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    6 years ago

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mental Health Holiday!

Weekly Update: This week was amazing, I took a much needed break from 'life' and went on a  weekend getaway with my husband, sister and her fiance (no kids!)  Day 1 was hard to relax, I felt like I needed to 'do' something - but I'm happy to report back that I actually took a complete break from everything - and came back nice and refreshed!   I did, however, make some food exceptions (ok a LOT of food exceptions), as a result this week I am am only up .2lbs for a total of 73.6lbs. 

Here we are at dinner in Epcot in "Mexico" - so much fun!

And some roller coaster therapy - I got to ride Splash Mountain twice while at the park - I still remember when this ride opened up and how cool it was!

Unfortunately a big part of what forced me to 'slow down' on vacation was a day of being VERY sick. I haven't gotten physically ill like this in probably 20 years.  But there's nothing to remind you to slow down like waking up at 2am completely incapacitated.  I took a rest day from my workouts and let myself sleep until 10am - and it paid off because by the evening I was feeling much better.

So with the food choices, here it is - I had a latte every day, as well as a Mickey Mouse pretzel (just one though!)   I let myself really just let lose and enjoy every sip and bite.

And I made sure to stick to my workouts because I KNOW I feel better when I move - I even jumped on the treadmill one day and ran a mile - it was fun!!!

For anyone who has been at Disney recently, they updated "Spaceship Earth" - they do this funny thing where they predict your future and create a little 'land' for you.   Here is my 'exercise meme' it cracked me up!

But it's certainly accurate!   Here I am one morning at the gym (I let myself sleep in but still started my days with workouts).   The gym had an interesting mix of weights - I usually use anywhere from 5 pounds up, and often use 15s, but the gym only had 10s and 20s - so I got to push my limits!  It was cool to realize I'm stronger than I was giving myself credit for at home.

What's that?  More lattes!

And yep....Mickey Pretzels!!!! 

But don't worry - I did honestly try to balance out my nutrition.  This was a great meal at one of the most recently added restaurants in Magic Kingdom - tofu rice bowl!  It was tasty too.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Chin Up, Buttercup

Weekly Update:  I've been sharing the last few weeks how much I've been struggling, it started with food but it honesty was an underlying emotional stress - not even really sure the trigger, just the fact that I can pinpoint it that way.   As a result, I was expecting today to be up, but decided I was done 'avoiding' the reality.  It's not about the scale anyway, but that's just one of my points of accountability.  This week I am Up 1.8lbs for a current total of 73.8lbs.

I am sharing a series of photos in this entry to remind myself HOW FAR I have come.  I did not decide to be 'perfect' one day and all of the sudden drop a bunch of weight and become healthy. It has taken work and more importantly RESILIENCE.  

Picking myself up when I fall down,
Looking for things that I'm proud of,
Refusing to 'hate' my current state.

This first set of photos is the first 7 months in this journey.   I remember feeling SO proud of where I was in that February photo.  What's funny is the February photo was my prior "high" from years before.   But when I stopped focusing on numbers an instead on actions I was proud of - I started loving myself more along the way.

My Day 1 was insanely hard. I didn't want to take my photos, let alone look at them.  So I didn't.   The "before" photos that I share (such as the one above) were actually taken a month into working out.  I don't really have a 'true' before and one that is clear - the one below is probably the closest that I have to my true 'starting state'.

I remember my first workouts being so discouraged, but I also realized logically that I would not be getting stronger and fitter in just one day - so I had to push my ego aside and just be proud that I was STARTING.   

I originally did my workouts at 8 or 9pm, whenever my son was asleep.  He was still getting up every 2 hours, and up at 4am 'for the day' so the only time I had any shot at ME time was as soon as he was in bed at night.

Now that I'm in a morning routine (despite this photo, I love it), I wonder how the heck I ever did night workouts.   The thought of doing 'night' these days freaks me out.  

But the thing is, I DID do it, because I had no other option and I was ready to change.

If I needed to do it again, I would.  Sometimes your head needs to push past your excuses. I had many, and most were pretty 'valid' if you had heard them - but none were actually reasons that HAD to stop me.

It was consistency that changed me.  After that Day 1 where I realized I had a choice.  Quit before I really started because I was upset with my 'starting place' - or start anyway.

I chose to start anyway.

And look what happened, each day I got stronger.  It wasn't obvious at first, it was subtle.  Even as I 'lost weight' I couldn't actually see the changes - I was very large, so it was hard to see.   My clothes didn't automatically start getting bigger.  

It took TIME.



And time, consistency and resilience are the same skills I continue to practice.

I haven't been perfect, but I still have things I am insanely proud of.  Like my latest accomplishment, finishing the program Hammer & Chisel for example - this program would have seemed impossible when I started.  A day of it could have put me in the hospital honestly.  But here I am 18 months later, having finished an insanely hard program, and loving it so much that I'm doing it all over again.

And WHY do I do that?

I was ready to LIVE again.

I had a little guy, he was my excuse for a long time.  I needed to focus on him, I was too tired because he was up all the time, I was too overwhelmed as a working mom.

I had let my WHY become my EXCUSE.

But that's not the type of mom I wanted to be.

THIS is the mom I wanted to be.   A mom who brings her son to fitness classes - a mom who shows her son that it's fun to workout, and it's not a punishment.  A mom who is healthy and above all HAPPY.

I have my hard days, but I'm much better now at coping with them and speaking up when I'm struggling.

And on that note, here is some food news!

I hadn't made this in a while but had a play date the other day and no food in the house - I love this particular salad because it's EASY and none of the foods are immediately perishable so it's easy to have all on hand.   Olive oil, quinoa, frozen veggie medley and chickpeas tossed with whatever seasoning you want and you have a kick ass potluck salad!

This has also been an obsession of mine recently - butternut squash mac and cheese! It's insanely easy - and 'feels' bad even though the amount of cheese in it is negligible.  The butternut squash appears cheesy and also 'beefs up' the veggie content!

I have shared these a ton, but I have to continue to do so - I love them!   Chocolate Shakeology with coconut oil - so good, guilt free and so amazing!

And here I am with my all time favorite food - a brown banana!! Yep, I love them brown, I know it's not ideal for many people but I love them!

This I actually can't take credit for but thought it looked fun and I wanted to share!  Anyone who has toddlers will appreciate what fun something like this can be!

If you enjoy my blog, I'd love to have you in my private (women only) Facebook Group dedicated to health, fitness and nutrition:

If you'd like to work with me as your coach, create a free account:

Mommy & Me Website:

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Special Edition: Cancer Awareness Month!

Weekly Update: This week was hard for me.  I continued to work out all week, but my nutrition remains 'off' due to some stress and anxiety.   And of course eating poorly, makes me tired which makes me want to eat more crummy foods!   The cycle is real, and I'm working hard to pull myself out of it.   This week I chose to not focus on ghe numbers but instead what I'm happy about.  I am so proud of myself for not giving up, not letting myself get frustrated and continuing to 'press play' regardless of how I feel emotionally.

I wanted to kick this week's entry off with a topic that is near and dear to my heart.  Cancer Prevention.  This one is a hard one for me, because cancer is actually the catalyst to all of my initial weight gain 25 years ago.

This photo was taken of me and my mom when I was around 9 years old.  My mother had survived breast cancer, chemo and remained an amazing mother along the way, but as a 7 year old when she was diagnosed, I had no idea how to handle the stress and changes in our house.

While it took a toll on my health, literally eating away my emotions, I also learned so many things from my mother. 

I learned the importance to have a FIGHT and never give up.

Several years before her diagnosis, my mom tried to tell the doctor something was wrong, but he didn't believe her.  She was too young.

But she kept fighting.   And finally by the age of 37, they conceded to a mammogram and biopsy, discovering that she was right, she did have cancer - she wasn't 'too young'.  She was 37.

My mom fought to be heard, and she fought for her life.   She fought to be a mother despite all the pain she must have been going through.  She fought, and she won.

Not all people, no matter how hard they fight, are that fortunate.  But I am grateful every day that my mother fought and won.

I could share hundreds of photos that would have never happened  had she not fought so hard - but this one says it all.  My mom made it through motherhood, and is now the most amazing Grandmother you'll ever meet.   And I am a better mother because of everything she has taught me in the past 25 years of her survival.

As a mother, this topic is so dear to my heart, and I wanted to share some tips that were shared with me from the The Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center around cancer prevention. The MAAC provides information and assistance to help individuals and families get through tough times with mesothelioma, an extremely rare cancer that is caused only by exposure to asbestos. While my immediate family was affected most by my mother's breast cancer, I have had dear friends and other relatives fight a similar fight with various other types of cancers, not all have been able to get to the other side.
Here is the checklist that was shared with me, but I would also like to note the importance of having CONFIDENCE in yourself, when you think something is 'off' - say something, and keep saying it until you are heard.   I have a very close friend, who 20 years after my mom's diagnosis went through almost the exact same thing - except her cancer was made more aggressive by the fact that she was pregnant and the hormones sped up the cancer growth.   My friend said something too, but she was 'too young', she was 29.    The greatest gift I could give her at the time, was my mom - my rock became HER rock too.   A mother of 2 daughters, just like my mom had been, my friend refused to give up and she is here, very much alive, 5 years later despite a very escalated stage of cancer.

In light of my discussion around motherhood, I wanted to share some healthy habits I partake in WITH my son, not only to make myself a more energetic and happier mom, but to make myself a mom who is alive for my son for as long as I can control.

Here we are 'planking' on the sled after building some snow men.  It brings me so much joy that my son sees anything fitness related and immediately tells me it's 'Mommy teaching class'.    Staying active can help combat so many things both mentally and physically. It's not about weight it's about life. 
Just for kicks, here is me this summer also planking - but on the water - it's not about 'grueling workouts in a gym' for me - or 'burning off the cake' - it's about FEELING GOOD, and having FUN and being silly.

We had a snow day this last week, and I was reminded of just how amazingly fortunate I am to be a mom.   Here we are, having lost power, after making a 'car' out of a giant box, some stickers, ribbons, feathers and pipe cleaners.

Food news is also 'team news' this week.   This is an awesome spread put on by my Teammate Katie.  Katie is my business partner, and close friend and has been with me since the beginning of our weight loss and coaching journeys.  Together, Katie and I have built a team of over 70 coaches who are all helping others along with leading healthy lives themselves.     This week was our first ever 'Team Beam Team Meeting' - we had some people remotely dial in via FaceTime, and many others in the room, and the energy was literally contagious. 

If you enjoy my blog, I'd love to have you in my private (women only) Facebook Group dedicated to health, fitness and nutrition:

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

And the Results Are In!!

Weekly Update:  So the results are in!!!  I finished the program this weekend, totaling 14.2 pounds and 16.5 inches. I don't usually weigh mid-week but I needed to see what the final results where.  That being said, the day after the program I started to get a little 'lax' with food - nothing I regret, but as a result I chose to stay off the scale this week.    The good news is, I am feeling a little sluggish and can't wait to head right into another 60 days of this particular program and nutrition plan because it made me FEEL so good!

Here are my Day 1 and Day 60 photos, I naturally always look at my stomach first, but after sharing with some friends got some great feedback and I can see THAT more now - my face is leaner, my shoulders are more defined and my back changed a ton!

I really find this photo the most important, when I first saw my 'after' photos I thought 'darn it, my arms still hang!' but then I said to myself STOP thinking that way, and decided to blow up the photos and really do a comparison, and here it is - they may not be perfect, but looking at this is proof that my arms are seeing a shape they have never been in my entire life.  That 'hang' is actually pretty small compared to what it had been just two months ago.

And keep in mind I did all of this OVER the holidays, New Years and Christmas indulgences included.

I find it important to continue to share where I am coming from - each day I change, but my Day 1 was not easy.  My month one and a lot of my year one.  Sometimes it's still not easy - but every day instead of focusing on what was 'hard' I focus on what I'm proud of and it makes everything better.

Like this - I was brushing my teeth the other day and saw my shoulders and thought 'wow! is that really you?  really?'   What I see her is strength and determination and willingness to keep picking myself back up over and over again.

And THIS is why.   This little 35 pound kiddo.   I want him to see me being healthy, and liking being healthy. I don't want him to see me hating myself.  I want him to love himself, and to live a healthy active lifestyle and be HAPPY.

A great Non Scale Victory (NSV) that happened this week was this dress.   Before starting my recent workout program, I tried it on thinking it would fit and it was wayyyy too snug even if I sucked in my stomach. I was defeated but I didn't use it as an excuse to give up, I put the dress aside and thought "Ok, not yet, but it WILL happen".   The other day I thought I'd try it on for kicks - and even pressing my tummy out it fit like a charm!

Food news!   I can't get enough of this amazing pizza - I've shared it every week pretty much since I invented it, but it is so good yet tastes so rich and amazing!

Another recent favorite - my veggie burgers on bib lettuce and wild rice with some olive oil on top!

I have also been making this amazing sauce from a cookbook I recently got - it's so easy and tastes good on anything - my latest favorite is to douse my eggs with it!

And this, I have to be honest.  I told you this weekend after my program ended a went a little overboard?  It was intentional, and I'm OK with it - but this is what started it!   Three pretzels a friend brought me back from Philly - I mean, PHILLY!   So good. I am not happy I felt sluggish after, but I also do not regret them because I totally enjoyed each bite.

If you enjoy my blog, I'd love to have you in my private (women only) Facebook Group dedicated to health, fitness and nutrition:

If you'd like to work with me as your coach, create a free account:

Mommy & Me Website: