Monday, December 6, 2010

How Bright Is Your Flashlight?

Is your flashlight burning bright?
It brings joy to my heart when people tell me stories about how they have changed for the better since they started working out. Often I hear women say they are more energetic during the day or are able to fit in their clothes better. This makes me get super excited. The neatest thing to hear is how their new found fitness lifestyle has trickled down to their family and friends. How cool is that? 
We as women, married or not, moms or not, have this aura about us that attracts people to look at us. They are interested in what we are doing.  I believe that’s how God made us. We are to be the backbone of our family. We also speak 10 thousand more words then men so more people have a chance to hear us Ha ha. When we are in a bad mood we tend to let everyone know and can sometimes cause the people around us to be in a bad mood too. The same thing can happen when we are in good moods. Think about it.  If we go to work always moody and suddenly we start going to work happy and energetic don’t you think people will want to know what you’re doing. If you tell them that you started working out and they see you eating healthier they may want to do the same. Before you know it you have a circle of friends or family members joining in your fitness journey. We are all flashlights some brighter than others. Since big macs and garage door openers have been invented people have started to put on extra pounds. We all know that can lead to moodiness. Let’s be the light in other peoples darkness. 
If your flashlight is dim try putting in some new batteries!   Fill the room you are in with light and lead people in the right direction. Remember people watch us just because we are women. Tell them what you have been up to and be positive. You have achieved so much these last few weeks at boot camp. Jenna, Kayla, and I are so proud of all of you. Keep up the great work and we will see you tomorrow!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Ones That Never Come Back

As a fitness instructor there is a high you experience every single time you watch one of your clients meet their personal goal. Goals range based on the person. Some women are nearly in tears when they run the entire mile, others are bouncing up and down when they chisel down their measurements after a month of boot camp or drop three pants sizes. Still some women are thrilled beyond compare just by being able to keep up with their grandchildren outside again.

My line of work is filled with moments of excitement that I share with my clients and these moments keep me going in my quest to change the lives of women. But, sadly there are the ones that never come back. Every month I meet a woman in need, and usually the one that needs me most. After one month, or maybe two, at camp she never comes back. She lets the world around her get her down by telling her she can't she just can't do it. These demons are wrong. It is inevitable that she will send me an email full of empty excuses for not coming back to camp and I will be sad. Every woman is capable of immeasurably more than she thinks she can handle. At random times during my day, week, month I think of the ones that never come back and I wonder where they are, if they are happy and if they think of me. Then I usually pray for them and for joy in their life and for them to inherent the confidence they need to reach their goals. Maybe when they do they'll send me an email and I can celebrate with them too!

-Written by guest author, Jenna Childers

Monday, August 23, 2010

Legacy

What kind of legacy do you want to leave? I was asked this question in a bible study class about a year ago. At the time I couldn’t decide what exactly I wanted my legacy to be when I leave this world. How do I want my kids to remember me? "Who do I want them to become?" and "Who do I want them to serve?" were some of the questions asked. Some of them seem obvious but it has taken me awhile to figure out how I want them to remember me.

Some of my fondest memories of my parents came to mind. I remember my dad coming home from shift work and making me breakfast every morning. That was his time to connect with me and see what I had been up to in my life. He also would walk me outside and wait for the bus to pick me up. At the time I thought it was so embarrassing that my dad waited for me to get picked up and had to wave as the bus drove around the other side of the street. Now I know he did it because he loved me and I have forever etched a sweet memory in my mind of my loving father.

My mom loved to run so I thought of running every evening with my mom at San Jacinto College. I was about four and would run the first mile with her and then play on the bleachers or in the long jump sandpit. I also remember riding my Strawberry Shortcake bike around the neighborhood with her on nights when it was too late for the track. These things were part of our daily routine for years.

There are hundreds of things that stick out about my parents but those two always come back to me the most. This makes me realize that I have to be intentional during the time I spend with my children and not only focus on today but tomorrow as well.

These are things I think about while training for the marathon. Everyday after nap time the kids and I go running. No, it’s not the ideal situation because it so hot and their stroller is heavy. However, I enjoy listening to Cameron sing songs he has learned in Sunday School, and Caroline hums along too of course! Sometimes we share things we are thankful for and other times we have quiet time so we can pray to God. Many times during my long runs I can hear all the conversations the kids and I have had during our daily runs and it keeps me going that extra mile.

I want my kids to enjoy being active. I want them to know that there is more to life then T.V. or Playstation. I’m not saying those things are bad but it is much easier to hold a conversation while we are playing around outside then when they are zoned in on a T.V. show.

