Friday, January 25, 2013


A person without a plan is usually a person without direction.  And usually when I have no direction, I wander aimlessly.  Wandering aimlessly usually leads to frustration.  

None of these things are going to help keep you on track!

To be on track, to stay on must have a plan!  Maybe your plan is simple, maybe it's complex.  Maybe you are like me and feel you have to plan your plan.

I am in the stage of adjustment.  Adjusting to the business of life.  Adjusting to a new semester in school.  Adjusting to a new pregnancy.  I know HOW I want to live my life right I need to have a plan to actually do it.  Because without a plan, time slowly slips by and before I know it a day has become a week and a week is now two...get my drift?

So MY plan is to go back to the basics.

Just because I'm growing a human inside my body doesn't mean I have to sit around and be a slug.  Just because I'm growing a human inside my body doesn't give me permission to eat anything in site.

Honestly, it's the eating right now that has me concerned.  I've been SO hungry.  Like RIDICULOUSLY hungry ALL. THE. TIME!  All I can do is think about about food.  And I'm trying to not be too obsessed about it.  I'm trying to listen to my body.  So now, I'm going back to the basics.  I'm going to track my food choices.  While I might be hungry all the time, it doesn't mean I should be choosing a bowl of ice cream when the hunger hits.  Instead, I need to focus better on smart choices!  So here I go again, dusting myself off and trying to learn and do better.....

What about you?  Do you have any tips on following your plan?  Do you have a plan?  How do you dust yourself off and ignore the urge to dive head first into the apple crisp?  Please, send me your tips before my pants get any tighter.....I should not have to be wearing maternity clothes in my first trimester!  I refuse!  :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Finding strength

I don't know about you, but somedays are tough for me.
Somedays I feel overwhelmed.
Somedays I feel like I'm drowning with all that is happening in my life at the moment.

It's moments like those that I am so grateful for tender mercies I stumble upon.
This video portrays a beautiful message.
A message we all could benefit from...

Monday, January 21, 2013


The day came.  And it was full of excitement.  My stomach was in knots.  Seriously, I was in the bathroom all morning...nervous.

Why would I be nervous?  Oh.  I don't know.  Maybe because I was running 13.1 miles and had ran only ONCE since Christmas.  (Smart, right?)  But I knew I had to try.  I had a lot of people asking me what I hoped to finish in, what my goal was.  Honestly, my goal was to start.  To keep my heart rate within a safe range, and to hopefully finish.  I knew I'd be lucky to finish under 3hrs with the lack of training this last month.  (You lose endurance and speed so quickly when you stop running....)

Saturday morning there was a nervous buzz around the house.  My mom and I got up and dressed, got a bite to eat.  Before we knew it, it was time to head over to the starting line.  It was a little chilly outside (frost on the windows) but I could tell it was going to be an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day!  I was not disappointed...

As we arrived at the starting line, we met up with my sister-in-law and her twin sister.  I believe it was both of their first half marathon's too.  We stayed inside the convention center until right before race time to stay warm.  It was fun counting down the time with them!

(Emilea, Felice (my sis-in-law), my mom, me)

As we went outside, it was time to line up.  I clearly made my way to the back of the pack.  I was not expecting any sort of crazy pace.  It seems like by the time we got in line, the gun went off.  It was SO FAST.  And just like that....we were running!

I began the race with my mom.  I was planning to stay with her as long as possible.  (But in my head, I knew I would have to drop behind eventually to not over exert myself.)

We ran the first 3 miles together.  It was fun!  So fun!  I was feeling great, but I noticed on my Garmin watch that my heart rate was jumping up into the 170's and I had vowed to myself to stay under that to make sure I wasn't putting this pregnancy at risk.  I slowed, and told my mom to keep going...knowing she would do awesome.  (And she did!)

After my mom pulled a head, I teared up for a moment.  Knowing this run was different than I had originally planned.  But also at the fact that I was still able to use my body in ways I never could with a previous pregnancy.  I felt strong, and yet vulnerable at the same time.

I quickly got lost in my surroundings.  I love people watching!  So watching all the runners and the spectators, it's a magical thing during a race!

At this point in the race, I was very familiar with the route.  I had ran it many times before.  I knew just what to expect.  It was probably the most challenging part of the route (in regards to elevation) but I felt great.  I would run and run and run until my heart rate reached the maximum I was okay with.  Then I'd walk and let it drop back down.  This was the only way I knew I could run the race without pushing myself and risking anything.

Each of the aid stations were no more than 3 miles apart.  I stopped each time and guzzled lots of water, and some gatorade, hoping to prevent dehydration.

As I ran up one particular hill, I was feeling kind of blah.  I was again wishing to have been able to keep up with my mom, I was thinking about where she was on the course.  I ended up pulling out my phone during one of my walking periods.  I sent Jason a text.  Told him I had dropped behind.  He was very sweet and told me I was doing great!  To just worry about my pace, and to run at a pace that I was comfortable with.  I felt reassured.

I was 1/2 done.

As I turned onto a main road, it was a lot of fun.  (And a lot of work!)  It was the yuckiest hill of the route.  I'm not going to lie.  I walked a lot of that hill.  But during that stretch I was greeted by my cute neighbor honking and waving.  Then Jason passed by with the kids in our car, honking and waving.  It was the burst of energy I needed!

As I ran down that hill, it was mile 8 and I was running strong.  I looked at my Garmin after the race and besides those first 3 miles, mile 8 was my best.  A high 10:00 min/mile split.  It was at that point that I saw my cute kids and husband along the course.  He had pulled off and the girls had their homemade signs, cheering me on!  I ate it up!  Jason told me I was only about a minute behind my mom and sister-in-law at this point.  I felt good about that!  I said quick goodbyes and knew I'd see them next at the finish line.

The last 5 miles are done on the trail.  I had never run the trail before.  I wasn't prepared for how boring it was.  womp, womp, womp.  I tried to get lost in my music.  I tried to focus on other things.  I tried to let my mind wander.  Mostly, I just kept moving forward.  Knowing the faster I went, the faster I'd be done.

As I rounded the corner to 11 miles, I saw my dear neighbor and her family!  I teared up.  I had no idea they planned to be at that rest stop.  She gave me a hug, told me how amazing I was.  (I felt far from it at that point!)  I guzzled a bunch of water and gatorade.  I was tired.  I wanted to be done.  Seeing her gave me a push though.  It gave me the motivation to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I remember looking at my clock at that moment and seeing 2:09 and thinking I could really finish this thing in the high 2:30's possibly!  I was excited and ready to push!

Then, the last 2.1 miles happened.  Those last 2.1 miles were hard.  Like really hard!  I'd take a step and my calves would buckle with charlie horse type cramps.  I'd have to stop and stretch them out, then start jogging again.  Rinse, and repeat!  I kept praying that they would just go away so I could finish this thing strong!  Or at least for a banana...  But each step I'd take, they'd cramp up.  Then as I'd stretch the calves, my shins would get a terrible cramp.  I'm not exaggerating when I say I was less than hopeful about finishing the race.  I could barely take a step without needing to stretch it out...

I was about 1.5 miles out and stretching against a wall when I saw someone walking back toward me.  It was my sweet neighbor.  He asked if I was ready to finish this thing....  I wanted to tell him no.  Just go tell Jason to get the car and come pick me up.  But my pride was too much to admit that I wanted to quit.  (Although, I'm sure he could probably tell...)

We started jogging slowly, I started talking to him.  Asking him how he'd done.  (You know, the guy who decided to run this race just a week prior...he, who is such a stellar runner that he only needed to run like 6 training runs before the half to finish sub-2hour...)  (Yeah, I wanted to slap him too...)  :)

I honestly don't remember much else we talked about, just that he was taking my mind off the hellish last mile!  I could see where the finish line was.  I knew it was just ahead, but my calves were doing anything they could to keep me from that finish line.  We had to stop a few times so I could stretch them out.  But as I neared the last bend I knew I wanted to finish strong.  I knew there would be no walking across the finish line.  So one last stop to stretch and I was we hit mile 13, the course turns and the last 0.1 miles is a straight shot to the finish line.  Curtis told me I'd done great, and that the last tenth was mine....he then stepped off with his family who were there cheering me on.

Running through the finish line chute is exhilarating.  I was trying to focus on running...and not letting my calves give out on me...but yet trying to look through the crowd to find faces I recognized.  I heard the cheering long before I saw the faces.  As I crossed the finish line, I felt amazing.  I forgot for a moment about all the bad and hard, and just lived in the moment!

Then, I almost fell because of the spasms.  As I bent down, I saw my mom...cheering me on.  I saw the smile on her own face...and for one more second, I wished I could have seen her as she crossed her finish line.

As they gave me my medal, I felt amazing.  I had so much support from friends, family, neighbors!  My kids were thrilled.  Well.  2 of my kids were thrilled.  The other was TICKED!  Like seriously M.A.D. She was mad because I didn't register HER for the race!  She wanted to cross the finish line and receive a medal and she made sure we heard about it all afternoon!

After receiving my medal, it was kind of a blur.  I turned in my chip, realizing I had no idea what my time even was.  But it didn't matter.  I finished the whole 13.1 fricking miles while carrying another human in my belly.  I was able to cross this half marathon off my bucket list, even if my plans along the way had changed.  I finished.

But I couldn't have finished without you.  Each of you!  From your emails, comments, FB messages, texts, phone calls, letters.  I have been overwhelmed at the amount of support I've received!  I feel blessed to have such amazing people in my life...those who were cheering for me at the finish line, and those who were there in thought!

It's now been a couple days and the excitement and exhilaration is still there.  There is something addicting about a finish line.  There's something about putting in all the time and effort in training, and then crossing that line and feeling the accomplishment!  I crave it.

And that is why I know this will not be my last race!  In fact, I have lots of races I hope to run in the future....

So you might be wondering what my official time was.  I wondered to after I got home Saturday afternoon.  Finally, I looked it up.  I came in at 2:50:03.  While I surely wasn't the fastest (by a long shot), I also wasn't the slowest.  But even if I had been...I'd still have been faster than if I'd been sitting on my couch all morning!  After all, unless you are a massively professional runner, isn't it all about putting forth your best effort?  And that's what I did.  I put forth the best I had for this moment.  And I finished.

And guess what, you can too!  Maybe you've never run a day in your life.  Or maybe you run every day!  Where ever you are in your journey, you too can accomplish greatness!  You too, can cross finish lines along the way!  You too, have a cheering section, rooting you along!  You too, have the strength to become your best self!  So maybe it's a literal race you want to run...or maybe your finish line is referring to something else.  Either way, step out and let yourself be strong!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tomorrow, tomorrow

My stomach is in knots! Tomorrow is the big 13.1 miles...the race!

Over the last few days I've been so busy with school that I haven't had much time to think about the race. That is, until tonight when I picked up my bib...

So ready or not, here goes nothing!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Curve Ball

Have you ever noticed that life is pretty good at throwing you curve balls?

In my days, I've been thrown many curve balls.  Some are pretty easy to swing at and hit.
Others, not so much...

In the past, sometimes the curve balls struck me out.
Sometimes, they even had me sitting on the bench for a long while.

You see, it's easy to just throw your hands in the air and feel all is lost when things don't go as planned for you!  Trust me, I've been there.  Remember my long story.....I lived that life for a long time.

Here's what I've learned:
Curve balls will keep coming!
Life never goes just as we plan.
And honestly, I'm glad it doesn't!

I would have never, NEVER, asked for some of the curve balls I've had in the past.
However, they have made me such a stronger person.
They have shaped me into who I am today.

So while I don't know all that lies ahead for my family, 
I do know that I'm prepared for this peanut of a curve ball.
And I don't plan to let it take me out of the ball game.
I don't plan to let it put me on the bench.

That is precisely the reason I'm continuing on with my race this Saturday.
No, I don't expect to set a PR in the race.
I don't even expect to run the whole thing.
I expect to try. 
I hope to finish!

You see, there are many times in life that we could just throw in the towel.
We could say, 'whatever, the plans I had don't matter anymore.'
But the plans do matter. 
Even if they aren't working out as you thought they would.
It is important to dust yourself off and adjust anytime a curve ball is thrown!

So that is what I continue to do.
Dust myself off, and continue on.

Wish me luck on Saturday!
(I'll need it based on my runs of late...)

Monday, January 14, 2013


First off, huge thanks to all the wonderful texts/emails/comments about our big announcement!  It warmed my heart!  I have gotten behind on my emails, but I plan to respond to each of your dear messages...

So I took a little blogging break.  I needed it.

I needed to clear my head.  But mostly, I needed sleep.  And lots of it!

I'm in stress mode.

This week I start back at school.  My LAST SEMESTER of nursing school.

Cue stress.  Cue worry.  Cue no life!

This semester would be hard enough on its own, now throw in a little extra and I've been freaking out.  I can barely make it through the days now without crashing in bed at 7pm or without laying by the toilet in utter nausea.  How am I going to add in school again?

I had an emotional breakdown.  (Read:  I had 439847259382794 emotional breakdowns.)  I had to enter back into real life.  The life where my husband leaves for work Monday, and returns sometime later on in the week.  (It varies.)  I realized all the weight is back on my shoulders.  I realized my house was a disaster.

Seriously people, D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R.  My poor kids come into my room in the mornings to scrounge through the piles and piles of clean clothes on my floor.  You know, the piles that have been sitting there, waiting to be folded.  Oh.  You don't have those?

Let's just say, to make it through the next 3 1/2's going to take everything I've got!

So while this week is going to be full of stress, I've decided to face it head on.  Today, the laundry WILL get folded.  Today I WILL get out the door for a quick 3 mile run.  (Remember...I have a half marathon on Saturday...)  Today I WILL get out of bed.  Today I WILL get dressed.

As the week progresses (as the next few months progress) I have to break things down and take them a day at a time.  I can't let myself get worked up (hormones anyone?).  I'm worried about a lot of things...finances, school, this pregnancy, moving, finding a job while being huge and pregnant.  This list could go on and on and on.

But honestly, I feel I've rambled enough.  So for today, I'm going to focus on those 4 things...
*Get out of bed!
*Get dressed!
*Fold the laundry!
*Go for a run!

What do you plan on tackling today?  Let's make today a success and cross SOMETHING off our to-do list!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I feel I haven't been completely honest and open with you, my friends.

In fact, I feel like it's been hard to share what's REALLY going on around here.  

I feel like I've been keeping a massive secret.

Probably, because I have.

That's right folks, SURPRISE!  (I know we were!)  (Actually, shocked would be a better description!)  (And we still are.....)

I hadn't planned on "coming out" with my big secret quite yet.  But, it's hard to explain to you why I'm too tired to get in my training runs (or any exercise for that matter).  And let's be honest...this is our 4th rodeo, and the belly just doesn't hide the peanut like it did in previous pregnancies.  Plus, my poor Red Kitty came in last night and asked if I was dying because I had been in bed all day.  We figured it was time to share the news, and the kids couldn't be more excited!  

I am still trying to wrap my head around this!  This was not how I had planned my last semester of school, this was not how I planned 2013!  You see, I had a lot of plans for 2013.  (most of them completely selfish...)  Including:  reaching my goal weight, running a half marathon in January, running another half marathon in Hawaii, zip lining in Hawaii, graduating nursing school, taking a trip over to San Francisco to watch my Giants play, running a full marathon in October...and so the list could continue.

But plans change.

So while I won't be doing a half marathon in Hawaii any longer, and I surely won't be running a full marathon, and I probably won't make it over to San Fran, zip lining is definitely out, and I will no longer be able to focus on achieving goal weight status (until after August)... 

I WILL graduate nursing school.  
And I still plan on the trip to Hawaii to celebrate in May! 
(because my pregnancy will NOT have any complications because our tickets are already paid for....)

I plan to have a healthy pregnancy (something I've never had...)
(Because I've always started each pregnancy overweight or obese...but not this time!)  :)

I also still plan to run the half marathon here in St. George in a little over a week.  In fact, I just registered for it today!  

I honestly took a lot of time the last few weeks debating if I should run the half on January 19th.  You see, I would never want to do anything to harm the pregnancy.  I talked with my doctor about it, I talked with Jason about it.  Here's what I've decided:

I am going to race.  The course itself stays open for up to a 16 min/mile pace that day.  Shoot, I can walk faster than that if I need to!  Ultimately, I need to do this.....for me.  (and I'll share more about why in another post...)  No, I won't be pushing to finish as fast as I can like I had originally planned.  But I need to cross that finish line.  

Just because the plan changes in life doesn't mean you have to give up....

Monday, January 7, 2013

Constantly Amazed

Today I am at a loss for words.  The overwhelming amount of emails and support I've received in response to my last post was amazing.  Thank you.  Really, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!

Last week, I was contacted by one of our local news outlets.  They explained their desire to run a story on m.  Seriously?  Me?

I was honored.  And surprised.  And excited.  And touched.

And today, I logged on and saw it in print.  There, in black and white.  The beautifully written article about me, about my story.  (Thank you Alexa Morgan!)

I cried.

I never expected this.  I never could have imagined the support and love.  I never could have expected the interest into what I share.  I truly feel so blessed.

Each time I log into my email today, I have new messages of love from readers.  You have no idea how much that means to me!  Thank you for sharing your stories with me.  Thank you for caring about mine.

My hope for this blog is still the same as it was the day I started it.  My hope is to help others (maybe YOU) realize the full potential they have!  My hope is that you will realize that change starts small, but can turn into amazing things.  I didn't get my health back overnight.  I didn't find happiness again overnight.  It took me many, many years.

But it happened!

And it can happen for you too!  I know it can!  So where ever you are at today, find something you can do that will take you in the direction of the person you want to be.  Just one simple thing.  Then repeat that simple thing tomorrow, and we can build from there! 

Friday, January 4, 2013


I read a beautiful blog post late last night by one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Kelle Hampton.  If you haven't read Kelle's story, it's one that is emotional and raw.  Her story has always hit close to home for me in a lot of different ways.  But that is for a different post...

Over the last week, I've struggled a bit.  To be completely honest, I've wondered if I did the right thing in sharing my story.  You see, I shared one of the most vulnerable parts of myself with you.  (And a bunch of other strangers.)  And up until this point, it hadn't been a huge deal.  In fact, up until this point I know I only had a few dozen people coming here regularly.

Now, that's changed.  A lot.

Kelle was speaking directly to me when she said:

If you share, if you publish, if you write, if you speak, if you are brave and decide to put yourself out there, I promise you, someone won't like it.  Someone won't agree with you.  Someone will misinterpret.  Someone will think that you are silly, unqualified and that your work is crap.  That you are crap.  They might not just think it but they might tell you.  And that won't feel good, especially not the first time you hear it.

Over the past couple weeks, I've received some negative feedback about my story.  Some of it from strangers, some not.  Some of them were sent directly to me, some I stumbled upon myself, and some others told me about.  But in all cases, it hurt.

It made me question if I was brave enough to continue on.  It made me question if I was doing the right thing in sharing such a personal, still heart-wrenching-to-me story.

I had been thinking long and hard about it.  Last night, after reading her post, I realized I already knew the answer.

Yes.  I have done the right thing in sharing.  It isn't easy to get negative feedback.  And hopefully my skin will get thicker.  I do value all opinions, and welcome them.  I only ask that you use tact and grace when vocalizing them.

I could have taken the easy way out.  I could have decided to let these several instances affect me.  I could have opted to stop opening myself up, I could opt to stop letting myself be vulnerable by choosing not to share my story and my words.  I could.

But it's moments like yesterday, when I open my email and am moved to tears because of the multiple beautiful emails I receive telling me how much I have touched them and changed their lives.  It's moments when I log on and read the comments left for me that give me chills, thinking of how many others might still need to find hope again.

That is what this blog is about.  Sure, the premise is a weight loss blog.  But it's about so much more!  It's about finding hope again.  It's about finding strength when you feel it is gone.  It's about learning to love yourself, especially when you feel most unlovable.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Big congratulations to the winner of our contest!!! helped us decide....

And #42 was Carrie!
You are SO amazing! I am so glad Shorty married Bam so I could know you! In 2013 I will tackle my weight issues. I will spend more time with my littles.

Please send me an email at with your address and I'll get your new running belt in the mail!

I thought today it would be fun for you to hear and see the "real" me.  

Don't forget, you can still vote for me over at!

best health blogs 2012

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year

As the New Year begins, I hope you all will stop to ponder on how powerful you really are! No matter where you are at in life, no matter what challenges lie ahead for you. Please never give up. I gave up on myself once (for a very long time) and my hope is that you, YES YOU!, realize your worth. And that you never give up! I want you to know you CAN do hard things. Make 2013 your year!

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