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Hello!! Here we are, halfway through 2019! Can you believe it? I started off 2019 with 6 overarching goals.

1. Focusing on my family
2. Prioritizing my health and wellness
3. Losing weight and building muscle
4. Defining my professional path and purpose
5. Letting Go
6. Traveling (near and far)

Looking back over the past 6 months, I’m really happy with all I’ve done to work towards my goals for this year. I’ve focused most of my time away from work on my husband and kids, have remained invested in my health and wellness, and have traveled a bunch with my family.


One of my most needed, but unexpected actions I took, was stepping away from some of the things on my plate. Things beyond my wellness, family, and career in higher education. I realized I needed some time to really process what I had been investing in and how I was spending my days and minutes.  I didn’t know it when 2019 started, but my goal of “letting go” was a lot bigger than I had originally planned.

In early May I injured my back during a workout and unexpectedly had to take almost 2 months off from ALL workouts. I hated so much about being injured, but I needed that break more than I realized, mentally and physically. Thankfully my back is good, though I have to be careful as I ease back into workout over the next few weeks. The time away from working out not only gave me some much needed rest, but it helped me to reexamine my workouts and what I want to be doing as I move into the second half of 2019.


What I realized during the break is that I miss weight lifting. I miss being in a gym and doing what I do best, lifting. I am still going to workout at OrangeTheory twice a week, but am going to leave those workouts for weekends most weeks. My plan is then to lift at the gym Monday, Wednesday, Friday before work. I’m still doing Peloton and Yoga sprinkled in, but I am going to focus on weight lifting over the next few months.

The time away also gave me more time to focus on my husband and kids. I traveled to San Antonio with my daughter, went on a few girls trips with my sister, and went to the beach with my whole family, which were all amazing trips. I’ve also spent more time focusing on the little things with my kids.


As I think about the next 6 months my heart leaps! I love the second half of the year, so much, and it’s exciting to think of all that’s to come!

-Neal and I celebrate our 7th anniversary (10 years together)
-My son turns 2, my daughter turns 5, I turn 35 (EEK!), and Neal turns 40 (EEEEK!)
-Lots of concerts
-Football season! (HELLO FALL!)
-4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the holiday season, and Christmas

I can’t wait! I’m also looking forward to writing more. I’ve missed writing. It’s an outlet for me, one I’ve really enjoyed over the past NINE years (can you believe it!?!). The time away was good, and needed, but I’m looking forward to blogging again.

Later this week I’ll share more of my goals for the month ahead. Happy July 1!

The post Halfway Through 2019 appeared first on Balancing Today.

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This month James Avery is running the most amazing special! It’s perfect for graduations, Mother’s Day, end of school year gifts, and for the start of summer! For a limited time, if you buy two charms you get a necklace or bracelet for FREE (up to a $72 value)!!


I love the changeable James Avery necklaces and bracelets! They have become a jewelry staple for me as I can change out which charms I wear each season.


I absolutely love wearing my James Avery boy and girl silhouette charms, which I had engraved with my kids’ names and birthdays. Whether I wear them on a changeable necklace or on this Oval Charm Twist Bracelet. They are a perfect Mother’s Day or postpartum gift!


Don’t miss this amazing deal! Whether buying a gift for someone else or for yourself, James Avery charms and a necklace or bracelet make an amazing memory even more special!

The post James Avery Mother’s Day Ideas appeared first on Balancing Today.

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21 days ago I made the decision to follow the 21 Day Meal Plan. I am SO proud of my 21 Day Meal Plan Results and couldn’t wait to share them with y’all. Let me first back up and tell y’all what this plan is all about and why I’m doing it.


In 2006 I lost 50 pounds following the Weight Watchers CORE plan. The plan had to focus on a list of whole foods, but you could eat as much as your body needed from the list. It worked so well for me and I loved the community I had through that season of weight loss thanks to Weight Watchers.

Since 2006 I’ve gained weight (and lost some). I went through an extremely traumatic event and then years later, after marrying my amazing husband, had 2 beautiful kids.  I’ve found some weight loss success over the years, but realized last year that I had to first face my issues with overeating and emotional eating.  Since then, I was ready to focus on weight loss and knew I wanted to find a plan similar to CORE.  I purchased the 21 Day Meal Plan and started my first round of the Plan on March 11.


I love so much about the plan. First, I am not hungry!! My first week was really good and I loved all the meals I could make, focusing on the whole foods listed in the Plan.  The list of foods, which is in the Meal Plan, focuses on vegetables, fruits, limited dairy, lean meats, and some whole grains and nuts.


