It’s not hard after it’s done- she says… 10 MILES LATER!!!

Dear Readers,

On Sunday, I ran a 10 mile race. It was harder than I thought and easier than I thought. It should be noted that like so many other things in life this is a baby step of many to get me to that marathon status which is down the road for me.

First of all, I should clarify something, up till Sunday, I had only done 5K’s but after Sunday, I have now done a 15K!!!!!!

a brief recap

Vern’s No Frills- January 18, 2014

Biggest Loser- March 29, 2014

Color Run- May 24, 2014

Casa 5K-September 21, 2014

Holiday 5K Zilker- December 6, 2014

Austin 1020- 10 Mile Run Walk– March 29, 2015

That is 6 different events spanned over several months.. but its worth mentioning that each time I ran (this weekend being no exception) it was different– Vern’s No Frills was crazy cold and and we walked more than we ran but, baby steps. The Biggest Loser was great weather and the run went really well, my partner Susie said she had NEVER seen me run that fast. The Color Run was a LOT of walking.. I just wasn’t in shape for that one.. It was tagged as a FUN run and that was more about me getting out of my comfort zone (see I hate being messy) than a run… CASA was crazy hot and the worst race conditions.. but it was my husband’s first run and super fun to have him there along with Jessica and Adam, Susie, Keely, Michael and CJ.. our team also raised a lot of money for CASA so it was lucrative in other ways. Holiday 5K was actually a 3K but I kept going to make it a full 5K, wasn’t ready for that one either and it was a pretty rough “trail run” and at night.. won’t be doing that again.

So, 10 miles — what can I say about that.. First, I found myself thinking pretty nasty thoughts about the runners ahead of me when I was on mile 4 and they were on mile 8…. ( I think its pretty natural to hate the runner ahead of you sorry but its true… ) Second, the people behind me, I felt pretty good I was ahead of them but was working on keeping myself motiviated.  Flashback to before the race, you know how when a big event is looming and you go back and forth between looking forward to it and dreading it/ getting nervous about it? What do you do about that?

I employed several devices. I asked for support from all my “fans” on facebook and twitter and asked some people for some support and motivational messages. It is HARD for me to ask for help but I really needed it. The response was overwhelming. I had people post to support me that I don’t even know that well and tell me how much what I was doing was inspiring them. It really helped drive home the fact that one person really does make a difference. I also drank water and made the decision that while it would be slow (turtle trudging through mud) I would do it and finish. It wasn’t an option to stop and it wasn’t an option to quit.I also had Susie and Jessica who kept encouraging me through the weeks before the race that I could and would in fact do it.

As I say so often, because it is so true, It is allllllll about the baby steps-

I compare it to our debt-free journey. We have been doing lots of things to get debt-free but there are no short-cuts and slow, plodding, step by baby step, dollar by dollar, mile by mile we WILL get there. At one point during the race, I thought to myself it is funny, when you are in it, it doesn’t seem that hard, but before it you build up all this anticipation about how hard it is GOING to be. Mental note to self- Think less, do more. The person who got me through it when the going got hardest was Jessica, she had a running commentary about how I was getting my money’s worth by taking it slowly and not “racing” to the finish. She joined me at mile 4.2 to keep me going, support me and NOT LET ME QUIT. She told me she was proud of me throughout and it really helped to move me through it. At the last mile, (she went above and beyond by pretending to be a cheetah coming to “get” gazelle me (with sound effects) which helped me put some extra bounce in my final steps. As they say, you want to run to the finish, not walk.

JMac finishes 10 miles!
JMac finishes 10 miles!

I told her I wanted to finish by myself and I did. It FELT INCREDIBLE to take that last stride and finish. I feel extremely accomplished but its important to note, I did not do this alone. I had support and that made all the difference.

Think about it……… and go support someone’s goal today. And if you are pursuing a goal, ASK for help! Sometimes that one encouraging word, phone call, or note can make the difference.

Change one thing. Change Everything.

Dear Readers, Today is the day of my week I look forward to the most. Today is cheat day on my diet. Most days I am (along with my husband) eating a paleo diet and I experience the joy of weight loss, energy and overall good health forsaking all those foods that my former fat girl self loved and adored. How did I get here?

I gave up soda. It sounds harder and yet was easier than I thought.

I work in a wonderful place that offers free sodas as one its many, many perks but they don’t have my favourite soda so I justified it like that. I said, okay well they don’t have what I want so I will decide to do without it. After a week without it, I no longer thought about it.

The next thing I gave up was chocolate and the same thing happened. I no longer thought about it after not having it all the time and so on. After we had adapted to the paleo lifestyle for a month, we had a glorious meal full of all the foods we loved and had temporarily given up. It was delectable and oh so very choice. I remember that meal and it was one night over a year ago.

