Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Healthy Living Philosophy

I get a lot of messages asking what my diet/exercise "secrets" are and how I manage to stay looking so young at 33 years old. I'm certainly no expert on any of these subjects, but I'm happy to share with you my personal habits and beliefs.

First off, I'd like to say that genetics and having a high metabolism plays a big role. My body is naturally very thin, and I was even made fun of for being too skinny growing up. The only reason I even have curves on my skinny frame is due to the fact that I was a gymnast, played numerous sports and was a cheerleader all throughout school, and I managed to put on some muscle mass. I was also a sprinter at a university whose track & field program had won 42 national championships at the time I enrolled. The amount of running, weight-lifting, and basic all-around constant athletic movement my body was always going through created a muscle memory that my body has held onto long after I stopped competing. Even after college, I joined all sorts of local rec leagues such as softball, flag football, kickball, basketball, and even dodgeball, so I've stayed pretty active since then.

After college, it was weird for me to go to the gym. I was used to our trainers having our workouts written up on the whiteboard every day, and we not only had a partner who was similar to our size to work out with, but we also had a legitimate reason to be in there. We had a track meet that weekend. We were training to be faster so that we could win. We had a GOAL. Once I graduated and walked into my first gym, I felt so lost. What was my goal now? I could see a few girls in there on the cardio machines obviously trying to keep those extra lbs off, but why were all those huge muscle-y guys in there? More often than not, they weren't athletes of any sort, and they weren't in bodybuilding contests, so they were strictly in there for the purposes of vanity. I was just so weirded out by that. None of those things motivated me. I clearly didn't need to keep any weight off, and I wasn't competing anymore, so in the beginning, I just walked around and did random stuff I remembered from my college workouts. I had no pattern to my workout whatsoever. I honestly would rather have just gotten my workout from my rec league sports activity, which is what I basically ended up doing.

A few years ago, I joined a gym that had just opened near my house--which is my current gym--and I decided to get a trainer who would walk around with me every day and have a set workout for me to follow. I loved it! Every day was different, and he watched me very closely to make sure my form was correct. I realize that can get expensive, but it's what's best for me personally. I still work out with a trainer, and I've seen fantastic results. I've told him I'm not in compete-mode anymore, but that I'd just like to keep my body toned. He's listened to me, and he even incorporates lots of athletic things into our workout that I did back in college like clean and jerks and box jumps, which I love.

Although I was a track athlete, I hate running (long distance that is). Being on a treadmill, an elliptical machine, a stair master, or a bicycle for an hour or even hitting up the beautiful Katy Trail outside my front door sounds like absolute TORTURE to me. Therefore, I get all my "cardio" through weight-lifting. Girls, unless you're specifically training to be a bodybuilder, some light lifting will not make you "huge." Don't be afraid to lift! It will shape your body beautifully and keep you lean. And whatever you do for your workout, you must do squats! No one likes a flat Miley Cyrus behind!

As far as diet goes…well…I'm from a small town, and my mother is an amazing cook, so I always just ate whatever she made for dinner and cleaned my plate. She made sure to have various colors of vegetables on our plates, and she made them in such a way that I never developed that aversion to vegetables most people have. I'm not a picky eater, and my mom never dieted or complained about her weight, so that's not something that's ever been on my radar. So many girls I know have low body confidence because they picked it up from their mothers. I'm so thankful I didn't have to deal with that. I pretty much eat what my body craves, BUT in moderation. I think that's key! Also, I don't have a sweet tooth (I'm cavity-free!) and I LOVE steak/meat/protein. My dad is a hunter, so maybe that's where I picked that up. Many girls don't eat enough protein. How on earth does a salad keep you full? Blows my mind. Remember, building muscle helps burn fat, and protein feeds that muscle. Also, eat small meals all throughout the day. If you make your body wait too long to get "fuel," it'll go into freak out mode and store it as fat.

When I go to the grocery store, I DO NOT EVEN GO DOWN THE CHIPS OR CANDY AISLE. Why even bring that garbage into your house? If you have it in your pantry, you'll eat it. Period. I snack on things like baby carrots, almonds, a spoonful of peanut butter…etc. I don't buy sodas. I drink water pretty much every meal. When I buy juices, I make sure they are 100% juice. No Sunny D or Capri Sun. That stuff is pure sugar. Also, stay away from processed foods! There is a whole aisle of Hamburger Helper, macaroni and cheese, and all those dinner-in-a-box type things. They're full of ingredients you can't pronounce. If you can't pronounce it, why would you put it in your body?!?!?!?

They say in order to make great changes in your life, start by making one small change in your daily routine. If you drink several sodas a day, why not replace them with water? I knew a girl who used to drink about 10 cokes a day, and once she stopped drinking them, she lost 15 pounds! Sugar turns to fat. If you would like to start a workout program, start walking about your block or do some squats during commercials while you're watching tv.

I'm a very firm believer in getting your full nutritional value of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants each day. You simply cannot do this by just popping pills. The best way to achieve this is to visit the produce section. I have a Vitamix, and I make a green smoothie every day using dark leafy greens, dark berries, water, and chia seeds. It makes my skin glow and keeps my hair and nails healthy, as well as all my internal organs. What you put into your body eventually shows on the outside! I believe this is why I have such a strong immune system as well. Most days I only wear lotion and a dusting of powder and blush for my makeup. Ladies if you take care of your body on the outside AND the inside, you won't need to cake on all that makeup!

Just to repeat, I'm no expert, but these are things I incorporate into my daily life, and they seem to work pretty great for me. I hope this answers a lot of your questions, and if not, feel free to leave a comment below!

Wishing you the best!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Discover Your Gifts

Not everyone is self-aware and has a good handle on their own skills, gifts, and talents. There are many individuals who grew up in a household where they received little encouragement or affirmation, and as a result seem at a loss for direction. If you have that kind of background, you need to work extra hard to figure out what your gifts are. Take a personality profile such as DISC or Myers-Briggs. Interview positive friends and family members to see where they think you shine. Spend some time reflecting on past successes. If you're going to focus your thinking in your areas of strength, you need to know what they are.

Focused Thinking

Focused thinking will take you to the next level. No one achieves greatness by becoming a generalist. You don't hone a skill by diluting your attention to its development. The only way to get to the next level is to focus. No matter whether your goal is to increase your level of play, sharpen your business plan, improve your bottom line, develop your subordinates, or solve personal problems, you need to focus.

"The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through." - Harry A. Overstreet

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Hey guys! Follow me on Instagram at blonderaider21 for a peek into my life in pictures :-)

Monday, May 7, 2012


Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


When we fail, we often feel a tremendous amount of guilt that can often cripple us. But we learn a very great lesson in grace and trust when God restores us and allows us to rise from our failures. When we rise above them we really understand that it is God who works in us to do good works. It’s a humbling experience, and one that brings a new perspective and a renewed motivation to continue and persevere.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sonic Boom

Almost like a sonic boom in your spirit, there comes a moment in prayer when you know that God has answered your prayer. In that moment, your frustration and confusion give way to quiet confidence. Your spirit becomes like a sea of glass because you know it's out of your hands and in the almighty hands of God. The natural resistance that was thwarting you turns into supernatural momentum that is propelling you.