10 Weeks to Summer

That’s right ladies summer is just 10 weeks away.  It will be HOT, we will hopefully get to lay by the pool or the beach, and we will surely be outside often either working in the yard, going on hikes, or playing with the kids.  Please don’t let this be a summer that you need to hide under a cover up or feel uncomfortable in your own skin.  We are God’s girls made perfect and beautiful and this could be your summer to be healthy, strong, and fit just as God intended!

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We have 10 little challenges for the next 10 weeks, because we know you can do it!!!

  • Start a Journal Start keeping track of each day- your lessons from God, your food, and your workout.  Make sure to write your victories and failures and learn from them!
  • Sign up and Train for a race – This is not just great for you but usually a charity is involved with this goal.  So find something that gets you motivated.  You can race with Becca and I in the Rugged Maniac in NJ or the Patriot Games at Peace Valley Park in PA (info isn’t out yet for this race but we will keep you postedWinking smile)
  • Lose up to 20 pounds (crazy right, just 2 pounds per week) by tracking your food and keeping exercise a priority you can do it.  Check out our food diaries and workout routine if you need any help or ideas.
  • Find your fitness love Make it your goal to find something you love to do that requires you to break a sweat.  Try Zumba, weight lifting, tennis, running, biking, Spinning, or TRX.  The list goes on and on but try a bunch until you find something that makes you feel great, has you looking forward to your next time, and something you will “love”!  I promise everyone has something they just haven’t found it yetSmile
  • Achieve a fitness goal- complete 100 pushups or 5?  Run 5 miles or 3? do 10 pull ups or 2?  Whatever your goal is see it through, but be sure to set a new one!
  • Find 10 Healthy new meals you love keep trying and experimenting until you find super healthy foods that you don’t just eat to be healthy but because they are delicious and you love them!  Make sure to write the recipes and the meals down because I promise you will forget!  Then be sure to share them with usWinking smile
  • One Day at a time Focus on each day, not 10 weeks.
  • Find a workout buddy start asking friends and family if they would like to workout with you and hopefully in the next 10 weeks you can find someone that will buddy up and hold you accountable.
  • Find Balance – over the next 10 weeks aim for balance.  Do not beat yourself up when you eat something you shouldn’t but pat yourself on the back when you overcome a temptation.  Depriving yourself will never work it is about moderation and balance.
  • Draw closer to God This should be your most important goal because nothing else matters!
    “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 
1Corinthians 9:24-26

Every time I lose focus about why I do what I do I’m a mess. I will be taking on these challenges with all of you over the next 10 weeks and I’m going to run this race to win a crown that will last forever, not in my own strength but God’s, what about you?

Love, Shannon

Thoughts = Power

Think about this “we are what we think”!  If you woke up this morning and said to yourselves “I am God’s girl, made perfect, fully loved and nothing is going to bring me down, and I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!” you are ready to attack the day with truth in your heart.  If you started with complaining, “I can’t get out of bed”, “I hate me job”, “this is going to be the worst day”, these are Satan’s thoughts and I can guarantee your day will be dreadful!

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24

Great ways to keep proper thinking are #1 Read your bible- nothing in the world can replace being taught and nourished by God himself. #2 Subscribe to blogs, devotionals, and videos of trusted believers that feed your soul

Becca is always sending me her David Wilkerson devotionals, funny that I just finally signed up to receive them myself.

Another e-mail I get is Pray Fit Daily, they give you a little spiritual and physical motivation and I love their motto   “In Jesus’ name we train”. 

This next one you might laugh but my husband and I have Joyce Meyer recording in our DVR and I love that instead of watching Snooki and Jwow (guilty) we have a great option that nourishes our soul.  We lay on the couch and rub each others feet and we never fail to learn something!

Francis Chan the author of Crazy Love and other great books never disappoints with his sermons on vimeo and youtube.  This one I listened to while I ran 7 miles on the treadmill (which could be a record for me on that awful thingWinking smile)

 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”

Philippians 4:8

Have an amazing day with just the knowledge that God, the maker of the heavens and earth who knit you together in your mother’s womb, loves YOU!! 

Every Day is a Clean Slate!

It’s a new day, another opportunity to get it right. We hope you are staying motivated, trusting God, and having victory over loving yourself enough to be the best you can be!

“ O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning,

our salvation in time of distress.”  Isaiah 33:2

If you are anything like me, laundry is not your friend.  It is actually the only thing about a large family that is still overwhelming to me, so if you have any tips or tricks on how to not drown in laundry 24/7 I would love your advice!  While doing the laundry this weekend I was thinking (which is how I block out the “I hate laundry” thoughts.  The laundry basket makes for a great little workout tool so today I’m bringing you

The Laundry Basket Workout!

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This will give you a full body workout, I hope you love it!  Please let us know if you do it and what you think!

Have an amazing day relying on God, and taking care of that beautiful body you’ve been given!

Love, Shannon

Our Workouts

Moving your body is so important not just for your body but also your mind.  Studies show that exercisers learn faster, remember more, and think clearer because it increases blood flow to the brain delivering nutrients and oxygen.  Exercise can also give you such an endorphin high that a lot of people can even get addicted to it.  We are striving for balance – please keep the balance in both food and exercise!!

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You are stronger than you can imagine, and the only boundaries you have are the one you set for yourself.  Never say you can’t, say “you can” and if you can’t at the moment, say “ You Will!!”  We do as much as we can every time we workout, we try to lift more, add reps and continually be the best we can be and that is what has changed our body!

Our workouts are often circuit training which is doing 8 to 10 exercises for a duration or for reps that include both muscles and cardio. We then repeat the circuit 2 to 3 times.  We rarely do the same circuit twice because we get bored easily.  We hope to share our circuits with you and as we get better at this blogging thing and we promise to get you a video of some of our favorite moves!!

Here is a picture of our usual week.  We get to the gym at 5:30am (that’s when they open) and we leave by 6:45am we both have to be home by 7am!

Monday – It’s our spinning day, which we love because we don’t have to think!  We trained for a race in the summer that started with a 1 mile sprint so we start our Monday at 5:30am with a 1 mile sprint (as fast as we can).  Then we do a little abs which we change-up every time (just google best ab exercises and you will find tons of moves) but we always end holding a plank – it’s our little competition because neither of us want to be the first to drop!Winking smile

Tuesday – We set up circuits and we get our moves from all over the place like www.crossfit.com and www.bodybuilding.com.  We generally work on two muscle groups with cardio in between each muscle move to keep our heart rates high.  Tuesday is back and biceps so we will do a muscle move like bicep curls followed with jump rope and up to 8 more moves than repeat the circuit 3 times.  Go here for some of our circuits!

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Wednesday– A day of rest.  Rest is when your muscles grow and your body gets stronger.  If you don’t rest you don’t gain muscle you actually lose it!

Thursday – Chest and Triceps circuits and we often add some abs at the end.

Friday– We try to kill it on Friday (we try to everyday) but it’s our favorite – Legs and Shoulders – this is a killer and we are lucky if we can walk out of the gym on this day but it’s really fun (I promise)!

Weekends -This is really up to how we feel, in the summer when we were training for a race or just for the fun of it we would go for a run on our own.  Both of us consider a long run relaxing time with God we both listen to our Christian music and it’s really amazing how you get stronger and fitter every weekend.  In the winter we are taking little breakSmile

We can not stress the importance of using your muscles and focusing on getting stronger.  There is no such thing as “getting bulky” , fat makes you bulky, muscles make you lean!

  This is a great article on the benefits of resistance training!

Whenever you start a new workout routine go slow, ad heavier weight and new exercises as you go.  If you aren’t struggling to perform the moves you either need to up your weights or add more reps.  Example: When we started we would struggle to do 50 jump ropes without stopping now it’s 150.  Keep pushing yourself and remember “There is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone”.  

Love, Shannon & Becca

Becca’s Transformation Story

Everyone has a story; I’m only sharing mine in hopes that it will help someone going through similar struggles with their weight, faith and starting a family.

So here is my family now, that I truly thank God for everyday, but it took a while for us to all get here…..

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Here are my before and after pictures, but once again, I am a work in progress and it took battling through a few road blocks to get here…..

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My Story………………

You could say my life started being surrounded by food. My dad ran a restaurant with his brother that my Great Grandparents started back in the late 1940’s that served good “Old Fashioned” Pennsylvania Dutch food. When I hit the teenage years, I was always concerned about my weight; I played sports and was always active, but was never thin. When I went off to college I had no idea what I wanted to do and being that I “LOVED” food, grew up in the restaurant business and was always trying to figure out how to lose weight, I thought that majoring in Nutrition would finally help me get on track. After 4 years at WVU I graduated with a BS in Human Nutrition & Food! Wow you would have thought, that after studying the human body and how food affects it, I would have been able to figure out how to lose weight, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. After college I spent 6 crazy years working at my family’s restaurant.  While making work my main priority it completely put my life out of balance. I now weighed close to 175lbs and was struggling with food, exercise and my faith was non-existent.

My mom was the most amazing Christian women you could ever imagine. She made “God” a huge part of our lives. When we were younger, I remember vividly reciting bible verses with her from memory in our kitchen. Although I always considered myself a “Christian” I relied on my mom’s faith and didn’t have my own relationship with God.

Over the next couple of years I continued to struggle with my weight.  I went on and off diets, I would start to exercise and lose some weight, but it always came back. Fast forward several years, I got married to my college sweetheart at 26 and after 5 years of marriage we welcomed our first daughter into the world. Eight months after the birth of my first daughter I developed random hives, severe joint pain and swelling and found out that I had a positive ANA. After several trips to different specialists, no one could figure out why I had hives. The only suggestion that each physician had was to take a daily allergy medication and if the hives were really bad, steroids.

For the next year or so, I just lived with the hives and joint pain and accepted it for what it was. However, when we started trying for our second child, things changed. I became pregnant right away, only to find out at 14 weeks, the baby did not have a heartbeat. This is when God began to work on me, one of many times in my life but now I was “almost” ready to listen. About 8 months after my first miscarriage, we were so excited to find out we were pregnant again, only to have another miscarriage at 7 weeks. OK, I knew the saying that “God is never going to give you more than you can handle”, but this was truly devastating. I continued to pray and trust that God did have a plan for us, but it was difficult.

I needed to know what was going on so I started doing some research on-line in regards to my diet and ended up going to a holistic nutritionist. She gave me amazing nutrition advice that helped me tremendously. I completely changed my diet, cut out all of the things I grew up loving, like Gluten, Sugar and Dairy!!! It sounds terrible, but it was amazing how instantly things started to change. My hives had started getting better and my joint pain was completely gone. The bonus was I started to lose weight and I was feeling great. The only problems was the nutritionist had put me on 25 different supplements and I was putting all my faith and trust in her to help heal my ailments rather than God.

I woke up on New Year’s Day of 2011 and picked up my bible and said Lord, I need your help, please give me peace about this situation and help me through this journey, because it’s consuming my entire life. That day I read this verse, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8. I could not believe what I was reading; it was definitely a message from God saying “Becca, Trust Me, stop taking everything and just trust me!” I stopped every supplement and gave the whole thing to God, knowing His plans are better than my own. Whether I ever had another child or not I was giving it to God although it was hardest thing I ever did. Exactly 2 years later from our first miscarriage we welcomed our second beautiful baby girl!! Every time I see her it’s a reminder of how much God has truly blessed us!

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Now with God’s help it was time to finally conquer the life-long weight battle. I started back on my Gluten-Free diet and running intermittently.  In addition, my cousin Shannon started dragging me to the gym with her at 5:30am, which I never thought I could do at the beginning, but now look forward to. Needless to say, after 7 months of crazy training, spiritual growing and back to my healthy eating I’ve lost over 55lbs and am happy to report I feel amazing. My hives and joint point are completely non-existent.  I give all of the credit to God, for giving me the strength to take care of my body and teaching me through my hardships how to fully trust him and not this world!! I also thank God for putting Shannon in my life and helping me stick with a regular exercise program.

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When we listen to our bodies and eat the proper foods, it’s amazing how your body can truly transform, heal itself and stay healthy and fit not just for you but your family and God! My hope is that “Our Story” will help women find their “Inner Strength” in God, because through him all things are possible.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

-Becca

Shannon’s Transformation Story

My name is Shannon and here is my story……

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This is my family, a wonderful husband and 4 incredible kids!

Here is the reason for this blog…….

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I can’t believe I am sharing this photo!

  I have NEVER worn a bikini and I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life!  I have lived a life of NEVER being comfortable in my own skin, always being chubby since elementary school.  I never understood how some kids were so skinny and why I was cursed with this horrible body.  I was teased and tortured by my weight and thought I could never be healthy and fit.

I considered myself a Christian for a long time but I had no idea how much I was missing!  God woke me up about 5 years ago that life isn’t about going to church on Sunday and living your life your way.  He showed me that “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Mathew 16:25.  I knew I was a mess and wanted God to take my life and use it for His glory!  I began reading my bible and found a hunger for God that I have never know.  He began teaching me and transforming me in EVERY aspect of my life.

In February 2012 we had a wonderful surprise born on Valentine’s Day and this is when God began to deal with my struggle with food and my weight.  Food has always controlled me, eating too much, craving all the wrong things, and the feeling of guilt and disgust over my choices. I have said, “I will start on Monday” more then 1,000 times. I’ve been on EVERY diet, and exercise regime possible, but it was a roller coaster! This was just my issue and had nothing to do with God, or so I thought.

This is what God has shown me #1 He loves us more then we could ever dream or imagine!  His heart breaks when we struggle and He wants us to find our comfort in Him and nothing else, especially food.  #2 Satan has used food since day 1 to take us away from who God calls us to be, “Oh Eve, I get it!”  #3  Everyone struggles with something that takes them away from who God wants them to be, mine just happens to be food.  #4 God can do anything!!  When you are a child of God you have the Holy Spirit living inside you and there is NOTHING more powerful! As long as I seek God daily, stay in His will, and I’m guided by the Holy Spirit I can move mountains!!

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I will forever be on this journey of trusting God for my daily choices because I am a disaster without Him.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5

I hope my journey inspires you to lean not on your own understanding, and let God make you the best you can be!

For more info you can check out my food diary.

Shannon’s Food Diary

Who’s Ready for an Amazing Week?

Are you ready?  We’re ready, let’s motivate each other and all those around us to make God proud!

We have a great quick video for you that puts everything into perspective.  We don’t exercise and eat well to be super models but to bring glory and honor to God.  He gives us one amazing body to use for this short time on earth and He tells us, “  19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Let the focus of the week be on making God proud with our choices!

We love Francis Chan!!

It’s hard to follow that amazing teaching but now it’s time to move our bodies!!  I have a simple challenge for you 100 burpees, 100 push ups, and 100 sit-ups you can break it up however you need to but DON’T take a shower before you do thisWinking smile

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Becca and I both love our plain Greek yogurt. Please don’t buy the sugar loaded version, just add your own sweetener and fruit or make our recipe below!!  These ingredients are always in my house so I have no excuse not to grab something healthy when I’m hungry.  This also travels well just keep the cereal on the side!

Yogurt Crunch!

1 cup of Plain Greek yogurt

Any fruit – strawberries, bananas, and blueberries are my favorite

1/4 cup of Kashi Go lean crunch

any sweetener of your choice

and the secret ingredient is Chia seeds, if you haven’t tried these wonderful little seeds you must!  There are so many reasons you will love them, go here for the health benefits of the chia seed.  Try Chia seeds in your yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, even pancake batter (your kids will never know).

Go out today and make God ProudSmile

Love, Shannon