About Me

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I'm a busy mom, working professional, and lover of all things fitness. I've lost 20 lbs in and kept it off for the past 2 years without stepping foot in a gym. I'm all about learning to be a better ME and paying it forward. Contact me at http://fb.me/tamaragomez18 or tamara.gomez18@gmail.com

Friday, January 10, 2014

No More Credit Cards!

Guess what?  As of an hour ago, I am officially credit card debt free!  Why is this SUCH a big deal?  Well let's go back a few years...

August 2009, my boyfriend Syed, who I'd been with for 4 years and who was living with me and my daughter Novali, had decided that he wasn't happy anymore in our relationship.  We broke up and he moved out.  I was heartbroken, devastated.  I thought this was the man I would spend the rest of my life with!  I suddenly found myself alone with my 8 year old daughter, with rent and bills to pay on my own.  I had a job, a good career in fact.  But I also had LOADS of credit card debt.  I'm talking 10s of thousands of dollars, which I hate admitting.  I hadn't been the most financially responsible person in my 20s and I'd racked up charges on close to 10 credit cards.  I also had an expensive car loan and about $90K in student loans.  See I used to take out the max allowable in student loans every year in undergrad to help pay my parent's bills and mortgage.  Then I went to a private college for my Master's degree.  So I had a lot of debt.   I'd been working super hard the previous 2 years, making sure I didn't have any late payments and I'd almost improved my credit score enough to qualify for a home loan!  Then, like I said, I found myself alone and I couldn't make ends meet.  The credit cards were the first thing I stopped paying.  I suddenly had bill collectors calling, I fell behind on my car loan.  I was a mess.

A mess in more ways than one, I was depressed.  Before Syed and broke up I had been struggling with some anxiety and insomnia and I was on both sleeping pills and anti-anxiety meds.  Now suddenly I could barely hold it together.  It took everything in me to drag myself out of bed to get Novali ready for school and myself to work.  I didn't eat for about a week after the breakup.  Somehow, I managed to survive the days when I really wanted to crawl under a rock and die.  In the previous years I had also gained 20 lbs sitting at a desk job and eating junk all the time.  I felt awful about myself, sluggish, fatigued.  I hated taking pictures.  My self-confidence was at an all time low, and this certainly didn't help. I had always been the super skinny girl that could eat everything in sight, even after I had my daughter at 21 I went back down to being thin, but over the years that had changed.  I would go to the gym here and there and then reward myself with tacos on the way home.  I was fat, depressed, broke and alone...

In those days right after the breakup, several of which I stayed home from work because I couldn't stop crying long enough to focus, I started to pop in some exercise DVDs into the DVD player.  Specifically I had Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga.  I started doing them just to preoccupy myself and keep busy.  Soon I realized that while I was working out, that 30-60 min. a day was the only time when I could focus only on the task at hand and not think about my problems.  It made me, dare I say, happy?  I became addicted.  Exercise became my drug of choice and honestly, it saved me!  A month went by and in September for my birthday, all my friends were commenting on how great I looked!  I felt the changes too.  Was I still depressed and broke?  Yes.  But there was a little piece of me that was starting to find a glimmer of self-confidence and strength.  That I could do this on my own and I would be OK.  So I kept at it.  

Come New Years I'd lost about 10 lbs and I was ready for a new challenge.  My best friend Grisel said to me, "Hey I saw this workout on TV called ChaLEAN Extreme, we should do it."  So we did.  She bought it for me as a gift and we started doing it, checking in every day.  90 days later, I'd lost a total of 20 lbs and was feeling great!  Still broke, but much stronger as a person, physically and emotionally.  Then Grisel said to me, "Hey I saw this OTHER program on TV called Insanity, what do you think, let's do it!"  I took a look and said NO WAY.  That looks way too hard, I can't do that.  But I thought about it and said, why not?  Let's take on the challenge.  So we did.  60 days later I was in the best shape of my life!  Through it all I was actively tweeting about Insanity and I had all these "coaches" asking me if I wanted to be a coach.  I didn't know what the heck they were talking about, I thought they were all weird, and I ignored them.

In the meantime, I had not given up on my feelings and strong belief that Syed and I belonged together.  We were slowly starting to reconnect and I was realizing that I had lost myself in the relationship over the years.  Breaking up had forced me to rediscover myself and my own capabilities and strength.  He said that I had come alive again, I was healthy and secure in myself, there was a light in me again.  

