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Thursday, December 12, 2013

I choose happy

I don't know much, but I do know this...

I am choosing to be happy

Since running the TC 10 Miler, a lot has happened.

~~I've been in a slump.  
~~There's a lot of stress at home and at work. 
~~I changed gyms.
~~My hip hurts.
~~I've put on weight.
~~I got sick.
~~I've come to realize that relationships that used to be important, are no longer important to me. I actually don't really like this person right now. I love them, I guess, but I'm so much better without them in my life. 

So where am I going with all this?  I'm not pleased with a lot of things going on in my life right now, but I'm choosing to be happy. I'm not letting myself be a slave to meal tracking and gym workouts. Sure I still meal prep, and try to watch what I snack on, but I'm not obsessed with writing down every little thing that enters my mouth, or every ounce of fluid that I drink that's not water.  Why? Because it was making me UNHAPPY.  And stressed out. :-/

Right now, I'm choosing to do a lot of things that make me happy.  Right now, I'm not busting my ass at the gym for 2 hours at a time, or running on the treadmill over my lunch break, or doing two a days. Instead, I'm choosing to read, and talk to co-workers over my lunch, and spend some extra time with my kids and husband. 

What I've re-learned over the last couple months, is that life isn't static. You can change your mind about things. I can choose to keep doing the same thing over and over (isn't that the definition of insanity?) or I can try something new.

Tomorrow, I'm trying something new.  I don't know that I'll blog about details, but I have the support of my husband and some close friends who I trust with this. Fingers crossed! I'm kinda nervous to be honest.

Sometimes, choosing to be happy means being selfish and  making other people unhappy.  Sometimes, choosing to be happy means that you have to sacrifice. I wish more and more people realize that these things are okay.  I think, sometimes, people want permission to have their own happiness.  People get worried about what other people think and if they will think differently about them should they choose their own happiness. I'm telling those people right now, that sometimes, it's okay to put yourself first. Sometimes, other people are going to be unhappy because you are choosing to be happy yourself.  And as long as you can live with that, it's okay.

I know for some people it's not easy. (Believe me, I know how ugly depression can be.)

I just hope you choose to be happy because you want to be happy. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I know a secret... that really isn't a secret

I'm going to let you in on a big secret... or a little secret.  Actually, it's not really a secret at all.

So yeah, did I expect it to be easy? Hell no! But at this moment, I'm struggling to be consistent in my training.  The biggest reason it's difficult is what's going on in my head lately when I take that first step to start a run.  Today I had to convince myself to even get out there. Once I started, these are pretty much my thoughts running through my head:

My toes hurt... I wish I had found my water bottle... It's a good thing I did those band exercises cuz my hip doesn't hurt that bad... I wonder if I'll lose another toenail...  My ass is jiggling too much. I need to find those compression shorts... This sucks... My throat hurts... I wonder if I have another sinus infection starting... I wish I could blow better snot rockets... My shin hurts... The time on that mile sucked... I forgot to put on sunblock... This song sucks... This song is too slow... Why do they keep playing dubstep on a the Bassnectar station... I wonder how much faster I'd be if I kept up on the weight loss... I can't wait to get my new tattoo... I need to do more core exercises... I'd rather be reading... This sucks... I need to do laundry... I need to make sure to get to the gym more and do more short runs during the week... Shit, my phone battery is going to die... This sucks... I should probably blog about this.

Sound familiar to anyone out there?  

The truth is, today, at this moment, I don't know why I'm training to run the 10 Miler.  I'm not having any fun.  Oh yeah, training isn't always fun either. :(  How could I forget?  

The truth is, I know I can run and finish the 10 Miler, and probably not be last.  I ran this race last year and the course is the same!  The truth is, I usually love to run and often use it as an escape.  The truth is, life keeps happening whether or not I'm taking the time to train.

And the truth is, it really doesn't matter to anyone else, but ME, if I end up dead last in this race or if I even start it to begin with.

When 2013 started, I had so many goals, and I accomplished so many of these goals too.  But lately, I've lost sight of why I began these goals to begin with.  I love meeting up with my friends at races, before and after.  And don't forget the race swag!!  But for this race, I feel stressed because I haven't been consistent with my training during the week, and life has me stressed, as always.  Should that really keep me from going to the gym or going for a run?  

And let's not analyse my eating habits.  They're both good and bad.  More good than bad.  I've been a terrible tracker and that's something that I know I really need to focus on, but one thing at a time, right?

Where am I going with all this?  I might be having a small pity party, but I'm human.  For the most part, I'm excited to run and train and feel accomplished.  But then I have these moments where I could give a shit if I run the slowest 6 miles on the planet because I'm not mentally present and not focused.  Sometimes we just need to reflect and figure out what the hell we're really doing and why.

Training isn't just being able to physically do something and push your body and your muscles.  There's also the mental aspect of it.  Some days our heads aren't in the game. Some days we have to get our heads out of our asses.  And some days, we need to not be so hard on ourselves and not expect perfection, and move on.

So starting today, with help and cheering on from friends, I'm going to try and move on and focus and get that voice of self doubt out of my head. 

Source: Instagram

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Protein Review - provided by Vitacost

***Disclaimer: I was given a sample of Vitacost product in exchange for an honest review***

I'll be honest that I don't know much about supplementing with extra protein, or really much about supplements in general.  I can tell you that I jumped at the chance to sample and review some proteins by Vitacost from their new ARO line.  I blame my blogging sister Joanna who got me into a special bloggers group to do some product reviews.  Be aware that this is the first of a couple of posts.

I received two flavors of the whey protein, Vanilla and Chocolate.  I also got the Vanilla casein.  There are tons of  websites out there with information on supplementing with protein.  Definitely do your research and talk to people. I spoke with trainers and nutritionists to get their input on whether or not I should take extra protein or not.  Ultimately, it was/is my decision.

This is what I can tell you about the proteins:

  • Flavor: Both the flavors are really good!  I switch back and forth between the two.  Sometimes I prefer the chocolate one in the morning with my breakfast.  It all depends on what kind of morning I'm having if I have a shake with breakfast or not.  Neither are too sweet. 
  • Whey vs. Casein:  I've been taught that whey is shorter acting and casein is longer acting.  Many people prefer to take their casein at night before bedtime.  Now, I have not tried other brands of casein, but I found the consistency of the casein to be gritty.  I tried to mix it in a smoothie and it was not really good that way either.  I will drink it at night, but I have to not think about the consistency.  The whey is definitely my preference of the two.
  • Cost:  I compared to other brands and these are reasonably priced both in stores and on line.  

Final verdict --- I'd use this product again.  I didn't find anything that would turn me off from being a return customer.  Granted, I did get all the products for free, but I would hesitate to try a new product in the same price range.  I know what I'm getting from this brand right here.

Here are the product links below:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My first 13.1 -- Race Recap

So, I turned 35... and ran a half marathon.  Nuts, right?

Finisher medal for Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. I wore it for 2 days!

Let me start with the weather on Friday night.  It was foggy as all get out!  From where we were staying, you couldn't even see Lake Superior across the highway.

Lake Superior is past those trees!!

