I’m grateful that you have all been so supportive throughout my weight loss journey. I’ve received an incredible amount of encouragement. I generally post about the good things happening, weight loss…running records…before and after pictures. I feel like I wouldn’t be accurate in describing my journey if I didn’t also include posts about how difficult this journey is. 

Classes at my gym were on hiatus from the 23rd until the 3rd. Instead of working out on my own, I decided I’d take a much needed break. My first workout wasn’t until the 5th. Saying that class was difficult is an understatement. I hated the way I looked. Everything was hard. Simply picking up the weights was a chore. I left feeling defeated. 

Liam had basketball practice on Sunday so I went to the gym again. I spent some time on the treadmill and realized running has also become quite challenging. Good times. I was really beating myself up. I’m used to making progress not regressing.

On top of all of this, my weight is going up daily. I’m up five pounds from before Christmas. I’m not sitting at home eating cake and pizza, but something needs to change. 

Why do I think things are so hard right now?

1. Stress. I tend to always gain a little weight when I’m stressed. Right now, saying I’m a little stressed is not doing it justice. Chris is out of the country so my schedule is a mess. I started my new job and I’m trying to get the feel for things there. There’s a lot on my plate right now and my body feels it.

2. I got too confident. I thought I could take a break and everything would be fine. I know what I’m doing….I can manage my food just fine without going to the gym. Well, guess what?!? I can’t. I need my routine to keep up my momentum. 

3. Water. I definitely do not drink enough water when I’m at home. During the holidays, I spent more time away from work which meant I had access to Gatorade and milk….anything other than water. I’ve stepped up my game since getting back into my work schedule, so I’m hoping that helps. 

4. I changed my eating schedule. I stopped doing intermittent fasting over break because I was coming home and eating everything in sight. I thought changing things up would help, but it didn’t. I’m starting back with fasting today, but I’m going to be proactive and have a salad at 1 or 2 and then eat a normal dinner. Let’s hope this works. 

5. I stopped working out. I mentioned this earlier, but this may be one of my biggest issues currently. I’m trying to get back into the groove of things, but it’s definitely more difficult now that I’ve taken time off. 

I have been having a pity party, but that ends now. I wanted everyone to see that this isn’t easy and sometimes even people who are losing weight steadily have off times. It’s never going to be a simple, easy process….but, the key is to keep at it. Don’t give up when it gets hard. If I can do this, I know you can. Be kind to yourself….even when it’s hard. And keep smiling. 🙂 I’ve got mine on this morning….it is your best accessory! 


Goals for 2018…

I’m not starting the new year with any big resolutions. I’m not changing anything on January 1st, but I have set goals for myself. I’ve set goals that I hope to crush throughout the year. I haven’t set a specific timeline or labeled any more important than the rest. I want 2018 to be a continuation of 2017….I want to feel my best, be healthy, and happy. 

Goal 1: Weight Goals.

I’m not even sure what my goal weight looks like anymore. I started this journey with a specific number in mind, but now I’m basing it more on how I feel and what my body looks like. I want to be healthy and fit, but I have no desire to be skinny. 

Goal 2: Race Goals: This year I plan to finish a half marathon in less than 3 hours and finish a 5k in under 30 minutes. I have two halfs lined up for April. Training begins in January, so wish me luck 🙂 I have come pretty close to the under 30 minute 5k already, so I’m hoping that isn’t too hard to reach. I think training for the two half marathons will seriously help improve my mile time. 

Goal 3: Gym Goals. I need to tone, tone, tone this year. I want to make going to the gym (outside of class) a priority. I really enjoyed lifting when I was doing it over the summer. I have to get back to that. 

Goal 4: Food Goals. As you know, I’ve changed my eating habits a lot over the last year. We cut down on how often we ate pasta, pizza, bread, and I stopped getting seconds and thirds of potatoes….but, there’s still a lot of work I can do. I’m looking forward to farmer’s markets and fresh veggies and fruits. I need to replace some snacks with healthier versions and cut down on some of the starches we have with dinner. As a Midwestern girl, getting rid of starch with dinner sounds like the most difficult thing to do, but I’m willing to give it a try. I tend to get hangry, so that’s something I’ll need to address as well. I’m hoping to tackle food when Chris returns home. He’s always up for a challenge 🙂 

Goal 5: Personal Goals. I stress a lot. I stress about things that haven’t happened, most likely won’t ever happen, or may not happen for six months. I try to plan everything so I won’t stress and when things go off plan, I stress more. Stress is my middle name. My goal this year is to take deep breaths and try to just live life. I’d love to be able to let go a little. Relax. Just saying this out loud is somewhat stressful…ha! Obviously, I have my work cut out for me. I think this might be my hardest goal to conquer, but I know I can make progress. I plan to cut back on my involvement in some things, so I have less to stress about. There are things I’m passionate about and others I’m not. 2018 needs to be the year I let go of some of those things I don’t have a passion for. 

I’m sure I’ll set more goals along the way as I’ve found I like to stay challenged and small goals keep me focused. Thank you for being supportive and encouraging this year. I love that you have followed my journey. Knowing that I’ve put this out there for the world to see helps me keep at it. Happy New Year to you and your families. I hope that 2018 is everything you want it to be!

17 Things I Learned About Myself in 2017…

  1. I learned I can run. I had run races before 2017, but I had never fully committed to being a runner. This year I completed a half marathon (I didn’t run the entire thing!), a 10K, and a few 5ks. I ran my fastest mile, my fastest races, and my longest continuous mileage without walking. I am a runner.
  2. I learned I can lose weight if I put my mind to it. It isn’t easy and it hasn’t come off fast, but it is totally worth it.
  3. I learned it is important to have friends who encourage, support, and lift you up. I have found my tribe and I love every last one of you.
  4. I learned I can love parts of my body even when I am not where I want to be. I have always loved my eyes, but now I love my legs too.
  5. I learned I enjoy lifting weights….and not just 20 lbs….I like lifting heavy things 🙂
  6. I learned I love setting goals. I am ridiculously goal oriented. Having a larger goal, with small goals along the way, has helped me achieve success. Goals are awesome!
  7. I learned I like doing make-up, my hair, and dressing cuter. It is funny how you start looking at yourself differently when you lose weight. When I was bigger I was constantly depressed and feeling sorry for myself. Now I want to present myself to the world in a way that makes me proud.
  8. I learned I can do pushups (and not on my knees)….the first thing I told Danita when I started classes was that I absolutely hated pushups. She has changed my mind about pushups and lots of things!
  9. I learned I love the gym. The gym and Danita have changed my life. The women who I attend classes with have helped me become better. They send me messages when I can’t make it and words of support when I am down. Gym friends are awesome.
  10. I learned life is better, in general, when you feel better about yourself. I find myself in a much better mood throughout each day. I learned when I am happier, my entire family is happier….good moods spread just like bad moods.
  11. I learned I have pretty awesome willpower. I think I ate one fun-sized piece of candy before/during/after Halloween. I love doughnuts, but I haven’t had one in over six months. I can tell you the last time I had one 🙂 I don’t deny myself all of my favorites–in fact, I have some of my favorites too often…but, I am a work in progress.
  12. I learned we can survive Chris travelling a lot, but I do have to ask and take help from others. I am grateful to have people who help me when I need it.
  13. I learned hosting a wedding at your house is a lot of work, but I am glad we did it. And….being in two weddings (and attending 4) in one summer is more stressful than you’d think.
  14. I learned those who matter and care about you may not always be in the same town as you…change happens…but, you can rely on them when you need a friend. Sometimes it is the people who don’t see you often, who give you those much needed kicks in the butt.
  15. I learned that Maggie is becoming more and more like me every day (Scary, right?) I love who she is and her strong opinions. She is a great kid (and not just because she is a lot like me), but because she is smart, generous, thoughtful, and kind. She’s also hilarious 🙂
  16. I learned my kids are really different from one another and that is becoming more apparent as they get older, but they both share the same core values….and they are both amazing kids. While, Liam is more of a technologically focused kid, he is smart and sensitive and kind as well. I have two fabulous children.
  17. I learned that I can be a motivator to other people. I can push people to do more and be healthier. I can help people make positive changes. I love supporting and encouraging others.

I have had a pretty great year. Lots of changes. Became closer to some people and less with others. Became more involved in the community. Enjoyed life a little more every day. I definitely smiled and laughed more. I have lots of changes coming in 2018 as well–here is hoping it is another great year. Merry Christmas and Happy 2018!



Turkey Trot 5k…

The Turkey Trot in Decatur was my first ever 5k after I started running in 2014. I remember setting a goal to finish in under 45 minutes.  I finished in 40.38 that year. I remember not running after that race because I had thought I couldn’t be a runner since I had to take a walk break during that race.  I was so upset and it ruined my entire experience. I am so glad I have changed my thinking about running. 

The weather wasn’t looking good for this year’s Turkey Trot. Thunderstorms and high winds were in the forecast all week.   Yesterday,  I had pretty much talked myself out of running it, but I decided to get up this morning and make a decision. It was raining and thundering when I got up,  but I had a feeling I should head out for the run any way.  I think Angie would have pulled me out there by my hair if I tried to back out 🙂

Chris was up before I left because he and the kids had to work the Cub Scout popcorn booth at Christmas on Vinegar Hill. When I put on my winter running tights (which I had not run in since last winter) I noticed they were definitely looser.  I mentioned to Chris that I’m loving that my body is finally starting to look more athletic.  I honestly never thought I would feel that way about myself… ever! 

It was raining on the way over to the race,  but it stopped when we got there. We dressed for rain and cold,  but it was pretty warm when the race started.  The race route had changed from previous years and the course was extremely hilly.  It was also really windy… in fact,  the area is under a wind advisory until 9pm. Wind+hills does not make for an amazing race experience,  but we managed to keep up a decent pace throughout the race.  As soon as we finished and got to the car,  the heavens opened up and a massive downpour began.  The temperature dropped over 20 degrees and it was miserable.  We finished just in time. 

I had only run one time since the Scareport race, which was before Halloween, so I was nervous about how today would go.  I finished in 33.57 and feel really good about it. It wasn’t the best course or weather conditions for an awesome time,  but I still ran well.  In fact,  I was so proud of myself for finishing the 5k in Warrensburg in 36 minutes just a few short months ago.  I am making improvements and feeling awesome.  Our first mile was under 10 minutes.  I remember feeling excited and proud of 12 minute miles and now I can occasionally get them down to 9 minutes.  I’m so happy with my progress! I may not have made my under 30 minute PR goal,  but I hadn’t trained properly and knew this wasn’t going to be the race for it. For the record,  this was my fastest 5k (not including my 30 minute 5k that ended up being a tenth of a mile too short.)

Life is good and I’m super proud that I’ve been on this health journey for over a year.  And I’m happy to have friends like Angie by my side at the finish line! (You can tell we took off some gear during the race — it got warm right out the gate!) Chase your dreams, friends! It’s worth it. 

So thankful…

For the past couple of years I spent the entire month of November writing a daily thankful post on Facebook. I noticed, though, that the more people posted things they were grateful for, the more others would make comments because they were aggravated that their newsfeed was filled with thankful posts. I try to be grateful year round, but there is something about November that reminds everyone to make those daily thoughts known to the people around you. Just because someone doesn’t spend their time posting how thankful they are doesn’t mean he/she isn’t feeling that way constantly. This year I decided to write one long post of my 30 things….this way, if people want to read it–awesome—and if they don’t, bah humbug 🙂 Obviously, I am grateful for a million different things, but these are the thirty things that jumped out to me today.

1. Chris: Chris is a hardworking guy who also finds time to be an amazing father. Over this past year he has renovated our front room, porch, and kitchen all while maintaining a (more than) 40 hour a week job and being involved in Cub Scouts, church activities, and coaching soccer. He is my number one supporter and always tries to see the good in things (and attempts to make me do the same.) I am blessed to have him in my life for the past 17 years.

2. Maggie: This girl made me a mom. She is such an awesome daughter. She’s kind, smart, artistic, creative, beautiful, and generous. She helps me out at home whenever I need a hand. She takes the time to be a good friend and always thinks the best of people. I love that she stands out of the pack and strives to be her own person. I am so grateful for my Hamilton loving, Warrior cat reading, bassoon playing little mini-me 🙂

3. Liam: Liam is a kind-hearted, sensitive, hilarious, handsome little guy. He is funny without even trying. He loves playing video games and will take any chance to tell you about his favorite games—in fact, it is difficult to get him to talk otherwise. He is quiet (I am not sure he is mine!) and caring. Liam is the best snuggler I know. He is a momma’s boy, which I love and hope it continues for a long time to come. He is crazy smart, but doesn’t necessarily want everyone to know. He cries when his sister is in trouble. He is a genuinely nice kid. I am thankful that I get to see him grow into an amazing man.

4. My mom: My mom is stronger than she knows. It has been interesting to see her grow and change in the years since she lost dad. She is more confident and seems to do whatever she wants if it means she will enjoy a little bit more of life….even if that means getting purple highlights 🙂 Mom has always been there for our family and has been incredibly helpful to us over the years. She will do anything she can for her family. Thanks for being an awesome mom.

5. My granny: What can I say about granny? Granny is the sweetest lady I know. She is the glue that holds our family together. I am so thankful that I still have my grandma in my life and that the kids get to grow up with a great-grandparent. Granny is kind and thoughtful and has been helpful, in some way, to every person in our family over the years. Don’t know what we would do without her.

6. Mt. Pulaski: I have mentioned this a few times in the past. While my address may say Illiopolis, our heart belongs in Mt. Pulaski. We love this little town. We go to school, church, and I work in Pulaski. We are involved in multiple groups here and want to see the town grow and thrive. We have been welcomed with open arms and absolutely love it here. It is amazing to live in a town where you know nearly everyone. You walk into the local restaurant, post office, dollar general and you will run into at least one person you know. This town rallies when one of it’s own is hurting and comes together to fight the good fight. I am so thankful that we stumbled upon this place and we can now call it home.

7. The library: When I graduated with a degree in Political Science, I never would have guessed that I would eventually become a librarian. I thought I would be involved in state and local government—changing the world a little from my piece of the country. Honestly, I wouldn’t change it for a second. I love my job. I love that I get to help people fall in love with a book, help them escape the world for a few days. I love that I have met so many people and get to catch up with people daily. I think, sometimes, I may be the only person some of our elderly community has to talk to that day and I don’t take that for granted. I look forward to many, many years in this place 🙂

8. Our Church: I feel blessed that we found our church home in St. Thomas Aquinas. I am glad that God tugged on my heart and lead us back to the Catholic church. I do not think it was a coincidence that we were lead back a few weeks before my dad passed away. Our church and our church family have helped get me through some of my darkest days. We may be small, but we are mighty. My faith has only strengthened in the past few years and I am so happy with how things have turned out.

9. The gym: What can I say about the gym that I haven’t said in the past few months?!? The gym is my safe place. The gym is where my dreams become reality. The gym makes me feel strong and helps me become the person I want to be. I am so grateful that we have a gym in our town.

10. Danita: I can’t be grateful for the gym without showing my gratitude to the person who opened it. If you have looked at my blog or Facebook page in the past year, you know I have a ridiculous amount of love for this woman. I have said it before and I will say it again, Danita changed my life. Danita made me feel like I could do anything I put my mind to. She lets me complain, but she doesn’t let me quit. She’s my ultimate encourager and supporter and someone I know I can count on to tell it to me straight. I have sent her countless messages over the past year asking for advice and she has never once made me feel like I am a pest. Danita gave me my confidence back and I can NEVER repay her or thank her enough.

11. My tribe: Oh, ladies–where do I begin. It took me a long time to find you all, but I now have this extended group of women who lift me up when I am feeling down. Women who encourage me, support me, and make me want to be better. These women may be in another state, down the road, or with me at the gym….but, each and every one of you have made me feel like I could conquer any goal I set my sights on. Thank you for everything. I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

12. My home: We have been in our house for 9 years, but we never really made it our home. You have all followed along as we have worked on making our house exactly what we want. We aren’t done, but I have never felt at home in our old farmhouse more than I do now. I love our home. It is where we have raised our children, where we celebrate Christmas morning, where we play board games, where we love and love and love.

13. Facebook: There are days when I want to delete Facebook and move on with my life, but for the most part I am so thankful that it has given me the ability to update my family and friends across the country on what is going on in our lives. Facebook helps me stay in touch with people I most likely wouldn’t hear from otherwise. Facebook has helped me get to know my dad’s family better than ever before. I love that we have this format to communicate with one another. I could do without the political bashing and fighting, but I have to take the good with the bad 🙂

14. My dad: As you know, I was a huge daddy’s girl. The day we lost him, something inside of me was lost too. I feel so blessed, though, that I had an amazing dad for 35 years. I know not everyone has that and I am grateful for the years I did have him in my life. I miss him like crazy…I know he would have supported the health journey I am on…he would have loved seeing Liam become a Cub Scout and Maggie choose the bassoon. He wanted nothing more than to see his grandkids grow up. He was an awesome guy and he was a good dad, grandpa, and friend to those around him.

15. Music: There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t listen to some sort of music. Music is in my bones. My dad raised me on music and I am doing the same with my kids. A song can take me back to my most memorable days. Music gets me through the tough times. It sometimes makes me sob on the way to the grocery store because I can’t hear certain groups or songs without thinking of dad. Music is everything.

16. Old friends: Old friends are the best kind of friends. My old friends have seen me through my teenage years, through college, marriage, children, and even deaths. You guys are the ones who have known me at every stage. I am so grateful to have you in my life and to continue to share life’s adventures.

17. My closest friends: I am blessed to have a circle of close friends here in Pulaski. You guys know how to cheer me up. You deal with me when I am having great days and when I am whiny. You have seen me through some dark days and really helped me get through to the other side of my grief. You have been with me through my health journey and been my biggest cheerleaders. I am grateful to have you on my side and in my life.

18. Extended family: I have an amazing, huge family. I have cousins who are like siblings and aunt/uncles who are more like parents. I absolutely love having such a large family. I wish everyone could experience what it is like to have 30 people at Thanksgiving. 🙂

19. Races: Race days used to make me nervous, but I have come to love them. I am thankful for race days because races make me push myself. I always enjoy the excitement and energy of race day. I wish there were more days like race days.

20. Our dogs: I love our dogs. It is a wonderful feeling to come home from a long day and feel the love of our dogs, who are ridiculously happy to see us.

21. Good hair and make-up days: Ever since I started losing weight, I have been spending a little more time on myself. I have been doing my hair and make-up much more often. I am grateful for those days when I like the way I look….a lot can be said about a good hair day 🙂

22. New calendars: If you know me well, you know how much I love to add special dates, meetings, etc. to a new calendar. Getting a new wall calendar is one of my favorite times of year.

23. Weekends with nothing to do: We have been so busy over the past year. It seems like we constantly have something to do. I am so thankful for those occasional weekends when there is very little going on and we can relax and spend time together as a family.

24. Good books: There are few things better than sitting down with a great book.

25. Freedom to be me: I love that I have people in my life who let me just be….who let me say what I feel and be who I am without judgment or complaint. You know who you are and I am so grateful that you are in my life….even if sometimes I can’t leave my phone without coming back to a group message with 20 missed comments 🙂

26. Voting: I love that we live in a country where we are given the right to vote, to express our views about our government and affect change when we see fit. I may not always agree with how the vote turns out, but I will always take part.

27. My camera: You know I love a good selfie—my camera has helped me see the physical changes in myself over the last year. My camera lets me forever remember the important events in my life. I am thankful to have a camera with me wherever I go.

28. Mother nature: I love that we live in an area with 4 seasons. We may not get all four seasons for very long, but it is wonderful to have little glimpses of them. And while sunny days are awesome, rainy days make me happy too. Variety is the spice of life.

29. Speech/Theater: Participating in speech and theater in high school made me who I am today. Most of the friends I have from high school are in my life because of speech team. Speech made me confident in being on stage and speaking in a room full of people. Being on the speech team helped me more than anything else in college. I will forever be grateful that I had this in my life. I love that Maggie is taking after me and is interested in performing. I can’t wait to see what she does.

30. Hills: Running hills suck….they suck big time, but hills make me a better runner. “Hills” in life make me a stronger person. We all rejoice in the good times, but it is those difficult time (things) that shape who we are. I am thankful for the hills in my life.

What are you thankful for?


Scareport 5k…

I haven’t been very exciting lately.  After Kate’s wedding wrapped up,  I’ve been trying to relax a little and get back to our normal routine.  It seems like we are busier than ever.  I’m attempting to exercise 3 days a week, but my running has taken a backseat.  I’m determined to get more training in over the next few weeks. I’ve got a half marathon on the horizon and I plan to successfully reach my goal.  

I have had a few exciting things happen recently…I ran my fastest mile,  9:44, and I have officially lost 40 pounds. I have been taking pictures of my progress along the way,  but on Friday I found a picture from 2015 and looked at it next to my latest profile picture…. it was in that moment that I saw how big of a difference 40 lbs makes.  I feel so much happier now…. there’s joy in me that wasn’t there before.  I’m excited to continue this journey and see what’s ahead.  

I ran my first night time 5k on Saturday with Angie. We ran the runway at the Decatur Airport. We got there ridiculously early because we needed to pick up our race packet.  We waited an hour for the race to start, so we took a few pics to pass the time.  By the time it began,  it was pitch black outside. Neither of us had brought a flashlight,  so I was pleased when Angie saw someone she knew (she knows everyone!) who said we could borrow one of his.  

We thought the race would be cool because it was windy and the temperature was dropping,  but once we got on the runway the air seemed really warm and almost thick.  As everyone knows,  I’m goal oriented, but since I hadn’t kept up with my training I decided I really didn’t care where I finished.  We ran the first mile and then started doing intervals.  During the second mile I heard Angie say she really wanted it to be under 12 minutes,  so I said we needed to kick it up.  We did and successfully finished the mile at 11:59. See…. I’m still goal oriented 🙂

At one point,  Angie said she wanted to finish faster than our Warrensburg Corn Festival 5k time which was a little over 36 minutes, so I was  determined to do so. I finished in 34.34 and 8th out of 27 in my age group.  I think this was my best placement ever–Go me!

I’m really proud of myself. I hadn’t trained properly and still did really well.  I can’t wait to see where proper training can take me.  Next up…Turkey Trot 5k in November.  Happy Fall, y’all! 😉

One year journey…

I started working out in late August/early September 2016. By October 2016, Chris had convinced me that I needed to take pictures of myself and measure my bicep, waist, thigh, and bust in order to do comparisons along the way.  I was reminded this morning that I took my very first photos one year ago today.  Some days it seems like I’ve been on this journey forever while other times it feels like I just began.  

Here are my photos from last October:

And these are my photos today…. no sucking in (but you can tell I never wear these clothes anymore… holy wrinkles!):

The first thing I notice in these photos is the difference in my demeanor.  In the old photo I look defeated, disgusted, and sad.  In my photos today, I’m happy and excited. The change in my mood is definitely noticeable to others around me too. I’m no longer tired every minute of the day.  I’ve got energy, which is a welcome change.  

I started this journey at 216 pounds and weighed in this morning at 178. I’m 38 lbs lighter and healthier in general. I’ve lost a total of 21 inches.  Besides my weight, I’ve also noticed these changes:

-I can run a mile and ran an entire 5k.

-I can do regular push ups (not on my knees).

-I am so close to having a mile in the 9s…. up until recently I thought 10 minute miles were completely out of my reach.

-I am not scared of planks… in fact,  I like them. 

-I love lifting weights.

– I’m in love with my upper leg muscle,  Chris calls it my quad….I have no idea about technical terms. 🙂

-I don’t crave pizza and pasta all the time.

-I’m not a slave to my scale.  I do weigh in regularly,  but it no longer controls my mood or ruins my day.  

I’m sure there are many more things I could list, but I think the biggest change is in how I feel about myself.  I’m proud of myself and the changes I’ve made.  It hasn’t been easy,  but it has been worth it.