Today we had a no call, no show at work. This was her second time missing a shift in 2 weeks. After 3 unannounced missed shifts, an employee is terminated. Our dad always contends that he has never fired anyone, but that they fire themselves with their actions: missing shifts, showing up late to work, not following the dress code, etc. In essence, they sabotage themselves with their actions. Could you be doing the same thing in your life?
Do your New Year Resolutions never make it to the end of the year? Or does your resolve fizzle out before January is over? Some questions you may need to ask yourself are: Did you set realistic goals? Did you set small goals along the way?

Are you still struggling with your weight? Some questions you may need to ask yourself are: Are you working out consistently? What are your eating habits? Are you taking the time to meal prep? Are you getting enough rest? Are you drinking enough water?

Does your budget never seem to balance? Some questions you may need to ask yourself are? Are you eating out everyday? Are you tracking your spending? Are you spending money on unnecessary things?
I could go on and on, but you get the point. The real question is have you truly committed to putting in the work required to meet your goals? We have to work at what we want in order to succeed. We get back the effort we put in. There are no shortcuts to life. Nothing new, but sometimes I have to remind myself that change does not occur overnight and I have to remain dedicated. Two verses that I find encouraging to help me stay focused day to day are Colossians 3:17 and 3:23.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23
~ A


Meal Prep

It’s Monday night. You’re tired from a long day of work. The last thing you feel like doing is cooking a meal, much less preparing your lunch for the next day. Eventually you decide to make a sandwich or heat up a microwave dinner for the night and just grab some fast food for lunch tomorrow. Sound familiar? This was me for months when I began working. All of the fast food and microwave meals showed on the scale and my bank account. Something had to change.
Then I started meal prepping. Every Saturday, I plan out all of my meals for the week. I’m talking breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. This gives me the opportunity to see how many calories I’ll be eating each day and where those calories were coming from (fat, protein, carbohydrates) then make adjustments as needed. I feel enabled to make smarter, healthier choices. Fitness win!

Whenever I begin to plan I always start by going through my refrigerator and cabinets and inventorying what I already have. This helps me to use foods up before they expire and frequently prevents me from buying things I already have. After planning the meals I look for coupons and make a grocery list. Financial win!

Sunday morning, I take my list and hit the gym at about 6:00 a.m. If you like an empty, quiet gym this is an awesome time to go. Immediately after finishing up at the gym I go to Kroger. Thankfully, the two are practically next door for me. If you hate the bustle of the grocery store, Sunday mornings before church are also the perfect time for grocery shopping. There’s always only about ten other customers in the store and I can quickly find everything on my list. I adore doing my grocery shopping this way because I’m still on my post-workout high and much more likely to stick to my grocery list. I tend to make better food choices and do less impulse buying if I’m still feeling great from a good workout. Financial win!

Then after church, I cook for the week. I make all my meals and then plate them into tupperware containers. I live alone so this is relatively easy for me. What may be one meal for one night for a family of five will last me most of the week. This allows me to spend relatively little on groceries. I generally average $20-$30 a week on groceries. However, this requires me to commit to eating the same meal for most of the week. If you suffer from food boredom you may want to fewer servings and mix it up. Another strategy I employ is to make a big batch of soup at the beginning of the month. I freeze it and then whenever I’m tired of my meal of the week I sub in some soup. This give me variety but doesn’t require cooking when I truly do not want to cook. 

Meal Prep Tips:

  • Prep meals you can freeze and cook later
  • Look for coupons to help you stick to a budget 
  • Search for foods that reheat well
  • Dollar Tree, Big Lots, and other discount stores are the place to go for storage container
  • Check for deals like the little big meal at Fresh Market A loves!

Do you have any meal prep suggestions or stories? Share in the comments below!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from A+J. We know we’ve been MIA. 
From A:

Once again my sister has me signed up for a half marathon. I refuse to do a full marathon. I’m only half crazy. The race is Jan 7, so I need to train. I don’t have time for excuses. Like the rain that started this morning 2 minutes into my run. Now what? My elliptical is on the fritz, so to the gym it is. But once I drive all the way there and factoring in drive time back to my house I will only have 30 minutes to run. 30 minutes is better than nothing. 

It would of been so easy to go back home and use the rain as an excuse. Just like we’ve used excuses all year not to keep up with this blog. Maybe we were too ambitious. Maybe I won’t be fully prepared for this race. But we have to adapt and roll with the punches. We limited ourselves the first go round. But this time we will loosen the reigns on ourselves. So what if it is raining? So what if it is Wednesday and we don’t have a post ready about food? Life goes on and so will this blog. 

From J:

Christmas is a time when we come together and fellowship with friends and family. For me it’s also a day of reflection. It’s when I consider the past year and how I want to go forward. I do this because this day represents when Christ came to earth to die for my sins. So on this day I set aside time to think about His sacrifice and how I can glorify Him. I believe in this blog and I believe it will be used for His glory. So we recommit. We’re here and we’re not going anywhere. No more procrastination. We’re back today. 


A & J

MS Blues Marathon

I am not what you would call a fitness fanatic by any means. I don’t particularly like working out and I try to only run when being chased. However, I like to eat a lot so I exercise to counteract all the calories I consume. J, who I am convinced likes to torture me for the way I treated her as a child, likes to sign me up for races. Thanks to her, I have completed 2 half marathons and a 10k. She is still determined to finish a full marathon, but I am only half crazy, so only half marathons for me.

The last half marathon I completed was the MS blues marathon. I downloaded Whitney’s Houston greatest hits put my earphones in and started running. Things were going pretty smoothly, but I probably should have looked at a map of the terrain while I was training, because I was not prepared for all the hills. Nonetheless, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, although it seemed to take me longer and longer with each step. Towards the end my toes started cramping but I could see the finish line, so I had to keep going. I pushed through the pain and crossed over the finish line just as Whitney finished singing the national anthem. It was then that I realized how much pain I was really in. Somewhere on one of those hills I must have twisted my ankle, because I could hardly bare to put any weight on it. But the medal was beautiful and it was what they promised me.