Deodorant…

Exercise is life up in here. If I miss my workout, I tend to be grumpy, less patient, and if I miss it repetitively I tend to get a little depressed. There’s no secret that I’m a sweaty beast when I work out, my kids avoid post workout hugs like the plague. I had been using traditional deodorant and/or antiperspirant since I can remember, oh the high school days of sweating during gym class, not such a fond memory… I digress, the further I venture into becoming my healthiest self, the more I realize how many toxins are in things we use daily. Have I eliminated everything, no, but I’m trying to avoid the things where I can.

Enter…

After learning that antiperspirants block your sweat glands, and hearing that the aluminum used to do so has been linked to women who get breast cancer, getting it 15 years earlier than the women who didn’t use antiperspirants, I went on the hunt for a more natural deodorant. I had a little breast cancer scare a few years back, it ended up being nothing but it still scared me enough to make me want to be proactive instead of reactive with my health. Unfortunately the first glass slipper didn’t fit. So I thought I’d share with you my experience trying to find the best option for me.

Option 1: Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya 24 Hour Deodorant

I’ll be honest, I’m cheap, found this deodorant at Walmart. After spending an average of $4 on my old antiperspirant deodorant, paying double that was a bit of a shocker. I took a quick glance over of the ingredients and saw they used vegetable glycerine (be-still my vegan heart, though it doesn’t claim being vegan on the wrapper) but also that the shea butter is a fair trade ingredient. If you’ve never looked up fair trade, I’d encourage you to learn about it, not just for your sake but for your fellow man, woman and child.

I liked this deodorant for the first couple of days, especially the smell. It did the job a deodorant should do BUT my armpits didn’t like it. I started to get rashy and irritated skin. I’m guessing it’s because of the sodium stearate, fancy talk for baking soda. I used coconut oil and baking soda as a face wash for a while and had the same reaction. On to option 2.

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Oh how I miss that long hair!!!!

Option 2: Nourish Organic Stick Deodorant, Almond Vanilla

I made sure to check the ingredients for sodium stearate and was in luck, this deodorant was even a little bit cheaper, about $6 a stick. Which was surprising because it seems like organic means spendy. I loved that they promote being vegan, cruelty free and chemical free. I used this deodorant for a few weeks before realizing the negatives. I worked hard to earn my Insanity shirt and I started seeing what looked to be stains in the armpits. {insert frowny face here} Thankfully I have a handy Fels-Naptha bar that works great for getting out oil stains. Also realized that I wasn’t feeling as fresh and deodorized as I should. Another stick bites the dust, onto option 3…

Option 3: Schmidt’s Rose + Vanilla Deodorant

I’m starting to see a pattern here, each of these deodorants has vanilla in them. Makes me think of the 90’s when Vanilla Fields perfume was popular, remember Sunflowers? That was my favorite. Any who, I was a little nervous trying this deodorant because it also has sodium stearate in it, you’d think I’d learn. I put a post out on FB in the Chicked Nation Group to see if anyone had a recommendation, this brand was the top, top, top choice. On a whim, we were at a natural foods store in Hood River, on our way to camp when I found some. Ten dollars, was a risk I was willing to take since Troy was paying for it, even though we pool our funds. Mind games at their finest. {Yes I’m rolling my eyes at myself.} But guess what…. Winner, winner, vegan dinner! I’m on pit stick number 2 of this same brand and I’m still loving it. Even though it uses coconut oil also, it’s not so much that it slicks on easy. A couple swipes and I’m good for the day and there’s no new pit stains. There must be a small enough amount of baking soda that it doesn’t bother me, I guess I’ll never really know. I’m just happy to have found something that works! Maybe next stick I’ll try a different flavor, who am I kidding, I’m a creature of habit. Although, they do have a holiday line. ♥O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree ♥

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Want to know what’s in your deodorant or other cosmetics???

As I was hunting to learn more about ingredients in deodorant, I found this website called EGW’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. It lists all sorts of make-ups, lotions, soaps, etc. and rates them. High risk or low risk. Check it out!

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1.14.18 to 1.20.18

Week 3 of Me

This week didn’t go 100% as planned but allowing flexibility in my routine has become important. It’s easy for me to become “obsessed” about not missing a workout. But I know that becoming obsessed over my workout results in a lack of satisfaction throughout the rest of my day. It can trigger me to beat myself up for “slacking.” I couldn’t be happier with my growth towards being a little more spontaneous.

Day 15: Total Body

There is nothing like getting outside for a workout. Especially on a day that’s a perfect temperature for a workout. Doing burpees in the damp grass is the perfect prep for a Spartan Race. I made it just past the 10 box jumps and I plan to repeat this “test” in two weeks to see how my speed and endurance has improved.

Day 16: Snow Day

Today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, meaning, no school. I was able to go to the mountain with all 3 baby bears.

If there was one thing I could get people who don’t enjoy exercise to do, it would be to find something fun to do. Even if you aren’t doing a workout routine, you are still getting in movement which is good for the body. I’m not actually sore after our day at the mountain but I know my kids are! I’m giving credit to regular squats and squat jumps lately. I workout for that reason, I want to be able to enjoy active living without feeling like I need to take a break to catch my breath.

Day 17: Legs (with a bit of chest)

I ❤️ my new workout toy!

Day 18: Mashup of Stuff

I think dead lifts are probably my most favorite move. I think it’s because I’m sore every time I do them. There’s nothing quite like getting a workout done and waking up the next morning knowing why you’re sore. I’d rather know why I’m aching than ache because I wasn’t active and received an injury because of that.

Day 19: Arms

Preparing for this routine I decided to load up my barbell with 50 lbs. I picked it up and attempted to get a barbel curl done and I couldn’t do it. When I was going to the gym I remember doing curls on the machine with 50 lbs and struggling but getting it done. Then my 15 year old son came in, and picked up the barbell like it was a stick and busted out multiple curls with no problem. Let me tell you, I know that men are built physically stronger, but I am pushing harder than before because I’m not ready for him to be stronger than me yet!

The hardest part of today’s workout was the rest between sets. It’s crucial to get that time in so that your energy restores and you are able to complete the next set.

Day 20: Legs

Running, then adding in some harder workouts is great for endurance training. Running may be tough but putting a harder move between makes it seem almost like a rest time returning to your run. This intern makes your running ability stronger. I’m excited to see how my running times improve adding this technique into my routine.

 

Day 21: Rest Day
Forcing myself to rest is tough. But I have learned that rest days are necessary for recovery. I think I did more sitting today than I’ve done in a month. I may actually be starting to enjoy it.

1.7.18 to 1.13.18

Week 2 of Me:

I’m learning to love pushing myself past my own expectations again. Boot camp at the gym was such a driving force before because I wanted to compete with whoever it was next to meet busting out push ups too. Having signed up for a Spartan Race again, maybe helping me want to push harder also. Only downside is my hand is bothering me again, makes push ups and burpees a little tough(er). I just do them on my fists instead of my palms though. Enough whining right, get onto the workout stuff!

Day 8: Total Body

One minute of Bosu burpees was good stuff! Basically you hold your Bosu ball through out the whole burpee process. Being in the plank with the Bosu ball worked the stabilizer muscles in my shoulders as I did the push up, soo good, and sooo needed! After this workout I also included some foam rolling to help loosed up my hip flexors and lower back. I’ll have to share a how to video on that soon.

Day 9: Chest & Back

I’m loving my TRX and Bosu time lately, only problem I’m starting to realize is that it’s hard to do the fly’s in my hallway. I ended up doing a Y shape instead of the traditional fly, still worked my targeted area, just a bit differently and other muscles also. I ended up having to play taxi so I ended up skipping the run, I’ll be including more running on next weeks schedule.

Day 10: Leg Day

Maybe all the burpees I’ve included is what has my hand acting up angry. After one round my legs were feeling this, I used weights when I did the sumo squat with the calf raise and my calves were finally sore.

Day 11: Core & Shoulders

My cardio of choice for today was to hop on the treadmill at 6.0 and run. I was out of breath! It’s funny the simplest movements, were actually the hardest ones today. My kids have been grossed out for days because of the sweat drops on my bench after doing the bunny hops. I have yet to wipe it down because if it keeps them off of it, I’d rather keep my equipment in good condition, wish I could say the same about my pull up bar. 😦

Day 12: Arm Day

After last weeks lack of soreness, I pushed hard this time. You may want to skip this routine if you’re no looking for bulk in your arms, or at least use lighter weights. When doing different movements that target the same initial area you are creating cross tears in your muscle and making them larger. That’s why when you see guys bulking up at the gym they are doing all different kinds of bicep curls to make big guns son! #SOsore

Day 13: Leg Day

Can you tell how this workout went down by the shade of my face?!? It may not have been a total leg workout but my legs were done, when I was done. I wish I’d have gotten some lunges in there. Overall though, it was good to get the extra cardio in with the run time. I ended up getting a little over two miles in on the treadmill.

