Thursday, January 30, 2014

Drake is going to motivate me...

And not the Drake you are all thinking...

My 4 bff's and I are headed to Chitown in May, for our "turning 35 together" trip and we are going to stay at The Drake - see how I put a spin on that - all hyped on coffee this morning;) Oh and FYI... all these bia's will be turning 35 - little ole me will still be 33. WOOT!!! I am the youngest in the group and have used this to my advantage for MANY MANY MANY years. HA... (these are my girls since grade school)

Okay here is the deal, I have almost a full 4 months to get in TIP TOP shape. The #jmdvdchallenge is wrapping up and I can say I did well. I worked out - did The Shred - ran - joined a gym - and then the bad weather happened and so did fro-yo, Twix bars, Papa Johns, Pasta, etc... you get the point... BOOYA!

With January wrapping up and my lack of motivation, running, working out, and eating healthy it's TIME to make a change... (for the hundreth time) - hey... fall down, get back up 17 times, isn't that how the saying goes - or something like that?

Feb - May Goals

My goal is simple, to feel good in Chicago. 

My FTF posts will be a weigh in for the week, my workouts that week, and goals for the weekend (the hardest time for me). I was also really bummed out I didn't run the half in Forest Park last weekend - well minus the sleet and wind that blew people sideways - so I am starting to sign myself for races for the spring - YAY! Oh... and I am doing the 10 day herbal Advocare Cleanse again starting on Feb 10th. I do the cleanse about twice a year - not just for the sheer reason of dropping that water weight, but because it really does put things back into perspective for me and I believe in the product.

Today I am going to put together my workout calendar and race calender for February and I will share that with everyone tomorrow for "Follow Through Friday". I am glad I woke up in a "Let's Do This" mood - I needed a swift kick in the booty and booking The Drake was just what I needed.

  "Then I, hopped inside the Cadillac
The chauffeur drove off and we never came back"

Goals for February? Great arm routines? Chitown places we should not miss?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bikini Bridges and Thigh Gaps...

Rant time (you might be used to sunny side up Mel - this post "eh" not so much)... and what this means to a WOMAN who has a beautiful impressionable daughter...

Can I just say this "What is wrong with people - I mean for real what is WRONG WITH PEOPLE?". Ugh... I always take the "high road" and just let stuff go - BUT COME ON! Yes we all want to look amazing, feel amazing, have other's tell us how amazing we look, etc... blah.blah.blah... BUT this... this ridiculous obsession with thigh gaps and bikini bridges makes me extremely angry and yet sad at the same time.

Thigh Gaps... 

Really, does the world think these messages are healthy for woman and our younger generations? My answer is HELL TO THE NO!!! I understand wanting to have healthy legs, thighs, and a booty but shouldn't we just be striving to make ourselves stronger instead of focusing on making our thighs "not touch". I agree nice legs are something that I work on too, but I enjoy the burn, pushing them to the limits, and/or feeling nice in skirts. Not that my way is the right way - but I want Elle to want to take care of her body because she enjoys exercising, running, dancing, swimming - not because all the girls want DARN THIGH GAPS!

Bikini Bridges...

Can I smack someone now? Now we are obsessing how we look lying down... AGH!!!!!!! Once again I like working on my abs too - I want a strong core, I feel it gives you better posture, and it makes my pants fit better. I actually REALLY enjoy working out my core, but not because I want this dam* bridge when I sunbathe. I am not EVEN going to get started on this one and how unfortunate I think this craze is. Sad. just sad. Please let this pass by the time Elle starts asking to go to the pool with her friends.

Long rant short... I TOTALLY understand the need and want to feel better about ourselves. I would love great looking legs, killer abs, and a nice booty. I think feeling good about ourselves establishes confidence and who doesn't want to be confident? I believe we should workout, eat healthy, run, swim, dance, play soccer, etc... because we LOVE IT, we want to be strong women, we want to feel better about ourselves, and want to live a long healthy life. Reality is, is that is not norm. We get fixated on certain stigmas, trends, obsessions. I know this and although it makes me sad and angry, my goal is to strive to teach my children to take care of themselves for no one other then them self. To push themselves to be strong because living healthy is more important than any gap in a thigh or bridge in your dang swimsuit. Rant concluded...

