Monday, September 30, 2013

Hey you...

"Hey you...
yes, you!
Stop being unhappy with yourself.
You are perfect.
Stop wishing you looked like someone else.
Stop trying to get attention from those who hurt you.
Stop hating your body,
your face,
your personality,
your quirks.
Love them.
Without those things, you wouldn't be you,
and why would you want to be anyone else?
Be confident with who you are.
it'll draw people in.
If anyone hates on you because you are happy with yourself,
then you stick your middle finger in the air and say,
Screw it.
My happiness will not depend on others anymore.
I'm happy because I love who I am.
I love my flaws.
I love my imperfections.
They make me,  me
and me is pretty amazing."
Honestly I don't know where the above quote came from, but I typed it up a couple of years ago and kept in on my dresser so I would see it first thing every morning. I would read it over and over trying to get myself to believe it. There were times where I would believe parts of it and times that I wouldn't. Self-confidence has always been a struggle for me!
Over time the paper got put in a drawer and forgotten about. Over the past weekend I found it again and it couldn't have come at a better time. I have really been working hard over the past month to make positive changes, get organized, and figure things out.  Loving myself and who I am is something that I continue to struggle with. I feel like this is true for so many women that I know! Why is this? Why do we judge ourselves so harshly?
Recently, when I was reading "Choose to Lose: The 7 Day Carb Cycle Solution" by Chris Powell,  I came across a section on SABOTAGING YOUR SELF RESPECT and it really hit home for me and may explain why I struggle - this is what I do all the time! I say to myself, "I will start eating better on Monday" or "I am going to..... (complete with any number of things)"  and then at the end of the day or week things change and I haven't done it and I feel like a complete failure. I let myself down. I break promises to myself and my self-esteem goes down. I am sure this sounds familiar!
As Chris Powell says in this section of the book, "Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, promise after broken promise, you've fallen so deep into despair that it seems there's no more hope- until you make a simple declaration. It's time to be authentic with yourself... truly and completely honest."
 I am taking a hard look in the mirror and saying to myself and to all of you-
I have not fulfilled promises that I have made to myself. It has hurt my self-esteem and confidence. But now I am re-committing to my goals!
Chris Powell goes on to talk about GROWING YOUR INTEGRITY. He explains that your integrity - the value you place on yourself- is delicate and that it needs to be nurtured to grow. The way that you can start to do this is by fulfilling just one promise to yourself. One promise leads to two. Two leads to three and so on. I am ready to grow my integrity so I am going to start doing this! I am going to start making promises to myself and doing what it takes to keep them. 
I am going to start by making the same declaration that Chris has all of his transformation clients make and I am sharing it with all of you here because it can't be a silent promise - that would be too easily broken as Chris says.
I am saying it loud,
with conviction,
and I am taking responsibility.
"My current lifestyle is not working for me. I am ready for a change. I CHOOSE to use my inner strength and resourcefulness to fulfill the daily commitments that will lead to a thinner, healthier, happier me. I am now an athlete-in-training."


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Feeling strong

Today is one of those days where I  am feeling strong and accomplished!
I had to be into work for an early morning meeting but once I was home I changed and headed out the door for a quick run before Aidan was done with school. I have another commitment this evening so I didn't have a choice but to get it done this morning.
I wasn't sure how my legs were going to handle it after running 3 miles late last night with Tim and following that up with another Chris Powell "Shaper" workout (sit-ups, push-ups, squats- 20 sec. work/10 sec. rest x6 for each).
As soon as I started I knew it was going to be a good run! The weather was just about perfect- finally cooler and less humid. My legs were a bit sore to begin with but it didn't take long to work that out and feel pretty good. I had my music playing and just put myself in the moment and enjoyed the run and all of my beautiful surroundings. I peeked at my watch once in a while and was pleasantly surprised to see 8:xx/mi paces showing up and that helped boost my confidence! As I was heading back home I was still feeling good and I realized just how strong I felt! I could feel it in my stride and in my posture and I kept telling myself (as silly as this may sound), "Feel how strong you are right now" and I used that to continue to push my self home for a strong finish.
I feel like I have been so distracted lately and it felt great to push all of that aside and just run - taking in all of my surroundings and paying attention to how my body was feeling. It is amazing what can happen when you allow yourself to be in the moment!
I was already feeling proud of myself - both for pushing myself and for paying attention to how I was feeling and acknowledging how strong I felt - then I look at my watch and saw this:

Check out that pace! Where did that come from?
I felt amazing after that run and especially after seeing those times! That feeling is one of the reasons that I enjoy running so much. I felt strong! I felt a great sense of accomplishment and pride in what I had just done. Not all runs/workouts can feel like this and that is ok with me, it's not going to stop me from heading out there and getting it done. This run made me realize that all of those tough runs/workouts helped get me here. They helped me get stronger and they made me appreciate this run so much more!  I don't want to discount all of this but I should add that the better weather probably helped at least a little:)
After walking around the block to "cool down" I decided to stretch outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and get my daily plank done.

positive attitude + music = great results
I was shocked at how long I could hold the plank after having push-ups as a part of last night's workout. I guess it goes to show that having a positive attitude and some self-confidence goes a long ways!  A little music to distract me helps too:)
I hope that you are able to get out there today and take in all of your surroundings. Allow yourself to feel what it feels like to be in the moment and feel what your body can do- you might surprise yourself and feel strong too!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Forget

There are times that I can hardly remember what I did yesterday let alone 12 years ago, but today is different! Not only do I remember where I was and what I was doing, the biggest thing that I remember is the "feeling" of the day! It felt so strange and scary to be watching such a tragic event happen right here in our own country. I felt so sad and terrified for those people that were running away from the buildings or those looking for loved ones. I was also scared for my family across the country- will there be another attack? Where will they strike next? Should I leave work and go home to be with my husband? What about those that I know in the military- how will this affect them? Why would someone do this? I remember going for a walk with my husband that night and it was so quiet- no one outside, no planes in the skies above- just a strange sense of quietness. I am sure people were glued to their TVs watching all of the news coverage but we needed a break from it. We were young and it was scary what our future would hold at that point.
We will never forget the heroes and angels of that day and the weeks/months that followed!
Before I move on, lets take a moment to pause and remember...

Back to school update:
It appears that my boys have made the adjustment of getting back into the school routine just fine and I am the one struggling. I am slowly getting my new routine figured out so bear with me a bit!
Riley: So far he hasn't had much homework and is pretty quiet about his day but he seems to be enjoying middle school. It sounds like he is getting the hang of switching classes and is finding his way around.
Isaac: This is the most excited I have seen Isaac about school and I am loving it! He is beaming when he comes home and tells me all kinds of things about his day. One of his favorite things is that his classroom has a greeter each day that is responsible for greeting any visitor (staff or parent) at the door- welcoming them to the classroom and asking if they would like some coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and then that child makes them the drink if they would like something. He has also been excited for different projects that they have been working on already. He is a "hands-on" kid and this teacher seems to do a lot of that.
Aidan: We had a rough first day but once he got home and realized that he had fun and that he would see me again, we were good. After the second day he wanted to know why he didn't get to stay longer!  He is loving school and it is so much fun to see him experience this "whole new world". He talks my ear off all afternoon about what he did and his new girlfriend that kisses him on the bus:)
Now for my Weekly Chase update.
Here were my goals for last week and how I did:
Run 4 times- DONE!
9/3- 4.25 miles
9/4- 2.14 miles
9/5- 4.28 miles
9/8- 3.1 miles
Cross train 2 times- DONE!
9/3 biked
9/4 biked
9/7 walked
Strength train 2 times- one done
9/4- workout with Tim and Isaac @ the Y
Daily plank- 3/7
9/4 1:21
9/5 1:01
9/8 1:19
Try 1 new healthy recipe (challenge goal) Done! We tried cauliflower mashed "potatoes" with our meatloaf and fresh green beans. Tim and I thought it was ok but the boys really didn't like it. They each tried one bite and were done with it!
Try 1 new workout or class (challenge goal)- Done!
Tim, Isaac, and I did the Endurance Shaper workout from the Choose to Lose: The 7 Day Car Cycle Solutions book by Chris Powell. Here is the breakdown:
As many sit-ups as you can in 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Continue for 6 rounds.
As many push-ups as you can in 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Continue for 6 rounds.
As many squats as you can in 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Continue for 6 rounds.
It was a tough workout and I was sore! Isaac impressed me and kept up pretty good with us. It was a lot of fun to workout with him.
All-in-all I am feeling pretty good about my work last week! There were some things that didn't go as planned but for the most part I met my goals and I am moving forward!
Here are my goals for this week:
Run 4 times
Cross train 2 times
Strength train 3 times
Daily plank
Maintain daily food and workout journal
Try 1 new healthy recipe (challenge goal)
Try 1 new workout or class (challenge goal)
Where were you on 9/11/01 and what were you doing?
Did you do something today to honor/remember the heroes and/or angels of that day?
What are your goals this week?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back to school

School started yesterday and that means mornings just got crazy in our house!
This school year brought some exciting changes for our family- Riley moved to a new building (middle school) and Aidan is starting school in the 4K program (at our elementary school) which makes Isaac the big brother of the building.
First out the door is Riley! Now at the middle school, as a 6th grader, he starts school at 7:25 (dang that is early for a mom that works 2nd shift!).

