Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stop Making Excuses

I have been thinking a lot about running and exercise and health today.  It came from realizing that my training today is supposed to be 7 miles.  Well 7 miles will take me about an hour and half to complete, from getting ready to walking home.  The most I can squeeze in during lunch is 4 miles.  5 would be pushing it, but is possible on some days.  I just wonder how I have the time to do all that I need to do.

That is when I started thinking about being a mother.  The one thing that all mother's do is put there children first.  If they are working moms, or moms who stay at home, our children are first.  But when it comes to our health that is not always the best option.  All mothers need energy, that is why for most of us, coffee or tea is our drink of choice first thing in the morning.  We run all day with the kids, doing the laundry and house work, don't forget all of the errands that we need to run.  We are busy, very busy.

For example here is all that I am involved with:

Church
  • PSR - I am an 8th grade Catechist for my church
  • Mother's Group
  • Fall Fest Game Committee
  • Extra Ordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist
  • and possibly Pre-School
Other
  • Early Childhood PTA President
  • Council of PTA Meetings
  • Volunteering for my son's Kindergarten Class
  • Running
  • Teaching Babysitting Course 
  • Blogging
  • I am sure there is more I can't think of
So to say I am busy, and I am sure that so many other moms have this plus more on there plates.  But as moms that is what we do.  Did you notice that I did not list, cleaning, laundry, yard work, chef, judge and all of the other jobs that come along with the birth of your first child.  Yea there are tons of them.

So how with all of these responsibilities do you have time to put yourself first?  That is the question that I have thought about for quite some time.  How am I supposed to start leading a healthy lifestyle, while living my life.  How do I get in the exercise and everything else when I barely have time to breath some days.

Well first I have to make some new thing priorities.  Yes I have to put myself first.  Oh no I think I just broke the Mother Code Of Ethics.  How dare I not put my children first.  I guess that makes me a bad mom, call the Mother Police.  Wait, not so fast.  Think about it.  You need energy to take care of all of your responsibilities, right.  Have you noticed that after you exercise something weird happens, you have more energy.  Amazing, so by spending some energy on exercise, you get paid back with more energy that you had to start.  Bonus.  Think of what you could do with all of that extra energy.

So we know that exercise is important, but you can say, Jenn where am I going to have time to do that.  My day is completely packed, I just don't have the time.  Face it you are a stay at home mom, you have plenty of time on your hands.  Well if you are a stay at home mother too, you know well that contrary to popular belief we don't sit around all afternoon eating bonbons, watching our soaps, we are busting our tail feathers to get something accomplished.  While we don't go to the office, we have a full time job, and because our children are with us all day, part of our job is to teach and play with our children.

So as I was saying how do we fit this thing called exercise into our days.  I am lucky I can usually go during nap times.  But not always.  Lets face it you are going to have to change some things in your life.  Either set the alarm for 45 minutes earlier, get up, have your workout clothes ready, and go work out.  Yep I said it get up early.  This may mean you will go to bed earlier, but lets face it, it is worth the trade.  The other option, is go after dinner.  If you have someone who can help you out there, perfect go then.  But did you know that you can get your exercise with your children. 

Yes, believe it or not you can get your exercise with your children, and get in a good work out.  No one said you need to run for hours, or hit the gym and bench press tons of weights for it to be a good work out.  Get your kids involved.  Go for a walk after dinner, but make it fun, add in some "races" to go faster and get your heart rate up there.  Why not go throw a ball around.  You will have to chase it a bit.  Or if you want to do a video, encourage your children to do it with you. 

I guess the moral of this blog is simple, any excuse you come up with, is what is standing in your way.  You have to make the change in your head.  It will not be easy at first, however it is something that needs to be done.  You want to be healthy.  You want to look better.  You want to have more energy.  There are so many amazing benefits to adding exercise to your day, that it is worth changing something in your life to get it in.  Do it for yourself.  Do it for your children.  Just Do it.

Keep on Running

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This Stuff Is Poison

This past couple of weeks I have struggled, and that is no surprise.  I think I have blogged about it a couple of times.  I understand that struggles are part of weight loss.  An unfortunate part.  The weight just won't fall off.  There are weeks that you can do everything "right" and you will gain weight.  There are weeks you can do everything "wrong" and lose.  The one thing that I have learned when it comes to weight loss is it just does not make sense.

I love when people start the weight loss myths.  You are gaining muscle, so you are gaining weight, well any way you look at it 1 lb of fat is the same weight as 1 lb of muscle.  You have to wait until your fat turns into muscle.  Yea that will never happen.  Two different types of cells, and fat just will not magically turn into muscle.  And my personal favorite, calories in vs Calories out.  Yea, I understand that, however there is more to this, what I just don't know.

Well since I started struggling, I have been eating out more.  Eating more deserts and more fast food.  Staying with in my points some how, but eating basically a bunch of crap.  Wow.  I have not felt 100%.  I feel I have no energy.  I want to sit on my butt and do nothing.  I never realized just how much fast food and the crap I was eating was controlling my lack of energy, and motivation I had.  Come on food is energy right?  Well that will depend on what kinds of food I am eating.

Today on my run, I was starting out excited to run.  Well I had McDonalds for lunch.  Why I don't know.  Sounded good.  I have been lazy and did not want to cook.  And I was bored with my lunch options.  Basically all three of these, or a combination o them together.  Here is one important lesson that I learned, Mc Donalds, never again before a run.  I felt sluggish.  It was a terrible feeling.  I wanted to nap.

I did not want anything to do with exercise.  I felt like I was getting fat.  It was a terrible feeling.  I mean something I got a lot before, but I have been making all of our food.  So eating out was not something we were doing much of.  I regret allowing myself to have some.  It is terrible the way I feel. 

I realize this, fast food is ok once in a while.  I wish that they would have more healthy options, but I have come to realize that will not happen, until these options become more popular.  But for me, before I run, eating this much fast food and "junk" is poison.  It is not going to give me the energy to run.  It is not going to make my run easy.  This is stuff that is going to slow me down.  I will feel terrible when it comes to running, or doing any exercise. 

If you find yourself low on energy, I challenge you this.  First see if you are sleeping enough.  If you find that is not the problem look at one simple step - how much "junk" are you eating.  How can you start eating healthier, and living a healthier life.  You will be amazed how by simply changing your diet you will have so much more energy, and you will feel better.  I know that first hand.  I am going to head to the grocery store soon to get more fruits, vegetables and healthy food to fuel my body the right way!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why Run?

Yesterday was my long run day.  I am so glad that I went because it put everything back into perspective.  I started thinking about why I was running.  That was a big question in my mind.  What was my driving force.  As I was running and talking during the run, that question kept coming up in my mind.

When I started I was running to lose weight.  I am not going to lie, I heard some amazing things about running and what it does for weight loss.  It was almost like that too good to be true advertisements we see everywhere.  I knew that I needed to do something, so I chose running.  Basically it had the biggest bang for my buck.  I would burn the most calories, and get more of a full body exercise, which was exciting to me.

Now as I started to accomplish little things.  First is the distance goals that I have.  Accomplishing the longer distances is an amazing feeling.  To know that I can run for 13 miles.  That I don't die when I finish.  That I can accomplish something amazing.  The longer the distance the more of a feeling of amazement as I run it.  Then comes the time goals.  Being able to run faster, or longer.  That simply amazes me that I am able to do that.  I love the fact that I can get a little faster here and there.  It makes each time I run something new to strive for.

Then comes in the addiction to races.  I can still remember the feeling of the very first 5K I ran.  It was amazing.  Reading all of the advice that you can find everywhere on the internet.  Going to pick up my bib.  Putting it on for the first time.  Walking up to the starting line with all of the different runners.  What an amazing feeling.  Then adding more distance for the next race, or looking to increase my time.  The feeling is so addicting.

Now I run because I can achieve something.  It is a great way to exercise.  But it is so much more to me now.  I use running as a stress relief.  There is something about running, with music on and being by yourself that is an amazing feeling.  Then there is the feeling of accomplishment.  Achieving different goals that you have set for yourself.  Again an amazing feeling.

