Sunday, December 28, 2014

3 Months

I haven't written a blog in 3 months. Three months....

Online classes started shortly after my last post and life has been crazy busy since then. Once classes started, all of my time at home became devoted to homework. 5 week courses are pretty intense. It's hard cramming so much into such a short period of time.

The past few months have been stressful. We have had a couple of different things happen within our families that have been tough to deal with. I was also given a promotion at work which I am very thankful for, but it has been a stressful transition as well.

So... these past few months have been full of stress and stress eating. I've gained some weight that I am determined to get back off and I want to reach my goal weight in 2015.

2015 is going to be about organizing my life, exercising, eating healthy and truly becoming a better person.

Here are a couple of the things I am planning on doing:

I purchased a fitbook to track my exercise, food and weight. I plan on posting the logs here to hold me accountable.

 I have chosen to use Insanity Max:30 as an exercise plan. I loved the first month of the original Insanity that I did so hopefully I will enjoy these shorter workouts.
These tools will help me to reach my goals as long as I can stay determined to make the changes. No matter how great the tools are, it's all up to if/how you use them.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Running, School and Art

I found a new place to run this week and successfully went 2 nights after work! Monday I took my running clothes to work with me went straight to the park afterwards. If I come home first I am less likely to go run. It was a nice change of scenery too. I ended up running 2.32 miles. 


Tuesday I used the same tactics as Monday and enjoyed a nice run. I ran 3.19 miles. I ran around the loop 3 times instead of the 2 from Monday. I enjoyed the run and felt good afterwards which is what I need. I have a 10K race this coming Saturday so I've got to kick it into gear. 


There was no more running the rest of the week. Wednesday night was church night and Thursday I went with my Mom and MIL to Uptown Art and painted a beautiful picture. It was a lot of fun! I've always enjoyed painting and drawing and this was a great experience. I would highly recommend it if you've never been!




School started this past Thursday. This class is going to be A LOT of work. It's kind of scary. It's going to take up the majority of my free time and there's a lot of writing to turn in each week. It's been so long since I've been in school. I am looking forward to the journey, it's just a little stressful right now. 

So the plan for this week is to run Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I have until October 1st to decide if I am going to run the half marathon on Oct. 25th or if I am going to defer it to next year. The race has a 3 1/2 hour time limit and I'm afraid I won't be able to finish in that amount of time so I'm not sure what to do. I'm going to see how my runs go Monday and Tuesday and then make the decision. I want to run it, but I don't want to get to the finish line and it's not there anymore.

Lots going on this week so I'm sure I'll have more to post about.



Monday, September 15, 2014

Tracking

The first race of the Fall Runathon was on September 6th. It was a 5K race. The race was a little harder than anticipated. There was a 1/2 mile hill that you had to run up and that took a lot out of me. I finished in 39:02. It was about 1 minute faster than the 5K I ran in the spring. I was disappointed in my time though. I was hoping to finish in 37 minutes. There's always next time!

Now I am trying to decide what to do at this point in my journey. When I first started trying to lose weight I used the Sparkpeople app/website to assist me. It keeps track of calories/fat/carbs/protein. It worked as long as I tracked everything and stayed in my parameters. Weight Watchers works too if you follow the guidelines. I'm thinking about going back to Sparkpeople. It's frustrating paying for WW each month and not seeing any results. Granted it's completely my fault that I'm not seeing results, but I think it may be time to switch it up again. I had some success on my own so I know I can do it. This week I am going to track my food in both apps just to see how they compare. Here are today's totals.


I've really got to dig deep within myself and get this figured out. I don't want to continue on this streak of gaining weight. I want to reach a healthy weight. After I track this week I'll see how they compare and if there's not much difference I will probably just use Sparkpeople for a little while and see how it goes. I've got to get out of this slump and move on to better things!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Caution: Big Changes Ahead

Big things are in the works....

