Work in Progress

Should I Blame the Moon?

I have been slammed with SUPER intense emotions.  Crashing over me like waves.  I’m fine for a minute then, BAM, another hits. Maybe it was the full moon, the lunar eclipse, or the comet that passed a few nights ago?  Maybe it’s just where I am in life?

All I know for certain is…

I am becoming aware.


I realize, to some,this sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo.  But it is honestly the state of my being right now.  Everything in me is changing, evolving…

Becoming More…

I am becoming more awake.  More aware.

Aware of the things I have let defeat me.  Aware of the thoughts that have held me prisoner.  Aware of the negativity that I allowed to permeate everything around me.

I am seeing with fresh eyes the things that suck up my time.  The things that suck up my soul.

I am becoming awake.


I am awakening to the collective unconscious.  The societal voices that become our inner monologues.

I am seeing that I have allowed those voices to steal my confidence, my joy, my passion.

I am awakening to the lies that I have believed simply because generations before me accepted them as truth.  I now cringe at the “that’s the way great-great-granny did it” mentality.

I am waking up to see that it is sometimes the comfort of the lies that hold us back.  We have become afraid to rock the boat. Some of us have let our own voice grow silent, adopting instead the voice of complacency.

I see now the time wasted, never to be regained, on the belief that we need to follow societal norms. We live in fear of doing something “wrong”, messing things up.

I see the lie of perfection. The desire for perfection, in all things, cripples us.  We want perfect hair before our pictures.  We need the perfect shoes for our outfits.  We won’t be happy with our body, with our lives, until we reach our goal(s).

I no longer believe the lie that we must “climb the ladder” to succeed.   The need for titles behind our names & signs in front of our parking spaces.  Just more lies.

I pray to never again be convinced of the importance of these pretensions.


I am hopeful that each day I will continue to become more aware, more awake.

I hope to become a better version of me each day simply by laying down things that no longer serve me and making room for new and healthy thought patterns and life habits.

I vow to escape the deception of perfection.  In fact, I will avoid striving for perfection at all. Instead focusing on growth in every area of my life.

I will be me bravely, with intentions of failing boldly in MANY endeavors.


I have been awakened to the life force buzzing around us all.

The Most Important Thing

I have so many things to be grateful for in my life yet, this is the most important thing I have ever done. It is not easy to change your old thoughts, old habits.  It is not easy to let go of things that you identify as “yourself”, but it is so rewarding.

Striving to become more awake, more aware, has changed/is changing every aspect of my life.   I realize now, that striving to be the best version of me is so important.  It’s not selfish or self-serving.  Working on me, gives me the strength to be there for others.

This awareness has begun to overflow into every detail of my life.  Becoming a better me allows me to be a better mom, wife, friend….PERSON.

Stepping back from old thought patterns, becoming accepting of the way things are, letting in more light and love into my life…these are the things I am most grateful for today.

I am a work in progress.  I hope to always be a work in progress.


*How much better a world would this be for our children if we ALL vowed to work on ourselves EVERY DAY?    

All the Feels

The holidays…sometimes loved, sometimes dreaded.

Yet ALWAYS, for me anyways, a time for “all the feels”.


I cry.  I grin.  I reflect. I plan.



I cry because all the animals in the shelter look extra cold and lonely this time of year.  I cry because there are kids being bombed instead of waiting for Santa.  I cry for the “perfect” holiday moments that I will never have.


Sometimes I know it’s coming, and other times (usually because of those sneaky commercials) ….BAM, floodgates open outta nowhere!


When I’m not tearing up, I find myself grinning like the Cheshire cat.  I look at the kids and their eyes sparkle just a little brighter this time of year.  The expectation and miraculous wonder that this season embodies just emanates from kids around Christmas time.  I watch them sleep and I swear I can see those dancing sugar plums…

I stand there, creepily staring as they sleep….and begin to reflect…



There is nothing better than the holidays to put me in a reflective, “What’s the meaning of life” kind of mood.  Reflection is a good thing sometimes.  I just tend to go into reflective hyper-drive in the months of November and December.  It is during these months that I find myself reflecting on ALL things…. GREAT and small.  Yes, I said ALL things.

Pick a topic…chances are I have reflected on it during November or December.  And if I didn’t get to it this year…I will work on it the next holiday season…

I reflect on Christmases past. Nostalgia takes over.  I remember the excitement of my grandma’s house on Christmas Eve.  I see my grandpa laugh and smile as he opens his gifts (he was always a big kid at Christmas).  I smell oodles of Christmas cookies my mom and I baked in our overly-decorated, yet oh so cozy home.  I sleepily listen for reindeer and hope I to catch a glimpse of Santa.

There is nothing like Christmas through a child’s eyes.

