Monday, December 31, 2012

Sending 2012 out with a Bang!

So, for my final post of 2012 I decided to highlight some of my favorite posts from this year (a couple from my blog and then those from others that I read).  I'll start with others and then move to a couple of mine that I think are worth a second look...

Top 10 tips for running in the dark by Nutritionella
Making Fitness Fun by Lindsay's List
90 Second Breakfast sandwich by The Lean Green Bean (I'll have to try this with either G-F bread or none at all)
Hare Envy by Backatsquarezero

And probably my favorite of all at this point because she articulates exactly where I am
Mindy's Fitness Journey  and there are no bad words in the video- just the bleeped one in the title ;)

Now, for me- I think my absolute favorite post that I wrote- that I have to keep rereading it myself is this one: Beautiful

and some motivational pins to end your 2012!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Closing one chapter....

This post is going to be a trip down memory lane for the year 2012- unfortunately the journey really only took place from June to the present time.  However, there's still plenty of lessons learned in January-May.  As we close down 2012 I compare it to a book- it's time to close the chapter in order to open a new one January 1, 2013.

So- here we go:
January-March- I learned that I actually enjoyed running- began the couch to 5K program and got almost all the way through it until....
March-May- life happened- end of the school year hit and I ran around like a crazy person until...
June- I went on a hike and had these pictures taken- no sense in beating a dead horse but it shocked my system- I decided it was time- time to get serious and start making changes.  Took a spinning class for the first time and LOVED it.  Began the couch to 5K program again
July- Started taking spinning and regularly and watched some weight melt off- by the end of July I had lost about 10 lbs but it looked like more.
August- School started and I worried about my schedule not allowing me to go to the gym- BUT it did and I made time.
September- went to Atlanta at the beginning of the month and that was the first visual proof of change.  Went to a wedding toward the end of the month and pulled off a dress that had been hanging in my closet for a while (and got lots of compliments)
October- this was my first "run" where I participated in The Color Run in Nashville- I had a GREAT time- lots of fun and a good way to just do something healthy!
November- this month saw two races- my first "official" 5K in this particular journey at Dollywood (Light the Way) and my 5 mile Turkey Trot in Columbus, Ohio on Thanksgiving.  I also decided to sign up for the Knoxville Half Marathon...

December- Jingle Bell Run here in Knoxville (I just realized I never actually posted a recap so here it is- 3.1 miles in 34:00 minutes- I cut 6 seconds off of my time) and then just today I ran my last "5K" of 2012.  I signed up to do a virtual anywhere 5K and just resolve to run.  It was a tad bit on the chilly side so I ended up on the treadmill and finished in 35:55.  This goes back to my thought that I do better when people are around me.

So, here I am at the end of 2012- there are things I need to improve on- for example in the last month I have gained 4-5 lbs.  So, obviously I am NOT where I need to be.  BUT, in looking back, I can see lessons learned, perspectives gained, and a new lease on my life.  For the first time in a LONG time I am happy to be where I am and doing what I am doing.  The joy that is in me overflows from my relationship with Christ and knowing that He is giving me the strength to do what I should have been doing all along.

Tomorrow morning I am going to have a link up to some GREAT posts here in 2012, especially those that are still in my google reader that I keep going back to!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thankful Thoughts!

Today's elf4health challenge was to make a list of 20 things we are thankful for.  I pulled out the notes section on my ipad and started listing them as they came to mind.  20 came pretty easy- 1,2,and 3 are in the proper order but the rest are in no particular order.

**What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Look Back...

2012 in Review

My 2012

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before? I learned to enjoy running and participating in runs of various kinds (aka races).

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't know that I made any NY resolutions last year but I am making goals for next year (and they will be posted somewhere around Jan. 1)

3. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012? Complete contentment throughout the year.

4. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Completing the runs mentioned in number 1- especially completing the first one (I had tears in my eyes)
5. Where did most of your money go?  At the beginning of the year I would have said crafting stuff but at the end of the year there was a shift and it became more and more on running stuff (clothing, race fees, etc)

6. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Completing runs that I didn't think I could!

