Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A great contest to enter

You all know that I have raved about Shelly at TheWorldAccordingToEggface....well, she's got an amazing contest going to celebrate her accomplishments and gains.  Check it out  here and while there be sure to check out some if her super yummy recipes...I love her protein cakes, ideas for bento boxes and her super yummy Ministone-ish soup with Kale and Turkey Meatballs!  So excited to be able to enter this one myself now that I am back Stateside (and to be able to try more of the recipes that I couldn't because I didn't have access to the ingredients!)!!

Good luck! 

Today's Quote of the Post:
 Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison

You all are close if you keep trying.....Don't give up now!  And if you are tempted...remember why you started in the first place

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

PCS and a Show

Now that's a title huh?  PCS and a Show....That's what I just experienced....moving a family of 5 with 4 pets from Okinawa Japan to Camp Pendleton (Southern California).  An experience that was the hardest training session ever!  Talk about really pushing my own determination and discipline to the limit. 

Rewind to late February/early March...I am training and prepping for the Kadena Pacific Muscle Classic - the same show I competed in for the very first time last year.  We are slated to stay in Okinawa for an additional 3 years and so I am focused on the show, attaining my personal trainers certificate and nutrition coach license....Andy calls me from Thailand and tells me that our IPCOT (In-Place Consecutive Overseas Tour) may not happen after all - we may just be extended for a year instead.  OK that's still doable, we can still make it work and it still works with the kids for school.  Andy returns from the exercise and when he goes to work two days later, Orders are in the system for us to move back to Camp Pendleton.  What?  Why?  What happened?  Turns out that he is needed back in Cali to fill a spot - he's the only one for the job.  OK, breathe and get used to it.  I had already  been looking at the show in Sand Diego to compete at when we were travelling this summer (as part of the IPCOT you receive a trip 'home' as a bonus to staying the additional time)  I can still do this right?  So, I continue to train and start making preparations to move.  For any of you in the military you know how 'easy' it is to move!  NOT!  Thankfully for us though, the military schools have in place a program that allows you to pull your children out early but be considered complete for the year (really beneficial when you have a high schooler!) 

So, diet, exercise, move, pack up the house, prepare paperwork, sell cars, prep the kids for life in America again, find a house, set up utilities, the list keeps getting better and stress is building....NOT a good thing for a figure competitor!  Stress does a number on your body, your mind and your emotions - we all know that.  But, I don't have a choice in the matter.  I must push through, it is in a way keeping me grounded too...having a goal still to attain and not let the pressure break me.  Yea, easier said than done!

I have a great support system though, my friends are there beside me Stacy does not miss one gym session with me and she (and Janet and Ricky) even get up with me early Saturday morning that we are scheduled to leave and get in my last abs and cardio work out that will be done in Oki!  Great friends and support indeed!  But, I have to admit I was a little lax on my diet - I mean, I was only going to be able to get certain foods for a limited time....but, I didn't get out of control and my indulgences were only after I ensured that I was rock solid the rest of the week on diet and exercise.  I worked the cheats in!  Only once did I lose it and over indulge, but I added some extra cardio in and while I left the island not really where I should have been 3 weeks before a show, I wasn't in a horrible spot either. 

OK, now for the flight, can't eat the food on the plane and what am I going to do when I get to the States?  Food Prep!!  You all know I am a champ at food prep ;)  So I made up 5 meals of fish to take on the plane...again Stacy was a life saver for me, allowing me to stink up her house as I cooked my fish to leave in her freezer to have for the trip.  Cooler, almonds to snack and a small package of Godiva Dark Chocolate Gems courtesy of my trainer and dear friend Shelly and I am set for the flight.  I eat my breakfast and one meal before we get on the plane and then I pulled out the meals as needed for the trip, being as I had froze them prior I did not need to worry about ice or ice packs that would not clear security.  I was able to get my food to last all the way through to San Francisco where I had to throw away my last meal at customs because you are not allowed to bring food in....we also had to throw away the food we had brought the pets on their carriers as well. 

