Tag Archive: friends


Woke up this morning READY for breakfast! Day 3, hump day. Still feeling great despite a bit of muscle soreness. I’m ok with it though. It’s “good” pain.

8:00am – Breakfast – 8oz lowfat cottage cheese and 2 pineapple rings. I didn’t think that would really fill me up, but a whole cup of cottage cheese is actually quite a lot. And I do believe my body is getting used to smaller portions again. The dinner I had last night seemed like a ton of food!

9:00am – Back to bed for the rest of my 8 hours of sleep. Such a wonderful luxury! Have I mentioned how much I love working from home as an Independent Team Beachbody Coach?

2:00pm – First snack, after being up for about an hour talking to people online. 1 zucchini and 3 small carrots (the plan called for 1 large so I improvised) with 2Tbs. fat-free dressing. I chose Italian because I decided not to buy Ranch since I haven’t really found a fat-free version that I like. My friend who’s doing this with me made her own.

4:15pm – I was busy getting Shakeology samples ready to send out and before I knew it, it was almost time to take the kids to karate. There was no way I would have had time to make the baked potato that was planned for lunch and get to eat it so I decided to have my second snack before we left. Greenberry Shakeology made with 1c. skim milk, 1/2 fresh strawberries (frozen would work just fine, too) and 3 ice cubes. It was pretty good, but I have to admit I will always be partial to Chocolate. I’m really curious and excited to see what the new flavor will be when it comes out this summer!

6:30pm – As soon as we returned from karate I started some quinoa using a method I found on this site. About 15 minutes before it was done I cooked chicken tenderloins in a large skillet with just a quick spray of Pam and some kosher salt. Then I cubed/shredded the chicken into small pieces. I was supposed to use black beans to go with the quinoa, but realized I didn’t have any. I did, however, have some fat-free refried beans which worked just fine, too. Instead of making tacos I used the ingredients, pico de gallo, low-fat sour cream, avocado, those great low-carb whole wheat tortillas and cilantro, to make burritos which were a hit with my kids. (My husband said he already had burritos earlier that day so he got the leftover salmon from yesterday with some of the quinoa…which he ate!!!…and sauted green beans.) I had the quinoa, which was seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder, on the side with the beans I didn’t put in the burrito and a little extra pico de gallo.

10:10pm – Once the kids were in bed I started my workout, FIRE55EZ and Stretch 10. This is the same combo from Day 1 and even though it’s not easy, it’s certainly easier than the combo from Day 2. Even still, about 20 minutes in I was thinking about how there’s a provision if you’re feeling really tired to just do 20 minutes of 55EZ. I was tempted. Then I remembered that my friend who’s doing this with me finished the whole thing in the morning and I couldn’t let her beat me. That’s one of the great things about having a fitness buddy. You always push each other to do more.

12:15am – Last meal. This would’ve been lunch if I hadn’t taken that much needed nap. Heaven on a plate. Baked (technically microwaved) potato with 1 slice of low-fat cheddar cheese, 1 Tbs. low-fat sour cream, 1 slice of turkey bacon all nice and crispy, green onion (scallion) and chives fresh from my friend’s garden. She also gave me some fresh rosemary which I will be using on Day 5. When choosing a fitness buddy it’s always nice to pick one with a garden. Just sayin’.

Since I was a bit busier than usual today, I’m posting most of this at the end of the day and don’t quite remember when or how much water I drank. I’m fairly certain that if I have at least another 20oz I’ll be ok. Last night I had some Stash mango passionfruit tea with a packet of Truvia which was basically perfection. Maybe I’ll do that again tonight, too.

If you’d like to see the master shopping list for one person to do the 5-Day Inferno plan it’s here. See you tomorrow!!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 4

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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!

What is “normal”?

I’ve spent some time recently thinking about why it’s so easy to fall back into old habits even though I know that not working out and not eating healthy food just makes me feel like crap. Some people just seem to naturally do the “right” things and make the “right” choices without having to give it much, if any, thought while some people (hand raised) have to think about every decision or they automatically end up doing the things that aren’t good for them.

I think it has a LOT to do with how we were raised. I’m not trying to blame anyone because I believe most parents do the best they can with the knowledge and means available. It’s just that we are so impressionable when we’re children and the things around us, no matter how “wrong”, were normal because that’s all we knew. After my parents got divorced when I was 4 (I think), my mom and I moved in with her parents. My grandmother (I later found out) had been the victim of some kind of abuse (didn’t get any details…it was amazing I even got that bit of info) and continued the cycle with me.

Because no one outside our home knew about it, no one did anything to stop it so in my mind it was normal. For a long time my mom didn’t even have a clue because it all happened when she was gone and my grandmother would always be sure to tell her version of the story as soon as my mom walked in the door which always led to me having to apologize to her for my bad behavior. I’m not saying I was perfect, but now I know I didn’t deserve the “punishment” I got. It wasn’t until I got a little older, maybe 9 or 10, that I realized what was happening was wrong and didn’t go on in most homes, but by that time it was such a part of who I was that the long-term damage was done.

Then on top of all that craziness, we almost never ate at home. We went out to eat every night, usually at restaurants that served mainly unhealthy, high fat foods and I was allowed to order anything I wanted. Occasionally my mom would suggest I get something on the healthier side, but I don’t think she liked conflict so she gave in if I acted like I didn’t want it. Oh, and we also had a maid that came twice a week to clean the house and do the laundry. So at my grandparents’ house I never observed or participated in a regular schedule that included preparing healthy meals, cleaning up afterward, or any other chores for that matter. NOT GOOD. As an only child I mostly played alone and would often “play” with the Windex, cleaning the windows for fun or the Pledge, dusting the furniture. I actually wanted to do those things back then and got great satisfaction out of cleaning things.

Every Friday I’d spend the night at my dad’s house. Talk about the complete opposite environment.  He and his wife were two people who had regular jobs (did I mention my mom was an opera singer, my grandmother was a retired singer and my grandfather was retired but spent hours each day inventing things in the basement?) and stuck to a regular schedule and ate at home more than once every month. If we didn’t go out for pizza, we’d stay in and have things like spaghetti and garlic bread and salad and iced tea with mint from the garden in the backyard (my dad hated lemon in his tea, but loved mint). Then we would all help clear the table and she would wash the dishes while my dad and I would dry and put them away. Seems like a simple thing, but to me it was almost magical. My dad would tell me about how when I was really little I loved helping him do the laundry even though I could barely see over the top of the washer. And he had this big bowl in his closet. Everyday when he came home he’d toss in the change left in his pocket. When the bowl got full I got to help sort it and put it into rolls. Maybe that sounds like a mundane task, but I loved it and it’s still one of my favorite childhood memories. 

Since most of my existence was chaotic and seemed very unstable, the simple chores were the highlights. Doing them made me feel like I was contributing something and working together on tasks made me feel like part of a team. Having a routine meant there was something I could count on. I can’t help but wonder how different my life would be now if I had spent most of my time at my dad’s and only one night a week with my mom and grandparents. While the thought of not living with my mom all those years breaks my heart, I know for a certainty that my idea of “normal” would be completely different. Perhaps eating healthy and drinking plenty of water would come naturally and cleaning the house wouldn’t feel like something that’s “not my job”. Maybe I would’ve learned to follow through with things and have some consistency in my life without going through mental acrobatics to think that way.

I shudder to think what I’ve already determined is normal for my kids. Although an improvement in many ways over my childhood, the life we’ve lived still isn’t what I’ve wanted it to be. My husband and I have tried to implement some kind of routine for our kids because both having grown up in homes with a complete lack of structure, we see the need, but nothing has ever stuck. I want my kids to grow up knowing how to do things like laundry, cooking and cleaning, but time has slipped by without me taking the time to show them. Now my older son is in middle school and we have a good relationship, but he is a “tween” and the thought of folding laundry doesn’t exactly appeal to him. It would’ve been so much better if I had started sooner, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up on the idea altogether. When my boys grow up and get married I want their wives to only cook and clean for them because they want to out of love, not because they’re expected to. And I don’t want my sons to marry someone because they think they need someone to take care of them.

While there are certain things we have zero tolerance for in our home like being mean or disrespectful, there are other things we’ve let slide like allowing our surroundings to be cluttered with things that should’ve been put or thrown away long before. And our eating habits…not ideal. I’d love for all of us to gather at the table for dinner, but our schedules don’t allow for it. We all eat at different times and at different places…the kids at the table and my husband and I on the couch. I suppose it might help if the table was clear from clutter so there would actually be room for more than two people to eat there. Each issue is related to another and it all boils down to our baseline “normal”.

I think it’s a step in the right direction to at least identify what feels normal so we can decide if we need to make some major or minor adjustments. The things that really do need to change are worth fighting for and that’s exactly what it is…a daily battle. Some days the fight is easier than others and some days we temporarily give in because we grow weary and can’t see an end in sight, but if the change is important enough we have to keep fighting no matter what. And little by little, as we find ourselves dealing with the same things over and over again we start to figure out the best way to overcome and make a new life for ourselves.

I did have one victory today, with the help of a friend. We went walking and then had lunch together. One thing is for sure, if we’re going to fight to change our lives having friends who support us is more precious than all the money in the world.

My son missed the bus this morning because he wasn’t moving very quickly (don’t you just love the time change?) so I ended up walking a little later than usual. I considered just skipping it because I’ve got places to go and people to see. There are still things that need to get done for the first weight loss/fitness challenge meeting tonight which I’m very excited about. Even as I’m sitting her typing this, I’m looking at the time trying to figure out the fastest way to get everything done. So no long, rambling philosophical thoughts today. I got most of that out of my system last night finishing up an earlier post I’d started last week. I spent some of my walking time planning my day, but most of it I just enjoyed the sunshine taking photos of things I liked…just because.

Ok, maybe I will get just a little philosophical. I passed lots of people this morning, some twice, and most everyone was enjoying the day. Many, like myself had removed their jackets by the time we met the second time around. It was definitely feeling like Spring and I started noticing trees that I never had before because now with their new, tiny green leaves, they look completely different. There was one man, though, who was missing it all. As he walked, barely able to keep his footing, he stared down at his cell phone as he frantically pushed buttons with a look of frustration on his face. He was too busy to enjoy everything around him. I think that if he had stopped a moment to focus on what he needed to take care of he wouldn’t have been having so much trouble and then he could’ve appreciated the gorgeous morning. He probably thought that by doing two things at once he was making his busy life easier, but it seemed pretty clear that he wasn’t succeeding. We all have stuff we need to take care of, but there’s a way to do it so we can still enjoy the truly important things like walks on a beautiful morning, uninterrupted conversations with our family and friends, and time to just relax and think about the things we’re thankful for.

Here are the photos I took today…

Of course, the tree. I like this angle because it looks like it’s clapping.

Love these trees with their white bark. Never even noticed them before.

High water from yesterday’s crazy downpour.

Seriously, how did I never notice the giant heart on this tree before? It’s even the only one leaning out toward the path as if it’s trying to get the attention of anyone passing by.

I thought maybe it was carved by someone, but close up it didn’t appear that way.

Another tree I’ve never given much notice to.

Shout out to my happy sculpture peeps!

I always notice these trees. They look like exploding fireworks to me. Can’t wait to see what they look like once they’re not bare.

Puddle was still there from a while ago. No raindrops disturbing the surface today, though.

Tree getting its leaves, but only at the bottom. Thought it looked pretty cool.

If you need some latex gloves, there’s a whole bunch outside the south entrance of Autzen Stadium. Just sayin’.

YELL – O!!!!!!!! 🙂 Or it could be a ‘d’ for Ducks…that works, too.

One last photo of some trees that also have white bark and I also love.

I hope that you will take some time from your busy lives to enjoy the simple things around you today. At the end of your life you don’t want to look back and wish you’d spent more time with people you love and less time doing things that in the end don’t really matter after all.

I started a walking group recently to get the people in my apartment complex interested in working out and living healthier lifestyles. An invitation went out to everyone with the monthly newsletter. I was excited to get started and meet new people. The first day came, but no one from the apartment did. Thankfully, I had a friend show up who lives nearby or I might have been tempted to give up. That was Monday. Tuesday, everyone decided to stay home again. This morning I was alone…again…and it was cold (30 something degrees) and foggy, but I walked anyway. I enjoy taking the same route in different kinds of weather because it gives me a new perspective on the world I see everyday. This is how it looked this morning.

When I got home I uploaded my bodybugg stats and found that I burned 550 calories in 50 minutes. Not as high as doing TurboFire, but still worth the time and effort. Getting outside in the fresh air, brisk as it was, put me in a great mood and was a fantastic warm-up for ChaLEAN Extreme Burn Circuit 2. I’m glad I decided to start a “group” of one and sometimes two. My neighbors don’t know what they’re missing. Maybe one of these days they’ll figure it out. We live in one of the best places to get outside and walk, run or bike so I’m going to keep inviting them until they join in on the fun.