Jan 242012

Every time Jen of Priorfatgirl has a gathering, whether its a semi-annual conference with arranged speakers, a set schedule and goodies to take home. Or, just a coffee meeting for anyone who wants to come and feel motivated, supported and not-alone in the struggle to be lead a healthy life and make good, healthy decisions.

On Saturday, January 21st, Jen invited those of us who wanted to build community, to make new friends, to learn, to share and get motivated, to join her at The Beat Coffeehouse. We were lucky to hear Mary Sailors, personal trainer from FitThisGirl, Philly D from Moksha Yoga Studio and Elle, another Priorfatgirl (yay Elle!) share their stories, mantras, and motivation to get us on track!


Mary talked about Making Lasting Changes and one item that really struck a chord with me was setting goals for YOURSELF. If you make changes for others, ones that didn’t start with your own motivation and your own reasons…then the changes won’t last.  Every goal must start with you and must be a lasting goal, not a goal with an end date…because we may achieve goals for other people or goals with end dates (like a wedding or a class reunion), but then if that other person is ever not around or you pass that end date….the goal fades, motivation fades…and all your hard work could easily deteriorate.  This definitely rings true for me….in my past out of anger, I lost weight to prove to someone I wasn’t fat..but guess what, as soon as that toxic person was out of my life…the weight came back. I didn’t have the anger or the other person, albeit for a mean reason, motivating me…so the goal ended and I was back to the way I was before.   What goals are working for ME now?  Lifelong health and longevity…I want to be healthy and yes, on a vain tone…beautiful..for a long time…for ME…so I know I can do this.  I want a better quality of life for ME.   Mary talked about how Goals lead to action items and action items lead to strategies. The strategies are like a check list…so the goal doesn’t seem as daunting.   Taking small steps every day can do amazing things! Every day I drink 100 ozs of water and log my food, that will lead to the action item of losing 60 lbs, which will lead to my GOAL of a long, healthy life!  Thanks Mary!!!!


Philly D really moved us in sharing his experience and expertise around the theme of meeting the moments in your life. He calls it RISE UP. Everything that grows has roots, if you don’t have the right roots, you can’t grow.  Root yourself and RISE UP!

“To Rise Up You Have to Wake Up And Be Present”

Awareness of the moment, of where you are now, leads to better choices and thus a better life.

“I Will Tune In To What I Feel”

Be Vs. Do….we can do what we want to do or we can “be” who we want to be!  Don’t just do things that a good person or a healthy person would do…BE a healthy person…get in touch with what you want to BE.  One way to work on “being” is with controlling and learning how to use our breath. Yoga and mediation can help us do this. Breath is our life, choosing to change our life can be started by choosing to control our breath.. To choose to breathe deliberately is a choice to live deliberately.

“When Rising Up Don’t Forget To Reach Down”

“Be What you Love and Use What You Love”

Who we surround ourselves with…the people we follow and the people we bring along with us….are all assets to our journey. Make sure and surround yourself with people who you exemplify the qualities you are looking for or whom you feel that you can meld with and share your qualities.

“Life has length, and Width”

…days since we were born, months until your birthday, years until you are gone.  But also, how do use use those days, months and years. How much “width” does your life have…how much sharing, how much understanding how much “being there”

Identify who you are, what you want..establish those roots with deliberate breathing, focus and love….you will be who you want to be.


The final speaker was a girl I consider a friend, but also someone I look up to, Elle. Unlike with Mary and Phil…I didn’t really take notes, I just wanted to take in her story, her thoughts and her feelings and just, reflect.  Elle is a wonderful story teller, you can see this in her posts that just suck you in and create images and feelings all in a big swirl, at least to me. But, I digress….on Saturday Elle talked to us about her journey…how she just didn’t think about being overweight, to her experience with hiding from facing the facts, her first few attempts at losing and then gaining back weight, to her family actually *intervening”…then finally, her finding her own way, with a bit of professional direction for a bit, and also just finding her own peace and balance.  I’m not going to recount her story because it is told so well in her blogging.  He story did motivate me though, I learned, through others in the room nodding their heads and recounting their own experiences, along with Elle’s own story, that I’m not alone…everyone has trials, doubts, and setbacks…low points..rock bottom points…..but with determination, accepting help from our friends and family..and a focus on the other side….the other side that people like Elle, Mary, Phil and Jen can tell us about….that its all worth it.

I am feeling motivated, encouraged, supported and loved…….thank you to Jen, Mary, Phil, Elle….for reaching down while you rise up.

<3 Merbear



Oct 102011

After a weekend with some personal drama that could have affected my healthiness journey, I am proud to say that I worked through my feelings, talked with friends,  and stayed on track health wise! My mind is clearer and I don’t have guilt from eating my feelings, because I didn’t!

I reached out to one of my best friends when I was feeling bummed and she invited me to hang out with her for the day and I delved in to helping her fix up some things in her new apartment and we ran errands. We also talked about what was on my mind, so it worked out very well!

I am happy to report I stuck to my guns with my alcohol plan…I had two beers, on Friday, and that was my treat. I didn’t eat dessert at the restaurant on Friday night, I didn’t have any other alchohol this weekend.

 I got a nice compliment from my family on my mom’s birthay dinner on Sunday, that I’m looking nice..yay!  Oh yes, my mom’s birthday, we had a dessert, I ate about 3 bites of the strawberry topping and a bite of my boyfriend’s cookie, that’s it! YAY!

I also ran intervals on Saturday morning, I only had 20 minutes to workout so I did two minutes running as fast as I could and 1 minute walking. I went almost 2 miles…and it was my best speed ever!! Yes, it was only 2o minutes, but I plan to extend that to 30 and then 40…as I do that I know my 5K speesd will improve because my anaerobic ability is improving, which my trainer really wants me to work on!

Oh, I might have sneaked a look at the scale this morning, too…for some reinforcement on saying no to dessert and beer last night and making good decisions all weekend, its working, I should see a new low for the year come Friday…woohoo!

This weekend I also got lots of positive reinforcement and group therapy you could say by attending a Prior Fat Girl Meetup #PFGMeetUp on Twitter. The main author of PriorFatGirl.com is Jen and she is local here in Minnesota. This was not one of her big events where she had speakers or a schedule.  We just casually gathered and Jen had a few conversation starters, but we basically went around the room sharing anecdotes and experience. I felt strong and supported at the end of that meeting, too! There will be more…so check out her blog or follow #pfgmeetup or @priorfatgirl on Twitter!

Here’s the nice sized group of all different shapes and sizes that gathered to share some pretty close to the heart advice and stories:






<3 Merbear

Measurements in time

 awesome, Basics, Food, goals, lifestyle, priorfatgirl, progress, Successes, sushi  Comments Off on Measurements in time
Oct 072011

(I was trying to post this on Thurs but was having issues so excuse the late post)

Thurs, October 6th, 2011:

I’m feeling so much better today, my headache has not come back..I’m not as uber thirsty…though I am a little extra thirsty today due to my kickass workout this morning, but that’s expected and its not like…”my throat is the desert” thirsty or anything.

I’m proud of myself because last night I went to my favorite late night sushi happy hours and Wakame with one of my favorite new friends Kris!  I ordered sushi rolls….I ate once piece because I’ve been craving it for weeks…and then I started dividing…I put a certain number/variety of pieces off to the side of my dish for my lunch today, I put another set of pieces off to the side for my boyfriend…and I had left, a nice sized, mixed up variety of rolls, a reasonable amount to feel full but not gorge myself on sushi, which is usually my downfall…yay for making 3 meals out of one 🙂 (even if my boyfriend gets one of them, haha)

Kris and I had a lovely converastion, she always inspires me and makes me think about what I need for me and how I’m feeling about anything on my mind..I do my best to have her talk, too..because I love hearing about how she faces challenges and gets to the gym daily, omg wish I could do that! Maybe someday.

We also talked about time…..specifically how we measure ourselves in time, our goal in time. Now before some of you say, “Whoa! Didn’t I just read about this somewhere else?” Yes, you did, kinda…I thought about time after reading Jen, A Priorfatgirl’s post about measuring success in 24 hours.

What I want to talk about is something I remember from years ago that I learned about weighing yourself and what time preceeding that its based on.  So of course, the VERY immediate past affects your weight…like if you *just* ate, if you have to use the potty or not, heck if you drank a bunch of liquids in the last few hours…that is just a temporary effect, so I don’t mean that time.

What I mean is the week or week and a half or two weeks before you weigh yourself that Friday morning.  I learned that it takes 10 days for your behavior to reflect on the scale.  There is a good side and a bad side to this coin.  If you’ve been totally kicking but for only a week, you may not see that progress yet and it can be disappointing….and this is me telling you..do it for two weeks, do it for 3 weeks, do it for a month…you get it..the good stuff with show up.  The other side….you can’t necessarily tell if you “got away” with a cheat or a flub on your journey just buy that weigh in a week down the line…so if you’re working to “keep off that chocolate cake”…keep doing it….until the next week..and then for a month..and then keep doing it!

Okay so my response might be getting a little weird but I’m going somewhere with this, which is kinda where Jen went…look at the big picture…she broke up with 24 hours…I’m getting all buddy buddy with long-term progress! I might be a bit stuck right now, but heck, since January I’ve gone down two sizes….that’s not so bad!!!  I’ve started lifting weights twice a week, I’ve ran two 5Ks,  heck I STARTED RUNNING since just April! 

I need to keep working towards being an active, healthy person and the weight will come off with it..right? RIGHT!

I’m still going to be proud of weekly or daily accomplishments…because I know they add up..in the long term 🙂

So how are you going to measure? What do you measure? Is it just the scale? Is it just sizes?

Sep 062011

I did it! I ran a 5K all on my own! I didn’t have a running buddy or a group that I started off with, it was just me! I ran the Victory 5K here in the Victory Neighborhood in Minneapolis, MN, which has been a Labor Day tradition for years and years apparently!

I want to thank Jen, a priorfatgirl for inviting her friends out to race with her. Jen did the 10K, which I’m not ready for yet, but there was a 5K right after so that’s how I got the idea to try it.

When I got to the race starting point the 10K wasn’t over yet, so I was able to give congratulatory hugs to Jen (priorfatgirl) and Jen (merunningfree), also I was able to meet Kelly who I’ve been following on Twitter for awhile (@kellybeeeee). Yay!  Ann took pics and cheered them on, too!

Well, first off, this might be kinda TMI, but at the 5 minute warning, all of a sudden I had to go potty, I had no idea where they were and so I didn’t know if I’d get back fast enough, so I held it, the whole run! Haha, whoops, that’ll learn me! I didn’t have to go *that* badly because I didn’t drink a lot of water in the morning, just in case anyway.

I started in the back of the pack on purpose, my pace has typically been about a 14 minute mile, my fastest so far being 13:57 min/mile.  Some people who walk can actually walk faster than I run, but I don’t care, this is me…running!  I’m burning more calories and I’m a runner darnit!

I passed a few slower runners and some non-speed walkers and ended up behind these two older guys that were kinda speed walkers.  I kinda liked that pace so I just kinda kept behind them the whole time.

I was able to keep my motivation up by looking at the pretty neighborhood, encouraging myself to run to the next shady spot as we passed under trees. There were people in their yards cheering and clapping! I was alone with my thoughts and my Fatboy Slim on shuffle 🙂

I’ve never run without looking at my speed and time as I go, either on a treadmill or at least my time on my phone (using C25K android app). This was new to me, just going with it, feeling the pace that felt good, and keeping the speed that would allow me to not slow to a walk.

Towards the end of the race my left hip started to feel tight, not sure why, but I wondered if it was from running on the side of the road. Since the whole road was for the racers, I just moved to the middle of the road so I was on a more even spot…it seemed to help.

I was starting to get tired and then, I smelled it, the grills! Yes, at the end of the race the sponsors were grilling hotdogs for race participants! I knew I couldn’t be that far if I could smell them! Right at that second I passed a police officer who was directing/holding back traffic for the races and I shouted out, “I can’t be far, I smell the barbeque!” He laughed and it kinda pushed me ahead as I laughed to myself.

I was then close enough that there were MORE people cheering, ringing bells and even people saying “thank you for running”.

I ended up finishing the race in 41:44! Which is 13:26 minute mile, the fastest I have *ever* gone…crazy and awesome!

All the other times I have run outside I’ve either run with a friend (which is worth it to have a buddy!) or I’ve been running with a total time goal (aka run for 30 minutes without stopping). So with the total time goals, I slowed my pace subconsciously so I could make it through the whole run I’m sure.


I’m so happy that I accomplished this on my own and I’m excited to run in another 5K on Sunday, September 11th…America the Beautiful, on Lake Como in St. Paul, MN. Its one of the Challenge 5Ks!

Aug 082011

This weekend I joined some familiar faces, made some new friends and learned lots of new ways to think about the mental and physical aspects of my healthiness journey. Jen, of Priorfatgirl hosted this awesome and fun event!

We all met at The Beat Coffeehouse at 8am on Saturday morning, uffdah early, good thing they have wonderful coffee!

The first speaker was Mary Sailors of Fit this, girl! She’s a Personal Trainer, Bootcamp Instructor and a Kettlebell instructor and super nice and easy to follow.  She gave us a presentation about how to focus on your goal, what to think about mentally, physically, food wise, and environment wise. She showed us exercises that anyone can do at home with a band, too!

Mary Sailor, Fit This, Girl!

Lets Squat!

Kris @krisgetshealthy.com and Ann @twelve-in-twelve.com

Ann working on resistance band moves

Jen @priorfatgirl.com
pulling those bands!

Yay Jen!

Kris and Ann listening attentively to instructions

Kris’s turn!

Work it Kris!

Jen talked about how much relationships can change, can be lost, and new ones can be built as we change our minds and our bodies to become healthier. Our lives, our environment, the people we want around us, the people that can accept our new lifestyle may change who we surround ourselves with and who chooses to stick with us.  She said that 80% of marriages where one spouse loses a significant amount of weight end in divorce…so its important to compromise and to keep lines of communication open!


Doing her thing

After meeting a the coffeehouse, we ventured to our 2nd half of the day, which was a cooking class on Healthy Comfort Foods by KitchenWerks.

We learned how to make:

Spaghetti sauce served on romaine or wilted broccoli slaw
(as pasta substitutes)

Topping off the mac ‘n cheese with breadcrumbs

mmm organic, gluten free and appropriate portioned
mac ‘n cheese
Coconut chicken strips, they are coated in
a flax crumb topping and baked on a sheet
with coconut oil, SOO GOOD!

Pizza made on Joseph’s Lavash or Arnold’s Sandwich Thins
We used the homemade sauce or olive oil as the base

Jen putting together what she claims was the “best” pizza

I had such a wonderful time catching up, networking, learning new things, tasting new things (you betcha I’m going to serve pasta sauce on wilted broccoli slaw now!)  Plus a healthier recipe for mac ‘n cheese and chicken strips, yum nom nom nom!

Made me feel healthy and accomplished all weekend.

On Sunday I also ran outside for another 25 minutes w/ a 5 min warmup, yay me!

Jun 292011

First, I want to thank Corryn, Sabrina and Kris for the helpful vacaction advice yesterday. I will be in control, I will do my C25K runs in the morning and I will plan ahead meals. If I can’t bring my own food, I’ll check out menus before I go, just like I do at home.  I can DO this!

Now, on to some things I think are awesome today, there is one that I have to mention that is *not* in photo format and that is the #priorfatpack! I love you guys! If any blog reader out there isn’t already part of the pack and would like to chat with us on Twitter, just follow the hashtag #priorfatpack, introduce yourself! We are a super supportive group of people that are in the beginning, middle and even end weightloss and healthiness journeys. I love you guys!

Okay the photo version!!

caprese salad

fresh springrolls

Spicy Tuna Rolls

seaweed salad

Priorfatgirl “One Bite. One Decision” confirmation bracelet

OMG! Buckled leather sandals with dark silver kitten heels!