Thursday, March 17, 2016

Why Do I need an Accountability Group?

If you follow me on Facebook or even here on my blog, you know that I go on and on about accountability groups. These groups are my saving grace, y'all. Without them, it would be much harder to stay motivated and be successful.

Now, I will admit that some very few people have an very high internal drive that keeps them motivated ALL. THE. TIME, but most people need a little bit more encouragement, whether that be a group of other people, the desire to look good in a bikini, or the a need to feel better.

While I feel like I do have a pretty ambitious mindset, I also know that I can be super lazy at times. No shame in my game. That's just the way it is. I can Netflix binge-watch with the best of them, especially in the winter! (Side note: this warmer weather has me all kinds of excited.)

I'm getting off track, but here's the deal. Beachbody decided create the opportunity for coaches to become partners in their business, because they found that all of these people were purchasing their products off of infomercials but never actually using them.  (Research showed that something like 90% of people who bought P90X weren't even opening the packaging.That's cray cray and not what they were made for!) People were putting the program up in a closet, never to be seen again, because they had lost their motivation in the time spent waiting for the package to arrive. Thus, the Beachbody coach system and accountability groups were born out of a desire to see lives changed, not money made.

Honestly, long before I was involved with this company I had virtual accountability partners on another website when I was trying to lose a few pounds that I had gained when I was in a toxic relationship. These people were my saving grace when I had pulled away from everyone else in my life. They were my friends when I really, really needed them. They gave me the all the encouragement I needed.

The group worked. And it worked well. We shared our struggles and our triumphs. We congratulated and consoled each other. We did life together. It didn't matter that we only knew each other online. We were like a family.

I eventually left that relationship and found myself through a little bit of fitness and and whole lot of Jesus, and that was just the beginning of the road to a healthier body and mindset. I have found the most positive, uplifting people I have ever met through Beachbody. Whether it be other coaches or challengers, they are all the kind of person I want to be.

ALL of this is exactly what has inspired my accountability groups that I run now. I want them to be encouraging and inviting, just like my classroom at school. I want everyone to feel comfortable and safe, because, let me tell you, it can get pretty darn uncomfortable at times trying to be all fit and healthy. It can be downright hard, but it can also be the most amazing, encouraging things in your life, if you will let it. If you will let it, you can make some of the best friends, lose a few pounds, and kick that insecurity out tha doe! THAT is what it's all about, my friends.

So, my question is, what's stopping you?

Here's a link if you're feeling like you want to get in the next fit party. I will contact you and get you in a group that's just right for you (like Goldilocks). I hope to see many more lives changed through community and encouraging one another. Keep shining, my friends!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Time to get Hard Corps!

Tony Horton has done it again, y'all! He has come out with a new workout that is only 22 minutes long! What?! I'm all about this short workout stuff.

I just got my package in the mail and I thought I'd share a little bit about it with you.

Here's what to expect:

  • 2 DVDs with 8 workouts (these will last you for the 8 week program)
  • 8 week schedule to hang on the wall and check off my workouts
  • Triple-layered sandbag
  • Quick Start Mission Guide
  • Hell Week Challenge Card
  • Bonus: Battle Buddy Workout
  • Rations for Results (nutrition guide)

To say that I'm excited about this would be an understatement. I haven't been able to stick to a workout in a while. Sad, but true. BUT, I am ready to commit and fired up about this one.

The workouts are military "PT" style and set to a cadence. I've only been able to experience one workout so far (as a sneak peek) but, in it, there were bear crawls, burpees (of course!), jumping jacks, lunges, lateral runs, etc. Tony does have mercy and give you very short water breaks.

I've already been perusing through my package. I decided to create a meal planning spreadsheet, because I'm that girl. If it's not planned out for me, it's not happening. There's even a meal planning day built into the workout schedule on Sunday.

Here's the spreadsheet that I created to give you an idea of the meal plan. If you want to print it, just click File > Download as...>PDF. After the PDF downloads, you should be able to print! :)

If this sounds like something you'd like to check out, I would love have you join our accountability group! Teamwork makes the dream work, right? Feel free to email me ( with any questions or fill out the form here to get in my next group. I can't wait to get started! This is gonna be the bomb dot com.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How to Get Over Heartbreak by Decluttering (I'm Serious!)

A few months ago my heart was ripped out of my chest as my then-boyfriend and I decided to call it quits. It was really hard, but it was the right thing for us at the time.

I know that now, but in December, I would have told you a different story, as I had a huge void in my life and I didn't know how to fill it. I wasn't, and still am not, ready to just find someone new. I have never been able to do that.

I started looking into traveling the world or living abroad for a year. I needed a change of scenery and this book was just the thing.

In mid-January, Snowpocalypse Jonas came to Tennessee and I had a few days off from school. I had bought a few books to keep myself busy and I decided to start reading them. One was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Now, I am no domesticated diva so I don't even know what inspired me to buy this one, except for the rave review from one particular friend of mine. I guess it was meant to be, whatever that means.

I started reading the book and was surprised to read that there really was something behind this philosophy. Before starting the "de-cluttering" process you are supposed to "vividly picture what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space." It's not enough to just say you want your house tidy, you have to also decide what kind of life you want from your newly-tidied house. An example she uses in the book is of a client that wanted a more feminine lifestyle.

I thought on this for a few days. Deciding what kind of life one wants is not to be taken lightly and "feminine", per se, wasn't my end goal.

After some reflection I decided that my word (and world) should be free considering the traveling that I wanted to do. I wanted to be free, unencumbered by this world and this life that I am in. I wanted to be brave and free, like a bird without a cage (even though I am paralyzingly afraid of birds, I wanted to be one, to spread my wings and fly.)

After getting my "word" I began my journey. I followed the specific order that Marie laid out in the book. This specific order guarantees you you will have results that will stick. According to Kondo, once you have been through the process in this specific order, you will NOT relapse. Ever. Pretty cool, huh? Even I can tidy up once, especially if it is going to be for life.

The first category you go through is shirts. So I got out every shirt I owned and laid it on my bed. I picked up each and every one of them individually. I held it in my hands to feel its energy. I had to decide, "does this spark joy?" for each. (That's the key component of the method.) I have to admit it was pretty rough going. I don't think we realize how much energy is held in material things.

I picked up one shirt and was hurt all over again by a previous ex because it reminded me of him.

I picked up clothes that didn't fit right. They didn't spark joy because I didn't feel joyful in them.

I picked up pieces that made me smile just by looking at them.

The biggest "aha" moment I had was when I was going through some suits I had in the back of my closet. In a former life, I was an accountant and a bank teller. I had to wear not-so fancy suits to these professional jobs, and when I first graduated college and was ready to start interviewing, I didn't have any appropriate clothing, even for an interview. I was a poor college student living off of an Outback server's wages.

But I digress, I picked up this Banana Republic suit. I smiled and teared up knowing that this suit was one that my parents had bought for me on eBay over 10 years ago. I was filled with memories of  my parents making sacrifices for my sister and I growing up without ever letting us know about it. That suit filled me with joy and happiness and gratitude. I felt all of those things and I let it go. I knew that I would never wear it again so I thanked it for its service and put it in the donate pile. It had fulfilled its purpose in my life and it was time for it to be of service for someone else. This may sound harsh to you but the memories are what are important here, NOT the clothes.

After I finished de-cluttering my closet, the most amazing thing happened; I could finally breathe again. It had been months since that fateful day when my world had fallen apart and I could see the other side of it, at last. I can't begin to tell you how good it felt. I don't know if it was the act of getting rid of things or the meditative process of it, but it worked for me; I highly recommend it for you too. No matter what kind of heartbreak you are facing, try clearing out the the things in your life and only keep what sparks joy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Do These 4 Things to Have a Happy Day

Anxiety is something that I, and most Americans, struggle with daily. Call it over-thinking or analyzing, whatever you like, but it all boils down to worrying, which, let's be honest, is not fun. It can turn a good day bad or a bad day worse. Um, no thank you.

So, without further ado, here are 4 proven ways to guarantee a happier (and healthier) day.

Exercise - I know that it sucks sometimes. I know that you don't want to do it, especially when you are having a bad day, but it is what you NEED. Put on the clothes. The rest will happen. Here are some motivational tips!
    Meditate/Pray - It's okay and, actually, helpful to take a timeout. Your mind needs this. Forget the worries of the day. Feel them, acknowledge them, let them go. Give it to God. Free your brain for more important thinking, like deciding what's for dinner tonight. Ha! Which brings me to number 3.

    Eat healthier foods - Feed your body like you love it. I am the first person to opt in for pizza, but it needs to be in moderation with other foods that come from the earth. Foods that nourish us can feed our brains, as well as our bodies.

    Get enough sleep - Ugh, this is the one that I wrestle with the most often, but sleep is SO important! We are all different, but aim for 8 hours. I find that I function better on 9. Experiment with going to bed earlier to see when you feel the best. If you have trouble falling asleep, an hour before bedtime cut off all electronic devices. This includes TVs, phones, computers, and tablets. Try doing some relaxing yoga (here's a ten-minute session on YouTube) and/or reading a lighthearted book in bed. If that doesn't work, you can try supplements. I take magnesium (Nature Made MAGNESIUM 250 mg 100 Tablets ) every night and, occasionally, melatonin (Nature Made Melatonin Tablets, 5 Mg, 90 Count ). The magnesium helps your body relax, while the melatonin helps regulate your circadian rhythm (that thing that tells your body it's time to sleep).

    Give these a try and let me know it works for you. Do you have any rituals/routines you do every day?

    Friday, January 22, 2016

    Snowed In? Warm up!

    "...but I did workout and I am so thankful I can workout in my own home on days like this!"

    This was the text I got from a good friend of mine on one of our snow days here in East Tennessee (we are both elementary teachers) and it spurred me to write this blog.

