March 28, 2013

The Little Things

The other day as I was heading home from work, I boarded my elevator on the 20th floor. The one thing I always forget to factor into my commute time is the time it takes to ride the elevator to the ground floor. Most days, it is a stop on just about every floor. Packed like sardines. I typically end up next to the person with the horrifically debilitating head cold. I have to factor at least an additional 10 minutes in order to make my 4:11p bus home.

To my amazement, two elevators showed up on our floor at the same time so the 5 of us got to choose which one to ride in. Both elevators got the express ride to the 1st floor with no stops. The guy I rode my elevator with said, "It's the little things we should always get excited about, right?"

He is SO right.

Then today, I read this. Which led me to this. Then to this. Basically an amazing network of fantastic, strong women vowing to take control of their lives. One of these women in the midst of struggles with her health journey died of heart failure before she turned 30. My heart, oh my heart. So much more proof that all my stumbles along my healthiness journey are worth it. For me. For my family.

I have made it pretty clear that I have had emotional struggles lately. Reading the above posts really puts things back into perspective. It's time to stop dwelling and start living. Time to stop taking for granted the people and things in my life that I have accomplished.

The Things
I have been so focused over the last month over a few measly pounds. Have I thought for even a second to consider how far I have come? 4.5 years ago when I gave birth to my son, I was topping the scale at 240. I am now 160. How could I not be proud of that? HOW? HOW? HOW? I can call myself an athlete. A runner. I am fit. Healthy. Strong. I am sooooooooooo hard on myself. That needs to stop.

My job. I feel like my corporate pursuits are an endless game of trying to make it to the next rung. The title. Manager. VP. Or whatever I have noodled into my brain what I think I need out of my career. I may not be at the top of the heap, but I have clawed my way enough around the middle to have garnered respect and appreciation from my superiors and colleagues. I am finally in a happy place with my (not so) new job. I'm not even hating the Downtown Mpls life as much anymore. The important word here is balance. I finally found balance in my professional world.

The People
If there is one thing reading those blog posts above reminded me, it is that we should not take the people who matter the most in our lives for granted. You never know when you have to say goodbye. Do you ever want to feel like there were things left unsaid? I know I wouldn't want that. So I'm making the effort not to let whatever this weird funk that has taken over me (probably just PMS anyway. LOL) take over the happiness that my friends and family give to me every single day.

I mentioned in a previous post that my husband and I have a new renewal in our marriage. For years, we were just floating through the motions. Pretending like we're all good and that nothing could break us. Now that we have clarity, there hasn't been a day that has gone by in the last few weeks that we have gone to bed angry- there is always a goodnight kiss and an "I love you." Since I have to leave early in the morning, I usually left before either my husband or son were awake. I'd sneak out. Not wanting to stir or wake anyone. Little did I know, they were waking up mere minutes after I would walk out the door. So even if it means waking my husband up, I always give him a kiss on the cheek goodbye and remind him that I love him. My child gets to sleep in though. I wouldn't do THAT to my husband. But I always blow a kiss goodbye towards Jackson's room. He doesn't know I do that. Maybe someday I will tell him. I also want my son to know that despite my sadness over my secondary infertility, that HE IS ENOUGH and I would go to the ends of the earth for him. I am so lucky to have him. He is my miracle.

My sweet boy who still cuddles with his mama. 
I love watching him play and love his imagination.
I love my guys! 

The Little Things. 
I have always loved the Easter season. So much self-reflection, forgiveness and renewal. I feel so moved this year. Different. I intend to make the best out of every single day and every moment. As part of my Christian holiday traditions, my best friend has invited me once again to sing with her band for her church's contemporary Easter service. She of course gave me the best song for my solo (and when I say "best", I mean I have no idea how I'm going to sing it without crying). My husband will be recording, so I will be sure and post my version this Easter Sunday.

