What are your fitness goals?

Diet and exercise


It’s January and for many this is the time to make new fitness goals.

This month my husband and I are starting a 30 Day Healthy Eating & Exercise program which is going to be great to recharge us. He had shoulder surgery in November and although he was the one that was unable to do any exercise for the first 6 weeks, I kind of fell off my routine also. I admit I am much better with a workout partner than on my own. 🙂 Do you feel that way too?

This time we are doing the program with a group of friends so we can all encourage one another and keep us on track.



Here’s a few suggestion to help you achieve your 2015 fitness goals:

When you make fitness goals, you want to make sure the goal is attainable. It will be easier if you start out with small goals first. What can I achieve in 30 days, 60 days & 90 days? To keep on track it is best to reach your first smaller goal in 2-6 weeks. This will help you stay motivated for the long haul.

What will it take to achieve your fitness goal? You need to be realistic about it. If you know you can only work out 3 days a week, but your goal timeline requires you to work out 5 days a week, then you need to adjust your goal to something more realistic. It is best to know what time you can commit and be honest about your fitness level. It’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t.

Make exercise part of your routine. Just as you set aside time for grocery shopping, cleaning house, work, meals and time with the children, set a time aside for exercise. Exercising on the same days and times each week has helped me to keep to a routine. We have busy lives and sometimes you feel you shouldn’t spend time on yourself, but I know from personal experience you are a much happier mother, wife, friend etc… when you do! It is an excellent example for your children too.

RBWeights IMG_0099

You need to be able to see yourself reaching your goal. Picking a program that you can stick to is very important. Be honest and ask yourself “can I realistically see myself doing what it takes to achieve my goal?” If you can then go for it!

Get a workout partner. If you can’t hire a personal trainer, then find a friend or your spouse to workout with. I have a standing appointment with a girlfriend to hike each week. I love it! It keeps both of us accountable not to mention it’s great to have that time together. The other days of the week I workout with my husband at the gym or we go walking/running. It’s another way to spend quality time with your spouse. I love having and being their personal cheerleaders.

Hiking with my siblings in Aspen, Colorado.

Make your workouts convenient. Working out is already work so traveling long distances to get to that workout might keep you from staying motivated. To make it easier, find a gym close by, set up a small gym in your home, workout to fitness DVD’s, hike the closest trails or you can walk, run or bike in your own neighborhood. I do the latter a lot, I love being able to walk out my door and start my workout.


Reward yourself! Rewards are important when setting effective and realistic fitness goals. When you achieve even the small goals reward your achievement! Buy yourself a new magazine, enjoy a long bath, get a massage, or buy a new piece of workout clothing. This will help you to keep striving to reach your next exercise goal. It’s a time to compliment yourself for your hard work. You deserve it!

Don’t be afraid to tweak your fitness goals. Sometimes life gets in the way, we can always jump back in and keep going. 

Being fit and living the “healthy lifestyle” is not just about exercise, you have to support your new fitness habit with eating healthy foods. It’s been said that 80% of your fitness is what you eat, your nutrition. Part of the 30 day system  I mentioned at the beginning contains the nutrition we need to supplement two of our meals with high quality whey protein shakes. Along with those shakes we will have a healthy snacks and a meal each day consisting of:

  • lean meat & fish
  • vegetables and fruit
  • whole grains
  • drinking plenty of water throughout the day

The flexibility of this system allows you to incorporate it into your lifestyle and make changes that last. It is not a one size fits all, the products can be used differently to work in the different stages of your life.

What ever program you choose, just do your best to stick to it. We can’t get the results if we don’t stick to our plan.

Have fun and make 2015 a healthy one!

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”.                                         Jim Rohn

Did You Really Have 8 Children?

When I let people know we have 8 children, their mouth drops and they typically say, “You have 8 children?” “You gave birth to 8 children?” No, no, no I did not give birth to eight children, let me explain.  My husband of 24 years and I have three children, two boys and a girl. We were a family of 5 for 12 years. In 2007 we received a telephone call from one of our nephews. There were loads of issues and the situation was not good for the children. My husband right away flew to Tulsa Oklahoma to check on the children. He had some work to do to gather up all the children and discover what was really going on. There are 5 nieces & nephews, two boys and three girls, 17, 14, 12, 10 and 6. They were in need of assistance. Someone else needed to take care of them. He ended up going before a judge to get temporary custody of them. To get them all home because of costs we made a decision that he would travel by Greyhound bus from Oklahoma to Oregon with all 5 children. That was quite the experience for him and the children. Although buying seats for all of them, most of the time he ended up having to give up the youngest child’s seat and have her on his lap for hours at a time. It was typical for the bus company to sell too many tickets, which resulted in not enough seats. I am sure they did that on purpose. If you have taken the Greyhound bus before, you know from ones own experience you meet some attention-grabbing people and the buses bathroom more often than not gives off a bad odor. Not a fun trip! I don’t think he will be back on a Greyhound bus for a long, long time.

We made room for the children in our house. At first we thought this would be brief and they would ultimately go back home. They were with us about a month when JJ was required to take the children back to Oklahoma to go before the judge. During the trial, the judge presented JJ with two possible choices. The children will be put in foster homes in Oklahoma or legal guardianship would be granted to us. The judge allowed him to make a quick call home to me so we could make the decision. Sometimes in life you are confronted with unanticipated decisions that you know will considerably modify your life. At times these decisions are not ideal so you have to think about what’s most important. Family is family and we could not find it in our hearts to desert these young ones.  There was only one choice and that was to bring them home to live with us. So our family expanded permanently from 3 children to 8! There of course were instant obstacles. Our three children had to adjust to the addition of 5 more children in our home, sharing their parents etc… But we worked through those challenges and we came out stronger and closer. The children have meshed well together.

Birden Family Photo 2008 By Cindy Rose Photography

Stayed in Oregon until 2010 and then moved as a family of 11 to Arizona. You should have seen the caravan traveling down Interstate 5. Yes 11, we brought JJ’s mother with us. We located a home that would accommodate this large family and made some modifications to who would be sharing rooms. We felt that the cousins should share rooms together, which would help to successfully combine the family. So we paired them up by age and same gender. It really has helped them to bond.

Birden Family By Loralei Photography
Birden Family 2014 By Loralei Photography

Now, kids are growing up and experiencing the typical stages of life, graduations, new cars, jobs and the oldest nephew has moved out.  JJ and I have done our best to supply an atmosphere they all can thrive in. From time to time it really does “take a village to raise a child.” In our case, it’s taken a lot more. I do want to thank my mother in-law Eyvonne for her help, my parents & siblings and all our dear friends in Oregon and Arizona for their help.  You know who you are.

Would love to hear about your own similar experiences. Please share in comments section.