Weight Loss Challenge

Hello friends out there in blog world!

Healthy living and weight loss are subjects I hold near and dear to my heart. I’m pretty sure most of you are aware of this. THIS POST from last year still stands and I’ve kept the weight off. This is not the “I’ve fallen off the wagon and even though I told you I would keep it off, I’ve gained it all back and fell into bad habits again.” Follow up post—TRUST ME. This is quite the opposite actually!

Have you ever wanted to be the absolute BEST version of yourself? Have you ever wandered “how much could I lose, how much could I tone, what would I actually look like if I was at my optimal weight and had the best body image?” I think about this daily—probably too much. But, like everyone else embarking on a weight loss/healthy lifestyle journey, my struggle is being consistent and disciplined with portion sizes. I always say if they sold discipline and consistency at the store, I would pay whatever price they wanted. Yes friends, the struggle is real.

So, while in the shower one day (where I do my very best thinking), I thought “why not make my blog followers keep me held accountable? Why not leave anything to the imagination, so that if I screw up…I have to document it, just like I would document a good choice.” This will obviously take a lot of work on my end, because it will require documenting food choices, work out choices and small details like water intake, calorie intake, fun outdoor activities etc. And, everything is a time struggle for me because I work full time and my husband and I have 2 little boys. BUT, I will also be documenting working around that as well…or better yet, including them in healthy activities.

Nothing is more inspiring to me than any kind of drastic transformation, and I love the idea of working in a group to achieve goals, which is where my lovely followers come in. You can cheer me on, or virtually slap me on the hand for going over calories for the day, or for not getting in 8 glasses of water a day. It helps me to know that others are watching me…..paying attention and caring enough to call me out!

My plan is to document weekly on my blog and daily on Instagram and my ModMommyMK facebook page. Even if I do not end up having anyone follow the updates or join me, if I stick with it, I will be able to finally know what the best me looks like and feels like. And if I inspire someone else….well, then my job here is done, because that would mean more than anything! Life is too short to sit back and watch others achieve their dreams and goals. No one is going to make this happen for me, EXCEPT ME.

So, here we go! I would love for you to comment on my updates, IG posts or FB posts. I would also love to hear your suggestions regarding recipes for snacks, dinners and lunches and favorite work outs.

Start Date: Monday, June 29th
End Date: Monday, August 31st

Weekly Updates: http://www.wordpress.modmommymk.com

Daily Updates:
​Instagram: BBMary11
​Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/modmommymk

Starting waist: all of my pants and shorts are low cut, so I measure where they hit, which is near the hipbone: 34 inches
Leg/Thigh: 22 inches
Upper Arm: 13 inches
Starting size: a loose fitting 6, some 4’s.
Starting weight (haha, gotcha!)

Let the challenge begin!!!! If anyone would like to join me–please let me know!!!

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Food Swaps You Should Make Now (Especially if you have kids)

Let’s get this out of the way shall we? I’m not a dietician, though I would love to be. I’m not a doctor, but I am a mom and I feel like that gives me some credibility. Moms are superhuman, after all.

Typically, I place the most importance on buying organic/clean dairy, produce and meat. No one eats perfect but I get all “mama bear” when our kids are involved. If I can do my part and help prevent even a chance of them getting a terrible disease by spending a few more dollars at the grocery store, then you bet your mom jeans wearing behind that I’m gonna.

If you are not doing this already, please make these simple swaps soon:

Meats:

Packaged beef, chicken and lunch meat:

Beef, Chicken and lunch meat Swap: Buy grass fed, no antibiotic/no hormone beef, chicken and lunch meat. Yes, it will cost you a few more dollars, but you won’t be packing your body full of carcinogens, caramel colors and genetically modified meats.

Lunchables and Hot Dogs: PITCH THE LUNCHABLES. There is not one thing that is sustainable in that package. The drinks are sugar, the “meat” is processed, as is the cheese and the crackers and dessert are pretty much flavored chemicals. I mean, I get it…I love an oreo every now and then, but most kids get plenty of sugar throughout the day from other sources and don’t need dessert at every meal.

