"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Goals Review & Weigh-In

Last January I found this neat version of a new years resolution sheet, filled it out and shared it here.  Today I thought I'd go over it and share what I managed to accomplish this past year.

First off, for the record...

Today's Weight:  166.0
Loss/Gain: +/- 0 from last month, but +6 from my original "maintain" weight.  

Seeing that I managed to maintain in December, instead of putting any more weight on I guess that's good.

And now for the 2013 Goals...

My one word was "DO [what's hard]" because I knew I was facing a few things I'd never been through before.  I kept this sheet on my dresser mirror and every time I glanced at it I was reminded that I could do it.  

I wanted to paint a piece of furniture and ended up painting my bedroom dresser in the fall.  I love how it turned out. 

I needed to pay off our one credit card.  We paid off about 3/4 of it and we still plan finishing the payoff this year.  

I planned to continue sharing my weight loss journey on my blog and to share my burdens when they got heavy.  I continued to blog and when I opened up to others about my struggles during the deployment I was great encouraged that I was normal and everything would be okay.  It made me grateful I humbled myself and reached out when I needed to.  Deployment is no joke, but we made it through safe and sound.

I wanted to succeed at reaching my goal weight of 140 pounds and run my first half marathon.  I did not lose the extra weight (in fact I think I'm finishing up the year one pound less than last January).  However, I DID run my first half marathon, running the entire distance and that was a huge success. 

All in all, I feel I had a successful 2013.  At times it was a bit trying and I learned a lot about myself, but there were no major tragedies or mishaps.  Now I'm ready to see what 2014 brings...and I confess I'm a little more than happy to know my husband will be by my side through it all. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thoughtful Hostess Gift

In the years since we've moved across the country, and away from our families, we've kind of started a new tradition of having local friends over for Christmas Eve dinner.  I make a Mexican dish called pozole and we usually invite a family or two we've met in the area that we think would enjoy it.  

This is our 3rd Christmas season here in North Carolina and one of our guests is a family we've had over every year so far.  And every year they show up with a huge box of Ferrero Rocher candies as a hostess gift.  I'm talking the large plastic container you would find at Sam's Club or Costco.  

Those are some very delicious candies, but Lord knows I don't need that large box, so every year I have opened it that same evening and shared with everyone; including giving lots to their daughter who absolutely loves the stuff.  

However, this year was different.  Her daughter walked in and handed me a Christmas ornament as the hostess gift.

The wife explained it to me like this, "Oh my gosh, Leah!! I was thinking and telling [husband] 'Here she is working hard with all her running and being careful to lose weight and I show up every year with this huge box of chocolates.  I don't want to be the one sabotaging her!!!'

So, she bought me an ornament for my tree instead, knowing full well I'd have plenty of sweets at my house already. 

My instinct was to not make her feel bad for bringing those goodies to my house, but before I gushed over and over in the effort to make her comfortable I stopped and simply told her not to worry about it and then I thanked her for being so thoughtful.  

It is the season for giving and receiving sweet goodies, but each year I am further along in my weight loss journey I find myself losing some interest in the sweet treats that flood the holiday season.  Instead, I am almost overwhelmed by the over abundance.  

Don't get me wrong.  I do indulge.  But after already receiving the equivalent of about 2 lbs of chocolate as gifts in the days leading up to Christmas, I was touched that my friend would take into consideration my efforts to maintain a healthy weight and go for a non-food gift this year.  Her thoughtfulness meant more than she'll ever know.  :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very 
Merry Christmas
 from my family to you and yours! 

"Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."  Luke 2:10-11

Some of My Holiday Treats

In the years since beginning my weight loss journey I've noticed I do not bake as much as I used to.  In fact, both this year and last year I decided to make non-sweet Christmas treats for my kids' teachers.

I've done a little baking of some holiday favorites to keep and give to a few special people in our lives, but the only cookies I'll be baking this year will be for our Christmas service Wednesday night.
Don't get me wrong.  I've been eating my share of junk this past week or two, but I have to say by the end of the day I'm not feeling as well because of it.  I know...dumb.  If I don't feel good overeating why do I do it?  It's actually not just the sweets, as much as it is I'm being reminded I just can't hold as much food as I used to, nor can I handle greasy food like before.  *sigh*

That's why I loved this little goodie bag some elderly women in our church made for us wives and moms.  They said it was an "energy" treat to keep us going for the holidays.

Trail mix...a good blend of various nuts, cheerios and a few chocolate pieces in there to add some sweetness.  I now have a good idea of what to make the teachers next year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Call to Encourage

I'd like to invite you to join me in spreading some cheer to a man who could really use the encouragement.  I read about this while I was out of town, but wasn't able to post it at that time.

Please read Katie's post about it by clicking here: Runs for Cookies - Sad News

A Week in Maryland

Last week I had the opportunity to accompany my husband to his annual training at the Naval station in Bethesda, Maryland.  
Some of the highlights from my week were ... 

  • Sleeping in for me!!!
  • French press coffee in bed
  • Nice trails around the Navy Lodge, where we stayed, so I could go for a run.
  • A gym on base only a mile away from the Lodge, so I could walk there and workout in the gym.
  • Taking the Metro into DC and then lots of walking
  • Trying a few new restaurants
  • Joining my husband in the challenge to walk up the longest escalator I've ever seen.  Wowsa.

and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me....

  • We went to see Handel's Messiah at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Words can't begin to describe how amazing the  4 soloists, the 170-voice choir and 96-piece orchestra sounded.  

This was the first time my husband and I have gone away for a week, and it was a nice treat.  The military paid for his gas, lodging and meals, so it only cost us my meals and shopping.  

I know for a fact the scale was up a smidge, even though I split that humongous dessert between two days and worked out three days, plus lots of walking.  But I also know I looked forward to every bit of walking I did and my husband said he was amazed that I climbed that escalator without stopping.  We did it three times total and every time I was out of breath, but joyously giggling at the top, because I made it.  He also smiled big. 

Going away for a week just before Christmas made me a little nervous at first, but it was good for us to get away and spend some time alone since he was gone for so many months on deployment.  We were able to have some good talks about life, our future and even where we want to go as a couple with our health.  

I look forward to sharing more on that latter subject later.  In the meantime, now you know where I was. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It has finally happened.  I had my first fitness injury yesterday. 

There I am running in my neighborhood, minding my own business when the next thing I know I feel something at my left foot and I'm falling forward.  I broke the blow with my hands, but took most of the hit on my lower forearm/ elbow.  Had I not had capris on I would've scraped up my knee worse than I did.  

I laid on my back for a couple of seconds and then got up.  Knowing there are lots of little bones in the feet I was nervous to keep running.  The few jogging steps I did take brought an ache to my foot, so I decided to just walk home.  

I was so frustrated and cried a little.  Then I made myself stop, because I didn't want someone to see me crying and wonder if I'd broken something.  Since I could step on my foot I didn't think anything was broken and didn't want that kind of attention.  

Unfortunately, I think I'm easily shaken, or overly precautious, but I wasn't about to try running anymore after the fall since I was just out running for a workout and not a race.  (That's the thought I had, "I'm not in a  race, so I'm gonna walk..." knowing full well I'd probably walk in a race too if it hurt that bad.  I've just read too many running stories of people who pushed past pain and had bad issues afterwards.)

I still don't know if I stepped wrong or what, but the outside of my left food aches a little.  I took naproxen, iced it and my husband was kind enough to massage it a little before bed last night.  

Today I decided to skip exercise and give my foot a rest.  I had enough errands to run this afternoon, so it got plenty of exercise.  There is no swelling, and just some slight discoloration, so I'm sure it's fine.  My elbow had a nice scrape and bruise on it, which I feel every time I adjust myself in the car.  Ouch.  

Anyway, I'd be proud of my bruise if my foot didn't hurt.  I've gotten on a good roll with exercise and hate that I took a fall.  However, more than anything I am very grateful it wasn't anything worse.  With a friend dealing with back issues I know I have no room to complain right now.  :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

"You Started It!"

Last night my 13-year-old was showing us his muscles. (I'm learning this is common in teen boys... lol )  Then one of his sisters joined in and started showing hers.   

My son has been going to the gym with my husband a couple evenings a week and my girls are in the middle of basketball season.  Everyone is being very active and likes to show off the results of their efforts.  

I was giggling and rolling my eyes when my husband says, "You started it!"

"Me?!", I replied, "I wasn't showing any muscles."

"Yes, you.", he countered.  "You're the one who started exercising and getting healthy and got us all into it."

We shared a big smile and I chuckled. 

Okay.  I'll take the blame.  :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Just Do What I Know

I was catching up on some blog reading the other day -- this is always very motivating to me when I'm lagging in my good eating and/or exercise habits -- and I noticed some people getting back on track with weight loss attempts.  Some just do what they know to do, but many are writing about the new program they are trying to get the weight off "this time". 

It makes me think, because I know exactly how they feel.  When I'm feeling pudgy, or have fallen off the weight loss wagon I tend to go looking for a "new" eating program that may be what I need to get back to losing weight.  Somehow I think that I stopped losing weight, or started putting on some because what I was doing wasn't working.  

But that's not true.  Not for me anyway.

When I'm completely honest with myself I know that the reason my weight loss, or in this case maintenance, is off kilter it's because I haven't been doing what I know works.  Basically, it really does come down to calories in versus calories out.  Yes, better food choices are vital to maintaining a healthy weight, but more importantly I still have to burn more calories than I'm taking in to lose; or burn as many as I'm taking in to maintain. 

It's pretty simple and it's what I've been reminding myself this week.  There is no magic plan for weight loss.  For me, I need to get back to tracking my food and getting in regular exercise, I need to remember that when my stomach tells me it's satisfied I need to listen to it and I need to remember that quick fix diets don't work.  

I lost 70 pounds by eating less and moving more and I'm going to continue doing it to get this six pounds back off before it becomes ten or fifteen or twenty.  It's what I know, and I know it works.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Trot Results

It was a small gathering, but three people did join me in doing a virtual Turkey Trot during Thanksgiving weekend.  Two of my friends sent me pictures, so they got an extra entry into my little drawing.  :)

Thank you Chris, Suzie, Christine and Diane for joining me in staying active over the holiday weekend.

The winner of the prize is ... Suzie!

And some visual proof of our activities....
When I saw what the temperature was going to  be I almost decided to wait until another day to do my run.  But I knew I had to be a leader for my own event, so I bundled up and got out there.  It was a glorious sunshiny, COLD morning.  My layers kept me warm and I enjoyed the run immensely.  

 My friend, Chris, encouraged me when she said she was going to use this opportunity to get back on track.  And she literally did over the weekend, getting in her 3.1 miles on her treadmill inside.  I'm so proud of her!

Suzie inspires me, because I knew she has always been active and when I realized I was inviting her to run ... well...that's what new endings will do to a person.  :)  Knowing I can now "run" with her was inspired me to keep pressing on in my weight loss journey. 

Thanks to all who participated, even if I didn't get a picture.  Just knowing I had put my little turkey trot out there for anyone to join me helped me stay committed to getting it done.  And I'm thankful I did.