Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weekly Challenge

This week we start a plank challenge for the month of February. As in most exercises there are various ways to plank, but the first week we are going to focus on just a regular plank. The inserted picture shows the proper and safe way to hold a plank. As it says, you want to avoid the neck strain; but also making sure to keep your core tight and focus on not letting your hips lower too much will also keep you from putting any unnecessary strain on your lower back. If you need to modify the plank, you can drop to your knees, but still keeping your core tight. This week the challenge is to plank for a minimum of 20 minutes. Time your planks, hold it for as long as you can, and keep track of your time for each hold. Add your times up and the goal is to have a total time of 20 minutes or more by the end of the week. Some of us can hold a plank for about 30 seconds, and then some of us can hold it for several minutes, either way push yourself beyond your comfort zone and hold each plank as long as possible. And remember, your mind will tell you your body is ready to stop, but in reality your body can keep going! So, make sure to get out of your head, focus, and continue to push yourself to increase your plank hold each time.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Why & What Do I Track?

I've been keeping a journal of my workouts and meals for a few years now. I used to have one book for workouts and then something separate for my meals. Just recently I've figured out a way that works for me where I keep everything in one book. The picture to the side is from my actual journal. As you can see I keep track of what I eat, including the times. I keep track of my workouts, including where and who I trained with if it's out of what I normally do. I also keep track of my core4 to ensure I'm getting everything done to keep my life as balanced as possible. I also keep a copy of a tracking sheet for me to record my weekly weigh-ins, and anytime I hit a PR. I just recently started within the last couple months keeping track of everything in one book and I really like it. It is much easier to have just one place to reference and helps me stay on track. I get people asking me all the time why I write everything down, and besides that it keeps me on track, it also is a way for me to go back and see what I'm doing right and where I can improve. I found a great list of why keeping a food/workout journal is beneficial and many of the reasons I've mentioned, but here are the top 10 reasons:

  • Keeps you accountable
  • Shows your habits
  • Makes your goals seem more real
  • Helps you to see what works
  • Helps you to see what doesn't work
  • Shows you are serious about fitness
  • Helps you keep track of your food
  • Helps you keep track of workouts
  • Helps you track your progress
  • Helps you track your motivation
I think we tend to overthink (I personally used to) the tracking process and it always seems like it's so much work and not worth it, when in reality it's really pretty simple. It's a easy as just buying a notebook and writing down what you do and what you eat. So, I encourage you to set your goals, and then buy a notebook and start tracking your food and workouts and see how it really can be a great accountability tool.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Weigh-in Update

Not going to lie, I couldn't wait to get home and post this update! I was down 3.2 pounds this week, making my total for January 8.2 pounds! I mentioned before how in 2015 I was showing up to my sessions, and I was following my meal plans, but I wasn't showing up 100% focused and in it and I actually gained some of the weight back. I started out 2016 focused, strong, and committed to my health and fitness 100% physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. And that's what I've been doing daily and the results are showing. I know every week won't be 3 or 4 pounds, but I know every week I'm going to be showing up #allin and each week I will get one step closer to my goals!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Stay Focused

Me working out at Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside
Everyday I do my best to give 100% when I walk into the gym. I have my days that I need a little more motivation than normal, but here these last few weeks I've been really focused on my goals and I've been having great days and dominating my workouts. A couple years ago I was getting in there two or three times a day, and then cut back to once or twice a day. But, in looking back I wasn't focused in 2015 and wasn't giving 100%. I was showing up once or twice a day, but I wasn't in it 100% mentally, which means I was there but I still wasn't giving 100% physically so I wasn't getting the results I wanted. I've started the year off strong. I've set some big goals, I've accepted some challenges, and I've stepped up my game physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! Yesterday was a busy day for me at the gym. I was there four times, once for cardio, group lunch workout, Empire workout, and then my private session. My private session was the last one I did at 6:45 pm and I walked in there ready to hit it as hard as I did my first workout. And Michael is out of town this week, so I trained with our new trainer Roberto and he pushed me when I thought I couldn't do another rep. He kept reminding me to stay focused and think about where I'll be in a month, two months, and even my 90 day goals; and I was able to start and finish my workout strong. So, when you have those moments when you don't think you can do another rep, stop for a second, breathe, and then remember......

