Jul 062015
 

CrazyAwesome

Soo, I went to Fitbloggin’ two weeks ago, I missed last year (cue anxiety) and I thought I might have been forgotten, I thought I wouldn’t know what to say or how to act, I worried about the people who’s faces I recognized, but names I didn’t remember or even worse people who remembered me and I had NO idea who they were…ack ack ack.

Well, it was just the opposite…everyone knows it can be hard to remember everyone else, everyone knows that we double-check on names, everyone knows that its hard to come out of your shell on the first day and it takes a few hugs and hellos to really get back into the flow….aaaah.

But even BETTER, was a panel I participated in where we discussed the inner struggles that we have in common, that are hard to talk about with people who don’t understand, and we built our own little support system, called Mental Health Monday. Its a blog link up where we can be here to provide support, have our posts read, and keep the support going. I’m so excited about this!

Okay my little write up kind of goes all over the place, its a stream of thought type of post, sorry for the rambling ūüôā

It is funny to me…Fitbloggin’ was both the best feeling on Earth because I was surrounded by my people, a tribe that understands me and that knows my struggles and I know theirs. Not just about mental health..but the challenges of living a healthy lifestyle, keeping up with what’s best for our bodies, fighting against fads, people who don’t support us and just general apathy when things aren’t going our way and we feel we aren’t moving forward. But on the other hand, it is so HARD to be around all these people you want to see, talk to, hug and cry with all weekend long..how do you decide who to talk to, which after-hours event to do, what activity is best, which panel to attend…and you get all wrapped up in it and you end up doing nothing and seeing no-one. ¬†Or do you? Does it just feel like that, or did that really happen?

I feel like I saw everyone and did everything but like I also missed out on everything and saw no one…at the same time.

I feel so loved and welcomed but also like I’m not a part of it and not really that important…. at the same time.

I had a point when I was on top of the world, loving the fact that so many people “joined” my beer crawl and I was so excited to walk around Denver with everyone…but then there was just one. One person joined me, the rest fell away and probably joined a more popular group of people, I found some of them at my last bar crawl stop. Do I take it personally? Do I just blow it off cause people got lazy and didn’t want to go….if it was someone else running the beer crawl would they have been able to draw more people? I had a great time with my lovely friend that joined me, don’t get me wrong…but its just that feeling..in the back of my head….back to the bottom of the world feeling.

I often feel included but not part of the group at the same time…it happened a lot at Fitbloggin’ and when it finally really got to me….on our last night there….and another good friend asked me if I was okay…I actually reached out and told her what was on my mind and how I was feeling…there were tears, encouragement…a big hug…and I felt better…pretty much instantly…another lesson of how reaching out really does help. I love you my friend, you know who you are.

I love you my Fitbloggin’ tribe, you know who YOU are..and if you don’t…but you are reading this…you are part of it

<3 Merbear

Apr 152014
 

I joined two challenges one is 8 weeks and one is 6.

They are both awesome for different reasons!

I’m doing Dacia’s Mother’s Day Healthy Living Challenge with Dacia’s blog My Roots to Grow and a Facebook support group. Dacia is a friend of mine that attends the annual Fitbloggin’ conference! Man, I’m so pumped for this year and being part of this challenge makes me even more excited!

I also joined a “Spring Body Transformation Challenge” with my local Fit Body Boot Camp in St Louis Park, MN. ¬†This challenge is monetarily driven….if I don’t succeed at my goals, then the check I wrote at the beginning of the challenge will be cashed. We also have a Facebook support group, ¬†motivational emails and personal texts/calls/assessments with the trainers.

Why I like both of these challenges:

#1 We created our OWN realistic challenges for Fit Body Bootcamp they are for the whole 6 weeks, for Dacia’s challenge they are weekly

#2 We have weekly check ins, daily encouraging posts or emails, and an online and/or in person support group made up of the leaders and the participants in the challege

#3 We determine whether or not we feel we’ve succeeded in our challenges…do we feel like we pushed ourselves, do we feel like we learned something or earned something mentally or physically…..then we succeeded and that’s what these challenges want!

#4 These are make yourself feel good using positive methods challenges!!!!

