Monday, December 31, 2012

January 2013 - Photo A Day


I have tried participating in Chantelle's (from  Fat Mum Slim) the Photo A Day challenge quite a few times in the past but never actually completed an entire month.  Now that I have my new phone (which takes better pictures than the last one), I thought I'd give it a go for the new year.   For more information on Chantelle and to find out more about Photo A Day, visit her site here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Exercise your right


In the end it really doesn't matter if you sit on the right, left, or are straggling the fence.  Just get out today and exercise your right and VOTE! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Morning


Wishing you a happy Monday morning.  Make it a GREAT day!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I can sooo relate


Yesterday my friend posted this link on my Facebook timeline:

And boy was she right!  As a mom of 3, I can't count the number of times that I have had to clean up spaghetti, SpaghettiOs,  mac and cheese, chocolate syrup (and the list goes on and on) that my lovely children spilled, smeared and flung during lunch and dinner.

Anyone remember this lovely mess my wonderful then 2 year old made for me???


Anyone care for a little chocolate syrup???

So I'm pretty sure you can imagine my delight as I watch Jae Tracie's rendition of Gotye's song Somebody That I Used To Know.   Even little Miss Chocolate Syrup got a kick out of it and requested SpaghettiOs for lunch today.  Ummmm not today sweetie....you're having a nice turkey sandwich and apple slices.  (who does she think she's foolin????)

Hope you get a kick out of this as much as I did!



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What can you do in 90 days?

Yesterday while talking to a good friend, I mentioned that I couldn't believe that I only have roughly 90 (give or take a few) days left in the Suwanee Magazine Get Fit Challenge.  I was sharing with her that I was a little disappointed in my progress thus far.  I had hoped at this point I would at least be 30 pounds down with another 10 to 20 left to go.  But that isn't the case.  As of today I stand at a firm 15 pound weight loss since the start of the challenge back in March.  Now some may see that as a success however I don't.  Going into the challenge I set very high expectations of myself and to have not lived up to those expectations...well it's just NOT acceptable in my book.  Sure I could sit here and run down a list of "why" I haven't lost more but truthfully I have no excuse.  I simply didn't put in all the work, all the time to be where I had hoped I would be.  So after beating myself up to my friend for what felt like hours, she politely interrupted me and simply stated that a lot can happen in just 90 days.   I just had to dig deep, really commit myself to the goal and focus.

She is right, a lot can be accomplished in just 90 days.  However in order to be successful it's going to take a LOT of hard work, dedication and lots and lots of focus.  Last night, as I reflected on the past 7 months of the challenge, I was able to identify all of the things that I have been doing right and those areas that need improvement.  I took the time to re-write out my goals for the next 90 days and also identified the steps needed in order to succeed.  The plan is in place...the only thing left was to put it in action.

This morning, after dropping off my high schooler at 6:30 am, I headed off to Fit Forward for what turned out to be a tough but rewarding workout.

  • Step #1 - Get Out of Bed and Workout --> COMPLETE!
Now I just have 89 more days to go!  





Saturday, September 15, 2012

Get Fit | Learning the importance of taking a rest

                                                                          Source: fitsugar.com via Erika on Pinterest


Since the end of July I have been putting in the work to lose the weight.  Working out every day and sometimes twice a day has been my primary focus for the past few weeks.  I was committed, focused in shape, for myself, my family and the staff at Suwanee Magazine.  I was doing great, moving at full speed ahead and then one day it all came to a halting stop.  My body crashed.  I was tired…both mentally and physically.  My body was telling me that I needed to rest, to take some time off to simply recover.  You see I was all go, go, go all the time that I never really allowed my body the down time it so desperately needed.  I wasn’t allowing my boy the time it needed to recharge before the next exercise and as a result I was running on empty.

So I took a few weeks off to allow myself to recover.  Now when I say I took some time off, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t work out at all.  It just means that I spaced out my workouts enough to give my body time to repair and recover.  I also decreased the frequency of my workouts as well as the intensity.  Instead of running 3 miles, I would walk for 1 ½ at a moderate pace.  I also spent the “down time” to focus on my eating and correcting some bad habits (like not eating frequently) and also spent some time doing lots and lots of stretches.  The time off was just what I needed, it has allowed me to recover, regroup and refocus on the task at hand and that is getting fit and healthy. 

