PEOPLE!

 

Nothing is impossible.

 

When I got the call, I thought I was being Punk’d.

“I’ve read your blog and was wondering if you would mind being considered for PEOPLE Magazine’s ‘I Lost 100 lbs’ feature?”

I was sure someone had read my post about last year’s 100 lbs feature, and was messing with me.

But, just to be sure, I hit the Google machine.

Holy crap! This girl actually works for People Magazine!!!

Insert a scream only dogs could hear *here*

Well, I suppose I could be persuaded to consider…

Step one: Go ahead and send us a picture of yourself in a bikini.

Um…. Send you a what now? A bikini picture? Moi? An actual Two Separate Pieces bikini?? For strangers??

Can I really do this?? Do I have it in me to put myself out there that much??

Then, after a minor existential crisis:

Hell yes, I can!

There is no CAN’T at Happy Exhaustion. We roll Eleanor Roosevelt Style around here.

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Ok, Eleanor – it’s you and me. Let’s go buy a bikini.

(I feel a distinct possibility that just typing those words may have caused the great lady to roll over in her grave… Moving on.)

Back at home and it’s time to pose. Should I wear heels? Flats feel odd, and barefoot feels wrong…

My kids built Lego towers while daddy took painfully awkward pictures of a bikini-clad mommy in the living room. Hot.

Done.

Ok. Be brave. Hit send.

Step Two: Commence waiting for what feels like an eternity, stuck in a nightmare mind-loop: What if the sight of your body in a bikini results in rejection on a grand scale? Recovering from that kind of blow to the ego could take some time…

As the days rolled by with no word from PEOPLE, I even begin to consider the possibility that I was not being Punk’d so much as Catfished. What if some perv had talked me into  naively sending out bikini pictures!? My mind was spinning at 12,785,276,920 miles per hour.

But then, another call from NYC knocked me back on my heels. I was in! They picked me!

Suddenly everything hit warp speed. Interviews were being conducted, flights to Miami for location shoots were being booked, facts were being checked.

And, I was sweating my FACE off.

See – PEOPLE didn’t request a bikini picture because they wanted me to come for a photo shoot in a flirty little party dress. PEOPLE wanted a bikini, a small bikini and nothing but a bikini, so HELP ME, GOD!

I was sworn to secrecy until the day of the issue reveal and not a moment sooner, rendering me unable to share what I was really up to here on the blog – so I gave only the faintest of hints as I posted about my pursuit of abs and hamstrings.

WELCOME TO THE ULTIMATE FITNESS MOTIVATOR OF ALL TIME: PEOPLE Magazine is going to show your bikini body to the Whole. Wide. World.

I worked out like an athlete and I tracked my food like a fiend. Not a single morsel went into my mouth that wasn’t a plant, a seed, or a lean protein.

I got into the hands-down best shape of my life. I developed abs! Real ones! Can you see them?!

Eduardo The Great

Eduardo The Great

The Girl Who Used To Wear Size 24 didn’t know abs were possible.

I’m not even going to pretend I wasn’t proud.

The number on the scale did not take a nose dive from the 140 I have happily maintained since reaching my 100-lbs goal, but my body definitely changed. I became what the resident trainer calls ‘lean’.

I hit Miami at 136 lbs, with lots of new muscles and a BMI low enough to make them show.

After dedicating lots of heart and rivers of sweat to my goal, it was finally show time.

The adventure began  on June 12th , when my four new friends (all fellow 100+ lbs losers) and I all boarded planes to Miami.

Lori Filipiak, a fellow mother of two from Illinois was my soul-sister from the start. We bonded right off the bat. Lori and I flew from Atlanta to Miami together with Edwin Velez, the hard-body from Alabama. With his deep southern drawl and boundless energy, Edwin will charm your socks off the moment you meet him. The three of us giggled and gossiped all the way to Miami, sharing our before-and-after pictures, imagining what excitement lay ahead.

In Miami we were joined by Judith Anthony from New Jersey and Erin Banks from California. These two girls not only delivered the hotness, they brought with them the support of their diet plan teams (Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem respectively).

Judith may seem shy, but she’s a tiger whose eye-on-the-prize attitude is an inspiration. Erin rounded out the group with an ambitious fire whose posing experience (gained during appearances in national Nutrisystem campaigns) put me to shame.

