I know it seems cliche to write a blog about being thankful so close to “the day”… But I woke up this morning thinking I really needed to get these things put down on paper and out into the world.

Of course I’m thankful for all of my “apparents”: health, wife, loving pets, wonderful friends, a great job, family, food, our home.        And please don’t think I’m giving any of these things any less importance than what I’m writing about below.

But, I’m also very thankful for the “not so apparents” like my sometimes-rough childhood. Yes, my 1st stepmother gave me & my father a house to live in but she also gave me a few breaks and bruises over the 10 years I lived with her. But growing up in this environment also gave me a killer work ethic, made me excel & LOVE school (acceptance, happy time), taught me self-restraint in some areas, taught me self-defense in other areas, taught me how to protect others to the best of my ability and taught me exactly how I DIDN’T want to be as an adult.

Another “not so apparent” I’m grateful for is my 2nd stepmother. What a strong and amazing woman who took on a broken man when she connected with my father. They have since gotten divorced (I told you, he was broken) but she remains a strong part of my life.  This woman also proved to be an unexpected beautiful friend to my mother during her fight and loss to cancer (I love you Linda A. and I miss you Mom …)


My military experience is another chapter of my life that could be looked at as a “not so apparent”.  When I joined the US Army, I was SO EXCITED to join this elite group of men and women who were in to make a difference.  I was excited about bootcamp, I was excited to join the ranks and move up and I was excited to find a place where I felt part of an exceptional group of humans. I was the oldest female in my platoon (at 23!) and was immediately put in charge of our living space and was given 2nd platoon leader by the end of week 1 of bootcamp. I was proud. I was getting my ass kicked 23 hours a day but I was happy and I was excelling.  We were all the same in the eyes of our superiors until we did something to stand out – good or bad. I. LOVED. IT.  Until I got to my duty station in New York. Let’s go with long story made short here, ok? The US Army I interacted with there wasn’t what it was supposed to be. I’ll spare you the details (let’s have a drink sometime) but within a year I was cycling out with an honorable discharge… As bad as that part of the experience was, the rest made up for it. And that part of my life, yes, I’d do it all over again because it made me SO much stronger than I was previously.

So the moral today?  Remember where & what you came from. Remind yourself that the cruddy times likely made a good difference in your life after the fact.  Be aware that the rough patches will give way to sunnier days.  Be somewhat grateful for the hard times.  And if you’re in a bad spot right now, trust that it will give way to better opportunities…

Gratitude from me to you for reading this and remember, we’re all in this together!!  ~Coach Kimmie


The key to happiness is finding something… every day… to be thankful for. No matter the circumstance, no matter any feelings to the contrary, there is always always always something to be thankful for. Exercise your gratitude muscle as often as you like but at least once daily. If you find yourself immersed in a quagmire of troubles, my Rx is to take a 1 minute gratitude break every 20-30 minutes of worry.prayer

And I am very thankful for every moment in my life that has led me to here. Every second of good, bad, beautiful, and ugly have all played their part in assisting my arrival to this moment of gratitude.

I am so very rich with love, friendship, and rewarding work. My only prayer is that I can give back as much as I get from these rich experiences.


Love and prayers of gratefulness… ~ Dr Dawn



So what is with all this thigh-size stuff??

Thigh gap. Tree trunks. Thunder thighs. Chicken legs. WTF??

Our THIGHS are part of our legs. Our legs are on our body to carry us around. Often, they are very useful to get us safely into chairs, on the floor, off the loo and get us back UP off all those things. They carry us up and down hills, from parking space to destination, to our best friend’s doorstep. Why shouldn’t they be substantial?  Or at least ABLE to do their job?  I don’t care if thighs are thin, bulky, chubby or average…as long as they do the JOB they were built to do!


(thank you for the above image…

HOWEVER…I don’t think you should focus on the thigh gap AT ALL!!! Maybe focus on strenghtening your quads & glutes to protect your knees?  Maybe focus on your hip/pelvis/spine stability so you can move properly? Maybe just focus on feeling strong, feeling solid, feeling badass and feeling capable??

If your thighs are muscular, thin, toned, small, medium, huge, scarred, have stretch marks or are just plain great — good for you!

If your thighs do their jobs — good for you! Size 2 or size 20 — who cares? DO your THIGHS DO THEIR JOB easily??

Focus on how parts of your body do their respective duties.  Ultimately, it’s about feeling confident in your body’s capability to do its jobs. Once we get past the “suggested” thigh (or any other part!) size, then we have made progress…


“Why is food SO HARD??!!” ~Coach Kimmie

Why is food SO HARD???  And my 2nd Whole30 attempt…

If you’ll recall, I wrote a blog several months back admitting a serious sugar & poor food choice problem.  Possibly even an addiction.  Whatever you call it, it ain’t pretty!  I tried this Whole30 thing before a few months back…and only made it 15 days.  Food is the single most challenging aspect of my health and wellness life.

I’ve been asking myself lately why this is the case.

I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I grew up pretty poor and in the southern portion of the United States.  However, I’m tired of that being my “reason” or excuse.

I always said I would just exercise and eat whatever I wanted until I was 40.  That’s not workin’ so well!  I also liked to tell myself that I didn’t have a “problem” or a “disease” that forced me to eat healthfully so it didn’t matter what I ate provided I could continue to do my job and fit in my clothes. Again, that’s not workin’ so well… My body definitely has a negative response to gluten, grains and any “overdoses” of refined sugars.  So… I’m now an adult and the choices I make are my own; never dependent on any other human being or soul.  Therefore, all of my non-healthful past and future nutrition decisions are on me.

THERE. I finally said it.  It’s on me and I have the power either way…

Wow. I feel better already. (not really…) 


When will I REALLY feel better about food and my “relationship” with it? I have no idea.  6 months? 2 years?  Who knows. But what I absolutely know is that my body and my choices are in my hands…literally — on my fork, my spoon, my plate, in my cup and most importantly, in my wallet!

So, this October 7 – Nov 7, I plan to do my best, work my hardest and impress MYSELF.  (and I hope to drop a few pounds in the process. BUT, if I don’t, I’m not going to beat myself up!!)


So I’m sure you’re totally dying to hear what happened, right??  Ok…

The end of Whole30!!I should be jumping up and down, getting all excited for the sugar/alcohol/dairy/potato chips I’ve given up for the last 30 days right??


But I’m not. I’m not thinking about what I’ll eat or drink that’s been OFF LIMITS for the last month. Part of me thinks I’m just a little weirded out because I should be DYING for a drink or a sugar fix. Part of me thinks it just hasn’t hit me yet. I kinda feel like I need to go a few more days and just make sure I’m “rehabbed” from my bad stuff. The Whole30 book, It Starts With Food, has a GREAT reintroduction section that explains how you should slowly reintroduce foods IF YOU WANT. Just because you’re past the 30 days doesn’t mean you HAVE to add back in the things you took away. The thing is — you can if you want and if you feel those foods are going to serve you well.

I’ve done so many various “diets”, “detoxes”, “try this, try that” things over the years. I even attempted a Whole30 earlier this year and fell off on Day15. Intellectually, I know that I should make better nutritional choices. Physically, I can feel the effects of poor food or drink choices. And spiritually, these choices drain me and make me feel less than optimal as a human, and even worse as a fitness professional. I got tired of feeling this way…

My idea of the Whole30 program’s entire premise is to change how you view what’s on your plate and how it affects your life. It’s not about restricting & rearranging yourself for 30 days and then going back to exactly what you were doing before. That would make zero sense!!
It’s also not only about losing weight, feeling deprived or feeling bad about the choices you’ve previously made.

During this month, I’ve had 3 weeks of horrible sinus and allergy issues that have limited my capacity to exercise as I would normally like.
So, I’ve lost approximately 10 pounds pretty much ONLY through food choices! What??? Absolutely. I’ve had walks that have been very low intensity and no more than 30 minutes each. My job is very movement-based so 3-5 days per week, I was showing a lot of exercises but not actually performing a formal bout of movement.

Losing weight might be a perk of the program, there are TONS of varieties of foods we can eat on the program and you should be extremely PROUD of yourself at the end of the Whole30…

And I am…proud of me, that is… 

Quote from Whole30 site…

“The Whole30 program (when followed as directed) is a great tool to get people motivated and on track. Its focus is real, whole, high quality foods. This is not some fad diet that cuts calories to a ridiculous level and prescribes pills and powders – there is nothing for sale but health. If done correctly it is safe, effective and sustainable, and includes nothing outlandish, expensive or hazardous – just the basic tenets of good nutrition and health.”

Amy Kubal, MS, RD, LN Fuel as Rx, Sioux Falls, SD