Week 2 of the plan was definitely hardest for me as the detox from sugar and processed foods was in FULL SWING! I wasn’t hungry, but man did I miss sugar. Once I was past those days, I felt amazing! I am less bloated, am losing weight, and have little to no cravings.


Much like WW CORE, I have had to be creative and to spend more time in the kitchen. It’s one of the things I love about eating whole foods, but I’ve also had to make time to cook.  My FAVORITE meals so far include the Almond Flour Chicken Tenders from the 21 Day Meal Plan Cookbook and anything with the 90 Second Bread (Oh, and this red pepper sauce in the cookbook).


In my first round of the 21 Day Meal Plan I lost 6.8 pounds!  I am SO proud of myself, yes for the weight loss and inches lost, but mostly for detoxing from all the sugar and processed foods I was eating!


I am starting round 2 today, but will end the round short as I’ll be traveling to Texas before the 21 days is over. Although my goal is to eat on plan while I’m in Texas, I definitely plan on enjoying my vacation and time away from DC, food included!


If you have questions about the plan, send them my way! You can always send me a message through the Balancing Today Instagram!

The post 21 Day Meal Plan Results appeared first on Balancing Today.

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I started 2019 with the huge goal of losing weight. Last summer, at 1 year postpartum after my second pregnancy, I was focused on facing the emotions and choices I made each day that lead to over eating and emotional eating. I was losing weight slowly, but weight loss was not my focus at the time.

Over the holidays, I gained some weight. Not a lot, but enough that I started the new year feeling pretty blah in the body weight category. Knowing I was almost 2 years from my second child’s birth, I started the year determined to lose all of the weight I had gained during that pregnancy (53 pounds).

On January 21, 2019 I started weight loss challenge through OrangeTheory and lost 8.5 pounds in 8 weeks. I was so proud of all that I achieved during those 8 weeks, especially as I was traveling for work quite a big. I worked out at OrangeTheory 3 times a week 7/8 weeks and focused on eating similarly to the WW CORE program (although I am not a WW member anymore).


As the OrangeTheory Challenge came to a close, I thought a lot about what had made my weight loss a success and in what areas I wanted to improve. I felt really good about my workouts, but I wasn’t sleeping great during the work week. I also felt pretty good about my diet, but I was missing a community. I was super impressed with my results and knew I needed to stay focused on the little changes. I took some time to really think about losing weight for summer and made some decisions on my keys to success.

Working Out
1. After ending the OrangeTheory Challenge, which required 3 workouts a week, I returned to working out twice a week a OrangeTheory. The biggest change I made was deciding to test out only working out at OrangeTheory on weekends. I’m proud of myself for getting up by 4AM during the work week these past 2.5 years, but wanted to test out only working out at OrangeTheory on Saturday and Sunday at 7AM.
2. During the work week, my plan was to workout on my Peloton Bike. Whether early in the morning, after work, or before bed, I wanted to get more rides in during the week.

Diet
1. One thing I learned quickly this year was that I feel best on a weight loss plan/diet that DOES NOT REQUIRE TRACKING! I need to be able to listen to my body, trust what I’ve learned about myself and overeating, and not be consumed with food.
2. I also realize that I need a community. Since WW CORE isn’t a thing anymore, I hated not having a group of women to talk to about weight loss and diet. Sure, I could do it on my own, but when you’re making a lot of sacrifices, its a lot easier when you have friends to talk to.
3. I made the decision to follow the 21 Day Meal Plan for 21 days. I just ended my first round of the diet today and holy crap, I CAN NOT WAIT TO SHOW Y’ALL MY RESULTS TOMORROW!!!
4. I feel really good, and proud, of the sacrifices I’m making to lose the excess weight I’ve carried the past few years. Weight loss is happening slow and steady, but I am not starving myself, I am not binging, and I am not looking for a quick fix. It’s the first time in years I’m seeing real results, results I’m really proud of!

Self Care
1. The first two months of the year revealed that I’m not getting enough sleep. A few weeks ago I decided to get to bed earlier and to stop getting up so early to work out. Let me tell y’all, I feel SO much better.
2. Drink. More. Water…. I love water, but I realized through the OrangeTheory Challenge that I just wasn’t drinking enough. It’s toughest for me during the work day when I’m in back to back meetings.
3. I also realized that I watch too much TV. Sure, I love watching March Madness and Survivor, but making my evenings all about TV left me with little to no time to decompress without technology. I have decided to really reduce how much TV I’m watching.


