The Hope Zone

Total Wellness for the Entire Family


Welcome to The Hope Zone page! Grab a cup of coffee or a bottle of water and take a minute to evaluate your personal wellness, get ideas on how to be a better version of yourself, and hear our stories. I promise that in our stories you will hear our struggles as well as our celebrations. Our hope is that we can encourage you in your situation...whatever that may be right now. While our stories are different, I'd be willing to bet that there is sameness as well. This year, we will be focusing on how to step up and not just survive life but how to thrive in it. Life is hard...but we are strong and resilient. Walk with us, workout with us, tackle debt with us, and build relationships that will empower you to move beyond yourself and what you thought you could achieve.
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To Eat or Not to Eat...Calculating Needed Calories

Posted on March 7, 2018 at 1:05 PM
The weight loss and fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. What that means is that 1) there are a lot of people out there wanting to address their weight, and 2) there are a TON of things you can buy to "help" you get there. Some of them are really good. Some of them are total trash and gimmick. So here's how to avoid the gimmick when wanting to eat healthier. 1. There is no quick fix that is healthy and long-term. I know that sucks. But accept it and move on. Here's how you lose weight...you burn more calories than you take in. So if you eat 1500 calories a day (10,500 a week), and burn 2,500 calories a day (17,500 a week) you will lose 2 pounds of excess fat. Note that I said excess fat. You may be adding muscle so don't just use your scale to measure progress. That's a blog for another day. 2. Calories are not created equal! Use the MyFitnessPal app to make sure you are getting the appropriate levels of carbs, proteins, and fats. It will also let you know if you are going overboard on sugar. The app is free and easy to use. 3. Eating too few calories is as damaging as eating too many when it comes to reaching your goals. Use http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html to calculate calories. While MyFitnessPal is good at tracking calories, I find that it increases my needed calories too much when I add exercise. As an example, I eat 1200 calories a day on the days I don't train because I have a job where I'm sitting most of the day. On the days I train, I increase my calories to 1300-1500 depending on how hard I worked out. I've been strictly adhering to this these past 2 weeks and have lost 6 pounds. If you have any questions on how many calories to eat, contact me directly at [email protected] I'm here for you! Cheryl

Tips for Setting Yourself Up for Success!

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 2:40 PM

For those of you who regularly read my newsletters, you know my dog, Lola, is almost always involved.  For my fellow dog-lovers, this post won't disappoint!  A few weeks ago Lola and I were down at Penn Treaty Park. As we were walking through the park, I saw a little girl trying to fly a kite.  The kite was beautiful and the little girl was running her little heart out trying to get the kite to fly.  She tried and tried with a determination that was admirable.  But the kite wouldn't fly.  It reminded me of how many of us try to do something good, but it doesn't fly.

How many times do we set a goal to be healthier?  Maybe it's to lose weight through diet and exercise or to get a grip on our finances.  Or perhaps you aim to have fun with your spouse or the kids instead of always nagging them. For others you want to spend more quality time with God and gain spiritual strength.  If you're anything like me...you've set a goal and stopped short too many times to count!  We start out running towards our goal much like the little girl ran with the kite. But when we don't hit our goal and give up, we blame ourselves for not being disciplined enough. The little girl wasn't lacking in determination.  The problem was that there was no wind that day.  She didn't set herself up for success from the door.  

It got me to thinking about us as we set goals.  Is our approach and strategy what's causing us to fail?  I think in most cases, it is.  So below are tips that our Get Fit Families are using to attain their physical fitness and nutrition goals.  But the beauty of this is that you can adapt them to ANY area of your life. Give it a shot and see how setting yourself up for success, makes all the difference in the world!

1. EVALUATE YOUR STARTING POINT -- Take a look at where you are now. Do not just focus on the negative – look at the whole picture and give yourself credit for the things you do well!  For physical health there are a variety of ways to measure where you are.

a. Weight & measurements

b. Before picture

c. Healthy meals eaten per day or week

d. Stress management

e. Current fitness levels


  • Strength -- how many pushups and squats can you do? 
  • Endurance -- how long does it take you to walk/run a mile and what's your heart rate recovery time?
  • Mobility - how flexible are you?


f.  Blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels

2. Pick an area or two that you’d like to work on and set a measurable goal for the next 30 days.

a. Example – I will lose 8 pounds of fat and be able to do 3 sets of 12 military pushups.

3. List the steps you need to take in order to reach that goal.

a. I will plan my menu each week and prepare foods ahead of time so I can stay on track

b. I will drink at least 64 oz of water a day

c. I will participate in The Hope Zone fitness classes

d. I will do HIIT training for cardio exercise 3 times a week

e. Spend time with God (helps alleviate stress which causes me to binge and not exercise)

4. Track your progress – It’s important to track what you’re doing so you can see what works and what doesn’t. You’ll be amazed at how your behavior changes when you have to account for it. KEEP IT SIMPLE! Don’t go crazy county calories or obsessing about details.

a. Journal pages (if you'd like to use The Hope Zone's food journal pages, email [email protected] )

b. Apps – there are apps out there to track food, exercise, etc.

5.  Identify your obstacles for the coming week/month and come up with a plan.  (For example, if you are going out to eat with friends try to find out ahead of time where you are going and look at the menu before you go to the restaurant.  Go in knowing what healthy choice you will make and stick with it.)

6. Reward your successes!! (Not with food – get creative)

7. Don’t go it alone! Take advantage of this community of people.  At The Hope Zone, we have families that are working to better their finances, their health, and their relationships.  Connect with them, share ideas, and celebrate your wins together!!  For information, contact us at 267-318-4648 or [email protected]

Have a great day and don't forget to do a random act of kindness today!  It goes a long way towards improving your health.

Cheryl (and Lola)