Monday, April 30, 2012

Customize Your Life

I was reminded today that I'm definitely not alone in my struggle to stay motivated throughout my weight loss journey.  Many others are struggling, too.  And I'm finding the things that motivated me when I began focusing on my dream aren't necessarily the same things that motivate me 17 weeks later. 

But that's okay! 

I know a BRILLIANT, AMAZINGLY TALENTED teenage boy who once said "What's the point of living if you can't customize your life?"  What a great quote, right?  :)   I may be partial to this boy and this quote, but it actually really speaks to me right now....

My dream is super-important to me.  I want it to come true.  I will do whatever it takes to keep moving in that direction.  And what works for some people may or may not work for me.  So, if I need to customize my life, I'm gonna do it!

Here's the first thing I've done to change things up... and it's really working!  As much as I love doing Zumba, I get tired of doing the same DVDs alone in the basement.  So I started exploring online and found several videos on YouTube of different Zumba routines.  That's a fun way to change things up.  The only issue I've had is when the video starts "buffering".  That can be frustrating and seems to happen right when my heart rate is up where I want it!  

My other new addition is exploring the free videos in the Health & Wellness category.  There are several options such as yoga, pilates, toning, and more.  This has actually helped me to add those toning sessions I've been struggling with for a while! 

In addition to fitness, I keep coming up with additional benefits of losing weight.  Noticing the weight loss in my face has really made a difference in my outlook and has given me a new spark!  It makes me want to keep going!  I love how I feel when I think of of how great the accomplishment will be when my dream becomes my reality! 

Every choice we make today will affect our future... we just have to decide how we want that to look and then proceed accordingly.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just Believe

Sometimes the best place to start is to believe.  Even if you can't see the end...

Believe in the importance of your dream.
Believe it might be possible to watch your dream come true. 
Believe you deserve to live a happy and fulfilled life. 
Believe you can do it, even when things are difficult, challenging, and uncomfortable.
Believe it's not over just because you made a mistake or two... or a hundred.
Believe you can pick yourself up after each stumble.
Believe you can shout much louder than your doubts and fears. 
Believe that shouting over them might make all the difference. 
Believe in God and that He'll help you when you call to Him.

Don't give up.  Just believe... in the right things.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Work In Progress

If you're looking forward to the day you first notice your weight loss in the mirror, let me encourage you to not give up.  It's an amazing feeling! 

This week I began noticing a big difference in my face and stomach.  They've both really slimmed down.  Other people were noticing before I did, but it seems like it became really obvious to me this week.  It feels good!  I feel slightly more confident, but definitely not arrogant or vain.  I was actually pleased with how I felt and looked at work on Wednesday!  I found a flower that matched my top PERFECTLY, so I stuck it in my hair to complete the look.  I tried to take a typical "restroom" self-portrait, but it didn't turn out great.  Regardless, here it is!

It's frustrating when I'm reminded how hard I'm still fighting to not allow my insecurity get the best of me.  I have to make a conscious effort to talk back to those lies all day long.  You know what?  It's worth it.  Little by little I'm starting to see myself in a different way, and the things that used to REALLY consume me don't seem as bad as.  They're still a challenge, but I know I must go through this refining process to become the best me I can possibly be!

My advice:
Do not give up. 
When you make a mistake, it's okay. 
Just start over. 
Try again.
Then repeat because you'll make more than one mistake. 

Whatever you do, never lose sight of your dream and the how your spirit feels when you picture it.  Have faith, believe it will happen, and ask God to guide you.  He's amazing!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Curse of Someday

Don't wait for "someday". 

Start today. 

And if you mess up, pick yourself up and start again.  Each passing minute is another chance to turn it all around so don't look back in regret.  Make yourself proud.  Live your dreams.  Be everything you've ever wanted.  Decide what you want and go for it!

I believe in us...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Peace, Man!

