Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Impulse.



In order to change and transform your life, I believe we must grab hold of the impulse.

That split second decision to get our mind in control of our body.  
I was always so hooked on that immediate high I'd get from indulging in that "bad" food.  
My body would react hours later, feeling awful and bloated.  I'd lack energy to do anything positive or productive so I'd allow those impulses to grab hold once again.  
I remember vividly the way my body would feel after a meal that wasn't nourishing to my body.  A friend of mine sent a text reminding me of those feelings because she too, deals with this impulsive behavior at times.  I think we all have at one time or another?
I also remember having "issues" with going to the bathroom...almost every day.  My body was showing me it wasn't feeling nourished and healthy yet I continued to sabotage myself over and over again, only to end up feeling worse each time.  WHY?
Well if I had the answers, I think I'd be able to conquer the world but all I can do is promise that from learned experiences, it's a battle worth fighting within yourself.  

I can remember being in my bedroom after a meal with friends and I felt SICK.  I'd lay in bed disgusted thinking about the endless baskets of chips and queso I had consumed along with 5-6 tortillas with very little else.  It was sometimes a joke to see who could make themselves sick on the food that night.  What were we thinking?  That's miserable and so unhealthy.
It was like a comfort and each of us could count on one another...through food.  

We make "impulse buys" at the store but can always return it.
If we make our food choices based upon impulse, there's no returning it but we can use it as a learning experience and move forward.  We can engage our minds and think more clearly when it comes to the foods that we choose to eat.  
It's always a choice.  ALWAYS.  

Exercise is WORK.  It's tough and our body feels drained when it's finished.  To me it is no comparison to the rest of our day.  The times where temptations, impulses and emotions wrap into our daily lives.  It's tough to battle brownies in the workroom, homemade fried chicken with family and a weekend pizza and wing party...right?

Honestly, as I attend functions I try to remind myself of how my body feels AFTER the impulsive behavior.  
Do I feel healthy?  Am I full of energy? NO and NO.
So instead I'll pass on those options at the party and make healthy decisions before and after.  
For me it was easy to NOT EAT at parties when I was heavy...this would keep from drawing attention to the chubby girl devouring the appetizers, so I'd self-destruct when I'd walk in the door.  
That seemed to work...deprivation and then over consumption when I'd get home.   

BUT sadly this option is even more dangerous to our health.
A little indulgence is okay and then we balance the rest of our day accordingly.  So I had to wrap my mind around the fact that going to a function where I CHOOSE to not have pizza, only means I'll fuel properly and feel better later.  Where in my past I'd feel sorry for myself for not being "allowed" to have pizza so when I get home I'll eat two bags of chips and some Oreo's.
Our minds are powerful!  SO VERY POWERFUL
Our decisions with our food need to be made by thinking before we act.  Not on impulses.
This is so tough for many of us but overcoming this is possible.

All of this coming from the queen of "just one more bite" so if I can do it, there should be no stopping any of YOU!

Any of you struggle with these impulse food decisions?
How do you overcome?




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

SATISFIED.



Isn't that so true?
Fear holds us back from so much in our lives.  
No matter the fear, we are always set free once we conquer what we are afraid of.  

Finding the picture on the left was yet another WOW moment for me.
Although I dreaded pictures of myself in years passed, I now use them as stepping stones on my journey.  Each pictures is a reminder of how I felt in my body and mind at that time.  And while I openly admit my issues with my body, I am working on it every day.  We all should.  

We cannot be afraid to explore the unknown.  
We can no longer be afraid to stop using the word "diet" 
and start living like we know that we should.  
It's human nature to want things NOW but is it because we fear what's on the other side? 
If we reach a goal do we fear that we may never reach another? 
Are we afraid of what the future holds when we stop being SATISFIED with life as we know it?

That picture on the left was ME running 5-6 days a week, eating Smart Ones and Lean Cuisines, smaller portions of cookies, crackers and baked chips.  Consuming some fruits and veggies, limited protein and far too little fiber.  I also allowed myself one soda a day 
but still drank plenty of water.  

