1403714798Just because a workout is perfect for one person, it does not mean it’s the perfect workout for everyone. I was so frustrated for a friend, who shared with me a conversation she had recently, where her workout program was criticized for being a so-called ‘low caliber’ workout. Really?! My friend’s workout challenges her; it gets her heart rate up; she’s seeing results. . .and most importantly, it makes her feel good! Let’s encourage one another in our fitness endeavors, rather than be critical of someone else’s programs. We all have different goals and reasons for being active.

Here are three factors to consider when choosing a fitness program:

Your physical health: Before starting any fitness program, you should consult with your doctor or medical professional. This is the standard disclaimer at the start of most fitness programs, but it should not be dismissed as just something routine. I was frustrated for my friend because I know she has some physical issues that would make the workout being suggested as the “perfect” workout too hard on her body.

What do you like to do? One of the most important considerations for a fitness program is whether or not you like doing it. I know many people who love dance-type workouts. I tend to be pretty uncoordinated, so any workout requiring choreography or keeping up with some sort of dance move loses me pretty quickly. You’re more likely to stick with something you enjoy. There are so many options. Keep trying new things until you find something you love, and then keep doing it!

Your fitness level: Consider your current level of fitness. If you are new to running, you may not want to jump right into a marathon training program. Most of the programs I follow have a “modifier” you can watch to help you complete the workout when you first get started. Even though I consider myself to be pretty fit, I still follow the modifier if I can’t complete an exercise with good form. Don’t let your fitness level keep you from challenging yourself, though, and keep trying new things.

There are so many wonderful benefits to exercise. For me, I know it puts me in a better mood and I have more energy when I am active. Why do you workout? What is your favorite way to be active?

These chips!I gained a pound last week. Well, not really. But the scale said I did. Two things contributed to my weight gain: eating more carbs and increased sodium intake. My carb of choice: these sweet potato chips pictured here. I’ve been overindulging in these tasty little chips lately, and it’s hurting my weight loss efforts in a BIG way. Not only does my body hold onto 3 grams of water for every gram of carbohydrate I consume, those chips are a salty snack, adding to more sodium in my system.

“Sodium helps regulate the levels of water in your body. As a result, the total amount of sodium, or salt, you consume has an impact on whether you retain or eliminate water. As you eat more salt, your body holds onto more water, causing that all-too-familiar bloat.”LiveStrong

So, while I would like to think my weight gain is due to added muscle from all my recent workouts, it’s more likely due to overindulging on these chips and retaining more water. Unfortunately, it’s too easy for me to overeat these chips. . .so I’m committing publicly that my goal for this week is NO MORE CHIPS! One leads to two then five and then, I look and I’ve eaten half the bag!!

Let’s talk about carbs for a moment. In the past, I cut my carbs VERY, VERY LOW. After all, if my body is going to hold onto 3 grams of water for every gram of carbohydrate I eat, wouldn’t it be better just to cut carbs out? No. Here’s what happened to me: I did lose weight. I stuck with this very low carb diet for about six weeks. In that time, I started having trouble sleeping. I also didn’t have as much energy for my workouts. When I started adding carbs back in, those pounds I lost immediately returned. Your body needs carbs for fuel and, at least for me, carbs help everything just function much better (and this mama needs her sleep!).

There are good carbs and not-so-good carbs. Except for my over-indulging on the chips recently, I try to limit bread and pasta. I used to eat cereal every night before bed. . .I was sabotaging my weight loss efforts with what I thought was a low-calorie snack, loading up on carbs right before bed, when my body didn’t need carbs for fuel. If I get hungry before bed now, I may find some chicken or other protein snack, because my body can use protein while I sleep. Most of the carbs I eat now come from vegetables, and a little bit of fruit. I do eat oatmeal for breakfast and that gives me the fuel to start my day and workout, too.

I now follow the 21-Day Fix. You may have heard of it: this is a color-coded portion control program. No food group is off-limits. There are carbs (yellow, green and purple containers) and protein (red containers). There are healthy fats (blue, orange and teaspoons). One thing I love about this particular program is you can follow it EVERY DAY. Yes, the program encourages you to complete a full 21 days in a row. But you can very easily make this program just the way you eat every single day. You may have heard the saying,

“Make the right thing to do the easy thing to do.”

This program makes healthy eating EASY. My next challenge group is starting on Monday, September 28. I would love to come alongside you and encourage you in your health journey! The accountability is so valuable and helps us all stay on track! I share recipes and menu plans in my groups, and create a safe environment for you to share your struggles and be encouraged by other women, who share similar goals. Leave a comment or send me a message here so we can get connected TODAY!

When we remodeled our kitchen, we removed the island/cabinets and replaced it with this stand-alone kitchen island. I love how open our kitchen feels now, and how this island gives us the extra counter space we need (plus a little extra storage space). I searched for the perfect island…and there was one at Crate and Barrel I really liked, but I couldn’t stomach the price tag that came with that one. We found this one on Amazon! I bought hooks to hang my pots and pans below; for the three open slots, I went to Home Goods and found matching baskets. Since the Amazon reviews said the top can stain easily, I also sealed the it with the same sealant used on our counters.

