Category Archives: Run For It

Return of the Blog

I haven’t blogged since August of 2016. I’m still not sure where to start, what I’m trying to say here, or if I’ll get back to blogging regularly anytime soon.

But here I am. I’m here to…collect my thoughts. Lay out my intentions. Try to tease out the thread that leads me back to what matters most for me. The best way for me to start, I think, is with the highlights of where I’ve been.

Since August, I had a full hysterectomy. I spent some time recovering, as I needed to, but in there somewhere I lost my mojo. My hormones are still not 100% settled, so I consistently struggle with being too tired and too emotional in one way or another. I’m working on it.

In January, prompted I’m sure by the New Year’s Resolution idea, I started thinking hard about getting back to the things that make me feel balanced. I set some non-specific goals:

2017
Camp Gladiator for my body.
Yoga for my soul.
Healthy food for my energy levels.
Daily writing for my spirit.
Reading for my mind.
Weekly walks for my heart.
Snuggles for my joy.
Activism for my piece of mind.

Around the same time, thanks to the husband’s awesome gift of annual Disney passes, I wanted to write a blog about what I felt like Disney was giving me.

How Disney Gave Me Back Myself
Out of shape, out of touch, feeling sad. Not enough time with family.

Lots of Joy, tons of walking, lots of smiles and laughter. Remembered movement can be fun, what my body is capable of. Love being outside. It’s cool to be joyous, be a kid.

I never did get around to writing that blog. Every time I sat down to try to write it, I felt like I was faking. I wasn’t making progress. I wasn’t making healthier choices. I loved being at Disney, I love it every time we go. But despite all the joy it brings me, it isn’t carrying over to the rest of my life. So I never wrote the blog, because what could I say? Hey, I found a place that fills me with joy and it still didn’t give me a reason to get healthy?

So a few weeks went by. I did nothing. I barely went to my previously beloved bootcamp. And then…

I’m at my heaviest weight ever. Probably about 250, but I don’t know for sure and I don’t want to know. I do a really good job of pretending it doesn’t bother me, but it does. But that’s another story for another time. I’m actually writing about something more practical. Last night I was stretching and felt a sting on my lower belly, where my belly fat roll meets my torso underneath, right at the fold. Now it’s stinging and seems to be seeping a little blood. I think it’s just a skin tear, and doesn’t hurt a ton or smell bad or itch or anything…but this has never happened to me before. I’m crying in the work bathroom. This is making me feel like shit. In one day I’ve gone from feeling hopeful to feeling disgusting. Intellectually I know it’s the wrong way to feel, but here I am.

I felt so…embarrassed? Ashamed? I hate this feeling.

It’s brutal. My husband, who I only get to see on the weekends, is like “hey baby” and I’m all, “excuse me, my fat roll is bleeding.” I just…ugh.

In some ways, the worst part of this whole fucking thing is feeling like I can’t talk about it. I’ve made such a big damned deal out of accepting my body and being fine with whatever size, and now I feel trapped…like if I say something negative about my fat body, I’m somehow going back on those things (that I truly believe to be true). If I’m miserable with my fat roll, I can’t say that without sounding like I think fat is bad. I feel stuck and so dark right now, and I’m extra upset about it because I had this great, hopeful, motivated blog post planned. I was outlining it in my head yesterday, and then this happened last night and I’m so derailed. And of course, I’ve eaten SO much better today, but it’s out of shame.

That was the end of January, and I decided February would be different. Because it needed to be. And…it wasn’t. I barely exercised except for our awesome Disney weekends. I ate terribly, brutally, with intention to harm. I made myself sick from food for the first time in a very long time.

Now it’s March. I want to say that everything will be different, that this is the month I’ll turn things around. That I’ll find the time to do Couch to 5K with my kid and get back to 3x/wk bootcamps and start eating foods that make me happy and balanced and healthy. That I’ll get back to daily (or atleast weekly) yoga and meditation. But the truth? I just don’t know, and I’m scared to even try to commit to something.

So that’s where I’m at right now. There it is. I don’t know what to do with it, but I needed to get it out.

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The Cake is A Lie

the_cake_is_a_lie_515The cake is a lie. It isn’t even cake. It’s a vehicle to further solidify the truth I have created for myself right now, which is that I’m beyond saving. I’m too far gone. I’ve lost all of my motivation, slipped far from my health and fitness goals, and so now this is what I deserve. I deserve to eat a huge piece of cake, not because I’ll enjoy it but because the sugar will make me sluggish, and I’m not even that hungry, and it’s there so I might as well eat some, since that’s what I do.

And so I go to bed. Another day with too much sugar and not enough movement. Another night I’ve pushed myself to exhaustion before collapsing into bed to lie awake.

It’s become clear that my own well-being isn’t enough to motivate me out of this place. Not right now. And so instead, I’ll do it for her. Because I want to keep letting her spend one night a week in my bed, letting her believe it’s an indulgence for her when it’s just as much a treat for me. Because I want to feel alive and exhilarated and strong through every moment I get to spend with this fantastic kid. Because I want to have the energy to give her the attention she deserves in the precious few hours I get with her during the week. Because I want to keep up with her, challenge her, and teach her to own her own power.

20160523_174544For her, I’ll sleep more. I’ll hydrate more, move more, stretch more. I’ll do more yoga and meditation. I’ll stop mindlessly eating for punishment, for guilt, for boredom and sadness and stress and frustration and social ease. I’ll be mindful, purposeful, and honoring of this one body I have, that I get to share with the most amazing soul to ever walk this earth.

For her, I’ll recommit to my yoga practice, which does my heart and soul so much good.

For her, I’ll go back to Camp Gladiator in June, as planned. I’m scared to go back, terrified of the heat and the difficulty and returning after two months off. I’m worried I won’t be able to do it, that I’m so unfit that I won’t be able to finish the first workout, that the frustration will keep me from going back more than once, that I won’t go back at all. But I will. I promised her I’d go back, and so I’ll go. Because it makes me happier, healthier, better prepared to face the world with m very best.

It won’t be easy. I’m in such a rough spot that it’s going to take near-constant recommitting to my goals. I need to be prepared for gentleness, for patience, and for extra focus on being aware and in the moment as much as possible. But I have to remember I haven’t completely run out of sparks. I did do a half-marathon on an exercise bike to earn my first Hogwarts Running Club medal. (It’s awesome.)

It’s time. Summer is coming. My incredible kid is GRADUATING FROM FIRST GRADE. We’ve got a busy, fun summer ahead of us before starting a whole new school year. We’re looking at maybe moving, in the same area, but to somewhere a little closer to her school or a little closer to my office while still in the school district. My career is really shaping up beautifully, with a job I enjoy and work I am proud of. It’s time.

So help me out. Tell me how you climb out of a funk, what you do to get back on track, and how you handle setbacks in that process.

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13 Weeks, 13 Miles

Thirteen weeks ago I started a walk training program to get me ready for my first-ever half marathon. Today I walk the race.

It might be the first time I’ve stuck with an entire training plan, and while I’m nervous, I’m also ready. I’ll be decked out in my ENELL ambassador gear, which I’m thrilled to have. I wouldn’t have comfortably made it through my long walks with that bra.

Even better, I’m walking with Dacia. She’s amazing, incredible, and a runner who volunteered to walk the race with me at my pace. I’m excite to earn my Santa Starfish medal with her.

Thirteen weeks. Thirteen miles. I can do this. I’m a little worried about fueling properly, but I’ll get that figured out with Dacia’s help.

For everyone who reads these posts, who follows along and offers support and friendship….thank you. I’m feeling oddly emotional about this whole thing and I’ll be thinking of you all.

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Habits That Work

For six days now, I’ve been working on morning meditations to help me focus on what matters most. It’s not about weight loss. It’s not even really about food, although my hope is that by channeling my energies into constant reminders that I AM ENOUGH, I’ll be able to sidestep many of the food issues that come with being an emotional eater.

