identity.

i have had lots of thoughts about identity this week – how we identify ourselves and how others perceive us. i am a lot of things:

a mommy
a daughter
a partner
a sister
a friend
a co-worker
a co-owner
a support system

but all of those things are the perception i am to someone else. who am i to myself? what do i identify as? one day, my daughter will be on her own. my mother will sadly pass. my fiance will hopefully be around but no guarantees there. i’ll retire. my brother may pass. if i’m lucky, i’ll always have friends. but do you get my point?

self-identity is so important. i need to figure out what my role in this great cosmic universe is for myself so i can live the best life possible. by doing so, i’ll be the best mom, daughter, partner, sister, friend, employee, and support!

a simple but complicated question: who are you?

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Monday Motivation – Cize It Up!

This Monday Motivation post is more than a picture. It’s me, sharing a very personal moment, with the inter webs. I’m not going to lie – I have a fear of going viral for weird reasons. I don’t want my pictures seen by millions nor do I want a video of myself to go out there to the world to be ridiculed by millions.

That being said, I do want to make an impact.

I read a quote today from One Day by David Nicholls. It said, “Better by far to be good and courageous and bold and to make difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you.” That’s what I’m trying to do. Change the world around me a bit. Perhaps if someone sees what I’m about to post, they will know they, too, can change their lives.

This video clip is a 59 second clip of me “Cizing it up” to Treasure, by Bruno Mars. It is after 40 minutes of me learning the dance from scratch…see the sweat? Haha.

Cize is the latest workout from Shaun T, and I’ve incorporated it into my 21 Day Fix workout schedule. Cize is an amazing cardio program that teaches you how to dance. No lie – it’s the funnest workout I’ve ever done. If you hate running, but need cardio, this is for you. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to email me at designingyourstars@gmail.com.

I discovered this recipe in Autumn Calabrese’s Fixate. It is absolutely amazing. It’s called Creamy Chicken Salad. Let me tell you something. I don’t like Greek Yogurt. I couldn’t eat it for the longest time, and I was skeptical of this recipe because it called for Greek Yogurt. The big secret?! I couldn’t even taste it! I modified it a bit by adding dill…a must for me in chicken salad. This is the best chicken salad I have ever eaten in my life!

Creamy Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
1/2 cup chopped green apple
1/2 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup honey mustard salad dressing (see below)
1 tsp of dill

Honey Mustard Dressing:
1/2 cup reduced fat (2%) plain greek yogurt
3T Dijon mustard, gluten-free
3T raw honey
3T rice vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt to taste

Instructions:
First, make the dressing. Mix everything together, except the oil. Once it’s all mixed, slowly pour the oil in while whisking the mixture.

Next, mix all of your ingredients together in a bowl. Pour the dressing in and mix well.

The recipe yields 4 cups, and the serving size is 1 1/2 cup. You can eat it plain, put it over lettuce or put it in a whole wheat tortilla and make a delicious wrap!

Bon apetit!

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Still Fixin’ It Daily!

I apologize. I’ve been so busy with things that I haven’t had an opportunity to update.

Ready to feel like a Superhero!?

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First off, I want to extend an invitation to YOU! Are you looking for a lifestyle change? Wanting to be healthier but not sure where to start? Come join my 5 Day Meal Planning and Clean Eating FREE group! Feel like a rockstar as you power through basic workouts while being provided with a meal plan, a grocery list, and accountability as we all work together. The last group lost over 175 lbs together! Don’t wait! To join, click here! Remember – your health needs to last you forever!

Back to my Fix!

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Showing my guns after the Dirty 30!

I completed last week, doing the Pilates Fix, Cardio Fix, and the Dirty 30. I did not, regretfully, do Yoga Fix. Out of the three, Dirty 30 was my favorite because it’s weight work. It was intense – Autumn calls it Dirty 30 for a reason! But I felt I got the most out of it. My least favorite was Pilates and that’s because it’s hard for me to work on breathing while doing the work. The C-series is awkward and I’m not sure I’m doing it right. However, you know that little burn you feel the next day after a good workout? Yeah, I felt that after Pilates. I know it worked my body hard.

I started my 3rd week today. Definitely got those Surrenders out of the way! That’s the best part about Monday…I know I don’t have to do them again for a week!

My goal this week is to up my heavy weight again. I’m using 5 lbs weights and I think I can do 8. I wasn’t as tired I thought I should have been today. Also, my arms aren’t sore. When I don’t have that ache, I feel like I didn’t push my all.

