Monday, December 26, 2011

You know that one person you constantly see walking in or out of the gym, but never talk to much?  Then, there is just that 'one' time you talk and you have a conversation like your best friends?

That happened to me today and I know it was God touching me.  I was just blessed by her words of wisdom.  It's funny how God uses people...

After a crazy week of working, I was excited to finally have a day off (Christmas Day) and I wasn't overly excited about returning to the retail world Monday morning.  It was one of those days where guilt of what I had ate the day before setting in and a feeling of hopelessness setting in.  "Ugh, will I ever have a flat stomach?"  I had lifted earlier in the AM and went back to teach Group Ride.  As I walked into the gym and compared my body to all the other thin women in the gym, I let my head droop and walked in to teach class.  Barely anyone showed up, but I didn't let that take away from the fact that those who did show up, wanted a good workout.  We got our sweat on and as I walked back into the locker room, I said hello to a woman I always see.

She looked right at me and said, "I have some serious work to do today".  I laughed and said, "tell me about it"!  Her response was not what I was expecting.  She was like, "You look great! Why do you need to work so hard?"  "Um, look at my belly!" I responded!  Her response wasn't what I had expected.  "You have great curves.... and your legs are to die for!  I wish I could have your legs!"  I was taken back...

The rest of her words really made me take a step back.  She said, girl, you need to love your curves.  Your beautiful.  You keep focusing on the one small thing that you fix about yourself instead of loving yourself.  You keep thinking that your not beautiful because of _____________.  Don't do that!  Love yourself and your body will love you.

Humm... It's true.  I look at every little blimish like it's my biggest fault instead of my so many other qualities I have.  I let the the fact that I don't have a flat stomach be my value when in reality, my value and worth come from only Christ.  I will always have something that needs fixed.  I can't oder a perfect body or wish my body perfect.  All I can do is care for the body I have and love it just like I love others.  As I think about it, I think I show more love to others than I do myself.  I need to work on loving me, and that can only come from more time spent with God, who IS love. 

This week has just begun, but lesson has been learned.  I'm always moving forward and making progress. 
I encourage you this week to be open to loving and caring for you.  When you focus on God and you, your other relationships and actions will fall into place.

Be Blessed
A




Tuesday, December 20, 2011







As Christmas nears, weather gets colder, snow begins to fall, the mood is set.  Set for gathering around friends and family.  People make goodies, we make goodies, and we share them with those we love.  For me, my favorite treat is any kind of roasted, glazed, or candy coated nut.  This season though, I'm doing all I can to resist the temptation and it's easier because I have a trainer I'm logging and sending him everything I eat.


After several e-mails with him though, I have to confess I haven't been doing my body justice.  I have been doing cardio, cardio, cardio and no weights.  I want and desire so badly to get the last bit of weight around my belly off, that I thought cardio was the only way to get it off.  However, I just found myself becoming more irritable and hungry.  Some days I wouldn't let myself leave the gym unless I had burned up to 2500 calories. Teaching spin class, 1 hour of running, and then intervals on the elliptical would take a over two hours and I was doing this 3-4 times a week.  I was beating myself up trying so badly to get the results I desired.  The reality is, I was being counter productive.  There is something in my mind that won't let a number on the scale go (even though I haven't stepped on one in a month). 


90lbs down

So, this week, I've changed my training.  I have added weight training back into my week and more protein into my diet.  And going back into the gym, I realized how week I had allowed my muscles to get.  Now, I'm being held accountable for what I'm eating and doing in the gym and I have to say it's refreshing.  It's refreshing to be able to hear feedback and someone to boldly tell me where I have gone wrong, but also HOW to change it.

Same goes for you.  I must first ask if you are only making excuses? In whatever you desire to achieve, are you putting out effort?  No, then your only failing yourself.  If you are putting your attempts into action, but your not getting the results you want- It's time to take a step back, evaluate, and maybe even as for some help.  It's such a humbling experience to ask for help, but trust me, it's always worth it. 

4 Years AGO!


Do something for yourself.  If you haven't started making choices to better yourself, give yourself one of the best Christmas presents- Faith in God and Faith in Self.

Know that you can take the next step to a better you.  However, it first starts in your mind.  You have to tell yourself you will and can.  I love the quote "A year from now you would have wished you started today".  It's the exact truth.  So do you and do you boldly!

-BeBlessed
A

Friday, November 25, 2011

You Got This!


I used to think of a year in terms of school. August through May was a year and the other three months, well, they were a bonus for surviving August through May.
However, since graduating and entering the work world, my mindset has begun to change. I look at this year as coming to a close as December arrives, and start thinking of where I was this time last year.
This time last year, I had started training with my personal trainer, Eva Shurts at her gym she had just opened up. I would travel with her to teach classes out of our area and think up new workouts that kicked some major butt. I also began training for the Oklahoma City Remembrance Half Marathon. I look back at all the things I was prepping myself for during this time and am quite proud of what I was able to accomplish because of my mindset. This year has been amazing for me as I was featured as Nike Women’s Spotlight in January 2011, PR-ed my ½ marathon time by 30 minutes, was featured in Oxygen’s August 2011 women’s magazine, became a certified Group Ride fitness instructor through Body Training Systems, and was honored as Complete Nutrition’s Success Story of the year by using their products and having such great success with them.
BUT WHERE WOULD I HAVE BEEN IF I WOULD OF LET MY PAST SET THE TONE FOR MY FUTURE?
NOWHERE!
I like this blurp from Joyce Meyers, “We may look at other people and think they never have to go through anything difficult, but we all go through different things.  Some people have gone through devastating things that nobody knows anything about.  Some people have learned the art of suffering silently.  They know only God can help them, so they don’t bother telling everyone they meet what they are going through”.
This is so true for me.  When I’m working either at the gym or retail, I have people say to me “you don’t know what it’s like to be my size”.  Or my personal favorite, “your tiny, you don’t have trouble finding your sizes”.  CORRECTION… I DO! I once was 226 lbs.  But those who didn’t know the old Alison don’t know the old me.  They don’t know the surgeries I went through when I was younger.  They don’t know the several funerals of close friends and family members I’ve experienced at a young age.  People just look at me and assume, “she doesn’t understand”.
I’m here to tell you, I DO.  Maybe I haven’t experienced the exact pain you are currently going through, but I’ve had my own struggle. 

The biggest struggle I’ve had to overcome, MYSELF.  My mindset and your mindset will hold us back from so many things if we allow it to.  I continue to stretch my limits by doing things I once told myself I could never do. 
For you, it might be lacing up the shoes and going for a walk.  For another, it could be choosing to eat healthier.  It could be getting up earlier to get the workout, prayer, or devotion time in with God.  It could be setting aside the computer and text messages to just enjoy your family.  Whatever it maybe, YOU’RE THE ONE that has to choose to make the conscious effort.
When I look in the mirror, I’m able to see the scars I have from my surgies, but those are physical.  Don’t allow something like a scar from your past ruin your future.  God is in control, He knows what he is doing, you have to take a step out and trust Him.
BeBlessed and always remember -> You got this!
A
My recent video with Complete Nutrition -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Q4dD8i_0644

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Potential




How many of us really think about our potential with God in our lives?  I’ll be the first to admit, I try to live my life daily without him, only because it’s my human nature to think “I don’t need help, I can do this on my OWN”.  HOWEVER, when things don’t go MY way (MY PLAN), I’m mad and holler God’s way to help me fix what I tried to control.  Why?
Society!
Society tells us that life should be easy.  That we shouldn’t have to work at anything.  That it’s all about us and our happiness.  But what I realize is it isn’t all about ‘US’.  It’s about others. 
Through my weight loss, I’ve had the opportunity to share my experiences and even inspire others.  BUT, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am now, without my past of being severely obese and fighting through each workout to better myself.  No, working out isn’t easy! Eating right isn’t easy.  And yes, I’d love to go grab a frozen pizza and chow down, hit up Sonic or Dairy Queen, or go eat whatever I want at a huge buffet.  But, I also know what is important to me.  My health.  I have to exercise self-control. 
We need to realize that within us, we all have potential.  Potential to do something great and inspire someone else.  I will say it till I’m blue in the face-> encourage, encourage, encourage others.  Take a step outside of yourself and realize there are others out there that have just as much potential.  It just needs to be tapped into.  You might not be good at this one specific thing, but what about what you are good at?  That’s a gift from God!  Now just because it’s a gift, doesn’t mean there isn’t some refining that needs to go on.  TOUGH TIMES HAPPEN. 
And… Just like a piece coal, it had to go through much pressure and heat before it became a beautiful diamond.  Same goes for us!
To really develop ourselves in whatever it may be-> running, eating right, reading, homework, lifting, something specific at your job… it takes practice, pressure, and patience!
AND à GOD!
“But Jesus looked at them and said. With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.”  Matthew 19:26
For me this last week’s success is working on taking the focus off myself to really develop my full potential.
For you, take a step back.  Are you going through the motions because you’re afraid to push yourself?  I’m here to tell you about the POTENTIAL that is within you, BUT your POTENTIAL needs ACTION to be developed.  Figure out what and where your potential is.  Write out a plan to challenge yourself and get started!
BeBlessed
A

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Standing Ovation

 

As many of you know or have heard, I was invited as Complete Nutrition’s Honorary guest to their 2nd Annual Company Award Ceremony.  I started using their products after I had read numerous articles and books about women not getting enough protein in their diet and decided I wanted to make sure I got on the right stuff for ‘my’ body.  I kept my eyes and ears open and accidently came across my friend Seth’s Facebook status that mentioned something about protein. 
After many times of conversing with him, we developed a plan for my half marathon training and what supplements would support my body and the training I was enduring.  My first blog written was actually about my success I had with my run and the supplements I had taken.  I finished the race in 2:04 hours, shaving 30 minutes off of my previous ½ marathon time exactly 5 year ago.
With all that said, Complete Nutrition invited me as their guest to meet the president and the many wonderful people who work for the company.  I was invited to be a part of a video shoot where I shared my success story and the video was shown as I was invited on the stage.  As my story played on the large screen and I was recognized for my success, everyone rose to their feet.  Standing ovation.  It was such a humbling experience.  I didn’t do it for the recognition that I had received. I did it wholly for accomplishing a goal I had set for myself. 
That is where I challenge you.  Have you set a goal for yourself or for others?  Do you desire to do something that is outside of your comfort zone?  If so, I encourage you to embrace your challenge.  Do it for you.  You owe it to yourself because only you can measure your own success.

BeBlessed
A


Blooper>> video

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Control Freak!

Alright, I’ll finally admit it, I’m a control freak!





This past week has been rough for me.  I didn’t think I had over trained, but as the week began on Monday, I had no energy.  We were releasing our new track for Group Ride on Monday evening and I needed to learn the track.  I practiced the track several times last week, as well as over the weekend.  I also worked over the weekend at the store and so when Monday rolled around… Whew… Exhausted!
However, I think what exhausted me the most was that I chose to weigh myself Monday morning. WHY THIS IS AN ISSUE ALL THE TIME… I don’t know! But I thought I needed to because my jeans were feeling tighter.  I wanted to make sure I wasn’t gaining weight!
INTERLUDE: Yes, I have the “I NEVER WANT TO BE FAT AGAIN SYNDROM”
Anyways, I weighed myself and I had gained 5lbs!  I freaked out.  Came home and took my measurements.  My stomach was the same, which is my main concern.  The more weight you carry in your stomach, the greater your health risks.  So where was this weight coming from?
Well… I added a whole inch to my calves.  I added a ½ inch muscle to my arms, but the most surprising… a whole 2 ½ inces gain of muscle for my butt!  NO WONDER my jeans were so dang tight!
So let me recap, since I started teaching Group Ride, I hadn’t taken my measurements.  Why hadn’t I thought my legs and butt would gain muscle?!  As much as I have come to learn, I thought with all the cardio, I wouldn’t add inches in those areas.
BUT, I was still hung up on the issue.  After expressing my concern to another trainer, I figured out where I had gone wrong.  I lacked a goal and vision of where I wanted to go in my next step of training.  Dangerously, I’ve been going through the motions of the gym, and haven’t had a focus.  My only focus has been a number on the scale and found myself greatly disappointed, even with gains of muscle which is what I desire.  It was just an unexpected surprise because the added muscle added to my overall body weight.
This brings me to my point in life.  WHERE IS OUR FOCUS?
Are you wondering around with no purpose?  If so, where are you headed with all that vision not packed away in your suitcase?  Just like in my training, I found myself frustrated and disappointed, you may find yourself there in life if you haven’t taken time to set goals. 
Successful people have a vision.  Successful people seek feedback and insight from others.  As my 24th birthday approaches this Friday, I’ve taken time to reflect.  I’ve reflected on where I’ve come from, but where I want to go.  I accept I can’t control everything and I need to relax! 
Prescribing myself a double dose of a Chill Pill daily.
This week’s success: understanding I didn’t fail, but I didn’t meet a goal because I hadn’t set one.  I encourage you to take time this week to look at your past, but don’t remain there.  Pick yourself up and embrace who God created to be.  Then move forward by first setting short and long term goals.  Ask yourself if they are attainable and reasonable.  Then share them with someone who can hold you accountable. 
Lastly, know that you are loved.  I appreciate you greatly, but know Christ never leaves your side.  No matter how many other individuals fail you out of their human nature, He will never.
BeBlessed
A

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chasing Happiness

Without direction, there is no life...

