Weight Loss Challenge Day 7 – Small Goals

Today I wanted to share about a couple of the small goals that I have set for myself.  Small goals are important because if we don’t ever feel success on our journey to a big goal, we may never have the will power to accomplish that goal.  So when working on a large goal, I break it down into tasks or smaller goals so that when I accomplish those, I feel the goodness of that small success so that I can continue to have the momentum to move forward and accomplish my BIG goals, hopes, and dreams…

I share about my small goals in my day 7 video…

Remember, we all have choices everyday that will help us accomplish our goals, or separate us from them.  Some days the choices seem easy, and other days these choices feel like the ultimate sacrifice, but never lose sight of your goals!

choices

I’m in a Promo Video!

Any of my friends and family that have known me for years know that this past year has been a huge transformation for me in my diet and lifestyle.  I have never been an athlete, have never truly taken care of my body before, and have never really committed to exercise in any way.

I made a decision to change.  I decided I wanted a different course for my family tree and that I want to give my kids the knowledge to make healthy choices that I didn’t know about.  I want to encourage them to live an active and healthy lifestyle, and let’s face it…I can’t do that from the couch!

Our children learn best by following our example, and I decided I wanted to be the best example that I could possibly give them.

Back in June 2015 I tried out Core Strong Fitness and took my very first TRX class.  If you would have told me back then that I would fall in love with the exercise, the people, and the experience each week, I would have told you that you were crazy!  No way would I ever commit to that!  Little did I know that being a part of Core Strong would take me to the next level and give me the positive relationship with fitness and exercise that I have today.  I go to class 3-4 days a week because I LOVE it!  No one makes me go but myself, and this commitment has helped me be a healthier mom for my kids.

Recently our coach and owner of Core Strong asked me to be a part of his promotional video along with a handful of others from our classes.  I never thought in a million years that I’d be part of a fitness promotional video.  I was hesitant to do it, not really knowing what to expect, but the Lord keeps leading me to places outside my comfort zone and it always works out amazingly well.

Here’s all our hard work in an amazing video…

If you are local, come try a class!  Your first one is FREE!  🙂

If you are on Facebook, be sure to keep up with our journey and “like” our Wellness Momma facebook page.

Goals are Hard

Yesterday my friend Stacey sent me a text to see if I wanted her to grab my race packet for the Labor Day 5k.  I had completely forgot about it, not to mention I can’t even remember the last time I ran.  I did some with my daughter to help her prepare for her first 5k, but it wasn’t much because she isn’t a runner and struggled to do the walking and running.  (but she really did well when it came time for the race)  So without hesitation, I was like, YES!  I’m going!  Then I sat there and thought…what am I doing?  I’m going to be SO SLOW, it’s gonna put me in a bad mood and ruin my weekend.

Well, last night I spent some time praying and eventually told myself, “Elyse, you set this goalsgoal to do this race and even if you forgot and don’t feel ready, just do it anyway!  Who cares how long it takes you.”  I do go to TRX strength training 3-4 times a week, so it’s not like I’m not exercising, I just haven’t been running.

Getting ready this morning I just kept thinking, you are just gonna run the best you can.  It’s only a 5k…you’ve got this!  I drank my NingXia Red, put on some Young Living peppermint essential oil and headed out the door.

When I got in line for the race I was the calmest I have ever been before the start of a race. I felt peace in knowing that finishing this race was my goal, not getting a certain time.

During the race I pushed myself, I found some people shortly before mile 1 that I was keeping pretty good pace with so I challenged myself to stay with them.  Another goal set right in the middle of the race…and I did it!  I pushed hard to stay close to them, and you know what?  I was within seconds of my fastest time ever for a 5k.  My timing chip didn’t catch my start time, so it was just the clock time when I looked up my race time, but that’s ok.  I know I started about 30 seconds in, so I am so happy with myself!

I set goals for myself, and I crushed them!  I have worked so hard this past year to achieve goals in my life, and today was no different.  I am about to start some new goals in my life, and following through with this race is giving me the push I need to keep going!

