Bling or No Bling?!

There are days when I am headed to the gym and I just say, “today… today I am going to do a 5k!”

For whatever reason this always happens on Saturday mornings when the sun is out and it is just beautiful. One would think those are the days where I would want to hit the trail, or even go to the park and hike, but for some crazy reason those are the day when I want to get on my favorite treadmill (the one on the end closes to the windows so I can enjoy the sunshine – again one would think I would want to do it outside, but I do better on the treadmill). I turn on HGTV with closed captioned so I can watch reruns of FLIP OR FLOP or FIXER UPPER put in my ear buds and go for it. A 5k in about 65 minutes. No frills, no big production, no costumes or novelty Tshirt… just walking, tv, and the sunshine.

On Facebook there are always virtual 5ks popping up in my feed. Sometimes the medals are gorgeous, sometimes not so much, but the question is, every time you do a 5k either at the park or on the treadmill should I get a new medal? I mean, we don’t call ourselves bling whores for nothing, right?  With that, does it make you snooty to sign up for virtual 5ks and not actually go to the big events all over the city?

Well, for right now, those questions are all back burners, because today I saw a bling that I must have! I even went to the gym to get in a “warm up” of a mile and a halfFB_IMG_1459299889789 so I can get up bright and early – or about 10am – to get my new bling in. Here it is…

Anywho, the point is, (other than this specific nerdy bling that I MUST have) is it ok to run a 5k every weekend and order the bling?  Is there really any difference between a virtual 5k and regular big crown running – 5k? Somebody please help me, because I don’t know what to do about my desire for bling, I can’t help it… l am an addict!

 

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Motivation Comes with a Truth Lasso

1656349_10208492800178118_4167451404899184350_nWhen I started this journey I was asked what kind of end result I was wanting. What was my motivation… like I was an actor trying to figure out her character in a Broadway play or something… but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I had several things motivating me.

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Of course there the normal things… I want to be healthier so I can be around for my kids as they grow up and eventually get married. I want to be able to travel and not be so overweight that I can’t walk around and take in all the places I wanted to see. I want to be able to walk up and down my stairs and not get winded (fight with this every time I do multiple loads of laundry!). ALL of those are good motivators, there is no doubt in that. But,  I am a nerd so there has to be more.

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My husband took me to Gen Con for the first time in Aug of 2008 and I was in awe of everything that I saw. It was definitely a nerd paradise.. and I WAS IN PARADISE. That was where I learned what real cosplay was. I saw Slave Girl Leia, Harley Quinn, several steam punk ladies, I even saw a female Storm Trooper. It was great. Sadly, though,  I do not remember seeing a Wonder Woman back then… anywho… getting back to my point….

As I knew now what cosplay was, and  I really starting thinking about what I really wanted out of this… what my end result was… and the secret nerdy truth – I will consider myself a success when I can get into a Wonder Woman costume. Yes, yes, yes… I know it is crazy for a 40 year old woman to want to wear a costume, but its not just any costume it’s Wonder Woman!

I am not talking about the underwear and gold plated bustier thing, I am talk the true to the story line original costume!  OK, so maybe even the original comic, there was a gold plated bustier, but working on my arms and traps will help make that work, right?  I have looked online at Wonder Woman costumes  several times over the course of the last seven Gen Cons, but have always passed them up as no one wants to see an overweight and giggly Wonder Woman.

Anywho, with the new movie out and I have been a little depressed that I am not yet there, but I will… not today, probably not next month, but one day. Gen Con is here in Indy  until (at least) 2020, so I am sure in the next couple of years you will see pictures!  That’s when all of the villains of the Con will need to take heed… I will have a lasso of truth and won’t be scared to use it!

Paying My Dues Because BG/DC

20160324_185806The premise of this group was that as “big girls” have two options… 1) we can cry and whine about how horrible we look and feel or 2) we get off our duffs, pay our dues, and transform ourselves into what we wanted to be. We named this group BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY.

