Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The novelty has worn off

Ever go shopping with any children and they see a certain cereal that they HAVE to try?!?  The box then sits half eaten in your cabinet for over a month until you throw it away!!

How about a toy they HAD to get with their birthday money and pretty sure they played with it less times then I have fingers?!?

The best are those variety shops at the beach that have enough souvenirs for you to throw away in just about two weeks when you return home!?!?

Then there is my toddler that has eaten a certain food item many times and then one day he just decides, I don't like that anymore?!?

Same goes for you.  Maybe you started back reading my silly blog five months ago when I started all my ramblings.  Maybe it got you out of bed for a week in a row early in the morning and you started doing workouts while it was still dark outside.  Maybe it got you excited about the promise of you uncovering a new you that has been dying to get out.  Maybe you even took out your measuring cups and measured a few items before they made their way to your mouth.  Maybe you started to lose some pounds and it was super thrilling and it felt manageable.  

It was a lot like that first date with your significant other.  There was all this hope and promise and newness.  And the days went by and you logged your food and you were feeling positive and kept telling yourself that this was it...you were going to stay on task and maybe this silly new blog you were reading was going to help inspire you and keep you going.

Days turn into weeks and then weeks turn into months and maybe I post something, maybe I don't but it doesn't matter because you chose to not read it.  Please don't think that I think I am changing any lives here with my rants but I do think that I can help you stay motivated.  I do think that I know how hard the choices are to make and how much easier it is to just give in.  I do know how great it would be to not wake up and sneak out to a workout without waking my hubby and just stay in bed and snuggle.  I do know how much I hate doing all this extra laundry!  

So the newness is gone...how do you get it back?!?!  Maybe today is the day you re-evaluate why you stumbled across this blog to start with.  Reading a cookbook is one thing-going to the store, getting the ingredients and making a good or bad meal is another.  Maybe it wasn't the right recipe for you but you went through the motions and gave an effort and tried.  I know that my plan may not be right for everyone.  There are many fad diets out there and I am sure they work if you work them correctly.  I have never tried a "fix" or a "cleanse" or any "system" that promises results.  For me it is basic math, input verses output and staying in the green.  I guess I try to eliminate the novelty and just stick with what I know works for me.  

Today I challenge  you to write down why you did in fact start reading this.  What were the hopes that were present within you?  Were you wanting to sign up for your first 5k race?  Did you think maybe you would complete a month challenge...all thirty days?  Were you going to stop drinking soda and drink water all day long instead?  Every person has an area that they can try to better themselves...my goal is to spark that excitement within you and let you know that you can do it.  It will be hard, tiresome, and you will probably want to quit five times in the first ten hours.   I promise you it will be worth it. 

Find a way to keep that novelty there.  For me I have to sign up for a race of some kind-prepare a training calendar with various workouts to keep me engaged and physically check the box each day that they are completed.  If a friend attends a new fun workout class I see if I can give it a try to just break up the monotony.  I like to try new recipes so that weekly menu gets a little surge of freshness.  Buying some new cute clothes also helps you stay on task!  Back in 2001 when I lost my 50 pounds the first time...I got a second job at Ann Taylor...I was referred to as "cash flow negative."  All was good because I had worked hard for it and needed it....it kept me on task!

Don't give up on yourself.  Pick yourself up, dust off your workout clothes, workout dvds and get at it!  Log back into myfitnesspal and give yourself a solid three weeks of trying...really trying.  You will start seeing results and you won't want to stop.  Get the ball rolling and all new things will start heading your way.  Things you never thought you would be able to accomplish will just start happening.  Those are the novelties you won't get tired of!

Embrace the suck...choose you!!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Up, down and back around

I weigh myself every morning...good bad or indifferent, that is what I do.  There are days where I know the number will be good and there are days were I know the number will be bad.  It generally speaks right back to the day or two before when I know I had that extra snack in the day when I really didn't have the calories allotted for it.  You may think I am crazy to track all this stuff, weigh, measure and keep at it every day.  I know the exercising is getting to a new level of crazy for me with this training, but even with all of that...there are days when after a weekend of good ol' fashion fun...I am up easily four pounds or so and that next week stinks.