For some of us that is structured and "healthy" right?  Maybe not.  
THAT moment on my journey was huge for me because while I look back to that picture on the left, I see a heavier Marissa but then I saw a much fitter, healthier Marissa.  And I was.  
I was no longer that fast food junkie that hit up every quick meal on the corner and I was MOVING.  I would put 90% effort into my workouts but they NEVER changed.  
After doing those repetitive runs outdoors, I'd come home and fire up a meal in the microwave, grab a bag of baked chips and sit on the couch.  Whew I was tired!  
And looking back to 2001, of course I was healthier now.  I had lost a substantial amount of weight and was learning to maintain where I was...which was the end of my journey right?  
I can be SATISFIED with that?

Studying exercise, health and nutrition in college, you would think I would graduate knowing all of the answers, would set a plan for myself and the sky was the limit BUT after graduation came the real world-get a job, get married and have babies :) ALL beautiful and some of the best moments of my life that I wouldn't trade for anything but I think along the way through life we get SATISFIED with how things are...and that goes for all aspects of our lives, wouldn't you agree?

I was gestational diabetic with both of my pregnancies and while I could control it mostly with diet, with my first son I had to take insulin shots.  Eeek.  I remember the doctor telling me "sometimes this is an early sign of what can come later in life if we don't change" and I remember thinking to myself, "Are you really talking to me?  Seriously...I workout 6 days a week, have a degree in this stuff AND I've lost 76lbs lady...you obviously have it wrong".

But she was right.
I was focused on calories not balance and I still had the mindset that if I exercise, I get to EAT!
Those micro-meals would be 300-400 calories, super high sodium and carbohydrate with little protein and I'd top it off with some baked chips.  Where's the balance in that?
I was lacking fiber and protein, as most women do and this was causing major bowel issues (sorry, but it's true) and it was keeping me at what was still a bit overweight.  
I didn't think so at the time because I had come so far, 
but look how much further we can go?  
How much MORE we can do?  

It took years but I think I've got the whole BALANCE thing figured out.  I'd say I'm quite different than the girl on the left...my how I've changed.  And I find myself frustrated because I feel like I can share what I've learned, knowing I made plenty of mistakes, and share them with the ladies in my group BUT sometimes if we are SATISFIED with the way things are, then we aren't able to let others in.  We aren't able to receive help because we've lost hope in ourselves. 
We are now SATISFIED with tired, achy, defeated. 
and SATISFIED with the fear of trying.  
SATISFIED with taking medicine for this health problem, only to create new health problems. 
RIGHT? 

We have good days and bad.
Don't become SATISFIED with where you are now.  Instead, get ready to go further...
accomplish more, set new goals, stop being okay with comfortable! 

I see my pictures and think, "I never thought in a million years that I'd be where I am today...
just think where I'll be tomorrow...and the next" 

If it's 5lbs or 500lbs to lose, muscle to gain or strength to find- stop being SATISFIED!

Monday, September 8, 2014

compared to what?


Some of my favorite moments at my boot camp classes are after we push HARD and we just sit and chat...sometimes it gets serious about our frustrations within ourselves...and we all listen.  

I voiced my frustrations about the image I have of myself when I look into the mirror.  YES there are far bigger, more important issues in this world but for me, liking what I see can be such a huge obstacle for me every day.  

For me when I see the flaws, it makes me emotional which makes me want to eat...see the cycle?  

Saturday before a fun night with friends, I started trying on clothes...ugh!  This has NEVER been fun for me...ever.  I'd rather stay in workout clothes-where I feel comfortable and in my element. Putting on "real" clothes is such a battle within myself.  
First of all, I am a size 4 and a S in most shirts these days but I like to buy a size 6 and wear a M so it's all baggy and I look ridiculous.  WHY?  Who knows.  Yes I work my butt off and am dang proud of that BUT it's almost as if I never see THAT girl when I look into the mirror.  Sure I see success and I'm proud of my hard work and results but I truly believe that I don't see what others see.  So I proceeded to rip myself apart and the more clothes I tried, the more I cried.  