Last night I went to karaoke night with coworkers and I will admit, I was out a little too late. We had a great time, as my coworkers are a very energetic bunch that keep things interesting. Cutting loose with this gang is a nice retreat from the real world, but sometimes we forget that we are no longer 22 years old! At 9am this morning I had already decided that post work hours would be all about jammy pants, Netflix, and more sleep. On my drive home I started thinking about my BG/DC group and how long it has been since I talked to a lot of them, and even what they would say about my decision to party like a rock star and let that get in the way of the gym. As most of them are mothers (like me) I could see them wagging their fingers in disapproval, so I decided not to disappoint them or myself. As soon as I got home I put on my BG/DC logo tshirt  (because, yes, we had them made!) and headed to the gym. Completely worn out from the night before, but I knew I had to do it.

20160324_190050I walked in the door at Anytime Fitness and this happened:

Mr Trainer: Heather? (I could tell he was confused) We aren’t on for tonight are we?

Me: nope

Mr T: so you just came? that’s great! Whats that on your shirt? BG/DC? What does that mean?

Me: Big Girls Don’t Cry. As a fat chick you have 2 choices. You either cry and whine about it, or you get off your butt and you make things happen. I opted for making things happen! This shirt is just my reminder.

Mr T: That’s my girl! I love it!!

Me: great! now I have a date with a treadmill!

Mr T: Go get it!

And off I went.  Put in my earbuds, cranked up the 80’s playlist and went for it. Over a mile and a half later I was sweaty, flushed, and ready to pass out, but I felt great! So happy that I didn’t give in and let the couch eat me for the evening.

I know that BG/DC has been disbanded but the gals in my group still keep me going. I think of them when I realize that I have been a little lazy, or even when I have a success for that matter. The point is, I did not let them down tonight… Girls, if you are reading this,  thank you for being that wagging finger in the back of my mind… you kept me going and I love ya for it!

 

 

Sunday the Day for Rebuilding

12698712_10208229160867300_8221593556026940986_oSunday morning is my favorite time of the week. Not because of sleeping in, or football, or being able to stay in my jammies or even because of the coffee (well those last two might be a little bit of a lie), but because of the pace. Sunday mornings have always been about slowing down and rebuilding.

Just like when you go to the gym and blow out your legs or your arms, you aren’t going to go back the next day and do the same thing all over again! Any trainer, doctor, or beefy dude at the gym will tell you, that you have to let the muscles build back up after you have torn them down.

That is what Sunday morning is to me. I tear myself down all week. Spending 8:30am to 6pm solving problems, running from meeting to meeting, trying to get residents to understand how to handle daily life, and then paperwork, emails, phone calls… the list goes on and on. To an already hectic day, I have to add kids sport, grocery shopping, dinner, and THEN I get to go to gym and bury what is left of my energy in a shallow grave called the treadmill. That is not even counting the nights where I meet up with Mr Trainer. Even though I get to release the frustration and stress, in a healthy manner, I still walk out spent. Yes… I am smiling and I do feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulder (figuratively and literally), it still tears me down.11709632_10206714426039876_4490201622580919253_n

With a quiet house and the dishes from our smoked sausage and eggs in the dishwasher, I am sitting here in my comfy Ikea chair just listening to the birds outside the window. Even the cars rolling by or the neighbors dog barking isn’t bothering me, because they too, are part of the rebuild.

This might sound like what most people would call a LAZY SUNDAY, but there really is no such thing. There are far too many things going on Monday thru Saturday to really even call this LAZY. This is a REBUILD Sunday. Getting my body and mind ready to face the week ahead and whatever else might come at me.

Dull, Duller, and Dullest

1614014_10208487131476404_1227232368557446685_oFor those of you who know me, this will not be a secret… I AM A CREATURE OF HABIT. I know, big shocker, huh? I am not  a fan of change at all. I know that sounds silly because this whole venture is based on change, but I still struggle.

My current struggle is with my wardrobe. I know that is an eye rolling, rather insignificant, struggle, but it is real. As a former (and still feels like a) fat chick, my closet was not so diverse. I had a wide variety of browns, greys, and blacks, but that was all. I had always heard that dark colors are more slimming, and trust me, I wanted nothing more than to cover the lumps, rolls, and wrinkles that were the whole of my existence. Even my shoes were brown or black. The only color I had was in my tank tops or random $2 flip flops I got at Old Navy every summer, but even those were minor splashes of color with my red pair and my tan pair.

