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. 


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  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!!!


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.



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:

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:

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:

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:

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:


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:  

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:

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:

Diet Coca-Cola has BENZENE!

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.


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