Do you have goals that you are going after?  What helps motivate you?

labor day 5k 2016

Becoming Better…No Excuses!

Recently I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I’ve been doing in my life to lose weight and get fit.  Really it has been a road of ups and downs, but before I did anything I worked hard to change my relationship with food.  I now strive to make better food choices daily, use Young Living essential oils and supplements to support my health, and I MOVE!  I go to TRX 4 times a week.  That’s when those people’s mouths drop open and they say, I could never do that.  I tell them that 3 of those classes are at 6am so that I’m not sacrificing time with my family and that makes it easier for me.  They look at me and say, I could never exercise that early!  In my head, I remember when I made those same excuses.

Here’s the thing folks…I decided over a year ago to make a change in my life and in order to do that, I had to be committed or the change wouldn’t happen.  I couldn’t be successful at this if I wasn’t committed to making my body healthier so that I could be happier.  I truly enjoy going to TRX class as it’s something that has given me so much strength and helped me gradually push my body and build muscles that I didn’t even know I had.  Some days are harder than others, some workouts are not my favorite, but they all contribute to making me stronger and making me better.

I learned awhile back that if I complained, even in my head, about a certain exercise or movement, I almost always failed at it.  This negative self talk truly has an impact on what my body can do.  So for months now, whenever my coach cues an exercise that I don’t like or is one that is hard for me, I just say, “that one’s my favorite!”  Everyone knows I say it with a hint of sarcasm, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that just uttering those words each time have helped me achieve more in that exercise or movement than I ever thought possible.

There are even movements or positions that I now love! One of them is a suspended side plank.  I love it because when I began, those muscles were so weak that I couldn’t even hold a modified side plank on the ground.  I’ve progressed so much that recently I held a single-leg side plank for about 30 seconds or more.  You can see the drastic difference of those levels in the pictures below!  Neither of the pictures are of me, but I wanted to illustrate the difference between those 2 descriptions.

I don’t mean to only promote TRX on my blog, it is just a form of exercise that I have come to enjoy and it works for me.  That being said, find a form of exercise that YOU enjoy.  Even going for walks are a great way to get started integrating more movement into your lifestyle.  I used to love Zumba way back when my gym offered that class, and that’s an awesome way to burn some calories and work cardio.  Find something that you enjoy, and you’ll stick with it!

Keep following my family’s journey to get healthier right here on this blog and our Facebook Page –> Wellness Momma.  Learn more about TRX and my coach at www.corestrongkc.com

Weight Loss Transformation

There are SO many things that have contributed to my weightloss transformation.  Getting my head in a place where I could mentally be up for the challenges and sacrifices it would take was one of the first steps I took.  With the help of Dr. Black at Core Wellness I was able to work through many obstacles holding me back in getting healthy.Transformation pic 1

The second thing I did was learn about how I could use Essential Oils to help get my body healthy and working right.  There’s a lot of skepticism behind essential oils, but I’ve done lots of research and found using Young Living Essential Oils and products were top notch for my body and a great companion in my wellness journey.  We use them to detox, cook, stay healthy, and support our body systems as we go through everyday life. They have truly helped fuel my desire to be healthy and assisted in my weight loss.  Chat with me if you want more info about how I use the oils to support my weight loss, I’m happy to share!

In the last year I have been a part of Core Strong Fitness and taken up strength training with an awesome coach, Mark Campbell, using the TRX.  Here is what I shared on his Core Strong Fitness page:

I have spent majority of my life overweight.  I’ve tried many programs, diet plans, gyms, you name it, but nothing was helping me successfully take off and keep off the weight, and after having three kids, I was really struggling.  Two years ago I sought help from Core Wellness and my eyes were opened to realizing that I was an emotional eater, and that many activities in my life were centered around food.  I spent an entire year (not intentionally) working on my relationship with food and transforming that relationship so food was no longer my friend, but simply fuel to get me through my day.  I failed many times along the way, but I learned SO much.

before after1Finally, about one year ago I decided to check out this TRX class that Mark had been talking about.  I had no idea what it was, or what we would be doing in class, but I was ready to make a change for myself.  It didn’t take long for me to discover that this form of exercise was exactly what I needed.  I have worked hard over this past year, and have been able to succeed with movements I couldn’t even do when I began.  I’ve gained lots of muscle, confidence, and a drive to keep getting better.  I’ve lost weight, inches, and self-doubt. 

