It’s ok to call it a comeback. 

…come back to center…

…back to reality…

…back to action. 

Yeah, I think it’s ok to call it a comeback. 

I bought myself a new journal (I got into bullet-journaling or “bujo-ing” a few months ago) and just couldn’t wait until 2017 to start using it. 


I think there might be something inside of each of us that gently nudges and says that it’s time to move on from where we are. 

I’m a new mom technically, but tinybaby is a toddler. Still tiny, but growing some freedom. And in the same turn telling me to do the same.

No more reminiscing about what was. 

I’m ready for the new normal. 

I understand there will be less sleep and more flexibility required of me. I’m ok with that- finally. 

Some things I’m about to focus on:

  1. Walking like a vagabond 
  2. Preparing for Whole30 followed by AltShift– reading, planning, clearing out the kitchen
  3. Lifting
  4. Simplifying our house- small space means we get creative, right?
  5. Focusing on identifying my own needs and finding balance

I’m ready to go, I think. I feel like I’ve said this before, but I think now I can really mean it. 

Epic Quest: Training for Long’s Peak

Over on Nerd Fitness we have just begun another 6 week challenge. Over the course of those 6 weeks people set real attainable goals for themselves in the areas of diet/fitness and life in general. One of the goals that I have set for myself this time around is to train for and hike Longs Peak. For most people this wouldn’t really fall into most people’s “Epic Quest” category, but when you come from a journey that started 140 lbs over weight and way out of shape, even climbing the stairs could be a “challenge”.

If you had asked me 3 1/2 years ago what I thought of Long’s Peak, I would most likely tell you that it’s gorgeous and that it’s an amazing creation.

Now, when you ask me what I think of Long’s, I will most likely tell you that I am going to conquer it– that it torments and teases me when I look at it off in the distance.

Getting healthy and in shape does funny things to our perspective.

About a 2 years ago, I went hiking for the first time in Colorado.  It was an amazing experience, and I began to realize just how much being overweight had hindered my life. There was so much that I just couldn’t do or wouldn’t do. Hiking Ouzel Falls that day made me realize that I had awoken something in me that is unstoppable and that will never again be silenced.

A year ago I found Nerd Fitness and learned about these 6 week challenges (my 9th one started yesterday), but I also learned about Epic Quests. Over the last year things have popped into my mind as things that I would love to add my own Epic Quest list, but nothing so daunting as the lure of Long’s Peak.

So this week I begin my journey to FINALLY attempt to conquer that thing off in the distance that toys with my heart.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that my in-laws left this for me on their kitchen table:

5280 Magazine

 

This summer, in my journey to be a more awesome ME, I hope to find a missing piece of myself on top of that summit.

Commitment Day 5k 2013 Report

I don’t normally write up a race report for my 5k’s. Not because they are insignificant (they aren’t) but because I do enough of them that they usually start to meld together in my mind…

This one was special.

Resolutions don’t work for me. In thinking about it, I’ve tried to come up with a reason why- and maybe this will ring true for you as well. When I think of what it means to resolve something I usually go to math or problem solving. When an issue is resolved it’s fixed- no further action is required.

I don’t know about you, but nothing in my journey leads me to say I’m fixed. And more action is always required.

In January 2010 I made a different choice- I committed to be a better me. To realize that I had inside me a strength that needed to be acknowledged and tapped into. To understand and admit that I stumble and fall but that I can also get back up and keep going.

I didn’t resolve to be/do/change anything; the simple changing of a year on a piece of paper does nothing to “fix” my life.

Any kind of life change that happens requires me to be an active participant in the process- to commit to the plan.

So on January 1st, 2013, exactly 3 years and over a hundred pounds lost later I stood at the starting line for the Commitment Day 5k in Denver, CO. As I stood there with my friend and my fiance I thought back to the beginning. I thought about how hard it was to walk around the block and how I never thought I would ever be able to get around my neighborhood. I thought about each race I have participated in, getting faster and faster and how each finish line was a sweet reminder of the person I was becoming. I thought about how blessed I am to have such loving and supportive friends around me.

If it weren’t 12 degrees out, I would have cried.