"Focus! Feel every rep! Make every set count! You're here to work!" - unkown

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekly Challenge

This week's challenge is 1,000 penguins (per side). These are one of my favorites and will definitely work your obliques! As in the demonstration above, your shoulders and head will come up off the ground, and you reach for the heel of your foot. If you are not able to touch your heel, that's fine, reach as far as you can. This challenge starts tomorrow and ends next Sunday. Then February we will do a plank challenge!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

My Recipe Box - Mini Tex-Mex Turkey Meatloaves

I've posted this recipe before, but it's a good one and I was talking with another client today about some healthy recipes and this one came up. Thought I would share it again! This recipe, and many other delicious healthy recipes, can be found at

The direct link for this particular recipe is:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Weigh-in Update

I was down .2 this week, so not quite a half a pound. I was hoping for more, but just decided to not worry about it because at least it's down. But, the truth is I wasn't really happy about it. When Michael asked me how I did this week, I answered .2 but know I sounded disappointed. His reply made me look at it differently, because he said "So that's 5 pounds in 3 weeks. A little over a pound a week." Of course it's like 5:15 AM so I'm like yeah, 5 pounds in 3 weeks, but still was wanting more this week. So, later on when I did some meditation I looked at it from the aspect that I've lost 5 pounds in 3 weeks and I have to remember not every week will be a big loss, and I might do everything just right and even still have a gain. But, what I have to remember, is any progress towards my goal, even slow progress, is still progress. And instead of sulking saying, I only lost .2 pounds this week, I should celebrate the success I did have. Again, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, it's all in your outlook. I changed my outlook and realized I should be proud of the work I put in and be excited for the success I did have.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Change Your Outlook

At some point, we all lose the excitement and the motivation to keep working out; and I've been there a few times in my fitness journey. there were times I wanted to take a break and take a month off, but I never did, I kept going. There were times I cut back on my sessions or the intensity of what I did. There were times I showed up but wasn't completely focused and I really didn't want to be there. And I have to say, 2015 had the most ups and downs of all the years since starting my journey in 2011. I gradually started to get my shit together about half way through the year after becoming part of our Fitness Together Empire group, but even the last part of the year, I was always showing up for my sessions physically but I wasn't mentally or emotionally into my sessions. I didn't care, I wasn't excited, and I was feeling like I had to be there. Well, as we are taught in our Empire group, I did the work on myself and not only figured some things out; but changed my outlook and I have started 2016 off strong! I'm not saying I won't have moments in the future that I lose some motivation or feel like going home instead of going to the studio. But because of the work I do on myself daily emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, when that happens I can quickly get out of that mindset that I "HAVE" to work out like it's a chore; but show up focused, have a positive mindset, and remember that "Today I get to work out!". It's all in your outlook, and for 2016, I'm #ALLIN!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Weekly Challenge

We continue the ab challenge! This week we do 1,000 leg lifts/raises, see illustrations to the side. The top shows you keep your hands to your side, flat on the ground. But, if you need the support for your lower back, to modify place your hands right under your lower back for the extra support. An additional modification you can do if needed is to bend your knees. Remember, any exercise can be modified to fit everyone's ability. If you ever have questions on modifications, or even an alternative exercise all together, shoot me a message!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Weigh-in Update

I did weigh-in yesterday, but I'm just now posting my results. Not that it was horrible, but because yesterday I was inspired to write "Today I Will......." and really wanted to get that one posted. So, even though it's "Weigh-in Thursday", I'm posting it today.

