Friday, April 24, 2015

the good life

I found my good ole blog today.  I don't know what made me look for it.  I really don't but I was shocked when I found myself thinking, "I like this girl.  This mom who wrote this blog.  She is cool.  I like what she is saying." Most of the time I feel like a maniac mom person.   I feel like fitness and writing are two things that make me feel grounded.  Probably because they are what I am passionate about-- but that is what happens.  I could be a raving, mad, lunatic all day and then I am in the gym feeling like I GOT THIS.  Or writing my thoughts and they seem SO SIMPLE.  I have thought about writing many times but have felt confused about where to start.  The last year has been crazy.  Literally. 

So, it started with our move to Hawaii.  Those that know me have heard it a million times by now.......We boarded a plane, a few suitcases and our dog and away we went. 

I honestly thought by this point I would have my own rockin Personal Training business.  I would be successful, have a million clients, I would tear it up.  I would successfully sell Advocare to everyone on the island and watch them transform into healthy, workout machines.   I would write a wonderful fitness blog and continue my strongmutha.com website.  Possibly expand to online coaching.  I mean, really.  Nothing would stop me.   I would help so many people, I would blast off in my Training career.  Um.......that did not happen.  Not at all.  I don't blame myself for dreaming.  I loved it.  I loved the unknown of what would happen when we got here.  I was excited to not have a plan.  As Chad and I kept saying to ourselves, "we are adventuring."

How do I even describe what happened when we got here?
I don't know but I will try.

We ran out of money in about two months.
We couldn't find jobs to save our lives.
We realized we could not live with Chad's parents (Love you guys!!!!)
We were scared shitless.

And that is when everything changed.
I don't blame the fear.  It is natural to be afraid when the shit hits the fan.  It was part of the adventure that we just didn't know about ahead of time.

What we quickly realized is that this adventure was not going to be smooth sailing.  I  realized why my family was worried about me moving to an island.  Everything they said was true.  It was hard as hell to find jobs.  It is expensive here.  We were crazy.  yes. yes. and yes.  But what I love is that was all part of it.  Now that we are doing a helluva lot better I realize we needed that.  This island has given us everything we need from the start.  The first lesson being:  YOU DON'T NEED ALL THAT SHIT.  Even though we came here with nothing, really.  We still needed that lesson.  second lesson, YOU GOTTA GET WAY OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.  Not just out of it a bit.  GET THE HELL OUT OF THAT ZONE.  third was really learning to be GRATEFUL.  I don't mean to share these lessons like, we are so enlightened now because of the lessons we have learned.    Hell no.  We still work on the learning everyday.  I am just sitting here, looking around at our small studio that we live in with the three of us and our 90lb, hairy ass dog, thinking.  THANK YOU GOD.  WE ARE SO LUCKY. 

In that last year I have been so proud of my family.  We never gave up.  We eventually came up with Hawaiian Plan B and feel amazing.  Chad is going to school for his BS in Computer Science.  He is getting straight A's for the most part and I am so incredibly in awe of his passion for software development.  Because we are here, he gets to pursue his dream.  Somehow, he got into the U of H and was able to get student loans.  This has been the new goal of the family.  To support Chad in this amazing education that will soon really help our family. Not to mention he loves it like I love fitness.  Dutch was able to get a scholarship to an amazing pre-school.  Things that like that just started coming out of no where.  We have the most amazing family ever (the same people we could not live with) who did everything they could to help us get on our feet.
We met the most incredible, giving, people.  I look around at our situation just thinking, there is no way any of this could have been the wrong choice.  Although it has not gone as planned AT ALL, it is beautiful.  These people are meant to be in our lives.  They are meant to teach us things and share things.  This island is magical and lovely and warm.

My fitness career is one of the things that has surprised me the most.  It has gone through some transitions.  I started teaching and training full time at an amazing gym in Hilo, Penn Fitness.  That gym and the people in it are A WHOLE NUTHA LEVEL special to me.  After a few months of working there full time I realized it was not going to support us enough.  There is not really a fitness industry in Hilo.  Not what I was used to.  The stress that I was feeling trying to make enough money to survive was killing me.  I had to leave the gym.  We were still in our tough times.  "Not sure how to get food on the table" sort of times.  The Universe, the island, truly gave me a huge gift, which is working at Altres staffing.  I would not have asked for a desk job.  No I would not.  BUT, if I have to have one, this is a pretty amazing one.  And, it is in Hawaii which makes it awesome in itself.  The girls I work with are incredible human beings.  My family is so much more comfortable, we are able to enjoy so much more.  I am still involved with the gym and have one client who is a whole nutha blog in itself because she is so mind blowing-awesome.

Did I mention Dutch is so happy here?  He has no clue we have even struggled.  He thinks we have a big ole slumber party every night.   Kids are magical. 

So there it is. 
I see comments on facebook when I post pictures of us at the beach like, "Hawaii looks good on you guys."   I think someone said "The good life."  something like that.  Yes, it is.  It's an amazing life.  It is not just what you see in the pictures but when we find the happiness, the good stuff, we take pictures.  We document that shiz.  So thank you for that.  I always realize we do live a pretty damn good life when I see those comments. 

My goal now is to really find peace with myself.  To just stop trying to plan the future.  I want to be here in this island life for now.  I want to enjoy the hell out of it and work on my spirit.  Learn to be quiet more, learn to enjoy life.  Really learn what being happy is to me. 

I do want to write more often.  I want to share what the island has taught me about my body and my fitness mentality. 

I will. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Muscle Mama

Before I started really lifting weights I was doing ALOT of cardio.  Crazy hard, metabolic training, make you wanna puke, cardio.  Now that I think of it, I was probably overtraining a bit, going HARD most days of the week because I was teaching a lot of classes that required me to do that.  I was eating about 80% healthy and 20% not.  I am always conscious of how my body will feel if I make certain choices, but I love a cocktail or glass of wine now and again.  I want to enjoy my life, what I eat and how I workout and let the body that follows that, be my body.   I LOVE sweets and have a bit of chocolate most days.  I eat a ton of fruit, veggies, healthy protein and sweet potatoes.  Love my coffee in the morning and talk myself out of it in the afternoon. 
In the below red short pics, I weighed about 162 lbs. and I am 5'8 and was 22% body fat. 



I started training at Shine Fitness in February 2013 (6 months ago).  I work with three women who love to lift heavy and look fantastic.  All three have different body types but are all very lean, strong, feminine and can lift more than most men.  They quickly taught me the Shine training philosophies and I adapted them for myself.  I started to lift heavy weights properly twice a week.  I didn't change my eating much, I feel good with my relationship to food.  I am a bit more strategic in my lifting and my cardio training and have 1-3 rest days a week.  My goal was to tighten up, feel strong and firm, and make my workouts effective and hard core.  If I am feeling 4 workouts in a week, that is what I will do but I will give them total focus.  I lift two times a week using the Shine philosophy of training.  I recently took some pics of the changes and although I weigh the same or maybe a little more, around 162 lbs., I can feel and see the slight changes.  I feel tighter and I can totally see it in the pics.   Granted, the first pics were in January so I am totally pasty, lol.  So sad that a tan really does make things look so much better.  :)  I am pretty sure you will see what I am talking about here.  In the pink sports bra pics, I weigh 162lbs. and am 20% body fat.  My % went down 2% since adding in heavy lifting 6 months ago.


I wanted to share these pics for a few reasons.
1. Whatever the scale says, I am at a weight that works for me.  It doesn't feel like I am going crazy to maintain it, I feel strong, healthy and fabulous in this weight and that is what matters to me.  I was able to get tighter, just by adding in heavy lifting and not changing much else besides resting more.
2. Strength training really does tighten everything up.  Muscle is leaner, tighter and harder than fat. 
3. The scale is dumb.
4. You don't have to be drastic, feel deprived or like you are chasing some crazy goal to make you feel worthy of loving your body.  You define what feels good to you.
5. Being in the fitness industry adds another level of pressure to look a certain way and I am always battling that a little bit on the inside.  I constantly remind myself I don't need to be the skinniest, I don't have to weigh any certain number.  I need to decide what feels healthy to me and own it. 






