Birthday Reflections

Hello my faithful readers!

Am I the only one who wakes up lately wondering what day it is, what month or some days, what planet we’re on?

Like a surreal time warp lately.

Therefore, it kinda caught me off guard when hubby mentioned a week or two back,” hey you’ve got a birthday coming, what do you want?”

( My birthday was on Saturday)

Ah! Christmas in July ūüėĀ

Like wow, where did the year go?

If you will, allow me to wax poetic in this post on some reflections of another year around the sun .

Age is definitely a number

I giggle when my young friends lament that they are on the door step of 30, like it’s the end of life.

Age is no excuse

Although 30 is a ways back in my rearview mirror now, I love where I am in life. I want to tell them that getting older isn’t awful and it’s something many will never know. That getting older means wisdom gained, compassion deepened, love expanded, and a broader understanding of things you didn’t really grasp years before.

Getting older means knowing yourself, really. The good and bad and knowing how to manage both of those areas. It means knowing how to use to your voice and being comfortable doing so.

It means gained confidence in ways you have not have known in your younger self.

It can be developing new skills or talents you find along the way you didn’t know you had earlier in life.

Age also challenges you to press into hard things you may never have dealt with. It can either forge strength in you, or leave you weak or fearful.

You also learn to be true to yourself and who you are….or you don’t. Being true to yourself might not always float everyone’s boat but that is really their issue, not yours.

Be authentically you, there is no one who can fill your shoes.

Getting older doesn’t need to define life as “less”.

That’s how it’s often observed right? Getting older means you can’t or shouldn’t do certain things cause ya know, age right?

Don’t do this, don’t do that.

Nonsense.

I jokingly tell my kids I will forever be the mom/grandmother/aunt in little shorts at the family picnic ūü§£

I will be on the dance floor if there’s music and not observing life on the side.

I will continue to push my limits and challenge myself to new things.

I want to learn and grow and be better with each year marked.

Age is no excuse

Honestly, I do not even let myself allow that idea into my head. I refuse to be guided by a thought that would cripple me from living a life of more .

As I reflect back on this year, it is not without looking at some hard times I’ve walked through that have strengthened me in ways I had never previously known. Walking paths of illness with loved ones builds unknown strengths in you that you don’t know you possess until you go through fire.

Getting older is often looked at as getting weak with the thought older people should step aside so the stronger young ones can handle it.

Physically, my body is stronger and more capable than it has ever been.

I love that! I love that my sons call on me at times to help move something because they know I can deliver.

Pushing myself to lift heavier or ride farther on my bike, whatever, it may be is empowering! And training my body prepares it for those daily life tasks we can be called on to do.

I guess really, if anything, I don’t ever put limits on myself. That has allowed me to grow and tackle such big goals that if I had put mental limits on myself I would spend my life wondering if I could do it, instead of getting it done.

A friend tagged me in this post yesterday telling me it reminded her of me, of how I am and the fact she felt I’d say the same thing to my followers, and she’s right.

No matter where we are in life, choices are to be made. What we do determines who we will continue to grow into.

I will, no matter my age always be pressing into where I want to continue to be, and that is driven by what I do.

How I think, the goals I set and how I challenge myself.

Chronologically, age happens to all of us. We have no control over that.

How we approach aging, the choices we make, our behaviors and attitudes, our mental thinking, well we have a ton of control over that.

And with those ideas firmly in mind my mantra will forever be, age is no excuse.

Cheers to another year celebrating #50ish!

Smart Nutrition

Good nutrition. Smart nutrition. It’s a topic that comes up a lot and it’s a topic I’ve fielded not only for myself, but talking with others who desire to live a healthier lifestyle in regards to foods.

 

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Colorful foods are always healthy choices

 

Add to that, for most of us, we have busy lives and schedules and food sometimes is well, an afterthought.

There could be a tendency to grab just whatever is convenient or at hand because we’re tired or worse yet, our hunger is on full blown overdrive.

I am notorious some days for being hungry, yet feeling to lazy to make myself something. This is especially dangerous when it’s been a day I’ve trained hard and my body is wanting some good quality nutrition for all it’s work that morning.

Someone, please admit, there are days you feel like that too. Hungry yet the idea of making food or even putting something together seems like to much trouble so you just skate by.

Not ideal, I know.  There are some days I admittedly feel that way.

I’m smart enough to know my body needs proper fuel not just post workout, but also for a busy day of activities.

Yours does too.

Smart nutrition where does it start?

I’ve had friends jokingly ask if I’d follow them around and slap wrong foods out of their hands or¬† tell them they’ve had enough at the dinner table.

It always makes me laugh. Maybe, we all want someone like that. This tough love accountability person who snatches a donut from us or reminds us we don’t really need that big Mexican platter for lunch.¬† This person would simply follow us around like some muscular side kick directing our food choices.

I hate to break the news but smart nutrition, well, that starts with you.

It has to start with you because really, ultimately you are the only one making the choices.

Maybe you want to blame the co-worker for stocking piling donuts in the break room or use the reason you’re to¬†tired to not make healthy foods so you stop at the fast food drive thru.

For example….

I’ve been helping my son at his shop this week. I ran out to do some errands for him¬†and drove through a local fast food place for lunch to take back with me.

No. Not burgers and fries.

Although, I will admit, fries are at the top of my most favorite non- necessary food items.

However, they happen to make some amazing salads and that’s what I was after.¬† I love salads, not as a “diet” food but as a “healthy, nutritious good for my body” food.

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Now tell me how tasty this looks…..protein, fruit, and leafy greens

 

Eating it leaves me feeling satisifed, yet also energetic and not sluggish like I’d feel from a meal heavy in more simple carbs.¬† I’ve eaten like this long enough that it’s a no brainer for me to go for healthier choices.

Although… why… why can’t salads smell as good on the wind as the smell of greasy foods??? hahaha

We encounter choices each day in how we eat. There can be an endless list to reasons why we don’t make smarter, healthier choices in our nutrition each day.

But when it comes down to what we put in our mouths, no one is standing there shoveling it in but us.

We are responsible for our own nutrition, good or bad.

Well where do I start?

No one understands better than I do that you just don’t magically develop good nutritional habits over night.

You just don’t.

You don’t undo or change a life time or years of eating certain ways without some determination and discipline to see it through. If you’re reading this I may assume you are wanting to eat nutritionally smarter.

Getting started requires a bit of a mental shift in your thinking. The foods or snacks you reach for. Your beverage choices. How much you eat. When you eat. It all takes some time and planning.

Oh yeah… planning helps. Some tips and tricks…

we live busy lives.  Planning somewhat is crucial to success in developing smart nutrition habits.

Sitting down and thinking about meals and snacks and ingredients needed when you aren’t hungry is the best place to start. Once you’ve developed a plan and utilized it for awhile you won’t have to think so much about what you’re doing.

Consider your lifestyle. Do you work? Do you need healthy easy meals that won’t take much time to prepare or could be prepped in advance? Crock pots and one pan dinners are at the top of my healthy recipe ideas. If you need creative ideas, Pinterest is loaded with them.

You would need to consider your work meals. Maybe you don’t take a lunch but really, it’s the best way to ensure you are eating foods that you’ve chosen and aren’t going to be subject to grabbing whatever is easy in the work cafeteria.

Food prep. Ok I’m not really into that. I know what I like and what works for me so I don’t make containers of food to keep in ‘fridge.¬† I’m also at home so it’s easy enough for me to make my meals based on what I want.

However, making and prepping things like fruits and veggies in advance will make it easier to grab it for lunch or to make up a easy salad if you don’t have to chop a lot of stuff, I sometimes will buy already cut and prepped veggies because I appreciate the convenience of it ( like broccoli )

Hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, or sliced lean meats will make lunch prep quick and easy.

Try to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. ( fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc) the more colorful, the better.

Cheetos don’t count by the way ūüėČ

Learning to swap out high calorie or less nutritious foods is another way to being smart in making a healthy change. For example, swapping chips for crunchy veggies with ranch dip made with Greek yogurt is a way to not only cut calories, you get a little protein in with the yogurt. Greek yogurt is very high in protein and all I eat now days. I buy the non-fat plain and add my own fruit, nuts etc. or use it as a base for dips and cooking that requires sour cream.

Don’t forget your drinks. Sugary drinks contribute to your daily calories and are not a part of a smart nutrition plan.

In conclusion….

becoming smarter in nutritional choices takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you make choices you think you’ve “failed” in.

Really, an awareness shows you that you are trying and are aware of choices so that’s a good thing!

Take each day at a time, try to make wise choices in that day, celebrate your victories and learn from your mistakes.

Each day makes you smarter in your nutrition habits and leads to a healthier body and lifestyle.

Tell me… what tips or ideas work for you in regards to smart nutrition ?

 

 

 

I Eat Ice Cream Don’t Judge Me

It had been one of those days. My morning started as usual, workout, then the life stuff I had to attend to.

After that, it was off to town to do errands and finally, landing in my favorite coffee cave to chill, socialize, and write.

Oh yeah. That’s what I’m here for.

Writing ūüėČ

Believe it or not, I am way more productive being out than being at home where things pull at me.

I had been writing for awhile and was wrestling with the feeling of needing something sweet. This is sometimes for me, normal, after a morning with a hard workout.

Sugar is nothing but pure, raw fuel for the body. I’ve learned to not fight against it when it hits, but get something to quiet that need.

Last year after a particularly long run, by midafternoon, I was craving jelly beans in the worst way. ( Can you say sugar?)  I went and bought some and chowed down on a handful without blinking.

jelly beans

The next day, I had a couple and was overwhelmed with how sweet they were. I didn’t touch them after that.

Fast forward to the other afternoon with a similar feeling creeping in. I kept writing but that need was still there.

I finally decided I wanted ice cream. Actually, where I got it, it’s a fancier version with other goodies added into it. This one happened to be Salted Caramel.

As I’m prone to do posting fun, random, or whatever pics on my social media sites, I posted a pic of the ice cream.

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It’s drool worthy, right ? ūüėČ

 

As I expected several of my friends teased me about being “normal” and¬† they were happy to see I ate stuff ¬†like, ice cream.

Of course I do.¬† Don’t judge me ūüėõ

I’m not¬†just some perpetual veggie eating machine ūüėČ ¬†I mean I am… but… I still like some treats too.

Anyway, yeah, so the ice cream was delicious. But my tummy also let me know a bit later it wasn’t to crazy about that heavy treat during the day when it’s not used to it.

 

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Did I eat it all ?!

 

When you eat healthy most of the time, that other stuff really begins to not set well in your tummy.

So why am I telling you this? Because I want to share with you what I shared with those who follow me on social media.

The main thing that has led to me being successful in my weight loss and fitness has been a healthy dose of balance and moderation.

I knew I’d never be successful if I developed my own plan and it was restrictive and rigid. Somehow, knowing I could have my favorite¬†things took away the focus from them. It’s a huge mental game and it was one I wanted to be in control over.

As I bounced through those first couple years losing weight, chocolate and occasional French fries were a part of my success. So was birthday cake and Christmas cookies.

Note I used the word occasional. As time went on, the pull became less and less.¬† Mainly in part because your tastes begin to change and those foods start to taste “off” and that also helps to stay away from it. The other part is, knowing it was available in some ways, made me not think about it.

This is what I want to bring to you.

I believe successful weight loss comes with balance. We need to get rid of the all or nothing mentality. Have lots or have none. Do without or eat it all.

These thoughts and attitudes do not lead to success. They can contribute to guilt and more self indulgence. When we believe we’ve “failed” it turns into a brutal cycle we can battle.

