Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Extreme Makeover: LaRhonda's Journey of Faith and Fitness!

On my journey of faith and fitness, I love seeing other people on theirs. Something about watching what they go through and the true transformation is more inspiring than anything else out there. For that reason and so much more, I can't help but salute LaRhonda Darby.

LaRhonda was featured on last night's Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. All of the people on this show have inspired and motivated me, but with LaRhonda there is something extra special that makes me feel a connection. The heart of it is her faith in God - and that she is proud to show that faith to the world. See the picture of LaRhonda above? On the left side of her shirt she has written the words, "With God For Me, Nothing Can Stand In My Way!" And she is darn proud to wear that shirt on TV for everyone to see. (Hmm...I have a couple of plain T-shirts that could use a little writing on them. Time to decorate them with words of faith and empowerment!) I can truly say that this is why LaRhonda is so successful. She knows that on her own she has human weaknesses, but with Him she is strong. (I must also applaud ABC for letting her film in that shirt...a lot of networks would be skittish about "offending some people" and cut that footage.)

How else do I relate to LaRhonda? Well, I lost my mom over 16 years ago, when I was 28. She was right when she said you never get over it...you learn how to deal with it. I've been dealing with it for years, sometimes with food instead of healthier ways to work it out. One thing that really just sunk in for me over the last few months - my mom would want me to remember happy things, and she would want me to be healthy and happy. You can bet that LaRhonda's mom is watching over her...and she's so proud of her!

I love that God is using LaRhonda to teach us...He's so good at turning pain into something of beauty. (And humor...goodbye to LaRhonda's stomach "Bertha"!) Thank you dear LaRhonda, for sharing your journey with us...and thanks be to God for sharing you with the rest of us!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

MetroMint Heaven!

Is it possible to fall in love with a beverage? If it is, then I am definitely head over heels for MetroMint!!!

I happened to discover them at the grocery store while looking around in the water aisle. I was intrigued by the thought of mint water and enticed by the fact that there are no sweeteners or preservatives in their products. The water is purified by reverse osmosis, and the only other ingredients are pure, real mint grown in Washington State and natural flavors or essences. I knew I had to try it. There were only 3 flavors at my store, so I chose Spearmint and ChocolateMint.

I tasted the ChocolateMint first, and I swear my taste buds went straight to heaven. The flavor is amazing without being overpowering; completely refreshing while satisfying my chocolate craving. (It's better than the sensation you get biting into a York Peppermint Patty...no sugar or junk in it!) The Spearmint is also wonderful...both refreshing and invigorating.

Something you may not know (beacuse I didn't until now!) is that mint has many healthy and medicinal uses. Mint improves digestion, decreases heartburn, and eases nausea. Mint is also good for stopping bad breath, clearing congestion (great news for this allergy sufferer!) and easing stress. Hmm...sounds like a natural way to take care of all of those things doctors keep prescribing pills for! I would much rather use mint than drugs!

Metromint also comes in other flavors like CherryMint, OrangeMint, LemonMint, Peppermint, and GoodberryMint. I will have to go back and get the OrangeMint, plus try my local World Market for the other flavors. Check the Metromint website for more cool mint information and type in your zip code to find stores near you that carry this amazing mint water.

Yes, I've fallen in love with MetroMint...you better never go away or it would truly break my heart!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Was REALLY Hoping This Was A Joke! (AKA Don't Eat Their Kool-Aid)

After watching "Fried Kool-Aid" trending on Twitter for the past few days, I thought someone was just being funny and that the joke caught on. It had to be one of those weird trends that seem to pop up for no reason. This stuff couldn't be for real...right???

WRONG! I finally Googled it to see why this was a big deal. It turns out that a man who is known for coming up with new foods for the county fair circuit created this monsterpiece. He also makes deep fried Thin Mints, which to me not only ruins the taste of the cookies (if you are going to treat yourself to a couple) but adds greasy fat and calories that none of us need. The Kool-Aid powder is mixed into batter and then fried like donut holes. They resemble hush puppies (which I love but only eat twice a year to satisfy my craving) but have NOTHING nutritious in them. (Does this man get a cut of what the doctors make treating obese people or patients with high cholesterol? He's certainly helping them stay in business!)

It seems people are trying to deep fry anything and everything they can get their hands on. TGIFriday's took the nutrient-rich green bean and fried it to within a millimeter of its life to create an appetizer...which actually doesn't sound all that appetizing. Yes, we have some treats that are not good for us that we should parktake of sparingly -- but why take foods that are healthy and turn them into crap? Or take already unhealthy foods and make them worse?

I used to drink Kool-Aid all the time when I was a kid (Lemon-Lime being my favorite) before any of us knew just how bad it was for us. I don't drink it anymore and never make it for my son. You can bet that I won't be eating the Kool-Aid either...and this guy needs to stop drinking the funny stuff!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Swimsuit Obsession - But Not What You Think!

I have a swimsuit obsession.

No, it's not about being obsessed with fitting into a certain size suit, though I am getting in shape.

It's all because I love swimsuits. I could spend hours looking over different styles, patterns, and colors. (In fact, I'm posting this blog about an hour later than I wanted to...because I got carried away looking at swimsuit pictures to use.) If I won the lottery, I would probably have one dresser filled entirely with swimwear. I love being at the pool or beach in a bathing suit, no matter what size I'm wearing. I admire fit women's suits, but also the variety of options now available for plus size chicks. (Maybe I should be a swimsuit designer!)

I do have quite a few suits of my own, in various sizes from being up and down the weight scale. I'm about ten pounds away from fitting into the next size down and I can't wait. I used to buy the Venus Swimsuit magazines, with my eyes glazing over seeing so many different options! I even posted pictures from them as inspiration, taking care to choose the models that had some curves...knowing I could never aspire to being a size 0 or a stick. I still have one up on my refrigerator now - a fit, healthy sized model in a cute black and white suit that reminds me to be careful what I reach for out of the fridge.

As I continue to lose weight and get in shape, I know my love of swimsuits will grow. I even have a pretty tasteful bikini waiting to be worn, that I bought quite a while ago and never got to use. I will wear it one day very soon. And with all of the additional swimsuit options I will have...I'd better hit that lottery!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance - In Water?

Some of you may know that I cover dance shows, which I have a passion for and am motivated by on a daily/weekly basis. If I could only choose one type of exercise for the rest of my life, it would be dancing...without a single doubt.

Inspired by last night's Top 20 showcase on So You Think You Can Dance (which was BEYOND amazing), my son and I ventured to our local pool to cool off. While he swam like a fish, I created my own little water dance workout. This session consisted of various leg lifts, arm movements, and kicks...accompanied by several bouts of running in place in the pool. This was my own choreography, and while rudimentary and far from being Emmy-worthy it gave me a great workout. Doing dance moves under water made me feel like I was lighter than air - which is exactly how the dancers looked last night. (I was really hoping Natalia would make Top 20...but more on that in another post.) There's nothing quite like the feeling that you're floating on a cloud when normally you are not a lightweight. (at least not YET) I could imagine myself on a stage instead of in a pool, dancing for my life!

I know many pools offer water aerobics classes, and I will be gathering more information on those so I can try more moves and get an even better workout. Until then, I'm unleashing my own creativity in the water...not just thinking, but KNOWING I can dance anywhere!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Turning I Wish Into I WILL

How many times do you catch yourself saying that you wish you could do something? "I wish I could lose weight." "I wish I could take a trip to Hawaii." "I wish I could speak French." "I wish I could learn how to ski." "I wish I could stop letting people walk all over me."

If you're like me, you've wished for a lot of things. And like me, you've probably also just wished...but never did anything about it. We sit there and dream of what it would be like "if only" we could do certain things. Then we go back to being on autopilot, as if our regular routines were all that was possible in our lives.

I'm learning to take things further than the wish stage, and I'd like you to do it as well. As you think about those things that you'd like to do, think deeper. What would it take to make those wishes reality? Write down the steps you need to take so you don't forget about them. Then TAKE THE FIRST STEP. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

I've always said I wished I could try Pilates...I took action steps and now I take Pilates regularly. I dreamed about singing in front of people. I took charge, stepped out, and took the microphone. For years I've wished I could learn Ballroom Dancing...I finally set up my first lesson and I start next week.

Don't let life pass you by without trying those things you've dreamed about. Instead of saying "I wish I could" -- say "I will do this." Then follow through and do it. You will gain confidence and love life more. I know I do!!!