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5 Things My Weight Loss/Healthier Lifestyle Have Affected That Surprised Me

  1. My Energy. I know this shouldn't be a surprise, but I have experienced that afternoon slump and that feeling tired all the time for SO long it really is surprising how great I feel now! Previously coffee or a Diet Rockstar were a must in the afternoon. DAILY. Now it is an extremely rare indulgence. I know everyone always says how much more energy you'll have, how great you'll feel, blah, blah, blah, but know what? They're right. Who knew?
  2. My Family. I started this whole pursuit as a rather selfish endeavor. I am shocked at how much my weight loss, healthier choices, and new focus on a fit lifestyle affect my husband and kids. They are always watching! My kids now assume working out is just something everyone does, like eating. My 4 year old will say, "OK, mom now you are going to do my workout". Then he'll take me through a series of 'moves' he makes up and I have to repeat what he does. It's awesomely hilarious. My 6 year old will run around the yard a few times and say, "Whew, that was a great workout". My teen knows that working out is just part of the school day. Yet he's found ways to make it fun too. He gets on the exercise bike and plays Wii Sports at the same time. I'll have to yell at him that time is up. I have more energy and ability to play with my kids now. We play tag now, we go for walks. We find active ways to have fun and spend time together. The other day I went to the track to run and they all came with me. I ran and the kids, ran, walked, raced. It was so much fun. Hubby wasn't quite digging it until I gave him my Blackberry and he played with all the fun GPS features. It was an awesome, fun way to spend a Sunday! My kids will tell me things like, that snack is just sugar and won't fill my tummy. They've heard me tell them this and are choosing better things for themselves because how they feel from making better choices. (granted, this is sometimes, other times they just want that sugar treat, it's all balance) The main point is they are learning to make better choices by how foods fuel their bodies, how foods make them feel, not just what tastes good. I am amazed at how my example rubs off! My kids will be healthier adults because I choose to make better choices now.
  3. My Friendships. This one is interesting. I have made new friends and strengthened relationships with some existing friends. And, sadly, some friendships just haven't lasted or aren't as prominent in my life anymore because I refuse to focus on crappy food and negativity. I also refuse to feel I have to bring myself down, or talk down myself and my efforts because they are jealous. I have had too many of those friends that want to push me down for whatever reason. I think we can only do our best to encourage and inspire, but when we see that the relationship is only dragging us down and not lifting them up sometimes we have to limit or even sever that relationship. The friends I feel closer to now are the ones up for that 5k race on the weekend, the ones who are interested in that healthy new recipe, the ones who I can openly talk to about the struggles of these changes in my life and come away feeling better. This has all been tough, but so freeing and refreshing.
  4. My Goals. This one is so far reaching it's hard to explain. My entire focus has shifted. My outlook and desires are different. Not only do I make goals now to run marathons and shave time off my 5k, but my goals and dreams overall have changed. I want to help, encourage, and inspire others to make their lives better too. This encompasses everything from my daily goals, to my goals for my writing in the bigger picture. I am excited and look forward to what this change will bring. 
  5. My Wedding Ring. Yes, silly. (and possibly I just needed a #5 to make it a nice list-type number) But apparently I lose weight in my fingers fastest. My wedding ring is huge. I was brushing crumbs off my son's jeans and it went flying across the kitchen the other day. Obviously I need to have it re-sized, but do I wait until I'm done losing weight? How much change will I really have in my fingers? Should I wear it on a necklace? Would love to know what others think!
I marvel everyday at this new me, this new life I am building. I am ever thankful that I took that first step, that second step, and then kept going. I am not at my goal weight, but I have made lasting changes that are more far reaching than I'd have ever expected. I fall, I mess up, but success is in the choices. In choosing to get back up and keep trying!

A Merry Workout Pledge DONE!

The A Merry Workout Pledge wound up being 110 minutes 30 seconds. That's a loooooong workout.

There may have been a few of us heaping seconds on ourselves, but all in good fun!

I biked the entire time and did 40.8 miles. 

I am tired. But good tired. I feel alive! 

So much different than the old unhealthy me sluggish tired I experienced before. I would take this 40 miles on a bike tired over that any day! 

Crazy how we change.

Congrats to everyone who's done with their pledge and good luck to everyone who still has theirs to do!!

Wednesday Weigh In and Another A Merry Workout Pledge

I have switched my weigh in day to Wednesday to match up with weeks of ChaLean Extreme.

Last Wednesday I was 173. Which was up a half pound from my previous weigh in. Hrrm.

This morning I weigh 174. Which is up another pound. Double hrrrm.

My initial reaction is to say it's probably just water weight from my new workout and the focus on strength training and lifting heavier weights.

But upon perusing through my calorie log for the last two weeks, (That's a fancy name for the little tablet in the kitchen I scratched down my calories on) I see that I had one day at 1800, several at 1600, and only a few at 1300 or 1400 where I aim to be.

While I wouldn't have thought those numbers would equate to a gain, who knows? But I do know that I have been stagnant for about 3 weeks with my weight loss. Time to shake things up! I just had to post on that I am up a pound for the 6 week challenge...time to get my eating back in line. Going to shoot for 1300ish every day for the next week. 

