Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Half Size Me Podcast

I am sure by now you have seen me post the link to my Half Size Me podcast interview somewhere. I am beyond excited about this and even though I wasn't sure I wanted to I did go ahead and listen to it and I loved how it turned out. I am very thankful to Heather and the HSM crew for  such an amazing opportunity. The entire interview was just so easy and fun- the Q&A was more like a conversation- I am just so happy to have had the experience. So...in case you haven't seen the link and you wanted to give it a listen here it is...

Half Size Me Podcast

Love and hugs,

Sleeping puppy picture...just because.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Louisiana Marathon Race Weekend Recap

Last weekend Erick, Gordie and I headed to Baton Rouge for the Louisiana Marathon Race Weekend. The event offers four races- a 5K and quarter marathon option on Saturday and a half and full marathon on Sunday- plus a kids race. I could write a book about how amazing this race/weekend/event is.

From start to finish we all had an amazing time, Gordie included. Not only is the race course beautiful but the after party is by far the best I've seen. They even had a 'vegan village' where I immediately went and ate all the food! It was fantastic. One of our favorite beers, Abita, was the sponsor so you know we really enjoyed hanging out afterwards. I cannot stress it enough that everything about this race is awesome. I loved the expo. The race website is amazing. It even gives adresses/crossroads for each mile marker which is super helpful for spectators. The crowd support was fantastic- I stopped at the mimosa stop around mile 2.5 and enjoyed a little drink. I did, however, skip the tequila and bourbon shots offered and the doughnuts. The race course itself is lovely- you run around lakes on streets lined with giant oak trees and you also run through LSU's campus- right past Tiger stadium.

The Saturday events are dog friendly and next year I plan on having Gordie run with me. This year, after hearing the announcer during the 5K be super excited about the dogs on the course I decided to take Gordie with me across the finish line at the half. The announcer and the fans loved it. I grabbed Gordie about a block and a half from the finish (Erick and I had planned to do this) and we ran (after Gordie stopped trying to rip off my race bib) across the finish together. It was so awesome!

I also got to see my friend and Fitblogger Angela, from We Beat Fat, and her husband Willie. I met up with them Saturday and saw them before and after the 5K (which Angela PR'd) and then on Sunday morning I didn't see them anywhere around the start. Luckily for me I ran into Willie around mile 8 and he let me tag along with him for the last 5 miles. I tried not to talk his ear off, as I tend to do, and not ruin his race. He also didn't mind crossing the finish line with Gordie either so that was great. Erick and I grabbed some food and a couple of beers then headed back to the finish line to meet up with Willie so we could watch for Angela who was running the full. Angela PR's her marathon time which was awesome to see happen. That girl is a beast- she ran three marathons in three weeks and still managed to PR the last one. Amazing!

After we said our goodbyes, Erick and I headed back to the hotel and enjoyed the rest of the day just relaxing (and doing homework) in Baton Rouge. It was a perfect weekend start to finish and I will definitely be going back next year!

It was super cold at the start of the 5K...

I took so many pictures during the half....at least 50. It was awesome! 

 Mimosa station! 

 All the bling!

and all the food!
Love and hugs,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

In 2014 I Said Yes

Today I read this post by my friend Samantha over at Samantha Cycles. Thanks for the title and inspiration, Samantha.

I couldn't agree more with this idea because I absolutely feel that 2014 was the year I said yes. To everything.

Last year was my rebuilding year. It was the year I set out to find myself. I wanted to do more and see more and live life for myself. I wanted to move forward and start anew. And I did so by saying yes.

In 2014, I said yes to…

Two birthday celebration weekends and heading somewhere new (Nashville)

Trips to NOLA just because

A girls weekend away in Houston with my bestie (we said yes to a second order of the world’s most amazing brussels sprout dish which we ate for breakfast the next morning)

Phillies spring training and Tampa Bay hockey

Concerts…just the most amazing concerts. The Mowgli’s (in Jax), Arcade Fire (in Atlanta), Weezer (TB) Austin City Limits (duh!) and the Black Keys (in Ft Lauderdale)

Hugging all the baby goats…and sheep…and alpaca

Planting a garden….and then planting another

Painting and pottery and pizza

Anaheim- reconnecting with old friends and new

Philadelphia- sharing my home and favorite place with the person I love most

Fitbloggin’….again. So much love, not enough words. So much happiness and #yessssssssss in Savannah

Baseball games and the Blue Angels

Manatees…all the HUGE MANATEES

Standing on the outfield at Trop Field

Beach days and bicycles

Road trips and airplane rides

Seattle and sail boats

Far too many selfies

Two Ferris Wheels

Bubble baths and back porch swings

Amazing co-workers (who are truly the most amazing friends) and a new job

Being in a magazine article and reading my story in a book

The Empire State Building and Armenia food with friends

Puppy snuggles

Running (and walking) all the miles

Early morning wake up times, super early bedtimes, and crazy ‘runners habits’

Half marathons and weight lifting

Another year of grad school (all A’s!)

Ft Pickens and girl talk

Dinner dates and binge watching Orange is the New Black

And more craft beers and breweries than I ever thought possible….

Every holiday, every celebration, and every moment in between I tried to say yes

To live my life in the moment. To live my life how I always wanted it to be.

I spent the year alone and together. With friends. With family. With E.

I spent the year learning new things, trying to be a better friend, and hoping I was becoming a better human being.

I spent 2014 saying yes to so many wonderful adventures and I have been able to spend my time with so many wonderful people. I am eternally grateful for the amazingness that was 2014.

And so it was no surprise that I started 2015 out with another big YES…when Erick asked me to marry him. Of course there wasn't a moment of hesitation. I just blurted out YES! I mean seriously, how could I not?

So it looks like 2015 might be another year of YES for me J

Love and hugs,


Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy Thirty-Seven!!!

Today is my thirty-seventh birthday! Huzzah!

I went back to look and see if I wrote a birthday post lastyear which in fact I did. I guess I was really excited about my birthday last year. Not to say that I am not super freaking excited about my birthday this year, because I am. I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a whole ‘another year older’ type post.

So instead I will give you a quick synopsis of what’s been going on lately.

I have had a chest cold for a week now. Doc says it is what it is and I just need to let it run its course. Yay! :/ I am pretty sure all of Pensacola has been sick at least once over the past month or so. Me, this is my third bout. Yuck!

I have a 5K and a half marathon next week. I am not going to PR either which I am ok with. I haven’t ran consistently for about 3 weeks. I have been nursing a nagging issue in my leg then getting sick….it’s just been a lot lately. But I know I can go out there and run/walk that half so that is what I will do. And it will be awesome! There will be lots of pictures and maybe even race updates during. You never know. I picked this race because I wanted to scout out the course for a possible full marathon next year. It’s supposed to be one of the best small races. This year, however, I am racing the Déjà vu Half+5K which is a 5K Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. Erick and Gordie are coming along to cheer me on. I am really freaking excited! Baton Rouge here we come!

This week has been a bit surreal with all the magazine stuff going on. And I am ready to just go back to life as usual. Thankfully, so is everyone else in the world. My fifteen minutes are officially over. LOL!

Today I woke up with Gordie only to find decorations and balloons and presents all laid out for me. It was a great birthday surprise. Then I went to work and was greeted by more surprises there which just made my heart melt. I am so thankful for all of my friends and family that took the time today to send me birthday love. It was amazing to receive so many messages today.  I am not, however, thankful that my father posted a naked baby picture on my Facebook wall. That’s just a bit much. Ain’t nobody got time for that. LOL!

Yay presents! 

They have LED lights inside so they glow in the dark. How cool???

 I have the best friends...

Peonies are my FAVORITE! Love these so much! 

E has a whole birthday weekend planned out in which I don’t really know much about the specifics. I just know it starts with dinner and an overnight bag. And we’ll go from there. I know that no matter where we go or what we do it will be awesome. I am very lucky to have such a sweet and thoughtful guy in my life. I will definitely be raising a glass in his honor tonight!

Anywho, that’s about it. I am officially 37. I am 100% ok with that (not like I have a choice, right?). And in just a bit my birthday celebration weekend will begin. So for now, I bid you adieu.

Love and hugs,

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Weight Loss is not the Answer...

I have had a lot on my mind lately. Especially in regards to weight loss and weight maintenance. A lot of thoughts got stirred up back in October when I did the interview with Shape and from that new thoughts and topics have come to mind. But since I really wasn't supposed to talk about the article I thought I would keep them to myself.

Then the article came out. And then, on Monday night, I taped a podcast interview where the Shape article also came up in discussion. And now my mind is just filled to the brim with all sorts of things. So I thought I would do a brain dump to get a few of them out on paper….hopefully this makes sense.

In my life, if I had believed that weight gain was the cause of my problems then logically weight loss would have been the solution. Seems logical, right? But more likely the case is that weight gain is not the problem but instead an effect from a different problem and therefore just the mere act of losing weight will not be the answer. I think (and you know I am no doctor or expert- just voicing my opinion here) that weight gain, particularly excessive weight gain, typically presents itself as an effect of a bigger problem such as disordered thinking (I hate myself, I am not deserving of happiness, I am not worthy of love), mood disorders (anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc), eating disorders, etc. I feel that in most cases the root of the weight gain stems from some bigger underlying problem that has attributed to behaviors leading to rapid or excessive weight gain.

Ok, I get that you probably already know this and hopefully you agree. But here is the thing- you can lose weight and in the process not fix the underlying problem. And unfortunately, when that happens, it seems from what I have witnessed, people are more likely to regain. Why? Because weight loss was not the solution to their problem and guess what? Being ‘skinny’ isn't the super awesome best thing in the world answer to everyone’s prayers and makes us feel good no matter what. It just isn't.

And this is the point I want to talk about.

Weight loss will not make you happy. It will not make you love your career or spouse/partner. It will not make you a better friend or parent. It will not give you peace of mind or a sense of security. Weight loss is not magic. It will not fix your problems and give you a perfect life.

I am not saying it can’t help you. Some of the side effects of weight loss like increased confidence, sense of self, self-respect, etc., could really help make your life better. But only if you let them. Only when you allow yourself to change and mend and heal will you be able to reap the benefits that can come with weight loss. Because, again, we are trying to work on a bigger problem- not our weight but ourselves as a whole. 

Over these past four years so many things have changed in my life. It has been a roller coaster. I have lost weight and gotten healthy but in the process I really had to fix a lot of my own personal shit in order to make it stick. I had to fight and change and admit failures and push towards goals and dreams and do all of this while being honest about what I needed to work on (easier said than done) and what I felt proud of. I had to find my weak spots. I had to go to some dark places. I had to hit rock bottom and then dig myself out. I had to fight every day to try and earn the life I wanted and I had to do so knowing that the changes that needed to happen were so much bigger and deeper than just my weight. I hated the person I had become so in order to heal I had to find my self-love. I was disgusted by myself so I had to find confidence and pride and strength to overcome it. I was miserable in my life so I had to make some big, tough, painful (at times), not easy choices and changes in order to be happy. 

I’m not saying all this to come across as a lecture on weight loss/maintenance. But I say all this because I want you to know that if you are struggling- that’s normal. If it is hard- that’s normal too. If you feel alone- don’t, because there are so many people (myself included) that understand your pain and will gladly lend a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. This whole process for those of us that have/had a lot to lose is not easy. And everyone’s path is different. But if you set out with only one goal in mind (to lose weight) you could be setting yourself up for failure. Or at least disappointment at the end. Instead try on setting a goal of healing, one of introspection that will help you find the underlying issues, and try to really work on fixing them. I’m not saying you can’t do both. Actually, I think you will find great success when you start to work on your health and start building good habits and routines. You will start to feel emotions you may have not felt in a while and you can take those feelings (strength, courage, confidence) and use them to help you make big changes that can help you be successful.  

And as always, know that you are worth it. You are worth every fight and challenge and you are worthy of all the love and happiness in the world!

Love and hugs,


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Whole Shape Magazine Thing...

By now you already know about the article in Shape magazine. If you don’t then race to the nearest pharmacy/grocery/bookstore to grab a copy!  

Brooke being featured again on the Today Show. Link here.

My story on Shape.com alongside the stories of the women with whom I experienced this all with. Link here

It seems to be everywhere. Or at least, I am over sharing to the point where I am making myself feel like it is everywhere.  But what can I say, it was truly a once in a lifetime experience- I have to share. My birthday is three days away and all I can think about is how grateful I am for having had this amazing opportunity and how surreal it all feels.

Back in October when this all took place I could only speculate as to how it would all play out and how I would feel seeing my photograph in print. All I can say is wow, it’s pretty cool to see myself in a magazine. I joke with Erick all the time that I will never look as good again as I did that day- I mean, there were full on professional stylists, hair and makeup artists- the kinds that work almost primarily with celebrities. I looked pretty fabulous, if you ask me.

I was beyond thrilled when I was asked to participate in the roundtable discussion as I knew we would be talking about things not often mentioned in regards to weight loss like the psychological effects, dealing with our perception of self and how others treat us, etc. Really great topics. Some of which I plan on discussing individually on this blog.

But for today, I just want to share with you some of the behind the scenes pictures from that day. I have been waiting almost three months to share them with you. I hope you enjoy some of the footage I have (and others who were there – thank you Melissa!) captured from our discussion, photo shoot and mingling afterwards. It was a really freaking awesome day!

Love and hugs,