Category Archives: Fitness

Disappointment

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Ever since we moved, I’ve been running a ton. I really enjoy it and I had officially signed up for my first half marathon. The Country Music Half in Nashville! I felt strong and wasn’t even worried about being able to finish. I was hoping to just enjoy the race, push myself, and maybe get a great time.

Around October or November my left foot started hurting after runs. The pain would subside but I started to notice it after days with just a lot of walking. I had recently switched shoes and resolved some pain in my right foot so I figured this was similar. At first. I think I’ve known for awhile, but wouldn’t admit it.

My foot is broken.

I had done a 10 and 12 mile run where my right foot swelled and was painful along with the ‘normal’ left foot pain. After the 12 miles, I could barely walk for two days. I knew, and Damien insisted, that I needed to go see a doctor.

So I did. And they told me exactly what I knew I’d hear. The reoccurring pain in my left foot was actually a stress fracture. And a big enough one that it showed up on the x-ray. My right foot was having a stress reaction – the precursor to a stress fracture.

I have to wear a boot for two more weeks (3 total) and then evaluate from there. It’s a break on my 5th metatarsal right where the tendon attaches. If it doesn’t heal, I’d need surgery to remove the piece of bone and reattach the tendon to the remaining bone. I really, really DON”T want surgery!

So I’m doing my best to rest my foot and get it to heal.

And obviously, I won’t be running at all, much less a half marathon.

I’m super disappointed, but it’s a good lesson to learn. Pay attention to your body! Don’t ignore pain that continues for months!

 


Sugar Detox

Food is a tricky thing.

We have been trying to eat better for months now. We have made great progress in some areas and are still working in others.

We try to eat mostly real food and have cut out most processed foods.
We try to cut back on carbs and refined sugars like breads and pastas.
We have mostly adopted a Paleo eating style although we have not cut out whole milk, cheese or yogurt (except for Little One).
We have switched out the oils we use for either coconut oil or real butter.
We have stopped drinking soda of any kind and swapped it for just plain carbonated water.
We use organic foods when we can, but focus primarily on the foods the boys eat.
I routinely try to eat foods I didn’t use to like and I’m beginning to like more and more of them.
We are trying to learn how to cook more at home.
We are both still completely addicted to sugar and carbs. (I actually mean ADDICTED. I can’t quit without some help.)
We still struggle with eating out because of its speed and convenience.
I know the last one flies in the face of our other eating habits.
We want to raise our boys to have a healthy relationship with food and to enjoy healthy foods.

So… starting tomorrow, Monday, January 6th, we (Damien and I) are going to begin a 21 Day Sugar Detox. I’m excited and nervous. We definitely need this, but it’s going to be tough. Especially since we’ll have things we can’t eat in the house for the boys. And Damien has access to amazing yummy treats almost every day at work. But we can do anything for 21 days. 3 weeks is nothing!


30 Days of Hustle… Times Infinity

I already shared how I worked with a health coach for 6 months last year. It was awesome. The greatest thing I learned was how important it is to make goals and follow through. I loved that she helped me make 1, 3 and 6 month goals. It was even cooler when I could check things off that I had accomplished.

Since I stopped working with her in August, I haven’t been as intentional about my goals. I’ve still been working on things that I care about, but not with as much intensity or purpose. And I haven’t succeeded in completing as many either. So for New Years, I’m going to re-evaluate my goals, make sure they are specific and work hard to make sure they happen.

Another influence over the past year has been Jon Acuff. His book Start and his blog Stuff Christians Like are inspiring and hilarious and often exactly what I need. He just started a group called 30 Days of Hustle. It’s closed for now, but in 30 days it will open back up for anyone to join and then it’ll start over for another 30 days. The purpose is to encourage each other to hustle. Dreams and goals and resolutions come true with hard work. I want to work smarter AND harder. That’s how I’ll make a change.

