Welcome, Welcome, Ever Welcome!

If you are here, you may be looking for tips on health. I’d like to share with you a little bit about myself and what being healthy means to me.

First things first, who am I??? My name is Darci, I’m a; mom, animal lover, Christian, lover of the great outdoors, home school teacher, personal trainer student, vegan, DIYer, gardener, pretty much a jack of all trades. I got into fitness about 3 years ago when I decided to sign up for a Spartan Race. Yes, I’m one of those crazies too. I signed up for that race to prove to myself how strong I am, and it worked, hello confidence boost! I couldn’t believe how great I felt accomplishing that goal of crossing the finish line. It inspired me to dig deeper and I realized how unhealthy so many aspects of my lifestyle were. One day at a time I continue to focus on learning more about living a healthier lifestyle and sharing the nuggets I learn.

My love for health and fitness has grown to include every aspect; exercise, nutrition, mental health, and spiritual health also. I hope that with each post I share, you may benefit from a little something to improve you health too!

❤ Darci

PS. I’d love to get a note {{ DarcisFitKick@gmail.com }} from you if you have any questions or are looking for one on one support.  Spartan

 

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Seeds, Aren’t Just For The Birds.

One of my favorite things to do is watch the birds. My favorite is the hummingbird, with the blue jays coming in a close second. It’s just fascinating how fast those little hummingbirds can flap their wings. I love that I can hear them coming. Then there’s the silly jays. They crack me up because when I fill up the bird feeders in front of my house, they fling out the little seeds just so they can reach the sunflower seeds. You’d think I’d learn and buy a big bag of sunflower seeds for them! 🌻

This little guy flew right under me as I was trying to take photos of the flowers in my yard.

 

As I was eating my breakfast this morning, which included seeded bread I came to a realization, that’s why I decided to share about the importance of seeds in our diets.

There are plenty of seeds out there; hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds to name a few of my favorite. All three of those have plenty of benefits, that’s part of why I include them in my diet. Today my focus is going to be on flaxseeds.


Flaxseeds

There is a regular (brownish) flaxseed, I just decided to get the golden one because it looks pretty when I bake with it. Such fancy little seeds! They are sort of like little golden nuggets, if you consider the amount of health packed into them. Omega-3s, protein, tryptophan and fiber, to name a few. As a vegan and a fitnut, I consider my omegas and protein to be very important ingredients because I’m not getting those from animals. We all know that fiber is good for bowel health, so I won’t talk about that. The ingredient that is most fascinating to me is the tryptophan because it’s something I’ve recently learned about.

Depression is something I deal with seasonally and I got to go through a depression/anxiety recovery program earlier this year. I never realized how much our mental health is tied up with the foods we eat! Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps us make serotonin, which helps stabilize our moods. Tryptophan is in a number of different foods but these tiny seeds have one of the biggest bangs for your buck!

How Do You Prepare Them?

Back to the birds, they have tiny little beaks that break seeds down so they can eat them. If you’ve ever had a pet bird you know that they eat the inside and leave the shell, much like us with sunflower seeds at a baseball game or everywhere if you’re my oldest son!

Our bodies are not built to digest flaxseed left whole, just like corn, 🙈 they come out whole. That means all the awesome nutrition is wasted. (That was my realization this morning, most of the seeds on the seeded bread are wasted!) We of course don’t have beaks so we need to opt for the next best thing, blenders! Or, you can buy the seeds already ground up. I opt for whole because they are cheaper. I also buy mine in the bulk section and store them in my freezer until I’m ready to grind them up. They stay fresh that way, just like nuts. After I grind them up I’ll keep them in an air tight jar in the fridge for easy access. I use them in my diet every day, the family too.

All Ground Up, Now What?

There are quite a few ways to utilize the seeds. Throw them into a smoothie, toss it into a salad, sprinkle it on cereal. My FAVORITE way to use flaxseed is as an egg replacement in baked goods. Yes, eggs have omega-3s and protein BUT they also have cholesterol and no fiber, so I call the flax-egg winning!

Flax-Egg Recipe:

  • 1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
  • 3 Tbsp water

Mix and set aside to get “slimy” for a few minutes before using in your favorite baking recipe.

Now get out there and flax it up! 

The Road Isn’t Always Smooth

Growing up I was raised in a church and was baptized at 8 years old. By the time I was 15 I had left the faith. After that I started dabbling with the pagan religion of Wicca, but I still felt empty and told myself I was an atheist. Technically I wasn’t, though; I still felt like maybe there was something more to the universe than dying and being eaten by worms. In July, I gave my heart to Jesus and I know it was the right decision. It may have taken me a while but I made it. And the realization I’ve made today, shows me that the journey started WAY before I had any idea it had begun.

Around the Year of 2010

My daughter Paige has always been such a caring, giving, and generous person. She was a preteen that year, and was of course getting into clothes and all things girly. To help pay for this desire for all the cool gear, we told her she needed to get a job. It just so happened that she was offered a job by her bus driver to help take care of her bunnies. It didn’t pay a lot, but she could ride the bus there, and it wasn’t too far from our house. Upon getting this job, she decided to donate money and sponsor a kid through Compassion. She was inspired to do this by her Aunt Colleen and cousins, Jess and Becca, who had been doing the same for years. Such a blessing to see my daughter give so selflessly and help another person.

Fast Forward to Easter of 2014

As a mom of a teenager, a preteen and my baby bear who was 8 at the time, I felt like I needed help getting better morals on board.  I remembered from my youth how important the 10 commandments were for helping to develop me, and decided to take my kids to church. What better day to go than Easter? It started out as a blessing; we loved the messages, and the songs. We even switched our radio station from the rock/metal station to the Christian music station. The kids and I had been going to a church for about a year when my husband found out that a guy he was playing racquetball with was a Pastor.