Krista, Me, and Brad

On our bib it had a spot to make a commitment, so here’s mine:

Bib

The race starting line was full of people (1,500 they said), but they did a great job of making it pretty easy to see where things were and what we should be doing. There was a banner with markers where we could all sign our names and next to that there was a person taking pictures of runners, walkers, family and friends. Even though it was frigid outside, the feeling was warm and light hearted- everyone seemed so excited!!!

The race wasn’t chip timed, but there was a time clock at the starting line. The race course was a pretty straight forward out and back. The streets were plowed (we had recently gotten some snow in Denver) so there weren’t many slip danger spots.

At Mile 1 they had a water station, which you then passed again at Mile 2, and while I didn’t stop I know a lot of folks who were just like me 3 years ago loved having the refreshment!

Some races do a really great job caring for the runners and then turn around and slight the walkers, but Life Time did a great job making sure everyone was cared for well.

As Krista and I were coming down the final stretch the Run Club coaches (who I’ve been running with for the last year or so) ran by us shouting FINISH STRONG!!! It was the last little push I needed to do just that- finish strong and PR.

The swag bag we got went way beyond my expectations. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like all the little coupons (I never use them) and granola bars (I’m paleo) that most finish bags have (and those are usually in a grocery bag).

This race had an awesome hardcover journal- the kind with a calendar, tips, hints, encouragement etc (not just a printed cover and some lines):

Journal

….a nice back pack:

Swag Bag

And best of all, my most favorite race t-shirt ever (seriously, I’d wear it every day if I could)

The super awesome shirt!

At the finish line there was a lot of fanfare, and I recognized that most of it was from the staff at Life Time, which I thought was really top notch.

As Krista and I crossed the finish I looked down at my Garmin and realized that even on this freezing cold day, just one day back at altitude I had PR’d

My PR: 29:59

Again, if it hadn’t been so cold I would have cried.

My friends and I finished up, waiting for the last of our crew to come in and then headed off to breakfast.

On the way there, my training twin Amanda  sent me her time from the Commitment Day in Houston (we are running our first full together in Dallas in April this year)

Our times

That’s right- we are seconds apart (never mind the 1,000 miles).

All in all the day was so special to me, I just had to write about it. I was so proud of myself and all of my friends and all that we have accomplished.

I just know that 2013 is going to be big- but it’s not about that date on the calendar. Life is big. And I’m here to LIVE it!

Me and Krista

Slow down, sister!

I’m sick. Yes, I knew it was going around- I tried to avoid it, really! I Cloroxed everything! But, alas it found me.

I should have known something was not normal when I got dizzy and about threw up running 5k on the treadmill.

(Side note- since when is 5k a nothing maintenance run? Super awesome!)

As I got off the treadmill I knew something was wrong.

DUN DUN DUUUUUUN

I’m sick. Sigh- I don’t have time for this. (Does anyone, really?)

After much hemming and hawing I decided to take Monday off from any kind of activity, and yesterday, instead of running with the Lifetime Run Club, I walked. (2.5 miles is still 2.5 miles…)

While I missed getting my run in, it was actually kind of nice to be all bundled up and check out the beautiful displays on our Christmas light Run.

Below is the house we chose as “most awesome”- incidentally, the owner came outside and he was recognized as a member of the Lifetime Cycle Club. His name was Joe. Joe knows how to do lights right. 🙂

Holly and I pose in front of Cycle Joe’s house

So anyway, I won’t run tonight either, and with the help of Zicam, I’m hoping to right this ship and be back in training Thursday.

Where do you draw the line when you’re sick?

What’s your “threshold” for staying in and getting better versus pushing through?

Losing 100+ Pounds and Finding Myself

In 2008 (when I was 26 years old) I got the worst call of my life. My dad, who I loved more than anyone, had a stroke at work and had been taken to the ER. I flew home as fast as I could, but I never saw him awake again. A week later he passed away.

That day I thought my life fell apart. But, I was kidding myself- my life had started to fall apart way before that. When I got home from Chicago I was in a daze. About 3 weeks later, I started “living” again- going through the motions. You see, my dad was overweight, diabetic, and had really high blood pressure. As they were trying to stabilize him, it became apparent that he hadn’t been taking the meds he was prescribed, like he was supposed to. All of this culminated in an aneurysm in his brain that the neurosurgeon couldn’t correct.  Over the next year, I began to evaluate my own life. My dad was a week in to 51 years old when he passed- way too young. He and I had a lot in common from our love of the outdoors to our love of food. Also, over the next year, my marriage fell apart. I was a mess.

