Category Archives: FREEDOM

FIRED UP!

Good morning Team Freedom!!!  We are ALIVE! It has been a long while since I last posted and I am sincerely sorry for that. September was a very difficult month for our family and I just couldn’t bring myself to post anything inspirational. But I’m here now- ready to shout out from the rooftops how much I missed being here, and connecting with you all!

This will just be a short post today, because I am just returning home from a 4 day Nu Skin Convention and I have a lot of things I need to do with my kiddos before I dive right back into blogging, but I did want to say “hi”, tell you that I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaack, and let you know how incredibly excited I am for the future of this blog and for TEAM FREEDOM.

My brain is on over-load, explosion mode right now- I can’t STOP talking about the things I saw this weekend, the people I met and how incredibly humble I feel to be a part of something as AMAZING as Nu Skin. It has (and will continue) to change my life and the life of our family! So, here’s to New “NU” beginnings, starting with new blog posts all about health and wellness and anti-aging and weight loss (OH MY GOSH – weight loss) I cannot stand it!! There’s been a CRAZE of people doing the R90 challenge…. they are losing weight, and LOVING life. I want to help others do it too.

ok, ok, I said this would be short- so there you go, I’ll be posting all week long, so drop me a line and let me know if you’re here with me! I love your notes and comments on these posts and I love knowing that there are people out there who I’m able to reach through the Team Freedom blog!

Lots and LOTs of love always,

Mariah

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THINK about WHY you started

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I saw this quote the other day, and I LOVED how it made me feel.

Things have been crazy around here lately. Crazy- good I should say. And I couldn’t be happier with the way life has taken off for our little family. But somethings just get overwhelming. You know? Like sometimes life gets in the way of living?

TOO deep for a Wednesday huh?

But this quote got me thinking about my WHY’s. Why do I decide to do the things I do?

I decided this year to change my health, and I’ve done that. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done- but WHY? I also own and operate my own network marketing business with my Hub and we love it… WHY?

When you own your own business, you get to call the shots. You decide when, where and with whom you like to work with! Thank goodness for the amazing people I have chosen, it makes “working”- really fun!

But it also comes with up days and down days. Just like everyone else out there.

I’ve been surprised by how many people have actually told me that they admire me for doing what I do. I hope that this isn’t read in the wrong way. Because I don’t want to sound like a total brag, but I’m 29 years old and I have successfully run 2 businesses (3 if you count my stylist career as an independent LLC company) + I feel like quite the little entrepreneur. ( i like fancy words) and to toot my own horn, I’ve run them ALL while being a wife and mother which as we know is the most difficult job on the planet! I feel pretty darn successful if I dare to say so.

Now, I love receiving constructive (not destructive) criticism about how I could do these things better, and I love learning from successful people. The hard days hit when it seems that everyone you’ve talked to has forgotten that THEY TOO could be successful. They forget how to dream. They can’t imagine themselves doing the things they want to do most. It’s not make believe. And NO- life is no fairytale. But when you decide to DO something with your life, whether its start a new career, decide to FINALLY lose the weight, or allow yourself to feel like it IS possible…. well then I’d say you’re already there.

BE BRAVE my friends. Be brave, and if you aren’t BRAVE enough yet… don’t judge others who are. Don’t belittle their efforts because you’re not doing the same things they are. Those people are defining their WHY. And really- we don’t have any reason to question that.

I have had experience with people not believing in me (thank heavens it wasn’t anyone very close to me, otherwise it might have stung a little bit more) people are going to have their opinions. Most of them should keep them to themselves. But as long as YOU know who you are, and where you’re going and you don’t let anything stand in your way- You’ve already proved to be stronger than the people who are watching you do it.

“when you feel like quitting, remember WHY you started in the first place”.

