Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
Health & Fitness

I Broke Up with the Gym: Here’s Why & How I’m Staying Healthy

It’s true.

If you’ve read for a long time you probably know fitness is a big part of my life.

A year ago, the thought of not regularly attending a gym would have caused immediate hyperventilation and hives.

You would’ve needed to break out the big guns to resuscitate me.

Like waving a big fat stack of pancakes or a frosted chocolate brownies under my nose.




Back to quitting the gym.

I did it.

I quit the gym cold turkey.

Let me tell you why and what I’m doing to stay healthy.

Oh- and before I begin I should tell you I’m NOT selling you anything. I’m NOT in any way affiliated with what I’m using now or anything like that. I’m just a satisfied customer that has benefited from the content they provide.

Moving on-

For the last few years I’ve only be going to the gym once a week. .

The rest of the week, I’d do at-home workouts.

They varied between my own manifestations (Yes. Manifestations. 😂) or YouTube workouts.

Regardless, I found I was able to maintain my desired level of fitness using these tools.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved my gym days. It allowed me the opportunity to lift heavier weights, have access to a big mirror to make sure my form was on point, plus access to lots of equipment like benches, barbells machines, etc. I don’t have a home.

However, when I looked at my yearly investment against my yearly visit total, it wasn’t a good return.

Adding in another onsite session wasn’t going to work with my current schedule, so I had to give some serious thought about what was important to me.

I decided being healthy and staying fit was important to me.

Yes, I realize that sounds like a no brainer, but hear me out.

Would I love to be stronger, or be able to finally shoulder press 40 lbs, or master my squat?


However, if I could achieve the same physique without it (though achieved differently) and have a workout regimen that fit my life right now, that’s what I decided was most important.

Around the time I was kicking around what to do with my membership, my blogger friend Erin invited people to give Beachbody on Demand a try.

I was able to do a free 14 day trial and joined a 7 day workout group with her and some of her friends and family.

I already knew about “BOD,” as they call it, and was very interested. I thought this was the perfect time to give it a shot!

I did, and there was no going back.

Long story short, my free trial was enough to convince me I was ok relinquishing my gym membership.

The one I hardly attended anyway.

So yeah! I broke-up with the gym and am saving about $450 a year because of it!

I wanted to share all this because we’re nearing the end of the year and people will soon begin thinking about possible 2018 health goals. BOD is a fantastic gift to give someone or yourself this year for so many, many reasons!

Now that I’ve been using BOD for 6 months I definitely feel like I can share some pros and cons of it versus a gym membership. I thought it might be helpful for others interested in doing the same thing!

Cons of BOD

1. You definitely need to have a decent internet connection.

You stream the workouts, so if your internet stinks, you’ll probably lose your mind.

2. If you’re a social butterfly, you might miss the human interaction a gym membership offers.

3. While this isn’t necessarily a “must” depending on which workouts you choose, you’re most likely going to have some upfront costs getting your workout space setup.

I had to buy some extra dumbbells. While I’d love to add to my “home gym” (read: my living room), it just isn’t really realistic in our current space. Therefore, I make what I have work.

4. Speaking of space- you’re going to need it.
I’ve found a small little area does the trick, so while this is listed as a “con,” I’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t have a tiny square in their living room that would work.

5. Instruction
That’s definitely one element BOD lacks. Sure, a person on TV can tell you how to do a difficult exercise, but if you’re a novice and have no idea what you’re doing, you can risk injury.  I’d say this is probably one of the biggest cons.

With that said, I suppose it can happen anywhere, but it just seems riskier streaming a workout versus doing one at the gym with mirrors and access to helpful staff.

6. Possible strength loss

It really depends on your goals and at-home equipment.  If you’re squatting mad weight and have access to a barbell at home- disregard.

However, for the rest of us, there’s a possibility of losing some of the strength we attained at the gym.

For example, my workouts are completely different now. While I do strength training multiple times a week with weights, I’m no longer working isolated muscle groups each time, increasing to super heavy weight, using machines/equipment, etc.

My workouts are more functional to what I have on hand. While I definitely can no longer leg press 315lbs, I find I’m fitter and have greater endurance.

It’s really about your goals.

So yeah- that’s a possible con to consider.

So let’s talk pros!!

Pros of BOD
1. As long as you have an internet connection, you can workout anytime or anywhere.

Midnight? Check. Christmas? Check.

Yep. No more waiting for the gym to open or wishing they had more convenient hours. I love this perk!

2. Come as you are

I’ve made my excessive man-sweat abundantly clear over the years. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve saved not getting ready to workout compared to when I went to the gym.

Granted, I didn’t get all that ready when I went to the gym either, but now? I can workout in whatever I want and it doesn’t matter one iota. Man sweat and all.

3. Not having to deal with sweaty people who don’t wipe off their equipment

I’m now the only “sweaty people,” and I don’t own any equipment. Problem solved. Haha

4. No dealing with meatheads, inappropriate gawkers, sweat flingners, people who hoard equipment, people who sit on weight benches and check their phones whilst others impatiently wait nearby to use said bench

Should I go on?