What has been the best part about being a member of CoreStrong? The friendships made, the accountability to show up, and the best coach around!  It is a family, and without Mark’s direction and encouragement, I would NOT be where I am now with exercise and fitness.  All of this has propelled me to have a healthier lifestyle all around, and now I’m bringing my entire family on this journey with me.  You can check out our family’s journey and like our facebook page, we’d love to have you along.  https://www.facebook.com/wellnessmommaof3/

I’m still working on myself, but I have achieved a lot by focusing on all the ways I can help my body be its best!

before after

Had a Bad Day? 7 Things I Strive Not to Do

All of us have bad days.  Sometimes even bad weeks, bad months, or even times we feel like we are trapped by events or people in our lives and it lands us in a bad mood.

Many times the advice you get are all the ways to make you feel better.  Ways to relieve stress, or take the worries off your mind, but it can be hard to even have the initiative to do those things!  No one ever really talks about the things you should NOT do.

At our house, things have been a little crazy and upside down.  It feels like at least one person is having a bad day in our house everyday.  We are adjusting to a new schedule, home programming, and a whole new diet plan to support our son with his Brain Balance program.  We try to play outside, visit with friends, get out of the house to get our minds off of the stresses, but many days lately I feel like we are circling the drain!  So, how can I help my family and I to STOP doing things that contribute to a bad day?  Here are some ideas…

1. Quit Feeling bad for feeling bad.

So many times I apologize for my mood, for feeling bad.  But really, we CAN’T be happy ALL the time.  It’s ok to experience our full range of emotions from time to time.  Instead of dwelling on your bad feelings, please just allow yourself to be present in your emotions and work THROUGH them!  Many times you are able to let things go and make room for a sense of peace.

2. Don’t Eat Your Feelings.

I promise, it only feels good for a moment!  In my experience, shortly after I’m done eating that comfort food, guilt and shame make their way in and I end up feeling worse than when I started.  It’s taken me a LONG time to remember that each time I’m tempted by that feeling of a need for comfort food, that I feel worse afterward.  Now I’m able to reach for healthier food options or make a smoothie.  So remember to keep your favorite healthy food options close at hand in your home, especially when bad moods strike!

3. Are you focusing on the problem, or the solution?

Sometimes it feels really good to vent to your friends and share all your troubles with them, but be sure you aren’t complaining about the same things over and over without searching for a solution.  Plus, your bad mood could spill over on them, and you don’t want to be the cause of someone else’s bad mood.  So instead of complaining, try and come up with ideas and steps you can take to better your mood or situation.

4. Are you avoiding the fresh air?

Go OUTSIDE!  It will boost your mood almost instantly. Don’t give in to that feeling of wanting to crawl in bed and binge watch episodes of your favorite show on Netflix.  Instead to out and enjoy nature!  Find a local nature trail, take the kids to the park, or simply go for a walk around the block.  Sunshine is nature’s antidepressant.

5. Never moving at all. Ever.

I know, I know…exercise is tough, and not fun for so many, but even if it feels like the least appealing thing to do in the entire world, DO IT ANYWAY!  5 minutes with an elevated heart rate can boost your mood for hours after.  For me, taking TRX class has been a giant help for my mood.  Even when I don’t want to go, I go anyway because I know how much better I will feel after it’s over!  Plus my coach is really awesome about accountability.  So get up and DO something, I promise it’ll be worth it to help you get out of your “blah” mood.

6. Staying in your head.

When we’re in a rough mood, we tend to focus on the bad. We go over negative situations and outcomes like a video replaying in our mine. Don’t wallow in self-pity or overanalyze past drama, start living in the here and now instead. Do activities that bring you joy: coloring, cooking, reading a good book, or doing yoga.  Find what works as an outlet for your mind to release those bad emotions.

