Blog: Health and Fitness

Life is Beautiful. I love serving the world by capturing beautiful family memories, encouraging others to believe in life’s greatest possibilities, and inspiring others to realize their full potential. Everyone has a story... make it a beautiful one.  

Finding the Miracles in the Everyday

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about miracles and how miracles happen everyday right in front of us but if your like me, I get so caught up in the everyday production that life just gets the best of me.

Over the past weekend, I really took a step back to find the miracles in my life.  I have a beautiful family that we are able to create memories together like taking our boys to the newest and greatest trampoline park zip lining and making the daily bounce tracker get to a thousand jumps, or playing in the snow in a middle of a snow storm.

Watching Ethan as he watched the NBA all star game with pure intent and Nate getting creative with play doh.  My husband teaching Ethan how to read or Nate singing his favorite bedtime songs.

Our bodies are miracles.  To think how I brought two beautiful humans into this world to watch grow up every single day.  How I have the ability to run and workout and watch my body change for the better every single day.  How our brains are miracles.  I have been really giving my brain some love lately as I focus on the good it provides for me to think and live rather than think about the negative feelings or anxiety that it can create.  It’s beautiful brain.

My father has been in the hospital for almost a month going from almost to dying to recovering.  This is a miracle.

Simple miracles like a compliment, breathing, nature, reading a book just at the right time that gave you the answer you were looking for, taking an accidental detour on a street you normally take perhaps its a detour to get you out of danger.

How can we be more mindful of the everyday miracle?

1. Take a minute several times a day and look around you where ever you are.  Find the miracles in that moment.  If your at a grocery store, find the miracle of the food that is being provided for you to buy.  Or if your at the park with your kids, the miracle of your kids playing or the beauty that surrounds you.

2. Take one thing at a time and slow down.  We get so caught in our mile long to do lists, we get caught up in making sure every single thing on that list gets done in one day.  Take one thing at a time and if it doesn’t all get done in a day… Who cares.

3. Serving others.  Doing random acts of kindness like a smile or compliment to others can be a miracle for someone.  Maybe you were an answer to someone else’s prayer today.

4. Do things that make you happy everyday. Do those things that make you happy everyday. For me working out, turning on my favorite music, personal development, or enjoying your favorite healthy snack can help you stay positive throughout the day and can help you be more mindful of those everyday miracles.

5. Gratitude.  At the end of the day be grateful for those miracles that happened throughout the day.  Write them down in your gratitude journal and just be grateful for those things that came into your day.

Right now take a look around you, what miracles do you see?  Take pieces of moments out of your day to find those simple beautiful miracles.  They are the beautiful moments of life.

Be Awesome,

Amber

Taking Consistent Action with Living a Healthy Lifestyle

What does being consistent mean?  Consistency is an act the is done over time.  And to be honest staying consistent takes some dedication, a willing mindset, and to be willing to do hard things especially when it comes to keeping up with kids schedules and all the other things all the while keeping consistent with living a healthy lifestyle.

Since having 2 kids that have blessed me having to keep myself in check mentally and physically everyday, I have had to make healthy living a priority in my life. Keeping things consistent in the beginning is not easy, but being able to have the mental toughness to get through the beginning stages is absolutely the fight.

Today, I will be sharing some ideas that have helped me stay consistent along the way and keep my mental toughness to keep going even when I didn’t want too.

1. Set up your routine when you know when you will do it every day.  This is key to success.  Set aside the time and at the SAME time everyday. This has been my number one from the beginning.  Getting in my routine in at the same time everyday.  It really helped me stay focus and in keeping a consistent time of day everyday, has allowed my kids to know when it’s mom’s time so if they decide not to take naps… they know when mom works out.

2. Do the things even when you don’t want too.  Yes do it even when you don’t want too.  These are the days I find I need it the most.  I’ll do it even when I am sick as long as my body will allow it so I don’t get off track.  Plus it always has helped me recover much faster.

3. Be patient with yourself.  There will be days you feel like you could have done better or you felt like you failed and thats okay!  Do not allow uncontrollable circumstances or failures get you down… try again, tomorrow is a new day!

4. Focus on the process.  If you focus to much on the results in the beginning, your just setting up yourself for failure.  I would get up on the scale and be the same weight a month later and start crying… whats the point right?!  The point is its a process.  The point is to keep going because results come with time.  It took time for the weight to come on, so it will take time to come off.  Taking consistent action every day is key.

5. Find a routine you love and stick to it.  For me, I used to a gym rat but to be honest, after having kids working out at home has really helped me be more consistent with working out.  I found a set of programs that I love doing so much and have given more than just results physically, but have changed me mentally as well. If you do what you love, you’ll do it more often!

6. Don’t let your past self define who you are becoming.  Don’t allow your negative self talk get the best of you. your negative self will only try to get you to make excuses of why you CAN’T even though you CAN!  Don’t allow your past thinking define who you are trying to become because that person doesn’t want you to become better or feel better…so punch those thoughts in the face right away.

Keep going and know that taking action everyday will give you the results you want over time.  Once you get there, I promise you it is such an awesome feeling you have come so far and you will start setting even bigger goals for yourself.  Keep reaching higher.

Be Awesome,

Amber

 

 

Fearless Female

FEAR.  The four-letter bad word that I believe is just as hurtful as any other four-letter bad word you might be thinking of at this very moment.

To be honest, I know that word so very well.  I have lived in fear as long as I can remember.

Fear of dying when my best friend was killed in a car crash when we were 16.

Fear of not being good enough because as hard as I tried to fit in with groups of friends, or when I didn’t wear the “right brand” or when I chose not to do what others were doing.

Fear of being in my own head.  Sometimes my thoughts have been very dark and scary.

Fear of bad health.  I feared being overweight because that was something I knew all too well growing up.  My family was overweight, so I felt destined to be, too.

I feared for my own life when I was 25 in college and a lump was found at my yearly exam. My body went numb and I couldn’t move a thing… I even passed out.  So many appointments.   Finally, after following it for two years, it was classified normal.

I feared becoming diabetic after my gestational diabetes with my first son and had acquired so many health complications even after his birth that made me feel like death.  I lost a lot of blood that led to severe anemia that later got resolved by a blood transfusion.

I feared I was going crazy when I fell into deep anxiety and depression after my second son was born.  I had that feeling that the whole world was crashing down to the whole point I felt nothing.  No emotion. No feelings.

But what if you defied these odds that are against you and you turned it around to create a story that was more based on being FEARLESS?

Over time, I have taken these fears and used them to overcome and conquer these fears to create a more meaningful story of courage and bravery.

I have taken control over my health which has been the greatest blessing in my life.  I have learned to overcome that fear and feel absolutely amazing about myself physically.  It’s taken consistency every day for the last two years since my second son was born but I have defied these odds!  I recently ran my first half marathon and currently training for my first marathon later this year.

I have sought help to help me overcome the emptiness of depression and am coming out of stronger than I have ever been.

Every day is a new day to know your worth and your worth in God’s eyes is sufficient.  With each new day, I realize that I am ENOUGH.

You ARE enough.  Even as adults, we might still be trying to fit in in all the noise of motherhood, business, or who you are as an individual but know that no matter what you are brighter than glitter.

I’ve taken chances to start my own business in photography, health and fitness, and recently Bei: Be Beautiful with a mission to empower women that they are beautiful no matter what their story may be.

To me this is the definition of being a #fearlessfemale.  Taking your fears and turning them into strengths.  Taking that old story and turning it into something meaningful and beautiful that can help serve others.  Leading your family by example.  No matter what you’re going through, be fearless and remember you got this!

Be Awesome,

Amber

5 Tips to Achieve Your Health Goals

Health and fitness seems to be one of those things in life that many want to achieve but is one of the top things that most loose motivation because of time, not seeing the results right away, or it just gets hard.  Trust me I know I was one of them for the longest time.

Over the years,  I have found a system that works to help create the mindset health and fitness as a lifestyle and part of daily life rather than the thought “I have to get it done today but I just don’t have time”.