But... I was still BROKE and falling further behind.  My car had been repossessed.  How was I going to fix this problem?  I had started following Chalene Johnson on social media because she's the creator of ChaLEAN Extreme.  One day she posted a picture of a Beachbody Coach, Christine Dwyer, holding a quarterly bonus check for over $100K (if memory serves me right, it was about $120K).  Well THAT caught my eye for sure!  I made the connection between that picture and the coaches that had been approaching me online.  So I started to do my research.  I saw that Beachbody was a legit company and that many normal, every day people, like me, were having success inspiring and helping others AND getting out of debt.  I had also heard about this thing called Shakeology and I wanted to try it, so a 25% discount didn't hurt the deal either.  

One day I met this super nice girl on Twitter, Nichole.  She and I got to chatting about random things and after a week or so she asked, "Have you ever thought about being a coach?"  Why yes, yes I had!  So I talked it over with Syed, yes we were spending more and more time together, and he said "go for it, I haven't seen you so excited about something in... maybe EVER."  So I jumped in head first, not knowing what the heck I was doing or what to expect. 

Fast forward 3.5 years later, Syed and are happily married.  Our beautiful son Jacob was born 3 weeks ago.  I no longer worry about bills.  I am a 2 Star Diamond Beachbody Coach, I'm earning a full time income that pays all my bills and I'm doing it on a very part time basis.  Beachbody has allowed me the freedom to leave my full time job to Coach full time if I so choose.  I have a team of amazing coaches that have joined me all across the U.S. and they are also changing their lives and achieving their goals.  I get to help people everyday feel better about themselves by sharing the things that made me feel better about MYSELF.  Shakeology has completely changed my health, I've gotten off meds for anxiety, insomnia, and irritable bowel syndrome and I never get sick anymore (I used to always catch every nasty bug out there).  I've made amazing friends, Beachbody has sent my family to the Bahamas and Disney World and I earned a Carribean cruise for this year in March, but I'm passing on that because Jacob will still be too little.  

On top of that, because I took a chance at doing something different and becoming a Beachbody Coach, I've paid off almost $25K in credit card debt. 

My life is a completely different picture than it was 4 years ago.

I'm healthy.

I'm happy.

And I'm credit card debt free!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vegetarian Kids in a Carnivorous Home

I'm a meat eater. Always have been. About a year ago I read the book Skinny Bitch and Syed read the counter part, Skinny Bastard (yes there's a version for the guys). It really opened our eyes to the implications of eating animal products. For a little while Syed attempted a vegan lifestyle. I, on the other hand, while I felt more educated, it wasn't enough to make me want to change my ways. Right or wrong, it's just how I felt. And probably because of that, Syed's efforts tapered off.

Now a week ago, Novali has decided that she wants to be a vegetarian, for ethical reasons. I support her, but want to make sure that she's healthy and getting the proper nutrition. She's very picky and I've made it clear that this doesn't mean she has free reign to eat cheese pizza exclusively for the rest of her years.

We've been experimenting with foods and vegetables the past 2 days, and we're headed to the bookstore to look at some cookbooks. She's also getting her blood checked today just to make sure she's not anemic.

Anyone out there with vegetarian kids? I'd love to hear your experiences and tips!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Motivation Has Nothing To Do With It...

