Gap Year

“Too many of us aren’t living our dreams because we are living our fears.” –Les Brown.

Boom. Did you read that? I did. And I identified with that. And it reminds me of taking off last year and doing nothing to better myself. Sparingly eating right, drinking way too much, and not giving a shit about myself or my well being. I spent so much time last year living in my fears…fear of how I looked, how I acted, how I behaved, how I presented myself…that I stopped being me. I became this miserable little troll.

What are your dreams? I have so many dreams that it is hard to narrow down and prioritize my list. I know that I want to get back to that healthy place and be happy with myself when I look in the mirror, I want to start a family, I want to continue to grow professionally and push myself outside of my comfort zone, and I want to know that I am content with living in the present and being happy with the “now” of my life.

This brings me to the title of this blog entry…my “Gap Year.” I took a break from a lot. I took a break from myself. I became that person who said, “you know…I really don’t have 30 minutes in my day for exercise.” BULLSHIT. Everyone has 30 minutes in their day and whether offensive or not, it is your choice to implement that 30 minute period into your day if it is something that you want. We say we don’t have the time and then sit around and watch tv, go out for drinks with friends, sit on our phones for hours on social media. Everyone has the time. I have spent so much time of my life saying,

“I’m Fat”

“I’m ugly”

“I’m not good enough”

Well…breaking news…I am good enough. And so are you. If you are reading this and you are one of those “I don’t have 30 minutes a day for health and wellness,” then…I remember being you, I remember falling back into your habits, and I remember hating myself for it. It sucks to hate yourself. It sucks to hear a compliment and laugh at it or brush it off rather than embrace the compliment and truly smile and feel genuine happiness when someone compliments you.

I am making 2018 my year of “yet.” I haven’t achieved my goals…yet. And I am okay with that! This month I have lost 17 pounds and I am back to running longer distances. I am well on my way to achieving those goals. We cannot live in the negative and constantly be beating ourselves down when things don’t turn out the way we want them to or are not happy with the results because they are not the way we wanted them to happen.


I took a gap year from blogging. I took a gap year from running. I took a gap year from healthy eating. I took a gap year from loving myself and reminding myself every day that I matter. And I could sit here and say “don’t take a gap year, I would be so much further in my journey if I hadn’t.” But hell with that…I took the gap year and I learned a lot about myself. I learned that it is possible to love yourself, it is possible to get back on track, it is possible to achieve a lot even when you feel like your lowest. It is possible to climb to the top of the mountain and throw your hands up in sheer happiness because you’ve made it.

So here is to Sunday. I ran 5 miles this morning without stopping…I probably haven’t done that since 2016. But the universe is on my side. The universe wants me to be happy…because everyone deserves happiness. So whether you take a gap day, a gap month, a gap year, or you haven’t even started yet…it all starts when you make the first move and stick with it. I am 28 days into this “rejuvenation” and I couldn’t be happier. I am surrounding myself with people who love me, who want me to succeed, and who want to support me and in turn, I am able to do all of that for other those people.

As rock bottom as I felt last year in several portions due to several situations, I am happy that they all happened because it gave me light into my own life and helped me to be the person that I am today. A person that I love. And at the end of the day…that’s the most important thing.

Out with the old and in with the you.

If you read this…thanks for reading! I love the feedback, I love the messages and the stories that you share with me. If you need an accountabilibuddy…let me know because I am always here to help. You’re awesome. Don’t ever forget that.

Steve 🙂


Make 20GREAT18 Again!

2018? More like 20-GREATEEN! I have successfully worked out 20 days in a row, dropped 16 pounds, and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. They say it takes 21 days to change a habit so tomorrow would be the day. I’m excited to see how I feel on Monday, when it’s day 22.

I even went on a run today. Now don’t get me wrong…I ran a lot in 2017 but it was like run/walk…do whatever you can…and set a mileage in your head and don’t go past it. My running in 2017 blew the big one. So today…I got back out there and I ran today and I RANNNNN HONEY. I did a 5K without stopping today. Now…I know…I’ve run a marathon, I’ve run a ton of half marathons, a 5K should be easy right? Well it wasn’t. 3 month’s ago I couldn’t even run a mile. Was it my best I’ve ever done? Hell no. But what it better than anything I did in 2017? Hell YES!

We crushed the roads of North Park with a 3.2 mile run and then another mile walking and enjoying nature. It felt SO GOOD to get back out there, get out of my head, and crush something that I used to be so passionate about!

I know that I sound like a cliche with wanting to create a new lifestyle for myself in 2018 and many people say “new year, new me” or “it’s a new year so time to start that diet again.” But that’s not me. I’m not here for a diet. I’m not here for a temporary adjustment to my life. I’m sure people out there say, “ehh he will fall back into old ways. He’s a broken record.” And I honesty hope that they do…because I love proving people wrong. So please, doubt me. I dare you.

Someone asked me the other day “do you feel happier? You seem to be happier.” Well…I don’t know what the hell happy is or how I find it. Does anyone know what happiness is? If you know…PUHLEASSSE educate me because I’m a lost wagon of passengers on the Oregon trail and we all have Typhoid Fever and my Ox drowned in the river trying to cross to the land of happiness.

But every day I wake up, I look in the mirror, and I notice change. Not just physically but mentally, too. I actually spoke the words, “I am loving my new hair cut, the way my beard is growing in, and I feel sexy.” I HAVE NEVER SPOKEN THOSE WORDS ever! Most times I compare myself to Shrek or Quasimodo cause it makes people laugh.

So here is to 20Greateen. The year of figuring my shit out again. I feel like I’m on fire…even in this frigid as hell winter we are experiencing.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! I’m glad to be back and I’m glad to have readers :). And if anyone can make me famous so I can buy a tiny house and travel the US blogging instead, please contact my people! 😉



Back to the Therapy Blog

Wow…it has been awhile.

I updated almost a year ago for the last time and at that time…I was in a dark place. I had gone into 2017 experiencing a low and 2017 remained pretty low. Now don’t get me wrong, there was good. I continued to travel, experience great memories with friends, my brother got married to his perfect match, and work continued to be very fulfilling for me. But…I remained in a permanent funk. I stopped running consistently and stopped working out. I gained 60 pounds back of the 80 that I lost in 2016. TALK ABOUT DISAPPOINTING!

But…we all human. We all make mistakes. I never claimed to be perfect or even CLOSE. My god, I screw up daily. I forget to turn in lesson plans, I forget to pay bills, I forget that I have triple booked myself for plans…and that is just naming three things.

So…I went from this:

Skinny Me

To this:

Fat Me

Notice anything different? I do…I got fat. Yeah, yeah…I don’t need to hear anything but “you’re right…you did.” I need the motivation. I lost myself in 2017. I lost that great person I had become in 2016. I lost this blog that was a total motivator for me in 2016 and that lost me 80 pounds. You know why? Cause I was accountable. I had to own my successes and my failures instead of just ignore them like I have done the majority of my life.

Great things happened in I said:

My brother got married


I had an amazing surprise birthday party thrown by wonderful friends and family









I finished a 10K, The Pittsburgh Half Marathon, and a Disneyland Half Marathon

Spent a glorious week in the mountains with friends


And have had a decent start to the school year. But still remained unhappy with myself. So in 2018 I have decided to try my blog again to see if it will help me. I hope it helps some of you, as well. I feel like we can only do things with the help of others…I am not as independent as I thought that I was but I shall strive for me goals in 2018.

They are:

  • Lose 75 Pounds
  • Run 2 1/2 Marathons
  • Run 1 Full Marathon
  • See how long I can go without a drink of alcohol
  • Find happiness with myself again

So here is 2018! I am already a bigger fan of even years. I am already down 11 pounds from my initial weigh-in on January 1 and I will continue to reach that 75 pound mark.

To you, to me, to us…striving for bigger and better things in the new year.

Thanks if you’ve made it this far!

Steve 🙂

Miss me?

Hi Everyone!

Wow…it has been a while since I have blogged and so much has gone on in my life! So the last blog I wrote was on the eve of my 27 birthday. I spent the year prior focusing on me…losing 85 pounds…finding my inner happiness…and trying to really understand what it is that I love about myself.

I promised myself that in my 27th year that I would start putting myself out there. I did just that…after I wrote that blog in July, I started putting myself out there and meeting people. I even met someone who for a while, I had something nice and long term with. I started thinking to myself, “find happiness within yourself and you’ll find happiness with someone else.” AND I DID! It felt great to finally be able to put my own walls down, love myself, and love someone else. Now…that ended and I was crushed.

I found myself not working out, eating right, and loving myself. I was missing everything that I had worked so hard to achieve. WHY?! WHAT?! ARE YOU CRAZY STEVE! You worked your ass off and the power of someone else took over you.

I constantly think to myself…you are being ridiculous. Love yourself. Be yourself. Don’t let anyone else bring you down. Why do I tell you this? Well…it all happened like 4 days before the most difficult thing I did in my entire life! Which was run my first FULL MARATHON. Yeah…talk about total mind games.

So I ran my first marathon. Well, I shouldn’t say I…I should say WE! I ran with two of my work friends Krista and Aimee. I would not have been able to do it without them! When they say “mind over matter” they mean it. It is a total mind game. I walked into that marathon more determined to find myself and say to myself “you can do anything that you set your mind to” and it was f****ng hard.

Let’s relive a little bit of it shall we…

  1. We had to wake up a 2:30AM to be at the start line by 4AM
  2. I thought, “hey it’s Florida…it’ll be warm” so I only packed a long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt, running shorts, and running tights. THANK GOD I PACKED THAT! It was 35 degrees the morning of the race.
  3. I had to take Motrin twice throughout the race just to keep the bottoms of my feet from hurting too much.
  4. I had the worst mental road block at mile 22. I couldn’t get myself to work past it from 22 to 26.

Yeah…that is a lot of negatives…but here are some positives:

  2. I got a KILLER medal
  3. I got to meet MICKEY MOUSE
  4. We experienced the most magical place on earth for four glorious days
  5. So many of you followed our run using the Facebook Live feed and kept us going with your positivity and love

Will I ever run a marathon again? I’m not sure…but today, we signed up to head to Disneyland in November to partake in the Super Hero Infinity Challenge! We will run a 10K and a Half Marathon in 2 days and receive 3 medals! HECK YEAH! If you know me…you know I am in it for the medal.

Over the next month, I will find running again and train for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I will love myself again and start to take care of myself in the way that I used to. We should all just be people loving people and finding the best in everyone. Don’t dwell on the negative. Don’t live in the sadness. Grow from every situation, find your silver lining, and when all else fails…hit the pavement.

I’ve missed writing this and I am hoping to keep it going for a little while longer.

If you’ve come back to reading this…thanks…I’ve missed you!

Steve 🙂

The Year of Me..

Happy Fourth of July everyone! I figured there is no better day to reflect on my journey than on the even of my 27th birthday. I am not sure why but 27 is making me feel old. OK, CALM DOWN READERS. I get it…you are all sitting there at your computers or your phones cursing my name out right now because of the comment that I just made. Buttttt…let me explain.

So if you have been reading my blog, you know that recently I have talked about being cheated out of so many years. I literally feel like I am about to turn 2 in a turning 27 year old body. My outlook on life, my physical body, and my attitude is infant in nature and yet I am nearing the dreaded 30’s.

This year has truly been the year of me. I can remember when I first met my future sister in law a year ago and she was grilling me on my life. I had just begun my weight loss journey and I remember telling her “this year, I am focusing on me. When I am 27, I’ll focus on the we.” And I am sticking true to that so far..

26 really has been a year of self discovery for me. I have learned to love myself. I have learned to be happy with every time success in my life. I have learned to leave my job at 3:45 and make time for myself. I have learned to love fitness. I have learned to love healthy choices. I have learned that the inside is the best part of you but the outside can match. I have learned that you can’t change yourself for anyone else but you have to do it for yourself. I have learned that it isn’t about a timeline, it’s about the journey. I have learned that anything worth having takes time.

And now, I go into 27. I continue to push myself. I will run more 5K’s and 10K’s. I will run more half marathons. I will run my first marathon. I will continue to lose weight. I will continue to tone my body. I will continue to strive to be on the cover of Men’s Health magazine as an inspirational story. I will continue to try and make Bye Fatlicia a famous blog that inspires other people to believe in themselves, give up on the negativity of the social media based world, and strive to just be better versions of ourselves.

Here is to 27. The year of we. Continue to strive to be the best that you can be. Continue to have your cheat days. Continue to inspire someone who you wouldn’t normally inspire. Just be you. Be happy being you.


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about these last 10 months. I haven’t been losing weight lately but mostly maintaining. I realize that I need a change in my diet again and that I need to continue to change up the workout routines.


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about my own happiness and how this journey has really made me into a new person. Have you ever looked in the mirror and just smiled at yourself because you genuinely liked yourself? Yeah…I am having that moment every time I look in the mirror lately.

I have always been one who gets uncomfortable in new situations. I have a huge freak out internally when I am put into a room with people that I don’t know or I start a new job or I get dragged to an event with a friend and that friend is the only person that I will know. I struggle with confidence A LOT.

I would sit in a room and think, “oh that person is judging me in their head about how fat I am and how I can’t fit properly into my clothes.” And you know what…they were right. I was fat. I couldn’t fit into my clothes. I looked like Jabba the Hut sitting in clothes that were a size or two too small and trying to play it off as bloated.

Over the last month I have realized that I cheated myself out of so much of my life. I spent so much time hiding behind sweaters, standing in the corner, silently listening to people have fun, not going out on a Friday night, not dressing up and going out on Halloween, not going swimming, saying that I “hate water” because it is unsafe to not know what is inside the ocean.

Well…I’m DUN. Yeah you heard me, DUN.

I am tired of feeling this way. 26 years of my life that I will never get back being “happy” with myself.

This is the face of a genuine smile. Of someone going out and having the time of my life. Enjoying myself because I feel good about who I am internally and externally.


Do I have a long way to go? Yes. But am I happy with my progress? Yes. And I am finally done with cheating myself out of life. Do you cheat yourself out of your own happiness? I used to sit at my desk in my classroom until 6:00PM and then go home at night and go to bed after working endlessly on bettering myself in my classroom. Why did I do this? Because this was something that I could control. I could control my classroom and my teaching. I could not control my eating and my weight.

I don’t stick around my room anymore. I get my work done in the time needed. I put in some hours here and there when work needs to be done. But I focus on myself. I enjoy reading books. I enjoy exercising. I am enjoying being a new me. I am enjoying being happy.

Don’t cheat yourself out of your life. We live in such a judgmental world. A visual world. A swipe right and swipe left world with many filters to make us look better. We are all beautiful people. We owe nothing to anyone but ourselves.

If you can’t be anything at all…just be kind. Be happy. Be better than you were yesterday.

This shooting in Orlando has made me realize a lot of things about my own life. We can’t really believe that anywhere is “safe” anymore. You can’t go to school, the movies, the club, the grocery store, anywhere. We live in a world where people are unhappy because of other people. Stop being sad and hurt by other people and look at yourself for you. We all need a “safe haven.” A place that we can feel safe and truly happy and no one should compromise that for us.

Stay strong. Stay happy. Stay healthy. Live every moment with a smile on your face.


Kennywood 10K

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you recently saw me with my medal after the Rollercoaster Race on Sunday. If you don’t follow me…and you are a reader not from my circle of friends, here is the picture I am talking about!


I need a t-shirt that says, I run for the medals. That was part of the reason that I signed up for this race in the first place. I did not grow up earning trophies for my baseball teams or soccer teams. I didn’t place in a mathlete competition…so now, it is my time! I took that medal with pride as I crossed the finish line.

Now, I had looked at the course map prior to this run and I knew going into this race that I would be spending very little time inside the park. The race map only showed a small portion of my run inside the park and you spent more time of run in the park if you only ran the 5K. I was only 1.5 miles into the race when we split with the 5K runners and I shed a small tear as I saw them split from us and head towards their finish line!

Below is a picture of the race map so that you can see just what I am talking about. IMG_2569

We started in the Kennywood parking lot right by the entrance to the ticket booth. Now, the speakers were set up at the finish line which was probably .25 of a mile away from the start line. So we are all standing there waiting for the start of the race and you can hear a very distant recorder of the Star Spangled Banner. I immediately wanted to start singing along to get people more excited about this race but instead, we all stood around very confused as to what was happening. I stood further back in the start line, too, so I can only imagine how hard of hearing the front of the line was.

The funny thing about races to me is the amount of different people who come out to race. You have those who get all geared up, show up early, and warm up by running laps around the parking lot. You have those who picked up their packets early and sport their race day t-shirts. You have those who bring their families and walk the race. And then you have those who are like me. Those who love to run but aren’t that great at it yet. We try, we walk sometimes if we need to, but we are in it for the love of doing something great for ourselves. We aren’t at the front of the line and we aren’t at the back of the line either.

Race started and we began a loop around the parking lot. Not my favorite. Then it was out into the neighborhoods of Duquesne. Some people were outside on their porches to wave to us and cheer us on. After a loop in the neighborhood, we headed back towards the park and right at the one entrance to the park, we split and headed down the highway. Going away from the park. Crying inside of the emotional overload. Questioning why I didn’t do the 5K. Praying I would see someone running the 10K who was behind me and I wasn’t last.

Then I headed down a very large hill. Thinking — YES! A HILL! This is awesome! I am going faster! Then…immediately after happiness came shock, TERROR, and death inside. I had to run back up this hill. I saw someone leading the 10K pack, looping me. They were returning my way. Running fast. Running like I dream to run. I hated that person…mostly out of jealousy.

I got to mile 3 and the loop back up the hill and I ran THE MOTHER EFFIN HILL! I RAN THE WHOLE DAMN THING! And I was proud of myself. I got to the top of the hill and I walked a little bit. I gave myself a well deserved break. .25 miles later, I was back at it. I hit mile 4. I saw the Steel Phantom in the background. All was good.

I hit the park at mile 5. Only 1.2 left. The park was refreshing. No one was in it yet. No lines. The faint smell of fried food. Rides I had never seen before. Rides I haven’t seen in a long time (like Kiddie Land), and rides I so wanted to just jump on and enjoy.

I finished the race in 1:09. Not my best 10K and not my worst. It was pretty average. I have not run much since the Half Marathon. I only logged 33 miles last month including the half marathon. I think I ran a total of 6 days in the month of May. My best 10K was 1:01. I was much slower than that. Is that okay? Yeah… Can I do better? Hell yeah…

I am still proud of it and I am still glad that I did it. Will I do it again? I don’t know. I am not sure that I loved the race.

You’ve seen me post about my race wall in my house. Every time I get a new bib or a new medal, I like to frame it and hang it in my house. It makes me proud every time I hang something new in my house. What I love most about this wall is that there is still a lot of blank space. I’m not done. I won’t ever be done. I enjoy the fact that I can still fill up the wall.


I like that I’m not done. That it may never be full. I have way more to work for and I am not ready to give up. I have the Great Race to look forward to in September. I am hoping that I find some more races this summer to sign up for and continue this journey.

Thanks for the read. I am so glad that I have people who enjoy being on this journey with me. It wouldn’t be as fun or as rewarding without you guys.

Steve 🙂