Good, Bad… and this is ugly!

23658908_10214217539653027_3554832594961421350_nI have been on this venture for over two years now and I have finally figured out the UGLY. It isn’t the pain you feel when you roll out of bed the morning after a hard work out. It isn’t seeing the most gorgeous chocolate cake with the glossiest of chocolate icing and knowing it isn’t on your diet. It isn’t even knowing that although you made it over one of the walls in a Spartan Race, but knowing you have a minimum of 6 more to go. No. its none of those things.

Its the knowledge that you let time, obstacles, and life get in the way and the scales tells you that you have seriously let yourself go. The pain of knowing that you are the only reason things are this way is YOU. Its your fault… your bad… your mistake. Its all you!!!

Yup. I stepped on the scale and saw it. All that work, all those gym trips, the disciple and strength – wasted.  It is so sad to think that I was ok with the excuses.

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Mr T kicked my butt enough for me to know what I need to do and I damn well better get back into it!

I am not saying that I am 100% on the right path, but I have gotten a new battery for my garmin, started food tracking again on Fitness Pal, and even have plans to gym it up several times this week. I cannot keep backsliding. I was far to happy seeing the positive results I was getting – and I am not throwing it all away now!

I need help people, I have to get the drive and desire to #becomingabetterme back… I need a fire under my ass, I need a push… I need someone to yell at me and keep me going – not someone handing me chips while I sit on the couch to watch a movie! I am begging you, my readers to be that! Send me a text, give me a call, challenge me! Help me get back to #becomingabetterme

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Getting out the Trail Shoes Again

 

22135498_10213809396449702_651359093594914708_oAs a Hoosier there is nothing better than seeing the leaves change and knowing that sweatshirts and caramel apples are upon us… unless you like adventure – then there is something better!

Yesterday Angel and I put on our (underused) Salomons and went for a hike at Turkey Run State Park. There are trails there that range from .4 miles up to 2 miles, and then go from easy to rugged. As Spartan Chicks we were not going to let those easy and .4 milers be our day!  Trails #3 and #4 were the moderate/rugged to rugged as well as the longest ones, so that was what we did.

I have said in passing that the last year has been crazy – even stressful, but being out there yesterday made me remember that there is so much more to life than just working. Yes, what I was doing was important, of that I am sure – but what I lost sight of was how important I am.  I spent far too much time in the gym losing those 40 lbs and gaining self esteem, to let it fall by the wayside.

When I did the first Spartan it was 3500 stadium stairs (which completely explains my hatred for stairs) and in the second one, my toes and socks were all wet – well, as I was hiking yesterday I laughed at the fact that I spent so much money to do out of state what I could do right here in Indy, and at my own pace! I know it is all about the medal and the shirt at the end, but I felt just as accomplished yesterday as I did both of the days  I got my medals.

Anywho, back to the hike…

We climbs hundreds of stairs, we went down hundreds of more steps, we climbed over down trees, we walked through water, we did it all! The best part of everything  was the company. More than the caramel apples, more than the comfy sweatshirts, more than the leaves in the fall, there is nothing more soothing than just walking in the woods on a Sunday with your best friend.

These are the moments where #becomingabetterme mean the most and #movingforward the most rewarding.

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Hello May, June, July, and August – Making the Miles Count MORE! (Log Blog)

I am not going to sit here and bore you with the details of why I have gone off the grid for the last few months, but I will say I think I am back.

I can say that with the craziness of the old job (yes, I said old job – and I will get into that here shortly), and starting at a new place (again I will go into that too), I have not really logged every mile like I was. I can say with 100% certainty that I made my goal! I promise.

Here are the basic breakdowns and why I know I did it:

MAY – I was still in Kokomo. Yes, Kokomo. Like living away from home to get the community up there leased. I was walking the building at least 3 times a day and there were three flights, two wings, and 64 apartments… so at the end of the day (which was sometimes not over until 10pm), I would look at my Garmin and see 3+ miles. This was my life Monday – Friday and then home on the weekend. So even if I did NOTHING on the weekend I was still looking at minimum of 15 miles a work week… and we all know I don’t do NOTHING. Even going to Walmart requires walking so “no steps on the weekend” was an impossibility. Lets just call it basic math… 3miles/day times 5days/week times 4weeks/month (3x5x4) equals 60 miles. See GOAL!

