Bringing flexy back!

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We just got back on the wagon of working out. I am trying to follow in John’s footsteps. It’s been almost a full two weeks of working out in a row for me.

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Get Real With Yourself: Two Simple Tips for Losing Weight

Are you one of the many people who get so overwhelmed trying to decide which diet or exercise program is right for you that you end up spinning in circles, never to make any progress in your weight loss goals? I’ve been there. Look, I’m not a nutrition expert or registered dietitian, but I do have a little bit of common sense. I saw this sign and it spurred me to write this blog.

Beliefs

There have been times when I “believed” I should be in better shape or I “believed” I should incorporate a better diet. The reality is that simply believing in something doesn’t make it happen. Action, however, does. Our behaviors shape our lives, not our beliefs. Behaviors can be difficult to change, especially if you’re caught in a rut of seemingly years of undesirable behaviors.

So here are two super simple tips for losing weight that I try to practice. They are: 1. eat fewer calories and 2. exercise a little more than the previous day.

Maybe you don’t have time to get to the gym or can’t afford some expensive DVD exercise program to watch at home. But I bet you can find a way to do some air squats, push ups and sit ups at home. It’s not neuroscience. If you did zero squats, push ups and sit ups yesterday, but you found a way to do 25 of each today…BOOM! That’s a positive change in behavior.

The same goes for your diet. If today you eat fewer calories than you did yesterday (let’s say you eat your hamburger without the bun as opposed to with the bun like you normally would)…BOOM! That’s a positive change in behavior. Then simply repeat these small, incremental changes day after day to drive new behaviors.

I’d love to hear one or two ways you can incorporate a new exercise or dietary behavior into your life today. Keep it simple, but keep it consistent, and you will see results!

3 Simple Fitness Tips to Improve the Look of Your Mirror

So you want to bring your Sexy Back this summer so you can Rock Your Body? Unlike Justin Timberlake, who will always appear dapper, the window for John and me to bring our sexy back is closing. Our Mirrors don’t lie. But it’s Not A Bad Thing to make a valiant attempt to reinvent ourselves to the days of old prior to having kids. Here are 3 simple fitness tips that have kept us from Crying A River that you can use to fit into your old Suit & Tie.

   

1. Take Back the Night

Anyone with kids understands how hard it is to work out consistently, especially when they’re home on summer break from school. As much as I don’t like putting off my workout until late in the day, I find it necessary some days to stay consistent with my daily PiYo workout videos. So, instead of just folding the dreaded never-ending pile of laundry or sitting and watching The Bachelorette, I combine the two activities. I reward myself by getting to watch my favorite shows, while folding laundry, after getting my workout in once the kids are in bed.

2. Replacing One Meal a Day With a Shake Is Not A Bad Thing

John and I have seen great gains in our weight loss by replacing one meal a day with a hearty, healthy shake. My favorite is Shakeology’s Chocolate Vegan shake mixed with ice, coconut milk and/or water and a frozen banana. I get it from my Beach Body Coach, Rainer Lowman. John’s favorite protein shake powder is vegan vanilla from About Time.

3. What Goes Around, Goes Around, Goes Around, Comes Back Around

Consistency is key! In my opinion, it almost doesn’t matter what workouts you do or what dietary changes you make. What matters is that you find something you can sustain over a long enough period of time to achieve the results you’re looking for. Most people seek out immediate results because we have been conditioned to expect instant gratification. But let’s be honest, the most effective way to bring your Sexy Back is to set realistic goals and implement nutrition and exercise regimens that you can be consistent with given all your other responsibilities at work and at home. Maybe that means your won’t lose 10lbs in two weeks. Maybe that means you lose 10lbs in 3 months. If that makes more sense for you, then go into it with a realistic approach. As long as you don’t quit and don’t give up the results will come back around.

      

So get out there and deliver a TKO to your diet and workouts! You could even simply dance to some JT music!

Bye Bye Bye,

Sarah

John’ infamous prosthetic leg featured in new article by UNYQ

SPOTLIGHT: JOHN MABRY

John with his two amputee rescue dogs.

Addressing Me

In 2000, as a senior in college at Baylor University, John Mabry found himself in a tragic car accident that left him with a horrible leg injury. Over the next year he had 14 surgeries in an effort to save his left foot. Eventually, due to constant staph infections he began to consider amputation. While researching this option, he began to reach out to the amputee community and was amazed at the positivity and strong responses he received. Mabry decided to go through with the amputation, and 6 weeks later, he walked at his college graduation and received his degree while using a temporary prosthetic.

After graduation Mabry felt a strong calling to help other people in similar situations to his own. Mabry enrolled in a Master’s program in Rehab Counseling that focused on helping people with disabilities get back to work. For the first time in his life, he decided to leave Texas and move to California to pursue the master’s program.

Mabry’s desire to help people is truly remarkable, yet, he soon came to realize, it was at his own expense. He was so focused on helping others with their struggles that he never paid attention to his own.“I kept running from my trauma and my fears. I covered it up with trying to accomplish things… I thought, I am going to go skydiving, I am going to run triathlons but I was just running from myself.” At the end of his Master’s Program, Mabry realized,“I couldn’t go help people I needed to help myself”.

In 2008, it all came crashing down and Mabry and his family made the decision to return to the South to begin focusing on his personal healing. “The biggest part of my journey is addressing me, and working on myself emotionally and mentally, the physical part is what is easy.” Addressing oneself does not come naturally. Whether you are a mother, father, friend, or partner, it is innate to want to care for others. We are taught selfishness is ugly and it is better to be selfless. But in order to be truly successful, we must remain most faithful to our own being in order to then help others. Mabry says, “The point I like to tell people is to get support for whatever you are doing so you don’t have to do it alone, and ask for help. That is okay.” Mabry relies heavily on his support team, including other amputees, his physical therapist, and his family.

       

Once he addressed his own identity and trauma as an amputee, he and his wife began to address themselves as a duo, as parents, and as a family. Through self-examination and revelation he realized we both have, “goofy, quirky personalities, and a big sense of humor. We don’t fit in the mold of suburban family.” Mabry said to his wife, “I think it would be really therapeutic to be who we are and quit caring what the neighbors think of us.” So that is what they did—they began to be their truest selves.

Mabry, his wife and their three kids spend weekends creating skits and YouTube videos. Their days are filled with family bonding, face painting, and being creative. You can read about their latest adventures, such as driving through a drive-thru dressed as a cartoon character or spicing up date night with prank wars, on their family blog, https://mabryliving.com/.

Ever since Mabry began to “address me” he has felt his life get back on track, he volunteers at the Vanderbilt Trauma Center as a member of the peer support group, and he plays around with the idea of writing a book. He now sports the Alzette UNYQ cover in blue and white and says, “it is part of my new identity…it’s like my tattoo and I am proud of it.” UNYQ is thrilled to be part of Mabry’s journey and grateful that he took the time to share it.

Huge thanks to John and his entire family, they are truly filled with love and laughter!

5 things I learned from my 60 Day PiYo Fitness Challenge

How many of you moms out there struggle with the delusional effects on the brain caused from managing a home and kids? I definitely do! I finally got to a breaking point recently that caused me to really step outside my comfort zone to make a radical change in my life. On the surface, the process of transformation I’m about to tell you about gave the illusion that I was losing valuable time that should have been spent giving to my family. But what I found was that all of my responsibilities got done and that everyone’s happy when mommy’s happy!

I usually get wrapped up in the daily mommy grind of changing diapers, cleaning up spills, fixing meals and, of course, the dreaded never-ending laundry pile. As I attempt to type this my 1-year old daughter found a way out to our back porch and sat down in the baby pool. When I scooped her up she had a plastic piece of fake dog poop (from her brothers’ prank kit) in her mouth. Ugh!! Anyway, I’ve realized the chances of ever getting ahead in my “job” are…well…impossible. With the way things were I never felt accomplished because there was always some other demand to tend to no matter how hard or fast I worked.

I finally decided to shift my mindset away from solely stay-at-home mom duties to self-care first, then mom duties. For 60 days I committed to taking care of myself first. I NEEDED to see results somehow! My good friends Rainer and Kristen are coaches for Beach Body’s amazing at-home workout series, one called PiYo. They’re both moms and their homes haven’t imploded…yet…so I decided to do PiYo over any other workout program out there.

Surprisingly, I was able to find hidden time that allowed me to squeeze in a short work out daily, my house didn’t burn down and my kids did not spontaneously combust. Although things aren’t quite in the order I like them to be I am a MUCH happier mom because of this simple switch.

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By putting my personal goals first over the last 60-days I’ve learned these five important lessons that I’d like to share with you:

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1.  PiYo is actually relaxing.

There is a lot of commotion in our home. This video is a prime example of what I’m talking about. The activity and noise levels within our home makes me think I live in a theme park at times. So I didn’t need some super high energy workout. I used my PiYo workouts as a healthy escape to calm my mind and my body. PiYo is actually a combination of Pilates and Yoga so, although physically challenging, it provided me a way to center myself with its flexibility and fluid movement elements. Unlike other programs like Insanity and P90X, PiYo is low impact, requires no equipment and its exercises can easily be adapted to any fitness level.

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2. Consistence is key.

As with any habit, good or bad, it takes roughly of 3-4 weeks to retrain your mind and body to adapt to a new set of standards. I could easily have just done PiYo for 30-days, but I truly felt I needed – and deserved for that matter – a full 60-days of caring for myself in this way. I only missed one or two days, and that was even while traveling out of town for a week. I made up for the missed day by doubling up the next day. But I could tell when I missed a workout. I didn’t feel as relaxed, clear-minded or confident the few days I missed. Once you get into the routine it becomes addicting.

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3. Accountability is important.

This was one of the most important elements of my two month journey. When I purchased my PiYo kit from my friend, who is a registered Beach Body coach, I was able to join her Facebook group. I have to admit that I resisted checking in with an online group at first. But I found it extremely helpful to know other women cared about my daily progress and could encourage me on days when I didn’t feel like doing it. It was also helpful for me to be a cheerleader to others.