1. Find your ultimate goal: when setting your goal, be realistic. Instead of thinking I am going to run 6 miles tomorrow (and you have never ran before) start out be running a mile or walk a minute/run a minute for a mile and build yourself up to the 6 miles.  It took me about 3 months of run/walk to build up to run 3 miles straight.  Have patience with yourself!

Be specific about your goals.  Specific that you want to loose one pound a week or I want to run 3 miles a week.

Choose a goal that is meaningful to you and makes you WANT to achieve your goals.  I had a big goal and that was to create a healthy lifestyle for myself to be an example to my family. That is a pretty ambitious goal, but having gestational diabetes can really make you think.  Your goal that is meaningful to you doesn’t have to be so ambitious like mine but it must make you really want the change.

2. Find what works for you to achieve your goal: Once you figure out your ultimate goal, its time to figure out how your going to achieve that goal.  It can be working out 30 minutes a day, cut back on fast food, eat smaller portions, increase your veggie intake, and drink more water.

My current routine is working out at home 30 minutes 6 times a week with running 3 days a week.  It has taking me 2 years to get to this point.  Starting out, I worked out 3-4 times a week and went running for 30 min maybe twice a week.

Working out at home has allowed me to get my workout in without the limitation or excuse of not having someone to watch the kids or “boy I have to drive in 20 minutes of traffic to go to the gym”. It just works for me and has helped me create a lifestyle out of it.

Eating smaller portions throughout the day has really helped too!  If there is one thing I have taken from having diabetes, this is one of the most valuable takeaways from the experience.

3. Set small specific goals: I had mentioned this a little earlier but setting small goals you can accomplish everyday.  One thing that helped me stay on track with my goals is mentally telling myself what time of day I am going to workout.  Before my second son, I was going to the crossfit gym around 4:00 everyday.  When I started my routine at home, I kept it around the same time everyday.  That eliminated my “TIME” issue.  Now, somedays I tweek the times around, but I am to the point that its not an excuse I just get it done.

Set a goal of drinking 1 oz more water everyday, or substituting one cracker snack with carrots and hummus instead. Find food that you like and that work for you and stick to those foods everyday.  Find ways to elevate them if needed.

4. Monitor your activity: But in moderation.  I used to be the type of person that would step on the scale every single day and be crushed when it didn’t move.  to be honest, that can really hinder your mindset… “Why keep going?  Nothing is changing anyways so whats the point?”  The truth is your body is changing.  The scale just doesn’t show it.  Some ways you can monitor your progress is by taking before and after photos.  This for me has been a huge win.  I take a before photo before I start a new routine and upon completion I take an after… this right here speak more than a scale.  Yes, the scale is our friend, but if its not working for you, try doing photos instead.  Another way is by the old fashion measurement system and measuring your waist, arms, and legs.

Find a healthy, positive way to monitor your activity.

5. Adapting to circumstances: Life happens and there are simply circumstances that can change your routine for instance traveling. My workouts are through an app so I take my workouts on the go and I commit to doing them even on vacation.  If I am somewhere I can go running, I go for a run too.  Eating out can be a huge hinderance, BUT with the right mindset you can still eat out and enjoy it while on vacation.  Recently we stayed at an AirBNB and that was great because we could cook our own breakfast.  I purchase all my normal ingredients of what I eat in the morning and cooked it.  I found this was perfect because I didn’t feel full the whole trip.  I started the day healthy and had the room to enjoy dinner a little bit more.

Becoming sick can really put a damper on your routine.  If I just have a cold, I normally still workout.  Depending on how I feel, I will keep my higher impact routine or I will do something more lower impact.  Working out while sick has really helped get rid of it faster.  The key is to listen to your body, but if you are able to something more while sick, do at least something lower impact like yoga or some weights.  If you have the stomach flu… Just rest up.

Achieving your health goals is going to take time and work.  The most important thing is be patient with yourself and have grace.  making it apart of your lifestyle is achievable but it is NOT going to be overnight.  The first 3-6 months are going to be the most challenging because your body is adapting and may not show any changes but KEEP GOING!  It took me about a year of consistent daily steps to see results after my second son.  When I had such a fit pregnancy with my second and after his birth, gaining that extra 10 pounds made me depressed.  I kept going every day and so happy I did because I am now the healthiest I ever been.

