Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The beauty in "can."

Remember when you were little and someone told you that you "couldn't" or "shouldn't" do something? Didn't that make you want to do it all the more? As I prepare to fly out to Vegas tonight for my fitness competition at Fitness America, I am reflecting on all the couldn'ts and shouldn'ts that have been thrown my way over the years...

To put it simply, and it may sound cliche, you CAN do anything you put your mind to. It's all in your mind. People fear what they "can't do" when in reality they CAN, they just let their fear control their entire existence. Trust me when I say, I don't walk across that stage in a bezazzled bikini fearless. I do it because I know the work I have put in: sweat, tears, caffiene withdrawals, sleepless nights, mind-numbing amounts of tilapia and celery later...I step a toe on that stage because I know beauty isn't just an outwardly thing- I know it lies within my heart and in the heart of so many of my dear friends who are my fellow competitors. I don't go in expecting anything...medals, glory, trophies, accolades...I go in expecting to give it my all. For that my friends, is how you play the game.

You give it your all while all the naysayers and people who feel it is their place in life to question your diet, your lifestyle, your motives, your exercise plan...let them stay on the side where the naysayers don't hear their criticism anyhow...because all that is in your ears is the roar of the crowd and the beauty that beats within your chest. And no, it's not that bikini that makes you beautiful, or those clear's what you do in life to make a difference that counts.

Make it beautiful. Treat others kindly. Love people. Love those who continue to tell you that you can't. They'll come around, and if they don't...they were never your friends to begin with. I'm off to Vegas now to shine a light in a city of unending lights. Thank you all for your support and love and care through this whole training...I will be thinking of you as I stand on the stage! I will hear your positive voices and encouragement in my ears. Those of you who have stood by me, you know who you are. And I love you for it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Strength to Live Beautifully

"Speaking beautifully is little to the purpose unless one lives beautifully."
My heart still weighs heavy for Haiti. In a world of i-phones and CNN and instant updates, between facebook and twitter and supersizing our french fries and adding fancy new rims to our expensive cars, we have forgotten.
We have forgotten because we can't remember something we have never known.
Most of us don't know what it is like to wake up with a deep hunger in our bellies and not be able to reach for a pop tart. We complain that there's nothing left in our pantry when we are only lacking the Oreos or Ritz.
A blog I adore ( recently decided their family was going to CLEAN OUT the pantry before going to the grocery store, really clean it out...and I mean one child would eat beans and one would eat something totally different. There would be no uniformity to the meal and as I read this adventure this family went through, my eyes were opened to the many times I complain, "I just don't have anything to eat." It is an incredulous statement on my part when I know there is plenty for me to eat adorning my pantry.
This family that I speak of has been a constant source of encouragement to me as I have read through stories about their life in Haiti- they abandoned the luxuries of the United States and have chosen to raise their family in a place most would turn up their noses at and declare "unsafe, dirty, unfit for a family, scary, impoverished, etc." Yet, this family lives beautifully. In my opinion, they live more beautifully than most anybody I know...and I don't even know them personally. Sure, I know they aren't perfect, but I know that if I could be living my life the way they do, my heart would be filled to the brim with joy. I cannot wait to someday visit Haiti, maybe live my sponsor child who lives there...her name is Souvenir. I want to feed the hungry, help the sick, hold orphans. But I don't want to do it for a short time. I want that to be my life...may I be marked up, beaten up, bruised, get sick, get tired and worn out for the calling God has put on my life.
For all those times I haven't felt loved, beautiful...the times I have felt abandoned and like no one in the world would hold me close, I know that God whispers into my ear, "Daughter. I am here, I am holding beautifully."
So I pray that I would have the strength to be brave and live beautifully, even in the times that I don't have the desire to. We have been blessed beyond all measure and I feel it's time we start living like that.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fish, Fitness, & Oatmeal, oh my.

My co-workers are in fits because I have been eating so much tuna around the office. I apologize for the fishy smell, but with my fitness competition just 15 days or so away, I can't eat much of anything but tuna and chicken breast. At least with tuna I can buy the flavored ones. I'm partial to lemon-pepper and sweet&sour right now. :)

So I apologize for the sea-scented office, but hopefully it will help me do better in my competition. I am competing in my first national competition in Las Vegas, NV at Fitness America November 19th in the Miss Bikini division. I have previously competed in Fitness New Mexico and the OCB Natural Bodybuilding competion this past July. I am so excited for my 1st national show. I'm going to start trying to post some healthy recipes and workout ideas on my blog because my facebook seems to be getting hit with many messages from friends asking how to eat healthier and lose weight. I love those messages and love responding to each of them, but I thought keeping my blog updated would be helpful to all of you looking for information on nutrition and fitness!

A recipe I just recently tried were for protein pancakes, they are a delicious and healthy twist on a morning favorite.

  • 1/8 tsp of baking soda & 1/8tsp of baking powder
  • a teeny drop or two of vanilla
  • stevia sweetner(all natural, I use 1-2 packets for 2 pancakes)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • Dash of Cinnamon (cinnamon is a vital part of diet for health and to boost metabolism, also tastes amazing in everything from oatmeal to coffee to lattes to pancakes!)
  • a splash of vanilla almond milk (don't add much, it makes them runny)
    1 whole egg
  • 3-4 egg whites

Voila! You make them as you would normal pancakes. Don't light them on fire like I did the 1st time! ;) You can eat them right away with a sugar-free or low-calorie syrup or just squeeze on a little agave nectar like I do. I like to save them in a ziploc in the fridge overnight and heat them up for 30 seconds in the microwave in the morning. It's a great idea for a grab-and-go breakfast and you can be sure they will get your metabolism going and fuel your morning in a healthy way!

What other ideas do you all have for breakfast? Do you eat breakfast at all?