Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Enjoying the Halloween Candy! Should I or Shouldn't I??

With Halloween almost here I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the topic of enjoying those candy treats. It's Halloween, so on this particular holiday I don't feel like you are missing out on anything if you don't indulge in the sugar overload. Now, if you are going to a party, taking your kids trick or treating, or going to a harvest fest, I say have a great time and that can include eating some "treats." The real issue is not the candy itself, but how you think about it and how it will effect you.

If you can enjoy a few pieces of candy without having discussions in your head about the said candy - then you can choose to eat it, enjoy it and that will be that!

But if you are already thinking about Halloween, and all that candy, and if you are going to eat it, or how badly you are afraid you will binge on it -- then maybe it would be a good idea to exercise some self control and abstain from the candy all together this year. If your mindset is not in a good place then eating the candy will only cause you harm, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. If eating the candy will cause you to feel guilty, out of control, like a failure because you don't feel you are in control,, etc. -- if that is where you are now, then acknowledge that. If that is where you are, please don't feel guilty, it's simply where you are and that means this is an area you need to grow in.

I have been there, where I couldn't help myself in front of a plate of cookies! It's not a fun place to be! No inanimate object should have any power over us, right? It takes time, properly nourishing your body regularly, some re-wiring of your brain and changing how you associate with food.

So this Halloween, if you choose to indulge in those treats, please don't let it be a self-destructive behavior. And if you know it will be, then acknowledge that and choose what will serve you better.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Excerpt from my book, Fit Mind, Body and Spirit

                                          A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing,  
                                                          but a broken spirit dries up the bones.                                                                                                      Proverbs 17:22
            The first step to making any changes in your life is awareness. This can be the most difficult step because it means you need to be completely honest with yourself. Every client I have worked with, each person I encounter on their fitness journey and myself included are all working to improve not just what we look like, but how we feel and who we are inside and out. It’s not about trying to become some image of who we think we are supposed to be. It’s about becoming aware of what’s going on within our minds, bodies and spirits so we can let go of the negative things that are damaging us, and grow more each day into the person God has designed us to be.
We can’t have a healthy body with a mind that is infected with self-destructive, negative, worldly thinking. And we can’t have a perfectly healthy mind and body with a non-existent relationship with God. These things are impossibilities. One without the others will never be complete or lasting. You may be able to reach some weight loss or fitness goal but if nothing else changes you will still feel the same now as you do then, maybe even worse. Working towards bringing all these areas into balance is what we need to do.
Will we ever get it perfect? On this side of Heaven, of course not! Does that mean we shouldn’t even try? Of course not! Our health is a major factor in how we experience life, and how we impact those around us. What you think about who God is and who you are will drive how you think and behave.
Draw near to God and He will transform your mind, and as your thinking changes, your behaviors will change. When you begin to see yourself as His beautiful creation, it becomes easier and easier to live a healthy lifestyle.


Spiritual Awareness Questions 

1.      Who do you think God is?
2.      According to you, who are you?
3.      Who does God say you are?
4.      What has God promised you?
5.      What miracles has He worked in your life?

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 1-2

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Un-Battle of the Buldge - Let's Stop Fighting and Start Loving!

Do you feel like you have been fighting in the weight loss (or any other issue for that matter) battle forever? Do you feel like it has been you vs. yourself (the parts of you, you want to change) and you just can't seem to win? Are you able to muster-up some motivation and get on track, only to fall back into your unhealthy habits after a brief amount of time? If you can relate to that - then I know you must be deep down tired. You have been fighting and losing far too long, and it's time to lay it down and enjoy some peace!

First step is awareness -- you've been had. The devil wants to keep us distracted and spinning in circles. Think about it, how much more time and energy you would have (mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically) - if you stopped fighting with yourself? What if instead you were able to take all that energy and focus it on living a healthy positive life? How would you impact your children, your spouse, your friends and family if they saw you taking great care of yourself out of self-love, and not forcing yourself to stick to some diet and training regiment because you hate your body.

Now let's talk about self-love. I don't know about you, but I have spent a large portion of my life hating parts of myself. From my pre-teen years through adulthood I have struggled with depression, anxiety and PTSD in varying degrees. I have always been a positive, optimistic person - which I know is one of my God-given characteristics that has kept me going. However, up until the past couple years, I had been hating parts of myself, those places where it was dark, sad, foggy, unable to focus or cope, numb, hard to get through the day, out of balance or out of control. I felt so guilty because I knew that God created me for a great purpose and gave me all these talents and gifts, and yet there I was sinking in the mud.

