Monday, May 30, 2011

Travel Along

I am on a travel along 'vacation' with my hubby in Michigan. He is here on business, I am off work for the next two months, so I am tagging along. This is the perfect opportunity for me to catch up on some reading, writing, goal setting and relaxing!!!!

About a month ago I joined Anytime Fitness and there is a facility just a couple miles from our hotel. Our hotel room has a kitchen in it, so we did our grocery shopping for the week as soon as we got here. Whenever we are on vacation or traveling, I purposely choose menus that repeat similar ingredients to save money and prevent waste. I pack some things from home (spices, condiments, cooking spray, olive oil, oats, protein powder, grilled chicken breast and any fruit that might go bad while we are gone).

Here is a peek at our grocery haul for the week:

zucchini, yellow squash, spaghetti squash, cucumbers, apples, watermelon, avocado, spinach, salad greens, peppers, red onions, brussel sprouts, eggs, egg whites, chicken meatballs, turkey sausage, sunflower seeds, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, mushrooms, tomatoes, feta cheese, basil, mozzarella, greek yogurt, fresh salsa and a few Lara Bars for my gym bag.

After stocking the kitchen, DH and I went for a nice walk in the park which is walking distance from the hotel. We were mapping out areas for potential runs this week. I spied a couple places by the lake that I will be sitting tomorrow to enjoy some sunshine after lunch. I have my day mapped out for tomorrow. I will go to Target in the morning to get two little lawn chairs that sit low to the ground and recline. Then I will go to Anytime Fitness to get my upper body workout. After a nice bath and lunch I will go to the park to enjoy some sunshine, study, read and write.

The weather is just gorgeous. It is hard for me to stay inside!!! I had planned to catch up on some blogs and do some cooking, but it will have to wait! As long as the sun is shining this girl is outside as much as possible!

The best part of my plans this week is that while I am at the gym getting my workout, or down by the lake reading . . . someone else is cleaning my room, doing my dishes and making my bed! How awesome is that?!!!! And, it is a business trip for my hubby, so it isn't costing me a dime! Love it!!! I could get used to this life!

What are your summer plans? Do you have a vacation planned? A goal you are working towards?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Meet Zeudy Mars, Designer of Fit Active Wear!

A couple weeks ago I was introduced to Zeudy Mars' line of workout clothes. I saw a post on JenFits Gals in Figure and Bodybuilding facebook page. The picture in the post was a cute pair of booty shorts (which I cannot wear) and a super cute tank that said "Fit Diva" in pink and silver rhinestones! Hello! I think Zeudy designed this just for me!!! I checked out the line of clothing right away and found several things that I just loved!!!!

As I read some of the statements by other 'gals', I was a little apprehensive about purchasing. Statements about 'one size fits most' and concerns by some of the taller gals whether they would be long enough for them. I was concerned that my 'most' was more than 'most'! I've seen some fitness models in person and most of them are super tiny. Like size 2 tiny! Or less! I'm not tiny. I'm a 5'8.5" and wear a size 8/10. I'm a pretty curvy girl.

I made my purchase online and waited with excitement to receive my purchase. The service I received was amazing. I immediately got an email from Zeudy thanking me for my purchase. The next day I received an email telling me my purchased was being processed. The following day I received an email that my package was in transit. When my package came I was at work and could not wait to get home and rip open the package! When I pulled the pants out of the package they looked so teeny tiny!!! I have placemats wider than that! So tiny. For a moment my heart sank, then I pulled them on. These are the most comfortable workout pants I have over worn!!!! They hug nicely without feeling tight or squeezing me in any way. I don't know how they fit me so nicely, but they do. I'm getting ready to order another pair! The pair I ordered are called Fantasy Fit, they have pink and white bands at the waist. I wore them for my toughest workout. A workout that had jump squats, walking lunges w/twist, plie squats, lots of ab work that has me bending, twisting and crunching. Never once did I have to stop my workout to pull up my pants or unroll a waist band. They stayed put during the entire hour. And they look so good I could just walk into the grocery store to pick up a few groceries after my workout.

