Fighting Infertility With Weight Loss-Kristin’s Story

fighting infertility


this post contains affiliate links.

Now that you’ve heard about Ethan’s journey to good health, I’d like to share mine with you, too. My weight loss journey has also been an ongoing process, but just recently started to really take flight. Growing up, I had some medical issues that caused me to gain some weight early on. I saw a nutritionist in the 6th grade, and that helped me lose some weight. I can’t really say that it put me on a path to good health, though, as that was during the time of the “sugar free fat free” craze. So in the 6th grade, I was drinking a lot of diet coke and eating a lot of fat free mayo. Not the most nutritionally sound diet. Nonetheless, through my junior year in high school, I was happy with my body.

prom croppedjunior prom ’99

Around the time of my Junior Year in high school, I started to put on some weight. I remember very clearly the day, senior year, that I went to the doctor and the scale said 150 lbs. I am only 4’11”, so this is a significant number for my body type. Through my first two years of college, I had a bit more weight gain, but nothing too significant. And then, within the span of a year, my best friend, my grandma (who raised me), and my uncle died. I moved back home and food and beer was my nightly routine. I really put on weight. This trend has continued into my 30’s.

a less than flattering photo from our wedding day.

I’ve been through every “diet” out there. I went all organic. I went Paleo. I did shakes. All the “lifestyle changes” that work for other people had virtually no effect at all on me. I was getting fatter, and worst of all, we now had 3 failed fertility treatments under our belt. And my fertility specialist said, “you need to lose weight.” OUCH.

3 months ago I started seeing a nutritionist. It was the first time in a long time that I’d consistently lost weight. It was exactly what I needed. Why hadn’t I thought of this earlier? The first 4 weeks of visits with my nutritionist were difficult. I felt like nothing was happening. The loss was too slow. Only a pound? Something HAS to be wrong with me, because this isn’t working either. And my wonderful, amazing nutritionist just laughed. She told me to relax, quit stressing, and just wait. “I’m telling you, this will work. If it doesn’t, I’ll pay YOU!” And she was right. With lots of adjustments and tweaking, we found what’s right for me. I’m now 17 pounds down in 3 months. I see changes happening in my body. I’m actually excited to put on clothes that used to be too small and now fit the way they should. I know this journey will be long, but it’s worth it. I’m looking forward to, in a year from now, having no weight left to lose, and looking like I’ve never looked before. It’s an exciting thought!

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 10.12.46 PM

Besides my nutritionist, I’ve used a few things to aid in my weight loss that have helped me a great deal. I use a Fitbit to help me track my steps, activity, and sleep. It’s a great gauge to help me see how active I’ve been throughout the day. I track everything I eat in MyFitnessPal. This really helps me see how my choices throughout the day effect everything from my hunger to my mood. Another thing that has really helped keep my confidence up in this process is taking side by side pictures. It helps me see my progress, especially when I’m wearing the same outfit! I use Diptic to make these side by side photos. You can also follow along with my journey on Instagram with the hashtag #GetFitWithTheNook.

I have a long way to go, but I’m really proud of my progress. The most amazing part of this weight loss has been my renewed faith in my ability to have a baby.

I hope this post inspires people to believe in themselves. You really can do it! You just have to find what works for you! I’d love to hear any additional advice you have to give me! Feel free to leave your stories and advice in the comments!

Running from Fat – Ethan’s Weight Loss Story


this post contains affiliate links

Running From Fat

Today I want to share with you my journey of weight loss, where I was back then, and where I am now. It’s a story worth telling because if I can help you in any small way, then I can be happy knowing I’ve influenced you to improve your life, wherever you may be in your weight loss journey.

I had always been a pretty skinny kid in high school, and I didn’t really notice that until freshman year of college. You could say I was somewhat oblivious to my own body. Early in my freshmen year, before the “Freshman 15” had kicked in, my buddy woke me up and snapped this picture because of my wild hair:

This hair WAS pretty funny!

This hair WAS pretty funny!

When the pictures got developed (Yes kiddies, gather ’round the fire while I tell you all about how film still had to be developed back in 2001!), my friend showed me the picture.

“Dude, you look buff in this picture!” – He said.

Wait, who? Me?

“No way! Look at my gut, it’s huge!” I replied.

This was the first time anyone had said I was in shape, or even that I looked good physically. I couldn’t fathom the thought that I was good-looking at the time. I never played sports. I never worked out. I pretty much struggled to get a passing grade in gym class! I always thought I had a pretty round gut, truthfully. I wasn’t ready to take a compliment like that, and so I didn’t. I rejected his words and came back with negativity.

Flash forward to 2005: Three years of college and LOTS of calories later. Though I never really weighed myself much through college, I estimate I was up over 200 lbs by graduation on a 5’5″ frame. My only saving grace was that I still was walking everywhere in college. On graduation day, I looked tired, exhausted and sad on what should have been a glorious day.

This is me with my mom on graduation dayShortly after graduation, in 2006, something started to click for me. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and I needed a change. I missed the old me from the freshman picture. Putting this weight on happened gradually over several years, and it was going to be a long, tough slog to get most of it off.

In a span of over a year, after several gym trial memberships, many grocery item mis-adventures and scavenging magazines and articles online for health advice wherever I could, I came up with some core lessons that weren’t in the magazines or articles I read, but nevertheless helped me tremendously:

  1. You’ve got to push yourself in the gymNews Flash – Working out is going to hurt, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve done it. Sometimes, it even sucks hard. But when you push yourself …when you really go beyond the limit of what you think you can do… then there’s this groove that comes. You get to a point where you love the feeling of doing good things for your body, not just in the gym, but in the kitchen and in the other parts of your life. Listen to those signals of pain and pleasure and get comfortable with knowing them for the rest of your life.
  2. Start exercise with activities you are comfortable with – When I first entered a gym solo with tons of people, I was a nervous wreck. What if I don’t use the machine right? What if I put too much weight on the machine? What if I use too little weight? What if that hot girl over there thinks I’m an idiot because I’m not using proper form? Instead of worrying about all this, I started with machines I knew how to use from gym class, and then after 3 sets on them I’d hop over to a new machine I’ve never used. Sitting at the “comfortable” machine gave me time to study the “new machine” from afar. Pretty soon I had developed a few full-body workout routines just by scoping out new equipment. I may have looked dumb a couple times, but I always ended up figuring out how to use the equipment properly after a few tries. (Side note: I also learned that almost no one is judging you at any gym, ever. If you’re nervous that people are looking at you, do yourself a favor and forget that thought now. Trust me, most people are so wrapped up in their own workout they don’t spend time or effort noticing you, and if they do then they honestly have more issues than you.)
  3. Food is 80% of the fight – Gym time is important, but food is the bigger part of the equation. Have you heard of the 80/20 rule where 80% of the work comes from 20% of the effort? You can easily demolish a great workout with the right meal, so don’t reward your workout with bad food. Really study about what you are putting into your body and be conscious when making each meal choice.
  4. Sustaining weight loss is tough, too – For those that lose a lot of weight quickly, once the weight starts coming off, the new battle becomes keeping it off. Many people experience yo-yo diets where the weight goes away and comes back. From experience, I will say it is easier to keep the weight off than to take it off initially, but know that this will be a new battle for you as well once you start reaching your goals. Making educated and smart choices with food & exercise goes a long way in navigating this long haul.
  5. Learn to take a compliment – This is a vital to your attitude, especially in the beginning of your journey. When I started losing pounds over a short period of time, people I didn’t even know at work were complimenting me on this weight loss. More than a few people came to me, and I finally had to start learning to positively respond to the compliments. If only I could’ve done that years ago in college. You want to nurture the confidence of your weight loss with humility and know that you are doing something great that others may genuinely want to learn about from you. Put your knowledge to good use and share your advice with those wanting to learn.

I’m not a physical trainer, I’m not a professional weight loss coach. That doesn’t change the fact that I still shed an unhealthy weight and lifestyle, and I have consistently kept the weight off for over 7 years.

Track RunningThese days, I find myself spending most of my time running. I hit a couple 5K’s a year, some 10K’s and Half-Marathons, and my favorite race is Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. I’m planning to run my first Ultramarathon this June, it’s a 50K. Running used to burn my shins to the point where I thought they’d explode, now running relaxes me.

Although running has become second-nature for me now, I always like to keep things interesting with different apps, products and services.

RunKeeper and Fitbit apps help me track my progress and log what I’m doing, but I also like writing down runs on a Day Runner planner to ensure they get scheduled and look at workouts from a weekly perspective. I enjoy watching VEVO music videos and listening to 8tracks Radio music while on the treadmill. This year I’ve also been turned on to Superfeet insoles by my friends at Fleet Feet Cincinnati.

Lastly, remember that you don’t need a big budget to get started. The right equipment is nice when you can afford it, but my first pair of running shoes cost me $30. I was using gym trial memberships for almost 3 months and paying next to nothing in cost. When I strength train, I use Cardio Workout DVD’s like Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred
instead of expensive gym memberships, Kristin and I even saved more money by getting our copies used at Half Price Books. Don’t forget that it’s free to run outside! You really can work out on even a shoestring budget. You also don’t need to be a pro athlete to have a reason for working out, it’s something that everyone should do. So get out there and start doing something.

I can’t wait to hear how you are changing your life too! Leave a comment below and let me know what is working for you.

Spring Forward the Right Way! (Yorkie Edition)

  • again



It’s that time of year again. Time to “Spring Forward.” Doesn’t the term “spring forward” make it sound like so much fun? In reality, we all know that springing forward makes us sluggish and tired and entirely unproductive. But today, we’ve got our health correspondent with some personal tips on how to navigate Daylight Savings. Just kidding, we don’t have a health correspondent. It’s our yorkie, Chase. But he has some great tips for you!


Worried about adjusting to the time change?



Try going to bed a half hour early!

Try going to bed a half hour early!



Limit your screen time right before bed. You're eyes will thank you!

Limit your screen time right before bed. You’re eyes will thank you!


Save the partying for another day. You'll end up exhausted!

Save the partying for another day. You’ll end up exhausted!


Get Some Sunshine!

Get outside for some exercise and sunshine.


Take a Short Nap If Needed

Take a short nap if needed, but make sure it’s short!


There you have it, folks. We hope that Daylight Savings is a breeze for you! Do you have any other good tips?  We’ll be sure to pass them along to Chase for you.


Instagram Your Real Life

  • bestproductsfrominstapics
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 3.38.23 PM
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 3.44.18 PM
  • stickygram
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 2.15.45 PM
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 2.21.02 PM
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 2.29.43 PM
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 2.45.45 PM
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 2.57.31 PM
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 3.23.58 PM
  • bestproductsfrominstapics.jpg

Instagram is one of the most popular photo-sharing apps out there with over 150 million active monthly users. There are over 40 million photos added every day and over 1,000 comments added every second.  Let’s face it, aren’t you taking a lot more pictures with your smart phone than you are with your dSLR? How do you get creative with showcasing your Instagram photos? There are so many sites out there with inventive ways to bring your instapics to life, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorite and most unique Instagram Products.



 Coasters N Crafts: This Ohio-based Etsy sellers makes ceramic coasters from your Instagram photos. Besides being adorable, we love showing some Ohio love! 

Hello Flecks tip: take advantage of all those Instagram food pics. Add a little humor to your next dinner party with coasters that feature your favorite food photos. 

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 3.23.58 PM


CanvasPop: CanvasPop lets you to turn your instagram photos into canvas wall art.

Hello, Flecks tip: getting married? Make a wedding hashtag and compile all your friends’ photos into wall art! It’s a fun variation from your typical wedding photos. 

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 2.15.45 PM


Hatch Craft: Hatch Craft makes beautiful bamboo shadow box frames for your Instagram pictures.

Hello, Flecks tip: novice nature photographer? Showcasing your perfectly filtered Instagram pics in this bamboo frame will make those pics look pro!

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 2.45.45 PM

Printstagram: Printstagram lets you create a lot of unique products, but we love their Instagram Contact Cards. At under 3″ squared, these little guys are like a business card for your Instagram!

Hello, Flecks tip: blogger? Hand these out at your next blog conference or meet-up. You’re sure to get a second look over the same old biz cards. 

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 2.57.31 PM


We love seeing so many new and interesting products popping up for Instagram. There’s always another ingenious creator out there with exciting ideas that we can use and love. Keep an eye out for more Instagram products, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!


Say “Hello” To Hello, Flecks!

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Well. No pressure there!


So this is where we introduce you to our new blog.

And hope that you’ll be coming back day after day, needing our posts like a tween needs a selfie. Or a hipster needs skinny jeans.  Or… well, you get it. Basically, we want you to hang out with us! Online! Don’t worry, it’s normal now! You probably want to know who you are hanging out with, right?

Here are the deets: 


Ethan: techie, runner, gamer, photographer, non-fiction hoarder.


Kristin: dog mom, blogger, notebook and pen addict, Apple enthusiast.



Here’s the thing, in less than 2 years, we’ve done a lot of awesome things like getting married,  buying a house, and paying off over $30,000 in debt.  And we’ve learned a lot by doing it.  We live smart AND happy, and we want to share it all with you! 

So stop by often to say, “Hello, Flecks!” We look forward to seeing you! And don’t forget to hang with us on these social sites!


Twitter Facebook Google Plus Instagram Pinterest

%d bloggers like this: