Monday, March 31, 2014

Motivation Monday: Bump in the Road

We took a little road trip over the mountain to Saratoga, WY yesterday so Brad could watch some Pros play in a pool tournament. There's something about the mountains that brings me such peace. On the way home, I couldn't help but think back over the past year and snapped the above picture from the truck to reflect my thoughts in the moment.

Last summer, Brad and I took a backpacking trip, over 6 miles total. The hike was through water, over boulders and all types of terrain. I made the trip with ease. At times, feeling as though I could have ran portions where there was actual trail. I felt on top of the world in the moment, both literally and figuratively.

Never did I think I would be back to square one almost a year later. 

I've known that I'd have to write this blog post for a couple of weeks. While I have touched on it briefly here and there, I have really tried to avoid the whole topic.  Even though I've had this post on the brain for weeks, I am still finding it hard to find the words...

I worked hard last year and learned a lot of things along the way. My progress was much slower than anticipated, but I kept my head up (most of the time) and continued looking forward. I first got sick and started experience Lupus Flare symptoms in October. For months, I taught tooth and nail to continue progressing through the pain and sickness. Finally, in December, I reached a 29lb total loss. I felt great and was beginning to gain the confidence I had lost long ago.

Then, all the symptoms came back x100. I tried. Man, did I ever try to keep pressing forward. Truth is, my body was exhausted. My mind was exhausted. I simply couldn't workout through the aches and pains. Beyond that, I couldn't walk across the room without being winded and having a coughing attack. These couldn't (s) aren't "Eh, I didn't feel like it." They are: I, quite literally, was not capable of these things. 

Enter the evil prednisone. Not only does it make you retain water like you're 9 months pregnant with pre-eclampsia, but the hunger is unreal. Evil, evil, prednisone. I wanted to eat healthy, I did. But truth be told, I gave in far too many times in past month. One positive thing, I did make more frequent healthy choices than I would have if this had been one year ago. So, there's that.

The day I found out about round 1093980739 of bronchitis for the year, I also broke my big toe AND had to take Wyatt back into the doctor after my x-rays for his 3rd round of antibiotics in 2 months. We won't go back into all of that - my point is: Luck has not been on my side and I haven't handled it the best I could. 

Weight loss and fitness journey's aren't all happy-go-lucky moments. They aren't rainbows and unicorns all the time. They aren't easy. No matter what anyone portrays out there, at the gym or on some random blog, they struggle, too. Even if they'll never admit it. It's not always easy to turn down dessert or all the pizza and burgers. It's not always easy to make your workout a priority. And, sometimes, real life situations are going to get in the way. Some things are completely out of your control.

The real change in a person happens when they decide what to do with the things they are dealt. The real change happens when they take slip-ups, no matter how big or how small, as a bump in the road. Not an end-all.

That's where I am. I'm feeling better. Much better. The prednisone is gone - for now...  I haven't weighed in yet (I will tomorrow morning after I dig my scale out), but I can tell you that I will not be surprised if I'm starting over - 100% from the beginning. I've been struggling internally with that thought and trying to overcome the negative talk that comes with it. I can't change the past. It is what it is. All I can do is work my butt off from here on out.

I hope you guys will all stick around as I start this journey over. The great thing about the past year, is I've learned a lot about myself and my body which should make all the difference in my success this time around. I need accountability right now, so I'll be bringing back weekly weigh-ins. 

More on my plan, weigh-in, measurements to come tomorrow!

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Very Random - 5 on Friday

It's Friday and my blood pressure is coming back down from my little vent yesterday, just in time for the weekend. I know I had said I'd have the full potty training post up this week, but we'll just bump it to the next.

It wouldn't be the close of a week without 5 On Friday, so...


This was my Friday morning. Wyatt insisted he cover me in kisses before we left the house, which basically makes me the luckiest mommy in the world. After being up all night wiping his nose and trying to keep him calm with all his coughing, it was very much needed. Please keep positive thoughts for us as we have a big doctor's appointment on Monday!

Even though he's not feeling well, there have been zero accidents since Sunday. Zero! I'm so proud of my little guy.


A little Flashback Friday to last summer's hiking...

I am itching to get back to the mountains! Will the snow ever end? We've been having a really awesome winter this spring. Sigh

I've lived down in this part of Wyoming over 7 years, and I honestly still don't know the area well. I think I've talked Brad into showing me a few day hike places.. with trails clearly marked... that I can safely do myself when he has Wyatt. There will definitely be some backpacking trips this summer as well, but that will not happen without Brad along. Safety first, friends... safety first. Not to mention, if a bear was to pop up in front of me, I'd think he's too cute to actually shoot - even if he started ripping me to shreds. So there's that. (That may be part of the issue I'm having with convincing Brad to show me hiking trails I can do by myself).


I've started the taper process of Prednisone, which is very exciting. However, it's been years and years since I've been on it for an extended period of time. I forgot a very nasty side effect of tapering - pain. It's not uncommon with the prednisone, especially in auto-immune patients.