San Francisco airport, we have a bit of a layover and everyone is excited to be back in the Good 'Ol USA...they of course celebrate with hamburgers, french fries and milk shakes...a splurge for them as well...but I cannot eat that, I am three weeks from a show!  So, I find a salad and grilled chicken, and cheat with the low fat dressing that they have :)  We get into San Diego, get our rental and drive out to Fallbrook to our new home.  Again I have to thank dear friends for helping me out!  Stacie in Ca not only found us the house but set us up with some groceries...and had me chicken waiting :) 

So, now to find a gym, get my food prepped and not break down to the convenience of fast food that is surrounding me!  Empty house, culture shock, jet lag....again no need to feel any stress!  UGH.  I go look at the gym that is literally two blocks from my house and I don't like it....I go to the gym on main side (Camp Pendleton) and I don't like it...I go to the gym closer to the hospital and I like it a little better but still IT'S NOT MY GYM!!  I am not happy but I can't lose focus, I am too close and I have done too much, invested money, time, sweat and I have been too grouchy to just stop now - even though I want to.

Andy buys me a home gym, I can do some stuff on it but I still need to go to a gym because I can't get all my exercises in.  I'm slowly adjusting to the changes, missing my old support group, my gym partner and the familiarity that I was used to.  Coming back to a duty station you've been to before does make it easier but harder too....I'm scared that I will fall back into the same old bad habits gain the weight back and it scares me....I see the actuality of it when we are invited to a BBQ, I take my food with me and I know that I will be tempted - I wasn't prepared though for the 'come on just one bite', 'just a small taste'  I stayed strong though, ate only my food and tried not to be too much of a bitch with my old friends. 

I saw the old gang, and I realized how easy it would be to fall back into those bad habits....I won't do it though!  I can't do it!  I will be miserable if I do it!!  I know all this and now I have to overcome these hurdles...but I have the faith in myself to know that I can do it.  But I also now realize (once again) that this is an ever continuing endeavor! 

I am now two weeks out from the show and I feel that I am far from where I should be....I am still sending pics and weight to Shelly in Okinawa who has the confidence that I am still doing OK....she tweaks my diet, and work out and I forge ahead.  We get our shipments of items (3 separate ones) and I am still trying to relax and not stress so that my body will lose the last pounds it needs to to compete and have me look good on stage.  I still work on my posing, my walk and have my hair and make up gal booked.  It's now the week of the show and I am instructed by Shelly not to get on the scale anymore (it's stressing me out too much) and just send her pictures each morning.  I prep my food for the week, get up and get my early morning workouts in and my late evening weights and cardios done....those were hardest as I like to get my workouts done early and have the rest of, I was exhausted by that time as well!  But, I got them done and rested as much as I could considering that we had our major shipment of goods that Thursday before the first full rest day! 

I get up Saturday morning and I weigh myself....128 pounds?!?  128?  128!!!  OMG, take out the weight of my twins and I am the same weight as I was when I walked across the stage at Kadena the year before....add in that I have more muscle mass than last year and the means my body fat has definitely got to me less than what it was last year as well!  I am STOKED!!  4 am and I get to have 4 oz of steak and 6 Reece's peanut butter cups (the small ones)  Andy starts to tan me and my hair and make up gal Mitzi shows up at 5.  We get started with the hair, Stacie comes in to take pics and support things are going great, I am super excited and then it hits me.....I am hot - turn on a fan.  doesn't work.  Now I can't hear, and I am covered in sweat!  OH NO....I suddenly feel really ill and I bolt to the toilet (thank goodness my bathroom has the toilet separate since I've got 3 people in there assisting me this morning).  I feel like I'm going to pass out, I down and (TMI sorry) I lose it.  the sweats are still there but I am getting my hearing back, my stomach isn't clenched - as much - and I think I can feel my legs again.  Oh Crap and holy nerves!!!  This is new.   Give me 10 minutes though and we start all over.  Touch up the tanner, start back on the make up and get me my next meal. 

We finish getting me ready, take a few pictures and race out the door...I have to be in San Diego for the competitor brief by 9 and it's 8:30!!    Great starting this show day stressed just like last year, not what I was going for this time around.  Oh well, we'll just make the best of it.  Got my food, got my suit, shoes and I am happy with how I's out of my control now, it is what it is.