I love that I get to experience this magic again through my own children.

Yet amid these heart-warming reflections, this year I also find myself reflecting on the state of our nation and the rampant hate that seems to have such a vice grip on it.  The state of our planet and the lack of regard for her. World-wide chaos.  Priorities that seem flipped upside down.

I reflect on my life, on past mistakes and past successes. On what I thought life should look like at my age vs. reality.  I reflect on people that have come and gone.  I reflect on the person I was three years ago, five years ago, ten years ago.  So many changes I have undergone…so many truths I have unearthed, so many people I have been.


The one thing, the only thing, all my reflections have in common….


Regardless of whether they are the best memories or the worst memories, the one thing they all have in common is…they don’t last.  Change is the one constant in our lives.

After all the crying, grinning like an idiot and being uber nostalgic, my reflecting turns to a focus on change.   What changes do I want to see happen in my life?  What changes are key to my success?  What changes can I make to get me closer to my goals?


While some people REFUSE to make one New Years resolution, I tend to make a LIST.  Go big or go home right?  Somewhere, in the middle of crying, grinning, and reflecting, I begin to plan.  My list is sometimes beautifully handwritten (those are my favs, all swirly and artsy, colorful and fun), sometimes it is typed, sometimes it is scrawled in barely legible handwriting on a legal pad, it has even been a journal entry once or twice.  It is normally at least 25 items in length…sometimes WAY more, sometimes a little less.

There are just so many things I want to do.  So many things that I want to remind myself to make into daily habits.  So many ways that I feel my life can be improved.

I have so many interests, so many goals, so much I hope to do with my life!  I can be a little scattered at times (which drives my husband crazy…sorry honey…).  This scattered thinking leads me down many rabbit holes.  Some of which I am glad I went down, others not so much…but live and learn, right?!? I am a believer that life is meant to be lived.

For too long I have let life live me.  I’ve gone along for the ride.  My planning this year is all about changing that.

I have plans to take charge of my life.  I have plans to make my dreams a reality.  I have plans to live MY life, MY way.  I have plans to be able to contribute in ways that matter.  I have plans to surround myself with people who are doing these exact things.

The magic of the holidays, the magic of possibility.  Love it.

Maybe I’m the only one who becomes emotionally unstable during the holidays?  I am sure there are others out there just like me…sniffling through those pesky holiday commercials, remembering Christmases past, planning for what is coming next.  Is this you?  What do the holidays bring out in you? What “feels” does this time of year bring to the surface for you?

Sending love and light

to you and yours

this holiday season!!






Addicted To Thought


I’ve officially been MIA from my blog.  Not because I had nothing to say, simply because I couldn’t find the words nor energy to express all the things circling around in my head.  While my writing ceased, my thoughts grew.  That’s how it happens.  I begin going inward, getting lost in my own thoughts, lost in the worry of tomorrow and pain of yesterday.  It feels as if I lack the ability to get out of my own head.  I become trapped there. Fighting. Fighting through depression, fighting through sickness, fighting tiredness.  I become more and more unconnected.  I distance myself from friends, family, even Brent.  I feel alone in my pain, alone in my depression, alone in my cerebral prison.

Unfortunately, this experience is not new to me.  I have become aware of this pattern in my life.  The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Hello, my name is Kristal.  I am addicted to thought.

Cerebral Prisoner

I have become controlled by my thoughts.  This has led to being anxious, depressed, hopeless…I could go on.

So now what?  What do you do when your prison guard is with you 100% of the time?  How do you escape?

My quest begins!  I am hopeful that I will be able to break this habit.  I recently learned, I am not my mind.  Sounds crazy, right?  It’s not.  That statement alone has allowed me to climb out of the dark caverns I’ve been hiding in.  It has given me freedom to live.  I am not my thoughts.  Instead I am the keeper of thoughts, the watcher of the mind.

I am becoming more aware.  More aware of my thoughts, my emotions, my reactions, my anxieties.

The Watcher

So far, this has been quite a change.  It is changing the way I look at myself.  I am no longer defined by my mind.  I am the watcher.  I like it.  Just this slight change in perception has already helped to quell my anxieties.  Becoming the watcher has made me feel more at peace, more even tempered, more hopeful.

I have so far to go.  My mind is not the only thing that is in desperate need of change.  While hibernating in the darkness I have not been kind to my mind or body.  I know that.  Again…I am admitting…. As I become more and more identified with the watcher I am more aware of the need for balance.  Yes, balance (there’s that word again, my favorite word for quite some time now.  Balance in all things is what I’m after).  I must start feeding my body what it needs.  I must start moving more.  I must keep myself hydrated.

Begin Again

Stoked, to see what this journey is going to teach me.  Happy, that instead of becoming the definition of insanity, I am breaking those patterns in my life that aren’t working for me.