Progress Report:

Dacia’s challenge – week 4:

  • I have improved my pacing when I’m eating, thus my mindfulness and hearing my full signals
  • I have set the goal of 8,000 steps a day, and while I haven’t accomplished that everyday I have made a drastic improvement in my daily steps…it used to be around 3,000 now its around 5,000 on the days that I don’t make it to 8,000. I also do make up days where I get to 9,000 or 10,000 steps, so overall very good for me!
  • I have improved with eating a fruit or vegetable with every meal
  • ¬†I now make sure and eat breakfast within an hour of waking up to get my metabolism moving

 Fit Body Boot Camp РSpring Body Transformation Challenge РDay 15

  • I regularly attend boot camp 3x a week and I’m on schedule to get there 4x a week starting next week!
  • I have lost 6.75″ off my body in the first 15 days of the challenge and I’ve lost 3 lbs (others have lost more, but this is the pace that is good for me, and that is OK for this challenge, I’m hitting MY goals)
  • I have learned that putting in that bit of extra effort….getting my butt to the gym, my feet moving a few more steps and being honest and diligent with a food journal will help me succeed in getting fit and healthy!

This is why group challenges and goals that are realistic yet challenging are GOOD for you!

What have you challenged yourself to do?

Are you in a group challenge?

Have you been in one in the past, what did you like or not like about it?  

Tell me! ūüôā

<3 Merbear

A few of my favorite snack combos!

 Basics, Blue Diamond, Fitbloggin, Food, foodie, guilty, Lenny and Larrys, lifestyle, recipes  Comments Off on A few of my favorite snack combos!
Oct 182013
 

I’ve learned from my dietitian and from personal trainers that the best snacks are ones that have a combo of macro nutrients, or at least one!!

What’s a macro nutrient? ¬†Carb, Protein and Fat are!

One of my morning go-to snacks that is easy to pack  is 1 serving of crackers (either measured out, or usually a snack bag size) and 1 string cheese!! (Carb and Protein!)

Another is homemade trail mix: (this is 10 3/4 cup  servings)

  • 5 cups of Cheerios (or any other healthy, not sugar cereal you like)
  • 2/3 cups of Almonds (or a lower fat kind of nut) – I use Blue Diamond almonds, most recently I’ve been using their Dark Chocolate flavor!!!!
  • 1/2 cup of cashews (or a higher fat kind of nut)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 single serving size bags of M&Ms (or any other brand or generic version, I usually use the Unreal, Unjunked brand)

(The trail mix has Fat, Carb and Protein in it!)

I also like to have a single serving size yogurt (any kind…regular, low fat, greek ¬†(BUT NOT FAT FREE) and a 100 calorie bag/3 cups ¬†of regular microwave popcorn (Fat, Carb, and Protein!)

Sometimes though, I’m in a big hurry….I can only throw a few things in my purse before I head out the door, whether or not I know if I’ll have to be eating or have a challenging food choice later in the day, I always put almonds in my purse!! ¬†You get fat AND protein…plus, umm, there are some really yummy ones out there.

Today at my desk I had these that I mentioned above:

 

Blue Diamond DARK CHOCOLATE almonds - 100 calorie pack

Blue Diamond DARK CHOCOLATE almonds! 100 calorie pack

Yeah, these are chocolate!! Not coated in candy chocolate, but a light dark chocolate powder. Omigosh soo good!

As many of my readers know, Blue Diamond almonds was kind enough to give out lots of samples at Fitbloggin ‘13 and they *did* send me a box of dark chocolate samples because I was so sad that they ran out at the conference! How sweet are they? ¬†However, they did not request in any way that I talk about or review them. I just like them so much and feel that they are so kind, that I wanted to share how much I really do love almonds.

Have you guys had their toasted coconut ones? Wow, if you want a healthy tropical getaway in your mouth, go get a sleeve of them and enjoy guilt free!!

I also have been known to pick up a sleeve or two of their Mocha Cappuccino at the gas station when I want a pick me ‘up, they actually work, plus they fill my tummy ūüôā

Other items that I substitute in for snacks are:

2 Babybel cheese rounds instead of the 1 string cheese.

3-4 Graham cracker squares and a single serving of regular chocolate pudding

Goldfish crackers and Cheez It snack bags as my cracker choices

Oooh and …. 2 Oreo Cookies and a single serving yogurt

Yes, yes…things that are sweet are okay and if you know that you can always have them and that nothing is bad….its easy to build up automatic moderation.

