please provide advice…

On Tuesday, I had plans with friends to see another friend’s apartment.  It was so wonderful to see her and it was great to see a real life adult apartment!  Don’t get me wrong, I see myself as an adult (sort of) but she has a washer/dryer AND a dishwasher.  This just screams “I’m all grown up!”.

We were all driving together and I had a very slim running window.  It worked out considering I needed to do speed work.  I only had time for 2.5 miles and I pushed it for those 2.5.  Better than nothing, I guess.

By the way, whenever I read about runners learning to “turn their feet over faster” I understood but I didn’t know how to do this.  As I’m doing more speed work I’m learning what this means and I can feel it happening.  It’s weird though because I used to run this fast all of the time and I don’t remember it feeling this tough!  What I do remember is simply taking longer strides when I wanted to go faster.  Lately, I’m concentrating on form (taking more/shorter steps) during the faster miles since these longer steps really aggravate my hip.  Sometimes running feels way more complicated than it should!

***transition!***  For the last two weeks, I’ve been feeling out of sorts.  Some of it is certain areas of my life are not progressing the way I would like and then some body issues have been getting in the way.  None of my clothes feel like they are fitting very well and I just don’t feel comfortable in my own skin.  Unless I’m wearing sweatpants – then I feel much better.  The body issues are really bugging me.  I want to feel strong and confident as opposed to self-conscious.  Get this – two days I ago, I put on a pair of jeans.  They were certainly tight but I zipped/buttoned and I could have worn them.  Today?  Nope, I could barely get them over my bum and no way were they going to button.  WTF?

It’s moments like this that throw me overboard.  I understand the concept of hormonal fluctuations and my body seems prone to this phenomenon.  I also haven’t slept well the last three nights.  However, SERIOUSLY?!  I am so irked.  Not to mention, I am not sure how to get a handle on it.  It’s having an effect on me and I feel kind of ashamed for saying it.  Nevertheless, I still went out shopping yesterday.  I’m headed to a conference this weekend and there’s a hot tub.  A bathing suit.  Ugh.

hmm… I should have started the trip like this

There weren’t a ton of options and thankfully, I found one that looked decent.  Considering it wasn’t the most horrific experience like I expected made me feel a bit better.  I also found two cute dresses and a couple of shirts, all of which can be worn during any season (my new goal when I purchase clothing).  It does help me realize my perceptions of my body are much worse than the actual reality.  But the jeans incident (I tried them on right after I got home from Old Navy) kind of threw those good feelings out of the window.

Again, I hate feeling this way and I’m guessing anyone who has experienced body issues doesn’t like it either.  I’ve attempted to adopt several healthy attitudes towards these issues; acceptance – “I love my curves!”, progressive, “I’m not unhappy and want to keep working!”, determined “I’m going to overhaul everything!” and then just giving up “who cares?!”.  None of these are hitting home though… I realize since I’m feeling dissatisfied in general right now, my body is automatically a victim of my nasty internal monologue.  So how do I stop?!

Please feel free to drop some advice on me!  I need it!

 

I’m not one of those people

Breaking news:  this morning I was one of those people who forgot to eat.  Trust me, this NEVER happens.  But I got into work and started working on a project.  And was drinking coffee.  At 11 am, I was suddenly very hungry and realized I forgot to eat my almond/coconut Kind bar.  First of all, this in itself is astonishing considering I love me my Kind bars.  Second, I don’t forget to eat.  This concept is quite odd to me.  Third, it’s probably been 7 years since I last forgot to eat breakfast.  I suddenly feel lost.  WHO AM I?

Why didn’t I eat it straight-away after this realization?  I was meeting my friend for lunch at 11:45 at Panera so there wasn’t really a point.  Although I was nervous that later on I wouldn’t be able to feel full.  This used to happen to me all the time when I didn’t eat in the morning.  I wouldn’t eat until 1 pm or 2 pm and then proceeded to eat the rest of the day/evening.  Whenever anyone asks me how I lost weight in the first place, my answer is always, “I started eating breakfast”.  Really, this changed my eating habits on a permanent basis.

Anyway, back to how I originally started this post.  Not quite sure why I’ve gone all radio silent this past week.  I could blame it on feeling completely exhausted every night after getting home from work.  I could also blame it on some writer’s block.  Then there is the fact I was feeling lazy and falling into a napping habit.  Or because I’ve been taking my meds in the middle of the day in an attempt to make my dosage 12 hours apart.

Hmm… these are all fairly accurate reasons.  So there you go.

Thankfully, these reasons haven’t kept me from running.  I’ve been sticking with my plan pretty well with only a missed run here and there.  Remember – this is good for me!  I did decide to skip the 1/2 this past Sunday.  It snowed the night before (4′) and was a combo of frozen roadways and a freezing morning.  Not to mention, I woke up late and with a headache.  All of these made for running 2 and 1/2 hours seem incredibly less appealing.  I don’t regret my choice although I do feel a bit wimpy.  My treadmill and I are super good buddies at this point.

I also created some art!  I had a bit of help but here is the finished product:

daisy artIt’s hanging in my living room and definitely helps with some necessary color.  Naturally, now all I want to do is CREATE!  I purchased three more canvases in hopes of painting this:

or at least something fairly close
or at least something fairly close

Thank you pinterest, for ever fueling my project endeavors.

Last oddball thing:  for some reason I’ve started saying “oil” in a Southern accent.  I looked for gif or video to help explain this but to no avail.  I think the best way to describe it is, I say “uhl” – I’m not sure where the “o” or the “i” went.  I’m from WA state.

It’s very strange I tell ya.  I have no idea where this came from!

me like food – a possible nutrition plan

For the last few days I’ve felt fairly crummy.  My uterus has decided despite what the calendar says, it is going to cramp all the time anytime.  Monday, my brain/head started feeling all funny and seizurey.  This always worries me because well, you know, the seizure part.  I am still not sure of the cause but I came home and laid up on the couch.  And then of course Monday started the week.  Monday and I do not get along – it’s a mutual dislike.  (The fuzzy brain part is still under assessment although currently taking a few extra meds as prescribed by the doc)

I didn’t know what other pic to put here…

Meanwhile, running has been put on hold until I can move without feeling dizzy.  BUT I am looking into some new nutrition ideas.  To be honest, I am having troubles with counting calories.  I’m not really a fan.  I forget and then when I see that I only have a certain number left, I kind of freak out.  Then I start doing all of this mental math with what I can still eat and not go over.  Let’s face it, no one deserves mental math.

I don’t wanna

The thing is, my friend has had loads of success with counting!  I am a bit envious because this really clicks with him.  I wanted it to click with me too but it’s been a couple of months now and a) I haven’t been consistent and b) I’m not interested in doing it.  It also sucks because it’s only 1200 calories per day.  Then when I work out I eat those calories too so I am not seeing much of a deficit.  Oh and the mind games – who can forget these?!  ***My brother in law posted this post from Sophieology – it’s all about how 1200 is too low and a bunch of other good stuff!  I recommend it!

So, after reading a Sweat Once a Day post, Sweaty mentioned she was trying a high protein, low carb kind of deal.  Considering carbs and I are total besties I thought I would give this a shot; I like a challenge.  Monday, I kicked off the day without carbs!  What novel idea!  Apparently it works like the following: no carby goodness in the morning or afternoon – protein and veggies are on the plate.  For dinner carbs are welcome or some starch (be still my beating heart, POTATOES!) along with protein.

I’m not cutting out dairy, it wasn’t even an option and I also know there will be times when carbs pop up before dinner.  I also don’t have any idea if I will still be following this in a week from now but I like the idea of something a little different but not hugely drastic.  The theory behind it is I am teaching my body to use protein as an energy source rather than resorting to carbs.  Another perk?  My runger seems to be diminishing!  Okay, so it’s been four days but you know what I mean.  The downside?  I want some carby business during the day!  Haha, it’s crazy that I am actually craving it.

Counting calories are out but I am tracking what I am eating a bit – mostly for my own edification.  I want to be able to see what my “menu” has been.  I am not counting calories with this because I can’t do that much excel spreadsheet-like inputting.  It’s like in my head math – too much.

Ever heard of this style of eating?  Do you restrict carbs a.k.a. public enemy number 1?

feeed me seymor!

This was one of my mom’s favorite movies and we watched it all the time!  It’s the tale of the insatiable hunger of a plant who drank blood and ate people.  While I don’t do either (aren’t you happy to know this?) I understand the hunger issue right now.

“Train Gain”.  When I first heard/read about this phrase I couldn’t believe it!  I thought I was the only one who gained while training!  It was right after I finished my first 1/2 and I had gained about 5 lbs.  It was weird though because my clothes still fit (although I had more of a booty than before).  The weight had redistributed itself and I gained muscle for sure.

yep, I gots me a runner butt
yep, I gots me a runner butt

I will say there were a few of those pounds that were not muscle – ahem, my eating habits weren’t the best.  After the longer runs on the weekends I found the only thing that could fill me up were a burger and fries.  Or at least this is what I told myself as I hit Wendy’s on a weekly basis.

Last year while training I noticed the hunger every once in a while but I did a lousy job training so I don’t remember it being at the forefront.  This time around I am hungry.

please sir, I want some more

I did some reading and while I found people talking about being really hungry while training, I didn’t find a whole lot of “how to fix it”.  There was the normal, “running isn’t license to eat whatever you want, keep a food journal, and drink water”.  But I wanted more.

I also read an article from the New York Times that talked about how women’s bodies hold onto fat with a vice-like grip!  I’m sure all of you women know why – our bodies want to make sure we are ready for a bun in the oven AT ANY TIME!  Thanks a lot uterus, you sure know how to treat a woman right!

women are such lucky creatures

I need to figure out what works best for me – maybe it’s all personal?  I’ve come up with a few ideas:

1.  Drink more water (this one was provided).  One thing I read said I need to drink 3 liters of water a day.  Whoa.  This is a bit much for me so I am going to shoot for 2.

2.  I read something about eating smaller meals throughout the day.  Since this is pretty standard advice for losing weight, I didn’t pay much mind to it.  However, the more I thought about it the more I realized I am not necessarily hungrier than usual at meal time rather I get hungry faster.  Smaller meals would help with this and help me avoid eating EVERYTHING when an actual meal times come around.

3.  Go to bed earlier.  I think this one is kind of silly – or at least makes me feel as though I am 5 years old.  Come to think of it, I am not even sure I had a bed time back then… Anyway, going to bed earlier was one of my goals during the summer months and it has really helped in other areas of my life.  Being sleepy is also associated with weight gain and my favorite time to snack is in the evening.

4.  Why is it when there is all of this hunger inside me I don’t crave super duper healthy foods?!  Pizza, burgers, fries, grilled cheese sandwiches – the list goes on and on but salad isn’t one of them.

my craving for pie is out of this world right now

I’m thinking my eating habits could use some fine tuning.  At the very least, better balance my diet.  I ate some fruit yesterday – outside of my banana a day habit, that’s the only fruit I’ve had in a bit.  Lame.

please healthy foods! let me love you!

I want to make sure I say, I’m not trying to be unhealthy.  I’ve mentioned it in the last couple of weeks, Skinny Runner mentioned that you have to get used to being a little bit hungry.  Yuck.  I love the feeling of being FULL (not the best thing in the world) but it feels impossible to actually get FULL at this point.  I also refuse to completely give up an ice cream cone or peanut butter M # M’s.  That’s balancing out my diet for sure!  Nothing earth-shattering here but these are doable for me – hope this combo helps others!

I divorced the scale

The scale and I were in a relationship for the last 9 years.

At first this was a good relationship.  We cared for each other.  I would spend time with the scale on a daily basis and the numbers on the scale started dropping and kept going.  The scale and I celebrated weight loss together and things were great between us!

After the scale betrayed me early on, I decided to start running and then we got better.  Essentially, it was like when you are dating someone and you put all of your energy into that person.  This can be smothering – poor scale!  Running definitely improved our relationship.

However, the last two years the scale and I started drifting apart.  We took a trial separation since I figured neither one of us was happy and maybe some time apart was what we needed.  But I went back – I kept wondering what the scale was up to and it looked so lonely sitting there all by itself.  So we got back together.

Turns out getting back together wasn’t the best decision.  Our relationship was overpowering and the scale seemed to have so much control over me!  Did the scale say something I didn’t like?  Then the day started out on a downer.  The scale was so negative!  Seriously, it was a big jerk!  I worked harder and the scale just mocked me.  It got to a point where I dreaded spending time with the scale every morning as it increased my anxiety.  The scale made me want to give up on trying to get healthier alltogether.

