Monday, December 2, 2013

Evicting Mr. Fear

I've been surprised by how many people have told me how amazed they are by everything that I do and the different hats that I wear... as if I'm some sort of super woman with super powers... or something.  In all reality... I DO do a lot...  I'm a mom of five.  I'm on a soccer board.  I'm a soccer coach.  I'm a singer in a band.  I'm on the PTO board for the kiddos school.  I'm a doula.  I'm a Diamond Beachbody Coach and team leader, and the list goes on.

Well... I'm about to give you some REALLY breaking news.  Wait for it... wait for it...  I'M NOT A SUPER HERO!!!!!!  LOL  Okay... so, most of you probably already know that part.  It actually just looks like a lot more than it really is.  To be honest... I don't do those things because I'm something you're not.  I just up and decide to do something, and then I actually do it.

Something very few people know about me is something I battle virtually EVERY day.   I often live with this huge ball of anxious energy that fills my chest... and sometimes even overflows into what you could call an adult TANTRUM (yes... I did just say that I've been known to throw a tantrum... OH NO!!!).  And the name of this crazy ball of energy???  You guessed it... FEAR!  Fear of change... fear of sacrifice... fear of loss... and the biggest one???  Yeah... you know it.  My biggest deepest darkest most extreme fear?  The fear of failure.

Sometimes it's an underlying fear of failure... and sometimes it's a more ominous fear of failure.  It doesn't matter if I'm cleaning my kitchen, sewing a blanket for my kiddos or creating a new training system for my Beachbody coaches.  The underlying theme is that of perfectionism... which is fueled by fear... the fear of failure.

If you follow my Facebook page or have heard any of my recent "rants," you'll know that my new life theme is this... "Let go of the fear!  LIVE FEARLESSLY!!!"  This isn't a random theme that I just came up with out of the blue.  No... no... it goes MUCH deeper than that.

Imagine this... I'm outside for a run... someone completely dressed in black... looking more like a shadow then a man... is not far behind me...  I turn to see who's there, and realize that I'm being chased.  This... my friend... is Mr. Fear.  I can feel his shadow already... and I'm getting tired... but knowing what Mr. Fear has to offer... and sensing it already... I push on.  I could quit and just give in, but I can clearly see the finish line.  It's pretty far out there... but it's there, and I KNOW what I want.  I know WHY I WILL NOT give in.  So I just run harder.  REFUSING to let Mr. Fear stop me.  It is sheer willpower that keeps me going.

So, what do I do???  I tell myself every day... "Let go of the fear!"  And I tell my challengers... "Let go of the fear!"  And I tell my children... "Let go of the fear!"  Why????  Because it's the FEAR that stops us from living our dreams.  It's the fear that tells us we are not good enough.  It's the fear that whispers in our ears... "I can't do it."

Every day when I work out and I'm tired and I just want to stop, I hear that voice over and over saying... "I can't do it."  And I just shut that thought right up and push on.  Every time I go to try something new, again, I hear... "I can't do it."  And yes... I want to quit.  I REALLY want to quit, because if I don't start, I can't fail... right???  But I don't give in.  I just tell that voice to be QUIET!

Fear is a driving factor in who we allow ourselves to become and what we allow ourselves to do.  Will we allow Mr. Fear to decide who we are going to be?  What we will accomplish?  Will we let him determine our endgame?  I say NO.  Absolutely NOT.

You might let me know you're there, Mr. Fear.  You might even put a little terror in my heart from time to time.  BUT... I WILL continue to evict you.  I will NOT let YOU decide who I am or who I will become.  I am DONE giving in to the fear.  I am DONE allowing the fear to live my life for me.  

I am not far from being at the often dreaded "half-way point" in life.  And I REFUSE to let Mr. Fear decide what I will accomplish or who I will become.  I will put him in his place and tell him that he has absolutely NO hold over me.    

And the real beauty of it all?  It's that we CAN decide.  It's not easy.  It's pretty darn scary at times.  But letting go of fear does NOT mean that we never feel fear.  It means we will NOT allow fear to enter and settle in and make a home in our heart... in our life.  We will continue EVERY day to tell Mr. Fear to GET OUT.

What are YOUR biggest fears?  What's stopping YOU from living YOUR dream?  Instead of just watching your life happen before you like a pre-written script...  Stop.  Write down a list of your fears.  Face them.  And then make that decision to LET. THEM. GO.

You MUST DECIDE to evict Mr. Fear.  It might be a decision that you make ten times a day.  But go ahead and make it.  Don't let Mr. Fear decide for you.  He is nothing but a shadow.

It's time for you to shine.  So go write your list.  Send Mr. Fear on his way.  Be like Nike and JUST DO IT!  ;)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Diet-Keeping RECIPE: FANTASTIC refreshing drink alternative to high-calorie Soda & Alcoholic drinks!!!

So you're headed to a party with AMAZING intentions of making the BEST food and drink choices.  You get there, everyone's having a fun time... drink in hand (usually some form of super-yum drink mix, or soda, or beer or wine...) and suddenly, those best laid plans you had fall to the wayside as someone hands you one of your fav drinks, and without a second thought, you readily pull it to your lips.

Oh yeah.  You KNOW I know it.  I can't tell you how many times I've been in that exact same position.  Because of this, I came up with a fun, yummy and refreshing alternative to soda, diet soda, alcohol and whatever other high-calorie drinks become your biggest temptation.

The next time you find yourself at a party where you're trying to make better caloric choices... bring a few ingredients with you and try this recipe!  You might be surprised when some of your friends ask you to make for them too!  It has happened to me on more than one occasion!  

I call it the Vinyasa.




