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Perspective

Life is unfair.

Like legit unfair.

Today I attended the wake of a friend.
She has two boys and I met her at the YMCA where I worked for years.
She always told me that I was her (just ten years behind). My boy raising stories were just like hers. Besides raising boys, we both shared a love for fitness. I was drawn to her laugh, smile, energy, positivity, and the way she raved about her family. I also loved that she was passionate as I am a firm believe in living out your passions in life. Nancy sure lived live to the fullest, and one of my greatest memories was meeting up with her at a Green Bay Packers game and doing a toast to her favorite team. Man did she love her Packers (so my hubby and her obviously connected too). 

So as my boys and I attended the wake tonight, which I am still in shock about…..I realized that life’s twists and turns do not have to have a reason or make sense. There is NO reason these boys lost their Mom so soon, that I did at their same ages, or that all of us go through heart-wrenching pain in life at times. But I do know it makes us have perspective. It makes us stronger in time.

So as I took my boys to dinner tonight afterwards, I vowed to continue to love them unconditionally, be their biggest cheerleader and fan, be at all of their events, to help them live their passions, to have energy to be with them everyday fully, to make memories and have fun with them— just like Nancy.
And I hope my guys continue to adore me just as her boys do.

Life is unfair. 💔

So no making sense or finding a reason for the things that simply do not or cannot have one. Things don’t always happen for a reason.

They just give you perspective and make you stronger.IMG_9788.JPG

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Indianapolis– first timer

IMG_9311 This past weekend I was in Indianapolis for a convention. Yes, we took over the city!

It was my first time there, not sure what to expect. I was surprised at the charm, the restaurants, how close everything was to our conference venue and how easy it was to find my way around.

I got to eat at three restaurants that were highly recommended by locals. When I am in a new place, I love to do research and eat where the locals recommend. I had steak, halibut and I tried a Paleo-Influenced hot spot for their amazing lunch.

I even had an hour photoshoot at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in the center of the city. The waterfalls and great architecture were stunning backdrops for photos. I chatted with my shuttle driver about the city. I met a friend for a run down the Canal and ran past the NCAA Hall of Fame. I went to a local and eclectic coffee shop. It rained a little, but I enjoyed the weather as it wasn’t too hot or too stormy.

I’ll be back again next year.

My recommendations for visiting new cities- soak up the sights, chat with the locals, eat where the locals would (stay away from the chains) and enjoy the culture and feeling of a new city!

Indy you treated me well and I was pleasantly surprised by your beauty, hospitality, charm and all that you had to offer!

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Patience is a virtue

So I am on week eight of really limiting my carbs and sugar to ward off Candida for good! I found out I had it after months of strange symptoms, one being weight gain/belly fat coming on! Everything I read told me to cut out sugar and carbs completely– but insert a girls weekend and Thanksgiving and I couldn’t do it 100% on my own as I would cave.

Insert a test group, a chance to learn how to eat higher-fat with lower-carbs and moderate protein. I knew it would be exactly what I needed to stay the course and get myself better. I said yes, but was a bit scared of the lifestyle to come.

I am happy to report that I feel SO much better. I have lost 8″– and seeing it in my tummy which is my trouble area is HUGE. I am no longer bloated. My sugar cravings are kicked. I feel strong, and lean muscle is appearing all over. I don’t feel deprived, and am really enjoying my foods of eggs, veggies, nuts, homemade salad dressings, seeds, spaghetti squash casserole, bacon, zucchini noodles, grass-fed meatballs, cauliflower rice, lots of different proteins and the list goes on. It has forced me to get rid of some bad habits like grabbing kettle chips, an RX bar in my daily life. Things add up when you don’t pay attention to them. I am limiting my carbs to under 100 a day- but no, this is not Ketosis which would be under 50g a day. For me, personally, I don’t want to limit certain veggies and nutrients that are essential to my health so 100g is a lifestyle to me, not under 50 and having to be deprived of what I need for good health.

The scale hasn’t dropped a significant amount, and I am accepting that. I have released about 4 pounds– but the inches and how I feel are what is teaching me to be patient and keep trusting the process. Some bodies drop weight, some change into muscle and drop inches. I am happy that I feel strong, and leaner— and that was my goal and I’ll keep seeing what I can do!

I am excited to see what happens in the last handful of weeks and I do plan to move forward with this way of eating. It has been fairly easy to follow, and when something fits into your lifestyle AND makes you feel good– it gives you the motivation to keep going forward!

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Healthy Vacation Hacks

I used to go on vacation and come back so bloated, and not happy with the jump in the scale. But in the last three years, I have learned how to really enjoy vacation but not go too crazy and come home the exact same! I work hard, and I really don’t want a vacation to blow my health goals, and I also want to enjoy and not be too strict on vacation either. Here are my top TIPS:

  1. ) Bring a water bottle. I fill it up every chance I get- at the airport, at the hotel. If I am in a third world country I find water bottles and fill it up. You have to stay hydrated and it helps keep your digestion going while traveling too which can get really messed up.
  2. ) Bring healthy snacks. My favorite snacks to pack with me are: almonds, almond butter packets (Justin’s brand sells them in singles), Shakeology (never miss a day), and Rx bars. This will help fill the gaps in the day if you only eat breakfast/dinner when traveling or keep you from starving and then grabbing something bad!
  3. ) Exercise. I always, always exercise. I stream 30-min workouts on my laptop or phone (reach out to me if you want to know how to do this). I bring running shoes as I love to explore new places with a run. I can try out their gym, or see if the resort offers classes. Heck, I even teach my own classes. You can always find exercise options while traveling! It’s important to move your body each day.
  4. ) Fill up on proteins and veggies. At each meal, I fill up on protein and veggies. I stay away from the breads, donuts, carbs and extra sugar….BUT I do save it for a few of my favorite things like wine with dinner and maybe a shared dessert. I don’t go crazy at buffets– keeping my protein and veggie rule. I just don’t feel good when I go crazy, so I am super mindful and then choose my splurges and limit them.
  5. ) I don’t eat or drink late at night. I don’t eat after dinner. I don’t have drinks past 9pm, that’s just me. I can’t sleep at night when I drink late, and then I am super tired the next day. So happy hour and dinner are my wine-o-clock time and after that it’s water.
  6. ) Sleep. I always aim for 7-8 hours of sleep on vacation. I am not the best sleeper in hotels or away, especially the first night but I try my best to get enough rest. It usually means that on vacation I go to bed at 10:30/11 and I am up at 6:30 or 7. I am not a sleep-in late kinda gal so I can’t pull a past midnight bedtime or again, I’ll be super tired and crabby the next day. So know your body and get your allotted sleep!

Hope this helps keep YOU on track when you travel! IMG_4374

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Week two strong

My week and a half journey into my new eating plan has me feeling ah-mazing.

It’s crazy how when I have a plan and people to hold me accountable, I can succeed and reach my goals! I mean I’m not quite there, but I know I will be as I am seeing and feeling great results with this. I am eating more protein, more fats, more veggies and less carbs, no sugar right now. I eat 3 meals a day, all are 500 calories. It’s filling and tasty. My eating window is 10-6pm each day.

It’s a little of an adjustment getting used to waiting until 10am to eat, after a 6am workout but my body is learning to adjust. I like shutting down the kitchen at 6pm and being done for the night- just hot tea and water. It’s crazy how we “think” we are hungry, but really we eat out of boredom or bad habit.

There’s a lot of power in a group to hold you accountable– so if you need to make some changes feel free to reach out. I am happy to help you on your journey.

 

xoxo,

Coach BridgetIMG_4183

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My High-Fat/Low Carb Life Week 1

This week I embarked on the start of a 12-week journey. One that is very different from my current way of eating. This plan has me consuming more proteins, fats and taking out carbs. I am also eating within an 8-hour window and fasting for 16 hours, which is intermittent fasting. This basically will help me use fat for fuel instead of carbs/glycogen. I usually do my workouts fasted, but then I eat right after. For this, I will wait until 10am each day to break my fast.

I am excited to see what happens in the 12-weeks, and with a trip to Jamaica and the holidays in there. 🙂 I know it will be great for me- to not only get rid of my Candidaistis symptoms but to teach me more about fitness, nutrition and my body.

The first day wasn’t an issue moving my eating window, or not eating carbs. The second day I was a little woozy at about 9/9:30am before my 10am breakfast time– but I stayed busy and had water and coffee (without anything added to break the fast.) My body felt much better today, so I am getting used to this new schedule and filling up on healthy meals that are keeping me satisfied. It’s nice to get rid of the mindless snacking and eating at night after dinner- something I haven’t quite been able to do on my own lately. Those habits seem to sneak back in. It’s funny how we let habits just creep back in, but when we have a plan and the accountability we can stick to it long term! There’s power in accountability!

Will this be the plan for me long-term? Who knows. It’s worth a try. I have access to professionals who are leading me through it (one doctor, one celebrity trainer, one who has written a book on this way of eating and one who has been eating this way for years while raising a family of four kiddos). I figure I can’t pass up the opportunity to learn and grow. Will it be hard? Yes. Will it challenge me? Yes. But there are SO many more things out there that are HARD. Not eating my favorite splurges or having wine is NOT the end of the world. It’s 12-weeks. It will help me to feel really good. There are people out there suffering from diseases, so this is NOT that hard. 🙂 It’s all a mindset and perspective.

I’m excited to see what happens as just on the third day I have dropped some bloat and puffiness from my mid-section that has been there for a while with my Candidiasis! Stay tuned….IMG_4102

 

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My A.C Life….

Welcome to my A.C life– my journey of beating the overgrowth of Candida. We all have candida in our body- a bad bacteria that is amongst the good bacteria to keep our PH balance. However, if the bad overgrows the strong it can cause some serious issues to your health and gut. You can get this by taking antibiotics (which happened to me), or leading a life with a lot of sugar, alcohol, stress or even diabetes.

I had a lot of symptoms over the past few months that haven’t made any sense- fatigue, like bad. I had major digestion issues, so uncomfortable and caused me a lot of pain. Brain fog- not able to concentrate AT ALL. I even had heart rate/breathing issues. My muscles were so heavy, my runs were two minutes slower a mile- no joke. I had NO idea what was wrong with me. I tried changing my workouts, I stopped running and did weights. I ate more, I ate less, I rested more. Nothing was working.

I finally saw the color of my tongue change to more of a white, and knew something was not right so that’s how I discovered it was the overgrowth of Candida. Many have this condition and don’t know, as doctors may not know much about it or how to treat it properly.

I did tons of research and chatted with a few people, and decided to take my own route for now on beating it. It’s all diet-based. Candida likes sugar and starchy carbs, and that’s what causes all the symptoms because the more of that you have the more it grows. No wonder why I was having so many cravings- I thought it was because of running season. 🙂

I have changed to all lean protein (grass-fed/organic), veggies, healthy fats eating regimen to help kill off the candida overgrowth. I hear it takes 30 days and then you need to be careful on introducing some foods back in, as it could come back. I am being careful. It’s a huge change for me to not eat fruits, carbs right now but after 9 days I am feeling SO much better. That to me is motivation to keep going. It’s my “new” normal. Yes it’s hard to pass up certain things that I enjoy, but when it’s about my health- I am determined to do what I can. On top of my family, there’s nothing I value more than good health (if I can help it!)

I’ll show you my progress pictures later this week just to share how much the inflammation has gone down in the past nine days.

I am Candida strong– nothing will get me down, if I can help it! Keep fighting the good fight– for your health. There may be bumps in the road, but it’s all a part of YOUr journey. It makes you unique, and hopefully I can help others who may go through this at some point in their life.

Adios Candida!

 

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Seasons of Change!

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Just like in the Fall, the leaves are letting go of anything that is not serving them– do you do this as well?

I think the Fall is a great way to look at your life and see what doesn’t serve you.

-Are your relationships healthy? (Can you let go of any that aren’t)

-How is your time management? (Is there anything that you can say no to)

-How is your health routine? (do you need to cut out bad habits, get back into working out regularly, stop the never-ending splurges and get back to feeling good)

-Do you feel happy? (Assess what may be bringing you down and make a plan to change it)

-Do you spend enough quality time with kiddos and spouse? (if not, make time for that to happen this Fall).

We only have ONE life. It gets busy. We get complacent. We go through the motions with our to-do list, sometimes executing without heart and feeling robotic. Now is the time to evaluate anything that doesn’t serve you and LET IT GO.

I am vowing to spend more quality time with family- no screens, no distractions. Making date night a priority. I am saying NO to doing things that don’t serve me and I’m honoring my commitments. I am also dialing in my nutrition ten-fold. No more splurges, I am in a group where I have to pay $5 for each splurge. I will save up for a glass of wine on an event night on the weekend, but other than that– all real, clean, whole foods. I was rewarded a trip to Jamaica in December for my hard work this year of helping people, and I have some goals that I have yet to get to since my summer vacation that threw me off-track. I know what I need to do, so it’s time to really get serious.

