Friday, January 31, 2014

Faith in all things...

Yesterday my sister and her family went through the culmination of one of the best and worst things in their lives all at the same time.  I won't go into details as it's not my place, but I do want to share what I learned from the experience.

Faith can get you through anything.  I wish I had learned it sooner.  Watching someone I love so much going through something so hard over the past few months, I have seen a range of emotions and feelings...but the one that dominated them all was faith.  Through faith (and I'm sure lots of prayer), they saw things fall into place in a way that made going through this trial as easy as it was possible for it to be.  It will probably be one of the most chaotic years that their lives as a family will ever see, but as I watched what seemed like the sky falling down on them from all sister was firm in her faith.

Everytime we talked over the past few months, she told me that she knew things would be okay...that Heavenly Father was looking out for them and that they would make it through.  She even told me she felt blessed.  Circumstances that would cause most people to question their beliefs and to maybe even curse the heavens...were met by my sister and her amazing husband...with faith.

As someone who has struggled with their own faith and testimony over the past 15 years, this was a huge eye-opener for me.  If they could hold firm under these circumstances, what was my problem?  The things that had shaken my faith began to seem small and even petty some of them.  Sure, I can list all the things that made me doubt and made me go inactive from church for so long.  I could list all the reasons I didn't want to go to church and all the bad things that had happened to me or that people had done to me.  And I have done so in my mind countless times.  But how many times have I sat down and made a list of all the GOOD things in my life that have come from my belief in God?  How many times have I made a list of all the things I'm grateful for or a list of all the tough things that He has helped me through?  Other than on Thanksgiving?  Maybe once..if that.

Even this weight loss journey of mine.  How many times has Heavenly Father given me the strength to get through it when I was really struggling (which I do more often than not).  How many times has he helped to keep me both mentally and physically strong as I try to push my body to do things it's never done before?  How many times has He made me feel loved even when I'm really not loving myself?  I'd say it's a lot...but I ignored it for years and now it's all kind of hitting me at once.  It's pretty overwhelming.

I feel like I'm starting to ramble and all the thoughts in my head aren't coming out the way I want them to, so I'll wrap this up.  In short, I am grateful that I'm starting to find my faith again.  I'm grateful for a family that constantly builds me up to be a better person and that sets an example of the kind of person I want to be.  I am especially grateful for a sister who through her own trials, helped me to open that door again.  My life is truly blessed because of it.  Faith in all never realized how important that really was.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I know my title is not very articulate, but it's honestly the only thing that describes how I've been feeling lately.  About 2 months ago, I hit my lowest weight of 217.  I've not been able to get below it since.  I go between 222 and 217 over and over and over, no matter what I do.  I've had bad weeks where I ate out too much and gained a couple...and great weeks where I thought I'd done REALLY well and still can't seem to break that barrier.

The problem is...I know what I have to do to break through it and right now I'm just not in the state of mind to do it.  My body has lost so much weight and it has long ago adjusted to my insane workout schedule.  I do mix it up.  I do Zumba fitness, yoga, pilates, strength training, high intensity intervals, cardio machines, walking...I really can't change things up any more than I already have.  So I know it's in my diet.  The problem is, my body has adjusted so well to all the positive changes I've made over the past 2 years, that in order for me to lose weight at this point, it's not about how many calories I eat anymore.  It's about eating extremely clean.  That means lean proteins, veggies, fruits, nuts, and taking out anything even remotely treat like or processed.  The thing is...I don't want to.

For me, eating 100% clean and perfect 7 days a week is NOT something I aspire to do or would ever be able to do.  It's not realistic for anyone, really.  I "could" do it, sure...but I would be angry and miserable and fighting off cravings constantly.  I need to be able to cheat once in a while.  I need to be able to just eat what I want sometimes.  And I used to be able to do that and still lose weight.  But not anymore.  This past week we ate out one single time and split a burrito.  We also had football Sunday where I indulged on some chips & dip and candy.  Nothing too insane.  And yet here I am about to weigh in for the week and I am up a little (though that might change after my morning workout).

How is that fair?  I spend 6 days at the gym.  I workout anywhere from 1-3 hours in a day between gym workouts/classes and working on my own teaching routines at home.  I'm burning WAY more calories than I'm eating.  Shouldn't the math work out in my favor?  It's seriously pissing me off.  And what makes it even harder is watching other people doing the same things I am, and just sliding down the scale.  I know that there was a time in my journey when I could get away with this but I guess that time is over.  Question is, how badly do I want it?  I REALLY want to be under 200 lbs.  And the fact that I can't seem to even get within 10 lbs makes me want to cry.  I'm in a good place physically right now.  I feel healthy and happy and I'm enjoying life.  But I am not willing to stay at a weight where I'm still considered "obese" by my doctor.

I guess it's a new week...again.  And I'll try and take it one day at a time...again.  But this whole journey I'm on is starting to get really old.  I hate getting stuck.  It kills my motivation and makes it hard for me to motivate others.  But I'll keep trying.  I'm definitely not ready to give up.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A week of firsts...

This week has been amazing and it's only Wednesday!  The past couple of weeks have been crazy busy and stressful and full of nerves, but it was all worth it.

Monday night I finally got to play in my first league volleyball game (as an adult anyway) and it was incredible!  Honestly, the best part of it for me is just knowing that I'm healthy and strong enough to do so.  Our team won in two quick games and it felt amazing.  I love being able to jump and hit and serve and dive as if I were back in high school.  It feels SO good.  I'm so grateful to my new friend Janie who got me onto her team...and grateful that I earned the right to stay!  It's fun to have a new Monday night workout that I am truly in love with and excited for.

Of course the biggest first, however, was teaching my very first Zumba fitness class last night.  Ever since I was asked to do it two weeks ago, I have been going crazy trying to make sure I had all my routines down and my music memorized and worrying about every little thing.  I was so terrified that I would get in front of people and completely lose my nerve.  But the funny thing is that when I got to the church and went into the gym to set up my music...I had zero butterflies. I almost felt at home.  Like I had done it a hundred times before.

My great friend Amy was so sweet and when  I checked the mail yesterday I had a new Zumba shirt waiting for me!  I was so excited to wear it to teach (even though it came off after the warmup song because it was too hot for anything but a tank top!)  I felt confident and ready to go :)  Thank you for that Amy.  I love your guts!

As people started to trickle in, I figured we'd end up with maybe 10-12 people, but even that was more than I expected and I was getting more excited to teach.  But by the time we started, I had probably closer to 25-30.  I lost count haha.  It was overwhelming!  They filled the gym and it made it SO much more fun!!!  I couldn't believe how many people came.  I felt so truly grateful and blessed to have so many people come to either just support me or to come get in a fun workout.

I took the first 5 minutes or so to tell everyone my story.  I was amazed that I managed to do it without crying.  But it felt like the perfect way to start my career as a teacher...sharing why I was there and where I came well as how far I have come.  Sometimes I still don't believe it myself...and I've lived it.  Hopefully I was able to make everyone feel like anything is possible when it comes to getting healthier.  It's about finding what you LOVE to do and making small changes one at a time.  Losing weight and changing your habits can be very overwhelming if you try and look too much at the big picture.  I ended my little lecture with what I've decided will be my two mottos for my classes in the future.

1) "Just keep moving".  I have had this saying on my phone for years and it's so important.  Especially in a Zumba class when sometimes you get lost or lose your footing or simply can't do a step.  As long as you're moving, that's what counts!


2) "If it ain't jigglin', you ain't doin' it right!"  Most people who try out zumba for the first time (or first several times!) are very nervous about how they look and about how their bodies are moving/shaking.  I know for me I still get paranoid at times about my chicken wing arms and my stomach.  The more weight I lose, the more loose some body parts get and man do they jiggle.  Some can be contained with compression gear, but my arms just fly.  And I've learned to accept it!  But most latin dancing is about booty and hip shaking and're SUPPOSED to jiggle!  So love your body and let it loose!

As the music got started for our warmup, I really felt like I became a new person.  I felt confident, took control and all my hard work and practice paid off.  The moves came to me when they needed to and I was able to let down my own guard and not feel silly shimmying and shaking my OWN flaws for the world to see.  It felt ...indescribably amazing.  (and NOW the tears come...of course)  I had a couple hiccups where I got too excited and missed a cue for a step or two, but nothing world-ending...and everyone just kept moving!  It was so beautiful and overwhelming to see all those faces in front of me, watching me, and learning from me...and HAVING FUN!!!  Everytime someone would hoot or holler it just fueled the fire more.

One of the big things I was nervous about was having to FACE my class.  In the Zumba class I usually attend, my instructors faces the mirror instead of us.  In some cases, it's easier to follow that way and for some dances, I turned to do the same.  But at our training, we were taught that facing your class is so important because then you can really connect with them!  They can see your eyes and learn your cues for certain moves and it's just more fun.  It can be more difficult for certain songs, but I'm SO glad that I did it that way.  I loved being able to look at each person and see how they were doing.  And they did SO great!

Another really big thing I learned about myself last night is that when you're the one teaching, you work out 10 times harder.  Holy cow.  I've taken more Zumba classes than I can count and that was by far the most I've ever sweat doing so haha.  I think it's the combination of having to really accentuate every movement combined with the occasional yelling that you have to do (though I'm going to work on doing more visual and less verbal cueing in the about taking the wind out of you).  By the end of the workout (hell, even halfway through) I was red-faced and my pigtails (yes I wore pigtails!) were soaked to the core.  But it was AWESOME!  I know if I'm red and soaked that I worked as hard as I could.  But man, there were a couple times that I had to stop for water and gasp for air.  It probably didn't help that I had already worked out in the morning, run through my set list once at home and then spent 3 hours learning a new song the same day :|  But hey!

When we were done, everyone was so wonderful.  I got some really sweet compliments and made some new friends. I even got a lead on a job that I'm going to try for this week sometime!  It was such an amazing experience and I am so grateful that our wonderful Relief Society (church women's organization) President, Kristin, let me do this.  She's been so supportive and such a great friend.  I am truly blessed to have such amazing family and friends in my life who encourage me and push me to new heights.  I know I've already said this before...but I never thought I'd be here.  And it's just the beginning!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"Me estoy volviendo loco..."

(If the title of my blog is wrong, blame Google Translate.  Just saying.)

Why am I "going crazy"?  You might ask after having googled the title to this blog and wondering when I learned to speak Spanish.  I haven't learned Spanish, though I may very well after a few years of teaching Zumba® fitness classes!  (Like how I did the little copyright logo thingy?  Yeah, I get to do that now.  I'm special. That or after reading the licensing agreement, I'm just trying to cover my ass.)  So why am I going crazy?  Ever since my amazing instructor training, I've been listening to latin music non-stop.  Between working on my routines and just trying to memorize my music, it's in my ears (and my dreams) constantly.  I can't seem to shut it off!

Growing up, I never listened to this kind of music.  It was never really my thing.  I mean, I couldn't understand it...and I still can't.  But the more I have listened to it over the past year, the more I have become addicted.  I literally cannot stop myself from dancing when I turn it on.  I'll come home from a workout at the gym and turn on my playlist to work on memorizing my songs and their breakdowns...and promise myself I'm not going to dance the routines because I'm tired and need rest.  But I always end up doing it anyway!!!

I will lie down at night to go to sleep and will have one song or the other stuck in my head and my hips will start doing a subtle roll without me even realizing it.  When I finally shut it up long enough to doze off, I dream about it!  It really is making me crazy haha.  But hopefully it is also going to make me a better instructor.  One of my biggest fears is getting up there and freezing in the middle of a song because I can't remember the moves or what part of the song comes next.  So all I can do is just keep on listening!

I had my wonderful brother-in-law, Randy, translate a few of the songs for me just to see what I was dancing to.  He warned me I might laugh when reading them in English, and he was right.  These songs are so much more beautiful and FUN in their own language..that's really all I can say.  One of my favorite cumbia songs is about a man who is in love with a beautiful, black woman. And he sings that over and over...about how he loves this little black woman and is sad when she's gone.  Who knew? I can't imagine an English version of that song sounding quite as amazing or being as fun or sexy to dance to.  It really is an incredible genre of music and I am in love with it.

Now I just have to keep working on getting my hips to be as latin-inspired as the music!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"White girls can shake it too..."

Yesterday was amazing.  So amazing that when I got home, I was too tired to write about it.  Sorry!

Thursday night, I came down with horrible clogged sinuses and a sore throat.  Great.  I could hardly sleep as it was due to my nervousness and excitement about my day of Zumba certification, but this just made it impossible.  I finally gave up around 5am Friday morning and got up and got showered.  I couldn't breathe well and my throat was tickly all day, but I was beyond grateful that I didn't have any chills, weakness or flu like symptoms to go with it, so I knew I'd be able to survive a good hard workout, even if it sucked.

As I pulled up to Lifetime Fitness in South Jordan, I immediately wanted to turn around and leave.  This place is...HUGE.

I figured maybe it was an office building and the gym was in some corner of it.  Nope.  That ENTIRE building is the gym.  I could already see all these masses of athletic people walking in as I pulled up and it took a few deep breaths to get me out of my car.  As you walk in, there is a nice little spa on one side and a cafe on the other.  That right there tells you this place is going to be NICE.  You can't even see how much a membership is online.  You have to request the pricing via email.  Coming from a small little city rec center, this was very intimidating to me.  But as I was signing in at the front desk a sweet red-headed girl introduced herself and told me she was there for the Zumba cert. as well and that she was just as nervous.  Making a friend at the start really made my day so much better!  Kathleen and I survived the day together!

Once we got signed in, we headed into the main gym where we could already see Lindsey Taylor (The Zumba Education Specialist) and a couple others handing out Zumba kits and getting the stage and music prepped for the Master class.  Lindsey is a lot tinier than I imagined she would be!  As she described herself to us later in the day, she is a straight up white girl born and raised in Salt Lake City...who never thought she could do latin dancing when she started out.  But I will tell you right now, this girl has serious moves.  If she hadn't told us she was born and raised here, I'd have been sure she was at least part latina.

She's the gorgeous brunette in the following Zumba Fitness music video (dancing with Beto, the creator of Zumba!)

It didn't take long to dive right in.  We started the day with a 1 hour Master zumba class.  I was a little nervous because I knew that Lindsey teaches without verbal cues.  She uses only her arms, legs and facial expressions to tell you what is going to come next.  I'm used to teachers who use mostly a microphone, so I was nervous.  But she made it SO easy!!  The moves and the music were fun and energetic and even when I was trying to roll my hips and be sexy, I didn't feel completely stupid like I normally do haha.  I was blown away watching her teach.  I absolutely love my Zumba teachers at my gym, but this was a whole new experience.  I've never been in a class of 40-50 people like this and it truly felt like a giant dance party instead of a workout.  The time flew by.

The rest of the day was spent broken up between educational topics such as HOW to teach effectively, how to pick your music, how to break down a song and choreograph it, etc....and learning the 4 most basic rhythms used in Zumba:  Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia and Reggaeton.  Lindsey took each rhythm and showed us the four basic moves in each one and how to change them up with different variations.  She even slowed her hips down enough to show us HOW to move them for certain things.  I found by the end of the day that even I, the girl who always said "I can't dance", have some pretty decent moves!

During one part, we had to partner up and practice cueing our partner into different steps.  I was panicking until I got going and then it wasn't so bad.  My biggest fear in going down this road is that my stage fright will become too big of an obstacle to overcome.  My whole life, I've been in a musical family.  I've sang in church and with my Dad's band and even on stage in high school.  However, every time it's this big huge panic inducing thing for me.  And singing is something I'm actually not too bad at.  Dancing, however, is a whole other story.  I took ballet when I was little, but that's it.  I have rhythm, sure.  It's in my DNA as I mentioned before...but dancing IN FRONT OF PEOPLE???  HAHAHA.  I NEVER thought that is something I would do.  Ever. I never did the dance club scene.  During school dances, I sat out unless it was a slow song.  I don't dance.  Or moreso...I wouldn't dance.  I let the fear of what other people think overwhelm me.

I still don't think I'm a very good dancer, but now I know I can improve.  I've come a long way in the year since I started taking Zumba classes.  I've learned which way to roll my hips when my weight is on a certain foot.  And I've learned that a lot of just letting go and losing yourself in the music.   If you think too much, that's where the nerves come into play and you look like a dear in headlights.  So that will be my biggest challenge...learning to move past my stage fright and just enjoy what I'm teaching.  Because I LOVE zumba and how can I teach others to love it with me if I'm too scared to show them how.

So after an 8 hour day of dancing and learning, I finally became certified to teach Zumba.  Now comes the hard part.  Finding a job.  A lot of the bigger gyms (like mine) require that you also have a Group Fitness Certification...which I am currently studying for.  However, for some of them, the zumba license is enough.

I've been working on building up my routines and have several finished already.  But now that I have been taught more clearly HOW to do it and how to teach it, I'm looking forward to getting back to work on several more.  It's a lot more work than I realized.  Finding a song, understanding it's rhythm, breaking down it's form (verse, chorus, etc) and then putting moves to each part.  Not to mention memorizing it yourself and THEN practicing how to cue other people to follow you!  I admire my teachers for all the work they put in.  It's a lot.

On January 14th, I will be teaching my very first class.  I was asked to teach for a Relief Society activity in our church.  It's just for fun and to give me some practice, but I am so nervous.  However, I know that it will be the perfect setting for my first try.  I'll be in the company of friends who won't judge me if I stop dead and forget the moves or if I say left when I'm going right.  It should be fun!

I'm so glad to have had the support of my husband, kids, parents and siblings.  If not for the gentle encouragement and nudges given, I wouldn't have had the courage to get started down this road.  I'm so excited to see where it leads me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Shaking in my sneakers..."

Tomorrow is a really big day for me.  After an 8 hour Zumba class/instruction/breakdown of all the moves involved, I will officially be certified to TEACH Zumba!  I still can't believe it, honestly.  Never in my life did I aspire to exercise for a living.  But here I am extremely excited about it.  Oh and terrified.  Seriously terrified.

I've told my family and a couple of my friends that my biggest worry about tomorrow is that I will walk into Lifetime Fitness tomorrow morning and be "the fat girl"...that I will find myself surrounded by 110lb petite, athletic, gorgeous women (and maybe some hot guys?  I dunno if guys teach zumba, why not!  The founder does!) all dressed in their cutest workout gear.  And then that when we're all doing a one hour Master class together, I'll be the only one unable to keep up with all their unlimited energy.  Yes, I realize that is a HUGE assumption and exaggeration haha.  But my irrational mind is worried about exactly those things!

My friends and family know what I've been through.  They know that I've lost over 110lbs.  They know that I work out 5-6 days a week, sometimes multiple times a day.  They know that I am healthy and happy and every day getting closer to my goals.  But the Zumba people won't know that.  They'll see a girl walk in who still weighs well over 200lbs, is wearing compression gear for function instead of cute and colorful athletic gear that shows off every curve..and is most likely going to smack herself in the face with her own boobs when the jumping gets going lol.  Some of them will probably have the first thought of, "Hey, good for her!" and some will probably think, "What the hell is that fat chick doing here?"  And all of these things terrify me. It probably isn't helping me to know that the woman teaching the certification class is none other than Lindsey Taylor who is huge in the Zumba world and has even been in a music video with the founder himself. This girl is absolutely gorgeous and extremely fit and talented.  So while I'm SO excited to meet and learn from her (I've seen a zumba workout dvd that she did the teaching on and loved her!)...I'm also very intimidated.

