Healthy Habits And Lifestyle Change

Hey boys and girls…. it’s Monday! Are you ready to take on a new week ? It’s sunny and beautiful here in south Texas this morning and a bit on the cooler side too… no worries… it won’t last long 😉

I felt it when I scampered outside in only my shorts and sports bra… brisk air slamming into me… the beauty of working out? You warm up fast and get over that ha

Today was a combo of boxing, weights, and core body moves. I like doing this because it’s just a progression of constant movement from one point to the next. Not only that, boxing always makes me feel like a beast 😉

I knew getting up this morning that this workout was on my agenda for my day. A part of my day. As non-negotiable as eating or brushing my teeth.

Why? My workouts are a habit now, and honestly, a habit I love.

On our pursuit of developing a lifestyle change ( not a diet, a permanent change you can live with) new habits and behaviors must be formed along the way to make that change.

Food habits :  learning to make better choices to support our goals, and setting aside other things that don’t support our goals.  How do you look at food? What is it to you? Comfort? Stress reliever? A friend ?  or is it fuel to support your life and activities? What kind of fuel do you put in it ? When you’re hungry, what are you reaching for ? To move forward requires making intentional, better choices for yourself. Know also that it will take time for your tastes to change. If your daily diet consists of fast food, processed foods, sugars and refined foods know it will take time for change to occur. When it does, you will honestly taste the difference..those foods will taste “off” to you.

Exercise habits: movement isn’t just good to help with weight loss, but it’s good for us mentally, spiritually, and emotionally too. Our bodies are MADE for movement.

We have to make intentional choices to exercise like anything else in our life.

The thing is, for most people, in the beginning, it’s hard and uncomfortable! It’s also the point where you will quickly realize how out of shape you really are and get discouraged. Start small, start slow, stay consistent. Yes, you will be uncomfy but the more you continue to do it, the less you will feel that way. Trust me, you can move to a place where you embrace the challenge and look forward to the workout and will feel like something is missing if you don’t do it.

Mental habits: How often are you thinking of food ? What are your thoughts about food? Is it in a proper place in your life? How do you talk to yourself? Are you mentally preparing yourself for physical activity ?

Lifestyle habits: How we’re raised, how we learned to eat with our families impacts us forever. The spoken or unspoken rules that we grew up and lived by… good or bad…. we carry these habits with us into adulthood. If eating extra was encouraged, “clean your plate!” was the mantra or poor nutrition was modeled you will have to work intentionally to build new lifestyle habits. I think perhaps of all things, breaking free of family habits is the hardest thing but it can be done.

I also think it’s important to know what your triggers are, what have you “conditioned” yourself to that you need to rewire? Do you stop at a gas station and automatically think you need soda and a candy bar? Are you a little hungry and think you need to go through the drive thru before you get home for dinner? or to have a more nutritious lunch?

That was a serious revelation for me years ago…. I don’t need to run through and get something… I WILL NOT… starve to death before I get home… I won’t… neither will you. I try and keep small snacks with me if I do need something. I’m not saying you should ignore those natural body signals, just learn to plan wisely and have better snacks than the local fast foods value menu.

Like any habit we develop in life, our relationship with food (how we eat, what we eat, how much) are all driven by habits we’ve allowed to settle into our lives. With persistence and determination, you can build and develop new habits to support your lifestyle change. The most important thing is to be determined and make these changes each day to lead to permanency.

Those Days In Life

Yes, I’m still alive. Yes, it’s been one of those weeks.

Life, you know ?

Life can throw things at you left and right, good and bad. Tell me you relate? That you understand and get it too ?

Somehow in the mix of life these past few days I’ve been distracted in my writing which bothers me ’cause writing really is an outlet for me. Yet there have just been times I’m hard pressed to connect two words together.

When I launched my blog my primary intent was to talk health, sane fitness and weight loss, lifestyle changes and new habits, and of course, running. You know how much I love to run =)

But there are so many other things in life that make up who we are and so, I will have times that I will address those topics as well.

Family, kids, happiness, grief, maybe even some life questions in the mix, oh yeah, and humor ’cause I get amused by some random things 😉

Topics to write on abound and so I will continue to share my passions of health, fitness etc but also those things we all contend with at one time or another in our lives.

Now, on with the show…..

Last week I was a lil excited THRILLED to get my first ultra medal and official ultra shirt ( does the word “first” imply there will be a second ??) the shirt… I decided with the color I could stop traffic with it or get a job as a highway worker 😉

I’m stupid proud of this medal. It represents a ton of hard work and sacrifice, and I don’t mean just running the 50K distance either.

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That Ultra medal…. and ignore the fact I look like a lemon

Also, March was my most productive racing month…..ever… since I started running… I got some cool runners bling to prove it too 😉 2 half marathons and the 50K….

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That runners bling…..

Ugh, my mileage has reallllyyy come down and I hate it. I think I hate knowing I’ll have to rebuild to that all over again. In a smart way I also know and understand my body must have recovery time from such heavy mileage. I’ll be hitting my bike more, doing boxing and some more weights to strength train and a few days running for awhile. I do have a marathon goal for year end so I know I need to give myself some lower mileage before I ramp it up again in a few months.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll never be the fastest out there or be the most impressive, but I hope to show that being older isn’t a reason to not be strong and physically fit. I hope to consistently encourage others to get out and do something, to find their “thing” and be good at it, to be empowered by what they can achieve and accomplish.

Really? Is there anything better or more rewarding than setting a goal for yourself that seems huge and daunting, and then, doing it ?? Crushing it ?

So now you know my plan to take over the world……

In other life news, things that kinda derailed me this week. My otherwise, seemingly healthy dog, turned sick and basically after an emergent trip into the vet on Sunday to see if she was having a reaction to some meds or if she was dehydrated, they informed me that she had liver and kidney failure and did I want to put her to sleep…. now ?

To say I was shocked is putting it mildly. No, I couldn’t do it then… I couldn’t go back home with a dead dog and not give my kids a chance to say good bye… I needed that too.. but I also knew if I loved her I would need to act on it quickly. Her condition just rapidly got worse.

Stella was a golden husky mix. At one point my sons dog, she came to stay with us till “he got settled somewhere else” the rest is history on that. In my early days of fitness when I walked, she came with me, as I started running, she easily kept up. She was never on a leash and loved running in and out of the hill country where I lived. She plowed up hills with me like it was nothing. Whatever she was mixed with, she was made for endurance.

As I got stronger, and my mileage increased I worried about her going farther from home. I started to leave her. She cried and howled in the beginning. She didn’t want to be left.

It was fitting at the end, it was just the two of us. I won’t lie. I loved that dog. She was quiet and laid back, lady like when she laid down with her paws crossed at the ankles. She had such thick, thick fur. It filled her ears which I loved to play with and pet.

Watching her go was as much painful, as a blessing to know she wasn’t in pain anymore. Taking her home, burying her, I sobbed and petted those ears over and over trying to commit them to my memory… knowing I’d never stroke them again…or see her keen eyes watching me… or laugh at the way her tail always curled in a jaunting way over her back.

Agony. Pain. Heartbroken.

I finally made myself leave her… pick up the shovel and finish the process. Even now two days later writing this, the grief is welling up in my heart.

I looked for her this morning. I looked for her last night. I know better. But I miss her presence.

I know from experience it will become less painful… less agonizing to think of…. right now it’s still raw… mainly I think… ’cause it came out of nowhere.

So yeah, life. Stuff happens, good and bad. It’s where I’ve been this week. Moments of triumph cloaked in moments of agony and pain.

I hope to be able to continue to chat with you about not only my passion for people to find their way to health and fitness, but also those other real life things that define and shape us.

Have you had particular moments in life that you know have shaped and defined you more ?

Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

When I kicked started my little blog a few short weeks ago, it was to hopefully, share, encourage and motivate those who stumbled across me in the vast cyber world of blogville.

It’s a big place out there boys and girls. And wow, ya’ll have been so…. nice……

I wanted to take my voice into the world to do what I’ve been doing in real life and through my Facebook page, motivating and encouraging people to pursue a lifestyle of health and fitness.

As you know, and as I’ve shared in other posts, I’m a runner and love running and will talk a lot about it ( as in, I have a half marathon this weekend, so spoiler alert, you know what’s coming 😉 however, there’s a lot more to me,  a person, and much more to our lives we deal with so I will also venture into other topics and ideas to share with you as we move along.

I think when people are setting out to do something as (big) as get on their health and fitness journey, they really need a cheerleader, a mentor, and someone who’s plowed the road in front of them to say “hey, I got through this, you can too!”

It can be hard…. frustrating… overwhelming. As one reader commented to me the other day on my post, they hadn’t “thrown in the towel yet”…..

That means a lot … if you can press on taking one day at a time and just focusing on it…. and not the rest of your life….or that you feel like you’ll be fat/out of shape/ unmotivated whatever… you WILL make progress.

Trust me.

There will be days you’ll look at yourself in the mirror in that self-loathing way (don’t… do … that… or I will…come beat you) and you think there’s no progress going on… but there is…. you must give your body time to adapt and adjust to what you are doing. Remember part of the process is knowing that there’s a lot of changes going on…. not just physically inside and out ……but mentally and emotionally as well….

Our bodies really are this cool science experiment.  Work them, feed them good foods, be consistent in that process and in this slow steady way…. stuff happens….

Honestly, I’ve been at this for 7 years now. I’ve kept my weight off, built muscle, gotten stronger, leaner,  have more energy and can physically do more than I did half my age ago. I realllllyy l that 😉

Did you notice something ?

 7….. years…..

I’ve made forward progress by being consistent and letting changes happen in the way they need to……over time.

Are my fitness goals different now, than when I started this process? You bet they are ( and that, boys and girls will be another post)

The important thing is this. I just lived my life each day…. purposefully and intentionally  with forward progress. This is not something you can manhandle out quickly. You’re living your life, settle back and enjoy  the journey.

I still have people who will see me and say “when did you get like that??” and my response is “I’ve just been working at it for awhile”.

May I offer some suggestions if you are thinking of starting your journey or maybe you’re on it and need encouragement.

Ready ? Take notes 😉

Be kind to yourself when you start the process. Firm, but kind.

Don’t tolerate excuses from yourself (you can read more on that in my “No Excuses” post)

Set reasonable goals.

Make a vision board of ideas or goals you want to achieve. My closet door is littered with ideas/quotes/goals.

If you’re serious… tell people! My Facebook page has been a place where I post what I will be doing and I know at least one person is going to ask about what I’m doing and if I did it. Not only that, you are also going to motivate someone else… win/win!

Educate yourself in what you are doing… read and learn.

Finally, make it fun! You are doing this as a “lifestyle” enjoy what you’re doing!

With consistent daily progress you will hit your goals.

But no matter what….. don’t you give up and throw in the towel. You will never reach your goals by doing that!

Have you thrown in the towel before? How many times before it “stuck”? What things  helped you ? Share =)

2007/2014 7 years into my journey
2007/2014 7 years into my journey