You can do this. You CAN do hard things. It IS worth the work and the effort (and sometimes the tears)

Team Freedom is a place where you can feel loved and supported. We are pretty good cheerleaders (minus the pom poms) 🙂 I have many readers here that are struggling with weight loss and the pains of wanting to just give up and go back to their un-healthy ways. I have business partners who are struggling to grow their businesses, and if anyone knows about that- it’s me and Mark. We really, honestly want the best for every person. I know how crazy that sounds, trust me. I want good things even for the people who talk smack about me. I want them to be happy. Because if there were happier people in this world, there would be less negativity. And that would make everyone happy. 🙂

Ok, there’s my little rant for the day! I am grateful to all of my readers. I know there are people being touched by these posts. I don’t even care that you don’t leave a comment. Just know that I love you and hope that you’re on your journey finding out your WHY. It’s going to be lifelong- trust me, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Do NOT quit. You’re worth it!

mariah

our weekend happenings

We had a FABULOUS weekend!! We decided to spend the whole weekend relaxing and playing with the girls. 🙂 It was amazing!

Do i have any readers out there who are bowling fans? Anyone? Well, it should be known that I am not much of a lover of renting other people’s shoes, and rolling balls down long aisle ways to knock down pins. I’m just not…AND I always end up chipping or breaking fingernails. c’mon!

BUT

my kids LOVE bowling. They can’t get enough of it! And I love my kids, so off we go to BOWL. 

It IS pretty darn cute to watch baby F squeal when her ball is hurling down the lane!! She and daddy are pals. We also decided to take advantage of the warm summer sun and dip into the pool! We traveled down to SeaPoint Resort for a little R&R and some splashing! It’s hard to imagine that just a few years ago, I had to WORK every Saturday…. I’m NEVER going back to that crappy schedule!

I love my little family!! Hope that your weekend was just as fun! Now it’s Monday and back to more of a structured schedule! This week is looking to be pretty incredible. Come back tomorrow for some thin-spiration and some yummy recipes later this week! Also a new product feature! Whoo hooooo! Happy Monday freedomers!

Guest Blogger: Catherine from Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth

Today I’m excited to share with you another incredible weight loss inspiration story. I found Catherine’s blog a few weeks ago and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since! She and I have actually messaged back and forth recently about our individual weight loss stories and I’m so excited to get to know her better through the magical powers of the internet! I wanted to post her weight loss story here on Team Freedom because not only did Catherine lose an amazing amount of weight, she gained so much helpful knowledge and info about deciding to live an natural, healthy lifestyle, which is something to be admired for. You can see Catherine’s super cute site by clicking: Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth

I love all the talk about BUNNIES. I’ve called each of our daughters Bunny since they were born! So sweet. Read Catherine’s story and follow her blog! Let’s all be healthy little bunnies together!

A Baby Bunny
I will start off by saying that my first stuffed animal was a rabbit, my mom calls me Bun Bun (short for bunny) and that I have big front teeth that some may call, bunny teeth. My obsession with the cute cuddly creatures wasn’t the only factor that came to play when naming this blog. Ever since I can remember I have been overweight, or should I say… a chubby bunny. I am not one of those naturally thin girls who gained the freshman 15, or gained weight after having children. During elementary school and high school, I was teased and bullied because of my weight. They engraved in my mind that I was fat, so I believed that was all I ever would be. I didn’t understand why my mom and sister were so petite and I was so big. What made me so much bigger than my big sister? I remember crying to myself asking “Why am I like this? Why did I have to be placed into this body? This isn’t fair, why me?” I used to wish upon shooting stars that I would have an eating disorder so I could be skinny.

Bun Bun and a bun!

I had always been interested in fashion, but being 5’4 and 162lbs as a teenager, there are not a lot of stylish options out there. I remember searching for a Winter Formal dress and not being able to fit into anything. I cried in the dressing room of every store and my mom assured me that we were going to find the perfect dress. I hated shopping with friends because they always wanted to see how everything looked on me, but most of the time it would not even fit so I wouldn’t come out of the dressing room. I hated being fat, but chalked it up as “baby fat” that I would one day grow out of. I continued eating like a teenager, never thinking about what I was really putting into my body, and although the food that I ate wasn’t always unhealthy, it was just too much.

