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 :)

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?