If you have Spotify, you can listen here:
http://open.spotify.com/track/7j1e730A8K1my1mM4knYmr

"I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin

There's a peace I've come to know 
Though my heart and flesh may fail 
There's an anchor for my soul 
I can say "It is well" 

Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed 
The victory is won 
He is risen from the dead 

And I will rise when He calls my name 
No more sorrow, no more pain 
I will rise on eagles' wings 
Before my God fall on my knees 
And rise 
I will rise 

There's a day that's drawing near 
When this darkness breaks to light 
And the shadows disappear 
And my faith shall be my eyes 

Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed 
The victory is won 
He is risen from the dead 

And I will rise when He calls my name 
No more sorrow, no more pain 
I will rise on eagles' wings 
Before my God fall on my knees 
And rise 
I will rise 

And I hear the voice of many angels sing, 
"Worthy is the Lamb" 
And I hear the cry of every longing heart, 
"Worthy is the Lamb" 

And I will rise when He calls my name 
No more sorrow, no more pain 
I will rise on eagles' wings 
Before my God fall on my knees 
And rise 
I will rise


I am wishing all of you blessings and happiness with all of the little things in your life. Count every blessing. Live every day with purpose. Remember, you are enough. Most importantly, tell those you care about how much they mean to you


March 26, 2013

The DietBet

I have complained a bit about my holiday weight gain. Yes, it is the end of March and I am still bitching about gaining weight 3 months ago. As someone who has lost a massive amount of weight in the last two years, I will pretty much do anything to keep the weight off. As the scale has slowly moved up over the last 4 months or so, I have been freaking out a little.

When I found out about the DietBet, I thought, what the heck? Make some cash? Maybe this will be a good incentive to try something different to stay motivated. Losing weight is hard for me. It never comes easy and I have a hard time avoiding the things that cause me to gain (i.e. heavy carbs such as bread and rice and of course there is alcohol).

What is DietBet you ask? DietBet is a game where you've got 4 weeks to lose 4% of your starting weight. To begin, everyone puts money into the pot. After four weeks, whoever's hit their 4% goal is a winner and splits the pot.

The game I joined? The pot is over $8,000.

So... yeah, you are basically betting that other people will fail which is kind of sad. How I am I doing with the bet? Well, I hit my 4% last week which is miraculous really; however... based on my alcohol consumption over the weekend (which wasn't that much and annoys the piss out of me that it caused so much water gain), I am up a couple pounds as of today. I kind of feel like you need to exceed that 4% prior to the game ending so you have a buffer. Honestly, I'm not sure if I will make it.

Regardless of whether or not I make it back down to the 4% goal, it has helped me to refocus and invigorate my desire to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle. I have had a number of personal issues weighing heavily (no pun intended) on me the last few weeks and all I have wanted to do was sit around and do nothing. I feel like even my day job work has suffered given the enormity of the distraction taking over all parts of my brain.  The DietBet has been a nice distraction for me.

Usually running is an excellent outlet for me to work out my issues, but I've been so blue that I haven't wanted to do that much either. It really is out of the norm for me to feel this broken! So to help in getting back on track, I've put together a running/training schedule to get me pumped and ready for my next 5K on April 27th. I do think that once it actually turns into spring here in Minnesota that my mood will improve drastically. I do NOT enjoy running in the cold and snow so I have been anxious for a warm up. I'm so excited for my ladies running crew- we are kicking things off next week with a happy hour. How fitting! I am also considering my local Life Time Run Club- they do social runs 3 days a week and I think it would be a great way for me to meet other runners as well as push and challenge myself further in my running pursuits.

Here is my inspiration for success:
Crossing the Finish Line: Get Lucky 7K 
And of Course...
Love this kid. He makes me want to be the best I can be. 


I swear I'm going to make it out of this ridiculously long winter funk!


March 20, 2013

New Beginnings

A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook a few weeks ago:

"We have a mindview and set emotions and we look for things to meet those or we color events within those guidelines to make them meet them. We constantly subconsciously try to fit pieces together from an emotional standpoint that fulfill all our needs, and only when we have an emotional craving, that we find a way to meet those needs."

