Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wrapping up 2011

My favorite thing about running is that there isn’t anyone or anything around to judge me. Not that I am paranoid and people are staring at me or anything, but running is the most selfish, raw form of workout. It is just me and the street and nothing else. I don’t have to worry about waiting for a treadmill or some kind of machine to do my work out; no numbers staring me in the face on screen, tracking every move I make. Running doesn’t require me to have music in my ears to keep me distracted. The sound of my feet against the pavement and my panting (I mean, heavy breathing :P), is enough to create a kind of music of my own. The visual stimuli can keep me entertained forever, as long as I keep moving and changing my scenery. The soreness in my legs after a run is testament to myself that I will continue to challenge my body and mold it into a healthier me. Although the holidays have been a challenge as far as my diet goes, my exercising has not ceased and that is something I am more than happy to celebrate.

This year has been quite a success for me, health wise. I have lost 55 pounds, am able to run more than 3 miles at a time, and have consumed more healthy foods than ever before. I have gained so much more respect for myself and my body. I am more excited about my future and happy to live a healthy life. I hope to build upon my goals in 2012 but more importantly, continue to carry the things I have learned this year.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Goals Being Met and Moving Forward

I knew I wouldn’t be able to update this very much since school started, but I had to take the time to do so after this weekend. I will first give an update from about a month ago:

I was running around the block and after getting past the first mile I thought I could keep going and so I was able to run 2 miles. I slowed down to a walk but I felt good and I wasn’t completely out of breath like I have been before. After the weather started getting more drizzly and it got darker after my classes let out, I had to start running more at the gym on the treadmill. A couple weeks ago I finally was able to run 3.1 miles straight on the treadmill. Being able to run the full 5k straight, has been a goal of mine for a long time so I knew starting it on the treadmill was one step closer. I only did that twice on the treadmill before the Lighting the Way run I did Sunday in Redlands.

The run started at 8am and all I wanted from it was to be able to run the full thing. I didn’t care how long it would take me; I didn’t even care if it took me longer than my first 5k (37 min 37 sec). The race started and everyone seemed to bolt off. That was the first mistake I was not going to make- not to start off too fast and tire myself out. I tried to keep a nice, slow pace and as I did so, many people passed me. Every bit of me wanted to go faster and get in front of people, but I knew what my ultimate goal was and I had to keep focused on that. At around mile 1, I saw my friend Tory right next to me and she indicated that it had only been 10 minutes. A 10 minute mile!? I couldn’t believe with how slow I felt like I was going, I had just finished my fastest mile to date. It started to also make more sense why that first mile seemed so difficult to get through. Things only got easier and more empowering from there on out, though. Not only did I start to pass up all those people who outran me in the beginning, but I felt amazing. My breath had steadied and I had a nice pace going. It was extremely cold outside so as I ran, my body started to warm up and the only indication that it was cold was the breath I could see right in front of me and the tips of my fingers feeling like ice. They didn’t have the second mile marker out, so I wasn’t sure how long we had gone until I met back up with Tory at around 30 minutes. When she told me it had been 30 minutes, I knew we hadn’t only passed mile two, but we were getting close to the end. Sure enough, around the corner, I could see a crowd of people and balloons with the finish line. I thought “you just have to sprint this last part and you will be done!” As I went to sprint, I quickly noticed that the last stretch was a hill. Sprinting up that hill was one of the most exhausting things ever and I thought for sure I was going to puke if I didn’t focus on the ground in front of me. One step at a time, I thought.

My time ended up being 34 minutes and 45 seconds. I didn’t just meet my goal of running the entire thing in under 40, but I surpassed it and ran it even faster than my first 5k! The inspiration I get from other people, is the greatest motivator ever. Being able to run it in with one of my best friends, Tory, and seeing how excited she was as well, motivated me to continue doing these runs with her. Seeing my friend Kale do the 10k and how hard she pushed to run the whole thing, was inspiring and just plain incredible. Having my amazing boyfriend there to kiss me and tell me what a great job I did, made me glow with excitement and having Kale’s entire family there to support her and to even have them give me words of encouragement was extremely touching. The whole experience was moving and I couldn’t be happier as we stood there, having had our amazing results, while waiting for Kale to rock our socks off with her sprint to the end as well.

