Viya’s Health and Wellness

September is here! I’m looking forward to the autumn season: cooler weather, changing leaves, all things pumpkin and apple, scarves, harvest festivals, Oktoberfest, Halloween…. it truly is my favorite time of year. With the many outdoor activities that happen in the fall, it’s time to post my September Challenge Groups so that we can Fall into Shape this month together!

SEPTEMBER 12th: Viya’s Club Challenge Group
Do you want to try out some new exercises and recipes but aren’t committed to purchasing a program? Join me to try out the 30-day FREE trial of Beachbody’s TEAM CLUB MEMBERSHIP. That’s right, you’ll get online access to workout videos with their celebrity trainers, guides for good nutrition and great places to log workouts and meet others who are doing the same things you are.

SEPTEMBER 19th: FREE 2-Week Crockpot Meal Challenge Group
With school starting and schedules filling up, sometimes it’s hard to get meals together when activities are piling up one after another. For 2 weeks join me as I put together my favorite healthy crockpot meals for you so that you are ready to take on the colder months with delicious food that will fill you up but not pack on the pounds.

SEPTEMBER 26th: 21 DAY FIX Challenge Group
Creating new, healthy habits is much easier with a support group! Join me and my fellow challengers for 4 weeks (prep week + 21 Days) to kick those bad habits and find new ways to incorporate healthy eating and fitness into your life! Although this group is geared toward the 21 Day Fix program, you can join with ANY of the Beachbody programs for added support and accountability.

You can sign up for any of these groups by contacting me here through this blog or contacting me through my Facebook page Viya’s Health and Wellness.

Willing dreams into reality

 

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Yesterday was my half-birthday.  I have six more months until I leave my twenties forever and enter into a new decade of being.  For some people, entering 30 is a rite of passage for which they never want to encounter; my Mom, for example, is still and forever 29.  Others react with apathy while more and more people are spouting that “30 is the new 20.”  Like everything in life, getting older has mixed reviews.

Growing up, I had many, many people tell me that I was mature for my age. I looked, dressed and acted older.  People would joke that I was like a mom in my 40’s when I was 22.  There is nothing wrong with a mom in her 40’s, but I just wanted to be 22.  I don’t regret my important life decisions but do realize that by not taking care of my health and fitness when it was so easily attainable, I missed out on some of the fun.  Because of that, for the past few years I have had this wish in my head that I wanted to be fit and around 120 pounds by the time I turned 30.  For my height and body type that is an acceptable range in which to be.  Sometime around the time my son was born or shortly before, I purchased a weight tracking scale and set the goal to 135.  That was my soft goal to reach since it would take me at least 40 pounds to get down there.  I’d set sweeping changes and lofty goals and for a couple weeks-or months-things would work, but once the motivation train got derailed it was off the tracks for good.  Though I would be ten pounds away, I’d then rocket back up because the small, everyday lifestyle changes had not been set in place.  This week I hit that soft goal and am ready to take it all the way!

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Once I found the 21 Day Fix and 22 Minute Hard Corps programs, things clicked into place for me.  Though I enjoy the challenge of the exercises in them, it was the food component that really solidified my weight loss.  I’m still not perfect, but I love having a system in place to keep me on the wagon.  When I turned 29 last year, I knew it was time to get my health on track and the pressure was getting to me.  I wanted to at least feel and look my age and not feel so tired and achy.  I finally reached out to my coach, started the program, became a coach and have spent this year teaching myself the discipline that I lacked in my 20’s.  My energy and excitement came back in spades and I even found more ways to incorporate healthy foods and fitness into a new normal for my daily routines.

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Now I’m finding new ways to bike instead of drive for extra fun fitness.

I have also spent this year learning to love my body, the marks left from having two wonderful children, the strength in my arms and thighs, etc.  I’m also learning that perspective is everything.  I was excited in January when my little black opera dress fit again!  I used to wear it in college to fancy events and for a while I couldn’t even put it on.  When I put it on yesterday, it was loose and looked better than when I wore it in college!

