Taking Steps Towards Transformation

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As much as anyone hates to admit that they let their self go I have to admit that is what I did. Everyone copes with stress and emotions differently. I have never been the girl who stops eating, rather the opposite.

Last year to cope with stress and overwhelming sadness I turned to fatty foods and lots of booze. In the course of a year I gained 25 lbs, 12 lbs of that I packed on in 4 months. Finally in March I had decided I need to regain control of my health. I needed to change my lifestyle back to one that I completely ignored for a while.

Originally the big push was to fit in a dress that I purchased to wear to my friend JoJo’s wedding. Sadly I had gained 12lbs after I purchased the dress and needed to drop within 8 weeks to fit in the dress.

I reached out to my friend Ally Vaeth to help me get back on track. Ally is a health and fitness coach that is highly motivated and inspiring individual. I signed up for her monthly program that includes workouts, meals and amazing support. I would check in with her on a weekly basis and we would adjust my program as needed. Ally’s Instagram  provides examples of workout moves that were listed on my workouts for times I needed an explanation. She also is great to chat through any questions I’ve had for my workouts or meals.

With the help of Ally’s program, meal prep and workout buddy’s I was able to acheive my first goal of fitting in my dress! I lost 10 lbs in that time even with going on a vacation to Austin and doing lots of work travel.  The dress was actually big on me!

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My goal is more than just fitting in this dress. My goal is to continue and drop body fat. While on vacation in Virginia I was mindful of my goal and tried to only have a few cheat meals while still getting my workouts in.

Luckily my friends were very supportive while visiting.  JoJo, Jayne and Danielle all got workouts in with me in and outside of the gym!

I was focused knowing I was going to be in Vegas for a Bachelorette two weeks after my Virginia trip and wanted to look good in my swimsuit.

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Staying on track during vacations and traveling for work is very difficult and requires lots of planning and being very mindful. The hardest part is keeping a positive and focused mindset as life gets hectic! Ally was great in talking through the stress and recommending podcast or books to help. I also have strong support and motivation from others. I know without them I would have struggled to stay on track.

In 12 weeks I have made strong progress. Now without big events to keep me motivated I am trying to not let the chaos of everyday stresses take over and keep my health and fitness a top priority.

My overall goal is to be around 148 lbs and in the 20-22% body fat range. I am 5’6.5 . In 12 weeks I am down 13.6 lbs and 7.3% body fat with an overall muscle gain of 3 lbs.  The stats are listed below the image.

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Left: March 5th 170lbs, 32.9% Body Fat Right: June 3rd, 156.4 , 25.6% Body Fat

Please note this may include affiliate links. Please visit my disclosure page for more information. 

If you are looking to jumpstart your fitness I highly recommend reaching out to Ally either by her Instagram or her website. She has several different packages she can customize to your needs. Let her know I referred you!

Also invest in cutting board, veggie spiralizer, lunch box food scale, measuring cups and spoons! 

Keep moving, stay focused and take back your health!

XOXO,

Cecee

 

 

Packing for a Plan

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While traveling keeping up with a fitness/macro plan can be a challenge. I plan to enjoy some of my favorite foods and beverages on vacation, but not to go overboard on my indulgence. In order not to go overboard I need to be prepared with a plan and pack accordingly.

I love my Nike workout gear! I have my workout clothes, running shoes and Converse for leg day all packed. I have already determined days I have access to a gym and ready to do my workouts from my coach, Ally.  The bride, JoJo and I will be hitting up the gym for a strong workout prior to wedding prep fun! There are days that I do not know if I can make it to a gym and for those days I have packed my Sports Research bands and have HIIT workouts planned.

My goal is to get at least 30 minutes of cardio each day on vacation. Luckily Richmond and Virginia Beach are such walkable cities that this goal will be easy to meet! In VB I already have a plan to tackle Mount Trashmore stairs and fitness stations with my girl, Danielle.

Meeting macros will be my biggest challenge on vacation. In efforts to stay on track I have packed my food scale, blender bottlequest protein powder packs, quest protein bars and drink mix for a low calorie cocktail. I have also packed my vitamins for each day. I will stop at a grocery store to get more items for some of my meals and will focus on making smart choices at restaurants. Typically I only do one cheat meal a week, but on vacation one cheat meal per day without being extreme is my plan.  I can’t miss out on some of my favorite restaurants and trying out some new spots!

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Will power, please don’t fail the plan! Time to stay strong and focused, bikini season is around the corner!

Also the dash to fit in the dress was a big success, as it is actually a little big on me now! Post to follow on fitness progress.

If you have any other travel tips for staying on track with macros during vacation please comment below.

XOXO,

Cecee

 

 

Oh Cecilia 

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You’re breaking my heart you’re shaking my confidence daily…

Great song that I often hear and the words “shaking my confidence daily” stand out. I know what I’m about to discuss has nothing to do with what the song is actually about, but it’s so fitting.

This week we celebrated International Women’s Day. My social media was flooded with positive love for fellow women while my personal inbox was attacked. This had me reflect on all the times that by simply being me, I had shaken someone’s confidence.

In high school, there is always drama. For some, that dramatic mindset never goes away. Most of the high school drama is petty and based on feelings due to poor communication, disrespect and misguided finger pointing, or possibly hormones 🤷🏼‍♀️.

As we become adults we learn to respect others from differing backgrounds and mindsets creating the opportunity to grow and learn. Sadly some are not so accepting and you can easily shake their confidence.

Then there are times in your career when based on your age and tenure with a company “you are not supposed to have that position yet, you didn’t slowly move up the ranks”.

I am Cecilia. My own confidence has shaken the confidence of others, both male and female.

I often reflect on the experiences that have shaped me and the tough, negative experiences have made me strong, resilient and overly ambitious. Those tough moments and feelings I do not wish on anyone.

The moments of love, respect , compassion and support shaped me as well and frankly those moments are the most cherished.

Showing respect and compassion while someone is yelling at you and calling you horrible names is beyond difficult, and yes, sometimes I’ve failed and snapped back. Taking the high road can be a challenge, but will provide you more peace than fighting back. I have continuously learned you cannot rationalize with the irrational, no matter the effort you put in.

Having a positive mindset, staying calm in difficult situations and not letting someone shake your confidence is hard. Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, the only thing you can control is how you react.

Life is tough and everyone has their challenges, but showing respect and compassion can make a big difference. The difference may not be how the other person handles the situation, but may just provide peace for yourself knowing you were the bigger person.

XOXO,

Cecee

 

Intentional, Incredible, Inspired…

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This past weekend I attended the Arnold Sports Festival for the 2nd year in a row. This year just like last I gained more than just free products and samples. Being around all the athletes and fitness enthusiasts I am always inspired not only by their physique, but by their mental game and dedication.

Most people look at these athletes and only see their physique and physical strength, but do not understand how intentional they must make each day. These athletes have so much dedication to stay focused on strict meal and workout plans. The plans they follow are down to a science and very structured.

Life is hectic and one can easily fall off track without a strong mental game. As of late my head has not been in the game and motivation has been lacking. I have a decent understanding of what I need to do to get my fitness goals back on track, but need the push!

Last time I fell off track I needed to fit into a dress for a wedding… sadly enough I am in the same boat again a year and a half later. In 2016 I worked with my girl, Ally Vaeth  to fit in a dress for a NYE wedding. Following a meal plan through Thanksgiving and Christmas was tough, but necessary to hit my goal. With the help of Ally and dedication to the plan she created I was able to fit in my dress below!

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I have reached out to Ally again to help me get back on track and hopefully remain consistent in the future.  Ally is so detailed in her plan and genuinely cares about your success. When we met to go over how this program would be set up she made a comment about being intentional each day. This really stayed with me as the days I don’t have a plan are the days I easily skip the gym and have fast food. My schedule is different everyday and changes each week, so a set routine is hard to develop. I need to intentionally include my fitness and meal plans in my weekly to do list.

My before pictures this time around are so embarrassing for me and I am not ready to share until some progress is made. Stay tuned as Ally helps kick my butt back in shape!

Here is the goal dress I bought in September (pic is from September) and sadly have gained 10 lbs since. Operation fit in dress in process!

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XOXO,

Cecee

 

Thirty, flirty and thriving

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Did you watch 13 going on 30 with Jennifer Garner? Early on in the movie 13 year old Jennifer (can’t recall the character name) has a famous plea to be thirty, flirty and thriving. Suddenly I am 30, embracing being flirty and thriving!

I will turn 30 this week and my life has taken a turn from what I had envisioned and that is ok. This is 30, a new decade and new adventures.

This year will be full of travel, new experiences and treating myself! I have worked hard for what I have and I am proud of my accomplishments, which is why I am taking this year to spoil and rediscover myself!

The emotional impact and hit to my self-esteem from a divorce was devastating. I needed to pull myself out of the slump. A less conventional  way to see myself in a beautiful, strong and confident way was through a boudoir photo shoot.  I have had boudoir photo shoots before, but this shoot was different. This shoot was solely for me and a start of my self discovery.

Rachel Anne  posted about a special on her  facebook page on one of the days I was really struggling and I reached out to her to book that day.  I had planned on doing a This is 30 shoot, so we went ahead with the birthday shoot even though it was August.

I knew from working with Rachel in the past that just getting my hair and make-up done by her would instantly make me feel better. Rachel was fantastic in listening to me and truly understanding my insecurities, which her images helped me see past and see myself. I saw myself for the strong, independent, confident, and beautiful soul that I am.

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Working with Rachel is empowering and uplifting. This shoot was a step towards knowing it is ok that my plan didn’t work out and I am going to be ok.  Boudoir images will help you see yourself in a fun and flirty light, which I really needed now that I am out in the scary dating world!

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The new fun plan is to celebrate my 30th birthday to the fullest! I have started by celebrating with one of my best friends/Big, who also happens to turn 30 this week! We started the kick-off of birthday week with a fun shopping spree. I really took treat yo self to heart with new clothes, makeup and an iconic piece of jewelry for an iconic birthday.

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My dad has a birthday this week as well! I missed being born on his birthday by an hour, so for the past 30 years we always celebrate our birthday together. Yesterday we celebrated our birthdays with more shopping and lunch together in Bloomington. This shopping trip Pippa made out like a bandit with new toys and treats!  We will celebrate our birthdays again this summer with a fishing trip. We are all about summer fishing vs ice fishing, which is why it is a delayed gift.

This week I am looking forward to celebrating by getting a massage, revamping my hair, lunch dates with friends, my birthday party at The Cake Bake Shop and traveling to San Diego!  Happy dirty 30 to me!

A recap of my birthday week and vacation will occur next week, so stay tuned!

XOXO,

Cecee

Adulting is HARD

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This past week was beyond rough! They say bad things happen in 3’s and I really hope I’m good for a while on the bad. To some of you who have been adulting longer some of my lessons you probably know and are laughing at me, but for others you’re welcome.

The week started with of with getting my washer repaired after last week the guy at Home Depot giving me adjustments over the phone didn’t work. I kept thinking I am going to end up on a radio station as that crazy girl since the guy told me to turn the dial 6 times to the left, now 3 to the right, 2 to the left and now you have to slam the lid 6 times within 12 seconds… and GO! Well, that didn’t work so let’s try it again. When it still didn’t work they sent a technician out on Monday to take a look. Apparently all that silliness worked to reset the sensors, but what I wasn’t prepared for is when the technician asked me when is that last time you washed the washing machine? I laughed and said excuse me ? Is that really a thing and if so never? He informed me these newer washers should be washed once a month with an Aafresh pod and not to do another load until I washed it. Who knew?! I polled a few of my friends and they didn’t know either.  Lesson for those of you who don’t know, if you have a newer washer you must wash it to prevent clogs and tripping of sensors. 

Tuesday at 2 AM Pippa woke me up to go out, which sadly she’s been doing a lot. Well, this time she started barking and of course my yelling for her didn’t stop her from going after whatever she was chasing so I had to go get a flash light. She was running really funny at an angle and chomping weird like she had something in her mouth and thought great she’s caught something again (she has caught and killed a squirrel in the yard). When I get to her to see what she has she collapsed and started having a seizure. I didn’t have my phone to time it so I just started counting and trying to let her know I was there and as soon as it stopped I saw blood in the snow with no idea where it was coming from so I wrapped her in a towel and off to the pet hospital. This is the 2nd seizure she has had and the first occurred in October 2017. The blood was coming from her paws as she cut and bruised herself while paddling in the rocks she collapsed in, which was easy to treat. At this point the only way to determine if it is epilepsy is to rule out if there is an infection or cancer in her brain and you do that with an MRI. The estimated cost is around $2,000 and all it would be doing is giving me information. Going forward I have to monitor the seizures and time them and if the frequency and severity increase then I will look at medication. My lesson pets are expensive and I love Pippa with all my heart, but knowing when to say no to the expenses and hope for the best is tough. 

Wednesday at 2:30 AM I wake up to sharp stomach pains and end up throwing up until 5:30 AM and sleeping on the bathroom floor. I have chills, body aches , nausea and a fever of 101.8. I spent most of the day in bed and thinking I would die. Thank goodness one of my best friends is a doctor and called me to let me know what I should do and when I should try to get into a doctor. I had been trying to sweat out my fever with a heated blanket on high and tons of layers, but that wasn’t working. Lesson learned always have Tylenol on hand as it is the best to reduce a fever and keep some Gatorade on hand for hydration and nausea. 

Not the most ideal way to drop weight, but hey I’ll take the 4lbs down!

Thursday my fever was finally broke, but I still had no energy and was so tired. I slept most of the day and around 8pm finally was feeling better and decided I needed to wash my bedding and get the germs out of the house. The Aafresh pods arrived from Amazon so I washed the washer and was ready to do a load of laundry so I did. While in the other room I suddenly hear a bubbling sound and run to the laundry room to find it flooded and water coming up out of the drain in the floor. At this point I am concerned of freezing temps to come and pipes freezing. I clean up the mess, then get under the crawl space to see if I see any leaks happening and I don’t. I then take a snake to the drain which didn’t seem to do anything so my last option is calling a plumber. I get added to list for a call back the next day. As you can imagine after being in bed for 2 days this was a lot of energy exhorted and I no longer felt good so it was back to bed. Lesson here I am glad that I had a snake to try to unclog the drain myself and that my dad had taught me these lessons already. 

Friday was waiting around for a plumber that I didn’t hear from until I got frustrated and called another service who responded and was to my house within an hour. For those of you not in Indy we had TERRIBLE weather of ice and snow on Friday so the fact of me calling at 4:15 and they arrived at my house at 5 was impressive beyond measure! If you need a plumber in the Indy area I would recommend Howald as they were fantastic.  I am grateful that Austin, the technician that came out tried other methods to check for the clog vs immediately using bigger equipment, which would have added $200 to the bill! All was good and no clog and thinks perhaps the fact my washer wasn’t used for a while or the suds from the aafresh pod could have created extra foam for the drain to bubble out more, but nothing was wrong. Lesson there is supposed to be some water in that drain and I really have no worry of the drain actually freezing. Also next time I wash my washer I am not going to immediately do a load of laundry.  I now have a preferred plumber to call. 

Adulting lesson that I feel like would make life easier is keeping a list of preferred contractors with their phone numbers handy as well as any warranty numbers and dates of warranty expiration.

This week was rough, but my weekend was very productive!

Time to finish meal prep for the week, which will be the topic of my next post.

Have a great week!

XOXO,

Cecee

 

2018 Goals

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Happy New Year! I am happy to welcome 2018 and all that it has to offer. This year I am sure I will be faced with challenges as we all are, but I am looking forward to those fun and happy moments.

For the past few years I have been doing goal setting at the beginning of the year vs making resolutions. The most important piece in goal setting is to make sure they are S.M.A.R.T goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.

My goals always fall under 3 categories.

  1. Health
  2. Mind
  3. Spirit

My 2018 goals are listed below for each of the above categories.

Health Goals:

  • Minimum of 60 minutes of cardio each week
  • Strive for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Before I learned about lifting and loving the results I would only do cardio as my workout. I find it funny that now I hate cardio and must force myself to do it. Each time I go to the gym I am getting at least 20 mins of cardio in and I also purchased a row machine for my house for the days I don’t want to get out in the cold.

I also have been really struggling with getting enough sleep. I need to be better about putting the electronics down and keeping a set bed time. So far this year I am already failing on my sleep goals and still averaging around 5.5 hours each night.

If you are looking for health goals here are a few that I have done in the past: drink 8 ounces of water each day, workout 2 days per week and on average only do 1 cheat meal per week from macro counting.

Mind Goals:

  • Read and learn more about blogging

I have so much to learn still when it comes to blogging. I truly enjoy blogging as a creative outlet. I need to learn more about content calendars, building my page (I’m not tech savvy) and strive to post at least weekly. I am sure there are many aspects that I just don’t know that I don’t know.

Mind goals that I have done in the past: Read 5 books, Finish a designation for work, learn more about the rules of golf, while improving golf game and quarterly be involved in a networking group.

Spirit Goals:

  • Visit 2 new states
  • Quarterly try something new that is outside of my comfort zone

I will be visiting California for the first time this year as that trip is already booked! I am not sure yet what other new state will be on the list this year. I am trying to visit all 50 states by 50. Currently I have been to 32 states. Trying something new would entail some kind of cooking or crafting course, different foods or activity I have not done before.

Other spirit goals from previous years included: journal weekly, visiting new states, 1 random act of kindness per month and dedicating time to family members you don’t interact with often.

In 2018 I begin a new decade as I enter my 30’s and the next chapter of my life. In 2018 I will be:

  • 30
  • Single/Divorced
  • Regaining confidence
  • Rediscovering myself
  • Dating

Stay tuned as I am sure this will be an interesting year!

My beautiful friend, Megan gave me this gorgeous Alex and Ani bracelet for Christmas and it is my 2018 mantra.

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Good luck with your 2018 goals or resolutions! Do you have a mantra for 2018?

Xoxo,

Cecee