Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Tag Archives: fitness

So, I’m two days late this week in my Monday edition of 21 day fix post. I ended up traveling last weekend and although I got home yesterday, I was beat. Traveling alone with the kids was exhausting! It reminded me how lucky and grateful I am to have such a helpful husband.

So week 2 wasn’t great. I did good with the exercising for about 1/2 the time. Then with traveling and such, I did none. I did walk quite a bit. But that was pretty much it. My eating wasn’t great either. I drank a lot of coffee on the go (Starbucks and gas station sweetened coffee drinks). Yeah. I’m feeling the lingering effects of traveling, tiredness and poor eating choices.

Week 2 Goals: No Candy- did pretty good until I started the road trip. Seriously, I ate almost an entire bag of chocolate covered raisins while driving. Oops… Exercise daily- that did not happen. Increase water intake- also failed. Eat all fruits and veggies 4 days was also a failure.

Week 2 Accomplishments: I don’t think there were many. I did mostly make better snacking choices. I ate fruits and veggies for snacks when I was home. And really only splurged at the end of the week when I was traveling. So, I’m going to count that as an accomplishment.

Week 2 Areas for Improvement: Wow. There were a lot. I think overall, the biggest theme for me was finding a way to be accountable even when life gets busy. I think last week really reinforced my need to get a bit more structure in my eating/planning. I could have/should have done better. I could have planned and packed healthy snacks for myself. I could have gone to the store while out of town and picked up some fruit.

Week 2 Over-all thoughts: I struggled last week and see myself having some struggles this week too. I almost feel like I should’ve waited at least three weeks before trying to start this. Life is busy and hard and I’ve not put for the effort I needed to in order to be successful. I also feel like I made a lot of excuses for why my meal planning didn’t get done or I ate poorly and didn’t exercise. Sadly this week is 1/2 over and I’m feeling the same excuses break into my thinking, again. I’m wondering if I need to get connected to a challenge group to help me stay motivated.

Week 3 Prep: Honestly, I started this week still out of town and my “bad habits” from last week are lingering into this week. So, I did not get any prepping done.

Week 3 Goals: My biggest goal is to get re-focused on what I’m doing. Its late in the week to do much prepping as a goal. I will tonight make some hard boiled eggs. I will begin tracking my containers again. I have family in town this weekend, so I will make sure there are plenty of fruits and veggies in our house. Its also the State Fair starting this week. One HUGE goal for me is to not over-indulge in fair treats this year.

There you have it. My not-so-successful week of 21 Day Fix. I will work on the last few days of this week in hopes of salvaging some of it. We are all human and we have goods and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks. I will not let that define me.

I’d love to hear how you manage eating healthy and/or follow the 21 Day Fix when you’ve got family visiting. I’ll have an extra 7 people (more than double my little family) staying with us for 3-4 days.

 


Hello my friends!

I started the 21 day fix and am 1 week in. I did it about a year ago but graduate school took over my life. This led to a pretty sedentary life. Of course, this led to me gaining some weight. I decided to give this a go again since I enjoyed the exercises before and the diet overall focuses on healthy eating: lean meats, plenty fruits and veggies, etc. I also decided to write about my experiences following the 21 Day Fix.

Week 1 Goals: Exercise daily and begin following the diet.

Week 1 Accomplishments: I hit all 7 days of exercising. The last time I did this program, I skipped the Pilates and Yoga days. Instead I just took the day off from exercising. This time, I decided I didn’t want to do that and would plan on doing all 7 days of exercising. I did not buy any soda for the house. This is HUGE considering during graduate school I was drinking 3-4 cans of diet soda a day.

Week 1 Areas for Improvements: Diet. I did OK considering I started it somewhat abruptly. However, I still found myself snacking on candy my kids had (Dots, Twizzlers, Etc.). I also did not fully track all my food everyday.  I also drank my coffee as usual which includes adding some sugar and caramel syrup.

Week 1 Thoughts:  This was a pretty good week. The exercising felt good but I did have to modify every day most of the exercises. It was tough realizing how much I’ve lost in a year! I was much stronger when I was running and exercise regularly. Despite my diet not being perfect, I feel good about what I did last week.

