Fitness, Food and Photography

Follow me on my road to fitness… Because it's all about the journey, not the destination.

28-Day Blog Challenge

I’ve decided to do a 28-day Blog Challenge, hosted by Katy Widrick.  (You know, because I have so much extra time on my hands).  🙂

So every day for the 28 days of February, Katy will make recommendations of things to do to your Blog.  You can view the 28 suggestions HERE.

Not only are there great prizes to win, but hopefully it will help me do some updates to the blog that I’ve been putting off doing.  Like a new URL and catchy name.  Every time I come up with a good one, I google it and realize it’s already taken.  Is it possible all the good blog names are gone???

Today is Day 1 of the Challenge.

So please keep checking back to see what updates I’ve done.  And please leave me feedback.  I would love to hear what you think!

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Best Body Bootcamp Recap – Week 3

Well, the third week of Boot Camp is over.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t as diligent this week with my workouts.  I only did 1 of the 3 Strength workouts.  But I did do all of the cardio, plus some.  I don’t really have a good excuse, other than all my workout stuff is in the basement and it’s really cold in the basement.  Thankfully my treadmill is not down there or else I probably wouldn’t have done the cardio portions either.  🙂


Here’s my weekly recap:

Monday – 1/21

Strength workout

Tuesday – 1/22

Cardio interval with core workout

Wednesday – 1/23

100 burpee workout

Thursday – 1/24

rest day

Friday – 1/25

Friday we were stuck inside because of the ice storm.  So I jumped on the treadmill for a 45 minute cardio interval.  I alternated speed and incline every 5 minutes while watching The Biggest Loser on the DVR.

Saturday – 1/26

A repeat of yesterday with the same treadmill workout and finished out the same episode of the Biggest Loser.  I’m really into it this season.  This is actually the first season I’ve ever really watched.  Sure, I had seen bits and pieces before.  And honestly what turned me off before was Jillian.  I couldn’t stand listening to her yell at people.  But this time it’s a little different.  I’m watching with a different goal in mind.  I do like Bob, though.  And I like this new trainer, Dolvett.  And this season, I really like that they brought the kids in to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic.  If you’re not watching, you should check it out.

Sunday – 1/27

Another treadmill workout.  But this time, I mixed it up.  Here’s how it went:

Minutes 0 -5:  Walk 4.3mph on 8% incline

Minutes 5-10:  Run 6.5mph on 1.5% incline

50 air squats, 50 walking lunges

Minutes 10-15: Walk 4.3mph on 9% incline

Minutes 15-20: Run 6.5mph on 1.5% incline

25 push ups, 25 sit ups, 1 minute plank

Minutes 20-25: Walk 4.3mph on 10% incline

Minutes 25-30: Run 6.5mph on 1.5% incline

1 minute wall sit, 1 minute plank, stretch


This coming week, I am going to try to stick to Tina’s prescribed workouts exactly as written.  If it’s cold in the basement, I’ll put on a sweatshirt.  No excuses.

In addition to the workout schedule, Tina also has you choose two goals for the week.  My 2 goals were to drink 64oz of water and take my vitamins daily (that’s one goal) and also to make sure to do my nightly routine every night, which includes taking my contacts out and washing my face, among other things.  I’ve gotten in a bad habit of falling asleep on the couch and then just crawling into bed without taking off my makeup or taking out my contacts.  (Yes, I know how bad it is to sleep in contacts.  In fact, I got a corneal abrasion several months ago because I was sleeping in my contacts.)  So I need this extra motivation to help me form a good habit at bedtime.  Or maybe if I win the $1,000 in the end I could use it towards Lasik so that I don’t have to worry with the contacts at all.  🙂

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Personal Goals for 2013

It’s a new year.  A new beginning, right?  Time for resolutions, right?  Wrong.  Resolutions are worthless.

Instead of making a resolution that will most likely be broken in two weeks, one should set goals.  Measurable goals.  Instead of saying “I’m going to eat better” or “I’m going to exercise more”.  A SMART goal would be one that can be tracked, like “I’m going to eat 25 grams of fiber every day” or “I’m going to work out 5 days every week”.

I signed up for Run to the Finish’s #BestFoot Challenge.


I love the idea of giving the new year a theme.  One word to sum up the whole year.

