With New Years resolutions flying here and there, most people are focusing on who they can become, not who they were. Yet I sit here in the floor with my 8 month old daughter as she plays, still in my pjs at lunchtime and wondering why I ate a chocolate doughnut for breakfast not long ago (not to mention why I even had such crap in my house to begin with!). Rachel has become very clingy over the holiday break and won’t let me get a foot away from her for most of the day. Getting a shower on days when I’m home by myself with her is an achievement these days. So I’m sitting here feeling a little sorry for myself, though it’s been great hanging with my little mini-me and watching her learn new stuff everyday. People everywhere are focusing on making improvements to their lives, but I can’t help but find myself looking back to my old self, the one who would have gotten a great run in this morning, who would have had a yummy protein shake for breakfast, and who would already be in the middle of a fun new workout program. She would throw on her cute workout outfit whenever the mood struck her and get down to business. Or she’d lay around reading a good book after her morning run, enjoying her coffee and planning what to do with the rest of her last leisurely day off from work. She might go shopping, make a new running playlist, or work on a new painting. As a new mom, I feel guilty about even thinking this way. I love my daughter and have enjoyed the past two weeks with her. Though I no longer have the ability to focus only on myself for the new year, becoming a mother helps me to focus on a new type of resolution, one that isn’t so selfish. Because as much as I know that I still need lots of improvement, now my resolve is based on what’s best for my family. I want to unplug more, get angry and stressed less often, and show Rachel all the love and attention that is possible. No new workout plan can compare to the life-changing power of a sweet baby. Becoming mother is a far greater achievement than becoming hottie ever could be. The road and my running shoes will be there. Rachel will only cling to me for a short while. There will be a day when she won’t need to reach for my hand as she tries to stand on her own.
2013 is here! January 1, 2013
A new year has begun. Many are so afraid to set resolutions for fear of failure. Not me. I love setting goals for myself, even if I don’t reach all of them. Here is what I’m looking forward to this year:
- I’m going to be a mommy! This is probably the biggest and most important thing that will happen to me in 2013. This opens a huge door for all kinds of resolutions, but for the most part, I want to just learn how to take care of my baby and juggle the responsibilities of family and work. Since I’ll be having Rachel at the end of the Spring semester, I’ll get all summer to spend time with her and get adjusted to being a mommy before going back to work in the fall. I know the time will fly by, but I hope to make the most of it. Which leads me to my next resolution…
- I want to focus on spending my time wisely. I am the Queen of Time Wasting. Brother Don gave a sermon about time wasting just this Sunday, and it really hit home. Satan steals our time with needless anxiety by overloading us with unnecessary commitments, possessions, work, and information. The other major source of anxiety (and time-wasting) is regret. We have only 8,760 hours in a year. Why spend it dwelling on what has already happened and can’t be changed? Instead of wasting time on the above robbers of time, I want to focus my attention to the following: drawing closer to God, spending time with family and friends, doing all I can to raise Rachel as well as I am able, taking care of my health (exercise and nutrition).
Those are the things I’m setting my sights on in 2013. My spiritual life is very important to me, so I plan on devoting more time to Bible study and prayer. I plan on working through the entire Bible in a year (one of those plans for weekly study), but even if I am unable to always keep up, reading even half or a third on my own will be better than just opening it only when I’m in church.
I feel like I am constantly struggling to give more attention to my family and friends, who honestly deserve it. I know I can do better in this area. I have resolved to work on this issue in the past, and I believe that it has gotten much better recently. There is always room for improvement, though!
I am already focusing a lot of attention on how I want to raise Rachel. I am reading some books that I think might be helpful. I am getting my registry in order, buying some clothes and other items along the way, and learning about cloth diapering. I’m taking birthing and breastfeeding classes this month to prepare for her arrival.
As I always strive to do, I plan on focusing on my health. During the time I was trying to conceive, I let a lot of this go to the wayside. I stopped teaching Zumba when I had my first miscarriage in March. Zumba had been my most favorite type of working out, and suddenly, it was gone. So was that 2-3 hours of calorie burn every week that I was suddenly missing. I wasn’t eating all that well and rarely exercised. Running wasn’t giving me the solace it had in the past. Much of it was from apathy/light depression. Some of it was from fear that exercise might cause another miscarriage. So I became complacent about my health. Now, I am struggling because I am gaining a good bit of weight with this pregnancy. I know that I can make more time for weekly exercise (I have become very lazy about exercise and have really lost the habit), and my nutrition has been atrocious. I’d really gotten into the mindset of ‘I’m pregnant, so I can eat whatever I want!’ I know better, so I’m going to start eating better. Will you never see me with a big scoop of Coldstone? No, I won’t go that far. :) But I can doing better on a day-to-day basis. Part of making health a priority is to maintain focus, which I do through my Facebook page, which is a source of self-motivation, and Dailymile.com, where I keep up with my yearly walking and running miles.
It’s always a little overwhelming looking at what you want to accomplish in a year, but we are amazing in our ability to adapt to new things. Make your 2013 a wonderful year.