The birth of my first son, Bear was the beginnings of God calling me back to Him. God showed me an awesome glimpse of His love for me and you through Bear. As most of you know, Bear as Arthrogryposis and we did not know this until he was born. Bear was born naturally at home with a midwife and when he came out, he did not breathe - not exactly the beautiful natural birth I had pictured. I have never been so calm and completely terrified in my entire life. Thank God the paramedics arrived 3 minutes later, they were able to get him breathing and off to the NICU we went.

I had just experienced a traumatic birth and there was my tiny little baby with crooked limbs - and I experienced for the first time the unconditional love a mother has for her child. It didn't matter that he wasn't "typical", it didn't matter that we had some big challenges and unknowns ahead, it didn't matter that he looked different. My love for him was and is unconditional - and if he has been born "normal" I couldn't possibly love him more.

God showed me that this is how He loves me and you! Life can be traumatic, and sometimes we come out a bit crooked -  Even in our darkest days when we feel we have messed up our lives beyond recognition and have become someone we don't want to be - God loves us just as much at our lowest points as he does when we are doing well. He doesn't just love our good parts, he loves ALL our parts! He hates sin, He doesn't hate us - and it's through our imperfections that He is perfected and glorified!

So if God can love all of our parts, we need to learn how to love ourselves completely. Our works will never earn more of His love, so let's stop telling ourselves that we will be happier, more complete or better when we achieve temporary things like a certain physique or status.

An amazing thing happens when you begin to love all of yourself - even the parts you are not proud of --- you begin to feel and accept you are worthy of all the great things God has made you to do. You begin to feel that it is really ok to let go of bad habits and pursue excellence. You no longer need to fight with yourself. You lay it all down at Jesus's feet, walk away and let the Holy Spirit empower you, direct you and grow you into the person you know deep down you were meant to be.

 And look at Bear now :)
You can do this!

God is always right there with you
And He will carry you when you can't do it yourself!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What does it mean to be healthy and fit?

Recently my family and I went hiking on Mt. Rainer. It was awesome! What a great day! I actually did my Insanity workout in the morning before we left and hiked a good hour with my 20lb baby Kai strapped to me in my baby carrier. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I could do this hike while wearing Kai. Pregnancy took its toll on me and I have taken my time to strengthen my body inside and out.

All tuckered out

This day really showed me what health and fitness is all about. It is easy to get focused on your physique or weight loss goals - and forget why you want to be fit in the first place. I have grown a lot in the past few years and while I am planning on competing next year, my focus is not solely on getting ripped for the sake of looking a certain way.

In the past I achieved a lean, toned physique, but I had no energy and did not feel good for a lot of it. Looking back I see where I needed to allow my body more time to recover from pregnancy, where I over-dieted and over-trained and under-rested. This time around I am on a mission to improve my health, fitness and body composition - and feel good while I'm doing it!

This has got me thinking, what does it mean to be healthy and fit?

Being Healthy and Fit Means Saying, "Yes" to

Nourishing your body with healthy foods the majority of the time, while occasionally enjoying "other" foods
Exercising your body to improve your strength, conditioning and endurance, so you can go have an adventure!
Taking your kids to the park or other outing because you actually have the energy to enjoy it!
Resting instead of pushing harder and over doing it -- Take a 20 minute soak in a lavender, coconut oil and epsom salt bath (my ND actually prescribed this to me! :)
Spending quality time with friends and family, away from technology, no smart phones, actually being present with those you love.
Taking time to be quiet with God, read His word, and let it nourish your soul!

Monday, August 4, 2014

What Real Weight Loss Looks Like - Insanity 3 weeks down, 6 weeks to go!

After a lot of consideration, I decided to be a Beachbody Coach.I started off in the Fitness Industry back in 2007 after I got in shape with the help of a personal trainer and nutritionist. My life was forever changed for the better and I knew this was my life's mission, to helps others do the same! I got my personal training certification and worked for a few years off and on (in between moving cross country a few times, having babies, etc...) I really enjoyed working as a trainer, but at this point I want to work at home so I can spend more time with my boys. So that is what I am doing, and Beachbody allows me to still help people get fit while working from home:)

I started Insanity on July 14th. I wasn't sure how I would like working out at home. I love going to the gym, but at this point, it is too much of a hassle and takes up too much time out of my day. Now I workout while Kai takes his morning nap and Bear works out with me! It has been great for both of us. I am very impressed with the program and it's so great that Bear can do it with me.

