My top 5 tips on how to keep your New Years resolutions.

DSC_0450.JPGAhhh.. a new year comes with this mindset of a fresh start and a new beginning, right?! We set out to achieve goals we’ve had for years and or add a few more to the list. We have these goals and destinations we want to meet for a reason. However, through distractions, temptations, and failures we allow these goals to fizzle out within the first month or two because we aren’t seeing the progress we are expecting. We are to quick to jump the gun to abort mission when it gets hard.

Friends, as someone who has been there and struggled for YEARS to keep my own New Years resolutions; I discovered some key ingredients that enabled me to FINALLY reach my lifelong goals. I want to briefly share with you my 5 tips on how to reach these goals and keep your New Years resolutions.

  1. Mindset IS everything- I believe a positive mindset changes everything. The way you view yourself, your challenges, and your method, will either create success or be your greatest downfall. Think about it, if you go into this year with the mindset, you’re going to “try” something… you’ll try it alright. But eventually, it will be a thing of the past because trying implies doing it until it gets hard. You need to speak life into yourself, telling yourself you can! Don’t focus on how many times you failed. Focus on each day as it comes to better your life and be one step closer to your goals.
  2. Commitment- Piggybacking on my first tip, Commit to your goals 100%. Be all in. I am not saying you need to do this perfectly without failures. Quite the contrary. It didn’t take me a little over 2 years to lose 90 pounds because I did it perfectly. I was able to reach this goal despite the weeks the scale didn’t read what I wanted. I was able to pick myself back up after a weekend of consuming a sick amount of calories. Allow yourself to fall. Plan for it, it happens. What matters is how you dust yourself off and get back to it.
  3. Sacrifice- Yes, there will be times you need to deny yourself. Depending on your goals; weightloss, career related… etc. Sacrifices of your time, energy, and willpower will be challenged. Of course, you need to occasionally have a treat or take a break from building your empire to go out with friends. But daily you will need to accept that it will be required to change your habits to get to your destination. You can’t expect to hit goals when you’re not willing to make sacrifices with your time and routine.
  4. Self Love- To go back and also piggyback from what I said on my first tip, you NEED to love yourself THROUGHOUT your journey. You don’t just magically hit your goal and then start loving yourself. Friends, this is so crucial and yet our biggest downfall in what I believe is  a key reason why people don’t have LASTING results. They don’t see their worth and they give up. Why work hard and bust your butt for something when you don’t think you’re worth fighting for. Trust me, I get that it’s hard to love yourself when you 250+ pounds and feel disgusted to very core. But friends, taking the time to seek the good in your life and speak positively about yourself will allow you to create this positive mindset that will ultimately drive you towards success. Clearly, I don’t mean and am saying to walk around thinking you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. But as a C average overweight student who didn’t have a drive for life, I desperately needed to forgive myself from past failures and hurts to allow myself to heal and begin to embrace not only my strengths but my flaws which make up who I am. Friends, we do this simply by voicing words of affirmation and love into our day. Silencing the voice of negativity when it tries to creep in. Stop brushing off compliments we receive and accept them as sweet words of encouragement.
  5. Patience- If you can focus on the previous 4 tips and realize it won’t happen overnight, I guarantee you will be successful. You didn’t get to where you are today, overnight. It took time to form and create poor habits. It will take time to undo them and form new ones. But friends, if you accept that the time will pass anyway, being patient with yourself shouldn’t be an issue. Don’t focus on how far you have to go and how long it will take. Depending on your goals that could be daunting to some. Focus on taking each day as it comes, incorporating the best choices you can in the moment you’re in. Regardless what happened yesterday or even last Tuesday.  Make each day a new day for an opportunity to move towards creating and allowing yourself to have the life you want.

I hope you find these tips encouraging as you embark on a New Year filled with new opportunities. I believe in YOU. Go get em!

xoxo,
Committed Girl

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

Seeing the theme on social media of everyone sharing their reflections from 2016, I thought I would take a minute to share mine.
2016 has been a roller coaster of emotions. I have loved and I have lost. I have mourned over brokeness, pain, and the unknown. But I have also had the opportunity to rise from those dark times.

The beginning of 2016 I was still dealing with the loss of my broken marriage. In the spring, I was waiting for a call I never received. I was counting on being hired on as a Cincinnati Firefighter for their first class. I was devastated for a good two weeks not knowing, long term how I would provide a stable income for myself and my children. I let my business slowly fizzle because I thought I was moving and transitioning into a new career. I was scared and ready to make a rash decision. Thankfully through counsel from my friends and family, I decided to focus on what I loved and believed was my calling; being a personal trainer and photography (my first love) on the side.

In the following months I built my business back and was thriving by July. I had some long nights of hustling but it paid off. But I’ve also had personal attacks and had to defend what I believed in. I had to stand up and fight my child’s rights this year. I had to force myself on multiple occasions to rely on myself to fix various things. I also had to forgive people this year but I too, had to ask for grace and forgiveness.

Friends, if you can see the theme; I have struggled and been without, all the while having some of the most amazing experiences. I knew I had to take the suffering and heartache to enjoy some of my greatest blessings. One of which I received a couple weeks ago. December 8th at 4:30pm I received a call from Lieutenant Wright with Cincinnati Fire Department offering me a spot in their second class, starting February 13th. I was overwhelmed and still in some ways at a loss for words. I am honored that I was chosen out of 3,500 candidates to have this amazing opportunity. I look forward in weeks to come to share more of my experiences leading up to today and my journey in the coming weeks and years as I enter the fire service.

Friends, I write this little post in efforts to encourage you as you reflect on 2016, don’t just focus on the failed opportunities, the losses, and the heartaches. Remember the moments when you held your child on a warm summer night to comfort them. Remember the feeling you had when you overcame a victory. Remember that moment when someone looked up to you. Remember how someone came to YOU for advice this year because they trusted you. Remember that person who had a bad day and and you just acknowledging their presence immediately lit their world.

IMG_2462.jpgI’ve seen an overall theme of reflections from 2016 on social media the past week. I wish I could say they have been encouraging. The majority from my newsfeed on instagram and Facebook claiming how terrible this year has been. I get it, some people really have been delt a hand I don’t know or would claim to understand. But friends, I encourage you through the joys and victories you can take the struggles and valleys in stride. Focusing on the moments that you can truly cherish that allows you to smile. Trust me, y’all… I have dark days just like the rest of them. But I press on and CHOSE joy. Life is short (as we close another year together). You have made it this far through all the moments that have molded you into whole you are. I challenge you to embrace this year with excitement for the new relationships, new opportunities, and new victories; along with the new struggles that will make you stronger and appreciate all that 2017 will bring.

Happy New Year Loves and Go Bucks!
xoxo,
Committed Girl

Recovery Takes Time

 

IMG_1836.jpgPizza… undeniably the most delicious slice of heaven you’ll ever taste, am I right?! It was almost five years ago that I would enjoy multiple slices of heaven at least twice a week. I couldn’t get enough of a greasy and cheesy filled pie from any nearby pizza joint (as long as it wasn’t little caesars). My love for pizza however, became my downfall. It was my addiction.. my comfort. I could easily eat 4 slices of a large without any problem; along with multiple sweets to finish off the evening. Sadly, I wish I could say I stopped struggling with this five years ago, when I started my weight loss journey (losing 90 pounds). The reality is; I had an addiction to food. This isn’t cured overnight. I want to be very candid with my friends and followers (as I always try to do) because I know this is a very real struggle. I have clients who have 50+ pounds to lose and have expressed their heartache their addiction has caused. Food addiction is a widely accepted addiction because it can’t get you pulled over by the police. It won’t kill you from one binge. But sadly, it is a slow destruction that can creep up on you over the years. It will not only alter your quality of life but the relationships around you.

I can speak first hand on this as I have been overweight all my life (weighing 185 pounds in high school) then after my first born creeping up to obesity, weighing 240 pounds. My weight and addiction to food has always controlled my mental state. It clouded my thinking, questioned my worth, and prevented opportunities because of my physical state. Once I committed to a healthier lifestyle four and half years ago, I was finally able to peel back the layers. The layers of insecurity. The layers of self doubt. I was able to finally have the energy I wanted and needed for myself but to care for my two active little boys. Just as the weight wasn’t gained overnight, either was confidence and healing. However, with each passing day I was and still am on a journey of self discovery and healing from an addiction to food and binge eating.  Through counseling, books, nutrition guidance, lots of prayer and time; I believe I can have victory in this.

I hope my story and sharing my heart with you can comfort you and your soul to know you aren’t alone. This is a real thing. There’s nothing wrong with YOU. However, if you can resonate with what I am writing I urge you to seek help. I urge you to take the time for healing. Start practicing speaking life/ affirmations into your mind and heart. Stop the self hate talk. Start practicing to accept and love your flaws and strengths. Because friends, creating a healthy foundation of self worth, in my mind, is the key for recovery and healing.

