Thursday, December 29, 2011

Recipe for Fitness - Tabitha: 2006 Figure Show Transformation

If this doesn't motivate you, nothing will!

Recipe for Fitness - Tabitha: 2006 Figure Show Transformation: I have been asked a many times to post and share my pictoral journey from my figure competition. My hesitancy has been due to the fact tha...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fitness Case Study - Week Five Recap

You might remember that earlier in the month I was pretty panicked about some traveling I had to do.  Well... 

It was a whirl-wind trip to Texas to visit my husband's family.  We flew out at 6:00 am on Monday the 19th and returned to Michigan at 12:30 am on Saturday the 24th.  That put us home at about 2:30 am and by 9:00 am we were back on the road to deliver my two oldest kids to their dad, who lives about 2.5 hours away.  We then visited with my parents, who live about 20 minutes from where my ex-husband lives, and returned home on Sunday night, the 25th, at about 6:00 pm.  WHEW!!!

Obviously, during this traveling, I couldn't let my work on the case study falter.  So, let's see, we had air travel with 3 kids (2 of whom had never flown), many hours of car travel since we were back and forth between different cities in Texas, unfamiliar gyms so I could keep up with my training and following my meal plan to the letter while everyone around me ate cookies, candy, Christmas dinner and more.

I am not an experienced traveler.  As a matter of fact, until my hubby & I had got together, I had only flown once in my entire lifetime.  I was totally freaked out by the idea of trying to maintain my work on the case study while being away from home.  I couldn't imagine how I could be away and still keep up with my training.  It can be done. (Tips to follow in a later post.) What you must do is:  plan, plan, PLAN!  Thank you to all of you that provided input and suggestions as I began developing my blueprint for the trip.  Your help was indispensable to my success!  :)

I found a Bally's in San Antonio that would let me in without a member escort so that's where I trained the first two workouts.  It was a nice gym and I was able to get an excellent workout both days.  The third day, I trained at the Y-Center in Austin.  That was an absolutely beautiful facility!  Again, mission accomplished!  Here's what my kids did while I was sweating at Bally's:

They ate at WHATABURGER!  Grooosssss!!!

I managed to follow my food plan while I was away.  I ate out of baggies while on the road and got some strange looks but it worked out.  I realized on Tuesday, on my way to the gym, that I didn't have a fork with me to eat my lunch with.  Couldn't let that stop me though:
Who needs a fork when you've got fingers?  It's time to eat!

All in all, it was a very successful week.  I'm proud of what I accomplished and won't be quite as nervous the next time I have to travel.

Happy Tuesday, dear reader!

    Fitness Case Study - Week Four Recap

    I'm baaaaaaaaack!  Week four was successful and I grew physically, mentally and emotionally. I made a decision during this week to turn a dream into a reality.  At some point in the future, I am going to participate in a Figure Competition!  I haven't committed to a particular show yet because I don't know what a realistic time frame for me to do this in would be.  So I have some home work and research to do in order to "figure" it out.  ;)  But... it'll happen.

    My birthday happened to fall during week four and my girlfriends got together and threw me a surprise party.  It worked out perfectly because we were all going to be together anyway since we were celebrating one of my friend's son's birthday that day.  My friends know me very well and knew that I wouldn't eat birthday cake but wanted to honor my special day someway so here's what they came up with:
    Yes, that's right!  It's a hard boiled egg!  LOL!!!
    It'd been a long time since I'd laughed that hard!  Definitely a day I'll never forget.

    Happy Tuesday, dear reader! 

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Does Weight Weigh Heavy on your Mind?

    As a participant of the Fitness Case Study, I was given a homework assignment this weekend. I was asked to write about "What Goal Weight Means to Me".  Earlier in the week, both Chelle and Tabitha had written thought provoking blog posts about "goal weight".  Click on their names to read their posts.  

    I enjoyed the assignment and appreciated the journey completing it took me on.  Click HERE to read "What Goal Weight Means to Me".  Just scroll down the page a little bit to find the essay. 

    Fitness Case Study - Week Three Recap

    I am woman... HEAR ME ROAR!

    Week three of the case study brought with it some really incredible workouts!  Again, there were exercises I've never done and exercises I didn't think I was capable of doing.  As has been the case thus far, Tabitha knew exactly what she was doing and I was able to experience using muscles that I didn't know I had.  LOL, she's not called the "World's Greatest Trainer" for no reason!  She knows what's up!

    The one thing I was positive I would NOT be able to do was a 60 second side bridge.  It was really, really hard and I shook like a leaf blowing in the winter wind but I DID IT!  WaHooo!  