Since I can remember, I’ve always viewed my current position as desiring to be at the next level.  Now don’t get me wrong, the deep desire to always do better or go bigger has it’s advantages.  It keeps me accountable to never become complacent.  However, there are disadvantages.
Lately, I’ve found myself in a state of frustration.  I want to be here.  I want to be there.  I want to be doing this… just like ‘so and so’ and I’ve become unhappy.  This last month, even though I’ve remained upbeat, I’ve had a down in the dumps attitude.  At work, I haven’t been giving my all.  At the gym, I’ve been going, but not giving my whole self.  My relationships with others, ehh, they just exist.  It’s like I’ve become a shadow of a person moving and doing everything, but without passion and purpose.
It wasn’t till my recent trip to Topeka, Kansas where I had a video filming with Complete Nutrition that I was able to have some tough love thrown my way.  No one else besides my brother can do this.  So I was telling my brother about my frustration and he bluntly put it, “Why can’t you just be happy?!”  I paused for a moment and said, “I Am!”
He then spoke some of the wisest words I so badly needed to hear.
“A, no your not!  You always are looking for something bigger and better.  You can never just be happy.  You don’t sleep at night because your always stressing about small things.  You need to be thankful for what God has blessed you with.  You show God that you don’t trust Him when you are stressing and worrying and trying to make life happen.  Enjoy what He has given you for just one minute.”
All that could come out of my mouth… UGH, your right!
What was the last time I just said ‘Thank you Jesus’?  It’s been a while.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Leading up to now, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I’ve gone through so much transformation in body, mind, and soul.  It has built character.  Every step after this point, is planned out for His glory.  My job is to honor Him and NOT myself daily.  I need to take a step back and remind myself that the success I’ve had is only and souly because of Him.
So my success this week is found in tough love.  In the fact that taking a step back is needed for onward growth.
What about you?  Have you lost yourself in trying to achieve something?  What are you chasing?  Are you chasing your own worldly happiness?  Or are you chasing after Him and thanking Him for every speedbump in the road? 
Thought to remember… Our finish line is when we die.  Our awards await us not here on earth, but with Christ.  Maybe we all need to change how we are viewing our thoughts on success.
Success is trying, and pushing onward to glorify Him. 
What will you do to bring Honor to His Name?
#BeBlessed
-A

Sunday, September 18, 2011

At Genesis Health Club after Group Ride... It's what we do!

Last week, as I was leaving the gym, I heard some ladies in the locker room chatting up a storm.  I walked by them, smiled, and said G’morning!  They greeted me and then wanted to know what I had just got done doing.  I was wringing wet, and one said I looked like I had just gotten out of a pool.  I laughed and informed them I had just finished teaching Group Ride.  “Oh, that’s the bicycling class isn’t it?”  I affirmed their answer and then asked them both how come they didn’t come… I mean they were both already at the gym at 5 am, why not join the class?!  They both laughed and said that they have weight they are trying to get off and they are dedicated to the treadmill every morning.  I said, well changed it up and watch those pounds melt away with a change in routine!  They said they’d think about it, but no sign of them coming yet…
However, I thought about this more a more as the days have gone by.  Personally, when I train, I’m always changing my workouts.  I try new plyometrics, weights, distant running, intervals, strength training, Zumba, Kettlebell, ab exercises, and more.  I’m always changing my workouts and hoping that I wake up sore… That I’ll be able to feel a deeper muscle the lower I squatted or harder I crunched.  But, I also know, not everyone is like this. 
Truth is, some people treat the gym like a morning routine.  Get up, shower, comb hair, brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast… and so forth.  EFFORTLESS!  Your personal morning routine might differ a little, but point is, there is no thinking to it!  You could do it sleeping! 
So my challenge for you to reconsider… Is your workout routine effortless?  Could you do it in your sleep without any drop of sweat?  Is your day effortless?  Are you just going through the motions to ‘get through’ the day.  I know from experience, it’s in the challenges that my character has been challenged.  But that is also where I grew the most.  It was through the toughest workouts, where I found my potential.  Sometimes, it’s meeting failure to see what improvements need to be made.
Here’s a thought I’d like to leave you with: Life begins, where your comfort zone ends.
No matter what you’re doing, are you challenging yourself?  Are you growing?  Are you moving forward?  If you’re not, take a step back and evaluate why?  What can you do differently?  Do you need to take a chance on walking out of your comfort zone… It might be the best move you’ve ever made?
As always, BeBlessed
A