So how’s it going? Well, I’ve made some pretty significant progress in terms of sugar cravings and crap foods. Have I had sugar? YES! But in those six days, not once did I find myself reaching for something out of emotional need. Sometimes I did the meditation only in the morning. Other days I did it several times through the day, depending on how much I felt like I needed it. The truth is that it felt pretty easy, and I began to think more and more that this was just a good couple of days anyway. We were off our routine, traveling, celebrating, etc, and maybe that got me out of my own head enough to make better choices. Not once did I have a stomach issue related to food, which has happened a fair amount lately.

And here’s the thing. By no means do I think that meditating every day means I’m never again going to eat emotionally, make bad food choices, and upset my colon. I know better. I’ve spent a lifetime doing this, and unlearning the habits doesn’t mean eradicating them. In the end though, I had myself pretty convinced the meditation wasn’t working. This morning, unintentionally, I forgot to do it. It was the Monday morning after a holiday and I wasn’t prepared to jump back into my morning routine. As such, the basic necessities of the morning – get dressed, pack lunch, walk dog – replaced any time for meditating.

I got to work, ate two pieces of pie and a candy bar, and then wondered what the hell had just happened. Is pie for breakfast a big deal? Not even a little. But I did it mindlessly, without ever thinking about whether it was what I even wanted. The pie wasn’t even very good. So yes, meditation works for me. It works incredibly well, and I’ll keep it up.

Half Marathon Training 

I walked ten miles yesterday! It’s the longest I’ve walked, and it’s also the fastest pace I’ve managed for any walk over 6 miles. My previously broken foot is a little sore today, and I definitely didn’t stretch out my hips the way I should have, but overall I feel great! I’m two weeks away from my big race now, and I’m feeling READY! I’m super grateful to be an ENELL ambassador for this race, since I’ll definitely need serious support to see me through 13.1 miles! So now I need advice about the race…

  1. Will there be regular water stations? I’d rather not carry my own if I don’t have to.
  2. My hands tend to swell a lot when I walk. Any thoughts on how to reduce this for the race?
  3. Do I eat? Do I not eat? If I eat during the race, what’s a good option for something easy to carry and eat while moving?
  4. If it’s fully charged, do you think my iPhone 4 battery will last through the whole race if I’m using the MapMyWalk fitness app?
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Repetitive Thoughts

I AM ENOUGHFixing my food isn’t working. Because I want to look better, feel better, do better, be better isn’t working. Because my body deserves it isn’t working. So it’s time for something new.

The human brain can be shockingly convinced of all sorts of things through sheer repetition. It’s long past time I look to the source of my problems, and a little dependency on my monkey mind might be just what it takes.

Remember Bjorn? Remember how she’s constantly doing and saying detrimental things out of a well intentioned place of both love and fear? Well, she’s my monkey mind and she’s terrified of letting go of the things I’ve learned to rely on when I’m scared or feeling out of control.

So it’s time I try to soothe her, to address the things she’s so scared of, with sheer repetition. I started this morning with a new kind of meditation.

I am enough, I have enough, I do enough. I am safe and loved. I make lives better.

Over and over, for as long as I can. Every morning. Because these are my fears, that I am slowly but surely failing the people that I love most. That at any moment I’ll be discovered for the fraud I sometimes fear I am. That all my efforts aren’t enough.

Slowly, day by day, I’ll repeat my truths. One day, I’ll hear them, accept them, become them. I’ll be focusing on the things I’m doing well, the ways I feel lit up, and leaving the rest of it behind. (MORE YOGA!)

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So how am I doing with Half Training? Not too shabby! I missed my long walk last weekend. It’s the first walk I’ve missed, 9 miles, and because of the holiday week I won’t be able to make it up before I’m due to walk 10 miles this weekend…so I’m letting it go. I feel good about having kept up with the training this long, and I know I can do this half. It won’t be as fast as I wish it could be, but I will finish and I’ll do so with a smile.

