Switching Things Up

Hi everyone! I can hardly believe that summer has come and gone. There have been some big changes for me since I last posted. I started this project with the intention to run a half marathon. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it. I had reached 8 miles the week before the race, but I wasn’t comfortable going any further. I could feel a lot of pulling on the back of my leg. Last year, I sprained my ankle before my race and I was unable to run, period. I saw myself back pedaling very quickly. So, I decided this time around I needed to listen to my body.

I am not sorry that I decided to sit this one out. The course was a lot of hills and changes in elevation. The bulk of my training consisted of flat terrain. What I gained from my experience is getting back on course with who I am and what I want to become. I don’t need a race to prove to myself that I am improving me.

It doesn’t stop the fact that I want my very own medal that says I completed running a half marathon. I don’t collect things, but I want to collect race medals. I see them as my very own badges of honor.

Since the race I have changed a few things up. I am lifting everyday. I recognized that my core wasn’t as strong as it needed to be to push my body to the limits that I want to take it. Over the summer, I have been reintroduced to why I love running and taking care of myself. I love seeing the transformations and changes that my body is making. I am stronger. I am becoming leaner and getting thinner. My 36” jeans that I bought last winter are getting loose. I am skinnier now than I was in high school.

Things continue to happen that motivate me even more to become the best version of myself. I feel empowered about my life when I choose to make healthier, smarter choices for myself. I am not controlled by food, or seek solace from food. Rather, I find comfort in exercising and training my mind and body to focus on sculpting and creating the best version of myself.

This month my goal is to continue to measure my success and try to improve. I complete a food journal and I am tracking the different exercises that I complete during training. I am excited to continue to see the changes that transpire over the next 4 weeks and I continue to push forward.

I will keep you posted as I keep pushing forward! Until next time!


New places and new adventures

Today I am writing you from the kitchen of my new apartment in Minneapolis, and boy do I love it! Compared to what I was living in last year in Hawai’i this place is a major upgrade. Not to mention I feel so at home in this city its amazing. I’m really looking forward to all that it has in store for me over the next few years.

Although I have had a really busy week with moving in, getting adjusted, and starting a new school year I have managed to pretty much stick with my September yoga challenge. This weekend I had friends drive up from home which made me stray away for one day, but I did the video I missed on top of the next day’s video, so I got back on track. The challenge has been amazing so far. Each day serves a different purpose in yoga practice and it has really opened my eyes to what it means to practice yoga. Yoga is so much more than the poses and breathing, but also connecting with your soul and being present in the moment. I really like that the videos tend to be a bit abstract as well. They are not just your basic cookie cutter yoga poses and messages, but really outside of the box and fun.

So that will continue through the month, but I have also implemented a workout regime as well. Sunday-Saturday, seven days a week, I’ll be getting active and starting healthy. Monday-Friday are pretty high intensity in terms of workouts, but Saturday and Sunday I will be keeping low key. Going for a walk or run, or spending some quality time on the yoga mat. My goal is to at least do something everyday to get my self moving.

This summer I successfully lost 20 pounds, and 5% body fat, which I feel so accomplished and happy about. Some may say that I didn’t have weight to lose, but I was not confident with where I was at all, and I knew that it wasn’t who I was. I’ve always been a health conscious person and when that got away from me I was miserable. Although that is a significant amount of weight to lose I’m still not done. I plan to drop 10 more by Halloween to reach my goal of 30 pounds total before Christmas. That may sound like a lot for just a little over a month, but with the right diet and exercise I know for certain that I can achieve this!

What are your fitness and health goals for this month? Share with us so we can help keep each other encouraged and motivated! Good luck and remember to always Start Healthy!



Great things are around the corner.

Hi again!

Boy have I had a busy, busy, busy week! I worked everyday, and on top of that had to pack for school.

To recap from last week, my goal was to fit in three intense workouts with other not as intense workouts in between. I’m happy to share that I not only achieved this goal, but exceeded it! I worked out six days, and only one day did I do something low key. It feels amazing to feel my body and my mind changing over the course of this journey.

I also mentioned that I had something BIG planned for September. Since my journey to starting healthy is really focused around my love for yoga I decided to incorporate it into my life even more than I already do. Usually I try and practice three to four times a week, but I really want to get in the habit of doing yoga everyday, even if it is just for a little bit. I like to do yoga at my house and I follow a channel on youtube religiously. The instructor’s name is Adriene, and I would be lying if I told you her videos weren’t the best. I LOVE HER SO MUCH! She offers this yoga challenge that takes course over a 30 day period, and all it is doing a video each day. Each day’s video has a different theme and a different message to incorporate into your practice. It’s seriously cool, and seriously motivating. Not to mention that some of the videos aren’t even 20 minutes long, so I really have no excuse to not do them everyday. I hope that you’ll guide me through this step of my journey, and really be there to push me when I need it. This is so much bigger than just myself!

I hope your journey to starting healthy is underway, and going well. Feel free to join me in my 30 day yoga challenge for the month. The more the merrier!!


Until next time stay active and start healthy!



I am better than I was yesterday

The first group race is behind us! Last Saturday, Team Start Healthy competed in our first group race in the Color Vibe Race. We had a blast coming together, having fun, while covering each in color. It was a just another reminder that I am getting closer to the Sioux Falls Half Marathon.

I am less than 18 days from the half marathon and I am starting to get nervous. Over the last month, I have been focused on the race and making choices that will help me cross the finish line.

To start, I hired a personal trainer to help me push my body to do more and have the endurance to run the distance. There is an unexplainable satisfaction that comes with working with a trainer. I appreciate what they do. It is a combination of personal therapy and coaching for me. I can go to training not in the best mood, I can be distracted and frustrated and walk away with clarity and peace. My trainer pushes me to lift one rep, or run faster. He is that audible voice that I hear in my head. During those moments when I want to quit or stop—he is there encouraging me to push through.

This sounds ridiculous, but I have learned so much about my own life from my experiences at the gym. I could quit right now. I could say that this whole experience isn’t worth it. That I could be doing something else, but I am happy. I am happy when I run, or when I have finished a work out. No, I am not seeing results immediately. I don’t have the six-pack that I dream of. But I am BETTER! I am better than I was yesterday. I am no longer 300 pounds, nervous, or self-conscious like I used to be. I still have a ways to go, but I am SO MUCH better than I used to be.

I have to work to be better. I have been told that I am lucky. Luck has nothing to do with where I am in my goals. I have had to own my decision to be healthy every day. There are days when I really want to cheat. There are days when I do cheat—I eat things that are not good for me. I immediately regret it, because I can feel what those choices do to my body.

My life may be more disciplined and regimented, but I have never felt better. I want to see how I can push the limits of my own body in an effort to become a better, stronger and healthier person.

Until next week!

Start Healthy my friends!

Keep on Keepin’ on!

Good day Start Healthy Friends!

Sorry I was MIA last week. As I had said in my previous post I was traveling and did not have access to Internet or my computer for a majority of the time. However, I am happy to report that my workout plan was a success! I ran my butt off and my yoga practice was at full force. The Color Vibe 5k we ran on Saturday was a breeze and a blast. Jeff and I ran together, and finished it in less than 30 minutes! There is no greater feeling than accomplishing your goals even if they are just small ones. We posted pictures on our social media accounts, so be sure to check them out!

Now, on to this week with life just as hectic as ever! I have exactly one week of work left before I move to Minneapolis for the start of a new school year and boy is it a busy one. With at least eight hours of work everyday up until I leave I am really going to have to make my time count. Between that, packing, and remembering to sleep I am really struggling to find time for exercise. I am very much a person of routine so this is hard for me. My goal for the week is to get at least three days of hardcore exercise in (running, lifting, spin class), and on the other days do something not as intense like yoga or walking. As long as I get moving at some point everyday I’ll feel accomplished! I would love some encouragement throughout the week, so please feel free to cheer me on and give feedback.

I hope this post was short and sweet! I have some major things planned for the month of September as far as my personal fitness goals go, so keep you eyes open for next weeks post. Happy Tuesday and don’t forget to start healthy!

Until we meet again,


Jeff’s Plan on Healthy Eating

Hey Start Healthy Friends—Happy Friday! It has been a full week here. It seems like I have been constantly on the go since my last post. Getting home late and eating on the go. Among the crazy schedule, I managed to meet my goal this week. I clocked 12 miles between Monday-Wednesday and managed to get to the gym all three days to get lifting and stretching in.

I have found that running is not just about the routine of running. To be a faster runner with endurance to take on the long distances. I need a strong core and strong legs. I have been lifting and working with a trainer for a while now. My major focus has been fat loss and endurance training to prepare my body for the run and avoid injuries.

Weight lifting is a bit of struggle for me. I understand this is all to break me down to build me up to be a stronger person. There aren’t many things that I enjoy about lifting weights, but I LOVE seeing my veins. I LOVE seeing muscle tone. I LOVE seeing the changes in my body. So I will press on.

I used to be much larger. I loved to eat fast food, drink cocktails and watch T.V. I wasn’t picky about what I was putting into my body. I continue to struggle with sweets. But I have found a great alternative that has satisfied my sweet tooth. These protein balls are full of protein and fiber. I see so many foods that I used to eat. like cake—has no nutritional value. Just a chemical combination that leaves me feeling uncomfortable and gross.

Since I have changed to eating healthier, I have noticed when I make poor food decisions. My body does not react well to those foods. It’s just another reminder that when I fail to plan, my body pays the price. I hate feeling gross and sluggish.

So, how do I keep those feelings at bay? I plan. Planning my food choices earlier in the week makes me successful and focused on the mission of what I am trying to accomplish. It all goes back to my fitness goals and my running goals. My trainer would tell me that gym time accounted for the 30% of my fitness goals. The other 70% was what I am putting into my body.

I will be the first to admit that it can be very difficult to stay focused on my food choices. It is so easy to say yes to the double cheese burger at J.L. Beers, but it takes a real “warrior” to say yes to cajun rubbed chicken breast with broccoli spears and a glass of water.

Here’s to next week’s challenge. Commit to my food plan:
Breakfast: 8 oz of water; Start Healthy Breakfast Sandwich
Mid morning snack: ¼ cup of Almonds and a banana|
Lunch: 6 oz of protein and 2 cups of veggies
Mid afternoon snack: celery and ¼ cup almonds
Dinner: Chicken breast, or fish fillet (salmon 2x a week), 2 cups of green vegetables
evening snack: apple or orange

Sweet tooth saver: Oatmeal,Flax, Peanut butter protein balls.

Have a wonderful weekend and let’s all start healthy!

On the Road to Start Healthy

Hello again Start Healthy friends! It’s been a week since I embarked on my journey to Start Healthy, and I have never felt better. I’ve implemented a solid workout plan, and am really trying hard to stick to the meal plan that I’ve been using throughout the summer. In today’s post I want to talk to you about the types of workouts that I enjoy doing, and my goals for the next week.

When I think of a fitness goal I hate to think of it as a number on a scale. Creating goals influenced by what we think is “acceptable” because of what society says is just ignorant. To truly create a realistic goal we have to understand that every body type is unique. I can say that my goal is to look like Candice Swanepoel, a well-known Victoria’s Secret model, but that doesn’t make sense. Aside from the major factor that I will never be five feet and ten inches tall, I will also never look like her because that is not the type of body that I possess. My goal within these next couple of weeks is to accept my body for what it is, and try to make it the best version of itself that it can be rather than the best version of someone else’s body. Yes, losing weight does involve numbers and I would be lying if I said watching that number on the scale goes down does make me joyous. However, I’m more concerned about my body mass index, my fat percentage, and the way that I FEEL more so than an arbitrary number. If I feel good and am healthy, than why should any number have such power over me?

As far as exercise goes, I belong to a gym that I love. Besides an amazing array of exercise equipment available to its members it also offers a selection of interactive classes and other amenities. I love being in a class environment because I feel that being surrounded by others working to get in shape, and having a teacher there to really push me makes me work that much harder. The classes I go to are mainly lifting, tabata, or high cardio classes. It’s nice because none of them are ever more than 45 minutes, so I really have no excuse for not squeezing at least one into my day. Outside of those classes, I love to run, bike, and do yoga on my own. Without those three things I probably would not be able to keep my sanity. Cardio is such a good stress reliever, and really allows me to have a few moments to myself outside of my hectic life. I used to be a very avid runner before I went to college. Sometimes clocking upwards to ten or twelve miles a day. Unfortunately, I’ve strayed away from that over the past couple of years for a number of reasons, but one of my exercise goals outside of yoga on this journey is to get back into my running groove. The Start Healthy team is signed up for a couple of 5k races at the end of August and I’m really using those as a kick-start to get back on the running path.