The only time you fail is when you quit. Staying with it no matter how bad you think you might’ve done in a day is more successful than quitting.

Life is going on and it has fun things like celebrations, and sometimes, it even has random just for the hell of it ice cream afternoons.

Did¬†eating ice cream¬†change anything for me? Did it change my fitness level? Make me gain 5 lbs? Turn me into a crazy “I can eat anything now” monster because I had ice cream?

No.

Nothing changed for me.

I eat well 95% of the time and the other is for whatever floats my boat.

Balance. Moderation. What is sustainable for the rest of my life.

That stuff works.

If you make it your goal to eat well and eat well the¬†majority of the time, you are on your way to a life time of success. Throw in some solid exercise you’re doing even better.

I firmly believe that when you know you can have everything ( not that you are going to) and that foods aren’t forbidden or good or bad, ¬†it removes a lot of the power from them.

It protects you from the “Last Supper” mentality.

You know… eat it ALL now ’cause tomorrow I diet and I will never, ever have it again.

**raise your hand if you’ve done that** ūüėČ

If you know you can have it, you don’t have to act like the garbage can and clean it all up in a night. No one will take it away so you can’t have it again. Really, your favorite foods will still be around.

Do you see how so much of our thinking can be disordered when it comes to food and weight loss ?

This might take some practice. It might take a failed attempt or two to nail this practice. Maybe you’ll slip up and eat a half bag of cookies.

It’s ok… keep on with it… not the eating cookies part, the practice part ūüėČ

With practice and some balance and moderation, you can have your ice cream and lose weight too.

 

Common Weight Loss Questions

questionanswer

 

I get asked a variety of questions when it comes to health, exercise and weight loss. For the record though, ¬†let’s establish I’m not some “professional something or another” .

I am however, a normal (ish) middle aged woman who has had 8 years of plugging along on this journey.

I’ve lost my weight and kept it off.¬† I’ve gone from being non-athletic to doing more than people half my age consider doing.¬† I get asked often¬†“who I train with”… I train myself and I guess I’m fairly motivated to keep pushing harder and working towards new goals.

I’ve learned a lot about food and more importantly nutrition and how important that is for us in the context of living active, strong, healthy lives.

I experiment on myself, if it works, great. If not I toss it. I read tons and am always trying to learn.

I don’t buy into hype and commonly pushed weight loss products, supplements, enhancements etc.

My take on things in regards to weight loss and health is that it should be sane and sustainable… meaning you can keep at it for a lifetime.

I never assume that what works for me, works for you. Mainly because biologically, we are wired differently and secondly our daily activities and exercise will greatly vary.  Put all of that together and it will have a different impact on our weight loss and fitness goals.

All of that being said…

People still ask me questions ūüėõ

I thought I’d field a few of them here ’cause they are pretty common to most people.

Here we go … buckle your seatbelts boys and girls….. ready ??

I’ve been exercising but I’m not losing weight.

Here’s the deal. Exercise is great. I love it. I highly endorse it for a wealth of reasons. Please, keep doing it no matter what. If you’re exercising you’re well ahead of a lot of people who haven’t gotten to that point yet. But if you aren’t losing weight it simply means…. you are eating to much. A negative people get with the exercise idea¬† is that they can eat (more) or have (treats) ’cause they walked some that morning or hit the gym for 30 minutes.¬† It means, you greatly over estimate your actual calorie burn. Without creating a deficit at the end of the day, you won’t lose weight.¬† Eat good food, in moderation. Know the calories you need to operate on in your day.¬† To lose weight try reducing them by maybe 20%. For example if you can eat 1800 calories a day ( this includes calories for purposeful exercise and just being alive) that means you’d subtract roughly¬†360 calories.

As long as we’re on this topic…. you won’t lose as quickly or much if you eat crappy food…to put it bluntly.¬† You must not only learn to listen to your body and eat in moderation,¬†but stop¬†when you’re hunger is satisfied, not till you’re stuffed. Learning to eat healthier foods is definitely going to put you on a faster track to weight loss. Exercise alone will not do it.

