Wednesday, August 29, 2012

If you don't want it to rain, just wear rainboots. (An update on the Butler's.)

We have been busy, busy lately! Back to reality teaching full-time and still pursuing our passion of sharing Advocare with others!! The success stories seriously keeps me motivated to keep sharing with everyone because I know people are desperate for a solution, and I know I have it. A safe, healthy, effective, sustainable solution!
 We also went to a baby shower for one of my cousins. My mom & Aunt should SERIOUSLY be party planners....they throw the BEST parties/showers EVER!!! Check out these adorable Cat in the Hat (theme of the shower) diaper cakes my mega talented mom made!! Precious!
 I also finally talked Big Jon into going on a little jog with me. The man hates cardio! (Thankfully he busts his tail at work every day and gets his heart rate up....PLUS, he push mows our killer hill of a lawn....but I'm still glad he agreed to get in some cardio action with me!)  Check him out....he ran for 18 min straight! That's pretty serious stuff!!


So fast he's blurry....

I did get some really, really beautiful flowers at school this week that totally brightened my day!! I LOVE flowers!!!

  Oh, and finally....the title of this post. Somebody (ahem, Big Jon!) told me it was supposed to rain all week. I took that very seriously and literally, to the point I wore my rockin' rain boots to school. I've had these since my freshman year of college- They were $5 at Wal-Mart because I got them before rain boots became a popular fashion trend. Speaking of trends, I probably started a new one today when I was rockin' those....and it was 100% SUNNY, no rain. Perfect. I felt like such a dufus....
Don't be jealous of how cool I am.
 Yes, yes I know....But at least I DID get hooked up with some highlights yesterday. My roots are so happy.
 On a more serious note, God answered a major prayer for us and we are feeling so beyond blessed. It's amazing how He ALWAYS shows up right on time!!! I don't know why I ever doubt....He has come through every.single.time to grow our faith. God is so good.

Lots of super fun stuff coming up this weekend!! And hallelujah, I'll have time to BLOG about it!! It may be lame, but I SO miss blogging when I don't have time. It's definitely my outlet and I love connecting with sweet blog friends.

Have a great rest of the week!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Praying for Others

It is such an incredible privilege to be able to pray for others. When someone asks me to pray for them, I take that responsibility very seriously. I know how much I appreciate and covet others' prayers....and it really is such a neat thing to be able to take someone else's name and requests before the Lord on their behalf.

I'll be the first to admit, my prayer life has not been and still is not where it should be. I don't have an excuse except for laziness....That is so silly and inexcusable because the Lord DESIRES for us to be in constant communication with Him...listening, renewing our hearts and minds, and always seeking Him.(Even in the small things that we think don't matter.)
1 Peter 5:7
Before I had a prayer journal, I was really bad to 'forget' to pray for someone when they asked me. I was all the time coming into contact with someone and I'd think, "Oh, I need to pray for them- I'll remember...," but sad to say, it didn't happen. That is not okay. And it's not an excuse. I started a prayer journal after one of our ladies' retreats a couple years ago, and I highly recommend that if you don't have one. It has been BEYOND humbling to look back through it and see my different prayers. It absolutely amazes me how much the Lord has blessed and to see Him working in ALL of those situations...

One of my favorite things to do is go back in to an old prayer and write "PRAISE!" God is so good, and it's such a good reminder when you need it later that He is faithful!!!

Since I've started the prayer journal, I've started doing something else too. If someone comes to me with any kind of issue, or asks me to pray for them, I do it RIGHT THEN. There is something so powerful about praying together and them being able to hear you talk to God on their behalf.
matthew 18:20
I thought it would be weird, but it has never been. People may be taken aback a little at first, but not in a bad way. They always seem to appreciate it.

(And if you're nervous about praying in front of others, remember, there IS no right or wrong. You are just talking to God. It doesn't matter how simple or how eloquent....He jut loves to hear from us.)

