Making the Choice…

ghZV18W It’s true. You have the choice to throw in the towel when any obstacle comes your way. To lay down and refuse to do anything about it. You ALWAYS have a choice and that choice is only yours to make. 

It’s been a rough 3 years. My health, well it’s been pretty rough. Here is a timeline just to show you where I have been…

October 2013 – Moved into “moldy” house. Only we didn’t know it was mold.

Jan/Feb 2014 –Started having lots of hormonal issues, sleep problems, sensitivities to foods and chemicals (makeup, lotion, shampoo), workouts started to get harder, recovery time longer, weight started to creep up.

-Started seeing Naturopath to work on hormones. Then went to Acupuncture to work on hormones, run tests, etc.

 March 2014-May 2015-Continued seeing acupuncturist to try and level out hormones, etc. They did improve but not a lot. Continued testing and working on them, but felt worse. Lots of other issues started to come up. Issues with my eyes – dry, burning all the time, lack of sex drive, adrenals were tanked, never had any extra energy, brain fog, swelling of the tongue (affected my speech), handwriting was awful, no focus, wanted to sleep all the time. Lacked the energy to teach my classes that I loved so much!! That was really difficult for me. 🙁

May 2015-  My chiropractor suggested I test for mold, as she had been dealing with mold issues as well. We put out simple mold testing kits just to see what showed up. This was our Master Bedroom and our Living Room. We didn’t even test the basement at that time! This was enough for us to pursue more about the possibility of mold issues.

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We had someone come out to do further testing of the home, which determined that our crawl space, which was dirt, was all moldy. This was the air that was being distributed all through our HVAC system into the entire home.

October 2015- Went to see Naturopath in Boulder who specialized in patients who had been exposed to mold. He ran a TON of tests to determine what exactly what was going on with my body. Sure enough, we discovered I had CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) caused by mold.

December 20, 2015– Started on Cholestyramine.  This was to bind the mold/toxins in my body and remove them. I had to take this 4x a day away from food and supplements. I usually got in around 3x a day, which was better than nothing! It was a nasty powder that had to be mixed with orange juice to even be able to swallow it! YUCK!

*Keep in mind, that over the course of discovering the mold in the home, we were communicating all this to our landlord, who really didn’t see it as being a big deal. They tried to “remediate” the issue, but he was cheap and didn’t do it correctly. Resulting in us breaking our lease to get out early and get away from the mold. We found a rental just a few blocks away and had it tested for mold before moving into it as a precaution. It came back clean.

February 2016 – Moved into new “mold free” rental. Being on the cholestyramine and moving to a clean environment, I could already tell I was feeling better! Still not 100% but about 65 to 70% which was a HUGE jump from feeling like total crap!

Ran tests again to see how body was responding. Numbers were going down, which was as good thing, but there were still a few numbers that needed to drop before I could go off the CSM and start the next level of healing. It also made me wonder if maybe my business was keeping my numbers from lowering. There was water damage on the outside wall and I noticed when I was there, I felt more tired, my eyes were more irritated. So I made the decision to get out of there as well. Best decision ever.

May 2016 – Moved into new “mold” free building for my business! Within a few weeks I could definitely tell so much difference!! I was feeling about 80% better! My energy levels were back to about 90%! I was working out more regularly, and able to push myself to do more. I was running, and I hate running, but being able to do it again.. YIPEE!  My body was recovering at a much better rate. I was sleeping tons better! My hormone levels were leveling out. To feel this way…. it almost makes me emotional. I never thought I was going to get here again!

June 7, 2016 – Went in for Blood tests again

June 30 2016 – Got call from Dr about test results. Some numbers were still high, but based on how I was feeling, he suggested we move to the next level. I am SO ready!! I will begin taking VIP (how ironic the name.. lol)

Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) is a neuroregulatory hormone with receptors in the hypothalamus. This hormone/cytokine regulates peripheral cytokine responses, pulmonary artery pressures, and inflammatory responses throughout the body. Low VIP levels are present in mold illness patients.

