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Guest Blogger Angie: Embracing my Girlie Side

Written by Mandie Caraway

Published on Oct 18th, 2016

Being comfortable in my own skin is something I have struggled with for quite some time. My health journey and addiction to working out began when I was in nursing school. I had a friend who encouraged me to take up running. In the beginning it was a struggle. I could barely run 10 minutes without stopping. I remember training for my first 5k with a walk/run training program. It worked, I was able to finish the Susan G. Komen 5K and I was hooked. Running gave me the outlet for stress relief that I needed while finishing up my nursing degree.

From the 5k I moved up to a 10k, then eventually finished my first St. George Marathon after graduating from nursing school. I was feeling pretty awesome. Yet I was still unhappy and uncomfortable in my skin. I failed to realize that I was sabotaging my own success. I used to say I work out, so I can eat. And at the time I meant it. I was able to get away with eating what I wanted because I was logging in the miles. I did lose weight, but just to gain it back. My weight has been up and down ever since.

After being married for 10 years, I found out that being pregnant my not be in my cards. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I was determined to regulate my body to the point that I would get pregnant. In my mind if I could just lose the weight then I would get pregnant. I worked out like a maniac. I was running crazy miles each week managing to finish 5 marathons in one year. I included weight lifting, yoga and cycling in to my work out routine. Anyone else would have been proud of all the athletic accomplishments I was making. I, on the other hand, just got more and more frustrated because my body was fighting me. I was failing to see the bigger picture because I had tunnel vision and was only looking at the numbers on the scale. Just when I thought being a mom was never going to happen our beautiful daughter was born from our hearts. Being a mom gave me a perspective on the way I looked at myself and treated myself. I want to teach my daughter that she is more than her appearance. I want to be an example of a strong and confident woman. At the same time embracing my girlie side. She happens to be a girlie girl. And I’m totally ok with that. Coming up with new work outs that we can do together is super fun. One of my favorites is “spaghetti and meatball”. In the words of my daughter, “You do this so you don’t have squishy belly”.


Life is too short to be worried and consumed about the number on the scale. I have many things to be thankful for. I’ve been married to a wonderful and supportive person for 22 years. I’ve got a sassy little princess who keeps me on my toes. My career has given me the opportunity for growth and the chance to pursuit my Master’s Degree. The bmiSMART contest has given me added tools to find comfort in my own skin and I am owning it. I am embracing my strength and my focus have gone beyond the scale.

Beyond the scale means -

Focusing on healthy nutritious foods that will fuel me for all that I have to do. And sometimes this means having treats. With bmiSMART I-REMOVE I can have my cake and eat it too.

Exercise means having fun trying to push my limits by getting stronger, faster and trying new things.

Comfort in my own skin means embracing my body for what it can do rather than what it looks like. I owe this to bmiSMART for giving me opportunity to work with an amazing personal trainer (Hillary Goldstein) and a caring nutritionist (Stephanie Cunningham).