So about those gym mats...

I was really excited about the gym mat that I ordered from walmart for my home workouts that I do on an almost daily basis before my son wakes up. I actually purchased two mats so I could cover a 6 x 6 foot area. They arrived very quickly and after pulling them out of the box, I realized they were fantastic.
They're light weight and fold up easily for storage.

Well, here they are after ONE workout:

They're not so fantastic after all.

Tomorrow, I'm returning them to walmart and will have to figure out an alternative. My wrists need some cushion for the sideways plank and the workout was so much easier on my back with this mat. It just didn't hold up to the trials of a Jillian Michaels video.


Eating Healthy's Anomaly

The little things in life..

...that are sometimes, the big things.

Like accomplishing a friggin' side plank! In Jillian Michaels' Six Week Six Pack Abs, she does side planks but she doesn't just do them, she does them and adds another move onto them. I've just been working towards accomplishing HOLDING the side plank for the entire time that she does it. I planned to add the second move when I conquered said basics.
Well, I finally conquered holding my side plank position!!
I guess this means that I have to start the second move during the video tomorrow now!


This says it all for me.


I want to do the Tough Mudder in June & I want to do it right. :)

I worked out Monday & this morning. Both times, was Jillians six week six pack abs. I'm hoping the gym mats arrive today so I can start the 30 day shred tomorrow. I need to lose weight and build muscle, more specifically, upper body strength for the Tough Mudder! I will continue to keep running, as I said yesterday.


Changing Gears.

Time to change gears!

From Pinterest :)

I think, if I want to stick with it....stay the extra mile....give it all I got....I'm running out of cliches....BUT, if I am going to "stick with it," I have to do something that I want to "stick with." I've found myself more interested in doing Jillian Michael workouts than what has usually lit a fire under my butt, running. I am going to continue with running but back down from the attempt at distance running. I think distance running will be something for me to accomplish once I meet some other goals first.

For now, I really want to do Jillian Michael's Body Revolution but I have to wait a little bit until after the holiday financial crunch. Instead, I've used my money on purchasing two gym mats to save my aching 33 year old bones.

Truthfully, my reason for the investment in this gym mat (it is an investment because I've contemplated this purchase for awhile!), is both due to softer impact but also subdues the sounds/wall shaking effect of the impact. Have you ever jumped up and down in a living room with stuff on the shelves and end tables? I find myself not really giving the workouts my full effort because I'm afraid a fire engine is going to roll off the playroom shelves during a burpee, hitting the floor with a glorious lights 'n sirens effect. This will wake up the whole house, as I usually workout before dawn.

The plan is for the gym mats to cover a six by six foot area, which is a majority of my son's playroom that I've been working out in....hence, the reason why I do it before he wakes up. Otherwise, he'll come in the playroom with every intention of playing with his toys but will instead find his sweaty Mom. Well, back to the plan, the mats will arrive sometime before Christmas. In the mean time, I will continue on with the six week six pack abs and once the mats arrive, I will give 30 day shred a try.




This past week is kinda "the good, the bad and the ugly."

The ugly, I started the week off after re-gaining everything I've lost since I started in November, back. That's pretty ugly, if you ask me.

The bad, I really only was eating paleo on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The other days, I snuck in sweets or things I shouldn't have been eating. It truly showed in how I felt energy wise and my desire to exercise, which I didn't last week, except the first two days.

The good, I went down a clothing size (bought new clothes) and lost 2lbs!



Exercise? What's that?

It's been a LONG week with a four year old that has stayed up way past my bed time, yes, that's right, he was up later than his Mom was. This means, I slept in his bed with my arms around him so I knew when he was up and wandering the house. This whole Santa business has him on guard, or something, where he wants to be awake at night and downstairs. My body is all sortsa discombobulated with sharing a much smaller bed than I am use to with him.

Exercising was down graded from the top of the list of things to do this week, with that problem being an on-going issue. I did eat healthy but just only squeezed in two work outs.

My advice to self for the week:


Jillian Michaels: 6 Week Six-Pack


This workout receives five stars from me!

I've incorporated it into my workout routine but I have quite the midsection at the moment, so I am doing my best to complete her workout entirely. Some days, I make it through the first circuit but others, I make it through both circuits to the end.

After a conversation with my brother-in-law last week, about Jillian Michaels being a "man," I paid much more attention to her this week while working out. How the heck could she be a man? I'm going with, she's hardcore and he's intimidated by her strength and dedication. More importantly, I'm not intimidated by it! I'm just jealous and hope to soak up some of her intensity. She should really figure out a way to put it in a bottle and sell it to the rest of us.