Basically- you don’t have to deal with people.

5. But if you wanted to!

Deal with people, that is…

I’ve found there’s a great community on BOD. I don’t participate in it, but if one wanted to, there’s plenty of ways to get involved. From boards and forums, to organized workout sessions, and Facebook workout groups- there’s as much (or as little) interaction as you want!

6. Cost
The cost is kind of ridiculous. For one year, I paid about $175, which also included a couple guides and cookbooks, food portion containers, and a month of Shakeology (but I ended up cancelling my Shakeology subscription).

If you didn’t want to do all that, you could pay $100 for a one year subscription, which is what I’ll do next year. They even have shorter duration/cheaper options so you can test it out for 3 or 6 months.

7. Content
Y’all, their content is straight up fire.

They have something for everyone. Family/group workouts, yoga, Pilates, high impact, bodybuilding, weight loss, the kitchen sink…

There’s something for every fitness level and interest- and they’re always adding more!!

From P90X, to 21 Day Extreme, PiYo, and everything in between…

I love all the options. It makes staying on track so so easy. I can do high impact HIIT workout and match it with a low impact cardio session.  I can do weights and then find a quick 20 minute stretch afterward. The options kind of feel endless.

I LOVE the versatility. There’s honestly something for everybody. Or everyBODy (see what I did there?).

It’s a program to follow with all the workout guides associated with whatever program you choose AND the nutrition plan. They include those details, too.

Real life.

8. Goals Achieved

Y’all, I’ve done more pushups in these last 6 months than ever before! While I’ve lost strength, I’ve gained a ton of endurance, agility, and am so much better at functional movements.

I am such a better “athlete.” My core is nice and tight because of all the different challenging workouts I’m doing and switching it up (um, but no popping “abs” because I love junk food too much 🍪 😂).

Will even commented on me being “firmer” the other day. 😂

Y’all- this thing is the real deal and such a good gift to give yourself or others.

So yeah! I broke up with the gym, and as you can see, I’m not too sad about it.

If you guys want to do a 14 day trial in January let me know and maybe we can get a Facebook group together or something.

Like I said, I’m not a coach and I’m not sure how it would all work, but it might be fun to have some accountability in the new year! Plus maybe after reading this little commercial I ought to become one? Haha

Think about it and let me know in December.

That’s all for now.

More to come!! ❤️

(And here’s me being silly after a BOD workout for prosterity haha)

Goofy. Plain and simple

Welcome to February (wherein I mostly tell you I’m old)

Hello friends!

We survived the doldrums of January!

You may think I’m crazy, but aside from the longer days, which I love, I prefer winter to summer.

I mean, either way I’m working.

When I was young, summer meant no school, going on vacation, and fun!

Now it’s just hot, steamy, sweaty, and miserable. And the grass has to be mowed a million times.

Which is more annoying for Will than me, but still…

Anyway- summer is basically the long, hot stretch that gets us to football season.

Hopefully I’m making you more optimistic for February. 😊

How did I get off on this tangent? Let’s get back on track.

It’s February!

Are you stocking up on chalky candy hearts and Barbie valentines?

Gosh those days were fun/awful.

Spending time with my girlfriends and reading way too much into the valentines we got from boys.

You know, because a super hero valentine that said nothing but “Have a Super Valentine” signed by said boy totally meant we were going to get married.


I sure am glad those days are over! I’m not even sure Will and I got cards for each other the last few years. It’s just not our thing.

Awful chalky conversation hearts? Totally my thing.

Kind of.

Except not really.

I guess I like the conversation part more than the taste, you know?

They’re so darn cute!

We did, however, decide to buy delicious giant boxes of Godiva “for each other.” We braved the mall last weekend and bought ourselves a generous gift.

Will thinks we can just eat one each day and savor it most of the month.

I think he’s crazy.

Anyway, let’s talk life stuff.

Like how my poor husband almost fell apart last month.

He hurt his back in high school, and from time to time will have issues, but nothing major.

Last month, I kid you not, he sneezed an epic sneeze.

The sneeze of all sneezes.

A violent one that nearly shook the house.

And it literally brought him to his knees. The darnedest thing!

Then he couldn’t get up.

Yep, the guy threw out his back.

With a sneeze.

Real life.

He took recovery super seriously, lots of nights lying on the floor and on a heating pad.

Guys, we’re getting old.

Like actually old.

My wrinkles are for real, and Will hobbled around for a good three weeks.


And I’m pretty sure this year I enter “mid-30s” and Will enters “late-30s.”


If we ever did have kids, we’d have to hire teenagers to play and chase them around. We’d be too fragile.

So yeah. Happy 2017!

Speaking of oldness, one thing that hasn’t gotten stagnant are my workouts.

I took a recovery week in January, which was long overdue and wonderful.

I’m always recharged and refocused coming off a recovery week.

This year I’m working on increasing my workouts. I workout four days a week, and I’d like to increase to five days or find ways to sneak in extra workouts during the week.

