I’ve heard that the one who falls and gets up is so much stronger than the one who never fell. From April to June I was at rock bottom. I lost the person I thought I couldn’t live without, a child, my ability to run because of physical problems, and a lot of respect for myself. During those dark months it never hit me that things could ever get better. I was physically limited and mentally torn down. Weight that I fought so hard to lose came back, but being pregnant followed by a major health issue didn’t help me physically or mentally. Before the doctor put me under for my surgery, he held my hand and told me I was going to feel like a whole new woman when I woke up. I never could have imagined how true his words were. 

Within a few weeks post surgery, I started running again. I was slow, which was a kick to my confidence, but I was running. Despite my troubles with speed and building endurance, I was amazed at how the pieces of my life slowly started coming together. By August I started a new job that happened to be centered around my passion. I enrolled at UMSL (and plan to graduate in May). I began talking to a doctor and taking medicine to better regulate my mood and keep me as stable as possible, but most importantly I decided to embrace the future rather than be caught in the past.

It took me 6 months to finally enter the dating game again, and, thanks to tinder, I’ve met some pretty cool people. When it comes to having a job, school, and a running career the bars are not always the best place to meet your potential soulmate. According to others, neither is Tinder, but to each their own. Going into the dating game after a traumatic and abusive relationship was almost as difficult as those first few runs after surgery… But after more than a few “crash and burn” dates I finally figured out how to master the dating scene, and, lucky for me, learned how to set high standards for what I want in a partner. The parallels that I felt with dating and running were scary, but I now feel like I’m coasting through both. 

To give whatever readers I have an update, I have completed my third marathon- missing a PR by 3 minutes- and have began training for my first 40 mile ultra marathon in February and my 4th full marathon this coming April. The best part about this training season is how the training differs from my average “running”.

Trails are beautiful but DIFFICULT. My 8:30 pace is challenged by rocks, roots, cliff edges and steep inclines that mimic stairs more than hills. I can barely stay under 11 minute miles, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying the scenic trails. I’m only in the beginning of my training but I’m excited to see how I will grow through trail training as well as ultra training. My last round of marathon training was therapeutic and I think this round will bring me to peace from the trauma I faced.

Today I go rid of the past. My surgery paperwork, the papers that had my due date, all of the random things I’ve held onto for no reason. There is no point to hold onto thing that have no meaning or use. Sometimes I think about how I would look right now and wonder about what I would’ve done had things not happened the way that they did, but I can honestly say that I now believe fate is a very real thing.

I didn’t die when I was weak and hoping not to wake up because I felt so empty and hopeless. I didn’t give up when I had to fight to give myself some kind of motivation to get out of bed. I kept fighting to give myself something to look forward to, and, even though there are still bad days, I am so thankful to be the woman I am today, to have had the experiences that I’ve had, and to still have dreams and aspirations that guide me into everyday life. I’m not the fastest I’ve ever been, I’m not the skinniest version of myself, I still feel self conscious, but I know that this is my one life and I’m going places because I will not settle or let the past break down the person I’m meant to be. 



Pace and Mind

I’ve kind of been a Debbie Downer lately. So, if you haven’t read, I have been having a lot of issues with depression and anxiety. Sometimes, life gets a little too real. I am ready to move forward- to focus on my marathon, working, and getting my head straight. 


What do those instapics mean??

You guys, I AM RUNNING AGAIN! I am slower than a turtle, but with each run, I feel stronger. It’s a feeling that I have not felt in a long time- months even. The fuel that I’ve slowly begin to feel over the past 4 days has helped me feel like I’m doing SOMETHING and that something makes me want to LIVE. Crazy, right? (That’s a joke, because clearly I’m a little wacko when I’m low)
In addition to the wonderful world of running, I am also taking on a 30 day challenge (see picture) 

  Looks pretty fun, right??
So, the cool thing about this is that I think I like working out. Running is mental. Lately, I’ve been envisioning myself running races (which is NOT a Sam thing because I hate paying to run) and finishing strong, like I did in the few I’ve ran.  It sounds dumb, but I’ve also been thinking about my training as week. Anything to take my mind out of the dark place, to be blunt. When I workout, it’s a whole different world. I could close my eyes and not worry about a pot hole or getting smashed into by a vehicle (that doesn’t know pedestrians have the right away). I count, there’s repetitions, there’s a number, a timer, different motions I have to make sure I’m doing correctly. I AM NOT IN MY HEAD AT ALL- and it feels SO liberating. 
I haven’t felt that sense of calm- like nothing can go wrong- in a long time, maybe even years. Working out gives me a security I’m not used to, and when I begin to see results, I know I’ll love it more. 
I’m starting off slow, running in the mornings and doing the challenge and potentially a class at night (when I’m not doubling up at my jobs). I am also cutting all fried food (besides tortilla chips cuz duh) out of my diet. I’ve been sticking to my 2000 calories a day, with fried food but I think having a cleaner diet will also help. 

