The only site DEDICATED to Family Fitness

We are not full time bloggers, we aren’t professional marathoners (far from it).  We ARE a mom and a dad of two beautiful children with full time jobs . . . trying to raise a healthy and fit family.

Jon: RN, BSN, BS – Registered Nurse in Level I Trauma Center

Sandi: RD, LD, MS, CNSC – Registered Dietitian – Baylor Hospital

Our goal with simple family fitness is two fold:

  1. Prepare for a Half Iron Man on October 26, 2014
  2. Motivate other moms and dads to build healthy homes

After getting married, finishing degrees (Jon in nursing and business, and Sandi in dietetics), moving 8 times, starting new jobs, and having two children, we found that our health had taken a back seat to life rather than being integrated into our life.

We decided it was time to change.  We signed up for a Half Iron Man . . . and decided to put our excuses away.  It is all but impossible to find a website online DEDICATED to FAMILY fitness and health.  Many “experts” have no children or do fitness as a full time job . . . what about the rest of us . . . with lives?

So we decided to build a site for families . . . by a family!  Where we can share our knowledge, experiences, and build a support network for other families.


The above pictures are from 2009 . . . since then . . . life has happened.  We both have gained some weight, one of us has had two children, and we are ready to get back to there.

This is an honest journey of a family trying to be healthy while living a normal life.



In 2007 I weighed 160 pounds, had a six pack, and ran a 3:24 marathon.

That was 2007.

Today, I weigh 195, have a 1 pack (more like a keg), and run a 3:24 to the fridge.

It’s been a bad 7 years for me health wise.   I currently work as a Registered Nurse in a very busy ICU at a  Level 1 Trauma hospital in Dallas, TX.  I primarily work with patients who have had severe strokes that lead to death or life altering debilitations requiring nursing home care for the duration of their life.

The scary thing . . . many of my patients are young (under 50 years old) and the majority of the strokes are caused by 100% preventable causes (high blood pressure, poor diet, lack of physical activity).   In late 2013 I had a serious wake up call.   A young woman in her early 30s came to our floor just weeks after giving birth to a little girl.  She died on our floor two weeks later!  This death was particularly difficult for me to cope with because my wife had given birth to our little girl, Kai, just months earlier.

I knew it was time to change!

I couldn’t leave my family alone, I was getting sick of trying to squeeze into my pants, I had ripped too many pairs of underwear, and I was tired of being embarrassed of taking my shirt off at the pool.  I mean I was the guy with the six pack growing up!

But life kept happening, and I would never follow through with my new found ambition (sound familiar).  Every night when I would go to bed I would see myself waking up early to go for a run but somehow every morning around 8:30am I would find myself at the stove cooking some eggs.

I was having serious problems following through.

We are comfortable financially, but we are rolling in cash!  Plus we have two kids, how are we going to spend tons of money on working out and gyms and all the fancy gadgets.   Yeah, I had a few excuses.

So finally I sat down with my wife, Sandi, and decided it was time to actually make this happen.  That’s when the idea for Simple Family Fitness came to life.  Within a matter of 30 minutes I had 5 pages of notes on what how to create this blog.

This is a humbling experience for me.  Admitting failure has always been very hard for me. Sharing that failure is even harder.

Simple Family Fitness is the ultimate in accountability.  Sharing my food choices, weight, workouts, and finances is going to be a fun experiment.

I strongly believe that health is paramount to happiness in life.  I also believe that healthy families are happy families. And lastly, I believe that health, fitness, and wellness overall can be achieved without spending a ton of money.

Jon’s Resume

  • High School Varsity: Football, Wrestling, Track
  • College: Track, Cross Country

Personal Bests

  • 100m – 10.9 seconds
  • 400m – 52 seconds
  • 5k – 18:20 minutes
  • Marathon – 3:24 hours

Races I have run: Teton Dam Marathon, Park City Marathon, Cow Town Marathon, Surfside Marathon, Texas Marathon, Seabrook Marathon, Rexburg Ultra Marathon, countless 5ks, Lewisville Triathlon, Rexburg Triathlon, and probably a bunch more I have forgotten.


My name is Sandi Haws and I am a registered dietitian.  One thing that you should know about registered dietitians is that we take an oath to practice “dietetics based on evidence-based principles and current information.”

This website is NOT about fad diets and quick weight loss.  This is about living a healthy lifestyle for you and your family.  It is about the small changes we can all make in our life to better take care of our bodies.  As parents, making good nutritious decisions weighs even more heavily on us as we choose food for more than one.  I take that very seriously and love that I can be a part of helping my children love food.

One of my favorite qualities in my husband is how he motivates me.  I am not a great self motivator, but I love achieving and trying new things.  So I found someone that helps me do things that I don’t think I can do.   My athletic accomplishments are insignificant compared to others, but incredibly significant to me.  Most of them were achieved after I met Jon.

High School:

1 year as practice player on the high school volleyball team.  I did not play in games, just practiced daily with the team.  …and that is it in terms of athletics.


I ran a few 5Ks near the end of college, and played a lot of recreational sand volleyball.

I also got very into wakeboarding, which can be one of the best workouts.

After I got married:

  • I ran a 5K in 26 minutes, which was great for me.
  • 5 Marathons: Kingwood, Surfside, Seabrook, Chicago, New Years Double
  • 1 Half Marathon: Texas Showdown
  • 2 Sprint Triathlons: Lewisville, TriWaco
  • Chicago Marathon was 6 months after my first baby
  • New Years Double Marathon was 7 months after my second baby
  • Fastest Marathon: 4:45

With each baby I gained about 5lbs I couldn’t lose.  Although I have continued to run, each marathon is slower.  I want to get back in better shape for looks and health.

My Motivation for Change
Recently I realized that Jon and I have finally reached a big goal we have always had as a couple.  We finally have enough time and enough money.  I wouldn’t say we are rich but finally comfortable and able to save.  We have time together and time with the kids.  As this moment arrived it brought me an amazing sense of peace and pride.  As days passed by I started to consider what comes next.  Why exactly had I wanted money and time?  I realize that we can do anything (let me be clear, not everything, anything).  If we choose to put something as a priority it will happen.  And for the first time in a while I am not so focused on earning power, saving, debt repayment.  Now it is on autopilot.  So… what do I want now?  What is my next most important desire?  What Jon and I did when we first got married was travel and exercise together, and spend time with friends.  My husband came up with the perfect idea to focus on.  What if we raced in a half ironman, and tracked everything we did to get ready for it.  We have wanted to do an ironman for years and now is the time.  He had the idea to write down all we do and eat and put it on a blog to help or inspire others that are in need of some new change or excitement.  I am so excited about this chance to accomplish a long time goal.  Still a part of me is terrified, and I am trying to wrap my mind around it.  How will I find the time to train?  Do I have what it takes?  I have two young kids at home, how will this ever work.  I want to be healthy, and I want my family to be healthy.  I am excited to work for this goal all together as a family.

All image rights on Simple Family Fitness have been purchased from Fotolia unless otherwise credited.