Climb a Mountain, They Said…

My amazing husband is training to climb, hike, traverse, ice pick his way through Mount Rainier. He has become pretty boss at hiking and been doing a ton of training for this. Now, this means that I can spend my weekends at our home while he goes up to NH and we can constantly be a part, or I can make my way up to the White Mountains and hike with this stud.

Here’s what I would like to say. Hiking is amazing. It’s absolutely beautiful and the fresh air is wonderful and the achievement factor is off the charts. See this face? This is the face that thinks these things.

Me Starting Mountain

Look at her. She is naive and full of motivation to be awesome. Let’s talk to her in 5 miles, shall we? Where we see her at the top of the first of three peaks nourishing her very sore body with some almond butter (look at that, she’s even staying paleo on this hike!).

Me Almond Butter

That face is filled with optimism, because she reached the top. She will reach the top of two more peaks in this hike, all over 4000 feet, two over 5000. This is pretty awesome, she thinks. I can do this! And of course, she can. Because she has this stud with her to cheer her on.

Us Mountain

Here’s the thing though. While hiking really is awesome and it is pretty amazing, I must confess – I have a terrible mindset once I begin my hike down. This is because my knees have become the knees of an 80-year old and the pain is off the charts. Suddenly the beauty and fun get wiped away by the fact that I have 4 miles of jarring steps down on hard rocks before me. Oy.

It is really hard, I mean really hard, to motivate your mind to push through when you are in pain, isn’t it? All of a sudden, my sarcasm comes out and the idea of having a great time gets wiped away as you realize that a 65-year old woman is pacing with you down the mountainside. Yep, that’s me, shooting the breeze as we discuss her retirement. Aarrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!!!

Here’s what I know though – just because my body is different now and different than others who have no knee problems doesn’t take away from what I am achieving. We can constantly compare ourselves to whoever else is out there on the mountain or at the gym or even *gasp* in the mirror, or we can work as hard as we know how and then give it an extra 10% for good measure. Forget about what everyone else is achieving and enjoy what you are doing, because let’s face it, you are doing it! I hiked an 11-mile hike with 3-peaks with my wonderful husband. Yes, it was a LONG day, but I did it! And now, I have some knee braces and will attempt to do even more.

Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Life is too short to wish you had done something as well as someone else. Do it as best as you can and enjoy the amazing views along the way!



15-15-30 Update

June is here! At the beginning of last month, I shared my S.M.A.R.T. goals for the month of May (you can get caught up by clicking here). Since December, I’ve been in an exercise slump. Life got busier and exercise (and sleep) got moved down the priority ladder. This is not a good practice. Especially when you spend most of your 13-hour days sitting and listening to people! I am so glad that I took on this challenge for the month. I can honestly say that I haven’t worked out this much all year long.

So….drumroll….post a comment if you’re actually doing a drumroll right now….badadadadadadada….15 workouts completed (in ummmm 31 days because I was one short and needed to get it in at 9pm before I wrote this blog) and 7 pounds lost!

May Challenge

I’m aiming for the same goals in June but with much harder workouts. The massage is still on the table for June!


Stepping It Up…

It’s that time of year when the sun is finally coming out, the trees are blooming, allergies are in abundance and we have the dreaded fear that we will no longer be able to wear big sweaters to cover up our muffin top.

2016-05-09 17.27.37

Yes, spring is here and summer (with all of its tank tops and swimsuits) is coming.

I love that Becca threw out her challenge for the next month. For me, I have been doing ok consistently. I get to the gym, I eat well (for the most part), and I have maintained a fluctuation of 5-10 lbs for a while now. But, I want a good challenge to kick it into high gear before the summer comes. Why? Because I want to feel good about myself this summer and not feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

Here is my challenge. Aside from staying consistent in my trips to the gym and eating, I’m throwing in an extra challenge to take care of my muffin top.

This week – 100 x 5 for abs (meaning 100 sit-ups or some sort of ab workout, 5 days this week)

Week 2 – 200 x 5

Week 3 – 300 x 5

Week 4 – 400 x 5

No, there will not be a before and after photo – sorry, I’m not about that life. But, there will be honesty. I wanted to start this challenge yesterday, but I didn’t. Instead, I ate well all day until the evening when I had a small cup of chocolate ice cream (yes, I know – I have a vice). That means I have the next five days to kick my abs into gear. It starts today, right now before I forget. So, here it goes!

What’s your challenge to yourself? How will you step it up this month?



It is hard to believe that Memorial Day is just 4 weeks away, especially with the cold weather that we’ve been having! Personally, I just came through a crazy busy season of life and am about to enter into another. However, these next two weeks are a tiny reprieve and I want to use them to get organized.

Reading past posts where Steph wrote about accountability (here) and Rah shared about goals,  got me thinking about S.M.A.R.T. goals. The following acronym is used in a variety of settings (you’ve probably heard of them) to help create goals.

Goals should be:

  • S –  Significant
  • M – Measurable
  • A –  Attainable
  • R –  Rewarding
  • T –  Time-focused

My SMART goal for the month of May is to complete 15 workouts, losing 15 pounds, in 30 days. My reward for completing this goal is to get a massage! I’m telling you now for accountability because I’ll update you in 30 days. Here is an inside view of my progress chart:


What do you want to accomplish by Memorial Day???


Ugh, Accountability

You know the saying that you are not an island? As an introvert, I hate that saying. I want to shout out to all of those extroverts, “I would LOVE to be an island! Now stop talking to me!” But alas, the saying is true.

I am not an island. I am not alone, and I was never made to try to do this life alone. You know why weight watchers and programs like it work? Because you have to go in and talk to someone about what you ate and weigh in right there. That’s pretty scary. And it works as long as you keep going and checking in (although, I think that what they eat is still meh and would prefer paleo, but that’s just me).

Accountability – such a loaded word, but it works – even when you mess up.

Last week, I had an insanely stressful week. It was a huge week for me at my job (probably one of the biggest weeks for me in the year). I was doing good on Monday and Tuesday – I hit up the gym, I ate pretty well, and I was dealing with the stress. But halfway through Wednesday and then Thursday and Friday, I broke down. I mean, my calorie count went from my normal 33-year old self to an elephant basking in the African sun at the water hole.


What is horrible is that I had to report this to my good friend, who is there for me on the days when I am rocking out my diet and exercise routine and even on the days when I carb-o-load and become an elephant singing Toto, I felt the rain in Africa….

That’s right – I even reported in on the days I messed up, because that’s the point. I’m going to mess up. I’m not perfect. I’m not always going to get it right. And the point of a good friend is that they are there and will encourage you to get back on track. So, here I am today, hitting up the gym for a good workout and eating like my normal self again.

So, my encouragement to you today is to stop being an island when it comes to your goals. Get a friend and begin to check in daily. Here are three tips on how to be awesome at keeping someone  accountable to their goals:

  1. Be positive, even when they mess up. Meaning, encourage them to go get a quick workout in, or to let the crappy lunch go and eat well for their snack and dinner. Don’t harp on the negative, give them something positive to do in return.
  2. Make your check-in happen. Be the one to put it out there at the time you said, and if you are busy or forget, then the other person needs to step up and check in.
  3. Keep it both ways. Nothing like knowing the other person is working their butt off to help you work yours off too.

Now, go be awesome and enjoy some great food.



What does a perfectionist look like?

What might an overweight person whose weight fluctuates and a fit, exercise queen have in common? Although they may appear to come from opposite mindsets, perfectionism can be at the root of both great struggles and great successes. Often times, perfectionist thinking causes unrealistic expectations that lead to unfulfilled realities, especially in the weight loss world. Here are a few ways to accept progress, not perfection:

Celebrate Small Accomplishments. Perfectionists view themselves as either a success or a failure, nothing in between. Healthy living is a lifelong journey. To keep momentum and hope in the process, we need to be excited about accomplishments and the willingness to keep going, even after setbacks.

Build a Positive Self-Image. While it is important to recognize our accomplishments, our self-image cannot depend solely on achievements. We are valuable! It is my belief that I am valuable to the God who created every living thing and that his love for me isn’t based on my achievements. That helps ground me. Also, if we spend more time doing the activities that we love, learning new skills and being of service to others rather than being self-critical, we will be less likely to beat ourselves up over the little things. Our eyes will be on the big picture!

Learn from Others. Sometimes it is easier to accept other people’s mistakes than our own. If we take a look around to others who have learned from their mistakes and keep moving forward, we can put our own setbacks into perspective and join them in success.

Getting and staying healthy does not require perfection! We make mistakes, we learn, we make more mistakes, we learn some more. To deny this reality hinders our ability to recover from mistakes and can limit great successes from occurring!

So here is my visual example of accepting progress and not perfection. These are my weigh-ins for my DietBet competitions. It represents a span of 27 pounds with ups and downs, mistakes and achievements. I’m choosing to focus on the big picture!weight.png


30 Day Results

So, we officially completed our Whole 30 journey yesterday and I’ve got to be honest, it was waaaaaay easier this time around. We weighed in this morning, and I’ll share the results in a minute, but I can already see and feel the benefits from eating completely clean the past 30 days – my pants are looser, my skin is clearing and I am sleeping like a baby.  No more late night cravings or indulgences, thicker hair, no shameful binging.  Just really good food, helping me to feel really good about my body.

So, in my last post, I gave you my starting weight. So hard. I’ve never shared that publicly before. It was 159.2. Boo.

Here we are:


10# lost! 149.8


13# lost! 178

Bam! It works people. And the victories experienced are so much greater than what the scale says. Your health is one of the most important things you have. You have one body, take care of it.

I’ll be sharing some recipes later this week that we used on our 30 day journey. I plan to continue with a two day break. I’m loving how I feel and look and want to continue this lifestyle for life.


Bracket Busted, but Goals Still On Track…

Well, March Madness, you did it to me again. You took that rusted, old spork and jammed it into my heart. I can’t even remember the last time my Spartans went out in the first round. C’mon!

I digress though. If I stay on that topic, I will just bring you down into my cavernous wasteland of broken dreams, and this is supposed to be #MotivationMonday, so I guess I will need to let it go and get to motivating.

I put it out there – 9 lbs need to be gone by mid-April. How am I doing? Drum roll, please…..

4 lbs are gone! Poof, away, far, far away!


I am on track to make my goal as long as I stay consistent in what I have been doing. This is KEY. How many times do you set a goal, you begin to see the results of your efforts, and then because you see those results you think that you can slack “just a little bit.” Like, “Oh, I can have some ice cream tonight, it’s totally fine, I’m already down 4 lbs.” Lies. Lies, I tell you. You can’t have that ice cream (yes, ice cream is my MAJOR vice). Because that will actually stop your metabolism from kicking butt and it will store in you like fat.

If you are where I am, at the halfway point (or thereabouts), here is my March Madness reminder to you – YOU WILL NEVER MAKE IT TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IF YOU CAN’T GET PAST THE FIRST WEEKEND.

So, remind yourself that it is only halftime, that you still have this game today to play, and that tomorrow there will be another one. Keep eating according to your plan, keep working out and moving according to what you can do, throw in a challenge now and then to keep it spicy and watch yourself not only make that goal, but crush it.

So, how are you doing? What’s your goal for March Madness to set you up for you big goal beyond? Remember, you got this! And just like my dear Spartans, we still love you and root for you (even if you do stumble in the first round).



Are you busy? Like, bizzay??? Here are 4 Tips.

Black hair dye dripping down my forehead, sipping on a smoothie for a hands-free breakfast while designing a flyer for my church ministry with an audio book for my graduate class plays in the background and notifications popping off on my phone. Sometimes life is crazy like this, a compilation of responsibilities and unexpected, critical situations. We all have seasons of busy, so how do we sustain healthy lifestyles and find balance despite non-stop, 20-hour days? Here are 4 tips:


  1. Sleep. Back in November my doctor asked me “are you getting enough sleep?” I laughed a nervous laugh as my mind was flooded with images of  20-hour days and the ridiculous list of reminders in my phone. Blah blah blah you do all that you can to make provision for a good amount of sleep. I can’t make hours magically appear, but I can make it restful. No counting and obsessing about how many hours I’m not getting. No to-do lists for tomorrow. Phone off. Mind off. Sleep.
  2. Meal Prep. This keeps me focused throughout the week. Best tip: cut up all veggies at the same time & divide them out. If I don’t prep my meals then subway salads turn into “Yes, cheese. Just today.” That turns into “meh, I’ll grab a schwarma. Just today.” The lack of planning is no good.V
  3. Stretching & Exercise. I’ve moved from comparing my exercise schedule with other people or what I’ve done in the past. I know for certain that I have more energy when I move and stretch. So I fit it in as often as I can. This consists of 15 minutes on my exercise bike while I catch up on emails or sneaking off to do squats and stretches in the kitchen at work. The bottom line is that I know that I need it and that the regimented morning workout schedule will return in a few weeks. For now, I keep doing what I can. The key is to keep doing.
  4. Mindset. This is the most important so of course I left it for last. What kills energy? Comparisons, complaining, and hopelessness. I have important things to do (and so do you)! Many versions of this arrogant [prideful] meme have been floating around:


I’d like to quote this frequent phrase of my sister (shoutout Nay-Nay) “how is that helpful?” Comparing my life to someone else zaps energy. I’m more busy because of ____. No. Just stop (very counselor of me, I know). And complaining. Yes, I definitely need to talk to others when life gets unbearable but lamenting on social media or whining to every ear that passes my way is not helpful. Also, our hearts and minds scream for hope! “One day it won’t be this busy…My busy season has a purpose…I’m serving others with my busy life.” Whatever the hope, we can remind ourselves of why we are busy.

So, despite this season of loco, I’m working to sustain a healthy lifestyle and find balance. What is working for you? Let us know in the comments!


Tips for a Successful Workout

I wish I could tell you all right now that every time I go to the gym I have an amazing workout. That I lift more each time, do more reps, push myself harder on whatever cardio machine I am on, and that people flock to me at the gym just to watch my incredible form as I do a squat.

Yeah, right.

Most days at the gym, I am thankful that I can mentally focus on the task at hand for 30 or maybe even 45 minutes before my mind starts to head back to work and all of the stuff that has to get done. That’s right, you heard me – 30-45 minutes. I’m definitely not one of those people that gets to the gym and spends 2 hours there. I get in, work hard, get out and get on with my day. Because of that, I have found that I really have to focus when I go. Here are some things that I have found helpful for me, so that way, when I am at the gym, I let the work stuff go for a few minutes and focus in on actually getting a good workout in.

  1. I drink a cup of coffee about 30-60 minutes before I know I am going to go workout. This actually has helped tremendously as it takes that sluggish feeling away and gets me going (especially since I never really want to “get going” to the gym).
  2. I make myself do one thing I hate. So, if I am lifting legs, that means that I will be doing lunges at some point in the workout. If I am doing arms, then I will do resistance bands. If I am on cardio, I will make myself go 10 minutes longer and harder. Let’s face it, I am good at quite a few things. I rock my squats. I can bench pretty well and feel good doing it. But I absolutely HATE lunges. They hurt, and they make me hurt later because they work out a muscle that isn’t normally getting any action. So, I force myself to do one thing I hate each workout. It helps me have a better workout and not just do the things I’m good at over and over again.
  3. Keep it interesting for yourself. I rarely do the same thing each week. This past week, I focused on cardio all week long, cause I was feeling a bit sluggish and I knew that this would wake me up. Some weeks, I’m all about lifting A TON. Some weeks, I’m all about lifting longer with less weight. I change it up each week making sure to continue to work on my whole body and not just one area.
  4. Get some good tunes. I know that this really has nothing to do with an actual workout, but I find that I have my best workouts when my jam comes on! I could be in my 40th minutes on the elliptical machine and want to quit, and then all of a sudden Missy Elliot comes on and I’m like, yep, you got this! Chubby waist, be gone! Yeah, yeah, I know, I know – not what that song means, but still.

Anyhoo, those are my tips. Really, they are no brainers, but somedays we just need the simple reminder to keep at it. You do this because of the goals you have. You do this, hopefully, because you enjoy the feeling you get from feeling good about yourself and what you are accomplishing. Remember…You Rock