100+ miles done…

Since May 27, I’ve been working toward completing the 200 Miles of Summer Challenge.  I started out really slowly,  but I finally reached my halfway point this week.  I have until September 3rd to finish the challenge. I’m so thankful for this endeavor because it’s gotten me moving outside of the gym and pushes me to do more every day.  

When I started this week I had two goals 1) get at least 10,000 steps daily and 2) get in 21 miles. These both go hand in hand,  the more mileage I did,  the more steps I was able to accumulate. I ended the week yesterday with 28 miles. I’m currently at 107 miles for my challenge.  I managed to get over 10,000 steps every day and on Thursday hit 20,000. It feels so good to keep progressing. 

Chris was out of town this week for work so I didn’t have the chance to lift with him,  but my mom was visiting (and able to be at the house with the kids) so I was able to get in mileage early in the morning without using the treadmill. I am so thankful that I have friends who are on this journey with me.  I walked with three different people this week.  I definitely get in more miles when I have someone to chat with.  I love my workout buddies. 

Jamie was on a limited schedule,  but she gave me the time she had. This girl is shorter than me, but walks like she’s trying to escape a murderer behind us. She’s fast….. super fast. Jamie and I started this journey together.  We took our very first Zumba class together. 

Janette and I had some interesting walks this week.  We walked in the rain and wondered about lightning strikes.  We walked on a busy road and had to keep an eye out for semi trucks. Janette was my very first friend in Pulaski,  so it’s nice when we can catch up.  

Angie has been one of my workout buddies from the beginning.  She’s the one who got me going to the early morning classes. Angie always has a story tell, so walking with her doesn’t feel like work 🙂

Since Chris was out of town, I decided to add a few more classes to my schedule. This week I did Bodycon, Balls and Bands,  Circuits, Guns and Guts,  and Yoga. I can’t keep this schedule up,  but it was nice to mix things up a bit.  I really enjoy Circuits! Circuits pushes me to do better.  On one of the stations,  Danita told us we could push ourselves further if we wanted and add a push up. I started at that station,  Danita gave me the side eye and encouraged me to do the push up. Without thinking, I got down and did it….. and I wasn’t on my knees.  I did a full on push up. Danita even mentioned my form was good.  #itsthelittlethings. I had to do a little dance to celebrate. It’s who I am 🙂

My week was filled with lots of good things. I’m definitely finding much more positives these days. Speaking of positives,  my wonderful friend Amber sent me some goodies to celebrate my success.  She has given me so much encouragement along the way.  It feels amazing to have such a great support system.  

I hope everyone has a great week and crushes their goals! 

Advertisements

Measurements…

Yesterday, Chris and I lifted at the gym and followed it up with a new class, Guns and Guts. Unfortunately, we were the only ones that showed up.  It always boggles my mind that the 4:30 am classes are so full,  but it’s difficult to get people into the gym in the evening.  I get it, there’s a lot on people’s plates (mine too- I share in the struggle),  but I never would have imagined that so many would get up for a workout before the sun comes up. Because of the popularity of morning classes,  Danita added in a Balls and Bands class this morning.  It was nice to do something different and to have my workout and miles in before 7 am. 

Chris has been doing my measurements since October.  We haven’t been very consistent, taking them only when one of us remembers.  I actually remembered tonight and had him jot down the numbers.  Since I started at the gym in August, we have taken measurements only 5 times.  I’ve lost a total of 16.5 inches since October.  I never really feel like I’m losing that much until I see the difference in the numbers.  

He accompanies the measurements with pictures. These are the ones that blow my mind.  There are many days when I look at parts of my body and I’m disappointed in the way I look, but these pictures show me how far I’ve come. This collage is October,  May, and today.  I highly recommend doing pictures and measurements… sometimes the scale doesn’t move as quickly as you’d like, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress. 


 

The good, the bad, and the ugly…

I started today at the gym with Danita and 4:30 am class.  I joked during class that I was immediately coming home to go back to bed.  I had every intention of taking a shower and heading straight to my bed,  but on the way home I started thinking: 1) I was already dressed for a workout 2) I needed to get some mileage in for my 200 mile challenge today. So,  I got home and jumped on the treadmill.  My left leg was having knee problems and my shin was hurting when I tried to run,  so I walked 3.1 miles.  I had my entire workout done today before 6:30 am. It felt nice to be done!
The good…every day I check my Timehop app, it reminds me of things I’ve done over the years. Today this picture of me from 2 years ago showed up.  I honestly do not remember my face looking this big. 

I snapped a picture right away so I could compare and see if I still looked the same.  My hair is a mess,  but I HAVE A CHIN! Who knew?!?