Day 14: REST DAY!

It was such a nice day out. I highly recommend taking your workout outside whenever you can. The fresh air does a body good. Even better when you have good company. ❤

 

Be sure to subscribe to get updates and get next weeks workout schedule too.

7 Days of Me

Procrastinator is my middle name, disorganized is my second middle name…

Ever since I finished my first Spartan Race I wanted more from fitness, like to be able to help people with their fitness goals. Two years later I decided I wanted to be come a personal trainer. I did my research, there were so many online certifications that I wanted to make sure the one I had chosen was a good choice. I went to my old gym and asked what they like. Decided to go with NASM as my school of choice. Bought my fancy learning program and book and stayed dedicated for about two or three weeks before the summer arrived. I then slacked off and it was time for me to take my test. Well, I didn’t pass it and personal training sat on the back burner because I lacked the confidence, motivation, self direction to stick to a study schedule. Finally decided to start studying again and felt confident I would pass and paid for my test. Talk about a blow to my confidence, I failed by 1 point. Again I put it on the back burner. Until now…

I have come to realize that I am a hands on learner, trying to read from a textbook is BORING! Learning the muscle names, which ones are weak vs which ones are strong requires a visual for me. Names are not my strong point, why else do you think I’m super focused on brain health also. I am super thankful for YouTube! Part of my New Years resolution of 2017 was to get my certification done and hitting December 31st was a punch in the gut. It made me realize that no one is going to study for me, if I want to learn it, I need to do it!

Learn it, apply it!

This is my theme for the year. I’m being my own guinea pig and designing my own workout routines. The best part of doing this is I can give myself real feedback. I’ll know what is working or isn’t working for my goals. Only downside is that everyone’s goals aren’t the same. That just means I’ll need to study a bit more on those possible clients in the book (or YouTube.)

My proposed schedule.

  • Sunday- Total Body
  • Monday- Chest & Back
  • Tuesday- Leg Day
  • Wednesday- Core & Shoulders
  • Thursday- Arms
  • Friday- Leg Day
  • Saturday- Rest Day

Unofficial Day 1:

Um hello! I loved this workout! I got to use equipment that I haven’t busted out in a long time. Although I was aiming for a 20 minute sweat session and ended up with around 30 minutes. Doing the Bosu Skip Lunge showed me the importance of balance, my right leg was oddly less balanced than my left.

Day 2:

My back is definitely weak. I decided to stack Chest & Back day as more strength targeted for that reason. In hindsight I would probably change out the handstand holds to something a little more active. Also, when I decide to use the handstand hold again, I’d reduce hold times because that was pretty impossible for me to hold for 30 seconds the first time, let alone the 3rd as a beginner.

Day 3:

Somehow I did the math wrong on this and thought 1 round would be good. Realized at the 10 minute mark it needed to be doubled. I love circuit style workouts because you get a break after each move. One thing that could be improved was there was no time to transition to the next move.

Day 4:

Today’s workout was 22 Minute Hard Corps inspired. Mountain squats were on my mind and I couldn’t remember what they were called so I flipped through the videos to find them, and a few other moves too. That move looks so simple but it is tough!

Day 5:

Arms… my least favorite workout. I of course made sure to include burpees, Spartan Prep. Arms felt like jello!

I was fully expecting this workout to leave my arms sore but they weren’t, which tells me I should have used heavier weights with this style of workout.

Day 6:

Dead lifts, they are my jam! Cleans, not so much. Definitely something that needs work, form wise. The 30 seconds on and 10 seconds off was perfect for using the jump rope and resistance bands, made the transition much smoother. To make the burn more with the lunges, I might try not alternating legs, do left leg first round, right leg second, then alternate on the 3rd round next time.

Day 7:

Rest day, yay!!!

What I learned?

This is fun! It’s amazing what can be done when I put my mind to it. I’m excited to see how next week goes, and yes, I’ll be sharing that progress here too. I hope you enjoy the process as much as I am.

