Thursday, October 6, 2011

Peeling Back Another Layer . . .

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the f--k on.” ~ Tupac Shakur

I had one of those "aha" moments today on my drive home from work.  One of those my good friend Regina, co-founder of Romancing Your Soul, often speaks of.  She also likens each new "aha" moment to peeling back the layers of an onion.  Along our spiritual or human paths, we don't often become the best version of ourselves all at once.  Instead, we learn and become more aware with each life lesson we encounter, much like uncovering the layers of an onion as we peel them back. With each layer we unveil about ourselves, we awaken more and more to the very core of our being, our highest nature, our heart, our spirit.

I've been diligently working on what Regina calls "mastering a mind with a mind of its own".  Paying attention to my thoughts as I think them, and being the 'chair' of my mind committee.

As I was driving home from work, I realized just how judgmental I've been toward myself.  I'd become pro at the first option Mr. Shakur mentions in the quote above.  Over-analyzing everything.  Being very critical of everything I did, everything I said, everything I thought.  Yep, even when I thought it was me in charge of those thoughts, I realized it was really my mind.  It had simply become old, old habit to over-analyze everything.  So much so that it was "normal" to me.  Today, I came to the realization that that "normal" just didn't suit the real ME anymore.

For one thing, since becoming pregnant, I've noticed just how much more these negative habits have an adverse effect on my body.  When I'm anxious, when I allow things to stress me out, I can feel it immediately in my body.  It becomes tense, my heart beats fast, my stomach begins to hurt.  I dislike this feeling!  The only thing that makes me feel better is to take a deep, deep breath, relax my mind, and let all worries dissipate.

So, I immediately began putting into practice a new habit.  I began "leav[ing] the pieces on the floor and mov[ing] the f--k on."

Now, no more: 1) being overly critical of myself and every move I make; 2) over-analyzing every situation; 3) thinking about what could have, should have, would have been.

And . . . on to the next layer of my being!

Good day and Namaste <3

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Interested or Committed?

Are you merely interested in achieving some goal or intention you've set (or considered setting) for yourself?  Or are you truly committed to it?  What's the difference?

You may be interested in getting fit, saving money, becoming more organized, etc. But you let excuses such as "not enough time", "I'll be better able to do so when...", and so on, get in your way.  You allow those excuses and stories to keep you from what you deep down, truly want.

However, once you fully commit to a goal/intention, that's when you accept NO excuse, no lack-of-time, nothing.  You rearrange your priorities as needed in order to fit in the time to work toward your goal or intention.  You may will still come up against obstacles; however, you will find a way around or through them.  That goal is your objective and you let nothing stand in your way.

So, are you interested... or committed?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Let Your Light Shine!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. 

Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. 

~ quote by Marianne Williamson ~

PLEASE SHARE:  How do you let YOUR own unique light shine?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Fit Pregnancy Update Number 1

Yes, I am pregnant.  Yes, sheer exhaustion took over my body, as did bouts of nausea, as my body coped with beginning to form new life.  Yes, I've taken it easy on myself.  But, at times, perhaps TOO easy.  Or, maybe I've done just the right thing.  Who am I to judge myself so harshly these days??  I only have to look back at this blog to see how far I came prior to becoming pregnant.

That blog set out my contingent plan to NOT gain any weight during my first trimester.  Well, as much of an ideal plan as that was, it really doesn't take into account 'real life', does it?!  So far, I've gained somewhere in the region of 6-7 pounds.  As much as I wanted to commit to eating healthy, I ate what my body was capable of eating without feeling terribly sick afterward.  I ate when my body was hungry (which has been often, every 2-3 hours), because if I didn't, I felt horribly sick.  I let my body sleep when I knew exercise would be just as good for it, if not even better.  But, I craved sleep!  I muddled along as best I could.

However, now that I'm finally starting to see the end of this week-long sinus infection I came down with, and now that I'm staring the end of my first trimester in the face, I can feel my energy levels increasing.  I've also been feeling less and less nauseous (apart from when I get really, really hungry).  AND, for the past week or so, I've been genuinely missing my jogs and exercise in general.  Not to mention noticing the physical changes in my body where those 6-7 pounds have placed themselves!

So, as many times as I've said it in the past few weeks, I'm truly 100% ready to get back to exercising.  Not as intensely as pre-pregnancy, but I know how to listen to my body, pushing it but not too far.  The plan is to get back to walking/jogging, some kickboxing and to form a regular prenatal yoga routine.

