Find Your Motivation

As I lay in bed this morning, the sun was coming through my window and the birds were chirping. Just a beautiful morning from the start. I was thinking about motivation and what exactly motivates me to get up, try my hardest, be my best. It’s funny because on mornings like this, I am extra motivated. I’ve realized I’m motivated by sunshine, my kids (who are sleeping soundly on this beautiful morning), my husband and my self-confidence. All of these things work together to keep me going!

Summer is winding down around here. My boys start school in one week from today. Our summer has been busy and fun-filled, and my workouts have struggled somewhat. I haven’t totally dropped the ball, but my routine is definitely not what it was a few months ago. I’m okay with that! Spending time with my family is worth it to me, but I’m realizing that I’m ready to get back at it, again. My body is ready for consistency and change! I’m recommitting today to start fresh after the summer craze. I’m not gonna lie, it won’t be easy. I like treats and I like sleeping in. Haha! It will take some serious will-power to get myself out of bed before any of my boys little eyes have opened, but it’s what I’m going to do.

Don’t let yourself think for a minute that because you got off track for a bit that you can’t get right back on and keep going! It’s never too late to change directions. Don’t worry about the treats you ate, the workout you missed or the mornings you slept. Start now. Start fresh and be happy with where you are!

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Finding Balance in All Things

I’ve been contemplating the importance of balance a lot lately. Life is BUSY and important things get put on the back burner. I’ve been hearing and reading about balance in life. Of course there are three areas that make up balance. Physical, emotional and spiritual health all depend on one another in order for us to be healthy.

If we focus mainly on physical health, the other two areas will likely suffer and our bodies will not perform as well as they should. Does physical activity help the other areas? Yes, it does. It awakens the senses and opens up channels for us to feel and experience things in life. What happens though when a person becomes too focused on physical fitness alone? We suffer. We look only for good or bad physical attributes, not only in ourselves, but in others as well. We judge ourselves not by the kind of person we are, but by the amount of fat we have or by the presence of perfect musculature. That, to me, is not healthy.

We have a body that we need to care for in many ways. Sleep, healthy foods, uplifting messages and physical activity are all important. I hope that on your journey to good health, you don’t focus solely on the physical aspect of your transformation. What you look like on the outside, does not make up the person you are on the inside. A good balance is what makes you attractive! 20140709-002633-1593654.jpg

Piña Colada Pops

I have an obsession with most things coconut! Then, add the piña and colada and I’m pretty much in heaven! I found this recipe on Skinny Ms and can’t wait to make these things! This recipe will make 6 Popsicles at 182 calories each. It’s a perfect little summer treat for a hot day! I know that there are lots of variations to these yummy things. What is your favorite way to make a healthy Popsicle?

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Fit Kids for Summer Series: Summer Bucket List

We’re kicking off our Fit Kids for Summer Series with a little planning. Do any of the rest of you find a ton of great ideas toward the end of the school year, and get so excited for kids to get out so you can do all the fun things…only to forget most of them? Me too! I am so excited to be a little more prepared this year. Check it out!

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Does anyone else feel like school flew by? I’m so excited to have my kids home! This can also be a little bit stressful worrying about what we can do so that they are active and I avoid the dreaded words, “Mom, I’m bored!” My boys can get caught up in the video game world if I let them so I am thinking of ways now that I can avoid that this summer. I only have one week left to do this!

I decided I was going to do a “Summer Bucket List.” This is going to be full of ideas that we can do that will keep both their minds and bodies healthy! Have you heard of this? I’m pretty sure I saw it on Pinterest once. It seems like a great way to get a little bit of everything this summer!

Here is what I’ve thought of so far:
1. Summer Reading at the library.
2. Daily run or bike ride
3. Lots of playing in the sprinkler and jumping on the trampoline
4. Science kit experiments
5. Our own field trip
6. Scavenger hunt
7. Swimming
8. Play at the park
9. Sno-cones!
10. Service project

That’s it for now! I would love to hear of ideas that you may have that I can add to our bucket list!!! What is on yours?

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Be Inspired

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to help at a local marathon. The weather was cool and sunny, the perfect conditions for runners. The energy there was amazing! There was an energy there that was full of determination and strength. Image

I was fortunate enough to be at the very last mile marker. It was the last stop for water and there was also a “temptation table” with pizza, crackers, licorice and swedish fish. As each competitor passed by, I was more and more inspired. These were people from all different walks of life. Young, old, fast, slow, walking, running and hand-cycling, they were all doing their very best. I stood in awe as I saw them pass by, some looking very tired, but they kept going! They didn’t quit! I was happy to cheer them on and shout words of encouragement to them as the raced by. Let’s be there for each other, to cheer one another on, to be the last stop for water when someone is about to quit. Let’s inspire one another to do their best!

