Monday, September 28, 2015

Mesothelioma Awareness Day


So I'm here for an important cause that needs to be shared more than it already is. Cancer of any type is a very serious thing that will send chills down anyone's back It doesn't matter if you know the person affected by it, you still pray for them and feel pain for them and their loved ones. In my family, three different members have had three different types of cancers, and only one is still alive. 

I pray each day that there will be a cure, I donate to St. Jude's or any other cause that helps research or families in need. Even if you can't donate money you can help the cause by sharing awareness.

On Saturday on Instagram I shared a post about Mesothelioma. 

September 26, 2015 is Mesothelioma Awareness Day. I had heard of this type of cancer and knew it was rare, but I was not aware of all the ways you could get it or how many people were really impacted by it.

Cameron Von St. James, had contacted me about his wife Heather who is a survivor of Mesothelioma. 
She is an amazingly strong woman whose entire world was turned completely upside down just after giving
birth to her daughter.  Please read about her story 

and make yourself and those around you more aware by knowing some facts.
  • Mesothelioma Awareness Day is September 26, 2015, and the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is spreading awareness of the disease and its causes.
  • Mesothelioma is a rare but preventable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. 
  • Asbestos is a mineral that was used in consumer and construction products through the 1970's
  • It can be found in insulation, adhesives, flooring, crockpots, hairdryers, crayons and even decorative fake snow!
  • If you would like to help spread awareness, please donate your social status:
  • Heather Von St. James is almost a 10 year survivor of mesothelioma, which was caused by exposure to asbestos on her fathers work jacket. 
  • Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma just a few months after giving birth to her little girl.
  • Her doctor told her that without treatment- she had 15 months to live. 
  • Fortunately, she was a candidate for a surgery that involved a heated chemotherapy solution and the removal of her left lung and is now a survivor! 
  • Her and her husband Cameron now work to spread awareness of mesothelioma globally.

I was pretty shocked to see a few of the places it can be found..,hairdryers and decorative snow! It made me think alot about my childhood in my grandparents homes were I know they had quite a few items still from the 70's and prior. Think about all the old photo albums that had adhesive pages that could have asbestos in it! I know I've looked through and handled a lot of those many times.

So please spread the word, be aware and remember that it can affect anyone, even you. Share Heathers fight in honor of being a survivor for TEN YEARS. That truly is something to celebrate.

- Jess

Monday, August 31, 2015

Shaking Things Up

Hey Hey Hey!

I know I dropped off the face of the planet for a bit. I had this crazy idea one night when I found a two-day old shaker cup in my gym bag. GAG! I was scrubbing it out and thinking to myself, "man there really has to be an easier way". I remembered in high school at McDonald's we had these little tablets we dropped in the coffee pot to help clean the glass and rid the smell, so I set off to the store thinking about the basics I learned in that year of college chemistry.  I mixed things up and the next morning I gave them a try and the results blew me away. They worked! So I made a larger batch, handed them out and am still doing some testing on them. So far the results have all been in my favor. I call them Shaker Bomb's and they have removed the odor from a 5 day old shaker cup, a 2 day old milk sippy cup, week old lasagna Tupperware, 2 day old pre-workout, 3 day old amino shaker, a glass blender and many day old protein shaker cups. I have them out to another group of people and am awaiting more feedback, but fingers they don't let me down. A lot of my extra time was towards that lately.

Besides random kitchen concoctions, last weekend the hubs, some friends and I went to Kansas City to see the Seahawks play the Chiefs preseason. ( Got to love Company Tickets) We had a blast at the game, went out to dinner, the hub and I shared a mixed drink ( we drink a few times a year), and then hit the hotel. 
Someone was hungry and
 didn't like being interrupted.

We splurged on a Jacuzzi Sweet at our favorite hotel in the area, Stoney Creek Inn. I kid you not if you are near Independence Missouri (10-15 minutes from downtown), staying at the Stoney Creek Inn will be the best decision of your trip. It is well priced for the area, free breakfast (waffles!), good gym, indoor/outdoor pool, all rooms have different decor, spectacular views and conveniently located. The next day we headed to Trader Joe's, where the hubs popped a tire, thank God for an emergency fund for just that reason. Please tell me that we are not the only couple that spent thirty minutes bickering about a tow truck and buying a tire, just to make up and find the positives after it was all said and done? Either way, we made it home with just losing an hour in the Tireshank Redemption.

