Hitting the Wall….

I’ve been so proud of myself for going to the gym every day. And I should be, that’s a big deal, but I’m hitting the wall. Shane gave me a new routine that I love/hate. I love it bc of what it will do for me and I hate it bc it’s hard. I told myself that I don’t have to do them all, but I have to try everything. Thing is, once I have the equipment set up to try doing something, I go ahead and do it all, which I knew I would. I can feel my legs have muscles in them, my arms too, but I’m not seeing anything. My posture has changed, and my outlook has changed too I suppose, but I was hoping for a little more. I’ve been going for a while now, but I wasn’t sure how long, so I looked back. I counted up the weeks and it’s been eight. Only eight weeks…. two months. I know it’s going to take longer to see something, but for whatever reason discovering that it’s only been two months that I’ve been going, kinda took the wind out of my sails.

I’ve reworked my nutrition after working with Stephanie, and I’m down a few lbs, but I’m not SEEING anything. My pants don’t fit different, my gut is still big, and I get tired.

Some days I’m so beat after a workout that I’m down for a few hours. Some days it’s everything I have to get through the workout. I do it, and I don’t quit, but I’m just discouraged. Have any of y’all had this? What did you do to combat it?

How long before you saw something? Anything?

I knew this would take hard work, and I knew it would take some time for results, but I think I’ve underestimated the amount of time.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment | Leave a comment

So There’s This Jerk at the Gym

I say jerk, that’s being nice. I want to use a few other words, but my grandmother reads this blog, so we’ll stick with jerk.

Let’s start at the beginning…. he’s a grunter. Loud grunter. Like make everyone else uncomfortable loud.

Now, this guy is in pretty decent shape, fairly large, but has an air of insecurity about him. I get that. I’m full of insecurity there. Everyone is in much better shape than I am, and they obviously know more about what they’re doing.

So back to the grunter. I have on a few occasions made eye contact and rolled my eyes, but that’s kinda it. As much as he irritates me, I never complained about him, but someone must have because he stopped. He’s the kind of guy who gets along with the fit girls, but he doesn’t like me, and he lets it be known. He will stay on equipment when he knows I’m waiting for it, he will purposely put things out of my reach when he knows I’m going to use it next, and he’s just an all round ass.

I decided today that he truly is making an effort to stop grunting, so I’m going to do something against my nature. I’m going to be nice. He is obviously insecure about something and I bother him. If I’m nice I might just throw him off enough that we can peacefully coexist. What would y’all do?

Posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments | Leave a comment

Man do I Want to Quit….

Every. Day. I won’t, but I want to! I think about all the times I’ve quit before and where I would be if I hadn’t. I think about where I would be if I quit now. I think about how sore I was after my first two days and how I never want to be that person again.

This last weekend we bought new furniture so the hubs and I moved our old stuff upstairs. A sectional sofa and a two seater chair, up to the playroom. We did somewhat easily, the only real issue was where the stairs turn 1/2 up. (PIVOT) lifting and carrying it however, that was not a problem. I like being sore now because it’s a light sore and it means that I’m getting stronger. A friend once told me, “Soreness is just weakness leaving your body”, I hated hearing it then, but now I’ll claim it. This is why I won’t quit. I’m feeling progress. I owe it to my family to keep going.

I want to quit because it’s hard. I don’t SEE any progress, and I would much rather be lazy if I don’t see anything. It’s been a month and a half, my pants are still tight, my stomach is still huge, and I just want to lay on the couch all day. I won’t, but I want to!

Stephanie and I talked about nutrition and I’m still putting my thoughts together to share with you about that. Hopefully in a day or two I’ll get that out here.

If anyone has any beginning to get in shape stories, I would love to hear them!

Posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments | Leave a comment

Chiari be Damned

Yesterday was the end of September and the end of Chiari awareness month. If you know me, you know what that is, if you don’t, I encourage you to take a look at the “My Chiari Story” page for more information. Chiari is a condition that is not that rare, but it’s rarely diagnosed. There is no cure, only some treatments to help with the symptoms. There are several sister conditions that come with it, and yes, you can die from it. I will always be subjected to Chiari’s whims, but there has been some good that has come from it too. I have met some amazing people than I cherish and proudly call my friends. I know my strength, and know that am able to pull myself together without most people even noticing that I’m hurting. I also know the value of life and good days how how both should be treated with joy and respect. This year for Chiari awareness month, I took a different approach. I focused on me. On my health. I dropped the excuses and embraced the fact that I can still take care of me. I started working out. If you follow me, then you’ve been following my journey thus far, and if not, welcome. I turn 40 one month from today. 40. I’m having a harder time with this one because in my head I’m only 26 and and 2003 was only a couple years ago, not more than a decade ago. By 40, I was supposed to be fit, successful, beautiful, and married to a rock star, traveling the world. I never dreamed that my success would be shown in my children, or that my rock star would be a computer guy who works his tail off to provide for his family. I think I won the lottery in both of those scenarios. That still leaves fit and beautiful. I know I know, beauty is on the inside and I shouldn’t need external validation, BUT I DO! I used to turn heads. I was the hot girl people noticed, and now I’m working my way back. I’m in the gym every day, whether I want to or not. And some days my head is killing me, but I go. I’m working with Stephanie on a meal plan to get the weight off because fitness starts at the gym, but weight loss comes from the kitchen. I owe it to my children to be the healthy mom they deserve. I owe it to my rock star to take an effort in my appearance, and I owe it to myself to work hard and get fit again.

Posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments | Leave a comment

Frustration is Good.

In culinary school, they taught that frustration is what happens right before a breakthrough. If you persist, you will learn. So I changed my paradigm and started to look at frustration as a stepping stone.

Yesterday was a big frustration. I felt terrible, had crazy heart palpitations all day and night, only to get worse with my workout and I got worn out faster than I should have. I was frustrated. If ever there was a day where I would quit, it was yesterday.

Today, I went, I felt good, and I stepped off my frustration point to hopefully move on to the next one.

Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I get frustrated and think I should quit, but I’m trying not to give myself that option. I’m trying to remember that it is only a stepping stone for self improvement.

Posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments | Leave a comment

Excuses and Determination

I wanted to call this post “Excuses Excuses” but that’s not really what this is about.

I was once the queen of excuses. “I have asthma”, “I have a weak knee from getting hit by a car”, “I have a cold”, “I had brain surgery and can’t lift anything heavy”, “it’s Tuesday.” I’ve used them all and look where it got me.

I’ve stuck my heels in and won’t give myself the chance to make an excuse or give into them. I get up, I get dressed for the gym, (this reduces my chances of sitting on my butt procrastinating getting my workout clothes on) then I take my kiddo to school, come home, have a quick breakfast, and go to the gym. Now, am I walking up to the school in spandex pants in front of all the neighbors’ houses? Yep. Unapologetically too.

Do many other moms do this? Yes. Do they all look like me? No, they look like they’ve been hitting the gym for years, and that’s ok. In a few years, I’ll have been hitting the gym for years. Until then, I’m not giving myself any excuse to delay going.

So here is my fear: any time I get into a good groove, keeping the house clean, staying on top of the laundry, whatever…. I get sick, real sick, and it all goes to hell. I don’t want that. I’m too scared to take two rest days in a row for fear that I’ll give up on the third. I need to go. I HAVE to go.

So I safeguard as much as I can, my resolve. After 39 and 11/12 years (not 40 yet damnit!) I know myself. I know how to trick myself for good.

I have a gym buddy now too. A mom that I know from PTA and around the neighborhood, who is really nice and her husband went to OSU, so of course they’re cool. She just started, and I’m hoping she stays with it too. On the days we don’t see each other there, we can still hold each other accountable.

The other excuse I could have that might get the best of me is fear. Fear of what others might say or think. Fear of not belonging, fear of sticking out like a sore thumb in a gym full of fit people….

to that I say, “to hell with it”. There is nothing someone could say to me or about me up there that I haven’t said to myself. But I’ve also told myself I can do this, and that I owe it to myself and my kids to get healthy. If others talk, (and to be fair, I don’t think they do, people up there seem pretty cool) let them. I don’t know them, so I value my own opinion of me more than theirs. I’m there trying to change myself. Every day I’m there. I may not see anything now, but in a year, I know there will be a different story. I know there will be more.

My doctor told me I have balls to just go into a gym and start lifting free weights. I don’t know if I do or not, but I know I like it.

Posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments | Leave a comment


When you first start working out, and especially if you are lifting weights, everything you read and hear is about gains. Gains gains gains. I always just assumed that muscle heads were just trying to get bigger muscles and that was the gains they talk about …. and it is…. and it isn’t.

There are other gains, smaller gains that you probably don’t think about. I started week three today, and hopefully at the end of this week, it will be a habit. So two weeks at the gym, and this is what my “gains” are:

My posture has changed. How I carry myself, and how I walk. I noticed this, and then a friend at the gym saw it too.

I FEEL myself getting stronger. I can go up and down the stairs easier, I can get up from sitting or get out of bed without the pain and cracking.

I feel my old personality starting to peek out. I’m still tired, and that could be having small kids, or the chiari, or both, but I am starting to get the fun side of my personality back. And I’m happy about that. I’m tired of this personality, I want to be bubbly again.

Lastly, I’m more comfortable at the gym. I don’t feel quite so out of place anymore. I still feel a little intimidated, but I go. I show up every day and I put in the work and I feel like I belong there.

I still have a long way to go, we are going to talk nutrition on here once I get that all worked out, and I’d like to get brave enough to put some starting measurements up on here. We’ll see.

Posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk About Weight….

I’m over weight. Like probably 80 lbs over weight. That’s the first time I said it. My whole life, my weight was up and down. When I was thinner, I thought I was fat. I remember being 5’8″ and 135 lbs and all I saw was cellulite on my thighs. I was just never satisfied with my body, and I think one day I just gave up. I went on diets, I read books on metabolism, I took diet pills, and I’ve lots tons of weight. But, ultimately, it goes back on.

I remember I used to go to the gym, get my metabolism revved up for a few weeks and then I’d cut my calories to about 300 a day. I lived off metabolize too, the good stuff, before they outlawed it. I would lose lots of weight, look great, and be too tired to go to the gym (because I wasn’t eating) so I would sleep. A friend in med school at the time, (we were early 20s) and someone I respected very much sat me down on my birthday when I couldn’t finish an enchilada and explained to me what was happening to my body and how I was going to die if I didn’t change. By the way Quentin, thank you.

So back and forth, up and down, unhealthy choice after another, I end up here. And I’m not happy with myself.

Something’s got to give. My clothes don’t fit, and buying new ones would mean going to a size that I just can’t go into. I’ve thinned out my closet, I have seven shirts that fit me. Seven. I’m not buying any more pants that fit me, I’m just going to have to squeeze into the old ones, and wear them until the thighs rub together so much that a hole forms. It’s what I always do.

I need to change. And for good this time. Not just until I get into the size I want. I’m lazy and apathetic, and I need to stop.

So I joined a gym. Ok…. now what? I can swim, I’m a pretty strong swimmer, or I guess I can get back to the machines and the elliptical. I hate the elliptical, I hate all cardio, but the elliptical is by far the worst. But something’s got to give. And it has to be me.

Have I mentioned that my brother is a trainer, and in amazing shape? I don’t want to call him because he’s put a plan together for me before and I quit a few days in. I know he is disappointed and I just don’t want to waste his time, but he reached out to me and gave me a plan. A plan I can do, and it doesn’t involve getting on a hamster wheel.

A little back story on my brother, he has always been the coolest and smartest person I know. The kind of person who researches and reads and gathers all the information he can find and then decides what to do. And that’s with anything, not just fitness. He’s compassionate, but not biased, he’s fair, and he doesn’t sugar coat anything. I asked him when I would see results and he answered, “well, you’re big, it’s going to take a while.” And he’s absolutely right. I wasn’t insulted, or hurt, because it was the truth and not meant to be anything more than factual. He’s just the kind of guy that people listen to. So I suppose I will. He also doesn’t buy my BS excuses. He doesn’t care that I’ve had brain surgery or that I stubbed my toe or whatever else I can come up with. It’s like he thinks I’m capable, which is kind of a good feeling. I am extremely grateful for his knowledge and willingness to help me yet again in this life.

He has me on a plan that I can do, and until this becomes a habit, I’m using him as my accountability. I text him every day that I go, and probably annoying the hell out of him, but at least he knows I’m doing it. He didn’t waste his time…. this time. This time is different.

Why is this time different? I didn’t really know the answer to that until tonight. This time I’m not trying to be some skinny girl who looks good in a bikini. This time I’m not listening to other people tell me how my body should look. This time is for me. I said “probably 80” at the beginning of this because I don’t know how much I’m going to lose. At one time I wanted to lose 100 lbs and “get back to my fighting weight” but I don’t want to be that girl. I want to be strong and healthy. If that means I lose 60 lbs and that’s all, well then fine. I turn 40 in a couple months, and as hard as it it for me to comprehend that I’m an adult…. I am. I’m a grown woman and I don’t care what others think. When I’m lifting weights, I am looking out the windows, not facing everyone in there. If they want to make fun of me, so be it. I’m not there to impress them. I’m just THERE. I’m there to build myself up. Both physically and mentally. I’m there to become healthy and to overcome my unhealthy cycle.

So here’s what I’m doing:

I’m going five times a week

I’m changing my diet

I won’t put myself down or anyone else, especially in front of my kids. I think calling myself fat in front of them teaches them to have an unhealthy relationship with food as well as teaches them that there’s something wrong with “fat” people. And I’m not here for that. My focus is on teaching them how to take care of your body and strive for health, and to be an example for that.

