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. Diane Troxell says

    Kristen, I was in the same place you are. On March 1, I started a 21 day no junk food challenge hosted by Ashley Scott: Skinny Fit Girl on Facebook. No candy/chocolate, baked goods, chips, fast food, white carbs, soda, ice cream, alcohol or fatty spreads. I surprised myself and only cheated one day and lost 8 lbs. The group motivation really works for me. Ashley is starting another challenge mid-April and I will join in as I still have 20 lbs to go. Good luck on your journey. Diane

  2. says

    First of all, every time I see you, I think how beautiful you are! Truly inside and out. But I hear you – and yes, I feel the same way at times. Especially thinking back to the “better days.” For me, 50 in a few months, it puts the pressure on even more! Things are changing in this old bod – ha ha. I did run today and I’m trying to stay active. Proud of you Kristen! Love you girl!

  3. says

    I know the feeling of being happy with myself when I’m doing all the right things… eating right and exercising! I fell off that wagon last year and am just starting to get back on it… kind of helped that I had an annual physical that put a bit of a scare into me that has me really concentrating on eating healthy and starting to schedule in my workouts again. It’s not easy, but it’ll be worth it!

  4. says

    I love your honesty, Kristen. I found myself in a very similar situation. I hit my 40’s, put on a few (more than a few) pounds and finally decided to start running and exercising. A few months into my program, I developed plantar fasciitis and had to stop running and unfortunately stopped all exercising and the pounds came back. I can completely relate to your frustration. I’m back on track and starting slowly by briskly walking but the key for me is eating right. Your post came at the perfect time. I love the idea of group motivation! Good luck and I know you can do it!

  5. Laurie says

    You can do it Kris!! The hard part is getting started… once you are into it, the motivation will come. I think it’s hard to start when the weather is still crummy… hopefully that was the last of the snow and spring will be here to stay. I have a feeling that will help a ton! Not sure if you have ever tried spinning, but I absolutely LOVE it!! A studio opened near our house, so I decided to give it a try, and I’m addicted! The music keeps you pumped throughout and it is an amazing workout. I have also met a great bunch of women there as well! I’m combining spin with yoga and pilates as well as strength training, and with the weather hopefully getting nicer, I plan to get back into my running routine. I feel so much better – the stress has definitely melted away! I wish you all the best in your challenge, and look forward to hearing about your progress! Miss you! XOXO

  6. says

    I remember thinking the same thing about last year. I didn’t know you had a fracture but completely understand. My knees are so wrecked I find any reason at all to not go out and walk. I gained 10 of the 25 lbs. I lost last year and thought I could get right back on that bandwagon again and surprised myself by finding out that wasn’t the case finding out I actually GAINED weight after getting organized. And it was crushing! But I think I’m back on track now — just afraid to get back on that scale. Wishing fabulous success in this quest! So fun to have all the company! 😀

  7. says

    I’ve felt this way too many times. It’s such a cycle. And I relate to every word you said. You’ll get your groove back, and once it hits it gets so much easier doesn’t it?
    I truly believe Nike’s on to something when they say – Just do it.


  8. says

    Oh man. I just want to give you a huge hug. I completely understand…I worked towards losing some weight for my wedding, and after my wedding day (in JUST a year!!), I gained back the original 20 lbs. I lost + 40. I was so sad, and I would stare at pictures from my wedding planning days wondering what went wrong. It took me a long time to find that motivation again, but it eventually came back.

    You are in such a great mind-set right now. Good luck…you’ve got this!

  9. says

    Congrats Kristen for openly speaking about this… you are DEFINITELY not alone… I honestly cannot tell you the number of women (and yes men!) who feel exactly as you do. As a Registered Dietetic Technician here are a few thoughts:
    – It’s not about “dieting” but about changing your eating lifestyle. When I counsel clients I tell them that eating is like shopping – you always want to get the most value for your dollar. right? Same is true for eating – you want the most nutrition for the calories you eat! And just like spending our money wisely, if you spend your calories wisely, you can splurge from time to time – no foods are off limits – you just have to plan and “budget” for those splurges.
    When you are starting to revamp your diet, keep a journal for one week and WRITE DOWN everything you eat. That way, you can sit down and look at the entire week and identify what you actually are eating and what changes you can make to improve the nutrition / caloric value of what you are eating. You’ll also see what times/events/etc. are trouble spots for you! This is key to developing an eating plan that will work.
    – On exercise – mornings are great since there is less chance of being distracted. Put your sweats on first thing – it’s harder to skip when you are already dressed for it.
    When I don’t feel like exercising I still put my sweats on but tell myself – “ok, you only have to walk/run/bike for 10 minutes – then you can quit.”. Funny thing about that – whenever I do it, I find that after that ten minutes I don’t want to stop and end up doing my full work out.
    Pay for fitness classes if that works with your budget! . Yup. If you’ve paid for it (not a monthly membership but actual individual classes) you are less likely to skip them!!!.
    Cannot wait to hear how you are doing and if I can help in any way just let me know!!!

  10. says

    Did you read my mind? WOW! I am feeling the same way but, it is a nasty thyroid that is sucking all my energy so by the time I do the things I need to do everyday, I don’t have the energy to work out. Well, 2 weeks ago I made exercise a priority. I am walking everyday and starting to have more energy. I am right here with ya sister! We can do this and be happy again!!

    Thanks for inspiring me and encouraging me to keep going!

  11. says

    I like so much that you are honest with us. Since couple months my hormones are out of whack and even if I walk, limit my food intake I seemed to have plateaued.

    I really want to do the challenge and hopefully my hormones will not do tricks on me and that my weight will start to go down.

    I will join but it does not say anywhere if it’s open for Canadians also.

  12. says

    I love how open and honest you are. I really admire you in so many ways. I think you STILL are very beautiful, but I get it how life can somehow pop up with SO many excuses to put ourselves off. I know as a mom if I don’t take good care of myself I can’t take good care of my family. The days I don’t workout and eat good I have a shorter temper, I don’t feel good , and I am exhausted. The days I eat good and get in a great workout are my best days. Last year I had a hip injury when I was doing some powerlifting and then during rehab I noticed some odd symptoms of exhaustion, always cold, and some weight gain. Symptoms I had about a year after my 2nd kid was born and I had my hormones checked for thyroid disease – which I was very borderline on then. SO I got my hormones checked again by a naturopath and sure enough – I was diagnosed hypothyroid and my adrenals were close to quitting. Eating good and exercising keep my hormones in check and now I am on a treatment plan to get my body back in shape inside and out!! It seems a lot of people are in the same boat this year – looking at pictures of ourselves from last year thinking ” where did that person go?” I think there are more factors than just not eating our best or daily exercise. I think having a good support group helps more than we think. This diet bet sounds great – a fitness network that I am an ambassador for is also hosting a diet bet, I have seen many out there. 4% is totally doable and if you don’t make it in th28 days – don’t get down or beat yourself up over it. Just take it one day at a time and know that you have a huge support system – you will be back to your best version of you in no time!!!

  13. says

    GO YOU. Your story sounds a lot like mine…I was SUPER in shape and SUPER thin and loving it…then I got a stress fracture (in my pelvis) and just stopped caring. It was awful. It took a long time for me to do better by myself and really start to take care of myself but I’m back to healthy and loving it! I could still stand to lose a few pounds though so I’m off to check out this DietBet!

  14. says

    I am really admiring you for this post. It is a hard thing to talk about, and really difficult for some to understand. I am a professional weight yo-yoer and have come to avoid running like it is the plague. I hate to blame my job, but I kind do! I am totally into your bet- I am signing up. Thanks for the straight talk and the inspiration!

  15. says

    You are such an inspiration Kristen. It helps people to know they are not alone in their struggles with their weight. I think you look beautiful no matter what. But I know how you feel. I think I looked my best and felt my best when I used to run and eat sort of healthy. I’d love to hit that point again. Hopefully we can help each other and motivate on another.

  16. says

    I have some thoughts for you younger, BEAUTIFUL women. Appreciate your body while you have it. I am now over 60, and it is SO HARD tolose any weight. I would be in a real good place if I could lose 10 pounds. It is a real challenge. When I was in my 40’s I lost alot of weight and kept thinking this isn’t hard!!! I actually went down to 89 pounds, to the point that my daughter was worried about mme. get in the habit of exercising NOW. The older you get, the harder it is. Love to you all, Pinky

  17. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says

    Wonderful post!!! I need to get back to running. I felt so good when I was doing it! I’m too chicken to sign up for the bet. :(


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