Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"

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Back To Basics…Fitness Friday 28

Hello my friends, short and sweet today as I’m in the midst of finishing up final assignments, studying for exams and attempting to squeeze in writing maayyybbee something I can call a coverletter of sorts for my masters/internship applications.

But the fitness-ing must go on!

And by go on I mean, read this post then drop the floor and try these lil numbers out.

I dare yaūüėČ

So we all know the many benefits of the good ol’ plank, but did you know of it’s children? Oh yes, the plank is now longer alone, its got some newer versions and they are quite the upgrade if you are ready for them.

Lets take a peek shall we.

You have the basic plank

Cues:

~Squeeze EVERYTHING. Glutes, quads and core should be all nice and tight.

~Focus on pulling that navel back towards the spine 

~Roll the shoulders back. Even in this picture, the ‘model’ has hers coming a bit past her elbows. Avoid this, they should be in line with the elbows

~Your back should be straight, enough so that you can put something on it and it won’t fall off.

~Do not crane your neck up, keep it looking at the floor to keep your spine neutral

~Hips should not be sagging and your butt should not be pointed in the air. Again, keep hips parallel with the floor. 

Now you can be a lil fancier even with this basic movement by having one foot off the ground and hovering the leg (did your position change? if the hips dropped, you’re not ready for this yet.) More? Throw your opposite arm out in front of you, parallel with the floor as well. Again, only if proper form is maintained.

Now what about the plank upgrades?

How about the Body Saw?

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Link to Video

This one is said to be an ‘anti-extension’ core movement where the dynamic movement (shifting your body forward and backward) places greater tension on your core to maintain your proper position. You don’t need the sliders as shown in the video, even the small rocking you can do with your elbows and toes is enough for a great burn!

Or what about the RKC plank?

This lil number comes from the Russian Kettlebell Challenge and is simply a few lil shifts in your positioning BUT those few little shifts do a lot of damage!

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I feel like Brett Contreras (glute masstta!) really spoke about it well so here is his thoughts and description:

Basically, he had me get into my normal plank position and then made adjustments. First, he had me place my elbows slightly further out in front of me and closer together to increase the lever arm length and reduce the width of the base of support. He then had me forcefully lock out my knees by contracting my quads.

Finally, he had me contract my glutes as hard as possible to the point where my pelvis posteriorly rotated [rotated backwards]. These adjustments left me quivering like a school girl. I highly recommend experimenting with this new variation as it blows away the core activation of a normal plank. (In fact, I suggest you stop reading right now, drop down to the floor, and try it for yourself.) Chalk up another one for the kettlebellers!

So there you have it! Go right now and try one of these babies out if you have ever said planks are a cake walk. I promise, you will be eating your words.

What’s your favourite type of plank variation?

-Chelsea

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Can Obesity Be Healthy?…Fitness Friday 27

My friends I have something I need to say…

I squatted 140lbs today. One hundred and forty freakin pounds. Thats a whole 1.7 times my body weight. I was on a high all day.

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Oh and I didn’t just hit one, I hit 4 reps. Bam. Okay I’m stepping off my ego boost pedestal now.

On to the topic at hand…

Fitness Friday

Today will be more of a discussion as a recent lecture sparked a lil something in me. Rather it was interesting but it irked me..

Do you believe that there is such a thing as healthy obesity?

During my lecture I was given studies and studies showing a few pieces of¬†evidence that just¬†showed that just because you’re obese, it doesn’t always mean you are unhealthy

~There are some obese individuals who do not show the markers that are perceived as risks for CVD.

~Metabolically healthy obese (MHO) have a different body composition than those who are categorized as unhealthy. Specifically, differences in adipose tissues were found; more visceral and total abdominal adipose tissue in unhealthy. 

~Less inflammatory factors in visceral adipose tissue of MHO, which plays a role in insulin resistance. 

So with these things in mind….Do you think these MHO should be considered healthy? Should we then say they don’t need to loose weight because, technically, they are not showing markers for acute or¬†chronic disease?

What do you think?

Personally I say no.

