Let’s Hash This Out…

So, I had a lovely and beautiful friend bring up one of those “myth of the meme” quotes yesterday and likened it to my journey, with the explanation to another person that this was how I’ve achieved my weight loss thus far.  The quote…

You can’t outrun a bad diet.

My friend (whom I love), tried to use me as the converse example of this quote, in that my habits show you can outrun your fork.

Nope.  Let’s break this down.

  1. Food: I don’t diet.  I don’t restrict foods (restriction leads to a pendulum swing of binge and overeating behaviors, negating the original intent in the first place).  Everything under the sun is fair game.  The only thing that limits me is taste buds because I can be a picky eater in some instances with particular foods I simply don’t like or enjoy, and food allergies (I am allergic to tomatoes).  There exists a full permission to eat anything and everything under the sun.  Do I then eat anything and everything under the sun? No.  I use things like hunger cues, satiety, fullness to help guide me.  Am I perfect in this? Heck no.  Intuitive eating is an evolving practice, especially for someone like myself who has struggled with a disordered perspective on eating for a very, very long time.  It takes practice, introspection, accountability in the process, and a lot of trying and failing.  Labeling foods as good, bad, healthy, junk, etc is something that I have worked hard to eliminate from my vocabulary.  Food is not “good,” it’s not a reward, neither is it “bad,” or something to punish ourselves with.  Food is an inanimate object–why do we assign it that kind of power?  Part (yes, ONE of TEN principles) of Intuitive Eating is gentle nutrition.  This is not vigilant calorie counting, weighing and measuring every bite, and being a food consumption nazi–it’s an awareness of what you’re putting in your body and how it makes your body feel.  Do I feel better when I eat a variety of foods rather than just the same one or two things over and over? Yes.  Am I more comfortable when I eat a portion of something and stop when I’m satisfied as opposed to eating the entire bucket of something just because I plausibly could? Yes.  This also doesn’t cut out of the realm of possibility that some days I’m going to come home and grab a box of Cheez-Its (which I’m not a fan of usually, but they happen to be there because I don’t live in a vacuum) because they’re sitting there and they look really good, sit on the couch with the box, and eat the quantity I please regardless of the serving size of the side of the container says.  And it’s completely okay.  The world doesn’t end.  And I do it without guilt, shame, or remorse.  And that day, they happen to taste really good to me.
  2. Exercise: Another principle of Intuitive Eating is exercise, often referred to as joyful movement.  I don’t run because I HAVE to, I run because I get to–there’s a difference.  I can’t put into sufficient words the immense joy it brings to me to run (and bike, and swim).  Racing? Holy monkeys, that’s never something I’ve ever dreamed for myself–that’s like the next level beyond that immense joy that endurance sports brings to my life.  If and/or when there comes a point when it doesn’t bring me joy or I’m not able to physically complete these tasks without injury or harming myself, then it’s probably time to look at another form of movement that would bring me the same joy, but for now, this is where I’m at.  That said, there are some aspects of training that are less savory than others, but they are a means to an end–to become a stronger swimmer, cyclist, and runner and avoid injury, some level of strength training is necessary.  I’m not a super huge fan of the gym. But, there are also creative ways to make it more enjoyable–as I get stronger, I am able to move away from assisted machines to more free weight apparatus for lifting weights that I like better.  I can incorporate body weight resistance and yoga workouts into my training to supplement lifting too to get similar effects that are pleasant, but I don’t exercise out of a sheer means to simply lose weight.  My training is out of my found love for endurance sports.
  3. Marrying Food and Exercise: this is where this whole bit can come off the rails.  When you are stuck at viewing things from a diet culture or weight loss perspective, so much of things are viewed in a very black and white calories in/calories out viewpoint–that you have to burn more calories than you eat in order to lose weight.  That only works on paper with a mathematical equation…and that’s it.  Once you add in an actual person, varying foods, metabolism, age, gender, size, activity, health history, the day of the week, the tide, is it a full moon, whether or not one eye is blue and the other green, and if their third cousin twice removed on their brother’s uncle’s mother’s side was kosher (you get my drift…), you end up with WILDLY different results.  I’m not going to elaborate on some of the reasons I log foods here, and honestly, calories aren’t my concern (because they lie), but here’s an example on why this whole calories in/calories out thing just doesn’t work:  On an average 10 mile run at my current weight, I burn about 1760 calories.  On that same average day, I consume 1500 calories.  Would it not reason to argue that the scale would stay the same?  Wrong.  I actually will gain about 2 pounds the following day from that run (And no, I’m not explaining the reason why the scale goes up and what happens on day three–that’s a wholllleeeee other science lesson!).  Take a different workout: I complete an hour swim session and burn 500ish calories.  Swimming makes me ravenously hungry.  I eat 2200 calories that day.  The next day, I’m down three pounds.  The math doesn’t work.  But, I also don’t eat or workout as a slave to the scale either.  The scale is a measuring stick in a few different ways, one of the biggest when you know how to use it properly in looking at things like sufficient hydration/levels of dehydration post-run, etc (but you have to learn how to do that and use that tool properly!).  Those numbers go up and down daily–my head would explode if I were to allow it much worth in my life.  When it comes to food and exercise, the principles still apply–you eat when you’re hungry, you stop when you’re satisfied.  There’s some finessing in there when we get to endurance fueling in that you actually need to have a consistent stream of calories over time, etc to endure the situation–but for the average everyday person, that’s generally not a concern.  You’re not fueling a 30-45 minute workout or a stroll around the park.