My word for 2013 is …..  Progress.

I want to see progress in ….  my career, my fitness goals, my marriage, my life.  I want to look back on 2013 and say ‘that was my year’!  The number 13 is not unlucky at all.  In fact, I believe ’13 is going to be the best year yet!!

Fitness Goals:

On January 7th, I will start the Best Body Boot Camp, let by Tina Reale.  I’ve been following her blog and her Instagram.  I admire her a lot (and we have a lot in common)- she’s a wife, a mom, a blogger, and she’s a Certified Personal Trainer.  I’m really excited to see what kind of workouts she will create for us.


On April 7th, I will run in my 6th Half Marathon.  I’m hoping to set a new PR.  I’d love to beat 2:09, but as long as it’s faster than 2:16:01 (last year’s time), I’ll be happy!

Fitness/ Career Goals:

And to let you all in on a little secret ….  I am currently studying for the Personal Trainer Certification through ACE Fitness.  I would like to take the test sometime in the next 12 weeks, so that I can then study for the Health Coach exam after that.  My goal would be to have a Health Coach certification by June 1st.


I have other, smaller goals.  But those are the ones I want to be accountable to.  I need help achieving them.  I need the support of my friends and the blog community to help me reach these goals.  I am very excited about what 2013 has in store for me!!


Thankful Thursday – Twenty Times Over

Today’s Elf4Health Challenge asked us to write down 20 things we are thankful for.

version3edited Elf for Health Holiday Challenge

So here goes…..  it might be a little predictable and trite, but how can I not be thankful for my family???

1.  My loving and supportive husband

2. My smart and energetic 7-year old son

3. My adorable and sweet 2-year old daughter

4. My crazy family

5. My fun-loving friends

6. My (continually improving) health

7. My job (it pays the bills)

8. My co-workers who make said job worth getting out of bed for!

9. My comfy bed

10. My cozy, warm house

11. My hometown of Knoxville, TN

12. My neighbors

13. My country

14. My freedom

15. My Nikon DSLR

16. My back deck situated on a hill (where I watch every sunset)

17. My sugar-free creamer which makes my coffee my favorite part of my morning

18. My squat rack and basement gym

19. My smart phone

20. All my faithful blog followers

I am very blessed!


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Weekend Recap: Painting and Brick Moving

After Thanksgiving with my family, we headed to North Carolina for a working weekend with hubby’s family.  His sister and brother-in-law just bought their first house.  You may remember them from this post.  They are both potters and own a studio in downtown Bakersville.

So we offered to help them move.  I was so busy all weekend that I hardly took any pictures at all.  That is so unlike me.  But really, we were busy!

They’ve owned the house for a month now and have been working hard on pulling up the carpet, painting the walls and getting it ready to move in.  The kitchen was the last room that needed color.  Greg and I were happy to oblige.

While Greg finished the painting, I helped move bricks.  Yes, bricks.  One day, these bricks will be part of a kiln on their new property.  But first, we had to move them from the old house to the new house.  These bricks weigh 8 pounds each!!

What you see in this picture is only a fraction of the number of bricks.  There must be at least 6 or 8 pallets worth in total.  It’s hard to know for sure how many bricks there are.

5 bricks = 40 pounds.   I wish I had counted the number of bricks I moved.

One trailer full.  We made at least 5 trips.

Here they are stacked up at the new house.  And that’s not even all of them.  That was a workout for sure!!

The kids chilled on the couch watching Monsters, Inc. while we worked.  Rough life.

By the time we got back to Knoxville, I was completely worn out.

But I am very excited to participate in the Elf4Health challenge sponsored by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean and Elle at Nutritionella.  Challenge starts on Monday, the 26th.  You can read the rules HERE.  My first elf buddy is Anna at History Running Girl.

The first challenge is Meatless Monday.  Here is my Hard-boiled egg on whole wheat wrap with spinach.  YUM!!

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Monday Motivation: 11-5-12

As I told you on Thursday, we started a new Wellness Challenge at work to get through the holidays without adding any extra pounds.  My first tip is about drinking water!  Do you drink enough water every day?

Do you know how important water is for the human body?

We’ve all heard you should drink 8 glasses every day.  This is actually just an average.  If you weigh more, you need more.  And of course, if you exercise, you need to replace the fluids you lost when exercising.

Top 11 Health Benefits of Drinking Water


You will be amazed of the benefits of drinking water as follow:

    1. Lose weight: Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown.  Drinking water reduces hunger, it’s an effective appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less.  Plus, water has zero calories.
    2. Natural Remedy for Headache: Helps to relieve headache and back pains due to dehydration.  Although many reasons contribute to headache, dehydration is the common one.
    3. Look Younger with Healthier Skin: You’ll look younger when your skin is properly hydrated.  Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity.
    4. Better Productivity at Work: Your brain is mostly made up of water, thus drinking water helps you think better, be more alert and more concentrated.
    5. Better Exercise: Drinking water regulates your body temperature. That means you’ll feel more energetic when doing exercises. Water also helps to fuel your muscle.
    6. Helps in Digestion and Constipation: Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion.  Fiber and water goes hand in hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement.
    7. Less Cramps and Sprains: Proper hydration helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, so you’ll less likely get cramps and sprains.
    8. Less Likely to Get Sick and Feel Healthy: Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack.  Water adds with lemon is used for ailments like respiratory disease, intestinal problems, rheumatism and arthritis etc. In another words one of the benefits of drinking water is that it can improve your immune system.
    9. Relieves Fatigue:  Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.  If your body lacks water, your heart, for instance, needs to work harder to pump out the oxygenated blood to all cells, so are the rest of the vital organs, your organs will be exhausted and so will you.
    10. Good Mood: Your body feels very good and that’s why you feel happy.
    11. Reduce the Risk of Cancer: Related to the digestive system, some studies show that drinking a healthy amount of water may reduce the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with bladder lining.

Wow!!  After reading that, just tell me you don’t want to rush to the kitchen and chug down a big glass of water!

Furthermore, if you’re drinking soda, here’s a little food for thought:

So if you drink soda, I encourage you to start replacing just one soda a day with water.  You don’t have to quit cold turkey, but imagine the health benefits if you did!

Here’s this week’s challenge:  Take note of how much water you are drinking every day.  Is it enough?  Do you need to increase it?  Need help?  I found a neat product called Hydracoach.  It digitally calculates, monitors and reminds you to drink your water.  How cool is that?!?


Maintain, Don’t Gain Wellness Challenge

… also titled ‘My November Goals’.

So, we started another wellness challenge at work.  I really wanted some motivation to help get me through the holidays.  I tend to throw caution to the wind during the months of November and December- baking, eating, drinking, and just having fun.  And as a result, I typically gain 5-10 pounds every year, which then has to come off some time in the following 3-6 months.  Well, I didn’t want to do that this year.  I want to stay on track with my fitness goals.  (Speaking of goals, I’ve never actually written any down.  I think now is a good time to start).

It’s so hard for me to find motivation alone.  I need the support and encouragement of others.  It’s not the competition that I want, it’s the accountability that  I need.  So I am spearheading a Wellness Challenge at work.

There are 2 options to choose from – #1 is simple – just don’t gain any weight over the holidays.  Weigh in on November 1st and again on December 31st.  If you gained any weight at all, you have to pay $25.  Everyone who maintained or lost their weight will be entered to win a drawing of all the loser’s money.  Easy.  I had over 20 people choose this option!

#2 is quite a bit more complicated with a team structure and point system.  I won’t share all the details with you, but suffice it to say that this one will definitely keep me motivated!  There are 6 of us that chose this option, which is 3 different 2-person teams.  It should be a lot of fun.

I plan on sending out weekly tips and motivational emails to all participants.  I’ll include them on the blog for you too!  My very first tip includes setting goals.  Specific, measurable goals.  It’s not enough to say “I’ll exercise more” or “I’ll eat better”.  Those are not specific enough.  And set a deadline for achieving that goal.

Here are my goals for November:

1)  Lose 4 pounds (1 per week) by the end of November

2)  Run in 8k on Thanksgiving Day!  (Haven’t done this race in 6 years!)

3)  Set a PR on deadlift at 120#

So here is my challenge to you…. can you get through the holidays without gaining weight this year?  Can you strive to ‘Maintain, Don’t Gain’ this year?  How will you do it?  Set your goals today!


Random Thoughts

Over the last couple of days, I’ve had a lot of random thoughts that I wanted to share with you all.  So I thought it was time for a completely random post!  Sometimes the thoughts in my head are all over the board, so I guess it’s only fitting that the Blog is too!  🙂

1)  Ok – remember that Carb challenge we had at work?  Well, it’s over.  I had to pay $24 into the pot when it was all said and done.  I pretty much cheated every weekend.  Two people tied for first place.  I believe they only had 10 cheat days each.  They each received a $94 prize.  That’s a lot of money that was paid into the pot!  But wait – there’s more!  There was also a prize to the person who was voted ‘Most Supportive Teammate.’  Guess what?!?  That was ME!  I totally wasn’t expecting that.  I won $62  But I will say that I love motivating and inspiring others to achieve their fitness goals.  I love cheering on my friends.

2)  I am so excited about this!  I was contacted by a representative for a new fitness tracker website/ app called Slim Kicker.  They want me to test out the new product, which will be similar to a Fit Bit, and then blog about it.  Sure!  I love the concept.  It takes your diet and fitness goals and turns them into a game!  You can connect with friends for that accountability feature, and the best part is that as you reach your goals and “level up”, you can win prizes!  Now that is some motivation right there.  My user name is katiedaisy921 if anyone wants to buddy up.  I am excited to start using it.  I will let you know how I like it.

3)  I know I sound like a broken record on this one, BUT – we are restarting P90x.  Today is Day 1.  And it will work in conjunction with another Challenge!  My Beachbody coach posted a “Get Lean for Halloween” Challenge.  It’s actually a 90-day challenge to take us through the end of the year, with prizes at each 30-day interval.  So that was motivation for me.  90 days til the end of the year.  Let’s start P90x now.  I want to finish it this time!  Of course, I may be completely crazy trying to do this at my busiest time of the year.  Then again, it may be when I need it the most!

4)  And to follow up a thought about fitness, it’s only fitting that I talk about ice cream!  🙂  Remember that Blue Bell ice cream contest that I told you about where you get to pick the old flavor to bring back?  Mine didn’t win.  Caramel Turtle Cheesecake won.  They say it will be available early next year.

5)  Recent stats show 92 posts since June!  Over 2,300 page views, and growing everyday!  Thanks, guys!  I’m so glad you read my Blog.  Sometimes I feel like Barney Stinson on ‘How I Met Your Mother’, always talking about his blog but none of his friends read it.  LOL  I love that show!!

6) Even after I posted the September calendar for FatMumSlim’s photoaday challenge, I don’t think I actually took one photo all month!  #epicfail  So here is the October calendar, and I am going to try really hard to participate this time.

fatmumslim photo challenge


I think that’s all the randomness I have for today.  So excited that it’s Saturday.  The hubby took the son to a festival this morning, so I am trying to get some things done this morning.  I’ve already made a looooooong list!  Blogging, running, cleaning, baking, shopping.  Not sure if I can get it all done or not.  I still have my daughter here with me and since she’s 2, she’s not a whole lot of help.  But at least she’s darn cute!  🙂

Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL weekend!  Later.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

From WordPress:  Solitary. I love capturing a person in a quiet and often unexpected moment. These kinds of images can be reflective, mysterious, or even sad, conjuring strong emotions and stirring up stories in my head. I snapped this photograph in the grand Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. That afternoon, it was very busy and crowded inside, but I turned a corner at one point and walked into the empty, bright, airy space pictured above. I experienced a few moments of silence as I watched a woman walk to the end of the room. We were strangersyet alone, together. A solitary moment, frozen with my lens.

Share a picture that means SOLITARY to you!


To me, nothing is more solitary than being alone in the woods.  Reflection time.


Or maybe a bird alone on the top of a mountain.


New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS


Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

From WordPressShare a photo that means EVERYDAY LIFE to you!

The theme for this week’s challenge is “everyday life”.  The point, I’m sure, is to take photos of OTHER people doing normal, everyday things.  For me, every day life involves my kids.  So here are a few photos that represent MY every day life.

Enjoying ice cream sandwiches after a hard evening of chalking the driveway

Watching Saturday morning cartoons together

Sharing a footlong Sub at the park

What can I say?  I’m a proud mama!


New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.


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