Introducing: Food & Fitness Fridays

August 13th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

(UPDATE: Read the first Food & Fitness Friday post here, where I’m sharing my 14-day wellness jumpstart plan!)

Today we’re getting up close and personal.

Since this is, after all, a personal blog where I share my personal journey with food and health, I’ve decided (after probably way too much thinking…) to be completely transparent with you and welcome you onto a new part of my health journey.

But first, we’ve got to back up a bit.

A Year in Review

Around this time last year, I developed nagging back pain out of the blue that eventually turned into an injury that severely impacted my mobility. Thanks to physical therapy, I healed, but it wasn’t until about 5 months later that I was fully recovered.

I got out of my normal activity routine during my back injury months, which sort of set the stage for my winter—a winter which, I might add, was brutally cold and long. When spring arrived, so did a boatload of life changes. My parents moved to a different part of the state. I stayed in the area and moved to a new apartment. Mental and emotional stress has definitely been very present in the past few months.

It wasn’t until this past week that I realized my life now has a new normal. There are no giant changes on the horizon (for now, at least). The waters have calmed and the clouds have parted. I am sensing some steadiness again, which I welcome wholeheartedly. It will be a different kind of steadiness than it was before everyone moved, but steadiness all the same.

This realization eventually guided me towards another: This year has taken a toll on my body. I’m not as strong physically or mentally as I used to be. I’m not as excited about fitness simply because I’ve drifted away from it. Granted, I still love my long walks and yoga sessions, but I’ve stopped pursuing fitness goals and have lost motivation. And I really miss it.

What’s even sadder to me is that my motivation in the kitchen has waned. I love food and probably always will. But throw a back injury, a tough winter, and a few stressful months into the mix and you’ve got one rather uninspired me. I’ve grabbed more “healthy convenience foods” in the past few months than I would have liked, and have tried incorporating a little dairy back into my diet, which hasn’t gone very well and has probably contributed to some inflammation I’m having.

The result? I’m not feeling as energized, lean, or vibrant as I would like. And when these things are not where I want them to be, my self-esteem plummets. My belief in my potential drops, and so does my ability to live life to the maximum level of what I know is possible for me.

So what am I going to do about it?

Enter Food & Fitness Fridays! I’m going to blog my way back to the leaner and more energized version of myself that I miss, and I’m bringing you along for the ride. On Fridays for the next I don’t know how long, my space here at Daily Bites is going to be a place where I share my goals and updates. I need an accountability partner. Who better than all of you? :)

To be clear, this is not all about weight loss, a wacky diet, or turning into a gym junkie. This is about recommitting to taking care of myself and honoring my desire to improve my health, attitude, and self-esteem.

My current state is a reflection of a challenging year. And that’s entirely okay. I’m actually really glad that I went through some of the challenges I did this year because I’ve learned so much. But now that I’ve learned those lessons, I’m ready to guide my body back towards getting in shape inside and out.

Food & Fitness Fridays will officially kick off this Friday, August 15. I’ll be talking about my goals specifically and my strategies for achieving them.

The BIG Question

The question remains: Should I share progress photos each week? This pretty much terrifies me, so on the one hand I think it might be a really good motivator. But on the one other, I’ve never thought of myself as the person who puts pictures of their abs (or lack of abs…) on the web. Your thoughts? Maybe we can decide this together.

I’ll see you on Friday!



  1. I’m doing something similar. Don’t tell anyone, though. I’m waiting for my family to notice and then I will blog my progress.

    Best of luck to you and your new fitness goals. Can’t wait to see your updates!

  2. Share the progress photos if you want to…Those of us who follow you love what you share anyway so we can only support you. :)

  3. I think you need to keep in mind that nobody is perfect. We are all far from being perfect. With billions of unique humans on this planet, there is no ideal body that fits everyone. Get to the point where you look the way you want to look. You certainly do not need to be thin like a model to be beautiful.

    You know the value of exercise, and I am confident you will get back in to it again. You also know the value of cooking healthy, and you will return to that as well. We all need breaks occasionally. Sometimes life is just too difficult to do everything “right”.

    My thoughts are if the photos make you uncomfortable you should not share them. You can easily describe any progress you make with words.

  4. Tina Colarossi said on August 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Hi Hallie,

    Thank you for trusting us enough to be so vulnerable and honest. I think your journey will be good motivation for me, and others, and maybe we can share some inspiration with you as well. I look forward to reading your blog every Friday, and am eager to see you morph into the person you can and want to be. Blessings!

  5. Hi, Hallie,

    I am so excited to join you on your Food & Fitness Fridays blog as I love that you share so much of yourself with us. You are so genuine and authentic that we can’t help but love you and love the person God has created you to be. I just wish you could see what we all see in you.

    If you need to rest and take a break to rejuvenate, than by all means, do it. I’m certain you’re aware that if you don’t take care of yourself, then you’re not much good to anyone around you.

    And, I agree with Jim…if it makes you uncomfortable to share pictures of your body in transformation, than don’t share.

    You’re a very special lady in my book.

  6. Hallie,
    I am always so inspired and encouraged by your blog, your honesty has made it easier for me to be honest with myself and others. Thank you so much and I’m excited to follow you through your journey!

  7. I look forward to your Friday posts. I have experienced some life changes recently, and would like to feel more like myself again, only better! You can only inspire me.

  8. Thanks, Hallie!

    This will be great. I will appreciate hearing how you approach your health as I care for my own. I’m so glad that I have found your blog.

    As far as how I see myself, I try to remember that in 10 years, I will appreciate how great I look now!

