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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Paradise - Easy or Hard?

www.fatgurlinside.comWhen I tell you that Jake and I are planning to move to Maui the idea that this will be hard probably isn't what will come to your mind. Instead you will probably be excited for us, call us lucky, tell us how you would love to do something like this, or maybe even be a little jealous of us as we pursue our dreams in a land many consider paradise.

You probably won't be thinking that this is the hard choice for us. You probably don't realize that we've actually wrestled with this decision for a while now, and that it actually is quite difficult to say goodbye to all that is familiar to us, to face all the uncertainty of moving far away wondering if our careers will be able to sustain us.

As much as I'm excited about the prospect of going to Maui, of starting a new adventure with the one I love as we chase after the dreams God has put in our hearts, it doesn't mean that sometimes I don't doubt that this is God's best for me.

The reality for me is this: in Maui I will be 20+ hours of travel away from everything I know. All of my family will be thousands of miles away from me. I will have to find a new church and begin to make connections there. I won't know my way around town, or how to pronounce any of the road names—seriously, there are some whacky names in Maui, e.g. Honoapiilani Highway. I suspect I'll make a fool of myself many times as I learn to pronounce these names.

It's also hard because, sadly, I believe there is a good chance you won't ever come visit us because we will be so far away. People say they will come visit, and I have no doubt that they want to, but I know that life gets crazy and when it comes down to it spending a $1,000 on a plane ticket just isn't a realistic option for most people.

Life hasn't quite turned out like we had hoped it would here in northern New England, but that doesn't mean we're running away to go live in paradise. Staying in Vermont would be easy, not necessarily always enjoyable, but easy nonetheless—close to all our family, our church body, our support system, streets with names we can actually pronounce.

In many ways, moving to Maui is the hard thing to do.

As I sit here writing this, I'm deciding between selling, giving away, storing, or bringing with us items that once made our house a home. Every little thing we get rid of or pack away is another goodbye. It's hard to comb through old photos and remember all the things you love about home, then put them in box and wonder if you'll ever see them again.

But I think it's those hard things that we choose to do that God can use to grow us, mold us, and bring us more into the likeness of His image. By following the dreams He has placed on our hearts, we come closer and closer to living out His calling in our lives.

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Pumpkin Pancakes - Gluten Free, Dairy Free!

I promised to share this recipe on Facebook yesterday. They are becoming my "go to" fall treat because it isn't really fall until you have pumpkin everything!

Pumpkin Pancakes
(Gluten and Dairy FREE!)

Recipe is for one and makes 4 medium sized pancakes.

1/3 Cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or use your own spices)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon (or a hand full if you love cinnamon :-)
1-2 tsp Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
Sprinkle of Salt

Preheat your griddle to medium heat, about 325. Your pan/griddle needs to be HOT before you start cooking the pancakes, so be sure to turn it on before you make your mix!

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl until smooth.

Oil your griddle—I used coconut oil, but any oil will do.

Pour 4 medium sized pancakes on the hot griddle, about 4 inches across each. Let cook for 2-3 minutes on one size until it begins to bubble, flipping too early may cause them to stick. After you flip let them cook 2-3 more minutes until cooked through.

If you are following the 21 Day Fix program this recipe equals 1 orange, 1 green, 1 red and 1 tsp :-)

Enjoy with a drizzle of honey, maple syrup or other toppings!

Hope you enjoy!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Would You Stay At A Job Where You Received NO PAYCHECK??

www.fatgurlinside.comA thought hit me today: if I didn't make another dollar doing my online health and fitness coaching I still wouldn't quit!

That may sound ridiculous. I mean, this is my full-time job, and I work hard to help support and encourage people in reaching their health and fitness goals. And granted, getting a paycheck each week definitely helps my little family financially, but Beachbody is so much more than just a job to me.

When I joined this company over a year ago I knew my sponsor coach and that was it. Over the next few months I felt like a few other coaches on our team became what I would consider "friends." Then in March I traveled to Florida for a team retreat where I got to meet many of these women in person, which was such a blessing to me.

Today, a little over a year later I have dozens of friends that I have made solely through this company. They are not just friends in the business, but they are like women who have a desire to empower, encourage and support each other. They have blessed me in more ways than I can count. When I get online and see their positive posts on facebook, their genuine desire to help support and empower women, I get excited about what I do all over again. It's not just about looking good in a bikini, but instead about walking alongside other women with the goal to lift them up.

