Path To Fitness Success

The path to fitness success is not giving up when life gets tough.

A life without struggle or challenges would mean that you are playing it safe, staying with what you know, and limiting your own growth.  Struggle is a sign that you are pushing yourself, testing your limits, and making real progress.

Stay consistent and persistent with your fitness goals.  Don’t give up!

So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest.  Galatians 6:9 Path To Fitness Success

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M.I.A.

Hi everyone!

I know I have been M.I.A., but I’ll be back soon!  I’ll be stopping by your blogs to see how you’re doing.  Hopefully I can catch up with all of you this week.   Thanks for staying connected!  Chele~

Missing in Action

Knowing How Far You’ve Come

Sometimes we don’t realize how far we’ve come… Four years ago I saw my health decline and my weight increase.  I was sick all the time and didn’t have any energy nor time to workout, run or take care of myself.  And then my mom had a stroke… I knew at that moment it was time for me to make changes in my life.

See my earlier post: The Decision I Made That Changed My Life

It was a slow start the first year or so.  I lost about 20 lbs., but gained 10 of those pounds back ’cause I didn’t change my eating habits and mindset.  I got frustrated and lost my motivation.  But then I had a friend who challenged me to walk a 5K, a cousin who introduced me to Advocare and a coach who suggested to change my environment by surrounding myself with people who lifts me up and motivate me to keep going.

I have finally found a lifestyle I could live with.   The past two years I have really focused on my eating, running, exercising and rest.   People always ask me what did I give up to get where I am today.  I don’t look at what I had to give up, I look at what I have gained.  I have gained confidence in my abilities, strength, endurance, awesome trainers and fitness friends.  I also have a better understanding of who I am when I eat.  I am not the emotional eater anymore.   I keep to the 80/20 rule of healthy eating.   It has helped me change my habits and thinking as well as helped me to discipline myself on what I choose to eat.

So here I am today to celebrate how far I’ve come with a few transformation photos and accomplishments.

5Ks

My first 5K was in 2011, when I weighed more than I do now.  I walked majority of it and finished it a little under an hour.  A couple of weeks ago I had my first nighttime 5K race and finished it in 32:24 minutes!

5k transformation

Drop a Size

I set a goal to drop another size this year and I did it!  Size 12 to size 11.

Drop a Size

 Here is another two year transformation photo.  The 2012 photo was taken when I started my first 24 Day Challenge.

two year transformation photo

Whatever you are working on and however far you still have to go,  I want to encourage you to keep going and be proud of your achievements.  It doesn’t matter how fast or slow, as long as you keep moving forward and enjoy each step along the way.

 

Another 24 Day Challenge – Results

Well I let time get away from me again, but I’m here tonight with my results of the 24 Day Challenge!

I lost 6.5 lbs! Yay!  I’m finally under 150 lbs.

weigh in

Here’s my transformation photo from the challenge.  I’ve noticed I’m getting more muscle tone in my arms.

transformation photo

I’m also seeing more muscle definition in my legs.

runner leg

2 Year Weight Loss Transformation

I have come along way on my health and fitness journey and I owe a ton of credit to my family, friends, runners, trainers and Advocare.  Although I still have room for improvements, I feel better than I have in years and I see gains in my strength, endurance and overall fitness.  I’m really looking forward to running another half this fall and hitting the weights this winter to tone up and build more muscle.

Two Year Transformation

I want to thank you guys for following my progress and all your inspiring words.  Your support is deeply appreciated!

Another 24 Day Challenge – Day 15

I’m a little behind on my updates, but I had a few technology/internet issues last week and catching up now.  The last update was day five, on the cleanse and my first Insanity experience.  Today is day 15 and I’m on the Max “Burn” Phase.

Before I jump into the Max Phase, here are my results from the 10 Day Cleanse.

I lost 5 lbs!!

Results Ten Day Cleansse

The 14 day Max Phase is designed to help you fuel your body with core nutrition, increase your energy, control appetite and shed unwanted pounds and inches.  These 14 days help put your metabolism back on track and pushes your body to a fat burning mode.

During the Max Phase you want to continue to eat similar to how you ate during your first ten days with an addition of Meal Replacement Shakes.

You can read more about the Max Phase from my earlier post: 24 DAY CHALLENGE JOURNAL – MAX PHASE (1/23/14 – 2/5/14)

Max Phase

I did another round of Insanity and oh boy it’s kicked my rear! AGAIN!  I’m going to keep trying though and add cross training to the mix this month.  WISH ME LUCK!

Insanity

One of my great friends Samantha, gave me a sweet shout out that touched my heart.   It’s always nice to hear how your coaching has helped someone with their fitness journey. Thank you so much Sam!

My Dear Friend

“I have to give a huge shout out to my lady, Chele. You’ve helped me do something constructive with myself instead of caving into a childish act, my stress, and any anger that may have come my way. You helped me get back into the gym, jogging, and eating healthy all around. I love you for being such an amazing mentor when I’ve needed you, and for all of your inspiring posts on Spark your fit. I love you woman!!!” XOXOXOXOXO Sam

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well that’s it for today.  I’ll be back in 10 days with my results from the Max Phase and before and after photos!!  Enjoy the rest of this Labor Day holiday!

Theresa, The Chronic Pain Ninja

Over the past few weeks there have been awesome and touching videos of people participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS.

What is ALS?  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.  You can read more about ALS from their website : What is ALS.

ALS National Red logohttp://www.alsa.org/

I’m actually aware of ALS because I have a dear friend who is recently going through the stages of this disease and currently taking tests  to rule out what the doctors believe is Lou Gehrig’s/ALS.  So when I was called out by my friend Joanie to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I was happy to do so in honor of my friend, Theresa who suffers from not only the symptoms of ALS but from RSD too.

RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) is a chronic pain condition.  It’s a malfunction of the central nervous systems, which causes pain and additional symptoms.  You can read more about RSD from their website : What is RSD.

crps.awareness.fp.2014

http://www.rsds.org/index2.html

Theresa Wade and I have been friends for over 10 years.  We actually would run 5K races together.  She was diagnosed with RSD 3 years ago.  Recently she has shown symptoms of ALS and is taking tests to rule out this disease.

Here is her story…

September 2013

theresa

“I used to be a 5K runner, active, and always moving!  I was originally diagnosed with RSD in 2011.  Through determination, I walked 5Ks I wound up in a wheelchair in September due to tremors they thought were caused by ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease although not 100% certain.  I started some medicine.  I continued to do therapy and battle never being one to give up.  Here it is almost one year later after medicine and therapy and I’m walking.  I have tremors on occasion controlled by meds and stay positive using my faith, my family, and friends.  This year I have a challenge.  While y’all are icing it, I’m training for the hot chocolate 15K in February!  If there’s one thing I’ve learned, never give up on yourself, and always stay positive!!  You can do it!!  I have RSD and ALS but it doesn’t own me!”  Theresa Wade

Theresa is a fighter.  She came in first at Triumph Over Pain 5K last year in her wheelchair!

Wheelchair Race

Pain may begin in one area or limb and then spread to other limbs with RSD.  It can also include: dramatic changes in the color and temperature of the skin over the affected body part, intense burning pain, sweating, and swelling.  Chronic pain is the invisible disability, so don’t assume that someone is in more or less pain simply by the way they look.  While it may seem they are not hurting at all they could be screaming in pain by the time they get home.

good days bad days

Yesterday was a good day for Theresa!  She was so excited when I told her I was doing this challenge in her honor that she joined me and dumped the ice water on top of me!

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I am glad I had the opportunity to honor my friend and help raise awareness about ALS and RSD.  She is a beautiful person with a strong spirit and an inspiration to others who are fighting this disease.  I hope and pray that the tests she has to take will rule out ALS.  If you would like to follow Theresa and her progress please join her on her Facebook group Chronic Pain Support Group or you can watch her pain journal on YouTube.

Another 24 Day Challenge – Day Five

It’s day 5!  And how did I start my day?  WITH INSANITY!  OMG it was tough!  I had to drop down to the modified movements and take breaks, but I finished.  The instructor was super fantastic.  He did a fit test first, then showed us how to do the routine before jumping right into it.  I’ve never done some of those exercises so the pointers he gave us were a big help.  The Diamond Jumps, Squat Push-Ups, Frog Leaps with Burpees and oh the Pike Up on the stability ball… WOWZERS!  Talk about testing my abilities… WHEW!  Anyway I video taped myself before and after.  The after one really cracks me up.  You have to watch it.