 Most days he plans to ride his bike (while he can) but on band days and once the weather gets crappy I have to get up early to drive him- ugh!
Isaac is excited for this year - starting 3rd Grade! Isaac was a bit worried as he didn't know this teacher at all but after meeting her last week at open house night you could see a sense of relief- his whole mood and body language changed after meeting her. I think we all loved her instantly and after talking with her a bit we KNOW it is going to be a great year!

Isaac starts the school day at 8:15 so he gets to sleep in a bit compared to Riley.
Then there is Aidan- he has been excited for this day for at least a year. He is starting in the 4K program and will be in the same building as Isaac. He starts at 8:00 and is done just before lunch. Lucky for me I am able to drop Isaac off a bit early so I can make one trip to the school in the mornings to drop them both off. We already knew Aidan's teacher from when Isaac was in her class (when Aidan was a newborn- crazy how time flies).
Aidan was super excited to go visit his classroom and meet Mrs. Lang during open house. He wasn't so excited to have his picture taken WITH her though.

Aidan loved playing in his classroom but wasn't sure about meeting his teacher.
 He spent some time checking out the classroom and found lots of fun stuff to play with. After leaving open house he was even more excited about going to school. He talked about it all weekend!
The first day of 4K the parents go with the child for orientation and you spend about an hour at school. Aidan couldn't wait to get there. Once we were in the classroom and they were asked to join their teacher on the rug he went without hesitation. After a couple songs and stories the para took the kids out to the playground so the teacher could visit with the parents about what to expect this year. Once again Aidan went outside without hesitation. He was excited to get to play on the playground.
Aidan at home, Aidan in front of his school, and Aidan with his daycare friend- Sophia
 Once the parents were done we collected our kids from the playground and made our way around the building to see where drop-off and pick-up takes place. After that we were done for the day. On the way home Aidan asked why he didn't get to stay longer! He kept saying how much he loved it and couldn't wait to go back.
This morning was a whole different story for Aidan. Once he realized that I wasn't going to stay at school with him he didn't want to go back. I took him to the drop-off area and he wouldn't go near his teacher and wouldn't look at me for a picture.

Right after these photos were taken is when the tears started. I had to hold him because he kept trying to get away and he cried quietly on my shoulder until the teacher said it was time to go in. At that point I had to put him down, make sure the teacher had a hold of his arm, and implement the turn, walk away, and not look back method! I have done this numerous times over the past few years as he "plays" this game with us at the Y too. Over the years at the Y I have gone back and peeked in and he is always fine. The staff have also told us that he is fine as soon as we are out the door so I feel like an expert on the method! Still- it makes me feel like people think I am a horrible parent for not trying to make him feel better! I know that in the end that is just going to drag it out longer and make it harder on him. This way he knows what to expect and he knows that when I say I am leaving that is what is going to happen- even if it is hard.  It is hard to watch him go through that but once I changed my attitude it got easier. I finally looked at it in the way that he is in a safe environment with people who are looking out for his best interest so it is a great way for him to learn to be independent and to experience new things and new people. He is starting a new chapter in his life and this is just the beginning of so many wonderful new experiences to come! It is only going to be hard for a little while and before I know it he will be in 6th grade like his older brother!
Aidan being in school Monday-Thursday mornings means I need to figure out a new morning routine for myself now that I don't have my "little buddy" here. It will be different for a while but I am sure I will get use to it and the 3 hours or so that he is in school will feel like it goes by in a flash.
I am sure there will be a bit of an adjustment period for all of us but right now it feels like we are off to a decent start and it looks like it is going to be a great year for everyone. There are going to be bumps in the road but those bumps are what keeps things interesting, make us stronger and help us learn to be flexible.  
Once again I am late on posting my Weekly Chase! Better late than never, right?
Here is a look at my goals for last week and how I did on them:
Run 4 times-  3 out of 4- missed my 2 mile
8/27- 4.02 miles on the treadmill at the Y due to heat (38:26)
8/29- 4.25 very hot and sticky miles (43:48)
9/1- 6.1 very hot and sticky miles before it cooled off in the afternoon (1:00:39)
Cross train 2 times- Done! Biked 2 times.
8/26- 11.43 miles
8/31- 10.25 miles
Daily plank- Success!!
8/27- 1:10
8/28- 1:15
8/29- 1:30
8/30- 1:35
8/31- 1:35
9/1- 1:40
Try 1 new healthy recipe- This didn't happen but we did make good choices and had healthy meals!
Continue to keep my food and workout journal-  Success! I have documented everything that I have eaten and all workouts. It helps so much to be able to look back at it and to see patterns and progress! Now I just need to get better about measuring out my food so I can document exact amounts.
Make the most of the last week of summer vacation!- Success! See my post about Our SUP Adventure.
It is a new month and that means there is a new challenge for the Weekly Chase!
The challenge for the month of September is to try something or learn something new each week.
Here are my goals for this week:
Run 4 times
Cross train 2 times
Strength train 2 times
Daily plank
Try 1 new healthy recipe (challenge goal)
Try 1 new workout or class (challenge goal)
Are your kids excited to be back in school? How did it go going back and how is it going now?
What are your goals this week?
What is something new that you would like to learn about or try?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Kona Kase Review

Recently I was given the opportunity, as a Sweat Pink Ambassador, to receive and review the July Kona Kase. It has taken me a little while to get my review done because I wanted to try most of the items included before writing my review.

If you haven't heard of Kona Kase - it is a monthly subscription box. There are so many different boxes like this out there and for all interests. It can be hard to choose which one would be the best fit for you to get. I have tried a few other boxes so I was excited to have the opportunity to try Kona Kase to see what it was all about and what it had to offer.

With Kona Kase you receive a box of eight awesome nutritional products each month for only $15, plus they offer multi-month discounts. You also get free shipping and can cancel your subscription at any time.

I love getting packages in the mail so the day my Kona Kase arrived I was super excited and couldn't wait to see what was included.

The first thing I saw when opening my kase was a card containing this quote-
"You've got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing."
- Arthur Ashe
I love quotes and positive inspirational messages so I really enjoyed this part of the kase. I will keep the card on my office bulletin board!
There was a second card that listed the following:
contents of the kase
gave a description of each item
gave the website and coupon codes for future purchase
space for grading the product (1-5)
I really liked that this information was all in one spot instead of each product having their own card that I would have to keep track of.
Once I started "digging" into my kase I was very excited to try the products included. I am hesitant to buy new products to try when I see them in the stores! I love that Kona Kase does the work of picking products from great companies for you and it gives you a chance to try products that you maybe wouldn't pick-up or try on your own.

Perky Jerky - This was the first item that was snatched up by my husband as soon as he saw it. He loves jerky and couldn't wait to try it. He really liked it and rated it a 4 on the 1-5 grading scale. After him telling me how good it was I wish I would've at least gotten a bite to try. This is an item that we would like to get again in the future.

Enjoy Life - I love trail mix and really enjoyed this nut-free mix. It was a great combination of seeds and dried fruit. I put some in my vanilla greek yogurt and ate the rest as it was- it was very good both ways. I gave this a 4 and would love to get more of it to have on hand. It would be a great snack for my boys, for traveling, and really any time!

Pro-Bar - I am just starting my half marathon training so my long runs haven't required fuel yet. I was super eager to try these chews though. I did a quick 3.5 mile run one morning before breakfast and I don't run well on an empty stomach and I didn't have enough time to let food settle so I decided to try a few of the chews as pre-run fuel. I loved the taste and texture of these chews! They kept me fueled until I was able to eat breakfast and the biggest positive - they didn't give me a side-ache or any tummy issues while running!! I tried the orange flavor and can't wait to get more of these! I gave these chews a 5.

Health Warrior - I love adding chia to my oats and yogurt so I was excited to see a chia bar included in my kase. I threw it in my bag when I was working a 12 hour shift recently. I tried it as an afternoon snack and I LOVED it! I really enjoyed the coconut but am not sure that my family would like that flavor. I am anxious to get more of these and try some of the other flavors. It was very filling and satisfied my cravings! I gave it a 5!

Caveman Cookies - this is one product that I haven't tried yet. We love cookies at our house so I can't believe that they have stuck around this long.

Garuka Bars - This was another item that I took when working 12 hour shifts one weekend. This one was used as a mid-morning snack. When you eat breakfast at 5:30 lunch seems like it is a long way away! This bar was delicious! It tasted fresh and "clean" and I loved that it was made from simple ingredients. You really could taste the difference from other more processed granola bars. I also love that part of the sales of this bar go towards gorilla conservation. This item also got a 5 from me and I can't wait to get more soon and try some of their other flavors.

Barbara Llewellyn Granola - This item was listed on my card but there wasn't any in my kase.

Body Glove Surge Gel - This is another item that I haven't tried yet. I don't typically like gels and tend to be sensitive to caffeine so Tim will probably be the one to use this once our long training runs get up there in mileage.

Overall I would have to say that I really enjoyed the mix of products that were in the kase and it is a box that I would consider subscribing to. The price is good and I like that you also get free shipping and can cancel at anytime. I really enjoyed trying products that I maybe wouldn't have found on my own!

Have you tried any of the products listed? What did you think of them?

Have you ever tried Kona Kase? What did you think?

What is your favorite "box"?

Disclaimer: I received this product as a Sweat Pink Ambassador for the purpose of a review. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.