November 25, 2014

...Tuesday Tube...

Happy Tuesday Brave Ones!  It's been a while since I provided you with a Tuesday Tube.  One of my Team Fight to Finish girls, Julia wrote a blog post yesterday about self acceptance after an emotional run she had.  She was listening to this song while running through her home town.  Read her amazing post here.  She's a gem.  And enjoy this video which will make you smile and help you to appreciate all that you are!

November 22, 2014

Video Series: An Unexpected Journey

The first in my video series documenting my ideas, motivation, tips, and my own journey to better health!  Please leave me feedback for what you'd like to hear about!

November 13, 2014

Taking Stock IV

Taking Stock:
Making : myself get in the pool despite the cold weather.
Cooking : lots of eggs on busy nights.
Drinking : h2o
Reading: nothing right now.  Any suggestions?

Wanting: to freaking get to Onederland!
Looking: forward to my trip to Traverse City with my TFTF girls next weekend!!!
Playing: too much Maroon 5
Wasting: time being bored at work.  Ready for my role change please!
Sewing: nothing at the moment.  Sigh.
Wishing: I could afford to go back to school

Enjoying: boot and scarf weather!
Waiting: to visit my sister until I reach Onederland.
Liking: the fact that I get to see family in a couple weeks!

Wondering: if winter is going suck as bad this year as it did last year.
Loving: living with Katie and our zoo. 
Hoping: to be able to get certified soon as a health coach.
Marveling: that I'm entering into the last year of my twenties in a little over a month.
Needing: a vacation.

Smelling: chlorine... all the time.
Wearing: size 12 jeans.  *happy dance*
Following: a lot of raw vegans on YouTube.  Got to get ideas on how to eat more veggies, right?!
Noticing: lots of good changes in my Insanity workouts.  Rocking my V-sits, tuck jumps, and soccer drills.
Thinking: about too many things.
Bookmarking: challenge group recipes and workouts.
Opening: up to the idea of change.
Giggling: over the fact that I still get sucked into teenage TV shows.  Bad Netflix.
Feeling: thankful.

November 4, 2014

...Health & Happiness: Setting Goals...

Happy November brave ones!  Can you believe the holiday season is already here?  Maybe it's just as I get older but I feel like every year they sneak up on me and I'm just not ready!  This weekend was great.  I got to party it up with church folk at our family fall festival.  My costume was epic, if I do say so myself.  Then Saturday I got in a great workout before spending the whole morning with my WW gals.  Delicious food, good and candid conversation... couldn't ask for more.  Then I got to see team Rappls for a late lunch and ended my day with some Anne of Green Gables and an extra hour of sleep!  Sunday I spent a lovely morning at church, then made some tasty homemade marinara, and then more church.  I've also had some time to catch up with some of my fellow new coaches today and I have to say I'm sad to see our mentorship month coming to an end.  But I'm so excited to have four awesome new friends who are as passionate about health and fitness as I am.  And I can't wait to meet a big handful of them in just a few weeks! 

Yesterday after talking with these ladies and having lunch with my small group leader, I started really thinking about goals.  Sometimes setting goals can be so daunting that we shy away from it.  I know that when I first set out on this process to better health I was so daunted by the end goal.  So daunted, that I didn't even know what the end goal really was.  I still don't!  No, really.

I'll explain.  The end goal of MY journey is to be at a healthy weight.  I don't have a particular number or pant size in mind though.  The reason for that really is because I've never been at a healthy weight.  I was a chubby kid.  I was an overweight teen and grew into an obese adult.  So for me, the idea of being at a healthy weight is completely foreign!  But even for those who were once at a healthy weight and are no longer that way, looking at the end goal can be really overwhelming.  And sometimes, looking at that end goal can even deter people from puttig forth the effort because it's just too hard.

Here are a few things that I've learned about setting goals:

1. Start small: I've talked before about tackling the daunting task of losing weight and/or creating a healthier lifestyle.  The easiest way to start out is to create small goals.  Try to put the end result out of your mind for a while.  For example, try buying a pair of jeans a size smaller or setting the goal to be able to do ten push ups or to be able to run for 15 minutes without stopping.  Each small goal is not only going to get you closer to your end goal, but it's going to fuel you motivationally!

2. Track: When I first started out, the first thing I did was create a weight loss/transformation journal.  Everytime I got a small victory (2 lb loss, new fitness milestone, new small goal accomplished) I wrote it down.  I also collect articles, photos, and advice that inspires me.  I write/glue/tape them into my notebook so that when there's a day that I'm feeling low, I can pull it out and see what I've accomplished and remind myself where I'm headed.

3. Speak Up: Tell people about your goals.  I don't know how many people I've talked to recently about my goal of getting to Onederland.  I'm only 20ish pounds away and I'm soooo close!  For me, that's a small goal at this point because of how much I've already accomplished.  But I've told close friends about it so that they can keep me accountable, check in, and celebrate with me when I finally crush it.  I will always advocate for the power of accountability.  Relationships with others that are working towards similiar goals is a huge key to accomplishing them.

