My Struggle with the Treadmill and Running

Woman running on a treadmill

“Sometimes the best runs come on days when you didn’t feel like running.”

-Unknown

When I created this blog I wanted to incorporate a fitness lifestyle into what I write about every week. Sadly, I’ve struggled with it. I didn’t want to write about something I wasn’t doing. I didn’t want to lead people on thinking I had my health together. In fact, that’s been my biggest struggle. I can’t seem to find the time or put workouts before other things that need to be done. But I want to be healthy. So I signed up for a 10K on June 2.

I originally planned to do a half marathon but I have been sick the last month with colds. As much as I hate letting myself down, I scaled back my goal a bit. Right now, I am on a 12 week journey to a 10k. Around the 6 week mark I will be running in a 5K to see how I am doing. That will give me a good idea of what my 10K may be like.

I used to run races all of the time. But I’m a little nervous about these two that are coming up. I am in terrible shape. Ashamed about the person I am today. But I can’t keep feeling sorry for myself or wishing I could do something. I’m just going to do it.

Yesterday, I walked 2 miles on the treadmill. I wanted to ease myself back into everything. I hate treadmills by the way. But we bought one so I could use it during winter months. Normally, I would just go outside and run. Except I have my daughter. I don’t want to expose her to the cold so a $200 treadmill seemed like a better solution.

But not all treadmills are the same. I bought mine because of the price and reviews. But if you’re looking to invest in a treadmill for a specific reason then you can read Best Treadmill Reviews of 2018 to get a better of idea of what can work best for you.

As the weather gets warmer I’m hoping to venture more outside. But until then it’s me and my trusty treadmill. Honestly, I don’t have much of a plan right now. I know I need to write my workouts down so I have something to focus on. But since I’m just starting back I’m really wanting to just focus on getting on the treadmill.

I’m also incorporating HIIT workouts with my running each day to build my strength. I don’t know if I will be ready for the 5K or the 10K. Failing is one of the worst things I can think of right now. I know if I’m putting in the work then I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. It’s going to take a day at a time. A goal at a time to help me get back to the runner I used to be.

Any advice or encouragement would be so helpful. Is anyone else starting over in their fitness journey? I would love to hear your thoughts. What helped you stay motivated?

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Back to Basics: When You Have to Start from the Beginning

Back to Basics: When You Have to Start from the Beginning

888EF16F-6E9C-4FDB-832E-F6D0989FD4AFAbove Picture: Left I was 200 pounds in 2011. Right: In 2013 weighing about 130

Starting with the basics. It’s a common idea when you’re trying to learn how to do a new hobby or learn a new skill. But when you’ve been there before it’s hard to go back to the beginning. That’s been my biggest struggle with my weight loss.

Many of you may not know but I have been through the weight loss process before. I lost 70 pounds back in 2011-2012. It was through running I learned how to love exercise. It also taught me how hard work really does pay off. It wasn’t long before I was hooked. I did a number of 5Ks, a 10K and 2 half-marathons. Sadly, I stopped running and quickly fell back into my old habits.

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It’s a little embarrassing now writing about me starting over again. Why? Because I see it as a huge failure on my part. I stopped believing in myself. I stopped reaching for new goals. I felt like I had reached the finish line so I stopped. But life and exercise is not like that. Just like our spiritual walk with God, it is a DAILY battle.

“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” – Luke 9:23

Luke 9:23 is a reminder how God says we must take up our cross daily. We have to remind ourselves every day why we are here and what our purpose is. This is the same in exercising, relationships with others and our walk with Christ. Why did he say this? Because God knew we need to go back to the basics to keep ourselves on track.

Like in my workouts. In my mind I have run half marathons before. I should be able to walk out of my house and do it again. But because I have not strengthened my running muscles in so long I am starting over. It’s hard to humble yourselves back to the beginning. But when we go back to the basics that’s where we can renew our strength for what’s to come.

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Whether you’re starting over in your spiritual walk or your physical exercise journey, know going back to the basics does not mean you’re a failure. It just means you’re renewing your strength. Slowly growing into that person you once were. Take the time to refine what you may have overlooked before. Train smart. Progress is progress.

What part of your life are you starting over? Exercise? Spiritual walk? What have been the hardest struggles so far?

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Day 10 Giveaway: Modern Day Healthy Hippie

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Throughout the holiday season we are constantly surrounded by yummy food. It’s not easy for anyone to resist. So staying healthy can be a challenge. Whether you want to lose weight or meet a new fitness goal, Day 10’s giveaway could help you get back on track. It’s a free one-hour coaching session with the Modern Healthy Hippie. A $99 value.

Whoever wins will have the option of signing up for Carra’s personalized custom wellness coaching program that is currently $250 for a month of unlimited communication, coaching, help with meal planning, grocery lists and fitness routines.

Carra is the owner of Modern Healthy Hippie. She tells us how her passion for fitness encouraged her to help others.

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“I started The Modern Healthy Hippie because I recognized that so many people had no idea where to begin a healthier lifestyle.  Over the years, I learned that most women do not give themselves permission to take care of themselves, yet they pour into the lives of so many others.  My passion is helping them realize that when they feel and look their best, they can be more available for so many others, reduce their health care costs and be the best version of themselves! We are all unique and I want all women to feel beautiful and be as healthy as possible!  I offer real life solutions and a personalized plan for each person.” – Carra

You can follow Carra on her Facebook page.

You can also check out The Modern Healthy Hippie’s website.

Now is your chance to enter the free giveaway.

Click here to view this promotion.

Day 3 Giveaway: Wortheymade

One way to enjoy the holiday season is heading outside to play in the snow. If you live in the Midwest like me then you know how important it is to have a great hat and scarf to keep warm. That happens to be what we’re giving away. This crochet bun beanie and necklace scarf were made with love by Tiffany, owner and creator of Wortheymade. (Together they’re a $35 value).

You can see by the pictures that Tiffany invested some time into these beautiful items. Here’s her story.

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I started my business in order to supplement our family’s income as a stay-at-home mom. I also wanted to enjoy a creative outlet where I can express myself while still raising two beautiful little ones. My business is named after my mom’s side of the family. I thought it would be a unique name and fun way to incorporate my heritage into my business. I specifically specialize in handmade crochet items, however I do occasionally branch out to upcycle other mediums depending on what I have on hand. Most of Wortheymade is built on custom orders but I also attend local events annually. – Tiffany

She’s continuing her families legacy by using her crochet items to provide comfort for her customers. Now, you know what today’s giveaway is and who made it. It’s time to enter a chance to win.

You can also checkout Wortheymade’s Facebook page.

Click here to view this promotion.

 

 

8 Ways To Not Overeat Thanksgiving Dinner

IMG_0275Thanksgiving is next week and I bet you’re already thinking about the yummy food. All while worried you may throw your “new eating lifestyle” out the window. Instead of worrying about overeating, here are some tips to take with you to Thanksgiving Dinner.

  1. Eat before: If you’re having a mid-day lunch or dinner, make sure you eat before. Don’t skip breakfast in hopes to have more room for food. It will cause you to gorge yourself later. Eat a healthy breakfast. Also a snack and maybe lunch depending on what time the meal is. That way you’re not regretting the amount of food you consume.
  2. Eat smaller portions: I use this tip in my every day life. Instead of grabbing the big dinner plate. Grab the small to medium plate. This will allow you to keep your portions small. Especially, if you want to taste everything available. So when your eyes are bigger than your stomach you can actually enjoy the meal. I would say do the same with desserts. You can still taste all of the pies but make sure to keep them at a small portion. Remember, a little goes a long way.
  3. Don’t stand near the food: A lot of times we all gather around the buffet of food and have conversations with our friends and family. So when someone else is talking you start snacking in between. Instead, take the conversation to the living room. Relax and enjoy time with your family.
  4. Go for a walk: A great way to burn off your Thanksgiving meal before getting dessert is going for a walk around the block. This could be great time to talk more with family you haven’t seen in a while. And get away from those driving you crazy. Include the kids as well. Maybe ride bikes together. Anything to get you moving while growing closer with your loved ones.
  5. Workout before the Thanksgiving meal: If the meal is later in the day then it’s a perfect time to grab a quick workout before you leave. It doesn’t even have to be long. A 30 minute HIIT workout would be great. Especially for all of those cooking Thanksgiving this year.
  6. Drink water: A good rule of thumb I follow is drinking water with my meal. Sometimes I’ll even drink a big glass before. That causes me to fill up quickly while maintaining my portions. You can always grab that glass of wine later. But for dinner stick with water. You will eat less and stay hydrated.
  7. Bring a healthy dish or dessert: This is a perfect way to make sure there is something remotely healthy at your Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, it’s the time where you eat all things unhealthy. But you can incorporate healthy foods that taste just as good. Maybe even bring a healthier dessert than Pecan Pie. That way you can share a new recipe with family and make sure something healthy gets on your plate.
  8. Enjoy your meal: Thanksgiving is about coming together with the ones you love. So don’t stress too much about the food. You can eat that slice of pie, but just be smart about it. Life is short. Enjoy the amazing foods that come with this holiday. As long as you use these tricks then you’ll find yourself happy about the choices you made. Not regretting every calorie you ate.

What are some things you do to make sure you don’t overeat on Thanksgiving?

