Summer Goals

Asbury Park 5k Wonder Bar

 

Last summer I decided to start running as a challenge to myself.  After a couple days, running became my therapy.  I would get up before sunrise, drive down to the beach, run a couple miles, take pics of the sun coming up over the ocean and think about how lucky I was to live here and being healthy enough to run.

This summer will be my second year as a runner.  I’m pretty excited but nervous at the same time because I have set a goal for myself that I hope I can meet.

The Jersey Shore Running Club has Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix races and if you complete all five you receive a special award.  Since I did seven 5k’s last year I figured, “I got this”!

The Golden Grand Prix includes two 5 milers and three 5K’s starting Memorial Day Weekend and ending Labor Day Weekend.  I also signed up for the Philadelphia Tap ‘N Run that has three beer stops along the way.  I always like to throw a fun run in!  Here’s the run down if you want to join me:

  • Spring Lake 5 Mile - May 24
  • Tap ‘N Run – Philadelphia – June 7
  • George Sheehan Classic, Red Bank – June 14
  • Belmar 5 Mile – July 12
  • Asbury Park 5k – August 9
  • Pier Hours 5k, Long Branch – Sept. 1

I have to admit I haven’t done any training or stuck to a healthy diet.  Motivation has ceased to exist lately and can’t seem to find the extra push to get me out the door.  When I was in the healthy zone it was so easy to keep up with.  I had planned my workouts for the week as well as meals.

It’s time to get serious becuase what I’m doing now is not working for me.  It’s time to get back on track and remind myself this is good for my physical and mental health!  I know that many people struggle with motivation so what’s your best advice to getting started on a healthy path?  What helps you push yourself out the door?

 

*In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with the Smart Ones brand and received compensation for my participation. However, all opinions given here are fully my own.

 

 

 

Beach Body and Bad Cravings

paddleboards

 

There are so many trendy diets that have come and gone.  For instance, I remember a girl in high school who had tried pretty much all of them such as the cabbage diet.  She literally ate cabbage soup for every meal.  Needless to say, I wouldn’t sit behind her in class for my own health!  But, diets are trends for a reason, they don’t work in the long run and they are DIETS.

I have never dieted in my life because I love food.  When I say I love food, I don’t mean I just want to eat and eat and eat.  I mean, food has a purpose and that is to fuel our bodies so there are foods that serve this purpose in a healthy way.  This is why I don’t diet…I try to maintain healthy eating habits and not crash in an emergency like bathing suit season or a wedding.

It is very challenging to stay the course in healthy eating.  I’ll be watching a show at night and a commercial pops on for fast food. That burger and fries looks amazing and very tempting so how can we easily maintain good habits with these taunting commercials?

It’s ok to indulge every now and then.  You cannot avoid temptation forever so eat healthy 90% of the time and enjoy a cheat meal once a week.  Sometimes I get chocolate cravings and I have to give in.  I don’t have to go off the rails and eat a brownie sundae but there are alternatives that won’t kill your plan.  Smart Ones has these Smart Delights like the Peanut Butter Cup Sundae which soothes my sweet tooth without being my only cheat for the week.  Knowing myself, I’d need the burger and fries too!

 

*In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with the Smart Ones brand and received compensation for my participation. However, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Scared Straight

sick

Last Wednesday night I was sleeping in my bed and suddenly woke up shivering with the worst chills.  I threw on extra clothes, turned the heat up and got back into bed.  Then it came.

All the fluid in my body wanted out!  I didn’t know what to do, it just didn’t want to stop.  After three hours I couldn’t take it anymore and called my parents for a ride to the hospital.  They quickly came, walked me to the car and drove away.  I felt like a hostage in the night wrapped up in sweats, a hoodie and coat, bent over in the front seat from the pain.

Luckily, all my bodily fluids were left at home and none were left for the car ride…one of my fears.  They quickly wheeled me into a room, took my vitals, blood, urine, the works!  I was in pain that I had never experienced:  my lower stomach was cramping and tightening, my upper stomach was just pure pain and my back was strained from so much vomiting.

The doctor eventually came back with some preliminary results:  I was more dehydrated than I should be and I may have a gallbladder issue.  Shit!  They were talking possible surgery.

I did an ultrasound which came back ok but my gallbladder was still in pain when pressed.  Next decision was a CT scan but I had to drink this saline fluid.  Just what I want when I’m already nauseous.  It took an hour to get through it to ensure I didn’t get sick otherwise I’d have to do it again.  Then wait two hours for it to work.

I got wheeled into the CT scan which was really nothing but they did inject me with a dye which made me feel warm.  The CT scan came back ok but they determined I had sludge in my gallbladder and gastroenteritis.  Sludge?  Like the Bog of Eternal Stench??  Ick!

Per the doctor, sludge can build up in your gallbladder if you have a high amount of fat in your diet or my liver may not be working properly.  Both scary things which I want to improve.

For the most part I have lived my life as if I’m invincible.  I’ve always been willing to try different physical activities and been on the go.  I think these things may be catching up with me.  I’m actually concerned.

We often hear people with heart scares change their lifestyle but at 35 I have to think this way?  This is just weird but I never want to experience this again.  Right now I’m on the BRAT diet and really have no interest in food yet but it’s important to feed our bodies with healthy and natural foods as much as possible.

This is my ultimate body reset and I’m not talking about a cleanse.  This has been a wake up call to really consider the foods I put in my body and to make smarter decisions.  I will have peace of mind knowing I make healthy decisions for myself and let mother nature do the rest.

 

 

Daylight Savings Time = More Time To Run!

daylight my old friend

Like most people I have a love/hate relationship with daylight savings time.  In the fall when it’s time to “fall back” an hour I welcome the extra time but the lack of daylight is a downer.  It’s as if someone is telling us it’s time to hibernate for the next four months and eat comforting food.  I have no problem taking that direction but it has set me back from my goals!

This past winter has been very tough with staying on track in my journey.  The snow days made me crave carbs and the lack of daylight hours before and after work is unmotivating.

Before Christmas I was trying everything that was available to me: swimming, boot camp, the dreaded treadmill, kettlebells and resistance bands.  Then the holidays hit and I just gave up.

Daylight savings time has kicked back in but I have found the last few months have set me back.  I’m sure many of you struggle with this as well but more importantly, how did you get through it?  Am I going to be good March through October and mess up again next year?  I really need pointers on how to stay active year ‘round.

As far as the eating goes, Smart Ones has been able to help me introduce healthy meals into my routine again.  Starting off the day with a hearty breakfast has worked for me and the peaches & cream oatmeal  is quick to grab at work and tastes yummy!  Do you have any Smart Ones meals you love?

 

*In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with the Smart Ones brand and received compensation for my participation. However, all opinions given here are fully my own.

 

One Year

before and after 2013

It has been one year since I decided to make a change in my life.  This time last year I was unahppy with how I was running my own life.  I had bad eating habits, I hadn’t worked out in years and didnt’ even want to be social because I felt bad about myself.  These thoughts hanging over my head on a daily basis forced me to do something about it.

My journey has not been just about me.  There are so many people who have helped me along the way.  For example, I was lucky enough to have worked with people who were health consious.  Being surrounded by good habits helped me stick to my plan.  I also befriended a co-worker whose husband owned a gym and was introduced to a great program that challenged me, brought me confidence and new friends.

My family has been at every race; even the New Years Eve run in 15 degree weather.  My Aunt Rita who always said “Go Liz Go” on my Facebook posts never missed a beat.  My friends I have met along the way who understand the struggle and the workouts have been a great support.  It never occured to me that I would meet great people that are important to this change.  And lastly, those of you who follow my blog.  Most I know but a lot are strangers.  How awesome is it that I get to share my story and not feel like I’m the only one?  Amazing!

I am a better me than a year ago.  I’ve learned so much from others and learned a lot about myself.  I continue to set goals for myself and continue to learn.  This is an ongoing process just like life.

If you decide you want to be better then create a goal and then a plan.  If there is something in that plan that does not work for you, alter it but stick to your goals.

Starting Over Yet Again…

Quick Work Nap!

Over the last few months I think I have attempted to get back on the healthy wagon about three times. As a very structured person, keeping organized is my key to success. For example, I have a dry-erase board on my fridge that lists my weekly activities to include gyms days and meal prep. I was very good about it when I started each time but then life seems to get in the way and I fail.

My biggest challenge right now is a work-life balance. I was recently promoted at work which of course comes with more responsibility. While trying to figure out my new role I find myself with very little time to catch my breath throughout the day and by the time 5 o’clock rolls around the last thing I want to do is workout or cook dinner. Eating out seems like such an easier option!

Eating out is easier but it’s making it difficult for me to fit in my jeans! I walked around the local supermarket to find better options to eating out. While in the freezer aisle I was reminded of the healthy options out there that are inexpensive and convenient like Smart Ones meals. There’s a lot of variety to fit your taste buds like Mexican, Italian, breakfast and dessert. I reached for the chicken fajitas  since I love Mexican and wasn’t disappointed! The fajitas are high in fiber to fill me up so I’m not reaching for the leftover Valentine’s candy.

Making a change in my life is a long road but making these small changes along the way will help me be a healthier and happier person. OK, gotta get back to work!

*In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with the Smart Ones brand and received compensation for my participation. However, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Gratitude

gratitude

I feel as though people or experiences are brought into your life for a reason.  They teach us something about others and ourselves.  Sometimes learning about others makes us feel not so alone in the world.

When I started Zone 360 at Ultimate Fit Zone I was shy, unsure of what I was getting into but knew I wanted to do something for myself.  Through that experience I gained new friends and made connections with people going through the same thing.

I met Lauryn who is my age and struggles with weight and eating.  We met through class and pushed each other to go further.  Eventually we started talking via Facebook complaining about our sugar cravings and how burpees are evil.

Tonight I let her know I’m happy to have met her.  I think it’s important to show gratitude towards people who are part of your life in a positive way.  I think we forget to appreciate those around us who are good for the soul because we focus too much on the negative.

I also think it’s good for us to show gratitude to ourselves.  Thank yourself for choosing to do good things for your mind and body.  Not many people have the luxury to make healthy choices so be thankful.