionate about raising my kids right, and being a good wife, and all those things that made up Cristin in relation to something or someone else, but when I really thought about it, I didn't have anything that I was really passionate about when I was by myself and had some time to myself.  I'd fill that time with watching TV or taking a nap, or working just to catch up, but not on things that I loved.

Yesterday, I was talking to some friends about finding your passion in life.  I even made a scope about it (find me on periscope @fashionfitcris).  My friends and I  were saying that when you find something you're passionate about, amazing things start to happen.  If you are so blessed to be able to turn this into something that can bring a paycheck, doors really start to open for you.  You hop out of bed in the morning and look forward to starting a new day.  The universe starts attracting amazing things to you.  One of my friends was saying yesterday that she found her calling in real estate and she found an amazing apartment right in the city right after she said she wanted to live in the city and someone else was giving her a house.  Could you imagine?! 

When you start loving your life and what you do and helping other people to love their lives, it attracts an energy to you for more good to happen.  Before I realized I was so passionate about helping people and being healthy, I used to question myself all the time.  I felt so boring.  I wasn't really interested in anything worth being interested in.

And then it all began to change...

When I started working out in April with 21 Day Fix, I knew I was going to stick with it (it's 3 weeks long and didn't feel like too much of a commitment).  I'd been looking for a change and was glad I found something to get me out of my rut.  I had NO IDEA how one decision could really lead to so much positivity in my life.  Here are just a few things that have changed:

  • I became a Beachbody coach and get to spend days helping women get healthy.
  • I started a blog.
  • I workout almost every day.
  • I eat healthy 6-7 days each week.
  • I've lost 30 lbs and am continuing on my journey because people are counting on me to reach my goals.
  • I'm helping other women set goals and reach them.
  • My girls see me workout and my Julia loves to work out with me.
  • I'm confident.  I wear red lipstick and love shopping!!
  • I'm going out of my way to make new friends.  I know lots of people I didn't know before.
  • I know that I'm going to be successful at whatever I decide to do.
  • I have a 1 year and 5 year plan (I used to just go through the motions and live day by day).
If you knew me before April, you would have known someone very different.  But I don't want to make this article all about me. 

I want to make it about you...

When you think about what your passionate about, can you think of something?  I would've had a really hard time a few months ago.  Is there something that you wish you could do but feel like there isn't the time.  Do you feel confident?  Do you find real joy in things that happen in your life?

I want to encourage you to try something new!  I thought I was just starting an exercise plan to lose some weight.  My life is so different now.  Try something just to try it.  Take a cooking class, book a trip, start a workout program.  Just open doors for yourself.  Anything new is hard at first but it doesn't stay hard forever.  Make a choice to stick with something and research and care about it for the next 3 weeks.

Choose you!

I challenge you to pick something and just go for it....  because Why Not??  I'd love to help you start your journey.  The kids are back in school and us moms have some time to pay attention to ourselves. 

I'm going to be starting a new challenge group at the end of this month.  It's going to be all about trying something new and finding your passion.  Maybe it's not health, maybe it's something else, but I'll tell you what... I promise regular good nutrition and exercise will give you the energy and confidence you need to try something new and get really good at it.  To be considered for my new group, fill out this form.  Let's see what amazing changes can come in 3 weeks!

Monday, September 7, 2015

My Busy Ladies Accountability Group

A common theme I see among moms I know and just women in general is how BUSY we all are!!

As a woman, I have so many different roles to fill.  Sometimes its all the different roles that really fill my day.  As a stay at home mom who also works from home, I can see both sides of the coin.  My kids keep me busy, but I still need time to cook, clean, be a good wife, and a good employee.  I'm always being asked where I find the time to work out...  do you want to know my answer?

I make the time!!

When it's important, you make time.  You don't find it.  I like to wake up before the kids get up but that doesn't work for everyone.  Shoot, sometimes that doesn't work for me!  Once I find myself in the day knowing that I have to get my workout in, it does get a little tougher but I've come up with a few tips to help myself get it in.  Here are a few:

  1. Get your workout clothes on!!  When I wake up, I put my workout clothes on.  I can't deal with excuses that come into my head for even this small task...  I used to have to go in the drawer and hope for a clean pair of socks, pants, a clean shirt, and a clean bra.  If any of these things weren't there for me, I'd give up. 

