Sunday, November 20, 2016

Getting Back On Track

                 ***Language Disclaimer***
So I have various social media sites linked up to my blog so people can follow my posts different ways. Today I received a notification from Facebook that's it's been awhile since I've updated my blog page "Becoming Healthier With Sherrie". I went out to my page and saw the last post was almost a month ago, October 25th! My first reaction was, I know I've had a lot going on and been busy, but that couldn't be right because I've written stuff since then. I came to my actual blog site, logged in and went to my posts and realized I had six drafts started of different thoughts/topics but never actually finished any of them, which is why they were never posted either. So, I thought, I need to get back on track, not just with my blog posts, but pretty much life. I've had a lot going on and I've gotten off track with so many things, and now that I've reflected back on these last several weeks, I've realized it's not just one part of my core4 out of line but all four areas I've allowed to get off track. And I say that I've allowed it to happen, because when it comes down to it, only I can control my actions, reactions, and choices. After today's meditation, and also realizing I haven't been posting on my blog, I now realize I was getting in my own head. I was using my "I'm not feeling well" and "I've been sick", as excuses to tell myself it's okay to not workout as much or as hard. I've had to adjust my nutrition, including adding calories, and I now realize I used that as an excuse to not completely follow my meal plan these past couple weeks. I told myself it was okay to not log my workouts or my food because it doesn't matter anyway. I've been telling myself it's okay to not run as much, I can pick back up on my training next week when I feel better. I've been telling myself all these things to justify what? That I'm discouraged and I don't even want to go to the gym anymore? That I actually thought about at the end of the year either finding a new gym or not going at all and just doing things on my own? That I'm tired of dealing with certain people? Because those are the real feelings that I'm having, but instead of leaning into those feelings and dealing with them, I've been what Michael calls dealing with them on the surface. I don't really deal with them, but instead I'm using all these various excuses of what's not going right in my life to justify the feelings to make me feel better; and then when something really frustrates me happens all the little things I just pushed to the side build up and then pretty much take the emotional roller coaster ride. And I won't mention names, but if you ask some people who are in my life daily means I can go from laughing/smiling because life is great, to crying because my feelings are hurt, to being the biggest bitch because I'm pissed off at someone or something, and it changes in a split second. So, after realizing I haven't updated in almost a month I decided I would do an update of what's been going on and what I'm doing to get back on track.

Over the past several weeks I haven't been feeling 100%, but wasn't quite sure why until just recently. A little over six weeks ago I did get sick with allergies and sinus issues, and was sick almost two weeks. But once I got over that I still never got back to my normal self. I wasn't sleeping well, tired all the time, no energy, emotional/moody, and that's when I started to tell myself I need to cut back. But, then a couple weeks ago I had a spell where my blood sugar dropped because I went six hours without eating and it scared me. It was scary how quickly it hit me. When it happened the first thing I thought about was back in June when my lab results showed my glucose in the 60s. It's never been that low, and back in June I wasn't having issues so my doctor said we wouldn't worry about since I wasn't having issues and we would keep an eye on it. Well, I decided I better get it checked out so went in for blood work and not only is my glucose 68, but my iron dropped below normal as well. I've always been considered borderline anemic, but after these results he said I'm dealing with both anemia and hypoglycemia which is why I'm tired all the time and have no energy. It also got me looking at my nutrition. I hadn't counted calories in a couple years because I got so used to carb cycling, but what I didn't realize is I would make small adjustments to my meals like cutting serving sizes, that when I looked at the past month's food journal my daily average caloric intake was right under 1,000 calories. I really thought I was taking in between 1,300 and 1,500 calories a day based on low or high carb day, so not sure how I got to that point. And with all I do, it's no wonder I felt like my body was shutting down. So, Michael and I talked and made some adjustments because not only do I need to make sure I'm getting the right nutrients for my anemia and hypoglycemia, but I need to eat every few hours. But, how am I going to do that without feeling like I'm constantly eating and force feeding myself just to make sure I'm not going too long without eating? Well, I know several people who do Herbalife shakes, so after talking to Michael more about it this is one way I'm getting my nutrients and calories in for the day and not feel like I'm eating all the time. I just got my order couple days ago, and I got my meal plan for next week where I'm incorporating two shakes a day, getting six meals in, and was able to get between the 1,300 and 1,500 calories like I should be getting. And just FYI - when I signed up for Herbalife, I actually signed up to be a distributor so I can order for people. But, I want to take the rest of this month and next month to see what kind of results I personally get, research all the products more to be more familiar with them, and then I'll be able to not only discuss my progress but I'll be able to help others more effectively as well. But, in the meantime if you are familiar with Herbalife and would like to order, just message me and I'll get you taken care of! :)

So, that's how I'm getting back on track with my nutrition, but I really hadn't thought about what I needed to do to get back on track with everything else. I've been telling myself if I get my nutrition on track, I'll start feeling better, and then everything else will just fix itself. But, again, after today's meditation I realized I need to do more. Yes, I've gained some of the weight back I lost since May. Yes, I've not been running like I should the last couple weeks. And yes, I've had days I didn't want to go workout and I really just wanted give up. But, I know none of these thoughts are the answer to make things better, nor is it what I really want. They are just the easy way out of dealing with what's really going on with me mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. So, I've been thinking about it, and the main thing I need to do is obviously what Michael tells me all the time, "Get out of my fucking head!" As far as mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I need to keep doing my daily meditation/journaling. But, not just doing it to do it, but doing it with purpose. I need to create space for myself and make sure I'm taking that "me time". But, to keep that balance, I need to make time for my friends and family and allow myself to enjoy a night out having dinner, a drink, or even just hanging out and talking. I need to stay connected with my faith daily and reading scripture and daily devotions. But, besides getting out of my own head, I need to move forward. I know I can't change what's already happened, I can't change the fact I've gained weight, I can't change the decisions I've made these past few weeks; but I can make the adjustments needed to get back on track, not worry about the "what if's" and the things that I can't control, and just focus on the positive and taking one day at a time. And then make sure that everyone who put up with me, especially my trainer Michael who got to see most of my mood swings, that I truly appreciate them and grateful they are in my life and my support system. I don't know where I would be without my various groups who continue to encourage and support me, even at my worst moments. Love you guys! Until next time...have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Mom Calls Me "The Bag Lady"

When it comes to setting goals, we’ve all heard various quotes about the importance of planning and being prepared, and below are some of my favorites.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoin e de Saint Exupery

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

I can honestly say in my own personal health and fitness journey I’ve learned that’s been the key to my success. I wasn’t always this disciplined in preparing for my week, or even each day. But, because I don’t just blow off all this knowledge the trainers have passed on to me, I continue to listen to them put it into practice and work on changing my habits. I wasn’t always in the habit of planning my weekly meals, let alone prepping them for the week. I didn’t always plan my additional cardio or runs for the entire week around my scheduled sessions. But over the past five plus years, that’s exactly what I’ve been able to do. For the past couple years I’ve been very disciplined about planning and preparing for my week. That includes my meals and workouts, and then each night preparing for next day based off my weekly plan, which leads to what you see in the picture.

