Monday, March 30, 2015

Body Beast Complete

Many of you have been asking about the Body Beast program that I have been doing.  I have to tell you, I LOVE the low impact, muscle sculpting workouts that are in this program.  I have a new appreciation for adding weights to my routine, and I am no longer afraid to push my limits with weights when I exercise.

Yesterday, I finished the 3 weeks of the first phase of Body Beast (Build) .  I did not lose much weight (because I am building muscle), but I did get seriously sculpted arms, shoulders, and chest.  While I would really like to continue with the next phase of Body Beast Bulk, I feel I need to start adding a bit more cardio back into the mix.  When I started Beast, I had planed to do the first phase, then switch to something else for 3 weeks, and then switch back to Beast for a few weeks.  I feel like this muscle build, then cardio exercise cycling will work well for my body in helping me lose some of the weight I can't seem to get to budge.  This week, I am doing a 3 Day Refresh to detox my body, and I am focusing on a few light workouts all week.  Than on April 6, I will be jumping back into a round of 21 Day Fix Extreme.  I am anxious to see how my training from Body Beast has increased my strength and endurance for the Fix Extreme workouts.  I haven't yet decided if I will follow the Fix meal plan or another plan, but as always, I will be counting my calories :).
For those that have been following my journey this year, I wanted to let you know that I FINALLY got a doctor's appointment.  It seems like it should be a simple thing to do.  Well, it isn't.  I'm trying to start taking advantage of the preventive care coverage we all get now.  In the past, because of the cost of copays, I would go to the doctor when I absolutely HAD to.  I haven't been to a doc for a well visit since I was a kid (with the exception of the OB/GYN, which I hit up every year).  The truth is, I rarely get sick, and I haven't been to my regular family doc in years.  It has been so long that I am now considered a new patient in their office....and they are at capacity for people with my insurance. 5 calls later, I finally find an office that is accepting new patients AND will take my insurance. Let the process of great health begin!  I go in on April 21st and I will keep you all posted.

Now, to leave you with a little sneak peek of #Beast cardio.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My story

If you have been following me for awhile, then you have probably read my story.  Sharing my story is what I do to remind myself of the huge leap of faith I took when I decided to focus on myself and my health.  It reminds me of all that I have overcome, as well as all the potential for success that I have inside me. 
 Everyone has a story. A story of that individual's struggle to overcome tough obstacles. My biggest obstacle as an adult has been my weight. It wasn't necessarily the numbers on the scale, but instead, it was how I felt about my appearance, and how I let that affect my confidence and personality. These photos are both of me. The one on the left is me at my heaviest weight of over 235 pounds. Yes, I am pregnant with my 4th child in the photo, but I not only started my pregnancy at 195 pounds, I was still over the 200 pound mark OVER a year following my pregnancy. The photo on the right was taken in July of 2014, when I was at my most fit. I was a tight size 18 before I started my journey. Now I am a size 10, and my goal is to go down at least one more size. I still struggle EVERY DAY. If you follow my journey, you will know the obstacles that I have encountered and the struggles I endure, You will also discover that I continue to be persistent and consistent with my journey, because I DESERVE to be in the best health of my life. For my children. For my family. For ME.

