INSPIRATIONAL POSTS, TODAY'S FITSPIRATIONAL MEME

Monday’s Motivation: Building your Dreams

IMG_20180122_100905_569.jpg“He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Has 2018 gotten off to a shaky start? You can’t build a sturdy house without first having the right tools to lay a proper foundation.

When I envisioned my 2018 being the year in which I would thrive and go to new places, I knew I had to prepare for when I would receive moments of inspiration, areas of opportunities and for those days of self doubt. Yes, I have those days too.

I developed a personal power pack to use as my prayer and reference guide, for when i needed to sketch out ideas or have periods of creativity, and to help me with time management.

In my power pack I have the following items:

•365 days prayer devotional book
•The Prayer of Jabez for Women book
•Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
•Oh the Places Pretty Girls Go AKA Passport Cover
•You have the potential to create beautiful things sketchpad
•Embrace your creativity pencil pouch •Embrace Life Lifestyle and Fitness Undated Day Planner (Available for purchase on my website @ http://www.fitandfinallyfree.com)

As you can see, my toolbox is full. Do you have the right tools you’ll need to build and create a successful year?

Live and be well. Happy Monday!

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INSPIRATIONAL POSTS, TODAY'S FITSPIRATIONAL MEME

Freedom Friday: Speak over your Life.

FB_IMG_1516378745174Freedom Friday: Speak over your Life

A few weeks ago, I asked the question what is the one word and/or proverb you wanted to speak over your life that would help change and shape the course of your life over the next 365 days. Last year, it was the Year of Yes and the Year of Strength which still holds true for me.

This year’s proverb comes from Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You Will Go,” and my one word is “Thrive,” paired along with the following bible verses.

1 Chronicles 4:10
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

Proverbs 18:16
“A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.”

Proverbs 11:25
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

Proverbs 16:3
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

I look forward to all of the places I will go, the people whom I will get to meet, and the areas of opportunity and growth in which I will thrive.

So far, 2018 has gotten off to a great start. You have the power to speak it into existence. What do you have to say?

Live and be well. Happy Friday!

📸 Photo credit Marlon Gentry
Thanks for the beautiful mini photo shoot, the talk and your friendship. ❤

INSPIRATIONAL POSTS, TODAY'S FITSPIRATIONAL MEME

Brown Bag It and Tag It: National Healthy Lunch Day

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Brown Bag it and Tag it!

Tuesday, September 19th is National Healthy Lunch Day sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. As an ADA Diabetes Advocate, I will be participating in tomorrow’s healthy lunch day as well as offer healthy lunch tips, alternatives, and post my healthy lunches the rest of the week.

I hope you and your families will participate too by taking your lunch to school and work. Not only will it help you save time, but money and calories too. Be sure to tell your co-workers about tomorrow and get them in on taking the challenge with you.

Try to commit to it the rest of the week. I’m excited by you commiting to brown bagging it with me by getting in at least one healthier meal per day.

Use the hashtag #healthylunchday and post your healthy lunches tomorrow and the rest of the week. I’ll also post a few social media badges you can use to help support the day.
Have a FITabulous Monday!

INSPIRATIONAL POSTS, TODAY'S FITSPIRATIONAL MEME

Monday’s Motivation: Kindness Knows No Age or Color

Monday’s Motivation: Kindness Knows No Age or Color

Sunday morning before church, I went to support my fellow running community as they participated in the MRTC RRS 10k at Shelby Farms.

I was at the start line cheering the last runners on when another runner escorted my new little friend back to the start line. She was crying because she fell right at the beginning of the race.

She looked no more than to be about 8 or 9 years old. I was impressed she was about to run 6.2 miles. She had her headphones on and her running app ready for the race.

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I saw that she had scraped her elbow from the fall. The other runner nor did I know her, but she sacrificed her time and pace to see after her. The race officials and I began to calm the little girl down, clean and bandage her wound and I wiped the years from her eyes.

I asked her if she wanted to finish the race. She told me she did. I gave her a big hug and told her how beautiful she was and how proud I am that she chose to finish what she had started. She and the runner who brought her back began running together again. After they left, I cried for I was filled with emotion.

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The running community is a special one because the pavement doesn’t care how old you are, how fast or slow you are, your gender, race, nationality, sex, or religion. It’s a sacred place where we’re all out there to achieve a common goal…to finish and finish injury free.