I’m not losing weight, so¬†I must be¬†gaining muscle.

Oh boy. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble here… but….if you’re starting on your journey or even if you’ve been at it for a little while.. you probably can’t count “muscle gain”.¬†¬† If you’re a guy reading this, yeah, you have an advantage over your more feminine counter parts ’cause you’ve got all that testosterone roaring through your body helping the process. If you’re a woman, you still have the ability to gain muscle. But here’s the deal… very few people are going to work with the all out intensity required and eat in the manner necessary to accomplish muscle gain¬†that fast. At best, even if you are committed to actively lifting heavy stuff and eating well, it could be a solid 6 months ( and longer) ¬†before you could think you’ve “got gains” that affect your weight.

Consistency to it is key. You have to work and stay with it several days a week.  The next part of that is working your muscles to the point of fatigue ( meaning you cant do another rep).  And then of course, feeding your body adequate protein and enough food to build muscle. You have to eat plenty of food to build serious muscle.

Yes, long before that happens you will start to see a difference in your body, but to claim weight¬†gain as gaining muscle when you either a) don’t lift enough/do enough strength training consistently b) or ¬†haven’t been at it long enough is well, just lying to yourself.

But for heavens sake. don’t stop what you’re doing! You’re exercising and that is great. If you’re working at¬†it, the muscles will show up, in time.

I don’t really like veggies/ green foods. What do I do?

This one, I always want to say, I’m sorry! Why don’t you??? I mean seriously, I think veggies are the cats meow.¬† They offer fiber, vitamins, minerals, are low in calories ( there are tons even referred to as “zero” calorie foods) and you can eat so many of them and not have to even worry about it all the while, staying full and satisfied. How¬†can¬†you go wrong with that??

Usually, there are a variety of reasons what I’m told.¬† Everything from ” I just don’t THINK I’ll like them”, “I never had to eat them (bad mom)”, “I’ve tried some and they are gross” and the list¬† goes on….

First, if your idea of “good” veggies is from a can… you need to expand your horizons to the real, fresh produce department where there is a plethora of tasty things.

Or, if  your veggies were always steamed to death until they were totally unrecognizable, then again, you need learn about cooking them in tastier ways.

I’m telling you… nothing.. is better than roasted veggies with some olive oil, and cracked pepper and sea salt.

Bottom line: you’re going to have to be willing to experiment and open yourself up to new things.¬† You’ve learned and trained your body to eat junk food, you can train it to eat good food.

Start small. Find what you like. Look for new recipes. You might surprise yourself at what you come across and actually enjoy. But, you have to be willing to try or it will never happen.

I don’t have time to exercise. How do I do it?

OK. This one. We’re all given the same amount of time in¬†a day, it just comes down to, how do we use it? Obviously, we have necessary things in our days that demand our attention.

Jobs, families, house keeping, shopping etc.

But then, you have free time as well. If you have time for computer play, surfing the internet, playing games on your phone, watching shows on TV etc… then… you really do have time for some exercise.

It just becomes a matter of where your priorities are.

Exercise is work so I get that it just seems easier and more relaxing to just lay on the sofa instead of heading out the door to sweat. Exercise takes a bit of will power and intentional determination in the beginning to make it happen until it becomes a habit to you.

I always suggest making your exercise time a daily appointment with yourself. Schedule it like anything else. You know your day and you know what times you have that there are lesser demands on you to get it done. I’m up in the morning, my workout clothes on, my brain is already preparing for what’s about to happen ( although now it’s simply something I do and look forward too) I figured out a long time ago what time worked best for me to get it done. Doing it in the morning is a great way to clear my head, get my blood moving and my body warmed up for the day.

Do something you like and will stick with. Find your time. Schedule it. Make no excuses to get it done.

I know I need to drink water but….ewwww! Ideas on doing it?

I get it. If you’re used to sugary drinks, this will be a big jump for you. I’ve lived off it for so long that I actually crave it now. Do you know we all have a natural thirst? Over time, it’s quenched by the other things we feed it ( i.e. sugar filled drinks). Start by drinking some water when you wake in the morning. Try and keep it with you at all times.. you will drink it. If you drink sweet stuff, it will be an intentional practice to drink water.¬† Start with reducing one sugar drink a day with a bottle of water.¬† With a little practice, you will be increasing your water intake in no time. If it helps, you can add fresh lemon or lime to give it some flavor. Again, this is something you will need to be intentional about doing until it begins to feel more natural to you. With practice, you’ll be drinking more water in no time ūüôā

 

Ok that’s it for today! I’ve used up my word allotment.¬† ( well just kidding on that.. I never run out of words ūüėČ

If you have any questions or comments feel free to add them or contact me ūüôā

Detox Me!

Hand writing Time to Detox concept with blue marker on transparent wipe board.

 

Eat this! Don’t eat that! This food is bad. This food is good. Eat 6 times a day. Eat one meal and drink the rest. You need this supplement. You shouldn’t take that one. Drink this potion and it will cure all your ills. This tea will make you thin. ¬†Wrap your fat belly in plastic wrap and get 6 pack abs. Drink this to “cleanse” your body. Follow this crazy regimen to get “clean”.

Have mercy. For the love of all things chocolate. Help me.

Help. me.

The times I have to keep my eyeballs from rolling outta my head.

As I’ve gotten older I’m more likely to call out nonsense¬†¬†when I see it. Or maybe it’s not as much being older, perhaps wiser and simply paying attention and wanting to be intelligent in the ways of caring for myself.

I guess in some ways, it makes me sad when I see people buying ( literally) into hype when they could use their money for a lot of other things…. like you know… good food.

But we’re in a desperate world and people want to get fixed up “fast” and marketing companies know this and prey on those weaknesses.

Sadly, we don’t get fat overnight therefore, we won’t get thinner and more fit over night.

It’s a process that we have to go through one day at a time. Slow, steady, forward moving steps to losing the weight that has crept on from becoming more sedentary and careless with what we put into our mouths.

So among the snake oil and smoke and mirrors things that I’ve heard more about recently although it never goes away is this thing called…

Detox.  Detox teas, drinks, cleanses and blah, blah, blah.

Use this drink or this combination of things to “detox” and clean your body. Lose lots of weight fast! Get healthy! Feel great!

Something about losing 21 lbs in 21 days? Like… if you’re still alive and not fogged over from starving….

Can I be blunt?

It’s bird poop. Awwww look how nicely I said that ūüėõ

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. If you missed science class back in the day, your body has a God given, built in detox system. If it wasn’t working, you’d know it.

The take away I get from people who decide to tough out doing a detox? They are miserable. They are hungry. They want food. They don’t want to drink everything that goes in their mouth. They would give their right arm for a steak. Or a donut.

Or coffee. Who willingly goes into some program that takes away coffee????

Any weight they “lose” will be easily gained back once they start on a normal diet again.

How frustrating must that be?

In all of these things, my heart really hurts for people wanting to be successful. They want to reach an ideal body weight and they want to live a healthier lifestyle and are willing to be a guinea pig in the hopes it will work.

More hocus pocus. Poof and nothings gone but your money… or your even temperament ’cause you’ve been a hungry bear.

Can I make a couple helpful suggestions?

Why not begin adding one or two new healthier foods into your daily diet? If you feed your body real, healthy¬†food ( and by that I mean as close to how it’s supposed to be naturally…or maybe 5 ingredients or less) you will be giving it lots of wonderful vitamins, nutrients and minerals it needs.

Want to clean your body? Eat plenty of fresh veggies and ¬†fruits and drink¬†adequate water. I can assure you a daily diet high in those things will move stuff through you ūüėõ

Practice leaving some on your plate. ( really, you don’t have to clean your plate…you don’t. And you don’t need seconds either)

Make sure each meal contains an adequate amount of protein to satisfy hunger ( about 30% at each meal)

Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat when you’re not. The meal bell chime going off doesn’t mean you have to put food in your face.

Eat enough to satisfy your hunger and stop… even if you have food still on your plate.

If you need a snack, be mindful of what you are snacking on. Sitting down at the computer with a bag of chips is a recipe for disaster.

Get out and move. Sounds simple and it is, but really, the hardest part is moving yourself out the door. Daily activity will not only help with weight loss but it’s also a tremendous mood booster.

Focus on the day you are in. Live it. Make good choices. Accept the bad ones when they come and move on. Don’t quit.

With a steady, practical approach you can have your cake and eat it too without ever having¬† to do a detox with the hope of getting “healthy”. Instead you’ll build a healthy lifestyle each single day.

 

My 2015 Year In Review

So we’ve just wrapped up 2015 and are a few days into the brand new year. You don’t have to look far to see magazines featuring stories like:

“The Best Of The Year”, “People Of The Year”, or ” Things That Amazed Us” or some sort of various titles. All of them show casing¬†people¬†or events¬†that highlighted the year… often featuring celebrities or major events.

Then I realized, hey, I’m not famous or anything but I had some really cool stuff happen in 2015. Well, cool stuff and hard stuff but that’s life, right ?

I daresay, if you look back at your year, you could say the same thing. We don’t have to be celebrities to have awesome things happen that are worth sharing or shouting from the roof tops,¬†(nod your head yes ūüėČ

So, humor me if you will, my year in review.

January found me coming out of finishing my second marathon in December dropping my time to 4:52 from my previous (first) marathon the year before I did in 5:23.

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Moments after the finish of my second marathon Dec 7, 2014

 

I had also¬†turned 50 and decided I was going to run a 50K to celebrate that milestone sometime in my 50th year. I committed to it in January with the race date set for March 1. My training continued with my goal focused on the biggest race I had ever considered. My friends called me “crazy” and “insane” … I can’t think of better compliments ūüėČ

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When you make something public… you’re really committed to doing it ūüėČ

 

 

Sadly, and unfortunately, the Dallas/Ft Worth area had turned into a slushy, snowy, winter wonderland during race weekend. By Saturday night they had cancelled all races but the half marathon for Sunday morning.

I was beyond devastated. To get to that point… to have invested so much time training… to be so mentally and physically prepared… was crushing.

I cried. I won’t lie. I cried that night. I cried that morning watching them discuss it on the early morning news as I prepared to go run (at least) the half marathon.

I will admit to biting back tears waiting in my corral to start the race (freezing) …my “Ultra Marathon” bib standing out in stark contrast to all the half marathon bibs surrounding me. I remember smiling politely as a guy joked with me that this race would just feel like a “warm up” run for me.

But I didn’t go all that way to run and not do…. something….. it was certainly new territory for me as I had trained in everything I could… except snow and ice…

they had cleared the course as best as they could but the roads were wet and ice patches were everywhere and there were many points of dodging piles of slush. It was misty raining and about 35 degrees.  I finished in about 2:19. Not my most impressive time, but I did it. I had never been more cold or emotionally drained than when I finished that race.

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Clutching my hard earned medal in the frozen tundra ūüėČ

 

I can pretty well say, I don’t think a hot shower had ever felt better¬†afterwards.

 

Mid-March I had already planned to run a spring half marathon that was close to home for me. So two weeks after my frozen half marathon in Dallas, I was enjoying a romp through the downtown streets of San Antonio… in much warmer weather.

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On course in the last couple miles of the Alamo 13.1 half marathon

 

 

After returning home the race committee sent an e-mail that ultra and¬†marathoners who hadn’t been able to race could do a virtual race (within that month) and still get all their runners goodies. I was down for that. So I picked a date and with my husband waiting for me at an appointed time I took off for my own 50K running adventure… on my own training territory.

It was a much¬†nicer day to do it….

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Yes, still standing after finishing my first 50K =)

 

 

I will tell you this… I have never been more tired or physically exhausted in my entire life. 31.7 miles can do that to you ūüėČ

But I’d never felt stronger or more empowered in my life. Doing something that is so huge, and so much bigger than you are shapes you into this iron willed creature. It makes you feel like you can take on the world.

Although.. I wondered if I’d be able to crawl into the shower once I came off my “high” haha

Ok… so yeah if you’re counting that’s two half marathons and a 50K Ultra marathon all in March. And I don’t forget my marathon from a few previous months before.¬† Not bad for a girl who started off just walking 2 miles at night a few years before…

April was a bittersweet time for me as I dealt with my Mom being gone for a year. Life is a mixture of all things… and grief is a process that must be worked through. She was so proud of all my running adventures.

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Christmas 2013. The last with my mom.

 

 

In May I was privileged to celebrate another anniversary with this amazing guy….31 years….give the guy a medal for handling me… haha…he admits to not being able to handle me ūüėČ My cheerleader, friend, supporter, one who has been with me through so much. I love him.

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This guy. I couldn’t do all the crazy stuff I do without his support and encouragement.

 

 

Unfortunately, after lots of training ( nearly 1,000 training miles in 7 months) ¬†I picked up a pesky injury that sidelined me off running for awhile… to long… but I’d rather play hard, hit big goals, than sit back not trying.

This is how I felt about that….

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This shirt… perfectly expresses my feelings….

 

 

June brought unexpected difficulties to our lives as my husband was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. We worked and pushed through and tried not to let it define our lives as he went through all the tests, surgery and procedures that had to be done. He was so amazingly strong. We are thanking God that he was able to go back to work and is on the road to a full recovery =)

For my birthday in July, I picked up my second piece of artwork that I positively love….this has such deep meaning to me… courage to stand in life… to remember that life is not only beautiful but comes with pain and to be courageous in the face of it. Life can require me to fight back… to be courageous in battles and difficulties.

The piece that surrounds my wrist says “strength” on the other side that you can’t see. ¬†Life has demanded much strength from me in these past few years… it is a life word to me.

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“Courage” my second piece of artwork. I’m in love with this.

 

 

And while we we’re moving through our year, we were also preparing for a wedding. My middle son was getting married in September to a beautiful young woman we love. There were details and arrangements and plans to be attended to.

In the end… they were married…and it was a gorgeous wedding with a stunning couple ( I am NOT biased at all haha)

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My son and his lovely bride =)

 

 

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Celebrating with hubby

 

 

I’d say both families felt successful when it was all over and everyone had a good time. I think I danced most of the night in my 4 inch heels. By midnight, it was time for them to come off ūüėČ

I’m still adjusting to knowing…. I’m a mother in law…. I have a new daughter…. and I have a married son… the ring on his finger constantly reminding me.

And wrapping up the year… another amazing Christmas with my sweet, precious and beautiful family.

And I’m blessed to celebrate 33 Christmas seasons with my partner in crime.

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Another Christmas with my partner in crime

 

 

He always makes Christmas so wonderful for me. And yeah, I’m in shorts. It was a pretty warm Christmas day for us in Texas and since I was cooking and living in the kitchen… it was definitely more comfy!

Of course the year was full of other wonderful celebrations and events like birthdays and anniversaries and random fun moments.

There were up’s and down’s in the year. Normal days and days that made my tummy hurt. Days of laughter and days of tears. God was good to us.

I am grateful to have had an amazing family to move through 2015 with who celebrated joys and achievements with me.

Last but not least, I launched this, my blog, at the end of February. It had been a brainchild for awhile and I finally decided to get it out of my head and into the “real world”.

Thank you, all of you, wherever you are for taking the time to read me, support, and comment whether here or in person. It’s my goal in this upcoming year to continue to write with humor and fun but also to encourage, educate and inspire you to be the best “you” that you can be.

Now tell me… what big events are notable from your 2015 year ?