You don’t need to lose weight!

I hear this all the time.  Yes, it’s a compliment but I know my body better than everyone. I’ll admit, in jeans and a long sleeved shirt, yup, I look pretty good, especially after being pregnant five times.

But in a bathing suit, I don’t feel comfortable.  I know I can easily stand to lose 10 pounds and still look healthy, not too skinny. But I’m not going to share my bathing suit pictures with everyone.  You’ll have to trust me, or ask a friend who has seen me at the pool.

I want to share that I have two weeks to lose at much weight as possible.  Why?  Because my husband has a meeting in South Florida and asked me to go with him.  Oh, why do I want to share?  Because I share a lot.  Probably too much.  But that’s just how I am.  I was that way even before social media.

But I know as soon as I share, people will tell me I don’t need to lose a pound, I look great the way I am, blah, blah, blah.  I deserve to feel comfortable.  I deserve to be happy.

I know I shouldn’t care what other people think and normally I don’t.  But it just gets annoying.  So be supportive of your friends.  Whether they want to gain weight, lose weight, try a new hair style, whatever.

I also have 2 weeks to finish half a semester of a math class I don’t understand so I can finally get my AA…..

Fit and Healthy Motivation Tips

After spending an evening with a friend who was very overweight, I changed my fitness challenges to fit and healthy.  It’s easy for me to copy and paste memes, recipes and workouts but it’s hard for me to follow them.  Lack of motivation is my biggest issue so I decided to do some research to not just help me, but help my fitness ladies, too.

  1. Buy new shoes.  Try on several pair, walk and jog in them around the store (they tend to frown on sprinting).  Get your feet evaluated at Fit2Run if you can.  Then go online and see if you can get a better deal (shhhhh!).

kicks I discovered I’m an Asics girl.

2. Visualize positive thinking. Visualize your muscles getting bigger and stronger while you’re coming up with excuses to avoid the gym. Think about how wonderful the sun will feel on your face as you take a walk outside (wear sunscreen!). Picture your heart smiling as you put down the Pop Tart and fix some eggs and a protein shake.

14993567_10211174071494413_7745794241319868662_n Powerhouse Athletic Club (shameless plug)

3. Reward yourself. Went a whole day without junk food? Put a dollar in a jar. Completed your step count? Add a dollar. Exercised 5 times in one week? Treat yourself to a movie (and pack healthy snacks in your bag). If you do a jar, at the end of 30 or 60 days, take the money and buy yourself a new top or pants; you’ve earned it!

wp-image-477638972jpg I have to hide my dollars.  My family tends to swipe them.  I have an agreement with my husband (he just doesn’t know it yet) to trade pennies for dollars in 60 days.

4. Be accountable.  Get a reliable accountability partner or better yet, be one.  Join a fitness challenge (shameless plug #2). Download the Pact app (Harvard guys) or sign up at StickK (Yale guys). This will not make you rich but it will motivate you to stick to your goals if you don’t have dough to lose.

5. Make small goals. Saying, “I’m going to lose 50 pounds is great but it’s going to take a while.  Write down that you’re going to lose a pound a week, eat 4 healthy snacks, go a week (or a day) without drinking soda or hitting the drive through. Create monthly, weekly and daily goals.  Write them down where you’ll see them. (I discovered my fridge and kitchen cabinets are dry erase marker proof)

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6. Reduce your excuses. Write them down. Start eliminating them one by one. “I’m too tired.” “The gym is so faarr!” “I don’t have time.” “It tastes so good!” “I’m broke.” You’ll realize how ridiculous you’re being. I’m ridiculous every day.

7. Ditch the boredom. Try something new like a Body Combat class, biking, roller blading,  pilates, aerial yoga, pole dancing (shameless plugs #3, #4 & #5).  Switch up your routine to shock your body, especially if you’ve hit a plateau.

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8. It’s good for your health.  Yes, looking smoking hot in those skinny jeans or that tankini are great motivators for getting fit and healthy, but remember the main focus is on improving your health to keep you around longer.

9. Sign a contract with yourself. It can be a detailed one or one that’s short and sweet.

I’m sure there are many more amazing tips out there but I made a goal to keep this short. #noexcuses

Love yourself. Why you don’t.

We have 2 more days of focusing on ourselves and trying to boost our self esteem with the Love Yourself Challenge. I hit the moms hard this morning with a big assignment. What’s your story?

“Day 34 Today and tomorrow, you are going to dig deep so try to put a little bit of time aside. For any of you who don’t have self esteem issues, thank you for putting up with those of us that do this week. We are all different with diverse goals.

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Today, please email me your reason for your self esteem problems. Did something happen to you as a child? Were you in an abusive relationship? Have you allowed family to suck the life out of you? Do you have health issues. If you’ve overcome this hurdle, share how. If you’ve started to make progress, share/explain. You all are the inspiration of each other. Grab a glass of wine, a box of tissues and dig deep. I know I’ll need those things when I read them! If you are open to me sharing- anonymously- please let me know. If you want to keep it between you and I, that’s perfectly fine. (This should be different than your WHY which is tomorrow’s exercise.) I’m trying to stay on top of things better this go round and do still intend to share some of things from the last challenge. This week, I’ve started sharing our daily pinned posts on my Real Fit Mom blog to help the 4 people who read it. LOL #doyoubeyou #doyoubeyouforyou

Turn it up, ladies!!!”

 

That one comment makes it all worth it

I spend a lot of time on the fitness challenges that I run for moms on Tampa Bay Moms Group.  With each one, I spend more time since they are getting bigger and bigger.  A lot of time…..like a lot, a lot.

I don’t get paid to work for the website.  It’s been a labor of love ever since my friend, Steffany, and I started it four years ago.  I don’t get paid to run the fitness challenges.  I’ve spent some of my own money to mail prizes and this last time I bought ten journals for the first moms who signed up.

There are many times that I don’t get a workout in for myself because I spend so much time making sure everyone else is making good food choices, getting their workouts in, helping them with their struggles and keeping them involved.

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I didn’t say all that to toot my own horn.  Just the opposite.  The women who have joined my challenges and especially the ones who are involved in Relentless right now have been phenomenal.  Yes some of them quit.  Yes some of them have really bad days and weeks.  Yes some of them get crabby when they want cake.  But many of them keep coming back for more.  They don’t care about the prizes they win (although I know they enjoy them).  They care about themselves.  They want to make themselves healthier.  They want to live longer for their children, to be positive role models.  Some of them have even gotten their husbands to make better choices as well.

This afternoon I sat down and made a list of the accomplishments and changes that the moms have made during the last two weeks.  I posted them on TBMG then shared the link in our Relentless Facebook group.  Normally I ask them to please comment but I was so glad to get the post done that I forgot.  I was so surprised when I checked back on the website later and saw that there were three comments.  Reading them I got goosebumps and tears in my eyes.  Comments like they left, hearing them tell me they are working out with their kids, knowing husbands are joining, seeing them brush off a bad day and beam when they have a good one, make every second I spend on the challenges worth it.  I love these women.  They cheer each other on, check on each other, share and encourage.  It’s extremely humbling knowing I created that.  I don’t look for pats on the back or recognition for the challenges…although one of those massages would be nice!  It’s enough for me to see happy, healthy mommies.

I can’t wait to see how much they grow in the future!!

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Eating healthy during the holiday season

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Towards the end of my last fitness challenge, Hot For Halloween, I asked the moms when they wanted to begin the next one.  They all voted to start ASAP- they wanted help getting through the holidays.  Since so many people choose to shovel food in their face from Halloween to Christmas then make the totally typical fitness goals on January first, I was elated that my moms chose this route.  I was all too happy to help out!

Thanksgiving will be here in a few days so I created a document in our private group with several articles on how to survive the holiday food temptations.  Several of them were repetitive so here’s a rundown with the tips I thought were the most helpful (or repeated in almost every article).

  1. If you want it, eat it.  My best friend’s best advice is “everything in moderation.”  When you deny yourself, you’re just going to want it more.
  2. Eat before the party or dinner.  I encourage my moms to eat 4-5 meals per day.  This helps boost your metabolism.  Make sure you have breakfast, a snack and lunch before you head to your big dinner.
  3. Only choose two foods at a time- and pick your favorites first.  You can get up for seconds and thirds but only choose two foods each time. **2016 edit** A better option may be to choose small portions of 4-5 favorites and only make one trip.
  4. Go easy on the nuts, gravy, sauces and whip cream.  These are easy trimmable calories.
  5. Wear tight clothing.  Don’t put on your fat pants so you can eat more.  That defeats the purpose of your goals.
  6. Get lots of rest.  Research shows that those who are well rested eat less calories.
  7. Use a smaller plate.  You don’t need the giant styrofoam holiday plate.  Choose an appetizer plate and remember you can go back for more. **2016 edit** This is my favorite tip!
  8. Take small bites and small sips.  This tricks your brains.
  9. Chew gum.  This is great all year long when you don’t want to be tempted.
  10. Skip the appetizers.  They are tempting but if you want room for the delicious turkey your mom slaved over, pass on the apps.
  11. Go easy on the alcohol.  It’ll save you from embarrassment at the holiday party and save lots of calories as well.  If you insist on having a few drinks, alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic.  Use a tall, skinny glass.
  12. If holiday treats are stacking up at the office, keep healthy snacks in your desk.  Don’t give into peer pressure.  Let them know you’ve started your New Year’s Resolution early!
  13. Weigh yourself daily.  Although I’m a big anti-scale person this is a really good tip.  Also, slip on your favorite pair of jeans once a week to make sure the muffin top is under control.
  14. Don’t over eat!  Take some Tupperware with you.  You can always eat leftovers.
  15. Sit next to another healthy eater.  Avoid Uncle Fred who piles his food like a pyramid and tries one of every dessert.
  16. While you’re running around cooking, cleaning and shopping, count your steps, do some squats, fit in a short walk, do push ups against the counter, do lunges up and down the hall or tricep dips in between wrapping presents.
  17. Steam, roast or bake instead of fry.  Use low-calorie versions of your favorites (most people won’t even notice). I can even slide fat free by my super skinny, picky husband.
  18. Bring a “clean” dish.  There are tons of clean eating recipes.  Show everyone that holiday eating doesn’t have to be fatty and high calorie.
  19. Write it down!!!  Even that bite of little Susie’s cookie.  Write down your goals and your weight.  It’s amazing what our brains start doing when it sees everything in writing.  Get an accountability partner- a reliable one (not me).  Text each other often to check in.
  20. Do a Turkey Trot or find other fun 5K runs or walks during the holiday season.  Remember to take care of YOU first so you will be healthy and fit to take care of everyone else.

Food prep tips-

Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking. Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Incorporate some of these simple-cooking tips in traditional holiday recipes to make them healthier.

  1. Gravy — Refrigerate the gravy to harden fat. Skim the fat off. This will save a whopping 56 gm of fat per cup.
  2. Dressing — Use a little less bread and add more onions, garlic, celery, and vegetables. Add fruits such as cranberries or apples. Moisten or flavor with low fat low sodium chicken or vegetable broth and applesauce.
  3. Turkey – Enjoy delicious, roasted turkey breast without the skin and save 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz serving.
  4. Green Bean Casserole — Cook fresh green beans with chucks of potatoes instead of cream soup. Top with almonds instead of fried onion rings. **2016 edit** I’m sticking with a small portion of the original. Yum!
  5. Mashed Potato — Use skim milk, low-sodium chicken broth, garlic or garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.
  6. Quick Holiday Nog — Four bananas, 1-1/2 cups skim milk or soymilk, 1-1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon rum extract, and ground nutmeg. Blend all ingredients except nutmeg. Puree until smooth. Top with nutmeg.
  7. Desserts — Make a crustless pumpkin pie. Substitute two egg whites for each whole egg in baked recipes. Replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk in cheesecakes and cream pies. Top cakes with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar instead of fattening frosting.

While holiday shopping:

  1. Don’t go to the mall hungry.
  2. If you need food, choose a restaurant instead and sit where it’s quieter.  Loud noises make you eat more- so do places with lots of red.
  3. Pack some healthy snacks in your purse.
  4. Track your steps.  You’ll be amazed when you see how much you walk tile shopping.
  5. While standing in line, do calf raises, do some curls with your purchases.  If you feel like you’ll look silly, who cares?  1. You will most likely never see those people again and 2. You may inspire someone else to get fit and healthy!

Share your holiday tips in the comments!

 

Do You, Be You

My youngest daughter and I came up with “do you, be you” one day before she went on stage to dance.  She uses the hashtag often on her Instagram pictures.  I’m raising her to dance for herself and to not compare herself to other dancers.

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I shared the phrase with my fitness moms, too.  We just started a new fitness challenge on Tampa Bay Moms Group called Relentless*.  These women fit the word to a “T”.  They are determined, motivated, passionate and goal-oriented.  They support each other and don’t care about the prizes they can win (although they do get excited when I dangle some goodies in front of them).  Each of them has a different body type and different goals.  One will have a great day and another will have a crummy one.  But so far they come back each morning rearing and ready to go!  They are there for them, to make themselves healthier.

The phrase  is mine as well.  Last night I posted on Facebook that I was thinking about becoming a Beachbody Coach.  I have three of their programs and love them even though I’ve yet to complete any of them.  With this newest challenge, I’m hoping to finally complete Brazil Butt Lift and P90x3 (P90x will be for the next challenge).  I had some friends tell me to go for it, some offered other choices but one stuck out the most.  I’ve only met T a few times but she already gets me- “Keep doing you!! Either way you’ll be successful. Who knows maybe you will start your own chain or franchise..”

I chose “Real Fit Mom” very carefully.  I know it makes it sound like I’m already a fit mom but that wasn’t why I chose it- because I wasn’t…and am still not.  I’ll admit, I’ve seen other moms create franchises from their little beginnings and I thought maybe that could be me.  But I know nothing about that part so I’ve just kept working on myself and continuing with my goal to just inspire one person.  I started doing fitness challenges to hold myself accountable.  I saw other moms struggling to keep their goals and figured, what the hell?  Many were failures- the challenges not the moms.  Although we failed a lot.  But many of the moms have stuck with me and kept asking for another challenge.

