Born to Wander.

I’m a born traveler. I used to annoy my parents to no end when I was a kid because I never wanted to stay home. I’m very fortunate to have had more opportunities than most young people. And as an adult I’ve tried to take advantage of any chances I’ve had to go anywhere new.

I don’t mind flying. Buses are fine. Trains are kinda cool. I’m down for a cross county road trip *whenever.* Boats? You *know* I love life on the high sea!

This was a busy summer for travel and me. I went to Nashville for Beachbody Summit, which is a new state and city for me! I went back to SF to see dear friends get married. And I spent 3 whole weeks back in Maine, with family, friends, new friends and lots of cats.

I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to do this travel, I don’t take it for granted for a second. My manager at Starbucks let me fly the coop for an extended period of time, and my job as a Team Beachbody Coach let’s me do the good work that I’m passionate about anywhere. I imagine a time when I can do even more travel, even more connecting in person, even more sweating with the people I care most about.

Wifi is my best friend. The world is a small place because we can keep in touch about the fun things we do and stay on track with our health and fitness goals. The world is also a BIG place. Flying over looking down below makes me want to see it all.

If I get the window seat, I'm happy!

If I get the window seat, I’m happy!

Speed bumps happen to the best of us.

I’m at home in Maine for awhile.  All in all, this trip is lasting 3 weeks.  It’s been really hard at times to live across the country from friends, family, and where I grew up.  I’m more and more of a Californian every day, but I am still a Maine girl.  Definitely one of the biggest reasons that I am a Beachbody Coach is so that I can have the flexibility to be somewhere other than home in San Diego and still do my job.  My parents are getting older.  My friends have kids I want to know.  Social media lets us maintain relationships with people we knew in our pasts that we want to keep building.

Heading up for a walk.

Heading up for a walk.

I thought I prepared so well for this trip.  I packed plenty of clothes (probably too many).  I brought stuff to work out in. I brought a bunch of Beachbody program DVDs.  I brought tons of Shakeology.  I brought the new Beachbody Performance sample pack.  I fully intended to do my business from wherever I was.

Guess what?  $hit happens. I haven’t been on the ball.  I’ve managed some great walks and I’ve been to spin classes, but I haven’t been able to work my program remotely.  If it’s not a DVD player that isn’t hooked up, it’s a TV that’s in constant use for crime dramas.  These speed bumps don’t add up to much more than excuses and yet here they are.

Without getting in to much detail, there’s been some pretty heavy stuff going on with my family.  I’m dealing with it as best I can, but I have found myself sliding back into some dark places and some bad habits.  My disordered eating has been scratching at my brain.  It’s a comforting way to deal with stressors.  Only, it’s not that comforting. I see the patterns starting to form and this has been the first day I’ve been able to successfully pull the brakes on it.  No doubt, by telling 2 people close to me about it, separately, it made it real and it made my brain wake up a little.

I can only change what’s happening now and I can only try my best and set myself up for good things down the road.  I think that it means, I need to leave my time with my parents and get to a more neutral space where I can map out my own plan for the rest of my time here.  I need to not fall apart.

I accept, whole heartedly, than I am not perfect.  This isn’t any more than most people handle.  I can do this. I just have to remind myself of it and get on the right track.

My number one priority in life is my health.  MY HEALTH. I need to serve that priority in everything I do.

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Getting to Know Each Other

I am back from my wedding anniversary trip! I got home around 10 last night and found a very cranky, needy kitty waiting for me. It was a rough night, she really missed me. She had a lot more separation anxiety than she usually does.

We drove to Paso Robles from Palo Alto and spent a day wine and olive oil tasting. It was a very low key trip, but super fun. And now, no more wine as we’re embarking on another Paleo cleanse. I’m not calling it Whole30 this time because I know I’m not going to be as strict and Patrick’s only committing to 28 days. So Whole28(sorta) wouldn’t be a good name, now would it?


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Getting to Know Each Other

1. What is your favorite flower? By the strictest definition of this, I’m going to say Star-gazer Lilly. But, I also love lilac blooms. They smell amazing.

2. What is a date on the calendar that you’re looking forward to? October 12 because my friend Amiyah will be home from Singapore briefly! I miss her. She’s there working for 2 years and I definitely intend to go visit.

3. List at least five characteristics of your ideal mate. Sense of humor, integrity, open-mindedness, kind, must love cats.

4. What is your favorite travel destination? I’ve only been once, but I’d love to go back to London and show it to my husband. I love that there’s so much history there and that things have been there for a long time. We take for granted what a young country we are.

5. What is your idea of the perfect date? I’m a fan of dinner and a movie! A chance to talk, a chance to get entertained, it doesn’t get much better than that. I know it’s simple, but sometimes that’s better than the more elaborate things. I’m sure zip lining in the rainforest is awesome, but I like just being present.

6. What is your relationship with your family like? I’m close to my parents. We talk once a week and I think of them both often. My mom and I have a little trouble with boundaries. My dad is difficult to get to open up. I love my extended family, but there’s lots of hurt feelings that taints things. My mom has a lot of half siblings and I’m not that close to that side of the family. They are nice and we sometimes spend holidays with them, but I didn’t grow up with them. All of my grandparents have passed.

7. What time did you wake up this morning? 7:14 officially, but my cat didn’t let me sleep much at all. So probably that could be MANY times.

8. What characteristic do you like most about yourself? Which do you dislike most? I really like my memory. I retain so much. It annoys my friends that I can recall the dumb things they do. It helps me with trivia. It helps me remember which cart I was in on a ride so that I can collect my sunglasses when that cart comes back through. True story. Dislike? I’m not brief at all. I have to express myself in way to much detail. I have a really hard time distilling things to their core.

9. What is your favorite sport to watch?I love hockey, but I think tennis is my favorite. Since I play it, I understand the rules well and I understand what a mental game it is. It’s almost as dramatic as wrestling to me!

10. Share a few interesting things that you did over the weekend. We went olive oil tasting and I realized how different olive oils can taste – not just the infusion oils. I also tried ghost pepper salt, which was HOT. Of course we went wine tasting. We also saw The World’s End at a theater in Paso and that was really a fun movie! Of course, I had fun just being with my husband since we usually spend the week days apart.

This is what olive oil tasting can look like after 2 wine tasting trips.  Messy!

This is what olive oil tasting can look like after 2 wine tasting trips. Messy!

Tales of my Fitness Past – Part 2

Last time, on Tales of my Fitness Past, I told you about the first part of my childhood.  I was a skinny but sick kid who got better around the same time as having emotionally charged year at school, and a bad diet.

This is me, the 6th grade un-power forward. I loved those shoes, too.

I first realized that I was getting bigger (not in height) than the other kids around 5th grade.  We shopped in the “Pretty Plus” section of Sears for my school clothes.  My pediatrician told my mom we had to do something about my “spare tire.”  But it wasn’t all that bad.  I played recreational softball and was just about as good as any of the other girls on the team.  We never won a game!  In 6th grade I failed to make the soccer team, but I did barely make the last seat on the basketball team.  I really liked basketball because my friends all played.  I was a good shot, and good at defense.  My left side lay ups would make you weep with joy and I was pretty good at find opportunistic ways to steal the ball.  I was NOT good at running up and down the court.  My stamina and endurance were not good.  Cheerleading never entered my brain as an option despite the fact that by watching them I learned every cheer and used to practice the half time routine at home with my friends.

My weight started going up as my activity started to slow down.  I became the basketball score keeper instead of playing, mostly because my coach had told my mom that this wasn’t the sport for me.  This way I got to be a part of it – I was good at it, I knew the game, and I still got to travel with the team and my friends.  My parents got a satellite dish and I started watching a lot more TV as well as remaining an enthusiastic reader.  Basically, I was just getting more sedentary.

Tennis wasn’t quite cool enough to get their own photos professionally taken.

High School prompted me to get a little bit more serious about my weight, especially since I had my first boyfriend.  I definitely equated attractiveness with size. I started exercising at home to Richard Simmons’ tapes.  But, I took it too far.  I was really over exercising and not eating enough.  Every time I wanted to eat I’d just drink water until the feeling went away.  It caused me to throw up water a few times.  At the end of freshman year I started playing tennis.  Tennis is my sport.  I played it for the rest of high school, year round.  I’d play outside in the summer and Fall, go to the indoor courts in the Winter, help shovel the courts in the Spring just in time for the season.  But tennis wasn’t a sport that was given a lot of attention where I lived and other than the playing season  in HS, I pretty much played once or twice a week.  It wasn’t enough.

I can’t really remember how much I weighed in HS, but I do remember being 17 years old and finding out I had PCOS.  It explained a lot of the weight gain and difficulty taking it off, but it didn’t help my mood.  It was tough to be a kid and finding out something serious that could impact the rest of your life.  I’m positive I was depressed.  I couldn’t wait to get to college.  I was going to start my real life.

Tales of my Fitness Past – Part 1

Today was a fabulous day at the gym.  I had my weekly training session with my personal trainer, who is just about the best coach, EVER.  Seriously, I can’t even tell you how motivating this man is.  He gave me the heads up that this week we’d be going heavy on the weights, so I came prepared.  Monster Smoothie AND a breakfast sandwich.  I was ready.

I lifted to total failure on every set and did things I never thought I’d be able to do.  Dumbbell rows with 35 lb weights?  That was me.  Bench presses on the Smith Machine, watching over 100 lbs get racked on a machine and then killing it.  It’s empowering.  I love it.  I feel so kick ass.

My trainer was pretty giddy, too.  Maybe he’s being complimentary to motivate me, but it’s working.  He kept remarking how surprised he was by how I take to these workouts.  We don’t do them every time for sure, but when we do, it’s awesome.

We talked about my fitness past quite a bit during cool down on the crank cycle.  Yes, my nemesis is now my cool down.  He told me that I was about to start seriously shedding weight and I’d be left a skinny, tough, strong, chick.  I told him that strong and tough would not be a problem, but I’d never be skinny.  As we talked it became obvious that he thought I had been a lot fitter in my past than I have been.  And that I’d been a lot smaller.

My truth is, I really haven’t!  I was a short skinny kid until I finally got my tonsils out at age 8.  Then, I started to grow.  Everywhere.  Even when I was active, trying to play sports, I was still a sturdy, thick girl with more than a little baby fat.  Since I’m a big believer that you have to understand your past to make sure you’re on track for your future, I’m going to revisit that kid, and bring any readers who are interested along for the ride.  There will be photos and embarrassing hair, I promise.

Here are me and my parents. My dad had a lot more hair! My mom had a lot less chin. I had fewer teeth. It’s a little scary how much I look like both of them.

Let’s talk about my parents briefly.  My mom is very petite.  And before she got in to her late 30’s, she was also extremely naturally thin.  It didn’t last once her metabolism shifted, but she definitely was a twig!  Look at that photo, she’s totally a babe.  My dad has always been a solid guy with some extra pounds, but strong as hell.  From his side of the family, I am descended from farmers and sailors.  We definitely have the body for manual labor, and the asses and guts from being sedentary from not having to do that kind of work.

My parents had a meat and potatoes diet.  (We *are* Irish after all.)  Vegetables came from a can.  Soda was the beverage of choice.  I went from a bottle for milk to a Pepsi bottle as a kid.  Still, I was skinny.  I took after my mom.  I was short, not the shortest kid in the class, but short, and very tiny.  I was also really, really sick.  I acquired a Strep A infection that did not go away.  I was a carrier.  I missed a ton of school and was always, always sick.  The doctors didn’t want to take my tonsils.  It’s a pretty invasive surgery for a kid and they wanted to make sure they exhausted all of their options.  By 2nd grade, the options ran out.  I saw a specialist and was scheduled as soon as school got out.

Also at this time, my mom noticed that I’d fall down a lot.  I was always taking a dive in the dirt when running around, twisting my ankles constantly.  Come to find out, my hips rotated ever so slightly inward.  Also, my knees were normally hyper-extended when totally straight.  I share the trait with a couple of cousins.  There was nothing to do for it, since I was still growing.  But I definitely heard the message – you’re fragile, you’re broken, and you have to take extra care.

I was a typical little kid.  I liked to run around, swing, play kickball.  I learned to swim as soon as I could.  Mom made sure of it.  One thing I didn’t have was much upper body strength.  I could climb a rope or a tree.  I do think the tree thing was scary because I thought about falling.   I had a pretty crappy diet, and carte blanche to eat ice cream after surgery.  I probably wasn’t getting enough exercise because of being sick, and I have some genetics working against me.

Then, 3rd grade.  It was the worst school year of my life.  I drew the teacher that seemed to like to pick on a couple of kids in her class every year.  And I got to be that kid.  My body was recovering from being sick for so long, and I was starting to really stand out in school.  My teacher made a point to constantly criticize me.  How I looked, how I performed in school, everything about me was fair game.  I was miserable, and despite their very best efforts, my parents couldn’t get me out of her class or her job dismissed.  I had to suffer through it for the school year.  At the end, I was left damaged.  And I turned to things to make myself feel better.  That included food.  Lots of food.  Especially sweet things.

So genetics, behavior, diet… You can probably guess what happened next.

(Stay tuned for Part 2)