Thursday, February 28, 2013

If I fail, I get up and keep trying

Recently I decided I was going to do the 30 day Bikram Yoga challenge. I failed to complete the challenge at only 5 days in. However, I know that failing is a part of growth and that’s why I’m not afraid to say that I did fail.  By trying something new I learned something about myself. I learned that I want my yoga practicing to be more flexible. I don’t want to have to be locked in the studio 90 minutes a day for 30 days straight… I like to switch it up and take a regular yoga class or do my practicing at my house. Also since I am training for a marathon there are days that I have long runs that last over 2 hours and I‘ll need to skip my practice all together. I will continue to do 4 or more yoga classes a week along with my other training.

It is safe to say that I am in love with Yoga and all of the benefits. Every day I realize how much Yoga has changed my life. The most recent change that I have noticed is my sleep… I am finally a deep sleeper!  I have always been a light sleeper and now I sleep deeply all the way through the night. A new study has shown that if people who suffer from the  poor quality or quantity amount of sleep, were to incorporate yoga into their lifestyle their sleep would be greatly improved.  I know that mine has.

 Also it has made me only crave water to drink… finally my diet coke addiction is over. I have also found a new confidence in myself. In yoga everything is about acceptance, you have to accept yourself for where you are in your practice and feel confident that you will improve. I have been able to bring that outside the yoga studio and in my day to day life. I have learned acceptance and by being able to accept things the way that they are I have also gained a sense of calm. I know a lot of that calmness is due to my new found breathing techniques. By constantly being aware of your breathing, you will come to know your stressors and how to breathe through whatever it may be.
In addition to yoga, I go on lots of runs and hikes. With winter winds in full affect I do most of my runs inside the comfort of Gold’s Gym. I get bored easily so running on the treadmill for over two hours isn’t always my cup of tea.
Testing out our hiking backpack! He is just 8 months old here

This was just last week.. We went on a 2 mile hike.. he is 33lbs of pure entertainment 

 I like to break it up boring treadmill runs with different hikes. In my area we have Badger Mountain in Richland, WA. There are a few different trails to get up the Mountain..  Here is a link to the different trails ...Another one of my favorite hikes is Palouse Falls. It is one of the largest waterfalls in Washington state… it falls 198 Ft! This is a longer hike it usually takes 3 hours to get behind the waterfall and once you get there it is an incredible view! One of my favorite things about running and hiking is that most of the time I get to bring my son with me. I grew up outdoors and want my to grow up the same way. My mom has always been my person to look up with living a healthy lifestyle and I want to do the same for my son, Terrance.

Palouse Falls in the late summer 

I will be posting more information on my different workouts, runs and hikes. Stay tuned :) 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013



Bikram Yoga was brought over to America by Bikram Choudhury in the early 1970's. Bikram Yoga sessions run for exactly 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures including 2 breathing exercises. Ideally, Bikram Yoga is practiced in a room that has been heated to 105 degrees with a humidity of 40%. The postures are practiced in a heated room, which promotes flexibility, improves circulation and prevents injury. The warmth also allows you to delve more deeply into postures than you could in a non-heated room.  It is HOT in there to say the least, I sweat so much. It is one of the best detoxifiers for your body.  I have been practicing for one month now and I have never felt so challenged, mentally and physically. I am addicted.

There are so many health benefits that come along after getting into Bikram yoga. I would like to start off with the weight loss. As I said in my previous post  I lost 12 lbs in 3 weeks. I believe that I was able to burn so much fat because of Bikram Yoga. During one 90 minute session you burn 500-1000 calories, more if you’re really pushing yourself. This is because the muscles are heated, which enables them to burn fat faster. You will be able to see and feel your body changing. It also helps you to make better food choices and crave less unhealthy foods. 

Many people today suffer from lower back pain, stiff necks, headaches, scoliosis, herniated disks and many other back problems. The various poses work through these problems and relieve so much pain. That is a major part of why I chose to couple it with my marathon training. My lower back is my weakest point, whenever I am out of class my back feels revived and fresh. By doing Bikram Yoga all my muscles will be stretched and my joints are all repaired. There is also helpful psychological aspects that come from this practice. It balances your mind and body, this helps people have healthier sleeping patterns, it also helps people that have high-anxiety. There  are so many benefits that come from Bikram Yoga.
I have just recently started practicing Bikram Yoga and can’t wait to see all the health benefits that will come with it. I am about to start a 30 day Bikram Yoga Challenge. Have you tried Bikram Yoga before? Any thoughts ??

If your interested in starting the practice of Bikram Yoga your future balanced mind and body await you. Look up a studio in your area and take a class for beginners. Let the instructor know it's your first class and they will help you through the poses. Make sure that you go to class hydrated and bring along; a mat, a towel, and at least a liter of water. Dress lightly and get ready to sweat.

Monday, February 4, 2013

She believed she could and so she did

Me and my angels 2012
I am twenty three years old, and I am a Mother of a 17 month old beautiful baby boy, Terrance. I have never felt as much joy as I do being a Mother. My husband Trent and our baby boy are my angels sent from heaven. I love them with all my heart. They give me so much strength and courage, that I don't know how I would be here without them.

When I was growing up my life was consumed with dancing. It was my passion. Most of my favorite memories of high school was when I was the captain of the dance team. After high school was over I danced briefly for a Professional Indoor Football League. I haven't danced on any teams since then. While I have strayed away from my life as a dancer, living a healthy lifestyle and staying fit has never gotten away from me. 
After my pregnancy, I didn't lose the weight that I gained as fast as I had originally planned. I like to say this is because I was too busy planning my dream wedding (excuses, excuses). I did in fact have my dream wedding on 14 July 2012; and after that I decided to kick it into high gear. I started running a lot and found that I loved doing 5k's with my mom and sister-in-law, whose name is Megan. However, I ended up getting a lower back injury in October and after that my running and work outs had stopped completely .. I was too scared of hurting my back any further. 

Three months later, I was ready to go back to the drawing board and figure out what I was missing in my training. I started a new running plan and added more weight training to my routine. I also started practicing Hot Yoga to help build strength in my core and increase flexibility. It has only been one month and I can feel the difference. Not only in my body, but in my mind. I feel like I have built up so much more strength and endurance. I am definitely ready to take on the challenge of training for a full marathon in October. 

My Mom is my HERO, she inspires me

 The pictures on the left are the result of 3 months of not working out or eating right. The pictures on the right were taken three weeks into my training. I have lost 12 lbs and dropped 3 jean sizes!!!

I got my work out in and got one step closer to my future goals today, Did you?


Friday, February 1, 2013

Water is life....

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people" -Luke 2 : 10

My name is LeeAnn and I am a woman on a mission. My goal is to bring fresh clean water to as many families as I can in Africa. From a recent study taken there are 1.2 billion people that don't have access to clean water, and as a result of that there are 2,500 children losing their lives everyday because of tainted water. Unsafe drinking water can carry deadly diseases such as malaria, trypanosomiasis, intestinal worm infections, dengue, and - as well as bacteria that can lead to deadly diarrheal infections. These sicknesses and diseases lead to children not being able to attend school and schools being forced to shut there doors because all their teachers are sick. Children always have to quit going to school because there days are spent in search of water for their families. That is why African's today have little or no education. Mother's are forced to leave there children and walk several miles to get water to bring back to their families that is likely to be carrying the deadly diseases that are killing them. Without water there is also no hope for farmers to grow crops or raise livestock, leaving villages starving for the very resources that we take so lightly in this country. 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of over coming it"- Helen Keller.

I recently signed up to run a marathon on 13 October 2013 with Team World Vision. World Vision is a relief, development and advocacy organization- it has grown to be one of the largest relief and development organizations today. They are inspired by Christian values and they work with the most vulnerable people in the world. I love World Vision because they focus on integrated water programs. They go in communities and help them build water piping systems, clean water wells, rock catchments, irrigation canals, and latrines. In the last 25 years, million people have gained access to clean water through World Vision's water programs.  There are many great charities and inspiring organizations and I am very grateful for being able to be a part of such an amazing team. So far through family and friend's donations we have raised enough money to supply three people with water for the rest of their lives. That is so incredible. I am starting off this journey so inspired and motivated. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me. 

If you would like additional information on World Vision or would like to make a donation to my team you can click the link below and it will connect you to my website. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. It only costs $1, for one of our neighbors in Africa, to drink fresh water for an entire year. 

LeeAnn Hilker - Team World Vision

The Picture above is a fresh water well one of the World Vision Team's helped make possible.