Hello, May

Hello May, it’s me.

The past few months I’ve been in hiding.  To be honest, we are almost through all five seasons of Breaking Bad and have not wanted to do anything but watch this show.  Why didn’t I know about this show before?  Have I been living under a rock?  Such great writing and Greg and I are mesmerized by every episode.  It’s actually pretty embarrassing.  If we tell you we’re busy, I’m sure it’s because we are still getting through the last few episodes and can’t control ourselves.  I’ll just apologize now.  Sorry… not sorry.

House-2

Lots of things to get to now – first, yes, again, as you know, I’ve been missing for a month or so.  So much going on with work, life, and family that it’s hard to squeeze it all in.  I’ve started a new program called the 21 Day Fix by Beachbody (on my third cycle) and it has been a life-changer for me.  I’ve always had the “last 10 pounds” to lose since 2008 and I COULD NOT get it to budge.  Nothing worked for me.  I’d lose a few and then gain it right back.  Just wasn’t on the right track with my foods and I refused to see it.  After starting the program and getting familiar with portion control, I lost 8 pounds in my first three-week cycle of the 21 Day Fix.  Wow!  It really helped me to keep my portions in check and to be honest about what I put in my mouth.  This program is definitely about eating healthy and watching portions, but not feeling deprived.  If I occasionally wanted a glass of wine, or chocolate, I could have it.  How many plans allow for that?  I’ll be honest, though, the first three days on the program, I was hungry.  I couldn’t figure out how to balance my foods daily to make sure I was getting my nutrition throughout the day and not just in the morning or afternoon.  Once I figured out how to balance each of my meals so I wasn’t hungry, then it all clicked.  My body adjusted, I adjusted, and the weight came off.

A little 21 Day Fix information:  you determine how many calories you need to eat daily, see how many “colors” of each food group you can have daily, fill your color-coded containers with the foods you want to eat, eat your foods, work out for at least 30 minutes a day, and at the end of the day, you will know what you ate and how much.  No counting the calories or weighing the foods.  It’s that easy.   You just have to be creative with putting together the containers to mix and match your foods and to create recipes.  The program comes with seven 30-minute workouts.

A little 21 Day Fix results from clients and friends:  Donna lost 10 lbs, Greg 17 lbs, Sally 7 lbs, Denise 6 lbs, Holly 7 lbs, Heidi 6 lbs, and Mimi lost 5 lbs and 12.75 inches total from her body!  Need I say more?  It works.  Follow the plan – especially through the first cycle of 21 Days.  After that, go to maintenance mode or hang in for another cycle of 21 Days until you meet your goal.  This plan jump-started my metabolism in a way that no other plan has and I’m impressed.  It really worked for me, and maybe it’ll work for you – here is the information to check it out for yourself.  Let me know if you have any questions.  I want you to be successful too.

We are heading to Italy – Rome to be exact, with a day trip to Florence and a day trip to Tuscany.  Lots of walking, wine, tours, food, and, did I mention wine?  Our daughter, Allyson, is coming with us, will meet us at the Charlotte airport and then we all head to Rome.  Have you been?  Any hints, tips, restaurants?  Bring them on – we’ll need all the help we can get.

Rome2Rome1

It’s got to be time for a May workout challenge, right?  It’s been months.  I’m really thinking I need to get back to my kettlebell swings.  So the May challenge is 100 kettlebell swings a day.  By the end of May we will have accomplished 3,100 swings.  Such a great posterior chain and cardio workout so pick up a kettlebell and start swinging.  We did this two years ago and then we did this remember?  The months that we did the kettlebell swings were the months I felt my best.  My muscular and cardiovascular endurance increased.  I’m excited to do this again and maybe build up to the 10,000-swing challenge…maybe.

Time to give up some link love.  Here are a few of my favorite things:

First, and foremost:

My daughter’s essay was published.  She’s pretty amazing – we are so proud.

Keep it mind:

3 Reasons to Cut Back Cardio for Fat Loss Goals from Your Trainer Paige

Why I Tossed My Scale from Strive & Survive Cancer Programs

Sunday Food Prep Inspiration from the Lean Green Bean

My favorite cookbook right now from Oh She Glows

REVOLUTIONARY 21 DAY FIX Simple and Effective with Real Results

I say revolutionary because this program puts together dietary portion control rules with simple fitness routines so that you never need to diet, count calories, carbs, points, weigh, or measure again.

