Family Weekend

We had a blast this weekend and I was so sad for it to be over! On top of gorgeous weather, my parents came up for a visit on Thursday morning and stayed until Saturday.

They met us up at the shop and we went out to lunch (Emma Kate was at daycare). Then My mom, dad and I went back to the house and sat on our screened porch and chatted, which was so nice. Not having to chase around a little person was relaxing and we got to catch up and give each other our full attention, which rarely happens when my hyper little bug is around. We picked her up from school and Bobby came home to BBQ.

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Again, the weather was perfect and we even ate outside.

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Emma Kate was hilarious, she saw us dipping our chips in the guacamole and wanted to do it, too.

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We watched the movie Courageous after EK went to bed, and on Friday morning, my dad and I went to Lowe’s while Bobby went to work and my mom watched little bit. We got some new flowers for my pots out front, and then all five of us went out to get Mexican for lunch.

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Bobby had to work Friday afternoon and evening, so the rest of us hung out at home. Saturday morning Bobby wet to go run a 5k with some friends, while I stayed back with the family and got to go run three miles of my own while grammy and grandpa watched Emma Kate.

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Bobby came home from his race, I went out and grabbed some groceries, and then sadly my parents had to go home.

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We had a really great visit, and I’m glad they came up to see us (it was nice not having to make the drive to go see them!)

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The rest of Saturday we hung out at home and I got a little work done yesterday afternoon out on the screened porch, because…again with the beautiful weather.

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Sunday morning we went to church, and Sunday afternoon we spent some time outside with Emma Kate and got ready for the week ahead.

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I have been working on some ways to better organize the house and my time, and I can’t wait to share some of my ideas with you later!

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I hope you all had an amazing weekend, and have a great Monday. You can handle whatever is thrown at you, one step at a time.

My Spring Workouts

As the weather changes, I feel like my workouts change as well. Not only that, but honestly, I get bored really easily. While I have continuously professed my love for boot camp as of late, I know I need to mix it up as well, so I wanted to share with you all what I plan to (loosely) be doing this spring as far as workouts go.

1.) Boot camp 3-4 x’s a week: Boot camp is held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I always plan to go Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and try to make it Thursday every other week. This ill give me the opportunity to get an extra run in every other week, or a second rest day if I feel like I need it.

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2.) Run 2-3 times a week: After a near PR at Rock ‘N’ Roll NOLA after only running once, occasionally twice a week, I decided I want to ramp up my running to 2-3 times a week, but since we are getting out of half marathon season, they will be shorter runs (but I would like to keep a 7 or so mile base through the summer). So I will run on Wednesday and Saturday, occasionally throwing in Thursday as well.

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3.) Rest 1-2 times a week: I always take one weekend day off to rest (preferably Sunday), and on weeks I run twice instead of three times, I will use that second day as a rest day. I just think every other week my body responds best to two days off. Let’s face it, life happens, and sometimes we have doctor’s appointments, extra work, or are out of town. I don’t want to get so strict that I am beating myself up over a missed workout.

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Now that the weather is nicer, I plan to be outside a lot with the family, too. We love going on walks, and Emma Kate is now old enough to go to the playground, so I will do some “active rest” as well. I mean, let’s face it….with a toddler do you ever REALLY get a full rest day?

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QOTD: What will your spring workouts look like?

Things You May Have Missed

Happy Monday guys! I hope everyone had a great weekend. It wasn’t as warm and beautiful outside as it was last weekend, but everything is turning green and the pollen is out! Our whole family has been suffering from seasonal allergies, so that’s when I know it’s officially spring. Today I just wanted to chat about a few things that don’t really warrant a whole blog post, but were worth mentioning, and have nothing to do with “stuff”/items. Here we go!

1.) Rock ‘N’ Blogger: I was asked to be on the Rock ‘N’ Roll blogger team again this year, which I love! So far I have run RnR New Orleans, and would love to make it to Nashville next month. Just trying to find a place to stay, anyone up for a road trip?!?

