Friday, December 31, 2010

Reminiscing 2010; Looking Forward to 2011

WOW.  Where has the time gone?!  It's the last day of 2010 today, as well as the conclusion of yet another decade ("And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you" ~ PF) Looking back, what a year it has been!  For me, it's been 365 days of learning, growing, regaining confidence in myself and figuring out who "I" am.  (HUGE thanks, always, to Mike, who has been my rock and my support throughout it all.)  Who knew that getting fit physically would go hand-in-hand with becoming more and more mentally and emotionally fit at the same time?!  I still have some way to go, but I've made GREAT headway throughout the year.

Big plans for 2011: Starting Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred tomorrow, January 1, 2011, with my sister-in-law, possibly my sister and mother, and a few people over at  With so much accountability, how could I NOT see this workout DVD through to its completion?!  I refuse to make excuses for myself any longer!

With my new running shoes and the beautiful (for December 31st!) weather we had today, I took off on a GREAT run this afternoon.  Runkeeper Pro (free until the end of the year, normally $9.99) for the iPod/iPhone is going to be a great tool for my continued run training.  I will be buying Run Coach Pro soon, to begin my half marathon training.

I am fired up and ready to forge ahead with renewed determination, confidence and audacity.  Life really is what you make of it -- hard work, dedication, no-excuses, and determination are KEY in achieving our goals.  I'm looking forward to a GREAT new year.  Together, let's ROCK 2011!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010 Memories

Christmas 2010 turned out to be one of the BEST Christmases I've ever had, and certainly an amazing one for us as a family.  On fairly short notice, we found ourselves traveling to Las Vegas to spend Christmas with Mike's father and his side of the family.  I, having never been to Vegas, was quite excited.  Dalton was incredibly excited about flying for the first time, and Mike was absolutely grateful to be able to see family that he had not seen in several years.

We were made to feel right at home as soon as we arrived.  Christmas Eve was spent catching up with family, including my brother and his family (he is in the Air Force and just happens to be stationed in Vegas!).

Amy, Andy, Me, Evan, Mike and Dalton
Michael (Mike's father), Mike, and Shane (Mike's brother)
Christmas morning, we opened gifts, then Mike's cousin took us to Red Rock, where we hiked and took in the sights... absolutely gorgeous!

My favorite photo of Dalton
Mike and Dalton had the opportunity to bond even more throughout our vacation, and especially during our hike.  Mike gave him piggy-back rides over the streams, and they dubbed one another "Poppa Bear" and "Baby Bear".

Poppa Bear and Baby Bear
We went to Circus Circus on the Monday following Christmas Day, where Dalton rode as many indoor amusement park rides as he possibly could, we walked around taking in the sights, and Mike bought me a beautiful dress as my Christmas gift from him.  I feel GREAT in it!
My Christmas gift
We couldn't have asked for a better trip... we made so many memories and loved every second of it.  I feel SO blessed to have had the privilege of experiencing a different part of our country and meeting such great people that I have the honor of calling FAMILY!

I hope YOU had a great Holiday, too!  I would love to hear some of your Christmas/holiday memories... :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Assisting Our Local Communities

Being very altruistic in nature, I do my best to volunteer my time, talents and skills wherever needed, as time allows me to do so.  Yes, I would LOVE more time in my day to devote to volunteering, fundraising and helping, but I feel that every little bit helps, and I no longer waste my time lamenting over "never enough time".  I do what I can, when I can, rather than doing nothing because I can only do a little.

With the holidays in full swing, who can forget the less fortunate in our local neighborhoods? Those who are barely able to afford to keep food on their families' tables, much less afford to buy nice gifts for their loved ones.  I admit that there was a time in my past when I relied on our local food bank to fill in the gaps when times got tough.  I felt such gratitude for their services, especially on behalf of my (then) infant/toddler son.

At this point in my life, I am very happy to be able to give back to the very same food bank that helped me out in the past.  I have pledged to lose 40 pounds between now and May 31, 2010, as part of the Pound for Pound Challenge*, sponsored by The Biggest Loser.  This year, for the first time, you can now create your own Pound for Pound Challenge team, and so I did just that!  Team Motivation is currently holding strong in second place in team rankings, and I'm looking to recruit more team members to help donate as much food as possible to as many local communities as possible.

If you or someone you know might find it in your/their heart to help this GREAT cause, please follow the directions below:

Go to:

Click on the "Pledge" tab, and it will give you the two options of "Join a Team" or "Pledge Pounds". 

Click on "Join A Team". 

Click on "Join Team" next to Motivation and it will open another window that will give you the option of "Change Teams" or "Continue Pledging". 

Follow the directions under "Continue Pledging" to register and pledge.

Also, join Motivation's Facebook group for support, encouragement and.. well.. motivation, of course!

Thank you SO much for considering donating your time to improving your own health while helping those less fortunate!

* For every pound you pledge to lose through May 31, 2011, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 11¢ to Feeding America® — enough to secure one pound of groceries on behalf of local food banks.

myLot User Profile

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Running Some Resolutions By Y'all

Having just completed a mile jog on the ole treadmill this evening, I thought I'd share a few things that crossed my mind during said jog.

One thing that popped up was resolutions for 2011 and beyond.  I'm talking fitness resolutions, or, more specifically, running resolutions.  Back in February 2010, I began a running program called Couch to 5K (C25K), which was the very start of me becoming a RUNNER.  Yeah, hard to imagine a year ago, calling myself a runner!  If interested, you can read more about my runner beginnings here.  Since then, I've run a 4 mile and two 5K races this year.

I've already decided that I'll be signing up for Fort4Fitness's half marathon to be held in September 2011.  So, beginning in January 2011, I'll begin using a half marathon training app for the iPod to prepare.  I'll also be signing up for several 5Ks and such -- maybe even a 10K or two -- along the way.  I'm SO ready for spring to get here already so I can get back to running outdoors.  The treadmill is alright, but since I began running outdoors this past spring, nothing quite compares.  The breeze, the sunlight... ahhhh...

Oh right... resolutions... So, after reviewing plans I've already made, I thought it over and I've made it my goal to participate in and finish a marathon by the end of 2012.  Yep.  Imma do it.  Because I'm determined like that.  Watch and see.

Have you any resolutions set for the upcoming new year?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Get Agitated!

So you want to make a change in your life.  What's holding you back from just forging ahead and making that change?  Wait, on second thought, don't tell me.  Why?  Because I'm sure I've made just about every excuse you're about to tell me, and then some, when I'm in "avoidance mode".

Instead, allow me to share with you what's worked for me to foster two major changes in my life.  One, I quit smoking a little over two years ago.  Two, I've lost somewhere between 30 and 50 pounds throughout 2010.  In both cases, I found something that absolutely bugged the crap out of me about the situations I wanted to change, and used that agitation not to get me down in the dumps, but to fuel the determination that I CAN and I WILL change what I want to change.

While I was smoking, I'd wake up every morning coughing my head off.  I was congested, I got sick more easily.  I finally got to the point where I was just plain OVER feeling gross.  I became absolutely irritated with always sniffling, stinking and coughing.  Of course, quitting and staying the course was in no way easy, I won't kid you, but once I was annoyed enough with just one aspect of the situation, my determination took on a life of its own.

Same with losing weight/getting fit.  One of the biggest things that I used to fuel my startup determination was the irritation and disgust I felt whenever I sat, especially at my desk at work, and the rolls of fat on my back would literally touch each other, kind of overlapping one another.  I became truly agitated about this, more and more so each and every day.  One day, I finally determined that I had two choices.  I could sit in disgust day in and day out, or I could get up and do something about it.  My previous blog post shows just which option I chose.

My suggestion to you, rather than relying on excuses, is this: Get Agitated!!  Find something, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, that just bugs the crap out of you about a situation you wish to change.  Get annoyed by it.  Enough so that it sparks the determination that, I believe, we ALL hold within ourselves.  Enough so that you say to yourself, "Enough is ENOUGH!"  And make that change!

Start small, set realistic goals, hold yourself accountable to whoever you need to, find support and encouragement from others (my inbox is always open: ctassell at inbox dot com), and just GO for it!  Good day and namaste!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Progress: June to December 2010

Documenting my progress from June 2010 to December 2010

Approximately 30lbs. lost!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So Far, So Good

In reference to my last blog post, A Game Plan, I wanted to write a quick update.  Yesterday, I got up early, danced to Michael Jackson The Experience (Wii game) and had a fairly decent day as far as food goes.  I wanted a piece of fudge (my weeeeakness!) in the evening, but I noticed that it would put me over my calorie goal for the day.  So, I ate the fudge.  Then, I danced some more.  Fair trade, I'd say!

