WOW!  Where has this year gone?  I have had some great times this year!  And a few rough patches.  Both training and personal.  But I never gave up on me!  It has been over 3 years now that I have kept off over 110#, and as much as 125#.  I weighed 157.5# this morning on the scale at work in my clothes and shoes.  But I have to admit, that the number on the scale is not as important to me as it used to be.  It is just a guideline.  A gauge to help keep me on track.  But as I go into this last month of 2012, I keep thinking how much I really would like to get back to 150#.  I KNOW that when I was at 150# 2 years ago, I had at least 10# less lean muscle mass on me than I do now.  But I really wanted 2012 to be the year I saw AB DEFINITION!!!  It still eludes me!  I can see my obliques, and with all of my excess skin, I don’t know how “well defined” they will ever be, but I will never give up working on finding out!

Since I know I will be going to a few celebrations over the next 6 weeks, I plan to kick my training into high gear to keep me at least on an even keel.  Here are my December Promises to myself.

december promises


They Come! They Grow! They Go!

I know many of you who are parents are probably thinking I am speaking of children.  Quite the opposite actually.  This is about a couple of the leaders in my life.  I spoke of something similar to this on Facebook just this past weekend.  A good leader does not have forever followers, they constantly have a new group of fellow leaders that they have taught very well.  This is a story of such a person.

As I write this blog, I have both a smile on my face, and a tear  in my eye.  You see,  by week’s end, Mr Dominique Jackson, who I have spoke of on a regular basis in this blog for about the last 8 months, is no longer going to be assisting Mr Robert Bentley at Legacy Martial Arts.  He is leaving Legacy AND Quincy, IL, and although I am VERY sad to see him leave, but he is leaving us to start a new journey.  The people of Oklahoma City, OK are blessed to be getting the newest ATA TKD and Fitness school owner!  I am beyond happy for him, as this is what he is meant to do.

As an instructor, he always demands each person give their personal best!  He would never let you cheat yourself.  In fact, he has a way of making you WANT to be your very best!  His Rulership Movement motto is as follows:

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!


I mean, how could I NOT miss a guy who would HELP me kick him in the face to get a great photo op???  LOL!

Of course, product placement was pretty high on his agenda too!  *giggle*

I just wanted to pay tribute to a great instructor, a trusted leader, and wonderful friend!  I will miss him, but I wish him all the best things that God has in store for him now and forever in his future.

Good Luck to you, Sir!  I am blessed to call you friend!

Finding Peace During a Crazy Week

I am multi-tasking today.  I am writing this while getting my car serviced since I am going to Peoria next Saturday for my first Zumba Instructor Jam Session with Stacey.  I am so excited!   Pretty sure we are going to have a BLAST!!!

I hope this finds you all who are in the USA settling back into your routine after a wonderful celebration with family and friends this Thanksgiving.  Or maybe you get to make a whole weekend of it;)  I went to my brother’s house in town and had a nice visit with quite a bit of my family.

My first gluten free family get together went pretty well.  It is hard to pass up some of my old favorites, but then I think of the cysts and bloating that I have been suffering with this week just after a couple slip ups last week, and realize they really aren’t worth it.   I had one grilled chicken on a regular bun and my all time favorite snack of oat bran sesame sticks.  THOSE I am going to miss:'(.  BUT I know what must be done to get lean, get rid of the cystic acne, find my confidence in myself, and live my dream, and I am committed to doing what it takes.

Today I am, as always, SWAMPED with things that must be done.  But I still made time for me.  I went to Legacy Martial Arts and went to my third yoga  class.  I am finding that not only do I enjoy it, but I think it really is helping me get some old injuries stretched out better.  I also hope that if I stick with my practice, that it helps with my balance.  I don’t talk about it much, because I don’t want anyone to think I am making excuses, but not only do I have the tight hamstring/hip issues from the atrophy after my spinal fusion, but I also ended up with some permanent nerve damage that affects my feet.  I don’t always “feel” the ground under my feet, and it makes it hard to find my center of gravity sometimes.  So if you ever wonder why I am such a klutz???  There is your
answer!  LOL!

So, if you had what you consider a “failure” of a day due to splurging, be happy that you enjoyed it while you were eating it, and move on.  Do NOT let one day, or even a few days, a week, whatever, derail you from living your most healthy life!


Eat. Workout. CELEBRATE!

I love it when people question me about how I stay fit and keep the weight off when every time they see me I am eating. 😀 And I admit, I DO eat a lot! And I eat about every 3 hours on average. The difference is WHAT I eat and how much I eat of it. I am working on a post for my blog that will be a general foods list of what my diet consists of(along with a few things that I personally do not care for, but that I would eat if I did). I may include a sample day of what I eat also if there is an interest for it.

You can’t build muscle without fuel, and if you don’t have lean muscle, even if you lose weight, you run a great risk of ending up “skinny fat”. Feed your body good, REAL food and exercise smart. After 37 years of trying every fad and starvation diet out there, I have found that this really is the ONLY true way to lose and keep off excess weight.

