Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Update!

Hello, fabulous readers!

I'm just writing a quick update on what's been happening in my little world...

Fitness. Going great! I've been doing my workout programs (Piyo and Chalean Extreme) daily. My "rest" days are typically active rest days and I use those to do a lower intensity Piyo workout. I may miss a day here and there (like last week - I wasn't feeling so hot so I took a rest day), but then I double up later on to make up those workouts. Those generally become two-a-day workout days, with one in the morning and one in the evening. Generally those take up larger chunks of time. There are days that I split my Piyo and CLX workouts and do one in the morning and one in the evening. That generally equates to an hour or a little more per day. 

I am absolutely loving Piyo.  It's a little hard on the hands (Chalene says that is due to "wrist flexibility," which makes sense as I feel it in the heel of my hand).  Piyo definitely makes my arms shake sometimes.  What I love is that there are modifications for the workouts. If there is a day that I am super sore from CLX, then I may take it easy during Piyo by using some of the modifications.  I've noticed that since doing Piyo my flexibility has improved and I'm not feeling as sore during other activity like some of the CLX workouts.  I like seeing how I'm improving throughout the various Piyo workouts... My down dog, for example,  has improved.  Before I was on my toes and unable to get my heels pushed all the way back. Now? I can drive those heels into the floor!

CLX is going well. I'm already in the Lean Phase. This is the longest I've stuck with CLX and I'm currently having a love-hate relationship with it.  I feel like this is the hardest phase for me. I find myself missing the Push phase... I really liked using the higher weight/lower rep format of the workouts.  The Lean phase workouts are a bit longer (40-45 minutes versus 30-35) and they're more intense. The majority of the exercises work multiple body parts... For example one exercise is a squat with an overhead press. I won't say that I hate this phase but it's not my favorite so far (I am only on my second week though so hopefully my near dislike for it will improve).  I think that some of the moves are a little more complicated than others so it took me a bit to really get into them and I'm still adjusting my weights to see what works best for me right now. Adjusting the weights should happen throughout the program anyway, but that first time through each workout was a little difficult for me.  Hopefully I'll be more in like with this phase by the end of this week.

Eating is going pretty well. I'm cooking a lot more than I had been. I continue to try new recipes (most are a success although a couple have not been my favorite - and one I think I messed up a little!). I continue to struggle on the weekends which I think is a common problem.  I may treat myself to a beer or a couple glasses of wine once a week but that's been about it lately. Weekend meals seem to be better when I am prepared for them. I think that menu planning full weeks really helps me to stay on track when Saturday and Sunday roll around. Without having a plan of action, it is easy to go pick up a pizza or something like that. We did go out last weekend for Sweetest Day but we have been staying in much more. I honestly can't remember the last time we picked up pizza (maybe a month ago?) so that's good.

I'm really trying to get my Beachbody coaching business off the ground but so far I'm not having much luck. My upline says not to worry - that it's early and it takes time.  Another girl in my orientation group posted having the same difficulty so I guess I'm not alone.  I post often about my workouts and how much I love them on various social media but so far no bites. That's frustrating but I'll give it a bit longer before I say goodbye to coaching.  Everything needs to be given a little time, right? This is my Beachbody Coach page,  please feel free to visit if you are interested in any information about Beachbody, or even just to give me feedback on the page.  I'm really not trying to use my blog to push my business, however since it is part of my journey I will be posting about it now and then.  If I come across something new or fun I may share that but I promise I will not be pushing my business on here. I know my readers are here to keep up on my journey, not to be the target of sales pitches....But I'm letting you know it's out there and I'm available for anyone who is interested. Okay, that's enough of that.

I'm pretty excited about dinner this evening. I was going to make quinoa and turkey sausage stuffed acorn squash that I found on Pinterest one night last week but ended up having leftovers instead.  So, I'm FINALLY making it tonight. It looks so delicious - I cannot wait to make it!! Finishing out the work day, a workout, and then dinner time will finally be here.... I know I'm excited for a meal when I'm counting down the hours.

Well, it looks like it's about time for me to get back to work. I hope you're all doing well and staying healthy!!

XOXO

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Just Checking In!

Hey all!  I guess it's been a bit since I've been on here to post. I'm not quite sure what I've been doing...I just haven't been posting much. I guess that means it's time for another update.

I've been continuing to do Chalean Extreme with some other activity (walking, running, and hiking - less running than walking and hiking).  I recently ordered Piyo (another truly awesome BB workout program) and I'm in my third week of incorporating that into my schedule.  A typical workout day for me is whatever CLX workout is scheduled along with whatever Piyo workout is scheduled. There are some days that I may skip one or the other - generally if I skip something it's Piyo.  Like yesterday I had Piyo core and CLX extreme abs scheduled. I skipped Piyo core since I was already doing the CLX ab workout.  CLX is my primary program which is why I choose to do those workouts over Piyo.  There is a hybrid calendar for these programs but since I was about a month into CLX when I purchased Piyo, I decided to just throw it in the mix.

I have not been running much at all lately. My last run was a 5K a few weeks ago - and even that included some walking. My race partner isn't a "runner" and with me not running so much we needed our little walk breaks. But hey, at least we were out doing something (and included a decent amount of running), right? over the last few weeks I've been either hiking with friends (about once a week) and/or walking the dogs once or twice.  Now that it's cooler and it's fall maybe I'll get out and run a bit more. Then again, I hate running in the cold, so who knows! I feel like this year my perfect running temps weren't seen all that often. It was either too warm or too cold when I wanted to run.  It's funny how when I'm doing it just for exercise I act like a baby about it. But when I'm going to a race, I just get it done.  I guess the whole race atmosphere (and the fact that I've paid for it!) is something big to me.

I've had continued issues with my knee. Ever since I fell on it that day (oh and fell on it again since then - not as hard, but definitely enough to aggravate it) I've had difficulties. Luckily chiropractic adjustments keep me going pretty well.  I've noticed that it will start to ache sometimes when I try to run or walk too far, so I typically slow my pace.  My friend and I hiked about six miles the other day. Our hike included lots of steps and trails, one of which was comprised of some pretty good inclines.  I felt myself slowing toward the end because my knee really started to hurt.  After the hike I noticed that any major motion (like going up steps) made it hurt worse.  It felt like something needed to pop inside. Fortunately I had an appointment with my Chiropractor and got that adjusted right away. It's feeling better now.

This whole knee thing kind of freaks me out. Given that six miles of hiking aggravated it but a 5K did not, I'm thinking that longer distances might be out of the mix for me.  A 10K (6.2 miles) might be the max that I can tolerate.  I wonder how long this will last! I may have to stick to 5K distances and just work on my speed and endurance.  I would love to do another long race (like a half marathon) but I wonder if that's in the cards for me anymore.  I guess only time will tell.

I've been eating mostly healthy. Weekends are still my struggle. I guess it's just a fun thing to go out to eat sometimes on the weekends.... And my boyfriend and I really like to go places. That and I feel like his snack load increases over the weekend. I'm usually within my calories because we only eat one meal some days but that is not healthy either!! I've cut down on alcohol (not that I've had much anyway) and if I do have some it's when we're out for dinner.  I think we've gotten better on going out, but we still do the take out thing sometimes....Which in terms of food isn't great. Although, that does mean I don't have any beer with dinner so it's a little better than if we were at a restaurant. I do continue to workout on the weekends. Sometimes I may change my rest day around and take a weekend rest day, but typically I squeeze in at least one of my workouts.

I've been putting a lot of recipes and photos of what I'm eating on my Facebook page. I like to try new things and see what other people are eating and since the page corresponds with the blog, I have been posting quite a bit there.  I did so much cooking last week that this week I haven't done much. I'm calling it "Leftovers Week" because that's basically what's being eaten at my house.  Except for last night...Last night I wasn't all that hungry (because I snacked on some of the boyfriend's junk - ugh no willpower, I tell ya!) so I drank a Muscle Milk. I'll be cleaning out the refrigerator tonight and getting some shopping done this weekend... So by next week I should be back to cooking and posting more.  I have some new recipes on my list as well as some that I've made before.  While I'm not on a low carb diet, I'm finding that a lot of my foods seem to go that direction.  I cook a lot of low carb and paleo-friendly recipes. The paleo recipes tend to be more healthy and natural.  Low carb seems to include a lot of high sodium, processed foods, so I try to lean toward the paleo recipes more often than traditional low carb.  Again, I'm not following a specific diet - just trying to eat clean.

That brings me to the scale.  Remember how last time I posted I had dropped a few pounds? Well it's back... I've cleaned up my eating and increased my exercise and those few little pounds came back. What. The. Heck!? I've read that with new exercise programs you can see that but considering I'm ending the Push phase of CLX if it was from changing up exercise routines, it seems like I would've lost it by now. 

CLX is based a lot on ST, including really working to build muscle. I have obviously started building some muscle. My shoulders look a lot bigger - but not fat bigger, muscle bigger. My boyfriend noticed it a week or two ago and commented on it. He said I looked strong and he also happened to think it's sexy.  I know that when people do weight training they generally are working to increase muscle which means they're not aiming on weight loss.  I've read conflicting information about the concept of gaining muscle while losing weight. Sometimes I don't know if these opinions are from people who are just focused on bodybuilding or what... But here's the thing, when you have weight to loose, muscle helps to burn fat.  Combined with a calorie target to decrease pounds, it seems logical to me that someone would then lose weight. Many people who've done CLX have LOST weight. That's kinda the point. 