Did I tell you a few of us at work are walking a mile every day? It’s wonderful! I can’t even tell you how good it’s been for me mentally and physically.

Most of us who have a desk job know we’re supposed to get up and walk around once an hour of so. The reality is, however, that it never happens.

Having accountability just to take a few minutes each day to get up and walk has been great!

Until summer for the aforementioned reasons.

Maybe we can go earlier?

Walk inside? Hmm…

Anyway, it’s been such a great bonus exercise.

Not only that, but up until Will hurt his back, he and I were walking every night before dinner. It was so so SO nice.

I’d leave work on time and just take my computer home if I had more to do that night, and I’d quickly change and we’d go before it got dark.

We’d talk about our days and everything in between. It’s a lovely time.

With the days staying a little lighter, it will be easier to do now. It was a bummer having Will hurt. I missed our walks, but things are on the up and we’ll be back to it this week (I think!).

As for actual “real” workouts (I consider the walking bonus ones), I’ve stayed fairly consistent.

One major downer is that I haven’t made it to the gym near as often as I wanted to over the holidays and football season.

Don’t be fooled, I was still working out and doing quality workouts, but I was doing far less heavier weight lifting. I missed it!

With football season over, and schedules more normalized, I’ll be hitting the actual gym twice a week to lift. My other workouts will be done at home and will be circuit training or HIIT with lighter weights.

I’d like to add in a third home workout, so hopefully I can phase that in this month!

Sooo let’s transition into fuel for workouts...

In complete transparency, I’ve loosened the reigns on my diet over the last several months.

And just been glorious.

I’m living life, y’all, and it’s a good thing.

Im not kidding, several years ago I was extreme about eating. I would venture to say it was unhealthy and made everyone around me miserable.

I never, absolutely ever, allowed myself treats no matter the circumstance.

For me personally, I determined that was a really unhealthy way to live. I just ended up binging on junk when I reached my willpower breaking point, and the cycle would start all over again. Great plan! Haha

I’ve found I do heaps better when I just live my life.

I eat healthy and and am mindful of my food and macros, but I also give myself room for indulgences and “flex” calories throughout the week.

I’m not training for a bodybuilding competition, so I shouldn’t be eating like it. Not only that, but I needed more calories, so that’s been good too.

Yay for food and yay for well-planned treats!

Where am I going with this? Basically, not much had changed with my diet in terms of healthy eating, but I’ve become less rigid (read: LESS CRAZY) on indulgences.

The best part of all? Nothing has changed with my overall appearance either. Yay for quality eating.

I’ll have to share one of my favorite old recipes I recently revamped soon.

Oh and if you’re curious about that whole philosophy, Metabolic Effect has some fantastic articles on hormones and keeping HEC (hunger, energy, and cravings) in check.

Welcome to the present

Back in 2013, after a wonderful night celebrating my sister’s 23rd birthday, I was sleepy and not paying attention when I fed the Bigs. My phone fell out of my pocket. Rocky chomped on it. It was ruined. Enter new phone.

Four years in technology feels like an eternity, so it was time to upgrade.

I feel like such a granny learning all the new stuff (read above paragraphs about my oldness). I got the new iPhone 7 and can’t wait to try the new camera! I’m waiting for my case to come in before I start using it.

After feeding my previous phone to Rocky, a case before use felt mandatory. Ha!

James Things

In my previous post, I mentioned my 2017 study on James.

Guys, it is killing me.

It took me the entire month to get through the first chapter.

The last couple of years have included their fair share of trials. Having lived it, and am still walking through it, I know in my heart these are trials the Lord has placed before us.

I have not lost heart, though I’ve certainly had my moments. I know what the Word says and that He is absolutely going to give us the wisdom to take the next step. We’re still fuzzy on it, but some things are finally starting to take shape. I pray these coming days and weeks continue to bring wisdom in upcoming decisions. We would welcome your prayers!

Other Random Things
I’ve entered the world of using retinol products.

(As if you hadn’t already gleaned from the above: I.AM.OLD)

Nothing strong, just a night creme that has some in it.

Why didn’t I make this transition earlier!?

Probably because I was afraid my face would peel off. Apparently that’s possible, but in stronger doses.

Reminder- look into stronger doses.

Our beloved Colts didn’t do so great this season, which was disappointing. I’m hoping with their GM change things are ok the up.

I was rooting for the Packers until they lost, now I don’t really have a dog in the fight.

So I’m Falcons all the way.

But mostly I’m rooting for the Super Bowl food.


Are you an Amazon Prime user? I recently entered the Prime world because I got a discount to join. Tell me all the reasons I should love it!

Ok, I think that’s enough for now. I hope you had a wonderful first month of 2017! Check in again soon. ❤

My Burger King

Dairy Queen opened in a nearby town a couple of weeks ago.

Which is big news. If you live in Oklahoma, your ice cream life is pretty much dictated by Braums, which is headquartered just outside the metro.

Naturally, we agreed to go there soon after it opened because, well, it’s Dairy Queen.