Monday, September 5, 2011

2 Steps Ahead...



Since I was young, I’ve wanted to be at the next level.  My mother says when I was crawling, I wanted to be walking.  When I was walking, I wanted to be running.  And I haven’t changed!  No matter what I’m doing, I want to be at the top and doing it ‘THE BEST’.  I fault at, “If I can’t be the best, I don’t want to do it at all”.  And this explains why I find myself so frustrated with myself in everything I do.  From school, to work, to training, to eating->I want to be the best.  I have that drive in me, but it gets me into trouble. 
I had a recent conversation with a friend about my diet.  He wanted to know details of my training.  I tried to brush him off, but he wasn’t having it.  He wanted DETAILS of how often I was eating, what I was eating, and how many calories burned each day.  I gave him a rough estimated answer that I knew he wanted to hear… But it was as if he heard the truth instead of the lie.
I unleashed my honesty: My diet has been sucky!  I had set up a 90 day period where I wanted to focus on balancing and growing in my training, eating, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing.  I wanted to become stronger in all four, and find a balance.  However, I fault at doing one better than the other.  And that is ‘over-training’.  I still get caught up on the number the scale reads.  I get hung up on this bulge.  And completely depict my body in the first 30second of waking up!  When I was really honest with myself and my friend, I’m consuming less than 900 calories, while burning around 3000 by completing 2-3 workouts in a 24hr period. 
*Humm, no wonder I was cranky, tired, and irritable?!  I would NEVER recommend anyone to do this to their own body, so why am I doing it to my own?!
ANSWER: I have put such a huge weight loss emphasis on myself!  I have taken my eyes off of being fit and more on looking like this person ‘I’ THINK ‘I’ should LOOK like.  I have driven myself into the ground trying to fulfill this imaginary and unrealistic body.  AND ONLY ‘I’ have placed that pressure on MYSELF!  I’ve forgotten how far I’ve come on my journey of being fit NOT skinny.  I’ve placed so much emphasis on where I WANT to be and I’ve lost track of taking care of myself.
So this week, I’m sticking to my diet.  There are no short cuts.  What you put in your mouth (as well as what you don’t put in), will be the results you get.  The work you put in the gym, will be the results you receive.  I’m disciplined enough to put the gym time in, I need to be disciplined enough to eat.  No more making excuses of why I shouldn’t eat, but planning out my meals to set myself up for success.  I mean, my blog is called Success In Various Forms ;)
Lesson learned:
Pursue renewal in your relationship with God and in your personal relationships.  Relationships grown only when you spend time cultivating them.  Our vertical relationship with God affects our horizontal relationships with our friends, family, coworkers, and peers.  Start with the vertical relationship and everything else will fall into place… Veneer by Timothy Willard and Jason Locy.

Four Years ago!




Four Years ago!







Monday, August 22, 2011

Evaluating&New Goals


 Before & Current Pictures Featured Below!


I look back at my current success of losing 90lbs.
I've been featured at a Nike Women's Spot Light, featured on Complete Nutrition's Website for my blog and a clip about their products I've used, and even in Oxygen Magazine as a success story on how I changed my eating habits.

But where do I go from here?  I haven't written a blog in 2 weeks because I've been stuck in a rut.  I'm not sure what I want to do next.  I started this journey just wanting to get fit, but I accomplished way more than that.  I learned about myself in the process.  The things I THOUGHT I could NEVER do, I did.  Who would have thought at one time my 226 lb body would run the Oklahoma Memorial 1/2 Marathon in 2:04?  Who would have thought that I would have a certification in Cycling? Never me!

