Middle Age Conundrum

I’m standing in my closet staring at everything I own. I’m experiencing the same futile hope I get when looking into the refrigerator hoping a meal will spring out of it. I’ve been here in my underwear for at least five minutes just staring at the different fabrics and silhouettes. I huff. My husband gingerly enters the closet hoping to get us out of the house on time to meet his coworkers. “You look beautiful in anything sweet heart,” he says. He is super well-trained, FYI. “You have to say that,” I retort. Undeterred, he pulls out a top he knows I love and says hopefully, “What about this?” What he doesn’t know is since gaining about 15 pounds of middle age spread, I only have one pair of pants I can wear with it, and they’re dirty. I tell him the reason I’m not wearing that, and he realizes we’re about to go down the rabbit hole.

“What about this skirt?”

“No shoes work with that skirt.”

“These are good…”

“I’ll look like a streetwalker in those!”

“Why do you have streetwalker shoes?”

“Because they are not streetwalker shoes with pants. They are with skirts.”

“You can’t wear heels and skirts?”

“Not those heels with that skirt. Not at my age.”

And there we have it. I’m not mad at my husband. I’m not lacking in nice things to wear. I’m mourning the loss of youth, taut forearms, no side boob, and a smooth profile that didn’t need Spanks. I used to know how to dress for my body type. Now, I go to the standbys that always worked, look in the dressing room mirror, and wonder when my mom got here. Then, I realize that that ten pounds of sass shoved in a five-pound sack is me. It’s okay for older ladies to have a maternal span of hip, a huggable flap of “chicken wing” under arm, and breasts that look better when under an apron that smells like cookie dough. It’s what makes grandmas like my mom awesome. I’m just not ready to go quietly into that stage of my life, despite the fact that I have recently become a Mimi (just can’t call myself grandma; sorry).

Go ahead; remind me to embrace all the wonderful things about being in my forties. I do love the perspective I have now, the ability to say no without guilt, and the wisdom I have gleaned from years in the workplace and in church with amazing women and mentors. The latest mental hurdle is to love the body God gave me, and extend to myself the grace to accept aging and all that comes with it. The last thing I wanted to be was a “classic” beauty…in the same way an Edsel is a “classic” car.

God’s amazing design for our lives is that we need Him in different ways at different ages. The things we need to release to Him will change as we grow; the perspective will shift towards things that matter to Him. What does not change is God’s grace that is new every morning, and that my Lord cares exceedingly for me and my self-worth. I know the scriptures about how a woman is to conduct herself, that clothes and adornments are not the most important aspect of true beauty, and the great cost at which Christ redeemed this body. Yet, I can’t help a little wistful remembrance of the way I looked when I was athletic and lithe. As long as it remains wistful, and does not rob me of joy or bring shame into my life, it can spur me to take better care of the only body I will ever have; that I might serve the Lord in greater capacity with all this wonderful perspective that age has bestowed on me. Because our Father loves us so, he gives us good gifts with which to attain the heights He has called us to. The fruit of the Holy Spirit, which has blessed me with peace for self-image, kindness to encourage others and myself, and self-control, for when there are donuts in the breakroom.

Romans 5:1-2 in The Message says, “By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”

And I will stand tall in the promises given me at so great a price…just not in those shoes with that skirt.



Gather Her || 11.17.16


Fashion + Faith + Friends

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion
6:30 – 8:30 pm

720 O’Connor Dr., Round Rock, TX 78689
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through our monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun, and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

November Guest Speaker: 

CW’s own, Crystal Breaux, Life Purpose Coach.

Crystal will share her story of how the Created Woman pillars was the process she walked through to discover her own life’s purpose. It’s real #GirlTalk


November Fashion Partner: 

Kristen Ellis – Independent Stylist, Stella & Dot & SpaSocial/Holiday makeup

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth + Real Girl Talk



Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.


What's the Hottest Diet and Does it Work?

In a recent episode of 20/20, Losing the Big Fat Trap, several fad diets were highlighted including the most recent and ludicrous of all:  The Tube in Your Nose Diet. The show started by examining several celebrity diets that we all have read about or seen. What was the most interesting to me were the big bucks these celebs were being paid to lose weight as a spokesperson for a particular diet program.  What a motivation!  I think we could all stick to a diet long-term if were being paid big bucks. 

