Welcome to my blog!

I am Buffy, I live in Iowa with my kitty cat Meowshine and stay rather busy trying to be healthy, eating right, working out, working my full-time job and running my own custom jewelry business on the side. Thanks for coming along for the ride :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Today I am grateful

I have been reminded multiple times in the last few days that things could always be worse. I mean I know no body is telling me to suck it up and get over it and it isn’t that bad. I’m telling myself that but everyone around me has been so supportive and great. And while I have felt at times it was far too much for one small girl to handle at one time somehow you make it through it. You keep putting on foot in front of the other and you keep on going. No matter if the world is telling you otherwise. There were times that I truly took it second by second and I made it through. Keep breathing and keep going.

It’s been brought to my attention people I know and don’t know, that are dealing with far more and worse then I am. It makes me feel sad for them because I get a portion of how they feel and what they are going through but theirs’ is multiplied so much. It makes me feel bad for how I complained because if the face of their personal tragedies mine seem so much smaller. Big to me, but in the grand scheme of things so small. And as emotionally devastating the divorce has been and as hard as it has been to see my dad struggle, I am still alive, my dad is still alive, I have a roof over my head, school to keep me busy, a job to pay my bills and people still around that love me. No matter how much I struggle inside those things are still true. It doesn’t matter the people who don’t love me or the friends I have lost because of it. It doesn’t matter that I am no longer in a marriage that was always one sided. That my life hasn’t turned out like I thought it would. None of that isn’t important and doesn’t matter.

It’s all about perspective. I could give up and I doubt anyone would blame me. I could become a shell of a person, certain no one will ever love me again. I could completely shut down and shut everyone out. I can play this pity party and woe is me forever if I want to but that isn’t me. I’ve had shit happen to me, but we all have. What matters is how you deal with it and how you move on with your life in the wake of those personal tragedies. I will not let what has happened around me determine my worth. I decide that, not anyone else.

I really have realized that I do not want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me and in spite of the heartache that I really am better off this way. I don’t want to make someone want to be with me, I don’t want to be the only one fighting for a life together. If he can’t see how great and special I am, that isn’t something I want to live with for the rest of my life. I have learned so much of what I don’t want and if there is someone in the future for me, what I do want. I have hope for the future but I would be lying if I weren’t a bit hesitant at the same time. I know there are good guys out there (by brother and brother-in-law prove that) but I don’t know that there is one out there for me. I am sure the longer away from this mess I get and the more people I meet, this will change but for now I am a bit skeptical on all that.

For the next year I am going to focus on me and making my life as full, happy and healthy as I can. I have so much to be thankful for and so many things I have done this past year, I can’t look back on it with all sadness. I ran a half marathon for heaven’s sake, it wasn’t all bad. My niece was born. I saw so many of my friends get married and start their (hopefully) happily ever after’s. I started back at school. The lows may have been really low, but the highs have been really great too.

I guess what I took from it all was how do you look at the situation you are in? Do you look and dwell on the negative? Do you try and find the positive, even when there isn’t much to be found? Do you see your future as bright and cheery or is it all doom and gloom? I know that the next year will be hard too. The divorce will be finalized and I will be able to move on with my life and put it all behind me. I know there will no doubt be other heartaches and pains as well. But the one thing I know for sure is I will be ok. I am far too strong to let things like that destroy me. Nope, not gonna happen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Longest two months ever!

It’s been a while, I know.
I have had a terrible two months but I am still holding on.
On top of the divorce and the ugliness its become, my dad had a terrible accident and fell off some scaffolding Nov 7th. He broke all his ribs on the left side, his shoulder, collar bone, fractured his back and neck and punctured a lung. It’s been a long two and a half weeks so far and I know he has a long road to healing ahead of him but they expect him to make a full recovery.

So where does that leave me? I have been trying to get back into some routine. With moving and then my dad, that has not been easy. But the more he mends and the less time I feel like I *have* to be at the hospital, the more I can start focusing on my own healing and getting into a good HEALTHY routine in my life. Working out has become my stress reliever so I can’t wait to get back into that more consistently. I have kept up at least three times a week but for someone who had to force herself to take a rest day, that seems kinda puny. But this week I have started to track my food again, and have my workouts all planned out. It’s some small step in the right direction...

Monday, October 18, 2010

I am officially a half-marathoner! 2 hours, 34 minutes and all in one piece.
It took a lot to not cry during a lot of it. I just kept thinking about all that I’ve lost, for what I thought I had but never really did, for my broken heart and for all the love I have felt in the last two weeks. I kept thinking about all the people that love and support me. I kept thinking that I had to finish because I could not give up on myself.

I kept thinking about him. How if he were still around, he wouldn’t have been down there supporting me. That what I thought I had with him, was what I wanted to see, not what was really there. I had ignored the fact that he really didn’t support me and that he really cared less what I did. Not just with running or with being healthy but with most things in my life. I am starting to see how detached from my life he had gotten. I am starting to see all the things I chose to ignore.

So I ran. And each time my foot hit the pavement I ran further and further from the life I had made up in my mind. The life I thought I had, but really never did. Or hadn’t for a really long time. I ran further from him and what he did to me. I ran and in the process making me something different. I thought as I ran, about all the things I thought I felt for him and all the things I now feel. I was pretty quite for most of the run, just thinking. I thought about how proud I should be. To have picked myself up and that I am still going. I thought about how I could have let him destroy me but I chose to love myself more then he ever could. I chose that I would not let him define me anymore. He doesn’t get to decide, I do. He decided that I wasn’t enough for him and that is fine because I am enough for myself. And I was enough that day to keep running despite my broken heart. I ran for my broken heart and I wanted to know that I would not give up on myself and my goals. Just because he’s gone, doesn’t mean that my life should have less meaning in it. Just because I am not a wife anymore doesn’t mean that I have no purpose. Just because he couldn’t love me, doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to love myself. I get to decide now what meaning there is in my life. And I cannot let him decide that there isn’t any left.

I have to say I thought I would feel more when I finished. I about lost it when we were approaching the finish line and hearing all the people cheer so loudly and feeling the accomplishment of what I was about to do. I had officially ran more then I have ever run or ever thought I could. I was able to pick myself back up after something I didn’t think I could survive. I started to cry and then it was hard to breathe so I told myself to stop. I told myself just get to that finish line and then you can cry. As my running partner reached for my hand, I stopped crying and we ran, hand in hand across that finish line. We got our medals and we hugged. Proud of what we did and proud we did it together. I know I couldn’t have done it without her.

Afterward I thought I would feel more. I thought I’d bawl, overcome with all the emotion I have been feeling the entire run. I thought I would be more proud. I thought I would feel more heartache, more happiness, more of something. I remember after any of my 5ks the pride I always felt that I finished. I never trained for those but I thought just the distance of what I was about to do would blow those feelings of pride out of the water. Maybe it is because of the training that 13 miles isn’t much more then the 11 I had run before in one of my long runs. Maybe it was being worn out from running for two and a half hours. Maybe it is because of the emotional lows I have felt the last three weeks, that the high I felt from the accomplishment wasn’t equal in magnitude.

Don’t get me wrong I am proud of what I did, what we did together. Not just for finishing the half-marathon but for doing it under the circumstances I did. I just thought I would feel more. Maybe as time goes by and the heartache subsides and it sinks in, I will. Maybe when my mind can grasp everything and let go of what he did, I can. Maybe it is all just too much for my heart to take right now. Maybe there is far too much heartache that it doesn’t leave much room for anything else. Maybe I am still too tired.

But I tell you this, in my new apartment I will find a place for my medal. I will hang it and look at it and it will symbolize that I am stronger then I know. It will remind me everyday that I can and will survive whatever life throws at me and that I am the only one who decides if I will let something hold me back. It does make me look forward to tomorrow and dream of what else I can achieve. Next up is the Living History Farms Off Road Race (7 miles, crazy terrain, climbing, muddy, and apparently so much fun) November 20th. A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to do it with her. Well my running partner asked me a while ago and I originally said no because I was going to do this annual craft fair that weekend. Unfortunately I think it will be just too much while trying to pack, stay up on my school work, and moving to get anything really done for it. So I decided with a heavy heart not to do that, so I might as well do something challenging that weekend to keep my mind off it. So I decided to do it. Why not? Gotta make the most out of the life I have left.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tough time...

I'm going through a really rough time right now and it has me thinking a lot about life and where I am going and how to handle what is being dealt to me. I keep thinking about strength and the power we somehow have within us to make it through the most difficult times in our lives. Even when your mind can't comprehend how you could ever survive living through something so awful and life changing, but somehow you do. You get up each day and you are still breathing. You are somehow still alive even though you feel dead inside. Even though you can't imagine going on for one more second. I have to take one day at a time and moment at a time and somehow I will come out the other end and be ok. I pray that I will be ok.

Monday, September 20, 2010


It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I feel like my world is just spinning. Between work, school, homework for school and working out, I’m not sure I know which way is up anymore! It’s been a hard adjustment, a little harder then I realized but I am doing it. I have to say I am pretty proud of myself for all the things I have been able to accomplish and the changes I have made in my life.

The half marathon training has been going well. Some runs and some weeks, are better then others but the running partner and I are still trucking through. It’s less then a month a way and I’m getting pretty excited about it. Excited and nervous, to be honest. So far the farthest we’ve gone is 9 miles and each time we add another mile I am in disbelief. Of course each additional mile is harder then the last but it feels really great to accomplish that and to keep going. It definitely helps having the running partner at my side because it makes it easier to push through it and keeps it more interesting. It is going to be so great to cross that finish line!

I feel like I have grown a lot in the last few weeks. In terms of finding my voice, my place in the world and what I am capable of. I feel really happy with the path my life is taking and I haven’t felt that in a really long time, if ever. I love being in the learning environment and my classes are really interesting and I have been learning a lot. I feel like I am at home. I am so glad that I have been able to fit it all in and I know it will all be worth it.

As for life in general I am just trying to keep up. Seeing my friends when I can, trying to keep in touch with them and their lives, trying to remember to not ignore my husband (poor guy!). My sister is due with her first baby Sept. 25th so I am excitedly awaiting the baby’s arrival. I know that her and her husband are going to be GREAT parents and I am just so happy for them. It does seem like everyone is pregnant right now! It’s fun to see their new babies and see them as parents. In my developmental psych class we have been learning a lot about babies and how they develop in the womb and beyond. Since I never plan on going through it myself, it is nice to know what they are going through and being able to contribute to those conversations.

As for the rest of this week, I have more running, Zumba, bootcamp and lots of homework.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Some lessons I have learned...

Over the last few weeks I have learned some very valuable lessons…

Some people are just negative. I know I used to be one. I don’t know that it means you need to cut those negative people out of your lives but I do think it means you have to be careful about the amount of time you spend with them. Seek out the positive people and you will feel much better. And I think that we all sometimes need to vent and whine, but I am talking about those people who live in negativity.

Being around people who are negative makes me more negative. Even in unconscious ways. Sometimes I don’t even realize it until days later and find myself slipping and saying something nasty to myself. Then I think about it and see where it came from. That is why I think Spark is so important. I can immerse myself and maybe counter act all the other negative people in my life, with happy positive people who are working toward a similar goal as me.

Sometimes it takes a while of doing something to realize you can do it. You know, to shut up that inner voice telling you no you can’t. It takes sometimes just proving that voice wrong for it to go away and to get your inner cheerleader back. I tried to shut mine up in the weeks leading up to going back to school and the week it started. She would not shut up though no matter how many times I tried to redirect my thoughts to things that were positive. Finally though I am feeling better about it and figuring out a schedule and seeing that I can fit everything in. I can work full time, train for a half marathon, and go to school full time. And now I finally believe it.

Sometimes not solving issues causes you to act out. So deal with it. When I have stuff that is going on and making me feel sad, bad, angry, negative I tend to act out. I eat too much, drink too much, just shut down in general. If I talk it out and deal with the emotions I don’t do that. And on my quest to be healthy in all aspects in my life this is so important.

The busier we get, the more we get done. The last few weeks I have been so busy but the more I had to do the more I got done. And I got it all done. I felt a bit frazzled but I did it. And the longer I am this busy the easier it will be for me to do it.

Sometimes you have to just take a rest day. Sometimes it’s not a matter of being lazy, sometimes your body just tells you ‘Hey you have been training for a half marathon on top of you other workouts. You are working me hard and I need to rest’. I am listening.

Sometimes you just need to shut your mouth. I love being able to share things I have learned with people. About being healthy and exercise, and now with things I learn in school, whatever I think is going to help them have a better life. But sometimes I just need to shut up.
For one, if there isn’t enough time to explain all that you are talking about to make the person understand what you are talking about. You can do more damage if you tell someone part of something and aren’t able to fully explain so they truly understand. I had a girl in bootcamp asking how many calories she burned. I read the number off my heart rate monitor, almost under my breath, thinking she couldn’t hear. She did hear and a conversation ensued about it and with the help of the instructor and other students we began to explain how her number could be different and tried to help her understand how they come up with it. After getting home I realized what I had done and felt bad about it. I remember what it was like when I just started and didn’t fully understand everything. Not saying I do now, but I know a lot more and can look back and see they ways I had been lead a stray. In just taking a piece of information and not knowing fully what is behind it can really cause damage. And I don’t want to be a source of that.
And two if the listener doesn’t actually want to hear it. I was explaining this weekend what I had learned from my Developmental Psych class, with some of my friends that have just started having kids. Apparently there are studies that have shown that teaching a child sign language slows down their development of learning a spoken language. If the child it going to keep up with sign language (like has a family member who is deaf) then it is useful to teach them both. But if not, it is just delaying them learning a spoken language. I don’t know by how much but he was stating that it is not really benefiting the child like some people say it does.
Little do I know that one of my friend’s day care provider is teaching her son sign language and probably just offended her. Of course she would be defensive and potentially upset over it, I would be too. And who am I to tell them how to raise their kids? They actually didn’t realize that the day care provider was doing that until someone saw him do the sign for more and told him that is what he had said. The friends are encouraging him to use his words and aren’t the ones initiating the sign language but still I shouldn’t have said it.
In both instances I was trying to be helpful, not trying to show them how smart I was for knowing it or being a know it all. I thought I was sharing something that would be helpful and in the end I wasn’t much help at all. Sometimes I just need to learn to keep my mouth shut.

You can’t change the past. You can run from it for a long time but it will always catch back up to you. You can try and hide too but it will always find you. Why not embrace your past and make it a lesson learned and move forward and be happy and a productive part of society? Why not learn from your mistakes and make a better more improved version of yourself? You can’t do anything different if you keep living the same way

Friday, August 27, 2010

Turning whining into being thankful

After all my whining this past week, I have come to the conclusion that the person I want to be and who I am are still two different people. But at the same time I know I am human, I will mess up and I will slip. What matters is that I am trying to make me a better version of myself. I will keep picking myself back up and keep trying. I’m the only one who can stop me and I refuse to do that.

For quite a while one of the changes I wanted to make was focusing on the positive. I noticed that a lot of times I would find the bad in things so much quicker then I would ever find the good. So I am refocusing in on that. A natural way for me to do this is ask myself what I am thankful for today.

Today I am thankful for my strong legs.
While I thought they were much stronger, this week has shone me maybe not as much as I thought. But I know that with all this running and biking that they will keep getting stronger and I appreciate all that they do. After a hard bike up that dang hill I have to travel twice everyday for school, I appreciate all the hard work it took and that they don’t give up on me. When the burning and shaking starts, I just tell them ‘A little bit further. You are almost there’. On my long runs and they ache and hurt, I tell them just keep going and they never let me down. They don’t give up on me and I promise I won’t give up on them.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to school for this girl!

Well day two of school is done and I am pretty excited about the courses I am taking. I am definitely nervous and a bit worried about it all but I know I can do it. I’m still scared and seeing just a list of all the things I have to do for 4 classes is a bit much to take in but I know it will all be fine. But classes, work full time, training for the half marathon, my normal working out schedule, and still trying to have some what of a social life? Deep breaths!

So my classes are ‘Developmental Psych’, ‘Personal and Family Finance, ‘Housing & Services for Family & Children’ and ‘Children, Families & Public Policy’. I wasn’t so sure about all of these but I knew a few of them would be interesting, primarily the Psych and Finance class. But now hearing what the classes will entail and what we will learn I can really see all of them being really beneficial to me and am much more interested in them. Like I said earlier I am a bit worried about fitting every thing in but I think I will be just fine. I just keep telling myself that :)

The big thing I keep reminding myself is that things have to change and sometimes the changes will be hard. I may have to do things I don’t really want to do (like get up super early to get my workout in). Or not watch my favorite show and do school readings instead. But what is going to matter at the end of all this is I am going to come out a better person and be able to get a job in a field I think I will really love. I think I just have to get into the swing of things and I will feel a lot less apprehensive about it.

Had Zumba last night, which was great. I can’t say that I love the new songs but I think they will grow on me. There is a lot of butt shaking which I like so once I get used to the songs I will be all good :) Tonight I think will be a rest day for me because I am running with the running partner tomorrow night and need to make sure I have all my readings done for classes on Thursday (which means I would do them tonight instead). Saturday we have an 8 mile run which we are going to do early so that we get it done and out of the heat. Of course I have some Yoga planned and some ST.

I think over all so far the week is going well and my plans are getting worked out. I forgot my snacks on Monday to bring for today so I had to resort to my drawer (microwavable popcorn) so tomorrow I will make sure to bring my snacks for tomorrow and Thursday. I missed my fruit and cheese! I also need to get some sort of portable snack for Tues and Thurs because between my first and second class my tummy was grumbling. I hoped no one could hear it! If I thought ahead I could have at least brought a banana or apple. But now I know.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far! There is a cool down here in Iowa, which we are really excited about. Course it is coming back for this weekend but at least we get a few days of nice.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Running and Bats

My God what a night I had last night!

Went out to this nice park and ran 5 miles. Used my Garmin Forerunner for the first time and it was AWESOME. The park has these trails that go around the large pond (or not sure you would consider it a small lake either) Some of the trails were still closed due to the flooding last week so I went around this one twice (each time about 2.5-3 miles). It was a bit stinky and buggy because of the flooding and had rained most of the day, but over all it was a pretty good run. I was trying to work on my tempo and speeding it up a bit which I think I was doing alright with. Most of the time when I looked at the Forerunner it said my pace was around 10-11 min a mile and my fastest pace was 8:30 some. I’m sure I didn’t run that very long but I was going that fast at some point. One thing I still wonder about though is with the calorie burn. My polar F4 HRM (heart rate monitor) usually has me burning 800 plus (sometimes over 1000) during a 5 mile run. The forerunner had me at 500 calories. While the HRM goes off my heart rate to get the calorie burn, the forerunner goes off how far and fast you go. So I wonder which one is more accurate.

Then there was the bats. It was very nice last night, and we opened up some windows to let some fresh air in. All of a sudden the cat takes off towards the kitchen and I figure he heard a sound out the window. I go in to see what he is doing and I hear a rustling noise toward the window. I’m thinking someone is on the back porch (which is scary enough) but then I look down toward the bottom of the window and there is a bat sprawled out on the floor under the trash can (we have one of those contraptions that it is actually attached to the cabinet but you can pull it out. It was pulled out at the time). I run for my phone to call the hubby who was out with friends playing pool. Then I hear the thing start to squeal. I figure the cat got it and was nawing on it. I yell for him to keep in the kitchen. He likes to show you what he caught for you, and I do realize he can’t really understand me but I was slightly panicking. Then the thing flies into the living room where I was and I take off running up stairs. All the while calling the hubby to get his @ss home to save us. I was shaking and freaked out and sooooo scared. He came home, caught it and released it outside. Apparently after I had gone to bed another bat was flying around and he got that one too. Now the cat has to go to the vet and get a booster rabies shot, just in case. A super creepy end to the evening.

Thankfully I have Zumba tonight! I am convinced there are bats everywhere in my house and are going to attack me and give me rabies. I think it might be time to call professional bat people because I am not sure I can live at that house much longer. While I love animals and believe they have a right to live, not bats in my house. And I don't need to be taking my cat to the vet every time he catches one. He is a very good hunter and is very pleased with all the catches he has had lately. He likes to play with them or partially eat them and then bring them to you. No thanks boo boo. You can keep your kills to yourself!

Monday, August 16, 2010

New and better week? I sure hope so!

Last week was bad. Not just bad for eating and working out, but bad with life in general. It could have been worse but the bad was definitely inescapable. The town I live flooded (including my basement), our water towers were drained and contaminated through multiple water main breaks, it was 110 with the heat indexes, and half the town had to shut down (due to dirty water or was flooded). The last thing I needed to worry was eating well and working out, but it entered my mind quite a bit. Without clean water, we had to figure out what to eat that didn’t involve a ton of dishes, couldn’t shower (for two days we were told not to and then I got a mole removed so I couldn’t for 2 days anyways, especially with the water conditions). It was especially hard to not be able to work out since it really has become my way of relieving stress and dealing with things.

But I guess there were a few good things about last week. The running partner and I did 7 miles on Saturday which I was pretty proud of. I’ve never gone that far before! I was more excited to take a clean shower (she lives 30 min from where I live, so plenty of clean water!). I could definitely tell that I hadn’t worked out like I normally would have, but it was over all a good run. It also didn’t rain like it was supposed to on Friday and no rain in the forecast so hopefully the rivers can really go down and we can be ok for a while. Course now the clean up begins. And to be able to help my town out in its time of need really makes me feel good. It was a lot of crazy to deal with, but now that it is all over with I can feel good about the part I played in it all.

But last week is now in the past (thankfully!) and I am ready for a great week.
This week Ames Park and Rec are having free drop in classes (well technically a can of food or two) and I am excited to try out a few new classes. I am debating tonight’s class though. Zumba or Kettlebell blast. Tomorrow I am going to try Med Ball Madness and I am thinking I might want to do Zumba because I would be less sore for the Med Ball class tomorrow. Then Wednesday I am going to do Zumba again. Which of course makes me a very happy girl. I am going to squeeze some runs in too. On the schedule for the weekend is another 7 mile run. I am interested to see how I feel after that one. Since I know I will much more prepared and already have one under my belt.

This weekend I am throwing my sister a baby shower and have to finish getting all my ducks in a row for going back to school. I start next Monday and I am so excited. Scared but so excited. I have some odds and ends to finish for the shower. I have a much longer list of things to do to get ready for school. Since last week completely got away from me, I need to squeeze most of it in this week. Plus the night workouts, it's going to be a very busy week!

So here is to an excellent week and getting everything on my to do list done :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekend update and plan for week 4

Happy Monday! Ok maybe not really, but I can pretend can’t I? We had some pretty bad storms roll through last night, which made it hard to sleep but here I am. I even woke up early for my workout so I am pretty proud of that. Tried out Biggest Loser Bootcamp and I liked it. It is much like the other Biggest Loser DVD’s, came in 5 sections-warm up, section 1,2, and 3 and cool down/stretch. I did the warm up,1, 2 and the stretch. We’ll see how bad I hurt tomorrow because of it :)

Weekend recap…

It was another wedding weekend but this time we were in the wedding (him usher, me guest book attendant) Friday I had a half day at work, and did a new yoga DVD I found on Netflix when I got off. It was alright but I still like Biggest Loser’s Yoga the most. I have Jillian’s Yoga Meltdown in the queue so hopefully that will come soon and I can’t wait to give it a go. I guess I am just picky when it comes to my yoga. Anywho after yoga I did some Zumba. I found some videos on youtube (thanks to Julie for the idea). Just go to youtube and enter Zumba and it brings up a ton of clips. The best ones are from this studio in NC. Then later in the afternoon we were off to the rehearsal dinner and then to help set up the Reception area. We called it an early night since I had to be up at 6am for the 5k.

6am came waaaay too early but I drug my sleepy but out of bed and got ready to go. I had to travel 30 min to my running partner’s house near where the 5k was being held, which was at 7:30am. I was warned that the route was very hilly but I wasn’t really prepared for it. I thought I was but I wasn’t. It was great though and once you made your way though the hills and through the corn field and finished I couldn’t help but be proud. The 5ks I have run in the past are in an area I am very familiar with and have run many times. They have a large hill but nothing compared to the series of hills that this one had. And we had a better time then the last 5k we ran (34:30ish, last time 35:20ish) so I was a happy girl. Tired but happy. They also had breakfast and door prizes so we stuck around for that. I won a pair of tickets to the comedy club. That should be a fun date night for me and the hubby.

Then was time to get ready for the wedding. Came early and tended the guest book. Everyone looked great! The bride was so beautiful and the couple’s so in love. It was awesome. The reception was a lot of fun and the food was awesome! I ate what looked good but tried to not eat too much. The cake was amazing but I got a really large slice and ate most of it. But I danced and danced a lot, so hopefully that helped burn some of it off. I even busted out some Zumba moves. I think the beer helped me be brave enough to do it but it was a lot of fun :)

Over all it was such an awesome fun filled weekend.

As for this week. I am a little sad that I have no Zumba classes this week. It is in between sessions and they are redoing the gym floor so no classes for me. They are having free outdoor bootcamp classes so hopefully I can make it to some of those. Tuesday is going to be hot so we will see how hot if I will go or not. I guess after Wednesday it is supposed to cool down some. Maybe Thursday then, but I have a doctor’s appointment to get a mole removed and I guess they have to cut it out and I am supposed to keep it dry. It is on the middle of my back so I know that would restrain me from doing the ab workout at the end but I could probably do most of the other stuff if the doctor says it is ok. So I guess we’ll see.

This week on the running schedule we have a 6 mile run during the week and a 7 mile run this weekend. Since I don’t have Zumba I might try and squeeze in an additional run sometime this week. The other ones that are on our schedule are 3 or 4 mile runs and I usually skip them since between Zumba and Bootcamp I get enough cardio/running between them. So I think I will try for at least one 3 mile run this week. Other then that it is the first time we don’t have a bunch of stuff going on. Which is weird but good. I know with school starting up in a few weeks it is about to get crazy so I will take the lull. I do have a list of things I hope to get done with my ‘down’ time so we will see how much I can get done.

I hope you all are having a good Monday, and a great start to an awesome week :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Recipe to use up abundance of tomatoes

On a quest to eat my massive surplus of tomatoes in different ways, I made this last night…

This was the original recipe…

I didn’t have a lot of large tomatoes so I couldn’t actually stuff the tomatoes. Basically what I did was took two cups of brown rice and prepared as instructed on the box. I did add a packet of Lipton onion soup mix to add flavor to the rice. I did not add any other spices to the recipe besides the soup mix.

Then I cooked up three chicken breasts and an onion on the stove. Towards the end I added about a tablespoon of garlic and cooked it through. Then I chopped up 3 large tomatoes and 6 or so roma size tomatoes, basically enough that I thought equaled 6 large tomatoes. Then when the chicken was done I layered in a 9x13 pan the rice, then tomatoes, the chicken onion mix and then added about ½ cup of 2% Colby jack cheese. Put it in the oven for 20 min at 400 degrees. Next time I might try layering it differently…rice, chicken onion mix, tomatoes and cheese. The chicken was a little dried out in places and I am not sure if that was because my chicken was over cooked on the stove or if because it was a bit freezer burned it was dry.

Over all it was pretty good. I might try some other spices too, but not sure what else to add. Maybe some parsley, basil, paprika…I’m not so good with the spices but those are the kinds I normally like. I think I made the original recipe last year and it was good from what I remembered, but I don’t know if I made any tweaks to the version I made.
It was pretty simple to make and didn't take a whole lot of time since I made it with minute rice. You could easily adapt to what you like and I was able to use ingredients I had without having to make a trip to the store. The onion soup gave it a great flavor but I think it could be even better with some more spices. Even as is I would definitely make again.

Thought I would share in case anyone was looking for a yummy way of using up some tomatoes with some pretty common ingredients you might have in your cupboards. If you try it out let me know what you think!

Happy Friday and hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rest of this week...

Seems like time is flying by! This month has so much going on. Between getting ready to go back to school, a wedding the hubby and I are in, training for the half marathon, planning my sister’s baby shower, and all my normal stuff, I am a busy little thing. Ok so this week (or rather what is left of it) I have a few things I am focused on more specifically on: the wedding we are in, a 5k on Saturday morning, and tomatoes.

Seems kinda random? I have started to compile a list of things I need to address this month, but right now with this week I needed to focus in on what needs done right now. That and my run tonight with Sara. Hopefully the storms hold off or come early so we can have a nice run.

So for the wedding I have tried to make my husband help with things he can handle but normally I would do and worry about. He is an usher and I am a guestbook attendant. I had him get the RSVP in for the rehearsal dinner and he will need to figure out what time he needs to be there for pictures and what not. Since my roll is pretty minor I have offered to help the bride any way I can. Help with programs, pick up tuxes, whatever she needs. I have no definite duties right now other then guestbook but whatever she needs I told her I can help with. I have her gift taken care of, I made her jewelry for her bridesmaids. She wanted to pay me but I wanted to give them to her as a gift. Less hassle that way and now one less thing I need to worry about. Most of the other plans are nailed down so only a few things left to figure out. Which makes me happy :)

The 5k is in State Center Iowa on Saturday morning. It is for an awesome cause. My running partner Sara lives there and told me about it. So I am running with her, a friend of hers and her I am really interested in seeing how our running is doing and if it will decrease our 5k time. Guess we’ll see.

And then there are the tomatoes. As some of you home gardeners or general lover of tomatoes know, it is prime tomato season. The hubby picked the ready ones last night and man do we have lots. Which is great because I LOVE them. Just wondering if anyone has some favorite tomato recipes they want to share? I’m hoping to try out some that I have saved and report back about how yummy they are! And I would love to try any suggestions anyone has that look tasty to me. That and cucumbers. Any for cucumbers would be great too.

Then on Sunday I can re-prioritize what I need to address for next week. Until then I am going to let the other stuff go and just focus on the now.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Week 3...

Really, already week 3?
Last week went fairly well. Had another 5 mile run on Wednesday with Sara and a 6 mile run on Saturday. Still seems crazy that I can go that far. On Saturday’s run, I ran for a longer amount of time then I did when I ran with Sara (run two, walk one). In the beginning I would try and stick to run two walk one but my calves were giving me some major issues. I think I was dehydrated from drinking the night before. When I got up I ate an english muffin and some yogurt spread, and in the hour and some odd minutes before I ran, I drank at least 16 oz of water. I also took a water bottle with me so I could continue to drink water throughout. But my calves hurt pretty bad for the first mile or so. For a while I tried to run through it but that was not working and really only made it worse. Finally I decided to take it slower and that seemed to help. After that I was ok to run for longer and longer. My basic plan was to run for as long as I possibly could and then would walk for a little bit and then back at it. Overall it was a good run. Lesson learned though that I shouldn’t drink very much the night before a long run :) Not that I drank a lot but I will definitely scale back if I do chose to drink at all. And maybe even end the night with a big tall glass of water, just for good measure. I just don’t want a little bit of fun the night before, to interfere with my run the next day.
I was having some issues with my hamstring, up where it meets my butt. I noticed it with about 2 miles left but have had issues with it being sore before. It was really sore all day on Saturday (even with icing it) and I haven’t had it hurt that badly for that long before. But on Sunday and today I haven’t felt any pain at all so it could be just the fact I ran that far and that long that it didn’t like it so much. It’s probably gotta get used to it :)
Hmmm what else training related? I didn’t get my yoga in last week, which makes me sad but I know this next week I will get it in. I let it slide on Friday morning like I had planned and was in no condition to do it Sunday. No excuses this week though. If I have time I might even try and get two different sessions in this week. I know I will be busy though since we have a wedding this weekend that we are in and getting all that stuff ready AND getting ready for back to school.

The last week has been a huge emotional roller coaster. Since deciding to go back to school and registering and telling my boss and all of that stuff, I was pretty drained. Excited but drained. I can’t help but wonder how I will pull it all off and workout with the intensity that I have become accustomed to and all that but I am ready for the challenge. I know that life is going to be much more difficult for the next two years and I will need to make some pretty big changes but I know it will all be good. I am paying for school out of my own pocket and I know that I won’t have any money left over for the fun stuff but I am ok with that too. I know I am investing my money into something that will get me a job and life I can really appreciate and its about time I take the leap and do it. Plus all my money was going to student loans from round one and now that those are going to be put on deferment I can just use that money toward my current classes. Well I still am going to pay the interest for the old loans but that won’t be much money a month so I can swing that. I think I am just trying to wrap my mind around it all. I am still so super excited about it all but I am trying now to deal with all the changes that I know is going to happen when I am in school. I know that I have my priorities and working out and being healthy is still really high on the list. But I also know that it can’t be as high as it was and that kind of scares me. I guess I am trying to sort it all out in my brain. I do have to say a major plus to going back to school is now I will have access to the fitness center.

It was brought to my attention that I didn’t have the link attached to my last post for what I am going back to school for so I am including it in this one. Sorry about that :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's about to get real interesting up in here!

I have some very exciting news I want to share with all my lovely sparks!
Drum roll please…
I have decided to go back to school!
I already have a degree from Iowa State University in Liberal Studies and a minor in English. At the time when I was in school I had no guidance and really had no idea what I was doing. Before ISU I got a two year degree in Broadcasting. The only reason I got that was because my teacher asked what I liked to do and I said creative writing. He said well you could do journalism (him grasping at straws) and getting a degree in Broadcasting would help. So I went with it, even though he was the leader of the broadcasting program. By the time I got to ISU I knew that really wasn’t what I wanted and ended up with the minor in English and the degree in Liberal studies (emphasis on social sciences). After school I quickly realized that none of my schooling was going to help me get a job in a field that I actually wanted to work in for the rest of my life. Again I just went with it. I thought I had my chance and didn’t figure out what I really wanted and it was my fault and I blew it (that was back in the days of negative self talk). In the last few months I have been looking at what kind of jobs are out there and all the jobs I was interested in, I was no where near qualified for. My degree and work experience were not going to help me get to where I really wanted to go.

So I researched online and came across a program at Iowa State that pretty much sums up the area that I am the most interested in getting a job in. After a lot of mulling it over and talking with my husband, I decided to take the leap and signed up. I will be registering for classes in the next few days when the paper work is all complete. I have to say I am the most excited and hopeful then I have felt in a really long time. I feel like I am finally in control of my life and I am doing something to better myself and get where I want to go. I am finally going to be able to get a job and career where I can help people and make a difference like I have always wanted to. I really didn’t think it was possible until now. I started believing that I could do whatever I wanted and I am finally doing it.

One of the many steps in this transition that I was wrestling with was telling my current boss of my plans and would they will be willing to work around my school schedule to keep me for the next two years while I am in school. To say I was nervous is a huge understatement, but more then anything I really just wanted to get it over with. Yesterday I found out most of my paperwork went through and I will be able to sign up for classes this August. So today was the day I had to tell my boss. I didn’t want to spring anything on her but I didn’t want to bring it up until I knew when I would be going back. She was very awesome about it and I told her how I thought I could go to school and still work here and that we could make it work. The big obstacle would when I would have class and our office hours (8am-5pm). I normally have to be there to answer the phones and assist anyone that comes in etc, during that time and depending when my classes would be, I might not be available always during that time. It is a very small part of my job but for them a big task to find someone to cover while I would be in class. But she said she would love to keep me and make it work so I am thrilled with that. She still needs to talk to her boss but I think we will be able to work something out so I can stay. I told her that I am willing to do what I have to and work when I need to, to get my job done. Otherwise I do have another option lined up for work if it doesn’t work out so either way I will be ok.

So some big changes are coming my way and I am so excited. I know it will be different and challenging but in a wonderful way. I know that I am finally starting down a path I can be proud of and do something with my life that will truly make an impact on the world I will someday leave behind. I am finally brave enough to do the things I need to do to make my life what I want it to be. And I do have to thank you guys for all the faith and encouragement you have given to me. I don’t think I could do it with out you guys. With you I have finally realized how strong and capable of a person I am. I finally feel brave enough to do what my heart wants and will make me so happy. I finally was brave enough to even look inside myself and ask. You guys are truly the best!

My life is about to get real hectic so I hope you are ready to go for a ride with me. Between work, school, working out (Zumba, Bootcamp & half marathon training) and Spark I am going to stay very busy. I feel like the only relationship that is going to be strained is going to be between me and my TV! I spend far too much time watching TV as is so I can now schedule that time into doing things that are productive. All in all I think it will be an awesome two years!

Tonight the hubby and I will be going out to dinner to celebrate :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Training...Week one down, bring it on #2!

Well I am all finished with week one of training. I’m feeling pretty good at the progress I made and how far I could push myself in just one week. I got a training plan from my running partner Sara and altered it a bit for to accommodate the group fitness classes I take.
The week went as followed…
Monday, Zumba (instead of 3 mile run). Tuesday, Bootcamp (instead of 3 mile run and/or ST). Wednesday, 4 mile run with Sara. Thursday and Friday were rest days (Friday wasn’t supposed to be but was forced to). Saturday, 5 mile run. And Sunday was Yoga. Since I run so much in Bootcamp and Zumba is such a cardio workout, I skip a few of the scheduled runs during the week so I don’t over do it. Sara said that was ok so I am going with it.

A few lessons I learned last week…
-Sometimes emotions overcome even our best intentions.
I told myself that I was not going to let things out of my control frustrate me, but I did. So now this week I will make sure to work on living in the moment and still planning but if plans change, knowing I can still make it work. If I get frustrated I will take steps to calm down and refocus, because it makes no sense to further add to the frustration by getting mad at myself for being frustrated in the first place. What a vicious cycle.

-I need my yoga!
I haven’t done it in a while and I could tell when I was doing it on Sunday that I hadn’t. And today I can really tell that I hadn’t because my upper back and arms and core are sore. Good kind of sore, but sore! For the most part I use the Biggest Loser Yoga but have a few others I can incorporate if I get bored with that one. I am going to make sure I do one of them at least once a week, and depending if that will be the only work out of the day or not will depend on which one I will do.

-The old shoes that were causing me such issues with my knees, I will be throwing away.
I wore them to Zumba on Monday because I didn’t want to wear my running shoes. I want to make sure I don’t wear them out any sooner then necessary so I thought wearing the old shoes would help with that and didn’t think they would hurt me. Well Monday night and into Tuesday, I realized I cannot wear those old shoes anymore! I have been icing my knees at least once a day and especially after workouts, just for good measure, and that didn’t even help. The hubby and I went shopping at Kohl’s on Saturday and I found some cross trainer New Balance shoes on sale so I got those. Definitely stiff and in need of breaking in but that’s a new shoe for you. I didn’t want to get the same brand as the old shoe (Aviva sp???) because I would rather not deal with the sore knees again in the future. Even if it is when the shoes are older and in need of replacing. They had a few of the old brand there that were cheaper (only by $5-$10) but I decided it really wasn’t worth it. I also got a few new pairs of workout shorts. Since I will be working out outside more with the running, I needed a few new pairs since I only have two (which one pair I just found again).

So anywho, on with week two! I have a 6 mile run this weekend, which is exciting. I was excited to complete the 5 mile run so I can imagine how I’ll feel after 6 miles. It’s just amazing to me that I can go that far and that I can push myself to keep on going. If I had any doubts when this week began that I might not be able to do this (that inner negative Nelly that I had a hard time shaking the week before) I have definitely shut her up. I just gotta keep out of my own way and I cannot fail.
This week will be similar to last week.
Monday – Zumba
Tuesday – Bootcamp
Wednesday or Thursday Partner run – 5 miles
Friday – Yoga
Saturday or Sunday – 6 miles
I’m sure there will be changes to this as the week progresses but I will make sure to role with the punches much better. I will do what I can and work around anything I can and NOT get frustrated. You hear that self, NOT get frustrated. There is enough stuff in life that is agitating and aggravating that I don’t need to add to it.

This week will be a great week, I can feel it. I hope yours is great too and you reach all the goals you set for yourself. Happy Monday!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My tribute

This is my first week of training for the half marathon I signed up for in October. I am so excited, to say the very least. Back when I started this whole process, I never thought that this was something I would even entertain. I did soccer in high school for two years but running was never really something I did other then in practice or a game. Back when I started working out I would walk and walk and walk some more, but never really thought much about running. When I decided to start running to up the intensity in my workouts, I would walk a block and run across the street, then walk the next block and run across the next street. I slowly progressed from there but still, a half marathon? Until Sara brought it up to me, I never even thought about doing it.

I think about the Biggest Loser and how they ask these contestants, who are new to fitness and a healthy lifestyle, to run/walk a marathon. When I started I would have never had such lofty aspirations. Back then I didn’t believe enough in myself to think I could even run a mile. Now I know that I have it in me to do whatever I want to do. Now I know that I can be whoever I want to be.

I have to thank all the people who have believed in me and encouraged me to take this leap. It reminds me of a good friend of mine that died who was always my cheerleader. She was just awesome and always was telling me of all the great things I could do. I never believed it for myself but she believed enough for the both of us.
She was the person who got me to go to a university when I never thought I was capable of that. I never really dreamed of a life better then what I had, but she gave me hope. Her belief in me to keep going and to go further in my education was what I needed to make the leap and I will always be so thankful to her for that. I wish I could have told her what she did for me but I have to think she knows. For her, she was just being a supportive friend. She wanted me to come to school and live with her and we would have a great time together. For me though, she gave the world. She gave me faith and hope and love and all those non-tangible, great things that humans need to thrive.

And even though she is gone, I see bits of her in the loving people around me. I see her kindness and love and caring and sunshine and I know that she is still pushing me on. The seed she planted in me has blossomed and I will always carry her faith in me everywhere I go.

I hope of anything that you know that you do mean so much to someone. Your kind encouraging words can be just what someone needs to change their life for the better. Sometimes people just need someone to believe in them. I had mine and have been lucky to find others that can keep her legacy going. I hope you have yours too and I hope you can be that for someone else. I know I try and spread her love on. It’s not fair what the world lost when she died so I try and lessen the pain by carrying on her legacy.

So to all of you who believe in me, I promise I will not let you or myself down. I will succeed and do my very best and will make you proud. I just wanted to make sure you all know how much your faith means to me. Hugs!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Run a half marathon? Me? Really???

My friend Sara that I just ran the 5k with, asked me after the race if I would want to run the Des Moines Half Marathon with her. My first reaction was to laugh, so I let out a little chuckle. She was serious and I hadn’t realized it when the question was first asked. My second reaction was to say are you nuts and I think by the look on my face she could tell what I was thinking. She went on to tell me how she thought we could do it and by the light in her eyes, I could tell she believed it.
I ended the conversation for the night and told her I would let her know the next time I would see her, on Friday, if I would do it. I figured it would give me a week to think it over, for real and make a solid decision. So here I am researching and figuring out what it would take to do it. And could I really do it.

So far everyone that I have told (a few co-workers and my husband) don’t think I can. Or at least that is the impression I am getting. This is what they have been saying…
‘Really? Why?
Why jump from a 5k to a half marathon?
Why not try a 10k first to see if you can do it?’
And not that I have to justify or prove anything to them, but now I kinda wanna show them I can. I asked my husband if he thought I couldn’t do it. From the look on his face and tone in his voice when I told him ‘I think I am going to do it’, I could tell there was something negative there. Maybe because he doesn’t really think I am a ‘runner’ or he just doesn’t understand why I would want to even try. He said he knows I could if I wanted to, but I still sense some hesitation from him. Does that matter though? Not really. The only one I need to convince is me.

Anyways, so here are some of my hesitations…
-That is a really long run. I have never run more then a 5k. I guess maybe I have at bootcamp (sometimes she runs our asses off) but I’m not really sure. And maybe I have on my runs because it usually takes me about an hour before I get home and I run most of that. So I really don’t know the longest I have ever run and running for two plus hours is daunting.
-I don’t know that I consider myself a runner. I never trained for my 5ks. I just went and did the best I could. I run at least once a week at bootcamp and sometimes an additional time for a little over an hour. I do enjoy it though and I am a runner if I say I am, right? I guess I assume running a half marathon means you are a hard core runner and that I am not, but you know what they say about assuming :)
-Am I healthy enough to do it? I have been having issues with my knees (but I think they are because of my shoes so hopefully that will be remedied very soon). And I am worried that some of my unhealthy habits will interfere with actually being able to do it. But is this what I need to stop and adjust those habits and be healthier over all?
-And of course the ugly negative self talk comes in. Deep down I doubt myself. I still have that nagging little voice in my head saying ‘I can’t do it…Am I crazy?’ I always try and shoot it down but sometimes the thought lingers. I know that the only one that can decide if I can or can’t do it is me. I don’t want to hold myself back and being scared is not a reason I will allow myself to use.

Do I just take the plunge and do it? What do I have to lose?

Monday, July 12, 2010


I’m proud of myself. I have accomplished a lot in the last three years that I never would have even dreamed I could do. I don’t think I really allowed myself to dream before. There where things I wanted to do, but they were always way far off in the distance and I never allowed myself to really believe I could do it. That was before I started believing in myself.

I finished my third 5k on Saturday at 35:28. After suffering for a few weeks with some bum knees, I didn’t have really high expectations for myself. I have been taking it easy on the workouts trying to heal the dang things and I could tell starting the race that I was a bit rusty. I ran with my friend Sara, the first time I had a running partner. She set a great pace for me and we kept going together through the whole thing. I had to stop and walk for a bit towards the end of the first mile because my calves were killing me. They could tell that I hadn’t been as frequent in my workouts in the last few weeks. I walked a bit, while Sara ran and then a minute later I pushed and caught up with her. After that we were side by side and finish within a second of each other. We ran, we walked and through the whole thing we pushed to keep going. It was hot and a bit humid and we could feel the lack of preparations weighing us down. But we kept going and kept pushing to do our best. My friend Aundrea was running around us and at times we would pass her, and other times she would pass us. I think being that close to each other kept us all going and all wanting to keep up. She ended up passing us the last time and finished a few minutes ahead of us.

We rounded the last corner and up over the bridge, and the adrenaline started pumping. Sara said ‘Alright, let’s go…to the end’. We booked it, sprinting to the finish line. When we were about a block from the finish line, I was almost out of gas, and I thought to myself that I could go anymore. Then I heard a few of the guys I work with screaming for me and that was all I needed to finish strong. I think they even got me to speed up a little. I came in a second behind Sara, exhausted, but exhilarated. There is nothing like feeling the accomplishment of finishing something like that and being so proud of the effort you gave. And to have great friends with you and cheering you on, makes that victory so sweet. So a big thanks to my friends who ran with me, Paul, Greg, Aundrea and Sara. You guys are awesome!

If you would have asked me before I started this journey if I would ever run a 5k, I would have asked first what is a 5k, and then replied hell no. And now I am contemplating running a half marathon. I guess my point is that if you want to do something, put yourself out there and do it. What do you have to lose? No matter how you finish, if you finish you have everything to be proud of.

I am becoming the person I want to be and I have people who support me and love me along the way. I am a lucky girl and I am so happy to be on the road I am on. So here’s to the future and whatever I let it bring my way :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Leaving the past, in the past

I’ve been thinking a lot about the past lately and how it influences where you are going. The thing is you can be scared from what you ‘learned’ in your past and let it hold you back for the rest of your life OR you can decide that your future is yours and fly free of the past. You can live up to what the past tells you you can be or you can decide to be whoever you want. The choice is yours.

I know for me I am tired of letting my past decide who I will be. It wasn’t something I chose or something I could have helped or prevented. It wasn’t my fault what happened to me but it IS my fault if I still let it affect me. I’m not saying ‘poor me’ or feeling sorry for myself by any means. I know there are people who had a much harder time in their past then I did. What I am saying is that I am no longer letting that past define me and let it rule my life.

As for what my life will be? I get to decide the direction. If I am unhappy I have the power to change things and make myself happy. I have the power to decide what my future holds or I can let the world around me decide. I won’t just lie down and let whatever happens happen. I am not destined to be anything I don’t want to be. And the only thing holding me back is me and I am getting out of my way.

I guess my point is, that today I decide what I will do and who I will be. Yesterday doesn’t matter any more. I will take the lesson I learned and I will move on. The lesson does not make me who I am, but the way I decide to handle it and move on from it does. And again I get to decide that.

Right now I am at a cross road and it’s time to do some things I have only dreamed about. While it’s great to dream, if you never ever put those dreams into action, you will never be able to make those dreams come true. You have to take some risks and do things that make you uncomfortable and try. I’m ready to try.

Wish me luck :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

July Goals!

I have had a rough couple of weeks. Each week seems to be some type of new pain preventing me from my normal routine of workouts and I won’t lie…it is frustrating! Of course I re-injured my knee this week (by bending over and picking up my shoes) and I am fighting the frustration again but it is hard. I know what is best for me is to heal and take some time off but it’s hard to convince me, that not working out, is a good thing. I know in the end if I do not take a break, I will continue to hurt it more and set myself back even further. That is not an option so here I am taking more rest days.

Unfortunately that frustration leads me to want to eat it away. I have been at this long enough, I should have this under control but the truth is, I don’t. It seems like a constant struggle and I am really tired of it. I wish I could just break through to myself to get myself to realize and understand what I am doing and get myself in order. I see it, but in the moment I guess I don’t care enough to stop. Way to frustrate myself even more!

But the good news is today is a new day and a new month and a new chance to be different. I think we all have it in us to change and become whoever we want to. Today is my day and month and I will succeed. And you know what, even though it is frustrating, I will keep trying until I get it right. It’s so easy to give up when things get hard but I refuse to give up. I am not that girl anymore. And no matter how many times I let myself down, I will keep on trying to get it right. And I will. I will find the tools that work for me. I refuse to give up on myself.

There are a few things I want to try this month…
-One is having one day that is a free day. From what I have heard from others that do this, it is a good way to get the bad stuff out of your system on that one day and helps to prevent yourself from eating that other stuff during the rest of the week. In theory it makes sense but I just hope I can get it to work for me and not go totally crazy on that day. I’m also hoping that way I won’t feel deprived and will help me with binging on ‘bad’ stuff. Plus I think it will help me be in more control the rest of the time if I know I can save the ‘bad’ stuff for later. I think I will set one limit for that day though and eat ONE serving of whatever it is I want and wait a minute to digest before I decide to go back for more. I hope that helps. If anyone who does a free day has any other info or advice it would be greatly appreciated.

Basically it’s an attempt to break yourself from the moment of wanting whatever it is you *think* you want. I think if I can do that I can really see the situation for what it is and make a better decision. Take a few deep breathes, focus and think! This may be just what I am looking for.

-Make a list of things I can do instead of emotionally eating. That way I have a list of things I can do instead and will give me some time to actually assess if I am hungry or if I want to eat because of an emotion. If I am, I can make a good choice and eat it. But I know the issue is not a hunger issue, it’s an emotional issue 99% of the time. I will paint and write and read and distract myself to forget about the craving and see what happens.

-Eat as clean as possible. I know that all the extra stuff in my food can also lead to very strong cravings. They make me crash and shaky and crazy and I eat. While I can’t blame myself for the reaction I have to certain chemicals in food, I can blame myself for eating it in the first place. One of the first things I am going to cut out is coffee. While coffee itself isn’t bad, the sugar and creamer I have to have in it to swallow it down, is. Also I have been eating these 90 calorie Fiber One bars and they make me crash pretty bad. I don’t eat a whole lot of processed junk (especially compared to what I had been in the past) but I could be doing better.

-I am also going to set weekly goals with rewards. That way I will be able to keep the momentum up to keep going strong towards my bigger goals. It’s amazing how focusing in on something small like that can really help you reach those bigger picture goals a lot easier. Makes it not so daunting. Plus when you reach a mini goal, you get so excited and proud and naturally keep going.

Ok I guess that is all I have for now.
I hope you all are doing well on your July goal setting and hope that July is our month to shine! Whose with me?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Second 5k

This past weekend, I learned that I am stronger then I realize. I ran my second 5k on Saturday and had two goals in mind, to run the entire thing and to beat my last time of 39:59. When I signed up for my first 5k I had no idea what to expect, but thought I would at the very least walk it. I was running more and more and longer and longer but had no illusions that I could run the whole thing or do it in record time. I figured I would run as long as I could and then walk, like I normally did on my ‘runs’. I was very happy to cross the finish line, in under 40 min and to not be the last one coming in. This year, especially with Bootcamp, I can run much longer and I figured this would have to help me in my 5k time. It sure did. I was able to run most of it (a few walk breaks were included but I ran probably 99% of it and up both of the big hills!) and finished with a time of 35 min and some change. Not sure of the official time but I was so proud to cut so much time off with still no real training. I ran most of it, more then I really thought I could. I had a bum knee the week going into it, so I really wasn’t sure how it would hold up. But it held up fabulously and only gave me issues toward the very end and not for long so I didn’t need to stop. I found myself pushing myself to go longer and harder then I thought I could. And while I know I wasn’t the fastest, (the first place 10k winner finished at the same time that I did), I improved and did the best I could. I have no regrets and not for a second thought I could have gone harder. When I crossed the finish line, with tears in my eyes, I was so proud to have done what I just did.

I have some things to work on for the next 5k, July 10th. So with my homework, I hope to improve even more. I have some friends running the next one so I am hoping they will be able to push me even harder then I can push myself.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My promise to myself...

I will never go back to how I was before I started on this journey.
There is so much about myself that I refuse to go back to…
The unhealthy eating.
The lack of movement.
The hating of myself.
The unhappiness, the never ending unhappiness.

I will never be that girl again. She was a good caring person, but so lost and angry. She had no idea where she was going, what she was doing and no direction. Once out of college she wandered around aimlessly, no purpose, no hopes, no plans. She had so many dreams but never thought they would ever come true. She didn’t believe in herself that much. And all that toxic negativity, never again. She hung on to old pain and let them define her. She was so angry and tired and sad.

Today I feel lighter then I ever have in my entire life. Not just in how much I weigh but emotionally. I have let go a lot of that negativity and pain and instead embraced the possibility of being happy. I have seen inside me and all the love I have to offer. I have seen a passion that was buried and suppressed. And I am finally able to let all of that out.

I had no idea that when I started out wanting to lose weight that I would come out the other end so much better. Emotionally healthier and physically healthier, I have seen a side of myself I never knew existed. I saw a strong and happy girl that could do anything she wanted. No one and nothing holding her back. A girl who finally got out of her own way and chose happiness. A girl who finally saw a beauty inside herself that she refused to deny it anymore. A girl who finally said enough to the abuse and allowed her true self to shine. A girl who finally saw she was enough, because she was finally enough for herself. I now know that my happiness is dependant on ME and me alone. I cannot and will not rely on others for that anymore. I know that my truth is mine and I will not let others tell me what I am or what I could be, anymore. I am who I say I am and that is no longer negative. I refuse to say anything bad about myself and refuse to let anyone else do that same.

By becoming a friend to myself I gained more insight and love for myself then I could ever have imagined. I refuse now to let any negative thoughts enter my mind and when they do (old habits die hard) I stop, take a deep breath, and think of something else. Soon enough that thought will float away and having given it no power, I can move on. I refuse to give power to those long held ‘truths’ anymore. I see now how wrong they have always been and I will not allow that in my life anymore.
I am enough. I am beautiful. And I found someone to love me. Just because someone spoke cruel words to you, doesn’t make them true. Only you can decide to make them true.

And now I can move on with my life in a way that is positive and hopeful. I know nothing can hold me back if I don’t let it and I am finally free. Free from the baggage and shame, free from the weight and self loathing, free from that sad little girl I used to be. Happiness is possible. You just have to find it in yourself.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another push

Yesterday I wrote about pushing myself out of my comfort zone and the fear of failing. After some more reflection on the matter, I am starting to see how much the fear of failing is holding back my life. If you don’t try, you can’t fail. But if you never try, all you are left with is regrets.

I can think of a lot of excuses why I haven’t finished things that I have started, but that is only cheating myself. So I am adding to my goals some of the things I have been putting off for a while.

Some of you may know I have been making my own jewelry since I got married three and a half years ago. My husband even set me up a website but I have yet to learn how to do anything on there. I did set up an account in hopes that I would find a quicker route to getting my jewels out into the public. A lot of people know that is where you go to find great hand made stuff and what would I have to lose. Well nothing but I have yet to put anything up on it. So this week with my husband being gone and having more time then I know what to do with myself I am going to get it fully set up and running. And I have high hopes that in the next few months, when things slow down for me and my husband that I can get him to teach me how to do stuff on my website and that way I can make a REAL go of it.

There is also a boutique that I want to contact to see if they would want to sell my stuff in their store. I need to decide what I would take in and find out who the manager is and how to get a hold of them. The worst they are going to say is no, but the best is they might just say yes. But again I won’t know if I never try. I just found their website online and submitted an email to see if someone will contact me about setting up a meeting. Step one, done :)

I am tired of watching my dreams dance around in the horizon somewhere. Sure ideas are great, but if you never follow through, what good are they? Being scared is not an excuse I am allowing into my vocabulary anymore. I know that I am stronger then I realize and the only way to prove that to myself is to just do it. I refuse to hold myself back any more.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Comfort Zones...

One of my big resolutions this year was to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I think when you are constantly challenging yourself; you are going to become a better person. By pushing yourself to do things that aren’t comfortable you get to see what you are made of. You get to see how strong you are. You get to see what you can take and often times it’s a lot more then you would think. You get to see first hand what is possible for you.

That is why I started this blog. I have always loved to write but a fear of not being good enough, has always kept my writing mostly to myself. The idea of having my heart and words criticized…I never thought I could bear it. But I also know that if I ever want to be published or go anywhere other then the inside of a personal journal, I have to put myself out there. So I took a deep breath and I jumped in.

My first push out of my comfort zone for the year was signing up for a Zumba fitness class in January. Group fitness classes, were just something I thought I would never be comfortable enough to do. There were so many thoughts that raced through my head.
Would I be good at it? Would I look like a fool trying to do the moves? What would people think? What if I can’t keep up? I always worked out at home and if I tried a video that I didn’t like or didn’t feel like I was good at or whatever, I would let it just sit and collect dust. No harm done, no embarrassment. Just move on. I knew a class would be different and I would feel forced to follow through.

The fear of failing at anything, has always been a big obstacle for me and this was the year I challenged it. With Zumba, not only did I find a workout that I absolutely love and can’t imagine life without, I found that I really enjoyed the fitness class atmosphere. So in May I signed up for Extreme Outdoor Bootcamp class and even signed up for the second session as well. I know that these classes are pushing me further then I was pushing myself. I know that these classes are keeping me motivated to keep working hard and keep pushing myself. I know that they are enhancing my life and making me happier. And to have people in the class to share that accomplishment with…it’s just nice to not be alone in it.

I continue to push myself in smaller ways too. Trying new recipes is one that I do the most often. I never cooked before I started on this journey, unless making boxed Kraft Macaroni and Cheese counts. So cooking in general was a big leap in the first place. Now I try recipes with ingredients I have never cooked with before or combinations I wouldn’t normally try. I’ll even make up my own food combinations with what I have around and just wing it.
In the beginning of my venture into being a cook, that is something I wouldn’t have ever done. I used to have to follow a recipe step by step meticulously. Being that I was new to cooking and not entirely sure what went well together or even how to wing it, not following the recipe was just not a risk I was willing to take. I was always afraid I would make something that tasted bad or I would mess it up or the world would end if I ‘failed’. But you know what? I found that most of the time, I did just fine. I never screwed up anything so badly that I had to eat something else entirely and the world never ended.

It’s really all a process. Once you do something that is out of your normal limits and you see a success or you see that you didn’t die because it wasn’t, that gives you more encouragement to do other things on your list. You have the power to turn something on your list from an ‘I wish’ to an ‘I did’. All that stands in your way is you.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A new plan of attack!

As I so often do on Sundays, I am plotting my plan of attack for the next week. I plan out what workouts I will do. I think about any recipes I am going to make. I set some goals for myself to keep myself on track or in today's case, how to get back on track. The thing about this whole journey is sometimes you fall and sometimes you cheat a little and sometimes you just need some time off of thinking about losing weight all the time. I don't beat myself up about it, I just pick myself back up and I keep going. I am in it for the long haul and I know that I can't always be perfect. But I do the best I can and when I do fall, I just keep going. I owe it to myself to keep going.

So this week I have set a few goals for myself.
-Track all my food (on
-No extra sweets! No candy, no ice cream every night after supper, etc.
-Be positive. There will probably be some bad days but I want to start out each day positive and kind to myself. If the day isn't going well, I will take a few deep breaths and focus on the good, not the bad.
-Write in my journal each night.
-Try a new recipe. I am stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to my meals. I need to branch out. When I find one and try it, I'll let you know how it is.

Well that is all I can think of for now...What are your goals this week?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hulu Workout Review-Yoga Fusion

I tried out a new yoga workout yesterday. It was part of a series, that I found on, called Yoga Fusion. The one I tried was titled Power. I watched a little bit of Beginners Basics the night before, but the lady annoyed me so I didn’t want to do that one. A different girl did the one I tried and I liked her much better. If I have to spend 45 min of my life with you, I have to like you :) Besides that I liked the moves better in the Power one so I thought I would give it a go. Their caption for the episode was “Gain power in body and mind through focus on breath and the elements of stamina, strength and flexibility.” So I was intrigued.

Yoga Fusion, like the name would suggest, combines different types of workouts into the session. In this one they combine “many moves from dance, fitness, chi-gong, yoga and pilates” the teacher T (at least that is what I think she said her name was) states at the beginning. She also says the goal of the workout is to ‘energize and relax your body and spirit’.

Over all I really liked it. It moved along at a nice pace. It was not a big calorie burner by any means but when I am looking for a yoga workout I don’t expect it to. I don’t know that it met my expectations of the potential of building strength, but it seems to be a nice option to switch out with the Biggest Loser Yoga that I usually do on Yoga day. It was nice to at times to get away from the pure yoga parts and I really liked the pilates abs part towards the end of the video. I didn’t particularly care for their modifications because often times they weren’t really all that modified. And for someone who is not very flexible there were certain poses or moves that I had to make up a modification for. But if I think if I regularly incorporated this video into my workouts, I would definitely gain flexibility.
I do have to say my legs are sore today and I am not sure if that is from this or left over soreness from my Bootcamp class.

If you want to check it out, here is the link…

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Life is too short...

I know I have heard it a million times before. When I was young I never really paid much attention to it. It was something adults annoyingly said. A phrase on t-shirts (remember those NO FEAR t-shirts?) but I never really took the time to realize what that meant. I guess though when you are young and the only person in your life that has ever died was your grandmother, you don’t think that your life could be short.

Now at 28 I have seen so much more and lived so much more life that I can now say that I understand the impact of that statement. You truly never know when your last breath could be and I for one don’t want to waste a lot of my time that I have left here.

When I was 21, almost 22, a very dear friend of mine died and the world collapsed around me. After a long time of mourning (which I am not entirely sure I am done) I decided that I was going to live the life she never got to. And now I can say that I am beginning to. I am finally at the point in my life that I can see things in me that I want to change and I am brave enough to make steps toward making myself a better person. But I can also see the good that is already in me too. I can look in the mirror and embrace the woman I have become. I know I am a much better person for having had my friend in my life and I hope that I can return the favor to someone else.

Ok so what is my point?
Life is way too short to do a lot of things.
To worry about things you have no control over. Deal with what you do have control over and let the rest go.
To stay in a place in your life that is destructive. Whether it is a frame of mind or bad relationship. You can’t get those moments of destruction back. Don’t waste your precious time on it.
To not say the words you have been dying to say. When you are gone, there are no re-dos. Say them now and say them often.
To not be the person you want to be. Be brave and look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. You can be whoever you chose to be, so do it!
To not do the things that inspire and excite you. Take a painting class or a dance class. Join a knitting group. Make things or read or whatever it is that you like to do.
To not make the changes in your life you know you need to make. Hate your job? Get a new one. Need to start working out? Start working out. You get the idea.
Life is way to short to live a life that in the end you wouldn’t be proud of. If you live your life like there is no tomorrow, you will have no regrets and that is what I want out of my time here.

If my life ends today, I hope that the people I love know how much they have meant to me. I may not have accomplished all the things I wanted to yet, but I know I am on my way. I have started to make the changes that I need to make to make my life and me, better. I strive for a better version of myself but I accept who I am today. I may not be perfect and I may mess up, but I am me and I will not apologize for that.

I just needed this reminder today and thought maybe you did too.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Is it worth it?

I just read another blog on spark that really got me thinking. Especially lately when I have been so up and down in my emotions and feeling overwhelmed and all that.

There have been times in the last few months where I have asked that very question. I have worked hard, I had eaten right, and I felt stuck and like I was just wasting my time. Losing weight and staying healthy is hard. Sometimes all you want to do is eat that bag of M&M’s. Sometimes you just don’t want to get up early to work out. Sometimes it all just seems like too much.

And so that leads one to ask, is it all worth is? In a process that you often times you can’t see the results right away. In a process that takes so much time and energy. In a process that seems like a puzzle at times to get it right.
But the answer is and always has been, yes. Of course it’s worth it because you are worth it. It seems so simple but it often times isn’t. You have to know that all this work and all this time and energy is worth all of it because you deserve to have a long and happy, healthy life. Because if you don’t believe it, who will?

I was having a conversation this weekend with a girl and the comment she made sticks out in my head so painfully. ‘If I lose 10 pounds, I think I will be happy’. It broke my heart because I had been there, wanting to lose much more then she did and I know the truth. I told her that losing weight will not make her happier because you have to fix the insides to be happy on the outside. It was something that never occurred to me 40 pounds ago. Back when I hated myself and couldn’t say a nice thing about myself. I was slowly drowning myself in a mountain of food and I had no idea what I was doing. Deep down I knew but I didn’t care enough to look at what I was doing to myself. I was content on being fat and unhappy. Not saying you can’t be over weight and happy but I was not. The thing I never realized that the weight was not the reason I was unhappy. It sure didn’t help, but it was the route cause of my unhappiness. I had to find that and fix that to be happy, not just lose 40 pounds. Now that I have started to realize the real reason for the unhappiness that was in me, now I can start to fix it and start being that happy person I have always wanted to be. And it is truly exhilarating to know that I have the power to decide that.

Life is too short to be miserable. You have to decide that you are worth saving. I decided that it was time to start loving myself instead of the constant self torture. It is worth all the work and sacrifice and belief that you can have a happy life. You can do all the things you have always wanted to do. You can be who ever you decide you want to be. You can see the good and beauty in yourself if you want to. If you want to, you can find a way for all of that. You can be the healthy person you deserve to be.
So put the donut down. Your new life can begin today.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I am very fortunate to be able to walk to work everyday, I know that. Well except during thunderstorms but 99% of the time I can walk the 7 blocks to work. It’s nice to be able to get outside and get some fresh air. Especially now when it is so nice out, it really can brighten my day. I also walk home on lunch and it gives me a chance to get out, breathe, and recharge for the rest of the day. And with having a desk job in a small office, any chance I can get to get up and walk around is very much welcome.

I have come to notice how rude people can be being a pedestrian. I cannot tell you how often I have been very close to being hit by a car because the driver is not paying attention, or they don’t care, or they hate pedestrians or whatever the case may be. Since pedestrians have the right away, I used to assume that people would stop for me or let me go when it was my turn at a four way stop or be courteous in anyway. But the truth is, people are in a hurry to get where they are going and don’t care that you are there and just hope you don’t get in their way. They roll through stop signs and stop on the cross walk (glad I wasn’t walking there, thanks!) and in general could give a crap less about traffic laws. My favorite is when the weather is bad and the driver sees you standing there, waiting and they still roll through the stop sign or whatever and don’t care that you as a human, have to endure the elements, while they sit nice and warm and dry in their protected car. I know there is no law to be nice to people but I wish there was.

I have come to the point in my commuting to work, I am very cautious because while I may have the right of way, if I get hit by a car I will still get hurt or die. I don’t even chance it anymore. If there is a car coming anywhere near a stop sign, I stop and I wait until I know they are stopped and will let me pass without hitting me (or most likely until they roll through the stop sign or stop in the cross walk) and I wait. Most people let me wait and wait.

I am aware that I chose this mode of transportation and that a car is much bigger and can cause a lot of damage to me. I just wish that the people I encounter could take a minute to obey traffic laws and maybe be courteous from time to time. I don’t know that that is too much to ask. I almost got hit by a car on my walk home yesterday because a car came barreling through a parking lot that is hidden behind a building and it crosses the sidewalk I was walking on. The driver was barely paying attention and slammed on her breaks, while I stopped and jumped back. Embarrassed, she waved me to pass and shaken I did. These people park in this parking lot for work and do so every day. They know about the foot traffic that goes through there after 5pm and still she never thought someone might be walking on the sidewalk where people walk. I wasn’t in the street, I wasn’t even at a cross walk, I was on the sidewalk where I am supposed to be and I still almost got hit.

It’s just really annoying and I wish people would just be more observant and think about the people around them. You have to take driving a motor vehicle seriously and know that you can do some serious damage by not doing so. Stop being in such a hurry, and not paying attention to what is going on around you. I really don’t want my ending to be because someone else wasn’t paying attention to what was going on and ran me over. I imagine that would be fairly painful and would like to avoid it if I can. I appreciate your help in the matter.

Rant over :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sometimes life hands you lemons…

And what you do with those lemons can make a huge difference in your whole well being. You can choose to dwell on the bad, or you can decide to take the positive and run with that instead. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a conscious effort and at other times it is an all out battle. But life is just better when you can look at the bright side of things.

I think I always used to be a pessimist. I used to dwell in the bad. Hold on to hurt feelings for years. I used to see everything at face value and usually only the bad it presented. I thought I was happy, or as happy as I could be. I was this hurt, damaged girl. What kind of life did I really expect to have?
When I started losing weight I was still in a bad place. I didn’t feel good about who I was, what I had done in life, and where I was going. I also thought if I got skinny I would be so happy. Skinny was the key to happiness. Wow was I wrong!

Now I see things so different and I try and see them in the best possible light. I think of things that I am happy about or that makes me smile. I make a concerted effort to never wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I smile, I laugh, and some how I have become happy. Sure I have days where I want to stay in bed and growl at everyone who crosses me. But I want to be happy most of the time and so I am.
The truth is it’s hard but the payoff is well worth the work. And the more I manually change my mind to think of the good, and not the bad, the easier it is to do it automatically.

Not only do I see the world through rosier colored glasses but I also see myself better. I no longer pick myself apart. I no longer allow my inner dialogue to be abusive and hurtful. I treat myself as though I were a small child that I have to take care of. I would never tell a small child that they were fat and ugly, so why would I do that to myself? So I don’t. I stop the self abuse in its tracks and I think of something I do like about myself. I look in the mirror and focus on the good, not the bad. I understand that I am a work in progress and I do love myself. Did you hear that? I actually love myself. I care what happens to me and I want the best for my life. Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t you?

So today look at the world through the eyes of that child within you. See the opportunities to play and have fun. Be kind to yourself. You’ve only got one life, so why not make it as fun and happy as possible?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How to stay successful with weight loss?

I am sure you have heard before that a lot of people who lose weight gain it back. It can make losing weight daunting and almost scary to think all that hard work might be for naught. So what does a person with a weight loss plan do?
I have been on my own journey for over three years now, and while I am not quite to my goal weight, I have lost the majority of my weight and kept it off for those three years. I have encountered many people on my journey (mostly through that have kept their weight off and there are a few things I’ve noticed that these people have in common.

Perception. You have to be able to see this as a journey and as a lifestyle change. If you just go back to eating like you had in the past, of course you are just going to end up where you were. I mean it makes sense, you got fat eating that way so why would it be any different later on. Not to say some of those old bad pesky habits might sneak back in when you least expect it, but if you are conscious of what you are doing and eating you will see those soon enough and be able to get it back in check.

Persistence. If you fall, you pick yourself back up. Whether it is in losing weight or in maintaining weight, you have to be able to recover from a setback. You have to be able to shake it off and not let that bad eating day turn into a bad eating week, or month or year. You have to be able to see what you did, acknowledge it and move on. I suppose with this also entails being able to forgive yourself for the mistakes and not beating yourself into a weight gain spiral. Beating yourself up about it, only makes you feel awful and doesn’t do anything to help you achieve your goals. That is a bad place to be and you have to get out of it immediately. You have to acknowledge it, accept it, learn from it, and move on!

Planning. You have to plan. I know for me if I go into a situation with a plan I am much more likely to succeed then if I go in blind. For example if you are going out to dinner, you can look at the menu ahead and scout out what the best options are. Or you have a party this weekend, you can plan out how many drinks you will have, and how many treats you will allow yourself, etc.
Planning ahead allows you to make a good decision and how to avoid the bad ones. I know for me it has been a life saver to plan for the moment and then I won’t be caught off guard and have to make a decision in the moment. That can be the worst. For example let’s say I didn’t plan ahead and forgot my meals for the day. By the time I get to supper I am now starving and will grab anything in sight and inhale it. And hopefully I did plan out having nice healthy meals at home so I’m not then tempted just order a pizza or get some Taco John’s. I’m sure you can think of lots of times that the lack of planning could get you into trouble, so plan ahead and safe guard yourself against it. It really can make a huge difference.
Now planning is half the battle and the follow through is just as important but at least with a plan you can be sure that you will come out much better then not having one at all.