As you can see there are five items, and those items include two workout bags, backpack, lunch bag, and my purse. This is what I do each night. I get everything ready for the next day. In the duffle bag I pack my workout clothes, two to three changes depending on what I’m doing the next day. The mesh polka dotted bag has my essentials to get ready at the gym after my workouts, and it also serves as the bag I put my sweaty workout clothes in when I’m done. I do this because I typically start my day around 5:00 AM and don’t get home until after 6:00 PM and I don’t want sweaty clothes enclosed in a bag all day with my other clean workout clothes or in a bag that’s not able to “breathe”. Then my backpack has anything I might need throughout the day, my Bible, daily devotional, my writing journal, whatever book I’m reading, my food/workout journal, and my laptop. And the last thing of course is my purse. Where else am I going to put all that money? Ha! During the week this is what I typically walk out of the house with just to turn around and lug it all back in that same night so I can do it again the next day. And on Wednesdays I have another bag with my boxing gear that I also have to take with me. Multiple times I’ve tried condensing or figuring out a way to lug around less baggage, but to be honest, I need everything in these bags daily.

I talk about the importance of being healthy, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Everything I need to be prepared each day to become a healthier me is right there in all those bags.
  • Physically, I’m prepared by having my workout bag packed for my workouts, having my lunch packed for what’s on my meal plan, and having my food/workout journal nearby keeps me on track.
  • Mentally/Emotionally (these always seem to connect), I’m prepared by having my book of choice I’m reading, my writing journal, and laptop so when I start feeling stressed or the anxiety start to kick in, I have what I need to get through it. I’m able to create space and read or work on my blog at lunch, or just taking time to meditate and journal.
  • Spiritually, I’m prepared by having my Bible and daily devotional so when I need just more than self-meditation and journaling, I can read scripture or my daily devotionals.

So, yes, I walk out of the house each morning as "The Bag Lady", but when it comes down to it this is why I’m able to be successful each day. I’m not perfect, I have bad days and even weeks, but because I take the time to prepare as much as possible I get through those days and weeks a lot better than I used to in the past. Being prepared has helped me meet many goals, be successful, and allows me to continue to grow as a person and continue to better myself. What do you do to make sure you’re preparing for success?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Stay In It

Setting goals are great, but what are you going to do to meet that goal? Right now my main goal is to run 1/2 marathon in December, but in order to be ready and to accomplish this goal I've got to put in the work. So, what am I doing? First, I wrote my goal down in various ways for me to always have my goal in sight. It's in my journal, it's on my whiteboard at work, and I've posted it on FB in multiple groups. I've made it public. My friends, family, coworkers, everyone on FB, and more importantly my trainer and know my goal. These first two I feel are important because these are two great ways to have accountability. And making sure my trainer knows, he knows how to help me reach that goal. The next thing I did was I found a training program to follow and then I'm making sure I get my training in daily. What does that mean? It means if I have to get up at 4 AM to get the training in, or if I have to go at 6:45 PM after a long day at work when I really just want to go home, then that's what I do. What works for me is I plan a week at a time. When I'm doing my weekly meal prep/planning, I'm also looking at my schedule and figuring out when I can get my training in. If I don't do this, if I don't figure out what I need to do and make a plan to do it, then December will roll around and I'm not going to be ready to run the 1/2 marathon like I want. Yes, there are days I would rather just go home after work, there are days I would rather just shut the alarm off and go back to sleep, but I know that won't get me any closer to my goal. And what's even better, is when I actually get in there and do the work, once I'm done I feel better. I feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have talked myself out of going to do my training, and when that happens, I end up feeling worse. I'm still tired and then I start regretting it and mentally and emotionally beat myself up. And I'm human, it's not that I don't ever have these feelings or thoughts, but I've learned over time what I need to do. So when this happens I have to tell myself to shut up, I get out of my head, and then I get in there, and as one of my favorite hashtags says I "DO THE DAMN WORK"! So, what are your goals? And more importantly, what are you doing to meet them?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Turkish Get-Ups

I know, I know…’s been several weeks since I’ve posted anything! But it’s not that I haven’t had things to write about, or that I’ve been slacking, it’s just life has been kind of crazy busy for me recently. For those who don’t know, my full time job is with CommunityCare health insurance, and I’m a Supervisor in Member Services over the Medicare product. We’ve been busy preparing for Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment, which just officially started a couple weeks ago. So between work, making sure I’m getting my workouts in, and making time for myself, friends, and family I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write a post. I do make time to meditate and journal, which is where a lot of my blog posts come from, compiled thoughts from my personal journal. I did have a rough couple weeks recently, but overall life is just freaking awesome!

A quick update! I ended up being down 28 pounds following a new nutrition program Michael offers. I'm still doing some boxing to help keep that variety in my cardio. I’ve completed my first 10K and I’m now training for my first half marathon, which I will run in December down in Dallas! So excited!

But, for today’s post the subject is Turkish Get-Ups! And the reason is because recently I had a conversation with someone about our favorite exercises and I always find it interesting to hear what others enjoy doing. Plus, I always seem to learn something! And Turkish Get-Ups are my all-time favorite exercise, and unless you’ve been working with a personal a lot of people have no idea what these are! I don’t know why these are my favorite, because they are hard as heck, but I just love doing them! It’s one of those exercises that work every part of your body from your legs, core, and upper body. The inserted picture of me is one of my favorite pictures that Michael took of me a couple years ago. And I’ve also inserted a YouTube video below of how to do Turkish Get-ups. These can be done with a kettlebell or even a dumbbell. Or if you’re just attempting them for the first time, don’t use any weight at all, and focus on your form. Just be sure, even though you aren’t holding a weight, you continue to keep that arm up straight at all times! J

Hopefully with things slowing down a bit I’ll be able to post at least a couple times a week. Life is good and I’m blessed with amazing readers, family, and friends! Have a wonderful weekend! Love you all!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Because My Trainer Said So!

I get asked often what I'm doing as far as fitness and nutrition to get my results, and there are times like yesterday I'm asked "Why do you let your trainer tell you what to do?" Well, let me give you my opinion from my own personal experience.

These past several months I've changed a lot up, including just a slight change in my my nutrition and I've been getting great results! Just since making the change in my nutrition, 10 weeks ago, I'm down a total of 26.4 pounds! Today I weighed in and was down another 5.5 pounds since my last weigh in which was just a little over a week ago. When I mentioned this to Michael yesterday morning after I had weighed in, and showed him the numbers on my tracking sheet, he was excited like I was; but we both also had that "Man, you're so close!" feeling because I'm just about four pounds from being back to my lowest weight I've been ever been since starting Fitness Together and my entire adult life. And I made the comment that since over the weekend I hadn't been feeling 100%, I didn't even get my reward meal, and his reply was "You didn't need a reward meal. You're not getting a reward meal until you're down another four pounds." And yes, he is direct with me and that's what I actually appreciate and respect about him, so this didn't faze me one bit. In fact I faintly said "I know." because I was actually thinking the same thing when I saw how close I was.

