A few friends of mine and I decided we’re going to do a DietBet in the month of October. We start on October 5th and it runs through November 1st. If you’re reading this saying, “yes, yes I would like to do that too!!” You can join my Dietbet through this link >>> Jenn McD’s DietBet



Barriers – It’s you.

Last week (on my Facebook page) I mentioned barriers from a Shaun T podcast I listened to. Well, this week I listened to his second new podcast and he discussed barriers and climbing over a wall. I liked his analogy.
It made me think of the Warrior Dash this year, ever obstacle I told Mark “I can’t do that.” Then I’d grab the wall/mud/rope and climb up and over. At one point, Mark said to me “I love it. You will say you’re not doing something and as soon as I reach out a hand to help you’re already on the way down.”
I complained a lot at this years Warrior Dash. Every single obstacle I had a complaint and the first thing out of my mouth was “I’m not doing that.” I hadn’t been running and I hadn’t been doing any strength training workouts either. I felt weak and crappy from the minute I saw the first obstacle until the Bloody Mary I had a couple hours after the race.
This podcast got me to thinking though…
How would I FEEL if I didn’t do ALL the obstacles? 
I know how I felt after I completed every single obstacle. I know how I sounded with the whining and complaining. I hate whiners and complainers and here I was putting myself into the category. BUT – in the end, I finished and I did every obstacle they put in my way. I didn’t walk around it, I didn’t make excuses for them. I may have whined and complained before I got to it, I may have said I’m not doing that but I did it. I DID IT. I climbed a wall, I swam through mud, I jumped over fire, I jumped in a lake and pulled myself up on whatever that thing was, I climbed through a rope tunnel and wondered why the hell did I sign up for this race again? 
ScreenHunter_75 Sep. 22 09.16
It’s the same with workouts. Whatever workout you choose to do. If you’re following one of the Insanity programs, did you quit 5 minutes into it? It doesn’t matter if you wanted to quit, I think even the person in the most awesomeness of shape wants to quit 5 minutes in to jumping hell. Did you quit? Did you decide on day 2 you were done, and then proceeded to get jealous and upset over the other people who continued to the program and saw results? How did this affect you? 
Did you decide you’re going to run a 5k or a half marathon only to quit training because it go too hard?
At the end of the day, you have to do for you. You have to. No one else is going to do it for you. You can walk around the obstacles and choose to look back and see the people who got over the wall or you can climb up the wall yourself and know the struggle people had, if they received help getting over the wall and how they felt when their feet finally touched the ground and the pride they had for themselves for accomplishing a goal.
How do YOU feel when you don’t complete something?
Comment below

The Sad Story


“We all have these dark times and I suppose it’s how we try and respond to them.”

Bear Grylls, Running Wild with Bear Grylls

This quote struck a chord with me. I had to keep rewinding it so I made sure I got the entire quote written down, I think I annoyed my husband until I finally told him what I was doing. See, I’m really good at just doing something and then when I complete it, I say “Oh, I was trying to write down a quote.”

Ok – so back to the actual quote at hand. It made me think of the dark times I went through and the long, dark road I was on. I’d like to think I’m not on a dark road anymore, but I’m fully aware it can come again.

My road started back in February 2010. Scratch that, my road started back in November of 2009 the day before Thanksgiving. I was pregnant for the first time and had severe cramping and eventual bleeding. The memory still feels fresh in my mind the minute I felt the cramping as I came into the house with groceries for Thanksgiving dinner. I called M and then called my OB. She told me to expect a m/c over the holiday weekend. Here’s the yay part, I didn’t miscarry. I went in that following Monday and they saw a heartbeat, as well as a giant clot. I was put on a modified bed rest until I had 2 weeks with no bleeding.

By Christmas, the bleeding had stopped and by New Years, it had been 2 weeks without any spotting at all. And it was almost as soon as I started to celebrate no bleeding when it started to happen again. Another ultrasound at 12 weeks showed a healthy baby, and a smaller but not gone clot. Ok, we can deal with this. The baby is healthy, I just need to take it easy and continue on modified bed rest. Around mid-January, I remember coming back from the grocery and by the time I got in the house I was gushing blood/fluid. Every time I went to the bathroom, it was the same thing. At a guitar lesson that night, another gush. I didn’t think much of it because I had been experiencing this for close to 2 months, so it didn’t seem much different. I was also praying this was sort of like that final push.

I went in for a quad screen about a week after and received my results within a day or two. There was an abnormality for spina bfida on one of the tests, so my OB sent me for a high risk ultrasound with another doctor.

The week of my high risk ultrasound appointment, I had decided for Valentine’s Day the baby and I would make him something, since I was currently unemployed. I went to Joann’s and made one of those no-sew blankets with Notre Dame material. Neatly wrapped it in a box and wrote a letter in crayon from our little “micro.”

February 5th we went in for the ultrasound. I’m 100% certain giving the news is just as hard as receiving the news. My amniotic fluid was gone, all the gushing I had in mid-January was because my water broke. I was 17 weeks along at this point. We were devastated. We called family as soon as we found out the news and then we had to make the hardest decision either of us has had to make — what to do next. Leaning on faith and each other, we chose to deliver the baby. I went in on February 13th and in the morning of February 14th (yea, Valentine’s Day) Joseph Daniel was stillborn. This was the beginning of my dark time.

