Wednesday, December 31, 2008

JOURNAL: Wed 12.31.08 New Years Eve

On Wednesday, I was on the road for another six hours getting home, so I packed my cooler to head home and was able to eat my snacks while driving back.

Again, no workout. I didn't get back in time before the gym closed - was a "holiday." Leaning more and more toward the "Anytime Fitness" membership.

850am: small slice of fudge, and EAS protein shake
1230am: 4 egg whites, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 c. oatmeal
300pm: small cottage cheese cup, 5 large Kashi crackers
400pm: small coffee and creamer
700pm: 4 oz chicken breast and 3 crackers

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

JOURNAL: Tues 12.30.08

I'm still out of town and today was harder than yesterday....still trying to stick to my diet with a family crisis, funerals and hospitals. I'm doing well. I have not been working out but sticking with my diet at least.
815am: 1/2 Nutrigrain bar, 20 g GNC protein + 1 c. coffee + 1T creamer
930am: 4 egg whites, 1 yolk, 1/2 c. oatmeal
130pm: 1 small cottage cheese, 1 sm green apple
400pm: 4 oz chicken, 1/4 c. or less of brown rice, 1 small yam, salad with olive oil, balsamic and garlic homemade dressing
630pm: cottage cheese and 3 crackers
No workout again today- out of town but kept my diet up

Monday, December 29, 2008

JOURNAL: Mon 12.29.08

I took a six hour drive to be with my family, so I spent the evening on Sunday packing my meals for the week. I am doing my best to keep my diet together even without workouts while out of town.

545am: 20g GNC protein, 1/2 Nutrigrain bar, 1 c. coffee + 1T Creamer
800am: 2 egg whites, 1 yolk, 1/4 c. oatmeal
930am: 2 egg whites, 1/4 c. oatmeal
1130am: 1 Med apple, EAS shake
330pm: salad, 2 crackers, 3 oz turkey and 3 oz tuna
730pm: 4 oz chicken and 1 small cottage cheese

Sunday, December 28, 2008

JOURNAL: Sun 12.28.08

Today was a bad day. My family found out about a second family member sick or dying. It is a part of life, but never good. My diet and workout had to adapt a bit but I stayed the course, I think.

(I woke up really late)
1030am: 20 g GNC Protein, 1/2 small cookie
1245pm: 4 egg whites, 1 yolk, and 1/2 c. oatmeal
230pm: 20 g GNC protein
330pm: 40 g GNC protein, 1/2 c. Froot Loops
615pm: Sante Fe Tilapia and spinach

WORKOUT - Glutes
I weight trained the first workout and the second workout I ran our dog and burned an additional 100 calories. (I didn't say I ran very far.)
Giant Sets:
Stiff Leg Deadlift on platform: 60#/12, 70#/8, 80#/6
Plie Squat with DB: 40#/12, 50#/10, 55#/10
Cable Glute Kickback: 40#e/7, 35#e/10, 35#e/12

Leg Press w/ high feet: 70#/8, 70#/10, 70#/6

TOTALS: 50 minutes, 400 calories

Saturday, December 27, 2008

JOURNAL: Sat 12.27.08

Saturday was a bit of a free day. I have an unexpected event and trip that came up for next week so I'm not going overboard because I'm afraid I'll have a cheat meal on Tuesday also.

830am: 20g GNC Protein, 1 c. coffee + 1T creamer
1030am: 1/2 small snickerdoodle, 4 egg whites + 1 yolk
100pm: FREE MEAL (Our friend had family in town and they picked...I didn't go overboard but Canes is definitely not on my diet) We then went nextdoor to KRISPY KREME!!!! I got fresh, warm dougnuts!
300pm: Then, my dear husband took me to see Marley & Me, even though he really didn't want to see it b/c we have a Golden Retriever and Marley dies, but he took me anyway! It was cute, I thought.
700pm: We had dinner at a friend's house and I did well. I had 4-5 bites of mashed potatoes. I had one small roll. I took about 5 oz of the pork tenderloins and didn't put the sauce on there. I didn't have any wine, just water. BUT, I went wrong when I had a few bites of pie and then 3/4 of a sugar cookie (sweets are my weakness).
So....back on the program tomorrow!!!
WORKOUT - at home today
Because we had to rush out the door this morning to meet our friends for the afternoon out, I had to work out at home. I improvised!
10 minute rollerblade warm up with my dog - kept heart-rate above 160
superset the following:

Wide push-ups using Nike grips: 12, 10, 10, 10
DB Bicep Curl Alternating: 15e#/12, 20/12, 25/6, 20/8

DB Chest Press (on exercise ball): 20e#/12, 25/12, 25/9, 25/9
DB Hammer Curl: 20e#/10, 20/10, 20/10

DB Chest Fly on Ball: 20e#/10, 20/8, 20/8
(Tried to superset with lower abs but upper abs too sore still) 2 sets of 8 on ball
(Tried to superset with Preacher Curls on ball but was hurting my elbows) 15e#/12

**If you use the exercise ball for any exercises, make sure you are aware you might need to lower the amount of weight you are using, also be certain you are slowing down your movements and not allowing the ball to "bounce" you to help you cheat with your movements**

TOTALS: 360 calories, 50 minutes

I had my music on shuffle today...randomness - I do recall Ice playing "Ice Ice Baby" at one point. That was definitely a high point! :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

JOURNAL: Fri 12.26.08

Today was the day after Christmas so we hit all the stores and did a lot of "Black Friday #2" Shopping. We had plans to get home and get to the gym but we didn't get home until 6pm and the gym closed at 7pm. So, no workout today. I did eat clean most of the day though...again we planned to get home much earlier than expected so I didn't bring enough food with me. Planning is key here!

820am: 1/2 Nutrigrain bar, 2 bites of a small cookie, 40 g GNC protein, 1 c. coffee + 1T Creamer
1100am: 4 egg whites, 1 yolk, 1/4 c. oatmeal
230pm: 1 sm apple, 20g. GNC protein
430pm: chicken (from Target, tried to peel every bit of breading off that I could)
600pm: 5 oz turkey, salad w/ 1T Olive oil & 1T balsalmic & garlic homemade dressing,
715pm: 1/2 Nutrigrain, 1 handful raisins (cheater moment - had sweet cravings like crazy)
830pm: 1/2 c. cott cheese, 4 Kashi crackers (I had a pill stuck in my throat...shouldn't have eaten that late but did and it was SOOO good!)