Big deal about the fog?  I've never really had to try and fall asleep with the sound of fog horns bellowing!! Ugh!!!  So as I tried to sleep in a less than comfortable hotel bed, nerves running (haha!) rampant, I also had to listen to fog horns.

My alarm was set for 4:15 am, but I was already up before that.  I was aiming to get on the shuttle bus by 5:00am.  Start time for the half marathon was 6:45am with the marathon starting at 7:45am.  After a bumpy ride I got off the bus and waited for my friend Myra to start the race together.  As I made my sweat drop, I ran into my friend Molly and we stood and talked for a few mins.  Myra and I stopped at the port-a-potties with everyone else, and lined up towards the back.  I threw in my earbuds and tried to shake off my nerves and get pumped to run.

The race started, and according to my chip time it took me almost 6 mins before I crossed the start.  Myra and I kept together for about the first 2 miles.  My left hip ached already.  At each mile marker there were these huge yellow balloons for the marathon and then .10 mile after was a huge blue balloon marking ours for the half marathon.

At the first mile, my split time was pretty fast and my first mile is usually the worst one for me!  I don't remember much about the first couple miles except for fog and there was a woman dressed in black who asked if she could run with us.  Somewhere after mile 2 (or maybe 3) Myra ran up ahead of me, and I also eventually got ahead of the woman who tried to run with us.  I knew Myra would be able to run faster than me and I was glad that she didn't stay with me if she didn't need to.

My 5K split time was ok... it was 42 mins something.  But finally my left hip stopped aching and I felt like I could pick up the pace a bit more.  By this point I started to notice the people around me and who I was able to keep pace with.  There were quite a few people and a lot more behind me.  I don't know about other runners, but I hate the idea of finishing last, even though I have in races before.

Up until Mile 9, much of the race was uneventful.  The people cheering at the sidelines were amazing and they really helped keep up my spirits.  When I reached Mile 9, this part of the course went past the hotel we were staying at.  Suddenly I heard my name and when I finally spotted them, it was my husband and boys calling and cheering for me!  I didn't expect them there!!  It felt so good to see them and have their support.

Shortly after that my friend Angie met up with me and she ran along side me as I finished the race.  After the 10 Mile mark was brutal.  I beat my 10 mile time from last October, but I was really starting to drag.  Running through downtown Duluth I heard my friend Molly yell my name and that helped too!  And then as I headed into the last mile, I caught the wind coming off of Lake Superior which was also no fun.  The last few twists and turns toward the finish was confusing because I knew I was so close!

And then I got emotional.  I saw a sign that said: "I don't know you, but I'm so proud of you."  I still get choked up thinking about it.  It hit me as I was coming in closer that I was about to finish my first half marathon.  Something that I wasn't ever sure that I would ever do and something that people thought I was crazy for wanting to do.  Something that people STILL don't understand having the desire to accomplish.  So as I got lapped by the winner of the marathon, I also crossed the finish line.  And no one can take that feeling from me.

My friend Myra found me and gave me a hug and I'm so glad that I saw her!  We got a finisher picture and eventually found our loved ones.  My husband and boys missed me crossing, but were standing at the finish.  I think it was probably because of all the excitement in seeing who won the marathon.

And yes, I wore my medal for two whole days.  I still want to wear it! LOL!

Since the half, we went on vacation and I've done the Run For Your Lives 5K obstacle course and The Color Run.  Just this past weekend in fact.  I entered the lottery for the Twin Cities 10 Miler again.  I've also been doing a lot of thinking about running for the rest of this year.  But that's for another post. ;)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fitness book review ~ You Can Have It All: Fitness Edition by Nadia Murdock

***I was given the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.***

Nadia Murdock found out that I have written book reviews and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing her fitness book You Can Have It All: Fitness Edition. Firstly, I have never reviewed a fitness book before, but I've read several including those written by certain TV fitness trainers.  Thanks for reading my first fitness book review.

So what's this book all about? Here's what Nadia has to say about it.

I recently published my eBook "You Can Have It All: Fitness Edition" !!!! This edition features advice from experts such as Bob Harper of “The Biggest Loser” and Alyeca Ungaro of “Real Pilates”. With motivational quotes, how-to steps, and advice on identifying ways to overcome obstacles, you are well on your way to a better you. Chapters include:

Workouts for All Fitness Levels
Working Out at Home
Don’t Like the Gym? Get Over it!
Not Your Regular Workout
Work Out Your Mind and Body (Yoga and Pilates)

I have always been passionate about fitness and after experiencing my own dramatic fluctuations in weight loss and gain I wanted to share the ways fitness has become an important part of my life. Later this year the Nutrition and Fashion/Beauty editions of You Can Have It All will be released!

What did I think?

For starters, Nadia herself has had to lose weight and can speak from her own experience. I think this book is great for someone who is just starting out on their health and fitness journey and for those who are in a rut.  There were some tips even for someone who is further along on their journey.  I learned about new exercise programs like the Roller Derby Workout and DVD's out there and where to get information on them.

She also included some simple basic exercises like overhead press with leg lift, and squats with rotation.  I think some more visuals would have been beneficial though so anyone unfamiliar could get a better idea of what the exercise looked like.  There were also references to things such as interval training workouts and what websites have good ones to check out.  I did like how she included both working out at home and working out at the gym.  I'm mostly a gym rat unless I'm running, but I know others aren't as comfortable in the gym.

The last chapter was interviews with trainers.  For me it was interesting to read if they told me anything different from my own personal trainer.  I found that the info was the same.

What did I think overall?

I think it's a good book as far as fitness books go.  It didn't blow me out of the water, and it definitely didn't make me think that no one should waste their money on it.  It was somewhere in the middle.  I do think it is a book that I'm more likely to reference in the future compared to some of the other fitness books I own.  It should be noted that this book is specifically about fitness.  There were not chapters on healthy eating.  So if anyone is looking for that, they would need to supplement this information.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is starting out.

Friday, May 31, 2013

And life goes on

Hey! Guess what?  The Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating (SSHE) Slim Down Challenge ended on May 15th.  The results are on their page and all the contestants kicked butt! I came in 5th, but I didn't lose anything except weight and fat.  I am so happy that SSHE picked me as one of their contestants and gave me such a great opportunity to show how nutrition and eating and food play such a HUGE role in our journeys to a healthy life.

My half marathon training seems to be going well!  I did run Race 5 on Memorial Day and didn't do a sub 40, but I had run 11 miles the day before and my left knee seemed kind of wonky.  I did rest it this week and I'll be running 12 miles this weekend.  It's actually kind of exciting to get up in mileage :)

And then there's this blog... I haven't always been a consistent blogger and mainly it's because I #1) don't have time, and #2) don't want to have my posts feel forced.  I like to have the words come to me and to write what I'm really feeling that could be inspiring for others who are struggling to get or stay healthy.  Most days lately, it's just not in me.  I've started a book blog with some of my friends and I love talking books so much more lately.  I haven't decided to abandon this blog entirely yet.  I just may not always be here posting after I've run a race or had some other awesome thing happen. I'm still very active on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram so you can find me there!  I'll hold your hand and support any way that I can.  I have
 another product review to do too and will get that up as soon as I finish the sample they gave me.