I hope you will visit and check out talented designer. She is a sweetheart with a fabulous line of workout wear. Thanks Zeudy Mars!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Changing it Up!

This week I am changing it up! I feel the need to transition in most every way in my life. I have been transforming and changing so much over the past two years. However, over the past five months I really have stuck to the same routine and goals. I had made a commitment to my husband to not sign up for any events or put anything on the schedule until after our sons graduation and wedding.

I have decided to take this week 'off' in a way. I will still be exercising, active and eating clean. But, for this week I will not lift a single weight or workout in any of the ways I have been working out. I will have fun, I will sweat and I will try new things. I am taking Zumba and yoga a couple times this week. I added in some sprint intervals. I plan to ride my bike some, if the weather will cooperative. I have been taking walks during my lunch and eating outside just to have a change of pace. I plan to get out my TRX tomorrow night and give it try! I am pumped!!!

I will still be doing strength training, but I will use my body weight and resistance bands. Oh, and I'm doing pilates for my core work this week. Who knows, I may end up loving this style workout more than I already love working out! Right now it's what I need.

Here is a two week challenge I set up on my Fabulous Fitness Facebook team:

This is a two week challenge to add some strength and fitness into your routine.

Week 1 Challenge:
1 minute of jumping jacks or half jacks if you cannot do impact
1 minute plank
1 minute wall sit

Beginners - 2 sets
Intermediate - 4 sets
Advanced - 6 sets

Record how many jumping jacks you do in a minute and try to improve with your next effort. These exercises should be done every other day, starting tomorrow!!! Let's go!

Week 2 Challenge:
1 minute of squat jumps (or squats if impact is not your thing)
1 minute of crunches
Push ups (full plank, on knees or wall push ups)

Beginners - 2 sets, 10 push ups
Intermediate - 4 sets, 20 push ups (first ten full plank)
Advanced - 6 sets, 30 push ups (first fifteen full plank)

Record how many jump squats you do in a minute and how many crunches you do in a minute. Do as many push ups as you can in full plank, next time try to do one more than you did the last time.

Be brave! Be bold! Be fierce! Be fabulous!

There are huge changes coming for me starting next week. I get to try out for two months what it would be like to work for myself doing what I love most. Pray for me. I want to use the gifts I have, the experiences I have been blessed to live and the opportunities available to be to the very best of my ability.

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Chapter

I love reading. The process of discovery with each new chapter. As I read, my thoughts are learning a new way of looking at things, a new perception and application of thoughts, feelings, ideas. On Sunday morning, the morning of my youngest sons' wedding, I wanted to start the day in a way that was meaningful and significant to help me turn the page.

I got up early, did a workout and went for a two mile run with my husband. The workout I did is call The 100. You do 100 Jumping Jacks, 90 crunches, 80 squats, 70 leg lifts, 60 Jumping Jacks, 50 crunches, 40 squats, 30 leg lifts, 20 Jumping Jacks and a 10 minute run. Instead of the 10 minute run I asked my husband if he would like to go on a morning run with me. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining, it was warm enough to just wear a tank top and running shorts.

We ran my favorite route, through the college campus where our son had been a student for the past four years. This is the reason we moved to Indiana, to work for the university and help him through college. This campus is where he met his fiancee. This campus is where I have ran, rode my bike and sat by the lake journaling through the past two years.

Later in the morning we were blessed to host our son and most of the wedding party for brunch, as well as the parents and grand mother of the bride to be. I do love hosting people and making them feel welcome in my home. My house is not large or lavish, it is very simple but comfortable. This home has served as a home away from home for many college students over the past 4 years. As we were approaching the house on our run this morning it struck me that our house was also going to be transitioning to the house of a family (a couple), instead of dorm parents. Our son would be moving into his own apartment and his friends would be visiting him there. It is a small town and his apartment is only a mile away. He will still be working right across the street from my office. I will still see him on a regular basis.

In the afternoon we got all dressed up and headed to the church for formal pictures. We snapped some pictures of our own so we would have some to share with family and friends.

Proud parents

I adore this young man.

Extended family to love and pray for this special couple.

This beautiful woman vowed to be his biggest cheerleader, as a mom who has been his biggest cheerleader since the day I first saw is beautiful face, I gladly welcome more love to be showered into his life. The only time I teared up during the wedding is when he read his vows. He has always been a very loving, kind and attentive young man, and to hear him express his love for his wife . . . well, I just have no words to say how it made my heart well up with even more love for him.

Today my husband left for a business trip. And I took my girlfriend back to the airport. On the drive back home it hit me. All the emotion of the weekend. The graduation, the parties, the wedding and now an empty house. I am not sad. I am overwhelmed with joy. As my car is pulling in the drive, there is a film playing in my head. I see a snapshot of my sons face the day he was born, the day he graduated from preschool, the day he graduated from Powhatan (private country day school), several little snippets of time of him playing guitar, listening to music together, the day he graduated from high school, the day he graduated from college and the day he read his wedding vows.

This is a new chapter. Something that started between my husband and I almost 26 years ago, as our story, is now part of a new story. We are a bigger family, with more depth, richness, fullness. My heart feels so full. At the same time, I felt the need to transition in some way. I did not want to be alone in my house tonight.

I had planned to go to the gym for my regular Monday night lower body workout. I needed to workout. But I also wanted to honor this feeling I had to connect with others. So, I went to Zumba class and then a yoga class. I needed to feel the positive energy of other women. It was just what I needed. I will admit that when the lights were off and we were doing yoga, there were moments I just rested in child's pose, said a prayer of thanks and cried a few tears.

It's a new chapter. Opening this chapter, does not mean that the chapters before it are obsolete or in anyway unimportant. All the moments that led up to this moment make this moment all it was meant to be. We are who we are because of where we have been and the life we have been blessed to share.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just a Glimpse

It's 10:00 a.m. Saturdays, May 21, 2011. I'm sitting in a gym listening to Pomp and Circumstance as a strain to catch a glimpse of sons face. I feel a lump in my throat and my eyes well up. I am struck by how odd it is that I I gave birth to this boy 22, almost 23 years ago. I helped him learn to walk, I home schooled him, drove him back and forth to school and to work throughout his high school years. I work at the university he is graduating from and have seen him on a regular basis throughout his four years of college. This is a very familiar face to me. A face I love. A face I see frequently. And yet here I set on the edge of my seat, hungering to just catch a glimpse of him in a sea of people, feeling a flood of emotions at the thought of all this day signifies.

That's my boy. He graduated today with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Systems/New Media. We had a lovely day with family and friends celebrating his special day. Several of his friends and some of our neighbors stopped by the house to enjoy a time of food and fellowship.

This evening he all gathered at the church to rehearse for his wedding tomorrow. It is a small informal community style church. I feel totally at ease about tomorrow. My only concern and believe me it is slight, is that my dress may feel a little tight due to some bloating and the fact that my dress is pretty fitted.

The tall blonde in the middle is the bride, and my son is to the left of her as you look at the picture.

I have some yummy recipes to share with you in the next couple days when I have a little more time and can get all my thoughts together.

Be brave, be bold, be fierce and be fabulous!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fit Diva

I am so excited!!!! Everything seems to be coming together. The flowers were delivered tonight! They look lovely, simple but lovely. They are pink hydrangeas. I will take pics tomorrow to share! The brides bouquet is two pink hydrangeas with ivory colored roses. The stems are wrapped in ribbon with little pearl head pins down the stem to look like buttons.

