Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lets Be Honest

Alright...I'm gonna be honest here.  You all know how much I love health, fitness, and working out - but did you know that sometimes it's just as big of a struggle for me to fit in my workouts or to get up and get moving as it is for you? There are some days I absolutely dread my workouts (again, just being honest). I work full time, go to school full time, and I'm raising a pre-teen (YIKES). I don't belong to a gym, I don't have a home gym, and I have a small house with limited space to workout in - but I push play every single day. Why? Because I know how important my health is. I know that after those 30 min or so of working out, I will feel better than I did before I laced up my gym shoes.

We ALL have hurdles in our lives that can eventually turn into excuses - but you owe yourself MORE than that. You are worth so much more! Don't sell yourself short, don't say you will start tomorrow, don't tell me you don't have the time or the space at home. Those are excuses. You can make the time, you can start today, and you can create the space at home. I workout in my bedroom - and the only free space we have in there is about 4 feet x 6 feet. If I can get in a 25 min workout with everything I have on my plate with a tiny little workout space - so can you.

Please tell me you are going to start taking care of YOU. That for ONCE you going to put yourself first. If you are willing to take that HUGE first step - let me know. I want to help you succeed and take the next step. I get it - it's hard - I KNOW!! But having an accountability partner makes a HUGE difference - and in just a couple of short weeks I am starting a brand new accountability group that is going to jump start you on a new path to health, fitness, and wellness. Send me a message here on facebook if you are wanting to get started or send me an email at Ultimately it is up to YOU. I can help you get started, I can be your support, but I can't push play. That is going to be all YOU but I have faith and confidence you can do it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 1 of 30 Day Yoga Challenge

As some of you may or may not know, in March of 2013 I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.  For those of you who do not know what this is...thats ok!  Let me explain.  Hypothyroidism according to is when you thyroid gland does not produce enough of the important thyroid hormones your body needs and because of this your thyroid becomes underactive/slow and does not perform like it should.  For the past 6 months or so I have been on two different medications - synthroid and cytomel both to help try and regulate my thyroid so that it goes back to normal levels.  

Some of the downsides to having hypothyroidism (at least for me) have been extreme exhaustion, dry skin/chapped lips, always being cold, foggy brain/thoughts, and brittle hair/nails.  Luckily, my medication has helped with a lot of those symptoms in addition to me drinking Shakeology (for energy and nutrition) - but one thing that has been a struggle for me as well has been new found food sensitivities.  Over the past year or so I have become sensitive to gluten and eggs even though I tested negative for any intolerances.  I have tried to figure out different ways to alter my eating habits to combat this issue, but I still felt like I wasn't getting very far and knew that I could be doing better with my nutrition.  I had days where I would be really bloated, days where I couldn't get enough water, days where I couldn't get enough food and days when I didn't want anything to eat.  This up and down rollercoaster was driving me crazy and although I was working out 5-6 days a week between running and Insanity - I wasn't getting where I wanted to be and had a feeling my diet was behind most of my issues.  I was eating healthy and drinking enough water - so what gives?

About 2 weeks ago, a co-worker of mine went to go see a nutritionist who introduced her to a concept I had not heard of before - Eating For Your Blood Type.  I had NO idea what blood type I was and after hearing my friends experience with this nutritionist - I decided to make an appointment.  Today was my first session with her and I have to say I learned so much.  First of all, I learned that I am A positive for my blood type which according to the plan where you eat for your blood type - I should eat a diet which is very similar to a vegetarian.  In fact, if I can go full vegetarian that would be best - but I can still eat chicken and turkey in moderation.  There are certain fruits, veggies, and dairy that I should and should not eat and even certain exercises that might be best for my blood type - which is where I came up with this idea to journal my experience with yoga.  It was suggested to me that people who have a blood type of A benefit greatly from exercise rooted in yoga, pilates, and meditation.  When she told me that - it made me think back to when I did hot yoga for a short period of time.  I remember that I took those classes in the middle of the winter when I couldn't go outside for a run and I just wanted to try something new.  I left each class feeling incredibly strong, free of toxins (hey in a 105 degree room you sweat it ALL out), and refreshed ready to start or even end my day on a positive and healthy note.  I figured that since I had such a wonderful experience with yoga before - I would embark on a new journey for 30 days to see how changing my exercise routine along with my food choices - might help me reach goals that I have been trying to reach for quite some time.  

