Friday, October 4, 2013

So..I fell off the wagon

 In two weeks, it will be one year since I started this journey for a healthier lifestyle. 

But about a month ago, I fell off the wagon. I started school back and suddenly fitness quickly got pushed to the back burner. My six days of a week of working turned into one or two days a week. My healthy, clean dinners turned into Chick Fila Drive Thru or Friday Night Pizza! Awful, I know! But 11 months into this journey, this is the first time I really fell off the wagon! But I fell HARD! I gained about 5.5 lbs back in this time! So now I have MORE work cut out for me!  I still would like to lose about 10  lbs!  My little rodeo with junk food added a few lbs to that! 

So now it's time to get back on the horse and start this again. I REFUSE To go back! I refuse to hate to shop because I can't find anything that looks good on me. I REFUSE TO FAIL! I know we've all had these moments..and the truth is I LIKE BAD FOOD....BUT, I *LOVE* feeling GREAT about myself, having energy to play with my kids, and not feeling so exhausted at the end of every day. 

So this is my plan! First and Foremost BACK TO THE GYM! I've started my routine up again of 6 days a week! Here is my schedule:

Now, my next challenge...By Thanksgiving, I want to lose 10 lbs! It's a big goal, I know! But, I think I can reach it! Link up and tell me your *Turkey Day Goal*

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Vacation is Over!

Hello Friends!! Well, My vacation is over :( Two and half weeks and only partially sticking to my meal plan. For the first time in 10 months, I caved!  Junk food was everywhere! I tried to avoid as much as possible but I'm honest :)

A Few Pictures from Vacay:
My sister, who started her weight loss journey last December. I keep trying to get her to guest post and tell you about her progress, because she has done an AMAZING job!! I am so proud of her! 

My little brother, who is a fireman. He *loved* making fun of me and in this particular picture he is basically saying that his triceps aren't as good as mine! The WHOLE visit, he informed everyone "Ashley has the best triceps EVER"
I told him I'd be at the gym at 7 if he wanted to come and show me up ;) He never did show, but he is also following a strict clean eating diet! He is just starting his journey, so keep an eye out for updates :)
He's my fireman hero :)

This hottie with me is my husband! We have been married for 8 years and I am so proud to call this man my husband :) He is such a loving and wonderful man! He has been very supportive of my journey...well, except when it involves rice. He refuses to eat whole grain rice. He says it's the "Texan" in him! He can't give up white rice ;) 
Even with eating white rice, he's still pretty handsome :) 
He's just my HERO! 

My older brother and I. Notice his excitement to see me ;)
We don't get to see each other very often, but when we do it's always so much fun. 
He's my Air Force Hero :)

This next guy is a friend of mine since high school! We've stayed friends forever and he is one of the ones who got me started on this health kick. My friend has followed a clean eating diet for..EVER. So when I started this, I knew I needed to pick his brain.  He gives me great information and constantly helps keep me motivated :)

So now it's time to get back to it! I have two months to go until I reach my one year starting point. I want to reach my goals by then!!

Here is a sample of my meal plans:

I basically just eat very clean. I try and eat five-six times a day.

Also, drinking enough water is a huge plus. Try drinking your body weight in ounces!!!

When I get off track, I have to get my mind back in the game. Living a healthy lifestyle is just as much mental as it is physical. And vacation proved that to me! The moment I ate the first piece of junk food, my brain had a taste for it again. Then, it was constantly reminding me of how much I liked it! I literally had to "detox" all of the bad food out of my MIND and body.  How did I do that? I dive right back in. I start with reading fitness blogs. Here are a few of my favorite:

They focus on clean eating and exercise!

Another way I get my mind back on track is Pinterest! 

Here are a few boards that I like to follow:

So here's to my restart! I am dedicated and determined to reach that ultimate goal before my one year mark! 
18% Body Fat HERE I COME!!!

Till Next Time


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Couch to 5K

Hey there!  It's Nicole from Teaching With Style!  I recently signed up for my second 5K ever.  My first 5K was the Shamrock run in Portland, OR in like 2010.  It was horrible!  It rained the entire time, then the lines afterwards for the free chowder and beer were horrendous.  Not to mention how far away my friend and I had to park!  After that race, I swore I would never do another one because "I'm not a runner".

Well, here I am again, signed up for a 5K without being a runner.  I actually committed with a group of friends to join their team for the Spartan race in Oahu on August 17th.  Spartan is a 3 mile obstacle course and is supposed to be really fun.  To help me gear up for it, I signed up for a local 5K, the Tri Lanai City Run the weekend before.

So, as I said, I'm not a runner.  I like to do yoga, go to aerobics classes or do aerobics videos.  But I've never liked running.  Every time I run I always get mad at myself that I have to walk, that I don't have stamina to run the whole time.  Then when I get home, I'm always completely out of breath, my chest hurts, and I want to die.

Last week I stumbled on this website Couch to 5K.  I was intrigued.  Could I really become a runner?  Could I do this 5K and not feel like I wanted to die? I downloaded the free mobile app and started.  Basically, for the first week, you run for 60 seconds and walk for 90 seconds for a total of 20 minutes. You do this 3 times in a week.  Each time, I ran 2 miles.  The second week the running increases, but so does the walking.  It's such an easy way to ease yourself into it!  I'm not out of breath, my chest doesn't feel like collapsing.  I can really do this!

I'm about to start my 2nd week, so I'll keep you updated after I do it!  I'm debating on if I want to run with my 3 year old in a jogging stroller or with my 1 year old Brittany Spaniel.  Either one will pose an obstacle! I will keep you updated!

Are you like me?  Or are you a runner?  Share your story in the comments!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moving and Losing!

Hi there! This is Jennifer over at Teaching with Grace.  I am so excited to share with you my journey that I'm on!

This is me about 2 years ago. I had already had my son and my daughter was about 10 months old. I had lost some weight but wasn't really trying hard. I definitely lacked the motivation between teaching, mommy duties, and other home stuff. 

I've always been the "gee I want to be that fit" kind of girl... never really the "get off my butt and get it done" girl. In the past year that has changed, a lot! It hasn't been so much as a 'how I want to look' deal as much as a 'get healthy' deal. There is still some of the 'I want to be skinnier' in there though.

Just over a year ago, my grandmother got really sick and within a week passed away from a little known disease. Lots of if's, but's, and other questions circled for awhile. Then, 10 months later, my mother passed away from cancer. My motivation is for my own children to not have to feel this heart ache for a long, long time. I don't want them to lose me or my husband when we are only in our 50's.

So, with my motivation firmly in tact, I started running. I have a friend who is a runner and I've always wanted to be a runner. So this summer I simply started out by walking in the evenings... 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles. Then I started to see how far I could run before I had to stop to walk. 

I use a track at the school by my house. So I would set goals up for myself: 

"Run to the tree and then you can walk."

The next time it would be farther.

"Run from the pathway to the well cover."

Little by little I have improved and become a (slow) runner. I also made the ultimate investment:

Yep, running shoes! These babies are pretty... and they cost a pretty penny too. But, I won't (hopefully) be getting injured because of having faulty equipment on my feet while I'm running. I even went on a 5 mile run last week with my friend. Never thought I could do that and WHOA was it awesome!

Side benefit?


Now, running definitely helps with that but I've also been counting my calories. I have a splurge every now and then (Barq's root beer last night and a tiny ice cream sundae :) ).

I also make sure to give myself rewards for what I've earned. New clothes!!

So, ask yourself, when you want to begin.. WHAT is your motivation? I'm doing it for me and my family.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dead Lifts

One of my favorite exercises is the dead lift. I wanted to show you a few videos of my progress with the dead lifts. I haven't dead lifted in a few weeks due to using improper form and a back injury.

