Monday, April 27, 2009

Gran Torino, Green Tea, and Grilling

Good day! (ha, i just accidentally reminded myself of Paul Harvey)

How was your weekend?? Ours was good (I think weekends are always good!)

Sunday afternoon Erik and I went and saw Gran Torino at our two dollar movie theater and we thought it was really good. I would definitely recommend it!

Then we came home and to start dinner. We bought a simple charcoal grill this weekend because we didn't have a grill and this nice weather we've been having has made us really want to grill!! We kept it simple with grilled chicken and grilled veggies. So, I got the veggies together and chopped and seasoned them and the chicken and on the grill they went.

While it was cooking, I drank some of this: Stash's iced blueberry green tea powder. I saw it the other day at our grocery store, Hyvee and thought it would make drinking cold tea a lot easier while at work. I put in one packet of Truvia and it was really good!

(Speaking of Hyvee, I was excited today to see them carrying Buitoni's pasta now ... hooray!! I didn't expect to see any in my town and after sampling some this is definitely something my husband and I will purchase from time to time).

While waiting for our food, we snapped a few pictures and they mostly all turned out blurry but here's a few anyways ... Next up ... my husband tending to the grill: And the final product: Veggies consisted of all the veggies I had in my fridge, as we were running bare! Cherry tomatoes, Brussels, broccoli, and assorted colors of sweet peppers.Mid-way through grilling, the tornado sirens started going off. Though it didn't look like it was going to tornado at all, we decided to bring the dogs in and eat downstairs while watching a movie. Here's Rocky wanting some food: BoldTonight, we grilled a big salmon fillet and more veggies (pictures to come later ; )

Until then, have a great week and I hope you're enjoying nice weather!!
(It's rainy here).

"If we only have the will to walk, then God is pleased with our stumbles."
-C.S. Lewis-

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's All In How You See Yourself

Hey everyone!

Weather update (wouldn't want to leave that out ; ) ... it's currently about 80 degrees here in lovely Missouri and I'm loving it!! This is one of the nicest days we've had yet this Spring and it just makes me want to be outside! Yesterday was in t
he 70s and I told my friends at work that I think it should be a law that one the very first really nice day in Spring we should all get off work to enjoy it. Ha ... if only!

I came home to find these seasonings and marinades at my door from the kind folks at Amazing Taste. I can't wait to try them and will be reviewing them at a later date.Now onto the real purpose of this post. Something that has been on my mind lately is motivation. How do you stay motivated to live an active lifestyle and faithfully workout?

It seems as though there are some people who are just born to be active. No matter what they do, they're going at a fast pace and they never seem to tire. At any spare moment they have, they're up and doing something. Not only that, they seem to be able to eat whatever they want and not gain any weight (and they have practically no fat on them to start out with). Last but not least, they seem to be good at every physical activity they ever try.

All this being said ... I was not born as this person.

Up until recently, I never thought I could be even close to this person and I've always thought of myself as one who isn't good at participating in any type of physical activity for long periods of time. I have never ever seen myself as an active and fit person. Also, I gain weight very easily.

And if you're like me, you're good at comparing yourselves to random strangers or even people you know and seeing yourself not "as good" as the person next to you. Or, you feel too intimated to try because of similar reasons. See this post called "Fruit & Freedom" and this post entitled "Workout Intimidation" for more info. If you're like that, too, you'll understand!

Slowly but surely, my mindset is changing. I'm beginning to realize that a huge part is all in how you see yourself, and what you believe about yourself. As far as fitness goals are concerned, here are some I have currently to keep myself motivated ...
1) Change how I see myself
I got this tip from Oxygen Magazine "Make a list of positive adjectives that reflect your ideal, fit lifestyle, such as "energetic" and "strong" and keep them on your fridge door."

Here's a list I've come up with : tough, alive, energetic, active, healthy, strong, disciplined, self-controlled, enduring, firm, daring, high-spirited, determined.

2) Be self driven
As the magazine says, "Choose an exercise that makes sense for you and your lifestyle. If you're not a morning person schedule your workouts right after work".

