Monthly Archives: April 2013

Killer strength training & sculpting today! LOVE IT!

Hey heyyy! Checking in on day 3 of Bikini Series 2013! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go check it out here: http://toneitup.com/index.php The Bikini Series is completely free and the community will change your life I can promise you that. I’ve met some of the most amazing TIUSisters and I feel better with every challenge and with the constant motivation from my incredible trainers.

Alright so first, I need to get something off of my chest. I’ve done awesome with my daytime eating and I’ve totally cut myself off from night time snacks (a huuuuuge issue for me.. I normally snack late at night… tisk tisk). However…. I have had some crummy dinners the last two nights. Crummy as in horrid for my body, not as in bad tasting. Something that my TIUSisters have taught me, though, is that today is a new day. I get a fresh start and new opportunity to eat a healthy lean and green dinner. So, that’s the plan!

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With that off my chest, I want to talk about my workout this morning. I feel awesome about it. I got my cardio in on the stair stepper at the gym this morning (feel the burn, baby) and then knocked out 2 rounds of the Bikini Strap workout. I’ve never done that one before but I have heard so much about it. I couldn’t wait to try it! Let me tell you.. it was EVERYTHING I expected out of a K&K workout and more!!

 

The workout kept my heart rate up (even got into zone 3!), made me sweat like a crazy girl and made my muscles burn in all the right ways. I loved it!! Holy smokes, though… that ultimate arm & back toner was KILLER. I struggled through it and did it, but I cannot wait to feel stronger doing it. I had to do the modification (keep my knees down), but I’m determined to do its actual form ASAP. If there is one thing I know for sure, my trainers will whip me into shape fast and I’ll be able to do it soon! There were plenty of moves in past challenges that started out super tough for me that I mastered quickly. This will be no different. I know it!

 

So there is my recap for my killer Bikini Series workout for today. I feel awesome for getting it in this morning and I know this is going to be the best day because of it. Looking forward to some HIIT tomorrow with the Bikini Cardio!

 

How are your workouts challenging you in new ways?

 

M. xoxo

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Bikini Series 2013… Let’s do it!

Ahhh today is the day!! My trainers are launching Bikini Series 2013 and I cannot wait. It’s my very first one! 

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To prepare, I set my intentions yesterday. I sat down and mapped out my goals for the Bikini Series as well as clear cut motivations to keep me going. My goals need to be realistic for me but also crystal clear so that I can focus on the end result when things get tough (though, with the support of my Tone it Up Sisters, it’s so much easier to keep going!). 

So what are they?

My goal for the next 8 weeks is to stick to the assigned workouts. I’ve learned that when I try to reschedule things or shift the planned workouts around, I end up falling off the wagon. It’s so motivating knowing that thousands of amazing women are doing the same workout! It makes checking in even more fun! Also, no carbs after 3:00. This is a TIU girl staple, but I’m determined to stick to it for at least 5 of the 7 days each week (may sound lax, but trust me… I’ve been going for carbs more often than that lately). The biggest part of my goal is this… no snacking at night! I’m a late night snacking culprit. 

Now for my motivations… what better motivator than self confidence. When I’m losing weight and toning up, I’m the most confident! I feel the best and I feel good about my body and what I am accomplishing. Ultimately, I want to be at my wedding weight (5 years and 1 baby later) which I CAN accomplish in the next 8 weeks by losing 2 lbs per week. 

So there it is. This is my focus, motivation and goal for the Bikini Series 2013. 

What are yours?

Because I just can’t think of anything else…

This post isn’t going to be about my workouts or my healthy meals. It’s not going to be about the struggles of trying to lose weight. Instead, it’s a gentle reminder to be grateful for the life you live and all that you have in it. 

The horrific events at the Boston Marathon are so tragically fresh in my mind right now. I’m having a difficult time focusing on anything else. I don’t know anyone who ran the marathon. I do not personally know any of the victims. I do not claim to have any tie to the raw hurt and devastation. What I do have, though, is pure compassion for the people affected by this. Families were torn apart yesterday. People (children, even!) lost their lives or were critically injured. People have lost limbs. This isn’t a scene from war… this is a scene from what was intended to be a gathering of a global community in health and happiness. My heart is broken.