I’m not one of those “opening day” kind of girls.

You’ll never see me standing outside an Apple Store waiting for the new iPhone.

You’ll never find me camped outside a mall or Best Buy Thanksgiving night for Black Friday sales.

Heck, if it wasn’t for Will I’d never even see a movie on opening night! 👵🏻

I’d much rather wait for the hype to die down.

Yet, the day DQ opened I found myself in the passenger seat next to Will in what felt like a mile-long caravan.

All for a Blizzard.

Or a Dilly Bar.

Or an Orange Julius.

Pick your poison.

Surprisingly, the line went fast. Before we knew it we were nearing the giant drive-thru menu, drooling over caloric atrocities just like the next guy.

I didn’t plan for a delicious splurge that day, but had just enough calories/macros left for a small fruit sundae.

Definitely a treat, but also no room for anything stupid either.

A friendly worker met us in the drive/through line to tell us about their grand opening special:

Buy an ice cream cake valued at $29.99 or greater and get a free DQ burger every week for a year.

Naturally, I’m thinking, um- no.

Not only do I NOT want a gigantic ice cream cake in the house all week, but more importantly, my sweet husband does not need more cholesterol in his life.

Will, on the other hand, is all, “That’s a great deal!”

He’s all about a great deal.

As he’s adding a year’s worth of dollars in his head, I’m adding a year’s worth of cholesterol, fat, and calories.

Seriously. We’re perfect for each other.

He can tell I’m annoyed.

He genuinely pretends to care.

In fact, I kind of think he does care when he tells me he won’t do it if I don’t think it’s a good idea.

Oh sure! Put this DQ deal on me!

So we go back and forth for a minute and get to the intercom to order.

As if there was any question in your mind, Will orders the Grand Opening Special- a $29.99 Reece’s ice cream cake.

That feeds 12-15.

For a household of two.

Real life.

As we roll up to pay for our giant cake, the DQ employee hands Will his very own “DQ VIP” card, outlining all the deets for his free weekly burger.

Guys, this is actually happening.

Will could tell I was miffed because of how crappily he eats all the time, let alone adding another free burger on top of everything else throughout the week.

As we arrived home and cut into the humongous cake I couldn’t help but laugh as I tried to explain my perspective, Carrie Heffernan style.

“Will you have a Dairy Queen V-I-P card.” I said slowly.

We both laughed.

I promised not to rib him too much if he promised to up his workouts a little.

Seemed like a good deal, and he’s (obviously) all about one of those. wink

End of Summer (& Beginning of Football Season!) Check-in

Happy (almost) football season, friends!

For us, summer is simply a miserably hot stretch of nothingness.

The season we must endure to get to the most wonderful time of the year (so much for carpe diem eh? Haha)

And we're nearly there!

Though I must say, this summer was particularly busy and full of good things.

As summer winds down, I thought it'd be a good opportunity to share all the overwhelmingly exciting regular summer stuff we've been up to.

Starting with the Olympics.

And how it basically consumed our lives for two weeks.

Which is kind of weird considering we've been married through several Olympic Games.

While we've always watched them to some degree in the past, this time we DVR-ed everything and watched hours of footage each night.

I think we're getting old.

We watched water polo and synchronized swimming, y'all.

And liked it. (Okay, mostly me, not Will)

We're getting old and odd.


While we're getting old and nostalgic...

During the height of summer, when all the fall shows are on hiatus, TV is slow going at the B-Love house.

We decided to pull out our old Frasier box sets and have diligently watched them all summer.

We're already on season 8!

It's one of Will's favorites.

We've also picked up watching The Andy Griffith Show, which we often do during the summer.

Told you we were old.

Will belongs in Mayberry. Sometimes I think he was born in the wrong era. Then I realize what a gem it is to have such a rare "Oak tree" kind of guy, and am thankful the spirit of Mayberry is still thriving in people like Will.

We also pulled out our old copy of Duplex. Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore started in it and it is absolutely hilarious.

I don't know if it kills me so much because we had a condo and shared walls with neighbors on both sides and can relate to some of the things that happen in the movie?

It could be that, but I honestly think it's just plain funny.

Do yourself a favor and watch it. I'm not kidding, tears streamed down my face even after watching it a dozen times before.

Boz and Lucy Turned 70

Or 10.

For some reason saying 70 makes me realize our doggies are getting old!

They still get around great for doggie senior citizens, which is very encouraging.
The pups get out and about!

Although, Boz did bump into a wall the other day, and Lucy has to be let down multiple times each night to go potty...

Nonetheless I still consider them my baby pups, running into walls and all!

So it's been just over a year since my MOHs surgery. I'm thankful to have it behind me. The scar has healed nicely and is a lot less noticeable.

One year post MOHs

Lesson from this scare? WEAR SUNSCREEN.

Hot Pockets

To celebrate Will's 36th birthday last month, we went to Tulsa to see Jim Gaffigan.

It was such a fun day!

There's a restaurant there named Los Cabos that we love, so that's where we started our afternoon for a delicious early dinner.

Because I feel the need to take pictures of food.

Afterward, we drove around and went by Will's late grandma Stella's house. It was a nice memory. It was comforting to see that the house was still fairly well maintained.

Then we headed to the Bok Center for the show.

Waiting to see Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan was so funny!

He ended the show with his famous "Hot Pockets" bit, which had everyone roaring. It was such a good night, and we had a wonderful time.

Other out and about highlights

Summer is generally dull for me and Will, but this summer was a rather colorful anomaly.

Between holidays, multiple birthday celebrations (Layla 💗, Will's grandpa's 90th, and Will) a wedding, other family functions, plus other random events, we were busier than usual throughout the entire summer.

I had multiple coffee outings with friends, dinner with blogger Marisa and her beautiful family, got to meet my precious dear friend's brand new baby, went to the Hilsong United concert, and even reconnected with some old work friends.

I got to cuddle the cutest baby boy in al of Oklahoma. He loved me equally. 15 minutes after this picture was taken he spit up all over me. 😂


It's been a busy summer, and we are cruising into an even busier football season.

Which reminds me-



It's here, finally here!

Will and I transform into different people this time of year. Real life.

Plus, I think things are better in general- cooler temperatures, beautiful changing leaves, pumpkin everything, and the best holidays right around the corner.

We kick off the college season with a challenging opener against Houston... in Houston.

It will be a serious test, and I am excited to see how our boys handle it.

The first home game will also be great because it's the big reveal of the first phase of stadium renovations.

Will and I also have a pro fantasy dynasty were doing together again this year, which will be fun.

I think he uses it as a tool to keep me interested in all of pro football, not just the Colts and Packers.

I'm not sure it's working?

We shall see. 😊

Workout Challenge!

In addition to returning to work because of my former (but now current 😊)boss, one of the people I missed the most at my old job was my "work dad."

We started a workout challenge that will run though the rest of the year.

I have a binder to log my workouts and everything. Ha!

It's been motivating and has helped keep me on track.

I'm hitting the gym to lift heavier weights twice a week (one upper, one lower), and the rest of my workouts are done at home with bodyweight or lighter dumbbells.

Other things

Random things I feel I should share-

Mary Kay's Volu-Firm Night Treatment has basically changed my skincare life.

It's expensive, but well worth it.

I don't use the full Volu-Firm line and stick to the basic Timewise set, but when they discontinued one of their Timewise night creams, I bought the Volu-Firm night treatment instead and will never go back.

I'm running a special for that and their eyelash primer, and I'd love to send you some!

I wasn't completely in love with their eyelash primer until I used it for a few weeks. My lashes are noticeably longer, stronger, and healthier- which makes them even better with mascara.

If you're interested in either (or any MK products) let me know!

Music to add to your workout playlist:

~Lecrae, Sidelines
~Andy Mineo- You Will
~Ready, Set, Go- Derek Minor
~Walk With Me- Canon

Healthy indulgence

I bought half a bushel of peaches last month, and ate all of them in two weeks.

Porter peaches. Also known as the only thing I'll be eating this week.

Real life.

A portion went to a peach cobbler, but the rest?

All mine.

Unhealthy indulgence

For some awful reason Will took it upon himself to buy two boxes of PopTarts.


It's been several years since I've eaten one, and usually I'd say they're overrated.

Only... That wasn't the case at all. I ended up having not one, but two packages (Read:half the box) of the frosted cherry ones.

I've always been a sucker for those.

Such a grownup.

I thought we were behind this nonsense....but I came home today and he had purchased a 10 pack.

Because he hates me.

I think P and I might actually plan a trip to Chicago with Layla! (who started pre-k last week😩) !

First day of school! 😩

Some of our best sister memories were spent there, and it would be so fun to see the city in a whole new light alongside Layla.

Church Clothes
As far as updates on my spiritual walk, it's been a winding road.

(Doesn't it often seem like that?)

This season of life, which I consider the last year and a half, has been full of lots of faith stretching.

Yet through all of it, I've seen the Lord's hand in countless ways.

Sometimes in blatant answers to prayer, where He has blessed in abundance.

Other times in blatant answers to prayer whereby He does the opposite of what I was expecting so clearly that even in the sadness of a situation going another way, His peace sustains me.

It's been one answer after another. Blessing after blessing, grace upon grace.

Things haven't gone how I anticipated, yet I continue to trust.

I still can't see how this chapter is going to end, but I know He does and continue to walk in Him step by step, day after day. Praying His word and seeking His will.

I finished Priscilla Schirer's Armor of God study and would definitely recommend it. I don't usually do studies and prefer to dig into the Word and use commentaries, but I did this one with a friend and it was a big blessing. The only disappointment was the last week. For some reason they took a deep dive into all the pieces except for the Sword of the Spirit, which is pretty important if you ask me! Anyway, other than that piece missing, it was a great summer study.

