So Many Things Have Changed!

Ok, I know it’s been a year! So sorry! Though many of you have been following me on Facebook and have been getting updates and have still supported me all this time.  So thank you very much for that.  I tried to switch my Blog to manage on Facebook and I really don’t like it.  So there may be a few entries on the there, I will try to start where I left off. For those that have missed what’s been going on let me catch you up!

I started teaching classes at the YMCA that gave me so much.  I ventured into Wellness as a Fitness Coach.  I am still in that role.  I have been currently working toward my personal training cert since October.  Teaching 5 classes a week and wellness too.  I love it all!

I have learned so much this past year about health, people, myself, relationship building and of course time management (still working on this one ;)).

I have been holding my weight steady.  I have gained more muscle so I have moved a little on the scale.  But I want to be strong and healthy, not light and weak.  This is a very hard thing to recognize.  I will fully admit I still do stress about foods, calories, weight, workouts.  However, I still try my hardest in workouts and accept when I fail on foods.  I have weeks that are very good and I have weeks that aren’t so good.  My goal from the beginning was to adapt to a different lifestyle.  I have stayed true to it, thankful to God.  Just because I am not as adamant about it as I was doesn’t mean I have put myself back to the way I was.  This is a true testament that you can see that when you start on a journey and follow through to the end, the end is where you want to be.  You chose, Do I continue or do I stop.  I never stopped.  Paused, reset, yes.  Stopped, nope.  Life is supposed to challenge, inspire and make you happy.

So here I am with two fitness models at the Arnold Expo.  I said to my husband before I went up to get my free protein powder, “I am going to look horrible next to them!”  Well of course, he says, “No you’re not that’s crazy!  Gah. Well, after I looked at the picture (besides the fact that I look stoned) I am surprised that, it’s okay. Let me explain.  I have changed the outside of my body by 150lbs, but I still have the mind set of a 300lb person on some days.  That’s why I strive to challenge my body physically every day, to squash those feelings.  It works, however, outside a comfort zone when people are in a competitive sport such as this, my mind takes over.  Don’t get me wrong I have grown with this issue this year, but sometimes it gets me again. Lol.  I really watch what I say to people. Because I would never want to offend someone complaining about my insecurities for people to look for some of their own.  There’s always going to be something you don’t like about yourself, heck maybe several things.  Some will change some won’t.  But you deal with as best you can with acceptance being part of the plan.17155691_10211981898448683_1995345800254619731_n

At the beginning of January, I needed a new goal.  I wanted to lean out.  I wanted to cut the rest of the fat that was hanging on and see if I could get to a low BMI.  Well, I lasted 8 weeks.  I was proud of that, but had to stop.  I will not share the diet that I chose, because the reason I had to stop was, my diet was so deficit ed I would fall asleep, couldn’t make it through my workouts, I was making unconscious mistakes and I would get really agitated before eating.  My problem was I was burning so many calories on my own workouts added to the classes I taught.  I wasn’t giving my body enough to burn to keep me from shutting down.  Lesson learned! I did look good for two weeks though!

New Goal: Healthy and strong, not skinny and weak!

As I said from the beginning, eat healthy and gym workouts.  I learned from trying the new goal why I had stated this fact.  Diets can be dangerous.  And do you know what happened after I came off the diet?  The 11lbs I lost in the first 2 weeks came right back on!  I realized right then, it only counts if you stay true to the nutrients your body needs so it can let that fat go when you burn them in your workouts.  You have to stick to all the time!  The occasional cheat day will not set you back if don’t let it.  But you have to stay consistent.  The weight will stay off if you do!

Some other changes that have been over this year, I have developed confidence as an instructor.  I overcame the nerves, self confidence issues and learned to have fun in my classes instead of worrying if I was doing everything right. I love my Core Focus classes!   I have several groups of people every week that I have gotten to know and have fun with!  They work hard to follow along and let me know when they like or dislike something.  If I can change it I do, if I can’t we make so they progress however they need to!  I love that it geared toward everyone.  13606885_10209696664479262_6995880649589775964_n

I am still teaching cycling.  I have one class a week now which is fine with me!  Gets my cardio in and still lets me get people moving!

My passion is to help others.  It always has been.   Just never knew what direction I meant to go.  I have been studying for a personal training certificate for several months (stay tuned on that).

Working with people on a daily basis toward fitness goals is so rewarding for me.  Now, the success stories I could tell you will sound minor but they are not to me.  It could be just acknowledging someone one day when they feel ignored by others around them.  It could be showing someone a stretch because they need to relieve pain.  Showing people how to do new things is fun and gives them confidence that they do them!  Sometimes just turning the channel on a tv will help them block out the time they hate on a treadmill!  If that’s what is important to them, glad I could help!  Is my job perfect, nope! But I really have turned a corner here in the last couple months that certain things are going to be challenge, like it or not I am just going do what I can to help.  Help inspires others to look at what they might need to help with also.  So in turn everything flows better.

If I helped you feel better just even for a day, physically or mentally, it gives me more drive to help someone else!  Working with young to senior doesn’t matter, everyone needs a healthy life and a happy life!

So I will try to get back to more writing!  I hope to share and inspire more to get healthy!

Quick Post Recipes!

Recipes I have tried recently and enjoyed!

Side Items:

Healthy Baked Broccoli Tots are the perfect low-fat snack! #GimmeDelicious #Skinny





Grilled shrimp po'boys


On the above I used whole wheat hoagie rolls.  I used the seasoning suggestions, but I added lettuce and red onion! Delicious!


Can I just say I absolutely love tzatziki sauce!!! I of course used all low calorie options for pita, greek yogurt and I left off the feta (just because!).


Chickpea and Nutella Cookies. Gluten free cookies made from chickpeas, peanut butter and nutella. Honestly the best gluten free cookies ever. You can't even taste the chickpeas! A great way to get protein into picky eaters | My Fussy Eater blog


Chickpea and Peanut Butter cookies! Tasted like chocolate chip cookies!


Fudgy Dark Chocolate Raspberry Brownies -- these skinny brownies don't taste healthy at all! They're insanely rich, as easy as a box mix & barely 100 calories!


These are rich and creamy! Small piece is all you need! The picture is a huge serving, but if you’re craving that much chocolate this will definitely handle it!

Recipes I found and can’t wait to try:


Healthy {and fluffiest!} Protein Packed Pumpkin Pancakes- Hands down, the fluffiest pancakes you'll ever make which are so healthy and filling! High in protein, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and a vegan option, an easy method provides a perfect stack of pancakes every time with a hidden vegetable too! @thebigmansworld




Baked Turkey Meatballs 1 pound ground turkey 1 egg 1/2 cup bread crumbs (use oats instead) 1/4 cup chopped parsley 1 clove garlic, finely diced 1/4 cup shallot or onion, finely diced 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste


Cajun Chicken & Rice Recipe. Only 6 ingredients. Perfect quick and easy weeknight meal! Great for using up boneless skinless chicken breasts.



Carrot Apple Bread - Carrot cake with apples added and baked as a bread so it's healthier! Super moist, packed with flavor, fast and easy!!


The BEST oatmeal cookies you'll ever make! They stay soft & chewy for an entire week. You can't even tell they're healthy!

Pineapple Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Thank you for reading!!

Smarter Choices


Let’s talk about one of my favorite subjects! Food!!

Sometimes weight loss only needs to be successful for people who need to just make smarter choices.  You have the exercise down and the motivation.  Now comes food selections.  Picking a “diet” that you like and can stick to is difficult.  Especially if it’s a diet filled with foods you don’t like.  That’s why I decided to do my own thing and treat it as a lifestyle.  I didn’t like following a menu or a system designed for millions to use that was the same.  I am not the same as everyone.  My body type is different.  So is yours.  Eating real food and just making sure it was the healthiest option was my goal.

So what to eat?  I have outlined the food that helped me in my blog post Foods that helped me lose 150lbs. But I’d like to update it a bit and go into a little more detail about why you should choose smart foods.

First off, when you start eating healthier foods, you are hungry.  But have you noticed how much room healthy food takes up on your plate? If you make the right choice it’s a full plate of food!

If you fast food it, a burger and a box of fries. Only two things! Really? Enough calories that would total 1200+, which is a little less than the entire day of calorie intake, you just ate an entire day. I’d bet in an hour you’re hungry again.  Oops forgot the soft drink better add about 150-200 more calories.

Healthy meal example: 4-6oz of a chicken breast, a whole sweet potato and pile of broccoli (you can even have a salad on the side with a tablespoon of dressing!) you should equal about 400 calories. Perfect dinner! Way more food for less calories and you can have a snack later!

In the beginning of my weight loss journey I relied on frozen dinners from Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers and Healthy Choice for lunches.  It was easy for me.  If this works for you do it.  I have evolved into so many options now.  Pinterest is the best tool for finding foods you like, you can search for specific ingredients.  How easy!


