Archive for November, 2012

How I did with my Goals for November and we yes have another Winner!!!!!

It is time to see where we are on our goals!!!!! This is always an exciting day for me lol 😀

  • Okay Goal one for November was to do my 40/40/20 macro at 18 calories per pound till the 18th, then start my cut and change my macros to 10 calories per pound. This I did successfully! 
  • Goal two was Concentrate on HIIT, running as hard as I can for 1 min then walking 2 mins for 1.59 miles 3 days a week.  This I did well with the first two weeks, but then started doing Tabatas so I started just running once a week. This goal was a semi fail :-/
  • Date Night redo ;-) Thanks to The Cheesecake Factory, we will get a redo of date night, ON THEM! Kudos to The Cheesecake Factory for caring about the service they provide!!!! This was a win! We had our date redo and it was perfect!!!! 
  • I will continue the NO looking at the scale. Even though I get curious and tempted, I feel better about myself when I am not obsessing about my weight! After all, I am setting an example for Zoe. If I love myself, she will learn from that and love herself! This was also a win! I have been doing great with NOT looking at the scale and NOT telling myself negative things about myself. Yes i still have days where I start to say negative things, but then I remind myself that I have come a long way!!!
  • This month the fitness challenge will be #ShowMeYourGuns We will be doing 4 sets of 30 concentration curls. By December, we will all be selling tickets to the gun show ;-) This challenge ROCKED!!!! I loved it!!!! I had days that were skipped on all my challenges, but I always made them up. 
  • I am going to continue with the #PlankADay I will focus on trying to get to at least 2 mins a day in proper form. It works so many muscles, and is so beneficial! I did the PlankADay in proper form, but I did not go to 2 mins everyday so this one is also a semi fail
  • LungForLeftovers Challenge I rocked too! I LOVED the election twist that was put on it! 😀 You can always go to GIRLSGONESPORTY to check out their challenges. You can officially enter and be eligible to win the monthly jackpot! Proceeds go to the GirlsGoneSporty Grant program! 
  • To get my Logo completed. Well, this one is also a fail. 🙁 Being that we are a one income family and Christmas is right around the corner plus it looks as though we are moving again in the next month, I choose to use any extra money we have on other things that we need or will need, so this has been put on hold.
  • Zoe rocked out her 25 signs this month! She never fails her goals 😉 

So now it is time to brush off any fails and start a new with December I am ready to rock this next month out!!!! 

I checked my scale this morning and I have lost 3 pounds since my last weigh in. I still have over 4 weeks of cutting, so this is awesome news!!!!

This was my last weigh in a month ago.

Not gonna lie, seeing the scale go below 150 is AWESOME!!!!!!!

Progress September, October, and November

The top pic was actually taken at the end of my bulk, so just a couple of weeks ago. It is amazing how much of a difference with just 3 pounds of weight loss!!! This past bulk I really feel like I made some huge muscle growth strides!!!

This month I will be a better version of me! 😀 I am excited to peel more of this fat off and see what I have built!

And I did not forget 😉 I know we have a GIVEAWAY winner to announce!!! The winner of the Larabar Giveaway is…… Brittney B. I have emailed you 😀 Please send me your shipping info so we can get this prize pack out to you ASAP!!!! Keep checking my GIVEAWAYS page, because I will be constantly adding more!!! Especially with the holidays quickly approaching!!!!! Show some love to November’s Affiliate of the month Cellucor! They have been awesome!!!!

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December Challenge and Goals!

Can you believe that November is over?!?!? It is time to set those December goals!!! Here is what I have set up for December. We will start with the December Challenge. This month it is #12WorkoutsOfChristmas  You can do it in whatever order you like. Here are the workouts.

  1. 12 Burpees 
  2. 12 Spiderman Push-ups
  3. 12 Jump Squats 
  4. 12 Crunches 
  5. 12 Leg and Hip Lifts
  6. 12 Tricep Dips
  7. 12 Rotating Push-ups
  8. 12 Bicycle Crunches 
  9. 12 Mountain Climber
  10. 12 Diamond Push-ups
  11. 12 V Sit Ups
  12. 12 Jumping Jacks

All of that will make up an AWESOME end of the year challenge!

Now for the rest of of my goals for the month…..

  • Continue with my cut and sticking to my 40/40/20 diet This means NO Christmas overindulging 
  • To run at least once a week
  • Do Tabatas at least 3x a week 
  • No scale except once a month
  • #PlankADay and GirlsGoneSporty Challenges
  • Try to get a website Log
  • And of course Zoe’s Goal of 25 ASL signs

Have you made your game plan for December? What are some of your goals?

Don’t forget about the giveaways I have going!!!!! I will be adding more soon, so keep checking back!!!!! Hope you all have a happy day!!!!
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Toddler Christmas trees, Tabatas, and Giveaways!

What a beautiful morning! Zoe and I hit the pavement this morning and had a great run! We did 1.75 miles. It was not too cold and not warm at all ha ha ha. That is just how I like it! 😉  Normally running and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate running, but I love what it does for me. Today I actually felt great out there!

