“Expert”

Around every corner and under every rock you will find a “Fitness Expert”, especially in the social media realm, right?
Yup, everyone’s an expert. :-)
There are some fantastic (true) experts out there, that offer amazing and insightful information that will help us on our journey to better health and fitness, follow them! Read their books and blogs and posts, etc. and everyone else? Hmmm, take them with a grain of salt. :-)
Even better, do your own research, experiment with your own diet and training and become an expert.. of you!
I caution you about anyone who will a.) ‘push products’ on you, b.) suggest that their diet and workouts are the only way to go and c.) those who are inconsistent.. at best. You want someone who models a life you want to lead, if they haven’t figured out what works for them yet, give them a few years to gain some experience and knowledge, then check them out again.
And again, take the time to shape your own path to better health, do simple elimination tests to find out what you’re allergic to, pay attention to what foods make you feel energized (not high) and what foods make you feel sluggish and sick. Take out what’s harmful and add in what’s beneficial.
I’ve spent 400+ hours researching my current diet and workout plan and I’m not done yet. I want to always be growing in my knowledge of how my body works and how best to fuel it. And I encourage you to do the same.
Well, you don’t have to put in 400 hours, but you can start somewhere though, right?
Right. You little expert, you. :-)

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Superwoman

Do you do anything in your life right now, that makes you feel like Superwoman? (Assuming you’re a woman, of course..)
Something that makes you feel invincible, powerful and ready to take on anything?!?

I do. It’s called Demolition. ‘Demo’ for short.
And I LOOOOVE it! :-)
So what do I demolish? Walls. Plaster and lath, sheetrock, ceramic tile, wood, concrete.. whatever.

Why do I do this?
Well.. my husband and I bought a 104 year old home that every single flippin’ inch needed remodeling, so we had to take out walls, lots of different flooring and various wood structures.

We’ve also been doing various demo and reconstruction projects for the last 17 years. We’re crazy like that.

It’s tough work, not for the faint of heart or those worried about breaking a nail. Depending on what we’re working on we can easily be covered from head to toe in dirt, concrete or sheetrock dust, and sweat. Yeah, lots of sweat, we are absolutely filthy when we finish.
So why would I do this?
Well, for one, because it needs to be done, and two.. because I can.
Yeah. I can.
Give me a wonderbar in one hand and a hammer in the other and I will take down ANYTHING.
And the grin on my face under my mask will be huge while I’m doing it.
Why? Because I love the fact that I am not only capable of doing this, but I can do it well.
What I (may?) lack in strength (compared to the opposite sex) I will more than make up for in stamina. I don’t quit till the job is done.
And when I’m done, I’m crazy tired and likely bleeding somewhere, but on the inside I’m on top of the world, ready and willing to take on ANYTHING.
In my own little world, I am Superwoman. (Powerful, capable and strong.)
But my husband (lovingly) calls me- Beast.
So I ask you again, do you have anything in your life that you accomplish that makes you feel SUPER?
Something that stretches you?
Something that’s tough?
Something that takes a great deal of effort and thus gives a great deal of pride once completed?
We need these things.
And this is not the same kind of ‘amazing’ that a haircut or new outfit brings, this is the kind of ‘amazing’ that can only come with accomplishment. With facing something tough and tearing through it. And coming out on the other side- victorious.
In the midst of our crazy lives where we are burdened with issue upon issue, we need pockets of straightforward success here and there to remind us that we can make it and we can succeed in very tough circumstances.
We are capable. We are Super. And we can handle Anything that comes our way.

Without these ‘successes’, these moments of awesome achievement, we start to shrivel, and doubt starts to creep in and ‘everything’ seems so overwhelming and we think we can’t make it if we don’t ‘escape’ (to get a manicure, a drink, or eat junk) so we can deal with life again.
Nonsense.
You are so much stronger than you think you are. You may have forgotten this, but the fact remains. You may need to tackle and conquer something bigger than you to refresh your memory of your strength, but it’s there, I promise you.

While leading a group of college girls through a workout not too long ago, I told them of another benefit of exercise that’s often overlooked:
When we face a tough workout that we really don’t want to do or don’t think we can do, but we roll up our sleeves and do it anyways, afterwards, after we’ve pressed on, pushed hard, done our best and finished.. we get to enjoy the gift of accomplishment and we also realize that every ‘impossible’ task we overcome gives us strength and determination to handle the next one, be it in the gym or not. Working-out is a strength builder that carries much further than the walls of a gym.