I am officially a new student at Indiana Wesleyan University. I've been thinking about going back for awhile, but it's so expensive. Recently my work announced an education reimbursement program so... I am going to go back to school. I can't believe I'm going to be a student again. All of the classes will be online which works well. I took most of the classes for my Associate's online and enjoyed doing it that way. It's going to be an adjustment having to study and write papers again. Prayers are appreciated!

Change #2:


I completed a 6 month Dietbet in August and lost 10% of my starting weight. When you win, the money goes on your account as a credit and you can use it for future games or have it added to your paypal account so I used part of the credit to join another 6 month game. I need a little extra motivation and it worked the last time so hopefully this will yield the same results. 

Exciting things are happening around here...

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's Been Awhile

I'm going to try to blog more in September. I haven't written much lately, but I hope to change that starting now. 

Back at the beginning of August we went on vacation to Florida. It was the first time either of us had been there and we had an amazing time. It was so relaxing and peaceful and we came home refreshed. 



Needless to say I didn't do any running on vacation... That means I got even further behind in my half marathon training. The past couple of weeks I've run a few times, but I'm still not running as much as I need to be.

One of the first times I ran it was super hot out. I actually woke up at 5:30 to run before work, but it was still dark out so I opted to run when I got home. It was a pretty hard run.



Saturday morning I headed out to run 3 miles. I have a 5K race this coming weekend so I needed to prove to myself I could run 3 miles. My legs felt so heavy the whole run, but I stuck it out and finished.


My time was actually really good. The first 5K I ran last year my goal was to finish under 40 minutes. I finished this run in 36:33.

The countdown clock is still ticking away to the half-marathon. Hopefully I'll be ready by then...




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Reality

It's always so sad when you hear of someone's death and then you hear that it's suicide...

If you have been reading my blog you probably know that depression and suicide are very important topics to me. So many people struggle with depression and/or suicidal thoughts and inclinations. Depression is something that so many people never find a way out of. It's a scary thing because you never know what the breaking point is going to be. You never know when you're going to give in to the thoughts and give up. Sometimes depression is so debilitating that you think giving up is the only answer, but it's not. There is hope. Hope is real.

Robin Williams no longer saw the hope. It's an awful and horribly sad thing. It does however teach us a valuable lesson. No matter who you are, what you've done and where you're at in your life depression can affect anyone. Depression is not prejudice and it's not something that there's an easy answer to. Everyone deals with it differently. Unfortunately, people can be great pretenders... happy on the outside and dying on the inside. Some people deal with depression and never tell a single soul about it. Don't let this be your story. Don't feel like you have to sit in silence. Don't bottle everything up until it's too much and you need to explode. It can be an intimidating thing to open up about it and maybe there's no one in your life you want to talk to about it. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE.

If you know someone struggling with depression... take the time to listen to them. Sometimes all a person needs is someone to listen. Not to give advice or criticize, but to listen. If you know someone who is suicidal or you are having suicidal thoughts... call 911 or the suicide hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE.

A great resource of encouragement is To Write Love on Her Arms. It's an organization that strives to help people in need who are dealing with these issues. Here is their latest blog post: Still Some Time. It is beautifully written and a great message to anyone feeling depressed or suicidal. This organization is an excellent source for anyone wanting to find ways to help or who needs some kind of encouragement.

This is the TWLOHA vision statement from their website:

The vision is that we actually believe these things:

You were created to love and be loved.
You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known.
You need to know your story is important, and you're part of a bigger story.
You need to know your life matters.

We live in a difficult world, a broken world. We believe everyone can relate to pain, all of us live with questions, and all of us get stuck in moments. You need to know you're not alone in the places you feel stuck.

We all wake to the human condition. We wake to mystery and beauty, but also to tragedy and loss. Millions of people live with problems of pain. Millions of homes are filled with questions—moments, and seasons, and cycles that come as thieves and aim to stay. We know pain is very real. It is our privilege to suggest that hope is real and help is real.