Wednesdays are normally my rest day, but I just jumped in with both feet for another #amerryworkoutpledge (that is the hashtag we use to tweet about it). Every comment left on Steve's post here:  will add 30 seconds to my (and everyone else participating) time on the stationary bike today. Then I will be tweeting during my workout, at 2:30 mountain time. Was so much fun last time, can't wait!

Join us? Torture us with comments? 

In Defense of Carb Snobs Everywhere

The other day on Twitter I was called a carb snob. We won't mention any names here *cough* Ryan *cough* Steve

Somehow Corn Flakes and Crispix cereals came up (now aren't you sad you missed that intellectually stimulating conversation?). 

I said they were cheap carbs. Then I was called a carb snob, and I elaborated that I didn't eat them much because they made me feel like crap. Then the carb snob comments were flung about some more (all in good fun) and I had an aha moment for a blog post! Yes, that's a glimpse into the glamorous life of bloggers.

OK, anyway, what's a carb snob? Well, me I guess. And many of you I am guessing.

What I call cheap carbs are carbs that after eating them I am often still hungry. Sometimes even more hungry than before I ate them. For me they can even trigger a bingey feeling. I just want more and more of them.

Cheap carbs are more than just candies, cookies, cakes, donuts, and sodas. Those are the obvious ones. They are things such as so called 'wheat' bread (I seriously wonder if they just add some brown coloring to some of these), white pasta, white rice, white tortillas, and low nutritional value cereals. These are big culprits here for me. And just because they add back in some vitamins and minerals to make their stats look better does not lessen their cheap carb status. Sorry cereal companies, nice try.

Cheap carbs have little to no nutritional value. Little fiber, little substance that is going to fill me up and make me feel like I've just had a satisfying meal. They leave me hungry for more.

Cheap carbs make me feel like crap, plain and simple. They zap my energy and make me less mentally alert. I avoid them as staples in my diet. I have become much more aware of how foods I eat make me feel afterwards and cheap carbs aren't worth how they make me feel.

As an example, lets look at the nutritional info on a box of Corn Flakes and then a box of Kashi GoLean Crunch honey Almond Flax for a 1 cup serving.
Corn Flakes:  
100 calories
0 g fat
0 mg Cholesterol
200 mg Sodium
25 mg Potassium
24 g Carbohydrates
1 g Fiber
2 g Sugar
2 g Protein
and yes, some vitamins and minerals that they have added to the cereal to make it appear healthier.
200 calories
4.5 g Fat
0 mg Cholesterol
140 mg Sodium
260 mg Potassium
36 g Carbohydrate
8 g Fiber
12 g Sugar
9g Protein
Yes, the Kashi is twice the calories, gasp. It also has 10 grams more of sugar and 2.5 grams more fat. But I will choose the Kashi over the Corn Flakes any day of the week!

Look at all that fiber and protein! And yes, fat, but healthy fats from the almonds and flax seeds, etc in it. I need those things to feel satisfied, to feel healthy, to feel well after a meal. After a bowl of the Corn Flakes, I'll be ready for another bowl and still feel like crap after.

I eat lower carb, but not what most would call low carb. I definitely still eat carbs. I eat things like real Oatmeal (no instant here), Barley, Apples, Strawberries, Blueberries (I think people tend to forget that fruits and veggies are carbs!), Spinach, Salads, Real whole grain breads (if there's nuts and seeds in it all the better), Beans, Nuts, Ezekiel breads and pitas. That's just a sampling. Yes, some of these may be higher in calories than some of their cheap carb counterparts. But I have to view food as fuel. As building blocks for building this new body I am working so hard for.

If I choose the lower calorie 'wheat'(read as brown colored white bread) bread I will not only feel less satisfied, but I am not putting the real food and nutrients in my body that it needs to be as healthy (and yes great looking) as it can be. 

Since becoming said carb snob I feel so much better. I have more energy and have that bingey feeling rarely. I am reminded of how much better I feel now when I get weak and reach for a cheap carb. Instant energy crash. They just aren't worth it!

Don't even get me started on 100 calorie packs! Yeesh.

My point here is, yes we have to watch our calories, but not to the point of sacrificing nutrition.  That food stripped of all nutrients to make it low cal? We are not doing our bodies, or our waistlines any favors by eating it! A calorie is not a calorie in my book. Nutrition matters.

I think we really have to look at the nutritional VALUE of what we are going to put into our bodies. Does this food have fiber? Does it have protein? Does it have essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are going to make me look and feel fantastic. Or is it a 100 cheap calories that will have me feeling like crap and screaming for more?

We don't have to give up our favorite foods here, just alter them to make them have value as something to nourish our bodies! Get creative. Chocolate chip cookies? Use half whole wheat flour/half all purpose wheat flour, dark chocolate chips, and add a little shredded zucchini. Of course you can't eat them by the handful, but one or two and you've satisfied that sweet tooth and nourished your body!

So, yes I'm a carb snob and proud of it. My body thanks me.

Here's to carb snobs everywhere! No more cheap carbs! 

I am NOT a Beach Body Coach--Shakeology Review

I sort of feel inclined to put that in the title. When I first heard about Shakeology and searched 'Shakeology reviews' the only ones I could find were written by Beach Body Coaches. I am not, nor will I be any time soon, a Beach Body Coach.

Ok, now that that is out of the way, on to my Shakeology review! I tried both the Greenberry and the Chocolate.
But let me back up a little. Before deciding to review this I had heard of Shakeology through Beach Body Coaches that are Twitter friends. They all had so many great things to say about it and what it had done for them; they had me intrigued. It sounded a bit too good to be true. So I went to Beach Body's site and checked it out. I saw the price and immediately said, pffft, no way. Never gave it a second thought. To me it was just glorified whey protein and who would drop that kind of money on that? Not me. I love my whey protein and am perfectly happy with the brand I use. I wondered at what these people were thinking!

When my sister in law (who is a Beach Body coach) offered me samples I thought, aha, now I can see what all this hype is about. I tried some shake samples the night before a 5k race. I liked the taste of both flavors OK, the greenberry is just sort of meh for me, but the Chocolate is yumtastic!

The front of the package claims:
Shakeology The healthiest meal of the day, Replace one meal a day with Shakeology to help: Lose weight, feel enrgized, improve digestion & regularity, What's Inside Shakeology? protein, essential amino acids, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, prebiotics, vitamins & minerals, phytonutrients, gluten-free, caffeine-free.
Hmm, now this had my attention.

I had searched online for 'what is in Shakeology' and 'Shakeology ingredient list' and found nothing, so I couldn't wait to read the back of the package. Wow. This is not glorified whey protein as I'd previously judged it. In fact I wouldn't even use this like I do my regular whey protein. I see this as more of a multivitamin, nutrition drink.

Nutritional information from the back of my Chocolate Shakeology packets:
Calories 140
Total Fat 1g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Sodium 100 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17 g
  Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 9 g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A 100%
Vitamin C 300%
Vitamin D 50%
Vitamin E 50%
Vitamin K1 50%
Vitamin B1 100%
Vitamin B2 77%
Vitamin B3 25%
Vitamin B6 100%
Folic acid 50%
Vitamin B12 100%
Biotin 30%
Pantothenic acid 50%
Calcium 50%
Iron 22%
Phosphorous 25%
Iodine 35%
Magnesium 20%
Zinc 40%
Copper 40%
Manganese 100%
Chromium 50%
Molybdenum 40%
Whey protein 15 g
Proprietary super-fruit blend: 2075 mg
Acerola powder (fruit, Camu-Camu powder (fruit), Pomegranate powder (fruit), Bilberry powder (fruit), Blueberry powder (fruit), Lycium (Goji) powder (berry), Acai powder (berry), Cordyceps, Maitake powder, Reishi powder, Citrus bioflavonoids, Rose Hips powder (fruit), Schisandra powder (berry), Suma powder (root), Gingko powder (leaf).
===You would think I'm done, nope. I may have carpal tunnel at the end of this===
Maca powder (root) 1000mg
Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubiis) meal 1000mg
Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) powder 1000mg
Flax (seed) meal 700mg
Chia (seed) meal 500mg
Chiorella 350mg
Spirulina 350mg
Hydrilla 300mg
Apple pectin powder 250mg
Astragalus powder (root) 200 mg
Blue green algae 200mg
Spinach powder 200mg
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) 150mg
Pea fiber 150mg
Quinoa (sprouted) 150mg
Proprietary nondairy probiotic blend: 150 mg
Bifodobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacilus casei, Streptococcus thermophilus.
Stevia 135mg
Proprietary enzyme blend: 130mg
Amylase, Papain, Cellulase, Lactase, Lipase, Protease, Bromelain.
=====yep, definitely carpal tunnel, nope, still not done!===
Ashwagandha powder (root) 100mg
Barley grass 100mg
Kamut grass 100mg
Oat grass 100mg
Wheat grass 100mg
Amaranth (sprouted) 50mg
Grape seed extrade (seed, 95% proanthocyanins) 50mg
Green tea decaffeinated extract (leaf, 50% polyphenols) 50 mg
Holy Basil powder (leaf) 50 mg

PHEW! The Greenberry is just slightly different, but ain't no way I'm typing all of that too! You get the picture. Normally I would never type out all of what is in something, but this blew me away. There is a lot of amazing things in this. When they say healthiest meal of the day, I see what they mean. I couldn't wait to try it out on a longer term basis. I ordered a whole box of the chocolate and greenberry packets (and paid for it myself dear FTC).

I tried it plain. But I really like my smoothies thick, so I tried adding things to thicken it. I tried the Chocolate with peanut butter. I tried the Greenberry with spinach and strawberries. I even tried the Chocolate with spinach, you know me and spinach in my smoothies, and it was good! I tried it a couple times alone as a meal, and a few times together with an egg white omelet for breakfast. I really like the Chocolate just plain with a little unsweetened vanilla almond milk and ice blended. Yummy.

It's yummy, it has a lot of amazing ingredients that are good for you, but you know what else? After a few days of a shake a day I felt fabulous. I had more energy and just overall felt better. I say this a little begrudgingly. I really didn't expect to fall in love with this stuff. I expected to just try it, review it, and move on. I texted my sis in law (who is also my Beach Body Coach) and told her I had felt fanfriggintastic all week and I thought it might have to do with the Shakeology. She of course knew that.

