Sunday, October 30, 2011

I. Need. A. Six. Pack.

And I'm not talkin' beers! ;) It's been one month since I completed the Bikini Body Program with DAMY Health! I'm still plugging away at it though! I joined the DAMY Lifestyle program and also enrolled in the DAMY Best Body Ever Challenge! I have to set a goal and try and accomplish it by January 1st! That means that I have till the first of the year to get my six pack!!

Today I weighed in again and have maintained my 139 lbs! Yea! I measured myself and my measurements are pretty much the same. My hips were about 36 3/4", waist about 26 3/4" and bust was still about 33 3/4".


Even though I am about the same measurements, I have started noticing nice changes in my body! I notice that I can now FEEL when I use certain muscles. Even when I'm walking, I can differentiate between which muscles I am actually using. I can feel using an outer glute muscle versus an inner! It's amazing!

I've also been noticing that my legs have been getting much more toned and in shape!


Also, I have indents where I never had them before!


The other thing. You know those small skin folds that models have when they are bent over? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about, "skin folds" and not "skin rolls". I'm starting to get those. I didn't even think that that was something that real humans had - you know, "skin folds" on your tummy. Yep, I am basically saying that I considered models part of the non-human society.  It turns out though...that they are! AND you can just have skin folds and not rolls. Who woulda thunk?


Hey look! I have knee indents! :)

Despite all my great progress, I did have some slip ups recently. I had a horrid day of candy eating the other week! And guess what? I paid for it in a major way! Now that I haven't been eating that food, when I do go back to it and have it in excessive amounts, I get really sick! I felt SO sick after all of that! That night during my workout, I thought I was going to be ill all over the treadmill! That could have been interesting! ;)  It's amazing to me that now my body is rejecting those foods and doesn't want them! I can also FEEL a complete difference as to how I FEEL when I go back to those foods. Can't believe that was my "normal" feeling before! Yuck! I'm staying strong though and sticking to eating clean!


Keep strong in your will with the goals you want to accomplish!

What are you working towards now where you need to stay strong?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Now. Begins. The. Season. Of. Giving.

It's been a while since I've posted. I've even been writing posts and saving them, but not publishing them! I have no reason for this other than I've been in a very pensive mode lately. I've been spending the last couple of weeks being very inward and just analyzing some life events and thoughts on forward progress. I'm still going to continue to take some time for this kind of thing, but I will try and make a conscious effort to post more. Sometimes I simply go through phases...just like everyone else! :)

I wanted to talk a little today about GIVING! I have been thinking about adding some volunteer work onto my plate for the winter season as I will not be so busy with my business. However, I'm contemplating what type of time commitment and activity I would like to pursue. The thought of giving also came to a head tonight because at my work, Neighbors, Inc., I have been made a co-coordinator of our Christmas programs. We had a Christmas meeting tonight for all of the church representatives in our community to ask them to help us spread the word. See? I even made Christmas goodies for them! 


It feels so wrong to make Christmas goodies in October!!! But they were still delicious! :)


Our Christmas programs include Adopt-A-Family, Adopt-A-Senior and Love Your Neighbor. Businesses, church groups, organizations, families and individuals call Neighbors to adopt a family or senior to purchase Christmas gifts for the needy families and seniors. At Neighbors we see all sorts of families come through the door who are down and out and simply struggling to make ends meet. Our programs focus on purchasing presents for the children only (and if adopters would like to give presents to the adults as well, they may). Lately we have seen such an increase in need due to people being laid off, hours cut, people being out of work so long they are losing their unemployment benefits and illnesses. It can be overwhelming to be faced with this every day. For many families and individuals, Neighbors is the one place that they can depend on in their time of need. Our Adopt-A-Senior program is especially wonderful because many seniors do not have a family or anyone to purchase them a gift during the holiday season and it's great to know that because of Neighbors, they will not be forgotten. All the leftover families who are not adopted are put into the Love Your Neighbor program where they receive clothing, food vouchers for a holiday meal and gifts for their children from the other individual donations we receive at Neighbors. We try our best to match the wishes of the children in Love Your Neighbor. It's unfortunate, but our number of adoptees far outweighs our number of adopters, so we still make sure that no family leaves empty handed. Our volunteers spend hundreds, if not thousands of hours helping with these programs. We are so grateful to them for their help and I know the families are too!


The meeting tonight really got me thinking ahead to how I can help a family in need. I know that I cannot adopt a family myself but I am going to contact my family to see if rather than purchasing gifts for one another, we adopt a family! It's such a GREAT way to celebrate Christmas! After all, I don't need any more STUFF! :)

We were also blessed at our meeting with the generous and wonderful talent from the South Metro Chorale! They had amazing voices and I would love to go and see one of their concerts! I have attached a video of four of the members from the Chorale (there are about 40 members in total) who volunteered their time tonight to get us in the Christmas spirit at our meeting! After all, it's not even Halloween! It's hard to starting thinking of Christmas when snow hasn't even fallen yet! Regardless, they did a wonderful job and definitely got me in the Christmas spirit of giving! If you want to know more about this group and their concerts that they put on throughout the South Metro in Minnesota, check them out HERE or like them on Facebook HERE. They have upcoming Christmas concerts! Here is a small taste of what great quality of singing you will hear! These are just four of the members!

video

(From left to right: Jenny, Amy, Ryan and Dave)



How are you going to GIVE this Christmas season?


If you haven't already made plans for your Christmas giving and would like to adopt a family or senior at Neighbors, Inc., we would love to have more adopters to help us meet our demand. We have seen such a huge increase in demand for our food shelf alone, that one can only expect the demand for Christmas help will also increase! If you live in the Twin Cities area and would like to contact us about our Adopt-A-Family and Adopt-A-Senior programs, feel free to contact us at (651) 306-2152. Or you can email ME at alyssa@neighborsmn.org for any more questions! 

We would love to have more adopters! 


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wear. And. Fare. Wednesday.

Just making it on time for it to still be Wednesday! At least for CENTRAL time! :) 
Here's the newbies for you all!

WEAR

I took my same dress that I recently purchased and paired it differently!

Dress: Merona - Target
Jacket: SES - Australia (a really discount clothing store in Australia - used to shop there ALL the time!) 
Boots: ALDO
Beret: Handknit by the best sister EVER! (Bet you all wish you had a sis as cool as mine! ;) )

FARE

So, like I said, I've been on a HUGE pumpkin kick! I LOVE pumpkin. Once this season comes around I can't get enough of it! I actually found this protein pancake recipe from a woman who is also linked to the DAMY Health program! Her name is Kyla or also Inside_Out_Fitness and of course, she eats clean too! She has a great little blog as well and I simply adore the fact that on her Facebook page she also puts recipes! I came across this one and FELL IN LOVE! You can find the recipe here on her note page! Scroll to "Oatmeal Protein Pancake". It's SO amazingly good! I didn't have banana on hand though for mine and I have yet to try it that way. This is what I did instead:


I peeled, chopped into quarters and boiled an apple. Then I took out the cooked and softened apple pieces and mashed them with a fork until they were a sort of chunky puree. I also added some cinnamon! Instead of the banana, I added the apple! So good! I highly recommend this one if you are craving pumpkin-y goodness!! 

Hope you all enjoy! 



Sunday, October 16, 2011

First. VLOG. And. Video. Of. Accomplished. Goal.

Hey Everyone! My very first VLOG for you! Enjoy!


And here is the video that I first saw this in!



Here is my video!






Saturday, October 15, 2011

Build. A. Sign.

As you all know, Minneapolis By Bike is up and running! I was missing ONE thing for my business that would be really helpful with my customers finding my meeting location...a sign! I contacted BuildASign about their signs and they were generous enough to give me a complimentary sign for my business! They were extremely friendly, communicative and their service was speedy. They also have very reasonable prices. Plus, they make a lot more than this type of sign; bumper stickers, sandwich boards, business cards and so much more!

I got this aluminum sign that I designed myself on their website! Yep! You get to design it yourself just how you want it or you can use one of their templates!


Here I am in Recovery Bike Shop showing off my new sign! Recovery Bike Shop is my fantastic supplier and maintenance shop - you should check them out, they are the best! Plus, they are a local small business! They also built my beautiful single speed bike, Ms. Rosy! I love her!

I have yet to purchase the H-Stick to hold the sign. I am going to be purchasing that soon so I can post this in the ground for my happy bikers!


Just one more time...showing off my BuildASign pride! 

I want to send a big thank you to BuildASign for their wonderful work and I highly recommend them to any of you that may need a sign. BuildASign, be ready for my H-Stick holder order, it's coming soon!

Check 'em out everyone! You can click on their banner on the side of my page! 

Thanks BuildASign



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wear. And. Fare. Wednesday.

I've been so busy that I missed you guys last week! I haven't even blogged in over a week! That is good because in one way it means that I am out and accomplishing things. On the other hand, I haven't had time to share them with you all yet! I will, I will. I just have to get time to write them down for you all! I wanted to try and do this Wednesday's post though at the very least!

WEAR


I threw together a brand new work outfit today. These are some cute new gray pants that I got at Old Navy during my shopping spree! Love them! Plus they make my legs look a mile long! Perfect for the fall weather we had today!

Sweater: Mossimo - Target
Blouse: Express Design Studio - Express
High-rise boot cut pants - Old Navy
Ankle Boots - ALDO


I love these ankle boots by ALDO! They are my favorites to pair with any boot cut pants or leggings!

FARE


Tis the season for all varieties of squash! I LOVE squash - butternut, spaghetti, all things pumpkin! YUM!

I am in love with this butternut squash soup recipe that I found online. Better yet, I've made it even cleaner than it was per the recipe! And for those wondering...yes! You can have a smooth, creamy and tasty butternut squash soup SANS the cream!!!
I found THIS recipe on allrecipes.com. Down below I've added my modifications for a CLEAN butternut squash soup! 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 (32 fluid ounce) container organic, no added sugar, chicken stock
  •  freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Pour the olive oil in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, carrot, potato, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in enough of the chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
  2. Let cool. Transfer the soup to a blender (or food processor), and blend until smooth. Season with pepper.

I personally do not use extra salt in my soup, I find it to be salty enough. I just add fresh ground pepper to mine. I love this for a vegetable serving with my lunch! Delish!




Tuesday, October 04, 2011

You. Are. Not. Your. Failures.

Failure has been a big idea/concept/conversation piece for me this week. I am not one to look at a failure as  a "failure." I like to think of them as learning experiences for what you can hopefully NOT repeat in the future. After all, we are able to change our futures, but can't change the past.


This weekend I had a devastating (to me at least at the time) experience with my business. It was 3pm on Saturday afternoon and my business phone rang. I JUMPED! This is the first time that my business phone has EVER rang! Ok...well, it has rang a couple of times but was people who wanted to interview me and the such. That, of course, was equally as exciting - but wasn't someone wanting a tour. So given that my phone hasn't ever rang for a TOUR, this startled me. I answered the phone - half expecting it to NOT be for a tour. A woman's voice answered back. She said, "Is there still space available on the 3:30 tour?" I was taken aback! I said, "Uh, there isn't a tour booked at 3:30." She said, "Oh." I said, "Well, we just don't have people signed up for the 3:30pm tour. We could do one." She responded, "Do you have tours tomorrow then?" I said, "Yes. A 7:30 AM farmers' market tour and a 3:30 PM historic tour." She replied, "Oh, okay. Well, I will see if I have time to do the 7:30AM tour tomorrow. I will let you know." "How many people are in your group?" I asked. "Just me," she said. "Oh, well certainly call us back and we'd love to give you a tour for the morning if you can." She hung up. I was so confused and rattled over what had just happened! When I said, "We don't have a tour booked." What I really meant was that no people were signed up. I think it came out very wrong. I also didn't expect someone to call for a tour a half hour ahead of time. After I thought about it though, I realized...well, duh! Some people ARE going to call right before and you just have to be prepared for that. After the realization set in of, "Why the heck didn't you just say, 'Yes, you are our 3:30 tour, we'll meet you there!'" I began looking through my phone to call her back. She had a private number. I tried everything - *69, googling how to get private numbers, etc. No such luck. In the moment of the realization that there was not going to be any calling her back, I was devastated. Not devastated because of the loss of money, but for the opportunity. The opportunity to take someone around the town, for them to have a great experience and for them to be able to tell others, "Hey, there is this really cool business there. You should check it out!" Yes, I felt like it was a failure...even though in the back of my mind, I knew it wasn't a failure - but a learning experience.

I was so bummed, I attempted to call almost everyone I know. Murphy's Law - no answers. So, I went to the park to do my DAMY workout  - which, by the way, was a killer. There is no worse time to do an intense workout than when you are already feeling defeated. I (barely) made it through one set (I also thought in the back of my mind at the time, "This workout is too hard! Forget doing 4 sets, that's impossible! I'm only doing 3!") I sat on the bench in the park and called my parents. My dad answered and I began to bawl. They were out and about so he was distracted, but still trying to listen. He asked me to call back. I did one more set and called him back. I talked with my dad for a bit and he reminded me that this was a learning experience and for the next time, I would know how to handle it differently. He said perhaps I had the, "First call jitters." Maybe I did?

I later spoke with my friend, Sonya, who, of course, told me the same and encouraged me. She said, "You know, this won't be the only person to call, Alyssa." I KNOW that is true.

Just the other day, I also went to meet someone for a coffee about my business. His name is Ryan Ott and he runs the business IamMNnice. Ryan is a wonderful guy and I highly recommend you all check out (and LIKE) his page (ALSO, look for another post from me later this week for a GIVEAWAY of some IamMNnice gear). We began to talk about how I started this business and I told him a little about my story. We got into discussions about life and how we both are doing what we are doing. We started talking a bit about life and journeys, etc. I told Ryan about what had happened that past weekend and Ryan reminded me of something important. Am I living my passion? He asked, "Well, even though you don't have a tour, do you just get up and do it anyways?" "What do you mean?" I asked. "You know, get up and just get ready and having everything set and go do your tour. As though you do have tours. That way, if someone does call, you will be ready." He reminded me of  something that I haven't been reminded of since I started this business - have I been living this passion every weekend? The answer is, with the phone not ringing - no I hadn't been. I haven't been acting as though every day is a full tour. Maybe I need to do just that! After all, when we live as though and put out the idea of the thing that we want to happens - it actually starts happening! So, I need to live that passion! Fortunately, I have 2 tours this weekend and on the day I don't have any, you can be sure I will be prepared and living as if I do!


So, as a reminder to myself and to everyone else...we are not our failures! So let's not live in them in the present and let them continue to bog us down. Failures can be learned from and we can choose to act differently in the future and not make the same mistakes. Failures can be turned into successes!

Oh..and by the way, I did finish my DAMY workout - all 4 sets! :)

I'll end this with one of my favorite quotes by Paulo Coehlo. If you haven't read his book, The Alchemist, you need to check that out!

“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and 

to get up eight times.”