 Before Insanity Take One

After Insanity Take Two

My Recap of 24 Day Challenge this Week

Day 1-3

Fiber Drink and Herbal Cleanse

Fiber drink is a great solution that not only supports digestion but also enhances weight management program.

herbal cleanse advocare

Easy Lunch Meal –  Lemon Pepper Tuna Wrap

Lemon Pepper Tuna Wrap

Low Activity – Crunches and Walking

Beautiful Sunrise

Day 4-5

Probiotics and Herbal Cleanse

Easy Dinner Meal – Turkey Patty, Long grain rice with black beans and steamed broccoli.

turkey patty, rice, black beans and broccoli

Activity – Crunches, Spin Class and Insanity

spin class

Insanity Fitness Guru – Matt

Insanity Fitness Instructor

Another 24 Day Challenge – Day One

I started my 24 Day Challenge today.  The first 10 days is the Herbal Cleanse.  This gentle cleanse can help you get rid of your body toxins and waste with its unique blend of herbal ingredients.  It can also supports a healthy weight loss.

Herbal Cleanse

Herbal Cleanse

I had one egg white, regular oatmeal with blueberries and strawberries and Spark for breakfast.

Oatmeal

Oh how I love Green Apple Spark!

Spark is a fantastic sugar-free source of energy, nutrition and mental focus. Formulated with 21 vitamins, minerals and nutrients, Spark has been a consistent top seller and trusted source of nutritionally advanced energy for more than 15 years.

Green Apple Spark

Lunch time, I had tuna with tomatoes on whole grain bread and did 50 crunches. Dinner tonight was baked chicken with broccoli and carrots.  I have 50 more crunches to do before I go to bed.  I’ll be back on day 5 with an update on my progress.

I completed a 24DC the first part of this year. You can read more about the first 10 days here: 24 DAY CHALLENGE JOURNAL (1/13/14 – 1/15/14) .

Post 100 Mile Challenge

I was exhausted after completing the 100 mile challenge.  I took off four days to recover and regroup.  Four days of no running, no spin class, no gym time… Just core exercises, stretching and foam rolling at home.

During that time away from the gym and running, I caught up with my friends and family and celebrated 18 years with my better half.

Me and B – Happy 18th Anniversary

Wedding Anniversary

The following week I eased back into the routine and scheduled a massage  appointment to help my achy muscles.  Oh and let me tell ya this massage therapist has magic in her fingers and hands.  She worked every kink and knot out of my back and my legs.  An hour and half of pure awesomeness.

After getting the deep tissue massage, the massage therapist told me to take a hot bath with Epsom Salt before bed time.   She said soaking in a hot bath with Epsom Salt for 10 minutes is a good way to recover from a deep tissue massage.  She said soaking will help get more of the toxins out of my body (Epsom salt draws the toxins out into the water).  She also said my muscles needed some rest after one of these massages, and not to workout that evening .

The Epsom Salt bath with lavender really helped me to rest and relax.

Epsom Salt

When I woke up the next day I felt like a new woman!  I felt so great I worked out with my fit fam at the park.  Oh man those Barfee (Burpee) Suicides in the sand was tough!

Fit Fam in the Park

Burpee Suicides

This past week I got back to Spin class and running.  I had a 5K race over the weekend and I did pretty well.  It was a hot and hilly one but I managed to get a new PR with hills.  Yay me!  It feels good to know my training and hill repeats are paying off.

A quick shout out to B for taking this pic at the finish line.  Love it!

Hustle for Health 5K

Hustle for Health 5K

My next challenge is Advocare 24 Day Challenge.  I’ve blogged about the 24DC before.  You can find my posts and progress under 24 Day Challenge.  I can’t wait to get started!!!

100 Mile Challenge – Day Thirty-One

I know you guys have wanted to know and…. YES!!  I DID IT!!!  I ran/walked 100 miles in one month!!!  Woohooo!!!

When I woke up that morning, it was raining… Ugh!  Although I appreciate the rain and cooler weather, I really wanted to run out doors vs the treadmill.  This got me thinking and contemplating if I could get this challenge done.

Instead of letting my thoughts get the best of me and getting lost in vague fears, I asked myself what is the worst that could happen? When I figured out what the worst could be, it really wasn’t.  I found clarity in knowing that I did my best and whether I get 100 miles or not, I’ve already broken my record!!

I felt like the Little Engine that could on that treadmill!  I think I can, I think I can… LOL!  The first 6 miles were great, but the last 4… Well, I walked/ran majority of it.  I even walked another mile to cool down.  11 miles on the freaking treadmill!!  WOW!!!  I was so happy when I finished I screamed and cried when I got in the car.

July was an extremely busy month that mostly consisted of working, taking care of my grand baby, and other activities with my family and friends.  It made this running experience hard, but doable with the right attitude and plan.  I’m thankful for everything I had to go through to get it done.  It has made me stronger in spirit, mind, body and running.

7/31/14 100 miles in July

100 miles

Shout outs and Thank yous