This week I was down .8, so almost a pound. I was hoping for more, I know I worked really hard, but I'm still happy with it. It's still down, and that makes 4.8 in two weeks, so still a very good couple weeks. I'm working on my 90 day goals, and really stepping it up for my body goal and it will definitely be one I will have to make sure I'm not just showing up to do the work, but I'm showing up 100% mentally and emotionally to ensure I'm giving my all.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Today I Will........

I remember when I first started my journey, it was a daily mental battle to make the right choices. I would have to stop, and literally have a conversation with myself inside my head. Everyday I would tell myself why I should choose the healthier foods, why I should go do cardio after work instead of just going home and sitting on the couch and watching TV, remind myself what my goals were, and remind myself why I started to begin with. Over the years it's been a lifestyle change so showing up for my sessions, getting my cardio in, and eating healthy is just something I do. That doesn't mean I don't have moments that I would rather not go workout, or that I would rather have the pizza over my grilled chicken and veggies, but instead of it being a daily battle it's more like every few months I might have to remind myself of the right thing to do. But, regardless if you're just starting your journey, or if you're like me and it's been several years; I think it's still a good idea to daily talk to yourself with positive thoughts. I found some that I think are awesome and I'm actually going to make a copy of these and every morning I'm going to tell myself these things. Then, I'm going to put a copy in places like, my workout journal, my regular journal, and my computer at work. I encourage you to start out each day telling yourself these things, and then keep them near by and pull them out whenever you need the reminder.....

TODAY I WILL.........
Workout and get stronger
Nourish my body with healthy foods
Get one step closer to achieving my goals
Take a moment to appreciate my life
Remember I am worth it and I am enough
Start planning for tomorrow

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Try New Things

I've come a long way over the past several years in my eating habits, including trying new things. But, the one thing I tried that I refused to try again was kale. I had bought some kale for my salad couple years ago and it tasted like freaking dirt! After that I had the attitude that I've tried it, I didn't like it, and I'm not eating it. So, when a co-worker mentioned a salad mix that included chopped up kale I kind of turned up my nose. She was explaining it was chopped up really well, mixed with some other greens, and it tasted really good.

Today we had our monthly birthday luncheon for our team, and she mentioned bringing this salad mix. I thought, okay, I'll try it and I said I would bring grilled chicken because this isn't a reward day and it's not a high carb day, so this is something I could eat. After my yoga session, I put a pile of this salad mix on my plate, topped it off with some grilled chicken, and instead of using the dressing it came with I used my light dressing I keep in my office fridge. I had already told myself that I probably wouldn't like it and that I could just pick out the kale or just eat the chicken. But, when I took a bite, I was like this is so delicious!

Not only had I gotten inside my own head about this salad mix before I even tried it, but I had allowed my one time experience with kale to get in my head and assumed it would be gross just because it had kale in it. So, the lesson here is try new things! Even if you've tried them before, keep trying them in various ways. You never know when you might actually like something if it's prepared right!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Outside Your Comfort Zone

Sometimes it's hard to push ourselves outside our comfort zone, so it's important to have those people in your life who support and encourage you enough to help push you out of that zone so you can continue to grow and become better. I'm fortunate to have an amazing support system, between my trainers, other clients, friends, and family; I have many people who will encourage me to do things I'm afraid to do or think I can't do.

Today, I was pushed out of my comfort zone by my trainer. I really don't like jump roping, so this morning when he suggested I do 3 sets of 2 minutes of jump roping with 1 minute rest, I was less than thrilled. But I trust him enough to know he knows what I need to do in order to meet my goals. So, I left there and meditated on it and came to some conclusions. First, the reason I don't like them is because I'm not the best at it. And second, it's not that I can't do it, but that I don't want to because it's something that's outside of my comfort zone. So, I realized what I needed to do was to get out of my head and tell myself I can do it.