My entire body is fragile at the moment. I mean, it literally hurts for my clothing to touch my skin. The pressure of laying down on a soft bed to go to sleep last night actually had me crying in pain. The shower this morning? Let's not even talk about how that felt. Or the fact that drying off with a towel was out of the question, so I just stood in the bathroom to air dry for what felt like an eternity.

I'm so ready for my bloated face to go back to normal, and to get to work losing the extra weight though, that the pain is almost a welcome one. It's a sign that I'm getting closer to being able to move forward. Hopefully it will just last a couple days and I will be feeling like a new me!


We had my mom and little brother come over for dinner last night. Which means Wyatt's day was MADE.

Until the past year, my family have all been 7 hours away. It's been a lot of fun having them around.


Warm weather will come eventually, and it will be running season again. I am in desperate need of a new running playlist. Help!

What's on your playlist??

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Shame on SELF

I'm typically a pretty laid back person. I have my own opinions and thoughts on certain matters, well, just about every matter. But, I tend to keep them to myself or vent about them to close family or friends. I'm one of those people if a restaurant gets my food wrong, I'll just pick at it or take it home to give to someone else rather than speak up. It's just who I am.

With that said, it takes a lot to truly upset me enough to voice my feelings. I'm not sure what it is about this particular issue that has me in a complete rage today. Maybe it's just the timing. Maybe, it's because my aunt is a breast cancer survivor and it happens to be her birthday. Maybe, it's my involvement in I Run 4 and that Dakota is right now, as I type, sitting in the hospital receiving results from his recent testing. Maybe, it's because I'm a runner - I don't know. All I know, is I haven't been able to get the issue off my mind all morning and feel I won't be able to let it rest until I've put my feelings out there...

This morning started out like any morning - 10,000 trips to go the bathroom for Wyatt. Shower, hair and make-up for me. Breakfast served... you know the drill. I sat down on the couch and logged onto Facebook to send Dakota a message for his results day. The first thing that popped up on my newsfeed was THIS ARTICLE.

Monika Allen is a brain cancer survivor. She received an email from SELF awhile back, asking her permission to use a photo of her running the LA Marathon in a tutu/super hero outfit. I'm sure she never imagined it could be used in a negative light, and gave her blessing. The picture was posted in April's publication with this caption:

"A racing tutu epidemic has struck NYC's Central Park, and it's all because people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster," the caption reads. "Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it."
Little did SELF know (or bother to even find out) Monika ran this marathon in the middle of chemotherapy. (Advice to SELF: THAT is newsworthy). She wore the tutu to celebrate her amazing accomplishment. To motivate herself on the run and have a little, well deserved, fun. Not only that, but she makes tutus and sells them to donate the money to a charity: Girls on the Run.

The amazing thing to me, is SELF is supposed to be a fitness and health publication.

 One that fails to understand the close-knit nature of the running community. I have participated in sports my entire life. Never have I found a community of people so supportive of all sizes, shapes, ages and abilities as runners.

One that clearly fails to understand that nearly every organized race is in support of some type of charity.

One that clearly fails to understand why anyone might want to brighten 3-50 miles. To bring a little cheer to themselves, other runners and supporters along the way. If a fun outfit can do that, why not?

One that clearly fails to understand that there are thousands upon thousands of people out there who can't run for themselves. That there are thousands of us out there dedicating our races and miles to these people. That many of them are children. In the I Run 4 group, tutus and goofy outfits are common. Members post race pictures for their buddies so they can feel a part of the race themselves. So, as a result, they go above and beyond to wear their buddy's favorite colors, characters etc...

Until  today, I've been a fan of SELF for many years. I've had subscriptions with them from time to time. I was following them on all forms of social media until this morning. But, I have no patience for ignorance, bullies, and judgements. Especially based on someone's appearance. I can't help but wonder if the "journalist" who made this comment has ever run a marathon, themselves. Until they have those 26.2 miles under their belt, or have underwent chemotherapy themselves, they should probably refrain from judging those that have.

Nice try, SELF, but I believe people will now be running faster from you... not the tutus.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day {Yesterday}

Side Note: Wheat Belly Wednesday will return in another week or two after Wyatt and I have finished all our crazy doctor's appointments etc... I can't wait to dig into all of this and get to work losing the pounds (again), but I'm focusing on us and all other areas of our health right now. Throwing in drastic lifestyle changes, with all else happening is too overwhelming at the moment. The prednisone hunger is real, people. It's a daily struggle. But, I'm doing my best to control it and make smart decisions in the mean time. So, there's that.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen this. However, since it's big news in my world at the moment, I'm sharing again:

I got real shoes on my feet for the first time in a week on Monday. Progress! It's healing faster than expected, thank heavens. It's about time something went right around here. There's an occasional throb and it's pretty tender to the touch, but overall - not bad. I completely forget about it occasionally the past couple of days which is making it difficult to follow doctor's orders and not jump right back into all things fitness. Patience... 

Somehow I missed the memo that yesterday was Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day until after lunch. Bummer! I should have been rocking my green for Dakota. I couldn't let the day go by without getting out there and doing something for him. Running was out of the question, but I loaded Wyatt up after work and we headed out for a walk.