I love how I feel when I read this.  And how peaceful are the words "calm in your heart", right?  To have "calm in your heart" during the midst of trials and chaos is truly a blessing in and of itself. 

I've had a few days of hard work, trouble, and lots of noise around me.  The devil's been talkin' again (as he does when you're moving in the direction of the dreams God put in your heart).   He wants to get me down, make me feel defeated, make me feel insecure, and doubt my abilities. 

But you know what?  I don't have to listen and believe those lies.

I can have peace and calm in my heart while in the midst of chaos and know there's a plan and purpose for me.  I know I have a calling and God knows what He's doing!  Why should I doubt Him?

As some dreams were unfolding today, I was awestruck by the overwhelming sense of peace I felt as the details were revealed one by one.  I knew something big was in store and that getting there might be a challenge.  But when you bring creative minds together and start collaborating, amazing things can happen!  It was another reminder of how truly awesome God is.  When you actively focus on your dreams, great and mighty things will happen... even if the details change. 

Oh, and I was so focused on my dreams today I forgot about eating lunch altogether.  WHAT?  Shocking for me.  It's not really a good thing, but it's a huge improvement from the emotional eater I used to be (and am still working to overcome).  Regardless, it made me feel good.  And I love how my dreams are coming true! 

I wish the same for every one of you reading this.  I pray you will lead your life in the direction of your dreams and will feel this kind of peace in the midst of chaos!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 17
Start date
: 12/28/11
Initial weight:
Current weight:
This week's loss
: 1 pound
Total weight loss:
20 pounds

Last week's dream focus
: Rock the next crucial conversation, recommit to exercising, and eat sensibly when dining at a restaurant or ordering take-out foods.

What went well:  I worked out twice this week - one was a TONING SESSION (Yay!) - and I spent a lot of time on my feet between Friday and Sunday evening at the women's conference.  During the conference I was amazed at how little food I consumed (it was all delicious and paid for, so I could have really went wild but it just didn't seem like something I wanted to do)!  This week I ate a lot healthier than I had in the past, enjoying apples, pistachios, and more protein shakes!
The best thing about this past week: I purged old "junk" I'd been holding on to.  I now feel cleansed and renewed in my heart, mind, body, and spirit!  YEAH!
Realizing I really want to pursue becoming a certified Zumba instructor has motivated me to start working out more.  Last night (in the gross basement) I actually had fun!  I turned the mirror back around and really viewed my body in a different way.  I saw things I liked instead of only things I hated about myself.  That's a HUGE milestone to overcome!
Oh and I LOST A POUND!!!  It feels great to lose weight again.  It's been a while since I've seen the number go down!

Challenges: Mexican food.  Always.  And restaurants & take-outs scenarios are getting better, but they're still a little difficult sometimes. 

This week's dream focus: Work out three times and continue eating sensibly when dining at a restaurant or ordering take-out foods!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fears... They're All In Your Head

I went into work today to find an e-mail with a subject of 'Zumba' from someone in Human Resources.  The message said "I haven't forgotten about you.  Please give me a call when you have a chance." 

The background: For two years I've worked really hard to try and implement lunchtime Zumba classes at our company as a fun way to get fit, relieve stress, and bond with our co-workers.  It was actually on my dream list.  The whole endeavor has been a real challenge and a few weeks ago I questioned if I even wanted it pursue it anymore.  I left it alone, focusing on other things.  Then, out of the blue, this e-mail shows up!

I called the "sender" and she had good news... they have a location for us and it's closer to a reality than ever before!  There are a few things I needed to confirm and then we can proceed in an effort to begin Zumba!  During our phone conversation, she said "You're going to teach the class, right?"  I said "Oh no, I'm not certified... although I've thought about it!"  She encouraged me to pursue certification, which felt really awesome.

I've heard this same encouragement from several people in the month of April and it just won't leave my spirit.  I've actually had friends beg me to get certified! It's interesting when other people believe in you more than you believe in yourself. 