JUNE – June was a busy month. Not only was I still kind of in Kokomo, but my daughter graduated high school, we moved our main office, my birth month, my daughter’s open house, and I know I am missing something… but I can get my point across with this. As I stated, I was still in Kokomo training the woman who would be the manager there, not only giving her the tours, but still showing and renting apartments there. I will say that I didn’t walk as much once I started  training, but I can say, there were 2 miles a days every day I was there. I had to squeeze in Kats grad and the open house… the shopping for that put me at a total of 6 miles over the two shopping days. Then coming back to Indy and trying to get things packed and ready for the move, I had a few days in there I racked up 5 miles. Crazy I know, but true. As a matter of fact I worked on my birthday to get the main move done and between that Friday and Saturday I had 9 miles in. Now I know I am throwing small numbers at you, but those numbers add up. So for simple math sake, lets say I only did 2 miles every day… 2miles per day times 30 days in June equals another 60 miles. GOAL AGAIN.

JULY – I am not going to pretend I have an specific dates that give me more miles than the norm, but I did manage to stop working 60-75 hours a week and get back to a more regular schedule and get in some gym time. As I put in my notice for the 28th o f July as my last day with Partners, I did get to do a little more than just work and sleep, so I am just going to say 1.75 miles a day for 31 days = 54.25 miles…  I added an extra .25 miles per day because the new office put the bathroom WAAAY at the other end of the hall so there was a lot of walking after drinking my 2 cups of coffee and my big bottles of water everyday. So I am still claiming  goal.

So here we are in August… Aug 1 was the start of my new job. This I can do a little more mathing to get to my numbers (I know the month isn’t over, but I can still average it all out in the end. To start I didn’t get a parking pass on day one… or even day 10 for that matter, so by day three I was looking to see exactly how far from the lot I had to park in to the office door it really was…. over .41 miles. yeah… so walked from my car to the office and then back  – A MINIMUM of .82 miles a day. Yeah, damn near a mile a day just to and from the office! Then on day 14 I got my pass. It knocked down my miles from .41 to .28… so still a half mile from car to door. Then you add in GenCon (glorious glorious GenCon) HOLY COW! In 3.5 days of this gaming extravaganza we racked up more than 18 miles! So, math – 18 plus (gonna say 2 miles per day – minus the GenCon days) two miles times 31 days minus 3.5 days = 2×27.5+18 = 73 miles for the month. GOAL ACHEIVED.

As I head into another month and continue on the journey of  #becomingabetterme and continuing to learn more about housing – just in a different form, I know I am on the right path and September will prove to be another successful month. Just wait and see faithful readers. I got this.

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.

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!!!

 

Fell of the Wagon…

fullsizerI’M BACK!!

When I decided today (the Monday after Thanksgiving) that I would be “getting back on the wagon” I laughed at myself because I really didn’t know the meaning or origin of the phrase… so in the tradition of #becomingabetterme, I looked it up…

“The ‘wagon’ in this American expression refers to the water wagons used to sprinkle water on the streets to keep the dust down. During the times of Prohibition in the 19th century, men often climbed onto these wagons and took an oath they would give up alcohol and drink only water. This gave rise to the expression ‘to be on the water cart/wagon’; it was later shortened to ‘on the wagon’.

When these individuals broke their pledge and started hitting the bottle again, they were said to have ‘fallen off the wagon’. ”   (yes, I googled it, and yes that is a direct quote from an article called “Know Your English”)img_1909

Anywho, the point is, I let things get in the way of my biggest need – the exercise. I am sure that some people roll their eyes at that statement, but the truth is, I do need it. My mother once told me that when you work out regularly, your body comes to REQUIRE the exercise. Of course at the time I thought she was crazy, but it turns out she was correct – who woulda thunk??? A Mom… correct??? Wow… Earth shattering!

So here is it, my declaration… I am back on the wagon and back to my goal of #becomingabetterme.  Tonight I sweat, tonight I ate well, and tomorrow I will be sore. But I will be happy, and ready to do it again!

Mr T… ‘Nuff Said

img_1162When I first started going to the gym I watched, with judging eyes, at these people standing there barking orders at red faced, sweaty, trainees.  As I stared at them, I thought to myself, “I am never going to be one of those people. I do not want someone standing over me telling me what to do!”

Then I started to see a difference in myself. Not a lot, but enough of difference that I changed my views on how I wanted to move forward.

