getting healthy

Two Meatballs: Confessions of a Reformed Binge Drinker

Hello!  It’s Sara!!!  When I started this journey, I made what I thought was one of many wise decisions.  I decided to quit drinking and smoking for a month to get my mind right.  I knew I would be setting myself up for success if my mind was clear and I realllllly wanted to quit smoking for good this time, especially coming off of my bought with walking pneumonia (apparently it’s my yearly gift I give to myself).  At the end of the month I was surprised to find out that I didn’t miss drinking…like at all.  So I decided to go for three more months.  Then my boss Joelle sent me a link to Kelly Fitzgerald’s Huffington Post article, 7 Things I Learned During My Year Without Alcohol (you should google this and read it…it was life changing for me). I read it and I related to every single word.  It was like she was talking to me or she was me or I was her.  I really started taking stock of my own life and my decisions. I was partying so hard that I was literally killing myself..was it even fun anymore?!  I wrote a lot about my drinking problem in such posts as Two Meatballs: Pickled Meatball and that is when I decided to try my own year without alcohol! At the time it seemed overwhelming to think that I could do anything for an entire year…especially at my age when drinking is so incredibly social and expected.  But guess what you guys…yesterday, Monday, February 9th was officially an entire year of no drinking or smoking for this reformed party girl. I feel very overwhelmed with unexpected emotion writing this post. I just started bawling actually.  Now that I think of it, I get a little teary every time I start talking about this big life change. First, I feel a huge sense of relief and freedom.  I am a shiny, fun person and drinking, at least the way that I chose to do it, really dulled that shine.  Also, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment.  I’ve never done anything like this before and actually stuck to it.  I never really saw myself as someone who didn’t drink. I judged those who didn’t drink.  But that is exactly who I am and to be totally honest, I’m a much better person for it. The integrity that I feel from saying I’m going to do something and ACTUALLY doing it feels incredible.  I feel so in control.  So, how does one celebrate a year without alcohol? Well, this was a tricky one.  I could celebrate with a glass of champagne…I mean after all I just said a year right!?  But I learned the most valuable lesson over this past year.  Alcohol is not for me.  That is a scary thing to say out loud.  I have a problem and I can’t risk going back.  Even though, I think that I could now drink like a normal person now…i’ve learned so much about boundaries and portion control and living a less excessive life, buuuuut having said that, I don’t think I could drink without wanting to smoke and to me it’s just not worth it.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not bothered by others drinking.  It isn’t anyone else’s problem that I cannot drink responsibly.  If drinking is a happy contributor to your life far be it from me to try and take it away from you just bc it doesn’t fit into my goals for myself!  I have many friends who live a happy life without meat and I support them but cannot imagine my life without steak #carnivore. I think I am even more fun now that no one has to babysit me.  So this is my proclamation to the world….I am now living a sober life with no regrets.  I never thought I would say these words, but I don’t think I’m ever going to drink again and I couldn’t be happier about this decision.  Everyone has been so supportive and I can’t thank you guys enough.  My relationships have changed a bit over this last year…you can really tell who you just party with and who you have long lasting connections with based on who is still around at the end of the day. I don’t feel like I’m running or hiding from anything anymore.  And I really don’t think I would have made it this far in my weight loss journey if it weren’t for quitting my partying life.  I am now so much more open to a relationship bc I have nothing to hide.  I feel so much closer to everyone around me and living inside of these truths and fully engaging in life feels fantastical.  So if you are struggling with anything of the sort, please know that you are not alone and that nothing is impossible.  If this girl right here…

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can quit drinking…literally anyone can. I mean it’s like I wouldn’t appear if there wasn’t a drink in my hand! But as I look over this past year, I wouldn’t want to change a thing and I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on any level, if anything I’ve gained tenfold from the experience!!! I am actually living life!

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Look at all that fun!!!  Jenny and I are saving our lives and we are having the living best time doing it and for me, doing it sober.  I’ve never been this happy, I’ve never felt this good and the hangovers are gone on every single level.  I feel closer to my family, friends and my team at work.  I know myself better than I ever have before.  I know what I want in life and I’m willing to do the hard work to get it.  I believe that I will reach my goal and I will be surrounded with people who love me and whom I love so dearly. I’ve learned that I am a writer and that I am capable of anything I put my mind to.  I am strong and powerful but I can be kind, loving and caring.  I am sober.

