Archive for July, 2011

Trust what you’re putting into your body

Every day we have a choice of what to put into our bodies. Will we chose healthily or not? Better put, will we chose life or death?

Dramatic? Perhaps. Regardless, it makes the point. Everything we do either moves us towards living or towards dying. Which way are your choices moving you?

Thee biggest change I’ve made in my life recently (besides moving 2,000 miles away from home), has been to become aware of what I am putting into my body. I’m no longer eating junk food, picking up fast food for lunch and dinner, or dining out on a regular basis. And my body is changing because of it! I’m down 43 pounds from my highest weight of 227, and the weight continues to go. Which, for the time being, is a good thing. I need to drop weight in order to be within a healthy weight range for my 5’7″ frame. But the best part about this change is that it has been a lifestyle change.

But, back to the point of the post – you must, must, must be able to trust what you’re putting into your body! What you’re eating and drinking needs to fuel your body. THAT is what food is for – for fuel. And changing the way you look at food is tough! But once it really clicks for you, and you start looking at food as fuel, your mind goes through this paradigm shift and you look at just how awful you’ve been to your body. You take responsibility. You take ownership. You realize you only have this one body, and you need to take care of it by fueling it with the foods it needs. At least that’s where I’m currently at.

And it’s a process. I’ve just started shopping at Sprouts for groceries. Well, I should take that back. I’ve just really started grocery shopping for myself. Yes, it’s true. At 29 years of age, I have just really begun doing my own grocery shopping. And yes, this also means that I’ve just really started cooking for myself as well. So far it’s been quite basic – boiling pasta and heating up meatballs – but I’ll get there. But first, starting in August I’m going to launch into a raw food diet in order to help cleanse my body from all the junk I’ve been putting into it. After all, if my body created enough stones to end up with pancreatitis, I’m thinking there are quite a few other toxins needing to get out of my system as well. Wouldn’t you agree?

So, that’s my message for today. Trust what you’re putting into your body. And if you can’t, don’t eat or drink it! There’s a healthy, body-fueling option out there! Go find it! And when you eat, appreciate every last bite.

The thing you fear the most

“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” – Mark Twain

Q) What do you fear most?

A) The thing I fear most is rejection.


“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Q) What do you think you cannot do?

A) Until recently, I did not think that I could acquire a career-launching position within a company that I love and respect.


“‎The only story keeping you from having what you want is the story you tell yourself of why you can’t have it.” – Tony Robbins

Q) What stories have you been telling yourself of why you can’t have what you want?

A) For six or seven years (since my senior year of college), I’ve told myself that I am just not any good at interviewing. As rejection letter after rejection letter rolled in from companies in Wisconsin and Minnesota, it became obvious that I was doing something completely wrong – or so I told myself. My parents even (subtly) suggested that it may be my weight. So I told myself it must be me. I’m too heavy. I picked the wrong major. It must be that no one wants to hire some one with an entrepreneurship background. I transferred colleges and part-time jobs too often. The jobs I did get hired for after college, I stayed on longer than I should have. I worked like a crazy person – 20 hour back-to-back days, 60-90 hour weeks – and got burnt out. I did amazing work during that time, but I wore myself out. All I did was work. And when I burnt out, I fell hard, and left on a less-than-stellar note having nothing much to show for my rockstar work pace. Despite the community involvement, campus involvement, stellar references, great GPA, work ethic (prior to aforementioned burnouts), and killer resume that always got the interview – I told myself that I was not hirable. At least not for a challenging and fulfilling career-level position with full benefits where I could earn enough money to not have it be on the forefront of my mind everyday. No, I definitely was not hirable for something like that. This is the story I’ve been telling myself for years and years – and years.

Then last summer I learned I had two felonies on my background report – one for kidnapping and one for cocaine distribution – that were NOT MINE. I also learned that these felonies had been on my report since 2003, two years prior to when I began interviewing.

So it wasn’t me. It was an error in a database.

Which brings us to the present day in sunny and hot Arizona where I’ve finally come to the realization that I. AM. HIRABLE. And even though I definitely do fear rejection letters, especially knowing how much time and energy I will be putting into my career search, at this point I feel that it’s something I need to take on and prove to myself that launching a career with a company I respect and love and can grow with is something that I, Sara Ann Hefty, can do. After all, my parents and grandparents worked too many hard hours in order to give me the opportunity of a better future. To be able to honor their commitment by putting forth my absolute best effort and obtaining the first real job that I can be 100 percent proud of will be an amazing feeling of joy and thankfulness.

How about you over there on the other side of the screen? What do you fear? What is it you think you cannot do? What stories have you been telling yourself of why you can’t have what you want?

Fruits and veggies, baby!

Over the past week I’ve watched a number of documentaries on food, including Supersize Me, Food Inc., Ingredients, and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Eye-opening. Every last one. Of those four, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead really hit home with me.

Long story short, the film follows an obese, disease-filled Aussie on a 60-day juice-only diet. Yup, for 60 days. Juice only. And not off-the-shelf juice. Juice from real fruits and vegetables. Lots of them. What the film goes on to show is how eating and drinking fruits and vegetables can repair and detox the body. It is absolutely amazing.

Joe, the Aussie, went on to lose more than 70 pounds in 60 days. Several weeks after his fruit and veggie detox, he was off all of his medication. You can check out for more information on Joe’s project and the people he’s inspired.

A term I kept hearing over and over in all of the documentaries – micronutrients. And the number one source for micronutrients – fruits and vegetables. As human beings we need to consume micronutrients in order to survive. Sounds like nuts and fish are also amazing sources. Everything else is a macronutrient and is much more challenging for our bodies to consume and turn into energy.

Anyways, my whole point to ALL of this is we, as a society, need to take ownership of our health, and individually we need to take ownership of what we eat, what we put into our body, how we fuel our body.

That said, I’m going to give juicing a go after I get back from Wisconsin! I have no idea where I’ll get the money for a juicer or how I’ll afford all those fruits and vegetables, but I know one thing – it’ll help clear out the toxins my body has been hanging onto for years. (Or maybe rather than juicing, I’ll go on an all fruits and veggies kick!) Either way, I’m looking forward to getting the toxins out of my body!

The other thing all these documentaries got me thinking about is how great it would be to have both the farms in the family change over to organic farms. Carlson Farms, Since 1877. Man, that would be awesome. They could even supply my cousin’s restaurant. And be a place for community gardening. Ah, the power of fruits and vegetables and organically-grown, high-quality food.

Anyone gone the juicing route?

Do the right thing.

Do the right thing. It’s the simplest and, at times, the most challenging thing to do. But you know when you’ve done the right thing. You feel great about yourself. You feel proud of yourself. After all, you’ve done the right thing.

In the last two months I’ve lost 22 pounds by doing the right thing. True, some of the weight that’s come off was the result of an unexpected emergency gall bladder surgery. Most has been other things – walking a ton at work, no longer eating food from restaurants and fast food places, buying groceries at health-concious stores like Trader Joe’s and Sprouts, and drinking as much water as possible. The best part of how this weight has come off is the fact that it’s come off through real, true lifestyle changes. I’m not keeping a food journal. I’m not busting myself down at the gym six days a week. I’m not obsessing about it. I’m just living my life in a different way. I’m looking at food as fuel and not a reward. I’m doing the right thing.

I’m also doing the right thing with my finances. I’m working a job that covers my bills and spending. I’m no longer putting anything on my credit cards. I’m ever so slowly building up an emergency fund. I’m recreating my resume in order add a second job to my workload and pay off my debt faster. I’m doing the right thing.

How are you doing the right thing in your life? Doesn’t it feel great?!?!?

Thee “AH, HA!” Moment

Thee “AH, HA!” Moment. The moment that instantaneously bulldozes chaos into clarity. Have you ever had one of those? Fabulously motivating, is it not? It’s as if all the puzzle pieces FINALLY fit, the gears lock into place. Everything just connects and makes perfect sense.

I had one of those moments last night.

With my hospital bill coming down the pipeline in the next 30 to 90 days, I began thinking it would be in my best interest to pick up a second job. I’d been casually browsing job listings for the past few weeks to see if anything out there seemed like “me”. And, of course, looking at job opportunities in bulk proved to (once again) be futile.

Frustrated, I set aside my laptop, laid on my bed and started thinking. And late last night this thought ran through my mind: non-profit management.


Making a difference in the community + special events + managing projects + meeting tons of new people = happiness!

I really think I’ve found it! And by it I mean not only they type of second job I’ll be looking for, but much more significantly, a career path! What’s crazy is that so much of the work I’ve done in the past and have ENJOYED has been for non-profit organizations. I’ve been involved in at least 30 different organizations throughout my lifetime and took the most pride in leading SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and managing the Altoona Star newspaper (which was the publisher’s way of giving back to the community, so it definitely had the feel of a non-profit). And then of course there’s my One Million Journeys project which has non-profit written all over it. (Long story short, my goal is to motivate one million people to finish their first 5K. More on this later!)

So, I’m letting the idea soak in a bit – basking in the moment, if you will. Yes, true to form, I’ve already checked into ASU for a master’s degree in non-profit management (they have one and it looks absolutely perfect) and I’ve casually browsed the interweb for local non-profit opportunities. We shall see what comes of this idea! All I can tell you is at this moment I feel so very much at peace. Finally.

How about you over there on the other side of the screen? Any “AH, HA!” moments you’d care to share???