I’d be remiss in not saying that please remember, these are my experiences, I am not a professional and do not constitute my opinion for medical advice.  You have to remember, I didn’t come to all this fount of knowledge on my own grey matter alone–I’ve taken classes, done homework, I have a triathlon coach, I utilize a registered sports dietitian, I consult my physician, and I have lots, and lots of others that I engage in conversation and work this stuff out with.  I’m not smart enough on my own to come up with this stuff, and I try and fail–a lot!

At the end of the day, can I explain in a quippy meme how I’ve lost weight? Absolutely not.  It comes right back around to the holistic journey.  It’s the shoring up all areas of my spiritual, mental/emotional, and physical health for the glory of God’s creation….well, actually, maybe I can sum it up in a quote, this one comes from Lysa TerKeurst, “So, I’m not on a diet.  I’m on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness.”  Food and exercise only fall into that one leg of physical holistic wellness…there’s still a larger portion of the rest of me to keep in check too than just those two tiny components!

As I mentioned before in my previous post on intuitive eating, check out the book, Intuitive Eating (Tribole & Resch).  There’s also some other great resources out there too:

Body Kindness (Book and Podcast by Rebecca Scritchfield)

*Nutrition Matters (Podcast by Paige Smathers)

Food Psych (Podcast by Christy Harrison)

*Love, Food (Podcast by Julie Duffy Dillon)

*=my faves!

Hope that clears a few things up!



There Once Was An Internet Bully…

….and hundreds came back with their stories of positivity and encouragement to build up the victim of the abuse. This was my #forChris story that I posted in a closed group, but the message is bigger than that, and the need to build each other up and not tear each other down is always relevant, always important, and always needs to be shared.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are less than the amazing and beautiful person that God uniquely created you–yes, you–to be.

Provision and Perspective

A few minutes ago, I just finished sharing with an accountability friend our daily gratitude, and today’s topic was the provision that we are most grateful for…I’ve shared this before on this platform, but it’s absolutely the ability that we have to (mostly) work out our own schedules.  It is an interesting dynamic with the 24/7 nature of ministry and the fine balance of time with God, work, family, personal time, balancing the expectation’s of others (this is an unfortunate reality when you deal with people as a leader that I’m not expounding on here), and the routines that come along with having multiple staffs in multiple cities that do punch clocks and having to be present for them physically or virtually at varying levels.

