Color Up 5k Is on it's way!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

If you have read in previous posts that the color run was the very first color race I had ever done. I didn't know what to expect going into this race but I am very glad that I took that leap of faith. Now that I have a few color runs under my belt I know what to expect and can actually have a bit of fun this time. This year I am going to be doing this race with a good friend of mine and even possibly doing it with my trainer May. I feel this will help me push through any struggles I may have and it gets me involved with all of my gym friends. I have been talking their ear off for the past 3 weeks about this race and now they are all signing up to do it with me. We have sat down and came up with a name that best suits us. This year we are going as  TEAM PIMP OUR STRIDE!! Oh yes! We are gonna do shirts and the whole get up and we are going to make the most of this race.

The Color Up 5k is apart of the RaceTx series. This race series has many different styles of races from color races to a zombie race. Making this race series one awesome series to follow. I have been fortunate in the past to be able to participate with this wonderful group of people who organised this race and I am looking forward to doing it again this year.  The color up 5k will be on Saturday March 8th at 9 am which is less than 2 weeks away. This is kinda of stressful because I am so very excited about this race and all the fun that I know I will have from doing it. If you are in the Central Texas area, this would be a race you don't want to miss.  Besides, who wouldn't want to do a race that allows you to have so much fun. Look how much fun I had last year :)

This year I plan on having much more fun than I did last year. So who is going to join us?


I am super stoked and yet surprised that the color run is coming. I am so super excited that it will be coming this year in warm weather and so close to now. As you all know I loved doing it last year and once I found out that they are coming to Austin May 27th this year, I got even more excited. Who wants to do it with me? Get $5 off when you use the promo code in the picture. This code is good for any race in the Kaleidoscope tour.  I have already been on the site wanting to register. How about you guys?

Who else is ready for the Kaleidoscope tour?

Breath and relax for your health

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Relaxation is very important for everyone. When I say relaxation I don’t mean sleeping either.  You can however relax to help you sleep but that is not the relaxing I am talking about. I am talking about the “me time” relaxation. You know that kind of relaxation you do for yourself to get rid of the buildup stress and worries.  Relaxation isn't just for women or men. Have you ever seen a child that was throwing a tantrum and was inconsolable? Didn't you notice after being put in "time out" or "thinking time" how better the child acted? That is because children as well need relaxation just as much if not more than us adults do. I know there are days I come home from work and are so stressed I non-intentionally snap at my family.  It ends up making me even more stressed afterwards because I feel so awful for doing it because I know it isn't their fault. Those days are when I need some “me time” the most. 

Ever catch yourself so strung out and stressed that you can’t even think straight? Or how about after a long day of work if anyone so much as to look at you wrong, you blow your top? Or even more commonly is when you have that very important assignment or deadline that you have to get done but it seems like there is a radio playing in your head and everything is spinning like a world wind in your head?  We all get these but when we let the stress go for too long is when problems start to arise. There are tons of ways to help you unwind. Like relaxing music, meditation, “me time” with a good book or a nice soak in the bath. Just to name a few of them. I personally love to do the bath because it I know then I will not have as many disruptions. There are a few rules to this though. I know you are thinking rules to relax?!?! Are you kidding me?  Listen up and I will tell you what I mean by rules.

Leave your troubles and frustrations at the door. It isn't much of a relax time if you are bringing what is stressing you in with you. The world can wait an hour or two. If you are a single parent it is best to wait till the little ones are in bed asleep before you do this. This time is all about you and you alone. Go into the bathroom and start making yourself a nice hot bath. Then add some essential oils like peppermint or lavender to your water with some Epsom salt. Then sink yourself in with some nice quiet and relaxing music and just let all that is troubling you wash away.  If you are strapped for time or the little ones just won’t go to sleep then just get a bucket or a bowl that is big enough to soak your feet into, a towel, some Epsom Salt, and essential oils. Put them into the bucket with hot water and let your feet soak for at least 5 minutes. It will also help adding your hands to the water as well and if you have something cold like a bag of frozen peas then place these on the back of your neck. This will help relieve any stress headache you have and will help you feel much better.  This is because your skin is thinnest in the arches of your feet and around your wrist. So it will absorb some of the water and help you feel better. This is partially because it helps hydrate your body to aid in the fight against dehydration.

After a long day of stress it is important for not only your mental health but your physical health as well. Not only will stress cause you to blow your top but there are also physical side effects that can wreak havoc on you and your body.  For example, you are sitting at the office and all of a sudden your neck gets stiff and starts to hurt. You reach up to rub it and feel a dull pain in your neck. This is called a stress knot. If not worked out, it can end up pressing against your spine and can cause some damaging after effects like a hunch back. Other damaging side effects of stress are: Headaches, chest pain, muscle tension or pain, sleep issues and many more.  Did you know that stress also affects your behavior in other negative ways as well? Stress can cause you to overeat or not eat enough, tobacco use, drug or alcohol abuse and much more damaging effects.  

