Who Am I ?

I heard a sermon from the series #deathtoselfie by Pastor Steven Furtick Sunday about being who you really are. The statement that has stuck with me has been that God won’t bless who I pretend to be! It is was a sermon based on the story of Jacob and Esua…. Check it out…http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/just-call-me-jacob?autoplay=sermon

In the the age where social media saturates our everyday lives 24/7 it’s very easy to caught up in the whirlwind of striving to be someone we are not. We can hide behind flowery words and status updates as well as fake smiles and touched up photos. Yes! I’m guilty of all those things as well but I want to take a minute to be real with you! After all it’s not our so called perfect lives that attract or endear us to others but it is rather our struggles and imperfections that help us to identify and grow closer to one another. There is nothing quite as comforting as when you are sharing with someone a struggle and they can identify perfectly with your heartache.

I want God to be glorified in my weaknesses so that when I do per chance do some amazing and hard things in life all the glory goes to him! His strength is made perfect in my weakness not my strengths and I don’t know about you but I’ve got some weaknesses!

I post a lot about fitness and healthy eating here on my Facebook page and it’s no secret that health and wellness are definite passions of mine but you may not the why behind that passion.

I have been a disordered eater and dieter for most of my life. It started at an early age and manifested itself greatly in high school in the form of eating disorders. It wasn’t until just about 8 years ago after attending a healthy eating class by my Chiropractors that my eyes were opened to how God designed us to eat and what to eat that changed how I viewed my health, weight and food choices. I thank him daily for that season in my life!

Fast forward to now and it’s obvious that I love to eat my fruits and veggies and I LOVE to sweat! However that doesn’t mean that I adhere to that everyday!

Here’s the real me….. in a nutshell

I don’t wake up with my makeup on or my hair perfectly coiffed and my pajamas are not monogrammed!

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I love to work out but neither my from or methods are perfect or even graceful for that matter. ( I can trip on my own two feet)

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There is nothing I love more than fruits and vegetables except CHOCOLATE!! And yes I wear my nerdy glasses while in the kitchen….

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I post this …..

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but I really would rather go face first and eat this and sometimes I do :) ….

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I’m just as comfortable in my boots or heels as I am in tennis shoes depending upon my mood for the day…

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I’m a kid at heart, I love to laugh, have learned the art of laughing at myself and make no apologies for loving knee socks!

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I unashamedly love my family and wouldn’t trade them for anything!

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I’d rather watch The Walton’s or Little House then any reality, romance show or vampire movie any day! ( I’ll take a man who loves the Lord with all his heart and treats a woman with true respect then a man with a hard body or pretty face any day!)

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No matter how much I may have changed over the years I’m still this little chubby cheeked girl on the inside.

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I’m passionate in wanting you to know that yes healthy eating and exercise are good for you, it’s what I love but most importantly that you are beautiful no matter the size of your jeans, the number on the scale or what society has tried to tell you what beauty is. God made YOU in his image and it’s time to stop pretending to be somebody else and simply start being YOU!

Be yourself because everybody else is already taken!

My Why

Why do I post things about my weight progress, food and fitness?
There are three main reasons why. I will tell you though I don’t do it to annoy you, sell you on anything or to flaunt myself in anyway I’m just excited about the changes God is doing in me and the path he has placed me on.
For years I have been the girl who struggled with her weight and self esteem. Growing up I was the shy chubby girl who was made fun of and the word fatty spoken to me by other kids has stuck with me for years!!!! Those words hurt and in the process of growing up I found myself chained to an ideal weight and what I should look like.
Over the years I have been on just about every crazy fad diet known to man, I’ve starved myself and ashamedly have been caught in the binge and purge cycle. It’s only by the mercy, love and grace of God that I’m even still here! I believe though that what the enemy meant for evil God is using it for my good and has instilled in me a passion and love for health and wellness. I’m no expert nor do I hold any formal degrees but the things I’ve learned have been by attending different classes, doing my own research and talking with a few health and wellness experts over the years. I’ve studied up on different types of daily diets and have come to the conclusion it’s really all about balance and being mindful of what you put in your body. Being fit is different for everyone of us. We are all made different so I’m going to look different than you and vice versa.
You can spend hours in the gym but if you are eating crap 24 hours a day you are just like a hamster on a wheel in its cage….. going no where! You have to start in the kitchen but then you have to decide you are going to get some kind of exercise everyday! It doesn’t have to be one set thing because your body desires diversity. The key is finding what you like to do. It can be taking a brisk walk, working in the yard, running or whatever just MOVE! I enjoy my Beachbody programs but I also love being outside walking, running and I absolutely love to hike I just haven’t found my hiking buddy yet. ;)
It’s really just that simple… Eat clean whole foods as close to their natural state and exercise. No gimmicks, no fad diets and no crazy products just plain hard work and the added benefit of moving your body daily also gives you the ability to indulge every once in awhile too.Trust me this girl still has to have her chocolate!!
I’m on a continual health journey not because I think it’s going to make me live forever but because I have a race to run. Only this race isn’t the latest 5K downtown but the race God has me on for the life He has given me. I’ve got work to do, places to go, people to love and care for and I can’t do those things effectively if my health is suffering!
So why do I post so many pics of me sweating, food experiments, and current programs I am doing here on Facebook?
1. I’ve got a race called life to run, places to go and people to love and care for!
2. I want to honor God with my body
3. Most importantly I want to encourage YOU! If I can help just 1 person in taking baby steps to increasing their health it’s all worth it to me!
God has brought me so far and just want to share what He has and is doing in my life. I’m so thankful I took the plunge and invested in Chalene Extreme last year. I love the Beachbody community, their integrity, what they stand for and their products are like no other!
I’ve lost so much more than just weight, I’ve lost years of unhealthy baggage, self pity, self loathing, anger, and regret! I’ve also gained a lot more than just muscle and strength. I’ve gained confidence, self respect, and a desire to help and encourage others.
I believe in the power of encouragement!
Follow me in my next challenge with Chalene Johnson’s PIYO!
Yours in health!
Traci