So here I am, building muscle, looking and feeling tighter, and gaining weight.  What I do with CLX is increase my weight as needed.... I think my view on it and the other ST work I do is different than others who may do CLX.  I WANT to build muscle. However, I do also want to lose weight...Which should be happening. But maybe because I am increasing my weights for exercises, my body is continuing to experience a change. My muscles are sore when I'm done. I suppose it's possible that with the increased weight each week and the addition of Piyo (which includes a lot of body weight exercises), my weight is effected.

So here is what I am trying to do... Ignore that dang scale.  I'm a person who has had a constant battle with the scale. I've been obsessed with it. I've allowed my mood to be dictated by the numbers on the scale.  I think that paying too much attention to the damn scale allows me to sabotage myself.  I've been weighing in about once a week (and as of today I am down a couple pounds compared to last weekend - although it has been pre-TOM and TOM time so who knows how accurate my weight truly is right now!).

I am not giving up the scale completely. I feel like it is a good measure to help keep me in check. However, I have to find a way to do that and not feel bad about myself.  My measurement day is coming up in a couple days and I'm excited to see what changes have occurred in the last month.  If I don't see changes there, I may have a mini-meltdown. With as toned as I am looking, I'd surely think that there will be a change there. I've been working hard so I really hope to see a change. Seriously... I need something positive to help measure my progress!!!  I suppose the way my body feels should be enough, right?  I do feel like some of my clothes are fitting differently, so I should look at that too. For some reason the numbers get me though... I'm still working on how not to let them bug me.  The struggle IS constant. And real, yo.

Not seeing the change on the scale is particularly frustrating when I'm working so hard. The other part is an internal battle with myself for allowing myself to gain weight.  I've seen pictures of myself recently (okay, I'm slightly obsessed with looking at them) from a few years ago, when I hit my lowest weight.  Looking at those pictures is NOT good for me.  I'm obsessing over where I was and how I'm not there now. And it is making me feel horrible. And it's probably causing me some self-sabotage. On the flip side, that's my goal...And it's good to visualize that. I now know where I want to be - and where I felt comfortable. At that time I felt I wasn't skinny enough. Guess what! I WAS. Maybe I needed to gain a crap ton of weight to realize that I had reached a point that would be healthy for me.  Okay, lesson learned, let's get back there... Universe? You listening? Body, are YOU listening? Brain? Are you on board? Okay... We're all here....We know.  Let's do this.

For now, I'm focusing on continuing to clean up my eating (that is definitely a constant STRUGGLE - caps for emphasis on how much of a struggle it can be) and working out. I'm focusing on the feeling in my body and the appearance of my body....the muscle changes, how clothing fits... That kind of thing. I'm really going to try to focus on being healthy and less on the numbers (for what feels like the millionth time).

That's about it for now!! Goal two-- consistently blog again.

Hope you're well!!

XOXO


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

That's Bananas. Literally.

saw a post today that there is a new (or at least new to me) diet that is popular on Instagram. It's a banana diet. Those who engage in this strange (in my opinion) diet eat nothing but bananas. Apparently the standard is 30 bananas a day. A large banana is over 100 calories. That's over 3000 calories a day... In bananas. That's more calories than most of us need. That's also an amount of potassium that I can't imagine is good for a person (over time). 

Being the curious person that I am, I had to check it out. So I went to Instagram and typed in bananaisland in the hashtag search. There are over 14,000 pictures that are associated with that hashtag. I guess people are enjoying their bananas. One girl noted that she ate 20 and was aiming for more the next day. I. Don't. Get. It.  Of course I don't get most fad diets... Or diets in general. Is it really so hard to just eat healthy food? Why do so many people have to follow diets these days? Healthy eating will lead to the results you want while benefitting your body rather than putting it at risk. The only thing I can come up with is instant gratification. People want the results with little effort. Fad diets are like diet pills... Totally unnecessary. 

What was more disturbing to me is that I came across a post where a girl had also used the hashtag "Ana."  For those of you who don't know, that stands for anorexia. And "Mia" is for bulimia. They are typically associated with the proana and promia communities. These are people who want to have an eating disorder and choose to live this lifestyle. Eating disorders are mental disorders that lead to severe physical illnesses. Most people who develop them do so for other reasons. No matter the cause both are difficult.  The fact that people seek it out as a lifestyle choice still freaks me out. I wrote a paper on it in grad school and did a ton of research. What I found was disturbing and frightening. These issues are still highly prevalent and yet they still seem to be a taboo topic. Or maybe it's that they've been around for so long people don't talk about them anymore. The truth is that they are still here and millions of people live with them every day.   

I tried to search proana and promia hashtags on Instagram. Those hashtags must be banned because I found zero results. However #ana and #mia yield numerous results. Over five million posts each. 

 


One thing that I was glad to see was that my phone showed concern over me searching those hashtags. I was also given the opportunity to learn more about ED based on those searches. 



Thanks, Instagram. I think it is awesome that you include some useful information and send an alert out to users. I was honestly surprised about that... In a good way. I'm happy to see that a social networking app has that included. Very cool. 

Interestingly, the hashtags for bingeeating, bingeeatingdisorder, and emotionaleating had different results. Some still lead to pictures of astonishingly thin girls. Some showed unhealthy foods; what people were about to binge on, and many showed various pictures linked to success overcoming the disease. The foodaddiction hashtag was linked to various pictures of food but not as much was related to addiction as it was showing yummy looking food photos. 

Fad diets are bad diets. But they really get my mind going. Of course, eating disorders are one of those things I'm passionate about. I could spend hours researching and reading. It's disturbing and emotionally draining but that's because it's real. ED is out there and isn't going anywhere. The proana and promia culture seems to be growing. I wish there was more awareness and education was out there. It seems so silent... And there is such a need for it. 

That's another reason I try to stay so positive on this blog... And in life in general. Living healthy is so freeing. I try to advocate for living a healthy life. For some, like me, that's resulted in weight loss.  It has been good for my health and my mental well-being. Now I live healthy because I like it. Can I stand to lose a few pounds? Yes. Is it an obsession? No. I really try to focus more on what I do right - fueling my body with healthy foods and staying active as a way of life rather than a means to an end (for me that would be weight loss). At the end of the day your health is what matters. The size of your jeans or the numbers on the scale can be used as measures but shouldn't be relied on for anything other than that. If you are living healthy your body will get where it needs to be. 

Please know that sometimes you need extra support and help getting there. And that is totally okay. There's nothing wrong with asking for help. And I believe it makes you stronger. Honestly, it takes a strong person to say "I need help." It's easy to hide from any issues in life. It's a lot easier to pretend they are not there than it is to face them. We all have that strength somewhere inside if us... Even though society attaches a stigma to whatever it is we are dealing with, we are strong. I think that people don't often share their struggles or ask for help because there is negativity associated with it... Which needs to change. It's okay to say "I messed up" or "I have this problem." It's being honest. Someone might be disappointed in you for something but they'll respect you for your honesty. They will also be more likely to help you out if you go to them and are totally honest. No excuses... Just own it... Whatever it might be. 

I always tell people that when I changed my lifestyle it was like a switch went off. I saw a picture and thought "I'm 29 and I look like that." I had to admit to myself that I was morbidly obese. It took a picture and the beginning of the last year of my 20s for me to allow myself to be okay with the fact that I was so obese. Once I did that, making the change was easy. 

"You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

Happy Wednesday....

XOXO


Monday, September 15, 2014

A New Week Begins...

How do weekends go by so fast?! Seriously it's like the start and end way quicker than they should. I guess we all feel that way sometimes though don't we?!

Our weekend was good... Allergies were still making me a bit miserable and then my boyfriend started feeling yucky too. He spent most of Saturday just laying around on the couch. And I made him go shopping with me. Poor guy. I offered for him to stay home but he didn't mind riding along to the craft store... Which turned into the Halloween store. And Party City. And dinner. And then the mall. We probably spent the most time at Buffao Wild Wings so I didn't totally wear him out. I was pretty much in and out of Party City and Hobby Lobby. Our post-dinner walk through the mall was pretty quick too. So he survived. And then we went home and lounged and went to end early. Other than a workout (for me) we didn't do much except watch football on Sunday. I think we both needed to rest. I think I'm finally starting to feel better. I woke up not feeling super gross this morning so that's good. He seems better this eving. Hopefully we will both be back to normal when we wake up tomorrow!