While it’s ambitious, my goal is to reach not only my pre-pregnancy weight from before I had my son (252), but also my pre-pregnancy weight form before I had my daughter (234). I’m chipping away, but I have a lot to lose over the next 3 months. The adjustments I’ve made post OrangeTheory Challenge are going really, really well! I’m excited for what the next few months will hold!

The post Losing Weight For Summer appeared first on Balancing Today.

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8 Weeks!  8 weeks of workouts, 8 weeks of challenges, 8 weeks of weight loss.  What I’m most proud of these past 8 weeks is that I was consistent.  I stayed focused on my workouts and on my goal to lose weight.  My greatest challenge these past few weeks has been remaining consistent while traveling for work, but still, I’m proud of what I achieved these past 2 months.

Week 8 was a really good week!  It was spring break at work, so I had a bit of a breather while moving offices and preparing for the second half of the semester.  I was most proud of not turning to food earlier in the week as a result of stress.  It was super tempting to go out for drinks and food, but I went home and stuck to my plan instead.


The absolute highlight of this week were the spring tempetures and the return of our nightly family walks. I felt like a new person and I loved being able to decompress at the end of the day with my family. It was bliss!


My meals this week were also great! I stuck to my plan, eating breakfasts at home and packed lunches at work.  Dinners were balanced and super easy to make, which was a win, win!


Alight! Now the good stuff… So how did I do? Well, my body changed a lot! All in all, based on my home scale, I lost 8.5 pounds in 8 weeks.


I’m REALLY proud of my success over these 8 weeks and how these changes are reflected in my body. Exterior aside, internally I feel healthier, more energized (work aside), and motivated to keep this train going down the tracks.


Tomorrow I’ll share my plan for my Countdown to Summer Challenge, but I’m really proud of this start to 2019! It feels good to be changing and losing the weight from my last pregnancy.

The post OrangeTheory Transformation Challenge Final Results appeared first on Balancing Today.

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I absolutely love 90 second bread! It’s amazing with a hamburger patty or for a tuna melt. This week I had quite the sweet tooth, so I decided to make a “sweet” version of my 90 second bread. This 90 second low carb blueberry cake is absolutely delicious and is perfect for breakfast, as a snack, or as an after dinner dessert. It’s delicious! I hope you’ll enjoy!


In a small microwave safe bowl mix together the following ingredients, except the blueberries.

-1/2 cup almond flour
-1 egg
-2 TBSP Greek Yogurt
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
-splash of vanilla extract
-handful of blueberries

After mixing together, gently stir in a handful of blueberries and microwave the mixture for 90 seconds. I personally like to microwave for 2 minute. The bread will rise, so don’t let that worry you! Next, take the bowl out of the microwave and remove the bread from the bowl. I like to top my cake with a little almond butter. It’s delicious!

The post 90 Second Low Carb Blueberry Cake appeared first on Balancing Today.

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What a week!  I was in DC all week, which was awesome, but boy was I busy!!  I learned 3 things this week.

  1. When I’m busy, I do not drink enough water.  Hardly any while at work to be honest.
  2. When I’m busy and don’t take the time to plan out my meals, I eat more carbs than I’d like.  Hey, you can put anything in a tortilla!
  3. Not sleeping enough plus working out is rough, but it does bring you more energy!  I was proud of getting my workouts in, but I really need to go to bed earlier!


Overall, my meals were pretty good this week. I ate breakfasts at home and packed my lunches for work. I did go out for drinks and pizza with co-workers one day, but otherwise I was on track.



It’s been a really busy 4 weeks at work, but I’m proud of my workouts and how I’ve eaten during a busy time. There’s things I can improve upon, but I’m learning!

The post OrangeTheory Transformation Challenge Week 7 Results appeared first on Balancing Today.

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This week started off with 4 days in DC and ended with a weekend trip to Worcester, MA for work. I was thankful for the few days at home before traveling, which gave me time to spend with my family and a bit of routine.


Although my routine and schedule are a little out of wack, I felt really good this week!  I worked hard, took good care of myself, and felt good about myself and my body.  After a few tough months, it feels good to feel like myself again, full of confidence and motivation.


My diet was pretty good this week.  I ate out while on the road, but I felt good about my choices.  My workouts were also very good this week.  I wasn’t able to get 3 workouts in at OrangeTheory, but I was able to get on my Peloton, which was great!