    I think "fun time" is over folks.  There was a big difference in these workouts this week.  Week three was not a "feel good, warm and fuzzy, happy workout" week.  I grunted, groaned and mustered up strength and courage I didn't know I had. I dug deep and pulled energy from the earth beneath my feet to complete some of the reps.  I feel like I'm turning a corner in my training journey and it's a one way road.  One of my goals this week is to begin some visualization exercises to work on the brain / body connection.  I need to focus on what I'm creating instead of what I currently have.  I find myself getting discouraged when I don't see instant results.  Remember the movie, Field of Dreams?  There was that infamous line, "If you build it, they will come.".  Well, the weight room is my "field of dreams" and if "I build it (my physique), they (muscles) will come".

    Of course, the most important part of building a great physique is what you eat and I'm still doing plenty of that.  Thank God for it because if I was trying to do these workouts and still consuming the piddly amount of food I was eating before I started the case study, I would NOT be able to them!  There is no way I could train like this in an "under-fueled" state.  I'm runnin' on racing fuel, baby!

    Well, I have a very busy week ahead of me as we are getting ready to travel next week.  Should make for an interesting week four recap, though.  I'll be talking about what it's like to travel while on the plan, walk into an unfamiliar gym and have a successful workout, how to make sure you eat what you oughta' while on the road and more! Stay tuned!

    Happy Monday, dear reader!  


    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Recipe For Fitness is Going LIVE!

    Hey everybody!  I want to let you know that the girls at Recipe For Fitness have been working hard and part of the site is now LIVE!!  It's the "One Day Food Prep for Success" page and it's awesome!  Now you can learn how to eat clean the simple way.  It's a fail proof plan, do what these gals tell you and YOU WILL SUCCEED!  You gotta check it out!

    Happy Friday, dear reader!

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Fitness Case Study - Week Two Recap

    Week two of the Fitness Case Study is complete and I AM GROWING!!!  Only just a little bit, but I'm starting to see changes in my physique and I am sooo excited!  It was another fantastic week, I felt great and increased the weight on the majority of the exercises I did.

    I did good sticking with my food plan but had a little mishap on Friday night.  The story goes a little somethin' like this:

    On Fridays, we spend about 5 hours on the road because we take the two oldest kids to see their dad.  Not fun, but no biggie either, I just pack a cooler and go.  As long as I've already completed my workout, I have all my food and plenty of water to drink, there's nothing to worry about other than all the imbeciles on the road.  Just on a side note, this week is sure to be really exciting as we will be adding snow to the mix!  Yipee!!  NOT!

    Anyway...  we were in my hometown, which is about 20 minutes from where the kids' dad lives.  My parents are there, and we needed to pick something up from my dad.  When we got there, he had a project he needed help with and naturally, my boy scout of a husband jumped right in.  Ordinarily, this would have been fine but I still needed to get to "Whole Paycheck" to purchase my grocery items that I can't get anywhere else.  It was about 8:30 and "Whole Paycheck" closes at 10:00 so I was getting nervous as we were about an hour away from the store.  We finally got back on the road and headed for the store.  I dug into my cooler and began to eat my dinner.  One of the items on my food plan for that meal was a hard boiled egg.  I hit it on the door handle of my car to crack it and OH BOY DID I MAKE A MESS!  Apparently, I hadn't let the little sucker boil long enough cause it sure wasn't HARD BOILED!  So I had a dilemma,  I was up Case Study Creek with out a hard boiled egg. That, ladies and gents, is NOT a good place to be.  I thought for a minute and it dawned on my that I could probably just go to the local McDoogal's for an egg.  I mean, they have "salads" right?  Surely, they must have a hard boiled egg.  So up to the drive thru we went, my confidence shining thru as I brightly said, "Hello, would it be possible to get one hard boiled egg, please?".  It was very quiet for what seemed like a very long time and then a very small, very timid voice answered back, "I'm sorry mam, but we do not have an egg.".  I was stunned!  "Oh, well I just thought since you have salads that perhaps you might have an egg?!?"  Again, the tiny voice crackled thru the speaker, "I'm sorry mam, but WE DO NOT HAVE AN EGG.".  So off we went, but not before my naughty boy scout husband ordered a very stinky, very sloppy, very disgusting McRibby Sandwich.  YUCKY!

    Thankfully, nearby was a big grocery store.  "I'll bet I can get a package of those pre-packaged hard boiled eggs in there!  It'll cost more but I HAVE TO HAVE AN EGG!"  My husband drove to the door and just sat there.  "What are you doing?", I asked.  "You don't expect me to go in there, do you?  I'll see five people I know and have to chat with each one because I haven't seen them in forever (keep in mind we were in my home town) and then I'll never make it to "Whole Paycheck" in time!  YOU HAVE TO GO IN THERE AND GET ME AN EGG!!!"  By this time I was hysterical watching the time go by fearing that I would not get my egg in time nor make it to the store before they closed.  Darling hubby didn't want to go into the store so off we went, me without my egg.

    Next we spotted a Submarine Sandwich place and thought surely they must have an egg!  In I went and out I came, still eggless.  But I was now armed with a plan!  There was a truck stop near by that had a full menu.  They would have an egg!  When I walked in I was greeted by the scent of gravy and greasy meat and a sign that read, "Please seat yourself".  "But I don't wanna sit down," I whined in my head, "I wanna get an egg and go!".  I bravely approached the counter where two ladies were working.  I nervously explained my situation, "Hi.  Ihaveaproblem.  Iamonaveryspecialdietandreallyneedanegg.  DoyouhavehardboiledeggsbecauseIreallyneedanegg!"  I took a deep breath and waited for their reply.  Behind me, I heard the truckers chuckling and one said out loud, "Huh, got a hankerin' for an egg huh?"  I remained stoic, motionless as I waited to see whether the truck stop would be able to save my bacon.  "Oh yeah, we got an egg.  You want it to go or...".  I didn't wait for her to finish.  "Thank God!", I exclaimed.  "You don't know how happy you are making me right now!  Yes, I need it to go!"  I grabbed a napkin from a pile behind the counter and said, "Here just put it in here!  I'm gonna eat it right NOW!".  She gave me a look, but took the napkin and held it up to the window so the cook could put the egg in the napkin.  "Bless your heart!", I said as I gently took the egg with a smile.  "You don't know the trouble I'd have been in if I had to tell my trainer and nutritionist that I didn't eat my egg."

    I walked out of the truck stop with my shoulders back and my head held high reveling in the victory of it all.  At last, I had my egg.  I was more than ready to scarf it down... but not before my hubby took a picture for all of you.       

    Me with my coveted "truck stop egg".  We named her Ersla, may she rest in  peace.

    Happy Tuesday, dear reader!

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    If a Tree Falls in the Woods...

    If a certain woman, who shall remain nameless, licks the few remaining morsels of her lunch from her plate BUT no one was there to witness it, 
    did it still really happen???

    I'll NEVER tell!!!  ;)


    Ok, here's the deal:  I get to go out of state for a few days to visit with my husband's family and I'm excited to see them but I'm FREAKED out as to how to do it successfully.  I have NO experience traveling and I CAN NOT let my work on the case study slide while I'm gone. Actually, it's a great set up because I will have access to a YMCA, there's a workout facility (with very basic equipment, I think) where we are staying and I will have a kitchen to use where we are staying too!  What I don't know is:

    • How much food can I take on the plane?
    • How do I pack it so they (the inspector people) won't touch it!?!
    • What do I need to consider that I might not be aware of for traveling and staying on my food plan?

    I'm great while I'm actually at my destination!  What I need to do is figure out how to get back and forth without faltering!  HELP!  Any and all advice is welcome!  Thanks!

    Happy Thursday, dear reader! 

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Too Awesome not to Share!!!

    The next time you think you can't do another rep, run another interval or get thru that workout, think on this:

    PS I got this off a post that Nicole Wilkins put on Facebook, so I kinda stole it.  
    But isn't it GREAT?!?!?

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    Fitness Case Study - Week One Recap


    THIS HAS BEEN ONE HECK OF A WEEK!  It's been a week I'll never forget.  I am so proud to say that I completed week one of the Recipe for Fitness Case Study!   It was no easy task.  These girls aren't messing around!  What I am participating in is no joke and I gave it 150% dedication and effort.  It's a beautiful thing to be handed such a challenge and know that you did your absolute best.  I feel like this:
    view details
    I had a very rough start to my week as Chelle and Tab decided that energy drinks and thermogenics were not suitable to take during this phase of my lifestyle change.  So away they went and down, down, down I went.  It was sheer willpower that drove me to complete each workout and fix each meal.  What I really wanted to do was sleep!  I hurt all over, too.  EVERYTHING was sore, it was sort of like trying to do a heavy workout while having the flu.  In a nutshell, IT SUCKED!  I had to keep telling myself (please really listen to this because it's super important) that the reason I felt so badly was because of the things I had done to myself PRIOR to beginning my journey on the program.  The energy drinks, the thermogenics, my body had become addicted!  So I had the fatigue and withdrawl symptoms fighting me as I started the case study.  By Friday, the stimulants were out of my system and I was feeling great!  

    One of the things I'm doing for myself while on the program is to keep track of EVERYTHING.  I was supplied really great food and exercise logs by the girls at RFF (Recipe for Fitness) and I am saving each and every log to put in a sort of journal so I can always look back on my experience.  I'm also going to put pictures in here as I progress, journal entries and words of encouragement from the Transformation Support page.  