Back to Saturday... That was my rest day from working out as well as the day I decided to have my splurge meal. That was poorly planned. I feel like I should get more exercise than walking around the mall and a couple stores on a day I'm gonna chose to eat a splurge meal. But Hobby Lobby isn't open on Sundays and I kinda knew if we drove out of town it would include dinner. So we went to BW's and I indulged in a couple beers and some wings. Here's a fun fact for those we may not know... They will cook your wings "naked" like they do their Naked Tenders. You can get your sauce on the side so you're eating less of the "bad" stuff. Don't get me wrong, even naked wings are not healthy. Maybe they'd be better of they were grilled or baked rather than deep fried. Anyway so I got traditional wings naked. I used a lot less sauce than I would've if I had ordered them the regular way; tosses in sauce. Also, I used to get the boneless wings because they weren't as messy to eat. Well boneless wings are breaded. So no more boneless. By dipping the traditional wings in a little sauce it's a lot less messy than eating them when tenure tossed in sauce. Messy factor? Much improved with sauce on the side. 

For some of you... A day like that is called cheat day.  Or a cheat meal. I refuse to call it cheating. Cheating at anything is "bad" in my mind. So why would I want to give a negative connotation to something I'm doing? Calling it cheat day or a cheat meal (I won't do a full day - just a meal and/or drinks once a week). I like to keep things as positive as I possible. By calling it a splurge I feel better. This probably doesn't bother most people, as I see frequent posts about "cheat day" but for me... Not so much.

Yesterday was back to working out. It felt good after a day off. I just did a short workout yesterday - the next phase of Chalean Extreme. This is the Push phase and each exercise is only 6-8 reps. BUT... Ya gotta lift as heavy as possible. I lifted pretty heavy (for me and compared to the last phase) but I think I can go heavier with most of the moves. In fact I know I can. I'm excited to see how heavy I go next time I do that workout which will be next Sunday. The next workout is tomorrow and I'm pretty stoked for that one as well! 

Today was another "rest" day on the CLX schedule. I made it an active rest day. I did a strength circuit with my barbell and a Jillian Michaels DVD - Yoga Meltdown. I've gotta say... As much as I like Jillian and her workouts (I have several of her DVDs and did them often in the past)zzz I love my Beachbody workouts more. Insert shameless plug for becoming my customer or joining me as a coach here... Just contact me if you're interested! 

Seriously though, and all sales pitches aside, I've loved everything about the BB workouts I've done/purchased. They're something I really look forward to. I like the design and the professionals on the DVDs. The time flies by (love the counters by the way!) and I feel motivated throughout. These programs are suuuuch a good match for me!! So anyway I missed my workout today and realized I need to get my Rockin Body DVDs back from someone who borrowed them. They're not all that intense for me but they would be perfect for my active rest days. They involve some activity but aren't something that's too intense for me. Perfect. Now hopefully I can get them back before the next one! 

At any rate... My body feels the work I did today. I have a love-hate relationship won yoga. It's good for my body and is a decent workout. But it sucks soooo bad when I'm doing it. I was kinda disappointed today because I think I was able to so the moves with more ease when I did it in the past. Of course I probably wasn't as tight then so there's that. At any rate from the barbell and yoga I feel sore and refreshed all in one. Oh and my triceps are still sore from yesterday! 

Well I suppose that's it for now...
Gonna chat with the man and pay more attention to Raw, the Tigers game, and Monday Night Football... We are currently  flipping between all three. TV with a man... Always an adventure! 

Oh!!! I almost forgot my exciting news. Saturday weigh-in! I was down seven pounds from Tuesday morning. I'm sure that was mostly water weight and I'd been hanging on to some extra since we ate out a few times in the days before Tuesday but that's okay... That's seven ponds down. That's seven pounds out of my system. That's toxins flushed away. That's motivation. I know I won't drop that much this week so I'm taking it while I can and I'm continuing to work hard.  Okay... Now I'm done! 

Have a great week!!

XOXO

Friday, September 12, 2014

Allergies... Yuck.

Today my workout was... Done. That's about all I can say about it that was good. But some kind of workout was better than no workout at all. I worked following the modified moves on the DVD and at a lower intensity than normal. When following the modifiers the intensity should still be there. It's just at a lower level of impact. Today that did not happen in my workout. Why? The weather changed. This caused my allergies to go crazy and wreak havoc on my body. Yay. I honestly felt like skipping the workout but really felt like I had to do something. I had four lightheaded episodes this morning (in a short period of time) so I was sure to drink a lot of water and scale back the effort I put in. I made it through the workout without incident.  And didn't have any additional feelings of fainting throughout the day. I actually felt a little better after. Maybe the combination of sweating and a hot shower after helped clear some of the gunk out of my head. 

Even though my cardio wasn't as intense and felt like a bit of a struggle, the yoga part of my workout felt really good. I have a love-hate relationship with yoga. Sometimes it seems SO painful but my body feels SO good after. Feeling those muscles stretch is something I absolutely love. And when I'm done I feel relaxed. It's definitely a great way to get the day started! 

Eating has been so on-point the second half of this week (the man and I weren't so good on Monday or Tuesday - not a lot just not healthy) and I feel amazing. I've done a lot of prepping and cooking this week and haven't had any junk. It's like my body is happily detoxing from all the nastiness that I put in it last weekend! Honestly being back into he swing of things makes me not only feel good but feel more committed to my healthy lifestyle. I miiiiight have taken a peak at the scale today (will actually weigh in tomorrow) and have lost a few pounds since earlier his week. That's most likely water weight but that's okay. It's nice to know it's getting out of my system and taking toxins with it!

I guess that's the update for now... Nothing Earth shattering, I know. While I feel better I'm onto to feeling normal so I guess that must impact on how much I want to type. I think we are both ready to get to bed for the night... I have to go to the craft store and get some other things tomorrow so we are going to get up and make a trip out of town. We haven't decided if we will go. North or South yet but we know we are going go one of the bigger towns (one to one and a half hours away either direction) to do some shopping. It might be safer to go North or to the closer town South of here. There are fewer stores that I like in those places... Less damage to be done. Although with shopping I can always cause some damage! 

Havr a happy, healthy weekend!!

XOXO

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Two Months?!?!

I'm here to silence the crickets that have been chirping on this blog lately! Gosh! I can't believe it's been two moths since I've blogged. I suppose I've been busy but that's not a good reason to not post. The main reason though is that I haven't taken the time to post. There really is no reason for not taking time. I just haven't done it. 

I am not going to take the time to re-cap everything that's gone on in the last two months because that would take multiple posts. I'll keep the recap fairly short and just update on what's been current. That seems much more reasonable at this point in time. 

It was a fun summer... Weddings, time with family and friends, a couple quick trips, and getting really far off track in terms of being healthy. There was more alcohol consumption and eating out  than what's normal for me. So.... That brings me to what's current. 

I'm back to being healthy. I'm committed.  I'm feeling excellent and unstoppable. And those things? Make me feel amazing, confident, and just great in general. 

I've done a couple races this summer. Two color runs in August and September. Both were with my boyfriend's cousin and we had a blast. The first color run was her first race ever and I'm so. Happy to have been the one to get her into it.  Naturally we wore tutus and fun shirts, socks, and glasses. We did the same for the second race. I have to admit we did more walking and goofing around than we did running.  But that's okay. We were able to do something fun and good for us. We will be doing a clown race (yes we will dress up like clowns!) on the 20th of this month. I think I'm slowly getting her to run more during the races so that's good. I'm convinced to show her the joy in it! 

I've been doing Chalean Extreme (CLX) again and am loving it. I'm following the actual program rather than varying it to meet my needs. I'm also happy to share that I've stuck with it longer than I have before.  I'm actually following it rather than throwing it in whenever. In the past I'd follow it and then kind of let it go and do whatever whenever. I'm at the end of the first phase this week. I cannot wait to start the second!!

In addition to CLX. I'm doing extra strength training with my barbell. In doing that I've realized I'm much stronger than I gave myself credit for. I can squat and dead lift 100 pounds... Probably more but my total weight for my bar and all the weight plates is 100 pounds. I'm thinking I need more plates for the bar!!! I'm also adding in other cardio... Some walking (my running has been less than what it should be lately) and other Turbofire workouts. I'm loving it!!! It feels good to be back in action.  

In other news... I've decided to post healthy foods on my FB page (Little Miss Powerful). I'm including photos of the new, healthy things that I try as well as the recipes. My diet has suffered this summer as well. Too much booze and too much unhealthy food. I'm completely back into the swing of things with that too. I'm following a mostly paleo plan to help get myself back into healthy eating. I tend to need to be strict with myself at first and then once I am back into those good habits, I will be able to ease up a bit. That's because it becomes habit. Once you are in the habit of doing sorthig, it's easy. It takes time and patience but you can get there if to you're dedicated. For me, being more strict and carefully watching what I do helps get me into those new habits. I'm sure it's different for everyone but bring diligent most definitely helps. 

I've also made the decision to get back into Beachbody coaching!! Last time I did it mostly got the discount on products. This time I am fully committed. I love the BB programs and really believe I their health and fitness philosophy. The coaches I know seem to genuinely want to help people.  And that's why I have decided to join again - and go active. I'm not in this to try to make a bunch of money or be a saleswoman. I'm in it to share my passion for health and fitness and my love for BB with others.  I feel like this is a great way for me to integrate health and fitness into my career. I'm educated and trained to be able to perform psychotherapy. It's what I love. Counseling others is something I some born to do. And to eventually be able to integrate health and fitness/wellness is something that I am so excited to do. I really feel that BB will help me get there. Also? Coaching will help keep me accountable!

