"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, May 28, 2014

No Running 13.1 This Year

It's a double-post day for me.  I have time and had to catch up on two very important thoughts.  Now that my Memorial Day thought is done, on with a very big decision for me in regards to my health. 
As I was training for the 10K my daughter and I did a few weeks ago I began to consider running a half marathon again this year.  I figured I'd do the same race I did last year.  It's a lovely course, nice time of year and I love doing the military runs.  They are so patriotic. 

Then I started looking over the training plan I knew I'd follow.

And ... then I had a pretty bad grief stricken day.

And ... then I began thinking how I'd have to start training now so the various summer plans we have wouldn't take away from the training.  

And I began dreading the thought of having to do the training. 

I enjoy running.  For some reason it is a form of exercise I've come to really like.  I have no real explanation for liking running.  I wasn't a runner as a girl and  I would've laughed in your face a few years ago if you would've told me I'd like running.  

However, when I looked at the training schedule and felt dread flood my soul at the first long run being 6 miles I knew I had to rethink things.  

Changing from a couch potato mama into a healthier, active mom hasn't been easy and I understand it's not always going to be.  But I have truly come to understand and believe that we have to live this journey doing and eating things we enjoy -- things we can sustain.  

Right now training for a 13.1 mile run is not something I felt like I would enjoy.  As much as my pride hates to admit it, I just don't think I can handle the stress of having to plan and train for this race.  

I keep thinking, "I want to enjoy the summer with my family.  I want to lose these ten pounds I've gained and get back into better shape.  I do not want to HAVE to run 4-5 miles minimum three times a week." Nor do I feel like getting up at 6:00 am all summer in order to beat the heat and humidity.  I just don't feel like doing that right now.

So, I called my trusty friend who I know will be honest with me and she confirmed she didn't think I needed to stress myself out by adding a half marathon to my life right now.  My husband was a little more confused because I trained for and ran the race last year while he was gone, and I could only sum it up like this:

Last year I wanted to run a half marathon, badly.  It was on my bucket list, if you will, and I was excited about the training and finishing 13.1 miles.  It also gave me something to focus on while my husband was deployed.

This year I do not feel like that at all.  He was also supportive and said he'd support whatever I decided to do.  I reassured him I would continue to take the HIIT classes three times a week and I would run or do cardio 1-2 days a week; I would not let this decision be an excuse not to exercise.

Then I decided I would not do the race.  And let me tell you... I feel like a free woman. 

Friday I went for a run and knowing a three-mile run (about 34-36 minutes for me right now) was enough for a good workout made the run so much more enjoyable.  

Yesterday I decided not to run at all, but did the Arc Trainer for 45 minutes at the gym and I felt so good.  I almost felt bad for not running;  but when I was done and felt I had worked out hard I knew I was okay. 

My healthiness journey started with walking.  As my body has been able I've increased the level of fitness I strive for.  Running has been something I've come to enjoy, but I'm learning that for me it may come and go in phases.  As long as I stay active I know it's okay.  

And actually...my daughter and I are planning on running a 10K in October, but for the summer I'm going to get stronger and simply enjoy being active and spending time with my family.  

Such a freeing feeling....

My Memorial Day

I hope your Memorial Day and weekend were nice.  We have friends who lost their son while he was serving in Iraq, so I always take a moment to call or text the mom to let her know we are thinking of them and thank them for the sacrifice they had to make for our country. 

Having lost my mother this year I felt a smidge more of understanding what the families of our fallen soldiers must go through on a holiday like this.  In fact, it was a sobering morning for me as I pondered what the holiday meant and took a moment to pray for the families that were remembering their loved one who gave all for our country.

We had a nice relaxing day on Memorial Day, spending some time at the beach and then coming home to shower and rest a bit before an evening picnic with our church.  They put on a presentation in the evening honoring the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  While D-Day is June 6th, they decided to do the commemoration on Memorial Day since they knew more people would have off of work and be able to attend.  It was a good reminder of the men and women who've made our country great.  