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Just Keep Moving

I’ve had some pretty fantastic walks lately.

racepics

The picture on the left was from a nighttime Color & Glow 5K I did a few weeks ago. I wasn’t super excited about the night race, and I do think they could have lit the path a lot better, but overall it was incredibly fun. I genuinely enjoyed the glow paint, even when I did get it in my mouth, and I got an incredible chance to talk to several women there about my love for all things ENELL. I even gave away one of my awesome ambassador slap bracelets. As an ambassador for ENELL, I’m super lucky because I get to talk about something I genuinely love, and they’re generous enough to pay for my race entry fees.

Overall the Color & Glow was incredible, but I might think again before doing another race at night. This one was over an hour from my house, so next time it’s closer or it’s a no-go.

Next up was the Oktoberfest 5K I did representing Jost Running. It was such an awesome experience. Not only did I earn a huge, beautiful medal, but I also got out there with my sister and her boyfriend, and even my mom’s dog! My husband and daughter joined us for the first three miles or so too. It was so much fun to have people to chat with the whole time and just get out and moving. And of course I used my incredible medal to open a cold beer (it’s a bottle opener too!) when we got home.

Jost has some great upcoming races, medals, and causes too, so check out their newest options:

Strength In Numbers: November is the month to give thanks, and this month we are choosing to use our miles to support of our service members, veterans, and their families and thank them for all that they have sacrificed in the name of our country. The “Strength in Numbers” benefactor is Courage Beyond at Centerstone – an organization that helps it’s members cope with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental and emotional struggles, after and during their service.

Let It Snow: We’re not afraid of winter, in fact, bring it on and LET IT SNOW!! This December, join us in racing for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and fighting blood cancers while pumping ours!

Finally, today was an eight mile training walk to prepare for my December HALF MARATHON walk! My dad took the kid fishing this morning, so my husband came out with me and we spent an awesome morning together. It was such a great way to spend time together. The weather was beautiful, the walk was awesome, and the chances to chat were perfect.

Physically, I struggled a little with this walk. I was feeling tired and dehydrated before we started, so I felt a little bad in the sun at the end of the distance. I was also having some pretty significant foot soreness in the foot I broke a few years ago, and I am a little bit worried about how to handle that for the half. My sister recommended the massage therapist at her spa, so I might try that out just to see if it helps.

Anybody else have issues with post-break pains?

Anyway, the thing is… I love walking. I love getting out in the fresh air and moving my body. I love the way it feels when I’m done, all sweaty and tired but not awful or ill. Walking and yoga and barre are SO my body’s ultimate choice of exercise!

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Walking & Medals & Bras, Oh My!

Oh hai. I’m sad today. It’s just a sad-iversary, and I’ll be just fine. In the meantime, I wanted to talk a bit about how my half marathon walk training is going, mostly because I actually think it’s going pretty well. Here’s a screenshot from the Training Peaks site I’m using, and the training is the Hal Higdon program.

TrainingSo that’s where I’m at. I’ve moved around some workouts and changed the order of things, but I’ve done every workout so far. The two red ones are ones where I was off the mark significantly for distance or time. The first was when I did 5 miles instead of 3, and the second was last night’s terrible, no good, very bad, super horrible training walk. I wrote this on Facebook after the walk:

Went out for the first fast training walk on the schedule today. I couldn’t come ANYWHERE NEAR the time suggested (10min/mi). Already frustrated, I decided instead to aim for the significantly slower minimum pace for my December race (16min/mi). I managed that for about .75mi before my shin pain flared big time. No way I can maintain that pace for 13.1 miles. Can’t find a half in FL with no time limit. It’s my own fault for registering for a time limited race, I guess.

feeling defeated.

Fortunately, my incredible friends rallied. I got advice, support, love, understanding. I began to understand that walking a 10 minute mile was ridiculous, and that whatever I could do was enough. I looked back at my calendar and realized I’d stuck with three weeks of training, and even added in my own other exercise on top of that. It’s the most consistently I’ve moved my body in a while, and it felt awesome. So now I’m planning to keep up with the training, and thanks to my awesome local friend Jenny I’ve gotten into contact with the race director, who says they’ll be able to accommodate me starting WAY early to finish on time, or finishing late. Either way, they’ll see that I finish, and that’s what matters to me.

I’m loving the walks themselves, as long as I don’t push for a particular pace, because they’re a chance to clear my head. I can think straight and things make sense. Stress goes away. I get up from my desk, which happens woefully seldom otherwise. I get to watch the turtles in the lake. If the time and light are right, I take the dog and the kid and the husband when he’s around, and we make it a family affair. Having a schedule to walk with has been super helpful because it makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something versus sort of blindly trying to figure out what I ought to be doing…which was totally my plan when I first signed up for this race. Plus I’ll have the added benefit of earning my beautiful JOST medals along the way, which makes training that much more fun. The Octoberfest medals are AWESOME.

I’ve also been incredibly fortunate to have ENELL supporting me too (see what I did there?). I’ve worn an ENELL bra on every training walk, to every class, and even wore the pink HOPE bra all by itself on the kayak when the kid was cold. Hey, a mom sacrifices her tank top when needed… In short, I’m SO thankful to be involved with such an incredible company. The bras are incomparable – lovely and comfortable and hella supportive – and the company itself couldn’t be run by better people. I’ve never had this kind of open communication as an ambassador. I’m super proud to be one for ENELL. (Go buy a bra. I make no money from it, but your boobs will be happier, and that makes me happy.)

So what about those other workouts? A lot of yoga of course, but there seems to be a repeating pattern of something else on that calendar if you look. But how I got into, and then continued with, Barre classes (of all things) is another story for another time….

 

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Run, Walk, Crawl

See those gorgeous medals right there? I’m SO excited to share them with you, and I hope I can encourage you to grab one for yourself. You see, here’s the thing. I don’t run anymore. It’s not news to anyone who has followed the blog for a while. But I DO like moving, getting some sunshine, and earning medals. I mean I really do. Since I’m out of the game for most races, I started getting into virtual medals because it meant a chance to get out and moving, and have some powerful motivation to do it.

Now it’s even more important, as next week begins my training to walk a half marathon in December. I’ve struggled with follow through in the past, so when I was offered the chance to blog for Jost Running (in exchange for a few months of their incredible medals) I jumped at the chance. Now I know I have some gorgeous bling to keep me motivated to train. On those days when I’m really not feeling like taking my training walk, it’s going to make all the difference to know that I can earn a nice shiny medal by getting out there for thirty minutes or an hour.

I know plenty of my runner friends are training for fall/winter races now, so I’m hoping the same can be true for them. The medals are big and beautiful, but they’re also a chance to support some really powerful causes. September’s SOARING medals, which you should get soon, are supporting Team For Kids.  From their website, “Team for Kids is a committed group of adult runners from around the world who add meaning to their miles by raising funds for NYRR’s Youth and Community Services programs while training for major endurance events. The funds they raise provide free or low-cost health and fitness programs to kids who would otherwise have little or no access to regular physical activity. These programs serve more than 200,000 children each year in more than 800 schools and community centers in New York City, across the nation, and around the world.” So every registration for a September medal is going to make a real impact in the life of a child. THAT is meaning. THAT is motivation.

Medals are for a 5K/10K or for a Half or Full Marathon. And if you’re not yet up for a September race? BEHOLD the beautiful October medals. GET THESE NOW on presale, because they sell out FAST. These crazy awesome medals (which are also bottle openers) are selling in support of Midwest Food Bank, which is “a faith based organization it is the mission of Midwest Food Bank to alleviate hunger and poverty by gathering and distributing food donations to not-for-profits and disaster sites without cost to the recipients.”

Even better? You don’t have to run. Walk. Bike. Swim. Get your community involved. Take your family around the block in their wagons and on their tricycles. Push a stroller or a wheelchair. Invite your neighbors to the park. Walk your dog. Just get your body moving and enjoy the gentler weather as fall starts to show up in most of the US.

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How I Get What I Want

What do I really want?
1. To go to FitBloggin in Denver
2. To work from home at least one day per week
3. To become a yoga teacher
4. To compete in one strength competition, ideally the Disney Fit Challenge

How do I get those things?
1. Save money. This means I have to stop spending money on toys, incidentals, eating out, and unnecessary clothing purchases. Time to tighten the purse strings big time.
2. Work hard all the time. Meet or exceed deadlines. Take more initiative when it comes to learning more about the company. Come up with ideas and share them more often.
3. See #1, but also get back to regular daily practice as a priority. My time on the mat is necessary to being in the right mental and physical space for teacher training.
4. Keep up with my NF training. It will also help with yoga!

This weekend someone I care about spent several hours in the ER and, in fact, is still in the hospital. The person in question is alright, and wasn’t there for something anyone could ever claim was brought on by bad choices or unhealthy living or any such thing. Still, as I waited out that first night, my stomach a mess from a combination of stress and bad food choices, I couldn’t help but think about choices, health, the passage of time, and about all I want from this life. There are no guarantees, not ever, but maybe there is power in choices. Power to say you’ve done all you could. Power to put out into the universe the right energy to attract what you desire. Power to make a difference, however small or temporary, in the quality of your own life.

I’m caught up in thoughts about the importance of really listening, of making a connection with my true needs and honoring them above all else. It’s a path I’m already on, though one I stray from more often than not. So this week, I’m scrapping the big specific goals in favor of one single goal. This week, I will strive to live the life I deserve. I will do this by making choices that bring me genuine, lasting joy. I will listen to my body every chance I get, and I will remember that one moment or day or week of choices out of line with this path is simply another chance to learn more about how to more fully align.

I’m also working hard to align myself with things that matter, and that get me closer to the goals I have of aligning better with real joy. In part, this means forging relationships with some companies that are pretty dear to me in one way or another. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have found a few things that help make living actively more enjoyable for me, and one of them is finding the right gear. Two years ago now I finally bit the bullet and spent real money on a real sports bra, instead of wearing 2-3 of the ones I found at Target or Walmart. The bra? An ENELL. Now I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen as an ambassador for the bras, and I can’t say enough. They’re the only ones that have ever worked for me. They’re super supportive, incredibly comfortable, and the only reason I can do a shoulder stand without suffocating.  More than that, it’s a company out there saying that just because I have a body that doesn’t fit a particular mold, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have the chance to successfully and comfortably move in a way that really, truly brings me joy. THAT’s something I can really get behind. The more I thought about the ways I love to move, the ways that make my body truly happy, the more I realized how much of it was possible thanks to the support of this sports bra. Walking, yoga, strength training…it’s all so much easier with something that’s made for MY body, with the added bonus of doing less laundry since I’m not wearing 2-3 bras for every workout.

In the spirit of reaching out and moving more, I also reached out to be a blogger for Jost Running. I haven’t heard back on their decision yet, but I’m excited because it means extra motivation to get up and moving several times a month. Jost hosts virtual races every month, offering beautiful medals and donating proceeds to a different charity every month. I’ve signed up for their races before, and loved the bling and the donation. Now I’ve applied to blog for them for a few months, which means extra chances to encourage others to get up and moving, and great motivation to get me off the couch/office chair as well. And that should be perfect timing because…I’m probably walking a half marathon in December.

I haven’t signed up for the race yet. I want the idea to percolate for a while first, because I have a tendency to jump into these big plans without thinking them through well enough. I did look into a walking half training plan though, and even found a fellow ENELL ambassador who’s fairly local and might be able to meet me for the occasional training walk! I’ve always wanted to complete a half, and when running was no longer an option for me, I figured I would never be able to do it. When I found a local holiday-themed half that accepted walkers, it got me thinking again about finishing a half. If I decide to do it, my training plan would start in early September. I’m thinking I’ll stick to my 2-3 strength training workouts a week, alongside the 4-5 walking workouts for the half training, and scale my yoga back to shorter sessions on a more consistent basis instead of getting in 60-90 minutes but only once or twice a week.

