Friday, June 28, 2013

Bikini Series Entry 2012

Some of you are wondering, "Do I have to have a video?" NO!!!! I wrote my entry last year. I won last year solely on my encouragement for others and for being so positive. Motivate yourself by motivating least, that's how I do it. You never know who you're inspiring. 
It's not to late to enter your story. Yes, I changed more this year physically, versus last year where I gained so much more mentally and emotionally. I did not enter in the bikini series this time around, however, I did partner up with Samantha and teamed up with Georgie and Elle. I consider this whole team as my partner. Just wanted to give my support to all you ladies. So many inspiring women!

It's so crazy to read it a year later after all I have gone through since. Here is my entry from the bikini series 2012 that I was so lucky to have won! 

There is no worse feeling then not wanting to get out of bed in the morning. I was tired of waking up everyday, crying about my image, looking in the mirror and criticizing every little thing about my body. I never had anything positive to say about myself. I was eating everything, being lazy and saying, "I'll start's a new day." Then it was, HELLO BIKINI CHALLENGE 
I made sure that everyone around me knew I was making a lifestyle change. I wanted as much support as I could get. It's been a bumpy road mentally. Without you wonderful coaches and this amazing team, I don't think I would've been able to get where I am right now. I have unfortunately, lost contact with some 'friends' who were not being so positive or supportive of my goals. It was tough, but I want to be happy, and that means having only "happy peppy people" (I Love Lucy) around me and in my life. 
Being "skinny" is no longer the ideal for me. I am currently down 19 lbs (April 1st I was still at 172lbs). I have set a goal weight for myself of 135 lbs and have along the way made smaller goals to work towards. By starting with 5 lbs, then 10 lbs, and so on, then rewarding myself for meeting those, has helped me get closer to my overall goal everyday. However, if I am toned and fit before I get to that, then I feel I have accomplished my real overall goal. I have become addicted to preparing for my week to eat lean, clean and green; completing BC's; checking in on Facebook, Twitter and I'm about to move and be a part of a Denver TIU group. I love being supportive of my other TIU sisters. It's about being a fit, healthy, happy and strong woman. You ladies have helped me see what is most important when it comes to my ideal body image. 
The most rewarding is coming home to an inbox full of messages from people thanking me for being such an inspiration. They love how I share your workouts and I update my statuses about what I'm eating, and I cannot believe all of the compliments I've gotten on my recent pictures I've shared. I have cried at every single one of my emails. Many have asked what I have been doing and how they can be a part of it. I have recently started getting a few updated emails from friends on how they have already began a journey with Tone It Up. A few contact me regularly now for some motivation, or just to simply tell me about how their day went or about the pounds or inches they have lost. It feels wonderful. 

I love sharing with everyone about the Tone It Up team. Thank you, Karena and Katrina. I love being a part of this family and will continue to be. I absolutely wouldn't change a thing because my life is only getting better. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Berry Beautiful Bowles

My sister is now married!!!! Wow! She was a perfect, beautiful bride! I couldn't even explain all the feelings during this moment. It was like she was a little girl again, and we were playing dress up in Mommy's nightgowns. 

So much was happening. Holli running up the stairs, down the stairs, up the stairs. Grab this, go get so and so, don't touch my hair. I need the mother, I need the bride. Yes, I was the Maid of Honor and so proud to be, but I NEEDED WINE! Through all the chaos and falling behind, my sister said, "Holli, it's 4:30, I have to get dressed. Please, help me put on my dress." Didn't even phase me that it was just my baby sis and I in the room together. I didn't have time to think. I held out her dress as she stepped in, zipped her up and fixed the bottom. As she turned around, I can't even describe the rush that came over me. Immediately, I froze and took in the moment as my little sister stared at me with the biggest smile, so happy and beyond beautiful. Of course, I'm crying as I'm writing this....I cry every time I think about it and I know that as you're reading this right now, Ashley, you're crying again too. Well, right away, Ashley scrunched up her nose and I had to get moving again or we'd be putting our waterproof mascara to the test.
The wedding was perfect, reception was fantastic. My speech couldn't have been any better, especially seeing that Ashley was tearing up from the minute I said my first word. There were many moments of smiles and tears and I loved being able to share every one with my baby sis and my new bro-in-law. It was the best time with family and friends and I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. Especially, my LB!


Three months??

First post in three! So much has happened. Last, I spoke of doing the paleo diet. It really helped me to get away from processed foods and really get me to pay more attention to labels. I was able to cut bread out of my diet, which was the toughest, but when my mind is set, it gets done. However, the other issue I was having and was getting sick from, was salt. I realized I needed to get rid of that, but was unable to do so when eating meat all of the time. 

When March came, I went back to the TIU Nutrition Plan, keeping all breads, pastas and salt out. I began adding more vegetables into my diet and no carbohydrates after 3pm. The changes were immediate. I was able to sleep at night without any stomach pains and it was easier for me to get up at 5am for my workouts. This is no longer a "diet", it's my lifestyle. I don't even have to think about my meals anymore or have a tough time shopping at the grocery store. It isn't even an issue when I go out to restaurants.