Will and I are also praying about finding true and meaningful biblical community around us. This journey has been disheartening to say the least. I wish I could round up some of you who I know are deep in the Lord and invite you over! Jesus placed such emphasis on sincere love for the body of believers and how we are family, and I am praying for that, so hopefully in the coming months there will be more developments in this area!

That's a wrap...for now
What an update! I'd say you're thoroughly caught up with me- but now it's your turn. What's new with you??

Heart (and Mohs) Surgery- and a real life update

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Which is simultaneously comforting and terrifying.

After all, we are reminded in Jeremiah that the heart is deceitful above all things, and the Lord searches and examines its depths.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what God sees when He looks at my heart.

Do I spend as much time on the inside of the cup as I do the outside?


I had Mohs surgery on my face to remove some potentially cancerous cells this past Wednesday.

MOHs surgery day one. Glamorous.

I was a wreck the week after my pre-op and as I googled the surgery.

A word to the wise- don’t google worrisome things you’re facing in life.


You will lose sleep.

It’s pretty much a guarantee the most extreme cases or situations will be the first to come up in the search and will ruin you.

I was a wreck because I’m a woman in my 30s. While my best years are yet to be, let’s face it, I’m not shiny faced and 20 anymore. Makeup is a necessity these days and wrinkles continue to appear out of nowhere.

And now I have to worry about basal cells so early!?

The night after my pre-op (which was over two months before the surgery!) I googled and cried and googled and cried some more.

This went on for about a week each evening.

Will, dear Will, was no help.

He’s a guy.

To him there was a problem (possible basal cells) and a solution (the removal of said cells).

Yes, he’s right, but any woman knows there’s more that meets the eye. The worry of all the new spots they’ll probably find in the coming years (a result of my stupid decision to tan during my teens). A giant scar on my face.

One of my dear friends and prayer warriors completely got it. We cried together a lot that week and prayed even more. Her prayers were completely beautiful, true, and anointed. She reminded me of my value in Christ and that He bottles my tears and works for good no matter what.


Her godly prayers strengthened me so very much and the holy spirit used them to bring such peace during the painfully long time between my pre-op and surgery.

Surgery encouragement 💗🙏

I had a of of time to think about my heart condition during the two months leading up to surgery.

There’s so much gunk and yuckiness deep in the depths.

Pride, jealousy, worry, entitlement.



Not only was I going to battle surgery and a scar on the outside, but I also needed some heart surgery on the inside too.

I’d like to tell you the inside surgery has been easier than the outside surgery, but I’d be lying.

It hurts to surrender to Christ.

Not because of Him- His burden is light.

But because of my own sinful nature and desire to rule myself and pursue my own desires.

Just as the doctor stripped away a layer of the bad cells on my nose Wednesday, the Lord has begun to strip away my own internal heart cancer layer by layer.

Pride, worry, spitefulness… The list goes on and on.

I can’t hide the scar on my face, it will always be there.

Two days post surgery

I also can’t hide my hurts before the Lord, He searches the depth of my heart and sears my soul with the promise He is ever present.

Just as my doctor took care to stitch me back together, the Great Physician, my Jehovah Rapha, heals my heart. He prunes away the things that dishonor Him, and fills me with more of His goodness.

My scar will take time to heal and will leave a daily reminder of what transpired. In the same way, my heart certainly also bears the scars of a heart broken by my own sinfulness and horrid decisions, only to be stitched together and healed by a God big enough to restore even the biggest of messes.

I’m not happy I had to go through this experience, but I am thankful for the reminder of where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m heading as I pursue Christ.

To our continued healing, inside and out. 💗

On a much lighter note, I’ve taken several days off to recover and have not done a single thing.

Not even kidding.

It’s been the most uneventful and lazy few days of my entire life. Will and I are surprisingly really good at being completely worthless.

I don’t think that’s a good thing…

I’ve only gone out to see my mom a couple times (my sister and Layla stopped by too!). I also went through a drive through twice, but that’s it.

I have church tomorrow and was a little apprehensive about going at first. You should have seen the awfulness of Will and I trying to appropriately bandage my face. 😂

Attempt number one
Bandage attempt #1 😂 MOHs surgery day three

Attempt number two

Attempt #2 just as awful Mohs surgery day three


At this point I was having a complete meltdown. Thankfully Will went to the drawing board and engineered attempt number three, which was much improved over the previous two.

Third times a charm

I get my stitches out Wednesday and am so ready! Thankfully attempt three made me feel slightly less garish.

I’m sure Will would agree- this staycation has been incredibly dull, but it’s still been nice to be together and heal up.

So there you have it, not only a devo but also a real life update.

Thanks for listening. More to come. 💗

Evolution Nutrition Pre-workout Review

I feel like anytime I review a fitness product for my blog, it’s always a pre-workout.

Are we pre-worked out?

Please say no, ‘cause I’m pushing full steam ahead!

I had a $50 gift card and found a great buy one, get one deal I couldn’t pass up.

I ended up buying Evolution Nutrition’s EVL Pre-workout Engine in watermelon.


After using the product a few weeks, here’s a rundown on what I think!