Once we were all in the same place, it was full-throttle from the word go. After being collected from the airport and taken to our gorgeous hotel in Miami Beach, it was off to wardrobe fittings. I have never seen so many bikinis all in one place! Rainbow-colored racks of bikinis, all in my size, all there just for me!

bikinis

All for me! Eeeeek!

After extensive fittings unearthed the best bikinis, it was off to bed after a quick spray tan.

*I may or may not have gifted a bottle of Grey Goose (my favorite cocktail) to the super-goddess that is Jennifer Lee – our spray tan/makeup artist. Before I even met her I had a feeling that after an evening spent spray-tanning the fully stripped-down bodies of five former-heavyweights, a cocktail may be in order.*

Day 1 was Location Day

on location

On location in Miami. A girl could get used to this… Left: Glamazon Lori prepping for her close-up. Center: Yes. Yes, indeed. Right: Celebs get red carpets. Ours were cardboard :-)

Our first full day was spent on location at a gorgeous, massive private home on the beach.

We met the rest of our glam squad on location, who helped us to bring the sexy.

Jen was there again, this time to manage our faces. Full red-carpet-ready cosmetic drama was not on the docket for our ‘real people in swimwear’ shoot.  But after I waxed poetic about my love of false lashes, she conceded and gave me a *few*. Jen built me up. She was kind, she was insanely skilled, and she made me believe in myself.

It’s hard not to feel like a star when Jennifer Aniston’s makeup artist is touching up your face!

I then fell hard and fast for my new gay boyfriend (seen above) – hair god Eduardo Garcia, who convinced me that I really ought to strut even when my instinct was to hide. He did more than prove to me that my hair is capable of previously-unexperienced fabulousness, he gave a 33-year-old stay-at-home-mom her very own pop star moment.

Know what’s a great thing to have when you’re about to pose in a bikini in front of a whole crew of photographers, stylists, producers and assistants? A pop star moment.

glam squad

The glam squad.

They gave all five of us a ‘story’. Edwin and I both had ocean stories (score!), Lori had a pool story, Judith was cabana, and Erin was palm trees.

At this point, I earned the right to add ‘professional water kicker’ to my resume.

In pursuit of a whimsical and fun bikini picture, I did my utmost to channel every ladies’ razor commercial ever made. You know the ones – with smooth-legged bikini babes flirtatiously kicking water at the camera from the edge of the surf?

I may have looked like a dancing bear, but damned if I didn’t give it every ounce of Baywatch I could muster.

That was also the morning I learned of my pathological issue with dipping my chin in pictures.

Turns out – this is a problem.

Our high-profile and long-suffering photographer must have yelled “chin up!” at me 123,874,805 times. Somewhere in heaven, Perry Hagopian‘s halo was being polished, because at no point that weekend did he assault me with a blunt object.

After all of our solo photos were done, it was time for group water kicking. The wind was blowing our hair in our faces, my smile muscles were sore, and I was having the time of my life.

Sharing that unique moment with a group of new friends all celebrating the accomplishment we had worked so hard for was a moment worth savoring.

That day was FUN.

10152725_10100337603222649_825714626_n

Group shot. See the chick in the not-necessarily-age-appropriate white Taylor Swift shorts? Yup. C’est moi.

 Day 2 was Studio Day

primping

Primping for Day 2!

Despite continuing to marvel at the sensation of having stepped into someone else’s life, I gotta say – Day 2 was HARD!

Studio Day was Full-On Modeling day.

I take back everything I have ever said or thought about models not having difficult jobs. Modeling is rough!

That was the day I learned that I am capable of perfectly controlling approximately 3 parts of my body at a time. Anything beyond that is beyond me.

If you want me to point my toes just so, and bend one knee just so, and orient my hips in one direction, while twisting my torso in another, and pointing my shoulders over there, and hiding my back hand, and relaxing my front fingers, and smile big!, and keep my stupid chin UP… I might not be able to pull it off.

If ‘pop star’ is the way you want to feel at a bikini shoot, ‘I might not be able to pull it off’ is *not* how you want to feel at a bikini shoot.

But I had worked too hard and come too far to not do my very best, so I gave it 110%. And if anyone can get an awesome pic out of me, it’s Perry!

Thank goodness Eduardo was on hand to keep my hair looking fly while he manned the wind-machine.

