Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year when we are inundated with body shaming messages via the media, stores and even our family and friends.  

Here are some common self hatred phrases I have seen, heard and read on social media, over the radio and from friends and family:

“Lose That Holiday Weight”
“What Are Your Diet Resolutions?”
“Get a Bikini Ready Body in Time for Spring Break!”
“Ate Too Much Over the Holidays? Jump Start your Weight Loss!”

And on and on…

Thankfully, this is also the time of year when I weed out those social media people/companies/athletes I follow who perpetuate the self hatred. Over the past few years, I have learned to love myself more and embrace who I am– flaws and all.

The flaws are what makes us beautiful,.. NOT perfection. When you look in the mirror, focus on the good of what you see and know about yourself. You are NOT defined by any singular aspect of your physical being.  Don’t let negativity seep into that amazing brain of yours.  Focus on what you want to accomplish in 2014 to enhance your existence on this awesome planet of ours.

Feed yourself with positivity and truly LIVE your best year yet!!

Happy New Year! 


Happiness Project: Day 3

Today has been a roller coaster of emotions for me.  It’s been 1 week post surgery and my abdomen is still swollen and I am unable to do “vigorous exercise”.  Although I want to do my high intensity workouts, physically I am still very sore.  And that is the crux of my problem.  See, exercising is my way to deal with my anxiety.  It eases my stress and puts me in a place of “seeing” clearly.  So, in the meantime while I “know” I need to “take it easy”, I also am focusing even harder on the things that make me happy each day. 

Without further adieu, here are today’s Happies:

  1. Drove my kids to school this morning!  I normally drive them every morning but since my surgery a week ago, I have been unable to.  The time I spend holding my children’s hands as I walk them into school is PRICELESS!
  2. Enjoyed a very nice healthy lunch with my husband at Whole Foods and was able to grocery shop (although slowly pushing the cart).
  3. Got the AWESOME news from the pathologist that they DID NOT find cancer in my fallopian tubes.  I have other a “female issues” that were addressed with the surgery and a history of problems that I will blog about later.

So, while there are some issues I am still struggling with emotionally and the other day to day life obstacles, there are still those precious nuggets of happiness that SHINE above all else.

What happened today that has brought the sparkle to your life?


Happiness Project-Day 2

It’s Day 2 on my quest to journal what makes me happy and inspire those to find the happiness in their daily lives.

It’s only mid-day here in Central TX so I still have a lot more opportunities to add Happiness in my life today, but here are some that I have already experienced.

  1. Woke up without the use of an alarm and made my family breakfast!  This may not seem like much but since my surgery last Thursday afternoon, I have had the help of either my mother, husband, or kids to wake me up as well as preparing meals for themselves. Making breakfast for my family and seeing my kids off to school are some of my most important daily activities.  Knowing I am providing my family with a nutritious meal to see them through their morning and having my kids arrive safely at their school makes me extremely happy!
  2. Gathered up more items for our neighborhood garage sale-WOOHOO!  Most of my family and friends know I dislike clutter and “stuff” so when a garage sale opportunity arises, I get so excited to purge the excess from our home.
  3. A very close friend, I haven’t seen in awhile, brought me lunch and wanted to check in on me.  I hold friendships very close to my heart and it means the world to me when someone I respect takes the time out of their day for me.
  4. It’s another beautiful Fall day in Austin, TX: clear blue skies and 80 degrees.  Not too hot and not too cold.  As Goldilocks says “it’s just right”!

So, what are some of your Happies today?


The Happiness Project

I have a happiness journal that I try to write in on a daily basis.  But, if I am honest with myself I would acknowledge that I am on my computer more than I am with some dead tree hanging out on my night stand.  So…I have decided what better place to continue my Happiness Project than on my blog!  

My goal is to inspire others to find what makes each of us happy: the weather, a smile from a stranger, matching socks, a hug from your child, finishing a project…We are all different and celebrating our differences and what brings us joy will make us appreciate each other more.

The Happiness Project Guidelines

  1. There are NO rules!  I really dislike when someone imposes a set of rules on me.  I like structure but the word “rules” irks me!
  2. Focus on a few things that make me smile that given day.  Some days I might have a lot and some days it just might be one thing.  BUT, there is ALWAYS something that makes each of us happy!
  3. Write it out DAILY.  It’s easy to think of something that makes each of us smile but writing down our happiness solidifies the thoughts in our brains.
  4. Have fun!!!

I hope you join me on this beautiful journey of happiness!  I look forward to reading daily happies!


Team Kristi


We all exercise for a variety of reasons:  improved overall health/fitness, to lose weight, to manage stress, to heal.  I exercise for all of these reasons.

This past Sunday, 3/3/13, I exercised to celebrate the life of a close friend and to heal.

I met Kristi Appenzeller through the MOMS Club of Pflugerville several years ago.  We instantly clicked.  She was the kind of person anybody would want to know and who could make you feel at ease with who you were.  Kristi was a wonderful wife and mother to her two young boys and was very involved with her community, family and friends.


Kristi Appenzeller- wife, mother, daughter, friend

Kristi was a “Fighter” and when she was diagnosed the first time with breast cancer she met the challenge and kicked the sucker to the curb.  Then, she was diagnosed again with a rarer type of breast cancer, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, and went through a lot of treatment in a very short time.

I have a Microbiology degree with an emphasis in tumor biology, experience in cancer research and have educated cancer patients and their families.  During our numerous calls and texts, Kristi and I  would talk about her treatment plan, drugs, nutrition, etc.  After a difficult battle and fight, Kristi succumbed to the insidious disease on August 15, 2012.  I lost my friend.

But, Kristi still had a community who loved her and a family who had the enormous task of paying off the medical bills.  So, on 3/3/13 the MOMS Club of Pflugerville, TX organized a 5K run/walk to celebrate Kristi’s life and honor her memory.  All proceeds from the event went to pay Kristi’s residual medical expenses.

Heading out to walk the Kristi K. I changed my shirt at the event with the new event t-shirt

Reflecting before the walk

Reflecting before the walk

The turnout was amazing!!! I chose to walk the race with my friend, Sarah, over at play2learnwithsarah who was also a close friend of Kristi’s.  I normally would run 5K’s but walking provided me the opportunity to reflect on my time with Kristi and feel her spirit with me every step I took.  As we neared the finish line, Sarah’s husband told me that people don’t slow down at a finish line they speed up. I didn’t want to lose the connection I was experiencing with Kristi.  By the time my foot passed over that line,  I was at peace.

Posing as we cross the finish line

One of the most touching moments of the event was the tree dedication and Bruce Smith singing “The Fighter (Kristi)”.  The song was written for Kristi and the tree was placed behind a bench at Lake Pflugerville so that any time we came to the lake you could sit, reflect and feel Kristi’s presence.

Kristi’s Tree dedication and Bruce Smith singing “The Fighter (Kristi)”

I am honored to have known Kristi and feel my life has been forever changed by her.  I love you, Kristi!  Thank you for being with me every day and in every thing I do.



That dreaded word.. The word I think we all struggle with at some point.  I know I do.  I have come a long way from being extremely self conscious as a child, teen and young adult to the person I am now: fairly confident with my body, my mind, and my personality.  But, it has taken me DECADES and I still struggle with it each day.  For instance, I had a really “off” day on Sunday.  I just wasn’t “feelin’ it” and didn’t like the cranky person I was.  So, for me, exercising is my mood lifter/stress buster/sexy maker.  After I hit the gym, my mood totally lifted and I was back to “feelin’ it”!

You’ve all heard/read the stories of those beautiful models and talented actors/actresses who said THEY BATTLED with their self-image throughout their childhood and you thought to yourself, Come on! Seriously?! Having self-confidence does not discriminate between those who are the epitome of what we strive to be and the “regular” person.

So you may ask yourself:  How do I become more confident, like who I am, and be happier with me?  I don’t have the golden ticket for you, but what I do have is what works for me during those moments of self loathing.  Maybe you can take a few tips and tricks and see how it helps you!

Find Time For Yourself:  Take some time to think about what truly makes you happy, energized, stimulates your brain, etc.  Schedule that time like you would any appointment.

Here Are Some Ideas: 

  1. Reading
  2. Gardening
  3. Cooking/Baking
  4. Writing
  5. Creating

Exercise:  The endorphins (“feel good” chemicals) released during/after exercising have been shown, study after study, to make you feel so much happier.  

Have Sex:  This is self-explanatory.  You may think how can I feel sexy when I am not feeling confident?!  Well, do things to set the stage prior to: candles, relaxing bath, aromatherapy, exercise.  Basically, anything that revs you up.  And we all know everyone feels great and more confident afterwards.  If you are not in a relationship, give yourself some self loving.

Get Outside:  Exposure to sunlight has been known to make us happier

Play With Your Pets or Kids:  Being silly and showing affection to others always makes you happier

Get Enough Sleep:  The amount varies person to person

Socialize:  Hang out with people and not just with any friends and family but those people who lift your spirit.

There is no perfect formula to improve your self-confidence and it will vary daily, but you can CHOOSE to do small activities to improve your mood and mentality.  If you do it consistently, then YOU WILL FRAME YOUR MIND TO BE MORE CONFIDENT.



Resolutions and Commitments

SIX WEEKS AGO many of you “resolved” to live a healthier lifestyle.  But, at the time, how did you define it?

 Was It Defined By:

  • Getting Off the Couch
  • Adding More Whole Foods Into Your Diet
  • Needing To Lose (X) Amount of Pounds
  • Fitting Into That Dress
  • Setting  2013 Fitness Goals: First 5K, Triathlon, or Half Marathon

Whatever resolution you made on January 1, 2013, have you evaluated where you are towards your goal(s)?   There is conflicting research as to how long it truly takes to develop a habit (especially a good one).  Some studies suggest as little as 21 days but most psychology research shows that the minimum is more like 66 days (or 2 months) and may even take as long as 8 and a half months for more complicated habits.  

So you may be thinking, IT COULD TAKE ME AS LONG AS 8 AND A HALF MONTHS TO MAKE MY A GOAL A HABIT?!!!  WHAT?!  Don’t despair.  Remember, it is not about seeing immediate results but about making changes in your lifestyle and making them stick.  Change takes time and PATIENCE.  

You may be wondering if I make resolutions.  I don’t make “resolutions” instead I make COMMITMENTS.  To me, “commitment” has a much more positive connotation and holds me more ACCOUNTABLE.


  • Continue To Nourish My Family With Whole Foods
  • Practice Patience With Myself And Others
  • Be More Appreciative Of The Body I Have Been Given
  • Slow Down

Whatever you have COMMITTED to for 2013 and beyond, know that I am right there with you cheering you on every step of the way.


FITting Into The Blogosphere

Tonight is my first foray into the blogosphere realm.  In my head, I hear the cheers, bells, whistles as if  I just crossed the finish line of my very first triathlon.  In reality, all I hear is the hum of my laptop fan and clickety, clacky as I type away on my keyboard.

Why am I entering this new, unknown world?!  For years I have been told that I needed to share my passion for living a healthy lifestyle.  With a much needed push by friends and family, I have found a place to share that passion.  It is called

I hope  that everyone who comes to this happy world of Fitness. Food. FUN! will experience their own journey towards a healthier lifestyle.  We all define a “healthy lifestyle” differently and that’s what makes this world a beautiful place.  Healthy is not defined by a number on a scale, a dress size, or how many calories are consumed or burned rather it is how we embrace each day with respect to our bodies, minds and each other.