So, today after work, I went back to the studio for cardio and before I started anything I did the suggested 3 rounds of jump ropes. And guess what, not only did I finish it, but I continued and jumped into the 5:30 evening workout. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was uncomfortable. Yes, I couldn't wait for my 3 rounds to be completed. But, I finished it and I know it's something that I can do every day to improve myself and increase my work time. I came across this quote today and thought it was great for this post!

"Your comfort zone is nothing but a belief.
A mere reflection of your thoughts.
You desire something better,
yet you fear change.
Self doubt will bind you there.
Belief is all you need."

Monday, January 11, 2016

Why Did You Start?

My blog posts typically come from something that I experienced that day, or just something that I thought about that I wanted to write about and share. This afternoon I had already written out something I planned on posting tonight, but this evening as I was doing my hour of cardio on the treadmill I thought I've got to write about this.

Today I had my private session during lunch, but this evening I went to the studio to do my cardio I had planned this week to help me reach my goal. I planned on doing an hour that also consisted of a fast paced walk at an incline.

I got 30 minutes into it and took the incline down and when I did that I could feel it in my legs. I did a light recovery for 10 minutes and thought I'll finish the last 20 minutes back at the incline. Then when I hit the 48 minute mark, I thought, I don't want to do a full hour. I actually started to get in my head telling myself it would be okay to stop at 50 minutes because I already worked out today and 50 minutes is still a good time on the treadmill. But, I started thinking about my goals, how excited I am to weigh-in this Thursday, and how great I've been feeling every day since last week because I've been so focused and determined to meet my goals.

Then I was like, what the hell? Are you seriously convincing yourself to stop with only 10 minutes left? So it's getting hard! I'm not hurt, there's no reason I couldn't go another 10 minutes, and the reason "I just don't want to do it" is not acceptable! Then I thought, what if this was someone else? What would I tell them? Well, I would tell them to keep going. I would tell them to stick to their plan, stay focused on their goals, and when they want to stop remember why they started. And then I told myself I really should take my own advice and then I kept going until I finished the full hour.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Weekly Challenge

The ab challenge continues! This week's challenge is to complete 1,000 sit-ups. The challenge starts tomorrow (Monday) and you have until next Sunday to complete all 1,000 reps. Have fun!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Don't Give Up

If you're like me, then you've started over many times new diets or started working out again. And being the New Year, this is when we typically want to start a new plan/program. But, I've been there before, where I'm always starting over. And almost 5 years ago I started over for the last time. I started at Fitness Together in March of 2011, and instead of starting over every year, I'm just continuing my journey each year. And there was a time when I did get to that point where I thought about giving up because I doubted what I could do. But, I also remembered I made a commitment to myself when I started and I wasn't going to give up on myself this time. I knew that feeling I got when I would give up and go back to eating like shit and not working out; and I didn't want that feeling again, but instead I wanted to feel the satisfaction of not giving up and seeing what all I could accomplish. And I'm so glad I kept going! After almost 5 years, I'm the healthiest I've ever been, and I'm doing more than I ever thought I could do. So, next time you start getting discouraged and are wanting to just give up, remember how you've felt in the past and then imagine how amazing it will feel and what will happen if you don't give up and you keep pushing! You'll never reach your goals or become better if you're always giving up and starting over! So this time, keep moving forward, and just see what you can do!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Weekly Recipe - Coconut Chicken

I came across this Coconut Chicken recipe and it looked delicious! There wasn't any nutritional information, and me personally I would still reserve this for a reward meal. However, this is still a healthy option you could incorporate into a healthy meal plan, and it would be a great alternative instead of eating deep fried chicken.
  • 3 chicken breast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • coconut oil
  • Cut chicken breast into chunks
  • Beat 2 eggs
  • Combine almond flour & coconut flakes
  • Dip chicken in eggs, then in almond/coconut mix
  • Cook in skillet with coconut oil
  • Serve with grilled pineapple and snap peas

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Weigh-in Update

Thursdays are my normal weigh-in day, and I weigh-in at the studio first thing in the morning before my session. Today I weighed in and what a great way to start 2016! My first week of the New Year I was down exactly 4 pounds! I was excited because I hadn't been seeing the scale move much, especially going down, for quite awhile now!

