Fitness freaks. One crossfitter on sabbatical. Registered Dietitian. English Teacher. Sisters. Friends. Learning to cook and live life well. Daughters. Sports fans. Mountain Mamas. A hurdler. A marathoner. Cribbage gurus. Wine drinkers.

Happy, healthy girls.
We’re the two best friends that anyone could have!
Bree, here is an idea for dinner tonight. Do you still have strawberries? Because I have cottage cheese, blueberries and bananas.
Tonight is going to be a great night… only a few more before 32!
I love you!

We’re the two best friends that anyone could have!

Bree, here is an idea for dinner tonight. Do you still have strawberries? Because I have cottage cheese, blueberries and bananas.

Tonight is going to be a great night… only a few more before 32!

I love you!

(via mybody-myhealth-mymind)

Love it!  So true, you have to get over whatever you didn’t do yesterday and get on it today.

Love it!  So true, you have to get over whatever you didn’t do yesterday and get on it today.

(Source: pomegranatesandpizza, via fitnesslovefashion)

Bree: “Hello, selfish.  Yes, you.  Good job.”
This is the uber-brief conversation I had with myself yesterday in the car (because that is where all good self-conversations occur…there and the shower).  As I drove from work to the gym, a train decided that I needed a five minute break to contemplate life (this happens often in Helena). I am running a marathon in a couple weeks and the last few months have been devoted to my training plan.  Assuming you are even 50% committed to marathon training, it’s a pretty selfish endeavor when it comes down to it.  And sometimes, selfish is good. Selfish is necessary.  And ideally, the right amount of selfish leads to an increase in selflessness.  Both selfishness and selflessness orbit around the concept of balance, which is the ultimate goal I am always pursuing.
In order to be giving of your time, love, intelligence, etc, you have to have a bank of those things to draw from.  Sometimes the bank empties and we need to fill it back up in hopes that we learn to both give and take in equal parts.  I found myself in a position not long ago where I had been giving quite a bit (which feels great,) but not taking in return (which I didn’t notice until it was too late,) and that led to resentment and an empty tank.  Starting to work out helped me carve out enough alone time, stress relief and positive feedback to start having something to give others in the form of encouragement, positivity, and presence. Once I decided to train for a marathon, I got pretty selfish with my time.  Time to eat, time to run, time to recover, time to whiiiiiiiiine, time to rally, time to talk it out, time for training with a partner, time for education, injury prevention… For me, a huge part of training was accepting the support of others and allowing them to share their expertise, their experiences, and their food (what, it’s true – I now eat like a T-Rex.)
As I’m getting closer to M-day, more of my running is independent and I have time to reflect on how I feel about the past few months of “me.”  What I realized is that the past few months have enabled me to become the kind of person who can give back more than I could before. And THAT is just one of the truly amazing things about becoming healthier and taking on any kind of physical challenge, whether it’s a strength-training routine, running, biking, yoga…the time you devote to bettering yourself does JUST that.
In my mind, we focus on ourselves so we can be the best version of ourselves and that translates into sharing that version with others, which I hope means that we pass it on.  We’re selfish to become selfless.
So for two more weeks, it is all-about-Bree-time, but don’t think I’m not aware that it’s high time to start returning the favor.
Tara: In my opinion, part of your being selfless Bree is the positive impact and influence you’ve had on those around you. Look at your family. You and mom gettig up to spin three times a week. Your brother hitting the gym getting fit right before our eyes. Dad being even more prone to go to the gym and use his membership. CJ spending time where you spend YOUR time (at the gym, in class, on the pavement,…). Friends that are far: starting to exercise, deciding to run a 5k, attempting to and finishing an obstacle run, the list goes on and on.
In becoming selfish you have redefined who Bree is and what she’s all about. You hold yourself to a new, higher standard and therefore bring those around you up! That in itself is selfless.
Turns out, you’re an amazing person… with or without the marathon. Gosh darn it, people want to be around you. They want to be like you! The fact that you’re taking the challenge of the marathon head on, looking it right in the eye without backing down sets a precedent for you and those who love you.
Can you feel us standing behind you? Thank you for showing us what hard work can do. We will always be here. Your selfishness is appreciated.
Come M-day: it’s all about the Bree.
Love you girl.   
Bree: Aww, shucks, T.  I love you, girl!  You’re an awesome motivator. (Have we already talked about the need for a support system in fitness?  We have?  Well, I’m saying it again - get out there and get yourself some amazing people.)