I was gonna need me one of them trainers and I was going to have to plan it out perfectly.

I started to do a self evaluation… and let me tell you, that was rough.

  1. I hated to work too hard
  2. I hated to push myself
  3. I hated to sweat
  4. I hated the idea of someone telling me what to do
  5. I hated the idea of failing
  6. I hated the idea of having a push over for a trainer

A lot of issues to overcome for someone who was going to be my trainer. A. LOT.

So, as I worked out,  I listened to each of the trainers as they talked to their trainee, how they motivated them, even their body language when a trainee started to shut down. All of that mattered as I made my list of pros and cons of each trainer in the gym.

After the list of things about me, I made a list of what the trainer had to be and couldn’t be, all in the same list:

  1. could not be a push over – for sure
  2. could not get distracted (because I would get them to talk and forget that I wasn’t doing any working out)
  3. had to be able to push me, but know when it really was too much for me
  4. had to know when it WASN’T too much for me
  5. could not show disappointment, even when it was there

A lot of things a trainer had to do, and since I was being honest with myself #5 was the highest on my list. I knew – even before I started – that I would spend enough time being disappointed in myself, that I didn’t need to see it from a trainer.

I used this criteria to watch even closer at the trainers, and there were a few I had to rule out immediately. Some because they seemed like pushovers, one that seemed to do a lot of talking and no paying attention to the trainee doing really bad sit ups, and even one who wore every emotion he had right there on his face.

I just kept going back to Mr T… He had a business face. Like poker could have been a side business. He kept a level head when talking to his trainees. Never heard him change the tone in his voice. Even watched him work out with a trainee now and then. Yup, he was the one I needed. He wasn’t going to take my shit and I knew he was going to make me work for it.

img_1163It has been longer than I would like since I got bossed around by him… or got that sly smile when he smarted off to me knowing I wouldn’t say anything in return for fear of being made to do EXTRA work… but when I am at the gym, he is in my head. He reminds me what I am there for and how hard I really have worked.

Seeing him at the gym tonight was boost. I needed that! Until I get back to being the bossed-around-trainee again, I will continue to do as he taught me. To work on getting stronger, and if I fall, just to get back up. Thank you, Mr T!

 

Juggling Priorities

When I started this #becomingabetterme campaign, I had one goal in mind… to be a better me. All the way around, from top to bottom, inside and out… just better. The one thing I could not see coming was how  I would have to prioritize the parts of me I wanted to make better.

I have stated in the past that the first stop was actually losing weight, as it was the easiest part of me to improve. Then how I handled people around me. Family, friend, coworkers, etc. Well, the next step would naturally be my career. That is where this blog is going.

Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to settle into my new/morphed position at work. I have been in the housing industry for the last almost 10 years, a lot of that in community management, the last four years in compliance, the last three years in compliance and operation and now managing property operations and compliance. This new position will take more time and probably more patience. Something that I have really had to put at the forefront of my campaign. I am a Gemini, and by nature, we suck at patience. (For you gems reading this, don’t pretend like that insulted you… you know I am right!)

The other thing this position is taking more of, at least for right now, is my time. I want to make sure that everything that is still on my plate until the morphing is complete, gets done, so working weekends and after hours at home is a must. I am perfectly content putting in the hours because the more I do, the better I become, but here is where the juggling happens.

Knowing that I have been unable to get to the gym, I have at least made it a point to watch what I eat. So I have been working off of a modified Whole 30 diet. Since I know that my body relies on the exercise to keep going, but the time and energy does not allow for gym going, I knew that being careful was going to be a must.

Tonight I made it a point to take an extra 45 mins out of my day to get to the gym. I wasn’t going to beat myself up, but I needed that treadmill sweat. I needed the music in my ears as watched the screen show the distance work its way to one mile. My body was starting to crave it, and I had to give in.

I cannot lie, while #becomingabetter me is still my priority, I am truly struggling with which part of ME gets top priority? How does one decide that?

My fearless leader swears by the motto “WORK TO LIVE, DON’T LIVE TO WORK” but when work is a passion (which anyone who work for a not for profit, has to have), and even a huge part of the bettering process, I don’t really look at it that way.

Bottom line, there has to be a way to be a better me at work and still continue to be a better me physically. Every step I have taken so far has been an obstacle, I guess this juggling thing is just the next one?

 

 

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!