When Life Gives You Lemons… or However That Goes

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I do not know exactly how this is going to turn out because honestly, I have so many things swimming in my head that I do not know where to begin.

After stepping off of the boat from the cruise I found out that everything at work had gone HAYWIRE. I am not going to go into any details, but trust me, it was not good.

When you are the Director of Property Operations, and a property isn’t operating, its up to you to deal with it… whether I liked it or not, it was the only option, I was going to be going to Kokomo (an hour and a half away from my house) to handle the problem.

I wont bore you with compliance details or info on what Low Income Housing Tax Credit is, but since that is the core of my job, I had to take care of it because losing money at a nonprofit is not an option.

Going into the property knowing I had less than 20 days to get an specific number of residents was a heavy load to carry. I knew that I would be able to get the applications –  it was just the processing and the moving in that I was concerned about. Sure 20 days seems like a long time, but when you only have nine days to sign the leases, the 20 is cut down rather quickly. Truly, sincerely, legitimately scared I was not going to be able to make it happen. I do not think I have ever been so stressed in my life and being away from home, in a strange town just added to it.IMG_3327

Since my blog always has something about gym therapy or working out the stress with exercise, I feel like I should add that in as well. Working from 8am until 10pm some days left little time to sweat out my emotions, until I realized how many stairs there were in the building. At the end of a rough day (again sometimes at 10pm) I would put on my tennies and just walk the stairs. Over the course of 13 business days I was at the property I would get in over 3 miles a day. I wish my Garmin counted the actual flights of stairs, rather than just plan steps taken, because I know I went up and down those things at least 50 times! It was not enough to work out the stress, but it did take the edge off.

Going back to the problem I was facing: how was I going to accomplish this goal???? What the EPH was I going to do?!?!

The answer turned out to be – JUST DO IT! More than that, do IT – and then some. FullSizeR

Now, instead of being behind and worrying about whether we could make it all happen, I am ahead of the game. Still have a long way to go, still have to be away from my family, but trying to do right by the people we serve, make a difference in the community, and support my organization.

Is it hard, hell yes its hard! Have I cried, hell yes I have! Will I break down again? I am sure of it… but I am not a quitter and failure is not an option.

Walking on Water, Vacation at Sea

DSCN2253.JPGAs promised, I am writing a blog about the last week of March – aka CRUISE!!!!

 

When we went on the cruise in 2015 I decided not to take my Garmin with me, but after walking back and forth from the Lido deck (10th floor, and where the food and pools were) to the room (2nd floor at the front of the ship) I realized there was a lot of walking. After that experience I decided that I would make it a point to take it on this cruise, and I did…

From the very beginning of Sunday (3/26) we were walking. From the lines to the boat were really put in the steps for what was actually just a half day of “cruising”. Once the boat pulled away from the dock we walked to the Lido deck to get a snack, then back to the room to unpack, then to the dinning hall (which was on the back side of the boat as well), to the Encore Theatre for the safety briefing and then up to the Serenity Deck looking at the stars. When we went to bed that night, I took my Garmin off – I racked up 3.07miles! I was floored. I knew there had been a lot going on, but 3 miles worth, didn’t believe it. So I chalked it up to the lines and the activities and decided that with Monday being the first day at sea would be my indicator on an accurate number of steps, so I went to sleep and called it a night. Day 1: 3.07 miles

Monday (3/27) morning before rolling out of bed I put the Garmin back on. To the Lido deck for breakfast, to the coffee shop for real coffee (side note: the coffee on the boat really sucked) to the casino, to the room, to trivia, back to the Lido deck, to the room, to dinner, to the comedy show… back to the Serenity deck for the more star gazing. It was a full day. Definitely a full day. At around 10:30 we decided to call it a day and went back to the room for bed. I looked at my Garmin and 4.09miles. WHATTHE??!!?? Day 2: 4:09miles

Tuesday (3/28) was another sea day. This day I decided to do a little walking. This time on purpose. After Lido for breakfast and coffee house for coffee, we walked the whole Deck 5. This has a really cool outside deck that goes all the way around the ship. Made that trek twice. Then off to do more adventuring.  Trivia, casino, food, the room, the front of the boat… yes, I said, “I’m king of the world!” at least once, music in the main lobby, drinks, dinner, fun, and more walking Deck 5… it was truly a great day. The end of the night and I checked my Garmin and damn, 4.63 miles! I really started to see a pattern! Day 3: 4.63 miles.

Wednesday (3/29) was out port in Jamaica, we went to a private beach and it was beautiful. Seriously a little piece of Heaven. We sat under a palm tree for shade and just looked out over the water. I loved it. It was only 3.5 hours, but it was wonderful. After the excursion we got back on the boat and did the usual  –  get ready for dinner, do dinner, and then goof off after. Totaling 3.87 miles. Day 4: 3.87 miles

Thursday (3/30) – another excursion day. This time in Grand Caymans. It was a beautiful boat ride to a sandbar and Katie kissing a stingray (which is supposed to be 7 years good luck). Then a nice lunch with some tactless wait staff, but hey, I guess they lived on island time?? Anyway, back to the boat and back to have more fun. That day left us beat down and super tired. However even with all of that we put in 5.17 miles. HOLY COW! I would not have believed it!!! Day 5: 5.17 miles

Friday (3/31) was the day I was looking most forward to. I was going to be going to see the Mayan Ruins. It was something that I know MoMo would have been jealous of. She loved to see historical remnants like that. Side note – the Mayans used shells in their road so when the moonlight hit it, it glowed. Awesome fun fact for you. When we got to the ruins in Cozumel I did not realize how much walking we would be doing. Color me crazy but I truly did not think about it. The walk around the grounds put us at over three miles. When we got done there we went to this little sea side cantina and had pico… and holy cow, it was ridiculous. After getting back on the ship we had more fun – dinner, fun, shows, etc…. putting my Friday total at 5.81 miles! Day 6: 5.81miles

Saturday – the start of April… I was not going to talk about this day since it will be part of my Hello April, but with the last day on the boat we chilled. Did some more trivia, got in some bingo, watched a show, you know… just chilled. Funny thing, we still got in 3.49 miles! I cannot believe  for as lazy as we were, it was still a lot of walking! Day 7: 3.49 miles

I know this blog is about #becomingabetterme and vacation is a time of doing exactly what you want, and indulging in things that are not so good for you, but all of the walking I did… I would have to say I keep myself going. Sure, I might have had dessert, or even a drink or two, but I felt better about myself being there!

2017 has already been a rough year for me, not getting to the gym like I need to, or maybe doing short cuts at dinner or at lunch… just really not doing what I need to to become the better me I have been trying to keep going for the last 2 plus years… but I can say knowing that I could put in that many miles and still have a good time reminds me that I can get off of the couch and take a walk, even if it isn’t in an exotic location!

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Hello March – Making the Miles Count

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Had a conversation with a friend today (you know who you are… and thank you for the kick in the butt) and I was reminded that my HELLO MARCH was a little behind. Even if I hadn’t had a chance to type it all out, I did keep track of my miles! I will be posted a vacation post, but let me say, that out of my 50 miles, 26 of those were from being on the cruise ship. YES! I said on a cruise I racked up over half of my miles… I wont go into detail as I will be doing another blog, but as for March – here goes!

3/1 1.34,  3/2 2.17,  3/3 2.23,  3/4 1.78,  3/5 2.13,  3/6 2.34,  3/7 1.06,  3/8 1.62,  3/9 1.79,  3/10 1.88,  3/11 2.14,  3/12  1.11, 3/13 1.43,  3/14  2.24,  3/15 1.67,  3/16 2.03,  3/17 2.37,  3/18 1.42,  3/19 2.35,  3/19 2.35,  3/20 2.79,  3/21 1.84,  3/22 1.84,  3/23 1.31,  3/24 1.43,  3/25 1.92,

3/26 3.07, 3/27 4.09, 3/28 4.63, 3/29 3.87, 3/30 5.17, 3/31 5.81

Monthly Total of: 73.03

Holy cow!! For all the hours that I am putting in at the office and the few I am getting into the gym, this has been a huge month for me!

Things are all kinds of crazy right now, but I am still planning to get my way back!

Fingers crossed for me, all!!

LOG BLOG – Every Mile Count, Hello February!

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I waited until the end of the month before I started this blog. Although I was REALLY bad and did not distinguish between gym and life miles I did log every single day before I went to bed!

Here goes:

2/1  1.75

2/2  1.21

2/3  1.38

2/4  1.92

2/5  2.31

2/6  2.81

2/7  1.81

2/8  2.93

2/9  2.12

2/10  2.41

2/11  2.39

2/12  2.07

2/13  2.92

2/14 1.87

2/15  2.18

2/16  1.78

2/17  1.39

2/18  1.47

2/19  2.37

2/20  1.77

2/21  1.97

2/22  2.53

2/23  1.99

2/24  1.81

2/25  2.92

2/2  1.11

2/27  2.03

2/28  2.38

month total = 61.51

My 50 miles in a month success!

 

 

 

LOG BLOG — Every Mile Counts: January

This is the first of 12 blogs that will be tracking the miles I put in. I decided to track both “regular” walking miles and then what miles I do that gym, whether it be on the treadmill, elliptical, or bike and I will make sure I specify. Since the regular miles are just what happens when I am dealing with the day to day, I am going to call them LIFE MILES. I will make it a point to take off my Garmin to show the difference between the two counts.

**I will also post every day by adding to this post, not creating a new one. I might mix it up and add pictures… one never knows what a Heather might do during this journey!

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OK, so now that the guidelines are out there, January… I am coming for you!

 

January 2:

Life miles – 1.31/Treadmill – 1.5

total 2.81

January 3:

total 4.52

January 4:

all life miles today 2.14

total 6.66

January 5:

Although I forgot my Garmin, it would not have mattered. I drove to Kokomo with a coworker, sat in an interview, then drove all over Kokomo while she got in and out of the car dropping off flyers. I was a chauffeur, at best! Then after being in the car for 8 hours, I sat in a 2.5 hour swim meet. No life miles, no gym miles to log!

January 6:

all life miles 1.07

total 7.73

January 7:

all life miles, but errand running adds up! 2.12

total 9.85

January 8:

all life miles 1.47

total 11.32

January 9:

all life miles 1.78

total 13.1 (look! it only took me 9 days to run a half!)

January 10:

more life miles 1.43

total 14.53

January 11:

still life miles 2.09

total 16.62

January 12:

all life – still working far too much – 1.39

total 18.01

January 13:

life miles miles – 1.78

treadmill miles – 2.00

total 21.79

January 14:

since I will be working the remainder of the day, I am calling today all treadmill miles – 1.50

total 23.29

January 15:

I won’t lie, I vegged –  0.93 miles

total 24.22

January 16:

life miles 1.36

total 25.58

January 17:

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life miles 1.49

bike miles .49

treadmill miles 2.63

total 30.19

January 18:

life miles 2.12

total 32.31

January 19:

life miles 2.23

total 36.77

January 20:

life miles 2.42.

total 39.19

January 21:

life miles 1.89

total 41.08

January 22:

life miles (or in today’s case work miles.) 2.31

total 43.39

January 23:

life miles 2.03

total 45.42

January 24:

life miles 1.76

total 47.18

January 25:

life miles 1.39

total 48.57

January 26:

life miles 2.89

total 51.46

January 27:

life miles .98

total 52.44

January 28:

life miles 1.87

total 54.31

January 29:

life miles 1.92

total 56.23

January 30:

life miles 2.12

total 58.35

January 31:

life miles 1.65

total 60

 

MONTHLY TOTAL IS OVER 50 MILES!!!!

I had a rough month with Kat’s swimming, work being crazy, and then the cold weather… but since we now know I can do it, gonna push it further next month!!!

 

Happy Blogiversary

I started this blog one year ago today and I am so proud of myself and what I have accomplished!

Although 2016 was not completely as I had hoped, I have been putting in some thought as to what I wanted to get out of 2017 and I have a list.

First:  I decided I that I am going to do the 50 miles a month challenge. That is 600 miles in a year! With that, I can say “I will walk 500 miles…” Hehe, sorry, I love that song.  Anyway, to do this, it will require me to log my daily steps/miles – which I plan to do in a Log Blog  – stay tuned!

Second: I will sign up and do some random 5ks with my teammates and of course my bestie – Angel again. 2016 had me doing a few virtual runs, but I really need to be out there with the group making this happen. Accountability and all of that.

Third: September is the Nashville Spartan Sprint, and I going to make this happen! Angel, Chris, and Tim are with me… and I hope to meet a few out of town Spartans as well! (Joe, Scott, Ashley – if you are reading this, I am so stoked! Hanging with you guys will make being a Spartan even more real!)

Finally: To continue to be work through my hashtag … I want to be a better me, all of the way around. Lots of things changed over the last year and I know it has tested my patience and even my strength, but I got this… moving forward I will continue #becomingabetterme13173596_10208974174892185_3840443906967224278_o

 

 

 

Summer of Fun

 

As I was looking at Facebook and going through some of my pictures I couldn’t help but smile. As a mother of active teenagers and then the wife of a game designer I am always busy. Running here… taking kids there… then adding in the normal stuff that every household has to deal with: groceries, dinner, cleaning, WORKING… but this summer, this summer was a little different. I took time to do things for me, and let me tell you, I loved it. Not only did I love it, but truly, I needed it.

