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illifit http://www.illifit.com Ordinary People Making Extraordinary Changes ™ Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:40:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.12 My journey to become a runner http://www.illifit.com/uncategorized/my-journey-to-become-a-runner/ http://www.illifit.com/uncategorized/my-journey-to-become-a-runner/#respond Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:40:37 +0000 http://www.illifit.com/?p=454
My journey to become a runner the past 3 months.

My journey to become a runner the past 3 months.

3 Km, I will run 3 Km I thought. I remember when at the beginning of the year I set my fitness goal for 2014. It seemed like a lot of work but totally doable and done in yes 3 months, I thought a km per month and we are there. Piece of cake, well not piece of cake but something like it.
Life happens and when it comes down to it I honestly have no regrets, no guilt, no remorse. I had some major set backs such as my husband’s health issues, my worn out self after caring for him and our 2 kids 24/7 until the beginning of February. Thankfully he is now fully recovered.
I’m still at 1 km however the difference is that I do it in less time now and my legs feel stronger. There is such a difference in my body, it feels a bit more toned of course I don’t have abs of steel or thighs that don’t jiggle while I run but when I walk my calves have lines that define my muscles easily visible. I feel how my legs get firmer and firmer and my knees can touch while I stand now. This hadn’t been the case for the longest time.
I know I still have 2 more km to go to reach my goal, I am sure I will reach it in the next couple of months. I just have to keep working towards it and I will.
There are amazingly easy days where running 1 km is just like a walk at the park and I don’t even notice I finish it until I see I’m home. Other days, well let’s just say I have to force myself to go for my walk and end with a run. Funny thing is that the days I can’t even fathom going for my run are the days I run faster and the ones I feel best after it. Interesting right? My philosophy on this is that it’s because I know how challenging it was for me to get out of the house and workout which leads me to feel happy and proud.
I’ve learned so much these past 3 months, I am a work in progress and progress is all I see. Yes I did not reach my 3 km, but I achieved one of my most important goals:
When you believe anything is possible!

When you believe anything is possible!

I know I am stronger and I reminded myself that I can do anything I chose to do and at this moment it is to relish in the fact that I run. I am 1 km closer to my goal and I will reach it, I truly believe I will reach 3 Km. I will continue my journey and you may follow it on Stroller Adventures, when you do visit please stop and say hello and keep encouraging me because we can all use cheerleaders and optimism in our life. You may also find me tweeting about my progress or instagramming it.

Thank you for following my journey <3.

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i’m just getting warmed up… http://www.illifit.com/contributors/im-just-getting-warmed-up/ http://www.illifit.com/contributors/im-just-getting-warmed-up/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 15:51:12 +0000 http://www.illifit.com/?p=436 I can’t believe this is already my last post. When I wrote my first post, I imagined I’d be much farther along physically than I am, and back then, if I’d have known that, physically, I’d still be pretty much where I was when I started this journey, I’d have been pretty disappointed. But, sitting here today writing my last post, I feel rather accomplished and quite proud of how far I’ve come.

About halfway through, when I realized I wasn’t making any progress, I had to sit back and ask myself, “why?”, and after much thought and prayer, I finally had to admit to myself {and all of you} that my real problem was my diet. Even when I’m not doing a set “workout” routine, I’m very active. I’m always painting, gardening, climbing ladders, moving furniture. Ask anyone who knows me ~ I never sit still. My husband is constantly telling me, “Slow down. You’re not super woman.” I, of course, tell him, “I know! I’m wonder woman!” lol But I’m getting off subject. The point is, I’ve been hiding from the truth for far too long, and finally being able to admit my real problem, was a huge step for me.


The problem once I admitted to my food issues was that I had no clue as to how to go about fixing it. I hate veggies. Seriously. HATE. I don’t even know if that’s a strong enough word. They lit-er-ally make made me gag. That’s not a joke. I’m not trying to be funny. I’ve tried in the past to try to force myself to eat veggies hoping my palette would change…or at the very least I’d get used to eating them. But I seriously gagged every. time.