As many of you know, Bear has Arthrogryposis, so he has limited strength and range of motion in his upper extremities. He also has ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder so he needs lots of proprioceptive input (think running, jumping, etc) to help him feel balanced and in control. He literally NEEDS to be able to bounce off the walls! haha
Anyway, it has been very cool to see him jumping and running around doing his "workout" with me! He can't do all the movements like in the DVD, but he does his best or just runs around like a typical 5  year old boy. He will look at the screen and say, "Ohh, I can do that one!!" and he is so proud of himself. So it's great for him and great for me -- Win Win!

So you may be wondering how I'm doing with it. Well I have lost 6lbs so far, my body is getting stronger and tighter, and my cardiovascular conditioning has improved!

I have been weighing myself daily, which is something I don't normally do or recommend. I wanted to show you all what real weight loss looks like. The starred days are my higher calorie days. I have had to do some tweaking with my diet already to keep my body in balance. As you can see my weight has gone down and up and down but ultimately it has consistently gone down. So don't worry about slight fluctuations in your weight, sometimes even if you are eating the same exact thing everyday, your weight could go up because you didn't get enough sleep! It doesn't mean your diet isn't working, it's just how it goes.

Here's my Before and After so far. Not very dramatic, just realistic! After having Kai, months of nursing, eating healthy and easing back into working out, I still was left with some weight to lose. For me, when I get to this point, I need to be more strict with my diet. And there is no magic pill or formula, a healthy balanced mealplan with a reasonable caloric deficit and exercise is all you need!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Survival Tips for the Days of Sleep Deprivation - and a Simple Crock Pot Recipe!

My poor little Kai is sick :( He is miserable and I have been up with him a lot these past few nights. Yesterday I woke up to him at 5:30am, after being up with him at 4am, 1:30am, midnight, etc. Needless to say I was bleary eyed and knew that I had a long day ahead of me taking care of my boys! Here's some tips to help survive those days of sleep deprivation:

Take care of yourself!  Eat good stuff!
Sleep deprivation is really hard on your body, especially your adrenal glands. Guess what else is really hard on your adrenal glands? A poor diet that includes spiking your blood sugar too high, as well as too much caffeine. On these days it is so easy to think you need that sugar and caffeine fix, but you will do better to avoid this. A cup or 2 of coffee is fine, just not the whole pot :)
My ND prescribed me some supplements to support my adrenals that have helped me so much! I am writing a whole blog on this topic - it is so important!

Do as much as you can earlier in the day and try to get an afternoon nap if you can.
Workout in the morning! It will help get your energy up and you will feel better. Workout smarter, not harder, don't kill yourself. Do any chores, take the kids to the park, any errands you need to do - Don't wait until the afternoon if you can help it. You know that by noon you will start to crash and by 3pm it will feel like 3am! So do your best to prepare for this. Get dinner in the crock pot after breakfast, so you won't have to worry about it later.

                                      Here's my crock pot dinner I threw together yesterday.
Rainbow Carrots and Onions

Grass Fed Chuck Roast

Seared in Olive Oil, then put in crock pot.

I did not have any broth so I used Water with a few tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt. This vinegar acts as a meat tenderizer. Broth or Stock would have been better, but this was tasty too. I also added some Garlic Powder
                                                           Cook on Low for 8 Hours

 I just steamed some green beans real quick and Dinner was served!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

So what does healthy eating look like? One day on my mealplan

I am currently dieting and exercising to lose the rest of the baby weight from my last pregnancy. I have had some issues keeping my milk supply up so I am currently working with a clinical nutritionist to help me fuel my body and get the results I am looking for. I started my mealplan last week and we had to increase my protein and carbs because while my weight did drop, so did my milk supply. Now with the increases I have been able to keep my supply up, do my Insanity and my weight is dropping - oh yeah and I feel pretty great too :)

Anyway, I thought it may be helpful for some of you to actually see what a mealplan looks like. I have many options on my plan, so it doesn't always look exactly like this.

It's pretty simple - healthy balanced eating has amazing benefits. It doesn't need to be a big mystery. You may need to play around with how much your body actually needs, so you start somewhere, and go from there!
Breakfast: Steel Cut Oats, Whey Protein, AlmondsCoffee w/ Almond Milk


Greek Yogurt and Granola
Ground Turkey, Rice, Asparagus, Dry Roasted Mixed Nuts
Baby Carrots and Almond Butter

Chicken Breast, Rice, Asparagus, Dry Roasted Mixed Nuts

Friday, July 11, 2014

5 Uncomfortable Signs Your Diet and Training Plan Is Working!

Congratulations! You have started a sensible diet and training program, way to go! Unfortunately, very quickly you begin to experience some things that are uncomfortable. These are signs that your diet is working! Here's a few tips and tricks to manage these uncomfortable symptoms and stay on track.




