When I Grow Up…

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You can always tell how I feel in the AM based on my level of make up, whether my hair is done just right, or even the shoes that I wear. Today was one of those days… very little make up, jeans and tennies, and my hair was (at best) brushed. Just was not into Tuesday – and no amount of coffee was going to change that.
Then it happened. My lunch with Jenn.
We opted for the Garden Table since they have vegan meals there. I was super happy about that because the atmosphere there is always open and easy.
As we started talking about the current events in our lives, our conversation took a serious turn. I would almost call it the “What I want to be when I grow up” conversation. We discussed the whys and what fors of our lives and where and how we wanted to get there…. She shared with me the arguments she has with herself and I told her about mine. With ZERO sarcasm, I can say it really was a wonderful time.

Heart to heart
Now that I am back at work (shhh… don’t tell that I typing this and not working, but I HAD to get this pen to paper so to speak), I have had a chance to breath it all in.
This journey of #becomingabetterme has basically been my WHY. When I started the healthy living, exercise, and self-discovery path, I knew I wanted to share with others the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it takes to be a better Heather, but I wanted to show the world that if I could do it, anyone could. How is that a WHY, you might ask – well to me its simple… I want to be a positive light in someone else’s life. I want to show the world that it is possible to achieve your goals – even if it takes a life time, and I want to show the world that this ol’ dog learned some tricks, and will continue to do so!
It is not every day that you get to have a heart to heart with a dear friend, and even more that you don’t get to have a conversation that makes you think seriously about who you are to the core.


I know that I am not perfect, I know that I never will be – but I am happy with myself. I still have a ways go, but I am #becomingabetterme and I am learning a little more each day about the Heather I want to be.
Thank you Jenn for reminding me to look at the reasons in life, and I look forward to seeing your perspective, as we continue on this journey of life and #becomingabetterme(s).

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End of 2017 – So, I am a Procrastinator

23167755_10214107506502267_2724069446111979931_nIf I had to rank 2017 on my “Top years of my life” I would say it was not in the Top 10… Not the Top 20 even. 2017 was really a rough year for me. Especially on the heels of 2016, which happened to be freaking amazing. Do not get me wrong, there were good times, I am not saying it was all bad, but it was very challenging and there were several changes.

You already know about the cruise (highlight), Kokomo experience (low), job change (highlight and scary experience), but you dont know about is the way the year ended… including how I ended the Log Blog – Making the Miles Count. The last post was in September, so Oct – Dec are a mystery to you…. did I make it to my 500 Miles in 2017?! Short answer: YES I DID!

October was a very “walkie” month for me as I spent a lot of time with vendors walking my properties and getting quotes, so I got in roughly 65 miles that month. Then November we decided we were going to start looking for a bigger house so we started heavy duty packing, purging, and cleaning – racked up 80 miles that month. (I believe most of those steps were to and from the trash can as I purged WAY more than my hubs expected!) Then December – another crazy month! With the Christmas season we had a tree to fill so there was a lot of mall walking, and still more cleaning, and then once our house was on the market – we had to find something to do during showings, so those hours we window shopped a lot.  Grand total of miles for Dec was 68 miles.

So for my Log Blog – I succeed. I am proud of that.

What I am not proud of is how in all of the chaos and I let ME get away from me. The person who goes to the gym to release the stress, the person who take a challenge head on (even if I talk about how I dont want to do it and am scared, I still move forward), and the me who learned what it felt like to healthy and happy at the same time and not allow myself to eat my feelings… that girl got lost in 2017.

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I guess as I sit here and reflect on what all happened at the end of 2017, I have to give myself a bit of a truth biscuit to chew on… maybe a glass of water so I dont choke on the crumbs, because although I did fall back a few steps (and gained back a few more lbs than I wanted to), I did make it HERE. To the new house, still at (and loving) the new job, with new adventures in front of me. Not only that, but I am back at the gym at least 2 times a week. I am seriously thinking about finding a new Mr T… or maybe this time I will go with a Mrs T? A trainer with a different perspective on exercise, someone to learn more from – or even to build on what my 1st Mr T taught me.  Who knows, I am unpredictable after all 🙂

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I guess to sum up my 2017 – not my finest year… but hey, just like on the spartan course, there are hills and there are valleys… I consider 2017 a hill… a muddy, slopped, rocky, and never ending hill… I just need to look at 2018 as the slide down the other side and continue on this journey of #becomingabetterme and make this year what I want of it!

 

Friends Make Adventures Even Better

 

Once in awhile I will go through my Facebook pictures and look at everything I have done over the course of the last few years and as I did that tonight it dawned on me that I have one hellova support group and adventure team!

It amazes me how different of a person I am now. Sure, I went on vacations with my family, or did some sporting events with the kids, or even an occasional meal with a friend, but I wasn’t a social butterfly. **I think I have made mention to this in a past blog.

Anywho, over the past couple of years I have lived by the motto “nothing cool happens within your comfort zone” and I have truly embraced that.

To be fair, some of my adventures have been non-physical, but they are adventures none the less. When you spend an evening revealing your inner most fears, or sharing stories of your past that still haunt you and bring tears to your eyes – that is still personal growth… and what is personal growth if not an adventure into a new and better you???

Since hanging with these gals I have gone to a Masquerade Ball for Halloween, gone swimming at the drop of a hat, spent a weekend in Florida just because,  been front row at a Joan Jett concert, bunked up for a week long work trip, walked two miles in a Wonder Woman costume, hiked Turkey Run, hiked Plainfield parks, had numerous laughs, numerous meals, and numerous heart to hearts.

These girls brought me out of the comfort zone in their own little way, and I hope some day I can help them the way they have helped me. I have seen several times in my life where females look down, and put down their fellow women. What is the point? What is actually gained by that? The answer is simple – NOTHING.  These ladies need to be celebrated, so that is what I am doing.  This blog is about the good, the bad, and the ugly of #becomingabetterme and maybe sometimes I don’t praise those around me enough… especially when they are the ones who inspire me to do more, and continue on this journey. So here’s to you – Angel, Kait, Jennifer, Jami, and MiMi (ok, Mindi) – Cheers! Love you all, and look forward to so many many more adventures!

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!