I’m doing everything on my list of exercises, and pushing myself even when I don’t want to.

Showing up this time. This time is different.

You are all invited to join me on my journey! Wish me luck!

Posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments | Leave a comment


2016 can suck it. This is a year we have lost more legends than normal. Bowie, Prince, Ali, Gary Marshall…. these are all heavy hitters, – there’s another we just lost. He didn’t sell a million records and he didn’t win an Oscar, but he was well known among many, and he was loved and respected by all who knew him. 

Mike Mahoney was the son of an Irish immigrant, a sheep herder, who grew up in Casper and he was my grandpa. 

I can’t speak much for his time in the army, growing up during the depression, and herding sheep as a child, though he always told the best stories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. 

I can tell you the strength and the character he exuded was a bar set high. He raised four kids, as a single father, in the 60s. He was a gym teacher, a referee, and a driver’s ed instructor. But to me, he was grandpa. He taught me how to fish, he tried with all his might to teach me to ski, neither of us knowing that I had a brain condition that made balancing on water behind a boat damn near impossible. He did teach me to drive both a car and a boat, but he also bought me my Ken doll because he was tired of me making him walk with my Barbie down the aisle, and he did walk her down the isle many times. He gave me my first taste of beer, and it was awful -Schlitz, so I didn’t go near beer again for a very long time. He is also who my daughter is named after. Something my shy little girl seemed to understand when she last saw him. 

The man never sat still for long. Maybe a few minutes under a tree at the lake smoking his pipe before jumping up to water the grass or mow it or work on some project that needed to be done. He was a master at MacGyvering things. My first fishing pole was a willow branch with fishing line tied to it. I caught quite a few fish with it too. 

Because he was a teacher for 41 years and because he taught half the state of WY how to drive, everyone knew him. Everyone. We could be eating lunch near the Tetons and you would hear, “Mr. Mahoney!!” Or my favorite: sitting in a boat in the canyon (which I have a fear of btw) after we have just hit a large rock and the boat that was taking on water before (which caused it to sit lower in the water thus hitting said rock) was taking on more water now. We looked at each other and he immediately grabbed the life jackets. There were two good ones and three of us in a boat. And one of us sinks like a bucket of lead in the water. My grandpa was so athletic and so coordinated there was nothing he couldn’t do…. except swim. His body just didn’t float. So while I’m looking around for the nearest spot in the canyon I could get us to, I hear “Mr. Mahoney! Is everything ok?” They threw us a rope and towed us back. This was common though. His former students were always happy to help if needed. Or just happy to see him and catch up. He was loved by so many people, he was respected by everyone, and he deserved respect. He did anything needed to help others. He raised four kids on his own and made sure they knew they were loved and that they had good quality time together, with him, and each other. The kind of man you could always rely on. He filled his kids and grandkids with memories and life lessons that we could fill books with. Above all – he was honest, hard working, he loved his family, and sacrificed whatever needed for those he loved.  Mike Mahoney wasn’t just a great man or a hero, he was a legend. And the fact that we lost him in 2016 proves that. 

“O Fare the Well old Casper Town I am Bedding you adue/For its maney the Windy Day I spent between old Salt Creek and You,” John J. Crowley

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments | Leave a comment

Happy Halloween!

I’ve always really liked Halloween. Maybe it’s because this is the time of year when we can finally get back outside, maybe it’s the fun of it all, maybe it’s because my birthday is the day after…. whatever, I love Halloween. 

The hubs and I have a long tradition of overdoing the costumes for the little guy. 

First, there was McQueen:

Then there was the Bumblebee transformer:

Last year, as we were watching “The Force Awakens”, I knew what he was going to want to be this year, I just had to figure out how. The hubs had done an outstanding job on the cars in years past, but we needed round. A big round ball. 

We thought about a paper lantern, but couldn’t find one big enough, so we settled on paper maché and a yoga ball. 

Neither Doug nor myself had ever paper machéd anything, but what the heck? We went for it. 

We did about 10 layers, though the bottom edge seemed to be a little thinner. We held our breath as we deflated the ball, but it turned out ok. So far so good. 

I taped down the ends to make it a little smoother around the top and bottom. 

Next up was the paint. This is where Doug really shines. He makes sure to get all the details as accurate as possible and takes his time to get it right. Topped with a BB8 helmet and I think we are good to go!

I keep saying we need to reel it in, especially now that there are two and we are potentially looking at a lot of work. The thing is though, when the kids are older, I want them to look back and remember how awesome their parents made their costumes. I want them to not be afraid to go for it, to keep their imaginations going, and to remember the fun. Always remember the fun.  And armholes. We need to remember arm holes….

Posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments | Leave a comment