Motivation Monday

21 Jul

faith

 

Today is the start of my Evolution Group. It’s the first group I’ve led on a wellness mission.  I’m SO EXCITED!  

This group is completely diverse: young, old, wanting to lose weight, wanting to maintain weight but increase their fitness, single moms, stay at home moms, teachers off for the summer, women that work full time, and a grandmother. Most importantly these are women who are committed to each other for the next 21 days.  

TODAY is the hardest, because the hardest part is getting yourself to the starting line. It’s BRAVE to get to the starting line. It’s BRAVE to admit you need an accountability group because you’ve started and stopped a million times but this time will be different. It is an act of strength to admit you are weak and that you need help in focusing on yourself.    

I couldn’t be prouder of these twenty-five women!  

 

What’s your motivation today?  What is your biggest challenge in sticking with a workout plan or on track with healthy eating?  Any tips I can share with my group?  

 

Like what you see?  I would love to hear from you on FacebookTwitter and  Instagram!

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links.  While I earn commission or rewards if you purchase something, the links do not affect the price you pay.  
Thanks for supporting Us 4 Carters!

Friday Five: Friday Favorites

18 Jul

Oh Friday, you sweet pretty little thing!  Glad to see you!

This week’s Friday Five Link Up is all about our Friday Favorites. The Friday Five Girls (MarCourtneyCynthia), put together the Friday Five Link-up and hope you’ll head over to check them out. 

 DC_linkup

This Friday I want to share some of my new favorites.  

1.) Earlier this week I came across an article on Huffington Post.  I instantly fell in love with the writer, her mission and the movement.  Women, you are NOT too big to run – you just have to START to run.  You have to check out the Fat Girls Guide To Running.  Fatty, Julie calls herself Fatty, took the words of a doctor who told her she was too fat to run and built a movement to get other women, ALL women to run.  Her site, facebook page and blog are beautiful testaments to the belief that all women can start to take control of their own health and life.  

 Yep, here is me at the finish of my first mud run. A soaking wet, muddy mess.  I barely ran.  But begin to run I did.  

Me at the finish of my first mud run.

2.)  “Shift the focus from weight loss to life gain.”
Oh, how I LOVE this quote in this article from one of the past contestants of The Biggest Loser, Isabeau Miller. 

3.)  THIS WEATHER and Mid Day Workouts!

Finally the humidity broke after a rough week, of course the hottest most humid days were the ones when we moved, but the past few days have been perfect chances to break out of the office mid-day and get in a quick run.  I just found my new favorite product for the summer, BeautiControl’s SUNLOGICS Refreshing Towelettes.  These body wipes are great to get the sunscreen and sweat off of your face and body, and smell great!  I love using these as a quick refresher after a mid-day run.  I don’t have access to a shower at work, so these little babies get me back to work quickly without smelling like a baby wipe. sunlogic

4.)  FRIENDS

This past few weeks I intentionally tried to reach out to friends.  I am so excited to have had lunch, coffee, mini workouts, planned get aways and sleep overs with great girlfriends.  I know I am so blessed to have these women in my lifel  

5.)  This sign right here

trainingcamp

It’s one week until pro-football training camp.  Seven more Saturdays until college football.  Yes! Almost the best time of the year – Fall Football! That is a little bittersweet because I’ve been liking this summer so far, but fall is my favorite, I can’t lie.  

What are some of your favorite  inspirations lately?  How about your summer favorites? 

 

Like what you see?  I would love to hear from you on FacebookTwitter and  Instagram!

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links.  While I earn commission or rewards if you purchase something, the links do not affect the price you pay.  
Thanks for supporting Us 4 Carters!

 

Transformation Tuesday

15 Jul

Last week one of the ladies in my 21 Day Evolution group asked a question about how to reduce sugar for a sugar addict.  I answered her question abruptly by saying I went cold turkey, it’s the only thing that works. I felt badly about that and I went back to apologize and offer tips on what I needed to do to start my transformation.

What I meant to say was that going cold turkey off of sugar was my only option because I made that MY option. I made myself focus on eating low carb and refined sugar free … and when I say low carb, I mean, removing processed foods, flour, pasta, sodas, sweet tea and sweets from my diet.  I removed ice cream and cakes because they aren’t ‘worth it’ to me.  I researched a lot of ways to eat the foods I love without eating them with sugar, breads, pastas, etc. I kept eating the foods I love and that fueled my workouts by making substitutions. I ate spaghetti squash when the rest of the family ate pasta. When they eat subs, sloppy joes or philly cheese steaks I serve mine in a pepper, on quinoa or over zucchini noodles.  I gave up soda and sweet tea and switched to soda water at home via the Soda Stream or ordering soda water with lime when we went out to eat.  I ate greek yogurt with fruit and a little honey instead of a bowl of ice cream.  Instead of a king size snickers bar, I eat one square of good dark chocolate (the dark chocolate and sea salt is my favorite!) – see, nobody is perfect, you just have to make small swaps that are worth it to you.  I  made swaps that satisfied my nutrition and my cravings.  

A great place to start to find recipes is through Paleo or Low Carb blogs. One of my favorites is Peace Love and Low Carb , Kalyn’s Kitchen and using the blog for ideas at Relay Foods. I also have a lot of success finding low carb swaps on Pinterest, as you all know I’m addicted to pinterest!

These pictures below show a change in outfit sizes from a 3X/26 to XL/16 and nearly 80 lbs of Low Carb/low sugar, portion control and working out 4+ days a week. This is over 2 years of hard work.  There is still a long way to go.

PicMonkey Collage

 

Today, I’m wearing pants that are a little snug.  Let’s focus on the positives here, though, one thing I have also done besides MOVE more and EAT better was to  get rid of every size larger than the one I’m wearing today so I can’t creep back up the scale again.  These tight pants are a good reminder to tighten up my eating and focus on my goal of losing 50 pounds before the end of this year.

I’m so excited to try the 21 Day Fix with you and everyone who is doing 21 days of intentional eating, focusing on portion control and moving 30 minutes a day. Because the next 50 pounds still need to come off of me and I need to be more focused on my goals.  There’s still time to join the 21 Day Evolution group – sign up for the event and I’ll invite you to join the private group!

 

I would love to hear from you on FacebookTwitter and  Instagram!

 

Disclaimer: This post contains some Affiliate links, like the one for Relay Foods and Soda Stream.  While I earn rewards on those links,  sometimes you do too!
You can earn free groceries if you haven’t used Relay Foods before!
Thanks for supporting Us 4 Carters.

The Brain Drain

14 Jul

This weekend we moved.  We survived. I meant to wear my polar heart rate monitor to see how many calories we burned, but I forgot, so I plugged in eight hours of carrying boxes up stairs into My Fitness Pal.  While I typically never trust what MFP says for calories burned (it is always a lot higher than what my polar says), I’m pretty sure this is low, so, I’m going to round-up to one billion calories burned.

mfp

After two days of this we were beat last night.  I asked if I could go to sleep at 8:00 p.m. and the DOC told me that grown people don’t go to bed when it’s still light outside.  Well, that might be true, but I did fall asleep on the couch.  What?  Naps aren’t bed!

Our brains really hurt.  Ever get that?  When you’re so dehydrated and exhausted that your brain doesn’t really work?  Thinking of the answers to simple questions becomes SUPER HARD. Yesterday, loading in the kitchen I said to DOC, I can’t seem to figure out where pots and pans are supposed to go. This is too hard.  I really wanted to make a call to my most overly organized friends and show them what a mess I am and let their organization skills go to work.  I have a friend whose mom alphabetized her spice cabinet.  Yeah, I needed her to figure out the kitchen.

Therefore, today’s post is a cry for help.  I’d love to hear your best kitchen organization ideas, your kitchen hacks.  How do you organize a too small pantry?  Where do you keep your appliances (ice cream maker, food processor, electric skillet, kitchen aid mixer, crockpots, griddle) – do you keep them in the kitchen if you use them regularly and store them someplace else if you don’t (I’m looking at you ice cream maker)?   Comment your ideas below and I’ll post again next Monday about what progress I’ve made!

Sparkle on,

 

Aimee

I would love to hear from you on FacebookTwitter and  Instagram!

 

Friday Five: Things I’m loving

11 Jul

This week’s Friday Five Link Up is something I’m horrible at – taking pictures of my workouts. I’ve told you all time and time again, I am the worlds worst selfie taker. I don’t take pictures of my workouts, my fitbit band broke, I always forget to take pictures of my polar. I could show you a whole bunch of old ones, but that’d be really faking. So, sorry Friday Five Girls (Mar, Courtney, Cynthia), I’m going rogue! (But you should check out their posts this week and all of the others doing the Friday Five Link-up because they are good at selfies and workout pics!)

DC_linkup

I wanted to share with you some things I’m loving lately.

 

1.)  My BRAND NEW CUSTOM WORKOUT SHIRT!  WHAT?  Me, on a shirt.  Awesome.

I received an opportunity to order a custom Race Ragz shirt (thanks to the wonderful, amazing, inspirational Jenny from Jenny Hodges is Metamorfit) and offered one as a prize on my facebook page for the best idea.  Kim idea was a great one, to put “Because I’m Worth It” on my shirt, because of my National Running Day picture I created. I loved that idea, but when I went into design it, I felt a little braggy.  I mean, duh, yes, I’m worth it. But did I want that across my chest?  NAH, so I designed a little logo for myself and walla

raceragz

 

I decided to go with the women’s v neck sleeveless top.  It looks cute.

myshirt

The length is great, it is light enough that it doesn’t ride up and fits well.  You can put any design you want on the front and back. The only issue I have is that I don’t love the material.  I have other performance wear that is much softer feeling and it isn’t very breathable.  So, this top will definitely be worn a lot, to indoor workouts and cooler day runs.

 

2.)  SOXY FEET!

Did I tell you guys I’m a soxy feet ambassador?

My Soxy Feet Ambassador Button Female

 

I purchased these very patriotic socks (see even my feet can’t take selfies) and this pair as well which say “My Light Shines Bright” it’s kind of exactly the same thing as SPARKLE ON, right?

 

soxy

Seriously, these socks are so cushiony and comfortable.  They are made with cool max (lycra and nylon) so you’re feet stay cool, dry and not stinky.  Just what every wanna be runner needs. I don’t make any commission off of you purchasing these socks or my ambassador status, my ambassadorness gets YOU rewards.  How’s that for awesome?  You can purchase as many pair as you need at Soxy Feet and use the code SOXYFRIENDS to get 10% off of your purchase.

(apparently, I also like making up words, cushiony and ambassadorness. WHATEVER spell check.)

 

3.)  My Evolution Group

Friends, family, friends of friends and family, fellow Spice Girls, have all joined in on the Evolution Challenge Group I created on Facebook.  (Sorry if you aren’t on facebook, maybe next time we’ll do a different kind of group.  Any ideas?) These ladies are all in different stages of their wellness evolution and I couldn’t be more excited for them!  We are all focused on 21 Days of Wellness.  I’ve encouraged the group to try the 21 Day Fix alongside me, but many people are choosing their own movement and portion control programs.  (Disclosure, I am NOT a beachbody coach.  I HAVE a beachbody coach, this is her link, I’m just trying out this program to see if I like the program. Please don’t spam my group to see if you can be their coach, I’ll block you faster than the Pittsburgh Steel Curtain!)

 

4.)  My husband & Our kids

Ok, ok.  I know we all mostly like our significant others most days, but mine has been a trooper lately.  With this move he’s having to do a lot of lifting, sorting, junking, but most of all listening to all of my random decorating ideas.  Sorry, DOC.  Thanks for listening to all of my crazy ideas about how I want our house to look.  You’re the best.

He’s also totally pumped that my bestie from college is visiting.  Pumped. And Scared.  And happy for me because I’ve been needing her a lot lately.

doc

 

And even though she broke me up the other day, I love the Girl a metric $#&* ton.  She is growing up so tall and so fast and so smart and beautiful, it’s hard to keep up with her.  She and The Boy are finally at a stage where they are each others favorite playmates.  Maybe that’s because we have smushed them together this summer what with the no camp and one babysitter, but as soon as we get home at night they immediately start playing with each other instead of going straight to their own rooms to be alone.  I love that she is finally big enough to be his playmate and I adore how well he plays with her.  The sitter even complimented them for how well they do together – AND GET THIS – how much he watches out for and cares for her.  WHOA.  I don’t always see that behavior, but it’s great to hear that when they’re out in public they aren’t being buttfaces.

 

5.) My job

 

I love being a Special Event fundraiser.  I love the mission that I work for (The National MS Society).  The events that I plan have consumed me over the past several months and frankly, I’m kind of really very thankful that right now is the calm before the next storm.  Yes, there is a ton of work to do daily, but I’m thankful for a little lull.  Not that budget time is a lull mind you – it hurts my brain way more than event season.  Budgets are taxing.  -Am I right??

One of the cool parts of my job is when people do their own fundraisers for us!  There are many fundraising events taking place over the next few weeks! Join The Movement!

Two of the events that may interest you all are a Lia Sophia Jewelry Show and an 8K Run in Winchester, Virginia on July 26 https://www.facebook.com/8kforMS.  The jewelry show is a party in Charlottesville, Virginia but even if you’re not here you can order through this party and the proceeds go to the National MS Society instead of me earning hostess rewards.  Don’t worry, you’re not wasting money for me to look awesome – you’re helping people with multiple sclerosis live their best lives now.  Visit www.liasophia.com/radella and enter the hostess name (Aimee Carter) to place your order.  The woman planning the 8K is getting a ton of prizes and giveaways donated – it looks like the event is going to be great!  If you’re in the area, it’s a pretty inexpensive run and for a great cause!

 

What have you been loving lately?  Happy weekend.  Happy summer!  Take some time this weekend for selfie practice, you guys!   Be sure to check out the other Friday Fivers and don’t tell them how bad I am at selfies… they probably already know!

Sparkle on,

Aimee

 

 

Like what you see?  I would love to hear from you on FacebookTwitter and  Instagram!

Disclaimer: This post contains some Affiliate links.  While I earn commission or rewards if you purchase something, the links do not affect the price you pay.  Thanks for supporting Us 4 Carters!

 

Kids Say The Darndest Things

9 Jul

This article. The article that started it all. Mom empowerment for this summer.  Determined to enjoy kids this summer,  moms embraced this article, rightly so, and set out to enjoy summer with our kids.  Hooray for moms! You’re so right, Jessica. I will put on that suit and I will run into the splash pool with the kids and I’ll show my daughter that no matter your size it’s ok to play at the pool. I am the fun mom giving my kids all of the memories of a fun mom they deserve.

Except that she said this to me as we were getting dressed to head out into the pool,

“Mommy, I don’t like this hangy part on your legs. It doesn’t look good.”

OUCH.   Cue five second spiral of shame in a public pool shower stall.

Damn that mom power article.  Damn me for not getting the mom suit with the skirt attached.  Damn the loose skin.  Damn it all.

My daughter’s words stung. As proud as I am of my smaller size this summer, the loose skin on my thighs is as embarrassing as my larger size was. It’s dimpled and scary looking and right about at kids eye level.  That hangy part is hanging there over strong muscle. But kids can’t see that strong muscle, they only see the part they don’t like.  The part that doesn’t look good.  And kids, they vocalize it.  I know my sweet girl didn’t mean to hurt my feelings.  DOC always asks me why I let little kids hurt my feelings and it’s because they speak the truth.  They don’t intentionally mean to hurt you, they don’t have malice yet, they just say what comes into their heads.  Most Grown-ups have a filter that we use to stop us from saying “hey, ya packed on a few pounds there girl, haven’t ya” or “yeah, maybe you shouldn’t be going out in public in that suit”.  We say it to ourselves in the mirror, or on the scale.  We say it to ourselves when we see an unflattering picture of ourselves. However kids, speak their truth.

I explained that part of mommy is special because I workout so hard and it’s because of my muscles.  I explained that part of me is special because I workout so hard and that I’m sorry that she doesn’t love it.  She replied that she loves me and to hurry up before they blow the break whistle.  We had swimming to do.

Kids.  They are brutal.  They are hurtful.  And we’d do anything for them. Including getting into the pool with our not looking good hangy down parts and bruised egos, because it is fun.  Jessica is right, I won’t stop being a fun mom in the pool, but maybe next year I’ll buy the mom suit with the skirt attached.

pool moms

 

Sparkle on,

Aimee

 

I would love to hear from you on FacebookTwitter and  Instagram!

 

Catching Up: July 4th

8 Jul

Happy Independence Day!

OK, OK. I’m a wee late. Give a girl a break. Things have been a wee out of whack for us in the normalcy area lately. But, then again, when are things ever normal for the Carters.