VINYASA
Refreshing, easy to make lime drink. 

1 8oz glass
1/2 - 1 lime  (depending on how sour you like it to taste)
1 T organic agave nectar (to taste... don't use too much or it adds too many calories)
Seltzer water

Squeeze the lime into the glass.  Add agave nectar and stir.  Pour cold seltzer water into the glass.  For extra flavor, add some crushed mint leaves.

So grab those limes, the agave & seltzer... throw it all into a bag... take it to the party, and show 'em how it's done.

ENJOY!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Confessions of a VERY naughty birthday!

I CONFESS!!!!  Yes!  I AVOIDED posting in my challenge groups this weekend. And I'm so VERY VERY sorry.  I was way too busy being naughty so I refused to stop for a second and think about the consequences.  ***sigh***

I honestly can't remember the last time I was this naughty... now... is that good or bad?  LOL  I don't know.  you tell me!!!!

As this was an INSANE weekend with all sorts of debaucheries, I'm FIRST going to tell you the 'punishment', THEN I'll tell you the crime.

Punishment:

4 days of Insanity workouts
3 days of modified Shakeology Cleanse
2 days of extra yard work
1 Public apology for completely avoiding my challengers while committing this debauchery.

True confessions time...

It all began one cold and dreary Friday afternoon... sounds like a great beginning... right??


1st Offense:

Place:  Local Winery
Crime:  Glass of wine (in itself is NO big deal... really)
My Win:  Kept it to one glass
Scenario:  Taking advantage of wine club membership and having a free glass of wine with the Pres of the soccer association as we discuss fundraising.  It WAS an official meeting... of course.

*** insert big sigh here ***

Oh how many "sins" start with... it's just one?  Well... I DID stick to just one glass... at the winery that is.  But it was the start of what catapulted me into an insane weekend of birthday celebration and festivities that included a lot... and let me tell ya... I mean a LOT of diet-breaking catastrophes!


2nd Offense:,

Place: Kristie's party (same day)
Crime:  2 Beers
My Win:  Left it at 2 beers and left to go home

Scenario:  Friend's birthday party (we have the same b-day so we wanted to hang at her party to celebrate).
If that was the end of it, it would have been totally fine.  BUT... my problem is when that curl in the middle of my forehead gets the best of me... and moderation (which is usually my friend), just DARTS!  Some kind of friend she is!

The next couple of diet-breaker crimes I'm COMPLETELY blaming on Mr. Enabler himself!


3rd Offense:

Place: Zinga Frozen Yogurt (same day AGAIN!!!)
Crime:  1 amazingly yummy container of ice cream!!!
My Win:  Um.... Having a hard time finding on here.  LOL

Scenario:  Yes... ugh... that's right.  It took just one small suggestion from Trent that we go enjoy some ice cream alone... and without a thought, I dove right in.  Literally.  I'm still trying to get that yogurt out of my hair!

You know... I DID get the small bowl... (which is really more like a medium).  I dove into the strawberries and nuts (I can count that as a win... right???  LOL).  Dove into the heath bar crumbled mix (definitely NOT a win).  Piled on the hot fudge (eega!!!), and topped it off with a good dose of whipped topping!  (OUCH!!!!!)  

I could have actually taken a pic to post here... but I wolfed that thing down so fast, that there was no real evidence of THAT big cheat!  You just get to see the empty bowl and know that the person who ate it was VERY satisfied indeed.


4th offense:

Place:  Saturday morning, birthday breakfast in bed!!!  Happy birthday ME!  (Totally not my fault... right?)
Crime:  French bread, olive oil, tomato and eggs.
My Win:  Ate in moderation :)

Senario:  Woke up at 5:30am to a beautiful breakfast made by my sweetheart.  It was one of my old favs... toasted french bread, freshly blended tomatoes, olive oil, and then soft boiled eggs.  I actually DID have a win here!!!  (So excited about this... right???  :)  Instead of scarfing down ALL the bread, I had three pieces of toasted french bread with the olive oil and tomato on top, and two soft-boiled eggs.  I think saying no to the rest can be considered a win.  YAY!


5th Offense: 

Place:  Home Birthday CELEBRATION!!!
Crime:  Oh so many... you have to read to see WHAT!
My Win:  Ummm... dance party?  LOL

Scenario:  I was good most of the day... drank my Shakeology and ran a Beachbody booth with a fellow coach at a bizzare.  As SOON as I got home... well... it all fell apart, starting with a glass of wine and some caprese (fresh mozzarella cheese with basil and balsamic).  

Thank God for a family dance party that helped get my heart rate up there, because I don't even want to KNOW how many calories came after.

Trent makes the most AWESOME steak and mashed potatoes!  My personal birthday dinner request!  Follow that with green beans & bacon and a beer.... and it took yum to a whole new level!

The final touch was this AMAZING lemon layer cake hubby made from scratch for my birthday.  And not to be cliche... but it WAS the icing on the cake of a very naughty, but yummy, day :)

By the time dinner was over, we were all quite full and nothing sounded better than a good family snuggle on the couch!


6th Offense:

Place:  Home and Away!
Crime: Again... too many to count... read away!
My Win:  When I got home, I decided to end it there.


Scenario:   Up bright and early to my REAL breakfast in bed.  Yummy omelet and hash browns!

Got back from church and the first thing I did was dive into the left-over cake.  Breakfast of champions... right?  Ahhh... I have such amazing resolve!  Bahahaha!  NOT!

As far as the rest of this crazy weekend is concerned, I'm blaming the rest on that darn winery membership!  Yeah... it's a heck of a lot easier than taking responsibility... right???  Sunday afternoon, we went to a wine club soup dinner that was spectacular!  Three courses of soup, served with three different wines.  Dessert served with dessert wine.  And a couple tastings after... yes... a high calorie day!  EEEGA!!!


7th Offense:

Place:  Spelunkers Drive-Thru (on the way home)
Crime: Bacon cavern burger, fries and (whispering here... a coke!)
My Win:  Um... none.  I ate every last bite.

'NUFF SAID!


When I got home, I decided to end it there.

THANK the good Lord... that's where it all ended.  Don't honestly think I could have crammed much more into that...  I got home and loaded up on water and made some new week resolutions!

At this point, I'm so grateful for my fellow challengers.  This may be a painful confession... BUT I'm getting right back on that wagon today, and I'm focusing on the wins I had this weekend... otherwise, I'd be too busy worrying about a complete diet-breaking disaster of a weekend that I'm recovering from!!!

When all is said and done... I had an AMAZING birthday and am SO ready to get my butt in gear!!!  Insanity whooped my tail again this morning, but I shall not be disparaged.  Bahahahaha!

As Shaun T would say... have an AMAZEBALLS week, my friends!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fit for a year. Fit for LIFE!

You may think that I just have skinny genes (excuse the pun! LOL). That I was born able to pop those five babies out and shrink right back down.  Right?  WRONG!  Oh how I WISH it were that easy.   If I was ONLY one of those women. **sigh**

This past year has not been all fun and games.  No… it started with a lot of fear, a BIG "why," and a strong decision to change.

Something that most people don't know about me… something that is embarrassing and VERY hard to admit… and something that I have never been very open about before is the fact that off and on since about the eighth grade I have battled an eating disorder.   A little over five years ago, my life swung out of control, and what was an occasional thing, became a horrid lifestyle.   I couldn't control my life… but I could control that.

As my life became more stable, my eating disorder started to fade… but it was still there lurking in the background... and when the scale would go back up, it would rear it's ugly head yet again.

About a year ago, my weight was steadily going back up.   I was beginning to feel out of control again, and things quickly started to go downhill.  THAT is when I decided to change.  I was DONE. Done hating on myself about a million times a day.  Done seeing my weight constantly yo-yo and feeling like I was out of control and "fat" and never doing a real thing about it.  Done living a lifestyle that was very damaging to my family.  This was NOT the legacy I wanted to leave to my children.  So I decided to do something about it.

A friend of mine had seen some great results after joining a Beachbody challenge.  Her life was changing, and I was desperate, so I purchased the Insanity Challenge Pack with Shakeology and joined my first challenge group.

I have to be honest... I was absolutely and completely TERRIFIED of what was to come!  Terrified of working out every day.  Terrified of changing my eating habits.  Terrified of the things that I would have to sacrifice in order to see change.  I liked never having to really regulate myself on what I ate or drank...   Giving that kind of stuff up would NOT be easy.   BUT... the alternative was even worse.




On the VERGE of INSANITY - Blog article: September 5, 2012

That's it!  I've had it!  Sticking to a diet all by myself is just too hard for me right now.  This summer, I have gained five pounds.  FIVE POUNDS!  Okay... might not seem like much, but five can turn into 10, can turn into... well... you know...

So, I've made a HUGE decision.  I've decided to go the route of the insane.  I have signed up for Beach Body Insanity.  That's right.  I'm going to be working out insanely hard every morning with Shaun T.

I'll NEVER forget that first day of Insanity!!!  I didn't even make it half-way through the Fit Test before I felt I would die and thought my stomach would turn inside out!  Talk about INSANE! I was dying… but I REFUSED to quit!


Insanity is whooping my... um... tail - Blog article: September 11, 2012

So... I started Insanity yesterday.  I'd LOVE to say that I made it all the way through the first day fit test, but I didn't.  I'm a pretty tough gal... but about 2/3's of the way through, my stomach was on fire, and I felt like... well... suffice it to say that I became extremely nauseated and had to stop.  I was SO frustrated with myself.  I HATE stopping... and if there's one thing I'm not... I'm not a quitter.  I mean... I didn't expect to do amazing or anything, but I did expect to do better than that.  Oh well...

I would love to say that I LOVED the workout… but… not really.  EVERY DAY I had to make that decision over again.  That decision to change.   Because it was SO VERY HARD!  BUT… it wasn't long before I started to see results… and THAT became somewhat addicting :)


Insanity... "Groan and Bear it" - Blog article written September 19, 2012

Every morning I get up between 6 and 6:30 am to do my Insanity workout. I'm grunting and groaning as I dragmyself out of bed and force my tired body to stumble down the stairs, make my way into the living room and key up the video of the day while I grab my water.

Thank God that Shaun T isn't one of those annoying exercise video people.  I'll never forget P.E. in high school, when my friend Jackie and I somehow talked our coach into letting us do the Tony Little workouts while everyone else played basketball...



I could sat that it was easy… but the truth is... real change does NOT happen overnight…. and I SURE wasn't perfect.  I took a lot of great steps forward… but I also back-tracked quite a few times.   Overall though… by sticking with the program for the most part, I was able to see some amazing visible changes just a little over a month into the program.


Three steps forward, two steps back... - Blog Article - October 15, 2012

Well... I've made it through the first part of Insanity and the recovery week.  I'd LOVE to say that I've been the poster child for Beach Body, but... alas... my Beach Body diet has been more like a four days on, three days off kind of thing... or even worse... three days on, four days off.  

I think the reason why I'm so bad about sticking to it is that when I do stick with it, I see results FAST!  Then I think... geez... I have some wiggle room now... maybe I will join hubby and the kiddos in those chips and dip or pumpernickel rye bread slathered with butter, paired with a nice amber brew.

It all started with that decision to change, and I had to remake that decision EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Because YES!!!  I was tempted to quit more than once.  But I kept holding on to that "why" and moving forward.


Making the Decision to Change - Blog article: October 17, 2012

When that alarm goes off at 6am, and I'm still sore from the previous day and my baby's been up all night crying and fussing, I'm whining like a little girl inside, groaning and dragging myself out of bed.  I hate knowing what's ahead.  And to top it off, when the warm-up exercises start, my muscles are so stiff, it's sheer will-power to make them move beyond a snail's pace.  Being fit is a decision I have to remake over and over again, from the moment I wake up, and throughout every minute of the Insanity workout.

When I finished the Insanity (60 day program), my body had experienced some serious change.


Insanity OVER... well... for a few days at least :) - Blog Article - November 13, 2012

I DID IT!!!  I finished the Beach Body Insanity program.  60 days of pure insanity and pain.  I'm excited about my muscle results... but a bit disappointed about my weight loss results. 

Why?

Remind me of the name of this blog again?  Oh yeah, right... Confessions of a Diet Breaker.  If I was to write an article for every time I broke diet, well... that would be every day.

I'll be honest…Why am I not necessarily the best person to follow if you're looking for perfection?   I'm a snitcher!  When I fall off the wagon, I FALL OFF THE WAGON. And it didn't take much to get me to 'cheat.' Now THIS is where I started to notice something though… You DON'T have to be PERFECT to see results. You DON'T have to be PERFECT to change your life. I learned that even cheaters can be winners :)


Cheaters CAN be winners - Blog article: January 20, 2013

The past five months have been amazing!  I went from 155+ pounds to 138 pounds, give or take a few depending on my cheating habits :)  I've gone from minimal muscle mass to sporting the best biceps and shoulders I've ever had.  My abs are ripped and my legs are so strong that I feel like I'm just bouncing when I go dancing... no soreness there :)

BUT... and you know there had to be a but coming... if you think that I'm a perfect little eater... always sticking to my salads and avacados and water and such... you thank wrong!  (and yes... I did just use the word 'thank' as a past tense of 'think'.  LOL)

As I moved into new challenges, and started to help others also on their path to fitness, I discovered something. You know how every "diet" book talks about how your'e not "on a diet" but you're making a "lifestyle change?"  Gosh… I've been "on" those "lifestyle changes" before, and let me tell you… when I would fall off the wagon… it was REALLY hard to get back on… if I did get back on at all.

But now… NOW… I was seeing what a lifestyle change actually looked like.  Here I was five months into my new life, and I started to see that through little baby steps that I didn't even realize I was taking, my life was REALLY changing.  My body was morphing into something I had only dreamed of before, and my eating habits had drastically changed.

But even more than that, I was changing on the INSIDE! I was becoming more confident. Those horrible voices inside my head that were telling me that I was ugly… that I was fat… that were speaking constant words of hatred… they started to fade. And as they did, my life started to open up before me.   I began to live what I like to call Life 3.0.
I started to kick FEAR in the butt, gained newfound confidence, and for the first time used what has now become my motto… Live FEARLESSLY!

Living Fearless - Blog Article:  February 15, 2013

I realize that not everyone is born strong-willed and hard-headed.  But these rules have made a huge difference in my life.  I know I have my Mother to thank for this... My attitude is not to ask why... it's to ask WHY NOT?

No... I don't have everything figured out.  I DO know this :)  I'm a pretty hot mess at times, and fairly disorganized... but getting out of my 'comfort zone' is something I actively force myself to do. When I'm 60 looking back, I want to know that I really tried.  

By my six month Beachbody "fit-iversary," I started to notice something else. My eating disorder, which had been a such a burden for a very long time… was no longer an issue. I was making more and more good decisions.   I fell off the wagon less and less, and when I did, it was OKAY… because I KNEW that I'd be right back at it.  I KNEW that if I fell off the wagon during a holiday weekend or fell off the wagon while on vacation that I'd jump right back on the wagon when I got back into my daily routine.


My 6 Month Beachbody 'Anniversary' - Blog Article: March 15, 2013

Sunday marks six months since the beginning of my journey with Beachbody and Shakeology.  And I'll tell you what.  Looking back?  I am blown away by the changes that I have seen in my life.  Is everything perfect?  No... of course not... but if you read some of my posts from before starting the Beachbody exercise and nutrition programs, there were several things that were pretty obvious.

I still don't eat perfectly (And I occasionally still go on a food bender!), but through participating in challenge groups, and from the support of my new friends and challengers, I've made some pretty awesome changes.



In May, I made a major breakthrough… and I realized that what I had been dealing with was a serious food addiction. My mom had always warned me about drinking alcohol to ease an emotion, for fear of alcoholism. But… what I didn't realize is that that same problem existed with food. I had been using food as a crutch to get me through ANY time I became emotional. Recognizing this was just another step in my healing process.


Getting past the food addiction - Blog article: May 11, 2013

You know... you hear it from the time you're in junior high... and even now, from the time you're probably in Kindergarten.  "Just say no."  No?  Say no to what?  Well, we all know it.  We've heard it a million times.  DRUGS... of course.  (And now, in my 30-something mind, I have images of  "This is your brain.  This is your brain on drugs." haunting me.  LOL)

But... what if you're addicted to something you really can't give up?  What if giving it up would actually do more harm than good?  Then what do you do?

As I was growing and changing, I still had one issue that really needed to be dealt with, and that was my addiction to the scale. I would weigh myself EVERY morning, and sometimes several times a day. If the scale was down, I would be happy.   If the scale was up, my day would be ruined.  One day, my hubby simply hid the scale… and let me tell you… that was one of the BEST things he could have done. My day was no longer being ruled by a number on the scale. Especially because I was gaining more muscle, and the scale was actually starting to go UP.


When the numbers just don't add up - Blog article: July 12, 2013

Okay... I admit it... I'm addicted to my scale.  I know I'm only supposed to weigh once a week/month... but I just simply can't help it!  I've been soooo good lately, and when I'm being a good girl, and I see the numbers on the scale go down, it's like getting this huge pat on the back.  "Hey!  You did it!  GOOD GIRL!" (And yes... I enjoy a good pat on the back when I've done something right!  :)

Over the years, the number on the scale has sadly become my "Happy Meter."  When the number goes down, I become elated...  I know I'm going to have an amazing day and life is just good!  BUT... on the flip side... when the number goes up... I tend to feel down... and negative thoughts of failure flood my mind and give me a rough start to the day.

In the Spring, I switched from doing Insanity to doing the Les Mills Combat program, and let me tell you… WOW. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I was finally able to have FUN with my workouts.  My arm and leg muscles were really toning up, and I actually (Dare I say it?) ENJOYED my workouts!
I was at a point where I felt GREAT about my body. GREAT about my life. And could finally understand that it wasn't perfection that was necessary… Just commitment and consistency :)
So YES! I DO REALLY enjoy a bacon cheeseburger from my fav local food joint on occasion, and NOW.. it is GUILT FREE!  Because life is not about starving yourself from all pleasure.  It's about MODERATION… and talk about the FREEDOM that I found when this FINALLY sank in!


My really big CHEAT.  And NOPE... not feeling a bit guilty :) - Blog article:  July 15, 2013

Wait... is that ME in that picture there on the right?  ME eating that juicy scrumptious hamburger made with freshly ground local beef?

You bet your bottom dollar it is!  And I EARNED every single bite of it!

Why no guilt?  Because that was the reward I chose for the extra hard work I put into my workouts.  I punched harder.  I kicked higher.  And I dreamed bigger.  Well... of a bigger Bacon Cavern Cheeseburger... of course!

Now, I'm doing the new Focus T25 program that Shaun T came out with. I have to admit that I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it.   It's not fun like Les Mills Combat was fun… BUT… I'm a BUSY mom, and it's ONLY 25 minutes a day… and who doesn't have time for that?

I've just ended T25 Beta and am about to start Gamma. Scared? YES! Terrified? ABSOLUTELY!  BUT... I have decided that life is too short to let fear stop me.  No sir, no ma'am! I start Gamma on Monday.  I'm shakin' in my boots... but, like I tell my fellow challengers... I'll "get 'er DONE!"


Shaun T is REVOLUTIONIZING Fitness... and I'm telling him EXACTLY what I THINK! - Blog Article: October 7, 2013

I have to admit, coming off my high from Les Mills Combat, I was not really looking forward to doing the T25 program, but as an active Beachbody Coach, I thought... "Yeah... I just have to do it... no excuses."

Because the workouts are only 25 minutes long, I didn't expect much out of them, but... let me tell ya... it's the REAL deal!  For 25 minutes a day, I work my butt off... sweat dripping down my face, body screaming... (oh yeah... I'm a whiner...) eyes glued to the number on the side of the screen watching the countdown to the end of my workout.  LOL  Thank GOD for the modifier to help with all those times when I really do need a break!

So, here I am a little over a year since I made that decision to change, and I am SO very grateful to my husband for supporting me, to Beachbody, and to Team Courage and The Rock.. for helping me get started... to my accountability partner, Eric, for doing all those 10 day no alcohol challenges with me...  And MOST ESPECIALLY… to my challengers on my team!

And YES!!! My team name is TEAM FEARLESS!!!!  Big surprise... right?  :)  <<<<<Without my team and my challengers, my life would NOT be the same!>>>>>   I'd still be battling an eating disorder.  I'd still be stuck in a rut. I'd STILL be hating on myself every day!

You guys have been there for me during the good and the bad, and I just have to say THANK YOU! Thank you for your love. Thank you for your support. I forever owe you a debt of gratitude.

And to you who are reading this... If you want to get healthier, and you don't know what to do, or you need help to get there… find me on Facebook at http://fb.com/MichelleHillaert.  Send me a private message... know there are people out there who WANT to help you.

If you have a Team Beachbody coach that you've already been talking to.. MESSAGE THEM.   But let me tell you… DON'T WAIT.  Life is too short to not truly LIVE IT!  I am ON FIRE, and my new mission is to help others find this same peace that I have FINALLY found.

THIS is the real deal, guys. Think F.A.N. Fitness, Accountability and Nutrition. THAT is the combination that will bring you TRUE LASTING change.

From the bottom of my heart.  PLEASE LISTEN!!!

DO NOT LET YOUR FEARS HOLD YOU BACK!!!!  

Those voices that say "I can't do this." That's all they are… VOICES… YOU can make that decision to change. It doesn't matter if it's getting control of your health and fitness, or going for that job you've always wanted.  I'm speaking from experience here.   Start to believe in yourself.  

Just let go of the fear and LIVE FEARLESSLY!!!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Shaun T is REVOLUTIONIZING fitness... and I'm telling him EXACTLY what I THINK!

I have to admit, coming off my high from Les Mills Combat, I was not really looking forward to doing the T25 program, but as an active Beachbody Coach, I thought... "Yeah... I just have to do it... no excuses."

Because the workouts are only 25 minutes long, I didn't expect much out of them, but... let me tell ya... it's the REAL deal!  For 25 minutes a day, I work my butt off... sweat dripping down my face, body screaming... (oh yeah... I'm a whiner...) eyes glued to the number on the side of the screen watching the countdown to the end of my workout.  LOL  Thank GOD for the modifier to help with all those times when I really do need a break!

Now I'm in my last weeks of Beta, and one night, (granted... I was all hyped up on caffeine and driving in the middle of the night to Vermont while the kiddos were sleeping away in the back of our Suburban) the song, Hey There Delilah came on... and it just came to me... the perfect lyrics to tell Shaun T just EXACTLY what I think of his workout program.





To help you out, I put together a quick list of things you need to know about Focus T25 before you start the program.

Five most important things you need to know about Focus T25:

#5.  There is a lot of high intensity cardio.
Workouts are mostly high intensity cardio with some body weight resistance training.

#4.  Yes. There is weight lifting.
No weights in Alpha. Some light weights in Beta. Weights are stepped up yet again in Gamma.

#3. There IS a modifier!
People who are not quite ready for the the intensity, can follow the modifier and then gradually increase the intensity as their bodies get stronger.

#2.  Focus T25 has a strong emphasis on Core Strength
In addition to the challenging 25 minute core workouts, Shaun T is continually reminding you to focus on your core, and to use your core strength.

#1.  With only 25 minutes a day 5 days a week, T25 is REVOLUTIONIZING fitness!
YES!  You CAN do a 25 minute workout and STILL SEE RESULTS!!!  The only exception is on Fridays when you're encouraged to do two 25 minute segments in a row, and there is also an optional stretch on Sundays.

Sooooo... you can throw those old excuses out the window.  Most of us can squeeze 25 minutes into our day... and if it's too intense, follow the modifier!  I know people who weigh well over 250lbs and they are still able to... as I like to say... "get 'er done!"  Just do your personal best every time, and every time, you'll get a bit stronger and do a bit more.

Oh gosh!  Gotta run!!!!  It's time to get my FOCUS on!  :P

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why I will NEVER EVER again drink diet soda

Yes... you got that right.  I will NEVER, ever, EVER again drink diet soda.  At least... that's the plan. 

You know... I've KNOWN for a long time that diet soda wasn't such a great thing to put into my body, but I've just ignored those little voices in my head (and NO... I'm not losing it... at least I don't think I am... LOL) and enjoyed my Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Coke from time to time.

Well, in one of my challenge groups, I've kind of partnered up with a new and budding friend to do challenges within the challenge... you know like 10 day NO alcohol challenge... or no sugar challenge, etc.  An accountability partner... if you'd have it.

So, twice now, in this particular challenge... I've fallen to the gruesome depths of nutrition hell and partaken in my horrific vice of drinking diet soda.  The problem here is that my accountability partner, Mr. I Know It All and I Will Put You Through Hell to Prove IT (soooo.... maybe that was a bit of a mean shot.  :P) a.k.a. Mr. Eric Triplett, absolutely DESPISES diet soda.  

So as soon as Eric saw the words "Diet Dr. Pepper" in my evening food posting... he went on a rant.  And when I say a rant, I mean a RANT!  Let me tell ya... you just don't want to make this guy go on a rant, because no one can rant like Eric can.  (Except for maybe his wife, Leslie... I think she could come close.  LOL)

Now... WHY no more diet soda?  Well, instead of putting it in my own words... I'm going to let Eric do all the work.  All this info is directly from my accountability partner.  Yeah... he TOTALLY blew up our private group with these posts.

On a good note... I have to say I've been convinced once and for all to give up poisoning my body with this stuff.  It's not worth it for that few minutes of pleasure.


ERIC <BEGIN RANT>


JUST SAY NO TO DIET SODA!

Before you pop the top, know this:  guzzling diet soda comes with its own set of side effects that may harm your health - from kickstarting kidney problems to adding inches to your waistline.


Reason 1:
NO TO DIET SODA!

Reproductive Issues

Sometimes, the vessel for your beverage is just as harmful.  Diet or not, soft drink cans are coated with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to everything from heart disease to obesity to reproductive problems.

There is a lot of risk-taking for one can of pop.


Reason 2:
NO TO DIET SODA!

Rotting Teeth

Picture is worth a thousand words.
With a pH of 3.2, diet soda is very acidic.  (As a point of reference, the pH of battery acid is 1.  Water is 7).  The acid is what readily dissolves the enamel, and just because a soda is diet doesn't make it acid-light.  Adults who drink three or more sodas a day have wore dental health, says a University of Michigan analysis of dental checkup data.  Soda drinkers had a far greater decay, more missing teeth and more fillings.


Reason 3:
NO TO DIET SODA!

Cell Damage

Diet sodas contain something many regular sodas don't: mold inhibitors.  They go by the names sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate, and they're in nearly all diet sodas.  But many regular sodas, such as Coke and Pepsi, don't contain this preservative.

That's bad news for diet drinkers.  "These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it -- they knock it out altogether," Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Sheffield in the U.K., told a British newspaper in 1999.  The preservative has also been linked to hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions according to the Center for Science in the Public interest.

Since then, some companies have phased out sodium benzoate.  Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have replaced it with another preservative, potassium benzoate.  Both sodium and potassium benzoate were classified by the Food Commission in the UK as mild irritants to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes.


Reason 4:
NO TO DIET SODA!

A Terrible Hangover

Your first bad decision was ordering that Vodka-Diet-- and you may make the next one sooner than you thought.  Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunker, faster, according to a study out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia.  That's because sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker than those with sugar, leaving you with a bigger buzz.


Reason 5:
NO TO DIET SODA!

Obesity

You read that right.  Diet soda doesn't help you lose weight after all.  A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight.  Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%.  

Why?  Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body's natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University.  That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it's eating sugar, and you crave more.



Reason 6:  
NO TO DIET SODA!

Messed-Up Metabolism

According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease.  Whether that link is attributed to an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers' eating habits is unclear.

But is that can really worth it?


Reason 7:
NO TO DIET SODA!

Kidney Problems

Here's something you didn't know about your diet soda:  It might be bad for your kidneys.  In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline.  Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day.  Even more interesting:  Since kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.


Reason 8:
NO TO DIET SODA!

Diet Coca-Cola has BENZENE!

ben-zene
noun
1.
a colorless volatile liquid hydrocarbon present in coal tar and petroleum, used in chemical synthesis.  Its use as a solvent has been reduced because of its carcinogenic properties.


ERIC </END RANT>



Well, thank you very much, Eric, for your research.  Thank you for opening my eyes.  I KNEW diet soda wasn't good for me.  I kind of knew why... but I didn't realize HOW bad it is.

No... I won't be drinking it again.  And I SURE won't risk having you go on another diet soda rant!  I was very worried about your blood pressure!!!!  LOL

In the end, the question we have to ask ourselves is... is it worth it?  Is the risk worth it, in order to enjoy a few minutes of satisfaction?  I honestly have to say no.  There are plenty of other poisons that get into our body just via the habits and interactions that we have on a daily basis.  We do not need to purposely put our bodies at even more risk... especially with eyes wide open.

As far as to drink or not to drink diet soda... that is a choice you have to make for yourself.  But after reading all this info, I knew I just had to share it.

So, thanks, Eric!  When you're on a rant, you're on a rant... but at least this time, perhaps some good came from it.  :P

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Super Villian called... The Enabler

Caught Red-Handed
I'm gonna tell you a story... it's about a little girl.  A little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead... Oh right... yeah... I've told you that one before.  *sigh*  Well... tonight, the girl with the curl won... or should I say this weekend the girl with the curl won... but it wasn't entirely her fault.  There WAS a super villain involved!

I'm not going to go into the boring details of nights spent telling stories and hanging out in the hot tub with friends and sharing a drink or two, or how I ended up having to pay for calories by doing burpees on the stage of one of my fav local joints... or about the doughnuts that magically appeared in my house after Mass on Sunday...  Nope!  Not going to talk about that AT ALL.

Right now, I'm going to talk about The Enabler.  That's right.  You heard me correctly.  THE ENABLER!  The enabler in our house is about 5'10".  He talks in a deep voice, and looks like a very kind and caring gentleman.  BUT... let me tell you folks... he is in DISGUISE!  He reads between the lines and looks for an open area to take advantage of an excuse-maker... like myself...

The Enabler sneaks up on you and then BAM!  He hits you with a cookie or a beer or a glass of wine or a big batch of gourmet garlic potatoes!  He hears a whisper in the wind and that's all it takes.  He's there.

Tonight, The Enabler heard a whisper in the wind (via the form of a text message)... "I'm craving a sweet treat."  What the small whisper was REALLY saying was... "Please tell me to drink a glass of water."  But did The Enabler do that????  Nooooooooo.  Of COURSE he didn't!  Nope!  The Enabler went right into the kitchen, pulled out our Kitchen Aide.  Threw in some butter and sugar and vanilla and a bunch of other yummy ingredients (no recipe... mind you... after all, he IS a professional and a REAL pro at this...) and do you know what he did???  HE made a batch of COOKIES!!!!!!

Those cookies came out of the oven, and within seconds, a cup of decaf coffee and a cookie still freshly hot and on the spatula just happened to show up RIGHT IN MY FACE!  I mean REALLY!  The GALL he must have to do that to me??!!!  Of course, the girl with the curl took over.  The cookie was scarfed down in seconds and another cookie followed in its wake.  I just don't know what I'm going to do with this evil villian that stalks my very home.  LOL

In all honesty... the cookies were very yummy.  Yes... I'm a bit disappointed about my weekend, but what I absolutely love about this health and fitness journey that I've been on since September is that it has really helped me to change so may aspects of my old lifestyle and form some great new habits.  Does this mean that I'm a COMPLETELY new person?  No... of course not.  It simply means that I have found a way to constantly get back on track when I fall off the wagon... because, I'm tellin' y'all... when you live with The Enabler... it's bound to happen!  That... and well... it's just called being human.  :)


Friday, August 16, 2013

"I am the real me now!"


We just finished another challenge on August 5, 2013, and I am so proud to announce Nickie Wheeler as our big winner!  (Or should I say loser?  LOL)  This lady has been such an inspiration to have in our group, always eating healthy, encouraging everyone, and not giving in to excuses.

When Nickie won the challenge, several challengers told her that it was her dedication  that kept them on track.  "If Nickie is doing her workout, I better get mine in!"

I asked Nickie if I could write a blog article about her success, so she sent me her story... but later that the day, she wrote me back and shared that she was a little nervous about sharing her story with everyone.  

Let me tell you something... to go from being overweight and not confident, to finally gaining some control and confidence, it's such an amazing feeling!  But taking a journey back to those pics and feelings from before making the decision to change... it can be such an eye-opening and humbling experience.  
"I feel like it is not me.  I am the real me now, feeling confident.... It was a good thing I found out about winning the challenge on Monday.  It was a great celebration of the date of my Dad's passing!"
Nickie, it is such an HONOR to have you in our challenges.  Thank YOU for being such a rock and strong inspiration to everyone... and most especially to ME!  :)

Please take a minute to read Nickie's story, and BE INSPIRED!


Nickie's Story

On Jan 1, 2013 I sat down with my journal and started writing my goals.  I had just got off the scale was shocked to see 250 staring at me!  I realized that despite my best intentions and trying to overcome my emotional eating, I was failing miserably.  I realized that overcoming many health problems had lead to different issues with my weight.  I have always been goal oriented, so I decided that this year I was going to make some serious changes in my life.

The loss of my Dad, in August of last year, hit me very hard, he was one of the kindest, most gentle, most amazing encouragers I have ever known. He would not have wanted me to be in this kind of shape.  So I wrote… and I wrote… I wrote about my financial goals, my relationship goals, and my health goals, and came up several concrete goals, including losing 50 pounds by the end of 2013. A lofty goal for sure and I really had no thought as to how I was going to achieve it.

I got a DVD set and I worked out everyday except Sunday.  In the first 3 months, I lost 30 pounds.  Pretty good, I thought, but then after that, the scale just would not budge. Around that time, a friend of mine posted on her FB page that she was starting a challenge group. I had no idea what that was, but she told me about it, and I felt I was ready for the next step.  I really needed more support.  I could not do this journey on my own. 

The accountability in the challenge group was awesome, the Shakeology gave me more energy.  I was nervous at first, being the oldest and the heaviest member, but the group members were supportive and encouraging and kept me on the right track.  I started that on May 5, 2013 and on Aug 5, 2013, I was down another 26 pounds!  

I knew I had to continue with this journey so I immediately signed up for another challenge group.  My total weight lost with the challenges so far has been 30 pounds and going strong, and I am almost two weeks into the T25 challenge.

The motivation and the relationships, as well as the humanness of my fellow challengers, is continuing to motivate me. Over the weekend I ran in a RCO Race (Ridiculous Obstacle Course) I never would have been able to do that if it had not been for Beachbody, entering the race was my reward for finishing the first challenge.

Recently, I re-read my journal and my goals, I really had forgotten I had said 50 pounds, and now I have accomplished it and more with this total loss so far of 60 pounds!  This realization has given me the confidence to meet many of my other goals as well, and has increased my positive outlook on life ( I am already a pretty positive person but it gave me more to smile about!).  I even updated my goal to another 20 pounds by the end of the year!

This has been a remarkable journey to say the least, and I know I will continue to meet my goals and gain my health back.  Success is all in the journey and the people who walk alongside you!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Evolution of life & love in 13 years of marriage.


How does love & life evolve over 13 crazy years?  Here's a quick glimpse :)

Bathroom manners

Immediately after wedding upon move-in:
1.  Decide which way the toilet paper is supposed to face when put on the roll.  (Out.  That's the way hotels do it... there's a REASON for that.)

2.  EVERYONE puts BOTH seats down.  That way no one falls into the toilet in the middle of the night on a quick emergency pregnancy potty run.  (And no.  Of course that NEVER happened to ME!)


After 7 years & 3 kids:
1.  You're lucky if the toilet paper is ever put ON the roll.
2.  Falling in the toilet is a common occurrence at night, as is sitting on a wet seat.


After 13 years & 5 kids:
1.  You're lucky if you're not out of toilet paper.
2.  You've finally learned to check and wipe down toilet seat before sitting down.



Daily Schtuff


Immediately after wedding upon move-in:
1.  A practically gourmet and healthy meal is made and on the table every night.
2.  House is cleaned up thoroughly almost every day.  Laundry is mostly done.


After 7 years & 3 kids:
1.  A nice healthy dinner is made and on the table most nights.
2.  House is basically clean... thoroughly a few times a week.  Laundry is not too out of control.


After 13 years & 5 kids:
1.  Last minute scramble to throw something together and get everyone fed between soccer practice, Irish dance, etc.
2.  House dirties itself... thoroughly cleaned once a week... if lucky.  Laundry monster has devoured the basement.



Parenting

Immediately after wedding upon move-in:
1.  We knew everything.
2.  Bed time would be strict.
3.  LOVED bed time :)

After 7 years & 3 kids:
1.  We knew some things.
2.  Bed time was strict.
3.  Bed was sometimes shared with baby.


After 13 years & 5 kids:
1.  We know nothing.
2.  Bed time?
3.  We wake up in the morning and the kids are all in our bed or on our floor.



Love

Immediately after wedding upon move-in:
1.  Love is perfect.  We are perfect.  We are so meant to be.  Happily ever after?  OF COURSE!
2.  He is perfect.  Best man EVER.  I'm so lucky.

After 7 years & 3 kids:
1.  Love is tried.  Temptation to call it quits.  Not the dream first imagined.
2.  He is a man.  He isn't perfect.  What did I get myself in to?


After 13 years & 5 kids:
1.  Love tried in fire is refined like gold.  Love IS forever.  Happily ever after has begun.
2.  He is my best friend.  He is my lover.  He isn't perfect?  SO WHAT!  He is MY man, and I'm the luckiest girl in the world.



BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED

In my idealistic youth, I had this dream that my knight in shining armor would come riding in, sweep me off my feet, and carry me away in marital bliss.

The day I got married, I knew that Trent was the man for me.  What I didn't know was the trials and hardships that were ahead.  I didn't know that there were certain imperfections in both of us that would mar that dream of "happily ever after," and make for a rocky road ahead.

There was a day when it would have been easier to walk away than stay together.  But when that day came, we made a decision.  We decided to actively work on our marriage.  It wasn't easy.  In fact, at first... it was rather hard.  But God has blessed our faithfulness, and I can truly say that I have married my soulmate... my best friend... and the love of my life.

(I know that marriage does not always work out for everyone.  This is not a judgement on those who are unable to work out their differences.  This is simply a bit of my own personal story.   :)