You need to know rescue is possible, freedom is possible, God is still in the business of redemption. We're seeing it happen. People sitting across from a counselor for the first time. People stepping into treatment. In desperate moments, people calling a suicide hotline. We know the first step toward recovery is the hardest to take. We want to say here that it's worth it, your life is worth fighting for, it's possible to change.
We're seeing
lives change as
people get the
help they need.
Beyond treatment, we believe community is essential. People need other people. We were never meant to do life alone.

The vision is that community, hope, and help would replace secrets and silence.

The vision is people putting down guns, and blades, and bottles.

The vision is that we can reduce the suicide rate in America and around the world.

The vision is that we would learn what it means to love our friends, and we would love ourselves enough to get the help we need.

The vision is better endings. The vision is the restoration of broken families and broken relationships. The vision is people finding life, finding freedom, finding love. The vision is graduation, a Super Bowl, a wedding, a child, a sunrise. The vision is people becoming incredible parents, breaking cycles, making changes.

The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.

The vision is the possibility that we're more loved than we'll ever know.

The vision is hope, and hope is real.

You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.

—Jamie Tworkowski
TWLOHA Founder
Never forget that you are loved... You may not see it and you may not feel it, but you are loved beyond measure. It may not make sense to you now and you may not want to understand, but there is someone who can love you more than any human being on this planet. There is someone we can lean on when things are darkest. God loves you and we can find hope in Him.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Back on Track

Half Marathon training was scheduled to start this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, I was lazy and didn't do the first training so my training started on Thursday. 

I ran after work since I didn't get myself up early enough to run before work. 3 miles was on the schedule. I am sticking with my run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute ratio for now since it's been awhile since I've run. I was ready to quit at mile 2 but I pushed through and finished!


Today's schedule was for 3 miles as well. After I weighed in at Weight Watchers I came home and ran. It felt a lot harder than Thursday's run. It was more humid and I was sweating like crazy. 


You can tell by the picture I took when I finished that I was feeling kind of miserable.


Last Saturday when I weighed in I had gained 1.8 pounds. I knew it was coming and I knew why I gained the weight. I stayed on plan this week and didn't go over my points and guess what happened...


4.2 pounds gone!!! It's a great feeling when you're hard work pays off. We planned meals for the week and stuck to the plan for the most part. We still went to El Nopal one night and ate out Friday night, but that's a lot better than we have been doing in the past. Small steps lead to big changes.

Lastly, I wanted to share this picture because it makes me smile. One night this week a storm came through. Afterwards, when we looked outside, everything looked pink. So I stepped outside and was able to take this beautiful picture. 


Sunday, July 6, 2014

A New Leaf

This week's weigh in at Weight Watchers was just as bad as I expected. I ate very poorly and I didn't exercise. What does this result in? A gain of 1.8 pounds. Normally I would have been really upset with myself. I would have felt defeated. I would have continued in a pattern of bad eating and given up. This is where the new leaf comes in...

It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to have a bad week. This weight loss journey has had ups and downs. I'm human and that is perfectly fine. I know what I did wrong and now it's time to move on. Dwelling on it doesn't do anyone any good so what's the point? I have to make better choices in the future. Each day is its own battle. Some battles are won and some are lost miserably, but you get back up.

This week will be better. My half marathon training starts on Tuesday and I know running will definitely help the weight loss process. This week is also the last week of this round of the Dietbet. I am already under the goal so as long as I don't eat everything in sight, I should be good.

We have had a pretty eventful summer so far. We went to the Newport Aquarium and a Cincinnati Reds Game. The next weekend we went to the Nascar race at Kentucky Speedway. Thursday night we went to a Louisville Bats game and Friday we went to French Lick for a train ride. I'm exhausted, but it has all been worth it. I don't have all the pics on my computer yet, but here's a little bit of the fun we've been having.










Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sometimes

Sometimes things happen in life that you don't quite understand.

Sometimes things happen in life that won't ever make sense.

Sometimes things happen in life that make you wonder "Why?"

Sometimes things happen in life that make you question if you could have changed the outcome.

Sometimes things happen in life that motivate you to try harder, to do better.

Sometimes things happen in life that cause you to breakdown and want to give up.

Sometimes things happen in life that just make you want to cry.

Sometimes things happen in life that make you want to shout with joy!

Sometimes things happen in life so you'll know better next time.

Sometimes things happen in life so that someone else will learn and grow.

Sometimes things happen in life to motivate someone else to change.

Sometimes things happen in life that make you want to change.

Sometimes things happen in life that make you want to scream.

Sometimes things happen in life that make you want to die.

Sometimes things happen in life that make you want to live 1,000 years.

Sometimes things happen in life that so you can be a better person.

Sometimes things happen in life to make you see the bigger picture.

Sometimes things happen in life to show you a better way.

Sometimes things happen in life that make it all come together.

Sometimes things happen in life...

There are lots of things that happen in our lives. LOTS. The good thing is... they only happen SOMETIMES! Yet, EVERYTHING that happens in life has a purpose. Maybe it's for your good or for someone else's. Thank God for the sometimes...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pacers and Racers

I finally made it to Pacers and Racers to get fitted for running shoes. The other ones I have I purchased online because they were on sale. When I started running longer distances I got really bad blisters and ended up losing a toenail. I thought maybe getting better shoes would help keep these things from happening in the future. 

Pacers and Racers is a local store. They measure your feet, watch how you walk and recommend shoes for you. I tried on 3 pairs of shoes and ultimately decided on this pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17's. 


They seemed really comfortable when I jogged down the sidewalk and hopefully they will be better than the other shoes I was wearing.

They also recommended a pair of socks that should also help with the blister situation. They even gave them to me at no charge for being a first time customer.


My plan is to run in the morning so we will see what if any kind of difference these shoes/socks make. Since I signed up for the Fall races, I found a Runkeeper training program. It doesn't officially start until July because of when the race is so I am just going to run between 1-3 miles at a time this month and then really jump in to the training in July. I'm feeling pretty good about this...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Motivation Needed

Lately I have been very unmotivated. VERY unmotivated. I didn't have any races coming up and so I had no reason to run. I haven't been following Weight Watchers as well as I should be, but somehow I am still managing to lose weight. I'm not complaining, but I wonder how much more weight I could be losing if I tried harder. I'm not complaining that I've lost weight, I just know I could be doing better.


So what better to get my motivation back than to sign up for some races?!?!?!


Louisville has a Fall Runathon. It is a series of 3 races: a 5K, 10K and half marathon. Since I am in need of some serious motivation, why not sign up? Now I just need to find the best training plan to get me ready for the big day.... 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Kettlebell

I have been listening to a Podcast about weight loss and have really been enjoying it. I listened to one last week that was about kettlebell training. I have heard of a kettlebell, but didn't really know much about it, but it was very intriguing. 

Here's some fun facts from WebMD:

 - The kettlebell was developed by Russian strongmen to train.

 - Gerard Butler used kettlebell workouts to train for his role of King Leonidas of Sparta in the movie 300

 - During a study, it was found that participants burned 20 calories per minute which equates to 400 calories for a 20 minute workout. This would be the equivalent of running a six-minute mile or cross-country skiing uphill at a fast pace. 

These all seem like good attributes so why not give it a shot?

I ordered a 25 pound kettlebell and the book that was spoken about on the Podcast. 


Tonight we did the first workout in the book which is 15 minutes. I did 150 double handed kettlebell swings in 15 minutes. It was a pretty intense workout. I was definitely wore out and think that I will be able to feel the pain in the morning. I decided to order a 15 pound kettlebell as well because the 25 pound one was pretty tough. I intend on doing more research and reading through the book as well. Hopefully this will be a positive change in our lives.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

50 Pounds Down

It's hard to fathom that I have lost 50 pounds. It's a very surreal feeling. 50 pounds?!?! How is that even possible?


