There’s so much to talk about…

Hey Folks:

It has been a really long time since we last chatted and to
be honest, this year has been filled with lots of changes. Since my last post I’ve
changed full time jobs, sent a kid to college, turned 40, changed side gigs and
celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary. We’ll go through each of
those items one by one and I’ll catch you up.

As you may remember, I was pretty stressed out with work for
a long time. This stress caused me to really rethink what was important in my
life and whether or not most things were worth it. In the end, I decided to
apply for a position that was actually in my degree field, health and wellness,
and I got it. I’m now just one week shy of my one year anniversary. The thing
is, no job is perfect, and yes, while I have less stress in some areas, there
are other things that I am getting accustomed to. This doesn’t mean that I am
heading for the hills, but I am determined to never allow myself to get to the
level of frustration that I felt before. I’m grateful that I am able to work in
health and wellness and hope that I am able to impact lives the way that I
would like to.

My oldest daughter graduated high school and left for
college which meant that this year was filled with an enormous change in my
role as a parent. Now I try to be more of a “consultant” as she begins to
navigate adulthood. There are things that she does that I don’t necessarily
agree with, but it’s all part of her learning/growing phase, and I suppose it’s
part of mine too. She’s doing well and heading into her second year and I can
certainly say that I am so proud of the young woman that she’s turning into.

Turning 40 has been a complete and total whirlwind. There
has been something about it that I’m truly starting to like most everything
about it. I honestly think that my time leading up to 40 has put almost all of
the other major changes in my life in perspective and likely prompted a few of
them. There has been something about it that I can’t quite put my finger on it,
but I think it has to do with knowing what I’m about, knowing what I stand for,
and no longer being willing to accept less than I deserve. I’m giving myself
permission to dream again. And not little dreams either, big dreams. I don’t
want a big house filled with stuff (you have to clean it, or pay someone else
to), I don’t want a bunch of fancy clothes (I’m not a fancy person and while I
like to dress up on occasion, I don’t need all that, I’m not trying to impress
anyone), what I want is a life filled with experiences. The ability to go and
do the things that bring me joy without having to ask anyone for permission. If
you are someone who enjoys the big house and fancy clothes, go for it. I’m not
saying it’s wrong, it’s just wrong for me.

On the note of giving myself permission to dream big, I
chose to change my side gig. Initially I signed up to be a coach through
Beachbody for a few reasons, 1. It was in health and wellness, 2. It gave me
the ability to work on my own fitness while helping others, and 3. I saw it as
an opportunity to provide additional income and potential financial freedom for
my family. Fast forward nearly 2 years and I was never quite able to advance in
rank. I’m not blaming anyone but myself because I struggled to get comfortable
with approaching people about their fitness goals. Yes, I work in health and
wellness, but that doesn’t mean that I am able to easily walk up to someone and
chat with them about a fitness program. The other thing was that while I had
the programs and shakes available, many people chose to either order them
directly from Beachbody (ie, the infomercials with the special payment plans)
or they were getting stuff off of Amazon. All of that made me lose interest in working
that business. I believed in network marketing, I just couldn’t make it happen
with that particular product.

Fast forward to this February and I started seeing posts
from former team mates about wine and how they were in the WINE BUSINESS.
Eventually I asked for more information. When I reviewed the info and got on
the phone to discuss it further, I knew that it was a no brainer. This business
model and product just made since. Also, I am actually starting to have success
in this business because other people see where this can go. This is the one
business that I have tried that I truly believe that I can be successful at and
begin to free myself and my family, from the chains of financial bondage. This
is the business that with a little hard work, I will create a legacy for my
family. This is the business that I can use to help other gain their own financial
freedom.

My hubby and I celebrated our 20th Wedding
Anniversary and while the first 20 has been good, our plans for the next 20
will knock your socks off. A lot of it has to do with getting on the same page
about what we want and how we plan to obtain it. Now that we are mostly there, we
can begin to make the necessary changes in order to move towards the life that
we want to lead and to be able to Live Life on Our Terms. Again, the life that
we are working towards has nothing to do with adding more “stuff”, it is about
having the ability to live life to the fullest. I’m so glad that we want to do
this together and that we are creating a plan of action to get there. 

Jess

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Square Foot and Container Gardening

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Hi Folks

So it’s getting close to planting time for me! In fact, I am currently finishing up my garden plans for this year and will be ready to start putting some of the cool weather friendly plants and seed in the ground within the next week.

I’ve been gardening using raised beds for a few years and for a while I was using a blend of regular dirt and some garden soil blends, but nothing really fancy.  I chose raised beds because of their supposed ease of use.  I was promised no major digging, or having to turn the soil like you would if you were planting directly into the ground however this simply was not the case.  With the dirt blend that I had, I had clumps of rock hard soil that I had to break up just like I would if I had an in-ground bed.  My yields weren’t spectacular either so I was ready for a change.

I started to research Square Foot Gardening to see what it was all about based on something that I saw on Pinterest (yup, I’m one of those crazy pinners, lol).  I could find bits and pieces of information online but I didn’t get a lot of definitive information until I found the book “All New Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew.  In his book he discusses everything from how to build the box (which I had), what blend to use, how many plants of any specific type you can out in any Square Foot (i.e. 16 onions or 1 pepper plant), when to plant, etc… This book gave you any little bit of information that you could ask for to start using a Square Foot Garden.

From my experience with this, especially when considering what I was using before, I LOVE IT!!!  SFG has completely revolutionized how I plant my garden.  I get a ton more in my yields, and as soon as I’m done using a Square foot I can immediately allocate that space to plant something else.  It’s so much easier to plant because I don’t have to dig in the ground; with “Mel’s Blend” I can just push it out of the way with my hand and plant.  No more digging, no more turning (I’ll use a hard rake to fluff it back up a little after this winter), I will be completely ready to go with little effort.

I have 6 beds, 5 of which are available to be used for SFG, the other one has strawberries and if you’ve ever planted them you know that they have a mind of their own and refuse to be confined to a mere square foot, J however I am debating on whether or not to take those out his year and use the bed for something else. Each of my beds is 3’x5’ giving me roughly 15 sq. ft. in each bed to play with.  My garden will consist of plants that I’ll purchase as well as items that I’ll start from seed.  The plants are always super easy to just plop down in the blend and let them do their thing.

This year I also plan to add more container planting to my mix. Doing this will allow me the flexibility to move plants around if I feel like they aren’t getting sufficient sunshine. My plan is to get some buckets and bins to plant things in. Will it be the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen in a backyard? Not at all, but my goal is not about having a backyard that is aesthetic beautiful, but instead, have one that serves a purpose. That purpose happens to be providing healthy, fresh, and yummy food for my family to enjoy for the summer, and if I have more than I can handle at any given time, I will share with friends and neighbors and learning to can so that I can enjoy MY food for a longer period of time.

Many people are really nervous about gardening but it’s actually pretty simple. Plants generally only need food, water, and sun. Nothing fancy, just simple things. The other thing is that by using containers, gardening is accessible to people who have very little outside space. In fact, fresh herbs can be grown indoors by a window.

I am, by no means, an expert at gardening, but many members of my family have grown food for many years. I can remember going to my great grandfathers and looking at his neat rows of food planted in the backyard. There was little to no yard (play) space, it was all allocated to the garden. My grandmother has always kept a small garden (which my brother has taken over and is very successful with). My mom has always had one too. The example that has always been set for me is that it’s a good thing to grow your own food and to have that connection with your food and the earth beneath you. My husband and teenage kids love going out to the garden and getting tomatoes or whatever else they want, when they want it. I definitely appreciate the lessons that I’ve learned from my family and the love and respect that I have for my little plot of land. It’s such a blessing.

Happy Planting!

Jess

What’s Going On!

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Hi Folks:

So let me start out by saying that I completely and totally apologize for being MIA for the last few months. Life has been filled with so many ups and downs that I’m just grateful that I’ve made it this far. Now I won’t say that all of it is over with, but I am starting to gain a better sense of clarity through all of this. This is the deal; I can’t allow all of the stresses from work or any other section of life make me so stressed out that I let it impact how I interact with my loved ones. Life is so precious and the time that I have with my loved ones is precious as well. I cannot and will not allow challenges to impact my family life. Work will be there and if something happens to me, I can and will be replaced. Heck, I could be replaced even if nothing happened to me. My family will always need me and it is vital that I give them the best version of me.

