change

Workin’ It Wednesdays

…a day late….

Good afternoon readers!! I am excited to announce a new weekly series that my boyfriend James and I are starting today, June 1st!

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Since he and I met and began dating almost 2 years ago (June 11 is our 2 year meetiversary) we have both put on some “I’M SO FREAKING HAPPY I CAN’T STAND IT” pounds. So, we decided to start a Journey to Health and Wellness commitment. We will provide weekly updates, photos, tips, struggles, etc… and entertain you along our journey to health.

James and I will both be writing, so you will get to “meet” him on my blog. I am so excited for this! Although we are heading in the same direction, our ultimate goals are different, so it will be fun to see how we work together to reach our own goals and support the other’s goals.

I have two struggles right now… one is always a struggle… food. I love food, I love cooking, trying new recipes, cooking for others. The whole experience. I have gotten James to start cooking with me, and I love that time in our kitchen creating our meals. My other struggle? I currently have a stress fracture in my ankle, and can’t run… my one true fitness love. So, I have kinda gone into a slump with working out, and that all changes today.

So… quickly, here are my June goals:

  1. Lose 7-10 lbs. (lofty I know, but hoping for a good jumpstart)
  2. Exercise consistently (4-5 days a week)
    1. Healing a stress fracture has taken me off the running plans, but I’ve gathered some great weight, yoga, and pool routines
  3. Greatly reduce my added sugar intake
  4. Meal prep for ALL meals
  5. Walk my dog a minimum of 1 mile a day
  6. Hit my 10,000 steps goal
  7. Daily core challenge at work

My starting data (time to get real)… I haven’t seen these numbers in like 5 years… I am really upset with myself for getting here again. More than you realize.

Wt: 199.8

BF%: 42.6

Bust: 41”

Chest: 35 ½”

Waist: 39”

Hips: 47 ½”

Arm: 13 ½”

Thigh: 28”

Now…. On To James’ goals for June and his measurements, and of course, his thoughts on all this too!

My goals are different than Angela’s. Where she is putting effort into decreasing the 3 digit numbers that show themselves in a snarky, evil way, I am more concerned with my muscle mass and body fat %. I would like to be at 14% body fat in 3 months.

My weakness has always been food that is either sweet or convenient, and very often both at the same time. I justify 1 cheat meal with numerous thoughts to make me feel better about consuming it. That justification usually leads to several cheat meals in a week, and when Angela is out of town for work, I rarely if ever eat healthy nor exercise. I also tend to get discouraged when I don’t have an 8-pack stomach after 2 weeks of moderate exercise and healthy eating and that affects my ability to continue on with the work I was doing. I see progress, but when I look in the mirror after a couple weeks and don’t see John Cena, I tend to get discouraged. That mentality ends now. It’s not a “look” I want, but a feeling. For the first time ever I’m not seeking an aesthetically pleasing body. I want to be healthier internally. The look should follow.

Meals and exercise in our house has become bonding time for us and without her around I haven’t had the discipline or mental toughness to put long-term goals ahead of short-term satisfaction. So often when we are single our goal is to attract a mate and in doing so, we naturally are our “best physical self.” When we have a mate, however, that desire is gone as our number 1 evolutionary goal is complete. We then move to other things on the ladder. This is why, to Angela and I at least, that getting healthy together is the best way to accomplish our goals. We enjoy doing everything together and I feel that us taking this journey together will allow us to both accomplish our goals.

The more people you hold yourself accountable to, the better your chances are of success. It’s why, in my opinion, so many people have a difficult time succeeding with health and fitness. They are only accountable to themselves, so when they fail, they only let themselves down. It takes an immense amount of discipline to accomplish anything substantial on your own. We are now holding ourselves accountable with each other, and allowing you, the readers to do the same. We don’t know how this journey will end, but we hope you at least enjoy taking a small part in enjoying it with us. Nothing worth doing is ever easy.

James’ June Goals:

  1. Exercise consistently (4-5 days a week)
  2. Lose 1-2% body fat
  3. Help Angela meal plan so we can shop and eat/snack as planned
  4. Plan Angela and I’s treat meal/day so we don’t overdo it (does she realize this will be wings ALL the time?!)
  5. Angela’s daily core challenge she is doing with her work… might as well tag along!

James’ Measurements:

Wt: 197.4

BF%: 28.2

Chest: 40″

Waist: 37 1/2″

Hips: 40 1/2″

Arm: 14″

Thigh: 23 1/2″

Be on the lookout for updates here, some videos, my instagram: @naturallyangela and of course on our Twitter accounts: @naturallyange and @jamesscou

Sidelined

Towards the end of March, life became extremely hectic for me at work. It was almost walk season (our annual fundraising event) and with my walk in the beginning of the month, there were a lot of late nights and my workout schedule became just as hectic. But… I was still getting the workouts in. I was still training for RunDisney’s Dark Side Challenge mid-April. (that race weekend review coming soon).

I continued to run, do cross-training and yoga. However, with the late nights, began running on the treadmill more than normal. I made an effort to get all my workouts in, because I knew my sleep and eating wouldn’t be consistent. Then, one day, I woke up and it hurt to walk on my left foot. My foot didn’t hurt, just above my ankle did. I was hoping it was overuse or something simple. I promised myself that if it still hurt after work calmed down, I would go to the doctor. I used ice, heat, compression, kinesiology tape, etc. Anything to keep me going through April.

Today, I went to see an orthopedic doctor. Although I am waiting for the MRI, the doctor seemed pretty certain that this continued pain is a stress fracture. Yep, stress fracture in the ankle area is a phrase a runner NEVER wants to hear. NEVER.

After discussing the MRI and such, the obvious was stated: you need to rest the ankle. No running, no high impact activities.

Sigh. I had a feeling this was coming. An intuition I guess.

How I'm feeling about this news.

How I’m feeling about this news.

I’ve been a runner since the summer of 2010. I’ve never been this sidelined. I’ve had a few overuse injuries that I could simply back off for a bit, then return to running. But, this, this is different. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. The next few months of training have to be completely redesigned. I cannot run.

So, I know there are numerous options for being active. I know I can swim and perhaps cycle. I know these things. I know I am not relegated to the couch. I get that. But right now, I just feel lost and miserable. I feel frustrated. I feel sad.

But, I have decided to give myself 24 hours to feel miserable. 24 hours, then, back at it. Redesign the training. Refocus. Shake off the miserable feelings, and go forward. This will not deter my goals at being healthy. I can focus on other forms of fitness.

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How I spent my night.

 

And… one highlight to this… summer is on it’s way to Vegas, so with no running… I won’t have to be up at 4am to get my long runs in before it gets too hot out! I can finally work on improving my swimming and getting back on my bike! 

So, this runner is sidelined… but only from running, and only temporarily. This runner will focus on her other athletic skills and continue to build her strength, endurance, cardio and health.

Oh yeah, my new shades from my much needed retail therapy! Love them!!

Oh yeah, my new shades from my much needed retail therapy! Love them!!

Okay… for all my fellow athletes, suggestions welcome on other forms of cardio and cross-training welcome! Please share!!!

  • What keeps you active?
  • What have you done to cope with being sidelined from the activity you love the most?

Where Have You Gone Naturally Angela?

What feels like not so long ago, I wrote a blog post about ideas on becoming more consistent in my blogging. Then, I looked at my blog, and before I knew it, months had passed. Again.

So here I sit starting to write this, and realizing it’s not that I don’t have things to write about, or amazing goings on in my life, it’s that I’m busy living my life. And, my loyal (but few) followers, it’s not that I don’t love and appreciate you. I most certainly do. However, I’m still figuring out how I prioritize everything in my life, and realizing that that in itself is an ever-evolving and changing cycle.

What is going on, you ask? So so much. Work is amazing and busy and fun. I’m traveling to D.C. to meet with legislators next month, organizing three amazing fundraising events this year, working with our constituents and offering programs for those in the community.

My man and I moved in together in December, YAY! I absolutely love waking up to him every morning. Shortly after that, his position at work was eliminated. Stressful? You bet. But, he is on to bigger and better things, and I am excited to watch him grow.

My running and fitness life? Well…. WOW! 2016 has started off wonderfully! I had a wonderful time, and good race times in Disneyland for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge, despite a sinus infection, a great time (running and visiting) at Surf City, am about to conquer the Hot Chocolate 15k tomorrow morning, and Disney World Star Wars Dark Side Challenge in April. Outside of that, some amazing companies have selected me to be an ambassador of their brand. To date: Nuun Hydration, Alii Sport, Honey Stinger, and Wiivv Wearables, with others on the horizon. I have also joined and been paired with my buddy, Hope, in the Who I Run 4 program. I had an article published in Girls Gone Sporty on breaking up with your workout.

My past work? three, THREE of the articles I was a co-author on have been published in professional journals. WOW! I am most proud of the article on perceived economic strain on child BMI in The Journal of Family and Economic Issues. That one, that one is my baby.

With all this going on, I spend my non-work hours exercising, playing with my dog, spending time with friends, and absolutely spending time with my love doing fun things like fencing, or trying new recipes, debating politics, or just watching TV.

So, to be completely, honest, when I have downtime and I have the choice between writing blogs or curling up on the couch with my love, my pup, and re-runs of Parks & Rec, I’m choosing the latter. And, I am realizing, that is perfectly ok.

I will still be blogging, but right now, am choosing to not set a strict schedule. This helps me feel less obligated, and less like a failure when it doesn’t happen, and for me, allows my creativity to naturally happen. Besides, I am very active on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Follow me there, and you will miss nothing! I am working on redesigning/organizing my Pinterest land and becoming active on Periscope. I will still be able to share my love of life and running with all of you, but now I won’t have to fight with writer’s block. Besides, there are tons of pics of my adorable dog… so of course you want to see those!

See you all very soon! I am actually working on a post on my experience at the Nevada caucus. If you’ve never participated in one, you will want to check that out.

…live well, be amazing!

Change

I had initially planned a post on things you didn’t know about me, things I couldn’t live without, but, well, life happened. So, in line with the title of this, my plan changed, and today, I am writing about change.

Last week I was at chapter meetings for work, and we had a presentation on change management. This was really to help staff and management better manage the changes coming, but, in all honesty, change happens often, so learning about change, how our minds and bodies react to it, and ways to work through the change curve, is beneficial in all aspects of life.

Change happens. Sometimes it is planned, welcome change, other times, it is smack you in the face change. Either way, change can be exhilarating and scary. Welcome and unwanted. But one thing change always is: unavoidable. Every day, you age a little. That is change. Change is necessary for growth.

So, the past couple years have been full of change for me. My marriage ended. I changed jobs. My relationship status changed. My living situation changed. Finances changed.

For the first time in I think, ever, I am going to get a little personal on my blog. December 1st, my boyfriend and I moved in together. Although welcome and wanted, this was a change for him and I. That Thursday, he received some not so great news. We adjusted. We talked about it, our thoughts, feelings, concerns. Then, last Friday morning, what we feared/expected/maybe even hoped for a little, happened.

Change. Unwelcome and welcome. Scary and calming. Unavoidable. So, this past weekend, more talking/planning/regrouping. I know deep in my soul everything will work out wonderfully. But it’s still anxiety creating. Still scary. Still heartbreaking to see him unsure and worried.

But, the timing of my work presentation on change management couldn’t have been better. To hear again, or some of it for the first time, was helpful. The change curve happens. Emotions happen. It’s how we work through it that matters. Our brains revert automatically to fight or flight. Protect ourselves. Denial. All those normal reactions to a perceived threat to our normal. Emotions are high. It’s easy to want to stay with the norm, to avoid the unknown that lies ahead. There was a great quote, “to succeed in change, one must make the status quo scarier than the change.” I fully believe that. The status quo in this case, was scarier. This change, will, in time, be the something greater.

Which brings me back to the change that happened. The status quo was scarier. Was unwanted. Was in many ways, harmful. Although terrifying and unknown… change is happening. So…. Deep breath. A little regrouping, and onward and upward. We’ve got this…