WORKOUT - NONE, Does vigorous walking while shopping all day count?

RECIPES: Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

I found this on and we tried it on Christmas Day! It was phenomenal!!! It received 5 stars for a rating and it truly is fantastic!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

JOURNAL: Thu 12.25.08

Today is Christmas Day!!!! I could have planned for a free day today but I did not. So, today I planned to eat healthily (maybe with a cheat or two) but to stay on track and keep the momentum going....I did it!

My first meal is always immediately upon waking up and walking into the kitchen. I have been waking up later than my usual recently. I'm usually up by 6 but I've been sleeping later, but still the schedule is the first meal upon waking up to stop the "catabolic state" that my muscles are in and prevent losing any muscle.

83oam: Nutrigrain + 20 g GNC Protein
1 c. coffee + 1T creamer
1100am: 4 egg whites + 1 yolk
1/3 c. oatmeal

145pm: 20 g GNC protein

3oopm: 1/2 c. cottage cheese + 1/2 apple

430pm: 2 T Pecans, 1 c. milk

530pm: 4 oz turkey herbed, 1/2 c. brown rice,
1/2 c. peas

Today was Christmas so we adapted the family meal a bit for me but somethings, like the peas were a decision made by the family. I have been weening myself off sugar lately, but it's time to stop the peas (which are more of a starchy carb than a fibrous carb) so I need to get back to my spinach/broccoli/salad for my greens.

Today was cardio and abs.

I used a 10 lb weight and stopped it behind my head to stop the momentum and then pulled it with my abs up to a little past 90 degrees. I did 150 of them....I could have done more had my phone not rung literally 7 times during my last 10 minutes trying to work out! Sometimes all the obstacles are against us! I did sets of 25 in each direction, 2x. So, I did 25 to the front, then 25 to each side (for the obliques), and then I did it all again - front, right and then left.

I got this exercise idea from Core Secrets, which I bought in 2004 I think. I have that exercise ball and there are some good ab exercises in that series.

Today, I ran and worked out abs to this great country group! I think they are fantastic!
They have a great single out for the holidays, "Baby it's cold outside"
I think they are GREAT!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

EXERCISES: Good Mornings

Oxygen Magazine in May 2003 with Strength coach, Charles Poliquin and moel Sarah Orbanic

This is a great exercise for the lower back and hams. Be careful to choose a barbell (BB) weight that you can lift over your head, essentially a shoulder press or the "jerk" of a "clean and jerk" if you need assistance. I did the "jerk" today because I was so tired to get my 60lb BB over my head for my last few sets of Good Mornings which was at the end of my hour-long workout today. Also, I go down a bit farther than she does in the demo here.

EXERCISES: Freemotion Row

The new gym that I tried today had a Freemotion Row machine which was great! I enjoyed trying these machines. It incorporated a few different muscles than the regular cable machine shown below, which is what I normally use, or a DB.

EXERCISES: Inverted Row

I am still doing this move as a beginner. Today was my first time trying this exercise. I need to add mass and strength to my back, among other things. This exercise will hopefully help me to get to the point where I can do a pull up by myself from a dead hang. We'll see....with time and continued effort....

JOURNAL: Wed 12.24.08

Thank goodness, I got my mojo back!

I haven't blogged about supplements yet. I have been taking GNC's ThermoBurst before my workouts for years. I took 3 instead of 2 today for some added energy and it worked well! I also take L-Carnitine also, most days but I did skip that the last few days. So, I'm not 100% sure what caused my energy to come back today....either L-Carnitine, ThermoBurst or hormones leveling off.

800am: Nutrigrain, 40 g GNC Protein
1 c. coffee + 1 T creamer
1130am: 4 egg whites + 1 yolk
1/3 c. oatmeal
230pm: 20 g GNC Protein, 1 apple
400pm: 20 g EAS Protein, 1 c. Froot Loops
630pm: 20 g GNC Protein
73opm: 3 oz chicken
1 T Olive Oil + 1 T Balsalmic Vinegar

WORKOUT - Back/Hams
(Supersets) - Tried out new gym today on guest pass

Seated Leg Curl: 70#/10, 70#/8, 70#/8, 70#/7
Wide Grip Pulldown: 70#/15, 80#/12, 90#/8, 80#/10

Stiff Leg Deadlift: 60#/12, 70#/8, 80#/8, 80#/10
Asst Med Grip Grip: 120#/8, 120#/8, 105#/6

Freemotion 1 Arm Row: 60#e/10, 70#e/8, 60#e/8
Good Mornings: 40/12, 50/10, 60/10, 60/10

Inverted Row (Smith Mach) 0/10, 0/7, 0/5

TOTALS: 450 calories in 1 hour

Today, I listened to Britney's album. I haven't brought myself to buy her newest album yet. I'm sure I will unless someone tries to gift it to me. I burned this one from someone else because I didn't want to give money to her "trainwreck" path she was on. Now that it appears she has cleaned up her act...I'm not so opposed to getting her new album for my iPod for my workouts.

I was looking for the Britney pic at an awards show a few years ago when she was in awesome shape. She was wearing a nude outfit...pants and a bra-ish top if I recall. But, instead this is the best I could find above - and it looks airbrushed as hell. I know that she has been in GREAT shape at times and at other times, she has fallen off the wagon, so to all of us.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

JOURNAL: Tues 12.23.08

What's going on with me? I think it's hormones! I'm really ready to have my energy back in my workouts!

730am: 20 g EAS whey protein + Nutrigrain Bar
930am: 4 egg whites + 1 yolk + 1/4 c. oats
100pm: 1 T Organic PB + 1 fiber/wheat toast
1/2 apple, 20 g EAS protein
230pm: 40 g EAS protein, 1 c. Froot Loops
330pm: 20 g EAS protein
430pm: 1 c. cottage cheese
745pm: 4 oz chicken + 1/2 c. brown rice + 1/4 c. peas

WORKOUT: Quads/ Calves/Abs
Superset the following:
Leg Ext: 60#/12, 80#/10, 100#/10, 120#/6
Seated Calf Raises:
+50#/12, +50#/12, +70#/10

Sissy Squats: 0/10, 0/10, 0/6
Decline Abs: 0/12, 0/12, 0/12

Standing Calf Raises: 80#/10, 80#/12, 80#/7
Oblique Dips: 10#/20, 10#/20, 10#/20

TOTALS: I burned 350 calories in 50 minutes today.