Once home we got started on Zoe’s lesson plan. If you don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, yesterday Josh found a Christmas Tree at The Goodwill Store that was much nicer than ours. We have been wanting to upgrade for quite some time, but being a one income family with quite the debt to income ratio, 😉 It can get quite tight around here. Spending over $100 on a tree just hasn’t been feasible. We saw this one, which was like our tree x 3 lol it was only $20 so SCORE!!! We brought it home and switched the trees out. Oh my goodness what a blessing ! The look on Zoe’s face was perfect!!!

Since Zoe has been so enthralled with the new tree, I decided that we would base our lesson plan on Christmas trees today. Her art project today was making her own Christmas tree. I gave her triangles, circles, a rectangle, and a star to concoct her own tree. We discussed the shapes and colors that made up her tree. Simple projects like this are great for learning about the basic shapes, numbers, colors etc. I try to keep it simple, because it is easier on me and her. If you make your projects with a toddler too extravagant they lose interest fast 😉

Now that lesson time is over, it is time to hit the gym! 🙂 Today is biceps. I slacked on my challenges the last 2 days, so I have 3 rounds of #ShowMeYourGuns concentration curls that = out to 360 curls per arm. At 25lbs that should be more than enough to work my biceps lol. That with my #Lungeforleftovers challenge from GirlsGoneSporty and my personal #Plankaday, not to mention I am also going to do 5 rounds of Tabatas, it should make for a hardcore workout!

If you are unsure exactly what Tabatas are, let me explain. They are a 4 min High Intensity Interval Training HIIT for short. You do high intensity cardio for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds and do this for 8 rounds.

My first session will go like this

20 secs speed skips followed by 10 sec rest

20 secs jump squats followed by 10 sec rest 

20 secs of push-ups followed by 10 sec rest 

20 secs of crunches followed by 10 secs of rest 

I will do all of these exercises twice for one round of Tabatas.

I have 5 different Tabata workouts set up for today for a super fat burning workout! I am so stoked to finally have some of this fat coming off so I can see more muscle definition. I am excited to see what I have been building during my bulk! I have already started to see more definition in my stomach and my back. Josh said last night that my arms look stellar too. You know it’s working when others take notice lol. I have to sit down this afternoon and work on my goals for December!!!

What was your workout today? Do you do Tabatas? Do you bulk and cut? What is your favorite muscle group to work? Have you made your goal list for December yet?

Don’t forget to pay my Affiliate of the month Cellucor a visit! They are not only awesome, but they make this site possible!!!! Also get over to my giveaways page to get entered to win!!!!

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The Cheesecake Factory date redo & a Christmas GIVEAWAY!!!!

Today was date day!!!! I am not gonna lie, even though I adore my daughter and cherish every moment with her, it was nice to get out for a day alone with the hubby! I love that man of mine!

We dropped Zoe off at Grandma’s house this morning and headed out to The Saint Louis Galleria. It is one of the local malls, best one in my opinion! 😉

It is exquisite inside especially at Christmas time! Their tree was a gorgeous sight!!! The picture hardly does it justice!

We did a little window shopping before heading to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I appreciate their corporate office for sending us out a gift card and encouraging us to try them again! Right off the bat, we were greeted by the manager when we walked in.

I was strict on my food choices, since I am still in the cutting stage of my diet. I was good during Thanksgiving, so I did not count my macros. 😉 The food we ordered was phenomenal! SO much better than our first visit, and we thought the food was good then. Granted this was a different location and we ordered different food, but I was blown away by presentation and taste! We started with an appetizer each.

Josh started with the Crispy Crab Bites (Like mini crab cakes) and he LOVED them! I took a little bite and they were tasty!

I started with the Ahi Tartare and OH MY GOODNESS SO GOOD!!!!!!!! It was heaven in my mouth lol It was raw Ahi Tuna on top of fresh avocado then covered in a soy-ginger sesame sauce.

I decided that the options on the small plate menu and the appetizer menu were healthier options for me and Josh just went with what he wanted. He is NOT cutting ha ha ha ha!

I ordered the Beets with Goat Cheese. It comes with fresh beets, creamy goat cheese, baby arugula, apples, and pecans. Josh was like yeah I don’t think I would like that, but then he tried it and he did! I have to say I was proud he even tried it lol It was very tasty and filling!

I also ordered the Asian chicken lettuce wrap tacos.Butter Lettuce Leaves Filled with Grilled Chicken and Carrots, Bean Sprouts, Cucumber, Cilantro and Marinated Rice Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce. Messy to eat lol, but again just perfection!

Josh had the Cuban sandwich and he made me take a bite HA! It was also very tasty! Slow Roasted Pork, Ham, Swiss Cheese, Pickles, Mustard and Mayonnaise on a Grilled and Pressed Cuban-Style Roll. Served with French Fries

I did not have cheesecake to end the meal and surprisingly enough, neither did Josh. We did however each have a dessert style drink. This was my one naughty indulgence of the meal. 😉

I had the Hot Caramel Apple Cider and Josh had the Caramel Royale Macchiato. They were the perfect way to end the meal!