When I got home I started reading through all of the paperwork that my nutritionist gave me - but then my eyes started getting tired and I thought - what a great time to practice some yoga and start winding down for the night.  I am a Tone It Up girl at heart and through Tone It Up, I found YogaBabe Dana (below) who has her own website at  On her site there are yoga practices which include stretch, sculpt, flow, and meditation.  Since I absolutely love her energy and positivity - I thought I would start off with Dana tonight on my 30 day yoga challenge.  My goal is to add in the practice of yoga each and every day for the next 30 days to see how I feel and how not only my body is transformed but also my spirit, soul and mind.  

Dana: Owner and Founder of YogaBabe

Below are the links to the videos I did tonight just to get myself back into yoga.  I think I might sign up at a yoga studio near my home/work that allows for a 30 day trial for new members at a greatly reduced price.  This way, I can really get the most out of my 30 day journey and go from there.  They are also opening a new yoga studio in my town which I am VERY excited about because I love their other location - but its just too far for me to go to regularly.  

Are there any yoga videos/dvds that you like doing at home?  Let me know - I'd love to hear some suggestions!  Have you ever heard of eating for your blood type?




Tuesday, July 9, 2013

If being weird is wrong, I don't want to be right.

I’m weird.  Some of my best friends are weird.  I’d honestly love it if a lot more people were weird like me.  In fact, only about 31% of adults in the United States are weird and I wish that number was 100% - because then being weird, would actually be normal.

Are you confused?  Let me explain.  Being weird in the world today means that you are taking an active role in your health, learn about nutrition, exercise, maintain a healthy body weight and feel that ending the trend of obesity is important. 

Right now being overweight/obese is the norm, its the new average.  YES that is the new normal.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed on July 9th, 2013 – over 69% of the United States adult population are overweight – not only that but over 35% of US adults are obese.  WHY IS THIS THE NEW NORMAL?  Shouldn’t we learn about what we are putting in our bodies in regards to food, taking a few extra steps a day with exercise, and really focus on getting America back to a healthy weight?  I think so! 

Want to know something even more disheartening that’s also a growing trend in America?  Not only are we as adults shortening our lifespan by not taking proper care of our bodies – but we are teaching our children our nasty habits and passing it on to them!  Check this out:

  • Percent of adolescents age 12-19 years who are obese: 18.4% (2009-2010)
  • Percent of children age 6-11 years who are obese: 18.0% (2009-2010)
  • Percent of children age 2-5 years who are obese: 12.1% (2009-2010)

WAKE UP CALL!!!  We are affecting future generations!!  Did you know that the generation of kids/teens right now are expected to not live as long as their parents will?  This is the FIRST TIME this has ever been predicted and it can be stopped!  Every single one of us has the POWER to change how we eat, what we fuel our body with, and how often we get up and move our feet.  We have the power to teach our children how to do the same thing so they can grow up healthy and live long and prosperous lives and teach their children the exact same tools they learned growing up. 

Children LEARN BY EXAMPLE – which means we, as adults must LEAD BY EXAMPLE.  If they see you eating a bunch of junk – what do you think they will want to eat?  If they see you getting up and exercising every day – they will think this is normal and want to be active too.  TRUST ME THEY WILL!  My daughter LOVES doing workout DVD’s with me, going on walks or runs, or now that she’s old enough even participating in school sports.  Why?  Because it’s normal for her – she sees it  It’s part of a routine, a lifestyle, a healthy habit and one she will take from her pre-teen years all the way through her adult life.