This is just the beginning.  I am retraining my brain.  Taking charge of my mind, which gives me charge of my life.  I WILL run my life, instead of life running me.

Recent Inspo

Women Who Run With the Wolves


The Power of Now


Live Your Legend


What are your thoughts?  Do you identify yourself solely through your thoughts?  Do you think the mind is powerful enough to control us without our even being aware of it?  




Boost Your Mood

I’ve been in a low recently.  Booo hissss.  Good news is, I’m climbing on up!  I’ve done some soul searching, some meditation, lots of reading…you get the picture.  My mind and soul are feeling much better, but I have still been lacking in the body department.  Since my goal is balance in all things, I’ve gotta get my butt in gear!!  Get movin’!

I made this infographic to share some much-needed motivation for myself & anyone else feeling the struggle.

Here’s to hoping this gives someone a little boost!boost


Progress Not Perfection


Amazing.  Awesome.  Fantastic.  Incredible.  Invincible.  Inspired.

These words describe what I felt like after reaching my weight loss goal and becoming a personal trainer.

My life was completely changed by fitness.  I felt younger, happier, healthier…just plain AWESOME!

Years passed…

Obsessed. Critical. Self-deprecating. Labeling. Judgmental.

These words are what I allowed myself to become.

Never Enough

For YEARS I struggled with the issues above.  Instead of focusing on my accomplishments and how awesome I was feeling, I focused on my weaknesses and my feelings of inadequacy.

In my eyes, I never measured up.  I was never fit enough.  My arms: not defined enough.  My butt: not firm enough.  My stomach: not flat enough.  I needed more muscle.  I needed a lower body-fat percentage. I needed a better tan.

Nothing was ever ENOUGH. I was never enough.

Due to my constant need for comparison, I began drowning in negative thoughts.  I compared myself to every female I saw.  Ladies at Target, chicks in magazines, fitness competitors, skinny chicks, muscly chicks, girls at my gym, ladies at the grocery, TV stars…. You get the picture.


So, I trained HARD in the gym.  Is that a bad thing?  Not necessarily, but…

Working out TOO hard or TOO often can be a bad thing.  Your body tells you when it’s had enough…mine was screaming for me to slow down, back off, REST!!  I just wouldn’t listen.  This mentality landed me a couple lovely shoulder and back injuries that haunt me to this day.  If only I had listened to my body, these injuries were entirely preventable.

My unhealthy obsession continued to grow.  I began to weigh myself… EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  If the scale had moved up…AT ALL…I would begin to panic, or feel like a failure.  Eventually, once a day was not enough.  I began to weigh myself every time I stepped into my bathroom!

I felt as if I had something to prove.  I was vocal about health and fitness. I ate healthy and made sure everyone knew.  I drank TONS of water.  I downed protein shakes. Ate loads of veggies.  Took my vitamins. Timed my meals. Planned my workouts in advance.  All the while, making plenty of time to judge others who weren’t as “dedicated” or “healthy” as I was.

Still despite all of I effort, it was never enough.  At least not in my mind.

I constantly felt like a failure.

Eating a bad meal? That one bad meal would ruin my whole day.  Eating ANYTHING not considered “healthy” made me feel an overwhelming sense of guilt.  I would berate myself.  I’d call myself names while looking disgustedly at my reflection.

My thoughts: “Ooooooo, you had a piece of chocolate cake?!?!  Throw in the towel, fat kid!”

Missing a workout?  I would worry about the weight I would put on because of that missed workout.  Missing one workout made me feel like a phony.

My thoughts: “Personal Trainer?!?  You can’t even get your own ass to the gym!  You are a joke!”

I had an ALL or NOTHING mentality.  If I failed miserably at one meal, I’d follow up with even crappier eating choices the rest of the day.  If I missed a workout, I would miss five.  Makes sense right?!?!  (Why the heck do we do this crap to ourselves??)



What started out as a journey to freedom, became my own personal prison.  I was not free to live.  I had to stick to a certain diet.  A certain workout.  A certain number on the scale.  A certain persona.

At some point, I began to come to my senses.  I began to think, WHY?  Why am I so concerned about how other people view me?  Why am I so hard on my body?  Why is this no longer fun for me?  I was letting my comparison mentality rob me of who I was.  Of my goals.  My desires.

My health and fitness journey began as a way for me to better MYSELF.  Not to impress anyone else.  I go to the gym for me!  I eat well for me!

My journey is just that…MY journey.

People-pleasing used to run very deep in my DNA.  So it’s a disease that I’ve had to work hard at curing. I am slowly, but surely, cutting this mentality out of my life. Trying to measure up to someone else, trying to meet someone else’s expectations, trying to be someone you aren’t…All those things are ridiculous, and not to mention, EXHAUSTING!!!