Happy Worst Day of the Week

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mi Casa...

It was long weekend. Elle came down sick with a nasty cold and was all out of sorts so I didn't race. I stayed home and loved on her. She needed me and I am okay with that. Basically I stayed indoors and got a ton done. I went out to dinner on Saturday night to one my "The Hill" favs, Zias. I ate my face off and don't care, but honestly I am sure the scale does... OVER IT!!!

Onto better things...

I have a few fun projects coming up at home and I can't wait to see the before and afters. First thing first - the kitchen. Let me let you in on a little secret - I am neutral girl... My house is fairly neutral and all flows, minus the kid's rooms. The kitchen needs a little "umphhhh" if I might say. So we are doing some fun things to the island counter... I am not going to spoil it, but I can't wait to get it done... I would also love to get above cabinet lightening done - we have the under but the above is so "perfect" to me. Here are a few before pics...

I have also been spending an ample amount of time in my office since I started my MBA. I love the color in the office but I think I am ready for something to spruce it up a bit. We will see...

I am also going to be doing a little "jazzing up" to my stairwell. I can't wait to share it with you all. Home projects are always a blast to me - well I am not the one actually DOING them, but I get to enjoy them;) Spring is upon us and that always makes me want to jump on every house project possible... Now just bring on the Spring warmth - I am over this winter. DONE. D.O.N.E.

Any projects going on in your home? Love your above cabinet lightening? Does Spring put you in "do, do, do mode"?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Follow Through Friday...

It is Follow Through Friday with my LADIES!!!


This week I got my JM in like a champ and moved up to Level 3 of the Shred. Um... helloooo Level 3 - for real who can do those things where you lie on your weight and do one arm up then one leg up? I am NOT there yet. I cut back on the weight training this week and just ran a few 2-3 milers. I run a half marathon tomorrow and I wanted to be rested up. WOOP! Looking forward to hitting that pavement in this cold weather;)

Really? Here is the deal, I am making better choices but I am still eating. I have been choosing healthier options when we go out to lunch AND... I am only eating half my meal when we eat "out". I ordered a French Dip sandwich the other day and a side salad. Only ate half of the sandwich and the whole salad - that is a TOTAL win for me... I usually slop my fries up with ketchup and eat every single bite on my plate - including making sure all the salt is off the bottom of my plate AND... I order dessert, so this is "winning" in my book.

I am eating fairly well at work and snacking on fresh carrots at home while I cook instead of Sun Chips (my usual go to). I am still eating dinner and I just can't fathom making TWO dinners right now - I have enough going on. So I just eat in moderation - with the exception of Thursday night when I ate chips and salsa at Las Fuentas and then frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf after Elle's dance class. Hey... she didn't finish hers and I wasn't about to let that go to waste - sad part is... she has a cold now so it is inevitable I will be ill in a few days - maybe I will lose some weight;)

This Weeks Goals
Continue with Level 3 of the Shred - finish the #jmdvdchallenge strong... Run, Run, Run, and start focusing on my weight lifting more. I am going to weight train 4 times a week. Shoulders/Biceps - Chest/Triceps - Back - Legs - I do abs every day so that is a given. I need to UP my water baby... Chug a lug.. and I am buying another round of the Advocare Cleanse. It's time to clean it up again. I am going to start sometime in February - haven't decided yet?

That about sums up this week. Tomorrow I have dinner out "sans kids", and I am really hoping that I stick to my healthy eating plan BUT... who knows? I like a good slab of meat and I may just go in for the kill;) If I do well in the race tomorrow morning I am treating myself... to FOOD!!!

Happy Weekend

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The ONE part of me...