 

 

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The next 60 days!

Overnight Apple Pie Oats

It’s so true that when they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day! I used to be the girl who would starve herself until lunch and then make a head dive into a complete binge on all the wrong things when noon rolled around. I’m thankful that with age comes wisdom because this girl can not go without breakfast. I need fuel to keep me going and so do you!

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be simple yet delicious and nutritious……

Behold ……

Overnight Apple Pie Oats

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 to 2/3 cup water or almond milk

1/2 of granny smith apple ~ chopped

1 tsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

cinnamon to taste

Place oats, water, apple, and syrup in bowl

Mix well, cover and place in refrigerator overnight

Enjoy by warming a bit the next morning and sprinkle on some cinnamon, mix in coconut oil or you could even dress it up with some chopped nuts.

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The nutrition details

Calories ~ 275

Total Fat~ 8

Carbohydrates~ 47

Sodium~ 0

Fiber~ 7

Protein~ 5

There you have it a fast, delicious and nutritious breakfast to start your day off right!

It All Started When……..

Isn’t that how most stories start out? Oh wait.. no ..that’s Once Upon A Time but  this story will start out with It all start when…..

Yes …it all started when last year right around Fall I found myself in this funk that I just couldn’t seem to snap myself out of. I had changed jobs ,was feeling sorry for myself and in attempt to comfort my  bah hum bug feelings about upcoming holidays I found myself drowning my sorrows in good ole comfort food! For some reason the holidays were especially hard for me last year. Going through a separation and divorce within the last three years has definitely been a roller coaster ride that has had my hair flying back , stomach in knots all while I’m gripping on tight in fear to the seat in front of me at times. Whew ….get me off this thing!!!

So…… This January I found my clothes fitting a little tighter and me a lot grumpier! I explained away the tighter fitting clothes to me gaining some muscle weight and although that is true to an extent it was a lame excuse knowing that I been medicating myself with poor food choices.I had no alternative but to confront it!

I’m confident enough in saying I will never have a perfect body, be perfect in what I eat and I refuse the unrealistic idea that one must spend hours in a gym  or even have to take out a small loan to afford a personal trainer to achieve results. It quite simple really…. Eat right and exercise! Anything that is promising results without a change in behavior is only going to be temporary.

So this is how it started………

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Can’t you just see the joy shining through that face? :lol:

I absolutely cringe posting these pics on here and in my online accountability group but I have found it’s in being vulnerable that opens the door to truer relationships and only makes you stronger. I’ve also learned that putting the word Challenge  and Accountability out in front of me only makes me want to try harder at something. I need that …I think we all need that.

Here are some questions that I asked myself when I was considering joining the 21 Day Fix Challenge and the answers I got after 21 days.

  • Could I try this weight loss thing on my own? Yes but just as the many times before I wouldn’t have stuck it out without the accountability and structure.
  • Was I going to go bankrupt, have to sign a contract or sign my life away? No… my bank account is still intact.
  • Does it take a magic pill, formula , weird food or gimmicky product? No and if it did I wouldn’t have done it or be singing its praises.
  • Is it going to be easy? No but it was worth every ounce of time and effort I put into it.
  • Am I going to have to kill myself with strange and awkward exercise moves and go for hours on end? (because I am rhythmically challenged) Sweat? YES but I was able to do everything without a problem and when I needed to slow it down a bit there is a modification for every exercise.
  • Would the accountability and support really push me to keep going when I wanted to quit?  I wasn’t sure before I started but I quickly found my group to be very supportive and encouraging every step of the way!
  • Would it really work? Well I’m gonna say I’ve tried many things in the past and none have really delivered quite like this one. I’m pleasantly pleased and I’m not stopping now.