I had my ipod on shuffle today. I did listen to one of my favorite songs though while lifting today. I always think of these bad-ass girls when I hear it now. It's the same video in two different formats...

So, my gym just replaced all the machines with new, off-brand shit. It's awful! So, I went "gym shopping" after my crappy workout!
I have 3-4 options that I'm looking at. They range from $20-40/mo. Only one of them has locations all over the different states that I travel with my job. But, I don't think it has enough equipment. I have a dilemma! Do I join a GREAT gym locally? or do I join a gym that will let me work out when I travel? Or, do I try to find a hotel with a good gym in it? Hmm....still haven't decided. We'll see!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Muscle & Fitness - Feb 2009

This is a fantastic issue! Those of you ladies who think this magazine is only for men, you are wrong. It is geared more toward men, yes, but we can all learn from, adapt and just plain do the men's workouts. This issue has some great workouts for SHOULDERS and TRICEPS.

Figure Pro Pauline Nordin has a great spread on her Delt workout. It's great! I learned a new exercise - Bent-0ver Front Raise. I tried a lot of her workout today and you can see that in my Daily Fitness/Food Journal.

Also, you can see that there are a number of other Shoulder workouts and info in the magazine. There are tons of different Shoulder workouts outlined. At least go to the newstand and check it out.

EXERCISES: Overhead Cable Rope Triceps Press

Oxygen Magazine (March 2004) Model: Jennie Hanke

I like this exercise the best for the triceps because it also engages the abs. I also find that it puts less stress on the elbow joints than does the DB overhead extension. Sometimes when I start lifting really heavy with a DB overhead it starts to hurt my elbows so this is better for me.

I stand with one foot in front of the other in a close lunge position. I bend my knees slightly (as always...keep soft knees) and I bend at the waist, engage my abs and pull...just like Jennie is in the photo above.

I usually use put 40-50 lbs on the cable machine with this exercise. Always think about the muscle group you are working, engage and squeeze that muscle group.

EXERCISES: Arnold Press

The Arnold Press is called that because it is one of Arnold's favorite exercises for shoulders. It incorporates part of the movement of the lateral raise in with the shoulder press, getting both the front and middle delts.

I only found one photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger doing the Arnold Press and it is to the left here. It is form the website I looked at it for the first time today and it has some good info. Arnold is the greatest bodybuilder of all time!!!

See the video below showing how to do the Arnold Press using dumbbells (DB's).

EXERCISES: Stiff/Straight Leg Deadlift

The stiff/straight leg deadlift is one of my favorites!!!! You can click on the video below to watch a how-to video that I found. It works your glutes and hamstrings better than anything else, in my opinion.

You'll want to stretch REALLY good during and/or after this exercise or trying to bend down to sit will be impossible for a few days.

Regarding grip, I use a reverse grip on one hand...a mixed grip. So, I alternate and each hand I alternate/ with palm facing me and the other with palm facing away, so I have two different grips each time I do this exercise. I find I can lift more with this grip with greater ease anyway.

I'll never forget when a good friend of mine, you know who you are, said she was in SO much pain she couldn't sit all because her husband a "great" exercise to her that would really work her hams. Boy did it? She didn't even tell me what it was and I asked if this as it and it was!!!

I use 50-70lb BB to do this exercise. Start low and work your way up to be sure you don't hurt your back. Squeeze your glutes and use your glutes/hams to pull the weight back up. Also, keep the weight close to your legs on the way down and up to isolate your legs.

Have fun!!!

JOURNAL: Mon 12.22.08

Today was an OFF DAY! I can't believe how tired I felt at the gym. I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I picked up my normal weights and couldn't get through my workout! I had to lower my weights. I am not sure if it's my nutrition. Maybe I need to eat more. I did take a new medication before I left for the gym and it did say a side effect was dizziness/drowsiness and I did feel a bit dizzy and just off. So, I won't be taking that med anywhere near my workouts and I'll probably eat a bit more tomorrow before I go to the gym. It could just be that I'm tired. I only got 8 hours of sleep last night and I was tired. I'll probably also go the gym earlier tomorrow before my drowsiness sets in.
700am: Nutrigrain Bar (simple carbs first thing in morning), 1 scoop EAS protein with water,
coffee with 2T creamer
945am: 1/2 c. oats, 4 egg whites, 1.5 yolk, 1 c. milk....I broke a yolk this morn :(
100pm: 4 oz chicken, 1 med yam + 1 T butter, 1 c. Spinach
230pm: EAS Carb Control shake
415pm: EAS Carb Control shake + 1 c. Froot Loops (simple carb w/in 30 min of lifting)
630pm: 4 0z chicken, 1/2 c. brown rice, 1/2 c. peas
** I will have a snack later..probably cottage cheese
WORKOUT - Shoulders/Tri (Superset)
(Like I said I can't believe I was so weak today...just felt tired and unable to do what I body wouldn't cooperate. Tough mentally do deal with this today. I should have pushed the weights up and reps down a bit more, but just felt off. Will do next time. I need to add mass and strength to my shoudlers. )

Skullcrushers 30#/12, 40#/8, 40#/6, 40#/8
BB Shoulder Press (standing) 40#/12, 40#/8, 40#/7

Overhead Rope Cable Press 40#/10, 40#/12, 40#/12
DB Lat Raise 10e#/12, 10e#/12, 10e#/11

1 Arm Rope Pressdown - alt arms - 20e#/10, 20e#/7, 20#/8

DB Bent-over Front Raise - 10e#/8, 10e#/8, 10e#/8
1 Arm Reverse Grip Pressdown - 20e#/8, 20e#/8, 20e#/8

Arnold Presses - 15e#/6, 15e#/6, 15e#/6

50 min workout. only burned 315 cal.
Moving slow.
Tomorrow is a new day and it's Quad/Calves day!!! Woohoo! I'll burn some serious calories and feel the lactic acid burn on Quad day!
Off to plan my workout for tomorrow.....

Kim Mitchell reminded me I haven't listened to Keith Urban in a while. After going to his concer this year, I LOVE HIM! His music pushed me through my workout today.

Today's inspiration is Monica Brant. She was my first figure/fitness inspiration and has always been my favorite. I think she is a lot of ladies' favorite competitor. How could she not be. She is my inspiration because I actuallly found a pic of her from an Olympia when I was cleaning my office and I put it in my fitness journal/log and took it with me to the gym today.

I also rarely open my fitness journal to the cover (it's usually opened to today's page) and read the statement/picture that I have on the front -


I need to read that more often. I need the determination to do this!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

JOURNAL: Sun 12.21.08

Jenny Lynn after winning Figure Olympia 2007

I think I should have had more meals, but I got up late, being a Sunday and ate every 3-4 hours on schedule and planned my workout around my meals. I also cut off my eating a little late, but again, it's Sunday, I got up late and worked out late and I've been blogging to you guys. I always cut off my eating by 7pm if I can, 7:30pm isn't horrible though.

I got 9 hours of sleep last night. As you should know, sleep is as important to your body's recovery after working out hard as food and the workout itself. I, personally, need 9 hours of sleep. Wish I only needed 7 but I need 9 to function properly. You should listen to your body but get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, people.
My Workout today was Glutes/Abs (Supersetting). I found the base workout in Oxygen Magazine but I altered it a bit. For those of you that get this magazine, it was in the September 2008 issue with Jamie Eason on the cover. I know that Kim Mitchell also used this workout. I varied it a bit to use what we had in the weightroom.

My codes - I use # to mean pounds. If I put a + in front, I'm saying I'm adding that weight to the bar, /12 means 12 reps.

Supersets as follows:

Smith Machine Squat - +50#/12, +70#/10, + 80#/8
Ab Leg Raise (in Roman Chair) - 3 sets of 10 reps

Lying Ham Curl Mach- 40#/8, 30#/8, 30#/8
Straight Leg Deadlift (BB) - 50#/12, 60#/10, 70#/8

Lying Leg Press (Toes hanging off platform at top) 120#/10, 130#/8, 130#/8
Ab Leg Raise (in Roman Chair) - 3 sets - 10, 8, 5 reps

Jenny Lynn one-leg presses on Lying Leg Press - 40#/10, 50#/8, 60#/8
Stretch in between to prepare to slow down

Workout was 5o0 minutes and I burned only 370 calories. Maybe I 'm too ambitious but I always try to burn 500 calories in a one hour workout.

Always warm up! I warm up at least 5 minutes doing cardio before I start my routing.
Always stretch! You can stretch in between sets or you wan superset like I do to keep my heart rate up but I stretch when I'm resting at times or before I leave for sure.
I started off my eating too late, I'm trying to get back into the swing of "eating clean again." I woke up late though.

1030am: 4 egg whites, 1 yolk, 1/4 c. oats, 1.5 cups of coffee + 2 T creamer
130pm: 4 oz parm chicken breast, 1/2 small yam, 1 c. spinach, 1 c. skim milk
230pm: EAS Carb Control Shake (my favorite)
330pm: EAS Carb Control Shake & Nutrigrain Bar for some fast-burning, simple carbs
730pm: 4 oz parm chicken breast, 1/2 c. Brown Rice, 1/2 c. peas., 1/2 c. milk

Probably didn't need the added sugar/carbs in the peas, but I'm weening myself off sugar, so I figure not so bad and chicken/rice/peas is one of my favorite meals. So, a small indulgence isn't so bad, right?

I call the leg press I did today, the Jenny Lynn Press, because I found it in one of her fitness DVDs (it can be found on Netflix by the way) and she did it during a training session with IFBB Trainer, Charles Glass so I may need to call it the Charles Glass Press. Who knows!


I listened to Christian music today....33 Miles pushed me through my workout today and helped me to remember who gives me the strength to get through my workouts and my days of clean eating.


We all need inspiration to start something and when our emotions that are pushing us are lacking, when we have a tough day, when we are too busy, a lot of times we need inspiration in life. For me, I need inspiration to push me to compete. I am scared to death. I am scared to death that I will fail or that I just don't have the genes to do it. I'm scared that my full-time job, which is definitely the time priority will take over and cause me to quit. I'm scared of a lot but I have needed and used an inspiration to push me and that is Kim Mitchell.

We all have challenges. Kim has children and her husband deploys like mine does. She also has a job and is very busy but she has made this a priority for her to do this for HER. She is doing it for her husband and kids, I'm sure too, because by doing this for herself, she is becoming better and getting to know herself better and becoming a better wife and mother.

Life is a journey. I say it all the time. This is part of her journey and I hope that I can commit to making it part of mine. I have wanted to do this for four years, since I opened up my first Oxygen Magazine. I now have a job that allows me to have the freedom to train whenever I want, except when I travel and then I am at a disadvantage. I will have to work around a lot of obstacles. Travel will be a huge obstacle for me to plan around and overcome.

Some of Kim's comments have hit "home" with me about wasting too many years hiding behind the fat. Her journey has been just that, it was not overnight, it was a lifestyle change and if anyone is reading this and looking for inspiration on a lifestyle change, look no further for that inspiration...

My fitness, nutrition and health journey has also been just that and has taken some time to learn and live my new goals. I hope that someone is reading this and decides now to change their life and make a new life for themselves that includes feeling better, including both energy and feeling confident about the way you look. Thanks, Kim, for helping to push me without even knowing it!!!

What is a Training Split?

When you lift weights you have to split up the muscle groups you work during the week in order to give at least 48 hours rest for each muscle group before working it again. So, you split up what you work on different days to give rest for your other muscle groups.

First, you need to determine how many days a week you are going to lift. Then, you need to divide up the muscle groups. There are MANY different schools of thought on which muscle groups need to be worked together. Most of the time, you'll work a few muscle groups from the upper body together, either that are worked in similar exercises or that are opposing muscle groups. So, since Chest press works your Triceps too, you can do Chest/Tri day. And, similarly since Pull-ups work Back but also Biceps, you can do a Back/Bi day. Also, since your Hams tie into your Glutes which tie into your Back, you can do a Glutes/Back/Hams day. There are a lot of resources out there to customize a program to you.

