fun finds & penguins

Here are a few of my fun finds.  This is the third time I’ve typed this sentence as my stupid thumb brace has somehow magically hit all of the buttons in tandem to erase what I’ve typed.  Maybe it was the blogging gods giving me a hint…

Anyway, here we go:

First and foremost this most fabulous gif ever:

I know, I can’t help it, I’m in love with these penguins and their sort of sack race fun!

Yep, rewatch it as many times as you need/want to.  I’m in total and absolute love!

2.  At the expo this weekend I found this sweatshirt:

yay! run MI friends!

A “Run MI” hoodie!  I love me a good hoodie, or long sleeve t so this was perfect.  Not to mention it was only $25 AND it’s a decent color that won’t show too much cat hair.  Oh and Michigander pride!

3.  Honey Maid Grahamfuls.  These probably aren’t the most nutritious snack out there but it reminds of when we used to put frosting on graham crackers as a kid.  I got the peanut butter/chocolate flavor but there are a bunch to pick from.  They are tasty.

4.  Adding mini chocolate chips to my Chobani snack size yogurt.  Mini chocolate chips are too fun so I’m compelled.

again, any reason to have dean on my blog

5.  Have you seen these Procompression socks?  Oh goodness, I LOVE polka dots!  I’m getting the sleeves.  They are the sock of the month so they are cheap (use coupon code BRD).

procompression sock of the month

6.  Did you know ants hate cinnamon?  I didn’t either and I’m hoping it’s true.  There must be an ant nest outside of my apt because I’ve been seeing a few of these bad boys.  They aren’t giant carpenter ants (vomit) but they aren’t the itty-bitty ones either.  I think they are the middle children of the ant family.  I’ve lined my window sills with cinnamon as it isn’t dangerous for Simon.  Fingers crossed this works and doesn’t attract other critters, which I didn’t even consider until office mate suggested chipmunks might like it.  Just something else for me to worry about when lying in bed at night.

7.  New sunglasses.  I ALMOST bought the white polka dot ones (see the above proclamation of love) however, they were just a bit TOO big.  Settled on another gem that are still bigger but don’t completely eat my face up.

I sent this pic to my sister and friend for opinions
I sent this pic to my sister and friend for opinions

8.  Yuengling – as I may have mentioned, I’m not a huge beer fan but more and more it’s growing on me.  Sometimes I find it odd that the running culture does include quite a bit of beer consumption… just a thought… I had one of these puppies the other night before the race and it was very drinkable.  I will definitely purchase in the future.

9.  Head scarves!  I’m wearing one in the above sunglasses pics and I adore them.  Headbands give me headaches and these are perfect.  I haven’t gone to bohemian in the styling quite yet but the option is there.  Target, friends – they are a bit shorter than the neck scarves although you can still wear them in this fashion as well.

10.  Some good songs.  Office mate is my personal DJ and he has great taste in music.  Many of my new favorite songs on my running mix I hear first at work.  Unfortunately, they are on my ipod which is currently somewhere so I can’t give you any names.  More to come…

11.  I guess I didn’t really find this per say, it’s more like I put it into action.  I’m trying to make working out more of a habit as opposed to something I do my best to wiggle out of on a daily basis.  I don’t want to THINK it’s optional.  I took mini post-its, numbered them 1-21 and get to remove one each day I do a work out.  I’ve also established how many days I can actually miss during this period before I have to start completely over again.  Like a reverse advent calendar, I’m loving ripping one of those suckers off the wall.  I missed 3 days in a row this week though so it’s time to start over.  I was going to give myself one more day to hop back on the train but time to be more honest with myself.

is it just me?  or does this 21 look a little smug?
is it just me? or does this 21 look a little smug?