Our server was Michelle 🙂 She was not only very attentive to us, but very personable as well. She made sure we were comfortable, that we understood the menu, she was great with recommendations, and just an all around sweetheart! Far cry from the service we got when we visited the chesterfield location.

She truly was an awesome server in every sense of the word! Even a great sport for letting take her picture for the blog!

My opinion has changed for sure! The St. Louis Galleria location will certainly see us again!!!!! After filling up we headed back into the mall for a day of shopping. We seriously shopped ALL day! My husband LOVES shopping lol. Needless to say, our daughter is gonna have a phenomenal Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas, it is right around the corner. I am sure we are all rushing to give our kiddos the latest and greatest toys! I came across an awesome company that makes some really fabulous toys for kids!!! Zoe loves to do whatever I do, that does not change in the gym. I had seen this company and thought oh wow what an awesome concept. They sell WOD toys which incidentally is their name! WODToys.com They have a Barbell mini, Kettlebells, Medi ball, pylo box, even plush Baby WOD equipment! Too cute right???

Age 3+ WOD Toys

Baby plush WOD Toys

What kiddo would not want this stuff for Christmas right???? WODToys is generous enough to let one lucky reader surprise their kiddo with their own Barbell mini!!!!!! Get over to my GIVEAWAYS page and get entered to win this!!!!

Before you go though, tell me what do you do with your kids to keep them active? Zoe runs with me and tries to do my challenges as well as my Tabatas 🙂 Be sure to check out WODToys for more awesomeness!!!!

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Are you ready to punch Monday in the face? Let’s do it! Motivational Monday!

Today I am excited, because Josh and I get to redo our date at The Cheesecake Factory! If you missed the first one you can CLICK HERE to read about it. Let’s just say, it wasn’t the best experience. Their corporate office reached out to us and sent us a gift card to try again, so here goes nothing lol. 😉

Today is Motivational Monday, so let’s get motivated!!!!

 

Are you ready to get your sweat on??? I know I am!!!!! Let’s get out there and kick some booty!!!!!

Oh and do not forget, today is CYBER MONDAY!!!!  The HUGE sale ends tonight!!!!! You have to go check out all the deals at Vitacost.com!!!!! Even if you aren’t buying for someone else, buy for yourself!!!! I know I am gonna stock up!!!

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Thanksgiving round 2 and Zoe’s holiday baby signs

Today is Thanksgiving round 2 for us. I was cracking up yesterday, because my mom brings over a bag of apples. I thought they were for Zoe to munch on. I should have known better lol the sneaky lady wanted me to make an apple pie. 😉 I was more than willing, because I love to bake. Due to my strict diet, I don’t do a lot of baking anymore. The holidays are a great excuse to show my skills. She felt like it might be a burden, so with the apples she brought pre-made pie crusts. I will be honest and say that I have never worked with them. I always make my own crust. She insisted that use them, so I did. I was less than impressed with the results. I made a spicy caramel apple pie. Josh says it looks great, but I am a perfectionist and if I had the time, I would have redone the whole thing!

Zoe has been working so hard on her sign language this month! My favorite sign she has learned this week is Brave. We watched it yesterday and she just LOVED the movie! I thought it would be a great time to talk about what brave means and show her the sign.

To do the sign for Brave you put each hand on each shoulder then pull your hands from your shoulders as if you are pulling your strength forward. The end pose looks almost as if you are flexing. 😉

When she and Josh put the Christmas tree up last week, we worked on some signs for the season.

This is the sign for Christmas. You make the letter C and move your hand like you are making an arch it represents the top portion of a Christmas wreath

To do Christmas tree, you will sign Christmas then add tree. In which, you will hold your elbow and with the arm that is being held you will fashion your hand and fingers as the tree and it’s branches then twist slightly back and forth as if it were a little windy.

Snow This sign is easy, you just let your fingers trickle down softly as if they were snow flakes

Santa Claus. Zoe has never been taught that he is real lol he is just another character in a book to her like Rudolph.

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday! I love all the beautiful decorations, celebrating the birth of Jesus, as well as watching even the coldest people soften a little 😉 Something about this holiday that just makes people want to love. It is just beautiful! I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving, as we will surely be enjoying round two! No worries, I made my own separate me since I am in training and cutting weight. If I have dessert, it will only be a bite just to taste 😉

What is your favorite dessert? What is your favorite holiday? Did you play it safe on Thanksgiving, or did you overindulge?

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Looking for stocking stuffer ideas for the fitness buff in your life? Well look no further!