In 2013, I am proud of a few of the things I accomplished:
– I lost 30 lbs and have kept it off
– I have continued to exercise several times a week
– We have cut out almost all processed food
– I actually enjoy running!
– I ran a sub 30 minute 5k (3.1 miles)
– I ran 9 miles – the furthest I’ve ever run at one time
– I’ve been fairly consistent about blogging – which I really enjoy
– We’ve been married 10 years!
– I am actively working on yelling less and loving more – part of the Orange Rhino Challenge
– Made an effort to cook more at home and I’m starting to enjoy cooking

During 2014, I’m looking to work on some of the following:
– Become intentional about spending time studying God’s word.
– Kicking my sugar addiction by completing the 21 Day Sugar Detox
– Create habits that help keep things cleaner/less cluttered around the house
– Train for and complete my first half marathon (April 26th!!!)
– Complete the Rosetta Stone Spanish program that we already own
– Be connected to my electronic devices less – especially when the boys are around/awake
– Spend quality time with the boys each day. Even if it’s just a few minutes at a time.
– Become even more comfortable in the kitchen and learn how to make good food!
– Continue being active and exercising at least 3x a week

I plan to focus on one thing each 30 days and build them into habits that I can continue. I’ll probably add more things that I would like to work on, but this is my starting point. At the very least, I’ll have 12 new things accomplished this year. What are you working on? Do you have someone to cheer you on? Small steps will lead to a big change if you follow through!


Running for Joy

Since moving, I’ve been running a ton.

Back in February, I set a goal to run a 5k (3.1 miles) in less than 30 minutes. The last time I had run that was in high school. 

I finished the 5k race in 27:16!

I finished the 5k race in 27:16!

On Labor Day, I ran a 5k in 27:16! It was awesome and I’m so excited that I hit my goal. I think there was a part of me that never thought it was going to happen.

I have never really enjoyed running. In high school, I ran cross country so that I could meet the required mile run time for the varsity basketball team. I enjoyed the challenge, but I definitely didn’t enjoy the running. After high school, I didn’t do much of anything. And running definitely wasn’t on the list of things to do. When Big C arrived, I realized I needed to do something to get back in shape. I joined Stroller Strides and those ladies are awesome! Eventually they convinced conned me into running with their running group. In February of 2012, I ran a 10k (6.2 miles). My goal was to just physically run the entire way. I did it, but it wasn’t pretty. Many of the other ladies ran the half marathon and I thought that sounded like torture. I ran to get in shape and get healthy, but there was no way I was going to run for 2 hours at a time!

Right after the race, I found out I was pregnant with the little one. I decided to do Flagstaff’s Summer Running Series and I completed 4 races (5k’s) while preggo. By the end, I was definitely walking not running, but it felt amazing to be so active. And I know that being in shape was a contributing factor to having such a good birth experience with Little C.

While living here, I’ve run about 10 miles every week. I’d like to say that I’ve done it because I’m just so healthy and this crazy fitness person. But the real reason? I don’t know anyone. And the boys are quiet in the stroller. So, the longer I run, the more peaceful it is. And then we’ve gotten out of the house, the little one sleeps and we get to play on the playground for awhile. It has definitely been my coping mechanism for long mornings.

And then something amazing happened. The runs started to be easy. And dare I say, fun? The focus wasn’t just to run for the sake of running. It was to get out, enjoy the weather, and relieve some frustration. Now I think I’m hooked! It is so peaceful to be outside and the quiet time to think and pray and dream has been exactly what I need.

I’ve also found a few running buddies and we’ve done longer runs. Lots of 4 and 5 milers and even a 9 mile run! I am even signing up for my first half marathon. The Country Music Half Marathon in April. I am genuinely excited to run it. And I have tons of time to build up my endurance.

If you’ve been feeling down or just cooped up, may I suggest going for a run? You might be surprised what you find out about yourself!


Rising to the Challenge

Over the past 6 months, I have had the opportunity to meet with a health coach every other week. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was something I would definitely recommend!

I worked with Pamela from Five Foundations Holistic Health Coaching. We met at my house for about an hour every other week until I moved and then we finished our sessions by phone. At the beginning, Pam asked me about my habits – eating, exercise, spiritual, etc – and then worked with me to set goals for the next 1, 3, and 6 months. Based on my goals, I told Pam which areas I would like to focus on and she helped with exercise ideas, recipes, organization or time management strategies, anything at all. 

It was so nice to get those few moments to focus on myself and what my goals are. As a mom, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed and only focus on the kids. But what I kept finding was that there were a lot of things I wanted to do, almost nothing I was actually doing, and a lot of stress/guilt/depression about the situation. I “didn’t have time” or “didn’t know how” to make changes and these meetings with Pam made all the difference!

I can most definitely say that writing out goals and prioritizing them and then working toward accomplishing them has made me a better person. A better mom, a better wife, a better follower of Jesus, a better everything.