Hair gel and wind didn't mix..

The Hotel has patch around this beautiful Pond

Ty has continued with his consistency and dropped a few more pounds this week - so proud of his dedication and hard work! He is starting week five of his program and he hopes to see some ab definition soon. I'm excited to start working with a coach, Whitney Nava! This girl is amazing! She blows me away with the progress she made on her road to the stage, especially from being overweight. Working with her will help me be more accountable, make sure my workouts are on track with my goals and that I'm doing things all correctly. Check her out on Instagram and see the killer package she brought to the stage last weekend. 

This weekend Ty took me out on my first crotch rocket ride. No lie, scaredy pants was I. We went straight to the interstate and I had an unsettled feeling, so he pulled over and let me get more comfortable and reassured me he knew what he was doing. I felt better once we got going again, but that two-hour trip was a long one for my first time. My things and calves hurt from where I squeezed the bike. But at the end of it I had a blast and he got to play on his toy.

Well, we are gearing up for a new week, my workout times and plan have shifted, so it will take a day or two to adjust too. Tuesday night I have a high school volleyball game to attend. A close family friends daughter is playing. Which is crazy that she is a sophomore already, I used to babysit that little 5-year-old!! Gahh I feel old!

I'm going to finish off my omelet and head to the gym for some interval training, yay! 

Have a great Monday all!!

- Jess

Be sure to check out Work Harder Clothing Co for some super soft workout tops, and it is veteran owned! Code " jess10 " gets you 10% off at checkout!

Friday, August 14, 2015



Today is the first game for my Seahawks and boy am I excited to watch them play! I have missed football season dearly! Who's your team? 

Friday also means a slow down at work. I love my promotion and my job, but there are so many things that go into each and every quote that it makes my head spin! Fridays always seem to be a slower day; letting me get all caught up and able to close out some sales. 

However, the best part about Friday is my upcoming cheat meal. Ty and I splurge, budget and macro wise, by eating out once a week. If you shop at Kroger/Dillons, go buy a gift card from there for wherever you are going out to eat. You'll earn 2 times the fuel points on it, and for us that is worth the stop.

Yoga Wednesday night was a great stretching and toning session. My shoulders are super duper tight, so between regular stretching and rolling around on my dog toy ball, yoga sure is helping. I lost my foam roller in the move....I'm not sure how, I mean it wasn't exactly tiny....

I spent last night cleaning the house in preparation for some R&R before the game. Did I say I'm excited? :) 

Gearing up for Leg day today; what's on your plan for today? Ty has deadlifts and he is really struggling with keeping his back flat. He also has issues standing up straight, lifetime of poor posture, any tips on how he can really improve his form and stance?

While cleaning last night I cracked open two shaker cups that were a little ripe, GAG, which led me to an epiphany! I put together that year of college chemistry, my mother's superb cleaning knowledge, and concocted "shaker bombs." A fellow fit lover at work is bringing in her shaker cup this morning and I'll have one after the gym to give them a trial run. Fingers crossed that they"ll work!

I posted on IG about a protein "crepe" recipe, give this baby a go it is so yummy!
18 grams of Flap Jacked Pancake Mixed with about 5-6 TBSPS of egg whites, pour into a sprayed skillet that is slightly warmed up over medium heat. Let it be until no liquid is left, slide a spatula around the edges and when it is golden brown on the bottom, pop it out! I put a 1/2 cup of raspberries, walden's strawberry syrup, as well as a walnut/almond 100 calorie pack inside it and rolled it up.

I've been craving junk foods lately so I've been getting more creative with my macros. Yesterday, I created the French PB&J Toaster Sandwich. I took 2 pieces of Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread, spread 2 TBSP of Justin's Almond Butter on it, 2 TBSP of Fit and Active Strawberry Jam and closed it up. I heated up my ungreased skillet, poured 1/2 cup egg whites mixed with cinnamon into a shallow dish and dropped in the sammy. Flipped it and let it sit to get a good absorb, not all will absorb, but hang on to it. Put the dipped sandwich in the skillet and poured the remaining egg whites onto the bread slowly as it absorbs. Flip it, plate it and enjoy! I'm going to try it for breakfast with some syrup...ahhhh heaven is what that sounds like.

Well best get to the gym so I can get back and get down on that breakfast!

