Being Authentic … and having a Growth Mindset … is a CHOICE

authentic (1) of undisputed origin; genuine (2) based on facts, accurate, reliable (3) relating to or denoting an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposeful, and responsible mode of human life

Photo by Molly Bermea of Frizz Studios; Style by Megan Blake of MB Beauty; Outfit by The Chestee; Site CrossFit Code Red, Hillsboro OR

Last weekend, I was so fortunate to have been the subject of a photoshoot. I am a brand ambassador for The Chestee and it was time to get more than screenshots from video for promotion of my involvement with the brand. I’ve never had a photoshoot like this before. There was a makeup artist and hair stylist. There were multiple outfits to change and so many props. And honestly, good music thanks to my CrossFit coach and so many laughs, smiles and fun thanks to everyone involved.

The photographer Molly was amazing. She has some experience shooting CrossFit, a graphic arts background and has an amazing gift at capturing someone’s spirit and personality in a photo. And this gift is why she was chosen for this photoshoot. We wanted someone to capture ME. Not just another fit girl modeling a sports bra.

I will be 100% honest about what I first saw when I saw this picture vs what I see with my growth mindset focus.

I first saw the flap of skin hanging over the waistband of these pants and was immediately disappointed in myself for not tucking it in.

But then, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that the skin is there as a sign of human life and healing. That skin is just a physical representation of growth between when I was trying to find my way and today.

And in this moment of realization, I immediately felt so happy, proud and motivated to just keep plugging away.

The truth is … flap of skin or not … THIS PHOTOGRAPH IS AMAZING. It captures the ESSENCE of WHO I AM. I am HAPPY. I am STRONG. I LOVE the barbell. Living life to the fullest, laughing and spending time with my family and working towards my goals using small baby steps is the core of my identity.

I could have made the choice in that moment to remain critical of my body and not like this photo. Or I could have requested that my photographer photoshop that skin out.

But instead, I am so proud to be able to share this amazing picture. I have made the choice to be authentic, to love myself … and I am sharing it, proud and happy. This is who I am.

 #lovelife#happyhappy#workharder#traineverydamnday#maketimeforyou#eatcleantraindirty#realitycheck#growthmindset#crossfitgirls#momswithmuscles#fitness#transformationtuesday#thisis200lbs 📸 by @frizzstudio 💄 by @mbsbeautypage outfit by @thechestee (use CORINNE10 in your 🛒 to save some 💰) || #worldsokayestweightlifter#mastersathlete#snatch#barbell#babe#crossfit#weightloss#transformation#transformationjourney#ilostweight#crossfitmasters#sweat#fitspo

Really quick shameless plug for the seasonal RX bars

If you have not tried the seasonal RX bars yet …. you MUST.

We eat RX bars because our nutritionist asked us to switch to them (I used to eat quest bars and Mike ate whatever was on sale at the grocery store).

Critics say that these bars are too high in carbs … so true, they are a bit higher in carbs than we used to eat, however, they are very simple, limited ingredients, and when we typically eat them, it’s in the afternoon on the way to the gym. The ingredients in the RX bars are readily available to us by the time we WOD … super clean.

  • RXBARs are whole food protein bars with just 6 to 8 whole food ingredients
  • No added sugar, no gluten, no soy, no dairy, no GMO, no B.S.
  • 12g of egg white protein, 4g of fiber, 200 calories. Paleo-Friendly and Whole30 Compliant

Try them: https://amzn.to/2zyq0uP

So, The Cooks were featured on the Morning Chalk Up …

Morning Chalk Up.png

About a year and a half ago or maybe more, Caleb, one of my friends at CrossFit, introduced me to this great daily email called The Morning Chalk Up.

So, of course, being ALL IN to this newfound CrossFit life … I enthusiastically subscribed and religiously read it. Even when I am B-U-S-Y … I leave the emails unread in my email box so that I can catch up on the weekend.

I have sent the Morning Chalk Up’s “tips” email a few items here and there  … mostly events.

One morning, over my cup of coffee, I noticed that neither of the upcoming Barbells for Boobs events we are attending were appearing on the email’s calendar.  I decided that I better submit them.  After all, I set a fundraising goal of $250 and I needed to meet it … plus I felt the publicity would be great for both gyms.

When I sent the email to their tips line, I think that I said something along the lines of “this is the event at my new gym” and “this is the event where I met my husband – you should share that story.”  The completely unexpected response was … “Okay. Let’s hear this story.

My full intent in dropping the hint in the first place was (1) to fundraise for Barbells for Boobs (and … YES! it worked – we got a random donation from a person saying she liked our story).  And … especially because one of my favorite instagrammers is going through some dating world shit along with three of my Ashlete sisters sharing terrible dating stories … (2) so that the message of hope could be spread.

THANK YOU MORNING CHALK UP for helping me spread this message <3.

When it comes to relationships … I now write “believe in the fairy tale … it does exist” to other women. BECAUSE IT DOES.  This is not Disney bullshit. It’s about living life without compromise.

I LOVE to keep life positive and am living proof of how working hard, keeping focused and slow and steady can have terrific outcomes…. YET …. SO MANY WOMEN (that was me a year ago!!) feel like they have to work SO HARD to pursue men in order to find the one AND DO IT IN A HOT MINUTE.

But mine fell in my lap.  Truthbomb: I would have NEVER found him on a dating app. Not. Ever. He’s old (my age range on the app ended at 50. He’s 52). He’s short (seriously he is seriously short – 5’2″ and maybe a half and the shortest my range went was 5’8″).

Fast forward a few email exchanges with Jessica Danger over a few weeks time and I woke up to about 300 instagram notifications and knew it had been published.

Read and enjoy …

She Just Came To Do Grace And Left With A Husband

Recipe for success: Daily use of our 6 Pack Fitness Bags

6 pack bag 3

I wanted to do a quick post about how much I love our 6 Pack Fitness Bags. They are ROOMY and STURDY.

About a year and a half ago, I bought one second hand from another person in our gym.  When Mike moved in, I wanted to get him one, so I ordered him one for Mike for Christmas. Once his arrived, I realized that there were some changes to the new model which included shelves that slide up and down vs. being fixed inside a plastic box and an overall more sturdy yet lighter exterior, so I ended up ordering a new one for myself.

Here is an Amazon Affiliate link (which means if you purchase from this link I receive a kickback for the referral):

Mike uses his on an almost daily basis. I use mine on a daily basis when we are home, but also,  I use mine as my carry on when I travel and it ended up being what we took into amusements parks, to the hospital (snacks when my sister had her baby) and in and out of the competition (most recent trip to Canada).

Proper nutrition through food prep is a HUGE part of our success – mine being part of my transformation journey, and my ability to continue to keep my weight loss going while fueling my body for our workouts vs. for Mike – the capability to fuel his body for continued strength gains and to keep his weight where it is.

These bags have 4 spots for shaker bottles, but I only bring 2 shakers a day with me. The third spot is where I keep utensils, a small package of lysol wipes and some gum. The fourth spot is where I keep some small containers of protein, BCAAs and the like.  Mike uses his empty shaker holes for coffee mugs (he takes coffee to work for the whole day vs. me being spoiled and having a nice coffee maker at work).

These bags have 3 shelves on the inside of the front zipper and come with 3 containers that fit them. The other containers that fit well in here include the California Food Prep containers I’ve talked about before (affiliate link):

The top of the bag zips to a top shelf where you can insert gel freezer packs (included with the bag) and put some more things. I keep nuts, a protein bar, some small snacks and a food scale here.

6 pack bag 4

This is the food scale I use (affiliate link):

One thing to note: when traveling, you can’t have unfrozen gels, so make sure your ice packs are frozen solid, and if you have any gel like good (Smashpacks, fuel packets), they also have to be frozen. Empty shakers are fine and I’ve never been stopped or questioned for powder, but I do usually try to take samples or single-serving packets of my protein and BCAAs so that they list the ingredients, just to be safe.

Hope this post helps you!