Lunchable Swap: Make your own. Brock and I give our kiddos pieces of organic lunch meat and deli cheeses (also organic) with fresh fruit and veggie stix/wheat crackers.

Regular pork/beef/chicken hot dogs (can someone please not tell me what By-Product is?) are HORRIBLE for kids to consume. They are full of nitrates and who knows what else. There has been research done to show that if a child eats 12 hot dogs a month, their risk of leukemia is 9 times greater. 12 hot dogs sounds like a lot, until you have kids, and realize that hot dogs are, regardless of what anyone thinks, a meal fit for a king to a child.

Hot Dog Swap: Buy nitrate free, organic beef or chicken hot dogs. They taste amazing and they are guilt free (health wise), so when your child wants a hot dog, you can feel good about giving them one.

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Dairy:

Milk Swap: For the love of all that is good and pure, buy organic! Will it be perfect, and 100% straight from the cow? Of course not, but it’s better than pumping your kids full of hormones and steroids. Have you seen the pictures of middle school girls today, as compared to when we were in middle school? There’s a reason they need bras at age 9. Just sayin.

Kids Yogurt Swap: Buy organic, but make sure you find a kind that still has added probiotics and live cultures. Strong immune systems start in the gut and kids need those probiotics to build a strong defense against school/daycare germs.

Adult Yogurt Swap: The main thing I look for when purchasing yogurt for myself is artificial sweeteners. I buy organic for the kids, but since I don’t consume much yogurt, my main concern is staying away from sweeteners like aspartame and sucrulose –aka Splenda. Some of my go-to brands are Fage 0% or 2% with cherry and mixed berry. I also occasionally buy Dannon Oikos greek yogurt or Chobani.

Cheese: I tend to not be as strict on cheese, but I refuse to buy the American cheese slices. People—hear me when I say it’s not real cheese. It even says on the package “Processed cheese product.” Product, NOT cheese. Sorry fake cheese lovers, but Velveeta falls into the same category. When you hold a lighter under it, it doesn’t even melt…but it does turn black. Imagine what it’s doing to your digestive tract. Its crazy and you should stay away. If you aren’t sure what real cheese should taste like, put fresh Gouda or brie on a sandwich, or bake it. You can thank me later. If you are lactose intolerant or trying to avoid dairy, goat cheese is an excellent alternative and so good!

Cheese Swap: I buy simple truth organic cheese straight from the Kroger deli, Horizon organic cheese string cheese and Sargento naturals (I understand that term is used very loosely) deli cheese slices. At least it melts…and tastes like cheese. I personally use a lot of feta cheese myself. I buy the Athenos fat free or tomato and basil flavor. Oh and as far as shredded cheese goes, we don’t use a ton, but generally I’m ok with the Kroger 2% sharp cheddar as long as it smells fresh.

Produce:

You don’t always have to buy organic fruits and veggies. In fact, I’m beginning to learn that some of the frozen fruits and veggies are the smartest way to go. In case you haven’t heard about these lists, here are what most consider the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” in regards to produce.

Dirty Dozen: Consider buying these items organic:

-Apples

-Strawberries

-Grapes

-Celery

-Peaches

-Spinach

-Bell Peppers

-Nectarines

-Cucumbers

-Tomatoes

-Snap Peas

-Potatoes

(Hot Peppers and Blueberries are included as add ons)

Clean 15: Items that are grown safer and do not need to be organic:

-Avocados

-Sweet Corn

-Pineapples

-Cabbage

-Sweet Peas (Frozen)

-Onions

-Asparagus

-Mangoes

-Papayas

-Kiwi

-Eggplant

-Grapefruit

-Cantaloupe

-Cauliflower

-Sweet Potatoes

I personally will only buy organic in these items: raspberries, strawberries, bananas, apples, blueberries and kiwi. This is because the kids eat so many of them and half of the time Brayden gets the container out of the fridge and eats them right out of the box. I’m not about to tell him he can’t eat them until I’ve washed everything because that will deter him from eating them. Buying organic makes me feel a little more at ease if the kids get to the fruit before I do!