So with Christmas quickly approaching and everyone getting not only their Christmas lists in order, but planning the ritual “New Year’s resolutions” I wanted to touch base with some awesome stocking stuffer/gift ideas for the fitness buff in your life!!!! Luckily for us, Vitacost.com has started the HUGEST cyber sale EVER!!!! It starts today at 9am and goes till 11:59 on November 26th!!!!!  If you haven’t heard of Vitacost before, what rock have you been living under???? LOL I assure you they have over 2000 of the top rated brands AND they charge about %50 less than most companies for their products!!! Back to the list of goodies…..

These are the things I hope to get this Christmas season! 😉 they are supplements I typically take on a daily basis that help me on my journey to becoming a fit, lean, and mean mama! Okay, not really mean lol but you get the gist.

  • Creatine Monohydrate This supplement is important because it is an amino acid found in your muscle tissues. It fuels your muscles. Creatine increases the availability of instant energy, it increases muscle strength, improves endurance as well as delays fatigue. Creatine will force more fluids into your muscles, and give a good pump.This is also known as cell volumization – leading more water inside the cells, making muscles bigger and firmer. Do not confuse this with water retention that happens outside the muscle cells, making the muscles look smooth. It’s not uncommon to gain 6 to 10lbs during the first two weeks. This gain is largely due to the increment of body fluids in the muscles. Creatine is highly recommend  but make sure you tell your doctor you are yaking it, because it can give a false positive on a blood test for kidney failure. I also cycle it. It takes about 2 months for your body to completely rid itself of creatine. I usually do 6 weeks on and 6 weeks off. I cycle it with my diet.

    Perfect lost cost item for a stocking stuffer

  • Fish oils These are important for several reasons! They affect your serotonin levels, therefore they are all natural happy pills 🙂 Being happy keeps you healthy! They also lubricate your joints and act as an anti-inflammatory. This is a great thing whether you lift weights or are a runner!

Another low cost item perfect for a stocking stuffer!

  • Protein Powder This helps you build lean muscle mass. Powders are typically low in fat and low in carbohydrates which are very helpful in reducing fat! There are different types of protein, there is whey isolate which is a fast absorbing protein. Great for post workout! It will head straight to your muscles and aid in recovery. Then there is Casein this is time released protein. I usually will drink a shake before bed so while my muscles are resting they are also feeding 😉

    If you were looking for the best gift to buy me, I LOVE protein!!! I can send you my shipping info if you wanting to get me this for Christmas lol

     

  •  Glutamine This stuff is huge in workout recovery!!!! It is going to boost immune system function, helps you maintain muscle mass, prevents muscle breakdown, enhances glycogen storage, and  promotes healing. Enough said right!

Super stocking stuffer right here!!!!

  • Protein/Meal replacement bars These are awesome for your busy on the go athletes. As a mama I do have days where I don’t get a chance to stop and make myself a meal. These bars are ensential, because they are hight in protein and also have a good amount of carbs for energy. They also fill me up! Not to mention most taste like candy, so they will help curb a sweet tooth lol

Super stocking stuffer???? I think so!!!!!

So these are some of my go to items of choice when it comes to supplements. These are also typical gifts that end up in my stocking come Christmas morning lol. If you want a great deal on items like these you have to check out the Cyber sale that Vitacost is hosting! A little tip too, if you sign up for the “Refer a Friend” program I get $10 and so do YOU and every time you refer a friend, you will continue to earn! It is a win win situation for us all 😉 Just CLICK HERE if you want to sign up for that! 

What are your go to supplements? Do you like to get stuff like this for Christmas? What do you normally tell people to buy you when they ask?

Turkey Day recap and announcing the Sweaty band and FitPhreak Gift code winner!!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!! We had a fabulous day! Zoe and did our morning “Love ourselves” routine. Then headed out to Josh’s parents house for Thanksgiving lunch and dinner.

I am really proud of myself! I did not go over board at all on my meal and only had one small slice of Pumpkin pie and one small slice of my pecan pie cheesecake, which was a hit by the way! 😉

Zoe helped cleaned up then crashed out…..

When she woke we took a nice walk, the whole family went! It was awesome and refreshing!!!! Then got back in time to watch football with her daddy.

It truly was a lovely day with the family!!!!

Today is Friday and it is time to get back to work! Back day and Abdominal Tabatas, they usually do me in!!!! I still have one more Thanksgiving dinner with my family, but it won’t be till Sunday. Between now and New Year’s day, people tend to gain 8-10lbs from overeating and lack of exercise. Let’s avoid it this year! Eat sensibly and work hard!!! Even if you did slip yesterday, don’t let it deter you from your prize!!!  Get out there today and do work!!!!!

What did you and your family do for the holiday? Are you ready to work it off today???

And don’t think I forgot 😉 I know I have another GIVEAWAY winner to announce today!!!! The winner of the Sweaty Band and the FitPhreak Gift code is Sheila F. I have sent you an email! Congratulations to you and I hope you all have a phenomenally fit day!!!!

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What I am thankful for and who won the Cellucor Giveaway!!!!