Here's my story:
In high school, I was extremely athletic. I was a gymnast, a dancer, on the swim team, I even ran cross country for a short time. I was 125 pounds, lots of muscle, and I NEVER worried about my weight...I am sure one of only a few high school girls at the time that didn't obsess about it. I graduated high school in 1995. My first year of college, I gained the ever dreaded freshman 10! I was still pretty active, but my eating habits were HORRIBLE!!! Over the next few years, I gained a little bit here and there because I ate a lot of fast food and junk food. By the time I graduated from College, I was up to 155 pounds. A year later, I got married (at the same weight). For the next 3 years, I gained about 5 pounds a year. I really struggled to get my eating down, and a regular exercise routine going. In 2001, I got pregnant with my first child. My weight hit 208 by the end of my pregnancy, and I lost about half of that pretty quickly. I managed to drop my weight down to 169 before I finally got pregnant with my second child in 2003. He was born in May of 2004 (a week before my 27th birthday) and I topped the pregnancy chart at 216 pounds. I lost much of the baby weight pretty quickly, and managed to get myself back down to 169 again (This seemed to be a plateau I couldn't break through). In 2006, I found myself pregnant with baby number 3. I hit 216 with that pregnancy also. My 3rd baby was the smallest of ALL of my kids at birth. I turned 30, 3 months later. Guess what? Your metabolism really does slow down at 30! This time around, I struggled to lose the baby weight, and hovered around the 190 mark until I got pregnant again in 2009 with baby #4. My weight skyrocketed with that pregnancy and I reached 235 pounds by the end of my 7th month. I finally told the nurse at my doctor's office that I didn't want to know my weight anymore when I came in. Honestly, I don't know what my weight topped out at for that pregnancy. After baby #4 was born, my weight dropped to 207, where it hovered for the better part of a year and a half. Finally, I got fed up and angry enough to do something about it. 2 weeks before my 34th birthday, I buckled down and started to lose. I was down about 10 pounds within a month, when I ended up with a bad case of strep throat and couldn't eat anything for about a week. In the weeks following, I never really got my appetite back. I was walking daily, so between the lack of food and the increase in exercise, I dropped back down to my ever dreaded plateau - 169 pounds. I sat at that plateau for 5 months, until I finally broke through my plateau and lost 8 pounds with the 24 Day Challenge. I was disappointed that I lost only a few pounds when others were losing like crazy with this same plan. BUT, I didn't let that stop me! Instead I started getting even more serious about working out and eating right AND staying focused! I hit another plateau at 160 pounds, which I finally manage to break through, after about 6 months. In May of 2013, I finally discovered the art of slimming and toning through my Beachbody workouts and drinking Shakeology. I have VERY slowly started to see the scale go down. I finally reaches a milestone weight of 148 (less that I was when I got married). Even though my weight loss has often been EXTREMELY slowly, I am thrilled at the fact that I can consistently maintain my numbers!! Recently, I have run into a few health issues that are hindering my ability to maintain, but I am staying consistent. I am researching and trying new things. I am NOT giving up. I KNOW I am gaining muscle, and I continue to lose inches, so I am not complaining. Even though my numbers aren't where I want them yet, I am not upset. I think the way my body is transforming my shape with slimming and toning, makes me feel way more confident about myself anyway...and make my clothes fit better! I am healthier, happier and more confident that I have been pretty much my entire life. You know what else? My kids are happier and healthier and have a great example to follow with my actions. THAT is what makes it all worth while!
I am a normal person, just like you. I struggle daily, just like you. I make mistakes and fall off the wagon, just like you. I am do the best I can everyday, and I have learned that it isn't the mistakes you have made that define you, it is what you learn from them and how you proceed in the future that does.

Monday, March 16, 2015

March Progress

As promised....

My updates.  On Feb 28th, I was down 4 inches in the waist from 21 Day Fix Extreme!  That is HUGE because I only lost 2 pounds during the ENTIRE month of February.  UGH!!!  Part of that I will chalk up to muscle gain, but the rest I am certain is hormonal, thyroid, or adrenal related.  My mission for March is to find a good doctor and get started on resolving these imbalances that I feel  are happening with my hormone levels.  If you have any experience with hormonal imbalances or thyroid/adrenal problems , I would love to hear your story.  Please feel free to comment below or send me a private message (see the right hand column).

Here are my March progress pics.  I have to be honest, THANK GOODNESS I take progress pics!!!  Based solely on my measurements and the scale, and the way I have been feeling, I would swear that I made NO progress in Feb.  However, after looking at the pics, I can definitely see the small changes in my muscle tone and posture.  I am definitely carrying my weight differently, even if the scale is not dropping. 
Also, as promised Jeff's Insanity Max:30 results.... 
Can I just say WOW?!?!? I am so proud of Jeff and his Insanity Max:30 results. He lost about 10 pounds and REALLY TONED UP!! Jeff is pretty stoked about his new muscle definition. He will be moving onto a round of T25 Gamma, followed by Body Beast to try to bulk up some of these muscles. Stay tuned for updates!!

**PS - be kind about the lack of a IS WINTER in Ohio.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I promise, I will be getting my monthly progress pics together this week and posting soon (I know...its almost the middle of March).  March always seems to be a difficult month for my nutrition.  I have two kids with birthdays in March.  My winter baby, born on the 16th is turning 8 this year, and my Spring baby, born on the 25th (during a LATE snowstorm) will be 13.  Yup, I will have a teenager....trying to wrap my head around that one.  Anyway, between the birthday parties with their friends, and birthday parties with our families, and a special day ON their ACTUAL birthday, I feel like there is always "party food" happening.  ALL. MONTH.  LONG.   I think my goal during March is always to just NOT gain weight.  So far, I have been making lots of good food choices.  My almost 8 year old had his friend party last Sunday, and I did indulge in some cake.  The good news is that we managed to finish the cake on that day (with a little help from the grandparents, who we (my husband, Jeff, and I) forced to have a we wouldn't be tempted.  Jeff was finishing up his last week of Insanity Max:30 this week, and he wants to have amazing AFTER photos, so he has been heating super healthy this week.  I can't wait to take the pics...his transformation has been pretty fantastic!! 