Happy Friday! What are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Oreo's and Motivation

Today will go on forever. The hub had to be at work at 4 this morning so this household was up and at it and 3 am. Terrible. That last hour and twenty minutes of sleep I missed out makes all the difference. It will be an early bedtime tonight after Yoga. 

I'm really looking forward to Yoga now, I find myself excited the day after waiting for the next week. It is a bit of a challenge, things like planks and plank twists, those are a hell of a time on the core. I really like the long deep stretches, those make me feel all warm and tingly. I treated myself to a massage on Monday night and that felt so good. Nice deep and relaxing. I really encourage anyone who works out to get a massage if they can once every month or two. As a former massage therapist, I really can speak to the long effects it can have on your body. It will help with chronic back pains, migraines, pulled muscles ect. Ty and I both wish we could have them more often, but ain't nobody got time for that.

So uh.. when did this happen and how did I miss it?

I need to find these and make them mine.  These will be a true test of my will power. I've been doing really good about staying strict to my macros, no finger in the peanut butter, no picking chips or fries off the hubs plate and now jolly ranchers from the snack jar at work.

We really love our nut and cookie butters in this household...

I have to keep myself in check because it would be to easy just to sleep in and eat whatever I wanted with no thought about the effects.

This reality is not one I want to go back too, we were happy and miserable at the same time. We were overweight, felt like crap most of the time and just plain lazy. It was the middle of summer and I was wearing a hoodie because I thought it made me look less fat. Nope, just hot and sweaty.

I don't expect him to "gym" like I do, but I really am so proud of the effort he has put in this entire year to lose over 30lbs, keep it off and now trying to get some muscles. I can't make him do it, I can help him, but he has to make the motivation, put in the effort and eat right.

I'm in a bunch of motivation/fitness advice groups on facebook and I tell you it tries my soul to see the hundreds of people posting about how they want to lose weight but they can't stick to it, they can't make time for the gym, they can't eat healthy, they do not have time for it and want to know a "secret" or the quick fix. News flash, there is no quick fix, no secret. If you want it you want it and you will go after it. I've been there wanting to get fit but not wanting to change, I didn't want to put in effort, I wanted to continue doing the same thing and get different results. It doesn't work that way. I found out the hard way, that I had to want it and want every part of it. It will click and once it clicks, you are in for an amazing ride. I promise, put in the work and you will start seeing results and you will be addicted, because you have found the "secret".

On a lighter note..

The other day I wrapped my two day hair in a headband and got these gawjuss curls!!! hair sprayed them and rocked them! Hows your favorite way to get pretty curls?

Well poop, I need to get my motivation game on and head to the gym. I have a heavy work day today.. sigh..

Yay for Wednesday!

Happy Humpday Everyone!!!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Rest and Repeat

The week seems to pass slowly but the weekend always sneaks past me, sigh.

Friday Night  I went with the hub to the gym for his workout after work it was like 9pm when we got done. I was hungry, he was hungry, we headed to town and went to Applebee's for a cheat meal. We went ahead and when grocery shopping while we were there so we could spend the weekend at home.

Dillons started selling FlapJacked pancake mix, that was so exciting for me! So Saturday morning after our gym session we came back and had pancakes. Let me tell you, if you haven't tried them you should! They are fluffy, filling and delicious. No wierd protein after taste! The hub doesn't like protein powder but he loved these. I have tried a few other brands and this one had the best taste. we had the plain buttermilk, I really want to try the apple cinnamon next!

My Fitness Pal also let me know that I have been tracking my foods for a 100 days now. That is so awesome to see and it makes me want to make sure I don't let that slip away, because that is a good streak!

Freezing bananas is a great way to keep them when they start to spoil and use them for shakes or ice cream and so on. I find they stay less mushy if i freeze in the peel and then just peel with a potato peeler when I need them. 

I spent Saturday, cleaning up the house and relaxed and watched a movie on TV, That's My Boy with Adam Sandler could not be passed up.  I made a healthier  version of Applebee's Fiesta Lime Chicken because the hub said he wanted applebee's again and well that was out of the question and the diet! 

It was really good and very filling, you could use whatever salsa you wanted, this was just the only one we had on hand.