WHY?
My husband tells me every day how great I look, how beautiful I am and how far I've come BUT do I truly believe it or see that in myself?  I'm just not sure.  
I preach to these women every day about loving ourselves, being proud of what we do but I can't take my own advice?   
I judge none of those women but can tear myself apart in seconds...
The saddest?  I am comparing myself to WHAT?  TO WHO?
With my whole heart I want these women to be HEALTHY, to feel great and conquer their goals but as I move forward in my journey, my mind holds me back from being proud of who I am...
that's sad to me.  How am I able to build their confidence when I struggle to work on my own?
Knowing I wasn't alone was assuring but I don't want these women feeling down on themselves either...we must come together, embrace our strengths and weaknesses and move forward...a little every day and we WILL, TOGETHER!  

Then we started speaking about daughters.  
I don't have one but I listened and could relate too well.
While these ladies know their daughters are beautiful and they tell them every day, these girls beat themselves down but why?  WHO are they comparing themselves to?  
Perfection?  What is that??  
They are fat, ugly, short, tall or thin?  SAYS WHO??  

One of my Momma's is a cancer survivor...well, several are and they are incredible, inspiring women!  As we talked, she said to me that the moment she was diagnosed it wasn't about tall, skinny or pretty, it was about HEALTHY.  She'd look around and no longer saw beautiful women, only women that didn't have cancer.  She saw women that weren't sick as she was and became jealous.  (Yes, that's how deep and honest we get post-workout most days...it's incredible and helps us relate in SO many ways.) She put it into perspective as well as made me feel shallow for ripping myself apart over a shirt making me look awful :(  but she was RIGHT.  
As women WHAT standard makes us pretty, tall, skinny, beautiful or fat?
It should be important to be HEALTHY.  Period.  All shapes and sizes...HEALTHY.  
Our bodies are strong, they want to be worked and pushed so why not be satisfied with knowing we are doing the best we can do, working hard to be HEALTHY!
It IS enough!
   
I believe that the years of struggling and being overweight played tricks on me.  I saw far worse than others did.  I felt like every person I'd see wanted to say I was fat so I'd make conversation, make them laugh and distract their thoughts?  Wow, that's crazy isn't it?  I'm not sure why I always thought people were thinking, "Wow she's fat" because although it may have crossed their minds, I'm quite positive it wasn't the only thing they were thinking while talking to me..." CRAZY how our minds can control almost every aspect of our life and turn it from positive to negative in a matter of seconds.  It built a wall around me and I have worked since 2001 to knock that wall down with a vengeance!  And I have no doubt that I will, in time.  My journey is never ending but I feel that if we only share the positive aspects of getting healthy then we aren't giving the full story of what it's like.  We must understand that ALL steps require work and if you're willing to put in the work, the reward is ALWAYS worth it and then some. 

This is why the journey is SO important.  All parts of it.  Losing the weight is small in comparison to what needs work on the INSIDE.  This slow process has changed my life and the more I am real and honest with myself, the better things will be.  I am grateful for that and for YOU my readers that allow me to speak the truth and tell my story and experiences to hopefully help others as well.  

I vow to work on it...do you struggle with this?


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

if you don't.




Couldn't agree more.
I know what failure felt like.  
What low self-esteem and lack of motivation felt like. 
It's a challenge to keep pushing day after day.
I am up for that challenge and want others to do it as well.
The ONLY life I knew was the one that ended with, I QUIT.
I knew what it felt like to lose 20lbs., feel better and then repeat the cycle from the bottom.
I'd make up my mind that I QUIT and it was all downhill, quickly.
WHY did it take so much hard work to get the weight off 
but it came back on, and then some so effortlessly?



Failure was always an option for me...

I couldn't see what others saw in me.  They knew I could change LONG before I actually did.
I saw a helpless, unhealthy, fat girl who was lost and looking for help...
I had NO clue where to find it because it seemed as though 
I had fully accepted who I was, the way I was.  
Giving up and quitting felt normal.  Trying was hard work.
The quitting was just easier.

I can recall joining Quick Weight Loss Centers in high school.  This was one of many attempted "diet plans".  But I thought THIS was it.  It was a support system and a "diet"...a win, win.  Different from the cabbage soup diet or the grapefruit diet- I cringe just typing that.  At last I would shed the fat girl and start living life.  It seemed so easy.  
Eat this food and the weight will drop off.  Yay, I'm IN!
It was my two friends and I, my mom signed me up knowing we didn't have the money to pay for it but she did it because she cared.  I think as a parent, she wanted me healthy but was afraid of HOW to approach it since I was so sensitive when it came to my weight.  Overly sensitive.  Always waiting for someone to call me out on it.  So when I jumped on board, she followed right behind and so supportive.  Day 1 was tough...I think it was an orange, chicken and maybe that was it?  Maybe 2 oranges and then plain, dry chicken for the rest?   Eeek...I was a grump.  When I was hungry, don't mess with me and now I was hungry and angry that THIS is what I was eating while my friends were chowing down at Sonic.  Ugh.  
See, I loved to say "it's not fair" over everything.  
Especially my weight and how I HAD to eat if I wanted to change.  WHY did it take so much work?
I held off on quitting for weeks, maybe even months and I lost weight.  I did feel better, my clothes were fitting and I was gaining confidence.  SO please help me understand why I QUIT?
Oh yes like all things in my life at that point, I gave up.  AGAIN. 
The true work comes from the inside.  It's not about diets or supplements/pills giving you new hope.  It's about inspiring yourself.  Proving that you're worth it.  

When I signed up for that program, I thought IT would do the work, not knowing I had to put forth the passion and hard work to get there.  The lasting effects come from learning a new way of life and thinking.  We can't have the "I'll diet for a few weeks" attitude.
If it sounds too good to be true, it IS.
Getting healthy is one of life's beautiful obstacles.  It makes us stronger and more passionate about living and that is a gift that cannot be taken away, no matter what.  I truly believe that.  Those days of  dieting helped me realize that it is NOT the answer and never will be.
It's about living a life with pride, confidence and strength...every day.  It's about not hiding behind food and our weight because it's easy and comfortable.  It's about getting out there and living.


We know where this story picks up, don't we?  After she quit on herself like many times before, she would gain more weight and find that her addiction to fast food would reach an all-time high before a blank stare into a mirror-unsure of who she was anymore, would change her life forever...
THANK GOODNESS :)



And yes, I was overweight and unhealthy but sometimes that's not our battle.
Some of us want to simply FEEL better, LOOK better, have energy and FEEL STRONG!
It's ALL achievable if we stop giving up on ourselves, isn't it?
ABSOLUTELY.



I wonder why along our way through life, we get to a place where we just don't care anymore?
For some it's "Oh I'll never look the way that I did in my 20's so why try?"
Or, "I was thin and active BEFORE kids, it's too tough these days"
Or my famous words, "I'm just meant to be overweight and struggle the rest of my life"
Ughhhhhh....
It doesn't have to be that way for ANY of us.
Be better.  Want better.  
If you know what it feels like to quit on yourself then see what it feels like to NOT.
I am surrounded by strong women.  Women who will fight hard to get what they want.  
It inspires me and pushes me and to me that is THE greatest gift of all.
Women INSPIRING other women.
We lift each other up rather than drag each other down.

That mountain seemed out of reach for me.  SO many years of the climb, the fall, climb, fall...
But I kept getting back up.
That's important on this journey of ours.  Always getting back up.  

If you've fallen down and quit on YOU then it's time to get back up and try again!
YOU taking care of YOU!  YOU feeling good and LIVING LIFE!

**Happy ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY (TODAY!!!)
to my local Move It Momma's workout group.  
We are more than I could have imagined.  My dreams are reality through EVERY one of those women.  Whether they come and see me every day or they support me from a distance.  My life is forever changed because of them.  I stopped quitting on ME when I met them.  I only thought my journey was nearing the end but it was only beginning.  I have HUGE hopes and dreams for these ladies and our group.  As I lay awake at night, I think about a world touched by Move It Mommas...and they are big dreams but nothing seems impossible.  Maybe they taught me that...






Thursday, August 28, 2014

It takes a village...