My girls watched "Saving Private Ryan" for the first time last week and they commented that it made what they've learned about WWII all the more real.  Very sobering in a good way.  

We live in a military town and are surrounded by men and women who constantly deal with family members deploying overseas.  While I've found many are supportive of their loved ones there is still the constant thought in the back of the mind, "They could not make it home."  Having been through a deployment now I understand that and it makes me even more grateful for those who serve, but even more for those that are willing to release.  

I am blessed my husband made it home safe from his deployment, but not everyone does.  So, while I know the holiday is over now, I do want to take a minute and send a thank you to any military families who may be reading this blog that have lost a family member to military service.  

We are a simple family of five, but we have a deep gratitude for the sacrifices made so that we can have more tomorrows in this blessed country.  And we will do our best to make sure our children, and the generations to come never forget the price that has been paid for their freedom.  The sacrifices have not been in vain.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I Reached Out

It was not my intention to write two semi-dramatic posts in one week, but today calls for another thought of how my day also coincided with a very real truth that occurred when I began my weight loss journey five years ago this week. 


Today marks four months since my mom died.  While I pride myself on being a strong woman this situation is showing me I can be very weak at times.  

This morning was a weak moment.  A moment where I looked up articles on grieving, allowed myself to feel some anger, get it out in a way, and finally allowed myself to reach out to a friend. 

It's humbling for me to call someone and admit I'm falling apart.  It's not something I've done very often and I found myself having a bit of an argument this morning about whether or not to call someone. 

"It's too early." 

"She's going to think I'm losing my mind." 

"It's been four months."

"But I need to know if this is normal.", is the thought that finally won over. 

I needed to know if what I was struggling with was normal.  I needed someone to tell me that it was okay to still be on such an emotional roller coaster four months after losing the person who was my best friend second only to my husband.  

So, I sent my friend a text.  

And then I asked if I could call. 

It was the best decision I could've made today.  

She lost her mother almost seven years ago and knew exactly what I was going through.  She spoke words of healing and allowed me to speak.  Her shared experience brought comfort to my soul.  

Later in the day it reminded me of how I began my weight loss journey.  

About nine months before I started my blog and made the commitment to try and lose weight I reached out to a friend.  I shared some insecurities about my weight and was surprised to find out that even though I'd known my friend since sixth grade she had gone through the same things.

And she reassured me I was normal.  That phone call was the beginning of what would turn into a series of events that would lead me to believe I could change, and even encourage me to take the steps needed to change. 

This last five years have brought some very humbling moments.  I've had to admit some things about my relationship with food that are not easy to admit, but because I reached out to a friend who could relate, who was honest and kind and loving, I found comfort and strength to move forward. 

Losing my mother may be harder than losing weight, but learning to humble myself and reach out for help when I need it is a lesson I'm learning all over again.

It's not easy.  It takes laying down the pride and admitting a need.  But I'm sure it can only bring out good results in the end.  

At least with the kind of wonderful friends I have it can.  I'm so very, very grateful.  :)  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Showed Up

Today I did not feel like exercising.  I just didn't.  My monthly discomforts are in full force and even though I was dressed to exercise I didn't feel like going.

But I did.

And as I sat up the things we would need for todays cycle circuit workout I thought to myself, "I showed up."  

Just like five years ago this week I showed up.  

I was overweight, having pain in my knees and desperate to change something in my life to be in better health.  I felt like a failure at the very thought of trying to lose weight again for the umpteenth time.  

But I showed up.

I made a commitment to try.

I started this blog to track my journey.

I faced the discomfort and went for it. 

And just like today's workout class, I've found myself on the other side of the attempt a successful girl.  

What started out as discomfort began to turn into something familiar and when things got tough I just took one more step in the right direction.  A few times I even pushed myself harder than normal and as I was putting away my workout equipment I felt strong.  I was reminded of where I started and how far I have come.  

May 15, 2009 I wrote that this was going to be the last time I lost weight. 

And it was.  All because I simply showed up.  