You may wonder why I am so passionate about this topic.  Let me tell you why.  I want to see people healthy.  It is because I want to see people happy.  I want to see each and every single one of you walk around with your head held high feeling the absolute best you can possibly feel.  I want you to know that you are doing everything in your power to feed your body right and make sure its working to the best of its ability.  Throw the word skinny out of the window because thats not what I am talking about.  I am talking about being fit, healthy, and improving your quality of life through exercise and proper nutrition.  Imagine all of the disease we could erase if we made health a priority.  Imagine how much smaller our medical bills would be if we could just keep our bodies at a normal weight range.  The shift in our society could be astronomical if we all opened up our eyes a bit more and made a few changes.

I am SO incredibly passionate about this topic that I was inspired to take hold of an opportunity that was presented to me.  As some of you know I signed up to be an Independent Beachbody Coach.  What does this mean?  Well, I help people who are ready, take a step in the right direction.  I give them guidance, advice, support, motivation, and accountability – and to be honest – they do the same for me in return whether they know it or not.  I recently started a challenge group, which I host on Facebook with a handful of challengers who were ready to take the next step in reclaiming their health.  We are currently using the program called Insanity (I’m sure you’ve seen this on TV) along with Shakeology, the most nutrient dense meal you could possibly feed your body.  One of my challengers in her FIRST WEEK has lost 4 inches!  4 INCHES!  These challengers are absolutely amazing and inspire me everyday to get moving too.  We are all holding each other accountable and helping each other on our health journeys to become weird together! 

Some of you know I am also a full time working mom who is in school full time finishing my bachelor’s degree.  My ultimate goal is to also get my personal training certification - but with work and school – that had to be put on the back burner for right now.  I still wanted to help people in any way I could and that is how I connected with Beachbody.  I am not a personal trainer or a nutritionist nor do I pretend or claim to be – but what I am is your biggest cheerleader offering you guidance and support.  Having a 2nd career as a Beachbody Coach has been so incredibly rewarding, it’s hard to put it into words.  It allows me to fulfill my passion in helping others, it helps to support my family financially, and it helps to keep me on top of my health and fitness goals as well.  Hearing my challengers and clients say they feel stronger, they have more energy, that they've lost weight, or that they are grateful for my support - is the best feeling in the world.  There are too many benefits to list in regards to Beachbody's programs - both fitness and nutritional.  The positivity surrounding the community of coaches and clients is overwhelming.  Personally, I am stronger, in better shape, getting the nutrients I need to fuel my body right through Shakeology, learning something new every single day, gaining confidence, taking part in personal development, and paving the road to being able to work from home full time doing something I absolutely love – helping people that I love.

If you are already weird and want to be a coach too – I’d love for you to join me.  We have an AMAZING team of coaches that you would be joining and are able to learn from the absolute BEST.  Email me if you want more info on coaching, if you’d like to watch a webinar on the opportunity, or if you are ready to get started right away and we can get you set up to start changing lives immediately.

If you are not weird YET but want to be – and are interested in a workout program, Shakeology, a challenge group, or just need some advice on where to go from here – let me know!  I have TONS of ideas for you so please make sure you email me at and we can talk.  Or even better yet – find me on Facebook (  Add me as a friend – then direct message me – because I’d love to talk with you and see how we can work together to help you achieve your goals. 

My #1 goal in life is to create a team of weirdo’s that just gets bigger and bigger and bigger until we become the new normal.   A healthy normal.  A fit normal.  A nutritionally statisfied normal.  Are you ready to join me?   A new lifestyle DOES NOT have to start on a Monday.  It can start right now, you just have to take that one step in the right direction.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 May 2013. Web. 09 July 2013.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Influenster #SunVoxBox Review!

A few months ago I signed up with Influenster and was chosen in my first couple of months to receive a box full of goodies to review.  I was matched up with their summer #SunVoxBox after filling out a survey and waited anxiously to see what was going to be headed my way.

At the end of June - I got home from work and had a little box from Influenster waiting for me and inside were these fun things!

I received Goody's Ouchless hair ties - 5 different colors (purple, silver, gray, black, and pink), Sinful Shine with Gel Tech nail polish in the "All The Rage" shade, Dr. Sholl's High Heel inserts, and Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in fair/light.  I couldn't wait to try out all of the products - here are my thoughts!

Goody's Ouchless Hair-ties

These hair-ties are cute, come in fun colors, and don't pull on your hair.  They are of course easy to use, a great material, and work well with just about any thickness of hair.  I took this picture of my daughter who has very THICK hair and a lot of it and it worked just fine.  I also tried it out on my hair which is thinner and it worked good too!  Being honest, I didn't care for the fact that they didn't hold my ponytail too well when I was running.  Its good for an everyday ponytail or hairdo but I thought that if it had the gripper strip it would be better for working out.  The only other thing I didn't really care for is the knot that it has. It makes it cute to have around your wrist but no matter what you do - that knot sticks out and is really hard to hide.  Other than that - my daughter and I love these hair-ties and use them a lot!

Sinful Shine with Gel Tech Nailpolish


Once again my daughter was my model because she LOVES nail polish and bright colors.  We absolutely LOVED how fast this nail polish dried.  Literally within just a couple of minutes she was able to head out and play.  Plus it comes in 32 different shades - so just about anyone is going to find a shade that suits them.  The only downside and I am not sure why this happened but the next day she went outside to play with water balloons and once her hands were covered in water - the polish just peeled off??  We haven't tried it since - but we may give it another shot.

Dr. Sholl's High Heel Gel Inserts

These inserts were pretty amazing.  I have a really high arch and they felt really good in my super high heels.  They were pretty thick and made my shoes feel a bit small but I loved how it made the ball of my foot feel cushioned as well as my heels.  These would work great in a pair of heels that are a bit too big on you - but I wouldn't use them if the shoe is already a bit snug as these add a bit of thickness to the shoes.

Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream


I am saving my absolute favorite for last.  I have not stopped using this product since it came in the mail and I will continue to purchase this as time goes by and I run out.  I am not someone who cares for a lot of makeup - especially during the summer months.  Our weather here in Chicago tends to be really hot and really humid during the summer making your face melt off if you have tons of foundation or powder on. This has held up to the humid days, dry days, and super warm and sunny days.  I don't get oily from it and it hides minor imperfections and discoloration in my skin.  It moisturizes well without being too heavy and doesn't have a strange odor or smell to it.  This is the one product I would definitely recommend from the entire VoxBox that I got!  I might actually look into more of the Fresh Effects products too now that I enjoyed this one so much.

Have you tried any of these products?  What do you think of them?

Friday, July 5, 2013

What a difference proper nutrition and the right doctor makes...

I want to share with you something that I have been going through for the past 8-10 months or so and what I have done to make my quality of life better through proper nutrition and a great doctor.  I feel so strongly about this that I didn't want to keep it to myself because I know too many people (especially other women) who are suffering either from a thyroid disorder or gluten intolerance/sensitivity and if I can help in anyway - I want to be able to do that.

About a year ago I started having some issues with a numbness/tingling feeling in my neck and the lower part of my face.  I had no clue what was going on and freaked out because I was at work the first time this happened to me.  Was I having a stroke, was something wrong with the water cooler at work, had I eaten something that had gone bad or that I was allergic to?  The symptoms would come and go and every time it happened I would become more and more concerned.  When I still had the feelings a few weeks later - I knew I had to contact a doctor.

