Crossfit In A Skirt

Fitness. Modestly.

All that Mod — February 2, 2016

All that Mod

So it’s February 1st. Exactly one month since we all made those pesky resolutions. Well – some people did. I didn’t. I should’ve. But I didn’t. Have you seen the videos people take of their gym right after New Year’s. Places are jam packed.

Did you make any resolutions? Are you sticking with them? I think I heard a stat that says only 8% of people stick with their resolutions. Depressing, huh? Justin and I started the year with a 15-day cleanse. Short and sweet. Not fun. I’m so glad that’s over.

But truthfully, over the last three years this workout-and-eat-pretty-good thing has become so ingrained in our lifestyle that it’s a non-issue. We are going to work out 3+ times a week and we are going to eat well 85% (or more) of the time. It’s just the facts.

So – maybe I should’ve written down some goals like I did waaaaaaaay back in 2014 – things I want to accomplish within those 3+ times a week. If I could time travel back to January 1st, I might make a small list that looked like this.

  1. Butterfly pull-up(s)
  2. Handstand push up(s)
  3. Ring dip(s)

But you know the hardest thing about working out in a skirt?

Finding a workout skirt!

So many are wrong, wrong, wrong! Wrong color. Wrong waistband. Too short. Too tight. Too thick. Too stretchy. Too restricting. Too ugly. Too bulky.

The list is endless. I might be picky. I might not be. But let’s be real. If you’re going to be the odd (wo)man out, you at least want to make it look cute! Well…I do, anyways.

Enter Hannah. Hannah works out in a skirt, too. Hannah realizes there is not enough options for an activewear skirt that is right, right, right. Hannah decides to do something about it.

Brilliant.

Why didn’t I think of that?

Hannah acquires Apostolic Sportswear. Rebrands and introduces a new line of sport skirts. Designed for women, by women! Hannah now travels the country promoting her expanding line of sport skirts!

I got a black Classic SportSkirt this summer and am delighted about it! I told Hannah how fantastic it was to have a another sport skirt option! I rotated between 2 skirts for a very long time. One got a hole in it (that’s what happens when you wash it 3x a week) leaving me with 1. So I ordered 2 different ones from other places that were a 3 out of 5 on the “I’m happy with it” o-meter. Options were so limited.

But no longer! I am so happy to introduce you to Mod Sportswear!

http://www.modsw.com

Running. Pull ups. Deadlifts. Double unders. Burpees. Hiking. Yoga. Chasing kids.

Whatever is on your list to do today, I promise you can do it in a Mod SportSkirt. Pinky promise. You’re going to get to do all the amazing things us women do and stay covered while doing it!

Just today I did a little running (brrrrr), dead lifting, kettle bell swinging, rope climbing and overhead stuff in my MSW skirt.

*Don’t mind my right hip being so misaligned. I’m overdue for a chiropractor appointment*

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Icing on the cake? You’re gonna look cute!

Sprinkles on the icing on the cake? It has a hugely helpful snap feature! You can snap the skirt at the hem for those activities that might cause your skirt to want to sneak upwards on you! (Handstand push up?)

Ice cream on that sprinkled, icing-ed cake? Enter code INASKIRT in February and March for free shipping when you order two skirts! One for you, one for a friend. Or one for a daughter. One for your sister. For the stranger on the street. Who cares? It’s free shipping!

She has sizes from youth all the way up to Ladies 2XL. Literally. No excuse for you not to give this a try. But seriously. Hurry. Her current line has been selling like hotcakes and your size might not be all that plentiful.

I’m so excited to keep up with MSW. They’ve already improved on the version that I have and they have amazing things coming up this year with a new design and new colors! You have got to keep your eye on this girl. She’s got the right idea.

And there’s nothing like a new outfit to motivate your tooshie at the gym!

With love,

HJ

P.S. There is something so amazing about the women I’ve met via this blog. I am NOT alone in being modest while getting fit and I’m so thankful for that. I so deeply respect the women who take their God-given calling to be separated and holy to heart and allow it to permeate every part of their lives. When I post a blog like this that specifically promotes modest sportswear, I truly hope you find it helpful! I have nothing to gain other than the hope of providing resources to women who seek to retain their dignity, grace and value in a world that has long forgotten those terms.❤

 

The Weighting Game — November 5, 2015

The Weighting Game

“I wish everyone had to deal with a weight problem – then they would know how it feels.”

