Jun 19, 2017

Life...

Hey friends.  It has been a while since I found myself consistently blogging on here.  There are many reasons for this.  The biggest, in my opinion, came in the form of the challenge groups that we run.  Don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining.  We feel totally blessed.  Helping the people in our two week and 30 day sessions has become the new norm in the fourfitsisters world.  It pretty much became a full time job as well.  Blogging had to step aside for a bit, or else I would have felt like the worst MOTHER on the planet.

Like I said, I'm not really sad about it.  We are able to reach SO many people in our groups.  Whether their focus is food or fitness, we are assisting them to get their life back on track and live in the healthiest ways for them.  That is totally worth it in the end.  But, I have missed it here.

I am back, now, to say that I am making a comeback!  We want to be a bit more consistent over here and refreshing you with more information, which has been our goal overall since day 1!!!!



First I want you to know what has been going on with me, personally.  Life has gotten pretty comfortable here.  Our kids are enjoying sports and school.  We make it home to visit family often.  I just recently got to help Adie move into her new house here in town with me!!! We are also gearing up for a busy summer.  Having her live close to me will be magical.  She has already helped in setting up our mommy boot camp that we run here in the summer!!!

Over the past year, however, as far as my fitness and health goes, I found myself struggling.  I was helping so many people turn their lives around and find the routine that was working for them.   I also felt like a bit of a hypocrite.  I had put on about 10 pounds about a year back and I could NOT get rid of them FOR THE LIFE OF ME.  I mean, I preach this information to my clients daily.  Planning meals, setting a schedule, eating the right things, and working out.  That is the key to weight loss right?

For me, it wasn't that easy.  I was already doing all of those things, and yet the weight approached slowly, but surely.

Now, I realize that my measly 10 pound weight gain is very small in comparison to the struggles that many of our readers face.  I am not trying to sound petty or be a "perfectionist" about my body.  That was never the issue.  I was more about not having control over your own body when you felt like you were doing the right things.  I knew at 5'7" and 152 lbs I wasn't obese.  Some probably wouldn't have even considered me overweight at all.  But, for me I was carrying weight that had NEVER been there before, and I when I did what I was supposed to do (with diet and exercise) nothing changed.  It was an endless cycle, and borderline obsession that got me into a bit of a funk.  I knew something had to change and I was on a mission to find out exactly what the culprit was.

The culprit, for me, was inflammation.  I went to see my favorite doctor.  She is amazing and talked with me at length about what has been going in my body and where I feel I was going wrong.  We talked everything from cravings, to hormones, to what I had been eating.  She also ordered EXTENSIVE blood work.  When I left her office she and I were both leaning toward something hormonal going cray cray in the body.  When I got my results we weren't far off at all!

My blood work came back reading PRE-DIABETIC numbers.  Say what??????  This was REALLY hard for me to grasp.  I, the person preaching others and eating better than probably 90% of Americans, had numbers in the diabetic range.  How was that possible? I was totally thrown for a loop.  I was certain that my hormones were what was causing this weight loss struggle.  I was just leaning toward ESTROGEN as the problem...not insulin.

So what I learned through this information was very eye opening.  Insulin is the hormone that allows your body to use sugar and carbohydrates effectively.  When you become insulin resistant (which is what I was in the beginning stages of) your body produces insulin but does not use it effectively. When people have insulin resistance, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells.  This is bad news people. Glucose (sugar) is TOXIC in your blood.  Your body tries to get rid of it as quickly as possible.  For me, that meant storing it as fat.  The quickest way to get it out of the blood is to shoot it out as a fat cell.  So my body's own defense mechanism was the reason for the weight gain that I couldn't shake.  Because it was trying to save itself from the sugar in the blood, it stored fat at a rate in which I could not burn it quick enough.  

Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!  Answers at last.  But, here is the biggest thing...I didn't really think I was consuming that much sugar or carbs.  I was eating the "natural" sugars through fruit, but not many added sugars besides the few treats here and there at birthday parties and such.  However, here's the deal...we are not all created equal.  I can eat the same amount of sugar as you and my body doesn't use it well.  And it's not fair, but it's the truth.   I had to make some serious changes.  The first step was a sugar detox.  

I was banned from ALL forms of sugar for 30 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was tough.  But, it was mind blowing at the same time.  The person who thought she wasn't consumed by sugar was now realizing how many apples and other fruits she used as treats. :)  I also avoided alcohol for 30 days as well.  I was SUPER strict...meaning no lactose (the sugar found in dairy), no fructose (the natural sugars found in fruits) and no grains.  Metabolically, below the neck our body uses grains and sugar in the exact same way.  This is why during our challenges we ask our clients to cut as many grains as possible (especially gluten).   This is also why diabetics have to try and maintain a very low carb diet, which most do not.  They rely on medicine to keep their numbers in check.  I refuse to end up there.  It will not happen if I have a say in it.  

Now, this picture below should have opened my eyes up to what I needed to do to lose weight.  I did Maggie's "Heal Your Gut" challenge almost a year ago and these were the results that I had.  We focused on three main inflammatory foods; dairy, grains & sugar.  This is what happened to my body in just TWO weeks.  I lost 4lbs during the two weeks, but SEEING is believing in this picture.  Look at how puffy and inflamed I was?  It truly blows my mind. 


As far as results go since my doctor's report...I am down 10lbs!!! YAY.  The 10lbs that have haunted me for almost two years are long gone.  I was actually down 12lbs at one point.  But, since my hard core 30 days is over I have re-introduced some fruits here and there and I'm feeling good.  I know that I have to limit them, but sometimes its hard to let those little suckers go as the kids chomp on them. :)

What's next is challenging some of you to a food detox!!!  Do you feel like inflammation and puffiness is weighing you down?????  If so you should join the next food detox which begins for my group on July 1st.  We are going to do a lot of planning and prep before then.  This will be a hard core 21 days before summer is over.  It will be tough.  It will maintain some SERIOUS changes in your household and flexibility of your family.  It was tough for my husband at first.  I have excellent willpower.  Some others do not.  So while the kids had an extra side of wild rice on their plate at night I abstained.  It was not hard for me.  But, others may cave if they have the bad stuff in the home.  I have a ton of meal plan ideas to get you started.  I pretty much have a rotation of meals that we use regularly.  You get to choose which ones are your favorites.  Many kid friendly ones as well.

Email me at Haley.fourfitsisters@gmail.com if you are interested!!!!!! I would love to share this mind blowing experience with you!

Mar 10, 2016

Pink Blush



Hi All!
It's been a HOT minute since I've blogged on here...some of you who follow my social media pages know that I have been on bed rest for the past 10 weeks, and counting.
A quick update on that:  I am 35 weeks and will be 36 on Tuesday the 15th.  Tuesday is a big day because they will be taking away all of my medical interventions, including the stitches that they put in 10 weeks ago when I went into labor.  They say that the removal could spark labor or maybe not...just depends on how my body reacts.  I will say that I have been having some pretty intense contractions this past week and doing my best to keep them under control with rest and medication.  She could be here ANY moment! Crazy!

In the meantime, I keep myself busy by imagining the set up and design of our new home, along with getting dressed up and doing my hair and makeup some days.  I have to find ways for entertainment around here :)

So, I'm PRETTY obsessed with a women's & maternity boutique called Pink Blush.  Their shop is SO chic, pretty, and totally my style.  This is the maternity dress I recently got from them and I can't even do it justice...I need a spray tan immediately.  This is the fitted ivory and grey striped short sleeve dress.  The material is high quality and the style is just so adorable.  They have other colors, too, that I couldn't decide from!  I can't wait to do some more shopping there in the women's section post baby.  But even more cool, a lot of their maternity tops are cute and flowy enough to wear post baby without it even looking like a maternity shirt.  I always try to find cute tops that I can wear during and after pregnancy...I feel like I'm getting the most bang for my buck.  They have so many of those options.  Because who are we kidding, maternity clothes are EXPENSIVE!  Especially when they're cute.  Pink Blush is awesome in the fact that you can wear their clothes during or after pregnancy and it's not an arm and a leg for their stuff.  Love it!
And to top it all off they have other departments in their shop like an athletic line, baby line, plus size, and MORE.  The shop is amazing and you need to check it out whether you are a mom, mom to be, postpartum, or a WOMAN. ;)






I wish I could have worn this more with some more accessories, but between moving into our new home, dealing with my son and his health issues, and getting ready for baby girl, all while on bed rest, I'll take what I can get :)









Make sure you check out Pink Blush on social media too.  They have awesome deals and styles for their followers.
Instagram:
@pinkblushmaternity
@shoppinkblush

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/SweetPeaMaternity/?fref=ts

Tag them and me after you pick out some goodies!

Thanks for stopping by!!!


Dec 11, 2015

Gender Reveal & Pregnancy Update!

Happy Holidays!
I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving and are prepping for a very Merry Christmas!
If you've been half as busy as I have, then you may not read this blog post until May...whoa.  Where has time gone?

I wanted to share a few things with you about life and pregnancy #2 since I have been out of touch here on the blog, in my business, and on my social media pages.  It has been MUCH needed considering everything that has been going on:

Daycare with Adie
AJ and I began going over to Adie's every weekday since school started to watch lots of little cuties.  I can't tell you how amazing it has been to be able to see AJ grow socially and learn to play with others as he approaches 2 years old.  Not to mention, seeing mommy play and interact with other kids and give attention to little babies has been a good preview for him to see for when his little sibling arrives!  He actually loves seeing me play with other kids and babies, and joins right in.  What a relief and surprise for his STRONG personality :)
Physically, we struggled with this change the first two months.  AJ STRUGGLES to sleep in other places besides home.  Something he's had an issue with since about 6+ months old.  He always been a very alert and aware baby and kiddo, and having new surroundings paired with mommy walking out of the room (separation anxiety) it makes for a VERY difficult time and lots of crying.  He's stubborn. He's one of those kids who get's overtired and sleeps WORSE through the night.  So the new routine was very hard to adapt to for him and he still has a hard time now and then.  The cherry on top for the first 2 months at Adie's was that I was in my first trimester and felt like death.  Nauseous, tired, sleep deprived, achy, moody, and dealing with a new norm was ROUGH!  By the time I got home, I crashed while AJ tore up the house.  I didn't even care.
The past month has been much better since feeling better in the second trimester and fitting into a little bit more of a schedule (just to be thrown off for break again).  I can't even explain how fun it is to be able to work with my sister in a home setting and watch our own littles grow up together while raising them at the same time.  It is SUCH a blessing.  Adie and I have grown close in our inside jokes and find humor in things that only adults around kids all day would find funny...thank God we have each other.  I would go batshit crazy, if I didn't.
AJ and Cooper (Adie's middle) are best buds at daycare :)


Pregnancy
For those who don't know or don't remember, with my last pregnancy, I experienced cervical shortening and preterm labor around 23 weeks.  I was put on bedrest shortly after that and remained on bedrest for about 15 weeks.  It was hard on me.  More mentally than physically, but I know that my lack of recovery time after my Celiac diagnosis had a lot to do with my pregnancy issues.  I was malnourished before getting pregnant and never really got the chance to strengthen my body or feel better before become knocked up :)
So, with my history, my doctor wanted to keep a close eye on me to catch any signs of preterm issues as early as possible.
At 15 weeks, just as I was starting to feel better, I had my first ultrasound to measure the length of my cervix.  It was a great measurement, and the baseline for my future measurements.  I went back in at 17 weeks and found out the gender of the baby (see below!) and had another measurement...it shortened from a 49 down to a 30 : |  It was a big jump that set off some alarms for my doc.  The good thing was, I was still in the "normal" range so nothing needed to be done at that time.
After teaming up with a specialist, I have been going in EVERY WEEK since for measurements.  It gets old, but my doctors don't want to miss the window for a surgical cerclage if needed (which, if given too late, can actually put you into labor) or a pessary.  That window closes around 23 weeks.
I prayed hard, practiced some affirmations, and did some exercises to help keep my cervix as long as possible.  I'm proud to say that my measurements have been consistant and even GREW longer on every measurement since.
But, I'm not out of the woods yet.  I am 22 weeks right now and will be seeing my doctors 2 more times before Christmas, and one yesterday.
Overall, I feel great!  I feel so much better than I did when I was pregnant with AJ and I truly to attribute it to my nutrition and health prior to getting pregnant.  The fact that my cervix has been stable for 6 weeks makes me confident that my body is strong enough to do this on it's own :)

Gender Reveal!!!
If you didn't get to catch the video.  Here is the Periscope below:



We had a BLAST sharing this experience with everyone!  It's so much fun!

A GIRRRLL!?!?
I can't believe it!!!

AJ and I have been taking weekly bump photos :)

He is going to be a great big brother!

Upcoming Events
I am hosting a few fun things for the future.  Check out all of the details to see if you'd like to sign up for anything to get you back on track with your health.

Happy Healthy Mama
This FREE group is for pregnant moms who want accountability and support to feel their best while pregnant.  We will be sharing experiences with one another and I will be posting daily on tips and tricks to feel your best and most healthy while growing another human :)
If you or someone you know is expecting, and would like to join, please click on the link to request your free entry:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1645984808990209/
Act fast, it begins MONDAY (12/14)!!!

Heal Your Gut DETOX
This 2 week intense detox eliminates inflammatory foods to help you lose bloat, pounds, inches, and inflammation while helping you look and feel better than ever.  I provide meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with providing information from research and personal experiences.
I've been hosting this DETOX for 2 years and have learned so much.  My inspiration for this group came from severe personal illness that I NEVER want others to go through or experience.  Had I not ignored the small signs and symptoms, I could have avoided a big blow up!  That's what I want to help you with!
For more details or to join, please email me:  happyhealthymaggie@gmail.com
This group usually fills up fast!!! Claim your spot before it's full.  We begin on January 4th!

New Year New YOU:  fitness challenge
Who doesn't want 30 days of personal coaching to help reach their goals?!
This challenge is the full package!
First, I will work with you to choose the best workout for your lifestyle needs and fitness goals, whether time is an issue or you are wanting something with high cardio or high muscle pumping.  We will have a conversations to pick your best options.
The workouts come with a 30 day supply of Shakeology.  These superfood-packed shakes are great for suppressing a sweet tooth or providing an on-the-go breakfast and they taste GREAT!  After you choose your workout, you choose your flavor.
Lastly,  I will provide nutritional guidance along with tips for preparing meals for you and your family. And of course the hardest part can be actually DOING all of these things at the same time, long enough to see results.  The group is there to keep you accountable, on track, and motivated to create healthy habits for you to continue on.  It takes 21 days to create a habit.  Let me guide you down the right path for 30 days to help you become a fitter you!

This challenge group begins on January 18th.  Please email me at happyhealthymaggie@gmail.com to get started on this New Year New YOU journey :)

Thanks for stopping by!


Oct 20, 2015

Love For Lawson

This October 29th is a bitter-sweet one.
A beautiful boy with so much HEART and love turns one year old.  His smile is contagious and he has touched so many lives in his first year and will continue to for many years to come.  His name is Lawson...and he is in Heaven.

Lawson was born with a heart defect which basically gave him half of a heart.  When his mommy, Meghan, found out at her 20 week appointment how special her baby boy was, she was scared, and knew it would be a long road of surgeries, appointments, tears, and prayers ahead.


On October 29th, 2014 Lawson was born and was immediately whisked away for tests and evaluations.  Meghan was able to hold him the day after he was born.  After his first surgery at just 6 days old, he was doing AWESOME!  He was able to reach all of the goals set for him and more.  He went home for the first time at 5 weeks old to live with his parents and 3 older brothers.

The Fien Family knew that the next big surgery was going to happen around Lawson's 6 month birthday.  In those 5 months he had lots of tests and monitoring to make sure he was developing well and getting the oxygen he needed.  The amazing thing???...Lawson was the happiest, sweetest, smiliest, baby I have ever seen!  And so was his family.  They were constantly being grateful to God and thankful for each day they had with their sweet boy.  They are all so inspiring.
We all got to share his story and life through pictures that Meghan shared on social media.  He was a huge fan of his big brothers and loved going to their baseball games.  His smile is so contagious.  Just check out his amazing spirit.


He is so precious and happy!  Though I never had the privilege of meeting Lawson in person, I feel as if my son and I knew him like our closest friend.  His personality shined across the country and warmed our hearts...and still does today.



In April, Lawson went in for his 6 month surgery as planned.  After surgery, they noticed Lawson's pupils were not reacting as they should.  After tests, doctors found that Lawson had suffered a massive stroke and the damage was getting worse.  Lawson went to Heaven and hearts were broken around the world.
Lawson's story is one that will be told for a long time.  He continues to inspire me, my family, and families around the world, every day.  His life was beautiful and his birthday needs to be celebrated!

So I have an invitation for you...this October 29th grab your loved ones and a few teal balloons and join us in sending up some Love for Lawson with a balloon release.  Share Lawson's story with others and use his sweet smile to inspire you to be grateful for the blessings you have in your life.  Every. Little. Thing.
Share on social media to spread the word with this picture:

Mark your calendars and set your phones for October 29th to take a moment and send some Love for Lawson.  Snap a picture or take a video and share your balloon release using the hashtag #loveforlawson so the Fien family and EVERYONE who loves Lawson can experience how his love is spreading.

To learn more about Lawson's story, family, and future events, please follow his Facebook page.

Thanks for stopping by,

Aug 17, 2015

All things GROCERY STORE & MEAL PREP!

I OFTEN get asked how I stay structured, plan meals, prep food, and find time for anything else when it comes to fitness, family, and food.
The truth is, it's hard.  I'm not perfect.  And it takes discipline, dedication, and heartfelt GOALS that give you a purpose to live this way.  If you're not passionate about the health of you and your family, chances are you won't MAKE it work long term.  Even I fall off the wagon when it comes to meal planning...in fact I dread it.  But the health of my family physically, emotionally, and even financially DEPENDS on this method of prepping and shopping, so I always go back to this form of planning.  It's that important to me.
Here is a video on how I prepare my meals and execute my shopping trips.  Grocery shopping can be confusing and difficult if you don't know exactly what you're looking for, so following along and give it a try.  Grab a pen and paper to take some notes and jot down some new tasks to try!  I promise, you can make it work for you!
Questions?  Leave a comment below or email me at happyhealthymaggie@gmail.com





Aug 3, 2015

Mommy Makeup Tutorial: Pretty Pinks

I'm no professional makeup artist, but I do love playing around with it, trying new things...and occasionally dolling up to look like a female.
I was always the girl in high school and college to do my friends makeup before dances or before going out.  It's the uber girly-girl in me that loves to put makeup on!  I think it's so fun!

I decided to share with you all how I apply my makeup and the different brands I use.  Most of the products I share here are from drug stores or well known department stores.
It's an easy, light, look that is pretty quick!  Perfect for mom's on a budget and quick time frame.
Tag me if you give it a try:
@happyhealthymaggie
www.facebook.com/happyhealthymaggie
I would LOVE to see!



Jul 27, 2015

Sunday Treat Tradition: "Filkshakes"

Long time no post!
Yikes! It's been a hot minute since I've been on here.  Summer is so fun and busy and FLIES by faster than I can process it!
How has your summer been?

Austin and I have started a Sunday family tradition that is so yummy!  I can't wait for AJ and any future children to grow up and look forward to this weekly tradition and time together as they age.  I can only hope they will continue it on with their families and pass it on...or better yet, come over to our home with their own families for our Filkshakes :) (Faux Milkshakes...get it??)

I recently shared our tradition on Periscope (the new app that I am OBSESSED with- follow me on there @happyhealthymaggie) and recorded the LIVE stream so I could share it with you all!  If you've never been on Periscope, it's a form of social media that allows your posts to be LIVE for your followers.  So, rather than a video or picture on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter that will remain on your page for likes and shares, this streams from your phone for a live "broadcast" and allows your followers to tune in and interact with you in that exact moment.  The stream stays up for 24 hours and then is gone.  People who tune in can send hearts (the same as "liking" or "favoriting" a post on other social media) and ask questions or make comments by texting onto the feed.  It's so neat to be able to interact on both sides LIVE!  If you don't have an account, I HIGHLY recommend getting one!

So, this video was recorded from my iPhone screen to share here on the blog.  I did block someone on the feed who used some foul language because I didn't think it was appropriate for that to be popping up...this is a family blog ;)  Since I blocked him for that feed, you will not see any of his comments.  I think he is a nice person, he is great at interacting with me, and always asks great questions, so I added him back after I recorded the stream and told him no more foul language or else he's blocked for good.  I'm explaining this because, there will be times that I look at the screen because I am reading the comments and questions, but his comments are no longer there for YOU all to see.  So if I randomly answer a question or stop and look at the screen, it is because I am viewing something that you can no longer see.  You will understand once you check out the video:




Like I said in the video, I was able to get all of these ingredients from my local grocery chain called Dierbergs, so I'm sure your local store would have it or something like a Walmart or even Whole Foods.

I shared one of the proteins I use besides Shakeology...I use the vegan Shakeology since I am dairy free and they don't make a vegan vanilla Shakeology which is why I shared that vegan vanilla protein.  You can absolutely add in any kind of protein or vegan Shakeology (chocolate or tropical strawberry) to go with the flavor shake you are making!  We have never done that because we make these right after our huge Sunday dinners and definitely do not need the extra calories or protein! Ha!

I've also made other flavors of shakes with strawberries for a strawberry shake and gluten and dairy free oreos for a cookies and cream shake!  Chocolate chips is our favorite :)

It is SO nice to be able to enjoy something delicious that isn't going to send me into an autoimmune flare up or make me sick, and is still amazing! You have to give it a try and even make it your Sunday treat to enjoy with your family :) Tag me if you do!

Thanks for stopping by!