Tag Archives: motherhood

Self Care is Not Just For Fitness

You have probably heard that word, self care, a whole lot. Usually, it goes along with someone who is inviting you to join them on a journey towards being healthier and being more fit.

That is definitely part of it! A healthy body is part of the whole self care movement, but that is not the only piece! There are so many ways we busy mamas can take care of ourselves so that we can pour into those we love and give ourselves to the ministries and passions we are focused on.

Here are some of my favorite ways to get in a little me time:

*Getting my hair/nails done
*shopping (Did you see my last blog post?)
*Night out with the girls
*Reading an uplifting book
*Learning a new skill
*Soothing music
*Bath time and using my favorite essential oils/natural skin care products
*Going to the beach or any place that has water
*Hiking or fun outdoor activity with girlfriends
*Study a new topic
*Try a new healthy food restaurant
*Test out a new recipe or bake something yummy
*Being creative and putting together pretty outfits for myself, friends, and family.
*Singing, by myself, out loud in my home.
*Taking a nap! (Do it!)

As you can see, there are so many ways to fill your tank. We give a ton to those around us. If you are a mama, you probably feel like you are constantly running on empty.

But, it is hard to pour into others if you yourself are running on empty. It really is.

Fill your tank, then let that overflow into others.

We are such a busy society! Who the heck told us that in order to be great or worth anything, we had to run ourselves ragged? Who said busier was better?

Who said being a wife and mom was an act of a martyr? Um no.

There are sacrifices, yes. Obviously. But being a wife and a mom isn't a prison sentence. It isn't horrible. Let's knock that off.

Let's take care of ourselves and do things that bring us beauty, joy, pleasure, and then let's bring those very things to those we love.

What are your favorite ways to practice self care?

Be a Size You,


Health & Fitness & Your Daughter

Today I saw an alarming statistic posted on one of my favorite Facebook pages for pre-teens. It was concerning young girls and body image.

Image from Secret Keeper Girl

I have read these kinds of statistics before, and they should raise the hair on your neck for good reason. 

Here are some more from Oxygen Magazine (March/April 2017)

*9.5 teaspoons is the amount of sugar per day the American Heart Association recommends (6 tsp for children over the age of two)

*20 teaspoons is the amount the average American consumes!

*$147 Billion is what the cost of obesity is in the US

* 66% of the adults in the US are classified as overweight or obese

* 33% of children and adolescents in the US considered to be overweight or obese

Does that wake you up a bit. Where is that conversation in the churches? Because I don’t hear it very often. 

I am not saying that we should focus on weight. Both of the statistics that are provided are right. It should concern us as parents. And it needs to be addressed. 

Young girls are affected from all sides in regards to their beauty, their weight, their appearance and so much more. And as you and I both know, as they get older, it will get worse. The messaging from the world is confusing. 

But it doesn’t have to be. Not in your home. You can take control of this discussion and this topic. 

As a Christian woman who is a momma to an athletic pre-teen girl, I am taking very seriously these types of conversations. I am not perfect by any means, but I don’t shy away from this issue. Her health is important to me. She has also shared that she wants to be a competitive Olympic swimmer. Whether that actually happens or not is not the issue. I must deal with the topic of her body image and her self care and health. 

I never say in front of my kids that I am on a diet. I might share that I am trying something new to help my health, my body, or my physical performance, but I don’t say “mommy is fat and I need to go on a diet.”

I am not fat. Not even in the slightest. I have been unhealthy. I have been honest with Madi especially about my journey as a wife and momma and with my health. 

I don’t want my daughter to be fearful of the body she has. God made her. I want to teach her how to care for it because it is shows stewardship of what God has given us.

 I also do not shy away from saying what is not good for her (and Sean). I am their mother and I love them.  I love the sugary treat once in awhile as much as anyone. But I am very clear that a treat or dessert or surgery snack is not acceptable for every day. I am okay with telling them no to something that I know won’t benefit them or keep them healthy. I am okay with being that mom. 

But perhaps you are a mom who does need to lose weight. Perhaps the doctor has told you that you need to make changes because it is affecting your health.