I’ve been told that in order to leave a legacy, you must first live it. I hope my kids see me as someone who loves the Lord with all her heart and trusts Him with everything I do. I hope they know I am determined and I want them to enjoy being active. I not only hope they see me this way but also want to take pieces of these events and share them with their children too.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What Kind Of Eater Are You?

Some of us can eat food and choose things that are healthy and find them pleasing to our taste buds; other folks find it hard to stomach fruits and vegetables. I’m somewhere in the middle. I normally choose the right foods but when I decide to have a cheat-day I go all out. Seriously. Not kidding. I would not recommend this at all. I am not one to just taste something, because if I taste it you might as well consider it gone, especially when I am stressed out! For this reason I really limit the amount of sweets that I eat and how often I eat them.

Our church offers a big "family" meal every Wednesday night before bible study. It is great and a wonderful time for all the families in our church to come together as one big family and eat yummy food and fellowship. I love going to socialize with friends and it’s easy because I don’t have to cook! Major points in my book as a busy mom! However it is not the most relaxing environment for me because I have two kids who like to be loud and not eat when it is actually time to sit down and eat; It’s sort of like going out to eat with a 1 yr old and 3 yr old by yourself during lunch hour in the galleria! Now, maybe most of you mamas can pull this off successfully but not me. Cameron wants to run all around with the other kids, which is fine, but sometimes he has a habit of being a little OCD. I can’t explain the tantrum unless you have seen it for yourself but it is embarrassing to say the least. Caroline will not sit properly in her chair. She likes to take her legs out of the strap, stand up in her seat, and talk loudly to everyone at the table. One day she'll be the star of all her dance recitals. I know it sounds like I am making my kids out to be heathens so let me just do my motherly-duty and say they are great kids and for the most part well-behaved, but in my mind at Wednesday night meals... they are monkeys hanging from tree limbs and everyone is looking at us. When I feel like every face in the place is staring at me my face gets hot, I start to sweat, and my heart feels like it’s beating out of my chest! Even after I calm them down I still can’t think straight and I need to calm myself down. So, what do I do? I will sample all the desserts that are offered in the cafeteria! Let me rephrase that... I will eat an entire serving of each dessert they offer in the cafeteria! This is an issue. My downfall is sweets and for some reason I can’t always control how much of them I eat after I take just one bite.

One thing that work for me when I do feel stressed out and want to turn to sweets is to stop what I’m doing and take a deep breath so I can gather my thoughts. I try and think of why I am eating the entire pie and how will it make me feel afterwards. Now I am a normal person, just like you, and this does not work 100% of the time, but for the most part I can calm myself down and snap back into reality.

The next time you feel an emotion coming on that usually causes you to eat overwhelming amounts of food, STOP, BREATHE and ASSESS the situation. Think about why you are eating and how it will make you feel. No, it is not easy and it may take a hundred times before you actually can control the situation, but it will feel great when you finally do it. Be thankful that you can even recognize the situation because that means change is already beginning to occur.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Whatever Theory

A lot has happened over the last few weeks. Boot Camp five has come and gone. Caroline has started taking her first few steps and Cameron is becoming more of a little boy than a toddler. It’s crazy how fast time flies.

One of the things my kids and I love to do after nap each day is go running. We run past Cameron's favorite spots, the fire station and greenbelt tunnel; it is so soothing to me to hear my kids sing and enjoy each other’s company as we go for our hour long daily ritual. After we finish running I usually stop by the park for a few minutes and let the kids play. My neighborhood has a great shaded area with tons of playground equipment. I love it and every time I’m there I can’t help but remember the times I would go to the park with my brother when I was a child. I loved watching him play football. My favorite past time was swinging and everyday the park would be filled with children’s laughter and the bouncing of a basketball. When the memories fade and I’m pulled back into reality I realize that my kids and I are the only ones in the park. Why? It’s four o’clock in the afternoon. Yes, it may be hot but it’s shaded people. Turn off your television and play stations and get outside. I would have to say your life depends on it.

I was walking home from the parade with a friend yesterday and we got on the subject of kids and how so many of them are overweight. I couldn’t help but think back to the empty park that I constantly encounter in the afternoons. Why does childhood obesity have to be an epidemic? I know parents see it. I’m not saying I am perfect but we as parents have a duty to protect our children from the things that can become addicting. Even if it doesn’t seem like it is all that bad.

My mom came over the other day and showed Cameron a racecar game on her iphone. He played that thing for an hour and I couldn’t get him off of it to go to church. On our way home he asked if Granny was still at our house so he could play the racecar game. Are you serious? He’s three. I had to announce to everyone that Cameron is not allowed to get games like that for any special occasion. It is too addictive.

