fitness

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!

IMG_2585 IMG_2605

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.

1

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!

How I’ve Changed in the Last Two Years

I touched on some of this in my reintroduction post. But well, 2013, 2014, and 2015 have truly helped redefine me. First, a quick recap of 2013, which will help in understanding 2014 and 2015.

In 2013 I decided to run 13 half marathons… then through in the mix, a sprint triathlon. The training was time consuming. The time alone with myself, was eye opening. I learned a lot about myself, my priorities and what is important to me. I also lost my grandfather, my best friend that year. He had been sick for a while, but that didn’t make losing him any easier. Towards the end of 2013, I realized I wasn’t happy in my marriage. I did complete my running goals.

In the beginning of 2014 my marriage ended. I sold my house and moved. I changed jobs, traveled to 3 cities in 2 weeks for work, brother’s wedding, and work. I chaired the annual Komen race as a volunteer. All before the first week in May. After that, I crashed. Then, I slowly started to regroup. I spent more time with friends, I didn’t make fitness a priority although it should have been. I just focused on finding peace and happiness and learning a new job. I started learning and practicing self-care. I spent lots of time with my pup.

Then, I stumbled into my greatest love. We both agree we weren’t looking for what we have when we met, but, as soon as we met, we knew we belonged together and our lives would never be the same again.

Work remained busy. I still worked very part time with my old job finishing up a research project and the papers associated with it.

On to 2015… hoping for a calmer year, we spent New Year’s Eve on the strip and then, the whirlwinds began. Right into a fundraising event for work, edits on papers for publication, living life and reigniting the fitness part of my life. I ran the Star Wars Rebel Challenge in January and Surf City in February.

Summer hit, and 2 new events were added to my plate at work, final edits for papers… and life didn’t slow down. Now, events are over for 2015, and we are right into programs, and 2016 events! Two of my 4 papers have been accepted for publication, YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!! And, life is amazing!!! I spent some great time with my brother this summer as well. Ran another half in October, and set a PR at an 11k event.

My BF is now joining me in fitness and running, which makes life easier… and, to keep things busy, we are moving at the end of November!!!!

So… how have I changed… I have grown exponentially. I have become patient, kind, and focused on happiness. I have realized life is too short for drama and negativity. I spend time with those that are important to me, focus on my health and happiness. I make time for fun, and always make time for myself. I have embraced natural health, making my own cleaning supplies, essential oils and foods to keep me happy and healthy with fewer chemicals. I am refocusing my fitness and running goals, prioritizing my health. Increasing my racing, and falling in love with running again.

Well… that’s my last two years… and here I am!! Next time: 10 Facts About Me and 5 Things I Can’t Live Without.

Happy Friday! I AM BACK!!

Wow. It’s been almost a year since I blogged. Ouch. I guess life really did take over. I have missed this blog. I have thought of blogging often… then, a free moment happens, and well, playing with my dog, spending time with my love or my friends, seems to take precedence. Always. But, as I’ve said, I’ve missed blogging. So, I am working to restart the blog. Prepare better. To start, I am going to reintroduce myself.

Hello! My name is Angela… and well, from when I started this blog until today… I have grown and changed. So… who am I? I am 41 years old. I am an eastern PA transplant loving life in Las Vegas. I work in non-profit helping others. I am a runner. I am a girlfriend, a friend, a dog mom, a sister, a daughter. I enjoy yoga and working out. I love to cook and try new foods. I love Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Wizard of Oz, Buffy, Firefly… and well, am a nerd at heart. I enjoy hiking a mountain as much as I do curling up on my couch with a good book or some good TV. I have learned it’s the simple things in life that truly matter, and to take good care of myself.

My last few years have been a roller coaster. I switched jobs to one I truly love and feel at home in. Two of the research papers I worked on in my previous job were approved for publication in professional journals. I had a marriage end, sold a house, moved, found myself again, reclaimed my happiness. Found an amazing, one of a kind love. And it’s only getting better! I am moving again in 17 days (but to be honest, it’s the same building, just a bigger apartment!! EEK! (I should start packing). My job is growing and changing and keeps me on my toes. I love every minute of the chaos.

I can honestly say, that life in my 40s is truly amazing. I have found myself, my strength, my happiness… and work to make sure all of that continues to grow.