So, even though I really enjoyed doing the 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts, I didn't really want to do another round of them...they are pretty intense workouts, and I need to slow down a bit this month.  Last summer, I took advantage of a sale on the program Body Beast.  I have a habit of purchasing new Beachbody workout programs (because I like to have options at my finger tips), but not actually starting them.  Body Beast is one of those.  It has been sitting in my workout library for months, and I never really bothered to take it.  Honestly, the workouts are longer than 30 my brain, I just don't have the time for that.  This week, I decided that I need to do some lifting, and it was time to pull out my Body Beast.  I was still skeptical about the length of time of the workouts, but the truth is that the cardio intensity is not there, so 30, 40 or even 50 minute workout really does not seem to be a 'long' workout.  There is downtime during the workouts too, as you track the amount of weights you are using (you don't know if you are getting stronger, if you don't track your progress), and as you switch wour weights up.  I have to tell you, I REALLY like these workouts!!!   Even the leg day workout...and I don't ever care much for leg day.  Best part of the program....because it is serious strength training, you are building muscle...which burns more calories...which means I get to eat more calories ;).  I would say that is a win, win for March!!  I plan on doing the first phase (3 weeks) of this 90 day program, and then switching to a something with a little more cardio focused for a few weeks.  If all goes well, I hope to alternate between Body Beady, and other programs every 3 weeks.  I am hoping the alternation between weights and cardio will keep my metabolism on it's toes, and encourage my weight loss progress....and encourage some good muscle definition. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Did you know?

Did you know that I send out a monthly Fitness Newsletter? It includes recipes, fit tips, workout ideas, and details on all of the Beachbody program sales for the month. If you are interested in getting a copy, just click HERE.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Not as Expected

So you know how you can have a plan that gets thrown off track...Then you create a backup plan....and THAT gets thrown off track...Then you aren't quite sure what to do next?  Well, that sorta happened to me this week.    With the back pain I had last week, I had to postpone finishing up the 21 Day Fix Extreme round (only 3 days short).  I was going to finish up early this week, and take some progress pics this week and post my monthly updates.  THEN, my plan was thrown off by some scheduling issues, and a few sick children.  My kids DO NOT sleep well, when they do not feel well.  Guess what?  When they don't sleep well, I don't sleep well.  So, not an excuse for skipping my workouts....because I did not skip workouts....but I decided to pick less strenuous workouts this week because I just didn't have the energy.

