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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The 2014 Plan that Didn't Happen - Or Did It?

How do you like that for a nice long title?  

My gut reaction when I thought about what to write to wrap up 2014 on my blog was what a failure my "goals" turned out to be.  However, to keep things fair I sat down this morning and read over my goals post from the beginning of the year and had to admit I wasn't a complete failure this year.  

Join me in reviewing my 2014 Post:

This year ... 

  • I WANT to begin really learning some basic photography with my new DSLR camera.  I did learn a few more tips and tricks with my camera, though I did not get out my "DSLR for Dummies" book like I'd hoped to. 
  • I WANT to clean up clutter spots around my house and stay better organized with my time. I did get better at keeping clutter spots cleaned up more often, and I worked on organizing my time better.  December was my busiest/most stressful month, but even then I made time to clean up easily cluttered areas when they got out of control.  

  • I NEED to continue to pay off our credit card and be smarter with frivolous spending.  My plan is to make envelopes for things like hair/makeup and gifts to put money away for those needs and then stick to what's in there.  Unfortunately, some things came up and our credit card was used.  ugh.  BUT..I did buy a mini accordion style envelope used for coupons, label each slot and started using it to some extent to put money away for future things like birthdays, etc.  It worked well when I used it.  
  • I NEED to eat better quality food, more of the time.  No major changes here.  In fact, quite the opposite.  

  • I will SHARE my life with my husband...again.  And I will enjoy what we learned during deployment. Reintegration back into our normal life hasn't been as easy as I thought it would be.  I was "single" for nine months last year and got a little used to having everything my way. Yikes.  :)  Actually....this has gone well.  We were back to normal soon enough;  just like I'd been told would happen.  My surgery and mother's death last January actually brought us closer together in ways I'm not sure could've been orchestrated any other way. 

  • I will SUCCEED at reaching 150 pounds.  BIG FAT FAIL, in-the-negative fail...as I gained weight this year.  
  • I will SUCCEED at prioritizing my time and completing to-do's and projects in a more timely manner.  (I'm the queen of procrastination...)  I did try and work on this, so I am giving myself a green light.
  • I will SUCCEED at continuing my running.  I have no race goals, but I plan on doing at least one or two 10K's and possibly a half marathon.  A family vacation this summer may prevent me from training for the half, so I'm not committing to that just yet.  :)  When I read this I realized I'm not as much a failure as I feel like (because of the weight gain).  I actually completed the two 10K's I'd hoped to run and just yesterday I went out for a 4-mile run to see how my wonky knee would hold up.  I'll be writing about that soon.  It went well, even if it was slow.  So, I did exactly what I planned this year.  I kept running.

So... even though I would look at my list on my dresser and feel like a huge failure for not sticking to a healthy eating plan, losing more weight after surgery and have a masterpiece of a financial plan working smoothly, I have to admit that this year wasn't as much a bust as I thought it was.  

If nothing else, I think this year I learned having a plan can be a funny thing.  It is good to have some goals, but it is also good to be able to bend with life.  I feel like I got the wind knocked out of me this year;  rightly so -- it was a rough year for me.  However, I also feel ready to fight back.

One of my biggest mantras is I will not give up.  I still feel that way.  I can't let a rough set of events return me to an unhealthy, unhappy woman.  Life threw some blows, I got knocked down, I've had to recover, but I'm not out forever.  Little by little I'm getting back up.

For today, the last day of this year, I'm going to clean house and celebrate the 17th birthday of my twin daughters.  Wish me luck -- they are having a couple friends sleep over tonight and then we are going shopping in the bigger city tomorrow as their birthday party.  Oh, and we're throwing a New Year's Eve party tonight..and I still have pine needles all over my living room floor.  lol

Whee! It's going to be a wild next 24-36 hours.  :-)  

Have a safe and Happy New Year!  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Musical Merry Christmas For You

From my family to yours I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Here's a video I uploaded of my recent performance of O Holy Night at our church's Saturday night coffee house scene called "The Press"...as in coffee.  :P

I'm the lady in the scarf singing -- one of my favorite pastimes.  :-)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Happenings

I can hardly believe it has been two weeks since I posted last.  At the same time with everything I've been doing I'm not surprised.  I decided to use my Project Life App to share what the holidays have looked like in my neck of the woods.  :)  

First there was an ornament party I threw at the beginning of the month.  It's becoming a tradition for me and my lady friends and we had a great time.  I love doing it, but it slightly stresses me out since I have to switch from Thanksgiving to Christmas decor in a week to get this done right.  lol

Basketball season has started up, so that means lots of driving to and from practices and games.  One of my daughters made varsity this year (GO HER!!) and the other is the team manager. 

We had fun picking out our tree from a local lot and then using the excess branches to decorate around the house.  

At the last minute I decided to make some scrabble ornaments and get my nails painted festively.  Whee!  The little things....

I managed to get some good runs in until my foot decided to act up, and then my knee...and well, I'll be posting about that later.  When I googled "pain in front of knee" every listing came up "runner's knee".  I'm less-than-thrilled, but taking a break to allow it to heal.  It's been painful for about a month and since it didn't improve I knew it was time to do something about it.  Ice and ibuprofen help too and I can already tell things are getting better.  

As of last night I finished up my holiday baking, but it all started with those little pretzel goodies that are oh, so easy and oh so tasty!

This is the year of singing and stockings for me!  I decided to sew up stockings for all of my nieces and nephews for Christmas and that turned into making one for their parents and aunt and uncle and my mother-in-law as well.

To follow the same theme, I went with making mini stockings for my kids' teachers filled with a  couple homemade treats for Christmas.  

My son joined me in participating in our church's Walk through Bethlehem event.  I sang in a few of the scenes and he helped keep fire pits alive -- it was outside and went very well.  I also work with the teens girls at our church and participate in a caroling group that goes and sings at a nursing home and the hospital at least once a year.  

My son has also had physical therapy three times a week, so the offices have seen me work on Christmas cards, baby blankets, fixing a stocking and such as I have to stay in the building while he has therapy.  My husband helped a lot in coming to take over when he could get off work early, usually so I could run and grab a daughter from practice... anyway... We had a great doctor's report this month that things are looking good, and we played around while waiting for said doctor...noticing that my son's size 10 men's feet make mine look tiny.  

By last Friday I had to stop everything and just CLEAN!  I've been keeping up good enough on the house, but my kitchen had become a disaster.  It felt so good to get some major cleaning done and I felt like I could go ahead and enjoy the rest of my Christmas preparations/festivities after my kitchen received a thorough cleaning.  

I hope you have been enjoying your holiday season as much as we have.  Tonight we have company coming over for our annual pozole dinner and then it's relaxation time.  I have a few more presents to wrap, but that's always enjoyable for me.  We have plans to do nothing but spend time together as a family for Christmas; probably laying around watching Christmas movies to our hearts' content.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you can enjoy these last days of Christmas fun!

Monday, December 8, 2014

I Reached Out and Called


Remember this ad?  I instantly thought of it after a good conversation I had with a friend last Friday morning.  It was a conversation initiated by an early morning text I sent saying, "Can you talk for a few minutes?" 

As much as I don't mind sharing about my life in my blog or often in daily conversation, I have a slightly harder time reaching out for support and encouragement when it comes to more serious matters like my relationship with food.

I think the anonymity of blogging allows me the freedom to be honest about my food issues, but to reach out to someone I know personally and confess some of what I'm going through is more embarrassing.  You allow yourself to be vulnerable to critique when you open up about such sensitive topics.  

However, as I've learned in recent years, when I allow myself to reach out to someone I actually know personally once in a while about an issue I'm dealing with, food or otherwise, I'm always encouraged.  This past Friday was no different. 

Nothing new was really said, only confirmations of what I already know to be true and encouragement that it's all going to be okay.  It's exactly what I needed, and when I got off the phone I was inspired that I'm not losing my mind and I can do this.  

So, if you're struggling with an issue in life, but you think no one will understand, I encourage you to reach out.  Please be smart and make sure that person is trustworthy.  Then talk to them.  You never know but the person you decide to confide in might just have been through something similar, or they might just have an insight to your life that will help you see that the world really isn't falling all the way down around you.  (only just a little... [grin])

Hopefully when you "reach out and touch someone" you will be encouraged like I was.  Yes, it's humbling, but every once in a while it's very much needed.

P.S.  And for the few of you who continue to leave me comments, I really appreciate your words of concern and insight.  I always feel like you haven't given up on me and that's encouraging.  :)  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Weight Issues

It's not really as dramatic as it sounds -- it's always an issue when you're putting on weight and not taking it off -- but I wanted to come update how the scale is looking. 

It's not looking pretty.  

Some people say we should throw away our scales, because we are more than a number.  Well, I need my scale.  It's an accountability tool.  

Stepping on the scale forces me to face what I already know in my gut, literally (ha!).  I know my clothes are snug and the scale confirms that no, I have not lost anything yet.  I don't mind it because it's the reality check I need.  

Actually, what hit me this morning when I saw a number above 175 for the second time this week was, "Is this how people end up gaining all their weight back???  They keep seeing numbers go up and say, 'I'm going to stop this.', but don't??" 

That scares me.  In a healthy way.  

The exercise is getting back on track and now I need to work on tracking my food again and making better food choices.   

I know December is not a good month to try and lose weight, so I will commit to at least being 175 by the end of the month.  However, in my dreamy-not-waiting-until-January-to-start world I want to be at or break 170 by January 1st.  

I know it can be done, because I've lost weight in December before.  

In the meantime, can I just say... for those of you who are keeping the fight and doing well right now....THANK YOU.  It's encouraging to me.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Exercise Update - Glad I Didn't Wait

As I was running today I realized I haven't kept on top of my weekly exercise updates.  In October I committed to exercising 30 minutes a day to help me stay on track.  I realized early on this was going to turn into 4-5 days a week and I was okay with that. 

And I have kept that up.  

Whether it's my two classes at the gym or running in my neighborhood, I have been able to get good intentional exercise in 4-5 days a week so far.  

It feels so good too.  In fact, yesterday at the end of the class I commented "It feels good to be back!!".  Today while running I felt the same way;  like I'm getting my running legs back.  

This is a busy time of year to make exercise and health commitments, but I tell you what I'm so glad I'm not putting it off until January.  Starting my days off with exercise makes me feel so much better about myself the rest of the time. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Most Important Mile

Today I'm honored to be featured on Another Mother Runner with a piece I submitted about my most important mile running. Check it out here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankfully Yours

No matter what has happened in my life this year I have found myself being very grateful.  Allow me to share...

I'm grateful my mother passed away peacefully in her sleep and not in some tragic accident or long, drawn out disease.  I am also thankful for the wonderful memories I have of her, including phone calls discussing what part of Thanksgiving preparations we were on in the days leading up to the holiday.  

I'm also grateful for cell phones.  This photo is the last time I saw my mom in person -- almost a full two years prior to her death last January -- and I was shocked that it was that long since I had seen her in person because we were able to stay so close with today's technology.  

I'm grateful for my husband who works hard, makes time for our family and is quick to smile....even for me when I visited him at work the day before his 40th birthday a couple weeks ago.  He listens wonderfully and always has the right thing to say when I need some insight or another point of view.  

I'm grateful for three healthy teenagers who can still have fun.  A day does not go by that I have to get on somebody for their attitude, but neither does a day go by that I don't look at them with love and am grateful they are alive and well.  