I didn't plan my schedule today as well as I thought I had. Actually, my schedule was fine, it was working around my sons schedule that became the issue. I had given him my car and my debit card so that he and his fiancee could go pick up one of the bridesmaids. I expected they would be back in town mid afternoon, they were not. I needed my debit card to get my errands done after work. So, I was about an hour and thirty minutes later than I had intended. I got my nails polished (fingers and toes), picked up plates, table clothes and table skirts for the wedding. Went to the grocery store to get ingredients for the pumpkin muffins my boys love! I will be making them for brunch on Sunday.

About lunch time today I got a notice that some things that I had purchased had been delivered to the house. It was hard to sit at work knowing that my new workout clothes were sitting on my door step!!! Since I couldn't go out to run my errand right after work, I popped by the house to check out the goods!!! I'm glad I did!!! In addition to my workout clothes, my new protein powders came!!!! Lucky day!

When I tried on the new outfits, I had to snap a pic . . . 1. because they are so darn cute and 2. I promised I would post a pic and write a comment. I plan to wear them to the gym in the morning to do my boom boom pow workout. I will write a full blog review about the clothes and provide links to the website after I get a chance to workout in them and can give you a better assessment other than that they are cute and feel wonderful!!!

This tank is super long, comes down to my mid hip, and is super stretchy I could stretch it to mid thigh if I wanted to! I LOVE it!!! Sorry the picture isn't clear. The rhinestones are silver and pink and say Fit Diva! Perfect!

I feel fit! In January when I started "Project Fit in the Dress" for my sons wedding, I merely wanted to reduce the size of my hips and thighs so that the very fitted dress would have a little wiggle room and not look like the skin on a grape across my booty. Little did I realize that I would end up needing to buy a dress that was two sizes smaller than the original dress. I sit here tonight feeling like I have already met the goal for this weekend. I feel healthy, strong and confident. If I had not changed my lifestyle two years ago, I would not be as physically healthy as I am right now. Being overweight and unhealthy left me feeling tired and with very little stamina. If I was feeling tired from all the 'things to be done' I would be feeling overwhelmed, emotional. That would not allow me to fully enjoy this time with my family and friends.

I am indeed feeling like a fit diva. I'm blessed and feel honored to have my health, my family, my friends and a God whose timing is perfect.

Power Days

In response to several questions I have received about my 'diet' and how I figure out what I need and when I need it to get the results I desire, I thought I would write a blog about what I do for ME. I want to stress that this is MY plan and it works for ME. When I write a plan for a client I write it for THEM specifically. I do not have a file that says 'beginner workout plan' or 'beginner meal plan'. Each one is so individualize. With each client, and myself, I take into consideration their height, weight, age, physical goals, physique goals, health goals and training goals. I have to know their training frequency, duration and intensity. Ideally I would have pictures and measurements. For myself I look in the mirror, see how my body is responding, where I am lean and where I might be storing a little fat and I adjust my diet accordingly. If my muscles are looking a little flat and my skin tone is a little dull I know that my carbs a bit low and I just pump them up a little. If I am feeling a little fluffy around my bra band area in my back or in my muffin top area, I cut back on my grains a bit.

Here is the basic plan I am using currently. My goal is to build lean muscle and improve my muscle strength. I am not hung up on the scale and concerned about 'weight loss' and as far as fat loss goes, that is a natural by product of my training and my diet. As long as I am not working on a 'bulking phase' and eating more calories for that purpose, I will be leaning out as my body composition changes. My current diet is approx. 1,500 - 1,700 calories. Two days a week it is closer to the 1,700. Two days it is around 1,600 and three days it is 1,500. For the type training and results I want for this phase, my macro nutrient split is 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fats. My protein are lean source proteins, eggs, fish, chicken breast, beef loin cuts, and pork loin cuts. My carb sources are leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, zucchini, spinach, asparagus, sweet potatoes, farro, quinoa, oats, apples, pears, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes. My fats are avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, flax seed, and the fats in the salmon and other lean meats I eat.

