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!

 

Truth Seekers…

I know, I know I have not posted in awhile… I am sorry. I have about 3 other posts waiting for me to finish. Including my Hello November and Hello December as well as a year end recap and an in between about a really good friend of mine. I promise, I will get them out really soon… but right now I want to talk about Truth Seekers.

Before I start this post, I feel it is important to mention I do not think I am a fitness expert or a dietitian extraordinaire, but what I can say is I am someone who has been there. Someone who has asked the questions and learned from doing. That is why I feel the need to share my experiences for those who might currently be in the shoes I wore at the beginning of this journey.

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Most recently I got an email about how a friend felt like they “failed” at CrossFit. First, my opinion is if you can handle 5 mins of CrossFit you are SOOO not a failure! You might be crazy, but a failure – you are not!

My words to my friend were simple:

Who cares if you didnt finish the full work out? If the answer is anyone but YOU then your answer is wrong. You are not in competition with anyone but yourself, therefore no other opinion should matter.

When you do CrossFit, do you do more each time you go? If the answer is YES, then you know in your heart you are on the right path.

I went on to say: If you dont see improvement, then start a journal. If this week’s CrossFit routine is 100 box jumps and 200 jumping jacks and 100 burpees (etc with the crazy work out routine) and this time you did 10 box jumps and 20 jumping jacks and 1 burpee then great. Next week when you do 15 box jumps, 40 jumping jacks and 2 burpees… well, you improved! You just bested your best.. and next week you will best your best’s best! 🙂

My friend was happy with that answer… because it was the truth and they needed to hear that.

When I started the journey of#becomingabetterme I was a truth seeker. I thought at first, I was looking for approval or acknowledgement of my small accomplishment, and maybe to start I was, but ultimately I wanted someone to point out that I was really moving forward… and this is me telling you, friend, you are moving forward. You are doing great. Just keep on moving and when it is your turn to help another Truth Seeker, just remember your journey and how you felt in this moment.

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!

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 April – Log Blog

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As I have posted already, April has been a trying month for me. A really trying month, but for every rain cloud there is a silver lining, right? That lining was how many miles I actually get to tell you about.

I am going to log this one kind of the same way I did the last one. There aren’t any treadmill or bike miles, and I never stopped to count the difference in my stair climbing, so they are all “Life” miles.

Here goes:

Sat 4/1 – 3.49 TOTAL: 3.49

4/2 1.78, 4/3 2.01, 4/4 2.13, 4/5 3.12, 4/6 1.92 4/7 2.77 Sat 4/8 1.38 TOTAL 15.11

4/9 1.93, 4/10 2.34, 4/11 2.27, 4/12 2.53, 4/13 1.49, 4/14 2.78, Sat 4/15 1.09 TOTAL 14.43

4/16 1.63, 4/17 3.03, 4/18 3.17, 4/19 3.14, 4/20 3.29, 4/21 3.68, Sat 4/22 2.71 TOTAL 20.66

4/23 .95, 4/24 3.82, 4/25 3.84, 4/26 3.07, 4/27 3.41, 4/28 3.17, Sat 4/29 2.19 TOTAL 20.45

4/30 2.34 TOTAL 2.34

And the drum roll please ….  *insert drum roll sound* … a grand total of 76.48 miles for the month of April!! HOLY COW!!!! I knew I had put in the steps and saw the numbers getting bigger, but it was not until I really started doing the math that I started to become more wide eyed about it!

Thinking that once I get this schedule figured out, and am working in Indy again, that I should up my planned miles from 50 to like 65! Even if I don’t, I will still be able to say that I have walked over 500 miles in 2017… I got this!

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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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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

The After Photo

For those of you who do not know me all that well (or for those who do, but are not privy to this bit of information), I am a Pinterest junkie. Like, cannot get enough… I am always on there looking at crafty ideas, art projects, new styles (since my clothing size has gone down), tiny houses (my obsession) and of course inspirational quotes. Why am I tell you this? Well, let me back up a step or two…

Tonight at the gym, when I got there Mr T was there. He asked me what I was going to do and I told him that I was going to go kick the elliptical in the face. He laughed and I went on about my business. I wasn’t lying… that was, in fact, my plan. I decided that since my new found courage had got me moving on the elliptical, I was going to see if I could up my game. I upped my resistance to 3 (mind you, I had previously used a different -less difficult style – elliptical and upped the resistance, but on this one, a 3 was a big deal) and took off. Since I recently became an “i-People” I did not have the play list on my phone that once did, so I logged into YouTube and watched a few videos of my husbands band (Jon Bon Jovi, in case you were curious) and before I knew it I was at 3/4 of a mile and it was only 11’ish mins. I knew I was going to be under 15 mins so I picked my next video and kept going. At 1 mile I was looking at 14 mins and decided that wasn’t long enough so I just kept chugging away. More of that beautiful man to keep me going. When I got to 23 mins I realized that in less than 5 mins I would be at mile number two. I could do this. I really could. I smiled and sang along to Born to Be My Baby until the distance read “2.00”. I got off, went to go get my wipey for the machine and Mr T caught me, “what are you all smiles about?” I told him, “New record, 2 miles, less than 28 mins, with added resistance ANNNDDD it was on the elliptical, my nemesis!” “He shook his head, and said, “See, you got this! Progress!” He was right, I did have it and it was progress.

When I got in the car, I took my sweat post work pic… I mean how else are you going to know I did it?!?

Anywho, we are back to Pinterest now… I love adding quotes to my page, color me crazy but I do… so I searched “INSPIRATIONAL WORK OUT QUOTES” and right there at the top was “do it for the after photo”. It is what I do this for… the after photo. Not necessarily the one that shows my sweaty face and crazy hair, but the one that shows what I have accomplished. The one that reminds me that I really have made a difference… not just physically but, better all the way around. The whole journey of #becomingabetterme is to see #theafterphoto!  I may not be there yet, but I am feeling good about the path I am taking!