School ended. I found out that the camp I was going to register the kids for was overbooked. I got the kids an amazing summer sitter. They loved her. We had to get rid of her because she wanted a $30 a day raise. Yeah, no. I had to hire a new sitter. They roll with the punches those two, thank goodness. See, they look no worse for the wear.

20140708-091721-33441343.jpg

We had a house. We couldn’t move into the house. We had to find a new house. We’re finally moving into a new house! DOC is clearly focused on the important parts of the move:

20140708-094303-34983296.jpg

I went on a business trip. Business trips are great because no kids. I kid… a little. I mean, no kids means gym time which means I can get more time in at a free gym just by waking up at the time I normally do! No kids, short commute equals extra time in my day!   This trip I really went gung-ho because I wasn’t sure of when the next time I’d get into a gym. Me, my new Soxy Feet and my custom Race Ragz shirt went nuts! I love lifting and creating my own workouts and using a variety of equipment.  So much fun!

20140708-091829-33509832.jpg

Visit http://www.mysoxyfeet.com/and use code SOXYFRIENDS for a 10% discount!

 

Look – I dressed up for my meetings!  After my great gym crushing,  I put on a new favorite dress from Gwynnie Bee.  I love this service most in the summer time – so many fun dresses and colors!  Try it free for your first month and earn me some extra outfits this month.

gbee

Seriously, when are you guys going to teach me take a selfie?

We listened to the USA World Cup game – man listening to soccer on the radio is challenging!  We also got stuck in traffic.  The boy got car sick in the back seat with my co-workers in the front seat.  Good times.

 

Here we are, rooting for the USA!  This is pre-puke.

Here we are, rooting for the USA! This is pre-puke.

Finally back home and ready for the 4th of July!  HOORAY!

We spent the holiday weekend with great friends and packing.  Eight years in one house and we are realizing maybe we could have purged before now. Yeah, those size 3T boy clothes and baby bedding sets, they aren’t doing us any good with a nine-year old boy and a five-year old girl. The kids rooms are pretty much done thanks to ME ALL ME, those kids are worthless at pitching out garbage!  Man, are our kids pack rats!  I de-hordered their rooms, got rid of much broken and missing pieced toys, got rid of all high water pants, too small shoes, and shirts that have magically become stomach baring tops over the past three months and got to work on our bedroom.   While the Carter kids are growing at a RAPID pace (seriously, the Boy’s football cleats from this past fall were a three and the shoes he bought with his birthday money in April are a five. WHAT?) , the adult Carters are having a different garbage bag needing issue.  You see, I am not the only shrinking Carter, DOC has lost two pants sizes and a shirt size in the past three months!  WAY TO GO, BABE! So, four bags FULL of fall and winter clothes went off to Goodwill courtesy of us two.

shrinkingcarters

 

So, headed back to the real world of work and babysitters yesterday, the kids and I dropped DOC off at work.  As he’s getting out of the car The Boy yells, “Have a great day, Dad, and remember to never abandon your dreams.”  I watched as my husband shook his head, said thanks bud through a stifled laugh, and proceeded to watch his shoulders shake in laughter all the way to the door.   I’ve always said that The Boy wants to be a great athlete, but he’s going to end up being a great comedian.  He may not write all of his own material but he has spectacular comedic timing.  Saturday Night Live, here he comes.

Besides being comedy genius, it was a perfect reminder about my goals for this year.

20140708-091910-33550001.jpg

 

So, now we’re into July.  One week until Us 4 Carters get a new home.  Six weeks until school starts again.  Let’s finish summer off strong.  Did the holiday weekend full of brews, BBQ and too many sweets get you off track? I know I can’t be just talking to myself here.  If you’re in need of some help focusing on your goals this summer join the 21 Day Evolution Group I started on Facebook.  You can do 21 days focused on your evolution to a healthier you, RIGHT? Join our group that is focused on 30 minutes of movement a day and portion control: https://m.facebook.com/events/726255620769207.  Once you join the event, I’ll add you to a private group where we can share our successes, challenges and even, if you’re comfortable with it, some progress pictures!

 

Never Abandon Your Dreams and Sparkle On!

 

Aimee

 

Like what you see?  I would love to hear from you on FacebookTwitter and  Instagram!

 

 

Disclaimer: This post contains some Affiliate links.  While I earn commission or rewards if you purchase something, the links do not affect the price you pay.  Thanks for supporting Us 4 Carters!
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,451 other followers

%d bloggers like this: