It's been a big day around here. First of all, it's Thankful Thursday. Let's get started, shall we?
1. Breakfast involved one of my favorite combos: sweet potato, cinnamon, and almond butter. I was mmm-ing a whole lot this morning. These are some of my favorite foods these days. I didn't eat any coconut butter with breakfast, but I did later in the day- with more cinnamon and sweet potato!
2. I used some Christmas money to buy a 3-month trial membership at a gym I really like today. I visited on Tuesday to confirm my decision, and today, the deed was done (for not a whole lot of money out of my own pocket.) This is especially exciting for two reasons:
- On Tuesday, this whole living healthfully thing just kind of clicked for me. I have been struggling to find that click for months, but yesterday? I decided to just focus on today. So often, I think so much about the plans, the big picture, where I'm going...that I get overwhelmed and wind up reverting back to my comfort zones. So, on Tuesday, I decided to do the one-day- at -a -time thing in relation to making healthy choices.
- I may need a place to actively decompress due to work, life, and...I am signed up for my first grad class! I am able to take 4 tuition-free classes a year because of Tim's job. I finally settled on what I want to go for (after a lot of waffling, of course)..and I recently found out that my Masters will allow me to English at the college Tim works at because I already have my bachelors in English Ed. (I like options.)
3. I bought books today, which pretty much cemented my plans for further education.
4. Stacey sent me a link to Naturally Knocked Up on Monday. There is a lot of really amazing information on that site (whether or not you're wanting a baby any time soon). Well, guess what? The author of that site is hosting a sugar detox that started on that very same day (but if you're interested, you can join in any time.) Imagine that! After all my complaining about sugar, I got absolutely no fingers pointing in my face, only compassion, wise words from those who'd been where I was, who knew someone who kept riding the same roller coaster I seem to keep waiting in line for. Thank you for all of that. And then? I was introduced to a network of almost 500 women who are wanting to change up some things about their own food intakes. Thank you, Stacey!The challenge this week was to clear my kitchen of everything containing high fructose corn syrup. This is everything with either that or corn syrup. It's quite a haul!
Tomorrow's Friday! I'm wishing you all a joyful and refreshing end to your week.
The shepherd's pie and the soup eventually came to be (by the work of my own hands- although I almost passed the job off to Tim). They turned out well. I played with the ingredients, of course (because even though I have lots to learn about cooking, I still insist on tinkering with recipes). My version of shepherd's pie turned out so well that I plan on posting the recipe (soon!).
After all that delicious and healthy food was done cooking, I went for a run on one of my favorite trails. Not for the purpose of burning calories (it's likely my body would be asking for those calories back in the form of food later on, anyway), but because I am planning to visit my sister soon, and while I am there, I'd like to challenge myself to run 13.1 miles faster than I ever have.
And because it's good to get outside and marvel. It's good to say, "wow," and mean it. It's good forget myself sometimes.
It had snowed the day before, so everything (including the trail) was blanketed in white. Oh, it was beautiful.
I love to be inside. I really do. There are days when I could stay in all day, cleaning, reading, writing, and cooking. But inside, I can always look around and think about how much I like my house or what I have yet to work on. But outside? There's no taking credit. There's no wishing I'd done things were better or sooner. There's just taking it all in. Just, "wow," and sometimes, the soft sounds of footprints on snow-covered paths.
Photo (Because I'm not exactly comfortable sharing with anyone who might stumble across my blog which semi-secluded trail I like to run on.)
Last night, I spent some time reading (and sometimes scanning) through posts from the past year. I love to celebrate, but...this year, I really wanted to stay home. I wanted to spend time brushing up on the highlights of the last year and thinking about what I want to see in this next year. I wanted to just sit and think and thank God.
In the process, I came up with these:
11 Goals for 2011
1. Take more pictures! In order to do this, I am planning to join the weekly "You Capture" photo challenge. Because I need some accountability to actually take pictures. Because I want to take pictures. And because I wouldn't mind learning a little something about doing so.
2. Eat in a way that makes my body feel good. This means lots of beans, eggs, local pasture-raised chicken, veggies, and healthy fats...6 days a week. Because I have been eating a lot of chocolate and cheese the past couple of days, I feel somewhat poisoned, so this goal should be somewhat easy...at least in the beginning. After that? Well, that is where photography and blogging comes in as an option for accountability. As well as goal number 3...
3. Try one new recipe a week. I tend to get in food ruts, fall back on scrambled eggs, and go for weeks (or months) without trying a new recipe. I think aiming for one new recipe (that follows the eating pattern outlined above) could make eating well more enjoyable and therefore, more likely, for both me and my husband.
4. Learn to hand-stamp jewelry. I am a big fan of hand-stamped jewelry...and adoption. And I'm thinking selling that jewelry would be a great way to raise money for adoptions of children into my own family...or someone else's.
5. Invite a group of people into my home at least once a month. For birthday celebrations, 31 Bits parties, brunches, glasses of wine...
6. Bring back Thankful Thursday and set aside time each week to write (and send) a few thank you cards.
7. Meet my time goal of running a half marathon in 2:15...and then pick out a marathon to train for.
8. Make two phone calls a week. With so much of my family living hours away from me, phone calls are becoming necessary...even though I tend to shy away from the phone. But two phone calls seems doable.
9. Become much more of a learner than I have been. I have the opportunity to take 4 graduate classes from Tim's new work place each year for the price of taxes and books. I should take that opportunity...as well as continue with my efforts to make sitting down with a book a go-to activity and listen to more podcasts when I'm wanting to turn something on instead of turning to Hulu.
Other qualities I'd like to see in myself that are somewhat less measurable than the above goals
10. Tim is my best friend and all sorts of other fantastic-ness rolled into one. By now, I know a lot about what energizes him, let's him know he's loved, and meets his needs. And those things are different than my own needs, so meeting them requires some intention, some action, and some planning. This year, I want to focus on loving my husband the way he needs it, not the way I would want to be loved.
11. Pay more attention...and then acting on what I notice if I can. This means meeting needs if I have the capacity to do so and "voting with my dollar." I'd rather trade some luxuries (less yoga classes in the studio?) in order to support local, well-run businesses.
So there you have it.
Bring on the new year!
I have said before that I've already run two half marathons, but I didn't train well for them.
This time around, I'm determined to train well. I have goals. I have expectations. I'm pumped up and ready, because...
1. I want to prove to myself that I can stick to a program. I'll admit it; I'm a waffler. I'm a girl who springs from idea to idea, is easily distracted, and always ready to try something new. I want to see myself finish this.
2. On my last birthday, I set a goal of giving up my most obvious vice by my next birthday: burying my difficult moments in food. I've made strides, but I'm not there yet. I'm convinced that a regular training schedule will not only provide a healthy replacement, but give me time to sort out my thoughts and emotions and pound out stress.
3. Although my husband says he really cannot see it, I'm carrying around a few too many pounds for my comfort level. I did eat too much pie over this past week, but I'm hoping a regular training schedule, fewer comfort eating indulgences, and an overall healthy approach to food will get me back to my really comfy weight.
4. I need it. I think I could live well if I didn't do this, but life is a bit crazy right now. Perhaps even more so than normal. And I feel the need for something that gives me time to think, the ability to melt stress, and makes me a better person to take me from here to there. Training seems like a good start.
Now. On to week 2!
Half marathon training is underway! I've renamed my "healthy body" tab as "half marathon training." I'll be posting my progress there and periodically in regular posts.
This plan seems totally do-able. Previously, I've tried Runner's World programs...which are great, if you know what you're doing. Those plans say things like, " 3 miles, 2x2:00 Aerobic Intervals, 2x2:30 Aerobic Intervals, 1x3:00 Aerobic Intervals+6 Gentle Pick-ups, 2 miles," which I understand, but my Hal Higdon's plan says things like," run 5 miles." I just want to run. There's room for yoga. And the plan is flexible. Sold.
Flexible is good.
I have fourteen weeks to get my booty in gear to run 13.1 miles and what sure to be a too-much-fun-for-one-weekend visit with my sister.
Did you know that I have actually run (ahem, plodded through) two other half marathons, but never properly trained for them? Oh, I ran, but somewhere a long the way, something else would beg for my attention, and away I went. I am determined to train well for this one. And even better for attention deficit Sarah, I'm following a 12-week program with 14 weeks to fill...so I have room for a sick week or a week of just-too-busy-ness.
My time goal has always been 2 hours and 30 minutes. I haven't made it yet, but this time? I mean, with training any everything, I think I can do it. And either way, I get to celebrate with this pretty lady:So, either way, I win.
(Okay, but I'd still like to make my time goal. And then shorten that time goal and make that, too.)
Um...you guys? I'm planning on running a half marathon in my sister's new town in 4 months. In the last two weeks, despite my plan to run three times a week, I've run twice. Two times in two weeks. That's it.
Now, I'm not wallowing in guilt over here. Not at all. I've planned six workouts a week, and I've completed four out of those six each week. That's progress (for me). I've enjoyed those workouts (for the most part), and I've been able to remember many of the benefits of exercise. Hooray!
Although I have lots to celebrate, I haven't been doing a whole lot of working towards my goal of running 13.1 miles in February. Not because I don't like it, but mostly because yoga and Zumba are scheduled classes. Running can happen "whenever." But "whenever" in my world often translates to "later" and morphs into "never."
So. Running is now a scheduled appointment for me. The gym is closed right after work on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a college class, so I'll be running right after work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. That way, if the weather discourages me from running outside, I still really don't have a good excuse for missing my run. I do plan on continuing yoga practice and taking (some) Zumba classes, but I think running just became head honcho around here.
Today is Day 10 out of my 28-day experiment. During these last few days, I've been able to observe what happens in me when I take care of my health, and what happens when I don't.
When I do? My skin clears up, that mental fog slowly drifts away, and I have energy to actually go out and do things come Friday night! I am not so irritable. I listen to Timothy Keller sermons, I don't look for so many distractions,I laugh a lot. I listen. And I want to squeeze every sweet drop out of life.
When I don't, I'm pretty much the opposite of all of that.
Yesterday, I looked at my reflection in a big plate-glass window, and I said, "Girl, you have GOT to take care of that body of yours."
I have watched many health-related TV shows in the past few years. What seems to get under my skin most about those shows is the ever-present, "I have to learn to put me first." Maybe it's semantics. I know that there is often a difference between what is said and what is meant. I have scrolled through old posts and cringed. I have lamented statements I desperately wish I could dissolve into nothing. So I get it (I think). But can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was always putting themselves first? No, thank you. Just thinking about it gets me pretty annoyed.
Now I think I get what was meant by "putting me first.". After looking at the difference that just a few relatively small changes made for me, I was led to ask, "well, what was I doing before?!" I used to be a healthy girl, so it seems just a little bit unbelievable to me that I let myself get so tired, so unhealthy,and so too-much-food loving. I'm not in the groove; being healthy is work now. Ohhhh....those people were not saying that they wanted the whole world to revolve around them, but to get healthy, they had to make a plan to get healthy, and they pretty much had to put their foot down about it. Okay, I can dig that.
For me, that means that I plan my workouts according to what works with my schedule. While I still have (and need!) time to be available for conversations and dinners and time in the park, I have to put my foot down about getting my exercise. Because I need it to do well in my own life right now. In the past, I would plan workouts, but if something- pretty much anything- came up ( a coffee date, a "hey, do you wanna meet for..,") I'd drop my plans. Even though I needed them. And now, most of the time, if I can help it, I think canceling on myself is just not a good idea. Because maybe I can meet up for that cup of coffee later...and maybe it'll be that much better because I'll be that much healthier. In my head, in my heart, and in my spirit. Because those three things? They can't be compartmentalized.
So. Does anyone want to meet up for a Zumba, yoga, or running date? Or, you know, coffee afterward.
You know those people who complain a lot but never seem to do anything to change the object(s) of their complaints? You know who I'm talking about. Those people who say things like, "I wish I could..." when in all feasible reality, they could if they would just do a bit of prioritizing. They don't, but it kind of feels like it counts a little bit just to voice a desire, doesn't it?
Well. I don't want to name names, but...I am one of those people. It's true, and while I like to think I'm not easily embarrassed, right now I'm embarrassed. But that doesn't stop me from posting for anyone with internet access to see...I complain about being tired all.the.time. Or it seems that way. I complain to friends, my husband, on my blog, in my mind. I am tired and irritable, and I feel completely hindered, bogged down, muted. I feel like quitting everything.
You know what? I've been expecting myself to run on oil sludge for months. And while I've made some effort towards eating better and exercising more, I haven't really been all in. I've talked about it and thought about it, but actually doing requires work, shifting of priorities, and change. I've become one of those people who wishes she could....but doesn't.
I am going to do an experiment. For 4 weeks, I am going to
- Eat (mostly)clean
- take 2 yoga classes, run 3 times, and take one "just for fun" class (like Zumba!) each week
- get to bed by 9:30 a least 5/7 nights
And then I am going to reassess. Which will involve talking, thinking, and writing. But certainly not complaining without taking action. I'm done with that.
My exercise during the past week consisted of one yoga class, one long walk with my husband, and some serious play time with Alyssa. I enjoyed every bit, but it's time to kick my own butt because
-we are coming upon colder months, which means all I want to do is hibernate. Really. I want to sleep, take long showers, and read. And that's it. However, I know that balanced exercise can contribute something to my energy deficits. I know that it can help with my stress levels and poor sleeping patterns. Balanced exercise can add to my quality of life.
-I want to run a half marathon in my sister's new town at the end of February. That is not going to happen if I keep myself cocooned in my favorite blankets all Fall and Winter.
It doesn't seem fair to ask someone else to keep me accountable for my own workouts for the next 5 months. However, I do have this personal blog that anybody can read...The fact that anybody can read what I post makes me feel a more accountable than writing out a plan that only I can see does. So. I created a new tab called "Healthy Body." If you want to see my planned workouts and whether or not I completed those workouts, or leave a question or a comment about the same, just click on that tab. It's up to you; there will not be a quiz. But for me? It's just helpful to know that you might click on it.
I don't want to be caught saying, "well, actually, I just stayed home and watched Community instead" when asked how my run went. I can watch while I'm stretching after my run.