Why is all of this coming up now? Well, today was St Patty’s Day and traditionally wearing green keeps you from being pinched, but as I was getting ready for work I struggled to find anything. I had one sweater that was green. Just one. In all of the stuff that I have I had one shirt that fit the bill. Ridiculous!

I  decided right then and there it was time to fix this. How can I talk about becoming more, becoming better if I am not willing to step outside of my comfort zone in all areas of my life… that includes what I have on when I am facing the world?? The answer is simple, I can’t. I cannot sit back and preach that I am doing something more when I am still hiding behind my monochromatic wardrobe!

To remedy this,  I took my award money, from employee of the quater and went to Target tonight. I stepped out into the seas of colors and found myself two new shirts to start my new colorful expressions wardrobe. I got a maroon one (which happens to be my husbands favorite color on me, and besides, how else was I going to tell him that I dipped into the checking acct a little as well?) and an olive green one… I know that they are not what one would call HELLO LOOK AT ME colors, but it is a start! I did buy a new black blazer… I know that it really defeats the purpose of the “going for bold” that this whole article is about, but let me just say, every successful business woman needs a good blazer, so so many colored tanks can go under it, and dammit, I have never really had a blazer that fit me the way this one does!!

Anyway, the point is, expect more color in  future pictures! Expect bold patterns, I am going to do this, I am going bold or going home!

***don’t worry dear husband, I vow to NOT break the bank!!!

Today Was a Good Day

10399810_10208465483095208_2097784079387572154_nI was just telling a friend at lunch yesterday that I have found myself in a bit of a slump. I told her that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to race anymore. I said I wasn’t sure I wanted to work out anymore. I even said I wasn’t sure I even wanted to be a better me anymore.

I know those are harsh words. Trust me I know. Maybe it was the weather or the fact that I have just been a crazy busy and extremely tired, but I know I didn’t mean it, and today was just the kick in the backside I needed to remember that.

When I started this journey I knew that I wanted more than just the physical transformation. I wanted this #becomingabetterme to remind myself to be more well rounded (well, not ROUNDED, but you know what I mean), more open minded and as I sat at the lunch table yesterday I felt like I was done doing that. I felt like I was trying and seeing no results and that was discouraging.

…but today showed me how far I have come, and what others around me see…

At work we do quarterly employee recognition, any staff member can nominate any other staff member for anything they believe to be above and beyond the call of duty or to show their excellence in teamwork. I was nominated and won this last quarter and was awarded with a certificate today.

Then tonight I knew I was going to be going to see my trainer. I spend a good majority of yesterday trying to figure out how I was going to get out of going. Even told my husband that I was going to quit going… but tonight, I changed my tune. I gave my all during my training session. (I know I will hurt like a … like a… I don’t know what, but I will hurt!) It felt so good to be there. Mr Trainer even told me several times how well I was doing. I joked, I pushed, and gave everything I had, and I walked out smiling!

I know that there are days that are going to be rough, I know there are days that I will get down on myself, I even know that there will be days where I want to throw in the towel… but I won’t. I have come too far to stop now. I have too many people counting on me to keep going. More than that, I have ME that I made a promise to, and I am not going to stop #becomingabetterme !!

MVP – Mom’s Very Proud!!

Raising teenagers is not an easy job. Sometimes it is even thankless. Then you have nights like tonight. Tonight was the winter sports awards night at the school. I have talked before about the determination, tears, and the million miles in laps she has put into the team this season (and every season), to make the team great and meet her personal goals, but tonight took her somewhere she wasn’t expecting.  My KatieLynn got MVP for the girls swim team. She already had enough points to letter, and was already co-captain of the team, but she went one step further. Most Valuable… I hope she realizes what that means.

When kids are little screwing up here and there as a parent really goes unnoticed by the child. So what if I ate more starches than I did green veggies, or maybe was not as nice to that man in the grocery store as I should have been, or even at work… did I do everything I could to help that coworker? Probably not… Doing those things when the kids are young, they don’t know any different. They just see this shiny person who loves them and feeds them and hugs them.