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Here’s my take:

~Obesity should never been seen as healthy. I don’t care if they don’t have markers now, excessive amounts of adipose is just not supposed to be there. How is that adaptive? If it’s not adaptive, it wouldn’t be what the body evolved to include. Think about it, even muscle becomes maladaptive at a point. This is why we have a limit¬†to how much muscle we can naturally put on. Your body cannot run if you’re 300lb. Your heart has to work harder when you have excess weight. How is that healthy when that fat is not actually needed or beneficial to your health?

~Taking a cue from that last statement, an extra 100lbs of fat is not beneficial to your health, in fact it just adds more weight and more wear and tear on your body.

~These studies are shorter term. So yes, perhaps these individuals have less inflammation now, but what about in a decade? What about their CVD risks than?

So to conclude, from an evolutionary standpoint, our bodies are meant to be limber enough to run. Being obese means you are less efficient at¬†this action. No, we aren’t still running away from predators, but that doesn’t mean our bodies don’t still ‘think’ the same thing. I don’t believe we will ever evolve to a point where having more fat than is needed will be adaptive.

If you really wanted to argue with this, you could MAYBE say that being slightly overweight could be considered okay because 1. our methods of measuring and comparing to standards may not always be the best and 2. different bodies have different set points, the weight where the body naturally levels out to given a balanced lifestyle, and perhaps in some situations, one body may have a slightly higher set point than what is considered a normal weight¬†….¬†Again a set point will not be 100lbs over the norm…¬†and 3. having a bit more weight in the older ages is adaptive to prevent fractures and breaks from falls due to more cushioning (AND again this is slightly overweight from our standards, not obese..)

So is this idea of a metabolically health obese just another attempt to justify our obesity problem? I dunno, but either way, I cannot agree with this idea in any way. Obesity is something I see as a problem with our current society, and I feel that it is a condition that is almost entirety the result of a poor diet and exercise lifestyle.

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Would love to hear your thoughts!

-Chelsea

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To Count Or Not To Count…

My friends, Happy Thanksgiving week to my American readers, I hope you are going to be enjoying family time this week and some good nomz!

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I wanted to chatter a bit about a topic I have been sitting on for a while…

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Yes dem Macros.

Tricky topic, well I believe it is, and you will see that in the video as I discuss both sides and try to come to a conclusion.

Take a listen and let me know your thoughts.

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Link HERE. I’m sorry I just checked it and for some reason the whole video is not in sync. Take a listen and ignore the fact that it doesn’t match up to my actions. Sorry, damn iMovie.

Happy Humpday friends! 

Do you track?

Do you think people should track?

-Chelsea

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“Basic Bi***” Oatmeal

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Friends!

So I finally got around to doing a tutorial on how to make my oats. I have been asked a lot throughout the past decade (wow that feels weird saying that) how I make my oats because, I’m an oatmeal pro and I ain’t afraid to say it.

It’s not hard you just have to put a lil creativity and patience into it. Trust me, it’s well worth it.

Anyways, I decided this morning was going to be the time to do it so I hope you enjoy it. Please excuse my poor video quality.¬†I know I say this all the time, but for real friends, it’s the best I can do currently. I hope the content is enjoyable enough to make up for the crap-tastic video aesthetics.

Click the link below the video picture to take you into the tutorial to make oatmeal from every white girl’s dreams….

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-Chelsea

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Detox? Oh That Thing You Already Do? Fitness Friday 26

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Okay so this Friday’s post is about something that really rubs me the wrong way.

Detoxes. 

Do you know how many people opt to try out “detoxifying” products? When I worked at GoodnessMe! I had to really bite my tongue whenever someone would ask me about the effectiveness of the latest liver detox kit.

It bugs me even more when people jump onto a ‘detox diet’… that basically is a starvation diet… in order to rid their bodies of toxins because its overloaded

Overloaded you say?

What does that even mean or feel like?

Is that the feeling you get after drinking all weekend? Having a holiday meal and perhaps eating one too many servings of overly sweet or calorically dense foods?

I’m sorry, but that’s not toxins, that’s just a feeling of sluggishness and fatigue from your body having to go into overdrive to break down everything you just ate.

So on this side, no, a detox isn’t required.¬†Instead, next event, try to monitor yourself. No, I’m not saying to restrict, feel guilty or over compensate with restriction and over exercising the next day. What I’m saying is to be mindFUL of your choices and your satiety cues during these events to prevent yourself from over eating.