Week 6 was busy, but a good week!  Hard to believe I only have 2 weeks left of the Challenge!

The post OrangeTheory Transformation Challenge Week 6 Results appeared first on Balancing Today.

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For whatever reason, I got away from establishing monthly goals over the past year. I don’t know if it’s because 2018 was such a whirlwind at times or that I struggled to focus on a 30(ish) day period, but it was hard for me to plan ahead and stick to my plan.

2019 has had a really great start personally! I am in a season of transition professionally, but I can look back on the past 2 months and see how far we’ve come. There’s exciting things ahead of me professionally, which is thrilling! Personally, I feel much more in control of life, even though we’ve had our hiccups or stressors where and there already this year. I think that’s inevitable, but I don’t feel as defeated as I did in 2018. Win, win!


If you haven’t read my goals for 2019, you’ll want to check them out! I had 6 main goal categories and starting this month I am going to create mini goals within those categories. It’s hard to believe it’s already March, and although I’ve accomplished a lot these past 2 months, I want to make sure I remain focused as I look towards spring and summer!

One of my biggest goals for 2019 is to lose weight!  My biggest goal at this point is to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 234 by the first day of summer (June 21, 2019).  I’ve made some progress, starting the OrangeTheory Transformation Challenge mid January, but I have a lot more work to do!  The challenge ends March 17, so that will be my main focus this month, aside from March Madness at work!!


I’m really excited for the month ahead, finishing the OrangeTheory Challenge, and welcoming Spring!  I get so motivated as the weather turns warmer and I really want to channel that excitement!  There’s a lot of fun around the corner as we move past winter!

March 2019 Goals

Focusing on my family

  • Get back to taking family walks as the weather turns warmer
  • Plan some small activities on weekends
  • Celebrate my dad’s retirement!

Prioritizing my health and wellness

  • Follow-up with my Naturopath doctor
  • Take some time, after basketball season ends, to think through my schedule and routine (at work and at home)
  • Make adjustments to my routine where needed and share here on Balancing Today

Losing weight and building muscle

  • Complete the OrangeTheory Transformation Challenge (March 17)
  • Stick to my diet every day, staying as close to plan as I can while traveling for work
  • Lose 5-10 pounds
  • Create a 100 Days to Summer Plan and share here on Balancing Today

Defining my professional path and purpose

  • Finish listening to The First 90 Days and begin creating my plan
  • Create a “Purpose Plan”, which I’ll share here, as a product of a webinar I participated in in February
  • Continue the NASM Weight Loss Specialist certification
  • Explore the path to becoming an OrangeTheory instructor

Letting Go

  • Clean out my kids clothes and toys
  • Sell items at two Tot Swap sales this month

Traveling (near and far)

  • Plan an overnight getaway with my sister for spring break
  • Begin planning our family beach vacation!!!!!
Monthly Goals 2019 Monthly Goals By Year

2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

The post March 2019 Goals appeared first on Balancing Today.

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This time of year is one of my absolute favorites as we move into March Madness for college basketball, but it’s also my busiest time at work.  These next two weeks I’m traveling quite a bit for work, which is wonderful, but it has my schedule all out of wack. These past few years I personally struggled with maintaining my healthy habits when life is overly busy, my routine is out of wack and/or I’m stressed.  These 3 scenarios tend to happen at the same time, which makes it all worse.


Last week I left DC Tuesday night and returned Thursday at 2AM.  I then left Saturday at 11:30AM and returned to DC Sunday night at 10PM.  Traveling means lots of eating out, time away from my family, a wacky schedule, and a wonky workout routine.


I didn’t do the best job last week, giving into eating the desserts available at most meals while traveling.  We also had pizza twice on the road, so I’m feeling pretty blah in the dieting realm after 4 days away from home.


My days at home were awesome however!  I still got all 3 of my OrangeTheory workouts in last week, going Monday, Friday, and Saturday.  I also did a great job eating breakfasts at home, packing my lunches for work, and eating a healthy dinner after work.


My go to breakfasts this week were plain non fat Greek yogurt, blueberries, and almond butter.



Lunches and dinners at home were a mixture of brown rice, veggies, and either a veggie patty or chicken. Nothing fancy, but these meals are satisfying and kept me full!



I know I struggle when I am underprepared or when meals are provided for me, but I also know I have power in my choice!

The post OrangeTheory Transformation Challenge Week 5 appeared first on Balancing Today.

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