What worked for me

I have thought a lot off and on about what inspired me to get started on this lifestyle change and I have shared a few of the reasons in the posts I have done.  When it comes down to it I am not really sure that it was one thing in particular that started me, but there are things I have done consistently that have helped me along the way.  I thought it might be helpful to share those things with you so you can see if they might work for you.  Remember, because it worked for me doesn’t guarantee anything for anyone else.

  1. I started off working out with a friend- The company helped me a lot to stay motivated and interested in what I was doing.  In short it made working out fun and it kept me accountable.
  2. I used Calorie King, a scale, measuring cups, and learned how to read a label- yup I counted, weighed, measured, and learned to read labels so I could figure out what a real portion size was.
  3. I asked for help- I got a trainer at one point while working at weight loss and they helped keep me motivated and gave me some great tips.
  4. I acknowledged and changed some attitudes- I sought comfort, happiness, and excitement from food.  Once I started looking closely at that and found better ways to address those gaps I started changing my relationship with food.  I also started calling myself out on self sabotage, which I did frequently, and stopped doing it.  I am that person who drove through a Mc Donald’s drive thru and said I didn’t need anything when they came over the speaker.  I think that was when I really stopped self sabotaging.
  5. I made myself a priority- no longer did my need to take care of myself get shuffled to the side.  I made sure that I ate healthier and exercised.  I made it so much of a normal thing that my boyfriend and his family joked about whether or not I was going to work out after driving back from a road trip this summer.  In truth I forced myself to go home and rest since I had to work the next day, but I wanted to.

All of these things helped me change my lifestyle and kept me on track even when I didn’t feel like it.  We are creatures of habit so if you change it and pick a better habit then you may find some luck.  I no longer measure my food, I haven’t found that I need to anymore.  I still ask for help from experts and I am training to be a CPT so I have a good knowledge base to use for myself and others.  My health and care are still a priority, they have to be because this is the only body I get and I can’t help care for others if I don’t.

Tomorrow I will hopefully be running 13+ miles and if you follow me on Twitter I will be using Nike+ which will allow you to send me a message of (hopefully) encouragement.  If you are one of my friends on Facebook (not just a FFG follower sorry) then it will post there too.  I have my Camelbak ready, my new visor, my music player/phone ready, my fuel ready, and am taping my knees in a moment.  I hope it doesn’t rain on me because well it would suck, but I have a back up plan there too.  My reward besides feeling super bada@# will be a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, love them haven’t had any since last year, just want a treat.  Have a great night, I better hit the sack and get some sleep. 🙂


Self care night

No post tonight, it’s been a long day and I am just going to relax the rest of the night.  Hope you have a great Friday!

Working through the blahs

The last few days I have been feeling kind of down.  Not the I’m so depressed I can’t function kind, just not as happy as usual.  No big surprise it has affected my workouts.  I have done them, any posts I have put up have not been lies, but I know I haven’t done nearly as much as I could have and wish I had done.  I’ve been considering what the source of the blahs is and while I am not sure there are a few things I am sure of I need to take a look at whether I am taking care of me.

So if you find yourself in a similar blah/funk perhaps you might need to do the same.  Think about it, we get up early, cram as much stuff in one day as possible, throw food down our throats, take care of kids/pets/significant others (throwing food down their throats too and yes I make meal time sound very attractive in my house I know), work, do homework, do blogs, play games obsessively on Facebook, do all the other computer things, clean, and crash during that brief period of time we allow ourselves to sit.  Or is this just me??? 

When do we take the time out to “smell the roses” and just relax?  Some people admittedly are much better at this than I am, my brother for instance will make time to go sit on the lake and paddle on the weekends to recharge.  I also have friends that unplug at least one day a week and don’t get on the internet all day *GASP*!  I have even heard of people that run without tracking their time and distance.  I am sure that for me part of what is going on is that I am not doing things to take care of myself that would probably help me out.  Never fear there are some things that you can do and here are a few suggestions:

  • Unplug one day a week- I was doing this previously for about a month and it was nice.  I plan to do so again and after you read my blog you should too, but after you read it please?
  • Get more sleep- I am going to make an effort to have a little more time that I allow myself to sleep in and do my workout later in the day.
  • Take a vacation- I am implementing this starting Friday at 6:30 pm for a week.  It will be a staycation and I will do what I want at a slower nicer pace.  I love my job, but we all need some time away.
  • Get back to nature- I am hoping to finally get back to the mountains during my vacation and maybe try a little trail running.  I have been wanting to for awhile and I hope that will work out.
  • Slow down your workout- what I mean is today for instance I decided a nice walk at lunch was a better idea than trying to run stairs.  I felt like the slower pace and listening to low key music would be better for my mental state than the other, I was right and it was nice.
  • Get back to a hobby- I love cooking/baking and I rarely get to anymore so this week I feel like making some things in the kitchen like some hummus, protein bars, and maybe some baked goods. 
  • Cut back on the caffeine-I think I have been overdoing the caffeine a bit and when you are stressed or not feeling right you should take a look at the stuff you are taking into your body.  Lots of sugar and caffeine won’t help.

I hope these gave you a few ideas to try if you are having a case of the blahs.  How do you deal with the blahs? 

Where and who were you a year ago?

The other day a blogger I follow posted the question on Facebook asking what were you doing this time last year.  It really struck a cord with me and made me stop to think, what was I doing?  I wasn’t blogging yet so I couldn’t look to that to figure out where I was with things in life, but good old Facebook helped me out. 

This time last year I was getting excited to go back to my home state to see family and friends for a visit.  It had been a few years since I had seen anyone face to face (beyond Skype) and I was really missing home.  It’s weird when you live somewhere for almost your whole life and don’t move until you are in your 30’s.  Everything is so established, you are so established, it takes a bit to adjust and to feel like you have some connections.  Anyway, at that point in my life I can tell you there were a few key things that were most definitely different.

  • I was focused on weight loss- I was still really watching the scale and trying to get as skinny as I possibly could I guess.  I am much more comfortable in this area now.  Don’t read perfect by any means, I still wish this or that bump were different, but my perspective on this is much healthier.  I realize that I need to do what is healthy for my body, mind, and soul.  For me that doesn’t include calorie counting and obsessing on the number on the scale.
  • I still saw food as just food- My friend Tracy helped me out with this and again running has helped me tremendously as well.  FOOD=FUEL It’s as simple as that, I want my body to do what I want it to do so I have to fill it with quality food more often than not.  To be able to run as long and far as I want I have to give it the proper fuel for energy expenditures.  Learning about the process in my NASM studies has helped me out as well.
  • I had some undeclared passions and dreams- I have always thought that runners had a look of freedom and I wanted to share in that so badly, but I was afraid.  I had started to do some running a few miles here and there, but had not seen myself as a runner yet.  It was months before I decided to share that I had dreamed of running races including a marathon. I am signed up now for my first half in November and kind of regret not going for the full, one step at a time however. Next year I want to do a full marathon, I feel like I will have the hang of races down a bit better by then and my body will go much smoother into training for even longer distances.

A lot has changed for me in the last year and especially in the last several years.  That change has not always been easy, in fact some of the changes were quite painful and I hope to never go through that again.  However, life is like that and some of those things are the ones that I cannot control.  I feel more capable now to deal with those changes.  So let me pose the question to you, where were you a year ago?  What goals or dreams did you have that you were working on or were you still finding them?

Tonight I get to get out of the house and run around with some friends, I am looking forward to that a lot.  I hope that you have an awesome weekend and if I don’t post tomorrow it’s because I am recovering from tonight. 🙂

Positive habits are generational too…

The other day after a particularly hard day I posted about the evils of addiction essentially.  I stand by what I said about it being a generational disease.  After I posted that (and yes it felt good to get that off my chest) I started considering the good side of habits and how they impact generations as well.  Let me say this up front and get it out of the way, no I don’t have children and I am not sure if I will get to have children.  I do however have a lot of experience with children (the nephews and kids from the past) and I have a bit of training on how to help parents and kids with behavior changes.  Does that make me an expert, no, but I do have some experience to back what I am going to say.

Just as my bad habits can influence the children in my life the good can also influence them.  If your children see you grab beer, food, or zone out in front of the TV or computer to deal with the stress of life what do you think they are learning?  If I go more for sugar or starch in my eating or fried fatty goodness then more often than not that will be their choice as well.

I love the fact that I am seeing the fitness and nutrition professionals that I follow talk about involving their children or encouraging others to do so.  I hope that if I am blessed I will be able to establish those positive habits in the lives of my children.  Even outside of the professionals the other fitness and nutrition nuts like myself that I follow are doing it too.  This is so wonderful, having children does shift priorities, but shouldn’t helping them to be healthy of body and mind be a priority too?  That’s what establishing a healthy lifestyle is all about.

So I just wanted to challenge you to find some fitness or active activities to do with your kids.  Get up off the couch a bit more, have contests with them on who can do the most pushups or heck start teaching them squats and planks!  Go for a run and have them ride along on their bikes or make a weekend outing one that includes water sports or hiking.  Make a room in the house or the garage a home gym so they can start to learn how to workout too.  There are so many things you can do with them that will help them burn off extra energy, have fun, and have bonding time with you.

When it comes to food please think about this, you control what food comes into the house!  If you think it’s not very healthy then don’t buy it.  Kids are picky I know (again meal time around the nephews and other kids I have been around), but if they are hungry they will eat.  Look at labels and think about what they are fueling themselves with.  Do you want them to have high cholesterol because they eat corn dogs, chicken nuggets, hotdogs, and other highly processed foods all of the time?  Be an example for your kids in word and action.

You will help them develop their eating habits and their habits when it comes to moving.  There are plenty of parents out there that do it.  They find that balance between being active to take care of themselves and having plenty of time with their kids.  They know how to stay away from fast food and convenience foods so they can have nutritious meals.  They are not super humans, they are just like you and me they just get it.  They understand the importance of establishing those positive habits.  Metabolic issues are genetic and generational, why not make healthier eating and better health generational too.  Just some thoughts I have been pondering and some encouragement I wanted to share.

Now I do have to brag about something for a moment.  I participated in a Runner’s Box gift exchange, kind of like the foodie penpal only with running themed stuff.  My penpal was Kari and we exchanged emails back and forth for a bit and I got my package in the mail just last night.  I was so happy to get it and it was really almost a shame to tear into it.  She took a lot of time to make each item in it very special even with the wrapping.  She gave me a visor, a tek running shirt, some Nuun, some dark chocolate (yummy!), some apple pie Larabars, some running socks, a journal, and even some catnip mice for my cat Dot.  It was very thoughtful and I loved it.  If you are on Facebook and are interested follow Scrambled Legs Running and she will post when it’s time to do again.  I will definitely be participating in this again.

self care

I got home late tonight so no new post, I’m pretty tired and mostly just getting the new phone set up and digging into my runners exchange box.  It totally kicks butt by the way!!!  I will post tomorrow and share what I got then, but many thanks to my running buddy Kari. 🙂

Getting out of your comfort zone and facing intimidation

I have to be honest with you about something.  Although my 10k was a great experience and I will do it again it was very outside of my comfort zone.  When I got there I was by myself, there were other people arriving and I was able to figure out where I needed to go, but I knew no one.  The feeling I got when I got there was mixed with fear, doubt, loneliness and intimidation.  I train alone and it’s really not a big deal to me to run alone.  The difference was that when I run alone I am truly physically alone and at the race I was lonely in the middle of crowd.  I also know that when I set out with a goal on distance I will and can do it as long as I don’t talk myself out of it.  I don’t find that intimidating, but this really new thing, it was massively intimidating.

I kept looking at the people around me that had friends/family and running buddies, it made me lonely.  I thought to myself “what the heck are you doing here”?  I went through thinking maybe I was crazy for thinking I could do this and all kinds of other irrational thoughts.  I truly almost got so nervous and let my old friend FEAR come back in and send me home.  It was the humiliation of not following through or letting fear beat me that kept me there that morning.
I will tell you what I did to try and help myself out so I didn’t feel so intimidated or alone.  I watched the people around me and just tried to blend in.  I saw a few people running through the parking lot for a bit to warm up, so I did that.  I was afraid of using up my fuel too much so I just did a tiny bit of running and thought that mostly it was to calm my nerves and keep busy.  I stretched doing some static and some dynamic movements to try and loosen up. I grabbed some water and started sipping it a little bit knowing if I took in just the wrong amount my belly would slosh and I would have to pee (they don’t stop the timer for peeing even though I do on my runs alone).
I am so glad that I had this experience because it was a peek into what it will be like for the half marathon, minus several thousand people.  It pushed me out of my usual comfort zone and was definitely a new experience for me.  I had to pull on some courage and strength of mind to not walk out and to finish it.
 I wish I had someone to run with, I think it would help to calm me and encourage me if nothing else.  Reality is I am in a large city with limited amounts of friends and none of them run or they don’t run anymore.  So it is what it is for me and I will be a lonely runner in a large crowd until or unless I put myself out there to connect with others.  I will try and pick out someone to pace myself with whether they know it or not and will hopefully be distracted by the crowds and excitement.  Also hopefully my phone will be working so I can call and celebrate with family and friends when I finish.

I managed to get a photo from the dead phone!

study/self care night

I won’t be posting much because I need to do some more studying and find some time to relax.  I hope you all have a great day and I will post a short post tomorrow.

10k race recap aka you can’t tell a runner by looking at them

Did you know that 3:58am is really early, like it’s still dark out?  Yeah this week I have been up three times earlier than the sunrise and two of those times were before 4am.  I.AM.TIRED.  Tired but a very happy tired.  I woke up just before my alarm, which was good because I was afraid I might wake other people in the house up and I didn’t.  I ate my wheat bread with almond butter right away to get my fuel going.  I also started sipping some water right away too as a part of keeping from dehydrating.  Then I stumbled around and got ready.

I was so anxious about it I actually left the house about an hour early and was one of the first few people there that weren’t helping to run the race.  I just couldn’t help it, walking around the house as silent as possible was more than I could handle so before I knocked something over while pacing I decided to leave.  When I got ready to head out my boyfriend said something so sweet to me, he said, “concentrate on the race and have fun, don’t worry about anything else.”  He is such a good man, he knows me and how I would worry about everyone but me even while doing this.  I took his advice and let go of all the other stuff going on with life and just focused on running.

I will say that I at least got to almost the halfway point before the leaders zoomed past me (the top male did the 10k in 36:27 and female 43:23) and there were a few people that I did pass.  So my results ended up being I was 7th in my age range (out of 9, but again not last), 90th overall, a 10:50 pace, and I finished in 1:07:11.  My goals this race were to finish it, not be last, and improve my PR (personal record) all of which I did! 

I wish I had pictures to share, but my phone has apparently died as a result of either over heating or the sweat exposure I am not sure.  I hope that when I try it after letting it sit in rice for awhile that it will start again, but who knows.  If not perhaps my SD card will work in the new phone that I may have to get. I did Tweet a picture before I left the house (notice Dot the cat staring at something outside).

One thing that occurred to me though when I was observing people before, during, and after the race.  There is no particular size/shape or observable physical attributes that determine whether you are a runner.   In fact you couldn’t even really tell by the gear they had either.  Some runners were totally decked out in gear from head to toe and yes, the people at the front of the pack where tall and skinny, the body type you would expect.  However, this guy that was in front of me and beat me was approximately 45-50 something, over 200lbs, and pouring sweat.  He didn’t have the latest shoes (they weren’t neon they looked to be just sneakers), he didn’t have any hydration system, I didn’t even see any ear buds, and he was wearing a cotton T-shirt and regular shorts.  But I will be darned if I couldn’t pass him no matter how hard I tried.  I got close, but he just pulled to far ahead of me towards the end and I didn’t see him again until the finish line.  He rocked this race like no ones business and if he is the person on the results list that I think he beat me by almost 2 whole minutes.  Outside appearances don’t always dictate physical fitness.  I also had the fun of giving some encouragement and the thumbs up to people that I passed.  I told someone “hang in there we are over halfway done” and at the finish line he came up and thanked me, that was an awesome feeling.  I was so happy to have been an encouragement to someone, that really helped make my day. 

Tomorrow I will probably do a few miles on the treadmill and some resistance at the gym (I have pull ups to work towards).  Then my usual food prep of cutting tons of veggies and I am still into doing the chicken salad for sandwiches at least one more week.  I won’t be posting though because I am going to spend the day going over my NASM CPT stuff.  I gotta stay on top of things with that before my time to study is up!  Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday!

Prepping for my 10k

I am getting so excited for tomorrow!!!!  I picked up my number and t-shirt earlier today and got to talk to one of the ladies on the Las Vegas Running Team about it and she gave me some awesome advice.  I told her I had been reaching out to others for some suggestions on how to handle the nutrition. She gave me a thumbs up for the Nuun and suggested that I drink some today to prep for tomorrow as well.

One thing I hadn’t considered that she suggested was to take in some salt tonight. You see some of us get pretty salty when we exercise for long periods, my face literally gets salt on the side of it that I have to wash off.  This indicates that if I don’t watch it I will have an electrolyte imbalance.  I figured a little bit of this out based on some previous conversations on Facebook/Twitter with other people.  I reviewed with her some of the plan I had and she again said I was right on with my thinking.  So here is the plan and where my obsessive need to plan things out may come in handy:

  • I actually stopped at the office and dropped off some overnight oats in my work fridge so my prep started today.
  • I will put my gear out and lay out my clothes tonight.  I already have my hydration bladder in the fridge with some Nuun in it.  I will have some wipes to get cleaned up and some dry clothes to change into once I get to the office.
  • Get up at 4am (yes 4am on a Saturday for the love of running)
  • When I get up I will put some Almond Butter on a piece of wheat bread, this will be 2 hours before race time.
  • I will get ready and start moving around a bit so my muscles are a bit warmed up.
  • I will eat a couple of dates before I head out the door at least 45 minutes prior to race time.
  • Drive to the race and run my butt off going as fast as I can (I will of course pace myself and enjoy the run.  I hope to get it done in an 1:15-ish)
  • Walk around to stretch and loosen muscles back up, maybe eat an apple or whatever they have to start the recovery process.  I am thinking about taking my dates with me to nibble on or an apple.
  • Go to the office eat my oatmeal, clean up, and speak to the weight support group
  • Go home and pass out…just kidding.

Anyway that is the plan, hopefully it will work, but if life throws me a wrench I have the satisfaction of knowing that the money I paid for the race goes to a good cause.  I also know that I can do it with no problems.  I didn’t get to run at all this week, I was as active as I could be with my crazy hours.  I hope next week things will get less crazy and I can get to the gym and get some runs done.  I will of course post about how it goes tomorrow and hopefully I will think to get some pictures.

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