Wordless Wednesday – This was my exercise today. What was yours?

When was the last time your dog took you for a walk?

Take stock Tuesday

Three months ago I started to read 52 Weeks of Conscious Contact,  a book by Melody Beattie which takes you through daily exercises to help the reader be in the moment and live mindfully.  As usual, I lost focus and allowed myself to be distracted by life…so typical.  I don’t know why, but I grabbed the book as I was running out of the house yesterday.  Three months since I started and I’m only on week 4, but what a good week to pick up where I left off.

Week 4 is about challenges, the ones we set for ourselves and the ones that are thrust upon us.  Lately I find I’m a teeny bit overwhelmed by both kinds.  So after reading week 4 this is what I know and my immediate action plan:

  1. Make a list of what challenges me
  2. Examine the value of each challenge
  3. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize
  4. Leave a little room for the unexpected
  5. Always remember there is a fine line between challenging yourself enough to grow and putting so much pressure on yourself that you cave to the pressure

My Challenges…..The BIG Picture

  1. My weight, eating habits and overall health:  I’ve been slacking on all fronts because I keep making excuses.  I need to get down to a healthier weight and I need to STOP putting junk into my body.  Doing both these will improve my overall health and that is my number one priority.
  2. Work/Life Balance:  I started a new job last month and I’m still learning my way through a whole new set of rules and standards.  I know I can do it and I’m just slightly frustrated because it’s taking me a little longer to get these done.  I have to accept that the first six months will probably mean more hours in the office so I have to make the time at home worth every minute.
  3. My marriage – I won’t get to personal on this front, but I want everyone to know that I love my husband very much.  We’ve been through quite a bit together and are working our way back to trust.  I have trust issues in general and I know that if I don’t learn how to trust people, my life will be much more complicated than it needs to be.

All the other stuff is background chatter that, quite frankly, just isn’t worth freaking out over.  What are your challenges and how do prioritize?

Just 3 more bedtimes til fitbloggin

This is a test post. It seems as though I finally figured out how to blog with my iPad. Soooo much lighter than lugging my laptop around.

Will I be seeing you in Baltimore this weekend? If so please be sure to say hello.

Safe travels!

Seven days + 251 miles = Fitbloggin’11

Is anyone else having a problem with time going too fast?  It feels like only yesterday when I arrived in Baltimore for Fitbloggin’10.  I was extremely nervous and had no idea what to expect, but luckily I had Vicki with me and we conquered our anxiety together.  I met so many interesting women and I have no doubt I will meet many more this year. 

As I left Baltimore last year I vowed to be at my goal weight when I returned in 2011, but that was not meant to be.  No worries though.  I haven’t given up.  I’m still making better choices than I was 2 years ago and that is progress.  I haven’t gained any weight back in almost 18 months which is a major accomplishment for me.  My entire adult life has been an up and down battle with my weight, but I finally understand that food is fuel and not a reward.  I know that if I want to have a beer and a slice of pizza I can, but I can’t make that a daily habit. 

So what have I done since Fitbloggin’10?  Here’s what…

  1. I joined a gym and have logged at least three days a week in the gym.
  2. I hired a personal trainer and have actual muscle definition and strength.
  3. I ran my first official 5k in 41 minutes and crossed the home plate finish line at PNC Park .
  4. I went on a cruise and wore a swimsuit in public.  I even hiked through the rain forest in Belize and went 4 wheeling in Mexico.

I may not be at my goal weight YET, but I’m getting there and I’m not letting my weight prevent me from doing things anymore! 

Welcome Back

I feel like a bit of an imposter.  I haven’t written in so long and Fitbloggin is less than a month from now.  I want to write more, but I just haven’t felt like I had anything worthy to write about.  The past three months have been a rollercoaster ride for me, personally and professionally.  Mentally I am all over the place.  Bottom line…I lost faith in myself and I stopped believing I could reach my goals.  None of those things make for a very inspirational read.

I have to start over.  I don’t mean that I’ve gained all 40 lbs back and I don’t mean that I’ve stopped exercising, but I need to look at this differently.  This was supposed to be a healthy lifestyle change and it became a constant battle with the scale and I when I didn’t see the results I wanted I sank back into eating to make myself feel better which just made matters worse.  I pulled away from my friends and just wanted to stay home and feel sorry for myself.  Pathetic, I know.

So I need to pick myself up and dust myself off.  I need to focus on making better choices and not letting my inner critic rule my life.  I had a very successful week with my weight watchers and the gym.  I logged every bite and made it to the gym four times.  The results….a three pound weight loss and a much needed ego boost. 

So let’s consider this week #1 back on the plan.  These are my 4 goals this week:

1.  Log food each day
2.  Exercise on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
3.  Wake at 6:30 each day and eat breakfast at home…no rushing out the door
4.  I have two dinners this week so I need to make good healthy choices

Oh, I almost forgot ….I ran my first official 5k.  I completed it in just under 41 minutes.   Yay me!

Track Talk

I might have shared this with you before, but my ex-husband was a runner and for the 12 years that we were together I could not figure out his fascination with running.  I guess I’m still not completely clear on that, but I’m getting closer to understanding.  Believe me, I don’t wake up in the morning thinking “Man I can’t wait to run”, but once I’m into my slow jog, I feel a sense of pride that I’m doing it.

It’s still too cold for me to run outside, so I’m jogging on the treadmill, but I’m outside in my mind and I don’t focus on anything but breathing and the movement.  Yesterday I finished the 4th week of the Couch to 5K program.   The first four weeks mix jogging with walking as you gradually increase your jogging time.  Yesterday I jogged for 8 minutes, walked for 2 minutes and jogged again for 8 minutes.  My pace is very slow at 15 minute miles, but that’s ok with me.  My heart rate is still in the optimal zone and there is no point in killing myself right. 

Week 5 is coming up and the schedule includes:

Day 1 – alternate 5 minute jogs with 3 minute walks for 30 minutes

Day 2 – alternate 8 minute jogs with 5 minute walks for 30 minutes

Day 3 – jog for 20 minutes with no walking

There are just 37 days until the 5K at PNC Park.  I’m excited.  It may take me 45 minutes, but crossing that finish line on home plate is going to be amazing!  Let’s just hope the weather warms up so I can get some outside running time before April 9th.

Bend and Stretch

I don’t stretch enough, do you?  I workout 4-5 times a week and really only remember to stretch maybe once a week.  I keep saying I want to take a weekly gentle yoga class, but I never seem to put that plan into action.  I think, like most things, I need to gently get myself into this practice.  

I recently read that short bouts of stretching 3 times a week can maintain flexibility as well as a longer session just once a week.  This I can do and so can you.  Daniel Cipriani, PhD, of San Diego State University suggests this program twice a day, 3 days a week:   Hold each stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Doorway Chest Opener:  Stand facing a doorway and stretch arms out to the sides, elbows bent, forearms and palms pressing into the door jam.  Walk forward to feel the stretch in chest and arms. 

Desk-Chair Hip Stretch:  Stand about 2 feet in front of a sturdy chair that won’t move and place your right foot on the seat, hands on hips.  Shift weight forward to feel a stretch in front of left hip.  Hold for 10 seconds and switch sides. 

Computer Neck De-Kinker:  Place right hand on top of head, gently pulling to right and lowering right ear toward shoulder.  Hold for 10 seconds and switch sides. 

This is a quick and easy stretch routine that can be done first thing in the morning and then again before bed.  I have 5 minutes to spare.   What are some of your favorite stretches?