These words have never left me since the moment I heard them. A dear friend of mine was dealing with the struggle of her weight after marriage, a baby and another one on the way had taken their toll on her body.

She was discouraged. And I, being a beanpole teenager, had no idea how to process that statement. I had struggles. But it hadn’t crossed my mind to wish them on everyone so that we could all be on the same page. As I got older, I figured it out. She didn’t really want everyone to rapidly gain weight. She really just wanted everyone to understand where she was and to put a stop to the judgement and criticism she had felt.

I’ve had people make comments that I don’t know how it feels. That our lifestyle is not normal. But really – here’s a reality check.

Today marks exactly one year that Justin and I have been in NWA. We came here in the winter. Hadn’t had that in a while. 8 years, actually. What a change. Figuring out how to wake up in the cold, the dark, the bitter wind and get to the gym was a chore. Thankfully, I had friends who met me at the Walton Fitness Center to at least keep me moving during the coldest months of the year. Justin and I hadn’t found a Crossfit gym for him to coach at and really – I was OK going to a fitness center that was heated to a comfortable 74 degrees!

But the strangest thing started happening between November 2014 and April of 2015. I steadily gained weight. It was about a pound or so a month. And not the muscle-y, flex in the mirror kind of weight. It wasn’t like a I-can’t-explain-it-strange (cause we all know how to gain weight!) but it was more of a hm-I-think-this-dress-used-to-fit-me strange. I’ve never been a scale watcher but when I finally got mad one Sunday as I was trying to put on a dress for church, I decided I’d weigh myself. Fail. We don’t have a scale. I had to wait to the next day when I went to WFC. Gr.

I did the deed. Stepped on the scale (the real kind with a thingymabobber that you move to the left and right) and I was shocked. The heaviest I had ever been and it was 9 pounds more than when we crossed the state line into Arkansas. 9 pounds in six months. How? That’s the size of a newborn child! I was working out 4 days a week at WFC. So, what gives?!

As I stewed over it and vented to Justin, it came to light. Unconscious eating. Justin and I had been eating out more often. Even the best dining-out choices are not equivalent to home cooked meals with fresh ingredients. I was intaking a lot of fats – the good kind! Nuts, avocados, oils – but my body was telling me it was too much.

Once we switched to a Crossfit gym, my body got shocked back into action. I lost a little bit by switching it up but I needed more than that. Enter Justin.

He did the legwork in the research for me and came up with a macronutrient plan. I needed to up my protein and carbs and lower my fats.

In one day I needed to consume 100 grams of protein. 200 grams of carbs. And 60 grams of fat. And cut back on sugar a wee bit. He broke it up for me into 3 main meals and two snacks.

Now that I had goals I had to hit, it was on like Donkey Kong.

I became a scale watcher. But more for the satisfaction of accomplishment rather than the anxiety of seeing my weight.

I went from consuming 1100-1300 calories a day to 1700 calories a day. A bit less on rest days. But week by week I was surprised. The uptick in (the right kind of) calories resulted in a down turn on the scale.

This week – exactly 6 months after getting back to Crossfit and 10 weeks after introducing a macronutrient plan – I have shed the 9 pesky pounds. Back to the weight of my Floridian life. Not going to lie. It took a LOT of moving. And some days with the “who really cares” attitude. And some miserable mornings of doing hard workouts in the cold. That’s a nightmare for me.

Ugh. But it paid off. So that’s good.

But the best part? I haven’t lost any strength! I hit new PRs on several movements this week. Putting my (almost) body weight over my head is hard. Putting 125% of my body weight on my back to squat it is hard. But so worth it! I’ve made progress. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Progress of any proportion is progress.

This was a personal quest. Small to some. But huge for me. This was a first.

So here’s to you. If you have a goal of walking a mile. If you want to build muscle. If you want to do a pushup. If you want to cook better. If you want to model an active lifestyle for your kids. Figure out what your goal looks like. Recruit help if you need it. Most people do. I did. But above all.

Do it.

Here’s to you. You are capable. You are driven. You can be what you choose to be.

Even if it is one year later.

HJ

Tried & True — July 11, 2015

Tried & True

I am part of a great Facebook group (The Ms. Fits), and one thing the moderator often reiterates to the members is that there is no special pill, magic shake, miracle machine, mystic meal plan or instant diet solution that will get you to where you want to be with your health and with your body. It comes down to hard work. I cannot tell you how true this is! The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that sells those very pills, shakes, machine, meals and instant solutions. This very much appeals to our cultural and societal tendencies (get it quick and without much sacrifice) but they are really only putting a band-aid on the symptom of a problem that can only be resolved with a signifiant lifestyle change.

