Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I wonder where I'd be if I wouldn't have taken that first step back in 2001...

That step into the gym, the one that felt so heavy, 
almost as if the world was resting on my shoulders.

The people around me were going about their normal day and I sat in my parked car for hours.
I was terrified.
Will people stare at me? Will they wonder how that "big girl" will get through the workout?
Will they laugh at my lack of endurance?
Will I collapse and everyone stare and point fingers?
I won't know how to use the machines, will people offer to help or will I stand there, lost?  

As I sat in my car I thought about where I'd be if I had taken this STEP sooner?
No reason to dwell...time to walk in that gym, one foot in front of the other...

...That SINGLE STEP changed my entire life.

I had saved my life.  I was losing weight, feeling good and so thankful that I was brave enough to take that first step...

Years passed and it was time to be brave once again...

Yep, I fell in love, created a family and started to let my health go.
THE one I worked so hard to accomplish.  That first step, did it mean anything anymore?
It was THAT step that allowed me to believe that I was strong enough to take control again and keep working my way toward better health.  It wasn't starting over for me.  It shouldn't be for you either.  It's a journey...
It was time to STEP out again.  This time was less scary because I knew the gym like the back of my head, I graduated with a degree in health and exercise for goodness sake BUT the hard part this time was very different.  

The STEP this time was admitting that I had let go...that I had fallen behind and was ready to catch up again.  

It's tough to admit we lost control but it only proves that we're human.  We have flaws and failure is part of life.  

It's getting back up, continuing to put one foot in front of the other EVERY day.  THIS step was just as difficult but again, it changed my life. 

It was January 2013 and my husband and I decided to run the Commitment Day 5K, promising to make 2013 our healthiest year yet but from the pictures, you can visibly see that it wasn't starting out that way...I had fallen behind once again.  But it was okay because I admitted it and it was time to fight back...

Today I make STEPS toward my health every day.  
I have to.
It's part of who I am.
I am a symbol of strength and dedication to so many women and I do NOT take that lightly.
I take great pride in being their accountability.  Their symbol of honesty and hope.
I LOVE the journey because it brought me to where I am today.  

Who knows where I'd be if I hadn't worked up the courage to get out of the car that day in 2001.  
Yes I've had steps backward 

If you feel down about taking a few steps back or maybe you're afraid to take that very first step toward your journey...REACH DOWN DEEP INSIDE 
and build up the courage to fight for YOU! 

My life wouldn't be what it is today without the million steps I've taken through life.  
I regret none of them because it helped me become who I am today.  
I am a women who understands what failure looks and feels like.  I know about taking steps backward, I've taken them a million times but I also know how beautiful that FIRST step feels.
The step that represents SO many things...take it! 
It makes you so incredibly vulnerable just thinking about it but take it anyway!  
You'll NEVER regret it!  

Monday, December 15, 2014

party recap and "knowing the struggle on the inside"

Another Move It Momma Christmas party is in the books!  OH such fun!!!

We clean up nicely!
There was plenty of laughter throughout the night, making for a great evening with beautiful people!  These ladies are absolutely gorgeous and they are like family to me :)

We talked after workout today about people seeing the struggles that we fight day to day.  
If these struggles are not voiced within our group then I fear that some feel as though they are fighting alone.  The thing that we most have in common?  

The struggles are what makes us come together 
to accomplish the goal each week to stay healthy!
It's the ONLY thing that works for me, personally
 so they save my life by showing up each week!  It's true.  

What struggles?  Let's see...

We struggle to show up to the workouts. Even I do and I'm the instructor! 
We want to sleep in, stay in our pj's and conquer the day from the couch but we DON'T.

We struggle to NOT eat that bag of chips on the counter or those honey bun's in the pantry.
But it's not just "Oh that looks delicious." For me it's TOUGH.  I seriously talk to myself, out loud to tell myself I don't need that, it's only my mind wanting it because I'm tired, stressed, bored, etc!  IT.IS.HARD to stay away at every hour of every day.  I have to fight that urge to open the pantry to mindless munching.  I have to tell myself I don't need that bag of Doritos that's staring me down at the grocery store.  I have to have an argument with myself over each and every bite that goes into my mouth.  Am I afraid one day I'll spiral out of control?  Not anymore because I'm honest with myself and if I screw up and go overboard, I forgive myself because I'm human and I keep at it knowing tomorrow is a new day, or that next meal needs to be smarter.  BUT if I try and fool myself into thinking that this struggle is easy then I'm lying to myself and setting up to fail.  