I run regularly… I race less often, but enjoy running, enjoy spending time out on the road with friends or my boyfriend (who is totally becoming a runner!!). We live in a great neighborhood with plenty of fun routes to run. I do yoga intermittently, and try to become more consistent with this. I have found some other workouts: combat fitness, HIIT, and resistance bands that I keep in the mix.

Cooking is one of my favorite things… and you will learn more about my favorite recipes soon!

So… welcome back to the blog about my life! My goal is to blog a minimum of once a week!!

Thank you for reading…

~live well, be amazing

Monday Happy Hour

As a new addition to my blog I will be writing a weekly Monday Happy Hour post… where I will share my wrap up of the week, highs/lows, plans for the weekend, etc. Because as much as I need coffee on Mondays, a post Monday drink is also nice. So… grab your favorite cocktail and settle in.

If we were at happy hour, I would tell you that my week was exhausting. We got back Sunday from Disneyland’s Star Wars race weekend and I relaxed most of Monday. As you have read, I have been dealing with a hip issue, so finally had the MRI on the hip Tuesday. On Wednesday, another doctor’s appointment for a different issue, which hasn’t yielded any results, but plenty of frustrations. I am not a fan of holding patterns.

At happy hour I would also tell you that work is very busy but in a positive way, I work for the National MS Society and our annual Walk MS event is coming up so I am busy getting participants, donations, sponsors, etc. I love the busy. But I am also terrified it won’t be a success.

I would also tell you that I miss my best friends… for some reason this week I just really wish I had them near me.

Then, I would tell you that my workouts are going… ok. I could be doing better, I could be running more days, but this week was mentally draining, so it was mostly yoga and walking my dog. I will catch up on core and upper body workouts this weekend! This coming month I am trying a Tabata program, Class Pass in Las Vegas, on top of my normal workouts. This will be fun and adventurous!

I would also tell you that I am excited for Huntington Beach/Surf City Half Marathon this weekend. It’s my third year running it which moves me to Legacy status and this past year, I was an ambassador for them! This event is one of my all-time favorite courses. Which reminds me that I need to finish my Star Wars race recap ASAP!

I would tell you that we celebrated the retirement of my former boss, mentor and great friend… I love that lady so much, and to celebrate this new chapter in her life was such an honor.

Lastly, I would tell you that I LOVE my new personalized planner I received from Plum Paper (on Etsy). I chose the family planner, which gave me seven rows I could label however I wanted. I picked: Work, Personal, Social Media, Workouts, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. A great way to manage my tasks, meals and workouts! I also ordered the blog section to help keep me organized there!

Oh! And I would suddenly remember that it’s almost the end of January and I am still not done with my first book in my monthly book club. Best get on reading “You’re A Badass”.

So… at happy hour, what would you tell me? How was your week and weekend? What do you have planned for this week?

Spartan Events 2015

Hello out there and fellow OCR fans… I’ve got some exciting Spartan Races news, a discount code and…. A GIVEAWAY!

Is one of your 2015 goals to complete a Spartan Race? NOW is the time to do so!! They have some amazing and challenging events coming up, are continuing the Trifecta, and some great new stuff!! What they have in store for 2015 WILL BE EPIC!

To start, Joe Desena, Spartan founder started a podcast! I love podcasts… I listen to various ones EVERY day, from sports to true crime to educational to health related, so to say I am excited for this one, is an understatement!! Sign up for the podcast via iTunes or the podcast app on your smartphones. Some powerful and motivating interviews already!!

A fan of cruises? Spartan Races is also hosting their first ever cruise! You read that right… details for the cruise are here. But come on, a cruise, fellow OCRs and the chance to win prizes? Who wouldn’t want to go?? Info and signups here!

As always, Spartan is offering their season pass for the dedicated OCR lover… unlimited racing, travel discounts, and free bag check to name a few of the perks. Are you looking to complete the Trifecta? If so, this is for you, it practically pays for itself. To join, sign up here.

For anyone interested in registering for a Spartan Race, follow this link and use the code SPARTANBLOGGER for a 10% discount. (Photo link will allow you to register for any site!)

And… the part you have all been waiting for… the giveaway. Spartan Races has kindly, again, offered me ONE FREE RACE ENTRY to give away to one lucky reader. The prize will be good for ONE continental US race,  MORE MORE INFO.

Contest is open for 2 weeks. Enter below and GOOD luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome 2015!

Happy New Year (a few days late)… I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to tackle this new year!! After a roller coaster of a year in 2014, I am excited for a new year, new goals and new adventures!!

So… here are my goals/plans for 2015 broken down by areas of my life:

Work:

  • Be successful.
  • Prioritize daily.
  • Succeed in achieving my goals.
  • Host successful events.
  • Outreach within the community.
  • Grow and learn.

Personal:

  • Be present.
  • Walk my dog every day.
  • Love more.
  • Tell people how I feel about them.
  • Appreciate those in my life.
  • Practice kindness.
  • Read more.  (I just joined an online book club, stay tuned for monthly book reviews!)
  • Smile and laugh every day.
  • Make someone else smile every day.
  • Offer assistance where I can.
  • Volunteer.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Respect my time, emotions, and needs.
  • Cook and bake more.
  • Spend more time with friends and loved ones.
  • Organize my life/schedule.
  • De-clutter my home.

Health:

  • Eat healthy 80% of the time.
  • Start flossing more.
  • Eat less sugar.
  • Cook more meals.
  • Plan my weekly meals.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get more sleep.
  • Walk 10, 000 steps minimum a day.

Fitness:

  • Create a plan with my trainer that challenges me, yet one I can commit to maintaining.
  • Try new things.
  • Join a yoga studio.
  • Swim more.
  • Bike more.
  • Run more.
  • Complete two sprint triathlons.
  • PR in a half marathon.
  • Don’t let the Philly Half win this year.
  • Become stronger.
  • Build more muscle.
  • Improve my hill running.
  • Be consistent in all my fitness.

Blog/Social Media:

  • Write more.
  • Collaborate with others.
  • Share my knowledge of essential oils.
  • Post more recipes.
  • Be more interactive.
  • Bring you more reviews and information on great products.

Essential Oils:

  • Expand my knowledge.
  • Earn certifications.
  • Share with others both the knowledge, benefits and opportunity with essential oils.

It may seem like a lot, but broken down into life areas… not so difficult at all to manage. To start, I ordered a planner/journal from plumpaper.com and began working with my trainer to create some workout plans/goals for the year. I have worked with my trainer for specific fitness goals, and while some of the goals listed here seem broad, the detailed SMART goals are written!! Now for this cold to go away so I can get to my running and dog walking goals.

What are your 2015 goals and plans? I’d love to hear them!!

 

Gore-Tex Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap

November 23, 2014 I ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon for the third year in a row. Although a desert dweller here in Las Vegas, I am originally from Northeast PA and frequented Philly often. This race became a family reunion of sorts with a few cousins and I meeting to run it. This year, there were two of us. We both had goals of just doing better than last year and not letting the hill at mile 9 win. We enjoyed a weekend of sightseeing and trying new restaurants.

IMG_8227 IMG_8204

Last year, I had a head cold for this race, and my time was okay, about average for me, a minute or two slower. I did my best to avoid getting sick this year, it worked… no head cold. After last year’s 13 half marathons, I did far fewer this year (this was my second official road half marathon on the year). I ran regularly, with fewer runs over the summer. I increased my strength training and became more consistent with it. I improved my eating. Heading in to this race, I felt stronger, good to go. I had my usual doubts and nerves… did I train enough, was I prepared for the cold. Could I really hit my goal?

IMG_8185 IMG_8166

I had a goal of finally, finally hitting 2:20 on a half marathon. I told two people this goal, one of which was my trainer. I felt good, even on race morning, I felt ready. I felt that my mind was in the right place and my body was ready. We woke up early, got ready, grabbed breakfast and walked to the start area. My cousin and I chatted away and then parted ways into our respective corrals. When I got to my corral it seemed weirdly empty… but I was finally able to get a picture of the Rocky Balboa statue and the art museum. I chatted briefly with someone as we walked up to the start line… got my watch and music set to go. And…. We were off!

IMG_8236 IMG_8237

When I started, I was unbelievably cold… but felt good. My pace was right on, my legs felt strong, my lungs were happy… my mind was happy. I didn’t even care that it seemed more crowded than years past or that the roads were a mess. More potholes and uneven surfaces (ok, maybe I am a bit spoiled here in Vegas that in my area, our roads are in good shape). I tried to enjoy the scenery and architecture, and focused on keeping consistent in my pace. Around mile 5 my hip started to ache a little. I shrugged it off, and kept pushing. At the 10k split, I was on point for my PR and feeling good. That realization gave me the burst I needed to conquer the mile 7 hill without a single walk break. Then, around mile 8 my hip really started to ache, but different than when I injured it previously. This was a wraparound pain from the groin to mid-butt cheek, it felt stiff and tight… heading into the dreaded mile 9 climb, I tried to focus on that hill, one step at a time. Part way up, the pain got real. I stopped to stretch and loosen it up, decided to walk for a bit to see how it felt. When I tried to run again going up that hill, it hurt. I decided to fast walk the hill to not lose too much time, and run from there. I tried running again… it hurt, but I kept going, just slower. I realized then, around mile 10.5 that 2:20 just wasn’t going to happen this year. My focus quickly switched to finishing, and trying to run as much of it as I could. By mile 12, I just hurt, so I went to run/walk intervals. I cried… a combination of the pain and realizing that this race was my nemesis and my goal was still just out of reach. Running uphill hurt the most, so at the marathon/half marathon split, I walked that little climb, and started running again. As I came around the bend with the finish line in sight, I gave all I had in me to “sprint” to the finish. I finished.

IMG_8240 IMG_8247

I finished, but I was in serious pain. Walking through the finisher chutes, I cried. I tried to calm myself down and walk it off, but every. single. step. HURT. I tried to call a calming presence in my life, forgetting (or not caring) it was 3 hours earlier in my home time zone, got no answer. So, I made it to where my aunt and mom were, drank my coffee, text my trainer and a friend, and waited for my cousin.

A very small part of me is upset I didn’t make my goal time. But mostly, I am worried about my hip. This isn’t the first time it’s acted up, but it is by far, the worst it’s ever been. I keep thinking could I have trained differently, stretched differently, worked out differently, etc., etc. Then I think, what happens if it’s something more serious? I have the Star Wars Rebel Challenge mid-January, and Surf City a few weeks after that.

And, well, I’m trying to work through the emotions from that race. It’s my third year… year one was decent, I was sick year two, and now this… this race is becoming my nemesis. I don’t do well with not moving, with not running… that cliché: running is my therapy, is so true for me. I work through things on my runs, think about work ideas, unwind and de-clutter my mind. I’m eight days in to no running and seriously struggling.

It’s time to come clean on this injury. Walking takes patience and more time than I want it to. It hurts to walk any significant distance, sit too long, or put to much weight on my right leg. My doctor sent me for x-rays. Now, I try to dig up patience, to not push it, to let this heal, to rest… to not go stir crazy while I do the waiting, and healing and resting. When I went to see my chiropractor Monday, and was given the no running order. I knew it was coming, but it still hurt to hear it. I got the x-rays, followed orders, and still hurt, although a little less. I drug my dog out for a slow, painful two-mile walk Saturday and Sunday. I stretched, iced, stretched. I went back to the chiropractor yesterday and I still can’t run. I can do non-impact exercises like cycling or aqua jogging, I can try body weight exercises and see how it feels. I know this is progress, but not being able to run is frustrating and a real struggle for me. Nothing else I do helps me feel as amazing mentally and physically as running does. So…now is the time to heal my body, to focus on health, to figure out other ways to work through stress and emotions, to stay calm and to emerge stronger and faster.

When you can’t run, how do you stay fit? What helps you deal with the injury and healing? More importantly, how do you handle holiday stress without your greatest stress reliever?

Why I Broke Up With My Scale

Why I Broke Up With My Scale

Let’s face it… we are all aware that everywhere we turn there are messages about weight, fitness, being the perfect size. Magazines, TV, billboards (especially here in Las Vegas) promoting the latest and greatest way to get that perfect body. Those, along with the “fitspiration” messages (that’s another blog post altogether) are constantly in your face. This pressure to look perfect can be overwhelming and all-consuming. It can also be unhealthy.

Another fact we all need to face….not all of us will look like the model. It is perfectly okay. It is genetics and life. Everyone on this earth has a different body style, fitness level, fitness desire, and genetics; a different set of knowledge and views on what constitutes healthy. For that matter, different goals.

I am a runner. I sometimes don’t run. I am a person who doesn’t do yoga as much as she’d like. I lift weights with the guidance of a trainer. A majority of the time I eat healthy. I like beer and wine and vodka. I like cookies, chewy sprees are my weakness. According to every single BMI and weight classification chart, based on the last time I stepped on a scale, I am overweight.

I am not perfect, nor is my body. But that number on the scale, it ate away at me. I would obsess over it, step on the scale every morning to see if there was a change. I would cut out things I enjoyed eating (and eventually fail), I would increase my physical activity until I was exhausted. I got blood tests done to make sure everything was in order. But still, that number was stubborn… would go so far, then stop, then go up. I would get frustrated, angry, sad… I couldn’t get to where I thought I should be, to where the charts said I should be. I had long conversations with my trainer discussing options, nutrition, fitness, you name it. I did some soul searching.

Here is what I learned about myself during that time. I enjoy being active. I love to run and do yoga and ride my bike and lift weights. Every single time I hit a fitness goal, I felt amazing and strong… until I stepped on the scale. I also enjoy food. I enjoy the experience of eating itself… preparing it, smelling it, the appearance and the taste. Not just quickly eating food to not feel hungry, but the experience, the use of those senses to experience it. I often look at pics of “healthy” fuel, powdered food or pureed concoctions, etc. and think, none of that looks appetizing. What happened to real food… seasoning fish, preparing vegetables…  a giant salad of fresh greens and vegetables. Truly enjoying what you are eating.

Therein was my dilemma… give up the foods I enjoy like sweets, alcohol, breads; make them healthy; or find a balance to enjoy them, be physically active, and be happy. I chose finding the balance.

My first step… was to take the scale and pack it away. I didn’t even step on it to get a “starting weight” for this endeavor. I just walked into my bathroom, picked it up, and walked into my closet and buried it under stuff on the top shelf. That day I suddenly felt liberated. That square piece of equipment was done ruling my life and emotions. My next step was to create a shopping list of foods and meals for the week. To make sure I didn’t eliminate things, but there was a 90/10 ratio of healthy to unhealthy. Then, I talked to my trainer. I told him of my crazy plan, and we worked out some workouts. I often rave about my trainer, but to his credit… he really let me go with this one. I am pretty sure he was skeptical or concerned, but, he trusted in me, and respected my decisions. I then reviewed my goals. After removing a goal weight, I noticed all of my goals were health related, not size or looks related. I wanted to be stronger, I wanted to be healthy, I wanted more energy. None of my goals focused on what my body looked like, they were just about a healthy body. I realized then that was my true goal, to be healthy. My trainer and I stopped doing weigh-ins and measurements, we focused on fitness. He gave me workouts, I did them. He gave me monthly fitness tests, my numbers improved. I ran when the urge hit me. I ate well. I also had treats and alcohol. I just lived. I was no longer defined by a number.

Yesterday I bought myself a pair of new boots. My one friend wanted to see them when I wore them… so of course, I wore the new boots the next day. I took a pic and sent it to her. Her response, WOW you look great! I really looked at the pic and thought, hmm, I do look good. I sent the pic to my trainer. He was amazed at the difference. Then I really looked at the picture. I do look more toned. I still have no clue what I weigh, but I know what size I wear and how my clothes fit. I know that my fitness levels are continuously improving and that my emotional health is even better because I am enjoying life and have truly accepted my body, my perfectly imperfect body. I don’t have six pack abs, and I don’t want them, that isn’t one of MY goals, I still have cellulite, and so what. I feel great mentally and physically. I love how I feel, I am proud of the work I am doing, and I think my perfectly imperfect body is strong and looks great. But even better than that, it FEELS great. I have energy, I have curves, and a few extra pounds…. and that is okay. I know that if I push my body physically, it will give me more than I ask of it. It will climb that hill, run those miles, hold that pose and lift those weights. It will give when my mind doesn’t want to. That is my true accomplishment, a healthy and fit body.

As of today, I will work to never again let someone make me feel bad that my goals aren’t their goals, that my body isn’t perfect by media standards or for eating that piece of cake or extra piece of candy, for having that second (or third) drink. I embrace my mind, my body, my goals and my life. My wish for you… find what works for you, and embrace it. Set goals that matter to you, that fit with what you want and enjoy in life. Live your goals EVERY SINGLE DAY and they will just become your life.

….thank you for reading, live well my friends…