What am I getting at here?  Our OWN MENTAL LIMITATIONS!  For so many years I didn't love myself enough to challenge myself.  I told myself I couldn't and so I accomplished little.  NOW days... I LIVE off of challenges.  However, I've fallen into a slump!  What is my next challenge?  What am I working for next?  Am I training for something?  Currently, no.  I don't have a big race coming up.  I don't have a goal to meet.  I don't have something that I'm working for with all of my effort. My training has been consistent, but I haven't been pushing myself.  SO... this last week I did some evaluating. 

I asked myself this question:  What am I weakest at?
Answer: my stubborn belly weight & my spiritual walk with Christ.

I decided the two needed to be revamped.  I decided that I needed to suck it up and get serious.  I need to log every ounce of food I eat.  I need to measure EVERYTHING I eat.  And I need to push myself harder in my workouts.  But none of this can be accomplished if my MIND isn't right.  I need to train my mind and soul as hard as I train my body.  Which is why I'm committing myself to 90 days (lead up to Christmas season) to get myself right in mind, body, and soul. 

I've started a food journal in the same journal as my prayer/devotional journal.  I feel the two strongly go hand in hand.  My goal for the next 90 days is to train not just my body.  This gives me a goal, which is EXACTLY what I need.  I'm not focusing on weight, but my actions.  I know that if my actions are consistent, my results will be consistent.

My success this week: re-evaluating my mind, body, and soul
Your challenge this week: evaluate your weakness and set a plan to train so that your weakness become your strengths.

*************************************
What actions are you willing to take to achieve greatness?  I know you have it in you, but do YOU know the greatness that lies within you?

BeBlessed
-A
Currently...

Currently...
In May 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

EXCUSES!

6th Grade...

90lbs down...

Many of you who follow me on Twitter or facebook know that this last weekend, I attended the 'Body Training System's' Group Spin Certification.  Because I always speak honestly, I will admit how nervous I was.  Whoever played junior high or high school sports may be able to relate to this feeling of apprehension.  You don't know what the first day of practice will look like.  All you know is it will be ALL conditioning.  Basically, summed up, your coaches are secretly praying that they can make you throw up.  This is how I actually saw this weekend!  I knew we were going to be on the bike all weekend, and I wasn't looking forward to having a sore butt from the workouts.  I sucked up my feelings of doubt & got onto my bike with confidence.  I had a blast and so happy I took the plunge!
BUT... these feelings are the same feelings that flowed through my veins the first time I went to a gym.  The first time I met with a trainer.  The first Zumba class I went to.  The first TRX circuit I went through.  The first 1/2 marathon I did.  I thought, what if I die?  What if I throw up?  What if I can't do it?

SO WHAT?! 

Your TRYING aren't you?  Bottom line... WE can literally make an excuse for EVERYTHING that takes us outside of our comfort zone.  NEWS FLASH... your COMFORT ZONE obviously isn't working.  I love this quote: "You begin to live when you leave your comfort zone".  Living outside my comfort zone has become my new 'fun' zone.  I look at everything outside of my comfort zone as a challenge or risk.  I'm the individual that thrives on risks.  For some reason, if you tell me I can't do something, I SHOW you I can.  I have to prove to you that I can, and then some.  I look back at myself and think... 90 pounds... Really?!  Who would of thought me at 226 pounds would be getting certified in Group Ride?  I for sure never thought that.  It wasn't till I began to cherish my body and put food into that helped and not harmed.  It wasn't until I started to thrive on the soreness I would get after a killer leg workout.  Or the fact that I would kill my core and pray I felt the sore muscles when I rolled out of bed in the morning.  Yes! I still get sore!  The fittest of fit STILL get sore.  It means your doing somethingEMBRACE the SORENESS :)
So I have to ask you... What is holding you back?  In your career, workouts, weight loss, family, friends, and more...  Are you willing to shed some tears and sweat?  I won't lie, while training for my 1/2 marathon, when I couldn't get past 9 miles... I just I knelt to the ground and cried.  Sobbing for 15 minutes or so, I prayed that I would be able to get past mile 9 and finished by walking home disappointed in myself.  I didn't want to fail, and look like a loser.  I wanted to succeed.  It was then, in that very moment of break down, I found strength.  The next run, I pounded 11 miles into the pavement.  I don't know why or how, but I sucked it up and found success. 
Point: We can find as many excuses in life to hold us back from achieving greatness.  You're in control of your OUTCOME because it depends on your OUTLOOK.  How do you see things?  Do you view your challenges as negative ones, or do you look at it as a way to make you stronger?
My Success this last week: becoming a Group Ride Instructor and embracing my bike seat ;)
Your Challenge: take a good look at the obstacle that is holding you back.  If your wanting to achieve weight loss... it could be that bagel, soda, chips and salsa, candy bar, Gatorade (loaded with sugar) or it could be your own mindset... thinking your CAN'T.  I challenge you to know that you deserve the best.  That your taking action to take care of yourself and encourage others along the way.  YOU, are ultimately in charge of your OUTCOME.  Know you CAN and stop making excuses why you can'tMake a list of all the reasons you CAN.
BeBlessed
This is a shirt I designed for my personal trainer Eva Shurts
It's the truest shirt I've ever worn!
A

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wtloss is 85% Mental

Having lost 90lbs (pictures below), I can HONESTLY say, the process has been 85% mental.
From taking my first walk and turning it into a run to eating my first avocado and taking my first sip of green tea, I had to mentally choose to do all of the above.  I am a very self-driven individual, so it hasn’t taken a lot of others to motivate me.  I did it because ‘I’ wanted to.  However, I had to be ready.  I had to make the choice to do it for ‘me’. No one else.
Through this process of getting fit, and gaining a whole new respect for myself, I had an experience just yesterday that brought me to tears.  All of my insecure feelings came rushing back through my body.  As many of you know, I made a career change into retail.  I love my job because I get to be myself and love people as they walk through the door.  I love God and his people, so when YOU walk through our doors, I try to demonstrate the same love that I have received from our Heavenly Father.  And so, yesterday, when a woman was convinced I was talking bad about her, raised her voice to me saying;
“You are not management material!  I’m in management and I would never hire someone like you.  You have no talent but standing around looking like eye-candy.  You have no brains and were only hired for your beauty.  You have no idea what REAL HARD WORK is.  You just stand around to get guys telephone numbers.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  I think you are disgusting not only on the outside, but the truer beauty, on the inside, it’s even uglier!”
I honestly have no idea where this came from, she obviously was having a terrible day and I was the one to get her steam.  My assistant manager wanted to make sure I was ok after she marched away and one look from him, I just started sobbing.  I COULD CARE less what I look like on the outside, but what brought me to tears was that she thought I was ugly on the inside and that I didn’t know what hard work was.  Anyone who has lost 5 lbs knows what hard work is!  I took 5 minutes to settle down and returned to the floor, but I’ve allowed her words to echo in my mind. But not anymore. 
This is what I’ve come to figure out through this situation:
I am loved.
My beauty isn’t found in the mirror.  It isn’t found in a number on the scale or on the tape measure.  My beauty isn’t found in others or their opinions.  My beauty is found ONLY in and through Christ.
I have this song that my brother sent to me a while ago.  It’s by Lil’ Wayne, but I like this version sung by Crushon ft. David Sides.  These words at the end bring tears to my eyes:
See I just want you to know
That you deserve the best
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
Yeah
And I want you to know, you’re far from the usual
Far from the usual
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kp6RVfSt6I


The reason why I like this song is because my brother sent it to me in a facebook with a message telling me that he thought I was beautiful and proud of what I’ve done.  It was a simple message but brought me to tears.  It ended with a ‘I love you A’.  And to hear that, from my brother who is younger than me, but I’ve always looked up to, reminded me that those who loved me before I lost all my weight, loved me for me.  Obese or thin, my heart has nothing but love for everyone.  I learn so much from others and their experiences.  Which is why I appreciate all of you reading my blog and the awesome feedback I get from you.  You help challenge and grow me as an individual.  I desire to grow and not grow stagnant in anything I do.  Just like you have to change up your workouts to get results, you have to be challenged before you can grow.  I’ve grown from this experience and look forward to the next set of tears to be shed.  Ahh, gotta love growth!
My Success: Accepting myself and learning to love the (fit)skin I’m in.
Your Challenge: Love on those around you.  Encourage others, it goes a lot farther…
#BeBlessed
2 yrs ago!

2yrs ago
4 yrs ago
Currently

Currently before getting my butt kicked in TRX circuit training ;)

90lbs down->> Toning*

8months ago

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Success in Various Forms: My Success Story w/ Oxygen Magazine

July 19th's BLOG: Success in Various Forms: My Success Story w/ Oxygen Magazine: "With my recent Success Story in Oxygen magazine, I've had a lot of great fitness conversations. Conversations consists of topics concerning..."

My Success Story w/ Oxygen Magazine

With my recent Success Story in Oxygen magazine, I've had a lot of great fitness conversations.  Conversations consists of topics concerning eating, workouts, and supplements.  I want to answer some of those through my weight loss experience.  And I will always promise to give you my honest thoughts and opinions.

Question 1:  How did I do it?I changed my diet!  Here is the point with diet, you can't look at it as a short period of time where you can reach a number on the scale and go back to eating chips and salsa, candy, and sugary drinks.  That stuff harms your body!  My TOUGH LOVE:  You need to change your eating habits!  Get rid of the fried foods, processed foods, and sugary foods.  Beware of foods that make you 'think' they are a 'healthy' choice because they say "0 Trans fat", "0 grams of Fat", "No Sugar", and "Whole Grain".  READ THE LABEL!  Things like Wheat Thins really aren't any different than eating tortilla chips!  Look at how much sugar is added to your yogurt or "whole grain" granola.  So many of these things we think are 'healthy' and we don't see the results, and wonder why.  Things you eat need to be raw!  Carrots, tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, squash, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and more!  (Eat small amounts of potatoes and corn).  Don't exercise because of what you ate, but eat to nourish your muscles!  Your muscles need the nutrients!
Question 2: What do your workouts consist of?I'm just going to say it... If your getting on the treadmill or elliptical and going at the same pace for 40 min- hour, your doing nothing for yourself.  Your heart needs to go up and down!  Intervals, intervals, intervals... Or in Eva Shurts' classes: plyos!!!! haha!  Burpees, jump rope, running, Tabata... these are all great for getting your heart rate up.  My elliptical workout looks like this: 20 minutes total! 1st two min are warm up at level 5.  Minute 3, level 6. Minute 4, level 7.  Minute 5, level 8.  Minute 6, level 9. Minute 7, back to level 6. And repeat this process for 19 minutes.  The last minute, push yourself to level 10 and you shouldn't be able to talk during this time- It's all out!  Then take a few minutes to cool down.  This should get your heart rate up and going, as well as sweating!  This is also why I recommend getting in a spin class if you have access to one!  Whew! It killed me the first couple of times!

I also do a lot of body weight and suspension training.  I'm not a fan of machine weights, but more free weights.  I like toning each muscles and find that working upper body then lower body on separate days brings great results!  Remember to check out http://www.fitstudio.com/programs/bcx for your home workout!  I've done this and it was one of the best boot camps I've done!  Get a friend to do it with you!  I know Boonie will kick your booty, but it's shows great results if your eating correctly.  (Speaking from experience)  :)

Question 3:  What supplements do I take?Now I bet your thinking, answers 1 & 2 aren't quite what you wanted to hear and you just want me to get to the supplement- THE MAGIC PILL so you can skip the other steps right?!  WRONG!
-->>The MAGIC PILL is called 100% Heart & Dedication and it all starts in your mind!  I've literally taken EVERY diet pill and supplement their is to take!  Pills, shakes, bars, and cleanses- don't cut it!  I promise- there is NOTHING out there better than EATING CLEAN.  That is why I read Oxygen Magazine.  They have great eating tips and workout tips!  I highly recommend you to get a subscription, it'll help anyone who is just learning, or who is a fitness buff!  One thing I also appreciate about the magazine is none of the photos are photo-shopped!  They are 100% awesome women dedicated to fitness and clean eating!  Those are their bodies that they have worked hard for and they show that it CAN be done.  I've done it and continue to work on my fitness!  

*What do I take?  This year I switched to Complete Nutrition's VCore protein shake.  It's by far the best tasting, and best muscles builder I've personally found.  I love the company and what they stand behind.  I'm not endorsing Complete Nutrition by any means, I'm endorsing a protein substance.  I personally don't do a good job at getting the recommended amount of protein in each day, so adding a shake helps significantly, especially after a workout!  It'll help build muscle for sure.

My success:  Remembering fitness is a process and not get frustrated.  I have to remember, I didn't get out of shape over night and I'm not going to get back into shape with ONE workout and ONE clean meal! 
Your Challenge:  REMEMBER: Fitness is a process and it's not going to happen over night.  Set one long and short term goal and be determined enough to follow through.  I'm not giving up on you, so give yourself some credit!

Last thought: Fitness has no end date.  It's all about setting a goal, working to achieve, and setting a new goal.  We can't allow ourselves to become complacent.  We have to keep striving for success in mind, body, and soul.
BeBlessed
-A