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9 Things Keeping you From Your Goal Weight

You eat healthy and exercise 5 days a week, but the weight isn’t coming off. You’re frustrated and want to quit. Maybe you’ve lost a lot of weight but can’t seem to shake those last 20 pounds. Or maybe you’ve been working out and haven’t seen your weight budge. Here are some reasons why you may not be seeing results.

  1. Skipping Breakfast: Breakfast needs to be your largest amount of calorie intake of the day. You should be getting about 4oo calories from breakfast. I don’t mean a couple of donuts. I mean good quality food. Studies show that if you skip breakfast you actually gain weight. When you’re asleep at night, your body basically goes into fasting mode. When you eat breakfast, it kick starts your metabolism. But if you skip breakfast, your body will store fat because it thinks it’s preparing for lack of food.

Here’s an example of what I eat that rounds out to about 400 calories. 

2 eggs

2 slices of turkey bacon

Ezekiel Toast with almond butter

10 ounce cup of coffee with creamer and sugar

2. Not Changing Your Routine: It’s said that after about 6 weeks your body gets used to a workout. That’s why you need to switch it up. Change up the arm routine. Add more weights. Stay on the treadmill longer. Find a class that challenges you more. Your body wants to be challenged. Don’t be afraid to take it to the next level. If you always stay at an easy routine or pace you’ll never see what your body can really do.

3. Working out too much: Maybe you’ve been working out 5 days a week. You’ve dropped about 20 pounds but now you’re stuck. You may need to back off a bit. Sometimes our bodies need time to heal from our workouts. We tend to workout more when we don’t see results. Try only exercising 3 to 4 days a week instead. See if that will help your body start shedding those pounds.

4. Not using enough weights: When you want to lose weight many people think of cardio. While cardio, like running, does help you burn fat; weights actually do a better job. I use 10 pound dumbbells when I workout. They’re not too heavy for me to use but they challenge me to push through. Weights help you burn as much fat as cardio. They also help you start toning your muscles. Ladies, don’t be afraid to pick up the weights.

5. Sitting down too much: I struggled with this one. All thanks to Netflix. I would go to the gym and workout for 2 hours. Then, I would come home and sit and binge Netflix. Of course while watching tv I wanted to snack. I saw no changes in my weight. If you’re not moving then you’re not going to see results. Find a way to stay active. Create a to-do list of things you need to get done around the house. If your job calls you to sit a lot, then get up every 30 minutes to walk around. It doesn’t have to be long but taking a quick lap around the office will help you lose weight. Maybe even throw in 10 squats for every time you get up. (If you don’t want to do the squats in front of your coworkers, then do them in the bathroom stall.

6. Over Eating: This was my biggest struggle. I eat healthy foods but I found myself eating more than I should. One way to help you see how much you’re eating throughout the day is by counting your calories. Don’t worry, it’s not a longterm thing. You can download apps like Fitbit where they will help you keep track of your calories. It will also give you the total of how many calories you need to consume depending on your weight, exercise routine and how much you want to lose.  If you eat a lot of the same things then you may only need to do this for about 3 days. It gives you the idea of portions. Eventually, you’ll get used to how much serving sizes are and won’t need to count the calories. Like I said, it’s not a longterm thing. I don’t believe you should always count your calories. It’s just not a fun way to live.

7. Lack of Sleep: Our bodies need sleep to recover. If you’re getting only a few hours of sleep at night then you may not be seeing weight loss. It may also be impacting the way you do workouts. If you’ve been consistent, I can imagine it’s a struggle with no energy. If you’re not getting at least 8 hours of sleep then you may need to go to bed earlier.

8. Not Drinking Enough Water: Water is your friend. It helps clear your system and keeps you hydrated. The more active you are the more you need. If you hate the taste of water then try squeezing fresh lemon juice in it. You can even add fruit like strawberries to improve the taste. Lemon water is a really great way to restore electrolytes compared to the sugary sport drinks. You should be drinking 8 glasses a day. I personally try to drink a gallon a day when I’m really active.

9. Too much Alcohol and Sugar: These two are some of the top things that will keep you from meeting your goals. A glass of wine every once in a while is okay, but if you’re drinking margaritas every weekend then it’s going to be hard for you to see major changes. Also, sugar is another bad habit. Often times it’s in food we don’t even know about. If it says “low fat” then it has tons of sugar to keep it preserved on the shelf longer. Avoid anything “low fat.” Read labels on items you buy in packages. You will be shocked to find out how much sugar there really is.

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12 Ways to Become a Healthier You

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Making the change to be healthier is hard. First, you have to decide to do it. You have to identify that the way you’re living, eating and spending your time is not benefitting you or your family.

For me, this has been a major struggle. I used to run all the time. You didn’t have to talk to me long to figure out my passion for it. However, I let my emotions and depression get the better of me. Before I knew it, I found myself back where I started a few years ago. On top of that, I just had my daughter so it’s more of a challenge to get back on track.

But here I am. Hitting the pavement with all I have. Trying to make it stick. Let’s be honest. It’s HARD. Change is never easy. But there are a few tips I found that helped me really put my words into action. So far, I’m down 10 pounds and feeling more confident by the day.

Here are some quick tips to help you take the first step to a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Set Goals. Take a pencil or pen and write on a piece of paper what you want to accomplish. It could be training for a 5K, toning your arms or eating healthier. Whatever it is, write it down. Hang it up where you can see it every day. This will help you stay focused and hopefully help you meet your goal.
  2. Start Small. As you set your goals, remember to build up to those really high goals. This tip has always been tough for me. I get big ideas in my head, go out the next day and fail. I get frustrated and immediately quit because I didn’t reach that goal. Making small changes like adding more exercise throughout your week or eating healthier food can be a great way to start. For example, if you can’t run a mile, running a marathon in a month may not be the best idea. Instead, work up to running a mile. Soon, you’ll be running 26.2 miles. Realize things take time. Start off with goals that are attainable.
  3. Mind Over Matter. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish when you change the way you think. Instead of, “I have to work out today” tell yourself, “I get to work out today.” When we focus on the sacrifice instead of the reward we often lose interest. If you’ve ever done box jumps you know that when you hesitate, you’ll fall off or bang your shins. It’s not fun. When you have confidence meeting that goal, you will start to see what you’re really capable of.
  4. Make the Change for You. If someone else is pushing you to do it, or you’re doing it for the perfect body…then that may not stick. It has to come from deep down. Find what drives you to want to make a healthy change. Write that down. Memorize it. So when you find yourself wanting to quit, you can remember why you started.
  5. Find a Friend to Join. When you’re becoming healthy you are changing your lifestyle. Let’s be honest. Having a friend join you can make it an easier transition. For example, sweet treats always seem to show up at work the day you decide to quit sugar. You can use that friendship to help stay on track despite the temptations. You have each other’s backs in the gym and when you pass by Krispy Kreme.
  6. Don’t Make Excuses. Guilty! I can make an excuse for every scenario why I can’t go for a run. After a while, I actually got tired of hearing my own excuses. While some may be legit, they were allowing me to justify my laziness. You may complain all the way to the gym, but excuses are like opinions. Everybody has one.
  7. Ditch TV and Facebook. You don’t have to delete Netflix or Facebook. However, find something else to do with your time. I had to do this recently because I saw myself quickly losing focus on everything I did. At work, spending time with my family and even my goals. It’s not healthy to let stuff like that control your time.
  8. Keep Moving. Another challenging thing for me. Especially when I really want to watch Netflix. Now, I find stuff to do around the house or in the yard. If I can’t find anything there I go somewhere. I try to stay active throughout the day. If you’re a mom, then I know it seems like there is always something to clean. If you get bored with that, then find something in your community to get involved in. Even if you do that one hour workout, watching Netflix the rest of the day will cancel out your hard work.
  9. Schedule Your Workout. If I don’t have a set time frame then I never seem to make it to my workout. I’ll get busy with other stuff and before I know it I’m going to bed without meeting my goal. If you have a toddler like me, exercise while they nap. Take that time to do a quick workout. If they won’t nap, then do the workout with them. My daughter loves when I put her on my shoulders for squats.
  10. Include Your Family. This follows beautifully behind number 9. I love finding time to work out by myself. But that isn’t always ideal. Instead of me getting frustrated that my daughter is awake, I use her in my workout. I put her in the stroller and go for a quick jog. I will toss her up in the air to work out my arms. I even put her on my legs to add weight. Another way to include family is finding something fun to do together. Weekends are a great time to go on hikes or take a brisk stroll on the Riverwalk. Finding fun family outings can also help you with number 8.
  11. Find Fun Workouts. If you hate running, you probably shouldn’t try to run a 5K. Unless that is your goal. You may prefer biking instead. When you find something that will keep your interest, you will stay with it longer. Changing your workout routine every six weeks is another way to not get bored. You will also be working out different muscles by switching it up.
  12. Don’t BHard on Yourself. It seems like we are always trying to be perfect. That mindset can really hinder us in the long run. If you miss a workout or eat unhealthy, don’t let it keep you from your goals. You are human. It’s okay to have a break from the gym. It’s okay to eat a cup of ice cream. Just don’t let those few choices derail your goals. This journey is about becoming a healthier you. Not a perfect you.

Once again, these are some tips that helped me really zone in on my goals. I hope they can help you get started on your journey to a healthier you. As long as you work hard and keep going you will see results.