The Intentional Habit of Solitude and Devotion

Welcome to the fourth week in our series The Habits of the IntentionallyFit. I hope you have begun implementing new habits in your lives that will propel you toward becoming more healthy and fit. This week our habit deals with our spiritual health, which is something that many of us tend to neglect as part of a healthy and fulfilling life or we keep it in a category entirely on its own. The problem with this is that our Spiritual health affects every aspect of our overall health. While we can be “physically” fit we can be completely unhealthy spiritually. I hope to encourage you to consider this important aspect of your health.

Spend time daily in quiet solitude, reading, and prayer according to your spiritual beliefs and values.

Growing up I remember finding my mom reading her Bible in the morning, every morning. Her quiet time was always consistent and she modeled this throughout my life. She was always busy, being the mom of four highly active children, but this was a constant habit as long as I can remember.

I learned through her example to spend time daily with Jesus. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned for myself that I am a better wife, mother, and friend after I have had quiet time with Jesus. The benefits of being spiritually healthy overflow into all aspects of our lives. These are available to you as well. So, what does a quiet time or solitude look like in practical life? Here are a few things to keep in mind so you don’t feel lost and wandering.

Spend time in grateful reflection

Quietness allows the noise of the world and daily life to subside. Reflecting on what we have been given and cultivating gratitude changes our perspective in life. Being grateful for our lives and the things we’ve been given helps us maintain a positive mindset which allows us to view difficulties with hope and promise instead of despair.

Study Scriptures and Inspirational Stories

Reading and studying scripture educates us in the path that God wants us to take. We will become what we put in our minds, reading the Bible and books that teach us how to study it teaches us to be more like Jesus and that is a fantastic goal which changes us from the inside out.

Prayer

Prayer is deliberate discussion with God. Taking time to tell God you are grateful and actively voicing our gratitude to the One who has given us all we have reminds us that we are not the center of the universe, but are cared for by its Creator. Listening for His voice will also help you know what you are called to do and what He wants to tell you about yourself.

Prayer is also a place where we can release our burdens. Handing over our stress, confessing our failures or mistakes, and asking for help can all be done through the quiet habit of prayer. When we give these things to God we acknowledge that we need His help and I promise you, He is faithful to provide it!

 

The Intentional Habit of Tracking

Welcome to the third week of our Habits of the IntentionallyFit series! So far we’ve talked about goals and using meal plans. This week we’re going to continue our discussion of the Habits of the IntentionallyFit with an organizational tactic that has changed my own personal health and fitness.

Keep a log or journal of your food and workouts.

Writing everything that you eat into a journal changes your perspective on what you put into your mouth. I’m not exactly sure how it does this, but seeing your food choices on paper really causes you to think of what your goals are and contemplate the consequences for your choices. I hate having to write down poor food choices on my log!

There is accountability in writing down your food choices and workouts. If you don’t see the progress that you desire, you can look back over what you have been doing and tweak changes where necessary.

Writing or logging your food and workouts can be motivating! You can make goals like being able to write down 3 workouts this week or getting enough water in every day. This will help you keep your goals in the front of your mind and help you make choices that move you towards them.

Your journal or log can be on paper or even your phone. There are even apps that help you keep track of everything like myfitnesspal or LoseIt! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to work for you.

Whatever you choose to use as your log, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  1. Be specific. Write down everything you eat, including condiments, cooking oils, and drinks. Include the amount you use, not just what the food item is.
  2. Write down how you feel at the end of each day. Are you tired, hungry, and do you have enough energy to make it through your workout?
  3. Be consistent. It will take time and you will get better at it, but it does take work!

Becoming IntentionallyFit through Healthy Habits:

The Intentional Habit of Creating Goals

Welcome to the first week of our Habits of the IntentionallyFit series! I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it takes to become healthy and fit. In fact I’ve been working at it for over eleven years! So, I thought it might be helpful if I shared some of the things I have learned over the years. Over the next ten weeks we will explore the habits or fundamental activities that successfully healthy people incorporate into their lives. Please do not think of this list as an exhaustive blueprint, but more of a helpful guideline.

The first Habit of the IntentionallyFit is to create measureable goals to challenge yourself and create a plan for the life you want to live. Goals give you a road map to help make decisions about what is valuable and important to you and those you love.

Goals should have a time limit on them. I once heard someone say that goals without a completion date are just wishes. Break them down into “Long Range Goals” and “Short Range Goals.”

Jim Rohn gives the following questions in his book 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness, as a way to start figuring out what you want.

  • What do I want to do?
  • What do I want to be?
  • What do I want to see?
  • What do I want to have?
  • Where do I want to go?
  • What would I like to share?

All these lead into the primary question he states is, “What do I want within the next one to ten years?”

Have you thought about that question? Chances are somewhere at sometime you played around with the idea, but did you really dig in and think it through? Honestly, I had not until I read this and I’m still weeding through the possibilities, but can you see where this could create a habit of success? If you know what you want to do or experience within the next ten years you can devise a roadmap to follow straight towards achieving those specific things!