Get to the Scottish Rite Center and run in...I get there in time to hear the last of the brief - but missed the whole what you need to do when you get on stage phase of it...AGH!!  OK, just ask the gals back stage...need to find Jennifer who I met at at the registration the night before who was going to give me the fast hip pop initial move that is supposed to happen.  Yea, I was stressing about that too - hip pop?  The Bikini Move Hip Pop?  I have no clue what the heck to do!  I finally run into her back stage and she shows me what I should do....I think I have it down I watch on the video prompt each of the classes go up, most of the women in figure are doing the hip pop...OK, keep practicing back stage I can do this.  It's my turn to line up for the Open class B 5'4 - 5'6....btw, I got my height card at the registration and while I have been 5'6 my entire life...they measure me in and give me my official card - 5'51/4 how in the heck have I lost 3/4 of inch??   So I am back stage getting ready for them to call our class out...again something different, they call the entire class out and we line up on one side of the stage...then each gal goes out on their own...I'm the last in the class so I can see everyone else with their quarter/model turns.  It's my turn and I freak out....I can't do the hip pop, so I do my front pose that I have been practicing for months.  I feel confident though so we'll just see what happens.  I am the second person in the second call out...OK good...that should place me around 7 or 8...not bad for my first Stateside show!  I go backstage again to wait for the next class I entered...the All Forces Figure division.  There are 4 in my division and 2 of them I know look better than I do...they have been at this longer than I have ;)  So I am confident again that I am 3rd or 4th :) 

With Pre-judging over, I have a few hours before I have to be back and get ready for the night show....Shelly had on my meal plan for the day to eat a double cheeseburger after pre-judging YUMM!!! So, where do we go for lunch? We decide (Andy, Stacie and I) that we want to go somewhere to sit down, be served and hang out for a little while. So Islands it is. We order and they bring my burger out :D It is huge, there is no way I can eat the whole thing...I cut it in half and dig in. I am almost embarrassed to say that it was completely gone before Andy had even taken one bite of his chicken wrap!  It was SO GOOD!!!


We head back and take a nap in the truck...well Andy and Stacie did, my nerves I guess are still a bit on hiatus so I just laid there and checked face book, called Shelly (I had downloaded Skype to my phone) and just rested with my feet up....had I realized how late I was going to go on stage, I would have worked harder at falling asleep! 

I'm not called on stage till 9:30 for the first class - All Forces Figure.....I am awarded 3rd place!!!  YAY ME!!!

I then have to wait for the last class....I know I'm not getting a trophy for it but have to hang out to go back on stage lest I want to blemish my name in NPC and being as I want to continue competing, I just can't do that ;)  So, the class finally gets called back on stage after 11!  I go out, do my pose, wait for them to call the top 5 and file off....hoping my peeps are waiting for me by the door when I grab my stuff and head out.  I had some great support and am thankful for those who came out to see me.  My husband, Andy, my life partner Stacy ;), and good friends Shana and Shannon and her hubby Jason - hope he didn't get into too much trouble ;)  It was great running into an old friend Roz as well who competes herself and had just won the week before her first overall Figure as well as place first in two divisions...Masters and Open Figure.  She looked beautiful and was in full prep mode to go to the Jr Nationals in Chicago the following week.

From the show even though we were all exhausted...being up at 4 will do that to you.  Stacie, Andy and I headed to The Cheesecake Factory - where I indulged in their Buffalo Blasts (Wonton style buffalo wings...chopped buffalo chicken with cream cheese wrapped in a wonton and deep fried served with bleu cheese dressing)  Oh yes...super yummy...and two cheesecake slices (one for me and one for Andy of course) and two more ordered to go....OMG even more super yummy and to top it all off, I think I downed almost a full gallon of water - I was so thirsty!!.  Needless to say, I was beat by the time we got home after 1am...but I had to get in the shower to rinse off all that tanner...which still got on my new white sheets...that stuff sticks around ;) 

Breakfast the next morning you ask?  Why Cheesecake of course!!  the rest of that day?  Carne Asada Burrito for lunch, ice cream and cake for snack, and Carne Asada fries for dinner.  Late night snack was a slice of pizza that the kids had left over from their dinner. 

Needless to say I am now back on a more regular eating schedule and method....I was sick from all that grease and sugar but it was oh so worth it.  Now, I am eating my normal diet and having 'little extras' here and there - yesterday's as a matter of fact was a hand dipped ice cream bar from the Costco snack bar...yup, just as good as I remembered them to be.  But, in all truthfulness, the meal that has been most satisfying to have Pistacchio protein waffles made with cottage cheese! 

