9 Weeks Out

That's what I weigh currently.

Holy schmoly. That's really little for me.
I've hovered around 140-142 for the better part of at least a year. 
I've dropped a significant amount of body fat and replaced it with muscle in that time period.
Currently, my body fat is at 18.5%.
I put on my size 6 Express shorts the other day and they were extremely baggy.
So I put on my size 4 LOFT shorts (lezbehonest, it's really like a 6 because of the vanity sizing) and they were HUGE on me.

I don't own any other 4's. 
Looks like it's time to go pant shopping.

Trust me, I know how dicky this sounds, "oh boo hoo my size 6's don't fit", but if you knew where I came from, you'd get it.
I came from a size 18. 

From being so depressed trying to wiggle into jeans in the dressing room that it reduced me to tears.

Do you know what it feels like to cry uncontrollably in a dressing room?
Do you know how it feels to then have to compose yourself so you can walk out of said dressing room like you weren't just so upset with yourself for what you've done to your body?
I do.

And it sucks.
So to be at a point where I am still continually making progress and seeing changes is so rewarding.
Albeit, slow progress, but it's STILL PROGRESS!

It's no secret that I'm going through a rough time right now and that, I believe, has aided in my weight loss lately.
My diet has been all over the place.
I forget to eat a lot or have no appetite. And I know how bad that is, and I am definitely not preaching that that's a healthy thing, IT'S NOT.
It's just my reality right now. I'm working on that.
To fix it I have started this week off with a cleanse.
It will get me back on track with a regular scheduled diet that focuses on whole, clean foods.

I have been hitting the gym hard with my workouts, lifting heavy 5-6 days a week. I am still getting in my sprints 3 times a week. 
I am continually improving in my lifts, hitting PR's, better times, heavier weight, etc. So I know I'm getting stronger and building some good muscle.

I am still terrified about competing. I think the closer it gets, the more I'm freaking out.
My diet has got to be ON POINT these last 9 weeks. And it will be. 
I've still got a ways to go, but I'm confident I can get through anything. 

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Your Circle

Know your circle.

What the hell does that even mean?

It's not until recently that I'm starting to actually understand it myself.

Basically it means surrounding yourself with people who want to see you do better, be better, and LIVE better.

That is, hands down, the number one reason I believe people have such a hard time sticking to any new lifestyle change. Because they are so wrapped up in their current circle, that it doesn't ALLOW them to change. Or it makes change damn near impossible.
It's hard to say no to drinks with friends every weekend, it sucks to not be able to go out to eat or to watch everyone else indulge in all the things you know you shouldn't.
It's BS not to be able to bong a damn beer (or 4) if you want at a tailgating party. Or whatever you're into.

What is she? A 21 year old college student?

You are who you hang out with. 
Dammit, my father was right about yet another thing.

This rings true as an adult, too. More so than you think.

For years all I ever did was hang around a bunch of people who drank on the weekends. Every weekend. And these are good people. FUN people. People I ENJOYED being around. So I partook as well. And that was great and we had some really good times. But when I started focusing more on a fit lifestyle and setting new goals, those weekend binders started becoming fewer and fewer. And I noticed something, I was progressing again.
The 2 lb. cycle I'd gone through for years wasn't an issue anymore. The days of busting my ass 5 days a week just to throw it away the other 2 were gone.
And I didn't feel like shit the next day. I was able to get up and go for a run or get in a workout.
And when my kids woke up at 6am I didn't want to gouge out my eyeballs and lay on the couch in sweats all day.
I wanted to get up, get moving, get dressed and take them places.

I became a better mom when I started to know my circle.

And yes, it sucked at first. It still does sometimes.
I would often get the "oh you're not drinking?" or "why aren't you drinking? are you pregnant?" remarks.
No. I just don't want to start over on Monday. I'm sick of starting over.

The best thing I can tell you if you're trying to change your circle is to be patient.
These people are used to a certain you. They may not understand your journey. They may think it's ridiculous or extreme. And that's fine. It's YOURS, not theirs.

Surround yourself with other like-minded people, and stay focused on your goals. 
Need to find a new circle? A gym is a good place. Or running clubs. Or just an online forum with other moms, runners, lifters, crossfitters, whatever!
There are other people out there with the same goals you have. Who want to see you succeed.
And when you start surrounding yourself with them it will make your life so much easier.

I'm not saying I don't indulge every now and then, I DO! But it's rare.
Speaking of indulging, I have found THE PERFECT drink y'all.
It's a low calorie white wine spritzer with zero sugar. 
Bon Affair sent me a sample to try and I'm in love with this stuff!
I definitely recommend it! 

How is your circle?  

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My AdvoCare Regimen

I started using Advocare a little over a year ago. And what happened was I fell in love with their products, so I became a distributor.
It's a great way to make some extra money and I get to share the products I love with others.
What I DON'T like to do is shove it down people's throat.
If you like it, great! If not, no biggie!
I'm not going to try and convince you to buy a product from me.
I just like sharing with you guys what IIIIII personally like and use.

