Monday, September 15, 2014

My Before and Afters





This is the first time I've taken before and after pics. I still have a long ways to go, but I'm happy with the results so far. I would have NEVER realized there was such a difference without them. It definitely motivates me to keep going. I'm anxious to see what they look like two months from now. 

It's pretty simple.
Eat less, move more.

After a few years of ongoing back pain, losing my mom suddenly and other personal stuff...I found myself up 17 pounds. Having back pain is the worst, but luckily around April I found relief. I started seeing  a chiropractor, but I honestly think it was a large ovarian cyst I had that was putting pressure on my tailbone. As soon as it ruptured, I started feeling better. I was SO SO happy when I finally felt well enough to exercise!!

Here's how I did it:

1. I started with the month long squat challenge back in the spring. This really helped me gain muscle quick, and in the quads and glutes which are the largest muscles (helping boost my metabolism).

2. Then I moved on to 30 days of Les Mills Pump which was awesome for building muscle and again helping rev up my metabolism. I also walked on the treadmill. I think at this point, I was working out five or six days a week.

3. I stopped Les Mills Pump for awhile because I was gaining so much muscle (which is good), but I wanted my pants to fit better, so I focused on cardio for a month or two. I needed to see the scale drop  to keep motivated. It worked. I used T25 and run/walk intervals on my treadmill. 

4. I stayed SUPER busy all summer and ate less. Eat less, move more. I never deprived myself of anything, but just used portion control and skipped meals when I was busy (not on purpose), but when you aren't thinking about food all the time it makes it easier to lose. Of course, I also tried to drink more water (which is easy when you're working out each day). 


Tips:

*Start out slow. I really think starting out with just one change (the 30 day squat challenge), helped me ease back into fitness. After having a hurt back for so long I was totally out of shape, and starting out with just that one change helped me stay at it. 

* Be consistent. I cannot say enough about being consistent. There were a few weeks here and there that I just didn't have the energy to fit in workouts along with everything I had going on, but for the most part I've averaged at least four workouts per week. 

* Be accountable. Another thing that worked for me was posting on social media. Whether it be my blog or usually Instagram, it helped me stay accountable. If you surround yourself with likeminded people who also enjoy fitness and being motivated, your frequent posts won't annoy them. :)

* Do what you love. Of course I am a HUGE fan of Beachbody DVD's, namely T25, TurboFire and Les Mills Pump. But I really do love them all and think they are worth every penny! If you're a gym rat, a dance, love to hike or are a runner...stick to that. Whatever works for you!!

Hopefully my sharing these embarrassing before pics will help inspire someone out there to get up off that couch and move.

xo,







Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bright Island Outreach {Mexico 2014}


As I mentioned HERE, Kimball and I went on a humanitarian trip with Bright Island Outreach this past July. We went to Rocky Point, Mexico for four days. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it. There's nothing like being in a third world country, to make you realize what's important and how blessed we are to live in America.


We had the opportunity to deliver some donations to this orphanage, and provide dental work to people who can't afford it.


What a neat experience it was being able to visit with these sweet kids. 


This is Bruno and Alan. They were so cute and clingy. We tried forever to play Bad Piggies on my phone, but I'm a dingy and had no idea how. They had never played anything like it either so I showed them lots of pictures from home and they seemed to love that. I SO wanted to take them back with me. They just need a mommy to hug and squeeze them.


The orphanage was in need of cleaning supplies and LOTS and LOTS of laundry detergent so...we hooked them up. 


The sweetest little boys! 


The girls bunk beds, not too bad. I dreaded visiting the orphanage the whole time, (it was our last stop on our way back home). I was afraid it would be REALLY hard to take, and that I'd feel so bad leaving them there....and it was, but their facility was a lot nicer than I expected. 


They had their own little church too. Below: Roy, Matt (his wife Carly) and Brandon...all three guys are pre-dental students.


This doll had such thick and curly hair...and ummm, that unibrow!! I just had to take her picture.


Kimball was one of seven or so that did some translating. Once again, I wish I knew Spanish!


Dr. Harris is the man behind Bright Island Outreach. He's kind of a dude when it comes to helping others. I am so glad we met him. He's really helped change our outlook on why we are going into the dental field and what we will do once Kimball's a dentist. 


 A couple guys fooling around with the X-ray gun.




This is love muffin...Flora. I've never met such a happy, smiley child...until she got some injections and had some extractions. So sad, but I'm glad her mama was their to love on her. A few hours later, she was smiling again and drawing me more pictures.  


Many of the kids we saw came from an emergency shelter for kids that were removed from their home due to neglect or abuse. Broke my heart but they were so adorable. I only had one or two 'cry in the bathroom' episodes. That first day was hard. I kept thinking of my little Sophia who was the same age as some of these little girls being worked on. It was hard to see them cry, especially the ones who had not parents there to comfort them. I would hold their hands and try to soothe them, but it was super tough not to just cry my eyes out. 


I spent most of the two days giving fluoride treatments. We served approximately 238 people, some of them coming back the second day for more treatments. I'd say it was a success! 


Our supplies were set up on tables in the center of the gym. 


 Carly helping with the fluoride treatments. The group we went down with was so awesome, couldn't have asked for a better group of people. All excited to serve and help the Mexican people.


Dr. Scott Connell drove Kimball and I down to Mexico, along with his daughter Kylee. He's one of the dentists that served and also supervised the dental students.


More of the sweet orphans from the emergency shelter, some will be put in foster homes and some adopted. Others will stay there for several years. 


The two kids above are twins.


I look rather busted in this pic...ready for another long day of work...morning face and all!! :)


Above is nine year old Alan. He had TWELVE extractions!! Poor guy.


An awesome team of hygienists came. This girl in blue looked just like Paula Patton. 


Masha and Joni giving each other massages. I love these two! I've had the chance to work with them  these last few weeks at the clinic and wish I could do it every freaking day! 


I snapped a pic of these old buildings at the boarder. We waited almost an hour for the boarder patrol to OK our trailer full of supplies. Of course, they charged us $55 for bringing over used clothes for the orphans. They said it hurts their economy when Americans bring donations. Dumb.


A big thanks to my sister Jackie for babysitting and getting my kiddos to and from school every day! It was so awesome having her around. She has so many similarities to my mom...it was nice having her here!!

Sorry for the overload of photos...now go rest your eyes. Trust me when I say, there's lots more but I had mercy on you. :)

xo, 

Jessica

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My New Love


I just have to love on this new workout for a minute. 
T25 is like the shorter condensed version of Insanity. 
I love it.
Amen.

No really though, I get asked a lot which Beachbody workouts I like the best and now that I've tried everything out there (accept Power 90 and Tai Chi,)...my current faves are T25 and Les Mills Pump. I'll go a step further and tell you I also love Turbo Fire still and PiYo. I need to do more PiYo, but I'm a cardio junkie and love the results I get from weights so yes, I love Pilates/Yoga but I have to force myself to make it happen. When I do...I never regret it, but for that reason I prefer T25 and Pump.

Anyway, I'm training for another half marathon so I'll definitely keep this workout in my mix of cross-training. I'm trying to be valiant with the weights 2-3 times a week as well. 

I have to tell you, sweat is definitely my sanity right now!
I've lost seven pounds and no it's not the workouts.
Life happened.

I'm banking on that saying, 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'. 


xo,


Running for a Reason



I have so much to blog about and catch you up on, we've had some fun happenings lately. I'm dying to tell you about our service trip to Mexico. Even though things have slowed down a bit, stresses are still high around here for many reasons. I'm trying to breathe it all in and love it all out...which can be a challenge at times. That's life I guess.

I'll get more time to blog in a few weeks when the two youngest return to school. Until then, I just thought I'd spread the word about this virtual 5k. It's to benefit Courtney, a local teen battling cancer. You can run anytime in August. Go here to sign up or donate!! Make sure to tweet, Facebook, or Instagram a picture and shout out to help spread the love. Use hashtags #teamCourtney and #runforCourtney. 

XO,

Friday, August 1, 2014

One Year Ago Today....


It's hard to believe it's been a year since my mom passed away. I never really believed people when they said, "Not a day goes by that I don't think about them," but it's SO true, {insert lump in throat}. I'm so grateful for all that she taught me (hard work, compassion, charity, friendliness), for the amazing grandma she was to my kids (loving, caring, fun, devoted), and for the easy going, sweet, generous, and supportive mother-in-law she was to Kimball.


I remember at her funeral I just wanted to lay down in her grave with her. I didn't want her to leave me. I wanted to protect her, and take care of her, but I know that she's in a good place and busy with friends and family who have passed. Most of all, I'm glad she can rest and be free of her pain and struggles.
I know we'll be together again someday,  so until then we'll just keep laughing at all our "Bernie stories", because seriously they're endless.

XO, 
Pumpkin