I have the most amazing parents in the entire world and they are a constant source of inspiration. My Dad is one of the most selfless, generous, hard working people I know, and has provided a safe, stable, and loving home for my family. My mom is a renaissance woman. On top of managing a household, volunteering for 5 different nonprofit organizations, and being a loving wife and outstanding mother, my mom always cooked homemade meals for us, consisting of a healthy balance and variety of foods. My parents never criticized me for my weight, what I ate, how I dressed, and always supported my insane ideas. Even when my weight started to creep up, they never acknowledged it or pressured me to lose weight. I am so lucky to have this amazing family, filled with so much love and support. Because of my parents, I truly believe that weight loss will happen when the time is right. No one can push you. You must decide to get healthy for yourself, which is exactly what I did.

Me at my junior prom in 2006 at 162lbs.

Hopping along in a new direction

After coming home from a weekend trip to San Francisco with my best friend, I was sorting through photos from our adventure and posting them online. It wasn’t until I got half way through the photos that I noticed how big I had become. I was shocked and disgusted by myself and couldn’t believe that I actually looked that way. At this point, I was at my heaviest weight of 192lbs. Later that night, I was hanging out with my family, watching some awesomely terrible reality TV, when my dad said “I think I’m going to try Nutrisystem, my buddy did it and dropped a ton of weight and has kept it off.” I looked at him in that very moment and said “I’ll do it with you!” and my dad’s reply, “Ok, but you actually have to do it and follow the plan if we order it. No cheating!” The timing was perfect. Just hours after looking at photos of my chubby self and being so unhappy with my own body and not strong enough to confront it alone, this window of opportunity opened up. My sister even chimed in “not fair, I don’t want to cook!” referring to all of the Nutrisystem meals being prepared and delivered to your door. She is so positive and loving. You will never meet anyone as kind or as happy as my sister. I love my family and their support was key to my success. I can’t say it enough.

Halloween weekend in San Francisco 2010 at my heaviest of 192lbs. Yes I was a loofah!

Our orders arrived a week later and I was excited to change my body and leave my old habits of snacking and overeating behind. I immediately went through my pantry and fridge in my apartment and threw everything out. I replaced the midnight macaroni, gummy bears, and unhealthy snacks with my month’s worth of NS meals and “approved snacks” i.e. veggies, nonfat yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs. My dad and I would email each other about our progress or… lack there of in his case! Each day on the program was new and exciting, and I was going strong learning all about portion control, the right carbs and seeing fantastic results. After sticking with the program for some time, I began to feel sluggish, tired, and weak. I was sticking to my program and getting tons of sleep, which lead me to think that something else was wrong. I went to my doctor, who ran a panel of blood tests for autoimmune diseases and test my blood sugar. All of my tests came back normal, which was great to hear, but did not tell me why I was so mentally and physically drained all the time. I decided to end the overly processed and preservative rich Nutrisystem diet. The Nutrisystem program was the perfect kick start to my weight loss and healthy eating, but it was time to continue on my own. It was a terrifying decision, to leave the program cold turkey because I would have to start making decisions about what I ate all by myself, but I had learned proper portion control and eating habits and always had Nutrisystem to fall back on if worse came to worst.

Discovering rabbit food
To keep myself inspired to lose weight, I started buying magazines such as Shape, Fitness, and Women’s Health. While reading these monthly magazines, I was inspired by certain nutritionists and dietitians and would take detailed notes about their healthy eating tips. I started finding that articles I was tearing out or dog-earring were by the same writers. I started a list of my favorite contributors and recipes (many by vegan whole foods chef, Chef AJ) and wanted to learn more about them. After researching these amazing health and fitness experts, I learned tons of information and new ideas for healthy eating. I compiled a gigantic grocery list to help me get started cooking my own healthy meals. I knew that if I had a house stocked with everything I needed for healthy meals, there would be no temptation to stray and grab something unhealthy for a quick fix. I broke my grocery list into sections of protein, produce, whole grains, and plant based fats. My mom agreed to go to Whole Foods with me to gather all of my essentials that I needed to start a healthy kitchen of my own. We probably spent 2 hours in Whole Foods roaming the aisles as I tried to located things like chia seeds, and tempeh. My mom is so patient! I started creating recipes that consisted of one serving from each food group. For breakfast and a snack, I would have a fruit for my produce, and for lunch and dinner I would use vegetables to get a nice balance. It was fun coming up with different recipes using these 4 food groups, and the possibilities were endless. I had lost 60lbs at that point, which brought me down to 132lbs. I had much more energy and I credit that to the fresh unprocessed whole foods that I had been eating. People were really starting to notice my weight loss and I was becoming happier and more confident each and every day.

At my 22nd birthday party in 2011 at 132lbs.

Falling down the rabbit hole
My 22nd birthday was just around the corner and I couldn’t wait to wear an adorable new dress and show off my new figure. The night of my birthday party, I was so nervous to eat or drink anything in fear of gaining weight, so I just pushed everything around on my plate and only sipped on water. At the time I was so happy with how I looked and what I had accomplished that not eating at my own birthday party didn’t matter to me. Now when I look back, I am sad that I couldn’t allow myself to even celebrate my own day.

Cooking for myself and eating healthy seemed to be working out, until one day that I remember very clearly. After I ate a balanced healthy lunch, I still wanted something else to eat, so I reached for an apple. I knew I wasn’t hungry and didn’t give my body sufficient time to feel full from my meal and caved into my cravings for more. After eating lunch and an apple I felt so guilty that I wanted to throw up. I felt as if that one extra apple was going to cause me to gain all 60lbs back. It was a measly apple, but I was so used to staying so perfectly on plan and measuring everything out precisely with a food scale, that I truly believed that I had ruined my weight loss path. To compensate for that apple, I decided to not eat dinner in fear of seeing the number on the scale go up in the morning. The next day, I still felt guilty and angry with myself for “overeating.” I was acting like I had become a complete failure. I became so obsessed with trying to lose more weight and have a perfect body that I started severely restricting my calories. I cut meals in half and cut out carbs completely. Eating the smallest single serving cup of yogurt, or more than half of my meal made me question myself. At this point I was probably eating around 800 calories a day and I still felt guilty. I would go on 3 mile runs everyday to burn off my microscopic breakfast and lunch and would usually skip dinner. I became so obsessed with dieting and losing weight that it was all I thought about, day and night. My eating had become so restrictive that I wouldn’t eat when I went out to restaurants with friends and could no longer enjoy food. My restrictive lifestyle soon turned into a vicious cycle of starving all day followed by uncontrollable binge eating. I was at my lowest weight of 112lbs and it wasn’t until I noticed my ribcage strangely poking out of my chest and that sitting on hard surfaces became so uncomfortable on my sharp tailbone that I realized what I was doing was wrong.

At my smallest of 112lbs in fall 2011.

I turned to the internet in search of some sort of help and advice to turn things around. I stumbled upon numerous blogs by young women who had similar stories after losing a substantial amount of weight and were willing to share with the world. So many stories hit so close to home, and it was calming to know that I wasn’t the only one. I became so inspired by the women who were brave enough to confront their problems and blog about their story, journey, and recovery to optimal health. I started following a number of healthy living/eating blogs and turned to them for support every day. I fell in love with the support and devotion of the blogging community and feel like it has contributed so much to my new outlook on food, exercise, and health.

Getting back on my rabbit feet
As dumb and obvious as it sounds, I have learned that eating an extra apple one day will not cause me to gain weight. It may seem silly, but it took me a long time to come out of that “all or nothing” restrictive mindset and learn that food is not the enemy. I have been cooking my healthy rabbit food and have learned to respect my body. I know that food and body image will always be somewhat of a struggle for me, but I have come so far and become so strong that I know I can certainly maintain my new healthy lifestyle. After being an avid blog reader, I felt that it was my time to share my story with the world. I want to tell my story to help others who may have stumbled over the same hurdles, to inspire, and to have fun with food and exercise. Now it’s time to make some rabbit food!

Now that you have survived this monster of a bio, you can read some more fun things about me here, yay!

Where Dreams and Reality Meet Final Video

In the finale of the “Dreams and Reality Meet” series, Kevin Carroll leaves some priceless keys for the “dreamer” in all of us. The moment of discovery can find us at any stage in life. When did you lose sight of your dream. Watch this video and take control now

Where Dreams and Reality Meet Part 3

In this follow up to the “Where Dreams and Reality Meet” Series featuring Kevin Carroll, he talks about the importance of choosing the right partners in life AND in business. Choosing the right partners can make all the difference when it comes to happiness and success

Where Dreams and Reality Meet Part 2

Kevin Carroll continues his story of dream chasing and overcoming obstacles while sharing the keys to finding AND following YOUR dream. Kevin’s amazing story and experiences demonstrate how true happiness can only be found through following your dreams. Its not easy, but Kevin tells us how it can be done

When Dreams and Reality Meet

This is the first of a short series of videos created by Kevin Caroll and a production team. It is about dreaming. Reaching for your goals and making your life exactly what YOU want it to be. I LOVE this video, and the 3 that follow it. I’ll be posting them consecutively so you can love them too.

Mariah

MAKE a GOAL TODAY!

June 2012 Leadership Summit

GOOD MORNING again Team Freedom,

We’ve been having some tech difficulties lately- but we’re hoping everything is on the mend and that we’ll be back up and running today. I am so excited to share all that we’ve been doing the past week or so. It seems like all the hard work we’ve put into our business is now coming to a pivotal point. People are wondering what in the world we do, who we are and how they can be involved- and we LOVE it.

First and foremost I have to congratulate the man of the hour, my sweetie, Mark Baddas for being named the Redesign in 90 Challenge winner at the Nu Skin Leadership Success Summit this weekend in UT!!! I tell you, I could not be more proud of Mark. He has worked so hard to change his health. And I could not be more proud to tell you that this because of Nu Skin, and Pharmanex products that he was able to do it. 

Mark is absolutely a changed man. He feels better now- than he ever has before, that says a lot because Mark is a former marathoner and endurance athlete. We were asked by Nu Skin to submit a video story about Mark’s journey. Here’s a link to his story if you would like to watch it:

This past weekend has been incredible. As you know, I’ve lost weight myself through the R90 program and Mark and I were so excited to be asked to tell our stories along with another couple who has lost significant weight! We spoke in front of thousands of people and shared with them our results. The company also announced their new campaign and they unveiled the website, and guess what?

It’s Me! Ahhhhhh! I screamed in our hotel room! Did I mention Nu Skin is a GLOBAL company? My photo will be seen in China, Germany, Vietnam and 50 other countries? What the what?

On the morning of the general session, Mark was named the winner of the very first Redesign in 90 Challenge!!! His transformation (among SO many other participants) was so incredible that the company recognized him and gave him the prize! We LOVE Nu Skin. We love everything about the company we are partnered with.  Have you ever felt like you were part of something much, MUCH bigger than you are? That is how we feel with Nu Skin. We are in prime position to inspire others to know more about how amazing our lives have become because of our partnership.

Here’s Mark going up on the BIG summit stage to receive his check! WHOOOOOOOP!

He was presented by the President of Nu Skin, Scott Schwerdt.

We kept finding banners with our before and after pictures all over the convention.. And we laughed every time! We’re totally celebrities 🙂 Just kidding. We were excited to take pictures with other distributors who congratulated us on our success.

Here we are with the other winners, Ranae and Steve Boyer. We are good buds now- after spending the entire weekend together! Ranae lost 71 lbs with R90 and Steve (an executive chef) lost a whopping 81 lbs. AMAZING!

We have the most amazing friends that we get to work next to, we LOVE having people who believe in our dreams just as much as we do! You know, it makes sense that so many young couples are getting involved in our business and what more could you ask for than to work along side your spouse? We are excited to work our way to the top with our friends and family and cannot wait to share it with others.

Nu Skin closed down an entire street for a corporate STREET PARTY on Friday night. There were vendors making free food and live bands playing music. We brought our girlies to partake in the fun! We love being able to work and have our kids be with us all of the time. Nu Skin is family friendly..

Both Mark and I were invited to an exclusive photo shoot for the R90 Challenge. I felt so weird because I’m usually the one behind the camera, but we had fun!

P.S. Mark had to wear makeup 🙂

Well that about wraps up our Summit weekend experience. Now it’s back to work. Back to working out (yay!) and back to getting to live our lives the way WE choose. Did I say how happy we are? We’re HAPPY!! Come back tomorrow because I have some more videos and photos to share!

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