    I know that a lot of you relish in group workouts. You feed off of the energy of others and shared suffering of a hard-fought sweat. The other people encourage and inspire you to keep going when you want to quit. Trust me - I get this. I LOVED CrossFit. I loved the cheerleader aspect of it. I loved the competition and camaraderie...but it was expensive! And it wasn't on my time. It was on the schedule of the gym and classes. And if I was short on time or had other things to do that day, I was unable to get my workout in.

    Enter in working out at home. How convenient is it to just pop in a DVD or flip my Roku to that workout channel? Granted, I don't always want to do it. Who does? If anyone tells me that they can't wait to workout, I'll show you a liar. We all suffer from workout angst. The "do I really have to?" The answer is no, you don't, but you will be glad you did afterwards.

    Here are some of my favorites for when I can get my booty up and going:

    PiYO - for when you need a good stretch AND sweat
    T25 - for when you are short on time but still want to make it count
    The Masters' Hammer and Chisel - for when you are ready to feel strong and lift some weights
    Insanity Max 30 - for when you want a workout so hard that you can't get up off the floor (it's intense!)
    Cize - for when you just want to dance

    If you're more of the commitment phobe and don't like to make big decisions, there is always the option of Beachbody on Demand. It's kinda like Netflix for workouts. I have a streaming channel right on my Roku. It's available on Chromecast and Amazon FireTV, too! You get a free 30-day trial to check it out and see if it's right for you!

    So, what are some of your favorite workouts to do at home when the weather outside is frightful?

    Sunday, June 7, 2015

    Eat the Rainbow - Veggie Style

    In April, I completed the Ultimate Reset, which is a 21 day detox program.  I ate a mostly vegan diet for the 3 weeks on the program.  While I have gone back to mostly eating what I was before, there are some recipes that I will continue to make because they were so yummy and good for me!

    One such recipe is the Edamame Corn Succotash.  Without further ado, here it is:

    Edamame and Roasted Corn Succotash

    4 bags of Dora edamame
    1 c frozen corn
    1 red bell pepper
    1/2 c red onion
    1 T rice vinegar
    1 T EVOO
    1 T fresh lime juice
    Himalayan salt (to taste)

    Preheat oven to 400* and arrange corn in a single layer on baking sheet.  Roast for 10 minutes or until golden brown but not hard.  Remove and let cool.  Meanwhile, heat edamame in the microwave or steam, if you prefer.  Saute onion and bell pepper in EVOO for 10 minutes or until soft.

    Add corn and edamame to pan.  Cook on medium for 5 minutes.  Add vinegar and remove from heat.  Stir in lime juice and salt.

    2 entree-sized servings OR 4 side-sized servings

    Also, check out my video if you want a visual!

    Please, let me know if you try it out!

    Monday, May 25, 2015

    Too Much "Stuff"

    Every day people all over the world are stressing about money.  Finances is the biggest reason for divorce in the United States.  The truth is that we, as Americans, place way too much emphasis on "stuff".  We feel that if we don't have enough of, or the "right", stuff, we are inadequate, no one will like us, and we will have no friends.

    Now, of course, this isn't least, not for most people.  I have been in the same mindset and still struggle with it from time to time.  I really like to travel and go out to eat with my friends. Sometimes, I worry that if I don't go, they will be upset with me and won't ask me to do anything anymore.  My friends are gracious and kind, so I know that they wouldn't do these things but this is what goes through the mind of a recovering people-pleaser/over analyzer.

    My only saving grace has been that I began to keep a record of every penny I spend.  I categorize everything I spend.  I prioritize one category over another based on how important I believe it is.  For example, I used to never "have the money" to tithe.  It just seemed like it was all gone.  I had not idea where my paycheck was going.  Even after I got hired on as a full-time teacher and was making substantially more money than I did as an assistant, I ran out of money at the end of the month.

    You know what they say, "Mo' money, mo' problems!"  No doubt, y'all.  I was making more money and if my bank account said that there was more, I spent it, not considering what bills or necessities needed to be paid for with that remaining balance.  This is where we get into trouble.  Not planning.

    As a, now, health and fitness coach, as well as a teacher, I know the importance of planning.  Without a plan, there is no real, meaningful way to reach a goal.  I plan my meals.  I plan my workouts.  I plan my lessons.  Why would I not plan my finances?

    So, I set to work.  With a background in accounting, I knew how to make and set up a spreadsheet.  I knew that the end balance had to equal zero with my income equaling my expenses.  I do particularly love a good spreadsheet so this was fun for me.  I began with this plan for myself years ago, only within in the last couple of months have I considered sharing it with others.  I'm not sure why, but I didn't really think that other people wanted this or that they would do it themselves, but I know how busy I am and how busy those of you who are moms or have full-time jobs are and I want to share this gift with you!  I hope that it encourages you and makes life just a little bit easier...and, hey! Maybe that debt will start shrinking too!  I know mine has.

    Without further ado, here is where you can sign up to get my free budget planning instructions and template (digital and printable forms available).