Some will run to get a pedicure or go shopping when the going gets tough. Fortunately, life never afforded me those options. And I say “fortunately” because without those options, I was forced to develop my ‘perseverance muscle’, and it’s strong now.
Earlier I said my husband and I had been doing demo and rebuilding for the last 17 years, but I had forgotten about this photo here…
This is me and my brother and sisters (minus one) when I was 16 years old (I’m in the center not holding anything). Apparently my Mom looked at two short brick walls and a large L-shaped patch of concrete and it never occurred to her that we couldn’t break this down. She told us it needed to be done and using a sledgehammer we did it. We took turns destroying this sore sight in the yard, till it was no more. No gloves, no protective eye wear, no steel-toed boots. Just grit.
Was it ‘fun’ to do this? Maybe for the first few minutes, but those were (really) rough times, and I’m sure I welcomed the opportunity to work some frustration off. Would I have rather gone swimming or read a book or hung out with friends? Uh, yeah. But it was during these years that I was learning just how strong I was (we all were). Not by choice, we never choose adversity, right? But it’s in the fire, in those moments when we want to quit, but don’t because that option isn’t even on the table, that we find there’s really something in us, in all of us… that’s Super.
Thanks, Mom.

The master of…

Working with people who are trying to lose weight, I’ve noticed something:
People are either a master at making progress or they’re a master at making excuses. Some excuses are so clever, so well thought out, that seriously, if there was a book made on the top 100 excuses of all time, these finely crafted gems would be at the top of the list, yup, they’re that good.
So let’s talk about you.

Are you making progress or are you making excuses?

It’s really that simple. No.. It really is.
Because when we really want something, we make a way. Don’t we?
Think about the last time you reeeeeally wanted something, (other than a smaller jean size), How hard did you work for it? What were you willing to sacrifice to get it? How well did you plan ahead to make sure it happened?
It’s really not about losing weight, (well it shouldn’t be) but working towards being the healthiest version of you. Weight loss will automatically come when we ditch the processed junk in our diets, eat whole foods, drink water, stop with our emotional eating/boredom eating and implement an exercise plan.
It’s really not that difficult. Really it’s not.
Unless…
We’re just not ready. In other words, we want something MORE than we want our health and figure back.
That ‘more’ could be anything.
We can say all we want that- we want to lose weight or we want to get our health back on track but the bottom line is this: if we aren’t quite ready to give up our comfort foods, learn new habits and get up and get moving, we will find every excuse in the book for staying exactly where we are.

So the question is this..
What do you want? No really.. What Do YOU Want?
(You KNOW what’s coming next.. yup, my favorite quote.)

“Decide what you want,
decide what you’re willing to give up for it,
establish your goals and get to work.” ~Hunt

Ask yourself- Am I making excuses or am I making progress?
(And here’s a tip.. you’ll grow when you get quiet long enough to hear the answer.)
Because we cannot do both. If you’re ready for change in whatever area of your life, you’ll find that excuses are no longer part of who you are. When they pop into your head, you will recognize them for what they are, get rid of them and keep moving forward. You will begin to look at obstacles as opportunities.

Can I tell you what you already know?
You can do this. Yup, you can.
So, lay down the excuses.. and pick up the keys to your future. :-)

Easy Peasy Healthy Side Dish.. whoa.

When people start out on a new path to be healthy and fit, one of the first questions I get from them is this, “what can I eat?”
The second question is, “can I still eat this?” But that’s a whole ‘nother post all together. :-)
So, I tell them- eat whole foods. Single ingredient foods (mostly). Foods from an animal, from the ground or from a tree. Then they’re silent for a few seconds, look at me again and ask, “So what exactly can I eat?”
Sigh…
So, below is a video on one option for you, the delicious and uber healthy- baked sweet potato. It’s lower in carbs than the regular potato, and heck, it’s just prettier. Right?

Now, I understand there are many great cooks who read this blog and may be saying, “really? do we really need a video on how to bake a sweet potato? How hard can it be?”
And if that’s you… well, what can I say, this video may not be for you? LOL
It IS for those who are new to cooking for themselves,  but need easy instructions on how to make simple, yummy foods. That’s it. :-)
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO and share it with those you know who are trying to eat healthy, too. Hey there aren’t very many of us, we gotta look out for each other, right? :-)
Happy Cooking!
~Catrina

THE Question

So many times when we start out on a(nother) journey to better health and fitness we want to jump right in and find out what we should and shouldn’t be eating and what kind of workouts we should be doing, etc., and we skip over, what I think is one of the most important keys to our potential success.
Why.
Without the “Why” we will quit in no time, just like every other time, right? I know it was true for me, I was the queen of stop-and-start… and start again. When I finally got VERY serious in May of 2007 about dropping the 40lbs. I had packed on, I was ready to start slow and do things right.

Knowing your “why” will get you up in the morning and doing the workout routine that seems overwhelming at first, it will also help you choose good food over bad. But this isn’t just a nice suggestion for you to try, it takes concentrated effort and focus (15-30 minutes minimum) to come to the root reasons of why you want to lose fat and get your health back. But if you’re ready.. really ready, and willing to dig deep, you’ll reap the benefits of this little exercise when you need it most: When the going gets tough.
Check out my video HERE, where I talk more about this important key to make THIS time the last time, you have to start over.

For daily encouragement, please join me on the Hungry! facebook page, and “Like” it for motivation delivered right into your newsfeed.

Surviving Super Bowl

Do you ever wonder how things get started.. like the origin of certain things?
Or… am I the only weird one… (don’t answer that.)
Like, what did the first Super Bowl party look like? Was it accidental?
OK that was random!
Well, anyways.. as we all know, it’s the first ‘big test’ of the year for many who are trying to hold on to their New Year resolutions/goals for weight loss.
So here are my top 6 strategies for surviving thriving during a Super Bowl party.

1. Bring along healthy foods.
The biggest trap of the party can be that you’re actually hungry (because these parties can last foreveeeeeeer), but there is nothing there that you can eat. So… bring your own! Plan ahead to bring a savory dish and a sweet treat, both that are within your guidelines for healthy eating. Don’t be offended if no one else wants any, it’s not your job to convince them that it’s healthy (or tasty), what isn’t eaten you get to take home.. more for you, yay!

2. Don’t park sit near the junk.
We’re more tempted to munch and keep munching when we are sitting/standing right next to the food. If it’s in your eye-line and keeps calling your name, move or move the food so it’s not beckoning you. I do this all the time, without apology, so much so that my husband doesn’t even ask what I’m doing anymore. He just knows —it’s tempting me and I want it to stop. Boom. it’s out of sight. Party on.

3. Get an accountability partner.
(Only do this if you’re serious, because it will absolutely help you to succeed.)

It can be your spouse, one of your kids, or that anal (uh, can I say that?) ehem, that person that is 100% ‘by the book’ at all times, who would LOVE to watch you like a hawk to make sure you’re not slipping on your healthy eating. Doesn’t everyone have ‘one of those’ in their circle of friends? Or two? (hey, don’t knock ‘us’, we make great accountability partners.) lol Tell them you’re serious and you give them permission to call you out in front of everyone.
Sound a tad intimidating? Uh.. do you want to be held accountable or not? Don’t pick someone who will say- it’s ok, it’s just a half gallon of ice cream, you deserve it.
You’re trying to thrive here, remember?

4. Don’t drink your calories.
I thought everyone knew this. But… I am a bit sheltered in some areas. Calories that you drink are more concentrated. Fill up on good foods and wash it all down with some refreshing water (and lemon/lime).
Water?!?!

She did not just say- “water.”
Oh yes she did.
It’s the absolute best thing you can drink. You have weight loss goals, right? Stand out from the crowd, set an example, stick to water.

5. Don’t graze.
If you don’t eat beforehand (which I would recommend) and by some chance there are healthy foods at the party, get ONE plate and take your time eating it. Don’t scarf it down and don’t make a return trip to the buffet. Give that food time to digest, for pete’s sake. If all you do is pick from this platter and that platter and nibble on a little of this and a little of that, you will quickly lose track of how much you’ve eaten, which will doom your goal of surviving thriving at a Super Bowl party. And by the way, stick to your normal eating schedule and portions for best results. :-)

6. Make the day about the people and/or the game.
If you’re not really into the game (it’s ok, you can say it here, I won’t tell) then enjoy your company, engage them, help clean up (your hostess will love you for life), or play with the kiddos. So many of our big traditions revolve around food. If we’re going to start getting back on track with our health, we’ve got to start reversing that and making our gatherings about relationships and interacting with one another, that we also, by chance serve food at.

Bonus: Check out these AWESOME sites for tasty treats that won’t kill your goals.
Fastpaleo.com
Yourlighterside.com
Civilizedcavemancooking.com

What are your plans for staying on track? Do you allow yourself a little treat or stay as far away as possible? Do you have support from your friends and family?
Drop me a comment here or on the facebook Hungry! page.

Happy game day!! :-)

“I wanna get in shape this year, but….”

Good grief.. there’s always a ‘but’ or an excuse in there somewhere… right?!

“I don’t want to give up my starbucks, I need it to get going.”
“You don’t understand how much I love bread.”
“I just have these cravings for ice cream and I can’t help myself.”
“You don’t expect me to give up chocolate, do you?”
“I have to have my diet coke.”

What’s wrong with us these days? Why do we think we can get something for nothing? Why do we think we can have something amazing without sacrifice?

It’s this simple.
Ready?
If you want to be fit and healthy, you gotta start by giving up the crap you’re eating and drinking.

That’s it.
No other way around it.
Nothing of value comes without hard work. And sometimes the hardest work is walking away from our crutches.

If you’re not willing to address your food addictions, emotional eating, and bad habits, get comfortable where you are, because that’s where you’re staying.


So the question is simple.
What do YOU want and what are you willing to give up for it?

The rest of that quote is this:
Set your priorities and go to work. (Hunt)
You can do it.

This year doesn’t have to be a repeat of all the other years, it really doesn’t. This year can be the one you drop the excuses and change your life for good. It all boils down to this.

You must decide.