When I started the journey of #becomingabetterme, I had to start out by figuring who and what I wanted to be. Sure, I wanted to weigh less, I wanted to be healthier, I wanted to be nicer, but honestly, I wanted to be happier.

That was where I had a problem. I have never really been in a place that allowed me enough time to stop and figure out what is that made me happy. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom and a wife makes me happy, but I needed to know what made HEATHER happy. What HEATHER wanted out of life. This summer has given me a glimpse of all of that.

This summer started off with my Journey concert at the track. Then Def Leppard/REO Speedwagon/Tesla at Klipsch. Then two concerts in one weekend Chris Young/Brad Paisley followed the next night by Gwen Stefani. Then last concert of my summer was Rob Thomas/Counting Crows all at Klipsch as well. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but music is a big part of my life and to get to see some of my faves belt out their songs live, well, that is epitome of happy in my book.

Let us not forget my birthday extravaganza… I realize my birthday was a singular day, but as a lover of my special day, I tend to drag it out for at least the month.

Now only was the summer music packed but (as always) we added Gen Con to the mix. (Did I mention I am a huge nerd?) Four days of nothing but gaming… the “four best day of gaming” to be exact. Never a dull moment there. Not only did I spend a lot of brain power winning over half of the games I played, but I got to enjoy the cosplayers in their personalized versions of pop culture, comic, or game character costumes.

To round out the summer, there was a Housing Conference in Detroit I got the privilege of attending. For those who do not know, my job is all rules and regulations and compliance and structure… and I love it. My part of the conference was learning more rules and how to figure  cash flow and net operating income (blah blah blah, right… wrong. I LOVE IT!). Yes, it was mind melting, but I love learning how to do my job better.

Needless to say, in a matter of three short months I squeezed in a lot of play time. Which by extension was time practicing being a better me.

Before I sat down to write this, when I was looking at my pictures I started to get a little down on myself. I ran no real races (yes I have done a couple of virtual 5ks, but no real ones), I haven’t been with Mr T (my trainer) since the beginning of May, and there really hasn’t been a week where I have gone to the gym more than two times, where I was going three to four times each week… but then I looked at what I had done.

I spent time with friends, I walked miles upon miles without flinching, I made my brain stronger, and even taught the noob gamers a thing or two ; ) I enjoyed myself and still did what I needed to do to figure out that I am more than a mom or a wife… I am a person and the happier I am, the more productive I can be!

Once I got past all of that, I also realized that I did put in some serious gym time, and even managed to keep my weight right where I left off in May!

I can honestly say, with the kids back in school and the summer winding down I am looking forward to seeing what comes next!

 

 

 

GenCon is Coming…

As I look through the memories of Facebook this morning, I realize that this day in 2015, we were at GenCon. Dubbed the “best four days in gaming”, it is truly a nerd girl’s paradise! There are plenty of costumes to admire (and yes, there is Wonder Woman shirt for every day of the con, buuutttt, this year I have my tiara to wear with them – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!), fantastic fantasy and nerd art, but my pull is the endless rooms and infinite piles of games…  it is a great place to let my geek flag fly!

Although I joke about being a nerd, or a geek, or gamer girl, I really do pride myself on my intelligence, and as you know, part of the campaign of #becomingabetterme does have to do with the full me, not just the physical… and gaming is a fantastic way to exercise your mind. I do not consider myself a strategic game as much as I do a tactical gamer, but by playing different styles of games, with a laundry list of different mechanics, I am getting better. That is not to say I am as good as the group of friends that we game with, but I can hold my own against them in several of the games we do play.

Just like with exercising your body you have to make sure that your brain cells are fully charged to keep the synapses firing… FOOD. Food in important. I did mention this was a convention, so by definition, it will be at a convention center, which is not the best place for food. Dried out burgers, greasy pizza, and “what is that really” chicken sandwiches, not exactly what one would consider healthy.

Knowing this is what we are looking at, I had a nice conversation with my hubs about how this was not going to work for me, we decided to make a trip to Fresh Thyme and get some healthy snacks to keep us fueled and alert. I am sooo ready! SO. READY.

I know this isn’t really like my traditional posts, but as this event gets closer for me, the more excited I get, and I am really just using this post as a reminder that I can still remain on my journey and enjoy all the nerdiness that life has to offer.

Raising Healthy Kids

I am sure I am not the first parent to ask myself, “have I got them ready for the world?” and I know I won’t be the last, but either way, that question is swimming in my head as I type.

