Thursday, April 18, 2013

30 Day Shred

If you follow me on instagram you know I started Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred last month. Aside from running I wanted to do something that would challenge me in a different way. I want to build muscle and tighten up certain areas. So 30 Day Shred it was. 

Basically it consists of 3 levels. You move up a level at your own pace. Each level has 3,2,1 intervals...3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs for 20 minutes, non stop. 


I had started 30 Day Shred twice before and never followed through with it. This time, however,  I was determined to finish. Putting it out there in instagram world defintely kept me accountable, but I will tell you what really held me accountable...My friend Abby who did it with me. We texted each other every single night and made sure the other one had worked out that day.



We took "before" pictures as a way to track our progress and it was really inspiring for me to glance back at them along the way and see the changes that were already happening. If you plan to do this workout {or any workout} I highly suggest taking before and after pictures. Because sometimes the changes aren't so big that you notice them right away. I'd also suggest taking measurements. 

Now when you tell people you finished 30 day shred, the first thing they want to know is---did you see results? The answer is yes I definitely did. But what they really want to know is, did you lose weight?

I did not start this with the idea that I would lose weight just by doing shred. The dvd cover says you can lose up to 20lbs. That's a big promise. But if you have that amount to lose and you haven't a work out like this before, I can see how that could happen. So it's not impossible.

My goal with this was {is} to tighten up. I want to have muscle definition. I want to be lean and fit. I'd be happy with losing a few pounds but I do not just want to be a skinny minnie.

That said, the number on the scale barely changed through the whole 30 days, however, my clothes started to fit loser. Which tells me that I did lose fat, and gained muscle in it's place. Which I was totally happy with. If you're a numbers girl, who gets stuck on what the scale is saying you gotta get over it if you plan to work out with weights. I had to tell myself that a time or two cause it was easy to bust my butt one week and then be like "wait, not even one pound lost?!" But, we all know muscle weighs more than fat, so in this case I had to look at how my clothes were fitting rather than the number. Also the before/after pictures told a lot as well....

Now am I going to post the before and after pictures? That's gonna be a no.
I know, I know that is absolutely no fun for you. Trust me, I love to see a good before/after picture myself. But. This is the internet. I decided to keep the pictures off my blog because I am in a sports bra and shorts. And while I don't consider myself to be an overly modest person, I can't control who looks at my pictures and where it ends up and honestly that creeps me out. I went back and forth because I know how motivating they can be for other woman thinking about doing this, but in the end I just didn't feel comfortable with putting something so personal out in internet world. 

So I will leave it with saying that I did get results. I lost inches around my waist, hips and booty and got more definition in my abs and arms.





So let's break down this 30 Day Shred thing:

1. Do it.

2. Finish it.

.........

Ok but really those two are key, however here are some things I'd add...

*What I loved most about it is that it's only 25 minutes. But you are working the entire time. I love knowing that the time I'm putting in is counting. You could spend two hours at the gym and not get as much "work" done as you do when you push yourself hard in one of these workouts. 

*If you are a mom, this is perfect. If you are a working woman, this is perfect. If you are a girl with a short attention span, this is perfect. No one can argue with 25 minutes a day. Do it at night after the kids go to bed if you aren't a morning person {pointing at myself}

*Don't wait until "this happens" or "that happens" or whatever.  Don't make excuses. Again, it's 25 minutes. 



*Have a couple different sets of weights. I started with 3lbs and ended with 5lb weights.

*Do it on carpet if you can. Especially if you have knee/joint problems. I didn't have this issue but my friend Abby did and she was doing it on concrete which didn't help.

*We moved up a level every 10 days. Jillian doesn't specify to do it this way, but it makes sense. And if you are like me, you need someone to be more black and white. So do it that way.

*After the first two days of each level- after I got a good understanding of the workout/exercise moves, I started listening to music instead of Jillian. This was major for me. It made a huge difference to just put my headphones in and just watch the screen. After a while the repetitiveness of Jillian's talking got super annoying. It also made it go by much faster and I feel like I can focus on pushing myself harder when I'm listening to music.

* Push yourself. If you want a workout that gets results and you want it to be fast {as in the time you put in each day} then 30 Day Shred is it. But you have to push yourself. There aren't any breaks in these workouts, you just keep going. Sometimes you'll want to stop and take a breather, but just remind yourself it is only 25 minutes and it'll be over soon. Once it's over you'll feel good that you pushed yourself the entire time.

*Get yourself an accountability partner to do it with. Someone you can text and check in with every night. Someone who will cheer you on and encourage you.

*Take before/after pictures as well as your measurements. I didn't take measurements before and I regretted it because I definetly lost some but there was no way of knowing how much.

*Tell yourself you will finish the full 30 days and don't talk yourself out of it. But do take ONE rest day.  At the end of the 30 days I was happy to say I had worked out every single day without missing one workout. But at about day 28 Abby told me she read that Jillian suggests a rest day. That would've been good to know, but honestly I did ok without a rest day. Could I have used one on say, Easter when I was exhausted and just wanted to park it on the sofa and watch Duck Dynasty with a cadbury egg? Um yes. But part of me is glad I didn't know rest days were allowed. 

*You can purchase the DVD off amazon, or find it at Walmart or Target. You can also find it on youtube but you have to deal with loading issues and internet connection. I say just buy it. It's around $10. 
 
Basically 30 Day Shred is a great work out. It definitely inspired me to keep going. I'm now doing Jillian's Ripped in 30 and already love it. It's a 4 week program, with one level for each week.  I'm excited to see the changes this brings to my body. 

Ok I won't leave you hanging with an entire post and not one picture. So heres's one of my arms. I have a ways to go with them but I am happy so far because my arms were one area I really wanted to tone up....I don't want bulky by any means, but I tend to be a little weakling in my upper body. The only work out these arms have seen before shred were a fancy move called -picking up babies/toddlers all day long.- 

And yes I totally did a selfie shot in the mirror of my muscles. Who am I? 



You can follow along on instagram by using the hashtag #fitin30challenge. Post when you work out. It doesn't have to be every day, but every few days. And you can jump in at any point whether you are on day 1 or day 18. Let's be a group of women who encourages one another, holds each other accountable and most of all inspires one another to be a better, healthier version of YOU.
That's definitely my goal. How about you?



I now leave you with a very true FACT.



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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lisa Leonard Giveaway Winner



Winner of the Lisa Leonard Giveaway is 
 Leanne Johnston 
Contact me asap and I will get you hooked up! 
 bitsofsplendor@yahoo.com

{winner was drawn at random using random.org}




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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lisa Leonard Designs {Giveaway}


"They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of His splendor."
Isaiah 61:3

When I think of an oak tree, I imagine this really strong, unshakeable, solid, tree. 
One that isn't moved by the weather, by wind or rain or the strongest of storms. 
One that is fixed and firmly planted.
One that proclaims and points to the glory and strength of it's creator.

I want to be like an oak. 
I want to be so solid and firmly planted in the truth. 
In His love, in my relationship with Him, that no storm of life, 
or even drop of rain can move me.


 I have admired so many of Lisa Leonard's pieces since I found her shop a while ago. I love that she puts so much thought and meaning into each design. Since I'm such a sucker for sentiment and meaning, I basically love all of her pieces.  So naturally, I was so excited to get the chance to pick something from her shop!




She has so many beautiful hand stamped jewelry in gold, brass and sterling silver.  She has also home decor that is adorable. 
Like this little 'celebrate' cake top banner or this sign for the front door. I want both!




I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted but chose her hand stamped Dog Tag Necklace because I wanted something that reminded me who I am each time I put it on. And something I could wear often. I love the length on it because I can layer it with my other necklaces. 




So, are you ready to pick something for yourself!? 
Lisa is giving one of you, a little shopping spree to her beautiful shop!  
One person will win $50 to Lisa Leonards Design.

Here's how to enter.
 *Mandatory Entry*
Sign up for Lisa Leonard's newsletter {bonus: When you sign up, you will get 15% off your next order} Just go HERE and enter in your email address. Then come back and leave a comment letting me know you did.

Extra Entries
Check out Lisa Leonard Designs and leave a comment telling me what you would choose if you won. 
"Like" Lisa Leonard on Facebook 
Tweet about this Giveaway {leave a link to your tweet with your comment}

*Please leave one comment for each entry*
Winner will be announced next Tuesday 4/16


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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5 Confessions & {What I Wore}



1. I brush my teeth in the shower. I have for years and years. Something about standing at the sink for 5 minutes just to brush my teeth seems so tedious. I rather know my hair is being conditioned at the same time. Perhaps it's multi-tasking at it's finest. Or maybe I'm just lazy.

2. I can not stand the feeling of dirty or dry feet. heaven help me. can. not. stand.

3. Brandon and I love watching Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet. I should probably be embarrassed by this but I'm not. Every week I keep coming back thinking maybe this time they will Find Bigfoot. We just reached the end of the season and spoiler alert: They haven't found Bigfoot.



4. I can not stand talking on the phone. I would much rather talk in person. Phone conversations bug me for so many reasons. One of them being awkward silences. Another one being knowing when to say goodbye....again, awkward.