If only, that were possible.



While I run tonight, I will be thinking of my next race shirt.


Well, to put it concisely, week four was a total bust.

I regained everything I had lost completely back this past week, which started with some french toast, a cinnabun and a mint chocolate chip sundae on my 5k race day (12/2/12). Yeah, I ate all of that after the race because it felt like a good idea. Well, it just snowballed from there. I think only one or two days in the last week, did I eat on plan. The rest, I just said screw it.

Now, I have to say, in my first weekly review of paleo, I explained that I was giving this lifestyle a shot. I figured, four weeks is good enough to see if it works for me, after seeing friends and so many other people succeed on it.

I've figured out a few things.

Lesson Learned #1. If I'm doing paleo, the only way it works is if I actually do it without any cheats. One small cheat (like the one over Thanksgiving), cancels out any weight loss for the week. Anything larger than a small cheat results in a gain (like this past week!)!

Lesson Learned #2. I love ice cream, cookies and all those wonderful things. I don't exactly crave them while I'm doing paleo but I do remember the enjoyment of consuming them. I can easily stay away from them if I remind myself that this will only hinder my progress.

Lesson Learned #3. Eating on paleo is encouraging and inspires me to conquer my weight loss/fitness goals. Overall, I do a lot better on this plan than I have on other plans in years.

Lesson Learned #4. Eating on paleo actually gives me extra energy. I am less likely to sleep through my alarm clock the day after eating paleo than I am doing what I would have normally done.

These are four reasons why I am sticking with paleo from now on. I had considered Weight Watchers and other diet/lifestyle changes that I have tried over the years. Some have worked with a lot of success but not for the long term.

So paleo, you and I are going to be sticking together through this windy path to fitness.


Jillian Michaels

and I have a date tonight with her six week six pack abs workout.

My long run debacle.

There are a few basic things one must do before one's weekly long run.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to prevent cramping due to dehydration.
  • Stretch!
  • Eat a good breakfast.
  • Don't eat too much before a long run.
A lot of people recommend eating things like bananas to prevent cramps but I'm allergic so that will never be me. I'd likely eat eggs and/or an apple beforehand.

Well, this past Sunday, I didn't do any of those! I ate french toast for breakfast and lived off of coffee, as well as, diet coke for the 24 hours prior to my long run. Not very smart of me! I also didn't stretch. I did a five minute warm up with a walk but was distracted from stretching, when I noticed some random men off the path in the woods near I was running. I'm not sure about you, but I wouldn't want to stop and stretch when seeing that! I decided to just go ahead with the run.

I really struggled about a half mile in but by a mile, my left leg cramped to the point I was limping and hoping stretching might help. Unfortunately, the cramp was in full swing without any intention of letting up anytime soon. I pretty much limped the mile back to my car while going through the pre-run checklist to ensure a good run. That's when I realized, I didn't do any of the preparation. I was so busy thinking about other things going on in my life that I did not put the effort into preparing for this run.

As far as reasons why my run turned out terrible, I'd rather it be this one. My other fear is that I wasn't cut out for distance running. I thought that maybe I should cancel my ten mile race in March, etc. etc. etc. My mind was leaning towards the worst possible reason, until I realized that I didn't do the work to prepare.

Next week, I will do better!


My approach...

Now that I am moving towards an 8k race on January 1, 2013, I think it's time to alter my approach to running. I can no longer do my usual, just start running and whatever happens, happens. Nope. Not going to work. I need to have a mindset when I go out.

Yes, I have a training plan in place but I think increasing your distance and obtaining new goals, requires more than just a training plan. It's an overall mindset to your approach.  This way, when I go out for a 2 mile run, I will understand how important those 2 miles are to my overall goals, so I won't do this....

This is what happens when I use my "whatever" approach:

It's embaressing.

It took me longer to run 2 miles than it did for me to run 3.1 miles last week. Now, it was four-something-am, I wasn't fully awake but still. I also did a little speed work and played with the incline on my treadmill.

I'm going to spend my spare time over the next week re-evaluating my approach to running. I am going to do better even if I am running at four-something-am!


Eau de....breakfast!

Eating on paleo, my breakfast tends to be the same thing because I found something I really enjoy. Green peppers, onions, eggs, sausage and a little bit of bacon thrown in. Any idea how potent this combination is in a kitchen?

I decided this morning to shower before breakfast. I thought it would help leaving for work without wet hair in the winter cold. Now, I remember why I always did it after breakfast.....I'm sitting at work smelling myself, I smell like sausage, eggs, bacon, green peppers and onions.

One would think this makes me hungry but it makes me wonder if others can smell it too in the hallway....on the elevator....an excellent way to give a woman a complex. :)

Trial and error....


Dream Big People, Dream Big.

I'm dreaming big! Really, I am!

For the next six months, I am preparing for the Tough Mudder, which I signed up for the June 1st one in VA Beach. In preparation, I am running a ten mile race in March and a half marathon in April. I also aspire to lose weight, become trim and work on my upper body.



I stayed on plan the entire week, save for Friday night. I had a pumpkin spiced latte, which was very yummy.

I lost 1.5 lbs!!

What I learned? It's really easy to stay on paleo when you set your mind to it & ignore "desire" for other food. I wouldn't call it a craving because your stomach is full and you know you can't have it. I'd call it desire because you have experienced it before and liked it. It's easy to want what you like/love. The trick is to remind yourself that you will only hurt yourself and will not achieve your goals, if you go off plan.

Here's to hoping week four has some solid results too!



An Awesome 5k Race

The weather was perfect for a race, in my opinion. Cold enough to keep me comfortable with no breeze to chill me mid run when I'm covered in sweat. The goal for this race was for me to run (or jog) continuously to improve my running and try to take it to the next level. I have goals and it's time to achieve them so I have to put the work in.
The race started off with my friend Christina, Lynn and Lynn's daughter and me running together chatting about stuff. Around the first bend, Lynn's daughter, who I call Short Stack dropped back. Then Lynn dropped back with Short Stack to take a walk break with her. This was Short Stack's first 5k race. Christina and I kept going. Now, Christina is a much more experienced runner than me so she was going at my pace just to keep me going. She could have easily left me in the dust, but didn't.....and I'm enormously grateful for this!
There were two slight hills, which I slowed down my pace to make it through so I wouldn't stop running entirely. Then, around the point we hit the two mile mark, I really started feeling the burn in my thighs. I had to slow my pace down so my body was feeling like it's getting a break with a walk but really wasn't.....mind over matter battled a lot at that time period for me. I knew my body could do it but my brain wanted to go easy. Christina kept telling me "don't you dare walk," whenever I showed the inclination to do so. Oh so effective, drill Sgt.! lol
It was around this point that we noticed the intersections were no longer being watched by a police officer or a volunteer to stop traffic to keep runners safe. Thankfully, we hit intersections when the lights were green but the other runners weren't so lucky. More importantly, random drivers were honking at us for taking up a full lane of the road as they tried to pass us. We were honked at and one car came dangerously close to another runner. To top it off, the roads weren't marked so unless Christina was with me, I would have been lost.

It was the best and worst race that I've ever run. Best, as I ran the 5k continuously for the first time after having my son and being injured from running but it was the worst organized race I've run!


Ready to run!

I'm running a race this Sunday with Christina.

The best thing about races is that you're competing against yourself. Even better, I didn't train for my 5k in September so I feel this will set a good example as to how far I've come.

My ultimate goal in this race is to run without stopping.

Feel the burn!

This has been my favorite saying during a race for years. When my mind says break time, I just remind myself to FEEL THE BURN! Seriously, this is why we all run, right? To master running for self achievement but to also get/stay in shape! Why not feel the burn?

Anyhoo, it's a saying that amuses me for no particular reason after a race with a co-worker. Three weeks prior to the race, I didn't run at all. On race day, I did not have my head in the game. My co-worker wasn't having any of my excuses.

I was told to get my ass out there, run and shut up. I listened.



A life lesson.

I love this.

This is the most important lesson in life, love yourself! I found this on pinterest and
I'm glad that I did because it's a good reminder that all of us need to love ourselves more.
This is the reason that I'm on this fitness journey, because I need to love myself.
I need to be proud of who I am and comfortable in my own skin.

Like the old saying, if you don't like it, then change it.
Well, I'm changing it and in the process, I'm becoming more
comfortable with myself and loving myself!


WEEK TWO - Paleo

I didn't lose any weight on Week TWO of Paleo, mostly because of Thanksgiving. I ate things not on plan on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The good thing is that I didn't gain any weight.

As a result, I've decided to keep my distance from desserts, oreos, whip cream and pumpkin pie, when I feel the surge of holiday festivities come on!


Why Paleo?

I can give you one good reason right now.

Yesterday, I ate paleo all day long. The last meal of the day was at 5:30 p.m., which was baked ham slices, a sweet potato and steamed veggies.