7. What song will always remind you of 2012? I have a couple depending on the time period- Toby Mac- Eye On It; Audio Adrenaline- Kings and Queens; Train- Brand New Book; and one more which will be part of my January 1 post.  Click the names of the songs for links to the videos.

8. What do you wish you'd done more of? Spent more time with family and friends

9. What do you wish you'd done less of? Stressing over the little things that don't really matter

10. How did you spend Christmas? In Indiana with my parents, my sister, and nephew.

11. How will you spend New Year's Eve? With friends

12. Did you fall in love in 2012? Nope

13. What was your favorite TV program? I don't really have a favorite other than Biggest Loser- looking forward to that coming back on.

14. What did you do on your birthday? My birthday was on a Sunday so I went to church and then out to lunch with a friend.  The day before I went on a hike (which was actually the start of this journey)

15. What kept you sane? Exercising/spinning/running

16. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012. It's summed up in the following photo:

17. Quote a song lyric/movie/tv quote that sums up your year:
I have a couple (both song lyrics):
Britt Nicole- Stand-
 When I feel like giving up
When my heart has hurt too much
Feels like i've reached the end
No, I won't turn and run
This battle will be won
When I've done all I can
I stand, stand, stand
Matt Redman- 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
The sun comes up; it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I worship Your holy name
and a third- Colton Dixon- You Are

When I can't find the words to say how much it hurts
You are the healing in my heart
When all that I can see are broken memories
You are the light that's in the dark

You are the song,
You are the song I'm singing.
You are the air,
You are the air I'm breathing
You are the hope,
You are the hope I needed.
**I saw a survey like this on another blog (one that has more questions and is designed to be more personal) but I cut out some of the questions and decided to use them to bring my 2012 in review.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Perspective, Priorities, and People

This post is going to be a lot introspective, a lot of pondering, and a little bit of sap... (ha).  Seriously though, the last week and a half have been non-stop.  Last week I worked 3 straight 9-10 hour days AT work, then worked when I got home and 1 day of a 12 hour day AT work.  Just a long week!  But, it's over and we have moved on to this week which is a lot calmer and one where I can rest and run- or so I thought...(more on that later)

Perspective and Priorities- Let's see- I think most people have heard about last Friday's tragedy in Newtown, CT.  As a teacher and an aunt of a kindergartener, this one hit VERY close to home.  Just really showed me that what I do really does make a difference- and it also reaffirmed that no matter WHAT I do or WHERE I am- God can and will use me IF I surrender myself to Him.  On Sunday morning I also found out that a guy I graduated high school with (almost 20 years ago) had a heart attack and was on life support (he has since come out of that and had a defibrillator put in today).  Basically, with these two events, plus another thing going on that I can't discuss have changed my perspective and my priorities.  I am making it a point to spend time with friends and family.  I am making it a point to enjoy this Christmas season because we are never guaranteed tomorrow.  Through this I have also come to realize it's time to be a bit more public with some plans/thoughts/etc.  I have been thinking this over and praying about it for a LONG time and it scares me but like the above says- that means I need to pursue it. 

Bottom line-with the health changes I have made and the exercise habits I have tried to ingrain in my life have given me a new passion- a passion for sharing that healthy life/knowledge with others.  I am at the beginning stages of this journey but I am looking into different avenues to discover what it would take to pursue that passion and make it a reality.  So, I would covet your prayers as I figure out what step is next. 

I also know that means I need to focus on my goals for this journey to my healthy life.  I have let myself get lax in my habits and I am feeling the effects- So, my last two weeks of 2012 I will be looking at and naming (out loud) my goals for 2013.  I have some ideas which way I am going to go but I want to flush it out in my mind first.  I had big plans to get some running in this week (I actually had nothing going on during the afternoons) and on Sunday night I slammed my pinkie toe into my bed frame.  I have destroyed my nail (it's coming off) and it is extremely sore.  I'm not sure what my next step will be but I know that right now it hurts when I wear shoes (and those are somewhat necessary for my job) so I will have decide how to proceed (I desperately want to run the New Year's Day run I am signed up for).  Any thoughts would be helpful. 

