Learn To Appreciate


-Tony Robbins-

Aren’t expectations pretty much our way of putting conditions on our happiness? I do this ALL time. Please tell me I am not the only one. We pretty much are saying “I will only be happy if ______ happens?”

IF my spouse spoils me for my birthday.
IF the kids are perfect angels today.
IF it doesn’t rain and ruin our plans.
IF I get this promotion that I deserve.
IF I don’t get sick.

What if we were able to trade those expectations for gratitude. Don’t you think that would be such a game changer? It could instantly make what we have feel like an abundance. Trading those expectations allows us to choose happiness and peace in ANY circumstance.

Again this is what I am working so hard at doing. Instead of being disappointed or let down with myself or a situation or a day, I start looking for the GOOD. In my life, in my relationships.

It really has started to change things. It gives me something to focus on and the hard times don’t always feel so hard. So instead of being grumpy because I had a four year old screaming at me all day. I think of how grateful I am for my child that I waited a really long time for. When the weather is bad and I don’t get to go hiking or to the reservoir with my family, I instead try to just be grateful for my family and for the day we get to spend together.  When a hard lesson has been learned I am trying to be grateful that I get to learn it.


I Am A Beast


If all of those things in the meme above are what you are wanting, what makes you happy when someone says it to you then that is awesome. Me though, I don’t love it. I have a really hard time when someone tells me “oh you are tiny, there’s no way you could know what I am struggle with”. “you just wouldn’t understand how hard it is to lose weight” etc. I have to take a deep breath and just smile. Because what I really want to say is you have no idea. You have no idea how I spent the majority of my life over weight and unhappy. The majority not comfortable in my skin. You have no idea how I literally worked my butt off and am now the strongest and healthiest that I have ever been in my life.
The other day I went to a different circuit training class with a different teacher than I normally go to. In her class we did each exercise for 3 one minute rounds with 15 seconds break in between. I was on the tire flip and you guys that tire is heavy. I can’t remember for sure but I think it’s 150+ pounds. I flipped that tire better than I ever have before. I was feeling strong and that all my hard work has been paying off. The teacher came by on my third round and said, “wow, you are a beast!” And then quickly apologized. I laughed and told her that was the best compliment I could receive. Tell me I am strong, tell me I am a beast. Don’t focus on my physical appearance. Because honestly your physical appearance isn’t what matters. As long as you are working hard at whatever your goals may be and working to better yourself you are a beast! 🙂

Set An Example For Your Kids

If you want your kids to have a healthy lifestyle then you have to give them the opportunities so have one. It’s amazing to me how much Olivia watches my every move. She mimics things I do and say and long before she was born I decided she was going to be active. I don’t care what size she is, I don’t care if she dances or plays sports but I want her to be active. I want her and Madelyn to know that getting out and moving your body is fun and makes you feel good. And I want them both to see how amazing this world is. So in St. George last week, when every day was 105 degrees, we got up early and headed out with our girls. We picked a hike Olivia could do and for a good 40 minutes she led the way. She showed us how she could jump off of rocks. She showed up how strong her legs were to climb. And we talked about how gorgeous these red rocks are. You don’t have to do anything crazy, just get up off the couch and get outside and teach your kids by your example how much fun being healthy is!

P.S. This piggy back rider that I won was awesome! Olivia tested it out as we headed back to the car and thought it was so cool. Me on the other hand HATED the hiking backpack, it was killing my shoulders from the second I put it on! So if you have any good recommendations for a not expensive but awesome hiking backpack please share. Good thing I borrowed this one but thinking I would love to get one!


Be Strong Like Popeye!

I know a lot of people don’t like to buy spinach because it can go bad so fast. Spinach is so good for you! It is full of iron and is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. It’s a powerhouse of good things for you! I may be crazy but for my little family I buy the huge bag of spinach at Costco. It’s SO cheap compared to any other spinach you will find anywhere else. Yes, I often have a little of it go bad but it’s such a great buy (and I am the queen of frugal!) and so I would rather save a little money and have a tiny bit of waste. Even though I hate wasting food!

So a year or so ago I tried a trick and it worked a lot. Granted every bag is different, some more fresh than others, but it helps a lot. When you open up the bag stick a couple of paper towels in the bag. There is always extra moisture in the bag and that makes it spoil fast. So you stick in paper towels and leave them in there and it soaks up the moisture! You can change them out if they get too wet but it really works! I most times now get through the whole big bag and it’s sad but I get excited when that happens! 😛

So don’t be scared, go buy that big bag and save some money! Chop it up and add it to your eggs, throw it in your smoothies, make big salads out of it for lunch. Give this trick a try!


This Is Me

It’s a constant journey and I some days I feel like I am figuring myself out and other days just don’t have a clue. But I am not ashamed of myself anymore. The song “This Is Me” is my anthem. I cried the first time I heard it, yep in the theater, full on crying. (In my defense I was pregnant though!) But it just hit me. I was ashamed of myself for so long. And still struggle with what I feel like I should or should not be at times. But I don’t have to be ashamed anymore. I am a work in progress and that is ok, I am trying. And I don’t have to feel bad anymore. And so Olivia (I can’t believe she’s 4!) and I dance to this song all the time. And she knows the words. And though she may not get the meaning of it all now, she knows the words and some day will remember them. She will remember her momma taught that she is awesome and amazing just the way she is and she should never be ashamed of that!



If I Can Do It You Can Do It

For those of you new around here let me introduce myself. I am Jamie and the mom to two adorable girls, Olivia (4) and Madelyn (1) and have an amazing husband Rob. This blog started out as my therapy. I have now lost 100 pounds total, and have kept it off for the last 10 years or so. I suffer from what I call “fat brain” and am addicted to food.  I LOVE food. I have been cooking and baking since I was 10, went to culinary school and am always thinking about the next delicious treat I can bake. Oh and I also love ice cream more than just about anything on the planet.

My size made me unhappy, really unhappy. And one day I decided I had had enough. I have always been active but was pretty much always over weight. I didn’t take any magical pills that melted the weight off overnight or survive off of celery juice. I made a lifestyle change. I found something I loved, spin class. It became my drug of choice. I also learned better portion control. Don’t think I starve over here, I could out eat almost everyone and sometimes do. But the majority of the time I am smart about what I eat and how much. And cut out sugar? Haha, yeah right. You wouldn’t want to be within a 10 mile radius of me if I did. I still eat ice cream and treats often, if not daily. (And sometimes more than once a day!)

There isn’t some magical secret, you just need to make changes to how you are living and find what works for you. And what may work for you for awhile may have to change at some point. I used to get up at 4:30 a.m., yes you read that right, 4:30 a.m. And I did so willingly 5 days a week and went to spin. Fast forward and now I have two little kids and purposely getting up that early doesn’t work for me now. So instead I throw my girls in the stroller almost every morning and we go for a 2-4 mile walk. I get to the gym when I can because I am a total gym rat and love being in a class with a teacher to push me to work harder. I find videos on YouTube that I can do from my house and make it work while my girls are climbing all over me or stealing my workout equipment. And I sadly don’t get to spin much anymore, there just aren’t classes when Rob is home and I could go. So I have a new found love for circuit training and our rec center started offering a stroller class so I can park my girls in the stroller and get an awesome workout in all while throwing snacks and toys at them to keep them happy. And even though the way it is for me now my not be exactly what I would hope it’s ok because recently I reached a goal of mine that I have always had!

I don’t share this to brag, I just want you to know that you can make it happen and make those changes to be healthier. I have always had big arms, regardless of my size, and have always been jealous of those with toned arms. Well me over here, me who used to be 100 pounds heavier, me who has had 2 babies, me who some days eats ALL the chocolate in the house, me who is 38 years old and pretty much runs on no sleep. Well I  now have the arms I have always wanted. Again, please don’t take this as bragging. If anything use it as motivation. I feel more healthy and strong than I have ever before in my life and that motivates me to keep it up. Healthy and strong is our mantra around here. Who cares what the number on the scale is or what size your clothes are. Healthy and strong are what matters!

Thanksgiving Doesn’t Have To Be Bad

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I don’t know about you but I use to almost dread holidays like Thanksgiving where there was tons and tons of food around. But now I look forward to the day full of food and family because I have a few tools to help me out so I thought I would share because you know I love all of you out there!

START YOUR DAY WITH A WORKOUT Obviously it’s always easiest to get up and get your workout out of the way because then there won’t be things that pop up and get in the way. And you want to spend the day with family and not have to keep thinking about working out. So whether it’s going for a run, doing a Fitness Blender workout on YouTube a quick yoga session or walking around the block for 15 minutes just do something! Any sort of movement you can do will make you feel great!

DRINK LOTS OF WATER I don’t know if you family has fun drinks for the holiday but pass on them. I always say save your calories for food! Personally I would rather eat my calories than drink them. Aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces during the day and try drinking a big glass before you eat. Dehydration is often mistaken for hunger so stay dehydrated!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT EVERYTHING I grew up in a house where we ate sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving like you would a baked potato with some butter and salt/pepper. I think I was in college before I knew that sweet potatoes could have brown sugar and marshmallows on top…gross! So that isn’t a dish I like so I don’t put it on my plate. SO not worth the calories! So just because the food is there doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Just eat what you know you like! And take little portions because then if something tasted extra good you are fine having a little bit more.

EAT BREAKFAST Start the day with a good filling breakfast with a lot of protein. Cereal is good but won’t fuel you for the day. Eat something healthy that has a lot of protein and is lower in fat and carbs. It will fuel you for the day until it’s time for the big meal and it will also help you not to snack while prepping the meal.

GET RIGHT BACK ON TRACK One day isn’t going to hurt you. You can be sure that I will be eating at least 2 rolls and lots of pie and ice cream! But it’s ok, you won’t eat like that every day so the next day just get back to your normal eating.

ENJOY the day, ENJOY your family and friends and ENJOY THE FOOD!