Props... oh dear.

Props… oh dear.

Before we got to Miami, we were warned that there would be lots of down time while the rest of ‘the talent’ was shooting. It was suggested that we bring books, magazines, phone chargers, etc. to keep us occupied during all of our down time.

But I didn’t spend a single minute feeling bored. It was too much fun watching my new friends get their model on, interviewing with superwoman Michelle Tan, and picking up hair and makeup tips from the glam squad!

friends

Effing fierce new friends gettin’ their pose on

That night, we all celebrated with more calories than any of us had treated ourselves to in months. After a long time without a cocktail, one was certainly in order.

Raise a toast to THAT’S A WRAP!

Lori, Edwin, Judith & Erin – Team Superstars – We did it! We really did it! We were all dangerously obese, and we just wrapped a bikini shoot for PEOPLE! Never has a tropical cocktail been more well earned.

wrap

That’s a wrap & I’ll drink (brightly colored tropical cocktails) to that!

I am so very grateful for this opportunity. As I write this, I have not yet laid eyes on the article. I don’t know how the text will read, or how the pictures will look. But I don’t even care. I made friends and memories that will last a lifetime, and that’s the best reward.

Now – Stay Tuned!

I’ll be sharing the workout routine that got me those abs, keeping you posted on my constantly evolving fitness adventures, and hopefully encouraging you to run hard in pursuit of your own goals.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine posing in a bikini for PEOPLE.

You have no idea what you can accomplish, so get to work!

Adventures await.

Special Thanks:

Photo Editor/Point Man Extraordinaire/Answerer of Incessant Questions/Dear New Friend: James Miller – I know that the five of us must have given you an ulcer. You had so much on your plate, and you handled it all with both compassion and grace. Even when the heavens threatened to open, you kept every single ball in the air. I knew I would adore you from the first email, and I was right. Thank you for all of the things.

Boss of All PEOPLE People: Michelle Tan – You, miss thing, are a force of nature! Your intensity and your heart draw everyone towards you. Full superstar status. Who run the world? Girls.

Wardrobe Stylist: Don Sumada – For your flawless taste. Also, because the moment when you insisted I wear a ‘sample size’ will play on a highlight reel in my head for the rest of my days.

Wardrobe Assistant: Belaxis Buil – Shine bright like a diamond! I cannot wait to watch you soar. Hope all who visit Miami will get to see your art.

Assistant Hair Stylist: Leandra Francuna- gurrrrl, you are the other side of my lucky penny!

PEOPLE Reporters: Stephanie Pfeffer and Catherine Kast – It was so fun working with the two of you. You have no idea how much an email from either of you would shake the snow-globe of my suburban life. Congratulations on successfully putting a Dyck on the cover of PEOPLE Magazine ;-)

Production Managers Barbara Garcia and Johnny Beltran – Thank you for the fun. You were like my big brother and sister, keeping an eye out for me and making sure I made it to the church on time. You light up whatever room you’re in.

And finally, thank you to my real-life support team.

To my wonderful, strong & long-suffering husband, who kept me steady as I spun a million miles an hour and wrapped myself around a pole twelve times a day. I’m nothing without you.

To my kids, who think it’s so fun that Mommy is in a REAL LIFE MAGAZINE they can’t believe it.

To Maggie, Amanda & Cindy – the trusted few. Every girl should be blessed with friends like you.

To everyone who has cheered me on. Thank you.

I am so blessed.

Soundtrack For My Daughter’s Brain

Fat shaming hurts no matter how old you are or what shape you’re in.

But when it starts early, it can be especially hard.

Kids should be running, climbing and skinning their knees.

They should not have to worry that cruel gazes may find those knees ‘a bit too chubby’.

I was recently devastated to hear about the tears of an elementary school student (the daughter of a dear friend) who had been called ‘fat’ by some bullies in her class.

The fat-shamed little girl I used to be (who lives inside me still) cried out in a visceral understanding of her pain.

My heartbreak for the superstar girl in question prompted me to finally do something I’ve been meaning to do for years – create a Playlist of Empowerment for my daughter and little girls everywhere.

If I could create a soundtrack to play on a loop through my daughter’s brain, these would be the tracks.

So, for my precious girl, for your daughters, and especially for the wonderful girl who inspired me – play these songs and remember that you are beautiful, inside and out.

 

Please feel free to leave any and all suggestions for additions to this soundtrack!

Beware: Shallow Waters

Have you noticed? Happy Exhaustion has been in hiding.

I’m sure you have been tearing your hair and gnashing your teeth, cursing the heavens and calling out “WHY?!?

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to abandon you. I’m back now. Dry your tears.

Why now? Well, it dawned on me last night that my rockstar readers might think I stopped blogging about fitness because I threw in the sweaty towel, fell off of the wagon, and landed mouth-first in an enormous vat of ice cream.

I can’t have that! I’d rather make my embarrassing confession than give the impression that I’ve bailed on the journey.

My current fitness adventure is a whole ‘nother thing. I’m brimming with enthusiasm about it and DYING to share – but the desperately undignified lack of nobility in what I’m up to has me holding back.

I’m chasing a goal that is all about (*cringe*) vanity.

I’m sorry.

When I began Happy Exhaustion, I had one guiding principle: This Is Not A Blog About Skinny. This blog is not designed to contribute to the horrifying, *LOUD*, “Thinspo”, Get-Skinny-Or-Develop-An-Eating-Disorder-Trying NOISE.

So, when I found a new motivator (at a time when – I gotta be honest – I was hurting for a fresh motivator) and it wasn’t strictly about health and strength, but vanity-driven self-confidence, I didn’t know how to admit it.

But, it’s time to come clean. I am – for the first time in my life – engaging in the act of Preparing For Bathing Suit Season.

Yikes, stripes!

Yikes, stripes!

I have long avoided public displays of skin. Swimwear is so rude. It does precisely NOTHING to conceal the jiggly bits!

Fear of Swimsuit Judgment holds me back from activities that look like a lot of fun.

Are there any activities that have always looked like fun to you, but something holds you back from participating? You’d totally love to sky-dive if it wasn’t for that pesky fear of heights?

That’s how I am about water. I love to swim and grew up spending my summers on sailboats. But ever since my body issues kicked in (at a frightfully early age) I’ve let my body image hang-ups stand in my way.

I can’t get past my insecurities.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I hate this superficial side of myself – but there it is.

Hello, my name is Katey, and my post-childbearing torso and soft thighs have kept me out of the swimwear department.

This summer I want something different. I don’t want the nagging demons of vanity to get between me and a summer spent splashing in the pool with my kids. I don’t want to dive for a towel whenever a camera appears. My sights are set on eliminating the things that make me feel self-conscious.

I wish I was here to say “I banished my personal psychology and decided to change!” But I’m not –  I don’t know how. What I DO know how to do is to achieve my goals through hard work.

Once again, I am gearing up to get what I want the way I know how: With rivers of sweat.

Heads up “Problem Areas” – I’m coming for ya!

I am sweating in the direction of ‘toning’. (Sidebar: WTF is ‘toning’ anyway? I think we all have an image in our heads of what we mean when we say we want to ‘tone up’ but what does it really mean? The best way I can define it is developing muscles with a small enough amount of fat on top to make the muscles visible… right?)

I am trying to make my muscles *look* a certain way. Yes – they naturally are becoming stronger as I build them, but this time I’m building them to change their appearance. It’s a whole new thing.

I’m dropping some body fat as I burn extra calories with all the added abs & hamstrings workouts, but that’s not the goal nearly as much as changing my body composition from soft spots to something firmer.

And guys – with the guidance of the resident trainer – it’s working!! Operation Abs & Hamstrings is in full effect and (if you have any interest in my little vanity project) I can’t wait to tell you about it!

If I can pull off a beach body, I’ll let you know – and maybe even see! That is… if the resident trainer doesn’t mind :-)

Stroke.

On Sunday night, my paternal grandmother passed away.

Today, I’m struggling to navigate a confusing tangle of emotions. I’m caught in a state of emotional déjà vu. Because, in truth, I lost her once before – 20 years ago.

That’s when she had the stroke.

I was in middle school when a massive stroke stole my grandmother’s voice, and with it her ability to share her stories, her lessons, her self. She was paralyzed on her right side, and could no longer speak more than a handful of repetitive phrases.

She could not articulate her wishes, but her eyes would plead with you to guess what she was thinking. If you were on the right track, she would say ‘So good, honey.’ If she wanted you to keep trying to figure it out, she would say ‘You can say it?’

It was heartbreaking. And it went on for twenty years.

Her experience motivated and fueled my quest for fitness. I fight against that future with every workout and every drop of sweat.

Today I can think of no better way to honor the grandmother I lost than to encourage you to educate yourself about stroke risk. Learn the signs. Consciously engage in prevention.

“The American Heart Association reports 800,000 Americans suffer from stroke each year. Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the US and the fourth leading cause of death. Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable, because for the most part, strokes are the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Recent research published in the journal Stroke1 found that, if you’re inactive, you have a 20 percent higher risk for having a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) than people who exercise enough to break a sweat at least four times a week.”
-Mercola.com

Stroke Prevention Infographic

I even made you an infographic! (Play along – pretend I’m good at this kind of thing)

“[R]egular exercise affects your veins and arteries… physical activity keeps your larger arteries flexible, meaning that they will be elastic enough to stretch and allow more blood to flow when it’s needed, a little like a fire hose. As a result, your blood pressure is more likely to be sitting at normal levels during times of stress on the body instead of at dangerously elevated levels, easing the pressure on your heart and respiratory system.” – Livestrong

Take care of yourself. Use your healthy days to prevent untold suffering.

Sweat yourself healthy. Push your blood around. Make your heart beat strong. Work those elastic veins and arteries.

Absolutely NO excuses.

This morning, I was tired. I was sad. I wanted to curl up in bed and cry. But I didn’t. Instead, I laced up my running shoes and focused on my grandmother as I dripped with sweat.

This one’s for you, Grammy. Fly high.

Blood pumping.

Blood pumping.

A Hard Core Workout Just For You

Every weekend, the resident personal trainer (and combat veteran) leads a boot camp. When he showed me the program of pain he hit his clients with today, I begged him to let me share it here.

Luckily for us, he’s a generous man.

So – if you’re in the mood for a hard core sweat, here you go! A little present from us to you. Pin it for those days when you can’t make it to the gym – you can do it all in the comfort of your own home!

Enjoy!

(insert evil laugh *here*)

BOOT CAMP

February Challenge Demos

I asked very nicely, and the resident trainer (AKA He-Man) agreed to demonstrate how to do the workouts for the February Challenge. Here they are! Hope they help!

We’re happy to answer any questions, so post here or on the Facebook page and we’ll be there to help you reach your goals.

Work it out!

February Fitness Challenge

res·o·lu·tion
ˌrezəˈlo͞oSHən/
noun
: a definite and serious decision to do something

Roll call! Who is still committed to those Healthy & Strong resolutions they made this year?

By now all of that vim and vigor might be starting to wane. I mean… we’re in the middle of a Polar Vortex, here! How can we be expected to pull off anything beyond basic survival?

I hear ya.

But you know what? I’m not going to let you forget your Resolution! Not this time! THIS IS YOUR YEAR! If I can lose 100 lbs in a year, you can accomplish any resolution.

To help you stay on track, the resident trainer and I put together a February Challenge. You can follow along on the calendar below, or join us over at the Happy Exhaustion Facebook page where I will be posting daily workouts and providing support and encouragement to anyone who wants to participate.

This is your chance to recommit! Grab that resolution with both hands and do not give up. You can move mountains – but only if you do the work. Earn your strength. Make yourself proud. You deserve it.
Save it, Pin it, Sweat it out!

Save it, Pin it, Sweat it out!

Step Away From The Take-Out Menu And Nobody Gets Hurt.

It has been brought to my attention that I should write about food more often.

After all – how can the girl who preaches “Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym” neglect to discuss what she eats?

*Cue blogger breaking out in hives*

As I said in The Food Part – I suffer from a profound deficit in confidence when it comes to food. Food is my bugaboo. Food kills me. If I was an alcoholic, food would be my vodka tonic.

When my grip on fitness starts slipping, it’s never because I couldn’t bear to work out anymore. It’s always because of a plate of brownies, or an open bar, or a mountain of cheese fries… *drool…*

But when I’m on the right track, I have strict food rules, and I should tell you what they are.

Today’s lesson is this: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS – MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD.

Imma give it to you straight.