X marks the spot! No not really but there are a few things that can help. One of which is exercising.  When you exercise your body releases endorphins, chemicals in your body that have similar effects on the body as morphine. This Often gives the feeling known as “runner’s high” or euphoric.”  Endorphins act as analgesics, which mean they help get rid of pain and at times act like a sedative.  These sedatives are made in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response of your neurotransmitters.  These neurons endorphins that bind are the same kind of ones that bind in pain medicines. I would say that working out actually saves us money because now we don’t have to spend money for the same effect.  Another interesting fact about exercising is that it wards off depression, boosts self-esteem, and helps you sleep better.  It also helps strengthen your heart, increase your energy levels, lowers blood pressure, and reduces excess body fat and much more. Yoga in an excellent form of exercise that helps reduces stress and increases your flexibility.  Try it out and see how you like it. If it isn’t for you then try any form of physical activity. It will help you out much more than sitting on the couch stressing about things more. 

I hope you guys really liked my week of how to help fight your inner demons. You are all beautiful and I hope these last 5 posts have been able to help you just a little. As they have helped me by writing it. As most of you know, I write as a way to express myself and to help relieve the stress I build up during the day. S in turn my blog is my escape and in turn I know it helps all of you guys in return. I want to give a huge thanks to all of you for all you have done for me this year. Even if you think you didn't do anything you have. That is why later today and this weekend, I will be doing some thank you giveaways just for you guys to show you how grateful to you all I am.  Please make sure to get plenty of rest, water, food, and most of all get active and sweat pink.

"Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink" Myth or Fact

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Restoring your body to its optimal state is very important. When your body is getting all it needs we will notice things in our body working a lot better. Like more energy, improved moods and over all better health. Now that you have fed your body it is time to do the most important thing you can do. Most people forget to do this and it just so happens that your body needs but most of us are so busy and forget to do it. What I am talking about is hydration. Not just any form of hydration, I am talking about drinking water.

Everyone needs it but yet most of us are so busy running around with our busy lives to take a moment to do this and our bodies suffer from it. Did you know that the body is composed of up to 75% water? So wouldn't it be obvious to make sure you are drinking enough water? Surprisingly most people don’t hydrate the way they need to. It’s not because they don’t want to but because they are so busy they forget to. Some people think they are yet are falling majorly short in this department.  Some also think they are but are actually drinking things like soda that are actually dehydrating them even more. Have you ever been out in the summer heat and got thirsty so you grabbed you a cold soda? How long did it take before you had to grab another one because you where thirsty yet again? I bet it wasn't long after you drank that soda that you were even thirstier than you where before you drank it. Have you ever wondered why this happens?  

Studies show that drinking non water drinks like sodas and artificially sweetened drinks add to the body’s toxin burden which dehydrates you even more. These create an acidic environment in the body causing a heavy load on the kidneys. Your kidneys have one major job to do and that is to rid your body of excess acid.  This in turns requires your body to use more water to enable the kidneys to do their job.  These drinks are also diuretics. Meaning that they elevate your blood pressure, causing you to urinate even more making you dehydrate faster. Just like when out at sea, they tell you not to drink salt water. That is because your body needs 3 cups of water for every cup of salt you drink just so your body can process the toxic salt from your body. Another reason why sports drinks are not good for you to drink either is because they contain a high content of salt.  If I am thirsty, does this mean I am dehydrated? Well, this is actually a tricky question because a lot of people are actually dehydrated on some level and just don’t even know it. Your body will actually send out little clues to you that will help let you know that you are dehydrated.  Some of these little clues are headaches, stomachaches, low energy and even dry skin. By the time you feel thirsty you are already in the clinical state of dehydration. Is what I mean is that by the time you feel that urge to drink your blood has already gotten thicker and it’s concentration levels have risen. It is still not at the dangerous levels and is considered mild dehydration but it is not to be over looked. Mild dehydration can still cause havoc on your body by slowing your metabolism and optimum vitality. The point I am getting at is don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Your body needs consistent water throughout the day to maintain itself. Once that water starts to deplete problems start to arise.

That time of the month is the worst time for us women because it is when we lose the most water. Due to the amount of water that is lost during our menstrual cycle. Have you ever noticed bloating and fatigue during that time? That is because your body is screaming at you that it needs water. This next part is really going to freak you out but did you know the more water you drink, the less you retain? I didn't know this till recently and I am glad I do now. Your body bloats and retains water because your body doesn't know when it is going to get it next. Just like with food, when you deprive your body of something it needs, it is going to hold onto it for dear life.  If you drink enough water like your body needs you to, you will notice little to no bloating because your body is getting what it needs so there is no use of holding onto extra.  I know that sounds pretty confusing. I mean drink more to retain less? It does come as a shocker but if you remember this next time you menstruate. You will thank me for it.

