Tag Archives: family

Moving Forward is the First and Hardest Step

Seven years ago, I began an incredible journey towards getting healthy.  I was tired of how I looked. I was tired of how I felt.  My second born was a year old and I still looked (and felt) like I was five months pregnant.  We were eating fast food almost every single night, and I was tired of seeing my precious babies shove French fries in their mouths.

I wanted a change.

No, I needed a change.

For myself, for my health, for my family. We deserved better than McDonald’s and sickness.

So, I pulled out an old DVD, laced up old running shoes, and pushed play. Then, I learned how to select fresh, whole foods from the grocery store, searched for healthy recipes, and learned to cook for my family instead of going through the drive-thru.

Then, after nine months of hard work, and twenty pounds lighter and more pep in my step and more energy than I had when I was twenty, I discovered that I could help people get healthy. To do what I did, which was exercise and eat right, and help them get results.

As well as make fitness enjoyable.  Fitness is fun. It really is.  I know it doesn’t feel like that at first, but it really is when you discover what you enjoy doing.  I learned three years into Beachbody that dancing was my soulmate workout.  Cardio? No. Heck no. Unless it involved dancing.

I spent six years encouraging and promoting a message of being beautiful in your own skin. Being beautiful in the way that God made you and living well.  Be a Size You was a very personal message for me and I wanted to spread that message all over the country and even the world.

I still do.  I still believe in the mission behind Beachbody, and I still believe in the message of Be a Size You.

But at some point, some things come to an end.

For a long while, I have felt that God has been leading me to lay down this business.  It makes no sense to people on the outside, and truthfully, I have a hard time really expressing it verbally.  It comes out in one giant emotional word vomit. Ha!

But when it is time to let go of something, you do it.  You do it. You don’t overthink it, even if it doesn’t all make sense.  God led our family to live on the side of a mountain a couple of years ago, and we lived in a trailer as a family of four. It was the craziest thing to people.

Yet God was still God there on that mountain and He moved constantly in my heart and in my life and in my faith.

Even when you love something as much as I love Beachbody, and I truly do love them because they are the BEST (I know, totally biased), you still have to let go.

I am excited to see what God will do next for our family.  I am excited to see where God leads my husband in terms of his career and his leading of our family.  Good things will happen, even if it looks different than I had originally pictured.

To those of you who have supported me, encouraged me, purchased from me, been a part of my challenge groups and online fitness communities, THANK YOU.

Thank you for allowing me a window seat into your life and allowing me to walk along the journey of being a healthier version of you. I know it wasn’t easy and it was so hard at times. Know that I am still rooting for you.  I want success for you.  I want good things for you.

I want you to continue to live well, and give God the glory.  Be a Size you is not a one size fits all message.  It is for everyone.

I will still be blogging, and still be getting my sweat on and sharing my faith and all the things that matter to me. Because even though health and fitness won’t be my vocation, it doesn’t mean I care any less about it.  And yes, Cize dance videos will still be happening on IG! Holla!

Thank you again for loving me and allowing me to serve you in health.

Be a Size You Forever,

Tiff

Back To School Ideas for Kids

My kids start school soon, and lately, we have been shopping and trying to pick out some outfit essentials so that the kids feel their best, also allows them to move with ease and function. I remember as a kid, I didn't want to be limited in movement when I came to my wardrobe. I wanted to be able to still run and plan, but I also didn't want to look like a slob either!

My kids enjoy shopping at Old Navy, and they are having a Back to School sale right now (and if you shop online, I believe you can get an additional 30% off of your order), I thought I would share some of my favorite items that I saw while browsing.

For girls:
I love a good top, especially when it could be worn with many different things.

I saw something similar to this for women at Nordstrom. So on trend!

Graphic tees always are a hit!!

Chambray tops are a staple in every closet.


This jacket!!! Love!!!!


Such a cute dress!


I need those pink high tops in my size. And those colored leggings! Love!

My husband cries every time I go shopping with Madi. It is dangerous, people!

For the boys:

My son has a shirt like this with hot dogs on it. Yes. Hot dogs. It is awesome!!!