They are my VILLAGE, my inspiration, my motivation...where's yours?

After one of our workouts yesterday, we found ourselves sitting on our mats discussing turning points, struggles and frustrations...

To find true change, I always thought it was 100% a solo effort but that's not necessarily true.  I think it can be done alone but why not rally the troops and do it as a team!!
I have learned over this past year that change 
can also come from opening our eyes to others and letting them in.  

I was having a rough day many months ago and during the workout, I began to cry...I will never forget that day. I decided I'd not only tell the truth on this blog but I'd share it with the women in my workout group...I mean, why not? 
It's like we went from a workout group to a support group WAY beyond the workouts and we haven't looked back since...   

It is AMAZING to see what happens when we show our true selves, holding little back.
I use this blog in the same way.  I believe honesty is the only way to truly help others.  If we lie and say it's all a walk in the park then we will set others up to fail, giving false hope.  Why?  I would rather lay it all out there, the good and the UGLY.  The times in my life where I have felt my best and the times in my life where I cried myself to sleep, wishing life would end.  It's the truth, so why hide behind it.  It doesn't help anyone to hide behind the shame, the guilt and the frustrations.  We only grow and become stronger by admitting the flaws and learning from them.  
Becoming better because of the battles we fight and the obstacles we overcome, right?     

To see that we are not alone and to have a glimpse into the lives of others.  
It is crucial for us to see that we may fight our battle but their battle is just as important.  

I listen to these women.  I listen to their words, their pain and their victories.  All of it.
It is SO important to know that not only do I teach them, they teach ME.  They teach me more than I ever learned in school.  They have taught me about honesty, opened my eyes to knowing it's not only the emotional eaters like myself, not only about those that struggled with weight most of our lives...it's about ALL OF US.  "It takes a village"  
We all have reasons that we seek change, a better quality of life or better health.
We are not all the same and we shouldn't be.  
We should celebrate our differences but work together to achieve our goals.  
ALL OF US...YOU TOO!  


Most of the time when a group of women get together at a party, social event, wedding, Church function or school gathering it's usually not all sunshine and roses.  
There's the women we find intimidating, the women we "heard" are a gossip, they are rude, they cheated on their spouse, their child was kicked out of blah because of blah etc...
and the list goes on and on.  

We are women.  We have it in our nature to compare and judge others, don't we?  
I mean lets be real.  
A member brought it to my attention today that somehow, someway we have created a judgement-free atmosphere each week.  We get down on ourselves, had a rough morning but arrive at workout- look to our left and right and see HOPE.  We see STRONG WOMEN of all shapes, ages and sizes.  
Each of us walk away to a different obstacle at home, in our minds or with our family and friends...
But for that hour, we share it all.  Put it all on the table.  We are sweating, burning, in temporary pain but we are NEVER QUITTING.  If you look around at any given point, you see these women holding back words-that are probably not the nicest words and some even fighting back tears...
It's beautiful.
Not beautiful to watch women in pain but to see a bond form that cannot be described.
Something draws us in each day, each workout.
We find ourselves craving the socialization of women like ourselves.
Yes we are all different, VERY different but share the common goal.
I ate through my emotions and fight hard every day to not continue that cycle.
Some fight other obstacles FAR different from my own but we can RELATE.  
We can be open with one another and discuss it.  


I am so guilty of comparing apples to oranges.  We all have at some point in our lives, right?
I want to be petite, more fit, have smaller feet, get rid of my stretch marks and loose skin but to some of these women I am their HOPE.  
...and that blows my mind.  

I was talking with one of my Momma's today and she said she really thought about our conversation after workout yesterday and that she was going to focus on being the best person SHE could be.  No more "Oh I wish I looked like ____" and it hit me.  She's right.
We waste time wishing we lived someone else's life rather than being content with our own.  
We want that 20 year old's bikini body but we are DIFFERENT.  All DIFFERENT.
We don't need to live life comparing and picking ourselves apart physically. 

