It is has officially happened.  The Crossfit/lifting world warned me about this and I have been fighting it for a year now.  None of my jeans fit.  Even when I do the “Locigno butt dance” to get them on… I feel like I might pass out from lack of oxygen.  No, it is not because I have been eating cake every day (man, that would be awesome).  It is because my strength is finally starting to build.  Let’s hope goodwill has some good jean options.

It reminds me yet again of all the focus we put on numbers.  The number on the scale.  The number on that dress, those pair of jeans.  Or even worse, how our “numbers” compare to everyone else.


Numbers are a bunch of crap if you ask me.   The only numbers you should truly be worried about are your cholesterol, resting heart rate, blood pressure etc.  Everything else?  Not so important.  I was just having this conversation with my CF coach this week about that dreaded BMI test that you do at the doctors office and we were laughing about it.   Because according to this scale, we are both overweight or close to it.  No really, if I punch in my height and weight and hit calculate I get an “ALERT YOU ARE OVERWEIGHT!”.   So I have a little dinosaur age calculator telling me I am a fatty… then at the same time I get people saying things like “you are so small, lucky you!”.   I mean really, can you blame somebody for being a headcase about this kind of stuff?

Here is my challenge to you, tell those numbers to suck it.  In the past two years since getting more into Crossfit, I have put on a solid TEN POUNDS.  I used to range between 115-20 and now I am hovering 130.   I would be lying to you if I said that doesn’t bug me sometimes, simply because of how society has programmed us females.  The sad part is that I truly am cool with my body, but I still have my moments like every other human.  My body is something I should be proud of… why?  Because it has run 4 marathons, 9 half marathons, 2 half Ironmans and countless other races.  This body will be a Boston qualifier someday.   Since putting on that gradual ten pounds, I have PR after PR on all my Olympic lifts and my runs just keep getting faster.  You think I would want to trade that for a salad only diet and the ability to look decent in skinny jeans?? HELL NO!  If gaining more weight means gaining more strength and speed, bring it on.  I am not training for the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, I am training for life.

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Stop thinking that if you just had that number on the scale, you would be happier.  Or if you could look like that person, your life would be so much better.  Those same people just might be looking at you and wishing they had what you have (yes, YOU).  What can your body do RIGHT NOW that you should be proud of?  Did your body give birth to some awesome human beings?  Can you squat 200 lbs?  Can your body walk up and down stairs with out pain?  Did those legs run their first 5k? Those are all things to be really proud of and every single one of you has at least one if not much more.  This is your journey, your body.  Just give it some love and take care of it,  because it is the only one we have.


 Stay blessed in the mess! 🙂

Nothing new challenge

So, remember that resolution I told you about way back when?  How my goal was to not buy ANY new clothes new all year?  Well, I have a confession.  I broke down and made a purchase.  I am about to justify it to make myself feel better, are you ready?

My gym just got a whole bunch of new apparel in, workout tanks, hoodies, t-shirts etc.  Despite my love for working out, I honestly do not purchase too much in this category very often.  I tend to spend good money on some Nike or Under Armour running hoodies, Lululemon pants and general workout gear only every 3-5 years.  Quality is important for this kind of stuff, but it gets expensive.  Even when I try to be cool and  buy a matching outfit, it ends up sitting in my closet untouched because I almost always default to the same workout clothes I have been wearing since high school, which I should mention never match.  I like what I like okay?  One of my workout buddies said to me recently ….”Jill- you kind of have a Punky Brewster thing going on huh?”.    Heck yes I take that as a compliment.

Punky Brewster

ANYWAYS, where was I?  Oh yea, so I gave in and I bought  Crossfit Oswego tank top. UGH.  I feel so wrong.  But how could I turn down a LIME GREEN burnout tank that has my gym in which I love plastered all over it?  Besides, everybody who is competing at the end of this month will be wearing CFO gear…so I couldn’t be left out right??   I promise, no more exceptions.

However, this does lead me to tell you how much awesome stuff I have been finding at Goodwill.  This “nothing new” challenge is a lot more fun than I thought it would be.  I have been going there more often to pick up vases and things for the wedding and happen to stumble upon some awesome finds.

My favorite finds so far are these black capri pants from White House Black Market and leopard wedges from Target.

2013 Cont. 249I have also found a bunch of good dresses from GAP and BCBG  that I can wear to work or to some up coming events this summer.  I am telling you people, stop paying full price and check out your local Goodwill.  It’s like a treasure hunt, except instead of gold you find a brand- new- tags -still- on-dress-from an- otherwise- expensive -store.   This year I have purchased maybe 10-15 items of clothing/shoes and spend no more than $40.  BOOM.

But, I have to admit it is turning into a problem.  One of the reasons I wanted to do this challenge is because I do not need clothes, but if I happened to “need” something there is no reason I can’t find it at a thrift store for a fraction of the price.  But the frequent trips are getting a little out of control, so no more of that nonsense for a while.

Hope you are all having a great week so far, enjoy the weather!


Is it summer yet?

How is it STILL April?  Even though it is flying by, it feels like we have been in this month for a decade all at the same time.  This time of year is my most insanely craziest busiest month ever.  Days at the office are extra nuts with student visits and other ruckus and I have also officially started traveling to high schools for college visits/student appointments.   It has been a looooooong winter at AU, so getting out into high schools is so refreshing.  It reminds me yet again, why I do what I do.  I love working with students.  There is something about high school students that I just enjoy so very much and I cannot even explain it.

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This past weekend was extra busy, but I did manage to fit some fun in as well as some meal prep.  As of lately, I have had zero energy or creativity to play around with recipes so when that happens I tend to just stir up some meat, eggs and veggies  for my lunches all week.   Shain hates when I make this stuff, so I don’t have to worry about him eating it!  WIN! As far as other meals, I have just been hitting up the local meat market or fresh meat section in Meijer to see what they have.  This week I grabbed some awesome looking salmon patties as well as some buffalo chicken breasts.  This is a great option for those who are time pressed for ideas,  just be cautious and make sure they post all the ingredients.

2013 Cont. 239ALSO, some serious big news…well in my world anyway.  I STILL have a shot at getting into the Boston Marathon for 2015!!  The next marathon I was planning on racing was the earliest fall race I could get into, and it was not until September 21st which is a week after registration would close.  And there was no way I would be ready for a Spring marathon at that pace.  So, I had my sights on 2016 BUT this exact marathon that I was going to run has opened up a week early to allow a limited number of  runners  compete who want to qualify for Boston, so that they can still get in for next year.  How cool is that?

It is going to be a long summer of training again, but I am so ready for this!  Although, some toenails have still not grown back since last year so that’s awesome.

Stay blessed in the mess!

Perks of wedding planning…

Brace yourselves, I am about to say some positive things about wedding planning.  GASP!  Don’t worry, I still consider myself a grump about it, but the only way I have gotten through all of this is due to the amazing support from family and friends.

First and foremost, as I have previously mentioned there are many many people that we are not able to invite that I am broken-hearted over.  Those of you who have done this before know how it goes, you can’t just invite person A….you have to invite the 5 people that go a long with them and it adds up very very quick.  This particular circumstance has been especially hard on my mom, who always envisioned this wedding to include every family friend and every extended family member.  But due to cost and space, we had to keep it small (small for an Italian wedding anyway).   BUT,  those particular people have been so incredibly understanding and supportive, which just makes my heart melt.  I know there will still be some that are upset, but the majority of people are giving us a high five for sticking to our budget and that is so appreciated.  I have been  honestly worried that some family, friends and co-workers would dis-own me after this was all said and done.  I am a person who needs/likes harmony among everybody I love, so this has been tough.  The support we are receiving has been simply awesome.

wedding planningFuture Brides: you MUST check out this book

Speaking of budgets, you want to know the secret of not spending a fortune on your wedding?  Enroll the help of your talented friends and family!  You will be SO surprised with how much they are willing to step in and help you with what they are good at.  Our invites were gifted to us by an incredibly talented former client and friend of ours, cake and cupcakes are being done by a friend and long time neighbor, our photographer is a current student of mine who is trying to build her portfolio, DJ is a friend of ours, most of our decorations have been donated by amazing co-workers and family, ceremony music is being done by a friend….I mean seriously the list could go on and ON with how blessed we have been with people just wanting to help.  If not for all of that, we would have thrown in the towel a long time ago and just gone to the courthouse and celebrated with a nice steak dinner (that actually stills sounds like a better idea, but I digress).


Another perk of wedding planning is the pre-counseling we have been doing with my long time family pastor.  It has turned into something that we both really look forward to and have already gotten so much from.  Shain and I have been through our fair share of ups and downs in our 9 years together, but we are not naive enough to think there will not be tougher times ahead.  So to be able to talk through with somebody how we would handle certain situations, how we fight etc. has been really insightful.  Bring it ON marriage, we are going to OWN YOU.


72 DAYS until honeymoon…I mean…WEDDING! Stay blessed in the mess 😉

Random rant and stuffed peppers.

You know what sucks?  When you sign up for a Spring marathon to keep you motivated through winter… and that winter ends up being the WORST AND COLDEST AND MOST STRESSFUL WINTER EVER… and you are left with a little over a month until the marathon and you are so not ready.  Sorry English majors, that was a terrible sentence.   Technically, I should be up to doing 20 miles in two weeks but the highest I have gone is 13, whoopsie.  The last couple weekends I was supposed to do 15-16 miles, but it was either too cold or I was just so freaking sore from my other workouts.  Not to mention I took a crazy pill and signed up for a Crossfit competition (my first ever, holy poop my pants) so I am trying to hit the weights hard, so of course my body hurts ALL OF THE TIME.  The other day I wanted to cry because pushing down the soap to wash my hands was painful.  I wish I was joking.

Sigh.. such a hard life I lead.  I shall keep you posted on the ridiculous things I torture myself with and what the outcomes are.  Because for god knows what reason, some of you still like to read about it.   BUT what also may interest you is this super simple and awesome stuffed pepper recipe…


  • 1lb sweet italian turkey sausage ( or chorizo)
  • 1 medium sized onion chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 cups of pizza sauce, or Prego sauce of your choice
  • 4 large green peppers


  • Scoop out your peppers
  • Mix all ingredients together (not cheese) in a frying pan and cook until meat is brown
  • Scoop all that goodness into your peppers and sprinkle with some cheese
  • Cook in oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes
  • Enjoy!

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Stay blessed in the mess! 🙂

2014 Crossfit Open Recap.

Holy COW you guys, life is CRAZY right now.  But guess what??!  No more grad classes for me until the fall, WOOO!!  I have two courses left to take and it just so happens neither of them are offered this semester.  I think that was God’s way of lightening up my load for the crazy months ahead.  Thanks, big guy.  Despite being a tad bit stressed lately, it has also been an awesome 5 weeks due to the Crossfit Open.  Warning crossfit hater friends, even though I still love you, you may want to stop reading now.

Normally all of our workouts are programmed by our coach (who is insane/awesome) but this time of year we get to do the same workout as other boxes all over the world and see where we match up.  It is pretty cool and also INCREDIBLY humbling.

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Last year in the Open, I was sick to my stomach almost every week before the workout was posted.  Almost every time, it was a movement or a weight that I had not been able to master yet.  So, I was excited that this year I could do almost everything.  It was the year of cardio, which you would think means I kicked a$$ on everything… but that is certainly not the truth.  The weights may have been lighter this year, but it was a good reminder that even though I am indeed getting stronger, my form and technique still needs a lot of work.

It is also this time of year that I feel the most “fun”.  Why?  Because it means Friday nights consist of doing a ridiculously hard workout followed by hanging around in your sweaty workout clothes and enjoying a few celebratory beers in honor of that ridiculously hard workout.  If only all bars were like that, maybe I would be a normal 27 year old who liked going out.


It has been 2 years since I started this Crossfit Journey and I honestly thought that eventually it would get old.  I thought I would get bored after a while and need another change.  Man was I wrong, every day is a new challenge.  Every day is a new milestone.  What others see as a “fad” has become my saving grace and what has pushed me passed my athletic limits these last two years.  I have been an athlete almost my whole life but when I left college and no longer had a team, I felt a little empty.  Having a good family and friend support system is one thing, but having people who help you push past your physical and mental boundaries is something else pretty special.   It makes me feel empowered and it makes me feel alive.  While nobody can ever replace my college soccer team, I have a new team now.  We might be a team of misfits, but we show up every day and we do our best.  Some days are harder than others, but one constant remains…we keep getting better and we have a hell of a good time while doing it.

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