Either I got REALLY OLD over the last 8 months, or my body has forgotten how hard I used to workout!  LOL!  I have been lifting heavy and limiting my cardio for so long, that the circuit training I have returned to is really tough.  And I LOVE IT!  My knees hurt, my back aches, and I feel ALIVE!    Tonight I did a back side(pull muscles) workout after about 20 minutes on the heavy bag.  It was only 68* in my garage, and I was drenched!  I do want to make sure that I say here that I jumped back in right where I left off, I am not doing the beginners version.  When I design workouts for beginners, or those returning to exercise after a long hiatus, it will not be like this.  Not that it will not be challenging:)    

So far, the first 3 days are going well.  Sticking to my calorie range, and my workouts are going fantastic.  I am afraid that my allergies are starting to flare up again though.  Hopefully they will not get in my way.  Now, it is time to head to bed.  I have 15 minutes before I pass my 6.5 hour minimum sleep threshold.  UGH!  I have to start getting to bed earlier.  

As always…..MAKE IT GREAT!!!

Thoughts for Today

If you follow me on Facebook, then you may have read that I did NOT get the proper amount sleep last night that I had intended to get.  OH…I DID go to bed early enough, but at 2AM the light and sound show started, and therefore, so did the whimpering from one of my bassets:(  Emmy has developed a fear of storms kind of out of the blue.  These storms continued most of the night, so I may have gotten 5 minutes here and there, but even at that, they were half sitting up holding a 53# basset like a baby:P  LOL!  I feel so sorry for her, but I don’t understand why she suddenly developed this fear about 6 months ago.

OK…that said, I was talking to a fellow weight loss blogger last night, and as I sat there watching the lightening, I thought of him.  He mentioned that he had “fallen off the fitness wagon” recently, and was struggling to get back on it.  And that he felt he had lost some supporters because he had a back slide:(  The saying, “If you are not here for me during my struggles, don’t expect to be here for the benefits of my success.” came to mind.  I told him that if someone was that quick to turn their back on him that he never really had their support.  But I will say, that I have found in my journey, that people who have never had a serious weight problem don’t always seem to understand just how hard it can be.  It really is a LIFE CHANGING event!  You have to not only want it, but be willing to work VERY HARD for it!  And the journey from Fat to Fit is hardly ever a straight line.  There will be bumps in the road, there will be delays, sometimes unexpected detours, and unfortunately, even a few wrong turns and even worse, maps -that that you trust to be right- are sometimes WAY OFF!!!

Support is such a key element in any success in my opinion.  To have a friend, a coach, a support group, someone to use as a sounding board or mastermind with, or sometimes just an anonymous person from across the globe who simply “gets it”, can be one of your greatest tools in reaching your goals.  I know the anonymity of an online support group was where I found it.  I LIKED them not “really” knowing me.  Especially in the beginning.  In fact, I was scared to death the first time I met some of them in person.  I feared that once they became “real” then I would only disappoint them worse when/if I had struggles.  I didn’t!  And now, even when I have struggles, like right now being up a few pounds, knowing perfectly well that it is because I have slacked off my cardio recently, do they judge me?  Do they criticize me?  NO!  And do you know why?  It is because they are here to support me and help me work my way through it!  They know I have been burning the candle at both ends lately, all while trying new workout and eating plans that don’t seem to quite work for me, and that I WILL get myself back on track!  That is why I have decided to go back to doing this MY WAY!  I have tried all the other ways, and hoped that the one plan that said that all I had to do was lift heavy and eat clean to lose all the fat I needed to, would work.  Maybe for some, but I, and quite frankly MOST people who have been seriously overweight for most of their lives, am an endomorph body type, and simply REQUIRE more cardio to burn the same amount of fat as other body types might.  I KNOW this fact, but decided to try to get off easy.  NOT!  Only consistent hard work will bring me the success I desire.

And remember…..Slow progress IS PROGRESS!  NEVER GIVE UP!