When I was at my heaviest, I didn't realize how heavy I was. I avoided mirrors and looking at pictures of myself. When I look back now at those pictures I just think, "How could I have lived that way?" and "How could I do that to myself?" Maybe the most important question is, "Why couldn't I see it?" I don't know if 230 was my heaviest weight or not, you tend to avoid scales at that point. I think maybe we just get so comfortable in our lives that we ignore the problems. I don't think anyone sets out to gain so much weight and to live such an unhealthy lifestyle so why do so many people live that way? Why is it such an acceptable way of life?


I haven't completed my weight loss journey, but I don't plan on going backwards. I want to enjoy my life and not be held back by my weight. I want to truly live. 



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Uninspired

It's been awhile since I posted. I haven't felt much inspiration lately. Every time I sit down to write a post, there's always something else that distracts me. 

Since the mini-marathon, I haven't done much running which is also another reason I haven't posted. I need to set another goal for myself to have the motivation to do it. I've debated doing something other than or in addition to running to change it up a bit, but nothing is jumping out. Insanity is an option. I'd like to do that as well as run. I've also considered joining the gym. We have a discount program through work so it wouldn't be that expensive, but I don't know if I would make time to go to the gym. I've been planning on getting up early and running every day the past week and a half and it just hasn't happened. It's so much easier to reset the alarm, roll over and go back to sleep. The 2 times that I have run, I've focused on running faster... 



It was fun trying to go fast as opposed to running for 2 hours. 

I also started reading The Runner's World Beginner's Guide. So far it's been very informative.

Pic from Amazon
The next step in my running will be getting fit for running shoes. I'm hoping for no more black toenails and no more huge blisters. 

Since I haven't been blogging, I'm a little behind on updating you on my weight. At last Saturday's weigh-in, my weight was 180.8. I can't remember the last time that I was at this weight. I survived Mother's Day without doing too much damage to my weight and then we went out Monday night since we haven't been out in a little while and I ate so badly. I knew I was going to, I planned on using my weekly Weight Watchers points, but now I'm regretting it. I know one meal isn't going to make your weight go up as much as mine has and that it's just because of all the extra sodium I consumed as opposed to cooking at home (at least I hope that's what it is), but I don't know how my weigh-in is going to go this Saturday. It's just a constant battle and I want to come out victorious!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

KDF miniMarathon Recap

Last Saturday was my first Mini Marathon. I ran the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon in downtown Louisville along with 16,000 of my closest friends. It was a fantastic race to be a part of. I really only had one goal for the race... to finish.

I thought I would finish between 3:00 and 3:30. I finished in 3:19:04. My 10K finish time and the 10K time in the mini were the exact same!


It was so fun to have all of the people cheering along the way. I'm pretty sure there was someone in sight cheering the entire 13.1 miles. We even ran through Churchill Downs which was pretty neat. I tried to just enjoy myself while I was running. By mile 10 my legs felt like they were going to explode and my feet were killing me. The next investment I'm going to make for running is to go get fitted for running shoes. The blisters were not pretty by any means.

This is the first race that I've received a finisher's medal for...



Receiving these emails from Runkeeper always makes me smile!! I was so happy to have finished that I forgot to stop my watch when I crossed the Finish Line. 



Lucas took this picture once we got home. This was a huge accomplishment. I never dreamed I would run this far, much less that I would pay to run this far. Someone asked me, "You just ran the mini right?" It's not just a mini. It was 13.1 miles (13.23 according to Runkeeper.) I may have been slow and I may have walked a lot, but I finished and I couldn't be happier!!!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Little Bit of Everything

I have really been slacking on the blog posts lately. Life just gets so busy. So now it's time to catch up. I joined Weight Watchers and have weighed in 3 times including my initial weigh in. I started at 189 and am down to 185.2! Woo hoo!! This week I have not been eating very well, but I still have time to make up for it. The first WW meeting I went to, I felt really out of place and kind of uncomfortable. The next week our meeting was cancelled. This past Saturday I went back and felt a little better about it. It's always hard meeting new people and it seems they all already know each other. I'm sure it will get better as time goes on. 


