Dear diary

Everyone has a story—here is one of mine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dear Diary,

I have had some time to think about some things in my past that may need to be shared with others. I have went all the way back to my sophomore year in college when I first had an encounter with an eating disorder—bulimia also known as binge/purge. I would overeat and then go to the bathroom and make myself throw up. It never got to be a “real” problem because my mom caught me. I’m thankful she did, because it could have become a “real” problem.

So, why I am sharing this with you today? I am a fitness instructor and I do my best to help people with nutrition—balancing their meals. I felt the need to share “my story” because people may think I have never had a problem losing weight. I believe, most people think that I have always been fit and healthy, therefore I need to share “my story”.

As I tell my students at school, we all have a story. I have several, however, this one relates to health and fitness. I have always been active. I started playing basketball in fourth grade with a group of girls. We continued to play and by our eighth grade year, the five of us were moved to the varsity basketball team. I also participated in track and softball. I loved working out and staying in shape. As I mentioned previously, I never had a weight problem until I went to college. When that 20 pounds came on, and it didn’t happen overnight, I was devastated. I wanted to get rid of them as quickly and painlessly as possible. They weren’t coming off because I liked to eat. So I discovered the binge, then purge method. It went on for several weeks until I went home for the weekend. I had just finished an amazing, home cooked “mama” meal and immediately went to the bathroom. No big deal. I continued to do this the entire weekend. The last meal I ate before heading back to college, my mom said something to me as I came out of the bathroom. I was caught. I denied it, but she knew something wasn’t right. She heard me gagging and then confronted me when I came out. I’m thankful she “caught” me. That was the turning point in my life. I knew I had to lose the extra pounds the right way. Through dieting properly and exercise. I had to make some changes in my lifestyle of eating. I eventually lost the weight and I also saw a Ms. Olympia bodybuilding competition that same year of college. I told my mom I was going to do that one day. Ten years later I competed in my first bodybuilding competition. I have to admit, I didn’t eat right. I had hair, skin and nail problems, but I lost weight. I continued to compete and in 1994, a man walked into Bee’s Health & Fitness and shared a nutrition program with me. At the time, it was a network marketing program created by Dr. Barry Sears—The Zone Diet. It introduced me to the 30-40-30 lifestyle of eating. I ate this way for the Tampa Bay Classic Natural Bodybuilding competition in 1995. I was eating fat and losing fat. I was the healthiest I had ever been and my hairdresser, Patty Sullivan, was the first to notice. She shared with me several times that my hair, skin and nails were so much healthier than they were during the 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1995 competitions.

That has been my lifestyle of eating for the past 21 years. I have followed that program and continue to follow it when I decided to compete once again, 20 years later. Since I had been eating balanced meals, with some cheating here and there, I only lost 12 pounds to be competition ready. Most bodybuilders have 30 to 50 pounds to lose. I was told, yet again, by my hairdresser—that I looked even healthier today than I did 20 years ago. It is a very easy way to eat. You simply do your best to balance your meals. When I learned how to do this, all I had was Corinne T. Netzer’s book, The Complete Book of Food Counts. I would look up everything I ate and wrote down the proteins, carbohydrates and fat counts. I would calculate it and get as close to 30% of the calories from protein, 40% of the calories from carbohydrates and 30% of the calories from fat. Today, My Fitness Pal, Noom, CHRO-O-meter, Lose It and several more available that can scan bar codes and put all of the serving size information in your smart phone. How awesome and non-time consuming is that?

I still love to eat, however, I make good choices and eat five to six times per day, with portion control, balanced meals and snacks. I encourage you to start somewhere. Start changing one meal at a time, then go to two and before you know it, you will be eating as balanced as you can on a daily basis. Is there room for a “cheat” day? Absolutely! You should never deprive yourself of something that you want. Just make sure it is an actual serving size. It’s when we eat two to three servings that gets us in trouble. You can do it! I BELIEVE in you, do you BELIEVE in you? Keep moving forward and don’t look back, you’re not going in that direction.

Faithfully fit,
Coach Becky


Run with Perseverance

Run with Perseverance -- Oaklee
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” ~1 Timothy 4:12~

For the past two years I have been involved with organizing area 5K events and what an awesome experience this has been. What amazes me the most, is the number of young people that have been participating in these events. About three years ago, I wrote a blog entitled, “Pacesetter”. That was about a young man (Samuel Lord) that became my pacesetter in the Suwannee County Fair 5K. What was awesome is the fact that he had a personal goal–he wanted to complete that 5K in less than 30 minutes, and he did. Samuel participated in the Freedom Fest 5K that was held on Saturday, July 5 and won his age division (9-11) with a time of 25:50.

