My Valentines

I have a guilty pleasure friends; I cry whenever I watch The Biggest Loser. I can’t say I love the show, or the coaching or the methods (although since Bob Harper has become a total Crossfit kid it’s sort of a delight to watch them workout) – but I love the heart of the contestants and I love, love, love watching them break through the mental walls we all struggle with. I think that’s why it always makes me cry. Weight loss is super hard. Anyone that’s tells you it isn’t, well they are either blessed with a ridiculous metabolism or they are lying, or they have reached some magical level of self control and restraint that I cannot seem to grasp.

I’ve come to realize that being fat, or unfit, isn’t so much about the body weight, but the emotional weight of being “big.” I think that is why so many people fail at long term transformation, and I also think (if you’ll indulge me to continue this long rambling sentence) that’s why my own transformation has taken me 3+ years: I have been working diligently on unburdening myself of the emotional weight. Everyone has baggage, we all have idiosyncrasies, secrets…but my vice isn’t hidden, it’s obvious and that is so stressful. For as vocal as I have been about my transformation over the last few years, it is blatantly clear to everyone (that’s paying attention) when I am failing. I both struggle with and appreciate being vulnerable in this way, but I want to be clear that my intention is to complete my weight loss while also losing the part of myself that likes being fat.

There have been critical moments along this path, that have changed my outlook on life and on myself, but I think the biggest mental change occurred when I was able to finally look in the mirror and see someone beautiful, someone who deserved all this energy and attention. Let me tell you, it was hard for me to get to that point. Exercise caused me to unravel, and through that process I discovered the power of LOVE.

So, being that today is Valentine’s Day, and I am currently “sweetie-less” I thought I would share the love and talk about the people that really have helped me transform….Warning….This post is full of the mush.

#1 My Mom & Dad.


My momma….throughout the last few years our relationship has changed and deepened in so many incredible ways. My mom is such a warrior and I am lucky to know such a beautiful woman. She is so sensitive and loving and kind, and I just hope she knows how important she is to me!! I love you Mom!!

My dad…really is so amazing, and during a time in my life when I needed rescuing, on cue my dad was heroic. I love my dad and I am so thankful for him. Not only can we drink beer and talk nonsense, but he also helped me discover my love for all things Sci-fi….surprise I am a giant nerd! In addition, he’s hilarious and I undoubtedly got my sense of humor from him. My dad also told me when I wrote my first novel at 11 that if I was ever going to make something of myself it would be with my writing!! I hope he’s right! So Happy Valentine’s Day Dad! I love you!

#2 My Sister and her offspring!


My sister is cooler than yours. Sorry, but that’s just the facts. She’s pretty, funny, super intelligent and a total bad ass. Yeah, I think she’s awesome, and she’s a loving and faithful Christian who helped bring me to God, so I am stoked that we get to hang out in heaven together! Also we have almost the exact same laugh, and for anyone that’s heard me laugh you know I have kind of a special one! I would however like to gloat that I can back squat more than she can 😉

her offspring: When my eldest niece was born I told my sister that I didn’t want to be Ant Kelly I wanted to be Auntie, and since I am their only one I knew I wanted to be the best one I could be. Well, when Zoe started talking Auntie became Tahee, and that’s who I became. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Zoe, Riley and Colby, I would do anything for those 3 kids, and if it hadn’t been for a conversation back in May 2011, where my nieces told me that they wanted to make sure I went to heaven, I would have never found Jesus. It breaks my heart every day that I only get to see them a few times a year, but I always strive to make that time with them special and memorable. They are sweet, lovely, funny, smart and precious to me. My sister and her hubby have done an incredible job raising them, and I am so thankful for them. Happy Valentine’s Day my sweethearts!! I love you!

#3 My friend Holly


Holly was my first friend when I came to Kansas City. I didn’t know anyone, I was a sad, soppy mess and Holly just loved on me only the way a bestie could. Not only that, but Holly was the friend who took me to the gym for the first time!! She started this whole thing!! She has since moved to Wisconsin, but it doesn’t really change how I feel about her. She is a special ray of light in my life and I love her oodles and oodles. PS: I get to go visit her in March!!

#4 My coaches Brian & Amanda Stites at Crossfit on Track

Man, there just aren’t many words to describe how much I love these two. They have been with me throughout this entire journey. Our friendships have changed over the years and I can’t thank God enough for keeping me connected to them. I can’t wait to see what the future brings and I am so happy for them, they are such a blessing in my life. Seriously. Love. I think these two are just as invested in my transformation as I am. I feel so lucky.

#5 My Brittany


Brittany spoke the prayer at my baptism. God knew exactly what he was doing when he put her in my life. Our friendship continues to grow, change, blossom and transform. She is my co-conspirator, my friend, my confidant and seriously we have the most amazing and ridiculous adventures together. She is so special and she is one of only 3 people that my dog Norah loves. I lpove my Brittany. I misspell love so frequently on my phone that it now auto-corrects to lpove. So yeah, that’s how I feel about her. Also, she finally tried Crossfit, and last week she said to me “You know what I love about Crossfit?” I shrieked with joy, see Brittany is a marathoner, and now she is also a Crossfitter!! Woohoo!

#6 My Crossfit on Track Family

Diana gets a VERY special shout out, but you will find out why in tomorrow’s post. Let’s just say, I am thankful for Diana and I look forward to the adventure we are embarking upon together! To everyone else, I love you. My box is just this incredible place of beautiful people. Thank you all for being a part of my life, you are kind, supportive, encouraging, strong, intelligent and honestly you are all so good looking it’s ridiculous!! I love you!!!

#7 Me & Jesus (the light of my life!)

The day I came to Christ was the first day I truly looked in the mirror and saw beauty. I was not at my physical peak, but I saw past the flesh and into my own heart, I saw what I want Jesus to see, I saw the light. My faith was brought on by my fitness, through weightlifting, running, injury, restraint and perseverance I was able to see strength in myself that I had lost in trying times. I started to seek healing through freedom and forgiveness and eventually that quest brought me to the gospel. It was such an organic and beautiful moment when I finally found the wholeness I had been seeking. I invited Jesus into my heart on May 31, 2011 and from that moment everything changed. I had never known such complete and unrestrained love.

I encourage you, if you are in a place of transformation to search your heart and ask yourself the question….”Do I want to be defined by my past?”

I could never be where I am today without the love of my Savior, and I know that it’s through him and for him that I will accomplish my goals.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day Jesus. I love you!!

To all my friends, far and near. To those of you I know, or that read my blog, I love you. I mean it.