So with that, here are a few small goals that I've set for myself:

*Get to Onederland by my birthday. (December 29th)
*Be able to do 10 regular push-ups by New Years.
*Select a half marathon to train for in the Spring.

Stay strong braveones!

October 29, 2014


Welcome to Ever BeYOUtiful readers!  I'm so excited for the next season on this blog.  I will forever look back lovingly on my years as Creative Roots.  It actually helped me truly form roots as a blogger when I think about it!

But my life is moving forward.  I've found a calling and my aim is to steer my writing, research, and projects in the direction of self-love, nutrition, recovery, and fitness.  Eeek!  So excited.

So to celebrate the start of this new season, I have a trailer I'd like to share with you.

Hungry for Change is a documentary I found on Netflix today.  And hear me when I say... it is life changing.  With everything from why diets don't work to what's wrong with the frankenfood we consume to the obesity crisis we're facing in this country to food addiction and recovery... this film is going to change the way you see food.  It's going to open your eyes to what is wrong with the dead food we are consuming and excite you for the real, tangible, and simplistic ways we can change the way we live and eat.

Please give this trailer a look.  Then pull it up on Netflix the next free evening you have.  You WON'T be sorry.


I have been contemplating rebranding this little space for the past couple of months.  This week I made the final decision to recreate Creative Roots into something that better fits my current life, passion, and mission.  Though saying goodbye to this space as I know it will be hard I know it is for the best. 

I am currently working with the bestie on name ideas, domain changes, and the overall feel of the blog. 

So please pardon the dust as I make the transition to a new season of blogging!

Stay strong brave ones!

October 28, 2014

...Health & Happiness: Bring in the Munchkins!...

Today I had two eye opening experiences when it came to nutrition.  The first was listening to a TED talk by Jaime Oliver.  In this speech he discusses the growing crisis among our nation's children.  Not only are they the first generation that are projected to not live as long as their parents, but they also are not being educated about food or even being provided with good food.  It's heartbreaking and I believe could drive people to action.  If you have 20 minutes, give it a listen! 

The second experience was during my last swim lesson of the night.  I was talking to my students about dinner and one told me that he'd had a hamburger and mashed potatoes for dinner.  I asked him if he had any vegetables.  He told me he had carrots.  Great!  But then the shocker, the other student simply asked "what are vegetables?"

Uhhhhh.  What?

She clarified by asking for examples of vegetables.  But still!  How is this sweet little girl not able to name vegetables!?  She even asked me if eggs were a vegetable. 

How are things like this and the things Mr. Oliver talks about happening? 

So I'm here to charge all you mom and dad readers out there.  Heck!  All you aunty, uncle, grandparent, and friend to kids readers!  It's time to get children involved with what is being served on their plates. 

I do not have children.  But as a former educator/child care provider/preschool teacher, I can tell you... kids like food.  They like to talk about it.  They like to prepare it.  They like to serve it! 
 So if you're in a position that many parents are finding themselves in these days, where you just don't know how to get your kids to eat fruit and veggies, I want to encourage you that there ARE ways to get them interested!

1.  Give them the power.  Not all of it!  But some will go a long way.  If your kiddos are involved in the meal planning process, they are more likely to eat what you prepare for them!  So make a thing of it.  One night, sit down as a family and talk about what everyone would like to eat throughout the rest of the week. Get on Pinterest, open some cookbooks, or flip through food magazines!  Maybe even create a fun family meal board where you can write out a recipe/grocery list.
2.  Take them shopping. Take your children with you to the grocery store.  Yes, yes I know this is probably a lot harder than it sounds.  But think about it.  If you take Jimmy and Suzie to the store with you, let them hold the shopping list, have them put the veggies and fruit in the cart... not only are they getting hands on experience but they are getting to participate in what they will later consume. 
3.  Educate them.  During your trip to the store, you can even talk with them about where each different food comes from.  Most children don't know where food comes from.  They think it comes from the grocery store.  They don't know that grapes grow on a vine or that potatoes grow in the dirt.  So talk with them about it and make it a fun field trip instead of a chore.
4.  Hand over the chef hat.  Get your kiddos in the KITCHEN!  Kids LOVE to cook.  My cooking/food units in my preschool teacher days were always the most popular.  The kids loved pouring ingredients into the bowl, mixing things up, and watching as everything came together.  Yes, dinner prep might take a little longer.  But, I guarantee you that those munchkins are more likely to eat a salad or roasted carrots or sauteed green beans if they help with the prep.  Even if it's just letting them wash the veggies, or add the oil, or toss them on a baking sheet. 
5.  Cut the junk.  Finally, get the crap out of the house!  I mean it.  Keeping junk food in the house is NOT helping anyone.  "But Haley, my kids will pitch a fit if we don't have X, Y, Z foods in the house."  First of all... junk food is NOT food.  If it didn't come from the ground or if it didn't have a mother, it is considered processed frankenfood!  So no one should be eating it.  There are plenty of recipes out there for healthy alternatives to the junk, you just have to look for them.  And with living in the age of Food Network, Pinterest, and healthy food blogs, there's no excuse.

 Children are incredible. We love them.  We want the best for them.  So why not provide the best we can for them in even the simplest things.  I know some will think that I can't demand that all you parents do all these things because I don't have children and I don't understand what comes with being a parent. 

You're right.  I don't FULLY understand.  But I know what we as adults are capable of.  I know how much parents love their children.  I know how much parents do/would sacrifice for their littles too.  So is it really that crazy?

Think about it.

Stay strong brave ones!

October 24, 2014

...Awesome Awkward Friday...

Hope y'all have had a fantastic week!  I myself have been overcoming a cold (booo) and busy with swim testing and too much to do at work.  But hey, it's Friday!  Which means, I'm happy, happy, happy!  Pretty sure that October is my absolute favorite and I'm so sad to see it coming to an end so quickly. 

*Pushy people.  Y'all just need to chill, ok? OK? Great.
*My endless battle with baggy pants.
*The way Ramona lays on the floor, flat on her back, and stares at me while I workout.  Like... "Yeah human. Go ahead and sweat and work your butt off while I just lie here like the cutest lazy butt on the planet."
*Having to buy just two spoons and two forks at goodwill to use in my halloween costume.  The checkout ladies must see such funny purchases!
*The slight panic I experienced yesterday drinking my last Shakeology packet while praying that my new bag would arrive in the mail that afternoon. 
*Forgetting to wear deodorant to the gym.

*October. I'm in love.
*Hiking Starved Rock last weekend.  (the cold I got afterwards was well worth it)
*70 lbs gone forever!!
*Having neighbors that cooperate with your grandma sleep schedule when you're sick and turn their music down when asked. 
*The mentorship group I'm a part of with Beachbody.  Such an amazing group of women who keep me inspired and encourage me to never quit striving for my dream.
*Indian food with Amanda today!
*Banana ice cream made with chocolate shakeology instead of cocoa powder.  Holy healthy amazing dessert batman!
*Recent increase in kitty snuggles I've been getting from Mona face lately.  Pretty sure someone's finally gotten jealous of Binx!

October 18, 2014

Starved Rock 2014

Spent an amazing day in God's creation with friends today.  Starved rock is about an hour and half from Bloomington.  It was a cool, breezy day and boy did we have fun!

I downloaded some video software.  Little did I know that the free trial would stick ugly red words all over my video.   Boooo.  But still a fun look at what we experienced today.  If only these photos showed half the beauty we experienced! 


October 15, 2014

...Health & Happiness: The Click...

Recently, I have been asked several times, a very thought provoking question.

"Haley, what finally clicked for you?"

After giving my typical wordy, "I don't know" kind of answer, I decided I needed to sit down and actually think about and write out the answer. I started this post last weekend and am finally getting around to finishing it. 

When I really reflect back, I don't know that it was really one thing that particularly clicked in me.  Only, that I'd had enough. 

In May of 2012 I stood up in a wedding for one of my beautiful friends.  Though looking back at that day, I remember fun, good conversations, beautiful surroundings, and lots and lots and lots of joy... when I finally got to see the photos from the day, all I could think was.  "How?"  How had I not seen how far I'd let myself slip?  How?  It was that day that I called my dad and asked him to sign me up for my first Big Shoulders race.   Shortly after that race I fell right off the wagon.  Then New Years Eve.  December 31st, 2012 was when it all changed.

My bestie hosted a new year's party and I was fortunate to run into an old college roommate of mine.  She'd struggled with weight in college due to a thyroid condition and had managed to overcome it.  Seeing her was the kick in the pants I needed.  It was my "enough is enough" moment. 

The next morning I started a weight loss journal and began down the road towards better health.  Over the past (almost) two years I got moving, changed my eating habits, got the help I needed to overcome emotional and mental health issues, and have lost almost 70 lbs. 

I can honestly say that I am in the best shape of my life. I'm the happiest I've ever been. I have gained my health. I have gained countless followers/cheerleaders. I have met amazing men and women in the fitness industry.  I've made friends in the form of other weight loss warriors through weight watchers.  I have run races, swam countless miles, and even been inspired to pursue a career in health/fitness.

If you are one who is looking for that click, I hope this will help direct you towards it.  I am so thankful to Jesus for the opportunity to help others meet their goals or even get started down the long road and encourage them along the way. 

"What if it's hard?"  "What if I fail?" "What if I mess up?"

It's not easy.  I'm not going to sugar coat it.  It takes a while to gain weight or damage your health.  It's going to take a while to get your health back.  But it is SO WORTH IT.  When you can look back at conquered goals and see what you've accomplished and overcome... there is no feeling like it in the world. You're going to have days where you slip.  But I can tell you this...

If this is something you want.  If better health, more confidence, stronger muscles, more energy, insert your goal here, is what you want.  Like REALLY want, you will do it.  You will!!  Once you put in your mind what you want, NOTHING can stop you.  You may be hindered by doubt or want to beat yourself up when you slip, but I'm here to tell you that it's ok.  We're human.  Sometimes all I want is a slice (or two or three) of pizza or to sleep in instead of putting on my gym shoes.  But it's ok. 

As my girl, Anne Shirley once said "Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it." 

So don't let those negative thoughts stop you.  You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to.

Be strong, brave ones. 
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