Poor choices don’t change a thing

Everyday we have stress in our lives, I have never met anyone that this wasn’t true for.  Well the last two days little things here and there have caused me some new stress or an increase at least.  All day I have been trying to decide how to handle it, the one thing that kept coming to my mind: careful what you choose because eating/drinking/shopping/being lazy won’t change it.  It sounds like a simple concept, but how many of us reach for one of those solutions to deal with stress?

As I have said I work with people on making lifestyle changes and whether they realize it or not they make a big impact on me, probably more than I do on them.  One day one of them shared that they had a big problem at home with an appliance exploding.  I held my breathe quite literally because they had just stopped smoking.  They said they wanted to reach for some cigarettes, but said to themselves “will it fix that appliance and mean I don’t have to call for repairs? No it won’t”.  After I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief I commended them for that awesome insight.  I have shared this now with other patients to help them get the same perspective it gave me.  I might feel temporarily better doing one of those things I mentioned above, but long run it won’t help.  In fact I can soundly say after many years of experience it only causes me to get mad at myself or feel guilty later.

This is part of the cycle of relapse, we have something happen (life) and we look for relief in the things we know.  For me the thing I knew was eating, ice cream or any simple carb I could get my hands on.  It would be one thing if it had been the complex carbs like vegetables or fruits, but nah give me mashed potatoes and I was a happy Fat Girl.  While this still holds true (mashed potatoes still taunt me) I like to think with the practice of the last few years I make better choices more often than not.  So here at the choices I made today instead:

  • I ran my miles at the gym- I had to do a lot of self talk on this because today I momentarily let myself dwell on the fact that the race isn’t until November and no one would be the wiser if I didn’t follow the schedule.  It was a close one at the beginning of that run…
  • I said no to myself- I had been toying with overeating today and using the fact that I was going to run as an excuse.  I had to say no, which I am doing right now even.  I know I have had plenty to eat for dinner despite what my belly is trying to say.  I will instead drink water and probably have a bit of milk soon since it’s close to bed time.
  • I got online to find my supports- I worked on my page, did a twitter chat, read some inspiring things, and wrote this blog.  All of these things help me stay on track.
  • I addressed the issues I could- seriously this is the last thing that people ever choose to deal with stress when it should be one of the first.  It’s just too uncomfortable for people and they don’t want to go there if they don’t have to, so instead they numb themselves to the issue by engaging in what ends up being self destructive things if taken too far.  For an addict/alcoholic moderation is a great concept, but applying it…well…a totally different story.

So instead of picking some of those options think to yourself, are they necessary, will they help me, or will then end up causing more harm in the end?  If the answer is yes they pick another option and if you aren’t sure what other options there are, just ask.  Maybe you can use those supports I listed yesterday or a family member or a friend, but ask for help if you need it.  Tomorrow’s a long day so I probably won’t get to post, I will see you all on Saturday!

Finding some and making some support

The other day someone was talking to me about how to find motivation and I was talking about support being a big factor as well.  In making lifestyle changes it’s important to have some support.  Support takes shape in many ways and comes from a lot of areas.  One of the definitions of support is “to promote the interest or cause of” and that is what I hope to provide to you.  Even though there might not be a ton of people that read this or comment on it, I know that people read this and I hope that it helps.  Being able to share my journey has honestly helped me.  Sharing my goals out loud so to speak gives me a level of support and accountability.  It helps me actually work towards those things that I want to achieve instead of them being a secret wish or a bucket list (yes running a half marathon is on that list and doing it on the Strip at night with all kinds of wackiness is even better). 

The thing about having some outside support is that no one is 100% all of the time.  We have our days where we don’t feel that good or we get frustrated.  I’ve been known to have to drag myself to the gym or to go running.  Knowing that I have people out there cheering me on helps a lot, it helps me to stay on track with better choices and too dig down deep when I need to.  Having someone that gets where you are coming from and just gives a darn means a lot.  It can be difficult to find like minded people sometimes, but there is no reason to feel isolated and alone there is a whole world out there of people in pursuit of better health and a lifestyle change for the better.

So I want to post a few links up of places to find resources, support, and good fitness/nutrition information. 

  • Lean Green Bean– I am a total fan of this lady, she takes names and kicks butt.  Seriously though she is a Dietitian and has some great recommendations for food, she finds the best links, and shares a lot about exercise as well.  
  • FitFluential– this is a group of fitness experts and enthusiasts that share a ton of great information and inspiration.  
  • RunWiki– a marathon runner that is super inspiring and has some great information about her journey and some of the best gear out there.  Lots of great advice and links to other good blogs and websites as well.
  • Thrive Personal Fitness– this is a friend from wayyyyy back, she has turned her life around and is a kick butt trainer and motivational coach.  She has great information and is plugged into just about every social media resource out there, check her out!
  • Fitknitchick– A recent find for me, if you want some great workouts she has some that will kick your a@#.  She has them formatted for Pinterest if you follow that and also has her own YouTube channel as well where she demonstrates how to do the workouts.  
  • FFG Trying to See the Real Me– that’s right I started a FB page.  Here’s what I envision and I hope will happen: a page that those that want to declare goals, get support, share success, and offer support to others.  In the next month I am going to start my training to become a Certified Personal Trainer, as I go along I hope to be able to provide a few tidbits and once certified I want to help you find that person you always knew or hoped you could be, a healthy version of you.  I am not as knowledgeable as these ladies, but with some hard work I hope to be there some day.

So if you want some supports or have some great links or info to share please check out my new page and please check out all of these talented ladies and if they share a link I would check that out too.  See you tomorrow, it’s a short run 3.5 miles and a bit of strength training, gearing up for another 5 mile run on Sunday.  I may have someone roped into doing the half marathon with me, I think having a running partner will help and be pretty nice.

Weekly prep and support, it’s not just for the girls…

Since I had an extra day off I put off doing my weekly prep until today, gave myself a bit of rest time after the 5 mile run.  So I decided to do a dry rub for my chicken and then grill it up, OMG!  I threw together a bunch of spices and let them sit for 30 minutes before grilling.  No exact measurements here, but try adding: salt, cayenne, paprika, garlic, black pepper, and some brown sugar.  I know, brown sugar is not the healthiest thing ever, but a tiny bit of sugar gives it a great sweet and spice flavor.  I added that to a baby spinach and spring mix, threw in tomatoes, carrots, quinoa, onions, and a sweet potato.  Yummo!  I also chopped my usual veggies and put them in with some natural crunchy peanut butter so I have my three macro nutrients there (protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats).

Now down to business, I had someone ask me recently how I got motivated.  I have discussed it a lot in the blog, there are really many things that helped motivate me.  After I replied to her I continued to dwell on it and really think about it.  I wish I could give one great answer, like the key, but I am afraid that there are a lot of keys to change and they are different for everyone.  BUT….I think that one thing that is really important and that did do a lot to help me is I had a lot of support.  I’m not talking about support as in under garments, but as in the people around me.  I started getting a lot of encouragement from the people around me to get up and get active.  They wanted the best for me and were encouraging when it came to making healthier choices.  I have a boyfriend that is super supportive when it comes to making a better eating choice and when it comes to getting up and exercising.  One of the reasons I posted on my Facebook along the way is so that I could get even more encouragement.  It had little to do with bragging and more to do with keeping me on track and encouraged to keep going.  So if you don’t have support in the immediate area, I would recommend finding some websites or other internet support.  There is a world of athletes and just generally healthy people on all the social media sites who would love to support you.  Check the list of blogs I follow and some of the sites I have recommended.  All of these people kick butt and want nothing more than to see others be the healthiest they can be.  For women try this site it’s a challenge I am currently participating in about defining what beauty really is Under Armour What’s Beautiful.  Have a great day tomorrow, I won’t be posting since it’s my long work day.  I can tell you tomorrow I will be doing a 3.5 mile run and the run at the end of the week will be another 5 mile one.

5 miles down and another 8 to go…

I did my longest run yet today, 5 miles nonstop 8.1 miles short of my long term goal.  I decided to do it at the gym because I wanted someone around if I needed help and in case of potty emergencies.  Seriously I hadn’t done it before so I felt a little comfort at having others around.  I discovered however, that the longest the treadmill will let you run at a time is 60 minutes and I was close to hitting that when I had .75miles left to go.  So I ended up finishing at a way faster speed than I was really used to.  It worked though and I did it just under an hour.

I started off kind of slow and just focused on gradually picking up the pace.  I covered the numbers on the machine with a magazine so I wouldn’t focus on the time and distance so much and would be able to just get into the run. I took the advice of my brother and tried to lose myself in the music.  As a result, there are a few songs I think I will take off the playlist because they really didn’t seem to help me.

I am pretty proud that I did it and that I did it at a good pace.  I stretched like crazy when I woke up because yesterday’s strength training kicked my butt!  I haven’t really done much in the way of free weights so I did that yesterday and boy do I feel it still!  So the day and night have been filled with stretching to help me get more limbered up. 

While running I figured out a few more things I can do to help me with my motivation, putting pictures up of the finish line for one and reaching out to a few other runners for their best tips.  I may even see if one of my nutritionist friends would meet with me to review a good eating plan for the race.  I can’t wait to hit my next big goal, but I have at least one more weekend of doing another 5 mile run and depending on how it goes I might do it one more weekend even.

Here’s my question to you do you have any tips for achieving your goals that would help here?  Not just running related, but good tips in general?  I will especially take tips on music that motivates and has a good pace.  I like all kinds so if you have some ideas lay it on me!  

Willpower 101

All week this week I had multiple discussions in the groups that I do about making changes in life and making sure to meet those unmet needs so that you don’t return to old behaviors or addictions.  In this discussion somewhere around the 2nd out of 8 groups the magic word ((WILLPOWER)) *read that with a huge echo in your head* came into play.  Aha!  I thought some of them are getting it!  They have figured out a concept that relates to making change.  The catch is this, how do I get it if I don’t got it???????

The discussion ensued about how they felt they had no willpower and that is why they couldn’t overcome this hurdle and make change.  To which I threw the question out, is willpower something one is born with something that is innate (from within you) or learned?  The collective brainpower we had and the discussions led us to believe that the answer was a resounding yes.  In fact we have some amount of willpower in us, that is how we are able to not make all of our choices bad choices, we may make a fair share of bad choices, but I have not met anyone who has made every single decision a bad one.  The other half of the coin is that we also (hopefully) learn some willpower as we grow.

For instance as a kid we might have been the kid that got a ton of candy and downed it all in one sitting, leading us to get sick.  Now depending on how mature you are you say to yourself, I feel awful and don’t want to do that again and you learn.  This is the beginning of willpower, because willpower is that ability learned and innate to tell yourself no when you need to.  That’s all it is…as the adults around kids we know they don’t have it figured out yet so we hopefully step in and tell them no in an effort to help them learn.  Sometimes we might choose to let natural consequences teach them willpower So how do we learn willpower as an adult?

  • Practice saying no to yourself– it will not kill you to say no to yourself on occasion, I promise.  If you find that you want to say get on Facespace all the time, practice willpower by choosing to not get on it for at least one night.  Something pretty painless that you can tell yourself no about.
  • Focus on the motivation– take a look at what you will gain if you start exercising willpower.  I don’t just mean fitting into your skinny jeans, but the true power that comes from being able to not be controlled by an object or a habit.  If you want to loose weight or stop smoking the true motivation should be the way you will feel when you achieve that goal.  The freedom and independence that might come from it (i.e. I choose to eat healthier so that my body will keep me alive, active, and healthy for years to come; I choose to stop smoking so that I can walk and breathe without using oxygen).
  • Weigh the pros and cons– if you are uncertain weigh the pros for doing something and the cons for it.  Pros for ice cream it tastes great and I enjoy it; cons for it I can’t stop at one scoop, it affects my blood sugar, and I regret and mentally beat myself up afterwards for doing it.
  • Remember it’s only uncomfortable for a little bit– making a habit change and learning to say no to yourself is really only uncomfortable for awhile.  As you go along you start to realize that that substance/habit wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and life NOW is much better than it was before.

Whether you realize it or not most people have an area where they are able to exercise willpower so when you feel like you can’t and you are powerless remember this: you are not powerless you are practicing and in your practice you will develop true strength.  The real POWER lies in setting that food, cigarette, habit, or other substance down and not picking it back up again.

Self care night…

I have worked a few 10 hour days this week and needless to say I am very tired.  So I am not going to post much of anything tonight other than I hope you have a great Friday night.  Enjoy the good weather if you got it and enjoy the night. Jenn

How do you do get those steps???

Today I got asked by someone how in the world I got as many steps as I had today, 12981 as of right now.  I had a pretty simple response I chose to get up at 6:30 in the morning and go for a run.  I could have slept in until 7:30 or a little later since my work day started at 9:30, but I didn’t.  Because I am choosing to train for a half marathon and to put more effort into my fitness.  I simply made a choice to do it.  I also find that I get up and move around more the rest of the day if I workout in the morning.  Days that I do purposeful exercise I will likely get a minimum of 10,000 steps.  I think getting a ton in first thing helps to inspire me and just get the body moving.  So, even though my allergies where kicking my butt and I felt so dizzy for awhile I still worked at being active. 

That being said, since I am very tired and have a long day tomorrow I wanted to share a post that I did earlier that offers some suggestions on things to do while at work to get exercise. Working out at work what?!?!?  I hope that this catches a few new people and inspires you to get up and move no matter if you have a desk job.  So goodnight and have a great Friday!!!

TGIF and TGIARD (Thank God It’s A Rest Day)

Learning more about running long distances

Today’s workout was a shorter run, but I am finding more and more that I dislike running on the treadmill.  Sometimes it is a necessity due to other things, but when it isn’t I plan to take full advantage of running outside.  Having those numbers rick away in front  of me keeps me focused on the time rather than just enjoying the run.  To try and make it a bit better I take my glasses off, however I am not yet so blind that I can’t make out the numbers.  Here is what I did today:

Now I am thinking about what are the things, besides the general training program that I need to know about when it comes to doing the half marathon.  So I am doing some research and I wanted to share some of it with you.
8 Tips for New Runners– this is from MommyRunFast, she offers a lot of information that she actually gathered from one of her fellow bloggers.  She of course added some suggestions of her own, doing other activities as well as running, taking time off from running each week, and refueling within 60 minutes of running.
Portman Nutrition Calculator– this is a tool where you can plug the exercise, the estimated length of time, and your weight and find out what type of refueling looks like.  My particular stats if I should be able to finish the half marathon in two hours looks like this:

  • Fluid (ounces) 41 oz
  • Nutrition (calories) 409
  • Carbs (grams) 61g
  • Protein (grams) 15g

The amount of calories burned is 2,500+ yikes!  This is good to know though for both the event and the training.
Active.com on recovery runs- I know nothing about recovery runs, so this article was super helpful, I can see in my own limited experience the change of when I run two days in a row.  I may experiment with this soon and see how my body reacts to it.
Active.com on 7 training tips for your first half marathon– Let me just say after reading this, I am realizing for now I need to not be so concerned about the speed of my pace.  My body has to adjust to being able to run that far, then the months after I can start looking at pace a bit more.  But, so far the longest run I have done is 4 miles, so my body has some adjusting to do.  It’s a good thing I am starting to work on it this early.

In short, I have a lot to learn still about running a half marathon and any kind of distance running.  I am excited though and a little apprehensive about running 5 miles this week, but every time I finish another goal I really get excited.  So if you are a runner what tips do you have for me and anyone else reading this?

Staying on track during vacation


I don’t usually post on Tuesday’s, but had the opportunity to work on a post during my lunch hour so here it is.  In less than a month I am doing a road trip back to my home state for two reasons: Father’s Day and my *GULP* 20 year high school reunion.  Last year when I did a road trip home I will be honest, it was the beginning of a back slide for me.  I gained weight and started eating larger meals and really struggled with getting back on track with dieting.

This year will be different!  There are a few reasons why it will be different for me and it won’t cause me to feel off balance again.

  • I am not dieting anymore– by that I mean, while I am continuing to be mindful of my portions and what I take in, I am working past that to focus on eating healthier.  I want a lifestyle change not a diet, there is a HUGE difference.
  • I am planning ahead– I am already thinking about the food I can prep to take with me so that bag of Twizzlers or Double Cheese Burger McWhopper doesn’t look so good.  If I have things with me like my home made protein bars, cut up veggies, and already made breakfast and salads I will be less likely to stop and buy stuff.  Added bonus of saving money as well.