So this was my quick check in.  Life is good and uncomplicated and I'm still making progress.  In fact, I just got some measurements done last week and I'll try to post the actual numbers soon.  But I can tell you that I am now down to 25% bodyfat.  I never imagined I'd be that far down in such a short time.  Hard work pays off and I have had some awesome trainers.

Until next time!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Race 4 of 2013: Challenge Obesity and other happenings

I guess you could say I've been a little busy, considering I haven't written a post in over 2 weeks!  I can't even really remember much about the race, other than I PR'd. :)
                                                Race photos credit: Gary Westlund, Charities Challenge 2013
It was a cold "spring" day around 30°F.  You can see that there was still snow on the ground and the lake was quite frozen.  I had on 2 pairs of pants and lots of layers!  I was pretty excited to do my own race dedication for Boston and even had on my custom made hat.  Gary spoke and we had a moment of silence at the start of the race too.  I know a lot of others were inspired as well. 

I ran my 2 laps around the lake in 38:47... and then I had to run 4 more miles.  Yup!  Seven miles was on my half marathon training schedule.  I was a little chilled, but I got it done.

So, what else is new?  I've been training hard with my new trainer Martin when we've been meeting.  Most nights my shirt is drenched when he's put me through some hard intervals.  I usually complain a little bit, but I do it.  (I still hate mountain climbers.)

The final weigh in for the contest is on Monday the 13th.  I'm a bit anxious because I feel like I have a lot to do with picking out clothes for that day.  I know it'll be fun and all that, but anyone who knows me knows my tendency to overthink things.  Especially the whole going to be on tv thing.

I've also been thinking about how I'll be eating after the end of the contest.  I've been eating such healthy food for the last 13 weeks!  It'll be a huge change, but I know I can do it.   Admittedly, I've been frustrated with a few people in my life because of their "advice" such as, "You don't want to go out to eat.  You've worked so hard."  Ummm... geee... thanks for having so little faith in me and my decision making skills.  I'm not done losing weight yet, and one meal out is not going to undo all the hard work that I already put in.  I hope they remember that when I don't ask them to hang out later on.  Seriously.

In other news, I'm working on a book blog with some friends and I am super thrilled!  I will still be blogging here too and I hope that my book nerd followers will follow the book blog too.  I hope you all have a fabulous week! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Weigh-in, Measurements, and PowerSox winner

Life happened and I didn't get this post out yesterday like I had planned.  So much has been happening lately!  This post might just be a lot of ramblings, so bear with me. :)

On Monday the 15th, we had a weigh in for Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating.  I weighed in at 181.6 lbs.  I know each scale is different so I'm not sweating this at all.  That's 24 pounds lost in 10 weeks, a total of 11.67% of my starting weight.  That puts me in 5th place, and again among women I'm 2nd.

This week in training, we did new measurements. Here is the comparison from last time to now.

Assessment 3/1313               Assessment 4/18/13
Weight: 189                          Weight: 178
Body Fat: 35.3%              Body Fat: 30%
Neck: 14.00                          Neck: 13.25
Bicep: 15.25                          Bicep: 13.50
Chest: 38.00                        Chest: 38.00
Waist: 35.50                         Waist: 33.50
Hips: 46.50                           Hips: 44.00
Thigh: 26.50                         Thigh: 25.00
Calf: 17.00                            Calf: 16.75

Ummm... did you see the body fat percentage drop?  That's in 5 weeks.  Holy ____ (use your own expletive here)!!  I went from a Poor rating with body fat to a Fair rating.  I'm not completely sure what all that means, ratings wise, but I'm getting better, which makes me happy.  My diet hasn't changed (obviously) but I have been hitting it harder at the gym and running outside with the half marathon training.  I'm hoping to get faster.  I can see the changes in my body and it's definitely time to buy new clothes.  I can't wait for that!  I bought a goal dress in a size medium, thinking it would fit me in the summer.  Surprise! It fits now!

And the last thing..... the PowerSox winner is LoHo!!! Thanks for making a comment and being a new subscriber! :)
Remember, celebrate the Non Scale Victories!  My next post will have news about Race 4 of 2013.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Why Boston Matters to Me

Source credit: Unknown. Taken from Facebook.
Today started out as an exciting day with a weigh-in for the contest. But that isn't what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about running. I want to talk about why this set of events has affected me.
I was excited to hear the results for the Boston Marathon today. But explosives at the finish line? What.The.Hell?

In order to be successful at something,  I truly believe you need to have support. When I started running I was slow and didn't really know much. Here I was this short legged chick who weighed over 200 pounds.  I found a group of runners through social media. Through Twitter,  Facebook,  and blogging, I got tips and most of all I got encouragement and love. These people I'd never met in real life for the most part, but they cheered me on from start to finish. They understand shin splints, underpronation, sub-40, PR, tempo, pace, chip time, gun start, water stops, miles, meters, 5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2.... there's no judgment.  I'm not an elite runner and it doesn't matter at all to those people who also run for the fun of it and to make it across the finish line.  I get high fives and congratulations.  Yes, there's competition,  but the biggest competitor is the one in the mirror.

Whenever I'm at a race, I see smiles and encouragement.  As I get lapped, I get smiles and I'm told "Good job".  Course marshalls, volunteers,  those handing out medals... Everyone is cheering and you believe when you cross the finish line that everything you gave... every breath, every second, every blister, every black toenail, and every sore muscle was worth it to get there across that finish line.

This runner is shaken up. This community is shaken. The thing we love to do, is it possible that it's no longer safe? Could our biggest supporters be at risk?  I hope and pray that whatever low life has done this sees that we still stand behind each other.

I'm sad and I'm angry.  But I haven't given up.  I'll keep running because it's what I love to do. I know I'll meet up with others who also haven't given up. We'll see each other at the finish line.

Boston, here's my 2.62 tonight for you. As I blog and run and walk and attempt to feel normal, this is me, thinking of you.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Powersox: A Review and Giveaway

***In exchange for an honest review, I was given 2 pairs of PowerSox to try.  PowerSox will also graciously give the exact same (but new) socks as a giveaway to a lucky blog reader.***

I had first heard of PowerSox when another blogger had a giveaway for a pair.  (I didn't win, by the way)  So I was surprised when I was contacted last week via Twitter if I'd be interested in reviewing a pair myself. If you know me, you know I can't say no to free stuff.  With all the miles I'm going to start putting in, I figured trying out a new brand of socks wouldn't be a bad idea.

I decided on the Advanced Dry sock in pink.  The website describes them as:
  • HydroTec® Moisture Wicking Yarn
  • Ultra Thick/Thin Construction
  • Hand Link Toe Seam
  • Moisture Management
  • Arch Support
I received them in the mail in a couple days and immediately put them on to go for a run.

Honestly, they are THE most comfortable low cut work out socks I've ever worn!  What I liked the most about them was the extra material along the heel and around the toe and forefoot.  Around the arch is less material and allowed my foot to breathe.  Here are some closer pics of the socks and me actually wearing them.  Ignore the fancy couch pattern.

They are seriously comfortable, hugged my arches appropriately, provided the right amount of warmth (I hate hot and sweaty feet!) and they weren't too high or too low around my ankles.  I even wore them to bed and I never wear socks to bed unless I absolutely have to.

So then I wondered how they would hold up in the wash.  Were they made cheaply? Would they pill and would I have all these fuzzy balls on my socks?  Would they shrink in the dryer?  Would the colors bleed?  None of those things happened.  There was just a little bit of pilling in the gray areas, but I didn't think it was too bad. 

On to the GIVEAWAY... 

I will be using to pick the winner by April 20, 2013.  To enter, leave a comment with which PowerSox Advanced Dry socks you would want, what your favorite form of exercise is AND also follow my blog.  That's all there is to it!  

Feel free to share the love!  Good luck!!!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Race 3 of 2013

Irish Run Saint Paul 8K

I ran the Irish Run Saint Paul 8K on Sunday March 24th with some people from work.  One of the women from our Wellness group, Tonya, did a lot of organizing and a small group of us got together to run the 8K.  It's a distance I'm comfortable with and fit into my training schedule.  Ummm... holy crap!  Holy fast! And I had my first encounter with cheaters.  Yeah, I'm talking about the two women who cut across the way at about the quarter mile mark.  Did you really gain that much time?

My goal for this race was to come under 1:10.  I started out going at a good pace. It was colder than I expected and didn't have on any thermals.  I was going at a good pace so I thought.  For you locals, the race was along Summit Ave.  As I ran behind these cheaters, they turned around before the 2 mile mark and had these big smiles on their faces and were waving at their friend behind me who didn't cheat.  I was pretty mad at the smiles they had.  With great timing, the song, "Jumpdafuckup" by Soulfly came on.  I dug in and picked up my pace.  I was trying to focus less on the cheaters and just getting through what I had to do myself.  

About the 2 and a half mile mark, is when I saw the Elite runners come past me.  Turns out, I was running in the USATF MN 8K Championships!  Good job on research for me!  Hahahaha!

I kept on going and I noticed my thighs and my glutes were really starting to get cold.  By the 3 mile mark, I saw that I had made my average lately of around 40 mins.  I really didn't know how many people were behind me and how many people all together were running the race.  I felt good as I was running and just wanted to finish.

Around the 4 mile mark, snow flakes started falling.  Just a few sparse ones, but it definitely gave me an idea for what the temperature was and I really wanted to hurry up and finish.  I could at least see two runners ahead of me so I wasn't entirely alone on the course.

As I came into the home stretch, I saw Tonya waiting at the finish.  I pushed my little legs into as much of a tired sprint as I could.  I finished in 1:07:36 which was a PR for me!  I even beat my Get Lucky 7K time from the previous week!!  Woot woot!

Race 3 was now in the books.  I'm not sure if I'll run the 8K again, given that there were so many fast runners and it wasn't a fun run for me.  Maybe if I pick up speed by next year.  At the same time, I'm over running in the cold and snow.  I'm anxiously awaiting spring warm weather even if it means I have to dodge puddles and mud.  So much easier than the ice and snow!

While I was running, I was thinking about whether or not I could manage to go faster and not injure myself.  I wonder sometimes if I'm so used to being at the back of the pack, that mentally, I don't know how to make myself go faster to really compete.  Granted in this race it was an entirely different ball game, but it's something I know I'll be thinking about as I continue to half marathon train.  I'll be starting week 3 now of a 15 week program and so far it's been going well.

Here's my playlist that got me through this race.  I do take note of what my friends listen to and often download their suggestions.  I did skip a few songs when I just didn't feel right.  Until next time...

"Fight Song" ~ Good Charlotte
"Call It What You Want" ~ Foster the People
"Miss You" ~ Foster the People
"Remember the Name" ~ Fort Minor
"Head Like a Hole" ~ Nine Inch Nails
"Last Resort" ~ Papa Roach
"Searching" ~ Pennywise
"Jumpdafuckup" ~ Soulfly
"Sine Language (VonUKUF's JALV Party Remix" ~ The Crystal Method featuring LMFAO
"Walking Like A" ~ Trick Daddy
"From Da Back" ~ Three 6 Mafia
"Somebody To Love" ~ Usher featuring Justin Bieber
"DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" ~ Usher featuring Pitbull
"Rehab" ~ Amy Winehouse
"Looking Up" ~ A Hero A Fake
"Fireflies" ~ Cardio Workout Crew
"3" ~ Cardio Workout Crew

Saturday, March 30, 2013

This is not good-bye

Two Wednesdays ago I had my usual personal training session.  I've been training with Tanya since July both in individual sessions and in Body Blast.  I can call her my friend.  I can't imagine that's the case with all trainers, but we seem to click. :)  She had to give me bad news, and that was that she was leaving the gym at the end of the month.  My next session would be our last together.

This was such bittersweet news.  I'm so so happy for my friend because I know it wasn't an easy decision for her.  She said she's been a trainer there for over three years and has trained lots of clients.  (Of course, I'm her favorite *wink wink*).  I'm bummed out because that means that I will have to get to know a new trainer.  I understand that the other trainer is well qualified and very personable.  But still...

At my last session this week, after training, Tanya and I sat and talked a bit.  We had laughed while working out, mainly over the music that was playing.  "Open Arms" by Journey is a hard one to really go all beast mode to!  And then the song "Goodbye to You" by the Veronicas comes on and I'm like, "Are you kidding me!?"  I didn't want to say goodbye! :(

So as we sat and talked, she told me that I'm going to be amazing the rest of the contest.  She said that I already am and that I've come so far already and that I'm a success story.  And I am still tearing up as I type this.

Tanya isn't just my trainer.  She's also a friend of mine.  She knows a lot about me and she knows to push my limits and knows what I can accomplish.  She listens to my rants and understands the emotional aspect of getting healthy and the learning involved to get there.  I can share my goals and I know she isn't going to belittle what those are.  She is my cheerleader.  And I'm going to miss seeing her every Wednesday at the gym.

But I'm not going to be sad when I start working with Martin, my new trainer.  I'm going to work hard and make sure that I get to where I want to be.  I still have my support system in place and when the going gets tough, I call on those people.  I now get to move Tanya to that list in a different way.

I'm so thankful that I was able to work with Tanya over these last few months.  She had been by my side as I've made progress and has given me a new perspective on personal training.  Anyone who had the chance to work with her is very lucky.

Thank you Tanya.  I can't express enough how grateful I am to all you've done for me.  I love you girl and we'll see each other very soon! <3

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Race 2 of 2013: Get Lucky 7K

Get Lucky 7K 2013
***Before I start recapping my race, I want to give a shout out to a very inspiring person I passed after the 5K mark.  I don't know your name, and I'm certain that I've seen you at races in the past.  This woman inspired me to push harder when my legs were feeling tired.  I could feel the cold and my glutes were also having issues as well as my arms. This woman was doing the race despite having orthotics and using canes on both her arms.  My experience would tell me that she had cerebral palsy, but whatever her diagnosis, she did not give up!!  She wasn't the fastest, but she was moving and she was working her way to cross the finish line.  I had to tell her she was doing great as I ran past her because hearing those words myself make a difference.  I honestly kinda got choked up because whatever fatigue I was feeling, I knew I could push past it to cross the finish in my goal time of an hour.  And I did.  So thank you for inspiring me to do my very best at the end when I could have easily let myself slow down.  Had I slowed down, I know I would not have done my very best.  I'm not sure that you would ever read this, but I will not forget the rest of the race because you inspired me.***

The race started at 9am, and at 8:45am I was still sitting in traffic on Washington Ave trying to get to my parking ramp!  Remind me next year about this, okay?  So I finally got my gear checked and stood in the street by 9am.  There really aren't any corrals since there were about 6500 people running the race.  It was around 20 degrees F.  And I waited and waited... and waited some more.  I tried wiggling and bouncing about to keep my legs warm and loose.  I was dressed in sporty thermals, long pants, my shin compression sleeves, ankle socks, sports bra, long sleeve wicking tee, t-shirt, half zip fleece, gloves, a head band to cover my ears and my green sparkly headband in my pic.  I debated taking off my fleece, but I remembered how cold I was during the 10 miler.  My biggest fear was slipping on ice and injuring my hip flexor again.  I really appreciate how they send us off in waves so that we're not so bunched up together and knocking elbows.  Especially on a day like today with cold and ice and snow.

I finally got past the start line and the chip timer at about 9:41am.  At least, according to my Polar RS100 (I like this one for races.  It's easy to hit my lap time and know my pace.)  I should also mention that many of the elite athletes were done running at this point.  I'm sure all of them were!  Amazing!  But anyway, things were pretty sloppy and then suddenly rounding the 2nd bend there was ice.  Make that, snow covered ice.  Most of the people around me slowed down.  I saw a couple people slide, but I didn't see anyone fall.  Did I mention I was nervous about my hip?  This area was not a place for speed.

When I hit the bridge the 1K flag was up and I remembered they don't use mile markers for this race. Crap! There goes my math skills and trying to figure out my MILEAGE pace.  Oh well.  At this point I can pretty much visualize the rest of the course.  I knew we'd hit another bend and run on bricks and then up an incline and the water stop would be around there.  The brick was also hard to run on and I did walk a little bit again.  When we finally passed the 3K flag, I tried to gauge it as a halfway point.  I seemed to be making good time.  The incline up the bridge to the water stop kinda sucked considering I was a bit sweaty and cold.  When I got to the water stop I popped a Clif Shot gel pack.  Yes, the timing seemed off, but I did it.  I did feel more energized after and maybe it was the water and just getting closer to the finish.

Rounding another bend and past the 4K flag I saw the other "landmark" that I think of and it's another bridge and incline.  I tried really hard to run up most of this, but did have to walk for a few seconds.  I also looked at my watch and saw that I had about 13 mins left to my goal of one hour.  I started thinking about whether or not I'd actually make it.  The 5K flag was at the end of the bridge and another turn heading towards the finish.

At this point we run along the river and under some of the bridges, and I could feel the cold air had almost pooled in those spots.  I was really glad I had kept my fleece on.

When I looked at my watch and saw 58 mins on it, I really tried to run faster.  I was trying to gauge the distance and thought about my intervals on the treadmill.  All I could do was go for it.  I passed walkers, other runners passed me, but when I hit the chip mat and pressed stop on my watch, the time was a few seconds over one hour.  HOLY CRAP!  I was a few seconds off, but I finished in an hour!!

My official time was 1:00:37.  I still can't believe how much faster I can run with the weight I've lost and the strength training.  And how much better I feel after a race.  I'm a bit sore and will keep stretching.

After getting my medal, the first thing I heard was, "That was fun!"  I agree and I'm already looking forward to next year.

Here is my Get Lucky 7K playlist:
"Big Pimpin'/Papercut" by Jay-Z and Linkin Park
"Block Rockin Beats" Turn It Around Remix (I got this off some workout remix)
"Bluegrass Stain'd" by Mark Ronson
"Bout To Get Ugly" by Mark Ronson
"Crazy Bitch" by Buckcherry
"Ooh Wee" by Mark Ronson
"Symphony of Destruction (2004 Digital Remaster) by Megadeath
"Never Wanted to Dance" by Mindless Self Indulgence
'Lights Out" by Mindless Self Indulgence
"Just Like a Pill" by P!nk
"Stupid Girls" by P!nk
"So What" by P!nk
"Party in the USA" by Cardio Workout Crew album
"Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster The People
"Otis" by Jay-Z and Kanye West
"Yeah" by Usher
"Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne
"Fuck You" by Cee-Lo Green
"No Competition" by Common
"Without Me" by Eminem
"Lose Yourself" by Eminem
"Shake That" by Eminem
"Welcome To the Jungle" Remix by 2011 The Workout Heroes
"Waking up in Vegas" Cardio Workout Crew album

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What About Non Scale Victories?

Last night I did my measurements again with my trainer.  We've been trying to do measurements every 4 to 6 weeks.  Here's my progress:

Assessment 2/6/13               Assessment 3/13/13
Weight: 203.5                      Weight: 189
Body Fat: 36.6%                    Body Fat: 35.3%
Neck: 14.25                          Neck: 14.00
Bicep: 15.5                           Bicep: 15.25
Chest: 40.25                         Chest: 38.00
Waist: 38.25                         Waist: 35.50
Hips: 49.25                           Hips: 46.50
Thigh: 28.00                         Thigh: 26.50
Calf: 18.375                          Calf: 17.00

I can't even believe my own results!!  I can't believe how many inches I've lost! 

Yes, I'm in a contest that is dependent upon scale readings, but I definitely celebrate the Non Scale Victories (NSV) too.  And I'm trying to encourage so many others to do the same.  I don't want my friends to get down on the scale not budging.  I want them to be happy about their clothes being looser, and working out that extra 10 mins, and being able to walk for further, and even just being able to say pass on the unhealthy choice that sits in front of them.  I will celebrate those NSV's right with you!

After my training session, this happened:

My Polar stopped working while I was working with my trainer so I had to adjust and I have no idea how long it wasn't tracking.  I then got on a bike because I had to finish the book I was reading (Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder).  If you've paid attention to my Facebook posts, I could not put this book down.  I had luckily received an Advanced Reader Copy.  So there I sat biking for over an hour.  My arse got sore because those seats are not comfy, but I biked and biked and biked.  Eventually I knew I had to go home and would be able to finish the book in bed.

I'm lucky that I have the support of my husband and kids to be able to do two things that I enjoy, working out and reading.  And it's awesome what can be accomplished when you do the two things together.  

Race weather for Saturday doesn't look wonderful.  I'm still really hoping to finish well under an hour.  Wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Heading Into Week 6: First official weigh in

***Disclaimer: I am not compensated for my blogging experience during this contest.  Everything I choose to write is my own experience.***

Yesterday was our first weigh in.  You can see the results here. In five weeks, I've lost 14.8 pounds which translates into 7.1984% of my contest starting weight.  I am so ecstatic about these results!  And I have to say that I'm also excited for my fellow contestants.

At the weigh in, which is held at a local TV studio, there was quite the buzz of excitement.  Our first visit at the start of the contest, I think you could feel the nervousness radiating off of all of us.  You definitely could from me!  But yesterday, you could hear people talking to each other even though we were supposed to be a little quieter while the camera was recording.  I missed a lot of the weigh ins because I had to use the restroom first, but was ready to jump on the scale when I got there.  I have been weighing myself at home, but not every contestant has been.  When I stepped on that scale, I was so happy to see the loss reflected in the numbers.  As I stepped off, one of the guys yelled, "Someone's been working out!"  I had to come back with, "Half marathon training!"