When I decided that this #becomingabetterme journey was not just about my weight and racing or how I looked, but it was about being a better me all of the way around. I wanted to be a person my friends could be count on,  a wife that my husband would be proud of, and mom my kids weren’t embarrassed to be seen with.. oh, and would be proud of too.

I was actually told today by a dear friend, that she thought I had it all together. I promise that is not the case. I am a work in progress, and by extension, so are my children. I worry regularly that I am still not being the best influence for my kids, but what parent doesn’t? Going to the gym is not just something for me, but I hope that my children see it as my responsibility to myself to be active and healthy. I want them to see that being kind to strangers is not difficult, and you do not have to live life in a ME FIRST way.

I cannot stress enough, when I started this blog it was not intended to pump myself up, or to point out to other, “LOOK WHAT I HAVE DONE”, but rather a reminder to all of us the good, bad, and ugly things that happen on this journey. I see the way my kids are growing up, and how they are interacting with the world around them, being that teammate, that person that everyone knows they can count on really makes me a proud momma. Tonight made me realize, for all the errors I am still making, maybe I am doing something right?

 

#minivacay #florida #notscaredofthescale

 

12832469_10208367002473254_2882227229186277123_nLet’s be honest, we all need a break! We spend eight hours of every day facing the grind and stressing about the next work disaster around the corner. Then we spend an additional hour at the gym sweating off pounds that plague us. After that we spend the rest of our waking hours cleaning, cooking, shopping, tending to the kids, yelling at the kids, surfing the net, or watching trials and tribulations on TV. All of these things can take a toll on us. Once in awhile we need a break. We just need to escape.

That is where Angel and I were. We needed a break. A girls trip where we weren’t racing, just going somewhere to relax and let the time pass with the sounds of the waves. Literally, we wanted to go somewhere warm, sunny, and on a beach!12795206_10208376541671728_1588754146660049427_o

On Friday morning at 2am we left her drive way on our way to Panama City Beach for a long weekend.

When Angel booked our room she surprised me by getting, what I considered, a small condo. It really wasn’t, but with a bedroom area, a living/dining room area, a full size fridge, an apartment size stove with an oven, table settings (for 4), and pots and pans it worked out better than expected! I cannot lie, I was concerned about putting back on all the weight I just worked so hard to get off, so we talked about how we could still enjoy the trip, but be responsible at the same time… that is where the kitchen and Angel’s great planning came in.

When we arrived, we sat down and made a grocery list so we would eating breakfast and lunch in the room, and then enjoying ourselves for dinner.

12809672_10208375507685879_6086456273716737325_nWe bought eggs, salad mix, fresh veggies, smoked sausage, fresh fruit, almond milk, coffee (of course I had coffee!), and fresh pico. All of the makings of paleo/whole 30 compliant meals. It was vacation after all, so there was beer an angel food cake, and creamer for the coffee. Although these items were not “on the diet” I did not feel bad about having them!

Being healthy is more than diet alone, it involves exercise too, so we covered that as well!

Our room was a little over a half mile from the pier and Pier Park (the outdoor style mall). This distance gave us the opportunity to walk to Margaritaville on Saturday night and then around Pier Park. Our grand total of miles: 3.9!  We also flailed around in the heated pool, for a little more exercise. We got to finish our night with a beer, the sunset, and a hot tub to relax even more.For Sunday we walked on the beach down to the pier, all the way out on the pier, back around the mall with a stop for ice cream, and then back to the hotel. The pool water felt amazing, so using the floaty boards (I am going to admit that is a Heatherism because I have no idea what they are really called) and pool noodles just added to the 5.3 miles we got in that day.

12792094_10208382822868754_3281203159244949934_oMoral of this story, we had a vacation and I HAD A BLAST!12792379_10208376517551125_723029311025523318_o

I didn’t go crazy, I had a beer, I had ice cream, I even had some angel food cake, but I wasn’t scared to get on the scale when I got home. Every now and then you do have to let go. Have an ice cream, have a beer, have fun!  Come home refreshed and then have a lil chat with the scale and move on, and that is what I am doing.

**For those of you curious, the scales told me that my long weekend cost me three pounds, and I am fine with that. I will have that back off in no time!

