Tag Archives: Inspiration

Faith and Margaritas….Kristen’s Story…

Today I have the amazing opportunity to share with you all a very inspiring and motivational story by Kristen!  Kristen and I met through the fabulous Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador program!  We are part of the same team!  Even though we have never met in person, Kristen has inspired me so much!  She is a gem and I hope you find her story one you will not forget!

“Like so many, I grew up playing sports, but was often criticized for being the heaviest girl in my class. At the time, I couldn’t understand why I was so heavy when I played sports. It couldn’t possibly be because I ate a bag of chips to sustain me through basketball practice. And I only ate one double cheeseburger and medium fries at 9:30 at night! In junior high, my exercise increased tremendously to prepare to play for the school’s “A” basketball team. Because of the drastic change I became injured and told I would likely never run again due to the chronic effects. This was devastating to me, as basketball was the only form of exercise that would keep me from becoming even more overweight. I struggled with depression from 9 years old and taking away my only form of exercise made me sink even lower. 

When I went to college my unhealthy food choices caused me to gain over 20 pounds in a year. By my senior year I was incredibly sluggish and depressed. I hated seeing my people my age running on campus. They all seemed so happy… and fit. I finally had enough of the depressing, hateful thoughts towards myself and set off to start running too. I couldn’t run more than 100 yards before I had to walk. But I channeled my depressed thoughts into encouraging thoughts when I wanted to quit. It was then that running became an unexpected (and welcomed) part of my identity. I fell in love with running. Within a year I signed up for my first half marathon and haven’t stopped since. I’ve also become a personal trainer and group fitness instructor to share my story with others and help them change their thoughts of depression and hatred towards loving themselves. I love celebrating the milestones that each client has in their health and fitness journey, no matter how small.

Everything was going really well until August 27, 2013 when my life was forever changed. I received a devastating diagnosis: I have Multiple Sclerosis – an autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system, often causing extreme fatigue, numbness and walking problems, among others. I turned to my running and fitness knowledge to fulfill a new role in my life – preparing my body for what ever it might endure. I now see fitness as a way to stay mentally and physically strong to defeat the sudden onset of Multiple Sclerosis flare-ups. The disease is unpredictable in every way, but staying healthy and strong is the only thing I can do to prepare for the unexpected. I’m so excited to say that on New Years Eve 2013 (only 4 months and 4 days after my MS diagnosis) I crushed my half marathon PR by over 4 minutes. It’s safe to say that I’m dominating my diagnosis!

As a matter of fact, prior to my diagnosis I was running on vacation in Hawaii with my dad and we talked about how much fun it would be to run his first half marathon together. On the day I was diagnosed he sat with me as we listened to all the ways MS would likely disable me physically and mentally, and right before we left he told the doctor with tears in his eyes and determination in his voice, “We’re supposed to run a half marathon in March and we’re GOING to run that half marathon.” And we did. We ran every step right next to each other- my third half marathon (second since diagnosis) and his first half. It was one of the best days of my life!


I understand the pain of being overweight, the pain of injury, and the pain of muscle soreness. And I’ll take the pain of soreness any day. I love encouraging people with my story, but more importantly, I love encouraging them on their journey to a new lifestyle!”

Kristen and her dad finishing the Rock ‘n Roll Dallas half marathon.

Thank you for sharing your story Kristen!  Wow, you really are an amazing woman!

If you want to connect with Kristen, you can find her in several places!
Blog: http://www.faithandmargaritas.blogspot.com
Twitter: twitter.com/faithnmargs
Facebook: facebook.com/faithandmargaritas
Instagram: @faithandmargaritas

If you have an inspirational or motivational story to share, please email me at (chocolaterunnergirl at gmail dot com)

Let’s leave some love for Kristen!!!

Esther-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Move, Nourish, Believe Challenge Week 1 Recap!

Move: This week was the first week of the Move, Nourish, Believe challenge from Fit Approach & Lorna Jane! It was a great week full of fun challenges to mix up my normal workout routines!

Day 1: Sweat it out – Show your favorite way to sweat.
I love to sweat in so many ways, but the one way that really makes me feel alive is to lift weights! I am amazed at how strong my body feels when I am consistent with lifting weights! On Monday I also rode the bike which I also enjoy doing!

Day 2: Change it up – Pick a new way to sweat.
Since it was a running training day for me I decided to change up the type of run I did! I was able to get my 5 miles in, but I did a different workout! It was really good for me to change up what I was doing with running! I will have to add this pyramid workout in more often!


Day 3: Let’s Get Planking! – Plank for 5 min today.
I have not been as consistent with planks as I should be with my workouts. I was curious as to how many sets it would take me to get to 5 min! Surprisingly, only 5!|


Day 4: Buddy Up! – Workout with a buddy!
I get the privilege of doing this pretty much every day. The sweet twins I nanny for love to workout with me! We go on runs, play lots of games at the park, do yoga, lift weights and stretch! They keep me going for sure!


Day 5: Fave Friday! – My five fitness favorites!
There are many things that I love about fitness, and there are a few tools and people that really make me smile!

#1 – Last summer I was introduced to an amazing group on Facebook called IR4, I Run For! It is an organization that pairs runners up with kiddos who have a variety of special needs!  The kids are such an inspiration and all the stories keep me going!  I was paired up with the sweetest girl Aliceia who is an inspiration to me every single day!
#2 – My husband is my biggest cheerleader with anything I do with health and fitness! He is such an encouragement to me and keeps me going with new challenges and goals!
#3 – My heart rate monitor is one of my favorite tools. It helps me with my training and keeps me focused on reaching new levels of fitness.
#4 – Since I have been at my gym I have met some of the most amazing people who are constantly there for me! They are some of the most supportive, helpful, loving, encouraging and fabulous people I know!! So thankful for them!
#5 – Body Pump! This class has been the most life-changing class I have ever taken. I started taking it a year ago this month! In all my years of lifting weights, this class has helped me gain the most progress in the shortest amount of time! I saw results in a few months that I never saw in years of other weight lifting work!

Week one was so fun and a great addition to my fitness routine!  I love that this challenge encouraged me to step outside the box of my normal routine!

I am so excited for week 2: Nourish!!

Motivation Monday!

To start off each week I am going to start sharing stories that bring motivation and inspiration.  As I am still in the stages of gathering them from friends, families and other Chocolate Runners, I will share a little of my current inspiration.

As I work on my own personal fitness and weight loss goals, I like to keep little pictures and quotes on my mirror at home and on my phone.  They give me encouragement that this journey is a PROCESS, and I am not going to reach my goals overnight.  I hope these help you today as well 🙂
Like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words…so here are my 8,000 words!