Today, I got up early again and hopped aboard our (oft-neglected) treadmill for twenty minutes.  Oh, and a little while ago, partly because I was cold and partly because I just plain felt like moving, I did 25 jumping jacks here at work while no one was looking.

And, since I finally found my Baron Baptiste Live - Core Power DVD (featuring background music by none other than my favorite chanter, Krishna Das), I've given some serious thought to a yoga workout after Dalton goes to bed and before The Biggest Loser comes on TV tonight.  Especially since there's more of that oh-so-tasty fudge in our refrigerator.  I've already had two pieces of it this afternoon.  This will most likely NOT stop me from wanting yet another piece this evening.

Tomorrow morning, I plan to get up early once again, early enough to complete all 50 minutes of 10 Minute Solution - Kickbox Bootcamp -- one of the workout DVDs that Netflix instantly streams.  It's intense, and just what I need for a great midweek burn.

So far, so good.  Will this trend continue?  As long as I stay determined and have Mike by my side to encourage and give me a figurative swift kick up the booty when I need it, I have every confidence that it will.  I'm SO ready to report a decent amount of weight loss over on MyFitnessPal again.  Good day and namaste!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Game Plan

Autumn arrived, and with it, the gradual decline of my motivation, drive and determination.  I won't bother to bore you with my laundry list of excuses.  It's all irrelevant, really.  I knew better the entire time.  Yet, I allowed excuse after excuse to keep me from what I really and truly want.  OK, so, time to stand tall once again, be tough and eradicate those wimpy, whiny excuses!  And, what better way to do so than to come up with a plan of action and then to actually follow through with it?!  I mean, I already have all the support one woman could EVER wish for, and for that I am absolutely grateful.

Speaking of support, I've been sort of hiding out from my MyFitnessPal crew lately -- mostly because of feelings of guilt and shame for not doing/being my best.  Feeling a little hypocritical even, at times.  Everyone there has always been so supportive of me throughout this journey, and I absolutely cannot stand the feeling of having let someone (or, in this case, a lot of someones!) down.

So, with that said, I felt the best way for me to get back on track would be to have a daily/weekly exercise plan at my disposal.  That way, I don't have to think about which workout I'm going to do, morning-by-morning.  Did I ever mention that I am NOT a morning person?!  ;)  I plan to streamline my morning routine as much as possible, so I stop feeling so rushed, harried and a failure.  Yep, let's change things so I can more easily change the thoughts with which I identify.  ;)

Today, I will be formulating my game plan.  A week-by-week exercise plan.  And, more importantly, STICKING to it!  Thank you, to everyone who has been supportive of me throughout EVERYTHING.  It really does mean a LOT to me.  Good day and namaste!

To Defy the Laws of Ego ~ Explaining the Blog Name Change

Having quietly changed the title of my blog a little while back, from "To Defy the Laws of Tradition" to "To Defy the Laws of Ego", I thought maybe I should take this time to explain.

Ego is identification with thoughts.  Without thoughts, there is no ego.  Eckhart Tolle explains this concept very well in this video.  I highly recommend watching/listening to it to learn more.

I am highly aware of how many, as Mr. Tolle puts it, "hostile, life-limiting entities (thoughts)" about myself that I carry around with me, and have for a very long time.  So ingrained for so many years that I have fully believed them to be absolute truth.  Never did realize, until more recently that this is only my perception; not truth, not set in stone.

So therefore, I felt this blog would serve me best by morphing into a place to document my defiance of those deeply ingrained thoughts, the biggest one being, "I'm not good enough; I'm not worthy."  Digging deep to stop deriving my identity from thoughts, or, better put, to be aware enough of what I think on a daily basis to make sure I identify with life-expanding, joyful thoughts about myself and the world in which I live.  "Transcending" the ego by being aware of and choosy about the thoughts with which I identify.

Next up, a blog containing my game plan for getting back on track with fitness, weight loss, running and being the best person I can be.  Wallowing in self-pity over things I am fully capable of changing about myself shall no longer be tolerated.  Good day and namaste!