Another thing I have focused more on when praying for others is praying very diligently, sincerely, and specifically. I admit that sometimes I have been guilty of praying for someone very vaguely, just out of routine and habit. I'd say the same thing every day. For the past few months, I have been very specific and focused in my prayers for others....and it has been AWESOME to see God work and answer those prayers. He has definitely blessed BIG time...(I can share some of the praise reports later!)
Pray, pray, pray.
I started with Big Jon. I used to pray a very ordinary and blanket prayer over him daily....until the Lord pricked my heart and showed me that I needed to be so much more diligent in praying for him. Jonathan is called to be the spiritual leader of our home and family, which means Satan is going to try to attack him big time. That is part of my role as his wife is to absolutely cover him in prayer. Daily. 
praying for your husband
And I'm also learning that when someone else hurts my feelings, upsets me, makes me mad, or does something that I feel like goes against God's Word...it is my job to LIFT them up in prayer. Not to judge, condemn, have a pity party, stop talking to them, etc. Simply pray. Praying for someone is one of the most powerful things you can do for someone and can have some of the most impacting results. So many women I know, for example, try to nag their husbands into changing. If there is something you don't like about your husband (or family member, friend, co-worker, etc.), I want to challenge you to PRAY for that person before you do anything else. And do not give up praying. Continue to. God is always working, and sometimes He is working out other things first (that we cannot see) so He can do a work later on.
1 thessalonians 5:17
We are called to devote ourselves to prayer. And a big part of our prayer lives should be in praying for others. I know the Lord is still revealing lots to me about HOW to pray for others, but I am so thankful for what He has already taught me. God is so good.
pray, pray, pray

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Big Jon & His Supplements....(His 24 Day Challenge Results & Performance Elite Line Faves)

I know a lot of my blog friends have boyfriends or husbands who are into working out OR who are trying to get into better shape. I've shared a lot of my success stories, but I thought it was time I shared Big Jon's success story and take on supplements too. (Scroll down to the very bottom to see what he takes now if you don't care about reading the back story...)

When I first met Jonathan back in 2006, he was the typical college kid...eating fast food for all three meals, drinking energy drinks & soft drinks like crazy, and not working out AT all (unless you count running the bases at his slow pitch softball games). He had high blood pressure and high cholesterol (not cool for anyone, but especially not for a 22 year old!), a gut, and a major issue with acid reflux. I'm talking "2 Prilosec a day and countless Tums" issue...(I even remember helping him put phone books under his bed to elevate it and try to help with the heartburn.)

(These pics are OLLLLLD.....)
  Within our first few months of dating, he started working out some in his basement and slowly cutting out Cokes. He started cutting back on the fast food & eliminating fried foods from his diet. After a year or so of us dating (with some encouragement from me) he had totally changed his lifestyle. I wasn't a nagger....I think he mostly just caught on to how I was living and wanted to be healthier too. After a couple of years, he was seriously a NEW man! A clean eating gym rat who looked better, felt better, and was overall so much healthier and more confident. 
 He fell in love with working out, and that became something we enjoyed doing together. It helped him release stress from work, and he liked seeing his body change and become stronger. He got really into supplements too. He was always researching and trying the "latest and greatest" supplements & pre-workouts on the market....mixing several different products.
 I didn't like it because obviously the supplements at some of the popular chain "nutrition" stores aren't regulated by the FDA and ANYONE can make the supplements that end up on their shelves. About 90% of the products in those stores are a proprietary blend, which basically means you have NO IDEA what you're getting in a serving of that product.

This article describes the reasons companies use proprietary blends.

A supplement that lists a “proprietary blend” on the bottle can be there for one of two reasons:
(a) to prevent the competition from knowing exactly what ratios and amounts of each ingredient present in the formula to prevent the competition from copying their formula exactly (commonly referred to as a ‘knock off’) or
(b) to hide the fact the formula contains very little of the active ingredients listed on the bottle in an attempt to fool consumers.
The scary part about that, like I said, is that you have NO IDEA what you're putting into your body, or how it may react with other products you're taking.

One of the products Jon took for a while recently came out with reports that it was causing people to fail drug tests because some of the substances were so closely related to a substance in ILLEGAL DRUGS!!! What?!!? Another product he was taking was called HEMO-RAGE. Yea, scary business, right?? (FYI: Hemo is short for hemodilator, which means it dilates the blood vessels and allows more blood to flow to the muscles, which gives guys the 'pump' they're looking for in the gym.)

When we found Advocare back in March, he was pretty skeptical. 
In fact, I'm pretty sure his exact words were. "There's no way this is gonna work as good as my stuff, but whatever, if you want me to try it, I will."
I loved that it was backed by the top science and medical advisory board & made with the TOP quality of ingredients....but even more than that, I LOVED knowing EXACTLY what he was putting into his body. Advocare also pays for an outside company (called INFORMED CHOICE) to test for over 200 banned substances, so while the FDA won't regulate any substances, we have a reputable lab that thoroughly checks to make sure Advocare products are completely safe, free of banned substances, and effective. (This is why so many professional athletes, college athletes, and Olympic athletes are non-paid endorsers....they recognize the quality of these supplements and know they can trust putting them in their body will enhance performance, yet won't jeopardize their careers in any way.) 
Check out this article from Livestrong.com that talks about some of the most common ingredients found in Advocare's products & why they are so necessary for our bodies. I wrote another post a while back about WHY we NEED supplements....If you haven't read it yet, it's definitely worth the time. I know a lot of trainers and athletes that try to "get all their nutrients from their diets," but it's just not gonna happen. Unless you're eating MASSIVE amounts of fruits, veggies, and protein every day, you are NOT getting enough of what your body needs (because food isn't made the way it used to be). Serious athletes understand supplementation is absolutely essential for optimum performance. Unfortunately, that's why so many athletes get busted for illegal substances...but thankfully that's something Advocare athletes (& my hubby!) don't have to worry about.
 Anyway, I talked him into starting a 24 Day Challenge with me. He wasn't thrilled, but I reminded him that by cleansing, it would help ALL of his other supplements work more effectively because his body would be able to absorb them better. PLUS, even though we live a really healthy lifestyle, he STILL had slightly elevated blood pressure. I'd heard several success stories about people's BP coming down and them coming off meds, so I figured it was worth a shot. It was AWESOME to have him do it with me for accountability and encouragement, but HE ended up having AWESOME results!! He lost about 4 lbs (he didn't have much to lose and that wasn't really his goal- plus, we were already eating healthy), 2 inches in his waist, and the BEST part, his blood pressure was completely NORMAL when he went for his physical at the end of April!!! (Mission accomplished!) 
He started the products from the Performance Elite line after the challenge.  I felt SO MUCH safer with him taking these, and the cool thing is, they're designed to work together (unlike all the random products he was taking before).

 This is what he had to say about his results....(I typed it for him while he talked!) 

"I've worked out long enough to be able to gauge my body, and I was at a plateau. Same weight, reps, fatigue level. I didn't believe in Advocare at first, but I'd tried everything else, so I figured why not. Within the first week, I noticed an improvement in my muscle endurance. I could go longer & harder in the gym. The next week I noticed my strength was increasing- I was actually starting to push more weight for more reps. I continued to notice improvements as the weeks went on, and one of my favorite things is that I was recovering faster and not as sore, yet still seeing size and strength gains. I've definitely noticed that I look leaner now and have lost some fat around my midsection.  I've been on the products since March now, and haven't hit a plateau yet. It's exciting to see what's going to happen every time I walk into the gym...."

The only time he went off them was when we went to the Dominican Republic for a week, and he could totally tell a difference in working out without them.

So, here's what he takes now and is LOVING!!!

1. Mass Impact -
  • Aids in muscle building*
  • Supports muscle performance*
  • Helps increase physical endurance*
Mass Impact™

2. Arginine Extreme- 
  • Provides and nourishes the precursors necessary for muscle growth and recovery*
  • Provides excellent support for cardio workouts*
  • Helps enhance strength and stamina, especially when used with AdvoCare® Muscle Fuel*
  • Helps support nutrient delivery to muscles*
  • Helps promote short-term increases in nitric oxide levels*
  • Nourishes a healthy respiratory system*
  • Helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system*
  • Helps support healthy blood pressure levels already in the normal range*
  • Helps enhance reproductive function*
  • Aids in maintaining a healthy, efficient immune system*
Arginine Extreme

3. Muscle Strength-

  • Helps decrease recovery time between intense workouts*
  • Promotes building lean muscle mass and reducing fat tissue*
  • Enhances muscle growth in conjunction with strength training*
  • Encourages repair of muscle tissues*
  • Helps the body adapt to physical and mental stress*
Muscle Strength™

4. Pro-20
  • Hydrolyzed protein for fast absorption
  • Supports building lean muscle mass*
  • Helps improve reaction time and agility*
  • Helps increase power output and accelerate gains in speed and strength*
  • B vitamins for energy*
  • Electrolytes for recovery and maintenance*
  • Contains alpha-GPC
Pro 20™
5. Muscle Gain-

  • 25 grams of high-quality, easily digestible protein
  • Provides nutritional support for increasing muscle mass
  • Supports muscle-enhancing enzymes and metabolic processes
  • Helps maintain & restore energy supplies during and after physical activity

Muscle Gain™
6. Post- Workout Recovery-
  • Helps minimize muscle soreness after strenuous activity
  • Supplies essential components for muscle repair to optimize muscle recovery
  • Helps maintain and restore energy supplies during and after physical activity
  • Contains branched-chain amino acids to support muscle recovery, growth and endurance.

Post-Workout Recovery

7.Night time Recovery-

  • Provides enhanced muscle growth and supports muscle repair while you sleep.*
  • Helps your body to more effectively respond to the demands of physical activity.*
  • Naturally supports the production of growth-related hormones*
  • Enhances energy production to help the body sustain higher workloads before the onset of fatigue.*
  • Supports the body's ability to respond to stress such as physical training.
Nighttime Recovery

(regular vitamins: CorePlex, OmegaPlex, shakes, Spark, & Clear Mood)

So ladies, if you're looking for something SUPER HIGH QUALITY that will help your man get results, but that you can trust are totally safe, natural, & effective, I HIGHLY recommend this!!! I know Jon seriously loves talking supplements, so I'm sure he could recommend something or would be willing to talk to whoever to answer questions. It's pretty cool we found something we both love an are passionate about, and Advocare happens to fit right in with that!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

That time I forgot a shirt….

Rush, rush, rush!!! My life is SO BUSY!!! It’s ridiculous.

And unfortunately that means I make careless mistakes sometimes because my mind is in 8 millions different places. Like a couple weeks ago when I mailed off two letters that were returned to me for “no postage” (I forgot stamps!), or when I mailed off a check last week and forgot to sign it.

Yesterday I went straight from work to the bank, home to cook dinner, then rushed to church, and went straight to the gym afterwards.

I packed a bag with workout clothes, but when I was changing in the locker room, I realized I forgot to bring a shirt. Niiiiiice. I checked Jonathan’s truck to see if he had an extra one, but no luck…

I contemplated working out in my sports bra & workout pants for about 0.5 seconds, but that was a quickly fleeting thought. SO, I had no other option. I had to rock the ruffly (apparently not a word) tank top I wore to school that day under my cardigan. Perfect.

I was a little embarrassed for the first 5 minutes because the ruffles were hitting me in the face while I was jumping rope, but I got over it pretty quick. I mean, what can ya do??

Maybe this will start a new fitness fashion trend?

image

Yea, probably not.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fast Food Pics….GROSS!!!

Every now and again I am tempted to pull through a fast food restaurant. It’s quick. It’s convenient. And it’s cheap.

And then I remember why I DON’T eat it and I just keep on driving. I wrote a post about it a while back…..WHY TO SKIP FAST FOOD

We know it’s not very healthy, and even the “healthier” fast food chains don’t have the BEST options. The nutritional value and quality of the foods is very poor.

If Jon & I do eat fast food for some reason, I try to stick with grilled chicken salads (no dressing) and a fruit cup….but of course, even that’s still not the best.
One of my friends recently sent me this picture of a hamburger her family bought in 1996. And that thing is still going strong!!! (Really…I was in the 6th grade when this hamburger was bought!)
i-phone 021DSC02873DSC02871
Here’s the deal. I know sometimes it’s the only option. If you do have to eat fast food for some reason, it’s important to know the best options. I am “that girl” and always ask for a nutrition guide. It’s important to know what you’re putting in your body, and some things may really surprise you. Here is an atricle that has the healthiest choices at popular fast food chains.

One of the most common times to eat fast food is while traveling. Even when we’re traveling, I always pack a cooler and basket of snacks. I typically bring apples & bananas, almonds & raw nuts, natural peanut butter & Ezekial bread, boiled egg whites (already peeled), raw veggies, & beef jerky.
[Crafts-0243.jpg]
Yes, it does take a little more work and preparation, but it ends up being cheaper and WAY healthier. It definitely makes it less tempting to pull through somewhere when you have healthy snacks on hand...

As if those pictures of the old hamburgers aren’t enough to scare ya off…..YUCK!!