Stop Hating Yourself


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFat, Thin, Obese, Skinny, Heavy, Lean, Toned, Apple, Pear, Hourglass, Proportioned, Curvy, Ectomorph, Pencil, Ripped, Chubby, Shredded, Overweight, Fluffy, Underweight, Endomorph, 

These are all words used to describe the physical body. But words somehow have a magical power to seep beneath the skin they describe and permeate the heart that lies within. These words take over your identity and destroy the bond you are meant to have with your body.

This bond that is lost is forged from shared experiences. Your body has done a lot for you and yet how often is it the bane of your existence or something that is in constant need of fixing or changing?

So you set out to change your body into something you deem worthy of love and appreciation. You reduce the amount of food you eat and restrict what little food you do eat. You force yourself to exercise, whether it be at a gym or watching someone with “The Body” on a DVD. You drink more water and tell yourself you’re not hungry.

The first few days aren’t so bad. You notice your stomach is a little flatter and the scale may even tell you that the three numbers you define yourself with have gone down ever so slightly. Then comes day five. You miss “carbs” and you hate the treadmill. But, you believe that this is way to transform your body and fulfill your dream of finally being happy enough with it to bare your arms in a sleeveless shirt.

Your soul begins to mourn your imprisonment and voices fill your head. Cravings surface and your sleep suffers. You can’t take the pressure of perfection and so you “cheat” and have something you “shouldn’t”. You cave. It tastes sooooo good….or does it?

Then, the soul crushing, heart racing, stomach tightening guilt sets in. Why did you fail? Why is it so hard for you? Why are other people “thin” and doing it? Why can’t you stick to _____ program?

You feel so bad that the cycle continues and you bury the feelings of shame with more junk which makes you feel physically sick. You avoid the gym or your trainer for fear that they will condemn you or judge you for your supposed lack of willpower. If only you were stronger….

Now you decide you can finally do it. You feel so bad (and your pants feel so tight) that you decide with this new program you can “get back on track”! And for a few days you do “good”. You do all of your workouts and log the miles on the treadmill (even though your body aches from walking on plastic). You treat yourself with a reward of food which triggers the cravings and on the cycle goes.

 Friends, this is no way to live. The constant comparison to friends, strangers, co-workers- anyone! The endless feeling of not being good enough, fit enough, lean enough- Not Enough. The inner longing for something that is deeper than what you can see in the mirror or touch with your hands. 

A diet will not fulfill you. A program will not save you. A new gym membership will not redeem you. 

It must start with loving yourself as your family, friends and those you strive to please. If you are not happy and loving yourself now, you will not love yourself 20 pounds from now. There has to be a change beneath the surface in your tender and precious heart. A healing has to occur. An outpouring of joy. A peace that passes understanding. A new sense of identity. You are not the choices that you make. 

You were meant for so much more- have you lost yourself in the fast paced world that surrounds you? Are you going through the motions and avoiding the feelings you are afraid to feel? Are you stuck in a trap of constant fixing and loathing? 

If this is you, you need to know there is help. There is a chance to find peace and to celebrate all that is you! If this strikes a chord inside of you and brings a tear to your eye, don’t wait! Reach out! Please do not waste another moment longing for what will only destroy you. 

I am extending a personal invitation to reach out and get some guidance as to what the next steps look like for you. No hidden agenda. No sales pitch. Just support, ideas and resources. 



The Last Protein Powder You’ll Ever Buy


There are sooo many kinds of protein powders out there (just like diet books, ironically.) These powders are usually full of fake sugars, chemicals and added nasty ingredients. I have done my share of bottle shaking in the last decade and have never found a protein powder that I was 100% in love with- until now. 


Rebooted Body is now offering a grass-fed whey and collagen protein powder!!! I know, I know. It’s super exciting! We are pumped about it! We have decided to call our new line VeroPure and we stand behind these products 110%! 

We are all about helping people get a body and life they love, and sometimes using supplements is a part of that journey. Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s nice not to have meat at every meal. And it’s just too convenient to have clean protein that is portable and easy to use. 

Now, let me tell you a little bit about this awesome protein. 

VeroPure Grass-Fed Whey contains non-denatured whey protein concentrate from the milk of happy cows naturally raised on luscious New Zealand pastures. It’s grass-fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Soy-Free and made with natural ingredients because we know you care deeply about getting and keeping a body and life you love. Enjoy!