Here is a review of what you’ll get with the 21 Day Fix by Autumn Calabrese:

21 Day Fix Workout Plan:
The workouts included in the program are 30-minutes each for 21 days. The fitness routines are simple and even have a modifier to show how to simplify the moves. The type of exercises you will be doing during the 21 Day Fix Workout will include Pilates, strength, yoga and cardio and low-impact resistance moves that can be done with the use of little equipment. The 7 workouts will repeat for 3 weeks.

Program Includes

21 Day Fix Nutrition Plan:
I know you’ve heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen.”  Proper portion size is the key to success in the 21 Day Fix program. Nutrition is the key for healthy weight loss and its success, and Autumn introduces a portion-size control technique to support healthy eating and better nourishment for the body. You can do cardio, abs, and lift weights all you want, but if you are not maintaining proper nutrition in your diet, you will not see results.  It’s that simple. With the help of color-coded, perfectly portioned containers, Autumn gives you a simple diet guide to get the results super fast.

It’s all about portion control – not a fixed diet!  Moderation is key, hence the portion control system.  Anyone can do this.  Eat your foods just maintain portion control.  No food is off limits – whew!  I’m in.   I mean, can it get any easier?

All you need is included in the program: food storage containers and a Shakeology shaker cup that is perfect for managing your meals properly while taking the guesswork out of weighing, measuring, or counting calories, carbs and points.

21-day-fix-portion-control-system

There is a nutritional guide that comes with the program if that’s easier for you to follow, just follow it as written.

21 Day Test Results:
Test groups have lost an average of 15 lbs during each cycle of the following the 21 Day Fix routines for 21 days. In the end, if you can keep practicing the portion control system you will lose weight and learn to adopt healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

21 Day Fix How to Buy:
There are 3 options for you to get your hands on this revolutionary product.  Purchase from my WEBSITE to make sure I’m your coach to guide you through this journey with our online support and accountability group and to receive one free workout!

21 Day Fix Challenge Pack:
The discounted 21 day Fix Challenge Pack, which includes the 21 Day Fix Base kit and Shakeology will be on sale from Feb 3 – Feb 28, 2014 for $140!! Plus you get FREE shipping on the purchase of 21 day Fix Challenge Pack. (From March 1, 2014 – Price goes up to $160 + shipping)

21 Day Fix Base Kit:
The price for 21 Day Fix Base Kit is $59.85 and will be available with free shipping from Feb 3 – Feb 28, 2014.  It includes:

  • Start Here Guide with Workout Calendar
  • 3-Day Quick Fix * Eating Plan
  • 24/7 Online Support
  • 7 workouts on 2 DVDs (Dirty 30 workout, Total Body Cardio Fix, Upper Fix, Lower Fix, Pilates Fix, Cardio Fix, Yoga Fix)
  • 7 color-coded portion-control containers
  • Shakeology shaker cup
  • Plyo Fix Workout (Free Bonus from Coach!) 

21 Day Fix Ultimate Kit:
Retails at $119.70, the Ultimate kit has everything from the 21 Day Fix Base Kit and

  • Insulated Tote * Large on-the-go container
  • 2 Ultimate workouts: Flat Abs Fix, Barre Legs
  • 1 pro-grade resistance band (15 lbs)

21 Day Fix Conclusion:
21 Day Fix program is a total lifestyle change and will be available for purchase on 3rd February.

This is your time to fix your health habits.  Do this for yourself and your family.  Contact me for updates of the 21 Day Fix.  I will be doing an online support and accountability group with this program.

It’s three weeks of your time that can change your life.  Make the change.

Happy New Year!

Happy New YearHappy New Year!  It’s January 2014.

Here we go.  New year, new goals, new resolutions, new life, and new you, right?  Right.  It sounds great so now put it to paper.  Write it down, look at it every day, and make sure you are doing your best to live your life to the fullest.  Do what you love, exercise more, drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, and smile more.

The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.  ~William Shakespeare, Othello Or A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks.  ~Charles Gordy

A smile just makes us feel good.   DO IT!

Moving on, it’s time for the January challenge.  Commit yourself to two strength-training sessions a week.  It doesn’t matter what two.  It can be BodyPump for one, with me for another, or training on your own on the gym floor.  Again, it doesn’t matter, just commit to two times weekly.  You’ll be glad you did.