I know this all sounds simple, but I was in such a dark place… I can’t wait to see where this will take me physically and maybe mentally. 

So you all know- I’m okay-ish, which is better than where I was. I’m getting through this a day at a time. 

The Supplement/Wrap/Diet Free Way To Lose Over 100 Pounds: Starter Edition

   My name is Sam. I’m 22 (pushing 23) and over the past year and a half I have lost a considerable amount of weight. 

In August of 2013, I was over 275 pounds. I was interning at the little place in Orlando called Walt Disney World.  That was where I began my journey. However, I’ll give you some  background information in myself so you can see how exactly I got to that point in my life.

Here I am at the end of my freshman year.


Here I am sophomore year


Finally, me on my 21st birthday when I first got to Disney World.
Within my first three years of school, I both literally and metaphorically did a lot of growing. For me, Disney was a roller coaster but, in all of my years of college, I had never learned about what I really wanted to do with myself. I was comfortable. Comfort brought on settling and I dug myself into a whole where I felt settled rather than happy. I was having a rough time adapting to being so far away from home, so, during a phone conversation after a visit home my mom said that I needed to fill my excess time up by doing something for me. In here mind that was going for a walk.
My mom is a marathoner.

She a bad B

My walk was her half marathon at the time because I was so out of shape. I was drinking, smoking, and eating in an attempt to fill a void in my life. I don’t know about many of you, but free time is my downfall because I get bored. Boredom leads to me getting bummed out from over-thinking, which then is closely followed by a bad mood. It’s a viscous circle. After years of her telling me to get healthy, I finally agreed. 

I got my ass on an elliptical and started my journey.

It took me 1 month to move from elliptical, to treadmill, followed by running 2-3 miles outside. From October, when I started, to December I went from being unable to jog 1 mile to consistently running 6 (at a 12-13 minute pace).

So, when beginning your journey there are some things to keep in mind.

1. Don’t starve yourself because you aren’t dieting. 

Eating right for a healthier you is a lifestyle change. Not something you’re going to give up once your body is how you want it to be.

Food is your friend. 

Think of your body as a vehicle. Your car is going to weigh lighter without gas, but it doesn’t have anything in the tank to get you anywhere.

Indulge when you feel like it, and enjoy your food.

2.Progress takes time, and is a roller coaster. 

It is SO easy to get discouraged.  One of the main roles that I follow is that I don’t live by my scale. A scale just tells you how much mass you have on this earth. It does not tell you that you can run a half marathon. Those numbers are merely there to help you realize where you are. A scale is not you as a person. 

People call themselves that all the time. Here’s the thing, you aren’t fat. You have fat. If you so choose to work out, you can do something about that. Or, for some people they may choose to have more fat on her body. Who are we to judge others for their own life decisions. When it comes down to it, no two bodies are the same. Men and women are two very different entities. And when you look at each sex, you’ll find that there’s variation between everyone uses those identities. 

There’s an adjustment period, or moment of realization where you realize that you aren’t happy. But does it mean that somebody else your size is wrong and being happy. Everyone has their own individual goals to strive for. I like to think of weight is running a marathon.

You put ours, hundreds of miles, and blood sweat and tears into training. You train for one day. You have no idea what could happen. There could be an unexpected injury, a bad storm, or could be the most perfect conditions and you just don’t feel right. Just because you don’t feel good or you’re upset doesn’t mean that you can’t change it.strive to be the best version of you. It takes time, but you’ll get there.

3. Be mindful of what you eat.

Grilled chicken, salmon, good cards, pasta (when measured accurately), fruits are all awesome. If God didn’t make it, avoid it. 

I could never, ever, fathom giving up my believed diet coke, but I monitored my intake. I never once starved myself in the beginning because it’s hard for your body to shift its habits. 

You will be gassy, having to go to the bathroom because your tummy is upset, even go through being bloated but that is apart of the process. Just like you, your body will need a reset and time to adjust all of the changes you’re going through.

Even where I’m at now, I’m unhappy- or unsatisfied. A couple months ago I was more than this. Health problems caused me to gain weight. I’m doing everything that I possibly can to fix that. It’s a lot of effort at first, counting calories, being sore, finding motivation, and most importantly getting enough sleep. Once you get into the habit of it though, it just becomes natural. 

If you have any questions, or just want to know what else I’ve done when starting out, please feel free to post in the comments section. I’m glad to make any edits or updates. In the future, I’m planning on making a post about maintaining weight loss, how to make healthy food good, and what to do when you get sidetracked! 

For some additional information, check out my piece How Running Changed Me on Runners World!