Before you start dead lifting...remember form is KEY. First stand behind the barbell. You want to take the bar from the floor to around your hip/waist level. Your hands should be about shoulder width apart and even. I sometimes "reverse a grip" meaning I use one hand under the bar and one hand over the bar. 
Your butt must stay down and your chest up. Ladies, as AWKWARD as this essentially have to flaunt your chest. Push it forward as much as you can. I know this is me. But it helps your form. I like to find a spot on the wall straight ahead of me to help keep myself from looking down. You need to look straight ahead and keep your back straight. Lower your bottom down to pick up the bar. Keep the bar as close to your body as you can. You should be lifting with your legs and feel the lift in your legs. If you feel it in your back, you might not be standing straight or have the proper form. Keep your chin up and eyes on that magic spot on the wall. 
You should pull the bar up until you are to your hip area. 

Here are a few videos..The first one is about 30  lbs ago, the second one is about 20  lbs ago.

In the first video you will notice I don't stand all the way up. That is a BIG mistake. I am sharing this with you because at the time of the lift, I didn't know that. It wasn't until I watched the video back. 

Here is my first video (Taken in December) 115 LB Dead Lift

My trainer was telling me "that's far away from your body" I am sharing this so you can see my mistakes and how to fix that.

Here is the second video 135 LB Dead Lift 
You will hear my trainer telling me "Chest Up" If you notice that because I am not standing straight up. Your back should be perfectly straight.  I recently dead lifted 155, and hurt my back because I did not stand straight up.

I guess I need a video that I actually do the lift 100% right. I'll work on that :) Haha!

If you wanna see a correct dead lift..but with mega weight...check this one out from my friend and former trainer! 500 LB Dead Lift

Till Next Time

Friday, June 7, 2013

Amazing Leg Work Out

Hey Everyone! It's Ashley From The Teacher's Treasure Chest!! I wanted to share this great leg work out I've been doing! I've really started seeing results! Give it a try! I broke it down to three levels :) I do this two or three days a week. Also, one day I throw in some dead lifts.  But due to a recent back injury, I've been taking it easy with the dead lifts! 

Happy Friday Friends!!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Healthy Cooking and Living!

Hello there!  This is Nicole from Teaching With Style!

I live in beautiful Hawaii and my family spends most of our down time at the beach.  The kiddos LOVE to swim and surf the waves.  Hubby loves to paddle board and kayak, and we both recently got scuba certified.

You would think that by all this outdoor activity that we would be in great shape.  Well, we are not.  Between work and beach-going, I just get too tired to cook dinner and we end up with macaroni and hotdogs or hamburgers from the local diner.  It's bad.  I decided that this summer, I would challenge myself to make a change in the way my family eats!

I recently re-joined Weight Watchers.  I did it a couple years ago when my daughter was one.  It's a great motivation for me and I love the recipes.  I also bought some at-home work-out videos and Shakeology supplements from BeachBody.  This is the same company that does P90X, Insanity, and Brazilian Butt Lift.  I opted to go for Turbo Fire, because I like upbeat, dancey types of workouts.

So my plan: eat healthy and work out every day.  I'm not going to do my videos everyday, but switch it up with a hike once a week, swimming in the ocean or pool once a week, a local yoga class once a week, then Turbo Fire the other days.

I have a recipe Pinterest board where I will be pinning my weekly recipes.  I can pull up the recipe on my iPad as I'm cooking, making it a lot easier than printing them out and having to organize all the paper.  We are almost through with week 1, and it's going really well so far!

Do you have dinner ruts like me?  Join me in turning that around this summer!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Healthy Substitutions

I don't know about you but I am total junk food gal! You can see why I needed to start dieting and exercise!

One of my all time FAVORITE foods is..PIZZA!!

Pizza averages about 350 calories PER SLICE I needed to find a healthier alternative! So I played around and came up with this little avocado and tomato pizza! It's pretty yummy, and FILLING! 

What is some of your favorite foods? Do you have a healthy substitution? E-mail me at and I will share it!