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   Seeing myself as who I am, at this age and in this moment is much more important than who I think I should be.  This is a lesson I want to remember and repeat so that as I grow older I will continue to take care of my body and love myself in the stage I’m in.  I’m so close to my fitness goals for the year that I’m positive I will achieve them by my birthday.  I also have the tools to maintain them, the small, daily routines and tricks and support to keep up the good work.  I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I thought, tougher than I gave myself credit for and braver than I expected.  I’m ready to take on my 30’s, 40’s, 50’s… But I also want to enjoy each stage I’m in to the fullest so that I can look back and have a lifetime of wonderful memories in which to pass on to the next generation.

 

 

 

My success with 21 Day Fix: Round 3

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2/20/16 Valentine’s day party in my favorite high school dance dress

February 15, 2016.  152.8 lbs.  Day 1 of Round three.  Between rounds 2 & 3 I took a week off so that I could join the beginning of a challenge group after Valentine’s day.  In that short break I did ease up a little with the food, but definitely kept up the exercising and didn’t go too crazy because I didn’t want to undo all my hard work.  I also did the 3 Day Refresh to detox before the party, the results of which I posted previously.  I felt lighter and leaner and ready to take on this round, with the extra challenge of not letting my social activities this month rob me of my success.  Last fall with the holiday season I started with good habits and ended with bad ones, but with my newfound disciplines I found myself craving less junk and feeling better when I got back on track after an indulgent meal.  It’s not that I said no to everything unhealthy- I had once a week where I had a few things (like mimosas and waffles at brunch) where I ate things that were definitely not in the plan, but this time I ate them in moderation and planned when I was going to indulge and when I was going to buckle down and choose healthy, nutritious food.

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This round was where I could really tell a difference with my strength.  I was starting to use 10 lb weights!  I was hardly modifying the poses!  I made it from one pushup at a time to 21 pushups!  I could do 15 burpees in a minute and kiss my knees during stretches!  The compound work of the last two rounds was paying off wonderfully and I could feel it in my body.  I lost 6 pounds this round and made it past a mental block; you see, I had made it to 148 lbs with exercise twice in recent memory, both times the result of hard work but also with both times being interrupted by a pregnancy.  We are done having kids now, but that idea of being at 148 lbs and having something interrupt my progress was stressing me out.  In the 3rd week when I weighed in at 146.8 lbs I was so happy I almost cried!  I kept writing down my scale numbers thinking I had them mixed up- I was so used to recording 164 that 146 felt like an error- but considering all the clothes I had to put in the donation box, all the positive comments from people who could definitely see the changes now and seeing a new body in the mirror everyday, I knew the changes were true and mine.  All my effort was paying off and I was closer every day to my goal.

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My 21 Day Fix changes

(What’s next, you ask?  Well, I decided to join Tony Horton and go 22 Minute Hard Corps…)

My success with 21 Day Fix: Round 2

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1/18/16 Little black college dress

January 18, 2016.  161.4 lbs.  Day 1 of Round 2.  Instead of giving myself a week off I jumped straight into round 2.  I mean, I was already prepping my meals and found ways to fit exercise into my schedule so why stop?  Plus, I was so excited by my results that I felt I had to keep going while the motivation was there!  I made some gourmet meals this time around, stuffed bell peppers, bun-less bison burgers, a big batch of caramelized onions…yum!  Being on the 21 Day Fix is about eating the right foods in the right amount, not about starving yourself or eating plain food.  If you’re going to make a lifestyle change, you need to find healthy recipes you want to make over and over again and create “new backups,” those easy recipes you can whip out when you don’t feel like cooking anything fancy.  Baked chicken (With lemons and balsamic vinegar) and steamed veggies; poached eggs on zoodles (zucchini noodles), stir fry bowls, Mexican bowls, etc.  Those have become my new backup meals.