A huge, sacrificial, against-the-grain, out of the box, difficult, challenging, not easy, people-might-make-fun-of-you, sometimes misunderstood lifestyle change.

That brings me to the Shalisha. I met Shalisha in November of 2014 when we moved to Northwest Arkansas. She’s a busy wife and mom of 2 beautiful girls, wakes up early, works, takes care of her family and is involved in many aspects of our church. But she wanted to add one more thing to her plate. She told me she wanted to get started on a lifestyle overhaul. And guess what? She made it happen. After the flurry of the 2014 holidays subsided, she made sure she knew what time I was going to the gym and was always there waiting. Sometimes she was rushing there after work. Sometimes she barely squeezed it in. But she was nothing less than consistant. While we were huffing and puffing, sweating and working, she would pick my brain about eating, about cardio, about weightlifting, about running, about anything and everything that pertained to her lifestyle change. And that’s what she kept calling it.  A lifestyle change. She has told many people that she is not on a diet. And she’s NOT! She has used a tried and true method to reach her goals. And this girl has goals! But enough about my side of the story…I asked her about her experience and this is what she had to say.

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When did you start your journey to a healthier you?

Jan 15th, 2015.

Did you have any specific goals in mind when you started?

Yes! To eat healthier, to turn fat into muscle, feel better, have more energy and lose at least 20 lbs was my first weight loss goal.

Tell me a little bit about where you are now in regard to those goals. 

I have cut my portions and have a lot less sugar intake (unless it is fruits/natural sweeteners). I do a lot of meal prepping. That alone helped a lot and then I started working out with you. When I started, I had never done a sit up, push up, had, like, zero flexibility. All I had ever done in the form of exercise was Leslie Sansone “Walk Away the Pounds” and some light jogging. In just a few months of working out with my friend, I can do so many different things! Sit ups, push ups, BURPEES, etc. I love seeing and feeling my muscles develop, I LOVE feeling stronger, breathing better, sleeping better and I celebrate every little victory! I have lost over 17 inches and 20 pounds…and that is with zero supplements, shakes, starving myself…etc. I still enjoy the occasional ice cream sundae with my kiddos. But I just make conscious choices about what I am going to eat, when I’m going to eat and how much. I am so happy to have met my first goal and now I am ready to lose my next 30 pounds! And I want to gain more muscle and strength.

That’s so much progress! What were the most important things you did to get you to where you are right now?

Meal prepping and exercise. Not just cardio stuff but actual exercise. And staying consistent. Even if you can’t go to the gym, do HIIT type workouts at home! It only takes like 30 mins.. and it is so worth it! Also measuring AND weighing. Sometimes the scale can be discouraging – but if you are measuring you will see that the inches are falling off🙂

What was your relationship like between your self-image and your eating habits?

I was a really bad stress eater… I was always eating! Especially candy/chocolate. Food had become a comfort that was actually killing me. I hated the way my clothes fit, hated that I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t even bend over to buckle my shoes.. ugh!! I had aches and pains, felt very self conscience & depressed which in turn,  made me just eat more!

What about now? 

Oh my goodness.. even though I have only lost 20 lbs.. I feel SO much better physically and emotionally. I stop and THINK about everything I put in my mouth.. I feel so yucky now if I give myself an “off” day so those are getting few and farther in between. I love that my clothes are fitting better, I can buckle my own shoes… I feel so good when I exercise. It is the best stress reliever ever – besides prayer! It is amazing what a difference it makes on your whole outlook when you start paying attention to how you are treating this temple (our body).

That’s an outer and inner change! Amazing! How often do you work out or like to work out?

I like to go to the gym at least 3 times a week, sometimes 4 times. But if I can’t fit that in, I at least do some kind of exercise at home. My husband laughs at me and says I never relax!  When we are in the pool I make it count, when I am doing housework, I make it count! I lunge it up and squat all over the house! You really can add it in everywhere. I am a busy mom! I have do what I can when I can!

What exercise or workout do you hate?

Jump squats, inch worms, scissor lunges Love? Oh my goodness I love so many!!! I love feeling the BURN! I love planks, lunges, wall balls, push ups, dead lifts, sumo squats, burpees (yes I really do like them.. I like the challenge). I think the hardest part for me still is trying to do all those as fast as I can without stopping.. but, I will get there🙂

What’s your motivation for continuing to change your lifestyle?

ME. I need to do it for myself first and foremost. And then my family. I want to be a healthy wife & mother. I also do it because I feel like God wants us to take care of ourselves.

That’s so true! Have other people noticed your new choices?

Ummm, YES! After the first 2 months, everyone started noticing my weight loss. My little girls love to work out with me. My oldest likes to play my conscience! If I start to even think about making a bad choice, she will say “Mom, are you supposed to eat that? Is that healthy for you?” Ha! Hopefully I am teaching her to make those wise choices also.

You’ve come so far and for some people, they think that those goals are out of reach. What advice to you have for someone who wants to get started?

Just start!!! Don’t put it off! Don’t keep trying to plan for the right time to start, just start! I mean you do have to plan. When I started I did all the meal prepping…but I had been putting that off forever. I finally just said “Today is the day!” And don’t look back.. It is not a diet. It is a lifestyle change. I always fail at diets. But I have not failed at this! I will never eat the way I have for the past 30+ years again..My life has changed and continues to change on a daily basis!

As you continue on this path, do you have new/different goals for the remainder of the year?

Oh, yes! I will drink more water! I am going for another 30 pound loss. I will perfect my form on a lot of the workouts that I do as I gain more strength & control. I want to lift weights this year. I will do a *real* push up. and I want to lose a few more dress sizes!

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So there you have it – this woman has done some amazing things! She was generous enough to share some photos that show what the last 6 months of work have done. Here’s the proof, people!

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Her most recent formal event left her in a fit of giggles! She packed without trying her clothes on and ended up with some extra room!

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*Much thanks to Shalisha for taking the time to answer my questions and for letting me post this for the world to see! You rock! Love you, girl!

Hunger Zone — May 6, 2015

Hunger Zone

So we opened our fridge last night (Friday) and literally, nothing was in there.

Fruit/veggie drawers…or whatever they’re called? Empty.

Shelves touted eggs, milk and almond flour. Useless. Well. Useless since we didn’t have chocolate chips to make something sweet.

Some mustard and syrup in the door. More uselessness.

We don’t have a pantry. We have some cupboard space for canned goods but we don’t really buy processed foods so it’s not a necessity. So. Pantry? Empty. Freezer? Some beef.

This is, in them most literal sense, the story of our lives. It happens every. Single. Week. We eat all of our food. And this is called the Hunger Zone, folks. When, on Friday night, our Saturday morning grocery run seems so far away!

But – I DO remedy this on-going, reoccuring problem every Saturday! We try to stick to a weekly budget and it has to last us at least 6 days. That’s a long time for produce to stay fresh so usually I make a mid-week run to replenish certain items. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but – such is life.

So after I hit the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market (I KNOW! WALLY WORLD?) for their (cheaper than everywhere else) organic produce, nut butter and organic canned goods, I hit the Fresh Market for meat, snacks, nuts (to make my weekly batch of pesto!) and the rest of the produce W-World couldn’t provide. Oh, and Enjoy Life chocolate chips.🙂 Eggs? Those come from Akin’s. They have the best deal and since we go through 5 dozen a week, that can add up if you don’t find the best deals! We also get beef jerky there. Really amazing, organic, almost-no-sugar beef jerky. And lastly, I hit Marshall’s. Believe it or not, they have some amazing paleo, raw snacks! Coco-roons, dried fruit, nut mixes, etc. It’s actually very interesting and worth the extra stop. If you have the self-discipline not to pick up an end table or ottoman while you’re there.

So after 4 stores, 5 reusable bags, and about 2 hours, I get to take my prized possessions home! And here is what our fully stocked fridge looks like!

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Top Shelf Fun! Sauerkraut, tuna, powdered protein, flours and water! Meat drawer holds my precious bacon,  Justin’s deli meat and on occasion…some goat cheese!
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Second Shelf: Nut milk, leftovers, tomorrow’s meat   and of course, eggs! We buy up the 18 counts – 4 at a time
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A stock of probiotics and some superfood (kale) finish off our second shelf…
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Refrigerated produce – Also, we don’t refrigerate a lot of our produce (bananas, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, avocados and more).
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Our stock of Perfect Bars take up the room where butter is supposed to go. These are the..well..perfect bar for snack, on the go, to stave off hunger, as a meal replacement, etc. I take them to church when we have long music rehearsals!
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Meat. You can never have enough meat! I stocked up on $2.99 Tuesday at Fresh market. Chicken breast in our house is like gold! We also go through salmon, beef, and varieties of pork pretty frequently. Buying when things are on sale will save you big bucks in the long run! So be prepared!