It's 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday and I am just now eating my breakfast, which is eggs, sausage, turkey bacon, onions and green peppers. I'm not necessarily even hungry yet. I just don't want to get suddenly hungry and eat something that I will regret, so I intend to get food in me now.

Very yummy! The news on waking up without being ravenously hungry was too good to pass up posting about.


Your attention please...

Favorite Paleo Foods

The Paleo BLTA

Have you ever heard of a BLTA? Neither have I. Actually, I just made it up because it made sense, as I gave the BLT, a make-over. I'm sure, someone has else has already experimented with this and blogged about it but here's my version:

- Diced cooked bacon
- Diced tomatoes
- Avocado chunks
- Lettuce wrap

Take the bacon, tomatoes and avocado, then wrap the lettuce around it for your very own Paleo version of what was a BLT. Very simple lunch to make!


I'm making a lot of fitness commitments for 2013. Talk about having some serious faith in myself! A few weeks ago, I signed up for the June 2013 Tough Mudder in VA Beach. Now, I just signed up for the May 2013 Warrior Dash in MD. Usually, I don't plan this far in advance for races but making plans with friends to do these things, kinda of encouraged the early commitment.

So watch out 2013, I will be kicking your butt too. :)


This means war!

Make no mistake about it. Changing your eating style is going to war, against yourself.

Yes, war.

You will be fighting yourself because no one else is going to be standing between you and the cabinet or the fridge containing whatever you shouldn't be eating. At this point in life, you're an adult. You should be able to control what goes from the plate to your mouth (good lord, I hope you aren't eating out of the carton!). With that said, if you're reading this post, then you know what I mean. No further explanation is necessary.

'nuff said.

The thing about the war on yourself, to change your eating style, is that you need an army accompanied with an arsenal prepared to fight this war. There are people that just wave the flag shortly into the war. They become overwhelmed. They become scared. Then, they just flippin' give up.

They had plans, hopes and dreams but they failed to execute them successfully. Then, there are others that come in prepared with a complete army. They're the ones you read the success stories on. I want to be the one swooping in with the complete army because I plan to succeed.

So let's plan a successful war with that army on our side.

Okay, wait, I haven't succeeded yet so I am planning my complete army with my arsenal to execute my very sneaky strategic tactics to win.

Necessary items for war on yourself:

#1. An adviser.

I have one. By sheer accident, did we come across each other in a Mom's group but I'm very glad we did, as we certainly kick ass and accomplish a lot together.

You touch base with your adviser. Furthermore, the adviser lets you know how to proceed when you've arrived at a touch and go scenario.

Example: Your back is sore. Should you take a few days off from my training or keep on with it? Personally, I sometimes over do it so it's good to have someone tell me to take the rest. Some people abuse the "oh, I have an ache" to skip out on a workout. Sometimes, you need that "adviser" person to keep you on track. The adviser can determine if you're just trying to get out of working out. Said adviser will weight in on the subject to decide.

Your adviser also serves the role of cheerleader. Sometimes, we need some cheer in our corner. Getting back into shape can be a very lonely road with lots of ups and downs. It's great to have someone there during an up for that positive reinforcement.

#2. Goals.

You need some goals. Something you aspire to achieve. This is your motivation. Well, I want to achieve my goals, aka tough mudder and a half marathon BUT I also just want to wear a bikini next summer without scaring anyone or turning heads for the wrong reasons. Yes, sheer vanity.  My goals, will essentially help me reach my ultimate goal. I set my eyes on the physical accomplishments because there is no exact science to ensuring I have a bikini friendly body by a certain time, unless I pay a surgeon.

Yes, I want to be healthy and keep up with my son. Being overweight is not easy when you have a very active four year old that you sometimes struggle to keep up with!

#3. How To.

How am I going to look good in a bikini? Well, I will be using old faithful: diet and exercise.

First, I need to run 3-4 days a week and cross train with Jillian's Total Ab Workout at home for the time being. I've been running 3-4 days a week for awhile now. I also plan to start CrossFit at a gym in town come January.

Second, I will follow the paleo eating plan hardcore for the next 6.5 months. Theoretically, I could do "primal" which allows for some "breaks" in the eating plan. I think, for the time being, paleo is fine for me. I have a lot of weight to lose right off the bat so I think indulgence isn't something I need to do yet. Watch me eat my words though (pun intended)!

That's my how to. How do you plan to accomplish your goal?


Dessert? Try apples with Cinnamon

Dessert on paleo doesn't feel like it will ever be the same. I guess that's a good thing. 