I am glad that I did not stop running when I got frustrated.  I know that I will get frustrated as I go, but I also know to take that time as a learning experience and know that I will grow from it.  I will achieve my goals with running, and everything else.  However it just may not be on my time. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Struggling

Today I am struggling, a lot.  So much so I have actually considered stopping running.  I know, dare I say it, but I really considered stopping running, a sport I have grown to love. 

So here is a little background.  I joined Weight Watchers back in February.  I loved it.  It was a great way for me to lose weight.  I did this after many crash diets that were starting to scare me.  This was logical.  I could eat what I wanted to, however, they taught me something, how to eat healthy foods, and portion control.  Both I have always struggled with.  Oh and don't get me started on filling foods.  I learned how to eat the right kinds of foods, and the right amounts, and for the first time in my life feel full with out going back for seconds and thirds.  This was just amazing to me.

Well with my success, becoming a weight watchers leader has stuck in the back of my mind for a while now.  I would love to share my success and help motivate others to getting healthy.  Teach them that they can choose good foods, and feel full.  Spark some interest in exercise.  What a way to help others.  What an amazing job.  Something I am so passionate about, something that has changed my life, I want to do for others too.

So I went to an informational session today, which made my passion for doing this become more intense.  I could see that this is an amazing opportunity for me.  There was one problem, I am just under 20 lbs away from goal.  I have lost 135 lbs or so and I still have 20 to go.  I have come so far, but I feel stuck.  I feel depressed.  I have been at this point for much of the summer, almost 3 months.  Why am I stuck.  The only solution that I can think of is the running.

I honestly don't know what to do.  I love what I have accomplished with running.  I have done some things I never imagined that I could.  I am excited at the possibility of saying I ran a half marathon (in a race, I know I have ran one but for me it is just not the same feeling).  I am excited about starting my training for the marathon.  I think back 2 years and know that I would never be able to accomplish anything like this.  I am so proud and amazed at where I am.

At the same time, I am running upwards of 22 miles a week.  I am counting my points.  I know I need to drink more water but I am drinking at least 15 glasses a day.  I just don't get it.  What am I doing wrong.  Why is that scale stuck around 168.  Why won't it go down?  I honestly feel I will never hit 150.  I will never be in a normal BMI category.  And I will never hit weight watchers goal weight.  That means, I will never be able to be a leader. 

I just don't get it.  Should I stop running?  What should I do?  How do I break past this plateau?  What do I do?  I have no clue.  I do know after my half marathon, I am going to slow down on running, and try other exercise.  I know I need to figure out weight training, but just not sure how to do that.  My goal was to hit goal weight by 9-1-2010, which is not going to happen, and right now I feel it is never going to happen. 

How can I break this?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Perfect 10 Miler

Well this weekend was full of running.  My boys were out of town so I took advantage of it.  I was going to relax, but realized that I would miss them terribly, so I ran.  I got an email about running the Perfect 10 miler.  I knew that Sunday was my long day and I was due to run 10 miles, so it was perfect.  I got very excited.  That is when I decided to run.  It also helped that I would get a finishers medal, and it was the first one I have ever got, so that was double excitement for me. 

I decided to pick up my bib and shirt early.  I wanted to sleep in a bit and not have to rush to the race.  So I got up Sunday morning, got dressed and sat down.  Wrong move.  I ended up losing track of time and left late for the race.  I got there and made it over to the start line with about 5 minutes to start.  I am a planner and need the time to get set and ready for the race.  I like having 10 or 15 minutes to breath and look over the course map and then head down the the start line.  I like to get my music ready and start my garmin too.  So my whole routine was thrown off.

I thought that was going to be an indication of the race.  I hoped not.  They gave us all of the pre-race instructions, and away we went.  I love the rush of energy you get as everyone starts running around you.  It is just so exciting.  So we started racing.  Of course I started at the back of the pack.  I knew that I am not the fastest runner, so I always start in the back.  It also helps me not to take off to quickly, so I don't run out of gas at the beginning of the race.

