Dugouts and Diapers

Jessica Starr Nichols


Momminโ€™ Ainโ€™t Easy

Most little girls, especially down here in the South, dream of and have a picture perfect plan of going to college, getting married right after college, and having babies shortly after marriage. I was never that girl! All I ever wanted to do was become a physician. I ended up being quite a phenomenal mother. So, looking back, I don’t even know that girl. There are still glimpses of her in aspects such as my incessant attention to detail and order, my love of learning, and my need and want to help everyone. Life without my boys….that I can’t imagine! For me, becoming a mother certainly wasn’t wrapped up in the beautiful little bow ๐ŸŽ€ that most girls envision. I was 20 years old, single, had disappointed everyone I loved, and was scared to death. I was presented with many options and choices about what would be best for me and what would be best for the child. It was overwhelming, and no one should have to face these decisions! People do though, every single day! It’s heart wrenching!๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ After the indescribable love and grace my parents showed me, I decided to keep the little 7lb. 1oz. little boy I gave birth to naturally at 5:31am on July 28, 2002.Mathis Banks Nichols changed my life! He was the one thing I had in my life that I was determined not to screw up! I made more mistakes than I can count, and some I pray that he never remembers. I was a child raising a child. The days were filled with me working and going to school. He spent more time at daycare and with the babysitter than he did with me, but as a single mom, you take on the responsibility of not only meeting the basic needs of a child but also of providing a life for your child. There were many nights that I would cry myself to sleep wondering how in the world we were going to make it. There were many meals I went hungry so that he could eat. There was a time when I didn’t have a vehicle and we had to walk where we needed to go or call a cab (if I had the money). Those first 8 1/2 years of life just being the two of us were beyond hard! That’s what being a mother is all about though….it’s not about you! It’s about sacrifice, the hard, the good, the sweet, the bond, THE LOVE!๐Ÿ’•While some days still aren’t easy, that little baby boy that changed my life has now grown into a truly good, handsome, intelligent, and kind MAN! While I know I am a phenomenal mother, some days (like today) I cry tears of thanksgiving and humility for all that God has done and is going to do through Banks. He’s had a plan for him since the day He formed him in my womb. He knew that selfish, weak girl needed to know that it wasn’t all about her and she was stronger than strong and that life was going to be hard, but it would be oh so worth it! God had all kinds of amazing blessings in store for Banks and me.After God sent me a husband and Banks a dad, I got to become a mom for the second time. Although this baby was entering the world with that pretty little bow of a husband, good jobs, and a family, it still wasn’t easy. Travis Weston Nichols entered the world at 12:18am October 16, 2012. I had been on 8 weeks of complete bed rest, 6 weeks in the hospital. My body was in panic mode, yet there was no time to heal my own body and take care of myself, because in case you didn’t know, being a mother is full-time work! Unlike any work you will ever do! This little boy changed my life again. It was a different hard than doing it all alone as I did with Banks. It was more of a physical hard. That pregnancy wreaked havoc on my body, and I wasn’t healthy and couldn’t take the time to get healthy so there was definitely a lot of depression, further weight gain, outbursts of anger, and sheer exhaustion. Hence, here I am 5 years later working my booty off (literally) to be the healthiest version of myself. Thankfully, Weston is so smiley, happy, and loving that just at the time I’m heading to the bathroom to have a good cry, he’s there with those sweet lips puckered ready to give a hug and kiss.๐Ÿ˜˜ Again, life-changing! Raising men is no joke, and I feel so blessed to have been chosen to raise these two wonderful men. The future is bright for these two!๐Ÿ˜ŽI don’t believe that anyone who gives birth is automatically a good mother. It takes inspiration and determination to be a good mother. Maybe some draw it from their childhood or grandparents or special friends, but me, I learned how to be the mother that I am from my mom. She’s phenomenal! I didn’t always agree with her or even understand why she made me do a certain thing at a certain time, but now, looking back as a mother myself, I know it was to help build character, work ethic, and mold me into the woman I am today. If I could only put into words the love and grace she has shown me time after time after time….maybe then you would know just how magnificent she is. She taught me to be tough when I’m hurt. She taught me tough love. She taught me that being a mother to my children is more important than being their friend. She taught me to believe in myself. She taught me put God first, husband second, and children third. She taught me to give and do all I can to help my children. She taught me to value myself and my health. She stood beside me and held my hand as I birthed both of my boys. When I had Banks, she assured me I could do it, but it wouldn’t be easy. She let me know that she and my dad would ALWAYS be there for me and my siblings, and they have been. She’s never coddled us, but that’s certainly why we are all able to stand strong after walking the paths we have. She taught me to LOVE and LOVE BIG! ๐Ÿ’• She’s taught me that while “Mommin’ Ain’t Easy,” it’s oh so worth it! Pam Leverette, words will never be enough to tell you just how loved and adored you are! You inspire me!๐Ÿ˜˜