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2.) I heart boot camp…but time for a break: The way my gym does their boot camp classes are in 2-3 month cycles. This one started in January and it ends this week. We will take a two week break and then get going again. I think it’s good to take these short breaks so I don’t get tired of it, but now I need to figure out what to do besides run for the next two weeks!

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3.) Busy froyo season: Spring and Summer are obviously the busiest times of year at the frozen yogurt shop Bobby and I own. We are so thankful for the warm weather, because winter is tough in the frozen treats business! This means working more shifts and helping out more, but I don’t mind. This also means my blogging may get a little inconsistent depending on hours at work, so hang in there with me!

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4.) It’s Getting’ Hot in Here: As I mentioned above, spring has definitely sprung in central Mississippi. We had an 87 degree day last week! This means the wind-down of half marathon season and into 10k/5k season. I am running a 10k next weekend and hope to run at least two 5k’s before it gets TOO hot outside.

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5.) Half birthday: Emma Kate will me ONE AND A HALF on the 24th. How crazy is that? It seems like we just had her first birthday party. We go for her checkout Wednesday, so be looking for her 18 month recap on the blog later this week. I haven’t done a recap since 15 months so there is a lot to say!

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March 2016 Goals

Why hello March, when did you sneak over here? Even with an extra day in February, it feels like February flew by. Most likely because I was out of town for some of it, but still. Anyway, let’s take a look at my February goals and see how I did.

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1.) Foam roll after long runs: B. I foam rolled after half of my long runs, out of necessity. I hurt my hip pretty badly during the Princess half, and so I foam rolled after like it was my job. I am going to start doing my PT exercises again and hopefully that helps, too.

2.) Daily devotions: C. There is no excuse. I have to do better.

3.) Walk the dog more: A We have had some cold weather, but we have also lucked up with some warm days sprinkled in so we have gone on quite a few walks. Bella really needs it because she is eating way more now that Emma Kate insists on “sharing” all her food with her.

4.) Limit night time snacking: C. Eh. It depends on the night. I have gotten better, but there is still room for improvement. Easter candy is not helping this.

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Now for my March goals. Time to get crackin’!

1.) PT exercises ever night: Now that my hip is officially not doing great, I am going back to my PT exercises and stretches I did last year hoping they will help me. I was so close to my PR and know I would have gotten a new one last weekend if I was healthy.

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2.) PR at the Crescent City Classic: Another motivator for getting my hip healthy is the Crescent City Classic 10k that I run every year. When I ran the half last weekend, my 10k split was ALMOST a PR, so I am gunning for one that weekend! It would lessen the blow of not getting a half PR for sure.

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3.) Daily devotions: I am moving my Bible from the living room to my nightstand so when I get in bed to watch TV I will see it. No excuses.

4.) Finish boot camp strong: This session of boot camp ends on March 25th, so I have three weeks left and I want to finish strong and gain more muscle mass than I started with. I missed over a week of it when I was traveling, so Tuesday was a hard first day back to reality.

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QOTD: Do you have a goal for March?

January 2016 Goals

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Is it just me or is it hard to tell what day it is in the week between Christmas and New Years? The only reason I was forced to remember days was because Emma Kate has her 15 month check up and I knew I couldn’t miss it. Anyway, I’m really glad I decided to bring back my monthly mini goals. It helps keep me on track during the year and reminds me to accomplish smaller tasks each month. So, here we go!

1.) Read a book: I LOVE to read, but I have a really hard time relaxing without feeling guilty. If I am at my house, I am constantly looking around seeing things that need to be done, and just can’t settle in to really get into a book. Since I will be out of town for a few days I am hoping that it makes this task a little easier!

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Relaxing? What’s that?

2.) List baby items for sale: Right now, half of our garage is full of random baby items that Emma Kate no longer uses as well as some of my clothes, and I need to list them on our local garage sale Facebook page, but I just haven’t gotten around to taking photos and getting them listed with the madness that is the time frame between Thanksgiving and New Years. The clutter is making me batty, they have to go. I know I probably won’t SELL them all by the end of the month, but I at least want them listed.