I just kept trying to keep at a 10:30 minute mile pace.  I did my best.  I am not perfect, and seeing everyone around me was hard.  I did not want to pass everyone at first.  It took the first mile for everyone to get into there pace.  I focused on one person to follow.  When they started to drop back, I would pass them and found another person to follow. 

As I came up on mile 5 I started to see people coming back, I was amazed.   But I knew that would happen.  The turn around point was about mile 6, so I did my best to keep up with the pace.  I was feeling good, so I decided I could pick it up a bit.  Just past mile 7 there was a guy who was watering us runners.  I was so grateful for him.  It was not too hot or sunny, but after running 7 miles being watered was nice.  Every mile I picked up the pace a bit.  I felt strong and good, so I knew that I could. 

At the end of the race I was getting excited.  We finished on a track.  I just started to kick it in and finish strong.  I was excited to run across the finish line, I finished in the time of 1 hour 39 minutes.  What a great feeling.  I loved getting the finishers medal after crossing was another great point of the run.

After a great 10 miler, I feel ready for the 1/2 marathon in less than a month!!!! 

Keep On Running, Achieve Your Goals

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Walk On The Wild Side, Or I Should Say Run

Today was the first 5K that I have run in over a month, and it felt great.  I enjoy running.  I love the excitement of running in a race.  Today I ran it in 31 minutes, a 10:04 minute pace.  I did not do well in using my garmin again, I forgot to start it and stop it at the race, LOL. 

I was smart, got everything ready last night to run.  Picked out my outfit, and tried to get a good night sleep.  Tried is the key word, I could not sleep well.  I think it might have been the 4 Starbucks coffee's I had during the day.  I had 4 because I had a 5 hour drive taking my kids to there Nana's house to spend the weekend, and I wanted to stay awake during the drive.  I did not think that it would effect me, until it was midnight and I was wide awake.

So I got up and started to head out to meet a friend, Nina.  The funny thing was that my sister mentioned that she might want to run, so I texted her in the morning.  She said no, then maybe, then no.  So I did my best to take away all of her issues, and encourage her to run.  She showed up a few minutes before the race started.

 We walked out to my car, where I had some Gu and Jelly Beans for energy.  I gave her a pack.  Which she finished right before we started so I put it in my bra.  Wrong idea to do because it bugged me the entire time I ran. So we were at the starting line.  Then we heard that we were to start running, and off we ran.

At first all 3 of us, who were all dressed alike, not planned, stuck together.  About the mile 1 mark, we started to lose Nina, by 1/2 way to mile 2 it was just Kristen and myself.  We were doing well because we were still able to talk.  Then at mile 2 we started to pick up the pace a bit.  I found a few people that I pointed out and said we can run faster than, so we passed them. 

Just past mile 2 1/2 I passed Kristen up.  I feel bad about it but she told me to go so I did.  I finished strong, and it was a fun finish.  After crossing the finish line, I turned around to go get Kristen.  And I watched her pass the finish line.  I am so proud of her.  She finished her first 5k in 32 minutes.  Kris and I went to find Nina, and we did.  We encouraged her to keep going and finish.  She finished in about 35 minutes. 

We finished in the rain.  It was perfect, we were hot and finishing in the rain helped cool us off.    As you see were were a little hot and wet from the rain.  We got some water and cooled off a bit and then waited for the walk.  We did the walk around Crocker Park, and then Chick Filet and Bob Evens had food for us.  It beautiful and sunny for the walk. 

All in all a great race.  I had so much fun, and I am looking forward to my next race, which is tomorrow, a 10 miler! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Running Weekend

Well this is going to be another running weekend for me. I am very evicted about it. First I am doing the 5k to benefit muscular dystrophy. That will be tomorrow. I will post about that sometime tomorrow. Then Sunday will be the perfect 10 miler. I am excited it has been since the end of June since I have ran in a race. Running in a race feels amazing! I am so excited

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Running Form

Today while running I was so tired.  I felt like the weight of the world was on me as I was running.  I actually felt that I was 100 lbs heavier than I am.  I really struggled.  That is when I remember reading an article about arm swings, and other ones about form.  I never realized that form was so important, and can impact your time. 