Today, though it is cheat day, I am actually planning to only cheat with one meal instead of three, baby steps, people!

Expand your imagination, and find one thing that you have been talking about doing something about  it, today!

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness, concerning all acts of initiative (and creation). There is one elementary truth in ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Do it, and watch what happens.


Balance is Everything….

So my motivational photo shoot has come and gone. Sad face. It’s hard to come back to reality after such a fantastic departure from it.

So to be accountable and honest I will tell you, I haven’t weighed myself in a week to try to motivate myself. Yesterday I stepped on the scale to see where I am and I am back up to 247 which is disheartening, especially because I worked out first and yes I know you gain weight when you gain muscle but its still tough.. when I was at 241 just two weeks ago.. but that is okay, I will persevere because I realized something. The goal is better health and weight loss. Both goals are important, and the balancing of them is just as important as whatever number flashes on that scale.

I think its easy to forget that a year ago, I wasn’t working out at all but recovering from appendix surgery ( I could barely walk ) and was in an incredible amount of pain. So a year later, not only am I consistently working out (every other day) and eating healthy, I am continuing to find ways to enhance our life including but not limited to not feeling guilty when we do eat ice cream and other assorted yummy goodness. I am giving up the guilt and I have my husband to thank for it. 80% of the time we eat healthy and abide by paleo.

The other 20% are just going to exist and I am excising the guilt. Thank you Jeremy, I appreciate the balance you bring to our lives daily but especially in this matter.


What could you stand to let go? Think about it!

Last place is asleep…

I walked my second 5K on Saturday and it was exciting to me to realize how far I have come in just a few months. My first one was in June and needless to say there have been several things keeping me from this monthly commitment.

But no more, I am actively putting exercise in my life again, because with paleo I feel great, but the weight loss has died down. The answer? Exercise. I also realize that “cheating” on the paleo diet once a week rather than once a day will help too!

I made the comment as I walked up to the administrator, ” I am not last, YAY!” He smiled and marked my time on his computer and said, Last is asleep. It really hit me that even suiting up and walking is better than not being there. Its a great metaphor that can be applied to almost any goal. Give yourself some grace and take baby steps to get there. At least you are in the race!

Think about it.


Be curious. Be patient. Watch what happens!

Dear Readers, I am taking a class right now that implores that you “be curious and be patient with yourself and others”

It occurred to me this is excellent life advice. Think about it. If you are curious, you are always learning. If you are patient, you lower your heart rate and your level of stress.

For instance, if you have a bad day or are stressed out about how you did at work, you can take the stance of being curious to figure out what you need to do to improve things. Instead of judging yourself for the difficulty, you can be patient with yourself as you learn about what needs to change.

On a personal note, in the last two weeks, I have gained almost 10 pounds due to an excess of eating foods not on our paleo diet. As my nurse friend pointed out, its easy to pack on the pounds when you go off such a strict diet. In the past, I would have shamed myself and tried to hide it or make excuses or feel guilty but now, with the advent of this advice, I am finding myself to be more patient with myself and forgiving the cheating and have a renewed vigor to resume the lifestyle choice of paleo, and give myself some grace for the past. To be clear, this is not license to continue the cheating, this is an acknowledgment that this is something I am still working on, just like the rest of life, we are all evolving and moving to whatever our next level is going to be. So I implore you, be curious and be patient. The results will surprise you. Think about it! 

You control your life. Did you know?

So I walked into work yesterday and someone brought donuts. My husband and I are doing a major lifestyle change including eating a paleo diet. For those that don’t know, you are allowed to cheat one day a week and hubby and I cheated Sunday. So there was no way for me to rationalize having a donut but man did I want one…. which got me to thinking each time I walked by, why do I want a donut so badly. Yes they are delicious, but you know what is better than a donut? Knowing that I lost 3 pounds last week by eating healthy foods and exercising. Is it hard to do that? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I will not die if I do not eat a donut but continuing down the path I was headed could have led to heart disease, obesity and other health problems. I am not out of the woods, I still have 50 more pounds to go, but I am gaining (ha ha) on the first 50. I only have 12 more pounds until I hit 50 pounds lost.

In a burst of I-can-really-be-a-different-person-if-I-only-try, I signed up for a 5K on June 15th. I am walking it, not running it, and can’t even really believe it myself but there was a time I thought I could not LIVE without chocolate or cheese, or bread or potatoes and 6 out of 7 days of a week sometimes more….. I now do. Amazing what we can do when we try.

What would happen if you did that thing you were scared of, what would that look like? Think about it.

I am wrong!

Hard words to say but there it is in black and white.

I set about accomplishing several goals this year. 

