Win-It Wednesday Expo Swag Winner

Happy Win-It Wednesday, Friends! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all you readers who have joined me throughout my FIT BFFs’ blogging journey…the past four years have been unbelievable! Stick around because you never know what’s going to happen next; that’s my favorite part!!!

I’m excited to announce the winner of the Blogfest/IDEA World convention swag is…

Congratulations to Margie!!!

I will email you for shipping details, Margie.

Thanks to all who entered and stay tuned for another Win-It Wednesday 4th Blogiversary Giveaway coming shortly!

Win-It Wednesday 4th Blogiversary Giveaway!

Friends, it’s time to celebrate; it’s FIT BFFs’ 4th BLOGIVERSARY!

Every year to celebrate, I have done a few weeks of giveaways, so why would this year be any different? Remember how I told you yesterday about my phenomenal experience at Blogfest and IDEA World Fitness Convention and Expo? Well I just happen to have a little giftie collection from some very kind Blogfest sponsors and expo vendors to share with one lucky reader!

I know it might be hard to see from this picture, but the winner will receive…a BE BETTER drawstring backpack, cap and three delicious Protein Squares, Frog Fitness cooling towel, waterbottle & sunglasses, Swisse waterbottle, Undeniably Dairy Blender Bottle, a bag of Vegi Rice Sweet Potato Rice, JIMMYBAR! birthday cake (how fitting!) high protein bar, R.e.d.d. mint chocolate energy bar, Navitas Organics Detox and Focus daily superfood boosts, bpi Sports performance dietary supplement packet, 30 count MCT 7 Omega-3 soft gels dietary supplement, Bonk Breaker peanut butter chocolate chip fuel bar, Arctic ApBitz and a La Croix set of 4 resistance bands!

What it boils down to…a fitness/wellness/healthy lifestyle expo in a bag!

To enter, simply leave a comment below between now and Tuesday, August 7th (midnight central time), telling one thing you’ve enjoyed reading about on the blog.

Giveaway open to US residents only. Randomly selected winner will be announced here on Win-It Wednesday, August 8th. Good luck!

Blogfest Adventure 2018

Friends, this summer is on fast forward…I swear! It’s been a month since I’ve posted, yet my family and adventures have kept my head spinning in the very best ways. It’s time we catch up a bit…I’ll do my best in the upcoming weeks to share with you things my mind is still attempting to put words to. For now, I’ll recall a surreal trip to San Diego I took a month ago that was meant to inspire my blogging, but did vastly more!

I admit, it was an unpack and repack whirlwind that took me from serene, family lake vacation in Minnesota to upbeat, fast-paced west coast adventure…one that has left an indelible impression in my heart. A late-night flight landed me in the Gaslamp Quarter with my soul sister I don’t see nearly often enough! We immediately crashed at our Airbnb and woke the next morning ready to conquer the world!

We carved out an entire week, with Blogfest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention as our main focus, but had so much more in our cache of plans. We hit the pavement running and made every inch our amazing playground!

We did our best to mentally prepare for the information overload and mass amounts of motivation we were about to ingest. There was really only one way to do that while in sunny SoCal IMHO…

 

The extraordinary organizers of Blogfest put us front and center with some amazing fitness and wellness professionals to ignite a blaze of inspiration within. Nadia and I simply fell in love with motivational guru, Petra Kolber. Her message continues to whisper sweet nothings in my soul.

Yeah, true confession…I openly admit to rubbing on her arm to absorb some of her exquisite vibe! And while that exchange still had me giddy, I was not prepared for what came next!

I’ve been captivated by Heidi and Chris Powell since the debut of Extreme Weight Loss on ABC. I savored each episode because I was in the midst of my own transformation and related to and hung on their every word. They won the Jack LaLanne award during IDEA WORLD’s opening ceremonies and gave a stupendous acceptance speech.

Shortly after they concluded and the keynote began, Nadia tipped me off to this cosmically destined moment…

Yeah, another true confession…I shamelessly helped myself to their radiant energy too. I’m still swooning from that one! We were additionally enthralled with Heidi’s keynote at Blogfest, where we all continued to bask in her glow.

Although these were merely a small fraction of our Blogfest/IDEA World events, I don’t think my feet ever touched the ground after that. It all seems a fantastic blur to me now!

We listened and learned from several other great speakers and were spoiled by a number of sponsoring companies like California Almonds, Frog Fitness, General Mills, TriggerPoint, and BeBetter to name a few.

And although the workouts and workshops were all so high energy, nothing could prepare me for the insane amount of energy packed into the expo!