If I was currently training for a half marathon or a full, my macros would be different and my calorie intake would be different. During my 'running season', which is approaching, my splits look more like 30% protein, 35% carbs and 35% fats. And near the end of my training as my event approaches my calories will go up to 1,800 - 2,200.

Power. On the 28 day challenge I referred to Power, Rhythm and Flow days. On my power days I workout intensely using those huge muscle fibers in my thighs, glutes and hamstrings in compound movements and explosive action. Because those fibers are so huge (not fat, not the circumference of my thigh. . . they are long thick fibers), they use up lots of energy! So I get to eat a little high carbs on this day AFTER my workout. Why after? Because I don't want a ready source of fuel (energy) in my blood stream before my workout. I want my body to be working to make fuel using my stored glycogen and body fat.

On my power day I would make sure that the fruit that I eat that day happens before 2 in the afternoon. I workout at 5:30 pm. My afternoon snack would be something like boiled eggs (protein) or these egg quiche muffins I make that have broccoli and egg in them. Or a protein shake. I would save any fruit or grain type thing until after my workout on the ride home.

Power day menu and schedule for me:

Breakfast: 7:00
Oatmeal w/natural peanut butter and strawberries
egg + egg white
diced canadian bacon

Snack: 10:00
Coffee Protein Shake (1 scoop chocolate pp + instant coffee + water + splash coconut or almond milk)

Lunch: 12:30
Chicken Breast
Asian Cabbage Blend

Snack: 3:30
2 egg quiche muffins

5:40 - 7:00 Walking lunges, squat jumps, deadlifts, single leg squat w/row, hack squats, leg extension, leg curl, etc. Hit the legs, hit the legs, hit the legs again. I end with a round of sun salutations and warrior poses to really stretch out my legs and hips and to relax my body.

On the ride home I might have a handful of blueberries and a couple raw cashews.

7:45 Dinner (while I soak in a tub of epsom salt)
Grilled Tilipia
Sweet Potato

10:00 Casein protein shake

That is what a power day looks like for me. I love what I do. I love how I feel and I love the results I get. This works for me. I do not believe there is such a thing as a one size fits all program for eating or working out. I have developed what works for me through a life of experience and being very in tune with what my body needs from me. When my body is retaining fluid, it is incapable of releasing that fluid without me making the choice to provide the nutrients it needs to release those fluids. I also have to make the choice not to consume things that are high in sodium that cause my body to retain fluids. Retaining fluid is my body's signal to me that it has too much of something (sodium) or not enough of something (potassium).

I seek to be a friend of my body and not blame it, shame it, or punish it for the choices I have made. It deserves the best quality fuels I can provide, for the work I require it to do. We are a team. It needs me, I need it.

I will leave you will a little glimpse of my new 'enhanced' eyelashes.

These are so I don't have to wear mascara to the graduation and wedding! I had them put in last night. They are individual lashes glued in at my lash line.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Man, I Feel Like a Woman!

Yes, that was totally in reference to the song by Shania Twain, for those of you have may have recognized it. Today has been an amazing day and I am feeling tip top of the world!!! The house looks better than it has since the day I moved in, five years ago.

Carpets have been shampooed, mirrors, windows, and baseboards cleaned. Beds stripped and fresh linens put on them. Cooking for this week is complete. I have my little crustless quiches made for my snacks this week. Chicken grilled. Eggs boiled. Menus made. Workout schedule made. Gym bag packed. Laundry clean.

I'm sitting in a totally clean house with candles lit for a cozy atmosphere, feeling totally relaxed about the events leading up to my sons graduation and wedding this weekend. This is also the last week of the 28 Day Eat Clean Challenge. I cannot state how very important it is for me to have a menu plan to fall back on when I am busy. I hate to have more decisions to be making at this time that would distract or take away from the specialness of this time.

Monday I have my lower body workout, which I love!!!! Heavy weights! Lots of squats and lunges.

Tuesday, I am taking my daughter in law to be and I will be going to have our eye lashes enhanced . . . they glue in individual eyelash hairs to thicken and lengthen your lashes so it looks like you are wearing mascara. I might cry once or twice this weekend!