Lets start with first impressions.

The watermelon flavor smells fantastic. I opened the container and was pretty excited to give it a go. If you’ve used pre-workouts before, you know sometimes they smell and taste simultaneously good and bad.

I was hoping for all good, no bad based on the smell.

Onto the taste

The first sip is fantastic.

Then after a couple more gulps you realize, “Yep… This is a pre-workout.”

It’s not bad by any means, but it definitely has that distinguishable pre-workout taste. Nonetheless it was by far definitely among the better ones I’ve had over the years. Mix up a small glass and stick it in the fridge the night before so it gets super cold, and down it before your workout.

All the Feels

I’ve mentioned before, I like workouts that “tell” me they’re working.

I like the tingles and the increased heat I feel with a good workout.

Some people don’t like that, and still others almost never have that tingly reaction.

I like to know my pre-workout is working, so being on the tingles.

I score EVL high in this area.


Some of my all time favorite pre-workouts are (and always will be) C-4 and Jack3d. I feel they’re superior on all levels (though Jack3d sometimes takes as much as 40 minutes to work which is a big downer).

One reason I like them so much is because I was physically able to measure gains while using them. Increased stamina was fantastic, but my strength was through the roof.

Anyone have a Mini Cooper you need lifted?

EVL definitely provides a high level of stamina. I could go all day, and I like that! However, I haven’t seen much strength increase while using. 

Really, pre-workouts are more for energy and focus, but many also have added creatine to help increase strength and power. This one has creatine included, but I’m not sure the ratios are quite right, at least for me.

I’m going to start a round of creatine later this year, so I’m pretty excited to see the results with that, coupled with, EVL

Watch out! 😉

All in all, I feel like I got a great deal on this product. 60 servings for $30 using my coupon, a good taste, and increased energy.


If you give it a try, let me know!

posted in Health & Fitness bullet permalink bullet 7.22.2015

WIOW: For the One Not as Zealous

As much as I’d hoped Will was going to get on fire for working out, turns out the guy hates exercise.

I get it.

I do.

Sometimes I forget a large percentage of people don’t find exercising “fun” at all!

It’s a workout, after all.

I tend to get overzealous about fitness and need a gentle reminder that, “Hey! Not everyone gets batty over burpees and shoulder presses!”

Thank you, Will.

So what do we do when we’re close to people that don’t love fitness as much as we do?

I thought of heaps, but here are just a few thoughts based on my own experience.

1. Don’t cram it down their throat
They get it, we LOVE fitness, but that doesn’t mean they do.

I usually do a good job of never annoying or bombarding Will with stats on health, but when he expressed interest in working out, I kind of sort of forgot rule number one.

Here’s the deal.

Most non-fitness enthusiasts don’t need to hear about heart disease, diabetes, or how sitting is the new smoking.

I’ve found most people already have a good idea they’re not healthy, and our gentle reminders often hurt more than help.

If I want to get Will to the gym, I’ve found I’ve got to obey #1. It’s got to be his decision, not mine.

2. Invite, but don’t beg

Again, same as number one. It’s gotta be their decision.

I just about always extend an invite to Will, and he always passes. However, a few weeks ago he actually said yes!

He said the fact that I didn’t pester or beg him to go was helpful. Asking is one thing, but begging? Let’s not be over-the-top, here!

3. Don’t have them do the same workout you’re doing


Non-fitness enthusiasts need to ease into working out just like we did when we first started.

Having them do an advanced workout risks injury! Get them in the gym, and get them started on something manageable.

You wouldn’t give an infant steak, so size up workouts accordingly!

You can check out my resistance workouts for Will here and here.

4. Celebrate the small stuff

It’s a good idea not to go full commando on them.

Yes it’s a lifestyle, but their version of lifestyle it looks way different than ours.

Will would never start out with a goal to do a marathon next month. Little victories like actually making it to the gym three times a week for a month is a huge deal for my guy, and it should be acknowledged and celebrated.

5. When all else fails, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day
I’ve seen lots of ups and downs over the years. Full bore commitment, with many (many, many) droughts in between.

It sometimes hurts my heart when I reflect on a loved one’s bad eating and exercise decisions. They know I care, but make the same decisions anyway. It’s hard sometimes!

Much like the above points, I really try to be a positive, healthy influence instead of a condemning one.

For example, Will knows we’re always going to have healthy dinners. I don’t have much “control” over what he eats for breakfast and lunch most days, but I always know he’ll get a healthy dinner.

Would he love cheese fries for dinner? Of course ( would I!).

He acknowledges its important to eat healthy and is thankful I care enough to make sure at least one meal is!

Baby steps can be huge in this arena, and we have to claim each one, every step of the way.


So yeah, a lot of people aren’t as enthusiastic as we are about being healthy. Let’s try to remember that. smile I’ve personally found the above points (as well as many more!) have been helpful in my own life and wanted to share.

Thanks for checking in! See you tomorrow!

Simply Delicious Summer Salad

Welcome to my lunch this week.