One important trick to remember when it comes to hydrating your body is very simple. To hydrate your body properly you need to drink 1/2 ounce for every pound you weigh. Does this sound pretty easy to remember? Another way you can think of it is to take your weight and divide it by half. That number is how many ounces you need to drink. So if you weigh 250 pounds you will need to drink at least 125 ounces of water a day. As you see that is pretty simple way to know how much water you need to drink. An even easier way to do it is if you weigh 250 pounds, go buy you a gallon jug and fill it full of water. That is your daily water intake. If you weigh 150 you will need 75 ounces of water a day. That is a little more than 2 liters of water a day. You can get that by going to the store and getting one of the big bottles of water. Or if you don’t want to do that, then just fill you a gallon jug half full and there you go. You can drink more than that but that is your base number. Especially if you are active, you need to drink at least that but preferably more because as you sweat, you lose some of that water. So make sure you are drinking more than that. Drinking the proper amount of water can also help you on your diet as well. Did you know that a lot of time when you feel hungry, you are actually thirsty? This is because the feelings of being hungry and thirsty are a lot alike and so sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. If you feel hungry drink 8 ounces of water and if you are still hungry then eat. If the hunger goes away right after you drink then you where thirsty. Also when you drink an 8 ounce glass of water before you eat it will help prevent over eating.  You will also eat on average, 75 fewer calories during your meal because your stomach already has that water in it taking up a bunch of room so it makes you full faster. Drinking water also helps with your metabolism because your metabolism is like a series of little different chemical reactions that are taking place all over your body.  Just like a car or anything else mechanical, if it has enough fluid it runs smoothly. If it doesn't however problems start to arise.

Rest assured that once you start drinking the proper amount of water you will also notice some positive changes. The one I noticed first was that I had lots more energy. I was up doing things I was too tired to do before. I also noticed my mood was better. I wasn't as depressed anymore. This is because your brain is made up of 85% water. If your body is lacking enough water on a daily basis, your brain will get sick of sorts. When your brain is dehydrated it can’t function the way it needs to.  Also drinking the sports drinks and other non-water drinks force your body to take water from any place it can. Like your organs, your bones your skin and even your brain. This is why it is so important to drink water. It is not only for your physical health, but for your mental health as well. This too will help you in fighting your inner demons because they will be too busy swimming and having fun. Not literally but you get what I am saying. A quote from Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., author of YOUR BODY’S MANY CRIES FOR WATER, states:

"Pathology that is seen to be associated with 'social stresses' -- fear, anxiety, insecurity, persistent emotional and matrimonial problems -- and the establishment of depression are the results of water deficiency to the point that the water requirement of brain tissue is affected. The brain uses electrical energy that is generated by the water drive of the energy-generating pumps. With dehydration, the level of energy generation in the brain is decreased. Many functions of the brain that depend on this type of energy become inefficient. We recognize this inadequacy of function, and call it depression."

Everyone needs water. I am not saying only women need water but guys, you need it just as much. I don’t care if you are male, female, black, blue, brown, pink, tall, short, extra weight or thin as a rail. We all need water. The only thing different is the amount we need. No two humans are alike. Just like no 2 peoples body will need the exact same amount of water. Some may do perfect by drinking their minimum amount of water and be fine. While others have to drink a little more to get that same feeling. I do have a word of caution that you need to take into consideration. If you are not use to drinking your recommended amount, do not go and start drinking that amount right away. It will send your body into shock and your body will not know what to do with all the excess. This can cause just as much harm to your body as it would if you didn't give it enough. You need to slowly start working your way up to the proper amount. I really hope you guys take my advice into consideration because this is very important. It helps you become the person you are trying to be and makes you healthy in the process. 

I want to take the time and thank you all for reading all 4 of the ‘About Me’ posts, or which I was told ‘for a better you’ is a better name for it.  Tomorrow we will discuss the importance or relaxation and the why a rest day or ‘me day’ is something you need to incorporate in your daily life. Don’t forget to eat right, be active, drink plenty of water and most of all sweat pink. 

Research credit can be found at:


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

No I am just kidding. I am not about to waist some perfectly good chicken throwing it. I will however, throw all the junk food I can out the window because this post is about nourishing your body the way it deserves to be nourished. Now that we have talked about the daily pep talks and getting active I am going to talk a bit about feeding your body. Honest fact here, did you know 75% of healthy weight-loss comes from your kitchen? So even if you work out for 5 hours a day, which I really don't recommend you doing, if you are not eating right, you are throwing all that effort down the drain. Contrary to popular belief, you need to feed your body to reach any goal you may have. I am not telling you to go to the store and grab a bunch of chips, Twinkies, and junk food. There is a right way and a way to feed your body. Please hear me out before you click close on the browser tab and think “oh no here comes one of these posts that make me feel bad because they eat all perfect and I don’t. Man I can tell you some stories about how I slip up and my trainer and mentors always know it. Even before they ask me how my eating is coming along. This is not going to be one of those posts. I will tell you how I eat and the mistakes I have made and maybe I can help guide you and myself to eat better. Here lies the confusion me and most others face, what is the proper way to nourish my body? Why is it so important to eat the right kinds of foods? What are some healthy tips I can use to pick out food that will nourish my body and not hinder it? All of these and more will be answered in this post. I am going to tell you guys my struggles and bad eating habits nearly killed me and how I, with a lot of tough love and guidance from my mentors, have focused on eating better and extended my life.