Wednesday is my chest and back workout at the gym.

Thursday I will finish the bracelets for the bridesmaids.

Friday morning I will start cooking the quinoa salad, blueberry oatmeal, breakfast quiche, and hopping john. In the afternoon I will pick up my girlfriend from the airport. Friday night we have a dinner to go to at the university to honor the graduates.

Saturday morning will be a busy time as our son and some of the graduates may come by for a little breakfast before graduation. Graduation is at 10 a.m. Since my family is not coming for the graduation or wedding, I have asked neighbors of ours who are dear friends to be my stand in parents for the weekend. They will be at the house to fire up the grills, and help with putting out foods for after graduation. The house will really be busy then. And the weather doesn't look good, so I am grateful that we have cleared stuff out of the house and widened traffic flow patterns. We have enough space for 20 to sit down to eat. This gathering will serve as a celebration of my sons graduation and a rehearsal dinner (in my house). I will be meeting the family and friends of the bride for the first time. This is my favorite type of thing. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love hosting. I love meeting and greeting. Getting to know new people. Entertaining and hosting this is my thing. I love it!

Sunday is another very full day. Of course we will start with brunch which will be leftovers that have been re-vamped with fruits and pumpkin muffins on the side. In the afternoon we will be decorating the church and getting all spruced up for the formal photographs that will be taken at 2. Then I am sure there will be lots of running to be done and last minute things to be purchased before the wedding at 7pm. It will be a loooooong day. This one is a little out of my league. I am not the 'hostess' at this one. This is not my gig, so I don't know exactly how it might go or what is expected of me.

Monday I will be spending some time with my best girlfriend before driving her to the airport. It will be a fun time for she and I. We are a fabulous team. She knows what I need before I even ask. We have been together for tough times and had some of the best times together. I am so looking forward to this time with her.

Tuesday it's back to work. Business as usual! LOL!

I did not know two years ago when I started this health journey that I would be here . . . this woman, at this time. This was not my goal, I didn't plan to 'get in shape' for this time. However, I do believe it was Gods purpose and plan. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have all these activities to do if I didn't have the physical strength and stamina that I have now. I cannot imagine that I would be sitting here feeling so at peace, comfortable and confident if it had not been for the utterly amazing journey I have had these past two years.

So, yes, I feel like a woman. A strong, confident woman who knows she was created for a purpose. My purpose this week is to share with all who I am blessed to meet, host, cook for or come in contact with, the abundance I am blessed to have received.

Be Beautiful! Be You!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Time for Me to Fly!

I have had such a beautiful and productive day. I feel confident in the plan we have made in preparation for my sons graduation and wedding this coming weekend. We aren't overly complicated or high maintenance type people. I do like to have a plan that looks at the whole picture and break it down into manageable pieces.

Today we (husband and I) went to Indianapolis to get the pork loin, crackers, cheeses, paper products, nuts, hummus, pita, pickles, etc. that we need for the various events that we are hosting. Everything went off without a hitch today. We had a nice lunch outside, the weather was gorgeous.

When we got home I put away foods while DH went to the store to rent a carpet steamer. The carpets have been steamed, the dining tables have been extended to seat a number of guest and the linens are on the tables. All the platters and serving dishes are stacked on the tables. The menu is planned and I will start cooking on Thursday. The menu is pretty simple and clean for the most part. I did get my sons favorite cheese crackers and tortillas. everything else will be fresh and homemade. I'll be sure to take some pics and pass along some recipes to you.

Lately I have been doing a lot of reading and writing while my husband drives. It's the only time I can fit in as much reading as I want. I've always been a journaler. Lately I have started keeping a notebook opened beside me all the time to jot down thoughts as they come to mind.