Weight Watchers has helped me stay on track and I won Round 2 of the dietbet! It's an extra push in the right direction when I know I have to lose a certain amount of weight each month. It feels good to succeed. The first 2 dietbets I participated in, I failed. This time I have won Rounds 1 and 2. Hopefully I will be able to keep up the momentum.


I had one last long run before the big race. I ran a different route than normal. I learned once I got home that it was hillier than the 10 mile race that I ran. I went into it thinking it would be easier because it's flat. Obviously, I was wrong. But the run was completed thanks to my Dad. I wanted to quit after about 4.5 miles, but he was at church where I stopped to get a drink of water so I had to keep going.


This week is the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon. 13.1 miles... It's going to be tough, but I know I can finish. This weekend is also the TWLOHA virtual 5K. In case you're new to the blog their mission statement is, "To Write Love on Her Arms in a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery." Check out the race package they sent:


I believe it's about time for bed. Until next time...


Sunday, March 23, 2014

What's Next?

This is the big question that is haunting me and that everyone is asking me. I honestly don't know what's next. I was considering running the Kentucky Derby Mini-Marathon, but I wanted to wait until after the 10-Miler to see how I felt about it. Right after the race I told Lucas that I did not want to run 13.1, but I've been thinking about it all weekend. I know I would be so disappointed in myself if I don't try to run the mini. I've been looking at it on-line and reading about it and......


I may be crazy. I just don't want race day to pass and I keep asking myself, "Why didn't you do it?" I don't want to have any regrets and let's face it, I want to put that 13.1 sticker on my car window. Who knows if I will ever run this much again in the future. It's technically 2.9 miles more than I ran Saturday. It's a lot flatter than what I ran as well and I know I can do it if I really want to. There's a 6 hour time limit so even if I need to walk a lot, I'm confident I'll still be able to finish.

Up until the last hour or so I had decided I was just going to restart Insanity and run short distances as well. Maybe I'm making a mistake, but I don't want to let this opportunity pass. The race is Aptil 19th so I have almost 4 weeks to get ready. Let's do this!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Papa Johns 10 Miler

Today I did the hardest thing I have ever done in my life: mentally and physically. I ran and finished the Papa Johns 10 Miler. It was such an emotional day and I've learned so much about myself through this process. This was the last race in the Louisville Triple Crown of Running. It's so hard to believe that I finished. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

I felt good before the race. I wasn't as nervous as I was for the first 2 races. I set a goal to finish in 2:30.

The first 3 miles of the race were flat and it wasn't too bad. The 4th-6th miles were in Iroquois Park and it was horrible. Hills, hills and more hills. Every time I ran up a hill I thought, "This has to be the last one," and then there was another hill. It was insane.

After that the 7th-9th miles were flat again since we ran down the same path we started, but it was such a mental struggle to keep going. The 10th mile was by far the worst. We had to run across a bridge which meant running up another hill. ANOTHER HILL! At the very last mile. I walked up the hill and most of the mile. I was drained. Once we got into Cardinal Stadium I ran to the finish line. I was trying to spot Lucas and when I saw him I just started crying. I knew I was going to finish. The finish line was at the 50 yard line of the football field and it felt so wonderful to cross that line. It was such an emotional experience. I finished and beat my goal and it was such a big accomplishment for me. This is the farthest I've EVER run!

I'm worn out, I have blisters on my feet and I can barely move, but I did it. I've learned that I can push myself a lot farther than I imagined and if I really want to do something, there's no stopping me.

Now for the picture overload.



Notice the elevation climb.

You can tell the last few miles were trying.