The Year 2015

My husband wasn’t attending church with us, but he ended up asking the Pastor a few questions about the Bible, like which version was the best one to study from. That turned into a Bible study, which turned into a weekly Bible study, which turned into us having Bible studies as a family. Slowly but surely we came around and realized that what we were reading in the Bible didn’t line up with the things we were learning at the church we were going to. It may have helped that we went to a marriage retreat with the other church and saw some behavior involving the pastor that didn’t seem to fit into the “would I do this in front of Jesus” category. We decided to start going to the new pastor’s church, and in September 2016, Troy was baptized. I wasn’t quite ready yet, even though I had initiated all this church stuff.

The Beginning of 2017

I made my mind up that I was mentally ready to start preparing for baptism. I even put it on my vision board. Then February hit. I lost one grandpa, then another, then a regular customer who I loved like a grandpa passed all within less than a month of each other. I’m so thankful I was participating in the Nedley’s Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program at the time. If I hadn’t I probably would have had a larger downward spiral. In all that struggle, it took all I had not to start drinking again. When I was headed to the last memorial service, all I saw along the way was signs for wineries, and it crossed my mind that I could have a drink and no one would know. Worst case scenario I could stay at my sister’s house…  I knew that one drink would turn into two, or three, or four. I knew that alcohol would not help in that situation; it’s a depressant, not a joy giver.

July 26, 2017

That’s the day I decided I was ready.

In all honesty, it took me until three days before my baptism to realize I was ready. To realize that even through the chaos and dysfunction of the world, and the doubt of my ability to be worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice, there was no better time than now to recommit my life.

What really made me realize that I am worthy, was the last study I had with our Pastor. I couldn’t think of anything I needed to repent for; I just felt unworthy. I felt like I still wanted to do some of the things that Jesus didn’t want me to do. I felt ashamed to still have those desires. Our Pastor shared with me the story of Judas. Even at the last supper when Judas had already planned to betray Jesus, even when Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him, He washed his feet. He gave Himself to him in the most humble way. Jesus loved Judas even in his betrayal, and that showed me that Jesus loves me. He wants me to succeed and be closer to him, just like he wants you to be also. I knew I was ready after that. I knew that even if I wanted to drink alcohol, I wanted to be closer to Jesus more.

Looking Back

I can’t help but think that all those little steps were God’s way of coming back into my life. He meets us where we are and helps us grow to where He wants us to be. We just have to be open to what He is sending us. We have to be diligent in studying and remember that like Jesus served Judas, we should be removing self from the equation and serving each other. God is love, and that’s the answer.

Everyday from here on out…

I’m going to continue studying the Bible and continue praying because I know that it will only draw me closer to the Lord. And I want to encourage you to be on the lookout for the signs that He is putting out for you in an attempt to draw you closer too.

✨Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.✨ Matthew 11:29

If you’d like to have someone to study the Bible with I’d love to study it with you. They say the best way to learn is to teach, so even if I’m nervous and mix up my words or panic and turn red in the face, I want to spread the love I have learned about. ❤️

Fill out the form below if you’re interested in starting studies.

3 Day Detox/Refresh Summer 2017

Why a 3 day detox, again?

I finished my half marathon June 11th and up until that date I’d been fairly focused on avoiding sugar and eating healthy. After that I relaxed a bit. When I say a bit I mean I probably had some sort of indulgence almost every day, maybe not candy or cake but dried fruit (has sugar added to it) and things of that sort. Then we went camping with family and I went even deeper into the downward spiral of sugar addiction. I don’t use that term lightly because it is no joke.

When I was in high school I would eat a full size snickers bar for lunch. After having my 2nd son I would eat a package of Oreos in a couple of days, sometimes a day even. I continued that sugary spiral with margaritas, sugary coffee drinks and every other tasty little thing under the sun until about 3 years ago when I signed up for my first obstacle race and realized there is more to life than just sugar.

A week ago I realized how terrible I was feeling. Tired, no desire to exercise (exercise is my jam) and an overall unsatisfied feeling with where I was. I started evaluating things I’d been doing to pin point what it was that wasn’t working and realized how far off track my diet had been. I didn’t do this detox to drop weight, I did it to help me get back on track. Nothing but fruits, veggies, some almond butter and a few shakes a day to get me back to eating fresh fruits and enjoying them as much as those oreos. Maybe more because I was HUNGRY!

What did I use?

I went with the 3 Day Refresh as my baseline. I decided to tweak it a little bit because I found this new thing called Sprulina. It’s a green algae that has lots of protein, is a great detoxing ingredient that is said to help detox the liver, which hello sounds great!

You’ll see in my daily breakdown how else I tweaked the plan. Typically when doing a detox like this you want to stick to yoga or a lower intensity type of exercise. Because I wasn’t doing this as a weight loss regimen and as a habit changer, I stuck to my scheduled workout plan and added a bit more food to the plan.

More about Spirulina

Spirulina is sort of like natures energy greens. I’ve been having it every day for a week and so far I’m feeling pretty good (even with only 3 hours of sleep last night.) 

It helps improve the immune system, provides support for the heart, liver, and kidneys. It’s high in protein but also in iron, which is a perk for vegans like me. Even 26 times the amount of calcium that is found in milk! So ditch that dairy and save those baby cows. 🐄 ❤️

One of the most exciting things about Spirulina is that it might help battle allergies! As someone who takes an allergy pill daily during the spring, I would rather take a natural supplement than a Benadryl or Claritin.  

Cheers to getting started!


Day 1:

I logged all my food through the MyFitnessPal app. I was rather shocked to find out that with the goal of maintenance and my workout calories left me at a calorie deficit a little over 1,000 calories. I stuck to the plan and kept chugging water. 128 oz of water down! 

Troy really struggled with hunger today, he didn’t like the fiber shake either. 

  • Breakfast: Vegan Chocolate Shakeology with 1/2 banana and 2 tsp of Spirulina. Fiber shake. 1 cup of Good Earth Matcha Maker tea.
  • Lunch: 1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2 avocado, 1 cup raspberries and Vanilla Refresh shake.
  • Snack: 6 baby carrots with 1.5 tsp almond butter.
  • Dinner: Lemony green beans and another Vanilla Refresh shake. 

Day 2:

I increased some of my portions a bit by adding more vegetables and a little bit more healthy fat from the avocado. Today’s calorie deficit was around 900. I was so busy most of the day cooking and preparing food for camping. It was tough not tasting everything like I normally do when I cook but I made due.

  • Breakfast: Vegan Cafe Latte Shakeology, 1/2 banana and 2 tsp Spirulina. Fiber sweep shake. 
  • Lunch: Vanilla Refresh shake, 2/3 cup blueberries, small avocado (supposed to only be 2 tbsp) and a whole orange bell pepper. 
  • Snack: Baby carrots and 2 tsp of almond butter. 
  • Dinner: Vanilla Refresh shake and the Moroccan carrot salad recipe found in the Refresh. I love this recipe, there’s cinnamon, cayenne and cilantro, what’s not to love?!?

I’m proud of myself, met up with some girlfriends tonight and stuck to the plan. No drinking, no junk food, straight up willpower! 

Day 3:

Perseverance is paying off, I woke up feeling really good and decided to hop on the scale, while this isn’t about weight loss I can’t help but be encouraged to have lost 3 pounds already. I thought it might be water weight but I’ve been consistent about drinking my water. I am a bit intolerant of gluten and soy, did you know that sometimes those two foods can actually cause inflammation/bloating and water retention? I know that’s definitely how it works for me. After these last two days it was a definite reminder to steer clear of bread.

My calorie deficit was even better today, about 700 under what MyFitnessPal recommended for my activity and maintenance. 

  • Breakfast: Vegan Cafe Latte Shakeology with 1/2 banana and 2 tsp Spirulina. Fiber sweep shake.
  • Lunch: Green beans with a bit of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of mango, a small avocado and Vanilla Refresh shake.
  • Snack: Baby carrots with 4 tsp of almond butter. 
  • Dinner: I made some roasted veggies. If you follow me, you know I love roasted veggies. I typically have broccoli (can cause gas/bloat) in the mix but to maximize my results, I only had carrots, bell pepper and cherry tomatoes. And of course my final Vanilla Refresh shake. 😘 

Look how green that shake got!

I really enjoy cucumbers but they are a food I have had an allergy to in the past and wanted to skip the chance of agitating my guts. Troy REALLY enjoyed the cucumber tomato salad recipe in the Refresh book. Fresh basil is one of my favorite ingredients. This was his dinner.

Results and Thoughts

My Stats:

  • Starting Weight: 139.9 lbs
  • Ending Weight: 135.8 lbs

Troy’s Stats:

  • Starting Weight: 192 lbs
  • Ending Weight: 185 lbs

Overall we both ended the plan a few pounds lighter. We both stayed pretty clean for the day after. I didn’t want to binge and load my guts back up with junk. That would have defeated the purpose.

 Troy was stoked to loose 5 pounds and actually said he would do the plan again. I on the other hand think I’ll try a different detox. Something with more calories. 

Would I recommend the 3 Day Refresh?

Yes and no. It honestly depends on what you are looking to get out of it. If you have a wedding coming up and want a quick way to get rid of bloating and you don’t have the ability to track or make up your own plan, this is great. If you are trying to get a kick start to a weight loss program that comes with a great meal plan, yes. 

If you are trying to detox to get rid of the crud and struggle with eating whole foods, I’m not sure that I would recommend this for that. While I feel like it’s a good short term strategy, I don’t feel like you really learn the proper techniques to help get you on the path to better nutrition. For instance, I know what good foods to eat and what not to, I just needed to reset my brain back to that mode. It was helpful for that. It made all the flavors of fruits and real foods pop again. That’s what I needed. But it definitely didn’t teach me proper portions, it didn’t teach me what foods to eat or when.

Hope this was helpful for you, if you have any questions about detoxing or getting started with a clean eating meal plan send me an email at darcisfitkick@gmail.com 

Now I’m onto vacation with the fam! Happy detoxing! ❤️ 

Goodbye Bikini!

Say what?!?

First off, I want to say that this is my own personal decision. This decision was a mental battle to start and now that I’ve made it, this decision feels right in my heart. I just want to be brutally honest and share with you why I’ve chosen to put the bikini away, unless I’m on a deserted island with the hubs maybe. 😉

A Little Backstory

When I was a young kid, the opposite sex was ALWAYS on my mind, the same sex even. I’m not sure why, I never had a traumatic experience, that I know of at least. I’m going to go with it being part of our carnal human instincts.

When I was in the 4th grade my parents divorced and we moved into some low income apartments with my mom. I made friends with two neighbor girls, one house was very religious and one house was very, how shall I say it, free spirited? I loved to play barbies, line dance to Achy Breaky Heart and Thriller of course, that cassette tape sadly died. Silliness soon changed into more adult conversations. One of my friends always talked heavier about time with boys than I had dared venturing to try. It created a bigger desire to become more enticing to guys. I was a tiny little thing, flat chested and athletic and she started developing curves way earlier than me. The itty bitty committee was not something I was proud to be a part of. Thankfully I was too shy to act on any impulse I may have had to start experimenting. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t start trying to dress to impress. Note the picture from my first day of sixth grade. 🙈

Hello thigh highs…


As I grew older I stayed active in sports until about my sophomore year in High School. I had developed depression and an even bigger decrease in self confidence. Being called dog eyes and again choosing friends who weren’t the best influence had me always questioning my self worth and looking for acceptance. I became more free about my body, quit wearing a bra and really let myself hang out. I’m not saying that not wearing a bra is a bad thing, just that I was doing it for attention. I was the girl you see around town and wonder if her parents know she is dressing like that, I’m sure my parents didn’t know or I didn’t care at least. Of course there were some daddy issues mingled in there and then finally finding a boyfriend who was actually more shy than I was had me all sorts of confused. Wanting love and not understanding what love really was at 15 was tough and I’m sure it’s something a lot of girls that age were and are battling with. Heck, even though I know I’m loved now I still struggle expressing love. I thought that being physically intimate was how love was shown. Don’t get me wrong here, there is something to be said about love and intimacy, it’s a wonderful way to express love with your husband or wife, but what I was doing then and up until probably 12 years ago was not love. I was trying to prove that I was worth something and using my body to do so. Not healthy.

