Ok, so I know that this seems silly, but I'm reading The Secret again & I'm actually doing what it tells me to do;) the book is all about the laws of attraction, and the steps to getting what you want are to 1. Ask 2.believe 3. Receive. 
When it comes to weight loss, if you're always thinking about losing weight, the theory goes that you will continue to attract needing to lose weight.
So instead, You're supposed to picture yourself at your "perfect weight." feel the feelings you would feel at that weight, feel good, etc.
SO LONG STORY SHORT, I covered my scale window with what I consider to be my perfect weight, so I can stop stressing and thinking I'm constantly neediin to lose it. Instead, I think of that perfect number as already being mine!
I realize this sounds like a lot lol...but that basic principle will totally change your life. Like attracts like and good thoughts will attract good things to your life!

Good morning & happy Monday, folks! I thought I'd make a quick post about how to start your week on a positive note by giving back. Last night I was browsing active.com for local races, and I came across the Nike Grind charity, which I had somehow never heard of before. As fellow gym rats/fitness junkies, I'm sure you have a pair of shoes or two that have become too funky for even the hottest, sweatiest lawn mowing days. Donating them would be downright cruel, so they probably end up getting tossed & ending up in a landfill, right? Well, no more!
Nike accepts old tennis shoes of any brand, no matter the condition (must not contain any metal), and makes them into a grind that can be used to build tracks, tennis courts, inter-locking gym flooring tiles, playground surfaces, and even new Nike products. For more info on how the process works and how to get involved, check out the website: http://www.nikereuseashoe.com/get-involved/individual-shoe-recycling
Hope everyone has a great week!
Knock out your fiber needs with cholesterol-lowering oatmeal! Just one serving of oatmeal (1/2 cup dry) has 2 grams of soluble fiber. According to the Mayo Clinic, 10 grams or more of soluble fiber daily decreases your total and LDL (bad) cholesterol. We’ve got tasty ways to get your day started right by enjoying high-fiber oatmeal. For each bowl, start with 1/2 cup of instant or dry oatmeal. Cook according to package directions, then add our delicious themed toppings.

•  Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

You’ll definitely love the pumpkin flavor in this sweet bowl of oatmeal.

* 2 tablespoons fat-free vanilla yogurt
* 1 tablespoon pumpkin butter 
* 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Nutrition: 137 cal., 2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 44 mg sodium, 27 g carb., 2 g fiber, 4 g pro.

•  Cheesy Hash Brown Oatmeal

This recipe is a staff favorite! The oats blend right in with the hash browns for a south-of-the-border taste.

* 1/4 cup cooked hash brown potatoes
* 2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese 
* 1 tablespoon salsa

Nutrition: 244 cal., 11 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 13 mg chol., 310 mg sodium, 29 g carb., 3 g fiber, 8 g pro.

•  Tropical Coconut Oatmeal 

Get whisked away to the tropics with a bet-you-never-tried-it combo of flavors in this oatmeal.

* 1 tablespoon macadamia nuts, chopped 
* 2 tablespoons toasted, shredded coconut 
* 2 tablespoons dried pineapple

Nutrition: 262 cal., 13 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 54 mg sodium, 34 g carb., 4 g fiber, 5 g pro.

•  Hot Cocoa Oatmeal 

Think hot cocoa mix only goes a mug? We’ve re-envisioned it as an oatmeal topper.

* 1 tablespoon instant hot cocoa mix
* 2 tablespoons mini marshmallows

Nutrition: 221 cal., 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 156 mg sodium, 44 g carb., 3 g fiber, 5 g pro.

•  Bacon & Salsa Oatmeal

This oatmeal recipe proves that you can still enjoy bacon on a heart-healthy diet if you eat it in moderation.

* 1 strip chopped, cooked bacon
* 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cheddar cheese
* 2 tablespoons diced tomato
* 1 tablespoon sliced green onion

Nutrition: 172 cal., 8 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 17 mg chol., 295 mg sodium, 16 g carb., 2 g fiber, 10 g pro.

•  Blueberry Nut Oatmeal 

No pancakes here! Transition traditional flapjacktoppers into oatmeal flavor-boosters. 
* 1/4 cup blueberries 
* 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts 
* 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Nutrition: 204 cal., 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 7 mg sodium, 34 g carb., 3 g fiber, 4 g pro.