I do my cardio in the morning because I know that's the only time I'll do it consistently. Then three nights a week my husband and I do some weights together. (Since we're doing them together, I know I'll do them ... he motivates me too!)

3) Compare myself only to myself

I use other people's stories to motivate and inspire me but NOT to compare myself to.

Another way I stay motivated is with fitness magazines and reading articles about healthy foods, fitness, nutritional, etc. Currently two of my favorite motivators are also Oxygen Magazine and Muscle & Fitness Hers
All in all, I think it's a process. It's about taking one step at a time, doing what you can and progressing from there. If you try to completely change your diet and all of a sudden workout for an hour everyday, you might very quickly burn out! Start small and work your way up, and as you work your way up, start seeing yourself as you want to see yourself and as cheesy as it sounds, you can become that person and you can achieve your fitness and health goals!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I'll leave you with this quote:

"I do not try to dance better than everyone else, I only try to dance better than myself."
-Mikhail Baryshnikov-

Monday, April 20, 2009

KC Juice and Some Groceries

Hello : )

How was your weekend?? Ours was very good. Weekends never last quite long enough though, in my opinion!

As mentioned in my last blog, Erik and I ventured to Kansas City on Saturday and had a great time together. We munched one natural almonds, walnuts and raisins on the way there. I love my best friend and how neat that he's even my husband!! ; ) Upon arriving, we started out by getting smoothies from KC Juice. This place is quickly becoming somewhere we always want to stop while we're there! They're a specialty smoothie store that uses local product and distributors, fresh fruit (no powders), non fat yogurt, and low fat sherbets in their smoothies. Yum!! If you're ever in the Westport area of KC, check them out! Keep up the good work, KC Juice! Here's me with my giant fruity and delicious smoothie and messed up, wind-blown hair, haha.

Since we were near-by, we stopped at a little tiny Whole Foods in the area so I could finally use my Oikos greek yogurt coupons ... hooray!! They only had vanilla and plain so I got two of each. My thoughts = I love greek yogurt so this was definitely not a disappointment. I don't know that I have a favorite brand of greek yogurt, as most of the time we just make it ourselves. If you for some reason have never tried greek yogurt, Oikos is definitely a great place to start! Thanks for the samples, Stoneyfield!Along with stopping at Whole Foods and picking up a few things we found a really neat market that I'm sure we'll be visiting again called Cosentino's Downtown Gourmet Market that we had never been to and picked up a few things there. -Ricemilk (we've never had it before and decided to try it because it was cheaper than almond milk)
-Couple different teas
-Ezekiel bread
-Nectar cacao bars (we don't normally buy bars but they were on sale so we thought, why not?)
-Whole wheat pitas (I'm excited about these!)

For part of my dinner last night, I had a half of a pita with chicken, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and an original light laughing cow inside and it was VERY tasty (though I had a hard time fitting everything in it, haha!) I hope your week is off to a wonderful start! The weather here this week is only supposed to get better and I'm pretty excited about that! : )

Stay tuned for my next post about fitness and how to get motivated!

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."
-Sir Winston Churchill

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Buitoni & 8 Things

Hello friends, family, fellow bloggers, and anyone in between! (except you don't have to be an in between unless you don't want to be my friend;) and HAPPY SATURDAY! : )

I just finished doing some TaeBo and jogging and finished up with my breakfast of old fashioned oats and eggs.

Last night was exciting because I came home to a box from foodbuzz and here is what was inside: Buitoni's all natural Wild Mushroom Agnolotti. And can I just start off by saying WOW, these were SO good! First off, I am a complete mushroom lover and these were definitely a big hit for my husband and I. The mushroom taste was so rich and wonderful! My wonderful husband prepared our delicious dinner using our Buitoni's ravioli. We ate it with wonderful tomato sauce, fresh veggies, and ground turkey meat. (The ravioli is on bottom in this picture ... here's another of it all mixed together)
Thanks foodbuzz and Buitoni!!!

Next up, Steph from Advertures of Jon & Steph tagged me in the List of 8s that's going around. I haven't done anything like this in awhile so it sounded kinda fun ... here goes! (Check out Steph's blog if you haven't. Her and her husband Jon are living in Germany right now and they're always going on sweet sounding hikes and taking awesome pictures!)

8 Things I'm looking forward to:

-Going to KC a little later today
-My future
-Summer weather
-Summer fruits & veggies
-Meeting up with my sister and mom on a weekend
-Getting more toned & pushing myself harder
-Eating (it's about lunch time;)
-Some near future product reviews

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

-Made some cold green tea (mmm! I've been having hot tea all winter and it was so nice outside yesterday that it inspired me to have my tea cold : )
-Went on a walk with my husband down by the river
-Ate really good ravioli from Butioni
-Typed a lot
-Watched my husband trying to train our dog Rocky ... ha (he did a good job; )
-Enjoyed the nicer weather
-Watched a movie

8 Things I Wish I Could Do/Want to Do:

-Work at home and get more done with my day
-Love people more and not judge
-Toughen up and have thicker skin
-Go to New York again (only been there once and I loved it)
-Travel and experience more culture
-Have more time in a day so I could experiment and cook/bake more
-Workout harder than I currently can
-See and hang out with my sister more (and the rest of my family, including you, Mom ... don't worry, I'm not trying to leave you out ; )

The next one is 8 Shows I Watch buuuut we don't have cable so we never watch TV so I'll skip this one. We watch movies a lot but I don't feel like thinking of 8 movies we like, so that's all : )

And I tag whoever wants to do this but just for kicks & giggles here are 8 actual people I'll randomly tag from my google reader:

-Mica from Mica Pie
-Olga from Mango & Tomato
-Elizabeth from The Long Weigh
-Laura from The Threshold of Greatness
-Jasmine from Sweet and Fit
-Andrea from The BOULDer Bite
-Sunny from That Extra 20 Pounds
-Lauren from Say What You Need To Say

Well, Erik and I are off to Kansas City this afternoon and I'm very excited! One of our first stops will be to KC Juice (I'll tell more about it later : )

And also a note to end on ... I plan on incorporating more fitness into my blog so you can be expecting that. (I know, you're all SO excited, right?? ; )

Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend!!!!

"It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are"
-Publilius Syrus-

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy At Houlihan's


I hope this week has been treating everyone well! The weather is finally warming up here again and there has been no rain the past two days ... woo hoo! I seem to always talk about the weather at the start of my posts ... hmm ... I guess it's a good ice breaker? Ha.

Anyways, I'm here to talk about eating out, or at least a recent experience of ours. We don't eat out a lot to save money and unless you go somewhere more expensive than fast food it's just probably not going to be healthy. Now onto my story. Here is me wanting to go out for dinner instead of cooking. (Ha, except I wasn't really grumpy or mean ... I was just posing ; )See?? I was happy!Normally when we want to go out, we drive to Kansas City (about 45 minutes to an hour from us) because there's better choices and it's just more fun. Buuuut, we were really hungry and just didn't feel like the drive. So, we racked our brains for where to eat here. Now, our town is full of restaurants but we never know where to go because we don't really like many restaurants here. It's basically full of fast food and big chains. As far as eating out here is concerned, we frequent Panera and Chipotle and that's about it. We didn't want either.

We then both looked up random restaurant's menus online to see if there was anything that sounded good and fit our bill for healthiness. After much debate, we decided upon Houlihan's. When eating out, when possible we like to look at the menu and nutritional facts beforehand so we can pick something we know we will enjoy and feel good about, therefore getting our moneys worth. So, we had looked at an online menu from the closest Houlihan's to ours (as it wasn't online). We both had something picked out and thought, this'll be good! Before leaving ... So we got there, sat down and started to look at the menus and lo and behold ... tons of it is WAY different. Go figure that our Houlihan's has none of the healthy stuff we had already picked out to order. We were disappointed at first, buuut oh well, what can ya' do? So, we improvised.

We started out with Tuna Wantons for an appetizer. (Sorry, the pics are dark!) Then, I ordered the Mandarin Chicken Salad sans wanton strips with the dressing on the side. It was huge and looked SO good. Upon first getting it, Erik looked at it and said to me, "Where's the chicken". I said, "Oh, it's there" and then started mixing my salad around only to discover ... it wasn't!! Haha, we thought, maybe it's just a mandarin orange salad?? So we asked our waitress and a few minutes later, she brought we out my forgotten chicken breast :s haha.

Erik got a huge salad too (but not the same one) and they remembered his meat, haha. All in all, we ended up being very pleased because both salads and the appetizer were delicious! We pretty much finished off our huge salads (Erik helped me), and had a wonderful time together talking and eating.

What's your favorite restaurant or type of place to eat at?
There's a few chain restaurants we like to go to, but our favorite places always end up being the unique little cafes that you have to search for.

Have a great rest of the week!!! : )

"Kind words are the music of the world."
F. W. Faber

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sisters and Cupcakes

Another week already?? Yep!

It's hard to believe that's it's the 13th of April already!! Crazy! Speaking of today ... it's my wonderful big sister's birthday today, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KARMON!!! (she doesn't always read my blog but I'll make sure she reads this one;)
Growing up I always wanted to be JUST like her. I'm so thankful and blessed to have grown up with such a wonderful, helpful, sister who was my best friend. (And still is except I miss her and don't get to see her enough).

We're three years apart, always got along, and I have so many great memories with my sissy. In Junior High/High School we shared each other wardrobes (and really everything). When I went off to college it was awful having to figure out who got to keep what (unfortunately all the good stuff was technically hers, haha). But I snuck away with some of her stuff that she didn't need ; )So, thanks for being my sissy and I love you sister ... BURST!So how was everyone's Easter? Mine was good. We went over to my mother-in-laws and had yummy food! She always makes sweet potaotes in a crock pot and they always turn out so moist and sweet tasting. On Saturday I made Berry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes
I got the recipe out of the most recent Clean Eating Magzine, and the recipe involves spelt flour, vanilla, berries, among a few other things. Now I'm gonna go change before my husband gets home so we can pump some iron ; ) Random Update: I'm beginning to like lifting more and more and I actually look forward to it lately whereas before, I just about dreaded it! Hooray!

Tune in next for my next post about a few of my thoughts on dining out!

Hope the beginning of your week is off to a wonderful start : )

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
-Soren Kierkegaard-

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Earth's saddest day and gladdest day were just three days apart!" -- Susan Coolidge

Happy Easter Weekend!!

So I know the last time I blogged was only three days ago, but it feels like it's been forever and today I've been missing it and thought, I better blog!

This morning I woke up and did about 20 minutes of TaeBo and then felt like jogging so I jumped on the treadmill while the TaeBo was still playing and ran for almost 20 minutes. It felt good to mix it up! I've been in a walking-on-incline-on-the-treadmill-for-my-cardio rut and I was no longer enjoying it. I find that I like to switch it up because if I do the same thing over and over it just becomes a job and I don't want that! Needless to say, I enjoyed myself this morning and felt great! How often do you change your cardio workout?

Random event of the week:
So, as many of you have also been saying, the weather can't seem to decide if it wants to be nice or if it wants to rain and snow. So one day this week when it was snowing/raining, we were about to leave to go somewhere but my bald husband (equals cold head) couldn't find his hat anywhere. I got my coat on, grabbed my purse, etc and I turn around and this is what I see: Haha. I said, "Erik, you're gonna waste a bunch of paper towels". He responded oh so innocently, "No, I'm not". Needless to say, he found his hat and the paper towels were later put to good use.

Random Recent Meal:Chicken breasts baked with salsa, Parmesan cheese, Mrs. Dash's Garlic & Herb, and pepper served with freshly steamed cauliflower & asparagus with a regular light Laughing Cow Wedge mixed in, and brown rice.