I really do not want to use a host of substitutions to make food taste like non-paleo food. In my opinion, it defeats the purpose. Additionally, I can't use some of the substitutions because I am either allergic to them or haven't had the test to see if I'm not allergic to them. I'm severely allergic to nuts but also allergic to pineaplle and bananas. It's still up in the air if I am allergic to coconut. I had something last March with coconut in it but ended up in the hospital. The doctor wanted to verify with a blood/skin test but I didn't get around to it. It's on the agenda to iron this out in December!

With that said, I went for a very basic first paleo dessert:
  • 1 apple sliced
  • Sprinkled cinnamon
  • Baking dish
  • Oven set to 350 degrees

I decided it was done when the apple slices were soft but not mushy.

Apples are naturally sweet so it takes very little to enhance the flavor to meet my sweet tooth needs while on paleo. Just baked apples with cinnamon is awesome. :)

I also tried it with dots of butter on the slices, even better!


WEEK ONE - Paleo

Have you heard of paleo?

I think everyone, at this point, has heard of it. At least, one way or another.

I learned about paleo through friends, blogs and the news. I was very hesitant to try it due to going too far outside my comfort zone, plus my son would hate it and I have food allergies to boot. With that said, I am still unhappy with my weight so obviously, I need to do something different, so while watching friends have success of paleo, it became clear to give it a try.

Alright, so onto the subject at hand....

WEEK ONE....on paleo is over! What have I learned?

My body likes avoiding grains and dairy! More importantly, my constant hungry feeling decreased significantly. I've noticed that I am hungry only at appropriate times, rather than all day long, like I was before. This is only week one accomplished, so I can't say for certain that I will always feel this way. Right now though, this is my body's reaction to the changes.

The first day or two was very overwhelming because I decided to jump into this style of eating with both feet first. I felt that if I tried to learn every detail about it prior to doing it, I would never do it. A few days in, I purchased a book called The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, which gave me the insight that I needed to understand the basics. Truthfully, as long as you understand the basic concept of Paleo, I think you can make day to day decisions and learn as you go. Otherwise, it's really too overwhelming and too much information at once. Also, if you're a perfectionist, it kind of sets you up for failure because when it comes to eating and life, failure will happen. We just need to accept that it's life when it happens and move the silly nilly on.

One of those failures that came for me was while I was eating sweet potatoes for dinner one night last week. It didn't occur to me until ten minutes into dinner that a sweet potato is likely, not a vegetable. I mean, it is a vegetable but it's a starchy vegetable. I sat there and debated in my head whether they were paleo or not. The logic went like this...."are sweet potatoes a starch or a vegetable? Well, does it really matter because it's not like I put sugar on them, nor was it even sweet potatoes that got me fat in the first place. Maybe, I should continue eating them?" I love those moments when you're starting a new eating plan but you're not sure if you had a well intentioned screw up or not.

There was one ill intentioned screw up. Come Saturday, I had cravings for anything from mint chocolate chip ice cream to just a slice of bread. Yes, cravings galore. This was not necessarily being hungry but more, desire for what I hadn't been eating all week. I satisfied it with popcorn. Processed popcorn from one of those microwave bags. Hey...sometimes, you have to compromise between your brain and your body. I had something I wasn't suppose to have but it wasn't the ice cream or the cake that would possibly have killed any dedication that I had to staying on plan.

Week one is over and I'm very satisified with all that I accomplished that week, even the 4.5 lb loss!



I'm Here.

Where is here and why is it important?

First, here is the starting point.

I've been at the starting point for awhile. Not only have I been here awhile but it took awhile to EVEN get here. For some, they never reach the starting point. Others, it takes a little bit of re-vamping the brain to wire it so it wants to get in shape, eat healthy and lose weight.

Now that I'm here, I will likely make progress but will inevitably encounter a debacle that will derail my focus. Then I will need to get to the starting point all over again. Takes FORever. But, I'm here now.

Right now, for me, here has been going on for a little over a week. I've been doing paleo with some great progress (as well as screw ups!) but I've lost 5lbs so far. I've had the help of a friend to get to this point too. We both signed up for Tough Mudder next June and plan to run several races between now and then, as well as do crossfit. I'm not an accomplished runner but I have aspirations to do so at some point in the future. Crossfit for me will be at a gym starting in January. I've tried Crossfit at home but it isn't for me.

Second, since I'm here, at this starting point, and I have a good direction with a strong will to succeed, let's hope that I stay here. That's the important part. :)