Choosing Joy (Trying to)

I’ve started to write a post and deleted it a few times. I’ve been thinking things that I connect with negative emotions and didn’t want to spout negativity.

I often feel spread too thin. Instead of feeling satisfaction from the things I do, I get the feeling that I’m not doing enough. It isn’t entirely in my head. There is societal pressure to put more and more on my plate. The Scouts need people. I’m a people. I want to help. School needs people. I’ve got that, too. I want to be active in my community. I find those opportunities and fit them in. At church, I attend and volunteer in two different positions and they insist that I join a small group. The pastor has spoken about not being obsessed with being busy. I’m not sure I understand how people can’t be constantly busy by contributing where they’re involved. Then, I’ve been trying to find part time work and to switch my body fat percentage with my muscle mass. I also have opinions about the way that my multi level marketing job works, but I’m going to stick that one in my pocket for some other time. I enjoy doing things, but the sense that it isn’t enough is what impacts how I feel about myself for doing them.

I realize everyone has challenges and their own form of busy. I get it. If someone is having a hard time, I’m not getting out my yardstick to measure how hard their hard is compared to mine or anyone else. I believe them. Tell me you’re tired and I believe it. I’m not going to compare how tired I am. I hope you find rest. I don’t need to win.

So there’s choosing joy. I am blessed to have kids that need things from me. I am able to work out and able to run. I’m blessed to not have the problems I’ve had in past years that kept me from being as active and involved as I’d wanted to be. I am more at peace with my life now that I’ve invested time in my faith in God and my Christianity.


I found people who wanted to run with me if I’d just ask. When I’m working out, I stay on top of the positive. Being outwardly positive draws it inside. I’ve made progress in fitness. I’d gained a few pounds only to find out I’d decreased my fat mass and increased muscle. I can do weighted sit ups and I can pull my body up while holding on to rings. These things were not something I could do before the fat shred I did in March. Considering it hasn’t been very long and I’ve made that much progress, I’m feeling optimistic about the future with my health and fitness.


I recently discovered my dad has non hodgkins lymphoma, so prayers are appreciated. I don’t know a lot since the diagnosis was very recent and will require a lot of tests prior to treatment.

I want to keep my eyes on the positive. I trust God with my paths.

Now my kids are acting crazy and literally screaming, so I have to get to them. They’ve hit their limit of unsupervised time, I suppose. Thanks for reading! I try to be here weekly. Comments and suggestions are always read and appreciated. Thanks!



Developing New Phobias

I have felt increasingly crappy over the past week and my husband was on a business trip, so there was little to no reprieve. I felt the worst on days after I’d spent time outdoors. One day was a field trip to the local zoo with my daughter’s class. The next morning when it was time to run, I opted to do it indoors. I hopped on the rower at the gym for a warm up and did a few box jumps and burpees. On the treadmill, I ran a half hour hill program. I didn’t die of boredom. My headphones died mid run and my focal point was a crack in the wall.


Zoo trip!


I was on a cleanse this week because the results of my weigh in. It helped curb my cravings for junk. What it didn’t stop was my obsession with food choices and whether I’m choosing correctly and how I can fit my “sometimes foods” into my all of the time eating plan so I don’t fall into binge eating again. It helps that the author of the Binge Code, Ali Kerr, sends me emails with encouragement and reminds me that it could take a long time to get on the right path from disordered eating. The most recent email addressed clean eating and seemed so timely and appropriate for me that it helped me through.

I have been fortunate to spend the weekend resting and getting better from whatever made me feel sneezy, sniffly, exhausted, and all of the fun allergy sensations. I don’t know that the allergies made me tired as much as needing extra antihistamine and decongestants. Resting meant that I missed my “long run” this weekend. I’d planned 4 miles and not only am I anxious over my eating habits, I’m afraid to get behind on my fitness. I lost so much endurance over the winter. I was gaining speed until I had to take off for awhile when I was sick. I’ve developed a phobia of backsliding in nutrition and fitness. Some may think that is a good problem to have, but the anxiety alone makes my headspace a strange place to be.


Nap Partner

I’m going to figure out how to deal with it, of course. I want to enjoy training this summer for the half in October. I don’t feel like I have friends to run with now that I’ve slowed down and I’m having trouble getting my speed back. It isn’t that I mind running alone, but sometimes the accountability comes with meeting up with people to do the run. I also miss the people I used to run with and feel a sense of missing out on the people I really enjoyed so much time with in the past.

I weigh every two weeks, so the end of this week will be my day to see progress in what I hope is the right direction. My clothes fit differently. My tee shirts are a little loose and my pants pull up more easily. I think that says a lot about progress. I intend to find balance with my eating where I’m not thinking about peanut butter cups or chocolate ice cream when I’m getting ready to go to bed at night. The plan doesn’t involve completely wiping those things out of my eating. They’re “sometimes foods” and I intend to incorporate them to avoid binges.

Do you have fitness friends? Do you prefer to work out alone? Do seasonal allergies take you down? I hope you try to find your balance. I’m hoping I find mine.

I’m also praying. I have anxiety and worries, but I invite God’s help. I think it has brought me peace, but also joy. I have joy in spite of these minor things that worry me. I have faith that I’m going to get better.



Minus Fat, Plus Muscle

I got the results of the 28 day shred, but this week was insane, so I didn’t really come here to write it all down. I lost 9 pounds of fat and gained 2.4 lbs of muscle. This means the scale didn’t move down 9 lbs, but that fat is gone. This tells you and me that the scale isn’t the way to measure progress unless you have other things in place to measure progress.

I did not come in first place because my body composition change was .4% less than the person who earned first. So close, though! I still got a prize pack that was really cool:


I mostly stuck with my eating plan after Easter. I was volunteering at the school and lunch was sometimes after 2 snacks instead of between, but I got my eating in and only had a couple of Easter treats spread through the week. I made my chocolate bunny last 5 days and I was actually proud of myself for that.


The bunnies are all the same size, but half are different serving sizes. Nutrition facts are so weird.

I did not have a firm focus into fitness this week and I was actually fine with pulling back a little bit. As an introvert, I spent too many days around a lot of people and I was completely exhausted most of the week. I walked when I could and I stretched and used my foam roller. I rowed at the gym by my house on Monday and did a few body weight exercises while I was there. I went to the crossfit gym on Wednesday and Saturday morning and busted my butt both times.

I feel more confident in working out. I have a lot to learn with the movements used for lifting heavy things, but I am making progress. I food prepped my breakfasts and lunches for the week and I think I can keep up with that more easily than eating separate dinners from my family. I’ve said before, I’m a pretty good cook and I tend to put together balanced meals. I’m just watching my portions a little more closely at night since logging the calories in a diary is more complex when food comes from scratch and I never measure anything.

My newer goal isn’t a size. I want to change my body composition to be more muscular and less fat. I want to continue to run and do my October half marathon (Detroit Free Press). My friend has talked me into a Warrior Dash in July. I want to be able to complete the course without skipping any obstacles. Eventually, maybe I’ll be competitive with the crossfit. That’s probably really far down the road and  not quite on my radar.

Though, I know that any time I get an inkling of an idea of what I’m going to do, I don’t stop until I’ve done it. I’m still hooked on the idea of doing another marathon despite the terrible experience I had with my first and only 26.2. It’s in my head even though the goal is 2 years away.

I’m happy with what I’ve achieved so far. I want to stay on it. I intend to stay on it.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day! Are you making plans for short and long term? The goal that’s definitely within your reach and the other goal that seems crazy right now? I believe in you!!


Final Shred Week

I keep referring to my shred as a “cut” and I wonder if people think I’ve lost my mind saying that I’m still cutting until Saturday, but I’ll have ham and casseroles on Sunday. I’ve been so busy through this process. I’ve hit the gym every other day during the week and I grocery shop more often for fresh items. I’m holding at 5 lbs lost so far, but I’ll see how that figures in fat loss at the final weigh in on Saturday. One thing I’ve noticed is that my wrist is smaller because one of my bracelets I was wearing daily slides all over the place now. It can be easily adjusted. I was impressed that it was noticeable and somewhat regretted not taking body measurements at the start.