  • I picked a place to stay that has a grocery store nearby, a microwave, and a fridge– I figure I can hit the grocery store and if I do go out I can have a place to keep my food good so I can eat more realistic portions rather than the portions that restaurants try to give you.

  • I have a training schedule– I have my half marathon training schedule to keep up with so I know that even if I have to rearrange it a tiny bit I need to stay on track with my goal.
  • I plan on taking lots of water with me in a cooler (along with the other things I mentioned) and drinking no energy drinks this time– dehydration can cause you to feel tired too and using caffeine to help you combat this is a losing battle.  Although I will probably take some green tea with me for a taste change and not all of it will be decaffeinated.  I also don’t want to drink my calories (unless it’s a beer with a friend).

  • I am better at working out without equipment now– I have been getting my research on to learn some new body weight exercises and will list them out to help me get my work out on while I am away from home and away from my gym.

  •  I have you– that’s right my blog readers are there to help keep me accountable.  I may not blog every night, but I will continue to post while I am gone and this will help me to stay on track.  In fact when it comes to accountability I have a friend who is a trainer out there that I hope to catch up with who I am certain will ask me how it is going.  I hope she is at the reunion so she can help remind me to stay away from too many fries and maybe I can check out her studio too!

All these things I know will help me to stay on track.  Now I know I don’t fit those jeans that I was able to wear last time I was out there, but I am getting okay with that.  I am adding muscle and with this training if weight comes off it does.  I am striving to be much less focused on that now.  With all of these things in mind I do believe I will end up coming back home to Vegas still focused and less discouraged than last year.  I can’t wait to see my family and I can’t wait to see my friends.  Don’t worry if it sounds like I won’t have much fun, I will I promise. 
Now that it’s vacation time how are you going to stay on track with any lifestyle changes you might be making?  How will you keep a nice mix of having fun and not going overboard.

Sunday food prep, workout summary, and some awesome links

This week I am switching it up a bit and am using some of the pork loin that I smoked yesterday in my salad.  I added a ton of greens, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, celery, and a bit of cranberries & almonds on top.  I also of course cut up a ton of veggies for the week and made some protein bars.  I have mentioned before that I use a recipe from Skinny Ms. as my base, this time I made some modifications.  I added some of my chocolate hemp protein powder again, but cut it back a bit to two scoops, added some chia seeds, and used a combination of dates and turkish apricots.  Yummo!! They might not be much to look at, but they taste great!

I am working some longer hours this week and different hours so I will have a day where I get to eat lunch at home and I don’t have to worry about food prep for breakfast for most of the days.

Today was a 4 mile run, the second one and it took a bit out of me.  I didn’t feel like I got into the groove until I was well past halfway done.  I did start thinking about the songs I want to play during my half marathon.  I want to end it with Journey “Don’t Stop Believing” I figure it will be inspiring and I will be a bit of a blubbering sweaty mess anyway.  For the run I am going to try and take some of my protein bars and add some instant coffee to them, a tip I picked up from a runner on her site.  She makes similar things in ball form and adds the coffee for a kick.

Yesterday’s workout I kicked my own butt on purpose. like I said I feel like I have slacked off on the weight or body weight exercises.  I added a lot more weights and a lot more body weight exercises to my routine.  I am really looking forward to starting my CPT training so I can learn and understand what I am doing even more.

So here are some links to some new sites/blogs that I have been checking out.  I think these ladies are awesome and they have a lot of experience as trainers and runners.

  • Run to the Finish– she’s a personal trainer and a fitness nutrition specialist.  She also happens to be a great writer and resource of info.
  • Workout Nirvana– another CPT, through NASM, and she has a lot of great and understandable info on how to get the most out of your workout and weight training.
  • Fitknitchick– I recently used one of her Youtube workouts and it was fabulous!  She has Pins, Facebook, and Youtube that she uses to supply some great and simple workout routines.  She also has some good recipes to share as well.
  • Moonfitness– This lady does a variety of things and has some killer recipes as well.

I realize that my selections are all female, I will have to dig into trying to find some male bloggers/nutrition/fitness experts to use as well.  Anyway I have to go finish my kombucha green tea experiment that I have sitting in the kitchen.  Have a great night all and I will talk to you later, enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

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