Time for me to get back to work!  If I can stay awake this evening, I plan to go to FIT and Zumba tonight.  Then home to shower, a quick supper of leftovers, and off to bed I go.  Praying for NO STORMS tonight:)

Getting back to ME! – Day 1

I start back to my old workouts today! I would be TOTALLY excited if I were not suffering from some terrible DOMS! UGH! Saturday was a FULL day. A great day, but I think I may have overdone it a bit:P
Anyway…enough whining. I am going to be doing 4 days of front/back circuit workout splits again for at least the next 4 weeks, with FIT and Zumba on Tues and Thurs. These are the kinds of workouts that are featured right now on “The Workouts!” tab if you would like to join me:) So today is a Front(or push muscle) day, so I will be focusing on Chest, Triceps, Shoulders, Quads, and some core work will be included in each day.
AND…my other BIG goal for this week is to get at least 6.5 hours of sleep EVERY night! Getting proper rest has been a tough one for me lately, and that hinders fat loss, and actually even signals the body to release hormones that make you HOLD FAT!

Should go to the Kroc tonight, but seeing how the weather looks beautiful out, I am thinking I will go home to workout in my garage. I prefer free weights to machines for the most part anyway, so that works for me:) Not too many more days to be able to do that before the garage is too cold!


A good day:)

I started the day a bit tired.  And admittedly a bit down that I did not reach my goals for today’s photo shoot.  But it was great to see Sherry(from Lasting Impressions by Sherry) again.  AND she did an AWESOME job of getting some good shots.  I can’t wait to share them with you all.

After we were done, I taught FIT class at Legacy Martial Arts!  Had a great group, and I thank them all for showing up and putting forth 110%!

After we finished up, I went to the Quincy Salvation Army Kroc center for their 1 year anniversary and tried out a Les Mills Body Attack class, and a Zumba class.  I really liked their teachers.  Funny how different styles can be.

Since I got home, EXHAUSTED mind you, I have been sitting watching movies surrounded by my little cuddle bugs:)  Taking the rest of today off and mostly tomorrow aside from some food prep and a little cleaning.   For now, I am falling asleep as I type, so I am going to bid you farewell, and I will talk to you all again soon:)

Why did I change it up?

I have been thinking the past few days about, “WHY I changed the way I was working out and eating?” over the last several months.  I have seen unfavorable results for the most part.  Granted, I HAVE put on the muscle I wanted to add, and that makes sense, because I have been training that way.  BUT, I wasn’t really finished losing fat.  So, as many of you know, I read, study, or try every workout and fat-loss method out there.  Now, realize, I am not talking about fad diets or magic potions or junk like that, I am talking about the different methods of eating and training for fat loss AND building strong, lean muscle.  I had adapted my own way of doing things, taking this point from one method and that point from another method, and I combined what WORKED for me and I had hit my lowest weight in my adult life!  And for some reason, I decided to go out looking for something “better”.  WHY?

Well, those of you whom I will help by coaching or training or even just reading over what I have to share, can thank me later:)  LOL!  Because basically, I now realize that I have been my own guinea pig for the last 8-10 months finding out what did benefit me, and some that obviously did NOT!

As I said, I know some of the weight I have put on is muscle, because my BF% has stayed the same, and that the scale is NOT the only tool that signals health, but as a person who has lived their whole life overweight, that scale number is still scary.  BUT!  I will now get to my point.  All the “different” ways I tried to eat, eating ONLY things that were on a “diet”, only sent me back to my OLD WAYS before I started my journey!  I would either get bored, or start craving things that I “couldn’t” have, and then would end up either overeating, or eating things that would BLOW that particular diet and make me feel like a failure!

SO….I am done searching!  I am going back to MY WAY, which is what I will share from now on, and stop trying to re-invent the wheel.

This also goes for exercise!  I have been strictly lifting in a certain way, and though I did get some GREAT muscle gains, my strength seems “off”.   I LOVE Dr Jim Stoppani, and he calls what I used to do cardio-acceleration.  Some call it Interval Training.  Some call it a form of HIIT training.  Whatever you want to call it, it is what works to burn off the fat and I am going to prove it once and for all to myself. Starting Monday, for the next 12 weeks, I am going to see exactly what kind of gains(or losses) I can make by just doing the workouts that design for myself and eat the way I ate for the 18 months during weight loss and my “non-struggling” 18 months of maintenance.  I will blog about it, document it ALL in my journals, and if all goes as I EXPECT it too, I will know for sure that it is the correct way to go forward with coaching.