People- this one is simple- as I mentioned my Christmas season plan- just make people a priority- if it comes down to gym time or people I will choose people any day.  Love on those close to you, hug those nearby, and give of yourself daily. 

Thanks for reading through this LONG LONG post (and my next post will actually have an update from the 5K on the 8th)

Monday, December 10, 2012

13 in 2013 plus busy busy

Things here are crazy, busy!  I have been working nonstop on school things (oh, the life of a teacher before Christmas break).  I did run in another 5K on Saturday- will have details and picture soon- just need to survive this week!  Observation tomorrow (Tuesday) so would appreciate your prayers and then lots to do the rest of the week.  The plan is to update on Thursday or Friday!

On another note- I signed up for a challenge to complete 13 races/runs in 2013.  They are going to be a variety- 5K's mainly, my half marathon (eek), and maybe a 10K or two just to mix it up.  These will be both "real" and virtual.  I'm excited about it and looking forward to this challenge!  I'm also working on some goals that will be monthly and for the rest of the year.

Monday, December 3, 2012

What's Going on?

Is it normal? I have done a 5K in 34:06, i did 5 miles in 55:50, and today, I STRUGGLED doing a 4 mile run. Now, granted I did this at a local park/greenway this afternoon (74 degrees and sunny- yes thank you) but here are my thoughts on why I did so poorly (meaning, I couldn't run the whole thing- not even close)

 1. The terrain/elevation. This particular greenway is extremely hilly- here are the details for it: Lakeshore Greenway now- the description says difficult with extreme slopes

2. I have had some difficulties managing my schedule and how I feel in order to get the run in- that MUST change- I have a half marathon to train for- EEK!

3. And here's the third reason (for the record- I think 1 and 3 are my two biggest reasons)- the two organized runs/races I have participated in have been in the cold AND there have been other people running.  For whatever reason I feel like I probably do better when I am running around other people- it keeps me motivated and my pace consistent.  I guess I'll find out Saturday when I take part in the Jingle Bell Run.  This will be the last 5K until New Year's Day!  woohoo! 

Oh, and another tidbit of info- I am working on 25 days of intentional exercise- but for me and my schedule- I am counting on the fact that if I at least get 15 minutes of GOOD stretching/foam rolling in then it works for me- sometimes that is what is needed.  For example, Friday- I am not going to want to run the day before my race but a brisk 10 minute walk and a good 15 minute stretch/foam rolling before bed will be good.  I need something even on those days that seem to go on forever.  I got the idea from the blog in this link; Advent Exercise Calendar I am tweaking mine though- I am die cutting a bunch of various colored circles out and on the back putting random things (not on all- just some)- such as: send a note to someone who inspires you, purchase a "deal" for a massage, look for a new race to sign up for, go to the thrift store and find a new pair of pants, etc.  Anyone have anything else I could add?  :)  I will be working on those for the next couple of nights so any help is appreciated.

And let's end our Monday with this:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Failures, Challenges, and Victories

Failures- have you ever had one of "those" days?  Where the day was actually okay and then one little change in schedule changed everything?  Yep- that was my Monday.  By the time I got home it was dark and the LED light I bought didn't work (bought a new one tonight) so that meant treadmill running.  I had all intentions of running 3 miles- I did 1.  and I walked 1.  So, by my plan I "failed" but I also learned that some days are just like that and I just need to brush it off and try again tomorrow (or in my case another day because today was not "the" day either). 