I actually haven’t had Oreos for a few months now, not because they are “bad” but I know I can have them anytime and I’ve developed more of a taste for cheese, crackers, yogurt and nuts!!

There is also another cookie that I love to have, its super filling, mouth-wateringly tasty and I also was introduced to it at Fitbloggin!!

Have you tried Lenny & Larry’s complete cookies?

There are lots of flavors, my absolute favorite is Pumpkin!!! But double chocolate is fantastic as well ūüôā

They are not “diet” cookies but much healthier and filling than a store bought cookie!! ¬†Scrumptious!!

Lovely Alyssa was representing Lenny & Larry’s at Fitbloggin’ 13 and sent me cookies to sample. She did not request or require any reviews or postings from me, I just love them that much!

dtl_coo_pumpkin3 lennylarry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you guys get some ideas about yummy and easy snacking! Its important to eat every 2-3 hours to keep our blood sugar stable. ¬†Going too long between meals and snacks drops your blood sugar and then you just want to maw down anything you can get your hands on…which is not good! ¬†Keep ahead of blood sugar spikes and valleys by keeping your eating regular and healthy!!

<3 Merbear

Jul 022013
 

Hi everybody! Readers old and new! I have so much to say about Fitbloggin’ 13 but I think I”m going to just start with a photo blog of my activities and people that I spent time with. ¬†Just to organize my thoughts! ¬†I also plan to talk about the swag I brought home and even a prize that I won coming up in the next week or so. ¬†I have to get that all organized in my head!

Fitbloggin’ is so much action, fun days of learning, loving, feeling, and moving….I’m so impressed by the bloggers who did live blogs or posted blogs almost every day that they were at the conference, I bow down to them!! ¬†For me, I’m not that fast, I need to process. So let’s start with my photos!

Thursday: (Day 1): Flew into Portland and got on a bus to head up to Trout Lake Farm for a tour with Nutrilite, ending the day with dancing!

 

Heading to Fitbloggin'13

Heading to Fitbloggin’13

 

 

Liz & I in front of Multnomah Falls

Liz & I in front of Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls from down below

Multnomah Falls from down below

IMG_20130627_133252_294

Railroad Bridge Over Multnomah Creek

View of the high bridge at Multnomah Falls

View of the high bridge at Multnomah Falls

 

On the bus with Liz from our hotel to Trout Lake Farm with Nutrilite!

On the bus with Liz from our hotel to Trout Lake Farm with Nutrilite!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multnomah Falls from the high bridge

Multnomah Falls from the high bridge

Railroad Bridge Over Multnomah Creek

 

Tractor driven by GPS, more efficient!

Tractor driven by GPS, more efficient!

Beautiful Vistas at Trout Lake Farm

Beautiful Vistas at Trout Lake Farm

Some Nutrilite Crops

Some Nutrilite Crops

Lemon Balm, smelled heavenly

Lemon Balm, smelled heavenly

Icelandic horses raised in Trout Lake near the Nutrilite farm

Icelandic horses raised in Trout Lake near the Nutrilite farm

myselfleahkenliedavid

Myself, Leah, Kenlie & David out dancing!

Friday – Checking out the expo, hitting up Deschutes Brewery for dinner, and mingling at Ignite Fitness in the evening

Liz trying out Total Body!

Liz trying out Total Body!

 

Leah workin' it!

Leah workin’ it!

 

A new friend Dani & I at Deschutes Brewery for dinner

A new friend Dani & I at Deschutes Brewery for dinner

 

 

Renee and I at Deschutes!

Renee and I at Deschutes!

Dani and I enjoying a local brew

Dani and I enjoying a local brew

 

 

Liz singing karaoke!

Liz singing karaoke!

 Saturday visiting VooDoo Doughnut, the Closing Reception and Sunday morning

VooDoo Doughnut

VooDoo Doughnut

Sue and I looking pretty

Sue and I looking pretty

Sam, myself, Heather & Christine

Sam, myself, Heather & Christine

 

 

 

 

Cynthia and I

Cynthia and I

Renee and I looking pretty!

Renee and I looking pretty!

Emmie and I

Emmie and I

 

 

 

Jan 232013
 

As you all know I’m a WW member now and wow, the program has gotten so full of helpful habits, tips & routines.

This month the routine is adding a fruit or vegetable to every meal. ¬†I had to remind myself at first, but now I do it automatically. It might seem like a chore at first…but adding a banana, strawberries or a melon to breakfast; cherry tomatoes, an apple or oranges with lunch; or,some salad and cooked veggies with dinner has really made me feel fuller and more satisfied with my meals and snacks. I am actually now starting to crave certain veggies..like roasted brussels sprouts!

One habit I am SUPER proud of though is planning out my meals and points before I eat them. ¬†This is a slow habit to build because I’m not a very good meal planner. But, knowing what I’m going to have for dinner…really helps me to stay on track all day. I’m looking forward to my yummy planned ahead dinner and I know what snacks/meals I can have during my work day and not feel guilty or worried about “fitting in” dinner.

Last night I made Steelhead trout. This fish tastes and looks exactly like salmon except it is more tender and has less fat/calories/points and the same amount of protein ūüôā ¬†By the way it was really easy, I just cooked it in a packet of foil in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes. It was PERFECT. (Oh, I put lemon juice, a couple sprays of olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder and dill) It was a household favorite!

As part of my counting up points before I eat them, I had a Vietnamese take-out victory today. We went to a local, only open for lunch during the week, Vietnamese restaurant to pick up lunch for work today. ¬†I ordered the chicken & vegetable stir fry with fried rice. ¬† I already had my breakfast points in my tracker, I also have my homemade baked chicken fingers for dinner in there too, and then I put in the chicken & vegetable stir fry (2 cups). ¬†After that…I saw how many points I had left for the day. Determined I wanted a snack with points this afternoon combined with my apple, so I took that out. Then, I saw how many points I had left and I MEASURED out 1/2 a cup of fried rice (I keep measuring cups at work!) and threw the rest away!!

Measured my fried rice!

Measured my fried rice!

Threw the rest away!

Threw the rest away!

 

Tracker

 

How about that? ¬†Rockin’ the healthy habits!!!

<3 Merbear

 

P.S.

I’m all set for Fitbloggin’ 13 in Portland! I hope to see you there!

Sep 262012
 

Howdy folks!

Okay so yeah I’ve been home from Fitbloggin’ for a few days, but I had to decompress, get back into real life…and mull things over.

Now I can say, wow, Fitbloggin’, I haven’t ever experienced so many different feelings and learned so much all in one place, EVER.

Connecting with online friends to become in person friends . Meeting brand new people and creating new and wonderful friendships. ¬†I met fabulous men and women from all across the globe (here’s looking at you @pinkypie). ¬†I found new blogs to follow, holy cow I think I have at least 20 new blogs in my reader, I’m so excited to keep up with everyone!

I learned new tools, like using YouTube for vlogging-watch out folks, I will post some videos now! (thank you Sarah Dussault).  A new friend, @skinnyemmie, presented on the ins and outs of driving traffic to blogs with social media.

Tara (@tidbits_of_tara) and Meegan (@redstar5) helped us all share stories and support each other’s journeys…whether that was weight loss, maintenance, feeling like we belong, anxiety, depression, motivation or just showing love for one another by leading a discussion on “When You Have A Lot To Lose

I collected lots of swag..whoa, so much.  I left for Baltimore with a full size suitcase only half packed (I had been warned), I came home with a 51 lb, packed full suitcase, plus a stuffed full carryon AND a yoga mat from NatureMade slung over my shoulder!!!

Reebok, McCormick Spices for Health, Weight Watcher’s Cheese, Unilever Spreads Good to Know, Jump Sport Fitness, Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, Florida Grapefruit, Refuel Got Chocolate Milk, Beef Checkoff, Nature Made, American Cancer Society, DetermiNation, Eggland’s Best, Popchips, SoyJoy, puravit.body, fitmixer, BistroMD, ZonePerfect, attune foods, and biPro

 

Of all the swag though…my favorite: ¬†Reebok Realflex shoes

Reebok Realflex crossfit shoes

 

During the conference I did a crossfit workout and a trampoline workout in these shoes. When I came home I walked around downtown Minneapolis all day, too. These babies feel awesome….I’m pretty sure I’ll buy the running version of them for regular running use. ¬†This model was described to me as a cross-training shoe and a saw lots of Fitbloggers running the Fitbloggin 5K in them on Sunday morning, but I probably wouldn’t run further than that (in my opinion only) in this particular shoe vs. a running model. ¬†My foot, personally, needs more support for running more than 3 miles. ¬†Walking and cross training though, these are the BOMB.

