Mouth-Breathing is So Unattractive: Listening To Your Body & Fighting the Mental Battle

Mouth breathing is so unattractive, seriously the combination of Darth Vader and exasperated sighs about does a girl in.

Mike could tell right off the bat that I wasn’t myself as we grouped up before the start of Big Peach’s half marathon training run Saturday morning. Mike is my newest running friend, having recognized him from previous events he decided to join the pace group I was leading during this training season. He’s from Philly, having only been in Atlanta for 3 years, and grandfather of two; his drive and encouragement make the miles go faster, however this morning would be particularly tough. My body wasn’t 100% and my normal chipper self felt stuck inside my own head.

Fast-forward to Monday and the mental game started waging – my body still craving rest, but in that state of weakness and vulnerability the enemies lies against wellness were all too loud. Jon joined me for a walk that morning around the park that is now our front porch view and the food game began to start. “You aren’t well enough to run, but that means you can’t eat either” STOP. But my attempt at drowning it out doesn’t last long “you can’t run, you can’t eat, you won’t be able to race well in October so forget racing elite again, you ate unforgiving things yesterday you are just letting sit in your body” FAILURE.

No. The narrative HAS to change. No. I am not going to run when my body says no. Yes. I will trust that my body is going to work the way it was created and tell me what and when it needs to be nourished. No. This doesn’t ruin everything or anything. And it’s all so much easier said than done, but it’s something that is constantly being reinforced in this season.

Getting sick isn’t a norm for me (thankfully), but when it hits it’s just hard, plain and simple. Rest and I don’t have a super close relationship, and forcing myself to go down is like trying to tie up a calf at a rodeo, kicks a-firing, add in the mental health aspect and it’s a full on show.

So what did a series of days with no exercise look like? It looked like continuing to learn to listen to my body and not my head. It looked like choosing Jesus instead of giving way to the lies of the enemy. It meant enjoying a GF Mexican Sandwich w/ bowl of black beans and rice with a kick to help nourish my body last night (and completely and grossly drain my sinuses). I always come back to Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. (check it out here) because these recipes are life giving and consider well-rounded health. It’s writing down all the feelings and voices you are hearing to help work through it instead of letting it compound inside.

BUT it also means utilizing the technology we have available to check in with yourself when you might not quite understand it. My Garmin Forerunner 35 (learn more here) has helped me track my heart rate and understand how my body is adapting to certain things since I’m under the weather.

It’s everything about continuing this journey.

If anything envelopes these thoughts above it’s that we are created so beautifully and intricately that even though our bodies can sometimes fail us, they are also INCREDIBLE machines that give us signals and cues to what and when our bodies need certain things, food, rest, exercise, and HELP. Don’t get wrapped up inside your own head and forget to listen to everything else that’s going on.

You are stronger than you think, more capable than you think, and completely enabled by your Creator!



Fitness Goals & Apps to Help Get You There

Coming off of a great race, I’m in full on recovery mode, but that doesn’t mean new goals aren’t formulating in my head. Honestly, that’s step ONE. Where do you want to be, what goals do you have, what motivates you? Write this ALL down (and keep coming back to it and adjusting). THEN explore different ways to get there. Whether it’s in the realm of fitness, nutrition, or both don’t feel like you don’t have to do this alone.

Your goal may be something like this: walk for 15 minutes 3 days a week, or this: better toned arms, or it may look like this: Run a sub-3:00 marathon. Either way the following can be there for all of you, and at least one of these will be a great way to push START  and have a great community to be in the journey with you.


I’ve had several people say YES to getting some workouts as well as fitness apps to help them stay on track with their fitness & nutrition goals so here is a little all inclusive:

Nike TrainingFull Body. This app is FREE and has SO many workouts to choose from, whether upper arms, stretch, or short cardio. I love doing these workouts to mix up my training, plus you can take it anywhere!

StravaRunning + Cycling. This app is great for staying in community with other runners. You can find routes, community to cheer you on, and keeps all of your stats in one app.

MyFitnessPalNutrition. Log your food intake, activity level daily, and weight goal, and watch it adjust to your specific needs including a general understanding of your individual nutrition values. Be careful with this one because it can become a little obsessive, but if you want a better view of nutrition and fitness for you it’s a great place to start.

Nike+ Run ClubRunning. I love this app for its guided runs and training plans. If you have a specific distance you are reaching to go this one adapts to your schedule and your training needs. The guided runs are great to stay motivated during the harder days!