What has Changed?

I realized love wasn’t there with that first serious relationship. Then I realized love definitely was not in the next one. The physical abuse and emotional tearing down from that relationship did a number on me. It made me realize how unhappy I was. It made me realize that jumping into bed with people was not growing a good relationship, it was grown based solely on lust and not working. While I was broken, I knew that I didn’t deserve that kind of love.

Then I met Troy. It’s been 11 years, I’m glad we chose to take it slow. It was a year before we moved in together. It wasn’t perfect to start but he was kind, good with my kids, fun and we could spend time together without sex and enjoy ourselves.  I’m glad I was patient and stuck to my plan of getting to know him first, attraction is a hard beast to keep in check. It’s paid off and we’re married now! This year I finally realized I’m worth more than my body and if I’m honest it’s something I still struggle with and pray about often.

The No Bikini Decision…

This year has been full of ups and downs. I decided in January that I wanted to be baptized. I couldn’t get past the statement of beliefs and the thought of modesty. Before you start thinking cult, think back to what was worn during the time of Jesus, I doubt Mary Magdalen wore anything that resembled the bikini I wore last summer, we always dress nice going to church because we want to put our best foot forward for God but God is always with us, not just at church. I digress, if you look back through my different workout transformations you’ll see that I felt the need to wear the least amount of clothing possible to show the results my workouts were having. That’s the me who felt like my body had to be the display of my works, sex sells and I thought that if I didn’t blast bikini and booty pics, I wouldn’t make it as a coach. I don’t want people to buy things because of my body, I want people to buy things from me because they want to be healthy! I’ve decided that health isn’t just shown visibly in a half clad body, it can be shown in energy, glowing skin, healthy hair, attitude, happiness, just a zest for life! Conquering obstacles! In fact I started learning about my self worth at an obstacle race, I conquered something I never would have thought I could do before and learned that my body is strong, not something to just give away.

When I started coaching I didn’t feel comfortable posting bikini pics to start but I was told to get out of my comfort zone. I even got bold and posted a picture of myself in my underwear. That defeated my conscience and I am thankful that continuing to study and grow my relationship with God has helped me to realize that. It’s been baby step after baby step but I am happy.

We cannot give our hearts to God & keep our bodies for ourselves. Elisabeth Elliot

Shorts and a Tank

I purchased a pair of shorts and a tank top a few weeks ago because I didn’t want to blast my body as an object anymore. I wanted to be able to go out and swim or hang out on the beach and not get whistled at or harassed. I wanted to spend time with my family not worrying about adjusting my top or keeping my behind covered. I don’t feel like I need to share all of my body with anyone else anymore. My new swimwear has given me a new satisfaction.

It’s given me freedom. It’s given me peace. It’s given me more time to enjoy than to spend worrying if I “look good”.

Finishing the Timberline Half Marathon

The new year always brings new resolutions, goals, I committed to my first half marathon. Even though I didn’t officially sign up until April, I had already decided it was happening whether I trained and prepared for it or not. I also knew not preparing wasn’t an option, so I started to run!

I can’t say that I love running. What I really enjoy is accomplishing goals. Setting out on a five mile run I always dread the first three miles and then start smiling the last two because I’m almost home. I’ve struggled to finish a lot of things in my life and fitness is one place I stay committed to finishing. Health is important! Any hoo, my goal(resolution) was to run the whole thing…

In 2015, I signed up to complete my Spartan Race Trifecta. I earned it BUT not how I wanted to. I was training for the race and went out for a ten mile run, ended up running 16 miles because I got lost. That run messed up my left knee and forced me to walk a lot of my Beast, downhills are still mean! Since then, I’ve felt proud to have finished but felt like I could do better. That’s why I decided running the whole thing was the goal. 

This was the first race I had a friend that wanted to join me on. I shared in January that I was going to do this, Lisa jumped on the crazy train and signed up too! I was stoked! I’m so glad I was able to have her in my accountability groups sharing her running struggles and victories because it made me push harder and made me stick to the plan even if I didn’t feel like busting out a long run. Trust me, there were plenty of days I didn’t want to run.   

It’s interesting to think about the reasonings behind our races. She has been working towards a goal of being healthier and wanted to try it because running a longer distance was something she’d never done before. She realized a few weeks before our run that she wasn’t a runner, it isn’t something she enjoys doing. But she committed to running it and she did! Seeing the big smile on her face as she crossed the finish line was priceless. ❤️

One thing I enjoy about training for races is it gives me a deadline. I like being able to exercise and then move on to the next thing. Exactly why I love having such a huge variety of programs at my finger tips. I get to have that finishers moment but still get to work on staying healthy. 

I also crave the attention I get from my peers, doing something most people don’t do makes a girl feel good. I had some rough relationships as a young adult, had some tough moments with my parents growing up too (divorce sucks and I hate that my kids have to deal with split households too) and I guess that probably contributes to why I crave that attention. That’s something I’m working on, there’s only One I should be seeking approval from.