I have been so conflicted for months now about when is the right time to pursue the passion of my heart fully. I have come to realize that what has been holding me back is fear. Fear of failing, fear of letting my husband down or putting too much financial burden on him . . . fear that I might succeed and that I don't know how that would feel. Some personal things have happened these past couple weeks that were hurtful. These hurts made me a little more unsure of how to proceed towards my dreams. Then I realized that the people who love me, love me whether I succeed or fail. I have value to those who value me. I cannot fail if I am honoring the purpose I was created for. The only way I can truly fail is if I fail to try.

The style of writing I do is free flow. Whatever comes into my mind I write without trying to control it, think of it's consequences, or in anyway censor it. Often this type of flow reveals to me many truths. Some of those truths I do not like because they show an area of my heart that needs refining, softening or strengthening. Sometimes what is revealed is my truest gut.

Here is what I wrote today, I will not censor it or correct any grammar:

Nestea Plunge!

Let's Go!

I'm ready!

Sink or Swim, I'm diving in!

Trusting that as I jump from the 'safety' of the plan into the great unknown the fullness of my parachute will open providing the most amazing adventure.

******End of Writing*******

In light of these thoughts, feelings, passions and desires, I am ready to plan, pack my bags and prepare for a grand adventure. The months of June and July will be about exploring the opportunities that I am most passionate about and opening myself fully towards my hearts desire for my future. I have so many fabulous opportunities and ideas. It's time. I feel it.

Thank you for joining with me on this journey. Your support, encouragement and stories of triumph fuel me to pursue only the best for myself and my family.

Life is beautiful! Embrace it fully!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thank You Tosca!

I am coming up a big milestone!  Actually several!  My son is graduation from college and then marrying his sweetheart the following day.  But the milestone I am referring to is the journey to health I started almost two years ago.

Two years ago I was 267lbs.
My blood pressure was 160/110 no, I'm no lying.  My docs thought I had had a cardiovascular event or stroke.
I had plantar fasciitus so bad I could barely stand to do the dishes.
I was so depressed, overwhelmed and frustrated.

While at the pharmacy to get my blood pressure meds filled I was looking through the cooking magazines for some healthy options.  I have always LOVED to cook and am pretty good at it.  I had ordered some cookbooks from the American Heart Association and had made myself a 'student' of how to cook for my health.  I was frustrated about the mixed information I seemed to be getting about lowering my blood pressure, getting healthy and losing weight.  One menu plan seemed to contradict the other.

At the pharmacy newstand I saw a copy of Clean Eating magazine.  I immediately had an Aha moment!  This is real food, with real taste, for real people.  I can do this!!!  Before Clean Eating magazine I would cry in the grocery store thinking I was doomed to a life of tasteless bland foods that were only suitable for concentration camp victims.

Some of you may already know my story.  You may have heard me say before how Clean Eating magazine lead me to make a Christmas list of the Eat Clean Diet publications I wanted for Christmas that year.  Then on Jan. 1, 2010 I jumped in with both feet and gave up sugar, white flour and any artificial sweeteners that I may have been consuming.  In June 2010 I took it a step further and started getting Oxygen magazine and really focusing on who to use Clean Eating to accomplish the physique changes I wanted to see.

I will never be a physique model, due to the fact that I was 115# heavier than I currently am and spent most of my adult life over the weight of 220 lbs.  But, that does not make me sad in the least.  I have the best body I can have AT THIS TIME.  And each day is a new time.  Today I am the best I can be.  Tomorrow I will be the best I can be tomorrow.  As I learn new things and try new foods my body continues to heal and grow.  I have been rewarded 100 fold or more.

Today I weight 151 lbs.
My Blood Pressure is 107/69  (no meds!!!!)
I am in excellent health
I lift weights 4 days a week
Run a couple times a week
I have ran 3 half marathons + 1 full marathon
I teach yoga twice a week during my lunch hour
I lead a couple of teams that focus on clean eating and strength building

My future is very bright and I am excited to be me!!!!  I get to live this amazing, healthy life!  This body isn't perfect, but, it's mine!