Needless to say, all of this stress has not been good, mentally, physically, and especially from a weight loss and nutrition perspective. Stress eating has been in overload mode and I absolutely have to figure out the best way to reign this in. Cold turkey won’t work because I will lose it in a week and end up in the middle of a pile of junk food somewhere. So where does that leave me? Trying to find a perfect balance between healthy eating and occasional treats. Will it be easy, nope! Will it be worth it, absolutely!

I have to give the very best version of me to my family, the people that I care about and those who care about me. My best version is strong, healthy, with clarity of mind, not stressed out and eating way too much. It’s done, I’m over it, I’m moving on. I have some things inside me that I really want to begin working on and all of the noise, all of the drama, and all of the nonsense that I continue to allow in is not leaving me room to do those things. No more! I am choosing to get my health right and work on my other things.

Prior to my 39th birthday I had a great deal of hope going into this last year of my 30’s, but as my birthday came and went, so did my zeal and my plan on how this year would be epic. I have just over 6 months until I turn 40 and I had a goal to make some things happen before then. I guess there’s no time better than right now to push for the life that I want.

Jess

Change of Plans

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Hi Folks:

So my original plan was to finish P90X3 then move on to The Master’s Hammer and Chisel in January, however I decided to go ahead and change my plans and start Hammer and Chisel on this past Monday. If you haven’t heard about it yet, this is the new Beachbody program from Beachbody trainers Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev.

Why I chose this program:

Simply put, I enjoy a challenge! I love workouts that tax my mind and my body and push me to be my very best. I get bored easily so the daily variety is helpful. This program also includes portion fix containers and a meal plan to assist in the ever important nutrition aspect of your wellness journey.

I am a week into my program and I absolutely love it so far. Partially because of the short workouts but also because the nutrition is easier once you plan out your week and prepare ahead of time, limiting any surprises.

Beginning January 4, I will be hosting a 60 day accountability and challenge group to start the New Year off right. The group will feature the Master’s Hammer and Chisel plus Shakeology, however you can use any Beachbody program. I just want you to use the program that best suits you and that you can commit to completing.

This will not be a time to quit on ourselves, but rather a time to commit to our health and well-being. Taking the 30-40 minutes a day to workout is an easy way to begin to prioritize yourself and not allow the challenges of daily life to get in the way of you living your best life.

If you’re interested in joining the challenge group and want to get your copy of The Master’s Hammer and Chisel, click the link below:

http://www.teambeachbody.com/checkout/-/bbcheckout/challengepack/hammer-chisel?referringRepId=782033

Remember to order by December 14th to receive by Christmas (with standard shipping) and December 21st to receive by New Years (with standard shipping).

Jess

3 – Day Refresh – Day 3 Recap

Hi Folks,

Today, like yesterday was pretty good. My energy levels were higher and can’t complain at all.
Here’s what I ate:
Breakfast: Greenberry Shakeology with strawberries

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Mid morning: Fiber Sweep
Lunch: Lemon Pepper Cauliflower with 1/2 pear and Vanilla Fresh Shake

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Mid afternoon: no snack,  not hungry
Dinner: Vegetable stir fry with Vanilla Fresh Shake.

How I feel:
I’m feeling pretty good. Not as tired at all.  I’m sleeping well too, which I’m grateful for because that can be a challenge. I’m also happy to report that I’m down another 1.8lbs. Now just waiting to see my final numbers in the morning. 

Jess

3 – Day Refresh: Day 2 Recap

Hi Folks:

What a difference a day makes!

I’m so glad that today was so much better than yesterday. 

Today I ate:

Upon waking: Water

Breakfast: Vanilla Shakeology and 1/2 Apple

Mid-morning: Fiber Sweep

Lunch: Curried cauliflower, 1/2 apple with almond butter, Vanilla Fresh Shake

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Mid Afternoon Snack: Wasn’t hungry!

Dinner: Salad, no dressing, with Vanilla Fresh Shake (no pic, sorry)

I also drank a lot of water and some tea.

How I feel:

Today I feel great. No headache and my energy levels are coming back up. 

Total loss so far: 1.4 lbs

Feeling great!

