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!!!”

 

Rita is RELENTLESS!!!

Real Fit Mom is about sharing the real struggles we, as moms, deal with as we struggle to get fit and healthy.  One of my moms shared the post below in our Relentless II private challenge group this afternoon.  This is why I lead these challenges.  This right here makes all of the work worth it:

“So I’m learning to try not to let stress take me back down on a bad path. These last two weeks have been beyond crazy. I have one child that needs a biopsy and another that I can’t keep healthy to save my life. On top of that I have TWO girls in my house with their period at the SAME DAMN time. Even with all of this I am still doing Bootcamp every morning at 6am and a walk or Cize at night. I only caved in once with the food and had a Whoopi pie (I’m from Amish country so I had to have one, but not the same here) and I have only had one glass of wine. I’m proud of myself. I am a stress eater. But this work in progress is working on new habits… now to go back to home to work and hide from the kids!!!” Rita

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!                                 YYYYEEEEAAASSSS!!!!

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BAM!  And that, ladies and gentleman, is how it’s done.  You have two choices- give in or dig in.  Rita chose to dig in and stick with her goals.  She knows what she needs to do.  She knows how easy it is to give in and eat that cake. She’s done it before.  But, she also knows how amazing it feels to make the right choices and see that weight come off.  Rita knows how wonderful it is to find the woman who was hiding under a bunch of fat and she doesn’t want to lose her again.  She doesn’t want to slip back into emotional eating, being lazy and eating junk.  Rita is RELENTLESS!!!

Goals….they are IMPORTANT!

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Sunday was the beginning of another health and fitness challenge on Tampa Bay Moms Group.  After much deliberation among the admins of the group, we decided to stick with the name Relentless but add II.  We also decided to add a brand new challenge group called Tenacious.  Relentless II is geared toward women seeking to fit back into old jeans, reach lower numbers on the scale or lose some inches.  Tenacious is more for women who have already reached their goal but want to maintain their weight, tone or start/need support for strength training.

Our first challenge for Relentless II (other than having the ladies email me their measurements) was to send me their long and short term goals.  What did they want to accomplish at the end of the 60 days?  What changes did they want to see in themselves?  What eating habits were they looking to quit?  I received some really touching goals, some very determined ones and one absolutely hilarious one.

These are 60 day goals, right?

I’m going with fit in a size 14 jeans, maybe 12. That would be nice. My fat belly just ripped out my last good pair of 16’s. Yeah, that really fucking happened. FML…lol

And on the note of my fat belly….I’d like to be able to see my vagina again. This fat bastard keeps getting in the way. You know, I just want to look down and be like “hey old friend. how ya doin?”. Instead I get this bloated, stretch marked bastard interfering.

There. Goals.

Did I win?

Shit. I forgot. I weighed myself last night – yeah, NOT doing that again….and I’m 2 fucking 30, damn.

Ok. I’m done now…lol”

I think everyone needed the laugh and the honesty.

I shared her goals in our private group, anonymously, and another mom commented this:

Oh my gosh, whoever you are I love you! I totally feel that way all the time. Like, I just want to be able to shave my bush without having to do freaking acrobatics and get short of breath. Also, my tits are HUGE! I mean, I’ve always been big. When I wasl like 115 in high school I had a 34D and I’m 5ft so that was pretty big on my frame. Now I don’t even know my real size. I gave up trying to find out its like a GG or EE or FF or something like that. Basically it looks like I have an additional huge ass sitting on my chest. I’d like for that to go down a little at least. Between the boobs and my stomach I really have a hard time seeing anything below.”

This is what these women need.  Pure, unedited, blunt honesty.  Moments like this bond them. They learn that they are not alone in how they feel.  Each of them have different goals but many of them were similar.  I’ll be doing another post about the rest of them as soon as I get permission to use their words.  This group has been amazing so far and it’s only the first week.  I still have room for a few more and hope that some of those from Relentless join us again.

I love running these challenges.  It makes me feel amazing knowing I’m helping these ladies find themselves again and teaching them that they aren’t just wives and moms- they are women, first.

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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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.  😉

New year, new challenge, new me

Wow. 2009. That’s when I joined my first weight loss challenge. I lost 20 pounds, came in third place for the first challenge and first for another. Since then I’ve tried running or participating in several challenges and haven’t done well- mostly because I didn’t finish.

But 2015 is a new year. I’m very thankfully putting 2014 behind me and have already made several changes. I’ve cut out many of my favorites like soda, pizza, fast food, sugary cereal, whole milk, chips and queso. I’ve reduced my nightly 32 Oz cocktails to one (if that) on the weekend. Honesty,  I’d be okay with not having one at all until I’m finished with my current challenge.

I started a Fit and Sexy by Spring fitness challenge on Tampa Bay Mom’s Group which started the day Bikini Body Mommy 3.0 began. I’m drinking kale smoothies, fixing myself healthier dinner foods while my family still eats pasts, pizza and chicken parm. I’m addicted to roasted brussel sprouts and am learning to food prep.

I don’t think I made this many changes for my first challenge, although I made a LOT- most of which were very unwillingly. I’m happily making better decisions. I’m doing this for me and to help out other moms. I’m also participating in a Biggest Loser Challenge with a sizeable money pot. I’m ready. I’m determined. I want to do this.

Sorry to Slacker Fattie. You have already been reduced by ten pounds since the beginning of November. You will continue to be reduced slowly but surely. Fit Bitch will conquer you. Once you’re gone, you’re gone.

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Clean Eating tips

Clean Eating began in the 1960’s and has dribbled along among fitness buffs for years and has finally made it’s way to mainstream America. I’ve read several articles and most tell you to stay away from this and that but don’t tell you what TO eat.

Step 1.  Ditch the processed foods.  If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you probably shouldn’t eat it..  This one I struggle with.  My father-in-law likes to spoil my kids by getting them their favorite junk snacks and cookies. There are people out there that will probably call me a bad mom and say I should throw out the food but if you saw my kids you might chill out.  Not one of them is in any danger of being obese.  My 10 year old son has bones sticking out of weird places due to his dad’s hereditary high metabolism.  It’s me that needs to shed the weight so they can eat the Fruit Loops and I’ll eat egg whites (belch).

Step 2. Beef up the veggies.  Veggies are loaded with vitamins and fiber to keep bones strong and keep your belly full while keeping your calorie count low.  Celery and natural peanut butter or carrots and hummus are great snacks.  I love adding onions and peppers to my eggs.  Of course fresh veggies are always better but if you’re like me and only go grocery shopping about once a month keep this in mind- fresh, frozen, canned.  Right now we have lots of fresh veggies in the fridge because we went shopping last week.  Next week we’ll hit the frozen stash and at the end of the month break into the cans.

Step 3. Change saturated fats to healthy fats.  Saturated fats are found in butter, meats and cheese.  Try using olive oil, canola oil, fatty fish and nuts.  When I go to the store, I buy canola oil.  When Hubby goes, he buys vegetable oil.  He also grew up in a Southern family where his mom fried a lot.  I grew up in a Yankee family that didn’t fry anything.  I’m not really sure about switching mayo for avocado and cream cheese for peanut butter but I’m not really a cheese person so I wouldn’t mind having nuts on my salad instead.  It takes an open mind.

Step 4. Reduce alcohol intake.  Ummm, excuse me?  I’m not an alcoholic but I am a mom of four.  When people say, “I don’t know how you do it!”  I’m not kidding when I say, “Alcohol.” LOL  We can still have one drink per day (depending on which clean eating plan you follow).  I won’t tell you the size of the Screwdriver I used to drink 7 nights a week but have cut down to weekends.  My ‘one drink’ varies a little from the recommended one drink which is 5 oz of wine, 1.5 oz of liquor or 12 oz of beer. A friend of mine recently discovered she lost a few pounds when she didn’t drink beer for a few days.  She switched to vodka and club soda.  😉

Step 5. Kiss the sweet stuff good-bye.  The American Heart Association recommends 6 tbsp of sugar for women and 9 tbsp for men.  This has been one of the easiest things for me to cut out.  I still have soda now and then and may steal a cookie but I no longer crave candy bars, cake, ice cream and candy except last night because I was sick all day and hadn’t eaten anything but broccoli cheese soup.  My strawberry swirl ice cream was yummy with a crushed Oreo).  My indulgence is Publix fat free yogurt with banana and strawberry which apparently isn’t good for me to eat but it sounds healthy so I eat it anyway.

Step 6. Shake the salt.  The daily recommended amount is 1 tsp.  Processed foods are loaded with salt.  Before you zap that Lean Cuisine in the microwave, check the amount of sodium first.  I know it’s quicker to make tacos and mac and cheese out of the box but it’s much healthier to make it from scratch.  This is something I’m getting much better at but my kids will not touch homemade mac.  They prefer the icky Kraft stuff.  Be careful on how much salt you reduce though.  I cut out salt completely a couple of years ago while working out with a trainer and was getting light headed during workouts.  She told me to add a small amount of salt back in and it made a world of difference.  There are lots of seasonings out there you can substitute like Mrs. Dash.

Step 7. Look for ‘whole’ grains that still contain the bran and germ.  Eating whole grains can help cut down on belly fat which a lot of us women have issues with.  My kids will eat whole wheat spaghetti but Hubby notices the difference.  I buy either honey wheat or whole wheat (depends on Publix’s BOGO) and am surprised the kids eat either- I grew up on white bread.  If you are a gluten-free family, more and more foods are ditching the gluten.  There’s a gluten-free pizza place in SoHo and I saw gluten-free pasta at Publix last week.

Step 8.  Save the cows and chickens!  If you can stomach veggie lasagna and tofu, have at it.  We eat meat almost every night but not in big portions- I’m actually surprised at how little my family eats.  If it’s larger than the palm of your hand, it’s larger than the recommended serving.  Picture a deck of cards and search for lean meats.

Step 9. Fruit picking time!  Fruit is one of the easiest changes to make.  It’s sweet and most fruits are eat ready once they get a quick shower.  Fruits, like veggies, are loaded with vitamins and are a great snack after lunch.  It’s not very difficult to eat 1.5 to 2 cups per day.

Step 10. Cut out refined grains. Cutting out white flour should be one of the easiest changes in eating clean.  Grab a peach instead of a Little Debbie or fresh cucumber slices instead of crackers.

I hope this helps a little if you’ve been wondering what the whole clean eating thing was about.  I know I learned a lot!  Below are articles I used for this post and a challenge for you if you think you can Clean Eat cold turkey.

Buzzfeed Challenge (I got to the NO BOOZE part and quit reading lol)

Clean Eating 101

What is clean eating?

10 ways to eat clean