IIMG_1837.JPG will end off on a very real victory I had several weeks ago, in hopes to encourage you. As stated above, I loved pizza and could eat half a large pizza without thinking about it. Even still to this day. That was my “cheat meal”.  As I started losing my weight, began to fear pizza. It was my downfall. I felt powerless and couldn’t express any amount of self control. This concerned me that I wanted to eat only 2 slices but once I started eating, I couldn’t stop. I would avoid pizza like the plague because that was a food that triggered binge eating. HOWEVER, through committing to new goals and a new nutrition plan I was determined to kick that powerless mindset to the curb. Sadly, for the first time in my life I was able to enjoy a slice and half of pizza (measured out to fit my macros) as a “treat”. The best part in doing this, afterword, not only I didn’t feel deprived but I moved closer to healing and victory from my addiction. Again friends, I share this to encourage you and for you to see that although I am 100% healthier than I was five years ago, I too have struggles. For those of you with friends and family who are in the thick of their journey to better their health or maintaining their healthy lifestyle they’ve created; be supportive. If they say no when offered a food or drink they want to pass up, don’t pressure them to consume it. You wouldn’t encourage a recovering alcoholic a drink. Allow them to enjoy treats on their terms and understand they mean no offense to you or the food offered. They’re just seeking healing and need your encouragement.

If you’re struggling with an eating disorder wether it’s binge eating, bulimia, or anorexia.. or another addiction for that matter here are some practical tips and resources I highly recommend;

  1. AFFIRMATIONS- I realize it’s hard to love yourself where you are and find goodness when you dislike your body and clouded by self doubt. But it’s crucial to seek things you love about yourself. Outwardly and inwardly. Speak them to yourself and out loud in the mirror as hokey as it sounds. Do it.
  2. STOP THE NEGATIVE TALK- Again, easier said than done, I know this. But with each passing day notice how you brush off compliments people pay you. Things you say and how you degrade yourself out loud and even in your head. If anything else, people around you are listening. Those of you who are parents will set a pattern for your children who hear you speak ill of yourself.
  3. READ- Christian, Jew, atheist, buddhist… whatever you believe, FIND A DEVOTIONAL. A book that will walk you through recovery. Wether it’s scripture or self-help.. it will make a difference for your mental health and healing. Some of my favorites; made to crave, dieter’s prayer book, and hope for the hallow.
  4. SEEK COUNSELING- If you have insurance that will cover this, do it. period. find a therapist, counselor.. what have you for someone to help you unpack the years of self destruction.
  5. PRAYER- I would be doing my faith and my God a disservice had I not give credit, where credit is due. I am a firm believer that it’s through my faith I have been able to have victory and able to move towards healing with each passing day.
  6. COMMITMENT- You will have bad days. accept it. plan for it. move on. When you have a bad day or even a bad week, don’t give up. Make small changes and healthier choices that will add up over time.
  7. SACRIFICE- Obviously, there will be days and times you need to deny yourself of treats. It’s part of the journey to limit those treats that have ultimately took you down this path. Yes, enjoy an occasional treat but prepare yourself to cut back and tell yourself no.
  8. TIME AND PATIENCE- You didn’t get to where you are overnight and you certianlty won’t get to where you want to be overnight. Be patient with yourself and enjoy your journey through the ups and downs as you peel back your own layers.

 

Take Care of Yourself Loves,

Committed Girl

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Holiday Online Bootcamp

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I will be starting this exclusive six week online bootcamp Monday November 14th. I am thrilled to offer TWO levels of bootcamp this round. I have enjoyed working with all fitness levels in one group but not all size fits all.

 My level one bootcamp will be tailored to my beginner client. One who hasn’t been working out and needing to know where to get started. Also one who is new to lifting and limited to equipment. These online clients have 25+ pounds to lose and ready to take the baby steps to get the weight off, once and for all. I will ask my level one clients to have a resistance band and a set of dumbbells. My level two bootcamp is for the individual who has been working out prior to this bootcamp. Enjoys high intensity workouts and wanting to take their fitness journey to the next level. I will also ask my level two bootcampers to have a resistance band, stability ball, a set of heavy weights (8-10 pounds) and a lighter set (3-5 pounds). Both bootcamps will offer meal prep ideas, daily encouragement, my weightloss secrets, and challenges that will enable you to hit your goals. At the end of the six weeks, I will offer a visa gift card for the client who participates the most, in BOTH level one and level two.