I can remember how good posture was something I focused on as a child.  I thought that every pretty girl had to be able to walk with a book on her head, so I practiced that.  And that was the start of posture.  I have also found as I am getting older that having good posture helps to take the weight off of the different parts of my body and the stress.  And bonus it helps you look thinner...  Big Bonus.  Not to mention good posture is important for confidence.

So I started with trying to stand up straight.  As straight as possible.  I started by pushing my shoulders back.  Then I head my back and looked forward.  Tucked my butt under, and pushed out my chest.  Yes that helped to keep in a straight posture.  I knew that it will help me to keep good form.  It is not easy when you are tired to stand up straight, but when I was finally able to do it, it felt great.

Then I started focusing on my arm swing.  I held my arms at a 90 degree angle, and parallel to the ground.  Lightly curved my hands, as if I was holding something very breakable, like an egg.  I would then power my hands forward, and allow them naturally to go forward. 

I found that this helped.  I did not have to put out as much energy in my legs.  I felt amazing.  It was able to keep going, and rely on more than my legs to keep me going. 

I never realized how much running is about the entire body, but it is.  It is completely amazing to me that I am able to run and stay strong.  I found the secret for when I am tired, I make sure that I have good posture, and rely on my arms more, and it will drive me forward.

If you have never tired it, run this way, you will be amazed just how much of a difference it makes in your running.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wake Up

Well as one of the comments had asked me to write, what was the moment that I woke up and changed my life.  It comes from a friend who I have not seen since High School.  I enjoy reading her blog, it might not be about running, but it does, it has to deal with life, and for me running is life.  If you want to read a good blog that will make you think, check out The Lazy Christian

I learned so much about myself since high school.  First I thought I was week.  I allowed myself to turn to food with every stressful situation.  I can remember being in a play, and we had to wear towels on stage, but mine had to be extended.  I never dated anyone in high school, actually I am quite sure no one was interested.  I was on the swim team, and track, so I did some exercise.  But I was never the skinny girl.  Looking back I was depressed.  All of my friends had boy friends, never me.

I never knew what was wrong with me, I assumed because I was fat no one liked me.  I can remember prom and being so sad that no one asked me.  I think my date went with me by force.  I guess I just did not understand what was wrong with me.  This started me turning to food when I was depressed.

After high school came college.  That is when I decided I would do anything to get attention.  I did date a few guys, but nothing too serious.  I was excited that finally someone was interested in me.  I left school early, for many reasons, and came home.  I did date one guy for a year.  I thought he was the love of my life.  But to be honest in the back of my head there was someone I met in junior high that always had a special place in my heart, I thought he would be the one, but as I became more mature, I realized that he did have a special place, as a good friend, and that is all.

He introduced me to my husband.  I never understood what he saw in me.  I still don't.  We got married, and struggled getting pregnant.  I never thought I would ever get pregnant, but then I was blessed with our first son.  I can still remember the day I found out I was pregnant.  Then when he was 2 I found out I was pregnant with our second son. 

I never wanted to be that "fat" mom, but I was turning into her.  It was a scary situation.  I developed sleep apnea, and I was lucky because it could have been so much worse.  Then I decided that I was going to take my son on the Polar Express.  That was my first wake up call.  This was the call that something in my life needed to change. 

I just did not know what to do.  I mean how do you change you life.  That is when I searched out all of the popular "quick fix" diets.  I mean come on I wanted to be skinny, and I wanted it done yesterday.  Well that worked and then I stopped it and I gained the weight back and then some.  I knew that something needed to happen. 

That is when I joined a local gym.  I started with walking.  I saw that the weight was starting to drop off.  I started watching what I was eating.  And it kept coming off.  Eventually I started running.  There was a challenge there.  I love challenges, so I took it.  Yes it was a challenge in my head but it worked.  About a year into my exercise and diet change, I knew that I needed to do something more.