Week 2 Goals: No candy! I don’t have much in the house this week so that will help me tremendously! Exercise daily. Eat all my veggies and fruits at least 4 days this week. Increase my water intake.

Week 2 Prep: I made two jar salads. I have fresh fruit and veggies in the fridge. I need to track down my food sheets with recipes I used last year. I’m hoping to find them, but if I don’t, I’ll reach out to a coach and ask for the lists.

Have you completed the 21 Day Fix? Did you like it? What fitness plan have you tried? I’d love to hear from you!


I went out on a four-mile run today. As I ran, my mind wondered. It jumped from why I started running and my initial fears about running to what I’d accomplished. I thought about the running community and how welcoming and embracing it is. I thought of all the people the supported me and gave me encouragement.

I started running on a whim while sitting around my cousin’s table having a couple of glasses of wine. I do believe a lot of my best ideas come after having a few glasses of wine. This resulted in my training for running my first 5K. I was pretty nervous about running in front of people. What would people think if I came in last? Well, several races later, I will say no one has pointed and laughed at my slow running. I’ve come in dead last at a race and again no one cared. Well, no one but me because I was too proud of myself that I finished my first 10K.

It took a while for me to call myself a runner. I still revert back to saying a jogger. I don’t know if it really matters except in my mind. When I call myself a jogger it’s usually when I’m fell down about my abilities. But I am a runner. I go out there and do it. I’m slower than some and faster than others. Running isn’t about my competing with others, it’s about my competition with myself and beating my last time.

I’ve found the running community to be more than welcoming. I was nervous about talking with other runners. I don’t look like a running. My times are much slower than many of my running friends. The more runners I talked to I began realizing most runners love when other’s embrace their sport. Most are willing to give out their advice and recommendation. Most will help cheer you on and encourage. Granted, there are some who don’t fall into this category, however, they have been few and far between.

If you are thinking about starting to run. Do it! It has so many rewards. And none of my worries or fears were ever validated. I found running to be therapeutic. I find it gives me energy and makes me happy. One last time, if you’re thinking about running, Just Do IT. You won’t regret it.


 Wool Running Socks: Yeah, I love’em

IMG_20140813_172352

I’ve been jogging now for a couple of years. I still consider myself in toddler-hood when it comes to this sport. I’ve been doing it long enough, I pretty much understand how it works. I’ve now invested some decent cash in gear and chews/nutritional support, and I’ve done some longer runs to include 2 1/2 marathons. But there’s a lot more for me to learn, hence the toddler-hood.

However, one thing I will tell you hands down, I love wool running socks. Go ahead, close your mouth, stop gasping and looking surprised. Because, yes I said wool. I know what you’re thinking because I’ve heard it. Isn’t it itchy? Or too hot? Does it wick moisture? I’ve heard it all.

But the truth is, they’re amazing! I’ve tried a couple different brands and find they are quite superior to any other sock I’ve experienced.

IMG_20140813_173116

Here’s why I love wool running socks:

1) Comfort- My feet stay cool/warm appropriately, absolutely no itching.

2) Wicking- Nothing wicks like these socks, I’ve ran through a puddle completely soaking my feet and within minutes, my feet felt dry. After the run removing my shoe, my foot was completely dry!

3) Arch support- My feet feel like they’re getting a nice little hug. Amazing!

4) Long lasting- These wash well. I’ve had two of my socks for 2 years and they still look and feel great.

5) Minimal blisters- Up until my 1/2 marathons, I would’ve said absolutely no blisters. But I must confess I did get one blister during my 1/2 marathons. But I say that’s pretty good hearing and reading about the condition of other runner’s feet.

The downfall, and there’s only one that I can think of…the cost. They are a bit pricey. They range from right around $10 a piece to around $30- Just for the record, I’ve never spent more than $17 on a pair. You can find them on sale and that’s when I purchase them. And I purchase, one here and there to add to my collection.

In my opinion, the benefit and overall awesomeness of this sock, outweighs the cost. Go ahead, order some. Your feet will thank you.