Since weekends don’t really exist on our world other than usually just a Saturday filled with the to-do’s, I have promised my husband for years that I would start to take a weekday off. 2018 is going to be that year, and Mondays are going to be my day for consistency sake.  And I already can’t fulfill that promise yet, at least for this week.  I can’t control how life happens.  I won’t work all day, but there’s some meetings and items I have to attend to because of unexpected that cannot be pushed to the next day.  So, we adapt.  I came home a couple hours early yesterday and we had a long overdue date and saw a great movie and had a wonderful dinner together. (We just won’t mention the call that came in that time that necessitates me having to go into the office later this morning to take some action because it cannot wait until Monday…life happens, we roll…)

Regardless of how the chips fall in the hours and minutes of the day, I’m still grateful for that flexibility.  I have a lot of freedom in determining how and when things get done (within reason–there’s still deadlines, accountability, and responsibility), but I don’t have the rigidity of a 9-5 time clock.  I can interweave errands into my day.  I can take a break and go have coffee or lunch and visit with a church member, friend, community member, or someone that just wants to talk.  I can hop on my bike in my office and wreck my legs for a little while to get some frustration out (and now that all the doohickeys have arrived, I think actually properly set up the training sessions!).  I can come in later if I need to–or the crack of dawn.  I can leave early–or stay late into the evening.  It’s all in finding the balance.

We talked in our women’s ministries group this week about different ways of being a witness in our daily lives, and part of my presentation was showing the different ways of showing how to be a light on the internet.  It’s not about filling your Facebook feed with Jesus, Jesus, Jesus 24/7…but living a reflection of Christ.  Being available (and that doesn’t mean dropping everything and come running, always being at home/in your office/physically present every solitary second that someone operates on a whim–there’s a difference).  We spoke of and saw all the different avenues available in person, in print, on the phone, online, and social media to take part in being a witness, but spoke of the importance of what we are reflecting.  Being real and honest will attract far more to the image of God than a feed filled with “like and share if you love Jesus” memes.  And far more of our witness online is what happens beyond the public screen.

When we’re real and honest (no matter how ugly it looks some days), people take notice.  They want to know what is different and they want to know how they can get it in their own lives.  That’s when the door opens.  That’s where the conversations start.  And it’s not in the public comment box–it’s in private/direct messages or emails and then ultimately phone calls or direct meetings.  It’s building upon the seeds that we plant wherever we go.

Balance.  I spend a lot of time online simply because of our work–online databases for social services, reporting, financial programs, etc…it’s unavoidable.  So, the few minutes here and there to break it up is to take a scroll, to make a silly post, to post a picture, to comment…  To be real with what’s going on in my life because maybe it’s going to make a difference in someone else’s.

Do I live under the delusion that I’ve got it figured out, that I’m some kind of example? Pffft. NO! I’m an imperfect person saved by the grace of God.  I’ve got a lot to learn.  I make mistakes. Daily.  I own up to them.  I correct them.  I learn. I live. I love.  And I have fun while doing it.  I endeavor to better myself for the Glory of God in all that I do.  I strive to repair the damage I have done to my body that is not honoring to God’s creation, but only according to His will.

Now, if you’ll excuse me…I’m going to have my cup of coffee to lick my wounds for missing AM long run to go discipline…maybe if the weather, my sore throat, and the stars align later today, I’ll get to my priorities!


A New Day

And it so happens to be New Year’s Day.  It’s been a good day–slept in until 8:30am (I know, that’s like sleeping the day away for me since I get up at 4am!), went for a phenomenal short run where I smashed some PRs showing me that I do have the potential for improvement to reach some of my crazy goals for this year, went out for a quick meal with the hubby, and now I’m just catching up on laundry and getting ready for the week ahead.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve got a lot of goals that are always in play, so the need for resolutions is moot.  My physical goals are quite real–I’m just over sixty days away from my first full marathon.  I have five big races for 2018 (was six, but Ragnar is back on the bucket list, boo!  We didn’t fill our van from dropouts by the deadline, but I’m going to volunteer at Oceanside 70.3 instead that weekend.)…there may be one or two smaller ones in there.  We’ll see… I have other physical goals too from some of the studying that I’ve been doing in training, as well as several mental and spiritual goals too.  It’s going to be a big year.

It’s been a rough few weeks and there’s been so much doubt, discouragement, frustration, and ugly that I’m not going to elaborate on here that has been stacking on my shoulders.  It’s not really over, but it will get better, one way or another.  God’s got it handled.  Just keep moving forward.  Yesterday in church we spent some time in reflection–looking at the previous year, spending some time considering our intentions for the year ahead, and my husband preached a sermon that really hit me in the gut on finding peace in the midst of where God has us and pushing forward. Good stuff.

