Motivation Monday: My Journey Over the Past Year

Hi There!
It’s been a looooooong time since I’ve written. I started a new job during Christmas so things were a little hectic, and I’m so thankful to be back in the swing of writing again! I’ve really missed blogging, and I’ve missed having a regular routine for the past few weeks!
at the end of 2013 I set some goals for myself in 2014, and I wanted to recap those goals and let you know where I’m at on my journey today. Some are fitness related, some  are non-fitness related, but they were all areas of my life that I felt could use some improvement, and these goals challenged me.

1. Be more consistent with quiet time. Sometimes this meant choosing between something else I wanted to watch/do, but it was totally worth it. I started keeping a prayer journal again, and have really enjoyed turning off the radio when I’m driving and spending that time praying instead. Scripture says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God.” This is the best stress relief. God can handle my problems far better than I can.
2. This is going to sound completely different: do more cardio. I’m happy to report that now I average 2-3cardio sessions each week. I really like doint intervals, and cardio dvd’s, like 21 Day Fix – Cardio Fix or Plyo Fix.
 3.  Do more upper body strength training. I can actually do full push-ups now and beast the monkey bars! This was really tough to begin with, but over the past year, I’ve noticed significant strength gains, which PiYo helped with Tremendously.
4. Traveling. This year, we’ve traveled more often than we have in the past 2 years combined. Granted, we didn’t go on an African safari, but we managed to take some day trips on our weekends off and get much needed time away several on weekends.
5. Going back to school. While i haven’t gone back to school yet, I have gotten recertified in PiYo Live, and taken several courses in health coaching, which ties into what I’d eventually like to get a second Bachelor’s in I have changed industries a little in the past year from wellness to banking, which is my day job now, but I also like the finance field, so you just never know where I may end up. I would like to earn a more elite certification in coaching though, so we’ll see…

Some things I’d like to work on over the next year are:

1. Reading through the entire Bible in 1 year.
2. Organizing decorating our environment – we live in a fixer-upper. I have plans
3. Perfecting my blog business plan, take some courses and design some supplemental courses for my Beachbody Biz. I’m working on publishing 2 short e-books this year.
4. Pay off 1 student loan.
5. ….well, I”ll leave this one blank. 😉

What are some things you’d like to accomplish this year? Do you ever write out the steps you need to take in order to reach those goals? I do. Be specific. And share a goal with me in the comments below!

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Motivational Monday: Jessica’s Transformation

 Good morning! I’m so excited about my week, and have a huge announcement for Friday! Yes, this is a big step for me. Oh, and my hubby has a full-time job now! PTL! Now we’re on the same schedule, and I’m so excited about the changes going on at our house!

This week’s inspirational story come’s from the heart of my good friend, Jessica. The transformation of this lady is especially dear to my heart. You see, we were good friends in college, and are still friends. She’s one of the most caring people I know! I remember when we would go to the gym and Jessica would laugh…the entire time…now I laugh thinking about that. hahaha. Her story is proof that all things are possible to them that believe!

 What was your fitness defining moment?The moment I was no longer terrified to run outside. I used to run in my townhome because I had such a fear of what people would think seeing a woman so obviously obese running. Now, I run with confidence! 
 Who impacted your journey into fitness and why? The two people who come to mind immediately are Kodi Reed & Jessica Dinka. Both are my coaches to fitness and help push me beyond the limits I attempt to set for myself. They both believe in me even more than I believe in myself at times. what are some ways that you sneak fitness into your day? My lovely 25 pound toddler is a simple way. Picking her up, dancing around the house to music, squats, and her favorite is downward dog. I catch myself accidentally exercising without even thinking with her around.
How do you go about planning healthier meal choices for your day?Currently, I am following a personalized meal plan from Beachbody. Typically, I would look online to find good recipes with ingredients I already had but needed to branch out some. I track all of my calories using the free application, MyFitnessPal–add me jessicagross94 
What scripture best describes your health journey? 
“I will praise you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of the marvelous things you have done.” Psalm 9:1 This Scripture reminds me always to go back and thank the Lord. Every step of my journey to health He was with me giving me the strength to push through a hard workout, stamina to run a half marathon, wisdom to plan out of meals, and even the finances to support a healthier lifestyle. God is the author of all good things, so all the praise in my journey to health ultimately goes to Him.
Here’s Jessica’s before and after pics!

Jessica’s results of clean eating, T25, and running!

I’m so proud of my friend, and her accomplishments! I can’t wait to see the next chapter of her story unfold! 
What was your health/fitness defining moment? Comment below! 

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Allergies, Pollen, and Hayfever, OH MY!

Tis the season…to sneeze.
News stations have been reporting that we have had the highest pollen count in 20 years…and my ears, nose, and throat said, “Amen”! This has been a rough allergy season for me, but the past few days, they seem much better, and my migraines have ceased for the moment. I don’t even have to take medicine but once every 3 or 4 days, as opposed to every 3-4 hours. “What has brought about this turnaround?”, you might ask. Well, allow me to share with you what has worked for me, so that you may try it yourself. Of course, with a doctor’s supervision.

No wheat, or dairy, except for yogurt, and pepper jack cheese(because of the capsaicin, which clears sinuses). Although recently stated by prominent members of the medical community to be an old wive’s tail, this always reduces my symptoms. If I’m having too much drainage. I know immediately to not cheat on my gluten-free diet, and eliminate dairy as well. After a few days, my sneezing reduces.

Black Cumin Seed Oil. A natural inflammation fighter, this supplement tastes like aftershave going down, but after a week’s time, cut my use of claritin in half. My headaches are almost non-existent now.

Leave your shoes at the door. Not tracking pollen all over my house has kept my symptoms to a minimum. We leave our seasonal shoes in a basket by the door.

Vacuum, often.

Wash your hair and face, daily. Pollen gets blown into our hair around our face, and for those of us with longer hair, causes the little pests to be in close contact with our eyes and face.

Breathe. Practicing pilates has taught me to breathe more deeply in order to calm my body’s response to allergens, not allowing my system to get too hyped up. The unrelieved stress will often trigger a headache or allergy attack for me. Be patient. Take a moment to pray.

I hope this will help ease your seasonal issues. I still have some days that are better than others, but my symptoms have been greatly reduced.

Consider it pure joy when you encounter various trials. James 1:2

How Determined Are You?

Committment: This word is one that probably holds less meaning than any other word in the dictionary, to the current generation. We are a society of instant gratification. Period.We want our fast food, entertainment, and our lives to be well, uh, faster. Never mind who we hurt in the process…who cares about learning the value of people…we must get to where we’re going…AND FAST. The most appreciated journeys are just that. It is so important to enjoy or at least learn from our journeys…when you’re at a destination, yes you’re there, but your deepest memories of the experience will come from the journey itself, not the destination. So many people look at a destination, i.e., competition, wedding, weight loss, and think the result is amazing, so they sign up for change, and then get frustrated and quit, after the first roadblock. CHANGE is UNCOMFORTABLE. But through change, you have the opportunity to learn something you never experienced before. So before you decide to make a change, count the cost, and purpose in your heart to make that change happen. You will spend less time backtracking and spend more time headed in the right direction if you do some serious soul searching BEFORE you begin. When you begin to take those next steps in you fitness journey, enjoy the process. Find a class you enjoy, a trainer you get along well with, healthy meals you actually like, a time amount that is challenging but reasonable for you to devote to your routine, and stick with it. Don’t look back.
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3,4