I learned a valuable lesson in all of this and that is resting is just as important as working out and healthy eating.  Resting allows the body to repair and ready itself for the next workout.  So for the last part of the challenge, I will make a point to incorporate more rest in my routine so that I am able to reach my weight loss goal.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Get Fit | Adopting the mindset of an athlete to accomplish my goals

Source: weheartit.com via Erika on Pinterest

As I had mentioned in my previous post, last Saturday I along with the other Get Fitters had the pleasure of meeting the Fastest Woman in the World, Dawn Tillman.  One of the takeaways from our meeting with her (and there were many) was a great handout listing 13 mindsets of an athlete that we can adopt to help us reach our weight-loss goals.  So today I thought I would share with you just a few that I am working on incorporating right now.  Remember with anything (weight included) it’s a process and change takes time.  As much as I would like to incorporate all 13 things at once, trying to do so will only result in complete failure.  I find taking a slow and steady approach to everything (weight loss included) is the best approach to take especially if I want the results to be long lasting.  So here are the few that I will be focusing on for the remainder of September.

1.       Preparation - View yourself as a lifelong athlete.  Take responsibility for your overall health and well-being.  Be teachable, trainable and start adopting a winning attitude.  Take some time to study yourself, learn about what drives and motivates you.
2.       Correct Self Dialogue – Learn how to self soothe, become your own coach, cheerleader and change the channel when negative thoughts arise.  Success is not an option for you it is a given!
3.       Dedication – Stay committed to a healthy holistic lifestyle.  Be single minded and do not allow yourself to get distracted.  Be willing to go through the rigors and sacrifices to reach your goals.
4.       Discouragement – Expect it.  Know that it will pass; it’s normal, and when it happens just remember to “keep it moving”.
5.       Faith – Believe in you!  You can reach; even surpass whatever goals that you have set for yourself.  We are all usually stronger that we think.
6.       Visualize – Mentally write your history in advance.  See yourself how you want to be!

With only a few months left in the challenge, it’s time to adjust my mindset to that of an athlete and end this challenge with a BANG!  By adopting these 6 mindsets, I am pretty sure that not only will I meet but I will surpass my weight loss goals.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Get Fit | Meeting with Dawn Tillman


This past Saturday I along with the other Get Fitters had the opportunity to sit down and speak with athlete and author, Dawn Tillman.  Down Tillman earned the title of the Fastest Woman in the World in 1989 where she set an American record for the 60 meter dash and where she established the NCAA records in the 100 and 200 meter sprints while at LSU.  Both which are still standing today.  As an elite athlete, Dawn understands the importance of taking care of the body.  She also believes that many physical threats and certain behaviors are directly connected with to our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, and that there are easy and simple things that we can do today to make sure that they are in alignment and functioning harmoniously.

Dawn is also the author of the soon to be released book, Elevate: Detoxify Yourself to Physical, mental and Spiritual Health which is a whole body wellness guide.   So to say that I was a little excited to meet Dawn would be a complete understatement.  I am completely facilitated by athletes…their drive...determination and especially their commitment to being excellent in their given sport is most fascinating.  So I was eager to hear what she had to say and to learn as much from her as I could.

During our meeting with Dawn she spoke about the importance of making sure that the physical, mental and spiritual elements are in alignment for total health and well-being.  She also provided us with a handout that listed 13 mindsets of an athlete that we could use to help us achieve our weight-loss goals.

Dawn’s personality was warm and welcoming and very bubbly and she is everything and more that I had hoped she would be.  It was a pleasure being able to share the same space with her and I am eagerly awaiting her book as I know it will help many others like me and my fellow Get Fitters get on the road to better health and overall well-being.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My First 5K

I have always enjoyed the "thought" of being a runner, however I hated the actual act of running.  Okay, well maybe hate is too strong of a word.  Hummm, let's see...okay I had a very strong dislike to the actual act of running.  Yea, that is better.  