If you happen to over eat, the best detox would be …

water

Yeah. Easy no?

Conclusion of first rant: Feeling not so great is generally the outcome of nutrition related choices. Enjoy yourself and don’t feel the need to skip your favourite treat this holiday season but don’t let yourself take a free-for-all because no, your body will not be happy afterwards. It is not filled with toxins to be rid of, it’s simply stuffed and needs some time for processing.

Before I go onto rant numba 2, lets just highlight the fact that your body does a pretty good job as detoxifying your body.

That’s kind of its job.

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Yes, we don’t eat the same quality of foods these days and we take in a lot more toxins from our air, water, etc, but the liver is still going to detox just fine unless it’s some extreme event. Otherwise, the fatigue and ‘bleh’ feeling you are experiencing is most probably more so the result of chronically eating foods that are not nutritionally dense and take a lot of processing. If heavily processed food is your go to, it’s not a detox you need, its a change in diet.

#SorryButSomeoneHadToSayIt

Okay so that’s one part out of the way, the other reason some people do detoxes is for weight loss or to ‘jump start’ their weight loss journey.

Why you shouldn’t do this…

~Any weight you loose is water most definitely because most of these detox diets and/or kits require a huge caloric deficit. Many of them are liquid based diets or eating mostly veggies. So no foods with real substance. 

~You are freaking¬†your body out with days and days of poor caloric intake. When it gets scared, it does things to compensate and save energy. When your body starts “saving energy”, say bye-bye to any potential for weigh loss.¬†

~As mentioned in the first point, any weight loss is not something that will stick around. Once you actually begin to eat again, you will just gain the weight back and possibly more depending on the degree of dietary restriction and length of time (ie. how much your body adjusted)

So tell me again how this is helpful for loosing weight?

From what I have seen, it doesn’t help at all. It often just makes you worse off than when you started because many people binge eat after the detox

Over-eating when your body is not adjusting to being starved = weight gain.

My advice: Just don’t do it.

Lastly, because this can’t be all about me ranting, are their studies that actually show some effectiveness or positive outcomes from these detoxes?

Not really. There have been some studies showing some detoxifying benefits of certain types of foods BUT they are done on animals and some studies have been found to have some methodological issues. (Refer to this study)

The study just mentioned also discussed:

~How there have been no studies that have looked into detoxes and weight loss

~Presents a study that shows a potential mechanism for preventing weight loss due to high stress of a low calorie detox diet. 

~Detox diets, whether food/liquid or supplement based, are DANGEROUS! Overdosing on the supplements and severe caloric restriction have major negative consequences

Another study looked at 3 types of detoxes and highlighted some interesting things:

~Main motivators

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~There is no data that shows the efficacy of detoxes

~Detoxes should not be attempted by everyone. If you are already sick, you definitely SHOULD NOT attempt these stupid things because they are going to cause more stress on the body. 

…..

So to bring this post to a close, I will ask that if there is no evidence regarding benefits and/or potential negative consequences of these detoxes PLUS they are unpleasant to do, why even do them in the first place?

As proposed in the first study, what we should be focusing on is the reasoning behind WHY people want to do these. I personally believe that a big reason for most is weight loss and I’m going ¬†to be blunt and say that weight loss does not come from a quick fix. Dietary and lifestyle changes are needed and people need to accept that. No it’s not easy, but that’s just the way it is. If we just ate more so the way our previous generations ate (less processed/fast/convenience foods and actually had proper meal times) I don’t think we would be struggling as much as we are with obesity.

Just my two cents. 

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Nuff said.

Have a great Friday night my friends!

-Chelsea

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Why I Eat What I Eat…WIAW

My friends,

So I haven’t done a WIAW in such a long time. To be honest, I didn’t want to be judged for my food choices. I often felt that people would believe that I was restricting because I tend to eat the same things every day and say that I don’t ever get cravings for ‘bad foods’

The notion of ‘bad’ foods was simply for a lack of a better term. Think of foods as more or less nutrient dense. There are no BAD foods. Well okay maybe some could be argued to fall into that category, but when looking at foods that are not made¬†specifically to give you a¬†heart attack, this is how food should be looked at.¬†

These are meant to show others what a healthy lifestyle means to a person and to perhaps give some ideas or find a new combo to try. It’s never about judgement.