So what are the fears in my head saying about getting certified? 
"You're overweight and you don't look like a fitness instructor.  Who would want to take a class you're leading?"

"You'll probably be the only overweight person at the certification training?" 

"The training costs a lot of money."

"You're busy enough as it is.  Can you really add another commitment to your life when you're trying to create a balance and set boundaries?"

"When will you have time to create or learn new dance routines?"

How am I responding to those lies?
"Sure I'm overweight.  And chances are most of the people in the class will be overweight, too.  It might actually make them feel more comfortable having someone who's not super-fit lead the class.  I'm a fun person and I have a blast doing Zumba.  No matter what, it will always be a great time!" 

"There's no way to know who will be at the training and how much they weigh.  I know I'm not the only "overweight" person to become certified and I won't be the last.  We're all there to get fit and I'll be making a dream come true!"

"The training is slightly expensive, but I can make it work.  It's worth the sacrifice.  Plus, I'll eventually earn money while I'm getting fit.  BONUS!"

"I've been seeking a convenient way to get fit and have some "me" time.  What better way than during lunch hours?  I'll have all evening with the family on those nights with fitness checked off my dream focus for those days!"

"The great thing about Zumba is that I can use my creative side to have fun with the routines, so it doesn't have to be a "chore".  It will be fun!"


That, my friends, is how you talk back to your fears!  (Thank you, God, for helping me see the truth and discern the lies!) 

Currently there are no scheduled Zumba Basic instructor trainings in my area (I thought there was one in a couple of weeks but it's for existing instructors).  When the next one is scheduled, I will be there getting certified!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Purged, Cleansed, and Renewed!

This weekend I attended 'The Capable Woman' conference at my church.  It was amazing!  God moved in a mighty way and I was purged, cleansed, and renewed in my spirit. 

When I say I was "purged", I just mean I let go of a lot of "junk" I've been carrying for weeks, months, even years.  Toxic, gross "junk" I pretend to have dealt with but, in reality, I just keep shoving it back down inside me.  I've either ignored it because I don't want to deal with conflict, I've tried to lay it down but I keep picking it back up, or a multitude of other reasons I choose to continue carrying it around.  With all that toxicity inside, there wasn't enough room for God to consume me the way I truly desire... the way He desires.  I just had to let it go, get it out, and make room for Him so I can move where He leads.

And it wasn't pretty.

In fact, it was really ugly.

I cried so loud.

I cried so hard I couldn't catch my breath.

I cried so hard it created little bruise spots by my eyelids that are still there today.

But I had amazing women of God praying for me and with me.  They hugged me and told me to let it all go... the same thing I had been urging the women at the conference to do all weekend.  I felt that God kept me together during the conference so I could keep things moving and do what needed to be done.  But during our final time at the altar, when all my responsibilities were behind me, I was able to really let it go and begin to heal.

I can't describe how different I felt after I really let it go.  I truly felt like weights had been lifted from me.  I feel like a different person!  I really feel like I'll get to my dreams much faster now without that baggage.

See, we can realize our dreams and begin to move in the direction of them, but we can only get so far if we keep holding on to "junk" from our past.  It's like carrying a backpack full of rocks on our chest, back, waist, thighs, and ankles.  It weighs us down, makes it hard to keep going with an authentic smile on our face, it hurts, it makes us cranky and that crankiness affects others in a negative way.  And just the way other people can crush our dreams and suck the positivity from our lives, we can do the same to others if we aren't careful.

We have to determine what "junk" we're holding on to and then get rid of it!  Remove that weight so we can run fast to our dreams!  Remove that weight so we can smile and really mean it.  Remove that weight to strengthen our relationships with others and God.  Remove that weight so we can be an encouragement and inspiration to those we come in contact with.

And just so you know, you'll probably find yourself purging more than once in your life, especially if you continue holding onto things we should give to God.  After all, we're human and have a tendency to want control.  But amazing things happen when we surrender that control and put God first! 