That is all for now.  Stay tuned and I will try to post more often to keep everyone up to date with how things are going.  Thank you all for your continued support!




OK…so you know how I keep telling you all that God is talking to me and putting people and things right in plain sight, so I better be paying attention??? Well…it just happened AGAIN! I just got home from a run club event. A book signing. Sounds innocent enough, possibly boring to some, am I right? In fact, I admit that I have not yet read the book.  I had skimmed it, but was just looking forward to a little time out of the house for the most part.  So I drove to Spirit Knob Winery in Ursa, IL, thinking that I would have a nice glass of wine and enjoy the company of my running friends and get to hear an author talk about her book.  When I got there, I bought the book, and as I go up there to actually meet Amy Marxkors, the author of The Lola Papers, my friend Karen encouraged me to tell her my “story”.  So I summarized my last 4 years into a VERY short few sentences, and she responded nicely, and I figured that was my brush with fame with her for the day and I took my seat to wait for her to finish signing and start her speech.

What happened next was TOTALLY unexpected!!!

WOW! I honestly think God brought her here to talk to me.  To once again remind me that I have to fight through my fears and step out of my comfort zone to get to MY “place” in life.  She talked about being confident and thinking that you are always the best at everything you do.

She nearly had me in tears a couple of times when I felt she was reaching straight out an talking to me.  Then she talked about her 3 mottos. The first one, I believe is going to by my new mantra:

1 – Tickle the Dragon! Comes from her coach “Mr Speedypants” telling her, “If you can’t take the heat, then don’t tickle the dragon.”  I LOVE THIS!  This said to me, “Have the confidence in yourself to go after what you want even when it is scary and hard.  Losing 115# was HARD, and I did that!  What MORE can I do???

2 – If you think…you’re dead!  This is from Top Gun when Maverick was saying that you don’t have time to think, because if you don’t JUST DO IT! and you over-analyze EVERYTHING, you are dead.  This to me said STRAIGHT UP, if I am going to do this, the time is NOW!  Don’t keep second guessing yourself.  Do the work and GO FOR IT!  The time is NOW!

3 – Buzz the Tower! Another Top Gun reference:)  When Maverick requested a flyby of the tower and was denied.  He did it anyway EVERY time and made the guy spill his coffee.  This one also spoke to me.  Even if someone tells me that I CAN’T  live my life BIG, I have to believe that it is the right thing to do and simply DO IT ANYWAY!

Amy got me running SO MANY questions through my mind all at once.  Things like:

So what if I don’t go forward with my dreams?

What if I stop right now and just say, “It is just too hard!”

What if I choose not to follow my passion?

Then I got to thinking.  What if I don’t and I miss helping even ONE person that I was meant to help.  What if I am someone’s “Amy”, or “Mr Bentley”, or “Mr Jackson”, or “Stace”, or “Mark”….?????  And since I honestly think she was here to tell(or teach) me something, who am I to not listen and learn?

So happy I had a place to share this.  I keep thinking I am GOING to make a difference, but someone tonight told me that I already was.  I am truly blessed and I think I am being shown the way to the path for me to share all I have learned with others.  Making my passion my LIFE:)

Flood of Emotions!

SO overwhelmed right now.  But mostly in a good way:)  I am full of excitement, fear, happiness, stress, and even a bit of sadness. And I must say, that EVERY big change I have ever had in my life brought these feelings, but something about this new chapter in my life has me looking at EVERYTHING in my life.  What is important?    What exactly do I want to do?  What is holding me back?

My confidence is so much higher recently, but there is still that underlying fear that I am going to fall on my face!  But thanks to Mark Cummings (half the heart, twice the determination) (a VERY inspiring young man whose FB page you should ALL check out), I know to “NEVER let your fears decide your fate!”  Those words really resonated with me.  I am ready to push past the fear of not being “good” enough, or “smart” enough.  My personal experience and my passion to want to help others IS enough!

I am lucky to have a great support group in my husband, fitness friends, and family members.  And with all else that is going on right now, I have decided to become a Certified Zumba Instructor and am working on finishing up my ACE CPT course.  I myself, have always been drawn more towards experience when it comes to fitness, but I know some people like seeing the the “papers”.   So I guess soon I will have both.  

So if I seem absent more than usual, you can probably either find me working out somewhere, reading/studying my text, sitting in front of my computer working on my webpage, in my garage doing Zumba, or for a few brief moments, actually sitting down enjoying the company of my husband and furkids:)  All the pieces of this little puzzle called “My Life”, are finding their way together.  I just have to have patience and keep working hard.  And why???

Have a great weekend!

Change in the wind?

Sorry I have been MIA for a few days.  I was actually accused of being QUIET today!  LOL!  Not one I am used to:)  But I have actually just been very busy at work, and have had a lot on my mind.  And I have FINALLY come to a conclusion…..

I am done dreaming BIG!

Now before you say, “WHAT????”, it is only because I think my mind is finally in the right place, and I am ready to live my dreams!  The time is NOW!  Not that everything will be ready tomorrow, but I am getting my model together, and am going to share it with a few people that I look to as mentors and get things rolling.

I have been stressing about this for months.  Especially the last 6 weeks or so, but I had someone who mentors business women, Ali Brown, tell me that I am my best advertising, and if I use my story, and my before and after pics, people will see that I “get it”.  And that I can help lead them to a healthier lifestyle just by telling/showing them what I have already done.  Why wait to get all the “certifications” when I know what I know from experience and doing my own research.  A friend of hers, Suzanne Evans, has a saying, “Make your mess your message.”   WOW!  That is SO powerful to me.  When I look back over my life as a movie, and although I had a great family, and always had friends, there were always “dark” places.  But no matter what scared or angered me, I could always count on food to comfort me and get me through. 

I finally got tired of looking to food, or as I got older, food, alcohol, and cigarettes to comfort me and numb me out from having to deal with real life.  Today…I have a great life!  I have a job in a scary economic world, I have a wonderful friends, new and old, I am fit and healthier than I have ever been in my life, and at home I have a husband and 4 fur-kids who I love dearly:)  Why would I want to numb myself out from ANY of those things?  I don’t!  But I must admit, that I still want MORE!

I want to help others find THEIR reason to not live “comfortably numb” under layers of fat, because they are just like I WAS.  They think that they are either not worth it, simply CAN’T do it, or both!  I want to show as many people as I can reach, that not only are they worth it, but they CAN do it too!

Although I have been stressing over the possible upcoming changes in my life for awhile now, I have recently received so much love and support from all over that I don’t know how I can deny what is becoming obviously “meant to be” in my life.  But some of the doubts were still there.  I actually have found myself binge eating to numb myself out from the stress of all of it:(  I saw a number on my scale one day last week, that I have not seen in about 2 years!  Yeah, it was mostly fluid retention from eating grossly over processed foods looking for comfort, and is coming off very quickly, but it showed me that I still have to revisit my own advice at times.  Life is still full of surprises, and things will come up.  Stressful situations will arise.  And there WILL be times that I will find myself “flat on the mat”.  But that does NOT have to mean that I am down for the count.  I just have to find my bearings and get back on my feet.  No one but ME has the power to make me fail!  Because I can only fail if I quit!  And that, I DON’T see happening:)

I have recently found a strong woman in me that I never knew existed.  Some may have seen glimpses of her here and there, but I can’t wait to introduce her to the rest of the world!

Thank you to ALL of you who have loved and supported me in my life.  Please don’t go anywhere!  The next leg of this journey is sure to have many new and scary twists and turns in it, and I might need a little pat on the back(or possibly BIG SHOVE) to keep me going in the right direction:)

Here is a picture of me and the infamous Mr Jackson of the Rulership Now Movement! – Another of the wonderful pics taken with the Legacy Martial Arts of Quincy, IL by Stace Sanchez of KICKPICS – Professional Martial Arts Photography and KICKPICS.net


His words that he uses to describe The Movement are one of the many things that motivate me to BE MY BEST every day:

The Rulership Movement is about the progression of perfection. The drive for excellence and the determination to reach past your goals. The movement is comprised of the elite, whom from the moment they wake, dedicate themselves to the perfection of whatever they do. Excellence is the goal, dedication and tireless work is the key. Set the pace. Lead the pack!