But back to what I was saying, I liked the idea of running but when it came to actually "doing it" I always tried to weasel my way out of it.  I don't care what anyone says, running hurts...your calves ache, your shins burn and sometimes your feet hurt.  Yea, running looks like a whole lot of fun right????  NOT!  So for a long time, although I loved the thought of running in a race, I knew deep down that it was only going to remain that...a thought.  

That is until a few months ago.

Now as you know, I have been working out at Fit Forward and every now and again, Jake and Levi will have us run what is call "The Loop" during our workout.  "The Loop" is roughly a one mile run from one end of this subdivision to the other and back to their studio, thus making one big loop around.  Sounds easy, right?  WRONG!  The killer part of this one mile run is this big azz hill at the beginning of the loop.  The first time I attempted "The Loop" I was running with some of the others in the class, and I thought I would try and keep up with them, so I actually ran  up the hill with everyone else.  

Huge mistake!  

By the time I got to the top of that massive hill, I was huffing and puffing like a smoker trying to smoke and run at the same time.  I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest and that I was going to pass out.  It took me almost the entire loop just to catch my breath.  Needless to say, "The Loop" and I were not on good terms and I dreaded running it ever since.  That is until about two months ago.  After coming back from vacation while I was working out, we had to run "The Loop" and although I will not run that massive hill, I did notice that once I reached the top of the hill, I was able to run the entire thing.  Talk about an accomplishment.  Now don't get me wrong, I still hurt BUT I was able to make it without passing out from exhaustion.  After a couple of times running "The Loop", I tried out my new running skills on the treadmill at the gym.  Over the weeks I was able to build up to running 3 miles at 5.0 mph.  Now I know that isn't lightening speed, but coming from a woman who could barely run a block to now, well let's just say that mama was proud!

Which leads me to today, because today was the day that I officially participated in my first 5K race. Now, before you go getting all excited, I wasn't able to actually run the entire race, however I did a run/walk combination for the duration of the race.  I tried running in the beginning of the race, but after completing the first mile, my shins were on FIRE! (Yes, I know.....I need some new running shoes.)  So to help ease my burning shins, the run/walk combination did the trick.  And although I didn't come in first, I also didn't come in last.  But no matter where I placed, the most important thing is that I finished!!!!



Now, with this race under my belt, I am excited and eager to run another one...with the hope of cutting my finish time significantly.  So tomorrow, I'm off to the gym...and can you guess what I will be doing?  Running!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Get Fit | It’s time to put on my game face and win

This past Saturday, the Get Fit competitors met Executive Editor of Suwanee Magazine to learn about the new point system and all the amazing prizes we could win. 

Wait, did someone just say prizes? 

Seems that the staff at the magazine have been paying close attention to the contestants (which is expected) and found that some of us, okay MOST of us were losing steam.  Yes, we missed a workout…or two…or three; some of us went on vacation and forgot all about making healthy eating choices (isn’t what vacation is for?); and some of us just let life get the best of us and we were down for the count (having a stressful day = ice cream, do you feel me?) .  As a result many of us just weren’t doing what we committed to do and that is get healthy.

And yes, I was one of the guilty parties!

So, to sweeten the deal; to make things a little more exciting and I’m sure hoping to motivate us to get back in gear, they introduced the new point system.  



point system(2)


And here are all the prizes available to win…

the prizes(2)


So to start the week off right, I was up bright and early to get my workout in with Jake @ Fit Forward and it was a good one.  Although I was not a happy camper while actually doing the exercises at the end it felt good.  With the new points system and great prizes available to win I’ve got my game face on and I’m ready to take home the prizes.
Monday 7-23-12 workout

So Divya, Bill, Michelle and Ginny are you ready for a little healthy and friendly competition?  May the best man or woman win!

Ready…set…go!


Please stop by the other Get Fitters blogs and encourage them on.  We all need it as we enter the last stretch of the challenge.

 Here’s to better health!
Erika





Sunday, July 22, 2012

Get Fit | Climbing Stone Mountain

This morning me and three of the other Get Fitters met up at Stone Mountain Park; the goal, to climb the mountain.  In the 8 years that I have lived in Georgia, I have never hiked Stone Mountain let alone any mountain, so I was a bit nervous.  I wasn't sure what to expect or if I could even do it but I was at least determined to give it a try.   Boy, oh boy have I been missing out on a GREAT workout.  We arrived there about 9am and started our hike.  The 1 mile hike (one way) was absolutely amazing…so nice…peaceful…and exactly what I needed to get my head back in the game. 

During the hike, we talked about our progress or lack thereof with the challenge and we shared our plans for getting back on track.  We discussed that although having the support of our family is critical to our success, also having the support of the other contestants was equally important and we agreed to be there for one another…to hold the other accountable…and to encourage each other during those moments of weakness. 



The hike itself was amazing.  It was good to see people young and old, hiking and running up and down the mountain.  Many of those who were heading down encouraged those of us going up, letting us know that we were almost there…or saying “you can do it”.  It was good to see all those people out, moving, and being active.  I felt alive and a part of a community.  It was more than what I had expected and everything that I had hoped for.

It felt good to get out and move, to be one with nature and with God, to clear my head and set a new path, and to bond with the others as we take this journey together.

Stome Mountain (2)

Here’s to better health!
Erika









Saturday, July 21, 2012

Get Fit | Recommitting to the challenge


It’s funny how fast time goes.  It seems like just the other day that I received an email from Angela at Suwanee Magazine telling me that I was a finalist and now we’re at the half way mark.  Yes, we are now six months into the challenge…where did the time go?  Today, we all met at the Suwanee Magazine office to find out about the new point system and all of the amazing prizes that we can win (more about that in a later post).  Talk about excited, I mean who doesn’t like winning prizes?!?!?!  It was also good to see and connect with the other contestants; to hear about their successes and learn of their struggles.  Listening to their stories reminded me that I am not alone in this journey. 

At this point in the challenge, I find that I am at a standstill.  I am having a hard time getting out of “vacation mode” and getting back into my normal workout schedule.  Oh and let’s not talk about my eating.  Not that I have been eating badly, it’s just that I have been eating all the things that I gave up previously (gluten, sugar, corn, etc.) and I can feel it; I feel sluggish, bloated and just yuck.  I don’t like this feeling, I loathe this feeling, yet I continue to do nothing about it.  Why?

Today during our meeting, Angela suggested that we read our entry emails to remind ourselves of the “why” we wanted to be a part of the challenge and to recommit ourselves to getting fit and healthy.  Since I submitted a video, I immediately pulled it up when I got home.  Watching it was just what I needed.  I was reminded that my reasons for wanting to be a contestant in the challenge were quite simple – to get healthy for once and for all for not only myself but also for my family.  I want to be around to see my children graduate high school, college, watch them get married and start their own family and I want to be around for my grandchildren. 

So today, I am recommitting myself to the challenge and more importantly committing to myself that I will get back on track and accomplish my goal of living an active and healthy life.





Here’s to better health!
Erika


Friday, July 20, 2012

Him at 15


It's so hard to believe that he is 15!  It seems like it was only yesterday that he was a little boy who loved to  put on one of my hats and pretend that he was Michael Jackson.  Now he is all grown up...making that slow transition from boy to man...and as much as I welcome this new phase and embrace this shift, I would be lying if I didn't say that there are days when I wish I could turn back the hands of time to go back.  Go back to those days when he would ask me to lay in the bed with him to talk about our day.  Go back to the time when we would snuggle on the couch and watch his favorite TV show.  Go back to the days when I would sit on the porch and watch him ride his bike up and down the street.

But those days are a thing of the past.  

Now our days are filled with dropping him off/picking him up from the mall, football practice and games, discussions about what classes he will take in his sophomore year in high school, followed  with long talks about college and career goals, and taking him out to practice "driving" in preparation for his driver's license.  Now he prefers spending time with his friends which means that he's spending less time with me.  And although I remember and understand *this* time in his life it's still hard to let go.  That is why I try as hard as I can to hold on to those special moments when  he will randomly come up and give me a quick hug or kiss on the cheek; when he will come and snuggle with me on the couch as we watch one of my TV shows; and when he will sit with me at the kitchen table and share with me his day.  I love listening to him as he shares with me his thoughts, his dreams and his plans for the future and I make it a point to remind him that he can accomplish it all.  

I know my time with him being under my roof is limited which is why I make it a conscious effort to be present when we are together.  I make it a point to remind him that he is intelligent/great/amazing and that he can accomplish anything and that most of all that he is LOVED!
    

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Getting Fit | Morning "go to" Breakfast

Mornings are extremely hectic in my household even during the summer months.  With 3 children that are extremely active in sports and other outside activities plus my busy work schedule, sometimes I find myself extremely rushed to sit down and have a good breakfast.  Oh I have tried grab and go bars and protein shakes but for some reason they never keep me satisfied until the next meal.  And let's not even think about skipping breakfast in the AM, we all know that is a big "no-no" especially when trying to lose weight.  I wanted to find something that was healthy, tastes great, and would provide me with that morning boost that I so desperately needed.  I was also looking for something that I could quickly whip up in a matter of seconds.

This is what I came up with...
To make this you will need:

Ingredients:
6oz. Chobani Greek Non-Fat Plain Yogurt
1 tbsp. Organic Blue Agave
1/4 c. Fresh Strawberries, halved
1/4 c. Fresh Blueberries
1 small Banana

Directions:
Rinse and dry the blueberries and strawberries and place into a bowl.  Slice the banana and add it to the blueberries and strawberries.  Next add the agave to the yogurt and mix well.  Pour the agave and yogurt mixture over the fresh fruit and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts: 283 calories; 54g carbohydrates; 0g fat; 19g protein

*This also makes a great dessert whenever you are craving something sweet to eat!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I am...


What adjectives can you use to describe yourself?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

June Photo A Day Challenge

Chantelle over at Fat Mum Slim has the new Photo A Day list for June up on her site.  This month I am going to attempt to play along.  I think this is just what I need to get those creative juices flowing!  For more information on Chantelle and to find out more about Photo A Day, visit her site here.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Healing

Meds for my injuryDuring our spring break with the kids, I pulled/strained my pectoral muscle.  When I got back home I immediately went to see Dr. Cohl at Synergy Release Sports for some much needed fixing up.  Dr. Cohl's area of speciality is Applied Kinesiology which is a form of diagnosis using muscle testing to examine how a person's body is functioning.  It falls into the holistic health category. 

The last two week of April I was hitting the gm HARD working out at Fit Forward in the morning while getting in some much needed cardio in the evening with my daily run/walks.  I was also seeing Dr. Cohl to treat this pulled/strained pectoral muscle issue.  After a few treatments I was feeling better, still in pain but it wasn't nearly as bad as it was before seeing Dr. Cohl.  I felt like I was on the road to recovery but boooooy was I wrong. 

I first felt this sharp pain shoot through the left side of my chest on Friday.  It happened a few times hours apart from each other so I really didn't give it too much thought.  It happened again on Saturday, but again, I ignored it and kept on plowing through the day.  But on Sunday, I was singing a different tune.  The pain was sharp, frequent and boy oh boy did it hurt!  It hurt to cough, sneeze, raise my arms, sit, stand....it just HURT.  The pain was sharp and quick and I didn't know what was happening.  Along with the sharp pain in my chest, I was also feeling muscle soreness in my triceps and a tingling sensation in my arm and hand, like it was getting ready to go to sleep.  By this time I am almost in panic mode.

So bright and early this morning I met with my physician to see what in the heck was happening.  After running a series of test and a complete exam, it was determined that the inflammation from the injury could possible be pinching a nerve which is why I was feeling the numbness in my arm and the sharp bolts of pain in my chest.  The remedy...Ibuprofen, muscle relaxers (if needed) and lots of rest.

This week my focus is to heal...to rest...to listen to my body and take it easy.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday and with the big weigh-in for the Suwanee Get Fit Challenge just a day away, I knew I had to make this my "last chance" workout and hit it hard.  True to form Levi at Fit Forward did not disappoint with this morning;s workout.