It felt great to get moving a bit. Ice was required for my toe later that night though. Maybe by the weekend, I'll be able to get a slow, short jog in and start easing back into my workouts. I'm playing it by ear and listening to my body.

Moving on to the biggest, most exciting news in our neck of the woods: Operation Potty Training has been a huge success! We started on Saturday and Wyatt has now been over 48 hours with zero accidents. Score! 

Today is the last day of his 3rd round of antibiotics in 2 months. I was hoping it was working this time, then Monday night the stuffy nose and cough returned. We go in for a follow up on Monday to determine if he needs to be seen by a specialist. I'm a big bundle of mama nerves, but know that it will all work out. He stays pretty happy and energetic during the day, so I'm grateful for that. It's a sign of some improvement at least.

Tutorial for Wyatt's potty/chore chart will be up on the blog tomorrow along with some details about our crazy weekend and what is working for us.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Motivation Monday - Inspiration

With all the craziness going on as of late, it's been far too long since I've managed a Motivation Monday! But, I love this week's theme and it came at a time when I was really needing it: What Inspires You. Come link-up with us and be sure to jump around and check out other's posts today!


Inspiration is so unique and special to each individual. My journey started a year ago... I was tired of being uncomfortable in my own skin. Tired of hiding behind hoodies and sweats. Tired of being tired, really. But, my big push was my son, Wyatt.

I didn't want to sit on the sidelines and watch him grow. I wanted to be a part of it all. I wanted to be able to chase him; throw and kick a ball around. To really be a part of everything he does. Not just emotionally, but physically. With extra pounds, that was a hard task. Beyond that, it was extremely important to me that he learn healthy habits. That he understood the importance of physical activity, and had fun doing it. That he had a healthy relationship with food early on. 

Children lead by example. I couldn't sit on the couch and stuff my face with all the calories, but expect him to learn moderation. I couldn't encourage him to play outside and run around, if I was just going to kick back and watch from a distance.
Wyatt is what originally lit that fire within myself. As a result, I feel as though this journey continues to make me a better mother. I'm far from perfect, there is always room for improvement. But, not only am I happier when I'm on the right path, but so it he.

Last fall, I heard through the blogging community about Who I Run 4. I spent a good part of the day in tears as I read about the organization and scrolled through the posts on the Facebook page. I immediately signed up to be matched with a buddy to run and workout for. It was a long 6-8 week wait to be matched with my buddy, Dakota. Never did I imagine the change this young man would make in our lives.
Working out took on a whole new meaning. I wasn't just doing it for myself anymore, I was doing it for a complete stranger. Dakota looks forward to my updates, and I don't want to let him down. He is a huge motivator for me, and beyond that, has taught me so many valuable lessons. Someday, he will ride his wheelchair next to me on a run, and I cannot wait for that day.
 These past several months have been a struggle as I've dealt with various health problems. I'm gearing up to start my journey over. Instead of continuing to be down on myself for the detour I've been on lately, I'm concentrating on getting pumped up. I'm so ready to do this - just as soon as my toe and health get on the same page. There's a lot to come in the very near future, and with Wyatt and Dakota pushing me, I have no doubt that it will be an amazing ride!

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Little 5 On Friday


Let's start with a little health update:

My toe is healing quite nicely. Thank heavens! I can almost walk like normal today, and may have even been able to get a real shoe on, if I hadn't been too chicken to try. I'm not coughing aaalll night long, so that's nice. Hopefully things are on the up and up on my end.

Wyatt is half way through his third round of antibiotics, and I'm not totally convinced he is getting better - once again. The ear infection doesn't seem to be bothering him, but he is still complaining of the sore throat and has a cough to go with it. Poor guy! 31st is the big day when we find out if we will be referred to a specialist for surgery. As often as he is sick, I feel as though I might be slightly relieved if we go that route. Of course, I wish it wouldn't be necessary, but I hate seeing him like this all the time. So, that's where we are at with all that drama.

This picture helps to really put things into perspective. Ladies and Gents, this is just the past 2 weeks of mine and Wyatt's lives. I should have followed in my big brother's foot steps and became a pharmacist.


Operation Potty Training - Round 2 will be taking place this weekend. Lord help us all. Wyatt, is quite possibly, the most stubborn person that has ever lived. He may or may not come by this trait naturally. eh hem.

We've been casually working on it for months after our last Operation Potty Training disaster in the fall. Everyone says, "wait until he's ready." The kid insists on trying to change his own diaper, for crying out loud. He is ready.

After browsing Pinterest for hours on end, (because, how can you not?) I found a chart I just fell in love with. Back in the day when I had a life and free time, I used to quilt and sew and make all the things. I've missed it. So, when I found a chart that required some sewing, was a smart concept, and I have extra free time with no workouts, I knew it was fate.

I'll get a full tutorial up on the blog some time next week. But, the jest of it is this: Each successful trip to the bathroom, the toilet pin will move up another number. If he has an accident, the pin will move down one. Once it gets to 10, he can pick out a toy at the store.

Beyond the cute, sewing, fun factor - there were several things I liked about this idea.
1. Positive reinforcement
2. And probably my favorite part, I like that it moves down one for an accident. I don't want to "punish" Wyatt for accidents. That's silly. But, I do want him to understand that while successful trips are awesome, our goal is to try and have no accidents at all. The hope is this will help him try harder blah blah - you get it.
3. Help to learn colors and numbers, as well.
4. Once potty training is over, it can still be used for discipline/chores. I've made a follow directions pin and pick up toys pin. Once he's a little older, we can add more.


I'm getting my butt back in gear. Prednisone has me feeling like a busted can of biscuits today. My fat jeans, barely got on this morning. Truth.

To stay off my toe, my goal is 100 tricep dips at work with an ab workout tonight.

Lunch break will be spent at the store stocking back up on all the healthy things. My water bottle is next to me on my desk.

No more letting my health troubles control my life and goals. Time to get this show on the road.


Wyatt put Daddy night-night on Wednesday. This picture literally has me laughing out loud every time I look at it.
He's got all the bedtime essentials: TMNTs, blankie, pillow and drink. Looks comfy, eh?


 Friday is always "Friday Movie Night" in our house. I was expecting our copy of Frozen from Disney Movie Club earlier this week. It still hasn't arrived!! I've been dying to see this movie. If it doesn't show up today, I need to find a quick plan B.

Any family movie suggestions out there??

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

When You Want to Throw In the Towel...

You know, I have a pretty awesome life.

I live, in what I believe, is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Picture taken on our backpacking trip last summer

I have a secure job that provides for me and my son. While it may try my patience and sanity at times, I am fortunate enough to have a flexible schedule if need be.

I have a pretty darn adorable kid that constantly amazes me with his quick whit, sarcasm, heart of gold, short fuse and abundance of energy. 
 An amazing family, that I love with all my heart.

I have the best friend and father to my child I could ever ask for. 

The only thing I've felt like I'm missing is my health. I want to be at a healthy weight. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. I want to be able to chase Wyatt around with ease. I want to continue hiking trips with Brad. I want all of these things.

I've worked hard in an attempt to achieve these things. Sometimes, I've worked a little too hard in an attempt to achieve them. Unfortunately, life has seemed to have other plans these past six months. If you've read here any amount of time, you've heard me whining about it all over and over.

I won't lie, as Monday unfolded into the insane day it was, I didn't know what else to do but laugh. In fact, on the phone with my boss this morning, he said he still can't believe how calm I was after that type of an injury. However, as the day went on yesterday, I started to get angry. Maybe it was the lack of sleep. Maybe it was the immense pain I was in. Maybe it was complete and utter frustration. Maybe it was concern about possible surgery in the near future for my child. Probably, it was a combination of all these things. 

I'd just had it. I went through this list of all the amazing things in my life. I have it pretty stinkin' good. Screw size 6 jeans. Screw endless workouts and food tracking and giving up all things yummy. Where has it gotten me? 

I ate my feelings- again. Tears were shed. Simply, I have been a bit dramatic.

Lately, this whole healthy living thing is just overwhelming. Finding time for workouts... Heck, trying to make it one stinking week healthy enough to be able to workout, period. Or, one stinking week where I feel well enough to prepare healthy meals.

Sometimes I read other blogs, or see other people and that jealousy thing kicks in. Sometimes, especially lately, I've been asking myself, "why me?" I want to be able to workout 5-6 days a week. I want to be able to run outside. I want to feel well enough to get a good grocery shopping trip in, food prep and eat all the healthy things. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I physically have been unable to as of late. Literally. No exaggeration. Completely unable to do these things no matter how hard I've tried.

So, wallowing in self pity last night, I had a decision to make. I can throw in the towel. Give up. Be happy with all the amazing blessings I do have and just forget all the personal goals I've set  for this year in terms of fitness and weightloss...

I can pick myself up. I can start over and go back to the basics. I can focus on what I can control.

I'm going to fight like hell. That's what I'm going to do. Plain and simple.

I'm going to take this down time while I recover to finish Wheat Belly. To research nutrition. It's no secret that the food side of things is where I struggle. Now's the time to wrangle that in. I can't control the water retention from the Prednisone, but I can do my part to limit any added poundage above and beyond that.

I may not be able to run, do plyometrics, or walk for that matter... but that doesn't mean I have to sit on my butt in front of the TV for the next 4-8 weeks. Upper body has always been my weakness; this is my opportunity to really focus on that. I'm going to be taking it easy for at least the next month. My body is screaming for the break. But, that doesn't mean I can't do a little something each day. I'm going to work my arms, shoulders and back. I'm going to make sure I'm still moving. Any little bit is better than not at all.

Progress will be small while I recover from this one. (Lungs, toe and more...) Odds are against me, and despite my best efforts, the scale and my jeans may show no progress at all. It's life. It's my life. But, I will make it through this rough patch, and I'm going to come out healthier and stronger on the other side. 2014 will still be my year. I just have to find a different way to approach it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Day That Would Never End

Yesterday was a day for the record books. In fact, as I woke up this morning, it felt like it was some wacky dream. But, nope - it all did happen. Let me break this down:

8:30: Doctor appointment for my never ending illness.
8:40: Hospital for 3 chest x-rays to rule out pneumonia
9:30:  Arrive back at work.
10:30: Doctor calls with the good news that it's just bronchitis - again. We go over the treatment plan and she calls in 3 prescriptions to the pharmacy.
12:00: Head out to said pharmacy and pick up meds.
12:30: Receive phone call from FedEx Freight that they left a unit outside the shop door. Which, might I add, they are NOT supposed to do without someone there to unload and sign for.
12:50: Arrive back to work. Open the garage door and barely manage to lift the corner of the pallet to drag unit into shop.
12:52: Proceed to drop said unit and pallet on my left big toe.
12:53: Many 4 letter words that don't need to be repeated on the blog.
1:10: As the pain began to escalate and the bleeding continued, I decided I better get it checked out even though I knew there wasn't much they could do.
1:15: I'm trying to get out to my car, when daycare calls. Wyatt is sick - again! He had just finished antibiotic #2 this weekend, so I immediately called the pedi to get him back in after I get my toe checked out.
1:30: Arrive at Urgent Care. 5 additional x-rays later and it's confirmed it's broken - badly. Tell me something I don't already know. I'd share a picture of it this morning, but don't want to gross anyone out. My toe nail is ripped right down the center as well, and it's just ... nasty. Wyatt picked me out some awesome TMNT bandages, so I'm rocking that today.
2:30: They tell me they are concerned about composite syndrome and wanted to give me a toridal (sp?) shot. Well, there's no time for this nonsense! I still had to pick Wyatt up and get him to the pedi's across town by 2:50. So, they tell me they are calling in pain meds and anti inflammatories to the pharmacy that I was just at 2 hours prior.
2:40: Pick up Wyatt who is miserable and tells me his ear has an owie.
2:50: Arrive at Pedi Office
3:00: Confirm that Wyatt has a very severe ear infection and swollen tonsils that have been that way for 2 months. After 2 rounds of antibiotics, he should be 100% healthy. Specialists are mentioned. One last round of antibiotics are supposedly called into the pharmacy. Make a follow up appointment on the 31st so we can discuss the possibility of tubes and tonsil removal, and out the door we go.
3:20:  Arrive at Walmart. Grab some slippers, new socks and TMNT bandages before stopping by the pharmacy.
3:50: Pharmacy claims they haven't received either of our scrips. At this point, I'm in an incredible amount of pain. My toe is smashed and I've been running around on it non-stop since. I have a sick child, also in pain, crying because he wants his blankie that is still at daddy's house. We continue waiting...
4:20: I have a complete mental break down. I start crying in Walmart like a crazy person because I just want to get home.
4:30: I text Brad to inform him I hate the world, and I can't sit there waiting any longer with both Wyatt and myself crying.
4:35 We are on the way to Brad's house.
5:00: Out the door to head to Cheyenne for St. Patty's Day dinner with Brad's parents. Stop at Walmart on the way, where they FINALLY have Wyatt's meds ready.
6:00: Arrive in Cheyenne and have a great meal with family.

We got back home around 8 last night. Wyatt slept until 6:30 and I was able to get some real sleep for a the first time in a week. The way I figure, we can only go up from here! I can't get actual shoes on my foot, so I'm walking through snow drifts today - fun! It's been an adventure, that's for sure.

I'm out of commission on the workout front for at least 4 weeks, possibly 8 due to my toe. Maybe this is just my bodies way of forcing me to take a break. With a months worth of prednisone on top of minimal exercise, the next month could be rough on my health goals. All I can do is work hard to control my nutrition and hope for the best.

No matter the day, good or bad, I'm always so incredibly grateful for these boys in my life.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekend Fun & Updates

 Let's start with a little positivity, shall we? We had a great weekend! Last week was the Wyoming State Pool tournament up in Casper. Brad played singles Wednesday and Thursday and ended up 17 out of 150. Not bad! Thursday afternoon, my mom emailed me at work and told me I should head up and meet him for the weekend and she'd take some time with Wyatt.

I was really hesitant at first. Grandma is Wyatt's favorite person in the world, and I knew he would love it. But, I've only left Wyatt over night twice. And each time it was just for the evening and I picked him up first thing in the morning. Two nights seemed so long to me! But, I finally agreed.

Sometimes mommy just needs a little break to be something other than just mommy, right? Especially after the past several months we've had. Brad and I don't live together, currently. It's difficult to chase a very busy (almost) three year old around when you feel like death yourself. And even harder to care for a very sick kiddo on your own when you are also sick. It's just a viscous cycle. So, I finally gave in.

Teams were Friday/Saturday and the guys took 9th, I believe. It was a great time, even if I will be dreaming about pool for weeks to come.

We headed back home bright and early Sunday morning for the 2.5 hour drive back to town to pick up Wyatt and head down to Fort Collins, CO for Brad's great nephew's 1st birthday! It was beautiful there and we had a great time with family.

The Birthday Boy

Daddy's Boy
So, to the downside:

I just am not getting better. In fact, I'm worse. I'm going on 6 months of a horrible, deep cough that just will not go away. 40 minutes, tops, of sleep at one time before I wake up with an awful coughing episode. After last night's lack of sleep and my painful chest, I just felt like I can't handle this much longer.