Why you should love almonds

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I’ve got a confession. I have a small addiction to almonds. I’ve tried all kinds and have them in my cupboard all the time. They are a perfect little pick me up when I want something sweet or salty!! My husband when on a business trip to California and brought me back almonds, freshly packaged from the Blue Diamond plant! That’s true love:)

Anyway, they are fattening so sometimes I feel like they get a bad rap. Should you sit down and eat an entire bag? Nope! If you grab a small handful, it’s just what you need and that tiny handful carries a powerful punch when it comes to health benefits!

Here are some facts you need to know about almonds!
1. Almonds are an excellent source of protein and fiber.
2. Worried about your heart? Did you know almonds reduce the risk of heart disease? Awesome!
3. Almonds decrease spikes in blood sugar after meals, protecting you against diabetes!
4. Help with LDL cholesterol! Another protection for the heart!
5. Eating almonds lowers your risk of weight gain, and may help you lose weight.
6. Build strong bones and teeth!
7. Help with brain function and activity.
8. Eating the almond with the skin will give you the most health benefit. The skin alone contains tons of antioxidants!

There you have it! They are super easy to incorporate into your diet. Grab a few for a quick snack or put some in a salad! Either way, eat your almonds today!

Exercise is fun to do

The birds are chirping, the grass is getting green and the days are longer. Spring is here, for the most part, where I live. It’s about time.  Although I probably should be on alert for the occasional snowstorm that could blow through at any given moment! Anyway, there isn’t anything better than a beautiful evening when you can spend some time outside with your family. Winters around here bring plenty of tv and video game time, so the fresh air and beautiful scenery are a welcome guest!

This past week I have tried to take advantage of every possible nice evening and get out with my kids. They need it and love it just as much as I do!

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Luckily, I have three boys who all love to be active and be outside. It’s pretty easy for me, most days, to suggest going for a bike ride or a run and they jump right on it! Something that has been fun for all of us is having my older boys ride their bikes while I run with my baby in the jogging stroller. It’s not strenuous and crazy for anyone. We just go for a leisurely run/ride and enjoy the evening together.

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We have so much fun together and it brings us closer as a family. I would suggest finding something that you and your kids can enjoy together! We all know how miserable it can be when you are dragging them along and they are hating every.single.minute. I will be changing it up in the near future, I’m sure, because the bike rides/runs won’t be nearly as exciting for my boys. They will be ready for something new and I’m okay with that.

I would love to hear what fun and active things you do as a family! How can we incorporate exercise into their loves without them even really realizing that’s what they are getting?

Do you cringe????

There’s a saying floating around out there in the fitness world. It goes a little something like this…

“WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE???”

Did you just cringe? Did you get a little bit angry? Defensive? Wanna throw down? Does it make you wanna start listing every.single.reason why you can’t make changes right now????

I hear you! Loud and clear!

Are we not here to help each other out? To give each other a pat on the back, smile, and a quick thumbs up? In the months leading up to my decision to work on my health, I would see this saying floating around at every corner. It was all over Facebook and Instagram has about a million hits! Trust me, I’ve searched the hash tag. Every single time I would see that line, my blood would boil. In my mind I’m thinking, “Are you being serious right now? Do you know what I do every day? How busy I am? How hard I try? That I was sick at one time?”

The list could go on and on. We ALL have things that we struggle with every single day. It is never easy to change into workout clothes and go get it done. It is equally as hard to make healthy eating choices when you have kids bawling about a broken toy, kids that need taken to a game or practice, loads of laundry piled sky high that haven’t been folded and put away. I struggle with these every day.

We don’t need to judge one another for trying our best. My excuse looks nothing like your excuse. Honestly, they could all be very valid excuses. A photo with myself in tip-top shape splattered with the words, ‘what’s your excuse?’ isn’t fair to anyone.

After thinking about this for a very long time. I came up with this:

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What is your motivation? What motivates you in your life to be better, try harder and be your best?

I’m going to be honest, it might take a little searching to find your answer. It was really hard for me to think of WHY I wanted to change. How would it be different this time? My motivation has multiple levels. One is my family. My husband has a very strenuous job that requires him to be gone a lot. That means that I’m alone with my boys running this household by myself. I can’t be dragging every single day. Another is for myself. Is that selfish? I don’t think so. I’m ready to be my best self. It takes courage and hard work, but I’m willing to try.

I know that if you dig deep and find your motivation, this journey will get easier.

Hillary