Philippians 3:12-14 (The Message Bible)

I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bikini L-O-V-E

So, I got my Athleta swimsuit in the mail yesterday. I was so excited to open the package and try it on, but to my fleeting disappointment, it wasn't quite as cute as it had looked in the catalog. (or so I thought). The colors were just a little different than what I was expecting.
When I stripped down and put it on--WOW! Hands down, without a doubt, this is the best-made bathing suit I've ever held in my hands. Impecable stitching, darts in all the right places to make you look even more shapley and amazing-quality fabric that is JUST the right amount of stretchy and JUST the right amount of stiff. Not only that, but the particular one I bought ties in the front between the ta-ta's instead of around in the back--which I LOVE because it doesn't give me a funky lump underneath my cover-up on my back--and I can lay or sit back and there's no big hunk of knotted fabric there. Plus, the tie in the front really lets you boost the girls up where you want 'em!
In addition, the reversible aspect of this suit is awesome! I didn't think I really liked the "posey" print as much as the "honeycomb" print...but now that I have tried it on both ways...I LOVE IT!
I know they're pricey...but now after having one, I HIGHLY recommend you order yourself a suit from this place. It's free to ship it back if you don't like it...but I have a pretty good feeling you will like it.
As far as sizing goes...I really didn't know for sure what to order...but I ended up ordering a Medium in both the top and the bottom and they fit like a GLOVE. judge against that...I am a size 4/6 pants and a size 34C top. I think the tops are more "forgiving" because you can adjust their fit...but the bottoms are pretty firm and I wouldn't suggest ordering a Small unless you are considerably smaller than a size 4/6. (like a 2).
So...there you have it...the worlds awsomest swimsuit! Pics to follow...when I get my tan in order and down to my 125 goal! (only 4 lbs away!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's ok though...I've got 9 more :o)

So...I think I broke my toe. Maybe it's just a bad sprain, I'm not sure.
I was running down the staircase in our house and at the very bottom is my bedroom. I guess in my "hurry" I popped my pinky toe against the door jam and bent it backwards. I went straight down to the floor and starting punching the carpet. Meanwhile, Brooklyn is standing there just staring at me with this totally confused look on her face and she says, "Mom, What in the WORLD are you doing?" To which I pounded the floor a few more times and then looked up at her and scream-whispered/hissed, "I CAN'T TALK RIGHT NOW!!!" It was like the pain you get when you stub your toe TIMES TEN! I could feel it running all the way up my leg to my knee! I sat there "getting control of myself" for a few seconds and then I had to pull it together and get on with our day. I actually forgot all about it for a little while...but later on when I took my shoe off, I could clearly see the "damage." It was about twice it's normal size, a dark purple color and sitting a little awkwardly. Guh-rrrrate! (read major sarcasm there!)

Fortunately, I work for a podiatrist (foot doctor) and I happen to know that there ain't a whole lot they can do for a broke toe. Time heals all wounds (or like I've heard it said "Time wounds all heels!" ha ha--just a quick joke there for ya!)
(this picture makes it look quite a bit better than it really does, the whole underside is purple!)
Anyway, those of you who know me KNOW that a bruised or sprained or broke pinky toe is NOT going to stop me. I'm not stupid, I'll baby it for a few days...but God gave me 9 other toes and surely they can pull a little extra weight while the baby is resting! :o)

Speaking of weight....guess what I weighed this afternoon? 129. Yessireee! My goal has been to get to 130 for the last 6 months. As soon as I hit that, I started aiming for 125 but hadn't seen any progress in quite a while. So, it was a very pleasant suprise to see the 120-anything on the scale today! Hip! Hip! Hooray! Bummer that all Memorial weekend we will be at the mercy of other people to prepare our meals and will have VERY little chance of eating healthy! Oh well! I've got the REST of my life to get to 125, so there is no sence in fretting over one simple weekend!

And lastly, I want to say that if you are reading this and you haven't read my last post (the one before this) you MUST go and read it. You just must!~
Happy Memorial Day Ya'll! I'll be back to bloggy-land on Tuesday! (get your workouts in!)

The past is behind you!

Your past is behind you!--sometimes literally--like what you ate last week is now behind you ON your behind! ha ha ha but really...