Challenges- I signed up for an #elf4health challenge.  It's basically 6 weeks (starting yesterday) and there's a daily challenge.  You are also assigned an "elf" to help motivate and encourage you.  Monday's challenge was meatless monday (my picture disappeared so imagine it).  Breakfast I had my "skinny" muffin, lunch was spaghetti squash with pasta sauce, and dinner was eggs and toast.  I sometimes struggle with these because of the food issues I have.  However, I did it!  woohoo!  Tuesday's challenge was to send someone a handwritten note.  See, the funny thing about that- I make cards- LOTS of them- it's my stress reliever (besides exercise) but I sometimes (okay most of the time) forget to mail them out!  So, if you follow me on instagram (tamigrandi) I posted a pic- they are ready to mail.  Unfortunately they won't get mailed out until tomorrow but they are addressed and ready.  

Oh, and Wednesday's challenge- to try a "new" exercise.  Ummm.... anyone want to give me ideas.  I know I could do yoga and maybe I'll find a yoga thing on youtube to try...

oh, and that victory- two of them- one of them nonscale and the other scale.  The nonscale- may seem little but someone had given me a pile of clothes and there was a medium shirt in the stack (granted it was a men's medium but I usually just wear a mens large).  I put it on last night for the heck of it- and it FIT!  PERFECTLY!  woohoo!

The scale- yeah- about that- I hit the official 30 lb mark TODAY!   and I found some pictures from previous years that made me go woah!  I'll have to hunt them down and share them.

Friday, November 23, 2012

From 5K to 5 Miles

 Picture of me holding my medal with the Columbus Turkey Trot start/finish line in the background

 I had a change in plans for Thanksgiving (which meant I was able to see my family) that left me  unable to do the Turkey Trot in Knoxville (5K).  However, those plans took me to one of my favorite places in the state of Ohio (Columbus) and led me to signing up for the Columbus Turkey Trot.  The crazy thing about the one in Columbus- it's not a 5K- it's 5 MILES!  Someone told me- it's just 1.9 more miles than the 5K.  Exactly!  Anyway, it was a cool morning and there were a LOT of people there- my ticket was in the 5000's but according to the results site there were approximately 4300 people running so... :)  I had 2 goals- (well, three) to finish, to finish under an hour, and to not be last :)  I managed to complete all 3.  I did finish (even though I did have to walk about 2-3 minutes worth), I finished under an hour (at 55:50 I was happy), and there were about 1000 people behind me :)  Seriously though- every step I take in these races it makes me so thankful to recognize where I was a year ago and where I am now.  I know that I am doing things that at this point I should not, by a doctor's standards, be doing.  Good thing I listen and follow The Great Physician :)  Anyway, I was pretty excited and proud of the finish and know that it's one more step in my goal to completing my half marathon in April.  I'm looking forward to starting that training and get it going! 

A picture of me after the race with my medal     My sister and I before the race

a view of  "The Horseshoe" (Ohio Stadium) where The Ohio State University Buckeyes play- the route took us through this part of campus (very cool)

(oh and by the way- in my non-traditional Thanksgiving this year- I ate WAY too much so need to get back on track with that!  Any help is appreciated)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beautiful...(this is a LONG post)

This post is going to be a bit different.  It's something that has been on my heart and something that I have experienced both positively and negatively.  After talking with someone at the 5K I ran on Friday night I realized just how much this is on my heart and decided I needed to write it all out.  **Disclaimer:  There will be some references to my faith (so if that offends you then you may want to quit reading but I hope you will read the whole way through).  I also had great parents who never fed me the negativity to lead to a poor self image- I have a dad who sets a great example and loves me no matter what my body size is.