Being ever the stubborn one I told myself that I HAD really turned a corner mentally and physically lately, and that was probably the explanation for feeling markedly 'better'. I have felt overall well since losing weight and exercising regularly. That was it.

The true test would come when I ran out.

I ran out 2 days ago...and I miss it. Dangit! She was right. I still feel good, as I usually do, but I really miss how great I felt. I had more energy and just felt more ready to tackle anything that came my way, I felt....well. I know that sounds crazy, it sounds crazy to me too. But I am in love with Shakeology. I will be looking hard at our budget to see how often I can fit it in. Considering how cheap I am I would say that is nothing short of amazing ;) I am also extremely curious if it would make my husband (with narcolepsy) feel more alert and overall better too.

From the Beach Body site:
Shakeology can help you:
  • Lose weight

  • Reduce cravings

  • Increase energy and stamina

  • Promote healthy digestion and regularity

  • Lower cholesterol1

I can't speak to all these claims, but I can say that I had more energy and felt better overall. I have not noticed a big difference in my weight loss efforts and didn't have my cholesterol checked for comparison. I do notice a reduction in cravings when I'm having a chocolate shake per day. It is packed full of amazing good for me ingredients and I give Shakeology 5 Stars, yep I'm in love with the stuff.

As I've said, I'm not a BeachBody Coach, but if you'd like to check it out yourself Josie (a fellow blogger) is. Her Beach Body site: .

**I have had some nasty comments, that I deleted, which make me feel compelled to further point out: I AM NOT A BEACHBODY COACH. My sister in law is. And that is where I originally tried Shakeology. 
The links in this post go to a fellow blogger's site. I receive no compensation for this post or for referrals to her. 
I am NOT biased. I simply linked to her to be nice. My integrity and that of my blog are far more important to me than to post mis-leading, biased reviews.
I still love Shakeology. Especially the chocolate. I don't buy it every month, but when I don't I miss it. That is MY opinion which is in no way influenced by being related to a Beachbody Coach or having friends that are Coaches. These days, really, who DOESN'T know one!

Wanna know my real name?

Came out of the blogset a bit today over at Please go check out my guest post!

Sometimes You Just Gotta Be a Quitter

image via
OK, so I'm not exactly talking about that kind of quitter, lol. I definitely don't think we should give up easily just because something gets hard. I would have ditched running long ago if that was my personality.

I am talking about quitting things when we realize that we just have too much on our plates to live happy balanced lives with our families. Quitting them with a good attitude knowing it's the right thing and not feeling guilty about it.
Case in point: I am quitting the push-up and sit-up challenges. And I feel OK with that. It is too much right now. 

I homeschool, write this blog, and have an active social media social life (hmm, does that sound pitiful?). I love to workout and run. I love to read. I have my house, yard, and husband to take care of (not that he needs 'taken care of' but you get the picture), not to mention the chickens, dog, fish, 3 cats..... Oh, and the kids and I have a race series coming up this summer, ya, I'll stop there, I'm sure I could keep coming up with more things on our plates at the moment.

I absolutely refuse to be that busy person running around like a crazy person. I revel in being 'not busy'. I want to enjoy this time in my life, this time in my kids' lives. They will only be this age once. I refuse to be the mom who regrets that they didn't spend enough time with their kids when they were little. I may not write this blog forever and I want to enjoy the time that I am. THIS summer will only happen once. I want to make it great.

I have become very careful about adding too much, very protective over my family's 'busyness'. Or lack thereof. If it isn't something we love, or something I feel is truly good for us or enriching our lives, it's gone. I am not talking about helping people, that would definitely go under enriching our lives. I am just talking about too many activities. Many people are disappointed by my turning things down. But I refuse to not enjoy our 'now' just to people please. We only get one life. Why spend it running around trying to keep everyone else happy? It's all choices. And I choose to enjoy our now, our right now, this moment in our lives.

So in the spirit of that I have realized that adding these challenge workouts on top of my regularly full workout schedule is too much right now. Maybe I'll do them someday, but that day isn't today. Yes, I initially worried about people viewing me as a 'quitter'. But I quit for the good of my family and our preciously short time together in the scheme of life. So, yep, I'm a quitter sometimes and I'm perfectly OK with that.

