Why am I whining?

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Monday and Wednesday of this week we did ab work at boot camp, considering I am a couple of cases away from a six-pack, this has been a particularly interesting experience for my body.  Today I went on a short run, about 30-minutes, my normal morning run.  After eating breakfast I got up to get a shower and get ready for my day.  My abs screamed, my legs ached and all I could do was laugh on my way to the shower.  A small giggle to myself thinking “Why the hell am I doing this again?”

Then I remembered it is so I can be healthy and pester my children into having children so I can play with my grandchildren and great-grandchildren :).

Also, today, day-4 of the healthy eating challenge, mostly so far so good.  Yesterday I had a small bout of PMS related chocolate breakdown, then I read this…

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And had a couple of Hershey Kisses and called it a successful day.

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…

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…

 

Bedtime Story

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There was an ambitious lady who thought it would be a great idea to work hard for 21-days straight so that she could be more fit and more consistent in her workouts and blogging.

She washed her best running tights, laced up her best running shoes, and loaded up her spell check, and off she went on a grand adventure.  Along the way she discovered that she was stronger than she thought she ever could be, and that with hard work and commitment one could do most anything.

While on her adventure she made new friends at boot camp, learned it was easier to run in cool weather than hot weather, that people will be positive and encourage you along the way, and that a lot of things are mind over matter.  You have to train your brain while you are training your body.

The end of her story has not been written yet, she still has a little ways to go, but like in all fairy tales I am sure there will be a happy ending.

To be continued…

So, I am getting this entry up late in the day and I am ready to go to bed, so I thought a little bedtime story would be nice :).   Sleep tight everyone.

Until tomorrow…

One week to go

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One week to go, two-thirds of the way there, almost done.  These are all things I am thinking today, I am tired today, not so tired that I am not going to keep doing this, but definitely tired.

Boot camp this morning was early and a tough workout, 60-minutes of any activity other than sleeping at 5:30 am is not easy.  It was good though, exciting, certainly much better than trudging to the gym to lift weights on my own or to get on the elliptical.  There is just something about being told what to do and sweating at the same time ;).

Two new habits I have formed out of all of this are getting my workout clothes ready the night before and putting my work outfit together as soon as I get home from the gym or from my run.  Those little steps of preparedness leave me far less frazzled in the morning and make the routine of getting ready much easier.

Something you may not know about me is that I am not very organized, so putting clothes out the night before is a big deal for me.  Normally I would be cursing about not being able to find a shoe, or a shirt, or something 5-minutes before I walk out the door, getting ready beforehand relieves me of worrying that this will happen.

“Organization is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.”  ― A.A. Milne

Here’s to being less mixed up.

Until tomorrow…

The first time

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These two shirts represent the very first 5k I ever raced and the 1-year anniversary of that race.  They really represent for me the beginning of my journey.  The journey that is leading me to challenges like 21 straight days of exercise and blogging, the journey that lead me to sign up for two races over the next two weeks, and the journey that is driving me to get and stay healthy.

Day-12 of my 21-day challenge to blog each day and workout each day.  I also committed to eating healthy each day, but have decided to make that the focus of my next challenge.  It is not that I do not eat well, I stay away from most bad foods, but I want to really focus on clean eating and think that deserves its own time.  So, for now workout and blog for nine more days.

I can already recognize the change in me; before I would try to use excuses, now I just get up and do it.  I prepare my clothes for either boot camp or running the night before, I set my alarm, make sure I understand what the next days activities are.  All of these are things that feel comfortable and have easily become part of my day.

The blogging has been a challenge on a few days, just thinking of something to talk about.  But I know this is something I am doing to keep me focused on being more consistent, not something I plan to do every day forever ( you would all certainly be yawning if that were the case).

It is difficult to form new habits at the ripe old age of 49, but far less difficult than breaking old habits like laziness and smoking.  When I think about my weight a year and a half ago and I think about the fact that I was a smoker for over 30 years and have not had a cigarette for over a year and a half, I know if I can move past this; I can accomplish just about anything.

This is not easy and some days I wonder why I am doing it.  I am doing it because I am moving towards wondering why would I NOT do it.

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Until Tomorrow…