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Next on my to-do list: getting back into the habit of packing Brayden’s lunch again. I know he likes to buy it at school because it’s the “cool” thing to do, but I know for a fact that the foods they are serving aren’t the best quality. At first I thought it was great because he was getting a protein, veggie and fruit. I knew if given the choice he would choose chocolate milk for his drink, and I don’t think that’s worth the battle to fight. However, the past few weeks I’ve been asking him what his veggies and fruits consisted of and I hear things like “applesauce with cinnamon, goldfish crackers, pineapple with juice and lots of carrots and corn.” He doesn’t like carrots (he gets it honestly) so he always chooses the goldfish and corn. And cinnamon applesauce? Oy! I never buy that for the house. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had that since I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was 19!

Nutrition is something I feel passionately about. Because of that, you would think I would be 20 pounds lighter and never have meals out, or never go over 1300 calories a day. Well, sometimes too much knowledge can work against you too. Knowing what I need to do also allows me to know what the max calorie allotment I can handle before I start to gain. I’m a little more than stubborn and need to work through this.

I truly hope this list helped open some eyes about foods that families consume everyday. No meal is ever going to be absolutely perfect and there are lots of ways to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. I tend to focus on the whole food side of nutrition and not so much “dieting”. Just because you are skinny from dieting, does not mean you are healthy. What we put into our bodies everyday is like a fuel to keep us working properly and healthy. It’s extremely important.

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I’ll conclude with one of my favorite scriptures from the Bible; which really puts a healthy lifestyle into perspective:

PS.139 13-16

For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the parts of the Earth.  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet, there were none of them.

Treat your body, and your families’ bodies the way He wants you to treat them.

Lime Give-a-Way and what it can do for you!

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When I think of spring and summer, I immediately think bright colors, fun outdoors, grilling out, sunshine and healthier food choices like fruits and veggies, homemade salsa and summer smoothies.

So, when I put my “oil hat” on, the oils that come to mind as spring and summer must haves are oils like LIME, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, geranium and orange.

I recently ordered Lime and I love it! You can do so much with this oil, that I thought….why not share it with anyone who orders a Premium Starter Kit?

So, other than smelling great, what does Lime do? Check these suggestions out:

[Read more…]

Inspiring Others, Everyday

Over the weekend while I was scrolling through social media, specifically Facebook, I noticed that probably 30-40% of my timeline posts were network marketing related; anything from monthly specials, to hostess gifts, to team building activities or even retreats. I know it can seem, to some, especially those who are not a part of a network marketing company, like they are “bombarded” with these opportunities everyday. For me, however, seeing so many of these network marketing companies’ missions come through social media channels like Facebook, makes me extremely happy and very hopeful and inspired.

You see, network marketing is not a pyramid “scheme”. Literally, it hurts to even use that word in this blog post. Rather, it’s a chance to be your own business owner and its HARD work to run. Hard work, skill, dedication and devotion. Contrary to what some think, it’s definitely not a get rich quick type of business. Sure, the opportunity is there to make money, but the big dollars come from countless hours, days, weeks, months and years of hard work and 150% dedication. There are also incentives, promotions and bonuses that are given from some companies as a pat on the back to the top performers.

It’s no different than an 8-5 job. Managers are paid more because they have people they are responsible for, only in network marketing, managers are called directors, or executives, or diamonds. The big picture is that it’s the same concept and whether you choose network marketing, an 8-5 or both, it’s hard work, loyalty and making connections that allow you to advance.