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Are you looking for more?
{read on and comment below if you want details}

You guys see a lot of what I do right here but I wanted to shed a little light on what I do as a Virtual Fitness Coach.

If you would have met me a few years ago, you would have met a very insecure, overweight mama just trying to keep her head above water. I was struggling to make friends. I was lost in the trenches of motherhood. I was unhappy. And my “big” clothes were getting too tight to squeeze into.

I re-committed to my health goals (for the umpteenth time). The pounds started coming off, slower than I had hoped, but my confidence grew as I shed the pounds. During that time, God placed a desire on my heart to help other women who may be struggling like I once was.

My commitments as a homeschool mama grew and required me to adjust my routine. The gym wasn’t a good option and I needed a program that I could do at home. That’s when I found Beachbody. AMAZING PROGRAMS. I’m excited to share about these programs because they’ve got it all: Fitness + Nutrition + Accountability! PLUS, the coaching opportunity has given the opportunity to earn some extra income, help pay bills and still keep my family FIRST!

You are invited to join me for my team’s Coach Sneak Peek, starting on Monday! I am starting a New Coach training group soon and and looking for peeps who want to join my coach family and get mentored by ME exactly how to build a successful business.

If you are interested, comment BELOW letting me know, and I’ll send you more details.

One bite at a time.

I guess I should not be talking about eating an elephant if I’m trying to lose weight and get back in shape?! But I heard this question this week as it relates to being overwhelmed by a project or task. I become paralyzed at times, when I look at tasks like our laundry or switching out all of my kids’ clothes for different seasons. Or seeing photos of myself when I was leaner, and trying to make healthy choices to get back to where I felt and looked my best. It’s a journey. And I can’t beat myself up everyday. It’s not good for my mental state and it’s not moving me any closer to my goals!

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I took this photo earlier this week. It actually surprised me to see my arms still have some definition. I remember on my journey a couple of years ago, I always focused on my so-called “trouble” areas. I didn’t pay any attention at all to the parts of my body that looked lean and muscular. And even looking back now, I realize my “trouble areas” actually looked pretty good. If only I had realized it at the time and just been content. I am not going to make that mistake again. And I want to encourage you to learn from my mistake, too.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Find something about yourself that you like. It may be your hair or your smile. Maybe it’s your eyes or your nose. Or maybe it’s your toes…thought I would throw a little rhyme in there? I’m starting to sound like Dr. Seuss! Think beyond your physical appearance, too. What character traits make you who you are? Are you patient or kind? Does your life reflect the Fruits of the Spirit? Find something about YOU to be thankful for today. We are, after all, made in the image of God, and we are all unique, so Be-You-tiful!

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

12009790_10204934357745275_9110180783359885663_n (1)This is an image I shared in one of my challenge groups this morning. It’s so easy to focus on our mistakes or our ‘trouble’ areas, overlooking all the healthy choices or being blind to the beautiful person God made us to be. Celebrate your successes. Learn from your mistakes. Be proud of every healthy choice and every step you take towards reaching your goal. And when you slip up or get a little off track, do a u-turn and get going again. I love the support and encouragement of my challenge groups, and how the accountability keeps us all moving forward!

FIRED UP FOR FALL

My mission is to help moms look and feel their best! And I want to help you reach your goals. Let’s get FIRED UP FOR FALL! I have a new challenge group starting on September 28. Message me here for more details on how to join! If the thought of getting back into shape or losing weight paralyzes you or makes you feel overwhelmed at the task, let me come alongside, help you set bite-sized goals and encourage you in your journey.

21 Day Fix Pineapple Chicken SkewersMy family LOVES these pineapple chicken skewers. I’ve made them on the grill and under the broiler in the oven. This is a recipe from Fixate*, the 21-Day Fix cookbook. I double the recipe every time, but there are never any leftovers! This is one of the recipes I shared in my FREE Healthy Dinner Challenge Group this week. I’ve shared some of my favorite slow cooker recipes with the group, plus a few others like these chicken skewers. If you want to join me, it’s not too late. You can sign up here and I’ll send you all the details.

Pineapple Chicken Skewers

Prep 20 min. ∙ Cook 10 min. ∙ Makes 4 (2 skewers per person) ∙ Source: Fixate (21-Day Fix Cookbook)

Ingredients

  • 8 bamboo skewers
  • 1 lb. raw chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into 16 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce, gluten-free
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 (8-oz.) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained (I used a fresh pineapple)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 16 1-inch chunks
  • ½ large red onion, cut into 16 1-inch chunks

Directions

1. Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.
2. Place chicken in resealable plastic bag (or container); add soy sauce, oil, and ginger; seal bag and shake gently to mix. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to marinate.
3. Pre-heat gas or charcoal grill on medium heat.
4. Place a piece of chicken, pineapple chunk, bell pepper, and onion onto a skewer. Repeat, so the skewer has two pieces of each ingredient. Repeat with seven remaining skewers. Discard marinade that contained chicken.
5. Grill skewers on covered grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
6. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Info

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(per serving): Calories: 207
Total Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 73 mg
Sodium: 594 mg
Carbohydrates: 12 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 25 g

21 Day Fix containers (per serving): 1⁄2 Green, 1/2 Purple, 1 Red

(“*In the spirit of full disclosure, this is an affiliate link, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from Beachbody. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.)