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I’ve met some amazing people along my running journey. It’s been life changing for me because running gives me freedom. I saw my new friend at the end of the race crossing the mat for she finished what she had started. Kindness helped carry her to the end.

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Is there something that you were meaning to do but didn’t? A goal or a dream you started but let life get in the way? During life’s journey we will encounter many obstacles that will cause us to stumble and fall. Don’t just sit there. Dust yourself off, take a deep breath, and finish what you’ve started. Show someone kindness today.

Live and Be Well…Happy Monday!

INSPIRATIONAL POSTS, TODAY'S FITSPIRATIONAL MEME

My New Healthy E-Book: How to Shop and Eat Healthy on a Budget.

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“How to Shop and Eat Healthy on a Budget,” is an ebook that explains how shopping and eating healthy doesn’t have to fall into what I call the 3B myths of healthy eating…bland, boring or a budget buster.

For only $9.99, this healthy ebook tells you how to develop a budget and a plan, where to shop, how to navigate the grocery store, and it comes with a weekly meal plan calendar you can print out and so much more.

Let “The Healthy Budgetnista” help you to become financially fit with your grocery budget and get fit in your kitchen.

VISIT MY WEBSITE AT WWW.FITANDFINALLYFREE.COM to make your purchase today!

INSPIRATIONAL POSTS, TODAY'S FITSPIRATIONAL MEME

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

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Tuesday’s Tidbits: September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Check out my food and fitness tips to help keep your children healthy and well.

According to the CDC, about 1 out of every 5 children in the US are obese. Children who have obesity are more than likely to become obese adults and will develop chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and other health ailments.

Parents, you are what you eat and do. Your children are watching and developing the same eating/exercise habits as you are whether they are good or bad. Now is the time to break generational curses of bad eating and exercise habits over your families. Some chronic illnesses are hereditary, but a lot of them are preventable.

Here are a few of my tips to help get you moving in the right direction for your families:

•Start making small changes by incorporating more fresh fruit and veggies into their nutrition plan. Introduce them to a new fruit or vegetable weekly.

•Opt for preparing foods baked, broiled or grilled instead of fried.

•Slowly incorporate more whole grains while eliminating the starchy white foods.

•Eliminate the boxed processed foods, canned goods, Ramen noodles, tv dinners, frozen chicken nuggets, french fries, and microwaveable meals. Cooking fresh is always best. No additives or preservatives.

•Make sure they’re getting a well balanced and portioned meal of a lean protein, carb, non starchy vegetable and a healthy fat at dinner.

•They are getting an adequate amount of sleep each night so they can perform well during the school day.

•Ditch the juice boxes that are high in sugar. Make sure they are getting their daily recommendation of water and milk.

•Prepare them a well balanced breakfast to jumpstart their day. Pushed for time…Granola bar and a piece of fruit instead of a pop tart or flaming hot cheetos. Oatmeal instead of a sugary cereal. You get the point.

•Substitute the chips, cookies etc for nutrient dense foods that are not high in sugar, solid fats and calories for items such as fresh fruit, veggies, a sandwich on whole grain bread with low sodium meat (if processed…natural with no antibiotics is best) natural peanut butter, yogurt etc for after school snacks and in their lunches.

•Cut down the tv/video game/smart phone time and take a walk with them in your neighborhood or go to the park as a family for 30 mins a day. Involve them in extracurricular activities that will help keep them moving.

•If eating out, opt for a healthier kid’s meal option. Fruit instead of fries. Baked instead of fried. 100% juice, water or milk instead of soft drinks, lemonade, or fruit punch.

•Cook with your kids by educating them about proper nutrition and the importance of eating together as a family.

Later on this week, I will post some healthy lunch options you can prepare ahead of time for your children.

INSPIRATIONAL POSTS, TODAY'S FITSPIRATIONAL MEME

Freedom Friday: Trust Him in this Season.

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When you PASS through the waters, I will be with you; and THROUGH the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you WALK through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2)

This WALK of life is never easy and can get overwhelming at times. Stay focused, remember your purpose, and disregard the negative, Look at your situation through spiritual rather than carnal eyes. He is always with you even when you can’t hear His voice nor trace Him.

Seasons change, but He doesn’t, so don’t get stagnant or remain fearful because you don’t know when or how it’s going to come to PASS. Even though you may feel as if you are going THROUGH a fiery season, as His chosen one, you will not be burned nor consumed.

For the flames will act as your guiding light which will lead the way to your breakthrough. Just hold on. Wrestle not. Trust Him in this season. Your breakthrough is on the way. I’m standing in agreement with you and for you.

INSPIRATIONAL POSTS, TODAY'S FITSPIRATIONAL MEME

It’s Ok to Pull a KD i.e. Kevin Durant: Keep Developing.

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People are in an uproar about KD leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to go to an already stacked powerhouse team, Golden State and even comparing his move to LeBron’s when he moved to Miami to have a better chance in getting a ring as if the two situations were different. Both moves were about the same goal…to get that ring!

Look at the bigger picture people. What KD and LeBron did is no different than you changing employers for better opportunities and benefits.

KD gave Oklahoma 10 years in pursuit of a ring. He was a great leader, but you can’t lead when people don’t want to be led. Westbrook was a ball hogger. Harden was traded. The bench didn’t offer much beyond those three. KD should have left immediately after Harden was traded, but he decided to stay. He gave it his all.

In pursuing your career goals, you have to constantly develop your skills and talents in order to remain sharp. Just think about how you probably have felt on a job when you felt as though you’ve gone as high as you can go. That was KD.

Timing and researching is important when changing jobs. You need to see if there’s going to be a proper fit, your skills can be utilized well within the organization and if the timing is right in order to make your move. It just might be your competitor. Who knows?

This is exactly what KD did when he left the Thunder to go to GS. His time was up in Oklahoma, but he had to make his move to leave at just the right time. In the meantime, he kept developing his skills while in Oklahoma.

He knew GS was an organization that believed in team work, allowed their players to use their gifts and talent, and wasn’t afraid nor jealous to let others shine. That should be the standard for any organization.

KD humbly joined GS, played his game, led them to the championship and got his ring. You don’t have to like KD, but you can at least respect his decision to do what was best for his career goals. Basketball is his job.

So, if you need to pull a KD in pursuing your career goals, by all means go for it and let the negativity of you leaving that job, going back to school, starting a new business or anything else that may stall your drive in becoming a better person fall upon deaf ears.

You have to do what makes you happy and get you closer to winning that ring and winning in life. Keep developing. Keep pursuing. Keep shining. Keep twirling on your haters!

Live and Be Well. Happy Wednesday!

INSPIRATIONAL POSTS, TODAY'S FITSPIRATIONAL MEME

Tuesday’s (Al)truism: Closet Issues

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Tuesday’s (Al)truism: Closet Issues

Many of us are fortunate enough to have a closet full of clothes to choose from, but we also have a spiritual closet that’s full of hopes, dreams, problems, desperation, fear and faith.

What will you continue to push to the back of the closet because you think it no longer “fits” into your life? It’s probably because it’s been awhile since you’ve tried it on, you’ve forgotten all about it or you don’t want to be disappointed with the perceived outcome.

Is it out of season or bad timing? Are you so caught up in the “labels” people have called you that you no longer answer to the name that He has called you to be?

Maybe it’s time for you to reorganize your closet and do some cleaning. Some things need to be shelved and stored away for the right season. Whereas, others need to be pushed to the front of your closet so that it can be seen and in the forefront of your mind.

There are some things in your closet that are so damaged to the point it’s not fit to be donated to anyone else but needs to be thrown away into the trash of negative thinking.

What are you going to choose to wear today? Faith or Fear? Isaiah 61:3 says He will give you a garment of praise. The choice is yours. Wear it well.

Live and Be Well. Happy Tuesday!

 

INSPIRATIONAL POSTS, TODAY'S FITSPIRATIONAL MEME

The Amazing Race: All Roads Lead to Ragnar

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Let the amazing race begin! I checked off another awesome running journey and adventure by completing the Ragnar Tennessee Relay with 6 men and 5 women from 4 different cities in 3 different states riding in 2 vans to run 200 miles overnight on back roads, road shoulders and paved trails from the mountains in Chattanooga to the hills of Nashville, TN. We were the Ragnar Renegades!  I also did it having lost 177 lbs in 4 years.