This was taken from her communications class as they were discussing self-fulfilling prophecy.

I am a very firm believer in self-fulfilling prophecy. Seeing it. Feeling it. Believing that good things can happen will bring good things to your life. I do believe that some amazing things are short-lived in nature. They bring to us a momentary sugar high but can so quickly come crashing down destroying everything in its path. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe things happen to teach us lessons and all we can do is learn and move forward. Continue on, even when it hurts. Even when there is no defined closure. You continue on and simply do what is right. Protect the people you love.

I don't always like to discuss my marriage because it is SO personal and private. However, we have discovered some important things over the past few weeks that I want to share with all of you in hopes that it can provide a little inspiration to you in your own lives and maybe even your own marriage. We live a wonderful life. We like to believe we have the perfect son. The perfect house. Perfect jobs. Yet, of course we know, we are not inherently perfect. Our marriage has definitely not been perfect. When you have been with someone a long time, for us it has been over a decade (married for 8 of those 11 years), it is so incredibly easy to become complacent. To feel like you don't have to put in the work anymore. We filled our lives with our own individual things and kind of left the other out of the equation. I became literally obsessed with my health and fitness. Sure, there could be worse things to choose to do to detach myself, but this was my outlet. At the end of the night, we would usually go to our own parts of the house, him to his man cave, me to my living room. I would usually go to bed long before him and we wouldn't see each other until about dinnertime the next night. Most phone calls and emails were business-like in nature. We got arrogant. We thought our marriage was impenetrable. We completely took our marriage and each other for granted. I don't think this type of behavior is unusual for many married couples; however, both of us wanted to believe that it could be more than this. More than a business arrangement. So, we asked ourselves the question: Why did we get married in the first place? First and foremost because we were in love and committed to each other. I'm so very glad we have taken the time the last couple weeks to remember where it all began before spending years in a sad and lonely place, or worse, end up in divorce.



Marriage is not easy. It requires work, care and attention every single day. So many things demand our attention: kids, jobs, extended family, friends, ourSELVES- it seems somewhat easy to let go of the importance of our marriage partners. With all of these demands, it is easy to forget about what we wanted in the beginning. For me, I'm like any other little girl. I wanted the fairytale. A prince to sweep me off my feet. Hollywood romance. Guess what- it doesn't work that way in real life. It certainly did not happen like that for me, but what I have is better. Love that is deep and binding. Love that is forgiving. I have the real deal.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8
Read more - > http://unveiledwife.com/5-encouraging-life-verses-for-marriage/




I am lucky. Many don't get a chance to right their wrongs. I never want to think about being apart from the people I love the most. I would do absolutely anything for them. I could not be more thrilled and excited about our future and our lifetime together. So, so lucky.

I am a constant work in progress as I'm sure we all are.

If there is something I need to work on the most, it is to learn how to love and forgive myself. If I cannot do that, what else do I have to give?


March 19, 2013

I'm a Get Lucky 7K Finisher!

Firstly, before I start my rant, let me say (scream) out loud that I AM A 7K FINISHER!!

For the seasoned runner, I imagine you chuckling at my excitement over a mere 4 mile race. However, I am crazy proud of this accomplishment- it is the furthest I have ever run in a competition setting.

I started officially training for this race at the end of December using the 5K to 10K Active.com training app. Being a 10K training program, I thought it might push me to work harder and finish faster at this race. I hadn't forgotten how different it is going from treadmill to the road. Brutally different. However, I still wanted to finish in 45 minutes or under.