Everything about the 21 Day Fix from being apart of the online accountability and support group to the superb meal plan, exercises and those beautiful colored portion control containers this program has been my favorite by far! After all these years I feel like I finally have a grip on proper portion control and I’m not starving myself. Honestly there were even days I felt like I couldn’t finish my food allotment for the day and that’s pretty funny because I remember when I first opened the box my initial thought was…”I’m going to STARVE”. Nope not at all!

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So I guess now that you’ve seen the before pics you now want to see the after…….

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Thank you 21 Day Fix!

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Be you!

Forward March!

Do you have triggers? Do you have things like songs, places or just little things that will automatically trigger a past memory or bring back to mind something you learned? I have several but this year arrows have a special meaning to me.

At the beginning of this year I was listening to a sermon online and the pastor was teaching on this passage in 2 Kings. It’s the story of the prophet Elisha when he was on his death-bed and Joash, King of Israel, came to him for one last piece of advice because the Syrians were attacking the country. Elisha told him to take a bow and arrows and put his hand on the bow. So Joash did as Elisha said. “And Elisha put his hands on the King’s hands.” With Elisha’s hand on Joash’s, they shot an arrow out of the window and Elisha told Joash it was “the arrow of the Lord’s deliverance.

17 Elisha came down sick. It was the sickness of which he would soon die. Jehoash king of Israel paid him a visit. When he saw him he wept openly, crying, “My father, my father! Chariot and horsemen of Israel!15 Elisha told him, “Go and get a bow and some arrows.” The king brought him the bow and arrows.16 Then he told the king, “Put your hand on the bow.” He put his hand on the bow. Then Elisha put his hand over the hand of the king.17 Elisha said, “Now open the east window.” He opened it. Then he said, “Shoot!” And he shot. “The arrow of God’s salvation!” exclaimed Elisha. “The arrow of deliverance from Aram! You will do battle against Aram until there’s nothing left of it.”

The reason this story has come to mean so much to me is that it has taught me that when I’ve got my hands on the bow and arrows of prayer or a job that God has called me to do God then comes along behind me and places His hands over mine making them much stronger and more effective. After hearing this story every time I see an arrow I’m reminded that it’s not my puny little strength that enables me to do anything but it’s His and it’s also a reminder to keep marching forward!

Have you noticed that regardless of the arrow it’s always pointing you to go straight head? No turning, looking, or peaking back but chin up, eyes open…Forward march!

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When I’m out for a run that’s when my mind reels with thoughts and ideas and I’m shooting pictures of every kind just in case I need them!

These signs came in handy because they served to remind me to keep going forward even if the road winds or curves around do not look back but keep your eyes on the prize and to follow where God leads because nobody wants to end up here…..

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We can’t see everything ahead of us but if we will follow Him we do not need to fear dead ends! No dead ends for this girl…I’m going forward and hope you are too!

Today I’m moving myself forward right into the kitchen with my Uggs because it’s raining cats and dogs outside so I don’t for see a run in my future and Chalene has my legs feeling like jello after yesterdays workout! :shock:

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Now on to the concoction portion of the blog today. Who’s in the kitchen with Traci? Oh you know it’s that crazy blonde with those nerdy glasses again!  Wear your glasses when needed because following directions when cooking or baking is just as important as following the arrows of life straight ahead. ;)

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Sun-dried Tomato With Roasted Red Pepper And Zoodles

1 Large Zucchini

1/3 cup roasted red pepper (can be from a jar)

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 Tbsp chopped walnuts or nuts of your choices

*** 2- 3 shakes of red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp Olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

Saute all of the above except zucchini until tender and set aside.

*** Please when using red pepper flakes BE CAREFUL! These things are hot enough to catch forests on fire. If you remember in my post..http://faithfulfoodiefashionista.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/sun-dried-tomato-muffins-with-a-kick/. My friend Deanna and I almost killed her boyfriend and now husband with a pasta dish we made for him! :)

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Now with a vegetable peeler slice the zucchini into “noodles”. This trick has helped me so much in curbing my craving for pasta! You could also you use a yellow squash or even a spaghetti squash.

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———–> Lunch Is Served! ———->

I’m “Shaking” In My Boots and The Review Is In!

Happy Friday and welcome to the weekend! Give yourself a high-five, a pat on the back and a fist pump for rocking this week like I know you have!

