Cheaters never win, and…

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I found out today that someone I have run with in the past has cheated in several races.  It really disturbs me that someone would do this.

My journey to get healthy through running, exercise, and better eating has been pock-marked with successes and failures, I could never imagine cheating myself out of this journey.  I think the thing that bothers me the most is this person, much like me, does not look like your “typical” runner.  When you struggle with your own demons and add in what others think of you it can be hard to keep going sometimes.  To have someone soil that with cheating is distressing.

I know this person does not represent me, yet I cannot stop being angry about it; the cheating was deep too, over at least three races.  Just to get people to think you are running and to get medals!?  If someone puts a medal around my neck you better believe I earned it!  Earned it with every painstaking mile, squat, and push-up.

Do not cheat yourself out of your accomplishments.  The way you live your life is up to you and you should not be ashamed of who you are.  If you do not want to run, don’t; if you want to eat fast food, eat it; if you want to smoke, then smoke.  But do not pretend to be something you are not.

There are too many people in this world who cannot do the things that I am able to do; people who are ill, or depressed, or otherwise unable.  To soil you ability with cheating is just wrong.

I had to get this out here so I can stop thinking about it and move on; thanks for reading my rant.

Give me a break! Or not…

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I have used this little bit of advice in my blog before; but it bears repeating.  Giving up is NOT a good idea, changing your course, changing your method, changing what you are trying to accomplish are OK, but giving up is not.

I took a break from my workout routine for the past couple of weeks, not really giving up, but I had a horrible sinus infection and some tiny bit of drama going on in my life so I “took a break”.  Here are the TOP 5 reasons it is not a good idea to take a break –

5.  You lose ground, all of that hard work to get where you were, and now that you have taken two steps back that is an extra two steps you have to take again.

4.  You know you want to workout, your mind is craving it even if you body is trying to convince you otherwise.

3.  You start to think of other things to do, like eat too much, or spend too much, or watch some awful reality TV.  I will not knock you for wanting to have an extra glass of wine though ;).

2.  People still ask you about your running, boot camp, progress and you either have to lie or tell them about your “break”.

1.  The number one reason not to take a break – your body will hate you for it!  When you get back to it and decide that an hour of leg work at boot camp one day and then a run the next day is a good idea; your thighs will scream at you like a colicky infant!

Understand that I do know there are times when you have to take a break, injury, severe illness, etc. even my sinus infection could have warranted a few days.  But two weeks!?  No way!

Do yourself a favor, the next time you think you are too busy or too tired instead of sitting down and resting go for a run or to the gym.  I have never regretted working out, but I have regretted NOT doing it.

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If you are what you eat, I am in deep trouble

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This is easier said than done.  There, I said it, I am having a tough time with healthy eating.  I smoked for more than 30 years, over a year and a half ago I quit and have never looked back.  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly crave a cigarette at times, but I have not smoked and I could not imagine going back to it ever.

Same with physical fitness, I find time and joy in running and exercising like I never thought I would.  I have taken time out from routine on occasion but miss it when I do, and those time happen far less often.  It feels good to be moving and doing what is right for my body.

So that is two, what I would consider major obstacles, overcome; they did not come easy but they also did not feel impossible.  The eating thing right about now, feels impossible.

Here is a little bit more about me, I am hopelessly disorganized, I have report card notes going back to the 3rd grade where my teachers comment on my inability to get my shit together (they said it nicer than that, but it was certainly implied).  Right now I am using this as my excuse to not eat well; my excuse to eat what is handy.

I know that in order to work out each day, because I do it in the morning, I need to get my clothes and gear ready the night before, if I do not, I will likely not go because I am too scattered in the morning to put everything together.  So, my routine the night before my workout days is to lay out my clothes for either running or boot camp.  In the morning, I get up, get dressed and I am out the door.

I always start out like this with eating also, try to cook ahead, plan ahead, etc.  Then it quickly falls apart after a week or two, worst part is that I end up throwing away vegetables, fruits, and other perishables because I do not eat them.  I have heard and tried it all, cook on Sunday, prepare the night before, etc. but for some reason I have been unable to make it stick.

The other part of my problem is that I just like food, and I like sweets, and other things I should not eat.  I equally like healthy food and found that I can make amazing tasting things with basic healthy ingredients; but it takes longer.

Also, I do not like to cook, some people find it therapeutic, I find it time-consuming, boring, and all I think about is all of the cleanup that comes after I am done.

There, that is it all of my excuses, my whining, and my confessing.  It does not make it better and I still do not have a solution, but at least it is out there for everyone to see.  This part of my goal of being Fit and Fabulous at Fifty is really getting me down, I am not losing weight because of it, and it is something that I have not been able to overcome.

Anyone want to be my nutritionist, for free?  Because I have a daughter getting married in less than a year.  Between that and race fees, and bills, and gym memberships a nutritionist is not in the budget :).  Outside of a free nutritionist, I will gladly take free advice or an eating buddy, or something.

I will NOT give up on this, just that right now I have no more ideas or answers, and I do not like not having answers.

The Fit and Fabulous 50s

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I am not old, but sometimes I feel like I picked a hell of a time to bring fitness and healthy eating into my life; I feel this might have been much easier when I was 20 or even 30.  When I was an adolescent I was of average build, I was pretty active but not athletic, and I had a lot of bad for me eating habits like lots of teen girls, the same could be said of my young adulthood.  After I had children I put on a good bit of weight and spent a lot of years trying to lose it in a lot of unhealthy ways, everything from fad diets to diet pills.  I also smoked from the age of 17 until the age of 48, this certainly did not help.

Over the years I just felt gradually worse blaming it on aging, on illness, on everything except my unhealthy choices.  That changed for me about a year ago.  In that year I have done good things, but have also failed at being consistent; falling back on old habits and old states of mind.  It really wasn’t until about a month ago that I decide to take this thing as a serious long-term commitment.

With all of that serious stuff said and out-of-the-way, let me share with you a little Plus/Delta study of making the decision to Get Fit at 50.  **I will not be 50 until March, I figure my journey will still be going at that time and I like round numbers.

PLUS

DELTA

I have been around a while so I know a lot of stuff I have been around a while so a lot of stuff hurts
I have more discipline than I did in my younger years It takes more discipline to get anything accomplished
My children are grown, I have more freedom My children are grown, I cannot call it baby weight
My finances are in better shape than 30 years ago Good thing because fitness is expensive
I am more enthusiastic about fitness I am less enthusiastic about recovery time
There are more gadgets available to help than when I was younger I do not understand how to work half of these gadgets
I FEEL BETTER!

Getting fit and healthy wins!

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Until Next Time…

Day-1 – I really want a cookie

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So today started my 21-day eating challenge.  It was going to be a 21-day Clean eating challenge, I have found that there are at least 2-million definitions for “clean eating”, so I am going with my version of eating healthy.

It is easy to do and easy to understand.  I do not have to find exotic ingredients or spend $4000 a week on food.  I love fruits and love to cook with vegetables, so yesterday I went grocery shopping for lots of fresh ingredients, and some natural sweeteners like honey for when I have a really sweet tooth.

Exercise has become a regular part of my life, I mostly enjoy it, I definitely feel better for doing it, and it has made such a difference in me I could not imagine living without it.  Eating healthy on the other hand I have found more of a challenge.

I LOVE food, good food, I do not eat unhealthy fast food, but I do eat processed foods.  Things that are easy to make and quick to fill (although that filled is short-lived), these are the foods I gravitate to throughout the day.  I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in January 2012, directly after this diagnosis I lost quite a bit of weight and felt better than I had felt in decades, so my big initial weight loss was pretty easy.  Keeping it off is harder.  In March 2012 I quit smoking after three decades of smoking, I have no problem not smoking but I know at times I am eating when somewhere deep inside I want a cigarette.

Telling all of my background and food issues will take at least 21-days so I will get back to the point of my 21-day challenge; to create lasting habits so that I eat well and remain healthy.

Here is my 10- point plan – 1.  Cook and prep ahead of time as much as possible  2.  Use fresh ingredients  3.  Avoid sugar substitutes and sugar as much as possible without wanting to knife someone.  4.  Avoid processed gluten-free food, stick to eating from the outside aisles of the grocery store to naturally avoid gluten.  5.  Limit dairy, dairy bothers me and if I eat a little cheese or ice cream I want it all :).  6.  Eat at home 7.  Keep a food diary  8.  Drink more water, I drink mostly water anyway, but need to drink more and no diet sodas.  9.  Eat breakfast daily, I cannot give up coffee and chocolate or I will decimate anyone I come in contact with, so I am keeping coffee.  10.  Stop letting my brain tell me when I am hungry and find a distraction to pass the time (I actually accomplished a couple of times today).

That is it, that is my healthy eating plan for the next 21-days and hopefully beyond.  I have no excuses only great things to accomplish.

Oh, and I am open to tips and advice from anyone who wants to offer.

Until next time…

H is for Horses

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H is for Horses and hills, cannot forget the hills.  Yesterday I did the Biggest Loser 15K with my daughter in Lexington, KY.  It was a fun and well-organized race and the scenery was beautiful.  We got to run through Kentucky Horse Park which is beautiful and hilly.  For those who do not know, KHP is about 1200 acres of rolling Kentucky Bluegrass horse country; it hosts world-renowned horse events every year.

Part of the course was trail, but the bulk of it was on the private roads that run through the Horse Park.  One thing about horse country is that there are lots of hills most small and rolling, only a few that were daunting and those were pretty spread apart; so it was not as scary as I first thought it might be.

The energy of the race was fantastic, lots of runners cheering one another on to the finish.  Because the BL 15k is a run/walk every level of participant was there; I love races like these they make you appreciate the human spirit and also what the human body can overcome.

Why is that every time I race I come home and sign up for more races?  A couple of weeks ago I signed up for the BL 15k and two other races, as of yesterday I am now committed to no less than three half marathons next year.

Today is boot camp and also shopping day for my 21-days of eating healthy, this starts tomorrow.  I took a week between challenges and now ready to go on to the next one.  Have to think of another one to do after this.

Until next time…

10 things I learned over the past 21-days

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Well, today is my 21st day.  I ended it at boot camp, which is appropriate since it is this boot camp that inspired me to try this in the first place.  Also, today’s class instructor was The Vince, see my post from my second day to learn about The Vince.

It was an exciting challenge; some days were harder than others, but every day was worth it.  Here are some things I learned over the past 21-days –

1.  Your body is an amazing machine; it will keep going if your brain tells it to keep going.  I am now a firm believer that the brain is the most important muscle in your body.  Never say never!

2.  There are an infinite number of ways to do a push up.

3.  There are an equally infinite number of types of squats.  And according to Vince he has several creative ways to do Burpees, I do not ever want to learn all of these.

4.  What you are putting into your body is important,  if you are going to work hard to get fit, you also need to change your diet.

5.  Support from family and friends is important, and any time you can get them involved it is also fun.

6.  Age is just a number.  Our classes at the gym range from folks in their 20s to folks my age and older; and certainly at races I am smoked by several folks in more advanced age groups than mine.

7.  Every time I had a new pain in my body, I found a new way to overcome it.

8.  Stretching is important.

9.  Physical exercise leads to better mental health, or at least takes so much effort that the small stuff seems less important.  In other words “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, sweat OUT the small stuff.

10.  I am important, you are important, we all matter, whether you know it or not someone is looking up to you.  You are inspiring someone and may not even know it.  I have met people over the past three weeks that inspired me to keep going, I will remember and be thankful to those people for the rest of my life.

Thank you for joining me on this journey!  My journey “from here to me” is not over, it is just beginning, this bridge to better habits has been fun and full of learning and today I am going to start to plan my next challenge, 21-days of eating better.

As for tomorrow, I am taking a vacation day!  I am going on my morning run and then I am going to come home, shower, and take a nap.

So today I will not say until tomorrow, I will say Until Next Time…