Shaking off that mindset, feels like coming alive.  Many of us live daily under the weight and baggage of social constraint.  Why?  Why do we let society dictate our “norm”?  Have you seen the state of our society today?  WHY would we want to let THAT dictate who we are?!?!?!?

News Flash:  This isn’t high school anymore.  Time to leave the childish thought processes behind.  Time to grow up. Time to live life for YOURSELF!  Who the hell cares if you’re the cool kid?  Who cares if you are the most good-looking? Who cares if you are the strongest? Fittest? Most disciplined? Who told you that you had to be defined by a number on a scale?

So what if you don’t look/act like everyone else.  You are YOU!  You are not better than anyone, and there is NO ONE better than YOU!


Finding Balance

Ongoing theme of my life at the moment = “Finding Balance”.  Why do I want balance so much?  A balanced life = a happy life. Sounds easy enough right?  Ha!

In order to find balance, I had to completely change.  Not my diet.  Not my workouts.  Not my beauty routine.  Instead the thing that needed the most change was my mindset.

I began to view my life as a whole.  Fitness and nutrition are just two of the puzzle pieces that make up my life.  Just two words in the definition that is Kristal.  I am so much more.  Taking a step back, looking at the big picture, makes it much easier to see where adjustments must be made.

I want a life filled with peace and happiness.  I want a life that makes my heart smile.  I found that the negative vibes I was drowning in were coming directly from me.  My own thoughts toward myself and my body were poisoning my life.

So I threw out the scale (ok,ok…it’s still around, just not easily accessible).  And now, instead of beating my body up about not looking up to par, I thank my body.  I began to allow myself to feel comfortable in my own skin.  I accept that I am flawed.  We all are.

It’s ok.  I’m ok.  You’re ok.

The key, to overcoming this negativity, lies in knowing you are amazing.  Your body, no matter the shape or size, works miracles for you every day.  Mine has done some pretty awesome stuff:  run miles, jumped hurdles, hiked a few mountains, and given me five amazing kids.

Balanced Eating

Here’s a secret: there is no miracle diet.  No juice cleanse, no Dr. Oz concoction, no cabbage soup or lemon drink  is going to make you healthy.  You may lose a pound or two, but nine times out of ten you are gonna gain those pounds back and they will bring their friends. You’ll end up weighing MORE than you did before starving yourself in the name of “detox”.

Your body needs FOOD. Eating is a GOOD THING!  Just remember…. Find balance…

For me balance in nutrition is not about finding the perfect diet.  Instead it’s about being mindful of my choices.  I try to eat whole, healthy foods on the reg.  I stay hydrated and I still take my vitamins (just not the 52million supplements I thought I needed before).

The difference is, I also allow myself to indulge in the occasional chocolate cake, Starbucks coffee, and slice (or two) of pizza, WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY!!  I allow myself to live. (Funny, now that I allow myself to eat these things without guilt, I don’t eat them nearly as often!  Mind over matter?  Who knows…all I know is I LOVE that it is working for me!)

We are all SOOOO different.  That’s the beauty of life.  What works for me, may not work for you and that’s OK!  Find what works for you, find what balance looks like in your eating habits and roll with it!!

Perfection is a Myth

Before I wrap up this post, I want to let you in on one more secret.

Perfection doesn’t exist. 

We are all human, it is in our very nature to be flawed.

Not one person, on this Earth, is perfect. 

I have a friend who runs an awesome personal training studio in West Georgia.  His motto is, “Strive for progress, not perfection”.  I LOVE THAT!  I’ve made it one of my mantras.


Progress!!  It’s all about the progress…Keep striving for progress.

Maybe you aren’t the super fit guy/gal at your gym.  Maybe you’re not be the skinniest person in your circle of friends.  Maybe you LOVE pizza and ice cream way too much.  Maybe you’re not be at goal weight.  Maybe you aren’t society’s idea of beautiful.

Let me tell you right now…


(*Unless you are ugly on the inside, that’s an entirely different can of worms…a post for another day? Ha!)

What matters most is…YOU are YOU.  Be true to who you are.  If what you are doing is not making you happy, STOP doing it.  If the people that you are associating with don’t see your worth, find a NEW circle of support.  You are in charge of your life.  Stop letting society and negative thought patterns tell you otherwise.

Fail, Fail and Fail Again

My last tidbit of wisdom on this topic: Don’t be afraid to fail.

We all fail.  We all eat bad shit.  We all skip workouts.  We all have bad habits.  We all struggle.  It’s OK!!!


Don’t let your short-comings stop you from being who you were destined to be.

You my friend are DESTINED to be happy, healthy and balanced: Mind, Body and Soul!