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!!!

 

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!

 

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!

 

 

 

I Can’t Unsee That

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where Do I Find My Next Adventure?

It has been less than a month since I started saying, “I am 40” when asked my age… and I am still really not used to it.

The day of my 40th was definitely one for the record books…. quite the party, if I do say so myself, and definitely a highlight to the new decade of my life, but that wasn’t the last adventure I have had.

The week after my birthday we went straight into the NESCO Olympics (Near East Side Community Organization Olympics), which involved some kickball, some volleyball, trivia, cards, tug o’war, frisbee golf, and cornhole, just to name a few.

Then there was the REO, Def Leppard, and Tesla concert. Added in was a day at the waterpark with my mother, kids, and nephews just for fun.  Then as recent as yesterday, an (almost) 5k with my bestie  to enjoy a Saturday morning in the park.

There is not a single adventure listed above that would take back. I loved each and every one of them for what they were. What I will say is I miss pushing myself. I miss getting dirty. I miss my team. And I really miss the feeling of accomplishment.

After looking at the calendar, and the bank account, there is no way of running a Spartan this year. I haven’t found a 5k that has really struck my fancy. So creating my own track and getting a virtual 5k medal, has been what I have done. None of that is really sparking me. I need a new adventure, I need a new challenge.

The question is, what do I do??? I feel like I should be trying something new, but have no idea what that should be??? I don’t want to sound like I am whining, but I think I am… #becomingabetterme was started at the beginning of this journey to remind myself that this was all about doing more, being more, but now… now I feel stuck.

I guess the only thing left to say is, life might be knocking me down right now, but since Life hits like a b*tch, I will just get back up and keep searching for that next challenge, because afterall, I am #stilltrying.

Don’t Stop Believin’

 

As I started this journey I promised to always be honest. Honest about the ways I succeeded as well as the way I failed.

Friday was a success. I am sure there was some eye rolling, especially from those of you who know that I went to see Journey with a couple of friends. Like, “really Heather, a concert is a success? Haven’t you done that before?!” Of course the answer is yes, yes I have, but this one was different.

Let me back up a little. For so many years there were things I wanted to do, was even invited to do, but the fear of failure kept me from saying yes and tagging along. Things that involved physical exertion was always a no for me. I missed out on so many adventures for fear not being able to handle the activity, getting winded and tired, and then letting my friends down. Keeping them from enjoying their adventure was the LAST thing I wanted. So I respectfully declined, and then just lived vicariously through their stories later.

Since I have been working out and walking and just all around treating myself better, I have been able to enjoy life so much more. Friday was one of those days. Jennifer had gotten two tickets to see Journey (one of my all time favorite bands since I was old enough to have an opinion on music), and offer one to me. I did not even hesitate to say yes to her! It wasn’t until later that I realized the concert was actually at the track (Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for those who didn’t realize I was a Hoosier) on Friday before the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. When I found out, I still didn’t get nervous or worried, I knew that there would be a ton of walking (and as a side note, a TON of people watching… including the Mariachi clown in the chaps who happen to ride a Harley, but anyway)  I was perfectly fine with that!

Jen and I walked all over the Snakepit (a rather entertaining section of the track, I might add), people watching and laughing at the distinct generational differences and later met up with another one of my favorite people, Emily with her family, by the concert section of the infield. It was a fabulous day. Laughing, dancing, and singing our hearts out! I am not sure of a time I was happier?! It was truly a dream come true, and this would have never would have happened just two short years ago.

When I began working out and doing all of this to become a better me, the tool I used to measure myself against was other people, Spartan racers specifically, but I don’t need to do that. I can measure me against me. Using the old me as a starting point, I have come leaps and bounds from where I was.

A friend recently told me, “I don’t think you are becoming a better you, I think you are becoming the you you were always meant to be.” and he was right. This is me, someone who isn’t (as) scared to try. Someone who has enough get-up-and-go to be able to see a concert where about 4 miles of walking could happen. More than that, someone who isn’t going to give up what she wants just for fear of failing.

Again, I say this was a success. I got to fulfill my dream of seeing one my all time favorite bands in concert. A small victory, but a victory none the less… and ya know what? Those count too in this journey of #becomingabetterme.

Mile Minus Minutes

IMG_20160523_210859On Monday May 23, 2016 I got two seconds closer to my goal.

To say that sounds absolutely silly, I know, but what if I say that those two seconds are being added to nine minutes. Whaaaa?!?!?! Yeah, I said it! Nine minutes!

Let me tell you a story.

When I started doing races and exercising I had NO idea what it meant to time a mile. I had only ever done OCRs where there were bottlenecks at the obstacles in a Spartan and then there were stopping points where you play in the mud at the Dirty Girl or fun 5Ks where you stopped to get sprayed with neon colored goo in the Neon Dash or even maybe a stop for hot chocolate at the Santa Hustle. There was never a time where I wanted to know how long I could do a mile in.

The more serious I got about exercise the more I learned, that like with anything, to get better you have to know where you start. So one afternoon last summer, I decided to go to park and walk the track and see exactly how long it took me.

Now I am not going to pretend that I went as fast as I could, or pushed myself as hard a could. I wanted to make sure that I could complete the full mile. I feel I should also say, (since I vowed to always be honest in this journey – whether it be good, bad or ugly) that although I had done 5Ks and OCRs, I got winded fast and was always glad for a brief breather.

Anywho, in that lap around the 1 mile track at Hummel Park I timed myself at a 27 min mile. Now, I know that is really a sad starting point, but it was the truth. Here I am, less than a year later looking at the timer on the treadmill thinking “HOLY MONKEYS I DID IT!!” I got under 18 mins! Now, as you all have figured it out, I always have another goal, and this is not an exception. I am still trying to figure out this whole running thing (still a work in progress), but I would like to see a 15-16 min mile, but that’s another story.

Before I put a nice little bow on this blog, just let me say that I look back over the course of the last year(ish) having pictures and comments and now even this website to look at, I take a moment to relish in the victories I have had and the milestones I have accomplished and even more than that how much better I feel mentally and physically. There have been so many of you who – without even knowing it – have inspired me to keep going. For that, I thank you all and wish you success in your journeys as well.

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Every Step Counts

12513783_10208056304586001_6578090563534272416_oI am a desk jockey. Everything I need is right there. On the shared drive, in my email, or physically in the IN BOX on my desk. At most, I might have to walk to the other side of my room to go to the filing cabinet to pull a resident file, or go down the hall to go to the restroom. That’s really all in the course of my 8 hour (or plus) day.

When I got my Garmin I was not sure what to put as my daily goal, so after seeing my friends work with a 10,000 step goal I followed suite. Soon after, I realized I was no where near that! I am talking like, 2500 to 3100 steps daily! When I realized how few steps I took in a day, I googled “how many steps does an office worker take?” This gave me a variety of answers. To take the average of what all I got, I am going to say right about 2000 steps.

So many people try for 10,000 steps a day. I am not one of them, and here are my reasons….

1554482_10206646011009543_8677066293036355872_n***2000 – 2200 steps roughly equals a mile. Going 10,000 steps would be expecting myself to walk roughly four miles after I put in eight hours of work. This just isn’t possible. I have other things going on in my life. I mean, come on! I am wife of a gamer/game designer, a mother of two very active teenagers, a homeowner, and person of my own. To do this would mean I would have to give up, or take time away from one of those other pieces in my life, and I am not doing it.

****I posted this in another blog , I cannot do the treadmill or the elliptical without holding on, so those steps that I take do not show up. I know I have taken then, so I am not going to worry about not seeing the number show up on my wrist.

****Lastly, I spend time with my trainer, and he busts my @ss, and those days do not require any further steps – or explanation to my poor body that it needs to do more!

Now, all that being said, I want it go on the record that when I go to WalMart, or Kroger, or even the mall (again, judgment free zone!) I like to go an extra lap to add to my steps. At this point in my journey, I have set my daily goal of 5000 steps, and I am perfectly happy with that.

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Now… you know that is not where this stops. I am NOT saying that this is the end of the road for me! I want to be a runner/jogger… and will be! That means that when I get to the point of being able to run around the block twice (which means jogging a full mile outside) I will be adding 2000-2200 steps. Then after that goal is accomplished I will move on to running two miles (four laps, or growing my course) that is another couple thousand steps. Then moving forward further, being able to do my big goal of doing four miles… and there you have it! 10,000 steps! My average work day of 2000 steps plus four miles, I got this!

But for now, a (mostly unreached goal) of 5000 steps is A-O-K. Every step counts as I #becomeabetterme.