Sunday, July 28, 2013

Some Days are Easy, Some Days are Really Really Hard!

In March of 2013, my husband and I officially signed the papers, selling our house. It was our first house. The house I spent hours decorating a nursery to make it JUST perfect for our son, after bringing him home from the hospital.  The house we lived in when we got married. Where my parents were our next door neighbors and I had a support system just a yell out the window, away. Where I spent months of sweat, blood, creativity and hard work remodeling all by myself. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that in a very short time, we had made a lot of memories there. I had turned that house into a home. Not just my home, but our family home. 

I knew it would be sad to leave, but I had NO clue how difficult it would actually be. 

I kept myself SO busy, finishing the last of my renovations, keeping up with my (then) 12 month old, who was mobile and into everything, planning a birthday party, vacation, vow renewal, keeping up with my workouts and personal training sessions, oh and of course selling our house and looking for a new one in Michigan. I didn't even take or have time to process what was actually happening until it was over. 

We spent a few weeks following the sale of our house living in hotel rooms, a cruise ship, more hotel rooms and then my in-laws house for a week. Do you know how difficult it is to not stress eat when that is all you've know your entire life?!? Then to not have the option of cooking a meal... It's like an explosion to your waistline!! 

We closed on our new house mid April. I looked for a gym and signed up the day after we closed. I was determined to NOT go backwards! 

I went to the gym for my first workout and hated it! I hated the equipment, the people were rude, the daycare didn't change my sons diaper. When I introduced Greyson and myself to the daycare "teacher" she didn't even tell me her name. That made me feel super welcome and comfortable... NOT!

I tried again the next week and it was worse. I was done. I was locked into a 12 month contract and HATED it!!

A few weeks passed and I finally got on the scale at home. I went into denial. My scale had obviously been damaged in the move. Then i went to get dressed and grabbed a pair of jeans that i had just purchased before vacation... i could button them. I started tearing up. 

I walked away to my closet and grabbed another pair of jeans one size bigger. So tight, i couldn't imagine wearing them in public. My tears grew stronger. I began bawling. Like that snot running down your face, hysterical crying. 

"How did I let this happen? How did I get back here?!" I couldn't rationalize anything at this point. According to my scale, I had gained nearly 30 pounds!!! I was back in the 190's. Seriously! 

The day I left for vacation, I was at 159 lbs!!! 

I threw on a sweatshirt, yoga pants, my go-to elastic band, comfy clothes. I went straight to the kitchen and did what i know how to do best. I binged. Chips, brownies, Doritos, chicken nuggets, diet cherry pepsi, anything I could find! 

I was so disappointed in my binging, that I just kept doing it. I was disciplining myself for being such an idiot. For allowing myself to get back to this dark place. It's completely irrational, but its the logic in my head at these moments. Like a voice inside my head sits there saying "you're not skinny, you're fat. You don't deserve to be healthy, skinny or pretty". 

I'm not exactly sure where these unhealthy thoughts come from. I have one memory specifically that I'm pretty sure will never leave me. 

I was about 11 years old. My mom and i had a tumultuous relationship back then. We were so close in age, we often fought like sisters, instead of like a child and parent. I vividly remember  getting into another screaming match with her, (probably about something ridiculous like cleaning my room) and as usual, it escalated to a completely different level. The next thing I remember is trying to walk away and her grabbing me. She turned  me around, looked me in the eyes and told me I was "a fat cow". 

Now, please understand that my mom is my absolute best friend today. She has dealt with a lot of her own demons, especially back then. She is one of my biggest supporters today!

With that being said, I'm obviously  a bit damaged. I've spent years working on it and I've come quite far. But it's really difficult. Some days are worse than others. I've never really felt supported in this journey. It's kind of like being on a tight rope and everyone around you is a gust of wind, ready to knock me off at any mention of food, dinner, breakfast, anything!!

I called my mom the night of my binge. I had cried on and off all day. I was sad, guilty, depressed, I felt completely lost and alone.

My mom immediately knew I had been crying. She asked what was wrong and I again broke down. She was completely supportive. She told me how proud she was for what I had done. She apologized for not teaching us healthier habits when we were kids. She told me that I was going to be ok and that I could do anything I wanted to. She also told me to remember that feeling that I had. Because I would feel it again, but
I didn't have to choose binging. Sigh.... She was right.  

What ive come to realize is that some days are easy, while some days are really, really hard. That doesnt mske me a failure. That foesnt mean i have to atart back at square one. I have to remind myself that its a learning process. The longer I do this, the easier it will get!!

INSANITY - Month Two Begins!!

This week I finished my 6th week of INSANITY. That's the first month, one week of recovery and the first week of the second month completed. 

I was extremely nervous to start the second month. I've heard things get a bit "insane". I wasn't sure I would be able to keep up. I had a few days in the first month that I wanted to give up, quit and even shed a few tears. 

I have to say, it's true. Month two is a major kick in the ass. The workouts are longer, there are fewer breaks and a lot more combinations. So instead of just one set of ski abs, it's 4 ski abs, 4 push-up jacks, 4 in and outs and then 4 wide leg runs - then repeat it 3 more times and then move onto the next set of exercises immediately afterwards and then so the entire set three times through!

It's not rare for me to burn 600-900 calories during these max interval workouts. Whew! I was super sore when I woke up Tuesday. I never knew I had oblique muscles, let alone that they could hurt! But man, did they hurt SO GOOD!!

I however shocked myself each day when I completed the workout and felt amazing! I didn't want to quit, I didn't want to give up. I had a few winded moments, but overall I felt so strong and I'm control!

Even with this success, I thought to myself that there was no way I would be able to notice a change in my appearance. But, I took my weekly pictures and again was shocked to see even more improvement. See for yourself!

I actually got misty eyes when I saw these. I can't actually explain why though. I'm so shocked, surprised and I guess proud of what I've accomplished - and in only 6 WEEKS!!! 

I've been through so much change, this last two years. I've become a mom, a wife, a home-owner (twice), a stay-at-home mom, moved states, I could go on and on. It's been quite exhausting and draining. I've had a lot of ups and downs. INSANITY and my Beachbody team have helped me feel like me again. Slowly but surely... I'm finding my identity. It's such an amazing feeling. I want everyone to be able to feel this good and BETTER! This is the main reason I decided to become a coach. I'm here to help you feel good about yourself. Be healthy and happy!

Now that I veered so far off.... I've got three weeks left. Can you imagine my results? Think I'll look any different than now? Even think its possible? We'll see!!

If you are ready to start your journey or have questions for me about mine, let me know!! :)

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Monday, July 22, 2013

INSANITY: Month Two, Begins With Fitness Test Three!

Today was my start of INSANITY, Month Two!! Last week was my "Recovery Week" which was still a complete kick in the ass, Every. Single. Day! 

So today, I began with my third fitness test! I can see the progress in the numbers and it's INSANE to compare my first test numbers to this week. I can't imagine what the numbers will be with two more 
tests left!

Test #1                                         Test #2                              Test #3
Switch Kicks - 35                        Switch Kicks - 46               Switch Kicks - 61
Power Jacks  - 48                       Power Jacks  - 51               Power Jacks - 53          
Power Knees - 99                        Power Knees - 101             Power Knees - 110
Power Jumps - 27                       Power Jumps - 34              Power Jumps - 37
Switch Jumps - 8                        Switch Jumps - 9               Switch Jumps - 9.5
Suicide Jacks - 19                      Suicide Jacks - 20              Suicide Jacks - 19
Push-up jacks - 12                      Push-up jacks - 17             Push-up Jacks - 17
Low Plank Oblique - 37               Low Plank Oblique - 60       Low Plank Oblique - 62

As for my actual workout, I did the "Max Interval Circuit". Holy Smokes! I thought I was challenged last month... but here comes the INSANITY! I actually thought to myself a few times "I'm going to DIE" and "I can't do this". My chest was burning, like that taste blood in your chest/throat type of burn. I kept going. I took breaks. I reminded myself to breathe. I FINISHED the workout. What other option did I have? I can't quit. That would be giving up on myself and failing all of you! I refuse to do either of those! 

By the time I had completed both the fitness test and the workout, I had burned over 700 calories. This was just the cherry on top and more motivation to keep on! Tomorrow is another day and another new workout!

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Friday, July 19, 2013

RECIPE} Riced Cauliflower

I'm all about trying new recipes, substitutions and adding as many fruits and veggies to our diet as possible! Riced cauliflower is one of my newest favorites! I thought there would be no way it would work or be good... but it's quite awesome!

