Think About This.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Friday, July 17, 2015


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Year. New Goals. 2015.

It's a new year with new goals.  It's nice to know that I won't be doing any fast and furious fitness competitions this year (at least that I know of).  I talked to Merrick and we decided on a long term plan instead.
Of course there will be pit-stops along the way, so-to-speak, to assess and stay motivated.  Overall, this year I am wanting to make more gains.  Followed by a body fat cut at the end of the year.
  We have discovered that my extensive history with long distance cardio has created obstacles in my desire for muscles.  Basically, my body just doesn't know how to put any on and keep them there.  The picture above is the difference between May 2014 and October 2014.  In that time frame I was lifting and eating all the time.  We increased my load so I was lifting very heavy but with few reps and I was eating like a body builder.  Every two-three hours I would chow on (what seemed like) tons of protein and veggies.  Pre and post workouts I would add in carbs in the form of fruit and grains.  It took a lot of time (I prepped all my meals) and I was always sore.  But it was completely worth it!  Especially looking at this side by side photo.  It's hard to see your gains (albeit small) on a daily bases but over time they will show up if you remain consistent.  I also felt pretty good overall during this time.  I slept well and didn't really have to battle cravings.  So, here is to enjoying this year of gradual progress!

Friday, November 21, 2014


Now that my intense 90 day challenge has come to an end, my trainer and I are working on rehabbing my shoulder.  Merrick has given me, what seems to be simple and easy exercises but they are not.  Fixing injuries is always difficult, especially when you are use to pushing a lot harder.  But the sooner we get this fixed the sooner I can start to build my strength again. 

Side Note 1:  I have been selected to be on the Lifetime fitness TV program.  The first interview will take place on Monday Dec 8th and then we will do another one at the club.

Side Note 2:  My national Snap fitness commercial is out.  I was just an extra but you can see me at two different times in my bright blue tank.  Here is the link.

Side note 3:  I have also been selected, along with my trainer, to be part of a motivational video for a world wide company titled "relentless"  so that should be fun and will include my MMA training as well as my violin playing. 

So many blessings and I continue to be overwhelmed and humbled.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

2nd 90 day summary.

My official numbers:
Weigh in- 18.4% body fat
Weigh out- 15.4% body fat

I have to admit that my actual numbers were a bit disappointing for the amount of work I put in this time.  I worked so much harder this time than last time (and I worked my booty off last time).  I have learned that it can take a solid 6-9 months just to lay a good foundation for lean muscle building especially if you have a history of extensive cardio training.  Since I was a runner and then switched to cycling my body doesn't quite know how to build muscles yet.  But, we are getting there.  I have been re-training my body to grow and that has been so hard.  I eat.  A lot of protein and veggies.  And I lift.  Really, really heavy stuff.  I have seen a bit of progress, but nowhere close to my goals.  So, now that this 90 day challenge is over I am taking a few days rest and getting back on the wagon.  Probably not as extreme as before as I don't have a 90 day limit on my goals.  I look at this last journey more as another jumpstart to my new ambitions.  So, I will continue to update and post progress as it comes.  But thank you for your support through another challenge, I am truly grateful for the constant encouragement! 

Eric's Updated progress.

 My husband's amazing progress!! I could not be more proud. He is strong and healthy. His sleep apnea is gone and he is loving life even more.  Way to go Eric!

Final results/Essay

Health, I have learned is an all-encompassing prosperity that includes every area of your life.  I am also reminding myself that a number on a scale doesn't always reflect your sacrifices and work to attain health either.  That was my goal for this 90 day challenge; to not just make physical improvements, but to sharpen my mental, emotional, relational and spiritual standings.  I wanted to create a balance within these aspects as well as their relation to each other. 
Physically- I had previously lost a lot of body fat, so my goals this time were to build muscle and sculpt my body.  I have never been strong.  Growing up I was an endurance athlete, but 3 kids and multiple surgeries later, I had to find a different outlet.
 I took up MMA much to my intimidation.  Now, several months later I have competed in a large tournament for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and faced my biggest fear of people noticing me in a very public forum (I am extremely introverted).  What an amazing feeling of accomplishment to not only compete but WIN an actual grappling fight against an unknown opponent. 
I have also never pushed my body this hard before.  I started the 90 day challenge with a debilitating shoulder/neck injury.  It was a very discouraging way to start, but thanks to several professionals "in my corner" so- to- speak, we worked around it and with it to be able to continue attaining goals.  I have also discovered that to gain weight in the form of lean muscle mass is probably the most challenging ambition I have ever attempted.  I have been constantly sore (which was slightly remedied through nutrition and supplements).  Mentally lifting rep after rep when all I wanted to do was lower the weight or skip a set was harder than I could ever describe in words.  But I knew that with my goals, combined with the added obstacles of injuries and body type, I couldn't stop.
Mentally- My trainer has commented that I have a "do-it-anyway" mentality.  In the face of skepticism, injury, fatigue, soreness, hunger, frustration, lack of natural ability, etc. I will do it anyway.  I look at it this way- I am so blessed.  My "excuses" hardly compare with a lot of other things people are facing.  Everyday I wake up is another day to live it the best that I can; to receive as the gift it is and be a light to others around me so that they can be inspired and challenged to do the same.  As a mother, I am always being watched.  The little eyes of my 6, 4 and 2 year old see everything (especially since we homeschool) I do and don't do.  They observe me waking up tired and sore every day and still push through to achieve something bigger.  And if that is the only reason I do any of this- it's more than enough reason for me.
Relationally- My biggest concern with committing to a 2nd 90 day challenge in one year was that I didn't want it to negatively affect the relationships that are most dear to me. The 90 day challenge is a big time commitment and to do it with excellence requires so much of you physically and mentally.  My goals this time of building lean muscle mass and then cutting even more body fat after I had lost so much the first time was one thousand times more difficult than the first go-around.  My husband agreed to join in with me again this time so we could be a similar page when it came time to taking turns with the kids or making compatible meals.  Having that continued support has made the impossible seem possible and I am beyond grateful for it.  My children have also been on my side, keeping me accountable.  Each day they know our schedule (12 workouts a week!) and delight in learning more about staying healthy.  We can't expect healthy kids without healthy parents.  We are, hopefully, training them to become and achieve even greater things than we ever could and health is part of that. 
The least expected side-effect of participating in a second challenge is all of the other moms I have inspired to reach their goals.  During my first 90 day challenge I started blogging about my fitness journey, mostly to keep a record for my trainer.  Somehow, it has now reached thousands of people looking to begin their personal success stories.  It is the most humbling, unexpected position to be approached by other moms who once believed they could never accomplish a physical strength, now excited to make extraordinary their ordinary.  I am not a super athlete being paid to live like this.  I am a normal mom who loves to work hard for my goals.  And if just one person can look at my journey and think to themselves, I could do that, then I am doubly blessed. 
Spiritually-  Even the strongest of us get tired and worn out.  That is when we need a place of rest, peace and grace.  Many of the desires in us, I believe, are too great a feat to accomplish in our own strength.  If they are then we probably aren't dreaming big enough.  Our lives should create ripple effects that reach farther and longer than we will ever come to know.  I have learned during this 90 day journey to set aside times in my days, no matter how busy or tired I am, to reflect on the bigger picture.  Our days can become so "daily", they are fleeting and short and I have learned that by choosing health, in all areas, the days slow down and become intentional.  Gratitude takes time.  And in that thanksgiving we can live the lives we were meant to live and be the people we were created to be.