Bree: “Hello, selfish.  Yes, you.  Good job.”

This is the uber-brief conversation I had with myself yesterday in the car (because that is where all good self-conversations occur…there and the shower).  As I drove from work to the gym, a train decided that I needed a five minute break to contemplate life (this happens often in Helena). I am running a marathon in a couple weeks and the last few months have been devoted to my training plan.  Assuming you are even 50% committed to marathon training, it’s a pretty selfish endeavor when it comes down to it.  And sometimes, selfish is good. Selfish is necessary.  And ideally, the right amount of selfish leads to an increase in selflessness.  Both selfishness and selflessness orbit around the concept of balance, which is the ultimate goal I am always pursuing.

In order to be giving of your time, love, intelligence, etc, you have to have a bank of those things to draw from.  Sometimes the bank empties and we need to fill it back up in hopes that we learn to both give and take in equal parts.  I found myself in a position not long ago where I had been giving quite a bit (which feels great,) but not taking in return (which I didn’t notice until it was too late,) and that led to resentment and an empty tank.  Starting to work out helped me carve out enough alone time, stress relief and positive feedback to start having something to give others in the form of encouragement, positivity, and presence. Once I decided to train for a marathon, I got pretty selfish with my time.  Time to eat, time to run, time to recover, time to whiiiiiiiiine, time to rally, time to talk it out, time for training with a partner, time for education, injury prevention… For me, a huge part of training was accepting the support of others and allowing them to share their expertise, their experiences, and their food (what, it’s true – I now eat like a T-Rex.)

As I’m getting closer to M-day, more of my running is independent and I have time to reflect on how I feel about the past few months of “me.”  What I realized is that the past few months have enabled me to become the kind of person who can give back more than I could before. And THAT is just one of the truly amazing things about becoming healthier and taking on any kind of physical challenge, whether it’s a strength-training routine, running, biking, yoga…the time you devote to bettering yourself does JUST that.

In my mind, we focus on ourselves so we can be the best version of ourselves and that translates into sharing that version with others, which I hope means that we pass it on.  We’re selfish to become selfless.

So for two more weeks, it is all-about-Bree-time, but don’t think I’m not aware that it’s high time to start returning the favor.

Tara: In my opinion, part of your being selfless Bree is the positive impact and influence you’ve had on those around you. Look at your family. You and mom gettig up to spin three times a week. Your brother hitting the gym getting fit right before our eyes. Dad being even more prone to go to the gym and use his membership. CJ spending time where you spend YOUR time (at the gym, in class, on the pavement,…). Friends that are far: starting to exercise, deciding to run a 5k, attempting to and finishing an obstacle run, the list goes on and on.

In becoming selfish you have redefined who Bree is and what she’s all about. You hold yourself to a new, higher standard and therefore bring those around you up! That in itself is selfless.

Turns out, you’re an amazing person… with or without the marathon. Gosh darn it, people want to be around you. They want to be like you! The fact that you’re taking the challenge of the marathon head on, looking it right in the eye without backing down sets a precedent for you and those who love you.

Can you feel us standing behind you? Thank you for showing us what hard work can do. We will always be here. Your selfishness is appreciated.

Come M-day: it’s all about the Bree.

Love you girl.   

Bree: Aww, shucks, T.  I love you, girl!  You’re an awesome motivator. (Have we already talked about the need for a support system in fitness?  We have?  Well, I’m saying it again - get out there and get yourself some amazing people.)

(Source: shaygoes2work, via yeplosingsixty)

Love it!
(Sorry, Tara, I can’t help it…)

Love it!

(Sorry, Tara, I can’t help it…)

(Source: muffintop-less, via pinkiipromise)

Really? No,not really.

You are awesome.  You are smart and wonderful and insightful and dynamic. Maybe.   Or maybe you’re nice to people you know, but rude to people who are different from you; maybe you excel at yoga, but struggle with running; maybe you’re brilliant with computers, but deathly afraid of speaking to people. Maybe, you’re just lazy as a three-toed sloth.  Maybe your sense of humor is consistently inappropriate. What?  You thought you were perfect?