3.) Go to boot camp 3-4 x’s a week: Boot camp starts back up TODAY! I am so excited. We have been on a two week break, an dI can’t believe I am saying this, but I totally miss it! The last one was only a 6 week session but this one goes until the last week of March. I can’t wait to make some more gains in my strength and speed! Boot camp is offered 5 times a week, but since I also want to run (see #4 below) it’s more feasible for me to go 3-4 times a week. I’m aiming for four but won’t be mad if some weeks I only make it three.

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4.) Run twice a week: We do plenty of cardio at boot camp, but I still would like to get in one longish run a week as well as a short distance faster run. January and February are chilly and I’m a huge wimp in the cold, so this will be a feat for me!

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5.) foam roll after long runs: We do a really good job of stretching and foam rolling after boot camp, but I have been slacking on doing it after my long runs and I can tell a difference. I ran 6.2 on Saturday and my right hip started to ache a good bit the last mile. Fingers crossed it behaves during the half next weekend!

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Well friends there you have it. Hopefully I will be able to stick with these for January and set the tone for the rest of the year. Have a great day everyone!

PS- I am looking for 3-4 guest posters for next week. If you are interested, please email [email protected]. Thanks!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for the month of January?

Jingle Bell Jog 5k 2015

I ran my first race since the spring on Saturday, and it felt good to be back! Local races and very few and far between way down here in the summer, and early fall brought lots of changes and extra work so I have not been running as much. Actually, in November I am pretty sure I ran a total of 11 miles, so I was a bit nervous about the race. On the other hand, I have been going to boot camp, so I was excited to see if it was paying off.

Of course the one race I sign up for happens to be when it’s 32 degrees outside at the start! We bundled up and headed out to the local high school. This race had a 5k, 10k, and half marathon.

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I was very thankful I had only signed up for the 5k when I realized how cold it was! At the last minute however, I decided to shed my top jacket, and I am SO glad I did. I get warm very quickly when I run, and I would have been dying in that extra jacket/third layer.

The start of this race was very…interesting. They had the half marathoners start up the hill first, then had us back behind them about 35 yards, then had the 10k runners behind us about 100 yard, but we were told we would all be starting at the same time…ok?

No one was told “if you are walking start to the back” or anything like that. I got fairly close to the front when I realized there was no starting mat, only a finishers mat, so our timer would be started on the gun even if we didn’t cross the start when the gun went off. Well, the gun went off rather abruptly, and a bunch of people just casually started walking or slow jogging. You can see in the picture below, it was like “oh, let’s go for a stroll! As we stand at the FRONT of the 5k RACE!” I can’t blame the participants though, because they didn’t tell everyone where to line up.

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Anyway, I luckily didn’t have to do much weaving because we immediately were out onto a divided highway and we had both lanes to spread out in. I hugged the median because I didn’t want to run any extra distance (insert ominous music here). I warmed up fast, and actually felt really good. Then I realized why I felt really good, we were practically going straight downhill! This of course made me feel amazing, until I remembered we would have to go back UP the hill coming back to the finish! I really wanted to just let myself fly down the hill, but I reigned it in and saved some energy for the last half. Even so, I was having a good time and felt really strong. THANK YOU BOOTCAMP! I was so happy that it was working. I ran mile one in just over 9:00, and was happy with that, considering I was holding back a little. I came to a flat part where the turn around was to the other side of the highway, and tried to speed up a little bit before having to go back uphill. I also snapped a photo of the people in front of me on my side after the turn and the people still coming. There were 1000 people in all signed up between the three races.

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Apparently, while I was running, so was Emma Kate.

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I took this next one after the race but thought it might break up some of the text to insert here. Smile

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I made it to mile two in 8:59, and couldn’t believe it. I was going UPHILL and running a sub nine after running 11 miles over the last month? Yes please! I made it to 2.5, and still had not stopped to walk once and just kept pushing up the hill, but not TOO hard because I didn’t want to burn it out before I got too close to the end. When I got to 2.75, I started to get a little concerned. I know this road very well because I drive on it every week, and knew that we were way farther away than a quarter mile. Uh oh. I kept looking at my watch as it crept closer and closer to 3.1 miles, and the school still was not in sight! When I hit 3.13 I paused my garmin because I knew the course was long and wanted my true 5k distance time. I kept running, and will admit I did slow down because by then I was frustrated that I wasn’t going to get a “true” finish time.

