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!