I have been a bit cranky this week. Not unusual for this time of the month, if you know what I mean. (PMS, guys. I’m talking about PMS.) I’ve been emotional and depression creeps up on me out of nowhere. I was worried that the darkness would stick around after thinking about how my absence wouldn’t be more than an inconvenience for the people I’m closest to. Yeah, dark intrusive thoughts come by without warning and definitely no invitation.

Fortunately, I’ve had a couple of good days. I’ve enjoyed my workouts and made progress. My Tuesday run wasn’t fantastic because it felt difficult, but I needed the run and it did what I needed it to for my mental state.


When I got to the gym on Wednesday, the coach was laying on the floor from the workout. My brain was instantly thinking that I should turn around and walk out because I couldn’t put up that kind of work and I’d just be embarrassing myself. On an overhead press, I completed one full set before failing to press the bar up beyond nose level for the rest of the time. I tried repeatedly and couldn’t break my mind of “I can’t do this.” We started another part of the workout that involved squats. While trying to improve my form, I lost my focus and fell on my butt with a bar overhead, but somehow was fine and it only made me try harder to get it right. I was exhausted, but I actually made it through that portion despite feeling like I couldn’t do another rep without falling over for most of the last portion where I had dumbbells to press.

Wednesday night, I had a trail run. My friend asked to ride with me, so I picked her up on the way. When I got lost, I was glad to have someone with me in the car. We were able to use trail shoes on loan from Saucony and go on a path Fleet Feet had marked out for us. It was muddy. There were hills and branches. When we hit 1.26 miles, I’d felt like I’d gone 3 miles and was feeling done with the experience. I was mostly hot because I’ve always taken a while to get used to changes in weather when I run. It was still fun, though. I got to chat with people I haven’t seen in awhile, splash in the mud, and give the shoes back to someone else to clean the mud off. I’d do it again even if my running partner for the evening would not. I also really liked the shoes I borrowed. They had a way to fasten them that made it easier to operate when they’re muddy and not have to tie them. The shoes were also not filled with water or mud despite the number of times I put my whole foot into the wet puddles. When I got home to clean up, I found a single thorn poking out of my knee and just laughed as I plucked it off. I required a bit of scrubbing to see the skin under all the mud I’d gotten on me.

All in all, this week has been ok. I am exhausted today and the gloomy skies don’t help that at all. I finished getting Easter items for my kids [and dogs]. This weekend is going to be busy, but I am excited to see my results from the shred as well as to watch my kids hunt for eggs stuffed with candy. I’m thankful for so many blessings and the ability to recognize them when I was feeling down.


Thanks for reading! I hope you have a great day!

Progress is Progress

This weekend was a blur. I weighed in on Saturday and I knew that I wasn’t down much in pounds, but I was disappointed to see the number on the scale that day. I started obsessing about getting my personalized report to see how much fat loss and muscle gain I’d experienced. GAINS! lol.

That board is always there, but this was special for Saturday’s event at the gym.

I considered skipping my Saturday cheat meal because I couldn’t land on one meal or cuisine in which I wanted to eat. I accidentally missed lunch by being busy and wound up eating a little bag of pistachios from a vending machine because it was the only ‘natural’ thing in there. I wanted to eat dinner somewhere that had draft beer. When my husband and I have gotten away for a meal together, we wound up at a local place called Flingers that had craft pizza and craft beer. I actually picked another local place before I changed my mind in the car to go to the pizza joint. No regrets there. My kids loved their meal and my husband and I had a bbq chicken pizza that was delicious. My beer tasted incredible. I ordered a skillet cookie and shared it, of course. I required some antacid later on, but I wasn’t sickly full. I didn’t binge on the food. I stopped when I was full and I was mindful about my bites.

I’m really digging the New England IPAs

Sunday, we went to church early for a meeting and breakfast where everything looked so tasty, but I only grabbed a small bite of their breakfast pizza and a large portion of fruit. My kids ate the pastries and donuts. The day was busy again and I simply didn’t feel like eating my lunch. My house was a zoo that day with kids coming in and out and I cleaned the floors before heading back to church for my evening volunteering.

My results came in after dinner Sunday night. I was down 3 pounds, gained 1 pound of muscle and lost 1% fat over the first two weeks of the program. While I know I should have been proud of myself, I felt like my hard work should have resulted in more. What’s up with that? “MORE!” There is always room for it.

And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer “More! More! More!”

Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Progress is progress and not being happy that I’ve made some in the right direction is nonsense. I still have two weeks to go and the main idea is to get fit and stay that way instead of starting over and over. Monday at the gym, the coaches were surprised that I wasn’t more pleased with my results and reminded me that I’m putting in the hard work and doing it the right way. I left the gym energized and went to tackle the rest of my day with a little more positivity than I’d started it.

I have a physical therapy evaluation today. This time a women’s health PT. Fortunately, I am not experiencing pelvic prolapse again. My ob/gyn has noticed some ligament issues that have causes me a lot of lower abdominal and back pain that have been annoying to say the least. My foot pain that was in the metatarsal region has nagged off and on lately and I’ve been trying to do all the exercises from that therapy so I don’t have to go back to the podiatrist. I’m not even old yet and I can’t stay away from the doctor for aches and pains.

Thanks for reading! I’ve felt higher energy levels since starting to eat better and exercise more regularly. My depression isn’t gone and obviously had to rear its ugly head on my weigh in results. It helps that I can have outdoor time without a coat lately. I’ve been running less than 10 miles a week, but it’ll pick up when the weather is consistently warm. Today, I ran with Aurora for 3 miles and she was nuts. I think she really had fun and we’re slowly learning how to use the running leash. She looked tired for the picture, but after some water and ice cubes, she bolted around the house like a herd of cattle were coming through.

Mid-week Writing

I have so much floating around in my head today. It could be that I had a little extra caffeine this morning. It could also be that I am reaping the benefits of no binge eating along with exercise.

This week, I planned workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Putting it on my phone calendar like an appointment has helped my accountability. I ran on Tuesday to my polling place about a half of a mile away, and ran around the block to get home instead of going straight into my subdivision. That made it a mostly uphill run, but I felt good despite being slower than what I’m used to running.

I recorded it in two runs on Garmin. This is one.

My nutrition changes started to get into my head Tuesday around lunch. Wednesday, I tossed out my pre made meal instead of eating it. To be fair, it had been frozen and thawed which affected the flavor. I decided to mix things up from my meal plan, put hummus into tuna, and eat it with celery and carrots. I sprinkled on some hot sauce and ate it all. I was concerned about tuna but I was pleasantly surprised.

I have noticed that eating every few hours has curbed my binge urges. I’ve had some major bouts with anxiety, but my depression seems to be under control. My body insecurity is high. I have a mirror and I don’t like what I see there. I know results take time, so I’m being patient with myself. I am ashamed that I let my fat get this out of control. I have faith that this is the last time I need to work so hard just to get healthy and that I’ll be good at maintaining my health.

This week, instead of making myself all individual meals, my dinners are planned for the family. Some parts of it are separate for myself, but it feels less like I’m having something entirely different than they are. That has also improved my outlook on eating well. I’m even going to try making a turkey and quinoa meatloaf.

Post after workout shower selfie.

I’m hoping for good numbers Saturday. I hope it gives me an idea of how well the changes are working.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day! It would appear Spring is trying to make an entrance. I sure hope so.

Shred Start

I attended Be Strong gym as planned last Saturday and was more confident with what to expect from my Spring Shred program. I wound up earning a t-shirt with the gym logo on it by being really enthusiastic. We had a presentation, workout, and weigh in.

Sunday, I had a nutrition plan on my phone and I hit the grocery store. I then spent 3 hours prepping 21 meals. I then realized that because I was going to be in St. Louis for the coming week, I would have to transport all of these meals and store them at my in laws’ house. Thankfully, they had space in their fridge and freezer. I brought my reusable ice packs and had them frozen by Friday when we headed back.

Chicken with cajun seasoning, brown rice, and raw broccoli

I attended a workout on Monday at the gym at 6am since we weren’t leaving until later in the morning for our Spring Break trip. I kept thinking about how I don’t like to wake up early while I was driving to the gym. On the way home, I realized it really wasn’t that bad to get up for the workout. I slept for the majority of the ride to St. Louis, though. My husband and I went to a hockey game and I had a little of his beer, but otherwise stuck to my nutrition.

Tuesday, we spent most of the day at the City Museum crawling through things and running around with the kids. I brought snacks along with me and ate them as I felt hungry. It was hard to fit in lunch and dinner toward the end of the day because I had plans with my bestie, Liz at the movies. We saw Captain Marvel. I can normally take down quite a bit of popcorn by myself, but I brought myself almonds, a protein shake, and a water bottle. Captain Marvel was awesome and I already want to see it again. When they brought my free small popcorn, I only nibbled less than a handful and tossed the rest after the movie. Not bad for someone who normally mindlessly binge eats popcorn.

Wednesday, we went to the St. Louis Zoo and I somehow missed seeing Justin Timberlake who was in town for a Thursday night show. I did get to see this penguin head scratch though:

Totally cute head scratch

My husband’s family got together for a bbq that night. I improvised my meal based on the plan and made an entire plate full of salad with chicken and artichoke hearts. I had one spoonful of the spinach and of the potato casserole, which were delicious. I didn’t over eat anything and that’s a big deal for me.

Most of the week, I was adjusting to my new eating plan while using tips from The Binge Code to help with the mental aspect of my healthy eating. I felt more confident having gotten through that book and then having guidance on what to eat when I’m not under eating and then overeating.

I made some adjustments based on last week. This week, I’m not meal prepping until Tuesday. My Sundays are usually pretty full and it was stressful to try to complete in the midst of the busy day. I ordered uniform containers to help with storage. I have meals prepared to get me through Tuesday. I’m going to prep dinners for the family instead of making myself individual dinners. I’ll just sub things in for myself on some of the side dishes. These are small adjustments I feel will help with this part of my journey. I really like what I’m eating, but I want to make sure it is something I don’t think is tedious.

Thanks for reading! I love feedback! I’ll be trying to check in weekly during the shred. My first follow up weigh in will be Saturday. I will try to nail down some numbers to share. This week, I was really excited to share my eating with you.

Strike ending

I’ve referred to my recent disinterest in fitness as a strike. Nothing specific happened to make me decide not to resume running after being sick. I simply didn’t want to. It was odd that I also didn’t resume cross training workouts like I normally do when I’m on running hiatus.

I’ve been reading The Binge Code by Alison Kerr. I purchased the book while trying to find something to help with my problem. It was self published and had some minor grammatical errors that most people wouldn’t notice. What it did for me, I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve been through countless weight loss programs where they said they’d change my relationship and my mind about food. Nothing could change me long term even though I wanted it so badly. This book has touched on the problems that I had all along.

Ali touches on techniques to deal with urges as a temporary approach while putting the rest of the book into practice. She outlines traps that we experience in our attempts to stop binge eating. One of my biggest problems had been overly strict food rules that lead to temptation and then to binge eating. She offers stories and real advice on the problems faced.

I’ve not been asked to endorse her. I got encouraging emails and handy printouts to use with the book. I was given access to guided meditations. I had a better idea of how to heal this problem and I have already noticed a difference in my hunger and satiety cues. Ali mentions that it could be six weeks or more before physical results are seen, so the expectation has been realistic from the start.