I also started getting stronger.  My 6 lb weights were feeling easy.  I could do 14 burpees in a minute.  I could do more pushups and my flexibility was improving.  I also knew that February was around the corner, and I was motivated to wear a dress from high school that *almost* fit again for a fancy party the week after Valentine’s day.  Though I had healthy cookies on week 2 and a big container of lasagna as my cheat meal on week 3, I kept up the regimen of container portions and my exercise.  On days when I had time I’d throw in the extra ten minute ab workout and sometimes do double workouts- when my schedule permitted.  Overall however, I did find myself more active, even if it was just shoveling snow during our crazy blizzard.

 

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Another change this round was that I started drinking Shakeology.  I got the variety pack of chocolate, vanilla and cafe latte so I could vary the flavors.  My favorite way to drink it still is to blend it with blueberries and almond milk.  I add other things and sometimes just shake with water and go, but to me it is nice when it reminds me of a Starbucks frappuccino.  I would highly recommend checking it out and purchasing it here.  Because I had been leaving a red protein container empty several times a week and all of a sudden started adding in a nutrient dense drink, I gained half a pound that week, though one my body adjusted I started losing again rather quickly. (I went from gaining half a pound in a week to losing 2 pounds in half a week- bodies are interesting that way.)  My energy levels did keep increasing with the Shakeology addition, and I can tell my concentration is better on the days I drink it.

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Round 2 before and after results

Though my results were not as dramatic this time around scale wise, I lost 5 pounds and made it into the 150 range!  This was as low scale-wise as I had made it post children before bouncing back up the scale, but this time I was fitter, had a better routine, and a motivational coach and accountability group to keep my fire to succeed alive.  I also decided to take the plunge and become a coach myself so others could benefit from my journey and I could use my effervescent personality to inspire others.  There was no turning back now.  My clothes fit better, I had lost so many inches that people were starting to notice my change and I was getting a nice endorphin release of happiness everyday.  Life was changing for the better now that I was taking care of me.

(To be continued…on to Round 3!)

My success with 21 Day Fix: Round 1

As I’ve said before, weight loss has always been a struggle with me.  My usual routine was to lose 10-15 lbs and then something would knock my routine, kick me back into bad habits and I’d gain it all back and then some.  This happened in college, before my kids, and kept happening after.  My overall trajectory was in an upward ascent, and though I didn’t like it, I was unwilling to give up my unhealthy habits, even knowing they were unhealthy.  I’d wish and dream about a slender body, fitting into old clothes I kept around, but the efforts I made never transpired into a lifestyle change.

Though not my highest weight ever, these pictures of me last fall were of an unhealthy me who finally had enough.  I wanted a change and didn’t like the lack of energy, the lack of activity and the feeling that I had no control over my cravings or food intake.  For some people, like me, I really felt like the world would end if I didn’t indulge that need for a certain food.  But after Christmas I decided that was that. I had purchased the 21 Day Fix program that summer but didn’t fully use it, so I decided to start it and reach out to my coach. I wanted 2016, my last year of being in my 20’s, to be the year I corrected my past mistakes so I could start my 30’s as a healthier, happier me.

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Round 1 before and after of 21 Day Fix

December 28, 2015.  172.4 lbs.  Day 1 of my first round.  I began using the containers.  Luckily I love bright colors so this was fun for me.  I began tracking my meals religiously on an equally colorful meal chart.  I reached out to my coach for the first time and found out she had a Facebook challenge group starting after the new year.  I ate more fruit than I was used to and drank lots of tea that first week.  I could only do one pushup and ten burpees, but I kept with the exercises even though I modified with my 3 pound weights.  At least I was starting somewhere and doing something.  I joined the accountability group and got great advice on recipes, support on the days I didn’t feel like I was going to succeed, and saw other people who wanted the same things I did.

By day 21 I had become fast friends with zucchini noodles, ground turkey and salad.  I still had treats, but I thought about them carefully and balanced then around healthy meals.  I bumped my weights up to 6 lbs by the end and modified less.  I could do more pushups in a row-probably 8 or so.  I lost 9.2 lbs and 10.25 overall inches!  Though that was nice and clothes fit better, the best thing was how much more energy I felt.  I’m naturally a bouncy, energetic person, but hadn’t felt like one in a while.  I found myself bouncing around the house after my children and wanting to be more active with them.  That was a terrific feeling.  I was on fire and ready for more.