Can I encourage you to not say diet in front of your kids? Can I encourage you to share with them (because they will notice that you are cooking differently and doing things differently) that you need to make healthy changes because you want to be around for them? Because you love them? And you love that God has created you and you want to honor Him? 

If your whole family has to make healthy changes, pray first how to address it. How will you speak in your home so that your daughter doesn’t see it as a fat vs skinny issue, but a health and stewardship one. That has to start with you. 

Your daughter will be fed many messages, especially if she attends public school or is active on social media or is away from you for any length of time. You can’t put the blame on them. It must start with the firm foundation you have set in your home. It won’t look perfect, and you will get some of this wrong. 

In my house I try to say this: 

“My body is a temple. Your body is a temple. God created it. How will I treat it?” 

I think as parents, especially Christian ones, we are afraid to talk about weight or health because it seems frivolous and vain and not Kingdom worthy. But it is. Your daughter’s heart can be affected by this. So yes, it is Kingdom worthy. If you care for your daughter, you won’t shy away from having this type of conversation. Too many young girls are struggling because we have shied away from talking about it. We don’t want to damage or hurt their feelings or seem like we are obsessed with body image. This is deeper than skinny or fat. 

Also, please note. For those whose daughters are now struggling with an eating disorder, it beyond self image, although that can trigger it. There are deeper issues going on at that point. Seek professional help and resources. Also, a great book to read would be by my friend Michelle Myers, The Look That Kills

Stop being afraid and start talking Mama. She may roll her eyes or think you are being lame or uncool. I don’t care. I care about her soul and her heart and her walk with Jesus. I’ll be uncool any day of the week if it means I am training her to see truth and not fall victim to the lies the rest of the world throw at her. But I have full confidence that for the most part, she will value the time she gets with you and that you want to share with her and talk to her about tough topics. 

A couple of great resources for you:

Raising Body Confident Daughters by Dannah Gresh 

It’s Great To be a Girl! By Dannah Gresh and Suzy Welbel 

These would be perfect books to pick up today at the library or from Amazon or even from Secret Keeper Girl! 

Be encouraged, mama. This doesn’t have to be weird. Or yucky. Pray. Seek truth. Even seek guidance. And go talk to that precious princess God has given to you to love and care for.

Be a Size You,


What Is Your Health Worth to You?

Quite often, the biggest reason why people will not join one of my Be a Size You bootcamps is because of money. Spending money on themselves when it comes to their health is terrifying to most because they either believe that:

A. It is wasteful and that they shouldn’t have to spend money in order to get healthy


B. They don’t feel good about spending money on themselves. It feels selfish.

I will be honest and say that it drives me absolutely bonkers when someone tells me that they can’t join my bootcamp to get healthier because of money, but literally I see them in Facebook groups buying hundreds of dollars in clothes, buying a pet, going to a concert….you get the picture?

I am not against those things. I buy clothes and like going to concerts. But they showed me that they placed their value not in their health, but in the stuff.

Let’s face it. Health and fitness is not exactly the way to instant gratification. Buying new clothes or going to a concert gives us immediate satisfaction. Like we got our money’s worth.

Fitness and health takes awhile. You don’t see results in one day. Most of the time, your investment won’t show any results until a few months in.

But is your health worth it? I think it is. Obviously, because I have been committed to working out and eating healthy and drinking Shakeology for the last 6 years:

But is it to you? 

How much would you pay if it meant you could play with your kids without feeling tired all the time?

How much would you pay if it meant you could reverse Type 2 Diabetes, have a stronger heart, be given a second chance to live?

What is that worth to you?

I don’t believe that health and fitness is free. It costs you a lot. It costs you your time. It requires sacrifice. It requires effort. It requires investment. I believe humans are worth the investment. New clothes or a new dog or new toys might bring satisfaction for a moment.

But for the person who invests in their health? They will see that investment go way farther than cute leggings ever will. (Again, no shame in buying leggings. I have a TON and I love them!)

Enough with the “I will do the bare minimum.” NO. Go all in. You are worth it! Do it. You won’t regret it!

I have spots open for my March bootcamp. For serious people. For those who are finally ready to really do something.

Take advantage of the All Access plan. You get every fitness program so you aren’t bored. You get these plans for one whole year. You get your first 30 days of Shakeology. You get me as your personal coach to really help you make this a lifestyle, not a short term plan. You will get me for as long as you want. I won’t abandon you. I want YOU to reach your goals. 

Invest in yourself for your life. There is no quick fix to this. Enough with those. What do you really have to lose, except maybe a few pounds or maybe the chains that have been holding you back from living a Be a Size You life? Email me so you can finally join. 

Be a Size You,

She Is Braver Than I

My precious 10 year old daughter ran for 5th Grade Student Vice President.


Can I just say that as a momma, I am so dang proud of her.  At her age, I would have never have thought to try for something like that. I enjoyed singing and acting, but being a part of ASB and coming up with ideas to make your school better and help your fellow peers?

Not a chance.  But that is Madi.  She has a servants heart and she loves volunteering and giving her time.  The fact that she went for it amazes me. She knew that she could lose. She went for it anyway. She is much braver than I.

Today, they announced the Student Counsel Body.

Madi had her hopes high this morning.  She really wanted to be Vice President.

Today, her little heart was broken.  I watched as another well deserving little girl was announced for the coveted position.  With her back towards me, I could see herself hunch over, head lowered, and I knew the tears were flowing.

Losing out on something you hope for sucks.  There is no better way to say it. It sucks. I have been there many times. I know many of you reading this have been there as well.

As her mama, I tried to comfort as best as I could. I told her today how proud I was of her. Her friends did their best to love on her and tell her they were proud of her as well.

But she needs to experience this disappointment.

Being brave sometimes comes at a cost.  Sometimes, your heart gets broken in the process.  There are moments of victory, to be sure.  But you can expect that when you choose to take chances, you will experience failure.

But praise God failure isn’t final.


“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.” Psalm 31:24

I think one of the biggest lessons for me as her mama is that I have to allow my children to experience disappointment. They won’t get everything they work for.  Trust me, I would much rather have my kids win all the time. But that is not possible. It isn’t reality.

I also know that during these moments of disappointment and failure, character is developed.  You really do discover what you are made of and who you are as a person when you experience moments of defeat.  I don’t think I have heard a person yet tell me that because they got everything they ever wanted or wished for, they turned out to be a better or stronger person.

I know for myself, it was when I walked through the darkest moments, the hardest times, the storms and the valleys that I discovered strength, perseverance, and who I was.  Who God designed me to be.  Those moments also gave me an idea of my purpose.

I know that today was merely about losing a school election.   Without over spiritualizing it though, I hope that Madi will choose today’s disappointment as an opportunity to learn about what it is she wants to do and her purpose and that she realizes her God given gifts and natural born abilities. My hope is that she and I will have many opportunities to pray together and grow together as she continues to be brave and go out and do things for His Kingdom.

Be Brave,


Ready for Harvest

Whenever I think of Autumn, I think of the words in John 4:34-35:

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work…..Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” 

After summer, Fall is my next favorite season.  Here in California, we don’t really experience seasons.  Unless you live in more northern parts of our state, it generally stays the same temperature with some variances in heat. But not too much. For instance, last week? We were hitting 90 plus degree temps.

Yeah, Fall doesn’t feel like fall quite yet.

But that is okay.  I think the fields are still ripe and ready.

Especially the fields in your own home, and in your communities, and in the hearts of those you love.


Our family got to take a break from the mundane and school, and went to our local apple farm in Julian, CA to pluck from the trees that were ready to share their abundance with us.  This is the kind of stuff I live for.  Julian is this perfect little town and it is so cute and I wish that I could visit it all the time!

We got to go with friends from church and can I say that we as a family really needed this. We needed to go on an adventure together. Yes, to most, it was simply apple picking. But to me, to this mama heart, we have been so busy rushing from one activity to the next, our schedules are full and it feels like we are on a hamster wheel. So the fact that we got to bend the rules a bit and get away as a family together to do something fun meant the world to me.


The Fields are ready for harvest in my own home.  No one else is going to spend as much time as Dan or me to teach my children about Jesus or spend time with them.  It is the will of God who created me and made me a mother to raise up these little humans.   It is my job. It is my main ministry.  I have a heart for women and I am actively pursuing women’s ministry, but my first role is wife and mama.  Family.

It is why going to the apple farm with the kids and Dan meant so much to me.  It was a chance to create a memory that we could talk about together.


I am also reminded that I am to love other people, especially when their hearts are ripe and ready to hear a message that can be transforming to their lives.  I will let God do all of the heart transforming work. I will simply open my mouth and be available to those who need to hear powerful truth.

Being on social media tends to be a popularity contest of sorts.  I don’t want to post so that I can become more popular or gain more likes. I want to post words that will inspire and point back to Him.  My hope is that each person who visits my small corner of the internet, they will be moved to learn more about their Creator and to fully submit to His goodness.

When I take my children out and we go on adventures, my heart isn’t that they will see how much money we spent or all the cool places we get to go.  My heart is that they will see that I love them and desire to spend time with them and to have fun with them and create memories together. Right now, I need to be nurturing and caring towards their little hearts so that as they grow older and one day have families of their own, they will spend the time harvesting in the hearts of their children, as Dan and I tried to do with them.

Often when a lot of read scripture and we see the callings that Jesus placed on the disciples to share and witness, we think of traveling all over the world, or going on missions trips or running non profits.  But God has shown me over and over again that I have my own little field right in front of me that needs attention.

For those fields are white for harvest.

Be a Size You,


Love Your Family

One of the main ingredients in a successful life is how you treat your family.

Are you serving them? Or are you focused on yourself?

No matter what our vocation may be, if we are more popular or loved by where we work than at home, it will mean nothing.

Success will mean nothing.

In the bible, it talks about the Proverbs 31 woman who is praised by her husband and her children. They acknowledge who she is and what she has done and how “excellent a woman she is” because of how she served those in her home.

Every decision she made was for the good of her husband and her family.

Ladies. Wives. Friends. Shouldn’t that be our focus as well?

It is okay to have a career and be passionate about something other than what to make for dinner each night. It is okay to use our gifts and skills and abilities for the kingdom and for a vocation.

What is not okay is choosing to push our family to the side as if they are in the way of our achievements or goals. No. You have it twisted.

You push them aside, your achievements will mean nothing. Sure, you will look great to everyone else, but your family will know the truth.

If you want real success, define it with your family in mind. Include them in the process. I am constantly blabbing Dan’s ear off about my goals. I include him because I love him and this is all for him. I want to help him. 

Fight for your family! Too many of us are in it for ourselves. Let’s be different. 

Let’s SERVE our families (there is that dirty word, ladies) and allow everything we do be because we want to honor God in our marriages, honor our husbands and let them lead, and raise our sons and daughters to fight for family. 

Be a Size You,


Vacay-The Be a Size You Way 

If you have been following me on IG, you know that the Harper’s are on vacation in sunny Florida. We have been spending a ton of time with Mickey and his friends and we have definitely needed this time away to just enjoy each other and have some fun! 

When on vacation, it is so easy to get stressed out about how you are going to get all of your workouts in, and how you will eat healthier, but remember, the Be a Size You way is about functional fitness and health. Enjoy your time away. Do not stress. But pack some essentials to help you stay on track.

Here is what I brought along with me to Florida:

1. Single serving packets of Shakeology. Chances are, I won’t be eating 100% clean on this trip. That is okay. I want to make sure that I do get good nutrition while away, which Shakeology absolutely provides for me in that area. 

2. Beachbody on Demand. I like the ease of not having to carry around DVD’s on flights and on vacation. Too much for this mama to remember! Since I already have my iPad and smartphone with me, viola! Log in and start working out. No excuses. I have chosen to do more low impact exercises and ones with minimal equipment (Cize, Piyo, etc) since I am not near a gym, but if you are fortunate enough to be near a fitness center with plenty of equipment, go for a more challenging workout on Demand! 

3. Comfortable shoes and clothes.  I pack my workout clothes! I pick the ones that inspire me to get moving. I love Cross Training Couture tanks and colorful bottoms and my favorite sneakers so that I will see them and get motivated to move! Also, I will challenge myself to take it outside for a run if I can!

4. Consider your location. We are in Florida and walking a ton of hours throughout the theme parks. That is a ton of activity. So if you can’t get a traditional workout in, count your steps for that day in mileage while on vacay. You won’t always be able to do a traditional fitness program on vacation. That is not realistic and remember, your focus is purely functional fitness. Enjoy your time with your family. 

5. Don’t stress about 100% clean eating while on vacation. There are a ton of incredible options for food when you are out and about. I will often pack healthier snacks and even lunches for our trips to to theme park so we can save money, and then splurge on fun treats that we may not get at home. And guess what, you still get to have fun!

Fitness and health on vacation doesn’t have to cause you stress. That is not freedom. Being a Size You isn’t a prison. I don’t believe that God sent His son to die for us and to free us from our sins, just so we can go and put ourselves in a prison of our own making when it comes to physical fitness. 

I hope those tips helps you a bit! I also like to keep myself accountable within my Bootcamps. The support there helps me as well to remember why I do this each and every day!

Be a Size You,


The Struggle Is Real, Ladies!

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My husband began his weight loss journey on Father’s Day. He is a crazy man.  Anyway, he has really been wanting to get back in shape and to his credit, he created a plan that he could follow and I have been trying to make meals that will help him reach his goals.

But remember, he started on Father’s Day. Today is Wednesday. Literally 3 days later.

He has lost 4.5 pounds.

I have been working out for the last 5 years. Lost a ton of weight. Gained some back. Decided this past week to challenge myself with a fitness program from start to finish. Been following it this week to a T and following the nutrition guide (and stick out my tongue and literally move around in circles because, well, LIFE! Just kidding….not really)

I have lost .5 pounds.

Do you feel me ladies??!!!!

I know I am not the only one who is one the struggle bus when it comes to fitness and nutrition. It can be so frustrating when we see our husbands begin their journey’s and it appears to be so much easier for them. They lose weight faster or see change faster. I get it!

But don’t give up.

You see, men will also lose and change faster than we will. The majority of men naturally have more muscle mass on their bodies.  That means, they are burning more at rest than we are. Women have to work to build those muscles. We have some, but they are not as defined as men’s are. It is what it is and that is how we are designed.

Personally, I like the fact that my man has all of those muscles naturally. *wink* Don’t worry, this is a G rated blog post!

But even though my own transformation may not happen as quickly as Dan’s, I am not going to quit. I am going to continue working out to my current program (21 Day Fix Extreme in case you are wondering. It is so hard but I love it!). I am going to remind myself often that every day I choose to push play and nourish my body means I am one step closer to living healthier and living well.

Dan roots me on regularly and notices how hard I work. He is always quick to tell me about the changes he sees in me and in my health (and in my attitude! LOL!)

If you don’t have someone like that in your life, grab some girlfriends to do this with you. Health is a continual journey. It is not a one time destination. We all need some cheerleaders in your life. Find yourself some!

Your body is a temple created by God.  Treat it well. Be grateful that you are able to move it each day. There are many through no fault of their own who are not able to move their limbs like we do. Be grateful for the opportunities.

The struggle happens. It is a part of the journey. But don’t quit.  You got this!

Sweat. Nourish. Pray. Inspire.

Be a Size You,



I Want To ……..

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Do you have a dream on your heart? Maybe it is something that you have put off because of the reality of your life right now.

Maybe it is financial. Or you are in between careers. Or you are struggling with your health. Marital issues. Fear. Lack of faith.

It could be a lot of things.

I know for myself, my dreams for myself and my family took a hit when my husband lost his job in the summer of 2013. It was heart-wrenching and we struggled. My husband was without a job for nearly 8 months. For those of you who have been through the trial of job loss, you know the anxiety and worry and stress that is felt during that time.