Simply perfect summer salad
I know.

We’ve seen a million “perfectly summer salads” bombarding our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest boards to the point where we may just scream if we see another vegetable picture.

But indulge me.

This is the easiest and simplest.


I won’t say fastest.

I wish it were, but anytime you’re chopping a million veggies, it takes a little time.

Nonetheless, it’s basic and fantastic. No frou-frou dressing, no cooking, no waiting.

Adapted from Savor author Shauna Niequist’s recipe

Toss a pint of sliced cherry tomatoes in a large bowl

Simply perfect summer salad

Add a yellow pepper,
Simply perfect summer salad

And an orange pepper,

Simply perfect summer salad

A green pepper,

Simply perfect summer salad

Heck, let’s add in a red pepper too. All the peppers!

Next, toss in three chopped cucumbers

Simply perfect summer salad

Then? The best part. Shave the corn off three corn cobs. Completely raw and fresh- no steaming or cooking! It is so delicious and fresh.

Simply perfect summer salad

Finally, add in a container of crumbled or chopped feta, salt, pepper, fresh basil, drizzle with two tablespoons each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, toss and eat!

Simply perfect summer salad

I love summer.

WIOW: Will’s Lower Body Workout

Last week I shared Will’s current upper body program. Today I’m sharing his lower body workout!

This is what he’ll be doing for the next couple months.

When crafting his workouts, Will was very specific- no squats (he hurt his back badly from doing them when he was younger and has to watch it ever since), and heavy on machines. He also gave me a few things he wanted incorporated.

Whenever I craft workouts for friends (completely with their understanding I’m not a “certified” trainer, mind you), I like to stretch them a little past their comfort zone.

However, with Will, the goal is to just get him inside the doors of a gym.

You want to do the leg press machine and nothing else? Fine by me, dear. I just want you here!

So yeah, the workout lacks some creativity, but it’s basic and works (and Will was gassed by the end).

Plus it’s short.

Just like the upper workout, this one focuses on multiple sets performed back to back without stopping. Once you complete a set, rest for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat two more times. Then move onto the next set.

Just like last week, Will did 3 sets of 10 reps.

Make this a workout! Push yourself a little. Even though this is an easy-ish workout in terms of complexity, it can be easily modified and made more difficult but adjusting resistance and

Here we go!

Set one
Sled machine (leg press)
Calve raises on sled machine
Ball crunches

Set two
Leg extension machine
Standing calve raises (one set regular, one set toes pointed inward, one set toes pointed outward)
Russian twists

Set three
Hamstring curl machine
Seated calve raise machine
Ball crunches

Set Four
Russian twists
Standing calve raises

Done and done!

Check in next week for another workout!

Food this Week

Let’s talk food this week.

And how I’m up to my elbows in Perkins mammoth muffins.

I hate to love those things.

Actually, that’s a lie.

I wish I hated to love those things.

I simply love them.

In terms of loving anything inanimate, of course.

I had a strawberry cream one Saturday that kind of blew my mind. Gah!

The remaining ones (which are much fewer than I originally anticipated) are tucked away in the freezer for this weekend and (hopefully) next weekend. Now I’m back to normal eating.

I figured I’d use today to share what we’re doing this week.

I always always always start my morning with a green monster. Protein, greens powder, chia, a little avocado, a dab of coconut oil, spinach, almond milk, and ice.

For my “second” breakfast this week I’m having two boiled eggs. Bor-ing. Last week I had a piece of toast with a dab of coconut oil and scrambled egg whites which I would have preferred, but this was faster.

Lunch this week is Greek salad with homemade dressing. So so good! I always enjoy Greek salad but rarely make it myself. P made some over Memorial Day, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Instead of adding some sort of green salad base, I ditched that and doubled the cucumber and tomatoes. I also used fresh basil from my aerogarden!

Snacks are chopped carrots and celery with natural peanut butter and honey.

Dinner is where things have the potential to fall apart. Not because of eating unhealthy usually, but because of too much snacking before!

Snacking often involves a spoon and a heaping tablespoon of natural peanut butter. Real life.

This week we’re having breakfast for dinner- scrambled egg whites with one whole egg, and veggies for me (and probably a biscuit with a little white gravy because I’m weak and can’t resist when I make it for Will).

We’re also having spicy black bean and potato burritos.

Finally, we’re making brown rice bowls the last part of week. I cook some meat with salsa in the crockpot for Will. We top our rice with corn, black beans, tomatoes, jalapeños, and Greek yogurt. Will also adds in his salsa chicken and cheese.

I end every night with plain Greek yogurt, stevia, and PB2. If I’ve had a particularly good day of eating, I’ll have my yogurt with a little honey and brown sugar instead.

And there you have it! A week of eating with the B-Love family.

Check in tomorrow! 

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brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics healthy eating (mostly!), peanut butter, and all things health related. Buckle up and get ready for my constant embarrassing moments, health and fitness tips,and my effort to rely on Christ while living life in the real world. Follow me on Feedly! Sign up for monthly emails at!

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