It simply blows my mind, all the great connections made in one place! Shout-outs to my friends at OOFOS and D’moda Sportswear…their generosity astounds me!

 

Was SO happy to run into the fine folks at Great Lakes Gelatin to share with them my injury recovery success with their product!

My favorite new find at the expo had to be these big kid toys by Empower…you all know how much I love to play!

I’m tired just recalling Blogfest and IDEA, but maybe that’s because I jammed way more fun into my trip…like this sailing adventure chartered by some very special friends!

 

And this little pre-dawn hike up Cowles Mountain. Although the sunrise wasn’t spectacular, the climb, view, company and accomplishment were!

Yeah, we embraced every single solitary moment in that paradise!

What a blessing to experience the richness of this enchanting place in the presence of truly outstanding people!

The reconnection and recharge felt throughout this week will echo within forever!

Annual Vacation NOT the Same Old Same Old!

Friends, I just came off our annual family lake vacation more energized than ever before! We’ve been driving up to the Alexandria, MN area for 24 years, many of which exhausted me…I usually returned home feeling like I needed a vacation from my vacation. Does that make sense?

It used to be a crazy week for me when the kiddos were younger, making sure we packed everything, keeping them from drowning or hooking each other with their fishing rods, keeping up with their unlimited energy and filling each moment with unforgettable memories…kind of like being the activities director. I suffered burnout every year. And I’m just going to say that a week is a lot of together time for our tribe!

Luckily, seasons change, kids grow and I wised up.

This year it finally hit me…the only person’s activities I needed to direct were my own, so I aimed a very different direction that made all the difference!

A solo five mile walk around Lake Moses was refreshing. The birds serenaded and the breeze coaxed me forward while the water beckoned…ahhhhh.

A trip into town treated me to a relaxing energy work/intuitive reading/massage session. Another soulful way to spend some me time.

I stopped to enjoy coffee and conversation with someone I heard astounding things about…thanks, Fr. Darin!

I treated myself to a ridiculously expensive, playful dress for my son’s upcoming wedding…a dress that shouts FUN (kind of like me haha)!!!

I took time for the things that feed my soul…catching nearly every awe-inspiring sunrise.

And oh, those sunsets. And while my family continued to do all the things they do on vacation, I set out to try a few new things…like marking SUP yoga off my bucket list with the extraordinary instructor, Karen of Kosha Wellness at the Lake Carlos Marina.

 

That experience only lasted 90 minutes, but it will be etched on my heart forever! Namaste.

 

I’ve never taken time to explore my passions during this annual vacation quite like this year. Do you know what happens when I do? I find fascinating new FIT BFFs that feel like old friends…how amazing to be able to vibe on this tribe! Loved meeting you, Nikki, Siw and Karen; can’t wait to do it again!

Sure, I spent some time with the fam…

But I took things slower, calmer, quieter…

Watching my kids (and soon-to-be daughter-in-law) grow even more independent, yet enjoying the inner child within each of them.

I made the annual F Day dessert to honor the dads in the bunch, while still missing my own dad fiercely.

So much so, I decided to treat my wounded heart to a healing session with Debra at Soul Harvest & Healing.

My time spent with her was the best gift I could’ve given myself. I feel like crying all over again (in a good way) just thinking about what happened in that sacred space.

Before I knew it, the week was over…

It was time for one last paddle around Lake Aaron to bid my beloved playground a fond farewell… reminiscing over a beautiful, wonderful week of new beginnings.

I can’t wait until next year!

52 Fridays…It’s All in How You Look at It!

I’m running a bit behind this week, as I wrap up one week of travel and look toward the next. It’s Friday again, Friends! Another opportunity to settle in, get comfortable and breathe.

This week’s 52 Fridays takes a look at the idea that life is constantly changing, whether we like it or not. Within a lifetime, we go through countless beginnings and endings. Take some time to consider what’s going on in your life. Are you finding yourself at the end of a chapter or chapters? Does this feel good for you or does it fill you with trepidation? Are you prepared to move forward?

If you look deeper, does it appear to be not just an end, but a new beginning of sorts? If we take time to consider that endings are merely the start of something new or different, we can begin to feel excited about the upcoming chapters of our stories.

If we can learn to put a more positive spin on life’s surprises, those tricky transitions that once felt unsettling can begin to find you gliding over calm waters. It takes practice, but soon you’ll be turning those stormy seas into smoothe sailing.

Shifting perspective in such a way is one more great way to put our Best Foot Forward.

52 Fridays…Nourish to Flourish

Yup, Friends, it’s totally that time again…52 Fridays! We survived another week and are headed for the weekend! YAY!!!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed so many people running around, stressed to the limit, trying to accomplish their tasks in a hurried frenzy this week. Is that you? Unfortunately, I’m very guilty! It doesn’t even add up for me, as school is out around here…our son is off for the summer, but those summer activities are already in full swing. Somewhere, I missed that notion of relaxed summer days, but I’m about to do something about that!

I’ve learned when I am at this point, to pull back. It’s time to observe the observer…to break it down and get to the heart of the cause. In doing so, I can look around, adjust what needs it and go forward a bit lighter. Refreshed.

That is my sole aim this next week, and it can be yours too!

Take some quiet time for yourself. Breathe. What items on your calendar can you let go for next week to bring yourself back to a more “youer” you? Think about what feeds your soul (maybe take a moment to make a list) and carve out some time for that instead.

It’s impossible to flourish is we are constantly throwing ourselves forward into the next thing, and the next thing…we need time to replenish ourselves. It is not selfish, it’s absolutely necessary! It’s very important to understand, this is not a one-time fix; it’s a constant work in progress.

Friends, this 52 Fridays challenges you to remember what nourishes you because you’ve got to nourish to flourish.

Have a nourishing weekend!

 

I Still Do!

Today marks 24 years I’ve been married to my BFF! I can’t imagine where in the world I would be without Eric by my side. He’s supported me through every last challenge and struggle I’ve encountered…loved me though them all. He encouraged me every single step throughout my tumultuous road to a healthier, happier me. Truth is, he has loved me unconditionally, whether at my largest or smallest. My size never mattered to him, only my happiness.

As I searched for a quote that sized up this relationship, many resonated, but one stood out today…

“Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite.”

Friends, I’ve recently been reminded again and again of a story I shared over a year ago.

Funny how a symbol of love can mean so many different things throughout a relationship. At this moment back in February 2017 is was far more than a token of our love…it was also a great metaphor for the repaired, resized, restored new me (and we).

If you missed it, check out my greatest NSV-non scale victory of my transformation journey…that gift is still very much giving here.

Happy Anniversary, Babe!

52 Fridays…Because You’re Worth It!

Yay for us, Friends, we made it to another 52 Fridays! Forget about what craziness might be going on around you. Take a moment to stop thinking about your to-do list…you deserve a little me time! So grab that beverage, journal, pen, cozy into that chair and let’s just breathe!

If you’ve been around here long, you know how I feel about the myriad of things that are vying for our time and attention. I’ve learned that I don’t need to say yes to every volunteer opportunity, I can let events and happeneings pass me by. Really, it’s okay! Because in doing so, I have more time to come back to me, to regain focus, clarity, balance.

Take some time to pinpoint and record the things you prioritize on a daily/weekly/monthly basis…are YOU included in that mix? If yes, good for you…keep it up! If not, what things on that list can you let go? What would you do for yourself if you had a bit more time to focus on you?

Friends, I PROMISE it’s not selfish to love and care for yourself, to prioritize your happiness…it’s a basic need! Once you accept that, look out…your life is about to change in ways that will astound you. Why? Because you are worthy!

Cents of Style Dress Review and SALE!

Friends, I’ve been searching for the perfect dress for my son’s outdoor wedding next month. The venue is a beautiful, built-for-weddings barn and meadow. The standard mother-of-the-groom dress is not what I’m looking for; I’m aiming for something comfortable, airy, playful. On my hunt, I came across a dress that caught my attention.

The kind folks at Cents of Style generously provided me with that dress in exchange for a test drive and sharing my results with readers. How cool is that?!?

I should tell you, I didn’t have high hopes. About 98% of what I tried on in brick and mortar shops looked fantastic on the hanger, but much less so on me. I have a tough time finding a dress that fits my uniquely proportioned physique. When this little number arrived, though, I thought only positive thoughts as I removed it from the neatly tissued packaging.

Almost every dress I tried prior was fitted, constricting, too short for my generous legs’ liking…I was not having much luck. The moment I slipped into this Shelly Lattice Back Dress, I knew it was a keeper! Remember I said I wanted comfortable, airy, playful? Well this was all of that! The polyester/spandex content, a super-soft fabric, is comfier than my jammies! Its cut is generous and drapes in all the right places…so much better than the fitted straightjackets!

Keep in mind, I’m no model, so I will provide some additional pics from Cents of Style to give a better idea of what it looks like in a moment. But first…a little visit to the park with my soon-to-be-married son. He was such a great sport in capturing what this dress does for me.

I was in my element…I LOVE the outdoors, but I don’t often (well never, really) wear a dress outside. But because I didn’t feel trapped within this garment, I could be myself…I could let my light shine!

I mean, I don’t often visit a park without relaxing…

I didn’t realize just how at home I felt until I found myself doing what I do…soaking in the good vibes of nature!

And do you know how comfortable I was? Well, this is the first dress I’ve ever been tempted to climb a tree while wearing. It made me reminisce about the relaxed fit of play clothes from my childhood.

Not even kidding…I was right up there in that tree. In a dress. A dress that allowed me to be totally and completely ME!

If I’m this comfy here, I’m excited about how great it will feel to wear this versatile dress to work, play, church, parties, picnics, the beach, etc. As for the wedding, I can’t yet be certain I’ve said yes to the dress, but this could be it!

As promised, a few professional shots provided by Cents of Style. Check out the fun shape and colors…

  

Comfortable, airy, playful…Cents of Style nailed it and they want you to experience that feeling too! Friends, here’s the good news…this dress retails for $54.95. And the GREAT news…between now and Wednesday, 6/13, you can save 35% and enjoy free shipping too with this VIP Exclusive Offer just for you, FITBFFs readers!

Simply follow the link below to a comfortable, airy, playful summer dress of your own for under 36 bucks! You may not climb trees in yours, but I know whatever you choose to do, you’ll feel comfortable, airy and playful too!

Exclusive Deal for FITBFFs – 35% off Summer Dress! + FREE Shipping w/code: FITBFF

 

Keto Adventure Kickoff

Friends, I have been considering changing up my eating for quite some time. I’ve been really curious about the keto or ketogenic diet and have felt like my body has been wanting me to give it a whirl. I didn’t understand quite how I was going to lose weight by eating lots of fat, some protein and very little carbs, so I did several weeks worth of research. I joined some Facebook groups too. But what really gave me that final nudge was “The Magic Pill” –a Netflix documentary that follows several people through the beginning stages of their keto journey. I found their results profound!

What is the keto diet? Simply stated, it is a low-carb, high-fat way of eating. People following this diet burn through their small portion of carbs quickly, so their body then switches to fat for energy. And when this occurs, it’s said the body goes into a state of ketosis. Many people who follow a keto diet have weight loss success and a host of other benefits. Not everything works for everyone, but I hope my body is one of those that finds success. I’ve finally come to the point where I just have to try!

I spent the past week reading everything I could on the subject while eating up the foods in my cupboard that are not good ingredients for keto. By the end of the week, our cupboards looked like that of Old Mother Hubbard! Our poor teenage son began to get concerned.

Although he will continue to eat his way, I’m excited my husband is joining me on this adventure! Eric and I took a trip to Aldi yesterday to see what we could find for our first week of keto. We read lots of labels. LOTS! And we may not have made expert choices, but we managed to leave the store with a selection of items that, teamed with what we already had on hand, will provide us a good variety to keep us from getting bored the first week.

Armed with an array of choices, we kicked off our adventure this morning. Ordinarily, when I begin a new eating plan, I’m nervous. But, Friends, I am intrigued! I’m about to eat so many foods I previously thought detrimental to my health…seems to go against nearly everything I knew about healthy eating. We shall see!

I documented yesterday’s grocery haul and today’s breakfast/lunch on the Facebook page and was surprised by the response. I had friends and followers reach out, my inbox was inundated with a flood of folks offering support, encouragement, advice and even multiple cookbooks coming my way! They really made my day!

I used the My Fitness Pal app on my phone to track my eating because I’m accustomed to it and I love how it easily breaks down the macros for me. Here’s a peek at my day…

Breakfast was a flavor filled mushroom and cheese omelette with bacon and coffee…yum!

Lunch was an experiment using a sliced Mexi Cali chicken patty on a bed of spinach and arugula with avocado, blueberries and ranch. It was so amazing, I plan to make it for dinner tomorrow night so Eric can experience it too!

I didn’t photograph the walnuts and almonds I had for a snack, or the many ounces of water I sipped, but I rounded out my day with a sirloin steak, avocado, broccoli and strawberries. And I am FULL. I’ve actually felt full all day. And on 1580 calories, I’ve never really been able to say that before!

Here’s a look at how the day measured up. Not bad for my first attempt. True confession…I took today off from work, so I’m not sure how tomorrow will go when I don’t have an abundance of time to prepare meals. But I’m not too concerned. I actually welcome the challenge and look forward to feeling how my body performs tomorrow when I put it through a tough workout fueled by fat! I’m already thinking very good thoughts!

Have you gone keto? If so, feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear how it went or is going for you!