Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Moving to a new blog...

Since this blog is primarily a crafting blog, I thought it would be fun to post updates regarding my new journey on another blog (just to keep it separate).  Please visit if you want to keep up with the fitness/exercise portion of my life :) 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tools of the Trade

In keeping with the weight-loss theme, here are a few of the tools that I have in my arsenal that will guide me along the way:

1.  LoseIt-  This is a weight-loss app/website that has helped me in the past.  This tool is an excellent way to keep track of calories in vs. calories burned.  You can even scan the barcodes of food in order to get a more accurate calorie count.  You can also log exercise to see how many calories you may have burned. 

This website also has a forum that is very encouraging, funny, and insightful.  They even have various boards such as Fitness and Exercise, Diet and Nutrition, and the Kitchen Sink (my favorite board). 

2.  FitBit- I recently purchased this FitBit after my previous FitBit decided to go MIA.  I narrowed down the area to where I lost it to somewhere between the thrift shop and Wal-Mart.  My hubby and I even went on a quest to find it the night it went missing.  He quit playing WoW (which is a big deal) to help me run around the town looking for it.

This FitBit is hidden in a bracelet, which is harder for me to lose.  It is also water-resistant so  you can wear it in the pool and not be afraid of losing it.  This FitBit will also track your sleeping patterns.  It surprised me that I wake up (on average) around 6 times a night.  No wonder I was so tired when I woke up the next morning!

FitBit will also sync to the LoseIt app so that it will automatically log the calories burned for the day.  Also, the FitBit app will sync the food logged in LoseIt to the FitBit app so that you can see the calories consumed. 

The only drawback to this FitBit is the fact that it does not display the actual number of steps taken.  Instead, there are five small lights that are used to track your goal.  It shows the progress in percentages (one light =20% of the goal).  You can use Bluetooth to connect to the FitBit via your phone, which is handy since when I am exercising, I generally use my phone as my music source. 

3.  Shoes-  I am currently wearing Pink Asics.  I usually don't wear pink anything, but in an effort to become more visible to others around me when exercising on the street, I wanted to be as bright as possible.  These shoes have a thick sole and provide great support for my low arch.  So far, they have spared me from the pain of plantar-fasciitis. 

I used to wear Adidas Soltec 2 running shoes but the style was discontinued at the store where I buy my shoes.  The only drawback is that these shoes had air vents (is that even a proper description?) in the bottom that would allow water to seep in and soak your socks.  They were great to wear while running in the heat but were terrible when it came to running on wet streets. 

4.  Bike- I currently have a White Specialized bike equipped with a rear carrier rack.  Since I only live about 2 miles from work, it is nice to be able to ride to work, when the weather allows.   Currently, the heat index has been unbearably hot, so I have been using the car.  Once the weather cools down, I will start my commute to work again. 

5.  This blog-   Knowing that someone out there will be reading and empathizing with me each step of the way will keep me accountable. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

A New Direction....

Well, it's been three years (give or take a few months) since my last post.  Life has sort of gotten in the way and crafts/couponing has taken a back seat.  I wish I could say that something amazing had happened such as I inherited a tropical island and now spend my days on the beach... but alas, that is not true.  Some of the more believable highlights are 1.  I went to Hawaii 2.  I graduated with a Master's Degree in Business Administration and 3.  I bought a new bike.   I also began running, lost 50 pounds and started running 5k's for fun... which leads to the reason I'm starting up the blog again.

Somewhere between March 2013 and today, I've become lazy.  Extremely lazy.  Like get home, sit on my butt and watch TV all evening lazy.  It all started after I ran my first (and last) 10k.

On race day, the weather was less than perfect.  One might describe it as terrible.  It was a cold, drizzly day with no chance of sun.  I wasn't as prepared as I had planned on being since I had recently been traveling and did not have the chance to train like I had wanted.  The time came and the cowbell signaled the start of the race.The slow drizzle seemed like it imitated my mood-anxious and pessimistic. Mile 1 wasn't too bad.  Everyone that had been brave (or crazy) enough to run in the rain seemed to be keeping the same pace.  Mile 2 came... and the hills began.  Mile 3 wasn't too bad.  It was a nice scenic tour of campus that lead back to town.  Unfortunately, Mile 3 is also where I hit the wall.  The turn off for the last half of the race was in sight and I just felt like I couldn't make it.  I pushed through it to mile 4.  Ugh... Mile 4... This is where I discovered every hill in my hometown.  I seriously think that they planned to include every stinking hill in the city.  I couldn't take it and had to actually walk up some hills and forced myself to run down the other side.  Mile 5 was really, really tough.  The good thing was that the hills leveled out.  The bad thing was that I still had a mile to go.  It was tough.  I couldn't breathe and was regretting having not run as much as I should.  This is also when the rain really picked up.  It was a hard, spring rain that soaked everything in sight.  Adele was playing on my iPod.  It seemed like the perfect artist for the mood.  Mile 5 was the longest mile ever.  I must have had a look of desperation on my face because I even had one person driving past me on the road stop and ask if I needed a ride.  I looked at her in confusion, wondering if she couldn't see my bib number and the seconds ticking down on the marquee less than .25 miles away from me.  I thanked her for her offer and then continued running.  Looking back, part of me wonders if it would have been worth the joke to get her to drive me to the finish line, get out of the car, and then run across the finish line.  I'm sure there would have been some glares... but it would also make for a cool story.  I finished (on my own two feet) in 1:07.  Certainly room for improvement but not too bad for someone who hadn't really trained for a 10k.

After the race, I was proud of my accomplishments and ready to tackle the next race, after a break.  Well, the break is still going on.  For some reason, after this race, I lost my love for running.  It was more like work instead of fun.  I got out of the habit.  After 2 weeks off, I began to fear running, knowing that I couldn't keep up the same pace that I had worked so hard to establish.  Two weeks became a month... which became 3 months... which leads me to today.

I'm basically back at square one, except this time, I have the knowledge that I can actually do this since I was able to a few months ago.  It's just the fear of actually doing it that keeps me from doing it.  Well, that and the fact that I feel like a giant marshmallow while running.  Did I mention the fact that sitting on my butt lead to me gaining back some of the weight that I had lost?   I kept telling myself that I could loose the weight whenever I wanted.  I would start back on my diet tomorrow.  Tomorrow never came.

So today, after feeling sorry for myself, I decided to reevaluate what I did in the past to lose the weight and what I did to start enjoying being one of "those" people who actually enjoys exercising.  I started thinking about the main factors that had kept me focused the last time around.  It was accountability.  Previously, I had started using LoseIt.   I knew that I had to log every calorie and if I went over, I would tell my hubby.  This accountability lead me to stay on track.  I didn't want to say "I went over".  After I had lost a few pounds (and people started to notice), I felt like I had to continue because others were watching.  After a while though, I hit a wall and became tired of dieting.  Lets face it.  Ice cream is delicious.  It is also my kryptonite.

So... after blabbing on and on about the reasons why I don't run and why I have not reached my goal of being fit by the time I'm 30 (and there's still time), I have decided to make a proclamation to the blogosphere.  Since accountability is the largest thing that helped me the last time around, I will use this page to keep track of what I have done and document my progress.

Hopefully, with this motivation to blog my progress, knowing that someone will be reading it, I will be able to succeed in reaching my goal of running a half-marathon in January 2014.