(To be continued…on to Round 2!)

The Madness of March

March is upon us!  Spring is ALMOST here!  I LOVE being outside and being more active when the weather warms up.  It’s like awakening from a state of sleep for me, and I’m finally ready to shed off winter and enjoy what spring has to offer.  With that in mind, I wanted to share two Facebook Challenge Groups I’m going to be starting on MARCH 15 to energize and encourage others who want to use the spring to “spring into good health.”

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21 Day Fix Challenge Group

     This is the program that I have been doing consistently since December 20th, 2015.  Though I purchased it in the summer of last year, I was not consistent with it until after Christmas, when I looked at my holiday photos and held my holiday belly and realized I had had enough.  I was tired of feeling unhealthy, unhappy, and unattractive.  Most of all, I was tired of feeling out of control of my eating habits.  People can be beautiful and confident at any size-I strongly believe that- however how you FEEL on the inside is what matters and I needed to change my lifestyle to change how I FELT.  The weight loss for me was a bonus side effect of getting healthy.  That’s what this program is.  Simple tools for getting healthy.  Portion control containers + clean eating + 30 minute exercise + support= the best you possible!

      The challenge group I’m setting up through Facebook will add the support, motivation and accountability aspect of the program into place.  You can eat from your kitchen, practice at home, and check in with others trying to get healthy and lose weight from the comfort of your computer.  This was the key piece for me.  With two little kids and my choir schedule, I don’t have time for the gym, and I prefer to exercise at home.  I am NOT good however at staying on track without someone to vent to and someone to encourage me.  If you need that too, send me your contact information here or find me on Facebook through the link on the side of the blog and I’ll get you started in the group.  Once you purchase the program on my Beachbody website, I’ll be your coach for life and help you through any of the programs to get you as fit as you’re willing to get.

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March Madness Fitness Challenge Group

     This challenge group is my FREE March fitness group, based on the basketball competition that has enthralled millions all over the U.S.  Technically, you don’t have to be a fan of basketball to play, but I’m sure it will make it more enjoyable.  Here are the rules to the game:

  1. Pick one team at beginning of challenge. If that team loses, you are allowed to pick another team to keep up with the fitness, however you will be ineligible for the grand prize.
  2. Each sports team is designated a certain fitness routine and recommended reps. As your team plays, do the fitness reps for your team and the team they are playing that evening.  You may choose to do the recommended reps or challenge yourself to do one rep for each goal scored in the game.
  3. Post pictures, videos or comments (each one gives you a participation point) about the game on the Facebook group to gain eligibility to win the participation prizes.
  4. You can do more fitness reps for other games outside of your team choice for participation points (i.e. the more games you watch/do workouts for the more points towards the participation prizes).
  5. The challenge group is FREE, however if you do decide to place an order for Shakeology before or during the challenge then you will be eligible to win the bigger prizes.
  6. The person with the most participation points will win a free custom Beachbody t-shirt.  The person who ordered Shakeology with the most participation points will win a free custom Beachbody t-shirt and other Beachbody swag.  If a person who ordered Shakeology chooses a team at the beginning and that team wins March Madness then they will win the grand prize, a free custom t-shirt and a free basic Beachbody program of their choice!

 

Again, send me your contact information via this blog or on Facebook and I’ll set you up in the Facebook group.  Both begin on March 15th and you are welcome to join both!  Start building your summer body this spring and regain your health with some fun programs together with fun people!

