You can probably tell from the lack of blogging, my year has been a busy one.  (To say the least!)

From writing new curriculum, to traveling to Australia, to venturing into unknown relationship territory, and finally being a student as well as having students, I have had quite a year.  I love that summer allows me a time of reflection and rest.  God usually uses this time to do great things in my life!

And so…every year on June 12th, I will always celebrate something significant. (Every year I have something more to celebrate! This year it was a half marathon and surviving one year of Grad school!)

Three years ago today, I met someone who asked me a question.

She asked me: “On a scale of 1 to 10 how committed are you?”

At the time this question related to weight loss and was skeptical that it was at all possible to change my life or body in anyway.

That first time I said, “A 6 maybe.” Like I said, I was skeptical.  By the end of that first summer, I was definitely at a 9-10.

Now, I ask myself that same question…….but about other things, healthy lifestyle, friendship, community, my job, grad school, and even Jesus.   I might talk like being committed and am passionately animated. However, a lot of the time there is a huge gap between what I say and how I live. 

This year has been one of ups and downs, things throwing me off, things and people distracting me from my commitment.

But that is life…. isn’t it?

There are a lot of things, people, activities, events that will attempt to throw you off course. I am sure a famous person somewhere said that it isn’t how the lack of adversity in life that shows you are successful, but what you do when you encounter it.

I say that in the face of adversity, you are only as successful as you are committed.  So I am asking myself this question…..”On a scale of 1 to 10, how committed are you? How badly do you want this, desire it, and are willing to work for it?”

I can’t say I have completely answered this question for every area I listed, but this is a starting point for reflection.

How about you?  What are the areas that you need to start asking yourself these questions?  On a scale of 1 to 10, how committed are you?

These are a few of my favorite things….

This year is the year of small winscounting the little things that make my life pretty awesome right now.  I found myself at the beginning of this year being super negative and wallowing in despair over all the things that haven’t changed since last year. 

I am done doing that!  Lets celebrate everything amazing that God has blessed us with!

Not because nothing wrong doesn’t ever happen…
Not because things aren’t ever hard…
Not because I am ignoring the difficulties of life….

BUT because God is still with me through all the wrong and the bad and the struggles.  I was challenged by this verse this week.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”(Romans 8:18 ESV)

After a hard week last week, I was so encouraged to leave school on Friday feeling that my students perhaps might have accomplished something. Besides that, there are some other things that made my week so much better!

1. Participating in a 10 day gluten free/dairy free weight-loss challenge!  This makes my meals a little complicated, but nothing I can’t handle for 10 days.  As well, I have a menu to choose from and smoothies to drink.  I feel great and light.  My jeans are already fitting better and the workouts are going really well! So encouraging! (Might be a little hungry though!)

2. Had a great time with my Gospel Community on Monday night!  I love those girls and they are so encouraging!  It was a great time to pray and encourage one another!

3. Went to see Anna Karenina with a sweet friend! It was definitely a sad movie but was beautifully done and had the most amazing costumes!

4. Worked out with co-workers 2 days after school and it was so fun!  Sometimes I forget how much fun it is to workout with friends.  I get so much in my head when I workout and I forget to have fun!  And sometimes it is fun to do something with co-workers that doesn’t involve work!

5. Was able to spend some quality time on my homework both Wednesday and Thursday evening.  This was great because it helped me get a paper written by Friday night and I love getting things done early!

6. Went on a field trip with my Drama Club…this was definitely the highlight of my week!  These kids are near and dear to my heart and they had a blast.  We saw a great show and they got to experience something they might have not ever experienced before!  I love helping them see the possibilities of theater!  (plus it got me out of school for a couple hours!)

7. Had an encouraging and challenging (in a good way) meeting with my assistant principal, where I was given some ideas to help with some difficult students.  Sometimes it helps just to talk about why things are hard and have someone speak into them or put them in a different light so it isn’t so discouraging. 

– The kids worked hard!
– We listened to my favorite Australian Radio station
– I got grades updated and left school feeling a sense of “finish”
– The kids seem to like the project we are working on.
– We ended the day with a mixer and I started to remember why I love middle schoolers so much. 
– Got my workout in and ended the day babysitting for a sleeping baby!

What amazing things happened to you this week? What are your small wins?

Proactive vs. Reactive

Maybe you were or are like me, you spent a lot of time reacting to what was being thrown at you, being drug along the train of life trying to catch up or even watching the train fly by longing for a hand to reach out and pull you up.  Its a rough metaphor, but you get the picture.  I made a choice 2 years ago to join a gym, and made a choice to do something different then I was doing before.

Recently, I had an pretty important anniversary.  I forgot to post about it, but I still wanted to share what sort of difference 2 years can make.

Here are a few pictures to show the difference:

Before and After

My first day of teaching! (3 years ago!)
A year ago in Mexico!
My sister and I after my 2nd Half Marathon                                


Last year I wrote a long post about some of the differences.  Even since last year, I feel like a different person.  

Recognizing 2 years ago, that I needed to make change and I had a problem has forced me to be more proactive with my life rather than reactive. 

Losing weight was like opening a door to realizing the other issues that I need to deal with.  If people ever claim that losing weight is just a physical thing, they probably have never had to.  It is much more emotional and spiritual than anything else. 

I don’t claim to everything under control nor am I perfect at living a healthy lifestyle.  I am continually making mistakes and learning new things.  More than anything, I am learning a lot about myself and being okay with being me, others’ approval or not. (‘Tis a post for another time.)

What I do want to share for anyone that was like me, stuck in a life that I didn’t want and thought impossible to break out of, it is possible.  For me it has been a slow journey, I have taken steps back, I have made bad choices, and given into temptation.  However, what doesn’t change is that I get up the next day and start over or start over the next meal.  It is all about making a choice to be proactive then reactive.

Change isn’t easy, but I don’t think it would be worth it if it was.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.  The difficulty of it makes the pay off so much more valuable.

It Was Worth It!

Yesterday, I got up early and ran 13.1 miles….again. I did this last fall and it was a HUGE accomplishment for me, the girl who faked sick to get out of running the mile in 7th grade.

I chose to do it again.
I must have forgotten the long hours of training, the aches and pains that is causes.
…. how early you have to get up to be there.
…. that at mile 8 you just want to sit down.
…. how painful those last couple of inclines are.
…. how badly my toes hurt.
….. the stomach ache is afterwards.

I must have realized that it was all worth it.
Worth that feeling of raising your hands in the air and crossing the finishline!
Worth knowing that you did something hard and challenging before 10am on a Saturday Morning.
Worth that hug that my Dad gave me when I finished.
Worth the GIANT running medal that I received.
Worth the 3 pints of chocolate milk that I got to drink afterwards!

Everyday I tell my students that the hard work they do now pays off later in life. I tell them that doing homework and sacrificing time will be worth it. I tell them that grammar homework will help them down the road.

This was how I lived it out for them.

I ran 13.1 miles…..and pushed myself to run faster and harder than any other time I have run. I challenged myself so that my words to them carry weight.

This is me now….
a crazy person who runs 13.1 miles and loving it!

My sister ran too! She was always the athlete, so it feels pretty good to be able to hold my own against her!
(Don’t mind my crazy eyes in this picture, I don’t know what was going through my head. All my blood was focused on keeping me upright.)

When is the end result worth it for you? What areas in your life do you need to challenge yourself? Ideas for my next challenge?

New Challenge/Goal

This summer I have started training for my new challenge. If I don’t have a physical goal to work for, it is hard for me to stay on track with eating. For me it is easier to eat to train rather than not eat to lose weight. See the difference. I am mentally tricking myself to eat well! 🙂

Anyways, my new goal or challenge is to run a 10K at the end of August. I have already started working on my training schedule. Today I ran approx. 4 miles. I say approximately because I was running a trail I usually don’t run and it is hard to tell whether I had the mileage right. In Kansas right now it is pretty muggy and humid so running outside is a task, a sweaty task. But I did it.

My plan is to get up to running 7-8 miles by the end of August. I have run 6 miles before, so I know that I can do it. I am mixing running with cross training and weights to make sure I don’t hurt my knees. So, would you keep asking me how I am doing with this, to hold me accountable to my training? I am hoping to then begin training for a half marathon after that. EEkk! Isn’t that nuts? Yeah, I think so a little bit. However, I like to think back to last year at this time when I was barely able to run 2 minutes on a treadmill! Look how far I have come!

That is my challenge/goal! What is yours? What are you currently or going to challenge yourself to do?

Munchie Mondays

This weekend, I struggled with the munchies. I don’t know about you, but when I am bored I tend to eat. I wish that I could say that I have lots of self-control, but I don’t. So my trainer and I worked through my food journal, and talked about what good things I could munch on.

(If you don’t have a food journal or some way to record what you eat, you should. There are tons online for free, I use one through my gym, but I am sure google could help with that.)

Angie, my wonderful trainer and I talked about my snacks, and we came to the conclusion that I wasn’t eating bad things but I need to make some small adjustments. Most of the time it is just making small adjustments to what you are doing that make the biggest difference. So, I thought I would share some of my snack ideas.

My morning snack:
Protein powder mixed with 8 oz of skim milk

Afternoon snack:
16 Quaker Quake Rice Snacks (My new discovery, very filling)
1/2 of Greek Yogurt (I get the Yoplait kind but there are other kinds that you might get cheaper.

Evening Snack:
Wheat thins
Laughing cow cheese

My new goal is to plan my meals out carefully and stick to them. However, as great as my goals sound, I have to remind myself why I make these goals and continue to make my up my mind that I want to change my thinking about snacking and food.

So what about you, what sort of small adjustments to you need to make to help you with whatever goal you are trying to make? What is going to help you be motivated to reach those goals?

A Year Ago….

Before:A year or so later:

This is a pretty big day for me today. A year ago today, I started my weight loss journey (as they say on Biggest Loser). I joined a gym because I knew if I was paying for it, I would go. I was convinced to get a personal trainer by a very good salesman at my gym. And I haven’t looked back since.

My trainer, Angie, asked me on a scale of 1-10 how serious I was about losing weight. When I started it was at about a 6. After about a month into it I was at a 10. Now almost 65 lbs and a year later, I am still going. My story isn’t different than many others, I just decided one day that I didn’t want to live the life I was living anymore. I wanted to make a decision to change. And what followed was an amazing year. I think in many ways, I still have a long way to go. I want to do so much more, and I can do all the stuff physically, but until my mentality about food and life changes I won’t get all the way there.

Now, as I step into another summer of relaxing and rest after a busy school year, I have to make that decision again. I have spent this last week sleeping and doing a whole lot of nothing. I am slightly discouraged because I have given into temptation food wise and been exhausted. There could be a lot of reasons for this, but in reality, I have been making the choice to give into the exhaustion and not fight through. I have to ask myself how serious I am about this weight loss journey. It is just going to get harder from here on out. As much as I would like to just maintain where I am at, I really want to go further in this.

So on this blog, this summer I am going to commit to posting about what I am going through. I know it has been done, but I think if I have more than my friends to hold me accountable, I will follow through. Just as I have been motivated by the contestants on Biggest Loser, I want to do that for others as well. Who knows who will stop by the blog.

So friends, will you hold me accountable to kicking this weight loss journey into high gear and finishing it by the end of the summer?


This last month and half I have been training to run a race.

At the beginning of the summer, I could barely run a minute without stopping. After several months of getting in shape, my trainer challenged me to find a race and sign up for it. Well, the one I found was the 5k that went along with the Kansas City Marathon. 23,000 people run in the 5K, Half/Full Marathon.

I had never been able to run a mile growing up. I have never been inclined to be a runner. I was pretty much always the fat kid. Good at swimming because I could float. After training, I have begun to actually like it. I thought I wouldn’t be able to run because of my knees, my weight. But I did it, and in a pretty decent time as well.

As much as I want to celebrate and brag about this accomplishment, my work isn’t done. I have other goals to attain as far as physically. But it feels pretty good to work hard towards something that you never thought possible. Something that the world is shouting at you that you can’t do. The sacrifice and pain is worth it…I can’t really describe the feeling I have about it. Perhaps a half marathon is next….or maybe a 10K first.

My trainer Angie and I after the race!
(We tried for a crossing the finish line photo but it didn’t happen.)