I do have to say that after the way I was walking around yesterday fuming over the Dani Mathers case, I learned something new about my daughter. Then today, when my son was helping his grandfather read tent-putting-up instructions, I learned something about him.Let me tell you what happened in both situations, so my above statements do not sound like the crazy ramblings of a wild woman…

I explained the whole situation to Katie and I spoke (even read my blog post to her before it went up), she nodded in agreement, and I could see her thinking through my words, carefully planning her response. When I was done ranting and reading she sighed and started, “You have read me several of your blogs, and I think this is your best. I know you have done a lot to be better of the last year or whatever, and when someone is mean on purpose like that and you think about how it would make you feel, well, I am glad you have been able to go to the gym and do your races, as they have made you become a great mom.” I was not really sure how to answer that, and I really didn’t have to because she got up, kissed my head, and went to her room.

Then today, Jarrett was helping my step dad work on putting up the tent, I yelled for him to come and talk to me. When he came running, the first thing he did was hug me. Not forced or awkward, just a heartfelt hug from a son to his mother. He told me that he was helping put up the tent and filled me in on his driving adventure now that he has a permit. After giving me the low down on his happenings he said, “Ok Mom, I gotta go, I gotta learn how to do this since it is going to be up to me to help put the tent up when we get to the campsite.” He hugged me again and ran back to my step dad and nephew.

What does this all mean? Well, I hope I means that I have children who are comfortable in their own skin.  I hope it means that I have taught them to accept responsibility and think for themselves. I hope it means that they know they are loved and having an opinion of their own is perfectly acceptable. I really should have know that they were going to be fine when they were both voted in as captains of their respective teams… but hey, maybe I am a little slow?

IIMG_20160711_193601 realize this isn’t really my typical exercise, gym time, or health food related post, but as it is time for the kids to go back to school and #becomebetterkiddos, I wanted to throw out the proud momma points that I have earned.  Maybe I am patting myself on the back here, but as I #becomingabetterme, I see that my kids are benefitting from it as well, and that makes this journey all the more worth it!

 

 

I Can’t Unsee That

A good friend and I were having a nice conversation today. We talk daily, so we are always sharing things we have seen. Somewhere in our conversation he pops off with a “Hey, did you see the article about the Playboy Playmate body shaming a woman at the gym?”  I had not seen or heard about it, so he sent me the link. Before I read it, I was a little annoyed, thinking that someone was getting shamed AT THE GYM, stupid – but then, I read the article. I WAS LIVID!

(To start I will say it was posted on TMZ, so feel free to give it a read for yourself)

The long and short of the story is this Playmate, Dani Mathers, is at the gym, in the “locker room” and took a picture of a naked gym goer taking a shower and body shaming her on social media. Her Mean Girl antics have got her into some seriously hot water (and I personally vote for jail time), but the kicker is her public apology that basically said, “I am not sorry I am a b*tch and meant what I said, I am sorry I got caught saying it out loud!”

After talking telling my friend I read the article, and finished practicing my swear words, we changed the tone of the chatter. We talked about the big what if…

What if that were me??  I have been going to the gym for about two(ish) years now, and am past the initial ‘everyone is watching me’ feeling that I had at the beginning of my visits… but what if I wasn’t… what if someone actually shamed me in my first visit… WHERE WOULD I BE??

The answer to that is sadly simple, I would be exactly where I was two plus years ago, unhappy, overweight, and unhealthy. Those thoughts alone make me tear up. More than that, I would not be where I am. I know that sounds like a “duh” statement, but there is so much involved in that. I would not have met my new friends (and family) on my Cornfed team. I would not have had enough self confidence to go on adventures without a responsible adult to be my security blanket. I would never had the belief in myself to finish – not one, but tw0 – Spartan races. I would not have been able to better myself enough to become a trusted and respected coworker to my team. Above and beyond all of these things, I would not have found myself. Yes, I found me. I am now the person I knew I could be… or at least am pointed in the direction of becoming that better person I am striving to be.

It scares me to think I would lose my sanctuary. I use the gym as my outlet for daily stress, I go and walk my negative thoughts away, I lift away the ugliness that I see going on in the world, and come out stronger and lighter. I need that.

What Dani Mathers did to that poor woman is the lowest of low, and I only hope that it does not turn her off from #becomingabetterher … and take away whatever it is that the gym does for her. I hope that she has the inner strength to give Dani the middle finger and go right back to doing her thang, and doing it her way!

When I thought about writing this post I was so mad, I was worried that I would just use this as a rant, and I finish up (I am still mad, don’t think for a second I am not) it shows me how lucky I am to go to a gym where everyone is friendly. Thank you for being awesome, AnyTime.

Keep it classy, Dani Mathers… hope orange is your new black!