I’m happier when I’m involved in fitness. That isn’t part of the book. I’ve given myself accountability by joining a 28 day challenge at a local gym. Weigh in and first workout are Saturday. Completion day is April 20th. I hope to have updates for you and I hope to have restored fitness into my life and subtracted binge eating. I also hope to at least be back in 5k running shape. The owner of the gym assured me that this will be the end of my strike.

The first challenge is showing up for my weigh in. The next is spring break and exercising control during an often hectic week of activities for kids who have a bit of cabin fever from this winter. I am better prepared to deal with it.

The new business selling Keep Collective jewelry has been slow, but the people in my groups for the business are highly positive and supportive. When I set out to do it, I said I would give it a year. Maybe the warm weather will see more opportunities to earn. (FB: KeepWithJennDesi )

Thanks for reading! I hope you are excited about the arrival of Spring. I hope that you can find some success in things you’re looking to add or remove in your life. Don’t forget to be nice to yourself every single day.

Now, I’m going to figure out how to get my office chair to stop squeaking every time I shift my weight. Even if that means some spray lubricant. It’s unnerving and I’m never sitting still.

Load Spring, Please

Raise your hand if you are done with cold weather and precipitation that’s frozen. Now put it down before anyone else sees you. My poor blue minivan has a white salt crust on it that is probably eating the undercarriage to rust. (I’m a poet. Yay.)

Poor van…

I have had a sore throat for over a week. I’ve been to the “doc in a box” and to the general practitioner. It isn’t the flu and it isn’t strep, so there isn’t much I can do other than wait it out. What a bunch of crap. I’m assuming if there were a little humidity, this wouldn’t be an issue.

I know most people say that above the neck, you can still work out, but heavy breathing really aggravates the freshly swallowed glass sensation and I just don’t want to feel it. That’s not my primary reason. I haven’t been working out because I don’t want to make time to do it. I want to figure out this direct sales job, handle my body issues, and be the best mom and wife in the whole wide world while being the most awesome girl boss ever.

I have a problem that is with what I put into my mouth more than how I move my body. I can eat a box of cookies by lunchtime and not be hungry for lunch or dinner later in the day. Or I can eat 3 square meals and then get into the cabinet and whip something up that’s bad for me in just a few minutes. I’m an amazing cook and pretty good baker. I’ll totally brag on that.

I’m finally doing something about the problem at hand. The hard part was naming the problem. Binge eating. I have great cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure every year at my checkup. Except I’m obese. Yeah, I’m not overweight. I’m obese.

I know how to eat healthy. I enjoy an array of fresh and unprocessed foods. Dieting, I feel deprived. I go to a store, drive thru, or find a recipe to make something at home. I get stressed out and feel like I “need” something and no matter how much I eat, I feel more and more hungry. I know all the tricks: drink water, use fiber, and eat things with a low glycemic index. None of that matters when I’m on a binge and I feel like shit about myself, so I just feed the monster. Then, my brain starts to ignore the message that I’m full.

I have been on some form of a diet all of the time since I was around 8 years old. I never had a severe problem with disordered eating, so it wasn’t a real problem. I had a negative body image for most of my life. One time, I was trying clothes on and casually said I could stand to lose a few pounds upon trying one of her pants on. A relative replied to me, “More like 15-20 pounds.” I realize that comment said more about her than me. Now I do. I was in my 20’s and I hadn’t transitioned to grown up sizes, yet. I wasn’t eating more than a meal a day unless there was an occasion. I smoked cigarettes and I would work out in front of my TV after my daughter went to bed. I was 150 pounds and I wanted to be 135 on my 5′ 7″ frame.

Like I said, finding the name for what was wrong with me was difficult. I’ve been as much as 215 lbs and as little as 160 over the past 10 years. I’m an inch shorter than I was. My weight fluctuates. My stress levels fluctuate. I searched deeper into what I was doing and why I had so much trouble with willpower sometimes vs others. I found “binge eating” was the name of what I’d been doing and it wasn’t necessarily about willpower.

