Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lessons Learned in 2013

I absolutely love the start of every year. It's silly really, I know. It's just a date, Tiffany. But that date always represents something bigger to me. A new beginning. A fresh start. There's something magical about it. But, before I can move forward with 2014 (which I truly believe will be the best year of my life) I must look back at 2013...

Lessons I have learned in 2013:

  The only person that controls my happiness is ME. 

Don't sweat the small stuff. Life is far, far too short my friends. Three losses in a year's time and you really start to put things into prospective.

Love doesn't always come easily. There are going to be struggles and sometimes it's going to take work. But, if it's important to you... you will find a way.

Raising a two year old little boy (ahem lion..) is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding blessings. I fall more in love with this little boy every day and he continues to teach me far more than I will ever teach him.

It's okay to not be perfect. It's okay to make mistakes. Learn from them and move forward.

Making healthy choices makes each day a little bit better. 

There are so many amazing things just outside your comfort zone. Step out and discover them. 

The mountains are my happiest place; where I feel in my "element." This is something I had known most my life, but had lost sight of.

That sometimes, you really can have too much of a good thing. Even in the health department... 
over training, anyone?
To always, always follow my heart and put family first. 

BUT, never lose yourself in the process... 

So, here's to a wonderful 2013 and even brighter 2014!

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Fit 4 Christmas Winner!!

Drum roll please.... the winner of Fit 4 Christmas is...


Congrats, Heather! Please check your email when you get a chance.

Heather lost almost 7 lbs and over 20 inches during the challenge. She posted her pictures in the Facebook group and looks amazing!

We've changed the Fit 4 Christmas Facebook group to an accountability group! Come join us HERE. It's a great place for motivation. We'll have more mini challenges in the future and things to keep us all motivated in our healthy lifestyles.


So, I started my new workout program Friday evening and was pumped up and ready to go. Then, I woke up with yet another illness Saturday morning and spent the entire weekend in bed (oh Lupus, why do you hate me so?)  Woke up to a text from my daycare provider that she is sick as well, so I have a two year old tornado at work with me today on top of feeling absolutely horrible.

Originally, I had planned on sharing my new workout plans and 2014 insights today, but it will have to wait for tomorrow. I'm sorry for my sporadic postings as of late. I've even lost some followers over it. But, this is my story and my life. I have Lupus. I have a weak immune system. This time of year hits me like a ton of bricks. It is what it is and I'm just doing my best to work through it and get by the best I can.

You have all be instrumental in my success thus far and I hope you can continue to be patient with me as I get things back up and going.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I love this time of year, but it's also a bit on the hectic side! I know I originally planned to post the Fit 4 Christmas Challenge winner yesterday. The winner will now be announced next Monday instead. I have a little "helper" at work with me this week and my laptop has died an early death. So, I haven't had a chance to thoroughly check out everyone's results that have submitted them! With that being said, if you haven't sent them in yet, you still have time - get to it!

I'm working this morning and then we get to head home to start our Christmas festivities! My mom will be joining us this evening for cookie decorating, Christmas movie watching and a delicious Lasagna feast.
Tomorrow morning will be spent with just myself, Brad and Wyatt. Once gifts are opened, we'll be heading to Cheyenne to spend the rest of Christmas day with Brad's side of the family.

Wyatt is starting to understand Christmas a little bit better this year and has been talking about Santa non.stop. this week. He greeted all my customers yesterday by telling them he was "happy, happy, happy" and "santa comin'!" Too darn cute.

I'll be back after Christmas with a more normal posting schedule as well as my new workout plans and goals for 2014!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fit 4 Christmas Results & Link-up

It's hard to believe we have reached the end of the Fit 4 Christmas Challenge! This has been such an awesome experience for me. Not just because of losing weight and finding my motivation again, but because of all of you. The support you all have given each other has been so amazing... I just don't even have the words. Thank you all for joining in and making it such a great (almost) 2 months.

***Don't forget to submit your challenge results, including before/after pictures and starting/finishing weight to me. If you want a chance to win the awesome prize pack (handmade crochet item of your choosing, $15 Starbucks gift card, some of my favorite misc health/fitness items and a Target gift card donated by Heather) be sure to link up, post to the Facebook group or email me at tiffhult27 (at) gmail (dot) com by Sunday morning. I will announce the winner on Monday!


I started this challenge back at a pretty unhappy place. Frustration over a very long plateau was getting the best of me and I had all but thrown in the towel. I weighed in November 1st back up 7.5 pounds at 175.6 from my lowest weight.

