Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Blogaversary to Me!

One year ago today I started this blog and vowed to change my life. 

I already wrote my year in review post, so this one is just to say thank you for reading, commenting, following, and supporting me in this journey. Hoping to be a more routine blogger in 2014 and give my little piece of the internet the attention she deserves! (Hense the new look & I actually managed adding pictures to recent posts, woo hoo!)

Happy birthday, baby blog! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Year of Change.

I've alluded to 2013 as my "year of change" several times before, not only on this blog but in everyday conversation when people have asked me about my journey and various parts of it over the year.  Truly, in every possible way, life changed for me this year.

Firstly, my small changes added up to big ones.  I cut out pop (soda, Coke, whatever you call it wherever you are) completely cold turkey on January 1st.  I went from a 32 oz fountain Pepsi for my lunch every day to water and tea.  I was always a tea drinker but I also saturate the stuff with Sweet-n-Low which I try to avoid.  I have drank more water in this year than I have previously in my lifetime, and that includes pool water and bathtub nonsense as a kid.  Just a few days left of this year and I will have been pop-free for 365 full days and that's pretty awesome.  Sure, there are days I could KILL for a fountain Diet Coke from McDonalds (you all know they taste better there and I'm not really sure why, but I digress), but I don't.  Baby step number 1 - accomplished.

Baby step 2 was tracking my food on MyFitnessPal throughout the year.  I had an almost 300 day streak going before the cruise and one day with my crazy back and forth, day and night shifts I happened to miss logging in at some point for that day and I threw my whole streak off!  I was angry about that one but I also knew I'd be on a cruise ship at the end of that month and I wouldn't have phone access and the streak would have ended anyway.  But really, tracking food and knowing exactly what you're putting in your mouth is another huge part of the battle.  I've heard so many times "you can't outwork a bad diet" and it's so true.  I try to remind myself of that when there are temptations around and *most* of the time it works.  I've also become a big fan of "everything in moderation"… and that includes moderation.  I was so strict on my diet, eating, counting calories and comparing my fats/carbs/protein ratios that at one point it was a little over the top.   I think I've found a healthy balance and am aware of what is good for me to eat, what certainly is not, and what I can have in moderation and still keep myself on track.  I've let loose a bit with my diet over the last few weeks with the holidays.  I'm human, I'm ever evolving and learning about myself and my body.  I can fix what I've done and I'm certainly a far cry from what I was at this time last year.

Christmas 2012 vs Christmas 2013

This year also included me being tired of being tired all the time.  I was incredibly unhealthy with a BMI (body mass index) of 42 and I am now at 32.8.  I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without trying to hide how winded I was and just accepted I was going to be a big girl all my life.  I was giving up without even trying.  

When I decided I was going to run a marathon I thought I could do it just because I figured if I had walked a half marathon with not much training that I could finish a marathon with *some* training.  While a marathon is quite literally two half marathons, it's so much  more.  The first half and the second half are two completely different beasts, I don't care if it's your first or tenth I'm sure you'd agree with me.  That second half took everything I had inside of me to not quit going and it was after 30 weeks of following my training plan and being 55 pounds lighter than I had started.  Not only have I gotten physically stronger this year, but mentally as well.  You can't finish a marathon just using your legs, I'll tell you that.  I don't know that I can accurately describe it unless you've done it, but it's way more than your legs being able to keep you moving and upright for 26.2 miles.

I began a new career as an ICU nurse this year on my way to going to Nurse Anesthesia school.  After being a surgical nurse in the OR for the first two years of my career I knew I wanted to go back to school but didn't know for what. I thought initially about a Family Nurse Practitioner program and applied to a few but didn't  get in.  Yes, the girl who was always on the honor roll and finished in the top 10% of her high school and college class got rejected from grad school.  Three of them to be exact. It was a punch in the gut by reality but I soon realized it was because it wasn't what I was supposed to be doing.  I found myself being more and more interested in what the anesthetists were doing and thinking how much I wanted to do critical care when I got out of school but at the time I couldn't get in anywhere.  I took a chance and applied for my current job in the cardiac intensive care unit at one of the country's best children's hospitals and was quickly rejected due to my lack of experience anywhere outside of the OR.  A short time later I was contacted by a nurse recruiter about the same position and I gladly accepted an interview.  I knew it was the perfect opportunity and I would have some amazing experiences (heart transplants, ECMO, lines and drips!) and I could learn so much!  It also is a path to going to anesthesia school so I took the opportunity and ran with it.  Fortunately I kept my other position in the OR and I work as often as I want to and help them out and help out my wedding fund in the mean time.

Speaking of wedding fund… the ENGAGEMENT!  Oh yes, the epic events of September 27th I won't ever forget.  It was legitimately the best day of my life - I had a massage, slept in, Starbucks, went out to lunch before and obviously not knowing what was coming.  My love got down on his knee with the most perfect ring and asked me to marry him.  I still remember everything about that day and I hope I'll never forget.  Wedding planning has been exciting and I can't wait to see our vision come to life!  I'm thinking of 12/13/14 and putting on my dress and imagining how I'll look.  How I'm so glad I've spent this year changing and that I'm determined to be in the best shape of my life for our day.  Don't worry, you all will be along for the ride :)

I know I talk about how much your support has meant to me over this year but I do mean it.  I don't just update to update and I don't post pictures on Instagram or the Facebook page just to show off.  I do it to keep myself accountable and I love hearing from you all that I've inspired YOU!  I was the girl browsing the pages, wondering where to start and how I was going to go from couch potato to marathoner but I did it.  I think that's the most important part is having the big goals but breaking it down into smaller ones.  The big picture can be scary and overwhelming.  The baby steps, the small goals, the day by day and meal by meal are things you can control in the moment.  You can make choices that will affect you in that moment but will also have profound meaning to the bigger picture.  It all adds up.  One step at a time, one meal at a time, one workout at a time.  So thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do, every encouragement and every follow, like, and comment do mean a lot to me and motivates me to keep going as well.  If I can do it, anyone can.  Even you.  Believe!

I listed goals in my "The Beginning of the End" very first post last December and they were:
"My official 2013 goals:
1. Finish the marathon.  Also, finish a half marathon at the appropriate point in my training schedule (if there is one within good distance from here and it falls in the schedule.  I don't want to try to do one of those again if I'm only built up to 5-6 miles and hurt myself or feel overwhelmed and want to quit).
2. Run/jog a 5K start to finish.  No walking.
3. Lose at least 50 pounds for the year.  Total goal for weight loss is 90 pounds (153).
4. Track my food.
5. Quit sneak eating.  
6. Quit drinking pop.
7. Learn new, healthy recipes that even Kyle will enjoy.  He's one of the pickiest eaters I know!
8. Take the time to cook.  Reduce the amount of times we eat out substantially.
9. Finish the whole 90 days of P90X.  Last time I did it I only got about 6 weeks in and I ended up brushing it off with a schedule/job change.  It was doing wonders and I could see results and that didn't even keep me going.
10. Keep only supportive people around me."

How did I do?  Check off numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8(ish), and 10. Pretty good!  I will still occasionally sneak eat.  I try to remember to put my purse in my trunk so I don't stop and pick something up on the way home and try to steer clear of the LaRosa's pizza in the cafeteria at work but I'm not always successful.  I've decreased my "sneak eating" by about 95% so I will call that a win I guess.  So we'll go with an 8/10 for goals.  I started doing meal prepping in July when I started working with my trainer, Sara, and that does wonders for accountability as well.  We still eat out a fair amount but I make better choices when we do a majority of the time.  I didn't finish P90X because I got too bored, same with Insanity.  I just couldn't get into it.   I did do exceptionally well keeping only supportive people around and I acquired a whole lot more via Instagram and my Facebook page that I'm so lucky to have!  I've made some of my closest friends through Instagram and the support I get from that outlet alone is more than I could have ever hoped for.  Don't knock it til you try it!  Putting yourself out in front of the world isn't easy but it is certainly motivating.  

Now onto the next year which I anticipate to be even bigger and better than 2013.  I don't know how but I just have a feeling going into the next year strong will bring me closer to my goals and 2014 will fly by just like 2013 did.  

Goals for 2014:
1. Lose another 30-40 pounds and get to goal weight. (161-151)
2.  Finish my second marathon May 4th, the Cincinnati Flying Pig - any time will be better than the first, I'm sure. PR! Training starts next week!
3.  Sub 30 minute 5K.
4. Finish my first sprint triathlon.  Shooting for June 28th in the town where I live (Mason Sprint Triathlon)
5. Get Zumba certified to be an instructor!
6. Be in the best shape of my life for my wedding. Knock everyone's socks off in my dress :)
7. Get applications in for CRNA school by fall due dates to University of Cincinnati, Texas Wesleyan and potentially Otterbein.
8.  Read at least 5 books for the year.  Not a lot for you big readers but I'm also banking overtime this whole year to pay for this blessed event so down time is precious!
9. Pay it forward throughout the year in small ways as often as possible.
10. Keep going, never look back, keep inspiring others.