By the way…3 weeks in on the GF diet with only a few slip ups, and I am down 9#, which took away all the “mid section puffiness” that I had been experiencing that I could not seem to get rid of, AND I have only had one small cystic acne bump.  I do still have some other blemishes, but the painful cysts have all but disappeared.  It has been suggested to me that I try avoiding dairy for the rest of it, but I am going to work on one thing at a time. Give up bread and cheese all at once? I might lose my mind! LOL!

Which is a great segue to my next thought.  This is exactly why I say to make changes slowly. Tackle one thing at a time, and you have a greater chance at success.  Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change every unhealthy habit you have all at once.  That “all-or-nothing” way of thinking often leads to frustration, lack of confidence in what you are doing, and ultimately…giving up!

As a runner, I like to think of fitness progress in terms of my first 5k.

First, I was SCARED TO BITS!  But I signed up.  Step one

Then I showed up.  A forward step

Then I actually toed up to the starting line.  Another HUGE step forward

When the starting cannon went off, I started to put one foot in front of the other and no matter how many people passed me doing better than me, I just kept thinking, “They are running their race, you just keep running YOURS!”  We are all different, and we are all at different places in our life journeys, but that doesn’t mean we can’t share the same road and be motivated by each other.

After many walking breaks, but never giving up, soon there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  I could see the finish line.  I could feel the emotion welling up inside me.  I could feel my heart about to jump out of my chest.  I wanted this SO BAD!  I knew what it was going to take to accomplish this goal.  It was going to take a constant forward stride.  No looking back now.

Then, I crossed that finish line!  OH the emotion!  I was alone, and at first sad that I had no one to celebrate with.  Then I realized something….I DID THIS!  ME!  No one accomplished this goal for me.  Although I had supporters encouraging me, it was my consistent hard work, determination, and desire to see what the accomplishment of it all really felt like that had gotten me to that finish line.

Well, I am going to be honest with you.  The moment I crossed that finish line…I cried like a little girl with a skinned knee! *giggle*  The pride I felt in myself at that moment for finishing a 3.1 mile race was immeasurable, and I learned the value of celebrating victories that day.   I am the same way still to this day.  Each time I see a new muscle definition, or lift a heavier weight, or do one more push-up, or even finish another 5k, I make sure to be proud of EVERY step I take towards being the best ME I can be.

I hope this resonates with many of you who are struggling and questioning if it is all worth it.  It is!  But remember to celebrate EVERY step, not just the final step.  Because trust me, once you feel the accomplishment of what you think is the final step of your journey, you will realize that the journey to be healthy NEVER ends.  It is NOT a journey that goes from A to B, it is a journey that has many legs, and you will continue on it for a lifetime.  So enjoy it!  CELEBRATE EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT!   EVERY DAY!

I will leave you with a picture that Mr Bentley’s mom took of me celebrating AS I broke 85 boards in one minute for my first ever board break-a-thon for Breast Cancer – Breaking Boards for the Cure at Legacy Martial Arts last month.

Catching up!

What a whirlwind the last week or so has been.  Mostly good, but unfortunately some bad.

Classes and the BL Challenge at Legacy Martial Arts is going AWESOME!!!  I wish there were more people in not only the martial arts/health/fitness world like Mr Robert Bentley, but in the world in general.  May people are taking advantage of it(the place has been packed for every class all week:), but there are still people in this community that don’t realize exactly what he is trying to give them.  7 weeks of FREE fitness classes that are filled with inspiration and motivation.   Plus the nutrition and other tips that are being given out.  It is such a wonderful thing to be a part of, and I feel blessed.

Me and my personal progress?  UH…not sure exactly what happened(I am guessing it has to do with my body finally working with the GF diet and ridding itself of a lot of inflammation), but I lost nearly 6# last week.  I do NOT expect that again this week,  but I feel good to be back to a number that I am more comfortable with.  I KNOW!  I KNOW!!!  I tell you all to not worry about the number on the scale, and then I still let it freak me out!  I work on this mind game all the time.  It was a deeply seeded in my mind when I was VERY young.  Actually by my childhood pediatrician/neighbor.  That number HAD to be under a certain number and ANY belly fat was BAD!  And he made sure I knew that I had WAY TOO MUCH of it!  Even today, I could be thin everywhere else, but as long as I still have a little belly bulge, I fear that in my mind, I will always still think of myself as that fat little girl who hated to go to the doctor.  I will always be a work in progress:)

OH!  And also on the Gluten Free subject…I personally have thought that my complexion was getting better.  No cysts and some of the blotchy-ness is clearing up, but today, my sister-in-law made an out of the blue comment about how much more clear my skin looks.  That made me feel fantastic:)

Over the weekend, my nephew married a wonderful girl in a spectacular, beautiful wedding and then we celebrated all evening and if you have never met me…I LOVE to dance!  It makes me happy!  So after about 2.5 hours of dancing, I was one happy girl!  And the biggest and best wishes go out to my wonderful nephew and his equally wonderful new bride:)  Love them two!