I’ve heard several people say that even the Wall Street Journal sings the praises of the business model for network marketing. Why wouldn’t you want to be your own boss and own your own time? It’s not the story of the Tupperware lady or Avon lady selling to her stay at home mom friends anymore. That is such a thing of the past. It’s much bigger now. More profitable. Business women and men are working full time in network marketing now, selling high quality products to consumers around the country and consumers are experiencing great results.

Want more proof? Check out this interesting article from Forbes Magazine about network marketing and retirement. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlaura/2014/08/29/would-you-join-a-multi-level-marketing-company-for-retirement-income/

I have had a few experiences with network marketing. First, I’m going to tell you what not to do. About 10 years ago, I decided I wanted to make some extra money, so I joined Pampered Chef. Why did I chose Pampered Chef? Well, because the market was not saturated with PC consultants and I thought that was a smart move. Well, silly me because it’s no secret the kitchen is not my favorite room in the house. Alright, that’s 100% true these days, but it’s not on my top 10 list. While I loved the recipes and the kitchen tools, I felt like I couldn’t really be a good salesperson for a product that I didn’t use enough of myself. Plus, their recipes are not for the calorie conscious, if you know what I mean… I made some money from it and that was great, but I let it fizzle out. While I thought I was being smart by choosing a company that was not over saturated, it really was not smart to choose a company that was not the best fit for my personal goals, or to think I would make a significant amount of money every month without being 100%
committed.

Then in 2011, I decided to take the network marketing leap again with Thirty One and you can read about my journey here.

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And just this past September, Young Living Essential Oils fell into my lap. I wasn’t planning on selling these. I had heard such wonderful buzz on these oils and all of my readers know I’m one that tries to treat things the natural way before OTC meds. Brayden was starting kindergarten and being the germ freak that I am, it was not a shock I was interested in thieves oil. I was also interested in the home diffuser to diffuse thieves everyday when I got home from work, to help boost immunity. It was much more cost effective for me to purchase the Premium Starter Kit that came with thieves (plus 10 additional popular multi-use oils) and the home diffuser. After I got my kit and started experimenting (on myself of course, not our kids), I found out that the oils were the real deal. Literally and figuratively. I couldn’t believe the success I had by using them! Friends saw this and joined. I now have a team of 9.
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Now I go to online classes and read tons of research articles about these little gems, to learn more about how to use them for my family, and let’s be real mommies…..you know when you tell your pediatrician that you use them and the pediatrician doesn’t shame you for not using traditional OTC meds, that you must be doing something they approve of. And another bonus—a lot of these oils can be used on your pets. I told our vet recently that I was putting a couple blends on our dogs to help calm them down and they said it was a good idea and wouldn’t hurt them. I love being able to use and sell a product that I believe in 100%, and that “fits” my interests.
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Another aspect of network marketing that is enjoyable is the fellowship with other consultants. Most companies meet once a month or once a quarter to have a pep rally of sorts and discuss sales tactics and what is on the horizon for their business. You are in a room with 20-100+ other people just like yourself, working towards a big goal, sharing the same interests. You meet so many wonderful people and share wonderful stories. The meetings I have been to have been so enlightening and everyone seems to be there to support each other.

My point to this post is this; network marketing is a wonderful opportunity, and business model. The possibilities are endless as long as you are willing to put in the work. I’m a firm believer that we can all be better than we are, and that there is a big world out there that we can all help change.
I want to point out that I work for Young Living and Thirty One only part time. I’m not a director or executive, but I see people who are every day. I know and feel the work they put into their business. It’s not overnight success. It takes perseverance and patience and willingness to never give up. I have a few Facebook friends that are committed to their companies beyond measure and you know what? They are finding that it’s paying off……BIG. You know how they are doing it? By using social media to post their successes, their client’s successes, inspirational quotes, product specials and goals. Additionally, they turn themselves into walking billboards, finding every opportunity to talk with new clients. Breakfasts/Lunches/Dinners out, play dates with their friends and kids, treadmill time at the gym, school functions, college classes, Starbucks drive thru’s and even by going to get their weekly spray tan. They are fearless and determined and because of that, they will succeed. This inspires me.

