March 2017 Action Items

The word goal sounds rigid.  Now I understand why people would cringe and lock up when setting goals when I was health coaching.  My goal for January wasn’t realistic.  I was still adjusting to a new job, new location and new routine.  February was about feeling the groove and making tweaks.  Now I can focus on adding more in and having action items.

Action items sound better instead of goals.  I want to turn my focus towards my health and fitness as spring begins to make it’s arrival.  Being healthy helps me be a better wife and mom.  Healthy also doesn’t have to mean weighing a certain amount.  Rather, it means being comfortable in my skin, having the ability to go run 4 miles no problem, and not feeling exhausted after a work day.  That is my definition and would love to hear yours in the comments.

It’s been roughly two months since I started my new job.  As a family we have adjusted schedules and routines to make it work.  Most mornings I’m at work by 7:30-7:45.  It’s early, but gives me time in the afternoon to exercise and still get P.  The time is there to meet my goal as well as the motivation.  Now here comes the accountability.

My goal for March is to exercise 3-4 days per week for at least 30 minutes.

Look for #healthysewist tags on Instagram to keep up with my accountability.  There should be a minimum of 15 on there this month.  March has 5 weeks and I will start from today.  Hopefully there will be some long runs to hit this bridge on the Monon Trail.

The job change has done wonders for my stress level.  Sorry old coworkers if you’re reading this, but it’s true.  I don’t feel that I have to sew everyday as a way to cope with the pressure or to get a mental break.  My evenings and weekends are spent with the family.  Sewing has become this bonus activity to enrich my life, not balance it.  It’s a shift I didn’t anticipate.

During March I want to continue to work through some older projects and ideas that have been sitting around.  Starting in April I hope to turn my focus towards some other projects. I think you guys will like that series.


Running…Without a Shirt

As a 30+ year old mom that title is liberating to write.  I RAN WITHOUT A SHIRT!  Twice recently if you must know the truth.  This is just about yesterday’s run.

Running is something I do for myself to keep me healthy for my family.  Notice the me and my references.  It’s not for anyone else.  I’m sure some of the people I ran by snickered, judged and may have been appalled.  Yes, there is a woman out running in the heat and she took her shirt off.  You can see my untanned stomach along with some fat that remains on my stomach.  Be appalled or judge, I can take it.

I was burning up with a tank top on.  Sweat was trapped between my skin and the shirt, allowing very little air flow.  As my run progressed I contemplated continuing with my shirt on.  No one wants a runner to pass out in their yard from heat stroke.

As I stopped my run to grab some water, adjust my shoes and hat, I decided it’s time.  Right there on a public street I took off my running tank and continued on my way.  Instantly, I was cooled and refreshed.  It was a bit invigorating too.

A mile from home I stopped and took a selfie.  I wanted to have photographic evidence the next time doubt crept into my mind that I shouldn’t take my shirt off while running.  If I’m getting hot while running, do something about it girl.

Thank you for the social media support too.

The journey towards a healthier me is still in progress.  I forgot I had not shared this other milestone with you.  Do you remember one of my goals for this year?  Be able to touch my toes.  Boom!


There will be no bravery today.  It’s an active recovery day of just some walking.

Let’s Get Healthier Together

Meeting Offline

One of my goals for 2016 was to try and collaborate more with sewists/quilters.  I still don’t know what this ultimately looks like, but it’s more a stretch goal and working on real relationships.  I look at the #sweatnsew tag more than you may think to see what others are doing to stay healthy.

Last weekend I finally met one of my new Instagram friends in real life.  Everyone meet Jill.  You can find her at @jvaughnrn on Instagram or her blog,

Before I sent Jill the most awkward email I glanced over her photos and knew we should be friends.  She likes craft beer, running and she’s crafty.

My email must not have been too bad since she responded back and we set up a time to meet.  We arranged to meet at Taxman Brewing.  Love their beers, but yet to visit their actual location.  Two new experiences in one night.

#Craftbeer, #sweatnsew, and good times. @sarcasticquilter where are you? Did you hear us taking about you? 🙂

A photo posted by Jill Vaughn (@jvaughnrn) on

She showed me a lovely photo of her Briar Rose quilt.  While quilting isn’t her main sewing outlet, she does make some clothes for her kids.  Impressive since clothes scare the crap out of me.

Quilted. We totally slept under it last night. #briarrose #heatherross

A photo posted by Jill Vaughn (@jvaughnrn) on

Most of our discussion ended up being on family and life.  Something Jill said really stuck with me about her running.

“It’s just for me.  It’s the one thing I do for myself.”

What can you say that is honestly just for you?  It can be hard to juggle all of those responsibilities of life, motherhood, work, and yourself.   How many of you would put yourself last on that list?

How does Jill work it into her days and keep logging miles?


To help her stay on track she turns on Netflix and hits the treadmill.  Genius.  What a great way to get through a series and be engaged while running.

Jill, log those miles and can’t wait until we meet up again.  Maybe you can show me how to make easy pj pants or something.

If you are interested in talking about how you stay healthy and sew, I would love to hear.  Email me quiltytherapy at gmail dot com.


Let’s Get Healthier Together

With the new year many people make resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, or stop eating bread.  What if we looked at it a little bit differently?  Let’s resolve to get healthier and together.  We are going to do an exercise to get you thinking about healthier.

What does healthier look like to you?  How would you feel if you were healthier?  What is one actionable and measurable thing to help you reach a healthier self in the next 3, 6, and 12 months?  Close your eyes and envision that healthier you.

Got that person in mind?  Great!  Let’s work to start building upon that vision.  I will start with a softball answer.

(1) Write down what you want to achieve.

I want to be able to touch my toes.

(2) What do I need to do to help me see that result?

I need to stretch and be more active to help loosen up my hips and legs.  My hamstrings are tight!

(3) How do I add in more activity and stretching to my week?

Tuesday and Thursday nights tend to be less busy for me.  I can block out some time, 30-60 mins each week to make sure I’m getting in activity.  Walking, running (if weather allows), swimming, or yoga.  

(4) Set a small goal to help you reach the goal above.

Between January 3rd – January 31st, I will be active at a minimum of 30-60 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday nights to help increase my activity and make it easier to touch my toes.  

(5) Make yourself accountable for that goal.  How will you stick to it?  What if challenges or things arise that get you off course?  How will you get back on?

I’m going to use our monthly family calendar in the kitchen to track the nights I get in my activity.  I will put a X on the days I get in 30-60 mins.  

Working in small chunks to help you reach that better version of yourself will you see measurable achievements.  You may be sitting there thinking, but how would that apply to the 30 pounds I want to lose?  Breaking it down makes it seem like so much work and it’s going to take forever.  No, it won’t take forever, but it will take work.

What do you have to lose if you give yourself the chance to be that healthy self you envisioned earlier?

Those 30 pounds were not put there overnight, it was a gradual change that got you to where you are today.  If not, I would highly encourage you to talk to your doctor(s) and see what is going on.  You can opt for a quick fix and see dramatic results in a short amount of time.  Is that sustainable?  Are you making lifestyle changes that will last you to reach that 6-12 month mark?

My answers to these questions are why I’ve decided to write about getting healthier.  Losing 30 pounds is my own long term goal.  Some of it is leftover from my pregnancy, but most of it is because I changed my lifestyle and put other things ahead of my health.  Damn you beer, wine, and sweets.  You get me everytime.  Plus, sometimes I’m just plain lazy or lose my motivation.

This picture below is from early December with my friend Melissa.  I may look okay but feel like crap.  I have been struggling to find clothes in my closet that are appropriate for my body type.  Exercise had not been a priority.  Melissa invited me to a boxing class at the gym and it helped reinvigorate me to start taking better care of myself.  Thanks Melissa for that push!


By summer I want to be able to take P on the trails near our house and just run with him.  I want my endurance and stamina back.  If I’m focusing on those things and putting in place some physical activity weekly, then I will see the results I want.  With the action of physical activity, I should see some weight loss, which helps me reach my longer term goal.

Maybe that healthier me by the summer is only 10-15 pounds down, but feeling great and can touch her toes.  Well then I don’t want to be disappointed that I’m not at some number on the scale and miss out on my achievements.  I really want to encourage you to be open to the results you are seeing with your changes.

In the past I have kept my professional life of being a health coach separate from my blog and sewing.  On Instagram I noticed a hashtag of #sweatnsew and started looking at what others are doing.  I slowly started melding my two worlds together in 2014 and 2015.  To be successful I can’t mask what I do and what I love any longer.  I need to find a way to bring them all together.  That’s why I started the hashtag of #healthysewist.  I want to encourage others to work towards their healthier version of themselves.

I’m not going to sell you gimmicks, quick fixes, or things that are not scientifically based.  Actually, I don’t want to sell you anything.  I want to motivate you to get healthy and be your best self.  Yes, I have degrees and certifications from reputable institutions and organizations to back up anything I say.  Things that I share will be from reputable resources, preferably those that tend to be peer reviewed.

  • BS in Kinesiology from Indiana University (kinesiology means the study of human movement)
  • MS in Kinesiology from Indiana University
  • American Council for Exercise – Health Coach
  • American College of Sports Medicine – Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist
  • American Fitness Professionals & Associates – Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant

Throughout 2016 you’re probably going to see a bit more about health and wellness on here.  Sewing is my stress reducer, but it also encourages me to stay sedentary sometimes.  It’s a double edge sword for me.

Are you ready to get healthy together?

Let’s connect via comments or social media.  I’m @quiltytherapy on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.  Have a success story or want to share your goals with others?  I’d love to chat and profile you.

The Healthy Sewist 

Becky with Sarcastic Quilter 

Sarah with Craftyfesta

Jaye with Artquilter