I am proud of myself and the things I accomplished over the past 6 months. I have met almost all of my goals and am close to completing the last few. Pam’s support throughout the process was critical. When I first made the goals, she made sure they were specific and measurable. As I worked on them she researched answers for me, held me accountable for action, and encouraged me to keep working on them. Over time if something wasn’t quite working out, she helped me re-work my goal and evaluate my daily routine.

I now read my Bible more often, work out consistently, run faster than before, weigh 30 pounds less, make time to read for fun/growth, and I am working on cooking at home more. Pam has had a major role in helping me reach my goals.

Why use a health coach?

  • Pam was there for ME. Her focus was on helping ME make positive changes in my life.
  • Pam was my accountability partner. I always knew that if I wasn’t doing what I said I wanted to, I’d have to admit it to her.
  • She provided extra resources, ideas, and modifications to help me along the way.
  • She ‘made’ me set goals for the future.
  • She helped me evaluate my life in all aspects: social life, joy, spirituality, creativity, finances, career, education, health, physical activity, home cooking, home environment, and relationships.
  • She had me set my priorities. I can’t do it all at once. Baby steps in each area.

This process has given me so much confidence in myself and my ability to affect change in my life. I really did feel stuck in a lot of areas before this. The weight of the things I wanted to do was crippling me and it resulted in my own inaction. I was accomplishing nothing. Now I have a system that has been working of setting goals, taking small steps towards achieving them, evaluating them over time, and adjusting as needed.

I know that technically I could have done it on my own, but the point is I wasn’t. And I had been trying. Having Pam as my health coach was the difference. If you get a chance to work with a quality coach that can teach you to make positive differences and help you set your priorities, do it!


Breaking Through

Body Back is still going great. I had a mini breakthrough this week. Check it out over at Fit Moms Flagstaff!


Patience Pays Off

One of my goals this year is to be more active and to be consistent about working out. In January, Damien and I decided to try out a home workout program and I’m happy to report I’ve made it past day 30!

We took the plunge and bought Power 90. It’s the starter series from BeachBody – the company who does P90X, Insanity, and others. Many of the programs like P90X are geared for athletes and I noticed that many people who start it give up because it is so hard. P90 is geared for people who aren’t in shape, like me. The program includes a sculpting/strength routine and a cardio/abs routine. You are supposed to do each workout 3 times a week for a total of 6 workouts. I am on day 33 and I only missed one day because we were pretty busy and I actually forgot, oops. I can tell I am getting a lot stronger and I have lost an inch or two off my waist and hips, but my weight still wasn’t moving. I’ve been trying to do well with my eating, but I just wasn’t doing enough, so….

I just completed week one of Body Back! Body Back is an awesome program by Stroller Strides. It focuses on high intensity interval training (HIIT) and uses team work and the group to keep us accountable for our diet. I am so excited to be working out with 10 other moms who will push me to be my best. They are just the accountability I need. This week, I finally saw some progress on the scale – just about 5 pounds down! I’ll be blogging about the class, the workouts, the diet, and the teamwork over on the Fit Moms Flagstaff page. Be sure to check out my updates.


New Year, New Goals

Obviously, I’m a little late to the game since it’s February 1st and not January 1st, but this year I wanted to actually accomplish the goals I set for myself. It doesn’t need to be the start of a new year, it needs to be the start of a new attitude.

My first goal is to get healthy. After 2 kids, that definitely includes losing weight, but I also just want to conquer my sugar cravings – especially saying no. I don’t want to cut out sugar entirely (although if that’s what it takes for awhile, so be it), but I do want to have more willpower when it comes to eating one cookie instead of six.

My second goal is to get and stay active. Generally speaking I have been accomplishing this goal since I started going to Stroller Strides with Fit Moms Flagstaff back when Big C was only 3 months old. I absolutely love being part of a group and have not only made great friends, but I’ve made it a habit to be active. This year though, I want to push my limits. I don’t want to just go and workout, I want to push myself to be better. This is definitely just an attitude adjustment. My biggest obstacle to working out the way I want to is all in my head. I am amazingly good at talking myself out of continuing. This year, I want to say no to that voice in my head telling me I can’t.

My third goal is to be more consistent with reading and studying my Bible. I want to live my life like Christ did, but it’s hard to do if I don’t read about the example He set for me or learn more about what He wants for me.

Instead of trying to tackle everything all at once, I want to work on them one at a time. And even if I hit some bumps along the way, I just want to try again instead of giving up until January 1st , 2014. I don’t want to give up.

