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OMG lady. That workout (I know CrossFit when I see it) would have killed most people. Give yourself a break. You are a powerhouse. Put THAT into your negative space. Amazing.


I have that dark space in my head as well. The hypercritical thing? It has been present for as long as I can remember, and it is so very hard not to default to that each day. I have been trying to take your advice and just enjoy life, because in the end I think that enjoying each moment you can, trying those things that maybe scared us before, and having that cookie (or three) is worth far more than whether or not everything is tiny and toned and looking perfect as we attempt whatever it is we are doing. As much as I hate being 30 (okay, 40) pounds overweight and having been here for more years than I care to admit for even more reasons than I care to admit, I think I am afraid to go back to being smaller because I spent every moment obsessing over the number on the scale and worried that I was fat and that I might look foolish when I tried something new because darn it all, you have to be perfect. Apparently I was stupid. *shrugs*

Anyway, the point I want to make is that when I saw your pictures I did not see anyone who was too big; I saw a woman who was having a great time, having fun trying something new, and honestly it made me want to get out there and try one of those runs as well. I think the search for balance is always difficult, but I feel pretty confident that you are on the right path.


I feel like you just wrote down half of my own thoughts. In a way your blog is like my own personal therapy, so thank you for saving me money I don't even have. I sit here and my thought process goes verbal "oh my goodness, mee too! .... yes!! ugh, girl I know" Im sure I sound crazy as I talk to the computer but it is nice to know I am not alone and I can strive to take some of your pointers. To be more happy with ME and learn to love life more like you. You look so happy in your color me rad photos and you can totally tell you were loving every minute of it. It is nice to have role models like you in my life, yes I said role model. Accept it. I am a silent blog stalker most days but I just wanted to remind you, that your heart is what matters and you have a good one. xoxo


Everyone else has stated it so eloquently they have echoed my feelings as well. You ROCK Carmen. Your one awesome lady!


I think everyone has those thoughts. I do. I can't not see the flaws in myself. I see the hernia bump in my belly every single time. I'm not ever going to have a hourglass shape, and that's the hard part for me because unlike you, I gave up. I didn't continue to do what I needed to do to keep off my 80lbs.


Yup I would die from that workout. Really dead..... I hate pictures of me. Any pictures. Always have. Even with 75lbs gone and staying away for like 5 years now. I see the imperfections. Meh just take the photos instead.


Remember the day I complained about the weight I hadn't lost after a high mileage running week? You pretty much told me to "put the shut to the up"!!! And I needed to hear that! I also enjoy food. I run it off. I'm NEVER happy with my body. But, when we are 80 years old, we will wish we had these bodies back!


I always assume all the other women are looking at their own pics and thinking abount their own bodies, and no one is paying any attention to me! I hope so anyway! Smile and be proud, Carmen.
PS-Your paint run made the paper down here in Baton Rouge!

Leigh Ann Morris

Carmen, my love, you know I've been there. I still have the dark space in my head. Even at a ridiculous 92 pounds, I obsessed photos of myself and every glance in a mirror.

But one day, I'd grumbled about the state of my breasts and my friend James (just a friend! No ulterior motive involved) admired my physique and said to me, "Don't mistake mileage for imperfection." And that was a perspective I could live with.

If I'm gonna compare, I try to compare myself to yesterday (on ALL levels, not just physically.) How'm I doing compared to yesterday? Do I feel better today? Am I happy with how I feel considering that I have 48 years worth of mileage on me?

And typically the answer is Absolutely! I beat my best friend's 20 year-old (college athlete) daughter up 8 flights of stairs carrying a bag of her junk! I'm holdin' my own... and so are you, woman. I love you so.


Burpees are bitches :)

Sonja Holzman

This was a much needed post for me to read, Carmen. I do so enjoy your honesty. Ramble away, because you are putting in writing what so many of us are thinking, as evidenced by the comments above. At 44, I am stronger than I have been in years, but 30 pounds heavier than I want to be. I, too, box or kickbox three times a week, and I'm talking actually connecting with a heavy bag, not just the air punching that some gyms do. I absolutely LOVE it and every time I leave the class I feel like a bad-ass. That usually lasts about an hour. Then I go to shower my sweaty self and catch sight of all of the parts of me that I don't love and my self esteem goes back into the toilet.
I'll bet you are reading this right now and thinking "Don't be so hard on yourself!!" or something similar. So don't be so hard on YOURSELF, woman! I know, I know - easier said than done. I, too, saw in your photos only and awesome woman who was having a blast and loving life. Try your hardest to see that woman too. The one in the dark place is always going to be there too, but try to only see the one in the good place. Very few of us will ever be perfect and those whom we think are perfect likely see nothing but flaws in their photos too!
You ARE a role model, to so many of us out here. Let yourself wallow every once in a while - there is nothing wrong with that. But make sure you climb back out of that dark place and enjoy the sun.


We all have that dark spot in our heads. I know I do.

Balance is the key. Even at Weight Watchers they give us extra points for the "fun" stuff and activity points that can be used as food credits if you want too. So feel free to eat what you want and when you want - you know when to stop and you certainly work it off!


Ah, Carmen. I know that dark place well. I refuse to let anyone take picture of me because I hate how I look in photos. I hate how I look in a bathing suit and am sure when I go to swim laps that even the lifeguards are thinking how fat I am. I wish I had your stamina! You're strong and fit and beautiful!
And I must say, I LOVE KETTLEBELL! I wish our Y had a weekly class. (We had one for a month, but it was to try out the class to see if it would be popular and hasn't been back.) The Turkish Get Up's were my favorite along with Windmills and Figure Eights. I loved the class so much I bought my own kettlebell. But, it's harder to work out at home than away from home.

Just so you know? I admire you tremendously.

Gastric Bypass Man

I was amaze how the article was wrote. It was very informative and interesting until the end. Would really want to read more this kind of blogs.

Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith

I know that dark place very well. Why do we do this, comparing ourselves to others?

Karen Z

Stop that - you look terrific and are an inspiration to me.


I am super critical when I see pics of myself, grrrr. Carmen you are fit and fabulous!!


I didn't even read the workout. I battle the same self loathing monsters all the time. There was a brief time when I felt strong, confident, thin, sexy, beautiful....until I gained back the 35 lbs +++ Now I hear the monster of self loathing on daily basis. I know what I need to do to be a better me but yet don't find the gumption, strong enough will to get it done. I don't feel worthy of it maybe? Because my house, my family, my marriage are not as I envisioned they would be I am not allowed what makes me feel good strong capable? I dunno. We all have our demons. I suppose it's good to just wave and say hello when they show up and then move on past and not allow them too much residence in our heads....If you figure it out before me please let me know!


i think every woman has that dark spot in our brains that we go when we see unflattering pictures of ourselves. i know i do. ;-)

recently, i took up golf and my husband took a picture and posted it of me on FB. my face looks super full and i look huge in the pix. he was just SO excited that i'm now trying to play a sport that he loves so much. he never noticed what i did. it was me being over critical.

you look great and feel great, so what if we don't take the best pictures. :D


Here's my mantra when I feel crappy about how my body looks: My body has served me well for almost 46 years. It has brought forth four healthy children, fed them, walked miles, endured physical pain and intense pleasure. It has taken me to far away places and kept me home when I needed to be there. Having thrown out my back a few times in the past few years, every day that I can walk without intense pain I am grateful.


1) Stop beating yourself up. Be healthy, be strong, enjoy life.
2) Not all photos are flattering... they photoshop even the skinny girls for magazines etc.
3)Switch it all up every once in awhile. My daughter's into Bodyrock.com a 12 minute workout. I'm contemplating it myself. ;-)

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.