Monday, April 27, 2015

the examples we set...

...play a huge factor in our lives, the people in it and the people we want to reach...

On my personal journey, I put being a mother as a priority but at the same time, 
I allowed myself to take the back seat. 
I had an excuse and it was finally a good one.  I was busy, 
a full-time working Mom and wife so who cares if I ate mac and cheese as a main dish!

But what about all that hard work?  I had lost so much weight and was now steadily piling on the pounds...so effortlessly.  Why was that?
Well to my surprise I had exchanged my fast food obsession to cooking "healthier" meals yet overindulging, eating 2-3 portions.  Why could I not get my foods right? I obsessed over exercise but learned to blow it all in one meal.  When I look back, in 2001 when I first lost weight and found my new journey, I wasn't exercising AT ALL and I was eating SO poorly.  Big portions and crappy foods.  Double NO!
Seems like after my first son was born, I gave myself a FREE PASS because I was exercising, heck I worked out less than 4 weeks after giving birth!  I was running, using the elliptical in my garage and walking while on my lunch break at work!  WHY WAS I GAINING WEIGHT?!


It's simple really.  I learned to exercise and then REWARD myself with lots of food.  
Balance was not a part of my life and it took YEARS to get it right...for now! 

You see, they go hand in hand and you cannot have one without the other.  If it's working for you, chances are one day it will stop working until you find that BALANCE.  
I took my relationship with food, "broke up" with it and built a new, healthier relationship with it.  I give food VERY little thought and rather than relieving stress through my stomach, I put it in my workouts.  Then I was working out SEVEN days a week, now it's only FOUR days a week but my food stays in control MOST of the time!  
The shorts I was wearing in that picture are a 16 ( I still have them tucked away in my closet as a reminder!) and now I wear a size 4.  While it is NOT about the size of your clothes or the weight on the scale, it is about feeling good and being healthy!  I will spend every day trying to help women that struggle with that balance, figure it all out...one day at a time.  

These days my kids and husband are still my #1 priority but the difference?  SO AM I!  
I make my health a priority and that decision to put myself as a priority will effect all other aspects of my life and the people in it.  

You work long hours?  Fit in a walk around the neighborhood with your kids/husband.  Kids have sports after work/school? Bring your tennis shoes and stroll, jog or power walk the areas around the soccer, baseball or any other fields.  Have a longer lunch break?  Bring workout clothes-change and go for a power walk/jog, eat a quick-ready made healthy lunch and use your time wisely.  PREPARE on the weekends if your weekdays are insane!  Keep healthy foods in your home, get rid of the unhealthy trigger foods that grab your eye as you open that pantry after a long day...THROW THEM OUT!  Your children will survive without Little Debbie staring you down every second of every day!  THROW IT OUT! Replace those foods with fruits, veggies, protein-rich snacks and pack you a snack on the go bag!  I am always armed with PB, fruit, a string cheese, almonds, high protein cereal snack mix, etc so I'm never caught HUNGRY! 

You must get fed up with feeling crappy!  
The cycle will continue as long as you allow it.  I'd exercise, feel great and then eat so much I'd have to unbutton my pants, burp then lose all energy because my body was on overload.  Then after work/school, I'd feel so bad the only way I'd feel "better" was by stuffing my face once again...with EMPTY CALORIES!  

If you've been there, break the cycle!

I feel like an entirely new person when I fuel properly and exercise regularly!  You can make excuses or you can change...choice is yours and the time passes the same either way!  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

throwing rocks...

