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Just a little over 2 weeks until my first competition! Seems like yesterday that we were saying 17 WEEKS and now it is right on top of me!

Today is starting my second week of the Intermittent Fasting days.  I just wanted to share a little about that.  Before the fasting, I was just at a stand still.  This past week, I lost 3.4 lbs. AND the best part of it all?? My body fat has decreased 2% in 2 weeks!!  That is A LOT in 2 weeks.  I am now 22% body fat and I am hoping to be in the teens for my competition.  That is one of my personal goals for myself when I started this journey to the stage.

I am loving the Intermittent Fasting actually.  It makes me feel leaner than ever and it really isn't THAT big of a task.  And it is only 2 days a week....and I can do anything a couple days a week right?!

In my mind, I am planning out what I want after the competition since we can have anything we want that night and until noon on Sunday.  I get so giddy when I think about "normal" food. haha.  A few of the things I will have FOR SURE is a honeybun, donuts, trail mix (GOSH I crave this sooooooo bad), peanut butter, those cheesecake bites from Sam's club and ice cream. So, as you can see, I LOVE me some junk! haha.  AND after not having it for 5 months, I think it is well deserved! I am sure some of my organic friends (M.C. for one) is shaking her head right about now.

I am so nervous but yet excited.  I guess everyone that does this has the memory of their very first show and we all have to get through it BUT I will be glad when I have this one under my belt.  Please continue to pray for me and my daughter to stay healthy and injury free! Pray for us to be calm and not compare ourselves to others and remember how far we have come after 60 lbs lost.  Sometimes it is so easy to lose site of our journey and what a big deal this really is!

Thanks for following along!!

 
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My obsession!! GUM that tastes exactly like the dessert?! YES! And I recently purchased Root Beer Float, Rainbow Sherbert and Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake and they are delish!

This helps keep me sain and what I have found out is, if I have gum in my mouth I will be less tempted to put things in my mouth that I am not supposed to!

So what is your obession that keep you "normal" and sain?

Well, today is my first day of Intermittent Fasting or IF.  I had my last meal/shake at 8pm last night and I have had nothing else (except water each hour) since then  and it is 11:45am.  I get to eat one of my 2 meals for the day in about 30 minutes!! YAY! I am hungry....If I said I wasn't, I would be lying BUT I made it! My stomach is growling so hard it is kinda uncomfortable BUT I made it!

My diet also changed this week.  We are 24 days out today so the "extras" have to go aways.  What that means is no more eggs, quest bars and grains have been cut back and protein has been added.  Also my water intake has been cut some to get prepared for the end.  I was drinking about 180 oz a day but now 120 oz is all I get and it has to be the same amount each and every hour and the cut off is 7:30pm.  So for example if you get up at 5:30 am, you divide how many hours you have until 7:30 pm into 120 oz and then you drink that amount each hour. That is 15 hours drinking times so you would get 8 oz each hour.  The reasoning behind this is because you body can only process a certain amount each hour and what many of us do is forget to drink and then chug a bottle all at once to "catch up" and this does you no good!

With all of this said, I am headed into the kitchen to EAT!!!!

 
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This is my newest progress pic! I am thrill to announce that I have a new middle number that I have NEVER seen in my adult life! My muscles are growing and showing the definition that I have been hoping to see soon too!

With that said, I am moving into something that I have read about and heard about and I am excited to start next week.  It is called Intermittent Fasting or "The IF Life".  It is VERY interesting!

"IF" is a pattern of eating that alternates between period of fasting (usually meaning cosumption of water and calorie free drinks such as black coffee and sugar free flavored waters) and non-fasting.  Now, these fasting periods are NOT longer than 24 hours and are best when they are around 16-18 hours.  AND the majority of the fasting time is when you are sleeping.  So you pick a day, eat nothing after 8pm until the next day at noon (16 hours) and at noon you can eat 2 meals between noon and 8 pm.  These 2 meals need to be VERY healthy.....like a chicken breast, 1/2 brocolli and an avocado or white fish, quinoa and fresh cucumbers with tomatos.  At 8 pm, you do the same thing and have nothing to eat until noon the next day and then you continue on with your eating plan from there.  Pretty simple huh?!! For example, here is my schedule....I will start at 8pm on Tuesday night.  I will not eat again (but will drink every hour after waking) until noon on Wednesday.  I will have 2 meals between noon and 8pm.  Then I will have nothing until noon Thursday and will resume my normal eating plan. 

The purpose of "IF" is to speed up your metabolism, reduce body fat and encourage fat oxidation.  It will also slow down the aging process and will increase your life span. Who doesn't want that haha!!

I am starting it next week.  I will keep you posted on how it goes and what my numbers are showing.  

Oh.....as of today I am 30 DAYS from stepping on the stage! AND my suit gets here tomorrow! So exciting yet so intimidating!! BUT so empowering! :)

 

 
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Here is the definition......As you notice, faithfulness is also in this definition.

In the last few days, loyalty has really been on my heart.  Not just loyalty in one since but all the way across the board in my life.  Loyalty to family, my friends, my lifestyle, my diet, my supplements, my workouts, my business, my God.... and feel free to put the word "faithfulness" where the word "loyalty" is and read those words again.  What are your loyalities? What are you faithful to?

Loyalty is a HUGE deal to me! I am the kind of person that if I am in, then I am 100% IN....you know, NO grey area.  I will go down fighting for ANY of the loyalities listed above. 

Which brings me to my journey to the stage!  My loyalty lies within myself to make this dream come true!

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I will continue to be loyal to my diet because I see results.  Changes I never thought possible. 

I will step on the stage in SIX weeks.....SIX!!! Oh my-lanta!! That sounds crazy.

Would each of you please put me and my daughter on your prayer list to pray for us to stay focused, healthy and humble.  I want people to see Jesus through me and inspire others to find their loyalties inside of each of them!

 
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!! Well, not really a chicken dinner but a box of our all natural energy supplement is even better than that!!

I have 2 announcements and a 30 day supply of the supplement goes to both winners!
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We had awesome results for the decorated water jug contest and THIS is the winner! Congratulations to Angela Pritchard! Angela, please contact me and give me an address so that I can send you this awesome supplement!

And I hope that you are using your jug and reaping the benefits of staying hydrated! This has helped me in my weight loss and my overall health!

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And the winner of the followers drawing is.......Stacia Butler! Not only is she following along, but she is bringing people along to read about this journey!

Congrats Stacia!! Please let me know an address also to send this to! Now you will get to try it! I know you are excited!

Tomorrow I will have a very interesting topic so tune back in then!!

Sorry for being gone from here this past weekend.....life kinda got in the way and I was enjoying it to the fullest with my awesome family!!  See you tomorrow!!

 
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Fear can be a very controlling force and if we let it, it will  determine our lives. All of us have told ourselves we can't do something that we  were perfectly capable of doing simply because we were afraid. Fear is a  Liar!!

Everyone has their idea of fear. Personally, I am extremely afraid of the dark…well, let me rephrase  that…I am extremely afraid of what is IN the dark.  I am not sure exactly what has caused this fear, but sometimes it  controls me. If I need to roll the garbage can to the street and it is dark….oh I don’t think so! It will just have  to wait until the next pick up! BUT I can stop it from controlling me because of  what someone taught me as a kid.  

You know that feeling when you are outside and need to get something out  of your car? You do fine walking out there but on the way back to the house your steps get faster and faster and faster and by the time you reach for the door,  you almost can’t get the door open fast enough.  Well this very wise person told me this….when you feel that scared, just turn around and you won’t be scared anymore.  Sounds pretty ridiculous I know but you know I tried it and it worked!! Proved to me that facing your
fears head on is a scary thing but it worked!!

 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”

The bible even says that God did not give us a spirit of fear!  You know that fear is mentioned in the bible 310 times? Fear is a real emotion.  As humans, we all have
fear of failure, a fear of rejection, and a fear of change!
 
The fear of failure is a tough one.  Just because things don’t turn out the way you have them planned does not make you a failure.  You are doing everything right to lose weight or get healthy.  But just because no one is taking this journey with you does NOT mean you are failing! Just because the scale isn't moving doesn't mean you are failing either!! You have to get healthy from the inside FIRST!!
 
The fear of rejection is something we all face each day…and some days more than others if you are sharing your success with others.   They are not rejecting YOU…..they are just rejecting the products FOR NOW. Kinda like if you tell someone about a good movie that you want them to see.  If they don’t go and see the movie and reject your idea, you don’t take that personally.   You must remember that everyone is not ready when you share the products with them but always plant the seed. And once again Fear of Rejection is a Liar! 
 
The fear of change…NOOOOOO one likes change! Life is soooo much easier when we wake up and know EXACTLY what the routine is each day! We follow the same routine each morning when we get ready and we follow the same exact steps.  Have you ever noticed when we get distracted and happen to miss a step, it throws us way off? One time while I was cleaning the bathroom, I purposefully put my husbands things in difference places on the counter.  And you must understand that he is a VERY routine person.  After the day started, he told me as he was laughing, that he never put  on his deodorant because of the change of his routine.  Change is hard but if what you are doing right now isn’t working, what do you have to lose?  If you are
struggling and what you are doing right now isn’t working, get with someone that it IS working for them.   Let them share with you some ideas and change some things up. 
Change what you are eating, your exercise, your food ratios.  Welcome change instead of running from it! Once again Fear of Change is a Liar!

Let's face our fears head on and make some changes!!


 
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Change is not always an easy thing but the end result is usually a beautiful thing! 

Each year, the seasons change, a caterpiller changes into a butterfly, change (coins) turn into dollar bills and bad days change into good days.

But sometimes the PROCESS of the change can make us want to retreat back to the bad stuff only because it is familiar and comfortable! Just like this picture, you can choose to get off the exit or you can just keep heading down the same ole road!

This happend to me this morning in fact! Before I started taking these natural supplements, I was one of those that would wake up and before long could go back to sleep and sleep for another few hours and drag myself out of the bed at noonish.  BUT since taking these supplements, I get up at a decent hour and I feel good and ready to start the day.  Today, I woke up at the time that I usually do and was feeling a bit little tired.  I didn't have anything really going on, so I decided that I missed that morning nap I haven't had in about 8 months and wanted that "comfortable" feeling back......you know, that familiar feeling that I missed.  Well, I turned over and dozed back off.

Fast forward to now...I woke up and instantly know why I made those changes in my life.  That once familiar feeling that I THOUGHT was so wonderful don't feel so wonderful now and is NOT how I remember it! haha! I feel more tired, moving in slow motion, and just can't seem to get going.  Did I REALLY feel this way all the time? Did I REALLY think this was awesome? Apparantly I did, but now that I have experienced the change and retreated back to familiar territory, I choose change over this feeling.

I KNOW change is hard! BUT if you change nothing, nothing will change! And we all retreat back during this change sometimes but look at your map and find the next "change" exit and GET OFF THERE!!!

 
Today is the day that judging starts! Each picture has letter A-H in the lower
left hand corner.  Pick which jug you LOVE and choose the letter in the poll
below! Voting will come to an end on Friday, August 30th at midnight CST. The
winner will be announced in the Saturday blog!! Thank you so much for all of you
participating! And I want you to be using these jugs!! Thats what this all
about!

So get your friends and family to vote for your jug
(if you submitted one) and if not, just pick the one that speak to you....and
you hear it say "DRINK ME!!"
Send your friends and family to the following link to vote...
http://www.shapeupwithsandra.com/shapin-up-blog.html
 
The question I get more than anything...."what do you eat?"

So today I will tell you about what I eat!
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Chicken, broccoli and fish are the staple foods! Before long, I will be clucking with gills! I only hope the statement You are what you eat isn't the truth!! haha

So how this works is I eat the same thing for 3 days, something different for 3 days and something else for 1 day.....then I start over again!

The first 3 days look like this....

Meal 1: Whey Isolate protein shake
Meal 2: Whey Isolate protein shake
Meal 3: 6 ounces of albacore tuna with mustard and lime juice
Meal 4: small organic apple
Meal 5: 2.5 ounces chicken with 2 cups broccoli
Meal 6: Whey Isolate protein shake

I eat every couple of hours so I am not hungry at all but sometimes my struggle is that I am not SATISFIED!  You see, these are two totaly different things. There is no way I could be hungry! Nutritionally, I am getting everything my body needs but my mouth and my head aren't my friend some days.  My mouth and my head tell me I am hungry when that is not the case!

I struggle just like you do.  Weight loss and getting healthy is a head game as much as it is anything.  We all have those demons to fight but I just refuse to let those demons control me! I am stronger than my demons and I KNOW that Satan is a LIAR and I am special!

Hang around here and I will fill you in on the next 3 days!!

 
Don't you just love all the new terms that have surfaced in the last couple years? Everyone trying to get healthy and consumers trying to make you continue buying their products with new labeling terms. 

I know you have seen the term "Sugar Alcohol" in the nutritional label.  If you haven't, I encourage you to do some label surfing at the grocery store. 

A sugar alcohol is a kind of alcohol prepared from sugars. Sugar alcohols are one type of reduced-calorie sweetener. You can find  them in  ice creams, cookies, puddings, candies and chewing gum that is  labeled as  "sugar-fre"” or "no sugar added."  Sugar alcohols differ in how the body absorbs them. For example, the  body does  not absorb sugar alcohols very quickly. This means the sugar alcohols can pass  through your body with minimal effect to your blood sugar levels. But a few concerns are with the incomplete absorbtion of the sugar alcohols which causes diarrhea, gas and bloating if you consume too much of them.

Here are some examples of Sugar Alcohols....

Erythritol, Glycerol (also known as glycerin or glycerine), hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol.

Oh and don't let the word "alcohol" confuse you -- sugar alcohols do not  contain alcohol in the traditional sense of the word, as in the alcohol  you find in beer or wine. Instead, the word alcohol refers to its chemical structure.
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Here is a label for an example of how they say to calculate your carbs if you are taking these sugar alcohols into account to find the "net" carbs. 

Myself, I look a the total carb count and it is what it is.....what that means is, if it has fiber and sugar alcohols that to me is just a bonus but I don't do all the math to make my carb count lower in my own head.  You just have to use good disgression in when making your choices. 

So, I hope this helps to answer some of your questions about it.  I know I have been asked by a few of you and whated to just spread the word.  Happy label reading!!