The Year of Me … Round 2

In the summer of 2017, I decided it was {past} time to prioritize my health when my back went out … and went out again. My baby was a year old, and I struggled with recovery following her birth #4kids5years. I started physical therapy (PT) basically because I had a nanny (my youngest sister) to help me in the summer and our deductible was nearly met. PT plus massage therapy for 6 weeks got my back feeling better and kick-started my training #strengthenandstretch. I expanded on the initial routine given to me by my PT and began intermittent fasting that summer. I also began taking Welbutrin for my mental health #postpartumanxiety. My blood work was “perfect,” but I didn’t feel perfect. I added in yoga twice a week. One year later, my check-up revealed 25lbs lost, but instead of praise, my doc reminded me how much further I had to go toward my goal. 

I decided that 2018 was the year of me, revisited. I was tired of joining different fitness boutiques to try to fit my schedule around class times. I was tired of dieting. I lost 25lbs through intermittent fasting, then saw my new GP who was like “that’s great, but you’re still technically obese.” Not nice words flew through my brain, and I basically shut down as he tried to explain why athletic guys who are “fit like him” can seem to eat anything they want but not gain weight, but women tend to struggle more. No kidding. It’s not like I haven’t struggled with weight for my entire life. It’s not like I am married to the EPITOME of that statement (I called us Jack Sprat and his wife — bc Jack Sprat could eat no fat and his wife could eat no lean). #EYEROLL. I half listened to his recommendations, which would basically totally change how my family and myself eats. 

Guess what? The changes didn’t happen. There were too many and they were too hard. 

So, to spite my new doc, I called HPHI. Fellow contributor Kendra sings their praises. Plus, I went to high school with Tyler, and we even grew up in the incredibly teeny tiny small town of Prairie Rhonde. We may even be distant cousins like wayyyyyy back. After a long consultation via telephone, I sent him my results from the bloodwork from my doctor’s visit, and he set me up with his wife, Lacie Jo, because “I find that women respond well to her since she is in the trenches of motherhood with you and can truly empathize with you” Um HELLOOOOO what a change!

So, after an initial phone consultation with Lacie Jo, where I unloaded A-L-L ALL my food issues and weight concerns, we got started. Know what I had to do? Take a picture of everything I ate and send it to her. That’s it. For one week she observed my habits. I sent in workout videos completed, and answered any additional questions that cropped up. 

Week two was the same, but every time I sent her something, she offered one change to make it healthier. One. That’s it. I never felt overwhelmed. I never felt like it was something I couldn’t do. And she ALWAYS had an evidence-based reason for her suggestions. I love me some evidence-based practice and having the REASONS WHY I needed to do something clarified any changes that were necessary. I love science. I think our bodies are miraculous creations. So knowing that certain changes were going to help my body in certain ways was huge. 

Ya’ll. 8 months later and I am at my goal weight. I literally did not think this would happen. I am so proud of myself and thankful to HPHI and Fleurish Health for their help on this journey. I never felt judged. I never felt “fussed” or shamed. I only felt encouraged and accountable. 

You would think that 3 dress sizes later, I would look at myself in the mirror and think “Dang I am sexy” but guess what, I don’t. I still see a bit of a pooch over my belly button and question my progress. That same pooch I had when I was a 12 is there as a 6. I still cannot see the inside of my belly button #thankskids. I still see clumps and lumps on my upper thighs and arms. I am so used to seeing flaws that it clouds my true vision of my body! I am working on eliminating those thoughts and rephrasing observations in terms of progress and improvement rather than negatives. My booty though, I am dannnng proud of my booty, lol.

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A few of my key things I’ve learned on this journey:

  1. Set up your environment for success. No one was super happy in our house when all the fun foods went away. But I needed them gone for me. Most of those foods are back in the house, but I no longer find them fun or really crave them. Don’t be afraid to set up your pantry for your success. Your family can deal with no Whales crackers or Chips Ahoy for a few months while you adjust. 
  2. Eat yo greens. My goodness I have never eaten so much vegetables in my whole life, and 9 times out of 10 my suggested adjustment for a meal was “You should add more leafy greens to that.” So now I am in the habit of eating a lotta greens at least twice a day.
  3. Speaking of habits … new healthy habits have been what saved me. Not a big sweeping sudden change. Small, manageable changes that become so ingratiated into your routine you don’t think about them anymore. 
  4. Move it. Paired with clean eating, I am really actually enjoying working out. And seeing positive changes to my body’s shape is such a confidence booster. 
  5. Abs are made in the kitchen. Eating comes first … movement is second. 

And the most important lesson of all:


Grace to screw up. Grace to progress slowly. Grace to have a setback. Grace to recover from injury. Grace to enjoy your birthday dinner. Grace to eat the cookie your daughter prepared for you. Grace to REST. 

I feel like I expect so much of myself, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. If I can’t do something perfectly, then it isn’t worth doing. If I cannot achieve perfection, then I am a failure. I attribute this to my soul’s desire for the perfection that is Heaven. 

This ain’t Heaven though. 

So, striving toward perfection is a lofty goal, but I have to remember that if my God will grant me grace to complete His work, then who am I to withhold it from myself?

Give yourself grace, Mamas. 

Sarah Keating
Sarah is a 30-something mom of four children under six and wife to her high-school sweetheart. She returned to Acadiana two years ago following her husband’s completion of medical school and residency in Shreveport. After the move, Sarah switched gears from full-time pediatric speech-language pathologist and working mom to full-time stay-at-home mom to her brood. Her current hobbies include “speech-therapizing” her children, re-reading the Outlander series, catching up on her Netflix queue after the kids go to bed, completing XHIT videos at naptime, and taking her medication every morning. She loves and respects the sacredness of motherhood, but sometimes you just have to let go and laugh it out. Motherhood has been the most humbling, and empowering journey she has experienced.


  1. I am so proud of you Sarah! It’s hard to make the changes, small and big, but you stuck to it and not only persevered, but “You Rocked It”!


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