Things changed when I began the Healthy and Fit Challenge back in June.  I wanted to focus more on health than just on “losing weight.”  Moms walked away with some great goodies and even though we didn’t meet our goals, we were all still there in the end (they even voted to add 30 more days at the end of the 90 day challenge because they knew they could do more). And they started leading healthier lives.  The Hot For Halloween was kind of a dud and a lot of that was me.  I had some personal issues going on and slacked off on motivating the moms.  But they slacked off, too.  I left it up to them if they wanted another challenge and they wanted to start right then!  #nevergiveup #noexcuses

I just realized I got off track about talking about me…which is rare.  Haha!  Soooo, after a lot of thought since last night, and some motivational words from a new friend and more from my motivational half-brother, I’ve decided to just keep being me.  It’s working, for the most part, so far.  I have some big plans for my fitness moms and the challenges for the future.  If RFM becomes a household name- fabulous.  But if it’s just in a few homes in the Tampa Bay area, I’m perfectly fine with that.

You are your first priority.  #doyoubeyou

*Totally unrelated and a waste of time for you to read, but Relentless was the name of first alliance I was in while playing the time-wasting game, Kingdoms of Camelot on Facebook (I gained some forever friends on there, though).  Before we went to war we’d go in the game chat box and yell, “RELENTLESS!!!”  It seemed like a good title for a fitness challenge.  😉

Self confidence, losing weight and finding me

Wow it’s been a while since I posted.  A LOT has been going on!

I’ve never had much confidence since I hit the dreadful junior high years. It’s something I’m trying to change….at 42. I have a lot of upcoming goals for myself.  Before the Hot For Halloween challenge, I had my 18 year old take before pictures of me in shorts and a tank top and even in a bathing suit.  I sucked it up and posted the one of me in the shorts on my Facebook. 70 likes and over 25 comments.  I was shocked and humbled.

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Two years ago, after being rear ended, I hit an all time high weight for my small frame- 153 lbs (before kids I was 103, after kids, high teens low 20’s…although I’d reached 143 at one point). With the support and encouragement of my husband and best friend, I changed my main goal of looking hot to being healthy (okay, and looking hot but health came first). I could have hit my end goal a year ago. 6 months ago. 3 months ago. But I’m not easily motivated. I slowly changed my eating and worked out a little. Seeing the scale flash “149” was a big relief. Several months later I saw it flash “139” and I knew I was on my way.  Slow and steady wins the race.

During our last fitness challenge on Tampa Bay Moms Group, the pounds were slowly creeping off. See my Spa 20 review– it helped get me off my butt. I still wasn’t working out much but was working harder on my food issue. In the middle of this 6 week challenge, I was hit with a mild but painful health issue so couldn’t work out. I was also dealing with a couple of personal issues and instead of my usual emotional eating- eating everything in site thinking it would make me feel better- I did the opposite. Still not healthy but I dropped 10 lbs in 2 weeks. At the end of the challenge, I was down 11.5 in and 10.9 lbs. I was down a total of 24 lbs.  I was thrilled!  Not about doing it by not eating but for me, pounds lost were pounds lost.

One of my many goals is to take more pictures of myself. Some of the moms in my fitness challenges, myself included, have self esteem issues. It’s something we will be addressing during our next challenge, Relentless, which starts on November 15th.  Yesterday, Hubby and I went to see a play.  I put on a dress that didn’t fit 3 months ago and my new sparkly shoes.  I curled my hair and carefully applied my make up.  When I got home, I handed my phone to my 18 year old and asked her to take a picture.  I sucked it up and posted it on Facebook- then walked away.  I admit, I squinted at the comments with one eye a couple of times.  This morning, almost 70 friends had liked my picture and several left comments.  I have to admit, it felt good.  It’s also inspiring and motivating.

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Last week, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a couple of months.  She said right away that my face looked thinner.  I can’t tell you how good it feels when people notice you’ve lost weight.  It’s motivating.  It inspires me to keep searching for me.  I didn’t feel like me surrounded by the fat I wasn’t used to.  I’ve been fighting with Slacker Fattie since 2009.  She’s unhealthy and lazy.  I was so glad to rename “Skinny Bitch” to “Fit Bitch” and should probably rename her “Healthy Bitch.”  She is slowly but surely conquering Slacker Fattie.  OMG, just reread the last few lines and I sound like a crazy bitch.  LOL  I’m excited!  I’m anxious to get off of here and dust off my DVDs and get back to working out.

You’ll be hearing from this no-more-Slacker-Fattie-almost-skinny-getting-fit-and-healthy-bitch very soon!!!