4.29.2013

Set. Beat. Repeat. Succeed.

If you're from Minnesota, you're probably feeling the same way about the weather that I am:

YAAAAAY WHOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!

Yep, that about sums it up.  The snow has finally melted and our windows have been open all weekend!  It's definitely a good thing!

Another good thing?  The 30 pounds that I've lost since I started working out!  All of a sudden my wardrobe has doubled because clothes that used to be way too small are now loose!  I'm ready to ROCK this summer and I can't wait!  No more wearing loose, baggy, hot clothing because I'm uncomfortable in my own skin.  This is the summer of shorts and tank tops for me - mark my words! 

Are you ready for your summer attire?  Swimsuits, shorts, tank tops, oh my!  How to do it, though?



I'd love to be your coach to help you reach any health and fitness goals you may have!  Only you can make the change, but on the days you're feeling less-than-motivated it is AWESOME to have other people support, encourage and cheer for you!  

E-mail me at ashleykrek@gmail.com and I can help you choose your workout program, set goals and sign you up for my next Challenge Group so you can head into the summer with awesome momentum!  It's worked for me so I know it can work for you too!

4.19.2013

Media Overkill

Do you ever want to turn off the phone, the tv, the wi-fi and the internet?  Not open a book, glance at a newspaper or pick up a magazine?  Just forget that there's anything called fiction, non-fiction, news or reality tv?  I must be honest, that's how I'm feeling today.  

The events in Boston were a tragedy.  I am not trying to take anything away from that, and I'm not saying that I'm not grieving for the people affected or the lives lost, because I am.  The same can be said for the explosion in Texas and the countless other things that have plagued the news lately.  

The reason I want to distance myself is because of the news.  These tragedies have taken over the airwaves, and it doesn't seem like it's because of the deaths and injuries.  At least, it doesn't seem like that's where the media is focusing its efforts.  I opened my mailbox where I get the latest news stories at this is what I saw:

"Timeline of terror hunt"
"Tweeting police chatter creates confusion"
"Mayor of Texas rocked by explosion"
"Photos from Bostonians locked down amid terror hunt"
"Suspects in marathon bombings are brothers"
"One Boston Marathon suspect killed"
"Texas town likened to Baghdad after blast"
"Cops: Gunman kills ex-wife before being slain in shootout"
"High School Student convicted in sex-tape scandal"
"Campus police officer killed in shooting"
"Musharraf arrested in Pakistan on treason charges"

I understand why these items are news.  I understand why the media pumps these stories out.  What I don't understand is this: why are there no other stories deemed worthy of the front page or breaking news?  Why can't something positive be shared?


4.17.2013

Biggest Dreams

Think of your biggest dream. The crazy, scary one that you’ve always told yourself is completely out of the realm of possibility. So big that it’s likely never even made it onto your bucket list or other rundowns of things you’d like to do someday. You may have never told anyone about it, or maybe you’ve only shared it and made a joke of it after you’ve said it. “haha, yeah, like that’ll happen.” Or “hey, a girl can dream, right?”
Everyone has a dream like this. For some people it might be picking up and moving to New Zealand. For some people it might be publishing a novel. Maybe it’s canoeing around Australia. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to test your feet at climbing a mountain. Getting your doctorate? Having $100,000 in savings? What is your dream?
My dream has stayed the same for a long time. A really long time. For a couple months in college I got to live it, and I’d jump at the chance to live it again. What is it? France. Paris. La vie francaise. If I could set a path for my life to take, it would be to be able to take a huge European vacation every year. To see the host family I lived with while I studied in the south of France in college, and to spend lazy afternoons walking around Versailles. To have enough time to see a French film at a theater off the Champs Elysees without feeling like I’m wasting my precious time in France. To tell people about my upcoming trip to France and have them roll their eyes because it seems like I just got back.
My husband has a different dream. Very different. His dream would be to live a life where he can farm full-time, every day. Raise animals, grow crops, live in the country and get to be outside every day. He loves the farm he grew up on, and he’d love to raise our children in the same situation. He wants to teach them the value of hard work by exposing them to farm chores. He wants them to understand that food does not make it to your table by some Supermarket magic – it’s because people work crazy hours in crazy weather to grow the food needed to make all the food we eat every day. He wants to live with the satisfaction that comes with seeing all your hard work pay off when the crops are harvested and sold, and he wants to share that with our family.
Our dreams are different. They don’t overlap in any real way, and neither of us would be happy living out the other’s dream. Truth be told, we are not living the dreams we have for our lives currently. I haven’t been to France for several years now, and he only gets to be at the farm when he’s not working. We both realize that the dreams we have are not the type of thing you can just plan to do overnight. Finances get in the way and make them seem impossible. So what does that mean? Do we throw these dreams away? Push them aside so far that we pretend that they’re never going to happen? Tell ourselves that maybe in 20 years or when we retire we can live out our dreams?
I think that would be the worst thing we could do. Some might say to work on one at a time – since he already gets time at the farm, it’s only fair to focus on me going to France, right? Because really, these goals seem to be completely opposite from each other – how could the girl who wants to travel all the time possibly be married to the man who wants to stay home? Well I don’t buy any of it. I think we all need to stop treating our dreams as impossible and our current situations as inevitable. If I don’t start working right now to live out my dream, then it really never will happen. Same goes for Jake. So what do we do? Put our dreams together. Because really, at the end of the day, our dreams could exist together. Because we are living our lives together, why shouldn't we be able to live our dreams together, too?
So here's our ultimate dream as a couple: Jake is farming. We have a family, we live in the country and our children with strong work ethics but also to believe, like we do, that being outside and spending time with those you love and have fun with is the best way to spend an evening. Jake doesn't have to work because the farming is able to support our life and family - I am able to work from home as well. The weather and nature creates Jake's hours, myself and the family decides the hours that I work. But every summer - or fall - or winter - whenever we decide it will work best, I get to go to France. Sometimes Jake will come with me, sometimes other friends or family will, sometimes I will go by myself. There is space in our dream for all of these scenarios.
Today we start working to make that dream a reality. Because if we are able to accomplish that, I'm confident that the smaller goals we have set for ourselves will happen along the way.
So I ask again, what's YOUR big, scary dream?

I've started working on one of mine - becoming fit, healthy and proud of myself once again.  If your dream could be helped by becoming these same things, don't hesitate to ask me how I can help!  I'm starting a workout & clean-eating Challenge Group on April 29th and I'd love to have you join us!  Being fit may be a solitary decision, but having a support system behind you can help you push it to levels you never thought possible!  I'll support you 100% of the way and I can even help you choose your program to workout with!  Message me at ashleykrek@gmail.com to claim your spot!
 

4.15.2013

Rodeo or Mexico!

This weekend was another jam-packed busy weekend for us, but it was so great!  It was nice to be able to reconnect with friends and other people I haven't seen in much too long, and it was such a blessing to celebrate the wedding of some friends!

I'm still a bit tired and the laundry hasn't been folded yet, but I'm grateful for the weekend :) 

On Friday I did something I haven't done before - I worked out in the morning!  It was GREAT to be able to get my workout in so I didn't have to worry about doing it Friday night or missing it completely.  Nice to know that I can be dedicated enough to wake up early and do it!

Friday after work, then, two of my friends from home came to our house to go to the rodeo in a neighboring town.  Since apparently Minnesota doesn't yet know that it's springtime it was really cold and muddy, but it was still a fun time.  I drank vodka for the first time in a while on Friday night... and I woke up still drunk on Saturday morning.  Which is so much better than waking up hung-over, but it definitely made for some laughs while I attempted to make waffles on Saturday morning!!