We also hit the Farmer’s Market for the first time this season on Saturday! We bought some local eggs and local grass-fed ground beef and beef sausage. They’re starting a Wednesday & Saturday schedule this week so that will be perfect for that mid-week run I was talking about! So – that’s another stop. And my sister was touting the great organic finds at Aldi’s. So. Another stop I need to look into.

All that to say. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes time.

I normally start my meal planning on Thursday, have it perfected by Friday night so that I’m ready to go on Saturday. So even before I set my eyes on a storefront, I’ve started planning my big sweep ahead of time. So…yes, it takes time. But you can figure out a way that works for you! Some people are better at the “little at a time” approach and don’t have 2 hours on any given day to spend shop-hopping!

So for us, this is what a 7-day plan would look like.

Saturday: Slow cooker pork carnitas (burrito bowl with cauliflower rice, etc.)

Sunday: Chicken & pesto (spaghetti squash) pasta

Monday: Pesto meatballs (leftover pesto from Sunday) with brussels sprouts

Tuesday: Summer salad with chicken (click here for easy dressing recipe)

Wednesday: Slow cooker tenderloin with broccoli on the side

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Salmon w/cauliflower rice

And then it’s time to grocery shop again!

Lunches are leftovers, salads, occasional deli meats, etc. Breakfasts are any mix of protein shakes, eggs, fruit, bacon, sausage, veggies…well. Veggies for Justin. I still haven’t gotten there.

Last little tip. Keep your fridge clean and organized. It will help immensely to cut down on waste ($$), leftovers becoming moldy/stinky, etc. When you open it, you’ll know what you have and what needs to go on your grocery list in an instant.

Anyhow – thanks for trooping along on this very long post about food. But it IS very important. And I’m preaching to myself. The results you can get from cleaning up your body are endless. Clarity of mind, bloating relief, skin cleansing, stamina increase, freedom from fatigue…endless.

So do your best. Start small. Start big. However you want. Just start.

Best of “good planning and time investment” to you! Cause when it comes to your body. There is no luck. There’s just work.

HJ

9 Months Later… — April 21, 2015

9 Months Later…

So it’s been 9 months since my last post.

In July of 2014, Justin and I were in Clearwater, FL – he was coaching full time and I was working out like a mad woman. Or – to me, it felt like a mad woman! 4-5 times a week. It was perfection.

Back track to May of 2014 – we had received some information that led us to think about relocating (again) to Bentonville, AR. There was an open children’s pastor position and beyond Crossfit, beyond health, beyond anything else…that is Justin’s heartbeat. He love kids ministry. He has a passion. He has a burden. He has a desire to see kids grounded in faith.

Anyhow – May passed and I was in huge denial. Arkansas has winter. And God knows I don’t do winters. He loves me and would never make me suffer through cold weather again.

June came. The thought of relocating would pop up and I would happily suppress it.

July came. He’s a full time Crossfit coach! Nothing could pull him away from that!

August came and the leadership at Calvary Tabernacle in Bentonville, AR wanted to fly us out to visit the area.

No. Way. My head could not wrap around leaving Florida. I told Justin August wasn’t an option. I was too busy. (I WAS working every weekend.) Then I went in the bathroom and cried like child. A small child. Big, huge, alligator tears. Wretched sobs. My heart broke and only a supernatural miracle was going to mend it.

September came. We flew into XNA in Fayetteville, AR. Home of the Duggars. #19kids. My reservations were still in full swing.

We stepped off the plane into this ridiculously beautiful weather. Breezy. Sunny. We met people. We walked trails. We ate crepes and tacos off of food trucks. We went to a softball game. And didn’t sweat a drop. We dropped by a Crossfit gym. We walked the square. Sat on a bench and decided we could raise a family in Bentonville, AR. Soon after arriving back to FL, we accepted the offer to become the Kids Ministry Directors at Calvary Tabernacle.

A supernatural miracle did happen. On October 31st, 2014, we packed up our small apartment on Seagate Drive. And on November 3rd, we left FL. I still had more of those alligator tears left. So I let them out. We left our roots. We left family. We left friends. We left the beach and the palm trees. We left full time Crossfit.