For my whole life I have struggled with the image of myself- really though what I was dealing with was the image of what I thought I should be.  This myth was pushed on me by tv, movies, magazines, even the people who I went to school with.  I never struggled with an eating disorder but I know plenty who have.  I did struggle with comforting myself with food.  When things happened I would turn to those fried foods, chocolate, fattening foods to fill that empty hole that was left.  So, I guess in a sense I did struggle with an eating disorder- just the opposite kind of what you would expect.  I compared myself to the people who appeared on my screen, co-workers, friends, even family members and I always found myself selling myself short.  I got frustrated when I would try to lose weight and nothing would happen (more on that in a later post- probably much later).  Then in 2004 I met someone and he told me I was beautiful and you know what- I believed him.  So, when my heart was broken a few months later- I hid and went to the opposite end of the spectrum.  I buried my grief in time at the gym, changing my eating habits, and basically took myself down to where I thought I would be happy and then I would feel beautiful.  But, as always, life got in the way and through a span of 2-3 years I regained every single one of those 30 lbs I lost and found myself back in the same state of questioning and turmoil I had been in before.  Throughout the last 5 years I have gone up and down, yo-yo'd my way through several "diets" and given up when I should have kept on. And through it all- beautiful was not a word in my self describing vocabulary.

 So, what makes this time different?  I'm not really sure I can put my finger on it.  I think part of it is that I have FINALLY realized that it's a lifestyle.  Being diagnosed with high blood pressure was a huge wake up call for me.  Having to change my diet because of the kidney stones was another one.  I also have a doctor who looked at me and said, "THIS (with a number) is around where I want you.  I don't want you to go too much lower or you will look sick.  Your bone structure is such that this would be a good place for you to land and maintain."  That number was doable- not too far off where I was a few years ago.  Someone telling me that I didn't have to be on the low end of my numbers and that it's okay that I don't look like the media's perception of beauty was what I needed.

So, what brought me to this post today- the realization that I needed to hear it and read it myself.  The understanding that where I am in my job puts me in a position where I am seeing young girls struggle with this every day- even at the preschool age.  The knowledge that I need to do something about it- just not sure what.  and this- this song that I heard this week and my heart ached because to hear this- even now, at age 37- reminds me that God created me the way I am.  Psalm 139 says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  He knew my body structure, my dna, my struggles and successes even before I was a thought in the hearts of my mom and dad.  So, if you have stuck with me through this long post- I would love to hear your thoughts, your struggles, your tips on fighting the myths out there.

Oh- and I have realized that for ME (and not for everyone)- true beauty comes from the inside out, from having a heart that has a passion for the lost, for the hurting, and for sharing with others where their true beauty comes from.  It comes from a heart for God that seeks him in all I say and do, to look for Him and how He is working in my life- even while I am running and exercising.  To recognize that He has given me my body and I need to honor Him with the choices I make with it.  So, am I beautiful- maybe not by the world's standards but by His standards I am stunningly beautiful and THAT is enough for me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thoughts and Tears...

Things have been busy- really busy- but I haven't quit working toward my goal, it's just that blogging about it has taken a back seat-and I have realized that that's okay!  But, last night I accomplished a huge goal for me!

A little bit of the back story:
A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with a degenerative discs in my back, a bulging disc, and arthritis in my hips.  At the time I had days where I could barely walk (and in fact there were many days in the summer of 2011 that I spent flat on my back because even the thought of moving brought me to tears).  My orthopedic dr told me then I should focus on low impact sports- I listened for a while and then focused on strengthening my lower back/core area and started slow jogging/running in January.  I let it go in March due to time and then in June I picked it back up again.  I have always said, "I'm not a runner".  I realize now that's not true- I AM a runner- I may not run as fast as everyone else but again, that's okay- it's not who I am.  As I mentioned in previous posts I have been doing more and more running (along with spinning) and am going to begin training for the half marathon around the beginning of January (if not sooner).

Fast forward to last night- November 16, 2012.  I signed up for my first "official" 5K to be run at 11 p.m. at Dollywood (I am barely awake at 11 so not sure what I was thinking there).  I looked at this race as my baseline- it would have some flat, some inclines, etc.  I don't have my official time yet (hopefully it will be posted soon) but the one thing I did not expect was the emotion I felt when I saw the finish line.  I know the reason was that I was completing something that a year ago I NEVER thought I would.  I was doing something that I should not be doing and I was enjoying it.  It was cold but the Christmas lights were lit and it was gorgeous (the only negative was that there was no music and they discouraged the headphones so I didn't bring mine).  PLUS, i ran the WHOLE time- all 3.1 miles.  That has been a goal from the beginning.  The last mile I kept saying to myself, "don't quit- one step" over and over. 