If you're just starting out with two days a week, you can do an upper body and a lower body day. If your goal is to lose fat, the best idea is usually to do exercises that incorporate a lot of different muscle groups, versus just a bicep curl. So, if you're trying to lose fat by lifting weights and keeping your heart rate up, you'll want to stick to large exercises like - Chest Press, Pull ups, Squats, Lunges, etc.

If you have 3 days a week to lift, you can do a split like this: 1. Chest/Back 2. Quads/Glutes/Hams 3. Arms/Shoulders 4. Cardio/Abs on another day.

I am doing the following split that I got from a few different resources. Kim Mitchell had this split on her blog, I think, and I added in the Abs with the Glutes per a Superset workout I found in Oxygen Magazine. Since I train 5-6 days a week, this is my new split that I will be trying out:

1. Back/Hams
2. Chest/Bi
3. Glutes/Abs
4. Shoulder/Tri
5. Quad/Calves
6. Cardio/Abs

This is Kim Mitchell on the right there. This is her Freestyle Pose in her 2nd Figure Competition. Like me, her husband is Active Duty Air Force. She competed in her first show while her husband was deployed, which may be the same for me this year. Thank you, Kim for being an inspiration to me and to MANY others!

Workout Wear

Have you ever felt like you have to GET into shape before you go to the gym? I think we all have and it's important that you feel good while at the gym so that you'll feel empowered to keep it up! There are mirrors everywhere you turn in a weight room and it's really important to watch yourself lifting weights so that you can watch your form. It's inevitable that you'll have to look at yourself in the mirror, so feel like you look good while you're there!

I've learned with everything we wear we have to accentuate our positives and underemphasis our negatives. We all have both. We are not perfect. We can't be. I used to think that when I tried something on that didn't fit well that there was something wrong with me. It made me feel insecure about myself...I must be too fat. Not true! That item just doesn't fit ME! We all have different bodies and we have to find clothing that looks good on us.

So, shop around. I found my workout gear at TJMaxx. When you find a pant that you like, for instance, shop all the TJMaxx's in your area to find another pair. Or if you're like me, you'll utilize your friends in different areas and ask them to look for them for you! Buy enough for each day during the week that you work out. Have an outfit for every day of the week that you go to the gym...No excuses! When you have all you need for every day of the week, you can't use that as an excuse not to go to the gym AND it will make your life easier so that you only have to do laundry on the weekends. The picture to the left is the one I sent to Shawna to look for some for me in her area....These and most of the workout pants at TJMaxx are $15-19.99. The bottoms in the first photo are old and worn and I finally threw them all away because they had been washed so much they faded. They are the yoga series at Victoria's Secret.

Not only do you have to feel like you look good, but you have to be comfortable. I still remember the times I've worked out and my clothes didn't fit well and I either felt uncomfortable about the way I looked or I couldn't move comfortably enough to lift well. I've had shorts too tight in the legs so that when I try to squat they dig into my legs or ride up...both awful. When you try them on the fitting room, move around, squat, lunge, sit down, stretch and see how it feels. Can you move comfortably?

Undergarments are very important as well. I personally have tried all kinds of undergarments and my favorite for bottoms are boyshorts. Again, you need enough to go with every workout for the week. So, Underarmour for me was out of reach because of cost. So, I went to Target and found some GREAT boyshorts! For me, these are great to move and lift in, including lower body workouts. I hate panty-lines and wedgies! Who doesn't? And, a thong to workout, with as much movement as is involved in squats and lunges and running can sometimes pull and chafe. So, find what works for you. These come 2/$9.99 at Target. I love them.

You have probably thought about your sports bra so I won't go into much detail. There are many resources out there for well-indowed women. I'm not one of them so I can wear pretty much anything. I do tend to double and triple layer so that I don't have "headlights" if you know what I mean while at the gym. I would prefer to minimize attention towards myself so I cover that up. There is probably a sports bra that fixes that but again, I have at least 5 so that adds up when you start talking about getting expensive, special sports bras. If you do have a large chest, there's no way around it and you MUST invest in nice sports bras. I got my sports bras in college at a Nordstrom Rack in Denver for under $5 each. I still wear them and love them. I'd buy more if I could find them. They fit me like a glove! I love them.

Workout tops also need to be comfortable and for me, I vary my attire depending on what I'm working that day. I have shorts that I love that I found at Dick's Sporting Goods. I wear those only on days that I work legs. On those days I usually wear a t-shirt for a top because I don't need to see my arms while I'm working legs. My favorite t- shirt is a 2xist shirt that I found at TJMaxx in the men's section. Their small is perfect for me! I love those!

On upper days, I always show my shoulders and arms. I have some men's undershirts that I have cut the arms off and tuck under the straps of my sports bra and I have some great Lucy brand tanks that I got on sale at the Lucy store in Dallas. Those were regularly $40 and I got them on the sale rack at around $15 each I think. I also found some great spandex tanks at Old Navy one year on discount for $5 at the end of a season. One of my Lucy tops is on the first photo on this blog.

Your hair also must be out of your face for you to be comfortable. Depending on my hair day, some days I put on a no-slip hair wrap to hold the hair out of my face. Other days I completely wrap my head in a bandana! Even when my hair was long, I put on a non-slip headwrap to keep the "whispies" out of my face.

Shoes are also very important. And, this is a personal decision based on your feet and what you're using them for. You should have a pair of shoes that is JUST for working out. Don't run errands and mow the lawn in them, just for working out. And, if you're a runner, you should probably have a pair for running and another cross-trainer for lifting. I just bought Asics based on a recommendation from a few friends. I should have bought a size down though so that after they stretched they'd still fit. Mine fit perfectly at the store and now they're too big. :( Lesson learned. Also, pay attention to the arches of the shoes. I swear by inserts! I have spent a lot of time in Foot Solutions and bought very expensive (to me) inserts for all of my shoes. Also, on the weekends and elsewhere I wear Birkenstocks (the cutest that they make, of course) just becuase of my ridiculously high arch!

Good luck on your quest to feel good, look good and be a badass at the gym!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Safety Tips to remember for women

I got a great email this morning and I think it's true that we need a reminder every once in a while in case we end up in a situation like this, God forbid! Please add comments if you have additional helpful tips. This is the time of year to be more cautious because perpetrators are out there looking to take advantage of those who are unsuspecting and have their minds on other things. Stay alert and watch your surroundings. Someone looking for a victim is looking for someone who is preoccupied, probably not a fighter and an easy target...make sure you're not an easy victim!