4. Motivation is a must.

I don’t know about you, but I need to feel cute if I am going to be working out. So what’s the first thing any sane woman does before she starts a workout program? She goes shopping for cute clothes, of course!  I purchased two new swim suits, a new pair of gym shoes and a few funky, upbeat bandannas with my birthday money. My new shoes made me want to work out so I had an excuse to wear them. My new swimsuits made me want to work out because I know that I will be wearing them soon now that it is getting close to the summer months. Heck, I even wore one of my swimsuits to work out in once for extra motivation. I have to say that this trick of working out in a swimsuit made me push myself harder than I normally do because I know the results I want to have.

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5. Keep your eye on the goal.

I think where a lot of people get stuck in making changes to their diet and exercise is that they don’t see immediate results so they quit. I knew where I wanted to go, but I had times of doubt. In smaller moments during workouts when I wanted to quit I had to remind myself how I wanted to feel after the workout – you know, accomplished and exhausted – and not on the uncomfortable pain I was currently in. In terms of the bigger picture, there were several days I did not feel like working out at all. But having my accountability team in place, along with the encouragement from my family, I was able to stay the course I had set before me.

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One of the best moments was when I went to my cousin’s wedding seven weeks into my program. I got so many compliments on how healthy I looked. Those simple words of encouragement helped me to finish my 60 days strong and now I have continued my daily workouts. The experience at the wedding reminded me that I need to be more deliberate in complimenting other people because one simple kind word from someone can completely change someone’s day or even week.

So whatever your goal is I hope my experience has encouraged you to take the first step in committing to whatever is you want to change or accomplish. If you need any motivation just let me know. I’ll be happy to be your cheerleader.

Love, Sarah

And now I give you my BEFORE and AFTER pictures:

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Amputee overcomes fear by attempting the American Ninja Warrior Warped Wall

I’m sure you’ve heard of all kinds of ways to move beyond your fear and step into the space of courage you inherently have inside you. But instead of a boring you with a pep talk or a pre-canned video speech I figured I’d offer you a unique perspective – a kind only Mabry Living can deliver – a one-legged man (my husband) attempting an American Ninja Warrior Warped Wall on his prosthetic. Check out the video below.

So many people operate their lives out of fear as opposed to courage, including myself at times. There are many things I am afraid of: mice, public speaking, change and failure. But fear of doing something, especially something new, is not a good place to get stuck. Fear of change and failure keep me imprisoned to old ways of thinking that don’t necessarily serve me any more. I bet you can relate on some level, can’t you? To  help me demonstrate the benefits of taking even the smallest (or outrageous in this case) courageous action towards overcoming your fears, John has, for some odd reason, willingly volunteered to attempt the Warped Wall, as seen on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior.

As you can see, sometimes it doesn’t even matter whether or not you actually reach the goal itself, but instead that you’re willing to recognize your fear and take action anyway. That’s called courage.

Having the willingness to put yourself out there and do something you’re afraid of doing creates growth, which I believe is the essence of life. I’m practicing growing myself in doing this blog. For so long I was scared of what people might think or say if I openly talked about my marriage struggles, John’s mental health issues or my frustrations in raising kids. This type of raw vulnerability was so hard to do initially; my pride kept me from speaking my truth. Now, I not only share about the broken pieces of myself I used to keep hidden, I’m also able to express my true, craziness and creativity openly to you through the Mabry Living blog and videos you see here.

I don’t know where running up a 14-foot warped wall, John and I crashing a high school prom or dressing up like mimes to order a diet Cherry Mime-ade at Sonic is going. Who knows, maybe it will lead to writing a book someday or some public speaking opportunities to share my testimony, both of which are huge fears of mine! But I am encouraged by my faith in acting in accordance with my beliefs and who I truly am. Only then will I grow into the person God created me to be.

I hope this blog gives your heart the nudge it needs to be courageous to step out in faith and face a fear you currently have. Whether it’s telling a friend or loved one you’re sorry about something that happened in the past, letting someone you trust know of an addiction you’re struggling with or asking for help with diet or exercise changes you know you need to make, take a step forward today by taking some sort of action. Just like I owe it to myself to blog about the crazy stuff in my head, you owe it to yourself to do the things you were put on Earth to do, however crazy they might seem to others. Just go for it!

Be sure to check out the season opener of American Ninja Warrior on May 25 on NBC. We ran into world-class ninja, Travis Rosen, a few days ago. He’s already competed in the first round regional in Orlando. We can’t tell you if he made it through to the next round or not so be sure to tune in to see him compete.

The Mabry men with one of the top American Ninja Warriors in the world, Travis Rosen

The Mabry men with one of the top American Ninja Warriors in the world, Travis Rosen

Fitness Success Update

Here’s a look at the fitness successes John and I have had recently. It’s so easy to say that kids, physical limitations and life in general keep us from taking care of our minds and bodies through regular exercise. You have to make the conscience decision every day to choose good health over the poor lifestyle decisions of junk food and a sedentary lifestyle. Join us this summer as we continue to reclaim healthier minds and bodies from the business of life that will no longer rule in our household. Just decide to move and choose better foods today to get started. It’s a one day at a time journey.