As for the half marathon I'd signed up for on September 24, 2011, I've asked to be moved to the 4-mile run instead.  As much as I was looking forward to my first half marathon, this baby and our health and safety come first.  I will easily be able to handle 4 miles, but I thought 13.1 miles would be pushing it, especially since I've not been training these past few weeks.  AND, this way, I'll be running these 4 miles with my fiance THE DAY WE GET MARRIED!!!  Yes, we set our wedding date for Saturday, September 24, 2011.  We shall run together in the morning and be wed in the afternoon.  :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Fit Pregnancy

This was me, one year ago, at approximately 199lbs:

This is me a little over a week ago, at 149lbs and five weeks pregnant:

Recently, I read this article, amongst others, on the subject of healthy weight gain during pregnancy.  At 149lbs, I'm still considered 'overweight' for my height, BMI, etc.  The general consensus regarding a healthy weight gain during pregnancy for one who is overweight at the beginning of pregnancy is 15-25lbs, all of which should be gained during the second and third trimesters.

With the amount of nausea I've experienced thus far (and yeah, I refuse to take any prescription drugs to alleviate the nausea -- it's natural or nothing for me) eating has been pretty hit-and-miss for me so far.  Foods either taste really great, or I find I cannot stomach them.  A food that sounded great yesterday turns my stomach today.  I can only eat a little at a time or else my tummy takes revenge.  I have to eat small and often or I suffer.  Quite the balancing act!

I weighed in at 150.6lbs at my first prenatal appointment.  A week later, I weighed 149lbs. That was with very little to no exercise, apart from some walking.  Now, before you judge, I have no intention of restricting or reducing my calorie intake while pregnant.  However, I feel I can still safely exercise within my means and energy level, eat healthily and sensibly, and still maintain and/or lose some weight during the remainder of my first trimester.

I've continued to use MyFitnessPal and I've obtained a Prenatal Yoga DVD.  OK, I admit it, I've only done the prenatal yoga DVD one time so far (and really like it!), but I've been using my lack of energy and exhaustion as an excuse to *not* exercise.  Honest, I will change this.  I intend to stay fit and stay within the recommended 15-25lb weight gain.  I cannot do this by slacking on exercise and eating too much.

So, tomorrow morning, I shall drag my exhausted preggo booty out of bed early enough to take a gentle walk/jog before work.  I will begin performing my prenatal yoga DVD with more regularity.  I'm thinking 3-4 times a week.  I will make use of my balance ball and perhaps even our exercise bike.  Because, let's face it, the healthier this mamma is, the healthier this baby shall be!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Life: A Letter to My Unborn Child

Dear Little One in my Womb:

You have my absolute promise that your daddy and I will do everything within our power to keep you safe, nurtured, healthy and loved, forever.  Your daddy and I have desired to meet you since we first began trying to conceive.  We are overjoyed and filled with such gratitude that you have chosen us as your parents, that you have chosen this time to come into our lives, and we look forward to learning as much from you as you will learn from us.

Your big brother, Dalton, is excited to meet you, too.  He will have much to teach you, he will be protective and loving, and I'm sure as siblings you will be both the greatest of friends and each other's biggest rivals.  It will be a beautiful thing, stemming from love and a sense of family and belonging.

How happy and content we are that we get to guide you and watch you grow.  I'm enjoying and savoring every moment of this pregnancy, all the while anticipating the day we get to meet you and hold you in our arms.  You are truly blessed and such a blessing to us and this world.

With love always,
Mommy <3

Friday, June 10, 2011

On Boredom

"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive - it's such an interesting world . . ." ~ L. M. Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery was the author of the Anne of Green Gables books.  What an imagination she had!  I came across the above quote today and I got to thinking about just how foreign a concept "boredom" really is to me, when there is literally an endless supply of topics about which to learn, a plethora of experiences to be had and a world rich in beauty, blessings and adventure.

When the phrase "I'm bored" creeps into your mind, it's a good sign that it's time to recharge your imagination!  Instead of insisting on being entertained, one thing we can do is learn to focus on our breath, slowly breathing in and then breathing out fully.  Concentrating on nothing but our breath flowing in and then out again.  This is a simple, yet very effective form of meditation that brings us back to the present moment and to awareness of our body and Spirit. It helps us to still and quiet the mind-chatter so we're better able to access and hear our inner, silent, Spirit self, beyond the ego-mind. It helps us center ourselves so we may be more authentic, aware and responsive, rather than reactive.  It can also lead to inspiration for a new project, idea, plan, goal or direction.

I've eradicated the words 'bored' and 'boredom' from my vocabulary.  Have you?

Good day and Namaste <3

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Bikini and the Ego

~ THE bikini ~
Boy, what a Memorial Day weekend!  We went to the lake and had a nice, relaxing time.  I indulged, and then overindulged.  Not just on one day, but throughout the entire weekend.  Ate when I wasn't hungry, ate even when I was stuffed. Ack!  My justification?  I wanted it.  That was all.  Hello sugar overload!

I'm still feeling the effects of it even now.  I've had major sugar cravings every day since.  My stomach's been upset at me.  I've felt more "foggy-headed" and less like "myself" since then, too.  Less able to think clearly.

Perhaps part of it was the intimidating thought, and then practice, of wearing my bikini for the first time in public.  Yes, I did it.  Big deal for me, not such a big deal for anyone else.  Nobody scoffed, scorned or laughed.  Yet, I felt... somewhat out of place wearing it.  Not because it's not comfortable, because it is.  No, it's more... I'm so unused to baring that much skin, new territory for me.  Scary.

Perhaps I didn't feel worthy of wearing it quite yet, so stuffing my face with food was maybe a subconscious attempt to sabotage all the work I'd done thus far; my ego's attempt to prove to me just how unworthy it wants me to think I am.  Whatever the case, I let myself be led by ego once again.  Dragged down into self-deprecating thoughts and feelings one more time.

Breaking the habit of a lifetime, that's what I'm doing.  Bit by bit.  I don't expect it to be easy, or for it to be "solved" all at once.  I cannot look back over the past weekend with guilt or regret, because... well, that would be ego having its say again and again, wouldn't it?  Yep, no thanks.  I need to get up, dust myself off, get back on track and be even more vigilant of my thoughts and the motive(s) behind those thoughts.  That's it.  Lesson learned.

I'm ready for some more fun in the sun at the lake throughout the summer (with bikini in tow)... now that we're lake-property-owners and all! :-D

Friday, May 20, 2011

30 Day Shred Round Three Update

Alright, I'll admit it, I've been more lax this time around.  I've skipped blocks of days; I even restarted with my mom on Mother's Day, and then barely exercised at all this past week.  I haven't been as faithful to the program as the first two times around.  However, I'm still progressing in weight loss (weighing in at 150.1 pounds yesterday!) and I got back to the Shred first thing this morning, Level 1 style.  One NSV (non-scale victory) I must mention, I'm now able to do REAL push ups!!  Not many at a time yet, granted, but wow!  Never in my life have I been strong enough to do this before I met the Shred.

So, from here on out, I believe I'll just jump, plank and crunch right back into it, starting off with Level 2 tomorrow.  I'll stick with it as best I can, given life's ups, downs, twists and turns.  And, when I'm ready to post results, I'll post 'em.  Still pretty intimidated by the thought of posting bikini photos of myself for all and sundry to see.  Yikes!  But, in due time, when I'm ready, I shall do so.

For those of you who are also currently working your way through Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred, how's it going for you?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dedicated To My Mom

My sis, my mom, and me :)
Driven, determined and fiery, that's my mom!

When I began my weight loss journey, she was one of the first to jump on board, not only to support and encourage me, but also to better herself and begin her very own journey right alongside me.  I'm so proud of her progress!  How many other grandmothers do you know that can (and does!) tackle 19 flights of stairs regularly and consistently, without giving up or wimping out?!  On her first attempt, she made it 12 flights.  I was impressed!

Her determination extends to other parts of her life as well.  It took her several months to find a new job after she was let go from her previous one, yet she never once gave up.  Now, she has a great full time job that she loves, and while she doesn't get to spend as much time with her family these days, we make the most of the time we do get to spend together.

My mom has long been one of my best friends.  I can talk to her about anything without fear of judgment or finger-pointing.  I've called her up many a time, begging advice where it concerns my own son, or crying on her shoulder about how terrible a mother I felt like I was at times.  She's always there to reassure me that we all make mistakes, yet as long as we're always striving for our best, that's all that matters, and our kiddos' love is absolutely unconditional, just as ours is for them.  I really couldn't ask for a better mother.

Please share what makes your mom special to you. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

And Here We Go Again: 30 Day Shred, Round Three

Double-whammy post today.  First of all, a quick update on the tired-all-the-time issue.  The increase in protein has most definitely helped me stay fuller for longer.  I'm continuing taking a Vitamin D3 supplement along with a prenatal multivitamin.  No, I'm not pregnant that I know of, but my OB suggested a prenatal vitamin while we prepare for when that time comes.  I'm definitely feeling a difference, not so tired all the time.  I think part of my relief also comes from having dealt with a lot of the stress and the "roadblock" that I'd put up at this stage of my progress.  It certainly helps, having a way to deal with blocked emotions and such.  I re-discovered EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and put it into practice on Friday.  Oh how that has helped SO much already!!

And, now that I'm not draggin' booty tired as much all the time, I can concentrate once again on maximizing my workout efforts.  I've found that I'm not really getting into Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights as much as I thought I might.  Level One seems not so intense as I'd hoped, and the little bit of Level Two that I tried, uh yeah... not yet.  So, it's not holding my interest.  I plan to continue to incorporate my kettlebells into my workouts regardless, just, not with Shred It With Weights at this point.

I'd considered jumping right into Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30, because I've been ever so curious about it.  However, while chatting with Mike last night, he pointed out that I've had great results my first two times through Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred, and that it might be a good idea to give it a third go-round, to really challenge and push myself to complete all of the moves at the "advanced" level.  Then, once accomplished, I could more confidently move on to Ripped in 30.  I gave this some consideration and felt as though he might really be on to something!  Both times that I've involved myself in completing the Shred, I've stuck with it, it's kept my interest and I see/feel results rapidly.  Why change a good thing?!

So . . . [not so] bright and early this morning, I embarked on Round Three of 30 Day Shred. Once again, ten consecutive days of each level, while also keeping up with my run training.  Watch out for occasional updates, as well as an all-new results blog at the end of this endeavor.

Yes, I am this crazy.  :)

Results photos from the first two rounds: Round One and Round Two

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Memo to Ego-Mind RE: Worry

TO:  Ego-Mind
FROM: Spirit-Self
RE: Worry

Dearest Ego-Mind:

I'm taking this moment to inform you that worry, stress and anxiety are no longer acceptable uses of our time.  Instead, I shall BE in the NOW, fully absorbed in the present, and I shall use my imagination toward more positive pursuits.  I no longer resist worry, stress and anxiety.  Instead, when it arises, I release it to be transmuted into something much more useful.

It has been said that kids use their imaginations for play, while most adults use their imagination to worry.  I no longer wish to be "most adults".  Worry & stress are such energy-black-holes anyhow, and I deserve a stress-free life!

Most Sincerely,
ME. <3

And there it is, short and sweet, for today.  Update on the Tired of Being Tired! blog issue will be forthcoming within the next few days.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tired of being Tired!

OK, I've had it.  It's sleuthing time.  I'm sick and tired of constantly feeling run down and tired.  Time to DO something about it.  Cried a few frustrated tears this morning over it, but that really gets me nowhere.  Now, I'm agitated enough that it's time to take some action.  Whew.  Here goes.

Facts:  My workouts have been less than stellar lately.  Just haven't been feeling them.  Basically only going through the motions.  And, as hard as I struggle to get up in the mornings to get my workout on first thing, I've managed to do it just twice in the past two weeks.  Ugh!  I've been sooooo hungry lately, too.  Feels like I could eat and eat and eat.  Struggling hardcore to stay within the calorie goals specified by MyFitnessPal and the calories I "earn" by exercising.  Not feeling great about my body though I ought to be so proud of the progress I've made.  Disinterested, disconnected and sliding down that slippery slope of negativity about myself, while all around me there are a plethora of blessings, positivity, great changes for the better and, though it's still cold out (it's APRIL for Pete's sake!!), there have been hints of warmer weather on its way.  This girl ought to be on Cloud Nine right now, not sinking into depression and disconnection!

So, I wanna FIX it.  Google, my friend, we shall be hanging out for a while today.  Hope you're not too busy. ;)

I have a feeling it has something to do with how much protein I include in my diet, so I'll start there.  How much protein should I be consuming daily?  Well, MyFitnessPal's recommendation (default) is 45g a day.  From initial research, this seems to be very much on the low side, considering the type of workouts I perform.

First, I used this calorie calculator to see whether I need to change up my overall calorie goals now that I'm much closer to my goal weight.  It looks as though I'd be safe to bump my "net" intake up to 1,300 calories.  Next, their nutrient calculator to figure out a good carbohydrate-protein-fat ratio for me.  I've chosen to go with the "Zone Diet" option -- 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat.  This change will approximately double my daily protein goal -- from 45g to 98g.  I'll input this into MyFitnessPal and give it a go for a while to see how much it changes things up.

Along with this switch-up, I intend to resume taking my daily multivitamin that I've been neglecting lately.  Note to self: Take another look at the nutrient breakdown of said multivitamins to see if I'm in need of more B vitamins, specifically B12.

Ahhh, simply taking this action has relieved a good portion of the negativity-fog.  A short walk around downtown over my lunch hour in the SUN! helped a little, too.  Yay for Vitamin D! :)

I'll report back in a week or two with initial thoughts, results and such.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

30 Day Shred Results (Round Two)

After having had pretty great results the first time around, this morning, I completed a second round of Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred.  I spent ten days per level (three levels), with a few "days off" where needed.  I did some running to supplement the cardio, and a little yoga for stretching/flexibility.

Start date: March 10, 2011
Completed: April 14, 2011

Starting weight: 159.4 lbs
Current weight: 156.1 lbs -- a 3.3 lb loss

*** Measurements ***
Neck: before 14.25 in; after 13.5 in = -0.75 in
Waist: before 35 in; after 33.5 in = -1.5 in
Hips: before 43 in; after 41.5 in = -1.5 in
Arms: before 12 in; after 11.5 in = -0.5 in

And nooooow... the before/after photographs:

Before                                                         After

Before                                                         After

Before                                                         After

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Goals versus Intentions

Psychology Today shared an article on Facebook recently that, since reading it, has shifted my perspective on goal-setting in general.  It's entitled Why Goal Setting Doesn't Work*.  Feel free to read the article before continuing on here, if you so choose, though I'll be picking out and posting a few key quotes from it, below.

One quote that really caught my attention was this:
"The inherent problem with goal setting is related to how the brain works. Recent neuroscience research shows the brain works in a protective way, resistant to change. Therefore, any goals that require substantial behavioral change or thinking-pattern change will automatically be resisted. The brain is wired to seek rewards and avoid pain or discomfort, including fear. When fear of failure creeps into the mind of the goal setter it commences a de-motivator with a desire to return to known, comfortable behavior and thought patterns."
Exactly why I've been through yet another round of self-sabotage on my way to my weight loss/fitness GOAL of that magical number, 130 pounds.  I've really been rebelling lately, big time.  Not wanting to complete my food diary, overeating at every turn, justifying every last bit of it with any little excuse my ego mind can muster.  Also why I've been slacking a little with my last three days of 30 Day Shred.  My thought process has been something along the lines of: I've been overeating and rebelling, so I cannot possibly complete this GOAL of having completed a full second round of the Shred because right now I'm such a failure when it comes to food, therefore I must delay the completion of this exercise GOAL as much as possible.
"Whenever we desire things that we don't have, we set our brain's nervous system to produce negative emotions."
Again, check.  I've found myself focusing on what I have "yet to do" rather than the 60-ish pounds I've already shed.  I've found myself picking my body apart, honing in and focusing on those areas that still need work, rather than admiring the changes I've achieved thus far and being happy about the progress I've made to date. 
"A fundamental concept in mindfulness, is focusing on being in the moment, the present. This presents an interesting problem for the goal setter, where the focus is on the future. How can you be focusing on the present and also be thinking about the future?"
Indeed!  While goals give us something bigger and better to strive for in the future, it has been my personal experience that I find myself "lacking" until I achieve my goal, rather than focusing on the "NOW" or enjoying the process.  It's been said that in order to change something, we must first accept the present version of said thing.  While this may be easier said than done, I feel it's imperative to moving on toward positive change.  This is why I've decided to focus more on gratitude and appreciation for what I've already accomplished, rather than using those energies to pick apart what is still "lacking" or needing change.  Perhaps this will be a catalyst for quicker change.  I'm thinking of starting a gratitude journal or log of some sort, not to be egotistical, as this blog leans more toward anti-egotistical viewpoints, but to keep my focus on the positive and what's "right" and "good" about me.
"We must also make a distinction between our intentions vs. goals. An intention is a direction we want to pursue, preferably with passion. My experience is that people are often confused, and unclear about the intentions of how they want to live and achieve, and therefore a focus on goals doesn't assist them with clarifying their intentions."
I've found this to be true for myself personally.  I have/had GOALS, mainly weight loss/fitness related.  But my overall intentions?  Confused, cluttered and unclear at best.  Yes, I know the general direction in which I wish to move within my life.  Yet, setting goals has thus far only led to disappointment in myself, de-motivation and confusion.  It's all well and good when I DO achieve a goal I set for myself.  Yet, there are always those chance variables that get thrown into the mix, and the moment I DON'T achieve a certain goal, I feel at least a little terrible about myself.  Now, I've had no problem with revising my goals along the way and being flexible about them.  However, this doesn't take into account the fact that I still, deep down, internalize feelings of worthlessness and shame, even, when I have to reset my goals.

So, where to go from here?  Well, since I've been creeping ever closer to my "ideal weight", I've given thought to what happens next, after I reach my maintenance weight.  Well, this INTENTION thing, rather than an end GOAL, negates that question altogether.  Therefore, my INTENTION is to continue this fitness journey for the remainder of my life.  Period.  No magical number on the scale as a "stopping point".  No pressure to meet some arbitrary deadline.  I feel that with this approach, I'll be much more apt to move at my own pace without backtracking, falling off the proverbial wagon, and sabotaging myself.  I must say, I've felt such a weight of negativity lift off me after having mulled over this Psychology Today article and come to this conclusion!  I'm back to feeling GOOD about myself.  About freaking time, right?! ;)

Ray B Williams * Article written by Ray Williams, Co-Founder of Success IQ University and President of Ray Williams Associates, Inc., providing leadership development, personal growth, and executive coaching services. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Impossible. Really?

Run Coach Pro told me I needed to start out with a 20 minute "easy" run.  So, this is what I did, sort of, yesterday evening.

I used my treadmill because the weather here at the moment is questionable at best.  Rainy, chilly.  It is warming up though, slowly.  Patience.