The Extreme Chronicles--First Impressions

Yesterday, UPS Brought me ChaLEAN Extreme, woot!
I was so excited! I of course immediately ripped into the box.
This is what was inside.
Two books, 7 DVDs, a resistance band, fat calipers, and a thigh band.
I felt a little like a kid at Christmas.
Later when I had time I devoured this book. Stayed up a little too late, oops. This is the "Muscle Burns Fat Guidebook". I think I sort of expected some stupid little pamphlet. Nope. This is a full size, glossy page, book. This book walks you through everything you need to know about this workout program. It includes a Fit Test (which I skipped, ya my bad). I might go back and do it tonight because it has a spot to record now and then after you've finished the program, that would be interesting to see. 
It discusses choosing the right resistance for you. Chalene focuses on heavier weights so you 'fail' after 10-12 reps the first phase. There is also a calendar that maps out what workouts to do on what day for the next three months. Love that. It is just so nice to get up and no-brainer do the workout scheduled. That's me though, I like having it all planned out. I will be re-writing the calendar to add in my runs.
Then the book goes through measurements you do before, then after 30 days, then 60, then 90. Measurements include: body fat percentage measurements with the calipers, body measurements with a measuring tape, and photos you can take. There are places to record all of this throughout the phases. I think I will do the before ones tonight. I want to see before and after what this program does. Probably going to do the whole sports bra and shorty workout shorts and everything for the pics, eep. 
Next there is a section to record the amount of weight and number of reps you did for each exercise in the workouts. I am going to try to keep up with this. I have already realized I may have to buy some heavier weights! I guess I have been punking out a little in previous workouts, oops. Last there is a detailed description with pictures of how to correctly do each exercise you will perform in this program. Also includes a space for Notes at the back of the book.
Next I watched the DVD called "Burn Basics". Chalene walks you through how to correctly perform strength exercises.
Then I read through this book. (Now you can see why I was up too late!)
This is the "Fat Burning Food Guide". Again a nice full sized book. I think I will probably follow the food program too. It is extremely similar to what I already do, so that'll be easy. I thought the recommendations were awesome. Chalene focuses on upping your protein, so totally agree there. Her calorie recommendations for weight loss at my size were: 1400. I have seen many higher, like 1600-1800. But have never been able to lose weight that high. Yet, at 1200, I struggle. So 1400 was right on as far as my body.
The book includes an overview on her philosophy of eating and then lots of recipes. Many I plan to try.
Both books include suggestions for maintenance, which I was so happy to see because hopefully that's where I'll be at the end!
This morning I woke up at 5 am excited for my first workout. I did the Burn Circuit 1. It was about 35 minutes. I used 8 and 10 pound weights. With Chalene wanting you to 'fail', or be at as many as you can do, at 10 or 12 reps in this phase I am thinking I need to get 12 and 15 pound weights for some of the exercises already. I loved the workout and am looking forward to the next!
Tomorrow is listed as a rest day, I think I will be slipping my runs in here. I am used to 1 rest day a week, and this program gives you 2. I read somewhere online that it was OK to add cardio on this first rest day. I am also hoping to add in another run or two per week. With the workouts not being the 45 or 60 minutes I am used to I think I will be fine adding runs on top some days. I do feel that I will be getting more done in that 35 minutes than I have been in the longer workouts. As a mom, that rocks. Time is precious.
I'll keep you posted!
Have a great Thursday.

If you are interested in this or any other Beach Body workouts my coach's site is: I don't receive any compensation for referring people; she's my sister and she rocks.

I am just a blogger, not a doctor or any sort of professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, diet pill, or new workout program.

Holy Wow, I am Going to DO THIS!

I wasn't planning to blog until this afternoon, but I just had this hit me like a ton of bricks: I am going to reach my goal weight this summer. I am. Wow. I haven't seen 145 since high school. But deep down to my toes I know I will see it this summer. I have no idea what it will look like or feel like and I am beyond excited to find out.

It's not really confidence, although I am confident of reaching goal, it's more like a feeling in the pit of my stomach that holy cow I can do this! I will do this. I am doing this.

But what is so strange is there is no fear, no nervousness, no doubt. I have believed in myself and my reaching these goals for a while now. It has been wonderful and refreshing. That belief in myself is what has made 'this time around' different. But there was always still this nervousness, this apprehension surrounding the whole process. But today, today that is gone. Today I feel only excitement and anticipation. Expectation even.

I came home from my weekend with an overwhelming feeling of peace. I didn't really understand it, but now I am seeing that I've had a shift. A shift in my thinking. A shift in my attitude. A shift in how I see myself. I really did win a battle against that inner fat chick. I really did makes some deeper changes through that race and what it meant to me. It feels pretty amazing. 

It's not even all about that number: 145 anymore. My focus is on feeling strong. On what I can do now that I am in better shape. On what I can do with my kids. On how fanfriggintastic I feel every day now that I am making better choices. I have turned a corner. I have changed.

I don't walk into a room and feel like the fat chick anymore. I am looking at food in terms of how it will fuel my body and how it will affect me instead of how much I can scarf. I look forward to my runs and workouts. I love setting new fitness-related goals and working hard to reach them. I enjoy that I am feeling stronger. I even feel like I'm standing up straighter! This is crazy new uncharted territory for me.

I no longer feel doubt of my ability to do this. I don't even doubt my ability to maintain once I get there, which is something I've never been able to do. I believe in me. I believe I can continue to make these choices for the rest of my life to have a strong and healthy body. I feel so peaceful about this whole process now. 

I am not boasting, I am actually about in tears at the moment, this is a really big deal for me (sorry for the mushy moment). I just want you all to know there is HOPE. Some of you may already be at this point, and woo hoo if you are, but for those of you that aren't: I believe you will be! I never in a million years would have expected to be here, I never really knew here existed for me, but here I am. There is nothing that makes it any different for me than you. You can be here too! I believe that with all that I am.

New Workout Program

Lately I have been wanting to focus more on strength training. I really believe it is what my body needs right now. Now that my 5k race goal is met I also think it is perfect timing to start something new. I have no plan to abandon my running, I do have a new goal of a sub 30 minute 5k, but at the same time I don't plan to only focus on that. I am building a new body here and I think strength training has a high priority in that. I want to feel and be strong. I don't want to be 'skinny'. I want muscle. Muscles are sexy. After all, weights are for girls!