It is hard to dream when things look so bleak.

I wanted to minister to women, but how could I do that if we were struggling to stay afloat in our home?

I wanted to nourish and take care of my family, but how could I do that with such limited income (and lack thereof) and not a whole lot of resources.

I wanted my husband to pursue his dreams of pastoring a local church and teaching others God’s word and leading them to walk with Jesus faithfully, but how could he do that when not working at a church and struggling with self-doubt and wondering if he would ever be work in a church again?

Those doubts and fears you feel sometimes? When things are dark and dreams lose their luster? They are real.

But, something changed in me when God called our family to live on the side of a mountain in a single wide, 35′ trailer on a ranch serving men who were overcoming drug and alcohol addictions. Something transformed inside of me and in our family during our time on the mountain.

That story, I get to share with you tonight. I also get to brag about this amazing community of women and fellow friends, who are joining me in this journey to help people live more fulfilling lives.  To be a Size you. It isn’t a gimmick. It takes work. It is an opportunity.

But my story is real.  Will you be my special guest tonight?  I would love to have you join me.

If you would like to listen in, or learn more about Team Fuel (my team of amazing women just like you!), Go here.

So tell me, what are you dreaming about but reality is holding you back?

Be a Size You,


Momma Gettin’ Fit

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Top from crosstrainingcouture.com

As a mom, let’s be honest,  it is not easy to set aside time for oneself.  We have little ones who need our attention. Husbands who want to spend time with us. Laundry, laundry and more laundry. Dinner has to be made (how else will anyone else get fed), not to mention that most of us feel like a glorified taxi service thanks to all of the activities and errands that need to be done. Add that to those of you moms who work outside the home?!

*Whew* I am exhausted just typing it out.

But can I encourage you? You can be healthy, fit, eat well, and live well, even as a mom. Even with your full plate.

But it will not be easy. There will have to be some sacrifices on your part in order to make it happen.  Your goals will not be like my goals. Maybe you are a momma who does not need to lose any of the excess baby weight because it went away while you were breastfeeding! (Lucky! That so did not happen to me!)

But perhaps you are a momma who could either stand to lose a little bit, or you just want to strengthen your body and have more energy or feel good in your skin again. Here is what you need to realize.

  1. It is not going to happen just by chasing kiddos around or taking them outside to play. Yes, that can be “part” of your activity, and you should always strive to play with your little ones, but that is not a fitness strategy.  If you are wanting real change, then you must do something more challenging than that.  There is no easy way to say it.  If you don’t have a real plan, invest in one or join my next online fitness bootcamp (that you can do in your own home!).
  2. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. If you are breastfeeding, this is especially important. If you are not breastfeeding or your children are weaned, this is especially important. You cannot have a bad diet and expect to just workout and see results. It will not happen that way.  In fact, 80% of your results will come from what you put on your plate!
  3. You don’t have to spend a ton of hours at the gym. Please. Who really has time for that? I don’t! I will let you in on a secret. I only workout for 30 minutes, MAX! At this stage in my life, I have too many things going on and I don’t want to spend that much time on my workout. I want to go hard, get it done, and then move on with my day. I know you do too.  So pick something that will help you sweat, yet will be quick. My favorite programs for Moms are the 21 Day Fix and Piyo. Quick, yet efficient!
  4. Be patient.  Your body went through something incredible. It carried a life inside of you.  A baby will not always adhere to your schedule when you want to workout. Believe me. I understand. My son was a 1 year old toddler.  My workouts weren’t perfect. My eating wasn’t perfect, either. But what I was, was consistent. Even when it was difficult to get those 30 minutes in, I made sure they happened. I had friends who challenge me and supported me. Make time for your workouts an appointment you make with yourself. And bosses don’t cancel. No one can care more about your health than you.  You have to make it that important. But be patient. Change will not happen overnight.

Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to try something new or have accountability. It was something I wish I had when I started. I had friends supporting me, but I did not have a lot of accountability. It is a big reason why I create these Be A Size You bootcamps.  You CAN be healthy and fit, and be a great Mom.

Are you ready?

Be a Size You,