Budget Friendly (and healthy) Carb Choices

Hey everyone! If you have just joined us, you are just in time. We have been talking about budget friendly ways of filling our 21 Day/Portion Fix colored buckets. I’ve saved everyone’s favorite yellow bucket for last! Most people I talk to have no difficulties getting all their yellow buckets in, but I still want to help you find the most economic way possible. So onward to the yellow bucket!

Corn tortilla
Tortillas are a staple in my home, in fact they have replaced bread entirely. Whole wheat ones, while they are not extremely pricey, do tend to creep up in price when you only get 8-10 in a pack. Corn tortillas can come in stacks of thirty while being under $2 and even at two per serving that’s quite a bargain.

Beans
There are so many varieties of beans out there and they are full of fiber! It is so good to add these little carbs into your meal plan. You can find cans of beans for under seventy cents, but the real budget cutting ones come dry and in a bag. They require a little extra work but if you are serious about cutting costs this is a big help!

Brown Rice
Another cost saving gem is brown rice. You don’t have to pick the fancy stuff, the unbranded or store brand works just as well for a side of rice, unless of course you’re making sushi, but that just doesn’t fit with the cost cutting budget.

Lentils
Another great “dry good” that saves you money! Small batches really last and you could easily have a bag that lasts two to four weeks that costs you under $3!

Potatoes
Okay, I might be pushing it here, but based on the size of the yellow bucket, I feel like you can get a lot of servings depending on the type of potato and the season. My favorite is a sweet potato, but those little red new potatoes can be pretty cost effective during the right season.

Budget Friendly Veggies

Hello! We are on our third bucket in our budget friendly options for the 21 Day Fix series. I hope this is helping you see that you can totally eat well on a budget. This week’s bucket is the GREEN one, the one you fill with veggies. This is the bucket most people tell me that they don’t always get in during the day. I understand completely seeing as it is normally the bucket you have the most times per day, especially if you are on one of the higher brackets. The great news is that there are a plethora of choices out there that are super budget friendly!

Remember, just as with the purple bucket, eating in season will always give your budget a little more wiggle room!

Kale/Collards/Spinach
I know, there’s three listed in one, but all three of them are fairly budget friendly and you tend to get a lot of bang for your buck! Look for bright colored leaves without funky colors around the edges.

Squash
There are so many varieties to choose from within the squash family. I typically choose zucchini, butternut, and spaghetti squash. Remember in season choices will be the most economical.

Carrots
Sold in almost any way you would like them, whole, baby, sliced, and shredded! Whole will be the cheapest since you would do the work of cleaning and cutting. Also, don’t forget to keep the peels and ends to make homemade stock and broth.

Onions
Adding onions to your food is an easy way to get your greens in and add flavor at the same time! Chopping them up into small fine bits you can “hide” them in your meat for those of you who aren’t particularly happy with their texture.

Cucumbers
Great in salads and sandwiches, cucumbers are always readily available and friendly to your budget.

Bonus: Cabbage and Romaine
These leafy veggies are great as salad “stuffers.” One full head of romaine is typically about three full greens! So those bags that contain three sets of them, hold nine total green buckets full! So nine buckets for about two bucks is quite the deal!

Core de Force Results

My Total Results: 60 days of Core de Force and the 3 Day Refresh

 BeforeAfter
Hips36"34"
Waist34"30.5"
Right Arm11.25"12"
Left Arm11"11.5"

 

The picture above is 30 days. The left side picture was taken after the 3 Day Refresh and is at 125 pounds. The picture on the right side is me 35 days later, but also at 125 pounds! See, the scale doesn’t always tell the whole story.

I would love to help you have your own transformation! Our challenge group will provide recipes, tips, how to set yourself up for meal prep success, accountability, motivation, and daily support. We all do better when we have people cheering us on, let me be your personal cheerleader!

Let’s do this together!

Sign up for the 30 Day Accountability Group

Staying On Plan While Eating Out

At first look this may seem like an oxymoron, but I’ve learned that it is possible to eat pretty close to your plan while in a restaurant. I will be honest, I look to eat at about 85-90% “clean” or on plan while out. Eating 100% clean, while not impossible, would probably take a little more effort.

Salads

Really look at what is in the salads, sometimes your better choice is actually a burger compared to all the junk they throw on salads. Try to have mostly a dark green leafy base with assorted raw veggies. Get the dressing on the side and only use about a tablespoon or less. Skip the cheese and croutons. Make sure it has a good protein like grilled chicken (not fried chicken tenders).

Protein

Stay away from anything fried. Ask if they marinate the meat with anything and choose something that is grilled, baked, or broiled without a breading or coating. Ask if they will make the protein according to your plan, most restaurants will do this for you!

Sides

Okay, here is where we typically get in trouble. Normally a dinner comes with a couple of sides and those are typically a simple carb like bread rolls, mashed potatoes, or rice pilaf. If you can’t stay away from these entirely only eat a small portion. The 21 Day Fix plan measures one serving of this kind in about half a cup. Look for steamed or grilled veggies and stay away from the butter. Again, ask to substitute for what you can have on your plan. YOU get to choose what goes in your mouth.

Drinks

Just choose water. It’s simple, healthy, and free! Great for your health and your budget! Woo hoo!

Desserts

All those desserts look fantastic in the display case! Some are just so hard to turn down! Why don’t you get one dessert for the group and split it up? That way you can have that taste but not over indulge.

Portions

Anyone that looks at a typical restaurant meal in America can tell you we think bigger is better. There is some truth to this, but maybe we can do this an even better way. Instead of eating all of the meal that comes to you, ask for to go box up front. Portion out what a meal on your plan looks like, then put the rest in the box to take home for a different meal. Two for one deal for the win!

 

Transformation Tuesday: The Purpose of IntentionallyFit

First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for trusting me with your health and fitness journey, allowing me to speak into your life, and pushing me to become a better coach. I am honored that you are here.

I want to share a little bit of the how and why behind IntentionallyFit. To do this, I will need to travel back a bit and share some of my story with you.

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This is me on my 30th birthday. It’s the best picture, really. I had a three year old son and a 1 month old daughter. I look back on this picture with mixed emotions. I LOVED becoming a mom. I loved having a family (still do, in fact!), but I was so unhappy with me. Fear, insecurity, and an overall sense of shame for WHO I had become, or let myself become plagued me. I was depressed and really unhappy. This all came to a head in the most inconvenient of places, a dressing room at Target.

The summer after I turned thirty my little brother got married. I was in his wedding. The dress was a size 16. If this wasn’t enough, I had absolutely no shorts to wear, in public anyhow. I took my babies with me to Target and proceeded to try things on. The only pair of shorts I could squeeeeeeeeze into were size 15, and that was with the lay down, hop around, stuff myself in dance. So, right then and there I fell apart, with my two kids just staring at me, trying to figure out what was wrong with Mommie.

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To make a long story short, I later found Beachbody in a hotel room on the way home from that wedding. I started Power90 at the beginning of January. I worked hard. Sometimes the logistics of exercising with a 4 year old and a nine month old required some creativity, but I did it. I didn’t know it then, but I was drastically changing my health and not just a diet, but a real lasting lifestyle change. During this time period I learned that health and fitness is not limited to just the physical aspect, but includes mental, emotional, and spiritual areas as well.

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I say all this to tell you. I know how hard it is to change your life. I know how hard it is when nobody is helping and people are criticizing instead of encouraging. I know how hard it is when the kids are begging for attention and all you want to do is sleep (well, after you stuff a big burger or enchilada down your throat). We didn’t have coaches then or challenge groups to help. I don’t tell you this to get pity, but so you know it can be done. You can do it. I know it, because if I could with nobody helping, then you DEFINITELY can because I will help you every step of the way. I will be here for you. I will encourage and not criticize. I will cheer you on, but you still have to do the work. I can’t do that part, but I know you can. Join one of our Challenge Groups and get started on your own journey!

 

Should I Eat Before I Workout?

This question has been asked over and over and many times the answer is different. It has even been different at different times in my own health and fitness journey. Why? The quick answer is that this depends on you. Just as our goals change throughout our journey, so does the way we approach our fitness regimen.

 

Fasted Cardio

This is the concept that you perform a high intensity cardio workout after fasting, so not eating for an extended period of time. Typically this is an early morning workout completed prior to any consumption of food. It aids in quick fat loss and is good for those people with an excess of weight to lose or those trying to significantly lean out for some sort of competition or transformation goal.

I actually have lived for a long time doing this type of workout. I found that it was really important to have had a good solid meal chuck full of protein the night before though. If I hadn’t fueled well the night before my workout would tend to be lack luster and I even bonked! The intensity of your workout matters with this too. As I started doing higher level cardio work, like Insanity and Asylum, I found that I need something small to eat to keep my body functioning well.

 

Nutrient Timing

This is a fancy way of saying that you should plan when and what you eat around a special schedule designed for your goals. It has a bit of controversy surrounding it due to lack of true “evidence” to support the theory. Basically it says that you have a specific time frame prior to and after your workout in which your body is greedy and absorbs nutrients efficiently to support your specific goal. It has been popular with elite athletes, endurance athletes, and fitness/bodybuilding competitors.

 

But what about those of us who are just trying to make healthier choices, move our bodies more, and generally improve our health and fitness? The good news is that we’re all different! J So, there is no simple one shot answer. I hope you are starting to see that our health and fitness journeys are personal and specific to our own bodies. While that makes it a tad difficult to give out a basic statement about eating before working out, it also gives you a lot of freedom. If your body feels like it needs more fuel when you workout first thing in the morning, then eat about an hour before you do. If your body works really well, and the thought of eating before a workout makes you slightly nauseous, then I would avoid it and make sure to eat well after! Experiment with what and when you eat and see how your body responds the best, then choose that way of eating.