On a more personal note, this weekend I was kinda had this weird feeling, like maybe my story and my journey weren’t good enough, or tough enough to fit in with the other folks there. ¬†So many tough stories of losing over 200 lbs, car accidents, spinal injuries, family deaths, eating disorders….and these amazing people overcoming them, coming through them, achieving their goals. ¬†I kinda felt like a fraud….like..well..umm..nothing really bad happened to me….I was just overweight cause I ate too much and was lazy….yeah…that’s me. ¬†Nothing traumatic to blame or overcome or learn from…just, yup…lazy and ate too much. ¬†I was kinda feeling bad about that, like who am I to be here, all proud of myself, when I really haven’t done anything except count calories, exercise and lose weight.

I expressed how I was feeling like a faker to Robby(@FatGirlVsWorld). I told her how I felt like I don’t have a reason for being overweight, I don’t have a story…and she explained to me….that I do, “I just need to become more self-aware”. She went on to say, “As you become more confident & self-aware, you will learn your story, the reasons why, and you will become confident & strong.” She was also helping me feel better about how I know, this time, as I become more self-aware, that I will keep the weight off…because I will know myself better than before.

I want to make sure and thank Robby for being so strong, rational, reasonable and motivational to not only me, but to the many men and women she sat down and had a heart-to-heart with over the weekend, and the people she hugged, patted on the back, rang a bell for, shared a #GoTheDist wristband with, and overall encouraged to be awesome….because she loves us…..WE LOVE YOU, TOO LADY!

Alright, that’s it for now, phew…

<3 Merbear

Sep 192012
 

 

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I am soo pumped! ¬†I get to finally meet so many bloggers I enjoy reading in person. I get to learn new workouts, get blogging tips, taste new foods, try new products! Holy cow this is going to be so awesome! I’ve also never been to Baltimore, let alone Maryland…so a new state to add to my dossier! The Inner Harbor is going to be very cool.

I will be tweeting, posting on instagram and on Facebook while I’m gone, I’m not sure if I’ll have time to blog while I’m there, but I’ll definitely write it up after!

Check out the sponsors on this page:

Reebok, McCormick, Weight Watcher’s Cheese, I Can’t Believe its Not Butter/Country Crock, JumpSport Fitness Trampoline, Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Produces, Florida Grapefruit, Refuel Got Chocolate Milk?, The Beef Checkoff, Nature Made, The American Cancer Society, DetermiNation, Eggland’s Best, SoyJoy, puravit.body, fitmixer, BistroMD, ZonePerfect, AttuneFoods, biPro and Anchor Bay!

The event starts on Thursday night with badge decorating, a mixer and a comedian!

Friday will be a whole day of workouts ¬†including yoga and a WOD from Crossfit (freaked out to try, but I am!). I’m also going to hit up a session on YouTube and adding video to blogs, so watch out for some vlogs from me soon!

Friday night, one of my favorite organizations, Ignite!, has put together an Ignite! Fitness presentation made up of attendees who submitted their sessions…I love Ignite presentations, this is gonna rock!

Saturday morning will start of with BOUNCE camp! A trampoline workout, how fun is that??? Also going to learn some ZUMBA for the first time ever, I think I’m going to love it.

I’m especially looking forward to hearing from Tara Martin and Meegan Dowe: When you have a lot to lose. I love their blogs, I love talking to them on Twitter, I cannot wait to experience their loveliness. If you want to follow their blogs, too..here they are:

Tara: A Life Changing Journey 

Meegan: Redstar5 – A Work in Progress

Finally, I will be getting up early, on the last day, Sunday morning for a Fitblggin’12 5K! ¬†Running with people who have been inspiring me to run, be fit, eat well, ¬†and love myself?? Umm..YES!!

So, that’s that for now!! ¬†I hope those of you attending Fitbloggin’12 will PLEASE come find me so we can connect and share the love! ūüôā

Tweet at me! MerbearMN

<3 Merbear