I may have my goals and intentions, but God’s in control.  It’s been a wild ride this last almost three years on this journey, I can’t wait to see what’s up next.  I would imagine this year also would include hitting 200lbs (maybe 250?) down, and some growth and development in other ways I can’t even possibly even imagine yet.   There will be more updates, more twists and turns….I’ve got ideas. Stay tuned, it should be interesting.


The D. Word

I don’t diet.  I’ve said it before, but what does that mean?  Well, it means a lot of things.  I means I don’t stress over new year’s resolutions, “starting on Monday,” “being good,” and worrying about the rules of a plan.  I eat food.  I don’t worry about weight loss.  I live my life according to my goals and the weight is figuring itself out.  Yes, it’s a foreign concept to me to wrap my mind around too—I’ve spent the last year studying it myself, not only on my own, but even in a class setting, and also had some coaching to work on coming into my own freedom with food.  Am I there? Eh.  I don’t think you ever “arrive” with food freedom, but my relationship with food improves every day and is at a much more balanced and less head-consuming place, so I’ll call it a win.  It’s not just a physical journey…the weight will continue to come off, but I can’t will it away.

One of the major concepts I’ve studied is the idea of intuitive eating.  This is not some new age-y concept or diet, but this is actually a mind-body approach to food developed by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, based on ten basic principles.  An explanation of the principles is found here: http://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/

I don’t 100% ascribe to all 10 principles, but to some degree I can get onboard with them.  I feel like if I had to put into words and try to explain my idea of “I don’t diet” in detail, my take on the ten principles of intuitive eating is it.  Just to be clear—the link above is Tribole and Resch’s definitions of the 10 principles of intuitive eating, below is my take on them.  I am NOT a medical professional, this is solely my thoughts and opinions, and should in no way be construed as medical advice. (just had to throw that in there, ya know…)