That's the update for now.  I will be back to posting frequently. This blog is another thing that helps me with accountability and helps me to feel good. I love sharing my story, my knowledge, and what I'm doing with all of you. 

XOXO






Friday, July 11, 2014

TGIF!

I'm so happy it's Friday afternoon! I'm actually quite surprised that it is here so quickly.... This week just flew right by! I've been busy so I suppose that helps! I have a few things I want to do (fun stuff!) and others that I'd like to accomplish this weekend, so I'm sure it will seem to fly by faster than the week did!

After I got home from work, I went out on my first run for M! I thought of him a lot during the run, and stopped when running by one of our beaches to snap a pic to share on FB. I ran for longer than 30 minutes (about 45, but I did take a couple walk breaks because I forgot to put KT on my knee!) as I thought I might.  After that I had enough time to shower and "get ready" for my little evening out.

Last  night my Mom and I had our little "date." I ended up getting the lobster nachos (and probably more 312s than necessary on a Thursday night...Or any night, really) for dinner (ohhhh so delicious!) and had enough left overs for, at least, lunch today.  However, I ended up getting an "unwich" from Jimmy John's because there's a guy re-doing my basement window. I always feel weird about being home when someone I don't really know is there doing something. I'd be upstairs but I'd still feel almost "in the way." And I don't want to have to engage in unnecessary small talk with someone who I don't really know (my Dad knows him). So, no nachos for me. Maybe I'll have them for dinner this evening... I guess it'll depend on how late my boyfriend works and whether or not I need to make dinner.

Annnnyway....

On the way to dinner we stopped by a local shop (Gordy's Skate Company) so that I could have my running tank made.  They do screen printing as well as sell skateboards, apparel, and accessories. My friend's family owns it so of course I wanted to give them my business....Plus another friend got a cute shirt form there recently and I wanted to pick up something similar. Anyway...My tank... I LOVE it! It's white with pink at the bottom and I had them put "I Run For M..." on the front in hot pink letters. 

The best part of that visit was when my friend asked me about it (she'd seen it posted on FB)... So I told her a little bit about M and about the IRun4 program. Another girl working in the store (the one who made my tank) also stopped and listened to me talk about it. Both of them thought it was a super cool program.  My friend said she'd throw a sticker in my bag for him. And then a moment later she said, "hang on a sec... I'm going to throw something else in there if you don't mind the postage." Of course I didn't mind. I thought maybe she had some other little trinket behind the counter or in the back.  She grabbed a little blue shirt and put the company logo on the back and another graphic on the front. She made M a free t-shirt for me to send to him!  How awesome is that!?!

Seriously, I almost cried in the store.  I'm sure it probably helped that I knew her, but it's so awesome to see business people do things like that for others.  I'm sure the cost of the shirt and designs isn't huge and doing something small like that isn't going to result in a loss for the business.  The best part is that it was a generous gift. I didn't ask. I wasn't planning to have a shirt made (not yet anyway...the thought just hadn't entered my mind!). She just took it upon herself to give him a little gift. SO thoughtful.  And just another reason that I'll continue to give them my business.  It's so awesome to see people giving back like that.

I can't wait to pick up an envelope and mail M is little shirt and sticker!!!

I'm currently sitting at my Nonie's eye doc with her, as she has laser surgery on her eyes. I left work a little early to meet her so that I could drive her home after.  After that I'll be heading home to do CLX Burn 3.  I didn't get a chance to do the abs workout yesterday so I will probably try to do that as well (depending on how much Burn 3 works the abs - it's been so long I can't remember). I'm not sure what time the man will get out of work. They've had a lot of business lately and he's really trying to get a lot done so he doesn't have to work tomorrow...Someone might need to tone down her whining about that (Guilty.).

Tomorrow I have a run for M on the schedule and maybe a ride up North a little ways. There's a cool store that features Michigan-made products that I want to stop by (and have not taken the time to do). It might be a nice afternoon for a ride and maybe a stop for lunch or dinner. If the man has to work, I'll go solo or see if my Mom wants to ride with. The weekend will also include the typical laundry, cleaning, and hopefully some re-organization of the basement. I'd love to FINALLY set up my elliptical that my Dad is still storing...In the box...From Christmas. So, that's pretty much the weekend plan. Sunday is my "rest day" from working out.

I hope that you have a fantastic weekend!!

XOXO

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mid-Week...Already!

*This is a post from Wednesday that I didn't post...

Wow! It's shaping up to be another fast flying week. I've been busy both at work and after work, so that's most likely why time is flying.  I don't have as much going on tonight so that will either make my day and week seem longer or it'll end up flying by because there are things I can accomplish (laundry, dishes, cleaning...FUN stuff!).

Monday was the standing date night. I did CLX Burn 1 and then walked the dogs for about half an hour before our wrestling date.  I think I had left overs from our 4th of July party for dinner that night. Or maybe some of Sunday's left over pizza....One of the two. I've been eating left overs all week so it sort of blends together. 

Yesterday I went home and got my 30 minute training run in (training for a 10 miler in October) and showered before heading over to my boyfriend's Aunt's for a cookout. We were there until sometime around 9:30 and I didn't make it awake very long after we got home. I was falling asleep so I told him good night around 10:30 (at 10:15 it was my goal to make it that long!).  I don't typically go to bed without him but last night I was exhausted.

My run yesterday was...Difficult. First, it had been raining so I ended up on the treadmill. Sure enough the sun came out and it was dried up fairly quickly, but oh well.  So the treadmill is boring torture to me. I want to go slower than normal on it and, well, I just don't like the dang thing. So that made it super difficult. Second... My legs were not happy.  I was starting to get pretty sore from Monday's CLX workout by yesterday afternoon. I felt fine in terms of breathing and such, but my legs hurt SO bad.  I plugged away at a fairly slow (for me) jog and finished the 30 minutes in what felt like longer than that.  After my run, the soreness really set it. All night I was sore. I've been sore most of the day today but it does seem better this afternoon.  I'm not feeling it quite as much anyway. 

I know why I'm sore... I worked muscles that haven't been worked in that way in a while. As much as it isn't so much fun to be sore, I like it. In a way it feels good to me... Because I know I worked my muscles and pushed hard. I'm also kind of bummed that I'm so sore because it means that in the last...however long it's been since I did ST (a couple months!?)... my muscles have obviously had some deterioration. It makes me annoyed with myself that I got away from it.  BUT I'm also happy that I am back into the swing of things.  I have CLX Burn 2 on the agenda for today and will most likely walk the dogs for a bit. My time isn't as crunched as it was on Monday so we'll probably walk for an hour rather than half an hour. 

I suppose I should get moving... I need to get Burn 2 done and then go make dinner. I plan to grill some chicken topped with black bean and mango salsa (recipe from Skinnytaste). I'm altering the recipe slightly, as I do not care for raw onion and my cilantro needed to be tossed. I may jazz it up with some extra spices or something....Whatever I end up adding or taking away, it sounds yummy and I can't wait to have some! I'll probably just steam some veggies to have on the side. Or maybe some quinoa on the side. Or maybe I'll have both in some sort of concoction that I'm sure I'll find on Pinterest.  We'll see how hungry I am after my workout and some cleaning.  I'll most likely walk later this evening, after dinner. 

I suppose that's about it for now. It should be a fairly quiet and laid-back night for us, which I'm looking forward to! I'm also looking for a little Mommy-Puppy (okay at ages seven and eight they're no longer puppies, nor are they small enough to be mistaken as such , BUT STILL...) bonding time which we will have on our walk.

Off I go...to make these muscles burn!!

XOXO

Super Exciting News!

Happy Thursday!! I received some amazing news last night! After nearly four months I was finally matched with my IRun4 buddy!! I'm happy to share that I'll be running for an adorable little boy. I don't want to share much personal information about him on the blog since we were just matched and I haven't asked his Mom's permission, so I'll just refer to him as "M" for now. 

First, a little about IRun4.  IRun4 was started by a man named Tim Boyle, who had a friend who physically could not run...When Tim's friend told him to run for him, Tim took it to a whole new level and, in short, IRun4 was born.  The hard working staff at IRun4 match runners with those who cannot run. The runners then run for their buddy! I've been following the page since I first heard of it and signed-up. It really can be an emotional thing to follow sometimes!!

When I logged into FB last night and found that I had a buddy I was so thrilled!!! I honestly got a little teary-eyed when I found out...And again when I saw the picture of M's sweet little face that his Mom sent to me.  She also shared that M has Angelman Syndrome and sent me a wonderful link FULL of information!

If you're like me, this is something new to you... I'd heard of Angelman, very briefly, and really didn't know much about it until I visited Cure Angelman.  When I visited I learned that Colin Farrell is a supporter....Because his son has been diagnosed with AS. I learned, by reading what he said and from M's Mom's excitement, that walking is  HUGE milestone for those with AS. Colin's (ha! I sound like we are best buds) son walked at age four; M just before he turned three.

AS is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by a problem with  a gene. Someone with AS will require life-long care. There is no cure at this time.. Typically, individuals who have AS do not develop functional speech, often have seizures, and experience severe developmental delays.

Two things really stuck with me when I was reading and researching a bit more about AS and those diagnosed with it...

First, their families and friends call them Angels. I LOVE THIS.

Second, they generally have a happy demeanor, they smile a lot, they get excited, and they laugh.  My guess is that their laughter is infectious.

In reading about something so difficult, I felt a little relief in reading that Angels are generally so happy.

I can't really explain why I've had an emotional response to this. I don't know sweet little M, or his Mom. We became FB friends shortly after we were matched and had one conversation.  Somehow someone who is a stranger (living three states/roughly 12 hours away!) has suddenly become a huge part of my life.  I have a whole new attitude on running... I feel like I have a greater sense of purpose when it comes to running.  Now I'm not running because I "have" to or just because I need the exercise or to stay healthy....M has already given me the gift of a new mindset and new motivation to run. I'm currently training for my Tower of Terror 10 Miler in October. I'll be dedicating that race to M....Because really, what kid doesn't love at least something related to Disney? And Disney is the happiest place on Earth!

So, today when I run, M will be on my mind and in my heart!

Oh! And an update... Yesterday was a CLX day. I did Burn 2 and later took my dogs for a walk (about an hour by the time we got home). The grilled chicken with mango and black bean salsa was DELICIOUS. I had left overs for lunch today, so it had to be good. The flavor of the chicken was good enough to eat alone!

As you most likely gathered from what I said earlier, today is a running day. I have 30 minutes on the schedule but I'll likely be gone a bit longer/run a bit farther than I would in 30 minutes. After that, my Mom and I are heading out to dinner. I have a strong desire for some sushi or some lobster nachos this evening. My boyfriend is working a little late (UGH AGAIN) and my Dad has some kind of meeting/dedication thing he has to go speak at, so we're having a Mom-Daughter date night.  Naturally, because I'm so excited about being matched with M., I'm stopping to visit my friend (who's family owns a local shop that just happens to do t-shirt printing) and I'm buying a new tank for my next run.... I'm not sure how M would feel about silver glitter or hot pink letters  (I imagine he'd think they were fun!!), but I'll be opting for one of those.

Well, I am off to do my first run for M!!!

Have a great day everyone!!!!

XOXO

Monday, July 7, 2014

Seriously, Where Does the Time GO?

I have not posted in a week and a half - a week and a half!! HOLY COW!! Last week was a busy week for me and I ended up working a bit late a couple days which kind of cuts into my time.... And life outside of work was fairly busy as well!

The weekend before we didn't do a whole lot.... In fact, I'm pretty certain we stuck around home all weekend. My boyfriend had to work most of Saturday (GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE, AND GRUMBLE) so I spent some time with my Mom and a little time with friends. I did the Relay for Life walk for about an hour in the morning and then went to a local music fest for a little while with my Mom and one of her friends. Then I went home and started throwing a pity party (because I was lonely and pissy about my boyfriend having to work...so really for no reason other than I wanted to be in a bad mood, apparently). I was laying in the sun, sipping one of those light frozen cocktails in a pouch and my friend mentioned she was going to the music fest. So, I changed, packed up a cooler, and walked over there. I spent a few hours hanging out with her, her hubby, and their son, listening to music and sipping on some drinks (well, her son didn't but us adults did!). Someone did not eat all day and may have gotten a little tipsy. Good thing I was on foot!

My boyfriend was home maybe an hour before I got there (if even that long) so we hung out and made dinner.  A little later we went to the campground where my parents were staying and hung out with them for a bit, as well as my boyfriend's Dad, Grandma, Aunt, and younger Cousin who were also staying there. It was kind of cool to get part of both of our families together and just hang out for a bit.  We ended up staying out there much later than planned and when we got home I was pretty much done for the day. The friend I hung out with earlier invited us over for a fire but since it was so late and I was drained (from being outside all day, I guess), and sunburned, we just went to bed. I don't think my friend stayed up much later anyway, although I later found out that the guys were up half the night! Guess it wasn't too late to stop by!!

Sunday we pretty much just hung out at home.  I did some cleaning and he did some yard work. Other than that, we didn't go too far or do a whole lot except relax and spend the day together. The weekend seemed to go by way too fast since he had to work that Saturday.

So then Monday came around and it was back to work! Work started getting busy with the holiday coming up and three of my four work days seemed to be a blur. Monday night our standing date night. And Wednesday after work I had a meeting. I'm not sure what happened on Tuesday.... Nothing too noteworthy, I guess! Thursday was fairly calm at work and then after I ran some errands to get things ready for our little gathering on Friday.  My boyfriend was home a lot earlier than I was (of course he had an appointment so he was out of work early to begin with!) so after we hauled in the groceries and such I started dinner right away. We ate dinner and then I got to work on some little projects (treats and decor) for a small 4th of July party we hosted.... There were about 15 people there, which was a pretty good size - and enough work! So anyway, after I cleaned up from dinner, his little brother came over and hung out. It was nice to have someone to entertain the guy while I got all crafty...Haha! I made some luminaries, a bandana "flag," some flower pot decorations/center pieces, Jello-shots, and Rice Krispie treats. I started on a headband but decided I was ready to relax. So I sat and hung out with the boys, watching TV until my boyfriend's brother left and we decided to get to bed. 

On Friday I got up and decorated, cleaned the house, inflated and filled a pool, set up chairs and a table, and got all the little party things ready for the day.  All I had to do after the parade was set things out and finish cooking a couple things. We watched the parade and hurried home so that I could start getting things ready...We walked and my parents managed to beat us to my house. My Mom helped me get stuff finished, which was super nice.

The one thing I made that I LOVED was a berry bruschetta. Oh. My. Gosh. It was to die for! I bought a skinny baguette of a multigrain bread at the bakery in the grocery store and had it cut into small pieces ahead of time.  All I had to do was add the toppings (goat cheese spread on the bread, topped with some fresh sliced strawberries and a few fresh blueberries) and bake them (at 350 for 5-10 minutes). I probably could've eaten all of it but I'm really trying to not eat an entire loaf of bread (skinny or not!) in one sitting...Ha, ha!

It was nice to have family and friends over and hang out! My cousin, her daughter, and boyfriend were spending the night so they all hung out while I cleaned up. My cousin put her daughter down for a late nap and then she fell asleep too, so we ended up staying home and watching the tons of neighborhood fireworks and having a fire instead. I was bummed about missing them but I wasn't going to leave guests at the house...Especially when my cousin's boyfriend would've been the only one awake.

Saturday we were going to a distant cousin's party, but another cousin was supposed to come over and go with us...And then I didn't hear back from her... I was bummed about not seeing her (and then not going to the party because we sat around and waited too long, leaving ourselves short on time) but I know she was babysitting her niece, a toddler, and she has a toddler of her own....I know that things with kids can get a little crazy sometimes so I'm sure something happened. And we were going to head to the party during what was most likely nap time. Oh well!

Saturday night we headed out to my boyfriend's Mom's house to spend some time there and catch a smaller fireworks display. His step-dad was working so it was just us, his Mom, the two youngest siblings, and all of our dogs (four total) plus their three cats...The cats hid though so it wasn't like they socialized with us much.  Anyway, we hung out for a while, watched the fireworks, and then came home and stayed up kind of late just talking and having a good time.  We spent a good chunk of the day there yesterday before we headed for home. After we got home we didn't do much... I started laundry and did a couple things around the house while he napped.  We ordered take out (pizza) for dinner and hung out for a bit. His brother came over to hang out too, so we all sat around watching some old wrestling stuff and talking.  I went to bed just after his bother went home, while my boyfriend stayed up a little later and finished the documentary he was watching.

Then today...Back at it.

Seriously, life is going by too fast. I wish I had more free time to ENJOY more fun things, especially in the summer. I LOVE summer!  Apparently we just need to randomly become independently wealthy so we can travel and go to sporting events for the rest of the summer....Seriously... Money Fairy, please make that happen, thanks!!

In other news.... I'm starting a "new" workout plan today!  I'm going to do Chalean Extreme again and mix it in with my 10 miler training (which has snuck up on me and I am late in starting!). I'll be doing 30-45 minutes of some activity daily (depending on DVD length) and there are only  a couple days where I have both training and a DVD scheduled...I  actually skipped a couple of the routines last time I did CLX but I don't think that they are super long, so that's a bonus. I thought it was  good way to really get back into the swing of things with a better plan. I've been doing walking/running/biking but kind of at random and because the last couple weeks have seemed so busy I haven't done as much.  This schedule is not overwhelming and I won't be stressed to try to fit in too much stuff...So...It should work well for me.

Today is the first day of this round of CLX which I'm looking forward to! Maybe if I'm feeling really ambitious I'll add in something else... It's a lot less pressure to know what I'm doing and to not be trying to do 60-90 minutes a day on a day when I'm shorter on time... Although 60 is still do-able.

So I guess that's about it for now - I'm off to do a workout and then get dinner ready!

I hope you had a happy and safe holiday!

XOXO

Friday, June 27, 2014

Finally Friday!

This week seems to have gone by faster than last week did, but yesterday and today have been the type of days where I've been counting down the hours to the weekend! I suppose that's because I was a day off and kept thinking we were a day farther into the week than we really were. It wasn't a bad thing - it was just a busy week at work and time felt like it was slipping away. I guess it's good that I ended up having more time than I thought! But by the time Friday afternoon rolls around, let's face it, most of us are ready to hit the door!

This day has been particularly weird... This morning, even though I accomplished quite a bit, didn't seem to go by fast enough. At 10:00, I thought "really? I've only been here for two hours?". I guess I felt so busy that I thought more time would've passed. I guess I was just super efficient this morning! Then suddenly, I looked at the clock and thought "oh my gosh it's already 12:30!?" The afternoon went fairly quickly too...Until the last 45 minutes or so before I left for the day. Of course I was running wild and super busy so much this week, and earlier today, that my time to do paperwork just seemed to drag. Then somehow the last 20 minutes went by so quickly it was after my time to leave. This isn't rare though... Days that I actually leave right on time aren't very common. Most days I'm only about 15 minutes later but sometimes I work longer than that...Just depends on the day, I guess.  I typically only leave on time when I have an appointment or something... So once every couple weeks for the chiropractor, but then it's only a few minutes away and I don't have to be there until 4:50....So even then I guess I'm not super on time to leave.

Anyway, so after a weird day that was much like my week (fast, slow, fast again), I was happy to leave. It's a beautiful day and I hate being inside when it's so nice out. It's warm, sunny, and there's just a little bit of a breeze. Who wouldn't want to be outside?! I was glad to leave, pick up the pups, do a couple errands, and then head home.  We're probably going to walk the little beasts in a bit... Maybe not until after dinner when it's a little cooler so they don't get too hot (they being the pups and the man - ha!).

Other than a walk, we don't have anything planned tonight. Since he has to work at least part of tomorrow, we'll just hang at home. I plan on getting up and doing some stuff around the house, then walking over to the HS track for Relay. Oddly my Mom happened to sign up for the exact same time for her Relay team. How we managed to do that without talking about it, I don't know...But it will be nice to have a walking buddy!

The rest of the weekend is still up in the air. We'll see how long he ends up working tomorrow and go from there I guess.  I was hoping to get some sun but now I see it is supposed to rain tomorrow. I keep telling myself that it won't. I guess if it must rain, I'd prefer it be after I'm done walking for Relay....Although, not at all would be fabulous! So I guess I'll see what happens and how things go...

I suppose I should get moving so I can either get dinner started or get everyone motivated to take a walk.

Have an excellent weekend!!!

XOXO

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mid-Week Update!

Hope you're all having an excellent week! Mine has been busy, which isn't a bad thing... Seems to be flying by, which is nice since last week seemed to be extra long! Monday was the standing date, yesterday I had a hair appointment (which takes over two hours for my crazy thick hair), and today I'm going to my boyfriend's little brother's baseball game...So it's been busy. Unfortunately other than some walking that hasn't left much time for exercise.  That's okay though - I'm really enjoying my walks. I DO need to step up the intensity of my workouts and got some running in (probably tomorrow and Friday) but the walks have been nice. Plus my boyfriend will walk with me so it's a little extra time, without distractions, that we can just be together and talk. LOVE. IT.

I signed up for a friend's Diet Bet that started last Friday. I need to drop some more pounds (which I've been saying for months and unfortunately I've been doing the yo-yo thing). I figured that since running that 10K in April got me back into the swing of things with working out, this might help me get back into the swing of things as far as tracking what I eat, and eating a little healthier. Only she and I signed up for it, so it's a small pot, but it's also a good motivator. I may sign-up for another one with a higher pot too...We'll see.  I found that last time I did a Diet Bet it helped me stay on track -- for a while. It's only 28 days long but I had other things going on, got busy, and did not make it a priority. I did, however, lose weight during that time. So... I'm giving Diet Bet another whirl.
My "official" weekly weigh-in isn't until (at least) Friday, but naturally I've wanted to monitor my weight more closely since I've changed up my eating habits (and, uh, gained a few pounds!!). I'm happy to announce that my changes are working. I'm already down about two pounds (1.8 to be specific)...Not bad, I'd say!! I tend to do better during the week than on the weekends so those will be what challenge me.

I am anticipating good things this weekend... My boyfriend most likely has to work Saturday (BOO - that's NOT what's good) but that does give me a chance to be a little more active than I typically am on a Saturday that we don't have much else going on. Hopefully if he does work, it'll just be a half day like the last couple times he's had to do that. Here's to hoping...! Anyway, it's our town's Relay for Life so I signed up to walk for an hour Saturday morning. It's not until 11 so I should have time to do something else before that. The walk isn't far from my house so I'll probably walk to and from the walk too. Depending on his schedule we may walk on Sunday too... I'll see if I can convince him to do so anyway!

Our town has a music thing this weekend too, so we may spend some time at that on Saturday afternoon. Or Sunday. Or both. I'd like to go so hopefully we can work it out. My parents are camping at a local campground though and I'd like to go hang with them for a bit. If my boyfriend has to work the full day Saturday I may just head out and kayak with them for a couple hours. A friend of ours will be playing at the music fest on Sunday, so going that day would work well too. It's a pretty unplanned weekend that could get busy... But in a fun, relaxing way!

I'll try to update again before or during the weekend...We shall see! :)

XOXO

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lakestride 5K Race Report

On June 14th I ran my third Lakestride 5K. I didn't do the race last year because I'd just had surgery (and even walking it would've been too much for me) so I decided to join in on the fun again this year. The race starts in the road by our local beach and is a loop type race.  It goes through a local campground (on gravel/dirt - grrr!) before heading out to another road and coming back around. It's a pretty good race and not a bad way to start the morning!

There are also options for a 10K and a Half Marathon.  I opted to do the 5K rather than the 10K since I'd done something to my knee after my last 10K. My chiropractor thought it was  a good idea to to a shorter race too. I ran it slower than normal - my slowest 5K to date, actually. But I was okay with that. I had my knee taped but it was bothering me a little bit. I felt it buckle a few times during the race, so I kept it slow and walked if I had to. I think I only walked three times for short periods. Mostly, I kept it to a slow jog, which seemed to be a decent pace for me that day. 

I knew that my time would be slower than normal so I wasn't really surprised, or all that concerned with it. My main priority was making sure that my knee was okay and I didn't fall on my face. I'd rather have a slow time than a DNF because of an injury from pushing too hard! It was nice to just get out and get some fresh air and exercise. I couldn't think of a better way to start the day!

A local family was struck with tragedy not long ago - a young mother and baby died and her other daughter survived but was very critically injured. They weren't sure she'd make it - but she did. So on race day, a local group of runners decided to dedicate their runs to the little girl. I purchased a shirt and funky socks (the little girl's favorite - pink and black zebra!) that I wore on race day. I was going to wear a sparkle skirt with it but my pink skirt was too different than the pink in the shirt and socks, so I skipped that part. 

After the race I went out to my cousins'  (Little Miss and her Auntie) horse show. I found out that the class Little Miss was in (eight and under lead line) was dedicated to the memory of the little girl's Mom and baby sister. I had no idea it would be so it felt really awesome to have participated in a race for the little girl and to then attend a horse show in memory of her family!

Overall, it was not my best race but I'm not upset about it. I honestly just felt good about getting out there and running!!

I can't wait to figure out what my next race will be - I have the fever back again!

XOXO

Some photos.... 









Long Time No Post....

Wow!! I've been busier than I thought. I just realized that my last post was on June 5th... That's almost two weeks! I knew I'd missed last week but I thought for sure I'd been on the week before; at least once. Guess not.

Well, here is the update then... I'll keep it brief because that could be one very long update!!!

I've continued my walking/running workouts since I posted last. I guess that the 10K I did a few weeks ago was just what I needed to get me back into it! I didn't do as much running last week as I had wanted, but did get out and get a couple walks in. Unfortunately we had a lot of rain and my little gym wasn't yet set-up in my basement. Luckily that has been taken care of!

Let's see...

Two weekends ago it was my Grandparents' anniversary, so we spent some time there that Friday evening for dinner. Then the man and I took the Little Miss home with us for a slumber party and a Saturday of babysitting.  We got up Saturday morning and she played for a bit, then wanted to get in the tub before she had her breakfast.  We got ready and walked down to our local beach, out on the pier, stopped for ice cream (before lunch!) and then played at the play ground for a while.  We walked home and I ran to McDonald's to pick up a late lunch for us.  I got a salad (minus "the good stuff") and they ate whatever unhealthy stuff it was that they got! After lunch we spent the rest of our day outside; playing with sidewalk chalk and playing hopscotch.  I also tried to teach Little Miss some letters and numbers and we worked on counting. Hey, who says sidewalk chalk can't be educational? She can count how many of something is there so we worked on recognizing what the numbers looked like. She was not as interested in learning what letters looked like and how to draw them. She was having a hard time focusing; I think she was getting tired... She actually climbed up in my lap and just kinda lounged for about half an hour until her Mom got there.

A friend had told me about a contest to win some awesome seats for WWE Live so later that evening we dressed up like a couple of our favorite wrestlers (I dressed as a Diva, of course) and posted our pics to Instagram. We found out later in the week (Wednesday) that we had won!! My boyfriend's Dad had already won tickets but the seats weren't as good so we gave those to my boyfriend's little brother and his neighbor so the two of them could go.  Our seats were fourth row and the section was not full so we were right up front to see the action! So awesome!!

Contest entry pic... 



And at the show.... 


It was in Grand Rapids the following Saturday so we made plans to spend the night downtown. We went out about for a bit after the show... Really only to Buffalo Wild Wings because we are too old to hang with the 20-somethings. We were out until one in the morning which was pretty late for us! I think we were tired from having been up so early that morning, so maybe if we'd slept in we could've stayed out a bit later. I had a race early that morning (Lakestride) and he went to spend some time with his Dad to celebrate Fathers' Day a little early. It was a busy day, and TONS of fun!!

The next day we got lunch and picked up Father's day gifts on the way back.  We kind of took or time on the way home and didn't rush it. Later in the day we went to my Grandparents' house to celebrate Fathers' Day with my family.  Then it was back to the usual routine last Monday...

Last week seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to go by. I'm not sure why; just seemed like a very long week. I was pretty happy when the weekend got here! On Friday we went out for dinner with my parents for their anniversary. They loved their gift so I'm glad that idea worked out. I feel like I always get them the same types of things so this year I decided to do something different. They bought a camper a month or so ago so we picked up a big tub and filled it with random essentials for camping... Dishes, silverware,  towels, can koozies, forks to cook things over a fire, some condiments, the fixin' for s'mores, dish soap... And we booked them two nights at a campground for next weekend. PERFECT gift!! They were both pretty excited about it and thought it was a neat idea. 

The rest of the weekend we pretty much just hung out at home.  It was a busy weekend in our town, the Gus Macker Three-on-Three Basketball tournament was this weekend so we didn't go too far. My boyfriend went and helped his Dad do some things for his Grandma on Saturday morning and I did some stuff around the house. I think we ran to the gas station but that was as far as we ventured out. We wanted to avoid the big stores and the madness down by the beach.  So on Saturday I unpacked some of the random things that I haven't needed but should be unpacked and did some cleaning and organizing. Saturday night we grilled out and attempted to have a fire but the wood was too wet from having had so much rain. We burned the boxes that I'd unpacked during the day but that didn't really last all that long.

Yesterday the plan was to accomplish a lot around the house. I have an enclosed front porch and apparently it leaked at some point before I moved in and no one did anything about it.  The porch stinks.  I wanted to rip up the flooring that's out there (linoleum) and try to air it out some more but we didn't have the correct type of bar to pry everything up. So instead my boyfriend mowed the lawn and I decided to get to work on the basement. Getting my workout area set-up was also on the agenda for yesterday, so I just did a little more in the basement than I had planned. I unpacked more boxes, organized others, got the bar area set-up, moved my exercise equipment around and got my gym area set-up, and just got things picked up and organized a little better. There's still some stuff to go through but it's much better than it had been. I didn't get the entire basement set-up as I'd like but I'd say I made a lot of progress on it. That took up most of my afternoon. I did a little laundry but not much else (no time!). My boyfriend took a nap while I showered, relaxed, and then made dinner.  After I cleaned up the kitchen from dinner we pretty much just spent the evening in relaxation mode.

Today it was back to work again. Hopefully this week goes by faster than last week did! It just seemed to drag!!! I have some things to keep me busy this week so I'm hoping that those things will help the days pass quicker. Tonight is our standing Monday date night, so after I post this I'll be getting in a quick workout, showering, and having dinner before we get ready for wrestling. We always go watch with my boyfriend's Grandma (hmmm I suppose it's date night with her now!) and I like to try to be over there a little early so we have time to take a walk or just sit and talk for a while. Tomorrow I have a hair appointment so that will take up my evening. We're also going to my boyfriend's little brother's baseball game and my cousin wants to have a cookout this week sooo I should be busy. This means I need to get to sleep fairly early so that I can try to squeeze in some more intense workouts. Otherwise it'll just be some evening walks, which is fine.

I'm doing a friend's diet bet so that will be fun. It's always a good way to get back into the swing of healthy eating. I've also been getting sick after eating a lot lately (all but one day out of the last week and two days) so I'm changing up my diet to see if it's something I've been eating. Now that I'm back on track with getting exercise, I need to get my diet cleaned up a little more. It's been easy to eat whatever (especially with being busy) so I'm all stocked up on clean groceries and have meals for the week all planned out. I'm feeling good right now!

So those have been the last couple weeks for me! Pretty eventful but lots of fun! Hope you are doing well - I will try to to let time fly by so quickly between posts!!

Have a great week!

XOXO

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Peanut Butter.

I generally use peanut butter in my morning protein shake... Ice, almond milk, PB, and protein powder.  It is the perfect breakfast for me as it is fast and easy. Oh and it's not like I have to sit down and eat a meal. I'm not a huge breakfast eater so these work really well for me.  Today I did not have my peanut butter.  So I used frozen blueberries instead.  I used to mix it up a bit by adding various fruits, spinach, whatever happened to sound good... to my shakes. Lately I've been stuck on good old peanut butter.

Something I noticed today? I did not stay nearly as full without that peanut butter.  If you ever question protein and its ability to keep you full... I'm here to tell you - it really DOES. By the time I went to lunch today I was so hungry that I felt nauseated.  Not good.  Of course I didn't drink as much water as I usually do in the morning so I'm sure that did not help.  BUT I typically stay full until almost 1:00. NOT today.  I really need to remember to stop and by some peanut butter tonight. Or bring a snack and drink more water tomorrow morning.

I was a little perturbed by being so hungry because for lunch I had a sandwich and a handful of chips. I'm going out for dinner tonight and this morning thought that another shake would probably be a good lunch... Filling, healthy, and fairly low cal (especially without my beloved peanut butter). However, because I was so hungry and am out of peanut butter (have I said that enough?), I decided that I should probably have something else. My breakfast was about 200 calories and I thought I'd probably need a bit more for lunch to sustain me through the day.

We're going to a Mexican restaurant tonight with friends and, well, that generally means CALORIE FEST. Even with cutting down on the "bad" stuff, the lighter Mexican stuff is still not so great for you. UGH. I was really hoping to make it all day on just two shakes but that did not happen. Oh well. I had an after work meeting that was cancelled so now I can go for a longer walk than I thought I'd be able to (shoot, if it's early enough after dinner maybe I can do a second walk!).

I'm finding that now that I am back on track with everything, I feel like I want to withdraw a bit again. Like tonight. I don't want to go out for dinner. I want to see my friends. I do not want to have to eat.  I know a lot of people do that "eat before you go" thing, so maybe I'll try that... Something light to fill me up a bit and then I'll eat less at the restaurant. Hopefully that little trick works!!

I know that there is a balance there...I'm just not a fan of wanting to find it right now. At the moment I WANT to be strict with myself. I want to only eat healthy and I want to exercise. I do not want to eat bad foods or miss working out (however light it may currently be). I know that balance is good, but I'm presently not there. I'm at the point where I really need to be strict. It helps me stay focused and make good choices. The downside to that is that I tend to become a bit antisocial because of it. SO tonight... I'm trying to find the balance.

Well, I'm off to go take the pups on a walk before I have to get ready to meet up with family and friends.

Hope you've had a good day!!!

XOXO

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

National Day of Running!

Happy National Day of Running!!

I'm bummed that I can't run today. I like to engage in the fun of celebrating a day like this (and there are some fun virtual 5Ks to participate in - and if you're really lucky, group runs in some places!). However, I'm supposed to be resting my knee. 

I'm also not playing volleyball tonight because of the knee. BUT my boyfriend's littlest brother has a baseball game this evening so we'll go to that. The night won't be totally lost of all fun! I'm also going to at least take a walk this evening after the game...Even if it's something as short as a mile or two. I'm sure my boyfriend won't mind going for a short walk with me. At least he better not!

Last night I looked and found ways to tape a knee for stability so I'll be trying those out.  I'm going to pick up some KT tape at the sports store tonight and work on taping it.  Even though it'll be a short, light walk I'm going to tape it before we head out. Hopefully it does the trick! I found some different methods of taping so I'm sure it'll be trial and error as far as figuring out which style will work for me. I'm not fond of the idea of having to tape anything before  a run, but if that's what I need to do in order to practice safe running, then that is what I will do!

My knee is still a bit sore but does seem better today.  I'm not sure walking the dogs last night was the greatest idea. With their excitement some sudden stops, twists, and other sometimes interesting body positions. I may have twisted it a bit more than I should have.  I don't think I did any damage to it or made it any worse.  It still isn't as bad as it had been so I'm hoping it's still just a little sore because it needs to set in place a bit longer. 

Well that's about it for now... I have to get moving so I can get to that baseball game.  Hope your week is going well!!

XOXO

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dog Walk Tuesday

Tuesdays and Thursdays are officially my dog walking days. It gets my dogs a little exercise, gives me some exercise and days off from running, and I really enjoy it. Sometimes I take them solo and sometimes I have company.... Just depends on the day!