8 Fun Ways to Workout with Kids

Whether you have little kids yourself, in your family, or you occasionally babysit them, you have the perfect opportunity to add some extra fitness to your routine.  Kids are like new phones; their batteries are extra long lasting, they have so many features that it takes you forever to learn them all and when you do they upgrade to the newest model and you have to start all over again.  Luckily, in my experience most children in the toddler/preschool/early elementary range like two things: 1) playing make believe and 2) silly adults.  With these two things you can get your exercise in and entertain children (particularly necessary on a rainy winter day like today) in the process.  My kids like when I show them my yoga moves, and there are definitely some that can be done together, but these animal inspired fitness moves are a little more cardio and much more silly.

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Make your best chicken face, flap your elbows, and hop from foot to foot, making sure your knees stay high and your abdominals are tucked in.

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After practicing your roar and sharpening your claws, stalk your prey and jump into a squat, like you are sitting in a chair, with your knees tracking behind your toes.

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Stand with your feet wide and turned out, chest up and abdominals pulled in, knees behind toes and squat down to put your fingers on the ground.  Hop around returning to this position.

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This variation on a sumo squat is a great workout for your quadriceps.  Stand in the same position as the frog hop, but keep your back straight and walk around like this, possibly chasing the kids you threaten to tickle with your crab claws.

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This balance move possibly comes after you’ve been flying around the room after the kids, like when they won’t put their clothes on.  Perch for as long as you can on one leg and then switch, provided the kids don’t come by and knock you over.

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When you’re too tired of cardio and too inflexible for bow pose, a nice fish curl helps to stretch your back out.  You can add some arm workout by crawling away on your stomach as they run over to climb on your back.

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Sleeping snake is a nice stretch to make the kids think you’re not paying attention until they get near and then you can strike, catching them with the element of surprise.  They’ll never see it coming.

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This is the pose that best describes the end of a long day of “animal” wrangling.  Usually I’ve been tackled by my two enough that this is exactly how I feel.

Whether you fully channel your inner animal or just use these moves to invite your children to play, you can always engage in the play of children to get some extra workouts in.  In the big scheme of things, it’s the play they’ll remember.

Blizzard workout

As a Texas girl living in Maryland, I am not used to snow.  Sure, it’ll snow in Dallas, but for most of my life, snow would fall for half a day, a few inches at most, and then turn to ice if it would stick at all.  Most of the time we would be so excited that there was actually something white falling from the sky that I never realized that there is so much nuance to a snowy day.  My favorite is the lightly falling, big flaked, pretty snow that looks like something out of a movie and is pleasant to walk in.  The few times it snowed like that growing up are vivid memories.  After moving further north I have now had several experiences with the phenomenon know as: the blizzard.

This last blizzard I saw more snow in one weekend than I ever have before.  Lookup #snowzilla and #snowpocalypse if you weren’t in the area to see the kind of reactions the east coast had to that storm.  Since we didn’t lose power (though were prepared if we did) I was very excited for the storm.  The whole family was cuddled up at home, playing games and watching movies, and I kept making calls to my family back home to give them updates on HOW MUCH SNOW COULD FALL FROM THE SKY!  (Yes, I’m sure on the phone I was speaking in all caps.)

On Saturday morning there was a small break in the otherwise constant barrage of snow, so I decided to shovel our driveway before another foot or more of snow were to pile on top of the first.  So, I wrapped myself up in layers, took my shovel, and prepared for a couple hours of physical activity.  Luckily, weeks of strength training and 21 Day Fix workouts prepared me for this shoveling.  Though I was tired at the end, it felt like a good workout and not the terrible ache of someone whose muscles were screaming at their unpreparedness.  Here are a few moves to train you for the next snowstorm.

#1) Lunges & Squats

     Yep. Good old fashioned lunges were key to helping protect my lower back as I bent to put snow on my shovel.  I used a wide lunge or squat, making sure my knees were at right angles in my bent legs, to give me a firm foundation.  Having tucked in abs and strong legs by practicing forward lunges and side lunges helped me shift the balance of snow and move it more efficiently.

#2) Wood chopper

     In the 21 Day Fix program, there is a weight exercise called the “squat to wood chop” we practice with weights.  Starting with feet hip width apart, squat with the weight over the right foot, then push up, twisting the body until the weight is up in the air facing the left side.  This translated perfectly to the twist needed to fling the snow over my shoulder to make sure it got over the banks of snow already piled on either side.