Another young man that has become an inspiration to old and young is Colton Rogers. Colton has a love of running, has won several overall male awards and he is only six years old. If he doesn’t win the overall male trophy, he wins his age division. The smile on his face is priceless and the drive he has is insurmountable.

Timothy Choe is another fine athlete that has won the overall male award in the BEST DANG RACE, BAND on the RUN 5K, and the FREEDOM FEST 5K. What I love most about this young man is his humbleness and AWESOME smile. Keep on running Timothy!

Of course I cannot overlook our ladies. Autumn Raulerson is a fine athlete as well. She recently won the overall female award at the FREEDOM FEST 5K. Haley Cook is an annual participant in the Freedom Fest 5K and runs with her grandfather, Jimmy Salazar. I can’t help but mention Rebekah Johnson. This little “spit fire” had an awesome finish at the Kickin’ it for Kids 5K that was held on Friday, June 26.  Brooke Stevens has also participated in several of the local 5Ks and does an outstanding job.

I encourage everyone to participate in the upcoming 5K event that will be held on Saturday, July 18th at 7:30 am. It is the 5K FUN RUN sponsored by the Suwannee River Regional Library and the US Army. For more information you may contact Susan Martin at the Suwannee River Regional Library.

Faithfully fit,
Coach Becky


Positive F Words


Now that I have your attention, here are the positive F words that should never leave you:

Positve F Words

Every summer for over 25 years, my children and I have traveled to South Dakota for an amazing weekend of camping, family, fitness and FUN.  Pickerel Lake, near Grenville, South Dakota, has been the host for the annual Family Fun Days event.  It kicks off on Thursday evening with the annual horseshoe tournament and reunion of families.  Friday is the hot dog roast and more family FUN.  Saturday is “the” day for a majority of the weekend events.  At 9:00 am the day begins with a casting contest for ALL ages, men and women.  From that event on, so many families get together to form Obstacle course teams, Pongo teams, Birdie Golf, Bean Bag Toss, Great Balloon Toss, Kick the Shoe contest, Three Legged race with three people, and so much more.  The evening ends with a Pot Luck Dinner followed by a fun skit for first time campers at Family Fun Days.  Sunday morning starts off with coffee, donuts and juice followed by the morning Worship with Ne-So-Dak Camp counselors leading.  It truly is an amazing, fun-filled weekend of memory making opportunities.

Family Fitness Outreach Center has been working hard to get Suwannee County moving and would like to announce the 1st Annual Father’s Day 5K to be held on Saturday, June 20 at 8:00 am.  This will be a FREE event and I encourage EVERYONE to join us as a family for some fun and fitness! Once again, this is a FREE event and you do not have to be a runner to participate.  As a matter of fact, I challenge YOU and YOUR family to walk, wog, jog, stroll–whatever your heart desires.  For more information, email Coach Becky Skipper at or go to  It’s going to be a FUN, FAMILY, FITNESS event.  Hope to see new faces as well as old faces in the crowd.  🙂

Faithfully Fit,

Coach Becky



Be Real

Spring has sprung and summer is right around the corner.  Are you ready to make some choices, take a chance and make changes in your lifestyle?    It’s time to Be Real!

3 C's of Life

Choices:  In your physical body, you must make a choice to do what needs to be done.  When you choose to begin a fitness regimen or choose to eat healthier, sacrifices are involved.  You have to make time to workout.  You have to eliminate certain foods from your meals and snacks.  You will go through some pain and suffering as a result.  This is nothing like the pain Jesus suffered on that Friday He went to the cross.  “Since Jesus went through suffering and temptation, He knows what it is like when we suffer and are tempted, and He is able to help us.”  ~Hebrews 2:18~  You can do this with His help.  He is always there to lead, guide and direct you.  He wants you to be healthy and live a long life.  Trust Him in your choices.

Chance:  The chance you just took in choosing to  eat healthy and commit to a fitness routine, may have you confused or even doubting that you can accomplish such a feat.   You have tried this before and failed.  You don’t have the support you thought you would have.  You feel alone and abandoned.  These are the same feelings Jesus had when he was on the cross.  His disciples had abandoned him.  When you think it is over–Jesus says, “No it isn’t.”  He died so that we could live.  He sees everything you go through.  He cares about everything you go through and He grieves when you hurt or struggle.  He wants you to run to Him for support and encouragement.  He will never leave you or forsake you.  He is your biggest fan.  Take a chance and let HIM help you accomplish everything you set out to accomplish.  He will make a way, when there seems to be no way.

Changes:  The changes you make will bring you joy.  When you make the healthy changes in your lifestyle of eating, it will make you feel so much better.  When you add a regular fitness routine to your life, it will make you feel so much better.  When you change your ways and make HIM Lord of your life, it is nothing but joy.  HE loves to bring crucifixions to resurrections.  Let HIM resurrect you today.  Let HIM help you with the lifestyle changes so that you will live forever.

Choices, Chances and Changes are like the Good Friday, Saturday (doubt and confusion) and Sunday (Day of Joy and resurrection) in the life of Jesus.  You may experience many Friday’s and Saturday’s, but there is always the promise of SONday!  Woo Hoo!  This was inspired by a teaching from Rick Warren and I wanted to share how it has had an impact on my everyday life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” ~John 3:16-17~

Faithfully Fit,

Coach Becky




Wellness is . . .

Wellness more than health and fitness its about family and the community

When people hear the word wellness, immediately they think fitness or working out.  Wellness is more than health and fitness, it’s about your family and community.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a Champ Camp along with several other Suwannee County Wellness Initiative committee members.  The day was spent learning more about wellness and how, we as “champions” can help our educational community–our co-workers learn more about personal wellness.

There were four specific areas that were highlighted:  Education; Prevention; Healthy Living; and Fitness


This category is where your health assessment would be.  Your health assessment is simply a series of questions to help determine your wellness age.  After completing mine, I expected my wellness age to be a few years lower than my current age.  My wellness age is 53, exactly my current age.  I was a little disappointed until our Champ Camp leaders explained that most people’s wellness age is eight (8) to ten (10) year older than their actual age.  WOO HOO!  My short disappointment had suddenly changed to one of excitement.  Since the camp, several of my co-workers have completed their health assessment and one person’s wellness age was 13 years older than what they are.  What an eye opener.  Becoming educated about your health and wellness motivates one to take a closer look at the “big” picture.


This category has some interesting areas of wellness.  Yearly health screenings are important.  The reports show your total cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure.  These keep us in “check” with changes that may or may not need to be made in our daily routine.  Other areas of prevention include dental exams, flu shots, vision exams and a simple nicotine test.

Healthy Living

Did you know that donating blood promotes healthy living? By donating blood, it helps your blood flow better.  The American College of Epidemiology found that blood donors are 88% less likely to have a heart attack.  It also gets you a mini-checkup before you donate.  Another benefit from donating blood is a more balanced iron level.   Finally, blood donors are more likely to live longer, however, the real benefit is helping save the lives of three people.

Once a month ask your co-workers to bring their favorite healthy dish and have a pot lunch healthy lunch.  You’ll save money plus share some amazing recipes with each other and hold each other accountable.  A healthy staff is a happy staff.  Woo Hoo!

Host a five day clean eating challenge.  Leave post it notes around the office with motivational quotes.  Bring your favorite healthy snack and leave it in the lounge.  Do your best to eat 5 to 6 times per day:  3 main meals and 2 to 3 snacks.  The snacks will keep you from overeating at lunch or dinner.  On a personal note:  If I don’t eat my mid-morning snack, I am looking for anything and everything to eat before lunch.  It can be as simple as 18 natural almonds at snack time.  🙂


Finding time to exercise can be difficult.  Why not start at the office.  Challenge your co-workers to a 5 Minute Move It during lunch.  Simple stretching or marching in place.  Everyone can start there.  Before you know it, 5 more minutes will be added.  Work your way up to 20 minutes every other day.

Wellness is far more than health and fitness.  As you can see wellness is being educated about what to do, prevention, healthy living, and fitness.

Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do for yourself TODAY.  Wellness:  do it for the health of it

Faithfully fit,

Coach Becky



Taking responsibility of your actions

accountability -- CBSHave you noticed that there are several periods throughout the year where it seems difficult to stick to your fitness regiment?  For me, it usually occurs during vacation days, summertime and holidays.  Something I have found that works for me, is having an accountability group–my fitness family.

There have been a few times when only two or three people showed up for class and I was expecting 15 to 20.  It would have been easy to say, “Class is cancelled,” and we all went our separate ways.  However, it was on the calendar, we had our minds set on working out, so we did.    I started out by telling them how thankful I was for them showing up for class.    “There is no other place I’d rather be right now, than here,” said one of the members.   WOW!  That made my day, knowing that she and her husband were relying on their fitness family to hold them accountable in getting their workout in for the day.  After the workout, all of us agreed that if it wasn’t for each other, none of us would have worked out.  Accountability–taking responsibility of your actions and the actions of your fitness family.  Woo Hoo!

It is important to find an accountability partner, or better yet, family.   A fitness family that works out together, gets fit together.   The first step is walking through the door, the second step is easy.  If you haven’t found a fitness family, I encourage you to stop by and introduce yourself to ours at Coach Becky Skipper/Family Fitness Outreach Center located at 302B Pine Ave. SW, Live Oak, Florida.  Classes are held Monday through Friday at 5:30 pm and Saturday morning at 9:00 am.  All men, women and children are encouraged to join us–there is something for everyone.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”  ~Proverbs 27:17~

Faithfully fit,

Coach Becky



Faithfully fit – from the heart

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”   ~1 Corinthians 6:19~

  I hope you have had an amazing week.  I know I have.  I’m looking forward to a quiet, restful weekend.  🙂

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this post and most of all thank you for allowing me to share my passion for fitness with you.  No matter what fitness level you are at, you are important to me.  I want to help you achieve the goals you have set.  Keep this in mind:  any progress is still progress!

If all you have is 5 minutes, 5 minutes of exercise is better than nothing.  I believe that if you commit to 5 minutes, 3 times a week, you will begin to see a difference and you will add another 5 minutes in a matter of a week or two.  Keep on keepin’ on!

I hope you take a few minutes to watch the attached video.  It was shared from my heart.  I absolutely LOVE my fitness family and all of you.  I know some of you I have met and several of you I have not.  Just know that everyone of you helps hold me accountable to helping you.  Thanks again for being a part of my life.  Faithfully fit – from the heart!

Faithfully fit,

Coach Becky


The last shall be first.

A few weeks ago I wrote about taking “one step at a time” to accomplish a goal.  What I forgot to mention in that post was the disappoint at the end of the 5K.  You are probably wondering why I said “disappointment”.  Yes, my sisters and I finished the race.  Yes, we were the last three to complete the race.  So why would there be a thought of disappointment.

I’m going to leave you pondering that thought and side journey.  I promise, I will come back to the “disappointment” and explain what I meant by it.  As most of you know, Cindy Wiggins and I time several 5K events in the surrounding area, including Lake City, Branford, White Springs and Live Oak.  ALL of the participants are important to us.  When a race is advertised, all types of individuals are encouraged to participate from the elite to the beginner to the walker.  Cindy, myself and several others cheer EVERY participant on and almost everyone sticks around for the final participant to cross the finish line.  In our eyes, EVERYONE is a WINNER.

You have probably figured out what the disappointment was for my sisters and I when we finished the 5K.  We had two blocks to go and could see the finish line.  My vehicle was the only one in the parking lot.  Everyone had left except the two ladies that were timing the race.  Not one other participant stuck around to cheer us on for finishing.  Sure, maybe we weren’t the fastest participants, but we were still a part of the race.  The runners that finished first, second, third, etc. had each other to encourage them to the finish line.  My point is:  whether you are first or last, you are important in any race.  If you are first, stick around to cheer the other participants on to their victory.  Everyone has a personal goal when they participate and what better way than to cheer them on for it.  Trust me, they will thank you for being there for them.

Several years ago I heard this song by Rebecca St. James.  I am sharing it with you because it explains the meaning of the last shall be first and the first shall be last in an awesome way.   I hope it blesses you as much as it has blessed me.

You then me — Rebecca St. James

Matthew 20:16 says, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”   We can be first, last or somewhere in between,  in any event we participate, BUT we will all receive the same prize of eternal life if we believe that Jesus is LORD.  All of us are important to the LORD whether we were first or last, so let’s make others feel important in their race.  🙂

I encourage you today and always to put Jesus first, others second and yourself last.  It’s a WIN-WIN situation.

Faithfully fit,

Coach Becky



One step at a time

Sisseton SAPP 5K  collageIt was a beautiful Saturday morning.  It was a great day to begin a “change in lifestyle” journey.  Today was the day my sister, Bren, decided to begin that journey one step at a time.