My son's ski accident last spring could've paralyzed him or killed him;  it only injured him.  Though he's still healing from that injury he is alive and well.  (And I am also giggling that I mentioned they are healthy...and posting a picture of them at McDonalds...on my healthiness blog...[grin])


And it wouldn't be right to post on here without saying I'm thankful I am truly making a healthier, happier ending in my life.  I'll never regret taking the first step towards becoming healthier.  Had I not done that I couldn't have borrowed my husband and son's clothing to dress up like a soccer girl for a sports-themed baby shower recently. [more grinning]

To sum it up....life brings trials sometimes -- joy and pain, laughter and tears-- but by God's grace I am still alive and can honestly say I am thankful for all God has done in my life through it all.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!


p.s.  I am also very, very Thankful for a father who has not shut himself away from the family since my mother's death.  We also stay in touch regularly via texts, emails and phone calls.  It's more than every before and I'm so, so glad.  He's a great man who has been through the most since losing his spouse of almost 40 years, and I know he could've handled things very differently as many others do.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thankful Healthy Blogger 5K

 


I forgot to mention I'm participating in running a 5K over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Feel free to join me by clicking above!  

Home Sweet Gym

I've now gone back to the gym 2 days a week for two weeks now.  It feels like I've returned home after a long, arduous trip. 

Funny thing is when I decided I needed to get back to the gym I tried going to one that was farther away because I really like a trainer there. (We are military and this large base has a few gyms to chose from.) 

Well, I loved her class, but it's really too far out of my way to fit into my busy days.  I also tried another gym closer because ours was having the floors redone.  This time I did not care for the instructor, but the class was fine.  

Well, last Friday I went back to "my" regular choice of gym on base, even though it was a new-to-me class in the time slot I usually go.  I was nervous, but I needed to get back to my familiar grounds and I knew I couldn't wait until Monday.  

It went so good!! 

I wanted to share this when I got home that day, but my schedule was too packed to blog.  

That day the gal that instructed that class commented on how good it was to see me again.  She has no idea how touched I was to hear that.  I filled her in a little on my weight gain, frustration and determination to get back into shape and not quit. 

She said, "Well, it's good to have you back!!"

Then this past Monday I went back to one of my favorite classes and was welcomed by one of my favorite instructors who was out for maternity leave.  Seeing her, along with a few regulars, was so comforting.  

I felt like I was home.  

Because I talk too much, and because I have this need to explain why I'd been gone for so long and looking pudgier upon my return, I shared a bit with the instructor and one of the regulars a little of having gained some, not worked out and finally getting back on track.  They were both very encouraging.

And once again I felt like I was home. 

Home Sweet Gym

I am only committing to the Monday and Wednesday classes, because I run at home 2-3 days a week, but those two days of strength training apparently made a world of difference in my life physically and emotionally and after just one week of taking them I already feel so much better.

It's a good feeling.  More on track.  More like I'm finding some semblance of normal back in my life with regards to my health.  What a lovely thing!

Updated Progress Pictures

This is rather hard for me to post, but I always feel honesty is the best policy.  Plus, you may not understand how excited I'll be when I get these 15 pounds off if you don't see some proof of what they looked like on.  


With my abdominoplasty (aka "tummy tuck") it's easy to think I still look great, and I don't look "bad", but...none of my clothes fit well.  I've actually pulled out some pants that were very loose on me last year, and a sweater or two that I almost got rid of because they were too big, and been grateful I had them because my other jeans don't fit comfortably now.  

In fact, I'm even noticing my arms don't fit well into some shirts.  That's when it really hit me that I'd lost muscle tone along with gaining 15 pounds ... when I felt it in my arms.  Weird. 

So, while this kind of progress isn't in the direction I want to go I wanted to have updated pictures of me to add to my "Progress Pictures" so that others can see the gain and then see the proof when I get things back on track as well.  

Thanks for checking in!  It's not over and I'm still plugging along.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day

As a proud Navy wife I want to take a minute to thank all the servicemen and women who have served their country and helped to protect our freedom.  As this cartoon rightly states, to me you do a lot of the work, and we get the benefits.  

Again, as a proud Navy wife I also want to thank the families of these veterans who have stayed by the stuff allowing their men and women to do their jobs effectively.  Last year my husband was deployed for eight months (not including the months and weeks prior of out-of-town training he was gone for)and I learned a lot about what it takes to let your loved one go and serve their country.  

It's not easy, and some make the ultimate sacrifice and never see their loved one return, but we appreciate the sacrifice and are grateful and proud of those who serve at home while their loved ones serve in our armed forces.  

Have a good day and God Bless America!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Motivational Monday - Motivated by Katie

A week ago on Katie's Motivational Monday post over at Runs For Cookies she made a comment, "I want to go into 2015 feeling happy with where I'm at."  I read that and was like, "Yes!  Me too!"  

I'm still pretty frustrated with how this year has turned out with regards to my size, but I know I don't want to wait until the new year to start working on things again.  The holiday season is not the easiest time of the year to try and lose a few pounds, or inches, but I know it can be done, because I've done it in the past.  

Katie has also recently been through the death of close family friend and experienced some weight gain during that time.  Through the year she has been honest about her ups and downs, about trying new things to help her not binge and about buying clothes that fit her right now so she is not depressed with nothing to wear -- all things I can relate to this past nine months.  

So, when I read that she is getting back on track and aiming to start the new year feeling better than right now I was motivated.  It's not a race, but rather a little bit encouraging to see someone else get their mojo back and think, "If she can do it, so can I." 

If you can use some of that motivation check out her blog.  You will leave inspired to keep pushing on.  I know I always do.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Two-Minute Post - Exercise Thoughts

I have a birthday cake in the oven for my husband and have about two more minutes to get a quick post in.  

It's just been that kind of week... [grin]

There's been too much candy.  

Not enough water. 

But plenty of thought about why I've felt so crappy and having such a hard time getting my act together. 

To sum it up, I thought more about my 30 minutes a day to exercise and come to the conclusion that I really need to get back to the gym like I was before.  I just haven't been feeling all that great, emotionally or physically, and I think it's partly because I haven't been getting exercise like I used to. 

My husband's thought on the subject was, "It's because you're in shape now."  (So, I don't feel like I really exercised when I just go for a walk...)

When I thought over my five recent years as a healthier lady I remembered I do my best with fitness when I am going to the gym.  Even if all I do is use the elliptical or bike I do better when I've left my house and gone to the gym.  Running is the only thing I do better here at home, since we have a great neighborhood to run in. 

So, I decided that I would make time at least 2-3 days a week to get to the gym for the spin or HIIT classes.  They pump me up, make me work hard and I feel so much better throughout the day when I do them.  (The HIIT classed involve weights and I really like that.)

In fact, and the reason I'm posting so late today, I decided to get to a class today.  I knew I couldn't put it off until Monday. 

And I'm so glad I did. 

Yes, I had a house to clean, a few food items to pick up at the store and a cake to bake (and a quick trip to my husband's work when he forgot something here at home...which he didn't remember until after I'd visited him at work once to see what his coworkers did for him..but I digress..)...all for a small party we're having this evening, but first I had to take care of me and get some good exercise in.

I haven't worked that hard in about two months and it sure felt great!  

So, I am still committing to at least 30 minutes a day of exercise 5-6 days a week,  but that is to make sure I get AT LEAST that on the days I really can't squeeze an hour in at the gym.  

And this week?  It's going good.  I'm on day four of five days and plan to go for a good walk or run tomorrow -- depending on how sore I am after today's class.  lol 

Have a good weekend and thanks for checking in on me! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Motivational Monday - Learning From Failure

At the Bible conference our church hosted a few weeks ago one of the ministers made this comment: 

"What if you fail?  
The worst that can happen is 
you learn a great lesson that will prove beneficial 
in the next stage of your life."
-Pastor Carlos Morales  Norfolk, VA

I immediately pulled out my phone to make a note because that is so true in any area of life, including weight loss and living healthier. 

When I began my final weight loss journey in 2009 I began this blog because it was a place I would be able to track my journey without having to share with anyone else about trying to lose weight [again] and face embarrassment if I failed.  

In fact, my many failed attempts at weight loss, and keeping it off, lead me to only shared my desire to gain control of my health with my husband and one close friend.  I also refrained from joining a specific diet group or plan, because I knew my problem wasn't in having a good plan to follow it was in following a good plan. 

Did you hear that?  

"I didn't join a weight loss group or plan, because I knew...."

Without even realizing it at the time, my past failures at weight loss actually taught me some things that proved very beneficial when I started out on this final attempt to lose weight and get healthier.
  • I learned my lack of discipline was more to blame than the actual plans I had tried.  
  • I knew my biggest success with weight loss was my one attempt at "eating when hungry and stopping when satisfied".   
  • I knew losing weight and keeping it off was going to require a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.
  • I knew the few times in my life when exercise was a regular habit I had felt better all around.
I guess in those years of trying and failing I learned quite a lot.

And while my past failed attempts at weight loss aren't something I'm necessarily proud of, they did give me reference points to draw on that lead to my success this final time around.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

First 30-Minute Update

Today I was going to simply go for a walk to get my 30 minutes of exercise in, but then my daughter came downstairs stating she was going for a run today.  She went and came back while I cleaned up the breakfast dishes and I kept eyeing the out of doors. 

I dressed for a run and before I was out the door I knew I'd go running and not settle for a walk today.  It was a cloudy, cool day and I enjoyed every bit of my 3-mile run.  

I didn't wear my Garmin, nor did I time myself.  I simply enjoyed the brisk fall afternoon as I ran and listened to my audiobook.  

Getting my run in today helped me finish my fifth day of exercise this week and that makes me feel very accomplished and healthy. 

So, I'm grateful for my daughter sparking my desire to run in this beautiful weather and I'm grateful I was able to fit the run into my day.  Soon I shall go and shower and make a cup of warm something to sip while I work on something fun. 

Thanks for checking in.  If you decided to join me in my 30-minutes a day of exercise (mine is 5-6 days a week) leave a comment and I shall applaud you on Monday!  :) 

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Can Do 30 Minutes a Day

Let me start by saying I love when I can take my HIIT classes at the gym and when I can run at least three days a week.  In fact, I love when I can exercise for about an hour a day.  Running in my neighborhood is pretty easy to fit into my schedule, even if it's busy, but taking classes is not always feasible.  

Like now for example.  

My teen daughters are currently in sports, my son found out he needs a new ACL and is having surgery tomorrow for that, he will then continue with physical therapy afterwards, my husband has a fractured foot and only drives as little as absolutely necessary and I've begun making gifts and baking because....the holidays are coming.  

Whee!!!

With all this going on I am reminded that one thing I've really learned about living a healthier life is things change.  There have been seasons where I had time to train for a half marathon and seasons where I was happy if I got three days of exercise in a week.

The more I thought about it I decided one thing I don't want to change with these seasons is the fact that I do exercise regularly, even if I "only" do 30 minutes a day or if I "only walk".

Those "only"s are key for me. 

"I can only exercise 30 minutes a day." or "I'm only going to walk today." can sometimes sound like excuses not to exercise more.  It's kind of sad if you think about it, because when I weighed 232 pounds I didn't make time for intentional exercise at all, so getting 30 minutes a day done was a huge step in the right direction.  And I only began with 30 minutes of walking 3 days a week.

My observation is the more I find myself capable of the more I critique myself if I feel I'm not living up to those capabilities.

This is helpful in preventing me from getting lazy, but can also be detrimental if it turns into self condemnation and leads to me not doing anything because I can "only" do x, y or z.

Right now I don't have time for hour-long classes at the gym multiple days a week, but I do have 30 minutes I can dedicate to intentional exercise and I've decided to commit to doing at least 30 minutes a day of some sort of exercise.

In fact, (probably because I was running on an endorphin high) I even made a public commitment to keep my exercise habits through this busy season of my life by posting this to my Instagram account:  
video
To help keep me accountable I'm going to update my progress on my Friday posts.  I also try and input my workouts on my account at Daily Mile, which updates the widget on the right side of my blog.  -->

I know some of you are very faithful to your exercise, but if you need some motivation please feel free to join me.  You can come back every Friday and check in by leaving a comment on my Friday post.  

Maybe I'll even start a "Motivational Monday" series with updates on everyone who has decided to join me in this little challenge.  :) 

Have a good one and happy moving!

Note:  I was "writing" this little poem while I ran and then repeating it over and over for about a block so I wouldn't forget it when I stopped and could actually record myself.  lol  And I can write another post about how many times I went back and forth about whether to post my first video on here...without makeup.  I only go out without it to exercise, and that only started happening a few years ago.  I decided to keep it really real today.  =)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Out and About

Well, I was going to try and pop on here to check in about a week ago, but it just didn't happen.  We were swamped busy last week attending and helping host an annual conference our church puts on every fall.  It was exhausting, but wonderful all at the same time.  My husband took the week off and I enjoyed spending some time with him as well. 

Due to our hectic schedule last week I purposely did not weigh myself on Friday.  The week is too busy to exercise (since I do like the six hours sleep I managed to get in daily) and my eating was so-so.  

We ate out a few times and I had one or two donuts throughout the week; not exactly anything that would lead to weigh gloss, so I decided the scale would be better left untouched.  This is a once-a-year event and I wasn't worried about the scale for that bit of time. 

This week is pretty much back to normal, though the beginning to the week has been recuperating from last week.  :)  Actually, my mind is also running a mile a minute because I have a couple crafty projects on the burners.  I also have ...

...another surgery for my son.  Yep.  He's been having an issue with his bad knee and a MRI revealed a torn ACL.  The doctors are pretty sure this is from his original ski accident last March and he is scheduled for an ACL repair with scope this Thursday.  

It's a good thing I had already decided to workout from home for the duration of 2014.  I'm going to write more about that later, but I had already decided running and doing Jillian Michael workouts a few days a week will be the best way to make sure I get my exercise in during this busy season.  So, when I heard they were scheduling another surgery I wasn't freaked out about missing any exercise classes in the daytime.  

Instead I will continue on with my exercise while he rests and not feel like it can't get done just because my schedule has to be rearranged a bit.  Glory!

So, anyway...I'm alive.  I haven't forgotten about living a healthier life and I should be back to more regular blogging again shortly.  :) 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weigh-In ... Almost Didn't Happen

Today's Weight:  171.0
Loss/Gain:  -1.0 

So...this has been a crazy week and I haven't weighed since the other day [when the scale was up], so I almost didn't weigh myself today.  In fact, last night I was thinking about going back to reporting my weight on here the last day of the month like I was doing before, because I really don't like the feeling of "tomorrow is my weigh-in day I need to eat like...".  

However, I guess I'll keep weighing in on Fridays and reporting it.  I does help me stay a little more focused when I know I have to be accountable on Friday.  :)

With my crazy week I didn't track and didn't exercise.  Apparently I did manage to make more good decisions than not-so-good, so I'm content with it all. 

I finally posted about my 10K race earlier today, so you can read all about it here.  

Thanks for checking in and have a good weekend!  

10K Remembrance Run

Note:  I'm writing this race report about a week later, because it's just been that busy around here...

Short Story: 
(Courtesy of the Project Life App)


Long Story: 
My 10K race went very well.  I want to add, "..despite it being warmer than I anticipated.", because it was warmer than usual for this time of year.  The race also went well despite me being a nervous wreck the night before and even than morning.  Glory!

I'll just add in here the next day we woke up to a lovely 60 degrees and I asked the earth why we couldn't have had that the prior morning, but I digress.

This is the 3rd year I've participated in this race and I loved this shirt the best so far; so much so I decided to wear it to run the race in.  Had I checked and seen it was going to be warmer than normal I would've stuck with a running tank, especially because I've always followed the running rule of "don't wear the race day shirt until you've completed the run"... oh well.  I was proud of my reason for running and wanted to show it.

I wasn't really nervous about running 6.2 miles until the night before.  It's like this year came crashing down on me.  I told my husband last fall was so full of anticipation and feelings of accomplishment as I finished up my half marathon training, completed that in September and then he returned from an eight-month deployment in November.  "It's like then the new year came and everything came crashing down!!", I moaned.  Okay, I think I actually cried for a minute.  

[Once again] he was awesome in reminding me those things weren't my fault and to not be worried because I knew I could finish the race.  *deep cleansing breath*  *wiping tears away*  "I know.  You're right.", I confirmed and went to sleep. 

He had duty Saturday morning, so he was up just before me wishing me luck and reminding me to just enjoy myself and not worry about the time.  I groggily agreed to do just that. 

So, I got up and went about my race morning ritual of heating up coffee first thing and grabbing a protein bar to go with it.  I honestly wasn't really hungry yet, but I made myself drink the coffee pretty quick so it could go through my system in time for me to potty before the race. I live about ten minutes from the race location, so I wouldn't have a long drive time to get there and let my system do what needed to be done. 

I dressed, made sure I had everything and headed out the door.  I was grateful for a clear sky and a beautiful sunrise because my stomach was a mess of jumbles.  It wasn't minutes before I decided I needed some motivational encouragement and I found one of my mantra songs, The Climb by Miley Cyrus (sorry...this is the ONLY song I love from her...) and proceeded to listen to it on repeat the whole way to the base...crying a couple of times and then reminding myself I knew I could do this. 

As I pulled in the parking lot I spotted a car belonging to friends of ours.  The husband was running the 10K as part of his training for a half marathon this weekend.  That brightened me up a little.  When I spotted them in the crowd I was even more excited.  

His wife came as well and humored me with a few pictures of us together and me alone before we lined up to start.  (By the way, I had a perfect potty stop before meeting up with them for pictures, which is always HUGE for me.  I love when I have to go and there is time to relieve myself... small things make me happy.)

As I lined up I also chatted with a gal who told me she was a nervous wreck because she had an injury and hadn't been able to run the last five weeks.  I just encouraged her with a saying I adopted the minute I heard it, "I'm a completer, not a competer."  We're just here to finish and time doesn't matter.  She thanked me and I wished her a good race.  

There was a lot of people walking, so right away I knew one of my fears wasn't going to be realized -- I would not be the last one.  :)  I was seriously worried about coming in last because I've slowed up by a whole minute per mile this year.  

As is always the case in my races I started out slow and steady, pushing just enough to know I wasn't going too easy and after a mile or two I started picking off the people who rushed out the gate too fast and had to stop for walk breaks.  That's always my small victory and one I didn't really expect to experience with my slower running time this year.  But it happened and I felt better knowing that I wasn't the only one running so slowly this year, because very few of those people ever came back and passed me again.  I was actually amazed at the amount of slow runners in this race. 

My friend's husband was not slow and he had told me he was shooting for a 42:00 finish, so I didn't expect to see them after the race since I planned on a 1:15 - 1:20 finish.  However, around mile 2.5 there was the wife cheering me on and taking pictures with her phone.  I was so tickled that she hung out to cheer me after her husband had passed by.  

Even better, just after mile 4 there is a portion of the race where you're headed to the finish but you make a left turn and head out for a 2-mile loop back to the finish line (It's quite deceiving the first time to run it, but I expect it now.).  My friend's husband had finished the race and they were both there cheering me on.  Aww...gee...I felt really special.  

So, I continued plodding along and grateful we had one more patch of wooded area to shade the warming morning.  I also chatted with a few people as we skipped around large puddles in the wooded area.  I try to not be one of those people who annoys other runners, but at this point in the race people usually complain about the large puddles and I always joke that this is where I feel like a trail runner. :)  

I have to say that I knew I was running slower than any of my previous races, but I was running faster than I had so far this year.  By mile 5 I was beginning to feel it in my legs, but I just pushed through and tried to continue my steady pace.  What's funny is at mile 6 I always want to pick up my pace for that last 0.2 mile, but this time I didn't really feel like I had it in me.  So, I pushed a little, but just decided I wasn't worrying about pace, so I was just going to finish strong. 

As I cross the finish line I heard someone call my name and my friend had stayed to see me finish.  In fact, she was videoing my finish.  Awww... (okay, well, really her husband was staying because he was winning first place for the over 40 group, finishing in 42:__something.)

When all was said and done I was glad I signed up for this race.  It was hard in more ways than I thought it would be when I originally planned to do it, but I finished and I finished strong.  As I said earlier, it was my slowest 10K time, but my fastest average pace since I began training.  In fact, I was hoping, praying for a 1:20 finish and I killed it with a 1:14 finish!  Woot!  

video

THAT is something I'm very proud of.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Weigh-In ... Results Follow Basic Steps

Today's Weight:  172.0
Loss/Gain:  - 4.0 lbs

Well, I wasn't expecting that, except that the only other day I weighed myself this week I was down and last week I saw 173 on the scale.  So, I guess it shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did. 

It's funny how this week I had a few moments where I overate and felt like I was never going to get the hang of it;  but at the same time I had more moments where I felt back to my normal healthier self and made simple, basic choices for healthier living.

It's funny, but just when I feel like giving up I find what it takes to keep going and then results follow.  I think the determination to make this the "last time" I lost that large amount of weight and the determination to never go back is what pulls me through.

*Contented sigh*

Tomorrow is my 10K race and I am ready.  Last week I ran 5 miles and was able to maintain a pace close to a 12:00 minute mile.  This will be my slowest 10K, but at least my pace has picked up since my first 6-mile run a month or so ago.  

I will have to try and not think too much about how slow I am right now and remind myself that at least I can run for 6.2 miles.  That's more than I ever dreamed of years ago.

The weather has been gorgeous in the mornings, so I'm looking forward to enjoying a nice run tomorrow.  This race weaves in and out of some wooded areas, so it's always enjoyable for me.

Have a nice weekend and thanks for checking in!  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Motivational Monday - It's My Pleasure

As I was running last week I heard Heather from Half My Size make this comment:

"Finding a healthier body should be a pleasure, not a punishment."

Do you know how many times I've felt like my slower metabolism, and taste for high-fat, high-sugar foods are a curse and need to punished by healthier eating and exercise???  Assuming you follow my blog because you are also striving to live a little healthier I'm sure you can relate. 

When I heard that comment though, I actually stopped to type it out exactly as she said it because I wanted to remind myself healthier food choices and regular exercise need not be punishment for me being "bad".  Instead, as a fellow blogger friend told me once, it's like I have an illness that needs special attention.  

When I'm completely honest I would not exercise or give a care if I ate less sugar/breads if I was thin.  Sad to some, but true. 

However, I know diabetes runs in my family and I know my joints were already feeling the weight of my unhealthy lifestyle (pun intended), so I was happy to begin making some changes to prevent myself from going farther down the path of an unhealthy lifestyle. 

And while there are times I groan because I can't eat "whatever"(all the time) or I may not feel like I want to exercise, I know I always feel better when I do what is better for my body.  

In fact, when I finished my run that day I said to no one in particular... "It's my pleasure!" to make healthier choices.  :)

Weigh-In ... Totally Forgot to Post

Friday's Weight:  176.0
Loss/Gain: +/- 0

When I weighed myself Friday morning I had every intention of posting it pretty quick, but... I forgot.  And then I've had a bustle of a weekend and never got around to it.  

Anyway, I wasn't planning on posting much, because after I weighed myself I still felt as contented as I did when I wrote the night before.  :) 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Before I See the Scale Tomorrow

As I was sewing this evening I was thinking about where I'm at in my healthiness journey and decided I would post tonight, before I see the scale tomorrow, so that my thoughts are not affected by the number I see in the morning.  

I've weighed every day this week and it's been up 3 pounds, down 3 pounds every other day, so who knows where it will settle tomorrow.  I can't honestly say I don't care what it will say, but I can honestly say I will not be too sad if there is no loss shown this week.  

Because one of the things I wanted to share is that I have made some great strides with getting back to my "new normal" self who was eating healthy and exercising a year ago.  I have found myself less compelled to overeat at meals and less likely to snack throughout the day when I'm truly not hungry.  

A short time ago I felt like I had lost "it" and I wondered if I'd every get "it" back.  Who knows if I was trying to use food as a salve to soothe over my other issue I've been dealing with, or if I just gained weight and then felt no hope of losing it so I didn't care how much or what I ate.  

And right now I don't care to do any further introspection to figure it out. 

All I know is I am finding myself picking healthier choices and smaller portions more often than not lately and feeling like my old [new] self.  :)  This makes me happy.

My running is also improving and that makes me happy as well.  Part of the improvement in my speed is the weather cooling, but I think the other part is that I'm running three days a week again and my body is remembering what it is to be a runner, or even to be physically active again.  Hooray!

So, basically what I want to say is that I am happy with how things are going.  I know I need, and want, to see the scale get back into the 160's because that is a healthier place for me to be.   I was maintaining around 160-163 for about a year and a half, so I know I can stay there comfortably. 

And since this 15-pound gains was due mainly to overeating during a stressful time in my life I know I can get it off again ... eventually.  

The gain happened.  I am moving on and letting go of it;  knowing I need to tighten the caloric belt, but also knowing I am not going to beat myself up if the scale doesn't reflect the other good things happening.

So, no matter what the scale says tomorrow I will be happy.  I will keep pressing on towards a healthier, happier me, because I won't give up.  :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Motivational Monday - She Got Me Into Running

A couple weeks ago my daughter beat her 5K personal best by 45 seconds.  As her coach went to congratulate her he also pointed out she had improved her time by 5 minutes since the first race of the cross country season.  

We are so proud of her!

That same afternoon she said something that both made me proud and motivated me to keep going.   She introduced me to someone and added, "She's the one who got me into running." 

When my kids were little and playing for hours on end in the front yard I never dreamed someday I'd be the one inspiring them to do anything athletic. (That was always my husband's idea of fun...)  

To hear her comment made my heart soar and also encouraged me to never give up on my new healthier lifestyle.  

Happy Monday!  Have a great week!


Sidenote:  The photo collage was made on my iPhone with the new Project Life App.  If you're at all into scrapbooking, or would like easy ways to make cute collages with your phone pictures that will be saved with a high enough resolution to print as saved..check it out.  You won't be disappointed.  :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weigh-In ... Not Posting

Today's Weight:  176.0
Loss/Gain:  +2.0

I wasn't going to post my weight today.  Yesterday I had decided I knew the scale was going to be up and why vex my readers by showing the yo-yoing.  But then I thought, "Why not?"  It's where I'm at and it's just a number and not posting it doesn't change the fact that I didn't track my food more than a couple days this week or that I didn't eat like I was trying to lose weight. 

There weren't really any bingeing moments, but definitely not too many moments of eating to just satisfied, or even eating as healthy as I could've. 

The other day I heard a comment on a podcast that really resonated with me.  The man said something to the effect of, "80% of the issue is the food and 20% is the exercise.  The real change comes when we change how we eat, and the exercise just brings nice added benefits of physical change."

I know the whole 80/20 thing and I must admit one of my mindsets that truly never changed was that I can't out exercise overeating.  When I heard that comment mentioning that the exercise just brings the nice benefit of toning, etc, it occurred to me that I didn't lose weight last summer by training for the half marathon.  

I simply toned up (a LOT) and was able to eat a lot more food because of the high calorie burn that many miles brings.  However, I lost the weight before that summer and it was changing how and what I ate that made the biggest difference. 

So, I'm still working on that.  I like to think I can workout tons, burn lots of calories and then eat a lot.  Unfortunately, my schedule doesn't always allow for that.  I have watched my calorie burn and learned over the years I do need to exercise some daily if I want to eat more than fruits and vegetables.  I do have a slower than some metabolism.  

But for now I need to wrap my head around eating a tad less to lose this weight I've put on.  I know I can do it, just gotta get it done.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

19 Years Through Thick and Thin

Today is my 19th wedding anniversary and I'm so blessed to have a husband who has loved me literally through thick and thin.  
This morning I told him it doesn't feel like it's been nineteen years and he replied, "It's because we're having fun!"  

Just like my scale, we've had our ups and downs, but we have continued to press on to make our marriage work.  

We also made a commitment on our wedding day that we would keep Jesus Christ at the center of our marriage and we both agree that were it not for Him we couldn't guarantee we'd still be happily married today.  

So, happy anniversary to us and one more day to realize that anything worth having is hard work, but always worth it in the end!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weigh-In ... Cautiously Pleased

Today's Weight:  174.0
Loss/Gain: -2.0 lbs

I have made huge non-scale strides this week, so I'm pleased with seeing results on the scale as well.  There is the cautious feeling of wondering if I can keep up the good change in eating habits to keep losing weight, so I reminded myself this morning that I just need to keep doing what I've done to lose these two and the weight will come off eventually. 

My goal for the weekend is to do my best to stay within my calorie budget.  My "cheat" day is always a weekend day, and quite honestly usually turns into the entire weekend, so I'm going to work on that this weekend.  

Monday I will come back with a nice motivational post I already have in my head, but for now I leave you with my new favorite breakfast...

I'll call it "Chocolate Protein Oatmeal".  
I was looking for something comforting to eat for breakfast that had more protein, but less sugar than the protein bars I normally eat for breakfast.  I'm now in love with my creation... I may even try vanilla powder and some pumpkin for the fall.  I'm inspired!

Thanks for checking in blogland friends!  I truly appreciate each and every one of you who take a moment to stop by.  I am encouraged by the comments you leave that I'm not alone in my struggles and it's not over.  

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Confession and A New Prayer

I have tried twice now to blog a bit of what I've been going through personally to give you an idea of some great "epiphanies" I'm having, but it just isn't coming out well at all. 

So, let's try this...

As I mentioned Friday I've been going through an issue I haven't shared on my blog.  It's nothing as major as my mother dying, yet it has been life changing for me.  

There has been an issue of forgiveness involved.  And in praying and reading and thinking about why I'm having a hard time forgiving I finally came to the realization about two weeks ago that a lot of why I'm having a hard time forgiving this person is because I'm a control freak and to forgive will mean to let it go and not feel the need to control everything.  

Dealing with this forgiveness issue has also really lead me to beat myself up as well, because I feel awful that at thirty eight years old I'm barely learning this lesson.  Had I learned it years ago it would've saved me much heartache and knowing that bugs the heck out of me.  *sigh*

Yes, I'm the oldest child, perfectionist, rule follower who has a hard time when I feel I'm not living up to others expectations -- or my own expectations.  

Oh, did I mention I've also admitted to being a control freak?  And admitting the need to change that has been the hardest thing I've attempted besides losing weight.  

I'm serious.  It's one thing to joke about it and it's another to admit it's causing friction in your life and needs to change. 

Dealing with all of this sort of piled up on two different occasions this past weekend and that lead to meltdowns.  My husband was gracious and kind to hear me out each time I blubbered through my frustrations, but he also spoke some words of wisdom and encouragement to me.  

I don't like admitting I need to change.  I see it as failure.  But even less, I don't like the feelings that come from being an unforgiving, controlling person.  And I really don't like how overindulging in food through all of this has lead to tight clothes and more feelings of failure. 

So, the first steps I've made towards complete forgiveness, letting go of control over things that really aren't mine to worry about and fitting better into my clothes is to forgive myself for my mistakes and make the conscious decision that I'm not going to keep looking back with regret over how I've let these areas of my life go wrong. 

I will not ignore the bad tendencies I had, but I will learn from them.  

I will not feel condemned for being unforgiving for a time, but will embrace that I have forgiven that person and will move forward.

I will no longer look at pictures of myself from just a year ago and hate how I've grown since then, but I will look at them as proof that it can be done and I can get there again.  (I wasn't a tiny, unattainable size, so it is completely doable.) 

It may take a little tightening of the belt calorically to lose the weight again, and it may not be easy, but this morning instead of praying, "Oh God, help me!! I can't do this!!" I found myself praying these words: 

"Thank you, Lord, that I have a healthy body that can run.  Thank you that I have the ability to make good food choices and the funds to keep those choices in my home.  Thank you that there is a way for me get back control of my health if I will but do the work."

I surprised myself when those words came out, and then I realized that when I allowed myself to forgive this other person, admit I need to not be such a control freak and then just learn from my mistakes instead of beating myself up over them I became a much happier, freer person. 

So, as always... I have made the choice to continue the fight for a healthier, happier Leah and I will not give up...even when life takes me on some major twists and turns.  *deep contented sigh* 

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motivational Monday - Positive Thoughts Post

When I read this post I received in my email this morning I knew I needed to share it on my blog, because it goes right along with some thoughts I've had brewing this weekend about stopping the self hate talk.  

If you have a minute click on over to Eat More 2 Weight Less and enjoy the subject of Postitive Thoughts = Positive Results.

I'll come back later and share some of my own decisions to make the effort to change how I'm looking at where I'm at right now and focus on what is getting better instead of only seeing how far I need to go to reach where I was a year ago.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weigh-In ... It's Going to Be Okay

Today's Weight:  176.0
Loss/Gain: + 0.5 lb

I almost wanted to post the average of my last three days' weights, but I figured I'll be honest about what the scale said today.  That being said (and weight officially posted already)  for the record... 

Wednesday's Weight:  175
Thursday's Weight:  173
Today's Weight:  176 

The week started out horrible with TOM coming, arriving and my hormone's taking quite a hit this time around.  However, I pulled on my big girl panties along with my Body Media armband and workout shoes and headed out to my cycle class Wednesday morning even though I wanted to crumble up and cry my eyes out longer than the few minutes I already had

I made it through the class, pushed myself and didn't exactly feel awesome afterwards, but I did feel much better.  I could tell the hormones were finally easing up from this month of PMS and I was grateful for that.  Cramps were a pain (pun intended) so I just got through the day.

Then I had the opportunity to text chat with my dear friend/weight loss sounding board, Stephanie, finishing up with a quick phone conversation about two hours later and I felt like my world was alright again.  

There is more going on in my life right now than just trying to lose the 15 pounds I've gained in the last 10 months.  There have been some life lessons I'm working through that I've never alluded to on my blog.  In fact, when I think about how this year has gone it all makes sense that I put some weight on.  It also makes sense why my emotions have been kind of all over the place.

I'm finishing up reading "Deadly Emotions" by Don Colbert, M.D. and I've really learned a lot from it with regards to how you react to life can directly affect your health.  He's really brought some insight into a personal area that I've been struggling with over the last six months.  

2014 has proven to be one of the hardest years I've had to endure in life, but today as I was slogging it out through 7 hot and humid miles running I realized ... If I never had to face struggles in life I'd never be able to relate to or encourage someone who is struggling themselves.  

This is much easier for me to tell someone else than it is for me to embrace, but I'm trying.  In my book, and as I've told many others with regards to various non-food issues, as long as I keep trying and don't quit I know success will follow. 

And who knows... some day there may be someone who has a crappy year and doesn't manage to keep their new eating habits in check while they process the events and now I'll know what that's like. Due to my own experience I'll be able to tell them that it's okay and they will be able to lose the weight again when life settles a bit..as long as they keep trying.  :)

Thanks for check in!  I hope you have a great weekend!  I will.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering 9/11

Today my heart and prayers go out to those who lost family members and friends on that frightful day thirteen years ago.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blah Day

I didn't post a "Motivational Monday" because I wasn't feeling very motivated.  I'm pretty sure it's a bad combination of PMS with my current weight/size, so I have hope it will get better. 

Meanwhile I have a lean roast in the oven and am making some pureed cauliflower and a salad to go with it.  

The only good thing about TOM coming is the hormones usually even out pretty soon after the onset and suddenly there is hope in my weight world again.  So, when that hits I'll be back to share happier thoughts. 

Until then I'm trying to think just enough about how horrible I feel in my tight clothes to motivate me to stick to my plan and not think about it so much it ruins my day.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weigh-In ... I Knew It

Today's Weight:  175.5
Loss/Gain:  +1.5 lbs

Considering the week I've had nutritionally I'm not surprised at all by this weight.  I was hoping for a maintain, but the last two days have been crave-city and then we had a late dinner with some friends last night and I knew it would affect my weight this morning. 

I'm not real pleased with seeing a gain versus a maintain, but I know it's not here to stay.  I'm going to keep working on it.  

Have a good weekend!