Category: Community


Just two more days until my next weigh-in! I’m excited! I spent part of the morning watching videos of Chalene Johnson (Turbo Jam, TurboFire, ChaLEAN Extreme), Brett Hoebel (Biggest Loser, RevAbs), Tony Horton (Power 90, P90X, 10 Minute Trainer), Shaun T (Hip Hop Abs, Insanity) and more leading the Super Workout at Coach Summit in LA which is extremely motivating. Can’t wait for next year in Vegas!

11:00am 12oz water and 2 Beachbody Slimming Formula tablets

12:45pm Breakfast – I have really got to start doing better about eating right after I get up and BEFORE I get on the computer! Chocolate Shakeology made with 4oz water, 4oz 1% milk, 1 Tbs. natural peanut butter, 1 scoop Shakeology Fiber Boost and 3 ice cubes

3:00pm Snack – 1/2 large cucumber, sliced with 2 Tbs. Trader Joe’s hummus

4:00pm – 12oz water

6:00pm Lunch – 12oz water with 2 Slimming Formula tablets, Smothered chicken burritos. Here’s the “recipe” inspired by Sam the Cooking Guy. Love him!

1. Shred some rotisserie chicken (Costco has the best deal by far) I used 3 oz in my burritos

2. Warm the chicken and enchilada sauce on the stove – I used about 2c. sauce for the whole family – make sure there’s enough sauce so that after you take the chicken out there’s enough to spoon over the burritos

3. Heat tortillas in a dry skillet on medium until soft and pliable, about 20 seconds, flipping halfway through (don’t leave them in the skillet too long or they’ll become hard and difficult to deal with) – I used Mission flour tortillas for the family and whole wheat, low-carb, high fiber tortillas for mine. Let’s compare…200 calories for one regular tortilla or 80 calories and 12g fiber for one of the kind I used. Seems like a no-brainer to me. I had two which were fewer calories than one of the other. Why didn’t I give the same to my family? Because they taste like whole grain and getting them to eat stuff like that is a work in progress. Baby steps.

4. Put warm tortilla on a large plate and sprinkle the center with shredded cheese – I used part-skim mozzarella because that’s what we had. Monterey Jack would be great. I weighed out 2 oz for my whole plate and divided it between the two burritos and top.

5. Top the cheese with some of the shredded chicken. I used a fork and kind of pressed it against the inside of the pan so it wouldn’t be too saucy, leaving some of the sauce for the top.

6. Roll up the tortilla to make a burrito. I fold in the sides first, then fold the bottom up over the filling and continue rolling up.

7. Once you’ve made the burritos, place on each person’s plate, spoon the remaining sauce over the top, sprinkle with shredded cheese and shredded lettuce then top with some sour cream. I used 2 Tbs. and it was the light kind.

8:00pm 12oz water

8:05pm Was feeling really sleepy and knew I was in great danger of slipping into that mental state where I blow off my workout, finding a myriad of ways to rationalize it, so I went out for a walk/run.

9:30pm 12oz water

10:00pm Dinner – 12oz water and 2 Slimming Formula tablets, Chocolate Shakeology made with 4oz water, 4oz 1% milk, 1 scoop Shakeology Fiber Boost, a little mint extract and 3 ice cubes

12:30am Snack – 6oz Yoplait Light Blueberry and 10 raw almonds

Total calories consumed – 1343  Total calories burned – 2925

Protein – 116g, Carbs – 145g, Fat – 47g, Fiber – 52g

Water – 72oz

 BONUS – Photos from my walk. Please forgive me for getting so excited about pretty clouds, but when you live in a place that’s overcast 75% of the year seeing some blue sky and clouds that have actual shapes other than “blanket” is a big deal. Once the sun had gone down to the point where taking photos with my not-so-great camera was pointless I decided to try some running intervals again. This time I took the advice of a friend and payed more attention to being light on my heels. It made a huge difference and I found myself going farther each time. Instead of counting steps I looked ahead for a landmark and told myself I could make it…and I did. The last interval was even uphill and I went farther than my goal. Booyah!! LOL

It’s amazing how often we hold ourselves back from accomplishing things because we tell ourselves we can’t. We were watching a fascinating show on the Discovery channel earlier in the day about a man who, if you didn’t know what he was doing and you believed in that stuff, you’d swear was a psychic. He’s actually a professional mentalist and he did share a lot of what he was doing. In one part he was explaining how car salesmen use little “tricks” to get you to think a certain way and do certain things like buying a car you didn’t really want when you went in. He also gave tips on how to counteract what they’re doing so you can get the best deal.

Afterward, I was talking to my kids about how our minds are so pliable…so open to suggestion…and how we can actually use that on ourselves to our advantage. I gave the example of how Chalene Johnson does this in a very unsubtle way in her workout programs. She says things like, “Guess what? You’re not tired!” or “I know you saved some energy for me!” or simply “You can do this!” and you start to believe it. The next thing you know you’re pushing yourself harder than you ever thought you could and you are doing it…just like she said. We can tell ourselves things that will either hinder or help. I know I have been guilty of holding myself back with negative thoughts, but I’m learning just how powerful our thoughts and words really are. It’s a gift from God. We need to exercise our free will and use it to our advantage. We do not have to be victims of our circumstances. We can choose to believe that we are capable of so much more, even if no one around us believes it. If we say we can’t, guess what…we’re right because we won’t even try. We have to say we can, figure out how and do it. It’s 99% mental.

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Today was a rest day from my intense workout schedule, but I still wanted to do something so I took a little walk around the neighborhood. It’s was great to be outside and take some new photos since it’s been a while. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the honeysuckle blooms. I finally saw signs of progress and could smell just a hint of their intoxicating aroma as I was right next to them. Soon the air will be filled with their perfume. I can hardly wait!

Normally I would cross the street and head over past Autzen Stadium (GO DUCKS!) to Alton Baker Park, but I turned around to go home and see what the kids were up to. I hung out with them at the basketball court for a while where the older one was shooting hoops with a friend and the younger one was riding his brother’s scooter. As I stood there watching him we both learned a little lesson. While it’s important to look ahead at the big picture, be careful of the little things along the way because ignoring them can really trip you up.

Once I was sure he was ok, I took that photo of the tiny pebble that caused him to go sprawling on the ground. He survived with no major injuries and hopped back on which of course made me proud. I took one more photo and then attempted to sink some shots with my other son. It was definitely an off day for me, but that’s ok because we had a good laugh which I think is much more important than showing off my skills. 😉

With only three hours of sleep last night, I decided to go for a walk. I was tired and would normally crawl back in bed (ah, the joys of working from home), but nature was calling…in the sense that it was unbelievably gorgeous and begging to be photographed. Who was I to say no? And I am so glad I went. Not just because it was rejuvenating to be out in the sunshine and fresh air, but because I made a new, unexpected friend. If there’s one thing I learned while out walking today, it’s that you should never get too comfortable with how you see the world around you. Someone or something could surprise you and shake up the way you think at any time if you’re paying attention.

First of all, this van parked at Autzen Stadium cracked me up.

Then I saw some “wildlife”.

And of course, “the tree”.

Most of the time I look up to find interesting things to photograph, but today down was interesting, too. I couldn’t believe how clear the water looked.

Normally, I would head out to the North Bank path, but something caught my eye so I went in a slightly different direction.

I was loving how some of the leaves were a shiny silver, reflecting the sunlight.

Of course I couldn’t help taking lots of pictures of interesting trees…

…and flowers…

…and birds.

I made it over to the main section of Alton Baker park where there were even more flowers blooming than the last time I was there. Especially in the garden area.

As I headed back, I passed by the “triplets”. When I walked through here in winter when they had no leaves I wondered what they would look like in the spring. I think they turned out pretty great.

It was at this point that my walk got really interesting. While I was standing there taking that last photo I saw a squirrel out of the corner of my eye scampering up the tree to my left. I thought the tree was pretty so I took a photo. It was then that I realized the squirrel was watching me from one of the lower branches.

I waited a few seconds thinking for sure he would be scared off by the camera noise, but no. He stood his ground so I kept getting closer taking more and more pictures. Part of me was a little concerned that he was going to pounce on me at any second and infect me with rabies, but I couldn’t bring myself to stop. I’m posting all of the photos so you can understand just how long we were there staring at each other. Keep in mind there was at least a 10 second delay between photos and I didn’t zoom in or crop them. I was easily less than 5 feet away from him when we were closest to each other.

I looked away for a moment and noticed that the ground looked interesting there, too. I was certain that the squirrel would run away once I broke his gaze, but he was still there just watching me.

Finally, he (or she I suppose) decided to move. Possibly so I could get his other side.

By this point my heart rate had gone down and I figured I should move on. There was no telling how long we were going to stand there staring at each other so I said goodbye, let him know he was going to be famous (there wasn’t anyone else around to think I was crazy talking to a squirrel), and headed home…taking a “few” more pictures along the way. Just a few steps past the tree were two geese, one of which could’ve been a little nicer like the squirrel. It hissed at me several times as I walked by. Other than that, it was a fantastic walk and experience!

It’s been a while since I’ve gone out, taken photos and actually posted them. Today was absolutely gorgeous and one of my best friends and I took advantage of it with a 2 hour walk. If we count Brodie, her sweet and adorable pit bull, we were an official walking group. Of course, I had to take a picture of “the tree”, which will never really change because it’s dead, but everything around it is constantly changing. If you look back over previous posts you’ll see what I mean. One of the things I love most about walking with friends is that we get to catch up on everything going on in our lives. Sometimes it’s the best kind of group therapy. And everything seems better when you’re out on a perfect day. Bright sunshine, blue skies, fresh air and a cool breeze make it difficult to hang onto stress. 

As we arrived at Alton Baker Park, I was pleasantly surprised by all the plants and trees exploding with color.

As we continued past the park and along the river we talked about how people tend to assume that others will react to situations the same way they would. Well you know what they say about what happens when we assume. It’s not good. Ha ha! Seriously though, relationships are truly the most important thing  in life and sadly we’ve all put strain on them by making assumptions about others based on what we would do, even our relationship with God. If we can pay a little closer attention to how we’re seeing a situation and open up communication we can save a lot of heartache from happening. Forget about what you would do and find out what they would do. It’s not hard, just ask.

Brodie was looking thirsty so we stopped at a bench and they headed down to the bank while I took more photos.

And then we headed back. Poor Brodie’s feet were starting to hurt and we a long way to go.

Almost back to where we started. Looking forward to our next “group session”. 🙂

With big things happening all over the world like the royal wedding and the death of Osama bin Laden, it’s easy to forget that there are people still dealing with the aftermath of the tornadoes that touched down in the Southeast recently. I used to live very close to areas that were hit hard so the people there have a special place in my heart. Years ago, I had my own scary tornado experience that involved smashing my truck into a downed tree that was blocking the road. It was nighttime on a curvy back road with rain pouring down and I was alone. I know I had angels watching over me because I hit the tree in the only way possible to keep a large section of the trunk from coming into the cab and smashing into me. Amazingly, I walked away from the accident with no injuries whatsoever, though I can’t say the same for the truck.

I was extremely fortunate, but sadly that’s not the case for those who recently lost so much. I can’t even imagine going through something like that, having to start over…possibly missing loved ones, too. We all need to reach out and help each other and even though we can’t all be there to sort through the piles of rubble or give a hug to someone who’s feeling completely overwhelmed by the loss there is something we can do by donating to the organizations that are there. It’s easy to feel disconnected when you’re not there in the middle of it, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here, another blogger shows unbelievable before and after photos. This video shows damage done in Ringgold, Georgia, just one of the many towns destroyed within a few miles of where I used to live.

For the month of May, any money my husband and I make through our Beachbody coaching sites will be donated to help the families there. So if you or someone you know has been thinking about trying any of the Beachbody fitness programs like P90X, Insanity, Turbo Jam, TurboFire, ChaLEAN Extreme and many others or nutrition supplements like vitamins, Shakeology, Results and Recovery drink or P90X protein bars please consider ordering through one of our sites so you can help yourself live a healthier life and also help the people who are trying to rebuild their lives. I can even help you figure out which program is best for you, your lifestyle and your goals. And for each new coach that joins our team, even if it’s just for the 25% discount on the products, we’ll donate $20.  To find our Beachbody Coaching websites, send me a message on facebook and I’ll make sure you get the link or you can leave a comment. You can even help just by spreading the word. You can invite your friends and family to pass this info along by going to the facebook event page and inviting them or by sharing this post on facebook, twitter or WordPress. The buttons are just below. Thanks for helping!

One of the most interesting and exciting things about being human is that we have the power to change our circumstances by changing the way we think. Once we catch a bit of inspiration and turn our new thoughts into new behaviors incredible things happen. Since it is so easy to fall back into our old ways of thinking, it’s critical to protect our new, fragile, positive attitudes. Sadly, the people closest to us can be the ones who present the greatest danger.

In the past week, I’ve seen several instances where a friend was talked out of something that would’ve been so good for them by a friend or family member who probably thought they were protecting them from failure or disappointment. The problem with that is that if we don’t push ourselves to try new things or try something again after we’ve failed we will never change anything!

People think they know us and want us to feel good about ourselves. Unfortunately, the way they go about it isn’t always helpful. If I’m saying negative things about myself because I feel like I’m failing, I don’t need someone to baby me and say it’s ok to think that way. I need someone to tell me to stop it because they know I can do it! We need to encourage each other to be better, do more, and make positive changes; not to feel that it’s ok to beat ourselves up and stay where we are in life. I saw a perfect example of this on facebook the other day and I know the person meant well, but the situation made me want to scream.

If you’re trying to make positive changes DO NOT listen to people when they try to hold you back even when they think they’re being supportive. They probably don’t even realize they’re doing it. Just be aware of what they’re really saying and move on. If what they’re saying is reinforcing your negative self-talk, push those thoughts away and replace them with positive ones. Like Chalene Johnson says, “be your own biggest cheerleader”. You can do amazing things, but not if you continue to think about yourself and your life the same way.

If you’re one of those well-meaning friends or family members who feels like you’re protecting someone from disappointment please reconsider the way in which you show support. Instead of encouraging them not to try and to keep thinking the same way, show support by telling them you believe they can succeed. You have no idea how much that means to someone who’s decided to face a challenge and push forward. Not to sound cliché, but be part of the solution, not part of the problem. They will have moments when they want to quit because nothing worthwhile is easy. They way you show your support can be the difference between their success or failure. If deep down you’re afraid that their change will take them away from you, by being there and encouraging them through the tough times you’ll earn their appreciation, love and respect bringing you closer together. If you make every step they take that much harder you’ll drive a wedge between you which may result in the thing you fear the most.

I am very passionate about this topic because I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life and I’ve let friends and family hold me back because I listened to them when they said things that made me feel like I could never change. I’ve also cultivated a habit of not finishing what I’ve started and no one has ever held me accountable. They didn’t realize it, but what they were really saying to me was that they didn’t believe in me. We think and do based on our habits so it’s time to start paying attention and to form new ones. We need to stop being afraid to take on challenges and follow through. Sure we may fail, but then we pick ourselves up and try again and again and again. If we quit or never even start we guarantee failure, but when we keep going no matter what we will succeed!

One of the main purposes I have for writing this blog is to get people to do something different, to make positive changes. Since my facebook page is closely related to my blog I thought it would be fun to have daily challenges, “assignments” that are designed to get people to see life from a new perspective and improve their world. The categories are Family, Fitness, Food, Finances and Fun. The first challenge was posted this past weekend and it involved letting your family know how much you appreciate them. Today’s challenge was to find an organization or charity that means something to you and donate your time or money. I believe one of the most responsible things you can do with your money is to use it to help others. And even if you don’t have as much money as you would like, you have time. It’s just a matter of priorities.

I hope you’ll join us. Just go to my facebook page and click “like” at the top to receive the posts for each new challenge in your facebook news feed. If you have a suggestion for a challenge, please leave a comment below! I’m always open to suggestions.

Don’t like how your life is going? Stick around because it’s about to change. Actually, it’s changing now. We just don’t always see it because the change may be happening outside our perspective or slower than we can detect. Have you ever seen those time lapse videos where they show clouds moving across the sky, a plant sprouting or a flower unfolding? I love them because you get to see incredible changes that would normally go undetected even if you were staring at the thing for hours or days.

Sometimes change comes more abruptly. My husband has been in school for over six years now and that’s about to change along with what our family has come to know as normal. There have been some minor changes along the way like new jobs, new schools, and moving into town from a more country-like setting. But now we are looking at the possibility of relocating to a new state so he can find a job teaching. We’ve also considered going to Korea for a while. There’s even a possibility of moving to China for a year. That would certainly be a big change! I know I’d survive as long as I’d still have access to facebook, though. 😉

Even as I was walking around the track at my son’s school while they played basketball I was reminded how much things have changed in my lifetime. I don’t consider myself old, but I do remember a time when you had to actually get up off the couch to change the channel on the TV and adjust the rabbit ears. As a rounded the end of the track I heard a car alarm go off and it made me think about how people used to leave their cars and houses unlocked. Now it seems we focus a lot of time, energy and money on protecting ourselves from each other. Of course, there have always been people who wish others harm, but the more elaborate our means of security become the more ingenious are their ways getting around or through them.

I suppose in some ways there are things that never really change at all. The same basic concepts get recycled over and over like good vs. evil or positive vs. negative. They may just look a little different each time around. I find that comforting because it means we can learn from the past if we pay attention. As individuals we can choose how to react to each situation, or even better, to be proactive. We can choose which side we want to be on and how we perceive what’s going on around us and in us.

As I walked, thinking about change and taking a few photos, I noticed that the sun was setting so I decided to do a bit of a time lapse experiment myself. Every third time I came around the track I took a photo of the sky to see how much it would change in a short time. I was pretty pleased with the results despite the fact that I had to use my phone since I’d left my camera at home (must remember to take it with it at all times). The first few shots were taken when we arrived and the last four were the ones taken from basically the same spot every three laps. Just as I had taken the last one, the dark clouds that had been slowly moving in unleashed a downpour on us so we ran for the car and headed home.

As the sun dropped lower in the sky, the shadows grew longer and dark clouds moved in from the northeast.

I was even surprised myself how much of a change there was between the last two photos. Once those dark clouds picked up momentum there was no stopping them. So don’t give up. Things may seem to be at a standstill in your life, but you never know what’s coming. Just be thankful for the time you have to prepare yourself for what’s ahead by cultivating a positive attitude and an open mind knowing that you’ll never be asked to face something you can’t handle if you have the faith to believe there’s someone watching out for you every second of every day.

On Tuesday, I was expecting a few people to come over for the local weightloss/fitness challenge we’ve got going on. Only one showed which wasn’t ideal for the challenge, but it was perfect because that gave us time to talk and catch up (plus extra leftovers). After a dinner of tortilla soup, southwestern black bean and brown rice salad and a green salad with cilantro dressing from Trader Joe’s we went for a walk. It was great to go out in the evening instead of the morning and I got some nice shots of the sky.

Having people over isn’t the norm for us so company is a nice change of pace. It motivates me to make the apartment sparkling clean (or at least cleaner than it was before) and it inspires me to cook more interesting meals. It’s easy to get in a rut when we basically do the same things day after day and life is to short to be spent in boredom. I hope you’ll find something that gives you a nice change of pace, too.

I said I was going to post photos from my walk on Sunday yesterday, but it didn’t happen. More family time. Now the kids are in bed and my husband is working so I’m catching up on a few things. Have I mentioned that I love Spring?

Thanks for visiting and being patient! 😀