I love goals and structure in my workouts. They really help me stay focused and get my workouts in. I love having a schedule that I just look at and then do. I had thought I would try P90X. As I've said before Vonda is now a Beach Body Coach. So I talked a lot with her this weekend about my thoughts, goals, what I wanted out of a workout system, and we came up with:
Image via
Info from my Beach Body Coach's site on ChaLEAN Extreme:
Get ready to burn fat, boost your metabolism, and get LEAN with ChaLEAN Extreme®, my new workout system that transformed everyone in the test group with 3 simple words: MUSCLE BURNS FAT®. It's a fact. The more lean muscle you have, the more fat you burn. You can burn up to 60% of your body fat in just 3 months and see visible results every 30 days
The secret is LEAN PHASING:
My proven technique shifts your fat-burning focus from cardio to resistance training. By adding resistance training in 3 phases, you'll build lean muscle, and that's what supercharges your metabolism so you burn fat long after your workout—even while you sleep!

So, I won't be reviewing P90X right now, hope no one is disappointed. Instead I ordered ChaLEAN Extreme. I am so excited to try this program! It really seems to be what I've been searching for. I should receive it tomorrow and I will be blogging a lot about it for anyone curious. (I also ordered Oxygen Magazine, totally unrelated other than it relates to my new focus on strength training; will blog about what I think of it too).

I look forward to the structure of this program and I look forward to the focus on strength training. I will still be trying to fit in 2 or 3 runs a week because I love running and want to whoop that sub 30 minute 5k goal. 

ChaLEAN Extreme is a 3 month program, so including the runs it should be an interesting (and yes, crazy intense) 3 months of workouts! I sat down and crunched the numbers (yes, ms. geeknumberlover here), and I should be able to reach my goal weight through ChaLEAN Extreme, running, and healthy eating by the end of the 3 month program. Woot! Here's hoping. 

Anyone interested in this workout or any other Beach Body products, my Coach's website is: If you plan to order any of their stuff you may as well order it there! If you don't order directly through a coach, Beach Body randomly assigns you one. And, of course, she's the best, LOL, no bias there right?

Anyone else doing ChaLEAN Extreme or thinking of doing it? Would love to do this 'with' someone!

FTC Disclaimer: I purchased ChaLEAN Extreme and receive no compensation for reviews, posts, or referrals to my Beach Body Coach. Only my 100% honest opinions will be given!

I am just a blogger, not a doctor or any sort of professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, diet pill, or new workout program.

Tumaro's Low in Carbs Tortillas Review 5 Stars

FTC Disclaimer: I received 6 Tortillas to review (not 6 packages, 6 tortillas), I receive no compensation for my review and opinions are my own.

Tumaro’s created the industry’s first flavored tortillas and today remains the best selling innovator of gourmet flavored tortillas and wraps in the country. Our flavored tortillas are trans fat free, kosher, cholesterol free, and do not contain lard. Our products have become known in the food industry not only for their health attributes and nutritional profiles, but also for their taste. Tumaro's has several prominent food Industry and mediaawards to prove it!

Award Winning Low in Carbs tortillas come in a variety of 4
mouthwatering flavors, have 2.5 g of fat, 0 grams of trans fats, and
have 4-7 total net carbs per tortilla. Choose from salsa, green onion,
multi grain and garden vegetable. These multi grain tortillas feature
multiple healthy whole grains and have 8 grams of dietary fiber each.

Those stats are for the 8" variety. I tried the 10" which had 140 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 12 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of protein. I loved them! I am giving them 5 stars.

I really liked that they had so much fiber and protein. They tasted great. I made turkey burritos with them and would definitely buy these. Although I would buy the 8" variety because the 10" were pretty big and I would prefer the lower calorie count of the smaller ones.

Attune Review--4 Stars

FTC Disclaimer: The folks over at Attune sent me 3 chocolate bars to review. I receive no compensation for this review and the opinions are 100% my own.

I received one of each of the pictured probiotic chocolate bars to try.

I was impressed with the calorie content and the fact that they contain probiotics. You can read more about their nutritional information at:

From their site:
Attune's chocolate bars contain both inulin, which is a prebiotic, and specially formulated probiotics in rich, velvety smooth chocolate that's made from premium cocoa beans from the world's finest growing regions. All of Attune's ingredients, from the rice crisps to the vanilla, are all natural. Attune's chocolate is made with cocoa butter, which is a natural component of the cocoa bean, and evaporated cane juice, which provides the sweetness and flavor. 

My favorite was the Coffee Bean. Coffee and chocolate together for 90 calories, doesn't get better than that. I wasn't a huge fan of the chocolate crisp one. I liked the Blueberry Vanilla, but it was a little sweet for me. I am more a hardcore dark chocolate lover.

I give the Dark Chocolate Attune Bars 4 Stars, the others I would give 3 Stars.

Kerri--1 Inner Fat Chick--0

Take one...hadn't had my coffee yet...
Take 2...yes, we are dorks.

Because I just knew you'd want to know what we had for breakfast, yes we were feeling silly.
Pre-race. Excited!