Friday, April 5, 2013

Almost 35

My 35th birthday is quickly approaching and it is trippin me out.  I can remember when I used to think being over 30 was ancient.  I am very excited to graduate to 35 and feel I have learned so much in the last year.  SO MUCH.  There have been chapters in my life such as 0-10, 10-15, 15-18, 18-27, 27-30, 30 to present.  I can group my own years of age like chapters of a book based on how much I have changed and grown during those times. 
It is hard to even explain what exactly I have learned over the years but the underlying theme is, I continue to learn to love more and feel anything else, less.  This includes myself, situations, people, experiences.  It all comes back to love and looking for the ability to be all up in that love.
I have seen my fitness and health goals take on a more loving vibe.  I continue to be kinder to myself, to treat myself with respect and to workout and eat in a way that feels good.  This is not perfect.
My last post was about my goal of being 18% body fat before my recent trip to Hawaii.  I have been lifting heavy weights 2-3x a week and doing interval cardio training 3 days a week.  I didn't really change my nutrition dramatically but I did get rid of some bad habits.  Bad is such a strong word, maybe we should call them "not so good" habits.  I started drinking my coffee black and went from about 4 cups a day to only 2 in the morning.  I stopped buying dark chocolate so I cut myself off from my "after dinner chocolate" habit.  I started eating way more protein and I stopped eating bread.  None of this was all that tough but after a week it definably got easier and easier.  After about a month I lost 2 lbs. on the scale and 1.5% body fat!  That is a big deal for me and I feel absolutely fabulous at 20%.
I have decided I feel great.  I keep catching myself wanting to be smaller, thinner, stronger, over and over and over.  I have decided at almost 35, that my goal for my life going forward is to enjoy my health.  20% is where I want to be today, I don't feel the need to get to 18%.  20% feels good and I am happy here.  I am not the smallest, buffest, baddest assest Trainer out there, BUT, I am the baddest ass version of Casey Phillips out there and I like that.  I want to own that, to inspire other women to look at themselves and get to that point where they feel the same.  Not perfect.  Not even necessarily 20%, but that we all have that place where we feel good and look good and it doesn't have to be dreamy, or someone else's ideal body.  It is ours.  WE DECIDE.  Almost every woman I know wants to be  atleast 10 lbs. lighter.  So many women struggle with self confidence in their bodies and we can all be so damn hard on ourselves.  I refuse to do this any longer.
I met a woman the other day who is in her 70's and we were discussing fitness.  She was so hard on herself, she was putting herself down, feeling insecure and this woman was so beautiful.  She was fun, nice, smart, caring, kind and it honestly pissed me off at the world that a woman like this isn't able to see her beauty and she might not get to appreciate it her entire life.  I realize I need to take accountability for this now while I am a young 35 year old.  I am not going to wake up someday when I am 70 and automatically feel awesome.  I have to do the work now to make that happen.  The work is complimenting myself, being proud of how I look, living and moving like a healthy person, letting go of negative thoughts as soon as possible.  One day at a time I will be kind to Casey.  She is pretty cool and she deserves to enjoy it.  Come on, Case!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Phillips Family Potty Party

The potty training saga continues.
My last update was about letting go and letting Dutch show me signs he is ready.  Go with the flow, relax.
um.........no.  I changed my mind.
Dutch got a a point that he was using the toilet at school but not at home.  That is when mama decided we are going hard core.  This boy knows exactly what he is doing. He is about to do this at home.  On the toilet.     No more babying my baby.
I decided to have a potty party.  Why not start with bribery to ease him into this new world of toilets, flushing, and big boy panties.
I went to Safeway and got a bunch of balloons, some m&m's, gummy worms, and the grand finale of POOP PRIZES.  If he pooped in the toilet, he would receive the bouncy balls and the animals that grew in warm water.  totally gross, I know.
So I went home, decorated for the party.  I told Dutch about this amazing potty party all the way home from school.  He seemed pretty excited.  We got home and he ran into the bathroom to see his glorious toilet haven.  HE WAS CRAZY EXCITED.  Unfortunately, he was not excited when he found out there were rules to get the prizes.  It took us about two days to teach him that if he peed in the toilet, he got candy.  If he  pooped, he got the poop prizes.  After our 48 hours of confusion, he totally got it.  He completely learned how to pee on the toilet, he didn't mind going in there to sit down and try.  When he did pee, Chad and I acted like he just won the lottery.  We jumped and cheered, we did a family high five.  I wish I could say it was fun, but it was pretty much a ton of work.  Okay, maybe it was fun a few times.  Eventually Dutch started to learn to use the toilet when he needed to pee.  He got a point that it felt weird to go in his pants/diapers.  I would say this took about two weeks.  He is still not a fan of having to go to the toilet and we have to make him pee about every hour or two.  It usually goes like this-
"Dutch, let's go potty."
"NO!"  (total whine)
us-"go potty or else we will turn off your movie"  or "go use the potty or no more toys."  or "use the potty then we will have a Popsicle."  I am totally aware that this may sound horrible and I hope I am not setting Dutch up to have a Popsicle, m&m and gummy worm problem when he grows up.  I can only encourage my son to get therapy when he is older.  As parents, we do the best we can and that is all we really can do.  Anything that we mess up..........therapy.  The kids will be fine.
Dutch is still terrified to poop on the toilet and I am not rushing that at all.  We put him in pull ups at nap and bedtime and that is usually when he relaxes enough to go.  He also loves to go in his underwear or even just straight onto the floor.  He hides behind couches, under the dining room table and in closets when he knows it is gonna happen.  I can see how scared he is so I am definitely going to just keep supporting him through this fear.  He did poop his pants last week and then I put him on the toilet to teach him that is where we poop.  Part of a poop chunk fell off his butt into the toilet and he was soooooooooo proud of himself.  You could just see the joy and shock on his face when he thought he did it and was still okay.  I totally gave him the poop prizes so that pressure was taken away.
Potty training is one of those things that does just happen, I realize that now,  but so far I am proud of the Phillips family method.  I will keep you updated, of coarse.  Rock on- mom's.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Superhero At Home Metabolic Workout

I managed to kick my own butt with this workout.  The key is to make sure you move from exercise to exercise, don't take too many breaks in between.  You can catch your breath and grab water in between sets, but keep on truckin through each round.  I definitely had to talk myself into doing this because it was hard.  When I am at home, it is so much more tempting to just stop.  When you feel those thoughts creep in your head, think about your why and keep going.  I was really picturing Hawaii every time I wanted to stop.

Let me also say, form is key for any workout.  If you don't know what this means or how to do this and you want a Trainer to help whip you into shape, you email me.  This workout is meant for someone who knows form, knows their body and knows how to find that edge on their own.

Start with about a 5-7 minute dynamic warm up
I was moving and grooving through my living room. 

Core work-
Do each move for 1 minute, going through this whole set twice
plank on forearms
side plank with hip dips
other side
glute bridge, just hold your butt up and squeeze the hell out of your cheeks
plank to push up (this is plank on your forearms to plank on your hands)

circuit- 1 minute for each move, three rounds of this!!! 
1. skaters
2. pull ups ( I do have a pull up bar and was using a chair to help me, training myself to strengthen my back, getting ready to do pull ups with out help)
3. burpees (yup!  do em)
4. tricep dips
5. reverse lunge to hop (switch legs halfway through)
6. chin ups (using the chair and pull up bar)
7. jump split lunges
8. see saw plank on forearms
9. jump squats
10. glute bridge with hip raises (squeeze those cheeks!!)

After going through those 10 moves, three times, you should be SMOKED LIKE BACON!
It was funny because Dutch figured out I was into what I was doing and ignoring him.  He dumped his chips on the couch and then created his own little death trap.  I got away with the at home workout, though!  Have fun!

Superhero Goal Setting

I have a new goal that I want to share with anyone who is reading this just to make it a little more real for myself.  I am lowering my body fat by 2% in the next two months, that is the goal.  I am not changing the amount of time I spend in the gym or even the way I eat, besides adding more protein.  I am simply training differently, more effectively and letting my body get stronger, which in turn, will get me to my goal.  My family is going to Hawaii in two months and I have this vision of doing a fitness photo shoot on the beach with the body that will make me proud.  My definition of fitness photo shoot is my husband taking the pictures and Dutch throwing things into the water, doing something crazy on the sidelines.  I love my body right now and I definitely don't want to be that woman who is never satisfied.  I don't want to be trying to lose 10 lbs. until I die, how horrible that sounds.  I do want to add strength training and I mean, heavy lifting, to my life and watch my body add muscle and lose fat.  This has me all excited and I have this new found purpose to bring with me into the gym.  I feel so strong and empowered when I grab the 35lb dumbbells or do some pull ups.  My plan is to strength train 3x a week and to do a metabolic cardio workout 2x a week.  That leaves me two days to either rest, go to yoga or walk the dog.  Whatever feels right.

So here I go throughout my days, ready to take on the gym, ready to work hard, ready to change dat boday..........and Dutch gets the flu.  On Friday night my baby started puking and fevering and being so sad and uncomfortable.  As a mom, when my boy is sick like this, it takes over my entire being.  I worry for him, I am sad for him, I want to comfort him.  I pretty much have Dutch tunnel vision and don't really pay attention to anything else.  I went at least 48 hours without really sleeping because he was up every hour, crying that he hurt.  Oh this was just so sad.  Luckily I had already put in some good workouts Mon-Fri.  I really had to decide it was okay not to stick with my plan for the week, entirely.  I missed one day of strength but got in all of my cardio interval workouts.  I took my two days off in a row, rather than staggering them, and I was in mommy mode.  As a mom, I need to be ready to prioritize on a daily basis.  I am constantly learning to go with the flow and the lesson of letting go is there every day.  Being a mom is truly like being a super hero.  I feel like no one can understand, fully, until they are a mom themselves.  We are always living this dual life of fighting crime, saving lives, working our asses off-purely out of love.  At the same time, we are out in the world, living, with all of our mom thoughts going off in our heads.  Even if I just say to someone, "yes, Dutch was sick this weekend, it was hard."  Only a mom can truly understand what that means, emotionally. 