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Never in a million years could you have told the 342 lb old me I would be doing anything this amazing and I would be healthy and fit enough to do it at 43 years old. Back in 2010, I developed a mantra of “Fit by 40” where I wanted to become healthy, fit, medication free, and reverse the symptoms of my diabetes and hypertension.

Through changing my diet, becoming active and now running, I did it. I’m healthy, fit, and have been med free for the past 4 years. I even reversed my chronic illinesses. Having run my first half marathon in 2014, it lead me to develop another mantra of 50 by 50. I’m still on my quest of 50 half marathons in 50 states by the age of 50. I’ve completed 14 half marathons in 9 different states since December 2014. I ran my first full in December 2016. I’ve completed every major distance except an ultra in the running community. So, Ragnar TN was no exception to my new 2017 mantra which is “The Year of Yes.”

I promised myself I would say “yes” to doing more things that would make me happy and  probably could never see myself doing or was afraid of doing due to fear. Once I heard that some teams were being formed in my hometown of Memphis, TN, I immediately said, “Sign me up!” I was ready to take on the challenge. I figured if I could train 18 weeks to do a full, I was capable of doing this.

I was assigned legs 8, 20, and 32. Hard and moderate legs with little to no van support. Crazy elevation, but I told myself I got this. Van number 2 rolled out from Memphis at 3am Friday morning.

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We arrived in Jasper, TN about 3 hours later to stop at Cracker Barrel for breakfast where we ran into another van 2 team of runners, but these guys were something special. They were amputee blade runners. Some were missing one or both limbs. Chris, the one who I’m pictured with, is a one leg amputee. He ran the Boston Marathon in 2014 and was scheduled to run the same legs as I this weekend with his team.

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I could only imagine at the time how challenging it would be as a runner with 2 fairly decent legs to be able to run, especially Ragnar, than to run it with one leg and a prosthetic blade.

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Fast forward to van 2 checking in, meeting other runners,  and starting our legs. Talking about fun and team no sleep! Who needs the show Survivor when you can run Ragnar!

Ragnar was everything plus more than I ever expected it to be. No service in most areas so that was scary.  Change of altitude. Crazy elevations. Sleep deprived. Bathing with baby wipes. Twisting and turning roads. Unforgiving sun. Incline after incline. Running on a narrow road bend trying to avoid getting hit by cars. I’m always up for a challenge.

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My second leg had me running after midnight. Sometimes, I couldn’t see one foot in front of the other because it was so dark even though I had the proper safety gear on. Pretty scary Blair Witch Project kinda stuff lol with all the strange noises, darkness and running along mountain sides during periods of time in which I was running by myself.

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Very steep downhills that made you thought you would fall on your face and a few steep inclines that would never end. I ended up getting lost almost a mile off the course with a few other runners, but luckily a van saw us to steer us back on course. I could have let that dampen my spirit, but I knew I had 11 others who depended upon me to finish. So, I dug deep and finished my 2nd leg.

We took beautiful pics, slept anywhere we could and brushed our teeth out in the open.

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My 3rd and final leg. It was a leg structured from the fiery pits of Satan himself lol. Words can’t describe the ongoing uphills and inclines that wouldn’t stop coming. Nashville you can have your direspectuful hills and bobcats back!

My goal was to keep it under 13 mins a mile due to the course’s elevation and I did just that with 12:59. The course said it was moderate, but that was a lie lol. There was nothing moderate about it.

I normally don’t take pics or videos during my races, but words couldn’t do this justice today. My word for the day was “Ridiculous” lol.

Thankful to my van and the Memphis BGR van #2 for checking on me to see if I was ok because they knew how hard this course was going to be and for the runner along the route who spoke encouragement over me. He said, “May the road rise up to meet you and God always be the wind against your back.”

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As a team, we couldn’t wait to see our guy Eric,  rolling in to the finish line. We ran it in with him because it truly was a labor of love and a blessing to do this together as a run family in 31 hours. The pavement can be your friend and unforgiving at times, but when runners come together, we’re seeking the same goal…live to run another day. You don’t get to pick your family by birth, but you do get to pick your Ragnar run family. We wouldn’t trade this challenging, most exhilarating and awesome experience in the world for we are already looking for the next race. It’s official. I’m a Ragnarian Class of 2017!

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