Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The past couple of weeks have really been a roller coaster for me. I have not been as dedicated to my eating as I should be. It hit me after I stepped on the scale 2 weeks ago. I didn't hit the goal I had set for myself for the past month. Automatically I start thinking about and reflecting on why I failed....

I had been eating too much junk and carb-loaded foods. Some of it was little things, but little things add up! No one really knew what was going on; I really didn't even realize what I was doing. It was almost like I was subconsciously sabotaging my weight-loss. But I finally woke up and realized what was happening. I knew I was on a slippery slope and I had to make the CONSCIOUS decision to stop. I literally had a confessional with my BFF/accountability partner Jessica on Wednesday of last week, and then with my trainers on Thursday. It was tough, but I knew it had to be done. The more people that knew meant more people that could keep me accountable during this phase of my journey.

After my confessionals, I decided to make weekly goals for myself with my food. Last week I made a goal of making sure at least 1/2 of my weekly meals (11 meals) followed the Paleolithic lifestyle. I made it -- I had 12 Paleo meals last week! This week, I have the same goal. It's going to be a little tougher with Thanksgiving, but I'm determined to make it! I HAVE to make it!

This little bump in the road really made me think about where I came from and the progress I have made. Before, my life was all about the junk and carb-loaded foods! I didn't care at all what I ate. I loved my bread, sweets, chocolate, cake, fried foods.....I loved it all. I still enjoy chocolate, but a more natural version and not every day! I still enjoy muffins, breads, cakes, etc - but grain and gluten free! I still enjoy foods that I love, but in a healthier way.

I know my blogs here lately have been about my journey thus far. This Thanksgiving season has really brought be to a point of reflection. I am so very thankful for the opportunity God has given me to turn my life around. It's hard to look back at just over a year ago and see the road I was headed down. I look a pictures and can't believe the difference. I can't believe how a year changes things! I can see the difference in my pictures, but sometimes I don't feel it. I mean, I feel the healthy difference, but can't always feel the "weight" difference. I hope that makes sense.

I hit a snag in the road and begin to doubt things. It's not pretty! But then I get reassurance from people around me that I am doing such a good job, that they are proud of me, that I'm an inspiration to them. It renews my confidence and determination for this journey I am on. Then I try on an XXL t-shirt that I was for sure wouldn't fit, but IT DID!

my XXL shirt!! :)

I begin to look at pictures from when I first started and realize that I am making progress. No matter how I "feel," my body is changing -- for the BETTER! I remember why I am on this journey. I can't go back down that road. I can't go back to where I was. I will die if I do. There will be ups and downs, but it is so worth it! I will one day be the person I know I'm meant to be. In the meantime, I will enjoy this journey and keep pushing forward.

What a difference!!
January 5k (time 71:40) vs November 5k (time 59:30)

OH! I just realized I haven't even told you about the Color Run 5k I did this weekend! OH EM GEE!!!! It was SO MUCH FUN! Jenny couldn't make it, so Erica's mom came and enjoyed the weekend with us. We got up to Charlotte Friday evening to get our race packets. Saturday morning we woke up early, enjoyed a Paleo breakfast (courtesy of my trainer, Laurie!) and headed to Lowe's Motor Speedway for the race. There were so many people - I think they said over 12,000 -- and we all looked the same in our white! I had a goal to finish in under an hour. My 5k time from September was 69:40, so I knew it was going to be a tough challenge trying to cut 10 minutes off. After the first hill, I was doubtful that I would make my goal. Then the second hill hit, and I just knew I wouldn't make it! Well, I finished in 59:30!!! I made it!!!!! I was so stinkin' excited! I honestly didn't think I would after those hills, which I really didn't expect. This was a huge feat for me and I can't wait for my next race!

Color FUN!
me and my SIL, Amanda - before and after!
Color Throw Celebration
yes, I AM!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I've been sitting here thinking about my weight-loss journey this morning. I am so very thankful to every single person that has had ANYTHING to do with getting me where I am. But there is one person in particular that goes unnoticed sometimes, even by me, and that's my trainer/instructor Laurie.

When I stepped into the Inspire 4 Life studio back in January to take my very first Zumba class, Laurie was the instructor. I was so unsure of how the class was going to go, I was intimidated, I was nervous, I was scared. Laurie made me feel welcome and comfortable. I wasn't scared or nervous to go to class after that. I was family. She is so encouraging and enthusiastic. She has a true passion for fitness and it shows in each of her classes and personal training sessions. She has been there to answer so many of my questions and keep me focused on my journey. She introduced me to the Paleolithic lifestyle. It has made such a difference in my life and how I feel. When I don't eat Paleo, I don't feel so great. I seriously can't tell you the many ways this woman changed my life.

I am no athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but I am eating healthier and exercing more -- ALOT more! I came across a random blog this morning about figure and bikini competitors and wanted to share some of what it said about trainers.
A Trainer is so many things to an athlete; it's a person that's an adviser, a spotter, a coach, a friend, a confidant, it could be someone that acts like a publicist, a consultant, a judge. Trainers can be gurus in the vast fields of nutrition and supplementation, but they can also be 100% focused on the training (per the title). Some trainers have a long list of certifications, meanwhile others don't have a single certificate (they're "expertise" was earned over decades transforming everyday men and women into champions - top ranked amateurs, professionals, even Arnold & Olympia level warriors!).

A real champion doesn't forget where they're from...Many of the champions we see here today - they owe a great deal to the men and women that make up their team. I don't want to take anything away from the champions (and you can bank their trainers don't either), but when you look at a physique that just marvels you, realize there's usually a lot that went into that - and part of "a lot" is all the hard work of trainers! This is our time to recognize a few truly gifted and committed people.

This is my time to recognize my gifted and committed trainer Laurie Herring Carroll. She most certainly is an advisor and coach, but more importantly has become a friend and confidant. She has so much knowledge and enthusiasm to share and I am honored that she shares it with me. She has inspired me, and many others, to either start a journey or encouraged us in the journey we are currently on. She has pushed me byond my limits and continues to push me. I have developed more of a drive for exercise, fitness, and healty living through working out with her. She is just absolutely amazing. Thank you Laurie for everything you do and for continuing to help me reach my goals!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Success and Blessings

God has guided me along my journey and I have been very successful thus far. In the past 3.5 weeks I have lost an additional 2.5 inches! I continue to be amazed at the changes in my body. The fat is “melting” away and I am gaining much more muscle. Muscle that I never imagined having!

Since starting at Inspire 4 Life Fitness back in January, just 10 months ago, I have lost a total of 38.75 inches!! The instructors and trainers are so enthusiastic about fitness. They love sharing their passion and helping people reach their fitness goals. My thoughts and feelings about "working out" and "fitness" have completely changed since I started taking classes at the studio. It is amazing. When I started, there were so many things that I COULD NOT do. I couldn't even make it through an entire song at Zumba class without being winded and having to stop. Now, I can make it through the whole class, minus water breaks! I couldn't walk a mile without stopping. Now, I have done 2 5ks and have a 3rd scheduled for next weekend. The first one, I did stop once or twice, this last one I didn't stop at all, and the one coming up I plan to run intervals! I couldn't do pushups, let alone even think about doing burpees, suicide drills, and mountain climbers. But now, I can do it all! Some of it I have to modify, but I can still do it -- all since starting at the studio. I'm telling you, hard work and dedication REALLY WORKS!

I have been blessed with these fantastic instructors/trainers and so many supporters that have helped me along the way. Every time I start to get discouraged, someone is there to pick me up and push me a little farther. I have developed new friendships; friendships that will last forever.

There is one new friend that I really want to appreciate - Crystal McKern! I only knew your name through us having a mutual friend. I friended you on Facebook and we developed a connection. I have watched you start your own journey and you are doing such a wonderful job. You encouarge me without even realizing it! We remind each other when we're hurtin' from a workout that HARD WORK PAYS OFF! Because we're on such a similar journey, we can grow [or technically SHRINK] with each other, share experiences, successes, failures, and encourage each other. I am proud to call you my friend!

Words could NEVER express my gratitude and everyone's continued support and encouragement in my life. THANK YOU!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Moving Forward

For those of you that follow my story, obviously you’ve noticed that it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Sorry about that. I have just gotten so wrapped up in my routine that I just forgot to keep you updated. Well, hopefully I’ll catch you up today and stay up to date with my postings.

I didn’t hit the weight loss goal that I wanted to by October 16th, but I was pretty close. I did manage to lose 4 more inches though! I was very happy about that. I think my body is starting to adjust and get used to my workouts. My muscles haven’t felt as “worn out” the past couple of times. That just means I’m going to have to work harder; which is good because it also means I’m getting stronger and healthier. I’m still working on my mile pace.

My Color Run 5k is in 2 weeks! AHHH!! I am so very excited about it and anxious to see what time I end up with. The next 2 weeks are going to be FULL of workouts and running intervals! I’m just excited about that weekend in general. My team (No Excuses – Crystal, Erica, and Jenny) is making it a complete girls’ weekend. We are staying Friday and Saturday night and going to just do some fun stuff together. It is going to be a much needed weekend away for me! I absolutely cannot wait. Crystal actually has another 5k to do on Sunday at Furman with her work. I’ll be going with her to support her in that race as well.

I am still working on getting my eating habits in check. I am following some Paleo “restrictions” but not as much as I need to. I am going to be working on that in the coming weeks as well. I have actually had 2 people approach me recently about helping them to eat healthier. This is just a testament to me on how much my story and journey is reaching and affecting people. I know I say this about every time I blog, but I never thought how sharing my story would influence so many people. It completely amazes me. I hear stories from friends where people say something to them, people that I don’t even know! I am so very thankful for the lives that I am able to reach by sharing my thoughts, my struggles, and my successes. The whole reason I started sharing my story was to hopefully let someone out there know that they are not alone in their journey. I know that, at least for me, it helps to know that someone else has thought what you’ve thought or struggled the way you’re struggling. It also helps to know that the struggles are only temporary and success is on its way!

I have just been so blessed in my journey thus far. I may have failed to meet some of my goals and slipped along the way, but it’s all part of the process. It is inevitable to fail at some things. Life has an ultimate purpose and failure should not keep you from it. The important thing is to learn from it, pick yourself up, and keep going. My journey is not temporary. My journey is the rest of my life. I refuse to let failure rule the rest of my life, it has taken too much of my life already. I will be successful and I will achieve my goals! And you will reach your goals as well, just keep pushing forward. Push through the struggles, push through the rain, and push through the hurt. If you stumble, then take a minute to regain composure and continue along the way. Keep your eye on the little bit of sunshine you see ahead knowing that victory is just around the corner!

I’m not going back. I’m moving ahead. I’m here to declare to you. My past is over. In you, all things are made new. Surrender my life to Christ. I’m moving, moving forward!
Moving Forward – Hezekiah Walker
I AM A CHRISTIAN. I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, & mind. God has really blessed me more than I could ever imagine, but the truth is that Satan HATES me!! I face struggles & temptation every single day of my life; but no matter what happens, I still strive to do the will of God. Because I put my faith & trust in God, He has provided relief for me & my family time & time again! God never fails to comfort & remind me of His promise that “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). There have been countless times that I did not deserve God’s grace & should not have been granted mercy. But He has granted me mercy & forgiveness, as well as goodness & grace -- all for the purpose of sharing it with those I meet along the path of life. Some days are better than others, but you always have to remember to keep pressing on! Keep praising HIM & He’ll never fail to bring you through the storm.