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This week, although busy has been a great week for me to get caught up on work things, experimenting with new concoctions in the kitchen, and even sneaking in some extra hours of Zzzzz’s…Nice!

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It’s been a week now that I have been using Shakeology and can I just say that I’m 100% SOLD! I have to admit I was and had been skeptical for a couple of years and that’s why I wanted to give at least a full week before I reported in about it. One of my dearest friends had been singing its praises for sometime and had even given me samples about a year ago but now having actually put it to the test I’m a true believer. This stuff has given me energy out the roof!

Here goes a little sales pitch….Ahem…. Shakeology is everything it claims it is. It’s not only the healthiest meal of the day packed with an extensive list of healthy and natural ingredients but this stuff truly does gives you energy. It’s not the jittery energy that you obtain from coffee or other stimulants but it’s the kind of energy that gives you the sense  you could quite possibly climb mountains with a great attitude while doing it! Those mountains may not be literal but for you they may be mountains of laundry, deadlines or even emotional things that you have to endure everyday I’m just here to tell you this stuff rocks! Not only does it have this energy infusing ability it tastes phenomenal and it’s very versatile  in the many ways you can prepare it. They also claim that it curbs cravings and it lives up to that claim as well. I don’t know about you but in the mornings I turn into this bottomless pit and even though I have a healthy breakfast I still find myself constantly HUNGRY throughout the morning but just after a week of doing a Shakeology smoothie for my on the go breakfast I can give testimony that it does indeed curb cravings and keeps me going until lunch rolls around. That in itself is a small miracle! I love it and I’m hooked! If you are interested in learning more just click on the link on my “About Page”! :)


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I don’t know when you get your workouts in but I love to get mine done in the mornings because for me it sets the tone for the day, allows me to clear my thoughts and gives me the opportunity to allow God to whisper in my ears His thoughts and dreams for me. Getting my sweat on in the mornings simply energizes me and gets my creative juices to flowing and I’m privileged to have access to a beautiful mile and a half private road in which only farm houses abide. The views are just incredible and I feel like I could run or walk for days!

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I find myself longing for long walks along a shoreline somewhere a lot during the Summer months but I truly am a country girl at heart! You know the saying…”You can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl”. Give me a front porch, a glass of sweet tea while watching the lightning bugs light up my front yard in Summer any day and you’ve got one happy southern girl! ;)

It’s going to be a great weekend and hope you take the opportunity to honor you dad, get out enjoy some sunshine, be with the ones you love, and bloom where you are planted!

Shake It Till You Make It!

Dear diary it’s me again Traci. Ha….. How many of you had a diary growing up? I had several and I remember one that was pretty much dedicated to this heart-throb!……

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I was so in love with Keith Partridge that I was convinced at the ripe old age of about 8 or 9 that I was going to marry him someday and there was an entire diary to prove it! I thought Traci Partridge had a nice ring to it but it just didn’t happen and my love would prove to be fickle because I moved on to several other heart throbs that hung on posters up above my bed throughout my youth I had the tack holes in my wall to prove it! My how time flies!

Today I still have my crushes but thankfully I don’t write in diaries about them, doodle my name on notebooks with their last name placed after mine or have posters hanging above my bed. My tastes have matured and now my heart throbs don’t really don the movie screens or those silly heart throb magazines. Do they even still publish those? As crazy as it sounds you can find many of them on the Food Network! I know …sad..sad…sad! Give me a man who can grill, cook and bake anytime! ;)

The diaries I keep today are generally either logging my calorie intake or fitness and health challenges that I embark on. Diaries can be helpful when you are tracking any kind of progress whether that be for fitness, financial or personal. They give you insight, help encourage, and give you the ability to look back and see just how far you’ve come. Grab a pen and paper and just do it !

In my last post I mentioned that I’m now an independent Beachbody Coach and with that challenge I am starting Shakeology. In their description of Shakeology them proclaim it to be the healthiest meal of the day and just by looking at the ingredients I’m already impressed. They use the purest and most natural nutrients that are supposed to curb cravings and supply energy. I’ve only used sample packets in the past but now I’m putting it to the test for 1 month! I’ve loved the fitness programs I’ve used from Beachbody and can tell you how very much they have changed me not only just from a physical perspective but have given me confidence in being strong! So YES if you have not given any of their fitness programs a try I encourage you to pick from an extensive list that they offer and give one a try! You won’t regret it I promise. :)

Now on to this stuff….

5362_10151635460138879_2044590011_nI can’t tell you how excited I am about reporting back in 1 month and sharing with you just how awesome this stuff is and even getting creative and sharing recipes with you. I’m that confident in it already! You may even get a Dear Diary report every week!

Have an Awesome Thursday!

P.S I still think Keith Partridge is cute! ;)