7. Use some essential oils.

I know, crazy right?  But really they help tremendously with helping your body feel more balanced.  One of my favorites is Stress-Away from Young Living.  I put a little on my neck, or a few drops in the diffuser and it makes a world of difference for all of us in our home.  Check out Oils 101 for more info on these wonderful oils, I’d be happy to help you with a wholesale discount.

Want to continue to follow our family’s journey in health and wellness?  Like our Facebook page Wellness Momma, and follow our blog!  We’d love to have you along!

I Don’t Want My Kids to Worry About Food

I read this blog post the other day, and so much of it resonated with me that I wanted to share it here.  (Plus it’s  a really awesome blog/resource for me right now)

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/05/10/i-dont-want-my-daughters-to-worry-about-food/

Changing our diet as a family is hard.  Helping other people in our life understand why it is important is even harder, and frustrating.  I don’t want my children to have a bad relationship with food, it’s something I’ve struggled with for many years, and I don’t want that for them.  I don’t want them to feel left out or singled out at birthday parties or family events either.

It can be a fine line between teaching our children to value their bodies and minds by choosing healthy food and becoming too extreme. I like how she talked about seeking the balance between the two. What do you guys think? What kinds of conversations do you have with your children about healthy eating?

Follow our blog and “like” our facebook page to follow along our journey.  Wellness Momma

Little Victories

We tried some brown rice cereal, sweetened with organic cane sugar and it also had unsweetened cocoa.  Then we poured unsweetened coconut milk over it.  He took a few unsure bites, but decided he liked it.  My other 2 kids liked it as well.  We also tried some coconut milk yogurt that he really didn’t like, but I got each kid to at least take 2 bites.  It will definitely take some time to change how they eat, but I’m excited that they have been more willing than I expected them to be.  My oldest was NOT happy that she was having to join her brother in eating differently, but after I explained to her that it was for the best for all of us, she’s actually been quite helpful most of the time with encouraging him to try more.

Food has always been a struggle for our “O”.  We discovered when he was about 12 months old that he has a severe allergy to eggs and peanuts, then lower on the spectrum is tree nuts, corn, and soy.  We are able to eat peanut butter around him, but he has never ingested it.  We’ve always tried to limit how much he eats of the other things, but corn and soy are in nearly every processed food, like crackers and other snacks he loves, so it has always been hard to find him alternative food for in between meals.  He also deals with some texture issues.  Even when it is a food he likes, if it is cooked in a different way (or “wrong” according to O) then he won’t eat it, sometimes he will even gag and throw up.  He used to LOVE blueberries, when he was about 2 and a half we went to the farmers market and he asked to carry the bag of blueberries and he ended up eating nearly the entire bag as we walked around, that’s how much he loved them.  Well, at some point he got a “yuck filled blueberry” and he hasn’t touched them since.  😦  So far we haven’t even been able to convince him to try them again.

Another texture issue for him is the crispy-ness of chicken nuggets.  For example, we generally were at Chick-fil-a every week and he always peeled most of the breading from his chicken so that he could eat it, but give him the grilled chicken and he won’t touch it!  Those are just a couple of the battles we face.  It’s a journey, and ultimately changing his diet is for the best and is going to help him greatly in the long run!

Do you have a child who deals with texture issues?  What are some tips or tricks that you have tried?

Like Wellness Momma-Elyse McLeod on Facebook and follow this blog to continue to be a part of our journey!

Unplanned Healthy Meals

So one of the biggest things I have learned with food (as well as many other areas of life) is when I fail to plan, I plan to fail. Fail to plan, plan to fail So MANY times I’ve failed.  Life gets busy, things don’t go as planned, kids need more attention so dinner doesn’t get made, we get home late from piano lessons or gymnastics, the list of excuses can go on and on!  It used to derail me from healthy eating quite easily, but with time and practice I developed a plan for my “unplanned days” that has helped keep me eating healthy!  Here are the steps I take to put together dinner for us on those days…green veggies

Step 1: Vegetables!  What vegetables do we have and what can I do with them.  I try to use any fresh veggies we have first.  I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping our freezer stocked
with frozen veggies we can steam in a pinch, but fresh
veggies are our favorite.  Generally I roast them in the oven with a little olive or coconut oil and salt and pepper.  I try to choose a green one because usually those provide the most health benefits, but I use what we have.  Learning to build our meals around a vegetable instead of a meat, definitely took some adjustment!  Almost all of us are raised to think of what meat we are going to prepare first and build sides around it.  Making the vegetable the star of the meal is still new to us, but I think we’ve embraced it well.

