Before and after

Before and after
Before...eating junk, no exercise and feeling terrible. After...eating "clean", weight training, cardio and feeling amazing 19 years later.

30 years ago I was in the path of an unhealthy future due to my poor food choices and no exercise. Eating Clean cleansed the inside of my body and I sculpted the outside with weight training. Now 48 years old, I'm in the best shape of my life. It's never too late to change your body and your life!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Do! Do you?

Why is it that most people are willing to make a commitment to be with another person when they haven’t made any kind of commitment to themselves for a healthy and fit life?  A lot of thought, time, money, and preparation goes into a wedding.  We should be planning our own healthy vow ceremony first.  Throughout life, people make promises, pledges, guarantees, and covenants.  For those of us that have made real commitments to our healthy selves, we’re probably in the minority.

Why don’t we respect our own bodies enough to commit to them before we’re willing to commit to anyone or anything else?  We’re worth it.  For some reason, we feel the need to discount our own health needs because of careers, relationships, families, and everything else that goes on in our lives.

We’re here now.  This (life) is NOT a dress rehearsal.  Don’t look back with regrets on not getting fit and healthy.  Personally, I have regrets in my life, but this is not one of them.  I only wish I had done it sooner.  If you have struggled with weight loss, eating, and being out of shape, I have to tell you that becoming fit and knowing “how” to eat healthy, is the best feeling in the world!  Commit to yourself.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

No Tops Allowed!

I’m talkin'...muffin tops!  Thanks to low-rise pants, muffin tops had their coming out parties a few years ago and they’re everywhere.  Personally, I tried to hide any extra pooch or spillover in the past with jackets and loose clothing.  Now I don’t have to hide anything around my middle because instead of the lard, it’s rock hard…my abs!
I never thought that I would be able to see myself with defined abs, but after I experienced fantastic results on other parts of my body through eating clean and weight training, I began working specifically on my mid-section.  It’s not something that happens overnight, but it definitely can be done.  You have to melt the snow (fat) from the mountain before you can see the peaks and valleys show through.  AFTER I melted my snow, that’s when the real progress began for my abs.  It’s all about reverse crunches and regular crunches with WEIGHTS. 

I do 4 sets with 15 reps of reverse crunches on a flat bench with 25 lb. ankle weights (12.5 lbs) each leg.  (Google - reverse crunches for example videos and photos.)  This works my lower and upper abs and everything in between.  I hold a 35 or 40 lb. dumbbell on my chest for 4 sets of 15 reps on regular crunches. 
Don’t assume that your abs will never come out and play, you just have to get rid of the extra insulation first.  I’m happy to say that my muffin is gone for good.  I don’t eat them, so I won’t be wearing them!

~ You bought it.  You can eat it, but do you really want to wear it in the morning? ~  Post-it note on Bill Phillips’ refrigerator (Body for Life)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


By now, we all know the recommended amount of water that we should be drinking each day… eight 8oz. glasses.  In the past, I was lucky to drink one!  For us in the U.S., we have water at our disposal any time of any day.   So, why don’t we drink more of it?   Probably because compared to everything else that we drink, it has no “flavor”.  Waahh…

When your car says to use unleaded gas, would you put regular gas in it?  No, because you want it to run properly.  (Can you even get regular gas any more?)  Anyway, you get my point.  We want to run properly, don't we?  Because humans have no manual that comes with us when we’re born, we are at the mercy of adults to make wise decisions for us when we’re children, and hopefully we will make wise choices about our own health when we grow up.  The only instructions or manual that we have to go on is recommendations from doctors and results from health studies.  Still, most adults do NOT choose to drink nearly enough water. 

Since I changed my way of living (eating clean and weight training), I still have my morning cup of coffee, but have chosen only to drink water the rest of the day.  I drink around 3 liters a day and have no desire to go back to my diet sodas and juices.  I quickly got used to it. 