“Motion creates emotion”
As usual I came home tonight and worked out.  But it wasn’t just a regular workout.  For the first time I did the Strength workout from Insanity The Asylum, all the way through, no breaks.  I did every single rep, even when I thought I couldn’t keep going I pushed through and got it done.  I love the sense of accomplishment when I can beat my own record, when I can achieve what my body tells me is impossible.  Always in competition with myself!  
Do you think I was motivated to workout when I got home from work?  Heck no!  All I wanted to do was sit on the couch, stuff my face, and watch The Walking Dead (which rocks by the way)!  I was drained from another long day at work.  If I had let myself be led by emotions, I would not have accomplished what was one of the best workouts I’ve ever completed.  
A lot of people ask me how I stay so motivated.  They tell me that they WANT to lose weight, they WANT more energy, they WANT to feel better.  They’ve bought workout programs, joined gyms.  They’re just not motivated to do the work.
What I do has nothing to do with motivation in my opinion.  I’m rarely motivated to exercise.  It’s about commitment.  I have a full time job and I own my own business, I’m a mom and a wife.  I’m busy and tired, all the time!  I come home drained, exhausted from work thinking about all the other things I could be doing.  I don’t really WANT Shaun T to make me want to cry or Chalene Johnson to make me want to puke.  But I’ve made a commitment to myself to be as healthy as I can be.  To be a healthy mom and wife.  It makes me feel good about myself, confident and strong.  I treat my workouts like a business appointment.  As soon as I get home from work I put my workout clothes on and press play no matter how tired I might be, and I ALWAYS feel 100x better and accomplished when I’m done!
Here’s what I’ve learned about motivation...  if you sit around and wait for it to slap you upside your head, it’s never going to happen!  Motivation does not come before action, action comes before motivation.  Once I get moving I feel better, the adrenaline kicks in, and THAT’S when motivation strikes.  Not the other way around.  As my hubby Syed likes to say, “motion creates emotion.”  The only workouts I’ve ever regretted are the ones I DIDN’T do.  
So the next time you think to yourself “I just don’t feel like it”, “I’m too tired”, “too busy”...  “I’m not motivated today”... cut the excuse and just do it already.  You’ll feel better when you’re done, I promise.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 13

So I’m catching up here, I forgot to post all last week! Shame on me! Quick recap, day 6-8 were awful for me. I felt drained, crabby, exhausted, and my cravings were out of control. Syed was even worried about me and thought that maybe I should quit the reset. But I held on, and on day 9 I woke up feeling fabulous again! I got past the hump! My energy was back and I have felt great ever since.

I admit the one thing I’ve continued to struggle with is my cravings. I’ve been craving meat (I’m still dreaming of a burrito bowl from Chipotle). So I have to confess I was weak this weekend. On Saturday I took my mom to the movies where she ordered a burger and fries and I stole a few fries off of her plate. Then, since I was at the movies during the time that I would normally have had dinner, I was starving and Syed made hearty miso soup, our dinner for the day. While it tasted good it was not satisfying. We were both itching to press speed dial on our phones for our favorite pizza place. But we decided to just sleep through the craving.

I woke up at 4 am and I swear my stomach was eating itself. OMG I was so hungry! And then I didn’t even sleep in with it being Mother’s Day because I had to eat. I’d had it, I wanted comfort food! I used the Mother’s Day excuse, I admit it, and I just lost all willpower. So we went to brunch. I had French toast and a little coffee and a bite of grilled cheese and a slice of bacon. Ugh. Then dinner time came and I did not want roasted beets! So we ordered that pizza. Was it good? It was ok. Was it satisfying? YES. Was it worth it? NO.

I have IBS and one thing this process has taught me is that my symptoms are food related. I have not had any stomach issues, cramps, nothing, since day 1 of the cleanse. This morning I was in SO MUCH ridiculous pain. What was the trigger? Hard to pinpoint, maybe it was the grease, the spiciness (I love everything extra spicy), the sodium, the dairy??? Who knows, but I did not feel good. Lesson learned.

Have I set myself back? I don’t know, but I will not dwell on it, I will continue on and finish this out. As of Saturday I’d lost 6.4 lb. I gained 2 back which I completely expected. We will see what the next 8 days brings. I’m recommitted cause as much as I like my food, I like feeling good that much more. The ultimate lesson that I want to learn from this process is that yes I CAN eat healthy the majority of the time, cooking fresh foods and enjoying them, and that I can allow myself a cheat meal once a week (maybe not pizza anymore). I tend to not do well with all or nothing, as this has shown.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I’m a slave, for you…

A slave to my kitchen that is! Its day 7 of the Ultimate Reset. I’m almost done with phase one which was the reclaim phase. Its only noon so there are a lot of hours left but I am confident I will make it through. At the moment I’m having lunch… micro green salad and zucchini cashew soup (which is making me gag actually)…

So first things first, I feel like I’m living in the kitchen these days. It’s kind of cool that all of our meals have to be freshly prepared; we’re definitely learning new things and bonding over the food prep process! The downside is that it takes A LOT of time! And a LOT of cleanup! We’re definitely getting our money’s worth out of the dishwasher. Sunday I spent a full 2 hours standing in the kitchen making dinner, prepping Monday’s breakfast and making Monday’s lunch. I know it was 2 hours cause we watched a movie from start to finish at the same time.

