Posted in: Fooducation, Stories, Weight Loss

I was listening to sports radio today and someone spoke about losing weight.  It was asked if being overweight was an unhappy thing because most weight loss stories begin with someone saying they were unhappy with their size. I think it’s a trap people fall in after they lost weight.  I’ve said it many times that I’m happier now that I’ve lost the weight which sometimes insinuates that I wasn’t happy before.  Don’t get me wrong, life definitely had it’s down points but it also had it’s ups too!

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I know the weight loss forced me to confront some issues that did lead to some unhappiness.  Learning the reasons why I overate or the feelings behind wanting to eat in certain situations was important to me because it wasn’t a road I wanted to ride down again.  I needed to get answers so I knew what to do to avoid the situations.

I ended up learning a lot of things about myself that probably weren’t the best things but it has helped me become a better person!  I do believe I’ve changed a lot over the past five years and I think it’s a positive change.  In my eyes, I think I was a train wreck but I’m really hard on myself.

What kind of things did I learn about myself?

  • I was a serious emotional eater.  When I was really sad, I would eat the most.  When I was sad, I would just eat no matter if I had just eaten.  When I was happy, I ate too.  It was a way of treating myself.  That’s still a really bad habit to break but I’m still a work in progress.
  • I ate out of boredom.  If I was bored, I was going to eat.  That’s why I don’t like to get in those situations now.  I’m constantly moving and involved in something so I don’t face down the boredom beast too often.  Sometimes I can’t avoid it so I focus on finding something to do.
  • I justified. I knew better than to eat all that food but I kept eating it.  I remember a couple of times thinking, “I’m already fat, what else could happen?”  How wrong is that?  That was just one of many things I would say to myself to justify my behavior.  I was enabling myself to head down a path that was eventually going to kill me.
  • Negative thoughts and self talk caused me to over think and analyze everything.  I would find problems when they didn’t exist.  I wasn’t confident in my decisions or actions.  I sometimes masked that behind overeating and eating really unhealthy.

These are just a few things that I learned a long the road.  But most importantly, I learned to believe in myself wholeheartedly.  I didn’t doubt myself and I became more determined.  I wouldn’t have learned any of this without the weight loss though.  I would still be traveling down that path.

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Weight loss forces you to confront all the demons that you never thought existed. That’s the not so great thing about weight loss.  It’s like breaking yourself down to build yourself back up.  But it can be a completely life changing experience if you’re really honest with yourself and take the process seriously. I think it’s an important step in changing your lifestyle.  If you don’t know the root of the problem, it can never be fixed.

Posted in: Product Review, Running

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno for the Wave Ride 18. All opinions expressed here are my own!

With the amount of running I do, I go through a lot of shoes, but I’ve never tried Mizuno’s before.  When it comes to trying new shoes, it’s kind of hard for me to take the plunge.  This time I am glad that I did.  The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is a neutral shoe but it packs some good mid-foot support, which is very important to me.

#ad Got my @mizuno #waverider18 today. Too bad it's a rest day. Tomorrow these hit the road! #fitfluential

The shoes I received were Black/Silver/Florida Keys!  That’s always a plus to have a good looking running shoe, right? I also liked how the toe box was wide enough for my wide feet.  When I get new shoes, this is always the first thing I worry about. The shoe hit the shelves on October 2, 2014 and retails for $119 which isn’t a bad price for a good quality running shoe.

I never run in my running shoes first off, I usually take them for a stroll! My running group was doing some different stuff this past week so I decided to take them on a three mile walk! The shoes were good. I do this to make sure they don’t rub my feet the wrong way and these didn’t. What can I say? I’m overly cautious!

Mizuno #waverider18

When I run really long, my gait gets lazy so I usually run in a more supported shoe which tends to be heavier.  What I loved about the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is it’s light weight (weighing in at 7.8 oz) and I felt comfortable ticking off the miles in these shoes with no problems.  Maybe that had something to do with the patented Wave Technology that Mizuno is known for in their shoes. The toe-off was smooth and kept me pushing forward.  It was definitely a nice ride.

Mizuno adopted the inspirational influence of the Japanese concept of “Hado,” the intrinsic vibrational life force energy that promotes powerful transformations. Hado is executed in the Wave Rider’s sleek, dynamic design relaying the power and kinetic energy of running, harnessing the transformative possibilities of every run.

If you’re a neutral runner, this shoe is for you!