We aren't perfect.  We're going to mess up.  Psalm 73:26 says "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."  This just blesses my heart in ways I cannot verbalize.  It's not an excuse to do things we shouldn't, but rather a promise that when we do make mistakes and find ourselves doing things we know aren't of God, He won't stop loving us.  He'll never leave.  He'll never turn His back. 

Trust in Him, let things go, and take His hand as you move towards your dreams!

It was uncomfortable at first.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Love the "Now"

You're way too blessed to be stressed.  Love the "now" and make it beautiful!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daily Motivation

Isn't this the cutest?  I can't help but smile when I see it! 

I'm sorry for the short post tonight but it's been a very busy day, leading into a super busy weekend.  After a 21-1 win in baseball tonight (go Oak Park!), we ate some dinner and I need to focus on my message for the women's conference tomorrow and Saturday. 

I'll do my best to post something before tomorrow evening, but please forgive me if it doesn't work out.  I wish you a restful, blessed evening tonight!

* To the two amazing women who commented on last night's post, I cannot thank you both enough for your incredible words and support!  I loved all of what you both said and making time for "me" has been a struggle for a very long time (surprising from an only child).  I've spent a lot of time today reflecting on what it would look like to establish some personal time to add fitness (outside of the home) into my life.  This is something I really want to work on, but I actually think it will take baby steps, as funny as that sounds. 

Just so you know I plan on responding to both of you in detail tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 16
Start date
: 12/28/11
Initial weight:
Current weight:
This week's loss
: 0
Total weight loss:
19 pounds

Last week's dream focus: Work on not internalizing emotions, having crucial conversations with myself and others; find healthy ways of getting rid of those deadly and toxic emotions; avoid emotional eating; eat sensibly when dining at a restaurant or ordering take-out foods; continue eating a healthy breakfast; work out 2 times; and GET TO THE STORE for a better food selection!

What went well:  I did two full hours of 80's Zumba on Saturday!  It was a blast and kicked my booty... but that's the point, right?  It's so much fun!  And I'm pretty sure "Become a Zumba Instructor" is back on my dream list.   :)  
I had some crucial conversations about things I've been internalizing.  They weren't comfortable.  I never want hurt someone's feelings or make them feel bad, frustrated, or anything other than happiness and joy... but I had to talk about things.  And honestly, I didn't feel good about the first conversation after it was over, like I anticipated.  I actually felt worse, in a way.  But, after some time, things got better and I felt a weight lifted from me and less anger/tears.  I found some small courage and again stepped out of my comfort zone to have the second crucial conversation. Surprisingly, this one was an instant relief... the ideal kind!  Still uncomfortable at first but opened an amazing dialogue for healing, trust, unity, and resolution.  Whew.  I'll have another one next week (possibly the most difficult of them all) but it doesn't seem as big now!  I'm trusting the right words will be said and I'll lead by example.
Also, I WENT TO THE STORE!  I bought better food selections and I'm loving them.  Delicious and smart.  What a concept!  I learned about this thing called "powdered peanut butter" which is amazing!  It's peanut butter in a powdered form.  You just add 1 teaspoon of water to 2 tablespoons of powdered PB.  The organic process removes 85% of the fat calories without the chemicals and there aren't any preservatives!  1 serving (2 tablespoons) is only 45 calories!  I've been adding it to my protein shakes.  YUM!  Try it! 

Challenges: I'm still trying to implement toning sessions... well exercise, period.  I'm struggling with not getting home from baseball games until 7:30ish, then making dinner/eating out/carry-out and washing clothes, washing hair (not a quick task for me), or writing my blog.  And it seems the nights we don't have ball games I'm fulfilling other commitments and I don't get home until after 9:00.  I know these aren't good excuses and I need to commit to this as passionately as I commit to other things.  There are people busier than me who make the time more frequently than I have.  :)
My poor food choices decreased last week, but I'm still not where I'd like to be.  I'm making progress!