To all those in network marketing reaching the greatness of your dreams and highest goals, I respect you and am grateful for the leadership you show. Those of us in this industry in any capacity know what it takes. I aspire to be one of those who reach their goals. Just know you are all inspirations!

So the next time you feel like your social media feeds are packed full of these products, offers and promotions; think about what that wrap, anti aging cream, P90X DVD, personalized tote, necklace or oil really means to those who are succeeding everyday in this billion dollar industry. Billion, yes, with a B.

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2015 is HERE!!!

2015 is here…whoopity whoop de woo!!
You know what’s exciting about January? Almost nothing. EXCEPT the notion that the month is wide open for new possibilities. I’m such a possibilities girl. I love the “fresh” feeling of January, even if it is colder than a frozen terd outside and overcast every single day. Both of the latter I cannot stand by the way. I wonder what starting January 1st in Santa Monica or San Fran feels like. I’m guessing sunny and 70, plus still having the feeling like the year is limitless. Excuse me while I start stashing money to pack us all up and move.

In all seriousness though, I love the feeling of making changes, upgrades, updates etc. Whether they are mental, physical, and emotional or whatever your little heart can think up. It brings me a sense of excitement and forces me to take on a few challenges.

2014 was a great year! I’m thankful for a productive, healthy, fulfilling, safe year with family, friends, my job and my Thirty One career! I’m amped about 2015. I’m looking forward to tackling some of the goals I have set for myself and our family and excited to see how you all tackle your goals as well! I need to blog more, just like I need to make time for several other things….one of which is to go on more dates with my husband!

I’ve learned since being married in 2004 (yikes that was forever ago) that you have to have a strong foundation first before you can work on fulfilling goals like losing weight, house projects, exercising, cooking more etc. When your priorities are straight (mine are God, family, job, school for the boys) then you can work towards singling out some of the smaller goals that eventually add up to major successes. Does that make sense? I feel like that was lengthy and maybe not exactly the clearest explanation.

Here are my goals for 2015 and a preliminary plan on how to achieve them:
1.) Lose 15 pounds and TONE.
**15 pounds will be a major challenge for me. It will require discipline and will power, which I struggle with daily with things that come secondary to my foundation pieces (God, marriage, kids, job etc). I’ve come to realize that’s just something that will always come as a hard task for me to overcome. I can’t complain about it and never put forth the major effort to achieve something I so badly want to achieve. So…..yep. Hello to hard core calorie counting at MyFitnessPal (fitmek) and tracking steps with my fitbit. Toning is also very important to me with my weight loss journey. I’m trying to take this slow and build up muscle that I’ve lost over the years, especially in my core after having a c-section. Wish me luck

2.) Be outside more.
**Being outside makes me so happy. There’s nothing better than the smells of springtime on a sunny day. In the spring and summer time Brock and the kids spend a generous amount of time outside and I always find myself rushing in to clean or make dinner and by the time I’m ready to enjoy the evening, its 10pm. I’m going to try and make more of an effort to enjoy my evenings and some of my other 2015 goals will help me achieve this…like meal prep/planning.

3.) Work on some of my tendencies related to anxiety and try not to let them get in the way of things I love to do.
**Over the past year my anxiety has gone through a few rougher than most phases. I despise having anxiety issues, but its hereditary and it runs on both sides of my family, so lucky me. I realize all I can do is work through it and keep on keeping on. The minute I let it control something I really want to do, is when it starts getting worse. I’m hoping that by finding discipline and will power in other areas, it can help me overcome my worries and anxieties!

4.) Go on more dates with Brock.
**Last year, we were able to go out on 4 dates. That’s right people, 4. And 3 of them were rush through dinner or rush to the movie and back home dates. I’m fortunate to have my mom watch our kiddos through the week, so when the weekend comes and Brock and I actually want to have adult time, I feel terrible asking my parents to babysit. But in 2015, I’m going to make it happen because darn it, we need to date each other! It’s important and we have a great time when we are able to enjoy a movie or dinner date together.