Then I had to get on camera and answer some questions the producer asked me.  I was nervous about that! I'm not sure why, but it was hard to maintain the eye contact I needed to with him.  GAH!  It's still kinda crazy that I'm on tv and in commercials and people call me "famous".  I guess there are worse things to be famous for!

My weight loss puts me in fourth place.  The top two are men (which I think is expected) and then there's Tunisha in third.  I'm behind by less than 1%!!

The numbers can really REALLY mess with my mind.  Today I was thinking over what I've lost in the last month, but I forget what I've lost overall!  I'm down about 30 pounds!!!  I really need to focus on the total number, whether I win the grand prize or not.  As cheesy as this sounds, I KNOW I'm already winning.

I haven't been taking food pics lately, and I guess I need to get back at it.  The food continues to be so tasty!! This week we're back to the meals that we had the first week we were in the contest.  Today for lunch I was excited to have a salad.  Yes, a salad.  We actually don't have a lot of salads in our meals and that's probably a crazy concept for a lot of people.  Cuz eating healthy equals salads, right??  I love eating salads, but I am learning about the salads that I was eating before and portions.  Portion sizes are SO important!

And here I sit, watching The Biggest Loser, and it always makes me tear up because I know the same struggles they are going through.  I have to make the choice every day to only eat the food already prepared for me.  And I have to choose to go to the gym and get a good calorie burn.  I make the choice to go to my training sessions and to work hard at those sessions, even though I've been a whiner lately.  And now I have to make the choice on how I'm going to step it up.

This Saturday is Race #2, the Get Lucky 7K and I'm so pumped to run it!  It'll be my 3rd year running it and my goal is to finish in under an hour.  I'll let you know in my next post!

My reading list this week was three books by Katie Ashley, The Proposition; The Proposal; and The Party.  By Abbi Glines, Never Too Far.  I'm now reading an ARC and the latest episode of Blank Slate by Tiffany A Snow.  My music has been mainly Justin Timberlake and Pink.  Pink concert is on March 19th and I cannnot wait to go with my bestie Suzie!

Make good choices you guys.  It makes all the difference.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

And Then She Jumped

We're in the fifth week of the contest now and I'm still going strong.  This week has been crazy and my schedule has been thrown off.  We were at the Maroon 5 concert on Monday.  Owl City and Neon Trees opened for them.  It was an awesome show!  One of the best concerts I've ever been to.  One of the differences for me being at a concert this time is that I only drank water.  Yup... no beers, no mixed drinks... I paid probably $4 for a 20 ounce bottle of water.  And I was fine with it.  I couldn't tell you a concert that I didn't drink alcohol at unless I was under age.
Maroon 5~ The gorgeous Adam Levine

I have not been to the gym in the morning at all this week. With the snow storm, concert, and just being tired, I haven't had it in me.  I did do a lunchtime run with intervals the day of the concert.  I knew I needed to do something.  I'll be back on track and I'm not worried one bit.

Last night at training I had a breakthrough.  Usually Tanya mixes things up with me and we'll do strength and cardio in the sessions.  She had me do mountain climbers AND she knows how much I HATE them.  I also mentioned to her that I feel like I whine more throughout these sessions lately.  It's something I've been thinking about because I'm really not much of a whiner when I'm working out.  Just when it comes to mountain climbers... and jumping.  I hate jumping.  Wait, I already said that, didn't I?  All the mommies out there know why I hate it too, without going into too much detail.  But anyway, I got to pick my cardio "poison" for the last set.  I thought hard and decided on jump rope.  I think I shocked Tanya!  She and I joke about what happens when I jump and she knows it's bothersome.  At the same time, if it's something good for me, I know now I can put the discomfort out of my mind.  And I did.  20 seconds of jumping rope, 10 second rest.  Repeat for a total of four times.  The best part.... I survived.

Making changes and challenging myself is not easy.  In this case, the discomfort only lasted for two minutes. I don't feel like a kid again when I'm jumping rope.  But what I can tell you is that I felt good and accomplished.  Sure I can run for a long distance and sure I can lift some heavy weights and do pushups on my toes and not half ass a burpee.  But being able to jump and pushing through... that feeling is what I strive for each time I leave the gym or a finish a race.

On the days when I don't want to work out as hard or get up early or even eat a meal that I don't have to prepare, I know I need to remind myself about that feeling that I get.  I wish everyone could know what I'm talking about.

Monday is the next weigh in at the TV studio. I know I've done well, but I'm also anxious to see who's in the lead. Whether or not it's me, I know what I need to keep doing.

This week's reading, I finished Truth by Aleatha Romig (Tony Rawlings! Holy intense!) and Reckless by S.C. Stephens (I love Kellan Kyle).  I still have to write my reviews on Goodreads.  Right now I'm reading Never Too Far by Abbi Glines (Rush! Woods!) I also have still been listening to Pink and have thrown in some of the Glee songs.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lead me not into temptation

I truly believe that I am married to the most wonderful man in the world.  I love our love story and our life and the support that he gives me.  And during this contest having his support has meant more to me than I could ever express to him.

Temptation.  The other night I had a long and hard workout at the gym.  I came home and there was my dear husband sitting in his recliner with a bowl of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.  He had that look of guilt on his face.  When I asked him about his expression, he said he felt bad eating ice cream in front of me when he knew that I couldn't have it.

Here's what I'm learning...  I know what vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup tastes like.  And yes, I could have had some if I really wanted it.  But I didn't really want it.  I haven't really wanted it or other desserts since starting the contest.  His thinking that I "couldn't" have it is something that we have discussed.  There will be a day when I will have the ice cream.  That day is not today nor tomorrow nor any day in the next 10 weeks plus two days.  This is MY choice to not have the extra sweets and junk food and just stick with the food as it is given to me and the snacks that I know are not empty calories.

In almost four weeks, I have not had a soda, a candy bar, ice cream, candy, cake, sushi, a buffet, or other fast food.  I've been around it all.  I've noticed the difference in my body, particularly in the clothes I wear.  It's also nice to have others see the difference too.  There is food that I know I'll be excited to try again because I remember how good it all tasted.

There are days that I struggle when people at work are bringing pans of cakes and brownies and cookies.  No one is going to know if I have just one of something, right?  But I will know.  As tempting as it all is, it's just not worth it to me right now.

I feel like the tone of this post isn't exactly the happiest, but I do have some exciting news.  My team was picked in the lottery and we will be running the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon on June 22nd.  If you remember, this race will be on my 35th birthday.  I'm super excited to run this race!  This will be Race #6 for this year.

I also have done a ton of reading at the gym this week.  I finished up the Between the Lines books by Tammara Webber and I've started reading Truth (Consequences #2) by Aleatha Romig.  Great books!  I've also been listening to more Maroon 5 since the concert is on Monday.  I can't wait!  Adam Levine is so dreamy... :)  Maybe my next post will include the concert.

Until next time!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Race 1 of 2013

I'm finally posting about this first race.

Now, I'll be honest. I didn't run outside in the snow and cold since it was January.  No way was I going to do that.  I did the virtual race inside on the treadmill.  Time wasn't important to me as I'm trying to build up my mileage again.  I'm anxious to get back outside and run the lakes and paths.  Today I was 90 seconds from running my first sub40 5K on a treadmill!!

I stopped it at this point because I was so excited to reach the 40 min mark. Then I didn't snap a pic at the 3.1 mile mark, but you can do the math.  I know I would have made the mark, but I did slow down a bit to talk to a friend and I couldn't talk and run at the pace I was going. It was worth it though since it was a good convo. :)

When I complete race #2, I promise that I will have lots more detail about it. :)  The Get Lucky 7K is a course that I really like.  I'm hoping to get a time around an hour, which I think is totally doable!  Other racing news, during the week of February 25th my team will find out if we got into the lottery for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth on my birthday.  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tired does not equal hungry

I'm tired these days. Waking up and leaving the house by 5am to get to the gym is something new for me and I'm easing into it.  It makes for a really long day.  Really long.

Tuesday was a 5am gym day and when I got home from work, I thought I was hungry.  It was dinnertime and I had eaten a rather early lunch with no snack in the afternoon.  So as I start making dinner for the kids, they grabbed a bag of chips that we normally wouldn't have in the house.  I really wanted a handful of chips. Did I NEED them?  Absolutely not, but man they sounded really good... That greasy, salty bbq flavor that turns your fingers a reddish orangey color that you have to lick off your fingers. I didn't have any, and instead made my dinner. I knew I was more than tired and still getting used to being up by 5am. I was rightfully tired, but I wasn't starving.  Tired does not equal hungry.  I had to repeat that to myself.

Saying no to unhealthy snacks outside of my calories is hard, but it's not a huge struggle. I know there will be days where I feel differently. My kids don't quite get that I'm consistently eating a different meal than they are.  The other day the question was why can't I have anything from the restaurant we stopped at.  They've seen me on the commercial so they know that I'm trying something.  Hopefully they will notice the changes soon and really understand what I'm doing.  My coworkers are trying to not push the treats issue either. Sure I want a piece of cake, but I also don't want to derail what I've already begun. There will be more cake in the future.  I love good cake, especially ice cream cake! :)

I'm getting better at exploring the reasons why I think I want to eat. The boredom seems to be more apparent on the weekends and I try to keep us busy to avoid that.  These meals seem to keep me pretty full which is a great thing when I would graze some days on what we kept in the house.

Learning about food triggers is such an important step for me and really for anyone!  But it's such a process when you're also in the mindset that "one won't hurt anything" or "I'll make it up."  There's always a good excuse, right?

I'm going to keep up the morning workouts as much as I can fit in and keep reminding myself that tired does not equal hungry.  These days it's less about trying to be Supermom and getting to bed when I know I am tired.

What I read this week at the gym was Consequences by Aleatha Romig.  You can find my review on Goodreads.  I've been listening to a lot of Maroon 5 and Pink to get ready for the concerts I'm going to next month.  Can't wait to buy a smaller sized outfit for that! :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What a difference: Week 2 down

The other day I was a bit frustrated. I weighed myself knowing a week hadn't passed yet. I had also started the 2000 calories plan with Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating and thought I could make my own decisions on not eating the whole thing. I was wrong. The scale didn't move. Luckily it didn't move up.  Pity party anyone?

I had to tell myself I was being silly. The scale isn't the only measure of success. Yes in this contest the person who loses the highest percentage is the winner, but they will have to work for it too.  I was not going to let it ruin my day.  Luckily I have awesome supportive friends who are prepared to kick me in the butt and give me pep talks when I need them. 

I remembered this picture of myself taken a while ago when I was about to start my journey. I knew I was overweight and this picture was proof. So I made a "before and after" collage, as a lot of people do, to remind me how far I've come.

I am a work in progress.  This collage reminds me of that.  Right now, I am fortunate to have Seattle Sutton's meals and to not have to think and plan.  With the higher calories, I had to do that.  I had to decide how much to not eat because eating 2000 calories, I am not going to lose weight.  Maybe others can be successful on that plan, but it was too hard for me.

Yes, I lost eight pounds the first week and I felt great!  And I *know* that eight pounds is a big loss for anyone.  I know this.  But when you lose so much weight, you want it to keep going.  And I had to remind myself that my body might not want to lose the weight just yet.  I'm still learning. 

Monday when I pick up my meals, I'll be back to the 1200 calorie plan which worked for me the first week. I'm excited to start that again and keep up the workouts and lose more weight.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I'm a Slim Down Challenge Contestant!

***Disclaimer: I am not compensated for my blogging experience during this contest.  Everything I choose to write is my own experience.***

Some super exciting news!  It was officially announced on February 4th, that I am one of ten contestants in the Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating Slim Down Challenge.  I've been meaning to blog about all this for some time, but life happens, family emergencies happen, and we do what we have to do.

First question I seem to get asked is: How?  Well, I entered.  As simple as that.  The contest was no secret.  It was advertised on their Facebook page as well as their main website.  Along with the basic questions, I had to write a little bit about myself as to why I wanted them to choose me, what was my story and submit a picture of myself.  Pretty easy, right?

After I sent in my entry, I ended up getting a phone call about 2 or 3 weeks before the start.  It was from Brandi who interviewed me and told me a bit more about the contest.  I then had to wait until the week before the contest start for another phone call.  I was really really hoping for it to work out!  And it did.  I got the phone call, but couldn't tell anyone publicly on social media.

The morning of the challenge kickoff were met at a local tv studio.  That was pretty exciting of course.  We had a meeting, met the other contestants, had our "Before" pictures taken, our starting weights, and some blood work.  Oh and a brief interview on camera that would be used during the commercials.  I was a little nervous and I talk with my hands when I am.  We'll see how that works out. LOL!

After all this, we had to wait even longer during the day to tell everyone publicly (i.e., on Facebook and Twitter) that we had been chosen.  Immediately people were wishing me luck and congratulating me!  You can check out contestant information here.

The contest is 14 weeks long.  We are eating the meals that Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating makes.  We do not pay for the meals.  We do have weigh-ins about once a month and we will also have radio and tv ads.  The person who loses the highest percentage of body weight is the winner.

Next question I usually get: How's the food?  In all honesty, it's DELICIOUS! I was already making a lot of healthier choices so much of it was no big surprise to me.  I didn't have to get used to a new flavor for the most part.  This is REAL food!  It's all portioned out for me, and I'm definitely finding out that portions were my biggest struggle. As much as I work out in the gym, I guess I was also eating too much for weight loss. (But I have lost 3.5% body fat since joining the gym.)  When I say real food, I pick up the meals on Mondays and Fridays afternoons.  Nothing is frozen!  I get fresh fruits!  And you know how quickly that can spoil.

I know there are tons of more questions out there, and I am happy to answer them the best that I can.

One final thing I will say... 14 weeks is NOT a long time when you are on a weight loss/healthiness journey.  I know this.  I also know that the weight I do lose during this contest, is not going to be ALL the weight that I NEED to and want to lose.  I will still need to do work afterwards and I'm committed to that.  I'm so grateful for this opportunity!  I can't say that enough!  But this contest, it's just another path along the way towards my healthier life.  And it's definitely already jumpstarted a weight loss for me.  I lost eight pounds the first week!  I know I won't have that kind of loss every week, but being consistent in the 100's now has been an awesome feeling.

And the books I read this week: I received an ARC of Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren. I also read Taking Chances by Molly McAdams. I ugly cried starting at 56% until about 89% I swear.  I loved the book, but I can't put myself through that kind of emotion again.  My playlist this week included Fu-Shnickens, Missy Elliott, Eminem, and One Direction.  Quite the mix!

Until next time... Be well!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dear Failure?

Right now, there are so many people I know who feel like they've failed. Let me ask you this: would you want to receive a letter with the greeting "Dear Failure"?  Yeah, I didn't think so.

So why are you beating yourself up? Why are you so stuck on staying in this rut?  What changed that you stopped going after your goals?  You know how you can be encouraging to so many others... find that in YOURSELF.  Find that fire inside you.  Find that feeling you get when you finish that mile, that workout, that race, that set of burpees... that high that makes you feel unstoppable!!

We've started Body Blast again and one of the newer girls to the gym was saying that she thinks she's going to die before the end of the week.  I tried to tell her not to give up, that we've been doing the class a long time and we can guess what type of workouts we'll be getting.  I told her about the progress I've made since joining the gym.  I'm hoping that she's less discouraged and knows that all she has to do it try.

If you're feeling discouraged, you're allowed to feel that way. just don't let it be all that you're feeling.  Relook at your goals, ask yourself why you started in the first place and NEVER EVER GIVE UP!

                                     YOU GOT THIS!!!!!!!!
If you need another pep talk, let me know.  You know that saying, "That negative voice inside your head is a liar."  I need just as many cheerleaders in my corner to keep me going.

(In case you wondered, I just got done reading The Perfect Game by J. Sterling and I've started reading Turning Point by Tiffany A. Snow which I received an advanced copy of.  I've also been listening to a lot of Swedish House Mafia, Kelly Clarkson, Eminem, and Nelly. I'm hoping next post to include a playlist of songs that I've worked out to during the week.)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What's the rush?

Life as a mom, there are so many days when it's RUSHRUSHRUSH to get everything done, and yet there's always something that gets forgotten.  I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.  Here's what a busy weekday for me looks like:

  • Wake up after hubby has already left for work. Go get boys out of bed, usually taking a good amount of cajoling for about 5 mins.  Eventually get everyone dressed and out of the house, drop boys off at daycare, get to work.
  • Eat breakfast, drink coffee throughout morning and eat lunch and work eight hour day.
  • Leave work, pick up boys from daycare unless hubby has been able to work eight hours, listen to lots of questions, say no a bunch of times.
  • Let dog out and feed him and make dinner waiting for hubby to get home.  Some days I'm making a dinner for the family and one for myself.  Dishes, laundry, that whole bit.
  • Get to gym, sometimes by 6:30. but usually later unless meeting trainer at 7pm each Wednesday.  Work out.  Leave gym anywhere from 8:30-9:00, depending on when I got there.  Hubby has put kids to bed.
  • Get home, shower, read book or watch tv usually have a post-workout snack. Usually I'm asleep by Midnight.
Phew! Compared to some moms, this isn't much at all. But when I'm busy, I'm busy and it seems like so much work to get to the gym or make a healthy meal for myself.  I try to do some meal planning and I also have my rest days from the gym.  For the most part, I know we are a busy family.

I've also learned to appreciate this busyness and what I've figured out is that even though I think I'm rushing so much, am I really?

Lately, I've been blowing through soo many books on my Kindle!  There was even a day that I rushed to the gym so that I could even finish reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.  I was at the end of the book and just had to finish it, but also needed to get to the gym!  An hour later on the stationary bike and I was done!!  (I'm also in love with Travis Maddox btw and can't wait for Walking Disaster from his point of view!) Some of the other books I've done this with are:
  • Thoughtless and Effortless by S.C. Stephens
  • The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen
  • Rock Stars Do It series by Jasinda Wilder (she's one of my absolute fave authors!)
  • Easy by Tammara Webber
  • Where I Need to Be by Kimberly Knight
I think I've been reading a book about every other day, if not going through a book a day.  I'll get to the gym, plug in the music so I can focus and just read and read.  I can do this on the treadmill between running, on the bike and also the stair climber.

And the maybe not so crazy thing is that I don't feel guilty when I'm rushing to the gym to do some exercise and read my books.  Yes, I have to stop when I'm lifting weights or running, but I'm happy with my gym routine. And that's because I've fit it in.  I used to have the excuse that I didn't have time for the gym or workouts, but that was really a crappy excuse.  I had time to spend dinking around on the computer or watching tv.  I wish I didn't have to go to the gym so much later in the day, but it works for me!  I spend time with my kids and they also get a little bit of "Daddy time" while I'm gone.

So am I really rushing?  Even though I feel like it, I realize, I'm not overly stressed out.  I have moments of course, but overall, I am enjoying life and I have such a good attitude compared to a couple years ago.  For those that feel like they're rushing all the time, ask yourself why you feel that way.  Is it something that you can change?  Do you need to tweak something, make a compromise with someone?  And also realize, that you aren't alone in how you're feeling.  You may be rushing for a completely different reason than the next person AND THAT'S OKAY!  But remember to slow down every once in a while so the little things in life don't pass you by.  Unless you're rushing to get to the end of the book cuz I always have to know the ending.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fire in my belly - an honest post

My week started off with so many amazing things, and then something happened yesterday that made me feel like I just took two steps back.  Something that seemed like it might be a setback in reaching my goals.

So what do you do with emotions?  Grab a candy bar and soda (pop) from the vending machine?

I let it out with a few friends and I talked with my trainer.  And I was mad.  But my anger made me think of a passage in one of my fave books.
"You feel that rage inside? Burning hot in the pit of your stomach?"... "That's what's going to keep you alive, " he said. "Hold on to it. Fear will only sign your death warrant.  Stay mad, princess."  [Turn to Me, by Tiffany A. Snow]

So what am I taking from that passage? I'm staying mad.  I'm not going to let it occupy my happiness and I'm not going to be a complete bitch for the next however long.  But what I am going to do is not be afraid.  I am going to step up to the challenge and maybe I need to turn the other cheek so that life goes on.  I'm going to work hard and I'm going to get this weight off. 

I'm tired of every crappy thing that comes across my path and wants to be a road block.  I've struggled with so much my whole life, from being one of the only non-white families in a small town and having to overcome racism, to being incredibly awkward while growing up because I didn't wear the right clothes or like the "cool' things, to being the woman in college that other women hated and called names because the guys didn't talk to them but to me, to still being the fat girl in the family!!  I'm so tired of dealing with all that crap.  And this new roadblock, I'm already tired of it and it's bullshit.  So yeah, I'm mad.  I'm fucking furious!!!  This is real.  This is my life and I am going to work hard because my goals are MY goals and I'll be putting in the blood, sweat and tears.

If you want to get in my way, be ready.  Be ready for a fight.  I haven't given up.  This isn't a game to me.  I'm not taking the easy way out.  I will meet every challenge and launch myself over it and in the end, I'll be the one standing up on my own two feet.  And I'll put out my own fire when I find myself there.