Be The Example

via Daily Prompt: Winsome

Every day we fight or struggle to fit in, we want to maintain an image of “cool” or “hip”. It’s hard to be the outsider, hard to be alone and even harder to be the one that people laugh at. As I venture down the road of self discovery and realizing the plans that God has in store for me, I grow more comfortable and worry less about those things.

We started this program at our church a few months ago called Winsome Witnessing, that’s what prompted me to join in on the daily prompt. Basically it’s about building a successful witnessing program in your church, whether it be by being welcoming to visitors, being a friendly neighbor or knocking on doors to meet new people. Just offering the support and love that people need, the kind of love that doesn’t require wearing the cool new gear to be apart of.

The Introvert Me

Two months ago, I was taken completely out of my element. It’s actually kind of funny, I believe being a waitress has prepared me for more in life than I give credit. At 15 years old (maybe younger than that even) I was the girl who was mean, because I was on the defense, being called dog eyes for years takes its toll on a girl. I wasn’t the one to reach out and make friends easily because being hurt is tough. It took a lot of courage at a couple years older, to walk up to a group of people at the front door of Shari’s, as a little hostess, to ask how many people were in their group and then seat them at their table that first time. Then evolving into a waitress who was able to sell enough pies to earn Christmas day off with my family.  Crazy to believe that was 17 years ago. I’m still that girl who struggles saying hello to people in a social setting, but you know what I’ve realized, when it comes to work, I can do anything. When I am working for God and “winsome witnessing,” it’s like I’ve got this courage I don’t have when I’m alone.

Back to 2 months ago, I was put in the position to go knocking on doors, not solely for religious purposes, but to survey our neighborhood. I was surprised by the ease I had in my heart, I wasn’t anxious, not even one bit. I was actually excited! We were out trying to find ways to help the neighbors, whether it be through cooking classes, quit smoking help, depression and anxiety recovery, etc.

Preparation is Key

In 2015, before my door to door adventure, I became a Beachbody Coach. Basically you share your health journey by being open and vulnerable, and you reach out to people to see if they need help changing their lives for the better also. That was hard for me, hard to open up and hard to reach out to people and try to sell them something, even if it was something I truly believe in. It prepared me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. One thing I learned, is to Be The Example. If you aren’t practicing what you preach, why would anyone want to jump on your boat? And if you aren’t really enjoying yourself, or feeling your best, the same applies. I believe wholeheartedly that’s part of why I’m not one of the top selling waitresses at work anymore. I don’t desire to sell people baked potatoes loaded with butter, cheese, bacon, and sour cream. I don’t desire to sell people that perfect margarita and fuel the possible alcohol addiction of someone else. I don’t want to sell that 200+ calorie beverage that is going to help contribute to the weight gain of someone or likely another negative impact on their health. I don’t believe in the product, but that doesn’t mean I won’t make the dining experience the best that I can. I’m not going to say that I’ve become a top Coach, or that I am a perfect example, but striving to do better every day has given me a joy that is deeper and more meaningful than any of that. I hope that it beams out for others to see.

That’s where being winsome comes in, smiling, loving, sharing, caring, being honest, supportive, the listening ear, just being present can be all that someone needs. Striving to be our best can sometimes lead to neglecting others needs. That’s something I’ve learned to be better at as a Coach. The small things, sharing the struggles, the strengths, the journey, are all part of being winsome.

The definition of winsome is; attractive or appealing in appearance or character. And I think that living genuinely brings out that light. Trying to please others, instead of the innate Spirit within us, drags us down. I can personally testify to that 100 percent. ❤

Finding Balance

There was a lot of talk about finding personal joy and also not being selfish. Those things require balance, it is said that giving is the best gift. Which is true, helping someone and seeing the joy on their face is so rewarding. BUT as a mother, I know that sometimes we give so much and neglect ourselves. We have to find the balance of making sure that we are happy and healthy so that we can be able to do our best giving to our children, families, friends and even strangers. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to communicate it, don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself to reflect and find out what it is that you need for happiness. Deciding what character you want to put out to the world can help you decide that.

 

 

Rock Your Resolutions!

Yup, it’s that time again. Goal setting, new commitments, lifestyle changes. Hooray!!!Go big or go home right?!? Nope. Let me tell you why… (Unless you are that one in a million.)

Change is hard!