I’ve also been sort of tracking my food lately. I haven’t tracked any amounts or anything, but instead have just been recording what I ate, when, and what thoughts or feelings were part of the choice. I found very quickly that my stress levels and boredom are the two biggest triggers for bad food choices, but that the other key was access. I won’t go buy bad food if I’m at work. I won’t leave the house to go get something bad for me. If, however, it’s already there…I’ll probably consume the entire bag/box/package. So as long as I’m a little more careful about what I keep nearby, I should have an easier time (particularly at work) with controlling emotion-fueled food intake.

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FitBloggin+: Recap & Aftermath

I’m home. I’m reasonably settled in too, which is nice. And what’s more? I have SO MUCH to write about. I want to share where I’m at with my Nerd Fitness journey. I want to talk about my experience at FitBloggin this year. I want to write in particular about the Tough Love session and do the “homework” of writing a letter to myself to call me out a bit.

I don’t know if that’s too much for one post…so I’ll just start going and see where I end up.

Nerd Fitness: I’m doing damned well with this. I haven’t gone perfectly as planned, but the whole point this time around is to remember that life is that way. I’m extremely unlikely to ever be able to follow a plan perfectly to the letter. My first week consisted of veggies for lunch OR dinner every day, and veggies for lunch AND dinner four out of seven days. I did the NF workout on Monday, met with my mom’s trainer for a lifting workout on Wednesday to establish my baseline, and then did some easy strength on Friday. I also did Zumba, yoga, and a 5K. I feel really good about the work I did.

This week’s goal is to do three strength workouts, stick with the veggies, and add in another nutrition goal. Originally that was going to be no grains at breakfast, since the nutrition guidelines for NF are headed toward paleo, but after a long conversation I’ll get to more of later, I’ve decided instead that I’ll aim for less sugar. I’ve already started by putting just plain half&half in my coffee, which works alright except that my body is not a dairy fan…so I tried a tablespoon of coconut oil. You do have to BLEND it in. If you stir it, it’s oily and gross. I used my mom’s immersion blender (getting this one soon – that’s an affiliate link) and friends? It’s SO AWESOME. I used coconut oil and coconut coffee and it was great. Smooth, sweet, no need for anything else. I’m also going to be tracking my sugar, aiming for less than 72g a day, which is the seemingly arbitrary number MyFitnessPal sets when you log in.

I was EXHAUSTED yesterday, so I didn’t manage a workout at all, but I hopped over to the gym this afternoon at work and did the first bodyweight workout for NF. Tough, but I liked it. I’ll be sore for sure.

FitBloggin’14: The first day of FitBloggin this year was a little hard for me. With everything going on, having just moved, so much change…I was feeling unsettled and homesick. It’s such an unfamiliar feeling for me when I’m at FitBloggin that I worried something fundamental had changed and I wouldn’t have the same experience this year.

Turns out I just needed to settle in a little bit. I had awesome roommates: Dacia, Andrea, & Angela. Not long after I arrived, I got to finally hug Alan & Christine. Then I saw Karen and Deb and Sam & Matt. The hugs never stopped, and I started to feel more and more at home. FitBloggin really is a chance for me to come home to my people again every year. I missed Jen, Meredith, Carla, and Susan like WHOA, but the chances to connect and reconnect abounded.

So what do we DO at this conference? I think it depends on your focus. This year, I spent more time with friends and a little less in sessions, and I don’t regret it at all. Let’s see. We went on a ghost tour of Savannah. Our guide was totally insane and by the end we were pretty bored, but it was fun to see the city at night.