Right now, I am going to continue to enjoy my workouts, see what show I want to go forward with next (possibly in September but most likely not till March of next year)  Seeing those other girls, I know I need to continue to work up my lats and my abs, add some more to my legs and keep my glutes going strong...that was the one thing that all the girls seemed to compliment me on was my glutes which made me feel great....I mean seriously tell me what woman doesn't want a great butt!! So till then, I will continue to try and get better about blogging, keeping you all updated on my progress, giving you some ideas and hopefully just continue to inspire the lifestyle change in you.

Today's Quote of the post:

"If you don’t do what’s best for your body, you’re the one who comes up on the short end."
 – Julius Erving

You have to make the choice EVERY day, EVERY meal, EVERY temptation.....I know it's hard but don't let what you want right now take over the big picture - temptation is a way of life but so is fighting it and overcoming it.  You will feel better for it, I promise. 


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Instantly look thinner....

We all know there is no magic pill, no special shake,'s hard work, a good clean diet and discipline.  But, what if you just need a quick look a little slimmer - how can you look about 5 pounds lighter...easy! 

Easy?  Yes, easy....check your posture, suck in your stomach, pull your chest up and set your shoulders back - instant leaner look!  How simple is that?  Many people have been asking me how have you gotten your stomach to be so flat after so many kids (remember, I have given birth to 3 of my own and two sets of twins....7 babies total) I don't have a flat's an illusion.  OMG did I really just throw that out there for everyone to know? 

That's right folks, I have a foopa, pouch, mushroom top, whatever you want to call it, my belly is there and the only way that it is going to disappear is if I have the excess skin cut away....but you don't have one on stage in that suit!  No, I don't because of my posture (and dehydration necessary for the show..and that is really what it comes down to, it's a SHOW!). You also don't see it when I'm conscience in my standard street clothes or gym clothes either.  Because I try to stay aware at all times of my posture, stand up straight and keep my belly sucked in at all times - on the stage or off, on season or's becoming engrained in my head. 

Try it.....go stand in front of a mirror right now, first thing you do is pull your shoulders back, straighten your back and lift your chest, now, suck in your, instantly you look thinner and that will probably make you feel a bit more confident and that will also add to your illusion.  But, you do have to still work at it to make it a reality.  This is just your spring board to getting that look all the time! 

To work your belly and have those abs, you should at all times keep your ab muscles engaged....suck it in...ALL THE TIME!!  I can tell you even now as I sit and type these words, my abs are engaged - I am constantly sucking them in....when I am working out, I watch my posture not only for the lessened risk of injury but to help my core become's called the core of your body for a reason, you can't do much without it!  If you are on the treadmill walking or running, have those abs engaged, and stand up straight you will get a better work out.  If you are on the elliptical, keep that posture up and engage your will get a better workout!  On the step mill?  Again, engage those abs work your core in every single exercise you do and stand tall, you will start to feel better about yourself, you'll be able to look at yourself in the mirror longer and thus get a better workout.  

Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym they say but you still have to engage the muscle to have the definition show along with the work from the kitchen!!

So, stand up, suck it in - keep it sucked in and walk a little taller.  Good posture is a great thing to have and so many of us these days don't make an effort to do this one little trick that will make us feel and look better,  even if it is just an illusion some times.

Today's quote of the post:

'How well you deal with adversity is a measure of how well you will succeed in any endeavor whether it be building a great set of six-pack abs or combat on the field of battle. We have a tendency to beat ourselves up when we make mistakes rather than accept the fact that "to err is human". A successful person will focus this effort on ensuring that such mistakes are not repeated and to increase the resolve to do it right from now on.'  akidk01, hubpages

Stop fighting that skinny person in you!  Let them be seen, you will be healthier, you will feel better about yourself, and you'll have a much easier time keeping that posture proper ;)

(photo from a Brazil Gym ad - The ad is promoting fitness, not pointing and making fun of fat people)


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My progression in photos

I know I've been promising this for a while and truthfully, I haven't done it because I've been horrified at myself thinking how I could have let myself be so unhealthy and set such a bad example for my family...but I have made the lifestyle change, I am a better person and I am looking forward to helping others attain their goal.  I am finally comfortable sharing these hope is that you all can realize, I am a real person, I am just like you, I have had the kids, fought the weight loss yo-yo and have come out the other side a victor - here's to you doing the same. 

