Wednesday, July 23, 2014

they are watching YOU


As a child, breaking a sweat was something I hated.  
I loved watching TV with snacks in hand and would be content doing that for HOURS...
What I wouldn't give to have those years back...
Those behaviors continued throughout my childhood, along with over eating that led to more weight gain, insecurities and fear of failure...and that only grew worse.  
The eating, the sedentary lifestyle and insecurities ALL increased as I grew older.  

I believe we learn behaviors at a very young age.  We watch and learn from others.  If we have positive experiences with exercise, healthy foods and getting outdoors rather than sitting inside on electronics then we are more likely to continue these behaviors as we age.  
As I've said a million times on here, I don't blame my mother.  She was a single-mother, working to provide for us so that meant doing what was easy most of the time.  Fast food or if she cooked, it was just the two of us so there was plenty for seconds, thirds, etc.  If she worked or was out late, that meant a free for all in my pantry and fridge.  YUP, when nobody was watching the eating was frighteningly out of control...


My passion to help others NOT develop these habits is what drives me to do what I do every day.  First it was teaching PE, feeling like I could reach these children in a way they hadn't been exposed to and while most of the time I felt good about that, something was always missing.  Now with my Move It Mommas being "Momma's" I am able to reach MANY children and do what I love most.  These kids watch and learn.  They see their Mom's working hard and they want to model those behaviors.  They see us sweating and running around like crazy and then follow.  I hope to teach the Mom's valuable healthy tips that they can carry with them and use at home with their families. 

Today while I sent my Momma's on a mile run around the neighborhood, I decided to put these kiddos through their own kid-style boot camp!  It was FUN!  
I was able to see myself through each of these children.   As a child this would have intimidated me, but not these kids...they jumped right in seeing who could perform best!  I loved it!  

It is our JOB and responsibility to make healthy living and exercise a FUN experience.  

They were so proud of their perfect push-ups!  As I'd walk around complimenting form they would ask, "Miss Marissa are mine the best? What about these?  Look at my biceps!"  It was hilarious.

We "crawled like a bear", "ran like a cheetah", "galloped like a horse" and "hopped like a frog"

25 jumping jacks?  NO PROBLEM for these kids!  They kept asking for more...and yes the boys threw off their t-shirts!  


EXPOSING them is key to long-term success.  
They see YOU changing and becoming stronger and healthier and they'll want to be a part of it.  If we make it FUN, ENCOURAGING and NOT INTIMIDATING then beautiful things can happen within each of us.  I see the same happen with the women.  They feel safe, can show up and work hard without intimidation and you should see them change, take on a whole new attitude and conquer the world TOGETHER!  It's incredible to watch...
I am amazed every day that THIS is my job.  

One of the Mom's snapped this picture of her daughter mocking our routine the other day.  
I LOVE THIS PICTURE!  
It's proof that the little ones ARE watching us.  
They are seeing the change and want to be a part of it.  

Let's ALL be that example for our children.  

If we struggled with body image, our weight or health problems run in our families 
WHY in a million years would we want to repeat that cycle with our children?  
Have them go through the pain of feeling worthless?
Shame on us because we KNOW how it feels to be left out, be the girl with NO self-esteem or the one that failed at everything she attempted to try.    BREAK THAT CYCLE forever...for the sake of our kiddos growing up in a world full of judgement, heart disease, childhood diabetes and other health-related illnesses.  Don't let them make those mistakes without a fight.  Fight for them and fight WITH them!  Make a difference together because I promise in some way they are watching every move you make.  

They are watching you say you'll start exercising but never actually do, they are watching you sit in front of the TV munching on chips, they are watching you get winded climbing a flight of stairs and they are watching you look at yourself each night in the mirror-feeling defeated.  
They are watching and learning so what do you want them to learn from YOU?!

The other day on our golf cart ride home from boot camp, my boys said "Mom we're sweaty and tired just like you because we ran around and played hard, that counts as exercise right Mom?"
ABSOLUTELY!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

moments in life...