*deep grateful sigh*

Note:  There is this little voice saying, "But you're still trying to lose some weight you gained back..." and you know what?  I know.  Because that is what maintenance is all about.  There's a little losing and a little gaining, but having kept off as much as weight as I have and being as active as I've become is success in my book.  So there, little-voice-who-wants-to-keep-me-down.  *wink*grin*

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wounded Warrior 10K

Saturday my daughter and I completed the Hope for the Warriors 10K Race.  It was a glorious morning for running!  A beautiful, rather chilly, 55 degrees when we got there at about 6:40.  The neighborhood we run in is nice as it is, but with bright sun and cool temps it was just lovely. 

My daughter wanted to use the Garmin to help her push herself but not head out to fast, so I gave it to her to use and ran the race going by how my body felt.  I had practiced doing a run going by what felt good for my body and then looked at my Garmin to make sure I wasn't going too slowly.  So, I was confident that I could manage to keep a steady pace that would push myself just a little, but also allow me to finish strong. 

Since she is faster than me, I wasn't there to see her cross the finish line.  However, both she and her sister were there to cheer me across.  It was a great moment to take a picture with her and know that we were able to train and run this race together.
We finished up our fun morning with what is becoming a tradition of going to breakfast.  We chose Cracker Barrel.  There's always a handful of people at our local Cracker Barrel with running gear or race t-shirts on and it's fun to be part of the "crowd".  
I'm very proud of my daughter for training for and completing her first 10K.  She'd never run six miles until this past Saturday and she finished well.  It was one of those moments that reminded me again how grateful I am for this new ending in my life...the ending that includes being healthy and physically fit.  

Thanks to my goofy bacon-eyed daughter for taking pictures of us at the race.  :) 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

May Goals: Check-In May 10

Even though I barely announced my goals for May four days ago I thought I'd check in.  It helps me to check in each week.  :) 

  • Track my food at least 5 days a week.  I tracked six days last week.  Woot!  Looking back over the week I was over the "weight loss" calorie goal almost every day, but more days of 25 calls or less than not.  I am working towards a net daily calorie allowance of 1500-1600 calories daily.  So, no worries...I'm not trying to starve at 1200 or anything ridiculous.  
  • Exercise at least 4 days a week.  Running at least 3 days a week, as per my training plan, and then cross training 1-2 days a week.   I ran three days this past week and took my HIIT classes two days.  SCORE!
  • Complete my 10K race on May 17th.  I'm throwing that in as a freebie. I know it will get done. :)  I ran my last long run today of 5 miles and I feel ready.  My daughter is ready too.  Race is one week away!! 
  • Lose 5 pounds.  I hesitated to set a number goal of pounds to lose, but I think I need the motivation to try and get some of this weight off.  My last weigh-in was 171.0.  I have decided against weighing in solely on Fridays to track because it puts me into the "eat less on Thursday, but pig out on the weekend" mode.  So, I weigh myself periodically throughout the week.  Two days I saw the scale say 170.5, so I am on my way to losing those 5 pounds.  
Overall, it has been a pretty successful week here at My New Ending.  My week seemed a little less stressed than many in the previous months.  I think the combination of me being able to get back to regular exercise and my son gaining more and more independence is helping to lessen my stress levels.  

Don't get me wrong, I have two major events this month I'm planning/coordinating and various projects going on, but something is lightening up around here and I'm so grateful.  

Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Goals

I think this setting monthly goals is helping me get back on track, so I'm going to continue it for a while.  Here are my goals for May: 

  • Track my food at least 5 days a week.  This is going well and I want to keep it up.  I think I may be tracking 6 days at least right now, but not sure. 
  • Exercise at least 4 days a week.  Running at least 3 days a week, as per my training plan, and then cross training 1-2 days a week.  
  • Complete my 10K race on May 17th.  I'm throwing that in as a freebie. I know it will get done. :)
  • Lose 5 pounds.  I hesitated to set a number goal of pounds to lose, but I think I need the motivation to try and get some of this weight off.  I will not go back to weekly weigh-ins, but I will post my weight at the end of the month to see if I've succeeded.  My last weigh-in was 171.0.  
That's enough for now.  I have been very good about tracking my food, even if it's a lot, and I continue to feel that all hope is not lost.  Yay!  