I used to be really good at doing the weigh-in updates here on my blog, but haven't posted an update in a long time. I still weighed in weekly, with the exception of the last three weeks in December. I had ran out of pages in my workout/nutrition journal and I didn't buy a new one so I wasn't really putting much effort into tracking my stuff, and I didn't weigh-in for those three weeks. I still showed up for my sessions and I was still eating according to my meal plan; but I just had those few weeks where I just didn't care about tracking anything. What I learned from that, is one even if I'm showing up for my workouts and eating right, having my journal close by and writing everything down makes me feel better and I feel more in control. But, it also helps me keep myself accountable. I can go back and reference what I've done if I'm not getting the results I want or think I should be getting. I also found when I was doing my weigh-in updates publically here on my blog that was another way to help keep me accountable. I mean, let's be real here, when you know you are sharing your results for anyone in the world to see, who doesn't want to make sure they're doing their best?

Now, any health and fitness journey is hard, and there will be weeks the results aren't the best; but that's one reason why I want to make sure I get back to posting my results weekly. Regardless of what my results are, I feel it's important to post them because it helps me be honest with myself; but it also helps others who might be struggling realize that it's okay to have a week where you gain or you don't hit the goal you want. Because we all will have those moments, the most important thing is we don't give up!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Commit To Be Fit

It's been almost 5 years since I committed to my health and fitness, and each day I do my best to honor those commitments to myself. Two reasons, one because I want to be healthy; and two because I know I deserve it! So, exactly what am I committed to do to make sure I hit my health and fitness goals?

  1. I'm committed to weekly meal planning and prepping.
  2. I'm committed to showing up for my workouts. This means being on time, leaving any negative shit at the door (this is hard sometimes) so I can focus on my workout, and giving my all in each session.
  3. I'm committed to doing the extra work outside of my sessions, such as additional cardio and challenges. (Don't forget, this week is the 1,000 bicycle crunches challenge)
  4. I'm committed to meditating and journaling to keep my mental, emotional, and spiritual health just as good.
  5. I'm committed to taking the time I need to make sure all of these commitments are met daily.
  6. I'm committed to not making excuses, but making results. (Seriously, I even have the quote "I don't make excuses, I make results" as the quote on my tattoo)
  7. More importantly....I'm committed to ME!
And remember, there is a reason my blog is about "Becoming healthier physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually" and that's because being healthy isn't all about working out and eating right; but it's also about being mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. So, what commitments will you make to yourself to meet your health and fitness goals?


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

This Is Your Journey

We all start our health and fitness journey for different reasons. For me, my reason was for myself. I wanted to lose weight and improve my health. Some people start because they become parents or grandparents and want to become healthier so they can be around for their kids and grandkids longer. Some aren't overweight and don't even have health issues, but just want to look better. Whatever your reason is for starting your health and fitness journey, always remember the ultimate person you're doing it for is YOU! Don't let others be the guide on your journey, instead lead your own way and those who truly support you will follow.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Are You Ready For Change?

I'll never regret making the choice almost 5 years ago to take the chance to change my life with Fitness Together! I'm in a better place physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually!

Are you ready for change? Only YOU can make it happen!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Weekly Challenge

Something I've been wanting to improve on is my plank hold time. The longest I've held a plank is like 90 seconds. But, instead of just jumping right into a plank challenge, I've decided to hold off on that until February. Here's what my thought process was when I was contemplating what to do for a weekly challenge. My plan is to focus on strengthening my core in January, and then come February I'll come up with a plank challenge for the month to see how well I can improve my plank hold time. I'm hoping by focusing on some intense core work for the month, that will help me do better for the plank challenge. So, for this month we will focus on four different core exercises, but only focusing on one each week.

This week we are doing bicycle crunches. The challenge for this week is to complete 1,000 (per side) bicycle crunches. You have a whole week to get them in, so break it down and do some each day. The challenge starts tomorrow (Monday) and will end Sunday. And to challenge yourself even more, make this in addition to any other workouts you do during the day! Have fun!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Making Changes

I can't tell you how many times I started to diet or workout in the past only to end up giving up because I would get discouraged from trying to change everything at once. I would start with the mentality that I had to do everything just right and perfect, and the first time I gave into temptation and cheated on my diet or the exercising became too hard, that's when I would just give up and quit. I would tell myself I couldn't do it, it's too hard, and pretty much convince myself it's impossible. So, then I would go back to my old habits where I would end up eating like shit and I definitely wasn't attempting any type of exercising.

But what was different for me in 2011? First, I was determined to become healthier. When I realized I was 350 pounds I was embarrassed and ashamed of what I had allowed myself to become and I didn't want to be that person anymore. Second, for the first time I admitted to myself I needed professional help. That's why I sought out a personal trainer and I'll be forever grateful for Michael Watkins and his team of trainers at Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside and Downtown Tulsa. But, I think the most important thing that was different this time for me, was I walked into FT on March 5, 2011 (scared shitless, but I walked in anyway) with a totally different mindset. I walked in telling myself I deserve this, I can do this, and I also reminded myself this will not be something that happens overnight and that I need to make gradual changes.

And here it is almost 5 years later and I'm in the best health I've ever been my entire adult life. And here's the thing, I'm still working on weight-loss goals and I'm still making changes. I've been discouraged and I've had setbacks. I mean, I'm all about keeping it real, and the truth is I'm starting 2016 weighing slightly more than I started 2015. I actually gained this past year and I didn't see the results I wanted in the weight-loss area. But, what I didn't do, is I never gave up and I saw improvements in other areas of my life. I think about all the times I felt like quitting because I wasn't seeing the results I wanted, or how I was just tired of doing it, and when I think about it I end up with a horrible image in my mind. I see myself gradually reverting back to old habits and gaining all that weight back. And I'm not going to lie, the thought of that scares the shit out of me. Which is probably a good thing, because that's when I tell myself to shut the hell up and get my ass back on track.

Like I mentioned yesterday, this is the time of year when many people use the New Year to start new journeys, including working out and eating healthier. And, if this is you and you're tired of starting over every year, my advice is to start off with small changes. Don't try to change everything at once and definitely don't expect perfection or results overnight. But, instead focus on small changes and when you do reach that point where you're discouraged, whatever you do DON'T GIVE UP! Keep reminding yourself YOU DESERVE IT and YOU CAN DO IT! It'll be 5 years in March since I started my health and fitness journey with FT and I know with my determination I will continue to get the results I desire.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Give Myself Permission

Michael, my trainer and owner at Fitness Together Downtown Tulsa and Jenks/Riverside, has talked about giving yourself permission many times when we talked about goals and when I'm struggling and having set backs. This past Wednesday it came up again when we were discussing goals for this year. It's not that I wasn't listening to him or not getting what he was saying the past several times he's talked about it, but this time after taking time to reflect and meditate on it something clicked for me. I keep self-sabotaging myself, sometimes without realizing it, and then I start feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, or many times I start settling or accepting mediocre results. I just finally realized there are other areas in my life I'm not giving myself permission to do the things I need and want to do to better myself, and what that meant for me personally. I realized where I need to give myself permission so I can set and meet goals that are important to me.

Today is when we tend to set our New Year's resolutions and look forward to a new start on moving forward and making our lives better. And I started to make a list of resolutions, but then after I had this aha! moment, I decided those things would fall into place if I just gave myself permission.

So, this year instead of resolutions I've decided to make 2016 about one thing, and that's "Give Myself Permission" to allow myself to be the best me!