If you are anywhere in or near Minnesota you know that this winter has been absolutely horrible. Between the snow and bitterly cold temps, it has been nearly impossible to train outdoors. Mid-March. Just a few days from officially being spring. I didn't think it would feel like JANUARY this past Saturday! The temps were bitter and as runners we were immensely inappropriately dressed for 18 degrees. The Get Lucky 7K is officially one of the largest timed road races in the state with over 9,700 finishing the race and the thing you forget about is that trying to get 9,700+ runners through the start means a whole lot of wait time if you are anything slower than a 9 minute mile. We waited in the corral for 45 freaking minutes before we finally made it to the start. By that time, I couldn't feel my toes, hands and my thighs had started to feel numb as well. Our Lucky's crew (our sponsor) stuck it out together for about the first mile or so before we started to disband. My dear friend Kathy and I stuck out the whole brutal race together. When I say brutal, I don't mean just cold. It was icy, slushy, wet and hilly. We walked up the two main hills but ran the rest of the way and finished with a time of approximately 49 minutes for the 4.34 mile run, putting our pace at right around 11 minutes/mile.




I have been disappointed about my finish time, but the more I think about it, the more I was probably right on pace with what I wanted given the horrific conditions on race day. I usually don't run with anyone as I have found it to be a distraction in the past, but I was beyond happy that Kathy and I stuck it out together. We were able to support each other and push each other. Her pace is much faster than mine (she's also got about 4+ inches in height on me) which helps me to push harder and go faster. I'm so, so grateful to have ran this race with her.

Video of us crossing the finish line:


As you can tell, we have officially caught the running bug and I will be participating in the following events for the rest of 2013:
April 27: Get in Gear 5K (Minneapolis)
May 10: Rave Run 5K (Shakopee)
May 31: Electric Run 5K (St. Paul)
August 31: Women Rock 10K (St. Paul)
September 19: Esprit de She 5K (Maple Grove)
October 26: Monster Dash 10 Mile (St. Paul/Minneapolis)

I'm still working on my husband to participate in the Minneapolis Duathlon as a relay team- I would take the 2 5K legs (unless we can find another willing participant) and he would take the 15 mile ride. His biggest concern? That he couldn't wear headphones. BOO!! That's no excuse!! I'm going to work on this one! I mean... I love having all the glory... but I think he would really have fun doing this!

All of this training and competition is in hopeful preparation of the pinnacle of all of our 2013 hard work... Our running crew is looking to run in the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2014.

If you are in the Twin Cities and looking for a crew of supportive, fun women to run at events with please let me know! Our current crew is at varying levels and paces so there is truly no runner left behind and we will wait for you at the finish. Be warned. We are a good time. We drink beer following our races. We have potty mouths. We laugh a lot. We wear ridiculous costumes. Basically, I couldn't have fallen into a better group of women to team up with- I know you will love them too!

March 15, 2013

Fab Fit Friday: 30 Day Shred Completed!

I know... I know... I am very behind. I really wanted to share my results with all of you because it really is kind of cool and I am proud of what I was able to accomplish!

One month ago, I started the 30 Day Shred.

Today. I finished. (Okay... I finished several weeks ago... but I suck that much at blogging right now)

Here are some before and after photos:

BEFORE:

AFTER:


Here are my thoughts on the Shred...

1) How do I feel about my results? Pretty good. I didn't lose weight while doing the Shred, but I gained some mad lean muscle mass. I am most definitely stronger today than I was on day one.

2) Can I see the difference? You be the judge. While I'm not exactly rocking Jillian's abs, I can see that I have toned up in my core, arms and booty and I am very happy with that.

3) Morning Workouts. They still suck. I'm still a total zombie in the morning. Sore all day. BUT... here it comes... I was surprisingly waking up before my alarm would even go off. I only missed getting up maybe 3 weekdays and of course did the Shred at night to make up for not getting up. But just 3 missed mornings? Not bad for a non-morning person!

4) The Shred has helped me KILL my run times. I went from a pace of 11:15 per mile to 10:09. An entire MINUTE. That is insane. Most of the Shred focuses a great deal on core work- I'm a firm believer this is what helped speed up my pace.

5) I'm so happy with the results that I plan to do yet another round of Jillian following my Get Lucky 7K Race tomorrow- I will be doing her Ripped in 30 program.

6) I posted pictures of myself in a sports bra. Holy shit!

I will continue look for activities and ideas to continue being inspired and motivated.

Tell me: what motivates you? 

 
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