Riced Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower

To begin, you will remove all of the leaves and brown spots.

Then remove the stalk and stems, also cutting the florets into small sized pieces.

Please the florets into the food processor, in batches. Process until the cauliflower is similar size of rice, but be sure not to pulverize the cauliflower!  You will pour the cauliflower into a bowl and continue this process until all of your cauliflower is riced. 

At this point, you should decide how much of your "rice" you will be using. I suggest freezing what you won't use immediately.

To finish preparation of riced cauliflower, heat a small amount of olive oil or coconut oil in a non-stick pan, over medium-high heat and add the riced cauliflower.  Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!


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This week is my "recovery" week! That means I've officially made it to week five AND I'm more than half way to completing the FULL INSANITY workout! I'm so proud because, well, this is the fourth or fifth time I've attempted the workout and I've never made it past the first couple of days. 

What I've always been told, heard and FINALLY come to terms with is that this process of losing weight, staying fit, being healthy is NOT a physical battle. As hard as it can be on our bodies, it's emotional. Even when we are working out and it's hard, it hurts and we want to give up so badly... you can CHOOSE not to! It's not your body giving up on your, it's your brain saying you can't do it. I'm here to tell you that your brain is a liar. 

I'm a goal/results oriented person. I thrive on it. I like to win, I like to be the best at whatever I do. If I don't feel like I'm achieving something, I tend to become a (wah wah) quitter! So, When I started INSANITY this time around, I told myself I was going to do it the right way.

I weighed in, I took my measurements AND i took the dreaded pictures. I've become addicted to this. Pretty much every week since, I have taken pictures, sometimes more often than once a week. The scale doesn't always tell a true story. We have hormones that fluxuate and if you don't drink enough water, your body retains it and a whole lot of other things that can cause your weight to yo-yo. I've found PICTURES to be so empowering. Who would think that after just four weeks of working out 6 times a week, there could be noticeable change in my body? I mean, I was already active, already eating clean (mostly) and doing all of the 'right' things. So I wasn't expecting anything crazy.

The truth is, the results this far are just that. Crazy, no INSANE! Take a look, these are my weekly Monday photo's for the first four weeks of INSANITY.

I was seriously in SHOCK when I put them side by side and saw the difference! Whats crazy is that I'm in the middle of week five right now and still have four weeks left!

Here are my official Results thus far:

                      Day 1    Day 32      Total Difference
Chest:             38.5"      35.5"              3"
Right Arm:     11"         10.5"             .5"
Left Arm:       10.75"    10"                .75"
Waist:             34.5"      31"                3.5"
Hips:               41.25"    38"               3.25"
Right Thigh:   23.5"      22.5"             1"
Left Thigh:     23"         21.5"             1.5"
Weight:          186.4      172.6             13.8 pounds

I can't wait to share my final results with all of you! They are going to be spectacular!!

If you are interested in learning more about INSANITY or another beachbody program, clean eating, etc. please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments! I am here to help! :)

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Recipe} Cauliflower Popcorn

I'm a total popcorn junkie. I could eat it every single night. In fact there was a period in college, when I think I survived off of popcorn, granola bars, apples and caffeine drinks. Which explains a lot about my past struggles! This little snack is perfect for weekend movie nights and fills my salty cravings when i have them! The only downside (which could be a positive depending on how you look at it) is that it does take about an hour to cook.

Cauliflower Popcorn
1 Head of Cauliflower
4TB Olive Oil
salt to taste

Preheat over to 425 degrees. 

Wash and cut your cauliflower, into popcorn size pieces. Make sure to remove the leaves.

Put the dried cauliflower into a bowl and mix with olive oil. 

Lay the cauliflower on a baking sheet, covered with parchment paper (not necessary, but makes for easy cleanup) and season with salt, to taste. 

Place the pan into the oven for one hour (once preheated) and make sure to turn about every 15 minutes. The cauliflower WILL darken. The darker it gets, the sweeter it become.

When done, serve immediately!

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

RECIPE} Greek Quinoa Salad

This salad is light, refreshing and perfect for a summer dinner and healthier than the traditional pasta salads!

Greek Quinoa Salad

Serves About 4

1 C of low sodium chicken broth
1/2 C un cooked quinoa
1/2 cucumber
1/3 red pepper
5 kalmata (or black) olives
1/2 C Cherry Tomato
1/4 C Feta Cheese (optional)
1 TB Lemon Juice
1 TB Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place chicken broth and quinoa in a pot on medium heat. Bring to a boil, stir, turn to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Quinoa will be cooked through once clear. Remove from heat, uncover and let cool for a few minutes.

Wash and cut your vegetables then place into a mixing bowl, add quinoa, lemon juice, olive oil, feta and salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. I would try and let sit at least an hour prior to serving.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Recipe} Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I love fries, but let's be honest, they are TERRIBLE for you. So any time I can figure out a way to have   something in a healthier way, I'm on it!  These are super simple and you can just double or triple the batch depending on how many people you are feeding.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Makes about 2 servings

1 Large Sweet Potato
1 TB Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Preheat the over to 375.

Peel and slice the sweet potato. I cut the potato into quarters and then into thin fire sizes. I find that if they are too thick, it's more difficult to cook through.

Place your sweet potato slices into a large bowl, add olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lay parchment paper on top of your pan, then spread out your french fries, on the pan.

Place the pan in the oven. After about 15 minutes check and flip the fries. Then place back in the over for about 10  more minutes.  Make sure to keep an eye on these, they are easy to burn and each over is different. You may need a few less or a couple more minutes depending on your oven.

When done, let cool for a minute or two then enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

RECIPE} Lemon Chicken Quinoa Soup

What I really love about this soup is that it's great in the winter because it warms your bones right up, but it has a light and refreshing taste which is perfect for the summer!


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
12 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 lb chopped boneless skinless chicken breast (raw or cooked)
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
3-6 tablespoons lemon juice (depends on your taste preference)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups chopped fresh baby spinach and/or kale


In a large pot over medium heat, cook the carrots, celery and onion in the olive oil for about 7 minutes. 

Add chicken broth, chicken, quinoa, lemon juice and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is tender, 20 minutes.

Add spinach and/or kale and cook until tender.

*NOTE, I say spinach and/or kale because I use whatever I have in my refrigerator. Sometimes I only have one and sometimes I mix them! Both are delicious in this soup.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

INSANITY: Week Three and Fitness Test Two!

I'm still doing it - can you believe it?! Today marks the beginning of my THIRD week of INSANITY and my second of five fit tests. I realized after my last post, if you have never done INSANITY, you wouldn't know what the heck the fit test is or what it consists of. So here you have it:
The fit test consists of a warm-up and cool down, with the above eight exercises in between. You have one minute to do as many of the exercises as you can, with about a 30 second rest period in between each one. 

It's No JOKE! I pretty much feel like I might die every time I do it. When it's over, I tend to just lay on the floor trying to muster up the strength to reach for my water. In just 25 minutes today, I burned just over 300 calories. I face these tests like a challenge. I tell myself I HAVE to beat my previous numbers and that I CAN do it. Not only can I beat them, I can blow them into the water!

So, with that being said. I'm quite happy with my results from today. I've definitely got room for improvement, but I've got three tests left to take! 

After two full weeks of INSANITY, here are my results:

Test #1                                         Test #2
Switch Kicks - 35                        Switch Kicks - 46
Power Jacks  - 48                         Power Jacks  - 51                       
Power Knees - 99                        Power Knees - 101
Power Jumps - 27                        Power Jumps - 34
Switch Jumps - 8                         Switch Jumps - 9
Suicide Jacks - 19                        Suicide Jacks - 20
Push-up jacks - 12                       Push-up jacks - 17
Low Plank Oblique - 37              Low Plank Oblique - 60

I've also decided to just suck it up and share my ummm personal numbers with all of you. I mean hell, at this point I'm not sure there is much else to hide!

My starting weight was 186.4. As of today, I'm weighing in at 173.4 - that's 13 pounds lost, in  only two weeks! Of course a lot of this was water weight. BUT, not all of it. 

This is no quick fix. This is not a diet. This is hard work, sweat and a lifestyle change that I'm SO proud of and would recommend to anyone! 

If your interested in doing INSANITY, Focus T25 P90X, Brazillian Butt lift, Chalean Extreme or ANY other Beachbody workout programs, but don't know where to start, Ask me! I'm here to help!

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