Till Next Time!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cardio or Weights?

Hey everyone! It's Ashley from The Teacher's Treasure Chest! Can we say Thank Goodness for Spring Break?!?!?!I was able to go to the gym in the morning today and I tell you was the best feeling ever! The gym was empty and I really could get everything in I wanted to. I had the best workout! Can we just have Spring Break forever?!?!?!   One of the things I hear ALL the time "To lose fat, you only need to do cardio". While cardio is necessary in any fat loss program, weights are just as important. Lifting weights burns calories long after you leave the gym. Trust me, I was scared to death to pick up a real free weight. Before I started this journey, I only used machines to work out. I had no clue what to do with a free weight. Now, I get kinda of cranky when I don't use weights! You don't want to be around me on an all cardio day! I'm no fun! 

My favorite weight lifting exercise is hannnnnnds down the *squat*. I squat two days a week. One day a week I use heavy weights. This is my favorite day of the week! I love breaking new records. I rotate between front squats and back squats. While front squats are a little bit more difficult for me, I still enjoy them. They are a new challenge for me to overcome...and I love a challenge.  On the second squat day (usually about 3-4 days after my heavy squat day) I do low weight but more reps.Squats are a great exercise for a variety of muscles and that's why I love them so much. No workout is complete without squats! Check out what WebMD says about squats HERE

The next thing my girlfriends tell me ALL the time.."Are you worried you will be bulky like a man?" The easy answer to that is NO I am not worried. Women do not have the ability on their own (without supplements) to create that kind of muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn.  Here is article that is really a must read from Shape Magazine: reasons-why-you-should-lift-heavier-weights

The truth is a complete work out routine will include both cardio and weights. I do cardio 6 days a week. Three days a week, I also include some sort of weight training. Not always heavy weight, though. It's important to keep a balance of heavy and light weight. 

Now, onto my progress. When I started this journey, I was at 35.6% Body Fat. I am now at 23% BF and am striving to get under 20%. I still have a ways to go. The closer I get, the slower it comes off. But each week I am losing BF so I can't complain that much! I feel like I am almost to the finish line and can start "maintaining" instead of losing. 

Here's my progress in pictures:

Till Next Time :)


Sunday, March 10, 2013

I'm a work in Progress!!

Hi All!
I am Latoya from Flying into First Grade and I wanted to do my first post for the collaborative fitness blog.  This was such a good idea and I am happy to participate.

So here's my story but remember I am still a work in progress....

I was small all of my life while growing up.  I would say I started gaining weight when I went to college.  We had Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, and Burger King all on campus.  I think I gained the freshman 30 lol.  I remember wearing a size 10 for a while and then a 12 and then a 14 and then a 16.  One day I got on the scale and it read 203 and I wondered when did this happen.  It totally happened from not working out and eating everything in sight.  I was really unhappy about this and knew I had to do something to change it.

I was always active growing up.  I took dancing lessons and was on the dance team in high school.  So it was fairly easy for me to start jogging and do zumba.  I even signed up for 5k's with friends from time to time.  I have lost about 20 pounds since that day I got on the scale.  Look at the picture below to see my weight loss journey so far.  I still have a ways to go but I am determined!

Another thing that has helped me is working out with my coworkers everyday after school and doing Insanity.  The consistency has really helped me get into a routine.  I do a cycling class on Thursdays and I have started doing a bootcamp along with keeping my membership at the ymca.

Since I cant do all of these things I have narrowed down my weekly plans.

I wanted to share my workout plans for the week.

Sunday -REST
Wednesday - BOOTCAMP
THursday -Cycling

I am still struggling with my eating habits but I am getting better.

Here is one new food item I have fell in love with. Enjoy! It is only 100 calories!  I paid 2.00 at Kroger for this 3 pack.  I also tried Vanilla Bean.  If you love ice cream, you should check it out!

And last here is a motivation pic for you!!!

Have a great week!