At the end of 2009 I made a clear, conscious decision (a stake in the ground sort of moment) to stop “going through the motions” and OWN my life and my choices. January 2010 I was 267 pounds, an emotional time bomb, and just plain miserable. Nothing I was doing gave me joy anymore. And that wasn’t going to work for me.

I spent the next two and a half years watching what I put in my mouth, and moving my body more. Diet-wise, I watched calories, tracking everything, and then eventually switched to a mostly Paleo lifestyle in the spring of 2012. I don’t do it perfectly, but right now I am in the middle of a Whole30 (from www.whole9life.com), trying to figure my body out. I’m not going for a quick fix- I’ve been at this for a long time and plan to be healthy for the rest of my life.  Exercise wise, I started with walking. I could hardly walk a block before getting winded and the little voice inside my head would tell me “you can’t do this; you may as well go home now.” Somehow, I learned to silence that voice. I started running with my friend La Nae, first with Couch to 5k, then with Lifetime’s Run Club and their trainer David Clark’s organization http://thesupermanproject.org/ . I have since run a ton of 5 and 10k’s as well as 2 half marathons.

In the process of finding a better (best) version of me I stumbled upon www.nerdfitness.com . This changed my life. I had all the individual components, but I couldn’t seem to juggle them all at once. Reading the articles and talking with others who have had success helped propel me into a position to really level up my life. I learned to do some strength training in conjunction with my cardio. I learned a lot about food and have made an informed decision to cut certain foods out of my life. I have made amazing friends, like Amanda(Wicked Pixie) who all support me and encourage me to keep going. The challenges help me take my long term goals and make them bite size and baby-stepped. I have learned to put into action all the small pieces of my life simultaneously. THAT’s where life change happens.

I have now been at this for two and a half years. I have lost 102 pounds (and am still losing) and in the process I have found a reason to keep going- I’m worth it. I’m worth the hard work, the sweat, the pain, and the tough choices. All of it. I am stronger, smarter, and more joyful. I haven’t arrived- I still have a lot of really hard work to do. The difference is that now I know I can.

Before and Now (ironically wearing the number 102 and the day I lost 102 pounds!)

Uncomfortable

Last night I learned a hard lesson in budget execution. I had decided at my last pay period that because eating better was a little more expensive, but important to me, I would reserve some of my “fun money” for the end of the pay period in case my grocery money wasn’t enough for the full two weeks.

I did great until this weekend, when I splurged and ate out at least 3 different times. It was all good food that was on my eating plan, but eating out just plain costs more than cooking at home. Fast forward to last night. I was at the cash register buying some more fresh produce and I realized that I may not have enough money with me to pay for everything I needed. You can’t weigh your produce at Target, so my total was up in the air. I was looking at the food I had put on the belt and started trying to decide what I would put back if I had to. I don’t have credit cards anymore or any back up cash in my purse (cause I’ll spend it) so I was stuck. I was angry, at first. It wasn’t like I was buying frivolous things, or trying to decide between these cute shoes or that cute shirt. I was buying nutritious food that will save my life.

But I was, in fact, frivolous. Just not last night. I was willy-nilly with my spending all weekend, and the fall out was happening right before my eyes.

I was in the position that I was in because of the choices I made. This interaction showed me how uncomfortable money issues make me, and in turn how that affected my emotions. Anger, sadness, feelings of neglect all swarmed me and there wasn’t anything I could do about it right then and there to placate myself. I just had to be uncomfortable. Growing hurts. Being stretched stinks. Coming out a better person- so worth it.

I had pennies within what I needed, so I guess for me it’s also a good lesson that God will provide.

Good to know I’m still teachable…

Planning

I had a realization today. I set really great goals, but the plans I create to do them don’t match very well.

I have a great training plan for my full marathon in April, but the goals I set for the next six weeks are baby steps compared to the full. The long term and short term goals both point me in the same direction, but the big scheme plan doesn’t apply to the little goal.

What I need to do is make a daily plan that will advance me properly.

I have some work to do.