You know that one part of your body that you just don't particularly care for... well mine are my arms. If you haven't noticed I wear long sleeves/ three quarter sleeves 365 days a year. You won't catch me that often in sleeveless, NEVER in a regular sleeve, and I am the QUEEN of jackets/blazers.

I have broader shoulders and the "Pauley Cursed" arms - my mother's side of the family has them and we just have to deal with it. I don't have a slender upper body and never will, so I HAVE to work my shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, traps out or else I just look like a big mush upper body.

My body is shaped somewhat like an upside down triangle. I have always been ashamed of my arms and if I am speaking the truth, I still am... but this year I am going to work really hard to embrace those muscles and let them see the sun more often.

Since I am not constantly running 20 miles on the weekends I am focusing more on weight training and I am loving it. My arms are toning up a bit and that makes me happy. Shoulders/chest are my favorite muscles to work out. I just feel that it keeps my posture nice and gives the illusion that you have a nice toned upper body PLUS... it looks nice when wearing lower cut neckline shirts.

I am putting together my shoulder/bicep day, chest/tricep day, back day, and leg day workout schedule and will post them each individually soon. I always find it helpful to see what other's are doing and try to incorporate a new routine or so - makes life fun... 

On that note, here is to 2014 and letting muscles win out over shame!!! 

P.S. if you want to see some amazing results - check out Holly's 2 week Dr. Oz Rapid Weight Loss Results HERE.

Thursday OUT!
Any arm workouts you love? Can you dig those muscles? Whose ready for the weekend?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So What Wednesday...

I am linking up with the Shannon from Life After I "Dew"  for SO WHAT WEDNESDAYS!!!

So What If...

I keep pictures of my outfits, where I went, and who I was with in my phone. I don't want to wear the same outfit out EVERY time with the same people. 

Elle enjoys the camera as much as the next guy;)

I am addicted to SoMo - A.D.D.I.C.T.E.D.

Even though Wes man says "You mean mommy" - I scoop him up and kiss his face and say "Mean, maybe? but I love you". That little voice tugs at my heart strings like no other.

I am counting down the days until Memorial Day weekend to spend a girls weekend "NOT running" with my "sistas" in Chicago. We had planned a big 35th bash, but since everyone and their mom (MINUS me) will be getting their "pregnancy on", we are going to soak this up!!!

I am missing my spray tans. I miss having some color on my pale skin. It is like a tan makes you INSTANTLY feel better - or at least it does me... AND this reminds me - I miss Cali. Miss it

Happy Wednesday
SoMo fan? Any fun vacations planned? Any girls trips to celebrate mid-life;)?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Myself, Numbers, and $$$

Happy "worst day of the week"!!! I haven't said that in awhile and it feels DANG good saying it. Ever since 2 weeks ago I wake up each Tuesday morning in a daze. Want to know why? I have "Jibbba class" on Monday night AKA... Accounting. Now if you know me and you put Mel and Accounting together, you are probably laughing your face off and clapping your hands... I SUCK AT SPREADSHEETS!!!

I started Accounting class a few weeks ago and thought "Eh... I will get through  this". I can read the book, memorize, and eliminate answers fairly well. We have a 10 question quiz each week and 3 Exams (open notes/book). I mean "Come on Mel... you got this"... So I was laying in bed on Friday night around 10:45 P.M. and it dawned on me "Agh... I have a quiz to do that is due by 11:59 P.M. that night". Procrastination Station, stop ONE - so I jet to the office, get my book and PPT slides out, read briefly through the quiz, and then just start laughing. I mean I understand NONE... NADA...ZILCH... I hunt and peck for 30 minutes on a 10 question quiz.... I did end up with a 9 out of 10, but I can't tell you what ONE of the questions actually meant. FYI... I guess fairly well;)

Now let's discuss how I feel in class on Monday nights from 5:30-9:30 while we are taught about debits, credits, margins, ROE, ROI, beginning balance, ending balance, investments, liabilities, expenses, etc... AGH... I sit there for 4 hours and dream about food. Big huge plates of crab legs with melted butter, German-chocolate cake, Papa Johns pizza, soft pretzels with cheese, Swedish Fish... and I nod here and there like "oh yeah... I totally get it". Not even close people...

I have never been the best with "numbers". When I was 18 I signed up for my first credit card. It had a limit of $500.00 on it. I spent about $212.00 at J Crew and then never paid my bills so it eventually reached $500.00. IDIOT!!! I then worked a whole summer in college to pay off that bill by the time I went back to school in the fall AND... that is where my ignorance with moolah lies...

Fast Forward to today. I NOW have a "spreadsheet" in my office (at home... this is AT HOME people) that I am TOLD to use. I put each debit on the spreadsheet... I forget sometimes... well OFTEN, but hey... I can make a mean meal with the money I just spent at the grocery store, or flip my "newly" done hair and bat my Lancome lashes... does it work? NEVER, I must still abide by the spreadsheet rule... LOL

Here is the deal...I make money. I like to spend it. I like to save it (some of it). I might not understand how a Balance Sheet or Cash Flow "whatever" works... but I can tell you what color each of my credit cards are WITHOUT looking, if you tell me the name of the store;)

Truth be told, I pay off my credit cards each month in full. I can't have any other debt hanging over my head beyond the mortgage and car payment (which I don't even have yet... waaaah) - I just wouldn't sleep at night (that is just me). Do I understand how it all works - not really. Am I going to pass this class - your DAM* right. I am going to come out of this class the BEST guesser on the planet - you might even want to hire me, that's an asset, right?

Tuesday OUT
Have a spreadsheet? Accounting smarts? What color is your Nordstrom's card;)?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Realizing and saying "okay"...

Hey guys.. I am so sorry I didn't get my "Follow Through Friday" in with my gal pals last week. It was a hectic week and when I am swimming upstream - sometimes something gotta give.

I did want to update on how my fitness is all going though...

I have been keeping up with the 30 Day Shred daily and getting in 4-5 miles run about 3-4 times a week. I have also been able to get in 3 days of strength training a week, which I am hoping to increase soon.

I started Level 2 of the Shred on Saturday of last week and I love this level SO much. I might have somewhat of an addiction to "skaters" - I absolutely love them. The ONE thing I just don't think the Shred offers, is an intense ab workout - so I always improvise with a few of my favorite ab exercises. Maybe one day I will share my ab pics... I am still too shy and still working on them...

My Favorite Ab Routines... 

I am actually doing fairly well with eating this week, with my cheat meal of the week being Saturday night. I ate pasta and drank 2 wheat beers and felt right with the world;) With school starting up, I am busy again and forget about food - that is VERY uncommon for me... I like food - A LOT! I am usually thinking about my next meal with I am eating the previous one.

I have also finally realized and came to peace with the fact that I will NEVER be a true clean eater. I was beating myself up with food and what is "clean" and "not clean" and feeling bad for this and that. I am DONE with that. I am taking on the "moderation" way. If I want Cheez It's - I am not going to feel bad for eating them because they are not "clean" - I am going to eat a small portion and MOVE ON! I just can't eat fruit, protein, and veggies for every meal - I will DIE... seriously... that just IS NOT ME and I feel so great saying that. I am not going to deprive myself of that skinny cow ice cream - I am going to eat it and be happy. All is RIGHT with the world again, it just took me knowing who I am and being OKAY with it.

This Weeks Goals
I am excited to bump up to Level 3 of the Shred on Tuesday. I am going to get my 3 days of weight training in AND... get a few 3 milers in this week because Saturday I run my half marathon. I AM PUMPED!!! I love races... LAAAAHUUUVE races... I really missed running just because I love it - it feels good to be back on that level. I am itching to run another marathon soon. Am I crazy? Nah... I just have the running bug and I LIKE IT!

Happy Monday 
Goals for this week? Racing this weekend? How is the #jmdvdchallenge going for you?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Update

Hey Hey Hey... Just wanted to give a few quick updates today...

I am revamping some things on the blog and will post about the "sponsor spots" soon. I am NEW to all this and honestly I am learning as I go. I started this blog when Wesley was around one (August 2011) and I didn't really get into it and work at consistently until September 2012 - but here I am... chugging along... and diving into new territory - hey that's my MO right?

I feel like I am somewhat in a blogging rut, so once again I am coming to you and asking you what you would like to hear about? I am a pretty open book and you know I LOVE to chit chat - so if you have any questions for me, want to know something about me, or want to hear about a certain thing/things, leave me a comment and I am ON IT... 

I am running the first race of 2014 next Saturday, January 25th and it is a half marathon (my absolute favorite). I am hoping to get in a few 5 milers this week and a nice 9 mile this weekend, and then next week just hit a few 3-4 milers before Saturday. I honestly do not have a "goal" for this race - I am just excited to get back out there after the marathon and hit the pavement.

There are some NICE give-a-ways going on right now, especially on Instagram. I am @missmel_joy on IG (I know different name... but that is me;) Here are a few you might want to check out:

#mamaneedsanewbag - Kate Spade Bag give-a-way - Check it out HERE

$250 worth of Glyder Apparel give-a-way - Check it out HERE

Kiki La' Rue has TONS of give-a-ways going on right now on IG (@shopkikilarue) and one is a YEARS worth of clothes.

Happy Wednesday

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why I love working...

It's been a minute since I talked about my job. I am not going to get into everything I do because I like to keep the blog separate from my career, but most of you know I work full time and absolutely, positively, most definitely... LOVE my job...

I went away to college (CMSU - name has changed now) and received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Rehabilitation. I then stayed there to continue my education in pursuing a Masters in High School Counseling. I came back to St. Louis to get married and decided I needed a job... so I started applying everywhere and anywhere. I ended up on an interview in Clayton on a cold cold November day in 2004. I remember walking in and just being myself. I talked to the employees, did my best on the interview, and left feeling pretty decent. I got the call that afternoon and was offered the job... The job was an "office manager" position. It wasn't in my field and less money than I had expected, but since I was getting married in 6 months and we were in the process of buying a house I took it AND... I am so glad I did... 

I started out in the file room - worked my way up to an analyst  - and then a position opened up in I.T. (System Administrator) and I was told "you are going to learn this" and I took the risk. I had only been employed for a year and now I was jumping into new territory, but I had the support and encouragement of my superiors. I ended up absolutely falling in love with the new position. I took it and ran with it... When I didn't know - I found out, when I wanted to throw in the towel, I didn't. I kept at it - kept learning more - kept listening to others... kept confidence in myself... and it blossomed into my career. 

I will currently be with my employer for 10 years this year and this was my FIRST job out of college. I am very proud to say I am loyal to my company and my department. I work with a superb team and under supportive management. They are not just my co-workers, boss, employees - they are my family. 

I wanted to start a MBA program 4 years ago. I even applied and was put on the roster, but I got pregnant with Wesley and decided it wasn't the "right" time. I wanted to be home in the evenings while he was young and Elle was going to be transitioning out of the "only child" role and she needed mom too - so I put it on hold. With Wes being 3 now and Elle 6, this summer I decided it was time, No more excuses... So I signed up for the MBA program through my employer at Webster University. Each course is 9 weeks long - and you attend one night a week for 4 hrs. I will graduate in May 2016 and honestly I can't believe I am already 3 classes deep. It is flying by... I eventually (2-4 years) want to use this degree to pursue a management position, as I can't see myself being a System Administrator forever. I am only 33 and my career has JUST begun... 

I understand that working is NOT for everyone, but I can't imagine my life without my career. My family DOES come first, but they also know how much my job and education mean to me. The kids always ask "you like to work mommy?" and I always reply with a resounding "YES". I love the sense of accomplishment I get when I walk out the door each evening, the relationships fostered through my time at this company, the skills I am learning each and everyday, the drive to want to learn more, and the all around happiness my career brings my life.

I hope my kids see that you CAN get where you want by hard work, determination, and the drive to get there... never giving up, but always staying kind and humble. It's definitely going to get overwhelming, it will be tough, you will want to give up, but in the end the reward is much greater then any pain you endured along the way. 

 Happy Tuesday


Monday, January 13, 2014

Swimming upstream...

This post will be short. After last week and my 4 day home stint, millions of parties coming up, school starting tonight and running solo by the end of this week. I am tired... I am behind... and I am sorry, I have completely been neglecting the good ole blog... I am here, just trying to get everything back in order.

This weekend I tried to enjoy the nice weather as much as possible, who knows when snowmageddon will back again. I was all about getting outside and getting some exercise. I missed the sun MUCHO. Anyways, miss you all and I will be back tomorrow or Wednesday - as soon as I get my "mind right";)

Have a Great Week

Friday, January 10, 2014

Follow Through Friday

Did you think I went M.I.A... nope... just ended up with the stomach flu like the rest of the my family. Ugh... I was down and out for a couple days but I am back...

Today I am co-hosting the "Follow Through Friday" link up with 7 ladies who are on a mission in 2014 to get FIT...


Here is my "Goal" Run Down for each week.

Monday: 3-5 mile run and JM 30 Day Shred
Tuesday: shoulders/biceps/abs, JM 30 Day Shred, 3 mile run
Wednesday: legs/abs and JM 30 Day Shred
Thursday: chest/triceps/abs, JM 30 Day Shred, 3 mile run
Friday: back/abs, JM 30 Day Shred, 5 mile run
Saturday: REST and JM 30 Day Shred (or switch with Sunday)
Sunday: long run (7-10 miles) and JM 30 Day Shred

I will also be weighing in each week (Wednesdays) and sharing my results.

Saturday, Jan 3rd - Friday, Jan 10th
I kept up fairly well until I was hit with the stomach flu on Tuesday - I took Wednesday as a REST day but I did weigh in and I am down 7 lbs from last Wednesday - I am sure this is due to my hurling this week - but nonetheless that is where I stand. JM had me sore the first 3 days and adding in the lifting had me EXTREMELY sore but it felt really good. I move to Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred tomorrow and I am READY for a change. I have been really trying to think before I eat and eat cleaner. I will NEVER be an all clean eater but I can try, right? So here is to another great week and my 2nd full week of my new changes in 2014. 

Next week I will summarize better and start posting my lifting workouts - but all in all I am feeling confident and better... YAY!

How are you all doing? Link up with us and share. Grab the button and share your "follow through" last week. Then click around and enjoy reading everyone's progress.

You are all doing AWESOME ladies and I am so encouraged and motivated by ALL of you.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hurling, Cleaning, and Repeat....

Well my house has had the stomach flu since Thursday and we also have been snowed in since Sunday so my patience is wearing VERY thin... and my house can't get ANY cleaner...

Elle woke up Saturday at 12:30 AM and was sick until around 5:00 AM and then just tired and groggy all day on Sunday - so I cleaned - deep cleaned... Sunday the storm came and we have all been snowed in with 12 inches of snow. Monday the kids didn't have school, so I was home AGAIN and decided to take down my Christmas decorations (except for the tree that doesn't come down until after the 12th) - that caused a mess so I cleaned AGAIN... The rest of the family (minus me) woke up this morning at 1 AM getting sick so guess where I have been all morning? CLEANING!!!

I LOVE to clean - don't get me wrong... I find it therapeutic and a clean house, to me, is peaceful. I don't stress or obsess about cleaning (that much) I just find the time throughout the week to do certain things. Clutter and I are arch enemies, so I don't have that around to worry about. I clean the upstairs bathrooms on Friday nights - the rest of the upstairs I dust, vacuum, etc... on Saturday mornings and I do the downstairs on Sunday nights when we are finished down there. I just have this set schedule and it works.