Here's the "sort of" part.  I didn't just lightly jog for 20 minutes straight.  Nope.  I walked briskly for the first minute or so to warm up.  Then, I decided that I wanted to work on some sprint intervals rather than what I was told to do.  Yep, go figure right? ;)

I decided to hold each sprint interval for one minute, with a one to two minute brisk walk or light jog in between.  It worked well.  I was pleased and dripping sweat!

I'd mentioned to a couple of people a few weeks ago that I didn't feel as though I'd ever really be able to crank my treadmill up to its "performance" speed section.  No way Jose, my legs are short. I'll only ever be able to go "so fast".  In that moment, so much for eradicating self-limiting beliefs, right?

Anyhow, my point is this.  I completely blew that "impossibility" straight outta the water yesterday, during my final one-minute sprint interval.  I nearly talked myself right out of it at first, but then a part of myself thought, "I dare you to try it."  So, not normally one to turn down a dare, I dared.  And, I DID!

6.7mph = 9 minutes/mile!!!  Held steady for a full 60 seconds!  VICTORY over the "impossible".  *insert HUGE grin here*

Next up, continuing to work on sprint intervals + endurance/long distance.  Right along with strength training with the one and only Jillian Michaels.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Back to This Running Business

Back to business.

Eight days remain on my second round of Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred, followed by a new & improved before/after photo & measurement blog post.  Starting tomorrow, Monday, April 4, 2011, I'm officially... and this time I really mean officially... starting my Run Coach Pro half marathon training program.  Run Coach Pro is an app for the iPod and iPhone.

In order to keep myself motivated, on track and held accountable, I will be posting daily (or, every other day, whatever works best for me) updates on run details, and other such things.  Tomorrow, I begin with a 20:00 easy run.  Outdoors if weather allows, otherwise, on the treadmill.  First thing in the morning, followed by Day 3 Level 3 of the Shred.  On non-run days, I'm thinking of throwing in a kettlebell workout along with my Shred workout.

Once this round of the Shred is complete, I'm thinking of giving Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 a try.  Perhaps rotate this one in and out with the Shred, every other month or so.  And, Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights here and there, too.  I'm ready to be fit, toned, strong and healthy!

Also, I'm thinking of keeping weigh-ins to once a month.  My next weigh-in will be at the end of the Shred, and then every 30 or so days from there. :)

Committed, Dedicated, Motivated.  That's me.

I'm off and runnnnnnning! :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Fire is Back

Admission: I overate, didn't log my foods and didn't stick so well to my workouts this past week.  From ice cream to cookies to eating not so healthy meals out, allowing myself every excuse in the book, and just plain self-indulging, I had one heck of a "break"!

As oddly freeing as that felt for just those moments in time, I know that if I continue to allow that to become my lifestyle once again, I'd be performing a huge U-turn and backtracking from all the progress I've made.

No beating myself up over it this time, though.  That's the difference between the "past" me and the NOW me.  I indulged.  I loved/hated every moment of it.  Now, back on the path I've chosen for myself, with the flame of determination burning full force.

To prove thus, this afternoon I completed Level 2 and Level 3, back-to-back, of Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred, tried out the new Jillian Michaels Ultimate Kettle Bell Set (that my lovey surprised me with yesterday) by watching the intro portion of Jillian Michaels: Shred-It With Weights, and then pushed myself with sprint/fast walk intervals for 10 minutes on the treadmill.  And now, apart from being stinky sweaty and in need of a shower (which will be forthcoming shortly, followed by some pampering with my favorite lotion, Sympathy for the Skin Body Cream by LUSH)I FEEL GREAT!

Upcoming: The continuation of Round Two of 30 Day Shred (9 days of Level 3 to go!), plus getting serious about training for my first half marathon, and then, after this round of the Shred is through, Shred It with Weights and/or Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30.

Back in the saddle again . . . Good day and Namaste. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

About This Time Alone...

So, I've had a few days on my own.  My lovey had to travel out of town.  It's been... excruciating at times... excruciatingly quiet, lonely, strange... uncomfortable.  I rely so much on him.  I admit that.  However, I'm pretty much OK with being uncomfortable for just a little while longer; I can still stand on my own two feet! ;)

Being completely, madly, deeply in love with this man, and having him return those feelings in kind, has been and continues to be one of the very best experiences of my life.  I've grown so much as a person since meeting him.  I think he'd say the same of himself regarding me, too.  Our time apart has reaffirmed this notion, over and over: I'm a strong person, made stronger by him. <3

Thursday, March 24, 2011

30 Day Shred Round Two: Day 3 Level 2

I decided against posting a daily Shred update blog.  I had a feeling they'd start to get pretty boring, without a whole lot to report day-by-day.  However, it's time for a mid-Shred update.

For those of you keeping track (yeah right, lol), I started on March 10, with the objective of doing the Shred every day, 10 days per level, which means I ought to be on Day 5 Level 2 today.  Well, as the title of this post suggests, I'll be completing Day 3 Level 2 this evening.