So, sorry I digress but that's the background to what my point is regarding #BMTSS. But after I got to work someone asked me if I've lost more weight because it looked like I had. I said yeah, in fact I just weighed in and down another 5.5 pounds in a little over a week. This of course led to the question what I was doing differently. Well, I basically told them what I just mentioned above, but I made the mistake of also including the last part about not having reward meals and ending it saying "but, my trainer said I don't get another reward meal until I've lost that four pounds." And that's when she asked, "Why do you let your trainer tell you what to do like that?"

Well, the truth is I have choices, just like everyone else does, and I choose to listen to what my trainers have to say. And I don't see it as them telling me what to do as if it's an order, but I see it as them telling me what to do that will get me the best results possible and what will help me meet my goals. So, the two main reasons I let my trainer tell me what to do is.....
  1. That's what I pay the trainer to do, to tell me what I need to do to meet my goals and get results. Why pay someone to help guide you if all you're going to do is what you want anyway? Just something to think about....
  2. I listen to what my trainer tells me what to do because I've found from my experience the VERY few times I didn't, that's when I didn't get my results and I didn't meet my goals.
So, yeah, I let my trainer tell me what to do. And because I've done what the trainer says, I can say I've lost over 150 pounds and after five plus years of being consistent with my nutrition and workouts I'm still getting results and I'm meeting new goals. I saw the above inserted "BMTSS (Because My Trainer Said So!)" meme a few months ago and had to find it for this blog post. Not only will "Because My Trainer Said So" be my reply when asked why I'm doing something that might sound crazy to others; but it's my new hash tag! You know we all love a good hash tag! :) #BMTSS

Friday, September 16, 2016

Boxing......Now What?

Back in May, with the support and encouragement from my trainer at Fitness Together, I set a goal to start boxing. But not only was I going to start incorporating it as part of my workout regimen, but to actually participate in a spar. Well, for the last several months I’ve been busting my ass to make sure I was ready to get in that ring, and Saturday I was able to accomplish what I set out to do!

It’s been a lot of hard work, it took extra training time in and outside the gym, and I was put in an environment that was totally out of my comfort zone. I’m not going to lie, but I was nervous as hell! I was going to start training twice a week at The Engine Room, a local boxing gym, and not knowing anyone caused a little anxiety. I didn’t know what to expect once I got there and all I could think about was I just set a goal where I’m going to purposely put myself in a position to get hit! Am I crazy? Yeah, I’m a little crazy, but like Michael has said before, we are all crazy so we need to just embrace our crazy! So, that’s what I did. I set my goal, with the many coaches/trainers from Fitness Together and The Engine Room, I was pushed beyond what I ever imagined I could or would do, and just a little over 90 days later I’m participating in my first open sparring event.

So, the two big questions I get are, 1) How was it?  2) Are you going to do it again? And to answer those questions…..

1) It was awesome! I was nervous, but I knew I was ready and trained hard for this. I was fortunate enough to partner up with Bry who had started training just right before I did and this was her first spar as well. Because it was the first time for both of us, we went for three rounds, each round lasted one minute. Even though I had been in that ring many times during training, doing practice spars with my coach and working on technique with others, as I was getting in the ring for the first time knowing the day I had worked so hard for was finally here I had some many emotions run through me. I was excited, happy, fear, anxious, and even a little doubt. But, when the buzzer went off for that first round all of a sudden it was just her and me, and all those emotions disappeared and were replaced with drive, focus, motivation, determination, and the thought of “I’ve got this!”. When that buzzer went off our final round to signal the round was over, my emotions went to accomplished, proud, ecstatic, and the thought “I DID IT!!!”.

2) Yes, I’m going to do it again! It’s a lot of hard work, but I had fun training and I also met a lot of new amazing people and made new friends. So, I’ve decided I’m going to keep doing this once or twice a week to supplement everything I do at Fitness Together and continue to work towards other goals. Maybe next time I spar I’ll be able to go two minute rounds! A huge thanks to the following coaches/trainers who helped me accomplish this goal! From Fitness Together, Michael, Terri, Roberto, Colt, Matt, and Sully. And from The Engine Room, Aaron, Terri (she's part of both fitness centers), Bruce, John, and Kevin. And a big thanks to Bry for being my sparring opponent so I could have fun with this experience!

Now that I’ve met this 90 day goal, Michael and I’ve been talking about my next 90 day goal. I’m working on what I want that to be, we’ll discuss it next week so we can get it set and I can start working on what I need to do to meet it, and then I will once again bust my ass to make sure I accomplish what I set out to do. What will it be? Stay tuned and once I have it set I’ll let you know! :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Let Shit Go, Including People

We all have things, and even people, in our life who tend to have a negative impact in our lives. We allow them to become obstacles in our path to meeting our goals. And the hardest part is when it comes to the people who you truly care about, and it’s not that you don’t want them in your life, but they just aren’t serving the most positive purpose. This can cause a lot of emotional, mental, and spiritual stress which in turns puts stress on you physically. So, the question is, what does a person do? Do we just completely cut them out, or do we limit our encounter with them? Well, that will depend on you and the other person. I’ve had to completely cut people out of my life, even though it was a very hard decision.

This past week I had an opportunity to really reflect on certain relationships, old and new, and have decided there needs to be some changes made. The question I asked myself and meditated on is, why am I investing into relationships mentally, emotionally, and spiritually with people who don’t put the effort to invest into the relationship because maybe for them it’s not as important to them as it is to me? And it’s not that I expect something in return from the other person, I do things for people because I want to and because I do care about my friendships/relationships. But, what I realized through my meditation is that as I was making some people/relationships a priority who basically only reach out to me when they need me for something or when it’s convenient for them over the people who were actually wanting to invest in our relationship/friendship. And like I said, it’s not that these relationship/friendships aren’t important, and I will still continue to be there as much as I can for them when they need me and I will continue to reach out to them as well, but I’m not going to invest as much of my emotional and mental energy into relationships that are not having a positive impact in my being. Doing this only leads to disappointment, frustration, feelings of hurt, and then often leading to resentment.

So, I’ve decided moving forward, I still love these people and I’ll still be there for them when they need me because I truly do care about them; but I’m also going to be investing myself emotionally and mentally into relationships where there is a mutual respect, friendship, and with people who help me grow as a person. Anyone else, and it’s not being selfish or mean, but I’m no longer making them a priority over myself or others who put in the effort to reach out to me to just say hi or ask how I’m doing. Anything and anyone else, I’m just going to let that shit go and not worry about it. I’m not mad, hurt, or disappointed anymore because I’ve been able to work through that this last week with lots of mediation and journaling. I am just going to focus on those relationships with people who make me laugh, feel good, and have a positive impact on my life mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Why I've Been So Successful

There are many reasons I've been successful in my health and fitness journey, but I have to say the being disciplined has to be the number one reason. Discipline means I get into the gym even when I don't feel like it. Discipline means saying no to an extra serving of food. Discipline means I make time to plan and prep my meals for the week every week so I'm able to stay on track with my nutrition. Discipline means not letting others influence my decisions and to do what's best for me.

Being disciplined doesn't mean I can't eat my favorite foods. I just had my reward meal last night with some friends and enjoyed a tasty dinner at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. Being disciplined doesn't mean I do things perfectly, in fact I have moments I struggle with motivation and I have to get back on track. Being disciplined doesn't mean everything comes easy, in fact this journey is a roller coaster ride physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

But, for me personally, the self-discipline is what's helped me be so successful because without the discipline I would be more apt to give into all the temptations or give up with things got hard. So, just remember it's not a matter of doing things perfect, and it's not a matter of never being able to enjoy your favorite foods, but it's a matter of having the self-discipline to stay focused on your goals, make the best decisions for you to meet your goals, and also when you feel like you've gotten off track that instead of just giving up you reset and keep moving forward.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

You Too Can Get These Results....

Real clients, real results.
(Pictured L-R) Brianna, myself,
Terri, Chinoise, and Charla
Photo credit: Michael Watkins - owner Fitness Together
I had an assessment this morning, and from my last assessment which was just right under a month ago (on July 12th) my total loss is 15.8 pounds and 7.25 inches! And three inches of that was around my waist! I've been on this journey over five years now, and it seems the past year my progress has slowed down drastically. Not because I ate unhealthy or I didn't show up for my workouts, in fact I probably was even stricter in my nutrition and making sure I was getting in there and doing the work.

So, what finally changed that allowed me to bust through this plateau? There were a few things that played a part in both my workouts and my nutrition. About three months ago I started incorporating boxing at The Engine Room, an actual boxing gym, and running into my workout regimen to add some additional cardio. Notice I said I added, I didn't substitute, meaning I didn't remove anything I was currently doing at Fitness Together but I actually added to what I already do. It's called dedication and determination! :) And within five weeks I dropped just a little over 11 pounds. But, then I did have a few weeks that I got stuck and were rough emotionally and I did gain some of that back. And then Michael, the owner at Fitness Together, reached out to some clients about a new 8-week nutrition coaching program he wanted some people to test out so thought what the heck. Some of us started this on July 12th and we've all gotten results. The meal plan is very similar to what I've been doing the past few years, so the small changes that I had to make weren't difficult for me to adapt to at all. But, those small changes have made a big difference! Like I said, since starting the 8-week nutrition coaching program I've lost an additional 15.8 pounds and 7.25 inches in just 28 days!!!!

Regardless if you've been on your fitness journey for a while now and needing that extra jump start like I did; or if you're just starting it I encourage you to contact Michael Watkins at Fitness Together. And ladies, he actually has a great opportunity for you that will start on August 22nd. It's an 8-week challenge called "Sexy Black Dress". And, referencing the inserted picture of actual FT clients of Michael's including myself, we believe in him and this challenge so much that we volunteered to model for his promotion in our own little black dresses. So, if you're interested in learning more about it, click on the "Sexy Black Dress" link to get the details of what's included from workouts, nutrition program, assessments, and even an online support group. I confirmed with Michael that the nutrition program that's included may not be the exact same thing I'm currently doing, but will be very similar. So, if you're ready to start getting results, or maybe you have a your own sexy black dress you want to get back into, contact Michael Watkins at Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside or Fitness Together Downtown and tell him you heard about him from Sherrie!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Anxiety and Worry: Not on God's Watch

The title of this blog post is credited to Pastor Scott Burmeister, my pastor at Christ The Redeemer Lutheran Church. Because being healthy isn't always about eating healthy and working out, but also being mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy I try to post on things that have helped me in my journey and that could possibly help someone else.

Now,  real quick just to be clear, my opinion of being spiritually healthy doesn't mean being religious, or even being a Christian or any other religion for that matter. It's about being at peace with yourself internally, which helps you stay mentally and emotionally healthy. I know not all my readers are Christians, and I know all my readers won't be able to relate to this specific post, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, I do encourage those readers to just look at their own spiritual journey and reflect on what causes their stress and anxiety, and how in your own journey ease that stress and anxiety so you too can ensure you are also mentally and emotionally healthy.

So, now on to what came out of my meditation from the sermon. Today's sermon was great and something I relate to often. The title alone said it all for me, "Anxiety and Worry: Not on God's Watch". I mean I had so many thoughts about this before the actual sermon, but once Pastor Scott spoke I ended up with many notes which I'm going to highlight what I got out of the sermon. It's like Pastor said, we do have many things to worry about, just turning on the news causes us to worry. So, the big question he asked us today was "What worries have you brought to God's house today?" Is it something financial, job related, a relationship, the future of our country, the safety of our communities? Whatever your worry is there's one simple answer, DON'T DO IT! But, as most things, that's easier said than done. We are human, we worry about things we have no control of and we worry about the outcome of certain situations. But, why do we worry like that, and what exactly are we worried about? That's the question I asked myself and I meditated on as Pastor continued his sermon, and referencing back to the Gospel reading for today, I came to my own conclusion.

The Gospel reading for today's sermon is Luke 12:22-34, but what really stood out for me were verses 30-32. 

"For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." - Luke 12:30-32

After really thinking about this, my own personal conclusion is it's our own selfish wants that cause us anxiety and stress. The anxiety and stress is that the outcome won't be what we WANT, but instead of having faith the outcome will be what God knows we NEED! So, as Pastor mentioned in his closing, "Don't Worry, Have Faith".

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sweet Potato Toast

As I'm going through the Yahoo! News updates I came across a headline about sweet potato toast. Well, that sparked my interest because, one I love sweet potatoes, and two they are a healthy carb that can be used in various ways. I just never thought about toasting it in the toaster! So, of course I had to click on this article and then do further research. It's like one article mentioned, there's really no "recipe", just tips on toasting the sweet potato and ideas on the various delicious ways you can top your sweet potato toast.

The tips I came across in various articles in regards to toasting the sweet potato were all very similar and it's very simple.

  • Set toaster setting on highest level
  • Slice sweet potatoes about 1/4 inch thick (I noticed they didn't peel the potato, but I'm sure this could be done if you choose)
  • Place in toaster and repeat toast cycle until sweet potato is brown (most tips indicated it took at least two cycles)
  • Top with your choice of toppings

But, if you're like me, I'm asking myself what would be good on sweet potato toast? I mean I can think of a couple ways to top it; but in looking at the various sites there are some creative and tasty ideas! Below are the two sites that I found the most interesting and sharing here. But, for more ideas just Google "sweet potato toast" and you will get even more sites to get some great ideas from!

This site, Little Bits of Food and Real Talk, have three ways to top your sweet potato.
This site, MBG mindbodygreen, has 10 ways to top your sweet potato

I can't wait to try some of these! I'll provide feedback once I've tried some and let you know my opinion. But, because I'm following a specific meal plan, I will need to wait until I'm able to work this into it; but trust me first chance I get I'm trying it and will let you all know! If you've ever made sweet potato toast, or if you decide to try one of these, leave some feedback on what you thought or any other tasty ideas you might have to top off these delicious healthy carbs!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fitness Together - Together We Succeed

Some of my FT family! (L-R) Chinoise, Jennifer, myself, Brianna,
Michael (owner), Mikah (Michael's wife), and their two kids Beckett and Marley

I've talked before about how my health and fitness journey has been successful because of all the people who have been a part of it. Yes, as Michael has told me before, it's me doing the work; but without the people who have been there to help me through it I know for a fact I wouldn't be where I am today and I wouldn't be as successful as I have been.