Since it’s February 1st, I am happy to report that I have been successful with one goal so far. We ordered Power 90 (the precursor to P90x – and not specifically designed for athletes) and I started on the 14th. The program calls for us to workout 6 days a week and rest on the 7th day. So far, I have not missed a single day! And that includes being out of town for a whole week. Next week I will be starting Body Back with the Fit Moms Flagstaff crew and I’m so excited!! I need the group accountability to help push myself and this program will also be a huge help with my eating goals. Boot camp starts next week.

I have gone up and down with eating well. I do great for several days and then have a bad day or two. My biggest frustration is that no matter how well I do eating, that stupid number on the scale doesn’t move. Then, if I have even one bad snack, it shoots right up. I’m trying not to be obsessed with the number, but it is so hard to push past it. I do know that since starting P90 I have definitely gained some muscle, but that doesn’t really account for the lack of weight lost. My number one priority is to not give up. I have to treat each day like a new one and not give up just because I had a bad day yesterday or a bad week this week. Or even better – not give up on a whole day just because I made one bad choice.

For my third goal, I haven’t made any real effort, but I am starting a Bible study next week. My goal is to be consistent about going and actually read the material before I get there. I’m looking forward to learning new things with some good friends.

I may be a little late to the resolution game, but that’s the point. I’m not making resolutions for a new year. I’m making resolutions for today.

PS – Little C is doing great with some extra milk this week and I’ll be posting a full update after we visit the lactation consultant on Tuesday.


A New Fitness App/Website

I’ve been looking for any sort of fitness app that can help keep me accountable.

I was told about one called SlimKicker and it’s pretty neat. It’s a site that turns your food and fitness tracking into a game where you level up to get rewards. I love that it has a website interface because sometimes logging things on a mobile device is pretty obnoxious. The site is pretty new so there aren’t a ton of people, but it’s growing. And with the new year I bet it’d be easy to convince some of your friends to join too.

www.slimkicker

Pros:

  • The site is free and so is the app.
  • Leveling up makes it more like a game and more likely that I’ll log things.
  • Challenges: You can join or even create challenges that anyone can do. If you complete them, you earn more points towards the next level.
  • Rewards: You set up a reward for yourself when you reach the next level. I also heard that at higher levels you can actually earn rewards from SlimKicker, but I had a hard time finding information about that. Level up and see!
  • I also really like how they break down your food goals. They show you each nutrient and how you stack up against your goals.
  • Friendly tips: SlimKicker uses your input to provide you tips on what you’re eating or how much exercise you get.

Cons:

  • No Android app yet 😦 – I guess my iPad and computer will have to do.
  • The food and exercise database need some work, but I believe they are adding foods and you can add your own foods too.
  • It’s still a new site, so there aren’t a ton of people yet, but you can always invite your friends!

Overall:

I really like the concept of turning logging food and exercise into a game. I’d love to see a larger food database and even some integration with fitness apps like RunKeeper or any of the slew of apps that track exercise.


Cool Gadgets – AfterShokz Bone Conduction Headphones

I thought I’d actually review another piece of technology. I had new headphones on my wishlist for awhile since I’ve been running and my brothers were kind enough to get these for me for my birthday.

I hate normal headphones. It is incredibly unnerving to be outside or even just around the house and not be able to hear what is going on around me. On top of it really bothering me, it’s a safety issue when outside. I don’t want to be running with my two kids in a stroller and not be able to hear cars, dogs, or people that may be approaching. I thought I would have to resign myself to running without music, but then I stumbled upon these bone conduction headphones.

The concept is unusual, but simple enough. Instead of the headphones making sound waves that your ear then translates into vibrations, the headphones directly vibrate the bones of the inner ear. I was a little skeptical, but they are awesome!

Pros:

  • The headphones wrap around behind your head so they stay on during exercise. No earbuds falling out.
  • They are super comfortable since there is nothing pressed inside your ear.
  • The sound is great. The same or even better than traditional ear buds.
  • Because there is nothing in your ear, you can easily hear noise around you and be aware of your surroundings.

Cons:

  • The headphones have to be charged (although I let them sit awhile in between charges and they still worked). I think because they have to actually produce vibrations.
  • The headphones don’t come in a wireless variety.
  • The headphones allow you to hear all noise around you. If you are looking to block out surrounding noise, these are NOT for you.

Retail price is about $60, but I had added them to my Amazon cart to watch the price and I believe my brothers got them for under $40.

Overall, I give these a 5 out of 5 stars, because now I can actually use headphones without being weirdly disoriented.