If your boy needs a cool bomber jacket, we really liked this one!


I like to grab these style shirts for Sean in a variety of colors. They are a simple style, but they go great with jeans and shorts, and Sean always looks good in them. They are really great for cooler weather.

Dry Fit shirts are a must. My son plays constantly, so we need plenty of these around.

Sean really likes Old Navy's shorts, but he doesn't care for their denim. I only buy the Denizen by Levi brand for Sean, which can be found at Target. But these shorts fit him pretty well.

We have also had awesome luck with Old Navy's shoes for Sean! Those high tops and sneakers! So cool!!!

This is obviously a pretty small list, but that is just what I saw at Old Navy online and I thought I would share with you. Happy shopping!!!

When do your kids go back to school? Or did they already start?

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

*Disclosure: Old Navy did not pay or provide any clothes or goods with this blog post. All opinions are my own.*

The Widow Maker


Yesterday was a blur. And mostly because Monday did not happen like it normally does.

I was in my groove. I was working, I was getting my 7 Day Keep It Simple challengers ready to kick off on Monday. I was conversing with friends, and I was enjoying a peaceful and productive day.

That changed quickly after phone call from my sister. My Dad had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital. 

That I needed to hurry. I don’t even remember responding at first. I think she even asked me if I was still on the line. I was in tears and thankfully, Dan was home and got up and was right at my side.

All I remember was being frantic, trying to figure out how to head to the hospital, which was an hour away from us, how to get the kids. Should we take the kids? Did we even have time? Was my Dad even alive? I had no other info except “heart attack” and “get to hospital”.

Dan decided to drive us because I was just in no condition to drive. I was shaking. 

I remember yelling out “Not today God. You can’t take him today.”

I wasn’t trying to boss God around, although my husband now jokes that I was being bossy. But I was desperate. It is was in my pleading and praying that I had no other words or thoughts except “No. Please NO.”

I am sure there are theological errors in how I prayed yesterday. I will let God correct me.

My Dad is alive. We got to the hospital. He was talking. He was joking with us. I could tell he was trying to brush it off a little bit. I am sure it was a little humbling with your entire family there, especially your grown daughters, clucking and crying over you. I don’t like people asking me what is wrong or worrying over me. I get that from my Dad. 

They called it the Widow Maker, the heart attack my Dad had. Most men that experience this type of heart attack don’t even make it to the hospital. Death is not instant but it is almost always certain. He almost died. I cried all the way to the hospital and suddenly in the room, hearing the Doctor share what they had to do in order to help fix him and stabilize him. I am still processing everything. I am not even sure if this post makes any sense. 

I left the hospital thanking God for His mercy. That my Daddy is still here. Changes are going to have to be made. My Dad had to cancel some big trips and plans. But I would much rather have him here.

This morning, I woke up a little more heavy hearted, but ready.

I did some yoga from Beachbody on Demand and spent time listening to worship music and praying.

Listening to my Mom and my Aunt talk about our health family history put all of this in perspective.

It was a wake up call again for me. Our family is a ticking time bomb of health concerns. Cancer. Diabetes. Heart Disease. That runs in my family. But I don’t have to play victim. I can’t prevent everything from happening to me. I don’t have that kind of power.

But I can be pro-active. I can choose to eat differently. I can know my family health history and live in a way that can reduce my risks. This is in no way to shame my Daddy. I am so thankful.

But I am wide awake right now. I well aware of the dangers. I have always a researcher. You better believe when I got home last night that I started researching for my Daddy. For myself. For my family. 

Because just because it is a part of your family history doesn’t mean you have to just take it lying down. I am too stubborn to live that way. That is not a hill I am willing to die on. 

So far, our prayers are that there was little to no permanent damage to his heart. He will be at the hospital for the next few days. I am so grateful to this community. Thank you in advance for praying for us. Your outpouring of love and support on social media has been overwhelming and we are so incredibly humbled and grateful. 

Be a Size You,

Tiffany 

Valentine’s Day Gifts That Are Sugar Free

So, I might be in the minority here, but I love Valentine’s Day. I know that it is so commercialized and it pretty much symbolizes flowers and candies and candlelit dinners, but I truly enjoy a holiday that encourages us to be a little generous and lavish some extra TLC to those we love. 

But, since I don’t think we need to rot our teeth or eat junk food to enjoy the holiday (no shame if you love the traditional box of chocolates. You do you, sister friend!), I thought I would share some great gift ideas that are thoughtful, beautiful, fun, and meaningful, and it won’t add to your sugar addiction. Not that you have one. I am talking to myself! 

If my husband is reading this, I will never turn down flowers, boxes of chocolate, bath bombs, jewelry, shopping sprees and a dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. 😘

For the Men in your life:

I thought I would start here since I hear so many ladies say they find it hard to shop for their man. And I agree, my husband is hard to shop for as well. But I do know him enough to know that there are a couple of things that he will enjoy no matter what, and it is worth it to go the extra mile and invest in him.


The Wacaoco Company Minipresso

I love this gift idea. One, you can get it from Amazon. Two, it is perfect  for the coffee lover/addict in your life. I am actually thinking of getting one for Dan since he enjoys his daily brew so much, but he doesn’t want to keep spending all of his money at coffee shops. 


The Art of Shaving Gift Set

If you have a man who likes the clean shaven look (and you adore your man looking clean shaved), this little gift set would be perfect for him to try. The oils and balm and lotion will help him have a cleaner shave but also more hydrated skin, which means less nicks and cuts. Another idea too, if you are at Sephora anyway, help him find the perfect scent. My husband loves cologne. He loves smelling good for me, so it is worth the time we spend smelling and sampling different scents to find his fragrance. 

Some other ideas could be:

*a camping adventure for two

*gear for his favorite hobbies

*Gift cards to his favorite stores 

*Electronic toys he has been eyeing

Find out what he loves. I promise, it won’t be as hard as you think.

For your gal pals or the women in your life. 


31 Bits Valentine’s pack

How cute is this!!! I will actually be ordering this for my daughter to give to her closest gal pals, and I will be getting a pack to send to mine. I think the bracelets are so cute and the company supports women for good causes. A gift that gives back? Yes, please!


Anybody you know who are Fixer Upper fans? 💁🏼 I know I am. Grab them a subscription to the Magnolia Journal so they can be encouraged and inspired by the beautiful pages and ideas presented in this magazine. I had received the Premiere issue and it was beautiful. Bonus, the new issue will arrive on Valentine’s Day! Yay! 


Or what about this beautiful piece also at Magnolia Shop? The Lia Necklace. It is delicate but beautiful and will go with everything. I am obsessed with dainty gold pieces lately so I know someone will love it as well. 


I am constantly inspired by clothes that have a message. A message of hope, love, and faith. Be Still Clothing Company is one of them and I love my No Greater Love top that I purchased. Perfect for February, and really, for every day. Plus, they have plenty of other beautiful and scripture based designs in their shop and they are a small business, so you know you will be supporting a fellow woman, wife, and momma. 


Finding I Am bible study by Lysa Terkeurst.

True love is from Jesus. And truly knowing Him and satisfying the cry of your heart is the purpose of this study. For the woman in your life who is longing for more of Him, this would be a perfect gift for her! 

I hope you are inspired and gets you excited to shop for those in your life. I am constantly sharing things that I love so be sure to stay connected with me on my social media pages so you can find my latest loves. 

What are your favorite gifts to receive for Valentine’s Day? 

Be a Size You,

Tiffany Harper 

I am Grateful for…

This Thanksgiving, I am just grateful.

Grateful to be able to get up early in the morning and cook a wholesome and delicious side to serve to my family. Green Bean Casserole is my favorite, y’all. (Would love to hear your favorite side or dish!)

I got to wake up and move this body. To use up the excess energy I may have so that way, I can just truly be present the rest of the day and love on my humans. 

Thankful for a little boy who sneaks into our bed each morning just for a snuggle. I know those days will end soon. I long for them, even if they are super early each day.

Thankful for a daughter who is sensitive and compassionate and wants to spend time with us. Praying those days never end. That even when she is a teenager and a young woman, she will still want to be around us.

Thankful for a husband who is healthy and loves me and works hard for us. Thankful that he desires to provide and for his generosity and care. Thankful that he has a new hobby and friends he can truly spend time with and encouraged as he leads his family.

Thankful for a business I can work at from home and help my family.

Thankful for my Be a Size You community that helps me keep my mind and body strong and focused on the right things.

Thankful for friends. Thankful for life. Thankful for His word.

And Jesus. How I love thee, Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. 

Be a Size You,

Tiffany 

Ready for Harvest

Whenever I think of Autumn, I think of the words in John 4:34-35:

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work…..Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” 

After summer, Fall is my next favorite season.  Here in California, we don’t really experience seasons.  Unless you live in more northern parts of our state, it generally stays the same temperature with some variances in heat. But not too much. For instance, last week? We were hitting 90 plus degree temps.

Yeah, Fall doesn’t feel like fall quite yet.

But that is okay.  I think the fields are still ripe and ready.

Especially the fields in your own home, and in your communities, and in the hearts of those you love.

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Our family got to take a break from the mundane and school, and went to our local apple farm in Julian, CA to pluck from the trees that were ready to share their abundance with us.  This is the kind of stuff I live for.  Julian is this perfect little town and it is so cute and I wish that I could visit it all the time!

We got to go with friends from church and can I say that we as a family really needed this. We needed to go on an adventure together. Yes, to most, it was simply apple picking. But to me, to this mama heart, we have been so busy rushing from one activity to the next, our schedules are full and it feels like we are on a hamster wheel. So the fact that we got to bend the rules a bit and get away as a family together to do something fun meant the world to me.

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The Fields are ready for harvest in my own home.  No one else is going to spend as much time as Dan or me to teach my children about Jesus or spend time with them.  It is the will of God who created me and made me a mother to raise up these little humans.   It is my job. It is my main ministry.  I have a heart for women and I am actively pursuing women’s ministry, but my first role is wife and mama.  Family.

It is why going to the apple farm with the kids and Dan meant so much to me.  It was a chance to create a memory that we could talk about together.

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I am also reminded that I am to love other people, especially when their hearts are ripe and ready to hear a message that can be transforming to their lives.  I will let God do all of the heart transforming work. I will simply open my mouth and be available to those who need to hear powerful truth.

Being on social media tends to be a popularity contest of sorts.  I don’t want to post so that I can become more popular or gain more likes. I want to post words that will inspire and point back to Him.  My hope is that each person who visits my small corner of the internet, they will be moved to learn more about their Creator and to fully submit to His goodness.

When I take my children out and we go on adventures, my heart isn’t that they will see how much money we spent or all the cool places we get to go.  My heart is that they will see that I love them and desire to spend time with them and to have fun with them and create memories together. Right now, I need to be nurturing and caring towards their little hearts so that as they grow older and one day have families of their own, they will spend the time harvesting in the hearts of their children, as Dan and I tried to do with them.

Often when a lot of read scripture and we see the callings that Jesus placed on the disciples to share and witness, we think of traveling all over the world, or going on missions trips or running non profits.  But God has shown me over and over again that I have my own little field right in front of me that needs attention.

For those fields are white for harvest.

Be a Size You,

Tiff

Love Your Family


One of the main ingredients in a successful life is how you treat your family.

Are you serving them? Or are you focused on yourself?

No matter what our vocation may be, if we are more popular or loved by where we work than at home, it will mean nothing.

Success will mean nothing.

In the bible, it talks about the Proverbs 31 woman who is praised by her husband and her children. They acknowledge who she is and what she has done and how “excellent a woman she is” because of how she served those in her home.

Every decision she made was for the good of her husband and her family.

Ladies. Wives. Friends. Shouldn’t that be our focus as well?

It is okay to have a career and be passionate about something other than what to make for dinner each night. It is okay to use our gifts and skills and abilities for the kingdom and for a vocation.

What is not okay is choosing to push our family to the side as if they are in the way of our achievements or goals. No. You have it twisted.

You push them aside, your achievements will mean nothing. Sure, you will look great to everyone else, but your family will know the truth.

If you want real success, define it with your family in mind. Include them in the process. I am constantly blabbing Dan’s ear off about my goals. I include him because I love him and this is all for him. I want to help him. 

Fight for your family! Too many of us are in it for ourselves. Let’s be different. 

Let’s SERVE our families (there is that dirty word, ladies) and allow everything we do be because we want to honor God in our marriages, honor our husbands and let them lead, and raise our sons and daughters to fight for family. 

Be a Size You,

Tiff 

Lessons from Family, Vacation, & Mickey Mouse


Vacation is so very important. Time with your family is so very important.
I learned a lot while in hot, sticky, glorious Florida. 
The Harper’s spent a total of two weeks playing and hiking the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. We had a blast, although I never really did get used to Florida’s weather. There were a couple days where it was ridiculously hot, and then a huge storm pulled in right over us, complete with a torrential downpour! 😂
Thank you Jesus for ponchos!


I learned that when you are on vacation with 16 family members, you have to give a lot. Selfishness will never win and you will be found out by those around you.
Putting your differences aside and putting another person’s needs before your own will have to be something you say often to yourself, and follow through.


I learned that being present really matters to these kids of mine. I learned that they really want me to play with them. To not worry so much about how I will look but to really get off my butt and play with them. Put on that bathing suit, and get in the water. To go down that water slide. Who cares if your stomach doesn’t look flat. Your kids don’t care. Play with them. Laugh with them. Be around them.
My kids are 10 and 7 now. Soon, I won’t be their number one playmate.
Play.


I fell in love with Disney and learned to dream some new big dreams. I was inspired by what Walt Disney had dreamed and put together with an incredible team of fellow dreamers. You can’t help but get caught up in the magic of it all. 
At almost 35 years old, I am really excited about life right now. Most people dread getting older. I am rejuvenated by the possibilities of what this next year may bring. Lord willing, it will be a time of growth, fun, and new blessings.
Be a Size You,
Tiffany 

Show Them Grace

 

Photo by Suzy Collins at Freedom Grace & Fitness
Photo by Suzy Collins at Freedom Grace & Fitness

How excited are you right now?

You have just begun your journey into Being a Size You. I know this decision comes with a lot of nerves and decisions, and learning new tricks along the way, but can I encourage you in one thing?

One thing so simple, but is truly one of the hardest parts of your journey?

Show grace.

For yourself. For your family.

When I began my journey towards Being a Size You, I have to admit that I wasn’t very sensitive.  My husband had graciously allowed me to purchase a plan that cost us a great deal of money.  It was what I needed and he knew I needed it.  So it was a sacrifice for both of us, especially him, since he was the only one providing income for our family at the time.

In my selfishness, I automatically took the position that if I was going to be cooking all of these new recipes and educate myself on eating healthier and working out more, then my family better follow suit.

Because I was not about to cook different meals just because they didn’t like what I served. I was not their slave!

But, sister, that is the wrong approach.

I am in no way telling you to make several different meals in order to appease your family. This is not about you slaving in the kitchen. But remember, just as this is all new to you….it is also new to them.

My poor husband was shocked when I started buying all of these vegetables that we both had never heard before. In my eagerness to try Quinoa because it was all the rage, I served it undercooked. He literally thought he was eating birdseed.

He thought I had fed him birdseed!

Looking back, I was not very considerate of my family and the changes that were about to happen to them as well.  Being a Size you is not just about you.

Your entire family will be involved. Change will have to happen for everyone. So show a little grace. Have some patience. Not every meal you serve that is healthier for you will necessarily be a winner for them. They may hate it and swear off veggies for the rest of their lives! But they will come around. Some people make the adjustments better than others.  But have patience with your family. Have patience with yourself. Go with the flow as much as possible while still working towards your Be a Size You goals.

This journey is to be a lifelong process because truly, I want you around for life.

So show them grace.

And have fun. Enjoy the process.

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

Color Coded Portion Container Tips

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When individuals get their fitness programs, and they take out these colorful containers, they are often thrown into a tailspin. These cute little boxes may look complicated and a lot of work, but they really aren’t once you know how to utilize them. It doesn’t take that long to figure out how to use them either!

Let’s break down what these containers are, shall we?

These containers are meant to help you eat the correct amount of food in relation to portion size for each meal.  The good thing is, a scale is not needed, and you don’t have to count calories.  Each color represents a food group, and whatever fits into that specific container, you can eat!

Before you begin your fitness program, you will want to read the Get Started guide that is included. This will break down how to take your before and after photos. It will tell you how to get connected for support. It will also explain options for nutrition to make sure your body is getting what it needs for optimal results. This is important, especially if you are doing a program specifically for weight loss or muscle building reasons.

The guide will also share with you a caloric intake calculator.  Now, you won’t necessarily be spending a lot of time counting calories, but it is a good idea to know what range you should be in so you can reach your goals. Too little or too many calories will sabotage you.

The calculator does some of the hard work for you. It lets you know what specific calorie bracket you should be eating within.  Then, with that information, you will know how many of those colored containers you should be consuming each day.

Green Container=Veggies
Green Container=Veggies

Here are a few examples:

Kale (1 cup)

Watercress, (1 cup cooked or raw)

Collard Greens, (1 cup cooked or raw

Spinach, (1 cup cooked or raw)

Brussels Sprouts, (1 cup chopped or 5 medium)

 

Purple=Fruits
Purple=Fruits

Raspberries (1 cup)

Blueberries (1 cup)

Blackberries (1 cup)

Strawberries (1 cup)

Pomegranate, 1 small

and more..

Red=Proteins
Red=Proteins

Boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast (3/4 cup cooked, chopped)

Lean ground chicken or turkey (3/4 cup cooked)

Fish, fresh water (catfish, tilapia, trout), 3/4 cooked, flaked

Fish, cold water, wild-caught (cod, salmon, halibut, tuna, mahi-mahi) 3/4 cup cooked, flaked

Game: buffalo 3/4 cup cooked, chopped

And more….

Yellow=Carbs
Yellow=Carbs

Sweet potato, 1/2 cup chopped

Yams, 1/2 cup chopped

Plantains, 1/2 cup sliced or 1/2 medium

Quinoa, 1/2 cup cooked

Beans, (kidney, black, garbanzo, white, lima, fava, etc), 1/2 cup cooked, drained

Lentils, 1/2 cup cooked, drained

Edamame, 1/2 cup shelled

Blue=Healthy Fats
Blue=Healthy Fats

Avocado, 1/4 cup mashed, or 1/4 medium

12 Almonds, whole, raw

8 cashews, whole, raw

14 peanuts, whole, raw

Feta cheese, 1/4 cup crumbled

Goat Cheese, 1/4 cup crumbled

Hummus, 1/4 cup

Orange=Seeds & Dressings
Orange=Seeds & Dressings

Pumpkin seeds, 2 Tbsp raw

Sunflower seeds, 2 Tbsp, raw

Fitness program approved dressings and sauces

That little container may seem too small for dressings, but I promise, it is plenty!

You also have tsp portions as well for your oils and nut butters.

There is so much more you can eat using these containers, as I just gave a few examples. Even though you are working on portion control, you won’t starve on any nutrition guide that uses these containers. You will get plenty to eat and your body will feel satisfied and nourished.

So no food scales (unless you love using it!). Don’t obsess over your calories (although be mindful so that you are taking care of your body). Get in the nutrients. Trust the process. If you have questions about how I use the containers with my workouts and meal planning, I would love to chat with you!  I promise, it might seem complicated, but it really isn’t. Anyone, even those of you who consider yourself nutrition illiterate, can do this.

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

P.S. Don’t forget that those who commit to doing my 22 Minute Hard Corps Bootcamp and purchases a challenge pack from me, will get these containers for FREE as a thank you!