At the end of the week, my group met for a workout and I was greeted by a golf cart and a lady standing in her work clothes...I walked over and to my surprise they were not there to praise our group, but rather ban us from use of MY park :(  
It was THE most upsetting thing I've ever heard.  We live in a nice neighborhood-love my neighbors and have met so many great people through the workouts! We have been working out at the SAME place and time for over a year and a half.  
She not-so-nicely told me it was a private park.  I said yes ma'am, I live here and pay $100/month to use these facilities.  At that point some other neighborhood Momma's walked over to see what was going on...
She proceeded to say we've "ruined" the tennis courts-the ones we run on...yes, run on concrete with tennis shoes, that's IT.  While we've seen teenagers out there goofing around, hanging on nets and smoking...WE, a group of Mom's, ruined a tennis court??  Okay??
We are also "preventing other people from using the facilities during our workout time"....so from 10-11am on a WEEKDAY, there are how many CHILDREN(who are suppose to be in school) are being prevented from using a HUGE park?  Ohhhh, I'm confused? 

She was the management community president and said after "several" complaints, we were only allowed usage on the basketball courts, not the pavilion (the pavilion which provides shade for my women while working out).  The basketball court is "public" while the rest is "private".  She also explained I was "making profit" from the park...yes, $5 is part of my getting rich scheme on these women, let me tell you!  REALLY?

So the part I find MOST disturbing?  WHY WOULD SOMEONE SABOTAGE AND TATTLE ON OUR GROUP?  How heartless.  They should be ashamed and if they took a moment to see what we were, what we were about and our stories then they'd realize we are FAR different from any other group they may think they've seen in the community.  We pick up trash, often times not trash we've created but broken bottles, cigarette butts, etc that "others" have left from days prior.  We do not use the park on the weekend or Friday's, for we know that park is probably in use during that time and we choose not to take away from my fellow neighbors.  
My question?  WHAT WERE WE DOING THAT WAS SO WRONG IT REQUIRED SOMEONE TO GO TO OUR MANAGEMENT CO TO COMPLAIN??  

When we hear things like this, hear people trying to "throw rocks" on something that's only making ourselves better, what is wrong with our society as a whole? 
It's scary.  It makes me think, is this person SO unhappy that they must bring others around them down.  I set out to make a difference, to help women and THIS is what I am given in return?  How SAD.  

If I were in management and someone were to complain regarding a GROUP OF MOM'S EXERCISING, my question would be, "and?", "Are they harming you?"...because I'm sure her 5" speaker must be blaring obscene music and they must be cursing and throwing things out there, correct? And when that miserable human being would have no answer for that, I'd simply HANG UP THE PHONE!  My goodness.

But instead I was treated like a fourth grader who stole markers from the teacher....told we were in the wrong and IF we wanted to remain there, we must go before the BOARD and state our case and argument for remaining at MY park!  MY PARK.  OUR PARK!  We have MANY neighbors that attend our workouts and why wouldn't they?  I'm bringing healthy living INTO our community...HELLO??!  With heart disease still a number one killer of women, obesity rates higher than ever before, we are still going to frown upon a woman trying to make our community a healthier place to live?!  I'm ashamed of this area, our society and these people-these "complainers" and how this was handled by our HOA president and management company.  How dare they try to stop something that is setting a POSITIVE example for women.  WHY?!  And our children?  The ones who PLAY and are active the entire hour we exercise?  We are going to ban them from being active but would rather them sit indoors and play video games?  Oh yes, that's definitely the RIGHT idea?!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE??  
I taught PE, I listened FIRST HAND to these children and how they get home from school and SIT AROUND, their only "active" time is at their 35 minute PE class and 5 minute recess...but yes, so someone can sit in their own miserable, pity party-let's take PLAYING away from children as well....WOW.  Anyone else see the shame and ridiculousness of this claim??!  
AND THEN WE WONDER WHY WE ARE RAISING A SOCIETY OF THE MOST UNHEALTHY CHILDREN, HIGHER CHILDHOOD OBESITY RATES, HIGHER RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES, HEART DISEASE...the list goes on and on.  But YES the answer is to BULLY AND SHUT DOWN PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.....ahhhhh yes!  That's the answer!

