Sunday, February 28, 2010

An amazing run

I wish all runs were like the one I had today. It was right at forty degrees, the warmest it's been in MONTHS and it was too nice to pass up. And my run. Some runs are hard. Your feet feel like cement, every step wreaks havoc on your thighs and your calves start burning on the way up your first hill. Today definitely wasn't effortless, but it was freeing and lovely and it was just running. Just going. Breathing, feeling my feet hit the pavement, seeing the sun cast shadows on the ground.

My feet would propel me toward and a hill and then let me float on down. It was one of the best runs I've had. My last run that was that good was before Thanksgiving. That's a while ago.

I think my brain needed this run. I've been running on the treadmill because it's been insanely cold out. On the treadmill my brain isn't distracted. It's just bouncing up and down with the rhythm of my steps. It's watching the clock count down, it's watching the calories add up and it's watching the miles click by. I've tried putting a towel over the monitor, but when there's not even a TV to look at, the minutes are so slow, even my music didn't help much. I race myself. I race to the next mile, the next calorie count ending in zero and I race the minutes. No, only one more minute. Then when that's up, only one more minute. There's only so much you can do.

I was doubting my ability to run the 5k I'm signed up for at the end of next month. I was so uninspired by the treadmill that it was just harder and harder to make those 3.5 miles pass by. Today, today changed all of that. I ran and laughed and when I was done I shouted into the chilly air and pumped my fist. I was SO excited! It was definitely amazing.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spring in my step

What is it about Spring that makes me smile? Is it the wet roads, the wet ground, or the wet everything from the snow and the melting and all the sun? Hmmm... Maybe. I love Spring. I love the little bounce people get because it's getting warmer. I love the smile on faces when you talk about the temperature getting up to FORTY next weekend. Lol, I love Iowans, what can I say.

Spring means more to me than New Years' Day when it comes down to resolutions. Everything is new. The snow will wash away and the grass will start to grow. The flowers will start to peak out of the soil and it will SMELL SO GOOD. Spring is a time of new beginnings. It's a time of cabin fever because you can just feel the nice weather coming on. Spring to me means butterflies and grilling and beautiful beautiful flowers that I can smell and see and colors and oh, I don't know, unicorns and gumdrops and all those magical things.

Spring is here, and I am new. I am a new creation. My life is my own now and it truly belongs to me! I feel more in control of my life than ever before! Yes, I still have problems, there's always money and family and my job and the economy, those problems weren't erase because I started to take better care of myself. But my life was changed. Ah, I love Spring.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Continuing on

In my beginning I didn't know if I could do this. I didn't know if starting on this path toward a healthy lifestyle was possible for me. Oh goodness me, I didn't know my own strength. I started in June, 2009. It's now February, 2010 and I'm still going. I have lost 30 lbs. I have lost inches. I have loved (almost) every minute of it.

I am not the only one who has changed in the past few months. I have family who have jumped on this healthy wagon, too, and every time I hear about another accomplishment, another goal they've met be it weight loss or healthy living, I cheer my heart out.

That's one thing I never expected from this. I knew my life was going to change, I wasn't aware of how the lives of those around me would change. Don't worry, I'm not crediting myself with every choice my family or friends have made, but I do think it's amazing. My family will be around longer because they will be healthier. My friends will be able to do more things because they are more active. Life will be fuller *IS fuller* because of all the of little changes we have committed to.

All this give me motivation, makes me want to keep going, keep getting stronger, keeping runner farther. Thank you to all whose live are changing. You're my inspiration.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Very first race ever

I have just signed up for my first "official" 5k called The Fools 5k in Cedar Falls on March 27. I figure it might be good to run this stuff since I'm planning doing the IMT Des Moines half marathon in October. I also want to do the Bix7 in Davenport at the end of July as part of my training. But this is my first official race.

I'm nervous. I keep having thoughts of "What if" I can't do this, I go slower than everyone, I don't complete it in enough time, I make a fool of myself.

I guess I'll get over it. I know running takes mental energy, mental energy that I'm building as I build my muscles. It's just a little nerve wracking, especially since it's my first race. I can run (read, jog) over three miles, I'll be able to go the distance, but I need to start mentally preparing myself for this race that's four full weeks and one partial week away. So, the worst thing that happens? I walk. I'm pretty sure I can live with that.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It just keeps getting better

I'm continually amazed at what this new way of living actually brings to my life. Every time I conquer something I once thought impossible, every time I do something new and every time my life changes I just have to sit in disbelief for a few minutes and take it all in. I never knew my life could be what it is today, and I have so much further to go!

Anyway, my first WOO HOO for this week, I did BIG GIRL PUSH UPS on Wednesday in my fitness class! By those I mean the ones on your toes. I don't think I've EVER been able to do them, and I eeked out five. We do about fifty push ups every class and I've been doing them on my knees, but I'm switching to my toes because my back is now strong enough to handle them. One week ago I tried them and my back collapsed, it just couldn't handle it. Today I'm aiming for eight, and next week even more!

My other woohoo is that last night at the volleyball game I served OVERHAND! To anyone in sports, this probably seems like such a small goal, but again, it's something I've never been able to do before! After our games last night (we played a double header) I swore I had a runner's high, only it was from volleyball! It was amazing the difference I feel from when we started last fall to how I am doing now. I'm more confident and I'm definitely a better player. When I started last fall it was to have fun, now I'm having fun and I'm doing pretty well. I will never be an elite volleyball player, but to be able to hold me own makes me so happy that every time I walk off the court I have a huge grin on my face.

I'm not saying that push ups and volleyball make my life complete, but I never thought they would fulfill my life in this way. Because I'm losing weight, because I'm getting stronger so many other areas of my life are getting fuller.

I'm happier at home with the SO because I'm happier with myself. We're saving money on groceries because I buy healthy food, but I eat smaller portions than I ever did when we were just buying crap. Instead of matching the SO bite for bite I have about half. And now the SO is watching his portions too. We always have leftovers. Then I get a whole extra meal (if not two or three) out of what we would normally eat for one meal. For example, the other day we got a Papa Murphy's pizza. Normally we would polish that sucker off, but I had two pieces, the SO had three. then I had two for lunch yesterday and now I still have an extra piece. That's TWO extra meals for me, four meals instead of two, at a price of $10. So instead of paying $5 per meal we paid $2.50. You can't tell me that those savings don't add up.

In other news, I feel better. I'm more confident and I'm trying things I always told myself I couldn't do. Playing volleyball is one. Playing softball this summer is going to be another. I pretty much stopped playing organized sports in 8th grade when I tore a ligament playing basketball. I was done after that. Now, I'm more coordinated. I'm stronger and I'm loving it.

In MORE news, I've started writing a few book reviews and I've co-written a couple of articles for the paper I work at. I always wanted to be a copy-editor, not a writer because I didn't want to put myself out there. I enjoy playing with other people's words and making it as good as it can be, but I never really wanted to write because to write meant my work could be critiqued, and who needed that when I was harder on myself than anyone could ever be. But I'm out there. If people don't like what I've written, tough I guess, 'cuz it's there!

I just keep thinking, it was over nine months ago since I got off my butt and out on the pavement walking first, and then running. I thought it was impossible to do a mile. Now I regularly run 3-4 miles. That was just the beginning!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What I'm doing is amazing!

Good morning ! Today I feel rejuvenated, renewed and so happy, compared to my last few days where I just felt BLAH. I can't tell you what the change is. Maybe my sunshine from Saturday is kicking in, maybe my body was just a little off, who knows, but I like to think it's the sunshine. Which makes me want to say:

What we're doing is amazing. Please tell yourself that right now, if you're around people you can shout it in your head, but otherwise, SAY IT OUT LOUD! "What I'm doing is amazing!"

We are changing our lives, one step, one portion at a time. That takes so much time and energy that many people never even attempt it. In the midst of all of this we beat ourselves up because we think we're not doing enough, that we're not trying hard enough, but we're trying!