I like my food, my food makes my body feel the best it can be (well when my stomach is content for the day) and it has been working for me and my current goals.

Disclaimer: Never think you need to eat the same way as anyone other than yourself. You have your own needs. My food is for my training and to help my current GI issues.

So onto the post. I’m going to preface this with an “I’m Sorry” for some failed meal snaps…my bad friends. I hope you enjoy the commentary as a make up.

Thanks to Laura, Arman and Jen for this fun lil linkup. Check out all of the other fun eats¬†at Laura’s today.

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So for today’s commentary I wanted to give an overview as to WHY I eat some of the things that I do. Mostly, its for healing my gut and allowing for the easiest digestion, but I will share with you my reasonings below.

Please note that I’m on a low fiber and easy to digest diet post parasite treatment for a lil but because I have literally no bacteria in my gut following two rounds of antibiotics¬†

Pre-Breaky Supps

~shot of ACV diluted with water

Benefits: umpteen, but I take it mostly for the digestion aid and prebiotic factors

Breakfast. Loaded cream of rice

Why I eat it? Cuz I love it. Duh

Okay benefits of this for tummy.

~COR less fiber than my beloved oats so it digests nicer. And, carbs. Nuff said.

~Egg whites: need my protein yeah?

~Pineapple: Contains bromelain which is a natural digestive enzyme. Plus I like it.

~Pink Salt: I need added salt in my diet because¬†I don’t get sodium from processed food and athletes need to ensure adequate electrolytes.¬†Plus salt and peanut butter? Nommzzz

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Sorry 6am cream of rice ain’t too aesthetic so heres everything in my breakfast (forgot pink salt+cinnamon). 35g brown COR made with unsweetened cashew milk. 90g egg whites cooked in half way through. Add-ins are 30-35g banana/15-20gpineapple, 16g organic crunchy peanut butter + some peanuts, sprinkle of peanut flour, cinnamon and pink salt

Also with breakfast, I take a digestive enzyme pre-eating and than after is a small amount of spirulina mixed with vitamin C powder in a shot glass with some water. I also take Vitamins E, A, D and a probiotic. It seems like a lot but we are trying to heal right? Lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

Pre-Workout

I used to have sweet potatoes with this meal, but experienced A LOT of bloating and gas (sorry TMI) so despite my resistance (I love sweet taters!), white jasmine rice took it’s place. Quick and fast to digest and gives me the carbs I need without the GI symptoms. Avocado is there for a bit of added fat (I can’t tolerate a huge amount of avocado, that has been discovered…its high FODMAP and rings in a decent amount of fiber) for some staying power through my 2 hour lifting sessions.

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135g white jasmine rice + 3.5 ounces roasted chicken breast + 1 ounce avocado. Seasoned with fresh cilantro and a **it ton of cumin + chili powder and liquid smoke

*Another digestive enzyme…cough these things cost me an arm.¬†

Intra-Workout

In my bottle¬†for during my lift, I put in a scoop each of my BCAAs and glutamine. The BCAAs I began using to prevent my body from using my protein stores for energy as my workouts are very long and I was underweight. I still use them for this reason + it helps me to take in enough water. The glutamine is for both muscle¬†recovery and also is gut fuel. Glutamine has been found to feed the GI tract and help with it’s recovery.

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Intraworkout BCAAs and Glutamine

Post-Workout

This is honestly something I look forward to every day. I don’t really have a sweet tooth but something about this is just so satisfying to me. All whole foods but makes me feel like I’m getting a treat. Its a ‘great job for killing your workout’ indulgence.

Reasonings:

~Rice again..in rice cake form. These are not your cardboard Quaker rice cakes. NO. These babies have double the carbs and therefore taste so much better. They actually taste like puffed rice. These are a carb staple in my diet.

~Coconut oil: Simply added to the ‘icing’ for added calories that I¬†can’t see as added bulk.