For those of you who don't know, I have given birth to 7 children, I have three beautiful children of my own and I carried for two wonderful families deliveries were Dec 1997, Jul 2003,  Apr 2005, Jun 2006, Nov 2007....These are all pictures of me not pregnant so you can see the REAL me - beware, some of these photos could be detrimental to your health..or, hopefully they can be the motivation  and inspiration you need to get to where you want to's hard work, but it is worth it, I'm living proof! Exercise and a good healthy diet will get you there - there is no secret pill, shake or style of workout just you, your dedication motivation and ability to take the risk to make the change in your life.

December 2006 - I think I am in a size (YIKES) 16

June 2009

April 2010

November 2010

April 2011

June 2011

August 2011
So, that's me....7 kids and from a size 16 to a 6 (off season)  If I can do it, you can too!

Today's Quote of the post:
Don't compare yourself to yourself to the person you were yesterday - Justine Switalla

No truer can't compete with the magazines, your best friend, me or the skinny chick in the office...everyone is built different, you will not look the same, but you will look good for you and that is what matters.  Don't let anyone deter you from the road you are on, you have come very far and they don't know your back story.  And the minute you decide to give up...remember why you have held on this long or started in the first place.  You can do it!!  I know you can and I will be your biggest cheerleader!!  Go make this your life - not a 12 week weight loss plan!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

What is holding you back??Age? Kids? Not an's some inpiration

So those of you who are friends with me on FB know that I have been putting up a lot of motivational pics and am getting feedback on them....I'm not only putting these up there for me (because I really need it!) but I'm putting them up there to hopefully continue to inspire other friends and family to start making the right better choices in their lives to be healthier.  I know that I have inspired many of you and it humbles me, it makes me proud to know that I have without intending to have helped many of my friends and family to get on the healthy lifestyle road.

I put up this picture this week as I am a big fan of prepping my food early
  I was especially proud and excited when I got this post from my long time OB/GYN in CA (she delivered all 5 of my pregnancies!):  "You continue to inspire and amaze me! I have lost 12lbs and I am finding time to do what I need to do even when exhausted from work! I say it everyday - there is no magical pill- if there were I would be thin and in shape."
But then, I also talked to my Mom who had recently gone back to the Dr and was happy to report that not only had her cholesterol gone down, he was removing from her chart that she was pre-diabetic AND no longer hypertensive!!  SUPER YAY!!  Both of these women are celebrating a few anniversaries of their 30th birthday and they are making doesn't matter how old you are  and here is proof!  Age is not an excuse!!

I had another gal pal of mine post on another photo which kinda bummed me out.....

She posted...Would you watch my son then?  My gym doesn't have childcare...another mutual friend posted come to mine it's cheap and it does offer care...she replied, mine is free.
At first, I have to admit I was a little perturbed, you are using your child as an excuse when there are ways around that...then I thought well where is your accountability...a free gym is obviously free of weight loss too - you have nothing holding yourself accountable...but that is something that I need not everyone.  And then I started to think about a friend of mine who has been an inspiration to not my trainer Shelly you already know what an inspiration and dear friend she is to me, she really introduced me to this healthy lifestyle and now I am an addict dedicated like others that have been before me and other that will join sooner hopefully rather than later.  No, it made me think of my friend from Iwakuni...I met her just over a year ago, through a mutual friend.  She had come down from Iwakuni to deliver her twins...she was here because of the higher risk with the twins and the hospital near her did not have the means to assist a high risk pregnancy so, they all get sent down here to the island.  This woman was the sweetest woman I had met, she had a daughter (who wasn't even two yet) and here she was with twins in the womb away from home here indefinitely to deliver her babies.  She was staying at the Storks nest and making the best of it - living out of basically a hotel room with a small kitchenette.  I met her and she was HUGE!  I am not saying this to be mean...I carried twins twice and if you met me then you know I was GIGANTIC (bigger than huge!!)  She told me that she was missing running and couldn't wait to get back into it...Now as anyone who has been around a pregnant woman knows, we get swollen ankles, water retention and are puffy all over sometimes right....well with twins, it is even more so, you get to a point that you really don't fit into even your own shoes!  Flip flops are a staple because they are easy to slip on but most of the time, you are wearing your husbands or you go get bigger ones...REALLY!  So now that you have the mental picture....she has the babies, they have to stay here for a few weeks to get them strong enough to fly back home, they are real fighters and are adorable!  We keep in touch via FB a bit and she's planning to come back to the island for girls christening...we say that we will get together but you know how that happened I had a competition the same day that the girls had their service so I was unable to go BUT, I ran into her at the exchange...I had to do a double take - I almost didn't recognize her!  This woman was tiny...but she was pushing this triple jog stroller and it clicked...OMG this is Jessyca!!  This is the Jessyca that was 3 times smaller than the Jessyca