The bad…Chris and I had no plans today.  It was just another day in our house.  The kids are spending the holiday with Chris’s parents and there didn’t seem to be a lot going on around these parts, so we decided to clean our kitchen and get rid of a bunch of junk.  It is amazing how much stuff you can fit in one room.  We found things we didn’t know we had and wondered why we had kept other things.  At the end of the day we decided to order pizza. I had been thinking of pizza for a few days and had talked myself out of it.  Pizza tasted good,  but it made me feel gross. I’m glad we had it just so I could get it off my mind,  but I wish I had made a healthier choice. I’m chalking it up to a cheat day. 

The ugly… it’s Tuesday NOT the weekend.  It feels like a Saturday. Middle of the week holidays are the worst.  Back at it tomorrow.  Chris and I will head to the gym tomorrow evening and I’m hoping to get some more miles in.  I hope you all have a great rest of the day! 

I’ve got a secret…

A few weeks ago I started going to the gym for additional workouts besides the classes I take with an instructor.  My friend Angie and I began doing more weight training and speedwork on the treadmill.  It was nice to get in the gym and add in new workouts.  I realized I really enjoyed it so I asked Chris if he would be willing to train with me at the gym as well.  He agreed and we started doing heavier weights.  We are doing a beginner’s plan,  but we are working on bench press,  deadlift, squats with weight, and upright rows. I’m impressed with how quickly I’m progressing.

So,  here’s my secret….

I LOVE LIFTING! I really do… I feel strong and I’ve never felt like this before.  I also love that I’m spending time with my husband while I’m getting healthier.  It’s a win/win situation.

Chris also agreed to work with me on increasing my speed on outside runs.  We started last Saturday,  committing to once a week.  Last Saturday’s run was a hot mess. It felt like I had never run before in my life.  I was embarrassed.

Fast forward to Friday night…I knew we were busy on Saturday with an out of town wedding,  so I didn’t expect we would have time to get our training run in on Saturday morning.  After dinner on Friday,  I asked Chris if he would go on a walk with me.  It looked like it was going to pour rain at any second, but I wanted to try to get 3.1 miles in any way. We made it about 1.5 miles and I just started running….. no pressure at all from Chris…. no expectations.  I just wanted to run.  I was running further than usual before taking walk breaks and I found myself energized.  I started pushing myself and running faster and faster. It was an amazing feeling.  It was my best run to date and it started out as a walk.

I planned to get home from the wedding last night and get on the treadmill,  but my back was hurting from being in the car and I decided to give myself a much needed rest day.

I feel so much better and it shows…

FB_IMG_1499037407637

Today we hit the gym, got our weights in,  and then I did 3.1 on the treadmill.  It’s crazy hot outside!

I’m excited to be moving toward my goals…

20170702_180919

I hope everyone has a wonderful week.  I just want you to all know that you can absolutely do anything you put your mind to. Set a goal and crush it!

 

My journey to a better me, Part 3…

I mentioned in Part 1 that my eating habits were not my main concern as I started this journey of working out. I wanted to make sure I was in the right mind-frame and could stick to my workout plans before I changed my diet. When I started going to the gym I weighed 216 lbs. It was the biggest I had ever been. Failed diets mixed with emotional eating after my dad passed away, led me to see a number I NEVER wanted to see on the scale.

I knew something had to be done in order to live the life I wanted to live. Dad died at 65 from heart problems, so I wanted to get a head start on my health and become the healthiest version of me I could. In the past, when trying to lose weight, I had done extreme things…only to gain every bit of it (and more) back as soon as I started eating regularly again. I lived a keto lifestyle for awhile, which actually had me feeling wonderfully with great energy, but I had to limit carbs so much that I knew I could not possibly make it into my long term life choice. Keto was the last thing I did before I ended up on the scale seeing 216 lbs staring back at me. Don’t get me wrong, keto is fabulous for people who can maintain it, I just can’t.

So, in the early days of trying to lose weight (which happened to be the holidays), I simply tried to eat less. I didn’t forbid any foods or feel guilty upon eating anything, I just wanted to eat less of the foods I liked. For instance, no more second and third helpings of mashed potatoes. Three pieces of pizza instead of 4 or 5. These changes were relatively easy, but my weight was not coming off very quickly. I was getting discouraged.

