Jan 11
2017

My Fight

Transparency.

This is my goal.

Today marks day three of my latest round of my fitness program. This time I’m fighting. Really fighting.

For the past six months I have been forced to kind of go through the motions in my fitness routine. Now, I am allowed to go all out. There are times my pain might force a slight pause but I am promising that when I reach the end of my workout, there will be nothing left inside of me to fight with.

This time, I’m stepping up….perhaps leaping. I am going to show you every day. I am going to show you what I’m eating & how this eating plan works. I will show you the times I fall. I will prove I showed up for my workouts.

My beginning pictures are taken as well as measurements & the scale. My goals are set. Honestly, right now I am pushing myself knowing that taking off some of this extra weight will help the pain & discomfort that I feel from my knee down to my toes. I do not want to have this condition slow my life down now, but also not 15 years down the road either.

I am fighting for me. I am fighting to be a better me. A healthier me.

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So far the workouts I have completed have been:
Day 1: MMA Speed
Day 2: Dynamic Strength
Day 3: MMA Speed

I intend on documenting this every day. My body changing. Sure, different pants hit in different places, but the point of showing up. The point of showing that small daily choices do not show up the next morning, but in thirty days, we might see every choice added up.

This round I have committed fully to the eating system. No more “guess-work” like I so easily slip into. Here is what I’ve been eating for the past few days.

 

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Superfoods are a must. Simple nutrition!

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Busy mama has to have handy snacks!

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The veggies were such an easy dinner fix. I bought some ready to go from the store & cut up a few more to add in. I cooked these up with some olive oil, ground pepper & Himalayan Pink salt. We enjoyed these over some quinoa with a little bit of liquid aminos added in. For a serving of protein, I threw on some mahi mahi. Veggies & quionoa left over like this is delicious thrown on a corn tortilla the next night!

I used to be really good at saying that eating clean was too complicated so my mission has been simple nutrition. Daily I strive to find ways to make eating clean just as simple as grabbing overly processed items filled with chemicals.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I did swap a yellow for wine last night with my mom. FullSizeRender2.jpg

The best part is that I don’t even know if I actually finished my glass.

This morning I woke up feeling strong, lean, confident, excited and proud. Then, I crushed my workout & all those feelings multiplied greatly. The best part is knowing that tomorrow, they will multiply again.IMG_2165

Until Next Time~

Jan 4
2017

Page Three

There is something about a blank canvas. Or perhaps about a blank piece of paper.

You stare at it wondering what exactly you can create.It is a brand new beginning, a fresh start, an empty page, a new chance.

No, I am not one to set a New Years Resolution. I have tried many, many times and to be honest I am not sure I ever made it past the 7th day of January.

This blank piece of paper in front of you is not about a resolution for 2017.

But, perhaps it is a clean slate or maybe just a brand new beginning.

Sure, beginnings are always scary. No one knows what this new year will actually bring. Endings are typically on the emotional side. But the middle, that is the sweet spot.

The middle is where the magic can happen if we allow it.

You, my friends, are looking at a new page. Today, January 3rd, you are looking at page three out of 365 pages.

Can I ask you what you want to write when you arrive at page 365? What do you want that last page to say when you close out the year?

Do you want to write about your growth? Perhaps about all the goals you set? Maybe you want to scribe away at all the memories you created being more present this year?

Do you want to write about how you changed nothing despite the way you are feeling now? Do you want to scribe your regrets across that page? Do you want to still have your dreams trapped inside your head afraid to let them go any further?

Today is just day three. That blank canvas or that blank page is waiting for your story.

Go write it. Go draw it. Go live it.

That way when you arrive at page 365 you can smile because you lived. You stopped caring about what others might think of your crazy goals & your big dreams. You stopped being afraid that perhaps you might just fail. You stopped living your daily feeling miserable & you changed it.

I am on page three. You know I will scribe across every page I can because when I arrive at page 365, I want my pages filled with a hell of a story.

Until Next Time~

Dec 31
2016

What 2016 Taught Me

When I write, I find out things about myself I didn’t realize. I just wrote an opening sentence and it slapped me across the face because it was not reality.

This will be my third year I have sat down to write a blog post at the end of the year to share what I have learned.

This year will be my best yet. The amount of growth I experienced in the past year is almost hard to comprehend. I used to think “self-help” books were a joke and self-care when you were a mom was something put on the back burner until you had an empty nest years down the road.