I am slowly adventuring in to organics.  It’s not because non organic is bad, I just need something different.  I still buy all of my vegetables in the regular produce section, but organic snack foods taste wonderful and it’s a nice change!  Some of the organic things I have tried Skinny Pop Popcorn (they have several different flavors) huge portion, low calories! Think thin bars! Yummy! Again so many flavors and it tastes like a candy bar! 150 calories. The frozen Alexia products are great! They have sweet potato fries and puffs. Paired with turkey burgers or chicken burgers you don’t even miss the starch!  I have tried the whole wheat waffles in the organic section, but I like the whole grain Eggos better! 😉  Just because it says organic does not mean that it is low calorie (just something to keep in mind).  I stay away from the chips, Lara Bars and cookies etc.  While they taste good, if you look the calorie count is the same as the regular (you may or may not get a few extra chips).  Sometimes the benefit is just use of organic ingredients to make the product.

Counting Calories

I found this on Pinterest the other day and it is very similar to the approach I took to lose this weight.  Here’s the link:  One small difference I made, I took 50 calories off the breakfast and lunch to make it so I could have a snack at night after dinner about 7:30pm.  I could not go to sleep hungry.  I cannot eat eggs, so my option was to stick with whole grain cereals and a banana for breakfast.  It’s funny how I find this now, guess I did know what I was doing!

I’ll admit I didn’t count calories every day, but I did try to keep track in my head of what I was eating at each meal, just so I knew I wasn’t eating past the serving size.

Portion Control

Above I mentioned you can have so much more food with healthy choices.  BUT you still have to watch the size of specific foods.

Protein: Pork Chops/Chicken breast, easiest way to gauge, no longer than your hand and no thicker than your palm (unless you’re a giant).  Perfect serving size.  Ground meats: no more than a palm full.  When making burgers palm size and 1 inch thick (precook size).   Buy 80/20.  Steak is a little higher in fat so I would say stay towards the 5oz portion.  If you have scale great, if not use your best judgement and be accountable for going over.  Beans great sub for protein.  They are very filling and easy to grab when you don’t want to cook! Stick with black and kidney beans they have the most flavor.  Lima beans are great as a side, very healthy! Butter beans are really high in carbs.

Starches: Potatoes, noodles, and veggies that are higher in starch.  White potatoes are the highest carb in the potato family.  You can have them but be cautious of the size. My preference is to have sweet potatoes or red potatoes.  Veggies you have to look out for Corn and Peas. These are high in sugar.  They will count as a starch.  Can you have them yes, with corn look at the size of an ear of corn that should be your serving size.  Peas should be used in serving suggestion on packages usually a serving is ¼ to 2/3 of a cup.  Noodles: Whole wheat are better for you, if you don’t like them use the regular but your portion size should be smaller.  One cup of pasta equals about 200 calories.  A cup is usually the size of your fist.  Depending on what you are paring it with it will help you gauge how much protein to get to the 400 calories.

Veggies: Veggies you can have an unlimited amount of Broccoli, Cauliflower, Lettuce, and Cucumbers.  Fail proof!

Good fat: Avocados, olives, nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, salmon and seeds.  Remember these are good for you but servings should be accurate according to the amount on package! They are not free foods.

Bad fats: Fries, cakes, ice cream, cheese and potato chips.  Let’s not even go with a serving size, all amounts should be avoided. But you already knew this.


I have found ways of using some foods to make me think I am cheating.  But I’m not! Weight Watcher Frozen Dark Chocolate Raspberry Popsicles! This are my favorite! 60 Calories each and sometimes I have two.  Still around 100 calories for my snack, maybe a little over but that’s ok!  I am a chocoholic! Sugar free snack packs.  If I am craving cookies I keep animal crackers and graham crackers on hand.  Dried fruit really takes away my craving for sweets.  But I make sure to keep the serving size.

As I have said in the past always use the lesser calorie options on ingredients that you can find.  You may not think it will make a difference, but when you are using several ingredients they do add up, so you may save 20 calories all the way to a 100 calories when the dish is completed!

I hope this gives you some good ideas to start with.  I know it’s hard to give up foods you like, but they are hurting you more than you know.  The only pleasure you get out of eating unhealthy food lasts for 10 minutes.  How about feeling good about yourself all day, every day?  To me that’s worth a lot more than 10 minutes.


I have talked quite a bit about losing weight, so I thought I might touch on maintaining and sticking with the plan you choose.   I have tried to lose weight so many times, I should have become an expert at it.  Maintaining is hard.  Not only do you have to keep up with your exercise, you have to shut that voice up in your head, that you can go ahead have anything you want to eat after you put that work out in.  Well, that’s what got me here in the first place.  Do I want to be lazy and just grab whatever is in front of me, yes I do!  Do I make up reasons in my head of why I can’t make it to gym each day? Yes I do.  Everyday day is a challenge to be successful.  I am my own coach.  I have to tell myself I am going.  When I get there I immediately kick in to my routine.  The thoughts I had about staying home have disappeared.  I leave gym happy with myself for going and working hard.  There are days where I feel completely lost, I have to remind myself of where I came from.  Why I still have to carry on with workouts and food choices.  It’s so easy to slip with food choices because that thought in your head is saying you earned it.  Putting work in at the gym will help you from gaining or it will help you lose.  It’s your choice.  If unhealthy food is more important at the moment, then tomorrow is where I will put in more just have that treat.  If I want to lose weight unhealthy food isn’t an option that day.  I have to remind myself not to sabotage my current day workout and have to work myself to total exhaustion on the following days.   Is everyday perfect? No.  But I am aware of what I am doing and how I’m going to fix it.  That is the focus.

Stick to your plan.  It doesn’t matter what path you choose, you are responsible for your results.  Don’t let the negatives weigh you down.   If the path you chose is failing you, it’s time for a change.  We get in a comfort zone and think that if we keep eating the same thing (same exercise) that we will stay the same.  Not always the case.  You need to change it up.  Change foods, get even healthier!  It’s good to have new stuff!  Stay a few minutes more (like 15-20mins) in the gym or join a new class/activity.  Part of maintaining your weight is your attitude.  If you don’t continue to make yourself happy with your progress, it will affect the way you eat and efforts in exercise.  Which causes exactly what we don’t want, an uphill climb on the scale.

I get the question a lot, am I still losing?  No.  I haven’t dropped any weight since May.  Try not to panic for me.  There a lot of reasons for this.  My workouts are very different from when I started. I do a lot of strength training with weights and body weight.  For my height and weight on a chart I only have 10 pounds for me to be at the top of my BMI.  I would rather put my efforts into tightening up my body, than being stick thin.  I know a lot people are concerned with the scale, I am now focused on improving my strength (I am planning a strength training vs. cardio blog soon).  In turn I may become smaller but muscle weighs more than fat.  What skin and fat I have will be muscle, is my goal.  So my BMI will continue to come down. I am happy either way.  I just know that when I put the work into myself I am still making myself better.  Bonus: It’s fun!

I had a pleasant conversation with a lady in a clothing store last week.  She told me, she has lost close to 100lbs.  She is doing weight watchers and walking.  She asked me how I got rid of the extra skin after all of my weight loss, well I do have some, but not as much as others.  I really think it has to do with the weights.  I haven’t given my body a reason to keep extra “room.”  Her motivation for losing her weight was to fit into an airplane seat.  Her and her husband love to travel, she didn’t want to be embarrassed anymore.  Getting older weighed on her mind, she needed to do something.  She said she can’t believe the difference it’s made in other parts of her life.  She is 58 years old and can take flights of stairs with ease now.  She and her hubby take many trips with no obstacles.  She is still working towards the rest, but isn’t overwhelmed because it’s just become her life and so far she has handled it very well.  Great story!

So if you are at the same stage I am and just trying to keep the weight off here’s my thought on how to keep going.  We are concerned, aware and just going on as if the past didn’t happen.  Remember where you started, never forget.  Look at your life now as a comparison, how much easier things are.  If you slip up no harm, back on track.  Stay focused.  Keeping walking the same path with the determination you had. It’s what got you where you are. Only you can make yourself go backwards.

Take care everyone!


Quick Post Recipes!

Here are some recipes I have tried this month and loved!


Turkey Avocado & Humus Wrap

Turkey Avocado & Humus Wrap

5 Minute Lunch: Turkey, Avocado & Hummus Wrap

Avocado Corn Salsa

Avocado Corn Salsa

Easy Grilled Mahi with Avocado and Corn Salsa

This one I paired with my cod filet.  I did add the sugar it called for, but I don’t think it needed it.  The corn was sweet  enough.  Also this is not included in the recipe: If you are making this ahead and want have it all week, make sure you add 2 tablespoons (atleast) of lemon or lime juice.  Avocado will turn brown, the vinegar does not have a enough acid in it.

Taco Lettuce Wraps

Taco Lettuce Wraps

Top 10 Clean Eating Recipes


White Chicken Enchiladas

White Chicken Enchiladas

On the above I just had to substitute the sour cream for low fat. So good!

Chicken Burgers With Guacamole

Chicken Burgers With Guacamole

Did you sense a trend?? Avocados! Well, they must be in season because they are reasonable at the grocery store and I love them!

2 Ingredient Lemon Bars

2 Ingredient Lemon Bars

These are recipes I hope to try next!

Broccoli Tots

Broccoli Tots

Healthy Baked Broccoli Tots

Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

See healthy isn’t so boring!

Take Care!

Weight Loss Stages

It’s hard talking about yourself all the time, I feel self- centered, lol.  Which is totally not me at all. So if you all have suggestions on topics you want me to write on or have questions with anything please message me.

I wanted to talk about in this blog, weight loss stages.  I have tried to remember everything I have done in the past as to workouts and foods.  It’s impossible to remember everything but I can remember stages of things I went through.  Whether it be feelings, foods or trouble with work outs.

Okay, the first stage I went through,

Weight loss really sucks.  It does.  I know I sound positive all the time in previous posts.  But we all know it just is not any fun!  I was hungry, crabby, tired and sore.  I didn’t have energy to do much of anything if I put a lot of effort in the gym.  But let’s be honest, I wasn’t doing much of anything if I wasn’t going to the gym, anyway.  I mean in my head, I would get agitated if I dropped something and had to pick it up, it was so much of an effort.  How did I overcome the sucky part of weight loss, well, I let it suck.  I knew that everything I was doing would be hard temporarily.  Okay, maybe I didn’t know it but I told myself that. With food I struggled because I was addicted to junk.  I loved chocolate, salty chips, sugary drinks (like sweet tea), desserts and as many things that contained carbs as I could find.  They would made me feel full. Commercials would really bother me too.  Food looked so good and I was hungry!  Not much you can do about the commercials except look away!  No matter what I did, I was hungry.  I just told my body, be happy with what I am eating and ignore the rest.

Next Stage.

I Can Do This! Working out, feeling great, eating is under control.  Good chunk of weight has come off!  Getting around easier, foods taste great! This stage is fun, exciting and rewarding.  Nothing is better than feeling successful and gaining confidence.


Plateau. Usually happens because your body is trying to save you from going into an emergency.  It will hold on to fat to store because it’s used to it.  You have to make changes in either foods or workouts to make it understand its okay to let it go.  Plateaus can last as long as a month.  They are frustrating and sometimes heartbreaking.  Forge through! You will get through it.

Back in Action.  Getting back to losing weight after plateaus are almost as rewarding as losing your first 10lbs!  Sometimes after a plateau (depending how much you change) you will lose 10lbs! Determination and patience pays off. I realized after a while if it weren’t for the plateaus, I wouldn’t understand why I needed to keep this weight off.  They made me work harder than I thought I could!

Maintenance. When my body had finally given all the weight it was going to, I had to be happy with it.  I am currently maintaining and strength training to tighten skin.  I still keep my cardio up, because it’s good for me and I enjoy it!  Maintenance is not easy, but necessary.  I have blog to follow just on this.

All of these stages are to prepare you for a life of conscious health.  No matter the stage you are on there is only one direction to go FORWARD.  Don’t give up.  Every stage has a reward, take it. Find out how strong you are! What better reward than self-worth?

Thank you for reading!


Need Your Help!! :)

I would love to open this blog up to other success stories. Even if you’re not finished with your journey, just started or want to share milestones. I would love if you contacted me and shared your story. Everyone needs encouragement. We don’t have to do this alone, seeing other people succeed encourages everyone to keep going no matter the stage. We should all be proud of each and every step! If you already have blog that you write I’d be happy to refer!

Leave me a message on here and I will give you my email!


Thanks guys!

National Lampoons Vacation

I hope you all enjoyed the last blog I posted. I had been working on it for about 2 months. I really wanted to do it justice and let everyone know how important people were in this journey!

So last week we had our family vacation. We decided this year to go camping and take our boat. We reserved our campsite 2 months in advance to ensure we got a site right where our boat docked. Well, here’s how the week went:

The day we before we were supposed to leave, our air conditioner stopping blowing cold air. The weather was in the 90s and high humidity. It was 89 degrees in my kitchen! We were going crazy trying to pack and trying to get someone here to fix the air conditioner. Our dog was to stay and the neighbor was going to take care of letting her out, but we couldn’t leave unless the air was fixed. Thankfully, the guy arrived at 10pm that night and it was able to be fixed with a part on his truck.

That was the first to go wrong. We left the next morning, where we were going was about an hour and half drive. I pulled the camper and my husband pulled the boat. Seemed go pretty smoothly except for construction and traffic. We get there and get everything set up, boat in the water, awesome. We jump into our bathing suits and head out on the lake in the boat. We get a good ways out and my husband is steering, feels a pop in the gear shift. We find that we are only idling. Uh-oh. Well, we head back to camp to take it apart and find that our gear cable has snapped. We head to the marina on site and they have the cable in stock luckily. My husband and son work on it while I’m making dinner. We had a great campfire dinner of smoked sausage, potatoes, onions and cheese! Smores for dessert! Yum! Boat was fixed and we took it out for a little evening fishing! Turned out to be pretty good.

Until, just after we settled in for the night. Bugs chased my oldest out of the camper, he slept in the back seat of a truck, haha. Raccoons woke us periodically through the night with trying to get into totes under the camper, looking for food. Rain started pouring down about 2 o’clock in the morning. We decided to rise about 6:30 and looked out of the camper and saw water from our door to the canal our boat was floating on. L. We sat inside and tried to figure if we should wait it out or pack up. The weather report showed flash flood warning until 12 midnight that day and it was only 7AM!! A neighboring camper stopped by and told us our shoes that were outside the camper were floating downstream, that made my decision. We were leaving. Now we can laugh about this, well you can laugh anyway because I’m sure if this was captured on camera we probably would have earned some money on a family video kinda show! Me, my son and my husband racing through rain, throwing things in the back of pickups, the camper and ripping a boat out of the water. Now on the first day the task of setting up everything took about an hour and half, literally took us 30mins to get everything loaded, lol! We were soaked standing in ankle deep water with mud. We drove home almost lost one of the floats on the highway, traffic was crazy. Semis buzzing past us flinging rain! We finally get home, later on in the day we were able to open the camper to let it dry.

Next day we decide to try and salvage at least spend a day on the boat we head out to a closer creek. We get everything loaded, stop for bait and have to drive around to find an open boat ramp. The creek is building a marina and has drained the water so some boat ramps are too shallow to load a boat. We find one get the boat in and head out! Around the corner to the next island our engine starts spitting and sputtering. Oh no. We are out of gas. The gas gauge on the boat is broken, we left the gas can at home. We call out to the state park office and there is no one on the water to help. So we flag down a really nice guy on a jet ski and he takes my husband to the boat ramp so he can go get gas. An hour later we have gas, do a couple spins on the creek with our oldest on a knee board and come home. Craziness!

We then fought the rain the rest of our vacation. Our sons baseball games were rained out, no amusement parks would have been fun in the rain and our pool was overflowing. So unbelievable! I felt so bad for the kids, we tried really hard to get everything up and running as best we could. Oh well, you have to have one vacation like the Griswalds!

Since this is a weight loss blog, having a week off can really wreak havoc on foods and my body not having work outs. Of course being camping I chose foods that are easy to prepare. I may or may not be able to adjust calories. It’s a rule that you must have smores while camping! Even if I opted to spend a week out of town with no other choice to eat out, options will be slim. So I let it be, I enjoyed my time with my family. I’m taking it all back to the gym this week and sweating it out.

Hope you all enjoying your summer! I also hope your vacations go better than ours did! J

If you’ve never read my Blog, this is the one to read! This is where it all happened and who was there!

I have a place I go everyday that has people whom tell me I can do anything. They tell me I am awesome, amazing and I can do this. They tell everyone that there and they will tell you all the same.  My place, there is success.  This place has short, tall, big, small.  They welcome everyone.

My presence is acknowledged by my name everyday.  My kids are welcome and my husband is welcome.  Is this place my home? Part of it, it’s my YMCA.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if weren’t for the employees, members and opportunities at the YMCA.  It’s not a place just for kids.  Though they do have amazing  opportunities for kids.  They have just as much for me and other adults.

Two and half years ago, I walked into the Y with my promise to myself. One year to stick to a healthy lifestyle.  That’s it.  I took advantage of all of the machines in the fitness center to help myself figure out how to get this weight off.  I was too uncomfortable myself to ask for help.  I was not a person who wanted to be told what to do.  I had been down this road so many times.  I knew what it was going to take to get this weight off.  I also knew my confidence in myself that I wouldn’t be able to perform what they wanted me to.  Looking back now I realized that if I would have taken the opportunities of the group classes I would have had more fun doing it.  My results may have been different who knows, but I don’t regret it.  All I can say I am so glad those doors were open.