That thought has me reflecting a little.  I have been on my fitness journey for about 4 years now.  I am NOT at my goals.  You may be wondering WHY I haven't been able to reach my goal weight in 4 years.  Well, first off, It took me over 10 years to pack on the pounds.  I am fully prepared to take the time to lose the weight the correct way, and in a way that I can KEEP IT OFF.  The truth is that I did reach my original goal weight.  Last year when I FINALLY hit (and dropped below) 150 pounds, I reached a milestone goal for myself.  However, by that point in my journey, I had reevaluated my goals and set my goal weight LOWER.  Over the last year, I have been struggling with some health issues, and my weight is creeping back up.  More importantly than the number on the scale, I am just proud to say that I have stuck with the consistent, healthy behaviors that I have developed.  Which means that WHEN I do eventually hit my goal weight, I will be able to EASILY maintain it (barring health complications) because my habits will not change drastically just because I have reached a goal.  I am so proud to have FINALLY gotten over the mentality that you NEED to diet to lose weight, and when the goal is reached, you can STOP dieting.  SO NOT TRUE!!!!  Well, somewhat true.  Of course, you can lose weight when you "diet".  However, if you don't completely CHANGE your habits, your weight will just pack itself back on.  A few permanent changes that I have made in my lifestyle include:
  • NO MORE SODA.  On very RARE occasion, I will have a glass or can. I used to be a can a day soda drinker (sometimes more).  I couldn't go a DAY without my soda, especially since I had AWFUL caffeine withdrawal.  How did I do it?  I made myself switch to coffee.  I am still getting my caffeine, but with far fewer calories....even when I add a bit of creamer to my coffee.
  • I can TURN DOWN sweets.  I have finally beat the idea into my head that I do NOT NEED to have dessert.  I can go to parties and events and  turn down the sweets.  It is rare for me to have cookies, donuts, and even birthday cake.  I may try a small bite, but most times, I will decline altogether.  The biggest point I want to make about this change is that I DO NOT FEEL DEPRIVED when I turn down sweets.  I will admit, turning down brownies is still a challenge for me.
  •  Reduced breads.  I don't say reduced carbs because I have learned that low carb eating does NOT work well with my metabolism.  I have also learned that the yeast in breads does not make my digestive system happy.  Therefore, I try not to reach for breads.  The reality is that I DON'T MISS IT.  
  • I avoid alcohol.  I enjoy a good glass of wine as much as the next person, but I don't feel the NEED to have a drink.  Last year, my husband, Jeff, and I made a decision to cut back on any alcohol consumption.  Occasionally, we will crack open a bottle of wine, or he may have a beer (I don't drink beer), but overall, we just don't drink.  I can probably count on one hand how many alcoholic beverages I have had in the past year.  
  • I exercise regularly.  Most weeks, I get in 5-6 workouts a week.  Some weeks, I may only fit in 2-3.  However, the key is that I am consistent, and I NEVER give it up completely.  My body actually craves the movement.  Even when I am not feeling like a heavy duty cardio workout, I still feel like I need to do SOMETHING.  I will usually pop in a quick ab workout DVD, or a short PiYo or yoga workout.  I always feel better when I finish!
  • I am NO LONGER a VICTIM.  I know that is an odd thing to consider when it comes to health and fitness, but this is actually a HUGE deal.  I do NOT blame others for my food/exercise choices.  I do not blame genetics on my weight and ability to lose it.  I do believe that factors in my genetics can make it more complicated, but NOT impossible.  I do NOT let others guilt me into a cheat or treat, that I do not really want anyway.  I don't make excuses for my fitness. When I decide to cheat or skip a workout, I own up to it.  Time is an issue for fitting in a workout on some days, but I also know that MOST of the time, I could still manage to fit in that workout if I REALLY wanted to.  
  • I have a positive outlook.  Since I have become a fitness coach, I have surrounded myself with such positive, like minded people that my confidence has skyrocketed!  I am not afraid to talk about my journey and my experiences with my weight and health.  Personally, I don't believe that there is any excuse that can not be overcome, if a person really wants to live a healthier lifestyle.  The ONLY excuse that will stop you, is simply NOT WANTING to.    
I may not be where I want to be yet, but I have set myself up for a lifestyle that will allow my body to be healthy enough that I can take the time to reach my goals.

Since I am not impressing you with my next set of progress pics today ;), I am going to leave you with some simple weighted ab exercises you can try at home.  Don't forget to always engage your abs when you do ab exercises - that means suck your belly button in and up (toward your spine and heart).  Keep a tennis ball gap between your chin and chest.  Did you know I have a youtube channel where I post exercise ideas?  Check it out        

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2015

Here we are...March 2015.  I will be posting my progress update and photos near the end of the week.  Last week, during my Lower Fix Extreme, I noticed some bothersome back pain.  I had to cut my workout a little short because of it.  Even though I only had 3 days left of my 21 Day Fix Extreme round, I decided that it would be best to rest my back for a few days, and finish out my last 3 days this week.  My back is feeling better, and I will jump in with Cardio Fix Extreme today. 

Even though, I am waiting until I finish my 21 days of Fix Extreme before posting my measurements and photos, I can tell you that I definitely feel stronger.  Following the 21 Day Fix Extreme Meal plan was pretty easy.  I thought it might be a little harder than following the regular 21 Day Fix plan, but it wasn't.  I never really felt hungry.  In fact, many days, I struggled to get in all the food I was supposed to be eating.  Sometimes it seems like I have too much food to eat, but the truth is, it is just the RIGHT kinds of foods, and in proper portions...which means larger quantities for things like veggies and fruits, but they fewer calories than carbs and proteins.  That means you can eat until you are FULL, and still not over consume your calories. I have also been making sure that I am drinking my Shakeology daily.  That is REALLY helping me to cut down on cravings for junk food.  I have actually turned down chips, ice cream and cake all in the last week - those things didn't even appeal to me when offered, so I never felt deprived!  BEST NUTRITION SHAKE EVER!!!

I have a new Facebook support group for the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme that starts on March 9th.  If you are interested in joining, all you need is one of the programs, and to contact me ASAP (see the contact form on this page, or message me via my FB page

Shop here:

21 Day Fix -

21 Day Fix Extreme -

Not sure which program to pick?  Contact me and I can help you figure that out :)