I had a breakthrough this weekend.  Lack of exercise = lack of lust for life.  I’ve been suffering from this nasty head/chest cold for two weeks and haven’t really had a good workout since the middle of January.  I was really hating life by Friday.  Leigh was over for a game of cards on Friday and asked if I wanted to workout with her on Saturday.  To be honest I woke up Saturday morning and  just wanted to stay in bed, but I didn’t. I got my rear to the gym.  I even convinced Aaron to tag along.  We did a sixty minute shoulder and triceps routine and then I did 20 minutes of cardio.  I should have been exhausted but I was full of energy.  I could immediately feel the difference in my state of mind.  BAZINGA!!!!!  I will not go that long without exercise ever again.  I usually always take Sunday as a rest day and with the Superbowl looming I decided to continue that routine, but I was right back at the gym on Monday and it felt so good to work out.  I was even inspired to start my 5k training again.

I downloaded the Couch to 5k iTunes ap and completed week 1/day 1. I tried Couch to 5k before, but never had much success trying to remember the training routine while I was at the gym.  The ap is great because I have it with me and it verbally guides my training.  Hooray!  Has anyone else used this ap or program before?  What is your favorite 5k training program?

PS….These are my favorite running shoes.  Seriously, it’s like running on clouds.

1/11/11 at 11:11

Am I crazy to be nervous about working out with a different trainer tonight?  Leigh is on vacation so I’m working with Ryan today and Thursday.  I’m actually making myself ill over this.  Silly..I know.  Leigh and I have become good friends and I don’t worry about embarrassing myself with her (and believe me I get really embarrassed sometimes).  I’ve gotten comfortable with Leigh’s style and she knows how far she can push me.   Speaking of Leigh…what do you all think about having her contribute every now and then with training tips? 

I could have taken the week off from training, but I didn’t.  I pushed myself to schedule these appointments and I’m going to keep them.  I deal with new people all the time at work.  This shouldn’t be any different. 

Drum roll please………..I lost 2 pounds this week.  Leigh took my measurements last week and my waist and hips are smaller than the last round of measurements.  My body fat was up by 1% but I can fix that.  Hopefully the 2 pound loss isn’t just a result of my stomach flu last week.  We will just have to see if I can do it again this week.

Happy 2011?

Hell yeah it’s going to be a happy 2011, not to mention a productive 2011.  I keep a fairly detailed daily calendar and the first week of every year I take a look back and reflect on the prior year.  It’s interesting to see how I change focus so frequently.  At the beginning of the year I was writing my exercise goals for the week and logging my daily caloric intake.  By May I was just tracking my weight and miles per week.  By August I was just charting my personal training appointments.  It was very eye-opening to see that my weight on 1/1/2010 was exactly the same as 1/1/2011.  Some people might read this and say “Congrats on maintaining”, but I’m not at my goal weight yet.  I need to lose, not maintain.  I guess what I need to take from the past year is that I have learned how to maintain.  In the past, I have lost weight and after about six months I have gained it all back and then some.  I am pledging to myself and to all of you that next year at this time I will be 40 pounds lighter!

2010 was a good year for me in many ways.  I reconnected with two childhood friends, I made a great new friend, I got over my fear of sweating and making a fool of myself and I made a big lifestyle change in becoming a vegetarian.   It was a year of healing in many respects and I could not have gotten through it without the strength of my family and friends.   I was able to put a lot of baggage away…permantly in 2010. 

What are my goals for 2011? 

1.  Most importantly I want to reach my fitness and weight goals.  I’m starting the year off right with 3 training sessions this week and tomorrow I weigh in with Leigh and take all my measurements.  We are wiping the slate clean and starting fresh.   I feel myself getting stronger with each session and I’m starting to see and feel muscle development.  This is really exciting to me.

2.  I want to start doing more outside.  Explore my home state and see all that PA has to offer. 

3.  LOG MY FOOD.  I did so much better with my weight loss when I did this. 

4.  Bring on the  joy!  Jen and I are going to do a long distance book club with a book her friend just published called Bring on the Joy.  I can’t wait to get started.

5.  Blog more!  I know this one makes all of you happy.  Hehehehe

What are your goals, intentions or resolutions?

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