Here’s a link to a good article about WHY we should drink water:

My skin is better than it’s ever been and I feel fantastic!  Is it from all of the water that I drink?  I'm sure it's from the combination of all of the healthy choices that I have incorporated into my life, but water never gets enough credit…so yes, it’s the water!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The weight that made me...

The weight that made me in the past came from simple carbs and tons of sugar! 
The weight that made me in the last 19 months is from... Bowflex dumbbells and ankle weights, of course!  
For those of you who think that your only choice is to join a gym and use only machines, think again.  These dumbbells have been fantastic for me.  I use them to sculpt many different areas of my body.  I followed the Bowflex DVD that came with them and the results have been amazing.  I did recently add a few new pieces of equipment to my gym area (empty basement) like a leg press, knee raise tower, and a roman chair.
There are a few machines that I would definitely benefit from at the gym, but I'm very strange about working out in front of other people and I'm sort of a germ-aphobe!  It's not a social event for me, so I like to get down to business and get my workout done which is easier for me at home.  (Plus, I yell at myself during cardio and sound like a crazy person!)  Having said that, I do like nice gyms!  On a recent trip to Vegas, I had the chance to work out at a great gym at the JW Marriott.  I would love to work out there every day!  Hmm...
No matter where you work out, take advantage of every piece of equipment that you can.  
If you just have dumbbells and ankle weights, they can make a huge difference in your physique depending on how you use them.
Make it work!    

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No BUTTS about it!

Unless you are a contortionist, our backsides are something that everyone else sees, but us.  We try to twist around in the mirror and get opinions from others..."Does this make my butt look big?"  Most of us want it to look good (meaning plump and round), not big, flat, and wide!
If you want to get started on that nice rump, start now!  Don't wait until next spring to start freaking out about it.  Be pro-active and do it now.  Even if you only have 15 extra minutes a day, you can shape your gluteus maximus into something that you will be proud of when you walk out of a room and not something that you try to hide. (Obviously, these women didn't care!) 
I always had a flat butt until now.  I started doing hip extensions/kickbacks with ankle weights.  Here's a good example video:  
I love what I (try) to see in the mirror now.  I started seeing results within a few months of incorporating this exercise along with my clean eating routine. 
While everyone else is laying around, eating junk, and getting fatter this winter, you'll be on your way to a better looking backside.  By the time it's bathing suit season, you can bet your butt that you'll be lookin' and feelin' good!  :)  


Monday, October 11, 2010

Fat = Cheap!

Let’s face it…it’s cheap to be fat!  I can pick up a box or bag of anything at the grocery store for only 99 cents like:  a box of caramel popcorn, a bag of cheese curls, cookies, orange slices, etc.  Actually, I don’t even have to get out of my car to get something for 99 cents at drive-thrus like:  burritos, burger/fry specials, roast beef sandwiches, chocolate shakes, etc.  I admit that I fell into that trap for a while.  It’s instant gratification because it tastes good and you don’t spend a lot, right?

Well, I’m always up for a good sale, but not when it comes to what I’m putting into my body.  I noticed that Wal-Mart’s tagline is Save money-Live better.  Does that mean healthier?  Have you seen people at Wal-Mart?  I have to take time, plan, and work hard at my food preparation and eating plan.  I often find myself shopping more often because of the fresh fruits and vegetables, but it’s not that big of an issue.  In the beginning, it seemed like I was spending more, but I’m actually spending around the same amount for healthy food.  (I guess I was buying a lot more snacks and junk than I realized!) 

As Tim McGraw says in a song, “Another supper from a sack, a 99 cent heart attack”...  Yes, you can save money when you buy that fast food meal or cheap snack, but how much will it cost you in the long run?  Could it cost you your health and cheat you out of a part of your life?  Would you give 99 cents to have your good health and live without fat?  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Giving Up & Getting!