I weighed in this morning at 166.1.

Total lost in the challenge: 9.5 lbs
Total lost to date: 29.50 lbs

Did I meet my 162 goal for the challenge? No. But I lost during the holidays for the first time... ever. I broke a 5 month long plateau! I'm happy with the progress I've made.

Was I perfect along the way? Most definitely not. In fact, I have been unable to workout for the past two weeks. But I've managed to lose. A belt isn't even helping to keep my pants up. My rings are very close to having to go on a chain around my neck. Changes are happening and progress is being made again!

Left pictures were taken November 1st. The right were taken this morning.

And since I'm so close to that 30 lb loss mark, I wanted to compare just how far I've come. Again, I didn't take before pictures until I had already lost 10 pounds and was at 185. 

20 lb difference

185 lbs
That was me less than a year ago. I have a hard time looking at these pictures. I never saw that when I looked in the mirror. Clearly, I knew I was overweight and out of shape. But I had no idea how overweight I was and most importantly, how unhappy I was.

In the grand scheme of things, 30 pounds lost doesn't sound like a lot. But it is. Not just physically, but emotionally. It's taking longer to get to where I want to be than I expected, but I'm enjoying the journey and am so excited for what 2014 is going to bring.

The Fit Train

Alright ladies... start sharing those before and afters! I can't wait to see everyone's results!.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reminder: Fit 4 Christmas

Hey everyone! Stopping into the blog real quick (I know, I know... I've been very MIA lately. That will improve once the holidays are over and "year-end" at work is finished) to remind you that tomorrow is results day for the Fit 4 Christmas Challenge!

If you want a chance to win the prize pack, (handmade crocheted item of your choosing, $15 Starbucks giftcard, some of my favorite fitness/health misc items and a $10 Target giftcard) be sure to submit your before and after pictures as well as before and after weigh-in before Sunday morning.

You can submit your results via tomorrow's link-up here on the blog, in the Facebook group or email direct to me at tiffhult27 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Winner will be announced on Monday. I can't wait to see everyone's results!!

The Fit Train

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fit 4 Christmas - Week 7 (FINAL WEEK)

We are now in the final week of Fit 4 Christmas! Does anyone else feel like we just started this little 'ol challenge?

Start of Challenge: 175.6
Week 1: 171.8
Week 2: 169.2
Week 3: 168.0
Week 4 & 5: 168.4
Week 6: 166.2

Total Challenge Loss: 9.4
Week 6 loss: 2.2

I started my weigh-loss journey at 195.5 pounds. Soooo close to hitting that 30 pound loss! This is the best weigh-in I've had in months. I have been stuck in plateau-ville since July. July. Unable to ever get past that 168. Today, I have finally done just that!

Thanksgiving, along with an illness that just doesn't want to fully go away, has made for a difficult couple weeks. The accountability of this challenge has helped me to keep trudging along. You all have been so incredible and motivating!

I know Christmas is only a week and a half away. I know that there are goodies, parties and even some stresses that make it difficult to stay on track. Especially in this coming week... As you go through this final week of Fit 4 Christmas, I want you to keep one very important thing in mind: progress pictures.

One week from today, you will be showing your before and after pictures to your blog followers, in the Facebook group or emailing them to me. I know you are going to want to be able to show as much progress as possible. I know that you are going to want to look and feel amazing when you are surrounded by family and friends over the holiday. No amount of goodies are worth that feeling. 

We're going out with a bang this week on the mini challenge. Leg day; every day! Add weights to the moves if you want a little extra. If you really want a challenge, try adding weights to your burpees! 

Aaaand in case you need even more motivation to make it through this week - a little reminder of what you could win!

Handmade item of your choosing. This is just a general selection of choices.

Some misc items of my favorite health & fitness things

A $15 Starbucks gift card

AND a $10 gift card donated by Heather. So sweet!

Pretty good deal for losing weight and getting healthy, right? Finish the challenge out strong!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Festive Favorites - Link Up

I live for Christmas. As a child, and (possibly into my teens), I drove my family crazy by celebrating Christmas in July. For the entire month. Once a year just was not enough. Every July I put a tree up in my room, watched Christmas movies and played 24/7 Christmas music.

While I don't take it that far anymore, I still live for the holiday season. There's just a feeling of such joy and kindness everywhere I go in the month of December. So, of course, I had to link up with Amber and Jennifer for Festive Favorites.

Here we go:

Favorite Christmas song? I love all the songs! I must say "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas" is quite festive. But, in all honesty, I love "Silent Night". Also, if you have never heard Straight No Chaser's "Twelve Days of Christmas," you need to watch it. Now!
Christmas song you can't stand. The "My Favorite Things" song from the Sound of Music. Sorry, not a fan.

 Favorite holiday movie. "The Year Without a Santa Claus" followed by Home Alone

Real or artificial tree? Artificial. I'm allergic to pine. I can deal with it for a few days in the mountains, but a month with it in my home is too much!

White or colored lights? Definitely colored

All matching ornaments or more random personal ornaments? Random, personal ornaments. Since my first Christmas, my grandparents gave us a new ornament every year. My tree is covered in them and each holds special memories. I've started the same with Wyatt.

Favorite ornament. A hand carved Santa someone in my hometown made me and Wyatt's first ornament.
Angel or star tree-topper? Star

Does Santa wrap presents or leave them unwrapped? Unwrapped. Santa always brings one big gift and then the stocking, of course.

 Favorite childhood memory. There are so many! I remember one specific Christmas where we did the 12 Days of Christmas for a family that wasn't able to provide a Christmas for their kids. On Christmas Day, my brother and I each picked one of our presents to drop off at their door that morning. I will never forget that experience.  A close second would be when my cousin, Phillip, wanted to be the Angel in our Nativity reenactment: 
Coffee, hot chocolate, or eggnog? Candy Cane Hot Chocolate! Once Fit 4 Christmas is over, I do plan on allowing myself a glass of eggnog though.

Christmas morning at home or do you travel? At home. Then we head over to Cheyenne to spend the rest of the day with Brad's family.

Traditional holiday meal or something unconventional? Lasagna! My mom grew up in New York in an Italian neighborhood. Lasagna was a big Christmas tradition for all their friends, so I guess my family just adopted it as their own. I make a pretty mean lasagna and you better believe I will be allowing myself a splurge for it on Christmas Eve.  Christmas dinner is usually Prime Rib at Brad's mom's house.

Personalized photo Christmas cards, store bought cards, e-cards, or "ain't nobody got time for that"? Personalized Photo Cards. I'm printing ours as we speak! Snapfish has free printable layouts in case you are looking for an inexpensive way to print your Christmas cards.

Crafty Healthy Mommy

Monday, December 9, 2013

Motivation Monday - I Need to be More Like Her

 We live in a world run by technology. Our smartphones are attached to our hips. Computers are necessary for our careers and education. In all honesty, my two year old can use electronics as well as I do. The benefits are never ending. But with all good things, comes trials.

Since, perhaps the beginning of time, women have felt the need to reach perfection. To be the perfect homemaker, mother, wife and career women. To look our best at all times and never show our flaws.. Society has made it this way, or perhaps, it's just in our natural make-up. Technology has added to the pressure.

Everywhere you look, whether it's turning on the TV, browsing Pinterest, or even reading blogs... there is pressure to be better, to look better, to achieve more. At times, it can be overwhelming and quite disheartening.

Look at her. She always looks so gorgeous and put together. I need to be more like her.

She manages to work, care for her family, and has an amazing body. It must be so easy for her! I need to be more like her.

Her home looks like it came out of a magazine! Everything always in it's place and she has time to spare! I need to be more like her.

Look at all the creative activities she does with her kids. How lucky they are to have a mother like her! I need to be more like her.

She's only been running a month and can already run an 8 minute mile! I've been running for months and have yet to achieve that! How does she do it? I need to be more like her.

 I think we have all been victim of the above thinking at one time or another. I know I have, and frequently. But then, several weeks ago, a little two year old boy taught me a valuable lesson in the simplest of ways.

While working out with me, Wyatt was struggling to lift some 2 pound weights far above his head. He grunted and struggled for quite some time. I chuckled to myself watching him. It's just two pounds, you silly little goose.

When at least he succeeded, he jumped up and down in triumph, "I did it, Mamma! I supa song!"  Wyatt's only two. He didn't care that they were only two pounds. He doesn't care if anyone else can lift more. All that mattered, was he did his best. And he succeeded.

Everywhere you look you are going to see people putting up the perfect front. It comes naturally to only share our successes or things we are proud of. But keep in mind, you aren't seeing the behind the scenes. 

Who cares if someone is thinner, faster or stronger than you. Who cares if their home appears to be perfect. Who cares! You aren't in competition with anyone. You are strong because you are perfectly YOU! True success will come when you stop trying to beat everyone else, and you work on beating yourself. Be better than you were yesterday. 

Just because someone might be able to run further or faster than you, does not make you any less of a runner. Just because someone can lift double what you can does not mean you aren't strong. Just because someone is losing weight faster than you, does not make you a failure. We are all fighting our own battles. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Work on you and only you. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fit For Christmas - Week 6

Still in the -20's today. Still swamped as can be. So, short, sweet and to the point today. I have never in my life been so happy to see a Friday, by the way!

Weigh in: 168.4
Up .4 this week. I'm not beating myself up over this one. Life, in general, is a complete zoo right now and I will be happy if I can just keep maintaining. Of course, I'm still trying to lose and will be thrilled if it happens.

Week 6 Mini Challenge:

Let's burn off any extra calories from Thanksgiving and get ready for Christmas! The Challenge is almost over already, crazy!!!

Speaking of the end of the challenge, don't forget there is a prize at stake for the best results and before/after pictures! Which has grown! One of our awesome challenge participants has donated a $10 Target gift card. Thanks again, Heather! You are awesome!!

While not Fit for Christmas related, this is Christmas related. I'm taking up to 5 Christmas hat orders. If ordered today, guaranteed to have it to you by the end of next week. If you are interested, let me know while hat, size and your paypal email. $20 including shipping.

They're even cuter on! ;)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Non-Scale Victories - The Difference a Year Can Make

Thanksgiving brought a lot of reflection for me this year. As I was on my long drive to my dad's house last week, alone with my thoughts while Dylan and Wyatt slept, I couldn't help but think back to last Thanksgiving. It's amazing what can change in a year.

Last Thanksgiving my parents were still together. Dylan lived at home; still in high school. Wyatt was a little toddler instead of a ferocious lion cub. My youngest niece wasn't even crawling yet. Relationships in my personal life were in a different place. And me personally? I was roughly 30 pounds heavier, very sick and very unhappy.

This time last year, is when I first got that fire to workout and get healthy. Unfortunately, a year ago this week, I found out I had pneumonia that ended up taking a couple months to fully recover from. That was a rough time for me. My doctor's wanted to hospitalize me, but I continued to refuse. There was no one that could care for Wyatt while I was in the hospital. So, I continued to work full time and be full time mommy while trying to recover. This, no doubt, prolonged the pneumonia. But, I did what I had to do for my son. Looking back, I am so grateful for that time. Struggling to breath on a daily basis. Struggling to carry my son up and down the stairs. Struggling to give him a bath. Being unable to get on the floor and play with him... it hit me like a ton of bricks. If not just for myself, I had to get healthy for Wyatt.

Now, I'm about 30 pounds lighter. I'm a far more attentive mother and friend. Most importantly, I'm a much happier version of myself.

Left: Thanksgiving 2012. Right: Thanksgiving 2013

Honestly, I'm not so sure the scale is going to be overly kind to me tomorrow. But whatever it reflects, I'm going to be okay with that number. I missed a week and a half of workouts due to being sick, but I kept my eating in check. I controlled my Thanksgiving dinner and a long road trip with small portion sizes and smarter choices. I've managed stress through a trip to Urgent Care with Wyatt in these two weeks and little sleep. Sure, I've had slip ups and minimal exercise. But, I've kept the healthy mindset and I've done the best with what I have been handed as of late.

In the past, I would have thrown caution to the wind. If I can't be perfect, why try at all?

Now, I understand that sometimes other things have to come first. Sometimes, I can't be perfect. Perfection is boring... and impossible to achieve. If you set out to be perfect all the time, all you're going to find is disappointment. Trust me, I've been there. Find joy in your journey. Find a balance that works for you, and you will get there!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I'm Alive!

Yes, yes... I am alive.

We spent Thanksgiving at my dad's where I didn't have access to a computer. We got back Sunday evening and got right to putting the Christmas tree up. Then, winter decided to be cruel this week. Our high for the next 10 days? 8. It was -31° when I woke up this morning and it's heated up to a whopping -5°. It's a heat wave!

I try to stay clear of too many details of my occupation, but when it's cold and wintery, that means I'm swamped at work. Thus, the absence. I had hoped for a legit post yesterday, but one of my employees rolled a company vehicle on the interstate (He IS okay! Thank goodness). So craziness going on in these parts!

I hope to be back to normal blogging tomorrow. In the mean time, here's a little family picture from Thanksgiving. Love my family! All three kids looking and smiling was a Thanksgiving miracle!

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