    One of the biggest challenges I face is the organization of it all.  In fact, that might be the biggest lifestyle change for me.  I am working toward a dedicated work out time each day so that it becomes routine and I am doing the one day food prep so that my food is ready at a moments notice.  My husband was an enormous help to me thru week one as he did tons of dishes, took care of the kids, cleaned house and allowed me to nap!  (Thank you, Michael!  I LOVE YOU!!!)  I should be much more productive this week as I am not only feeling better but also have my meals ready to go.

    It's snack time now.  That word has become such a JOKE to me!  I don't "snack" anymore since I started the program!  Snacks are little bites here and there, right?  For one of my "snacks" yesterday, I had tilapia, salad, 1/2 an orange and 1/4 of an avacado!!!!  That sound like a snack to you?  Me neither!  But I'll tell ya what, the last few days, I've actually been looking forward to my next meal / "snack"!  I'm ready to eat when it's time to eat.  So, with that I'll bid you ado.  Until next time...

    Happy Monday, dear reader!

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011


    Some of you may remember my post regarding my disappointment about not being selected to participate in a fitness case study.  If you didn't catch that post, take a look here: 

    Let me tell you, I am disappointed no more!  Unfortunately, one of the eight selected participants had to drop out.  Unbeknownst to me, I was NUMBER NINE on the list!  Holy Toledo, Batman!  Number NINE out of NINETY applicants!  That bumped me up and I get to play too!  What an honor to be able to participate in such an exciting study!  The gals at Recipe For Fitness are out to change the world and are experimenting on me!!  You can read my bio on the Recipe for Fitness Transformation page here:  I know that it sounds crazy to be so enthusiastic about being someone's victim but you see, I have had this amazing dream for a really long time.  I want to be in the best shape of my life!  Only, I was at a stand still and I needed help.  Now, I have that help!  Tab and Chelle are coaching me, pushing me, teaching me and with their expertise I am going to meet my fitness goals!  I was never sure if I even had what it takes to be really strong and muscular but Chelle and Tab have assured me that I do!  So that's where I'm going... to the top! 
    You can follow my journey, and the other seven participants as well, by going to and clicking on 12 week case study.  Like I said on the day I discovered I wasn't selected, you won't want to miss this.   

    Happy Tuesday, dear reader!  

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Ready to Commit!

    I'm finally ready to commit to a training regime!  I've decided that I'll do an upper / lower split sort of a thing.  Since my goal, at the present time, is to build size and strength I'm going to focus on the basics.  For lower body days I'll do exercises like:

    • squats
    • leg extensions
    • leg curls
    • dead lifts
    • lunges
    For upper body days I'll do:
    • bicep curls
    • tricep press downs
    • push ups
    • lat pull downs
    • chin ups
    My plan is to work lower body twice per week and upper body twice per week.  In addition to the building part of my program I want to throw in some cardio.  I'm going to keep it to twice per week so I don't overload my body.  I'm going to leave my options open with the cardio so that if I feel like doing a video I can and if I want to jog or go rollerblading, I can do that too.

    So, with that being said, it's time to get started!  I think I'll use the blog as a place to track my progress. Here are my beginning measurements:
    • WAIST 28 1/2
    • HIPS 33 1/2
    • RT THIGH 18 1/4
    • RT CALF 12 1/4
    • CHEST (under arms, not around breasts) 35 1/4
    • RT BICEP 10 1/2
    • WEIGHT 108.6
    • BODY FAT 23%  (according to my cheesy Weight Watchers scale)
    • TIME 1:00 PM
    If I get brave enough, I may post pictures but I'm not committed to that idea as of yet.  ;)  

    I've still to decide how much weight loss (if any) I'd like to see this month.  I think rather than seeing my weight go down, I'd like to see it stay the same with a change in body composition. I will be doing more research to see what goals I can set realistically. 

    More later!  :)

    Happy Monday, dear reader! 


      Tuesday, November 8, 2011

      Tuesday Already!

      What happened to Monday?  Someone stole my Monday!  ;)  Even though it's Tuesday, I'll do my regular "fitness fridge" - weekly prep post.  I did the usual: carrot bars, hard boiled eggs, etc.

      Something I've been working on the past couple of weeks is a chocolate protein bar, which I've yet to name.  At this point, the result is a 9 x 13 pan containing:

      • 264g protein
      • 85g sugar (simple fructose only)
      • 65g fiber
      • 37.5g fat
      • 287g carbs
      These bars come out chewy and delicious.  My kids call them "brownies"!  They ask for them for dessert!  Ha ha!  :)  I'm working on a protein frosting for them and once that is perfected, I'll share the recipe on my Yum Yums page.

      I'm still working on what training schedule I want to commit to, so in the meantime I've just been hoisting some heavy weights, body builder style.  Today I get to do legs and abs.  The plan is lots of squats, isolated hamstring curls on the swiss ball, a few other leg killers and weighted ab exercises.  When all is said and done. I'll wrap up with Jackie Warner's Xtreme   Crunch Free Abs.  Whew!  Tired already!  :)

      Well, gotta get to work!

      Happy Tuesday, dear reader!

      Don't Miss This! Chuckle for the day!

      You have to read this post that a fellow blogger wrote.  I adore this gal's blog and her writing style.  Any of us who have spent any time in the gym have had interactions with someone just like the guy she talks about in this post.  Check out her humorous review of the little chat she had with "the Skinny and Confused Man".

      Wednesday, November 2, 2011

      Can you help???

      Well, I'm speaking thru huge amounts of disappointment today.  For the last few weeks, I have been awaiting word on whether I was accepted as a member of a case study that a fellow blogger is doing.  She is pursuing her dreams of changing the world full force and is taking eight VERY LUCKY people with her!  Unfortunately, I will not be one of those eight people.  But I will be supporting the chosen few, and learning from the experiences they have.  You can too at:  This is sure to be a motivating journey and one we don't want to miss.

      But-- its ONWARDS AND UPWARDS for me now!  Time to figure out my next step in my fitness journey.  Here's what I want:

      Now, my diet is pretty dialed in.  I've pretty much got that figured out, I think.  It's the training I'm trying to figure out.  I have a lot of equipment at the ready and I'm willing to work for it.  My natural tendency is to get skinny.  Well, in case you didn't notice, the woman in that picture is NOT skinny!  She is round and buff and strong!  My problem is not cardio.  I'm NOT a cardio queen, in fact, I do very little cardio.  So what's up?  How do I build a body like that???

      I'd like to enlist the help of my readers, I know you're out there!  :)  There are a lot of you reading this blog (thank you so much, by the way) and I need your help, please.  Have any of you been thru this problem?  What did you do?  What worked, what didn't work?  I really need your advice and ideas, please.  I'll be waiting for your comments!

      Happy Wednesday, dear reader!

      Wednesday, October 26, 2011

      The "Rectangle"

      My family is a little weird.  Ok, maybe more than a little weird.  There are numerous reasons I could give you to defend this claim but one truly stands alone.  Here it is:

      Yup, we're some of those people.  The people who believe that the molecular structure of food is changed when you microwave it.  The people who believe that the nutritional value of food is destroyed when you blast it with waves.

      Here is a conversation between my sister and my niece, age 3 (at time of conversation):
      Niece: "Mommy, I hungry."
      Sister:  "Ok, how bout some leftover such n' such?"
      Niece:  "Yea, that's good."
      Sister:  "Well, hang on, I gotta heat it up for ya."
      Niece:  said w/ utter disgust "You aren't gonna put it in the rectangle (microwave) are ya???"

      The hatred toward microwaves varies in my family by degree.  My mom, now the matriarch of the family, does own a microwave but it sits in her basement, unplugged and unable to do harm to anyone or anything.  I also own a microwave and it is installed in my kitchen.  I do not, however, use it even on a daily basis.  When I do use it, I'm usually nuking some boxed meal because I'm in a horrible rush and have to eat "something".  My sister, I believe, uses hers only slightly more often than I.

      I know that as fitness buffs, meal prep and planning is of utmost importance for our success.  Often, this means pre-cooking and pre-portioning our food out for each meal.  Frequently, we eat at the office or on the run and it makes standing at the stove to warm up food seem like a real pain.  Here's why you should avoid microwaving that muscle building, life giving meal at all costs:  IT HAS THE POWER TO KILL YOU!  Microwaving food  actually alters the molecular structure of the food, it kills the vitamins and minerals; leaving you with a pile of dead junk to eat.  Please go to  to read about the scientific evidence that backs up what I'm preaching about right now.  Just know this, after all the prep you did, all the exercise you did, after how hard you've worked to reach your goals, you might be putting something healthy and nutritious into the microwave but the "product" it's giving back to you is hazardous to your health!  'Nuf said!  

      So how can you avoid your microwave?  Here's what I do: if I've cooked something thoroughly in prep I just dump it in a pan on the stove and it's usually warm within 5 minutes.  For veggies I almost always use an electric steamer (more on this another day.  I couldn't live without my steamer.) which heats them nicely without killing everything in them that's good.  When I worked, I had a hot plate at my office.  Yes, it takes a little longer than a microwave but this way you get back what you put in, not some unidentifiable blob of nuclear mess!

      Just remember:  you are what you eat!  You wanna be healthy, whole and glowy?  

      Happy Wednesday, dear reader!

      Monday, October 24, 2011

      Weekend Musings

      Another weekend has come to a close all too quickly.  We were more busy than usual with stuff for the kids but I still managed to fill my "fitness fridge" with all the yummy things I need to keep me on track thru the week.  Unfortunately, I sampled so many of my baked goods I had to have only asparagus and cauliflower for dinner to stay on track for my daily totals.  
      Anyway, that being said, here's what I baked:
      • Jamie Eason's Carrot Bars
      • Mommy McMoofins
      • Carlee Q's
      In addition I prepared:
      • Hard boiled eggs
      • Brown Rice
      • Rice & Lentil Medley
      • Sprouted Mung Beans
      I also have my usual pre-prepared grab and go snacks on hand, my energy drinks, protein bars, protein shakes, etc.  It was time to stock up on my favorite magazines as well!  So I picked up Muscle & Fitness Hers and Oxygen (plus the latest motivational issue).  Missing from my repertoire is Fitness Rx, as they were out. :(

      As you can see, I'm set up for a successful week!  How exciting!  Stay tuned this week, you don't want to miss the recipes and "gear you gotta get" coming your way!

      How do you prepare for the week ahead?  Do you plan for success or just wing it and hope it works?  How committed to your goal are you?

      Happy Monday, dear reader! 

      Friday, October 21, 2011

      Roughly Wrapped Gifts

      Yesterday, I discovered someone very special, Lisa Nichols.  She is AMAZING!  She is a life changer, a shaker-upper, an authentic champion.  I want to share with you what I "got" from one of her talks (see link above, please).  This is just my personal take on what she had to say.  You should listen to what she has to say for yourself and take from it what you need to apply to your life.  So without further ado, I present to you:

      Roughly Wrapped Gifts

      "Some motivation comes wrapped in sandpaper!"  (Lisa Nichols said that, not me.  I wish I had said it, but I didn't.) BUT here's what I have to say about that:  we fitness buffs know all about that.  Think about what it takes to really build the physique of your dreams.  Blood, sweat, tears.  We lift weights til we can't muster another rep.  We do cardio til our lungs burn.  We frequently eat things that "normal" people think are boring and tasteless over and over.  We drink water from gallon jugs and "pass" when our friends have a martini or a glass of wine.  These things make up the very fibers of the sandpaper that wraps our motivation; our dream physique.  Can I get a "Yes, YES!"?  (Lisa said that too.)  Lifting weights til our muscles burn is the sandpaper wrapping our motivation!  Running just one more cycle of HIIT before we jump off the treadmill is the sandpaper wrapping our motivation!  Eating what's healthy and wholesome while our friends have "cake" is the sandpaper that wraps our motivation!  The gallon jug of water????? Yup!  Sandpaper wrapping our motivation!!!!!  

      Now-- there's something about sandpaper that I want to bring to your attention.  After a while, after you've used it a few times, it loses it's roughness!  Hmmmmmmm, did you hear that?  Sandpaper loses it's roughness!  It becomes smooth!  The grit wears down!  No matter how rough that paper starts out, once you've used it enough, it gets smooth!  EUREKA!!!  What am I so excited about?  What does this mean for you?  It means that as we  continue to unwrap our motivation (our dream physique) it will become easier.  The sandpaper will become soft and worn and we will be able to preserver with greatness.  We will adjust to and even begin to enjoy unwrapping our gift(s).  Someday, it won't be so rough.  

      I am actually getting there.  To the point where if I don't exercise I get a headache.  If I don't drink my water, I get dizzy.  If I eat junk, I feel like junk.  My sandpaper is losing it's grit, this is becoming a way of life.  You know, it's almost as though the grit transfers from the sandpaper to us!  As we wear out the paper and become stronger we take on the grit of the paper!  It begins to protect us, strengthen us, reinforce us.  

      So, what motivates you?  What are you trying to unwrap?  
      How's your sandpaper, still rough or starting to smooth out?  
      Where are you in your motivational journey?

      Happy Friday, dear reader!

      Tuesday, October 18, 2011

      Says Who?!?

      I'm on my soapbox again.  I kinda like it here.  ;)

      I want to tell you that you can accomplish whatever you really set your heart to.  There will always be doubters, those who just can't conceive the level of greatness that you are capeable of.  They can't see themselves being great and this clouds their view of everyone else's abilities.  They think that being average is just normal.  That is sad.  Very sad.

      Who says that you can't lose those last few pounds?  Who says that you can't get your degree and land your dream job?  WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR HEART TO???

      You might actually have an answer to that question.  There might be someone in your life who says that you'll never reach your goals.  There might be someone toxic who just can't see past the end of their own nose.  If this is the case, I am so sorry.  All you can do is love them and pray for them.  Meanwhile, you HAVE to decide that they are entitled to their opinion but you have an opinion too.  And your opinion is that you WILL succeed!  You can do all things thru Christ who strengthens you! (Philipians 4:13) 

      In the end the only one who has any real control over what you accomplish is you!  So pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make the choice to succeed.  You can do it!
      Happy Tuesday, dear reader!