I had always longed to have happy pregnancies, and I was happiest in pregnancy when I was pregnant with Joseph. Even with all the bad going on, it didn’t phase me. I loved it. I sometimes look back at all my pregnancies and think “Well, at least I had that one…”

I miscarried twice during the summer of 2010, and for the fourth time in a year, found out I was pregnant at Halloween 2010. I had my daughter in 2011, and then a son in 2013. Neither of these pregnancies felt care free. Every ache or pain was cause for worry and stress. If toilet paper had brown specks in it, I had to sit there and investigate to make sure it wasn’t blood.

The stress and anxiety I had in each pregnancy didn’t help me post-pregnancy. With both kids I had postpartum depression. After my son, the postpartum was worse. It wasn’t until one night, when I was sitting on the couch with him and he was crying while being fed and I couldn’t handle it anymore that I set him down on the couch and walked away. The thoughts running through my own mind scared the crap out of me. The next day I talked to my sister-in-law about it and she called my husband. That following Monday, my son was put on medicine for his acid reflux and I was put on depression medication and put myself back in therapy.

Medication doesn’t help – I don’t like the flat line of emotions effect. I was on it for two weeks and immediately took myself off when C-Dub went into the hospital for bronchialitus (sp). While in the hospital the first night I noticed my distance and odd lack of emotion to the situation. I was present, I loved him and I was concerned about him, but at the same time it felt like there was a distance. My husband brought my medicine, but I told him I was done with it. I cannot be there for C-Dub and be on this medication at the same time. He was 2.5 months old and my bond with him was minimal.

And then something happened. The only way I can describe it is almost like how the Grinch’s heart grew in the cartoon version of the book. I remember sitting in the hospital room with him and it was just us. Then I looked at him, all attached to the oxygen and monitors and suddenly it was like the first time I had ever seen him. And like the Grinch’s heart, suddenly my heart just exploded with love for this little man in my arms. This is when the darkness began to lift a bit…

I was on the mend when I fell through
The sky around was anything but blue
I found as I regained my feet
A wound across my memory
That no amount of stitches would repair
But I awoke and you were standing there

Avett Brothers “February Seven”

When did the dark lift completely? I don’t know… my PPD lasted a long time. The earliest I can say is 14 months after C-Dub’s birth I started to feel a bit like me again. I had lost a little bit of weight and I was finally out of maternity pants after being in them for about 4 years straight.

It’s been 5 1/2 years since we lost Joseph, and not a day goes by that I don’t wonder about who he might have been. Not a day goes by I don’t think of him as a guardian angel over my two C’s. Without him and the situation, I wouldn’t have the two goofballs I do have. I thank him for them.


Sting Pictures

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday this week. With only a week left until I’m in Nashville, TN for the Beachbody Coaches Summit, I’ve stayed on top of my diet this week. I got workouts in on Monday and Wednesday, and plan to get one in tonight and tomorrow. Tuesday night I took the time to go sit with a friend and sign her up as a discount coach since she’s loving Shakeology so much.

Now to the title of the blog post… There is always perception vs reality. You experience it every day. In situations where you think your tone is kind and compassionate but the receiving person thinks your being a total ass. There is also the perception you have of yourself when you look in the mirror and the reality of what it is you’re not seeing.

Last year I lost 25lbs doing T25 and Weight Watchers. I felt AMAZING! I went from 220 to 195 and thought I was the shit. I transferred to a new position at work, wasn’t walking as far to get around places in my building (it’s 30 steps round trip to the bathroom for me), and spent most of my days sitting bored…. leads to eating… leads to 10lbs back on. I’ve struggled since January to take the 10lbs (+ some) off. I do believe, when you lose a lot of weight and you see those changes in your face and body (I was able to get out of maternity pants 14 months after having my son! Yes, I was the shit!), you see a new “slimmer” version of yourself and it’s easy to get stuck in the newer you. 195 is far from my goal weight. I looked at myself and saw a “much better than before” version and clung to it. I was successful. I lost 15-25 lbs and I looked good.

Then around May-ish I started seeing myself differently again. I saw the reality of the 10lbs added back on (back to 205), I felt the sluggishness settling in. It’s not that I wasn’t working out, I was… but I my eating was not. No one knows I drove through Dunkin Donuts and bought 1-2 donuts alongside my blueberry coffee. If no one but me (and the DD workers) see the bag, then NO ONE knows I ate 2 donuts… as a snack… and then bought pudding as a dessert with my lunch. All the while telling myself, “I’ll eat better tomorrow. I was dying for a sweet treat and needed this.” Yet, tomorrow came and someone brought in bagels and cream cheese to work — and put them in the kitchen across from my office. Ah, the smelly goodness of fresh bagels. Just one, and then tomorrow I’ll jump right back on.

And then there are the Sting Pictures — I don’t mean sting like a bee or the musician… You know, the ones where you see yourself and go “Oh my god… What? Who is that?” and not in a good way. My inner “gremlin” wants to kick my mentality down, but I’m working to rise past the gremlin and not shove bagels and candy bars down my throat and wonder what’s going on.

It’s on me to change the image I see reflecting back at me. I’m the one who puts my hand to my mouth, no one else. If I look closely, I often find I’m a pretty good enabler of “let’s get ice cream!” and “I deserve a treat for working out 2-3 days this week!”

Focus is key.

It’s time to focus.