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!

 

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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!

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.

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 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!

 

 

 

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!