One of the goals I wanted to set 90 days ago was to incorporate running into my cardio, but I also know running is one of the things that is hard for me to stay motivated to keep doing. And when I talked with Michael about this goal, he actually suggested I start the run group up at Fitness Together so it's something that could involve other clients. I thought this is great and I pretty much took that opportunity and ran with it. I invited any of the clients who wanted to be a part of this group, and anyone interested I created an actual FT Run Team page so we could make sure we are keeping each other accountable but also make sure we are encouraging everyone to keep going and do their best. Most of us have not had much running experience, so the first thing to do was to start training for a 5K. I personally have done three 5K races, but each time I either had to walk at some point or go down to at least a speed walk pace. So this is the first time I was going to actually train for a race. So I set up a run schedule where we would run three days a week, and each week I posted the schedule along with the program for that week so for those who couldn't make it to the scheduled runs could do the training on their own time. That was 90 days ago, and the goal was for us to run the Bedlam Run here in Tulsa on July 30, 2016; and not only did we complete the training (for me the first time ever) but we ran the 5K and we all rocked it! I was able to run the entire time and I completed the race in just over 41 minutes! So, 90 day goal met! :)

Me after I completed the 5K
My medal I received when crossing the finish line!

Now, there are some who for various reasons are still working on their training for the 5K and some who wish to continue working at that level, but there are some of us are ready to start working towards a 10K and we start that training this week! And that's one thing about this group, is we all have our own level and pace, but we can still train together and be successful. I'm not only blessed that Michael allowed me the opportunity to start this group up, but beyond grateful of everyone who is involved and who are supporting our group. There were several people who told me they would have never started this or done this had I not started the group and continued to encourage them to keep going. And this isn't only humbling, but it's also the reason that I was able to stay motivated to keep going.

So, not only was I able to follow through with my own personal goal and be successful, but by training with this amazing group others were able to follow through and accomplish their own goals. This is one of the things that I love about Fitness Together, and why that's a perfect name for our FT family; because we aren't left to do things on our own, but instead we are actually encouraged to work together. So, if you're not receiving the support and encouragement where you're at now, or if you feel like you're working alone, I highly encourage you to contact Michael Watkins at Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside or Fitness Together Downtown and see exactly how we can help you meet your own personal health and fitness goals. Because here, we are Fitness Together, where together we succeed!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

When Will I Stop Working With A Personal Trainer?

I get asked often about how often I workout and all that I do in my workouts. I'll get asked things like....

1) "How much longer are you going to workout with a trainer?" 

2) "Don't you think you've become obsessed with working out?"

3) "You know you don't have to do everything the trainer tells you to do, you are the client and are paying him?"

4) "When you meet your goal, will you stop working out so much?"

These are probably the four questions I get asked the most, and at least once a week someone (sometimes the same person) will ask me one of these questions. Even though it's still irritating to be asked these questions, especially numbers 2 and 3, I've gotten used to it and so now I just do my best to answer the question without sounding like they've just asked me a dumb question. I say that because I can remember what it's like being the person who is seeing someone working out and getting healthy and thinking to myself, how much longer do they have to do that? Or, they seem obsessed with working out and not sure that's a good thing. But, because I've made this lifestyle change, I no longer see these things as obsessions or temporary situations.

But, for those who might be curious, I'll answer the above questions real quick and even explain my answers and then I'll get off my soap box! :)

1) I'll never stop working with a personal trainer. Yes, I've learned a lot over the past 5 years, and yes I do come up with things to do on my own and I am more self-motivated, but that doesn't mean I should stop working with a personal trainer. The reason being is a personal trainer helps keep me accountable. My trainers know when I need to change things up, and they know what changes I need to make. They know when I need some extra motivation and are there to give it to me. They know when I'm struggling and wanting to give up and they are there to listen to me and not let me give up on myself. My trainers help me grow and improve so I can continue to be better every day. My trainers are the center core of my support group.

2) No, I don't think I've become obsessed. I know my limits and I know my body. There are times my body tells me to slow down or back off and I listen. I also know in order to improve, I must be willing to do more. That means maybe going longer in my cardio, doing something different and more intense, using heavier weights. By making working out part of my daily routine doesn't make me obsessed, but it makes me dedicated to my health and my goals.

3) I know I don't have to do everything my trainer tells me to do. But, why would I pay a trainer to help me improve and then don't do what he says? First, my trainer won't ask me to do something that he feels will hurt me, not benefit me, or that I'm not capable of doing. I know he's going to ask me to do things that will push me outside my comfort zone, that will help me get results, and that will benefit my health in the end. Now, I might not like to do everything or every exercise (for example I hate burpees); but as a client I know everything that's asked of me my trainer either knows I can do it or has the faith in me that I can do it. So, even if it's something new I've never done before, I'll always try it and see if it's something I can do. I will never refuse to do a workout or an exercise I'm truly capable of doing just because I don't like it or just because it's too hard. As the quote says, "If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it."

4) When I meet my goal I'll probably have to work harder to maintain. For me this question doesn't make sense. I mean, if I'm going to have to put all this work and effort into getting my results and meeting my goals, then chances are once I meet my goal if I stop or cut back on working out then all I've worked for will eventually be lost. I will gain weight back, I will lose strength and endurance, and then be back on the path to being unhealthy again. I'm not sure why some people think that once you lose the weight you want that you can stop working out, or not workout as much, and expect to keep the results. But, anyway, no I don't plan on cutting my workouts out or down when I hit my goal weight.

So, what prompted me to write this post? Yesterday someone noticed the new flyer in our break room at work with all I've accomplished at Fitness Together and I mentioned that Terri (FT Community Manager) was one of the people helping me with my boxing. And so that prompted the question number two listed above, asking if I'm obsessed with working out. And like I said, it does still get a little irritating but I answered them pretty much like I did in the answer above but couldn't help but think about the question along with the other common questions I get. So I meditated on it and decided to post about it because I truly do understand why some people have these questions. But, all I can say is for me personally, having a personal trainer and working out, eating healthy isn't a temporary because I don't want temporary results. This is now my lifestyle because I've decided I want my results to be permanent. And the only way to do this is to take the opportunities presented to me so I'm always learning, growing, improving, and moving forward.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Where I've Been & Where I'm Going

I know it's been some time since I've posted, in fact I didn't even realize how long until I got on here to write this post and it's been almost 2 months! I've had a lot going on, not just with my health and fitness, but in my personal life and at work. Staying busy and just haven't made it a priority to make time for my blog. I've definitely missed posting and interacting with my readers, but by making this part of my core4 and actually scheduling the days/times each week, I'll be posting at least twice a week. I think by saying I'm going to try to post something on a daily basis I put too much pressure on myself to follow through with something that I wasn't even actually making time for or even making a priority. But, by scheduling the time to work on it, not only means I'm making time for it; but making it a priority. I already meditate and journal on a daily basis, so taking those daily thoughts and compiling them into a blog post a couple times a week will allow me to put the effort I'm wanting into writing my blog posts. These posts help me in many ways because it allows me to work through my thoughts and emotions, and in the process I hope my story and journey inspire others to set and reach their own goals. So, because it's been almost two months, this will be a somewhat lengthy post so bear with me and I'll get you caught up on what's been going on and where I'm at now!

Like I said, I've been busy with so many things in all areas of my life, but a couple things that have been keeping me busy are two of my 90 day goals which is at the end of this month. I've been training for a spar (yes, an actual boxing spar) and to run a 5K. Michael Watkins, the owner of Fitness Together who has been my biggest mentor for over 5 years now and has helped me with all my goals in some way, once again made sure I had the tools and access to the people I needed to be successful. He got me set up at The Engine Room, a local boxing gym owned by Aaron Sloan, where I'm working with some amazing coaches which include Terri, Bruce, Kevin, and John. We hope to have the date/time set up within the next couple weeks for my spar, and yes I'm a little nervous, but very excited and ready! This probably has been one of the hardest things I've done, not just physically, but mentally as well. But, I've been working my ass off, doing well, and I've come a long way! I'll keep ya updated on when I spar and how it goes! The second thing I've been working on was training for a 5K. Not only was I wanting to get more running in to help with endurance and conditioning; but I wanted to work towards running races. But, for me running is hard to stick with so Michael actually suggested I get a group going and he's been so wonderful at allowing me to lead this group of people who also wanted to do more running. We are the FT Run Team and each week I post the schedule of when we run, along with the running program. I've even coordinated with Tulsa Runner to have workshops for those of us that had questions and wanted some expert running advice. And not only have we completed the entire 5K training program, but we are running our first 5k as a group this Saturday! We are running in The Bedlam Run! And then after that, I will continue to lead and help the group keep moving forward so we each are able to reach our own individual goals.

So, that's been the two biggest things that have been keeping me busy outside of work, but there is one thing I was inspired to write about today and that was regarding a couple goals I just set for myself. If you've followed me for any time at all, then most of you know that I've been with Michael and Fitness Together for over 5 years, and within the first four years I lost 153 pounds. I started out at 350 pounds and after losing all that weight was under 200 pounds for the first time in I don't even know how long. Well, this past year, even though I never gave up, I always showed up for my workouts, and I continued to eat healthy, my weight did take a roller coaster ride and gained about 30 pounds back; which in the big picture isn't too bad because that means I was still down 120 plus pounds. And I believe the reason my weight suffered even though I worked out and ate healthy was because I allowed myself to get inside my own head. I had a lot of mental and emotional blocks that I just had a hard time getting past which caused my weight to fluctuate. But, that's all changed recently since I started to incorporate the boxing and running. And then of course Michael always has new challenges for his clients and the most recent one was a new nutrition program he wanted some people to test. I thought this would be a good opportunity to test something for him and change up my nutrition in hopes to jump start the weight loss again. It's an 8 week program, we just finished week 2, and I've already lost almost 14 pounds! And this got me thinking about what I want to accomplish at the end of this 8 week program. This is what I meditated on yesterday a great deal, and today decided on two goals. One is a scale related goal and the other is a non-scale goal.

But, I couldn't set my goals without looking back at what I've done and where I want to be in 6 weeks. And let me tell you, it was a real eye opener and also a fantastic realization of just how far I've come. My scale goal is to lose another 18.9 pounds. I know I can do it with hard work, dedication, and staying focused. How I came up with this number is looking back my lowest weight was 197.8 so losing this 18.9 pounds will not only get me back under 200 pounds but will put me at 197.7 which will be a new all time low since starting my journey at Fitness Together. And then I don't want to only focus on the scale, so decided my non-scale goal is to get into a size smaller jeans. I started out 5 years ago in a size 28 women's plus and today I wear a size 14 in misses. Since starting the meal plan a couple weeks ago I've noticed my jeans are getting looser in the waist so I went today and bought a pair of size 12 jeans with the goal to be able to wear them in 6 weeks. I know this too is possible because I could get the jeans on, just need to be able to button and zip them up! :) The last time I was in a size 12 was probably back in 5th or 6th grade! Just check out the comparison of my jeans in the picture below. The huge pair on the bottom are the size 28 women's plus, the dark denim in the middle are the jeans I can wear today and are size 14, the top black pair of jeans are the size 12 which I WILL BE WEARING within 6 weeks!

Sometimes I get so focused on all I still have to do or how far I have to go that I forget to stop and celebrate all I've accomplished. Which is why I've hung on to only one pair of clothing from my original starting weight, which are these jeans, so I always have a reminder of just how far I've come but also a reminder of where I never want to be again. One thing I've learned is in order to know where I want to be, and even how to get there, I have to stop and remember where I came from and what all I've done.

I'll keep ya updated! Until next time, keep pushing and stay focused on your goals!
And of course my favorite way to end my posts on Facebook...

#noexcuses #onlyresults

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How Bad Do You Want It?

There are some who think this whole health/fitness journey has been easy for me. There are some that think because I'm single and don't have kids that's the reason I "have time", when in reality I still have a family and friends that are important to me; but I make the time and make it a priority for myself. There are some that say it's because I'm able to have a personal trainer and they aren't able to invest in one. Again, I've made this a priority for me, and regardless if I have a trainer or not I still had to get off my ass and do the work to get the results.

Quite often I hear, or even have had conversations with people, where they are constantly talking about what they want to do in regards to their health/fitness; and then once they are given the tools and opportunities to accomplish their goals they don't take advantage of them. But, the issue that I have isn't that they don't take advantage of these opportunities, because we all have choices and this is their choice; but it's when they don't and then bitch about not getting results or complain about how bad their health is. I hear everything from how much weight they want to lose to wanting to be a better athlete, and then the other many things in between such as even just eating healthier. And here's the deal, when it comes to accomplishing your personal goal(s), regardless if it's health/fitness related or not, the question isn't if you want it, but how bad do you want it?

I've accomplished so much these past 5 plus years, but I'm always looking for ways to challenge myself and to just do more to better myself. A lot has happened these past few weeks since I've last posted, including I've started training twice a week at a local boxing gym, The Engine Room, in addition to my current personal training program at Fitness Together. I started this in order to train for a 90 day goal I've set for myself, and that's to participate in an actual sparring event. By doing this, I'm getting outside my comfort zone, facing fears, and in the process I'm growing as a person and improving my health. Between Michael, Terri, and all the coaches at Fitness Together and The Engine Room, I have access to the things and people I need to accomplish this goal. But, they can't do it for me, so if I don't utilize the tools and opportunities, if I don't get my ass in there and do the work, then in 90 days when I get in that ring to spar I'm going to get my ass whooped by some girl. Well, if I want it bad enough, then I'm not going to skip workouts, I'm not going to half ass my training when I'm in there, and more importantly I'm not going to allow excuses to get in the way of me accomplishing my goals.

