The Journey CONTINUES........I'm still counting down to my September 9th doctor appointment. As of right now I'm scared I'm not going to make my goal. Just being honest after all the McNuggets, one trip to Golden Corral, and a trip to Cold Stone, if I fail it's my fault. I have faith that I can still make it to 200lbs by the set date so I'm focusing on that. Although I got some good meals in I did stay on track with my eating 85% of the time. It's easy for me to stay on track during the week, the weekends are the challenge for me.

My exercise regimen has been on point! I've been hitting the gym twice on Mondays and Fridays and at least 3 other times during the week. I attended two hour zumba this month as well (my favorite workout) and won one of the raffles! My girl Jocelyn and I needed a change from the mundane of the gym. So we decided to take our run/walk to the STREETS! We ran in downtown Jacksonville across the Acosta and Main Street bridges. The routes range from 2 miles to 3.25 miles. When I run alone I run the trail by my house and it's a total of 4 miles. I also started the ab challenge, but I must say I HATED IT! I hate ab workouts with a passion but I did my best........My best just wasn't enough. I only made it halfway through the challenge and I quit :(  

Last month's challenge was more than fitness, it also included financial fitness. I've finished the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classes and I honestly feel so much more peace. I've changed my habits and I have a solid plan on how to become financially FREE! I'm not just talking about it - I'm doing it!  

Completed my first run through the trail by my house - 3 miles!
Icing my shins in preparation for a after work run
Me and My girl Jocelyn after one of our circuit training workouts!
CONQUERED! Running the bridges of downtown Jacksonville 3.25 miles!
Completed another successful run in downtown Jacksonville..... Jocelyn was so happy she was wet LOL!
Remember your testimony - your journey is not for you it's to help and encourage someone else. I met two nice women this month: April (pictured) I met in Planet Fitness and she was complaining to her friend about not losing the weight and working so hard. She reminded me of myself so I pulled her to the side and told her my testimony of how I never gave up no matter how bad it seemed. She agree to go hard for the month of August with me - WHOO! Then I met a nutritionist named Staci she was so moved by my testimony of how God is blessing me along this journey. I shared the love and support I've gotten from my friends and family and how my faith in this journey has inspired others to step it up. She wants me to come share my testimony with the young girls group at her church. God is so good!

My September goals are:
- Focus on my September 9th goal of losing 16 more pounds.......as close to 200lbs as possible!
- Participate in the BWLW Food Journal Challenge "Write What You Bite"
- Be very mindful of my food choices
- Run 2-4 miles 5 days a week "Time to pound the pavement". Finding different routes to explore and pushing past my limits to get the most out of my workouts this month
- Circuit training 3 times a week
- Attend two-hour zumba one saturday this month

I thought I told the WORLD that I had a weight loss goal this month, WELLLLLL I guess McDonald's could care less. They put my favorite menu item the "McNuggets" on sale 6 for $1. Since I saw the sign I've been at McDonald's ERR-DAY!

Pray for my deliverance,
I found this great article on IdealShape.com, When it comes to fats, the big red X that used to cover all of them has somewhat shrunk. As we begin to understand more about the difference between LDL and HDL Cholesterol, and saturated and unsaturated fats. So what are healthy fats we should be eating?  We’ve learned that unsaturated fats are great for your heart, lower your cholesterol and improve your overall health, here’s a list of foods you can add to your diet that will make you healthier in the end.

These are pretty high in calories, but remember; eating healthy isn’t just about calorie counting.

1. Avocados
We will get this one out of the way first because it’s one of the most obvious choices. Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats that have been proven to help lower your blood cholesterol. Avocados make a great substation for things like butter, cream cheese, or mayo to replace saturated fats.  I've even seen a chocolate mousse made with avocados.

2. Fatty Fish
Fish that are more “Oily” like salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout are amazing sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3s can lower blood pressure and studies show that a healthy intake can help combat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and depression.

3. (Pea)Nut Butter
Peanut Butter is the most obvious when we talk about nut butters, but there are also several others like cashew and almond butter which actually taste pretty good. Not only are these a source of healthy fats, but they contain a healthy dose of protein in each serving. However, this doesn’t mean you get a free pass to eat peanut butter hand over fist. When you shop for peanut butter, try to find peanut butter without added sugars and as few ingredients as possible on the label.

4. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great cooking buddy that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and several types of cancer. Olive oil is loaded with calories though, so try to keep down to a tablespoon  or two as each one contains about 100 calories.

5. Eggs
Our poor friend the egg has gone through a lot of bad press in my lifetime. Originally they were awesome for you, then they were bad for you, then health experts said they were good for you as long as I lost the yolk, but now the yolk is back on the table. While the yolks contain some saturated fats, a lot of the best vitamins and minerals can be found in the yolks and a much larger portion of the fats are unsaturated. So go ahead and throw the whole egg into your breakfast omelets.

There you go. 5 healthy fats that will definitely help round out a great diet.

Check out more great articles by IdealShape HERE

It's August 20th and I must say this month is flying by!  I've stepped up my fitness game this month for sure; Hitting the gym more often and taking my runs to the streets of Jacksonville. Since August 5th I'm down 7.4 pounds, but still far from my September 9th goal......I still want to lose 14.8 more pounds. Wish me luck and as the picture states "Will It Be Easy? NOPE.....Worth It? ABSOLUTELY. 

Transformation In Progress,
Tips for Getting Through Your Toughest WorkoutBy Zack Zeigler I'm battling a set of Gap Jumps on minute 36 of P90X's Plyo X, and I'm getting my butt handed to me. I'm breathing heavily, sweat is dripping onto the rug, and my wet-noodle legs might not allow me to clear the next invisible gap Tony Horton insists I leap over.

I want to quit and do something--anything—else instead of finish what is left of the workout. But I don't. For some reason, it's important that I prove to you, a stranger, that I'm no quitter!

Trouble is, that's not entirely true. Although I stuck this one out, I bail on my workouts more often that I'd like to admit. I'm too tired. I'm too pressed for time. I'm already too ripped. Okay, that last one's an overstatement, but you get the idea: I manufacture reasons as to why stopping makes more sense than continuing.

I'm not sure why I do that, or more importantly, how to reverse the process. Thankfully, sports psychologist Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter, author of Sports Psychology Coaching for Your Performing Edge: Mental Training for Performance in Sports, Business, and Life, does. Dr. Dahlkoetter has worked with handfuls of top-level athletes—including five Olympic gold medal winners—as well as countless people who simply want to live healthily and look halfway decent naked. She also won the San Francisco Marathon in 1980. She knows a thing or two about how to make it through your toughest workouts.

1. Mentally Prepare "People can fail from not being in touch with their bodies," she says. Some Beachbody® workouts will wipe you out. (There's a reason the plyometric workout in P90X2® is called Plyocide and not Plyo-this-might-be-kinda-tough.) But understanding, embracing, and anticipating that you've signed up to tackle a ball-busting workout can help you size up the challenge and muster the fortitude required to overcome it.

2. Find a Workout Buddy If during a grueling workout you find yourself taking a break from taking a break after you just got finished taking a break, consider recruiting someone to train with you. Researchers at Kansas State University found that people who train with a more skilled workout partner who doesn't cheerlead you through the workouts worked out for longer periods of time.1 That's because this competitive attitude supposedly makes you not want to feel like the "weak link" and encourages you to work harder.

3. Get into a Routine Make your workout session as much of a priority as you would other important daily activities, like brushing your teeth, getting to work on time, or DVRing America's Got Talent. "Build a routine so you're doing [your workout] at the same time each day," Dr. Dahlkoetter suggests. "If you don't have a routine, the workout becomes a low priority that might get overlooked."

4. Make Your Goals Specific Instead of saying you want to "lose weight" or "look better," come up with specific goals you want to accomplish, like "losing six pounds," or "finally fitting into my wrestling singlet from college." Those details will offer you something tangible to strive for. The S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-targeted) goal technique has proven to be popular and effective for constructing a plan of attack, whether you're tackling work projects or getting through a workout.

5. Use the 3 Ps It sounds pretty hippie, but Dr. Dahlkoetter has "Three Ps"—Positive Images, Power Words, and Present Focus—that can actually help. Studies show that athletes who visualize themselves winning are more likely to succeed.2 Visualize the whole process, from going to bed at the right time to finishing your workout, and you'll be more likely to get through it, improving your overall concentration in the process.

Then, create some "Power Words" to help you push through those super-tough moments. I'm usually spewing four-letter words after about 25 minutes of most of my workouts. Instead, try this exercise: On a piece of paper, write all of your excuses, self-doubts, and negative thoughts about the workout on the left side. Then, on the right side, write what the opposite of that would be. For example: If you write you're "too tired" on the left side, write your "mind and body are stronger and healthier each day" on the right. When you're lagging, tell yourself those things you've written on the right side of the paper.

And, finally, focus on the present. From worrying about work to your kids to whether the Inland Empire 66ers are going to cover the run line (I'm letting it ride on you, fellas!), we all have plenty of daily stresses to contend with. But your workout shouldn't be one of them; in fact, it might be the only hour of the day you get to focus entirely on yourself. To do that and offer your best effort, you need to be present from beginning to end. That said, during your Wall Sits or another difficult move that doesn't pose a high risk of injury, feel free to let your mind wander to your "happy place."

Article courtesy of BeachBody - Click Here to read the article and find more helpful information

Ya girl Foxxy HERE ready to share my August challenges - YES Plural LOL! Writing a fitness plan for myself each month really helps me to visualize what I want to accomplish or better yet CONQUER for the month. Just to update you on last month I did pretty good with all my challenges:
- Run/walk 3 miles 5 days a week - YES 95% of the month
- Refrain from eating carbs - I did great during the week but on the weekends not so much. I had some cookies, bread, cakes, and donuts LOL.....NOT really funny :(
- 3x a week Crossfit workout - YES me and my homegirl Jocelyn got it in!
- I completed the 30 day squat challenge - 3225 squats in one month - SERIOUSLY!
- I didn't make it to zumba :(
- I started training with the free trainer at Planet Fitness. He is awesome and he knows his stuff.

August Workout Plan (Time to GO HARD)
- Weight loss goal this month - extended to Sept 9th (Followup dr appt) is 21lbs - Current weight 221
- 7-8 hours of sleep nightly - bed by 11pm
- Workout 5 days per week (off day thursday)
- Circuit training with Sean of Planet Fitness - Monday & Friday mornings and Tuesday & Wednesday evenings.
- Run/Walk 3 miles 4 days per week *1 day out the week take it outside to the downtown bridges of Jacksonville*
- 24 day Abs Challenge - Begins August 5th
- Attend 2 hr Zumba August 17th
Picturesample of food prepared for the week
August Food Plan
- Limited sugar -berries to add to salads and greek yogurt
- No bread or pasta
- Focus on clean eating (eating tons of veggies= kale, spinach are my favs)
 - Meats - Mostly chicken and turkey and fish to aid in raising my Vitamin D levels
- 80oz of water daily (64oz by 5pm and 16oz by 10pm)
- Eat dinner by 7:30pm nightly 
- Reference website Clean & Delicious by Dani (cleananddelicious.com) - Great source for clean eating recipes and a place to save them for later use.

Sample lunch: tilipia, kale, eggplant
Sample breakfast: cracker pepper sausage, kale, 1 boiled egg
Sample run/walks in the month of July on a incline 12-15
Challenge starts August 5th
This month is more than a fitness challenge but a finance challenge as well. In July I enrolled in the Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University being held at my church. I'm loving the class and I'm learning so much to help me on my path to financial freedom "God's way". Using the tools I learned in July,, in August I'm embarking on a new "Foxxy" who is more structured financially. Learning to accept that my wants might have to wait, but in due time I can have it all. My goal this month is to make myself aware of my habits and learn how to better manage my funds when it comes spending on clothing and food. Using Dave's envelope system I will stop using credit and debits cards, focusing on cash and how using cash will aid to change my habits.
Foxxy's up for the challenge......Are you? Share any fitness and financial success you have this month. We are in this adventure together :)


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