We have a trip planned to go out west to visit our family this summer and my hope is that between getting back to regular exercise and reigning in the overeating I can get closer to 160 for the trip...so my clothes will fit better again.  :)  

Thanks for checking in!  I hope you're all having a nice week.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Motivational Monday - Nighttime Run

I had company come in last Thursday evening and my days were jam packed full through Saturday evening.  Knowing I had a 5-mile run on schedule for Saturday, and would be too tired to get up early enough to complete it and be ready to leave at 8:30 am, I had mentioned to my husband that we should go on a "fitness date" to the gym Saturday night.  He agreed.  

As I watched my daughters play in a basketball tournament game at 7:15pm Saturday evening I checked the hours of the gym we use on base and it closes at 5:00pm on Saturdays.  Oops.  

So, I texted him and told him the date was off (we didn't want to take time to drive farther away to the other gym).  He replied with, "I'll run 3 miles with you outside when you get home." 

Um... I was tired.  I'd been on the go since Wednesday night it seemed.  I had made time to get my 3-mile run in on Friday, which made that day jam packed.  

I kind of didn't mind not being able to go run Saturday night.  

Of course I replied with, "Are you sure?"  Secretly hoping his issues with shin splints would deter him.  

It didn't. 

So, when I got home, at about 8:15 pm, he was dressed and ready to run; encouraging me to hurry up because it was getting late.  

I wasn't the most motivated, but I knew I'd feel better if I just did it.  Plus, my husband was already dressed to run.

And run we did.  We took it slow and just enjoyed our run.  It was dark and oh so cool out.  Just lovely for running.  We live in a pretty safe neighborhood, but I still felt better having him with me.  

When we got back I was very pleased he took the time to run with me, even with his foot/leg issues.  I didn't get the five miles in, but I ran.  I ran on an exhausted body and he did it with me.  He was hurting a little when we got home, but he was also glad he got some exercise in.  (don't believe his face...that was the "Smile for Instagram! - Do I have too? " face)  *giggle*

Aww...  :)  Motivated by my husband to get my running done...no matter how late.  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

April Goals Final Check-In

I didn't realize until Friday that May's arrival meant I needed to wrap up my April goals.  I have been super busy almost every hour of each day since, so I'm barely getting this done now.  The good thing is... even though I was super busy both Friday and Saturday I still got my exercise in.  :)

I'm really glad I did these goals for April, because it forced me to be accountable each week.  My point in doing them was to help me refocus on my health and it worked.  I didn't score perfect 100's each week, but I definitely saw improvement in my mental attitude and determination in staying healthy.

Job well done.

For the record here is how last week went:

  • Track food at least five days a week.  That would be better that I've done in a LONG time.  Done! 
  • Run three days a week, training for 10K.  I'm giving this a green, because while I only ran two days I did exercise four days this week.  
  • Complete 1-3 days of the cross training listed on the training plan.  Honestly, if I get four days of exercise in per week that will be the most I've done so far.  I'd like to actually exercise all six days a week the plan calls for, but baby steps...  See above.  I actually did two days of cross training and two days of running, so getting four days of exercise in was success for me. 
  • Work on eating a little less (and thus see weight loss), but at least stay within maintenance calories.  I'm not committing to a certain number of veggies and fruits, or no carbs, etc, because for now just tracking my food and trying to consistently stay in a healthier calorie range is a huge plus.  This was still in the so-so, because my calories were not always in the healthiest range.  I had more good days than over days, so it was not a complete fail. 
Tomorrow I will be back with a motivational Monday post and then I will post during the week the May goals I have in my head already.  I have my moments I regret putting on ten pounds, but I have learned something through this and I can not be saddened by that.  

Healthiness is a lifelong process, something to stay focused on at all times.  It is not a one-time test and then we're through.  So, I continue to press on my new ending in life.  

Yep.  It never gets old realizing I'm able to say that...I have made a new ending in what used to be a hopeless case.  Glory!