This week's dream focus: Rock the next crucial convo, recommit to exercising, and eat sensibly when dining at a restaurant or ordering take-out foods

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

So What?

A Facebook status from 'Beck Diet Solution'...
Monday Motivation: "When dieters get off track, they often truly forget how good it feels to be in control of their eating. Therefore, the thought of getting back on track usually feels much more daunting and burdensome than it really is – because once they’re there, they feel so great about it."

Wow.  I really needed this today.

While viewing my LoseIt food and exercise log this morning, I noticed that I'd gone over my weekly budget the last three weeks.  And I noticed a trend.  The amount of calories increased each week, and yesterday (the beginning of the week) I just plain went haywire with my eating, going 702 calories over my daily budget.  I doubt an hour of Zumba would burn that many calories.  Of course, I didn't workout to burn it off. 

I'm trying to calm myself down and not hyperventilate about this trend. 

And I'm not freaking out that it will be too difficult to fix these minor issues. 

I'm just realizing I need to get away from everything for an hour to refocus, think about the importance of my dreams, recommit to myself, then get up and move forward!  I LOVE how great it feels when I'm doing the right thing!  I LOVE noticing that my once tight-fitting clothes have become comfortable... or better yet, too big!  I love feeling proud of myself when I actually craved something good instead of something bad!  I love feeling that sense of accomplishment when I share my Wednesday Wow Factor and it's full of things that went well!

So I "fell" three weeks in a row. 
So what? 

So day one of this week started out as a challenge. 
So what? 

It's ONLY day one... I have six more to go!  I can fix this... I can stand up and move forward because I believe in myself!

Monday, April 16, 2012

That's What I'm Talkin' About

Here's an example of what I was referring to in last night's post.  Erika shared a story of what happened to her last week that would cause many people to react in a defensive, hostile manner. 

She didn't react that way. 

She was awesome instead.

And it held someone accountable for their actions.

Now there's a possibility they'll think before they act going forward because of her.

Erika, thank you for being and example of how to be AWESOME! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Show Those Pearly Whites!

When faced with challenging situations, it can be super difficult to hold it together, let alone maintain your smile.  Things can happen so fast, too.  Everything will be fine one minute and the next you're blindsided with someone's negative comment, action, or body language.  It tries to instantly consume you and steal your joy.  It tries to change your spirit. 

But you know what?  YOU DON'T HAVE TO LET IT.

YOU decide how you're going to react.
YOU can acknowledge that you might not be the cause of their behavior.
YOU can acknowledge that maybe they're just taking it out on you.
YOU can acknowledge that maybe there's something wrong and it does involve you.
YOU can ask if everything's okay and if they want to talk.
YOU can pray for them if they don't.
YOU can decide that how it made you feel isn't worth making a bad decision with how you react (your words, your body language, your reactions, stress eating, gossiping, etc.)
YOU have the power within you to shrug things off and not take it personally.
YOU have the power to give it over to God and maintain your smile!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Others Can See

I just spent an hour typing a blog post and as I was trying to preview it, something happened and it was completely erased.  Frustrating, to say the least.  And it was really good!

After doing two FULL hours of Zumba tonight, I'm just exhausted, so I'll need to pick this up again tomorrow, kids.  Sweet dreams!

Friday, April 13, 2012


You can do all of these whenever you choose.  

So what's stopping you? 
Why are you asking for permission? 
Why do you desire to be validated by others?
Have you focused on how it might be holding you back?
What does your dream look like if you continued allowing this?
What does your dream look like if you no longer felt the need to have others validate you?


Sorry for my absence last night!  I was non-stop busy and I just didn't have enough time to do everything!  I'll share a more in-depth post tonight, but in the meantime here's a picture I just adore.  I hope you like it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 15
Start date
: 12/28/11
Initial weight:
Current weight:
This week's loss
: No gain or loss
Total weight loss:
19 pounds

Last week's dream focus
: Eat sensibly when dining at a restaurant or ordering take-out foods; eat a healthy breakfast, even if it's a protein shake; work out 2 times, keeping track of any bonus workouts; stay under caloric budget for the week; and stay positive!

What went well
:  I worked out three times!  I've fought hard to remain positive during adversity and temptation, which has been a challenge this week.  I'm loving my protein shakes and am impressed how much they fill me up and make additional food seem really unappealing.  I actually crave them!   Monday's Dare to Dream session helped me feel rejuvenated and empowered!  I processed it the rest of the day and it made a great impact.

  Well, the devil's been talkin'.  I've felt a lot of anger, frustration, and hostility the past few days and I've felt ravenous.  I usually don't allow it to affect my eating in a negative way... but to be honest, I've caved in a few times.  

I'm still trying to implement toning sessions.  I've made some poor choices in my food intake with frequent eating out (eating too much of higher calorie foods).  Also, as the healthier foods dwindle in the house we're left with processed foods and stuff that's high in sugar and fat (or is unappetizing).  That leads to more carry-out or eating out.  Solution?  GET TO THE STORE!

Note to self: internalizing your feelings is not conducive to non-emotional eating when you've been an emotional eater for fifteen years.  Think back to when you first started using food to mask your emotions.  Reflect on how pretending everything was okay affected you mentally, emotional, physically, and in your spirit.  Remember the outcome and where it's led you.  Be different.  Don't regress.  Die to that old self and become new.  Talk about what's bothering you because it's healthy!  Have those crucial conversations!  Focus on your dream and put into perspective how internalization of feelings will prevent you from (or slow the progress of) reaching your dream.  
This week's dream focus:
Work on not internalizing emotions, having crucial conversations with myself and others; find healthy ways of getting rid of those deadly and toxic emotions; avoid emotional eating; eat sensibly when dining at a restaurant or ordering take-out foods; continue eating a healthy breakfast; work out 2 times; and GET TO THE STORE for a better food selection!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chin Up, Buttercup

Today was trying. 

Some aspects were great!  Others were full of extreme stress, anger, and frustration - bordering on furious rage.  I seriously needed a punching bag or access to a demolition site.  Parts of me still feel psycho when I begin to dwell on it.

But those feelings cannot define me.  I cannot allow them to ruin my day or enable me to make bad choices.  I actually found myself in the cookie dough a couple of times before I came to my senses and snapped myself out of it. 

Stupid cookie dough. 
Stupid anger. 

That's negative and gross.

Smart me! 
Awesome habit I'm forming!
Yay for these situations!
Yay for strength to deal with them in new, healthy ways!
Thank You, God, for helping me through this!
I love where this one decision is taking me!
I love that as small as this may seem for some people, it's a great victory for me!
I love that this brought me one step closer to my dream!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Find Your Connection

I want to share with you that my soul's been troubled for several days wondering how I can help others who are finding it difficult to start, or continue, their weight loss journey. 

In our Dare to Dream (D2D) session today, we had an amazing conversation about making that one connection that changes everything... and how it's not the same for everyone.  Then, when you finally discover your one thing, IT'S ON! 

Here's a great example... a girl in our D2D sessions used to loath working out.  It felt like torture for her and she struggled to make it happen consistently.  When her boyfriend asked if she'd like to work out together, she started seeing it in a whole new way.  Now, instead of a chore, it's like a date... or social event!  It's a connection they share as a couple... and a new kind of accountability.  It now seems fun and it's become a part of their everyday life.  It completely changed her perspective and she's had great success in her journey!  She's struggled, as all of us will, but she hasn't let it get the best of her.

In my journey there were a couple of connecting factors.  After making a list of all my dreams, I noticed that my top dreams were connected in a unique way.  Number one dream: losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  I also dream of being a full-time life coach (dream coach, engagement coach, whatever you'd like to call it).  I suddenly realized I'd never be able to achieve that dream, or be successful at it, if I didn't practice what I preached.  How could I encourage others to follow their dreams if I couldn't make my number one dream a reality?  I knew I had to show others that it really is possible.  I have to become an example of how focusing on your dreams can change your perspective and your life.

I felt the calling to document my journey through this blog; for myself and for you.  The connection was real for me when I committed to share my struggles and victories daily; the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.  I'm using my lessons learned and my "Ah-ha" moments to help others and remind myself of what's really important to me.  I focus on my dreams daily and use them as my "secret weapons" against the daily battles I face (being tempted to overeat, eat things I shouldn't, being lazy and skipping a workout, etc.)  My dreams are more important than anything that will prohibit me from reaching them.

I plan to one day incorporate all this first-hand knowledge into a successful business... turning my dream and passion into a full-time career.  I cannot WAIT to do something I absolutely love everyday... watching others learn about themselves, grow to love themselves, overcome fears and anxiety, follow their dreams, and become more than they ever expected.  Two dreams connected in an amazing way!

If you're struggling to find your connection, take some time to reflect on your life.  What's truly important to you?  What do you love?  What makes you happy?  When your mind wanders, where does it go? 

Have you made a list of your dreams?  If not, I highly encourage you to do this.  It absolutely changed my life forever!  You might be surprised with how some dreams connect.  If you find your fuel, let me know.  I'd love to support and encourage you to keep going! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

What an amazing day reflecting on what Easter is all about!  It was filled with love, joy, laughter, happiness, and a peace I can't explain.  It was the most perfect weather I could ask for and my cheeks hurt from smiling so much!

I pray the best for you this week!  I'll be back at full posting strength again tomorrow.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Push It Real Good.

If you follow my blog regularly you're probably aware I've been struggling to motivate myself to do workouts other than cardio.  If I wasn't doing an hour of high-impact dance aerobic, I found it difficult to influence myself to dedicate even 15 or 20 minutes to toning.  I've even added this to my Wednesday Wow Factor dream focus for the last two weeks. 

Last night I came across two blog posts that really changed my outlook.  The posts, written by fitness and nutrition expert JJ Virgin, are 15 Common Culprits that Sabotage Your Fast Fat Loss & Create Weight Loss Resistance (Part 1) and (Part 2).  She describes several weight loss resistance issues people face.  The best thing is that they're easy to fix!

In the post, JJ talks about cardio as a potential weight loss resistor saying "Endurance training, which involves working out consistently at a heart rate of 70% or more of your maximum heart rate for at least 30 minutes, can raise stress hormones that break down muscle and depress your immune system.  This constant adrenal stress slows down your metabolism to conserve energy.  Stop wasting hours and your health on the elliptical machine and incorporate burst training. A study in Exercise and Sport Science Reviews, for instance, showed that just 15 minutes of burst training over two weeks improved your fat-burning muscle metabolism. You couldn’t get those benefits with hours of aerobics classes."

It's almost like I've been given permission to do workouts other than cardio!  I know I could've made this decision on my own prior to reading this article, but sometimes we just need it click in our heads.  Now, instead of putting off workouts because they aren't an hour long, I can mix it up with workouts I can fit in my schedule!  Some nights I can do an hour of dance... other nights I'll fit in 15 minutes of toning to prepare for tank top season!

I really believe we should make exercise fun so we can enjoy it, not dread it.  I LOVE Zumba and most any kind of dancing.  It's so exciting and feels more like a party than working out!  But I've found that a playlist of upbeat, motivating music can really make toning and exercise go by faster and seem more enjoyable.  If I'm on a treadmill, I envision myself in stilettos on a runway in an 'America's Next Top Model' competition!  I crank up my best runway song, create the "wind in the hair" effect, turn the sass to 20, and just work it out!


Now push it.  PUSH IT REAL GOOD!