At church today I heard a great sermon. The one thing I remember distinctly that made me go back our childhood obesity epidemic is the Whatever Theory. The Whatever Theory is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of getting in an argument you just say "whatever". Instead of working out or making the proper food choices you just say "whatever"! This made me think of what we may do with our children. We may take the "whatever" approach because we don’t want an argument so we allow them to eat the entire bag of chips or play video games all afternoon.

Again I’m not pointing fingers as to why this epidemic is happening but I want to make sure I can do all I can to change it, starting with my children. If I can eliminate the amount of junk they put into their bodies and add some activity in their life they may be more apt to do the same with their friends and eventually their children.

Any ideas what you can do to help keep your kids active?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Great Umbrella Drama of 2010

My husband has always enjoyed yard work. He says it is his time for himself. Our neighbors in Clear Lake would joke that Corey would never make it as a yard guy because he was too meticulous. I love my him 'till death do us part' but he mows twice a week and it takes him about three hours to finish! It was even longer at our last house when we redid all the landscaping ourselves! I'm not sure if you do your own landscaping or not, but when you spend hours in the yard making it look pleasing to your eye, it is nice to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor every now and again.

So when we moved here a few years ago it drove Corey nuts that there was nothing in our backyard...not even a tree. We rarely went back there because it was so hot and not too appealing. When we moved in I was still in school and neither one of us had the time to maintain anything. Last summer I had our second child, so planting was out of the question! Our goal was to do something this year. Nothing what would take hours to maintain, just something small, pretty and comfortable. With the help of my uncle we spent the first weekend in April planting. We extended our patio, put down slate and bought outdoor furniture. It looked beautiful. We ate lunch and dinner out there often and I would go out there to do work as well when the weather allowed for it.

This is where The Great Umbrella Drama of 2010 began! We bought an amazing umbrella with a tilt feature and it was thick enough that no UV rays would penetrate the fabric. I LOVED IT! A week later, it broke. I was so upset. We waited two years for our back yard to be a place of peace and tranquility and now it was suddenly too hot to sit back there again. Corey went to exchange it but they didn't have that style of umbrella in stock. He came home with a much smaller one and the sun leaked through so even in the shade you had to squint your eyes. It was horrible. So, my sweet husband searched all the stores in the area and and found the exact same umbrella (as the original) and drove all the way to The Woodlands to pick it up for me. He surprised me with it one afternoon and I was super excited. Seriously, it was AWESOME! A week later, it broke. No joke. It broke in the exact same place as the first super duper umbrella with extraordinary UV protection! I was so mad. Corey took it all the way back to The Woodlands and got a full refund. We shopped like ravenous beasts for an umbrella to fit all of my qualifications and there wasn't one to be found in a 50 mile radius! I know some of you may say I am too picky, and perhaps I am, but I know what I want and I wanted a super duper umbrella with extraordinary UV protection! Two weeks later Corey came home with the biggest umbrella ever constructed by mankind. He had to ask our neighbor to help him carry it to the backyard! Surely this big ol' mamma-jamma was the answer to all of our umbrella drama!

I was beyond excited the next morning when we opened the box to assemble it. The directions said it should take an hour to put it all together and bask in the glory of its shade....ummm...it took us three. The base alone was a mess. We bought sand to fill the base and there wasn't enough, so we had to make another trip to the store to buy more. Then, we over bought sand, so we had to go back to the store to return the extra! I was laughing so hard while trying to help Corey install the silly thing that I couldn't even hold my end up straight! Three hours later Corey was so red from sunburn he looked like a lobster, but we had the mother of all umbrellas shading our back patio and it was glorious! It moved 360 degrees and was 11 feet in diameter. It was beyond great; it was fabulous! Today I went outside to do some work and I opened the umbrella. I walked inside to get my things and I heard a loud noise; it sounded sort of like a bow and arrow flying through the air! My son looked at me and I looked at him and we both said outloud, "the umbrella!" The silly thing had snapped! There were poles and pieces everywhere! All I could do was laugh.

It took us two years to enjoy our backyard and now we have decided to hold off on the umbrella and save our money to build a pergola. Who knows maybe some of the landscaping we planted will grow tall enough to provide so much shade that we won't even need an pergola or umbrella!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our First Family of Four Vacation

"When anxiety was great within me your consolation brought joy to my soul." Psalm 94:19


That was the the verse that helped me make it through our first family of four vacation.

We went to Coco Beach Florida! The trip started off a little stressful as we pulled into Hobby Airport and dragged six bags, two of which were car seats, two carry-ons, two kids, and a ginormous double jogging stroller around until we finally made it to the desk to check our bags. As the plane took off Cameron fell asleep and Caroline was into everything. I seriously think God looked down on us and just laughed the entire trip.  We were pretty entertaining.

