I promised a BIG giveaway when the Spark Your Motivation Facebook page hit 30,000 fans, and that goal was reached earlier this week, just in time for this week's installment of #FitnessFriday!
I wanted to show my great appreciation for being able to connect with so many of you from around the world, spreading messages of positivity, motivation, inspiration and support and encouragement. Thank you all for sharing my posts, connecting and chatting with me, sharing your story, and most of all, for being YOU! It's my aim that my Facebook pages and groups are always encouraging, supportive, motivating and inspiring. It is all of YOU who make it that way, and so THANK YOU!!
The giveaway will run for one week and I will announce the TWO winners in next week's #FitnessFriday blog post. Yep, you saw that right, there are two separate prizes up for grabs!!! See the photos below, and enter to WIN using the form found beneath the prize photos. Any questions, comment below or contact me!
Just a quick reminder that you can get a FREE trial of ActiVit multivitamins through the end of March (just pay $4.95 s&h).
Formulated with safe and natural herbal ingredients, ActiVit can help stimulate your immune system and help enhance physical and mental wellness.
Sign up for a FREE 30-day bottle and pay just $4.95 s&h. After 30-days a new bottle of ActiVit will be sent monthly, charged at the retail price. But there's NO obligation - cancel anytime.
Continually stretching myself beyond my comfort zone has aided in so very much growth over the past few years. Sure, it's uncomfortable, anxiety-inducing, sometimes downright terrifying. BUT I can tell you it's been oh-so-worth it every single time.
I've become pretty adept at taking on bigger and bigger challenges so my current challenges seem like "no big deal" comparatively. I'm driven to push through my current limitations, not content to settle, always wondering how I can do bigger and better.
And in case you're wondering, it's no longer out of discontent or disdain for myself. Growing up, I was taught shame. I think so many of us are in one way or another -- to be shameful of our bodies, the way we think, the way we look, the things we do. We're so desperate to identify and belong and be like those around us, we internalize that different = bad, rather than embracing our flaws, our uniqueness, our quirks, and the things that make each of us individuals.
It's been a long road, untangling all the knots of assumptions I believed to be true about myself and about life in general. The thoughts that I'm not good enough, not strong enough, unworthy of love unless I got everything just right. I'm learning to Just Say No To Perfectionism. I'm alright just the way I am. I'm unique and not meant to fit in. I'm my own person with my own life path and no longer have time to waste comparing myself to anyone else. And I want to help others feel alright about themselves, too!
MY MESSAGE TO EVERYONE: You are unique. Embrace your flaws. Change the habits you dislike or that no longer serve you, but not out of shame or disdain. Instead, do it because you're free to change at will with that first step outside your comfort zone. I promise, it's not so scary as it seems. :)
It wasn't until I became wholly uncomfortable with the limitations of my so-called comfort zone that I finally ventured outside it and found that it really wasn't quite so frightening after all. You can too!!
This week, in my Fitness With Friends group, we've taken a pledge to NOT compare ourselves in any way, shape or form with anyone or anything else. Join us for ongoing challenges, motivation and accountability!
A little something that may interest you ...
Taking a high-quality multivitamin like ActiVit every day is simply the best way to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to excel and get the most out of your fitness routine.
Formulated with safe and natural herbal ingredients, ActiVit can help stimulate your immune system and help enhance physical and mental wellness.
Sign up for a FREE 30-day bottle and pay just $4.95 s&h. After 30-days a new bottle of ActiVit will be sent monthly, charged at the retail price. No obligation - Cancel Anytime. Comment below or message me with any questions. ORDER HERE.
Also, if you order a Team Beachbody Challenge Pack from me before the end of the month, I will personally reimburse you $20 (a pretty great deal, especially considering Les Mills Combat, Les Mills Pump, and Ultimate Reset are all three on sale this month too!!). Comment below or send me a message for complete details. Thanks!!
First, A Little Background
I'm Chandra Sullivan. Wife. Mother of 2 rowdy boys. Entrepreneur. Runner. I'm often asked how I got started losing weight. What many don't know is that I struggled for years and years with stop-and-start attempts to exercise, to eat healthier, to get fitter, to feel better about myself. What even fewer know is that I was overweight, bordering on obese, during my high school years. The photo on the left? That's me as a high school junior (1996-97).
I did lose some weight during my senior year of high school, but only because I started eating less (not necessarily more healthy, just less) and working really hard during early morning marching band practice. I played clarinet. ;)
After high school, I moved to England for a few years. Joined a gym there and started to lose some weight and feel pretty great. Not long after I moved back home to the US, I got pregnant. I had morning sickness so badly that I lost 10 pounds before I ever gained anything. That little guy is almost 10 now, and being a new mommy, working full time and having very little support at home at the time, I put weight on and went on over the 200 pound mark on the scale again, despite my stop-and-start efforts at getting back down to my pre-pregnancy weight.
It wasn't until February 2010 that I finally got serious. After an ectopic pregnancy (and surgery) in 2006, then two miscarriages in 2009, I decided I needed to do something about my weight and my health if I were to ever have a baby with my now-husband. Plus, I'd recently stopped smoking cigarettes and started getting just plain disgusted with sitting all day at a desk job with no physical activity to balance out the hours upon hours of sitting, feeling the rolls of fat on my back touching each other, just so uncomfortable!! I was OVER it. I was ready to reclaim ME. I'm *still* on that journey... not where I once was but not yet where I'll be. ;)
And so, with my trusty old treadmill (that I just a couple weeks ago replaced with an upgraded model -- that ol' treadmill sure took a beating!!) and the Couch to 5K app, I took off and have never looked back. Sure, I've had my plateaus, my frustrations, my obstacles, backsliding, falling off the proverbial wagon - still battle emotional eating and junk food cravings - but overall I have made MUCH progress.
Progress I want to pay forward to others struggling with similar obstacles, life stories and circumstances. See, I remember what it's like to be so frustrated, lost, not knowing where to start, how to begin, how to keep myself going. I've experienced so much in these past four years that I'm just bursting to help others through similar situations!! My Facebook fitness group is thriving and lively, I'm amazed at how quickly things are growing with my Independent Team Beachbody Coach business. I don't post the following testimonials to brag in any way, shape or form, because that's just not my style (ask those who know me if you don't!). I post them instead to show you that if you're looking for someone to coach, support, assist or encourage you toward your health, fitness or weight loss goals, I have experience... I care... I want to get to know YOU as a person, not just sell you a product and ship you on your lonesome way with it. I KNOW how hard it is to go it alone, to stay accountable to yourself, to keep promises to yourself... I know how hard it is to beat excuses. BUT you don't have to do it alone!! Contact me and we'll get you going on your way to happier, healthier days.
Also, no matter where you are on your health, fitness or weight loss journey, you too can become a part of the Team Beachbody family as a coach! Ask me how. :)
A good friend of mine wanted to stick with the T25 workout program, and so I offered for her to text me daily to let me know she'd worked out for the day. When I didn't hear from her, I'd text her to check in and see if she'd worked out. The one time she hadn't, she doubled up the following day to make up for missing a day. She wrote all about it here on her blog: Leading by Example and Accountability.
Another friend of mine just recently became a Team Beachbody Coach too (I personally sponsor her!!) and began the new 21 Day Fix workout and nutrition program. She posted this as her status just the other day:
"Day 8, and I'll be honest...I did NOT want to do this today. I had all kinds of good excuses running through my head. In fact, I had pretty much decided, nope, it's not happening today. Then some of the little things Chandra has said to me started getting louder than my little voice, so I got off my @$$ and did it. NOW, I feel amazing, sweaty, and ready for my shakeo. Yay, me!"
Helping hold YOU accountable helps hold ME accountable too. My workout schedule streak now sits at 104 days as of today and I wanna help YOU "streak" too! ;) Now that you know a little more about me, comment below or email me YOUR story, struggles, setbacks and victories. I'd love to hear from you!
Shakeology Turns Five & Strawberry Included in Sampler Pack!
Shakeology is celebrating its FIFTH anniversary this month.
And so... it's PARTY time and you're invited! Team Beachbody is celebrating Shakeology's 5th anniversary with a Twitter party LOADED with giveaways. Wanna join? It's easy!
When? TODAY! Friday March 14th @ 11a PST / 2p EST
Shakeology Shaker Cup + Shakeology Taste Sampler
Shakeology Hoodie + Shakeology Taste Sampler
Shakeology Combo Box
Shakeology Prize Pack (Everything above)
Have you ever wanted to try Shakeology but not sure which flavor you would like? The sampler pack now includes all four flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Greenberry and Strawberry. Its a great way to see which flavor you like best before you commit.
Contact me for how to order a sampler pack from me!
And that concludes this week's #FitnessFriday blog post. I hope you learned something new about me, I hope you'll share something new about you and I hope to see you at the Shakeology Twitter Party later. I'll be there as @motivationspark! Have a happy, fit weekend!!
On March 2, 2014, I started a fresh new workout schedule, which includes the continuation of a Runkeeper half marathon training plan, but in place of P90X, my friend and I began P90X3. The one thing I'd been SO looking forward to was 30 minute workouts as opposed to P90X's hour-plus workouts. And so far, I have NOT been disappointed. Quick, intense, get-the-job-done workouts in 30 minutes with Tony Horton. Yes please!
I can already tell that, as long as I stick with it consistently and clean up my eating habits even more, this program is going to deliver some pretty amazing results. Today's Day 6, I have sore muscles (including abs!) and that makes me happy. Today's also day 97 in the December-1-through-now workout schedule streak. Sooooo close to 100!!
Here's my before photo, and below are my beginning stats. I will likely keep progress updates on my #FitnessFriday blog posts once a month or so, rather than weekly, only because I have SO much info I want to share outside of my own personal progress. Maybe another round of Q&As as I get more questions from you, my lovely readers!
P90X3 'BEFORE' STATS
To go along with a new workout program (and now that my workout schedule is part of my daily routine), I've decided to take hold of my eating habits and begin making positive changes toward an even healthier "diet". I require something simple that I can stick to, nothing over-complicated, no need to count or keep track of anything at this stage in my journey.
--------- If you're looking to learn portion control in a really easy way check out 21 Day Fix! ---------
After some thorough research and references, I've decided that for me, to keep it as simple as possible with my crazy busy my life lately, I am going to ease myself in to a carb cycling routine. Two simple rules to follow, no crazy limitations, no counting calories. That's simple enough for me! Here's a great article that explains carb cycling in a really easy to follow way.
I'm incorporating Shakeology in to this plan, because of the dense nutrients all in one convenient place, and it's just so simple to whip up a tasty shake - adding in whatever tasty and healthy ingredients I have on hand to make it different every time!
I'm looking forward so very much to see just how hard I can work, to continue to test and push my limits through what remains of winter and the spring that will *eventually* get here. I'm at the stage of my journey where I'm able to accept my body as it is (most days anyway!!), while also working toward improving it because it feels good to me to do so. This summer, I want to flaunt a bikini and NOT feel bad for it!! Not to feel "better than" anyone else, but just to feel -for real- really good about myself and what I will have achieved by then!
As always, please do let me know if there's ANYTHING I can do to aid you in your own journey to better health, fitness and/or weight loss. I reached Emerald Coach rank with Team Beachbody and I'm SO excited to see where this venture leads -- for me, it's NOT about the money -- it's about doing my part to end the trend of obesity and poor health. To support, encourage and cheer you on. So, just know that even if you never purchase a Beachbody product through me, I'm here to support you in whatever way I'm able.
Very best wishes, until next time,
I love to shop local when I'm able. And when shopping local also supports a great cause (on top of supporting a local business), then all the better! So when I was asked to review some Windy Hill Vanilla products, I was very happy to say yes!
Suz is a busy mom of four. She started Windy Hill Vanilla alongside her children after making natural homemade lip balm for their teachers as gifts. Not satisfied with the “pure” vanilla that had added colors, corn syrup or flavors, Suz sourced a more natural, less processed vanilla, and as she and the children acquired the ingredients to make more products, business expanded and grew.
Not only does this business help sustain this loving family, but they also use part of the proceeds from their sales to provide food for a group of local youths who gather at their home for Bible study lessons. What a great example of giving back to their community!!
As for the products themselves, Suz very kindly sent me several to try out and review. The product in the photo to the right is their Simply Vanilla Hand and Foot Balm, which comes in a 4oz jar for $5. This is a deep moisturizing balm for extra dry skin, perfect for the dry winter air of winter in Indiana! My older son and I both have to moisturize our skin extra thoroughly through the winter, or else we end up with red, dry, chapped, cracked skin (especially our hands!). His skin has been especially susceptible this year, and so this balm comes to us at a perfect time! I've had him use it on his hands and forearms every night after his shower and we've seen great improvement in his skin. No longer chapped, painful or itchy, this stuff works wonders!!
I received an Apricot Freesia Shampoo Bar also. I've never used anything but liquid shampoo in the past, so this was all new to me. It lathers up great, smells wonderful and left my hair feeling really clean - definitely different from any commercial shampoos I've ever used. The instructions on the card suggest a light rinse of apple cider vinegar as a conditioner or even go without using conditioner. It is suggested to try this shampoo on its own for at least a full week for optimum results, then only using a traditional conditioner every couple of weeks, or as needed.
These Hard Lotion Bars are amazing!! Another really great product for the dry air and dry skin of wintertime. These are Jamaica Me Crazy scent, which I LOVE. They are available in different shapes and, of course, many different scents. Best of all, the lotion and its scent lasts 10-12 hours before needing to be reapplied. And, once spring and summer eventually get here, it's good to know that these bars can also be made with zinc and used as a sunscreen! I have two young children, and would LOVE to use a more natural sunscreen on them during the summer months.
Also available are hard lotion bar kits (and refills) to create your very own hard lotion bars, as a great craft for children, or to give as a gift to a crafty person you know!
And last but not least, the product that started it all. Simply Vanilla lip balm. After trying out this lip product, it's easy to see how it got so popular and this business began. It goes on in a nice layer, protects lips from getting chapped and has a wonderful vanilla scent. I've tried commercial lip balms, so many of them, trying to find just the right one. This -all natural product- is one that I would most definitely buy in the future.
Visit Windy Hill Vanilla's website for their full range of products and scents (including sugar scrub and laundry detergent), or connect on Facebook.
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