I skipped Friday morning bootcamp in favor of sleeping, then had a great breakfast. I made it halfway through a workout session before an oncoming migraine got the best of me. Lots of water and a little medicine later and I was bouncing back alright. I missed out on CrossFit to head to a session led by Christine, which was full of some really great thoughts on maintaining weight loss motivation, and then we got a little lunch time visit from Mickey Mouse! runDisney was there to talk about their races, but I couldn’t help focusing on the strength competition at the Wide World of Sports. I can’t get the Disney Fit Challenge out of my head, so it might need some more researching. I spent some time Friday afternoon wandering and relaxing, and had my traditional yearly dinner with Gail. We wrapped up Friday night with a drag show (so awesome) and a lot of dancing. I think I got to bed at 1am.

Saturday I got up for the BEST YOGA EVER with Kia, who I adore. It was well worth getting out of bed even if I was a little hungover. Just a little. After breakfast, I went to Steve & Sue’s session on Tough Love. That one was a tough one for me, and it took me the rest of the weekend to decide whether it was because I disagreed with the idea of calling people out, or because it was exactly what I needed to hear. I decided on the latter, mostly after a long conversation with Terry. I’ll get to more on that in the next section.

I did ZUMBA!!! with Sue & Sam, also known as the only time all year I do any Zumba-ing. I love their class because I sweat, I dance, I laugh. I feel sexy and powerful and amazing, even though dancing usually makes me feel pretty uncoordinated. I had lunch at Moon River with some of my favorite people, including a lovely local beer, and got to say goodbye to Sue, who was already headed out. Le sad.

Saturday night I had an incredible dinner at Alligator Soul. The atmosphere was fancy and fun, and the food was amazing. I had a moonshine flight, mind-blowing shrimp & grits, and was briefly married to Steve. We headed back in time for some truly amazing Ignite presentations. My favorite, and not just because I got a shout out, was Dre & Martinus rapping. I also got the chance to reenact a presentation in the hopes of winning a gift certificate. I HATE speaking in public, but getting the chance for some great yoga gear from be present was too much to pass up, so I bit the bullet and got up there.
I’m SO glad I did. I was so nervous, and so amped. I felt silly and weird, but I also loved it. The energy was amazing, and I had such a good time. I always say I’m going to try to do more with public speaking, so there is FitBloggin yet again helping me achieve a goal. There is nowhere more supportive or fun to be taking those risks.

Awesome new bracelet with green beads, and BRAVE ring from bama + ry

After the Ignite reception wrapped up and I managed to get my hands on some SWEET jewelry there was more fun in store. Side note: I love Jasmine from bama + ry SO FREAKING MUCH. For starters, she’s one of two people who understands my blog reference without me explaining it. Secondly, she makes amazing jewelry that’s breathtakingly beautiful and still affordable. I do need to save up for the Maya Collection though, because it’s incredible and I want every piece. More than that though, Jasmine is just…amazing. She’s got the sweetest smile, this incredible understanding of grief and loss, and she’s just…I don’t have the words. I feel like I’d hang out with her all the time if we lived close. I just realized I never got a pic with her and now I’m mad.

And then…I played Cards Against Humanity. First time ever, and fortunately I was with some awesome people who just laughed at my discomfort. J It was completely hilarious, so much fun, and gave me a chance to get to know some great people even better than before. I went to bed at 2am.

Sunday came too fast, as always, but I got up with Christine and headed out for the 5K. I can’t run it, so I walked with Steve instead and it was a great chance to catch up with him. I really enjoyed our chatting, and got a bonus phone booth photo. I had breakfast, got to have some wrap up conversations with a few awesome people, and made the six hour drive home.

And like that, it was all over… except it wasn’t. So many things still brewing. Emails to HR, food revamp plans…all for another post it seems, as this is long as crap now.

Next year FitBloggin is in Denver, and I WILL BE THERE. With bells on, perhaps. Or maybe not. But there. I will be there! I might even be brewing up a tattoo idea so that I can get one there like Dubyawife did this year.

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