1. Fighting back: The elbow is the strongest point on your body so if you are close enough to use it, do! Also, my husband has always told me to poke "his" eyes out or literally wrip his ears off because they will tear like paper. Those are great ways of getting him to put his hands to his face, free you and escape.

2. Throw it: If someone is trying to steal your purse or wallet, rather than handing it to "him" throw it away from yourself and run in the other direction so that you can get away from this person.

3. Trunk: If you are ever put in the trunk, there are safety cables in most new vehicles that will open that trunk so that you can get out at a stop light or something. Also, you can kick the taillight out (they are made of plastic and easily break) and stick your hands out and wave for help.

4. Don't just sit: Women tend to get in their cars and just sit there. Either be sure to lock your doors (like I do) or leave once you're in your car and get to a safe place where someone is less likely to be watching you (like a mall parking lot or work parking lot.)

5. Someone's in your car: If someone is in your car with a gun to your head, rather than driving where "he" wants you to go, drive into another car or building and wreck your car! This is probably a better option, including an escape and drawing attention to yourself than ending up in the "second location" and ending up missing.

6. "SECOND LOCATION": This is something I think we all remember from an Oprah show a decade or more ago. Never let yourself be taken to the second location!!! Do whatever you can to not be taken.

7. More about Parking Lots: If you walk up to your vehicle and on your driver's side there is a large van with a sliding door or a man in the vehicle, DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR AN ESCORT! Go back into work, go back into the mall and ask for someone to walk you out. Better safe than sorry!

8. Stairwells: Those of us who are fitness conscious want to use the stairs or park far away and walk into their stores and this is a GREAT idea for health but please be careful. Stairwells are a GREAT place for attackers becuase they are so private and often no one will hear you scream. Use caution in stairwells.

9. Guns: I am not sure how accurate this info is....I've heard it before. When you run in a zig-zag or even run away the chances of being shot and hit are low. If you all find any info on this, please let us know!

10. Stop being nice: Would you rather have your life or be known as nice?? This is something that I really need to work on. I'm so afraid of being thought of as a "bitch" that I'm too nice sometimes. Please be more afraid of losing your life or being taken advantage of than looking like an idiot or looking like a "bitch."

11. Trust your instincts: We as women have great them! If you have a gut feeling, follow it! You may be wrong, but if you don't trust that instinct and you should have you will never forgive yourself.

12. Outside your home: These claims have not been confirmed but is still a warning to keep in mind due to copycats. If you hear something strange outside...crying baby or water running...don't go outside. Call the police!

Please add other ideas in the comment section.....

Monday, December 8, 2008


This is an interactive post. It won't be any good without you! I want to know what your favorite RSS feed is!

I used to use Bloglines as shown above but it never seemed quite interactive enough and I just never really "got it." Since I'm a MAC (apple) user, I fell in love with my new favorite thing b/c it is has a very mac look to it. It's NetNewsWire....All of you who are my friends will be thrilled becuase I am finally keeping up with your blogs!! All of you who I am just discovering your blog may be thrilled or may be annoyed becuase I am newly obsessed. I have it all set up with all of your favorites in fashion, fitness and the best of all....MY FRIENDS! And, even better, it syncs with my iPhone! How cool is that? I can take my new obsession with me anywhere!!!

Tell me your favorite, or check out NetNewsWire and let me know what you think....Also, check out below...did you make my NetNewsWire??? (I'm only showing my Fitness and Fashion pages because some of my friends pages are private. You can see some of my friends' blogs over to the right side of this blog.

This is my actual NetNewsWire as a screenshot

BTW, I am also using picasa (thanks shawna and styleberry home for the suggestion)...I will try photobucket next (thank you, renee) because I'm not sure if I like picasa....still working on it.


I am here to tell you that I totally understand how tough it is to travel and stick with a workout and nutrition routine. I just got to my hotel that I will be staying for the whole week. I checked out the fitness center and almost cried...2 treadmills, an elliptical and a bike!!! Ugh! Not even a cheap set of weights! Not even a cheap BowFlex imitation!

Also, thought there was a microwave...there is only a mini-fridge in my room. So, the front desk staff will be burdened by warming up my yams, oatmeal, and greens this week. Sorry
I chose this hotel because when I stayed in the one in Phoenix it had a micro/fridge in the room and a complimentary membership to a local fitness center. Evidently all over the country, they are not all the same. I guess I have a little more research to do on this city to find another hotel with a better fitness center or a membership with a local gym. Mind you, I am staying at a $200/night hotel and it still has a sad fitness center and no microwave!

BUT, people, don't settle!!! I think that should be my motto for life.
I tend to find a way around and toward anything that I want....determination! I am still here for the week and I am not going back to the drawing board for this trip. I will do that for the next one. For now, I am here and I need to lift for the week....SO I called the fitness center I saw down the street and asked about a "free trial membership." I got 3 days for free at a REAL FITNESS CENTER! There are many ways to do this in another area. It's a GREAT way to get to use a real gym. If you're like me, you need the "clanking" of the plates in order to get "in the zone."

The picture at the top is of Jamie Eason.....she now has a contract with I think she has one of the best bodies on the planet. The last picture is of my favorite (and everyone else's) fiture pro...Monica Brant. I also included a picture that is pretty close to the look of hte gym at this hotel! Yuck!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

MUST HAVE: Heart Rate Monitor

I have not worked out without my heart rate monitor once since I purchased it almost two years ago and I don't plan to. I use it during cardio, reading my heart rate on the display on the treadmill or when I'm running our dog to make sure that I am keeping my heart rate in the right zone. I also use it when I am lifting to be sure that I am keeping my heart rate up and not resting too long in between sets, and also so that I am aware which exercises are good both aerobic and strength exercises. I often turn my timer off and put it on calories burned and decide that I'm not leaving until I've reached x amount of calories burned.

My heart rate monitor is listed here to the left. I purchased the Polar F6 Women's Heart Rate Monitor Watch in Pink Coral because it was on sale. A good one will run around $100 but you can pay more and get even better. The most important thing is that you get one that is CODED so that it blocks other heart rate monitors around you. Renee was telling me about the guy running next to her on his treadmill who kept slowing down and couldn't figure out why his heart rate was still 175!!! It was because his treadmill was reading Renee's watch! So, yes, you can see your heartrate right on the screen of your treadmill but it will really mess things up if you don't have a coded watch, so look for that.

Renee talked me into getting a watch...I got one just like hers I think...when she came to visit me. We always work out together when we visit each other...if only we lived near each other. I could work out with her every day and I'd be in the best shape ever if I had her as my lifting partner! She is a freakin' tough chick! As we were working out, she kept telling me how many calories we were burning and I was sold. I haven' t worked out a day since then without my Polar and that was almost two years ago.

Your heart rate monitor should work with a strap around where your bra line is and then the watch. Mine is basic but I only need the time, how long I've been working out, my heart rate and how many calories I've burned. There are others on the market that have easier stop watches that work for Crossfit-ers. Others are compatible with your computer and you can download your workouts and analyze them. If you are a biker, there are great options out there for you as well that will be on the high end of the range around $300+ but well worth it if you use it every day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Coupon Adventure...Total Savings $31.85

SAVINGS AWARENESS: I am becoming aware of costs!!!! This is profound for me! I always thought that was for the stay-at-home mom part of life, yet I am now realizing that there is great value saving money at all times and that money saved can be used many other places. I also thought that coupons and savings were only for packaged and unhealthy items. I am here to tell you that I am still learning, but there are savings out there on healthy items if you know where to look. I also thought that it wasn't worth my time to look for money savings if I was working full time, but I am now able to look for these savings with my new job relieving some stress in my life.

My coupon adventure wasn't a TOTAL bust, but I thought it would be when I got to the checkout and found out THEY DON'T TAKE INTERNET COUPONS!!! I had asked all other questions...Do you double coupons? When it says 2/$5.00, can I buy one for $2.50 or do I have to buy two? But, I didn't dream that they wouldn't take internet coupons. They don't. So, my next endeavor (which I had been thinking about anyway...get the Sunday paper).

Double coupons - Albertons says they do double coupons, but only sometimes and they don't know when. There may be a trick to this that the entire store is unaware, but I am not sure. All of the employees I spoke with said, yes, today they are ringing up double. This did not affect me though b/c my coupons were all internet ones.

Albertsons had a GREAT sale....LAST WEEK (one week off means a lot of missed savings). It actually ended yesterday and I was out of town until today. So, proper planning....Anyway, their great sale was a LOT of half off items. This would have been a great chance to stock up on these items. Long story short, I ended up getting chicken at buy one get one (which accounted for $9.64) of that savings after speaking with the store manager....we are now "tight."

Also, another $9.51 of that savings was from making friends with a boy who was stocking the shelves in one of the aisles and was trying to help me find parchment paper. He finally found 3 rolls for me and since there was no price and he liked me after being so NICE to him today...he gave me these $4.36 rolls for $1.19. Now, I do now realize I will have to bake the rest of my life to use all of this parchment paper. OR, I can give it to my baking friends, knowing that I saved them approx $5!

Shawna of styleberryHOME led me to Operation case you're interested at all in my comments and belief that being NICE gets you somewhere as well as affecting others' lives.

COMMISARY: Now, I am a military wife and I usually go to the commisary. I will continue to blog about coupons and savings as I learn about this topic. I am feeling that with double coupons, great deal savings on a weekly basis and being a thrifty shopper that I can save more money than the tax savings I get a the commisary. I will let you know when I find out! I know that for the same amount of groceries, I used to save at least $15 by going to the commisary vs Walmart when we lived in Columbus, Ms.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

eat pray love

I started out seeing this book "eat pray love" on Oprah. Yes, all if you who know me know that I Tivo Oprah daily. No, I do not like her politics or even her. I like that her show keeps me updated on what's happening in the world that I otherwise would be unaware. This book, for one, I was unaware. I saw this book on Oprah and thought - NO WAY! This book is about her leaving her husband to go find herself! What a bunch of crap! That's the easy way out! Stay with him. You made a vow...keep it.

But, I was in the airport bookstore in January of this year and needed a book to read for my trip. I saw this and for some reason it spoke to me to get it. I figured out that if you look past that part of the book, as we do not know, nor does she tell us, the details of her marriage, to the real messages in this book you will learn a lot!

I find that even the description on the back of the book spends more time on her unhappiness than the true premise of the book. The book spends very little time on the unhappiness that leads her to Italy, India and Indonesia. She adds in humor in her life lessons and this book really struck a nerve in me. Some of the things that I found really resonated with me....

(p. 23) "ask myself a radical new question: What do you want to do, Liz?...And when I finally started to answer, I did so cautiously. I would allow myself to express little baby-step wants. Like:

I want to go to a Yoga class.
I want to leave this party early, so I can go home and read a novel.
I want to buy myself a new pencil box.
I want to learn how to speak Italian....

What was I going to do with Italian? It's not like I'm going to move there. It would be more practical to learn how to play the accordian.
But why must everthing always have a practical application? I'd been such a diligent soldier for years--working, producing, never missing a deadline, taking care of my loved ones, my gums and my credit record, voting, etc. Is this lifetime supposed to be only about duty?...Did I need any justification for leanring Italian other than that it was the only thing I could imagine bringing me pleasure right now?"

(p. 26-7) "I want to be with God all the time. But I don't want to be a monk, or totally give up worldy pleasures. I guess what I what I want to learn is how to live in this world and enjoy its delights, but also devote myself to God....'To find the balance you want,' Ketut spoke through his translator, 'this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at hte world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.'"

(p. 32) "I explained to Iva my personal opinions about prayer. Namely, that I don't feel comfortable petitioning for specific things from God, because that feels to me like a kind of weakness of faith....Iva listened politely, then asked, 'Where'd you get that stupid idea?....where di you get the idea you aren't allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe, Liz. You're a consituent--you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me--it will at least be taken into consideration.'"

(p. 40) (Humor - speaking of not blending in foreign countries during her travels.)
"First off, I don't blend. Tall and blonde and pink-complexioned, I am less a chameleon than a flamingo. Everywhere I go but Dusseldorf, I stand out garishly. When I was in China, women used to come up to me on the street and point me out to their children as though I were some escaped zoo animal. And their children--who had never seen anything quite like this pink-faced yellow-headed phantom person--would often burst into tears at hte sight of me....I also have a shortage of personal coolness, which can be a liability when I travel. I have never learned how to arrange my face into that blank expression of competent invsibility that is so useful when traveling into dangerous and foreign places. You know--that super-relaxed, totally-in-charge expression which makes you look like you belong there, anywhere, everywhere , even in the middle of Jakarta. Oh, no. when I don't know what I'm doing, I look like I don't know what I'm doing. when I'm excited or nervous, I look excited or nervous. When I am lost, which is frequently, I look lost. My face is a transparent trasmitter of my every thought. As David once put it, 'You have the opposite of a poker face. You have, like....miniature golf face.'"

(This cracks me up reading this for two reasons. One, I am that...I often have a look of sheer horror on my face at dinner with friends when I can't believe the stupidity of what I'm hearing across the table. I am very used to the kick in the shin, Tara was great at doing that for me while in Columbus, with the very kind "wipe that look off your face." I also recall two very AMERICAN looking girls wandering around Germany this summer, looking very....American!!!)

I don't want to give the entire book away...You still need to go buy it!!! I have underlined, highlighted and written all over this book. It's an easy read, a relaxing and calming read, a spiritual read and a funny read. It's light-hearted yet I came away from it with many great lessons. I have felt a lot of the same things that Liz felt in this book and as she learned her lessons, I learned them as well.

I learned about:
-Americans are too busy and work longer than any other country and we are
unskilled on doing nothing.
-"Beauty attracts beauty (p. 85)" And, you can substitute many words in there. This
resonates with the part of me that chooses to associate myself with people that
make me want to be a better person.
-"You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where you backgone oughtta be. (p. 150)
-"Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. (p. 177)
-The fourth level of human consciousness.
-Liz's journey into hours of meditation and the true meaning of yoga.
-"This smile will make you a beautiful woman. This will give you power to be very
pretty. You can use this power--pretty power!--to get what you want in life (p. 241)."
-Stories of other cultures always teach us something new.

It's only $9 on (one of my favorite places).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Boomerang Tags

Anne gave me the idea to blog about the tags that I get for our golden retriever. I HATE hearing my dog jingle through life and know that if it bugs me, it just might bug him. SO, I found these neat tags called BOOMERANG TAGS that are great! They fit right around the collar.

Now, you ask, what do you do about the Rabies Vaccination tag? I don't use the normal loop that is for tags unless it is next to an area with double fabric - where the collar is doubled over to expand. In this case, my Planet Dog collar (recommended to me by my best friend, Shawna of styleberryHOME is reinforced in that area. So, I used the other metal loop and tucked it in between both collar straps. See in the photo below.

BTW, I purchased 5 of these collars because they were on sale from $19.95 to $4.95 a few years ago. They have fleece on the underside AND EVEN BETTER....IT'S KU COLORS!!!!


DRYING curly hair

This is the morning of my wedding as my best friend and maid of honor assisted me in drying my hair. You can't even see the diffuser on my hair dryer because it is inside my hair :) Beauty is painful. That is my best friend rubbing my neck from the strain being caused by drying my hair!!! I put a picture of my hair that day, before I got into my wedding dress (as I was putting on my bridal shoes), so you can see that it dried beautifully!

Drying curly hair is VERY important! A diffuser is a MUST....not a maybe, a MUST!!! I found a great YouTube video about styling curly hair that I cannot embed but is perfect information. Click on my link to see it. There are TONS of videos that are just like it that you can use to get info. Just try different tips and tricks and see if they work for you!

Tips I like for drying my hair:

  • Use an Aquis Super Absorbent Towel (You can find these at many retail locations. I got mine years ago at Bath & Body Works )
  • Do NOT brush you hair. I don't even run my fingers through my hair. I try to keep my curls together and touch it as little as possible
  • Put styling product in by scrunching it in (I plan to blog about different product ideas later). DON'T be afraid to use a lot of product!!! We curly girls need it!
  • Use paper towels to scrunch hair after putting in product to take all the excess moisture out. Your hair will still be wet but not dripping and ready to dry
  • Use a "finger" diffuser on the best hair dryer you can afford. I believe in expensive hair dryers. I have a Chi that I love ! It comes with a "finger" diffuser attachment. (I also plan to blog later about straightening and my Chi flat iron is another product I swear by)
  • When using your Chi, use the lowest setting for speed. You want the least amount of air to hit your hair. The more air, the more you look like you came out of a wind storm and get the "wind blown look"....not the look we are going for here :) You will have less frizz if you have a lower power setting on your hair dryer. That is a MUST for any hairdryer of any cost for me!
  • TAKE YOUR TIME! Hold the diffuser at your ends and treat it as a cup, then slowly raise the dryer and let your curls ring around the "fingers" until you reach your scalp and let it rest. Let the dryer do the work. Don't move it around a lot! Let the blow dryer DRY your hair! It will set the curls. Turn your head to each side for a few sets of drying (each time for a few min) and then tilt to the back and the other side.
  • Finally, flip your head over and dry it from the top. Don't be frightened! When you flip back your hair will be wild!!! But, you can put more styling product in and get it to lay down. Better to try and tame extra volume than have your hair too my opinion!
  • When done, DON'T TOUCH YOUR HAIR! Throughout the day, touch your hair sparingly. The more you touch it, the frizzier it will get!
Future curly hair post ideas:
  • My hair throughout the years
  • Straightening
  • Products
  • Curly Celebrities
  • Styling
  • Know your type of curly hair
  • Curly books
  • To wash (shampoo) or not to wash...
  • My curly hair inspiration and instructors





About This Blog

I am Tori (FITori) and welcome to my blog!!!

I created this blog from the encouragement of my best friend who pushed me to start a blog about my passion, which I am always talking about! It started as a way to inspire others the way I have been inspired and to share what inspires me. I also want to share with you what I have learned through my years of research on health and fitness.

For me, this blog is a great place for me to document my fitness journey. I decided to compete this year, but have transferred that goal to next year so that I can bulk and compete in Figure. This blog is my accountability and hopefully I can get some advice and tips along the way. I am hoping that I can learn from you all also as I post what I am learning along the way. If I am wrong or there is advice for me, I want it! I want your theories. What are you doing differently?

I'm also looking for accountability to keep this up and inspiration from you all. I read your blogs and get inspired and knowing you're reading mine keeps me going!

Thank you for your support!!! Let me know if you have any special requests for blog posts!


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