 

On a completely different note, I have a book give away HERE. Please feel to check it out and register for a chance to receive the book. Thanks!


IMG_20140504_112707

A while back I shared I was training for a half-marathon. I’ve since then completed two half-marathons all in the month of May. It has been quite a journey. I’ve learned a lot. And I’m contemplating doing a third half-marathon. I know, I may be certifiable but at least if I sign-up for a third, it won’t be until this fall.

It’s been one crazy ride, this goal of completing the half-marathons. And as with everything there were some high’s and lows. I learned a lot with the first one and even more with the second one. I want to take a few minutes to share with you what I learned.

1) It takes time to train Ok so this may seem obvious but to be completely honest, I didn’t realize exactly how much time I would spend training. Initially I was jogging on a treadmill at the gym three times a week. However, once I hit 6 miles it seemed very tedious to run on the treadmill and the weather was warming up. Unfortunately once I got out of the gym I didn’t want to go back. I found my distance decreased because of the weather. I always managed to get my long jogs in, but I skipped several shorter jogs. I spent every Sunday jogging in the afternoon for up to 2.5 hours. When you begin your journey remember it will take you to several hours a week of training.

2) The outfit matters: I knew shoes were important, but your clothes are also important. I took a long time searching for a pair of running capris. I had some strict criteria, I didn’t want them to be see-through. WOW! That was very difficult to find a pair that I felt comfortable wearing. After I found a pair, I bought two as they were super comfy and fit well. For a top, I just used a razor back exercise shirt but you do want to consider your shirt. I found some rubbed funny once I’d put in several miles. When picking out an outfit, pay attention to comfort. Also, wear the clothes for training jogs this way you can see if it rubs anywhere.

IMG_20140609_205054

3) Make sure you can eat Nutrition is very important both while training and pre-race. I highly recommend maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet while training. During training I would eat a large lunch and then jog 1-2 hours later. The first half-marathon I’d planned on eating before the race. I didn’t factor in two things, one during training I was eating a pretty heavy meal prior to my longer jogs. Two, I didn’t plan on having difficulty eating so early in the morning. Race day I was up and attempted to eat at 4 AM. My stomach couldn’t tolerate food. I ran out of energy very quickly into the race. In preparation for the second one, I woke-up several days and practiced eating my planned breakfast. This made race day much easier.

IMG_20140609_203543

4) Fuel as you go I learned early on that I needed to fuel on the run. I tried a few different fueling options. GU seems to be one of the most used ones. Both races offered it at some of the water stations. They also offered a sports drink at some of the stations. I tried the GU and carried it with me, but overall I found the texture problematic. It did work, about 15 minutes after eating it, I did notice a slight boost in my energy. I also used Jelly Beans and I had the same boost. During my second half I found Gatorade chews. The texture of these were more favorable than the GU. I didn’t feel the kick of energy like I did from the GU but I didn’t feel tired either. The most important thing about fueling is to do it before you need it. The first half, I waited until I felt the tired set-in. That is too late! The second, I started sooner and felt stronger for longer.

5) Plan to rest following This really took me by surprise. I was expecting some soreness but I wasn’t expect the recommendation and much needed minimum of one week of resting. Even after that week, my hip was painful with exercise. I found jogging a mile difficult. Slowly I was able to jog further distances and by the time my second half arrived I was able to do 10 miles without a whole lot of trouble. Unfortunately, I needed to walk over the last mile. If I had another week or two, I would have been better prepared. I recommend spacing out your races further than 3 weeks for adequate recovering time.

IMG_20140609_211112

I know I’ve learned so much more than those 5 items. However, I believe those are the most applicable to others. Personally, I also learned that I truly can do more than I think I’m capable. For those well-trained and athletic, the achievement of a half-marathon might not seem that great. But for me, it was an amazing accomplishment.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything James 1:4

 


As I shared several months ago, one of my New Year’s Resolution was to complete a 1/2 marathon. I signed up for the Lincoln 1/2 marathon nervously and have been training now for two months. I’m pretty excited and nervous about completing it. My excitement lead me to sign up for a second 1/2 marathon just weeks after the Lincoln. This one closer to home. This one with a much stricter finish time- 3 hours and 15 mins. And I’m slow…very slow. I’m a bit nervous about whether I can finish it in the time limit. But, I’m going to try.

I’ve picked up a couple of new products during my training time. I’m planning to provide a review on them as I use them. Today I’m going to review the Camden Hydration Belt. This was one of the first products I purchased for my run. Since I have reactive airway, I always jog with my inhaler. Prior to ordering this product, I was just using a fanny pack. Which worked, it easily held everything I may or may not need. The downfall is it bounced around, a lot. At the end of my 10K last fall, I had a line of skin irritation on my back from the fanny pack. I knew there’d be no way I could jog over twice the distance with a fanny pack.

I did some research and found that if I was going to buy a new pack, I might as well get something that can carry water too. I read several blogs about how to prepare for a 1/2 and full marathon and several recommend some way to carry water. In my mind, it only made sense to have on item that could do both.

So, I found this hydration belt on Amazon. I ordered it around Christmas and the winter was pretty bad here, so I didn’t get a chance to try it out until a few weeks ago.

IMG_20140329_202936

The belt is very comfortable and doesn’t bounce. I’ve worn it on a 8 mile jog as well as several shorter jogs. I’ve had no skin irritation. The pocket is a snug fit for my phone, small set of keys, and GU. Since I have to carry an inhaler with me, I like have the attachment strings. My inhaler stays in place while jogging and with no fear of it falling. The water bottles are small and, in my opinion, a good size for carrying along.

The one downfall was one bottle had holes in it and leaked. I contacted the company and received excellent costumer service. Within 24 hours I had an email back apologizing for the leak and offering a more than adequate solution. This company certainly goes out of its way to help which is quite refreshing!

Overall, this belt is worth the investment. It’s priced well which is always a bonus. 🙂

I do recommend this belt for anyone who is looking for a hydration belt with a pack. It’s a great belt and I’m looking forward to using it for many, many miles as my 1/2 marathon approaches!

Have you found in running or jogging products that you’d recommend? Have you tried the Camden hydration belt? I’d love to hear from you.


20140105_205305

Now with 2013 behind us, my focus is on 2014. I’ve made a couple of resolutions this year as I always do. Last year was the first year I choose a word and Bible verse for the year. I really liked having both the word and the verse as it helped keep me focused.

This year I chose the word PerseverancePerseverance is a continued effort to do or achieve despite difficulties, failure, or opposition; steadfastness.

I picked this word for many reasons. I’ve started out making changes in my life just to fall short when life gets busy. I was doing a great job reading my Bible every morning just to stop when our schedule changed to include Kindergarten. I do great with my diet for several months just for vacation or the holidays to make me fall behind. You see, in many aspects of my life, I’ve fallen very short of Perseverance.

In the new year, I look forward to persevering through our (hopefully) changing food allergies. I know these changes, although positive, will take my focus and energy. I will have to maintain a new diet. I’m also planning to persevere in reading my Bible once every day. I feel more at peace and relaxed when I have this time. Last year, I put together a cleaning schedule and really worked to improve our household management. But, that all fell apart during the holidays, this will be better this year.

I also need perseverance this year as I train for my first 1/2 marathon. Yes, I said it….I’m training for a 1/2 marathon. Last year I did several 5Ks with much success and a 10K. This year, I got the crazy idea and very impulsively agreed to do a 1/2 marathon. This alone will challenge me in so many ways. Not only the challenge of completing the miles but staying on tract with the training, family life, work life and social life. Ok, as I type this out, I feel a bit overwhelmed. Yeah, I’m gonna need some perseverance!

My official New Year’s Resolution are the following:

Jogging Resolution: 1/2 Marathon: I will complete this! 10K: I will do at least one of these 5K: I will do a few of these

Weight: I will weigh-in under 190 lbs at the end of the year

Social: I will make time this year to see people outside of social media

That is it. I’m keeping it simple this year. I don’t want to get bogged down in multiple things to work on, I just want to persevere.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything James 1:4