For these very exclusive online bootcamps, I am looking to train 5 motivated individuals who want to lean out in their midsection, shed unwanted inches, and gain strength.

My online bootcamps will enable your strength and your drive to finally reach your goals you have been longing to achieve. Instead of aimlessly trying to find your way in the gym and fight off temptation on your own, join this accountability group of likeminded individuals with similar goals. You will be placed into a private Facebook group for motivation, accountability, tips, and tricks to create a healthier lifestyle at home.


What can you expect?

  • Convenient multi-week, online program that fits your busy schedule
  • Accountability and a supportive approach that keeps you on track to accomplish your goal
  • Daily Checkins Monday-Friday
  • A clean grocery list
  • Easy and clean recipes
  • Affordable package option that is among the lowest cost option you’ll find


Here’s how it works:

This is a six week program starting on November 14th.

  • All participants will be added to a group online with supportive, like-minded individuals.
  • Bootcampers will be expected to follow the workout plan that will be posted to our private page.
  • Exercises will be appropriate for your level. I will still offer modifications if need be for both levels.  
  • I will post the 5 workouts to both groups the Sunday night before the upcoming week.
  • I will be posting demonstration videos of all the exercises to ensure correct form. 
  • Participants will be required to pay in advance via paypal and fill out all health forms, waivers, and liability forms before the bootcamp begins
  • Participants will be required to do daily checkin’s with me via text or email.

The cost of my six week, level one or level two online bootcamp is $120. HOWEVER, the first week of November, I am offering an early bird rate. Commit and pay for my online Holiday Bootcamp before Sunday night, (November 6th), you can join for ONLY $99! I look forward enabling you to start achieving all YOUR health and fitness goals. Please let me know if you want to have a consult call and we can talk in greater detail on this program.


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xoxo,

Jena Whitman

Surviving to Thriving

Growing up I was a C average student at best. I wasn’t motivated or driven. Attending a great school system, I was up against some very gifted and talented peers. I compared myself to them and felt as if I wasn’t adequate. I struggled with self worth and loving myself through being an overweight kid and teenager. I struggled with accepting my weaknesses, quirks, and the qualities that I once hated which made me unique.

IMG_8070.JPGAfter high school, then having my firstborn, the pounds kept adding on. I coped with my stress and my circumstances through food.   I suppressed my feelings of inadequacies which only contributed to more self hatred. I will add as a side note, although, being overweight doesn’t always equate to a low esteem. But for me, it did. I couldn’t see past the weight to see my value. I had areas of my life that I could improve but I would write myself off as a failure and being worthless.

Four years ago, after some quick yet deep soul searching, I was able to begin my journey to not only a better physical health but harboring a positive body image. Finally I began to love myself for who I am and not beat myself down for my shortcomings.

Over the past four years I have accomplished losing 90 pounds, along with a lot of nonscale victories, facing my fears, crossing off bucket list items, and even going after opportunities I never would have in a million years dream that I would have had.

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Two years ago, once I received my certification for personal training I was beyond thrilled to begin my lifelong dream in the fitness industry. After I got through the holidays in 2014,  I inquired about a job that I thought I was going to be handed to me, I was told they didn’t have any openings at that time. Initially, I felt defeated but was encouraged to come back and see if any positions would become available at a later time. I did some more quick soul searching and realized I needed to hire a business coach. I wanted to be able to make a little money working from home until the position I wanted became available.

Within the first six months I grew my business from the ground up with the help of my business coach. I went from zero clients to several one on one clients who I trained in their homes, I started a park bootcamp for my community, and building an online bootcamp group that gave woman a support group via Facebook along with 5 workouts for 6 weeks! I felt great with the direction of my business. But then an opportunity that I would’ve never foreseen was presented to me. Last year, I started the hiring process with Cincinnati Fire Department. I never once considered it in the bag until continually moving further along the process with the written test, physical test, a polygraph, and oral boards. Once I took my background check and finger prints at that moment, I was then waiting for my offer. With each step in this process, it was months between each other until I heard back on the next step. So, after the first of this year when I did my fingerprints and background check, I was counting on moving and starting my career in firefighting this spring. Once I found out in April that I didn’t get the offer, I was disappointed to say the least for multiple reasons. But the biggest and scariest one of all was, what am I going to do now?! I let my business slowly dissolve because several months leading up to this news, I thought I was moving and going to make a career shift.

