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On November 7, 2014, I turned 43 years old. I’ve had an amazing life up to this point with many more good days than bad days. God willing, I look forward to many more years of life, experiences and growth as a person. I have learned a lot in 43 years through my own experiences and by observing others. I want to share 43 Life Lessons I’ve learned in 43 years that have helped to shape the person I am today. I am on a journey to continue to grow and become my “best self” in mind, body and spirit before I leave this earth. I am by no means where I want to be but I like to think of myself as “perfectly imperfect” and will continue to strive everyday to become better.

43 Life Lessons I’ve learned in 43 years (in no particular order)

  1. Things always work out the way they are supposed to
  2. Sometimes, you just have to say “no”
  3. God answers prayer. He will send you what you need, just at the right time
  4. Keep people around you who are what you want to be
  5. Figure out what you can do and stop saying what you can’t do (limit your excuses!)
  6. Not everyone is your friend, or wants to be your friend
  7. Your family is very important
  8. If Momma ain’t happy, nobody is happy
  9. You can’t help anyone, if you’re not happy
  10. Never stop wanting to be better
  11. Appreciate what you have right now, or you’ll never be happy when you do have more
  12. You’ll never please everyone, so stop trying!
  13. Other people don’t think about you nearly as much as you think (or spend time worrying about)
  14. Never stop dreaming
  15. You can have what you want, if you are willing to do the work needed to get it
  16. Don’t live life in the future (i.e. when I get rich, when I lose weight, when I get a better job etc.)
  17. Figure out what you love to do, then figure out a way to get paid to do it
  18. You really can do ALL things through Christ
  19. If you believe it, you can achieve it
  20. Gratitude is vital
  21. You don’t have to be like everyone else
  22. You always have a choice
  23. It’s okay to be vulnerable
  24. No one is perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes
  25. Quiet time and stillness, is necessary
  26. It’s more important to work on your spiritual life and inner well-being than it is to work on your physical, outward appearance (you’ll never accept how you look on the outside, if you’re not content on the inside)
  27. Everything is not your problem
  28. Be nice to everyone
  29. Fake it til’ you make it! Act as if you already have something that you want, before you have it
  30. Take others opinions with a “grain of salt” because everyone lives their lives based on their own experiences
  31. Your life is a reflection of your thoughts. Thoughts create things
  32. You can’t help someone who isn’t ready and willing to receive help
  33. Always do your best
  34. Spend your time wisely
  35. Sometimes you have to let people and things go
  36. You can’t have a list of things you’re looking for (i.e. in a mate) and not be those things yourself
  37. Do not settle for less than you’re worth
  38. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you’re not going to do it, don’t say it
  39. You will never find what you’re looking for outside of yourself. The answer is inside of you
  40. Silence is golden and it’s okay to be seen and not heard sometimes
  41. Worrying doesn’t make things better
  42. You can have it all but not necessarily all at the same time
  43. Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it
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I started lifting weights during my school years, when I ran track.  I’ve had muscular arms for years. Growing up, I was very self-concious about them. But now in my 40’s I am happy to have them, trying to keep them and will flaunt them as long as I can 🙂 Here are some of my favorite arm exercises. These exercises will tone and strengthen your arms. Not only will you look good, it will help you feel better and stronger when you do your daily activities.

Dumbbell Arnold Press- Stand with two dumbbells position in front of shoulders, palms facing body and elbows under wrists. Initiate movement by bringing elbows out to sides. Continue to raise elbows outward while pressing dumbbells overhead until arms are straight. Lower to front of shoulders in opposite pattern and repeat.

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Pushups –Lie prone on floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Raise body up off floor by extend arms with body straight. Keeping body straight, lower body to floor by bending arms. Push body up until arms are extended. Repeat.Resistance can be reduced by performing push-ups with knees bent on floor or placing hands on elevated horizontal bar, in between narrow doorway, or edge of elevated surface.

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Exercise Band or dumbbell Bicep Curls-Position two dumbbells to sides, palms facing in, arms straight.With elbows to sides, raise one dumbbell and rotate forearm until forearm is vertical and palm faces shoulder. Lower to original position and repeat with opposite arm. Continue to alternate between sides.

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Dumbell Shoulder Lateral Raises-Grasp dumbbells in front of thighs with elbows slightly bent. Bend over slightly with hips and knees bent slightly. Raise upper arms to sides until elbows are shoulder height. Maintain elbows’ height above or equal to wrists. Lower and repeat.

Dumbbell-Lateral-Raise

Tricep Dips-Position your hands shoulder width apart on a secured bench or stable chair or floor. Move your booty in front of the bench with your legs bent and feet placed about hip width apart on the floor. Straighten out your arms and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to always keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Now slowly bend at your elbows and lower your upper body down towards the floor until your arms are at about a 90 degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position.

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Tricep Dumbbell Kickback-Kneel over bench  with arm supporting body.  Grasp dumbbell. Position upper arm parallel to floor. Extend arm until it is straight. Return and repeat. Continue with opposite arm.

dumbell-kickback

Workout for summer!

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I decided to change up my workout routine between April and September. Every few months, I like to change up my workout, so my body and muscles  are “confused”. The weather’s getting warmer and I plan to be outside as much as possible this Spring and Summer. So, I will be adding some outdoor time to my workout. I only like to exercise outdoors when the weather is nice 🙂 I am sharing my workout routine for the next three months, in hopes it will help inspire you as well as help me to remember what my plan is 🙂 Please feel free to try any of this or integrate something into your workout routine.

I am adding more weights to my workout for the summer. I have been doing a lot of bodyweight and cardio exercises for the last several months.  I hope add more tone to my muscles and get more lean with this change. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

I workout Monday-Saturday and rest on Sunday.

Monday/Thursday-Upper Body Circuit (15-20 Reps of each exercise-Perform one circuit with no rest-1-2 minutes rest between circuits-4 circuits total (if I wake up late and don’t have enough time, I will do 2 or 3)

Standing Arnold Press

Push-ups

Seated Cable Row (at home I use exercise bands)

Dumbbell Kickbacks (I use 10lbs or 5 lb weights)

Seated Dumbbell Curls  (I use 10lbs or 5 lb weights)

Abs

Tuesday/Friday-Lower Body Circuit -15-20 Reps of each exercise-Perform one circuit with no rest-1-2 minutes rest between circuits-4 circuits total (if I wake up late and don’t have enough time, I will do 2 or 3)

Dumbbell squats

Jumping split squats

Leg extensions (with exercise band)

Hamstring curls (with exercise band)

Stiff -leg deadlifts

Standing calf raises

On Wednesday, I will go for a walk/run (about 1 hr). If it rains, I will go to the gym for Cardio.

On Saturday, I will do bodyweight exercises, Cardio, Yoga or Pilates and Abs

When the heat is on, we often want to eat less. Make sure you choose healthy options and take in fewer calories than you burn. Experts say that produce is at its at its peak in summer. You can load up on fruits and vegetables and not worry about doing damage, or adding pounds to your frame. Here are dietician’s picks for some of the best, healthiest foods for summer.

Chilled Soups

Chilled soups like gazpacho or cucumber-dill that contain lots of chunky vegetables are a great way to start a meal.

Research shows that a low-calorie, broth-based soup at the beginning of the meal will fill you so you eat less at the meal.

Watermelon

Half of the watermelon comes from water. It’s a wonderful way to satisfy thirst and a yen for something sweet.

Grilled Veggies

Try keeping a plate of grilled onions, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, asparagus, and garlic in your fridge.

Salads

Salads make for quick, healthy meals — with no recipes required.

Low- and No-Calorie Beverages

Beverages can be the Achilles heel during summertime because we need to drink lots of liquids to stay cool, but liquids quench thirst and don’t usually impact our hunger, so choose drinks that won’t blow your diet.

Fruit-Based Desserts

Ditch high-calorie desserts and opt for naturally sweet treats that can tame the most ferocious sweet tooth

suggestsions:

  • Grilled banana sundaes made with low-fat ice cream
  • Grilled pineapple with rum and pecans
  • Grilled white peaches with blackberries and honey
  • Frozen, dark, sweet cherries
  • A chocolate-covered frozen banana
  • Frozen grapes

This is my arm 🙂

Today’s post is about something that’s near and dear to my heart. I don’t like to hear other moms say things like “I don’t have time to work out”, “I’m too tired”, “I work full time” etc, etc… The bottom line is, you can keep making excuses, or find ways to get fit (once it is a real priority for you).  I am a mom and work full time too but I make it a PRIORITY to work out. It’s not my most favorite thing in the world to do but I get up earlier than I have to in the morning (6 days a week), so I can get my workouts in and I’m done for the day!  If you’re ready to make yourself and your health a priority, here are 25 fitness tips for busy moms (from The American Council on Exercise).

1. Put Yourself on the CalendarEvery weekend sit down and set times to workout throughout the week. Pre-planning gives you time to make adjustments and make it work!
2. PLAY with Your KidsThe towels can sit in the basket a little longer, get up and be the tagger!
3. Workout at the ParkThe park is an outdoor gym waiting to be used! There is nothing like getting in some step-ups, tricep dips and push-ups at the picnic table.
4. Keep a Resistance Band in the CarA resistance band is the perfect addition to the half of your house you take in the car. You’ve got 15 minutes until practice is over – why not!
5. Pre-Plan Your WorkoutsKnow what you want to achieve each week, making sure you have a balanced workout.
6. Use a Fitness DVDEspecially with little ones, there are days when you just don’t make it out the door. Have a couple workouts that you like and can pop in during nap time.
7. Pack Your Lunch TooPack your own healthy lunch so you can avoid the fast-food run during your lunch break.
8. Create a 30-Minute, At-Home WorkoutThe unpredictibility of the day sometimes presents little windows of opportunity that we didn’t expect. When it does, be prepared with a workout that is ready to go.
9. Play Date for Kids = Fitness Date for MomsWhile it may not run as smooth as a group fitness class in a gym, it gives you the opportunity to workout with friends. Milestones and gossip can all be discussed during sets of squats and lunges!
10. Embrace the PlankOne of the best exercises to work your back and abs and all you need is yourself.
11. Don’t Indulge in your Children’s SnacksLeave the cookies and macaroni and cheese for the kids. A few handfuls here and a few bites there leads to unwanted pounds here!
12. Develop a Support SystemSurrounding yourself with people who encourage and support your fitness goals is crucial to your adherence.
13. Get Your Z’sSetting a bed time for yourself can be the difference in being a happy and healthy, energized mommy.
14. Use WeightsLifting dumbbells is not going to make you look like He-man. Resistance training is key to being toned, reducing body fat and increasing bone mineral density.
15. Find a Gym with ChildcareIf finding a sitter is what keeps you from working out, sign up at a gym that offers it.
16. Find What Motivates YouMaybe it’s your 20-year reunion or the competitor within, know yourself to move yourself.
17. Maximize the HouseworkScrubbing is no easy job, put some muscle into it and keep it continuous for a squeaky clean workout.
18. Challenge the KidsWhat kid doesn’t want to do something “better” than mom? Set up an obstacle course in the yard or put on your helmet and “tour de France” the neighborhood.
19. Do What You LikeIncorporate activities that you enjoy! If you enjoy it, you will find a way to keep doing it.
20. De-StressDon’t laugh, it is possible! Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. Looking for something more – try some Yoga or Tai Chi.
21. Use Your BabyIncorporating your baby into your workout provides some extra resistance for you and fun for them!
22. Set an ExampleMonkey see, monkey do. Don’t be surprised when your kid(s) join in your living room kickboxing workout and have a blast.
23. Invest in Your ShoesWhether you are jogging, walking or taking a class, wearing the proper supportive shoes for the activity will help prevent unnecessary injuries.
24. Set GoalsWhether you want to get in 3 workouts this week or complete a 5k, setting goals will keep you on track. Hang your chart next to the potty chart, and you both get prizes!
25. Love YourselfYou have the most important job in the world and you are awesome! Believe it and feel it!

Have a sweet tooth?

Too much sugar is a major contributor to obesity. Drinks loaded with sugar can cause a major problem for children and adults. According to choosehealthla.com…

  • A 20-ounce soda can contain 65 grams of sugar. That’s approximately 22 packets of sugar in just one bottle. All that added sugar can have serious health consequences. The extra calories in sugar-loaded drinks can lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
  • A typical adult has to walk briskly for 46 minutes to burn the calories in a 20-ounce soda.
  • A typical 10-year-old has to bike vigorously for 30 minutes to burn the calories in a 12-ounce soda.

Your best bet is to limit or eliminate sweetened beverages from your diet. Try replacing them with water low-fat or non-fat milk and other non-sweetened beverages.

Tips for Healthy Drink Choices:

  • Choose water or low-calorie drinks instead of sugar-loaded drinks.
  • Keep water stocked in your refrigerator and readily available for when you’re thirsty. Carry a bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
  • Make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water.
  • Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
  • When you do opt for a sugar-loaded drink, choose a smaller beverage size. An 8-oz. soda contains about 100 calories.