Keep going.  Make it fun. Do your best. Have a Grace with yourself. Change will come.

Be Awesome,

Amber

 

 

 

A fitness story: Tips to workout at home with kids

Health and fitness was always in back of my mind even before kids.  Growing up wasn’t easy.  My family wasn’t super into health and fitness and through this I experienced first hand what unhealthy habits can do to a person over time and its one of the hardest things to see to some one you care about.

I knew I wanted to live a better life for me and my future family, but the truth is, I didn’t know how.  Before having kids, I had the personal trainers, lost weight and all the things but after having to cut costs, I had to figure it out on my own and that is when the weight came back because I didn’t have the accountability, tools, or the know how.

In 2013, I found out I was pregnant with my first son.  His pregnancy was very challenging and exhausting.  I found out I had gestational diabetes with him and doctors told me if I didn’t change my life around I’d have it even after birth.  I retained so much fluid that my foot size expanded 2 shoe sizes! I had to adjust my diet, exercise (Yeah that was so fun when I was so heavy with water weight), go see a nutritionist once a week,  prick my finger twice a day, prick myself with a needle in my belly every night before bed, and see the doctors twice a week.  Man, it was relief when they scheduled my delivery.

It didn’t end there when I ended up with an unexpected c-section, baby going to NICU, and me with severe anemia for blood loss. Three days later after feeling I was going to die because I was so weak and not being able to see my baby in the NICU, I finally I had a blood transfusion and a nose tube (which by the was is the most unpleasant feeling and totally NOT needed).

This experience gave me drive to take the knowledge I learned during the pregnancy and gave me motivation to get healthy because I did not want another pregnancy like this again. So I did the things, got my butt out and started my running journey and continued working out at a local cross fit gym.

My second son Nate, his pregnancy I was doing all the things… running, push ups, wall balls modified burpees you name it.

After his birth, I ended up with severe PPD.  Nate blessed me with the gift of mental health.

With two kids, it made sense for me to start working out at home and I wouldn’t have it any other way with all the amazing tools I have in the comfort of my own home and don’t have to waste time on babysitting, or gas.

Many people have wondered how I find the time in my busy schedule and with two energetic boys to fit my work out in.  I am sharing a few ways  that have helped me to workout at home with kids.

1. Priorities.  I’ve made it a priority because I knew I didn’t want to live my life pricking the heck out of myself everyday.  If it isn’t a priority it won’t happen that simple.  If you want it to be a priority… Then just get up and get it done. No excuses. If it’s your priority, your kids will start to get it and adjust to your schedule. It’s all about the mindset!

2. Schedule. I do my workouts or running almost every single day at the same time.  This has allowed me to make it a habit and easily fit it into my life style and its helped train my kids to know when I work out so they expect it from me. It’s not an easy process, but over time it will start becoming part of your life style.  AND another tip I keep them 30-35 minute workouts.

3. Help! No Naps! If your kids nap, that is the perfect time to get focused, but if your like me and your kids won’t take naps, you still can make it happen.  Get creative!  My oldest Ethan will join in with me which is great because it’s teaching him how to be healthy. He even has his own weights.  Depending on how the day goes,  I’ll put Nate, my 2.5 year old) in his room for a quiet hour and get it done. If quiet hour/naps don’t happen, I turn on a show I know that will keep him occupied.  On push up days I let him get on my back for pushups (you can use your knees if needed).  Nate loves it and gets him involved too.

4. Don’t give up! Just find the system that works for you and stick with it.  The more you create it as a habit in your daily life, your kids will follow and start to realize it too. They will start to become your biggest cheerleaders and accountability partners. Ethan noticed during one of my recent workouts he could see I was tired. He says, “mom, I know your tired, but you got this!”

Making yourself a priority is hard… I know!  But I also know that if it is something you want to change, it CAN and WILL change and your kids for the better through being their example of what living a healthy life is all about.

Be Awesome,

Amber