Random Food Product I tried:

Okay, so I'm sorry to those who love these and rave over them, buuuut I tried Shirataki noodles and did not care for them much! I'll start out by saying I don't usually eat any tofo/soy just because I'm leery about it, but in the grocery store one day I thought ... why not? So, yesterday I tried them. The first part I didn't like was the smell when I opened the bag and was rinsing them. Yuck. But I thought ... I can get past this. So, I followed the directions and chose to microwave them and here's what I came up with: I ate them with tuna, veggies, some no salt added tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese and seasonings. While it wasn't so bad that I didn't eat it, I really did not like the texture. I felt like it these noodles were more difficult to break apart, to chew apart than what I'm used to ... almost more rubbery, I guess you could say. Maybe I did something wrong but either way, I probably won't be getting these again anytime soon. So you Shirataki lovers, did I do something wrong or are they just not for me? haha.

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful, joy-filled Easter!!! : )

"It is finished."
-Jesus Christ-

"'Christ the Lord is risen to-day,' Sons of men and angels say. Raise your joys and triumphs high; Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply."
-- Charles Wesley--

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Turkey Meatloaf, Apple Carrot Salad, and Life Made Liveable

Hello! : )

Time to post again! Sorry I haven't been around as much, which means I haven't been able to comment on all your lovely blogs near as much! But, I just don't have the time right now. I'm doing my best though and I still loving reading them ; )

Since I haven't posted much food lately, I thought it was about time! Dinner last night was Turkey Meatloaf, Apple-Carrot Salad, and brown rice. I don't like making meatloaf much because it takes so long to cook, but last night I did and it was very tasty! Here's is my thrown together, delicious recipe for Salsa Turkey Meatloaf:
-1 lb. lean ground turkey meat
-half of large onion, chopped
-1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
-2 eggs
-1 original light Laughing Cow cheese wedge
-1 T regular hummus
-1/4 cup ketchup
-Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning

-Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and place into a loaf pan. Spread a little additional ketchup on top of mixture and bake for about an hour (or more) until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. To go along with the meatloaf, I experiments with two things I had a lot of ... carrots and apples and came up with this Apple & Carrot SaladIngredients:
-A bag of shredded, or thinly sliced carrots (all I had was baby carrots so I just chopped a whole bunch of those up but using a pre-chopped/shredded bag would be much faster as well as would chopping large carrots)
-2 apples, finely chopped
-1 cup spinach leaves, chopped
-1/4 cup pine nuts/almond mixture
-1/4 cup Apple Cider vinegar
-4 T Balsamic Vinegar
-2 T lemon juice
-3 T Agave nectar
-All Spice
-On medium high heat, combine chopped carrots and apples with apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Let heat up for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, spinach, agave nectar, cinnamon and all spice and stir until apples and carrots and slightly tender. Add nut mixture, stir, and move all ingredients into large serving bowl. Place in refrigerator, let cool, and serve cold.

After dinner, Erik and I did some TaeBo together. Ha, this was our first time doing TaeBo (we ordered 6 VHS tapes for like 8 dollars off of EBay) ... and man, it's a workout! I think we'll enjoy doing this together on some of the nights we don't lift. And before I finish this post there's a few blogs I'd like to share with you. First off, one of my lovely friends I went to high school (and grade school, in fact) with, Andrea, just recently started a blog that I'm very excited about!! : ) So, go give her a visit and say hi at The BOULDer Bite!

Secondly, if you have some time to read something thought provoking and very good, and in light of this Holy Week before Easter, check out one of my absolute favorite blogs to read and it's most recent post entitled Life Made Liveable, written by the pastor of my church, Brian Zahnd. And my ending quote will be an excerpt from it, in describing what salvation looks like:

"We should reconcile people to God, we should reconcile people to one another, we should heal the sick, we should elevate the poor, we should set the captive free, we should bring justice to the oppressed, we should do good work, we should play enthusiastically, we should beautify the world, we should work for peace, we should work for prosperity, we should get married, we should raise children, we should compose music, we should write novels, we should paint masterpieces, we should create art, we should educate ourselves and others, we should study God’s creation, we should study the stars, we should study the sand, we should live beautiful lives, we should celebrate human existence, we should climb mountains, we should swim in the ocean, we should love, we should laugh, we should live, we should confer dignity upon one another, we should worship and work and wonder, and we should do all these things to the glory of God."
-brian zahnd-

I truly hope you're all having a terrific week!!! : )

Sunday, April 5, 2009

More Lifting, More Losing

Hey everyone : ) and Happy Palm Sunday!!

First off, in case you hadn't noticed ... I thought I'd point out that I recently switched my URL to

As you can tell, I haven't been posting as much as normal because I realized that I just couldn't keep up with that! Ha, my life is very busy and it's much easier on myself to not post as often (so if you don't see me on your blog as often as normal, just know that I'm still around ; )

For this post, I thought I'd continue with the fitness theme a little more. After the last post, I realize that pretty much ALL of us have been or are intimidated by some aspect of working out. I think overcoming that is just about realizing that you're not the only one who doesn't know what you're doing! And other people in the gym are probably either intimidated by YOU, or they're just so into their own workout that they don't even know you're there. : )

And to transition this post .... my husband likes to snap random pictures of me occasionally and here is my "you-better-stop-taking-pictures-of-me-punk, but-i-can't-help-but-smile-anyways" face ;) I love my husband ... I always brag about him, but he's worth bragging about!! (Girls, don't settle for less than the best ... there are wonderful guys out there!!! : ) Onto some more fitness ... I was reading an old Women's Health issue and there was an article that perked my interest. As you can tell, I've recently been getting more into lifting and guess what this article was about? Yep, pumping iron. Now all this stuff my husband had been telling me, but it was perfect timing to read because I had just been thinking about it all. (And it helps to get things reaffirmed like that).

As my husband had been telling me that I never knew is that by lifting weights and reducing body fat by having more muscle, it also speeds up your metabolism because muscle, unlike fat, is metabolically active, therefore the more muscle you have, the more calories you're going to loose just don't nothing. As Women's Health said, "replace 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of lean muscle and you'll burn an additional 25 to 50 calories a day without even trying."Here's a couple other stats that I thought were interesting:

"A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning research found that women who completed an hour-long strength-training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than they did when they hadn't lifted weights. At three sessions a week, that's 15,600 calories a year, or about five and a half pounds of fat - without having to move a muscle"

"A recent study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham compared dieters who lifted three times a week with those who did aerobic exercise for the same amount of time. Both groups ate the same number of calories, and both lost the same amount -26 pounds - but the lifters lost pure chub, while about 8 percent of the aerobicizers' drop came from valuable muscle."

So, if you've been wondering about lifting ... there's a few great reasons to try it! ; ) At first, I hated it but I'm beginning to really enjoy it as a part of my fitness routine.

One thing to keep in mind though, is to not short yourself on important workout fuel such as protein. Reason being ... if not fueled properly, you can end up losing muscle along with any fat that you might have lost, bringing you back to where you started. My husband suggests eating one gram of protein for every pound of your body weight that does not come from fat (the average woman's body fat is slightly about 25 percent). So an average women weighing 130 pounds would need around 100 grams of protein a day. (Some good sources of protein I eat are chicken, other lean meats, eggs, and greek yogurt).

And to end the post I thought I'd share my new favorite thing to have for lunch ... this combo is just so good ... I call it Delicious Egg and Cucumber Salad
-Spinach leaves
-1/3 of a cucumber chopped into bite sized pieces
-1/3 of a rep pepper
-1 small Roma tomato, chopped
-1 cup brown rice
-2 egg whites, one whole egg, scrambled
-litte bit of an onion, chopped
-Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning
-Olive Oil
-Balsamic vinegar

I find this salad to be very filling, balanced, refreshing, and delicious.

I hope you all have a wonderful week leading up to Easter!

I think of the garden after the rain;
And hope to my heart comes singing,
At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing!
~Edna Dean Proctor, "Easter Bells"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Working Out Intimidation

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
~ Mahatma Gandhi~

Thus far at Lesley Living Life I haven't mentioned much about fitness, or my own personal fitness routine, etc. If you've read my "About Me", then you know I definitely have not always enjoyed working out. In fact, growing up (in junior high/high school), I hated PE class, running, lifting, etc. It's not as if I hated all physical activity, but that for some reason I just felt very intimidated, as if I couldn't do any of those things well. While I did golf all four years of high school, I still felt very intimidated by weights, running, and exercise machines. Needless to say, I did not feel like an athlete at all and never thought I'd be one.

Then I met my husband, who was a bodybuilder and practically lived at the gym for years of his life. We got married, and slowly I became more interested. I went to the gym with him and he was my personal trainer telling me what I should do, how much of it I should do, etc, etc. At first I was so intimated at the gym. I thought everyone else would know I didn't have a clue what I was doing and that they would notice. But my husband instructed me and then I realized ... no one cares what I'm doing! And no one is even paying attention to me! Aaaand, I'm ENJOYING this!It felt so good to be at the gym everyday doing what had intimated me for so long and enjoying it SO much. Over a little time, I shed a few pounds I had gained since going to college and I began eating healthy and my husband and I have been active together since.

This brings me to my current workout routine ... my absolute favorite cardio machine thus far is the elliptical, and that's what I would be doing everyday if I could. Buuut, we recently got rid of our gym membership to save money and have been working out at home. Our "gym" consists of a Boflex machine, a treadmill, and some dumbbells.

Now eating healthy and exercising is very important to me and a big priority in my life. Not only is it good for my body, but it makes me feel better about my body and gives me more self-confidence and just makes me feel great. (Though it's not always easy to jump on that treadmill, I'm always glad I did!)

Here's my current workout routine:

Monday-Saturday Cardio:
Treadmill for 40-45 minutes before work.
I don't like to run much, so I typically walk on the highest incline as fast I can and usually jog the last 10 minutes or so.
--(I find that doing my cardio in the morning ensures that I'll do it and it always feels great to start my day with).

Here's my current lifting routine ...

Monday: chest/shoulders/triceps
-incline dumbbell press; 3 sets of 10-12 reps
-dumbbell flye; 3 sets of 10-12 reps
-push-up; 3 sets til failure
-standing dumbbell press; 3 set of 10-12 reps
-lateral raise; 3 sets of 10-12 reps
-bent-over lateral raise; 3 sets of 1-20 reps
-dumbbell lying triceps extension; 3 sets of 10-12 reps
-kickback; 3 sets of 15-20 reps

Wednesday: legs/calves/abs

-dumbbell squat; 3 sets of 12-15 reps
-dumbbell lunge; 3 sets of 12-15 reps
-dumbbell romanian deadlift; 3 sets of 12-15 reps
-seated dumbbell calf raise; 4 sets of 20-25
-hanging leg raise; 3/to failure
-crunch; 3 sets til failure

Friday: back/biceps
-dumbbell row; 3 sets of 10-12
-bent-over straight-arm dumbbell lat pull; 3 sets of 12-15
-dumbbell pullover; 3 sets of 15-20
-standing dumbbell curl; 3 sets of 10-12 reps
-incline dumbbell curl; 3 sets of 12-15 reps

(**I'll note that I didn't know what half of these exercises were until my husband told me! haha.)

And I take Sunday off.

All this being said ... take it from me, no matter how intimated or not intimated you may feel about the gym, about working out or being active, anyone can do it. I didn't know anything about the working out when I started and I felt pretty bad at it, but now I love it and want to keep learning more. (Same goes with eating healthy!) As anything, it takes time, work, and learning, but it's very possible and one of the best things you can do to help live a long and healthy life!! (Cheesy picture, I know, but it's the best I could come up with! Please excuse the mail/clutter filled table)

What intimates you and/or has intimated you about eating healthy and/or working out?

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