#3) Ab and oblique exercises

     A tight core is important for lower back health in general.  A combo of crunches, bicycle twists, oblique stretches, and scissor twists (crunches with the legs alternating up and down) are good ab exercises to add to your routine.  The upside is that all those ab exercises preparing me for snow shoveling will pay off for bikini wearing in the summer.

  Happy exercising!

Putting the “F’s” in my chores

Chores are not my favorite pastime.

Cyclical chores, like doing dishes and laundry, are those necessary rituals I dread daily.  It’s ever present, ever needed, and once I finish it’s time to start them all over again.

I need to add a couple F-words to my f*n chores:

Fitness

FUN!

It may not solve my problem of having to do the same chores over and over, but for me, a person who just gets bored with the monotony of chores, perhaps finding a way to combine my exercise moves and creativity will be the “spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.”  (Thank you Mary Poppins.)

#1) Kitchen Cleanup Dance Party

Having music playing in the kitchen is a must for me, especially when cleaning.  I clean faster when I have something to focus on, like chopping veggies to the new Hamilton soundtrack or even lathering dish soap to the Piano Guys.  When my kitchen is a real mess however, it’s time for upbeat 90’s music- the music of my childhood.  (You can pick your preference however.)  Since my kids are too young to be embarrassed by my terrible dancing, I incorporate lunges, squats, oblique stretches and other twists to make putting away dishes more exciting.  Even while I’m standing in front of the sink, I try to keep my hips moving and feet shuffling and abs taut so that I can get the most out of the activity.

#2) Yoga Laundry

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I’m terrible about folding laundry.  I’ll finally sort, wash and dry, but that last step gets lost in the distractions of the day.  I have that special chair that people forget to sit in because they think it is just a mountain of clothes- at least it’s clean right?  Aside from the music aspect of #1, I like to incorporate yoga moves into my folding to make it feel like I’m doing something good for my body- and to keep me less stressed when my kids come over and knock over or grab the pile of folded clothes.  Grrrr.  Putting clothes on a clean spot on the floor and folding while in forward fold stretches my lower back while multitasking nicely.  Folding tank tops while in warrior 1 gives my legs a nice stretch.  Practicing my balance in tree pose while folding socks also helps me later.  If it’s late at night, sometimes I just have to lay in corpse pose and fold things on my stomach.  It just depends on the day.  Do what works for you.

#3) Reality TV Organizing

Sometimes it’s more fun organizing your stuff if you pretend it’s someone else’s stuff.  I’ll pretend I’m on a TV show, like Hoarders meets Biggest Loser, pick a section of house to tidy up, and see if I can put things in their baskets as quickly as possible.  Sometimes I set a time limit, but usually when I play this it’s because someone is about to stop by and the pressure is on anyway.  A special treat awaiting me if I finish my tidying or sweeping within the allotted time also helps.  Now, since it’s already February, I’m going to have to make an Ultimate Challenge Game this weekend to FINALLY put away my holiday decor.

These are just a few tips I can offer to add some spice to your routines.  If you have any other ideas or suggestions, feel free to comment below.  There are always ways to add some FITNESS and FUN to your life here and there, so I encourage you to engage in what works for you.  You can’t get anywhere in life without a little movement.

New Year, New Me

Everyone has a story.  Each life is a woven tapestry of experiences and emotions.  Like a snowflake or fingerprint, no person’s life story is exactly like another’s.  Despite the differences however, our struggles and triumphs, our fears and joys and animosities are reflected in others and our human connections to each other and the world we live in.  I’m here to tell my story and invite you on my life journey- a journey to health, to peace, to confidence, to life.