Sunday, I slept in and gosh it was glorious. I don't mind getting up and going to the gym, and I actually enjoy it, but I also enjoy those days I can just relax and get up when my body is ready. My body is worn out. We only have a shower and sometimes you just want to relax and soak to help your body, So I either head to my moms house or I head to the gym for the hot tub. Last week I sent the hubby for a surprise, I love you, massage and well I think this body needs one this week. Sundays are pretty boring for us, I food prep, write up our workouts and get geared up for the week. All though that is about to change.  Football Season Starts this week, well Pre-season at least.We are pretty boring for a 23 and a 26 year old. Was your weekend exciting or are we not as lame as it seems??

Next weekend we have tickets to the Chiefs Vs Seahawks. Where I work has season tickets for the Chiefs, that employees can sign up for. I only sign up for the games that involve the Seahawks, obviously!  But we are excited to get to watch them play again, even if it is just Preseason.

Since we will be in the city, we will probably swing  by Trader Joe's also. It really sucks to live three hours from one, they are such fun stores, with everything up my alley.

Along with relaxing on Sunday I was icing my arms, that HIIT Burpee class on  Thursday really did a number on my arms and they are sore. Does anyone else have this problem??  It is mostly in my forearm and then the inside of the bicep.

The hub works super late tonight, so he is going to try to hang with me at these morning gym sessions. We will see how this plays out... He really has been putting in good effort at the gym, he is getting better about eating too. Food really is the hard part of lifestyle changes. Weekends are also when people tend to slip up. But it's okay you slip up, just move on and get back after it, don't let one mistake create the whole avalanche.

Go out today, workout, eat right drink your water and enjoy your day! Happy Monday all!

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Champion Was Once A Contender

I'm not even kidding when I say this, that freaking gosh it is Friday. This week just seemed to drag on and on and I've just been in a little funk with work and had a lot of stress and focus on that.

Last night I got roped into a HIIT class at my gym, only two people signed up so they asked if I wanted to jump in and I did. More people ended up showing, it was kinda intimidating. It was modified burpees on a step up box. They were terrible, I'm not sure what the timing was but it was something like 1 minute of burpees to 30 seconds of rest? Don't quote me on that. But it was a good burn it was something different and unexpected and I'm thinking I might check out another one! Yoga on Wednesday was really fun too, my back got a good crack and I had some good stretches, that one I'm definitely going back too.

Do you do classes at your gym? Whats your favorite?

He wanted to fight me after his leg day...I made an attempt to hit him in the leg, he flinched into a squat position and got a cramp...Ya, try and fight me I've got all sorts of forces of nature on my side..Haha

I felt out of my element at the HIIT class, and my husband has been nervous/intimidated feeling about going to the gym. He feels like he isn't good enough and is being judged. I know that feeling all too well. I joined a gym 3 or 4 times when I was overweight just to go once or twice for a couple minutes then leave because I felt like I was being judged. It is a ridiculous way of thinking.

No one just starts out great, every champion was once a contender who never gave up. They weren't born with all the gains and cuts, no they worked for them. It is a concept we all to quickly lose sight of. You should never be embarrassed about being at the gym, you are there to better yourself and that is the only thing that matters. If you are giving your all and you feel good about your workout, then forget about all the people around you. Chances are they aren't judging you, and if they are that shallow to be, then they are the one with the problem- not you. Shrug them off and keep going. Do not let one person's negative glance, or whatever, decide YOUR future. It is your health and body, and last time I checked, it is America and you can do with it as you wish. So make it freaking awesome, and make them envious of your hard work and dedication.

The hub is trying and I support him and give him credit, it can be tough to have lighter weights and be maxing out while someone around you is lifting 4 times that with no struggle. Last night a retired Bodybuilder was there and Ty really wanted to leave, he didn't want to embarrass himself. But in all reality, no one cared, and really no one does.

Now its kinda weird for me, I've only been at this gym for a while, back in this town for about a year, no one knows the overweight me. No one know the 250lb girl who joined a gym multiple times and quit. No, they see the girl who does 2 hour workouts, is there at 4:30 in the morning, who is there 6 days a week, who is drenched in sweat, grunting and and almost crying getting the heavy reps out. They didn't know I was scared to be at a gym once. I'm the more fit girl, and I see all the looks I get, when I walk from the free weight room to the machines, I see you stare at me in the mirror, I see you watching me doing sprints on the elliptical, I see you stare at me as I max out a rep and then go straight to the floor and smile. I see you. I know you are casting a judgement of somesort. But to the looks that just say "eyeroll". It wasn't ever easy for me, it still isn't. Trust me, I look a lot better in my gym clothes than I do without. I also promise you I'm not judging you, I'm thinking one of these:

"I wonder what workout there following"
"She is always here, I hope to keep that motivation when I'm older"
"I wonder if they will think I'm weird if I ask them to spot me..."
"Ugh how many people are watching, these pullups are going to be embarrassing..."
"Oh no their form is off, I don't want them to get hurt, how can I nicely say can I offer some advice.."

But really they are. I don't care what you lift, how fast you run, or whatever. I care about your effort. If you are putting in effort, I respect you. If you are sitting in the squat rack on facebook with your shoes off while your friend lifts and I ask you if I can jump in and you say sorry I'll be done in a minute- I'm irritated with you. I do my best to be respectful and sharing while at the gym, because that is how I want to be treated back.

My stomach is a constant reminder of the girl who ate large pizza's, big mac's, cheesecakes, packages of oreos, drank 42 oz of soda and sat on the couch. I messed up, I didn't give my body what it needed it when it needed it, but I'm fixing that. My skin will just hang around to remind me why I felt like crap eating like that, why I was miserable with myself. But while it does that for me, it also tells the story to other people like the old me that it is possible to change. You can get healthy and more fit. There is nothing stopping you but that nagging little liar liar pants on fire voice in the back of your head. That voice isn't reason, don't listen to it, that voice is motivation, use that to fire you up and push through. You can be great and you will be great, you just have to stop getting in your own way.

Whew that was a lot to get and while we are it for the first time pretty much ever ( I think) let me show you what I mean by my loose skin...

All the "good" angels...

But what else should I have expected when it came from that..

Clothing hides it very well...

Don't let anything stop you. Go out and be great, I promise you it is worth it. Earphones in got lift or run or whatever it may be and enjoy the changes you'll see. :)

Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep...

Off for some leggg day!! Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Consistency, Consistency and Splurging

Here in podunk Kansas we are experiencing thunderstorms, which is awesome! It's been a few weeks since it has cooled down and got out of the high 90's. So it makes me all happy and fuzzy inside to have the windows open all night and that I got to watch some light shows before bed. 
I started my new plan from Kris Gethin, and it is going good. It's a little different so far. Smaller sets, less moves. After coming off of an intense long cut formulated workout it is weird to be done so soon. I have split cardio 20 minutes am/pm. I've been getting up in the AM and hitting the gym and doing my morning cardio and my lifts and then after Ty gets off work we head to the gym and do cardio together and then I help him through his lifts. He hasn't lifted for about 7 years so we are working on the basics and finding the base weights he can do and tracking them in a notebook so we can keep improving. 

We did sprints tonight, he wasn't thrilled to be doing them either.

Tonight he will be on his own for most of it, my gym has classes each day and since I moved my workouts to morning, I have time for Wednesday Yoga Toning! I'm super excited because I really enjoy but I hadn't lived near any place that offered it!

I'm so happy to see my biceps curving up and out more. I worked for a about a year and a half and that first picture is as far as I ever could get it. That was at the end of June and in the last month my arms have grown nicely.  Also I can't say I mind seeing that quad split popping out...

With wanting to compete there will be poses that require me to learn how to flex out the right muscles. This is the first one I've been working on and it's to showcase my lat spread.  I still am a complete ameture but well gotta start somewhere.

The majority of my muscle growth has come from the last month. Honestly I can say it is from consistency. Splurging on the gym membership has helped me stay motivated and increased my effort. The company gym I was going for had no air or fans so it was hot and stuff, smelled and lacked equipment. Now with all the equipment, AC and just clean enviroment I'm pushing harder there than trying to get out. 

My diet has also improved, consistency again is so important. I got my macros back from Jessie Deye, they are up from where I was and she really stresses focussing on meeting your macros first, then your calorie goals. So that is what I'm going to try this month to see how much of an impact it has on me. I also splurged and upgraded My Fitness Pal. Yeah it was $50 and I think it is stupid, but I use it daily, I rely on it for tracking so It helped justify the purchase. 

For me it has been great.  You can set your macros by percentages and choose what view of values you want at the top. I'm hoping this will help me focus in on tracking macros not calories.

Don't let anything stop you from your goals, no one is perfect or happy all the time. Focus on you and making yourself better.

What do you focus on calorie wise, macros or calorie total?
Do you eat back your workout points?
How do you track?