I was reading my friend Rene's blog the other day and she had some old pictures up of herself from the "good old days." (she was ADORABLE!) It got me to thinking about the "past." My past.
For so long I have tried to block out a lot of it from my mind.
I mean, as Christians, aren't we always reminded to "forget your past" and told that we are "a new creation." I remember a popular saying when I was growing up in the church-world. It was "If the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future!" I love it!
Of course, what they are talking about is your past SIN....and yes...we certainly do NOT need to dwell on that because indeed, if we have accepted Jesus into our hearts, we ARE a new creation.
But what I'm talking about on this post is how sometimes taking a minute to reflect on your past can be a positive thing.
Let's think about "before" pictures for a second. The other day a friend of mine said "I know I should take before pictures but I just can't stand the thought of seeing myself in a bikini right now." True, I understand her feelings. BUT....if it weren't for my "before" pictures that I took a year ago, I honestly would NOT be able to see the HUGE difference I have made in my body. Sure, I would know I'd shrunk since my clothes fit differently and all...but the changes in muscle tone and shape would be hard to see if I didn't have those pictures.
But going even further my WAY-back past, I can REALLY appreciate where I am today. Probably from the age of about 7 or 8, I realized I was "the chubby girl." I was the girl who had to pay special attention to the cut of clothes so that I could appear thinner. I was the first of all my friends to develop my "lady lumps" and get big, nasty, irradescent stretch marks to accompany them. From my chest, to my hips, to my thighs....I was "marked." I wasn't ever grossely obese...but big enough that I felt like an eye-sore. I had NO self-confidence. I felt insecure and inferior to everyone. If someone pretty or popular wanted to be my friend, I thought I had just won the lottery! Sad, huh?
Thankfully, many years have passed since that time and now I am a completely different woman full of confidence and Joy! It is 100% God who changed me and I give HIM all the glory. And because of the changes that He has been making in me over the last 5 or so years, I can now look back at my past and really appreciate my current place in life. No, I'm not perfect. I certainly haven't "achieved" (like my title scripture up there) but I am SO PROUD of the woman that I am becoming. Christ IN me--has made me this person that people are drawn to, that people compliment and look up to! The favor of God is following me everywhere I go and there's hardly a day that goes by that I don't get to minister to SOMEone! I am doing things now that I would have been TERRIFIED at even the THOUGHT of a few years back! It gets me totally stoked inside because I can just imagine how God is going to use me in the FUTURE! Woooooohooooo!
Anyway, I think I got a little side-tracked here...but what I was wanting to say in this post is that sometimes it's okay to spend a moment reflecting on your past. Who you were, why you were that way and HOW YOU'VE CHANGED!
This blog's focus has always been on fitness and health...but let me encourage you...if you are reading this right now and you DON'T relate to what I've said in this post, PLEASE let me introduce you to the life-changing, life-giving gift of JESUS! If you read this and you identify more with the OLD me than the NEW me...I have GOOD NEWS for you! The same gift that I have been given...the same changes that I have undergone...are YOURS for the taking!
I look forward to all the comments I will receive on this post because it was inspired by God Himself!
Love you all!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

20% off

ha ha I was typing this title, I couldn't help but giggle to myself because that could be describing ME...but then it would say "AT LEAST 20% off!" ha ha ha

Anyway...what I AM talking about is the Athleta swimsuits. I know--I've beat this brand into the ground on this blog lately--but I LOVE it and now that they've teamed up with GAP, it seems like we'll be getting better deals! For one week only, they have put all their swimsuits on 20% off. You do have to enter the coupon code DLZRRHQHDH7J at checkout to get the discount. Also, you can get free shipping if you pay with your Old Navy or Gap card and spend at least $100. You just enter MYCARD at checkout. I ordered one yesterday and even with my 20% off and free shipping, it was still $91....EEEeeeek! However, I desperately needed a new suit and if they really are "all that" like I've heard...then it will be worth the money. (I wear a swimsuit almost DAILY during the summer since we have a pool). This is the one I ordered:

Another cool thing...most of their suits are reversible--so it's like getting 2 for the price of 1! This is the posey/honeycomb print.
Also, you can return it for free if it's not what you there's really no way to go wrong! :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To Sell or not to Sell...that is the question!

So, you've lost some weight. Your clothes aren't fitting anymore (unless you like the saggy, top-of-your-underwear-is-showing look).
You reluctantly go out and spend money on the next size down...but not TOO much money because you are still on your way down on the scale. You acquire a decent wardrobe in this size when you realize that you have finally shrunken yet again and are faced with buying another whole wardrobe yet a second time.
In my case....I started out a year ago at a size 10-some 8's. Lost 10 pounds and went down to a size 8,and the occasional "big" size 6. Lost another 10 pounds and went down to an occasional "big" size 4 or a "small" size 6. This is where I am now.
Therefore I have a closet FULL of cute clothes in sizes 10's, 8's and some 6's that are too big for me now.
What do I do with them?
Some of these clothes I LOOOOOOVE! (like my 2 pair of Lucky jeans that I hardly got to wear!) I don't want to(and can't afford to) just give them away. I could sell them---but I won't get NEARLY what I paid for them. But, if I did sell them, at least I could use that money to buy clothes that DO fit. On the other hand....I can't help but think "what if I put on 10 pounds sometime again and need those clothes?" But then that makes me think that if I keep them, then I am enabling myself to gain weight!??
This is stressing me out.
I actually put an ad on craigslist for womens sz. 8-10 clothes and got several responses. I just don't know whether to part with them or not.
What do you guys think? What are you doing about this problem (because I know you are all in the same boat)!!
Bra's are another issue too. I have probably 8 NICE bras that I paid $35+ each for in a size or 2 too big for me. I still wear them because I can't afford to go buy new ones...but they look ridiculous with all that extra fabric and are unsupportive because the band around my ribs is too loose. Same thing with bathing suits.
ohhh...what to do....???
(I do have to mention that I am SO GLAD to have this "problem" though than the opposite "problem" where you have nothing to wear because it's all too tight!)

No time to eat healthy? Don't know how to cook? THINK AGAIN

I believe I have mastered the art of preparing a healthy meal in record time. Here is an example of my lunch. It took me SEVEN minutes to prepare this. Here is a break down of those 7 minutes.

1st minute: Plug in George Foreman grill while defrosting frozen chicken breast in microwave. During that time, stick a pot of 1/2 c. water on the stove.

2nd minute: Plop chicken breast onto grill and sprinkle with season salt. Dump 1/2 c. instant whole grain brown rice into the boiling water.

3rd minute: Chop up a small squash, open grill up and throw on other side next to chicken. Turn rice to low and cover.

4th minute: Get out a plate, knife and fork. Also spray butter (0 cal) and garlic salt.

5th minute: Pour a glass of water for my drink and wait...ho..hum....

6th minute: Still waiting....

7th minute: Put rice on plate, spray with the butter spray, sprinkle with garlic salt. Open grill and scrape chicken and squash off onto plate.

You have just created a healthy meal with a kindergarten level of cooking skills in 7 minutes!
You are eating a small serving of a whole grain carb, a cup of a water-rich veggie and a hunk of pure protien. After you wash that meal down with some ice water, have a small peice of fruit to satisfy your sweet craving.

It's as simple as that!

(and there are SOOO many more quick, healthy ideas where that came from! (my head))
Ps. I am assuming you have a George Foreman Grill. If you don't, GO GET ONE RIGHT NOW! It is an absolute necessity in my opinion. The fat runs right off (if there is any) and I cook all my veggies right on there without even any oil! This grill is what enables me to eat like this every single day in the same amount of time it would take me to make a sandwich and chips!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

OMG! Are you having a BABY?

That, my friends, is the question I was just asked by my 5-year-old son. To which I replied, "honey, why would you ask me that?" and he said "well, it just looks like it" as he gazed at my stomach protruding out from under my tight t-shirt.
Great! That is just GREAT!
I take a day off from "the good life" and eat like a rebel without a cause and now I look PREGNANT?
Of course, you know right where I went. Off to the big full-length mirror to give myself an overly critical looking-over. I do look about 3 months pregnant. The only thing's no baby in there Baby! That is a tummy full of cake and ice cream and pizza and pancakes and chicken strips and eggs and toast! Yesterday was his (my son's) birthday and the day was ALL about him. Every meal I ate was whatever his little heart desired. Granted, I could have made smarter choices at the resturants we went to...but instead, I just had whatever he was having.
I also feel like CRAP this morning. I feel bloated and heavy and sluggish. Gross! I forgot how AWFUL your body feels when you give it nothing but JUNK to work with. If I could reach my butt, I'd paddle myself! I need a swift kick in the booty for that! Thanfully, I have given myself a nice, hard mental spanking and now I'm ready to BE the person that I really am. That old me is GONE. Sure she tries to poke her head out every now and then...but I just hit her over the head with a nice, big summer squash and put her back in her place.
oh and...for the record...there are NO more babies in my future!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hanging by a thread...