1. Spark
First and foremost, this is the product that hooked me on Advocare. The first time I drank this stuff (which tastes AMAZING, by the way) I saw unicorns and fairy dust. Not really. But I immediately noticed a difference in my mental clarity and energy levels.
It completely replaced my morning coffee. (I did reintroduce coffee because I genuinely love the taste)
My favorite flavors are Strawberry Mango, Green Apple and Fruit Punch.
It DOES contain caffeine, so if you're not on board, probably not the best product for you.
It's is sugar free and only has 45 calories per serving. And let's face it, the creamer you put in your coffee has more than that.

This was the second product I tried and fell in love with. 
I used it to fuel me during my long runs. I'd put it in my hydration vest (I liked the Nathan Intensity Vest) and it helped me when I would hit that wall when running. 
It provides a full spectrum of electrolytes, amino acids and carbohydrates to replenish your muscles during physical activity.
(Psst- it's also THE BEST hangover remedy I've ever found. Seriously.)
Basically it is a runners dream for hydration. 40 calories per serving.

Speaking of a runners dream...

This made a HUGE difference in my running.
It is referred to as "the third lung". 
It felt as if I could just breathe more efficiently when I'd take this prior to my runs.
You take it an hour beforehand and it helps facilitate the body's use of oxygen and increases oxygenation to the cells. 
Every runner should own this product. It is a Godsend.
I still use it on my cardio days (2-3 days a week) and it works great even in shorter bursts of cardio intervals (sprints , HIIT, etc.)

Another product I've noticed a huge difference after taking it.
I started taking Catalyst a couple months ago, about the time I started to notice a huge difference in building lean muscle mass and dropping body fat. Of course that was in conjunction with eating clean and working my ass off in the gym 6 days a week. 
It helps maintain muscle mass during exercise and weight management. It is basically broken down amino acids that feed and help preserve your muscles. 
If you're wanting to build muscle and lose body fat this is a great product.
I take this 30 minutes before working out.

I just recently started taking this in addition to my Catalyst and love it. 
It is a weight loss enhancer and helps supress your appetite. It also supports the body's ability to convert fat into energy. 
I have dropped a few pounds lately (yes, my diet has been sporadic as I'm going through a difficult time, but I really feel like this has aided in that as well). 
I take it 30 minutes before breakfast. 

This stuff is a NECESSITY for me. 
I take this at bedtime on days I've literally killed myself in the gym. Heavy lift days, LEG DAYS, when I KNOW I'll be crazy sore the next day, is when I take this.
It cuts my soreness in half, if not more. 
It helps repair your muscles while you sleep. Basically I think it contains tiny little massage therapists with golden fingertips that enter your body and massage the soreness out of your aching muscles all while you sleep, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and not like you need a cane to get out of bed the next morning.
It feels like you've taken an extra rest day. Like you've just skipped over the next day when you're most sore and moved right into the next day when you're in recovery mode. 
And you know what that means?? IT'S LEG DAY AGAIN! ;)

This is my preworkout. I've written about it before.
It's UH-MAZE. It makes me want to lift all the heavy things.
It helps enhance strength and stamina, dilates your blood vessels and increases your blood flow which helps you perform optimally. 

Okay- what I usually do is mix 1/2 a scoop of Spark (currently it's Fruit Punch), 1/2 a scoop of Rehydrate (Pineapple Mango) and 1/2 a scoop of Arginine Extreme in a blender bottle and sip on that while I workout.
(that tiny purple pill is Biotin for my hair, skin and nails- Nature Valley brand)

I also love the 24 Day Challenge and the Herbal Cleanse.
I have done both and had great results.
I will be starting a cleanse on Monday and would love for y'all to join me!
Now when I say "cleanse" I don't mean the lemon water with cayenne pepper bullshit.
This is NOT a food restrictive cleanse. It's a SHIT FOOD restrictive cleanse.
It means no processed foods, sugars or refined carbs.
It makes you focus on a whole, clean diet. Lean meats, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, etc. 
You drink an herbal drink (I prefer the Peaches and Cream flavor, it's smoother) the first 3 days and the last 3 days and take the supplements according to the instructions for the duration of 10 days. 
It is a great way to ease you into clean eating and cleanse out your system.
It is not a "violent cleanse" by any means. It is very gentle and most of the time people won't even be able to tell a difference (I don't).
Honestly, I eat pretty clean as it is, but this will help me focus on no cheat meals for 10 days and just doing a fine tune cleanse so I can head into the duration of my prep as whole and clean as possible.
I don't do this for weight loss, though it typically DOES aid in weight loss. I personally do it to FEEL better and clean up bad eating habits. 

Okay, let's get real.
Advocare helps pay my bills.
If you're wanting to make some extra money, or hell, even if you just want to get a discount on your own products (you start out with a 20% discount and can get up to a 40% discount) then becoming a distributor is the way to go.
I just signed up because I wanted to get my products at a discounted price and it ended up bringing in a good amount of money for me.
I love these products and Advocare is an amazing company to be a part of.

So who's in for doing the herbal cleanse with me??
If you order today you should have it by Saturday or Monday!