So, to my friends that use their kids as an's not one.  There really truly are many things that you can do with your kids to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle...and what better way to set the example than to lead?  Find something that you all like to do, go run in the park, ride bikes, are your kids smaller like my friend above?  Put them in the stroller and use their resistance to gain your muscle.  Look online for exercises you can do in the park while the kids are playing, is there a bench?  Great, do some bench dips, push ups, step ups...three easy exercises that you can do while you watch your kid get his/her exercise (running and playing).  Is your child in sports?  What are you doing while they are practicing? Instead of sitting on the sidelines, get up and around the about help the coach out and get out there and run with the kids?  There are no excuses it's taken me time to realize that but, you have to have the desire and if you don't then where does that leave you?  On the sidelines, looking in....

Today's quote of the post: 
"It's not that some people have willpower and some people don't.  It's that some people are ready to change and others are not." James Gordon

My hope, wish and prayer is that you become ready to change and have the willpower to to do it.  It took me time to get there and it's been a long hard road, one that I've been on and fallen off of before - Hey, I'm human that is what we do...but I'm in it for the long haul, setting the example for my family and luckily for my friends as well and making some new ones along the way.  Thank you to those who inspire me, there are many of you, there truly are.  And thank you to those who I inspire....little do you know that when I hear that I was able to give you some inspiration, it swells my heart with pride,  and inspires me to keep on this road so that hopefully you too will be an inspiration to others and they will inspire others and so on...leading to a great big ripple in the healthy lifestyle living! 

Hugs to you all!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Water, Water, Water and What?? More Water!!

OK am I am going to try and recreate this blog post...for some reason the auto save didn't work and when I hit post it was gone :( 

So we all know that water is important, we are supposed to drink at least 8 8oz glasses a day...but how many of you do that?  How many of you drink more?  Water is so very important for so many things and I hope that this post will help you to realize that.  Dehydration is linked to so many things, headaches on one side of the spectrum and death on the other!  Yes, people death!  Here are just a few of the important facts you should know about water:

Did you have any idea that water was that important to our body??  And here is more:

The functions of water in human body are vital. The water:
  • Transports nutrients and oxygen into cells
  • Moisturizes the air in lungs
  • Helps with metabolism
  • Protects our vital organ
  • Helps our organs to absorb nutrients better
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Detoxifies
  • Protects and moisturizes our joints
Look again at the picture above...WOW!!!

So, what could happen if we don't drink enough water every day?  Here are a few:

  • Tiredness

  • Migraine

  • Constipation

  • Muscle cramps

  • Irregular blood pressure

  • Kidney problems

  • Dry skin

  • 20% dehydrated – Risk of death

  • Yes, there really truly is a risk of death if you become severely dehydrated!  So what are the signs and symptoms that you can look for (listen to really does speak to you!)
    Are you peeing Dark Yellow or Orange?  You do not have enough water!!
    Are you Tired?  Water is a source of energy!
    Do you have dry skin?
    Are you hungry?  Yes, hunger could be an indicator that you are thirsty...drink a glass of water before you reach for the food.
    Are you Thirsty? This is your body's way of telling you that it is already dehydrated...stay ahead of the game, drink, drink, and then drink some more.  An easy way to do this?  Drink your 8 oz every hour on the hour....if a new hour approaches and you havent' yet finished your glass, guzzle it down and refill it for the next hour.  Take water with you everywhere!  Sip it constantly through the day!  The benefits to your water intake are innumerable but here are the top 11 from
    1. Lose weight: Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown. Drinking water reduces hunger, it’s an effective appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less. Plus, water has zero calories.
    2. Natural Remedy for Headache: Helps to relieve headache and back pains due to dehydration. Although many reasons contribute to headache, dehydration is the common one.
    3. Look Younger with Healthier Skin: You’ll look younger when your skin is properly hydrated. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity.
    4. Better Productivity at Work: Your brain is mostly made up of water, thus drinking water helps you think better, be more alert and more concentrated.

    5. Better Exercise: Drinking water regulates your body temperature. That means you’ll feel more energetic when doing exercises. Water also helps to fuel your muscle.
    6. Helps in Digestion and Constipation: Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion. Fiber and water goes hand in hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement.
    7. Less Cramps and Sprains: Proper hydration helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, so you’ll less likely get cramps and sprains.
    8. Less Likely to Get Sick and Feel Healthy: Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack. Water adds with lemon is used for ailments like respiratory disease, intestinal problems, rheumatism and arthritis etc. In another words one of the benefits of drinking water is that it can improve your immune system. 
    9. Relieves Fatigue: Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body. If your body lacks water, your heart, for instance, needs to work harder to pump out the oxygenated blood to all cells, so are the rest of the vital organs, your organs will be exhausted and so will you.
    10. Good Mood: Your body feels very good and that’s why you feel happy.
    11. Reduce the Risk of Cancer: Related to the digestive system, some studies show that drinking a healthy amount of water may reduce the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with bladder lining.
    WOWZA...water does all that?!  And more!!  So take a look at that glass of water and realize the potential you have to be better, live healthier, have the extra energy, be in a good mood, look younger and be regular!!  What do you have to lose? 

    But I don't like the taste of water....Don't give me that excuse...figure out how to be creative with you water...Naturally!  Do not constantly go for the Crystal Light or other drink not drink your calories!!  Do those on occasion but instead try some of these:

    Add a slice of cucumber, orange, lemon, lime, strawberries
    Maybe a spring of mint is more your palette.....what ever it is try something....does it have to be ice cold, do you prefer it room temperature?  Every one is different and just because you like it one way doesn't mean that someone else will either...experiment and be different...maybe sliced apples or Mango...the ideas could be endless - especially if you mix any of the above together! 

    Keep it fun, enjoy it and look at the benefits again....your water will never look the same!

    A man may well bring a horse to the water, But he cannot make him drink without he will. - John Heywood

    I hope you all have the will to drink!


    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Dire need of Chocolate when dieting...What is a girl to do??

    If you are a woman, or married to one, have one close to you in your life, you know that once a month there is a dire NEED of chocolate, there is no way around it, you have to have it and you are not happy till you get what do you do when you are dieting and that need occurs?  You get creative!  Try Sugar Free Fudgscicles, Sugar Free Chocolates, (Dove, Russel Stover and Hershey's all have some that aren't too bad - but be careful, these will make you gassy and/or act as a laxative!)  Chocolate protein powders are another great direction to turn...a couple of my favorites: Optimum Nutrition Rocky Road, or Caramel Toffee Fudge.  Protein bars are ok too just watch your fat and carbs in them - I use these more on a rare occasion. 

    But! Here are a couple recipes that I got from my trainer that are DELICIOUS and do the trick too:

    Shelly's Quick Chocolate Fix:
    1 Scoop Chocolate Whey Powder
    1Tbsp Dark Cocoa Powder
    1TbspSplenda or Stevia
    1Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
    2Tbsp Oats
    liquid Egg Whites (all whites are pasteurized)
    Place all ingredients into bowl, except egg whites....slowly add egg whites to mix just until moist (like cake batter)  You can eat as is or warm for a few seconds in the microwave (not too long because it will dry out - I put it in for literally no more than 15 seconds - kinda turns into a lava cake - use your imagination though)

    OR make these cookies and package three to a baggie and freeze for a quick on hand snack...but beware, they are super yummy and you could lose control - these are great to fight that Girl Scout Cookie urge too!!

    Shelly's Choco High Protein Cookies

    1/2 Cup Natural unsweetened Apple Sauce
    1/4 cup Baking Splenda
    1/4 cup Brown Sugar Splenda
    2 egg whites
    1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter
    1/2 tspn Vanilla (I like to use almond instead) extract
    1/4 tspn baking soda
    3/4 tspn baking powder
    3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour  (you can use a little less to keep them moister)
    1 cup oat bran (quinoa works well too - gives it a yummy crunch)
    1/2 cup whole oatmeal
    1 heaping scoop Chocolate Optimum Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
    2Tbsn dark chocolate powder
    and 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (can omit)
    also yummy to add (when not in contest prep) dried cranberries or cherries, almond slices

    Preheat oven to 350/  Mix applesauce and sugars then mix in egg whites and stir well.  Stir in PB and vanilla (or almond) and beat till smooth  Add remaining dry ingredients one by one mixing well.  Drop Tbsn size dough (pampered chef small or med scoop work perfectly) on cookie sheet sprayed with pam and cook for 10-12 minutes.  Don't overcook - they are best soft.  Can add more or less chips or protein to adjust sugar, protein :)

    These little treats are great for Aunt Flo or any time you need that little bit of sweet.....It all comes down to discipline still, you must stay in control no matter what bit of chocolate you go for...small changes they are what make the big difference in the long run.  Hope this helps to keep you in control when that dire needs takes over!

    Today's Quote or the Post:


    Stay on track's YOU who makes the difference in your it healthier today! 


    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Catching up

    I am a horrible blogger.....I am sorry that I have not been on task a bit more here but it's been a hectic start of 2012!!  3 back to back deliveries, training, family, laundry - the list goes on and on....there is always an excuse right?!  I need to find the excuse not to NOT get in here and update my few followers ;) 

    Today at the gym was my reminder that I do have those of you who follow me and are inspired by my ambitions and I need to keep you all updated and hopefully honest at your workouts and diets (yes, I said that horrible horrible word!)  DIET (did I eat that?!) This isn't a diet folks, it's your life!!! Take control of it and be better for yourself, your spouse, your kids, your friends!  Set the example and others will follow.  I know this to be true - Many of my friends near and far have made the change, and I hope are know are inspiring others to do the same.  It's not going to be easy but it is going to be worth it...these are words to live by - truly they are!  But, let me get off my soapbox - what happened in the gym today that I want to share?

    I was working out and my friend Stacy came in...I met Stacy at school last year,  came to find out that we are both from New Mexico (she's from Santa Rosa but we get past it ;) )  Stacy was just beginning to make changes in her life to become healthier, she started running and hanging out with different people and she was really starting to shed the pounds...she's dropped 40 pounds people!!  She's now taking steps to work on the diet part....yes, that horrible word again.  I've mentioned it before it really is 80% diet and 20% working out...if you aren't eating right, your body is not going to look right.  You are a walking billboard of the food you put in your mouth - no matter what you put on that paper or food journal, the truth is just a glance at that butt, those thighs, the jiggle in the middle, the second hello from those triceps.  BUT, exercise is a part too they go hand in hand.  So back to Stacy....she's been doing great, she is making the change and setting the example for her beautiful little girl and her husband is very supportive too...but there are mean people out there (some not intentionally but it can still happen)  I like to think of those people rather than being mean...being jealous!  Yes, they are jealous.  She had a (I don't really want to say friend but an acquaintance?) say some mean words to her....words that hurt - words that once said cannot be taken back.  Yes, the words were mean, but I would like to think that they were spun more from jealousy. 

    These people are everywhere...they want to lose the weight too, they want to make healthier  choices but they don't have the support, the will power, the drive whatever their excuse is and so they want to knock you off your all mighty high horse (yes, that is what they see - you are better than them and rubbing it in their face)  I know, I was once there....I wanted what everyone else had, but I still wanted to eat my cake and ice cream!  I didn't have the drive, I had excuses - but did that mean that I could be rude?  that I could make comments that would hurt the other person?  No it didn't but I still may have done that unintentionally.  And I am sorry for it...but, until I realized that it was me that needed to make that change, I hate to think that I was that person....I finally though had to stop hanging out with people who didn't have the same goals, people who would take me off the wagon, offer me the cookie, the cake, the candy.  It was hard but you truly do grow wiser with age, you need to surround yourself with people who are like minded, who will support you and you have to support them too.  This is not easy but it is worth it!!  I don't remember where I heard that (face book or pintrest I'm sure) but it is so true.  It is not easy, you will meet people who want you to stay the same (I think this was the case with the acquaintance), you will meet people who will support you (Stacy I support you!), you will have good days in the gym and you will have bad days too!  You need to dig deep sometimes more than others for that motivation, the roller coaster ride is all part of it...but in the end it is worth it!  You will feel better about yourself, you will be living a longer life, you will be healthier, and you will inspire others to follow the road you have decided to make as your path.  Be the better person, don't belittle others because their goals are not yours but support them in what they are doing and if you have people in your life that are not supportive of your goals for a healthier lifestyle, they truly are not your friends and you need to take this time to evaluate if they are doing more harm than good for you and if so, cut them really will be their loss not yours

    stumble, it's getting back up and starting fresh that sets us apart from the rest!

    Thanks for letting me rattle on and thank you, thank you for supporting me!

    Today's Quote of the Post:
    I never said it would be easy....but it will be worth it - unknown

    The things you work harder for in your life really are the most rewarding!