I don't trust a cleaning person - not because I think she/he might steal my collection of Kohl's jewelry, but because I am not certain that they will clean the dusty baseboards behind my doors;) So I do it myself and I like it that way. I am getting off track here... Moral of today's story is - I don't like cleaning vomit and my house has been cleaned 23 times in the last 4 days AND... I need out of this house so bad. I can't listen to another moan or vomit stricken noise coming from inside these 4 walls. I am going to brave the bad roads and try and make it to the gym this afternoon, if my family will allow me out. AGH!!!!

I will just be inside, AGAIN, sending goofy pics to my friends - if you need me;) Oh I did the boiled water thing where you throw it outside and it makes this big puff of white dust... and burnt my hand... the end...

Happy Tuesday - the WORST day of the week....

Any snow experiment suggestions? Stomach bug hit your house yet? Am I next - AGH!!!?

Monday, January 6, 2014

A few things on Monday (mostly fitness related)...

I am home. It is Monday and I woke up early to kick my workout in the booty before the kids wake up on this snowy "snowed in/schools out" day in. I wish I could take them outside but the negative wind chills have me actually considering their tiny fingers and toes - so inside it shall be...

First, my girl Holly is hosting an amazing Kiki La Rue giveaway - two $50 gift cards - get over there and check it out HERE. Did you also see that Holly signed up for the Nashville Rock N Roll Country Music Marathon in April - I am BEYOND stoked and proud of her. I am actually considering road tripping this one to run it with her - if all the cards fall into the right place it will be my second marathon. Fingers crossed:)

Second, starting this week my Friday posts will be all about my fitness goals for 2014 and how my progress is going. I will be linking up with some lovely ladies (Aubrey Leigh, Candra, Jodi, Val, Cait, Jacquelyn, and Jennifer) for "Follow Through Fridays". If you need accountability (like me), a "support group" of sorts, or just a place to jot it all down - LINK UP WITH US. If you are NOT a blogger and want to participate use the hashtag #FTF on twitter/IG and join in on the encouragement and support. These posts begin this Friday.

Third, I wanted to jot down my last week's progress in the "Jillian in January" challenge that has gotten so many people motivated and busting their tushes... I am beyond thrilled with the participation and find the encouragement/support overwhelming and wonderful.

Wednesday, January 1st - Gym (biceps, shoulders, and abs) 3 mile run.
Thursday, January 2nd - weighed in, took measurements and photos. 30 Day Shred video Day 1.
Friday, January 3rd - Gym (legs and abs), 3 mile run, and 30 Day Shred video Day 2. 
Saturday, January 4th - 30 Day Shred video Day 3.
Sunday, January 5th - Gym in my basement - snowed in (triceps, chest, legs, and abs). 30 Day Shred video Day 4. 

I am trying to watch what I eat - it's hard, like really hard, like those "dumbbell shoulder raises side squat things" in Circuit 3 of Level 1. I REALLY love food - it is such a struggle for me. I need a personal chef and not two kids running around wanting Popsicles and waffles. Ugh... I HAVE to change my mentality and when I get hungry not jump in the pantry for whatever looks appealing. That will be my challenge this week - to think before I eat and actually chew my food and not shovel it down my pie hole. I eat faster than anyone I know... It's crazy... I have to slow down and enjoy it - not scarf it down like a dog. 

I will also be upping my run mileage come this week (I wanted to taper after the marathon for a bit) as I am running my first half marathon of 2014 on January 25th. YAY! I can't wait. Just hoping the weather cooperates. 

Keep up the amazing work!

Any small goals for this week? How is JM going for you? What other workouts/running are you doing?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Getting Real Here in 2014

It's Jan 2nd and that means today starts the FIRST day of the Jillian in January challenge. I woke up, stepped on the scale, took my measurements, and stood in the mirror with my Holiday bloat and took pictures... Blah... NOT my idea of a good time, but I did it and I am ready to COMMIT!