Dutch is staying home from school for one more day.  I am re-prioritizing my workouts, one more time, starting with a metabolic cardio workout that I can all do in my living room.  I am going to do this in about an hour so I will post the workout and pics later this afternoon.  Working out at home takes way more mojo for me.  I am going to power through it, hard core-superhero mom style.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Changin

I knew 2013 would bring big changes, I guess I just didn't know how huge the new energy would hit me.  As soon as 2013 started, I felt something shift inside myself.  That sounds so dramatic and woo woo but really, I felt like my intuition and my ability to tune into myself really kicked into high gear.

I made the decision to leave a job and team that I LOVED to pursue new career adventures.  I was with this team for 2 years and it was amazing.  The gym has dynamic and creative workouts, a very close knit team of talented, AMAZING, Instructors and it really had become a big part of my life.  Not only that, but a love of my life.  It still is and always will be.
I personally reached a point within myself in which I felt the need for change and I knew I was ready.  There were many factors that went into this choice and even though I was making it, it shocked me a bit.  I am going to leave this amazing place that has supported me and taught me so much about this industry?

The answer was yes from the bottom of my heart.  I felt ready to find new challenges and experiences and part of doing that was stepping into my personal power and taking a leap.   I want to continue to grow as a Trainer so that I can help impact people's lives on an even deeper level.  Not that I wasn't doing that before, but the more mentors, clients and environments that I train in, the more experience will help to educate me.  I felt the thing that could help me do that was change.  Big, bad, scary CHANGE.
After I realized what I needed to do for ME, I took action in a number of areas.  I wrote down exactly what I wanted in my next position, all the way down to the hours that I would be working, what my job would entail, who I would be reaching with my work, what sort of team I would be on.  I had fun doing this and writing it down helped me visualize which in this case, helped me manifest.  Without a doubt.
During this transitional week a friend asked me to vision board with her.  I am so happy that I did because it really got me excited to be in my own awareness of what I wanted. 
The biggest thing that has helped me during this big change is really deciding to stay in the positive.  Sending love and happiness to anyone and everything that I come across, especially if I encounter any negative energy in my path.  Sometimes I have to talk myself into that choice but it is always what keeps me going in the right direction.

Within a week of leaving my last position, I have found two opportunities that are absolutely amazing.  This did not happen without some absolutely terrible and way not for me- job interviews- but it was all worth it.  I will still be able to teach in Kirkland, at a local gym called Bassline.  It is loud, crazy and awesome and will allow me to create a whole new relationship to the room, the class and the music.  I am teaching two classes a week so that I can get that group energy that is so infectious and also to create space for personal training.

I am ECSTATIC that I was also hired on at a Personal Training studio called Shine Fitness.  The owner has phenomenal programming and vision and I have already learned so much about the body, even during the interview process.  I am beyond excited to connect with clients on a deep level to help them set goals and make big changes.  The transformations that have come out of Shine are inspiring and I am so blown away to be apart of it.  This training studio has everything that I wrote down on my list for my next dream job.  EVERYTHING.  I could not have found a better match for me at this time and am so pumped.

2013 is going to be about finding my own voice and shouting it from the roof tops.  The more chances I take and the more leaps I make the easier it gets to realize that it doesn't have to be so scary.  The more I learn to push fear aside and let it take a back seat to my dreams, the more I step into the good stuff.  I know some mom's get into the mind set that taking risks for themselves is selfish or somehow bad.  The first year of Dutch's life, I would feel guilty if I thought of anything but him.  I have grown out of that, boy have I, and it feels amazing.  Being a mom actually inspires me to plan my life bigger and better.  I want my life away from my son to be OUTSTANDING.  I want him to see the happiest version of me which means pursuing my own passions.  I look at him whenever I need strength or courage and his face helps to keep me positive.  I want to live my life in a way that makes him proud.  I know I am and this time change helped me do that.