From an early age, most of us are bombarded with positive feedback.  Good job, you rolled over. Good job, you smiled.  Good job, you pooped. You spoke, you tied your shoes, you ate solid food and only half of it dribbled out of your mouth onto your shirt. You are the smartest, cutest, most amazing baby – the rest of your peers won’t be pooping for years yet…wait, that doesn’t sound right.  Positive feedback is awesome and it can go a long way in helping people (and dogs) of any age understand what behavior is expected of them; however, we also learn as children that lying is BAD, so why do we lie to each other and to ourselves?  I’m not advocating Yale grads walk around degrading themselves or Olympic athletes be moan how pathetic their skills are – I’m suggesting that we use a little common sense and honesty in giving feedback, because guess what?  It works! 

I see people on tumblr and at the gym all of the time who either don’t give themselves enough credit for their efforts or give themselves ALL THE CREDIT for little effort.  This is how people develop disorders, complexes and empty social circles. If you can’t be honest with yourself or your friends about their eating habits, training plan or personality – be quiet.  True assessments of skill, habit and results allow for growth. 

Example: A friend of mine is too hard on herself in the gym – regularly.  This is not likely to change.  As her friend, I can feed her perfectionism or I can offer my honest assessment.  My view is NOT going to change her, but it might provide some balance or insight.

Similarly, a few weeks ago, Tara reminded me that I am too easy on myself when it comes to running.  I find running difficult so I often give myself credit just for lacing up my shoes.  That’s fine, unless I actually want to meet my goal of running a marathon. Her honest feedback reminded me that I had a decision to make: keep slacking or pick it up.   And I have to make that decision every time I run and sometimes during the run.

Too many people have a distorted view of who and how they need to be. I may see that you look healthy and fit while you think you need to lose 25 lbs – where you will find that 25 lbs to lose is beyond me, but your view of your body and mine are very different. You may think you’re hilarious, but I find you offensive.  If I continue to laugh at your incredibly insensitive racist jokes, you will likely keep making them.  You may keep making them even if I mention how un-funny I find them, but it’s my job to go to bed with someone I respect at night (me) and that means being honest with you.

Wow, what a rant. I think what I’m getting at here is that lying to someone about how great they are is just as bad as downplaying their greatness. You rob them of the opportunity to rise to the occasion; and if you’re lying to yourself – stop it.  Everyone has potential, but not everyone makes the decision and effort to live up to it.

Tara: That is a thought worth thinking Miss Bree.

For those who have tough skin. For those who can take it. For those who can put their ego, pride, and self-importance aside to hear some constructive criticism and LISTEN. 

It’s not easy telling someone the honest-to-God truth but it IS the most beneficial. If someone were telling me how awesome and hot and amazing I was I would want their comments to be genuine. To be real. 

On that note, ladies… when you ask your best guy friend, boyfriend, fiance, husband if you look alright in a tiny little black dress that DOESN’T look good (and you already know it… because, come on, you know when you look damn good and when you… well… just don’t) - don’t get pissed when they’re honest! No matter what you look like anyone can dress well and look nice. If you have to squeeze into something, for example, do you really need to ask someone else if it “looks alright?” Don’t you already know the answer to that question? 

Just wear the appropriate size: for you. And if you don’t like what that is… then work hard to put yourself in a different size. But don’t make someone else tell you straight up that you look like a beached whale in a spandex suit. That’s just rude. For everyone.

Positive comments are THE BEST and all comments need to be made with tact, care, and consideration. To help. Not hinder. They need to come from the right place and need to be recieved the right way.

So put a smile on your face. Keep yourself on track before anyone else needs to and just be you!

Bree: SO often in life, we set up those closest to us for failure by asking them to choose between being honest and being kind. It’s not fair to them and it doesn’t speak well of us.

And hey, do you think this watch makes my wrist look fat?

I need to do what I say.

Tara: I think I’m brilliant most days of the week. So why don’t I follow through with all of the random crap I spew out of my mouth like my thoughts and ideas are the greatest thing since sticky notes?

I came up with the URL for this blog… and you know what it is? Choose better and change. Choose better and change!

So, maybe while I’m up on my high horse of wisdom and knowledge and exercise genius… I take some ACTION STEPS towards actually doing something.

The good ol’ practice what you preach.

Um, duh.

Follow through Tara Jean. Is it really that hard?

Bree: Tara Jean, there are a multitude of reasons you (and others, myself included) may not being following through on all or your stellar ideas:

1- Organization: We all know that preparing mutritious meals ahead of time and planning our workouts increases the likelihood that we will stick with it, but often one week of organization ends and the next week hits us like a ton of bricks. Possible solution: long-term planning, like 6 weeks of workouts, then rotate for a new challenge.  Organized shopping to optimize effectiveness - we don’t need to cook every meal individually when we CAN share meals, we just haven’t organized ourselves.

2- Motivation- Tonight I am motivated to hit Tabata class and spend some time with my friends, McKinzie, Shiraz and Jersey Shore (don’t judge), but tomorrow I may not feel like working out at all.  You, Miss T, are one of the most motivated people I know, so use it.

3- Time management- The star of the show.  There are 24 hours in every day, no more, no less. Last time I checked, you ear-marked 9-10 of those for work and work-related activities, 8ish for sleep (less for you, more for me) and don’t forget about friends, family, the man,  community involvement, second jobs, hobbies, errands, etc.  The point is: if you (or me, or anyone for that matter) want to make anything a regular part of your day, the time has to come from somewhere and it can’t come from tomorrow. Before I ever worked out, my days were packed; I didn’t think I had a spare 30 minutes to carve out for fitness and look at where we spend our time now…hello road, gym, class…

4-Attitude - This, chica, is a huge problem for so many people.  You are a gigantic perfectionist, over-acheiver, Type A gal, and you are an amazing friend for it…but you need to devote your over-acheiving efforts to balance.  Don’t be so hard on yourself. Choose better and change!

On a final note, I do understand the line between being too hard on yourself and making excuses for yourself - I’m just suggesting you not teeter on either side of the fence. You can do all the amazing things in your mind AND you can do it without being your own worst critic.

Get at it!

Bree: It’s amazing how easy it is to judge others’ decisions and processes. I’m not opposed to all judgment because I think it helps guide our decisions; however, when it comes to health and wellness, we are a judgy bunch – a supportive, but judgy bunch (and yes, I know “judgy” isn’t a word). 

When you get right down to it, as long as your methods are safe, get at it. Do whatever you need to do to be healthy and happy. So…

  • If you want to take monthly “before/after” shots of you in your superhero skivvies and a pair of heels, and post them online for motivation, post away.
  • If you’d rather purchase a series of workout dvds that you can do in the privacy of your own home, P90X and Insanity it up.
  • If you’d rather head to the gym to do cardio so you can creepily check out the eye candy that “happens” to workout at the same time as you, go for it.
  • If you’ve decided to go vegan/gluten-free/paleo, solid. 
  • You want to cover yourself in coconut oil and stare longingly at yourself (I mean, your form) while you lift…why not – you look good.
  • Blogging every workout/meal/weigh-in…alrighty then.

The point is that not everyone has to travel the same path to healthy living, but we’ve all got a similar goal, so why not support those goals?  And on occasion, why not venture down someone else’s path just to see…if you don’t love it, no biggie.  I love my Zumba girls just as much as my intense Crossfit friends and everyone in between – do what works for you.  As long as your methods aren’t dangerous, I’m in your corner and I hope you’re in mine.

Tara: I’m in yours!

And I was thinking, let’s try all of the methods above just for shits and gigs. Maybe the cocunut oil one more than once… yeah? :)

Bree: yeah…yeah…you’re kidding me!

" People often say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing - that’s why we recommend it daily. "  - Zig Ziglar
Bree: In exactly one month, I’m headed to Phoenix for my first marathon, The Lost Dutchman!

" People often say motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing - that’s why we recommend it daily. "  - Zig Ziglar

Bree: In exactly one month, I’m headed to Phoenix for my first marathon, The Lost Dutchman!

(Source: mysuckcess, via xxilovetorunxx-deactivated20130)

Tonight!

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