I don't know what your own personal goals are, but I would encourage you to reflect on what those are and what it will take to get there. And when you have those opportunities to get in there and do the work, I suggest you take them instead of making up excuses to avoid it. I look forward to mentoring others, because it means a lot to be able to help others. But there's nothing more frustrating from a trainer/leader aspect than to have someone constantly talking about what they want to accomplish yet they are not willing to do what it takes to get there, especially when they actually come to you for help. I believe the reason I've been so successful with my weight loss and in my own personal health/fitness journey is due to three keys factors.

  1. I take advantage of the trainers and their advice. This means when a trainer suggests something in regards to my cardio, workouts, or nutrition I take their advice and see what happens. Sometimes I question things, but I also have to remember they are the experts and they are giving me the advice they feel will help me be successful. If it doesn't work, we do something else.
  2. I take advantage of my time in the gym. This means I don't skip or reschedule workouts just because I don't feel like going in. It also means I show up early, not just on time, but early to warm-up so when it's time to start training I can get right into the workout. We have 45 minutes, so when I train from 5:15 AM - 6:00 AM, I get there at 5:00 AM because I don't want to spend the first 10 minutes of my session warming up and then that leaves only 35 minutes to get my workout in. I would rather get there early, warm-up, so I can utilize my full 45 minutes with the trainer.
  3. I didn't allow things/people to be excuses for me. I didn't allow things to cause me to miss gym time, especially my scheduled sessions, for any reason. And I didn't allow things/people to influence me into eating/drinking things that would sabotage my nutrition which in turns effects my results.
Now, I'm by all means not perfect, and yes I have days I feel less motivated and sometimes it's hard to get in there. And there are things that come up I would rather do than be in the gym. And I'm not saying my friends/family or having a life outside the gym isn't important, because it's definitely important to have that balance. But, the thing is I don't allow those days to become excuses to not do the work. So if you're wanting to lose weight, if you're wanting to train for a certain sport, if you're wanting to become stronger, if you're wanting to eat healthier, or whatever your personal goal is, then it comes down to one simple thing, how bad do you want it?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Weigh-in Update

I've been making some changes the past couple weeks in hopes the scale will start moving down again. I've changed up what I'm doing for my cardio and I've added that fourth private session in with one of the other trainers. And I'm happy to say this week I was down 2.4 pounds!

This week I've been talking with Michael about my next 90 day goals and we are in the process of having those finalized this week. My body goal involves boxing. I enjoy hitting the heavy bag and working with Michael on the mitts as he's taught me about jabs, hooks, and uppercuts. But, as were talking, he said I needed something to work towards. Setting a goal to add in more boxing is good, but what goal can I set that I can work towards. Well, after some discussion I'll be training to actually spar with someone at the end of the 90 days. I'm a little nervous, but I should be; but I'm more excited than anything. I've already ordered my own boxing gloves and I just got the email today they should arrive tomorrow. And then Saturday I'm meeting up with one of the trainers to go shopping for shoes for my training. She said with boxing having a lightweight shoe will be better.

I'm hoping to have all my 90 goals for my core4 set, along with my 30 and 60 day benchmarks, by the end of the weekend and I will post them once they are in place. For me this helps me stay on track, but also I know it keeps me accountable because I have plenty of people who support me that will call me out.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Weigh-in Update/Break The Mental Block

So, yesterday I weighed in and was up .2 pounds. That's not even half a pound, and I wasn't going to let it stress me, but I couldn't help but still feel frustrated. I know I need to do more, and as I mentioned in my prior post, I've added cardio and even a fourth private session with a different trainer. So, what exactly is it that I need to do?

This morning I struggled with the scap bar hangs during my workout. I had four rounds, and the goal was to hang for 30 seconds each round, but I couldn't go the whole 30 seconds without stopping multiple times. I've done them before, and I remember I really had to focus on pushing through, but I was able to hang the entire 30 seconds on all rounds the last time. So, why am I struggling today? Well, I told Michael I'm not sure why but I was struggling with my grip. So, he told me to chalk up on my last round. After I was done with the last set he said it's not my grip that's the issue, but he could tell I started to panic and would put my feet back. He said he knew it wasn't my grip because on that last round I went 40 seconds and only stopped once. He started talking to me about how something is blocking me, and I told him I know a lot of my problem is a mental block. He knows this, and it's like he said, it's 100% mental because I show up and I'm doing the work. But, he also said I need to start getting uncomfortable again. That when I reach that point where I'm getting uncomfortable, instead of backing off, I need to push through it and be uncomfortable. He said there's no reason I couldn't go another 10 seconds, and he's right.

After my session, and as I was showering and getting ready for work, I meditated on what all he said. I'm always talking about the importance of getting outside my comfort zone. I show up for my sessions and I will do anything Michael asks me to do, and he's been incorporating a log of new stuff lately. I might whine a bit, there might be new things I struggle with at first to get the technique down, and there might be times I don't like what I'm having to do, but I'll do anything Michael and the trainers ask me to do in my workouts because that's why I've invested in a personal trainer. They know what I need to do despite what I want or even don't want to do. I mean, I I don't want to do burpees, but I know I need to do them. They are an excellent total body exercise. So for me personally right now it's not about getting outside my comfort zone physically, but getting outside my comfort zone mentally. What this means for me is when I start getting uncomfortable in my workouts, I know I can do the work and I know I can push through it physically, but I need to get out of my own head and push through the mental block and stop backing off when I get uncomfortable. But instead, as Michael said, break through those barriers and push through them.

So, now the question is how am I going to do that? It's not going to be easy, but when I get to that point where I'm getting uncomfortable, probably the best thing for me to do is just give myself a pep talk or there's always Michael's voice inside my head that's talking to me and he does tend to give good advice. I just have to keep repeating to myself positive thoughts like, I've got to get out of my head, get out of my comfort zone, keep pushing through all the barriers, physically I'm capable of doing this, my body is stronger than what my mind is trying to tell me, I can do anything I want to do.

I love having quotes that tie to my blog posts, and I found this one that I think goes with this post perfectly!
"Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't." - Rikki Rogers

Like I said, physically I know I'm strong and I know I can do what is asked of me in my workouts, so getting out of my comfort zone mentally is what I need to make sure I'm doing. Because if I can get out of my own head, and stop telling myself I can't do something and all the other bullshit stories I tell myself, my mental strength will be just as strong as my physical strength.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Don't Settle

Dedication is defined by Merriam-Webster as a feeling of very strong support for or loyalty to someone or something. The quality or state of being dedicated to a person, group, cause, etc.

Perseverance is defined by Merriam-Webster as the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.

It took a lot of dedication and perseverance for me to get the results I've gotten in the last five years at Fitness Together. Prior to contacting Michael, the owner of Fitness Together, I joined many "Only $20 a month!" gyms just to only get the tour and never go back, and tried many times to start working out on my own and trying different diets. Why has this specific journey with Fitness Together been different than many other failed attempts? For starters I quit settling. I no longer settled for mediocrity or that it was "good enough". I no longer settled for anything less than what I wanted and what I deserved. I'm not saying it's been easy or that I haven't had moments I just wanted to give up; but because I no longer just settled my dedication to myself and my perseverance has kept me going and gotten me where I am today.

Now, I'm all about being honest in my blog about my journey, and 2015 wasn't a very successful year in regards to getting results on the scale or even losing inches. But, I will say 2016, despite a few bad weeks where I struggled to stay motivated and positive, I was able to get some results for my first 90 day goal of the year. I didn't meet my goal, but I did get results. As of 4/16/16, since January, I was down 7.2 pounds and down a total of 9.25 inches! Even though I had been hard on myself over the past few months, and even felt discouraged at times because the scale wasn't moving down like I wanted it to, when I saw the inches lost I was excited and proud of what I've done so far this year! But, it also reminded me once again how I can't just focus on the scale.

Recently Michael has been talking about how what got me where I am today isn't enough to get me where I want to be. I still have weight loss goals, I still need to lose inches, and I definitely still need to do some toning. But, I have to be willing to get outside my comfort zone and do more. This past week I've really been thinking about what I want for my body goal to be this next 90 days and how am I going to get there. I've already started adding in some things. I added a fourth private session in, but with a different trainer who can bring something new and different to my program. I've gone back to the basics as far as cardio that involve running/sprint intervals on the treadmill or outdoors.

Last night on the way home I kind of had another breakthrough, or Aha! moment after doing my cardio. For my cardio last night I decided to do option 2 that's on my list. It's a 5 minute warm up, and then 8 to 10 rounds where I run for 2 minutes and walk for a minute, and then a 5 minute cool down. Obviously my goal is to do the most I can, so before starting I told myself I would do 10 rounds. After my warm up, and as I was on round five of the intervals, I really wanted to stop. It was getting hard and my legs were achy. But, I knew I couldn't stop at 5, so I told myself I would do 8 rounds and that would be enough because there's no way I could do 10. I pushed through and as I was running I thought this is it, after this I'll do the cool down and then I'm done. Well, about the last 30 seconds of running I thought, really? Just two more rounds is all I have to do, which is only four minutes of running. There's no reason I can't do that and I realized I'm settling for "it's enough". I knew my body could do more, it was all the negative bullshit stories I was telling myself that I had allowed to get inside my head. So, I ended up telling myself to shut up and I completed what I set out to do to begin with.

As I was driving home I was thinking how happy I was I didn't stop and that I finished the entire workout. I also realized these past several months I've been settling again for mediocre effort, which means I had settled for mediocre results. Now don't get me wrong, I'm proud of the results I got my first 90 day goal of the year, and I'm definitely celebrating it and not taking anything away from that; but I also know telling myself "this is good enough" is settling for less than what I know I can do and what I deserve.

I found this quote and thought it was perfect for this blog post, but also a perfect reminder for me right now.

"Challenge yourself. Don't settle for mediocre or good enough. There is always more, better, that next level of achievement. Go for it. Believe that the best is really yet to come." - Mary-Frances Winters
Are you settling for less? Are you telling yourself "it's enough" and settling for mediocrity? If you are and you're ready to stop settling, then it's time to prove to yourself you have the dedication and perseverance to go for that next level of achievement. If you're in the local Tulsa area and want to check out Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside or Fitness Together Downtown, you can contact Michael Watkins to set up a consultation; or you're more than welcome to reach out to me and come as my guest to check it out for yourself!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Weekly Jump Rope Challenge

Starting this week I am going to do a weekly jump rope challenge and I encourage you to take it on as well. I knew there were many benefits to jump roping, but I struggle with my endurance due to my ankles starting to hurt after about a minute. So, when Michael has me do 3 minutes of work with 1 minute rest for three rounds, I'm not able to do the full 3 minutes without stopping for a few seconds. And, by the third round my ankles are hurting, and I know it's due to having weak ankles from all the injuries I sustained as a kid. I never broke an ankle, but many sprains, twists, torn tendons, etc. that caused me to be on crutches at least once a year between grades 4th and 11th grade. I started to research on how to strengthen my ankles, and low and behold every article indicated jump roping could do that. So, I decided to buy a jump rope for home and I'm going to start working on increasing my time (without stopping) and hopefully build up strength and endurance. Real quick though, before I get into what the actual challenge is for this week, I came across many articles that talk about all the benefits of jump roping. One article that I found very beneficial was from Not only will it tone your body and build up your endurance, but some other health benefits include improving your cardiovascular system and help with your weight loss. Other benefits include coordination, agility, quickness, and footwork (these are many reasons you see jump roping in boxing gyms).

So, for me personally, this is how I'm starting. Complete the following twice every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. It will only take 5 minutes each time.

Jump rope for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds and do this 5 times. I am going to do what is called active rest. This is where on my 30 second of rest, instead of just standing there waiting for the 30 seconds to pass, I will do some type of light activity. This can just be as simple as jogging in place or if you're outside or in a large area just a light jog in a circle. Or even just walking/pacing back and forth. Nothing intense, just something light to keep your body moving. This will be what I do daily for this week, then next Monday I will increase my work time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I Give Up

The past couple weeks I've struggled to stay motivated. I didn't even want to go to FT and workout, I went, but I dreaded it. After talking with Michael, and reflecting on a lot of things that were discussed, he made me realize I was focusing on the one thing that was going right trying to figure out how to fix it instead of everything else going on. I kept thinking the issue was something with my nutrition or my workouts, when in reality that's the one thing I'm consistent on.So, I started thinking about everything else going on and how I've been reacting to certain things and even people. I figured out I was reverting to some old habits, including shutting down, that were causing me stress and anxiety. Today on our call when Michael asked me how everything else was going, I realized when I said it out loud that I couldn't tell him how everything else was going because I wasn't dealing with it. What kind of sense does that make? Not one damn bit of sense! Instead of just leaning into what was really going on in the areas of my life that are chaotic right now, I pushed them to the side and started looking at the one thing that is going good and just looking for something that was wrong and how I could change it.

So, I've been meditating on it throughout the day and this evening and realized I just need to give up. Yeah, that's right, I'm just going to give up! I'm giving up.......

  • The easy way out - I'm going to do the work and deal with the things that are hectic so these things aren't just pushed to the back of my mind and blow up, because they will resurface again if not dealt with
  • Negative thinking/self-talk - I'm going to get out of my head, quit telling myself lies, and quit being my own obstacle
  • Fear of failure - I'm going to remind myself that I determine my own success and any goal is attainable (The 10x Rule)
  • Expecting perfection - Remember I'm not perfect nor am I expected to be perfect, I can't control everything, and give myself permission to be human and to feel
  • People pleasing - I'm not doing things just to please others. I have certain people, my parents, Michael, Pastor Scott, who I respect their opinions; and I'm grateful they are real and honest enough to give me their advice, but respect me enough to let me do what's best for myself
  • Putting other's needs before mine - it's not selfish to put my needs before others. It's important I take care of myself first and do what I need to do to make sure my life is less stressful and anxious
  • My excuses - excuses don't get me results, nor does it get me closer to my goals. No time, work crazy, too tired? Those are bullshit stories I tell myself to avoid doing the work and dealing with the chaos.
These are things that I've recently been allowing to control me and it's caused me some stress and anxiety these past couple weeks. So, in order to be happy, move forward to meet my goals, and get myself motivated again I have to give up on these things. What will you give up to be happy?