Where the hell is the carousel?

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I feel like the last 2 years of my life I have been on a roller coaster and I’m desperately seeking a carousel.

It’s funny that I’m trying to find some consistency in life to cling to, but the only constant is change.

I have had a ton of change with divorce, selling my house , the ups and downs of dating, changes at work and several other challenges. Life keeps hitting me with more twist and turns.

I know that I would quickly be bored on a carousel of consistency in all aspects of life, but there are some areas I feel I need it. I’m realizing the carousel I need is knowing myself and what I can expect from how I treat myself and how I allow others to treat me.

Life is a roller coaster there is no way to predict the ups, downs, twist and turns in life. All you can do is buckle up, hold on and follow the track.

XOXO,

Cecee

Changing Seasons 

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Just like the leaves of fall change can be beautiful, but it can also be messy. In the past month or so I have had a ton of change from expanded territory for work to selling my first house. My life has been a whirlwind!

During the process of trying to prepare my house for the market, all the showings, traveling for work then packing to move I quickly became overwhelmed. I am beyond grateful for my family and friends who stepped up to help me with tasks and listen to all my frustrations.

Now I am moving on from my beautiful home to the unknown. For the first time I don’t have a plan for my future. My house was packed up and split between my parents, a storage unit and my friend’s house. Thank goodness for my sweet friend for letting me move in.

I am working on embracing the beauty of the unknown even though it terrifies me. Closing chapters and saying goodbye to places, things and people is very hard and scary. Sometimes it takes closing one door for a better one to open. I am excited for the future and wherever it may lead.

Moving on to new adventures!

XOXO,

Cecee

Let’s Celebrate the 4th!

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Are you considering hosting either a brunch or BBQ for the 4ht of July?  Are you looking for a healthier menu? If you are, I have you covered!

I love brunch and luckily there are so many ways to lighten up your menu!

Brunch Menu

  • Sausage and Egg Muffin– 12 servings (1 muffin/ serving)
    • 1 Cup, Shredded Potato
    • 3 egg, Egg Whites
    • 3 large, Egg
    • 0.25 cup, 2% Milk
    • 0.25 cup, Shredded Mexican Cheese
    • 3.00 links, Johnsonville Turkey Sausage
    • 0.50 oz, Red Bell Pepper
    • 0.25 cup, Mushrooms
    • Bake the shredded potato in a muffin pan at 425 Degrees for 15 mins or till crisp edge, the add all the veggies and diced sausage on top. Then add the mix of eggs, egg whites, milk, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. I also added some fresh basil. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 mins of until egg is done.
    • Macros: 76 cal/ 3g F/ 4g C/ 5g P
  • Chicken and Protein Waffles (birch benders protein pancake mix, per instructions on package) – For a quick cheat on the chicken I purchased Chic-Fil-A chicken strips and use 2 chicken strips.  I top it with 1/4 cup of sugar free syrup.
    • Macros: 415 cal/ 10g F/ 45g C/ 30g P

And/Or

  • Red, White and Blue Protein Waffles with Turkey Sausage- I follow the instructions on Birch Benders Protein pancake mix for waffles and toss and few blueberries into the mix. Serve with strawberries on top, sugar free syrup and Johnsonville Turkey Sausage, 3 links.
    • Macros: 341 cal/ 9g F/ 42g C/ 28 g P
  • Red, White and Blue Yogurt- 1/4 c blueberries
    • 1/4 c strawberries
    • 1/2 c fat free greek yogurt
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • Macros: 192 cal/ 1 g F/ 40g C/ 13g P 
  • Pasta Salad: 11 servings (1 cup per serving)
    • 1 Bell Pepper, Green Bell Pepper
    • 2 Tbs, Onion Green Whole
    • 1 tbsp, Basil, fresh
    • 1 g, Pepper
    • 1 Tablespoons, Salt
    • 1 bunch, Broccoli, steamed
    • 0.25 container (60 tomatoes ea.), One Single Cherry Tomato
    • 1 container (32 tbsp ea.), Free Zesty Italian (Fat Free Dressing)
    • 1 container (5 3/10 cup dries ea.), Whole Grain Pasta Rotini
    • Boil pasta per box instructions and let noodles cool. Then mix all the above in a large bowl and chill for at least an hour before serving.
    • Macros: 180cal/ 1g F/ 35g C/ 6g P
  • Caprese Bites: 2 servings (4 each)
    • 8 cherry tomatoes
    • 1 low fat mozzarella stick
    • 8 fresh basil leaves
    • 1tbsp olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix (I use a dipping oil mix with spices)
    • Macros: 86 cal/ 11g F/6g C/ 4g P
  •  Fresh Fruit- Watermelon is always a good choice and I added sprigs of mint leaves for presentation . 1 cup of watermelon
    • Macros: 86 cal/ 0g F/ 22g C/ 2g P

BBQ/Cookout Menu

Planning a BBQ ?! I have the best burger recipe for you! There is a key special ingredient, Home Grind that perhaps myself or Kevin can introduce you! Home Grind is an amazing blend of peppers to add a little heat to your burger.

  • Venison Burger: 7 servings- 1 burger per serving: Video for prep below
    • 1 lb(s), Venison (sub lean ground beef/turkey burger-macros are for venison)
    • 1 large, Egg
    • 0.50 cup, Oats
    • 6 g, Pepper
    • 1 tbsp(s), Garlic, raw
    • 1.50 tsp, Original Flavor Salt Free Seasoning Blend
    • 1 tsp(s), Spices, garlic powder
    • 2 Tsp, Seasoning Chupacabra
    • 1 pinch of Home Grind
    • Macros: 114 cal/ 5g F/ 5g C/ 13g P

Utilize the brunch menu and serve with the pasta salad, caprese bites and watermelon. Sun tea is always a good choice to add!

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For dessert I recommend Red, White and Blue angle food cake.

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  • Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake: 1 serving
    • 1 Slice, Angel Food Cake
    • 0.25 cup, halves, Strawberries, raw
    • 0.25 cup, Blueberries
    • 2 TBSP , Fat-free Whipped Cream –
    • Macros: 181 cal/ 0g F/ 41g C/ 3g P

I hope you enjoy celebrating the holiday with these lighter menu items! Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!

XOXO,

Cecee

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