April 27, 2012 workout


Rings 4-27-12


April 27th workout

Now I am going to shower and get ready for the rest of my day.

Happy Friday!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Last week before weigh-in

It's hard to believe that I am wrapping up my second month in the Suwanee Get Fit Challenge.  Our first official weigh-in is scheduled for Saturday, April 28th.  The day after my birthday.  Guess that means I won't be having drinks or enjoying a piece of cake this year.

This week my plan is simple.  Attend boot camp at Fit Forward everyday this week and eat clean.  As my training Levi so eloquently stated, "If you can't kill it or grown it you can't eat it."

This is what was waiting for me this morning.

April 23, 2012 workout


At the end of  today's workout everything hurt.  Just typing this post hurts right now.  But as the saying goes, no pain no gain.






Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday Morning Swagger Song

Happy Monday Morning Everyone!  A while ago my good friend and sorority sister Marlin Page video for her No Excuses Movement identifying your "swagger song".  She defined a swagger music is music that you put on to get your mind right, to get your head in the "game", it's like your going into combat in a effort to accomplish your goal.  You can see more find out more about finding your swagger song here.

While watching her video I quickly identified a few songs that I listen to on a daily basis while getting ready in the morning.  One of my all time favorite songs is Walking by Mary Mary.  This song speaks to my soul...

"Look at me I'm trying
Everyday I fall down,
Make mistakes, get back up
Try again
Next that you see me
I'm walking, I'm walking, I'm walking"

Talking one step at a time...enjoying life...making mistakes...falling down but then getting back up and trying again.  Isn't that what life is all about?  Anyway, I thought I would share with you a song that makes my heart smile, that motivates me, that gets me ready to tackle my goals.

Care to take a little walk with me?



 

What is your swagger song?  What get's you up and going?  Please share in the comments section below.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Something that makes me smile

During the drive to and from Orlando for spring break, the one artist that was on heavy rotation was Katie Perry.  One of my favorite songs that I love listening and singing to was Teenage Dream.  This to me is the perfect springtime, driving in your car with the windows down, sun shining type of day song.  You know the kind of song that makes you smile, and want to dance...yea this is that type of song to me.

So because it's Friday and it's sunny here in Georgia and I'm feeling good, I thought I would share a little Katie with you.

Here's to many more sun filled day of feeling like we're all living a teenage dream!



Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Break 2012

Our rental house in Orlando

This week the kiddos were out for spring break so we loaded up the car and made our way to the sunny state of Florida with my sister and her family for some much needed rest and relaxation.  This was the first time that we were all out for spring break at the same time so of course we had to take advantage of it! We found a great deal on a nice house with a pool right outside of Orlando which was the perfect place to stay.  Not too far from all of the attractions but far enough where we could relax after a day full of fun in the sun.  Mother nature was also on our side as we had sunny skies and 90+ degree weather while we were there. 

Here are a few pictures from our trip...



Cousin's enjoying the pool
Spending the day at Sea World's Aquatica










The week was full of sun...water...parks...lizards...frogs...fun...laughter and lots and lots of great memories to last us a lifetime.  The best part of the trip was actually taking a much needed break from the busyness of work and just relaxing and spending time with family.  I also took some time to really think about my next steps in life and started loosely putting together a plan which will include more times like these...and less time working.  I think it's time for me to crack open my book The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss so I make this happen. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Photo A Day | March 13


I am taking this as a "sign" that I need some help around here.  Too much work to do around the house and not enough me to go around.  :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Photo A Day | March 11

Love talking to him as he allows me brief peeks into his life as a teenager.  Holding on to these moments as I realize that one day soon he will be on his own and no longer under my wing of protection.  Hoping that these moments that we spend together are just as special to him as they are to me and that he will remember them and recreate them with his children.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Photo A Day | March 9

This mug makes my heart smile and reminds me that I am a DIVA!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Photo A Day | March 8


The view from my desk in my home office.  Sometimes I find myself spending too much time actually looking out of it when in reality I should be working.