On of the things I struggle with the most is motivation. In order for me to be completely motivated  I have to dive into something hhhhhhhhead first! I have to consume myself with it! I become slightly *obsessed* and tend to get way too involved. I figured this would last like a month with my fitness journey or so and then I would decide it was too hard and quit. But I am happy to report it's been FIVE Months since I began my road  to getting healthy. Besides reading magazines, and books, I have found that it is also so much easier to have someone to either work out with or talk about working out. My family has a big event coming up in June. My cousin is getting married, and several of our family members have started their own fitness journey. As a family, we talk about healthy foods and new exercises we are trying. This helps us stay motivated, and accountable. We all use the My Fitness Pal App and comment regularly on each others activity. Such a big help! 

When I first started working out, my hubby was deployed. Once he came home, it took him a little bit to get off that couch and to start coming with me to the gym! Once he started coming, he started seeing results fast. At first, I thought this stinks, I've been working twice as long as he has and double the amount of time he spends in the gym..but, then I realized, I've made great progress and have nothing to be upset over. 

My point of all of this nonsense rambling is that even though some days I REALLY do not want to go to the gym, most of the time I do. Whenever I have those I really do not want to go to the gym days..I just tell myself, you will not get the results you want, by sitting on the couch! So I make myself go anyways..and 98% of the time, once I get in there and get my music flowing, I am ready to go!

Music is SUCH an important part of my routine! I have to have good music or I get bored! My top 5 favorite work out songs right now~
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I know..I know.. weird combination! But those are the first five songs on my playlist! What about you? Do you like to work out to music? If so, what songs? I always need new music to my playlist! 

Have a great rest of your weekend, and remember, get up off the couch and do something active :) 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Staying Fit on Vacation

I'm on vacation this week.  I'd like to say that I am somewhere warm, lying in the sun.  Unfortunately, I am at home and staying inside since it is 18 degrees out.  So I'm going to pretend.

I know you are saying, I don't want to work out on my vacation!  Wherever you go, you are there to see the sights and relax, not spend time in the hotel gym, right?  Right!  So I won't tell you to use the hotel gym, unless you really want to.  Then go for it.

I'm talking more about staying active while on vacation (yes, you might need to get out of that lounge chair by the pool!).

My husband and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon this past summer - it was amazing!  We did relax in the sun, but we also went hiking and learned to surf.

Look at me go!

At the top of Diamond Head crater.

In November, we went down to Atlanta, Georgia where we got in some hikes as well.

Stone Mountain

My husband's favorite place to visit is New Hampshire.  When we go in the summer, we go hiking and kayaking.  In the winter, we ski and ice skate.

Even if you don't like hiking, walk around the town while shopping instead of taking  a car.  You will see more and be up and moving at the same time!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Hi everyone!  I'm Sara from Smiling In Second Grade and I'm joining up with some fellow bloggers to share our tips and secrets to being fit!

As Ashley mentioned before, I am no expert either, but I will share what works for me and maybe you will learn something as well!

I'll start with a little background.    In high school, I played a lot of sports and I was always on the move.  I played soccer, basketball and volleyball.  I absolutely loved playing.  I enjoyed being part of a team and never saw it as "working out."  It kept me busy and there was always the thrill of playing in a game.  At home, I lived with a family of 6, so if you didn't eat fast, you didn't eat!  We only had one television which had just three channels and we never had video games in our house.  We were a very active family.

Then college started.  I had so much extra time on my hands that I didn't know what to do with myself. We had cable and internet (and I didn't have to fight any siblings to use either).  And the buffet-style cafeteria?  Man, was that a treat!  Needless to say, I gained the Freshman 15...and then some.  I don't drink so that helped me stay a tad healthier than my peers, but not much.  I was at my heaviest in college.

Now, living in my own house with a full time job, I have learned how to better regulate my diet and get the exercise I need.  I belong to a gym and always feel a lot better about myself after I go.

Now that you know a little more about me, I want to know what are some of your most difficult obstacles that you have faced in an effort to be more healthy?