I found a doctor in my network with my insurance (I didn't have a PCP at the time because honestly I never really got sick).  I went in to see the doctor and he did a panel of blood work testing for all sorts of things from diabetes, an iron deficiency, to a thyroid disorder.  After a few days I received word that I had borderline hypothyroidism and was put on medication for my T4 levels.  I started taking the medication and within the first few days on the medication I had the worst side effects so I contacted my doctor and he told me maybe the labs were wrong and to stop taking the medication.  Fast forward a couple of months later still with NO medication and multiple blood tests and ultrasounds and the only answer I had was that I "probably" had Hashimoto's disease and that I should just continue to exercise, eat like I was eating, and that we would "keep an eye" on my thyroid.

My body was not responding well to that advice.  I was exhausted.  I could barely keep my eyes open at work let alone do my homework at night or even get in my workouts.  I was constantly anxious, having more symptoms of panic attacks, I had gained about 10lbs and I was miserable.  My neck still had the numbness/tingle feeling, my body was just achy, I was in a constant state of fatigue, my stomach was always bloated, and I honestly just wanted answers.

After talking to one of my friends about my issues/symptoms she gave me the contact information for a NP in my area who is great with thyroid issues and an advocate for women's health.  I decided to give her a try - I had nothing to lose.  I immediately connected with this doctor and felt that she understood my issues and had a true desire to really figure out what was going on.  I once again had my blood drawn and in a couple of days I got the word that I for SURE had levels that proved hypothyroidism.  She was able to give me a couple of different options for medication but I chose one that put me on meds for both my T4 and T3 levels.  Within a couple of weeks I started feeling better - the numbness went away as well as my anxiety levels.  Who knew that thyroid issues and anxiety were related???  Not me - but to have answer to that as well was fantastic.

I asked my doctor if there was anything I could do to help regulate my thyroid naturally - and we discussed going gluten free with my diet as sometimes gluten can cause your thyroid to act up.  I signed up for it because I just wanted to feel better - but I was shocked at how much food had gluten in it.  What the heck was I supposed to eat?  I went from eating basically whatever I wanted (this didn't help with the 10lb weight gain) to being very restricted and felt like I was starving myself just to go gluten free.  I was always hungry, never satisfied, and even though I was restricting my food and eating gluten free snacks and foods,  and more fruits and veggies - my weight wasn't budging.  Not only that but my body felt like I just wasn't getting the right nutrients.  My skin was always dry, my nails were brittle, my hair felt like it was thinning and dry, and I wasn't sleeping well, but the numbness had gone away and I had a bit more energy - but not to the point that I felt 100% better.

A couple of months into going gluten free, I heard about Shakeology from one of my Tone It Up sisters.  Shakeology is a gluten free shake that is the most nutritionally dense meal you can possibly feed your body.  I had heard how much better people were feeling after drinking Shakeology and introducing it into their daily routine.  I figured at this point I might as well give it a shot.  I was desperate for something to complete my nutritional requirements and give me more energy NATURALLY so I placed an order and the rest is history.  I can honestly say that I will never stop drinking this product.  In the past month I have lost 2 of the 10 lbs that I gained during my thyroid issues.  I am sleeping better, my skin is less dry, my hair and nails seem to be growing at a crazy rate (with proper nutrition this happens),  my skin is starting to clear up, it has helped with digestive issues, and the best part is its gluten free so I can enjoy this shake until the cows come home.  I am now doing the Insanity program from Beachbody because I actually have the energy to keep up with it again and I am excited to see the results I have with that in addition to the Shakeology.

Want to know more??

There are over 70 natural ingredients packed into this powerhouse of a product which makes it in my personal opinion the best meal replacement on the market.  Imagine a product that can take all 11 of your body's systems and make them work more efficiently together - wouldn't you want that for yourself?  I know I did.  It is low in calories so I can mix it with milk, water, ice, or almond milk and STILL be within my caloric needs for the day and not feel guilty - although it tastes like a chocolate shake (I drink the Chocolate Vegan flavor).  My husband drinks the Vanilla Shakeology and loves that flavor too.  Another great thing is that it helps curb your cravings for sweets and junk food!

the all NATURAL ingredients in Shakeology

You may be wondering if Shakeology can help you too.  Let me ask you this - are you busy, lacking energy, wanting to lose weight, always skipping a meal because you lack the time to make something quick, spending too much on fast food, lacking proper nutrition?  Are you someone who doesn't like fruit or vegetables, following a fitness program that requires proper fuel for your body to perform properly, looking to quit your soda or junk food habit?  Shakeology is for everyone who wants to take a step in the right direction in their health and nutrition and I can not believe the improvement it has made in my life.  After drinking this shake for just a couple of weeks, I decided to sign up as a Beachbody coach so that I could spread the word and help the world know about Shakeology one person at a time.  My goal is to have as many people as I know adopt Shakeology  into their lives because I truly believe in the product, the things it can do, and the benefits it can hold for each and everyone of you reading this.  The best part is that it is 100% guaranteed - so if you don't like it, didn't think it was worth it, didn't have any positive benefits from drinking this - you can return it even if the bag is empty - but I am sure you won't because it's that good.  If I go a day without it, my body feels it - and starts to crave the nutrients that its missing.

I really want to let you all know that if you are suffering with a thyroid disorder or a gluten intolerance that there are answers, there are doctors who can help you, and there are ways to get the nutrition you need even with the restrictions with food that you may be having to deal with.  Even if you aren't suffering from a health issue but just want to make a healthy change in your life - this can help you too!  If you have any questions, want more information on Shakeology, or just want to vent about any issues you may be having - please feel free to contact me.  I'd love to talk to you!

what are you drinking to get your daily nutrients?  are you on board to end the trend of obesity?  

some happy customers enjoying and benefiting from the amazing QUALITY of ingredients in Shakeology


WHat’s in sHaKeOlOgY HOW it WOrKs

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Prescription For Joy

A few years ago, I was working for UNC Hospitals and had the opportunity to attend a training workshop.  The keynote speaker for the day was Dr. Susanne Gaddis who is also known as the Communications Doctor.  She was absolutely amazing and at the end of our training she gave us this little tiny book that is about 2 inches by 2 inches (I told you it was tiny).  I loved it so much I have kept it in my wallet these past 4 years and sometimes look back on it for a bit of guidance.  I thought I would share it with you here.

***All information written below is from the Rx For Joy book by Dr. Susanne Gaddis  - for a printable version please visit her website at***

Rx For Joy

1.  Don't be weighed down by things that drain your energy!  If it doesn't bring you joy chuck it, change it, or rearrange it!

2.  Create a Joy Extension Program - Linger Longer.

3.  Have an Attitude of Gratitude.  Keep a Joy Journal.  List 3 things that make you happy today!

4.  Use these Peace-Producing Phrases:  I love you.  Thank you!  Forgive me.  I forgive you.

5.  Find the humor in life.  Live Long...Laugh Lots!

6.  Don't turn a bad moment into a bad day.

7.  Surround yourself with Happy People.  Take an honest inventory of your friends.  Identify who makes you happy and spend more time with them.  

8.  Today be aware of positive emotional experiences.  Grab them.  Savor them.  Celebrate them.

9.  Spend a few moments each day thinking of the things that make you happy.

10.  Make a list of no cost and low cost things that bring you joy.  Commit to doing at least one thing from your list per day.

11.  Create joyful routines and do them often.

12.  Remember, you are entitled to JOY.  To feel it, to create it, and to express it.

About Susanne Gaddis, PhD, CSP:

"Known as The Communicatons Doctor, (she) is an internationally known interpersonal communications expert.  She delivers workshops, seminars, and keynote presentations for corporations and associations.  For more information, to order additional mini books, or to book Dr. Gaddis for an upcoming conference or event, call 919-933-3237 or visit"

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Are you getting even or getting ahead?

The other night I was driving home and passed right by the church on the corner like I do every single day.  On the front lawn of the church there stands one of those announcement boards that just about every church has.  It read:

You can never get ahead if you are always trying to get even.  