I promise, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. As a matter of fact, it's more like quite the opposite. I feel like I'm EVERYWHERE all the time! My calandar is insane this month. I know I say that a lot...but really...this month takes the cake. Besides all my activities going on...I am spreading my wings with this whole fitness/coaching thing and I just feel like a car sitting at an intersection with 5 main highways trying to figure out which road to go down...
When I have a second to I spend it with the kids? Do I work on my BB coaching? Do I work on my vacation bible school stuff for church? Do I chill out with hubby on the couch for some down time? Do I fit in yet another work out? Do I do some much-needed housework and laundry? Do I sit down for a second and catch up on blogs? Do I write out the next routine for my classes with my buddies? Aughhhh!!!!
Anyway...I am doing some serious soul-searching and God-seeking. I need some direction with all this. I can't possibly be the best at everything. Something is going to suffer. I refuse to let that be my husband and kids or my relationship with God. Those are top priority.
I don't have much time right now, but I at least wanted to jot a little note to all of you, my wonderful, encouraging followers and let you know that I am still alive, though gasping for air, and I will be back to the blogging world just as soon as I can.
Matt and I are still doing P90X faithfully and amazing ourselves at our accomplishments when we really push hard. He's lifting 35's now with a lot of the exercises wheras last round..he only did 25's. And, I did my first full-fledged pull up yesterday starting with straight arms hanging! Glory to God!
I really appreciate all of you who are always here for me. Just knowing that you are reading and hearing me....that totally makes me feel understood and heard...and as women, we need that! Thanks!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This little piggy went to the market

Oh My Gosh! Who HASN'T heard that it's never good to go grocery shopping when you're hungry right? Well...I proved that point today. After my work out and a quick shower I had to run out of the house to take Grant to school and then to the grocery store. There was no time to eat. I knew I was messing up because I was already hungry but I kept telling myself I'll just shop super-quick and then come home and eat a healthy lunch. Well by the time I got back in the car to head home, it was already 2 pm (2 hours later) and I was S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G. So I grabbed a banana and some Rice Works chips out of my grocery bag and ran thru Sonic for a Diet Sprite. Ate that on the way home. Found 2 old hard-as-a-rock Bit-O-Honey's and gnawed on them too. Got home, unloaded the groceries, all of which looked DELICOUS and decided to "treat myself" (for what, I have no idea) to a small bowl of Banana Nut Cheerios. (I LOVE cereal!) Next I decided to pull all the grapes off of the vine and put them in a nice big bowl and wash them so that the kids will snack on them. If I leave them in the bag on the vine, they'll just get old and moldy in the fridge. Well, you KNOW I had to sample one and of course...they were the BEST grapes ever so I sat there and ate probably 15 of them. Next I put away the Sea Salt Almonds. "oh, I should probably take the seal off these so when Matt opens them up to get some, he won't have to bother with it" I thought. down went about 8 almonds.
Now I feel like a stuffed pig!'s almost time to start cooking dinner! Eeeeek!

In other news: We are on Day 4 of this round of P90X and I have never seen Matt so focused! He is SERIOUS about it this time. Me on the other hand..I'm trying to have a sense of balance. Between my classes at the gym, the fitness classes I am teaching at my crib on Mon & Weds AND the "X" I'm afraid I'm overtraining...certain muscle groups anyway. I do biceps, legs and abs practically EVERY day. Lately my mid-back has been sore ALL the time. Like I need a good stretch but I don't know of anything that really stretches that area very well. It's the area just below my bra strap--those muscles on either side of my spine.

Tuesday I taught my first portion of a fitness class at the gym! I did abs and it went very well. Thankfully Shelly didn't tell me I was going to do it for sure until just a couple of minutes before it was I didn't have a chance to get too nervous. Just as I had prayed, God helped me remember the routine and I didn't even need my note card! Hooray! Putting on a microphone and hearing myself over the speakers was weird, but not as bad as I expected. The only feedback I got other than "good job" and "you did great" was that I needed to talk a little more. And I totally agreed. As soon as I got them started on a was dead silent until I started counting down. I need to encourage them while they're working (Keep Going! You can do it! We're halfway done! and so on..) Tomorrow I will be teaching biceps. I am entirely using the P90X Back & Biceps routine minus the back exercises. At least I know it works and I pretty much know it by heart so no worries about forgetting what's next. I'm excited about this new "adventure" I've begun. Between this and beachbody coaching, I think I am fulfilling my dreams!

Well..this was a long post. If you made it this far, you are a great friend! Thanks!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

At Last!

I got on the scale before I stepped into the shower this afternoon and Glory Be to God--I am finally at 130!!! I was beginning to think my scale was incapable of giving me what I wanted. We are back in good standing now though (little does it know I've moved on to a new goal already--125 here I come!) some of you remember I mentioned an exciting opportunity that had come my way. Well...I've been "sitting on it" for a bit until I could make sure it was going to all work out, but I've decided to spill the beans since I'm not exactly sure how long it's going to take before it's official.
Now, if your a guy or your the kind of girl who doesn't like details you can skip this whole big next paragraph because it is just background information..but if you're like me and you like to know all the reasons behind stuff...well, then read on my friend.
So...back a few years ago we got a new instructor at the gym, my sweet Shelly that you've all heard me gush about lately. She has been instrumental in whipping me into shape over the years and has become a very well-loved instructor at our gym bringing in monumental crowds to her classes. If you're a regular, you know to get there early if you want to be guaranteed a spot. To get a spot in front of the fan is like getting the best parking spot in a crowded parking lot and you for SURE have to get there early for that! (go Rene! :)
Okay switching gears. All my dedicated readers know that I am passionate about a few major things, two of which are fitness and God. In my mind, anything I could do that would intertwine the two of them together would be the Ultimate Dream for me! As I sat praying one day a couple of months ago, pondering this idea and the possibilities, I spoke these words, "Lord, You know my heart. I don't know if I should pursue this right now, but if someone would approach me with an opportunity, I would do it."
God...He's a funny guy sometimes. The very next morning, less than 12 hours after I uttered those words, Shelly came right up to me and said, "Jen, have you ever thought about becoming an instructor?"
Uhhh....YAH! It was divine. I was so pumped. She told me exactly what I need to do to get certified as a fitness instructor, who to talk to at the gym to get started and also mentioned that my Zumba teacher (who is also a friend of hers) said she'd love to get me started with Zumba too so I could (at least) sub her classes when she's gone. Awesome! Next, just a few days later, I talked to my kickboxing instructor who also chimed in that she'd love to train me to be able to sub her classes as well. Amazing!
So...this is where I'm at right now: During the month of May, I am holding "classes" at my house for some of my friends so I can get some practice in and develop some of my own routines. We decided to turn half of the upstairs game room into a work out area and we are in the process of putting up a whole wall of mirrors. Today, we came across a great deal on Craig's list where we were able to get 350 lbs. of plate-weights and 5 barbells (2 short ones and 3 long ones).
Starting this week, I will possibly start instructing a small portion of Shelly's Tue/Thur. classes so I can get comfortable speaking in front of all those people. She said just pick a muscle group I want to do and she'll give me the class for that portion. I figure I'll probably just start with abs and basically do Ab Ripper X since I know that by heart. Today I got all the books and workbooks to study for my certification. As soon as I feel that I can lead a class on my own, I will let the gym know and they will put my name and number down as a sub for any of these classes! Eventually, if everything works out and God is still showing me His favor for this, I will become a certified fitness instructor with my own classes!
In the meantime, I have decided to take a leap of faith and become a Beachbody Coach. Yes, Demi...I'm finally doing it. I just feel like I'm throwing away opportunities ALL the time when people ask me what I've been doing to get in such great shape. I tell them about P90X and they ask where they can get it. What a perfect time to hand them a business card with my Beachbody site on it right? Well, I've missed out on probably at least 1o of those opportunities in just the past 2 weeks! I talked to my hubby last night and after showing him a few of your websites (Demi & the Bransons) he agrees that it would be a good idea. He also got super excited about starting P90X again and on a whim, we worked up a schedule that will work for both of us, did his "before" pics, took our measurements and completed the Fit Test (at 11 pm last night!!) This time around (his 2nd round, my 3rd) we are going to attempt to make Wednesday's our Stretch/Rest day instead of Sunday's so that we can still keep going to church on Wednesday and not put such a strain on our family on that day. Also, I am (obviously) going to continue going to the gym so I will have to adapt for that as I think doing both things (ALL the P90X work outs in addition to the 7 classes a week I take at the gym) that I was over-training. Matt is going to focus almost entirely on building muscle volume while I am going to work on my endurance. I figured we'd start this Thursday but he's so gung-ho about it that he wants to start tomorrow instead! ha ha I go again. I certainly didn't expect to start it again this soon! I am planning to order X+ asap and then we'll incorporate that into our workouts. I REALLY can't wait for Shaun T's "Insanity" to come out. It looks completely ridiculous, which is just how I like it.
So you might be asking yourself how all this is combining fitness and God. Well, it's not crytsal clear just yet, but I know that I will have much more opportunity for witnessing through this avenue and I know that as I continue to seek God and His will and study His Word, my footsteps will be ordered by Him and I will be able to help people change their lives--not only physically but more importantly--spiritually. What could be better than that? :)