What goals do you have for the year?  2014 is right around the corner and I'm planning on making it mine!  Here's to a healthy-happy-injury free-PR setting-best foot forward New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Driven, Fearless, Unstoppable - Meet Paige!

Hey you guys!

Christmas is coming and I logged 66 hours working this last week.  I finally got a day off and I paired up with one of my favorite bloggers (that I know in real life!  Imagine that!) to do a feature story on her and her ever growing business.  Meet Paige of PaigeyCakes Social, a native of Marion, Ohio and a former 9-5 girl who took a chance on herself and her gut feelings and started her own business this year! We sat by each other in Bio 2 my senior/her junior year of high school and she was a blast. We've kept in touch through Facebook and Instagram since high school and I've loved watching this girl take off! As a mid 20's girl myself, I can't imagine doing what she did, but it sure is paying off for her!  I got a quick interview with the lady of the hour and here's what she had to say on taking risks, building her business, and being an all around bad-ass.  Meet Paige!

Paige Moseley, founder of PaigeyCakes Social

What made you decide to start your own business?

Honestly, I always pictured owning my own business, or being in charge..I just didn't have any clarity on what I would be doing exactly! When other kids wanted to play "school", I was playing young executive.  I have a creative & rebellious personality so I HATED being told what to do and how to do leaves just one option, right? The thought of NOT doing something I absolutely loved was world shattering to me! I am also a firm believer in gut feelings. Something was just gnawing at my soul. I seriously called my boss at midnight and told her I was leaving to start my own business. I had what was in my bank account and a dream. 

Where did your idea for Paigey Cakes Social come from?

Well obviously I was blogging and people were really receptive to it. In the blogging process, I found myself using social media religiously to distribute the posts and connect with my followers/fans. It just kept snowballing from there. I saw what I could do with my little brand, basically just my name & my writing, and wanted to help small to medium sized businesses do the same. I saw a HUGE void and I am trying to fill it. I mean...if I have over 500 followers on Twitter, there is no excuse for a COLLEGE to only have 200. Someone is dropping the ball. 

Where do you see your business going?

I don't want to put a cap on it, lets put it this way..... I want to be a very very profitable small business. In a year ( 6 months if I keep this hustle up) I will be in an office setting, only it will be a creative space! Art on the walls, music playing, other creative things around me creating really amazing content & service for our clients. It will be a social media agency in essence, but I am also in the process of branding myself & my message. I just promise it will be something very different...not something you have seen in this town before. 

Do you feel supported by friends and family taking such a risk in starting your own business and leaving your 9-5 job?

Unbelievably supported. I couldn't ask for a more supportive family, fiance' & friends. Even people I barely know, just through my blog,  are my cheerleaders. Hell, even my old boss is a huge supporter. It's really moving and honestly, I owe 90% of it to them. The other 10% is just raw ambition. That is why I am always trying to give back. Give the universe back just a portion of what it has given to me in the form of family and friends.

What has been the hardest part in being a small business owner?

....I'm just going to be honest here because I know a lot of new business owners wont admit it. The HARDEST part is cash flow. How much you make & bring in each month is directly related to how hard you are willing to work. Which is the most brilliant part about being small business owner. Even when I am having a good month, bills are paid, money in savings, business tools are covered and I have money for extras..I can still make ONE more phone call & make more. There is no roof. I lean into the fear. I welcome it. One of my favorite quotes is  'Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't"..A lot of people aren't willing to go without. I have to take chances and KNOW it is going to work out. I'll use the last $20 in my "extra" account to go to a restaurant, knowing that I will meet the owner & close that deal. And I do. 

What words of advice would you give for starting your own business? 

Just f*&king do it. Do not tow the line. Do not follow protocol. If you love what you do, others will love it with you! I seriously believe in myself so much, it is irrational to some people. lol you have to. If you don't.. don't even think about starting a business. I am will fail.  Work on that first, then come back to the idea. 

How important is social media marketing for other businesses? What do you tell someone looking to get their names out there about what you do and why they need you? (because we know they do, even if they don't)

It is completely imperative. Social Media Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and that race started 5 years ago. Your fans/clients/potential clients are all on the sidelines cheering for you AND YOU AREN'T EVEN IN THE RACE!  You haven't even started warming up. I tell them they needed to start using social media seriously and effectively, yesterday. The huge & devastating misconception they have  is they think Social Media is just something their teenage daughter is on. They know they have to have it, but they don't know why. And if you don't know why, you aren't doing it right. In fact, stop right now..because no social media is better then bad social media.  If they don't get serious about it NOW, we will be having a completely different conversation a year from now. I would tell them to hire an agency to handle it for them. It doesn't have to be PaigeyCakes Social..but it should be. Take the money you are spending on radio & print ads, cut that in half and use the other half on social media, if not more. Marion is small, no one business is dominating the social media game yet, but in a few months...they will. And it will be my client. 

Tell us something we don't know!

Oh gosh! I am pretty much an open book. I guess it would be how sensitive I am. Seriously, I have cried twice today. I cry when I am mad, when I am happy, when I am sad.All of my emotions are tied to my damn tear ducts. You can be a strong women & still be an emotional woman. I think how deeply I feel things makes me great at what I do. I really care. A funny thing starts to happen when you care about people.....they start to care about you to. 

Thanks Paige and congrats on all of your success!  Not only is she kicking ass in her business, but in the gym as well.  (I couldn't leave that part out of this fitness blog!)  AND she just got ENGAGED this week so I'd say she's got it going on in all aspects of life right now.  I'm so proud of her and to call her a friend.

What do you think about the guest interview?  Want to see more of these? Let me know.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Year, New you.

Last December when I started this blog I went in with the motto of "new year, new you" to keep me motivated on a daily basis.  I knew things would change for me but not near to the extent I had planned.  I had no idea what I'd look like 50+ pounds down from my current weight and hoped I could cross the finish line of a marathon but couldn't imagine how it would feel and I still can't properly put it into words.

Along the way I've found Advocare, and it's been the basis of my giveaways, become part of my daily routine and something I'm excited about.  I'm going to Success School next month to find out how I can better help others with it and I'm excited to be hosting a New Year's 24 Day Challenge group!  I've got two amazing ladies in various parts of their journey to bettering themselves in already and I'm looking for 8 more!

We will have a private Facebook group to discuss the day to day of the Challenge, answer any questions you may have and share what you're doing to make the most of the first 24 days of the year!  You too could find yourself feeling like I have about this year and all it starts with is the choice to want to change.  YOU have to want to do it for yourself.  YOU have to put in the work.  YOU have to decide what you want.  For me, it was about not feeling like I was going to die walking up a flight of stairs, to be able to be healthy enough to one day have children, to be able to shop in a "normal" store.  This year I cut up my Lane Bryant card and opened a Victoria's Secret one in its place.  I shrank below my "goal" American Eagle jeans that had been sitting in my drawer.  Through the ups and downs I wore a size 14 bridesmaid dress when the previous one I had bought was a 20 or 22.  I pushed myself over the finish line after 26.2 grueling miles to celebrate my birthday and the gift of a new life full of opportunities.

Want in on the 24 Day Challenge?  Visit my Advocare site at and put your order in by 12/27 (with 2 day shipping if you wait til the last minute) to have your products in time for January 1st! Have questions?  E-mail me at  Once I see your order I'll invite you to the private Facebook page and we'll get this party started!

I believe in me and I believe in YOU.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sometimes things need a bit of tweaking.

My intention to complete the run streak prior to starting the next round of marathon training has come to a hault.

I did something to my knee this last week and it spent a couple days hurting and being swollen and it still isn't 100%.  I'm not having pain but it just feels strange, like it needs to pop and won't. We babysat my niece and nephew last night and I was on the floor with them and to get on my knees to play and change diapers made me glad to have taken the last few and next few days off.  I can't describe it any other way in that it just feels weird.

I have 3 weeks until Flying Pig training starts - 3 weeks!

I'm getting nervous and excited to begin this next round of training.  Nervous for the weather and cold mixed with more long runs than before but excited to mix in tempo runs and hill work (I say this now, will regret later).  I've certainly enjoyed my life without a structured training plan built in this last month and a half but it's go time again and I'm thinking the typical end of the year, resolution making time will get me the energy and excitement to get off the ground (or couch) and running that I need.

I was reading my friend Kim's 1 year blogaversary post over at Fabulous Fit Foodie ( - I also need to learn how to use HTML) and was thinking how my own 1 year blogaversary is coming up this December 30th.  This also happens to be day 1 of marathon training round 2 which I find ironic.  I was reading my first post on this blog that I wrote that day and going over the goals I had set for myself, most of which I have achieved over the last year.  I'll save the specifics for the year in review post I have planned, but on this lazy day I feel accomplished and proud of this year and the changes I have made.  Again, more on all of that to come.