We should be proud knowing we've worked hard to get where we are today, we will keep that pride as we work hard again tomorrow...and the next and the next.  I will embrace my stretch marks and loose skin knowing this is ME.  I didn't get to 254 lbs without some stretched skin so I must embrace that and use it as a reminder of where I've been and to never go back.  
I will no longer allow those imperfections to steal my glory.  That would be crazy.   

I work dang hard and dedicate A LOT of time and energy to my health but we only get one life, one body so why sit back and let it waste away?  Our bodies were born to work hard and conquer fears and goals...and I will NOT rest until I have reached women across the world and help them see that they are WORTH IT 

and that although it would be NICE, they don't need Chris Powell or Bob Harper (although I LOVE them both and would give anything to meet them!!) to come yank them from their living room to get moving and fight to LIVE.  

We can do that by finding the "village" within us or around us!  



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WANT to I WILL

Living a life full of THINKING and WANTING CHANGE never gives us...
CHANGE.

It's pretty simple.
We want something, we work hard for it. 

We don't dream of a million dollars and it magically appears, just as we don't dream of losing 15lbs and wake up and POOF! it's gone.  Right?

We THINK we are ready to work hard but can't quite imagine that it will take sacrifice, dedication and the fight deep within us EVERY, SINGLE DAY.

We WANT to eat right, exercise and take care of our health BUT...
What's the "BUT"?  
You tell me.
"But ________________"

Whatever the answer is, I want you to think hard about taking the "BUT" away.
Changing the WANT to I WILL will change things in your mind drastically.

I will workout. Instead of "I want to workout BUT____"
I will eat right.  Instead of "I want to eat right BUT ______"
I will focus on drinking less soda and more water.
I will dedicate my evenings to some time outdoor and active with my family.
I will stop feeling sorry for myself. Instead of "I want change but it's not fair BECAUSE________.  


This is Kelly.
Kelly met me back in October, I believe.
She is a fighter.
She showed up the first day, as we started our warm up jog and said to me, "I don't run, I never have and never will...I just don't run" 
That was BEFORE she ran her first 10K and signed up for a half marathon!  Uh YES!
Sounds to me like she stopped using "BUT" and started believing in herself!
She's unstoppable...just look at her!
She is inspiring.  She had the baggage that some of us carry from being heavy for a part of our lives...it's tough to believe in ourselves after going through times of self-defeat and failure.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself for going through that in my life, I used it as fuel and I think she does too, every day.  We share the food struggles and her and I have discussed it MANY times.  It's tough to be able to talk about something so personal but I truly think it helps to know we are not alone in the battles we face.  Amazing isn't it?  When we start speaking up, we can help one another in a way that cannot be explained in words.  


More than just workout buddies, these Move It Mommas share a friendship.  Even when I dreamed up this idea, I never imagined we would form the relationships that we have...it's incredible to me.  If we're having trouble taking the next step on our journey, we discuss it before one of us falls down and hits rock bottom once again.  It's not about "Oh I'm starting over..." It's about "I'm ready to fight back time and time again".  

These women do not all have issues with food or emotional eating problems as I do, 
but we all have a mountain.  
A climb that tries to knock us down to the bottom every day.  
We share that and it's powerful.  
Some of us had a disease that tried to defeat us but it didn't win, some of us have battled weight for most of our lives while others are insecure and want to feel and look better.  
EVERY reason is a GOOD REASON to take care of ourselves TOGETHER.  
And even if a group like this doesn't exist near you, find a group and make it happen :)  


And after that pep talk, I'll leave you with some nachos I created for my boys and they LOVED them!  I used the leftover turkey mixture that I made for burritos, added wheat thins and some 2% cheese melted on top, served with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt and served to happy boys!  Oh yes I'm sure they'd love the full-fat, deep fried version from the local Mexican restaurant but this alternative just made nachos a bit better for my kids and that matters SO much to me!  
It's the little moments that make the biggest impact and 
I strive to work on that every day for myself and my family!  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

the mountain.

You know sometimes I love to put things into perspective, to help each of us see our capabilities...I want to inspire and convince you that change is always worth it so here we go:


When we think about change- losing weight, gaining strength, getting healthy or whatever health and fitness goals we may have, we probably realize that it's going to take work, sacrifice and determination but are we TRULY prepared?
The mountain.
I heard it on Extreme Weight Loss and it's SO true.