Here I go again…  That’ll do for now me thinks.

uncommon running injury part duex

pre and post hand appointment

I liked the symmetry of writing a pre and post doctor appointment about my hand. Especially because it gives me a chance to whine and garner sympathy.  (You can read part one here)

okay, not really

Today I woke up and my hand felt a bit better.  Of course… it’s the day of my appointment.  I’m guessing keeping it somewhat immobile for the last two weeks has been helpful. I did utilize the feeling better aspect to my advantage doing my normal morning routine and this was a mistake since my hand   reverted to its painful state.  I am continued to be overwhelmed by my brilliance.

Nevertheless, this whole week my hand has been really bothering me, coming to a crescendo of pain Wednesday.  I couldn’t even use it to move the mouse around on my computer.  It’s moved toward another part of my hand and my poor pointer finger needs a vacation.  Essentially, my hand is falling apart.  I’m quite happy I caved and scheduled an appointment last week when I thought I was overacting otherwise it would be another long week.  And I’m already getting grumpy about how much it is hurting and the inconvenience of it all.  I’m a great patient. Despite the (wonderful) respite from the pain this morning, I’m keeping this stinkin’ appointment!  Not to mention, after a long work day, it always feels worse.  I can’t really take a sabbatical at this point in time in my career so I’m thinking I need to stick with this plan.

Can you tell I’m waffling and trying to convince myself I still need to go?!

As a kid (and probably still) I was a bit of a hypochondriac.  I was reminded of this by the fam on a regular basis.  This is especially true because whenever I was/am nervous I throw up, which given my anxiety was/is a lot.  So I was sick a lot but not necessarily ill.  After my epilepsy diagnosis among other medical issues, I’ve kind of gotten used to not always feeling very well.  These don’t warrant doctor visits most of the time – or I convince myself of this.  Heck, right before my first big seizure in high school I had been having multiple smaller seizures for a month and a half and I didn’t say anything.  Today, I’m worried the doctor will say one of the following:

1. Hey, you are a big baby. There is nothing wrong with your hand.

2. Well, I can’t find anything soooo, just keep doing what you are doing.

3. Wow – you completely f-ed up your hand. This has been going on a for a month? What is your damage? We need to do surgery pronto.

 

I will use any excuse to include a supernatural gif…

Clearly I operate in worse case scenario mode.

While I hope he will be kind and take my pain into consideration even if x-rays don’t point to a definitive diagnosis, I REALLY am not overstating my discomfort.  I plan on being forthright about this and will NOT downplay what I’ve been going through which is my typical MO when going to the doc.  Example: at my neurologist appointment last year, “oh yes, well I have smaller seizures a here and there”.  Read a few a month, which isn’t normal but I didn’t want to be a pain in the neck. Again, I need to work on my patient skills.

After the appointment and the next day…

Needless to say, I was nervous all day about this.  I woke up at 5 am and wasn’t able to fall back to sleep until 6:30 am.  I seriously considered going for a run but the call of my couch and Investigative Discovery was just too loud.  I’m finding when my thoughts and body are too anxious, tv is the only thing that can calm the nerves.  It’s a good enough solution for now.

Anyway, the outcome:  I’ve partially dislocated my thumb and stretched the ligaments.  Again.  It’s nice to know I have some quality diagnosis abilities!  I got a better brace and have been referred to a hand specialist since this is the second time around.  The doc said “they may want to take care of this now” which apparently means surgery.  Nope.  I firmly believe I can hold off surgery for a few more years and I’m willing to do what it takes.  The brace?  A cast?  No problem!

I feel validated, which is dumb but what can I say?  At least now I know the problem and even though it hurts, I feel I have a game plan.  I do better when I have a game plan!

Happy weekend eve!  I have a race to run tomorrow – good luck on any of your endeavors.

reshuffling priorities

As I mentioned, my birthday was a couple of weeks ago.  Naturally, this means I get fairly introspective.  I am approaching this introspection differently this year, which is good – I’m not overanalyzing!  Or I’m not focusing on what I’m lacking in life rather what I feel is important and how to better focus on this.

I didn’t want to say but yeah… these are true, too!

I’ve been de-hoarding and reading some minimalist blogs.  MissMinimalist is a good one – I like how she says minimalism looks differently for each person.  This is nice to hear since I am never going to live in a 25 sq foot house.  Nevertheless, I know I want less stuff than I currently have.  Watching HGtv has driven this home even more.  Some participants say things like, “I need a bigger house for all of my stuff!” or “I need giant closets!”.  I’ve said these things too – in fact, in the last year even!  But I don’t want my belongings to dictate my future house/apt.

Then there are the larger life decisions – do I stay in MI?  Do I stay on my current career field?  I know, these are definitely the “biggie size” questions and I don’t focus on these everyday.  Although, I do keep them in the back of my mind.  I won’t make any of these changes for a year or so but since change is tough for me, it’s better that I think about these in advance!

My health is also my priority.  I made a lot of progress this past year and I’m looking forward to what I can accomplish/gain/learn this year.  Yes, running is included in this and getting a running coach was the first step in this area.  Also included is healthy eating and continuing to lower my anxiety.

Budget-smudget.  Why can’t I find budgeting exciting?!  While I do enjoy watching my bank account grow the urge to spend seems to hit once I see the progress.  Curses!  Many of my friends are very savvy with money.  Talking about money seems kind of taboo in our society but I’ve started asking friends how they do it.  I really do find it fascinating.  I also pin/read a lot of budget suggestions and tips.  Some of them definitely do not jive with my personality and others are decent ideas.  For me, setting these priorities is a great way to start.

friends and family! don’t thank me now but look what you’re getting for birthday/holiday gifts!

I feel good about these priorities.  They are spurring me into action!  Last weekend I realized my apt is completely lacking inspiration.  So, I’ve taken some action on this front – my home should be a place I enjoy not one I just exist in.  Not to mention, I have some nifty ideas that I can’t wait to share with you all!  And I dropped donations off, have the “sell” items in the car and have another “need to get rid of” pile started – yay!  Progress!

How do you go about setting priorities?  Do they change?

Are you good with a budget?  What are your secrets?!

oh gluttony

Gluttony.  It’s one of those seven deadly sins for a reason and it sure is sneaky!  While I knew I was indulging, it didn’t dawn on me just how much until today.  Well, maybe a bit yesterday but it was Sunday so I ignored those feelings.  Monday.  Monday is the day I deal with unpleasantness.

every freakin’ week

What has my gluttonous behavior included?

Sitting on my bum a lot, LOTS of ice cream and other treats, two coffees a day, Investigation Discovery (ID), and absolutely no effort with regards to preparing meals.  Oh and my apt is pretty messy.  I’m decent at being able to tune these things out when I want to; so despite this behavior happening for the last two weeks, I didn’t allow it to penetrate my frontal lobe until today.  Another beautiful display of avoidance and denial!

All is not lost!  Since having dips in healthy routines are not a new phenomenon to me, I have come up with a plan to rectify this.

1.  Only one coffee a day.  Bummer.  This is the first day and despite my only adopting this since being back in WA during winter break, I’ve already come to depend on this heavenly caffeinated elixir – in both the morning and afternoon.  But my budget has noticed the increase in consumption as have my hips.  So you know, I’m going to drag my way through the day with water.

2.  Ice cream and treats.  Lots of treats.  My sweet tooth has been on overdrive lately!  Goodness!  My love affair with Baskin Robbins peanut butter and chocolate ice cream runs deep.  Yesterday I went to drop off my donations.  Goodwill happens to be close to BR and I really had to tap into some willpower to keep my car headed in the opposite direction.  I’ve also limited access to other treats by not purchasing them.

Weird sidenote: the grocery store was packed yesterday.  I was in line for a long time and a woman ahead of me was talking to another patron.  She was saying how her hubby is having surgery and she wanted to make sure he had lots of snacks while she was at work.  I took a gander at her goodies and suddenly I felt like, “CRAP!  I forgot to get snacks!  I need to go and get snacks!”.  Since I love me some good snacks, I had to hold firm.  I was surprised by how influenced I was by another person’s groceries.

3.  Meal prep.  Good gravy, I’ve been very lazy.  I haven’t had any motivation to cook so I’ve eaten a lot of peanut butter sandwiches because I’m five years old.  I’m not sure what else I’ve eaten because I know it’s more than that.  It’s been this weird hodge-podge of restaurant leftovers and quick eats.  Finally on Saturday and Sunday I prepped some food for the week.

4.  The ID watching and sitting on my bum go hand in hand.  I was lethargic last week and didn’t do much to combat it.  Oh sure, some running here and there but essentially I surrendered.  This week I intend on spending about one hour per night on my apt.  I’m always amazed with how much I can get accomplished in a short period of time.  Somehow I forget this though and put things off for “when I have more time”.  Hmm.  So, I will balance some HGtv, ID and DIY with some actual productive behavior – a match made in heaven.

While this wasn’t a huge descent into the dark depths of gluttony it was enough for me.  I don’t need to spend months trying to get out though and the above goals for the week will help.  Well, that is if I can stay awake long enough – great scott, I am FADING!  Hopefully a run will perk me up a bit!  I’m going to need to fit lunch work outs in again or risk the afternoon slump everyday – ugh.

afternoon coffee, I miss you already

Are you a coffee drinker?  How many cups per day?

Ever fall into a gluttonous trap?

hello hokas and a running coach

I mentioned before heading down to FL I wanted to check out a pair of Hokas.  I’ve been wildly curious about them and considering I’ve falling in love with cushion I like the idea of MORE!  Maybe they would help with some of my aches and pains?

this kid and I probably feel the same way

Anyway, it just so happened there was a Hoka booth at the WDW expo.  A very nice sales woman answered my questions, namely “are these just for ultra runners?”.  I do tend to jump on running trends and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t too overzealous.  The saleswoman took me through three different variations and I really liked the Kailua Tarmac shoe, which doesn’t have as much cushion as the trail or other road shoe.  Two immediate things I loved?  I loved how it cupped my heel and still had a decent size toe box.  A happy mawwiage since I love the toe box of my Brooks and the heel cuppage of my Mizunos.

Per Sweat Once a Day, I found a great deal at RunningWarehouse so I placed an order.  We’ll see – I’m hopeful and excited.  I mean, c’mon, NEW RUNNING SHOES!

hello lovlies
hello lovlies

Also prior to my trek down to sunshine and heat, I was ruminating on getting a running coach.  My friend, Ragnar running buddy and fellow blogger Jamie at Running Diva Mom recently started coaching full time.  Jamie is so inspirational and so encouraging; when we ran Ragnar she squelched my worries about being a “good enough” runner for the group.  She started numerous couch to 5k programs in WI and has inspired so many new runners!

I stole this from Running Diva Mom's fb page.  Jamie really is this pumped about running!
I stole this from Running Diva Mom’s fb page. Jamie really is this pumped about running!

Why a coach?  I want to shave some time off of my 1/2 marathon time.  Recently, I ran a 2:24 and my PR is 2:04.  I would LOVE to run a sub-2 hour!  While I understand speed work and other things are necessary to get there, I am not quite sure what those “other things” are exactly! Or how/when/why to do them.  Jamie is a certified coach and she will become my running guru!  As a swimmer in high school, I did really well with a coach and I feel this extra motivation will help.  I’m filling out my information and am looking forward to this different approach to running.  I’m nervous, although I can’t necessarily describe why!

These upcoming changes make running feel exciting again!  I was all hopped up on these fist in the air feelings and jumped on the treadmill.  I ran 3 miles and they seemed to last forever, haha.  At least I did a few intervals!  It didn’t dampen my spirit though and I’m filling out all of my pre-coaching paper work!

how I feel after a treadmill work out… yet I go back for more!

dopey strategery

SNOW DAY!  Yes, I am going to concentrate on this first.  I’m currently hanging out on my couch, watching “Deadly Women” (Investigative Discovery show) and drinking coffee.  I even have a foot warmer in the form of this chubby bunny.

cubby bunnyOne more picture – this is an insight into one of my quirks… I am continuously convinced I can balance anything on anything.  In answer to your question, yes, I do spill a lot.

this really is why I can't have nice things
this really is why I can’t have nice things

As I mentioned, my game plan for Dopey is in the works.  Now I shall share it with you!

1.  I’m not going to wear my garmin – for any of the races.  This was a huge decision for me.  I want and need to run these races by feel.  I don’t want to get caught up in numbers or disappointment with not running a certain pace.  My biggest concern with this is getting swept for not going fast enough to beat the finish line requirements.  But the pros outweigh the cons in this situation.  And I may need to carry my cell phone so I can still check the time.

2.  Walking off and on – when Disney first provided participants with Jeff Galloway’s training plan for Dopey it involved the walk/run method.  I didn’t want to use it because as I mentioned I had (farfetched) hopes of not having to walk at all.  Now, I realize running the first two races and walking segments of both the 1/2 and the full will make this much more enjoyable.  Especially since I’ve come to this decision/realization now.

hmmm… I wonder if Mr. T is available on saturday and sunday…

3.  Laid back pace – I trained at a slower pace.  At first I tried to add in some speed work but decided to focus on distance instead.  I know, I’m pretty smart, eh?

4.  PR dreams have been set aside – yes.  This was ludicrous!

ludicrous speed no

5.  Ice bath – I plan on taking an ice bath after each race.  There will be a delay between crossing the finish line and getting back to my hotel so hopefully it won’t be too late for an ice bath to help with recovery.  I think it will be better than nothing though.

6.  Compression/stretching – Part of my running costumes are compression socks and I will wear them after the race as well.  I’m lousy at stretching but I will make this a prime focus.

7.  HAVE FUN!  I mentioned this yesterday but it’s a major focus for me.  This will be what keeps me going during the third and fourth races of the weekend.  It’s going to get me out of bed at 2:15 am.  It’s going to inspire me to live in the moment rather than dreading the next and longer race.  I’m excited.

wwe wrestler edge totally gets it

I am concerned about the heat and humidity.  I got it in my mind that last year heat/humidity was an anomaly and that it wasn’t normally humid in Jan.  In Florida.  I’ve started hydrating and will certainly be drinking gallons of water the rest of the week/weekend.  Last year, I took a water pill (WHAAAT was I thinking?) the Friday before the race in order to feel less bloated.  A bit of heat stroke was inevitable.

haha, this is kinda gross – I’m not even sure I had this much water in me last year

I will be escaping sub-zero temps here in MI though soooo I think I will survive!

no resolutions here – 2014 is doomed!

I spent all day traveling yesterday to get back to incredibly chilly and snowy MI.  During this time, I napped, listened to some tunes and did some thinking.  Being on a plane for over four hours with delayed flights, driving for over 2 and half hours and taking the train and a boat to get home gives you time to think.

oh yeah and I walked up 3 GIANT hills in Seattle to get to the train pulling two suitcases – brutal!

There were all kinds of ideas floating around in my head about what I wanted my resolutions to include.  Weight loss, running PRs, saving all the monies, cranking up my domestic and decorating skills, being a better daughter, sister, friend… the list went on and it was kind of overwhelming.

Today, I started watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and came to a very important conclusion.  I’m not making any resolutions this year.

Each January I make lofty goals about how I am going to change my life in the upcoming year.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with this practice.  In fact, I even accomplish a few of them.  But yesterday as I was sitting in the airport reading over all of the fb posts about how fabulous years were, all I could think about was how my year WASN’T fabulous.  This was the approximate time when I started feeling sorry for myself.

It took me another lay over to see I could think of this past year with a positive spin or a negative one.  Since I’ve been working to slow the negative thoughts down, I opted for the positive spin and it lifted my cloud of negativity.  Nevertheless, I am not sure I want to establish a check list for this year.  I think I want this year to unfold based on what is happening in my life and the direction it is going.  There is a scene in the last Harry Potter movie where Hermione says they need to create a plan.  Harry responds with, “when have any of our plans actually worked?  We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose” – this is my life!

tru dat Harry

So, I’m going to make goals as I go along.  All of those things I mentioned above will be themes in the following days and being happy will be my main focus.  The rest will be gravy.

release the kracken

I need/want to release the anxiety.  I feel like it’s this beast that lives inside me, growing and I just want to unleash it so it runs away.  My anxiety is my personal kracken!

yep

Months ago, my neurologist told me some of my anxiety was probably habitual.  In the appointment I nodded my head and acted like I believed her.  In my mind I scoffed and felt she was feeding me a line.

I will say, I’ve thought about this (<— huge shocker considering my over-analyzing ability) and while it gained merit in my mind, I had no idea what to do with this.  How do you stop yourself from feeling anxious?  It sounded like an old wives tale; you know where some of it is based in fact but for the most part it has been embellished.

I’m not sure I know what this ^ means either

Last week my friend (thanks Larissa!) sent me a link to this article, “Mentally Strong People:  The 13 Things They Avoid”.  The author talked about the habits of what make people mentally strong as per clinical social worker/writer, Amy Morin.  I was immediately intrigued and read through it.  There was some good info there and I began to think of how I could put it into practice.

One of the suggestions was to stop negative thoughts.  My MO is to rehash an issue or interaction until I’m blue in the face.  Typically I do this out loud and it definitely gets me all worked up and out of sorts.  So, this past week when I started doing this and caught myself I say “Stop”.  It works.  I know!  I’ve found when I realize I am doing it, put an end to it I can stop turning it over and over in my brain.  I recognize it quicker than I thought I would, which also helps.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit (or rid yourself of one) so I have 7 days under my belt.

Another one was releasing whatever it is that is vexing you when you no longer have control over it.  For instance, on Friday I had a project due.  I’ve been working on and coordinating this project that involved a couple of different offices aside from mine for about two months.  It had to go well.  A half hour before it was supposed to start I was going through my mind to make sure I had everything in place, that I had done everything I could and what I would say when clearly it was going to bomb.  Again, I said “Stop” and then said out loud “there is nothing else you can do at this point.  It will go over and if there is a mistake you can fix it.”  Ahhh… I was still nervous but recognizing my control had limitations and letting it go helped.  I also minimized the project’s ability to make or break me – yep, I took away some of its power.  By the way, my supervisor for the project got pulled out at the start of the meeting so I did it on my own and it went well!

I realized my neurologist was right (haha, this sentence is funny because you know, she’s smart!).  Some of this is definitely a habit and anxiety I create from my own actions.  I understand better how behavior modification can work.  There is still the anxiety that I  can’t control.  I don’t even realize it’s alive and well until I have a dizzy spell or a panic attack or I have shakey hands.  I have a doctor’s appointment to discuss this but I do like this all-encompassing plan of action.  It feels good taking control of aspects of it rather than depending on some chemicals to do all of the work for me.

actions plans feel like this

I recommend the article.  Even if anxiety isn’t part of your daily life, it has solid points and suggestions.  I like that it gives real ideas rather than “just meditate”.  Meditation is important but for me to get to that zen-y state means I need to clear my head a bit.  I feel the above actions are a path to this.

P.S. I pretty much love the Falcor-unicorn-rainbow action above

choosing to be proactive with my health

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I’m working on getting back on a regular schedule for posting.  I really miss this outlet as a creative venue and it helps to keep me motivated.  Not to mention, I very much want to start feeling “normal” again.  I realize there is no such thing as normal but I need to readjust my attitude.  Currently, I’ve been wrapped up in how crappy I feel both emotionally and physically.  While this won’t end for a couple of more weeks, it WILL end.  I can see it coming!  Two and half more weeks!  Almost single digit days!  Here are my thoughts on how to be more proactive with my health:

1.  Continue to work on my obsession:  running is a cure.  It has “cured” me before and it definitely provides helpful endorphins that keep the negative thoughts at bay.  Not to mention the doses of vitamin D the sunshine keeps providing.  Bless you Mother Nature!

2.  Friends and family:  I have been hesitant to reach out and tell them how I am honestly feeling.  Part of me feels ashamed I haven’t been able to hold strong during this time and simply deal with the side effects.  Another part of me feels constantly whiny.  Then there is there is the last part of me that doesn’t look sick.  Seriously, I AM being a trooper but there is no way to announce this without sounding like an idiot.  But as I’ve reached out more and more, the support helps immensely.  Admitting (whether in person or on this blog) that THIS IS HARD oddly makes me feel better.  My lack of a counseling degree keeps in me in the dark as to why but it does.

3.  Recognizing my limitations:  this one has been difficult because I feel Guilty.  I feel guilty when I have to cancel plans with friends (sorry Em!).  I feel guilty when I start crying on the phone to my dad.  I feel guilty when I call in sick to work – again.  I feel guilty… but as my smarty-pants friends reminded me, it’s okay to have limitations and know it’s part of the game right now.  Again, some validation – perhaps I am bit hooked on it?!

4.  Put this experience to good use:  I’ve decided I am going to do a run for epilepsy.  I want to raise awareness and fundage and most importantly (to me) help make this whole process mean something.  I’ll give you more info on what race I’ve picked next week but my mind has been turning with the ways I can make this happen.  This last year, my health has been crummy.  With the meds switch, this could really turn around and I want to celebrate this along with helping others who are still going through the hard times with this condition.

5.  New beginnings:  throughout this process, I’ve had (too much) time to think.  Wellness plays such a major role in our everyday lives and I think this is often the aspect we set aside in favor of “more important things”.  Yes, even in the blog world where we all convince ourselves we are masters of this wellness thingy.  I will be starting classes this summer (eek!) in a holistic health program – for sure!  Scary times!!  I’m excited, nervous, unsure, weary and hopeful for this new beginning.

It’s taken me almost 4 weeks to get here and chances are, I’ll have to refer to this post as a reminder in the next couple of weeks.  After these next two weeks of peaking with my new meds, I’ll get to taper from the old.  It may be more of a gradual process to feeling better than I am alluding to or allowing myself to believe but hey, we all have our coping mechanisms, right?  I simply choose DENIAL!  I like to feel proactive though and it keeps me from feeling like I’m barely treading water… like I’m actually moving somewhere.

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goals… time to get this plan into action

Wow… I have been plumb lazy about writing these last few days.  After a bit of a whirlwind flight (including being delayed for an hour but still arriving 3 minutes early?!  I mean, I get it, a tailwind but CRAZY!) I am happy to be home.  Simon is especially happy to have me around since the temp is a cool 24* here in MI and he leaches my body heat on a regular basis!

I am definitely one of those folks who sees promise in a new year.  I know many frown on this but I like the chance for a do-over.  I don’t want to forget what I learned in 2012 but considering I had a disastrous end to 2011 and a bumpy road in 2012 being able to get a fresh start is, well, refreshing!  I’ve been tossing around a ton of goals but I think I have settled on the ones that mean the most to me.  They have all been ideas that have made some sort of appearance on this blog before but I’m trying to nail them down into something achievable.

1.  Better my mental and physical health

A) I will do this by working with a life coach, staying with a fitness plan and cutting myself some slack.

2.  Work towards being more financially healthy

A) Last year I made a committment to spend more on experiences rather than “things”.  I’ve done a decent job of this but sometimes I fall off the wagon (why are you so easy, online shopping?!).

B) Try out a “budget” – ewww… but I have a feeling actually useful!

3.  Work to build my blog

A) I love this blog of mine!  It has become a lovely part of my life and I want it to grow.  I am currently doing some research on how to make this happen and hopefully I will get there

B) Share my weight loss story.  Does it sound too egotistical to want some fitness magazine to publish my history?  YES!  But I did drop about 90 lbs so maybe it warrants being slightly egotistical!

4.  Stick with a training plan and gain speed

A) I am terrible about sticking to a plan.  BUT when I did this (well, mostly) for my first half, I clocked in at a 2:04 – on a hilly course.  I desperately want to sub 2:00 this year for a half and I want my 5:25 full to be a “oh that was my first marathon time” memory.  I know this requires discipline, which seems to have been on short-order lately.  But I also KNOW if I stick with a plan, I can break through my speed glass-ceiling.

B) I am mapping out my plan right now for the Blue Ridge Marathon (which I know won’t be a PR – it’s a freakin’ MOUNTAIN!) and then Chicago will be in my sights for a PR.  My 1/2 PR is going to be in Wisconsin, because this is where dreams come true!

5.  Develop a healthy relationship

A) This one is a bit harder to create an action plan for but as I mentioned, I am going to give on-line dating a shot.

B) Know my self-worth.  Enough said.

6.  Write my book

A) I have been talking/thinking about this FOR-E-VER and it’s time.  I started it and will spend time each week working on it.

7.  Add cross-training

A) I know this will fall into the whole “stick with a training plan” gig but I feel it needs it own number.  I have started and dropped many a “I will cross-train twice per week” declarations but I know it’s necessary.  Swimming is in my near future.

8.  Run 2013 miles in 2013

A) This has been my super-secret-squirrel goal.  I am considerably afraid of this number and am nervous I won’t achieve it.  I’m tired of fear dictating my goals though so I’m unveiling this puppy.

9.  Better deal with my stress

A) Last year this showed up on my performance review for work so clearly I don’t hide my stress as well as I imagine!  I know the fitness components on this list will help as well seeing a life coach.  I also want to work on my “stress absorption” (wow, that sounds gross!).  As I’ve mentioned, I take on the stress of others and this needs to stop.

B) I am a very good hermit – too good.  I do want to be careful with how much I depend on this when I am feeling stressed.  It’s a dangerous spiral that includes hoarding, having actual conversations with my cat and an ass-print permanently embedded in my recliner.  DANGER

10.  Cook healthier meals

A) This sounds frightfully cliché… oh well.  I lost a lot of motivation to cook this past year and mainly would grab something fast and easy.  I didn’t eat out more (thankfully) but I powered through boxes of Blueberry Frosted Mini wheats like a champ!  Inevitably, I would be hungry again later and then it was a free-for-all on the late night snacking.  Exactly what aided in my weight gain many years before.  So, I shall cook.

11.  Keep in better contact with my family

A) Remember my hermit skills?  Well, this doesn’t just apply to friends but family too!  I want to skype more with the fam!

12.  Better my vocabulary and let this reflect in my writing and speech

A) Living with 18 year olds for 9 years made me extremely lazy in my use of the English language.  Shameful!  I am not only very (expensively – yay for student loans!) educated but have always loved utilizing a parade of different words – it’s time to put this in action and get my moneys worth!

13.  Be grateful

A) This was a goal last year as well.  It definitely helped me to get through some of my darker days but I always felt it was kind of false.  I am a true believer in the “fake it ’til you make it” philosophy but sometimes I felt too fake.  I want to sincerely be more grateful.  I have this quote on a mug I made (Art By Yourself) some years ago and it says the following:

“Be Yourself.  Life is precious as it is.  All the elements for your happiness are already here.”

Unfortunately, I failed to write down who said this and I certainly am not quoting myself yet but this speaks to me.

See what I did there?  13 goals for 2013!  I am going to work this 13 angle so please be prepared.  If you got this far – thanks for reading!