Yesterday, day 6 I felt like crap! It was warned that day 3-5 or so would be difficult. So I was fully prepared to have the weekend to get over that slump but since I felt great on those days I was hoping I skipped that part all together and was in the clear. Not the case! I woke up yesterday, Monday of all days, feeling incredibly exhausted and crabby. Mostly exhausted. I was drained and miserable the whole day at work. And I was very, VERY angry at my micro green salad. See the salad, which is very good, is on the menu for lunch just about every day, and I’m already SICK of it. Yesterday all I wanted was to toss it and run to Chipotle for a steak burrito bowl, extra steak! I was a bit over emotional. My job passed out chocolates to all the employees and I just about cried because I wanted to eat them! All I wanted to do was get home and sleep. After work I went to whole foods and treated myself to a snack, a handful of almonds with coconut and sweetened with organic pure maple syrup. All allowable ingredients this week so I thought why not? It was just a handful and it felt like a small cheat, had those with some fresh strawberries and it made me smile.

Today, day 7, I woke up very drained again but I’m in a better mood overall. I just need to get past the slump; I know I will feel great again very soon. And back to today’s lunch, the DREADED micro green salad which I am making myself eat, and soup, which we had for dinner and it was good but today I’m just not feeling it.

I’m holding steady at 4.2 lbs lost. I actually was at a little over 5 lbs but I gained 1 back and it’s been the same for 2 days. We’ll see what happens when I start the next phase, phase 2 is the colon cleanse… eek… As long as we are on that topic, I haven’t had any stomach cramps since day 1 which makes me VERY happy and shows me that my IBS is really diet related! For someone who’s dealt with IBS and almost DAILY painful cramping for 9 years, this is very eye-opening.

Still craving steak… Till next time!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 4

Ok so lots of people said that day 3-5 are the hardest and to be prepared to feel like crap, tired, sore, crabby, etc.  I will say that aside from the headaches on day 1 and 2 I feel amazing!  I'm following the meal plan just as it's laid out and I'm down 5.4 lbs in 3 days.  I've lost more than Syed at this point which is a little weird cause I way a lot less than he does.  We're thinking it might be the fact that I've accidentally been drinking almost 2x as much water as it calls for.  Oops, but it seems to be working!

I feel very much alert, not hungry, if anything I can't even eat all the food that the plan calls for.  It's so much food!!!  I woke up today at 7 am (exactly the 8 hour mark) wide awake and wanting to get out of bed.  But I thought, who am I?  I love to sleep and I don't have to be anywhere so why not take advantage of this.  I made myself go back to sleep until 10:30 when Novali came and got me.

Syed and I did some stretching with Insanity Asylum's Relief dvd, that felt great.  Afterwards and for the rest of the day my legs were very achy so that was a little uncomfortable.  We spent all day relaxing, watching movies, cooking, and just feeling very content.

That's the one thing, there's so much cooking involved!  All meals need to be prepared fresh, so our kitchen and dishwasher have been getting A LOT of use.  The hard part will be continuing with this AFTER the 21 days are up!  I'm feeling so good I've had NO cravings and when I even think about the things I usually eat as take out, it doesn't even sound appealing.  No Cinco de Mayo indulgences for us!

Here's to good health!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 3

So I must say, for the first time since I can remember, I don't have the Friday afternoon drained "just want to get home and lay on the couch" feeling. And we have a standing joke in the office that come 3 pm I start yawning quite loudly. 3 pm came and went and I said to myself, "guess what self? I'm wide awake!"

I feel great today. Woke up clear headed (although I'm not jumping out bed quite yet in the morning). I feel energized, full, happy, alert. No headache today.

I did have some thoughts about wanting a burrito bowl and chocolate, but they passed. And there was a spread of Cinco De Mayo chips, guacamole, and salsa at work that I bravely ignored. Chips and salsa are my biggest addiction so I was proud of myself. :)

Lunch was a microgreen salad and an interesting lentil salad. I'm not a fan of beans but I sucked it up and ate it anyway (with a little fresh salsa I snuck, hey it's allowed, it's veggies).

Oh and I'm down 3.4 lbs in 2 days which I'm sure is water weight but I'll take it! Also no stomach cramps for 2 days woohoo!

I'm all smiles! Time to go home and attempt to make veggie Maki rolls. We'll see how that turns out.