5. I recently used sun-in to lighten up the blonde in my hair.  And yes I mean the sun-in that you and your friends sprayed in your hair back in 1992 while you laid out in your back yard and listened to nsync.  I got my hair professionally high-lighted but I wanted it blonder, so my sister suggested sun-in. I had to go to Walgreens to get it and I was embarrassed to ask the worker there where it was.  But you know what? It worked. So no shame here. Sun-inner's unite. {I think that'd just be me and my sister}


Outfit details:
I got this cute sparkle polka dot top from Kintage. This is the same boutique I got this dress from back in the fall. It is still one of my favorites. 
This sparkley top is sold out, but they have some seriously adorable new things right now that I am eyeing, including this, this and this. If you are looking to give your closet a little pep in its step, I would highly recommend checking them out. The prices and quality are awesome.


Top: c/o Kintage
Jeans: Express
Gold Glitter Belt: Target
Necklace: c/o Lisa Leonard Designs

Alright so it's your turn. Give me one of your own confessions. 
If you tell me you've used sun-in in this decade I'll let you be in our exclusive club.

 Linking up here!
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Nothing To Prove


"Is it possible to be a believer in Christ in this day in age, where everything is centered around the image that you project much more than the substance of the life you live"
-Steven Furtick-


I deleted my personal facebook page a little over 2 years ago. The reasons why are pretty irrelevant at this point since my heart has totally changed since I made the decision. Basically I can now fully admit that it came from a very condescending -holier than thou- place. 

Until God totally slapped me upside the head one day and I realized that just because I deleted my facebook, the heart issues that were there...

were still there....
Womp Womp.

And I needed to deal with them. 
Womp Womp Womp.

That took me a while to realize. For a long time if anyone mentioned facebook I would sort of turn my nose up and be all like "oh facebook, yeah I don't have one" in a very "aren't I so high and mighty" sort of way. 

Ugh. It hurts my heart to even write that out. Makes me sad. To realize how totally blinded I was to my own sin. I suppose it was the plank in my eye. I mean. Yeah it probably was...

I just felt like facebook became a really ugly place of competition and comparing and one upping. 
And it did. 
But sadly what I was seeing as really ugly, was also a reflection of myself staring right back at me.

Yeah. that was hard to swallow. 
And I kinda choked on it for a long time. 

I have found that what you are quick to point out in someone else, what you think is like this huge sin of theirs and oh my gosh I can't stand this about that person? Um yeah...its usually your own issue. 

That's hard huh?

But what I think is so awesome about God is how he reveals things to us. Always in steps and processes. He shows us what He knows we can take in and then he stops there. Until we're ready to take another step forward.  

It took me a long time between steps.
I think it was just hard to admit that I had it so very wrong. 
My heart, even being in a somewhat right place with my intentions, was in a very wrong place. While I was seeking separation and pruning and change, my heart just wasn't right.

I couldn't keep up with the competition and so instead I was going to bow out gracefully. 
Commit the ultimate one-up. 
"I'm better than facebook. I'm better than you."
Boom. Delete.

I mean it's pretty comical really. 

Because no amount of deleting was going to change that ugliness in me. I had to recognize it first. 
And that was the hardest part.  



I think many of us can relate on some level of this....in the form of any social media. 
We fast from it {done that} we delete accounts {been there} we get frustrated and jealous and frustrated again because our life doesn't look like that person we are following. Our recipe does not look like the picture on pinterest, our kids do not behave like theirs, etc etc etc. 

Or maybe you feel like your life does look like that and so that spirit of competition rises up in you. You get this compelling need to make sure everyone knows your life is great.

And then we get really discouraged and really unmotivated. And really tired because competition is exhausting in any realm. 

Then we just get angry and we try to "x" it all out. 
Walk away from it. 

Maybe it works for a little bit.
But until we recognize what is really going on in our hearts, nothing changes. 
The cycle continues. 

The truth is, this heart issue of mine was never about facebook.
Facebook was just a tool the enemy used to stir all of this ugliness up in me. And when I didn't like what I saw, I thought that shutting it down and walking away was my answer. But that didn't deal with the real issue.

I pushed all of this down so far deep for a long time. And I kinda got away with having to deal with it completely. Until earlier this year, when I began to really seek God for my identity. 
For who He says I am. 
Not other people. Not what they say or think of me. Not how many followers I have or likes I get. Not a brand or an image. Not even what my own friends and family think of me. 

I wanted to be the person He says I am. 
I wanted to know who that was and I wanted to be firm and strong in it for good.

But that meant that all of the ugly things I had stuffed way down deep? They had to come up. 
Here's the thing though! Once I was ready, it was so easy to face! So easy to repent. 
It's like why on earth did I not just stare that thing in the face a long time ago?

Here's why. Because as long as we don't deal with our sin, we hide it, bury it or we push it down...
It has power over us. 

And the enemy knows that. 
He uses those ugly things to keep us where we are... 

They haunt us in our thoughts. In our heart. 
They nudge at us each time we feel like we take steps forward. 
They tell us we will never change. We will never become that person God wants us to be. 
We will never be enough or do enough. 
We take one step forward and two back. 
Because it's still there. 
That thing we won't recognize or face. 
The sin we keep stumbling over. 

Here is the thing that finally freed me. 
A simple statement that broke that tired spirit of mine. 
Are you ready? cause it's rather profound...

I don't have to prove anything to anyone.

The only person I have to prove anything to is God and the greatest thing is? He's already approved of me! 

I mean how much freedom is there in that knowledge?!!
Does it sound just like, so simple? Like "duh!"
Well let me tell you, until I completely took that on and truly realized I don't have to prove a darn thing to anyone else....everything changed.  
Because God knows I'm a good wife. 
He knows I'm an amazing mom. 
He knows I have a heart after His. 
He knows where I sin and where I fall and how I stumble. 
He knows how deep I hurt and how hard I love. 

He knows. 

No amount of outside affirmation can even touch the knowledge of walking in that freedom. 

At the end of the day, when no one else sees the piles of laundry I folded, or the many times I picked up a pair of shoes, or the time I spent in the word, or the muffins I timed perfectly to get out of the oven just when Asher was getting home from school, or the sweet word I said to a stranger or the extra tip I gave to the waiter, or the dark circles under my eyes from being kicked by a 7 year old all night in my own bed, or the many times I climbed the stairs to give my needy toddler another snack...

God sees it all!!!
I don't have to make sure other people see it! Or that other people know. Or that other people approve of or like me. 
Cause it doesn't matter!

You are an amazing person. 
You are beautiful and smart and gifted in all you do.  
You have a calling that is unique and your own. 

How do I know?
Because God says so. 
And it's really that simple.  

Let's all just rest in that shall we?
Let's high-five that mom who seems to have it all together. 
Let's clap for the person who ran that stinken full marathon. 
Let's cry tears of happiness with that girl who just got engaged, or jump up and down with the one who found out she's pregnant.

And lets be real about it ok? 
Let's be so rooted in Christ that we have a holy confidence that is not borrowed from the opinions of others. 

Who you are is a really cool person. A person with her own calling. Own gifts, own talents. 
Taking hold of that knowledge brings so much freedom and so much joy. 


You don't have to prove anything to anyone.
You have already been approved by an almighty God.

Isn't that great to know?!
It's pretty freeing really. 
  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter


 


It was a good weekend...
3 different Easter celebrations, Egg dying, Easter baskets, Egg hunts, lots of family time and too much candy. I always look forward to the day after full weekends like this when we can reflect, rest, get everything back in order and hide all the candy.

We have an amazing family.
 Our kids know a whole lot of love and I will never stop being thankful for that. 
If you asked me how I know God loves me, I would tell you one way is because of my family. 
I love being mom, wife, daughter, sister, and "auntie lala" to them.

Weekends like this just remind me how good God is to us.
He is the reason we celebrate and the reason we freely live.
I am so thankful for that.

  Did you have a good Easter?  
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Monday, April 1, 2013

Omega Juicer {Giveaway}

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Happy April!! Can you believe it's already here?!
I'm so excited to start the week off with a fun giveaway for you all! I've collaborated with a group of fabulous bloggers to bless one of you with an Omega J8004 Nutrition Center!

Ok so I know this might seem like a random giveaway. 
A juicer?! But honestly, if you have ever juiced, or have thought about juicing...this is THE juicer to get. 
Brandon and I started juicing twice a day to help with our efforts to be healthier and at our best.  And I gotta say, I have noticed a HUGE difference in my energy levels and how I feel overall.
I never thought I would be one to say it, but. 
I love juicing. 

But maybe you aren't into the idea of juicing... What about making fresh salsa, homemade pasta or your own peanut butter? The possibilities are endless with this little machine.

So here's how to enter
Mandatory entry: 
 leave a comment below letting us know a meal or dish you prepared that didn't turned out as planned.
(basically a recipe you butchered or one that left you disappointed)
If you want to stop there with your entries, no problem. You've entered just by leaving a comment with your answer.

But if you want to up your chances, here are some easy ways to do just that.
Just use the rafflecopter below!

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