As the new year approached, I started drinking more water (I had given up soda 3 years prior.) I very rarely had gatorade or anything besides water and milk. I added more salads into my diet. I am super picky, so I don’t have to worry about salad dressings or all of the things added to them which can make them unhealthy. We started nixing Friday night pizza night (we still have it occasionally, but it is not a regular occasion. In fact, we have enough coupons from Casey’s pizza boxes for a free pizza and they have been sitting in my house for over a month–something which would never have happened before.) We started eating less pasta. We now have pasta once or twice a month. Our diet typically consists of a lean protein, a potato or rice, and a salad or veggie. Easy to plan and healthy. I also gave up most sweet treats and replaced them with a small rice krispy treat (which are only 90 calories), a banana, or an apple. It has become easier and easier to eat healthy, simply because I know that I can eat more healthy food, which has less calories and feel more full with less cravings than when I eat junk.

Ok, friends….take a deep breath….cause I know this next part is going to send some of you into a panic. I am afraid of hearing from many of you saying I am being unhealthy and I need to change my choices. So, ready—1, 2, 3…..deep breaths 🙂 By February 2017, I started recording my weight every Wednesday in an accountability group on Facebook (I am currently the only person still taking part—as Angie says, this means I win!) I started my weigh-ins at 207. It was not where I wanted to be, but it was better than where I started. As you all know, I am Catholic….we spend our Sundays in a pew and love being a part of our faith-based community. I knew Lent was coming up on March 1st, so I wanted to think of something I could do that would help me on my health journey. I originally said I was going to stop gossiping as well, but that lasted a total of 10 minutes. hahahaha 🙂 I decided I was going to give Intermittent Fasting a try for Lent. (cue—oh my goodness, she was fasting—-doesn’t she know she is supposed to eat little meals all day to lose weight?!?)

Chris has been doing Intermittent Fasting (IF) for a couple years now. I wanted to try it out and I thought doing it for a short time, over the span of Lent, would be a good time to do it.  There are many ways to do IF. I followed the 16/8 plan, which meant for 16 hours of the day (a huge chunk of it was when I was sleeping) I didn’t eat. Gasp! I had an eating window of 8 hours during the day/night when I ate. What I found out was—I loved it! I had more energy and I made better choices when I did eat.

Lent came and went and I found myself continuing to fast. I still do it now. I do it about 90 percent of the time. If a friend asks me to an early lunch, I won’t say no. If I need to have breakfast/brunch at a bridal shower or special occasion, I will eat. I do have two meals a day, a late light lunch, and dinner. Any of my friends who have seen me eat during this time can attest to the fact that I am getting plenty of food. I get enough calories. I am not starving myself. I repeat—I am not starving myself! IF isn’t for everyone, but it works well for me. I actually really love it and have been doing it for 4 months. It can easily be something I can do long term.

There’s a wonderful documentary regarding IF, Eat–Fast–and Live Longer, that I suggest you check out before determining whether or not you think I am crazy. And a link to more information about the health benefits and types of IF.

http://jamesclear.com/the-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting

So, for the foreseeable future, I will be fasting….and loving it. I am currently 187 lbs–that’s nearly 30 lbs gone. I look and feel so much better. I have a long way to go, but I know I will get there with hard work and determination.

My journey to a better me, Part 2…

penguinSimilar to the popular TLC show,  I said Yes to the Race 🙂 I immediately felt terror and huge amounts of doubt. Why in the world did I sign up for a half marathon?!? I couldn’t even run a 5k all the way through (I still can’t,  but it’s a goal).

My friends kept telling me it would be fine and they had no intention of running 13.1 miles straight through any way.  Oh, did I mention I had only run outside when doing 2 previous 5ks?!? I always ran on the treadmill <insert more terror now>. Kathy and Angie convinced me that I could run outside,  I just needed a little practice.

The first time I met up with the girls to run,  I remember thinking, “I’ll probably die on this run.  Thank God they brought their phones to call 911 because I don’t have mine.” We went out and I lived. I ran outside and I lived! I believe this was the time I got a wicked wind burn on my legs,  but I lived.

We didn’t get too far into our running journey when I fell on the ice the week of Christmas and really hurt my back. I was on pain medication and out of commission until after the New Year.  I couldn’t bend over and had a difficult time even walking, so running was out.  But,  you know what?!? Angie and Kathy were messaging me constantly and checking on me daily. They never made me feel guilty for derailing our plans.  I barely knew these women and they had become such a big part of my life in no time at all.  Everyone needs running friends like these!

Once I was feeling better,  we started doing one longer run every Saturday or Sunday. We went out in crazy winds and freezing temps, but sometimes we had absolutely beautiful days.  When we started,  the thought of doing 4 miles was scary, but as we progressed I found myself worrying less and less.  Of course,  I had days when I freaked out and wanted to quit, but when you have other people relying on you,  that’s out of the question.