WOW.  I know this probably was intended to spark a discussion about using your anger or frustrations to get even for something someone did to you - but I took it as trying to get even by COMPARISON.  To get to where SOMEONE ELSE is.  Why are we always comparing our lives to others whether they be friends, family members, co-workers?  What they have and what we don't?  What they have experienced and what we haven't?  Why are they making more money than we are when we work harder than they do?  Why are they always ahead when we are always behind.  Why can we not just appreciate the journey we are personally on rather than the constant involvement and comparison of someone else.

As you all know, I am a part of what I consider to be one of the strongest and most supportive communities for women of all ages, shapes, sizes, nationalities, etc through Tone It Up.  With that being said, if you are familiar with the community you should also know that while I am writing about focusing on you I am ALL about working as or with a team, using accountability, and having a sense of community.  Those three things are so important to success whether it be weight loss, health, mental wellness, or career oriented - and it is an amazing feeling to have a supportive team stand behind you - to give you support and offer advice especially when you are making a big change in your life.  

Please don't get me wrong - I am also not saying that you could/should not use someone as motivation - because it is good to have goals and good to have something to strive towards - but that person isn't YOU and they never will be and you will never be them.  Motivation is not the same as comparison.  Use them as motivation and a tool but not an end all be all.  There are so many women in the fitness industry that I look up to, I respect, and admire - but I can not day in and day out compare myself in a negative way to them and wonder why I am not where they are physically or in their career.  I have no idea what their journey has been and what it has taken to get them to that point - but I should use them as a sounding board, to gather tips and advice, and inspiration and motivation - not to compare myself against to the point where I am frustrated because I don't look like them.  I don't look like them because I am not them.  Simple as that.  This is something I am working on - it is hard and something I have to stop myself from doing every day - but I know I will be healthier and happier for doing so.

I'm not going to lie, I'm guilty of comparison - we all are.  Why can't I have her long runner legs?  My races would be so much easier and I could run faster.  Why is my booty so bootylicious and my waist totally not in proportion?  It makes finding jeans really, really difficult.  Why on earth can't I have her gorgeous skin and pretty full curly beach babe hair?  

You want to know why?  Because God made ME.  God made me perfectly imperfect and I should learn to love myself for who I am just like He does.  How am I ever supposed to succeed if I don't love myself completely, wholly, and uncondtiontionally like God does?  How am I ever going to move forward in my life, if I am always looking back or to the side at someone else?  My eyes should be focused forward, on MY journey and where I am going in life.  

One of my new goals is to appreciate and love the journey that God has put me on.  I may not always understand it, but He has plans - BIG plans for each and everyone of us - and I put my faith and trust in Him.  I have had ups and I have had downs, successes and failures, made good decisions and made bad decisions but they have made me who I am.  My legs are not long runner legs, but they sure are strong legs that have carried me through 2 half marathons and another one next month with goals of a dualthon and possible triathlon in the future.  My booty may be bootylicious but it fills out a bikini bottom and looks darn good after a few rounds of deadlifts.  My skin may not be perfect or my hair for that matter - but that pushes me to eat cleaner and drink more water.  I accept me.  I accept who I was in the past, who I am in the present, and who I am going to be in the future.  The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.  I will not make excuses for who I am or apologize for who I am any longer.  I spent too many years trying to be someone better, someone different for OTHER people and now it is time to be someone better for MYSELF.  

Please don't try to get even, don't try to be someone else.  Be perfectly imperfect you.  Love yourself for who you are.  Allow yourself to be loved for who you are.  Look in that mirror and tell yourself one good thing every single morning.  It may sound absolutely ridiculous at first - but just do it.  It's ok if you laugh - it will get easier and easier.  You don't even have to say it out loud - think it in your head while looking into your own eyes.  You will start to believe it and you should because its true.  Stay focused on your life while letting others in.  LOVE.  Not the "oh I love you" love - but the 100% unconditional accepting love of others no matter their story - and while you are loving others, love yourself too because you deserve it and are worth it.