Do you know that the average Thanksgiving dinner has over 2000 calories? It can be a real challenge if you are watching your waistline. The following are some eating tips so that you can still look good and be healthy after the Thanksgiving dinner without having to deprive yourself.

1.Consider eating more slowly and you might consume less. Slow down and savor and enjoy your food more.

2.Put down the fork between bites and take time to have a conversation and linger over the meal.

3. After you have eaten an amount of food that should be satisfying, you may want to wait 15 to 20 minutes before deciding if you are still hungry.

4. Don’t go to the Thanksgiving dinner hungry.  Eat a wholesome breakfast and a light snack before going to dinner. We often eat faster and more when we are hungry.

5. Watch your portion size when eating side dishes. Go for smaller portions. This way you can sample all the different foods.

6. Drink plenty of water to help fill up your stomach and keep you hydrated.

7.Thanksgiving dinner is not an all-you-can-eat buffet…

Moderation is always the key!

 Happy Thanksgiving

Ever wonder what the worst foods are to eat? Here are the 5 absolute worst foods that you could ever put into your body based on nutritional content. The winners are:

(taken from Readerdigest.com and daveywaveyfitness.com)

  1. Soda. Soda is loaded with calories, steeped in sugar, overflowing with artificial ingredients – and without any nutritional benefit. Soda is the ultimate example of “empty calories.” Just how much sugar is in a can of soda? About 40 grams – the equivalent of TEN packets of sugar! Yet the average American drinks 51 gallons of soft drinks each year. If we could cut that number in half (and replace the 25.5 gallons of soda with water), it would add up to more than 30,000 calories (the equivalent of 8.7 pounds of fat). It would take 57 hours on the treadmill to have the same effect.
  2. French fries. Once potatoes are deep fried, their trans fat content goes through the roof. Avoid this gastrointestinal disaster at all costs! Opt for a salad, some rice – or pretty much anything else on the menu (and whatever you do, don’t smother them in cheese and ranch dressing).
  3. Chips. Traditional potato or corn chips face the same trans fat issues as french fries. Fortunately, the times are changing and some companies are making healthier alternatives – even baked chips. I do my best to substitute chips with carrot sticks; you get the same crunch but without the heart disease and clogged arteries.
  4. Mozzarella sticks. “Mozzarella sticks” is just another way of saying “fat fried in fat.” Cheese isfull of fat. Deep fried, it’s even worse. Sure, there is some calcium in the cheese (and Mozzarella cheese is one of the lighter cheeses), but you’re much better off eating some spinach or yogurt to get the same calcium intake.
  5. Doughnuts. What’s worse than starting your day with a bowl full of sugary cereal? Reaching for a doughnut. High in trans fat and sugar, doughnuts are a true artery clogger devoid of nutritional benefit. Yet the average American consumes 35 doughnuts each year! Doughnuts are the one food that you will NEVER catch me eating – I just can’t justify it!
  6. Ice cream. I love ice cream, and it pains me to include it on this list. But did you know that a serving of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream can contain as much as 30 grams of fat? And who eats just one serving (half a cup)?! There is no saving grace for ice cream, save some calcium. Timing also comes into play – most of us eat ice cream just before bed, which is obviously the worst time possible.
Some of the runner ups are…
Processed meat (ie hot dogs)
frozen meals
low-fat foods
margarine

Diets often fail. One reason I think dieting fails is that diets center around “deprivation”.  One definition of deprivation is –The lack or denial of something considered to be a necessity.  Now how positive does that sound? 🙂
If you think of all the things you’re NOT going to be able to have, you often only think about what you’re missing.  Eventually, you end up cheating and feeling bad about yourself. Instead of thinking about all the things that you’ll miss from your diet, how about thinking of the good things you will add to your diet. This mind trick is really effective! Instead of saying to yourself something like “I’m going to have to give up sweets and  fast food”, say  “I am going to add more vegetables and fruits into my diet, daily”.   The opposite of “deprivation” is “supply”. So, think of all the ways you can supply your body with healthier foods and new ways to be more active, rather than what you will be depriving your body of!

You don’t have a lot of time and you’re hungry. You pull up to the drive through and in less than 20 minutes you can eat a “meal” and feel full. Well, have you ever wondered how much you’ve really consumed in that short amount of time? Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore. This is just a count for fries and a burger. I’m not even including the burgers with cheese, bacon, onion rings and peppers on it :)-well, not yet!