On our way. A little nervous.

Waiting to pick up third friend running the race.

First things first.
No pics of me running the race, because we were all running! It was awesome though. I started out way too fast. Our other friend running the race is a super fast runner (she won her age group in 23:55), and I started out chasing her a little, then I went doh, stop that she's a fast runner and you are going to wreck yourself! So I held back a little, not so great at pacing yet. I wish I'd been wearing my Nike+ because I kicked tail that first mile, I'm guessing it was under 9 minutes.
I felt great, but about half way the inner fat chick battle started I was doubting myself and my abilities It was so strange because I didn't have any of this during training. I felt strong all through my speed work and long runs. I honestly thought I had whooped the inner fat chick before even arriving at the start line. Stop, walk, this is too hard, your lungs are on fire, you are ahead of Vonda you seriously think you can hold this pace, um hello a little kid just passed you loser, look how far you have left to run, you are too slow, give up, you're never going to make it in 35 minutes, is that your fat jiggling as you run? You are breathing really loud, people are looking at you, if you take off your jacket people will see your fat rolls. You can't do this, you can't do this, you can't do this! I began to argue back in my head, yes I felt a little crazy, lol. I can do this, I am strong.
About this time Vonda could see I was struggling, fidgeting with keeping my jacket tied around my waist, slowing down. She ran hard (or so she says, I still find it hard to believe she couldn't keep up with me) caught up with me and said, give me your jacket and go! I heart her, she was so about me kicking this race's butt. So she yelled at me a little Jillian style, I threw my jacket to her and took off again.
A little further towards the end I was struggling again. This woman who I had passed long ago passed me, then every time she would slow and I would go to pass her she sped up so I couldn't, seriously messed with my head because I could tell I was a faster runner than her, but she was pushing to stay ahead of me. Instead of pushing myself a little I slowed and talked myself out of an outright foot race with her because I felt weird about it (next time, I will totally race that person). My inner fat chick started in, oh stop she will think you are weird if you push to pass her, you're tired, you aren't a fast runner, you would look stupid and probably couldn't pass her anyway. I began feeling defeated and discouraged again. I slowed down. Then I heard Vonda yell from behind me, something like you've got this RUN! She was so amazingly encouraging. I pushed a little harder, as did the woman in front of me when she heard me catch up. Funny stuff. I saw the clock then, still 32 and change, I became determined to finish before it reached 33. Bite me inner fat chick I thought. Right then the announcer said, "You got this, just you and the finish line." I pushed and finished in 32:44. Friggin amazing.
This goal started out just wanting to finish a 5k faster than 38:58, my fastest time so far. Then, my goal changed to finishing under 35. I had no idea I could run it in under 33! Woot! Next goal? Under 30. Oh ya.
Post-race glow.
Post race Skinny Caramel Macchiato. mmmmm
I hope you enjoyed the pics and race day silliness. We had so much fun that day. I came home with this overwhelming feeling of peace. I set a goal, I trained hard to achieve that goal, and I did it.

Runapalooza Day 5. Woo hoo Edition.

Woo hoo! Tomorrow is Race Day!

I opened my email last night to this:

Wohoo! You can do it!

From Jess at I felt so encouraged. The girl is just good people.This Bloggy community is so awesome that way. Thanks Jess!

Woo hoo! Tomorrow is Race Day!

I will try to have video and a race day recap up tomorrow, but I will be away from home, so it might not be until Sunday.

Woo hoo! Tomorrow is Race Day!

Busy day today, lots of things to do, clean my car, pack my race stuff, etc.

Woo hoo! Tomorrow is Race Day!

Ya, that's all I got today, my brain is elsewhere. 

Woo hoo! Tomorrow is Race Day!

You can read this if you want a coherent post about my race: and this about my race sponsor:

Woo hoo! Tomorrow is Race Day!

Sub 35 minute 5k I come!!!!

Woo hoo! Tomorrow is Race Day!

Runapalooza Day 4. Daydreaming about Gear.

I absolutely agree that one of the best things about running is that it can be done on the cheap. A decent pair of shoes and out the door. No gym membership, no fancy equipment, just you and the road. 
I also however have a crazy love of running gear. So today come with me down a daydream path of "what running gear I would buy if money were no object". Just the title gives me tingles.

Need a snack, a trip to the bathroom before we take off, go ahead, I'll wait....

First up on our little fantasy shopping trip. (no, FTC I have no affiliation with them).
Shoes. ooooooo.
Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 13 in Orange

I've run in the 12's of these and would love the 13's. Definitely going in the fantasy basket. But why stop there. Let's try some new brands shall we?

Women's New Balance 1906

I have never ran in New Balance, and these babies are pretty expensive, so while I'm fantasizing may as well try the best? Yes?

Women's Puma Complete Velosis

Never tried Pumas either, can't lie, added these to the fantasy basket because they are yellow. Always wanted yellow running shoes.

Next stop on our little fatasy gear shopping spree: (No, FTC no connection with them either). Let's pick out a bondiband to match each of our shoes, shall we?
For the Nikes, yes?
For the Fancy New Balance Definitely.
I'm thinking the yellow Pumas need something a little more fashionista.
Now let's stop by for some awesome socks. (No, FTC, no affiliation here either)
Nike Elite Running Cushion - Quarter. For the Nikes of course.

North Face Lightweight Running No Show. For the other two shoes.
Now how about for some tunes? (surely FTC you know what I'm going to say here).

And for our last stop, back to
Yes boys, back to the first store.
(No, FTC, still no affiliation)

Women's RRS Essential Jacket

Women's Nike Tech Tight Short

Nathan Love Steel Bottle 700ml

Ah, perfect. Hope you enjoyed my little fantasy shopping spree. 
All images from the sites indicated. 
No, I have no affiliation with any of these sites, but yes, I wish I did!
Any gear you've been drooling over lately?

Runapalooza Day 3. Guest Post Edition

Thanks to Michelle for this awesome guest post. Enjoy! 

Running for Results, Not Routine

by: Michelle Myers

You get to the gym, and you hop on YOUR treadmill. (You know you run on the same one every time.) You set your iPod to your favorite running playlist, and hit the start button. You warm-up for the recommended time, then you punch the speed up to your usual number, and you run for your normal time. When you're done, you cool down, wipe your sweat, and leave the gym. Successful? Maybe. But maybe not.

If this sounds familiar, you may not be seeing the training results you are aiming for. Once your body does an activity, it puts muscle memory into practice, meaning your body begins to recognize things you do repetitively. In an effort to prove its efficiency, your body even tries to cheat and find an easier way to do it than it did it last time. Guess what? That means, the awesome workout that you started doing two years ago doesn't give you the same calorie expenditure today. You've got to change it up to see results, and you've got to keep your muscles guessing.

Here are just three simple things you can do to bust the rut of your regular running routine:

1. Add an incline. Yeah, that's the other set of arrows next to the speed on the treadmill. Select a new number to try everyday. You may have to adjust your pace, so be patient with yourself. Don't expect yourself to be able to run up a hill as fast as you can take a flat path. Also, don't stay on the steepest hill for an entire run. Especially when you first begin experimenting with incline, stay at a number for a few minutes, and then change it. (And as an added bonus, interval training can really help keep you in your fat burning zone.)

Change the type of run you do everyday. Instead of coming to the gym and running for the same amount of time and at the same pace each day, experiment with each of these types of runs. You will find that you can push your body differently everyday, and you will start seeing changes in your body.

Foundation run - A steady run at a comfortable, moderate aerobic pace
Strides - 20-second relaxed sprints with 40-second jogging recoveries
Long run - A long run done at the same pace as your foundation runs
Hill repetitions - Uphill running intervals done at near maximum intensity with two-minute jogging recoveries
Fartlek run - Foundation run with scattered 30-second bursts at one-mile race pace (i.e. the fastest pace you could sustain for five to seven minutes)
Tempo run - Steady run at a threshold pace (i.e. between 10K and half-marathon race pace) sandwiched between a long warm-up and cool-down
Speed intervals - One-minute running intervals done at speed pace (one-mile race pace) with three-minute active recoveries
Lactate intervals -- One-to three-minute running intervals done at VO2max pace (i.e. 5K race pace) with jogging recoveries of equal duration

3. Take adequate time to recover between runs. Running is a high impact exerciseso you should treat it like one. Just like you give your muscles a day to recover between weight training, you shouldn't do two maximum intensity runs on back-to-back days. Maybe if you an hour of hill repititions one day, the next day you could do a foundation run on the next day. Even if you are training for a race, there should be between 1-3 days per week that you give your joints a rest from running completely.

4. Get ready to race..  Like most runners, if you've been doing mostly endurance runs indoors on a treadmill during the cold weather months, you may feel unprepared to hit that first 5K in a time that won't make you cry. Replace one day of your regular running routine by trying these different speed drills. 

       * Boot Camp Hills. Find a steep hill that's at least 50 to 75 meters long, and run hill repeats on it once every two weeks. Alternate running up the hill at close to top speed with "bounding" up the hill more slowly, with an exaggerated vertical motion. Start with six repeats per workout and gradually increase to 10. Between repeats, jog slowly back down to the bottom of the hill.
       * Hill Hops. After you've finished the above workout, begin hopping up the hill on one foot for 15 hops, then shift to the other foot for 15 more hops. Walk for a few seconds to recover, and then repeat.
       * Running on your Toes. After you have warmed up properly, "sprint" on your toes for 30 meters, taking small, quick steps with high knee action. Jog easily for 15 seconds to recover, and then repeat twice more. When finished, do the rest of your workout.
Jump and Sprint. Do a standing long jump, but at the moment you land, sprint for about 10 yards.
       * Laterals: Get in a slightly crouched position with your back straight and your arms out in front of you. Step quickly side to side, bringing the trailing leg next to the leading leg. Stay in the crouch and move 25 yards to one side, then return with the opposite leg leading.

Also, remember - running is a journey. Everyday will be different. Whether you run fast or slow, uphill or downhill, inside or outside, be proud of yourself for the accomplishment of being committed to your goal. Decide. Commit. Succeed. :)


Michelle Myers is a personal trainer and lifestyle and fitness coach in Arlington, Texas. She and her husband, James, operate Myers Cross Training. Become a fan on Facebook to get all sorts of fitness and nutrition tips:, and check out their website: You can also email her at