Take a moment today to make a list of the things you can change this Fall- with your health, your mindset, your time, your routine and make sure you are DOING something about it. No more wishing, it’s time to take action!

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Saying NO means saying YES to YOU!

Fall is our busy season. You know, each family has “seasons” where they are more busy than others (typically, although for some it’s year round). Fall is ours, and again in Spring. In Fall, we have both boys in different sports, so every night of the week we are off to practice or a game. My husband travels and this year it is five trips within two months. Throw in a kiddo birthday, a handful of weekend commitments, relatives coming to town, a sickness, a contractor here in early Sept and it all adds up to be A LOT! You all can relate because we all have “seasons”.

One of my ways of handling all that life throws at me during this season (and really all seasons because it’s who I am and what’s important to me) is to make sure my health is a priority– mentally, physically and emotionally. What does this mean? It means the following are NOT an option to get moved off my priority list:

Daily Exercise (in the form of my at-home programs in my basement or maybe teaching Cycle or taking a run).

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Eating clean (saving for some of my fav splurges like wine, So Delicious Cashew Ice Cream or Dark Chocolate and PB cups),

Sleeping 7-8 hours (yes I am OK with going upstairs at 10pm, or being the first one to leave a party on a weekend because if I don’t sleep everything goes downhill). I don’t sleep in. Mornings are the best part of my day. I get up and workout at 6am every day, 6:45 or 7 on Saturday. I am NOT an night-owl as I can’t sleep in. The only way I feel rested, recharged and able to tackle all that I do is if I sleep about 10:30-6.

ME Time (which may be a bath, a walk, catching a favorite show like “This is Us”). It’s easy to not have time for this, but I now carve out that time even if it’s 10 minutes).

 

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I am a firm believe that we have to take care of ourselves to be able to go at mock 10 speed and give to everyone else. If my cup isn’t filled, nobody’s cup can be filled because I am empty.

Some weeks are tougher, and I may not be able to answer phone calls or touch base with friends but I know that when I come up for air I’ll be able to catch up and that everyone understands. I am making ME a priority, on top of my family and that’s what matters!

So, I am here to remind you that saying NO means saying YES to you. It’s ok if you don’t do your extra volunteering this busy season, or you say no to a dinner out, or you have to pass on an invitation on the weekend.

Sometimes when life is busy, we need to squeeze every second of time that we have to just feel centered and breathe so that we can keep up with the “season”. True friends will understand, and so will those that also are in tune with themselves enough to know that it’s important to take care of yourself when you are busy being there for everyone else!

So cheers to saying NO, and saying YES to you. Just like trees that are turning colors this season; they are changing and getting ready to let go of anything weighing them down. It’s ok for you to let go of anything weighing you down in your “season” so you can focus on the right things to keep up with it all and also maintain your own health & sanity!

 

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Fit is a Mentality….not a size!

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This weekend I had the honor of hearing Shaun T speak, his words have been sticking with me over the past few days.

One of the quotes he said was, “Being fit is a mentality, not a size.”

How often do we beat ourselves up by saying any of the following:

“I am not where I want to be.”

“I used to be better.”

“She is more fit than me.”

And the list goes on……

What if you just got to work– treating your body right by eating good, daily exercise? You would then feel good and have the energy to keep going. You’d feel less bloated. Your mental fog and lack of energy would lift. Endorphins post-workout would help you feel great about your day and what you did. Then you’d want to do it again.

Can you imagine how great you’d feel a few weeks down the road, or even months, and heck one year later? We need to take baby steps in the right direction and just focus on being strong mentally– telling ourselves we can do it: eating right, working out. The rest will happen.

I often beat myself up- I used to be better, how do I get back? What am I doing wrong? Instead I am reminded to just stay strong mentally- and focus on the doing. If I take that emotional baggage with me, the downward spiral will happen. If I am not happy inside or mentally strong, it shows up in my family, marriage, work, etc… that bad boy trickles into life!

So today, I am mentally strong. I am focusing on the doing! I will not beat myself up for what may have been better before. I will focus on the wins- I feel stronger now that I am doing more heavy lifting. When I physically feel strong, it helps me mentally feel strong. (they go hand-in-hand.) I feel the energy to take on big things! The rest will happen.

There is no size or shape that defines fit. Fit is having the mentality to work on you, day after day with the good and bad days. Not throwing in the towel for good. Staying the course, maybe adjusting and tweaking, yes having bumps but not completely going off the road.

The question is, will you remind yourself to do the same?