Real Talk: Health and Red Faced Running

healthy me

A feeling of pure happiness washes over me every time I see the photo above. Then, at some point, that happiness turns to disappointment and shame.

You see, that was probably one of the happiest “regular” days of my life. My husband and I were in Park City, Utah on a little getaway. I was feeling healthy because I had made exercise a priority in my life. I was feeling beautiful… thin, healthy, and in shape. I had a confidence that I hadn’t had in a very long time.

Nick and I went on a 20+ mile hike through the mountains and enjoyed every moment of it. It was an amazing day.


(another picture, taken by my friend Jenn, that brings back the memories of how happy I was last year!)

Fast forward to today… I got a stress fracture in my foot last year which halted my exercise and my enthusiasm for exercising and increased my appetite somehow. I stopped caring about the food I was putting into my body, quit exercising and voila… I quickly gained back the 30 pounds I had worked so hard to lose the year before. Even though I had learned to love running, I lost all the motivation I had had and became lazy. Now, it’s like starting all over, which frustrates me.

I’ve spent the better part of this year feeling quite annoyed with myself. I LOVED how I felt last year. I close my eyes and remember that feeling and it felt so good. How could that not be motivation enough to get back to being healthy again? Well, it hasn’t been, but now I’m fed up. It’s time to get real…

A good friend of mine and I have been exercising regularly, but I’ll be the first to admit I can find any excuse to skip it. Cold weather, sick kids, pms’ing… I’m pretty darn good at coming up with excuses.

Well, no more. I am done with my little pity party and I’m ready to return to the keys of living happy and healthy again. I know my life, marriage, image, confidence and most importantly… HEALTH… will be better because of it.

Kristen's Diet Bet

I started a DietBet challenge this week… it starts tomorrow if any of you want to join in. Food bloggers and non-food bloggers alike are challenging each other to take better steps to a healthier lifestyle. $25 gets you in and everyone who loses 4% of their body weight in 28 days will split the pot. (The pot is currently at $975!) Click here to join the fun!

Red Faced Runners Spotlight

Also, do you remember the Red Faced Runner site? We’re back in action and I am so excited to share that I had the chance to interview one of the people on this health and wellness journey who motivates me daily. Head over to the Red Faced Runners site to read an inspiring interview with Amy from The Nifty Foodie.

So what do you think? How do you feel about yourself lately? If you are frustrated and disappointed, I challenge you to think back to a time where you felt really, really good… and work towards getting back to finding that person. They are in there, I know it. It’s just going to take some work to find him or her. Are you with me? Shall we reunite with our happier selves? I certainly think so and I hope you’ll join me!

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  1. sarah says

    Good for you for getting back on track! I know how hard it is! I lost 80 pounds a few years ago and I felt great!! But laziness and lack of motivation quickly turned into eating badly and sitting on the couch! Feb 1st 2012 I took control back! I joined the gym and with help from my fabulous personal trainer I am down 120 pounds and still going strong! You can do it!!!!

  2. says

    Love this post. You can do it!!! I want to join the DietBet but I have so much on my plate right now (I know, excuses, excuses…). I have a few more hours to decide, lol. :) I want to lose at least 40!

  3. says

    I hear ya. I’ve lost all motivation to workout since having a baby, even though it’s the one thing that makes me feel so great. You’re good at excuses? ha, I’m right up there with you! Thanks for sharing this. I think it’s what I needed to uncover that motivation and get back into a workout routine.

    • says

      I know that all say it, but having a baby changes everything and it really does. Finding the time, being awake enough to exercise, etc. It’s taken me a very long time after having my first baby to get to this point where I can feel like I can finally devote some time to myself.
      Don’t take as long as I did, but do allow yourself a little grace. :) You are doing the most precious, important thing on the planet by being a great mom to that sweet little pumpkin. However, remember… he needs a happy and healthy mom. It’s ok to carve time out for you!

      • says

        Thank you for that! I also want to say you motivated me to get moving today. Of course, my workout DVD didn’t work in any of the players, so I went for an hour + walk (pushing the stroller) and felt great! Thank you for that gentle push :)

  4. Jodi Pavlik says

    I love this post! I recently felt the same way so I started dieting in January. I also started running by doing C25K. I am doing weight watchers and down 22 lbs so far, I feel great and I am going to keep going! I look forward to being a RFR this year!

  5. says

    Thank you for sharing! I am currently going through a “healthy”, I need to lose weight because summer is going to be here in 5 seconds. I ran a marathon last year and have gained back all the weight I lost, plus more. I’ve tried to get motivated to run again, but nothing is working. Hopefully we can find motivation together because I know in my heart of hearts anything is possible!!

    • says

      I know that too… we’ve done it before, we can do it again! That motivation and that feeling of loving exercise is in there. Somewhere!
      Thanks for your comment, Lauren! (And wow – congrats on the marathon!)

  6. says

    I gained 15 pounds between October and January and have no idea why–I don’t remember eating more or moving less at ALL–and it’s stubbornly still there. I’ve always had a good metabolism, never really exercised though. I’m trying to make changes and it’s such slow goings. My Dad died when I was 19 and while the cause of death was inconclusive he was probably 150 pounds overweight at LEAST. That’s in my genes, too, and I don’t want that to happen to me. Things need to change. Good luck on your journey, it’s always inspiring to hear others :)

    • says

      Looking at my family history, I know that this is not just a “try it now and fix it forever” kind of thing. This is something I am going to have to fight for for life… it’s just how I’m made up genetically. I might as well get it right now so I can know how to do it so I can live a long life.

      So frustrating for you -doesn’t getting older stink sometimes?

      Thanks for your kind comment and your support :)

  7. says

    Girl. You are a sexy beast. And you are a runner. She’s there…and she wants to run. I know you said that I’ve inspired you lately…so let me tell you that I didn’t run from October (september?) until just 6 weeks ago. I cursed myself through those 2 mile runs and cried on some of those 3 miles. But then I just forgave myself and allowed myself some slow runs. And I had some very long talks with myself on those runs. When the harsh thoughts came I had to literally tell myself to shut up. You can, Kristen. Period. {{Still trying to figure out if I can ;)…}}

    • says

      I heart you so much!! You do inspire me, so much. I mean 8 freakin’ miles??? That is so amazing!

      OK – I know I can do it. I know I can… and with support of good friends like you, I will :) Thanks, Katrina!

  8. says

    Go Kristen! You can totally do this. I relate to every little bit of what you are saying, and I have my good days//weeks/years and bad ones as well. I’m in a good place right now. I’ve found a balance, and I think I’m on the right track, though it’s a daily fight to make it work, and it’s not ever going to be easy or perfect. I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines this time!

  9. says

    I’m so proud of you Kristen! I think the realization that you’re going for it is the first big step! I’ll have to head over and check out the DietBet since I’m in the process of losing weight too. I like thinking about doing it with friends 😉

    • says

      I like that all the info stays confidential but you can still participate. I’m not ready to get on a scale and shout to the world what I weigh, yet anyway! You should come join us :)

  10. says

    So happy you’re getting back on track! I’m not one to judge as I’ve spent the last 15+ years overweight, fighting the health and self esteem battle. Over those years I started many weight loss programs and while I’d lose 20-25 lbs, I could never get past that point. I’d hit a plateau, get frustrated and eventually lose interest, quit, gain some/all of the weight back and start the cycle again.

    I have finally broke free of the cycle and for the first time in many many years, I know I will reach my goal. I have currently lost 47 lbs–half of what I need to lose.. I’m feeling awesome and so proud of my accomplishment. It’s not always easy, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And like I said, I KNOW I will reach my goal. It’s a liberating feeling.

    Congratulations on getting started on your journey!! Looking forward to your updates. :)

    • says

      Kelly – wow… I can relate so much to everything you wrote! In fact, I could have written it.
      And now, your last part will be my words too, someday! Congrats to you… I can feel how good success feels to you!

  11. says

    Oh Kristen…. please don’t beat yourself up about the setback. Everyone has setbacks. Everyone falls down. And we all can get back up again, but somehow I think it’s far harder to do that when you’ve slid backwards from where you want to be. I’m proud of you for stepping up, proclaiming this out-loud and taking responsibility, asking for accountability.

    I lost 25 pounds between late 2008 and Spring of 2009. It was amazing, and I was at the thinnest I’ve been as an adult, yet still following a healthy lifestyle. It didn’t completely stick, but many of those habits, especially how I ate, are still in play. There is always room to change though. Last year in late Summer, I took up running, and just as I was hitting my stride, December came, the snow and temperatures fell and I stopped. But, I took up swimming (I was a competitive swimmer in HS) and 6 weeks ago, I started taking Body Pump classes too. Soon, when the weather improves, I will start running again. My goal is to compete with Mike in a triathlon in late July; I’ll swim and run, he’ll bike. But overall, I just want to be healthy. To be strong, with good lean muscle tone and stamina to make it through each day. Back in November when I started swimming again, I could barely make two laps of the pool without feeling like I might faint. Today, I swam probably close to 1,000 yards (40 laps, with short breaks) before my shoulders gave out.

    Next year, I’m going to be 50. I can’t believe it. But gosh darn it, I’m going to be the sexiest, the best 50 I can possibly be. I was made to be better than I am. We ALL are.

    We ALL have it in us. The key is, as Nike so succinctly puts it, is to JUST DO IT. Throw away those excuses and suck it up, girlfriend. You won’t change easily; it’s likely going to be very hard. But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight, internal or otherwise. Listen to your body, rest regularly and KEEP MOVING. You can do this. I know you can, darling. xoxo….

    • says

      You inspire me, so much. Thanks for your words, friend. Let’s run together someday, shall we?
      I turn 40 this year and I’m sure that’s a big smack in the face to me as well…. I don’t want to be 40 the way I am today.

  12. says

    We all have ups and downs, I think the best part of things is realizing you need to re-evaluate your goals and restart instead of getting down on yourself, you did great last summer and know you can do it again!

  13. says

    We’ve all been there but the good news is that we can choose to live healthier. When my second son was 8 weeks old, I feel and broke my foot in the middle of the night. I was wheelchair bound for two months and had bad postpartum depression. On top of my baby weight, I gained more and my foot continued to hurt for a year after the break. Luckily, I had a moment where I said enough was enough. Once I resumed my exercise routine, my foot began to gain strength and I began to feel better about myself. I also joined Weight Watchers which I love! The first step in gaining back that confidence is simply deciding that you’re ready. You’re not alone and I hope you get to your happy place soon.

    • says

      Oh wow – what a story! I can’t imagine going through all that… lots stacked up against you, but I am so proud to see you broke through it!
      Thanks for sharing (and I’ve been a WW member for 2 months now… time to actually use it regularly!)

  14. says

    Injuries are so hard to recover from! I was running a ton two years ago (25-35 miles/week…at least to me, that’s a lot) and then tore something in my hip, and I’ve never managed to get back on track. It’s so frustrating! And for me running is so good for me mentally and emotionally, not just physically.

    I wish I could hop back on track with you, but right now, I’m thankful to have a very good reason not to be running. After ten + years of infertility, we are expecting twins this summer, so running will have to wait. And, instead of desperately wishing the numbers on the scale would go down, I’m enjoying watching them rise. But, once they’re here, I’m really looking forward to running again!

    • says

      Oh Jimi – that brought tears to my eyes with your news. Wow!! Congrats!!! :) That’s the best reason to gain weight, ever. Twins…. you’ll be doing plenty of running very soon! Congrats!

  15. says

    Great post, thank you for sharing. I feel the same way. I was doing so good excercising and feeling strong and then a few little injuries waylayed me and I’ve gotten lazy. :( I completely need to get back on track.

  16. Deborah says

    I’m saving this for July, when I should be able to get back to working out regularly. Right in time for the worst of these nasty Texas summers – oh goody. When that rolls around, it’s time for my lifestyle change to kick into high gear.

    You’re doing awesome – you told someone up above to allow herself some grace – do that for yourself, too! It’s not like you just gave up. You were injured. And stress fractures are no fun to rehab. You can do this!!

    • says

      When is that baby of yours due, again? I’ll be in Austin for a long weekend in June… would love to see you!

      And thanks – it’s always easier to give other people advice, isn’t it? Give grace… I will do that!

  17. says

    My dear Kristen, oh how I can relate!

    I used to be fit, trim and athletic…all before a few years of improper muscle movement, wear and tear, and eventually lots of pain. I stopped my healthy living due to frustration.

    I am sooo looking forward to this with you!

    • says

      Well, and you are working with bacon. I wouldn’t be able to stay fit, trim and athletic with that temptation around.
      Either way though, you look great to me!

      So glad to do the dietbet with you :) Just don’t be dropping any bacon jerky off at my house in the next 28 days, ok? :)


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