2016 Highs and lows

Hello 2017!

How’s your year going so far? I do realize I’m about a month late but keep reading and you’ll find out why.

Before I move fully into 2017, I must reflect on 2016 for a minute because it was a year filled with struggles, some accomplishments and bitter-sweet moments.

I’ll try to keep this in order.

January

I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a trip to Vegas for a chiropractic seminar. You can see my posts on that here, here and here. This was the first time I’ve ever been away my husband and kids. It was hard but a good learning experience for all of us.

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February

I’m not sure where to begin because this is hard for me to talk about and for years I was in denial but…..I finally came to the realization that I have been suffering from depression. Two years and twenty pounds later, my eyes finally opened and I realized what was happening.

I never realized how much being in denial could hold you back until this year. I have so much more to say about this but I’m saving it for a future blog post. Trust me, there is going to be a lot to read.

This same month I joined an online fitness challenge and it helped get me out of my funk and realize I am still capable of acheiving my goals.

March and April

I continued to work on improving my diet and fitness.

May

This was a very bittersweet month as my youngest child completed his last year in elementary. I’m not going to lie, I dreaded this day all year-long and what made it even harder is my son had the sweetest teacher who he adored. He has some learning struggles in school and she was the only one who really understood him. For moms who understand, getting a good teacher who’s on the same as you and your child is golden!

I knew the goodbye would be hard but I never imagined I would be bawling my eyes out in his teachers arms on the last day of school. I thought I would be strong but when it was time to say goodbye, everything from the last year flashed before my eyes and I was not ready for it to be over. I was not ready for my youngest child to start junior high. I might have taken it harder than him. ūüė¶

Good news is we still keep in touch with this teacher and I am glad because all he talked about all summer is how much he missed her.

Needless to say, I wanted to savor every moment of summer. And so I did, with plenty of trips to the hiking trails and beach with my family and friends.

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July

I attended IDEA world fitness convention and Blogfest. I enjoyed myself so much! You can see the highlights here img_2421

Seeing this photo again makes me happy because this week I felt better and happier than I have felt in a long time. I was beginning to feel like me again. ūüôā

August

Summer was coming to an end and it was time for my kids to start school. I was really nervous about my son starting Jr High. Possibly to the point of making me sick. One day before he started school I woke up to a spinning room. I tried to pick up my head to figure out what was happening and I couldn’t. I held onto my bed until the spinning stopped. I’m like, what is happening? It felt like a was on a roller coaster that wouldn’t quit. I quickly became very nauseous and had to vomit. Sorry if this is getting gross. I went back to bed and slept most of the morning. I did not make it to work that day.

I went to the Dr. a couple days later and confirmed I had vertigo. For the next two months, I dealt with dizziness every time I did anything, especially driving. I didn’t want to go anywhere because I was afraid I was going to start spinning and eventually pass out. I didn’t help that we were experiencing triple digits temperatures and my car had no A/C. I felt ill for months which is part of the reason I havent kept up with my blog or social media. I did see an ear, nose and throat specialist who explained how common my condition was. Really? This is common?

Eventually, my symptoms started to improve. It has been 5 months since this happened and each month continues to get better. I still feel it here and there but not nearly as bad.

During this time, I was discouraged. Here I was getting back on track with my diet, fitness and mental health and now this? I kept asking “why?” I was so afraid that I was going to lose my momentum and spiral back into gaining weight and being depressed but… I didn’t. I kept up my daily routine and persevered. Thank God for giving me the strength to keep moving forward! 

October

August, September and October were stressful. Not only was I stressed about my son being in Jr High and seeing him struggle in the beginning while still dealing with vertigo, I was in the middle of re-financing our home. 

I’m not sure if you can relate but why is buying a home or re-financing one of the most stressful things? It seems like nothing ever goes as planned and every day I was faxing or emailing documents to my lender or having to make a call phone calls. Ok, rant over.

After two months of headaches, our re-finance was finally complete and it worked out in our favor. As we hoped, we were able to pay off debt and finally get a fixed interest rate. It was an adjustable before. I was so thankful!!!

November

I finally got a new (er) car!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes that many exclamation marks in necessary because its been a long time coming. A long time! It’s still a used car but its new and exciting to me, especially because the A/C works. My old car was passed on to my daughter which is awesome because she gets to drive herself around now. If you’re a mom of a teen, you feel me right?

TIME FOR SOME FUN!

A week later, we went to Vegas for a friend’s wedding. This was the first time, my husband and I have been in 13 years.

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We had so much fun dressing up and going out with our friends. We don’t get out much!

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I normally do not post photos of myself like this but I was feeling too great not to. I had been working out hard for months and was down 12 pounds! ( I think that mirror needed to be cleaned)

We had a great time! It was a much-needed adults trip.

December

I spent this last month being thankful for everything this year brought. No one really wants to go through struggles but I truly believe we are more appreciative of the good times that follow.

This month also marked 5 years since we adopted our sweet Rusty. This dog brings me joy every single day.

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So those are the highs and lows of 2016 for me. It literally took me a month to write this. I struggled with letting my guard down and admitting I had struggles. Who was I kidding? No one is perfect.

If I could describe 2016 in one word, it would be ACCEPTENCE. I finally learned to accept what is and be okay with it.

Here’s to more accepting and moving forward in 2017!

What did you take away from last year and what are your plans for 2017? I’ll tell you mine in the next post.

Well, that took a while! I felt like I just told my life story. 

Thank you so much for reading. ūüôā

Marlene

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Friends!

As I write this, I want to close my eyes and go to sleep but my son is insistent on all of us staying up until midnight. I’m not sure how he has so much energy after our trail run today.   

The hills were brutal but it didn’t  last very long. The route took about 30 minutes. My husband was ahead of us the whole time, as usual. My son wanted to give up towards the end so I suggested he hold my hand and I could pull him and then he said “that’s not a good idea, there’s people over there and they might see me” I then remembered he’s 11 and a lot of things are embarrassing ūüôā  

   
  
The horse stables was our finish line.  

We made it! It had been a while since we’ve been but I’m so glad went. I love the peaceful surroundings.

After church, we spent the evening at home baking cookies and watching TV. My kind of night ūüôā   

Ingredients:

1 cup of peanut butter

1 Egg (organic)

1/2 cup of sugar (I used coconut sugar)

1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

(To make it vegan, replace egg with a flax egg (1tbs ground flax with 1tbs of water) and omit chocolate chips) 

Mix ingredients, roll into balls and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

There’s was a scripture that stood out to me in church today:

“So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” -Psalms 90:12

I am grateful for everyday and all I have learned this year. I’m so excited for a new year what it will bring.

Happy New Year

Marlene

Vegan Weekened Part 1

Hello

I hope you had a nice weekend. How was the weather where you live? We had a triple digit weekend but that didn’t stop us from going about our usual routine which included some High Intensity Interval training in our garage (aka our home gym) At this point, the temp was 91 degrees so it made for a super intense workout.

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The picture I posted on snapchat Saturday.

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The HIIT workout was only 15 minutes in duration but felt like 30 with the short rest (15 seconds) and hot temp. It was one of those workouts that made you feel proud when you finish. Like, how did I just do that?

Following the workout we took our dog on a walk in the heat. Are we crazy? Sometimes. When we got back I needed fuel ASAP so I made this smoothie which made me feel alive again.

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Ingredients:

1 Frozen Banana

1 Fuji Apple

1 celery stalk

1 handful of spinach

16 ounces of Almond Milk

1 scoop of Sunwarrior Protein

Blend all ingredients and Enjoy.

Note: I made a larger than normal serving to share with my husband and son.

One more thing, its only on weekends that I have patience to use this many ingredients. During the week, its two ingredients max because its much more enjoyable when it’s simple right?

People sometimes say I’m crazy for working out in hot temps but I always feel looser and more efficient when its hot. Maybe not 100 degrees, but 80¬†always feels good.¬†How do you feel about working out in the heat?

Tomorrow I’ll be back with what I made for dinner.

Have a great day!

Marlene

How I feel about working out

Hi

How are you?

This morning was cold and cloudy and as usual I wanted to stay inside and be cozy but I had plans to go for a walk with my friend. I considered cancelling but I forced myself to go. We walked a neighborhood in the hills which made for a very heart pumping walk. It always helps to have someone to talk to on my walks (other than my dog) Of course, I felt great after and was glad I went. Continue reading

A Family Affair

Happy Monday

How was your weekend? This weekend was the second time my husband and I visited the trail since his Achilles rupture. We usually go by ourselves but this time we decided to bring our kids. In the past, we¬†didn’t bring them¬†because they were too small to keep up but their getting bigger now so we did it. Continue reading

Rachel’s workout

Hello and Happy Saturday!

I hope you are having a nice weekend. Today I’m sharing my client Rachel’s workout with you. She brought her three-year old son with her today and it was quite entertaining; he’s a sweet (and funny) boy!

Rachel was getting over a cold this week so we kept her workout intensity light to moderate which is always recommended when your body is fighting off something.

All my workouts consist of a leg exercise, preferably some form of squats and at least one push and pull exercise. When you focus on the largest muscle groups; the legs, back and chest, you will burn more calories and use your smaller muscles in the process.

After properly warming up, we did squats:

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3 sets of 15

Next push ups: Straight push ups always incorporates your core where as push ups on your knees does not.

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2 sets of 15

We alternated push ups with a row: An excellent upper back exercise

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2 sets of 15

Then a step up: Great for legs, core and balance

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2 sets of 15

We alternated a step up with a ball tuck (also known as a prone jackknife)

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2 sets of 15

This is one of my favorite exercises for a strong core because it strengthens the transverse abdominis which is the deepest abdominal muscle and acts as a girdle.

As always, we finished off with a cool down and stretching; check out these cute photos of her son Jake.

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He decided to join us for the stretching. How cute is he?

Here’s a recap of Rachel’s workout:

1. 3 SETS OF 15 Barbell Squats (you can use dumbbells in place of the bar)

2A. Push ups 2b. Row

3a. Step up 3b. Ball tuck

DISCLAIMER: Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. All opinions expressed on this site are solely my own. Always seek professional advice before engaging in any physical activity.

In other news, my daughter is going to homecoming tonight. This is how she was asked.

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Yes, she loves donuts ūüôā

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Marlene