I have met many fitness trainers and fitness class leaders.  None of them are there for themselves.  They are there for people who need help, at any stage.  I envy them.  Everyday they go in to make sure people know someone is cheering them on.  They use their own personal time away from the company clock to find music, choreograph, and talk with people on an issue they are working through.  These employees at the Y have a hard job.   They have to motivate the un-movtivated.  I know, I can whine like nobody’s business!  Haha. They will get you to believe you can do it. Or they just tell you to suck it up.  They are right.  A lot of the time these people have to deal with people who give up.  They are amazing if they don’t take it personal.  I have had a lot of people come to me and say  what’s your secret, I need to lose weight?  I tell them my story, they get motivated until they have to put the plan into action.  I have people promise to do a class with me and not show up.  I don’t feel bad for me I feel bad for them.  I want people to feel the way I do now.  I can only imagine what it must be like for a trainer.  If they could do this for free, I bet they would.

I have learned to be comfortable in a group setting with these people.  They have shown me the competitive spirit I have with myself.  I used to be apprehensive about the positions I had to get in for some of the exercises, but now I have the determination that nothing will beat me.  Working hard shows me that I will persevere and over come that doubt.  If I don’t do it, I am the one that looks different.  Everyone feels the same.  I used to make excuses that I couldn’t do dance or zumba because I had two left feet.  Well, left feet or not, I take on the challenge like I have with everything else. Just go out and do it.  People I have met in classes share these feelings too.  We laugh or moan and groan together! We have to encourage one another in in our faults as well as accomplishments.

I’ve talked about these ladies before, with their permission I’d like to tell you a little more on how they have inspired me.


Lisa and I

Lisa is the first person that made an impact on my days at the Y.  She came to me and introduced herself.  Told me her 100lb weightloss story.  From that day just knowing someone was there to greet me and share stories of success and things I struggled with, was inspiring.  She is the perfect example of someone who can overcome anything.  She encourages, motivates, teaches and lives by the way of faith.  I appreciate her and everything she has done for me.  I have enjoyed watching her inspire others and lend her shoulder to people who walk through the door needing a start on a journey.  We have talked about our weakness in foods and the struggle with workouts.  I think we’ve inspired each other by just knowing that we have walked along the same paths in some ways and can keep each from walking too far off.  We maybe at different stages of our journey but I will always be there for her for whatever she needs! She is teaching classes at the Y now and taking classes for certifications.  So proud of her, she is truly an inspiration that you can do anything you have a passion for.


Suzi and I

Suzi is a personal trainer, she also teaches muscle mix, zumba , zumba toning and crunch time (ab workout).  Lisa encouraged me to take her Pump (muscle mix now) class two years ago.  I was very nervous, talk about a fish out of water.  Mirrors on two walls so every where you looked you could see yourself, lol.  Her class was packed, I was  dead in the center and tried really hard to follow along and look like I knew what I was doing.  All I remember in that class was lunges and I have to move two of my body parts at the same time? Because of the weight I still had left to lose I had no sense of balance.  After the class was over, I was dead.  I was sore for 3 days.  For awhile her class was all I could take once a week.  She has attributed to 70lbs (give or take) of my weight loss with her class instruction.  She is an amazing motivator!  Every week she made me stronger inside and out.  YMCA-1Suzi is hysterical to be around!  She’s full of energy, she’ll tell you she’s not, then she fakes it pretty good then, lol.  She won’t let you cheat yourself. I have not used her as a personal trainer, but she’s been there for me for questions and suggestions anyway. I take almost all of her classes (except the evening classes) every week.  I appreciate her so much for her knowledge, believing in everyone she knows and for her infectious attitude.  Hundreds of people love her and admire her.  She’s blatantly honest, her famous quote is “You got this.” Which I have come to know as “You will do this.” and I believe it.  Her Zumba classes are wild and fun.  She has a great talent for choreography, keeping us moving and making it manageable for the amount of people she has.   Her instructions keep you on track to prevent injury and maximize your workout for best results.  Though she has been doing this for 12 years every one of her classes is given incredible attention.  Personal one on one training fills her days when she doesn’t have a class.  She is truly there for everyone who needs what ever they are there for.  Whether it’s weight loss, strength training, or just staying fit.  It takes a special person to wear that many hats.  As I have mentioned before, people like Suzi do this because they love it.  So many times they help people out and never see them again.  Well, she is a big part of my success story, I never would have gotten here with out her.  I value everything she has taught me and her friendship.