I got a book about it and I’m still not 100% immersed in recovery. I put the book in my purse the other day, but not until after I placed paper over the cover of the book so others around me couldn’t see what I was reading. It is a source of shame that’s even deeper than the way I feel about my outward appearance.

The most important change is that I’m not dieting anymore. I base some of my worst eating habits off of the thought that “I’ll be fat whether I eat the doughnut or the veggie omelette.” I’ve always been fat, in my opinion. That’s got to stop. My goals for this year include a more positive opinion of self no matter the size and I’m trying to get there.

I’ll let you know how I feel when I finish the book. The author directly says it could be six weeks or more before I’ll see results, but that really is a small time period compared to spending the next years of my life not eating because I hate my body, but because I understand what it needs.

Have you ever sat and thought about how words from you or others have affected your sense of self? I implore you, on International Women’s Day, to tell a woman something you like about her that isn’t about her physical appearance. Don’t forget to reflect on yourself, though. Think about what you really like about you and don’t forget to appreciate it and embrace it.

Thanks for reading! I’m always up for comments or questions. If you want to know more about my jewelry selling, my facebook page is @KeepWithJennDesi. I actually have been enjoying it so far.

Regrets? A few.

This morning I was thinking that with each passing year, I’m becoming the type of person who does things my way. My music taste is eclectic at best and probably sometimes dated, but Sinatra can sure make you feel the song. Of course, I burst into song because I’m a living musical. Not really, but in my head, I totally sang in key and had all the right choreography to make it look good.

In those morning moments today when I was awake, but lying in bed thinking too much, I started to think of the positive spin on my regrets. I loved and trusted too much for people who didn’t deserve it. Maybe I was the only person to give them that warmth, though. I assumed people were my friends who weren’t. Giving them friendship didn’t take anything away from me.

The biggest thing that stands out to me is that when I was outwardly brave and bold, I always caved in to other people and their expectations. I was easily manipulated into being everything to everyone instead of me for me. I wanted to be loved and liked more than I wanted to be respected. I even did it for my daughter.

I realized it the other day when my daughter said she’s a product of her environment and therefore not responsible for the consequences or results of her own choices. The person I was when she was young would have believed that. I would have felt guilty for all the wrong reasons. I feel guilty now, but not the way that would seem satisfying to the person trying to apply that emotion to me. I feel bad that I did too much and gave in too much for my own insecurities. No, I don’t think my oldest is permanently damaged from this. I just think that it contributes to the issues at hand that we are having with responsibility and respect. I think that the stronger person I am now is to thank for this realization that would have destroyed my former ego and will help her and my other kids in the long run.

Running has helped me develop some of the skills I needed to be physically and mentally strong. Not only has it helped me to conquer the difficult times, but it has forged friendships and inspired people to join me. I didn’t go into running a half marathon thinking I had an issue with mental fortitude, but I came out of it realizing it had been there.

The tough times over the last few years nearly broke me. Some parts were broken, but I found a strength I never knew. My husband and I have never been closer. We’ve used the pieces that were breaking and built something so much stronger together and for that I am grateful.

I want to say that in the tough times, it is difficult to pull away and refocus. I get it. I don’t think you should just ignore it when your world is crumbling down. What I want you to know is that you grow from being buried. The pieces that break away aren’t always going to fit back on. Let yourself become the person your trials are making you. Some people won’t like it. Especially the people who benefitted from the weakness. Do it anyway.

I haven’t run lately. I’m still working on the binge eating. I’ve taken big steps toward recovery. This month wasn’t great for my direct sales gig. I made 2 sales and one of them was to myself. I had my hair cut twice last week because I hated the first cut. The second was better, but not what I’d expected or wanted when I set out to get it done. I bought a wave iron to style away the plainness of the cut. I was really feeling down on myself. This morning, something clicked. I have been trying and sometimes failing instead of failing to try. I did it my way and I’m proud of that.

I hope this came off as positive. I feel well today with the sun shining despite the bitter cold and roaring winds. I’ll share my hair saga: