Fit Latina in the Making: Help me Support Some Incredible Families

So today I’m adding one more incentive to my fitness journey, and I’m hoping you’ll join in too. You see, one of the things I am most proud of is my professional career. I made a conscious decision years ago to focus on bettering my community- geographical and cultural. I’ve worked in the non-profit sector since 2002, and I have never once pursued a for-profit position.

Do I have anything against the for-profit sector.  Of course not!  There are so many incredible corporate partners and foundations that help nonprofits provide services to the population they serve through donations of time and money. It’s simply incredible to have seen the paradigm shift from when I first started working. To have large corporations setting aside VTO (volunteer time off) so their employees can do something they love is just the coolest thing to be a part of when hosting them at my work.

So what do I do? I’m a proud proud member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. I started as a volunteer almost 20 years ago while still in college, but I joined the staff in 2012. It’s been the most challenging (emotionally and intellectually) position I’ve had and absolutely the most rewarding. I don’t think I’ve ever been more happy professionally.

But why?

Well if you’ve never been to a Ronald McDonald House, then let this be your first introduction. With almost 400 Houses around the world, Ronald McDonald Houses strive to do two main things: keeping families together and keeping them close to the hospital where their child is receiving treatment. RMH provides them a ‘home away from home’ while they seek out the best care for their child. Some of our families are with us short-term and some are with us a lifetime.

So how will I marry this fitness journey with the medical journey of our families?

I’ve had several wake up calls to remind me of how lucky I am to be “healthy.” I’ve lost friends to terrible illnesses and have others who are battling diabetes and other auto immune diseases.  Me? I’m a fatty with bad ankles.  Not the worse thing in the world when you look at the potential of what my body could be doing today if my genetics played out differently. I’ve been lucky, and I’ve taken it for granted.

My RMH kiddos don’t have a choice, and my friends don’t have a choice.  I have CHOICES and TOOLS to help me get in the best shape of my life. This year, I finally also have the DRIVE.  It’s go time!


I’m in this to win it and I have the best supportive team and friends ever to make this happen!

I have an initial goal of losing 40 pounds by my 40th birthday. Well, when I stepped on the scale yesterday, I realized my pace is going much faster than it ever has because I’m finally doing all the right things.  So I WILL HIT this target in my 39th year of life.

39 years of being healthy that I have taken for granted!

My kiddos at RMH have fought so much harder than I ever have, so I thank them for giving me the strength and humor from which to push through the soreness. It’s nothing compared to what they battle each and every day.

So how can you help?

We are currently raising funds to refurbish one of our older Houses (we have 5 in the Chicagoland area), and it is the House that first introduced me to this beautiful work I get to be part of every day.

I have a personal fundraising goal of $2500 but I would like to quickly surpass that goal just as I’ll do with my initial 40 pound weight-loss target. I’m already close to reaching a 10 pound loss and it’s only been 1.5 weeks since I first spoke with Ray (and 4 days of actual workouts).

I will crush this fitness journey…can you help me crush my fundraising goal too? Your donation would not only show your belief in my drive but it will also support the thousands of families who need us most during the most challenging times of their lives.

So if my journey isn’t enough for you…how about a picture of one of the families you would be helping today by making a donation here?


Last day of CHEMO!!!!

Also, let me be completely transparent.  I’d like to earn my title back as top individual fundraiser from my colleague Ben who crushed me last year and is currently light-years ahead of me! Can I count on you to help me crush him?!  Know that this is a friendly but heated competition we have done for the past of couple of years. I love my Benny but I hate losing to him.

Fit Latina in the Making: Working Smaht

I know you’ll be in as much shock as I am.

Today was day one, and I didn’t die.

I decided I needed my workout outfit to give me some good karma. I found a Breast Cancer Awareness shirt this weekend at Macy’s that I knew I had to have the moment I laid eyes on it.

You see, I made a promise to my friend Deyla that I would start to take care of me. She lost her battle to breast cancer a little over two years ago and she fought hard.  She fought against the availability of options but never stopped trying.  So here I am, with everything laid at my feet, and I still had trouble saying yes to this opportunity.  The shirt was a good reminder to get out of my head and focus on my heart.


In all seriousness, I wasn’t sure how training via Skype would work, or if I would like it. I can’t say I “like” it (because I still don’t enjoy a workout), but I do love the convenience of doing this at home and Ray is pretty clear about what he wants me to do. In turn, I apparently take direction well so it seems to be a match made in heaven.

So was I still nervous as I saw skype start ringing?  Heck yea I was!

Well, I didn’t have much time focus on the nerves because we quickly became a comedy sketch as my laptop camera wouldn’t work, and he disconnected his computer when we finally connected via my mini iPad. (We’re both showing our age when it comes to technological competency!)

The mini iPad isn’t ideal, but it works. He can see me, and I can see him, and so we got to business. I had this idea that he would be killing me today…that I would be scolded…and that he would be unreasonable on my capabilities.

But none of that happened!

Was he honest about how my weight is affecting certain moves – yes, of course. However, he never explained anything in a condescending way. It was just a matter of fact and something we would tackle as a team.

And then he introduced me to the damn squat.


WHO KNEW there was a wrong way and a right way to execute a squat? I was feeling all kinds of confident when he asked me to do my version first. I had my back straight, and I came down at a decent tempo. But boy did I know that my knees were going to feel this if we did a lot of reps.

Well, he took a look at my form and then taught me how to do them better.

Do you know I’ve actually seen others use this form and thought they were doing it wrong?! Little did I know that they were saving their knees and backs by using proper form.  AMAZING difference.

Was it still hard?  YOU BET!

But did we work SMAHT (I have to try not to giggle at the Boston accent)?  Yup.  No injuries is one of our goals.

But what is the 1st goal?

Lose 40 pounds by my 40th Birthday (January 9th).

When I gave him this target weight goal, he got quiet. I thought he was going to tell me I was crazy. Imagine my surprise when he said that if I gave 50% effort, I’d reach that target. However, if I gave him more than my 50%, I would blow that number out of the water.

What?! I’ve never lost that kind of weight.  EVER!

Do I think this will be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. ABSOLUTELY.

Do I think that I’m in good hands?  Yup.  I made a SMAHT choice 🙂




Fit Latina in the Making: I’m Being Ridiculous

I apologize for missing a post yesterday.  Comcast had an outage in my area so I wasn’t able to log on all day. Unfortunately, the outage didn’t happen tomorrow on day one with Ray so I’m going to have to proceed with day one of the workouts!

My last post talked about how I’m getting nervous. Well, I didn’t know what nervous even felt like until tonight. The minute I got confirmation about what time we’re meeting and what I needed to prepare for my first  workout, my stomach plummeted. I have to admit that I’m actually a bit scared.

The craziest thing about all of this is that I’m not generally a scaredy cat.  I have this general belief that failure teaches you something about yourself.  However, when it comes to all items related to fitness, I feel almost paralyzed.

Will my trainer think I suck?

Will I embarrass myself?

Will my trainer judge my tight workout clothes (i.e. judge my body)?

Maybe this paralyzing fear is due to the fact that I’ve already failed for so long. I don’t want the confirmation that I couldn’t do something on my own. I’m an independent gal who prides herself in not “needing” others to accomplish her goals. But really, I’ve always had help to achieve things (teachers, mentors, friends, etc.) so what makes me feel like I need to do this on my own?

I’m being COMPLETELY irrational and I know it! I know I’m not the most obese person in the world and probably much more capable than many people who are starting a fitness journey. However, I can’t get out of my head tonight. I’m pretty sure I’ll be tossing and turning all night until I officially face my demons in the morning.

I’m hoping that getting through day one will make these jitters disappear (or at least help lessen them significantly).

I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t be afraid of something that I haven’t tried, let alone something that can’t actually hurt me.

I’m so used to being competent at most things that it’s messing with me mentally that I haven’t been able to get this one thing right, and that I’ll have someone “judging” me this time around (like all of you reading this post).

Epiphany #2: I’m afraid to fail….again.



Fit Latina in the Making: I’m Starting to get Nervous

All week, I’ve had a lot of fun laughing at this ridiculous scenario that I have decided to entertain. The ridiculous portion is how I said yes, not the seriousness of why I finally decided to say yes. I am actively reflecting on what hasn’t worked in the past because I don’t want to get in the same rut. I don’t want to fail.

I understand that this journey will not be perfect and that I will have days where I feel like I did everything wrong. If weight-loss and working out were easy, the whole world would be fit.

This is going to be hard.

I’m going to be miserable on many days.

I’m going to want to quit.

I’m trying to convince myself that I will have fun. In fact, I’ve been using this blog to make myself laugh because I’m trying to not freak out. I’ve shared my story with my coworkers, my friends and anyone that will listen because I want them to check on me and to help me be accountable.

I even treated myself to some new workout clothes today. There is no reason to let a little sweat get in the way of looking fashionable, right?

But guess what….I’m slowly starting to panic!

I think about all the foods I won’t be eating and it makes me stare longingly at the stupid food I’m eating this week (nothing crazy, but I know some of the items will be no no’s on the list). Mind you, we haven’t even discussed dieting yet, and I already have a scenario created where I won’t be eating any carbs or sugars ever. Ray has NEVER uttered those words. In fact, I think he implied the opposite. Sure, we’ll eliminate some items for periods of time, but he never said I would have a forever restriction.

I’m also imagining how sore I will be this coming week, and how it will negatively affect my daily life. I have to officiate my first wedding and the last thing I want to do is cringe at every step I take. I don’t even know what exercises I’ll be doing, but I have managed to envision not being to walk!

The mind games have begun and I need to get myself out of this space or else I’ll set myself up to fail.  Ugh!

Fit Latina in the Making: I Hate Workout Classes

In my initial consultation discussion with Ray, I had an epiphany.

I don’t like to consider myself a very competitive person by any stretch of the imagination. I’m a girl that loves teamwork and one who doesn’t need to be the star of most things. I prefer to work hard and be taken seriously for my effort than to be applauded for my leadership.

However, I realized that my hate for exercise classes has EVERYTHING to do with competition.  Do I want to be the best in class? Nope!  So why am I so uncomfortable in most classes?


Well it hit me like a ton of bricks. My internal dialogue is so fiercely competitive that I halt my final target! I get very angry when I can’t keep up in a class. I will mentally shut down and I will pretend to not really care as I giggle externally.

Speaking my truth here = It’s an awful feeling.

I’ll leave classes feeling completely deflated and never go back. This defeats the purpose of trying it out in the first place.  I’m supposed to be encouraged to try again and build up my stamina, but my brain immediately goes in to shut down mode.

Some of you are probably reading this and telling me to get over it…to suck it up…and to go back! But why should I?  I’m not a masochist!

And don’t get me started on trainers that yell at you! I’m a grown up – there is no need to treat me like a child. I think it’s disrespectful and completely not motivating. Yelling at me does not work – it has an extreme opposite effect. I’ve actually walked out of classes that used the yelling tactic five minutes in. You don’t get to scold me like a child – EVER!

I know this is a mind game that I need to stop playing with myself, but until I cross that hurdle I need to focus on what types of classes I have enjoyed because there have been some.

So what classes have I enjoyed?

Yoga, Zumba and Dancing!

I’m a decent dancer, so it’s natural for me to jump in to classes regardless of the difficulty level. Can I do every move?  Of course not!  However, I know that I can stay on beat and move around with confidence (even if the move is a bit off).

Yoga, however,  is my true love. I love hot yoga and traditional yoga. I think a lot of it has to stem from the fact that I have been reasonably flexible my whole life. So even though I can’t do all the moves, I have faith that the more stretching and breathing I do, I’ll get there. It may even take me weeks/months to get there, but my history with yoga is enough to teach me to have patience with myself and to be okay with not doing the advanced level of a move.

I’ve realized that what is most important to me is to feel competent and successful at the end of a class. I just want to feel like I passed the class – even if it’s at a C-average.

I don’t need to be the best, but I do need to feel like I belong! 




Fit Latina in the Making: Why Now?

I don’t even know how to begin topping yesterday’s post. I had no idea it would resonate with so many people and that it would be considered inspiring to others. I needed to write that post because I need to hold myself accountable for the promise I had made.

I haven’t even started training so let’s put a pause on making me a source of inspiration. Slow your roll folks…let me achieve a little progress!

Let’s keep this real.

This is going to be awful.

No one likes to work out.

I call bull crap on those of you that say you do! It’s hard, you sweat, and you’re sore. Nothing about that sounds, or is, fun to me. I may one day change my tune, but I don’t really ever see me “enjoying” a workout.


Do you hear this this Mr. Trainer?!  I’m challenging you to make me eat my words one day.

What I can understand is a love for working out because of the benefits.  The BENEFITS are the butter to my bread. There are so many benefits, but I’m going to list out some of the ones that will give me the greatest joy.

Beautiful clothes

I’m officially at a point where I’m getting ready to cross in to new category of fatness. I know that word makes some people cringe but this about me here. I don’t have a problem with that word. I’m fat and have been for a long time.

The line I find myself inching closer to is where all the cute clothes of the now popular plus-size stores/sections are starting to be too tight, or tragically don’t fit. Up until a few months ago, I never really cared what the label read because there were always options I liked, and I could tailor the parts I needed.  I was able to dress in the fashion I liked and felt comfortable. However, it’s quite a slice of humble pie lately to sometimes grab an item in the largest size available and have it be too tight.

I’m far too much of a fashionista to be limited by my eating and sedentary lifestyle.

Heels, Heels, Heels

I have always loved shoes.

However, after a series of serious ankle sprains and the recent occasional plantar fasciitis flare-up, I am limited to a few styles of shoes if I want to be able to walk. Gorgeous heels are not an option right now. My ankles are still pretty weak and the plantar fasciitis can be brutal.

Am I flat footed? Yes.

Does obesity contribute to plantar fascittis?  Supposedly.

I’d like to be strong enough to rock a pair of gorgeous shoes again.

The Foodie’s Best Friend

I pride myself on eating and knowing about good food. People call me for restaurant recommendations and I rarely disappoint.

However, there are many times when I sit down for a 10 course meal and I find myself thinking about how many calories, fat and salt I must be consuming.

I don’t ask because I don’t want to know the answer! Beautiful food is art. It’s an experience that I will never give up. However, I would like to eliminate the subconscious guilt I have at the end of some night. Foodie journeys should be enjoyed without consideration of the health ramifications of one meal.

Currently, that one meal keeps setting me back because I do nothing around it to balance it out. One day, I hope to be able to enjoy without the guilt because I can.


We all have them! Yes, you do too.

In our wallets and purses are lies imprinted and documented on official government issued identification – our Driver’s Licenses.  How many of us still have our college weight listed?

My hand is the first fly up! This information is supposed to be helpful to emergency personnel, and I doubt they even look at the numbers listed because the lie is so prevalent.

I hope to one day not be embarrassed by my true number.


If you would have told me 20 years ago, that I would still be single and child-free, I would have told you you were crazy.

I always envisioned having an adorable family and loving spouse. However, the cards haven’t played out that way, but I can’t entirely blame it on my weight. I haven’t put ANY effort in to this area of my life because I have let my professional goals take the highest priority. I’m the daughter of blue collar Mexican immigrants, and I have worked hard to make them proud of what I do and what I have achieved. Truest me, I have had some surreal experiences in my life because of my hard work, and I wouldn’t take them back for the world! I’ve had some serious fun in my life.