      Just a fyi to my readers:  I'm going to be playing around a lot with my layout and design until I find something I'm really happy with.  Be patient with me, I promise what I come up with will be fun to read, easy to navigate and above all WELL ORGANIZED!  Hang in there while I learn about the wonderful world of blogging.  I will continue to do regular posts, you just may notice little changes as I play around.  Thanks!!

      Happy Tuesday, dear reader!

      Monday, October 17, 2011

      The "Fitness Fridge" & more...

      Well... so I got most of it done.  Most of what I said I was going to do on Friday, that is.  I also accomplished all my baking this weekend, which felt great!  Now I have plenty of healthy, high protein foods at the ready, in my "Fitness Fridge", so that I can't mess up my meal plan.  Here's a list of what I baked:
      • Jamie Eason's Carrot Bars (dbl batch cause I can't keep my fam out of them)
      • Chelle's Work Out Bombs (See Recipe for Fitness on my blog list.  They r "THE BOMB"!)
      • Jamie Eason's Chocolate Protein Bars
      • Mommy McMoofins (a yummy breakfast muffin I created based on Chelle's Egg Muffins)
      Also in my "Fitness Fridge" I have:
      • Energy Drinks (maybe when baby starts sleeping all night I won't need these so bad but right now you'd find me asleep under my desk w/out them!)
      • Hard boiled, cage free, humanely raised eggs (YES!  These criteria are important!)
      • Pure Protein Bars (pre-packaged so I can throw them in my purse)
      • EAS Myoplex Lite shakes (again pre-packaged so I can grab and go) 
      What is a "Fitness Fridge" you ask???
      This is my "Fitness Fridge"
      A "Fitness Fridge"  is a dorm room sized refrigerator full of the foods a fitness obsessed girl needs to keep her on track.  The extras go in the "Fitness Fridge" (see above list).  The things that you add in to your meal plan in order to really kick it into high gear.  My regular fridge is where I keep all my fresh, whole foods that I use to cook family meals and such.  This week's stars are bok choy, daikon, and fresh beets.  YUM!

      So I'm revisiting some goals this week. I've been a little lazy the last few weeks with my eating and I really want to get back at it.  My first goal is to eat every two hours.  Sounds like a lot, right?  IT IS!!!  And that is why I tend to slack on this goal.  I'm not always hungry every two hours and sometimes it actually seems like I shouldn't even be eating.  BUT-- if I remind myself of why I'm eating I can usually choke it down.  Why am I eating every two hours?  To train my body to trust me!  When you feed your body nutrient dense, low fat, high protein foods you are telling it that it's ok to let go of that extra fat it has been insisting you carry around.  It also tells your body that it's going to be getting plenty of protein so it needn't feed on that precious muscle you've worked so hard to develop.

      Well, that's a lot to digest (ha ha) all at once so I'll leave you to chew on that. 
      Happy Monday, dear reader. 

      Friday, October 14, 2011

      I'm sitting at the computer, just sitting.  My brain is a jumble of what I should be doing, what I could be doing and what I really am doing.  My son is busily completing a science lesson, my daughter is at school and the baby is taking her clothes off for the millionth time.  There are dishes to be done, laundry to be put away, baking to do and here I sit.  My husband once suggested that I might spend a wee bit too much time at the computer to which I noisily replied, "I have to do my research!".   

      I can laugh at it now.  I was justifying my lengthy time at the computer by saying that I was "researching all things fitness".   True though it may have been, research does not burn calories, increase V02 max, or build stronger muscles.  Reading blogs of fitness gurus I admire and respect might be motivating but if you do it too much it makes your butt big!  And all the healthy recipes I print out do me no good if I don't make 'em.  I can look up workouts and exercises till I turn blue but if I don't actually move, what's the point???

      So it's time to do something.  I have to start somewhere.  You see, I'm at quite a stand still.  Ok, maybe a sit still would be a better way to put it.  The hardest part of doing anything is always getting started.  Do you see what I'm getting at?  We all have to suck it up and just go for it!  What if we all just started "doing"? 

      So here is what I'm going to do today (minimum):
      • Dishes
      • Put away laundry
      • Workout
      • Drive 2 oldest kiddos to their dad's house.  (3 hrs away)
      I'll let you know how it goes!

      Thursday, October 6, 2011

      I think I need a bigger suitcase...

      In my last post I mentioned that I need to rediscover my mojo.  Could be quite a journey to find it and I need to bring along the whole family without disrupting their regular daily lives. Hmmmmmm... let's see, what to pack?
      1. My Bible.  It's gonna be imperative that I not lose sight of where my character and priorities need to come from.
      2. My computer.  For obvious reasons.  :)
      3. Nutritious whole foods.
      4. My supplement cupboard.  Yup, I got a whole cupboard full!
      5. My workout room.  Yup, I got a whole room just for working out!
      WOW!  That's gonna be one heavy suitcase already!  Perhaps I'll take my journey right from my own lovely little home.