I cannot wait for the next run and I know I will only do even better. My love for running, especially outside in the cold, was definitely renewed that day.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Endurance vs Speed

I decided to take a step back and re-evaluate what I want with my running. I enjoy doing 5Ks and mud runs and little activities that make me push myself but what I want most during these activities is to last through the whole thing. I would love to be able to run a full 5K straight through. Once I am able to do something like that, I will then focus on my speed and improve my time. With this in mind, I went running last Tuesday (since my professor lets us out late, I may not be able to do body pump on these days anymore), and was able to run a mile and a half without stopping. Even when I stopped to take a break and walk, I only did so because I wanted to cool down before going inside. Since my days are so long now, I cannot do 3 mile runs as often because of the time it takes up that I now lack. I was stoked about the distance. It was a very slow run and I probably averaged a 12-13 mile but I didn't let that bother me because I need to keep my main goal in focus now. On Friday I woke up early to do another quick 2 mile run and, this time, I was able to go 1.75 miles! I thought, "oh I will be at 2 miles in no time."

Tonight, I went with Kale and we ran about 1.5 miles and most of that is up-hill and by far the most difficult part. After we got to a corner before turning, we had to stop for a couple seconds to drink some water. After maybe 7 seconds of stopping, we continued on for about another mile. Besides that 7 seconds or so, we ran almost 2.5 miles. I couldn't believe it. I felt fantastic and I tried to keep my breath steady the whole time and not make myself sick or anything too intense. It was just a steady, nice, cool run. Absolutely perfect.

I believe that by Nov 6th, I will be able to run my whole 5K. I don't think I mentioned that before but there is another 5K in Redlands on that date that I would like to sign up for. So that is my newest goal- run the whole 5K without stopping. I will not worry too much about my time, but I am thinking that if I am able to run at a slow speed, that I still may beat my first time of 37 minutes and 37 seconds. Even if I don't though, I will still be able to say that I ran the whole thing and that alone will be amazing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mud Run

School has started, so posts will probably be even more infrequent but I wanted to document my first mud run!

As I said before, it was in Lake Elsinore, so Nicholas and I woke up early to get there in plenty of time to pick up our bibs. We met up with my friend Kale but, sadly, were never able to find Tory. The run started off and I tried to keep a steady pace with both Nicholas and Kale. The beginning was the worst because it was hot as hell , it took a while to actually get to any obstacles to cool ourselves off with mud, and I forgot to drink water that day (whoops!).

The first obstacle was hurdling over concrete barriers, which wasn't too bad (especially since it was the first one). We then came to a hill with tires that we had to run up and that was a tad tricky since I wasn't sure whether to put my foot in the hole of the tire or step directly on them. I tried both ways and neither one was easy.

We had another long run (at least a half mile) and we came to a pyramid of haystacks which, again, were not bad. We ran more. You're probably thinking, "where the hell is the mud?" Trust me, I was thinking the same thing. We then rounded a corner and came to some wooden walls that came up to about my chest. These were by far the hardest obstacle. I didn't think I could get my large body over them but I did! I took a running start at each one, used my arms to lift myself up, and swung my right leg over, and jumped down (I have bruises on the inside of my thigh to prove this). There were four of these walls and I miraculously got over them but was completely exhausted and it was still just the beginning.

We then just went through back to back obstacles, mostly mud pits. The first time I stepped into the mud pit, my foot got stuck. I had no clue how fast my shoes would fill with mud and how heavy they would become. Did I also mention that most of the running portion was in sand? Running in sand with shoes filled with mud is not the easiest feat. We continued on to some other obstacles and then came to the BEST one. An inflatable water slide that leads you into a lake! We all jumped in headfirst and it was the greatest relief ever. We were able to clean off some of the mud and cool down.