That is when I decided to join Weight Watchers.  I have heard so many good things about weight watchers, and I knew that this is a program that I can easily follow, not feel deprived and know that I could do it.

That is when my running kicked into full gear.  I kept trying to get more mileage.  I wanted to see just how far I could go.  I wanted to take the next step.  I feel that way with my diet.  I can honestly say that Weight Watchers has changed my life.  I know that I have learned so much from this experience, and the amazing people I have met since being on Weight watchers.  I know that I will achieve my goals. 

My second moment that I had that woke me up was when I started running. I knew that if I wanted to be healthy and continue with running I needed to do something.  I knew that running was a way for me to let go of my past, the feelings that I would never be good enough.  I was racing against myself, so I never have to prove myself to anyone else, just to myself.  I have my times to beat.  I have my goals to reach, and no one else can change them.

We all need our own wake up moment.  We all get them.  Actually looking back there was many different moments that were in my life, I just did not see them.  We have to look for them.  Those moments might not be for weight loss, they may be for something else.  You just need to stop and see what is around you and you will be amazed at what you see!

Keep on Running, but make sure you pay attention to what is around you

Friday, August 6, 2010

Take Care

OK so now that I am feeling better, a good massage tends to do that, I am back into a positive blog writing. 

A couple of things that you have to remember about training, running or just life in general is that you need to take care of yourself.  There are may different ways to take care of yourself.  One of the most effective ways to take care of yourself is through exercise.  I choose to run.  I love the feelings I get from running.  The accomplishment from pushing past the point that I want to stop.  The ability to let go of my stress.  The time to myself.  Knowing that I am doing something amazing. 

Another way to take care of yourself is to eat right.  Yes I love to eat, that is obvious.  But eating good food not only will give you energy, but it will help your brain function.  There is no better way to keep your body and mind going then to eat healthy foods. 

Another great way to take care of yourself is to pamper yourself.  Take the time to get a massage or a facial.  We all know that doing exercise and for me running can be hard on your body.  Life stresses seem to stay in your muscles and on your shoulders.  By taking the time to get a massage, you are doing so many wonderful things for your body.  Massages are just as important as exercise and eating properly.

Drinking water.  Yes water is so important to take care of yourself.  The best example of why we need water was one that I heard at a topic.  If you have a plant, and don't water it then the plants wilts and will die.  Same thing for us, if we do not have water we are not going to look healthy, but there is so many things in our body that just don't function properly when we don't drink water.  We need water for our muscles to function.  We need water to burn fat.  We need water for just about everything. 


Prayer is another thing that we need in our lives.  I honestly feel that it does not matter what religion you are, but taking time to pray is so important.  We have to understand that prayer is important because it gives you hope.  Faith, hope and love allows us to dream, and know that there is so much more out there for us.  Prayer allows us to center.  Prayer for me has another meaning.  It allows me to be thankful for everything around me.  It allows me to see the beauty that is around me.  It is completely amazing what God has given me, and how strong I am.  I use prayer for everything in my life. 

One of the newest thing that I have found in my life is mediation.  I love meditation.  First there have been so many positive things to be said about meditation.  It allows the blood to flow to your body.  It allows you to focus on your breath.  I use meditation to calm myself down.  I use meditation to help visualize my races.  I use meditation to focus.

Life is so complicated.  We need to take care of ourselves.  We deserve the best that life has to offer, and being wrapped up in our daily to do list is so easy to do.  Taking the time to step away and start focusing on all of the good that we can do is amazing.  We can not hide from our lives, but we need to remember that the best way to take care of ourselves is to start by starting to making small steps to take care of ourselves.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eyes Wide Shut

I love when I talk to people about running, and I get the comment, I could never run it would kill me.  That just makes me laugh.  I understand that you don't like running, but running will not kill you.  I even had someone recently tell me that I was in good shape and I would never understand what it was like to be over weight and try running. Now obviously this is someone who does not know me or know my story.  I had to stop myself from laughing, and I explained where I have come from. 

I also have been asked what keeps me motivated to eat healthy and keep running.  Honestly I can say there are days that it is hard.  There are days I want to quit.  But I don't because I want to go back.  There are times like today that during my run, I am tired and want to quit, however I know that I will feel amazing when I am done. 

The other part of running is fueling my body.  I have to admit since I started Weight Watchers, and I am focused on reading labels something about eating has changed for me.  Yes I think in points, which is funny to me.  If I know how many points something is, I will use that as the decision if I want to eat it or not.  Often times, I don't. 

I am not perfect.  I still like things and crave things that are not perfect to eat.  But if you think about it, knowing what you are putting into your body is one of the most important things that you can do.  Obviously eating what I wanted to, and no exercise just did not work for me.  I put on weight.  I was sick.  So if that did not work to keep me healthy, why would it work when I am looking to take off the extra weight... it wouldn't. 

I guess since I started this journey, I am more conscience of how people are eating around me, and I am amazed.  I love people who complain about gaining weight, when they have 4 to 5 drinks a day,  all about 100 calories each.  Think about it, if the average woman should only consume about 1800 calories a day, and you are spending 1000 on alcohol, that does not leave you much to be satisfied, and fuel your body properly. 

Then I look at the fast food restaurants that I run past almost every day.  I think about what they have that is healthy, and realize nothing.  They add so much salt to there food, and don't forget all of the extra fat, wow.  I think about how I used to eat, and it now makes me sick.  Now I do like fast food here and there, but for the most part I stay as far away from it as possible.  There is no healthy options. 

I also look at when we go out to eat.  That is fun.  I carefully plan out my meals, ordering special to what I want, and to keep everything as healthy as possible.  Then I look around, at others plates.  The piles of fat and completely unhealthy food that is on there plate.  And don't forget to add the salt, not that there isn't enough already. 

I know I am not perfect.  I know that I have a long way to go.  I also am glad that my eyes have opened up to what is around me.  I don't judge people, actually at times, I miss having my eyes wide shut and not knowing the truth in front of my face.  But now I know, and I know that I never want to go back. 

I am on this journey because I want to be.  I want to be healthy and to see exactly where I can go from here.  I encourage everyone to look at what they are eating.  Understand what is going into the food you are putting into your mouth.  Make good choices that are going to fuel your body, not slow it down. 

I want people to learn just how easy it is to get up and move.  Going for a walk or starting an exercise program is not going to kill you.  It is going to do something amazing.  It will get your brain working.  It will give you self confidence.  It will give you energy.  It will help you to sleep at night.  It will help extend your life.  But it will not kill you, it will do the opposite, help you to live.

I look at all of this when I am not wanting to go run.  I look at where I was and where I want to go.  I think about all of the amazing benefits that are around me.  I use this knowledge to help me make good food choices.  I encourage everyone to take a step towards healthy behaviors, you will be amazed just how much you can do, and what it will do to change your life.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Benefits and Consequences

When I blog I try very hard to be positive, and usually that does go along with my attitude.  I have accomplished so much.  I am in the best shape of my life.  I feel amazing.  I lowered my resting heartbeat from around 90 bpm down to 50 bpm.  That is an achievement, since now it is considered physically fit.  I never thought that would happen.

I have seen so many other positive changes in my life.  I no longer have the joint pain that I had before.  I am able to do so much more than I ever did.  I am accomplishing things I never thought possible, and I think that is just amazing. 

I even started looking at the nutrition facts before eating anything.  I can not longer bring myself to have things I used to enjoy because I now know just how many calories and fat grams are in each of them.  It is a good thing, yea at times I think I miss them, then I realize that I never want to go back to where I was so I don't mind at all.

So as I said I try to be positive, but some days I just don't feel positive.  Today is one of them.  One of my problems is that I am tired.  I know it is because my youngest does not like to sleep and now comes into bed with me.  He kicks me and has to lay on top of me, which means I do not get a good night sleep.  He also gets up very early in the morning so that does not help at all.

I also have noticed the down side of running, is the fact that you get sore.  I am extremely sore today.  I did the xStretch from p90x.  That helped, then I decided to take a warm bath, and I am worse off than if I did nothing.  Wrong move.  I want to get a massage, or something but I was told that it is just not a possibility now. 

I understand that now the medical profession is saying that there are so many benefits to massages, however I have not found one that would take insurance.  That and I don't think that any insurance company would cover them.  I know that many people stop exercising when they start feeling stiff and sore, but massages would help that out.  There are so many different benefits, but I am not going to get into that.

Many places are not only expensive, but don't forget you need to add in the tip at the end.  If you want to make a day of it, watch out because that will break the bank.  Ok if you are a stay at home mother, it does.

This is the down side of running.  This is what makes me feel like I don't want to continue running that I want to give up.  I want to see what I can accomplish, but if I am this sore afterwards is it worth it?  I know it is.  I know that the benefits outweigh the costs, but right now, sitting in pain, and having a hard time moving will go away as I do more. 

It is not that bad, I know that I am stiff, however I can move.  I can do things, it just is not easy, and that sucks.  I know that it is all muscle pain and that will go away with time.  I also know that keeping hydrated is difficult.  I am sure if I can get more water in me that I would feel a lot better and that would help me heal.

I just hate feeling this way.  I know that it will pass.  I know that I will get past this and feel better.  But it was weighing on my mind so I thought I would share.  I am human, and being positive all the time, well honestly that is hard to do, today I am just feeling a bit negative.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Achieveing your goals

Back when I decided to run for the first time, I never thought that I would ever be running as far as I am, but for some reason I am.  I feel amazing, I look around and see exactly what I have been able to accomplish and wonder where I will go next.

One thing I have been worried about, extremely worried, is my half marathon.  I have been worried about the marathon as well, but that is not until May so I have time before I need to panic about that.  I have been scared that I will never finish the half marathon.  I have been scared that trying to finish in 2 hours 30 minutes will be impossible.  There has been a lot that is on my mind and has been worrying me.

I know that according to my training, I am on track.  I have the support from so many runners who have said I am ready, but one thing that is scaring me, the fact that my head is saying something completely different.  I guess I should realize that my head is against me.  I need to work on that.

So today I was thinking, this weekend is going to be busy, and it was cool, perfect running weather.  I thought I would switch my long running day.  I knew that would help me to stay on track.  I would just move my runs around a bit, but I am still getting in my miles.  That is one of the nice parts of running, if you need to switch up a bit of your running schedule, that is o.k.  You don't have to feel bad or like you are missing out. 

So as I started running, I knew that my course was 8.9 miles, my long run today was 9 miles, so I took a little detour to add in the .1 mile.  But I was not thinking it added more.  Then I realized that I was doing well, feeling strong, so I chose to do another detour, thinking I could do 10 or 11 miles.  I just kept doing that.  I kept taking different little detours, off the path, but they added on a half mile here, and a half a mile there.  When I was about 1 mile away I was at 11 miles, and that is when I found another detour, thinking that was it I was going to go for the full 13.1

That is exactly what I did, I went for it.  I decided that it helps to know that I can accomplish something I was scared to do.  As I was finishing up I knew that my goal to run the 1/2 marathon in 2 hours 30 minutes, when I realized that today I ran it in 2 hours 21 minutes, I was excited.  I can accomplish my goal, I already did, and did it in 10 less minutes.  Now I have set a new goal.  The day of my 1/2 marathon I am going to run it in 2 hours 15 minutes.  I am excited to see exactly how much I can accomplish. 

I look back and I am completely amazed.  The day I started running if you were to tell me that I would, in less than a year run a 1/2 marathon, I would tell you that you were crazy.  I would have laughed in your face.  Now I see that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to.  I am stronger that I ever imagined. 

Now that I know that I can accomplish my 1/2 marathon, next goal on my radar is to hit my goal weight.  I thank all that I have accomplished to Weight Watchers.  I have my eyes set on becoming a weight watchers leader.  I know that I can do that.  But first, I have to choose a goal weight, and work to achieve that. 
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