Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Fitness Journey + Tips

This blog is all about transformations and making your house a home, but while making our home a place that we love...I forgot about myself.  I touched on my fitness journey in this post and mentioned that it was one of the reasons I've been MIA.  Sometimes as busy moms we forget to take care of ourselves, and we only think about taking care of the ones around us.  So here's how and why I started by fitness journey....

I've always had an athletic build.  I could eat practically anything I wanted and not really gain much weight at all.  Even when I was pregnant with my daughter I only gained 15 lbs. and felt amazing.  After she was born it all just fell off without any effort at all, and then one day things changed!  It was like my clock stopped ticking and I just started to gain weight.  I've never really ate things that were completely "bad" for me, but I also wasn't educated about what I was putting in my body.  I started looking up "superfoods", Paleo meal plans, anything really to drop the weight.  I have never been one to workout, so the only thing that I changed were my eating habits and I lost 20 lbs. I thought everything was going to work out, until I gained all of it back and some.  My husband is a runner and had been pushing me for a while to come running with him, but I always had an excuse not to join him.  Although I don't enjoy working out, I'm very competitive and love being outdoors.  So when I saw that Rugged Maniac was coming to Richmond I immediately asked my husband if we could do it together.  Again, I am not a runner, but somehow when things seem like a "fun" thing to do I'm all for it, but when it seems like work I'm no longer interested.  The Rugged Maniac course was rough, but I managed to complete it.

After a while I realized that only eating healthy wasn't going to get me the results I wanted. I dug deep and figured it was now or never!  One day I finally joined my husband for a two mile run and I haven't looked back since.  I am now running two miles at least three times a week, as well as doing SWEAT at home five to six times a week.

You can follow my progress on Instagram and from time to time I will update you on my progress here.  To date I have lost 25 lbs. and I'm still a work in progress, but I now know that with hard work and determination the pounds are easy to shed.  There are no shortcuts in life, and to get where you want to be you have to work!

Here are some things that have helped me along the way:

  • I eat "clean", no dairy, no carbs, drink lots of water, no sodium and no sugars.
  • My diet consists of fish, mostly salmon, tuna, tilapia, chicken, and ground turkey.
  • Any organic vegetables, quinoa (there's even quinoa spaghetti noodles), black rice, Ezekiel bread.
  • Salads with balsamic vinegar.
  • I used Braggs Liquid Aminos for seasoning as well as Mrs. Dash.
  • I replaced milk with soy.
  • I also don't eat many fruits because of their natural sugars, and if I do it's always before noon.
  • I cook with coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.
  • I meal prep and "setup" my meals each week on Sunday nights.  It helps because I have no excuse to grab something "quick" when there are healthy meals prepared in the fridge.
  • Exercise, Exercise, have to keep moving!

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

52 Week Savings Deck....Ready, Set, Save!

Last December I posted about the 52 Week Money Challenge that we were trying out and let me tell you - that money came in handy!  We were not only following the schedule, but we were doubling the money each pay period (since we're a two income household) and any extra cash or change we had laying around we would just throw that in there as well.  We reached our goal way before the 52 weeks were up.  Since it increased so quickly, we used it to pay for our shed and other miscellaneous home improvement projects and decor.  It was great because we no longer had to use our "allowance" money for various projects.  We are planning to continue this challenge, but with a twist.

A reader that was inspired by the previous 52 Week Money Challenge, created another version using a standard deck of cards. You can even have the kids join in by letting them pick the card each week.  At the end of the year, you'll have saved at least $1,378.  Here's where it gets interesting...use the Jokers as a multiplier to add some spice and increase the savings.

All you need is a jar and a standard deck of cards.  What will you use the money for?  A family vacation, a down payment for a new car, home improvements, or your children's college fund?


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