 

 

It Just Takes Some Time

Since I have a day job to pay the bills, I spend a lot of my time listening to music on Pandora whilst I patter through my day. Today I was listening to a mix of Bryan Adams and Disney (HEY! STOP LAUGHING!! Do I need to remind you this is a judgement free zone?!?!). I don’t know how Jimmy Eat World goes along with Bryan Adams or Disney even, but somewhere in the day IN THE MIDDLE came on. I have always like this song. Even enjoyed playing it on Guitar Hero until my arms gave out (just a side note).

I once told a friend that this was my theme song in jest… but maybe there is something more to that?

 

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet.
It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
Just do your best (just do your best), do everything you can (do everything you can).
And don’t you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.

It just takes some time,
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything, everything will be just fine,
Everything, everything will be alright, alright.
It just takes some time,
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything, everything will be just fine,
Everything, everything will be alright.

This journey has not always been fun. There have been days that were down right brutal enough to bring me to tears. There have even been days where threw in the towel and said, “THAT’S IT!” but those days, those are the ones make the easy days seem easier. Those days  make the successes even more delicious. Today, today was one of those days, but I just have to remember to listen to the advice Jimmy… umm… Mr Eat World… whatever… turned into a catchy lil’ tune. This is only the middle, and I will be just fine.

 

 

A Story Within a Story

treadmillI have a very dear friend who I hound and pester and bug until I get him to meet me for lunch AT LEAST once every couple of months. I realize he is driven man, and work matters, but after 16 yrs of friendship he knows I won’t let him get out of it. Well, today was that day. The last day of February and the first time we have been able to see each other in 2016. He is lucky that I write this blog, because he gets to keep up with my shenanigans, but I have to see him to find out the latest gossip in his life.

As we are sitting there talking about life, the blog, and exercise in general we get to talking about running, and in true Heather form, I remind him that the treadmill is not my friend.  I refuse to be the next internet “fell on the treadmill” video, so I don’t run on it. He told me that in high school he ran cross country and track and he too hated the treadmill. I believe he called it the devil? Or something like that… (sorry I didn’t remember the exact name).

Well, in the middle of our conversation I told him a story:

“The other night after Kat’s swim lessons I was going to bring her home then hit the gym. She told me that she wanted to go with me so I told her to run in the house and get changed. When we got to the gym it was like 9:40pm and there were like three people there. One in the free weight section, one on the elliptical, and the last one was at the far end of the treadmills. Kat and I went down to my favorite treadmill (when I said that, he asked me, ‘you have a favorite treadmill?’ and chuckled when I said yes) and she got on the one next to me. She cranked hers up to 6.5mph and started running. I mean, really… she is my kid and not very coordinated, so how in the heck is she running?! She just kept going. She didn’t let go of the bar, but she kept running. So I thought ‘if she can run and not die, then dang it, so can I! So I looked around and the treadmill guy was gone, the elliptical person was no where around and the weight lifter guy couldn’t see me from where he was so I went for it!! When I started accelerating I was having an issue with the transfer from an awkward fast walk to a weird slow run, so I just went for it full on. I finally decided that at half a mile I needed to finish out strong, so I hit the up button and didn’t stop until it got to 5.5mph. I ran for about .04 miles and then walked for .02, then ran for .04, then walked, then ran.. I did this until I got to my full mile. I did it, buddy! I ran and didn’t die on the treadmill!”

After I told him this story there was a little dialog:

gymHim: so I have a question?

Me: what’s that?

Him: Why haven’t I seen this story on your blog?

He was right, I had not written about it… until now. That was my trial run on the treadmill… haha, so funny… get it? Trial Run! Ok, I will stop…

Tonight I tried again. Tonight I succeeded. I ran on the treadmill. Same type of pattern, same speed, the only difference was I did not look around to see who was there. I decided I didn’t care. With my daughter beside me pushing me forward, I ran. It wasn’t a lot, it wasn’t pretty, and it was not something I ever want to see on YouTube, but I ran.

Thank you friend for lunch, conversation, and inspiration for another post. More than that, thank you for pushing me to continue on this #becomingabetterme journey. If it weren’t for days like today and goofy conversations over a spicy chicken salad, I wouldn’t have the guts to tell my stories, let alone have stories to tell.