This program is absolutely amazing. I’ve lost an inch off my waist, hips, and 1.5 inches off my bust! In two weeks! I cannot recommend this plan enough.

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Get Ya Fix On!

I. LOVE. THIS. PROGRAM.

I do. Simple fact. Are the workouts tough? Yes. Do I cuss at my TV? Hell yes, I do. Am I seeing results a week in? YES.

Upper Body Fix was tough and I felt it in my abs long after the DVD was over. But, oh, it burns so good! I don’t mind Upper Body day. It focuses solely on the arms and core. It is 2 rounds, 5 exercises a piece. My favorite workout is one where you lay on your back and do a modified lat pull over. Having dabbled with the 21 Day Fix before, I’ve always used the least amount of weight possible. Not yesterday. I worked it and used my heavier dumbbells. I pushed my limit, and although I probably didn’t burn as many calories as I would have liked, I worked hard and was sweating profusely at the end. Also, the plank series is NO JOKE. Your entire body will work. But man…today I felt like a million bucks! Why? I fit into a pair of jeans I couldn’t button a month ago!

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She makes it look so easy!

Lower Body Fix is exactly what it sounds like: exercises focused solely on the lower body. Sure, your arms get a little work, but this is for the booty and the legs. Lower Body is 4 rounds, 2 exercises a piece. My favorite workout in this one is probably standing on my toes (works the calf muscles). Autumn does something tricky during Lower Body. She makes you hold the position for the last 10 seconds. She does this on Calf Raises, Sumo Squats and Split Squats. Talk about burning! Those 10 seconds are intense, but sure, you can do anything for 10 seconds…if you scream at the screen enough.

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This was my day in one photo!

My meals the last two days have been yummy. For Cinco De Mayo, I made homemade ground turkey tacos, rice, and homemade tortilla chips (1 red, 3 yellow, 1 teaspoon, 2 green, 1 blue). I had leftovers tonight. They were loaded with taste and filling! I’ll post to recipe soon! My problem with this meal plan isn’t that I can’t eat something; it’s that I have to keep eating. I feel so full! I’ve never had a program give me that! But it makes sense and here’s why. We have fed our body junk for so long that we are all malnourished. We lack what we really need. Because junk food is so calorie heavy, however, we are so used to watching that magical number and worrying about it. To get what we really need to make our bodies as efficient as possible, we have to eat. We need lots of veggies, fruit, meats, carbs, and oils! When you really figure it how much it is, it’s a lot because foods, such as veggies, are so low in calories but are so filling because of all the fiber. Dieting doesn’t work because of this very reason! You can’t heavily restrict calorie intake and expect to have your body fully nourished! You just can’t! You have to eat. But the key is you have to eat the right foods! So enjoy those 1500-2000 calories, just make sure they are the right KIND of calories. Your body needs fuel and this program shows you how to do it!

Are you ready to begin a new lifestyle? Interested in learning more about the 21 Day Fix? Contact me! I’d love to help you start your journey!

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21 Day Fix – Total Body Cardio Fix

I’m in the middle of my latest round of the 21 Day Fix. I’m determined to finish it, finish strong and successfully! I started on Friday, May 1, but today was the first day of the week so I did the Total Body Cardio Fix. It is no joke. Autumn works you hard. There is a round of Surrenders which I love to hate. I had to modify the second minute, but I was able to successfully complete the 1st minute with my weights. I worked up a sweat in a mere 30 minutes. My heart rate got up and I pushed myself. My daily goal is to finish. That sounds simple enough but that’s where most people quit! You have to keep going. That is the mantra I’m telling myself these days!

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The best thing about the 21 Day Fix is the meal plan. You eat so much, but it’s based of of portion control. When you purchase the 21 Day Fix, you get six containers and you have to add your own teaspoon. After figuring out your calorie allotment, you can pick and choose different foods and make very filling and delicious meals! This is not a diet, but a lifestyle change!

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Are you ready for a lifestyle change? Follow this blog series to see my own journey. While I don’t feel the worst I’ve ever felt, my 30s are getting to me. It’s time to start really focusing on being healthy because I have this adorable little girl that I want to watch grow up. This is just a part of my journey, but it’s the start of my fitness journey. I hope you follow me! I’m also helping others as a coach so if you want guidance and some motivation, please look me up on Facebook or on my website! I’d be happy to be your coach!

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Cucumber and Tomato Salad

I have to share with you a secret: my favorite new go-to healthy meal. Cucumber and tomato salad!

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Delicious!

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. EEVO
1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise
1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp chopped red onion
1 Tbsp feta cheese
1 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped basil leaves
1 dash Himalyan or kosher salt

Recipe:

1. Combine apple cider and balsamic vinegars, lemon juice, and oil in a small bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
2. Combine cucumber, tomatoes, feta, onion, parsley, basil, salt in a mixing bowl
3. Drizzle dressing over cucumber mixture and toss.

It’s so light and yummy – the perfect summertime meal!

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Healthy: It’s A Choice To Make

This journey with my weight is difficult. I know the right things to do. I know how to lose weight. But for some reason, I can’t bring myself to do what I need to do, 80% of the time, much less 100% of the time. It’s just hard.

Perhaps the hardest part is not wanting to give up the bad habits to make way for the good ones. Truth be told, I fear I’m an alcoholic. It once started out as having fun in college. Then a way to let loose during the weekends when the week was rough. Now I drink at least 5 times a week. I don’t get white girl wasted. I don’t get drunk. But I drink more than I should.

The problem with drinking is it makes the important things go away. For example, I would love to work out. But I’m too tired in the mornings and once I start drinking, I don’t want to work out! Another problem is I’ll eat more than usual if I drink, and I don’t stick to a healthy diet. Pizza Hut has been called quite a few times!

My goal for this week is to stick to my diet plan, taking each day at a time. I also plan to stay away from the drink for five days.

The best things about today are:

1. My house is clean. Jonathan and I did a full, deep clean, from the ceiling to the baseboard. It’s so nice.

2. I made a plan to get back on track. Writing things down is key!

3. I made a fabulous dinner: Pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, bacon-wrapped jalapeños, and asparagus. It was delicious!

yummy

I’m going to continue to document my journey here. It’s boring but maybe it will keep me accountable!

Leave a little sparkle wherever you go…

Advice to 20 year olds

I feel silly posting this but I have something I want to say. If I could say something to my 20 year olds out there, this would be it:

I am 31 years old, but I have a terrible affliction. I have high blood pressure. I have had it since I was 12 years old. It started out purely genetic as I was in normal weight range and in terrific health when I was 12. My grandmothers, my father, my aunt, etc all had high blood pressure (and we’re all known worriers!) However, as I’ve gotten older, I have gained way too much weight, and I have not lived a very healthy lifestyle.

The reason I bring all of this up is this week, my BP has spiked into the hypertensive crisis levels and this scares me greatly. I have a beautiful little girl I need to live for. I’m only 31. I’m still young! I don’t want to stroke out and die at 31. Healthy living is no longer a desire, but it is now a necessity to save my life. I have to value my life more than my unhealthy habits, which, not going to lie, are sometimes fun.

If you are in your 20s, please monitor your blood pressure and be aware of what contributes to it. It really is a silent killer. Maintain a healthy weight, don’t drink too much, and watch your salt. Exercise. Your 20s fly by quickly but some decisions you make during this decade can have long-term effects. My blood pressure didn’t start by my lifestyle, but when it’s running at levels above 170/100 while being medicated, I know I’ve done some damage to my circulatory system. I should have been wiser, smarter, and more aware. Your health is nothing to gamble with and nights of drunken stupidity isn’t worth health problems later. I promise you this.

Take care of your body. It’s the only one you have!

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My 2015 so far…

So far, my 2015 has been a process of slow change but I haven’t strayed or completely abandoned the changes. First off, I started a Challenge Group that is pretty much changing my life. I have been following Amber Snow over at Creating A Destiny for over a year, and after completing her Happiness and Financial Challenges, I decided it was time to do her Fitness Challenge. While I don’t see much movement on the scale, I have lost nearly a total of 5 inches in two weeks. Aside from that, I have cut my drinking by a LOT. Although I didn’t do so well last weekend (my birthday weekend) or the following week, I’m not discouraged…any little bit helps! Change won’t be radical, but slow, steady changes will make for lifestyle changes. In addition to eating cleaner and cutting some drinks, I’ve actually had 8 days this year where I did 30 minutes or more activity. That is still 10 days I haven’t, but it’s been a long time since I had 8 out 18 days have 30 minutes or more activity.

I’m sleepy so I’m going to bed. I had a few moments and wanted to take a moment to record the fact that I am proud of where I am and where I am going!

Good night!

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