My journey to health has not been a straight one.  I really like (I mean REALLY LIKE) certain junk food items and indulgent, gluttonous meals.  When I was growing up, I had a quick metabolism and fairl active childhood so I didn’t reallly think about what I ate.  In college, weight would start creeping up on me, but like the last minute cramming for exams, I was able to do just enough exercise to lose 10 lbs or so before I started eating what I wanted again.  Thus the vicious cycle began: eat too much, gain weight, diet & exercise for a month or so until something interrupted my routine, began to sneak in unhealthy foods and relax my exercising, get disappointed that I was gaining weight again, completely fall off the wagon….etc.  My love of food combined with lack of moderation led me to yo-yo between 130 and 180, steadily increasing the minimum weight over time.

During my mid 20’s there were two times when I started significantly losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise; l joined a zumba group and went from the high 160’s to 148 lbs, but then got pregnant with my first child.  Despite being sick for most of my pregnancy, I gained about 35 lbs.  Thrilled with being a first time mom but completely unhappy with how I looked and felt, I ended up joining a yoga studio that had a mommy and me program in which I could bring my son.  Getting involved with their different programs along with nursing helped me to lose my baby weight and get fit at the same time.  I was happy; I was healthy.  I was not yet at my ideal weight, but my trajectory was good- until we moved.  My husband’s contract changed and we decided to move from Virginia to Maryland; not too far, but far enough to put my routines on hold and stress me out- bringing out former, dormant bad habits.  Once we moved and I thought I’d be able to get back into a routine, I got pregnant again.  Plenty of people have wonderful pregnancies that don’t interfere with their ability to exercise and eat right; I was so sick I was hospitalized for dehydration in the first three months.  By the time I was the least amount sick I was just so happy that I could eat again that I ate anything- and everything.  With that pregnancy I gained about 50 lbs and was at my highest weight ever.

It’s been almost two years since my daughter was born.  After the immediate 25 lbs I lost after she was born, I have been struggling to lose the rest.  I lost and regained the same 15 lbs and got stuck in the same cycles over and over.  I needed a new mindset- I needed help.  During 2015 I tried several times to lose weight, only to find excuses to indulge.  In the summer after hearing some friends having success with the 21 Day Fix program I decided to purchase it because I had a trip to Seattle coming up to visit family and wanted to go up there and be at least okay with having pictures taken of myself.  I felt disgusting and unhappy because I knew and understood the value of a healthy lifestyle, but just didn’t feel I had the willpower to make the changes I wanted.  On my Seattle trip and after, I did make some changes that made me more fit and healthy, but I didn’t fully start the 21 Day Fix and none of my changes survived the holiday season.  I didn’t gain it all back, but enough to feel like I couldn’t succeed.

After Christmas I snapped (in a good way) and decided I had had enough.  I was tired of making excuses.  I was tired of feeling unhealthy.  I was tired of feeling fat around fit, athletic friends who biked everywhere and did triathlons and had beers on the weekends because they would be working it off on at the gym.  I was tired of feeling like I was 49 instead of 29.  I wanted to have more energy for my kids and spouse, and more importantly, I wanted to gain the tools and discipline to live a healthy lifestyle before I started having major health problems.  I decided to really start the 21 Day Fix and actually get in touch with my free coach so that I wasn’t doing it alone.

Things started clicking once I made that decision to start the program and contact my coach.  She invited me into her New Year New Me challenge group for January and introduced me to so many women with the same goals and aspirations that I have.  In my first round of the 21 Day Fix I lost 11 lbs and 10.25 inches!  I have worked out (and sometimes did doubles) every day since the new year started and even better, I look forward to it everyday.  I have been eating clean and using my herbalism and nutrition background to really optimize my health this year.  I feel stronger, have more energy, and have been starting to shrink out of clothes.  Things are going well and I feel so empowered to continue because now I have the tools and resources to help me achieve my goals.

My journey for better health and weight loss is not over.  I am going to need determination and drive even on the days where I get no sleep and have little distractions rolling all over me.  I’m going to need focus and perseverence when I dream about rolls or get invited to brunch.  I decided to become a coach because I feel like my story can help others and we can learn and support each other on our different yet beautiful journeys.  Weight is temporary.  Friendships gained through mutual experience can last much longer.