Grillin’ & Chillin’

‘Tis the season. Grilling Season that is!

Grilling is my all time favorite method of cooking. It makes cooking healthy, flavorful meals a cinch, clean up is a breeze, and it gives me an excuse (as if I needed one) to enjoy more time outdoors! I am not the only one who is excited about Grilling Season either. Indianapolis based Green B.E.A.N. Delivery is hosting the #PlateProud recipe contest to drum up ideas for eating fresh, local, and you guessed it- GRILLING this Summer!

What is Green B.E.A.N? Well, for starters the B.E.A.N. in GreenBEAN stands for Biodynamic, Education, Agriculture, & Nutrition. In a nutshell, Green B.E.A.N. delivers high quality, organic, LOCAL produce and other farmed goods to your doorstep in a big green bin (ala recycling bins). You have the option to either receive their random assortment in your bin which varies weekly or to customize your own bin based on your weekly meal plan! I prefer the former as it keeps my trying new things and getting creative with my recipes.

That brings me back to where we started — the recipes! As you know, I have been on the elimination diet for a little over a month and am slowly reintroducing foods. Working with a smaller variety has had it’s challenges but over the last week I have taken full advantage of the weather and the fresh ingredients popping up to test out a few new recipes. This meal was a grand slam!

I hope you enjoy these tasty, mess-free, grilling recipes this Summer! What are your favorite Summer Recipes? Head on over and submit your favorites for the #PlateProud Recipe Contest! Interested in trying Green B.E.A.N. Delivery? Use promo code bc1teff for $15 off your first bin!!

Day 9

Elimination Diet

So it’s Day 9 of the elimination diet . And to my surprise, I am sitting here smiling. I’m not going to lie, the first day was rough. For the first 4 days my joints hurt like hell and I was exhausted. But here, at Day 9 I woke up feeling refreshed. I knew what I was going to have for breakfast, and I saved part of my dinner for lunch. I woke up with a plan to follow, and if you know me- I like plans.

I am not going to say this has been easy, but like all things, it is getting EASIER. I wished and wished that I had waited to start the elimination diet until after the Easter Holiday so I could have enjoyed a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg (the eggs are the BEST). I am now really glad that I started when I did. Not only did I resist all of the candy, I managed to plan an “allergy free” menu for the Easter cookout we hosted, and I avoided alcohol despite crafting up a tasty cocktail for everyone to enjoy! If I can get through a single day with that many temptations I know I can get through these next 5-6 weeks!

IMG_3956 AppetizersEaster DinnerI’ll be sharing some of my new recipes soon, including what we served up on Easter!

Luckily there was enough leftover for dinner the next night too!

Here is a sneak peek at what a typical day for me looks like right now:

menu

  • Breakfast – Gluten Free Oats,  chia seeds, berries, raw honey
  • Snack – Orange
  • Lunch – Homemade Chicken Stir fry (Chicken sauteed in coconut oil, sesame oil, and garlic/chili paste) w/ mushrooms, red bell peppers, broccoli, water chestnuts, & carrots served w/ brown rice
  • Snack – Homemade trail mix (cashews, almonds & raisins)
  • Dinner – Sweet Potato Skillet (Ground turkey sauteed with sweet potatoes, crushed red pepper, kale, garlic)
  • Dessert – Coconut Yogurt

Food Allergies… Part II

In October of 2013 I found out that I am intolerant to gluten. In many ways this was a huge relief as I finally knew why I was feeling so poorly and had a plan for getting better. In some ways, it was also devastating. I would have to give up some of my favorite foods, I would forever be “the difficult one” at a restaurant, and my typically culinary curious self was dead.

For the first 6 months I hardly ate out. Every grocery trip was 2 hours or more of me scouring every single label and finding that yet again a food I would have thought was “safe” was actually poisoning my system. But as time went on, it just became part of my normal. I can rattle off all of the ingredients I need to avoid, scour a label entirely for “poison” in 10 seconds or less and know exactly what questions and types of foods to avoid when dinning out. This is my new norm.. or at least it was.

Allergenic Threshold

Since November of 2014 I have noticed a number of issues resurfacing, and once again I was fearful of a large underlying health issue. One of the biggest symptoms has been chronic asthma attacks, often multiple per day. After undergoing a Pulmonary Function Test and chest x-ray both of which confirming I do have asthma, but do not have a larger issue with my lungs it was back to the allergist (or D.O. in my case) for me. We talked through the Allergenic Thresholds or Total Load Concept and how once your Allergenic Threshold is met your symptoms start to spill over. She is suspicious that I have developed another food allergy or intolerance.

I went in for blood work this morning and I will start The Elimination Diet (again) on Monday. Again, I am feeling hopeful that this is a means to feeling 100% myself again but I am also dreading all of the lifestyle impacts this will have over the coming weeks. Luckily for me, my support system is already in place. My family and friends understand my food allergies. A few friends and I have even created a Health Nut Supper Club where we prepare a meal for each other about 1x per week that is Elimination Diet Friendly. I plan to start posting the recipes we create here so others going through the Elimination Diet or with food allergies can test them as well!

My favorite leg & booty busters!

It’s been awhile since I have shared a workout since I have been down with pneumonia. But it feels great to be back in the gym! I kicked off this week with LEG DAY and this awesome routine from my girl Amy over at Cinnamon Toast Squats!

Cinnamon Toast Squats

As I am constantly recommending my favorite leg/ booty workouts to my clients – I figure I might as well just share it with the rest of the world! Now, I am not saying these are the absolute best things you could ever do – I am just saying these are my favorites and boy, do they burn!~!

The obvious: Squats (Wide Stance)

Bodybuilding.com Instructional Video Link

One-Legged Glute Cable Kickbacks

Bodybuilding.com Instructional Video Link

Smith-Machine Lunges

Dr. Stacey Naito Instructional Link

Leg Extensions

Bodybuilding.com Instructional Video Link

Leg Press

Bodybuilding.com Instructional Video Link

Walking Dumbbell Lunges

Bodybuilding.com Instructional Video Link

Donkey Kicks w/ Leg Curl Machine

Tonya Pennington Instructional Video Link

Barbell Glute Bridges

Bodybuilding.com Instructional Video Link

Glute Pushdowns

FitnessRxMag Instructional Video

So some of these are very basic, but like I said they are my favorite!! As far as reps go, do what is best for you. 4…

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The Annual Review

I am an analyst by occupation. I am an adventurer by birth and I am a romantic at heart. So what does all of that mean? It means I spend the majority of my time  ALL OF MY TIME thinking, planning, heavily contemplating every conversation, interaction, quote, piece or art or expression on someone’s face. The end of the year is no different and if you have spoken with me in the last few weeks then I am sure you have heard all about my hopes, dreams and aspirations for 2015. I have been planning my entire life. 2014 was different though and I suspect 2015 will be as well. You see, in 2014 I finally started putting action steps to my plans. I can’t say 2014 went as planned, but I am certainly not where I was when I started. Since 2011 I have outlined a theme for the upcoming year in lieu of making a New Year’s resolution. This is something that I can focus on throughout the entire year but that touches multiple aspects of my life, not just one area.

  • 2011 – The Art Year, A year to focus on creating, learning, and seeing Art! This included participating in Art shows, selling art, spinning up an up cycled accessories company, traveling to some of the best art museums in the US and lots and lots of creating.
  • 2012 – The Balance Year, A year to find balance at home, work, and everywhere in between. I didn’t perfect my handstand as I has hoped but I did give yoga a solid go and realized that Bikram is some seriously difficult stuff. I took a real vacation and actually checked out of work for the first time since starting my career.
  • 2013 – The Adventure Year, A year of exploring and seeking out the extreme! From lapping the IMS at 180mph in an Indy Car to jumping out of a plane at 14,000 ft, to making a major shift in my career , 2013 definitely lived up to it’s name.
  • 2014 – The New Year, A year to reinvent myself and show the world who I really am.

I knew going into 2014 that this was going to be different, it had to be by design. As I sat on my bed writing my 2013 retrospective last New Year’s Day I knew that I was going to have to turn my focus inward for 2014 and rediscover who I really am. In that moment I had no idea just what that would mean or how I was going to do it, but I decided I was going to give myself a year to figure it out. I started by jotting down a list of what I envisioned my life to be like. What I realized in writing this list is that I had components of the life I wanted but it wasn’t cohesive. I was living parts of the life I wanted but there were so many areas where I was falling short. Here are a few things I jotted down on New Year’s Day to help me put some rails on this Year of New:

  • Travel w/ Friends
  • Take a spontaneous trip
  • Read more books
  • Spend time alone
  • Reconnect with God
  • Be a better friend and family member (be present!)
  • Write
  • Let people know that they matter to me
  • Take care of myself
  • Build a happy home

I now had the building blocks for an amazing year but I still had no idea where to start or a plan in place. But one of the most important things I learned this year is that the plan isn’t everything. A friend and I kicked off the year by planning a Girl’s Only trip to the Dominican Republic which not only checked off the box of traveling with friends but also lit a fire under me to start hitting the gym. Our trip was scheduled for March so I started hitting the gym in January and then did my first 24 Day Challenge in February. Had we not planned that trip I don’t know that I would have gotten the start I did last January and I honestly can’t say that anything else in 2014 would have gone as it did with those 2 seemingly unrelated choices. Through this I met some of the most amazing, supportive, and motivating people.

My girls- the source of my support, motivation, encouragement!

My girls- the source of my support, motivation, encouragement!

These people went from strangers to my largest supporters in a matter of weeks. My new routine consisted of 4:30am workouts on painfully cold Indiana Winter Mornings. Meal prep on Sundays, quitting smoking and giving up alcohol for 30 days, for the first time since I college no doubt. These first few weeks of the year set the tone for what the rest of the year would hold. I realized the importance of ACTION and I began taking action on all of the plans,dreams and choices I had been pondering for the years leading up to 2014.

First official dinner party in my new place!

First official dinner party in my new place!

I moved into a new home, one that I actually enjoy spending time in. It’s in a neighborhood I love and just down the street from one of my best friends.  This was another major moment and catalyst for my New Year. I had always been scared of being alone. I am the youngest of 4 girls so I grew up in a bustling home where I was seldom alone. I had 3 roommates my first year of college and lived with my best friend for the next 3. Being on the road for work, living out of a hotel room was the closest I had come to living alone. Loving your surroundings and being surrounded by the things you love is an incredibly freeing and uplifting feeling. This has allowed me to focus on my art on the days that I can’t get my mind to rest, to spend more time alone reading books and to spend my restless nights learning to love baking! Again, 1 moment of action led to accomplishing far more than I ever could have imagined.

D & I hiking up to the Great Continental Divide!

D & I hiking up to the Great Continental Divide!

I reconnected with my college roommate by adding a few extra days onto a business trip in Colorado. I fell in love with the mountains and a week later I bought another plane ticket to Colorado and we road tripped to Moab, UT. We hiked the desert and I found myself happy and loving life for the first time in a really long time as we sat around a fire and I looked up to the most star filled sky I have ever seen. I learned a lot in My New Year but the one thing that just keeps coming back to me is the importance of Action. One trip lead to one workout. One workout lead to a new friendship. One new friendship lead to a whole world of opportunity. Within the first 12 days of 2014 I could already see a difference in myself. What started off as a fitness journey has strengthened my body, my spirit, my confidence, my friendships, my family and my finances.  Whatever it is that you are seeking I encourage you to keep your eyes open to the opportunities, take the first step even if you don’t know where the path may lead you. A year from now, you’ll be so glad that you did! 2015 – The Yes Year. Who is coming with me?

It all starts with the first step!

It all starts with the first step!

The Grind (Part I)

I’d like to start off by saying I am NOT a certified trainer, nutritionist, dietician, coach, or anything else related to health/fitness. When I decided to reclaim my life I had no idea where to start, how to start or when to start. I would watch in the background on social media, in the gym and scouring the internet (hehmmm Pinterest) for workout ideas & inspiration but I was still so consumed with fear that I continually put off my start date & remained unhappy with where I was. If the only thing I accomplish by sharing my journey is to help one person find the courage and confidence to take that first step then I will feel like this has been a success. In efforts to meet this goal I am going to start sharing my workouts periodically as I know for many of us that is the hardest part. It’s hard to know what to do, how to do it, how often to do it and what logically makes sense to do together. Again, I’m not a trainer, my workouts were not developed by a trainer and I do support/endorse a trainer at this point. This is just what I do and what I have had success with. Ok, now that we have that cleared up – Let’s Grind!

Today’s Workout:

Targeted Muscle Groups: Shoulders, Back & Abs l Duration: 56 minutes Total Calories Burned: 547

2 mile Treadmill  Warmup

*adjust incline & speed based off your current capabilities

Set incline 2.0, adjust speed from 3.5 – 4.2 over the course of .25 mile

Remain inclined to 2.0 and adjust speed to 5.2 continue to adjust speed up to 6.2 for the next .75 mile

Adjust incline to 6.0 and reduce speed to 4.0 walk for .50 mile

Reduce incline to 1.5 and increase speed to 6.5 for .50 mile

By adjusting your speed and incline over the course of the 2 mile routine you are creating a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout instead of doing 20-25 minutes of straight cardio at the same speed. HIIT workouts are favored for a lot of reasons from their no equipment or facility necessary approach to their cardiac and fat burning benefits. This isn’t anything new but for me it was. There is a lot of research out there on the benefits of HIIT, if you haven’t read up on it I highly recommend you do. This is a great infographic from The Greatest that covers the basics, science, history & benefits of HIIT.

The Complete Guide to Interval Training

More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.

Next I moved on to my favorite part of every day….

LIFTING! 

One Arm Dumbbell Row : 3×8 @20lbs

Arnold Press: 3×8 @12lbs

Incline Shoulder Raise: 3×8 @15lbs

Low Row: 3×10 @45lbs ( I am working on increasing this so I do my first 2 sets at 45lbs and my last set I increase to the next weight -55lbs) I superset these w/ my Lat Pull Downs (meaning instead of taking a rest between sets I hop over and do my pull downs and then switch back- this helps keep your heart rate up while doing these exercises)

Lat Pull Down : 3×10 @55lbs superset w/ Low Row

Assisted Pullups/Chinups: 3×8 1st & last set are chinups middle set is pullups. Chinups I am currently at 35 lbs assistance ( I started w/ 120 lbs assistance) and pullups I am at 45lbs assistance currently. You can either do these with a band or on an assisted pull-up machine. I use the machine.

Abs *this is NOT a cool own

I often see people laying on the ground, texting, twirling their hair, checking out their reflection, etc during abs. My .02, if I am in the gym I am going to WORK IT. By keeping a consistent pace while doing your ab circuits you are keeping your heart rate up an continuing to burn calories & get in a cardiac workout (GASP!) without actually running/cycling etc.

Captain’s Chair Leg Raise – 3×10 (body weight) This is that weird looking arm/chair thing. If you cannot hold your form on it you can bend your knees or you can lay on a bench and use your abs to lift your legs overhead there

3 min Plank (WHAT AM I CRAZY?) Kidding, it’s really not too bad

first 30 seconds regular forearm plank

30 seconds left side plank

30 seconds right side plank

30 seconds regular forearm plank

30 seconds push up plank

30 seconds around-the-world plank (lift 1 extremity off of the floor, balance and then move on to the next one so right hand up, put it back down, right foot up, put it back down, left foot up, etc)

SEE I told you it wasn’t that bad!

V-Ups 25

Supermans – 10, holding each contraction for 10 seconds

Weighted side-bends – 2×10 each side (hold a 25 lb weight in your right hand and place your left hand straight down. stand with your feet shoulder width apart and slightly bend to the left side being sure to contract your abs throughout the entire motion, return to center and then repeat. You should be doing all 10 on one side at a time)

The BEST Protein Pancakes

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a bit of a protein junkie. I am also a SUCKER for breakfast food so my obsession with creating high protein breakfast foods is only natural. I have been working on my Protein Pancake recipe for awhile now and I finally found the winner! Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 egg whites

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/3 banana (mashed)

Dash of cinnamon

Instructions: Whip the egg whites for 2 minutes with a fork then add in remaining ingredients being sure to not over mix. The texture should be lumpy. Spray skillet w/ nonstick (I use coconut oil spray) and warm over medium heat. Having a warm skillet is essential in keeping the batter from spreading out too thin. Using a 1/2 c measuring cup scoop the batter onto the skillet. Watch for the batter to bubble up and then flip once. Top w/ fresh fruit, honey, hazelnut spread or pure maple syrup!

The Reflection in the Mirror

I’d like to thank Sarah for taking the time to share part of her story with us! It has been truly amazing to follow her throughout her weight loss journey. For more inspiration from Sarah check out her bio and follow her on Instagram @SaAbernathy .

What do you think when you look in the mirror? If you are like the old me you probably take a look in the mirror and are instantly critiquing various aspects of yourself and pointing out what you believe are flaws, “I could lose some inches here”, “I wish my hair was like this”, “I don’t like my smile”, and the list can go on and on.  My question is: what good is that doing for you?  It isn’t doing any good, because by tearing yourself down you are keeping yourself further from your goals.

sarah_abernathy

I spent a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, “Man, if only I was a few pounds thinner I would look better” or “why don’t people think of me this way.” What I didn’t realize is by me thinking of myself negatively I was inviting people to view me that way as well.  I would become depressed when I looked in the mirror, which is not a healthy way to live.  I would think I want to make these changes: lose some pounds, drop a size, etc., but instead of doing something about it I turned to eating junk food.  It became a vicious cycle for me, and honestly one I had battled since I was about 10 years old.  To be completely real I didn’t realize just how much I had let my weight yo-yo over the years until looking back through photos.  How did I let myself lose the weight to gain it all back over and over?!

How did I manage to break this cycle?  What caused the change this time? The vow I made to myself this year was to point out the positives I have in my life.  It was a slow process to change my mental point of view on myself…I would start by complimenting something small like how stunning my eyes looked, how well my hair may look that day, the love I have for my family; friends; and pets.  Slowly I started adding new pieces to the list every day, I am smart, kind, caring, good at my job. I started finding and acknowledging the pieces of myself that I liked.  This is when I began to notice the changes my body was making and soon my entire view on life had changed.  I have become happier, healthier, and more emotionally stable and it all started with the way I was viewing myself in the mirror.

My challenge to you is to spend one week looking in the mirror and giving yourself compliments.  Do NOT look for flaws, do NOT look for pieces to critique, but compliment yourself and you will see just how much it will change your entire day, continue practicing the act of loving yourself and the habit will become second nature.


Sending positive thoughts your way.

– Sarah

The Fit Girl’s Gift Guide

Whether you’re looking to blow her away and take her love for fitness to the next level or just looking to add some fitness fun to her stocking I’ve got you covered!

Here are my top 10 Fit Girl must haves that are sure to please the Fit Girl in your fam!

IMG_2229

Polar Heart Rate Monitor – $100 – $200+

There are a ton of options when it comes to wearable fitness trackers. I have tried others but absolutely love my Polar! For me, the biggest difference is that it actually tracks your heart rate to give you an accurate read on calories burned through any type of workout. If your Fit Girl primarily lifts, runs on a treadmill or other indoor/gym type workouts than a model like the FT7 (what I have) will cover all of the bases. But, if she runs/cycles outdoors you may want to look at one of the higher end models that include GPS tracking so she can use 1 device to track all aspects of her workout (distance, elevation, caloric burn, etc).

Lululemon Wonder Under Pants (Roll Down) – $100

If she doesn’t have a pair of Lulu pants, you will change her life. If she already has a pair then she knows they are magic and will be ecstatic to add another pair to her workout wardrobe! The Wonder Under are their most popular pant and the high-waisted roll down version are every girls dream. Wear the high waist band unrolled to keep everything in place when going out for a big meal during inversions or roll it down on skinny days  when lifting or running!

Nike Free (Trainers) – $100

Ok, so these may not be the perfect shoe for every girl. But, if your Fit Girl is into weightlifting then she will LOVE these! The Free style is flexible and allows your foot to move naturally, allowing you to really grip into the ground and evenly disburse your weight. So whether she is getting low in squats or perfecting her cleans she’ll be able to grip the ground beneath her without letting her perfectly pedicured bare feet touch the nasty gym floors!

Victoria Secret Incredible Sport Bra – $50.00

Let’s face it, your Fit Girl spends a lot of time in a sport bra. She needs one that is not only supportive but breathes. I love this model because of the v-neck front that allows my chest to breathe a little more than a conventional sport bra in addition to it’s very airy fabric!

Trigger Point Foam Roller – $40.00

Rest and recovery are two of the most neglected parts of the fitness lifestyle. Sure you could get her a massage but give your Fit Girl this recovery tool and she’ll be thanking you all year! This foam roller has a textured surface that helps stimulate blood flow while massaging tight muscles and eliminating knots & kinks!

Passion Planner – $25.00

Help your Fit Girl stay focused on her goals and measure her success with this Passion Planner. Not only will this help with her fitness goals but it gives her one place to task out all of her todo lists whether that be at work, home or in the gym! (I’m actually giving away one of these free, check my previous post for details!)

*2015 Passion Planners are currently in production and will not ship until January so print off a cute little note and wrap it up. Even though she has to wait, she will NOT be disappointed!

Activate Apparel Funny Workout Tanks – $20.00

There are plenty of things in life that need to be taken seriously, fitness apparel does not need to be one of those. Check out the plethora of funny & inspirational fitness tanks from Activate Apparel to bring a little fun into your Fit Girl’s workout routine! They are printed on super soft American Apparel tanks and are sure to be a favorite in her rotation!

House of Marley Redemption Song Headphones – MASSIVELY ON SALE $15.00

I randomly picked up a pair of these in an airport after forgetting mine and I have to say, I am converted! I have gone through some rather expensive pairs of earbuds in the last year and these bad boys check all of the boxes at 1/2 the price (and they are even more discounted right now!) They have a fabric cable making them more durable and less likely to end up in a tangled mess every time she pulls them out of her gym bag, they have some serious bass and if Meghan Trainor hasn’t already made the point this year – It’s All About That Bass!

Blender Bottle Sport Mixer – $14.00

You will find me with a Blender Bottle in hand 80% of the time, about 60% of the time it will be my Sport Mixer – my absolutely favorite water bottle in my (way too large to admit) collection of water bottles. Every Blender Bottle comes w/ their signature Blender Ball that keeps your sups & protein from clumping together and becoming a nasty mess but the Sport Mixer also comes in a black bottle instead of clear preventing those unsightly supplement stains & has a loop on the lid so that she can fasten it to her gym bag w/ a carabiner preventing any gym bag mishaps!

Bobino Headphone Cord Wrapper – $2.99

Whether you have opted to get your Fit Girl the Marley headphones (which you should) or you just want to reduce her frustration with her existing headphones I highly recommend the cord wrappers from Bobino! I hate having my earbud cords flying around while on the treadmill or getting tangled up in my arms as I lift weights. These easy to use cord wraps will let her use just the right amount of cord for whatever activity she is performing! No more accidentally yanking her headphones from ears while sprinting on the treadmill!

*I am not paid to endorse any of these products. These are simply MY favorites. 🙂

The Goal

If someone were to come to you right now and ask what your goal is, what would you say? You have 1 minute, 20 words or less – how would you define your goal? <stop reading, WRITE IT DOWN>

For most of my life I have found this exercise to be impossible so don’t fret if you weren’t able to jot it down. One, I am not short on words so summarizing isn’t really my thing. Two, I typically have multiple goals swirling around in my brain and my heart at once, how could I pick just one? Is the one I pick the most important one? Or is it simply the one that I am most comfortable sharing depending on who has asked. For example; If someone in the gym were to approach me I’d like tell them about my goal to complete 1 unassisted pull up by January 1st. But, if my boss were to ask me I may say “to take on more responsibility and grow my role as a leader” – this is a sound goal to have, right? On the other hand, if my Granny were to ask I may tell her about my goal to “reconnect with my faith & be a more active in my religious community”, again a sound and very real goal for me. But what if my best friend asked, the one person who knows all the different, weird, passionate parts of me and who understands the burning desires that live deep in my heart – what would I tell her? This is the goal I want you to write down. See this is the reason that all of your other goals exist. They exist to help you achieve this burning desire that lives inside of you. This is YOUR PURPOSE. Just as being in shape and having a solid career and faith will enable me to pursue my purpose, your goals will help you live yours!

I IMG_2191shared a transformation picture on my Instagram account today. If you have been following my fitness journey you know that this not my most epic before and after photo. I gained a significant amount of weight in the 2 years that followed the before picture but that wasn’t really the point of the post. The point of the post is that the girl on the left had a goal – to get in shape – and the girl she became for the next 2 years abandoned that goal. It was easy to abandon the fitness goal because there wasn’t a larger vision in sight. There wasn’t a purpose behind the goal. There was nothing to keep her accountable. There weren’t milestone laid out to keep her motivated or track her progress. She wasn’t working towards the life she wanted, she was just going through the motions.

My goal purpose is to help other women live life on their own terms by enabling them through education, fitness and friendship. It has taken me a long time to define what it is that I want to live for but now that I know my purpose it is impossible for me give up.

I recently discovered something that instantly made it to the top of my Christmas List and I’d like to share it with you! Passion Planner describes itself as a “life coach that fits in your backpack.” I’ve read their bio (Seriously, Angelia Trinidad is one inspiring chic!), watched their Kickstarter video and I cannot think of a tool or organization that I would like to support more than this one! I’m going to give away a Passion Planner to 1 lucky reader, so if you are ready to define your goals and start living your purpose like and share this post with your preferred social network and you’ll be entered to win! I’ll be drawing the winner’s name on 12/17 so that the Passion Planner will arrive in January and give you a full year for dreaming, planning, tracking and journaling about living the life that you were made for!