Am I hooked?  Uh, yep, probably.  My Thursday race is not going to happen due to other circumstances that have come up (and I am okay with that) so right now the next one is December 9.  I don't have one for sure after that but am considering the New Years Day one here in Knoxville.

So, my post today is filled with pins that remind you to not quit!  (and I'm working on a special post that has really been on my mind the last couple of days)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Yep, life around here has been busy.  I haven't been exercising as much as I should have, probably been intaking more sugar than I should have but in spite of all of that, I have been working hard to continue this journey.  I'm getting closer to the end of the losing and the beginning of the maintaining and that scares me a bit.  I hit the loss several years ago (okay more like 7) and didn't maintain it.  It scares me to think that could happen again and I definitely don't want it to.  BUT this time is different I think- I have been hit by a couple of bugs- the spinning bug and the running bug as well.  I have signed up for 3 5K's to complete before the end of the year and the big one is the half marathon that I signed up for in April.  It's time to start training for that and I'm hoping that the training will be what I need to keep me focused. 

This week I hit 26 lbs lost- I posted on FB the other day that I was getting ready and caught a glimpse of the mirror which is where I keep track of my weight loss (dry erase is amazing).  From June 18 when I got serious to the first of August (school starting) I had lost 11 lbs. but from school starting until November 1, I had lost 15 lbs.  That's with time constraints and sometimes not the best food choices.  I still achieved that and almost into the single digits of my goal weight.  Along the way I have been inspired and have also been told that I have inspired others.  When I hear those words of encouragement it helps me give a little more...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Food for Thought...

Time for October's reveal of Foodie Pen Pals!  My pen pal was Claire from NC and she sent over this box of goodies- all from The Fresh Market.  We have two of the stores here in Knoxville and I have yet to visit either of them- after tasting some of these goodies I may have to make a trip :)

The package arrived just in time for my trip to Nashville for The Color Run so the dried veggies went with us- they were a great snack to munch on while driving- quite interesting and different.  My favorite (so far) were the dried cantaloupe- I was surprised at how tasty they were!  With the cold weather I am looking forward to the soup and the mulling spices for sure and the falafel chips will make a nice treat.  She included a sweet handwritten note that explained why she visited the Fresh Market and the sentimental reasons behind them.  I felt like I was there with her!  Thanks Claire!

I have done the foodie pen pals for a couple of months now and have received a variety of food.  Both have been a lot of fun and you could join as well so here's the info:

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
If you’re interested in participating for November, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by November 4th as pairings will be emailed on November 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Adding Color to Life

This past weekend I traveled to Nashville for The Color Run- if you have never done one of these and you have the opportunity- I encourage you to go for it.  It is just a fun time!  Lots of colorful smiles on Sunday.  I am including a before and after picture- I promise I had way more color but it is cornstarch powder so it is loose and comes off easily.  I took it easy and walked this one!  I figured I wanted to just enjoy the experience!  However, now, starts the training- I am signing up for at least 3 5K's before Christmas and then a big race in April.  I love my spinning but am going to have to pick up the strength training and the running training so any advice is appreciated!  Without further adieu


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Celebrating the "Small Stuff"

Yes, I am celebrating the "small stuff"- those non-scale victories!  You see- for too long I looked to the scale for validation and when it didn't show the validation that I craved- I gave up.  I said, it's too much, too hard, too exhausting, will take too long, etc, etc, etc.  You name the excuse, I gave it.  While I am still on this journey I have no desire to lose my last 10 or so pounds without putting out the effort in my work and diet.  It's not going to be a quick fix- this is not a "I got to my goal now I can ease up".  This is a work to get to my goal and then I work to maintain it! 