Corey, Cameron, and I like order, (I'm a huge germaphobe) and then there is the sweetest and newest member of our family, Caroline. She is messy and all over the place. I know she is only one year old but if you knew my son then you would understand why her style and personality is a shock to us. She thoroughly enjoyed herself at the beach and spent her time eating the sand and digging in the sand; within ten minutes I couldn't even see her skin! It was everywhere! I couldn't believe it. We all learned something from her at that moment. She taught us to just enjoy ourselves and not stress out if things weren't clean or in the "right" order.  We spent the day at the Beach and every time I felt stressed I looked at my sweet baby Caroline and laughed.  I could literally feel my shoulders relax. Cameron was even digging in the sand and enjoyed the ocean. This is huge for him because he won't even play at the park if there is sand in the play area.

Disney was amazing. It really does make you become a huge kid again. I sang all the songs and even was amazed when I saw Mickey and Minnnie. Cameron rode his first roller coaster with me and we screamed the entire way!

This was truly an awesome vacation. We saw the Atlantis space shuttle land for the last time and saw the Rocket launch the next day. Cameron was so cute when he said he was special because not that many people get to see both a shuttle land and a rocket take off. Out of the mouth of babes huh!

We did okay on food. We brought shakes and had plenty of veggies, fruit, almonds, and cheese sticks to snack on throughout the week.  I have to say we didn't cheat too bad. This just goes to show that when you go on vacation you don't have to eat horrible and come home with a bunch of extra pounds to lose.

The hardest thing was letting work not be in the forefront of my mind. I had numerous emails and phone messages to return. This being my "off week" from boot camp usually means it is my busiest time of the month. Registrations are pouring in and phone calls with questions about camp flood my inbox. It's not like I have an assistant to help out and if I miss calls then that means that some women may not sign up at all.  I just kept repeating my bible verse and trusted God would take care of everything. There will always be questions and I will most likely have answers but the smiles on my children's faces when we walked on the beach or into Disneyworld was priceless. Thank you God for allowing me to calm down, take a deep breath, and enjoy our vacation!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Welcome To My Blog - And My Crazy Life!

Life is crazy isn't it?  It's crazy with children and without children, with a husband and without a husband; the list can go on and on I'm sure, but the truth of the matter is that God has blessed me with an amazing husband, two beautiful children, and unquenchable thirst to learn more about fitness and a way to make a living doing what I love!

When I was little and had friends stay the night we would play a game called The Math Wheel.  We would put a number in the middle of the wheel and six numbers on the outside.  Then we would proceed to go around the wheel multiplying the numbers on the outside by the number on the inside.  Whoever finished first won!  Sounds super fun right?  (Humor me and agree.)  I would "spice it up" by making my friends run to the opposite wall, do ten jumping jacks and run back.  By the end of the game we ran back and forth six times and after that we would run around my block with jump ropes and stop at each corner to do froggies.  I was eight and sadly I didn't have too many friends stay the night twice.  As you can tell, I was born with a huge love of fitness.  It amazes me everyday how so many people know so little about it.  If I can help just one person live a happier and healthier life by educating them on proper health and fitness then I will say I have done my job well!

I know that this is the route God intended me to take.  It has been a crazy journey moving to Kingwood.  We picked up our family and moved out here not knowing if I would make enough to hold up my end of our income.  I wanted to start a business and I had no idea where to even begin.  I felt so overwhelmed trying to be the best wife, mother, student and business owner I could possibly be that I spent many days in tears.  I prayed so much I felt like most of my days were spent on my knees.  I remember a friend telling me to pick one task and accomplish it and just keep going until it was all finished.  I had so much to conquer on my list from finding a house, a location for work, a website administrator, a mother's day out program for my son, to finishing college!  I look back on the past two years and cannot believe what has been accomplished!  I can only say it was by the grace of God, my husband and my best friend who helped me stay sane in moments when I thought my sanity was running straight out the front door and I was too exhausted to catch it!

A little over a year ago we welcomed our second child into our family.  Her name is Caroline and she brings me countless amounts of joy, but some days I find myself struggling once again to keep my sanity from turning tail and running away.  That sweet little mess is so active and into everything from climbing on furniture to eating my planner!  She most definitely keeps me on my toes.  I am constantly asking God to multiply my minutes so I can keep up with her and get all of my work done.  The reason I want to start this blog is to share my happiness and experiences as a wife, mother, fitness expert and small business owner.  Yes, it is hard as heck sometimes and I just want to throw in the towel, but it is so worth every bump and turn in the road.  I will be honest and real with every entry I share.  I hope you find some things I say helpful, funny and encouraging.  Please feel free to leave comments so I know I am not typing to myself and together we'll learn how to keep our sanity on a leash!

Get gorgeous ABS with these easy moves!