The truth is all of these fad diets work “temporarily,” but most of them can’t be done long term.  Aren’t we, as women, tired of the back and forth dieting? I don’t know about you, but I am too busy to follow a restricted food plan and keep up with all of the diet trends.

For just a minute, can you stop wondering if the latest diet will work for you?  Can you throw out the hope that “this diet” is the answer for your quick weight loss?  Let’s focus on what really matters with our body and eating. 

 Control and Confidence

In working with many women to create a fitness and food design for their lifestyle, I have learned that most women are tired of letting their weight and food control their mind.  Many women feel it keeps them from focusing on what really matters in life.  They have missed out on opportunities with friends and family because of the lack of confidence in their body. They do not want to be imprisoned to a “diet.” What they want is to have control and confidence in what they are eating.

 Peace and Contentment

Can we really be at peace struggling to keep up with celebrity bodies or the latest diet?  When asked if a diet works, my response is, “Can you do it for the rest of your life?”  “If not, it will not work?” True joy comes when we are at peace with food and content with our body, a body that is a living example of health, not perfection.

 As a busy woman do you have time to try and live by these restricted diets?  To lose and maintain your weight, a Clear Design for your lifestyle is what is needed to stop the yoyo dieting.

 If you are ready to gain control and finally be at peace by knowing how to really eat healthy, including the foods you love, I would love to help you.  Contact me for a consultation at crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com and simply add consultation to the email subject line.


No More New Year’s Resolutions

This may be time of the year when you are gearing up for a New Year’s resolutions to start your fitness program, lose weight or eat better.

 In my 20 yearsexperience in fitness as a certified personal training, weight loss instructor, licensed well coach and leader in the industry, I have learn that 50% of women drop out of most fitness programs within the first 6 months.  It is heartbreaking for me, as someone who is passionate about health and fitness, to see these women give up.  I have come to learn the reason why. 

 The truth is there is no one “diet” or exercise program that works for everyone. To be successful in weight management, women must find what works for them, personally.  Each year they are told something different. Give up carbs and their favorite foods; do P90X; walk 30 minutes a day or do the latest dance class craze. It can be confusing and overwhelming. The problem for most busy women is they are attempting new programs that are not conducive to their busy lifestyle or address the issues that lead to their inconsistency. When it does not work, it can quickly lead to feeling like a failure and giving up any hope that healthy eating and exercise are even possible.

 I know without a shadow of a doubt there is hope and they do not have to give up just because it is not working. For me, as a career mom with a desire to be healthy, I understand the challenges of multiple responsibilities with long to do lists for many women.

 If you are ready to be in control of your eating and have a consistent exercise program, even with your busy lifestyle, forget the New Year’s Resolutions.  You know they never work long term anyway.  Instead consider designing a personalized food and fitness plan that you know will work with your schedule and lifestyle.  Throw out what worked in the past (temporarily) or for some one else and discover how to be confident in your own program because you know you can do it consistently. 

 If you’re unsure how to do that and you’d like some help, a free consultation with me might be the best way to get started.  We will discuss strategies to overcome certain food triggers and inconsistencies in your exercise; the best exercise program and eating plan for your schedule; and what motivates you to exercise and eat healthy for a lifetime.  

 Please email me at Crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com to get scheduled for this free session.



What Can you Control?

My friend Linda, who is a strong independent woman, has spent the last 20 years of her life building a career in marketing for a college university. Very goal driven and structured, she worked hard to get ahead while providing a good home for her husband and two daughters. However, her plans and goals were interrupted the day she heard the words “it’s cancer”. At age 43, after discovering a cist in her breast, she was given the news that she may only have one year to live. She was “mortified” and knew this was a situation that she could not control no matter how hard she tried.  After picking herself up and turning to God, she knew she could not control the news that was given to her but there were things that she could control. Her first plan of action was to completely release it to God and become proactive in her treatment. By not accepting the recommendation of the first physician, she became proactive and found a new Doctor who was able to relieve some of her fears of and provide comfort with a treatment plan that worked for her.

After battling her weight for many years and yoyo dieting, she realized that it was time for her to take control of her health. Although Linda had been very successful in other areas of her life, eating healthy and exercise were never something that made it to her priority list. Fast food three times a day, working long hours, and rushing her daughters to dance rehearsals each day was a way of life.  She gave no thought to what she ate and usually used food to deal with her emotions.

When introduced to a healthy weight loss program, she decided to take control of her weight and join.  In the past, her motivation to lose weight was for looks only and tended to last only for a short time. It was different this time.  She wanted to be healthy for herself and be an example to her family.  She realized that her disease and lifestyle, not only affected her, but her friends and family.”

Linda is a success story.  Thankfully, the cancer did not spread to the lymph nodes, a miracle according to her Doctors. With a full mastectomy and successful reconstructive surgery she is cancer free.

Today, ten years later, Linda is gracious to God and believes he saved her for a reason. She knows she was given a second chance and should use it to the very best of her abilities. Her purpose is to live a healthy lifestyle and to set an example to others. She believes that life is a journey with twists, turns and bumps in the road and how she takes them are up to her and will make a difference in her success or failure.

In her journey to healthy eating and overcoming her emotional triggers, she has come to understand a piece of chocolate cake is comforting until 30 minutes later when her sugars are out of control, she’s hungry again and has little energy to exercise! She chooses to eat healthy and exercise so that she can feel better, stronger and more powerful.

She makes a conscious effort each day to take control of her health.

“I know”, says Linda , “there are things I can do”.

  • “I can choose to eat when I am hungry, not emotional”
  • “I can make the right food choices”
  • “I can choose to be more active”
  • “I can choose to make a lifestyle change”

Linda is an inspiration and example of how to stay strong when hit with things that are out of your control even being faced with health issues. She has shown how to be proactive and take charge of your health.  She is a reminder to stop focusing on what you can’t change and have courage to take control of what you can change.




Hot Intensity

  Interval training is “hot” in fitness, especially for us ladies who are busy and struggle to find the time to work out.  Quitting and giving up on any type of exercise can seem like the answer when time is the challenge. To add to the challenge is the task of figuring out what type of workout should do for your personal desires and goals.

For weight loss and weight management, the bottom line is balancing the number of calories you expend and the number of calories you consume. For losing weight, it matters little whether the calories burned during exercise come from fat or carbohydrates.  You must burn calories.

Interval Training is a way to make the most of your workouts and burn the most calories.

This great way to workout breaks up the time with periods of rest and is for the exerciser who is short on time and ready to increase her workout intensity. Not only does interval training allow you to improve your fitness quickly, it is effective for burning lots of calories.

Try one of these workouts each week:

For the Advanced:

  • 3 minutes at 95%–100% maximum (max) heart rate (HR) with

2 minutes at 70% heart rate; repeat 5-6 times

Total Time: 25-30 minutes

For the Intermediate:

  • 30 seconds fast with

1 minute at 70% heart rate; repeat 8-12 times

Total time: 18 minutes

Interval workouts should include a warm-up and a cool-down; is best with a watch with a heart rate monitor; and a consultation with your doctor if you are new to exercise.


If you are not ready for that intensity, go for a long(45 min-1hr)  walk/runs with intervals of light jogging or bike ride with intervals of higher resistance and speed increasing your work load or time by 10% a week.

Getting a program that fits your lifestyle will definitely increase your motivation. Are you discouraged and frustrated trying to figure out an eating and exercise plan for your schedule and fitness goals?

Email me for a free consultation to customize a Fitness Design for YOU so that you feel confident, fit and secure with the choices you are making in your health and fitness.

Refreshing Strawberry Lemonade

This recipe is a fun twist to traditional lemonade and makes it a true thirst-quencher and summertime favorite. Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated organic lemon peel
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 1 pint fresh organic strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 cups cold sparkling water
  • Ice
  • Whole organic strawberries and sliced lemons for garnish


In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.

Add the lemon peel, lemon juice, stir, and remove from the heat.

Let cool completely, then strain into a clean pitcher.

Puree the strawberries in a blender and add to the pitcher with the lemon juice.

Stir well to combine and refrigerate until well chilled.

Add the sparkling water and stir well.

Pour over glasses filled with ice and serve, garnished with mint, lemon slices and strawberries.

Now, grab a good book, snuggle up in a nice cushy chair and enjoy.

Trendy Tresses

Spring has sprung and so has the homage to 1960's hair. As life imitates art so it seems the hair of every red carpet celeb has taken heed to the  release of Vidal Sassoon The Movie. No hairstylist worth their weight in shampoo has not been influenced by this legend. He took that decade's woman from the set style to the flexibility and freedom of shampooing and styling at home. The cut did all the work. Leaving the shampoo set as a thing of the past and every woman became fashionably fresh.