Jess

3 – Day Refresh: Day 1 Recap

Hi Folks:

So day 1 of my refresh is in the books. I’m so excited that I started this and I know that as long as I can remain consistent and stay the course, the results will come.:)

First let’s talk about what I ate today:

Upon waking: Water

Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology and 1/2 Apple

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Mid-morning: Fiber Sweep

Lunch: Lemon pepper broccoli, Vanilla Fresh Shake, and the other 1/2 apple

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Mid Afternoon Snack: Carrots and Hummus (forgot to snap a pic, sorry)

Dinner: Steamed Coconut Veggies (Carrots, Cauliflower, and Broccoli), Vanilla Fresh Shake, and broth

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I also drank a lot of water and some tea, in fact I’m not done so I guess I’ll be up tonight going to the potty.

How I feel:

Overall I’m feeling okay. I’m not feeling overly hungry which is great. I have a little bit of a headache, probably because of the lack of caffeine. I’m also a little tired and I’ll be doing a little bit of yoga as my exercise for the day. I’m not feeling as bloated as I did before. I’m really hoping that tomorrow is a bit easier and I can pick up where I left off on my exercise.

Feeling good!

Jess

My 3-Day Refresh starts tomorrow!

Hi Folks:

So with yesterday being a pretty busy day starting with picking out fixtures for my bathroom remodel, picking up a few last minute baking supplies for my cupcakes, baking more cupcakes than I’ve ever made before, and attending my daughter’s volleyball banquet I forgot to mention that I got my 3-Day Refresh in the mail.

I’m planning out my meals so that I can be successful on the 3 days and will be starting it tomorrow. I think that the hardest challenge will be the lack of coffee but I’ve been preparing for that by drinking half decaf in my morning cup so that I don’t experience an extreme decrease in my caffeine intake and get a headache. I will be having green tea, which does contain some caffeine, in it’s place.

Before we get to far, you may be asking what a 3-Day Refresh is.

The 3-Day Refresh is a program designed to help you kick start your health and nutrition efforts and help you make a break from your negative habits. For me this is important because I’ve been a bit off for a while and I need that extra push to get me going.

Check out this quick video about the Refresh:

http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/JessicaMarie76?bctid=3591210905001

What do you get in the pack:

During the 3-Day Refresh I’ll be enjoying 3 daily shakes, a fiber drink, fruits, veggies, healthy fats and plenty of water. All of this is designed to keep you full and keep your energy levels up and metabolism cranking. The kit contains Shakeology, Fiber Sweep, and Vanilla Fresh (a protein rich shake). It also comes with an easy to follow guide that gives you step by step instructions for completing the 3 days and if you have everything that you need, there is no way to mess this up.

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For the next 3 days I will be completing the following:

Wake-up: Drink 8-12 oz of water

Breakfast: Shakeology + a fruit option

Mid-morning: Fiber Sweep

Lunch: Vanilla Fresh Shake + Fruit + Veggie + Healthy Fat

Afternoon Snack: Veggie + Healthy Fat

Dinner: Vanilla Fresh Shake + a meal from the dinner recipes + Organic veggie broth (optional)

You are encouraged to drink half your body weight, in ounces, of water every day to help with the increased fiber intake.

I will also be completing mild to moderate exercise during my refresh, nothing super strenuous.

I’m pretty excited about giving this a try and will be documenting my daily results here. Stay tuned!

Jess

Happy October!!!

Hi Folks:

It’s the first day of October, my favorite month of the year! Why do I love October so much? Partially because it’s my birthday month, but also because it is one of the most beautiful months in the year. The leaves change and you really have an opportunity to experience all of the beautiful colors found in nature. I know, I know, the fall season officially starts in September, but it really doesn’t seem like it’s here until October.

I’m also excited that I’ve also began to see some benefits from my nutrition and fitness efforts. Since I’ve started coaching, I’ve become much more accountable. I have to actually complete my workouts regularly and eat right 80% of the time. I’m not perfect, no one is, but I am able to give my best effort at all times. I recently shared with my challenge group some before and current pics of me and while I felt that my progress wasn’t huge, or significant, they encouraged me, the coach, and let me know that they do see the changes and that I was doing great. That’s the beauty of an accountability group. We are there to push each other when it’s needs. But we also encourage each other when we need that too! And it’s a beautiful thing.

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My results are from using 21 Day Fix. I will say that while I have started P90X3, I am still using the 21 Day Fix eating plan because it’s what works for me. I tend to be one of those people who can consistently lose a half pound to 2 pounds and a half every week. Some people can do more, but with my body, this is what happens. Either I can sulk about that because I see other people who can lose 3-5lbs in any given week, or I can be happy about it and look forward to what that really means for me.

There are 13 weeks left in 2015.

If I lose .5lb/week: 6.5lbs

If I lose 1lb/week: 13lbs

If I lose 1.5lbs/week: 19.5lbs

If I lose 2lbs/week: 26lbs

Obviously what happens from week to week varies because, let’s face it, I’m a woman and my hormones get all out of whack. I sometimes I eat what I shouldn’t, I sometimes retain water, you name it. I’m also strength training so my muscle growth can skew what is really going on. But as long as I continue to move in the right direction, I’m going to be ok.

Another thing that I’m excited to share with you is that beginning today, the program that has helped me get this train moving, 21 Day Fix is this month’s promotion.

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In this Challenge Pack you’ll get the 21 Day Fix fitness program, Shakeology, and a free 30-day trial membership to the Team Beachbody Club, where you can stream your workout anytime, anywhere. Plus, for a limited time only, you’ll will also get a 21 Day Fix Insulated Tote Bag. For the month of October you’ll get all of this for only $140, a savings of $70 (if you purchased everything individually). If you’re curious about 21 Day Fix or you’ve been wanting to try it out, the time is now. Click the link below and get started today.

http://www.teambeachbody.com/checkout/-/bbcheckout/challengepack/21-day-fix?referringRepId=782033

Finally, I’m excited because the October Team Motivate Coach Basics Group is starting on October 5th. As I shared before, coaching has already started to change my life because I enjoy sharing my experiences, my ups and downs with others. I also love that I’m able to help other people along the way. Coaching, for me, has gone beyond just health and fitness. I’m here to motivation my group in so many different ways, and I love it. I feel like I’m making a difference in the lives of other people. And that matters to me. If coaching sounds like something that you’re interested in, leave a comment below and I’ll contact you to discuss the opportunity further.

Jess

21 Day Fix – Update

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Hi Folks:

First I want to say that I hope that you like the new blog format and colors. 🙂 Fun Right!

Just wanted to give you an update on where I am on my fitness and coaching journey. So, as usual, I am above and beyond busy with work and family stuff, but guess what? This time I didn’t allow the daily grind to take me out of the game. Being a coach has helped to keep me accountable to the ladies that I’m helping because I can’t help them if I’m not willing to help myself. Go figure!

I’m also hosting a FREE – 30 day Fitness and Nutrition Group on Facebook. In this group the members are receiving tips and tools on fitness as well as meal planning and prepping. I’m sharing some of the “best practices” that I use in my day to day life, as well as recipes for slow cooker meals that I use when I know that I won’t have time to cook (i.e. after school activity nights). These tips really cut down on the amount of time and money spent in the drive through lines. Plus I know that I am providing my family with healthy and wholesome meals.

I’ve already completed my first round of the 21 Day Fix and I lost nearly 5lbs. Today I am on week 3, day 1 of my second round and I’m down 3lbs in this round. I’ve not been perfect but I have been better than I was before. Weekends are still hard because I tend to not be a regimented and I don’t eat on the same schedule that I do when I am at work all day. The biggest change, outside of weight loss is the inches that I’ve lost. I’ll have final measurements soon, but having your hubby and kids point out that your pants aren’t fitting so great is a good indicator. J

As I finish up this 2nd round of the 21 Day Fix I’m starting to think about what program I want to do next. I’m thinking P90X3 is on tap for me. The 30 minute workouts are the perfect 1…2… punch for me and I can get it done and move on. Right now, extremely long workout are not feasible for me so I’m always looking for something that I can get done with minimal impact to my day. The 90 days will be a challenge because I think that I have a bit of ADHD and if I look at it from a 90 day perspective, I might be a little intimidated. If I look at it as 3 separate 30 challenges (phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3), then I can be successful.

Part of implementing any new thing in your life is understanding who you are and what your specific needs are. As for me, I get bored, I know that, but the beautiful thing about Beachbody is that there are a ton of programs to choose from. Pick the ones that will work best for you, wherever you are on your journey. My fitness journey is not yours and yours is not mine. All I can do as a coach is to help you find that thing that you love and push and motivate you to be your very best. I can be your biggest cheerleader or your toughest drill sergeant depending on the situation.

If you’re interested in having me as your coach, contact me by clicking on the “Beachbody Programs and Coaching Info” link and fill out the “Contact Me” form. I look forward to hearing from you and working with you!

Jess