~Whey: I have tried eating whole proteins and they just take too long to digest when my body is literally shaking. Whey is much faster and prevents me from getting sleepy. I only buy New Zealand whey as it’s lactose free, no antibiotics and the cows are grass-fed. The ingredients are just whey, enzymes and natural flavouring. Their flavours are amazing! ¬†

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3.5 organic brown rice cakes (Lundberg–> much better tasting! higher carbs= no styrofoam taste) + Protein ‘icing’ of 1 tsp coconut oil, 25g whey (I used maple), 1 tsp crunchy peanut butter, 15g¬†melted banana and enough water to form a paste. Topped with 35g nanner.

And you guess it…2 more enzymes. I take two because I think the whey makes me a bit bloaty if I don’t have the extra one. Before anyone asks, no I cannot eat vegan protein. I can’t digest quinoa or any sprouted grains other than rice. Plus it tastes like assssss..sorry but it’s true.¬†

Unpictured ‘bite’

My post workout is around 2-2:30pm, and I take my fish oil in between than and dinner but like to have something in my tummy with it as without anything it can lead to gas (hello fish burps) so I down a bit of chicken in the fridge.

1 tbsp of lemon juice before to help with fat digestion. 

Dinner.

Lobster is a special occasion when my Dad comes down. He so nicely brought some for me and of course I opened that baby the next day..

I have my vegetables for the day here…so sad. I have a small salad (unpictured) to start with all easy to digest/ low FODMAP veggies (cucumber, carrots, iceberg lettuce and some dark greens, not kale or anything). I love veggies but cannot have too much.

I have roasted mini potatoes and kabocha pictured here. To be honest, I hate potatoes, so bland to me compared to sweet taters even with seasoning, but I can’t have my sweets right now and I need carbs. Kabocha is a staple (cuz what person doesn’t adore it?), but should be limited due to being a high FODMAP and to be¬†honest I think I have been over doing it a bit recently (anyone else find it bloats you?) because of aforementioned hatred for potatoes.

And no, I eat rice all damn day so I don’t want rice for my nice sit down meal of the day.. lol. Oh and yes, enzyme number 100000 for the day and a shot of ACV.¬†

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Lobster (thanks Dad) + roasted kabocha and baby potatoes. Unpictured salad to start with dressing of ACV+ lemon juice+ herbs+ mustard

Night Meal

Unpictured ~5 ounces of haddock attacked with turmeric because no one needs to see that…

Eaten in bed. It may seem weird to you to eat fish before bed and than pair it with rice cakes and nut butter. I like to think of it as the meal and dessert.

The fish is simply more protein (read below before you yell at me for eating too much protein…), the turmeric is for anti-inflammatory¬†properties and the rice cakes¬†are simply for more carbs.

The reason I have mostly peanut butter with a shmear of almond butter is because my coach really wanted me to try to rotate almond butter with peanut butter because peanuts have a risk of moulds and such I believe..

…but I just can’t (TEAM PB!). So there, I have some almond butter.

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Also yes there the nut butter is strategically placed. I like a big glob for the last bite okay. Common there has to be another person out there who saves the best for last no?

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2 Organic, unsalted brown rice cakes (Lundberg) + 20g organic crunchy peanut butter and 5g organic crunchy almond butter

Shot of lemon juice (cuz that’s a large amount of fat according to my body) + …enzyme.¬†

So yeah, can you tell that rice is a staple for an annoying stomach? It’s my major carb source in various forms because it sits well and gives me the carbs I need for my training. We are still being very, VERY modest with fat increases because my system doesn’t handle ¬†those very well. I try to help this by taking a shot of lemon juice before a higher fat meal as acid helps to hydrolyze the fats a bit (i.e. help break them down). Also, yes my protein intake is high. It is what it is (for the moment..). It gives me calories and my system is okay at the amount it has right now. Can’t take any away if it cannot be replaced

Know what I’m saying?

So there is my day of eats. Very typical, as it’s pretty much the same every day with a few switch ups (fish type at dinner, choice of whey, etc) but I do that because 1. I like my food and I’m a creature of habit and 2. because it doesn’t turn my stomach into a raging….umm.monster.

Hope you enjoyed!

Anyone else out there okay with eating the same things every day?

Similar food restrictions?

-Chelsea

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More Food = More Gains

Friends! Today has been a really great day thus far and to share that happiness with you I thought I would jump into the link up party

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Lovely Link-up created by the wonderful Meghan 

…cuz I have been feeling¬†and receiving all kinds of happy lately. Also the ‘list all your achievements’ theme is quite fitting this week.

1. I’m sorry I’m happy while everyone down south is angry AF still post election. But we won’t get into that because politics is just something you don’t touch.

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…Moving on….

2. My lifts…omg I amaze myself. The small increases I do with my coach every two weeks are lighting me up like a firecracker I kid you not. I started to wonder why I’m progressing so much faster¬†strength wise now than I was with my previous coach. At that time I was¬†getting much, MUCH larger increases compared to now and, yes, I was progressing, but not at this rate.

I thought about it hard and figured it’s probably having to do with the fact that my system is healing itself now. Back earlier in the year, it was overwhelmed being overfed and dealing with all the health problems (cough parasites..) and so I think that with those dealt with (I hope!) my body is now less stressed and less inflamed so perhaps now during this healing process it’s just going to get better and better.

So those PR’s…Excuse me while I grin like a crazy person…I’m just so happy about them!

~I squatted 4×3, 1×5 135lb back squats this past Friday. Thats up 1 whole set and 1 rep from last week. NOTE that this may small but its actually about 1.6x my bodyweight. My goal is 4×8 by Xmas. Getter!

~100lb DL this morning. DL have always been my weakest lift, so I was pretty damn proud of this lift, especially since I have felt stalled for a few weeks

~30lb DB shoulder presses this Saturday

~135lb Rack pull for 5

~135lb barbell hip thrusters.

~100lb barbell lunges for sets of 8

So yeah, excuse my pride face..

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3. Started off my morning right today with news that I had gotten a 90% on my clinical midterm. Once again I was terrified to check because everyone else was spouting about how bad they felt they did. I need to learn to trust my gut.

4. On the topic of marks, 88% for Metabolism and another 90% in Nutrition Assessment ain’t too shabby either.

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5. I managed to finish a Clinical assignment in 1.5 hours on Saturday. Holler at that productivity.

6. I have been writing training plans for my housemate and she told me how thankful she was for them because she has never felt so good about herself.

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Follow me at @lilmisscross!

Gym = more confidence in everything! Its not just about aesthetics.

7. This will be my 4th blog post this week!

8. I welcomed myself back into vlogging! I’m so happy to be back.

9. I have done the monkey work for my Master/Internship applications. Goals for the next two weeks is to crack down on those letters of intent/cover letters

10. Wrote a leg routine for two people at the gym and they absolutely loved it. I than so graciously received a Tims gift card, which was totally not needed or asked for but she insisted. So nice.

11. I made a peanutty version of these cookies and everyone loved them!

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12. I reconnected with a friend who moved away this year (Oh hey Cass if you’re reading this). It was so nice to hear from her and catch up!

13. One of my clients told me that he was so happy that he found me because I have helped him so much. Daaawww

14. Finally took my ass to Canadian Tire to get a spare key for my Dad. Than I got an even cooler key so my Dad gets the boring original…

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I swear I am an adult. Can I call it Mighty Mouse?

PS please ignore the U.G.L.Y callouses on my hands…gym problems. ¬†

14. Three people have told me that I’m looking strong! I’m growing friends!

15. I left the gym on Friday feeling a sense of complete and utter bliss. I had trained my ass off that morning, hit my squat PR, trained both a client and my housemate and spent 1.5 hours trying to eat my post workout because everyone was chatting with me. I just feel like I’m supposed to be there. I’m supposed to help others and give information. It was a great feeling. Passion, I like you.

16. I forced my housemates to enter the Christmas season nice and early with me by putting these on their doorsūüėČ..¬†Spread a lil love…

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Penguin for me (cuz I love them!), elephant for Em (cuz likewise) and a beautiful Xmas sweater for Rita because they didn’t have a turtle…(her nickname lol)

And with the spirit of Xmas now in our hearts, I will end it here. Overall a great week filled with a lot of great things. Heres to further growth and positivity my friends!

Thanks again to Meghan for giving me a platform to share my successes and happy moments of the week.

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What is one success or happy moment you experienced this week?

-Chelsea