1. Read 10 books – On #5 and #6 right now

2. Spending more time with friends, less on Facebook. Check

3. Lose 50 pounds. I have lost 40.

4. Give 10 effective speeches. I have given 6. 

4. Get more sleep aka stop snoozing

I have made zero progress on this goal until today. I have been trying to decipher why I needed to get more sleep “just five more minutes” because the goals above are not easy and with modesty, I am getting them done, no problem, even shouted a healthy, Jed Bartlettesque “What’s next?” to those goals but the sleep thing was really stumping me. I turned to the internet for answers including twitter and facebook and finally realized. 

It is like everything else on my list, it requires intention and discipline so I am proud to say I woke up today and did not snooze and as a result had time to do dishes, make breakfast and write a blog post. Definitely a successful morning already which sets me up to have a great day.

So I hereby declare to my husband and certain others who have been chorusing for years, you were right and I was wrong. I choose not to snooze. Today. and Tomorrow. So it might take a bit to form a habit but that is okay too, I plan to give myself some grace and work on it each day. That’s how I am working on everything else. 

What are you working on? What are your stumbling blocks? Can I help?

Email me at and let’s chat about it!

The words you use matter…

As a person, the words you use matter. As a writer, they matter even more. I am still working on getting comfortable with the label of writer. I prefer speaking, but to speak, I must write first.

However whether you are a writer or not, if you say you are on a diet, means that you are expecting to achieve a result and then go off the diet. If you adopt a lifestyle change (oft quoted by my cousin the personal trainer) your commitment level is that much stronger.

If you say you “want” to read more books or “going to try” to learn a language  you won’t do it because before you start, you are already using passive language. Now I am all for having a realistic view of your goals but what does it hurt to say things in the affirmative? In fact, it helps you meet those goals.

I will learn to speak fluent French. I will read 10 books this year. I will lose 50 pounds this year.

These are examples of how to talk about what you will accomplish.

Now you can not Tony Robbins yourself into a positive bank balance when its at 0 but there are things we say every day that contribute to our success or our failure, so kick out the negative thoughts in your head and make room for the positive thoughts and notions that push you toward your goals today.  I have attached two photos of me from Jan and February as a before and after. I have lost as of today 32 pounds. Please let me know what it is you are GOING to accomplish and if you feel like you need help to accomplish it, I would love to hear about it and encourage you in your goals- Write me at


Never be afraid to ask for help…

At any stage and any age, support is a good thing. I said that to someone last week when they said, I shouldn’t need help at my age and I got to thinking about how needless that is.

Thought I know that intellectually, emotionally this remains a difficulty for me. I have a very hard time asking for help, I am working on this and my husband has made it much easier for me to ask and receive help graciously.

Case in point, we are working on gaining better health by eating better and exercising and he has been and continues to be an amazing resource for help, encouragement and love. This week is the first week I have lost weight in three weeks, he also decided that it was a good idea to measure the inches and I am proud to say I have lost an inch from my waist and my stomach which is extremely good progress and has reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the process.

Putting yourself out there is very scary but I have been posting photographs on Facebook and getting the encouragement of friends because I couldn’t see I was making progress but the outpouring of support, and just loving remarks could not have been better timed to help move me forward so I wanted to say thank you and hope that my post will encourage you to ask for help if you need it, even if its difficult.

Here Comes the Boom. Yes, you read that right…

Okay, so I can’t believe I am posting about a Kevin James movie, yet I am..

Let me take you back 24 hours, Jeremy and I plan to have a very low-key, stay in, no hearts and flowers or over the top (which we specialize in 364 days of the year) Valentines day.

Pizza (which is cheating on our paleo diet) and a movie. I let him pick the movie, and as we were searching titles, “Here Comes the Boom” popped up and as Jeremy and I are avid fans of “Hitch” largely in part due to Kevin James and Will Smith I thought, okay, fun for him, and fun for me, not going to rock my socks  but it will be fun. and it was, but oh so much more….

First of all, the movie is about a teacher who in trying to save the music department has to come up with 48,000 in a short time. This got me to thinking, what would you do if you had to come up with a lot of money in a short amount of time? Well back when my husband and I were saving for our wedding, we both worked extra hours, and I took a second job, so that is an idea. It’s more about long-term gain not short-term so we would have to think about something else. In any case, this movie peppered with great quotes from Nietzsche (and yes I had to look up to spell it) like “Without music, life would be a mistake” and the usual “Follow your dreams” , and How to inspire others. The usual formula for success story.

Improbable Premise + Plucky Hero + Unbelievable, Rarely happens in life= Happy Endingbut this had a new take, and surprisingly I was very touched by the story. So what is my point, you ask? Well, its simply this, don’t judge a book by its cover until you read it and as a supporting corollary, don’t judge a movie till you watch it.

Have you had similar experiences? Have you read a book you were reluctant to read, to find out it really spoke to you?