So, how do you celebrate!? Well, my old computer ceremoniously died while I was doing my taxes


(It was the only sedintary activity I could think of besides blogging)… and it died quite possibly from pneumonia, when I got back from NYC!  So I said goodbye to sweet Rose Nyland…


She was my first laptop and my first MAC product…it was a sad day, but a looooong time coming…she’s so 2 thousand and late.  So I called my sweet parents since they are my nights in shining armor and since I am still so fucking sick I can’t be trusted to drive and Sunday morning they came and scooped me up and drove me to the mall.  I put on the cutest thing I could find that was clean!  Another NYC find and another straight size shirt, I chose to wear it backwards!


A new laptop is in order….what a perfect way to celebrate!  World…let me introduce you to Francis…


I love her already!!!!  Annnnnd since it’s so much smaller, I got the 13th inch retina display MacBook Pro and I can actually fit it in my new awesome recently purchased NU bag #grown


I feel so grown up.  Now it’s time to get serious about my budget seeing as how this was an emergency purchase, I just came back from an awesome but expensive trip to NYC and I owed both the federal and state government taxes!  So Cara Dempsey get ready!!! I’m going to commit to your budget training! So, in closing….this has been a life changing year full of ups and downs, with tons of progress and steps backwards.  This is just the beginning of a new life and I just want to tell you how grateful I am for everyone who has decided to take a chance on two kids from Raleigh and watch the journey unfold.  Your support, kind words, kick in the ass when we need it and everything in between has been so unexpected and exactly what we needed.  Thank you thank you thank you. Love you love you love you.  Cheers to that.


Two Meatballs: What Does 32 Look Like?!

My 32nd birthday is today!!! #imadeit #iloveabirthday #thisiswhat4lookslike #ilovesprinkles



I love everything about a birthday…i love surprises, tearing open wrapping paper, i def love cake, being with family and friends…everything!!!! But this year, I have honestly never felt this amazing in my entire life.  I have also never felt this grown up.  I will always be a kid at heart but now my fun, free spirit has a healthy retirement fund, a nearly paid for home of my own, less anger, more responsibility,  less of a wall, healthy relationships with those around me and I am wellll on my way to my own personal mental, emotional and physical health.  When I came back from Aruba for my 30th birthday I felt 150! #cryptkeeper I was in such a different place!



I drank, smoke and ate my way through a week of hedonism and when I got home I told my boss Joelle that I had literally never felt worse!  So she planted a seed in my mind.  She said, “What does 31 look like?!” It was such an interesting concept to me.  Anything was possible and that excited me. Well, a seed was planted but I didn’t do much with it that year. I wasn’t quite ready to grow up.  I continued doing whatever the f I wanted.  Then right before my 31st birthday…typical procrastinator… I reached out again.  She helped me come up with a budget and helped me take a deeper look at my finances and investments.  Now I have an emergency fund and I can plan for my future as well as my fun. Finances…check!  Then I turned 31.  Joelle and I took a bunch of communication and self discovery courses after that over the past year. I learned how to be present, how to dig deep and strive to treat everyone with respect.  I learned how important empathy is and how all people really want is for you to listen. Emotional Currency…check!


Then in February this same amazing woman gave me the intervention I needed to finally make my health a priority! #bestmentoroflife #itseithergoingtobethebestoneorthelastone


#twinningsohardrightnow #thoseglasses

Then Jenny and I birthed Two Meatballs Get Fit and we haven’t looked back since.  Getting healthy…check!  So now the day has come and I’m another year wiser.  So…what does 32 look like?  You guyyyyys….it looks and feels incredilbe…unbelievable…dare I say adorable…grown up!