This week my goals are going to be kept simple and attainable because I am heading out of town on Thursday for a week. The beautiful thing about yoga mats and sneakers is that they’re easy to take anywhere, so I really have no excuse to not keep up while I’m away. No days off, right? Sixty minutes of yoga a day, and a three-mile run are what I plan to squeeze in. However, I need your help. Hold me accountable to this goal while I’m away! Encouragement is always welcome, and highly encouraged. Let’s Start Healthy together.


Until next time, stay active, and start healthy!



Boy on the Run

Lunge 2I am Jeff Nasers and I am the “Boy on the Run.” Healthy living has played a big part of my life for the last two and half years. Two and half years ago I was the largest I had ever been. I was just under 300 pounds and not living a healthy lifestyle. I was depressed and bursting at the seams in 42” waist. I was so unhappy. I really hated the person that I was and hated looking at myself in the mirror.

I was forced to make a change after my annual physical. My doctor told me that I was on a path to destruction. My blood sugar was abnormally high. My grandfather was diabetic and the thought of following in his footsteps was terrifying.

I adored my grandfather, he was a remarkably smart man and loved his family. I didn’t want to be subjected to insulin shots, or daily blood sugar checks. I decided at that moment. I was going to own my life. It was my opportunity to own my choices and become the best version of myself.

My goal is to take my body and mind the next level of discipline. I have committed to running in a half marathon. I believe that we have a responsibility to ourselves to grow and push the limits of what we can do. I look forward to pushing through the pain and seeing what I discover on the other side of the finish line.

I would like to challenge you—push yourself to the limit. Do something that makes you healthier. We can all wish that we were skinny, but it’s those who work to be healthier are the ones that realize their goal. I will be toned. I will be faster than I was yesterday. I will be stronger.

I am excited for this journey. Please tag along—let’s start healthy and finish strong—together.

See you at the finish line!




Climbing to New Heights


Hello Start Healthy Friends!  My name is Michael Winkleman and my journey to start healthy began with a phone call from my doctor saying I had skin cancer.  The weeks that followed were up and down for me both emotionally and physically as fear began to take over.  As a business owner and father who is always on the go, I was already struggling to consistently eat healthy and workout regularly.  However, the news that I had skin cancer struck a deep nerve in me, along with other things in life, making it hard to focus.

A good friend, who knew nothing about what I was going through, knew something was bothering me.  He encouraged me to seek out mentors in both business and my personal life.  He told me I needed to start every day with a plan.  Well, thanks to the wise advice of the Start Healthy CEO, I took the bull by the horns and I made a plan for taking my life back!

The cancer is gone and the scars that remain from the cancer treatment only make me look tougher!  Now I am starting my day healthy with nutritious food, regular exercise and my drive for adventure is back!  Over the coming weeks I want to get back to my MMA work outs, reintroduce a high protein diet, run, and return to the outdoor activities I love.

Specifically, over the next 60 days I want to achieve three simple goals:
1. Run the 5k Color Vibe
2. Rock climb Needles in the Badlands of South Dakota
3. Run the 5k Mud Run

I look forward to sharing my journey with you.  I hope you find encouragement and renewed inspiration because no matter how hard life gets, you are worth Starting Healthy!

Girl in Motion

beckyLet’s be realistic, we all lead very busy lives and it is challenging at times to take care of yourself by eating healthy and caring for your body. My life is no different, my name is Becky McElroy and I’m a girl in motion. My days are spent working behind my computer, designing marketing materials for our clients at 724 Factory (of which I’m a owner of). As well as raising 3 amazing girls who keep me running in multiple directions with their activities and schedules. Add to that busy schedule, my husband and I recently purchased another business that he is running, but my weekends and off-hours are spent helping him with our comic book store and all of it’s new adventures.

I have always been an active person and enjoy being physically active and am not a picky eater, so eating fruits and vegetables isn’t an issue for me. I like to workout and like to eat healthy foods – it’s the time and planning to do these that I find as my biggest challenge. I spent my youth and early 20s making sure I spent time in the gym, biking or running in my spare time. Enter the 30s and 40s… bringing my 3 girls into this world – I did my best to continue to try to find time to eat right and exercise, but age and having “little people” to care for, I have found I put everyone else’s needs first before taking care of myself.  I’m sure many mothers can relate. So, this is my journey to find the balance in caring for my family, running 2 businesses and taking the time for me and my health. As we age, many of us including myself start to gain those extra pounds. During my 3rd pregnancy I lost the ability to wear my wedding ring, since that time (she’s now 2 years old – eek) I haven’t been able to get my ring back on my finger. My goal with making healthy living a priority for myself as well as brining my family on this adventure is to be able to wear my wedding ring again (without going to the jewelry store to resize it -I’m stubborn that way).

I find one of my biggest challenges is planning and organizing a schedule to be active as well as planning healthy menu options for my family as we run here and there and everywhere. As I begin this journey to start healthy everyday I would love your support and encouragement and hope that maybe I can inspire someone else as well. I’m definitely bringing my children and husband along on this journey so I can be an example for our children so they establish healthy habits and continue those habits as they grow into adulthood.

My Journey to Start Healthy

AndreaHello fellow Start Healthy friends and followers! My name is Andrea Loudenback, and this is my journey to start healthy. I’ve always lived a pretty healthy lifestyle. I love working out and finding new ways to make meals healthy, fun, and exciting. However, with the hectic life that I lead between school and juggling three jobs, my health sometimes slips away from me. I’m really looking forward to using this challenge as a way to get healthy and stick to it. My ending goal is to one day gain my yoga instructors license, but for now I just want to get into the habit of doing yoga every day and becoming the best possible version of myself.

Now for a little bit more about myself. I’m twenty years old and will be starting my third year of college this fall. I spent my first two years of school at the University of Hawaii studying marine biology, but switched my major to animal science at the end of my sophomore year. I plan to spend the rest of my education at the University of Minnesota starting this year. I really enjoyed Hawaii, but decided it was time for a new scene.

My favorite past times outside of school include any type of activity outdoors. I love to bike, swim, run, hike, snowboard, surf, go to the beach, and do yoga. Anything that can be done outdoors is something you can catch me doing. Another huge part of my life is music. I’ve been playing piano since as long as I can remember, and it’s something that has really stuck with me throughout the years. Along with all of that there is nothing I really enjoy more than I good book and a cup of tea.

I would love to hear encouragement from all of you as I embark on this journey. Help hold me responsible for my goals! The best part about being involved with the Start Healthy Team is that we are all here for each other. So, I challenge you to come along with us on this journey. Create your own goals and share them with us. We are all in this together!



Journey to Start Healthy Challenge

Big things are happening with Team Start Healthy. The team has started a health challenge to find the best version of ourselves.

We’ve all decided that we have been on the road to poor health for long enough. We’ve all made a commitment to make healthy choices. Eat smarter, exercise our bodies and our minds.

To keep things interesting we will have a couple of team races along the way.

We start this journey from all walks of life, but we all have a common mission. We want to be healthier, happier and living the life we were meant to live.

We are excited to be a part of Team Start Healthy—full of excitement and determination. Meet the team and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as we start our journey to healthy living.

Team Start HealthyBecky is a busy wife and mother with three daughters. They are all active with school and extracurricular activities. Becky and her husband both own and operate their own businesses. Time is a precious commodity that is hard to come by for Becky and her family. Becky would like to use this challenge as an opportunity to bring healthy living to her family. They are an active bunch—she wants to make sure that they have the right fuel for their bodies. This challenge is about finding balance with quick, easy and healthy food options. Becky’s personal goal is to fit her wedding ring back on her finger. She sees her journey as a balance of healthy living for their whole family.

Michael is a business owner and active in the community. When he is not with his two young boys, he is on photo shoots, helping friends with different projects, or working to improve his business. Michael wants to use this challenge as an opportunity to train for a rock climbing adventure in the black hills. This would be a chance to eat healthier, lean up and prepare him for the climb.

Andrea is an animal science major at the University of Minnesota. She is always working and constantly on the go. Her goal to start healthy is to focus on her yoga skills and train to become a yoga instructor.

I am Jeff. I am a public relations professional and an active member of the community. I have many different many projects that pull me in different directions. Sometimes healthy living is not at the top of my priority list. Last summer I trained for a half-marathon and injured myself before the race. My goal is to re-train and run in a half-marathon this September.

We are excited about these journeys we are about to embark on and look forward to the people that we will become at the end of this challenge. Follow us and cheer us on!