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The Journey Includes It All…



I wasn’t sure if I was going to post this…  It’s not fitness or food related, but it is definitely a part of my journey…  I won’t generally make posts regarding politics on here, but this is important to me…



This letter was written and sent out to the following in response to their public statements made during this election cycle:

  •  Indiana State Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock – “Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”
  • Missouri State Representative Todd Akin – “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
  • Wisconsin Senator Paul Ryan – “Well I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea, the position, that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.”
  • Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum – “I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.”
  • Pennsylvania State Senate Candidate Tom Smith – “Having a baby out of wedlock.  Put yourself in a father’s position. Yes, it is similar (to being raped).”
  • Wisconsin Lieutenant Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch – “Well, I think there is a way to have a more forcible rape, the same way there are different types of assault.”
  • Wisconsin State Representative Roger Rivard – “’Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’”
  • Indiana State Representative Eric Turner – “Someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest.”
  • Kansas State Representative Pete DeGraaf – (regarding the purchase of a rape or incest only abortion insurance policy) “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?  I have a spare tire on my car.  I also have life insurance; I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”


October 24, 2012


Dear Candidate/Elected Official:

I am writing because you have recently made a statement regarding the options available to women after sexual assault.  Perhaps you don’t realize that your comments reach much further than the Roe v. Wade debate.  When you construct categories, labels or levels of rape, you lend credibility to perpetrators and you trivialize victims.

Rape is a violent crime.  It is defined by the U.S. Department of Justice as: “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

Every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted; an average of 207,754 rapes per year.  The Justice Department estimates that 54% of the rapes committed in the last 5 years were not reported.  Only 12% of all rapes lead to arrest, 9% are prosecuted, 5% are convicted and 3% ever lead to incarceration.

How can you, our elected leaders, make statements that contribute to a culture that allows for this reality?

Are you aware that survivors of sexual assault are:  3 times more likely to suffer from depression, 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs, and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide?

Maybe you see so many figures and statistics during the day that these numbers don’t jump out at you.  Let me explain why I decided to write this letter to you.  Two years ago today, I was sexually assaulted by someone I was dating.  I am one of the 54% who was too ashamed to call the police.  Just as your viewpoint shames and belittles the victims of rape, I blamed myself for what happened.

When you speak publicly about rape with qualifiers like legitimate, honest, inevitable, easy, forcible/non-forcible, or ordained I am assuming that you have never spoken to someone who has been sexually assaulted.  These are the words I use to describe rape:  dirty, ugly, terrifying, shameful, agonizing, illegal, gritty, raw, broken, cold, hollow, angry, empty, numb…

In May of this year, I decided to take back my power and let go of my guilt.  I spoke at a Take Back the Night rally, along with scores of other survivors at events around the country.  And now, I am speaking out to you today.

Maybe if more of us speak out, then less of us will feel the need to remain silent.

Maybe if more of us speak out, then more of you will feel the need to remain silent.

We are survivors and our days being marginalized are over.

Survivor and Voter,

Emily Skinner



As I’m working to get more organized and back on track, I’m realizing that you can’t focus on just one ball or you’ll never get them all in the air…  So here I am, throwing them all in the air and hoping to keep them off the ground…

Don’t mind me if I look a little crazy while I get my rhythm…

Review – Jillian Michaels – 6 Week Six-Pack

This is not a workout for beginners.  If you are not used to Jillian or some other form of concentrated workout, I suggest you start with 30 Day Shred or Ripped in 30.  I am currently doing level 1 and will update my review when I move to level 2.


Jillian strays from her typical 3-2-1 format (3 minutes cardio, 2 minutes strength, 1 minute abs), in the ab-centered workout.  She starts with a 4 minute dynamic warm-up, which moves quickly.  The “meat” of the workout is about 24 minutes long and consists of several sequences of exercises; each repeated once before moving on.  Her mix of crunches, planks, lunges, stretches and holds; combined with cardio, keeps you moving and helps hold your attention.  As with her other workouts, she has one team member doing more advanced modifications and one team member doing beginner modifications.  There are no “rests” in this workout, I suggest keeping water near you so you can take a sip between exercises.  Jillian wraps up with a few cool down stretches and you’re done.

I appreciate her “quick and dirty” routines, they have been very effective for me.  It’s nice to find a good workout that I can fit into my morning routine without an enormous time commitment.

Sweating For The Dress…


I love it when a new motivational tool falls in my lap…

One of my best friends, Jessica, stopped over last night to ask me if I would be a bridesmaid in her wedding… 🙂

I am so excited to share this wonderful day with her…  and now, we can SWEAT FOR THE DRESS together!!!!

(I am going to get matching tank tops for us, one saying November Bride and the other saying November Bridesmaid…  lol)

Update – Workout Playlist…



So here is the new playlist…  Feel free to leave comments with an suggested additions…



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The Magical Weight Loss Secret…

Calories In < Calories Out…  That’s it…

Here’s some info on the Calories Out part:

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Warning: Stay Away From the DANGER PUDDING…

I was involved in an online discussion last night about how great it would be to eat a can of sweetened condensed milk, with a spoon.  I quickly chimed in with the recipe for DANGER PUDDING (which I was NOT recommending, but it is actually fantastic)…  And then it hit me, the I WANT IT feeling.  I was laying in bed and ACTUALLY contemplating getting up, getting dressed and walking to the corner store to see if they sell sweetened condensed milk.  WHAT?!?!?  Then I remembered my secret tool to fight the I WANT IT feeling…  Nutritional Information Label…  the kryptonite to my cravings…  I got on the google machine (thanks to my trusty smart phone) and found this:  Sweetened Condensed Milk.

I did NOT get out of bed…  Thank you Nutritional Information Label…  *I heart you*

On Your Marks…

I am registering for the Rock-n-Sole run again this year…  I figure that my experience is almost guaranteed to be better this year…  I saw this and thought I would share…  I am contemplating running a half-marathon in the fall…  I think it is a good “next step”…

Check out this guide to marathon running… Read the rest of this entry

Forms Of Torture…

There are very few experiences I find more grueling than swimming suit shopping.  Honestly, it was easier when I was heavier, because the “big girl” suits are at least supportive.  Now, it is next to impossible for me to find a swimming suit that fits my chest and my butt together, or either of them separately.  This weekend I spent 8 hours at 3 different malls.  I probably tried on 150 swimming suits.  I purchased ZERO swimming suits.

I leave in a week, for an eight-day trip to the British Virgin Islands.  I have one swimming suit, I found it last year and I love it.  It’s a black one-piece and I could buy another one exactly like it, but I would like some variety.  It does not even come in any other colors.  I also have a “top” that I bought last year, but I cannot find a bottom that both fits and matches.  We will be on a sailboat, so there is no laundry service and I will need more than one suit for the trip.

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Get Motivated…

I saw this on Shape‘s website and thought it was definitely worth sharing…  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did…

Get Motivated! Top 8 Sites for Fitness Inspiration

Nicole Jurick

Sometimes, you need a little extra inspiration to get motivated. Fortunately, these 8 websites feel your pain. Beyond inspirational stories and motivating tools, these sites each have special insights, points of view, or sharing features that help you follow through on an “I’m going to do it” impulse. Hire a life coach if you want, or use these sites to get (and keep) the change ball rolling.

1. Get Motivated Online:The Happiness Project

What is it? The Happiness Project is an online toolkit (literally) for success. Not only does it help you create specific goals (not just the “do what it takes” pseudoplan!), but the Happiness Project Toolbox lets you track your progress and document how fantastic it feels to stick with it. One entry: “Woke up for 7am yoga, and felt so energetic for the rest of the day!”.

Why we love it: Making a resolution or setting up “personal commandments” to live by in public (you can set it to private if you want) definitely inspires you to keep them. Plus, seeing other people’s ideas is endlessly inspiring (“Write one positive thing about my day, every day”) and amusing (“Tell my husband I love him every day and mean it”).

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