No sudden moves… Back away from the processed foods, nice and easy…

It’s so important to start with raw ingredients and go from there. When we eat things we can’t pronounce, we sacrifice our knowledge of what’s fueling our systems. How can we manage our nutrition when we don’t have our arms all the way around our understanding of what we’re consuming? Achieving and maintaining fitness is hard enough without any extra elements of mystery.

Controlling my fitness generated a fixation on foods made from scratch. When I make an exception, it’s because there’s a special occasion involved. Never more than once a week.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m no raw-foods-vegan or anything. I have tons of variety in my diet, I just don’t generally eat anything that comes out of a box. I take pride in preparing all of my family’s meals from whole foods. I can name every ingredient, and tell you why I used it.

It hasn’t always been this way.

For 20 years, I was technically a vegetarian, but it would have been more accurate to call me a junk-food-itarian. I lived primarily on processed carbs. I was very… fluffy in those days.

When I got married, I couldn’t cook my way out of a paper bag. While getting my MA in Budapest, my BFF and I often ate something we called ‘veggie mush’ – mashed canned veggies in a pot. It was a hot mess.

Committing to nutrition inspired me learn how to cook.

If you don’t know how to cook yet, you can use your fitness goals as your excuse to learn! It’s a fantastic feeling to be able to prepare whatever you might be in the mood for.

The trick is to add a step between your mood and your consumption.

When a craving creeps into my brain and my kitchen is stocked with easy-access processed foods, it’s WAY too easy to snack. When these options are not available, I have the chance to assess whether or not I’m really hungry.

Whenever I think I might want to nibble on something, I know I can either eat something whole (say, carrot sticks – not exactly crave-worthy) or I have to take the time to prepare something. If I’m not really hungry, I won’t have the motivation to go through the motions of prep. If I’m motivated enough to prep, then I’m hungry enough to eat.

Making your food slows you down. It makes you think about what you’re eating and why you’re choosing to eat it. When I was heavy, I ate without much thought. Now that I cook, food is no longer about instant gratification.

Your food doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be gourmet. But it really should be actual food.

Holiday Cheats

The House That Sugar Built

The House That Sugar Built

Over the holidays I was a bad, bad girl.

I betrayed my true love with my hot little fling. I committed the crime of infidelity.

That’s right – I cheated on my diet.

I made out with Christmas cookies. I sipped mint chocolate martinis in dark corners. I nibbled the ear of a gingerbread man. It was downright scandalous.

I gained 6 lbs. SIX! Oh my… that’s one hell of a lot of sugar.

As I crawled back to the produce department with my tail between my legs, I thought of the confession I had to make to my readers at Happy Exhaustion. How could I betray your trust by relapsing into my sugar addiction? I mean – I fell off of the wagon HARD. I kept up with my workouts, but my food journal sat around collecting dust.

I imagined myself as the little girl peeking out from behind her mother’s skirt, whispering “I’m sorry… I was bad.”

But, as I stood on my cardio machine, dripping with sweat, it occurred to me – Don’t be ‘ashamed to admit’ – be real! It’s all about sharing humanity.

I might be The Girl Who Blogs About Fitness, but I’m also The Girl Who Nibbles On Licorice While Her Daughter Decorates Cookies – because dammit, that licorice was all that stood between me and a head-first swan dive into the giant bowl of frosting.

I spent a bit of time allowing myself to be indulgent, and that’s ok. I’m not about to turn my back on Healthy & Strong. But I confess that even as I pass my health-iversary, I still have demons in my head whispering maybe that single cookie could be the tipping point when I lose it all.

I need to chill the eff out.

Who wants to be the skinny beeyotch who can’t relate to the occasional binge, anyway? Not me. Ew. That chick is not my friend. I don’t think she’s anyone’s friend. She’s plastic. She’s no fun at parties.

*Deep breath*

Getting my party on is tons of fun, but every time I over-indulged, my whole body felt like crap. In gaining 6 lbs, my body has felt like crap a lot lately. My system is so much happier when fueled by plants and lean proteins than it is when it’s fueled by gumdrops and peppermint schnapps. Have you ever had a peppermint schnapps hangover? I do NOT recommend it.

I’m in no danger of forgetting that sweat is the key to strength, confidence, and the release of anxiety.

Back into the saddle I go.

Heads up, newly-jiggly bits – I’m comin’ for ya.