    Now what I do is have all of these things in a pile by my bathroom (where I change in the morning).  On Sunday or Monday, I lay out 5 pairs of pants, 5 shirts, 5 bras, and 5 pairs of socks.  I also have a pair of sneakers that I only wear to work out and I never take these off and leave them anywhere but by my pile of clothes.  Trust me, I've also given up because I couldn't find my sneakers!

    If you're not a morning workout kind of person, change when you get home from work!!  Don't let yourself have this excuse!
  2. State your intentions!!  Tell someone you're going to work out!  I am always telling my husband and kids that I'm going to work out at whatever time I'm planning  on it.  Somehow, when you voice this out loud, it makes it happen (lol, this is not really magic, it's called being accountable).  This is true for lots of goals so try it!.
  3. Remember the feeling after a great workout!!  Maybe you're not there yet, if you're just starting out, you might not know this feeling yet but trust me, it happens.  It's the feeling you get when you know it was tough but you didn't give up.  This feeling is multiplied when you really weren't going to work out at all but somehow, you convinced yourself, that you were worth it.
  4. Remember your goals!!  Write them down and put them up!  Set long term, mid term, and short term goals... a GREAT short term goal is to work out 5 days in a row.  When setting your goals, make them SMART Goals (see image below for what that is).  Also, try to not just have victories that are related to a number on the sale.  Don't forget non-scale victories.  What are these?  A smaller pants size, feeling better in pictures, confidence, compliments you receive.  They all feel great and can make up for the fact that the scale will not always move in the direction you want it to!

    Have you ever heard it takes 3 weeks to make or break a habit?  This is the honest truth.  I've done it.  I challenge you today to take the next 3 weeks and just do it.  Every Day!  No Excuses!

  5. Clear the area the night before.  I work out in my kids play room.  I'm not much of a morning person and I snooze until the very last second.  Imagine my surprise and how easy it is to change my mind and not workout if the room I'm going to work out in is a mess.  It's easy enough to kick everything to the side or workout in the living room instead but somehow, when I walk downstairs and am ready to push it play, it's like the mess on the floor becomes a mess of excuses in my mind....  Don't do it!!  Just take a second the night before and make sure you'll be good to go in the morning.
  6. Work out with Friends.  I see lots of people have the most success with an accountability partner.  This is someone who has a similar goal as you and a similar drive.  I'm not going to lie, picking the wrong friend can work against you!  If they're giving you excuses of why you didn't get it in, you'll give them right back.  This is another place I can help.  I have a group of women who are getting it in and eating right every day on facebook.  If you'd like to become a part of this next group, message me directly or fill out my online application today so that you can be considered for my next group.
  7. It's only 30 minutes!!  This might not be true for every program or every workout plan but I have to be honest, if it's more then 30 minutes, I have a hard time convincing myself!  If you're truly busy, I promise, you can make room for 30 minutes in your day.  I've got a few programs that I love matching busy people up with.  Even on days that I DON'T want to workout, I find myself saying over and over again "It's only 30 minutes."  How would I spend that 30 minutes otherwise, would it be watching TV, or sleeping, or surfing Facebook?  Some days I even find myself wanting to quit in the middle, then my 30 minutes turns into how much time is left.  30 minutes is NOT a lot of time.  If you're one of those people that really thinks you can't get amazing results in just 30 minutes each day, I dare you to try it!!  Message me directly or fill out my online application today and so that you can be considered for my next group.

  8. Lead by Example!  Lots of my challengers are moms so it's so easy to see what I mean by Lead by Example.  What are you showing your kids?  Are you showing them how to be healthy?  Are you showing them how to be dedicated to something and make it important?  Are you teaching them to make excuses and give up because it's hard?  I PROMISE, they are watching you and what you do.  My 2 year old is constantly breaking out in yoga poses that she sees her momma doing!  She never did this before she saw me doing it.

    Whether you have kids or not, you can lead your family, or friends, or co-workers by example.  It's EXTREMELY motivating to starting doing something, stick with it, and then have people start asking what you're doing so they can do it too!

    If you think Leading By Example is your motivation and you want to enjoy the accountability of having people follow you, message me today and we can talk about how you can become  a part of my team.  I LOVE what I do and you can too!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Getting Out of Your Own Way

Happy Friday everyone!!

I'm so happy for the weekend!  It's been a week of new things and I'm ready to relax with my family! 

One thing I really want to quickly mention is Periscope.  It's a very new social media application that I absolutely love and I'm trying to learn to be better at it.  I tend to feel awkward when I talk about something for a long period of time because I know how long winded I can be and I wonder if people are listening anymore hahah...  This is a great medium to learn to speak better to groups of people and I'm trying to better myself in this particular area.  This month, I'm getting out of my own way and doing a #SeptemberScoper challenge.  Go Find me on there!

Another "new" this week was my daughter Josie's first week of 1st Grade!  What a new beginning to not be in Kindergarten any more.  My Josie is anything but shy once you get to know her but change makes her nervous.  That's pretty standard stuff in the world we live in, getting nervous about change, but I try to teach her confidence even at a very young age.

A couple of years ago, I tough her 4 things that I think EVERY little girl needs to know about themselves.  Here are the 4 things:

I'm Beautiful.  I'm Smart. I'm Funny. Everybody Loves me.

When I taught her this, she was 3 and having a tough time battling shyness.  I know there's nothing wrong with shyness.  I consider myself an extrovert in most situations, but I still battle with a shyness or awkwardness in a lot of situations myself.  After teaching her these 4 things, I started saying them to myself.  It doesn't have to be these 4 things but when you find yourself having self doubt, what is it that you doubt about yourself?  I realized that these are my 4 things.  They may seem weird to you but here's a little more information about why these things are important to both young girls and women alike (lol, in "grown up" terms).

  1. I'm Beautiful.  So often, as a woman, I question the way I look in certain situations.  It's a personal pet peeve of mine when a woman that I think should be SO confident, asks if what she's wearing is okay for whatever situation. 

    Wear what you love!  Wear what makes you feel confident! 

    When I was overweight, my confidence was called into question every day.  I had so many reasons to not get on track in my mind but now that I got out of my own way and just did it, I'm SO happy I did.  I thought it was going to be too hard, or take too much time, or not be worth the effort but let me tell you, IT WAS!!.  It was never about the weight.  It's about the way I FEEL. 

    I'm sorry to offend but I hate when people at the beach point out people who "shouldn't be wearing that."  It truly angers me.  Don't be a hater!!  They're more confident than you are.  Instead of "circling their fat," appreciate their confidence in a world that doesn't always allow for it to truly shine through.  You shouldn't have to look a certain way to feel confident but it's a part of life.  If you feel like you would feel better if you looked a certain way, then get out of your own way, and do something.  I can help!!
  2. I'm Smart.  Who cares what your IQ is?  I'm an amazing bookkeeper.  I've been told that before by lots of people.  But when it comes down to it, who cares?  I love math, so that's why I'm good at it.  I love order and reporting and business.  Finding a need that people have and coming up with a real solution in the way that entrepreneurs do is amazing to me. 

    I NEVER watch the news and it's laughable how little I know about geography. 

    It's never about what you know, or what you don't know.  It's all about taking the time to know about what your passionate about.  That could be organization, health, or fashion, or makeup, or even coupon clipping.  Just pick something you love TODAY and take the time to get good at it.  You may have to try a few things and you may have to fail forward but find something you're passionate about and do it.  You don't have to be great at it, especially in the beginning, but keep researching and finding people who are good at it and spend time with them.  There is nothing wrong with finding a mentor who is good at something you want to do.
  3. I'm Funny.  Always be able to laugh at yourself.  Don't berate yourself, or make yourself look bad for a laugh, but don't take yourself too seriously either.  Life is Short!  We've all heard of tragedies where people leave this world earlier then they should've.  Don't beat yourself up. 

    I've been told my entire life that people around me love my laugh...  do you know why?  I do.  It's because I laugh loud and I laugh often!!  I don't make other people feel bad and laugh at them.  I help them to see why it's funny and laugh with them.  Try that sometimes.  Lift people up who are down with a smile. 

    Try to laugh as often as you can.  Watch a funny movie, or a comedian you love and just let yourself really laugh out loud, as loud as you can, without caring who likes your laugh.
  4. Everybody Loves Me.  Ok.  If you're reading this, you're probably over 5 years old so lets call a spade, a spade.  This isn't true! 

    Everybody will never love you. 

    If you're speaking your mind or just being you or dressing the way you dress, or smiling the way you smile, you're going to get on people's nerves.  People are haters sometimes.  The secret is to avoid haters like the plague.  Don't let people suck your energy or your time.  If you're a hater, then change!!  Wouldn't it be amazing if there were NO Haters in the world!  LOL...  yeah, I know that's never gonna happen. 

    You have the power to be positive and speak to others who are positive.  Surround yourself with great energy.  And when you find people that do love you, love them back!  Not a little, or quietly, but really love them back.  I'll be honest and need to work on this  myself but I know I'll get there! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Meal Prepping Snacks and Lunch

Meal Prepping

One theme I'm sure you'll see me going back to again and again as you read my blog is meal prepping.  I'm a HUGE fan of meal prepping.  Lots of people do this in lots of different ways but everyone needs to do what works for them.  For some that's not at all, for some it's everything, even dinners for the week, but for me, it's somewhere between those two extremes.

I LOVE to meal prep my snacks and my lunch!  Making 1 lunch that will last me a few days really helps me out when I'm so busy I can't even pick my nose up from out of the computer screen (and I'm sure we ALL have those days).  To meal prep my snacks, I usually keep it simple.  I always have fresh, cut up, fruit and veggies.  I find that sometimes I just need a quick bite between meals and if you don't have fruit and veggies cut up, I will ALWAYS go for the kids snacks which are healthy for them but will not help me reach my weight-loss goals.

One thing I always try to have on hand for rushed lunches is cut up chicken I can throw into a salad.  So many people I know do this and make it in all different ways, from grilled, to baked but I love to poach my chicken.  What does that mean?  I cook it in water.  Basically, what I do is take a medium pan, fill it about half way with water and bring the water to a boil.  Then I throw in 2-3 thin sliced chicken breast and let it cook for about 7 minutes.  Drain the water, run the chicken under cold water to it stops cooking, take a great kitchen shear, and cut it up.  That should be enough for 2-3 days worth of chicken salad.  I like it this way because I find it keeps a lot more moisture then if you bake or grill it.  I often season it with some sea salt and pepper.

This is one of my favorite recipes for chicken salad.  I LOVE mayo but it's so unhealthy for you!  Even the healthy one that advertises that it's olive oil mayo has canola oil, or soy oil or some other unhealthy, processed oil for you.  I'm not perfect but I do try to eat clean as often as I can and that means limiting processed food.  I'm no scientist, but here's some info about canola oil and why you should try to avoid it in your diet.  So here's a mayo free chicken salad that I absolutely love and make almost every Monday to get me through the week.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad


2-3 thin sliced chicken breast (I like poached, see above for how that's done)
1/2 avocado - should be ripe but not brown.  If you keep the pit in the other half and put it in the fridge, it will stay green for a few days.
1/2 lime
Optional - 5-6 crackers I like back to nature b/c it's clean and only 5 ingredients (box shown below)


1.  Mash avocado, lime, and cilantro in small bowl.
2.  Add avocado to chicken and mix well.
3.  Optional - Serve with crackers or whole wheat wrap
4. Enjoy the simplicity of it all!  You have lunch prepared for the next 3-4 days!!

1 Red container is equal to 1 red and 1 blue
5-6 crackers is 1 yellow container