Everyone keeps telling me I'm being silly and that it will be fine...and I know they're right.  But I also know that I'll still be terrified until that first song starts and it's time to work.

The bottom line is this:  I am ready.  I am still 50-60lbs overweight.  I have a lot of excess skin that actually hurts when I jump a lot or shake my hips really fast.  It will be a while before I'm ready to teach any advanced Zumba classes with all the high speed, jumpy/bouncy routines instead of the beginner/Zumba Gold classes.  But I am READY.  I workout 5-6 days a week.  I do strength training 1-2 times a week.  As my mother keeps insisting (and I keep denying) I am the most "Fit" and "healthiest" person in my family (Though I fully expect Heidi to catch up quickly and kick my butt once she's back to exercising!).  I am GOOD at Zumba.  Music and rhythm is in my DNA and while I've got some seriously bad white girl moves, I know how to give someone a good workout and keep the beat while doing it.  I'm ready.  I'm as ready as I will ever be.  And I've had the most amazing mentor to make sure that I'm exactly that. I've been practicing at the gym, I've been practicing in my basement, I've been practicing while doing the laundry!  I hear music and I immediately start thinking about how a routine might play out to the specific beat.  Is it too fast?  Too slow?  Too complicated?  I've only been taking this class for a year, but I'm ready.

I'm ready...and I'm going to rock this!  I hope :)  Now let's just hope I can actually sleep tonight so that I have the energy to show them what I can do...and to show them that I deserve to be a certified Zumba Instructor :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, Same Me!

2013 was a great year. It feels really good to say that.  It's been a while since I closed out a year and genuinely felt like I accomplished something in my life and didn't just survive another 365 days.  It was truly a GREAT year.

A good friend of mine (Hi Tristan!) posted something online yesterday like "Let the bs about 'new year, new me' commence" and I didn't tell him this at the time, but it got me thinking.  New year?  Yes, obviously.  But new me?  I kinda like the me I got!  I don't think a new year should make people feel like who they currently are isn't good enough and that they have to become "new" people.  That's not to say we can't improve upon the person we are.  Everyone has areas in which they can improve.  Be more kind.  Be more giving.  Be more FORgiving.  Be more selfless.  The list is endless and there is always something we can do to make this year better than the last one.  But I think the way to do that involves something I learned at the Biggest Loser Resort in Chicago this past September. You have to set ATTAINABLE goals.

We have all heard the cliche New Years resolutions that more often than not..get left by the wayside after a week (or less).  Lose weight.  Go to the gym 7 days a week.  Stop smoking/drinking.  Make xxx amount of money.  <Insert any level of reach for the stars goal here>.  And sure, reaching for the stars is great...but it can also be very overwhelming.  What we learned at BLRC is to take smaller steps towards our "end goals" rather than trying to see the big picture all the time.  If you want to lose 100 lbs, start with 10.  If you want to go to the gym 7 days a week, start with 2-3.  If you want to eat healthier every single day, start by making little changes to your diet instead of trying to completely overhaul it.  Smaller goals are much easier to achieve.  AND...they add up to a lot!

I've decided to write down some of the things I achieved in 2013 followed by a list of some of the things I really would like to/and think I CAN achieve in 2014.  I'm pretty sure I won't make a million dollars, though a girl can dream right?

In 2013, I (in no particular order):

*Flew on an airplane and was able to both buckle my seatbelt AND put both arm rests down!
*Took a pole dancing class with my sisters
*Went to my baby sisters wedding and actually DANCED instead of hiding in a corner somewhere
*Wore my first pair of high heels in over a decade
*Got my first ever pair of high heeled boots..and they zip over my calves!
*Played a full 18 holes of golf and didn't completely suck
*Lost 40lbs
*Hit 100lbs total lost
*Sucked it up and took my very first group fitness class...Zumba! (and fell completely in love)
*Took my first spinning class
*Shopped on the OTHER side of "Dress Barn"
*Fit into size 16 jeans! (I started in 28-30)
*Fit into my high school volleyball t-shirt and windbreaker outfits
*Started to see myself as "pretty"
*Lost almost 20 inches off my body!
*Met Jackson Carter from Biggest Loser season 14!
*Won a trip to the Biggest Loser Resort in Chicago
*Got to meet my idols, Hannah Curlee and Olivia Ward AND workout with them!
*Did a box jump without killing myself
*Chopped off my hair and went blonde(ish) to go with my new wardrobe!
*Celebrated 2 years of running "Jilly's Losers" and helping myself and others get healthier!
*Ran a mile without stopping.  Slowly...but still.
*Bought our first house.  It's not directly fitness related, but it's made me healthier emotionally! And it's great!
*Met and spent a week working out alongside one of my very best friends, Amy Linton, at BLRC
*Bought my first fancy dress since my wedding and felt sexy in it!
*Celebrated wearing my BodyMedia Armband for 2+ years and then switched to Fitbit!
*Took my kids to the park and actually played with them instead of sitting to watch
*Went 3 full months without a binge
*Moved lower than my hubby on the scale for the first time EVER!
*Went to a birthday party and had NO cake (I deserve a reward for that, seriously)
*Hiked a trail I hadn't hiked since I was a teenager...and loved it
*Drove a race car at Boondocks because my butt fit in it and I COULD!
*Ran my 2nd annual Pioneer Day race with my great friend Shawna!
*Started attending church again on a semi-regular basis.  Again..emotional health :)
*Got a personal trainer..who has become one of my dearest friends and has changed my life
*Heard my sweet Grandma tell me how proud she was of all my hard work before she passed away this Oct.
*Started playing volleyball again
*Started studying to become a group fitness instructor :)
*Counted my calories almost every single day
*Gave up soda
*Became a HAPPIER ME!

(I could list so many more, but I'm sure most of you already quit reading so let's move on haha)

In 2014, I would like to:

*Become officially certified as a group fitness and zumba instructor (zumba happens in 2 days! AHH!)
*Get a JOB!  My first in 14 years.
*Blog more often.  I'd say "every day", but we just talked about setting realistic goals...and that is not at all.
*Go skiing for the first time in 15 years
*Ride a horse for the first time in over a decade
*See a 1 at the front of my weight!!
*Hike with my family up to Timp Cave so my kids can see what I did as a teenager!
*Get into size 12-14 jeans
*Have more good eating days than bad every single week (this will be a tough one haha)
*Be able to do MAN pushups!
*Learn more healthy meals to cook for my family
*Get my family to be more active with me
*Get serious about writing a book (I keep starting and then getting stuck!)
*Finally move out of the "obese" category with my BMI (Body Mass Index)
*Help more people on their own journey to health and weight loss
*Try every fitness class at my gym at least once
*Play volleyball on a more regular basis (I got asked to join a league! YAY!)
*Work on my shyness and anxiety in social situations. I'm sure teaching will help that!
*Have regular date nights with my husband. They're great for my mental/emotional health!
*Buy a bike and use it on the trail by our house
*Golf more often than just when my parents visit! Then maybe I can beat them someday.
*Start saving money for the skin removal surgery I know I'll need (and want) someday
*Be able to hold a plank for 2 minutes
*Get rid of my plantar fasciitis so I can get back to "attempting" to run! Ugh!
*Remember how hard I have worked and how far I have come
*Continue loving life and living it every day instead of just being on the sidelines! :)

I know this is going to be another great year and I can't wait to see what it holds.  What are your goals?