I made the turn into the school, down the hill, and towards the finish and there was Bobby and Emma Kate cheering me on!

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My sad attempt at waving as I went by.

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I was happy that I felt so good and so strong but bummed about the length. I finished and told Bobby the course was long, that it measured 3.45 miles!

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My finish time for the 3.45 was 31:20, but my time for 3.13 was 28:30, which I am happy with! (I ended up with 6th place in the 30-39 age group out of 56 women in that age range).

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I got my medal and some water, found Bobby, and caught my breathe. I went over to the guy with the bullhorn who had been giving instructions at the start and asked if the 5k course was long. His answer was “I hope not.” Oh. good….. I asked if it was certified and he said no…then I asked if anyone else had said anything about the course being long and he said “well…it might be a little long””. Alrighty then.

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We were freezing so we decided to head on home pretty quickly. Oh, I forgot to mention, this race was to raise money for the children’s cancer hospital in Mississippi, a very worthy cause!

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Later that night I went to check the results and came across the race’s Facebook page. A lot of people (who ran all the different distances) were complaining about the race being long. Then someone pointed out that in VERY small numbers, the organizers had put the true distances in the results. Look closely next to the work “5K” and you will see it says (3.45). Ha! I was right!

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Aside from the course being long, I really did enjoy this race, and it was just what I needed to boost my running confidence. If I can run a 28:30 with no miles hardly, then I know I can do well combining the boot camp with my running if I can get on a good schedule after Christmas. I’m excited!

QOTD: Have you ever run a long or short course?

Christmas Gift Guide for the Fitness Lover

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! I am trying to be ahead of the game with my shopping this year, so thought I would go ahead and get my gift guide up to nudge you along as well. Enjoy and happy shopping!

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1.) ASICS Gel Quantum 360 running shoe: This show came out this past summer, and it rocks! I wasn’t sure what all the hype was about until I tried it for myself, and it’s like running on a cloud! If you love a comfy shoe, give this one a try. It comes in really awesome colors, too. (Ocean not included Smile)

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2.) RunnerBox: Runnerbox is a subscription service that sends you bi-monthly boxes of goodies used by runners (and discounts, too!) and they also have a tri box and cycle box. Running stuff can get expensive, so having sample sizes to try out to see if you like are a great idea! I have gotten two boxes and liked both of them a lot, and amazed at how many products they can fit into such a tiny box. I loved the shampoo/conditioner and protein powder in this box. Good stuff!

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3.) Foam roller: Anyone into fitness gets sore muscles, and can benefit from this bad boy! A lot of people swear by their expensive ones, but I have a cheap one form Wal-Mart and it works fine for me. Just make sure you wrap it up in a box as to not give away the gift. Smile

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4.) EOS lip balm: In the winter when I run outside my lips get super chapped, and I am constantly using this stuff, and it stays on for a long time and is easy to carry around. I keep one in my purse, car, and gym bag. So many great flavors, too. Grab some to stick in your loved ones stockings.

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5.) Fitbit or other fitness tracker: These babies are all the rage lately, and now there are so many different brands to choose from. I personally have a Fitbit, but have heard great things about other brands as well. It is a great motivator on days when I am at my desk for a long time. It just helps me to be more aware of how much I am moving (or NOT moving!) throughout the day. I like mine well enough but think I would rather one that you wear on your arm. I have lost one because it popped off my pants before.

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6.) Running Skirts.com skirt: I have loved this brand for years, and they just keep coming out with the cutest patterns (check out the Kona print!) These skirts are comfy, have pockets, and you can get them with briefs underneath or shorts underneath. Lots to choose from!

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7.) Hidrate spark water bottle: I learned about this bottle via a press release a few months ago and forgot about it, then heard about it again recently on the radio while it was still in the Kickstarter phase. This bottle lights up when it’s time to drink, and connects to your phone so you know exactly how much water you have consumed through the day. So cool, and comes in cute colors. I don’t have one of these yet so I can’t say for certain I love it seems so, so cool.

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8.) Yurbuds: I have been a Yurbuds lover for many years after buying my first pair at a race expo some time ago. They are one of the only brands I have found that actually stay in my ear, and hold up to daily wear and tear. They have several different models ranging in price, but I have always gotten the cheaper pair and they hold up just fine! I am only on my second pair in five years! (and I use them a lot).

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9.) Love Grown Foods: Love Grown was one of the sponsors of the Refresh Summit, and I really enjoyed their hot oats for breakfast. If you like to give food as a gift, this is a great one!

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10.) Fabletics Salar Capris: These are my FAVORITE tights from Fabletics. They are stretchy and fit great, and they come in adorable patterns, with new ones online every month. So far my favorites are these northern lights ones.

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However, you can get a whole outfit for $25 if you become a VIP member (feel free to email me for more info on this, or click the photo below {affiliate link}).
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QOTD: What is on your Christmas wish list?

Full Body 20 Workout

Happy Wednesday friends! We have made it to the middle of the week, it’s all downhill from here, right? In the past 2.5 weeks I have been doing a lot less running and a lot more full body work, and I feel GREAT. Do I plan to keep running? Absolutely, but I just needed to change things up a big and wanted to get stronger more than I wanted to get faster…plus I knew getting stronger would help me get faster anyway, so it seemed like a win-win.

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I have been going to boot camp at my gym, but the time I go is not offered on Fridays and I don’t go on the weekend, so I have been coming up with things I can do at home instead and wanted to share one of them with you today. All of the below workouts can be done with just your own body weight so NO EQUIPMENT IS REQUIRED. If you aren’t sure on a move, be sure to Google it so that you are using proper form. I hope you work up a good sweat like I did!

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Also, thank you for all the congrats on six years of blogging yesterday in the comments and on social media. I appreciate you all so much. I know blogging can have ebbs and flows so I am thankful that I have such awesome readers that stick around. Stay tuned for things coming up in the next couple of weeks like a Christmas gift guide for fitness lovers, a giveaway, and more. Have a great day everyone!

QOTD: Which of these exercises is the most difficult for you? For me, it’s burpees!

6 Year Blogiversary

Oh friends. I did it again. Every year it seems that this sneaks up on me. As of Sunday, I have been blogging for SIX year! Every year I go back and read that first post. I want to edit it SO badly but I leave it alone on purpose just to show how far I have come.

If you have been reading for awhile, you know that originally this blog started as an accountability journal as I prepared for my very first half marathon. Back then I knew nothing about the blogging world, particularly because there just weren’t that many health and fitness blogs back then to go off of. Things have changed a lot in that department for sure!

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As I think back on my blogging journey, I am reminded of all the wonderful opportunities I have had, the amazing people I have met, and friends I have made. (Yes I say that every year I think, but it’s so true!) Blogging has had a lot to do with how I have been shaped as a person over the past few years. I have learned about about the world, about myself, and about being true to myself.

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I have changed names, changed headers, changed focus. There have been ebbs and flows, highs and lows, and lessons learned. Putting yourself out there on a daily basis can be tough at times, but it has also been very rewarding. Other than sharing my heart with whoever is willing to listen, my other goal has always been to encourage and inspire others. I hope over the years I have encouraged you all in one way or another, because that is truly what makes me happy. There are SO many more things that I want to do and accomplish, and I am sure my blog will continue to evolve and change as I do the same. It’s a scary but exciting prospect, and I hope you will stick with me and follow along!

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As always, a huge thanks to my wonderful readers. You guys make it all worth it! You emails, comments, shares, questions, advice, and inspiration keep me going. I love the conversations we have had, and laughs we have shared (mostly at my expense!) Thank you for giving me grace, and remembering that I make mistakes and am always learning, too. God has blessed me with some amazing encouraging folks through this blog, and I am so grateful.