Happy morning all!!! Today I will be busy busy busy! I have family coming by for a Pre -Thanksgiving visit. I made the Pecan Pie Cheesecake last night. It looks phenomenal! It has a pecan sandie crust, a layer of pecan pie, layer of plain cheesecake, then topped with a maple caramel sauce. It is gonna be VERY hard for me to resist  I have made to to calculate a small slice into my macros. I have to at least try it, right? 😉

I figured since tomorrow is Thanksgiving I wanted to say today, what I am thankful for.

  • I am thankful for God’s love, grace, mercy, and guidance. Without him I would most definitely still be an unhappy and lost mess.
  • I am thankful for my beautiful daughter, who not only loves to test my patience lol, but holds my heart and has truly shown me how to unconditionally love someone.
  • I am thankful for my husband. He has shown me that I can and should always just be myself and that I am beautiful no matter what!!! He is my angel.
  • I am thankful for my furbaby Beardog who has taught me that all creature can love and be loved.
  • I am thankful for Josh’s parents who have helped us whenever we have needed it and never asked for anything in return. 
  • I am thankful for the time I get to spend with my parents. As they age I realize our time is getting shorter, so I cherish the moments I have with them!
  • I am thankful for my daddy, who not only taught me how to strengthen my faith, but always taught me no matter how bad things get, you just have to laugh! Life is gonna throw some pretty bad things our way, but there will be some pretty awesome stuff too! My dad has always said life is what WE make it and can only be as bad as we allow it to be. He is a pretty smart guy 😉 
  • I am thankful for my health and the journey to get here! 
  • I am thankful for good friends who have been there for me through some of the biggest life changes anyone could go through. They showed me they love me and they will always be there.
  • I am thank for YOU! My readers keep me accountable and you give me a place to share my thoughts and I Thank You!

And now to announce the winner of my Affiliate of the Month Giveaway…….

Laurel C. From @Pace_Of_Laurel you are the Cellucor winner!!!!  I have emailed you and look forward to getting your info so I can get this stuff in your hands!!! Congratulations!!!!!

I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

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Curb your holiday sweet tooth with Detour protein bars! Oh & did I mention I am giving them away???

Can you believe Thanksgiving is the day after tomorrow???? Oh my goodness I am SO busy!!!! We have Thanksgiving with Josh’s family on Thursday then with mine on Sunday. I am bringing dessert to his family function and I am cooking the meal for my family. So for the next few days I will be cooking and prepping to get everything ready! Today I am making a Pecan Pie Cheesecake for his family. Basically a pecan pie layered under a moist plan cheesecake… pure evil I tell you LOL

I know you are asking yourself, well how is she going to NOT cheat???? I am cutting weight right now and my diet is super strict. I have no room for cheat days at all. Will it be difficult? Yes, but I am very disciplined and focused this year. My favorite dessert of all time is Cheesecake! My hubby calls me the cheesecake queen, because I can seriously make any cheesecake you imagine. It is my Kryptonite lol I LOVE the stuff!!! So this will be a challenge for  me! I am coming into this battle armed and ready!!!!!!

To curb my sweet tooth I am keeping some Detour Protein Bars in my arsenal! I have been blessed enough to be sent 2 boxes and 2 different flavors. They sent the Lean Muscle Bars in Peanut butter Chocolate Crunch and the Lower Sugar Bars in Chocolate Chip Caramel.

These work out perfect as a dessert/meal They are low in carbs, but still have a decent amount of protein (Lean Muscle has 15g carbs 16g protein the Low Sugar has 17g carbs and 15g protein). Protein is gonna help me stay full. The chocolate flavor will keep my sanity lol.  They both are much like candy bars in flavor and texture! I seriously LOVE these!!!!

This is the Low sugar chocolate chip caramel

The Lean Muscle Chocolate peanut butter crunch

The Lean Muscle bar has chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, and little crisps. It is really SO good!!! The Low Sugar bars were chocolate chips, caramel and also had crisps. Again, SO tasty!!!! They have a ton of flavors in both bars, they have oatmeal bars (which we also love), and they carry shakes.

Protein bars are great for when you are on the go and just don’t have time to prep a meal, or if you are in a situation where you might be temped with sweets 😉 They stay true to my diet when I am in a pinch! Go check out the Detour Bar website and see what they have to offer!!!!

This is the season of giving, and Detour Bar has teamed up with me to give one of you lucky readers a couple of boxes of these fabulous bars! Do you have a plan to stay out of all the sweets this holiday? Go to the Detour website and let me know what flavor you are dying to try?

Get over to my GIVEAWAYS page and enter to win!

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Our self hate and what it is doing to our daughters! It is time to learn to LOVE!

I have been having a lot of discussions lately with friends and on forums, about self love. I was raised in a house of criticism. My mom has always been critical of what I wore, my makeup, my weight, my hair, etc. I don’t think she understood the impact it had on me. She wasn’t just critical of my looks, she tears herself a part on a daily basis. She didn’t mean harm, it was what she learned at some point in her life.

My mother. At 71 years young, she has aged quite gracefully. Although she sees someone other than what we see.

Her criticism on herself and me, caused  a lot of self esteem issues and depression for me growing up. The media as we all know, doesn’t help things!

As I got older, the problem became worse. I learned to look for what was wrong with my body. I allowed it to destroy how I felt about myself. I have always been good about smiling and making others think my world was perfect, but in all honesty, I hated everything about myself. I was never able to take a compliment. If someone complimented me in the past, I would actually rebuttal it! I would give reasons why that wasn’t true, with a smile and a chuckle of course. I constantly looked at myself in the mirror and cringed. I couldn’t stand what I saw. In my head EVERYTHING was wrong. I wasn’t toned enough, my skin wasn’t poreless and clear, my boobs weren’t big enough, my butt was flat, arms were flabby, the list really went on and on.  I didn’t know how to love myself.

When I went through my divorce I was in a bad place mentally & physically. I spent a lot of time out with friends and drinking.  I knew I was spiraling in the wrong direction fast! I started to rely on my faith, asking for guidance and help. I was becoming really close to a gentleman that I worked with and went out to the bars a lot with. I talked to him openly about all my problems and as you may guess I became smitten with him. 😉 We moved rather quickly and backwards lol. Moved in together and miles away from everything and everyone we knew, had a daughter, and this past May we married. You may be asking yourself what this has to do with my self love/hate. Before my daughter was born, Josh introduced me to weight training. I loved it and my body was starting to change rather quickly. Then, I found out I was pregnant. Excited about becoming a mother, my previous fitness goals went to the way side. It was about my baby now. I ate well, read every book about being healthy during pregnancy. I walked miles everyday, but at night I was scared. Not about having a daughter, but about how much weight I had gained and whether Josh would leave because I was no longer his “Little” lady. He knew I was hurting and had a lot hate for myself and my body. When Zoe was born I started working out again, but it seemed like everyone was right, I would never have a hot body again. I was still in this self hate mode. Josh finally sat me down and let me know that I had to stop. My mental state was not only hurting me, but would eventually affect our daughter and the way she looks at herself. Oh my gosh! I hadn’t thought about that!!!!  He made me look in the mirror everyday and tell myself “I am BEAUTIFUL!”  I did this daily, and you know what? Now I don’t notice the bad things! I look for the things I love about myself! My negativity was keeping my body in the same state! Once I saw the beauty, my body began to change!

I am a pretty blessed lady to have such a smart and loving man in my life!

 I don’t want my daughter to EVER have these feelings about herself. She truly is SO beautiful!!!

Wearing my glasses, because she wants to be like mama. (Luckily my eyes aren’t that bad) 😉

My self destructive ways of thinking could have very easily rubbed off on her! Our children watch us intently! Everything we do and say, our children mimic, because they look up to us. We are their super heroes.  As mothers, when we walk by a mirror and say things like “This makes me look fat” “I hate my hair” “Ugh I wish my belly were flatter” etc or even become obsessed with our weight and standing on the scale! Our daughters hear and see what we are doing, we as mothers started this vicious cycle of self hate.

This quote says it all!!!!

We as women need to unite and start loving ourselves and showing our daughters how this is done! On one of my Facebook groups a lady posted that everyone should post 3 things they like about themselves. Had you asked me this 2 years ago, I would have taken a few mins to think about it. I saw that other comments were what I would have said, oh this is a hard question, or it took me a few minutes to think about this. This way of thinking is unfortunately the way many women think. We NEED to change this! I have been telling myself everyday how beautiful I am and finding things about myself that I LOVE! Yes at first I struggled with this. In my head I was still ripping myself apart, but then I started having my daughter join me. She is 2 🙂 Her name is Zoe. We get ready together everyday. During this time we look in the mirror and point out things we think are beautiful about ourselves. This has changed EVERYTHING!

I can honestly look at myself in the mirror and love what I see! Do I still have set backs where I make a critical comment to myself or think one. Unfortunately, YES I do, but I am better than I once was! I am certainly more conscious of whether Zoe is standing there! I want her to be stronger than me. I want her to love herself as much as I love her!

Only we can change this way of thinking! Do you suffer from self hate? What else can we do with our daughters to change this way of thinking? I hope that when Zoe is older she is confident in herself and never has to have those feelings of not being good enough! We are ALL good enough. We are the only ones who hold ourselves back!!! Look in the mirror and say it! I AM BEAUTIFUL!!!! Keep doing this, because you ARE!!!!!

Don’t forget about my GIVEAWAYS! I will be adding more soon!!!! Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!

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Cutting weight during the Holidays and Giveaways….

Today I start cutting weight again. I believe I had some great gains from this last bulk!

I am definitely bloated and puffy in the top picture, but I have a lot more muscle! Last September was my last cut so I was much more lean. I am excited to compare after pictures when this cut is complete!

These pictures were September 1st to the 30th I wasn’t strict enough on my cut. Whoops lol 😉 This time around I will be more disciplined on my food choices and my calorie intake. I am gonna stick to the same formula as I did while I was bulking. 40% Carbs  40% Protein  20%Fat. To figure out my macros will be the same as when I was bulking, but instead of 18 calories per pound I will figure 10 calories per pound. I had to do a mid month weigh in and like I had expected I did gain weight. I went from 148.6 to 151.6lbs

I will show the equation again to get my Macros. This can also be done on MyFitnessPal.

I take my bodyweight x 10 calories = total daily calories

Then TC x .40 = Carb Calories

TC x .40 = Protein Calories

TC x .20 = Fat Calories

Now you find your grams…

There are 4 calories for every gram of protein and carb

There are 9 calories for every gram of fat

Take your Total Carb calories / 4 = grams of carbs per day

Repeat with your Total Protein calories /4 = grams of protein per day

Then your total fat calories /9= grams of fat per day

This makes a 40/40/20 Macro diet

I think my biggest struggle with this cut, is that I am going to be cutting during the holidays. That will be tough lol. I also have a date night in there and we are headed back to The Cheesecake factory for a redo lol, so it should be interesting. I will cut from today till the 30th of December, which will be 6 weeks.

I have to stay focused and disciplined. Although I won’t eat a lot of what is on the menu at my holiday get togethers, I will have pride in all I have worked for. I am going to come up with healthy alternatives to the goodies I will be passing on.

Today I am headed out to spend the day with my Parents and my God Mother. It should be a lovely day!

Do you have any alternative ideas to traditional holiday treats? What type of diet do you keep? Do you ever Bulk or cut weight? What will you be doing this beautiful Sunday?

Don’t forget to get entered to win one or all of my GIVEAWAYS!!!!

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Back in the gym for a killer Tricep workout!!!

I feel AWESOME today!!! Normally my two rest days are active rest days, meaning I usually still do my monthly challenge workouts. This month being the #ShowMeYourGuns, #LungeForLeftovers, and #PlankADay challenges. Yesterday I decided to just really rest. I seriously didn’t do a thing yesterday! I sat around in sweats all day and my hubby catered to me. Love that man of mine 😉 This is a rare thing for me lol Most days it is difficult to get me to wind down till after 9:30 PM, let alone sit for a whole day!

I really needed a full day of rest. I went hard last week and I have been super sore. This is my last day of “bulking” so today I am gonna take full advantage of eating all my 2660 calories!!!! I start cutting tomorrow so my calorie count will be cut dramatically! I do feel like this round I built a lot more lean muscle than in the past, so I am excited to get rid of my extra weight and really see my progress!!! This is gonna take a ton of discipline considering the holidays have just started lol. I am focused this year and I am not turning back!!!!

Today was Tricep day and again I went as heavy and hard as I could! I love my weights!!! It has become quite the addition for me. While most of my friends are in party mode on the weekends the only bar I go to is my barbell. I know it is still a misunderstood obsession of mine, but it is what it is! I have goals and I will achieve them!!!

Today I started with close grip bench press. I go as heavy as I feel safe going. I do get paranoid sometimes when I don’t have a spotter, so I try to play it safe.

From there I did seated barbell tricep extensions.

Then to Dumbbell kickbacks…

I then moved on to my rings and did tricep dips. I am not strong enough yet to do very many in the air in proper form, so I do them close to the ground. I will be moving the rings up gradually till I am strong enough to do them correctly in the air! Form is everything!!!

I completed my workout with what I call jumping Tricep holds. I don’t have a picture, but I raised the rings to about head height, then jumped up with my arms in a straight position and held it for 8 count dropped to the ground and repeat. It is very effective!!!

I haven’t done my challenges from yesterday or today yet, but I usually do those in the evenings when Josh gets home from work. Zoe likes to do them with me and it is a great way for her to release that last bit of energy before she goes to bed! Today I am doubling them up, so I won’t have a missed day!

I look a little puffy, but that is expected when bulking lol I feel my triceps have improved greatly this round of eating to build mass!!!

What are some of your favorite tricep workouts? Are you participating in any fitness challenges this month? Do any of you change your diets to gain muscle and cut weight?

Don’t forget to get entered to win on my GIVEAWAYS page!!! I currently have 4 going and I will be adding more soon!!!

Hope you have a Happy Weekend!!! HUGE Thank you to Cellucor for being the Affiliate of the Month! You guys rock!!!!

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Tropical Traditions Giveaway Just in time for the Holidays!!!

Remember when I posted about the benefits of Coconut oil last month? Click here for a quick review 😉  Tropical Traditions has by far become my all time favorite coconut oil! Not just because I was privileged enough to have them allow me to try it, but because you can see, taste, and feel the difference in quality!

I talked to you last month about the health benefits of coconut oil, with the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to talk food! If you check out Tropical Traditions website, they actually have a TON of recipes for goodies that would be fabulous alternatives to your typical traditional deserts!

The one I am dying to try is the Pumpkin Butter Truffles! This is a photo from their website. Don’t they look fabulous!!!

I use it in place of butter or oil. Simple things like in my morning oatmeal, I fry my eggs and pancakes in it. I even roast my veggies in it! The stuff adds another flavor level that is AMAZING!!!!

Yummy pancakes cooked in coconut oil!

Baked breaded chicken, collard greens, and roasted squash all cooked in coconut oil!

The possibilities are endless lol. For thanksgiving I am going to attempt to make a pecan pie cheesecake and I am most certainly will be using my Tropical Traditions in it! The only thing I am sad about is that I can’t indulge too much in the goodness lol I will be posting pictures of the Thanksgiving feast!

Tropical Traditions has be gracious enough to allow one of my readers to try their amazing product!!!!! Yes people, that means a GIVEAWAY!!!!  Check out what you can win!!!!

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.  Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

I want to know what you would or do use coconut oil in or for? What Thanksgiving dish do you think could be perfected by Tropical traditions?

Be sure to enter to win on my GIVEAWAYS page!!!!

 

 

If you can’t, then you won’t! The ME vs ME battle in us all….

So I got a ton of emails yesterday, as I do everyday,from ladies who want help and or advice. I LOVE inspiring and helping others to reach their goals! It is actually one of the main reasons for starting this site. Answering emails takes up quite a bit of time, but it is so awesome to see some of the progress these people have made and help others get on the right path!!!

I also get emails that I really am not sure how to handle. I have some who ask me to motivate them. I try to explain that motivation comes from within yourself. If you want something bad enough, you WILL find a way! It gets very frustrating for me when I offer advice, to have excuses thrown back. Usually at that point, I realize I am not getting through. 🙁

I wish there was a magic switch I could flip in someone’s brain. A switch that caused that epiphany moment of “Oh you mean I have to change my lifestyle” I get so many who think there is a magic pill, shake, or even a simple exercise or Dvd that will make everything change. Or, that things should be changing faster. “I have been working out and dieting for a week straight and I am still fat!!!” Um, yeah it’s only been a week…..

Unfortunately, change will take time, discipline, hard work, and motivation. I can’t reach into my magic pouch and sprinkle you with motivation dust. Trust me if I had that power….. oh the things I could do!!!! Lol!  Your motivation is all on you! You make the choice between eating food that you know you shouldn’t and the foods you should, or whether you will spend the 4 hours after you get home from work on the sofa instead of popping into the gym for one of those hours. I always say I am my biggest obstacle! It is ME vs ME everyday.

Nike had it right when they said “Just Do It” There is no other way to say it! No one can make you decide to change! No one is gonna hold your hand through this journey. Sure there are people to help, ie friends, family, personal trainers etc…, but these people are NOT going to do the work, nor are they going to give you the drive. You have to want it bad enough for yourself!

I am motivated and driven by several things. My progress is one HUGE motivator! When I don’t feel like working out, I look at my old progress pictures. I have come a long way and I have documented it all in photos. I always say strip down and take picture of yourself for yourself. These will be your motivators and progress pictures along the way. I also follow several people in the fitness industry on Twitter and Facebook. Oh my goodness these people are amazing!!!  Most answer questions and their pictures and stories are motivating!!! Making short term goals like losing 5 pounds in a month, or cutting soda from your diet.  Small goals like these help you to achieve your big goals. When you are able to scratch a goal off the list, be it small or big, it drives you to want more!

We all get in slumps. I have lazy days just like anyone else. Those are the days I PUSH MYSELF to work harder. I know no one is going to get me where I want to be and I have had several tell me I couldn’t get to where I am. Naysayers, also another HUGE motivator for me! Tell me I can’t do something lol I will do it twice just to prove a point! 😉

My message today to you all, is we are all capable of so much more than we realize!!!! If you want a six pack belly, you CAN have it. If you dream of being that slender toned girl, guess what you can!!! You want to look like a bodybuilder, do it!!! Run a marathon??? Who is stopping you??? Stop doubting yourself! Seize every opportunity you can to be the best you that you can.

Take all the excuses and get rid of them! They are your doubt!!!! No more “I am embarrassed” trust me you care more than anyone else does about how you look at the gym or running down the street! No more “I just don’t have time” Turn off the TV then! “Healthy eating is expensive” Actually is cost less, you are still buying junk with the healthy food, so spending twice as much 😉 ” I have no one to work out with” 90% of the time I work out alone. No spotter, nobody to chat with, it is either just me and the street or me and the iron. I am there to do work not make friends. When you finally get beyond the excuses and you dig deep into what you REALLY want, you will have the motivation and the drive to achieve your dreams.

I DRIVE ME!!!! What drives you? What goals are you looking to accomplish? What are your motivators??? What are other ways I can get this across to people?

I hope you all are taking advantage of the GIVEAWAYS I have going on!!! There are 3 at the moment, but many more lined up!!!! Please check out the businesses who have been gracious enough to co-host these GIVEAWAYS!

I hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!! Get out there and make yourself!!! If you want to contact me, I am on Twitter under @TheBroadbents I am also on Facebook under Joanna Broadbent. I am more than happy to answer questions, or be an online fitness buddy, so feel free to reach out to me!!!

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