Last night we had the privilege of babysitting for my nephew and niece for the first time since the night my niece was born last January.  It has been a trying year in their house with lots of food intolerance and one little lady who refused to take a bottle all year, but my sister and brother-in-law enjoyed their first night out in a very long time.  We decorated a gingerbread house, ate candy while doing so, made and enjoyed cookies, had pizza, watched Winnie the Pooh's Christmas story and Daniel Tiger.  I watched my 11 month old niece devour 3 pieces of pizza and a whole fruit cup and gave her a bath.  We walked around the house holding hands and getting puppy kisses.  We read bedtime stories and gave goodnight hugs and kisses.  I love those nights. We read the elf on the shelf book and all snuggled on the couch. One of the greatest joys I have in life is being an aunt.

We are having friends over today for our annual lasagna/Love Actually holiday party.  This is the 3rd year we've done this with our friend/my maid of honor Christina and it's one of my favorite days of the year.  We do something similar for Halloween with Hocus Pocus as well and we always have a fun time.  This year her boyfriend Brian will join us and we're happy to have him join our delicious party.

Enjoy the holiday season and I hope each one of you are able to spend time with your families and friends to celebrate together.  We have our first family Christmas this next weekend already and I'm excited to spend some time with our other niece and nephews as well.  This coming Friday will be one year until our wedding and we decided to go on a date to celebrate :)


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

24 day challenge results!

As promised, my Advocare 24 day challenge results post is here!

I reluctantly shared my photos showing the difference from day 1 to day 24 on my Facebook and Instagram pages.  I haven't ever posted shots like those myself publicly and it was pretty scary to hit that "post" button.  I was hesitant but know that it would be no different than posting a bathing suit shot and one day I'll be bikini ready and they will again make for nice progress shots.

As far as the challenge goes I lost all 8 pounds I gained from vacation despite being slightly off track in my eating and exercising.  I also lost 7.5 inches in total!  1/2 inch off each arm, 1 1/2 inch from my bust, 2 1/2 inches from my waist, 1 1/2 inch off my hips, 1/2 inch off each thigh, 1/4 inch off each calf. I was just super fluffy.  I woke up today feeling pretty lean and happy with my run and time at Zumba last night.  We've been killing it lately and I'm sweating up a storm each class.

I talked with my favorite instructor, Leah, last night about potentially becoming an instructor myself as my next sort of adventure after the triathlon this summer.  She was pumped to hear about it and I'm sure will be able to lead me in the right direction should I choose to pursue it.  I'm excited but nervous since I'm not the greatest dancer and not that creative with making up new things for people to do in class since doing the same ones over and over will get boring - she assured me there are plenty of youtube videos out there to learn from so I'm glad to hear there are resources and ideas out there for us non-creative people who just like to dance!

I've had some interest after this in doing a New Year's challenge group and I'm totally game for hosting one!  We'll have a private Facebook page to discuss and share how you're doing/feeling/meal ideas or whatever else comes up and hold each other accountable!  I'll put it out on the page again in a few weeks when it's time to order to have what you need in time to start the year but just putting the bug in your ears now in case you're interested or have questions about any of it.  Feel free to message me on my Facebook page or e-mail me at

I was excited to announce the winner of the giveaway and am excited for Rachel K to have her cleanse on the way!  I'm putting an order in this weekend and will have it to you ASAP once I receive it :) Thanks again everyone for entering and supporting me here and in other social media (and real life!) outlets.

I've been sucessful in the Run Streak so far and have run every day for the last week! I've PR'd my mile time (9:28!) and ran 2 miles in 20:48 the other night.  I'm getting faster every day and will be starting to work on getting 2-3 miles in more days than single miles to get a better base for marathon training that starts THIS MONTH.  Ahhh - December, where did you come from?!

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving with family and friends and look forward to the holiday season to come.  My nephew turns 3 next week and we have our first Christmas celebration with Kyle's family next weekend as well.  This weekend we're having my maid of honor Christina and her boyfriend Brian over for our 3rd annual lasagna and Love Actually watching party - here's to hoping I don't get called in!  I've got a work streak going too where I either work or am on call for a total of 14 days.  Weddings don't pay for themselves!  I'm almost halfway there :) Last two nights on night shift starts tonight then I'm back on day shift after this weekend of being on call. I finished my PALS and ACLS courses for work and now comes GRE studying to add to the mix so I can get my applications started for anesthesia school.

I'm sure a full 2013 recap post will be in order in the coming weeks but I have felt extraordinarily blessed this entire year and I don't know how 2014 will beat it, but I've got high hopes.  Just thinking of finishing marathon number 2, my first triathlon AND walking down the aisle gets me giddy and I know that somehow 2014 will be even greater than 2013.