 Then Saturday morning as everyone else recovered from their hangovers we headed to Jake's college roommate's wedding.  The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a lot of fun!  The reception was in a hotel, and Jake and another former roommate had fun piling stuff along the top of the wall.  They're very mature, those two :) 


I have never been to a reception that lasted until 2 am at a hotel - they've always ended at midnight!  So this was a long, fun night!  I skipped out on the drinking, but it was still a great time getting to dance and meet new people!



How was your weekend?!



4.11.2013

Positive Influences


A while back I mentioned a book that I recently finished, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.  This would likely be filed in the "self-help" section of your local bookstore, and this is not a section that I frequent.  I am so glad that I stepped outside of my typical genres to read this book, however!  It gave me a LOT to think about and I've been mulling over a lot of the ideas ever since.

One of these has been the "circle of five".  This is the idea that the 5 people we spend the most time are the people we end up becoming similar to.  If they are die-hard basketball fans, we're more likely to open up news articles about basketball, pause on a basketball game while flipping channels, and just pay attention to basketball in general.  If they love to party, we may more often find ourselves with a drink in hand at a bar on a Friday night instead of other options we may have open to us.  We may have never done these things before, but through their influence we have started - and it's likely not a conscious decision, just a reaction to their presence.

  

This could either help or hurt us in countless ways - are the people we interact with positive or negative?  Savers or spenders?  Lovers or fighters?  Lazy or active?  Driven or apathetic?   Healthy or unhealthy?  Thinking about this has made me think more about the influence people have on me.  I think by being aware of the traits in others we'd like to see in ourselves, and those we'd like to avoid, it may be possible to use this to our advantage. 
What I really took from this, though, is a recognition that other people can say the same thing about me and my influence on them.  How am I living my life, and am I being the type of person I'd like to see reflected in those around me?  


The last couple months of working out and changing my lifestyle habits have really proven to me that being healthy is much more than a physical change and because of this it requires much more than an activity change to really be successful.  Because even if I worked out for 5 hours a day and restricted myself to an absolutely "perfect" diet until I got to my ideal body weight and shape, none of it would be sustainable without a mental, emotional and lifestyle change.


Luckily, I've been a part of a Challenge Group with other women who are also working through these things.  I feel grateful to be sharing the experience with them and I am as excited for all the changes they're making as I am for my own!  Although I've never met them before, I count them as a group as one of the five people I spend the most time with because we of the dedication we each have to the group and to each other!  It's much more than just a couple posts on facebook- it's really changing all of us!



So, I'm trying.  I'm trying to be positive, and I'm trying to be determined.  I'm trying to not be lazy, and I'm trying to love with everything I have.  I'm trying to be intentional in my health and I'm trying to share this with other people.  I'm trying to be the best me that I can possibly be - and although I may not succeed everyday, I'm trying.


How about you?  What do you think of this idea?


I'm starting up a new Challenge Group on May 6th - I'll be 100% committed to you and the changes you'd like to make if you can commit to yourself as well!  I'm here to help if you're ready!  Write to me for more information at ashleykrek@gmail.com

Closing Time

Yesterday I wrote a post about the bakery, and today I'm continuing that with pictures that were taken on the last day.  It was a fun/sad/weird day - but one we'll all remember!!


 Blair, the owner, after the doors were locked.












Thanks, iPhone for some of the blurry ones - but not the end of the world I suppose :) 



4.10.2013

RIP, Jack's Bakery

Have you ever had a day that’s both happy and sad at the same time? One where you have so much fun, but as you look back on the day/event/time you remember that there was a not-so-happy reason for whatever you did that day?
 
I’ve had quite a few days like this, and I’m never really sure how I should feel about them. Be happy that I made the best out of a bad situation? Feel bad that I could forget for any amount of time the bad thing that was going on?
 
 
Last Saturday was a day like this for me. The week before Easter I learned a bakery close to my home was going to be closing for the last time. This bakery, Jack’s Bakery, was my first job – it was also my brother’s and sister’s first job. I started there in high school before I could legally drive, and I worked there on-and-off for seven years.
 
 
They allowed me to come back during college breaks, the summertime and after I had graduated college. I met my first boyfriend there, and I met my husband while I was working there. The people I worked with saw me through breakups, trips abroad, fights with friends and were there to support me and my husband at our wedding. It will be a bittersweet day when we pull out the top layer from our wedding cake for our first anniversary in August, because the bakery that made it for us will no longer be around.
 



 
 
So, last Saturday, I spent the day at Jack’s. The whole crew that worked there when I did came out and we hung out. Helped bag buns, helped clean, but mostly we remembered. The jokes, the annoyances, the frustrations, the friendships. We took pictures and we tweeted. We shared another day together in the bakery, because there will be no more to come.
 
I think, ultimately, I feel grateful. I was blessed to have had the opportunity to work at the bakery, and I am blessed to still count my co-workers as friends. Not everyone can say that about a job they had in high school.
 

4.04.2013

Fast-paced Life

Where oh where can the time possibly go?  It seems like everyday just goes by more quickly than the last and before I get used to saying it's Tuesday all of a sudden it's Thursday! 
 
I'd like for the clock to just slow down a little bit, please.
 
If you're friends with Father Time, thanks for making that happen - I appreciate it in advance.  Maybe shoot for it to start slowing down right around 430pm when I get off work? 
 
Much love to you for that.
 
The last couple of days have been filled with working, working out, hanging out with Jake and trying to keep the house somewhat in order.  I just recently finished the book The Compound Effect which would likely be found on the motivational/self-help shelf in the library, but I absolutely loved it! 
 
There are so many things and ideas I took away from it - I'll definitely be sharing some of those soon! 
 
Along with my own workouts and fitness journey I've decided to become a Team Beachbody coach so I can help others on their own journeys too!  If you've been feeling like your New Years Resolutions have been forgotten about lately, or just that you want to try something new but are afraid you don't have the SUPPORT you need or would like a feeling of a team all working together, please either comment below or e-mail me at ashleykrek@gmail.com.  I'm putting together a Challenge Group for this very reason and I'd love to have you be a part of it!
 
23 pounds lighter as of today - and I'm so darn proud of myself!  Let's work together to make your goals into a reality!!
 
And today I leave you with the finished product of the painting I started a couple days ago - I'm definitely no Matisse but I'm pretty happy with it!
 


4.01.2013

A Blogging Change

Happy Monday evening everyone!   I hope your Easter weekend treated you oh-so-well and that you were able to spend a lot of time with your family and other loved ones :)
 
I got to see so many people and it was a much-needed fun weekend!
 
I have been doing a lot of thinking about the direction my life has been going lately as well as the direction this blog will be taking.  I started this blog because I loved reading other people's blogs and I wanted to document my life as it is right now so I can look back on it years from now - I think this is probably a pretty common reason for all bloggers out there :) 

Lately, I have become very involved and very passionate with a couple of things: fitness, working out and eating well.  Over the past could months I have been doing "Goal of 70" posts which have been documenting my journey to a healthier, fitter and more intentional life, and I've noticed that these are the posts I most look forward to writing.
 
 
Because of this, and because of how much I have been enjoying mytransformation, I plan on veering a bit more often into the world of fitness and health on the blog.  Now this is not to say that I'll stop writing about my love for Adam Levine, my hatred for black work pants or my strong desire to travel back to Paris...because omitting those things would be impossible!   I'll just be switching between the two a bit more often.
 
If anyone else is interested in getting started with a fitness journey but isn't quite sure where to start, please contact me!  Because I'm just starting as well I'd love to share my progress with you and help you on your journey!  My email is ashleykrek@gmail.com - let's get fit together :)
 
To end this, here's a beautiful (yes, that's sarcasm) of me after my workout today...