•  Apple Crisp Oatmeal 

Crisp apples, granola, and almonds put bite in your oatmeal bowl.

* 1/2 cup chopped apple 
* 2 tablespoons low-fat granola 
* 1 tablespoon chopped almonds 
* 1/8 teaspoon apple pie spice

Nutrition: 200 cal., 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 40 mg sodium, 34 g carb., 5 g fiber, 6 g pro.

•  Peanut Butter Cup Oatmeal

A dab of peanut butter and a sprinkle of chocolate chips are all you need to jazz up your oatmeal.

* 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter 
* 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

Nutrition: 257 cal., 14 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 78 mg sodium, 27 g carb., 3 g fiber, 8 g pro.

•  Turtle Sundae Oatmeal 

Pure indulgence, this sweet treat hardly seems like another boring oatmeal breakfast.

* 1/4 cup fat-free whipped dessert topping 
* 2 tablespoons pecans 
* 1 tablespoon sugar-free caramel dessert topping

Nutrition: 252 cal., 12 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 45 mg sodium, 34 g carb., 3 g fiber, 4 g pro.

•  Trail Mix Oatmeal

Bring trail mix to your breakfast table by tossing the grab-and-go bits on your oatmeal.

* 2 tablespoons mix dried fruit bits
* 2 tablespoons dry-roasted mixed nuts 
* 1 tablespoon flaxseed

Nutrition: 276 cal., 14 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 18 mg sodium, 33 g carb., 6 g fiber, 8 g pro. Can’t get enough oats? Read on for even morerecipes that use this heart-smart whole grain.

Are you bikini ready? 

Are you beach ready? 

Are you ready to flaunt your body at the pool? 

You heard me. It's flaunting season. It's short skirts, summer dresses, beautiful clothing, and hot bikini and bathing suit season.

And you better be ready, because us men are ready for you.

We want to look at you, check you out. 

Are you feeling uncomfortable yet? Are you thinking maybe another five or 10 pounds and you'll be ready for bikini season? 

Well here’s the deal: embrace yourself right now. Love yourself right now. Your body is exactly where it is right now, and you need to be able to flaunt it because I'm going to share a little secret with all of you: 

Men: we're visual. 

Duh. You already know that. But here's something you may not know: every man is different. 

Yes , we’re all wired different—though similar. We’re all visual, but every man likes a differenttype of woman. So, why deprive them of your incredibly beautiful sexy body? 

Believe me: wherever your body is right now, however far along your summer bikini diet, there are men out who crave it--as is

They're look forward to seeing you in that bikini, in that dress, in that skirt, in those shorts. So wear those clothes and feel good about yourself. Feel good about who you are. Embrace your beautiful body the way it is right now and get out of this computer and flirt.

If you're still uncomfortable and you don't think you can do it, then you need a shot of love. 

(Source: David Wygant. You can subscribe to his free e-mails here: http://www.davidwygant.com/women/blog/)


Body Lovin' 101: Start Lovin' Yourself a Little Better Today. (by ChiChi Kix)

Myth: body love is something that comes as a direct result of body change. The only way to love your body is to change what you hate about it. When you have the body you see in your head, you’ll stop feeling insecure, stop feeling bad about yourself, and stop comparing yourself to others.

False. False. FALSE. 

Truth time: Loving your body isn’t a process that requires changing the physical. It’s ALL about a change in attitude.

Body love isn’t all or nothing: getting to a place of peace with your body doesn’t happen overnight, nor should body peace/love imply that you’ll neverhave negative thoughts, not so hot moments or unwavering confidence. Body love is a process, a journey and a progression. It’s something that you invest in, work on and try to get better at with time.

I've been wanting to talk about positive self talk for a while, but have had a hard time diving into the subject. After all, it's a very personal thing!
I'd like to share two exercises that I do on a daily basis to try and keep the positive vibes flowing inward. Continue after the jump...

Daily Challenge: Eat a fruit or vegetable rich in vitamin C, such as red or green pepper, strawberry, or broccoli.
How to do it- Include a vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable in your next meal or snack. Choose from vegetables such as red and green peppers, sweet potatoes, kale, cantaloupe, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Fruit options include oranges, cantaloupe, mangoes, kiwi, strawberries, and pineapple.

Why it matters- Vitamin C is a super nutrient! It helps heal wounds and cuts, and keeps gums and teeth healthy. Studies suggest that vitamin C plays a role in preventing heart problems, cancer, and stroke. It may even slow down skin aging and help prevent stress. (<--SOLD!)