5.) Meal planning and prep, and cooking at home more.
**In 2014 I did get better at cooking more at home, but it never really saved me anytime because it took a lot of time to cook and then it was up to me to make another dinner night after night…essentially taking up way too much time that my evenings never hold. Enter meal planning. Guys—truth be told, I suck at this. The few times I’ve given it a go, I find every excuse in the book “I don’t want to use plastic containers, I want to use glass and I don’t have enough glassware”, “this requires a microwave and my office doesn’t have one.” “I don’t want to eat this lean cuisine because it’s processed.” “I hate chopping up veggies, it takes so much time.” I don’t know when I became the master food excuse maker but seriously, ITS RIDICULOUS! Back to basics….make salads ahead of time and stash them in the fridge, put toppings in a separate smaller container and refrigerate those as well. Make 6-8 breakfast sandwiches on Saturday or Sunday and keep them refrigerated until use during the upcoming week. Make crock-pot meals and double the recipe for 2 night’s worth of dinners and maybe a bit extra to put on salad greens. Sure, there may be a day I want my beloved Chick Fil A grilled nugget cob salad and I’m sure there will be at least one night that Brock has to have pizza, but for the most part, I’m sure I can manage through this so I don’t feel like a chicken with my head cut off day in and day out.

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6.) Try not to use my credit card as much.
**Enough said. I don’t really have an explanation for this, except for Dave Ramsey would be proud. No, we don’t follow his program, but I’m sure he would give me a high five for not using my credit card.

7.) Makeover my closet.
**Get rid of pieces I no longer wear. Can you believe I finally parted ways with my first pair of Steve Madden leather boots this past summer? I bought them in 2000. So ya. I tend to keep things like shoes, purses and belts longer than anyone I know. I have belts in my closet from the “I have to dress like Britney Spears” era and shoes from my “pre kids” days. There’s no reason. None. Unless you have MAJOR designer items—HIGH end designer items, there’s no reason to keep this stuff! It’s going. Coach bags….going. I’m keeping the first one I ever received because Brock bought it for me and it is special in my eyes, but the others that I feel have worn out their welcome are going. And I want to make sure I replace these items with good quality, versatile pieces that last a long time, real leather, cashmere, wool, silk…you get the picture. So if you see me out and about in the one of 20 items I’m sure to have left in my closet (exaggeration, but the struggle is real), don’t make fun of me. I’m slowly adding pieces back in.

8.) Read more devotionals, starting with Katie Ferrell’s “Devotions for a Healthier You”.
**I am really, really going to make my mission this year to find my true identity as a child of God. It’s one of those foundation pieces that I really need to work on. I feel like so many other things may fall into place if I just figure out who I am in the eyes of Jesus.

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9.) Work on reading more with both boys.
**Plain and simple. I’m thankful Brayden loves to read.

10.) Find a simple organization course of action for our house so I can enjoy it more.
**The few days I was off around the holidays, I spent a lot of time tackling small, nut noticeable projects, like clearing off the kitchen counters and finding homes for random knick knacks, organizing our linen closet upstairs, cleaning the laundry room etc. I really felt like I was getting my head above water for the first time in over a year. It was amazing what that did for my attitude! I’m trying to tackle small projects day by day, and with the help of my little helpers and Brock, I’m sure we will be able to find a little more organization by spring. This will help me cook more and be outside more. If I feel I have a de-cluttered home, then I feel like I can allow myself more “me” time. Aka, being outside.

11.) Work on transferring my 2000 pictures on my iphone to my computer.
**Most people’s phones automatically do this when they sync them to their computer. For some reason mine doesn’t. Hopefully this will be resolved after a phone call to Apple.

And that, my friends, is THE list. All I can do is give it my best.
What are your goals for 2015? I would love to hear what you have planned!
xoxox

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