Christin is an Ironman and my spin instructor! How amazing does that sound?  Ironman, well woman. Anyway, she’s amazing!  When I first started her class I didn’t know what to expect.  I thought well I can ride a bike, shouldn’t be too bad.  Um, so I couldn’t walk for a few days!  It’s fast, loud and best way to burn up calories!  Christin motivates you to keep going, her famous words “Why are you here, what motivates you?”  This is always asked of us in class on the hardest trek.  The answer in my head is always the same thing, “No going back, always moving forward”.   She too, gets the best out of you.  She will be instructing on percentages and at the same time encouraging you to keep going.  

Christin and I

Christin and I

Her songs are choreographed with the rides, makes it fun and you’re able to get into the music when you ride with a vengeance.   As I said, Christin is an Iron man, she runs marathons, supports marathon runners, she teaches two cycle classes a week at the Y and another on the weekends at another venue.  She also has started teaching TRX, which I hope to take this summer with her.  She has given me so much support in acknowledging my weight loss and telling me what an inspiration I am.  What can I say about that?  She’s helped make me love to spin, it’s not an easy thing to get comfortable.  After the first couple of months with her I lost 2 inches off each of my thighs.  I’m heading into my 7 month, (although I have a little more to go for me personally) my legs feel super strong.  I know her as an instructor she loves to know we are having fun in her class, she wants to hear us.  I am so quiet in spin.  Christin, I’m having fun, if I’m not responding, it’s because I’m trying to breathe!  She motivates people to try marathons.  She’s run marathons with friends just for the purpose of being their cheerleader.  That is a an incredible giving person.


Atsuko and I

Atsuko is a Dance cardio teacher and subs for Zumba classes occasionally.  She also teaches Karate at another venue.  I met her through the pump class and learned that she teaches a Dance Cardio class.  Her dances include basic aerobics, zumba, salsa, ‘Cumbia and strength training with weights.  I was able to start out with her class before I took zumba, it was a great introduction for me.  She does most of the same moves every week.  They are easy to follow and learn.  Now let me tell you, she can kick your butt with the strength training.   Lots of reps.  If this tells you anything Suzi has named her the Atsukonator! Atsuko is a very kind person.  She always throws compliments my way.  She too has played a role in this journey.  Getting me out of my comfort zone.

There are so many more people at the Y that I’m sure are just phemonmial as these ladies are for me!  I have developed relationships with them is why I am asking to single them out!  They are moms, wives and athletes. They are real people with the talent of caring for others.  They tell us about their families, their own fitness struggles and make sure we know we can come to them for anything.

I encourage everyone to find people like this.  Whether it be at the Y or a gym that offers a way to get to know people. I not only have these ladies that support me, there are countless people that I have shared classes with that constantly encourage me.  We have fun, encourage each to be there every week and suffer through the torture! Just kidding, it’s not that bad.

This Y has been such a blessing to me.  It’s a salvation for my attitude, my health and my pride.  So thankful I am here at this place, I have a better life now than I had before (and I didn’t think it could get any better)!

Quick Post Recipes!

Quick post on recipes that I was impressed with this week!

Love these 128 calorie Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars. They don't even taste light!

skinny cheesecake bars

I made these today, they are so yummy! If you’re looking for a dessert to take somewhere just have when you need something that tastes like it’s bad for you these are perfect! Chocolate and cheesecake, who wouldn’t want it?

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu - grilling adds a smoky flavor to the gooey Swiss and ham inside. A Dijon glaze makes it out of this world.


This was so easy and the whole family loved it.  The dijon sauce that is on top of the chicken is so good I would put it on everything!

More recipes that I have made in the past:

Peanut Butter Fruit Dip - only THREE ingredients and the easiest dip you'll ever make! Healthy and delicious!

Love this stuff with apples and bananas!

skinny cincinnati chili

We didn’t have this for dinner this week, but it’s one of my favorites.  This is a great chili recipe, the chocolate really adds a good taste!! I even used the whole wheat noodles and I liked it!

Recipes I found and can’t wait to try!


Make Ahead Lunch Wraps are a cheap, easy, and healthy grab-and-go meal. Throw them together on Sunday and eat them all week! Great for lunch boxes.


1 frozen banana; 1 cup chocolate almond milk; 2 tbs natural peanut butter. Blend.

Kick'N Chicken with Mango Salsa Recipe×250/01/10/50/1105006.jpg

I made the salsa today and I will be using it to top my white fish, after it is broiled, for lunch and I hope to try it with the kickin chicken also!

Hope you guys have had a great weekend!