We struggle to NOT compare ourselves to one another.
It's okay to be truthful on this one.  We, as women, want what others have.  Oh I wish I had your tummy, legs, thighs, butt...and the list goes on.  Truth is, we can struggle here but we must accept ourselves the way that we are.  I am not a curvy woman and I always admit that I wish I had curves.  I hate being tall but openly admit it.  But I also know I am strong and that we as women must lift one another up instead of drag one another down.  We lose sight of our own value, strength and courage when we are constantly living in the shadows of "what we wish we had." and it does not make it okay to bash another woman for taking care of her health, due to jealously that you can't justify because that woman overcomes her struggles each day. It must end.

We struggle to be honest with ourselves.
Honesty makes us stronger. The honesty is what helps people grow, change & inspire one another. 
I personally tell it like it is. I have loose skin and stretch marks. I have had no surgeries or tools that helped me get healthy...ever. Yes I took supplements here and there until I educated myself on proper nutrition in college. But it must be the work YOU put in, the struggles you overcome each moment, and the sacrifices YOU make to be healthy. 

Don't live trapped inside a body that doesn't "work". It's no way to live and you CAN fight back. Make a positive outcome out of the battles you fight within. To me, the more you struggle, the harder you'll push! 
It makes you indestructible! 


Monday, December 8, 2014

Could have been or what will be?

Which will be YOU?
A little Monday Motivation around the Holiday Season!  A time of year to celebrate our lives, families, friends, our faith and OUR HEALTH!  We all know 2015 is around the corner and we'll be bombarded with NEW YEAR, NEW YOU motivation but will you spend another year saying "could have been?"  HOPE NOT...
Will you look back and say, "My life could have been better?"  Or will you be the "I did it!"
My younger years were back and forth.  I had years where I'd keep my weight down significantly and maintain for a bit here and there. I also had years that seemed to get worse before they would get better...I'd gain quite a bit of weight in a short amount of time from constantly overeating meal after meal but then I'd set myself straight, starve and be back on the right track, I think?

Although that picture on the left reflects a shorter time in my life, it was my heaviest and the middle represents where I stayed for YEARS... it is my "could have been" phase.  Because while I love to stand by the NO REGRETS attitude, I do have regrets.  Somewhat.  I don't wish for a different life because this life led me to where I am today, helping people.  
The important thing is that I didn't STAY in the "could have been " stage forever...
the life of regret.

INSTEAD I said, "What will I do to change my life? What will I do to be healthy once and for all?"
And I did it.
Was it easy?  NO.
Did I stumble and take two steps back...more than a few times?  YES.
But I didn't give up because I knew giving up meant going back to "could have been" and I wanted to change SO badly.  For my health, my happiness, for ME...I wanted to be the "what will be!"

Want it badly enough that you'll do anything to reach it.
It will give you just enough fuel to push you through the process.  That's not saying life won't knock you down a time or's saying you will never quit!  EVER!  Even after you reach the destination...You'll make a promise to keep climbing, reaching and exceeding and making your "WHAT WILL BE" different and exciting...EVERY DAY!  

Monday, December 1, 2014

all or nothing...

is NOT the way it has to be, or the way it should be.

I cannot stress how important finding balance can be.  It will set you up to fail or succeed, trust me.  
I'm living proof and while I know the "why" because it is what I studied in college, it doesn't quite set you up for the emotional roller coaster that comes with healthy living or lack there of.
You see I struggled to find the balance for so many years.  

I would spend months overeating and splurging with every meal, never allowing my body time to burn the calories I had consumed.  
In other words, I didn't have a chance to lose weight AT ALL.  
This was me giving in to failure over and over again.  
I would consume far too many calories, NEVER exercise
 yet constantly complain about why life wasn't fair and why I wasn't losing weight?  I mean, really?

Then my balance would swing the other way.  I had become fed up with the way things were so I'd starve?  Yes, that had to be the answer?  
So I'd eat far too few calories, NEVER exercise and 
now really complain about how life wasn't fair and why did I have to try so hard for such tiny results?  

You can only wonder why I became so frustrated with myself for years! 

So then you'd see the vicious cycle return and I'd start out heavier than before, eat even MORE, exercise even less (if that was possible?) and I found myself further back then where I started months prior.  Ugh, it's tiring just writing about it 
so you can imagine how my body and mind felt as I'd spiral out of control.  

I honestly believe that we are brought up watching women become obsessed with appearance.  I'm too tall, short, skinny or fat so let me try the latest craze to see if I can knock this out before this party then I'll let it all go for a few months before our trip when I really need to step it up.  Is that the truth?  I hear it constantly..."I have a wedding coming up", "my 20 year reunion is coming up and I need to lose 50lbs", "I need to lose 20lbs by summer"...but I think we've got it all wrong.

Thinking that way only sets ups up for negative behaviors and that yo-yo effect.  
It doesn't have to be all or nothing to be successful.
I thought that way for so long that it's a daily struggle to teach my body and mind differently.
You see these days I focus on one day, one hour or one minute at a time.  
If I make a positive food choice or I workout hard, I praise myself for a job well done!  
And you should too!  

I'm not out to be on the cover of Fitness Magazine-unless they'd love to feature me??!  LOL
So I'm not going to go all or nothing ends badly for me and I know it's not the answer.
BALANCE is tough but it is THE only thing that works for me.  
It is the only way I avoid feeling like I'm trapped in this healthy way of living.  
It can be SO difficult at times and I know that but to maintain the balance is SO much easier than the bouncing back and forth, physically and emotionally.  I'm far less exhausted and that matters for someone who struggles with tying emotions to food :(  

I'm not a doctor so I can't suggest what will work for you but if you relate to what I described then it's time to start balancing your life and STOP the cycle of "dieting", beating yourself up and quitting.  It's far more exhausting than a great workout and healthy foods, trust me!

You have THREE solid weeks before Christmas break (for your children!)
so my local group of Momma's decided we'd start a challenge.  If you'd like to follow along, "Like" The Move It Momma on Facebook and join in!  They have put $5 into a pot and there are three ways to win.  Most attendance at my local classes, most weight lost and most inches lost!  ANYTHING that helps me encourage, motivate and inspire works for me!  It's the accountability around the Holiday's that helps so much.  Especially when we are in a world full of Pumpkin Lattes and cookies galore this time of year LOL!  STAY STRONG and practice balance.  Don't go into it with the "all or nothing" attitude.  You may find yourself set up to fail.  Instead, pick your indulges!  Don't give in all of the time but instead set times aside that you know you'll indulge just a bit and prepare to kick it up the next day, staying structured with your foods and exercising vigorously!  It works, trust me!  

On our group page I shared what I eat throughout the day so here's my daily eats in pictures!  This was breakfast from today, 2 snacks and lunch!

1/2 c oats with fresh raspberries and cinnamon.  
handful of natural almonds and a crumbled white cheddar rice cake
3 egg whites sauteed in coconut oil spray on a whole wheat thin with a clementine orange
1/2 c plain Chobani Greek served with 12 brown rice crackers. 
and finally our dinner is in the works...
1 lbs Jenni-O breakfast sausage, 1 lb extra lean ground turkey combined with chopped garlic and chopped onion.
Add 2 cans tomato sauce no salt added and simmer!
Boil low carb pasta, roast spaghetti squash, or use brown rice or quinoa pasta to go along with it...and don't forget your fresh veggies of your choice :) 

Monday, November 24, 2014

how's your mind?

I think as we approach the Holiday's we start to think about the year ahead but also we look at the year that will soon pass...
Did we do all of the things that we set out to accomplish?  Did we stick to that New Year's Resolution?  What will we work toward in 2015? 

I distinctly remember in my past setting out to have "THAT YEAR, the one where everything changed and I never looked back" only to fall short by February.  Been there?
What was wrong and why couldn't I stick to it?
I saw the commercials getting me geared up for discount gym memberships and treadmills on sale, I'd spend hours searching for good, healthy recipes to make...what was wrong?  Why didn't it work?
And it wasn't a failed attempt once or twice, it was EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR...

You see it wasn't about the "want" or the "frustrations with my health or lack of",
My body was ready and able. I had the resources, the money to spend and the time (if I MADE time) but my mind gave out much sooner than all of those other factors.  
I didn't believe in ME so none of these "tools" would stick.
It didn't matter how much I wanted to change or get healthy...I could have cried every day for 3 months but if my mind didn't believe I could do it, it seemed like a where I'd wake up as the same old me but I wanted so much more.  I was doomed to fail time and time again.
Making over my MIND took work and it will take work for the rest of my life.
Some things my mind had to understand:

Life isn't always fair. Some people have to focus on their health EVERY,SINGLE.DAY of their lives
Putting in the work is hard and it probably won't get any easier.
It's a SLOW process. I didn't gain the weight or decrease my health overnight 
so it will come off painfully and slowly.While it's tough, I wouldn't trade it for anything because it has made me who I am today.  I am stronger because of the struggle and I appreciate that.
Our bodies are strong but our minds are too.
Our mind will give out far before our bodies.  We are strong and our bodies are built to work hard so when your mind tells you to quit-then it's time to dig deeper, get inspired and keep going!
I can remember saying "I can't do ____" before trying.  THAT was my mind. You know my body could handle it but my mind didn't believe I could so why try?  WRONG ATTITUDE.