  9. Hallie, thanks so much for sharing this! I too have slipped into a place I’m not very proud of. While I know I need to recommit physically, my goals also include a mental transformation that allows for acceptance of the best I can do – whatever that is. At this stage in the game it’s less than I can do before I had a little one but I need to embrace that and be happy about whatever I can do. I’m in this with you!

  10. You are a brave and inspiring woman. Thank you for your honesty. I look forward to your Friday posts as well as so many others. I also have gotten off of my normal path due to some difficult circumstances in my life, and would love some inspiration. I am encouraged by reading your thoughts for the future for yourself.
    May you be blessed as you step forward in this journey of your life!

  11. I’m still recovering from stress I encountered almost a year ago as well! It’s crazy how badly stress can wreck our health!! I have to keep me sleep consistent or I’m exhausted & cranky. I don’t think weekly pics are needed. Just hearing about your success is enough. Good luck & God Bless!! I’m looking forward to your weekly updates.

  12. This is great Hallie! I have mixed feelings about progress pictures. They are fun to watch, but can also bring out bad viewers. What I actually love more are inspirational pictures (that would probably show your progress anyway!) – you outdoors or doing some fun fit activity. What you are able to accomplish by feeling more fit – that kind of thing. I love it when people focus on what being fit is all about rather than what it “should” look like.

  13. Nothing like a complete change in your life to upset the balance and stress levels! Glad to see you’re settling into your new normal though.

    Be kind to yourself and where you are today. Your journey (towards health and fitness and whatever else) is never linear, and life happens in all sorts of ways. We have to learn to love ourselves throughout all of these peaks and valleys as though we are best friends with ourselves.

    As for progress pictures, if they are motivating for you personally, take them for yourself. All of us love you no matter what your photos look like. But instead, since pictures can be deceiving (as many of us know, leanness does not equal health), why not focus instead on progress in terms of your motivation, energy, mood, self-esteem? I’d love to read how you’re feeling and your progress way more than pics – what you felt good about in a particular week, what you’ve struggled with, what’s motivating you, what’s helping, what’s not, etc.

    I think those of us looking for long-term sustainable health want to read about how you feel better, how your life can be balanced with it (and brutal honesty when it’s not is helpful too), how not every day is going to be perfect and that’s okay, etc.

    Sorry for the long-winded comment! <3 you and <3 this honest post.

  14. What you are embarking on is testament to true strength. As a pilates and fitness instructor who is also currently studying naturopathic nutrition, and have birth to my 3rd child 2 months ago have been contemplating doing the same. Hard times (i lost my mom and job) can take a larger toll on the mind and body than most people understand. It is easy to become used to our new selves, even if they are a mere reflection of who we were or wish to be. Congrats to you on your journey. If you need any support, don’t hesitate to ask me and I hope to join along soon.

    • Rita: Thank you so much. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I appreciate your presence here and look forward to sharing updates about the next leg of my health journey! :)

  15. I wish you much encouragement as you begin this part of your health journey. I have been working on a similar thing this year, though not blogging on it. Just working towards better eating habits, cooking, and some exercise thrown in. I’ve lost about 40 pounds so far, though it comes off veeeery slowly. I don’t really let that bother me – I just figure I’m moving in the right direction, so that’s what I’m glad of! I suggest taking the pictures – for yourself. You don’t have to share them, but they may give you encouragement as you improve your own health. That’s what I’ve been doing. at 10 pound intervals. No one has seen them but me. I just get to a full-length mirror and take a few different views. Maybe when you get to your goal you can share just one before picture and several glorious after pictures!

  16. Dear Hallie, thank you for sharing your wonderful blog and your personal story. You are helping so many people live a more healthful and happy life.
    So often people use their digital presence to present a false ‘perfect’ view of their lives that can seem impossible for us mere mortals to live up to.
    This kind of honesty is what we all need to practice, not just to others, but primarily to ourselves.
    As for photos, you should do whatever is most helpful for you in this journey and post them whenever you feel motivated to and not when you don’t.
    much love and support to you

  17. Stephanie M said on August 15, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Hallie, It has been a long, long time since I have been checking out my favorite blogs…..I am so glad God brought this to my attention today! I am excited for you as you recommit to these things, and inspired by this post to do the same! This has been a crazy year for me as well, and I would love to slow down and focus on the things that you are going to focus on. Thank you for the inspiration! I can’t wait to hear how you are doing! (no photos necessary for me – I would just love to read about your progress!

  18. I am so grateful you are willing to be open, honest and vulnerable. So inspiring….thank you.

  19. Hallie,

    It’s great to see you back in action :). Your blog is one of my favourites! Your post is authentic and inspiring and it’s great that you are committed to getting back on track to the best you that you can be. I am also on a journey towards regaining optimal health – I have had a stressful and challenging year too and my health plummeted as a result. I am excited to read about your progress and to join you on this journey. Looking forward to Food & Fitness Fridays :).

  20. It was so strange easing this because I have been feeling the exact same way! Only thing is, I don’t know if I’m ready yet but then again I don’t know if I’ll ever really be ready! Getting older doesn’t help either but I know how much better I felt about myself when I was stronger and leaner. Now I’m back to feeling depressed and tired all the time. I too have lost enj

  21. Oops…enjoyment in the kitchen too. I’ve been dealing with stomach issues (maybe an ulcer, I don’t know) and the only foods appealing to me are the opposite of what I normally eat. I don’t think it’s helping. But after reading this I think I will join you as soon as this last flare up calms down (can’t stomach any veggies!). Thank you for your inspiration and I look forward to next Fridays post!

  22. I’m in it with you and committing to getting more fit, eating more healthfully and increasing my energy/confidence levels. I value your inspiration and look forward to upcoming Fridays.

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