      You know, this writing things down is really good for me.  It's making me think and reminding me of just how much I have to be grateful for.  For instance... 

       I seriously really do have an entire cupboard FULL of "supps"!  So what the heck is my excuse for not taking them every single day???  How is it that they stare me in the face and I look at them and say, "No thank you "supps", I don't feel like taking you today."?  'Splain me that one!

      I wasn't kidding when I said I have an entire room just for working out.  Right in my own home, directly beneath where I am currently throned I have: a Bowflex Extreme II, a Shredmill (thanks, Donloree :) an ellipitical, a trampoline, free weights, a stepper, a Fluidity bar, 2 Swiss balls, an enormous collection of workout videos and more!  Sooooo..... the million dollar question is: What the heck is my excuse for not using them every single day?????

      OOOOOHHHHH I know, I know!!!  I don't bother to prioritize!  I am sitting on my duff and watching life pass me by.   WEll!  No more!  I tell you right now, here on this page:  "CARLENE IS GETTING OFF HER DUFF!"   (Sorry about all the caps.  The baby is asleep and yelling thru my keyboard is a great release.)  There will be success!  I will succeed!  I can be a good mom, a good wife, a good daughter, a good friend and still take care of myself.  I can do it and I will do it.  "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THRU CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME"!

      Whew!  It won't be easy but I know that it'll be worth it!  Let's get started! 

        Wednesday, October 5, 2011

        Mommy Mojo

        (To be sung to the tune of "Oh Where, Oh Where has my Little Dog Gone?")

        Oh where, oh where has my mo - jo gone???  Or where, oh where can it be?  I used to have lots til I got all these tots... oh where, oh where can it be???

        Had to do some soul searching today.  You see, I need to redifine my goals.  I have had sooo many changes in the last few years that I kind of got lost in the shuffle.

        There's a long story (everybody's got one, right?) and I won't bore you with all the details but here's where I ended up:
        • Very happily married (thank you God!)
        • 3 beautiful, healthy children
        • Stay at home mom
        • Virtual schooling (it's kind of like homeschooling) my G & T 8 year old
        • My 2 year old is also home full time, minus the 6 hrs / week she goes to Montessori preK
        • My 7 year old daughter attends a public Montessori different from the one my 2 year old goes to
        Any mommy reading this blog knows that when these variables are calculated they will equate to CHAOS!  She also knows that maintaining any sense of self would be very difficult. 

        Here's where my journey comes in.  I need to set a good example for these children.  I need to show them that taking care of themselves is a priority, not a crime.  However, I can't leave them behind as I take my journey so I need to take the whole family!  I'm gonna have to pack carefully!

        Stay tuned...  the next few posts will be about what I intend to "pack" for the great journey I'm about to embark upon.  You're all invited too!  But you gotta pack your own bag, I got enuf to do!  :)

        Wednesday, September 28, 2011

        Competitors should be like Veggies :)

        Today I am on my soapbox.  Today I need to get something off my chest and really explain my position on something.  Here goes:


        I am so tired of feeling embarassed and like I need to close my page or turn off my computer when I'm looking at a competitor's latest shoot and one of my kids walks in the room.  It's important to me to stay up to date re what's happening in the industry and follow a few big time competitors so I can note chanes and tweaks in their physiques.  This keeps me on the ball and helps me identify what the judges are looking for as I develop my own physique.  However, I don't appreciate seeing the sexy poses, sleezy outfits and behavior!  I understand why the posing suits are sooo tiny!  Obviously, in order to appreciate the hard work and musculature of these beautiful competitiors and professionals we need to be able to actually SEE them.  It's the rolling around on the floor, acting like they're in the midst of great passion that I don't need to see.

        Let's take the industry back!  Let's show some class.  Is a bicep any less worthy of my admiration if it's just presented in a standard flexed bicep pose ?  What happened to good, old fashioned here I am, this is how hard I've worked, these are my muscles, what do you think?

        Competitors & fitness professionals should be like veggies:  fresh, healthy and good for everybody, kids & adults alike. 

        Tuesday, September 20, 2011

        It's Go Time!

        At 12:00 Midnight something magical happens.  We get the opportunity to start a new day!  This happens, without fail, every twenty-four hours.  No matter what we did the previous twenty-three hours, at 12:00 Midnight we are invited to begin again.  To do it right.  To do it all the way we wanted to in the first place.  This morning, at 12:00 Midnight, I woke abruptly, thrilled with the opportunity to start fresh.  What a wonderful blessing it is to be to grateful for what we've been given and to realize all that we can accomplish with God's help.  Welcome to my fresh start!  Come along on my journey as I try to embrace the woman that God has created me to be.