This year I learned about myself. I am fully aware of my weaknesses and have learned to embrace them. I have learned my strengths and how to use them to help others. I have learned that a good mom does not mean a clean house but in fact, means being present with her children. Laundry can wait…well, to an extent…until mom doesn’t have any clean workout clothes that is!

I have learned about love. There is a love out there for everyone, a love that fully accepts you just the way you are. A love that loves your madness and thinks your flaws are perfect. A love that can read you as if the words are written across your forehead, a love that will not let you hide anything. A love that makes you a much better version of you.

Love was the theme, but the biggest growth came down to self-love.

As I approach 2017, I fully love every piece of me….and y’all, I’m messed up!

I struggled growing up, in college and then as a mom with body image. I spent the majority of my life feeling self-conscious, looking in the mirror and picking apart every single thing wrong with me, which seemed to be everything.

My growth is shown right here. The old me would be sitting here wishing she was just like this K in this picture from a few years back. FullSizeRender

Sure, she looks great on the outside and appears to be beaming with happiness and confidence. But, like a book, don’t ever judge it by the cover. She was broken. She lost weight because she was barely eating a thing and was training for a marathon. She was damaging her body daily with little nutrition but yet glasses of wine nightly. That smile was hiding so much and I never want to be like her.

My body is far from perfect. In fact, it’s pretty much messed up. You all know my love for my “tree trunk legs” but let’s talk about my deformity! I mean, I have always HATED my feet. You are way more likely to catch me in some Sketcher Go Walks in the summer than a pair of flip-flops. But, now, it’s legit deformed and causing me so many issues and struggles daily. But, it’s me. It is a part of me, the body I was given to live my life in.

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A few years ago, I had to have a pretty extensive repair on my shoulder in two different areas. This drives me nuts, or used to…but my upper body is literally lopsided. Can you see how much higher the one shoulder is compared to the other? This is how it healed and despite the doctors telling me it would be good as new post-surgery, it is not and there are many things I loved to do that I can’t and as for push-ups….those don’t work well either.

 

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Now, we can talk about the mama pouch that just never looks the same again. We can talk about the stretch marks and the cellulite because I wear it all. We can chat about the many signs of losing weight and regaining weight in my horrible cycles since my college years. We can talk about the rolls that multiply when I bend over or sit down. Let’s talk about the curves I once despised that now I embrace.

I will gladly share because I love it all. It’s me. It is my 36-year-old body, it’s the life I have lived so far.

Now do not get me wrong here; you can LOVE your body – and work for it to be better. I believe we were made to move, we were made to be active. My body is where I have to live my life and I want it to be strong, physically able to do anything and healthier every day.

The tag in my pants does not drive me. The size of my shirt does not either. Right now, what keeps me going is knowing that getting to a healthier weight can possibly help some of my pain and symptoms from my foot up to my hip.

So, in 2017 I will continue to practice self-love and self-care daily. The message I want my girls to observe daily is just that: love yourself. Love all there is about you; the imperfectly perfect you that God created.

My theme for 2017 is growth. Growing a little bit every single day not just with love inside me, love around me, but a LOVE for LIFE.

Cheers to you as you ring in a brand new year. May your 2017 be filled with memories to cherish, love everywhere and a passion for your life.
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Until Next Time~

Dec 22
2016

One Promise

In the past, I have always allowed the stress of this time of year to completely win in the battle against me. The overwhelmed feeling, the feeling that it was not going to get all done, the stress of the mile long lists of things to do.

This year, as the holiday season approached I made one promise to myself.

NOT THIS YEAR.15179177_1096176267159625_6459369893790849759_n

This was going to be the year that I did not let the hustle & bustle of the holidays completely take me over. I was going to stay focused on what mattered.

You see, I always tried so hard to make this time of year PERFECT for everyone. Everyone. But, for me, I literally was kicking the crap out of myself & clarity was gone.

I lost sight of what mattered the most. I thought perfection was what counted. A PERFECT holiday for everyone. But, the way I was measuring this perfection was based on the wrong things. 15241942_1102997753144143_5203682575355643417_n

Over the past year & a half, I have really dove head first into personal development with the goal of real, true personal growth. The growth that requires being in the trenches & digging yourself out.

This season I can see the type of growth that I was striving for.

My goal this holiday season is to love others; it is not about stressing myself out over the absolute perfect gift & it is NOT about the pretty bow I tie on their gifts. It’s about being present. Stopping in the moments to enjoy those around me, to enjoy the magic of the season, to feel the love I am surrounded by.

Yes, I only have one more day before the Christmas parties begin. No, I don’t have all my gifts purchased & I am waiting to see when some will finally arrive.

But, this year, the stress will not win. I promised myself to remember what really matters & it is not the perfect bow or the cleanest house or the best dish at the party.

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It is about being present regardless of just how imperfect you are. It is about pouring love into others, but guess what?

You must also pour love into yourself. I promised myself I would not lose sight of that because when I do, nothing in my life works right; nothing.

Now, for an evening with a few items on my “to do” list mixed with some items to make sure my cup stays full too.

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Until Next Time~

Dec 20
2016

Fearless Again

For months, I have started every workout with some fear. Fear of more damage. Fear of pain. Fear of never recovering.

Now, I have an answer to my pain. If you missed my post yesterday on social media I have what is called cavus foot. Basically, I was born with extremely high arches. Over time my foot has developed a deformity from it that causes me to walk very much on the outside of my foot. When standing my doctor could see signs of this condition all the way up to my knee. Related to this deformity is several muscle & tendon issues in my leg explaining so much of what I have been experiencing.

Step one is trying custom orthotics to see if they will relieve my pain. If they do not, surgery can happen but is pretty involved between the bones in my foot & lengthening my calf muscle. But, the positive is that I cannot do more damage. I have zero restrictions now & the doctor told me I can do whatever I would like as long as I can handle the pain.

So, this morning I felt like a brand new person! It felt like it was a brand new journey but this time, not because I’m re-starting because I haven’t quit, but because I finally know what I’m up against! I didn’t have to operate with fear of hurting myself further or questioning what caused it in the first place.

I felt fearless again as I pushed as hard as I could & in the moment I felt free. I felt like me

Today I began a new round of my latest workout program! I was very happy with my first round of 30 days while being on such big restrictions so now I want to see what I can accomplish, but still listening to my body, obviously.IMG_9262Of course I debated about waiting until after the Holidays. But, I decided to start now. Why wait? I know committing to this now will help me stay on track without lame excuses for the next two weeks. Starting now will give me a much better balance over the holidays as opposed to allowing myself too many temptations! For me, I know not being fully focused for the next two weeks will set my progress back much further than just two weeks. I know me.

I am going all in & going all out with sharing this journey fully here so stay tuned to how things are working & what I am eating; my struggles & my victories.

I am promising full disclosure & complete transparency in my journey. These pictures will show you very soon how I am doing.

Until Next Time~

Dec 9
2016

Lost In The Fight

I was fighting. I was fighting through hurdles. I was fighting through pain. I was fighting through fatigue. I was fighting her.

I found myself fighting with tears mixing with my sweat. They came out of nowhere. I was lost in the moment. Lost in the fight.

The last time I completed this workout was 23 days ago. I was weaker then, not just physically, but also mentally.

Today, I gave it all, I had to fight harder.

Perhaps I was fighting through frustration. I am an athlete & incredibly competitive & I don’t half-*ss anything. But, since August, I have been held back. It’s like I have a rope tied around my waist & I keep getting pulled backwards. I can’t “do me” like I am used to, like I want too. For at the very minimum, that rope is around me for four more weeks.

That rope can pull me back, but I don’t have to let it win.

There are times during my workouts, where I have to stop & walk it “off” or take deep breaths through pain. It is a physical struggle…but mentally, the struggle is so much greater than the physical one.

Like any journey in life, hurdles have a tendency to make us stop. We see it in front of us & are so afraid of what will happen if we try to jump it that instead, we just stop. I fight this hurdle daily.

Today, I still had that hurdle, in fact more than the other days this week. But, this time, I was different. This time I was lost in the fight; not stuck on the hurdle.

I was fighting. I was fighting to be stronger than yesterday. I was fighting through my weaknesses.

I was fighting her. The old me. The one that would have allowed the hurdle to stop me. The one that would have allowed the excuses to win. The one that would have given up because it was hard. FullSizeRender

I was so lost in the emotions of the workout that I was crying through it in a way I have only ever experienced one other time in my life.

I won. I beat her. The progress I have made in the past 25 days is not something I can explain to you. I’m not even sure I fully can comprehend it myself.

All I know, is that whatever hurdle jumps in my way, I will rise above it because today, I am stronger than I was yesterday.

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Until Next Time~

Dec 6
2016

Would You?

Can I ask you something?
If you knew that the next piece of pizza you ate would cause a heart attack….
If you knew that the next cigarette you smoked would melt your face off….
If you knew that every night sitting & watching TV for a few hours would give you depression, or lead to cancer or….
If you knew that eating that McDonald’s would cause you wake up tomorrow & be seriously obese…
If you knew that carrying that extra weight today would cause you heart disease by tonight…
If you knew that being overweight would force you to take medicines tomorrow morning for high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc….
If you knew that continuing your sedentary lifestyle would cause a handful of problems at tomorrow’s doctor appointment….
 
Would you continue or stop?
Our daily choices, even the smallest ones, compound over time. It’s like starting with a small snowball & rolling it slowly down the hill as it grows & grows.
 
Your snowball can grow into a healthy & full of life future OR it can grow into a depressed, medicated, future with serious health issues.
 
What choice would you choose today? Would you still eat that pizza, candy bar, french fries, etc? Or would you push play & choose to eat the foods our body was meant to eat?
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with pizza….what I am saying is that it has to be on occasion! TRUE modification is the way.
 
What you choose to do today will compound over time. What direction do you want to go?
Today I challenge you to ask yourself this before you make a choice: “If I did this EVERY DAY, would would happen a year from now?” 
 
As for me…I’m choosing to push play, eat whole foods, get up from my desk & drink my water…..because those are the choices that led me to stop living my life on the sidelines & propelled me actively into my life: for me + for my kids.
 
Yes, life can be short. I could never see age 37 but I could see age 100. Either way, I am going to treat my body with love, respect & care because THAT allows me to live my life the way I want to. That allows me to be the mom, partner, woman I want to be. 
Until Next Time~
Nov 16
2016

Perception

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” — Coach John Wooden

I saw this quote the other day & it hit me. I know my perception has been wrong lately. I have spent too much time focusing on what I cannot do. I have allowed the frustration to win. I have been staring out the window & the most gorgeous November weather I can recall in Michigan & only seeing it for what I could not do, which was lace up & head out for a run.

I was feeling stuck. I was struggling looking in the mirror. I was struggling in many areas of life.

I had one of those talks with myself acknowledging where I was & asked myself the hard questions. The hard questions led me to my new goals. The hard questions allowed me to see how much power I was giving to my excuses.

That punched me in the gut. I prefer to live my life with my effort always rising above my excuses.

It was time to change it up a little! Last week I played around with a few of the workouts in my new program to see if I thought I would be able to do them enough to commit to the program with my team. I was honestly amazed at how much I could do in the workouts & when there is a move I cannot do, I drop down into a plank instead.

On Monday I officially began this thirty-day program along with our incredible group of coaches + challengers totaling over 200 people! Together sharing our journey; what momentum to be a part of!

This morning I woke up & for the first time in a while, I felt great! I felt like I was finally beginning to lean out again. I knew getting back to basics on  my nutrition & tracking was paying off. I felt motivation to hit play again today, to do it immediately. I am already down over four pounds in a week!

No, my journey isn’t perfect. But, I don’t think any journey is.

The climb to the top of a mountain does not come without slips & falls. But, the one thing I can say is that after every slip life has brought my way, I have never given up. I have never said I quit for now, I will try in a few months when life gets easier or less hectic. I have never climbed back to the bottom of the mountain.

Through divorce, through learning how to be on my own, through Laynee’s medical trips, hospital stays with her + surgeries being all alone, through learning how to let someone into my life again, through injuries, through LIFE….I have always fought.

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Now, it’s time for me to jump out of my own way again & look forward. The top of the mountain might be a long journey, but I have always enjoy adventures and a good challenge!

Until Next Time~

Nov 14
2016

The Cup

I couldn’t put my finger on it at first. But I am a person who often self-evaluates. I’m not afraid to acknowledge what I might be falling short on or what I need to work on. I am pretty much an open book at being a work in progress.
It hit me today when I stopped at my favorite local coffee shop on the way to the gymnastics gym. A full cup was looking at me. 

The problem? Guess what is not making the list lately? 

Me.

I realized my cup was empty. 
This was a punch in the gut because I am a huge believer in filling up your own cup so you can give to others. You cannot pour from an empty cup no matter how much you shake it or tip it completely upside down.
Why? How? 
At the core, I know that for months I have been off my routine. The activities that used to fill my cup are no longer happening. I can’t lace up and turn on my tunes and be alone. I used to enjoy getting my nails done but decided this was an expense that needed to go. I can’t push myself in a workout past my comfort zone. I haven’t had a coffee date in ages, I love coffee dates. I haven’t had a girls night at the winery or a date night out.
If you can’t tell from above, my main love language is quality time. 
Lately, I have been walking through my days living life mundane, not dreaming, not striving, not aiming to live each day with greatness. I realized yesterday that with my girls I was the “business mom” not a passionate, energetic mom.
It was the old me that was so busy with her list that the conversations we had were about schoolwork, upcoming weekly activities, cleaning bedrooms. We didn’t take a break to snuggle. We didn’t take a break to dance party. 
I tried to make a list just now. Trying to find ways and when and how and where I can begin to pour into me again. To make sure my cup gets filled.
I strongly believe that happier people make healthier decisions, or at least for me, because I feel good about everything. 
Self-care is a need for me. 
Sometimes I get lost. Sometimes I forget I matter too, that I’m worth it. Sometimes I forget that I need to keep myself on the list mixed in with my mom duties, my job, my business, the laundry, the housework, the errands, the bill paying…..
Sometimes we choose the best version of ourselves and sometimes we choose a second rate version of ourselves. When I get left off the list, I’m a second rate version and everyone around me ends up short-changed.
I’m off balance. I know that finding a balance as a mom is difficult, especially when you are on your own in many of those duties. But, that doesn’t mean I won’t fight to find a better balance. 
Today, I’m on the list. Tomorrow, I’m on the list. 
Until Next Time~

Nov 9
2016

All About the Food

The reality is that I need to focus on what I can control. What I can control right now is the food choices I make. I am striving towards my year-end resolution goal of losing fifteen pounds. There is no waiting for a New Year’s resolution for this mama.

I used to have a million excuses about why I could not meal prep. I didn’t have time to spend doing it. I didn’t know what would sound good. I wasn’t a good planner. It’s too complicated.

To sum it up, I spent time making excuses, stressed myself out so many days, wasted money on food, spent time running to pick up pizza because the thought of having to figure out what to eat was just “too much.”

Sunday I came home from the grocery store, blasted some tunes & went to work. FullSizeRender.jpg

I rocked it out with 90% of my cart coming from the perimeter. I mean coffee + tea  are usually in an aisle somewhere!

I refused to even allow my fruit or veggies to make their way into the fridge. They sat on the counter & I went to work on cleaning & cutting. Let’s be honest, when you’re hungry & you look in the fridge & the carrots are unpeeled in the bag inside the crisper, you are NOT going to eat a carrot in that moment!

Also included in my meal prep
* hard boiled eggs done in the oven* overnight oats
* grapes cleaned
* carrots & celery cleaned & cut
* salad items ready to grabFullSizeRender2.jpg

I asked the girls what they wanted for breakfast for the week & I quickly received the answer, “Egg cups!”

These are so easy to make & so easy to warm up in the morning! I do a variety of different options for everyone’s taste. This time I forced the girls to try one with spinach in it. They both confirmed they could not taste it & I am now able to always include it! We also have onion & venison sausage in each one while some have cheese on top for Miss Bear.

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One more item my girls are obsessed with came from 100 Days of Real Food newest cookbook, Fast & Fabulous! It’s her Veggie Cream Cheese & my girls love this for veggie dip! You can also use it as a sandwich spread for lunches with some cucumbers cut up on your bread – yum!

1 carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/4 cucumber, skin on, cut into large chunks
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 green onion, white and green parts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
Put all items in food processor expect for the cream cheese & pulse until finely chopped. Drop the cream cheese in & pulse until well combined.
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Plus, when you have such adorable helpers learning all about real foods & the benefits of eating them, meal prep becomes even more important!
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I do try to change things up a little bit each week; especially with dinners! What are some of your favorite meal prep staples?
Until Next Time~