The VIP should lower my inflammation levels, which I do still feel a lot of in my body, make a lot of my sensitivities go away and in general make me feel like WONDERWOMAN!! HA!!

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This all comes back to choices. I do think that for some time, as I was told I was “sick” from mold, it became a mind thing. I decided I was sick, so I felt sick. It was just in the last few months, as I started to feel somewhat better that I actually made the CHOICE to say, SCREW IT! I am deciding to be HEALTHY! I am deciding to PUSH HARDER!!  Accept no limits! And I cannot tell you how much of a difference that made in my daily life. Amazing what the mind can do!!

I have an entire new set of goals. I have been focusing so much on trying to lose weight over the past few years, it’s become and obsession. Not to mention, nothing I tried to work. I eventually learned that someone fighting CIRS will most likely not lose weight no matter what, until they are healed. I have had to go through a lot of self image issues in the past few years. Not to say that I never have before, but they have been really difficult lately. On a positive note, it has helped me to relate to my clients who struggle as well. Learning to love my body for what it CAN DO instead of what it looks like has been a good lesson for me.

My new goals are to focus on being strong and building muscle– running as a way to de-stress and not to lose weight, be healthy and just love me for who I am. 🙂

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Total Body Butt Kicker

We did something similar to this last week and it literally kicked my butt!! If you push yourself and go hard, it will do the same for you! It shouldn’t take too long, but instead its a short and sweaty perfect workout for you!

Total Body Butt Kicker

What would you like to see more of? More weight workouts? Ab workouts? Cardio?? Post below and I will see what I can put together!

Setting Intentions for 2016

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At the end of every year, I try to sit and think back on the past year and what has all happened–good and bad. Then I think about how my thoughts and actions had a part in all that happened.

I am huge believer in what you put out is what you get in return. We all have control over our actions and thoughts and because of that, we can make anything happen in our lives.

I remember a post I did quite a few years back where I set some goals/intentions for the new year and then forgot about them. I finally came across them just a few years ago and was amazed that EVERYTHING on that list had happened! Without me even focusing on it daily… I was still able to achieve those things. Why? Because by setting them, they lingered around in the back of my subconscious and eventually just came true!

Most recently, my husband and I sit down on New Years and write up some goals and put them in a jar to be opened again next New Years. I have not yet opened mine, but will be doing that soon and will come back to let you know how things turned out!

It’s been a while since I posted anything publicly, so I thought this year I would start with my Health goals. 🙂

First here are some rules to set intentions: 

  1. Make them specific. Add numbers, add colors, whatever comes to mind.
  2. Make sure they are positive and/or write them in the present tense.
  3. WRITE THEM DOWN! They don’t have the same affect if you don’t put them out there, on paper or for others to read and share them!
  4. If it’s something that has a lot of different avenues, break them down into smaller intentions.
  5. Break them down into specific areas of your life: Health, Family, Business, Personal, etc.

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Angie’s Health Related Intentions for 2016

(I also plan to make a vision board from these intentions with my Fit Chicks to be displayed all year long!!)

healthy-womanSince my health has been the biggest issue the past few years, it will be my biggest focus this year. I know once that improves, I will be able to focus so much better on all other areas of my life! 

–Move into a new home with healthy air quality allowing my body to recover the way it needs to.

–Continue to feel better, have more energy, better sleep as I continue taking the CSM to clean out my body.

–Start up and stay regular with my cardio. At least 2-3x per week walks and/or intervals. If I am feeling up to it, longer runs!

–Build up lost muscle by continuing with a healthy Bulletproof lifestyle.

–Continue Self Care in form of massage, rolfing, chiropractic and acupunture.

–Take time to notice when things become too much and slow down. LISTEN to my body and RELAX when needed.

Take some time to set your intentions and share them with us, by posting below!

 

Great pre and post holiday workouts!

Fit Chick Express is closed from Dec 24th until Jan 1st every year, so I make sure to send the girls home with a workout they can do while on break. Whether they do it or not is another story. 😉

So here is the one we did on our last day of boot camp before the break. Just think of the workout like the song, but we went backwards like this:

On the first day of cardio my trainer gave to me 1 burpee to the ground. On the 2nd day of cardio my trainer gave to me 1 burpee to the ground and 2 star jacks. On the 3rd day of cardio my trainer gave to me 1 burpee to the ground, 2 star jack and 3 ski abs. And you go until you have done all 12 of them. Some of my girls are fast, so they finished a round, so I had them work their way back up (as the song goes) doing all 12 then taking one off from the bottom each round until they get back to just doing 1 burpee to the ground.

GREAT cardio workout for sure!

 

On the 1st Day of Cardio 2015

Here is our strength training one on Tuesday before break. If you are unsure about any of the exercises, just ask!

25 Reps of Fitness 2015

And just one more for you. I did this yesterday as a POST Holiday workout for my Fit Chicks!

Post Holiday Workout

Finally Got Some Answers

9ffdd403ae64757e67ee948f8e4d4728I can’t wait to start “thriving” again! 

Let me take you back, 2.5 years ago, when all this first started happening. In August 2013, we were living in a rental and the owner sold the home from under us and told us we had 45 days to move. We found another rental, and while it wasn’t exactly what we wanted, we really had no choice. At the same time, I moved my business to a new location and planned one of our biggest events, our Love Your Body Event. This all happened within 3 months of each other.

By November, I was feeling really sick. Bad cold, upper respiratory issues, sinus problems and I looked awful! I was also not sleeping. Averaging 3-4 hrs per night, 5 on a good night! My hormones were a mess as well.

I decided to see an acupuncturist (who I actually MET for the first time at our LYB event). She started working on my sleep issues right away and then we did some testing. Hormones, adrenals and neurotransmitters (GABA, Serotonin, Dopamine, etc) were off. So we kept up with the acupuncture along with some supplements. My sleep started to improve some and I started to feel a little bit better. Still didn’t have the energy I wanted or the “nice, easy” cycles that I heard other women talk about. I was also starting to gain weight, even though I was eating as healthy as I had in my life and was working out diligently. 8 Months later we re did the tests and they were improving but not much. I was sleeping better and feeling somewhat better, but still not where I wanted to be. I know for sure that if I was not seeing Stacey Donaldson for acupuncture, I would be a whole lot more sick that I am. Thank goodness for her!!

This past summer, my chiropractor and friend, told me that she had mold issues in her building and was telling me all about these health issues she was dealing with. The sounded so familiar! I ordered some mold testing kits from MoldCheck.com to test our home and my business. The business came up with normal levels of mold and the home was very high. That is when I started doing more research, learning more about what it can do to your body and health. Here are two very good resources of information to learn more: www.survivingmold.com/ and www.survivingtoxicmold.com/

Through this reading, I learned that I was having other symptoms that I really wasn’t realizing. Itchy scalp and skin, brain fog, forget-fullness, even of the simplest every day words! I was breaking out in hives randomly. Red, itchy bumps on my skin, achy muscles and joints, burning eyes. I had developed so many food and product sensitivities, I was running out of things I could eat and use on my skin without having some type of reaction. I also came to realize that all of these things get worse in the winter, when the house is closed up and moving all the mold spores throughout the home. I don’t get outside as much either, which made me feel worse.

At this point I was convinced that the mold is what was causing my issues. To rule other things out, I also went in to get tested for allergies, did it twice, and both times came up negative. I also did some genetic testing that showing that I had a predisposition to mold.

That is when I bit the bullet and made and appointment with a Dr Dorninger in Boulder, someone a friend referred me to, as she was also dealing with mold issues. I had about 30+ vials of blood drawn, took urine and stool samples at home and had them mailed in for testing.

6 weeks later, I met with the Dr Dorninger again to go over my test results. The stack of labs was about an inch thick and it took him 2 hours to over all the results. I made my husband come with me so that he could hear the results and hopefully start to believe everything I already knew to be true.

He diagnosed me with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.