I just wish I would have also balanced these experiences with a little romantic fun so that my future-self vision from 20 years ago could be a little closer than it is now.

But the clock hasn’t stopped ticking (thank goodness).

I have time to reshape an already awesome version of myself (heck yes I’m a confident woman) into an even more incredible version! I believe there’s still time to tackle each of these areas of joy.

Mini Album Blog Hop

Since launching my new blog, I realized that I have so far failed to post something crafty. Considering I’m the papercutting nerd, it’s pretty surprising. Thankfully, my friend Kelly had a great idea to do a mini scrapbook album blog hop to get my creative energy focused.

When Kelly approached me with her idea, she said I could post an old album. As the time got closer to for the blog hop, I had every intention of copping out and putting up an old favorite. However, the universe has a funny way of making you change your plans.

You see, the album I wanted to share was on my old business website that I have since deleted. I didn’t save the photos because I never thought I would need them!

I was forced to pull out my materials and start fresh. I feel I’ve been in a creative slump because I haven’t taken the time to to focus on my art. I’ve made other great personal changes but have let this great joy sit on the back burner. I was terrified I wouldn’t have enough time, and then I remembered I had a great pinterest board full of ideas (@nchaidez). I had a great one sheet album that I had been dying to make. I then realized that I had also made a goal to make myself a scrapbook album before I turned 40. Having scrapbooked for over 10 years, can you believe I’ve never made myself an album?!  The universe was SCREAMING at me to finally do it….so here it is!

Please visit the album link for the scoring and cutting guidelines. The youtube video is easy to follow.

This little album showcases some of my greatest and cutest little loves. These are the beautiful children of my best friends and I’m so very very lucky to live near them so that I can have magical and fun moments. While I don’t have children myself, I adore these peanuts with every fiber of my being. I’m so happy to have finally created a little something for me that will remind me of why I love them all so much.


I tried not to make my album to layered to it would close easily, but my fun Freckled Fawn embellishments bulked it up enough that I had to include a ribbon belly band.



This album was so easy to make. The hardest part was deciding on the paper before choosing my pictures, but I just had fun with it!


I love the flaps. Had I had more time, I might have made one album per family so I could use spaces like the flaps to write more details.


So many pockets for so many cute pics! I’m a girl that looooves layers, but I had to remember to keep the tags as flat as possible so that the album would close flat.



Each of the tags comes right out. I only created layouts on one side, but it’s possible to do both sides or to journal on the back.



To add the ribbon belly band, I used an exacto knife to create a slot for the ribbon.

IMG_9462Describes exactly how I feel.

The adorable and bright backgrounds papers are from Dear Lizzy 6×6 paper packs (Lucky Charm and 5th & Frolic). All my embellishments are from Freckled Fawn which bring me to my giveaway. Please leave a comment below for a chance to win some of my favorite Freckled Fawn embellishments. They are simply the best. If you love washi tape….they have the best variety and incredible quality. They also have a monthly kit club for those of you (like me) that are paper hoarders and never seem to have any embellishments!  The winner will be selected randomly on Friday, July 25th!

To see some of the other incredible mini albums, please visit the blogs of my fellow crafters. I’m highlighting where I am in case you wanted to go to the next person on the list (Beth) and continue in a loop.

1.   Kelly Jean – kelsterjean designs
2.  Amanda – Random Sweetness
3.  (Me) Nubia – The Papercutting Nerd
4.  Beth – Scrapping Wonders
5.  Heather M – Heather’s Crafty Heart
7.  Charity – Scrappin’ Chaos
8.  Mandi – Kraze of MJ
9.  Heather S – Coffee and Pretty Paper
10. Kristin – rukristin papercrafts

Thanks for stopping by!