Step 2: Protein!  Sometimes this is a meat, sometimes it quinoa.  When cooking my unplanned meal those are generally the 2 we bounce between.  The most common for us is leftover chicken breast, lean steak, or turkey burger that we season with our homemade taco seasoning.  I think that is my favorite!  Sometimes I add onions and peppers to it and place it on a bed of mixed greens and a scoop of guacamole or avocado slices.  🙂

Step 3: Eat it! Yes, it’s that simple.  Meals don’t need to have 3 or 4 sides.  Keep it easy and simple and you’ll be amazed at how wonderfully satisfying it is to eat REAL food!  That’s how I adopted this unplanned yet planned meal idea in the first place…make it easy and I’m more likely to see it through!

Back Up Plan…Worst Case Scenario  So this happens sometimes.  I’m SO hungry and it is SO late, that I don’t even have time for what I’ve laid out above.  So, what do I do?  Well, I used to hit the nearest drive thru, but now that I’ve kept to healthy eating for so long, going through the drive thru makes my body feel horrible!  Now I just make a protein shake.  We have a couple protein shakes that we use.  We love Pure Protein Complete from Young Living, (contact me for wholesale pricing) or the All in One Nutrition from Vega. (I’m not affiliated with Vega, just love some of their products!)  Those are our favorites.  We just add a little unsweetened almond milk, sometimes a little frozen fruit and blend it up in our Ninja.  It helps keep me on target and even on days that it’s not what I really want, it tends to hit the spot.

How can you make dinner easier when you’ve forgotten to meal prep?  What are your favorite healthy go-to meals for your family?

Keep following our journey on facebook and like our Wellness Momma page.

It’s All in Your Head!

So this right here…it’s an inverted plank.  It’s not the hardest move I’ve ever done in my TRX training, but it definitely doesn’t fall under the easy level.  What makes this so awesome, is that I couldn’t do it.  Well, what I mean is, I told myself I couldn’t do it.

You see, last time we did this move my coach, Mark Campbell gave us a modified version and I took the “easy” route because it was something I hadn’t done before.  Which is fine, we have to listen to our bodies when we exercise.  This round, he didn’t give us the modified option…I spoke up and said something, but he just smiled and said, you can do it this way.  Well, I almost didn’t.  As I was putting my feet in getting ready to go into a plank, that negative talk began to creep in.  I pushed past it and said to myself, just try, if you can’t do it, you’ll get it next time.

So I pushed my body back into a plank.  I realized, this isn’t so bad and started walking myself away from the wall!  I shocked!  It wasn’t bad at all, I could totally do it!

So here’s what I learned…your mindset almost always predicts your outcome.  I almost letpositive a negative mindset let me fail at something that was VERY attainable for me.  It was not only an accomplishment I could mark off as TRX things I can do, but it also was a reminder to push myself, quit limiting my abilities, and stay positive.  You know, it isn’t often that Mark gives me something I can’t do.  He leads and coaches in a way that helps me get better and achieve things I never have, and even on those few times I have failed at something he’s given me, he’s quick to show me how to achieve it next time.  It’s been nearly a year since I dove into TRX, and it’s been the most empowering change in my lifestyle than anything else.  Many times it’s my words and positive mindset that get me through.  Like when he has us do my “favorite things” like squat hops or burpees.  I just say, “oh squat hops are my favorite.”  They really aren’t, I really dislike them, but I tell myself these words at an attempt to keep it positive, and I think it really makes a difference for me.

What do you do to stay positive in things you don’t really want to do?  Continue to follow us on Facebook and like my page, Wellness Momma.  🙂