I got into the doctor first thing this morning which resulted in this:

We took some x-rays to rule out pneumonia. I had a long go of pneumonia last year, and I'm pretty confident it will be negative. But, better safe than sorry. I should know the results early afternoon and we'll discuss treatment options from there. However, I was told, regardless of the results, I will be going on a long run of prednisone. Again. This time for about a month - slowly weening myself off.

I'm tired of my fingers and ankles looking like they did when I was 9 months pregnant! I'm tired of being swollen and the scale going up. But, I can't get where I want to be until I can kick whatever is going on here. If a month of prednisone is what I have to do, then so be it.

Once I'm finally better, they want me to get in for pulmonary testing. Might as well add asthma to my list of conditions, eh?

One thing I noticed, my BP was in normal range today! Very rare for me due to my Lupus. So big win there!

This quote has become a favorite of mine through the past few years. I've hit a bit of a set back, a long - long 6 month long one. But it's not the end of the journey. I feel as though I'm going to be starting over at this point. Honestly, oh well if I have to start from the beginning. I'm not giving up. I haven't given up. I will meet all my goals: weightloss, fitness and beyond. It's just taking longer than I ever imagined or planned. Sometimes, God has other plans. And who am I to question him?

Friday, March 14, 2014

5 On Friday

FRIDAY!!! Finally. Although, I must admit, this week has kind of flown by for me. There are all kinds of things going on around here, so lets do a little 5 on Friday!


I'm back on prednisone. For the third time this year. Lucky me, right? Hopefully I'm breathing easier come Monday, and able to start getting my workouts and runs in. As much as I hate ballooning up with every round, I'm grateful that it does help me when I need it.


If you've been reading here very long, you probably know that I dedicate all my runs and workouts to Dakota. If you're new here, you can read more about the program HERE. Quickly, Dakota is a 17 year old boy with cerebral palsy, and also suffers from frequent seizures, among other things. He rolls where he needs to go and is such a light in my life. He's my heart, and I'm his legs. Together, we're a team. I love him and his family dearly, even though we have yet to meet in person.

Last night, I received word that Dakota is not doing well as of late. He goes in tomorrow for some testing and hopefully they will get some answers. Dakota has endured far more in his 17 years than I could ever fathom. He is so incredibly strong and always has a smile on his face.

If you pray, please keep Dakota and his family in your prayers this weekend. They really need some answers and comfort right now.

If you don't pray, please just keep them in your thoughts or even consider dedicating a run or workout to Dakota. If you do, please email me any pictures or messages you would like to share with him.

tiffhult27 (at) gmail (dot) com


Wyatt's birthday is the end of May, and I'm already in full party planning mode. The theme will Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles (of course). I've been pinning ideas like a mad woman! 

If none of my other ideas go according to plan, it will all be okay as long as I can pull this off:

I am no artist, so it will be interesting to say the least. I think it would be so much fun to get all the guest's pictures taken though.


I shared this on IG this past weekend, but it was too funny not to share on the blog. Wyatt and I went on a 2 mile walk last weekend. The sun was out and snow was actually melting. So exciting, but snow melting in Wyoming has a downfall: 4 months of dog crap thawing in the sun. It's not pleasant. Wyatt starting flipping out the second he caught the scent. He was yelling at the top of his lungs, "Yuck! STINKY, Mama! STIIINKY." Hopefully the neighbors got the hint to get out there and clean up. 


Last but not least: The Weekend!

I'm headed out after work to meet Brad up in Casper for his State Pool tournament. (He's been there since Wednesday). I am looking forward to a fun weekend! However, I've only left Wyatt over night twice. And never for more than one night. I may be a basket case being away for two nights in a row. 

Sunday will be a fun, but crazy day. I will be making the 2.5 hour drive back home, bright and early. Once I get back to Laramie, I pick Wyatt up from Grandma's and take the hour drive down to Fort Collins, CO for his second cousin's first birthday. A lot of driving! The party is Superman theme and Wyatt and are all ready to get all decked out in Superman gear. There will definitely be plenty of pictures on IG this weekend! 

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

NSV's & Plans For Moving Forward

Last week I fessed up to my weight struggles since Christmas. You can read about that HERE.  It's so hard to get back into the swing of things after being off track for so long. I know from past experiences, that it takes me a good two weeks of working out consistently and eating right to make it a "way of life" again. Those two weeks are really challenging for me. Once it's habit, it's smooth sailing... for the most part.

Well, I felt as though I needed an extra push to get myself there. A good challenge always helps me, especially when money is at stake. I need some accountability in my life at the moment. With this in mind, I joined Chris and Heidi Powell's dietbet. Chris Powell is the trainer from Extreme Weightloss, in case you didn't know. I love that show. He sticks with his clients and helps them through all the challenges of losing weight, including the emotional ones, over a year's time. In my opinion, it's a much healthier approach than other weight loss shows out there.

Step 2: I will be in a 21 Day Fix challenge group starting on Monday. I was supposed to do one in February, but ended up with Bronchitis just a couple days in. I can't wait to share more about it as I get going and will have more details on it next week. Hopefully I kick this cough out the window before we start! Just some quick notes:

1. I HATE the name. LOVE the program. (more on that later)

2. It is a BeachBody program.

3. 100% clean eating, in healthy portions. Small meals throughout the day. I will be adjusting the program a bit as I'm excluding wheat products.

4. I will be having daily Shakeology. (There are probably some wheat products in Shakeology. I'm not concerned about the small amount, or it being a trigger for all things carbs).

5. No, I am not a BeachBody coach and did not receive any free product etc... I will be sharing my honest thoughts throughout the process.

As far as Non-Scale Victories go this week, I'm keeping my eating under control even though I'm not feeling great. Sitting at my desk yesterday, I convinced myself that I needed a bagel from Bagel Maker's for lunch. Needed as in, it was going to make my illness go away and magically make it the best day ever. Nothing and nobody could change my mind.

Except for maybe myself...

I started playing catch up on all my favorite blog reads during a quick work break. Blogger after blogger mentioned how Spring and Summer were coming. How they are doing this and that to be ready. Suddenly, that bagel didn't seem so magical anymore. In fact, it sounded disgusting. I feel better without grains, so why waste my money on it? Healthy lunch for the win!

It's a small victory this week, but a victory none-the-less. Progress is progress, no matter how small. Right?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wheat Belly Wednesday {2}

Look at me writing a blog post in advance from the comfort of my own home. It's been a hot minute since that has happened, my friends! Unfortunately, the reason for this awesomeness is because I can't work out. And why can't I workout? I'm catching Wyatt's crud. Surprise, surprise! I'm determined to do everything in my power for it not to progress this time around. Zicam, Vitamin C, Dayquil and Nyquil are currently my best friends.

So far - Illness: 4594850948     Tiff: 0. Story of my life, right?

Life's been a tad bit crazy since I first decided to go wheat free. Let me tell you, it's not easy to make major life style changes when you and/or your kiddos are sick. I have yet to make it through a week 100%, but I'm not beating myself up over it right now. We are just lucky to not be sitting in a hospital room the past week, so that's enough of a win in my book!

I have noticed a huge difference in how I feel when I make it a few days without wheat in my system. I feel extremely light and clear headed. I was on point last week, that is, until Friday afternoon. Wyatt hadn't drank in almost 24 hours. I was desperate to try and get him to eat something. My thinking was, if he'd eat, he would then be thirsty and we could get some fluids down. So, I ordered him pizza for lunch (his favorite, because, well, TMNTs eat pizza of course). For the first time in his life, he turned down the rare opportunity to have pizza. So, I ate some for him. I could have said no. I should have said no. But I didn't. Exhaustion took over. Then, after we got back from the ER that night, I ate pizza for a late dinner, too. Not good.

My stomach was in major pain, almost instantly. It wasn't that I ate more than I should. 1-2 slices each time. However, after just a few days of not having junk in my system, my body had already adjusted. It was angry, and it let me know it.

This experienced did confirm to me that wheat free is what I need to do right now. I know that once I'm finally over this three month illness, it's going to make all the difference.

Brad's out of town for a state pool tournament the rest of the week, so I should have extra time to get through more pages of Wheat Belly. I am itching to learn more! Fingers crossed that I can kick this bug to the curb once and for all this week... and for some warm weather so I can get some runs in. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Random Act of Kindness

Seven and a half years ago, I moved to Laramie on a whim. At the time I was feeling a little "lost" and needed a change of pace and scenery. My older brother was attending Pharmacy school at the University of Wyoming, so I picked up and moved down closer to him. Really, I never planned on staying long. Shortly after moving here, I landed the job where I still remain today.

Little did I know that this job would shape my entire future. I was able to build a career, meet Brad and of course have my little blessing, Wyatt. All because of a split second decision. My position has always been a stressful one, however, in some ways I prefer that. I need a good challenge in my life. Then, everything changed two years ago when my boss passed away in a work related accident. Even more responsibility was put on my shoulders at that time and our small company is still trying to adjust to the loss.

There have been times in these past couple of years that I've felt as though my job is sucking the life out of me. Both emotionally and physically. Occasionally, I have wondered how much longer and I can continue on here. Then, once in a blue moon, I feel as though a "sign" comes around to reaffirm my decision to stick with the company.

I was having a difficult day yesterday trying to play catch up from having Wyatt at work with me last week. Days like that, I really miss Steve more than normal. Then the mail came:

This customer took the time to send a Thank You card with her payment. To her, it probably seemed like nothing. To me, it meant the world. It came at a time I really needed it and helped me to make it through my day.

Especially in the service/construction industry, people are quick to voice their displeasure with any little thing. Rarely does someone go out of their way to compliment. I admit that I'm completely guilty of this, as well. This customer reminded me of a valuable lesson yesterday. There is so much power behind a kind word or deed. I need to remember that and be more appreciative in my day to day life. I wager we all do to some extent.

Smile at a stranger. Take a couple seconds to compliment or thank someone. You never know who may be needing a simple, nice gesture. You never know the impact that one little thing could make.

Monday, March 10, 2014

When It Rains... pours.

Things seemed to be looking up on Wednesday. I was feeling refreshed after writing my feelings out on the blog. Which, by the way, thank you so much for all your amazing comments on that post. It meant the world to me and I will reply to everyone as soon as I can. Wyatt seemed perfectly fine when I put him to bed. At 1 am he woke up and was boiling hot. He proceeded to wake up screaming every 20 minutes for the remainder of the night (and the two nights following).

Once the sun came up, he was coughing so hard he was throwing up. We got him into the doctor first thing and got him on some antibiotics. Friday rolled around, and I couldn't get my little ninja lion to drink. By Friday night, he was looking very frail with dark sunken in eyes.

At work Friday
He'd only had a couple hours sleep in 48 hours and we were getting really concerned. Around 10pm Friday night, I loaded him up and headed to the ER. 3 hours later, he was finally drinking after some anti-nausea meds and heavy duty cough syrup.

Rocking his Ninja to sleep waiting to be discharged
I have to say, I was extremely impressed with the hospital. We had an ER doctor that was great with Wyatt (you never know what your going to get at the ER in my experience) and an amazing nurse that treated Ninja just like a little person. Ninja has had his blood pressure and temperature checked, and a urine sample and is healthy as a horse. Human Ninja is well on the mend now and back at daycare today.

With all this going on, workouts and nutrition have been farthest from my mind. But, it's a new week and we are both (getting) healthy! Hopefully the illness season has finally passed us by and we can get down to business.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Owning My Struggles

As I sat in Urgent Care two Sunday's ago, feeling completed defeated after finding out I had bronchitis for the second time this year, I began to really reflect on a lot of things - the blog being one of them.

I started this blog nearly a year ago as a way to document my weightloss and fitness journey. I wanted the accountability and support that came along with it. It was fun at first. Weight was falling off. My health was in check and all was well. As time went on, and the-never-ending-plateau came about, my motivation really wavered. At that time, I started Fit 4 Christmas and was able to finally light that fire under myself again and see results. I weighed in December 20th at 166.8 (if I'm remembering correctly). 29 pounds gone - forever. Or so I thought.

Then, round 1 of bronchitis hit. There were rounds and rounds of antibiotics, feeling miserable and just... blah. About this same time, I started to feel like the blog was a "chore". Try as hard as I might, I could not think of anything worth writing about. If I'm being completely honest - I didn't feel worthy of writing on my own blog. The weight was creeping back on. I was physically unable to workout. I could have come on here and owned up to all of that then, but I didn't want to be a failure. Who wants to read about illnesses and someone ruining all their hard work?

So, of course, I started thinking negatively in other areas of my life as well. One year ago, Wyatt worked out with me every single night. He loved it! Often times, when I wanted to take a day off, it was he that pushed me to lace up my shoes and push play. As he is getting older and more independent, he isn't as interested as he once was. Mama's guilt has been strong as of late when I'm in my room trying to get a 30 minute workout in and he is off playing in his room. As I'd try to push myself in my workouts, my heart wanted to be in there with him.

All these thoughts, health issues, and the need to spend extra time with my son, led me to take a hiatus from the blog. I've spent these two weeks working on myself mentally. That step back was necessary at that point. I finished round two of steroids just over a week ago and I've slowly been getting back into my workout schedule.

With all that said, I originally thought that I would work hard and lose the extra pounds before owning up to my struggles the past few months. It'd be sooo much better if I came on here and said, "Hey, I gained a bunch of weight, but I've already lost it! woohoo!" Riiiiiiight. (Insert sarcasm here). I didn't want the embarrassment, for lack of a better word, of sharing my failures publicly. However, I woke up this morning whistling a different tune. Mistakes are a part of life. We all make them. We all have things to struggle with. I never set out to be one of those bloggers that only share the highs and successes.

I mentioned after the first round of antibiotics that I was up - but I (intentionally) left out the specific number. After round two, that number got even higher. Here it is in all it's ugly glory: 20 pounds. Yes, I've gained 20 pounds since Christmas and I have been wallowing in self pity week after week and letting that number control my happiness. Is some of that retention from the steroids? Most definitely. But, I'd waiver only 7-10 pounds were steroid weight. The rest is on me, 100%.

Seeing 185 on that scale was a major wake up call. I can't keep letting my health issues control my mindset or that number. I can't control my lupus. I can't always control the crappy immune system that comes with it. But, I CAN control the foods I put in my body and my overall attitude.

I've been fairly on track since weighing in. My clothes are fitting better and I know I've lost some. I won't know just how much until I weigh in again on Monday.

Sorry for all the rambling, and I hope it makes some sense. Mostly, I just wanted to own up to my struggles and share where I'm at. I want anyone out there reading to know that you aren't alone in your own challenges. And most importantly, that I'm still here and chipping away at it. It's a journey after all... and the end result will always be worth it.

I have plans for the upcoming future, as always, and will be sharing them all next week. Wheat Belly Wednesdays will be continuing next week as well!
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