Change is even harder when you try to pile on 20 changes in one week. Think back to when you were a baby, okay so you probably don’t remember that far back, how about the last baby you spent time with? When they were learning to walk they didn’t just stand up and start running right? They held on to the table, steadied themselves and then let go. Then they decided it was time to take a step, maybe two, and then it progressed to three or four or more. While I would love to see you all successfully master your health goals right away, I know that small steps are more successful. Start at the bottom and continue to build up that foundation. The New Year, is just that, a YEAR, that means you’ve got 12 months to master those good habits. Let’s focus on mastering one thing at a time.

myspace babes

Speaking of babes #throwback (I had to hit up MySpace to find these goodies!)

Let’s talk goal setting, the what?

What is your goal? Lose weight? Give it a number. Be stronger? Give it something attainable, full push up, pull up, squat 100 pounds. Be healthier? Eat a veggie with every meal, cut out soda, exercise 3 times a week. See what I’m getting at here? If you’re wanting to be successful you need something to work towards, you need something that will give you a sense of completion or accomplishment. Saying you want to be healthier or lose weight leaves a lot of wiggle room. One more thing, let’s be realistic. Don’t be afraid to set a small goal to start, it will help you build up the confidence needed to push further and grow confidence in yourself.

The Why?

Why did you choose this goal? I want you to dig deep and decide what it is about this goal that makes you want to complete it. Why do you want to lose 15 lbs, did your doctor say it was necessary for your health? Are you unhappy in your skin? Do you want to be a healthy example for your kids? Only you can figure out your why and whether it is going to drive you to succeed. Write that why on a sticky note and put it on your refrigerator, put it on your bathroom mirror, remember it when you don’t want to do the things you know will make you meet the goal you set.

The When?

Now, give it a deadline. “I will lose 15 lbs by the end of March, I will master the pull up by June,” you get my drift? Having a deadline can help give you a sense of urgency, knowing I have to meet a goal by that date gives me a little extra drive. My focus is more intentional if I know there is an end date.

Now that you’ve got that deadline, break it down. To lose 15 pounds, I’ll need to lose 5 lbs a month. How am I going to do that? What has or hasn’t worked for you before? If it didn’t work, don’t do it again, if you’re needing some ideas on how to meet those specific goals, don’t be afraid to reach out. Want to quit your 5 soda a day habit, try breaking it down weekly. Week 1, I will cut back to 4 sodas a day, week 2 it will be only 3. Or spread it out a little longer. Quitting a bad habit can sometimes cause withdrawals and it may be painful to quit cold turkey. Don’t be afraid to try new things, remember if it seems too good to be true, chances are it is. There’s no magical pill for weight loss or getting rich quick for that matter. (No matter what the infomercials tell you.)

Baby Steps

I mentioned baby steps before, and I mean it. If you have lived on the couch and haven’t been to the gym since your high school gym class, haven’t had a vegetable since your mom made you eat one and drink coffee as your method of hydration, don’t try to make all those changes at once. Yes, some people can make those changes, with the power of God, I believe, but big changes are stressful. If you’re going to quote Philippians 4:13, I pray you are really relying on him to help you through it. Otherwise, one step at a time. I wouldn’t expect to go run a marathon with zero training, don’t expect to change over night either. The clock isn’t going to strike midnight tonight and you’ll be miraculously changed, I don’t know if I can emphasize enough, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Failure Happens

There will be bumps, just like that baby, you might fall after a few steps. That baby isn’t going to give up, and you shouldn’t either. I recommend reevaluating every month. What is working? What isn’t? Are you on schedule to meet your goal? If yes, awesome! If not, awesome! Keep your eye on the prize and remember that tomorrow is a new day. You can do anything you put your mind to, you just have to want it bad enough.

My Resolutions…

Last year, I made myself a pretty little vision board that had all sorts of goals on it for the year. I’ve realized that having so many goals made me lose focus of the bigger goals I had, I spread myself too thin. ↓↓↓ My theme for the year is “Learn it, Apply it.” I will be setting monthly goals and breaking them down by category. Health, Spiritual, Work, and Relationships.

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January Goals:

Health- Microbiome Bootcamp do over. DIY workout program, 6 days a week.

Spiritual- Read 2 chapters of the New Testament daily and daily devotions with the family.

Work- Get on a schedule! This will be a learning process as I will be working from home. Take certification test.

Relationships- Quality time with each of my family members, individually, once a week. Quality time with a friend once a month.

Let The Countdown Begin!

Congratulations on committing to your best year yet. ❤

 

 

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

 

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.

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”.

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!