FitBit Activity Tracking + Nutrition. You don’t have to have a FitBit to use their app and it’s a great way to join in with others and come up with one common goal for the week! It’s relatively basic, but if you are just wanting to push START with a few people this will do!

All Trails Trails Runners & Hikers. Really just anyone who likes to explore outdoors will LOVE this one. This app shows locations near you, maps, and the level of intensity. Great for beginners looking to stick close to home and those wanting to go big in a brand new place!

SweatFull Body. This one is a subscription, but I used the free trial and it is a GREAT way to start building full body workout discipline. There are challenges and area specific workouts to choose from, and the community is HUGE so you will have so much support.

**Gear is Nike & Tracksmith

***Photography is Hevesi Photography 

If you have any questions or additions let me know, or leave me a comment from the questions above!


Beneath My Feet – Oiselle

Beneath my feet the whirring of the treadmill drowns out everything around me; I’m lost in my thoughts and honestly sometimes where I land scares me, but mostly it frees me. Getting lost looking out the window as the sun begins to rise, alone in the gym, setting myself up for what will typically be a full day, in the best way possible – letting go…

While grudges aren’t a strong suite of mine, holding onto stress is, and beneath my feet on a cold morning to myself in the gym helps my completely surrender what I’m afraid of in the day to come, or what I’m holding onto in the past. As Rafiki said “Ah, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it…or learn from it.”, well believe you me there is an option “C” – both. While some pain is bigger than others, God has given us all a beauty of healing in whatever way He created in us whether that’s art, writing, dancing, building, or in my case running. Be grateful for the steps beneath your feet as you venture onto His purpose in your life in the day to come.

February 2018

Jon and I were talking a few days ago in a moment I had just been overwhelmed by gratitude. The chance to get up every single day and do what I love: hit the pavement (or the treadmill) and go! SO many people in this world don’t have that luxury, either they physically or financially can’t or they live in an environment that doesn’t allow it. But not only does the opportunity to run continue to present itself, but the opportunity to partner with amazing people who help care for those that cannot.

The past couple weeks of training have been hard. Pushing my pace in general, but also for longer miles. Sprinting 5Ks and then doing that again the next weekend. But each time no matter how many hills I’ve battled it’s been an overwhelming and emotional moment crossing the finish line or even just finishing a run. And God allows me to continue…

February 10th – Hearts & Soles 5K

  • This was my second time at this event, and while Jon didn’t run this year it was a fun morning for us both. The rain held off and it was a comfortable low 50 degree, cloudy morning. The easiest thing about this race is that since having done it before, my expectations were already set. And after a long run the morning before, there were no time goals, just GO. The Atlanta Track Club really does a fantastic job with this event. It’s always very well supported, people show up and show out, and it’s run so smoothly.

February 17th – Atlanta Mission 5K

  • Also my second time at this race, although it has been a few years since the first go around. The best thing about this event is that it is SO much more than a 5K: it’s stories of hope, it’s coming together as a city to support people who don’t have what we have. It’s dancing, laughing, acting crazy, and listening to leaders who have huge, God-sized vision for this city, and its FUN. The course is one of the hardest 5K courses I’ve done, but every single step is worth it. Thanks Atlanta Mission for another incredible year.

February 24th & 25th – RunDisney Princess Weekend w/ Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

  • This whole month is clearly about doing things for the second time. As I head to Orlando this week in partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals , in honor of my late grandfather, I want to say THANK YOU again for the generosity of people in my circle who helped give kids a chance at LIFE. You are heroes, and I’m so excited to not only race in honor of Pop, but in honor of you! And celebrate the chance to be here and breathing and living.

On Thursday, the treadmill was whirring beneath my feet as I watched the news on the screen. What would have normally been a run of the mill (literally) morning where they showed us the weather, the traffic, and whatever shooting and/or fire happened overnight in Atlanta, this morning was different: it was kids who would never see their teachers or friends again, friends and teachers that don’t get any more moments on this Earth. And while I’ve unfortunately seen these stories too many times now, this one struck me differently – I get another moment and I want to be bold in using it! So tearfully (which was challenging when I was clipping at faster pace) running changed. And it’s a beautiful journey, in the valleys and hills.


Thanks to my Nike (Pegasus 34), Mizuno (Wave Rider 21), New Balance (Fresh Foam Zante), Nuun Hydration, and Larabar for keeping me going!