Let start with some basic ideas: this illness is not an allergy. It is an inflammation within the body which is caused by an immune system that has gone haywire. The term “mold illness” is a subcategory of biotoxin illness called Chronic Inflammatory ResponseSyndrome (CIRS). The proper definition of CIRS is:

“An acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response syndrome acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes and mycobacteria as well as inflammagens such as endotoxins, beta glucans, hemolysins, proteinases, mannans and possibly spirocyclic drimanes; as well as volatile organic compounds.

What Happens in the Body?

Many patients “don’t look that bad.” But those people are struggling with an illness that causes them to lose their quality of life. These patients don’t know that they have a genetic susceptibility to develop this illness based on their immune response genes (HLA–DR). They don’t know that the inflammation that makes them ill comes from within: it is due to an assault by their own unregulated innate immune system responses. Because of exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building (WDB), these patients will have a series of abnormalities in innate immune responses that will not self heal; will not abate in severity [actually increase!] and will continue to cause illness from blood- and tissue- based inflammation as well as alteration of the regulation of fundamental genomic activity. At the core of why one person becomes ill from this exposure and another doesn’t is their gene susceptibility (or predisposition) – what is built into their DNA.

The genetics are clear: occurrence of specific HLA types are found in about 25% of the population. It is in these people that we find the sickened ones almost always (nothing is 100% in biology). In these people, the antigens stay in the body, and our own defenses bombard our body in response to those antigens. What you now have is a person who is defenseless against new exposures and is suffering daily from inflammation.

It is a vicious cycle – the foreign antigens (substances) stay in the body, causing the immune system to constantly fight back. This causes so much inflammation in the body that it leads to chronic illness, and the occurrence of many symptoms. Our entire being suffers from friendly fire from our own innate immune system.

-http://www.survivingmold.com/diagnosis

He said I was not in peri-menopause as I had originally thought, but that the toxins in my body were causing all of my systems to go crazy. A lot of things were off, and some vitamin levels were low, but we could supplement for those. It was the mold that we really had to get rid of with something called Cholestyramine. He said that almost 50% of the homes in Colorado have some form of mold in them. Who would have thought??

Hearing all of the things he had to say was very overwhelming. It was also very emotional. First, hearing that I was not crazy for all the “issues” I had was so great to hear, almost like a sigh of relief. Being able to tell people that there was something wrong with me was empowering in away, but also sad. I really didn’t want to be “right” that I was sick. Plus to try and explain it is hard. A lot of people don’t understand how dangerous mold can be.

I go from being sad that I have to go through this, to mad at the owner of this home for not believing us or taking care of the mold problems the way they should have been taken care of. Then I feel sick to my stomach thinking that I work so hard to be healthy in all areas of my life and then I find out I am sick from living in this house. It’s been a real roller coaster this past week.

If that is all not enough, we have to move. Obviously this house is making me sick and I won’t get better living here. We also learned that because of the mold spores in the home, we will need to leave most of our possessions by getting rid of them or throwing them out. Pretty heartbreaking. Even though they are just things, it’s still hard.

If this whole “adventure” has taught me anything, it’s to listen to your body. If you are not getting the answers that you want about issues you are having, keep looking. You don’t HAVE to be sick!! You don’t HAVE to feel awful! You just need to find the right person to help you get the answers you need!

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I am so ready to move on, start taking the medicine to help clear all the toxins out of my body and be healthy again!  Fresh start for all of us! Here is to the healthiest 2016 ever!! (Still might make my goal of being in the best shape of my life by 45!!)  😉

Bump in the road…

images (1)We all have them. Those bumps in the road. Sometimes they are big and sometimes they are small. The important thing is how we get around them. 😉

I stumbled on a bump in the past month. It’s bigger than I like, but I am working through it. If you haven’t read some of my other posts about my health and the issues with mold, you can find what has been going on HERE.

I started the bulletproof diet about 3 months ago to try and improve my health even more. It’s based on keeping mold free foods out of your diet, so it was a perfect place for me to begin. I actually LOVE how it makes me feel and I don’t feel stressed about how I eat. I just eat within the guidelines at least 85% and can honestly tell it has made a huge difference.

I was getting strong, feeling better, noticing my body changing again and then we went to Vegas in October. Within a week of getting back, I started to feel awful. Sleep was not good, my energy levels sucked, I was getting all “puffy” again (sign of inflammation), I was breaking out with hives, my skin and head were itchy again and I ended up with the flu, which was the first time in many  years!!

I went in for a massage last week and while I didn’t feel bad when I went in, she found many spots that were very tender and she said were all related to the liver. Because of all the extra stress on my body, my liver was overloaded and not able to do its job.

I just wanted to cry and give up. I was trying so hard to get better, feel better, move forward and seeing results and then this, a HUGE bump. 🙁 I fell into the “I don’t care” attitude again. Ill eat whatever I want and do whatever I want. But we all know how that works. It only makes us feel worse.

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So instead of throwing in the towel, I tried to make sense of it all. What had I done different in that time frame to change things so much? As I was talking with a friend, we discovered it was a supplement that I stopped taking right before we went to Vegas because I ran out of and just forgot to order.

What was it? It has been called the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system: GLUTATHIONE (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”).

Glutathione is also the most critical and integral part of your detoxification system. All the toxins stick onto glutathione, which then carries them into the bile and the stool — and out of your body. (My body was no longer detoxifying all the mold, etc out of my body)

And lastly, it also helps us reach peak mental and physical function. Research has shown that raised glutathione levels decrease muscle damage, reduce recovery time, increase strength and endurance and shift metabolism from fat production to muscle development. (which was why I was feeling fat, bloated and out of shape)

The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione. The bad news is that poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione.

This leaves you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and cancer. And your liver gets overloaded and damaged, making it unable to do its job of detoxification. (liver overload, leads to adrenal stress and my body falls apart…again)

— http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/glutathione-the-mother-of_b_530494.html

Makes total sense now. While I am still living in this mold environment without the glutathione, my body can’t detox all the crud running through it! Which leaves me feeling tired and fat. Sigh….So, I ordered up some glutathione again and made and appointment with my acupuncturist to help deal with the liver and adrenals. Taking care of ME!

By NOT giving up and looking for a reason and a way “out “of this mess, I am leaving the road bump behind and moving forward with my journey. Going through this also allows me to put this information out there for others who might be struggling to find answers.

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I refuse to give up. I refuse to settle and so should YOU!! Instead of looking at that bump as an obstacle, look at it as a challenge! No one can do this for you, only YOU! And when you do overcome those bumps, you come out feeling stronger and proud of all that you did! I know I do! 😉

 

Bulletproof Strong and SALE!!

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Bulletproof Coffee – YUM!!

Yes, I am still going Bulletproof strong!! Every morning, I have my bulletproof coffee, to the point where I not only look forward to it, but I CRAVE it! So it’s easy to fit into my lifestyle. Sometimes I will even have one before I go to bed, which I have to tell you, has really helped with my sleep!!

I love how it makes me feel, how simple it is and the benefits my body gets from eating this way. I also don’t stress about having a “bad” or “off” day. I just let it go, add some charcoal capsules and move on.  Simple, easy and perfect for me!

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About a month ago, right before we went to Vegas with the in laws to celebrate my step-sons 21st birthday, I ran out of my glutathione . I thought it would be fine, since I had been taking it for a few months prior. Then when we got back I just didn’t order any more. HUGE mistake!! It what was helping my body to detox all the “junk” flowing through my body along with the mold issues. Since our trip to Vegas, I have felt sluggish, bloated, achy joints and just not myself. That is the only thing I have changed since then, so I will surely be adding that to my next order!! Glutathione is the bomb and until I find another way to rid my body of the “junk” flowing through it, it will be something I am taking daily!

In FACT.. Bulletproof is having a 20% off everything on the site today only! 

Here are some of my favorite things:

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I will also be adding some bulletproof chocolate to my order, because why NOT?!!

If you have any questions about the products, just ask!! And make sure to take advantage of the 20% off anything in the store today, Monday, November 3oth ONLY!!

Bulletproof chocolates

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With that being said, this Bulletproof diet is PERFECT for me!! Yes, chocolate is allowed on this diet, but it has to be 85% and organic. I can handle that, I just add a little almond butter or coconut oil to it and it’s delicious! Here is what Dave Asprey, the creator of the Bulletproof diet has to say about chocolate:

I travel a lot on business, and it’s not always easy to find food to keep my energy levels high.  I used to rely on Lara Bars, but they have too much sugar. For the past two years, I replaced them with 90 percent dark chocolate bars. What a huge difference! The healthy fat content keeps me satisfied and fuels my brain.  Chocolate is full of polyphenols and antioxidants that fight free radicals.  It also has a mild amount of caffeine and the bromine that enhance my performance.
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But if I am looking for something just a little different or to save some $$, I will make these instead. I made these a few weeks back and promised I would post the recipe as these are my favorite alternative to chocolate bars.

Main Ingredients: 

1 cup coconut oil (organic)

1/2 cup dark baking cocoa (add more if want darker chocolate flavor)

1/4 cup stevia depending on taste. I don’t like mine very sweet. (you can use honey if you choose,  but not if your doing the the BPD)

Other things you can add and amounts may vary, depending on what you are looking for:

Raw Coconut Flakes (2-5 tbps)

Vanillamax (vanilla bean flavoring) (1tsp to 1 tbps)

Himalayan Salt (1 tsp )

Hemp or Chia Seeds (1tbp to 1/4 cup)

I added Brain Octane, but you could also use MCT/XCT oil instead. (1tbps -2 tbps)

Almond butter (1/4 to 1/2 cup )I didn’t add these this time but will the next time I make them and plan to melt the almond butter and put in the bottom of the mini muffin tins before adding the main mixture.

Directions: 

Melt the coconut oil, add the cocoa and stevia/honey. Then decide if that is all you want or add any other ingredients to the melted coconut oil and throw them in!! You can add the almond butter to the melted coconut oil or as I mentioned above, melt it itself and put in bottom of the mini muffin tins before pouring the coconut oil mixture on top.

Put in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!! Still can’t believe how yummy these are!!

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One other chocolate option that I discovered are the Bulletproof Collagen Chocolate bars! I put mine in the freezer and they taste just like a fudgesicle to me! I don’t try to use them all the time, but if I am on the run or really craving lots of chocolate, this is much better alternative than a brownie!

Do you have a favorite healthy alternative to chocolate? Please share, as I am always looking for new ideas!! 

 

 

 

Bodyweight 200 AMRAP Workout

Looking for a total body workout for travel or when short on equipment? Give this workout a try and see how many rounds you can get completed in 20 minutes!

My goal for YOU is 6.. can YOU make it happen?? Let me know!

BW 200 AMRAP

My Intro to PIYO

Alicia, our PIYO instructor!

Alicia, our PIYO instructor!

At my fitness studio, Fit Chick Express, we recently added PIYO to our classes. The instructor that started teaching these classes will be leaving for the Ski season here in Colorado, so I will need to (and want to!!) teach some of the classes.

I find that I NEED to use my creativeness or I go crazy. Running a business, you don’t always have to be real creative, but in mine, I use it by coming up with new and fun workouts for my girls. So when we decided to add PIYO I was excited!!

I came up with a routine and started videotaping it to see how it looks, how much time it will take, etc. I thought I would share the first 7 minutes with you for you to give it a try yourself!

You might be thinking.. just 7 minutes?? Well, that 7 minutes kicked my butt and I still need to add 38 more minutes!! I definitely need to practice a lot more. I am not used to actually doing the workout and talking it through. In this video, I just focused on the movement and didn’t direct, sorry about that. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it so far! I will post the rest as I get it video taped!!

Enjoy!! (Keep in mind I am still learning AND practicing!!) 😉