This has now happened to me two weeks in a row.  Monday I am up and then I spend the week trying my best to get back down.  With all the exercising in my schedule right now I am CRAZY hungry.  I want to eat all day long.  I eat back my calories every day from every workout.  I am not starving myself.  I am making the smartest choices I can day and night so that I can eat as much food as possible over the course of a given day.  I know that birthday parties have cake and I love myself a piece or two of cake.  There are not too many sweets I can say no to, well maybe a watermelon flavored sugar cookie that was disguised as a regular iced sugar cookie that a dear friend tried to trick me with.

Anyways...back to up and down.  So I have been over 200 pounds when I was 23 years old and that did not involve any pregnancies.  I have been 200 pounds pregnant with each of my four children and I was even lucky enough to get pretty close to 200 pounds in between some of those babies as well.  Weight is HARD to lose and food is too good to not eat it.  Exercise is exhausting and time consuming and requires more laundry to be done.  All things that point in the direction of no thank you.

pre babies
So these four pounds that have crept up on me a few times over the past month...I will call them my summer layer.  It will consist of chips and guacamole, ice cream sundaes, hot dogs AND a cheeseburger at a cookout because one just isn't enough.  And then there is always that delicious cold beer...I love beer.  My activity level remains the same or increased during these months but unfortunately so does my intake.  So how does one tell themselves to stop.

I remember back in 2001 when I was going to Weight Watchers meetings and our leader, Marcy, would actually have us as a class out loud say, "No Thank You."  She would have us say it more than once to show that in fact we can say the words we just forget to use them at that moment of weakness.  She also had us realize that BLT's or Bites, Licks and Tastes add up.  It is so easy to have the other half of your daughter's donut that her younger brother didn't want to eat at Friday Donut Day at swim team.  It is so easy to finish the 1/4 of a sandwich of pb&j on fresh potato bread that sits at the table when they forget to clear their area.  I think that is probably one of the main reasons we have them clear their spots, doesn't give me the chance to grab a bite or two...it goes directly to the trash.  

I am not sure where my drive or motivation comes from.  I know that I will always have a moment of weakness when I have seconds of something that I really don't need to have at all.  I know that I want to enjoy myself and not feel pressure to worry about food all day long.  I remember how horrible I felt when I was heavier.  For me carrying that extra weight brought me down.  I kept my smile on my face but inside I was anything but happy.  Everyday was a buffet and I was not taking in any form of exercise.  Fork to lips was all the lifting I was doing. 

This omission of my situation in life is for you to see that you can do it.  You can dig yourself out of the hole that you have cornered yourself in and you can make the right choices.  You can still have your life with a good dose of exercise and proper nutrition and enjoy it too.  You can have days where the scale goes up and down but remember to refocus and get back on track.  Remember the little things add up on both sides, good and bad.  Little fitness challenges every month will give you great results, but little bites and tastes of extra food over the month add up too...not in a good way.

My motivation is knowing how hard it was to do this so many times over the past fourteen years.  I know that our family is complete so the only weight I would put on from this point on is my doing.  I know that this is where I want to be and where I want to stay.  I know the tools that are required and I just have to make that choice every day.  I am only accountable to myself but I just don't want to do it all again.  It is easier to make the better choice each day and keep on track then to fight myself, lose motivation, and get back into that dark corner.   Every day I get stronger, faster and that keeps me going.  I want to beat the old me every day...I am a competitor with myself and that will always be the case.  This new me will keep me out of the darkness for sure.

Embrace the suck...choose you! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sunshine and lollipops...yeah right!

Second week of summer vacation is upon us....that means five people together for the summer and 70 days remain.  I know I will miss it...I know the house will be quiet....I know I will want them to ask me for help....but right now...I really have a hard time seeing the sunshine and lollipops.

My kids are great kids, healthy, smart, active, and generally happy.  But when they start to tailspin out of control it takes everything in my power to hold my stuff together and now lose it right there with them.  All of these emotions back and forth especially with the girls....makes my heart pound and blood boil.

Today the kiddos had swim practice after a very long weekend and they managed to get there on time with breakfast in their bellies and did not complain once.  Practice was over and we were back home.  G1 and I sat in a large mulch bed and weeded for over two hours.  It was LONG, BORING and HOT!  We were in the shade and there wasn't a ton of conversation between us.  It was a lot like going out for a long run.  It was something that had to be done even though every ounce of you wanted to do something else.  He asked a few times towards the end if we could finish it tomorrow.  I reminded him that it was a lot like doing a workout...you know how far you have to go...and sometimes when you get to the 3/4 part you just have to push your way through the suck of completion.

Lunch was prepped and served to the monkeys.  G1 now likes to make his own...I'll let that happen any day.  We picked up around the house a bit and G4 got his nap that we took from him yesterday...he is still sleeping as I type this.  I took the afternoon to watch a movie with the girls and thinking that would be a nice moment for just the three of us.  We ended up watching something pretty heavy that the mom dies...not smart choice on my part but we got through it.  We snuggled on the blowup mattress in the tv room that the girls had a sleep over on the night before...trying to give them lots of sunshine and lollipops.

Next was my suggestion to start our 1000 piece puzzle that we swapped with a friend.  Asking G2 to clean up her crafts from the dining room table was basically like asking her to move a mountain...literally.  The arguments ensue and time outs are had.  I am exhausted.  Today the kids won and I lost.  I saw glimpses of sunshine and lollipops but today I had to be the one to point them out and tell them to look.

This will all be over in a blink of an eye and my kids will be older and hopefully able to reflect back on these times we shared together and wish they reacted differently.  I too will probably wish I made different decisions and let certain things slide.  It is so hard in that moment to know what is the right thing to do and still stand firm as the parent to these little people that are just trying to grown and learn and test their boundaries.  Lots of days everything just seems so hard.  I sometimes wish I was as dramatic as G2 and just have the breakdown of tears and the world coming down around me just so I could get it out of my system.  

Each day I am not sure how many glimpses of sunshine and lollipops I will give or they will show me...but I know that I have to stay the course with both myself and my children.  I know that they push me to the edge on many days so for me I have to make sure I get time for me...time to push myself to my own limit without feeling the need to lose my cool.  I choose my hard at 6:00 am to get my workout done for the day so I can start the day at peace and not have the feeling of having to pull myself in a million directions.  It's hard to not turn back to old habits of emotional eating in these situations...I just try to remove myself from the kitchen and tell myself no snacking until these 32 ounces of water are gone.  

So this day will be done soon...and I could have a repeat tomorrow.  It will be hard and some parts will be easy and give me a huge smile.  I will try my best to give them the best of me and hold it all together.  I will be out of the house at 5:30 am tomorrow morning to get a long ride in with a friend on the trail to find our sunshine and lollipops before the chaos begins.  I will continue to take deep breaths and remind myself that they are still little, that this will pass, that I will miss it all..and it is all done with love.  

Embrace the suck...choose you...find and make some sunshine and lollipops!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Insanity Defined

Day one summer 2015.   No early wake up calls for the kids to get on the bus yet I still found myself waking to an alarm at 4:45 am.  I have made a commitment to me to get my butt in the saddle of a bike in Ashburn at 5:30 every Wednesday and I will make that happen no matter how wonderful my bed may feel.  Forty five minutes of sweaty good pain was coming my way quickly whether I was fully awake to know this or not.  Some may define this as insane.

You never know what you are going to get when you walk into a class with Lindsey...she is always thinking of new ways to bring you to the next level.  The pain is temporary and the sweat is amazing.  Some may think a spin class is just you and your legs for the entire time but to mix things up a bit and show your body a little bit of change we were doing push ups and squats on the bike this morning...making our body question what was coming its way.  Making it a little bit uncomfortable...taking it to the point of reckless.  Lindsey and those 45 minutes are therapy for my soul.  She really does take me to another place each morning I am there...a place I could not get to on my own.

I am sure many have heard the definition of Insanity by Albert Einstein - "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  Change is hard, change is uncomfortable. This is where you have to ask yourself that true ugly question that you may not really want to answer.  What am I doing different today to make that change for me?  If I want to see a change in my body or my mind, I have to decide to make a change in some area of my life.  

Even now for me I have to find ways to make that change.  My monthly challenges are something different to add into the mix of my fitness routine.  It is a surprise to my body and those targeted areas didn't know they were going to get all that attention for a solid month!!  Eating in a routine is a good thing but every once and again I need to shock my body with a different lunch or dinner so that it doesn't stay stationary in processing everything.  My running has changed a lot in the past two months.  I am done with marathon training so going from 50 miles a week to 20 if I am lucky is a crazy change.  With that I have started my triathlon training and that is a whole different change for my body.  I am still trying to get used to it all!  

If you are just starting your journey that many changes are probably coming your way.  That is so very daunting!  Every morning you don't want to feel stressed about what you "have" to do to make it a good day.  You need to just take it a step at a time.  Focus on the one change in that moment, let the routine slowly fall into place, and the results will start to show themselves.  Trust in the process.  Hard work pays off, setting goals and following through with the steps to get there will show.  You will not be the only one looking at yourself and seeing the change you wanted so very badly.  Those around you will see it in your smile and your stature...you will be standing taller, prouder, more confident.  You will start to share the true you with everyone around you.  

Stop driving yourself insane and decide today to make a change.  If what you are doing is not getting you to where you want to be...figure it out...start with a small tweak...make a change to get you to success.  

Embrace the suck...choose you...make a change!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Music moves your mind and body

Last night I headed to a concert of one of my favorite bands, Mumford & Sons, here in the DC area.  Babysitter was coming at 3pm to handle our four monkeys which meant we had to get our act together throughout the day and workouts in.  I headed to spin at 5 am and was back home by 6:45 am, Ben headed out for his 11 mile run and when he returned I headed to the pool to get my swim in.  We were a bit exhausted before our fun even began.  We then prepped our food so that we didn't have to be tempted by fried chicken fingers with french fries with a side of funnel cake.  

I of course had one of my favorites, turkey taco salad and Ben made two huge burritos.  We also brought salsa and chips (measured out in our individual baggies) and a cup of delicious sweet cherries.  I of course needed my sweet tooth satisfied so my go to snack of 1/4 cup of almonds and 1 tbs of choc chips was in the bag.  As much as the the huge mint chocolate chip milkshake that the guy next to us was enjoying looked AMAZING...I did not buckle under the pressure.  I did enjoy my one large beer which I ensured there would be room for in my food log.

We managed to get out of the house by 3:42...our goal was 3:00...typical us.  We were cruising along enjoying the day and rocking out to some great tunes along the way.  Having an hour of just the two of us to talk about our day and general life, plans for next summer, etc...was wonderful.  Remembering why you started all this crazy life is really important and very hard to ensure we do that on a regular basis.  This date night was a long time coming!  The best part...we are 15 minutes from the show, I ask Ben if he has the tickets...sure enough a curse word comes flying out of his mouth....he says I did a million things today and forget the main one!!  Luckily we headed over to will call and they printed us a new set without issue.  We were ready for a great night!

So the concert was awesome...I love all kinds of music but folky, indie, acoustic stuff is my favorite.  They did not disappoint!  I listen to their albums A LOT and we were singing right along with the thousands of others at the big karaoke night.  In my jumping up and down I hear myself reciting some of their lyrics and I can't help but link them to my journey.  I often listen to the Alternative Endurance Training Radio on Pandora and M&S is played a bunch on there.  My husband and I tend to rock out big time while on the trainer in the basement and on treadmill...really keeps us going.  I find myself slamming my hands into the handlebars of the bike and yelling pretty loud.  Glad I am down there alone but realized this week that I do this at spin class too...sorry Wonderful Wednesday Peeps!! 

So their lyrics...the first is for their song "The Cave"

"It's empty in the valley of your heart 
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you've left behind"

"But I will hold on hope"

"And I'll find strength in pain...And I will change my ways"

The beat of this song gets going and I find myself really moving up and down and screaming the lyrics almost at myself....telling myself that where I came from is no more and I am only moving forward...every day...forgetting my faults and dealing with the pain that brings me my strength.  

The next song that gets to me is "Awake My Soul"

"Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free"

"Where you invest your love, you invest your life"

Ben and I wear RoadIds when we are out training...and it has our contact information on it if anyone needed to help us in any type of incident where we would not be able to tell them that information ourselves...DEFINITELY buy one if you are out training...better to be safe than sorry.  Anyways...Ben's has all of our contact info on it and then it has that quote from M&S.  "Where you invest your love you invest your life."  He is an amazing example for our children and all of the endless  hours of dedication he puts towards his training, on most days, makes me love him even more.  He is invested in our life so deeply and with that our love grows.  

So the last song I will reference is on their newest album...it's called "Believe"

"Say something, say something
Something like you love me
Less you want to move away
From the noise of this place"

I feel like that this song is me talking to me...and the place that they are referring to is the before me...the place I couldn't get myself out of.  It is a reminder that I will always love me despite the ups and downs and I must continue to believe in me!

I know music does different things for everybody...and you may not like M&S at all...but when you can find a connection with music and it can help keep you believing in you...then I will listen to it all day long.  Many songs from them talk to me on various levels of this journey I am on.  I have times where I need music to yell at me, times I need it love me, times I need it to console me, and times I need it to help move me forward.  Whatever it takes to get you to where you need to be...make that connection...and keep moving your  mind and body!!

Embrace the suck...choose you...and rock out ;)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Orange Visor at Orangetheory

I am always up for trying a new fitness challenge so when a friend said she was going to try out Orangetheory Fitness with a running group she belonged to, I had to go!  I had heard very little of the details around this new boutique gym fitness experience but I was up for it!!

The class time was 1:45pm, not my favorite time to work out but not complaining, and I had run 10 miles that morning, again-not complaining.  I was pumped and ready to figure this very intriguing Orangetheory puzzle!!  I zoomed over after church on Sunday and my heart was already at a high rate because it was a new experience and naturally I was running a bit behind schedule.

We were greeted by the owner and we were asked to fill out paperwork with our general information, height, weight, gender, etc.  They entered all of this into their computer and then we were given a heart rate monitor and a wireless pod that then synced with their system and our names appeared on a big flat screen in the gym area.  

Each of us had our heart rate, calories burned and % of your maximum heart rate displayed on the screen.  The idea is to complete various interval training throughout the 60 minute class and hope to produce 12-20 minutes of your session in the "orange zone" which is where you are at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate.  You can see your numbers jump through the five zones during the workout and as a result you are pushing a little harder or taking it down a notch.

Raven was our instructor and we entered through the glass doors to the gym area and our basic instructions were delivered.  We did a little hands on instruction for the rowing machines and then it was go time.  We started on the rowers and did that for a set amount of time, maybe four minutes.  We then headed over to the weights area where we were shown our first "block."  This is where we did a set of various exercises and when completed ran over to the rowers for 200 meters and then back over to the weight area to get another set in.  There were three blocks that we completed with activities such as jump squats, bur-pees,  push ups, squats with a bicep curl, ab crunches, triceps extensions, etc.  all coupled with time on the rower.  Each of these blocks were probably seven minutes each.  Raven was there with her stop watch keeping us on task and encouraging us to get that one last set in before the block was over.

After our weight block was done we headed over to the treadmills.  This is where they emphasize their "Base, Push, All Out" segment of interval training.  I think we were on there for about twenty minutes and we all were happy that the machines has fans when we were about five minutes in.  We started at our base and then to our push and then back to base and then back to push and then all out.  All of this monitored by Raven and she would check on us up and down the line while we were running our fastest.  We also incorporated some walk breaks after our all outs which were welcomed to my tired legs.  Interval training is a great calorie burn and something you forget to focus on when you train on your own.  It was a great training session.

They also email you as soon as class is finished your performance summary:

This is where they want to ideally see a bell curve with most of your time spent in the green and orange zones.  I think most classes are 60 full minutes but being that ours was all first timers we had 52 minutes.  It was very cool to look over at the screen over the course of the class to see where you were and you could immediately up your effort to get yourself out of the green and into the orange.  Not sure why I didn't have more orange and so much blue but I definitely was sweaty and feeling the burn throughout the session.

I have never taken a Crossfit class but I would say that this was probably similar in structure to that but a shade softer.  A very cool feature about OTF is that the class done in Virginia on Sunday was the same class that was delivered in New Jersey or California.  One workout of the day and guaranteed soreness the next day!

I would say that this is a great option for someone who likes the idea of doing something different every day when they work out and interval training.  There was not a feeling of being lost or behind because there is so much going on that there really is little time to look at others and their results.  You get in there and plow through the workout hoping you can get one more set in before you have to move to the next block.  Everyone goes at their own level and doing whatever it takes to get into the Orange!

Thank you Raven for the great experience.  She was Hard Core...and teaches 18 classes a week.  Her strength was apparent when you first meet her and then you were only more impressed and inspired by the strength she showed during her breakdowns on each of the strength "blocks."

I definitely embraced the suck during those 52 minutes.  And yes...I ran 2.75 on treadmill and then my friend and I ran out those .25 to get us to an even 3 for the workout...crazy running people and their numbers!!

Embrace the suck...Choose You...Try Something New!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Why did I start this???

this...well this could mean a million different things.
  • running
  • eating right
  • logging my food
  • training for a half iron distance triathlon
  • my blog
  • the fight with myself to stay on track
The current this that I am referring to is Orange Visor.  Being a mom of four kids and staying home with them takes its toll on your body and your mind and your soul.  It is very rewarding on many days but there are the days and the instances over the course of the good days that just kick your butt.  I knew I needed to do something...I needed to change me for me.  For whatever reason I was able to sync my body and mind in January of 2014 and tell myself, and believe in myself that I was going to make a change...a big change...a final change.

I am not a personal trainer or an elite athlete but always considered myself athletic and able to be self driven and extremely competitive with myself.   I did this with the support of family and friends and the extreme encouragement and coaching from my husband.  As wonderful as everyone was for me over this process you must remember one thing, in the end of all of this there is one person that will get you to the finish line....YOU!  You have to be the person everyday that does the right things...you can try every gimmick under the sun...but again it all lays on your shoulders.

So I started my journey with lots of miles on the treadmill in the winter of 2014 and was an avid weigher and measurer of my food and logged everything I ate.  I was on a mission.  I was hoping I could make a big enough impact that by summer I would feel good at the pool.  Everyday I didn't stop...I wanted to give up, cheat, eat the bad stuff...but I kept at it.  I ate veggie patties on beds of lettuce sprinkled with feta and lots of tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.  I had my eye on the prize.   I stopped the lame excuses that filled my head and my plate and just did it.  I don't know why I was so crazy and I can't tell you what switch to flip to make you want it that badly too.  I know I have a husband that was right there with me every step of the way.  He would check in on my workouts and log his food as well.  We made a rule of no desserts if a workout was not had that day.  You should know by now how much I love ice cream...it was a good motivator!!

I did have weeks were the scale didn't go in the direction I wanted or the number wasn't big enough.  I took that as a moment to reflect and be better the next day-push harder.  I knew what I could become, how strong I would feel, I was not going to give in or give up.  By mid summer of 2014 I hit the goal weight of where I wanted to be.  I kept running and was loving that I was still losing weight at a slower rate and keeping up my exercise and my ice cream consumption. So by the fall I was feeling like this new person had emerged and all of my hard work had paid off.  I was going to keep at it and see where I was able to go.

Last day of summer 2014
The beginning of the school year of 2014 was in full swing and the craziness that is life with four kids began...and I continued to stay focused on project julie.  I knew that I had worked way to hard to end this and I could keep it going and maybe even get stronger.  I ran Army Ten Miler that October and had a great PR, a pace I never thought I would be able to hit.  I was taking myself to the next level of me and was not even aware it was happening.  

Then came my moment of, "my gosh Julie you really did it."  It was a year since the party when I jammed myself into a dress and wanted to die...and I was so at the other end of my journey.  I had made it there in a year of blood sweat and tears...but I did it.  I posted the below message on my FB page on January 25, 2015.

"warning-long post: January 25, 2014...the night of ben's work party i jammed myself into a dress and felt like it was going to burst the entire night...that night i said to ben...i need to start something tomorrow and i need you to do it with me. he did and i did...and here i am full year later 47 pounds less...and stronger on the inside and outside than i have ever been before. I decided that day to say Yes to me and No to a lot of other things...Yes to weighing and measuring food, writing it down, silly monthly fitness challenges and no to second helpings and sometimes my kids(and accepting that that is okay.) I decided to say YES to the treadmill, to early morning runs, to being okay when the scale didn't move, and yes to being a work in progress. The only No I tell myself is... No Julie...You Can Do It, You Are Doing It! Thank you to all of you that continue to believe in and inspire me. I hope that I can return the favor on some level...Make this the Year of YOU!"

The next day Orange Visor was born-with encouragement from a few friends.  I created this space to let you know that you can do it.  You can be the best version of you.  You can make yourself a priority.  You can help others start to believe in themselves.  You can push yourself to a level that may hurt a bit but will be so worth it in the end.  You can do this at home while raising four kids and run in circles.  You don't need a fancy trainer or coach, although extremely helpful, you can do it solo.  Resources are endless and so is your drive and determination.  Remember every day the person you promised yourself you would become.  Figure it out...make a plan....and just do it.  I am not perfect...I have many areas of growth still needed...but I am stronger than I was in mind and body last January.  I have moved me to the top of the list and other areas may falter as a result(sorting and storage of children clothes) -and that's okay.

Embrace the suck...choose you....you CAN do this!

ps-I do have a page on FB as well where you can get daily tidbits, monthly challenges and encouragement..check it out! (Orange Visor)