Here are a few links I adore.  I know you will too:

Like I’ve been saying all along…try Les Mills GRIT:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/25/for-fitness-intensity-matters/?_r=0

I need to try most of these:
http://greatist.com/health/healthy-portable-fridge-free-snacks

Seriously, my favorite dish right now:
http://ohsheglows.com/2013/03/05/roasted-buddha-bowl/

So, I’m not following a Paleo diet but I love some of the recipes I’ve been seeing.  Like this one:
http://paleomg.com/bacon-wrapped-meatballs-over-roasted-butternut-squash/

This is inspiration:
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/sunday-food-prep-inspiration-46/

Ok…This is for you.
http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com

Listen up, ladies.
http://www.ericcressey.com/strength-training-for-women-7-myths

I’m thinking about starting an online book club.  We get a group of people together; have one person choose a book, and on one day a month, we gather online to discuss it.  The next month a new person chooses a book.  What do you think?  Can it work?  Can we make it work?  Want to try it with me?

December Madness

Drury Lane Lunch Hello Dolly Show Curtain

Wow – where did November go? It was just a whirlwind. We went to visit our daughter in Chicago this past week. She is in Hello, Dolly! at Drury Lane and it was fabulous. As you know, we are very proud. At the theatre, we ate a huge Thanksgiving feast on Thursday, drank Mimosas, and rolled our stuffed selves into our seats to watch the show.

Harris FamilyWe stayed with Greg’s parents, who graciously bought us dinner, gave us a roof over our heads for a few days, and then made a terrific non-traditional Thanksgiving meal on Black Friday. It was a great week.

 

 

 

Albemarle SkyLook what we came home to…the fiery skies of Charlottesville, Virginia. Beautiful!

 

 

 

 

willpowerSo back to reality…you know it’s going to be important for us to put our WILLPOWER hats on for this month. I mean holiday foods are made with nothing but sugar and alcohol, right? Not all of them. There are tons of healthy recipes out there for you to try. Just try them.

Pumpkin PieMake a new healthy recipe or revamp an old one by making it healthier (here is one I did on a whim). I bet you’ll like it, I bet your family will like it, and I bet no one but you will know or needs to know it’s good for you! One other thing to keep in mind, especially for this month, is to move, move, move more. Try to incorporate more exercise this month. You know you’re going to eat a bit more than normal (we don’t want to be rude, right?) so why not move a bit more. Add just 10 – 15 more minutes to your exercise routine. Take a nice brisk walk, it’ll clear your mind, and burn calories. AND do the December challenge! For the December challenge, let’s do the following HOLIDAY 1,2,3,2,1 every day for 31 days:

Smile!

ONE-MINUTE HOVER

TWO-MINUTE MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

THREE-MINUTE SQUATS

TWO-MINUTE PUSHUPS

ONE-MINUTE HOVER

Breathe

Are you in? Are you ready to take on the December challenge of wearing your willpower hat all month, moving more, and trying a new, healthy recipe this month? You can do this. You are strong. Here are a few links of things I thought were interesting along with a few recipes to start off your healthy recipe challenge. Let me know how it goes. I love trying new things and I know you will too.

How easy can it get? http://laurenconrad.com/blog/post/healthy-three-ingredient-recipes-simple-snacks-lauren-conrad-november-2013

http://www.elanaspantry.com/cranberry-orange-biscotti/
I made these using walnuts. They were amazing and did not get hard and crispy. They also didn’t last very long in my house…

http://www.elanaspantry.com/raw-cranberry-sauce/
This is my new raw cranberry sauce. I used 5 dates because I needed a bit more sweetness. I ate the whole thing.

I’m making this next… http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/11/cabernet-cranberry-and-blueberry-sauce.html

I really do feel this is true. http://greatist.com/fitness/self-talk-workout-motivation-110813

Good tips. http://eat-spin-run-repeat.com/2013/11/18/5-top-tips-for-taming-sugar-cravings/?utm_content=buffer91e56&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

I thought this was a good read. http://www.meandthemountains.com/2013/11/19/thoughts-on-exercise-what-when-pushing-outside-of-the-comfort-zone/

Great ideas! http://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/11/holiday-gift-guide-27-gifts-for-the-practical-one/?utm_content=bufferdb564&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

What blogs do you read? What’s interesting to you? I’d love to hear.

November!

Oh, sweet November, you’re here already.  Now it’s crunch time before the holidays hit.  It’s going to be busy month – I mean, look at what all of November has for us to celebrate.  Why not get jumpstart on this crazy season by getting healthier, stronger, and fitter now?