On top of my eating habits, I began changing up my workouts. More cardio, especially, running. Abs every day along with my daily routines. Each day is something different. Arms, back, legs, etc. I find the change keeps me entertained and more motivated. It also gives my muscles a time to rest, seeing how I am hitting the gym six days a week. Here and there, I may pull a twoaday. Hey, when you're ready to go, you're ready to go! 

TIU's Perfect Fit App is amazing! If you don't have it on your phone, I highly recommend it. You would've believe the changes you can see in pictures. Always be happy with how far you've come, not upset with how far you have to go. When you follow your progress, it'll push you even more! After taking a look back at my "progress" pictures, I got embarrassed thinking, I should be further along than I have been. After going to California last year, you'd think I'd be in top notch shape by now. But, everyone's body is different. We all hit those bumps in the road and sometimes it takes a little extra push from others or even from yourself to motivate you to keep going and to push harder.

March was when I began keeping up with pictures through my journey. I started picking areas I'd want to focus and work on. First was my stomach. I have had this pooch for so long now and have always been so self-conscious about that area. 

My sisters wedding was coming up in May and I refused to be the "fat girl" in the wedding. I was a TIU bridesmaid. I knew it would be the time to see all of my family after so long and to motivate me even more, I purchased my dress a size smaller. A size 4. 

Did I fit in it? YES! I am starting to see abs and my pooch is about gone.

My sister even changed my nickname from BB (Big Booty) to MB (Medium Booty). She saw me while I was changing and said it's withering away. Haha! I don't know about all that, but I'd say, it's a tad bit smaller.

Don't be afraid of change! Take those pictures. You'll be glad you did! When you think you haven't gotten far or haven't made the changes you've wanted to, look back. Try on something you haven't tried on in so long. Find a friend, a family member, a motivator, a sister in the community. We are so hard on ourselves sometimes and it's nice to have that support from others to get us to smile.

Monday, February 4, 2013

And I'm off!

Currently on DAY4 of the paleo challenge I'm doing for the month of February. I don't want to say I'm doing it for just 30 days...which I'm not because there are only 28 days this month. However, I would like to take some newly learned habits from the challenge and continue to use those in my everyday lifestyle. So far, so good. Eating wise, I feel so much better already. I haven't been hungry. The toughest part of this challenge was the grocery shopping. Really taking notice of each and every ingredient of everything I was buying was extremely difficult, especially when you don't know what some of the ingredients even are. Instead, I stuck to everything fresh and raw. It's safer that way.

Meats, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds. Yup, that's pretty much the sum of it. Of course, I'm starting to find more recipes and more ways to make meals to keep it interesting so I don't lose track and want to quit. It is nice knowing that I can still use a lot of my Tone It Up Nutrition Plan and Pinterest of course is addicting, as we all know. 

It's nice having friends around me that are doing paleo or even some kind of clean eating challenge with me. A few that I work with decided to jump on it with me, as well as some of my amazing TIU sisters. Caileigh and Jules are doing a clean eating month as well, so that is nice having them nearby to keep me determined! 

Still trying to figure out portion sizes. As of now, I'm still sticking to the TIU way of sizing, but adding more vegetables into my meal. Hey, unlimited, right? I guess I'm combining my Tone It Up knowledge with something new, cause once committed, always committed!

Haven't gotten into the swing of Instagram again, but once I do, I'll try to post every meal. If you don't follow me already, I'm @holligrams :)

Happy Monday!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On A New Mission

After my workout Sunday night, I realized that when it comes to pull ups, I am extremely weak. The only reason I knew was because I thought, well let me just try one. Pretty much, I was just hanging there, couldn't even figure out how to get up. So what did I decide to do? MAKE IT A GOAL! I don't know if giving myself a month is a lot of time or to little, but by the end of February, my goal is to do at least one pull up. I was given a strategy by a friend on how to work my back muscles and be able to get those pull ups on a roll.

Definitely took me a few tries to get it right. I had to adjust my feet, back, posture and my weight a few times. I knew I wasn't doing it right when I felt a little pain in my lower back. 

So, now that I'm a "pro" at bent over barbell rows, I am sure that within time, I will be a pro at pull ups. Don't be afraid to try new things. It's what keeps you strong and makes life entertaining. I can't strive enough about setting new goals. Don't let life get ahead of you! Keep at it! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Love Your Body

The day everyone has been waiting for has arrived. Not just a new year, but the Tone It Up Love Your Body Challenge. Today is a planning kind of day. Goals whether their short term or long term, naming things you love about your body. What do you want to change? How do you plan to do it? 
Planning equals success! I have printed out the blog with all the details of this challenge, gone through and highlighted. I have a new chart for my measurements that I take every Monday. I have my workouts printed and ready to add to my TIU workout binder. I have my mini notebook for daily workouts, moods, quotes, foods, etc. 

List of goals are complete! I have some that I always want to work on. Some that I don't spend enough time doing. One that I am always trying to better is, me being happy for me! I focus so much on others and their happiness that sometimes I forget about myself. Others being happy makes me happy? That shouldn't be right. I deserve it just as much. This means more "me" time. A little less on the computer or my phone. I may just start leaving my phone at home when I'm out with Chris. I am always pushing him aside, getting on here and talking to everyone else. I think we all deserve a little "me" time. Thirty minutes before bed for reading or  writing and a little tea time. Perfect way to relax and end the night. I think I only get this here and there. More so because I'm spending it online. Others, obviously I have stated before. I know everyone is writing up their list right now!
And of course, you have to love yourself. We deserve compliments daily! To many times, we're looking at the negative things in our lives. So, what do you love about your body?
I love my eyes, smile, long legs, skin tone and booty. I found this hard because I don't want to sound coincided, but that's not what it's about. Love yourself and compliment yourself as much as you would others. You deserve it! 

So, who is ready? Love new challenges, because it just means new people. I have a few I am working with to hold accountability. Love how my phone is blowing up with TIU girls numbers. Thank you K&K for yet another way for us to all come together, motivate and inspire!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Good Bye 2012

Another year has come to an end. Finally, I can say that I have accomplished something or completed my "resolutions". Let's start with my blog. I began this fresh in 2012, to get a jump start to my journey. "And Then I Woke Up." Well, now I am wide awake and ready to take on another year. Resolution #1 complete! Can 2013 possibly top 2012?
2012 changed my life. Mentally, physically. I have learned what is important, and number one is my health. Thanks to Tone It Up and the amazing sisterhood that has been created, it was much easier for me to reach my goals. I don't know where I would be with out this team...well, probably still sitting around, waiting for things to change on their own. I was looking through old pictures today from the past five years. My weight was not consistent. 
This one caught my eye. Not my good days.
I can't believe I was at my highest weight of 172 lbs the beginning of this year. For an obsessive picture taker, I didn't take a single photo of me for the first three months of the year. I will never get back to that again. So glad I've come this far. I am so thankful for all the support I have received and the friends I have made through the journey. This next year is only going to bring bigger and better things. Time to buckle down a little harder and get exactly where I want to be.

Still to this day, I have no idea how I got so lucky to have met Karena and Katrina. They are constantly doing so much for us and are such amazing trainers and friends. California was the best time of my life. I have gone on many times about it, mostly because I get so excited and start rambling, but I'll spare you....this time. I met my trainers! I experienced this trip with three beautiful girls that are now my best friends! I met so many gorgeous SoCal girls! One experience I will never forget. A time that pushed me over the edge to make me even stronger and more confident.

Hello Colorado! Still can't believe I moved across country? Well, I did and I love it! There is so much to do and I cannot wait to do it all. Hiking will have to wait til more around the spring, when the ground isn't so mushy. Looking forward to snowboarding or skiing here soon. I'm ready to not roll down the hill. Time to conquer the slopes. Had a few meetups so far with fellow TIU sisters. Can you believe how many girls are located here? There are currently 105 members in the Colorado group in the community. So far, I have had the privilege to meet 12 of those ladies. I know a weekend of fun is in store here soon. Ready to plan! 

My baby sister got engaged! She has one lucky guy, that's for sure. I cannot wait til May when I get to stand by her side. On top of that, not to long after, my best friend got engaged as well. Come September, not only will I be her Maid of Honor as well, but we'll get to celebrate 19 years of friendship. I am so overwhelmed with excitement...and lots of planning, but mostly excitement. This is going to be one year full of love!

So what's next for 2013? Well, speaking of engagements. Haha, no, I'm not engaged...yet. But, Chris and I will be celebrating seven years together in April. We're training for a half marathon sometime in the spring. I am planning to do the Rock n Roll half marathon in October. I'll be starting the year with a new job. This year is my ten year high school reunion. Am I going? Yeah, I am not sure about that yet. I will break my plateau I am stuck on and reach my ultimate goal. Time to push a little harder. I will get my boyfriend to stop chewing with his mouth open as he is currently chomping in the other room. It's distracting my thinking. I will be journaling my daily moods, feelings, quotes, workouts, meals in nothing but an old school notebook. Sometimes the old fashioned ways are the best, but I'll use my blog more to share it all. I'll post weekly updates of my measurements to my blog. Yes, my blog, out there for everyone to see. Is this girl serious?! 

So, to sum up and ask again, can 2013 possibly top 2012? I'd say, it's what you make of it. If I think it will be better, then by golly, Holli, it will be. 

Just a little walk down 2012 memory lane.
New Years 2012

March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
July 2012
August 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
Who else is ready to take on another year! Bring it, 2013!