Today we took a slightly different route than normal but covered some of the same area. I didn't map it out but I'd guess we did about 3.5 miles again... It took the typical dog walk time of just over an hour. As usual, they got occupied with  things like stopping and sniffing various objects and dive-bombing the grass. Always an adventure with those two!

I'm also taking it a little slow because I've been having some knee pain. Nothing bad but it's there. I noticed it quite a bit during my run yesterday. I went to the Chiropractor today and mentioned it to him. Apparently my patella shifted laterally. I didn't even know that could happen but it makes sense since other joints can move out of place. So he adjusted it and told me not to run for a few days to give it time to do whatever it is it needs to do. He also mentioned that I shouldn't over-do it and that it's a good thing that I decided to do a short race (rather than a longer distance) in a couple weeks. I'll be taking it slow then too and will, most likely, log my slowest 5K time.... But it's better to be cautious than to injure myself! Who knows... By then it may not be as much of an issue. 

So I won't be following my M/W/F running plan (or volleyball) this week. I'll still walk though because I need to get some activity in. That's my plan, by the way... Running those days, dog walking at least Tuesday and Thursday. I may walk the dogs on a weekend day of I'm not doing some other form of non-traditional exercise.... You know like moving or packing or unpacking!! One weekend day will also be my rest day for the week. 

Back to my knee.... I looked it up and found that other knee issues can cause it. One of those is chondromalacia patella. A few years ago I learned that I have that (along with a small Baker's cyst and a bone tumor at the site of a healing fracture at the top of my fibula - that I never even knew had been there). Chondromalacia patella is the wearing away of the cartilage under the patella. It generally occurs in younger athletes and is common among those who do sports like running and soccer. Females are more likely to develop it. Past injury, overuse, and poor muscle control can also be causes. It causes me pain at times if I haven't been running for a while and then start again, but generally it improves as my body readjusts. I'm thinking overuse may be why the pain flares up at times. 

This is also the knee that was smashed into the cement when I fell a few weeks ago. I didn't notice this type of pain until last week, with it worsening yesterday, so I don't think that's what caused it. Info notice a little tenderness when I touch the area that I hit but that's it. It is still bruised so that's probably why it's tender. 

Anyway hopefully with some test the knee will be all better soon! Due to having to take it easy I will probably just walk again tomorrow... Most likely with the dogs because walking is more fun why they go with me! I'll be missing Wednesday night volleyball tomorrow night because of the knee and dinner plans but hopefully I'll be ready for action next eek. This will give me one not time to practice my rusty skills too!

Hope you're having a good week so far!!

XOXO

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Weekend (Plus a Little More) Re-Cap!

Hey all! 

I hope that you had an awesome weekend!  Mine was good, busy, and it went by too fast, but good.  I guess having a three day weekend last weekend made this one seem shorter than usual...So it goes.  I can't believe my last post was on Wednesday. I was going to post Thursday but just never got around to it, I guess!

So I guess I will start there...

Thursday after work I did a few things around the house and just relaxed for a bit.  A friend and I decided to have some girl time and take my dogs for a walk. We waited until a little later (around 8:00) so that it would have cooled off a bit for my dogs. We walked for about an hour and then I took the dogs on a slightly longer route home than I had to just to make it a longer walk for me.  The total for the dogs and I was about 3.6 miles and took a little over an hour. This is typical for dog-walking.  It's amazing how much faster I go when I don't have two crazy beasts to contend with!! They're actually not that bad...They just like to stop and check things out, sometimes they try to go in different directions, and they walk a little slower than I would.  Really, they're pretty good to walk... It's just a different kind of pace than when I'm alone. I just enjoy getting out and getting exercise, even if it's lower impact like that. I was also talking during this walk so I'm sure that slowed us down a little! The way I look at it is that it was physical activity, time with my dogs, and time with a friend. So much better than sitting on the couch all night!!

In our town we do a Petunia Parade every spring.  The place I work is part of this and they plant petunias in their assigned section. Planting day was a few weeks ago and over the holiday weekend someone decided that they would drive through one of our sections. So a few girls from work went out to re-plant some and I decided to help since I was unable to the original planting day. We talked to a guy who lives in that area and he said they do it every year; and typically run down his mailbox too.  So, we spent about an hour and a half or so replanting and caring for our petunias.  Hopefully another (or the same) jerk doesn't run them down again!

After that I joined the girls at a local Mexican restaurant for a couple margaritas and a light dinner. My boyfriend was mowing the lawn and then picked up the dogs from my Dad's shop, so I took him home some dinner when I left. It was nice to get out and spend some time with a few girls from work. One of my co-workers always has hilarious stories about her kids, so laughter is a guarantee. After I got home we finished watching Smackdown (he had watched it all) and then decided to have a fire.  We spent a couple hours just hanging out together outside and then we went to bed.

It was my boyfriend's Mom's Birthday on Sunday so we decided to go see her on Saturday...We figured we would have more time to spend with her if we did that. So we hung around the house for a bit, being lazy, and then went and spent late afternoon and evening with her and the fam that was there (his two youngest siblings). We had some drinks, ate some cake that we had taken out to her, and then went to hang out at the neighbors' property.  One guy lives there and the other people come up from down state on the weekends to camp.  We had a good time just hanging out and watching the kids ride around on various ATVs.

On Sunday my Mom called to tell me that she and my Dad were going to go clean out the rest of my old house.  This meant that if there were certain things left there that I wanted, I need to get down there and get them. Unfortunately we didn't escape before my parents got there so we spent some time cleaning (my Mom and I) and the guys did some yard work and minor repairs. Then we headed toward home. My parents dropped some garbage/junk off at my  Dad's shop and my boyfriend and I ran to the store to get some stuff for dinner and birthday gift for his friend. We went back to my house and unloaded the stuff I'd left at the old house (mostly garage items and a few clothes) and then we got dinner ready.  Since it was hot, we'd been busy and were tired we kind of took the easy way out as far as making dinner. I bought pre-made potato and macaroni salads and chips, and we got brat burgers. My boyfriend had the most involved job which was to grill the burgers.  After my parents left, I cleaned up and he took a nap before we headed over to see some friends and watch the latest WWE pay-per-view with them.  We got home kind of late last night (just after 11:00) and we were both exhausted so we went straight to bed.

And of course we were back into our usual routine day.... Back to work!

Today is a running day for me, so it's about time for me to go do that.  I'm undecided about whether I will run outside or plug in the treadmill. I'd rather run outside but the weather was not the greatest today. Earlier it was super humid, windy, and gray.  Then it rained. Now it's sunny but is still fairly windy and feels pretty darn humid.  So. I am undecided.  Either way, I will get that run in. I decided to do a 5K in a few weeks so that will give me a good reason to remain consistent with my running. I doubt I'll beat either of my previous times on this course, but that's okay. Right now I'm getting back into my running and I'm more concerned about getting out there than I am my time.  Endurance first; speed later! It feels good just to get out and run and be exercising again - so I'm happy about that.  Anyway, after I run and shower, I'll get dinner ready, and then it's time for Monday wrestling date night (seriously I don't know why I am STILL calling it that, but I am... Habit, maybe?). 

Hope you had a fantastic weekend and that your week goes well!!!

XOXO

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fitness. Yes!

Hey all! Hope you're having a good week. I know I am! I think my race was a great motivator for getting me back in the swing of things. I've logged some exercise time (some non-traditional) almost every day since Saturday.... Sunday, Tuesday, and Today. Monday was spent doing things around the house. 

Sunday was full of some yard work which isn't your typical exercise but it did work the muscles and burn calories. It was nice to get some sun too. Sometimes it's a good change of pace to get some activity in that isn't the usual. Active rest days.... Those are great! If you're working  hard at typical exercise other days, enjoy those active rest days. 

Yesterday was a fairly light active day. My dogs were giving me sad puppy eyes when I was getting ready to head out so I decided to walk them instead of going out solo. I can't do much running when they're withe be side they get excited and go in different directions. And they get tired. By the end of the walk they're usually worn out. So we walked for a little over an hour. 

Today I ignored the sad eyes and left the babies at home. I wanted to give in and take them but I needed a little more intensity. I was put in between 35 and 40 minutes. I did a jog/walk combo. After not having done much running over the last couple months I have some conditioning to do. I'm not as fast and don't have the endurance I once had but that's okay. I can't look at where I was. I have to focus on where I am now and make goals for where I want to be. New goals. I can't say, " again" or "like before."  It's a new time and I need to build myself up. It isn't healthy to focus on the past (good or bad).  It's better to look at where you are and to set goals to get where you want to be! 

I suppose that's it for now. I was outside a lot tonight and all that fresh air wore me out. My boyfriend worked on cleaning up his Grandma's yard so I decided to go help. By the time I made it over there he was pretty much done. I moved a couple things and put the lawn mower away but it really wasn't much. He gets full credit there! At any rate I was outside with him in that fresh air for a couple hours. I'm definitely ready to snuggle up and get some sleep! 

Hope you're having s great week!!!

XOXO