In 3 Minutes: Everything About Cold & Flu Season

In 3 Minutes: Everything About Cold & Flu Season

cold and flu season in three minutes


“Put a coat on or you’ll catch cold.” 

“You can’t go outside with wet hair, you’ll get sick.” 

Are these old sayings true?

How can sickness have a season?

With all of us trying to dodge getting a cold or the flu (we’re borderline successful so far – it’s iffy, though), we do everything we can do avoid it. What are we actually trying to avoid?

Watch the video and you’ll learn more about getting a cold or the flu in three minutes than you will in a college course.

Okay, maybe a bit dramatic but there is a lot of great information.

A Hot Body For Busy People. It’s Simple…Not Easy

A Hot Body For Busy People. It’s Simple…Not Easy

I’d like you all to meet my friend Coral. We’ve known each other since 6th grade. The two of us hadn’t kept in touch much since high school but a few conversations here and there. Social media has shown me just how incredible some of my long-time friends are and I’m so grateful to be brought back together. Coral is one of those people. She has done fitness in a way I’d like to follow. Her approach is so low-stress, the eating/diet makes sense and she doesn’t go all out with fads or gym memberships…AT ALL. Seriously, it seems impossible – at least to me.

I asked Coral if she would share her story. She said yes. We’re so honored and excited to introduce you two in the hopes that you may become close. Please comment at the end of this post and let us know your feelings. –Tawsha

coral before and after fitness

“Getting fit for moms who ain’t got time for that sh*t”  Coral

I honestly can’t pinpoint one particular occurrence that sparked my interest in fitness. I think what did it was an accumulation of things that brought on a realization of how little control I have in my life as a mom, a wife, a career woman etc.  I was lost and started feeling less and less like I had a grip on my life.  I needed something to focus on that only I could control the outcome of.  I needed a challenge that would yield positive results for myself but also positively affect my family so as to avoid the “mommy guilt”. As far as I could tell, I was the one putting food in my face. Who was it manning the controls to my arms and legs?  Yup, me again.  Game on!

coral fresh fruit diet

Diet (As much as I hate that word):

I may be a freak but I love logging my food diary everyday.  I use an app called My Fitness Pal (which I’ll explain a bit in a sec). By logging my food, I’ve learned how to tweak things nutrition-wise to get results while actually nourishing my body. I assure you I eat very well. No low calorie diets, expensive meal replacements, wacky supplements or diet products for this chick.  No suffering just good planning, balance & a few simple tricks up my sleeve.  I don’t feel that I need to deny myself constantly either but there is a better option for basically everything.

coral living room gym


I’m a busy bitch. I just don’t have time to do extreme workouts & I’m not willing to take any more of my already limited time with my munchkins. I spend around 20 to 40 mins with the occasional hour tops on my at home workouts after the kids are in bed. I own a crap load of Jillian Michaels videos, a yoga mat, resistance bands, some dumb bells and my beloved kettle bells. That’s it. Bare bones with no gym membership.

coral my fitness pal spunktastik


This is where shit gets real.  Ever tried to make a life changing long term commitment without telling anyone?  How’d that work out for you?  Seriously, why do you think we get married in front of a group of people? It’s all about support and let me tell you, if people supported divorce as much as they support falling mouth first off the fitness wagon we’d all be a bunch of bitter fools attending a speed dating event.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some seriously awesome supporters in my life but usually they are the ones who are joining in the fight along side me. Those relationships I might add have become stronger in the process.  There is nothing more thrilling than seeing those you love succeed. I was also fortunate to have built a great support system with my “cyber pals” on MFP’s social media. Super geek right? But really it helped to have people cheering me on for making awesome changes in my life (they have access to my daily food & exercise diary) as it was their path as well.  Those women have a special place in my heart.  I just had to find my support system and voice my goals.  If it hasn’t been spoken it doesn’t exist.

coral donuts at work

Avoiding derailment:

I had to try like hell not to get disenchanted early on.  I was beyond excited and frankly most people didn’t give two shits about what I was constantly yammering on about and would much rather I shut up & go out for cocktails instead.  There was no lack of love or a desire to see me fail. They simply weren’t interested or wanted me to enjoy things WITH them and it can be difficult to accept when your loved one turns down what you’re offering. I had to remember that it’s ok to indulge as long as it’s part of the plan.  It’s also ok to decline but good gawd please don’t be the fitness martyr.  I made this colossal freaking mistake initially and I’ve found that it only makes things uncomfortable for everyone & brings on the eye rolls not to mention that it’s wicked disempowering. I made this commitment to be strong not to be the victim of a healthy life.

So I guess this is where I give some super easy tips on what the hell to do first. That’s how this sweet ass lil website works right? I’m no expert by any means but here goes….

Okay then…

coral kettlebell

Tip #1: I swear by kettlebells. It’s how I kicked off this whole mess and I still use them at least a couple days a week.  I marched my booty on down to Marshall’s and spent a whopping $15 bucks on a 10lb cast iron bell that came with, I shit you not, a Kettlebells for Dummies DVD.  So yes I felt super cool at the register. The big selling point is that it’s cardio and strength training in one so essentially you cut your workout time in half. Get one!

coral my fitness pal app

Tip #2: Download the My Fitness Pal (MFP) app on your smart phone for free and even if you don’t want to do it long term, log your food for a couple weeks. It’s not nearly as time consuming as you might think and there is a barcode scanner to make it super simple. If you have a clear visual of your eating habits it’ll make it that much easier to find what you need to eliminate or modify. If you’re still reading and aren’t completely tired of me yet, feel free to send me a request on MFP so you can creep my diary & see how wickedly simple it can be. My user name is “Spunktastik” which perfectly describes my ultimate goal. (Google it) LOL Just send me a little note and mention Organized Chaos.

If you are going to make a change or already have you’re a bad ass and I’m hella proud of you! I’m also right there with you as I change gears from pregnancy fit to finding my postpartum groove. Let’s gooooo!!

coral signature

Reorganizing My Brain For Weight Loss

Reorganizing My Brain For Weight Loss

reorganizing my brain for weight loss

This post is a bit long but it’s broken up into sections so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. You’ll be taking a ride through my mind. No holding back.

Back when I wrote So You’re Calling Me Fat, I was determined to make my way toward health. I’ve done it what seems like 100 times before and quit every time. My quitting doesn’t always happen after a certain number of days, it just comes out of nowhere and when it gets hard, I get hungry, I don’t see quick progress or (insert any other excuse here) happens, I bow out and return to my “normal” eating. The problem: I feel immediate guilt. Not enough to change, though.

I thought this time was going to be different. It was 32 days ago that I, again, committed to being healthy. I didn’t want to make it a crazy plan, just something I could freaking stick to.

In order to pull my focus away from what I’d naturally veer toward (quick fixes, eating plans, etc), I had to take a minute to discover what would work for me. I have a really strong mind and once I put my mind to something, it can turn into an obsession. This goes for wanting a Diet Coke, chocolate, junk food and a Range Rover. Oh wait, whoops, that last part wasn’t relevant. I am obsessed, though. Just FYI.

Getting the Right Mindset:

Why am I doing this? Do I just want to be thin? Is it for health? Like, TRULY for health (not just what sounds good to say out loud) or is it something else?

My body is fairly healthy. I don’t have any major problems and haven’t had to deal with health issues. A lightbulb went off. My body has been functioning normally despite everything I have done to it. My heart continues to beat, my lungs work, my immune system fights sickness and I ignore the fact that I can wake up every day and live. I feed my body crap, I set high expectations and assume it will perform exactly how I want it.

I have started thinking of my body as a friend who would do anything for me. It wants to make me happy, it does things for me that I don’t even recognize. The thing is: I’m ignoring this friend but still expect her to do what I need. This whole time, she hasn’t said much. I continue to hang out with other people (junk food, no exercise) who ruin my reputation (build fat, clog arteries) but always expect that my friend will be there whenever I need her.

That’s not fair of me.

It’s time I started focusing on my friend and finally give her what she needs.

In this case, it’s healthy food for optimal performance, exercise for health and mental clarity and a whole sh*t ton of water to show how much I care.

Recognizing Habits:

I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t want to do what I’d done before because it got me to where I am today. With the exception of Weight Watchers (which I wholeheartedly believe works), nothing gets me (and you) to where we want to be and is realistic to maintain. Period.

So, then, now what?

I needed to recognize my habits.

I went through my kitchen and rearranged everything. I took the snacks and moved them to a different place, I cleared off the kitchen counters, I moved the tempting food in the fridge to the very bottom and put the Diet Coke in our garage fridge.

Every time I’d unknowingly make my way to a snack, I’d be forced to stop. This was clearly a habit I wasn’t aware of. Since the thing I was ready to grab was no longer there, I had given myself a moment to see what I was doing and decide whether or not it was worth the guilt that would follow.

In most cases, the answer was “no“. It wasn’t worth it.

It Only Takes Three Things:

  1. Lots of water
  2. Portion Control
  3. Exercise (no matter what it is)

It All Seems So Easy. Is it?

It all sounds good in writing, doesn’t it? Planning out menus, rearranging the kitchen and throwing out fluffy analogies is simple at the beginning. Of course we all approach our goals with the greatest intentions. We think it will work this time. Buuuuuut… life gets busy which means that we need to cut at least one thing out of our schedule – usually exercise. We get tired which means we snack more or grab something that will “wake us up”. Chocolate comes to mind. Maybe a latte? Insert sugar or billion calories here.

Am I Successful?

I have made bigger changes to life than I was prepared for. What’s most surprising is that I don’t feel resentment toward the whole process. For once. I believe I’m ready. I’ve planned to do this when my head is in the exact right place. I’ve cut out Diet Coke, added in over 100oz of water a day, cut my portions (and drink water through my meals), eliminated most sugar and cut out all fast food.

These things are a HUGE change in my life. It’s extremely uncomfortable and requires constant attention to every move I make.

Complete Honesty and Vulnerability (and it makes my stomach turn):

When I made the decision to FINALLY make changes, I weighed 190 pounds. Writing that down makes me want to barf. If I don’t, it’s just another thing I’m hiding. It will allow me to go right back and pretend like all is okay. It’s not. I drank about 4-6 Diet Cokes a day, would eat fast food no less than 4 times a week and snacked on sugary things by the massive handfuls.

Inner monologue: Please let this be smart of me to post right now rather than something that comes back to bite me. I have to just keep typing and not hit the delete button. Keep going…keep going…

Chin up. Shoulders back. Forward momentum.

After 32 days of completely changing my eating habits, taking walks (not even consistently) and believing in myself, I am proud to say that I have lost 17 pounds and am fitting into a pair of my old favorite jeans. Each day, I’m getting closer to my designer jeans that have been sitting in my closet for 6 years. Even then, I  only wore them for two years. All of this is really new to me.

I’ve still got a long way to go but I can look at myself and be happy knowing that I’m not giving up, that I’m only getting better and that I can see changes that make me smile. My inner Tawsha is slowly but surely emerging.

Sounds silly but it’s true. I’m not chubby and insecure on the inside.

Because I’m OCD in many ways, having my inner Tawsha and outer Tawsha match makes me feel organized.

So, what’s your story?

tawsha connell

So, you’re calling me fat?

So, you’re calling me fat?

tawsha | organizedCHAOSonline

It takes practice taking a “thin” selfie

Hi, I’m Tawsha and I do things in extremes.

Group: “Hi Tawsha“.

I’m not quite sure where to begin with this post because it goes so far back.

Summary: I’ve always been a fit and active person. Until adult hood. Once I was out of organized sports, I would either spend all my time doing nothing in the way of exercise or I’d be obsessively teaching classes, choreographing for fitness and figure competitors and tearing it up at boot camp class. It’s a little crazy. My body has got be like, “WTF Tawsha?”

In the past 5 years, any sort of exercise has been a struggle and painful due to my back and sciatica (the story is here).

Finally, after all this time, I decided to bite the bullet and go to the doctor for one purpose: Health. I didn’t want to dilly dally. I told the lady making the appointment that I needed to get a grip, that I wasn’t sure where my health stood and that I was tired of hiding from it. I’m not sure she was ready for an ‘Oprah moment’ during that brief convo but I tend to over share most of the time. I couldn’t help it. All or nothing is basically how I roll.

I got into the doctor fairly quickly and sat down with him to talk about my health history, my habits, how I tend to obsess or not at all and that I needed to hear from him what my next steps would be.

After a few tests, I found out that I’m healthy. Like, really healthy. My body has been a champion and has fought hard to keep my levels even, my blood sugar normal and my blood pressure normal. I don’t know how this is even possible (thinking back to my fast food meal not more than 1 hour prior to my appointment about being out of control).

The doctor’s answer: You need to lose weight.

tawsha | organizedchaosonline | family

When I can, I hide behind someone in a picture.

I know this. I’ve known this since I started gaining weight. In all of my son’s 5 years of life, he’s known his mom to be soft and squishy. Lovely.

I guess I just kept telling myself that I was being the hardest on me. That others saw me differently. That’s what the people around me say, at least. “You look fine.” “You’re not fat.” “You’re overreacting.” When I mention my weight to people around me, I’m not fishing for compliments, I’m genuinely concerned. I always heard what would ease my mind. It’s like giving drugs to an addict.

It’s nobody’s fault but my own.

To take the drama down a notch; I’m not massively obese but I am 55-60 pounds more than I need to be which offers the wonderful benefits of a shorter life span, higher insurance rates and a side of insecurity. The doctor asked me where I saw my “healthy range” and I responded with a dress size. “I’m healthiest at a 6”. The number on the scale game is an evil one and I can’t get involved in that bid’niss. Let’s be real. I want to fit back into my cute jeans and not wear 4 layers of clothing in order to cover my arms, stomach and any other unflattering area.

The one thing my doctor told me is that if I could bring my weight down just 20 pounds, I’d extend my life expectancy 7 more years. First of all, ‘JUST 20 POUNDS? Excuse, me, doc? I’m struggling to lose ONE FREAKING POUND.’ However, the life expectancy comment really hit me hard. All I could think about was that I’d get to spend 7 more years with my son. 7 more years with the family I love and doing a job I can’t get enough of. That’s what did it.

So, today, as I sit and write this blog, I’m putting it all out there. The good, the bad and the ugly.

tawsha | organizedCHAOSonline | heavy pic

How I look today. An honest shot that I wouldn’t let my husband post on Facebook.

This website won’t turn into a fitness or healthy motivation site, it’s a place where I plan to hold myself accountable in front of you. You will call me on my crap. You’ll help me be a better person and, in turn, I hope to offer the same to you.

I don’t know where this is going and I don’t have a major plan for my writing. What I do know is that I’ll keep my personal blogs updated, I’ll share anything I learn and I’ll be extremely open. I do have a plan for weight loss. That’s the good news.

This whole admission is kind of scary because it’s focusing on what I’ve avoided sharing for so long. It’s real and not an empty promise to myself or some fad diet that I think is going to work miracles. Turns out, they don’t. I’ve tried them. ALL of them.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

  • Where do you stand with all of this?
  • Are you interested?
  • Do you want to jump on this journey with me?
  • Are you wondering about anything?
  • Do you have questions?

tawsha connell


Next up: How I plan to reach my goal.

Follow us on Bloglovin’ (free HERE) to get updates in your email.

Why I Don’t Workout

Why I Don’t Workout

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been active. I like finding things to do and I also wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Not the point, here, but it was my goal.

Tawsha - Dishes

I was in gymnastics, ballet and tap. I think it was something  you took all at once but I really only wanted to do gymnastics.

Tawsha - Gymnastics

Even though it looks like I’m confused, I was actually quite good. I took gymnastics until one day I just didn’t want to go anymore. Just like that, it was time for something new.

Tawsha - Posert

Dance! I was ready to wear shiny tights, side ponytails and makeup. I still remember the smell of dance shoes. It always made me feel at home. Even to this day, if I smell a certain leather, I can remember parts of my routine. Crazy, right?

Tawsha - Dance Team

I continued to dance through my awkward stages and was still able to rock the shiny tights.

Tawsha - And Friends

I continued to dance through high school. Gawd, what I would give to have those legs again and slack in my t-shirt. I remember wanting to have a slender long-legged figure like Shannon (L) and Lori (R). I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought, though, because dance was such a passion of mine. I did it because I absolutely loved it. It didn’t occur to me that I was getting exercise and burning calories. I just got to hang with my friends, perform at halftime and travel to competitions.

At some point this year, my leg was going numb and I couldn’t feel my right foot. After the pain increasing to the point where a throbbing made it difficult to even stand, my mom took me to the doctor. After some short testing, I was told I had sciatica.

Tawsha - Dance Team grass

This lasted all the way through high school (I’m a junior in the picture above). I don’t remember what I did to jump back into shape but I don’t remember the pain lasting long.

Side note: I would slip on those shorts and not think a thing of it. I don’t remember obsessing over size but I do remember, way back in middle school, my friend Brooke telling me that I should appreciate my body. She had killer abs. I should have listened to her way back then.

Why is it that we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone? Is that just me? P.S. I would drive to summer dance camp (above) and listen to the entire Alanis Jagged Little Pill tape. Yes, tape. Stop judging.

bloomsdayThen I grew up a little. After I graduated high school, I danced a little in college and then just stopped. I just didn’t see myself going anywhere and, at 19, I got a job in radio. For two years I did almost nothing in the way of movement.

Then I met Jeff.

He asked me if I wanted to run in the biggest race of my hometown, Spokane, Washington. I’d never run before. I said yes. Why not, huh? That’s us…not running. I do have new shoes on. That was important to me.

I didn’t focus on fitness much after that. At all.

Jeff and I dated, got married and I started coaching a high school dance team…but didn’t move with them. I just helped them with choreography and performance. We’re now at 4 years without fitness.

A lot of change happened in that year. I went from coaching a dance team and working in Spokane to getting a job in Seattle, quitting my coaching job and packing up our life to move and start on my new morning show.

I’d finally moved from Spokane, Washington to Seattle (the big city that symbolized success).

No fitness for another couple of years. I’d take a walk or two but nothing big.

It’s now 6 years without working out. I have no excuse other than laziness.

Then I got a call from a boot camp instructor offering a place in her class.

Things got serious at that point.

I did well at boot camp…


I started taking a pole dancing class and really focusing on fitness. I, later, started teaching aerobics, choreography for couples to surprise their wedding guests and kids hip hop.

At some point during these years, I was feeling this pressure in my low back. For almost a week, I couldn’t stand straight up. I iced, used heat and went to a massage therapist and it just kept getting worse.

One morning I was getting ready to work and completely blacked out. I passed out in the shower and didn’t know why.

After a morning in the emergency room, I discovered that I’d passed out because of a vasovagal response.

I still was feeling weird in my low back.

I connected with a chiropractor who told me that I had damage to my C2, S1 and S2. These were my focus areas to heal and strengthen. After that, I’d work on the other “problem spots”. I was a mess.

After a pretty long and intense recovery period (with no working out), I was back and stronger than ever.

It was time to continue to make myself healthy.

I was dedicated to finally reaching my goal. It started with a competition on air (I’m Sammi – it was my on air name. That’s a story for another day).

I started at 148. Started! I want to END at 148 now. Again, a reminder to appreciate what you have and where you are.

Not long after that, I got pregnant after trying for years. More on that story, later, too.


I did consider the fact that I may have also been pregnant in my boobs. *Spoiler Alert* I wasn’t. Just my stomach.

At this time, I was mixing music and choreographing routines for fitness and figure competitors. You know, glass heels, super-tan and fit ladies. Yeah, that kind. I was sliding on the floor and going full-out while 8 months pregnant.

I don’t want to hear how bad it was for me. Keep reading, you’ll know that I realize it, now.

During my pregnancy, there was a ligament in my right hip area that felt like it kept getting stuck. I’d get all hot and sweaty. It was such intense pain that I couldn’t even talk. I remember being in the middle of a conversation when everything just turned to noise. I couldn’t make out what people were saying and I couldn’t get rid of the pain. This would typically pass after a minute. In that kind of pain, a minute feels like an eternity. It was awful.


I went from being 137 pounds to pregnant. I didn’t watch anything I ate and I just continued to grow. I functioned like I didn’t have a care in the world. This picture is right before we went to the hospital. My water broke not long before and I was holding off on having a baby. I was terrified. At this point, I was over 200 pounds.


Then Colton was born. See the look on my face? I had NO IDEA what to do. He couldn’t craft with me, he didn’t communicate and he was determining my schedule. Plus, I’d realized that my apple fritter breakfasts and ordering tartar sauce with every meal after that, wasn’t delivered with the baby.

I started Weight Watchers not long after this and then, eventually, got back to working out. I resumed teaching my fitness classes until I felt my leg going numb again.


The only time I’d felt like this was when I was 17.

I stopped working out and our life changed AGAIN.

Our little family moved to Denver, Colorado for my husband’s job. I didn’t know anyone. Nor did I have a job waiting for me.

In order to make friends and get back in shape, I signed up for Team in Training. I wanted to complete a half marathon and meet awesome people.

team in training mile 1 012

This is me before my first real run. Look at how happy I am. That lasted for about a tenth of a second…when I actually started running. Cute jacket, though, huh?

TNT frustration 001I hated running. Like, with a passion. I loved the people, though. I loved being outside and having a purpose. Running, to me, is the most boring sport. You’re competing against yourself while doing the same thing over and over and over again with the stopping point being determined by distance. So. Boring.

But I kept going. This is after a not-so-awesome run in my not-yet-unpacked house. IN fact, I’m sitting on a couch in my kitchen. My life was nutty yet I was determined to gain control and work off that post-baby weight.


And I kept running. Ironically, in the same shirt. Huh? I guess I liked that one.

Even though the actual run wasn’t amazing, the feeling of accomplishment was.


I experienced minor injuries. Nothing bit. Just some tight muscles and IT band inflammation. Nothing a little ice couldn’t fix.

tawshas iPhone pics 021

Until I finished the race.

Something was off. My lower back and butt didn’t feel right. It was more than just sore and tight. During the race, I’d run and would be barely moving. It was as if I’d lost control of my legs. It was the weirdest feeling.

I signed up for another race anyway.

That lasted for about a month. My butt, back and leg was hurting so badly that I couldn’t hardly walk without pain and throbbing.

Then a crazy thing happened.

We moved to Nashville. Is that ALL we do?

The drive from Denver to Nashville was awful. I couldn’t find a comfortable position because my leg was throbbing. There was nothing that would make the pain go away.

One morning, we met a friend for breakfast. I was in such pain that the whole “blocking” feeling came back from pregnancy. While it wasn’t in the same place, my body functioned the same. All the voices around me turned to just this buzzing noise, I started sweating and I couldn’t get rid of the feeling by moving a certain way. I ended up going out to my car and just crying. That was all I could think to do. I was so frustrated.

Since I didn’t have a job, our finances were tight, and everything we did was out of necessity. We cut out a lot when we moved to Nashville. This meant that going to a chiropractor for months or physical therapy was going to put us at poverty level. I had to try it anyway.

Result: My sciatic nerve was inflamed, my L4 and L5 bones were degenerating and it would take a lot of physical therapy to get me to a point of being pain free – which they couldn’t promise and we couldn’t afford.

Our family doctor gave me a cortisone shot and life was heaven. Once the cortisone wore off after two months, I was in misery again. I’ve been doing my exercises from my 4 PT treatments and still feel pain when I walk.


We have a neighborhood pool (sounds posh, right?) which is down a steep hill. Walking down and up the hill causes pain, wearing flip flops cause pain, swimming causes pain and, well, any activity causes pain.

Here we are today.

Exercise makes a person feel happy, strong, accomplished and incredible.

No exercise is depressing and makes me feel out of control. So I eat crap. Okay, probably not the reason why but with no calorie burn, I just gain weight.

This is so frustrating and I don’t know what to do from this point on. I wish it was a logical procedure to remove parts of the spine and an entire sciatic nerve in order to function properly.

That’s crazy-talk.


This is my story about why I can’t just go out for a long walk, take a run, exercise in a class, ride a bike, go for a swim or just bust out a Jillian Michaels DVD. Everything hurts.

I don’t have any current photos of me that are full-body-ish. I won’t get in front of the camera at all.

So? What on EARTH do I do?

I want to do something for my health. I love that high I feel after a good workout.

tawsha connell