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I hope to have the opportunity to meet more of you this year, laugh with you, learn with you, and grow with you. THANK YOU for making THLG a great place, and for hanging out with me over the years, you rock. Let’s keep going, I have so much left I want to do!

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<3 Heather

You ARE Enough

I first met Tasha when I visited Under Armour headquarters a couple of years ago, and we were ambassadors together and roommates. She has become a wonderful and inspirational friend who is very dear to me, and I am honored to have her guest post today. She has an amazing story of overcoming shame, guilt, and anorexia that she is sharing here today. I hope you will read it, it’s worth it!

Shame, as defined by vocabulary.com, is “a painful emotion resulting from an awareness of inadequacy or guilt.” In my life, it defined an entire period of my life, a darkness, a private hell that I lived in and out of for far too long. With my daughter just turning twelve last week, memories of how my life came crashing idem, all over my weight, shortly after her birth came flooding back. I decided, now, more than ever as she enters a very delicate period in her own development, to really acknowledge how I got there, how I can deal with any remnants of what was and make to decision about walking in freedom about my body and my weight and being a worthy example for her to follow.

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Six months before I became pregnant with my daughter, I had just successfully lost a little over forty pounds. I had been dating a man for a little over a year and had gotten “comfortable” and had ended up getting very close to two hundred pounds again, something I promised myself I would not do. I had gotten a membership at the local YMCA, cleaned up my diet and was really really proud about being under 160 pounds, a weight I had not seen since my first year of college. Within a month of reaching a healthy weight, my boyfriend proposed and we were married three months later. I became pregnant three months after that. All of the quick changes (not just getting married but losing my job, going through a custody battle over my oldest child and moving to a different city) made gaining fifteen pounds SUPER easy. I felt “happy” but out of control. So many people were inspired by the changes I had made and I was now feeling as if I was letting them down. That guilt on top of the guilt of being put on a diet by my doctor for gaining too much weight (as a pregnant woman) on top of no longer having a job on top of feeling bad for being “vain” about my body when I was supposed to be taking care of myself to bring another life into the world. The weight of it all was super heavy on my shoulders.

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When I gave birth, I became obsessed with losing the weight. I wouldn’t go visit family and friends because I was ashamed of what I had become, or in my mind, become “again.” On top of severe post partum depression (which I’m sure was affected by the way I felt about myself), I exercised excessively. I battled my second round of anorexia. I rarely slept. I almost killed myself. I felt trapped, again, all because of a number on a scale. It’s amazing how trying to be what we think is acceptable to others will destroy us.

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I have battled the same thing since entering the fitness profession some eleven years ago. Shame is what led me to a binge eating disorder. I was a yoga teacher. How does a yoga teacher explain to her students that her emotions are our of control and she is ashamed of her body when she is telling them to breathe and love themselves? I shoved brownies down my throat before class in the corner of the parking lot where no one could see, cried for ten minutes and then went to play the role. That’s what shame does to us. We play roles to feel “accepted” and hide from who we really are. When I came to terms with who I really was and that it was o.k. that I was super small or that I didn’t dress a certain way or that I wasn’t a runner and that who I was indeed was ENOUGH, my battle with shame became less and less and less and while I still struggled (honestly, struggle) with body image from time to time, I no longer hide from people or the issue. When I feel that way, I get to the root of the issue and not just accept it as before. I have not only had to change my thinking but there are times I had to change environments, friends, who I was following on social media, where I was shopping and what I watching on television. If it made me second guess myself, it had to go.

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Shame is hard. Suffering is hard. Silence is hard. It secretly kills. If you are in a shame cycle,may I encourage you with these words: you ARE enough. Shame attacks us when we feel inadequate. You are more than capable and more than worthy. When we believe in our own worth and power, shame dissolves. When shame dissolves, we can see who we really are and go from there. There is nothing wrong with self improvement. We just can’t become undone trying to undo who we truly are. Be encouraged. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you Tasha for sharing such a personal story! If you are not already, please be sure to follow this amazing lady on her social channels, here are a few: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

QOTD: Can you relate to Tasha at a time in your life? How did you overcome these feelings?