So, if last week was the last paycheck I ever received, I still wouldn't quit. Being a part of this community is worth more than the pay that I might receive.

Can you say that about your job? Would you still show up each day to a job where you made no paycheck just because you loved what you did so much and the people you worked with were amazing? If not, maybe you should considering looking into a job opportunity that would give you that!

I'm expanding my team and looking for passionate women who want to empower and motivate others to reach their health, fitness and financial goals. If you think that could be you fill out this application to join my growing team.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Results from Cize

I'll be honest, I was a little skeptical about what my results from Cize would be. I mean, it was super fun, but I didn't have to pick up any weights, I didn't do any push-ups or squats. I figured at best I would maintain, which wouldn't be a bad thing.

However, I just figured out my losses for the 28 days of Cize, and I'm down 5 pounds and 3 1/4 inches! Considering that I really did not stick to the meal plan this time—I just overall tried to eat healthy—the results were surprising, and that gets me excited!

Not only is this workout fun, but you really can get results from it. You burn so many calories having a blast trying to master the routines, that you don't have to be doing the typical "workout" moves. I honestly am kicking myself now, because I know if I had of stuck with the eating plan I would have killed my results, but here's to next time, because you better believe I will repeat this fun workout!

My real goal for this program was to follow the schedule and stick with it. Usually I end up missing a day somewhere and either having to double up or switch my scheduled day off for the week. Well, for the first time ever I completed the program without any alterations to the schedule! How was I able to do it this time? Because it was fun and easy to get myself down to my basement dance floor each morning!

Interested in dancing your way to a healthier, fitter life? Just click on the Cize ad to the right, leave a comment or hit the "Contact Me" button at the top. I would love to help you get started dancing to your goals!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Summer Of Ups And Downs

www.fatgurlinside.comI've said before that I want this blog to be a reflection of me as a whole person, not just the health and fitness stuff. So today I wanted to share with you one of the super fun things Jake and I did this summer!

At the beginning of the summer I noticed that Six Flags New England was offering a great deal: buy four Season Gold Passes at a reduced price. Perks included lots of "bring a friend free" days, early admission, free parking, and entry into all the Six Flags theme parks.

Jake thought it sounded like a great idea, especially since we were headed to California and would be able to visit two of the Six Flags parks for free. I messaged my sisters to see if any of them were
interested in getting in on this great deal with us. Thankfully one of them was, and she and her husband also got tickets.

You may be reading this thinking, "What a waste of money," or "They're crazy!", or maybe even, "What's the big deal?"

Well, to me the big deal was several things.

Jake and I love roller coasters! In fact we planned our honeymoon around Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH, one of the roller coaster capitals of the world. However, since then we hadn't made it to any theme parks. Between work, the time it takes to get there, and the cost involved it was just something we hadn't done. These season passes gave us the chance to visit many theme parks, ride many roller coasters, all for what was essentially the price of a couple of day passes.

The other thing we thought was really cool was our ability to bring friends for free or at discounted rates. How fun is it to be able to invite some friends to go spend a day riding roller coasters and they don't have to pay a thing? We love blessing others and sharing the things we have been blessed with, and so this was just another way to do that.

So far we have been to Six Flags New England twice (and we're headed there again tomorrow), Discovery Kingdom twice, Magic Mountain twice, and after tomorrow we will have brought six people in for FREE! We're also hoping to make it over to Great Escape and bring some more friends for free this fall to Six Flags New England again!

Now that we're planning to move to Maui, spending time with family and friends has become our top priority!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Apes, Elephants & Dancing

www.fatgurlinside.comAt one point or another I have looked like an ape or an elephant attempting to dance. I am NOT a
dancer. I don't have very good rhythm and I'm not the most coordinated person in the world. When it comes to dancing, I'm pretty stiff (blame it on being raised a "baptist"), but I pushed through week one and two of Cize, a new workout by Shaun T., and, wouldn't you know it, I'm starting to look and feel like someone who knows how to dance.

Once you have completed week three of Cize you will have learned all six dances. (That is if you choose the advanced version, which this non-dancing, uncoordinated ape/elephant/girl was able to do!) Looking back, what I thought was "hard" in week one is now a breeze. Week one truly was a foundation week. You learn basic choreography that Shaun T. builds on in the coming weeks.

After week one, the difficulty of the dance moves advances. Shaun T. takes the very basic movements you learned and adds more complicated sequences and speed. The dance titled "In The Pocket" was ANYTHING but in my pocket! lol! I honestly wasn't sure that I was going to have it nailed by the end of the week, but on the last day I finally felt like it came together for me.

Week three was slightly more intricate and advanced than week two, however, for the most part, I didn't find the dances that much harder to grasp. At this point I had become quite familiar with many of the moves, and following the rhythm was a bit easier. My favorite dance by far is the very last one, not that it's easy, but it's a lot of fun, and it's done to the song "Chandelier," which is a great song to dance to!

Now here I am in the final week where Shaun T. has you go back and do each dance one more time, and I am even more excited about sharing this program! Why? Because it truly is a fun workout! I haven't lifted weights, done squats or any other exercise, and yet I am losing inches and pounds and feel strong. My coordination has improved and I don't feel like a bumbling ape/elephant anymore. I know I'm still a little stiff and some of my moves are awkward, but I'm having fun!

This is such a great program for people who struggle with not enjoying exercise because Shaun T. keeps you so focussed on following along and learning the steps that you don't really feel like you are "working out."

It's also a great program to get your teen or child involved with. If you live in the northeast, like I do, winter is LONG, and we New Englanders tend to put on the pounds, but a program like this can get the whole family moving and having fun together. Maybe we will even have to have a specific accountability group for families that want to take on the Cize challenge together! (Just don't be jealous of my photos from the beach when, Lord willing, the hubs and I move to Maui in January!)

If you are interested in getting this program or have any specific questions, as always feel free to contact me through the link above, leave a comment or find me on Facebook!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review Of The FIXATE Cookbook

www.fatgurlinside.comWhen I started 21 Day Fix it was life changing for me. It wasn't your typical "diet" because you don't count calories. Instead it has these little color-coded containers in which you place your food, and then you eat the right amount of containers to get your daily dose of carbs, proteins, veggies, etc. This was finally an eating plan that I could follow forever! It taught me healthy portions and the best kinds of food for each group.

The only problem that I eventually ran into was that I got sick of eating a container of meat, a container of veggies and fruits and carbohydrates. I wanted to make real meals again, but I didn't know how to combine the foods I needed to eat into meals that tasted great and still met my daily caloric requirements.

Enter FIXATE, a cookbook created by Autumn Calabrese, the creator of 21 Day Fix. Instantly my problem was solved! The book features 101 recipes that Autumn uses for her own family and work with the container plan. This new cookbook has upped my game because I have tons of go-to, delicious meals that work with my healthy eating.

www.fatgurlinside.comJake and I have enjoyed homemade tomato sauce, cake, brownies, chicken parmesan, macaroni and cheese, French toast, zoodles, and meatballs—just to
name a few. It has brought so much variety back into our diet while at the same time not sacrificing what we've learned about healthy eating.

I would recommend this cookbook to anyone. Whether you are doing 21 Day Fix or another Beachbody workout, or are just wanting to eat healthier and have a variety of options.

If you are interested in ordering FIXATE or have any questions, please leave a comment below or get in touch with me via the contact button above.

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cize Week One In Review

I've completed the first week of Cize, the new dance program that came out in July. I thought I would
share my experience so far.

www.fatgurlinside.comFirst off, I am a NON-dancer, as in, never took any dance classes, don't really have any good moves, and would quite possibly embarrass anyone that I was with if I danced in public. The thing I like about this program though is that Shaun T. breaks down the moves into tiny pieces, has you do them over and over again, and slowly strings those moves together. By the end of a 30-45 minute workout you can actually do a short dance.

I'll be honest, just because I am a coach, workout regularly, and host online health and fitness accountability groups, does not mean I LIKE to workout. I know it's good for me, and I like how I feel when I do a workout, so I make myself do it. Even if I don't really want to, I do it. The great thing about Cize is that doesn't feel like "working out." It's fun, the time flies by, and honestly if I had more time I would keep going because I want to nail the dance and feel like a dancer.

While I haven't picked up weights in over a week I end my routines drenched in sweat and exhausted. I've also ended the first week with some visible results—down 2.3 pounds and 3 inches overall!

So who is this program for? Those who don't like to exercise, of course! It's also great for those who do like to exercise but want to change things up for a while. It's great for dancers, non-dancers, young, old, and just about everyone else.

If you are interested in learning more about this program, my online groups, or becoming a coach like me, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message through the "contact me" link above!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Elephants and Roller Coasters!

www.fatgurlinside.comIt's been almost three months since I wrote that The Elephant In The Room post. (You know, the one where I talked about that little problem in my life. Uh-huh. That one.)

Anyway, Jake and I still have no babies on the way. And it's still been a roller coaster of emotions I've dealt with from time to time—kind of like the roller coasters Jake and I have been riding at Six Flags theme parks this year! But you know what? Despite all the roller coaster-ing—the emotional kind, not the Six Flags kind—I feel I'm in an even better place then I was three months ago when I wrote that post. No, that doesn't mean it isn't still hard at times. That doesn't mean I don't still get a little sad when I hear about other people having babies. But, wow, God has brought me a long way!

The tool that has helped me on this journey the most is going through a study called, "God's Perspective When Life Hurts," by Darlene Kordic. I honestly don't really remember why I signed up for this study at my church. I think it was simply out of convenience—it was on a weeknight that I was actually free, and since we live a lot closer to church now it was just easy to go. I didn't sign up for the class because I thought I needed it or that it would change my life. It just seemed like a good opportunity.

Thankfully we serve a God who will take our "convenient" decisions and use them to put us where He wants us to be.

One of the greatest takeaways from that study was a reminder of who God is. Who is He? He's an all sovereign, all wise, all loving God. His power, greatness and control over all is beyond our comprehension. He can move and direct despite the evil in this world to bring out His purpose in the lives of His children. I was reminded that His plan for my life is perfect and better than anything I could ever dream up on my own. When life gets hard I may struggle in the moment to believe that His plan is the best, but that truth remains.

This study is worth checking out for anybody who has ever struggled with wondering how a loving God can allow such bad things to happen. Even if you have deep hurts, major struggles, emotional suffering, and just don't understand how to work through those raw emotions, God can still be a rock for you and this study is a wonderful tool to realizing that. Or if you just want to gain a greater understanding of suffering and God's will, you should check out this study.

There are DVDs that go along with the study if you wanted to do it for a small group. There is a workbook that goes along with it, but it is comprehensive enough that it could be a stand alone if you wanted to do the study by yourself.

If you have any questions about it you can leave a comment or contact me through the link above.

PS. If you are pregnant or have just had a little one please do not feel bad for me. Instead let me snuggle with them and get my fill of baby loving :-)

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

So You Think You Can Dance? NO!

I can't dance! I won't even pretend I can. But what I can do is follow a program called CIZE, memorize some moves, and make a fun video, all while burning lots of calories and having fun.

This video was made in Six Flags Discovery Kingdom for a contest that Beachbody was putting on. I was privileged with being chosen as one of the daily winners and getting a $1,000 cash prize!

Maybe you are a good dancer, or maybe you are like me. Either way, it doesn't matter. If you are looking for a workout program that is fun, lets you burn calories and can make you look like a half decent dancer, CIZE is your program! If you are interested in the details of this program that is now out, but only available through a coach like me, let me know. I would love to share all the details with you! Just use my contact button above or leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Monday, July 13, 2015

Coaching Is Not A Cookie Cutter Job

Did you know there is more than one way to be a Beachbody Coach? It's not a cookie cutter, what-I-do-you-have-to-do business. I created this video to let you know about three of the possible types of coaches you can be.

If this sounds like something you are interested in or would like to know more about feel free to contact me through the link at the top of the page, or comment below!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Friday, July 3, 2015

Keep Your Wallet From Shrinking And Your Waistline From Expanding!

www.fatgurlinside.comI've been doing a lot of traveling this year, and it's fun! But... Well.. It's kind of hard on the wallet and
the waist line.

This past trip to California we decided to do a few things differently and I thought I would share with you what worked for us.

Typically when you go on vacation you eat out almost every meal, and snack, and dessert... This adds up both financially and physically. This time the hubby and I decided to implement a rule of only going out to eat a maximum of one time a day. We did this by doing a few things.

First we stayed at hotels that had a free breakfast. Most of them had eggs, whole wheat bread, breakfast sandwiches, yogurt and fruit. Each morning we would have a hearty, big breakfast.

Our second step involved investing in a soft cooler that we could pack in our suitcase. Upon arriving in California we made our way to the grocery store and stocked up on some healthy lunch foods, fruits, veggies, cheese and milk. We spent about $30 on all of the groceries and were able to use it for approximately 10 meals, which you could never do eating out that many times.

Usually during the day we were going to theme parks or making day trips and we would pack our little cooler up with lunch and snacks. Some nights we were tired and not too hungry so we decided to eat dinner this way too.

On top of that I made sure to drink Shakeology EVERY DAY! Sometimes I would drink it for dinner or just a snack in the evening to keep the sweet tooth at bay. It was filling, gave me the nutrients I needed and helped me feel great!

The best part of this was that after seven days of vacation I didn't gain any weight! This was not the case when we went to Oregon/Seattle for 10 days in May. I ate out three times a day and gained 10 pounds! Yikes! I learned from that mistake, and now take steps so that doesn't happen again.

It's not about failing, it's about what you do with what you learn when you fail!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What Is A Challenge Group?

You may have seen me post about upcoming Challenge Groups, and you may have NO IDEA what that is! I thought I would create this little video to share the what, how and why of Challenge Groups.

You can find out more by contacting me at the top of the page, leaving a comment or messaging me on facebook :-) I host monthly 21 day Challenge Groups, so now is always a good time to start talking about how this could work for you.

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Friday, June 26, 2015

Why Failing Doesn't Make Me A Failure

www.fatgurlinside.comRemember a few weeks ago when I excitedly shared my new journey with the Whole30 program? Remember hearing anything about it since then? No? Well, that's because I FAILED!

I did great with the program for the first 11 days—getting through the headache stage, and then the tired stage. I was actually starting to feel great! Then it was Grandma's birthday and we decided to treat her to dinner. She chose Chinese, and my resolve with the Whole30 crumbled.

At dinner that fateful night I prayed to God that I wouldn't regret the decision of going from super clean eating to Chinese takeout. You may think that prayer was a joke, but it wasn't. I was fearful of the repercussions of this decision, and yet it was my decision to make. Thankfully I had no side effects from eating the Chinese food—actually now that I think about it I felt better after eating Chinese that day than I ever have before. Weird.

But that lack of repercussion kind of opened up a can of worms. I had to wonder why I was following this plan to "feel better" when I had cheated with the WORST meal one could cheat with and still felt great. Why should I keep up with this strict eating plan? So I didn't.

But you know what? That does NOT make me a failure! One thing I've been learning on this journey to health and fitness is that it's about bettering myself, not perfection.

Can I walk away from the Whole30 with new knowledge that I can appreciate and implement when I feel like? YES! Did I learn that I can say "No" to all forms of sugar, except what is naturally found in fruits and veggies? YES! That was a huge step for me. I am a sugar addict, and am realizing the truth of that statement more and more. But I don't have to allow that addiction to control me. Instead I have the power to choose.

Maybe you have failed at your diet, exercise plan, or while trying to break a bad habit, etc. Know this, YOU are not a failure, and YOU have a choice every time you fail to learn and grow through that failure into a better you.

I can hear my husband quoting Batman right now: "Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mirror, Mirror On The Dressing Room Wall

Mirror, Mirror On The Dressing Room WallYou had a fun day of shopping. The store had so many new styles and clothes to try on. Your arms
are full of cute skirts, dresses and tops.

Then you walk into the dressing room, and maybe it's the dirty floor, or the bad smell, or the dingy mirror, but nothing looks flattering on you. Your day of shopping quickly goes south.

You end up leaving the dressing room without purchasing anything. Not because nothing fit you, and not because you didn't like the things you tried on, but, honestly, you just didn't feel good. Your self-confidence isn't what you want it to be. You're not comfortable with your body, and so shopping for clothes just doesn't seem fun anymore.

Ever been there? I have.

I can't tell you how many times I've gone into the dressing room super excited to try on an outfit only to leave feeling awful and not buying anything. Yes, it may help my wallet, but it's no fun!

Yesterday I went to a local store and picked up 11 items to try on. I knew I wasn't going to buy them all, and I knew some wouldn't even fit me due to the how various brands handle their sizing. (Seriously, can't we get a consistent sizing system?)

For the first time in forever—insert Disney song ;-)—I felt good trying on clothes!

Is my body exactly where I want to be, no, but my body FELT good, and that made a world of difference. I have been eating healthy so I don't feel bloated or yucky. I feel proud of where I am. I like the progress I have made, and I will celebrate that. I have confidence in my own skin and in who I am as a person, not just what I look like.

Experiencing this made me want to work even harder to help more people go to the dressing room with confidence and actually ENJOY the experience. That's why I do what I do. Yes, it's my job. But it's my job by choice. No one is making me do this. I do it because I am passionate about it. I love helping people, and if I can transform how I feel about myself then I know you can too!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Elephant Escaped The Room

Recently I wrote a blog post entitled "The Elephant in the Room" sharing some of my personal struggle this winter with depression, infertility and overall sadness. As I tried to come up with a title for this post the idea of the elephant escaping that room came to mind and here are a few reasons why.

First off I've completed over a week of the Whole30. I haven't cheated at all, have had some DELICIOUS meals, and I feel great! The headaches and being tired are gone and it's been smooth sailing this week. I love that at this point I'm starting to realize how good healthy food can be. You might have to be a little creative, plan ahead and do a little more work, but coconut crusted chicken with marinated asparagus and homemade seasoned fries are WAY better than any fast food restaurant. It is empowering to stick with something that is HARD and I'm proud of my commitment so far.

What else? What else? Oh! Beachbody has an awesome new workout coming out next month called CIZE. It's a choreographed dance workout by Shaun T and it's going to make working out super fun! Beachbody On Demand members get special access to one workout called You Got This. It's 40 minutes long, but flies by, and is super fun. If you want to check out this new program I can get you a code to a free 30 day trial of Beachbody On Demand. Just comment or contact me if you are interested.

Finally, the hubby and I just booked our flights to head out to California in two weeks. He's photographing a wedding, and we thought it would be fun to make a trip of it. We plan to see San Francisco, the Redwood Forest, Discovery Kingdom, Santa Maria, LA, Hollywood, and Magic Mountain! To name a few :-)

It's kind of humbling and sad for me to think of where I was this winter, so selfish, so focused on the one thing I couldn't have, and feeling like I didn't deserve what I was going through. (Check out my post The Elephant in the Room to get the full story.)

Right now at my church I am doing a Bible study called "God's Perspective When Life Hurts," by Darlene Kordic. It's been the perfect thing right now to put my life into perspective. I am so blessed, and I don't deserve one bit of it, but I will do my best to enjoy it to the max and remember that every good and perfect gift comes from the One who loves me more than anyone else. I will also choose to remember that when things aren't going my way He has a perfect plan that will grow, mold and work me to be who He wants me to be!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Works For You?

I think it's important to figure out what works for you. Unfortunately what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another.
What works for you?

One thing I've found to be true of me is that I do best when I push myself and make it hard... Eek! Not always fun, but it is in those moments of being strict with my eating plan and pushing myself in my workouts that I stick with it. I guess you could say I'm an "all or nothing" kind of personality.

Enter in the Whole30 program. Recently I was learning about what clean eating really is, and why we should all consider trying a program like this out for a time. For me it made sense. I am a sugarholic! I own it. But I don't like it! So through this Whole30 program I'll be eliminating sugar from my diet entirely and giving my body the chance to get over this addiction while learning to enjoy other foods and not constantly ending up in the ice cream line.

The thing that really got my looking into Whole30 was learning how food really is responsible for so many health issues we have, from joint pain, headaches, hormonal issues, digestive issues, how focused we are, etc. It's such a powerful source of nutrients and energy for our bodies, and yet we often will eat food filled with chemicals, artificial food and additives that have been proven to be harmful to us. I am in that category!

The more I learn though the more I want to see what I can change in my diet, see what physical issues I have that food may be responsible for, and see what it's like to eat a diet that we as human beings were really designed to eat—natural, whole, and filled with vegetables.

So on Monday I embarked on this 30+ day journey. Day one was a breeze, minus being at a BBQ where I couldn't eat 95% of the food—and where they had ice cream sandwiches!—but I stayed strong and powered through. Day two began with a massive headache, which I was warned might happen. My body is going through a detox process, and it's trying to figure out how to use food the way it's supposed to. I've been feeding my body so much junk for so long that it's used to "quick release energy" foods. It needs to relearn a few things.

I am determined to power through this. I want to get to the other side and compare how I feel then to how I felt before starting. Plus as I share this journey while digging for more info, I learn so many more fascinating things—like recently a friend shared several articles on how women who struggled for years with infertility issues, stopped eating grains and got pregnant. So who knows?! But, hey, even if that doesn't happen for me I still get the opportunity to use my body as a science experiment that can be nothing but beneficial.

Want to learn more about Whole30? Go to their website or pick up the book, "It Starts With Food," by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig and keep following my journey.

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The West Coast!

My trip to the west coast has wrapped up, I'm actually writing this in the airport as I await the red eye flight to take me home :-)

Thought I would share some highlights of my trip with you all along with my next plans :-)

The reason we went on this trip was so that Jake could attend a photography bootcamp with Kevin Kubota. It was well worth the trip out as Jake had a great time, got some amazing photos, and learned lots to take his wedding photography from a hobby to his full-time job. So, if you or someone you know is getting married let me know if you need a photographer. We travel!

The following are three of the beautiful images Jake captured during bootcamp.

One evening they decided to do a candlelit shoot to practice their skills, and I got to be their lucky model :-) This photo was taken by Kevin Kubota himself. Amazing! It was fun having eleven photographers all snapping away at the same time.

We discovered Dutch Bros. an amazingly delicious coffee shop! I realized how easy it was to fork over $3 or $4 for a coffee that was full of sugar and empty calories, and would leave me wanting soon after. I guess I'll stick to my Shakeology, which is about the same cost, but gives me all the nutrients I need for the day, tastes delicious, helps with my sugar cravings, and satisfies the sweet tooth in me. Oh, and has 70 superfoods in it! Take that Dutch Bros ;-)

While Jake was busy with bootcamp I did a lot of exploring central Oregon. One morning I spent hiking around Smith Rock, BEAUTIFUL!!!! I could have stared at the views forever!

On our way back to Portland, we stopped to see the magnificent Multnomah Falls. It were stunning!

From Portland we made our way up to Seattle stopping to see the Ape Caves. In Seattle we enjoyed walking around the city, meeting up with distant cousins and riding the Great Wheel!

We visited the famous Pikes Market, where we got to see them throw fish, look at the beautiful flowers and visit the store that sells my favorite tea!

The highlight of our trip was eating dinner in the Space Needle while watching the sunset! The weather was perfect and it was a great ending to a fun trip!

We had a wonderful trip, but honestly I'm excited to come home. I'm excited to begin the journey of following the Whole30 challenge and detoxing from sugar, which I desperately need after this trip! I'm also excited to get back to my gym--I always feel better when I get down there first thing in the morning and sweat it out! Plus I'm super excited to be starting a new accountability group online that will focus on clean eating! There are some awesome women who are joining me on this journey to being healthy, fit and having fun doing it!

Keep checking back to learn more about my Whole30 journey, what I'm learning about clean eating and for some awesome results ;-)

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Why Beachbody

I've been meaning to create my 'WHY' video for a few months now, but never took the time to sit down and share. I wanted to create this because I think it's important for others to hear my story, why I love what I do and why I think becoming a Beachbody Coach was perfect for me!

This week while I'm enjoying the beauty of Central Oregon I got kicked out of my cabin by housekeeping and found it was the perfect time to sit down and create this video in the beautiful Deschutes National Forest!

For more information about Challenge Groups or about becoming a coach contact me via the button at the top right of the page :-) 

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

21 Day Fix EXTREME Results!

21 days of extreme workouts + an easy but strict eating plan = RESULTS! Was it always easy, NO! But did I stick to the workouts every day and follow the meal plan for the most part, YES!

21 Day Fix Extreme isn't designed for someone that just got off the couch for the first time in three years, but instead is for those who have begun their journey and are ready to step up their game! I was intimidated by it at first, and that's why it took me two months to get up the nerve to go all in. I learned so much about myself through this process though! I can do hard things, I can stick with something through the end and continue to push myself!

This winter, I kind of slacked on my fitness and healthy eating. Yes, I tried and honestly it's one of the things that kept me going during those darkest months when I was depressed and just wanted to give up on everything. So for that I'm thankful. Once I started the journey out of my dark pit I wanted to see what I was made of, what I could do! So, this program seemed like the perfect place to go!

Here are my before and afters! 

Results from 21 Day Fix Extreme

I'm still not where I want to get, I really want to see some ab definition, but I know now that I can get there! I did cheat a few times on my eating, and because of that I know that I didn't get the ultimate results that I could have. Abs really are made in the kitchen! I can feel the muscles there but they are hiding under a layer of fluff created by my food choices.

So... That's why I've been learning about clean eating and how food can either heal our bodies or wreak havoc on them! And that's why my next challenge group is going to be sharing about how to eat clean, why you should consider it, recipes and facts. 

This group will be starting on May 25th with a deadline to sign up this Friday May 15, to ensure you get your program and everything you need to start on time. I will help you pick the right program for you, give you support on a daily basis during the group, offer accountability, motivation and encouragement as we journey to being healthy, strong and confident women! For more information or to sign up you can send me a message on facebook, click the contact button at the top or leave a comment :-)

Eat Clean and Get Lean Challenge Group

Are you ready to look and feel your best?? Join me on this journey!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Elephant In The Room

The Elephant In The Room
Grandma's newly completed porch.
It's been quiet here on the blog the last week or so and there are several reasons why.

First off my husband's Grandma, who we live with, was going to be gone for a couple weeks and we decided to give her porch a makeover. I spent my mornings last week painting, cleaning, and transforming the porch into a fresh, welcoming place to enjoy the beautiful spring weather! This was a top secret mission, so I was unable to post about it until Grandma came home.

Then this week I've been busy working, preparing to travel out west and making a surprise trip to see some dear friends of mine while they are here in the states. So, my time for writing was greatly limited.

I wanted to get this post written before Mother's Day though, because, well, I think I'm finally ready to share it.

My Big Reveal

Very few of you know that my husband and I decided to wait two years after getting married to start a family. June 30, 2014, marked two years. We were excited to embark on this journey into parenthood, but we hadn't expected it to be so hard. We're young, healthy and everyone around us is getting pregnant, so it must be in the water, right?

Well, by December we knew there was something wrong and that a doctor visit was going to have to happen in order to figure out what the next step would be. I put it off until after the holidays, hoping the problem would work itself out, but no such luck. So off to the doctor's I went. The problem was nothing serious, and the doctor's initial suggestion seemed like an easy enough fix, so I left with the hope that in the next couple of months we'd have a baby on the way.

Four months later... nadda.

My Low Place

During the winter I found myself in a place I thought I would never return. I was depressed. I didn't want to get out of bed or be around people. Honestly I just wanted to curl up in a ball wrapped in a fleece blanket and eat an entire container of ice cream while watching Hallmark.

Seeing so many other people around me get pregnant was hard too. I had difficulty congratulating them. I couldn't confide in anyone, except my husband, and he, admittedly, couldn't fully understand my feelings about this problem.

But who else could I talk to? Isn't this a private thing? Something you don't talk about? That's what I believed and so I went along with it.

During these few months I was also dealing with the death of my grandfather, the first close relative of mine to leave us for Heaven. The winter was brutal with sub-zero temperatures much of the time. I had quit my job with the anticipation that our house was going to sell, but when that fell through life became even more confusing and messed up.

My New Place

It wasn't until I went to Florida to meet my Beachbody family of coaches that I started to see the light shining at the end of the long dark hallway I had been walking in for months. I was able to open up to some of them and talk about these issues, and it felt good. I found out that several others had experienced difficulty getting pregnant. I was not alone! I am so thankful that God put me on that team and allowed me to go meet everyone. He used them to greatly encourage me just when I needed it most.

Since that trip to Florida I have learned several things that have brought me to the place where I can share about this in such a public way.

First of all, don't ask someone if or when they are going to start having babies. Ever. It's just rude. You have no idea how hurtful that question can be. They may have not started trying, or maybe they've been trying for months or years, or maybe they found out that they can't conceive without medical help that they possibly can't afford. And, honestly, my sex life is none of your business! I have some close friends that I can confide in, but I have no intention of telling Dick, Tom and Harry when I plan to get pregnant.

As Mother's Day approaches be sensitive to those who have lost little ones far too soon, have empty arms and empty wombs. This can be a very hard holiday for couples who have struggled with infertility, miscarriage or have been unable to get pregnant despite no medical reason why they wouldn't be able to. I'm not saying we shouldn't celebrate Mother's Day, just be considerate. If you know a friend who has miscarried or lost a little one too soon, she is a mother. Honor her!

Finally the thing that God impressed on my heart this week is that I NEED to find my identity in Him. As long as I place my identity in wanting to be a mom, focusing on that desire and then seeing it go unmet, I WILL be miserable! Nowhere in God's Word am I promised to be a mother someday, and that may not be His plan for me. Instead I NEED to have my identity secure in Christ, in who He is and what He has done, only then can I keep pressing on through the trials and hard times.

I guess the other reason I've been busy lately and not blogging is that I'm trying to find balance in who I am as a whole person. I'm not just fitness coach Dani. I am a friend, a wife, a daughter and a child of God. I have emotions, hard days, and things I'm learning about and busy doing that aren't just health and fitness related. I want this blog to reflect who I am as a whole person.

If you are still reading, thank you! I hope what I have been learning blesses and encourages your heart today!

Dani the Fat Gurl Inside