Friday, July 31, 2009

Family Fun Friday

Yes!! It's Family Fun Friday!

Several years ago, I felt the need to start some really fun traditions for our young family. I wanted to find things that we could look forward to regularly and come to depend on and find comfort and togetherness in. "Family Fun Friday" was born out of this longing.

For us, Family Fun Friday (which we ALWAYS call it) means that I'll be making my homemade pizza and we'll do some cozy and fun things together as a family here at home, typically. Sometimes we'll play a board game or two (we have LOADS...some of our favorites are Cranium Family Fun, Scattergories, Rummicube and Mad Gab), perhaps go for a swim in our pool and enjoy a rousing game of beach ball volleyball, maybe watch a DVD together.

As our children have gotten older we'll tweak Family Fun Friday a little bit to add some pizzazz. For example, an addition we included within this past year was that every Family Fun Friday each family member can--ahem--burp and fart without having to say excuse me. Rofl. Seriously. It's not just a casual thing in passing. Oh no! Because we typically appreciate and require the standard good manners that go along with such an event it seems to have become a sort of contest to see how 'good' of an explosion everyone can conjure up. I'm known amongst my family members for being the sorriest burper to ever walk the planet, by the way...but I digress.

It's incredible to think about how I've been making these homemade pizzas most every Friday for EIGHT years! Our son was in kindergarten we we started the tradition and he'll be in his last year of middle school soon, for goodness sake! It's been something special that we've all shared together during this time and hopefully we'll be blessed with many more Family Fun Fridays together. It's all about the importance of family togetherness--sharing and SHOWING our love for one another through good times--by TAKING the time to be together despite all of those things that 'have to get done.'

I'm a firm believer that a truly healthy and happy lifestyle includes, of course, the very important elements of healthy eating and of physical fitness but also of love and of relationships. For me, those important relationships are with God, with my husband, with our 3 fantastic children, our extended family and our friends. We so often think of love as a feeling...cause it so often feels GREAT! But "love" is actually an ACTION! You won't always be feeling top notch, feeling all peachy or feeling 'in love' but you can overcome the feelings of negativity by focusing on the relationships in your life and by bestowing acts of love upon the people you care about. Family traditions are a great way to pull all of that together and make sure that you're all making special time for eachother.

Working out faithfully and eating healthfully also go hand in hand with consistently feeling better. The better you feel the more well-equipped you are to give of yourself. Matt and I were really tired yesterday but made a pact with eachother that we'd get our P90X workouts done and boy did we ever feel GREAT afterward! Exercise is PROVEN to make you feel better. If you haven't deduced already, I'm a BeachBody Coach and genuinely want to help as many people as I can make that positive change in their lives by finding a fitness regimine that you actually like and will stick's a lifetime change, afterall! P90X is absolutely fantastic but there are people of all types; as such, we've got programs of all types for all different likes.

Incidentally, my focus in making these homemade pizzas is to make them as healthfully as I can and still end up with a super tasty pie that everyone in the family loves! The children still, typically, enjoy a plain cheese or a pizza with a few pepperoni sprinkled on it but I make whole wheat crusts. Matt and I particularly like the thin crusts and, for ours, I'll often throw cut spinach leaves, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, black olives and just a LIGHT sprinking of mozzarella cheese on there with a slight dusting of feta cheese and a weensy dribble of olive oil over the top. The flavor is incredible, we hit most of the major food groups, the health value is high and it's just such fun!

I'd be happy to share my homemade pizza recipe if there's interest. Y'all just leave me some comments at the bottom of this post. Also drop me a line to learn more about the BeachBody fitness programs we have can also just pop directly over to my site at (please make sure you type in that last bit...the /LisaErin part).

So, to you and your relationships: Here's to staying healthy and rejoicing in the love that's all around and within us!~~Slainte!~~

Monday, July 27, 2009

Your Reason Why

Ok, the cat's been out of the bag for a long time. It's no surprise that most people embark on a fitness plan to attempt to lose weight, drop a dress size or belt size (or two), fit into a pair of skinny jeans, etc. Call it what you may but it boils down to a focus on a physical change. I'm not here to disparage that fact. It's important. America is still having a huge problem (pardon the pun) with obesity and something does have to be done about it. But get a load of this: did you happen to know that, of the hundreds of thousands of people who set out on some kind of diet or "weight loss program," just about NINETY-SEVEN PERCENT of them result in failure? What's THAT all about?!

I'll tell ya what it's about: their fitness focus is all wrong! There are a plethora of positive benefits that exercise is ready to provide you with but they, unfortunately, often get overshadowed by the "I just want to lose weight" monster. When you exercise for 20 minutes a day or more, you give your body the immediate gifts of alleviating stress, feeling better (due to the release of those awsome chemicals in your body called endorphins), being more equipped to fight off illness, the ability to reduce or elimate certain ailments (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type II diabetes), and that sense of satisfaction that comes following a tough workout of any kind. (My friends in fitness will attest to this...can I get an "Amen)?"

We all have tough days. There are times when a grueling day makes you feel plain ole tuckered out or achey and you just want to bathe, put on those pj's and kick your feet up. The thought of working out isn't even remotely inspirational. Ironically, I've found that--during those particular type of moments--thinking about my desire to lose a few pounds or inches makes me almost rebellious to the idea of donning my sneakers and popping in a workout dvd or going for a run. My take on that? I think it's a frustration in the idea that I'm allowing myself to focus on how I think society in general looks upon us. That old chestnut of having to fit a certain mold, to look a certain way, to be 'skinny." (there, I said it). So when I'm tired and worn out the thought of mustering up a workout for the specific purpose of looking a certain way for others who I don't even care about (that sounds too harsh for me...I think you know what I mean though) just sends me into my pj's with the longing for a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips! It's a mind game sort of thing.

We've got to find a 'reason why,' people. We have to turn within and really search for those reasons why we should work out regularly--6 days a week--EVEN when we don't feel like it. I'll share my reasons why to get your brains's that important:
~Lisa's reason #1: to experience that AWSOME and almost indescribably positive post workout feeling
~Lisa's reason#2: to increase my strength so as to positively effect all other elements of my life (from participating in triathlons and foot races to your more mundane tasks such as lifting things in and around the house without straining myself)
~Lisa's reason #3: to everything humanly possible to exponentially increase the quality of my life here on earth; to do everything I can to remain as healthy as I can in the hopes and with the prayers that I will live a long life and be able to share it in an active, fun and happy way with my husband, our children and (someday...LONG from now...their children) :)
~Lisa's reason #4: to eliminate or at least reduce those dreaded aches and pains that are otherwise inevitable as we age

Keep in mind, too, folks...the food that you eat is equally important as making sure to get in good, quality exercise 6 days per week. The main goal is to 'eat clean' by focusing on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins whilst minimizing the salt, sugar and fat in your diet. When you consistently eat healthfully and avoid those nasty foods (as our trainer, Tony Horton, likes to call them :) you'll find that your body craves the baddies less and less..particularly if you're getting that daily exercise in.

People, embarking on that fitness plan is of the utmost importance! I've just heard that the last 20 to 30 years of your life depends on it! There, I've just GIVEN you one of your 'reasons why:' to live a quality life during the latter few decades of it. You MUST take care of your body now so that it treats you right later. Find those other 'reasons why' and then, if you need help finding an excellent and complete fitness program to get you moving the way you should be and to keep you from getting bored then contact me. I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist but I AM an Independent BeachBody coach and can set you up on one of our phenominal programs like P90X, among others. That's the program that my husband and I are using and I have been ASTOUNDED by the fitness gains I've made--by leaps and bounds--in just the 9 weeks that we've been 'pushing play.' If you need to lose weight, you know who you are. I can help you with that but let's find other more lasting reasons to get and to STAY fit, shall we?

~To your health!~
Lisa :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why reinvent the wheel?

I thought I could do it. I cook healthful meals for my family. We pay attention to what we eat and try to make the heathier choices when it comes to nutrition such as using whole wheat flour in my pizza, pancake and muffin recipes, using olive oil instead of butter, staying well away from fried foods and making healthier, roasted versions instead. I could go on and on but you get the picture. So, when I dove into BeachBody's P90X workout program 5 weeks ago I really thought, "I've got the nutrition thing covered. I don't need to follow the specifically laid out meal plan. I'll just cook my own foods." This is an option that the program gives you, afterall.

Things were going very well with P90X. I've been faithful to my daily workouts and in 'bringing it' each time I push play (BeachBody'isms that we use meaning to push play on your dvds and give it your all when you do). I could instantly feel my body adjusting to the increased work I was asking it to do and could feel myself transforming into an even stronger woman! The thing that I kind of chuckle over lately is how I often find myself running my hands up and down my arms because it's so pleasing to actually feel the lean and beautiful muscles taking shape. No doubt about it, I'm seeing fantastic progress through P90X.