If we stand back and look at the mountain from a distance (our weight loss, our health issues, etc)
it'll seem TOO big.  TOO much to conquer.  TOO hard.  
But if we don't look "up" and just start climbing, chipping away at it and slowly making our way forward then it might not seem as big.  
If we lose focus and momentum instead of turning around and climbing back down to the "bottom" we should stop, take a few breaths, see how far we've come and continue moving UP!

Too often in my past and with people that I help on their journey, they will look at the mountain, feel intimidated and inferior because their mountain seems bigger than those around them.  Instead of motivating them to keep climbing, they'll look up, see fear and climb back down because down is EASY.  Trouble is if we slowly work our way up only to come tumbling down we've not helped ourselves AT ALL, we've only created more problems with failure within ourselves and in our minds.  
Truth is, our mountains are ALL different.
We may not see where others struggle or what they hide.  We may not realize that their mountain contains just as many obstacles as our own.  
The key is to never lose sight of the CLIMB.
Sounds silly but we must keep climbing.  Even when we wanna stumble down and give up.  We can't because it will only bring us to the place we've been before, the place that felt alone and helpless.  The place that was intimidated and full of fear.  

GET UP AND KEEP CLIMBING!  
I'd climb a million times over to beat feeling the way I felt for so long.  
My mountain has no peak and no end...if it did, I'd slowly work my way back down and I will NEVER do that.  I REFUSE.  


A big part of my journey, my "climb" is my children.  I want to create awareness of their bodies, their heart and their minds.  I want them to see that exercise and healthy foods play into EVERY aspect of our lives.  I want them to see that it is SO important to treat our bodies right...to take care of them.  


Another huge "climb" for me is my foods.  
I love to over eat.  
I am an emotional eater and that doesn't just mean when I'm sad.  I want to eat when I'm bored, angry, happy, sad, stressed...you name it, I wanna eat through it!  Eeeek!  
It's a DAILY struggle and "climb" for me to fight temptation when I'm going through an emotion and for me to constantly remind myself that FOOD IS ONLY FOOD.  Whew this one is rough for me, DAILY.  There isn't a day that goes by that this doesn't try and defeat me.  It's tough but I am reminded that it's a far better struggle than the ones I used to feel when I was helpless and afraid to change yet miserable in my own body.  Not a good place to be for any of us.  
To avoid defeat, I keep things simple and I'm always changing things up to avoid boredom with my eats.  

Trader Joes multi grain pancake topped with PB and some berries was one of my pre-workout breakfast items the other day!  
I make these and freeze for easy grab and go options for myself and the kiddos :)


Turkey Burritos:
Ground turkey, one can Mexicorn, can black beans and a little cheese on top.  Brown meat with beans and Mexicorn then layer Ole high fiber/low carb burritos with meat mixture, roll up and top with a little cheese.  Serve on lettuce leaves with a spoon of my Greek ranch on top! (I keep this made and handy each week for veggie dipping, etc) 
My husband's version just added salsa, which I can't stand but he LOVES it!  
YOU CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH OATS!  1/2 cup cooked oats prepared with berries and cinnamon.  You can add a few banana slices and cinnamon, pumpkin puree and cinnamon...ANYTHING!!!!  

Sometimes just sitting and talking about our struggles and ideas to make healthy living easier makes the journey that much easier to handle.  After our workouts we talk, share struggles and triumphs together as a group.  Bounce ideas off one another until we reach successes each week!


Having that support makes the "climb" that much easier.  Your mountain won't be the same as the people around you and it SHOULDN'T BE.  We should want to have our own story to tell.  Our story can help those around us in ways that we may not realize at the time.  Keep climbing UP instead of only looking up and feeling defeating time and time again.  You'll continue on the path that you're on and chances are, it's not where you 100% want or need to be.  I'm always a work in progress, slipping up or kicking butt...BUT I keep on keepin on!  Ha, if that even makes sense...and YOU SHOULD TOO!!!!

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