So, in light of all of that- I know that to keep my focus and motivation I need to celebrate the small stuff- again those NSV!  I have two today- and they may see incredibly silly but they are mine and they help me know that I am making progress- even on those days when I don't "feel it"

NSV#1- several years ago I bought a just above the knee denim skirt.  Has a little a-line to it and is cute and at the time I was close to that size.  However many years later it still has the price tag on it and 4 months ago I couldn't even get it up over my legs and rear.  The other day I tried again just for kicks and it fits- it's still a bit snug (wouldn't wear it in public just yet) but it FITS- buttoned, zipped and all!  I was SO excited!

NSV #2- and this is probably the silly one for most people.  We have disaster drills at our school (aka tornado drills) to practice in the event of a real one (which we had two real ones within the last two years so the practice is good...).  I have to show the children how to sit in the hallway.  Nowadays they have them sit with their backs against the wall, knees drawn up, head and neck covered with arms (which means your neck is leaning forward).  A year ago I couldn't do it comfortably- it was the most uncomfortable position I have ever put myself in.  It hurt my stomach to have it pressed on and I didn't have the strength in my neck or my legs to keep them there.  Fast forward to today- I was showing them how to do the drill and I had an epiphany!  I could do it!  With ease!  I had the strength in my abs and legs to sit the way I was supposed to have them sit the whole time.  My thighs weren't pressing into my stomach causing all kinds of discomfort and I could do it!  While that seems silly- it's HUGE for me!

So- it helped me to realize the importance of celebrating the "small stuff" because it's actually "big stuff"!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Balance and Plates Crashing...

It's been a while- I have traveled for my dad's 60th birthday, I have added a few more miles to my running shoes, and I have dealt with barometric pressure and cold weather- through all of that- I haven't done all that I NEEDED to do and am seeing the results of that (aka a plateau). 
I know what I need to do (quit the diet soda cold turkey....again!, get serious in the gym, add even more miles to my running shoes, and get some cold weather exercise clothes) so right now it's about finding balance.

 Do you ever feel like you are juggling so many plates that you aren't sure how to keep them all up in the air and deal with them effectively?  From relationships (or lack thereof) to professional to spiritual to just every day life- I have them all flying through the air and there seems to be no sense of order to them.  That needs to change- I recognize that but I am unsure how to do so.  One thing I DO know- if I don't take care of it all those plates will come crashing to the ground and I will end up crashing and burning.  How do you find the balance we so desperately need?

In the meantime- I have found several posts throughout blogland that I have been wanting to link up- some are workouts- some are just posts with thought provoking questions...  Take a peek! 

Making Fitness a Priority!- I think I need to reread this one myself!

Teaching young children about healthy minds and bodies (my passion!)

Looking for the positive!

And a workout for you- a Commercial Break challenge- I need to make this big and hang it on the wall by the tv!

And one last thing: UnderArmour has a "what's beautiful" campaign.  This graphic is probably my favorite one from all that they have pinned so far! 

What are you striving for today???

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Goal setting, life, and a question

I guess I'll start with a question- I am on the hunt for how these graphics are made

I know that there's a text box but what I want to know is what kind of backgrounds and/or program would you use for these?

Life- yeah, life has been a little crazy.  My schedule has been out of routine the last couple of weeks and it looks to be more of the same for the next few weeks.  My desire is to continue to keep my focus and perspective on what I am doing and WHY I am doing it.  Accountability is key for me- I have seen failure and progress, felt joy and pain, and sweated A LOT!  And through it all, I can feel myself getting stronger.  I need to continue that!

Goal setting- working on some goals for 2013- some will be personal, some will be professional, and some will be fitness related.  Any thoughts?

So far:

1) Determine where and what God is leading me to- even if it means CHANGE!

2) to complete 13 races (of any sort) in 2013.  This one is huge for me because this is not something I would have ever considered in the past.  There's even a big race I am considering- do I think I'll run the whole thing- no- but I'll never know if I don't try!  This will mean continued training! 

3) to remember why I am on this journey- I have been given an amazing gift of a body that works and health.  Yes, I have some health issues/considerations but I have the ability to get out there and TRY!

Those are just a few- I am continuing to build on them and would love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One Step at a Time

Today was rough day- just overall frustrating but I wanted to share something positive that came out of all that- here's what I posted on FB:

A reminder of how far I have come- today (as I mentioned) was a bit of a rough day- just very discouraging but I kept with my plan and went to my spin class anyway. I cranked it up and pushed through- and in the 45 minutes of class I burned 486 calories. On my way home I called my dad (in response to a text he sent- since I don't text and drive!) and was telling him about it. Mentioned the 486 calories- he responded that it wasn't 486 calories of food that isn't good for me. I am an emotional eater so I have to be sure that I think through my choices carefully. I am coming up on the 4 month mark of my journey. 4 months ago I would have dealt with my stress by eating that 486 and more. Still have a long way to go but am stepping in the right direction. Love that man! He reminds me of what my goals are and where I am going!

and on that note of goals- I am setting some goals for 2013- I am working on compiling them to post closer to the end of the year but would love to hear your fitness/healthy living goals!

Monday, October 1, 2012


The Lean Green Bean

I have been reading Lindsay's blog for quite a while now and noticed at the end of every month she had this fun event called Foodie PenPals.  The setup is quite simple.  You express your interest by filling out a form and on the 5th of the month you get the details of your penpal is (and who got you will be a totally different person).  You make contact to see if there's anything they can't/don't eat/dietary restrictions and then start shopping.  You can find out more details and the link below!

Now, this month I decided to go ahead and give it a shot- I received this package with a pumpkin recipe (yum), some mango slices (another huge YUM and I had already started eating them before I took the picture-oops), some hot sauce, homemade mango/jalepeno jelly (thinking this might be good over cream cheese and with some g-f crackers...), I also got a yummy white chocolate bar and this whole foods reusable bag (which is a good size for snacks or such).  Thanks Julia- I loved it all and am looking forward to trying the jelly!

and Just a reminder as I leave you today!   Hope you will join me again soon!

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
If you’re interested in participating for October, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by October 4th as pairings will be emailed on October 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Trusting the Process and Beginning Running

Over and over I hear to trust the process.  That if something is going to work- it's going to have to be done through practice.  And that practice leads to success.  To me, that's what it means to Trust the process- believing that sticking with something, even if there aren't results, will gradually bring you amazing results!  I read this blog post this past week that talks about what you need to know when you plateau.  And then, I read this article from several years ago that dealt with the same thing.  Take a look at both- would love to hear your thoughts!

Beginning to run- I began my journey in this area back in January on the treadmill.  I have never been a runner- it was not something I enjoyed- from the sprints, to the basketball drills, to the mile runs in P.E. class- I dreaded them ALL!  However, in January I started walking (under doctor's orders).  I eventually found a couch to 5K app on my phone that I downloaded and began using and found that I didn't mind running as much as I thought I did- then life got in the way and I quit.  Then I wrote this post and things changed.  I picked it back up again with a different app (one that I like better) and brushed my running shoes off to hit the road.  I currently am only running/jogging 1-2 times a week because I am taking spinning 2-3 times a week and walking with a friend another day.  I do have a rest day built in (usually Friday unless I do Zumba).  However, in less than one month from today I will be participating in the Color Run in Nashville- while this is for fun- I still want to do well so I will need to pick up some more running here and there.  Through this I have found that I have gotten so much stronger- the last time I ran using my app I ran 28 minutes straight- for me that is a HUGE accomplishment because 3 months ago I probably suffered through 5.  If running is something you have thought about then here's a great resource for you- Lindsay's blog- The Lean Green Bean had a great post on beginning running- check it out and see what you can glean from it!