Mizuno #waverider18

I have to be honest there wasn’t much I didn’t like about the shoe. I loved it for running on the treadmill because it was lighter, less clunky shoe. I loved it on the road because there was just enough support to keep me going longer and/or finishing up a great tempo run. This is just a great shoe for the neutral runner that needs some cushioning but doesn’t need the bulk.

Posted in: Race Recap, Running, Travel

Hello!  I’m still alive.  I’ve been sick lately and all my extra energy has been put into sleeping instead of working and/or blogging.  This past weekend I traveled to Washington DC for the very first time in my life.  I went with my mom because I raised money for Team Inspiration in the name of her. She’s my warrior!  I didn’t know until we were walking around that my mom had never been to Washington DC before either.  It was a special moment!

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I was so excited to see everything but man there are many things to see there.  We kind of got overwhelmed!  We took a bus tour that took all around and you could hop on and off whenever you wanted.  I was still very sick when we left on Thursday morning, but I wasn’t going to let anything ruin this opportunity for either of us.  I put on my big girl pants and sucked it up as much as I could.

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The first night we went to expo!  I think my mom had more fun there than I did. It was really exciting to see all the Marines there and talking to them.  They were thanking us for running in the name of all the fallen heroes and we were thanking them for their service.

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So what did we decide to see?  I didn’t care too much about seeing everything but I knew I wanted to visit the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and a few of the war memorials.  Getting to the White House was pretty much impossible for many reasons, but most importantly the President was on the move a lot when were there.  BTW: The White House isn’t very big.

This involved a lot of walking.  I was limited to how I felt and how much my mom was able to walk about the city.  But she did great!  I think she enjoyed me having the Fitbit so she could tell everyone how far she walked. We did get to tour the Capitol though which was really cool.  And they had the best gift shop.

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The trip would have been different if Willie and I had went alone because we would have spent more time exploring the back alleys and finding good food!  My mom wanted to see the sights and this trip was about celebrating her and being another year cancer free!

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Race morning was a little crazy!  This was the largest race I’ve ever ran so everything was on a massive level.  I was only three metro stops from the Pentagon, where the race started, but it took me an hour to get there.  And there was a lot of walking before the race actually started.  It was a little chilly too and I wasn’t feeling very well.  I went there to run the race so nothing was going to stop me.  Not even a little sinus infection and a fever, I just went after it.

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When we got to the first water stop, I knew immediately this wasn’t going to be a race I was going to be able to run.  That kind of sucked because until I got sick I was ready for this race.  I trained for it and I was ready to tackle it. But I couldn’t really breathe in through my nose which left my mouth really dry and it was just really hard to keep up.  I knew I was going to have to take it easy.  That normal thing that clicked on inside of my head telling me to run just wasn’t there.  It never really hit into high gear.  At mile 6 I thought I was going to have to drop out but that idea never really stuck.  I was able to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The only thing I was worried about was beating the bridge by 1:00 pm because that meant I would finish the race.  Everyone who didn’t make it there in time would not be able to finish.  I hit mile 19 around 12:15 pm and from that point on it was just about finishing.

I really enjoyed looking at everything.  We started at the Pentagon, ran through Rosslyn, by the Potomac River, into downtown Washington DC passed the Washington Monument, Capital building and everything in between.  The crowd support was amazing.  The Marines were handing out water at every water station.  At mile 24, Dunkin Donuts gave out donut holes.  We finished the race in Arlington National Cemetary!  I was just a really great experience.  I was so glad to finish.

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I finished the race in 5:45:59! It was tough not only because I was sick but the course is a booger! I wasn’t really expecting it to be so hilly. I definitely didn’t expect it to be so windy! I couldn’t imagine running my first marathon on that course but there were tons of people who did. I really wanted to bust out a PR for this race but it just wasn’t going to happen. I’ll have to try that in another race. But I was truly blessed and thankful to be running this race with Team Inspiration! Those were some of the greatest people I’ve ever met and I hate I couldn’t make it back to the tent to take a picture with them when I was done!

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And for all the fallen heroes…Thank you for your service to our great country!

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This was a dream race for me and that’s all I can say.  It was the greatest thing.  I crossed that finish line and I was content.  Time didn’t matter, it was just about making it to the end.

Posted in: Goals, Motivations, Weight Loss

Hello from Virginia! I arrived yesterday after two delayed flights but we still made it here.

Marine corps marathon weekend
I’m running the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend and decided to bring my mom along too. I’ve been working really hard to make this trip possible and this is the one thing I wanted to do in life besides go to China. I am having a very blessed year.

Marine corps marathon weekend

Last night we went to dinner at this place called Cosi. I have to shout out to how good this place was. Our options were Subway or Cosi because it was late and this stuff was close to the hotel. Cosi seemed like an elevated Subway and it was delicious. The calorie counts were on the menu and it costs about the same as Subway. I got the Shanghai chicken salad and it was delicious. I’ll probably end up eating there again.

Anyway, the conversation turned to anyone being anything they ever wanted if they worked for it. I’m a true believer in this theory. I think there is a twisted misconception that things are supposed to come easy to you, but the fact is you have to work for everything. Once upon a time, I complained about having to work so much harder for things to get the same result as other people. I know there is a whole race and woman minority thing that comes a long with that thinking that won’t add or detract anything from this argument so I won’t discuss that any further.

I feel like I’m living proof of this. Yes, Willie and lost the weight because we putt in the work behind it. But for me it’s more about the after, I wanted/want to do so many things that people deemed impossible or too much but I’m still doing it. By changing our lifestyle and losing the weight, I did learn that hard work paid off over time which gave me to strength and courage to explore new avenues in life and start on a new career path. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m working hard to get what I want.

But I truly believe that if you want something bad enough, you can and will achieve it. You have to put in the work behind it though. Everything takes work and practice and everything is not going to be easy. Isn’t that what makes achieving it so much better? Doesn’t sometimes make a victory a little more sweeter when you accomplish something people never thought you would do?

Whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish, it will never come to fruition if you don’t take the steps to get started. Weight loss. new career. getting out of debt, running a marathon, building a fence…Whatever it is make a plan, follow the steps, put in the work and you will get it. Hard work does pay off but sometimes it just takes time. Be patient, stay focused and make it happen.

Do you believe if you work hard at something you can be whatever you want?

Posted in: Tips, Weight Loss

For some reason people are saying that Willie and I were on The Biggest Loser. I’ve been stopped four times in two days of people asking me about the show. Sorry folks, we weren’t on that show. The social aspect of the show would have had us voted out in the very beginning.

But the lovely lady at Sam’s Club did ask me what the biggest game changer in losing all the weight. I didn’t even flinch when she asked because I know portion control was the biggest learning experience of it.

Please pay attention to portion sizes. Read the labels and just get educated on the information. There’s lots of information on those labels but right now I’m just talking about portion control.

A standard size for an animal protein is 4oz. That’s not as big as what you think, BUT it’s not so little that you feel hungry. The standard serving of fruit seems to be 83-100 grams. Most leafy greens have a huge portion size for limited amount of calories.

That muffin you’ve been eyeing might only be 200 calories but you have to look at the portion size. This is especially true when it comes to your liquid calories. I’ve read many times many people gain weight while trying to lose weight due to their liquid calories. That’s why I mostly just stick to water. It’s the calorie free drink and you can have as much as you want.

I still weigh out most of my food so I know the proper portion so a good scale is a handy thing to have.

Do you have a food scale? Do you worry about portion size?

Posted in: Health

I don’t know if y’all remember my trip to the Walgreens Way To Well Tour over the summer, but it was a really great experience.  It’s very important to get your numbers checked.  And the best thing about the Walgreens Way To Well Tour is it’s free!

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The Walgreens Way To Well Tour is coming Houston from October 23 – November 1.  This is your chance to get your numbers checked. This is a great preventative health and early detection service.  Don’t be afraid to check your numbers.  It’s best to be in control of your health and this is taking the first step.

Tests include total cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, body composition, skeletal muscle, resting metabolism, visceral fat, real body age and body weight.  Collectively the health tests, valued at over $100, are administered to adults age 18 years and older by certified wellness staff and can be completed in approximately 20 minutes. The tour gives important insight into visitors’ overall health.

If you want to find out more about the tour visit the site.  Willie and I will definitely be making our rounds to the Way To Well Health Tour next weekend and we hope to see you there.

Getting your numbers checked is very important but it’s also important to live an active lifestyle.  I want people to get up and move! I want people to enjoy life the healthy way.  It’s never too late.  To help you get started on your journey, I will be giving out a FitBit Flex.  Plus, you can connect your FitBit to your Walgreens Balance Rewards account and earn points.

The giveaway will end next Tuesday and all you need to do is leave a comment telling me how many steps you think you take in a day. You can get additional entries by doing the options below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in: Daily Life

I’m traveling to Washington DC tomorrow and guess what?  I’m sick.  This is the worst possible time for me to have anything.  It could be worse though because I did get a flu shot. I’m pretty sure I’m sick because I was in milder temps this past weekend and then returned home to the sauna.

That’s why I’m behind on the blog stuff. I’ll be catching up shortly.

Starting off my day the right way with a workout! Please excuse the expression on my face, I don't know where that came from. What's your workout for today?
I woke up yesterday feeling ok. I got up to teach my class. There was nothing unusual going on there. Just a good ole cycle workout.

Feeling a little "little house on the prairie" today. #fashion #skirts #blue
I even wore a skirt yesterday. I must have been in a good mood. It might have been that Little House on the Prairie feeling that took over me. But as the day progressed, I started to feel bad.

I left work early and fell asleep on the couch for 2 hours. Willie came home and I think I went back to sleep again.

This is what sick on the couch looks like. Gotta get better before DC on Thursday. @williebeatfat made me a smoothie cause I can't eat.
He fixed me a smoothie because I couldn’t eat anything and then I think I went to sleep again. The next thing you know it’s 5am. So I’ve been pumping my body full of Vitamin C and OTC meds because I’m running the Marine Corp Marathon on Sunday and I have to be well.

What’s your sick time remedy?

Posted in: For The Soul, Personal Goals

Happy Monday!  We got in from St. Louis late last night.  It was a good weekend and I’ll recap it later in another post.  This post isn’t for that that.  Traveling to St. Louis with Willie was kind of an eye opening experience for me. Or maybe just a huge surge of energy into my system.

I’ve been floundering through life for the past couple of months.  I really thought it had only been a few weeks but if I look back on big picture, this moment has been coming for a long time. I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck on a path that isn’t leading to a path of happiness.  With the weight loss, I feel like I was given a second chance to really love life.  I feel like I can do anything if I try hard enough.  I just don’t feel like I’ve been trying.  I’m not a risk taker.  I’m a rule follower.  I do what I’m supposed to do and that’s that.

I’ve been on a quest to really find my happiness and to find myself.  I’ve been living my life doing the things that truly make me happy with the people who make me the happiest!

I felt like for so long I was unhappy with life, relationships, my weight, my job that I needed to be happy ALL the time.  The sad reality is: no one is happy all the time.  The more times I spent trying to make myself the best and happiest version of myself, the more I failed.  It was like I was trying to prove something instead of just being happy.

St. Louis RNR

This weekend as I walked the St. Louis streets with my husband, I knew exactly what my happiness is in life.  Yesterday, sitting at a table enjoying a snack with Willie as we plotted out life, I knew my happiness would be achievable. I knew would find our happiness together.

Willie is my best friend.  This is nothing new.  But I know that I am truly blessed to have married my best friend because we sat at a table plotting out life and happiness and he didn’t even blink an eye thinking about how crazy the plans we were setting in stone. Willie said, “It’s time to explore the off beaten path.”  In that moment, everything came into perspective because he got it and there was no explanation needed.

The explanation of it all sometimes leads to more discomfort.

Playing around at the ballpark...#rnrstl #stlouis #travelgram

I’m getting to the point now, I promise.  My happiness lies with pushing myself past what I thought could ever be done.  It’s personal.  You may not understand it.  It may not appeal to you.  But 4 years ago, I was 338 pounds and growing and I never thought I would travel, walk the streets of a city without fatigue or even want to run. It’s time for me to step out of my box and live.

I’ve decided I am going to try to join the 50 states marathon club.  Willie and I are happy to explore and see new things.  We definitely happiest when we are doing these types of things.  And we all know that I LOVE to run so I will attempt the 50 states marathon club and travel our beautiful country with my husband (most of the time)!

Travel and running are a passion.  I can’t explain it but it’s something I think about ALL the time.  It’s probably not normal.  My free time is spent looking through travel guides and finding new places to visit…and then immediately looking up to see if they have a race for me to run and some great local culture for Willie. Most people won’t identify with it and I know people won’t understand it. At the end of the day, it’s not for you really to understand, but I would appreciate you taking the journey with me. I want to talk to different people, I want to hear their stories and I want us to share ours.  I need to get out and live life!

This is my goal.  This is going to make me happy.

If you really stop to think about it, what is the one thing in life that will make you truly happy?

Never stop growing.

Posted in: For The Soul

Continue to grow your hopes and dreams. I wish I could grow a couple of inches taller but that’s not the type of growth I’m talking about here.  The minute allow yourself to stop growing is the moment you shut yourself down.

That’s the moment you start to settle for being mediocre. Don’t settle for mediocrity.

Willie use to call me an overachiever; he has stopped that now.  I think he understands the inner workings of mind a little better now.  He too wants to keep pushing past the walls he set for himself.  I remember Willie telling me he would never want to run a marathon.  Guess what? Now he’s training for a marathon!

There’s nothing wrong with being an overachiever.  It’s used by people as an insult, but what is so insulting about wanting to achieve more than I’ve already done?  To me that’s nothing.  That’s me growing as a person, discovering new things and wanting to experience all that life has to offer.

Never stop growing. #fitfluential #sweatpink #fitBloggin #growth #dreambig #dream

Don’t pigeon hole yourself in the “idea” of what should.  There’s no harm in trying something new.  You might discover that you LOVE it or really decide that you hate it.  But you will never know until you try and it will end up being a learning experience in the end.  This is the perfect chance for some personal growth.

It’s also important to learn more about yourself.  You communication style, anger management, self esteem level, etc. so they you can continue to grow as a person.  Learning and adapting the good and bad behaviors can and will make a difference in your relationships with others and the relationship you have with yourself.

You are your own best friend.  Love yourself and growth is just a way to do it.

 I want to be better than I was yesterday and the day before that.

Every day, I say those words to myself. It’s important for me to keep looking forward to the ways I want to grow in the future.  That is what keeps me going and pushing past my fears and the walls I put up that I thought I would never climb.

Don’t settle.  Just keep moving.

Posted in: Daily Life

Writers block has got me down.  I don’t know what to post here.  I have lots of things going around in my head but I can’t narrow it down.  Maybe I’m lacking focus…or maybe I just want to share something new with you but I just don’t know what.  It’s about evolution, but I guess I’m still trying to narrow in on who exactly I am. I’ve been taking it easy because I know the next couple of weeks are going to crazy BUT exciting.  Yes, there will be more travel and running posts.

So what’s been going on in my little boring life?

80s day spinning
It was launch week last week at the gym which means I was busy teaching a lot more classes than normal. In my classes, I had a 80s spin day which went over really well. Everyone loved the glow sticks!

Buying lowfat @gotchocolatemilk for my #cycle class. It's a hard workout that needs a good #recovery! The right ratio of carbs to protein to get you moving. #workout #teamchocolatemilk
The next class, we refueled with lowfat chocolate milk and granola bars! That’s what everyone wants to eat after a good 5am workout, right? Lowfat chocolate milk has the right mix of protein and carbs scientifically shown to refuel exhausted muscles and help return to peak potential.  Plus it’s a tasty way to rehydrate and help replenish critical nutrients lost in sweat.  Everyone knows I sweat A LOT!

Sleeping #dogs on a rainy day! #lazy #instadogs #petstagram #rescuedogs #muttstagram
Yesterday was a slow work day so I went home early to play with the dogs. Except we must have gotten our signals mixed up because when I wanted to play, they wanted to sleep and vice versa.  Oh to live the dog life.

And lastly, I got some good stuff in the mail. Let me tell you about it:

Mail goodies
First off, I finally got my NutriNinja. This has been a long time coming but it just popped up on the doorstep last week. I was pleasantly surprised but now I don’t know what to do with it. I think my first Nutri Ninja project is going to make salad dressings that I can share with my wonderful readers.

I won a copy of The Happiness of Pursuit from Kimberly at Manifest Yourself. I was so happy to get it and wanted to read it immediately, but life has gotten in the way. But I just realized I’ll have plenty of time to read it on my flights soon! I will report back on the goodness in the book.

And lastly, I got my Team Inspiration shirt! I am running the Marine Corp Marathon representing Team Inspiration. I am very excited and honor to run for such a great cause. Cancer is something that has struck my family with my mom’s diagnosis 3 years ago. This is my time to honor all those who are beating cancer every day and still challenging themselves through endurance sports. It’s an amazing charity! A big thank you again to everyone who donated to the cause. It did not go unnoticed!

So I guess that is all for right now. What’s the best thing you’ve gotten in the mail lately?