Along with the challenge I will also still be running and hitting up the gym. I went yesterday and for the first time in a LONG time, I lifted weights. I did shoulders/biceps/abs and ran 3 miles - I should of planned better because my 30 Day Shred this morning was KILLING from yesterday. I was feeling downright awful after my morning "scale/photo session" and after that workout, I felt immediately better.

Oh... I signed myself up for a half marathon on Jan 25th here in St. Louis... I have a goal to at least run 1 race every 2 months or so... YAY the FIRST race of 2014 - can't wait.

There have been a few questions regarding the challenge and Holly put together this wonderful FAQ section, you can review it below:

Jillian in January FAQ's

Which Jillian DVD's are allowed?
Any of 'em! You can do the same one for the whole challenge or switch it up... as long as it's Jillian, it's all good. 

How much are the workout DVD's?
Most of her DVD's are under $10 from Wal-mart or Target. I have also found some free ones on YouTube by googling the workout. If you are a Amazon Prime subscriber, there are a lot of free Jillian workouts included!

How many days are between Jan 2nd and Feb 2nd?
There are 32 days built into the challenge. We added some extra days because stuff comes up, for those that are wanting to complete the DVD 30 times (not required). Also, Feb 2nd is the Super Bowl, so it would be a nice celebration with Sodium Delight and booze if we wrapped it up before the game. 

Do I have to share my BEFORE pictures?
No, not unless you want to. :) Just be sure to record your measurements and take a before photo, but you do not have to share that information until the challenge is over, if you wish to compete for the $150 cash prize.

How do I enter in the contest?
Share the image on your instagram and be sure to tag the four of us (@hollystanfield@missmel_joy@kimmyyy1, and @fatchick2fitchick). Between January 31st and February 3rd, people who wish to compete for the $150 cash prize can email me their before/after pictures to > holly.j.stanfield[at]gmail[dot]com

How is a winner for the $150 prize chosen?
On Monday, February 3rd, the four of us will go through the before and after pictures that were submitted. We will each pick one finalist. Those four finalists will have their before and after pictures posted on our public instagram accounts (photos will be removed when contest ends). Whichever finalist receives the most LIKES on their photo on February 5th (until midnight CST) will win the $150 cash.

What is the "A" for Effort prize?
The winner of this prize will win a Ruffles with Love tank of their choice. The winner will be based on how frequently this person posts their workouts, uses the hashtag #jmdvdchallenge, and motivates others during the challenge.

If my instagram is private, can people see my pictures if I use the hash tag #jmdvdchallenge ?
No, unfortunately people cannot see the pictures if your profile is set to private. However, you can still enter the contest for the $150 cash prize, by emailing me your before and after pictures by February 3rd. There just isn't a way for us to consider a private account for the "A" for Effort prize.

In the 30 Day Shred, Jillian says that I "can't phone it in." What does that mean?
I have no idea. Girl is bat-shit crazy so I leave her on mute and turn up my tunes. She also says that my neck "isn't invited to this party" like we are swinging at a pinata full of Snickers. 

Do I need to post a picture to my instagram everyday? 
No way. We don't want you to annoy everyone in your feed with your awesome and sweaty dedication. But the more you post, use the hash tag, and encourage the other participants, the higher the chance of you winning the "A" for Effort prize. 

Can I do other workouts in addition to the DVD?
Sure, ya little over achiever. But really, just do what you are comfortable doing. I'll be keeping up on my runs and watching Wheel of Fortune at the gym. But you do you.

Holly also has some great visuals and charts to use that she posted HERE. 

I am ready for 2014 and to make healthy changes and get my eating and weight in check - I hope by my next marathon I am slimmer/trimmer and can FLY through it.

Best of luck to everyone this year making changes to live a healthy life... and if you have ANY questions at all, feel free to email me at 

Get your JM in today? Sore yet (ha ha ha)? Any races this month?