Benefits of VeroPure Grass-Fed Whey Protein

VeroPure Grass-Fed Whey Protein is an abundant source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are used to stimulate protein synthesis. When leucine is ingested in high amounts, such as with VeroPure whey protein supplementation, there is greater stimulation of protein synthesis, which may speed recovery and adaptation to stress (exercise).


    Contains All 9 Essential Amino Acids.

    VeroPure Grass-Fed Whey is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids and is low in lactose content.


    Contains Important Sulfur-Based Amino Acids.

    VeroPure Grass-Fed Whey is an excellent source of sulfur amino acids (methionine and cysteine): Cysteine is the rate limiting amino acid for the synthesis of the antioxidant, glutathione.


    Contains Beneficial Brached-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs).

    VeroPure Grass-Fed Whey is an excellent source of branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine): Leucine is a both a key signal molecule for initiation and an important substrate for new protein synthesis.


    Provides the Healing Benefits of Glutamine.

    VeroPure Grass-Fed Whey is an excellent source of glutamine, which minimizes breakdown of muscle, improves protein metabolism, and helps heal the gut.


    Is Rapidly Digested.

    VeroPure Grass-Fed Whey is rapidly absorbed and assimilated (vs. casein which exits the stomach much slower).


    Is Ultra-Pure, With NO Nasties.

    VeroPure Grass-Fed Whey does not have any artificial or filler ingredients. It’s GMO-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Hormone-free, Antibiotic-free, and Non-GMO.


Why Choose Grass-Fed Whey?

When it comes to nutrition, a popular phrase is, “you are what you eat.” Unfortunately, that’s no longer good enough because the health of the animals that produce the products we consume has been manipulated.

If you’re eating animal-based products, the health of the animal matters greatly. Healthy animals who eat their natural diet produce healthy meat, milk, and eggs. In terms of cows and the whey protein they produce, grass is the natural diet. Most conventional whey proteins are produced from cows who are fed grain and kept in the high stress environment of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO). In order to keep these cows alive and producing, producers pump them full of hormones and antibiotics.

We reject both the treatment of animals in this way and the quality of the resulting products. VeroPure Grass-Fed Whey comes from cows who roam on pasture outdoors in the sunlight and are never given hormones or antibiotics. These cows feed exclusively on grass and are humanely treated to keep their stress levels low. Not only is this best for the cows, it produces a far superior product with a much richer nutritional profile.

Protein Isolate vs Protein Concentrate

Most conventional whey protein powders are made from protein isolate, which means that it goes through more processing. The manufacturers like to claim that this results in almost pure protein content, which they say makes it a better product. The problem is that the extra filtering and processing removes a good deal of the important immune factors from the whey protein.

Whey isolates remove the fat, which actually removes important components of its immunological properties, such as phospholipids, phosphatidylserine and cortisol. Additionally, all of the IgG immunoglobulins, which are an excellent source of glutamine and cysteine, are also bound to the fat globule. In fact, most food rich in healthful fat are carriers of antioxidants, such as vitamin E and phytosterols.

Dairy also contains lipoic acid, which is a carrier of enzymes and immunoglobulin. Therefore, if you take the fat out you’re left with a clearly inferior whey protein. That’s why it’s important to choose a protein concentrate over a protein isolate to receive the maximum health benefits.

So, head over to the VeroPure website and check it out!! Especially since it’s on sale right now! Hurry! 


Mt. Hood Backpacking Paleo Style

Really excited about the underground springs!

I got to go backpacking this past week. It was uh-mazing!!! My best friend and I decided to hike to Elk Cove on Mt. Hood. We started at Top Spur Trailhead and passed over the PCT on our way to the cove. 


We climbed a crazy long ridge and popped out in the middle with tremendous views of the north side of the mountain with its giant glaciers and alpine shrubbery. It was so epic! 


We stopped for lunch, which was Paleo Meals to Go Beef Stew. I won a bunch of these delicious meals from a Paleo Magazine giveaway just in time for our trip!!

 We didn’t heat water, so I let it sit for a while with cold water and no joke, it was DELICIOUS!!! I was sooo impressed! The beef was tender and the seasonings were perfect! I gobbled it down!! 




We continued on the Timberline Trail 7 miles toward the Cove. We IMG_20150730_105830148crossed 3 rivers, one of which we had to ford! It was very intimidating ,but not too hard. The cold water felt wonderful on our hot sweaty feet.


Finally we made it to the beautiful and enchanting Elk Cove. We found the perfect camp site too! It was so serene and lovely. We got there early enough that we set up camp and went out to explore. We went up to Dollar Lake, which was practically dried up, but we still got awesome views of the Mountain.



For dinner, we had the other savory Paleo Meals to Go, the Summit Savory Chicken and Vegetables. This one was not quite as good as the beef stew, but still yummy. I added salt to it, but it still could have a little more zest. But like I said, still super filling and tasty. 


We watched the sunset on the mountainside and witnessed the bright full moon lighting up the glaciers and trees.


It was incredible!! We munched on trail mix and drank tea sitting under the stars. The night was warm and you didn’t even need many layers! 

Taken at home before the trip

In the morning, we heated up water for our Paleo Meals to Go breakfast, Cliffside Coconut. OMG! It was soooooo delicious!! It had huge walnuts, juicy blueberries and crunchy coconut. It was sooooo good that I will order some just to have around the house. It smelled sooo good too! Yum!!!! We ate that and sipped on coffee, taking our time to enjoy camp. 


We headed out and stopped at W’yeast Basin which has underground springs. It was the most deliciously cold and refreshing water I have ever had. We stayed for almost an hour enjoying views of Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. It was majestic, to say the least. 



We climbed out the 7 miles and made it back to the car. It was such a wonderful trip! It was my second time backpacking on the Timberline Trail and PCT. Having the Paleo Meals to Go made it sooo much better (that and good bug spray)! I will definitely be using them again!!! 

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I could not get the lighting to work with me, so this is a really terrible picture- sorry!!!

I don’t normally advocate for making cookies very often, but every now and then a yummy oatmeal cookie can be delightful. 

I loooove cookie dough!!

My assistant was not being a very good helper either, lol.

My assistant running away with props

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I did!

Stupid lighting!
Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 15
Yummy, dense and lightly sweet cookies that are a great treat.
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
  1. 1 cup organic gluten free oats
  2. 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  3. 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  4. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  5. 1.5 tsp baking powder (not baking soda)
  6. 1/2 cup raisins (or dried cranberries or cherries)
  7. 1 square unsweetened dark chocolate
  1. 1 egg
  2. 3 tbs grass fed butter (or coconut oil)
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  5. 1 dropper liquid Stevia (optional)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or grease it).
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients. Mix until smooth and creamy.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir.
  5. Add in to wet ingredients and mix until combined (Do not overmix!).
  6. Using a spoon, drop rounded mounds of dough onto cookie sheet and flatten slightly.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes (watch closely as overbaking will dry them out)
  8. Let cool for at least 10 minutes to prevent crumbling.
Train Your Body-Change Your Life

Best Balsamic Vinaigrette!!!

I’m not very good at coming up with creative title or recipe names. But this is legit! I loooove this dressing and have been putting it on everything from riced cauliflower to decadent salads. I am addicted!! 

But, before we get to the deliciousness, I wanted to let you know that I am going to be doing a cooking demo at Natural Grocers in Clackamas! I am so excited! I will let you know when the date is. A TON of people have been asking about a veggie cooking demo, so I am all too happy to announce this. 

Best Balsamic Vinaigrette
Yields 1
A most delicious and flavorful dressing that is perfect for any salad or veggie dish.
Write a review
Prep Time
2 min
Prep Time
2 min
  1. 3/4 cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup quality balsamic vinegar
  3. 1 tbs chopped garlic (I totally buy the pre-chopped kind in a jar)
  4. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  5. 1.2 tsp ground pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender (I use a Magic Bullet) and blend until smooth (10 seconds).
  1. You can store on the counter for a couple of days, but if you refrigerate the oil will separate and harden slightly, so leave it out before you need it.
Train Your Body-Change Your Life

I Hate My Body

“I hate my body.”


With tears pouring down her cheeks, she confessed her struggle of 25+ years with hating her body. I teared up as I sat across from her and gently told her that it would one day be possible for her to look in the mirror and appreciate her body and treat it as a friend, not an enemy.

This is the struggle so many women (myself included) face in our culture. All across the world, women are objectified, photoshopped and sexualized. They are told to look sexy and have an unrealistic body that is projected in the windows of Victoria’s Secret and plastered on the cover of magazines.

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and internet advertisements clutter the screen with images of women who are smiling in skimpy clothes or lifting weights with their overly defined muscles. To say “don’t compare yourself” is like telling a fish not to swim. It’s everywhere!

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt said, and it’s so true! The act of comparison is one the ensnares women and traps them in a web of trying to change their bodies rather than embrace them. Billions of dollars are spent on beauty products, clothing, gym memberships, hair and nail salons, waxing and workout dvds. Don’t even get me started on the pills and shakes out there. #eatrealfood

I have fallen into this trap many times. I hated the way my body looked and felt for so long. I worked tirelessly to “fix” it and make it something I could love and be proud of.  But when would that be?? How would I accomplish it? If I wasn’t happy at a size 6, what would it possibly take to make me content??

But you know what? It wasn’t hours spent in the gym, amount of pounds I lifted, diets I went on or miles I ran that changed my perception of my body. It was coming to a place of realizing that just as seasons change, so it is with my body. 

There is no finish line or end point. Heck, there’s not even a static place to “hover”. Your body is constantly adapting and changing, sometimes in the way you want and other times not so much. I have learned that my body is incredible! It has brought me through puberty, singleness, marriage, pregnancy, motherhood, adulthood. It has taken me up mountains and given me the ability to experience life to the fullest. 


I love my body. I love the soft squishiness of my stomach. I love my solid thighs and huge calves. I love my wrinkles and age spots. I adore my saggy butt. I embrace my cellulite and stretch marks. I giggle at my tiny biceps. I have stopped looking in the mirror and hating what I see and wanting to change it. 

Sure, there are times where I wish my stomach was a little flatter and let’s be honest, no one likes saggy jiggly triceps. But each day I work to choose to look in the mirror and love what I see and to thank my body for all it has done for me. 

So, this is my challenge to you: to figure out why you are at war with your body and why you get so discouraged with it. If you are in a place where you love it, I would love for you to share how you got there. 


There is hope, sweet friends. There is love. There is acceptance and appreciation that is yours for the taking. 

Being Healthy is Soooooo Hard!!!!

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by how hard being healthy is. That’s right, I said it. It’s hard!! Some days it kicks my childbearing butt. 

Ok, let me back up and define what “healthy” means to me. It means that I am managing my stress, getting as much quality sleep as I can, eating foods that nourish my body and being at peace with that, being in right relationships with my husband and friends (as much as I can), exercising in ways that make me feel alive (like hiking, biking, walking and weight lifting) and finding time to pray and be still. 

This is F-ing hard!!! 

There, I said it! After 12 years of dieting, un-dieting, CrossFitting, yoga, Paleo, training and so on, I am still struggling to make this mentally easier (maybe I am just a slow learner and everyone else has it figured out). Here is why I think it is so hard…..

1) Managing Stress


I work two paying jobs. Mondays, Saturdays and sometimes Wednesdays, I drive to Gresham to drop off my son with my mom in-law. Then I drive 40 minutes to the gym and work with clients on physical fitness and nutrition. While I am there, I schedule in a half hour for pumping in the locker room and lunch. Then it’s another 40 minute drive to pick up the baby and take him home and feed him. 


Every day, I coach people online about how to do what I myself am doing (some days I do it better than other days). I deal with frustrations, joys, challenges and triumphs. It brings so much joy, and unfortunately, so much stress. It can be sooo hard working from home with a baby. My schedule is a mess and my follow up time with clients can be sketchy. 

And…..I take care of my 8.5 month old baby all day….’nough said. 

2) Quality Sleep

I am not talking about quantity of sleep, I am talking about quality. That means no light in the room with the white noise blaring and the ceiling fan on low. 

I would love to say I sleep through the night, but I often wake up once or twice searching for my baby in the sheets (even though he has been sleeping in his own room for 5 months now) worried that I am squishing him or he has somehow drifted toward the end of the bed. 

If I can’t get 8 hours at night, I make up for it by sleeping when my baby sleeps (it took my 6 months to be ok with doing this….why am I such a slow learner!?). 

3) What I Eat


I have been “Paleo” for about 3 or 4 years now. I hate labels like “Paleo”, but it gives the overall scope of what I eat. I find that my body does really well on high fat, high protein and low carb. I loooove to eat veggies (weird, I know), meat ( I am a total carnivore!) and lots of fat (bring on the buttah!). I do eat fruit (hello berry season!) and occasional grains like rice and quinoa, but for the most part, I feel better eating meat and veggies. 

(Wow, that’s a lot of parenthesis!!)

I have had trouble with my stomach since my early twenties (oh wow do I feel old) and discovered that I have a sensitivity to dairy, corn, sugar and starch because I had SIBO.  After clearing that up, I still find that I run best when I stick to a Paleo mindset. 

That said, it’s soooooooo expensive!!! Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you. We pay $7/pound for beef, $8/pound for bacon, $7/dozen for eggs, $10/bottle of Avocado oil for mayo and a gagillion dollars for organic produce. I tell myself that it’s an investment in our health, but sometimes the sheer sticker shock on my receipts is enough to make me want to run to Mc Donalds instead. 

It’s a TON of work!!! I cook almost daily. I grocery shop, I cook veggies, I brown meat, I hardboil eggs, I make mayo, I pack lunches, I do dishes, I bbq….I am pretty much the Julia Child of my house. It has gotten easier as I get more efficient, but it is still hard and time consuming.

4) Exercise= DWYLT


My boss Kevin at the Rebooted Body came up with the idea of DWYLT, Do What You Love Today, instead of being a slave to the gym. I love the lifestyle mentality and use it just about everyday. It’s about listening to your body and going with what your body is wanting, not just what you “should” be doing.

Most of my exercise comes in the form of throwing this guy in the pack and walking or hiking around Portland. 


When I am not hiking or walking, I like to do occasional workouts at the gym (I aim for 2x/week). I like to do heavy squats and a 20 minute HIIT workout. And even this is hard! It’s hard to motivate myself (I want a personal trainer!!) and even harder to orchestrate getting to the gym. I have to time it just right when my hubby is home. 

I do yoga at home (see all things Eoin Finn) and occasionally throw around a kettlebell. But mostly, I just want to sit on my butt because staying in shape is hard!!! 

5) Relationships

I try soooo hard to keep up with my friends and family, which is why I am an absolute Facebook fiend. I can’t help it. I need people. I am not a SAHM kind of gal. But, since my 20# baby rules my schedule, I often am more of a flake than a friend. It drives me crazy!! I know it is just how it is right now and that some day I will not have to schedule my life around his three naps. But for right now, it sucks and all I want to do is going shopping at the mall with a friend. 

6) Quiet Time and Prayer


This one is hardest of all. I value and crave time to sit and pray or be silent, but my mind is always racing. There is so much for me to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all. 

I want to make this more of a priority in my life, but I am also ok with doing it on the fly. I love to be silent when I hike. I pray when I am in the car. I work really hard on emptying my mind and meditating during yoga. But it’s still sooooo hard!!!! 


So, that’s my rant. Being healthy is hard. It would be sooo much easier to lay on the couch and order pizza, but instead, I am working it out. I am trying to find ways to make living la vida “healthy” doable and sustainable. 

What tips do you have for living a healthy life??? What does “healthy” look like for you??

What I’m Eating Lately

My first Mother’s Day was kind of a bust :( I got some sort of weird stomach bug where every time I ate something, it hurt. It lasted like 4 days. It was rough!! It felt like a sibo flare up, but it was worse. Glad that’s over! 

So, in light of eating again, I thought I would share some of my current faves

1) Weekend Glow Kale Salad from Oh She Glows


This salad is a staple in my house. It has a bright lemony creamy dressing and a million different toppings. My faves are peas, raisins, cashews, shredded carrots, green onions, bell peppers and avocado- holy yummers! I make a biiig batch and have it throughout the week.

2) Goat Cheese


I have sworn off dairy as it doesn’t do good things for my kiddo or for me. But I still love something a little creamy, so goat cheese it is! I love to eat it plain or melted on top of a burger. Soooo yummy! This bad boy was $7 at Costco. 

3) Deschutes Brewery Red Chair 


A friend gave me some of this when we were hanging out in her backyard with our babies. I’m usually a darker beer kinda gal (when I drink, which is a lot more recently due to be relaxed and enjoying things I normally avoid) but I really like this IPA! It’s so delicious and flavorful! 

4) Blueberries


These guys are back in action at Costco!! It’ll be a while before the ones in our backyard are ready, so in the meantime, I am loving these. I already made blueberry muffins that were super good! 

5) Raisins and Sunflower Seed Butter


Breastfeeding is exhausting and it makes me soooo hungry! So I have been looking for more calories in a quick snack besides nuts. This is a perfect combo! I stir in some raisins with the butter and top with cinnamon. It’s easy to eat and doesn’t get my tummy hot n bothered. 

6) Bone Broth


And, as always, I am sipping on bone broth. I use grass fed knuckle and femur bones (from New Seasons) and toss it in the crockpot with onions, carrots, celery, egg shells, salt and apple cider vinegar for a nice dark broth. Some people roast the bones before cooking, but it’s warm out and I don’t want to heat up the house. Plus, aint got time for that! 

So, those are just a few things I am currently enjoying. What are some things you are munchin on??

My First Motherless Mother’s Day

Sunday will be my first time celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother!! Go me! I feel like I have definitely earned it, lol. I told my hubby I want a nice piece of jewelry for my special day, even if I can’t wear it for a little while :) 

Our last photo together a few weeks before she left us.
Our last photo together a few weeks before she left us.

I have to admit that I am approaching this sacred day with mixed emotions. That’s because the last 30 Mother’s Days that I have been alive for have been to celebrate my mom, Chris. The last 11 of which she has been in Heaven for. 

The past 8 months have been so incredibly challenging, amazing, hard, wonderful, joyful, anxiety provoking and exhausting! I love being a mother to my son, Louis! He is my pride and joy, my most precious gift from God himself. I feel so blessed to be his momma.

My wonderful Mom in-law, Cindy
My wonderful Mom in-law, Cindy

And yet….being a mom has been slightly tainted for me. That is because I am a Motherless Mom.  (I want to pause and say how grateful I am for my mother in-law, Cindy. She is incredible!!! She is selfless, caring, thoughtful, generous and loves my baby almost as much as I do! Without her, I have no idea what I would do!!)

I bought this charm for my mom.
I bought this charm for my mom.

But, I miss my own mom. The past three months especially. Louis was struggling with sleep for the first time and I juuuuuuust about lost it. I made the really hard decision to get help and start anti-depressants so that I could be a better wife, mom, trainer and friend. (Zoloft has been such a blessing to me! I feel like I am myself again and for the first time, I actually FEEL like I love my baby, instead of just KNOWING that I love him!!)

Her recipe box.
Her recipe box.

I have felt like my mom has died all over again. It’s like when I got married 6 years ago. She wasn’t there and I felt an ache like I had never experienced before. I was a wife without a mother. Grief was a whole new beast and it took a long time to sort through this new form of pain and sorrow. 

Now, I am faced with the same issue- the grief looks different and I feel it differently as a mom. I want to call my mom and ask about teething , sleeping, which stroller she thinks I should get. What we are going to do for Louis’ first birthday. I want her to pop over and bring clothes and toys that she found at garage sales for Louis. I want her to plan a double Mother’s Day celebration with me. 

My incredible mother, Christine (Chris) Ellerbroek

But….that will never happen. My cell phone will never ring with her 916 number. I will never get texts from her. I will never be able to Skype (yes, I still use Skype) with her. She will never randomly show up with gifts for her grandson. She will not be present at his first birthday party, first day of school, first dance, first time driving, his graduation, his wedding or when he has her great-grandchildren. 


All of this brings up so much sadness in my heart. I am desperate to tell her “Thank you” for all that she did for me. For the nights she stayed up with me when I had colic. For all of the diapers she changed. For all of the miles she put on the car driving me around. For all of the spit up she cleaned and poop she got out of my clothes. For all of the kisses and hugs. For all of the prayers she prayed on my behalf. For all of the love she unconditionally showered on me. For all of the battles she fought for me. For the sacrifices she made so I could have a life she always dreamed of for me. 


So, I approach May 10th with excitement for my first Mother’s Day, but also a new layer of grief for the most incredible Mother that I miss every single day. Mom, I love you. Thank you for being my mother for 19 years. Your Grandson is amazing- I show him your picture all the time and I tell him stories so he will feel like he knows you. 

We were pregnant at the same time, just 30 years apart.
We were pregnant at the same time, just 30 years apart.

I tell him about your crazy love of cats. I tell him about “Cat Talk”, your own made up language. About endless garage sales and Ebay. About the epic stockings for my cousins at Christmas. How you loved to deck the house for every holiday. How you let me sleep on the floor next to you in your room if I was scared. How we made cookies and jams together. Of our adventures wading through thorns to find the perfect blackberries. About all of the many projects at church that we did. How you would call the yogurt shop when I was working  and ask what flavor yogurt an alligator would like. How you would blow your whistle through your nose. About how you worked endlessly to provide inner city kids with a better life. 

About how you served others tirelessly. How you loved doing nails. When you would bribe me to rub your sore feet and paint your toes. When you were at my high school graduation in a wheel chair and helped me get ready for prom from your hospital bed. How you would tease me about marrying a boy named Tim (which I did, just a different one). How you would do cheers in the grocery store just to embarass me. (Falcon fans, pump it, let’s hear it, go-fight-win!). How you wrote to me at summer camp and sent me the coolest care packages. How you told me I could do anything if I set my mind to it. 

She was always making people laugh
She was always making people laugh

These are just a few of the stories I tell my son about his wacky and wonderful Grammy in Heaven. 

PS, he has your nose  and our cheeks :) 

I also want to recognize my Stand In Mamas, Aunt Jamie and Renee. Thank you for standing by me and supporting me when Mom could not. Your guidance, wisdom, love, kindness, teaching and support has meant the world to me and I am soooooo happy that Louis will grow up with you in his life. Happy Mother’s Day!!

Aunt Jamie
Aunt Jamie
Dearest Renee
Dearest Renee
My Stand in Mamas
My Stand in Mamas

Losing Weight Didn’t Make Me Happy

**Spoiler Alert!!**

This is a reallly long post and I feel slightly narcissistic writing it, but I know what a struggle this is with my clients and a lot of women that I know. So, here it goes! 

I grew up on a steady diet of sugar. Literally. My mom managed a gas station with a large convenience store filled with frozen hamburgers, candy, frozen yogurt, Slurpees…you name it, it was in there and I was allowed to have anything I wanted. At home, I ate Pop Tarts with butter, sugar in my sugary cereals, five packets of instant oatmeal, two cans of Hormel chili and Kraft Mac N Cheese with butter and extra shredded cheddar cheese.

I would stash candy in my bedroom and hide Pop Tarts in my doll house. My parents would lecture me about how much sugar I put in my Cheerios and how I would regret not eating salad (which consisted of iceburg lettuce, ground beef and cheese).

A size 14

I never played sports (except for cheerleading three years in high school, and let’s be honest, that’s not really a sport) or exercised on purpose. I did Rollerblade and ride my bike, but only until I hit my teen years. My favorite activities included watching tv, reading and eating.

I was sucking in trying to hid my stomach

By the time I was in a freshman in college, I was the biggest I had ever been! I weighed about 170 pounds and had almost 40% body fat! In 2005, I started working at Costco pushing those giant carts and lifting heavy boxes and cases of water. For the first time in my life, I was fit! I lost about 10 pounds and discovered that I had hip bones!

I got a membership at 24 Hour Fitness by my work and after 8 hours of work, I would go workout for another two hours. I would run when I wasn’t at the gym and would wake up at 4:30am to take a step class. I became obsessed with my ever shrinking body. I started writing down what I ate and banished all forms of sugar for a whole summer. I ate out of measuring cups and went to bed with my stomach growling.

Me as a size 4

But, every morning, I awoke just a little bit smaller. By the summer of 2007, I weighed 139 pounds and was in a size 4. I looked gaunt and struggled enormously with IBS type symptoms. I lived on diet Pepsi and reduced-fat popcorn while working out 7 days a week (sometimes two times a day!).

Finally, I realized that my eating and working out habits were killing me mentally and emotionally. I started focusing on being healthy. I subscribed to Clean Eating Magazine and made dozens of “healthy” cookies (I am a recovering Sugar Addict) and cooked with every whole grain I could find. By 2009, I was a mess! I was 145 pounds, running 25 miles a week and still having stomach issues (we had lots of candles in the bathroom).

After my first half-marathon, I decided I wanted to become a personal trainer and help people like myself. I wanted people to feel the rush from achieving things physically that they had never been able to do before. I got certified and started working in a gym pursuing my dream. I helped people cut out sugar and count calories, like I had done and was trained to do.

My clients had small term success because they were eventually tired of working out and couldn’t adhere to low-calorie diets. I wanted more for them and more for myself. In 2011, I was certified as a Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Around this time I also started CrossFit and the Paleo Diet. It changed the way I did training and nutrition for my clients and they started seeing better results.

I even did CrossFit during vacation while my hubby slept in every day.

I became obsessed with CrossFit, going four or five times a week. I became the strongest and leanest I had ever been. I was a size 6 and incredibly unhappy.

Yes, unhappy. My stomach issues were all but gone and I was doing strict pull ups and deadlifting three times my body weight. I was wearing small clothes and had a toned body people would kill for. Why was I unhappy?

I was unhappy because I still struggled with food. I struggled with the “can’t haves”, the “shouldn’ts” and the “have to’s.” I was obsessed with making sure my hip bones and collar bones were poking out and that my biceps were defined, not saggy.I worked out incessantly even my hands were calloused and would rip open and I was sore every day. I had to avoid foods I loved in order to keep my tummy happy and fat off my hips. It.Was.Exhausting!

My xxx-large t-shirt covered with my “should” statements.

Finally, in 2013, after working with a therapist for a couple of years, I  realized that I was being held hostage by my beliefs about being skinny, fit and healthy. I was obsessed with my body, food and workouts. I truly lived by statements that involved “have to”, “can’t” and “should”. These powerful lies had become my reality and I worked really hard to break them down and find freedom in figuring out what my trigger foods and behaviors were. Once I knew those, I chose to avoid or limit them in order to maintain my new way of thinking and living.

I quit CrossFit because it triggered the competitive and over-doing side of me. I stopped calling myself Paleo because the label enforced restriction and the “can’t have” mentality. I started doing yoga to quiet my soul and reduce anxiety about making good choices. I found acceptance of my body and was proud of all that it had accomplished.

32 weeks pregnant

Since that revelatory time in 2013, I have had  a baby, which has ushered in a lot of the “have to’s” and “can’ts” and obsessions with body size. I wrestled again with counting calories and watching the scale. I was triggered and obsessed about losing the baby weight. The difference is that I was able to recognize triggering behavior and stop it in it’s tracks. I remembered that my goal for my life was not to be the thinnest or the strongest, because that does not make me happy.

And proud of it!

I want to pursue health and be the best woman, wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend and employee that I can be. I want to call a truce and be friends with my body, not at war with it or working against it. I want to have a healthy, balanced mind that seeks nourishment and choices. I don’t want to be a gym rat or sore every day- and I don’t have to! I don’t have to be on a fat loss diet or do fat burning exercises! I can if I want to, but I no longer “have to”.

At Rebooted Body, we talk about DWYLT and I strive to live this out and not feel guilty for napping when my son naps instead of working out. I listen to my body and trust it entirely.

Society says that I should be skinny or strong and that is what makes me beautiful or sexy. That I should have perfect skin, makeup, teeth, hair and make that my priority. That I should fit into cute cutoff shorts or skinny jeans. That I should have no bulges, bumps or lines. That I should workout every day and eat like a bird. That I should strive to look like all the airbrushed models on TV and magazines and that my competition for my husbands attention is all the models on the internet. Do you know what I have learned about all that? It is complete bull shit

All of this to say, dear friends, is that if you are looking to lose a lot of weight, I can tell you, it will not make you happy. It is incredibly hard to do (especially for women over 40) and takes a lot of work to maintain. Instead, focus on being the healthiest you you can be.

Make choices that make you a more balanced person and create margin in your life. It is in this sacred trust of your body and balance in your mind that you will find peace and contentment with your body. Find happiness in God, your family and friends, your body’s ability to do incredible things, nature– it’s all there for the taking!!!

If you don’t know how to trust your body or identify trigger foods and behaviors, I welcome you to Total Body Reboot. Here, we will teach you how to achieve the body and life you love and cherish without feelings of guilt, shame, frustration or sadness. Don’t hesitate to email or call us with questions about how you too can Reboot your body, mind and life!

Eating and Moving for a Healthier Life!