So, if you’re a single mom reading this, I’ve been where you are. I know you’re sad, scared, and exhausted. Here’s my advice…put on your big girl panties, finish school (there’s millions of grant dollars to put single moms through school), quit leaving your kids with your parents (they’ve already raised you. This isn’t their job), get a job (multiple jobs if that’s what it takes), respect yourself enough to know your worth (one poor decision doesn’t have to define you), spend more time being an amazing mother than looking for a baby daddy (pray for the right man and God will send him in time. I prayed for 8 years!), and lastly find a source of inspiration, you have a LIFE that is counting on you!

To the new mother that is suffering from Postpartum depression and health issues, I’ve been there too. My advice to you also begins with put on your big girl panties, it’s your hormones and health (it’s fixable), make time for your health. You’ll be a better wife, mom, and friend if you’re healthy. You’re worth it!

To my mom and every mom out there, Happy Mother’s Day! We were all CHOSEN for this journey called motherhood. We are freakin superheroes!๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป


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Spring Break Should Never End

I took last week off to spend some much-needed time with my family. It was wonderful! It did my heart good. We usually go on a big vacation at spring break, but since Adam has only been with his new company for six months and because we purchased Banks a car, that wasn’t an option this year. Thankfully, we live a mere 90 miles from Panama City Beach, and my parents had the entire family at their condo to enjoy some quality time together.

This was the morning and evening view from my bedroom, and it was breathtaking! We had two glorious days on my dad’s boat. He even let Banks drive the boat!

The time spent with my manclan, parents, and siblings was a treasure! My body hated leaving them so badly, it broke out into hives…seriously, I got home and eight hours later I had hives from my neck to my toes. I spent three days taking cold showers, drinking tons of water, and rubbing aloe on my body. It was not something I ever want to experience again, but I learned my lesson…next time I will just stay at the beach!๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ–

Apparently one day this week was National Sibling Day. So, here are a few more pictures of my siblings and me and my children from our trip. I’m thankful for siblings that are funny, kind, and my oldest and truest friends. Now, it is well-known that no one can aggravate you like your sibling, but there’s also no one else that will have your back like them either. I’m extremely grateful that despite our differences, we love one another, and I’m beyond thankful that my Banks loves sweet Weston like he does and that Weston adores and admires Banks.

Both boys got a very special invitation to be a part of their Uncle Jud’s wedding this fall! It took Weston a little time and watching a YouTube video to figure out just exactly what a ring bearer does to get on board. At first, he thought he was going to be getting married, and he was NOT happy about that! He told his Aunt Hope, “No, I’m not marrying you!!!”๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Once we got the role of ring-bearer understood, he was very interested in his very important job. Banks was so thrilled to be a groomsman that he told me on the way home from the beach that he was trying to keep his excitement low-key and that he really hoped that when he gets married some day his Uncle Jud will want to be his groomsman too!๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜˜โค๏ธ We all love Jud and Hope and are so excited to celebrate their wedding later this year.Our trip wouldn’t have been complete without spending a day or two at Balance 30A! My mom and I went to yoga class with my sweet friend Whitney. It was beautiful! It was perfect! My heart was soaring! The love these people have for others has been life-changing for me. I was so proud of myself for being able to complete the class. It wasn’t easy, and every pose may not have been perfect, but I did it, and I enjoyed it! I wish I lived there so I could go everyday! Banks went with me for my checkup with Dr. Bart, and he got to meet the man, the myth, the legend….THE Dr. Bob! Dr. Bob certainly knows an animal lover when he sees one…..he and Banks cuddled on the floor the entire visit.โค๏ธ๐Ÿถ My appointment went well. I had an InBody Analysis done, and the changes on the inside of my body are extraordinary! Since my first InBody back in November, I’ve lost 30 lbs, 3% body fat, and my BMI has dropped 6 points! Dr. Bart put it best…he said, ” You’re a completely different person than you were when you first walked through that door.” He’s right! I am different, and in every way. I’ve learned so much about my physical, spiritual, and mental health. I just feel great, and when I stop and realize I’m not finished yet, I’m astounded!