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality. I’m all over this! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, and continue to say it. I don’t diet.  I’ve been on more diets than I can count since I was FIVE years old.  I don’t fault the pediatrician or my parents, it was the 80’s, the peak of the Jane Fonda era, but diets have led me to lose and regain literally hundreds of pounds in my life.  They’re planned, calculated, structured, exhausting—and something you can quit.  I don’t diet.  Now, people often look at some of my food journaling habits, meal planning, being cognizant of what’s in my food and being conscious of choices as dieting. *insert buzzer* Nope.  That’s being mindful—not in a fluffy woo-woo way, but I do those things for two reasons 1) my health.  I journal my food not for quantity sake necessarily (though it plays into #2), but to look at trends.  It is helpful when sitting down with my doctor and other healthcare providers to set up care plans for managing things like my migraines—it provides insight into triggers and how to better approach care through my habits. 2) Diets control food intake.  Nowhere in my life–my doctors, my coaching/sports nutrition & dietitian folks—anyone, get to dictate a specific meal plan, amount, menu, quantity, etc.  Sure, these people see my journal entries and teach, help, guide, and suggest things to enhance my diet (not “diet” as in a “weight loss plan” but diet as simply the nutrition I take in to sustain life), but they don’t make the choices.  As someone with pretty lofty goals, varied training schedule, crazy life schedule, and a whole heap of other things, it’s very easy for me to overeat or undereat and allow my body to reach a point where it’s not performing at its peak.  The habits I keep are to keep me accountable to my greater goals, but they aren’t diet rules to be broken—there’s a difference.
  2. Honor Your Hunger…And here’s where I go off the rails a little bit with Intuitive Eating, and get a (little) honest. This is an area in myself that’s very much still a work in progress and most of the time can’t be trusted of its own volition.  I have a diagnosed eating disorder.  I’m not at a place YET where I can fully trust all hunger cues.  Some, I can.  Others, maybe.  A few, I won’t even go near.  (And for the record, this isn’t a new thing—this has been years. I have received the proper professional care with the appropriate clinicians and am quite fine and dandy in my recovery—God, time, and heap of work is what it takes.  And that’s about all the elaboration on this particular platform that I’m going to go into on the matter, as per usual, you want to talk, let’s talk).  So, no, I don’t fully honor my hunger at this point in my life because I’m not at a place where I feel safe to trust myself 100% of the time with it.
  3. Make Peace with Food. No argument here. When calling off the diet mentality, I declared nothing was off limits in my life anymore.  I can’t tell you the freedom that comes from no restrictions.  It’s all in the land of choice—and the choice is up to me.
  4. Challenge the Food Police. I think this was another easier one for me to give up over time—at least the food police that exists in my head. The external food police however, not so much. Because so much of the world is still stuck in diet culture, they look at weight loss, athleticism, and being mindful of yourself as a “diet” that I am constantly being bombarded with the “is that on your diet?” questions or “you’re being so good!” comments.  I feel like a broken record some days, and I know for so many people that it really doesn’t sink in, but I find it very important to be very clear on the points that I don’t diet and that eating isn’t a form of punishment or reward—being good or bad, it’s just nourishment.  The foods I eat are just choices, and they aren’t good or bad.  This gets tiring too challenging the food police, because it feels like you’re constantly educating people sometimes.  I don’t mind when it’s genuinely someone that wants to listen, but it’s not worth it when it’s just someone that looks at my weight loss alone and is hungry for the quick fix (pardon the pun).
  5. Respect Your Fullness. This one can be a challenge, but improving. Because of my brain processes coupled with my eating disorder, physical fullness is not something that I can easily recognize.  I do rely on other cues like looking at portion sizes and how much I’ve consumed before consuming more in order to try to hone in on this physical sensation, not from a place of judgment, but from a place of being a “scientist” and gathering data to figure how I physically feel.  This is a work in progress.  I’m learning.
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor. Food should be appealing to the senses. Sometimes it is worth waiting a little bit longer for something I crave than reaching for the closest food item (ie: going home and cooking vs hitting the drive thru).  When food tastes good, when it is truly what you “want,” then it is satisfying.  Sometimes you eat more of it, sometimes you eat less if it—that’s not the point, it’s more satisfying to eat what you desire.  Sometimes you want a cupcake, sometimes you want a salad.  I promise—your body will not desire cupcakes 24/7 just because you have full permission to consume them.
  7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food. Emotional eating has been a big issue for me through the years, I’ve had to find different coping mechanisms not only for emotional eating, but the mindless eating too (you know, the autopilot in front of the TV at night where you have no clue how the chips magically jumped in your hand?). It’s hard but not impossible to change these habits.  This is a lot of intentional action that first starts with awareness and redirection…and a lot of frustration, and sometimes failure.  Also, the recognition that sometimes emotional eating IS okay, but when it’s habit or a commonplace, that’s a problem.
  8. Respect Your Body. I realize that when I reach my goal weight, I will not be a tiny person—it’s not how my body is built. I have curves.  I have a booty.  I have large legs.  Yes, these shrink with weight loss, but they will never be “skinny,” and it’s not a realistic pursuit for me.  I want strong.  I want healthy.  This whole journey started in my realization that I was not honoring God’s creation, and I’ve come to see that I don’t see myself made in His image either…I don’t know what that eventually will look like, but saggy-baggy weight loss skin and all, I know it doesn’t look like some air-brushed Instagram-filtered model.  I feed my body to fuel it.  I move my body to make it feel good and to challenge myself.  I treat my body in such a way now to honor God’s creation to carry our His will.  Case closed.
  9. Exercise–Feel the Difference. Exercise is not my punishment. I don’t get up at 4am as some sort of penance—I do it because I want to.  I don’t exercise to burn what I’ve eaten, I exercise to train to meet my goals.  I don’t torture myself—I want to see the limits of God’s amazing creation and what it can do.  It can do incredible things—already surpassed what I’ve believed possible, so when I dream of the goals that I have, even as simplistic as crossing the finish of a marathon in just a few short months, it overwhelms me to tears because I never believed these feats were possible for me, that these were things just for other people to go out and accomplish.
  10. Honor Your Health–I don’t take my health for granted, and I am responsible in my choices.  By God’s grace, I am extremely blessed to have never experienced any weight-related illnesses, but I’m not naïve enough to believe that I’m immune from disease if I don’t take care of myself.  I have promised myself that I will take care of myself in training to prevent injury.  I have a team of people that keep me well, with regular doctor’s visits, my coach, consults with a sports dietitian.  All know my goals and boundaries and are on my side.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

So…there ya have it, how the principles of intuitive eating are interpreted for me.  Is it perfect? No.  Is it textbook Tribole and Resch? Nope.  But it’s where I’m at right now that has broken me free from the never-ending hamster wheel of dieting.