So, in the spirit of my happiness, I wanted to post three things that I love about me. That no matter what I still love about me even when I'm not loving me as much as I should be.

1. I love that I always try to see the best in people.

2. I love that when I laugh it makes the SO happy, and vice versa.

3. I love my eyes and that my mom always told me they were like my Grandma's eyes, what my grandpa used to call 'cat eyes'.

What do you love about you?

Friday, February 12, 2010

One foot in front of the other

There are days I just don't feel like doing it. I don't want to eat a carrot instead of a brownie. I don't want to get dressed in my workout clothes. I really don't want to get in my car or out on the road and do what I'm supposed to do to keep this healthy lifestyle I've grown to (most days) love. I have to say there are days when I don't, when I let my negative attitude control my actions for the day. I deal with these days and I don't let myself think "well, you've missed your workout today, that means you should take the rest of the week off" but I do believe it derails me.

One day off is not where I want to be. I want to do this every day, all day, every week of every month of the rest of my life. This is what I want. This isn't always what I get. Why? Because of life. Because as much as I hate to hear or use excuses, sh** happens. One day I may not get to my workout class because we're completely overloaded at work. This is not ideal and I work my butt off to ensure it doesn't happen - coming in early and doing more than my "fair share" just to make sure I can leave and not feel guilty.

There may be snow and I may not feel safe driving, so I won't go to the grocery store to get the ingredients for an incredibly healthy meal I have planned. I will have to make something that may not be as healthy as my planned meal. It happens. Life throws curves at you and it's important that you deal with them.

So I can't get to class on time, it doesn't mean I can't workout. I can go to the gym later. I can put in one of my workout DVD's, I can brave the cold and go for a walk or run. I can make it happen if I want it badly enough. So I can't make my planned meal, it doesn't mean I can't eat in a healthy way! My life is changing on more than just a one-trip-to-the-grocery-story level. My house is stocked with eats that are good for you. I can make a meal and while it may not be my desired one, it will still be healthy.

I found this excerpt at (if you can't see the link, its'

"I think the key element to fitness & weight-loss success starts on a mental plane. You lead with your head, & your body will follow. This is not to say that you should just wait for inspiration to strike before you decide to run or eat more healthfully. Actually, it's the exact opposite. You put one foot down after another, & then inspiration will follow. I find I often gain the resolve I need only after taking the first step toward my goal(s). With each step I take towards my goals, I reinforce my belief in myself, & put greater trust my instincts. It is through this reinforcement that I gain increased strength to keep going. In this case, I think it's best to visualize where you want to be, start moving, & analyze/re-assess later." In other words, don't overthink the process or get too bogged down with the planning. Just get out the door & start moving. "

So it goes for life as well as exercise and other healthy things. Sometimes the action comes before the feeling. Sometimes doing something is just as good as wanting to do something and do it. Life may derail us, but as long as we keep putting one foot down and picking the other back up we can continue this journey as long as we choose.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Creating me

Every day I eat an apple instead of a donut I am choosing who I want to be. Every day I take a walk instead of sitting on my butt for thirty more minutes and watching TV I am creating my life. Every day is a new day and every day is full of possibilities.

I know how much these words are true because I've changed my own life. I've seen my life change since late June when I decided I could not live my former life anymore. I was on a path to morbid obesity. I was already past the "overweight" category and well into the "obese" range. There was no where to go but up, or so I believed. I wasn't active. Active was walking around the mall and then getting a Great American Cookies Co. Doozie to take home with me. Portions were how much food filled my plate with potatoes as my main (and most of the time) only vegetable and meat was the star of the show, taking up half the plate, if not more.

Now I weigh 25 lbs. less than that girl in November. I work out 5-6 days a week and I've developed a love of running I never knew possible. Life can change. we are not stuck in whatever life is playing out in front of us. We are not sentenced to remain the people we once were, not if we see an opportunity to become better people in the process. We have choices. We can change. We can remain. We can do anything and everything in between.

For me, I have chosen to change my life. I have chosen to be the person I want to be instead of the person I just let myself become. I'm not going to lie: It's not always easy. Some things are as simple as picking up a water jug instead of picking up a soda bottle, other things are ingrained into who I am and have emotions and memories associated with them. The key for me, was choosing what my life was going to be like. So far, it's going insanely well. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Monday, February 1, 2010

My stereotype

For years my body has been my prison. I'm not saying I was surrounded by a wall of fat. 50 lbs., yes, that's a lot of weight, but I didn't think of it that way. I just told myself I wasn't athletic. I wasn't fit for whatever activity I thought about and since I wasn't as flat-chested or skinny as other girls I knew (Btw, I've been curvy for a while!) what was the point?

But it never felt right. I felt depressed. down. sad. Whatever you want to call it, I was in a slump and it felt like it had been that way my whole life.

I never knew my life could be how it is now.

I'm running. I love running. Yes, sometimes it hurts. Sometimes I don't want to face the thirty degree weather. Sometimes I don't want to lace my shoes and often I don't to get off my bed. But I feel amazing when it's done. I've joined the volleyball team at my work and while I'll never be olympic quality, just seeing how far I've come in three months is great! I enjoy it, I'm getting better and that's so much fun. This summer I'm going to be on the work softball team, too! I never used to have the confidence to do this. To go out, have fun and possibly make a fool out of myself. I'm pretty insecure when it comes to sports, but I'm so excited. To get out there, to play and to become better. It's amazing.

The other thing that has changed in my life was extraordinary to me, thought it may be small to everyone else. I have a balanced body. Yeah, it sounds weird, but you can just say that I'm a klutz. I'm walked into things, fallen on my face, literally, a tens of times in all parts of the world. I've had numerous concussions (yeah, and I was never in sports) and torn thing and broken some things and just been an all-around klutzy person. Not anymore. I hardly even slip on the ice and when I do, I catch myself. I may drop something, but, compared to how I used to be, I have ninja-like reflexes. I can feel my ankle turn and I am able to stop myself before I get a twisted ankle. I move better, I'm freer and it feels great.

It probably sounds so silly to you! But it's amazing to me. How my body moves, how my body holds itself, it's changed and to me, it feels like it's changed overnight. I've learned that I never really knew myself or knew my body. I had stereotypes about myself that I imposed on myself. I couldn't do this. I shouldn't do that. I needed to be outgoing and talkative because that was all that I was worth. The biggest thing my weightloss has given to me, is me. I've found myself. I've found my voice and I can't be kept quiet anymore. I had put myself in a cage of doubts and nos and I'm free and I can't go back. This song, this song which makes me weep and laugh and makes me want to raise my hand and pump it in the air explains so much of how I feel.


Listen to the song here in my heart
A melody I start but can't complete
Listen to the sound from deep within
It's only beginning to find release

Oh, the time has come for my dreams to be heard
They will not be pushed aside and turned
Into your own all 'cause you won't

Listen, I am alone at a crossroads
I'm not at home in my own home
And I've tried and tried to say what's on mind
You should have known

Oh, now I'm done believing you
You don't know what I'm feeling
I'm more than what you made of me
I followed the voice you gave to me
But now I've gotta find my own

You should have listened, there is someone here inside
Someone I thought had died so long ago
Oh, I'm screaming out and my dreams'll be heard
They will not be pushed aside on words
Into your own all 'cause you won't

Listen, I am alone at a crossroads
I'm not at home in my own home
And I've tried and tried to say what's on mind
You should have known

Oh, now I'm done believing you
You don't know what I'm feeling
I'm more than what you made of me
I followed the voice you gave to me
But now I've gotta find my own

I don't know where I belong
But I'll be moving on
If you don't, if you won't

Listen to the song here in my heart
A melody I start but I will complete

Oh, now I'm done believing you
You don't know what I'm feeling
I'm more than what you made of me
I followed the voice you think you gave to me
But now I've gotta find my own, my own