In the beginning of training,  Angie realized she had double booked herself and wouldn’t be able to do the Half.  She continued to train with us,  though. She kept us laughing and talking even when I was sure I was going to die. Angie even surprised Kathy and I at our 5k in March.  I was overwhelmed and cried.  Yep,  I’m a mess!

As the half got closer, I found myself much more at ease. We did 8 miles and then 9 and I knew I could accomplish this goal. I just needed to stay focused, have no excuses, and stay healthy.

Kathy and I headed to Indy the Friday before the race. I was full of excitement and nervous energy. We headed to the Expo, spent 10 minutes trying to figure out the correct shirt size, and then met Meb. It was so exciting to meet Meb, he is amazing and nice. He gave me advice, as a first time half marathoner, about how to handle the rain we were expecting for race day. He told me to put Vaseline or body glide all over the top, sides, and bottoms of my feet. Then, we met up with our other friends from Mt. P, Tracy and Sarah. We had a nice dinner and chats before attempting to go to sleep. I am not sure any of us got much sleep with the nerves shooting through our bodies, plus Sarah was on her phone for most of the night. Hahaha—We love you, Sarah.

Race morning was dreary and chilly. The weather immediately put me in a frenzy. I had trained in wind, cold, and heat…but, I had not trained in rain. Kathy had suggested we pick up plastic ponchos on our trip to Indy just in case the forecast was right. As we lined up in our corral, it was drizzling. We put on our ponchos and got ready to start.

The start was crowded. Even with a corral for every letter of the alphabet, there were people everywhere. Running is difficult when you are trying to dodge people. I was swerving back and forth trying to avoid running in to people, but I was having the time of my life. It was an amazing experience. Despite the rain and the hoards of people, I was on cloud nine. After the first couple of miles, things cleared out and we had a little more room to breathe. There were people standing in front of their houses cheering us on, church groups praising Jesus, bands playing music. It was amazing! I high fived people and danced and sang. The encouragement from the crowd gave me motivation to keep moving forward and enjoy the experience to the fullest.

For the most part, I loved the half. It was something I never dreamed I could do, but had put it on my bucket list, just in case. Kathy got injured on the Speedway, which was miserable in my opinion. You are running on a cushiony, black surface that is on an angle. It was the only part of the race that I didn’t enjoy. We came off the Speedway with a new mindset, just get to the finish line. We had 5 miles to go. I don’t know how Kathy did it. 5 miles is no joke even when you aren’t hurt, but she kept moving. It wasn’t the race she wanted, but she showed so much strength. I couldn’t have been more proud of her. We stuck together until the very end of the race. I like to “surge” as I call it and run hard to the finish line. She finished right behind me. Crossing that finish line meant everything to me. It showed me I could do anything I put my mind to.

indy

This experience made me stronger. It brought me new friends. It was the highlight of my 2017. I got home and immediately signed up for my next half 🙂 Chris and I are running the Rock n Roll half marathon in Nashville in April. I have a goal to finish in under 3 hours. Here’s hoping…..

 

 

My journey to a better me, Part 1.

As you all know,  I’ve been on a health journey for awhile now.  I began working out in August 2016 when True Form Fitness opened in our town.  I saw that they’d be offering Zumba and decided it sounded interesting enough to try.  I started Zumba in late August,  but could only make it to one class a week due to my work schedule.  Soon after,  my friend Angie suggested I start coming to the early morning class (4:30 am) on Tuesdays and Fridays.  I immediately told her she was insane,  but I gave in and began Bodycon (cardio and weights) in September.  Getting up early was difficult at first,  but it quickly became something I really enjoyed. The women in the class became my foundation. They encouraged me and pushed me to be a better me.

At this point,  I wasn’t concerned with what I was eating as much as I was hoping to develop a workout routine and stick with it. Tuesdays- early morning class,   Wednesdays- Zumba, and Fridays -early morning class.  I figured I would work on the food part when I could show myself I was committed to change.

Fall rolled around and I decided I wanted to run again.  I knew I could do the Couch to 5k plan,  so I started the program once more.   I registered for the Penguin in the Park 5k in Decatur  (March 2017). So, I’m moving along with my running program thinking, “I’m gonna rock this 5k” and I get a message from my friends (Kathy and Angie) asking if I would be interested in doing a half marathon in May 2017 in Indy.  Chris and I were in the car coming home from Thanksgiving when I received the message.  I looked at him and I laughed,  I read the question and laughed again.  Then something inside me said,  “why the hell not?!” So,  I told them I was in and got started making plans to conquer a half marathon.  I was excited,  but terrified.