No excuses, merely going with the flow of life.  Mike got sick first.  Then Dalton and I got it. Nasty cold/sinus/ick type thing.  Still have the tail end of it, but it's well on its way out, thankfully.  I skipped one day because I wasn't feeling up to exercise, meaning to double up on Sunday with my last day of Level 1 and first day of Level 2, but after doing Level 1, I was spent.  Still sick, didn't want to push myself to the point of utter exhaustion.

Before Mike went out of town for a few days, I wanted to spend every moment I could with him, plus I still wasn't back to 100% health, so I skipped a second day somewhere along the way (Monday, I believe).

I officially began Level 2 on Tuesday, March 22.  I remember now why it was my least favorite level the first time around, seeing as it incorporates quite a few plank-based moves, and my arms have long been my "weak point".  However, this time around I'm stronger and more capable.  I'm sticking with it, and as long as I'm able to keep up doing the Shred every day through Level 3, I'm on track to finish on April 10.

So far, two weeks in, I've lost a total of four pounds.  I'm excited to see and share the end results!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

30 Day Shred Round Two: Day 1 Level 1

I took before photos last night.  Measurements too.  I weighed in this morning, before completing Day 1 Level 1.  I was overjoyed to see a 2 pound loss, which put me - FINALLY - under 160 pounds!!  Woohoo!  As for BMI, I'm sooooo close to being out of the obese category and in the overweight category (0.09 "points" to go)!!  Yeah!

Anyhow, on with the start of Round Two of the Shred.  During my first round, I'd never eaten anything before I did the workout first thing in the morning, so I carried on this trend this morning.  No water before starting this time, though, either.

The workout was as intense as I remember from the first go-round.  I started right off with 5 pound weights this time, since I remember the 3 pound weights being a little on the light side by about Day 5, the first time around.  I was beat by the end of the workout.  Wobbly Jello muscles and all.  Felt great.  Until...

I had a cup of water and popped my daily multivitamin.  Oh, my tummy was not a happy camper.  Queasy.  Showered, dried off, dressed.  As I began brushing my teeth, it hit.  The water and multivitamin evacuated my tummy in short order.  Ick!

OK, so, lesson learned.  A little water and perhaps a small bite to eat (Mike's suggestion: half a banana) before shredding.  Duly noted.

On the bright side, I feel cheerier, more alert and stronger today.  For some reason, I find Jillian's workouts pretty darn empowering.  Love it.  I also love that I know exactly which workout I'm doing each morning for the next 29 days, and I'm excited to see the end results.  I'm thinking of giving Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 a try next.

Tomorrow, Day 2 Level 1 + a short run.

Onward with twenty-nine days to go... !

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Re-Committing to Goals

After giving this some thought and talking it over with Mike, I realize I need to do something to help me fully re-commit to my end-of-May goal (which is to reach my "maintenance" weight).  Time is running thin on that goal and I've been "stuck" within the same 4-5lb range for far too long.  I'm over it!

Now, the weight number itself doesn't much bother me much anymore.  However, the brick wall I've found myself up against must be broken through.  I've been through another deep dark round of "I'm not good enough" lately and I'm tired of it.  I AM good enough and that's that!  I know, I know, my blogs tend to circle back around to this very theme all the time.  Well, this is me, my life and my current struggle!  The battle of "I'm just not worth it", when the "higher" part of me knows better all the time - or else why would I even bother wrestling with this thought in my mind and keep on trying?!

I committed to Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred on January 1, 2011, and saw it all the way through 30 consecutive days.  What an accomplishment!  However, since then my commitment to my weight loss goal has waxed and waned.  Not to mention the fact that when I started the Shred, I neglected to take initial measurements or even very good before photos.  Regrets.

With that said, my 30 Day Shred Results blog has been getting regular hits since I posted it. That tells me something.  And so, onward toward the main point of this blog.

As of tomorrow, March 10, 2011, I am committing to round two of the 30 Day Shred.  Ten consecutive days per level, with measurements, weight and photos taken before I begin.  I'll still be keeping up on my running schedule as I do this, so the results won't be 100% 30 Day Shred, but I wish to see what kind of results a second round of the Shred will bring, in addition to the running.

I'm looking for a little input here...

  • Would you want to see a daily or weekly blog from me as I progress through my second round of the Shred?  Sort of a day-by-day play-by-play? ;)
  • Would any of you care to join me?  The mutual support would be awesome!  For those of you on MyFitnessPal, I'm thinking of starting a new forum thread for those who wish to join me.
Let me know your thoughts, please.  I'd appreciate it!  And, wish me luck as Jillian kicks my booty for another 30 days! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy International Women's Day!
"International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday.  Suffragettes campaigned for women's right to vote. The word 'Suffragette' is derived from the word "suffrage" meaning the right to vote. International Women's Day honours the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women's success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed. The first International Women's Day event was run in 1911."
I've thought about this today and what it means to me.  Strong, capable women from all walks of life, standing up for themselves, their people, their values.  And there's an international day to celebrate that.  Great!  I'm all for women becoming empowered and feeling confident about themselves and their place here on this globe.  Trust me, I've not always been as confident as I am these days, and there are still days I question my own worth.

However, those days are becoming fewer and further between.  Thank goodness!  For this blog post, I'd love for us WOMEN to recognize our past and present achievements, future aspirations, and inspirations.  Feel free to "brag" on yourself this day, International Women's Day, and feel proud to be a strong, intelligent, confident, empowered woman!

I'll start:
  • I lead a nearly 900-member strong group on Facebook, called Motivation.
  • I've recently become a published writer on
  • I stopped smoking over two years ago.
  • I've lost somewhere in the region of 60 pounds since February 2010.
  • I am a RUNNER!
  • I'm inspired by Jillian Michaels.
  • My family and my close friends are my biggest support and I LOVE them for it!
Now, it's your turn.  Go on, give yourself some well-deserved credit!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I AM Good Enough, Just As I AM.

After an unfavorable weigh-in this morning (+1.5lbs), I've decided it's time to get a handle on a few things, and what better way to organize my thoughts, change the negative ones and revise my strategy than to get it all out here in my blog?!  Mike is right.  I need to share more of my downs as well as my ups, rather than my usual style of bottling myself right up and barely interacting with anyone when I'm feeling low.  So, here goes...

Why, oh why, have I been feeling so low and unconfident this past week?  Unworthiness, impatience with myself and feeling as though what I do is never enough.  Who's making me feel this way?  Me, myself and I.  No one else.  I receive SO much support, encouragement and love from so many.  Mike, my fiance, has been and continues to be my ROCK; he has my back throughout it all.  Dalton, my lovely son, he's been doing SO well lately after working out some behavior issues he'd been having.  The rest of my family, friends and acquaintances have been nothing but absolutely supportive.  And, despite my feelings of low self-worth, I have to admit I really have been doing some pretty cool things lately (see this article I recently wrote: 5 Ways to Break Bad Habits).  So why isn't it enough for ME?!  Why do I still feel like I'm unworthy of all the praise, of confidence, of feeling good about myself and my accomplishments?

I posted my October 2010 to February 2011 progress photo (below) on Facebook and MyFitnessPal so I'd have visual confirmation of the progress I've made.  Not so much for everyone else to see, though I must admit to enjoying the feedback from publicly posting such photos.  However, it was more so an attempt to show myself my own progress and an attempt to allow myself to feel a little bit of pride and confidence.  Validation.

Well, I can SEE what I've accomplished.  I can even feel it.  Most of the time.  Other moments (confession time!) I'm downright disgusted still.  Huh?!  On the one hand I'm perfectly pleased with how my weight loss journey is going, slow and steady, becoming a LIFESTYLE change; not just a victim of yet another get-thin-quick diet scheme.  But, on the other hand, ego (my "mind with a mind of its own") still takes hold and I end up feeling miserable about myself because I'm not at my goal yet.  Really?!  Must I really and truly beat myself up every single day because I'm not progressing as fast as my ego/mind thinks I should?!

That same ego mind also enjoys gloating and really rubbing it in when I "cheat" - skip a workout or three, or overeat (see my last blog post: Confession.) -- confirmation that I'm really not all that good a person, that I'm not doing all that great after all.  That I don't deserve to feel worthy until I reach my end goal, and even then who knows if I'll be "good enough".

Well, ya know what, ego mind?  I WANT to be confident in myself, faults and all; I AM good enough just as I am, and you'll just have to get used to that right along with everyone else!  I honestly do my very best each and every day to be the best person I can be.  To my ego mind, though, enough is never enough.  I could have done better here... I should have done better there... etc.  Well, as a good friend would say, all the "coulda, woulda, shoulda" mind chatter in the world won't change the past.  The only thing that will atone for past mistakes is to correct them by doing better in the future... no, not even in the future... in the NOW. ;)

And, I must come to a point where enough really just has to be enough.  I'm NOT Superwoman.  I'm not meant to do it all in one day (this goes for weight loss, fitness, being a good mommy, a good partner, cleaning up my credit, finances, etc.).  Heck, as the ol' saying goes, I didn't put all this weight on in a day, so it sure as crap isn't going to come back off in a day!  I think I've done pretty darn well this past year, and I DESERVE to feel good about that and about myself in all areas of my life.  And, I intend to begin doing what it takes to do just that, starting ... NOW.   I thank each and every one of you for your continued support.  Good day and Namaste! :)