Some times I am overwhelmed with emotion when I think about how far Jenny and I have come.  We are healthier on so many different levels and now we are truly good for each other.  Now it is a balancing act of keeping all of these great things going….it’s not a this for that, it’s a this AND that.  Even though I am still heavier than my lowest weight as an adult, I’ve never lost weight this healthy before.  It feels different and it feels sustainable. I have literally changed my life.  And none of this would or could have been possible if I wasn’t surrounded by the most loving, supporting, caring, selfless people in the world #bestfamilyandframilyoflife, if I wasn’t doing it with my best friend #loveyoujenny, if we hadn’t started a blog for honesty, accountability and inspiration #meatballnation annnnnnd if I hadn’t become sober.  Getting your mind right and clear, committing and having a healthy support system are invaluable.  I feel so different and yet so the same.  This feels a lot better though I have to say. My dad asks me all the time…who are you?!  I have no hangovers now…literal or figurative.  And speaking of partying…what’s a gal to do for her birthday when all I’ve ever done is party my ass off?!  Family dinner and healthy paleo desserts with your nearest and dearest #myfamilyisthegreatest #beardsforlife…Double feature and sleepover with your meatball #cantwait…phone date with your seafoam friend #katieyouaremylobster #hushlittlekatie.  It’s hard not to feel like the luckiest girl in the world. #gratefuleveryday Now, what does 33 look like!?  You know I love a photo montage…here are the ghosts of birthdays past!!!  I LOVE A BIRTHDAY!!!


It all started early in the morning on November 20, 1982! A little scorpio was born!


This is what 1 looked like! #did


And 2…


This is number 3! My mom always made us a special cake…i loved this Cabbage Patch cake topper! #thatface #shybaby



This was my 5th!  I had a Pound Puppies party #jealous?!and yes that is Katie with the bowl cut!!!  Love you tizzle. #heyangela


This was 7…I lived for board games!!! And look at that stance…what a lady!!! #makinmamasoproud


This is 8 and my first birthday sleepover!  Mom made english muffin pizzas!  Soooo fun!


This is 9!  I rocked the shit out of that glitter necklace pin!!!


I think this is 12…blue rasberry blow pops and spin the bottle!!!! #boygirlparty


16!  Katie and I housing a cake!



17…my dream was a food fight! #kems


18…surprise party at Rock-ola with my ACE family!


19 party at Kristina and Tims!


21!!!!  No pictures exist of actually going out that night but these nice sweet ones are a better memory! Ha!!!  My mom Martha Stewarted it up on the decorations #soloved


24! House party!!!


My mom made me a scrapbook for my 25th birthday. My family is amazing!  Then in was off to downtown to celebrate with friends!


27 at Falls Tap Room with my favorites!


29 at Fork and Barrel! #nightofthebrokenglass


Infamous Dirty Thirty Hipster Party!


Good ol’ 31!

Thanks to everyone who has taken this journey with us and thanks for all the birthday celebrations.  My heart is full and blessed doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. Xoxo





Two Meatballs: One Piece, Tankini, Bikini…Oh My!!! (aka the 7th Weigh In)


It’s that time again!!!  This month we knew I was going to be on vacation for our weigh in…so we had the most genius idea ever…Jenny came down and we did the shoot on the beach!!!! We are soooooo smart!  So let me just say before we get started…when two super grown women are being photographed in bathing suits on the beach frolicking and holding hands…people assume that you are a happy couple taking engagement photos!!!  We were cracking up!  But now onto the main event!  Lets see that chalkboard!!!


A little change in scenery would be nice!!! #meatballnationtanks


Beach Time in our favorite swimwear!!!


Off the pier and onto the sand…


This is def the shot that got the rumors going…



More adorableness…


Time to Plaaaaaank!!!  This one is for you Sandra!


Our lives have changed sooooo much that the rest of the shoot was super active!!  We cartwheeled…


Jumped for joy…



Splashed around…#ifyoureabirdimabird


More planking…


A little sprinting…



Here we come…



You hate to see us go…



Buuuut, you love to see us walk away winky face…


Off to the pool….onto those ‘Merica bikinis!!!


Time to lounge!?


But not for long…


Time to get a little less comfortable haha…#illfittingsuits #meandmybrightideas #itshilariousandtotallyworthit


Time to get wet!!! #activitypoints #cannonball


Time to jackass around!!!


Time to dry off!!!


Then a quick game of find the meatball before we reveal the results!!!


Now….the moment we’ve all been waiting for…how did we do!?!

Jenny, you’re up first!!!


I am so grateful to be doing this with my best friend!  She is always there to listen and get deep about weight loss.  We need each other in so many ways!!!  Love you Sara!!   I am so grateful to be down 5lbs this month!!!  More often then not I am making the right decisions .  Im choosing the right foods and Im at the gym when my day seems done.  The hard part is staying focused.  I struggle some days to see the long term goal because of my momentary success.  I feel great!!!!  I think I feel most great because of the hard work it took to get here.  I’m feeling proud and excited!  I want to always feel that way!!!  I am ready for October!!  I turn 30 on the 2nd, and i am beginning to see what 30 looked like in my imagination.  It is looking better everyday! I loved hanging out with the Beard’s this week,  I had the best time!!!  And I love my own family so much!!! Thanks for putting up with my ups and downs and being my inspiration and my comfort!!


Congrats Jenny!!!!  Sara, you’re up!!!


You guyyyyyyssss!!! I wish I could say that I have no idea how I ended up with a big fat zero for my weight lost this month…but I thoroughly enjoyed checking out for a few weeks and living a little fast and loose!  I remember every fry and every single morning that I slept in instead of going to the gym.  And I had to fight just to get to zero…gaining 3 pounds was super humbling.  But between vacation and a surprise  broken nose and two black eyes #thankgoodnessforconcealer I felt super unmotivated!!! I really needed a reminder of the hard work that it took to lose 73 pounds.  So now it’s bust ass time…I have a timeline and a plan so getting back on track is a must.  This is real life…I checked out and now I’m paying for it!!! I don’t feel discouraged, I feel refreshed and ready to reengage!!!  Jenny, thank you so much for being strong for both of us when I was weak! Also thank you for always being game and playing into my crazy ideas…especially baring all in a piece of shit, flimsy, super unflattering Old Navy bikini and jumping into a freezing pool one thousand times….you are the living best. I’m back and I’m fucking serious. It feels so good to have this weight off of me and I can’t wait to keep  working hard and feeling better.  #notdrivingbackfromthegrandcanyonEVER #toococky #thisisnoteasy Love you guys to the moon.


We really appreciate you guys going on this bumpy but ultimately successful road with us!!!  We really really really love y’all!


Another weigh in down…time to start getting ready for November!!! #nomessingaroundthismonthbeard


And Kelllllllllllllly…thank you so much for taking these beautiful pics and always being so supportive!  You make everything a million times more fun!!! Xoxo


As always…here are your especially heinous outtakes! #yourwelcome #mybottomscameoffinthepool #eeeek

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Two Meatballs: #progress

You guyyys!!!!  You know what day it is…workout with Sandra day!!!!  But first we wanted to show you guys another little progress report of our workouts!!!  Sandra Axman of Innovative Fitness Training reached out to us in April and our first workout was 24th!!!  We were weak and out of shape and I think we both thought we were going to legitimately dieeeeee after our first session.  But Sandra’s enthusiasm was enough to hook us and we knew that working out was going to have to be a huge part of this new life. Here are some photo collages!!!!


We look sooooooo different!!!!  But I think it is hilarious and ironic that we are wearing almost identical outfits!!!  Ok on to todays ass whipping.  Today was all about agility and endurance….two words I didn’t know that I hated until today!  Winky face Sandra…sort of! So we were locked out when we pulled up and made our own fun in the parking lot!


This is how I felt about being locked out…


But the weather was sooooo nice!!!


We did a little pre workout balance beam…


Played a rousing game of find the meatball!



Then a scary rape van pulled into the parking lot and right next to us.  I instantly went into fight mode(I have no flight, just fight) and my don’t eff with us aura made them pull right back out. #noharrasmentneededsir #nomeansno But just in case they didn’t get the message Jenny sent a new one!


I wouldn’t mess with her! #powerfulthighs #thatfaceisnotintimidatingjenny

Then we finally got let in and walked into an obstacle course.


The 4 in me thought wahooooo, the 3 in me thought, oh shit!


So for round 1 we did every station for 1 minute 15 seconds.  There were 12 stations.  Did you read that…..TTTTTWWWWWEEEEELLLLVVVVEEEE stations.  I just wanted to make sure that was clear. Here is a little walk through courtesy of Sandra.

Station 1: Fireman’s ladder side to sides…


Station 2: Box Jumps or for me Box Step Up Crunches (this is actually Jenny)


Station 3: Planking


Station 4: Kettle Bell Dead Lifts


Station 5: Push Ups


Station 6: Alternating Crunches and Sit Ups:


Station 7: Bicep Curls


Station 8: In In Out Outs on a Step


Station 9: Tricep extensions


Station 10 Bosu Ball Burpees with overhead Crunches


Station 11: Pushing the Sled


Station 12: Pulling the Sandbag


So here is what it looked like when we did it. This happened for two rounds, but on round two each station was only a minute.

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Can you feel the utter exhaustion!?  I thought I was going to blackout!  But we finished and we’ve come sooooo far!!!  Now the time has come…for us to be dumb.  I seriously don’t know where the energy for this comes!!! Take me for my chariot ride!!!




Cheersing our sips of water so we don’t barf!


We love you Sandra!!!  One more week behind us and now we are stating the countdown to the next weigh in!!!!


Have a great weekend y’all!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxox times a mil! Ps have you called Sandra yet!?!






Two Meatballs: Fireworks, F@%$ Ups and a Fat Crushing Workout!!!

First off….HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!! #merica We hope your weekend is full of sparklers, fireworks, bodies of water, cookouts, family and friends.


#kelseyisthecutestever #butsooooisdustin #salonpatriotism#mericanails #leeisthebest

This weigh in felt epic! We hit 20,000 views on Facebook for Two Meatballs: Grin and Bare it!!!


Holy shit!!!  We feel great, we are getting a million compliments and together we’ve lost almost 100 pounds!!!


So what have we done…gotten cocky and started getting a little slack! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I did better on vacation than I have this week…who does that?!!  Jenny and I made a pact on Tuesday morning to give up our personal vices for one week.  She said goodbye to dark chocolate and I said adios to pistachios (NOOOOOOOOO)!!!


Thank you Nikki and Jack for the immersion therapy! #canyoutelljackiseatingpistachioandnikkiiseatingdarkchocolate #masicsm

So we started this month with great intentions.  Then we posted the weigh in and the praise and compliments came pouring in (thank y’all so much) and that little voice in the back of our heads (not blue cross blue shield) said….YOU’VE ARRIVED!.  Surely we must be done right?!  We look great, we  feel great…time to eat! We went to Ale House Wednesday night to celebrate..again with great intentions…what’s more Paleo than WINGS!? But then I ordered onion straws and we both ate our weight in bleu cheese. Woooooooof… We felt so awful when we left…I felt stuffy and like I had a cold and we both felt hungover and can you say BLOATED.  What a way to celebrate right!?  Lesson learned.   BUUUUUUT then I met up with some girlfriends last night that I hadn’t seen in a million years and we went to Coquette. Love you Robyn and Ellen!!!


Let me say…Coquette had some really great options…there was a pan seared duck breast and even my fav…scallops!  But do you know what I ordered!?!?!?  STEAK FRITES!  For those of you like my sister that struggle with French (#haricotvertshahahahahahahaha) its steak and FRIES!  Like French fries you guyssss…white potato, fried shoestring French fries.  And I know French so this wasn’t like oh whooopsies…I didn’t know what frites were!  But they were delish and it happened.  So then I woke up the next morning before our work out with our super best buddy Sandra Axman ( caaaaaaaaaallllllll her!) and adorably hopped on my scale as if I were going to see a loss and you are never going to even believe this shit y’all….I GAINED 3 POUNDS. Duhhhhhhhhhhh Sara!  Anyways I got dressed and went downstairs and sweet Jenny picked me up!  And she was in a mood…a mood that much reflected how I was feeling.  Neither one of us felt like exercising, we were both being bitchy and super irritated…it’s the craziest thing when you stray from what works how quickly your mind goes to fuck it mode. Sooooo we had a little counseling sesh on the drive to the gym.  We both have been too slack…eating too much, eating out, not eating the right things, not getting enough sleep, being slack with water and for me skipping my normal workouts.  She said I’m going to use all this anger in our workout today…#genius!  A workout was just what the doctor ordered.  How can you be mad when you are so physically exhausted and so proud of what you just accomplished!?  And by the by…Sandra you are the greatest human…thank you for forcing us out of our funk and always being so encouraging, positive and energetic.  You are a ray of sunshine that both of us desperately needed this morning and your commitment to our journey and end result is something that we are so grateful for!!!!!!!  We love you to the moon and back.  On to the workout…these first few pics we were still deep into bitch mode.


But we half heartedly tried to get over it!


But we really just wanted to go back to sleeeeep!


We went inside and the tom foolery began…lets be honest nothing makes us feel better than acting like children!


Then Sandra asked the question that we have heard 1,000 times this week…”have you guys been measuring?”  Nooooooo we are idiots!  Why didn’t we measure …that would be an awesome way to track progress!  So we started today! We also got our BMI and some other important number using a Gameboy like hand held device


Aaaaand now on to the workout for real!  This was both of our favorite workout ever!!! It was HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and we did Tabata which involves doing a particular exercise at high intensity for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest.  It’s repeated 8 times for a total time of 4 minutes! (Explanation courtesy of Sandra)  First we did the dumbest cardio ever(this is Sara speaking…I hated this damn band)…it involved a small thick band that went around our ankles  and then you stepped up and over a step aerobic step (#howmanytimescanyousaystepinonesentence) and we did a Tabata here.


Take a closer look at why I hated these…my poor fat ankles…my cankles/calves got eaten by rubber!


Then there were two stations both with two different exercises each. The back station you were kneeling on a BOSU ball doing reverse chest press (pull down) And at the chest station you did a  chest press on a bench and we did these for 8 rounds…


Then we did the second exercise at our stations.  At the back station you switched to standing trx rows and at the chest station you switched to chest fly’s!


Then we got onto our mats and did Tabata ab work…with two different exercises working two different areas.  First was upper abs with crunches for 8 rounds then lower abs with leg crunches (laying flat and bringing your bent legs to your chest and then extending them back out) for 8 rounds. (There were no pics of this so we recreated this at work! #yourwelcome #mybackissoooohairynow)



Then we did a cardio thing back on the step with one leg stationary with the other leg being brought up with the knee bent and tapping the ground and bringing it back up again for 8 rounds…holy burn batman.


Then we switched stations and whoever did back went to chest and vicey versey!

Did you breath a sigh of relief and think that we were too but WRONG! haha

Next was two different stations one for biceps and the other for triceps.

At the bicep station we did bicep curls while sitting on an exercise ball to engage our core!  At the tricep station we had a stretchy thingy with two handles attached to an elliptical machine for stability and we had to do tricep extensions (Huge shout out to Michael for helping me figure out workout jargon…he is not responsible for the dumb shit I make up but for the correct terminology!)


Then before we switched stations we did a cardio/quad blaster back on the aerobic step. You start with your right foot fixed to one spot on the step and then do speed skaters for 8 rounds. After each round you alternate the leg that is stationary.


Then we switched bicep and tricep stations…


Annnnnd that was all she wrote!  This workout felt ahhhh-mazing!  Then we had to jackass around again!


And do a little homage to sweet dead Fat back Friday!


We just can’t keep our clothes on now!  But look how much smaller!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

And finally Sandra (yelling this) WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!  To everyone reading this…if you are struggling to find the motivation to work out of just don’t know what you are supposed to do, this woman will educate and inspire you and help you get to your goal 1 squat at a time! Look at the difference she has made in our lives!?!?


She is LITERALLY the living best!




Enjoy your holiday weekend!!! XOXOXOXOOXOXOXOOXO!