What are your favorite Advocare products?

Also- don't forget to enter the Clovers and Pearls giveaway if you haven't already, it ends today!!

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Moving Forward

First of all, I wanted to thank each and every one of you that has taken the time out to send me a sweet email, offer your support, or just reach out to offer a sounding board.
I really appreciate every single email, call, text and message. Your stories let me know there's hope, and that we can make it through this.
I am working dilligently to get back to everyone, so please bear with me.

I will be doing a show prep update on Monday. Yes, I am still competing on December 6th. I've had a rough go of it lately (obviously), and as a result have just been kind of "off".
My diet has been extremely sporadic which has caused me to drop a bit of weight.
Surprisingly, my muscle seems to be hanging on as I'm still working out 6 days a week and lifting pretty heavily.
I'll go into more details on Monday.

I can tell you, I never thought I'd be going through a divorce at this stage in my life, or ever, really.
We got married fairly young (I was 24, he was 26), and we had kids fairly young (25 and 27).
Looking back, I don't regret that for any amount of reasons.
But mostly because of the amazing gifts we got out of it.
And as they're sleeping in bed right now, I want so badly to go sneak in their room and cuddle with them.
Just to smell their bed head, listen to them breathe as they sleep, and soak in their peaceful innocence.

Moving forward, my hope for them is that they know and feel how much Sean and I love them, even though we couldn't make it work together.
That they don't look at this as a terrible experience they had to live through, but one that made everyone involved a happier person.
I know that's possible.
Someone told me that "it's not the divorce that determines the kids behavior, it's how the parent deals with the divorce that does."
I could not agree with that statement more.
And I'm happy.
This has been ongoing for awhile now so I feel like I've gone through most of the initial hurt already. I don't walk around in a haze, I'm not depressed. I am always a glass half full kinda person and try to see the good in every situation.
I get up every day, I get dressed (sure it's in workout clothes, whatev), and I face the world with my head held high.
I also make sure to find something to laugh about every single day.
I make my kids my priority, laugh when I can, as much as I can, and know that in time, everything is going to be just fine.


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Earth Shattering.

I have gone over and over this post in my head a thousand and one times.
Do I continue to ignore it?
Do I let the fire die down before addressing it? 
The truth is, I don't owe anyone an explanation on my life.
I had originally planned on addressing it after the first of the year, on my own time. 
But that didn't work out. 
I continually go back to the whole reason I started this blog all those years ago; it was a therapy of sorts for me. 
I wrote about my struggles, and I didn't know anyone would ever read it. I didn't realize anyone would actually care what I had to say.
I used this blog as a tool to heal myself, reflect and accept the past, and set new goals for the future.
You read, you cried, and hopefully laughed with me, reading all the things I can't believe I wrote, looking back. 

But I haven't written anything like that in a very long time.
Because things have been going on in my life for awhile now that I wasn't ready to share. I'm still not sure I am. 
But isn't that how we heal? Through acceptance and acknowledgement? Not just sweeping it under the rug. 
It is for me, at least. To write my feelings. To let my thoughts out of my head, through my fingertips and onto this screen. 
It is for no one but myself, but I know that talking about it can help people. Or that maybe I can find some clarity through all of this. 
So I talk about the hard things. The things no one wants to talk about. The things people often avoid talking about for fear of many different things. 
Judgement, criticism, pain and suffering. 

I am going through a divorce.

I have chosen to keep this as private as possible out of respect for my kids, for Sean, and for my family.
I will never say a single negative thing about Sean and will never divulge the intricate details for our split, we just simply grew apart. After 12 years together, we are different people now. We want different things and our lives are moving in two different directions. And that's okay. 
Moving forward, I choose to focus on the good that came from us joining together, rather than harping on the past. These two beautiful boys.
(photos by the amazing Baya Photography)

They are, and will continue to be, our main focus. They are #1 priority and we will focus on co-parenting to the best of our ability.
I will not carry anger or hatred in my heart. I will heal. For me and for my boys. 
We have chosen to do this maturely and as painlessly as possible for the boys. We are still close friends and will continue to be. 

To say I was terrified to go through this process is a complete and utter understatement.
The thought of being a single mother with two kids scares the living crap out of me. 
It is world shattering to have to go through a life change like that, especially adding kids to the mix. Suddenly you're not a wife anymore. A role you've filled for years is gone. And it feels... different... empty almost.
My kids are filling that void. They are my everything. 
And deep down, I know everything will be alright.  
We'll make it through this. 

I'm just taking it one day at a time. 

For now I am focusing on healing. I am channelling all my energy the best way I know how... in the gym.
It is not uncommon for me to become overly emotional during my workouts lately.
Getting lost in my music, pushing my body and my mind to places I've never been. 
Bent over on hands and knees on the floor after a heavy set, sweat dripping from my forehead and chin as tears splatter on the rubber floor below me. 
I wipe them away, compose myself, stand up, and go on. 
Because right now, it's all I can do. 

**Please know that this is a very difficult time for our family. I ask that you respect the privacy of everyone involved here and choose to either be supportive or silent.

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