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  1. Hi Monica,
    I know this is an older post, but my daughter and I have been discussing the biking topic for a while. You talk in this article about bikinis being the norm in HI. We find them to be pretty much the norm everywhere, except among our more conservative, fundamental friends. But my daughter was wondering how your teen-age boys feel about Christian girls wearing bikinis? She wants to be modest, but she doesn’t see it as being a moral issue. She wonders why you mostly only wear them when with your husband and not whenever you want to? Thanks for any help and discussion on this topic!
    Lots of love!

  2. I’m sorry, did I read right? You are apologizing for wearing a bikini? Excuse me but your body is awesome, whether you’re a mom didn’t take that from you. You have all the right to flaunt your body. I haven’t even gotten past that sentence so I don’t know how much you do or don’t excersize. Regardless you care enough to do something when most ppl don’t. They believe simply because they had kids it’s time to throw in the towel. It’s ok to reclaim your bodies ladies! You’re awesome and you keep rocking your tiny ass bikini!

    1. Pris — Haha, great comment, thank you. I don’t remember exactly what I said (I guess I need to go re-read the post :)) but I suppose I just try to be modest and don’t often show photos of myself in a bikini. But I agree with you–We should all try to take care of ourselves, and I a indeed thankful/proud of what I’ve got. You’re sweet! aloha-

  3. I really needed this. I’m facing a knee surgery after 2+ years of exercising 5-6 days a week & having just started CrossFit 5 months ago. I lost 70 lbs between July 2013 & Sept 2014 & I really don’t want to revert back to my old habits & end up gaining weight back.

  4. Hi Monica. Thanks again for an excellent post. Even though I like working out I never have enough time during the week to do it more than once. My other biggest problem is my sugar and starch addiction. I don’t know how to go through the day without a chocolate or chips or something unhealthy! Any tips on how to deal with this?

  5. Great post, Monica, thank you!

    I was wondering what supplements & vitamins… you take to maintain your weight and health…..

    If you could share your thoughts on that, it would be great!

    Thanks! 🙂


    1. Thank you Nicole! The only supplement I take–and have taken for over fifteen years–is Juice Plus. Otherwise I just try to eat healthy and balanced and workout regularly but not obsessively. 🙂 More on my daily diet, etc., in a future post! Much aloha! PS Here’s link to Juice Plus: (I signed up to be a distributor back when we realized how much we loved it and that we wanted the family to be on it forever.) 🙂 https://monicaswanson.juiceplus.com/content/JuicePlus/en.html#.VPAkAYfufpY

  6. OH. MY. GOSH! I needed this YEARS ago! I’m not even kidding when I say that this one blog about not being a slave to my workouts will change me forever. Thank you for liberating me! Thank you for giving me the permission I didn’t even know I needed to STOP THE INSANITY of working out 6-7 days a week! You are wonderful. That is all. Thank you, Angie

    1. Angie—YOU just made my day. I know there are others who feel this way, but hearing from you–Seriously…Makes everything I went through worth it too! I can’t wait to hear how you do…please keep in touch!! Much Aloha!

  7. I usually work out 3 times a week. PUMP on monday, RIPPED on wednesdays and thursdays alternate between Barre and Fit Club. However, this past month I have had to cut way back due to being sick and while it has been weird to be at home during times I am normally at the gym, it has actually been really freeing. I really want to get back to the gym, but that first workout back also scares me.

  8. Ok, I just got my workout gear on but decided to stall, and so I sat down at my computer and pulled up your blog. Ha! What are the odds? 🙂

    You speak truth. About a year ago I stopped slaving to my workouts after a lifetime of always fretting over it, and oh my, the guilt when I skipped a few days! The things I missed…the constant thoughts of needing to exercise…the dread…and still always needing to lose those 5 pounds…
    The thoughts creep up still, but now I have a much healthier view of lifetime eating and exercise, and quiet those rude comments my brain makes. (um, most days 😉 ) Sure does make a difference.
    Thanks for the reminder! Great post.

  9. Kathy Aiello says:

    Great post! Most weeks I workout in some fashion 6 days, this week just wasn’t up to it and don’t feel guilty. All in moderation (food, exercise) and rest when your body calls for it.

  10. Jennifer Walters says:

    Thank you so much. I am learning this valuable lesson. Do you think you could post what your food intake looks like for a week?

    1. Thank you Jennifer! Yes–I’ve been asked that a lot, and some have asked me to youtube it…haha, which might be why I’ve never done it (a daunting task.) So, I’ll plan to work on a simple post to share that soon! Keep it up! xo

  11. I am not quite there yet, but your posts have been slowly shifting my mindset to start working out! I don’t think I will ever be a slave to working out, but I do hope to get into a more active rhythm for my life…and your posts make it seem a little less daunting to me.

    1. Oh that makes me happy! 🙂 Yes, one of my friends read it and simply said “I cannot relate at all!” haha. I say that’s a good thing! 🙂 But yes, having a healthy, balanced relationship with exercise is a great goal! 🙂 XO

  12. Thank you for sharing this. My friends joined a really effective, fun, catchy workout center – and their results in the last 6 months are amazing. I’ve been thinking of giving it a go and just this morning asked them what would happen if they stopped and how they would maintain it if their lives got busier or they were unable to attend – blank stares! I’m pinning this post 🙂

    Warm Regards,

    1. Oh Alexandra! 🙂 You are awesome! But I’d also hate to take away a fun, positive workout experience, so maybe it’s worth a shot…as long as you keep your head on straight, you’ll be fine! 🙂 XO always love seeing you here!

  13. Great post and LOVE reading your blog, fellow Christian homeschool mom.

    you are in great shape and it shows-good for you!
    Just curious of your perspective on modest, as Christian wives & moms- Especially raising boys &young men.

    I value your opinion.

    1. Thank you Lori! I totally hesitated on including that photo for many reasons–One of course being modesty…:) And then I wanted to explain things (friends I trust really thought the photo would help authenticate the things I wrote about, etc…)But it’s hard in a blog because you just can’t go on and on…:) But great question and an important topic. The “norm” in Hawaii is so different than other places…A bikini is pretty normal for almost any size/shape, and the skimpy bikinis are so normal that I am never sure if it is bad for my boys or if they are just so used to it that they hardly notice (of course as hormones kick in, yes–they’ll notice.) We do talk about modesty with our boys, and I try to model it. (I really don’t wear a bikini very often–and pretty much only if I’m with my husband.) Maybe this is a good topic to cover more fully in a post. 🙂

  14. Great post… lots of truth in here, but I LOVE working out… it charges up my mind for the day, helps me think more clearly, and gives me that extra pizzazz in life.

    I know that’s not exactly what you’re talking about here, but I guess there can be a fine line between being a slave to your workouts, and being super disciplined about them because you know the benefit they’ll bring.

    Totally true about diet being the kingpin, though.

    1. Thank you Corinna! I’m so glad you love to workout, and maybe you don’t even fit this category at all (like I said, you’d know in your heart if you had an issue. :))
      I also love to workout but for some time in my life it was an unhealthy thing… If I had all the time in the world now, I’d definitely be working out much more–it feels so good, and I love to feel strong and all of that too–Which I don’t honestly feel right now. But learning to be ok any ways has been a great breakthrough! Thanks and keep it up!!