My goodness, I am out of words and more in tears for the way this was handled, the way I was treated and the way they so effortlessly could tell us, "SHAME ON YOU" and might I add that I called the management company on THREE, SEPARATE OCCASIONS, with my Momma's there to explain what we were doing and get permission and EACH TIME WAS TOLD, "Yes ma'am, it's YOUR park and is a neighbor to neighbor conflict if someone has a problem with you using those facilities"...sounds like permission to me??!  YEA THOUGHT SO! 

But don't you worry, I have been thrown obstacles in my life...just another turn that will make me stronger.  Make your group stronger and these "complainers" have to live with that doubt, fear and weakness for the rest of their lives...that's who I feel sorry for, don't you?

Ok, my rant is over...
SORRY! 

*Disclosure: I am by no means blaming the management company or HOA, but feel as though things could have been handled differently knowing I am a resident, in good standing and only out to improve our community rather than do harm.  The person(s) that complained regarding our group are the ones that should be held responsible for creating this issue within the community.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

DIVA half marathon recap!

I'll begin this post by sharing a few of the MANY texts and messages 
I've received since completing the race yesterday!


"How do I thank someone who has given me my life back?!  YOU have saved my life!  THANK YOU!  I would have never even dreamed I could accomplish all of this, but with your unconditional love & support I feel like I can do anything! YOU are amazing & make me feel amazing.  I LOVE YOU more than you know."

"I just want to say how proud and happy I am for you and what you do for these women who put their health and fitness in your hands.  I watch all your posts and videos on FB and tear up sometimes knowing that you are changing lives!  I know it means the world to you to help women, and it just makes me so happy for you.  Wanted you to know that!!  You're amazing"

"I cannot thank you enough for being my constant motivation for doing things I never thought possible.  As proud of you as you are of us!"

"Couldn't have done that without you!! You are one amazing, caring, motivating, inspiring women that I have ever met!! I could say more but I'm emotionally drained that I can think straight! Lol! Thanks so much for pushing each and everyone of us! I'll see you tomorrow!"

"SO incredibly honored to have shared this experience with you! From the day I met you, I saw it. You had it in you and you've proved that to yourself. The ones that ever doubted you are only hiding behind their own fears. That is part of the journey to keep you grounded & to help you see that you're ambition and determination frightens some, and even yourself but also inspires MANY! Yesterday you fought hard to achieve a goal-one you once thought impossible but YOU DID IT! You did not allow a fear so great it almost paralyzes you, win. THAT is inspiring. You have changed my life, are a big part of the reason our group has become what it is. YOU can finally see what I've seen all along and that my friend, is what the journey is all about "



Putting this race into words might be tough but I'll give it a try...
The pre-race festivities are always the most fun with this group! We laugh, stand in line for potty's, giggle and hug! Oh and we take pictures, LOTS of pictures! 



NEVER QUIT DIVAS!
Possibly my favorite shot of the day! Love it!  

We had support throughout the race!  Kids, mom's and dad's, husbands...people were everywhere! They were ALL cheering on the Momma's!  

I ran over 18 miles making my way forward and BACKWARDS( yes, I even traveling the wrong direction) making sure they were all okay!  

There's always a defining moment in life's greatest achievements and this was one of those moments.  Each of the 23 Momma's that participated crossed the finish line at a different time so as we made the last turn, I saw green shirts everywhere!  Keep in mind at this DIVA race it was all about PINK, except for us.  There they were...cheering us around the corner to the finish line.  They were wearing their medals proudly and yelling!  Then most of the group started to move toward us and they were now gathering around myself and two Mommas that were on their way to the finish line.  We had formed a posse right there on the course!  It was beautiful.  They had tiaras, boas, medals and TEARS.  You heard words of encouragement and there were hugs galore.  What a moment.  Rather than them crossing the finish line of such a great achievement and leaving to celebrate with their individual families, they stayed.  THEY ALL STAYED.  Not one person left that finish line UNTIL that last Momma crossed the line.  It was like it wasn't even an option for them. 
 It was one of the most inspirational and beautiful moments of my life...


This girl right here had a dream!  It was a BIG dream that many doubted she could achieve, even herself.  BUT SHE DID IT and not alone by far.  She inspired over 20 others to take that journey with her!!!  THAT is what it's all about!  We were all there, sharing that moment together.  It is a moment that can never be taken away from any of us, it is ours forever.  The sky is the limit for her and the rest of my Momma's that finished their first half marathon or that was just another goal to crush on their journey.  All that mattered is that we DID IT!  



As I'd make my way around the course, I'd stop and grab pictures with these ladies!  Look at those smiles...who smiles while running 13.1 miles?  WE DO!  

Ok we had a few laughs on the course as well!  WHY NOT!  


Selfie's everywhere!!!  Too many to upload but you get the idea...

I came up to mile 4 and I saw them...
My husband, boys and my Momma.  They were cheering, had signs and were waving at me!  I immediately took off, running as fast as I could toward them...My biggest fans!  My oldest son begged to run with me and he ended up completing 6 miles by my side!  I cried as I watched him run so effortlessly and enjoy it.  He's nothing like I was as a child and that makes me SO proud and helps me understand that we ARE doing something right by raising these boys with a love and respect for their bodies, their health and fitness.  It's beautiful!  I'm one, proud Mom!


Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?


What we've created is amazing.  It has no words and cannot be duplicated.  I wouldn't trade one second of my unhealthy past and former self because SHE led me to these women.  These beautiful, determined and healthy women.  We've lost weight together, cried together, lost inches, gained strength, overcome obstacles, supported one another and completed races TOGETHER!  

In this world there are people all around that LOVE us when we are weak.  The weakness makes them feel stronger and better about their own fears and while that saddens me, it also pushes me harder and further and inspires me to help women of ALL ages, shapes and sizes feel safe, strong and fearless!!! 
 You see nobody is threatened by weakness BUT many are fearful of strength and determination!


We can conquer the universe TOGETHER!  No doubt in my mind!  These women are like family, more than I ever dreamed of and they have changed my life.  They have blessed me with the ability to do what I love.  I am able to help others because somewhere they see hope within me.  I see their strengths far before they see it themselves.  I lived in that dark place for SO long that I can spot it from miles away...it's a gift.  I want to change their way of thinking.  I want to be their symbol of hope when others want to knock them down, we will be there to lift them back up. 
 Life is HARD, being a mom and wife is HARD...
getting healthy should be easy and it can be with the right people behind you!  

...and finally my "pep talk" ended with happy tears!  Tears of joy for these beautiful women who I was able to share a beautiful and emotional day with.  I thank each of them for letting me in and allowing me to be part of such a HUGE milestone on their journey.  Many more to come, so just wait!  

WE ARE THE MOVE IT MOMMAS and we aren't going anywhere but UP!!!  

One of many fierce Momma's, arms up and ready to cross that finish line.  Wish I had pics of every Momma at that point but sadly I do not :(  But my Gloria, She has overcome SO much.  She's unstoppable and when I first met her, she has restrictions and health issues that kept her from pushing to her fullest...NOT NOW!  My how she's changed!  Watch out world, Gloria is on her way!  13.1 baby!!!!  

My advice to ALL of you, no matter where you are on your fitness journey.  Stay strong, aim high and find people to lift you up!  Too many people in this world will try to drag you down so use it as motivation to shout, "OH YEA, WATCH ME!!!!" It's so empowering and free!  I have found on my own journey that many people are in our lives for the wrong reasons...you must weed through them and find those that clap for you at your greatest moments and are there to catch you when you fall...for those are the TRUE friendships in life!!!  I would do anything for my family, friends and my Move It Mommas and I will keep that promise forever and ever!!!
In life I've found that people really loved me at my worst, loved me a little less at my best but nothing in between.  They took what they wanted when THEY wanted it...not anymore!  This life is for ME!!!!  Nobody can take that way from me and you shouldn't let any of these things be taken away from you!  IT'S YOUR LIFE, HOW WILL YOU LIVE IT??!    
Use milestones and goals you have reached to keep you going...it's all a stepping stone toward things to come!  BIG things to come!  

It's time to dream bigger and set more goals...

Monday, April 13, 2015

I must be HALF crazy!

As we prepare for our seventh half marathon this Sunday, I'd like to look back and remind myself of each milestone on this journey...

January 2012.  My first half marathon was Aramco Houston.
Eeek.  I was "training" but my foods were all out of whack, I was only running-nothing else.  I was still overweight but had good stamina.  I HATED THIS RACE.  Hated every second of it.  I ran with a friend, a very fit friend.  She pushed us hard(I wanted her to, or so I thought) right from the start.  We averaged a fast pace for miles 1-3 and then I hit a wall.  I was used to running but at a MUCH slower pace.  My adrenaline was fading away and the doubt started to creep in.  I found myself angry at those around me because I was hurting, were they?  I pepped back up until mile 7 then it was ANGER and PAIN.  My mind wasn't right.  My mind defeated me my entire life and now I was letting it win once again.  I ended the race at 2:53 and I was MAD.  Mad at myself for doing so poorly.  Mad that I was hurting.  I enjoyed NO part of this race but I didn't stop there...


I LOVE making comebacks...as you all can see throughout my journey.  

So the Houston Half (different one) came around in 2013, I had lost more weight, was feeling on top of the world, had created Move It Mommas (so I had support and a new outlook!), life was good so I thought WHY NOT!!!  Let's try this again but this time, let's get my mind right and focused!  
I had FUN!!!  I LOVED EVERY SECOND!  
If I can give you any advice on this journey, do NOT allow other people or yourself defeat you before you TRY!  It's about trying your best and putting it all out there...and that IS good enough.  It's always good enough!  
I ran MUCH faster, harder and I was stronger!  Whew!!!  I'm BACK!  


Let's try Aramco again so we did in 2014!  It felt AWESOME!!!  My fastest time 2:24.  I'm by NO means fast but that's okay because I did my best.  
I've learned to approach the races MUCH differently.  I focus on each mile and the milestone it represents for ME.  I have overcome A LOT.  I have lost weight, changed my life, my husband has changed his life and we are inspiring others to do the same...what's not to love about that?!


The bridge race series...EEEK!  
This race took grit, hard work and lots of motivation and inspiration.  It was THE hardest thing I've ever done.  Two times over one of Texas' largest bridges, the Fred Hartman.  Not once over but TWICE.  

An emotional race for me but I did it!  Me.  That's what I've learned to love about running.  It's about ME.  Nobody can take that away, it was all me.  I have to get my mind right before every race.  I know within that I am capable, so each race I set out to prove it to myself...nobody else.  Nobody else matters when I'm running...just me and the pavement.  It's a very freeing feeling.  
By mile 10 at this race I was in pain.  My body wanted to quit but somehow I crossed that finish line, one foot in front of the other.  A representation of so much in my life.  



Now we had an army for the Rhythm and Blues!  My Move It Mommas decided to take on 13.1 so we did it TOGETHER!  So much fun!!!  Of course my hubby is always there, right by my side at the finish line.  While he's MUCH faster, he always meets me before I cross the finish line.  He's that added motivator that helps me get through those brutal miles 12 and 13, and that darn .1 LOL!  

I was SO proud of these ladies!  We stayed together, laughed and fought hard to the finish!  This was a double loop course, which I prefer to NEVER do again!  LOL!  Passing the finish line knowing you have to do all of that again was not a great feeling!  They did great and if I had a hand in their love of running, then I've done my job to its fullest!  THAT moment bonded us for life :)  



And the most recent, sweet half marathon #6!  Woohoo!  
Move It Mommas by my side, we did it!!!  Again, bonded these ladies for life.  A goal not many will conquer for fear stands in the way, but not us!  We did it!  My hubby did it as well but opted to not take a million pictures as we did!!  LOL  


I had some ladies that had run 13.1 in the past but it was so much fun being together!
One girl "would never be a runner" or so she told me when I first met her a year ago.  She was a beast out there, SO FAST!  She's lost weight, changed her life and has been inspiring others to do the same....SO proud of her!  And if that's not motivation enough, our cancer survivor was a beast too!  She did it.  While her body and mind wanted to quit, she never did!  We gathered around her and caught her as she crossed the finish line.  She had left it all on that course and I vowed to never leave her side and never did.  It was beautiful.  

What I've learned?
To live in the moment.  To take moments like these to FEEL ALIVE AND HEALTHY.  There's no better feeling than seeing that finish line and running right under it!  I do it for me, the girl I used to be, and the people that cannot do it themselves.  So many are physically unable to do this and we are able, so why not?  Shoot for the stars!  The pain, swelling, aching...it all goes away in that moment.  It's amazing and can never be taken away from me.  EVER.  
I've learned that the doubters are the ones that push me further.  They keep me reaching and exceeding my goals just for the "oh yea?  WATCH ME!"...come on, you know that feels good too!  I reflect on the ME I used to be.  I hated running.  I hated setting goals and I certainly never reached them, but that's not ME anymore.  Not hardly.  

On those tough miles?  It's a representation of all the tough times on this journey.  There are miles where you feel like you can't take another step, but somehow, someway you do...and you keep going from there.  It's a reminder of where I've been and where I'll continue to go by pushing forward, never going back.  
My favorite parts?
Around mile 11 and 12.  It's silent.  You see runners of all shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels but we're all just putting one foot in front of the other.  It's beautiful.  Very calming and inspiring.  I watch each of them, they are hurting as I am but they are still moving.  One foot in front of the other.  They are getting their mind and body right.  They are focused and determined.  It's a moment that I cherish from each race.  I look forward to it.  
THE FINISH LINE.  It's emotional for me because while on this journey there is no finish line, it means so much to me.  For all the times I quit.  For all the times I let defeat and fear win, that finish line is just proof once again that I CAN.  I cry a lot.  I get goosebumps and I tell everyone around me that I love them...wait, I do that all of the time but still!  

I look forward to Sunday and welcome it with open arms and an open mind.  Who cares where I finish as long as I NEVER QUIT!  There is no mountain too high if we have support and heart...plenty of HEART!  

What's next for me?  Probably a triathlon.  It's on my bucket list and I'm determined to just do it!  I have done 6 half marathons (soon to be 7), a duathlon and plenty of 10K's and 5K's...it's about time, don't you think?  Advice?  I'm a terrible swimmer but who cares...I'll survive, won't I???!  LOL!  All I know is I must keep dreaming, setting new goals and conquering new fears.  It's the ONLY way to grow and keep evolving as a woman on this journey.  Each goal I conquer reminds me of the girl I once was, the girl I'll never be again and the girl that inspires and motivates me to help others see what I see...potential and the healthy person within.  FIND YOURS!  It's NEVER too late...NEVER!!!  

Who is racing this weekend??!  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

then and now

Then:
Our lives were filled with love, joy and happiness...most of the time.
We had two, beautiful boys, a loving marriage and family that cared for us so much.
BUT we also held onto so many bad habits.  Habits that were slowly dragging us down...
We laughed together, loved together but also had very unhealthy relationships with food...together.  I had developed gestational diabetes with both pregnancies, had high cholesterol and high blood pressure and he almost failed his physical due to high blood pressure...the unhealthy habits were already there and we weren't even in our 30's.  
Seemed like we had it all...but without our health, we really had nothing.
We both grew up heavier, always the "bigger" kids.  Although we didn't know each other growing up, our struggles are similar.  For a man it's easier to be overweight.  Girls are immediately judged by their looks, their weight, their hair...everything! 
Boys that are BIG are tough and ready to play football, right?!  Not girls.
That didn't matter anymore.  We had to take charge.  We weren't alone anymore, we were raising two boys that watched EVERY thing that we did and what were we showing them?  BAD behaviors so they would struggle as we did?  It had to stop.   


Now:
We have changed everything about the way that we lived, the way that we raise our family has changed as well.  We focus on healthy living all around!  It's important to stress balance for all of us, not just the adults or the kids...ALL of us.  We nourish our bodies properly most of the time, but we are also human and like not-so-great for you things as well and we've learned that it's okay in moderation.  Indulging is something we try not to practice often :)  
We talk about how we feel when we exercise and eat right.  We never focus on "weight" or "fat or skinny", it's about being healthy for us.  All of us.  We feel good when we run or go for a bike ride and it feels good to prepare a healthy meal together, so we do it often!
Our lives get busy, but we try our best and that's all that we can ask for.


When you feel good, it shows.  It shows in every aspect of your life.
We were ticking time bombs back then and now I'd like to say we've learned from our mistakes and we are trying to plant the seed in our children so they don't have to learn from our mistakes too.  Our hope is that families all over the world will find what FEELS good and work from there.  Maybe food comes easier for you so start there.  Or maybe it's being active, so try something new together.  When you find both, the magic begins to unfold and your lives will change before your eyes!  It feels amazing!  Don't let go of the feeling that it CAN happen for you.  Often times we settle with how things are because we can't picture things differently.  Never stop dreaming of a better, healthier life...once the dream fades, it's tough to find it again.  Hold on tight because your children are WATCHING.  LEARNING.  GROWING.  We are their guide through life so live yours the right way.  

If we would be living the way we used to...overeating, smoking, sedentary, where would we be now?  Scary to think about it so I'll choose to move forward and think about how far we've come.  I will devote myself to helping others feel and do the same.  Our children are our future.  They are a reflection of us and our parenting.  If they see Mom and Dad not taking care of their bodies, they'll learn to do the same and if you've lived unhealthy, I'd hope you wouldn't wish that life upon anyone...I never would.  It was a dark, miserable place full of doubt, guilt and depression.  I never want my kids to feel sorry for themselves but instead I want them to feel like the sky is the limit, no dream or goal too big!  If they want something bad enough, they will fight for it and not expect others to do that for them.  Life isn't easy and it shouldn't be.  The rough and tough stuff is what makes you strong and builds character!  
Lets show them the way TOGETHER!!!!  

Is there proof?
My boys ran this morning before school with the running club that I help coach.  My oldest refused to stop until he hit 4 miles.  He did it and then KEPT GOING!  Yes, my 8 year old ran over 4 miles BEFORE SCHOOL!  I had tears in my eyes because he kept saying he didn't want to stop, he wanted to keep going because he felt good!  WOW.  Looking back that would have NEVER been me, but luckily we have been that role model for him and he's taking it and "running with it" and that makes me the happiest parent in the world!  My 5 year old ran 2.5 miles and that makes me pretty darn happy too :) 
PROOF THEY ARE WATCHING AND LEARNING!!!  
What will your children learn from YOU?? 

Monday, March 30, 2015

What "they" say...

Have "they" said anything to YOU?!
Many won't stop doubting until you are right back "safe" with them...in that comfort zone where you just survive, day to day without that fire deep within! "They" are unhappy or uncomfortable in their own skin most of the time, others truly believe that we shouldn't push ourselves...
that we should do mediocre because it's safe and easy there but...
I've lived BOTH.  I choose HEALTHY!

I've heard many times, "You workout too much." or "It's not healthy to run marathons and half marathons, it's dangerous", "You are pushing too hard, you should back off or you'll get hurt." and these words have been said to me and/or to people that I help.

Ask yourself, 
Are they worried about what YOU DO or what they WON'T? 

Exercise is GOOD for the body. Period.
Movement is good for the body AND mind.  Our mental health is important as well.
How hard you push is up to you. 
Pushing limits is what makes the body feel alive.  
Your mind becomes clear and you FEEL GOOD.
Quality of life is determined by your physical and mental health and it's a known FACT that exercise and weight training (when done properly) are what the body needs.  Our bodies need healthy foods, not crap that was processed in a factory 8 months ago and will last in your pantry for 2 years...right?!  RIGHT! 


My body chooses to feel alive, strong and unstoppable and nothing frustrates me more than the phrase,
 "You are pushing too hard, you need to take a break."...WHAT?!

You must not know me because I took a "break", a long "break" that gave me health issues that thankfully I've reversed through my work that you call "pushing too hard".  
I was pre-diabetic, had gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obese, smoker, anxiety, IBS and other health-related issues.  IS THAT HEALTHY??


We must keep in mind that these doubters are simply fuel to my fire...
and they should light yours too :) 

Will you let what they say dictate your future? I won't.
I've been told after EVERY half marathon I complete,
"Are you finally finished running 13.1 miles? Haven't you done that enough?"
Uh actually I'm just getting started!!  I have MANY more obstacles and goals to reach in my future...it's a long ride with ups and downs so hope you can hang on tightly!!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

who I was VS. who I have become

Who I was...
A girl full of energy, had many friends, I laughed a lot but cried more.
Food was my blanket.
It protected me in a way that nothing else could.
Out with my friends I was the life of the party, but behind closed doors I was a mess.
I was hiding my emotions and with that came the weight gain, stomach issues, bad skin, depression, stress and sadness.  I thought that's the way it was, the way it had to be for me.  
My body only knew to feel tired, achy, worthless because it was all I ever showed it how to feel. 
I was trapped and my biggest critic was ME.
I'd shoot myself down every chance I could.
And I'd create windows of "I can't" all around..."I can't do this because _____" "I can't do that because _____" and the list went on and on AND if I did step out of my comfort zone and TRY something to better my life or try to get healthy, "I am not strong enough to do this, look at me" "I'm going to fail after so many days so why try?"...wow, did I really live that way?!
YES I DID...



I have a hard time looking at the girl I used to be.  I don't relate to her at all anymore.
Strange isn't it?
Our mind is THE most powerful thing we have...
our bodies are strong but if our minds fail us, then we are finished.  
Finished believing and finished trying to be better. 
If I would have never changed my mind, who knows where I'd be but I'm so happy that I did.

My mind now tells the woman that I am, "You are strong, you are beautiful and you work HARD for everything you've achieved" and that's a good feeling.  
Nobody can take that from me.
It's MINE.

Do I still have moments of doubt?  YES, I'm only human.
But as soon as my mind jumps in ready to defeat me, I SHUT IT DOWN! 

I won't allow my doubt and fear to stand in the way of my life and you shouldn't either!

I speak with women in my community every day and it saddens me to see the doubt in their eyes.  They don't believe they can and their mind is so blurred by all the times they failed that they can no longer see the success.  

There is hope.  Always hope.
Some only dream of crossing the finish line of a half marathon, I have done it MORE than just a few times.
Some only dream of losing over 100lbs, I have done it and inspired others to do the same.
I used to DREAM of a better life, but now I'm creating one day by day! 
And let me tell you how great it feels to DO IT rather than IMAGINE IT!
It's a feeling that keeps me doing what I do, keeps me pushing so hard and pushing others harder.  

We can LIVE life or we can allow life to PASS US BY. 
The choice is ours.  If we are physically able, then what's our excuse?  A bad knee, foot or toe...yes, I guess you can sit around and list a million excuses but WILL YOU?  
Or will you demand more out of your life??!  


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