Amidst all of the horror and chaos, heroes evolved. They were everywhere helping the victims and doing their very best to keep anyone else from being injured. We are hearing stories of Bostonians offering their homes and clothing to the runners who were away from home and possibly separated from family. Runners themselves were stopping and helping victims. 

I am trying desperately to focus on the positive. I am an eternal optimist. Times like this challenge that, though. When there are people on this earth who can intentionally cause something like this, I truly worry about the world. Thinking of all of the families who woke up this morning to unspeakable tragedy is almost more than I can handle. I cannot imagine the way those families and victims are feeling today. 

Life is so much larger than we realize. Let’s take a moment to remember that and to remember that what matters most is the people we have in our lives. Cherish them.

Betting on weight loss?

Haven’t blogged in a few days, sorry about that! It’s been a busy but fun weekend/start to the week. I’m doing increasingly better with my HIIT and strength training and seeing an improvement. That’s always exciting and I find nothing more motivational than seeing progress!

I’ve tried something for the first time this week that I haven’t even tried before and I think it will be fun! Has anyone else tried betting on weight loss?

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I joined a game on dietbet.com and I’m excited to see how it goes for me. I kind of feel like my motivation will be even higher now that there is money on the line! 

The bet is fairly simple… lose 4% of your body weight in 28 days and you split the pot with anyone else in your game that does the same. I can do that!

Does anyone else play? Do you find it motivating? 

Care to learn a little about Mariah?!

So it’s a Friday afternoon and it is BEAUTIFUL outside. It’s really the first super nice Friday we’ve had this year so far in central Pa. I was able to get outside for my daily dose of Vitamin D during lunch today, but I’m just pining to get out of the office and back outside today. It’s almost 60 degrees for goodness sake!

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Since I cannot get outside for another 3 ½ hours or so, I thought it might be fun to do one of those silly surveys to pass the time and share a little bit more about myself. I’ve realized recently that I haven’t really done that at all on this blog yet, so it might be a fun way to get that started 

 

Enjoy and by all means, tell me more about you!!

 

xoxo

50 QUESTIONS 

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? 
Nope… everyone asks if I was named after Mariah Carey, but I was not! She actually didn’t become popular until a few years after I was born (I realize I’m dating myself here). I DID, however, almost have a totally weird and embarrassing name… here goes nothing: Layote Sunflower. Yes, my parents were hippies. Yes, I am forever grateful they heard the name “Mariah” just in time to decide to name me that before I was actually born. It was a close call from what I understand! 

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? 
Ugh, I’m a crier. I cried the other night when my poor baby girl was crying her little face off because she had a double ear infection that hurt her so badly. I didn’t know what to do to help her and hearing her cry made me break down.  

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? 
Umm I don’t think it’s bad but I see a lot of other people’s handwriting that I like more! I feel like most everyone feels that way, though, probably.  

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? 
Ok… NOT a huge lunch meat fan. It’s sooooooo so so chalk full of sodium. If I do have to go for lunch meat (ie; if I go to Subway and want something other than the veggie sub which I just cannot get myself to order no matter how much I love veggies), I will get turkey… of the oven roasted variety.  

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 
I do! We just had our first baby last March… our sweet baby girl, Tenley. I never knew just how much I could love another person until she was brought into my life. My heart is so full! 

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? 
Well I would think so! I pride myself in being loyal to my friends and I fancy myself as a pretty compassionate person. 

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? 
I’ve learned that I tend to use sarcasm a little more than I think I realized! 

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? 
Yes I do even though I’ve had strep a million times

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? 
I honest to goodness do not believe I have the courage to do it.  

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? 
Hmmm ok I’ll answer this in 2 ways…. At least somewhat healthy: I like all of the kashi cereals…. Not at all, even in the slightest bit, healthy: Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Delish. 

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? 
I most certainly do! Though, high heels are my shoe of choice. No laces necessary!

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? 
I have certainly learned that I am a strong person, but I truly believe I’m stronger because of the people I have around me in life. My parents, siblings, husband, daughter and all of my friends make me stronger!  

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? 
Mint chocolate chip! I’m a mint-a-holic without a doubt. Make it taste like peppermint and I’m all about it  

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? 
Their eyes! The window to the soul, right? I really do feel you can tell a lot about a person from their eyes.  

15. RED OR PINK? 
Pink… 100% of the time…. Pastel….. Neon…. Barbie…. You name it. Pink. Pink of absolutely any shade.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? 
Hmm my least favorite… I really really try hard not to dwell on negativity or even allow it into my life. For that reason, I’m not even going to answer this one. No point! 

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? 
I miss all of my best best friends that I met in college and don’t get to see nearly as often as I wish that I could! We do get together as much as we can (including this Saturday night.. woooohooo!), but I wish I could see them way more often.  

18. WHAT IS THE PAUL MCKENNA TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST? 
I have no idea what this is at all…..  

WHAT IS THE NUTRITION OR FITNESS STRATEGY THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST? 
Snacking in the evenings! I do so well all day long and tend to crave snack foods at night when it’s most important NOT to eat that stuff 

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? 
Coral Jessica Simpson heels… loooooove love them for spring!  

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? 
¼ cup of grapes for my M2 on the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan!

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? 
My boss chatting with one of the other managers in our department… probably turning on my ipod soon to get this afternoon moving even faster :

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? 
Some fun named pink….. Fabulous Fuchsia maybe? Which gets me thinking about how fun it would be to name nail polishes… #dreamjob

23. FAVORITE SMELLS? 
My sense of smell is probably my keenest. I love the smell of laundry being done, babies, coffee beans, lavender…  

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? 
My husband! He called this morning on his way to work to remind me to do something and how silly that I can’t remember what it was now!  

25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE? 
Hmmm beach house… I love the mountains (I’m originally from Colorado!), but I feel like there are probably less bugs at the beach. I hate bugs. DESPISE bugs. 

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? 
Football! DIE HARD Denver Broncos fan right here. Die hard! We even have a Broncos cheerleader onesie for our daughter! Staring her off early

27. HAIR COLOR? 
Brown… #TeamBrunettes 

28. EYE COLOR? 
Green… I get the most compliments on my eyes 

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? 
Yes! I do.. I’ve worn them since 7th grade too. True story, my best childhood friend and I used to pinky promise to read in the dark at night so that we could get glasses. When I finally needed them, I was sure to get the fire engine red wire rimmed glasses that were so cool back then (hellloooooo early 90’s).  

30. FAVORITE FOOD? 
I’ll answer this similarly to how I answered the cereal
Unhealthy: Pasta and/or baked potatoes…. It’s a serious tie!! Dead heat!!

Healthy: Hummus! I love it as part of a hummus and veggie wrap the most. Whole wheat pita with hummus and a TON of veggies.. I could eat it every day! 

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? 
100% happy endings!! I’m a wuss but also an eternal optimist. I live for happy endings! 

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? 
I should tell you that I’m terrible at remembering movies. Once I watch them, they completely escape my memory bank. So I don’t even know!! Though, to my defense… with a 1 year old at home, you can believe it’s been a long time since I’ve watched a movie (especially without falling asleep half way through!) 

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? 
Black! I tend to wear a lot of black… I should really try harder at branching out. 95% of the shirts I own are either black or pink

34. SUMMER OR WINTER? 
Can I vote for spring and fall instead? It is a big benefit to living in the Northeast, though.. I get to experience all 4 seasons and I love that!

35. HUGS OR KISSES? 
Hugs are the best, but kisses are great too! I know that’s not a clear answer.

36. FAVORITE DESSERT? 
Hmmm ice cream! Though, I do love pie too…. I actually didn’t have pie until I was 25! 

37. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO? 
I tend to spend more time doing cardio than weight training, but I am trying to even that out a bit now!  

38. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION? 
Computer… I really don’t watch much TV, but I am a huge sucker for the housewives franchise, survivor (still!), Modern Family and I might be the last person on the planet still watching Real World.

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? 
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg ❤

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? 
The Intel logo… so not cool or inspiring, but I’m at work! 

42. FAVORITE SOUND? 
Babies giggling!

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? 
Ohhh definitely the Beatles!  

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? 
Hmm I think the farthest was Aruba! Loved it there…. Lucky enough to go twice (in one summer actually) and was pregnant both times. Bittersweet, right?

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? 
I don’t really think so actually! I wish I was double jointed or super flexible or something. I can snap with my pinkies, does that count? It’s actually the only way I can snap.  

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? 
 Colorado Springs, Colorado!

47. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW? 
South central Pennsylvania.. it’s beautiful here and I love being in the Northeast… BUT, I will move back to Colorado someday. 

48. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE? 
Beige and white

49. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR? 
Pacific Blue

50. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 50 QUESTIONS? 
It was a fun way to move a Friday along when I feel little to no motivation to focus on work for a little bit.  

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Standing up for the average woman’s postpartum body… Quite frankly because I just can’t take it anymore.

I’ve made it 12 months without making a stink about it. Quite frankly, though, I cannot take it anymore. For anyone who is currently pregnant (congratulations!!!) or dreaming of having babies in the future… let me clear the playing field for you and level set your expectations so that you don’t come out of this feeling like a failure if you’re not stick thin as you walk out of the hospital. It just doesn’t work like that (at least not for the VAST majority of us). 

To be as direct as possible…. THIS is not the norm:

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No one stressed this to me before I gave birth to my daughter in March 2012. I worked out my entire pregnancy. I indulged in rice crispy treats a little… and had some shamrock shakes… but I was generally pretty good! I was determined to lose the baby weight quickly yet thought I was being realistic in giving myself 6 weeks. 

Wow. 

Doesn’t work that way.

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I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl… a 10 pound beautiful baby girl. I’m 5’2 and was 120 pre-pregnancy. If you don’t think my body is changed forever, you’re sorely mistaken. If you think I was 120 pounds 6 weeks postpartum, I can tell you it wasn’t true. I’m still not 120 lbs again (though believe me, I’m still working on this every day). 

In the past year, I’ve learned a few things. I could go on and on with a laundry list of things about pregnancy and postpartum that people don’t tell you… but there are a lot of eloquently written blogs about that! What I do want to accomplish is to level set your expectation so that if and when you have a baby, you don’t feel like a complete and utter FAILURE when you leave the hospital still looking 2nd trimesterish and still aren’t back to your pre-pregnancy body 6 weeks, 6 months, 9 months, a year later. For some of us…. scratch that… MANY of us…. our bodies are changed forever. 

I dream of a day that the media doesn’t tell us we have to be back to our pre-pregnancy body within weeks. I shutter at the thought of my daughter ever having to feel that pressure when she grows up and has the opportunity to be a mother. I want her to love her body and be empowered to feel confident and beautiful in her body when it has created a miracle. 

Growing and giving birth to a baby is a beautiful miracle and how incredible is it that our body knows how to do all of that on its own? Why can’t we, as a society, focus on that aspect of it instead? It’s a process. A beautiful miracle of a process. We need to learn to love that. 

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This is why I workout…

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Photo Credit: superbodysuperbrainblog.wordpress.com

Why do I get myself out of bed at 5:00 am to work out? After a couple weeks of making excuses for myself (and to my defense, battling one heck of a cold that had me on my behind for a solid week), I reminded myself today. I got up and started my morning the best way I know how. My tried and true method. I work out because…

It’s the most fantastic way to start my day. I feel energized and healthy.

I’m way more likely to stay on track with eating clean and taking the best care of my body.

I’m happier. It’s true! Way happier and WAY more confident. 

I’m super productive with my work day and ready to tackle anything that comes my way.

I feel strong and in charge.

And the most important reason? I feel the best in my own skin and I’m happy knowing I’m treating my body right.

What’s your motivation to work out?