8:30 am — Registration for the 2014 SAPP 5K Run/Walk

8:45 am — pre-race stretching and visiting with other participants

9:00 am — On your mark, get set, GO!!!!!  Several participants were well on their way, running.   Billi, Bren and I were walking, after all, it was a 5K Run/Walk.

9:21 am  —  There were a few walkers ahead of us.   Bren was doing GREAT!

9:35 am —  Bren told us to go on ahead, she would be fine.  Billi and I said, “No way!  We are sticking by your side.”  Woo Hoo!!  “We are more than conquerors.  We are overcomers.  We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.  The last shall be first and the first shall be last.”  It’s amazing what happens when you begin to speak positive words.

9:51 am — There are 15 minutes remaining to break Bren’s first 5K time:  1:07:01.9  You’ve got this Bren.  You CAN do it.  Then it hit her.  Moen’s hill.  That was two blocks away and in the last half mile of the 5K.  She started saying she didn’t think she could make it.  She thought about a detour and then said, “That is cheating and I’m not going to cheat.  I CAN do it.”  WOO HOO!!  Lookout Moen’s hill here we come.  One step at a time.  Three fourths of the way up the hill Bren says,  “Oh, I think I’m going to pass out.”  Billi and I look at each other.  “You’ve got this Bren.  You can do it.  Breathe in through your nose and out your mouth.”  She starts walking again.  Brief pause and she continues.  At 10:01, we were at the top.  It wasn’t easy, however, she did it!  WE did it, together!!

10:02 am — Calm delight!  Tears of JOY and VICTORY were shared as we were in the last stretch.  She was so thankful that Billi and I never left her.  She shared that she would NOT have been able to accomplish what she did without our support.  That’s what it’s all about ladies and gentlemen.  Teamwork.  There are no I’s or U’s in TEAMWORK.  Woo Hoo!!

10:16:15 am — YES!  She did it!  She set a new PR (personal record) and we were part of it!  GOAL #1–achieved

If YOU believe it, YOU can achieve it!

No matter where you are in your health and fitness journey, I want to encourage you to NEVER GIVE UP!  Stay focused.  Find a workout partner for accountability.  Set mini, short and long term goals.

Dead last is greater than DNF

One step. One day. One goal at a time! 

Faithfully fit,

Coach Becky




It’s a great day to be alive!

It’s a great day to be alive!  Bike ride and a short jog, training for my 5th triathlon that will take place on Saturday, August 2 in Savannah, Georgia.

While on my ride, I like to head to the First Federal Sportsplex to see how many are walking the “loop.”  It was nice to see my favorite couple, Helen and Merrill Skinner (now 84 and 86 years young).  Of course, I had to take a break from my ride and “chit chat” with them.   They informed me that I wouldn’t see much of them anymore because they have purchased a home in Palm Coast and were moving sometime in July.  I asked if it was a community they were moving to and they said that their children were retiring there and they wanted to spend time with them.  WOW!!  I am speechless!  How exciting is that? An opportunity to move to an area where their CHILDREN are retiring!  What an inspirational couple.   I pray that I will be able to experience that, as well.  Way to go, Helen and Merrill!  The two of you are my HEROES!!

merrill and helen

I jumped on my bike to continue my ride.  I crossed US 51 traveling down Demetree street.  I absolutely love this path since there isn’t much traffic and I feel safe.  It is AWESOME since I ride by Nobles Greenhouse, which has amazing plants and flowers in full bloom.  I continued on my ride and headed back towards the sports complex.  I was able to stop and talk to a few more people.   Randall, walks 4 to 5 miles, 3 times a week  since his open heart surgery.    🙂  His walking partner, Coach Jackson, is working his way back up to 4 to 5 miles a day.   WOO HOO!!

I jumped back on my bike only to “bump” into Ben and Oscar, getting their fitness on.   The sports complex “loop” was busy this morning!  (insert big SMILE here).

Whatever you like to do:  walk, run, swim, bike, tennis, racquet ball, soccer, football, softball, baseball, etc–get out there and MOVE!!  Start with a small amount and work your way up to the goal you have in mind.

Remember:  You CAN do it!!  One step, one day, one goal at a time!!

One step toward your goal

Today and everyday, is a GREAT day to be alive!

Faithfully fit,

Coach Becky