As far as my regiment and routine for the next 30 days goes, I will of course continue eating Keto with intermittent fasting. This week and next week I’m fasting 18 hours each day with one feast day, and I will say, there is a big difference between the 16 and 18 hour fasting times! I find myself looking at the clock to be able to eat. It’s hard, BUT on Wednesday nights, I’m so flipping excited for feast day on Thursday, I can already taste those eggs and spinach the next morning! I am also doing The Brain Phase portion of True Cellular Detox again. This is to rid my brain of the remaining toxins that weren’t able to make their way out the first time. This is very common, and I can already tell a difference in my mental clarity and the “Brian fog” has definitely lifted. As far as my exercise goes, I am continuing to do Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube. She has another 30 day program called TRUE. I’m loving it. I can see progress there too. This week, I discovered that I can finally hop from plank and downward dog to forward fold!๐ŸŽ‰ It’s certainly more intense, and she gives you a word or thought to meditate on each day. Day 2 was most impactful with the word “Trust”. My family is definitely entering a time where we can’t do anything but trust God, and I’m so thankful for reassurance of with Whom my trust lies. I’m also trusting that I will reach my goals on this health journey. ๐Ÿ’•

So, while I cherished my time off and wish it hadn’t ended, I am TRUSTING that just as lovely times await me and the ones I love. Thanks for reading, and I hope your Spring Break was as great as mine!

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Faith and Fitness

As this weekend represents the foundation of the Christian faith, I want to explain how my journey over the last eight months wouldn’t have made it past one day without help from God.

This morning I completed Day 30 of 30 Days of Yoga With Adriene! Whoop whoop๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ! I have seen tremendous results this month. This month I lost 10 pounds and dropped 12 5/8 inches. Now, all of that cannot be attributed to just doing yoga. I finally have the understanding of intermittent fasting, and I truly believe not varying from my Ketogenic Diet and powering through intermittent fasting each day (I’m currently at 16 hours of fasting per day) have definitely contributed to a month of fantastic results. I’m going to celebrate my results by spending some time with my family at the beach and attending my friend Whitney’s Vinyasa Yoga class Saturday morning at Balance 30A followed by an appointment with THE Dr. Bart Precourt on Monday morning. I can’t wait! I’m so excited! If you don’t understand the excitement, you clearly haven’t visited Balance before!๐Ÿ’•

When I began this journey eight months ago, I knew that the changes didn’t need to be solely physical. I wanted to be healthy, and physical health is non-existent without mental and spiritual health. I will confidently say these changes are far more difficult than choosing to eat clean and exercise daily. Spiritual changes require you to reprogram yourself to do the opposite what actually comes natural to us as humans. Huh๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ????

As a Christian, I am set apart. I am held to a different standard through my attitude and actions. In Galatians, we are given a list of “fruits” or characteristics ALL Christians should be known by, meaning when a non-Christian encounters us, they should be able to know we possess something they don’t because of these characteristics. As I was studying these characteristics back in July, I fell to the brutal truth that I didn’t exude very many of these fruits. Eye-opener๐Ÿ˜ณ!!!! I began praying for these attributes daily. I wanted to love everyone from every walk of life without passing judgement or trying to understand why they do what they do. I just wanted to share a smile and show love. I wanted to be joyful again. I wanted to be excited for each and every new day and find joy in the small things. Peace and contentment in the place God has me and my family everyday was important for a positive mindset. Patience, boy did I need a big dose of this one! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a definite Type A personality, and I like a plan and I like for it to be followed right then! So, I’ve been praying for patience with others as well as with this health journey, because becoming healthy certainly doesn’t happen overnight! Kindness, goodness, and faithfulness are ones that I didn’t necessarily struggle with all that much, because anyone that knows me knows I will go above and beyond for others. I definitely possess the gift of helping, and I love performing acts of goodness and kindness for others. The only problem was, I was so busy doing for others that I had forgotten to be kind and good to myself, which is how I ended up at nearly 300 lbs and miserable. Because of all I lived through as a single mom, I genuinely remain faithful. Heck, faith is all that got me through my twenties. Hahahahaha! Gentleness and self-control were certainly two fruits that anyone that met me prior to July would never have seen. Because of growing up in a very direct and matter of fact family not to mention living a life of learning from the hard knocks rather than being rescued, I was rough around the edges. I therefore said things matter of factly, disregarding how it came across or made those on the receiving end feel. I possessed no self-control. I said, did, and ate whatever I wanted. I still pray every single day multiple times a day for these two fruits in particular. I constantly ask forgiveness for anyone I may have hurt through the years. You know, it’s like the old saying goes, “Hurt people, hurt people.” I was hurt from years of failures, wrongdoings from others, a hard life, etc… and so, in return, I hurt people. I still feel shame for many of my attitudes and actions. But there’s good news…All of that shame and wrongdoings were taken care of on the crossโœ๏ธ. This weekend we celebrate a man, my Lord, dying innocently on a cross for me and all my wrongdoings and shame. Man, what a gift! He didn’t just die though, He rose from the grave displaying the fact that as a Christian, I have the promise of life after death in Heaven with Him. I truly can’t wait! My faith is the most important thing in my life. It’s the foundation of my marriage. It’s where I find my instructions for parenting, and it is what I have leaned upon in order to become the best version of myself. I’m thankful for the cross, and I’m thankful for a God that loves me despite my failures. I can’t wait for a weekend of celebrating my Savior with a family that has loved me as He does, and I can’t wait to see how my faith continues to grow through this journey. I can’t wait to be my best version of me!

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Is It Spring Break Yet???

For those of you that have walked this journey with me for the last seven months, you know I have been very open and honest every step of the way. Well, here’s where I’m at…I’m exhausted! I want to spend one day curled up in my pjs, eating a big bowl of cheese grits, and watch a marathon of The Real Housewives. There it is…the raw truth!

When I started this blog, I named it Dugouts and Diapers because that’s where I was in life, always at the ballpark watching my then 10 year old play baseball while finding an empty bleacher or picnic table to change my infant’s diaper. Life wasn’t busy nor was it hard. I just thought it was. Today, today is busy and hard. Juggling working full time, one playing high school baseball, the other playing tee ball (and of course all of their games and practices are on the same nights), church, college tours, ACT tests, school dances, a husband, and there’s a dog and a home to maintain in all of that too….I’m flat out exhausted!

Now somewhere in all this chaos and tag-teaming children, I’m supposed to find time to exercise 6 days a week. Honestly, it hasn’t happened until yesterday in the past two weeks. Yes, I can tell a difference. Yes, I know I have to find the time to do it. But here’s my question, when???? What do I push to the side in order to find the time to do this? If I spend that time away from my family, that’s wrong, because they are my priority. If I don’t do my chores at home each day in order to spend the time exercising, that’s no good, because if you know me, you know I can’t function nor sleep if my house isn’t clean. I’m truly not making excuses. I literally do not sit down from the time I wake up at 5:30am until 9pm. Then once I sit down, I fall asleep within ten minutes, because I’m so exhausted. For example, last night I sat down at 8:40pm and was asleep in my chair by 8:45pm.

I’ve read trainers and fitness gurus say, “you make time for what you want to do, and if you want to exercise and lose weight, you will make time for it.” I’m not hating, but I’m convinced that these people A.) Don’t have children, B.) Have a Nanny, babysitter, housekeeper, yard man, or all 4, or C.) Hold exercising and working out as an idol in their life and are putting it above both their family and God.

I’m truly not saying that to ruffle anyone’s feathers. I’m just being real. I have requested the entire week of spring break off of work, and I’m devoting that week to rest, relaxation, time with manclan, and figuring out how to DO IT ALL. ๐Ÿคช

I apologize for the very raw post, but I wouldn’t be true to myself or to my readers if I were anything less. On the plus side, the weather is amazing here, and I spent time gardening this weekend, which is my most favorite thing to do, and my husband exercised with me yesterday. We went on a wonderful jog/walk.๐Ÿ˜ Although I haven’t had much time to stay on track with my exercise, I haven’t gained any weight. I’ve remained diligent at eating Keto and consistent with intermittent fasting. The scale is still trending downward, but not exercising regularly, definitely slows the pace. I know I will find my stride again soon. I’m just convinced motherhood and baseball season aren’t for the weak! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Love Is What You Do

Well, today is Valentine’s Day, and as many of you know, I had set a goal for myself to be back at my wedding weight by today. Well, sadly, I did not make it. According to the scale, I am a mere two pounds away.๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ I have been rationalizing it by the fact that I am one week away from starting my monthly cycle, and I generally weigh anywhere from 3-5 pounds heavier the week prior. So, in actuality, I probably really did meet my goal! Hahahaha! Hey, whatever you have to tell yourself to keep one foot in front of the other.

Since I did not meet my goal, I am going to take this opportunity on this very special day to write about LOVE.๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

These three….my manclan….my loves, they are everything to me. They support me, encourage me, drive me nuts, give me purpose, bring me to tears, consume my thoughts and prayers, but mostly they love me well.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’— Over the last seven months, they have been my constants. We have been one another’s best friends. A lot of changes at once in a person’s life will truly allow you to see people for whom they truly are. These three, they are the real deal!

Adam loves me everyday, but when he chose me, despite my flaws or my past, that was the greatest act of love he could have ever given. He has supported and encouraged me throughout this weight-loss journey. He loves our children and wants what’s best for them and is willing to do anything he can to help them reach their goals. He’s truly the best, and I’m so very thankful that he’s mine.Last week, Adam and I were able to show Banks love by buying him his first car. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ It was so emotional and joyful for all of us. I truly believe that the greatest joy as a parent is being able to do very special things for your children. We had been looking at vehicles for a year or more, and I had been praying that God would provide the perfect vehicle at the perfect price, and He never fails! We sacrifice A LOT for Weston and Banks to attend the school they do, and we honestly did not think that being able to purchase a vehicle for Banks would be a reality, but when you work hard and are faithful in saving and giving, God makes a way. It is truly an Ephesians 3:20 (my favorite verse that I pray over my life and family everyday) scenario. Banks is genuinely a good boy who gives 100% to his church, his family, his school, and his sports. He’s respectful and kind and ALWAYS puts others ahead of himself. He endures a lot on a daily basis, and he deserves this gift! He deserves to be loved and to be shown love at its fullest.

My sweet Weston….he is such a lover!!!! He enjoys telling others how much he loves them, gives the BEST hugs, and I hope he never gets tired of giving me kisses (until he gets to be a little older because then it will just be weird).๐Ÿ˜˜ Weston and I got to go on a date last Wednesday. We enjoyed a trip to the grocery store (Weston’s favorite) and dinner together. We did bath time and story time without any interruptions, and before night night prayers, I explained to him how much I love him and how wonderful spending time alone with him was. He didn’t say anything, he just hugged me, and in that moment, my eyes filled with tears and I was so thankful for him. It was that same joy I experienced when we gave Banks his car.

While some people always ask me, “Don’t you want a little girl?” A little girl would be wonderful, but there’s something about boys and how they love their mother. That bond is special! I wouldn’t take anything for my manclan!

We aren’t celebrating extravagantly today, because we are leaving Friday morning for a fun 4-day weekend. We will be touring THE University of Alabama on Friday (Roll Tide!!!) and Birmingham Southern College on Monday. We plan on enjoying the weekend in Birmingham being present with one another, looking toward Banks’ future, and seeing both friends and family that we love. My plan is to take pictures of what I eat on trips like this, and next week, I will write about it and show you that just because you’re out of your element, you can ALWAYS find right choices on a menu! Thank you all for reading my blog, and I pray that each one of you is loved welltoday.๐Ÿ’•


2017….A Year of Change

Wow! Is 2017 already over? That was quick! This year, for my man clan and me, can best be described as a year of change. It has certainly had its ups and downs, but overall, I would say it was one of our best years yet.

Adam spent the majority of the year doing the job of the general manager at his hotel, and ultimately he was overlooked and passed over for the job. While this news was crushing, he remained faithful, and God gave him a better job with an incredible company, and he didn’t even apply for it. They sought him out! I’m so proud of him and all that he has accomplished professionally this year. He’s truly an inspiration to me, and his faith, patience, and hard work were rewarded in the end. He also led our family spiritually to a new church. This was not easy for me, and I shed many tears, but seeing the spiritual growth in all of us has been incredible. Adam is extremely easy-going, but when he’s passionate about something, you can hear the authority in his voice. I’m thankful for his guidance and most importantly, his love for each of us.โค๏ธ

Banks is a 10th grader (I’m still in shock over this!), and Weston is in 4P. The changes in their life were equally as impactful. Banks experienced his first college visit. He has his drivers permit. ๐Ÿ˜ณ He’s taking his first AP class, and I’m happy to report that whatever happens to children from 7th-10th grade has finally worked its way out of his system, I think…Hahaha! Lately, I find myself impressed with his more mature and well-thought decision-making, and he’s truly the best babysitter in the world! He exhibited tremendous character throughout a very humbling football season, and most importantly, he’s grown in his Christian walk over the past six months. We have three more college tours scheduled for the new year, and although these tours make me cry a little, I am truly thrilled to watch Banks grow. He’s a good boy!

Weston goes to school five days a week this year, knows all of the alphabet and what sound each letter makes, and he can count to 50 without messing up. He played his first season of tee ball, absolutely loves to read, and will push a hot wheels car for miles! He found his independence this year. He wants to do everything by himself! He’s an excellent helper and finds joy in helping others. He wants to be just like his big brother and shows that by copying everything Banks says and does. I’m so proud of and thankful for my sweet Weston, and I can’t wait to see how he continues to change and grow.

As for myself, I went back to work full-time, left my family for a week to go on a mission trip, and began my journey to get healthy. My health is, by far, our biggest change. I say “our” because it hasn’t solely affected me. It has changed my whole family. I went from having chest pain, crying all the time, edema, and wearing a size 2XL/22 to exercising 4 days/week, smiling, laughing, losing weight, and currently wearing a size large/14. As I type this, I find myself crying tears of thankfulness. I was sick, and I mean really sick. I’m extremely grateful for my health today. I never want to be unhealthy again! To date, I’ve lost 54 pounds. I did not have weight-loss surgery, nor did I take some magic pill. It was sheer determination and hard work! It was discipline, and I couldn’t have accomplished any of it without the support of my family and my Balance30a family. Walking into that building on July 28, 2017, will go down simultaneously as the hardest and most rewarding day of 2017. It changed my life…It changed my family’s lives!

I fully intend to continue toward my best version of me in 2018. I can’t wait to start the new year by doing Dr.Bart’s 21 Day Cleanse. Have you signed up? If not, there’s still time! I am not sure what Dr. Bart has planned for me this year, but you can be certain that I will give you all the details in my blog posts.

I received The Magnolia Story for Christmas, and I finished reading it last night. I photographed some of Joanna’s words. The top photo perfectly describes what I learned in 2017. “Letting it all go is freeing. I am learning that getting our intentions right simplifies our decisions in life and changes our perspective. And in the end, what it’s all about is thankfulness and contentment.” I let it all go when I cried like a baby in Balance Health Studio that day in July, and I’ve learned through spending more time with my manclan and getting to know a new church family that my perspective has changed, and I am perfectly content and beyond thankful for all the ups and downs of 2017. The bottom photo is how the book ended, and it was clearly my mantra for 2018! “Don’t quit, and don’t give up. The reward is just around the corner. And in times of doubt or times of joy, listen for that still, small voice. Know that God has been there from the beginning-and he will be there until ….The End.” I LOVE IT! I know that 2018 will also haves ups and downs, but I have a Savior that loves me, a husband and children that love me and are healthy, an incredible family, and I’m the healthiest I’ve been in years. So, why give up? Why feel defeated? My plan is to be intentional, thankful, content, aware, and healthy in the new year.

Thank you all so much for reading my blog, and I pray that the new year holds peace and blessings for each and every one of you. Check back next week for my first post about Dr. Bart’s 21 Day Cleanse! Happiest of New Years to you all!๐Ÿฅ‚๐ŸŽ‰

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A Keto Thanksgiving

Make it through Thanksgiving without cheating on my diet…โœ”๏ธ

Go out of town for five days and stay on my diet…โœ”๏ธ

I hope everyone else had as wonderful of a Thanksgiving as my family did. We went to Chattanooga to spend the holiday with my brother and his fiancรฉ and her family. It was so relaxing, and it is going down in my book as the best Thanksgiving to date!

The general assumption is that it’s impossible to go out of town and stay on a diet, and you can’t go to a true Southern Thanksgiving without blowing your diet out of the water. WRONG! I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I also knew that I could stay on track with hard work and determination. Dr. Bart had forewarned me that these next two months were going to be the hardest yet. So, mentally, I had been preparing myself to resist temptation. I knew everything I ate in those five days wasn’t going to be organic. So, to ensure I had at least one clean meal each day, I prepped breakfast bowls of organic, free-range scrambled eggs, organic sausage, and organic spinach to eat for breakfast each morning in the hotel room. Hydration was key! I drank only water, just as I have for the past 130 days, approximately 200 ounces each day. That kept things filtered and my downstream track clean and clear. I had also mentally prepared myself to do some intermittent fasting throughout the five days to keep my body in Ketosis.

Jud and Hope’s house was beautiful! The company was amazing, and the food was delicious. Our dinner was served around 6pm. So, I fasted from lunch on Thanksgiving, and when I got hungry, I dug through the Homemade Chex Mix and nibbled on the almonds. I forgot to take a picture of my plate once I fixed it, but I ate turkey, ham, Brussel sprouts, shrimp, half of a baked sweet potato with butter, spinach salad, and one piece of Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake. It was not difficult for me to skip over the potatoes, dressing, cakes, etc… Best of all, I didn’t feel miserable the following morning from overindulging. The hotel had a great gym, and I did my Burst Workouts every other day just as I was scheduled to do. This helped keep my energy level up, because we did a lot of walking over the next few days.

Friday night, Jud and Hope invited our kids to spend the night with them, which freed Adam and I up for a much needed date night. My thoughtful husband had pre-arranged a reservation at a completely organic farm to table restaurant for the two of us. Tupelo Honey Cafe was ADORABLE!!!! Great atmosphere, great service, and outstanding food! They bring you a basket of homemade biscuits with Tupelo honey and homemade jam before your meal…just push the basket to the side. That’s what we did. Adam had pork with a muscadine chutney and Brussel sprouts. I had the flank steak and eggs with hominy and mixed greens. When you order steak and you don’t get a steak knife with your food, you know it’s cooked right. It was tender and juicy and the runny eggs sent this dish over the edge! ๐Ÿ˜‹ Best of all, it was totally on the Keto diet!

Now that I’ve tackled Thanksgiving, bring on Christmas!!!! I’m looking forward to more laughter, Phase 10 trash talk, food, fellowship, and family time! Keeping the weight off during the holidays isn’t an exact science or impossible. It’s a mind game. Your either committed or your not. I’m committed, and after losing two more pounds over Thanksgiving (grand total of 44 pounds), I have no doubt that I will be at the 50 pound mark by Christmas! I am so incredibly thankful for this journey and for my health this year! I hope that all my readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. โค๏ธ