Oreo’s, chips, pizza, these all use to be my weaknesses. I would sit on the couch in front of the tv and dip Oreo into peanut butter and pig out till the whole package was gone. Then I would feel so guilty that I would start crying because I felt so fat. I never knew why I felt the way I did. All I knew was that something had to change. With the hell and torment I was going through at home, even though I hated food, I would use it to make me feel better. All in all, it only made matters worse. I was never taught the importance of not eating junk food or eating a bunch of fried foods. Shoot, my favorite food growing up was my mother’s fried chicken. Even to this day, I am still told that removing gluten and processed foods from mine and my children’s diet is child neglect from my family. I mean, I know that isn't true but it goes to show how people who don’t know or who are jealous lash out on those who are trying to better themselves and their family. When I went to the doctor and was told that all of this stress and eating was killing me I got scared. Even more so because she told me if I didn't change something soon, I would have a heart attack because my father had a heart attack in his 30's and my cholesterol and blood sugar levels where so high. She even wanted to put me on medicine and I know I am not good at taking pills so I opted to change my diet. It worked. With all the confusion that these companies are causing my mislabeling their products is not helping society any.  Shoot I know when I first tried to read labels I was all sorts of confused on what was healthy and what wasn't. That’s when I made the choice to stop stressing myself out so much and do what was the easiest. You may be wondering what that is and I bet you have read it before. Is what I did was limit what I did buy that had a label on it. In this day and age I know that is hard to do because I do it every month but there are tons of benefits from doing this but we will get those juicy facts in a minute.  I honestly am about to give you the best and easiest advice I can give you when trying to shop for healthy options for you and your family. Shop around the edge of the store and stay away from the center isles. Kind of easy sounding don’t you think? It is but it isn't. I only use the center isles to get my frozen veggies and fruit only because they are flash frozen shortly after picking so they have more nutrients in them.

Understand that I didn't get this way over night. It took a lot of slipping and failing miserably on my part. I would catch myself in the juice isle or the snack isle grabbing things off the shelf because they said on the label that they were healthy or had less sugar in them. It wasn't until I stopped and looked at the labels and noticed that I was so wrong. The sugar content on the juices were so high, it is like giving my kids a tablespoon of pure sugar with each 8 ounce drink. That is a lot of sugar. For example, I went to Wal-Mart and got a package of 10 Fl. OZ. of Welch’s 100% juice. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you would probably just pick these bad boys up and be done with it. The scary part is when you look at the label.  Upon reading the label you will notice first that this little 10 oz. bottle of juice is has 36g of sugar. You will also notice in tiny little wording that the juice is from concentrate.  Makes you wonder why they make those little words so small so people can’t read it unless they are actually reading the label. This one little bottle of juice has more sugar in it than a regular size snicker bar and a whole pack of star burst. I don’t know about you but I know that scares me because with me feeding it to my kids, it is making their insulin fluctuate so much and is leading them down the road to major health problems like Obesity and Diabetes.  Brace yourself for what I am about to tell you because it is a harsh reality. An estimated 300,000 people die each year from obesity and overweight together.  That is basically ½ of the people living in Wyoming die each year from obesity and the problems it causes. That is also more than the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Kaui, Molokai, and Lanai combined. That alone should be an eye opener.

Reducing your foods that have labels on them will help you and your body out a whole lot.  This is because the foods without labels such as fresh fruits and vegetables don’t have any preservatives. This makes them a lot healthier for your body. That’s why doctors recommend them so much because they are packed with healthy vitamins and minerals your body needs to survive.   I personally buy frozen fruits and veggies more than I do fresh because as that apple or tomato sits on the shelf at the store, it starts to slowly decay and wilt, losing all the viable nutrients.  When they are frozen, they are washed then flash frozen within a matter of hours of being picked. This process locks in the nutrients and the flavor. I avoid canned goods if all possible because they have added preservatives and salt to extend their shelf life.  This causes so many issues because nearly every food we eat has sodium in it. If you actually take a moment and look at your average daily salt intake you would be shocked. Why is salt so important yet so deadly? Well this is because your body needs a little bit of sodium to survive. It is why when you are dehydrated they give you a salt water mixture to replenish your body. However, like most everything else, there is such thing as too much. When you eat too much sodium in your diet, you will notice bloating, swelling of the hands and feet. This is because salt makes you retain water. When you retain too much water, it puts a major strain on your cardiovascular system because it has to pump 3x as hard to get blood to the places it needs to go because the extra fluid presses against the vessels making them have to force blood through a tinier opening. The best way to describe this is to make you a really thick smoothie and try to drink it out of a coffee stir straw. Makes it harder to drink it doesn't it.  Now imagine how your body feels.  Ladies, we are doomed by this even more so because of that time of the month makes us retain water as it is so the added salt only puts a bigger strain on our heart and cardiovascular system.

It is also to wise to be careful what meats you eat as well. When trying to lose weight, it is best to limit your red meat intake due to the high fat content it has. I am not saying give up your steaks and such. I am simply saying it is best to limit them. I still eat steaks and such 3-4 times a month. Eating leaner white meat like chicken, turkey, and fish are your best option for a healthier you. This is all in part of these meats being low in fat and high in protein. Red meat is high in protein but if you don’t eat the proper portion size, which no one ever does, then you can overload your system with too much protein which causes your kidneys to have to work 3x as hard. Besides it takes longer for red meat to digest in your stomach than it does white meat. With white meat, you will notice you are hungry more often than with red meat but that also means that you will be taking in the proper amount of calories your body needs. This is where the controversy comes into play. Now days you hear from so many so called experts that say you need to this fad diet and only eat 400-600 calories. The problem with this is yes you may lose some weight with it but what happens when you stop? You are going to gain it all back plus some. That is the problem with all these diets out on the market. None of them have your health and well-being in mind. They only care about those dollars you are forking up. They promote if you don’t lose a certain amount by this certain date they will give you your money back. Is what they are not telling you is yes it may make you lose weight because you are starving your body. Did you know that we females need at least 1200 calories to sustain ourselves on a daily basis? That’s why I never diet. I don’t see the point because diets are designed to fail. This is why you never see me say diet anymore. Instead I talk about lifestyle changes. A lifestyle change won’t set you up for failure because not only are you eating right but you are combining it with physical activity so in turn they are working hand in hand.

Staying along the outer side of the store makes it a lot harder to fall off the wagon when it comes to nourishing your body. Not only will you find foods that will give you everything your body needs but you will also notice you have more energy to do things. This in turn eating healthier food actually helps you reach your goals a lot faster. I bet you are probably wondering why healthier foods are any better than those meals you find pre-made in the frozen section or those just add meat meals. The reason these are so bad for you are the preservatives that are added to them to extend their shelf life.  Most are loaded with salt and sugar and the things that are used to preserve them are chemicals that your body doesn't know how to handle them. There are so many study’s going around today and they all are discovering the negative side of these preservatives and additives so I won’t go into those. I will say this though, if you do have to get something off the shelf, read the label carefully. If you see anything on that label you cannot read or know exactly what it is, please don’t get it.  If it says artificial flavors or artificial sweeteners, please don’t get it. For example, without looking it up on Google, what is Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) or butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT)? How about Yellow #6 or Sodium Nitrite? Without looking do you know what these are? I bet you if you pick up that box of Macaroni and cheese or potato chips you will see it on the label. At the end of this post, I will have some links available for you to look over and find out where I got my information from and what each of these words mean.

Have you ever eaten potato chips or even those McDonald's fries you like to eat and had a kind of waxy feel to your mouth? Have you ever thought about why that is? Well it may come a shocker to you but did you ever think it is because all of the additives and preservatives they use to keep it looking fresh. McDonald's uses additives and chemical fragrances as does this as most big name fast food conglomerates get their food from the same place yet they have different fragrances and additives to them. I am going to challenge all of my readers to go a month without fast food and processed food and then tell me how you feel. This includes sodas, any fast food, any easy cook meals, etc. I highly recommend you looking online and finding a BMR calculator. I prefer using the one at If It Fits Your Macros. It will tell you your basal metabolic rate, which is the rate your body metabolizes food if you don’t get up and do anything during the day. Or in other words if you are completely sedentary and don’t even get up to go to the bathroom. Once you found out that I recommend you eating that number of calories a day at minimum. If you are active of any kind, I recommend you eating more.  Another awesome tool I use is My Fitness Pal It takes everything I eat and breaks it down for me so I know how much fat, calories, carbs, sodium and fat I am eating a day. You will be surprised on the outcome.

I hope you enjoy the 3rd post of the All about you week. Stay tuned for some hydration and a little bit of relaxation that is on the way. 

What guilty foods do you like that are not good for you? What are some foods that you like to substitute for bad ones?

Resources for this post are as follows:

Shake what your mama gave you!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Are you tired of the way you look? Is your weight one of your biggest insecurities? Today I am going to use my experiences and knowledge to help you work on overcoming that. I myself have these same insecurities about my body and fight them daily. I admit, it isn't an easy battle and I am not going to even try to say it is either. Nor am I going to try to sugar coat it and say that it will be when we both know it isn't. I am not like that. I want you all to be healthy just like I want to make sure me and my family are getting healthy as well. That is why in this post, I will tell you all things that I have done to help me and my family. Will it help you? It may but it may not. Everyone is different and what works for some may not work for others. 

Caring for yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself.  As you have read in the last paragraph I got to the point I quit caring about myself because of all the negativity that was going on around me.  Once I hit the rock bottom and quit letting his insecurities affect me so much, I started feeling a lot better. Yes, people still made fun of me for working out by saying comments like “I was wondering where the earthquake was coming from” and “you look like beached whale with all that blubber flapping about.” I refused to let it stop me. I was going to be here for my kids and I wasn’t going to let him stop me. My husband, family and strangers harsh words were my triggers to my insecurities and as soon as I got strong enough to fight it, I became free. I am using my testimony to possibly help anyone else that may be going through the same things I have and may need help. I have been down a very rough road. From abuse of all kinds to fighting the after effects of it and the turmoil that I still fight inside of my head because of it.  I let someone who I trusted break me down and make me feel worthless. So I know how it is to hear negativity all the time to the point, you start doing it to yourself. I have fought to overcome it and so can you.

Taking care of your mental health and your physical health are extremely important.  Until you get the all clear from your doctor, physical activity is not recommended because you don’t want to hurt yourself. Once you start loving yourself and battling those inner voices in your head that are telling you negative things, you will start being able to enjoy life and all it has to offer. Taking care of yourself means learning to eat right, not listen to your insecurities and getting active for a better you.  The level of activity you can do all depends on your body. If you are not use to being active, don’t expect to be able to run a marathon within a week. Start small and work your way up to where you want to be. If that means you have been sedentary for most of the day and are not use to walking, then take a short 5-10 minute walk around the block or taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work. Little changes will help you more than you know. This is why I chose to write this week’s posts. To help by giving tips that I have used myself to in turn help you guys as well.

Incentives are a great way to get you motivated to be active. When I talk about incentives I am talking about little rewards that you give yourself for being active. My favorite one that I have used is the rewards jar. The rewards jar is actually a 2 jar system that helps you stay on your goal by having you fill the jars every time to do something negative or positive. To make these jars, you will need 2 mason jars or any kind of jar with a lid on it. For every time you are active, put a bead in the good jar. For every time you slip up and don’t work out, you take 2 out of the good jar and put it in the negative jar. Your goal is to fill us the positive jar without cheating.  If you cheat, it defeats the purpose of the jars. If you don’t have any beads, a good thing to use is money. For every day you work out, put $1 in the good jar. For every day you skip, you have to put $2 in the negative jar. You can earn those in the negative jar back for working out. So basically you will have to work out 2 days to equal the 1 bad day you had. This will give you the incentive to work out. After the good jar is full, you can exchange it for bigger bills and continue going for 3-6 months or you can use that time to treat yourself with something you would like.  I like to use the beads because then once my jars are full, I get to get one thing I really want. It is great way due to how tight money is and it keeps others in my home from robbing the jar for things they want.

Venture out a bit and get out of your comfort zone. I love trying new things and it helps keep my body guessing so I lose more weight and gain more muscles, which is my goal. There is another saying that I follow because it is absolutely the truth. The saying goes “your comfort zone is a nice place but nothing ever grows there.”  To me this means that if you venture out of what you are used to, that is where you will start seeing results. If you are not use to being active and you start, even if it is walking from one side of your house to the other in between commercials, you will start noticing the difference. It will not be overnight but you will start seeing it become a lot easier. Before you know it, that little bit you are walking will be so easy you will want to do more. When it does get easy, that is the time you extend it. Meaning if all you could do is walk around your house with every commercial for a short distance and you notice you can do it with ease and then try walking to the street and back. You need to be active at least 30 min a day.  If you can already walk or jog like 3 miles try extending it to 6 miles. You will thank me later for it. If you don’t like to walk or run but like to lift weights then take this time to up your limit. I am not saying that if you are used to lifting 30 pounds that you need to go try 100. I am saying however if you are used to lifting 30, try lifting 35 or even do higher repetitions. For example instead of your 5 reps you have been doing, try doing 10 or 12. Your body will feel fatigued and even sore for the next few days but you will be glad you decided to take that extra push.

 Excuses will get you nowhere. I say this because excuses won’t get you to where you want to go any faster.  I use to be that girl that would have an excuse for anything so I know all too well all about them. It took that reality to knock some since into me.  I have given lots of excuses and have heard my fair share as well. There is no magic pill or miracle product that is going to help you lose weight or get you to where you want to get. I have had to learn this the hard way and I swear if my mentors had a club, they would beat me over the head because of how many times they have said this to me.  Being active is not only going to improve your physical fitness, but it will also help with depression and many other illnesses/diseases as well. It is great for your cardiovascular system, your joints, and even your respiratory system. Their are so many benefits of being active and outweigh the risks.  Their are so many diseases that can be prevented by just being active and eating a balanced meal plan. NO! I will not use diet as I feel diets are meant to fail. A lifestyle change however is more likely to stick around for the long run. Look at it this way, getting active may also help you get into those jeans you have always wanted to get into as well.

That is why I have become a fitness and race ambassador. I am currently a fitness ambassador for Girls Gone Sporty, Sweat Pink, and Strong Figure. I am a race ambassador for Pretty Muddy, Hot Chocolate 15k/5k, The Color Run, Color Up 5k, Color Me Rad and recently Shape Diva Dash. I have talked a bit about the others so I will take this time to talk to you about the Shape Diva Dash. If you are looking for a women's only race that you can walk or run with other women who have been where you are, then take a look into doing the Shape Diva Dash. Shape diva dash is a woman’s only 5k obstacle race It is designed to bring out the Diva in any woman with 3 miles of trail, sand and pavement and 10-12 obstacles designed to test your strength, agility, and balance.  If you are scared to do any of their obstacles, they offer an easier option or even give you the choice to skip it all together. This is NOT a mud run. There is something for everyone to bring out your inner Diva. If you have done this race before, you will still be guessing this year because every race is different. No 2 are the same.  The one thing I am looking forward to is their maze because I have heard so much about it and to me it honestly sounds fun.

Because I am a new ambassador for the Diva dash, I have something awesome to share with all of my readers. I have a promotion code available for $10 off your registration. Currently the code is active for the following races:
Dallas TX– March 22, 2014
Austin TX - April, 12, 2014
Chicago, IL- August 02, 2014
Washington, DC – August 16, 2014
The other races they have are:
Boulder, CO – May 10, 2014
Twin Cities, MN – May 31, 2014
Charlotte, NC – June 21, 2014
Boston, MA – September 06, 2014
Philadelphia, PA – September 13, 2014
New York, NY- October 11, 2014

If you would like to participate in one of the bottom 6 races feel free to message me here or hit me up on my Facebook page and I will get the code active for you. The code to use for the $10 off is AXAPHBLS. Below is a poster made by me for the AUSTIN race.  Now I get to do the most fun part of the pre-race activities…… picking out a costume. I have a few running through my head but none that have become concrete.  The ideas I have thought of are tutus, which to me everyone does; Super heroes or going all Pink Ninja Style.

What costume ideas do you like? 

Is there a costume Idea you would like to see me wear? 

If you could participate in this race, which city would you do it in? 

You're Beautiful, It's true!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What does that even mean? Well I am going to take a few moments to discuss this with you. Does it mean that to be beautiful you have to be a size 2 runway model that you see on the runway during fashion week or Victoria Secrets? NO! That is not what true beauty is. I am sorry, when you put a Victoria Secrets next to a fitness model, to me the fitness model wins hands down. Not because of her looks, but how she cares for herself. Most models on the runway during fashion week and such starve themselves to be thin for that “perfect look”. While 90% of fitness models have learned a little secret that has not only made them successful but has made them a much happier person. The secret is, they have learned to love their self and all of their flaws. No they don’t brush their flaws under the rug, they just wake up and tell themselves “I know I don’t like this about my body but I am still beautiful”. These wonderful ladies don’t say this because others are telling them this, they are saying it because they know beauty doesn't come from the outside, it comes from within.

Everyone has their own insecurities and inner demons. There is not a person alive that is immune to this.  If they say they are, they are only lying to themselves.  Yes, some women have learned to live with their insecurities and have chosen to not listen to them but they still have to wake up and make that choice to do so.  Everyone at one point or another has fallen victim to this horrible self-hate male and female alike.  When you go the gym or the store and you feel like everyone is looking at your “flaws” and that is all they see. Well sweetie that is your insecurities and self-hate talking there. Then you end up feeling depressed or angry and you just want to hurry up and get out of their as quick as you can.  Often times you find yourself making bad choices you regret in the long run because your mind is playing tricks on you. You are not alone in this. Trust me I have to give myself pep talks like this daily. When it gets too bad that even my pep talks don’t work, I have found a good friend and mentor I run too for help. I have noticed less often now I have had to run to her for help because I have started to incorporate this advice into my everyday activities. Like when I first wake up, the first thing I do is say something positive about myself.  Even if it is just something as simple as saying “good morning, you made it. Yesterday is gone and it is a brand new day. Anything can happen”

Accepting your flaws is the first step you can do to become the beautiful person you know you are. I know this seems a bit confusing but I will explain this more. Once you accept your flaws and accept that they are a part of you, you can start to love the beauty in yourself. This in turn makes you more confident and that my friend is a big part of being beautiful.  For example, I hate the way my body looks. I stand in front of the mirror for hours criticizing myself because my stomach is too big, my butt looks like it got caught in a hail storm and lost. My teeth are crooked and my gums are ugly. Then I start looking down when I walk around hopping others don’t see all of these flaws like I do. After years of doing this, I finally decided one day to look up and just for one day keep my shoulders back, head high and smile. It took that one day and that one day alone to change my perspective about me. I actually had people who I thought where gawking at me tell me I was pretty. I was even told that they never noticed my eyes before and that because I was standing taller I looked thinner. Could this be true? Could I really have something about me that is pretty? You can bet your bottom dollar I do. I have even been complimented on my calves. Which I honestly thought they were bulbous and ugly yet everyone says they are well defined and muscular.

Uniqueness is what set you apart from everyone else.  You are the only one that looks exactly like you. Even identical twins have their own flaws because they do not live the exact same way, eat the exact same food and do everything the exact way. Uniqueness has its own hidden beauties that are just waiting to reveal themselves. Maybe it is that hat that everyone laughs at you for wearing but as soon as you put it on, you feel like a million dollars. Maybe it is even those jeans you got from a second hand thrift shop that you l couldn't wait to get home and put them on because they were that cute. It may even be that picture that your child drew of you that says “I Luv UOU MOMMY” – yes I spelled that wrong because that is how I got my first I love you note from my daughter- that makes you cry because you sat there for so long thinking you were a horrible parent because you made a few mistakes. Well guess what, we all have those little things that bring a sparkle to our eye. Even if you think no one is watching, people notice something has changed about you. Whether it is a sparkle in your eye, pep in your step, or even a bigger smile. The little things that you may not catch yet others do. That is where beauty comes from. It comes from a place that you can’t find in an anatomy book or on a runway or even in the gym. It comes from deep inside of you and allows you to blossom into the beauty that you are meant to be.  It took me a long time to figure this out. Years upon years of being broken down by my family and my husband finally took its toll and broke me. It took me hearing that is something didn't change I would no longer be able to be here to protect my babies, to get me off my behind and determined to find the beauty in me.  

Take the time you need to learn to take care of you. I don’t mean this as you have let yourself go and haven’t taken a shower in a week. I am saying take the time to battle that inner voice and let it know you are beautiful and you will no longer let yourself be tormented by the ugliness it brings. You only have this one life and only you can live it in beauty. Only you can live life to its fullest and experience all it has to offer. Don’t let someone’s harsh words cut you like a knife and bring you down. Don’t give others that power over you. Take yourself on a date night. Oh yes, you heard me right. Take yourself on a date and do something that makes you happy. Weather it is sliding into that sexy dress and going to dinner and a movie, or crawling into those favorite pair of comfortable sweat pants on the couch to a good book or movie. Make it all about you and what makes you happy. You will end up feeling much better I promise you. If you are worried about your weight and that is your biggest insecurity, chose to do something healthy. For example, walk around the block, instead of that tub of ice cream covered in chocolate syrup and whipped cream, get you some frozen fruit and stick it in the blender with some water and yogurt and make you a killer smoothie and pop up some popcorn on the stove. It is all about you, do what you want to with it.

You are the one that has to live in your own body. No one else can or has the right to say what you can and can’t do when it comes to your body. Just like no one else has the right to make you feel bad about yourself. Don’t give them that power over you. They are fighting their own insecurities and are trying to hide them by making you feel bad about your own.  You know yourself better than they will ever even get a chance to know.  If you feel no one loves you, learn to love yourself. After all, you are what is the most important. Once you learn to love yourself you will start to see how beautiful you really are.  Haters only do so because they are jealous of how beautiful you are and they feel that is they put you down it will make them a better person.  They don’t understand that by them doing that, it only makes their insecurities and inner demons show even more.  Kindness in turn is the truest form of beauty. It is the most pure and respectable quality that anyone could ever possess.  It is what makes you stand out in a crowd and makes you the kind of person others want to be around. No one wants to be around someone who always hates on people. It makes them wonder what you are saying behind their back when they are not around.  For the longest I thought that nice people always finished last. I mean even my closest friends only wanted something to do with me when they wanted something or needed something. They were hardly ever their when I needed them and only one was their when I was at rock bottom. My best friend who I claim as my sister Jill was the only one who was their- not physically but on the phone- when I was about to give up.  She called me daily to give me little pep talks and to tell me how beautiful I was and how I was the luckiest woman alive because I had 3 beautiful children who love me dearly. Knowing that they are my world and I would give everything for them.  If anyone where to ask me today who I felt was the most beautiful person in the world other than my kids, I would say my sister Jill hands down. To me, she is the most beautiful person I have ever met and ever will meet. Followed close by Joanna Broadbent from Sports bras and sippy cups, Laura ‘Farman’ Williams founder of Girls Gone Sporty, and my trainer May Kusiak. All of these women have made a huge impact in my life and to be honest, I can’t ever thank them enough for all they have done. These women are by far the most beautiful women I know. Think about this next time you feel like you are unworthy and ugly.

Comment below who you have been inspired by and who you think is absolutely beautiful in your eyes. What are some other tips and advice would you give to those that feel like they are less beautiful than others?

I really hope you enjoyed my first post of the all about you week. Stay tuned in for more all about you posts this week with a few awesome surprises to help pamper yourself with! Sleep well, eat right, and don’t forget to sweat pink!

We made it!!! An awesome prize for an awesome year!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hey guys, Sorry I have been a little MIA lately. Due to the stress of my health issues and work, things have been a little, overly stressed and drained.  Don’t be alarmed, all is starting to get better. Meaning, You will be reading more from me a lot more often. This is great news because this month is Aphalicious Bliss’s 1 year Anniversary!  *Sings* "It’s my Party and I’ll work-out if I want too” ha-ha that is right, I reworded it! I even danced as I typed it as well.  That is right; bring out the candles, the Greek yogurt iced watermelon cake and the smoothies because it is time to party.  You guys know I love a good party as much as the next gal but at my parties, you guys reap the rewards. Oh yes, have I got something very special for you guys.

As most of you have read in my previous post, I have been accepted to be a Pretty Muddy Race Ambassador for my second year. I will be running in Dallas again this year!!! Once I got the news, I literally ran around my house doing squats, lunges, jumping rope, you know the works. I am super stoked to be able to do this again this year. This time however, I have a deeper drive than I did last year. As you guys have read a few posts ago, I myself had a Breast Cancer scare and trust me, it was no walk in the park. I actually got ill from the stress of it all. I can only imagine what it would be like to be sitting there and be told that it was cancer. I would never wish that on anyone.  My prayers go out to everyone who has to go through it. This is why I promise you, with you and god as my witness, I will give 150% towards this race for the cause.

With that being said, it is time for me to start the party!  I mean who doesn't like gifts? As this is my 1 year Blogiversary, what better way to celebrate than to giveaway a race entry to the very first race I participated in last year? You heard me right, 1 lucky follower will be participating in a Pretty Muddy Women’s Fun Run sponsoring the Susan G. Komen near them.   See, you guys know me, when I party, you guys get the gifts.  So without further…… ah I am not going to let you guys go that quickly. I have an announcement to make. As you guys know, I have been struggling so much to lose weight with little luck, well I slipped my behind into a pair of 20’s yesterday! I have gone from a size 26 to a 20. Look out size teen jeans hear I come!!!! Next post will be Feb. goals and pictures. Now, what you have been waiting for…….. Enter below for your chance to win a free entry at Pretty Muddy!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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