For your November challenge, two things:

  1. Write down everything you eat and drink for 30 days.  Keep a food journal, write down every single thing you put in your mouth.  Don’t lie about it, don’t forget the samples at Sam’s, and it’s even important to write down the last bit of food left on your kid’s plates that you end up scarfing.  Studies have proven that keeping a food journal helps people to avoid mindless eating.  Many of my clients have had luck with the fitbook.
  2. LUNGES.  LUNGES.  LUNGES.  WARMUP FIRST and then do 20 lunges with proper form on each leg x 3 sets.  Mix it up some.  Do reverse lunges, side lunges, around the world lunges, or jumping lunges.  Any type of lunges, any time of day (one set in the morning, lunch lunges, and then after dinner lunges, if you’d like).

You can do this!  Make a commitment to yourself and stay focused.  This is your time, your health, your one and only beautiful body.  Treat it right.

Stay strong!

T.

October? October!

Pumpkins
(pic from my hubby)

Yes, it’s October – and I just need to deal.  I have no choice but to deal.  It’s going to be a busy next few months.  Number one – the gym.  Clients need to get prepared for the holidays.  Think (always) about cleaning up your diet (always), keep a food journal, and move, move, move.  If you get a head start on the holidays, then the temptations won’t be as, well, you know, tempting, and you’ll be ahead of the game.

Number two – the holidays are coming.  I HATE SAYING THIS IN OCTOBER, but it’s true.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa.  It’s all on its merry little way and we must be prepared.  I am going to explore a lot of DIY gifts this year (since we can’t count on our government to keep our economy stable at this moment).   Can you believe this shutdown?  Oh my.

Number three – the new Les Mills releases are here and it’s going to be a choreography cramming session.  I need to get BodyPump, BodyStep, GRIT, and CXWorx in my head.  So much to do in October!

Number four – R.I.P.P.E.D. is in the house as well.  We are launching the new moves and music next week.   Chorey cramming never-ending!

Number five – October challenge.  I’ve been thinking about how to keep you motivated the next few months.  I would like for you to concentrate on getting at least 10,000 steps a day.  We’ve done this challenge before, but it’s important now, more than ever; especially since the holidays (ugh) are soon to be upon us.  Get a pedometer – you can find them cheap.  I love my fitbit, but it’ll cost you about $99.

Okay, that’s it.  Time to get moving.  Before I go, here are a few links I love and want to share:

Sweet Potato Mug Muffin?  From the Lean Green Bean.  I will make this!
Prancercise is back!  Yoga style.  Oh my.  This should make my yogi’s cringe.
Roasted Buddha Bowl from Oh She Glows.  The best tasting veggie bowl, hands down.  Loved it.

As I write this I am enjoying my dinner of two fried eggs, soy sausages, and pumpkin ale.
Dinner

I love breakfast for dinner (except for the ale, of course).  Try it.  It’s low carb, high protein, and it makes you feel a little like a rebel!

Stay Strong!
T.

Almond Joy Cookies

AlmondJoyCookie (2)
Remember those smells, tastes, or sounds that ultimately bring back memories from days gone by?  Today, for me, it was the smell of coconut.  Growing up I was not a coconut fan.  My aunt Sandra would make coconut pie every holiday and everyone loved it, but as a kid, I thought, eh, it’s ok.  I wanted the chocolate pie – that was my fave.  Then I grew up and realized I liked coconut, especially when paired with chocolate.  Duh.

When was the last time you had an Almond Joy?  I absolutely cannot remember the last time I did, so when I saw this recipe, I thought, why not?  These almond joy cookies are delicious and not filled with unpronounceable chemical ingredients, like an Almond Joy candy bar, or even a store-bought cookie would have in them.  You should make these cookies – they were unbelievably easy to do.  Of course I did tweak the recipe for my taste, and you can do the same. So here goes:

Almond Joy Cookies (dairy-free and gluten-free)

¾ ground almonds (makes a light flour)
¼ coconut flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (or ½ tsp almond and ½ tsp coconut extract)
¼ cup agave nectar
½ cup almond butter
1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
¾ cup unsweetened coconut
½ cup chocolate chips (use vegan choc chips for dairy-free option)

1.  In a small bowl mix dry ingredients together.
2.  In a medium bowl mix wet ingredients until smooth, about 2 minutes.
3.  Add coconut to wet ingredients and stir until mixed in thoroughly.
4.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until all is incorporated and in a dough form.
5.  Fold chocolate chips in the dough.
6.  Scoop 1-tablespoon portions onto baking sheet covered with parchment paper. If you want flat cookies, gently flatten with your scoop.
7.  Put in fridge for 30 minutes to set.
8.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake cookies until edges are brown (about 12-15 minutes).
9.  Allow to cool.
10. ENJOY!

Now the house smells incredible.  I’m not sure how long these cookies will last for me – I’m going to have to freeze or hide them.  I am going to give some to Sue, one of my sweetest clients, who loves to bake and gives me a sample of her baked goods every Thursday (another reason I work out hard!). Now it’s my turn to feed her!

AlmondJoyCookie (5) AlmondJoyCookie (6) AlmondJoyCookie (7) AlmondJoyCookie (3)

Happy September!

Teresa

I’m back! And finally getting my act together to write again. This writing stuff is hard – so much to say, so little time to say it.

Also, it’s time to get back on track. Summer is over, the children are back to school, and you need your routine. Right? I mean, AM I RIGHT? So, to begin, the September Challenge is The Scientific 7-Minute Workout, posted in the New York Times Magazine recently. Do this workout two-to-three times weekly, at a rate of perceived exertion (see chart) of 7-8, and log it. RPE I want to know how it’s going. It’s seven minutes, and it should be seven uncomfortable minutes, if you’re working it. So, work it. You can do this at home or at the gym. I’ve seen many people bring this in to the gym to work on it and I’ve tried it on some of my clients. It’s fast, fun, and furious!

Here are my feet and a step and we are going to rock out some freestyle choreography. I love teaching a choreostep class. I feel so alive and free when moving to the beat of my own choreography.
Choreostep

So, I’m always looking for different, good foods and, of course, we are trying to keep it as healthy as possible, so after scrolling through a TON of blogs, I found the following things I’ve tried and want to try. My favorites so far:

Raw cookie dough balls
Cashew Cream (I tweaked it by using almond milk and agave nectar.)
Baked Chicken Thighs (I used lemon instead of lime – amazing!)

I want to try these:

Flourless Squash Cookies
Every mug cake on the planet, but especially this one:
Raspberry Mug Cake (I absolutely cannot wait to make this!)

Feel free to try these recipes and tell me what you think.

0988I’m going to see this cutie pie in the middle of September. I cannot wait to see her! I miss my baby girl (who is most definitely not a baby). She is living life (and by living life, I mean working hard) in the big city of Chicago and we are certainly going to “hit the town” when I get there. She starts working on her next show, Hello, Dolly! at Drury Lane Theatre at the end of this month.

 

 

And last, but definitely, not least, I am taking a Wellness Seminar in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). We all know that CAM therapies were practiced as a way of healing in Eastern civilization long before Western medicine was ever in the picture. And, now that healthcare costs are constantly on the rise, people are looking more towards alternative medicine to help them deal with their health issues in a more cost-efficient way. Do you use alternative methods to heal? Such methods could be acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, or spiritual. There are many, many other methods of complementary alternative medicine therapies. I am curious to know what you use.

I’ll keep in touch and you do as well. Bring it on September, we can do this!

Stay strong!
T.

PS: I love this pic! It was taken at Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago in November 2012, when Allyson was doing the show Singin’ In the Rain. And, of course, she was wonderful. We are so proud.

Drury Lane

“Shortbread” Cookies

It’s 6:00am and I’m bored.  I woke up at 3:00am, read a bit, went downstairs, got some coffee, and began to peruse my favorite blogs.  While half awake, I realized I’m bored (or maybe delirious).  I need to do something, make something.  Yes, I know there are loads of clothes to be washed and put away, the house is a wreck, and I need to begin Week 3 of my Focus T25 workout, but I want to do something creative.  While looking through the blogs, I found a no-bake “Shortbread” cookie recipe that looked so easy to make.  Just 5 ingredients.  Ok, I can do this and still have time left to do something else (ha, whatever).

So, this past weekend I was a hot mess.  I stuffed my face (with foods I never eat) all weekend.  Not just tastings but copious amounts of pure junk, greasy, fattening, and delicious foods.  Now, I’m paying for it.  My stomach hates me and I’m hating myself.  I am going to turn the page, though.  I cannot undo my bad eating, but I can move forward and make it a goal to eat well.  I have to – we are heading to the beach in a few weeks, so I need to try and get my act together and put at least 80% effort into eating healthier and moving even more.

So, yes, even personal trainers have a moment of weakness.  At least this personal trainer does.  I mean, I’m human.  I have faults (many), I have weaknesses (many), I have a sweet tooth (many), and I am realistic.  Life goes on.  I will work extra hard in my classes this week.  Starting today, I am going to increase my weights in BodyPump.  Oh, yeah, I’m going to pay for that later I’m sure!  In addition, I’m back to writing my foods down.  I need to find out when I’m the most vulnerable to eating.  Is it morning?  Evening?  Am I getting enough protein?  I do know if I don’t have my daily dose of Shakeology (which on the weekends I haven’t been consistent), then my cravings are unbearable.  I think that’s the issue.  I need to be consistent.  I will start now.  Are you with me?

Back to the “shortbread” cookies, I made them and I’m glad I did.  Wow!  These should curb my sweet tooth cravings as well and I won’t feel guilty at all.  I did have to adapt the recipe to what I had in the house, so here is what I did:

2 cups of a mix of almonds, walnuts, and cashews (all raw, and because I didn’t have enough of one nut, I mixed these three kinds to get to 2 cups)
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp of vanilla
1 pinch of sea salt

Put all in the food processor and mix until a dough ball forms (it took longer than the called-for 60 seconds).  Transfer dough to a bowl.  With your hands, form small balls and then flatten between your palms, and place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.  Put in freezer for 30 minutes to firm and then transfer to airtight container.  Keep in the freezer.

This recipe made 39 cookies for me…probably would have been more, but I dipped into the dough…yes, I did write it down in my food journal.  Geez – where is the willpower?

Ok, I’m off.  I need to get my workout in, shower, go over my BodyPump choreography for today’s class, plan clients’ workouts for today, and stay on track.  I feel refreshed, ready to start my week with a positive attitude, and I know I can do it.  I am a very lucky girl.  I love what I do.  I mean, how many people can say that?  I can’t wait to see my clients, work them out, see their faces, hear their stories, cry with them, laugh with them, and encourage them to keep going.  It’s so rewarding.  Did I mention I was a lucky girl?  :)

Stay Strong!
T.
Cookie1 Cookie2 Cookie3

M.I.A. and the July Challenge

Yes, I know, I’ve been M.I.A. for the past few weeks.  It’s a been a crazy few weeks in our house.  Our daughter is home from Chicago visiting for a few more days.  It has been so nice to have her back.  I really am not looking forward to letting her go back to her home so far away.  I have loved every second of having her near me, going to the gym with me, eating dinners out, cooking dinners home, drinking wine together, and just hanging out. SO.MUCH.FUN.

Now I’m going to get sentimental and sad.  As you some of you know, we had to say goodbye to our beloved kitty after almost 17 years.  Our kitty fell ill in May, felt somewhat better, off and on, on certain days, and then just took a turn for the worse and really got sick.  She was a trooper and held on to life until Allyson could get home (at least that’s my story as to why she waited).  I took her to the vet on her last day, and had to have Allyson take care of the essentials.  It was a devastating day for us.  Our whole family feels as if a part of our hearts have been ripped open.  We miss that cat.   She was our rock – always there for us.  I am still crying over her.  I’ll come home expecting to see her, and just tear up.  It’s going to take a while for me to get used to an empty house without her.  It’s taken me two weeks before I could store her favorite toys (I can’t throw them away) or to put away her food dishes or to just throw away the cat box.  I hope this gets easier.  It’s just too raw right now.

In the field I am in, I must go on.  I see people on a daily basis and need to have myself together and get back to work.  So, now it’s time to create a July challenge.  I fell behind, so you have had a reprieve of the first 10 days of July.  But starting now, let’s move.  I need this just as much as you.  I need for you to keep me motivated and keep my mind off of things.  The July Challenge is Jumping July!  10 squat jumps, 10 pushups, 10 burpees with jumps, and a one-minute plank.  Try this every day until the end of July.  We will all feel better after getting up and moving.  I know it helps me…so off I go to begin the challenge.

Talk to me.  Tell me your thoughts.  If you’ve gone through the loss of a pet, I would love to know how you survive.  Give me strength and hope that this emptiness will eventually ease.  I need you.Kitty