Last Wednesday the scale and I divorced.  Three days later, I kicked the scale out of the apartment.  At first, I missed the scale – we were together for so long!  We had started to depend on each other too much – was I going to have a good day or bad day?  Since the numbers weren’t really moving, were my healthier habits completely in vain?  I was so dependant on the scale that I started believe the numbers were the only things that mattered.

It’s been a week.  I feel so much better – emotionally and mentally!  It was no way to start a day!  Not to mention, all of that mental and emotional energy was being wasted!  So, I’ve started to move my concentration to better nutrition (still counting calories) and actual fitness.  It’s been an interesting transition especially considering how long I’ve weighed myself everyday.  I don’t want to turn to disordered eating habits and for me personally, the scale starts to push these buttons for me.

I don’t think the scale and I can be friends after this break up.  A friendship would simply bring us back together so this relationship is officially over.  In all honesty, it’s for the best!

thinking – a dangerous pastime!

I’ve been doing a little thinking…

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When I first saw a preview for “Eat, Pray, Love” I knew I would have to see the movie.  However, because most of the time the book is better than the movie, I went out the next day and bought it.  While some people mock this book, I found it very uplifting.  I identify with the Elizabeth, “Liz” Gilbert, the author and her proclivity toward not letting go.

Yes, I am LOUSY at letting go!  Whether I am committed to an idea, a way of life, stuff or a guy, I have a hard time seeing the value of appreciating it while it lasted and then moving forward.  EEK!  Logically, I recognize the importance of this but for the most part I struggle with the emotional aspect of it.

Last night “Eat, Pray, Love” was on tv.  I caught it just as Liz was arriving in India for her time at the ashram.  This is where she meets Richard from Texas and his character (a real life person, I know!) had some great pillow-stitching worthy insights.

1.  It’s okay to mourn the loss of a relationship and miss that person.  But then be over it.  When you think of that person send them “love and light” and then move forward.  We don’t need to minimize the relationship or the person to get over it.  Instead value that person for who they are and be okay with the fact it didn’t work out between the two of you.

2.  Forgive yourself.  It doesn’t matter in what context – just do it.

First of all, I did put my own language to his thoughts on life, FYI!  Now, I would very much like to say neither of these two nuggets of wisdom are EASY.  But I think not doing these things is much harder than not in the long run.  Concentrating on persons from our past and relationships doesn’t allow us to move into something new.  Not forgiving ourselves allows us to concentrate on the negative and doesn’t push us forward to the positive.

I identified with the idea of not forgiving myself in reference to losing fitness and gaining some weight back.  After I lost 85lbs, I SWORE I would never gain weight again.  NEVER!  I was adamant about it to myself and anyone else who would talk to me about it.  I hailed the benefits of losing weight and being active from the rooftops.  I reveled in my new found feelings of body confidence and in how far I had come from my old couch potato ways.  Now?  Well, I feel I have completely failed myself.  I recognize that 15lbs is not the end of the world but it has changed my perception of myself.  I let myself down and this might be harder than the actual weight gain.  Oh and I tend to overanalyze just a bit!

I need to forgive myself for the weight gain.  It’s completely wrapped up in emotions, my mom and meds increasing then switching so it wasn’t like I decided I didn’t care anymore.  I didn’t handle all of these perfectly but I did HANDLE them so I need to give myself some credit for this.  And I need to move on – I know I’ve mentioned this a few times before but I never put it in the context that I was holding myself back because I didn’t think I deserved to be healthy and fit.

Feeling you deserve a healthy body can be tough to embrace when you are dwelling on the negative things.  It definitely sounds great to put some lip service to forgiving yourself but how do you get to that point?!  Or how do you actually put it in action?  In the book, Liz has a hard time getting up and getting through a morning meditation.  Good ol’ Richard from Texas tells her to dedicate the meditation to someone specifically.  I’m sure many of us have read that in order to get through some tough mileage dedicating miles to people can give you the mental boost you need.  I have forgotten about this and want to work on dedicating a morning work out to people in my life.  Currently, my night owl ways and lack of belief in myself keeps my head glued to the pillow.  But would/could this change if I knew I was helping someone (physically or spiritually) important if I got up?  I like this idea.  A lot.

I like to find connections in my life and use these to better myself.  I know I will always have a hard time with letting go – hello, I have some hoarding tendencies to boot!  But acknowledging it and then working on it are two big steps!  And so is accepting this about myself!

Maybe this is a bit deep for a Saturday afternoon read but I am more than a bit intrigued by some of the ideas above.  Not to mention, it has the possibility for a major load off of my shoulders!  Oooo – a new June goal!  Happy weekend everyone!

totally ready to eat all of the carbs in the world

This week has been weird.  In fact, today was weird.  It perked up toward the end of the day but I guess I am not remembering a whole lot from the few days prior either.  I think there are several reasons for this:

1.  The Cleanse… or maybe a better word would be detox.  Anyway, it’s messin’ with me, man!  I’m hungry, plain and simple.  After this is done, I have decided I am not going to give up carbs.  I like them.  I miss them.  I want real noodles and I want some bread.  I also want a burger but that’s a whole other story.  I am glad I decided to do this before heading off to Vegas because I’m going to eat a lot.  I’ve been hungry for days now and there are a few times where I feel a bit out of it.  And my energy has seen better days.  I haven’t been working out and I’m in bed around 10:30 pm every night.  At least it’s been good for my sleeping habits!  I chalk all of this up to not eating enough.  So when this is over, I am going to continue watching my sugar intake because I think this has made me sluggish recently.  But I will be making sure to get the right amount of calories for an active lifestyle.

turkey bacon in a baggie - completely normal, right?
turkey bacon in a baggie – completely normal, right?

2.  VEGAS next week!  I can’t wait!  I am thrilled to be going on a mini-vaca and I am looking into a 5k in the area!  I would be doing it with a twitter friend/runner!  I think it would be super fun and I am ready to go there and enjoy the sights and sounds of that crazy place.  I know I will be ready to come home too but it will be a few days before I reach that point.  Oh yeah, it won’t be 25* there either.

this is how fun vegas will be

3.  I had an appointment with my neurologist this week.  After my 4 day migraine last week, I figured it would be a good time to schedule something (clearly, I am very intelligent).  It was a fabulous appointment!  I am not kidding – she really listens to me and I brought her a whole list of questions.  One of my goals for the year was to become more educated on my disease/condition (I’m not sure which one it is) and this helped.  I have frontal lobe epilepsy.  I’ve never known this before!  We also decided to change up my medication.  WHOA NELLY!  To let you know how monumental this is, I haven’t changed my medication aside from dosage, in 16 years!  After I get back from vaca I will start the process.  It’s not going to be all bells and whistles, so my excitement is mingled with nerves.  I’m sure I will write more about it.  I do have this feeling of hope though, since my current meds have side effects that I will be happy to no longer have to deal with.

this is NOT what happened at my appointment!
this is NOT what happened at my appointment!

So there you go… tonight I am going to maul some chicken and tomatoes and after tomorrow, I will be finished.  I will definitely “review” this whole detox thing but I am not doing the “miracle soup” on Saturday.  I have to fly on Sunday and I am not sure what that will do to my tummy.

waking up and smelling the coffee

Today I kicked my style project up a notch.  I am wearing bright royal blue skinny jeans, a white tee with a coral blouse over it and then a sparkle gray sweater.  I’ve added a knit hat and ankle booties to this get up… AND I took a pic!

just a bit of color for this wednesday!
just a bit of color for this wednesday!

I did get a couple of, “hmmm, not sure” type of reactions but I love it.  This style renewal is EXACTLY what I need at the moment.  Interestingly enough, I didn’t start losing weight back in the day until I had accepted and started to love my body as is.  I had a style reno at the start of that process as well.  I’ve often marveled at this aspect of my story – I had finally decided the curves weren’t so bad and then I lost 80 lbs.

life is too short to worry about matching socks
life is too short to worry about matching socks

I have thought a lot about this cause and effect and believe it comes down to me caring about my body, loving it and learning to treat it right.  When I hated how I looked, it didn’t matter if I was cruel to it – I didn’t care.  Once I started eating better and recognizing how strong it was I started fueling it through nutrition and exercise.  And kind thoughts.

Last night I was sharing this with a good friend – this whole wake up and smell the coffee moment I’d had so many years ago.  Then I had another wake up call as I realized I’ve fallen into some similar patterns of not appreciating or showing my body love as of late.  So, with the start of Lent today here are my two Lenten promises:

1.  I’m giving up my snooze button – whew!  This morning was interesting.  My ultimate goal for this is to learn to appreciate mornings, wake up with ONE alarm and no more hitting snooze for a half hour.  I wasn’t running late this morning and felt much calmer.

2.  Appreciate my body – for me this means sticking to my work out goals and plans and dialing down the judgy-ness.  I’ve been way to harsh on myself as of late.  I would NEVER allow anyone to talk to one of my friends the way I talk to myself and it’s time I remember to be amazed at what my body is able to do on a daily basis.

oops – I lied – the 3 Lenten promises!

3.  To be more observant – lately, I’ve noticed I’ve been walking around with my gaze lowered.  In fact, I’ve lived in the area for almost 10 years and yesterday was the first day I had noticed a building in the neighborhood (and how it resembled male genitalia but that’s another story!).  For shame, Amy!  I walked to work this morning with my eyes forward and took in as much beauty as I could.  I was certainly welcomed with an incredible sunny day!

look at that!  I can see grass!
look at that! I can see grass!

I don’t believe that Lent has to always be a time for sacrifice rather it’s a time to become a better person.  To be mindful and awake.  I’m looking forward to sharing some of my experiences!

deep(ish) thoughts and questions for you

Last night I ran at the indoor track even though I loathe the gym.  I’m totally turning into a wimp – I simply don’t want to run in the snow and ice right now.  Not to mention, I have either become more of a ‘fraidy cat or I’m becoming smarter and don’t want to run in the dark anymore.  Anyway, I digress…

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So, during my run, I saw quite a few very heavy individuals working out.  First off, kudos to them!  I remember hating going to the gym when I was bigger (heck, I still don’t like it much) because we are surrounded by numerous 18-20 years olds and gravity hasn’t touched their bums or their boobs.  This is probably my own issue – I digress again!  While I was running, I saw these folks start and complete their workout and it really got me thinking.

Is some movement better than no movement at all?

I really used to believe this but now I am not so sure.  I definitely feel any movement is GOOD, however, are people with a weight issue setting themselves up for failure/giving up by only doing a minimal amount of exercise?  Walking around a track a few times (not even the full amount to make a mile) and then riding the bike for a bit is a good start but will it give people a chance to see real results?  And if they don’t see results will it end up being, “well, I tried exercise and it didn’t work so what’s the point?”

One of the Biggest Loser’s competitors talked about how she used to go to a trainer every Tuesday and then would follow-up the session with a fast food binge, most likely negating any positive effects of the work out.

What are your thoughts?

Here’s the thing, I ran around that circle 45 times so I did have some time to ponder this.  From my standpoint, I would hate for someone to go to the gym but then not see any results and give up.  I absolutely agree that you have to start somewhere though and maybe this was where this group was starting.  From my personal experience, it has taken me some time to realize what combination of nutrition, activity and being lazy will result in weight gain, loss or maintenance.  And maybe I just want to help folks before they struggle and decide it’s not worth it because it IS worth it!  There probably isn’t much I can do but it’s been on my mind…

this is how I felt after running in circles 45 times
this is how I felt after running in circles 45 times

Also, an 18 year old hit on me yesterday and while at the gym someone said they thought I was one of the students.  I need to hear these things since I will be hitting my mid (FREAKIN’) 30’s this weekend.  Yes, it is better than the alternative – but couldn’t another alternative be that I was born 3 years later?!  Why hasn’t science developed something like this?!  What are they wasting their time on?  I am getting older!  Again, with the dramatics… but I do have a bit of a complex!  Not to mention the RUDE Superbowl that decided to overshadow MY day with holding their little game – lame!

Tonight I went back to the gym for 5 more miles.  Here is my tale of woe – I was running and had a bad dizzy spell (epilepsy related – boo!) at mile 3.36.  It was pretty bad and I’m sure everyone else thought I ran into the side of the wall but instead I was grasping it to keep from falling over.  Not my favorite.  I walked/ran the next 1/2 mile.  This seemed to take forever and I wanted to be finished so I jumped on an empty treadmill and pounded out the last mile at a 10:14 pace.  Maybe not the wisest option but I got it finished.  I am proud for going back tonight, especially since it’s been a little while since I’ve run consistent days in a row.  Cheers to some self-discipline and (whoa!)106397609916714329_a2gCre5d_c a training plan!

 

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!