This is me…


Well, how does one introduce oneself on a blog? Is it like you would do in one of those ‘anonymous’ classes? Hi, my name is Val, I like to eat food and work out. Sure, that about sums me up. 😉

After all, those of you who are reading this probably know that I have wanted to start a blog for a while, but just couldn’t get the courage to do so. As of January 20th, I was finally ready. After my workout on that Monday night, I broke down to my friend/trainer as I had hit a wall after two and a half years of starting my lifestyle change, working out religiously, eating pretty on point, and losing sixty lbs. My breakdown was purely that I had fallen off track by not working out and eating/drinking whatever I wanted. This wasn’t me, and I was so afraid of going back after I had worked so hard to get to where I was.

Let’s backtrack a bit to when I started this ‘fit-life’ journey. July 22nd, 2011, about seven months after I graduated UNR with my bachelors in Business Management, I woke up and was done. Done feeding my body junk, done not having any energy or motivation, done with the excuses, and done with feeling like crap. Let’s backtrack a little more…I was always SUPER active in high school. College came and I wasn’t required to take a PE class or be on a team so, heck, why not take this as a free pass?

Worst. Decision. Ever.

I put on forty lbs in college…yes…40…and an additional ten after Brandon and I were married…so…50…ACK! I wouldn’t say I was in ‘denial’ about my weight gain, but I just ignored it thinking it would just correct itself on its own and I would make excuses as to why I was having to buy bigger sizes. I wouldn’t even look at myself in the mirror and hated taking or seeing pictures of myself. I would get dressed, do my make-up and hair–all in the dark. I just couldn’t stand to see the person who was staring back at me.

Back to July 22nd, 2011…as I said, I was done. Pulled my phone out and typed ‘a lifestyle change diet’. This search led me to the Fat Smash Diet by Ian Smith on Amazon. I ordered the book, read it from cover to cover, and decided that on August 1st, 2011, the excuses were going to stop and I was going to change my life, and I did. I did Ian’s 90-day program and lost the first 25lbs. I ended up having to have back surgery in March of 2012 due to a herniated disc, which set me back a few months, but once I was back up and running, I starting researching; ‘clean eating’, different workout plans, advice, tips, fitness blogs… anything that was fitness related and lost 60lbs! When I had started the Fat Smash, I didn’t want anyone to know about it so I kept it a secret as I wasn’t sure, at the time, if I would stick with it based on my poor excuses I was using before. After I started having success and kept with it, I decided to start holding myself accountable and posting things on FB and Instagram to not only help myself, but to help possibly inspire others to want to make a healthy change for themselves as well. Hearing positive comments, praise, and congratulations from loved ones helped keep my drive to want to be my absolute best! And I kept hearing from friends and even people I hadn’t talked with in years about how much I was motivating and inspiring them to want to make a healthy change!!! (An overwhelmingly amazing feeling to hear when you can help others!)

February 2013, I went into my doctors to have some blood work done as my doctor just wanted to do a checkup. My blood results came back relatively good, but my cholesterol levels and liver enzymes were up. My doctor wasn’t super concerned as she felt my body was just out-of-whack from my huge weight loss and wanted me to get a re-check in September. My numbers came back worse. I freaked. How the heck at 25 years old do I have HIGH cholesterol?!? I don’t eat red meat often, no butter, cream, bacon; I drink water like it’s going out of style, and eat clean. I was a wreck. My mom calmed me down reminding me that high cholesterol was common in my family as my grandma had trouble with it at a young age as well.

In my appointment to go over my results, it was determined that I would have to go on medication for the high cholesterol, and I really just didn’t have a choice as genetic high cholesterol is really hard to manage without being on something. Of course, with all of this information coming at me, I was a bit overwhelmed. My doc asked me,

Are you this anxious all the time?

I never really have considered myself anxious, but let me be honest, I am. She wanted me to try an anti-anxiety med. Not ever having been on one, I agreed. She explained to me how they would work and that the first one she prescribed may not be the correct “fit” for me, and we may have to try a few.

Okay. Got it.

Three weeks after being on the first prescribed one, I was a zombie. I literally did not care about anything; ‘Oh, the laundry is piled up, Oh well; my phone is ringing, huh, odd; my alarm is going off, tough, I am going to sleep’. It was the worst feeling in the world. Went back in, she prescribed me something else, same results. It was affecting my life; I didn’t want to get up to work out, and I just didn’t care about what I was eating and that just wasn’t me.

January 20th, 2014, after about two months of being off track, I lost it. Feeling like crap again, not wanting to look at myself in the mirror…I was so ashamed, embarrassed, disappointed, and sad. How could I just be okay with throwing away all of my hard work and letting down all the people who had supported and inspired me? I cried to my friend for an hour and later to my husband, but they both knew what to say to get my mind right;

Val, you made the choice two and a half years ago to change your life and you did, you can do it again. You are the only one to have the power to change it and we know you can so just do it!

As of today, I am going to make that change again, and I am going to blog about it every step of the way: the ups, the downs, the workouts, and the recipes. The past couple of months have thrown some curveballs, but I wouldn’t change anything that has happened as I have really learned from it all. It’s OKAY to not be perfect, to not eat clean 100% of the time, to sleep in, and ENJOY a healthy, balanced life. That is what it is about. Balance. Finding it is hard, but once you do it will change your world. I am going to get there again and I hope to help whomever is reading this get there, too. Through perseverance, we can!

Much love,



23 thoughts on “This is me…

  1. Sam

    Good job Val! You can do it! And it’s always a hard lesson to learn, but everything in moderation, including moderation! Best wishes to you and Brandon, we’ll have to get together sometime with Hank and everyone!

  2. Justine

    Val, I am so proud of you!! Look at you with a blog, all grown up 🙂 Keep at it, girly, and keep sharing your story. You are a beauty inside and out, and you have my support 110% of the way.

    • Gosh, thank you SO much, Justine! 🙂 Means more than you could ever know! Who knew that blogging would be so fun and a great way to possibly help others! I am excited to see where this goes! Thank you for your love and support! Very thankful for you my friend! XO

  3. kristenbeck527

    Your blog is so inspiration. You’ve had a great journey and you have an admirable level of courage to share it all. It’s so refreshing to hear honestly instead of blind optimism in a fitness blog. Great first post! I look forward to seeing more.

    • Wow! Thank you SO much, Kristen! I cannot tell you how much your words mean! And I so appreciate you recognizing the message! That is really what I am striving for; honesty and truth to get to my goal. I know I am not always going to be perfect and I want to make sure that the people I am motivating and inspiring know that they don’t have to be either. 🙂 Thank you for reading and following! Thank you so much again for your extremely kind words!

  4. Jeannette

    I all too well Val know exactly what you are feeling! Although I didn’t get as close to my goal as you have, I continue to beat myself up for letting go of all my hard work. Balance is huge! Thank you for being real and an inspirational person to me…always.

  5. Marilyn Moon

    Val, we are on the same journey! I lost 64 lbs. this year and yes I too am finding out about moderation and balance and it takes my constant attention. My day consists of decisions, decisions, and more decisions. What I’m going to eat. How many calories I need to consume to keep off extra weight and also not to lose more weight(that’s a new one for me).

    Congratulations on getting back on track and starting this blog. I’m looking forward to sharing journeys. You can do this, you are doing this!

    • Thank you, Marilyn, for sharing your story and honesty! Means so much! 🙂 I congratulate you on your huge loss and sticking with a routine! I am very excited to get there again and so touched to have so many supporters! You definitely inspire me and I look forward to learning more from each other! 😊👍

  6. Good luck in your blogging journey! I just started consistently writing the last week of December 2013, so I’m new to this, too. I admired your story about the weight loss and the anti-anxiety meds, it is similar to my past few years. Persevere! Yes!

    • Thank you so much, Annie! 🙂 I really appreciate you reaching out to me! As a new blogger, it is quite nerve racking to put myself out there to the world and wonder if anyone is going to like it but I am so happy I am as it has already been a huge anxiety reliever! The response has been so incredible so far and I am hoping to just be able to inspire at least one person! Thank you for following and I do hope you enjoy! Best of luck to you and thank you so much for reaching out and sharing a bit of your story! We will persevere!

  7. Just read this. I’m sorry for the pain that you have gone through but Love the toughness and resolve you have shown. If you are regularly anxious, that’s a common symptom of your brain running you, of not having an “off switch”. To find a way to control your life and be more calm I’m very anti-pill. I think that medicating ourselves (besides cholesterol like you have mentioned) for mental conditions, is generally the wrong way to go. I recommend you look into Mindfulness. A great book (and audio book) is Jon Kabat-Zinn’s – Wherever You Go, There You Are. Being able to get out of our own head can lead to a much happier and healthier life. I think this would be great for you. Mr. Kabat-Zinn has used Mindfulness to help out people with very strong emotional issues overcome them, so I think if you have a little extra anxiety, it could really help you. Best of luck on your journey!!!

    • Gosh, thank you so much, Zachary! Really appreciate your kind words and your advice! I am most definitely going to read this book! I cannot wait to learn how better help deal with my anxiety! Blogging and sharing has already helped immensely but could always use some other tricks when I am not able to write it out. Greatly appreciate your kindness and advice!!! 🙂 Thank you!

  8. Brittany

    Omg Val!!! I am so happy for you! I know I’m a little late to the party for reading your blog, but I love it! I am so unbelievably proud, amazed, and inspired! I remember you talking about starting a blog so long ago. I was so excited then, and now here it is! At risk of repeating myself, and others, I love that you’re focus is about being truly honest with your readers. Though we all strive for that perfection, we know deep down that perfection isn’t always, if ever, attainable. By sharing your ups and downs it helps the remind the rest of us that perfection is not the goal, that doing the very best you can, is the goal. For that, I thank you and also admire you so unbelievably much. I am so happy to know you and to be able to call you a friend. I’m always here for you even if I do live 500 miles away now a days.. Love you girl! Keep up your hard work and dedication!

    • Goodness, thank you SO much, Brittany!!! Really, greatly appreciate your kind words and love! They truly mean more than you know 🙂 And that is really what I wanted to do, to put it out there honestly and hope to help others realize that perfection is just not what its all about, its about living healthy and enjoying life! 🙂 Thank you so much, again, and thank you for all your support! Means so much! Love you, too! XO

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