After about two weeks of confiding in a few friends and family, questioning, “What the heck am I going to do now?! That was a job that could give the boys and I the financial stability we need.”  I debated going back to school or getting a side job. But thankfully, I came to the conclusion, I just need to work my butt off at what I have been doing all along. I need to put the focus and energy into my business I once built from the ground up and focus on what was my lifelong dream.

I went from 3 bootcamp clients in the park, 2 one on one clients in my home, and 5 online bootcampers this past spring of 2016 to just last month having 15 park bootcampers, 15 enrolled online bootcampers for my 6 week program, 5 one on one women who train in my home, and 1 client whom I train one on one via FaceTime who is out of state. I am truly blessed to have built back up my business and working with some amazing and hardworking women. These ladies who I have the privilege of training with truly inspire me to not only want to work harder for them but to continually crush my personal goals while watching their drive.

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Wether you’re on your own weightloss journey, trying to get ahead in your career, or even working through a challenging relationship; i.e. a spouse, child, neighbor, coworker.. you name it. These goals and battles we face are never easy, nor achieved overnight.

My method  for achieving and still working towards building a healthy lifestyle for myself, building my brand, and even working through helping my child with special needs is SIMPLE but NOT easy. You need to first COMMIT. Whatever journey you’re undertaking; be committed to it! Notice I didn’t say, do it perfectly. Be committed to your goals, REGARDLESS how many “flat tires” you have. Plan for setbacks, moments of weakness. It happens. If I threw in the towel for every time I gained some weight after losing some or gave up when I was on a SIX WEEK plateau, I wouldn’t be able to say I lost 90 pounds. We need to constantly recommit to our goals and journey DAILY. Give yourself grace in the moments of failure and get back to it. Secondly, you need to make SACRIFICES. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to “try”. Saying the word try, to me, implies you will do it until it gets hard and uncomfortable. Plan for sacrifices beyond the first two weeks. Plan for the times when you need to stay at home to work on building your career. Plan for times that you won’t be able to watch a show or lose sleep while you’re babies are sleeping because that’s the only time you can get actual work done. Yes, you need to allow yourself to enjoy some activities that bring you joy. You need to allow yourself an occasional treat. But denying yourself and making sacrifices is imperative to reaching your goals.  We need to be telling ourselves we are subbing a salad for a greasy cheeseburger and fries because in the long run it will make us feel better and enable us to reach those goals. Sacrifices are key and always overlooked and underplayed. I am never going to forget in the thick of my weightloss journey, my eldest boy who was 5 ish at the time, holding onto my car as I was backing out to drive to the gym. I felt horrible in that moment to leave when he wanted me to stay.  But in that moment I had to make the sacrifice to get a workout in over staying home and being lazy with my kiddo. I wanted to be an example to my kiddos and allow them to see the value in self care. Once I got home I was in a better mood because I got my workout in and then had the energy to play with my kiddo. Would it have been the end of the world had I chosen to stay home, of course not. But that little sacrifice has stood out to me, along with others that have added up over time to get to where I am today. Lastly, my method has and still includes a great amount of PATIENCE. Like I stated before and as we all know deep down inside, anything worth achieving doesn’t happen overnight. We need to be patient with ourselves as we are creating new habits and developing new systems in efforts to better our lives. As also stated above, failures happen. Not if but when. Plan on them and be patient with yourself when they do. Give yourself a break, take a deep breath, and recommit. These three “simple” ingredients, in my book, are key to achieving any and all of your dreams and goals. Being committed, making sacrifices, and being patient with yourself through the process. img_7240

I just like everyone else have my days of doubt and failure but I strive to better my life not only for myself but for the two little men in my life who call me, momma. I am grateful for the moments they have seen my disappoints, my weaknesses, and my roadblocks. For those moments made me real and human. I am also blessed for the moments they have seen the strength that the Lord has given me to move forward. I stand here today grateful that my journey isn’t over yet. They’re still plenty of goals that I have yet achieved and opportunities that are still undiscovered.

I pray that my story has encouraged you to recommit to your goals and motivate you to strive for a better tomorrow. If you would like to connect with me on social media, you can find me at Committed Girl Fitness on Facebook or Instagram.

Take care of yourselves, Friends.

xoxo,

Committed Girl

 

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Jumpstart to Fall Online Bootcamp

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I will be starting this exclusive six week online bootcamp Monday September 19th. I am thrilled to offer TWO levels of bootcamp for this round. I have enjoyed working with all fitness levels in one group but not all size fits all.
My level one bootcamp will be tailored to my beginner client. One who hasn’t been working out and needing to know where to get started. Also one who is new to lifting and limited to equipment. These online clients have 25+ pounds to lose and ready to take the baby steps to get the weight off, once and for all. I will ask my level one clients to have a resistance band and a set of dumbbells. My level two bootcamp is for the individual who has been working out prior to this bootcamp. Enjoys high intensity workouts and wanting to take their fitness journey to the next level. I will also ask my level two bootcampers to have a resistance band, stability ball, a set of heavy weights (8-10 pounds) and a lighter set (3-5 pounds). Both bootcamps will offer meal prep ideas, daily encouragement, my weightloss secrets, and challenges that will enable you to hit your goals. At the end of the six weeks, I will offer a visa gift card for the client who participates the most, in BOTH level one and level two.
For these very exclusive online bootcamps, I am looking to train 5 motivated individuals who want to lean out in their midsection, shed unwanted inches, and gain strength.

My online bootcamps will enable your strength and your drive to finally reach your goals you have been longing to achieve. Instead of aimlessly trying to find your way in the gym and fight off temptation on your own, join this accountability group of likeminded individuals with similar goals. You will be placed into a private Facebook group for motivation, accountability, tips, and tricks to create a healthier lifestyle at home.


What can you expect?

  • Convenient multi-week, online program that fits your busy schedule
  • Accountability and a supportive approach that keeps you on track to accomplish your goal
  • Daily Checkins Monday-Friday
  • A clean grocery list
  • Easy and clean recipes
  • Affordable package option that is among the lowest cost option you’ll find


Here’s how it works:

This is a six week program starting on September 19th.

  • All participants will be added to a group online with supportive, like-minded individuals.
  • Bootcampers will be expected to follow the workout plan that will be provided and posted to our private group page on Facebook.
  • Exercises will be appropriate for your level. I will still offer modifications if need be for both levels.
  • I will post the 5 workouts to both groups the Sunday night before the upcoming week.
  • I will be posting demonstration videos of all the exercises to ensure correct form.
  • Participants will be required to pay in advance via paypal and fill out all health forms, waivers, and liability forms before the bootcamp begins
  • Participants will be required to do daily checkin’s with me via text or email.

The cost of my six week, level one or level two online bootcamp is $120. I look forward enabling you to start achieving all YOUR health and fitness goals. To secure your spot, register today!! Once I receive your payment, I will be contact with you to help you decide which level would work better for you.


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If you have further questions and would like to have a consult call, i’d be happy to hop on the phone with you.  That way we can talk in greater detail on this program.

 

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Balsamic Drizzle

I loved the sound of this side dish as a healthy alternative to french fries. It sounded so fancy and grown-up to me, haha! This recipe is created by Eating Well and believe it or not, I found it in the produce section at Mejier along with other recipes for the taking. I love that they have free recipe cards giving you ideas to create some new dishes with produce. Although, mine didn’t turn out as good and as “fancy” as their picture, it was great! It went perfect with my whole chicken and veggies I cooked out on the grill.

 

IMG_7426.jpgRoasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Balsamic Drizzle

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, (about 3 medium),
1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon butter

 

Preheat oven to 425 °F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Place on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with oil and toss well. Spread out in a single layer. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, combine vinegar and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until syrupy and reduced to 1/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. (Watch the syrup carefully during the last few minutes of reducing to prevent burning.) Swirl in butter. Drizzle the sauce over the sweet potatoes.
Make Ahead Tip: The balsamic drizzle (Step 2) will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a little water if the syrup has thickened too much, before drizzling over the roasted sweet potatoes

September Park Bootcamp

IMG_5067.JPGThis summer we’ve had a fabulous attendance of 12-14 driven individuals who have been working out together in the park. I am looking to train 10 motivated women AND men who want to push themselves to THEIR limits. I am looking for folks who are committed to attending my 2x a week program for 4 weeks. Although these workouts will be tough, I will offer modifications. If you’re willing to work, I will work with you so you CAN see results!

This Bootcamp will start on Tuesday September 6th and will meet every Tuesday and Thursday night from 6:30-7:30pm for 4 weeks. This session will carry us until September 29th.

What can you expect?

Accountability and a supportive group with like-minded individuals with similar goals that keeps you on track to accomplish YOUR goal. I will also create an online private Facebook group to allow that interaction and community outside of working out.

A non-threatening environment to allow you to feel comfortable as you move and push your body to the limits

A workout that will challenge you to YOUR limits through body weight resistance exercises and various high intensity cardio exercises

A person (me) who truly cares and wants YOU to succeed and reach YOUR goal

Here’s how it works

This four week program will be starting on Tuesday September 6th. The last day of this session will be on Thursday September 29th.

We will meet every Tuesday and Thursday night at Shullgate Park off Shull Road in Huber Heights at 6:30pm for an hour training session.

I will take measurements and do a brief assessment for those willing on our first day. That way at the end of the 4 weeks we will see how you improved.

Providing you would like to participate, you can be added to a private Facebook group for accountability, motivation, and receive prompt updates for bootcamp.

Exercises will be appropriate for all levels and I will offer modified options for beginners. The workout will include plyometrics (high intensity cardio moves), running drills, and strength training.

Participants will be required to pay in advance and fill out all health forms, waivers, and liability forms before the Bootcamp begins.

Click the buy now button below to purchase and sign up for this opportunity to reach YOUR fitness goals.

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Happy “Healthy” Trails

Traveling is a glorious time to escape from life’s stresses and enjoy a vacation, right? As tempting as it be to check out of our healthy regime, that in turn will only cost us feeling bloated during the vacation. It will give us more stress after the vacation because of the weight we brought home as an unwanted souvenir.

I want to share with you some of the tips and tricks I have learned over the past year from traveling. In efforts for those getting away for Labor Day weekend, this could be beneficial.

First and foremost, you guessed it; PLAN AHEAD!

Be proactive and educate yourself on your destination. What are the nearby restaurants? You can review sites like Yelp or Trip Advisor to search the city your visiting, along with keywords like “paleo”, “gluten-free” or “grass-fed” (depending on your chosen lifestyle, of course.) For example, on Trip Advisor, you can search city + (chosen keyword) in the main search bar, which will supply reviews people have made of restaurants and hotels in that city using that specific keyword. This can be a great tool when you don’t want to blow your “diet” completely out of the water.

If you’re staying in a hotel, do you have a mini fridge and microwave. If you have a way to keep food cold and even a microwave, I highly suggest hitting up the local grocery store. You can purchase items such as fruit, veggies, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, etc. This way you can avoid a meal and unhealthy snacks by keeping your fridge stocked with some essentials to fuel and nourish your body.

Depending on your mode of transportation, if you’re able to pack snacks, do it! It’s a surefire way to avoid the greasy fast food.
Options for travel-friendly perishable foods:
Raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, and cucumbersIMG_5195.JPG
Hard boiled eggs
Pre-cooked sweet potatoes
Chicken and beef pre-cut into strips
String Cheese

Options for travel-friendly “no fridge” necessary foods:
I haven’t ventured to try Jerky like Epic Bars, Tanka Bars, Grass Run Farms Beef Sticks but that would be a great protein source as a non-pershiable item or some good ol’ protein powder
Bars like Larabars, One protein bars, Quest bars, and Cliff Bars
Air popped popcorn
Raw nuts, seeds, and individual packets of almond butter or coconut butter
Fruits like apples, bananas, avocados and “cuties”, and dried fruit

While I am traveling and vacationing, I try and do myself a favor by planning ahead some meals that won’t blow my “diet” completely out of the water. But having said that, beyond packing some healthy snacks, researching restaurants with healthy options, and finding a hotel with a fitness center; I do allow myself the freedom to enjoy some treats. I don’t want to drive myself crazy and my family bonkers with limiting myself to certain restaurants and restrictions. That is why for me, doing some prep work prior to traveling is always a lifesaver.

Happy Travels Friends!

 

Do you control your diet or does your diet control you?

Does this question seem to be a play on words? Does this question seem like a fair one?
Because really, of course we’re in control. We choose how to eat, thus we have control, right?!

I made a live Facebook video last Thursday sharing my recent “dieting” escapades.
But first a little background on me for those who don’t know me. I have been on a weightloss journey for the past 4 years. Losing the majority of my weight (80 pounds) in two years and another 15 pounds in the last 2 years. I lost my weight through slowly incorporating healthier foods and moving more. Through my commitment, I was and have been able to keep the weight off. Now being a certified personal trainer, I want to continue to be in the best shape I can.IMG_3040

This past year, I have had some setbacks from a car accident that left me unable to workout how my body has been used to. I learned I had to quickly shift gears and cut down my portions because my body was no longer burning the calories it was used to. I ended up participating in the whole30 challenge to change things up. I’ve heard a lot about the paleo lifestyle, so I thought this would be as good of time as any to shock my system. I loved it and continue to be more paleo-minded even more so than before. I am not following it religiously but I do always try to focus on lean meats, produce, and eggs.

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Then leading up to this summer i’ve been hearing more recently about carb cycling and intermittent fasting. I’ve heard the terms but never knew how it all worked. I was skeptical about this program yet ready to dive in. I participated in this program because I wanted to have that first hand experience for myself and my clients. I wanted to learn more about carb cycling and how it would help me lean out and gain more lean muscle. After the 6 weeks, I was happy with my results. However, the program itself was vigorous. I would not recommend it for someone just beginning their weightloss journey. It was very time consuming and a lot of prep to stay ontop of what day you were on, such as; a low carb day, high carb day, regular calorie day, low calorie day, or fast day. Although it was at times tedious and stressful, I actually did enjoy it for me. I enjoyed how it shocked my system and how everyday was different. But I know I made it hard on my friends and family. I swear my kids had a harder time with it than I did. Haha! They would be frustrated that I wouldn’t enjoy our bi-monthly pizza night, or enjoy certain treats with them. How I had to time my food at certain times. Needless to say, beginning of July, they were stoked when it was over. A part of me was too but I still wasn’t content with my waistline. I lost weight, gained lean muscle, yet my measurements in my stomach didn’t move! What?!

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Hear me when I say, I love my body and I am so thankful for how far i’ve come. I am excited to have found my inner strength and gain confidence I have never had. But as I said before, I want to be in the best shape of my life. As a certified personal trainer, I feel as if I need rock hard abs and anything less is not sufficient. I have been beating myself up even subconsciously on how I need to live up to this “standard” I have put on myself. In the process I have experienced different ways of eating in efforts to reach that ideal image. Leading up to this past year, I am proud to say I have learned how to eat healthy over time. I learned how to love myself and all my imperfections throughout. So, why the past 6 months have I been hung up with this? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pushing yourself and trying new things to shake things up. If you want to try a “fad” diet, great. Just set at time frame to it. For me, I knew I was about to drive my kiddos nuts with another round of carb cycling when Jack said something that hit home. We were out at McDonalds with friends. I wasn’t eating because it was day 3 of the cycle and it was a low calorie day and I already had my calories for the day. When I was asked why I wasn’t eating, Jack chimed in right away, “my mom doesn’t eat”. That hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt as if I failed my children. I have developed these healthy habits but in this past year they have seen me go nutty in efforts to gain a six pack. I had to do some quick soul-searching and figure out what was more important. Continue to “diet” in hopes to gain my ideal body or abort mission and go back to just the basics. Eating healthy and loving myself where I am for my own sanity and my children’s. For me in this time period of life I am, I am happy to make peace with that while my children are young. I want the madness to end before it would’ve got out of control. Because after awhile I wasn’t in control. The food was controlling me and I gave it that power. But I refuse to give food that power anymore. I choosing to love myself with or without a six pack.

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A few weeks ago after having this time for some quick yet reflective soul searching, I received some validating news. After going to my yearly OB/GYN appt, my doctor suggested I have a tummy tuck, without my prompting, mind you. haha! She was pulling and tugging at my stomach and saying how I could get rid of this skin through a tummy tuck. I was taken back and it hit me that to actually obtain the 6 pack I have desired, I need surgery. I had a moment where I considered spending $7,000+ But for now, I need to gain the control I once had. Over my body and my food before I undergo any knife or another experimental diet. I don’t believe surgery is out of the question for me, down the road. Or I won’t say I won’t ever jump on the bandwagon to try the latest nutrition trend for designated number of weeks. But for me, again in this time period that I am in, I want to be mindful of my two little men (9, 4) that I am raising. I want to give them a healthy view of body image, self care, and health. I want to discover new healthy foods with them and allow our treat nights without guilt. I don’t want my kids to see how diets are controlling my life. I want them to see again how I am taking control of my food, enjoying my life, and most importantly enjoying them as a happy and healthy mommy at a size 6/8.

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