Along with his position at the church, Justin got a full time job with Walmart headquarters the day after we arrived in AR. It was another 8 weeks before God placed the perfect nanny family in my life.

We are deliriously happy. The people, the city, the church, the environment – they are all a perfect fit for our lifestyle. God knew what he was doing. He DOES love me. Although, we have had several talks about the winter.

All this and there’s just one glitch. Crossfit doesn’t fit in the budget. I won’t lie to you. It is expensive. Always has been. We were incredibly blessed to have been fee free for so long. Justin working in it had provided a way for us in the past.

So what to do now? How’s a Crossfit girl supposed to survive?

Well – Justin’s job is with Walmart and they provide access to a state-of-the-art fitness center designed solely for Walmart employees and their dependents. We went with it. Better than nothing.

It has been such a blessing to be part of the Walton Life Fitness Center. I’ve had the opportunity to introduce many of my new friends to the physical fitness side of health. There are women who have lost weight, women who have found their motivation, women who have regained confidence….I love to reach out and encourage my girlfriends! This open door has been amazing.

But.

I’ve gained weight since we moved here. Dresses, skirts, even shirts don’t fit the same way. It’s not a lot of weight but it’s unhealthy weight and enough that I notice it. My body was so used to being shocked into action in Crossfit that the WLFC couldn’t offer the challenge, the programming, the motivation that I needed to stay trim. I’ve tried! I use their weight lifting equipment, their tracks, their Crossfit-esque equipment to push myself. But really. I need to tighten up my diet and get back to Crossfit.

It’s been 6 months since we moved. 6 months at WLFC.

I had my first Crossfit workout yesterday. Justin and I dropped in at a box that opened in August. It hurt so good.

We are going to make it work. Justin’s work schedule is set to change on May 18th. He might be able to start coaching part time. That would take care of our membership fees.

This would be another miracle. I can’t be buying new clothes! That’s not in the budget, either!

So to wrap this all up – HUGE changes.

Good changes.

Amazing changes.

I cannot say enough good things about Bentonville, AR. About the people. About our new lives.

I met Jessa Duggar.

Jill Duggar works out in her skirt at WLFC, too.

Calvary Tabernacle Kids (CTKids) is growing, thriving and God has truly blessed us with a great group of kids.

We are starting a vegetable/herb garden. Couldn’t do that on our 3rd floor patio in FL!

Our marriage has seen amazing growth through this time of spreading our wings and trusting God.

He knows what he’s doing. Why it’s hard to remember that through clouds of emotion is beyond me. But we are on the other side of the biggest transition of our lives. 9 months since my last post. And 9 months later, I am thankful.

HJ

*Sorry to anyone who thought this post was baby related. The 9 month time gap is totally coincidental.

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*Photo Credit: Courtney Boyd, Nova93 Photography

Summer and Such… — July 15, 2014

Summer and Such…

It’s been almost 3 months since my last post. I’m well aware, thank you very much.

But seriously – some of the best things have been happening! 

When Justin and I went on our trip to NYC, we were contemplating a career change for him. He switched from medical care to preventative health in January of 2013 and was recruited to join a supplement company as they go from multi-million dollar company to multi-multi-multi million dollar company! What a fantastic and valuable experience…!

We also joined The Next Level Crossfit Tampa (as you know). In October of 2013, Justin became certified as a Crossfit trainer and  started working any extra hours he could coaching night classes and on the weekends.

 

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He found that he love, l-o-v-e, loved it.Enough to do it all the time. Enough to want to learn how to run the box in hopes of opening his own at some point. We contemplated the pros and cons for months. It’s a pay cut. It has risk involved. But he loves it. It loves him. It’s flexible. He can learn the business without owning the business. We don’t have kids. Or a mortgage. Or debt. So why not take the leap?

So that was that. After praying, thinking, talking, debating, stressing, debating, talking, thinking, praying and deciding – July 1st was Justin’s official first day as a full-time trainer and Crossfit coach at TNL Tampa. It’s been a full 2 weeks since he’s taken the position.

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He works with fantastic, skilled co-coaches, has a great boss and I keep hearing such positive feedback from all of the members at the box about his people skills, his training style and his passion for the sport. But the best part is that once he settles in, he will begin working on piloting TNL’s personal training program. 

This is amazing to me for several reasons. First, Crossfit can be intimidating. I don’t care who you are. When you see the videos of big athletes throwing around heavy, large objects, dangling from bars and rings, all while sweating profusely with their muscles bursting at the seams…it just has a way of making people want to avoid it. That’s the effect it had on me, anyhow. I did an 8 week personal training session that set me up for success in the Crossfit environment – I worked on learning the movements, the mechanics, the lingo, the workouts, the equipment. It was all brand new to to this traditional machines and treadmills girl. Now I’m a huge advocate for getting involved in Crossfit in any way you can. Including starting small with a personal trainer.

That being said, personal training at a Crossfit box offers a non-intimidating introduction to Crossfit and all of its beauty!

Second, it will be available in many different forms! Clients can split between classes and personal sessions, small groups can be accommodated (group of 3 girlfriends, etc.), it can be an 8-week program or as extended as the client wants or needs, it can be as frequent or infrequent as needed and it can be scaled to athlete of all abilities.

Lastly, it can be customized! Crossfit workouts are varied daily – that’s the point. It’s not just about weight loss or only muscle building or only cardio. It’s about doing it all. But in all of that variety, some skills may not be practiced or consistently utilized.  With the option of starting off with or adding in personal training, the client has the advantage of charting the course and setting the goal – whatever that may be.

Focus on skills. Focus on form. Focus on weight loss. Focus on toning. Train for a competition. Train for an obstacle race.  Whatever it may be, a custom program is designed and applied for each client to obtain optimal results. 

This is exciting to me! I cannot wait to see what blossoms from his endeavor…!

If you happen to live in the Tampa/Clearwater/Westchase area, give TNL a call and set up a consultation to see if Justin can help you hit your goal. Tell him I sent you. Maybe he’ll give you a special deal!

With love for all things fit,

HJ

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NYC & Paleo Me — April 27, 2014

NYC & Paleo Me

My husband and I took a trip up to NYC last week to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. It was fabulous.

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About to depart!

The hustle and bustle, the people, Times Square, the clothes, the view, Broadway, 5th Ave., the food.

Oh, the food. We ate our way through that city faster than you can say “Vive la Crepe”. We had pre-determined that we weren’t going to hold back. Gluten. Get in our bellies. Grain. Goes in the mouth. Sugar. Sure thing. Nothing was off limits. It was an all out food fest. We had crepes, waffles, fried chicken fingers, sushi, ice cream, popcorn, and I even had an (organic) soda. Oh, my taste buds were tantalized! There was an amazing Paleo place we found that my husband loved. It was awesome – but not what I was in New York for!

(I do recommend Hu Kitchen to each and everyone of you who are more restrained than I and want to stay healthy on your next trip to NYC)

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Hu Kitchen – Paleo Perfection!
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Nutella & Strawberry Crepe for this Girl!
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Most decadent waffle ever. Syrup would have ruined this.
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Poconos Ice Cream!

Then…after a few days of this unbridled fun, the funniest things started to happen. Well, of course I coughed and coughed and coughed the entire trip. That’s my trademark reaction to gluten. But something else. My husband lost his six pack somewhere (I think it was at the crepe place). I lost the glow in my skin (I think it was the sugar). His skin started to flare up. I had a furious headache and terrible fatigue. All of these outward signs of what we were doing to our insides.

By the time Easter Sunday rolled around (we got home Saturday) I could not get off of the couch. We went to church but as soon as we got home – done. Down for the count. Terrible.

Well, it’s been exactly a week since we’ve been home. On Monday my husband went 100% Paleo. I did too. Until 4 p.m. that day. I HAD to have a Lara bar. Then some chips. And some sour cream on my taco.

Oh boy.

Not a good start. I am ALL or NOTHING in so many areas of my life. This is not one of them.

Tuesday. Paleo. All day. Until 4 p.m. I was STARVING.

Wednesday. Paleo. Until 5 p.m. Chocolate covered nuts. But Justin found his six pack. Good for him. Uggghhh.

Thursday. Paleo. Good job, me. Skin clear and glowing again…

Friday. Paleo. Until 6 p.m. Had to have sauce with my chicken.

That’s when I decided I had to get organized. I ordered a Paleo e-cookbook package and my husband and I sat down and listed all our meals and snacks for the week. I have to be prepared. If I don’t, I freak out and eat whatever is available at work.

I felt much better today. We went shopping at our favorite place – Nature’s Food Patch in Clearwater. We have a super full fridge and we prepped snacks to last us through Wednesday.

Paleo Corn Chips with Spicy Avocado Hummus and Raw Paleo Balls are going to get me through the first part of this week.

This is just the beginning for me. I know I’m going to mess it up again. Same as I did when we went gluten-free. But if I get a handle on it, make up my mind and get my act together I can do it.

Variety and preparation are going to be my best buddies.

Oh, and if you want the super cheap, informative and resourceful Paleo Package, click on the Raw Paleo Balls link above – you can order it from her Home page🙂

 

Much Love

HJ

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Central Park
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Amusing Musical!

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Spartan Up! — April 3, 2014

Spartan Up!

spartanup-cover

Last month I did a Spartan Race giveaway (so much fun) and this month I want to let you guys know about the Spartan Up! book that is set to be released May 13th! The man behind the Spartan movement writes not only about what it takes to run through mud pits – his perspective on conquering obstacles in life and achieving peak performance in all you do will motivate and inspire you be in a constant mode of excellence.

Pre-orders are happening NOW so don’t wait! Hurry up and Spartan Up!

P.S. Be on the lookout for my upcoming foodie post! It’s a sweet one! Muffins, cookies and brownies, oh my! Whoever said eating clean was boring…should get smacked in the face with some Paleo Thin Mints!

Spartan Race Giveaway Winner Is….. — February 7, 2014
If you are a Master Chef… — January 26, 2014

If you are a Master Chef…

…Then this food post isn’t for you! Stop reading. Seriously.

Anybody who knows anything about me knows that I don’t cook.

It’s not that I can’t. I just don’t. Never have had the motivation. No reason good enough. My palette isn’t even that broad. So noodles have been the extent of my experimenting in the kitchen. When I have tried…things burn, dry out, smell funny…ugh. Just not fun.

God knew this was the case when he set me up with Justin Jeter. He’s a fabulous chef. He’s loves to cook! He has been the sole ‘bread maker’ in our relationship since day one. I think I made 2 meals the the entire first year we were married. It worked out fine when we moved to Clearwater for his job. He got home at 4:30. I arrived home at 5:45 to dinner on the table. Dreamworld, ladies. It was blissful!

Well, God has got the last laugh. My husband took a promotion this month. He now arrives home at 6:30. Hungry. Starving. Ravenous. There is no way I can reasonably expect him to cook dinner at 6:30…to eat at 7:30…it’d be ludicrous. And just downright rude. I’m not a diva. I know when duty calls.

So, I have prayerfully and carefully embraced this new chapter in our lives and embarked on something entirely unknown.

Cooking.

So for the last 3 weeks, I’ve had several successful events. I want to share them with you. Not to revel in the glory of my accomplishments…however meager they may be. But to encourage you. Cooking clean and easy is possible!

If I can do it…it’s not an understatement when I say anybody can do it!

Few things.

1) Crockpot is my best friend.

2) Planning ahead even a little bit will save hundreds…HUNDREDS…of trips to the grocery store.

3) I applaud ALL working mothers, stay at home mothers, wives in general who cook. It is time consuming and messy. But you do it anyways.

Okay. Here are some of the things I managed to pull off! *Links provided

Pan Fried Lemon Chicken – I wasn’t brave enough to photograph my finished product

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Turkey Chili – We did kidney beans instead…my husband love, love, loved this dish!

Sweet Potato Turkey Meatballs – I added bacon, cooked them for 45 minutes. We’ve been eating a lot of sweet potatoes because my husband is carb-loading as he trains for an upcoming competition.

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My finished product!

Homemade Granola Bars – We needed something sweet to snack on over the weekend. Bingo! I could eat the whole pan! *I reduced the honey to 1/2 cup. Next time I’ll probably do even less.

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Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Goodness!

I’ve done a few more things (crockpot pork chops were fall-apart-delicious!) but can’t find all the recipes. The nice thing is my husband eats the left overs for the following day or two so if I cook 2-3 times a week…we’re golden!

Anyhow – Look around for good, clean recipes! They’re out there! Let me know if you try any of these! Every one of them was a hit in my house!🙂 *Idiot-proof, too!

Much love,
HJ

*SPARTAN RACE GIVEAWAY IS STILL OPEN! SEE PREVIOUS POST FOR DETAILS!!! DEADLINE FEBRUARY FIRST!! YOU COULD RACE FOR FREE! OFFER GOOD FOR ANY RACE IN THE U.S!