Many people couple the concepts of intuitive eating in with the “health at every size” (HAES) movement.  While there are some ideas of acceptance I support behind this movement, my reservations absolutely would stand in the way of me in any way of being considered a proponent of HAES. Maybe I’ll cover that in another post…


The Run Comes Last For A Reason

I’ll be posting about my experience completing the half at the Ventura Marathon on 10/22 in another post soon (spoiler alert: AMAZING!), and I’ll be posting some links so some of my race reports on Race Everywhere regarding some other recent races as well once I fix a couple kinks, but I wanted to wrap up a few more thoughts that have been in process that came together for me in conjunction with some really powerful teaching we experienced at a conference that I was at right before departing for my racecation in CA.

So, per usual, the head games coming up to race day were running rampant.  Between Salinas and Ventura, the running miles I logged were slim–of course, I fail to remember the fact that I had a stress fracture and was in the sexy, sexy boot, had status quo interrupted and was in the middle of a move that turned life upside-down in navigating new responsibilities, and, oh yeah, let’s not forget swimming and training for that “little” 40-mile bike event since it’s only been 4 months since I got the bike.  Let’s just say the things I was telling myself about my abilities and capabilities the last month or so have not only been not remotely Christlike, they just plain haven’t been nice.

Despite what I was telling myself and the questions I was asking, I kept hearing the challenge to my beliefs.  I was being told that not only could I handle the bike event and half in that time period, that both would be great.  And they were.  My head was telling me I didn’t have it handled, but others were…and I had to rely on their faith in me when mine in myself was short.

I’d have to look back at the dates, it was sometime around the time of WTC Kona, that I looked at some cumulative run miles over a period and said “how in the world am I supposed to run a half marathon when I haven’t logged x-number of miles in x-time period?”  The response I received in return, per usual, referencing my trust issues, stuck in my mind–the run comes last [in triathlon] for a reason.

Now, if you want to see some amazing machines (the pros) and watch the human body be pushed to its absolute but incredible awe-inspiring limits (everyone else), watch an Ironman.  It clearly takes a special kind of crazy to wake up one morning and swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and then finish off the day running 26.2 miles.  And I want it–bad.  I can see it, taste it, feel it–I KNOW it’s going to happen to such complete cocky confidence that it’s so flippin’ bizarre because I can’t connect my head to conquer the small.  I have the capability to get there, and my abilities are growing more and more–when I look at the big picture and how goals logically progress, of course it’s going to happen for me. I’ll do it.  But in the daily…inferiority, self, doubt, insecurity, lack of self confidence, and trust cause me to stumble from keeping my eyes fixed on the prize.

And that’s where the balance comes in, this holistic journey that I keep hammering back to–it’s not just physical health.  I have spiritual and emotional/mental goals for making sure that I am living out God’s will and honoring His creation in my body.  Trust is one of those goals that I think has its fingers that infiltrate into everything, and it’s not important why I have struggles with trust, but it’s a learning and relearning experience for me minute by minute it seems, usually in hindsight and by being proven wrong.  That’s one of those places I’m thankful for friends and those around me that keep me accountable who aren’t afraid to tell me, “I told you so.” (Because they know how to tell me in a way that I’m not going to sock them for it, lol)

Trust partners a lot with fear, and that plays too into how I discount myself as well.  Those “I told you so” conversations usually have some commentary that goes a little like this: “Yeah, you did it–better than you expected, which means, you could have done more.”  This looks weird in writing, but that’s not a negative statement–it’s those that I have allowed to speak truth into my life telling me that I’ve discounted myself again.  I placed a limit on myself because that’s how far I thought that I could go.  I allow my misconceptions and the lies that I tell myself to cloud reality.  I still see myself as the complacent woman on the couch–it’s still foreign to hear the word athlete and my name in the name sentence.  There’s so much cognitive dissonance that rules my life.

But, goals.  I’m working on it.  There’s intentionality there.  There’s things I do to work and change those thoughts and feelings that hold me back from my full potential of not only the person that God has created me to be and what He was willed for my life, but the awesome and amazing things that I dream for myself too.  Am I going to hash out what that looks like here?  Probably not, it’s not pretty, but if you want to know more what that might look like, let’s talk.

I’m not going to delve into the whole theme of the (mind-blowing) teaching at the conference we attended last week, but it’s given me a whole new rabbit hole to explore and a different construct in which to view this holistic journey with God that I’ve been on the past few years.  I’ll touch on it here, I’m sure, but there’s a whole host of vocabulary that accompanies it, and I don’t plan on turning this site into a theology lesson…but it’s all good, we don’t have to go there.  But as I’ve talked about before, my bottom line is hope–I’m in the hope business and I desire to always cultivate it in my own, and one of the lists that came out of a session from Dr. Bill Ury that I think is important, for what it’s worth, is this:

How to Nurture Abundant Hope:

  • Failure is not ultimate
  • Circumstances are not permanent
  • Respond to His presence
  • He is always working good
  • Focus on the unchanging nature of God

I can’t argue with any of these points.  Simple and concise.  So…when I put it context, I have to believe that I am fully capable of more than I think I am able of at this given point.  I have to put my faith in God and my trust in others when my small-minded thinking is standing in the way of what can be.  Anything is possible.

And on that note…more later.  I’ve got a PR from Ventura to brag on!


Who Gave You the Power?

Sigh.  I’m over it.

I’ve had smatterings of this post here in my drafts for a few months, but the last few days have brought it all together, so it’s time to marry these thoughts on my heart, get it off my chest, and let it go.

Over the weekend, in a running community, a woman posted a conversation she had with a friend that escalated into comments from the friend putting down her running achievements simply because she didn’t look like a runner (paraphrasing, it was ugly, and I’m not aiming for ugly here).  Very quickly, the response in this community was one of support in reminding her the very basic premise that if you run, you’re a runner.  End of story.  There’s no speed, size, race, gender, age, or any other specification that qualifies you as a runner.  It spawned flooding this woman’s feed with photos including the hashtag #whatarunnerlookslike.  It was beautiful.  It bugged me, and I got a little rant-y about it and went to my instagram and facebook with it too, because the ugly part of the post really hit me in a hard place and I went off from a place of (somewhat righteous) anger.  Fast forward to yesterday…someone on this forum took all of the photos that this woman was flooded with, and put them together in the video (including yours truly) featured here:

Pretty awesome, right?

Then this morning, as I was watching the Ironman “Anything is Possible” video again as I’m throwing my gym bag in the locker at the gym, another post pops up on my favorite triathlon page.  A woman that is preparing to complete her first full Ironman this weekend shared her story of un-supportive people in her path.

What. The. Heck.

I’m not delusional enough to believe we live in a world where everyone has to agree with one another and be in full support of every person’s decisions, that’s obviously not realistic.  But I am naively optimistic enough to believe that we can agree to disagree, still love one another, still coexist, and treat each other with love and respect in spite of our differences.  In the end, I’m not the one to judge.  That’s God’s job…and it’s wayyyyy above my pay grade.

As to stay out of anything potentially controversial, political, or otherwise inflammatory, I’m going to stick with my own example…because, well, this is my blog and it’s used to (whine) detail my journey anyway and not air any other stance.

Just as the two women above, I know I have my own haters.  Whether they are purposely trying to be covert about it or not, I’m not as dense as I may appear sometimes…I know they’re there.  I know they judge me.  Joke.  Wait for me to fail.  To perhaps even fall into old habits.  What I don’t think they realize is how they benefit my journey.  They illustrate to me how far I’ve come in some of my different goals.  I could easily let them get in my head, under my skin, and consume my thoughts.  In the past, they would have.  But what they don’t realize is that in the work I’ve done on me, their judgments just provide fuel that continues to push me towards me goals.  Bummer.  Their power over me is removed.


People don’t agree with me or judge me for a lot of reasons.  That’s okay.  They get upset when I won’t even listen to a sales pitch for a supplement or weight loss product.  I’m sorry, those things aren’t part of my life.  I don’t diet, and I don’t intend to start.  People get upset when they ask me what my diet is and why I’ve been successful and I start to explain the concept of balanced eating, exercise, spiritual and mental fitness…a holistic approach to be the woman that God has created me to be.  They get upset.  They want the magic answer.  I don’t believe there is one.  Sorry.  I’ve gotten to where I am through faith, prayer, work, research, experimenting, and finding what works for me.  It may not be the answer for all, and I totally acknowledge that reality.

There’s the flip side of this, I have many friends and acquaintances that do engage in weight loss programs of various credibility, supplements, surgeries, special diets, restrictive plans, minimal exercise, excessive exercise, exercise beyond their ability that is resulting in injury, and the list goes on and on and on.  We all have a similar end game in mind, we just have different approaches.  I know my boundaries regarding these subjects because of how they play in my head, but I understand the fact that these things are important to these people.  I don’t eliminate them as people from my life just because I don’t agree with one part of what they do, nor do I rain on their parade.  I don’t go out of my way to comment on the things that I do not agree with, I simply just let subjects be.  What is the point of arguing with someone who already believes they are right?  Now, if they are truly asking or seeking my comment, opinion, or advice, I’ll be honest–not in an way to tear them down, but to express why their choice just isn’t a choice that’s right for me.  We’re all different, and we all find success in different way.  You do you.  I can still love that person and encourage them for the amazing child of God that they are.  And we sure don’t have enough of that in this world.

I’m not sure why it’s human nature to judge each other…it sure would be nice if we could just knock it off.  It wears thin on me when people look at me and ask is all I do is train.  Um, in a different world…I wish.  In reality, no.  I train anywhere from 45-90 minutes on a weekday and 2-4 hours on a Saturday.  That’s it.  I don’t think people understand how much physical activity has truly become an outlet for me too.  As a person who has always used food as the ultimate comfort, I’ve had to find other places in my life to let that pressure off–physical activity, working on some of my other growth goals, other activities–these are the healthier coping mechanisms I employ now.  Believe me, I don’t think I can express in the stress of our recent transition, maneuvering our new responsibilities, being ten feet apart at the office with a wall separating us and not out in the community as much as we are used to yet, how much that release is preserving our marriage right now to have that stress release! (Know I say that tongue-in-cheek, my husband is a saint, and he’s amazing).  I’m also someone that has pseudo-control of my own schedule, so I get judged a lot on interspersing the work on I do on my personal development and goals with my daily professional responsibilities.  This journey started when I realized how I was not honoring God’s creation, so why not be a living breathing model redemption from sin every day?  I need segments and breaks in my day because it’s a long day–it starts at 4am and goes until 8pm or 9pm, most days up to 10-12hrs of that is spent on “business” whether it’s at the office, home, or out in our community.  I need structure.  I need routine.  So by having all these activities segmented throughout the day, it’s more productive than engaging in my destructive all-or-nothing tendencies that typically results in getting nothing done.  At the end of the day, let’s look at my track record.  I’m running circles of efficiency around my former self (but can we quit throwing balls into the juggling match for a bit, please?)


I don’t need the judges and haters to keep tabs on me…I’ve talked about accountability before, I’ve got literally a team behind me of people who are in my corner that keep me focused on my goals–professionally and personally.  Colleagues, friends, doctors, coach and sport nutrition professionals, and people that truly have my best interest at heart.  So, before you tell me….or anyone else for that matter…that they’re overdoing it, they shouldn’t pursue that, their priorities are in the wrong place, they don’t “look” like the type of person that does that, or any other generalization that you’re about to make, just think about how you would feel.  If you wouldn’t want to hear it, they probably don’t either.

We need more encouragement in this world.  We need more hope in this world.  It’s something that I work to the point of tears to some days trying to make happen and feel like I’m beating my head against the wall, but I know that God’s got it covered.  I just have to keep suiting up and showing up and following His will.  He’s got the plans, I do the foot work…and do my best to just mind my own business in the process.

I don’t have the magic answer…wish I did, but in the process, let’s just make a deal:  I’m probably just as guilty as the next guy and don’t realize it sometimes.  So, I’ll work to knock off the discouraging behaviors, and you too?