**I just added some strawberries to my usual Mueslix. Very easy, very yummy!
In my bowl:
  • 1 container Yoplait vanilla honey Greek Yogurt (100cal/0fat)
  • 2/3C Kelleg's Mueslix (200cal/3g fat)
  • 2 extra large strawberries (30cal/0fat)

So what to drink at happy hour? How about trying a "mocktail"?? Below is a recipe for one of the delicious Green Melon variety. You still get to be social and have that drink in hand, but not only will your drink be delicious, it's also going to be nutritious! Cheers :)

Daily Challenge: share 2 things you do to take care of yourself while caring for others.
1. Make time to read a book every week.
2. Paint my toes once a week!

How bout you guys? It's so important to take time out of our crazy lives and all the responsibilities we have to others & do something for our OWN well being:)
So I was driving along in my car, listening to National Public Radio, shaking my head at the reports on Afghanistan and the economy, when suddenly I was assaulted with the worst news ever: “Having a mere three ounces of alcohol,” intoned a diet book author being interviewed, “reduces fat-burning by about a third.” Now, if there are two things I love in life, it’s drinking wine and burning fat. Hearing they were in opposition was like when I heard Jon and Kate were splitting up: How could you choose between the two when they’re both so delightful? The author continued, “If you’re trying to lose weight, you probably need to stop drinking alcohol. You booze, you don’t lose.”

It’s not like I thought cabernet was made with Splenda. I knew it was calorific, but the idea that it was double-crossing me by slowing my body’s ability to burn fat was almost too much to bear. I normally believe anything NPR tells me, but I decided to do a little fact-checking. I mean, beer is among the top 10 energy sources of Americans (right up there with soda, doughnuts, cheese spread, and corn chips—and, no, I am not making that up). Since the majority of Americans need to lose weight (last count, 67 percent of us are overweight or obese), and health officials are always looking for reasons to tell people to stop drinking (don’t drink if you’re pregnant, don’t drink if you have breast cancer, don’t drink and drive, nag, nag, nag), wouldn’t we have heard by now if Bud Light were some evil fat-storing demon foodstuff? And beyond that, moderate drinking is linked with lower risk for heart disease and diabetes and increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol—how could it do that and be working overtime to make you fat, too? As I suspected, the story is more complicated than the diet book author suggested—although, sadly, she was not totally off base. How alcohol affects your figure depends on genetics, your diet, your gender, and your habits.

Now I'm going to take a break from the article and talk about my personal experience, but if you'd like to read the rest you can find it here: http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Health-Fitness/Alcohol-and-Calories-Does-Drinking-Cause-Weight-Gain

I seriously began my wellness journey in October, 2011. During that time until about March, a single drop of alcohol did not touch these lips. I was serious. I was motivated. I was ON IT! Then the weather gets a little nicer, and with that comes patio dinners, beer gardens, outdoor bands, and many other enticing activities that tend to include booze. During the last couple months I have consumed alcohol 2-3 times a month. No big deal, right? WRONG! Obviously, there can be other contributing factors here, but I saw an immediate plateau occur as soon as I began drinking again, and the effects seem to linger. I vowed that for the duration of my current 5 week boot camp, I was NOT drinking at all, because I wanted to maximize my results. But week 1 was Cinco De Mayo...and Week 2 my favorite band was playing. My point being, there will always be SOMETHING! If I had the discipline to abstain from alcohol for all those months, there is no good reason I can't do it now. So, I here pledge (very publicly) that I will NOT BE DRINKING until this camp is over.
I have read on some trainer's blogs that 2-3 drinks per week is ok. Other body builders say none at all. I say, that while you're in serious weight-loss mode, just give it a rest. I promise you'll feel better and utilize your time in a much more wise and healthy manner. I should also note that my thoughts aren't directed toward those individuals who simply want to tone up or lose 5 pounds. I'm talking when you're trying to lose a significant amount of weight. I also promise to follow my monthly follow up pics when this bootcamp is over! Always scary:) 
Live Your BEST LIFE; love one another, and most importantly, love YOURSELF today! Feel free to weight in with your thoughts in the comments section!

**Side note: I read an amazing article on alcohol and the effects it has on the body about 6 months back. I can't seem to find it anywhere right now, but when I do, I will be sure to share it!