Before I started my journey to become fit and healthy, my pantry was stocked with all kinds of 100-calorie packs of chips and snacks.  I thought that was my answer to snacking; just cut down on what I was already eating to one little bag.  We know how that works!  You eat an extra one here and there and go buy more.  My freezer was jammed with frozen boxes of diet meals and, of course, I always had my stash of candy!
I never could figure out why I wasn’t losing any weight…duh!
I became educated on PROPER nutrition from reading The Eat Clean Diet book.  Giving up sugar/candy was the first thing.  That truly was one of the hardest things that I have ever done!  The second thing was getting rid of those frozen boxes of sodium and actually cooking my own healthy meals with real protein, fresh vegetables, and complex carbohydrates.  The third thing is not buying any more 100-calorie packs of anything!  Am I that stupid that I can’t read labels and figure out a serving size?  There is no snacking any more.  I don’t even use the word snack.  If it’s not “fuel” for my body, then I don’t need it. 
What do you GET when you give up?...a healthy body and the experience of having no more cravings to eat junk.  I love my body now.  I have NEVER thought that before!  Since I’m so proud of what I have accomplished, that feeling overrides the taste of candy or a snack. 
Combine giving up with a great workout routine, and you’re guaranteed to get 100% MORE than you gave up.  Experience it for yourself!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lovin' My New Cooler/Bag!

I’m so excited about this new cooler that I purchased.  For those of us on the go, this is the perfect way to make sure that you have all the proper food, drinks, and supplements for the day.  I used to pack a giant cooler with a large ice pack that took up most of the space.  My storage bags containing protein powder and supplements would fall to the bottom between my plastic food containers that were jammed in everywhere.  For the record, I’m not affiliated with this company.  I just like it so much that I had to share. 
It’s from 6 Pack Bags and it comes in small and large.  I have one of each.  Fair warning, the large is really large!  The small is fine for me for the day, but the large could be for a man or to use for a whole weekend.  It has adjustable shelves that include slide out meal containers.  There’s a place for supplements, drinks, ice packs, and 3 accessory pockets.  You can check it at: 

Ahh…finally, a product that I can really use!  

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Daily Meals & Workout Routine

After experimenting and adjusting the menus from Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet & EC Cookbook, along with Bill Phillips' Eating for Life recipes, I came up with food that actually works for me.  I eat a lot of protein, (chicken breasts, tuna, salmon, legumes) a vegetable, (brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus) and a complex carb, (sweet potatoes, couscous, quinoa, farro) with each meal.  I also try to squeeze in small amounts of fresh fruit.  I eat small every 2-3 hours; protein shakes after my workout and during the day; and I drink a lot of water - at least 3 liters a day.

Example day:
7-8am - Banana, oatmeal w/1/2 scoop of protein powder, flax, cinnamon, blue agave nectar (1 T) water & coffee
10:30am - Protein shake or bar
12pm - Chicken breast salad with hb egg white, spinach, flax, quinoa, (1/2 olive oil ½ red wine vinegar dressing) & water
2:30 - Protein shake or bar
5pm - Tuna, salmon, or turkey, hb egg white, brussel sprouts, sweet potato, water
7:30 – Greek yogurt w/blueberries or apple with almonds

Workouts - I rotate every day; upper body, lower body, cardio, and throw in abs as often as I can.

Shoulders - Shoulder press; Front raises; Lateral raises; Reverse flyes        

Biceps - Dumbbell curls; Hammer curls

Triceps - Triceps kickbacks; Bench dips

Chest - Dumbbell incline press; Dumbbell incline flyes; Push-ups

Back - Dumbbell rows; Back extensions; Pull-ups

Abs - Hanging knee raises; Floor crunches; Oblique floor crunches; V-ups

Hamstrings & Glutes  - Dumbbell lunges; Straight-leg deadlifts; Lying leg curls & weighted kickbacks.

Quadriceps - Leg presses; Leg extensions       

Calves - Standing calf raises

Cardio - 30 minute intervals  (treadmill or recumbent bike)