I think SO many people find themselves defeated in their mind so their body just follows.  If we repeat to ourselves that we failed and are worthless, at some point the body will believe it.  
I get excuse after excuse on WHY people can't workout, lose the weight or get healthy...
All I hear is the mind quitting on the body.  NO matter the struggles, we were built to fight. 
 We were built to be strong so why allow our minds to get in the way of that? 

Let your New Years Resolution be to STOP allowing defeat in your life and start fighting back!
SET a goal and reach matter what life throws your way.  
You can use those moments to make you stronger or defeat you...YOU CHOOSE!
Stop making excuses for your health and start making changes.  Excuses become all the same...
It's when you rise about those excuses that you can really make change happen so why wait?
I challenge you to not even wait until 2015, START NOW!  Why do you need some grand start to the New Year to get YOU healthy?  There's only one YOU so work on it today and every day!

Thanksgiving Day swap idea:
MIM Moon Pop Pumpkin "Pie"
whole wheat Moon Pop topped with Pumpkin low fat cream cheese!  Ohhhh it's So good! 

We can all make up a list of excuses, a to-do list a mile long or priorities that rise about exercise and nutrition but what do those excuses do for us?  Make us better?  Nope.  
These kids attended boot camp today because it's Thanksgiving break.  How many excuses can we make, as Mom's when our kids are home from school?  Instead, these ladies brought their kiddos and they worked out with us!  Some of them begged to attend tomorrow!!  YES!  Exposure is key and when they watch you putting your health as a priority, they'll do the same!  PROMISE!  It's a beautiful thing...TRY IT!!!  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Staying focused throughout the Holiday season

Sometimes staying healthy can be overwhelming around the Holidays...
EVERY year I must decide what's important: to indulge over and over again or to find balance, while having a few not-so-healthy menu items here and there!

One way to stay focused is creating or finding a challenge to keep you accountable and motivated...or possibly a winter race, depending on where you live.  
I have created a challenge for my local group of women called "Jingle the Jiggle Away"! 
I will have three categories or chances to win while having participants throw in $5 to the winners pot!  

Any tips on ways to include my readers from far away would be appreciated? I'd love to get my online readers a chance to play along and stay inspired right along with us??  
It will be three weeks beginning the Monday following Thanksgiving 
and ending the week before Christmas! 

**Please email suggestions to: 

Make sure you keep plenty of healthy options on hand so you aren't caught off guard around homemade chocolate chip cookies or fudge brownies...eeek!
I love cottage cheese but my tummy cannot tolerate it most of the time, until I found THIS!  
Lactaid, lactose-free cottage cheese!  
It's a perfect pair for my fresh berries or a great addition to scrambled eggs for extra fluff! 

crunchy PB, another staple in our home!
Nothing like a Chocolate rice cake topped with some crunchy PB for an on the go snack while Christmas shopping or running errands!
I packed this one on my trip to the grocery store this week.  I topped the rice cake with PB, wrapped it in wax paper to avoid sticking and then dropped it into a plastic bag!  SIMPLE!

Delicious alternatives to traditional Holiday meals always helps us stay focused!
I tried my lasagna recipe, only subbing noodles with spaghetti squash and layering in a baking dish rather than a large Pyrex!  It was delicious!
1 lb lean meat of your choice, I used extra lean ground beef
chopped garlic and onion
Brown meat with garlic and onion until cooked through.  Add 1 large can of tomato sauce-no salt added and simmer.  Slice spaghetti squash lengthwise, spoon out seeds, etc and lay face down in Pyrex with 1-2 inches of water.  
Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes or until outside of squash feels tender and you can pierce with fork easily.  Flip over and scrape creating "spaghetti noodles" from squash.  
I then layered my baking dish with some "noodles", a layer of sauce/meat mixture and then small spoons of low fat ricotta then top final layer with 2% Mozzarella.  Bake until melted and bubbly :)

FOCUS by creating healthy, balanced snacks throughout the day.  I started my day with 1/2 cup Lactaid cottage cheese mixed with fresh berries and 1/2 of a clementine orange!  YUM! 

FOCUS by preparing new meals rather than getting in a repetition of the same foods each week. 
I sometimes saute 2 egg whites in coconut oil spray and serve on a whole wheat Bagel thin or slice of sprouted bread.  Served with fresh raspberries here!  

FOCUS by doing things that are active together as a family!  
We will be running a 5K as a family on Thanksgiving Day!  How about you?
Create fun games outdoors that'll keep your family from standing around the food and munching!  Create new, healthy memories!!!

A proud moment for me this week!  I am in charge of the Run Club at my boys' school.  We have over 100 children that show up, voluntarily twice a week at 7am to run on the track and build up their mileage.  My boys LOVE this group, especially my oldest.  He averages around 3-4 miles/day and placed 2nd in his grade level for most mileage over an 8-week period.  My youngest placed 1st in his grade for mileage so to say I was proud is an understatement!
I love running because it's about YOU and YOU only.  Nobody does it for you or helps you out, you MUST put in the hard work, every step and every breath to be successful and my boys did that along with 100+ other students!  WOW.  Coming from a girl who HATED running and all forms of exercise growing up, it makes me proud knowing I am part of something that is keeping these children healthy and we are exposing them to active living at a young age.  That is so important.  Especially in a world of team sports-which I still promote, running is an individual sport based on nothing more than THE RUNNER.  THE ATHLETE.  Running will be there for their entire lives and they will not need a referee or umpire to be successful at it.  They do not need a goalie, a first baseman or a quarterback to make healthy strides with this sport and 
Hope they will carry that love with them for a lifetime...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

the way it used to be...

I remember like it was yesterday, the feelings I'd have when it was time to change but would it stick?

Most of the time it was, Oh yes I'll start Monday.  There will be Tae-Bo in the living room then healthier meals and NO fast food.  I'll start Monday and it'll be great.  But since I "start" Monday I better live it up these next few days since I'll be starving after that.  
Then the dreaded Monday would arrive, I'd start with a bad mood from being "hungry" and then I'd spiral out of control the second I was left alone with all that temptation surrounding me.  Or my mindset would be, Ah I did great today so tomorrow a Happy Meal won't mess things up too terribly bad? The Happy Meal would turn into a trip to the convenient store for Doritos and a Sprite...and next thing I knew I was "starting again" next Monday :(  
I think for me the road less traveled seemed scary.  I wanted to be social, hang out with friends and be able to enjoy myself at parties and family gatherings and that usually meant FOOD was involved in some way.  Unlike drugs and alcohol, we must have FOOD to survive so in that sense, we can make excuses for our poor food habits.  Most people find it discouraging to have to think about the things we do with our bodies- exercise and nutrition.  It takes work and planning.  Some days I hate it, others I embrace it and love it because it outweighs the old me and where I stayed for so long.  If you haven't been in that dark place, then it's hard to grasp or understand.  And if you've never successfully overcome it, then it's even more difficult to see happiness and success on the other side of things.  Am I right?  

Getting your mind in the game is a HUGE part of the struggle.  I made this egg white and cottage cheese omelette today for breakfast with fresh fruit.  It took 5 min of my time, zero planning and it was delicious and filling.  A win-win!  The old me would have decided on cereal, most likely Cheerios (a not-so-bad option right?) but I'd eat 3-4 heaping bowls of it.  All of a sudden I'd make a decent breakfast option, terrible for myself.  How did I always manage to do that?  Ugh.  

These days are a balancing act.
It's a constant struggle and I have good days and bad.  You will have them too.

I was afraid, lost and had zero self-confidence.  That's a bad combination and a tough one to break.
Slowly, after years of learning from my mistakes and successes, I have found that balance as of now.
That's not to say bumps down the road may deter me but I will NEVER QUIT!

My heart aches for adults and children who feel as I did.  Who went through the "I'll start Monday's" over and over again.  It's a cycle that has no end unless WE PUT AN END TO IT OURSELVES.
Enough has to be enough and we can't want it for superficial reasons.  So you want to be ready for your class reunion?  Great that'll last for a few weeks and then you'll sabotage and end up right back where you started, only further back.  It must be for your health, your well-being, your change to start living life to its fullest.  It has to come from your whole heart, body and soul.  
A road this difficult can't be attempted just to fit in a pair of jeans, it must be SO much more than that...and yes those smaller jeans are a HUGE perk but not the fuel behind my fire and desire to live healthy!

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