After some more obstacles, and continued support from Kale and Nicholas, we came to the finally stretch. The first portion of this stretch was a web of bungy cords. It took every last bit of my energy to get through this web. By this time, I was dragging myself to the high net that we had to climb up and down (which wasn't as bad as I thought it was), ran through some more tires, went in another mud pit, and tip toed past the finish line (I was afraid of sliding and falling in the slippery mud in front of a huge crowd), so there was no running for me in that section!

Some pics are below. Mud runs rock. Can't wait to do one again. Specials thanks to my dear friend Kale and my wonderful boyfriend for motivating me the entire way. They could have finished far ahead of me, but stuck by me the whole time <3 I couldn't have asked for a more perfect first mud run.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Addicted and Tired

That's right. I am addicted to running. Kale and I added a little to our loop today and it came out to 4.17 miles. We ran about 3 miles of that. I was concerned about how much my muscles hurt from body pump yesterday, mostly my hamstrings. Well by the time we started, that was the last muscle I was thinking about. My abs and triceps started BURNING. I loved it though and I still loved the way I felt after, even though it was mostly pain. I am looking forward to my two days of rest. I am exhausted though and will stop this early. Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Biggest Loser Inspiration

The biggest loser competition has officially started at work and it's pretty amazing to see so many people eating healthy and giving each other advice. Some of us are a little competitive but in a playful, fun way. It's turning out to be a pretty pleasant experience and has kicked my butt back into shape again. I keep getting healthy recipe ideas and putting them into play as much as possible. Some are not so exciting like the plain salad I had today with plain tuna. Something about plain tuna just makes me want to gag. Oh well, some things work and others don't and I never know it until I try it.

As far as my running, my friend and I are still running our loop in Yucaipa and doing a darn good job at it. We ran yesterday and were able to run most of the 2.5 miles that we went (not counting the mile or so that we walk both before and after we start running). Today I did my body pump class and tomorrow, my friend and I are going to try running again. As long as we go about 6:30 or 7, the sun is going down enough that it is nice and cool and makes running more fun for us. I will give myself a break Thursday (since I am starting school) and Friday, because on Saturday...

I have my first mud run! I am nervous but so excited because I was able to go see my friend do one a couple weeks ago and every person who came through the finish line, looked genuinely happy. I will give more details and, of course, pictures after Saturday. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Making the mile my bitch

I went to the gym today after being out of commission for about 4 days, so I knew I needed a good workout. My goal in mind was to run at least a mile, so after 1.16 I finally stopped (hell yeah). I then increased my incline and kept making it higher until I got to 8.5... yes, it goes higher... all the way to 15 or something! I don't know how people do it that high but... whatever. Oh I forgot to mention that as I walked into the gym I saw my good friend Tory working away and made sure to stop by and give her a high five. We got weird looks for sure, but it made the start of my workout more enjoyable. I plan on implementing the high five more often. Moving on though- I ended my 40 minutes on the treadmill having burned 271 calories, with a distance of 2.5 miles. I was actually very surprised at the amount of calories. With how bad my ass was burning, I thought for sure I would burn more calories than what I did. Don't you fret though, because I then moved on to the elliptical.

The elliptical shocked the hell out of me. I could not believe how much I was sweating on that thing and I burned just as many calories on that as I did on the treadmill and I was only on the elliptical for half the amount of time! I then got off the elliptical and dragged my droopy, exhausted body over to the mats to stretch. As soon as I started, I got a cramp in my leg. I thought cramps were a sign that you weren't stretching enough or didn't have enough potassium. My leg didn't even give me a chance! I was in the middle of trying to stretch it and I had a banana at home waiting for me. Oh well, it went away and I continued to stretch and will continue to tonight.

Other than that, not sure if I mentioned this before but I finally ran a straight mile on the street last Thursday. I have now accomplished that mile 3 different times- once on the street (in 11 minutes might I add) and twice on the treadmill. I am also starting a "biggest loser" contest at work that I am pretty stoked about it. More to come about that later though. Tomorrow I plan on busting my ass again and it will be a good feeling all over again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yucaipa Kills

I did the 3.5 mile run with with my friend on Sunday and we did it again today. My legs are killing me and that hill on Yucaipa is so evil. I decided yesterday that the best way to tackle that hill is to start with small bursts of running. We did 20 seconds of running, 30 seconds of walking and repeated that over about 4-5 times. For those of you unfamiliar to the Yucaipa area, that hill can be rough and it's at a constant steepness. We felt great yesterday and by the time we got back to her house, we were completely dripping sweat.

So today we decided to do it again but this time, her brother-in-law joined us. This guy is incredible. He is not just some body builder ( although his arms are bigger than my head) but he runs like a maniac. He has a series of half marathons coming up, back to back, so he definitely knows what he is doing. What I liked about running with someone who is so experienced, is that it automatically pushed me to try harder so he didn't think I was a wuss, haha. My friend and I tried the 20/30 second run/walk up the hill again but I was feeling it a lot more in my legs today. Overall, it was a great run and I hope that her brother in law will join us "beginners" again :P

Tomorrow is Tuesday which means body pump time. Body pump Tuesdays! My only hope is that my legs aren't too sore tomorrow, so I can do most of the lunges and squats. Hrm, those are my hopes nowadays. Things have changed in my life, for sure, but for the better of course :D

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday Hike

Nicholas and I ended up hiking yesterday morning in the Anaheim Hills. Although it was beautiful, we both agreed that it would be even more so in the spring. Since the hills were all filled with dead brush, we were sure that in the spring it would be nice, green and lush. The trail wrapped around each hill that just brought us to the next hill that wrapped around and when we would get to the top of each one, it overlooked the huge Anaheim houses. It was just gorgeous and the hike itself wasn't impossible but it definitely gave us small challenges. There were multiple inclines that I tried to run up as much as possible, so as to get the most of my workout. Then there was one part where it was pretty steep and I feel like something that steep, going down is worse than going up. At least when you climb a hill, you can kind of keep a steady and constant pace. When you are going down though, you have to watch your footing every step of the way so that you don't slide down and fall and it takes a lot longer. When we approached a particular hill, we almost thought it was a drop off, but it was just a very intense and steep hill. My quads were killing me by the time we got back to the car. It was a fantastic workout though, and I look forward to doing it again.

Tonight I am going running with my friend in Yucaipa again and we plan on tackling hills as much as possible. With the mud run coming up Sept 24, we only have a month to train for it. I plan on tackling my workouts 5-6 days a week from now until then. I hope I can gain enough muscle in my arms and legs to carry me through the race so that I don't die! :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tues and Wed

So I am on a roll. Yesterday I had my body pump class which just consists of weight training, lunges, squats, and  sit-ups the whole time. It's exhausting to say the very least and my pectoral muscles and hamstrings were killing me today! Even so, I made sure to go on my 3.5 mile run with my friend. We walked for most of it but had a nice long run in the middle. Since we waited until later in the day, it was much easier. I can't believe how difficult it is to run in the heat. My head pounds and it makes it really hard to breathe. I think I can run maybe 2 or 3 minutes and I have to stop when the temperature is above 90 degrees. It makes me more confident when I have times that I can run longer and I think that may only happen when it is cooler.

Tomorrow I plan on going to the gym to run so I don't have to wait for the sun to go down outside. I will try my darndest to run a straight mile again but with my muscles hurting, it may not happen. I am going to give free weights a shot too tomorrow, which should be interesting. It's a lot harder to do weights on your own than it is when someone yells commands at you :p

Right now I am going to find a place to go hiking in the Orange County area, so my boyfriend and I can do that Saturday. Friday is my day off from working out, so I am looking forward to having a little break :) I feel good and I think I will be able to keep this up until at least when school starts.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I had an amazing workout today and I thought, "Man, I really need to start posting again." To get up to date, I still haven't lost more than my original 30 pounds. I also haven't gained (I fluctuate a couple pounds, but that's it), which is good I guess. It has started to frustrate me because I work out at least 4 times a week! I know I could start watching more with what I am eating, but it's just so difficult. It's time for me to buckle down though because I only have about a month until school starts. Once school starts I always get off track due to the lack of free time I have. Besides, I need to bring myself back to my original goal and that was to be more in shape and healthier. In order to get healthy though, I HAVE to start watching what I eat again. I think because it's summer and I have had multiple mini vacations, I have fallen off the wagon a little. Nothing to beat myself up over though, because even during these vacations, I manage to get in exercise.

Back to that great workout I had today though. I finally, FINALLY ran a full straight mile without stopping. My mile time was 11 minutes and 20 seconds- my fastest mile to date. I felt incredible. It was almost like the lack of weight lost doesn't seem as bad now because at least I know I am improving and I'm only getting in better shape. After that first mile, I bumped up my incline and I did that for another mile and a half... then I moved to the bicycle for 5 miles. My hour and a half workout felt great and got me sweating so bad, it was dripping onto the treadmill. I know, gross.

I will need to start posting more, even though I say that all the time. I just feel like my schedule is so damn hectic and I barely get a second to breathe, especially when I am running... har har har. Anywho... I have my body pump class tomorrow (a class I started taking every Tuesday) and that is sure to get my arms and legs nice and sore. Sweet.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I will be honest, school hasn’t been my number one priority my whole life. It hasn’t been until the last couple years that I have taken it more seriously and have wanted to not just finish but do well and good get grades while finishing. That being said, this quarter I have been going to school 3 days a week. I didn’t realize how much this consumed my schedule until my running has practically diminished. I have only been running twice a week, if I am lucky. The last time I ran was Saturday and it was a fantastic run but it was 5 days ago. Not being able to run is starting to stress me out. I have noticed that I am slowly getting a little more depressed not exercising because that was my only stress outlet. I literally am gone all day- I go to work from 7-3:30 every day and then Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays I have school until at least 8 at night. The time in between (Mondays, typically), I have to spend doing homework or getting anything I need to do, done. Forget having time to myself during the week- that is strictly for the weekends, it’s the week that I have to squeeze more into my schedule.

The question is: How do I fix this problem? How do I make more time so that I don’t end up going crazy? The only solution I can think of is to start waking up at the butt crack of dawn and running before work. Although I did buy an alarm clock, I still am horrible at the whole waking up early thing. On to something a little more positive…

What I should mention is that so far my best time for 3 miles is 37 minutes and 50 seconds. I am very proud of this and have also been able to run a mile straight multiple times on the treadmill. I still need to be able to do a mile straight on the street because that is what really matters when it comes to doing the 5k. For now, I will forge on and try my damndest to get my butt up in the morning so I can run.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I like to move it, move it

I got my butt up early this morning to go running. I was too busy/exhausted on Monday and Tuesday so I wasn’t able to go then. This morning, however, was awesome. Other than the fact that I did not get up quite as early as I should have, it felt really good to get my running done in the morning. I feel energized and happy today and I will need that for a long day of work and school. Since I have school 3 days a week this quarter, I think running in the morning will be better for me in regards to managing my time. Anyone who knows me knows that I love sleep and if it were up to me, all adults would be allowed naps at work. Sleep is fantastic and I am really good at it. This is going to be my challenge in getting up early to run. In order to remedy that, I plan on buying an alarm clock since my phone just does not do the trick. What I also like about running in the morning, is that I still have the option to work-out at night or on my days off so I can remain active throughout the day!

Last Thursday, my roommate and I did a pilates/yoga work-out video that was streaming on Netflix. It kicked our tushes (literally)! I wasn’t too sore the day after but by the night after and the next day, I was definitely feeling the pain in that tush I previously mentioned, along with my legs, arms and stomach. I want to try and do this video every Thursday, as it not only mixes up my work-out routine but gives my roommate and I something fun to do together. I have not activated my gym membership yet but I plan on doing so on Friday. Once that is done, I will be able to go to the gym at nights so I can start doing some weight training.

Hmm, what else… I subscribed to a runners magazine! I had a nice, long chat with my friend’s mom who does marathons and she recommended this magazine. She says it has great tips for new runners, along with some exercises and stretches and good snacks for runners to have. I mailed my subscription card in, so I hope to get that within the next couple weeks. I have also been thinking about looking into new running shoes. I like the Nikes I have now but they seem a little heavy for running. SO! … lots of things to get done and, knowing me, they may take some time but I love lists, so let’s compile one:

o   Activate Gym Membership
o   Get magazine and start taking advantage of the great tips they have to offer
o   Continue to do my work-out video on Thursdays and find new ones
o   Lose 30 pounds (I am stuck at 24 right now)
o   Look at getting new running shoes
o   Buy an alarm clock

I think that is all for now. I will work on these bullet points and I think once I get some of them achieved, it will only motivate me to keep going.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gettin' back in the game

I'm back. No, I didn't fall off the face of the Earth. I was sick a couple weeks ago with a bad cold and all last week I was on a cruise. While I had my cold, I wasn't able to run and I hated it. I knew it was better for me not to so I could heal faster but it was not easy. I started feeling antsy toward the end of each day and my body knew something was missing. On my cruise, however, I was able to workout some. There were a couple days when the ship was too rocky and I could barely walk without falling over let alone run, so I took a break those days. On the days I was able to workout, I did fairly well. I tried the treadmill which was different and, to me, a lot easier than running on the street. My second day on the treadmill I was able to run a full mile without stopping! It felt really good, so when I got back into my normal routine today, I tried testing my theory. Sure enough, I still only made it a little more than a half mile before I had to stop. I then continued on for another 1.5 miles running/walking. Although I did not make my full mile goal by the end of this month, I am still improving, which is important. 

The gym on the ship was nice and made me even more excited to buy a gym membership with my tax return. Since I have been exercising more, I have also been reading up on some tips so I make sure I am doing things right. One article I read said that it's not good just to have cardio in my workout and I need to build muscle to support my activity as well. It makes sense to me- if I want to run more and get stronger, I need the muscle to do so. I had put off buying a membership for some time because of the following:

1. I wanted to make sure I stuck with exercising before blowing a bunch of money on a membership I wouldn't use. 
2. I didn't want another monthly payment. 

Well I solved both of those problems since I know I have stuck with it for 2 months and do not plan on giving up and through Costco you can buy a 24 Hour Fitness membership for two years for $300. $300 is a fantastic deal and since I will be paying it up front, it will eliminate the need for monthly payments. I will be going to Costco with my friend this week since she has a membership and check this deal out. 

I said I would talk about the friendly encounters I have when I run. Today is a good day to mention one. There is a lady I pass a lot who lives on the other side of me and she walks her shaggy, black and gray dog everyday. She says hi a lot and makes little comments to me every once in a while. Today she told me that every day she sees me run, it inspires her. She had made a comment like this before to me, which is extraordinarily touching, but today I stopped and talked to her and her adorable dog. Her dog's name is Coco- Coco Chanel that is. Coco is a very loving dog and made sure to give me plenty of kisses because she loves me so much. Or maybe she was just trying to clean my sweat off me? Either way though, I love that dog and her owner (whose name I do not know yet), is very kind. 

Spring is here and the weather was beautiful today and I hope it continues to be like this. It feels so good to run with the sun on you and it not be crazy hot. Although I wasn't able to do a full mile worth of running today, I still feel really good about it overall. I will be doing a quick run tomorrow (probably only a mile) because I am going to see a friend of mine. Then Wednesday, I hope to be doing my 3 miles again. Since I start school next week, I will have to figure out a good running schedule. It will be a little more difficult since I have school 3 days this quarter rather than 2 days. Nothing I can't handle though ;)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

5k training time

So today I was convinced to do a 5k, which will take place at the end of June. I am super excited about this but realize I need to start training a lot harder than I currently am. Tonight, after I got home from class, I went for a quick run to test how far I am able to go right now. I am proud to say that I made it almost a half mile before I felt like my heart was going to be beat out of my chest. A half mile! I thought I was able to do about a third, so I am definitely happy to be able to do more than that. To be fair, I was literally 10 seconds away from making it a full half mile. I am sure that will be remedied within the next week though :) 

My next goal is to be able to run a mile straight by the end of this month. It sounds like it will be difficult, but I think if I make sure to run at least 4 times a week, it will be doable. After all, I need to make it to 3.1 miles in 3.5 months!

I am tired, so I will cut this entry short but will try to post more often once finals are done. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Getting Started

A little over 6 weeks ago, I finally decided to get my life on track, health-wise. I am not sure what prompted this sudden change after 25 years, but I am pretty sure it had something to do with my parents. You see, my family and I are going on a cruise in a couple weeks and both my mom and dad have been on this kick of losing some weight before the cruise. In doing so, over the past year my dad has started running. He is 57 (ish?) years old and can run about 8 miles and does so a couple times a week. When he told me that, I was astounded. He is more than twice my age and can run 8 times more than me. Still, after having run for 6 weeks, I cannot run a full mile without stopping. I think my mom and, especially, my dad's dedication inspired me to turn my life around. 

To get healthy is also a necessity for me. For the past year I have been having stomach pains. My worthless (and I say this because he's a jerk) doctor cannot figure out what it is that's causing pain and I am supposed to see a G.I. sometime soon, hopefully. It may be IBS, which could be triggered by stress. Although stress is also part of "being healthy," that is something I do not foresee leaving my life anytime soon. The parts I can control, however, is what I put into my body. I would like to give my body as few reasons as possible to be giving me pain. One large thing I had to cut out of my diet is dairy. This isn't necessarily for health reasons but more because I just can't take it. Lactose intolerant AND IBS- what a joy it is eating for me!  

I have always been a bigger girl and embraced that for most of my life. While it is fine to be comfortable in your skin, no matter what that skin is, it is not fine to be un-healthy. So, for the first time in my life, I have decided to start eating healthier and exercising regularly. In addition to cutting out dairy, I have also cut out a lot of carbs and sugar and added a ton of fruits and vegetables. What I like about this new way of living is that I do not consider myself "dieting" but changing my lifestyle completely. Because this is NOT a diet, I do let myself have some treats in very small portions every once in a while. By treats, I mean sugar substances. I have not had any greasy or fast-food in 6 weeks and I would like to keep it like that as much as possible. 

As far as exercising, I have gotten into running. I have always kind of enjoyed running and that has always been my go-to exercise. Do I love running? Not so much, but I enjoy it enough that I am doing it 3-4 times a week. There are times when I get excited to go running but most other times, I really am not looking forward to it. It isn't until about my 2nd mile when I start to have fun. By then, my muscles are starting to hurt which let's me know I am working my ass off. Not only that, I start to get into a zone and my surroundings seem a lot more peaceful and my endurance seems to increase. 

The point of this blog is to track my progress. I realize that the beginning of this process will be the most difficult, but I want to keep at it and hopefully be a healthier me until I am nice and old. Some goals I wish to accomplish in the near future are:

- lose 30 pounds (so far I am down 22 so this will change soon!)
- run a full mile (This is tough since right now I can only do about a third of a mile.)
-try a new healthy recipe at least once a month (I have already tried two this month)

Another reason I wanted to start this blog is because I have run (literally) into some really amazing people while out exercising and I feel it's something that needs to be put down for others to see. It is truly touching to have a complete stranger route for your health and well-being. Hell, I have known some people my whole lives who I couldn't say the same for them. I will get introduce some of these people next time, because if I don't stop typing not, I may never...