I often think about moments in life, both big and small that allow me see things differently.  Some are life-changing moments and others would pass us by if we didn't give them much thought.  I believer that all of these make us who we are.  The good and the bad.  

My family LOVES the outdoors.  And I've had cousins jokingly say, "Wow, you used to hate being outside and sweating when you were a kid." and it's sadly true.  I was intimidated by the outdoors.  I didn't want to be the sweaty, chubby kid who couldn't keep up.  And I wouldn't dare try something new in front of others for fear of failing so I found myself just in my own world.  
It was safe there and I rarely stepped out of my comfort zone.  That was ALL me, feeling pity and making excuses any chance I'd get.   However, my dad never exposed me to the outdoors because he was "busy" with his things.  The saying, the family that plays together-stays together that I use often-I BELIEVE IT.  We did neither.  

Moments like THOSE changed my outlook on life.  Especially reflecting on who I am today.
I want to explore all of the things I was afraid of for so long.  Life isn't living without trying new things.  Stepping out of our comfort zone and seeing what life has to offer.  Yes our routine is safe but what if we're missing out on more?  Moments from my childhood help in raising my children to LOVE the outdoors, to try new things and escape from the ordinary.  They are exposed and then able to decide if it's something they want to try.  Giving the opportunity to take a hike together, ride bikes or throw rocks into a pond or lake...fishing, swimming, jumping, swinging...life's little moments that bring us joy!  

We LOVE camping as a family.  Yes, I'm a bit of a wuss and we don't tent camp but we take our family on many adventures, as often as possible!  It's FUN!


This past weekend we visited our favorite place to camp on the lake.  It's beautiful, relaxing and has gorgeous views.  As I enjoyed my morning oatmeal the other day, I watched the families as they played, gathered around the picnic tables, went on walks, rode bikes and scooters, told stories, swam and laughed.  It didn't matter if they were in tents, group shelter areas or travel trailers and motor homes...they were ALL enjoying the moments.  We can be tall, short, rich or poor but it's how full our life is that matters, isn't it?  All those moments wrapped into one...the joy we get from watching our child pedal without training wheels for the first time, the moment your child first says, "I love you Mom" or the moment your child makes friends with another child just because-not judging the way they look, act or where they live.  
It doesn't get any better than that, right?

Well maybe if I had that beautiful ski boat that camped across from us??!  Ha!



Little moments like making healthier choices because we want to live longer, we want to better our lives and the lives of our families.  I had the choice as I woke up this morning to make a positive food choice, didn't I?  For years I always opted for the endless bowl of Lucky Charms but that was my choice and in the moment I made the wrong one every time because overeating just felt better in my mind, not my body.  

We have choices throughout the day and we must consciously make them in order to succeed.  


It's Move It Momma shout out time again...
Another insanely strong, beautiful Momma with A LOT to be proud of!  
She took the moment and opportunity to better herself and while I thought she looked healthy and incredible "before", who knew where this journey would lead...and look at her NOW??!  
AMAZING!
I had the privilege of running beside her as she completed her first half marathon in Feb and she's signed up for another in Dec!  
If we allow moments of opportunity to pass us by, we may never know how much further we can fly.  
She's proof that anything is possible...whether it's 5lbs we want to lose or 500.  
I am so proud of you and all you've accomplished and can't wait to see where the future takes you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

tough day...

You might wonder why I'm sharing a personal struggle OTHER than healthy living but in reality it's a trigger.  A bump in the road would always bring an opportunity, a choice to fail or succeed with my emotional eating...it'll make more sense in a minute.

We had to say goodbye to our sweet Dixie.  Our yellow lab that was born Aug 8, 2002.  My husband and I were dating in college and his birthday request was a yellow lab puppy!  I searched until I found the perfect breeder and was able to choose from the liter.  Oh my goodness from the second I saw her, I knew she was our baby.  Her ears were as big as her head and her brothers and sisters were all piled on top of her and she was so happy!  On our way home, I stopped and picked out the BIGGEST red bow I could find, tied it loosely around her neck and we took her to meet "Daddy" for the first time!  He was SO excited! You must remember were in college...no real responsibility so these puppies changed our lives.  Training, feeding, making sure she didn't chew every item in our house.  It was FUN and eye-opening worrying about someone other than ourselves.  She was our "first child".  
As the boys grew, they shared moments with her just as we did...

 From day 1 she was OBSESSED with her "bird"...retrieving toy!  
If you showed it to her, her eyes lit up, tail wagging, barking and ready to PLAY! 

  
Years passed and she lived a life full of swimming, running, eating people food, meeting new furry friends and finding a best friend and sister in Gracie-my mom's lab mix (pictured above-left).

As to not drag things on too terribly long, Dixie was 12 years old, had some tumors and issues were arising.  She was not eating, couldn't play or run...she had become helpless.  She was skin and bones with a large belly from the tumor taking all of the blood from the rest of her body.  It was sad.  We knew the best thing for her would be to send her on to the next, happiest life to reunite with her sister, Gracie.  It was SO hard saying goodbye.  My heart aches.  Watching an animal that you loved let go of life is gut-wrenching but it was best.  She is no longer suffering.  

Why am I sharing this sad story with my Move It Momma readers? 

So you understand that in my past, moments such as these destroyed me.  
I would consume food until I made myself physically ill.  
The food would coat the emotions.  
In an odd way it helped me relax to simply gorge myself into a food coma.  Sad but true. 
Yesterday it was a mind game for me.  I had to argue with my own self to NOT give in.  

To let emotions be emotions and for food to be only FOOD.  

And I am happy to report that I kept myself in control.  Drinking water, playing with my boys and our lab, Molly really helped to ease the stress and sadness.  I focused on positive things instead of eating.  I made sure to stay clear of the kitchen at most times and KEPT BUSY.  

A huge victory-hate using that word in a time of sadness but it was knowing I am in control.
I told myself that the food was a TEMPORARY fix that would 100% leave me feeling worse than I started.  It would take me 3 steps back after working so hard to get to where I am today.
  So I cried...and cried...and cried.
It was a therapy much healthier than stuffing my face full of Oreo's and crackers.  

Life throws many obstacles, bumps, happy and sad moments our way. 
It is how we deal that makes us stronger.  
Our strength is tested in SO many ways, but we must understand that no matter what-
we are worth fighting for.  
Both happy and sad times in life make our lives greater.  
We learn from the sadness and focus on the happiness and making memories with the people that matter most.  
I will miss Dixie forever...
but I will also celebrate knowing that I did not allow this sad moment in life bring me back to the person that I used to be...





Some foods I've been enjoying lately:

1/2 c oats with 1/3 chopped peach and sprinkled cinnamon!  This took less than a minute to prepare!  NO EXCUSES!

My famous go-to berry parfait with plain Greek yogurt, fresh blueberries and TJ's high fiber O's

HUGE hit from the weekend...
I served these with turkey breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs...don't forget a little sugar-free syrup!  

Snacking on the go?
Caramel rice cake topped with crunchy PB...Mmmm, my fav!  And some fresh berries :)

Brown rice pasta lasagna!  Delicious and effortless...a great combo for my family and I!  
Served with fresh string beans that were SO yummy!

Made sure to not overcook these noodles, layered them in the Pyrex...
Topped it with diced tomatoes and sauce sauteed with browned Jenni-O breakfast sausage and 1lb lean ground turkey...combine in skillet with onion and garlic-lots of garlic, add tomato sauce, diced and juices!  Layer and between layers I added small tsp of low fat Ricotta.  A little goes a long way, so using the smallest container, I only used less than half for a large Pyrex of lasagna!  Bake at 350 until bubbly...Mmmmmm!  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Game changer?

When you accept your life the way that it is, then then your expectations become little to nothing.
If you want more out of your life then you must accept the challenge.  No matter the obstacle and stop making excuses for the way things are.  You must CHANGE.  
For my husband and I, our way of thinking, our attitude...it all changed.  It had to in order for us to truly change our lives...

The best way tot describe it for me is that I had to stop "dieting", stop "it's not fair" and stop the blame game..."my back hurts, I can't run, I'm too tired, I'll never look like that so why try"
...I had to stop ALL OF IT.  

My husband and I met at my thinnest at the time.  I was on a roll with my healthy lifestyle, going to the gym seven days a week for 2-3 hours at a time.  I was finally getting the life I wanted so badly for SO many years.  I met the man of my dreams, we worked out together and were in love.  What else could I ask for?

As we dated, we started to gain weight together.  Dinner on Friday nights, getting comfortable and life taking over and us making excuses of why we had to eat out, why we were driving through the local restaurants late at night.  We were a team and now we were losing our battle with our health one day at a time.  


                                                                           ****

After the birth of our second son, things really took a turn.  He was heavier than he'd ever been.  I was gaining weight but I had a great excuse, didn't I?  I had JUST had a second child.  I was a mother so things wouldn't look the way they had before children, right?  Whew, what a great excuse...and it worked.  


Fast forward to today!
WE ARE TRULY LIVING LIFE.  WE ARE HAPPY, HEALTHY and are teaching our children the same, valuable lessons in life.  We promise to never teach our children our bad habits, but we will teach them to learn from our mistakes.  We were both heavier children, teens and then adults our weight ballooned out of control off and on.  
The game changer was changing our minds, our hearts and our bodies...FOREVER. 

More than anything I believe weight loss and getting healthy is a mind game.  Our mind is a powerful tool and it can make or break us.  Days where my head isn't in it, I have to put my heart into it THAT much more.  The days where my mind is right and I'm inspired, 
I feel unstoppable and my heart follows.    

Last night on Extreme Makeover-no I won't spoil it for you but will say that his girlfriend was asked at the finale, how she felt about all of this (transformation).  Her response was something like, I have loved the past several months because he has been a better boyfriend than he had been for 7 years because he was so limited...and now that the weight is gone we can do so many things together that we couldn't before.  
THAT'S IT!  If we aren't truly living, what are we doing?  Wasting time?  Embrace your body and what life has to offer!  It's always worth that!!  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

the moment?

So many people ask, "What was the moment that changed you?  And your husband?"
"What moment made you lose the weight and keep it off?"

I'd love to define ONE MOMENT that forever changed me.  Or the one moment that changed my husband.  Of course moments stick out in my mind for both of us, 
but I don't think I could choose just one? 
The moment that I stopped feeling sorry for myself.
The moment where I realized it's not about life being unfair but about dealing with what we have, making the best of it and finding our strengths.  
The moment where I stopped living life looking for the temporary fix, 
the easy and quick way to lose weight or 
the moment when I stopped living with the attitude that I'd change "tomorrow or Monday"...

But I can't.

What I do know is that each time I failed was a day that made me stronger.  
For years it felt effortless when I'd give up so it became second nature.   
These days I'd like to think it was preparing me for something greater.  
I was testing myself for the days where my journey can help others. 

I think it was many moments that make me who I am today.  Both good and bad.
The moments where I'd cry myself to sleep and the moments where I cross the finish line to another half marathon!  They all matter and they are all moments on my journey that I celebrate.

This picture was from my 21st birthday.  I've shared it a million times and each time I look at it, I see the same girl...although she was full of life around her family and friends, 
she was dealing with a lot of insecurities. 
A defining moment was after this picture was taken, I received a call from my childhood best friend!  She was getting MARRIED and while this was so exciting, it meant bridesmaid dresses...yipee :(   
Her bridesmaids standing in a line...all thinner than the next and then there was ME.  
She decided to go with navy and a very flattering dress...YES! dark would make me look thinner and the dress wasn't fitted. Amen.  
It was time for measurements...
The lady gave me the pep talk about how dresses run smaller than normal and then she laid it on me..."Ma'am we're going to order up one size to a 22 just to make sure it fits properly"
Ummmm, did she just say 22?  I'm pretty sure it's what I heard but I think I was on the verge of fainting so I asked her again...

But after that moment instead of changing my life it only made me feel sorry for myself and that seemed like an easier option- to blame others...so I did.   
I did the "life isn't fair", "why am I the only one that can't eat that way?", "why can they eat junk and not gain weight and I do?".  "It's because I'm Italian and I love bread and pasta!" "I'm just a bigger girl, meant to be heavy"
YEP, none of the excuses helped me lose the weight or change my life so why use them?
I guess it made me feel better and I could justify the weight, the behavior and the failure?? 

I had to get TIRED of the moments passing me by.  
Tired of the excuses.  Tired of wanting change but never working for it.  Tired of feeling sorry for myself and tired of failing.  
...you know how this story goes and I'm changing more every day!
I will NEVER STOP CHANGING!  I WILL NEVER QUIT!  I'm never finished because when I "finish", I only revert back so this journey will never end, I will always have struggles with food, troubles with my eating habits and exercise but I will keep reaching, exceeding and inspiring others to do the same...just as they inspire me each and every day! 

And if you follow my story you'll know that things didn't get easier after meeting my husband, getting married and starting a family...
I once again reverted back and even these moments are what makes me who I am today.  I was a size 12-14 in that left picture after having my first son, so nowhere near how bad things had become in college, but I was definitely slipping.  We are human.  We live and learn from our mistakes and life's moments.  It's when we choose to learn from those moments that the changing and growing takes place.  I take each moment and learn from it.  My journey that is never ending serves as hope for women that were heavy like me for most of their lives and for the women that gained weight as they grew older, started families, etc.  

The similar ground is that we get TIRED of it, 
we seek change and we run after it...
we don't make excuses or allow our obstacles to hold us back!











Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Holding on...to what?

Again I found myself inspired by Extreme Weight Loss but this time was different...
Bruce's story, have you seen this one?
Wow what a transformation both mentally and physically, wasn't it?
Chris Powell tells him on Day 1 that this will be an emotional transformation more than anything. 
That we can workout HARD but if we still hold on to what's causing the weight gain and unhealthy behavior it's only a matter of time before those thoughts make their way back into our lives and ruin what we've worked so hard to achieve.  

What are we holding onto that keeps us from living our healthiest life?  
What keeps us from losing the weight once and for all?  
What holds us back from accomplishing that goal of running a marathon, wearing that bikini or stepping into that gym for the first time?  
You want to join that workout group but are afraid of what?
You want to lose that stubborn 15 lbs but won't...why?
You need to get healthy because you take 5 medications that all carry side effects of one another but won't take the steps to improve your health the right way...WHY?

I figured I failed at dieting so many times, what would possibly be different THIS time?  Immediately setting myself up for failure before trying.  Ever been there? 
I failed at sports because I was unhealthy.  While many people that I help share opposite struggles as they were fit and healthy growing up and now struggle, I was far from it but we all share similar struggles, insecurities and we are all holding onto something?  Aren't we?
I figured if I failed at being that person that pulled my father away from that life he loves so much-a life without my mom and I and far different than the life I seek for my family, then I'd also fail at changing my life for the better.  We were never strong enough to change him as a man or change him as a father.  He's making the SAME mistakes that he made with me as a child.  It's hard to watch but thankfully I am a different person.  I am strong and will teach my boys to share that same strength.  

NO MATTER WHAT IT IS, WE MUST STOP HOLDING ON. 
It'll tear us down and make us weak every time.   
I ate to cover my weakness, my emotions and in a way I was sheltering myself with my body.  
Seems like Bruce's story was SO similar, yet his far more traumatic, but still EMOTIONS THAT WE HOLD ONTO.  It can be so powerful, take over our lives and cause SO much pain even after the damage has been done.  

I also held onto a moment with my grandfather that I held onto for so long, TOO LONG.  I believe I've shared it a million times so obviously in some way it's still in the back of my mind serving as fuel to keep me going...

We were at Mother's Day brunch with my family.  I was severely overweight but "dieting" at the time.  "Dieting" made me irritable and I felt angry, life wasn't fair and I would let everyone know about it.  I chose very little food, unbalanced because I didn't know any better and sat at that table STARVED.  I watched as my family ate.  We laughed and chatted but all I could think about was the deprivation.  I was WATCHING them eat, my tummy was growling but it was all that I knew...my cycle was start this new, fantastic diet and then slowly spiral out of control until I was sitting in front of the TV devouring a cheeseburger and fries :(  Oh I knew that sabotage SO well.  
My cousin was eating McDonald's at the brunch because she was a picky eater, young and wanted her Happy Meal and as the meal was wrapping up, my grandfather looked over at her and said, "you shouldn't be eating that way.  You want to end up like her?" and pointed directly at me.  And while I believe I am strong, at that time I was weak...oh so weak.  You could see right through me, my insecurities and I was "dieting" remember?  I was hungry and that never leaves me pleasant. I jumped up from the table and ran out in tears...
How could someone that I love say such an ugly thing about me?

When you spoke about my weight, I'd crumble.  It was a HUGE insecurity out there for the world to see and although it hid so much emotion, it also left me as a target.  
I now know that my grandpa loved me.  He wanted what was best but didn't use the right words to express it.  I now know that some people don't understand that words hurt as much as they do, especially for a person carrying around a huge issue with food.  It controlled me and I didn't know how to escape it.  That's a scary thing for a child, teenager...heck, even an adult.  It was scary because unlike alcohol and drugs, it's everywhere.  We have access to it at the grocery store, fast food restaurants and gas stations...it's around us wherever we go and that's tough.  It makes temptation hard to beat but if we educate ourselves and know what our body needs, if we properly train our mind and body then success is only a few steps away.  If we let go of the things that we're holding onto then life only gets better.  It becomes full and nothing can stand in our way.  

Why would we not want that life for each of us?  We must fight TOGETHER.  Fight for your brother, sister, mom, dad, grandpa, grandma...for our KIDS to be healthy.  We must educate them and practice the behaviors that we know are right and not share all of our insecurities, poor eating habits and unhealthy behaviors.  Don't we want what is best for the people that we love?  Then get out there and share the LOVE of fitness, healthy eating and help people change for themselves.  

AND if you didn't catch Bruce's Story on Extreme Weight Loss-find it NOW!  It is worth watching.  It was life-changing, I cried the ENTIRE episode and it helped me see even more how much I want to change the world...not just my community but the WORLD!
The people that we know in our lives that are fighting obesity right now...be their friend.  Stand by their side and help them see how much they are worth fighting for!  We must come together so our kids stay healthy and active, so we can stop teenagers and adults from dying of strokes and heart attacks, so that we can put a stop to childhood diabetes and obesity.  
So that we can live healthy for ourselves and our beautiful families...
WHO IS WITH ME??!  

The poor habits that I created as a child stuck with me as an adult.  They were worse before they became better.  I had to hit rock bottom in order to rise above and it takes work...LOTS OF WORK.  
Many tears, lots of sweat and plenty of dedication but when I stopped holding on and let go...MY LIFE CHANGED FOREVER!!!!  



All those years of destruction, poor lifestyle choices...they were NEVER for nothing.  I learned how to be strong, how to fight back and I found inspiration in myself that I am able to share with the people around me.  I want to serve as that hope.  They can see my struggles, my weaknesses and my successes and they are able to somehow relate and find hope in themselves.  That makes every dark moment WORTH IT!  

LET GO of what's holding you back :)  



Move It Momma Recipe TIME!!! 
This one is delicious so get ready!

Apple Crock Pot Pork tenderloin

1lb pork tenderloin
1/2 purple onion sliced or diced
salt and pepper-just to taste and season the pork loin-this is optional.
3 slices apples and 1 pkg unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon
-the recipe called for a can of apple pie filling and I'm sure that version is AMAZING as well!
Low 6-8 hours and ENJOY :)

I served to the family just like this...
paper plate, of course!
1/2 c long grain brown rice with pork on top...and apples!  Look at those :)
Served with sweet peas and sugar snap peas!  
AMAZING DISH!!!!  


Monday, June 23, 2014

I'M IN


Confirmation was received this morning!  
I registered myself and my Move It Mommas into the lottery for the 
Houston Aramco Half Marathon 
AND WE MADE IT IN!!!!
This will be my third time conquering this race and I couldn't be more excited!

Left: Aramco 2012                                    Right: Aramco 2014

My life has changed so much since that day in 2012.  I thought my journey had ended but in reality I was stuck...happy that I had changed my life from the girl I used to be, not knowing that I had a lot more changing to do.  
I was eating healthy, meaning no late night fast food runs and limited my junk food consumption BUT a lot of 100 calorie packs and cracker munching happening out of boredom which I confused with hunger...and I was workout out A LOT.  Seven days a week-strictly cardiovascular activity, no weights or strength training.  

Fast forward to the same race in 2014 (pictured right), WHAT A CHANGE!
Not only with my foods, weight, exercise routine but with my Move It Mommas.  They have changed my journey.  Taken me down a path I never knew existed.  They have inspired me, motivated me and now we'll be taking on this race, hoping to inspire them with the love of running the way it has captured myself and my husband!  
Some are terrified, some are excited but we will ALL cross that finish line.  
I RESPECT running.  I may not love every moment of it but it's part of me.  
Part of my journey and part of what keeps me going...
a symbol of how far I've come and how much more I am capable of in the future.  

Last year's Aramco race I was famous...Ha!  I made the webpage with this finish line photo!
The face describes it SO well.  
I am shocked each time I take on 13.1 miles.  It is a struggle for me.  It represents so much defeat from years past.  It represents the desire to change but being afraid to try.  It represents being that girl that thought she wasn't good enough.  The girl who quit before beginning. 
NOT ANYMORE. 
I have slowly shed her along the way.  With each mile.  With each workout.


As you can see, I am forever changed.  
When we eliminate fear and doubt, there's a whole world out there for us.  We open the doors on new life, new adventures and feelings.  It's amazing and the best part is...my journey is far from over.  I plan to inspire the world around me to seek their healthiest life!  These ladies that will cross that finish line along with me...they are strong, fearless and determined...and YOU ARE TOO!!!   
One is a CANCER SURVIVOR, some have lost weight, gained strength, found a way to inspire and motivate their families and friends.  I'm telling you THEY ARE INCREDIBLE!!!!  And we are growing in numbers every day!  I have women joining our group to be a part of the inspiration...a part of the magic that takes place among these ladies.  I am only a small part of what makes this group a success.  It takes all of us working together to push down obstacles that stand in our way!  
Can't imagine sharing this race and this moment any other way!  The Move It Mommas are a HUGE part of my life and forever will be so why not tackle a half marathon while we're at it? Three of us did it together in February, along with many of our women completing the 5K so this will be yet another life-changing, incredible moment for us to share and I can't wait!!!!!

Pictures from the race 2014...
Hard to NOT be inspired by THOUSANDS of runners...all ages, shapes, sizes and struggles 


I tell this to myself often while working out or running...
It's SO true.
The courage to START is often the hardest part.  
We'll make excuses and find "better things to do" but the truth is...
It takes courage, strength and determination to START and we get out there every day and do that...and it matters!
We must stop making excuses because they only hold us back.

Get out there and TRY something new.  Find a group that lifts you up and makes you feel strong and healthy.  When we have other people supporting us and cheering us along the way, it makes the journey unforgettable.  We NEVER QUIT and I hope you're right there with me :)

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