First Run of the Year January 2, 2012
just went for my first run of 2012, and it was actually the first run i’ve done in about two months. i haven’t really been feeling like running lately as much as i work, but i started a challenge on dailymile.com with my friends to help motivate us to run 400 miles this year. it was my goal mileage for 2011, but i really didn’t put out much effort last year. i’m hoping i can do it this year, though. 400 miles is only about 8 miles per week. this year, though, i am going to count all my mileage, so that includes any walking i do, too. see, i do this weird argument with myself. i usually convince myself that walking isn’t worthy of counting as mileage (because really we walk every day and everyone can do it, so it’s not that special right? so wrong!), so on days when i don’t feel like running but could easily get a few miles of walking in, i don’t because it’s a waste of time if it doesn’t “count.” so then i burn zero calories all because i think i’m too good to count walking as exercise. i mean, i am a tough half marathoner. i can run 14 miles without stopping. i can train in 95 degree mississippi heat. it’s okay for others to walk but not for me. i can run and run and run. i can’t belittle myself to get on the treadmill and walk for two miles. oh so silly reasoning. egos. our pride stops us from doing so many good things for ourselves. walking is a great form of cardio. you burn almost as many calories as running without the impact of running. i admit that i have listened to running elitists and let their distaste for walking or run/walk influence me far too long. so long as i am moving my butt off the couch, who cares what i’m doing??? with three jobs, i know that i will probably not be able to do 400 miles worth of just running, but i am determined to do 400 miles regardless. i’ll run when i can and walk when i feel like it.
so back to my first run of the year. i was really nervous (as i always am before a run, which is odd after 5 years of running…), so i procrastinated for a few hours. i needed to eat. then, the food needed to digest. then, my dog needed to go out. then, i needed to hydrate. then, my garmin needed to charge. then, i needed a nap. then, i…had no more excuses. i bundled up because this southern girl does NOT like the cold. and boy was it cold! i wore my thin nike livestrong wind breaker, which i love love love. it makes me feel like such a runner (why, i don’t know). anyway, i started my garmin and was off. i was surprised to find that i wasn’t dying like i thought i would after having not run for two months. i figured it was just the cold wind numbing my pain, and i kept going. coming up near the first mile mark, i started to feel a little fatigue, and it was so COLD. the wind was gusting at about 20 miles per hour, and the shady spots in the road were so chilly. i glanced down at my windbreaker, which is a gorgeous blue and along the zipper on my chest in bright yellow is “LiveStrong,” the trademark for the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research. when i look down, all i can see is the “strong” part of the logo, and it made me think about all those people out there battling cancer, living their lives day to day struggling much worse than i was out on the road today, and i picked up my pace. i resolved to finish the run with no walking, not because i was feeling snobbish toward walking but because i knew that i was strong enough to do two miles without a walk break. not only was i going to finish the last mile without walking, i was going to do it stronger and faster than the first, and i did. i am healthy, i am fit, and i am alive (in more ways than merely breathing). that’s what i have to celebrate this new year.
to join my 400 miles in 2012 challenge, join dailymile.com for free and join the FIT IN 400 challenge or click here: FIT IN 400 Challenge
Shakeology Experiment September 4, 2011
For about a year now, I have been hearing about Shakeology. I first heard about it from some of my sparkpeople.com friends. But I already drank protein shakes, so why did I need to pay more money for another type of protein shake? Well, after becoming a Beachbody Coach, I kept reading my Beachbody friends reviewing it as an awesome and nutritious meal replacement. Now, I am all about eating as much food as possible. I do NOT like to drink my calories, so I was still turned off about it. As a Beachbody Coach, I have the option of selling Shakeology if I want to. So I read up on what Shakeology is made of on my Shakeology website that Beachbody provides its coaches. It seems to be legitimately natural and very nutritious. Before long, I went on YouTube and just checked out some of the videos of people touting its effectiveness and making them feel better, lose weight, gain energy, lower cholestrol, fix stomach/digestive issues, etc. Well, I came to the conclusion that since it is a big part of the Beachbody brand, I should try it out myself if I want to sell it. After all, I am not one to push something that I’m not sure even works. I got into Beachbody because I believe in the products and want to help people. It’s not much of a gamble since Beachbody offers a refund if you aren’t satisfied with it. And I get free shipping to have it sent by Home Direct (automatically each month). So I thought I’d blog about my own experience with Shakeology as I try it for myself.
My Shakeology came in yesterday. I picked it up at the mailbox as I was taking my pooch to the pooch hospital for another kidney infection. Needless to say, I wasn’t thinking about meal replacement shakes when I made it home. Furthermore, I had a cookout planned and knew I was probably going to eat more calories than I should for the day, so I didn’t want to add to it. So today was the first day of Shakeology. I bought the combo box that has both Greenberry and Chocolate flavors in it, because I wanted to try out both to see which one I like best. I poured 8 ounces of almond milk into my shaker cup and added a packet of Greenberry. I have been really curious about what it tastes like. I shook it really well and to my surprise, really liked the taste of it! It is quite different from anything I have tasted. There is a faint fruitiness to it, but it mostly tastes like sweetened green tea and a flavor similar to the taste of bran flakes. That’s the only way I can describe it. I think blended with a few strawberries, a banana, or some fruity yogurt, it’d be outta this world good. Anyway, I didn’t feel particularly full after having drank it. I was starving after I came in from church, so I ate some carrots and a few deviled eggs from yesterday’s cookout after I drank it. Although I didn’t feel full from it, I haven’t been very hungry this evening, so we’ll see. This evening when I stepped out of church, a cool breeze from Tropical Storm Lee hit my face, and I instantly felt energetic and craved a good run. So I threw off my church clothes when I got home, quickly dressed, grabbed my Garmin, my red flashing caution light (as it was beginning to get dark), and my rain pullover and hit the door. I had some really good mile splits. I don’t know if it was energy from the drink or just from the excitement of some cooler weather for a change. A true test of its ability to increase energy will come during my busy work weeks. With three jobs, if anyone needs some extra energy, I do!
If you are interested in giving Shakeology a try, please click on the tab above that says ‘Team Beachbody’ and message me your contact info. WordPress won’t allow me to post a link to my Beachbody website, but I will be happy to email you my Shakeology link or answer any questions you may have. Thanks!
Music for Your Pace March 25, 2011
Finding upbeat music for your workouts can be difficult sometimes. I’ve recently started teaching a fitness class which I call Body Blast, and I spent a while coming up with a decent playlist for it to keep the participants motivated. As a runner, I know the benefit of having upbeat music while training or even during a hard race. Jog.fm is a site devoted to letting you know how many beats per minute a song is and gives you lists of songs according to pace. So for instance, say your goal is to run a 10 min mile in training. You plug that in and it gives you songs you can listen to that should help keep your running cadence that fast. If you don’t think you’ll run to the music’s beat, I challenge you to put a good song with a particular beat on and hop on a treadmill. For me, I run right with the beat. Jamie used to sit out in our workshop while I ran when our treadmill was out there, and it was so evident that I was running with the beat that he noticed and even commented on it one night. So this website could be really useful for someone trying to increase their pace or even for the fitness instructor or exerciser who just wants some playlists with a certain beat speed.
Here’s the website: Jog.fm
Running Collage March 5, 2011
Last semester I taught Creative Writing to a small class of high school students. One assignment that we did was the “headline poem,” which is where you cut out interesting headlines from newspapers, magazine articles, ads, etc., and manipulate the words to make a poem about whatever topic you choose. This is a really easy way to create poetry, but for some reason, my Creative Writing classes in the past have had a hard time with this, especially getting started on it. So this past fall, I made my own headline poem and created a collage out of it to have as a nice, complete example for them. Now it sits in my spare bedroom beside my treadmill as a bit of motivation if I need it. It reads:
“Why I Love to Run”
This is my happy hour,
Place of peace.
Breathe in, exhale.
Feel the burn?
Feel free to sing, wild thing.
Ponytails, crossroads, sunshine,
Sights and sounds of summer.
Bring on the cold.
Grab life on every corner,
It’s all inside,
Eyes on the prize,
Beating my own expectations.
My secret, I sweat like a pig.
I’m a runner.
Ta-da! Wonder found.
What are you hungry for?
A truly natural progression.
If you think there’s a problem,
Turning point, running.
Be ready for anything.
Chew on this S-L-O-W-L-Y.
Chip away the pounds,
Change a life,
Love your heart. (Use it daily.)
Bring home something truly priceless.
Celebrate smart choices!
The best new you has never looked better,
A sexy glow the old-fashioned way.
Recharged mind and body.
Live the life.
author: Cyrena Shows
Trying Out Bodyrock March 4, 2011
So after a little nudge from a friend, I tried out my first Bodyrock workout last night. I did the On the Floor Abs Challenge. The goal was to do as many sets of 20 mountain climbers and 20 toe touch crunches as possible in 10 minutes. It was intense, but it wasn’t so hard that I couldn’t do it. I ended up doing 160 mountain climbers and 160 toe touches (8 sets of each exercise) in the 10 minutes, not bad for my first try. I was already a little sore from Chalean Extreme this week, so I’m a good bit more sore today. It was actually really fun. I love trying new things, so I think I’ll like doing these Bodyrock workouts.
Someone on sparkpeople.com asked me what Bodyrock really was – cardio, bodyweight ST, what??? I really didn’t know what to tell them other than that it is some ridiculously intense HIIT (high intensity interval training) with ST moves, from what I could tell, so I roamed the site, and this is Freddy and Zuzana’s explanation of what Bodyrock is: How to Start Working Out with us at Home
Whatever you want to call it, if it can make me half as fit as that gal, I’m in! :o) I ordered a Gymboss Interval Timer, and as soon as it comes in, I’ll be all set to do some of the HIIT workouts that involve numerous intervals. No way I can keep up with it by my watch. I figure I can also use the interval timer in some of my running workouts that focus on intervals of intense and moderate to easy effort. And I feel like the intensity of the Bodyrock workouts will surely make me a stronger runner.