Today no celebrity more notably reflects this style than Michelle Williams. Her striking tribute to Mia Farrow's famous 1968 Sassoon style was beautifully done. The 60's influence is also seen on the newly cropped bob styles of both Jennifer Aniston an Scarlett Johansson. These retro looks are not limited to the shorter length cuts. Reese Witherspoon, January Jones, Jessica Alba, Mila Kunis and Angelina Jolie all maintained length while incorporating volume, movement, braids and texture to create beautiful hair rich in 60's style.  So if  your style is short & sleek, bobbed, or braided you can spring forward by embracing the looks of the past with the spirit of today.


What Do You See?

It is so fun preparing for our Spring Fashion and shopping for what is hot and new this season.  Picking out new clothes can make us feel good or can sometimes result in feelings of inadequacies about our body. In a recent survey of 16,000 Glamour magazine readers, 40% of respondents expressed discontent with their bodies. However, the good news is that engaging in regular exercise, regardless of any body changes, has been linked to improvement in self esteem.  The September 2009 issue of the Journal of Health Psychology combined several studies to find that women who exercised were less critical of their body.  Surprising, was that actual physical improvements were not necessary for them to feel better about themselves.

The author of the study, Heather Haunsenblas, exercise physiologist at the University of Florida, stated, “you would think that if you become more fit you you’d experience greater improvement in body image, but thats not what we found.”

I find this information very interesting as it supports another benefit of exercise which is an improved Self Image.  Having a poor body image is a major problem in women and has even been reported to begin as young as 8 years of age.  With so many women struggling today with body image, I think it is encouraging to realize engaging in just a short bout of exercise can improve self esteem and boost confidence. This can come in different forms of activities from going to the gym, taking a walk with a friend or playing ball with your kids.  Find something that makes you feel that you are taking care of your body. 

So if you want feel good in the dressing room, go for a walk before heading out to shop. It may change your whole perspective.

Simple Accomplishments

By now, our New Year goals for 2011, for many of us busy women, may seem a little too unrealistic.  I have been guilty of making my  “to do” list so long that I became overwhelmed and accomplished nothing.   I have recently discovered a simple way to organize all of my family photos and kid’s events.  I have been haunted over the past few years trying to keep them all together with a system that works.  Simplicity is my new favorite friend.  I have a few steps that work and make me feel good about myself and well organized. SIMPLICITY is also the key to eating healthier and can make a difference in managing your weight.  See if any of these can work for you.

1. Switch from Regular Soda to diet.

Think about it, a 12 oz can of coke is 140 calories.  Do you really want your calories going to drinks that have no nutritional value?  If you take out 2 cokes a day or an equivalent of 300 calories in drinks and walk 2 miles which burns approximately 200 calories, you have decreased your calories by 500 a day, which leads to weight loss of 1 lb a week. If you can’t stand the thought of a diet drink, get a fountain drink and have half real and half diet until you gradually acquire the taste of a diet soda.

2. Never skip breakfast.

Eating breakfast kick starts our metabolism and gives energy for the activities that face us throughout the day.  You may think you are saving calories by skipping breakfast, but we tend to overeat in our other meals.  Choose a breakfast that is full of protein and fiber that will assist to control your appetite for the day.  One of my new favorites is Nature’s Grain Bagel at only 150 calories and a whopping 19 grams of fiber (75% of recommended daily fiber allowance). Pair this with 1 TBS of peanut butter and a banana and you have a great tasting nutritional breakfast for 320 calories, 5 grams of Protein and 21 grams of fiber.  That is a deal. Not only is it delicious; but because it is loaded with fiber and nutrients, you will notice how satisfied you are with less cravings for sugary foods.

3. Chew your food slowly and always sit down when you eat.

We can be in such a hurry while we eat, we do not even realize how much we are consuming.  Enjoy every bite of your food along with the company and conversation.  Make sure you are sitting down and looking at your food before you get started instead of running around doing multiple projects.  Pay attention to your food and get to know it before getting started

4. Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes.

A sweet potato contains twice the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, almost half of the recommend daily amount of vitamin C, and, if you eat the skin, even more fiber than oatmeal. Make a habit of replacing a sweet potato for white potatoes and white rice. It gives you more bang for your buck and can fill a sweet tooth.

5. Ask for salad dressing on the side and choose lower cal dressing.

Never allow someone else to be in charge of your salad dressing.  Unforeseen calories can easily add up.

Make your healthy plan simple for you in 2011.  Simplicity can get things accomplished.