(c) Colleen Reed Photography

And I'm the kind of gal who throws her head back when she laughs.

I'm also the foxy and fabulous thirtysomething healthy living blogger behind www.theyearofthephoenix.com. When not blogging about my health and fitness journey, I make my living as an academic librarian at a small career college. A Northeast Ohio native, I grew up with my parents and sister in the suburbs in a town I lovingly refer to as Stars Hollow. Currently I live in Cleveland, Ohio, with my two cats, Chloe and Linus, and the only thing I love more than them is the city I call home.

A geek at heart, my favorite color is TARDIS blue and if given a choice I'd like to grow up to be a combination of River Song, Joan Holloway, and Lisbeth Salandar. During March I can always be found at the Cleveland International Film Festival and my three favorite words are all day breakfast.

I can often be far too snarky for my own good but like to believe I make up for it with my charming, witty personality (and, of course, my modesty).

I know, right?

I tipped the scales at 311 pounds and shortly after this photo was taken at a cousin's wedding, my very brave younger sister sent me an email expressing concern over my weight and health. That was the catalyst I needed and a few weeks later I signed up for Weight Watchers.

In theory, that should be the end of the story. But how often does that happen?

I have a history of disordered eating and will fully admit to not coping well with personal and professional stress that arose around the same time I hit my goal weight. It was bad, y'all, but I've always been transparent about that fact as well as the fact that I've regained some of my weight.

That's right, bitches. I said my third half-marathon. My first half-marathon was in October of 2013 and my second half-marathon was in May 2014. Along with running, I also keep active through yoga and spinning and in July 2014 became a Schwinn Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor. As if I'm really going to let excess weight stop me from being a rock star.

Since May of 2014 I have maintained a 70ish pound weight loss. No, I'm not at my lowest weight, but I'm also not at my highest and as someone who spent her whole life gaining or losing, being able to maintain is the best thing ever.

Like my blog's tagline suggests, The Year of the Phoenix is about my journey to be my own hero. Born of fire and flame, the mythical phoenix rises from the ashes reborn and renewed. As someone who spent much of her life held down by the weight (literally) of her choices, this blog is my opportunity to transform and fly high, a free spirit. But, as anyone will tell you, this is always a work in progress and I'm now focused on being the happiest and healthiest me that I can be regardless of the number on the scale.

Say hello! I can be found on Twitter and Instagram and the blog also has a Facebook page! Track my steps and cheer me on by being my Fitbit Friend and stay up to date with all of my posts by subscribing to my RSS Feed, finding me on BlogLovin', or sign up to have posts delivered right to your inbox

Visit my FAQ Page to see answers to some common questions I get. If you have any questions or comments of your own, you can contact me here or email me at jill [at] theyearofthephoenix [dot] com.

Updated 5/19/2015
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