1. Hunger (actual and emotional) - this will probably be the first thing you notice!

A certain amount of actual hunger is appropriate at times throughout your day. Most of us will never know real starvation hunger, so no need to panic! The key is to notice the sensations your body is feeling, accept them and focus on everything else in your day. Drink lots of water, herbal or green teas can help too. Know that this hunger is a GOOD THING! Every time you feel hungry, think to yourself, "Relax, my body is letting go of un-needed fat"

Emotional hunger is a different (but very real) thing. As you begin to change your eating habits, you will become aware of occasions that you like to eat for other reasons than to fuel your body. Eating for other reasons in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing -- but if what you were doing before was not producing the results you want, then of course this needs to change.

Eating is an enjoyable experience! We eat to celebrate, we eat when we are stressed, we eat together with our families and friends as a part of enjoying each other's company, etc. Now when you have a plan you are following, you need to be prepared to know what to do when different occasions come up.

If everyday you feel stressed or overwhelmed at some point and you reach for something sweet, starchy or salty -- then this of course is not a habit that promotes health and wellness. So what do you do? First, acknowledge you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed and then you CHOOSE not to let your emotions dictate your behavior. Easier said than done at first, I know -- but I promise you, you will not die if you do not eat that bowl of cereal or whatever it is you want :) Instead, chamomile tea is an excellent choice at that time -- it will promote relaxation in your body and help you to be calm and feel good -- and that is what you were trying to do with the emotional eating anyway! Over time you will retrain your brain to know that when you are stressed or overwhelmed, you need to calm down - not dive into a box of thin mints. It is about letting go of the stress - not trying to fight it.

2. Muscle Soreness

This is something you will adjust to, and like the hunger, a certain amount of muscle soreness is appropriate. You do NOT need to workout so hard that you are in serous pain the next few days! Your muscles should feel tight and somewhat sore - but if it is unbearable, you over did it. Next time back off a bit.

Here's some options other than Tylenol or Advil that will help:

        Epsom Salt (use 2-4 cups) baths for at least 20 min will help relax spastic muscles.

        Calcium/Magnesium supplement will help relax spastic muscles.

        Turmeric is an awesome anti-inflammatory. 

3. Fatigue

No one likes to feel tired, and when you are losing weight at times you will feel a bit tired. This is ok as long as you are not experiencing extreme fatigue. When you are tired it is NOT a sign that you need more coffee or energy drink! Moderate caffeine intake is fine - but if you find you are needing more to get through the day - This is a sign that you need to take it easy and back off.

Make sure you are getting enough sleep and you are not over training or eating in too much of a caloric deficit. If you are so tired that you could drink a cup of coffee and take a nap, you are over-doing it! If you are so sluggish that while grocery shopping you feel like you are walking through sand -- you are really over-doing it! Take steps to rest and recover, re-evaluate your plan and make appropriate changes.

4. Frequent Urination

Gotta pee all the time, especially at night? This is a good sign that your body is ridding itself of excess water and fat! Annoying, yes - but keep up with drinking lots of water and following your plan - It is working!

5. Changes in Body Temperature

You know your metabolism is running high when you are hotter than usual. Sometimes there's a surge of heat later in the day after you worked out in the morning. Then on the other side - if you get really lean, you will be colder than normal because of less bodyfat. For a healthy lean person this is not a problem. If you are experiencing coldness, extreme fatigue, hairloss, trouble losing weight etc - then you need to get your thyroid checked, those symptoms could be hypothyroid.


Here's 5 Uncomfortable Signs you are on your way to reaching your goal! The more you accept them and are ok with them - the easier this journey will be.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

3 Simple Steps to Sticking with Your Diet

So you want to get lean like this, but you have no idea what to do ,or how to find the discipline and self-control to follow a plan? Let me tell you a few secrets and tips you may not hear anywhere else.


First of all, this photo was taken the day before Nationals where I won my Pro Card. I had been dieting and training for a long time in preparation for this show – I did not achieve this look by accident, it took a lot of hard work! And when you look in magazines and see photos of fitness models online, they all dieted and trained for those photo shoots too.

Do I look like this right now? Nope –  I have been working really hard on other things, like having a baby and nursing, taking care of my boys – which is a full time job!  I have been eating healthy and exercising at a higher degree than most – but for me and the majority of people, it takes following a more structured diet and training plan to get lean – and that is ok!


Now – how many times have you gotten all hyped up about starting a new diet, only to cheat a day or 2 into it? Where did your willpower go? What happened? Do you beat yourself up and feel like a failure? I have been there and that type of thinking will only bring you more struggle.

Here are some thoughts and strategies that can help you stick to your plan:

1. Understand that developing self-discipline and control over what you eat, takes some practice, preparation and mental training. You wouldn’t expect to run a marathon without preparing for it – and just like a marathon, consistency is key. So allow yourself time to align yourself with your goals and get used to following your plan.

And here’s a secret for ya – if you follow your plan 95% of the time, you will still get the results you are looking for! Whatever plan you have needs to be sustainable, so if that means once a week you have a cheat meal, then do it! Only at certain times in certain situations, like competitions or athletic events do you need to be more critical.

2. Do not force yourself to follow your plan. No amount of force or “willpower” will last, and usually results in a rebellious counter-action like bingeing. The harder the force, the harder the push-back. Think about this concept with your kids – how well does it work when you try to force your child to do anything? Doesn’t it work better when they are free to choose and then reap the consequences of those choices?

3. Know that temptation will occur, you will not always “feel” like sticking with your diet. So what do you do when all of a sudden you don’t really want to eat your chicken, green beans and rice? – it’s Friday night and you want pizza and beer! Here is your opportunity to grow your dieting muscles.

Stop going back and forth in your mind!

On one hand you want to stick to your plan, on the other you really want that pizza, so you go back and forth trying to rationalize one choice or force another – and all that back and forth just strengthens this conflict in your mind. Your mind will seek to resolve this ASAP – so you will end up eating that pizza, and way more of it because you stressed yourself out about it! ---

So what do you do?

Tell yourself, “ I love myself too much to go back and forth about this” And you drop the issue. You do not try to force yourself to do anything, you simply let it go. When your mind goes back to it – you don’t engage those thoughts, you let it go. This will take some practice, but once you get the hang of it – you will feel a great sense of freedom.

This applies to any temptation – and this is what the Bible is talking about when it says to flee from temptation. We are not to try to fight it, we are to run from it!


I hope you enjoyed this and find it helpful!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Back to Blogging!

It's been a long time since my last blog! It's hard to believe my last entry was in 2012 - time has flown by. Since then my hubby returned from Afghanistan and about 9 months later Kai was born! Bear is now 5 and Kai is 9 months old. Needless to say I have been pretty busy and I am happy to finally find a few minutes to sit down and write.

It's hard to know where to start - The Lord has been inspiring me with all kinds of ideas in varying topics! But for now I will try keep this one short and sweet :)

God speaks to me. This may seem like a bold statement to some, but it is the truth. Now, I am human and don't always hear Him or listen every time - but when I do it is an experience that is hard to describe in words. I have been growing in my relationship with Jesus and as I grow, more and more I am comforted, directed, strengthened and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Now if you knew me 10 years ago, Christian would not be a word you would use to describe me! You may have used words like, "wild, party girl, crazy artist, lost or out of control" I spent so much of my life from age 12-20 spiraling out of control downward until I reached a point where I had fallen so far myself that I wasn't sure I could ever recover. It is by the Grace of God that I am where I am today and I am a living example of the transforming power of Jesus Christ!

I will be talking more in depth about these things in future blogs. It is my hope that by speaking about my experiences, I may be able to speak life and hope to others out there who have fallen in a dark hole, or are faced with climbing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

In addition to my past, I will be blogging about what's going on in my life right now, as I go through climbing my current obstacles :) Many of you know me as a Personal Trainer and IFBB Pro Figure Competitor. In 2006-7 I hired a Personal Trainer and Nutritionist to help me lose weight and get healthy. It was such an awesome experience that I knew I needed to become a trainer so I could help others become healthy. So I got certified and began working as a Personal Trainer. I loved it, but with having babies and moving every year or so - it has been a few years since I have worked or competed!

After having Kai, I have been slowly working on losing the baby weight and regaining my strength and endurance. It is my goal to lose about 20 more pounds before the holidays, evaluate my physique and work on what needs worked on - to be ready to start contest prep in the new year! I am going to apply for Figure International (odds are against me for being selected for this show since I have not competed since 2010 and was not selected when I applied for the 2011 show - but it never hurts to try :) Other than that, it's looking like we will be stationed here at JBLM for about another year, so I plan to compete in the Emerald Cup. I am hoping to compete in a few Figure shows in 2015, and maybe even make it to the Olympia :)

So I hope you will follow along in my journey and if there are any topics or issues you would like me to address, please feel free to let me know!

God Bless!