I also ran a 5k Saturday morning.  Not a bad time for me, about 32 minutes.  Great course, just a bit windy, but the perfect temp.  Then I went straight to Legacy for FIT class.  So as you can see, Saturday was pretty busy, which left Sunday to do ALL of my weekend stuff in one day.   Which, did not work out great for me since I was starting to feel a little blah already by the afternoon, which then went into full blown not feeling well around 3AM Monday:P  I even stayed home from work yesterday.  I also was without internet from Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon.  Talk about feeling cut off from the world!  I missed you all!  Back today, but a little sluggish still, and hoping that my effort at class tonight will even look CLOSE to what I am used to putting out.

I also wanted to tell you all, that since I have been asked MANY times WHAT exactly I eat, that I am working on something.  Although I will not post an actual “diet”, because I believe there is no “one-size-fits all” diet, I am working on a Foods List that shows the foods that I try to have in my diet (except that I am now gluten free, and this list will not reflect that).  I will hopefully have it organized and finished by next week.

Until next time….Eat Healthy!  Train Hard!  Put one foot in front of the other!  AND  Make Each Day GREAT!

A little inspiration from the one of my favorite IFBB Pros, Nicole Wilkins!


Gluten Free and this weeks progress!

ON EDIT!  Sorry, I changed my line of thinking and NOT the title.  GF snacking will be coming soon:)

I know it has been nearly a week since I have been in here, but I have NOT been slacking off!  Quite the opposite actually.  I have been really busy, and I don’t see a n end in sight for at least another week, so I am trying to knock out a quick blog post on a break at work to catch up a bit:)

Starting with the gluten free experiment.  I believe I am starting to see some good effects from it.  I have only had one small cyst on my face in the last 2.5 weeks.  I wish it would solve ALL of my blemish problems, but I do blame some on hormones considering the timing.  I also think I am noticing less bloating in my belly.  I have still not accomplished 100% GF, but I am getting closer, and am curious to see what other changes I will see.

Next, my diet overall.  Pretty good!  Staying on track with the calorie range I have set for myself, but thinking I may be just a tad high, so may try to lower by at least 100/day over the next week and see how I feel.  Then go from there.  It is hard to find that balance some times as your body changes.   Be patient and keep doing what you know is right!  Success WILL come.

And finally…the workouts!  Going GREAT!  I am lifting 1-2 body parts per day 4 days a week, FIT class 2 days a week, yoga one day a week, Zumba 3 days a week, and  running or other cardio 4 days a week.  I will do this for one more week to see if it is overload, and see if I need to adjust something.  Training HARD is one thing, but over training is another.  No time for a plateau in the middle of a 7-week challenge:)

Well, this actually took me BOTH of my breaks, and now I have to finish my work so I can head to the gym in about an hour and a half!

Take a step forward on your healthy journey and Make today GREAT!


The Holiday season is now upon us!  Halloween is over(though the candy is still lingering) and Thanksgiving is exactly 3 WEEKS away!  After that, starts what is commonly known as one big food fest right through Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and right up until the dreaded 1st of January which is when, in our minds at least, it all comes to a screeching halt and the “resolutions” begin!

I am here to propose a challenge to you!

What if we defy the odds together and get a jump on all the New Years fitness hoopla and work on getting fit NOW!  Starting Monday, we have exactly 7 weeks until Christmas Eve.  Do you want to be the “Average American” and gain 5-10# by then, or would you like to see what kind of fitness goals you can achieve by then?  ME?   I am participating in a challenge at Legacy Martial Arts, that I have set my goals for.  But for those of you who can not join me there, we can still do this together.  If there is enough interest, let me know on my FB page and I will open up the Facebook Group that I have set up for anyone wants to join in.

Even if your goal is “only” to get through the holidays without gaining, that is still a FABULOUS goal!  All the parties, goodies, baking, you name it, makes it HARD!  And TRUST ME…it helps to have someone to share the frustrations with!  A support group can sometimes be your most valuable fitness/weight loss tool.

Let’s talk goals.  SMART goals!


Here is my SMART goal for the next 7 weeks:

I am going to train hard 5-6 days a week, and get my BF down to 19%(specific and measurable). That is only about 3.5%(approx 6-7# of fat), so it is realistic and should be attainable in 7 weeks time with hard work!

The only question left to ask……How bad to I want it??? Bad enough that I hope to see a big enough difference in 7 weeks, that on December 22nd, this pic looks like a “before” pic.

So….what is my plan?  Not much different than my current lifestyle, but instead of just working out and eating clean, I will be “in training”.  In training for what you ask?   HHMMMMM…not positive yet, but a new adventure could be right around the next corner.  A competition maybe?  Trying to win Transformation of the Week on  Just to wear a bikini in public without being self-conscious???  You just never know, but my dreams are big and…..

Who is with me???