But another big part of my goal, aside from getting lean, ripped muscle tone is to lose the excess but of flabbola that I've got clinging to my 'womanly areas' (read: stomach area, bootiekins and thighs). No matter how much triathlon training and running I've done that dang fat just seems to want to cling onto me in those areas like a baby monkey to it's mama. 5 weeks into the program, I KNOW my abs are killer stronger. You can gauge this by comparing how well you did w/the exercises when you first began to how well you're able to keep up now. There were moves in the Ab RipperX workout that I had to modify or that I couldn't finish all 25 reps on when I began P90X that I'm able to hang with all the way through to the end these days (and I'm only a monkey toehair past being 1/3 the way done. Imagine me 2 months from now)! But still that excess jiggle that annoys me to no end remains, dagnabbit!

The thing is, though, you can work out as hard as you want and do killer ab moves til the cows come home but if you ignore the nutrition aspect of the equation you're missing a crucial part and you will NOT meet the goals you seek. Ignore the nutrition aspect? But I thought I was eating well! I cook healthfully and consider myself a health-minded person in general! I had to take a hard, honest look and figure out what was going on. Truth be told, those calories add up faster than you can imagine. A little 'harmless' snacky bite of this and another bite of that can throw you over your daily calorie total before you blink an eye. Those calories can be sneaky. I'd go to bed thinking I'd done so well but if I'd have actually journaled every single bite of what I'd eaten each day my guess is that I would have been coming in about 3-400 calories beyond my target calorie total daily---at least. That doesn't sound like a lot, does it. But thinking of weight loss as a specific equation where you have GOT to burn off more calories than you are taking in (it's really as simple as's all of the emotional eating garbage that muddles the picture and messes us up) it's no wonder I'm not losing that excess stuff I want to lose. I wasn't OVEReating...I was maintaining the position where I'm at. But that's not my goal; my goal is two-fold: to get stronger AND to lose the extra flabbola!

My peeps, you simply CANNOT ignore the nutrition piece of a weight loss program. Exercise is the other integral part...and kudos to you (and me!) if you are doing that. The time has come to stick to an eating plan that you can live with for the rest of your life. On that note, why reinvent the wheel? Here I was, a little tenacious woman who thought I could manage it on my own but even being dedicated to healthy eating I was not hitting my target. BeachBody, through the many exercise programs that are available and the information and tools available on the website, offers a great resource to help you reach your goals. Right there on my site you will find a calorie calculator to help you figure out just how many calories you should be taking in to reach a specific weight loss goal. Many of the programs (such as my P90X, Slim in 6, ChaLEAN Extreme and others) give you a detailed nutrition guide/plan so that it takes the guesswork out of the whole thing. So, I've opened up my beautiful, glossy nutrition booklet that I received with my P90X kit and am now following the menu plan; it even gives recipes and, let me tell you, they are DEElicious!

I touched on the emotional part of overeating. Let me not discount that thorn in our side. There are many reasons why people do it but the commonality is that we all MUST find a way to STOP doing it. I have suggestions for you on that as well. First of all, you NEED support and accountability. You've got to find somebody with whom you can get honest with to tell them of your struggles and ask them for help in the encouragement department. As a BeachBody coach and a person who cares about your health, I can be that person for you. Also, eventually eating healthfully and knowing how much and when to eat will come naturally to you but, in the meantime, it is CRUCIAL that you journal what you eat (and drink) each day. Every morsel. Every bite! Some people get all kinds of detailed logging how much protein, carbs, etc (I used to be that 'some people)' but that is simply not necessary unless you want to. Just list the date, time, what you ate and the calories. Keep track of how much water you drank and notate what exercise you did (and at what time) along with notating how you felt that day, etc. This will help you see any particular patterns that you might want to be aware of (like did you notice yourself reaching for more food later in the evening out of boredom)?

A few other tips I've learned along the way: GET TO BED at night at a decent hour! Don't stay up playing around on the computer or watching tv...that's when a lot of unneccessary eating happens. We often ignore the signals from our body when it tells us it's TIRED. Get to bed at a decent hour! If you feel yourself experiencing a craving for a calorie-laden food or if you feel like eating when you know you really shouldn't be hungry, INTERRUPT yourself! You have to get in the habit of NOT making those endless trips to the fridge and pantry. Pop in one of your BeachBody workouts, go for a walk or a swim, do ANYthing that will take your mind off of it (or at least keep you from that blasted fridge)! In most cases, after about 15 minutes the feeling will pass and you can pat yourself on the back! Also, DRINK WATER! Oftentimes, when we think we are 'just soooo hungry' we are actually VERY FLIPPIN THIRSTY! There's nothin like water! Drink up!

It took a bit of time to form these less than desireable habits and to put the excess flab on. Be kind to yourself and take this step toward true happiness and good health. You'll feel better and you'll be setting a super example for others around you---young and old. To find out how to buy P90X or any other of our excellent programs and to get on the path to regular exercise and healthy eating, head over to my main site at Would love for you to share comments below as well.

To our health~