Finally crossed the finish line and it was a little bitter sweet. My goal with this run was to RUN the whole entire thing and I fell short. At mile 11 my left hip and knee were toast. This is one reason I’m huge on proper form, if you are building muscle up in the wrong way, you are setting yourself up with a higher risk of injury. I thought my left knee was good but apparently the little bit of compensating I was doing impacted my hip. It’s crazy how even a foot injury can impact your shoulder or neck. Our bodies are so complex! The impact of jumping from rock to root to dirt wasn’t something I trained for and that’s a big part of why I suffered through the last few miles. (I say few because the total was 14.4 miles, I believe.) I spent time training on gravel roads, some dirt trail and mostly my treadmill, not rocky rough terrain. My heart wanted to run the whole way but I ended up walking around a mile of the race trying to get my hip to relax. 

✨Lesson Learned: Sign up for a road race if that’s what your training on! ✨

Would I run it again?!?

Of course I would! On my way into the boonies, I was debating if I would try to push for a full marathon next year. After the race, I was already trying to find my next half and trying to find a good full. Of course my hip has been giving me grief and I’ve only tried running once since, but I still have big dreams for longer races and staying race ready year round. Wanna join me??? 😘

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How Do I Stay Motivated?

Eating healthy & exercise?!? That sounds terribly difficult right? I’m not here to tell you that it’s easy, it’s going to take some dedication on your part. BUT once you get started and get into a routine, I promise it gets easier to stay on track. I often get asked how I stay motivated or have people tell me they wish they had my kind of motivation. Honestly, I’m just as weak and unmotivated as each of you, the key is I’ve set myself up to succeed with multiple fail safes.

What has been most effective on this journey?

Honestly there hasn’t been just one thing. There has been a lot of trial and error.

✨Failure is often the key to success. ~Ariana Huffington✨

We tend to not give ourselves the credit we deserve. Yes there are experts out there, people who are super fit and have 5% body fat, are masters at the pull up or have run a marathon in less time than it takes me to get ready for the day, but they aren’t you. I could give you my steps to success and tell you that’s what will work BUT that’s not true because we are all different. Just like I went through, you need to go through too, the trial and error. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn from people who are successful, it just means that you have to try things, figure out what works for you. We have to trust our mind and body to tell us what is or isn’t working. We have to trust that we are an expert when it comes to us! Trust I!

Don’t skip this step!

Time to evaluate. What have you done in the past and failed at?!?

What was it about that exercise or diet that didn’t work for you? Did you go all in with a commitment to 6 days at the gym and salads only? Did you decide to run on the treadmill and get bored? Did you try a dance class and realize you have two left feet? I give those examples because those are things I tried, and I had a REALLY hard time following through with. Take a minute and write down what you’ve done in the past and try to pinpoint what didn’t work but also what did work, start there. For instance, the treadmill for me used to be brutal. I learned that if I watched my favorite show while I ran the time seemed to fly by, I also learned that reading has been great for that too. While I still am not a big fan of the treadmill, I’ve figured out how to make it tolerable so that I can get that time in without a huge feeling of dread.

Below you will find some of the things that have helped me to be successful and to find the motivation to do what’s needed even when I just want to snuggle up on the couch with a blanket. Feel free to experiment with them, find your own way to tweak them and make it a working fit for you! Remember you are the only one who can decide what is going to work, you are in control of your destiny!

My Motivating Factors:

Belief In Self!

Confidence was an area I was super lacking when I first started, and I still struggle with it sometimes. I was nervous to use the machines at the gym because I was scared I was using them wrong. I was embarrassed to run on the treadmill because other people were way faster than I was. Remember every person in the gym started as a beginner too, not everyone there is an expert, even if they say they are! If you aren’t confident in yourself, I want to encourage you to dive into personal development. Read some books, listen to podcasts, watch videos, whatever you can make time for. (I recommend the podcast Operation Self Reset because he always has great tips on how to become a better version of you!) Continuing on with no belief in your ability can be detrimental.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.~Henry Ford✨

Invest in your mindset ♥

Be Realistic

If it took 20 years for you to put on 50 lbs, be realistic in knowing that one week of exercise will not likely result in instant weight loss.* If you haven’t exercised for a year, take it slow and baby step your way up to longer workout routines. Failure happens, sick days happen, sometimes you have to stop, reevaluate and be okay with taking a little longer than you expect. Be flexible but not so flexible that you lose sight of the initial goal. Getting healthy is a journey and there will be ups and downs, don’t beat yourself up, learn from them.

*One small(it’s actually kinda big) thought, if you are seeing absolutely no change in a week, don’t beat yourself up. Our bodies are complex, they will retain water or swell because of a change in routine. Sore muscles can mean inflammation. It can take weeks for your body to adapt and not fight the new changes you are making in your lifestyle. If you are sure something isn’t right, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask me for help.

Talk About It

It’s a lot easier to give up on something if you’re the only one who knows you’re wanting to change. If you’ve decided to commit to following a program or have a specific meal plan, tell a friend. I say to share with a friend, someone you trust, because the world is full of criticism and not everyone you talk to is going to believe in what you are trying to change, not everyone is supportive. If you need someone to cheer you along with some positive inspiration, send me an e-mail! Just knowing I’ve committed to a program and told people about it helps me out, I don’t want to be called out for not completing it, I’m all about avoiding those awkward moments.

Accountability

Choose to surround yourself with like minded or goal oriented people and they will likely help you stay motivated. Get a workout buddy, it’s hard to say no when your partner in crime is committed too! Also, something about spending the money to sign up for a class makes it hard to skip it. I’ve been in an accountability group for the last two years and seen friends, acquaintances and friends of friends busting out and reaching for their goals. That’s inspiring!

Make a Schedule

Life happens, that makes it easy to make excuses. I don’t have time is probably the biggest bologna excuse for not being able to exercise or eat healthy that I hear almost every day. How much time do you spend scrolling on Facebook? Instagram? Watching TV? I’d like to encourage you to track your time for a week and see how you can best utilize your time to work for you.

If you look at your day and see that you could wake up a half hour earlier to workout, figure that into your schedule. If you tend to eat out schedule in time to prep your lunches for the week. If you are like me and have a fairly flexible schedule and don’t have to work out at a specific time, maybe create yourself a workout calendar or follow the calendar for a program. There is something super gratifying about being able to check off boxes and be able to count down the days till you move on to something new!

Log it

It’s easy to have a piece of candy that’s in a bowl at your work. It’s easy to eat the brownie bite that was a cook mess up in the restaurant. It’s easy to grab a snack from the vending machine because you’re hungry and its going to take longer to get home than you realized. Those little things add up. I encourage you to log your food, it’s easy to say you eat healthy and miss those little things that can put you over the amount of calories your body actually needs. For instance, I started following a portion control meal plan last year and realized how out of balance my diet was because I started tracking it. I never thought of myself as having an issue with my carb intake, and boy was I wrong. It turns out I love me some carbs. I always associated carbs as bread and pasta, I wasn’t thinking about my oatmeal and rice.

There are plenty of online calorie calculators but I recommend the portion control meal plan that comes with the 21 Day Fix. It breaks foods into categories instead of counting calories. A typical day for me consists of 3 veggies, 2 fruits, 3 proteins, 2 carbs, etc. all in a portioned amount, that’s simple for me to follow. I’m all about simple!

Reward Yourself

Last but not least!

It should be reward enough knowing that you are loosing weight and treating your body like a temple… Lets be real though, it really isn’t when you are sweating and sore and missing out on your favorite chocolaty treats! Give yourself something to fun fight for. When I decided I needed to complete my nemesis program, I told myself I would earn a fancy new pair of running shoes with custom inserts to sweeten the deal. Your reward doesn’t have to be big but it should be something you want, something you would deny yourself on a regular day. Rewards can be as simple as a kid free night out with your other half, a piece of your favorite German chocolate cake, a new workout outfit, a Fitbit tracker, you have to decide what will work for you. I suggest rewards because if you put in the work, you’ve earned a reason to treat yourself!

You should be proud of your commitment. I suggest starting small, commit to 1 week of no sugar and reward yourself with a treat day, have dessert with your healthy meal on day 7. (Or don’t and change the reward, maybe after 7 days of no sugar you’ll realize how much better you feel!) The key is to celebrate all of the small victories.

 

Moving Forward

Like I said before all of these tips are what have helped me to get on track with being healthier. Maybe you’ve found some tips that help you. I’d love to be able to try them or even share them so they can help someone else. Also, if you’ve tried any of my tips above I’d love to hear how they helped you!

 

 

My Last Leg of Core De Force

Day 22: MMA Plyo & Core Kinetics

Confession Tuesday… I skipped today’s workout because there was fresh snow on the mountain ❤ I opted to count my day snowboarding with the boys as my workout for the day. I can tell you after running yesterday and snowboarding today, I’m TOAST! I think if I would have added in the workout on top of it I wouldn’t have been able to walk to bed.

AND because I’m behind my for my scheduled finish date already, I’m not going to extend it by doing Plyo tomorrow. I worked out and that is enough to count for today.

Day 23: Power Sculpt & 5 Min Core on the Floor

I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am to all these girls hopping on to workout with me every morning. I gotta say I’m surprised how sore my legs are from yesterday’s snow day. Knowing that my girls would be on made me push through and get it done though!

Day 24: MMA Plyo & Core Kinetics

​Do you remember the 1st day I did this routine? Well, I didn’t feel like it was enough so I pushed myself by adding the weighted vest in. It’s crazy how a few extra pounds makes a world of difference. It probably helped that I got the moves down a little better too. The superman punch is still tough for me to coordinate but I’m getting there.


Day 25: Dynamic Strength & 5 Min Core on the Floor

I realized I have gained flexibility in my shoulders this month and still need to focus on hip flexibility. At the end of today’s workout it was nice to be able to put my palms together behind my back and stretch my chest. Before I was able to clasp my hands but palms were no where near each other. And that stretch feels sooo good after all them push ups!

(Click the pic below for a tip on the stretch pictured.)

Day 26: MMA Speed

I’ve missed this one! I was most excited to see that I had such a short routine. I opted to use my weighted vest again today since I didn’t remember there being push ups. The only move that proved awkward was the floor to fighter stance move but not awkward enough to take it off. I had a really long run to do today, plus work tonight. I’m hoping my feet don’t hate me tomorrow.

I think this is the first time I’ve hit that many miles on a treadmill!

 Day 27: MMA Shred & Core Kinetics

It’s May day and that means that it’s the beginning of a new month. I try to change or make a new habit every month.

This month I am:

  • kicking off a new meal plan, it’s going to be 2 weeks of low carb, as a vegan let me tell you it’s going to be tough!
  • doing a 30 day push up challenge.
  • doing 7 days of no sugars, dairy(already do), kicking the day off with water and getting 7 hours of sleep.

With all these new commitments I felt renewed and ready to kick butt during today’s workouts! Good times 🙂

Day 28: MMA Power

There is talk of nicer weather supposed to be happening in the next few days. I have to admit that while I love the sun, I don’t enjoy working out in warmth. Today was a prime reason why. I had sweat flying everywhere, it was even dropping off my nose when I was done. 💦💦 Good thing I’m getting water in first thing!

Day 29: MMA Plyo

This is actually day 30 on the workout calendar BUT I skipped the Active Recovery day…

My normal workout crew was late this morning, so I of course procrastinated too. How on earth could I let myself procrastinate when I’m on my last day and so pumped to be finished?!? I’m glad I left the Zoom up because once Lisa popped on I put on my weighted vest and got it done. I think out of all the CDF workouts Plyo is my favorite. I think because that Superman Punch is the most challenging for me to do. I saw a little improvement again.

A little sad and a little glad that today was my last on the calendar. But I’m definitely proud of the results and will be incorporating some CDF in my custom plan next month.

Done!

While I have a greater sense of appreciation for what MMA fighters do, MMA workouts still aren’t my preferred method of getting sweaty. As I was finishing my last workout yesterday, Joel & Jericho were finishing with the cool down stretches, and Joel jokingly said that if you struggle with balancing while doing the quad stretch you can always lean on a buddy for help. As a sweat monster, I can’t imagine someone wanting to lean on me for support after that sweat fest. Then it made me think about being in a fight ring with slobber, sweat and blood flying around, gag! Oh the joys of being a germaphobe.

I will be including a couple of these workouts in next months routine though. Gotta say, I am loving that there is more definition in my abs! I actually compared all my measurements from the beginning of the month, I lost .4 lbs and actually gained inches in my legs, booty and arms. So that tells me I lost a bit fat and gained muscle. One of my personal goals for this month was to loose 1/4″ off my love handle zone and I actually lost 1/2″ so that’s pretty exciting. It’s one reason why I try to only weigh myself once a month or every other week if I’m feeling weak or curious.

after2

Are you ready to commit to change?!?

Send me a message, it’s never to late to join in on our monthly challenges and health is of importance to me and I want everyone to be happy because they both coincide together!

Week 3 Core De Force

GUESS WHAT?!?

One week and 2 days left! I think this calendar is the only one who’s 30 days is actually 30 days, Joel and Jericho don’t mess around with no 28 day business!

Day 15: MMA Power & Core Kinetics

I wore my hair in just a regular pony tail today. My hair was soaked! Joel jokes about sweat flying on the set but there was definitely sweat flying here. Made laying down on my mat for the core work a little slippery. 😜

I really like the hip drop move in the video below. The first time I did it I must have been doing it wrong because today I really felt it working in my obliques. I still need a bit of form improvement but I think the video shows the general idea of it. Try it out yourself!

Day 16: Active Recovery…

Today was not my day. TMI moment ahead, Aunt Flow came to visit. No wonder my energy level has been off! I had planned to get Dynamic Strength done tonight but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. It was nice to have a slower day today.

The active recovery still had kicks and punches for the first 10 minutes but they were slowed way down. Then the last half of the routine was stretching. It made me realize how much I miss doing yoga. That’s big considering I’m someone who has never really enjoyed yoga.

Day 17: Dynamic Strength & 5 Minute Core

I’ve decided that next month I’m going to include a push-up challenge in my routine because I just hate them. They are getting better but I think I need to focus a little harder on improving them.

I decided to do a few things before running and I’m glad I did even though that meant running, showering and going to work. I was a sweaty mess because our house was crazy warm from a wood fire and me baking some bread. It was on my schedule to run 1 hour and 20 minutes but I knew my feet weren’t going to hang through 7 miles and work so I switched my run today for Friday’s. I’m hoping I don’t regret that decision later.

I’ve been staying on point with foods. I’m really focusing on remembering that I love the healthy food choices that I have, just as much as the sweets or junk that I could choose. I know it’s going to pay off.

Day 18: MMA Power & Core Kinetics

My triceps are feeling all those push-ups from yesterday and I can’t help but smile through the pain. I was feeling on fire today. I woke up early, I pushed play before my live crew was logged on and I got that whole hour done with minimal complaining. #bringit

I actually thought about doubling up and getting caught up from my lazy Tuesday but I felt good and want to remember that feeling tomorrow.

Day 19: Power Sculpt &  5 Min. Core on the Floor

There were some technical difficulties with Beachbody OnDemand, aka the Netflix for workouts, today that left some room for goofing around. Snapchat cracks me up!

Don’t worry, I still got my workout in. I was supposed to run too but ended up going to the park and walking the dogs instead. Puppies need exercise too, not just kitties. #nerdalert

Day 20: MMA Plyo

Day 20 was actually yesterday but it was my normally scheduled rest day so I’m skipping writing about it because a week is 7 days 😉 Today was straight up confusion. Ever heard of a superman punch?!? I could not figure it out! I was a bit relieved though because when I think of plyo, I think of death and I didn’t feel like I was dying. It’s probably all the laughing I did at myself and the lack of being able to figure all the moves out. I kept having to stop and watch and try to figure out what I was doing wrong. Now I’m going to get out and do the longest run I’ve done in a long time. Wish me luck!

Day 21: Dynamic Strength & 5 Min. Core on the Floor

I’m really proud that I stayed on track with my foods over the weekend. My husband even bought me a dark chocolate bar with raspberry. It’s still in the freezer. And I’m still continuing to see strength gains with my push ups during this routine. I’m excited to take on next months push up challenge.

And can I just take a minute to mention that I used to like planks? I really like that this core workout is only 5 minutes but going from one plank to the next is killer, especially after your shoulders are fatigued from all the push ups you just did. Thank goodness for my protein shake, liquid muscle repair 💪🏻

Apparently I’ve been feeling the selfies this week, so you get another one to send you on your way! Week for here I come.

2 down, 2 to go, Core De Force

Week 1

Let’s be real, there was a lot of food that I should not have eaten. A lot of sugary foods over the first weekend. It seems that the first week of any program I start is straight up self sabotage. I let myself slack after all of the hard work of the last months routine. It’s a vicious cycle that I need to get a handle of. I need to give up my excuses and make things happen because I am worth the effort. Because I am worth fighting for. Because if I don’t do it, why should I tell anyone else to do it? #Coachlife Seriously though, I’m a mom and need to be a good example to my kids, why can I tell them sugar is bad for them and then as soon as they leave the room I’m sneaking chocolate or whatever it is that I can find to fix that sugar addiction?

Day 1: MMA Speed

Check out Day 1 here. I sure felt awkward but I know the more I do the moves the more comfortable I’ll become. Funny how we can tell our kids that practice makes perfect and yet we don’t want to do that practice either.

After getting my workout done and lunches packed, we headed out to enjoy the sunshine. I exercise so I can be active and enjoy these kinds of adventures with my family. Look at my crazy adventure dudes. Damien was trying to give me a heart attack jumping and climbing all over the rocks on our waterfall hike today.

Day 2: Dynamic Strength

What on earth did I get myself into?!?! Seriously thinking I did more push-ups today than I did in all last month! There were inchworm, walking, scissor push-ups and more! I never knew there were so many variations of a push-up. Maybe I did but maybe I was trying to ignore them. Ha ha. My triceps are definitely going to be feeling this tomorrow.

Day 3: MMA Speed

MMA Speed was a lot easier this time, I’m thinking the next time I do it I’ll have it down! #goals Also got in 55 minutes of walk run intervals, I’m not giving up on my half marathon training. It’s a little harder to want to run lately, I’m not sure why. I was super hungry after both my workouts today. It may be time to re-evaluate my meal plan.

Day 4: Power Sculpt

Wow, I literally had beads of sweat dripping off my forehead! My towel was so wet that by the end of my workout there were no dry spots left. That’s disgusting. Plyometrics are hardcore!

Day 5: MMA Shred

Got a 5k done and then did my MMA Shred. I remembered why I run after a workout and not before…. Yeah, that’s all I care to say about that.

Day 6: Active Recovery?

So I didn’t realize that Sunday is actually a recovery workout and I decided to just do my usual rest day planning to be a day behind schedule each week. If I had realized it I probably would have done active recovery this evening. Oh well, I enjoyed my lazy day, and more food than I should have.

Day 7: Dynamic Strength

The bright side? There were lots of push-ups instead of squats on a day planned for a hike, lol. It was a long day and I was definitely tired and ready for bed tonight. But it was good to get out with family and hike together. Miss having my daughter along for our family adventures, but alas around 19, I don’t think I wanted to hang with my family either. I was bummed we had to rush home afterwards too but a girls gotta work.

Week 2:

Day 8: MMA Shred & Core Kinetics

I saw two workouts on the calendar and got a little anxious. To be honest all the junk I hogged down over the weekend didn’t do my energy any justice. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I didn’t loath the core workout. I am big on variety when it comes to working out and there were new moves that I hadn’t done before so I appreciated that.

I wasn’t going to run because I rationalized that I had to work and that was enough for my feet today. Then I remembered I have a goal and I’m not going to be ready if I don’t stick to the plan. So #RunDun 💪🏻

Day 9: Power Sculpt

I did 20 minutes of yoga with the live crew this morning. My body just wasn’t feeling anything strenuous, let me rephrase that, my brain wasn’t feeling it. So I waited till a bit later to push play on my regularly scheduled fight match. 🤜🏻🤜🏻👊🏻 I can’t say that it was my best performance but I got it done, doing something is better than nothing most days.

Day 10: MMA Shred & Core Kinetics

After I made progress with CDF, I got my run on. I felt pretty good about my move mastery and thought for sure my run would feel the same. Honestly it was the most unsatisfying run I’ve had in a long time. My left leg just wouldn’t participate. First my ankle was bothering me, then my shin. I got to the 3 mile mark and whatever was causing the problem loosened up. Of course my total distance was 4 miles and the last mile is what it took to get home so maybe my head was in on it.

Today I’m prepping food to get this body back on track. Lots of beans and garbanzo beans and a sweet potato or two because they make a great sweet tooth fix but a natural one. And I’m getting back on my post workout protein shake.

 

 

Day 11: Dynamic Strength

I am still disliking the push-ups but you know what?!? I am feeling stronger! I’m still having to drop to my knees for some of the moves but I’m able to hold out with the full move for a few more reps. All these push-ups is hopefully going to help me build some of the muscles needed for pull-ups! #StrongerEveryday

Day 12: MMA Power

Oy, new combos 😱 I’ve come to realize I really do have two left feet. I know it will get better because the combos from week 1 are already getting better, but anything that involved a new kick combo was confusing. I continued to laugh and shake it off as best as I could. Run done too, I have to say it felt way better than the last run.

Day 13: Rest Day

Instead of utilizing the Active Recovery today, we went for a nice walk in the sunshine. The only workout days that I will change or mess around with on the calendar are my recovery days because I find it hard to get a recovery workout in if I’m getting out for an hour and walking. Learning to give my body the time it needs to repair and recover has been an important part of my fitness journey. And we got to see wild turtles basking in the sun. I think there were around 20 of them, way more enjoyable than stretching in my house!

Day 14: Power Sculpt

It’s GO TIME! I was feeling my oats today. It must have helped that I steered clear of the dessert table at potluck yesterday. Plyometrics has never been my favorite but this one still gets me sweating and it is set up with 9 rounds. Each round consists of a lower(but still tough) intensity move for 60 seconds, then a medium intensity with 45 seconds and a high intensity for 35 seconds. After the middle one I’m usually pretty gassed so I’m glad the last one is always shorter. I’ve been gulping down my water during almost all of the workouts. I’m thinking that means I need to get better at drinking my water again.

You know what the best part about this month has been so far???

Every morning before I get myself motivated to press play I get an e-mail saying my peoples are waiting on me! I sign in and sometimes it takes me a few extra minutes to get ready but seeing them kick booty, makes me kick booty! I can’t help but feed off their energy. Sometimes I even get to see their kids interrupting their workouts and they continue on, how can I make an excuse when they’ve got some of the biggest (actually the littlest) ones I hear others make on the daily?!?

Every morning at 7am we are there, well except Saturday because it’s my rest day. But out of all the things I’ve done to help me stay healthy, this was the best idea. Knowing people are counting on me to sign in makes me have to be there even if I’m not feeling it. Want to join us? Send me and email to DarcisFitKick@gmail.com and let me know. The more the merrier!