Once I admitted to my problem, I started reading a book called Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst…which I think I might have mentioned before. It’s a great book. And it made a lot of sense to me. It talks about “satisfying your deepest desires with God, not food.” Which I got. But I just didn’t feel like the diet she talked about – I should add, this book is more of a change your attitude book than a recipe/follow this diet book. I definitely think it’s worth a read if you are a Christian struggling with food issues BUT it just wasn’t exactly what I was searching for…it was definitely a step in the right direction….I just didn’t feel that the diet she talked about was doable for me.

I’d heard about The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory, and I thought, maybe I should try it. Maybe if I just forced myself for 21 days to eat veggies and offered it up as as sacrifice to God, I could get through it. But then I started reading the book… And I just couldn’t get peace about it. So I kept searching…still reading TDF because I wasn’t sure, but you know, still feeling like there was something else out there that was a better fit for me. Then, a couple days later my mom asked me to go to the mall with her after church. The hubs was already planning on taking the kids to his parents for the day, so I was free. I hadn’t planned on buying anything because I’d been shopping for the last two weeks for an upcoming trip to Dallas. Plus the kids are starting baseball and we’d just had to buy them cleats, gloves, bats, etc…Anyway, when we left the mall, I asked my mom to stop by Family Christian Stores…It’s in the same parking lot, and I’d just remembered this book – Jump Start! by David Herzog. I’d heard an interview with him on the radio right around the time I’d finally admitted to my food issues. I’d looked at it online, but never pulled the trigger and ordered it. So, I ran in, and sure enough they had ONE left. I grabbed it, and as soon as I got back in the car, I started thumbing through it. I felt this instant connection to the book.


When I got home that night, after putting the kids to bed, I started reading and just couldn’t stop. I swear I must have highlighted like 80% of what I read! I kept taking snapshots of paragraphs and texting them to my friends saying, “Seriously! You  have to get this book!” It just made me understand so many things about how my body works and how different foods affect the way it runs. For the first time that I can ever remember, I was actually excited to change my diet. Still a little nervous…okay, fine. I’ll be honest. I had anxiety about what the right thing to eat for breakfast this morning was for so long that I ended up skipping breakfast altogether and starting with lunch, but still! I’m mostly just excited.

And guess what! A typical day for me includes maybe one fruit or veggie. Today. I ate a banana, a peach, half an avacado, and a HUGE salad that included carrots and tomatoes! That may sound like no big deal to most, but for me, IT’S HUGE!  And even more, the kids are getting excited about eating healthy as well! Without me even trying to involve them. As Joyce Meyer would say, “I’m not where I need to be, but thank God, I’m not where I used to be.”


Today is one of the first times in a long time that when I think about my health, I feel over the moon. I feel peace. As a Christian, I believe my body is God’s temple, and for years, I’ve struggled with guilt and made excuses for why I don’t take care of it the way I should. My body still may not stand up to the world’s standards, but for the first time in my life, I don’t care. I know it certainly isn’t up to God’s standards. Never will be…not in this life anyway. But I know that He knows my heart. I know He sees the change in me. That my desire now is to please Him. Not the world. And that’s all that matters.

I’ve been a Christian for a long time. And my faith has gotten me through some really dark spots. It’s amazing how quickly I forget just how far His Grace extends. Thankfully, “at the last moment-never before it, never until we have discovered how much we need it, and never too late- comes the Helper.” ~Alexander Maclaren

I hope you all will continue to follow my journey at Wildflowers and Whimsy ~ because I’m really pretty darn excited about it, and I’d love to hear about yours!


April F.

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It’s official, I’m running! http://www.illifit.com/uncategorized/its-official-im-running/ http://www.illifit.com/uncategorized/its-official-im-running/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 17:00:10 +0000 http://www.illifit.com/?p=427 proud

I can’t believe how fast time is flying, just yesterday I was setting my fitness goal for the first three months of the year and today I realized I only have 21 more days to work even more towards my goal. Time sure flies when you are busy and having fun.

I am already running and reaching 1 km, on some days it is harder said than done and others it feels like a breeze. I have to admit that the fact that I now have a running buddy has motivated me a lot, she says: “ready to run?” and I smile and say “GO!” as soon as we reach the curb to our home she cheers me on and I feel like I have a crowd cheering me on to keep going. I can actually picture everyone there with banners and rooting for me to keep going… Yes my imagination is magical 😉

I still have 2 more km to work on, but I like what I’ve accomplished so far. I feel confident that I will achieve my 3 km soon.

Out with the old, in with the new. 

The past couple of weeks I had been noticing my ankles were hurting, if I were to set the pain in a scale from 1- 10 I’d say between a 2 or 3. Mostly like tired feet and ankles, I began paying closer attention to my running shoes which I’ve had since 2012. They were a birthday gift from my husband when I first began my weight loss journey and they were to motivate me. I loved my running shoes so much, the color, the comfort and the fact that I could use a little usb to keep track of my workouts. Above all I love the old running shoes for what they represent: change, evolution and my journey.


These shoes had been with me all along, until a little over a week ago when I finally gave in and went running shoe shopping. I will keep my old shoes as a reminder of my journey, of my goals but now I run with a new pair of running shoes that make it feel like I’m walking on fluffy clouds. My feet and toes thank me for the change.

Changing shoes, also meant I had to find a new way to track my distance and timing. I had used RunKeeper before, but stopped. On my first run with the new shoes I gave RunKeeper a try and realized I had been walking longer distances and had made my timing better. Can you say winning? 😉


Like a Ferrari!

When I bought my new running shoes, I decided to try out running socks and added a visor to shield my face from the sun. The fact that I now wear several items that I would consider only for runners, makes me feel a little more official and proud to consider myself a runner. Yes, I know I may not be considered one by professional runners yet to me I feel like one. From gasping for air after a few steps running I am now running a full km! You better believe I’m beaming with pride.

Just the other morning my preschooler saw me ready for my run, he then said: “momma, you’re new shoes will make you run fast like a Ferrari!” -he is into race cars, hence the Ferrari comparison. I smiled and said: “yes, I will beat a Ferrari any day now!”. I know I can’t run as fast as a Ferrari, but the fact that my son compared me to one made me smile and of course today I ran like one in my mind.

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6 Delicious Green Smoothies for Saint Patrick’s Day http://www.illifit.com/clean-eating/6-delicious-green-smoothies-for-saint-patricks-day/ http://www.illifit.com/clean-eating/6-delicious-green-smoothies-for-saint-patricks-day/#comments Sat, 08 Mar 2014 00:52:37 +0000 http://www.illifit.com/?p=421 Green Smoothie Recipes for Saint Patrick's Day - illifit.com


If you are looking for a healthy alternative to the Shamrock Shake that is everywhere this time of year, consider on of these healthy and delicious alternatives in the form of a Green Smoothie.  You will get the same creaminess, a festive flavor, and almost none of the fat, sugar, or empty carbs of the traditional shake. Enjoy!

Easy Prep & Freeze Ahead Method! – Artsy Chicks Rule


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it’s a journey… http://www.illifit.com/contributors/its-a-journey/ http://www.illifit.com/contributors/its-a-journey/#respond Mon, 03 Mar 2014 15:45:03 +0000 http://www.illifit.com/?p=412 Even though I’m not seeing much improvement in my problem areas, despite my regular workouts, I’m still feeling so much better this week about checking in with y’all this time!



It’s like after my last post, I just had a breakthrough. I keep saying that I don’t want to do too much at once because I know I’ll overwhelm myself, not realizing that completely changing my diet is too much at once…for me anyway. It’s overwhelming for me to make a healthy meal plan when I like so few healthy things!

So instead of completely trying to change my diet, I made a couple rules for myself:

1) I have to have at least one serving of fresh fruit and/or veggies with each meal.

2) When I start craving oreos or some other junk food, I have to eat a full serving of fruit with nuts first and drink a glass of water, then if I still want the junk food afterwards, I can have it. So far, by the time I’m done eating my fruit and nuts, I’ve forgotten all about my craving.

3) Anytime a veggie I don’t like is presented, I have to take at least two bites.

I’ve always heard people say, your body only knows how to crave what you give it, and based on past experiences, I believe, for the most part, it’s true. So, I’m hoping that I can get my body craving fruits and veggies…even if it’s only the limited number of them that I actually like, and adjust my taste buds to be at least tolerant of the ones I’m don’t like. I saw a picture on pinterest once that said, “You’re a grown up. Just eat your veggies.” And it’s so true. I do believe that we should enjoy eating, but I also believe sometimes we just have to suck it up and do things we don’t want to because they are the right thing to do and what’s best for us.

I plan on this being the only change for at least the next week {along with continuing my regular workouts}. I just want to give myself time to turn this into a habit. I’m not one to sit down for meals throughout the day, so for breakfast, I typically just grab a yogurt or oatmeal and that’s it. Then, the rest of the day I’m hungry and mindlessly grabbing junk food here and there and shoving it in my mouth without even realizing it. My goal is to become very intentional about what I’m eating. The key for me this past week has been that I know in the back of mind I can have whatever junk food I’m craving…I just have to put something healthy in my body first. I guess it’s basically a distraction.

I would like to add more “rules” or a least one more after this week, but I’m just going to see how it’s going at the end of the week. I’m going to be paying really close attention to my diet to try to get an idea of what my next change should be. Any ideas??? What would your first rule be?

-April F

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Looking for Profile contributors http://www.illifit.com/uncategorized/looking-for-profile-contributors/ http://www.illifit.com/uncategorized/looking-for-profile-contributors/#respond Wed, 26 Feb 2014 12:28:16 +0000 http://www.illifit.com/?p=409 share your fitness success story - illifit.com

Have you made extra ordinary changes in your life through healthy eating and/or exercise?  

If you have done the hard work to change your life then you have a story worth telling.  illifit readers are listening.
We want to know your story.  We want to be inspired by your story.  We want to be changed as you have been.

– Our stories are powerful tools to help others be encouraged in their journeys to health and wellness. –

illifit readers want to hear your story!

— Tell us your story here. —

Once you are done, come back and enter to win one of two $25 Amazon.com gift cards!

What’s your story?


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Speaking of Progress… http://www.illifit.com/uncategorized/speaking-of-progress/ http://www.illifit.com/uncategorized/speaking-of-progress/#respond Mon, 24 Feb 2014 15:26:34 +0000 http://www.illifit.com/?p=385

What keeps you motivated?

What inspires you to keep going to reach your goals?
Sometimes when the house is still and quiet I begin to think and reflect on how far I’ve come and what I can change to better myself, to achieve my goals. We all have dreams. No dream is too small or too big when you are working towards it and are determined.
Inspiration… has arrived!
When I first began my weight loss journey I dreamed of shopping and seeing a pair of pants or a dress or a top on display that I liked and tried it on fitting me to perfection. The size didn’t matter, the weight didn’t matter just the fact that the item would fit me and I would walk out the store wearing it with pride. That dream came true in 2012. I remember the end of the year and my sister and I shopping, I saw a top I liked searched for the largest size and when I finally tried it on in the fitting room it was too big! I had to ask for a smaller size and ta-da it fit perfectly…
This was my dream come true.
My goal had been reached.
My confidence risen to the sky.

I have a running buddy now.

A week ago a neighbor shared that while on her run she had felt unsafe. Costa Rica is for the most part a safe country. But just like any other country there are little incidents that make you feel discouraged. While on a run with 2 other friends, my neighbor was approached by a strange car that stopped right in front of them blocking their run with 2 men inside the car and a woman driving. One man opened the door and got down staring at them and the other was about to get down when he stopped and stuttered a question: where a particular store was. My neighbor and her friends were confused and surprised -not in a good way. Fortunately for them one of the groundskeepers in our community was nearby with a machete and stared the men down making them leave immediately. When my neighbor shared this with me in addition to another incident a woman she knows went through my husband asked me to run within our gated community only or have a running buddy.
Yes, until that day I was taking my walks/runs alone. I was very discouraged as I couldn’t find a running buddy. That is until Valentine’s Day when I had the opportunity to have a cup of coffee with another neighbor I’m friends with and talked about how motivated I was and how sad at the same time that I could only run alone safely within our community. We talked about my journey and how I felt and how I was already missing my walks and then it happened, she asked to join me.
It’s been a week and we’ve walked/run every single day. So happy and thankful.

3 Km, that is the goal.

This year my goal is to become fitter than ever, running 3 km in the first part of the year and 5 km by the end of 2014. It may not seem like much of a goal, but for someone who’s never run for fitness purposes it is a lot. For someone who has just began exercising after a long break it is a lot. So here I am almost 2 months into the new year and working on my evolution in fitness, I’ve grown so much in my goal and I’ve also had several set backs. The key thing to remember though is how much I’ve transformed, before 2012 I would set up a goal and after a couple of weeks I would give up on my dream. This time around it has been different and I have to be completely honest there have been days in which I would much rather sit and read or just watch tv. However I’ve kept going, no matter what obstacle I’ve encountered I manage to overcome it.
So here I am closing in on February with much progress, I have achieved so much in the past 2 weeks:
– Running buddy.
– Walking longer distances.
– Walking faster per mile.
– Running my longest distance EVER!
How are you doing with your fitness goal for this year? Are you seeing progress? How are you tracking your goal and what you’ve achieved so far?
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My Alternate Workout Routine with dealing with a Sprained Ankle http://www.illifit.com/workouts/my-alternate-workout-routine-with-dealing-with-a-sprained-ankle/ http://www.illifit.com/workouts/my-alternate-workout-routine-with-dealing-with-a-sprained-ankle/#comments Fri, 21 Feb 2014 17:38:37 +0000 http://www.illifit.com/?p=403 After 6 weeks my ankle is still weak, so very weak.  I had no idea that stepping off a curb incorrectly would cause such a dramatic set back in my training.  Needless to say I will not be running in any 5 or 10ks soon.  I need to focus on healing and strengthening my ankle before I can begin to move forward with my training.  I am also finding alternate ways to exercise (instead of running).  I am currently doing a few work out DVDs at home including:


Winsor Pilates – which is an oldie but a goodie, I love her abs course and it doesn’t use my ankle at all. Hallelujah. (apparently Miley Cirus does Winsor …  I don’t keep up with her goings on, but when I imaged searched for Winsor Pilates she was all over the Google.)


image source

Fluidity: Seat & Thigh Video – This video does require the use of my ankle, so I complete the moves as tolerated on my injured ankle (left) and then do the same number of reps on the right ankle. Even though this is a serious leg/glutes workout, it also works shoulders and arms a bit.

jillian michaels

Jillian Michaels: 6 Week Six-Pack – I have a serious love/hate with Jillian.  I love that she can seriously whip my body into shape in 6 weeks.  I hate that while doing the training I want to kick her in her perfect abs. (Whoa, where did that come from you ask? Do the first viedo… then we will talk.) **FYI: This streams free on Amazon Video for Prime members 🙂

I have yet to find a shoulder/arm DVD that I really like. Anybody have a good suggestion?


This post contains affiliate links.

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when you feel like you can’t “just do it” http://www.illifit.com/contributors/when-you-feel-like-you-cant-just-do-it/ http://www.illifit.com/contributors/when-you-feel-like-you-cant-just-do-it/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 17:45:43 +0000 http://www.illifit.com/?p=375 The last two weeks have been emotional. I’m still not getting my full hour of exercise four days a week, but I am still having my silly kitchen workouts…which means I’m moving and exercising more than I normally do…which is sort of the point…so why am I feeling guilty reporting back to you guys??? Bleh. I think it’s time to get started on the dreaded meal plan…{insert crying/whining/two year old temper tantrum here} I’m getting a decent amount of physical activity, but I know, deep down, my diet needs to change. I’ve known this all along. So what’s the problem?

Well, basically, I don’t want to…Good reason, right? I mean, I want to be healthy. I want to eat right. I just don’t want to give up all the things I love. I don’t want to put the effort into meal planning. In theory I do. But when it comes down to actually picking up a pencil and turning down those pork rinds…Ha! yeah, I can’t do it. And I’m feeling frustrated. And angry. I’m angry with myself. Just step away from the darn pork rinds already!!! Geez!!! Aren’t you a grown woman?? And you’re letting pork rinds and little debbie cakes boss you around?? What the heck??

Right now, I’m feeling like I’m never going to get it together. I’ve been saying I’m going to meal plan and eat healthier for years now. See…I’ve read all these books…



But our pantry still looks like this…


I’m always going to do it next week. You know, “when things aren’t so busy”. Oh! and, “at least, I workout every once in a while”… I’ve had the hardest time writing this post because being active has never been the problem for me…I never could sit still. My problem has always been my diet. I just didn’t want to admit it. I kept hoping that eventually it would just be easy. I’d just magically want to eat healthy. If only my husband would stop bringing all this junk food home, I could do this. No problem.

But my husband and the junk food aren’t the problem. I am. I don’t know how to stop planning and start doing. Well, that’s not true. I know how to start. What I can’t figure out is how to get myself to start. I feel so dumb typing this out, but the prospect of going from planning to eat healthy to actually giving up the junk food I love so much has everything inside of me kicking and screaming. I really just don’t know if I can do it.



IMG_1908-April F.


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Life is taking its course… http://www.illifit.com/contributors/life-is-taking-its-course/ http://www.illifit.com/contributors/life-is-taking-its-course/#respond Mon, 10 Feb 2014 12:45:20 +0000 http://www.illifit.com/?p=368 We are slowly getting back to our routines. Kids will be back to school this week, after a two and a half month break (which is standard for Costa Rica). Clear skies are starting to get partly cloudy on the afternoons and on some days we get to enjoy spectacular sunsets.
Let’s walk!
The last time I shared what had been going on at my home with you I had decided I would get back to my walks, something that in reality didn’t happen until last week. Like I mentioned before I have focused on nursing my husband back to health and spending time with family. My kids have been on summer break since december 1st and I have to admit it has made my walks/runs challenging since there are no sidewalks in the area we live in. I fear they could get run over by a car or fall into a ditch -there are currently 5 different ditches around our home!
Last week I got back to my walks, I took the opportunity of having my son back in preschool and  I headed out for an hour long walk. My goal with each walk was to walk a further distance, I currently walk 5 km and am excited about it. Then reality set in: my fastest mile was 19 minutes! What? seems to be that the lack of walking consistently for 2 months or not being as active as usual made me slower. My fastest mile in the past had been 14 minutes, that is 5 minutes faster than what I’m currently doing.
What’s going on?
After much pondering on what was going on to increase my timing per mile, I began going through my walks and timing and distance. Comparing every single walk to the current one, comparing the route I took on each walk. Then I realized that my energy levels are just not the same, before January I sleeping 8 hours straight I was also eating a more balanced meal and stress was not at the level it’s been the past month. I have to be honest and share that I did feel a bit discouraged -all this hard work felt gone! Then I thought about what one of my inspirational friends would say: “You are already a work in progress, you know what needs to be done and are ready to work to achieve your goal”.
This past Wednesday I took a walk and was surprised at my distance 7 km! Yes, 7 km that felt like 5. 7 Km. That is 7 more than in my life and just because I wanted to not because I had to. I’ve come this far and I’m not going back to 0.
So here I am, at a new starting line. What makes this time different? Simple – I know how far I can go and I know how much further I want to go, I just have to get to work on it. Be optimistic and look at how far I’ve come instead of how much further I have to go, I also know that it took me more than one day or one week to reach 14 minute miles.
Will you join me at the starting line?
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