Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ending Epilepsy Awareness Month

I've been doing a terrible job of being a regular blogger. That's embarassing. Sorry to all my loyal blog readers.

In my defense, I've been overwhelmingly busy with school, work, and life. I've been trying my best to become as fit as is possible. It definitely has not been the most easy thing that I've ever done. Every time that I go to the gym, I push beyond some barrier that I have had. I am continually impressing myself, even though I don't talk about it much. It's really hard for me to see physical changes in my body when I look in the mirror, but I can tell that things have changed when I continually have more endurace and strength at the gym or in a run.

The most intense struggle is still food for me. I do feel like I have been improving on the eating front. I'm definitely not at the point that I should be... and I know that if I spent more time focused on what I was eating and eating correctly, I'd be much closer to my weight goal than I am right now. I have noticed that when I am stressed out and overwhelmed, I turn to food that I know is terrible. For instance, for the last week and a half or so I've been really stressed out with school and work.. and instead of making healthy food choices, I've been eating an immense amount of greasy, high calorie, disgusting foods... food options that don't really even taste that good. Clearly, I'm still an emotional eater.


Anyways, that wasn't the purpose of this post. As some of you know, I am a person living with epilepsy... not only that, but I'm a person with epilepsy whose father passed away unexpectedly from a seizure. As not many of you probably know, November is Epilepsy Awareness Month.

As someone with epilepsy, I wanted to do something big this month. I wanted to raise lots of money to donate to the Epilepsy Foundation of America... but I didn't. I wanted to have some event in which everyone in my community would learn about epilepsy and understand what it is like. I didn't do that either. I mostly just talked about it in facebook posts, with my roommate, with my family members... and tried to learn as much new information as I could.

My diagnosis came more than two and a half years ago. I first started having complex partial seizures in the late fall of 2008, but I didn't know what they were. I thought I was having some kind of a schizophrenic attack (thank you for the paranoia, psychology degree), so I didn't tell anybody. Eventually, I was having complex partial seizures every day... at least once. It was so overwhelming to think that I had such terrible schizophrenia.

I had my first grad mal seizure in February of 2009. I was at work in an on campus food court, chopping lettuce, when I started to feel one of the "attacks" that I had been accustomed to. My vision started to fade and the last thing that I remember seeing was the lettuce starting to turn spotty in front of me. The feeling was absolutely overwhelming. After that, I felt like I was dreaming. I was floating through clouds and the feeling was absolutely peaceful. Then I woke up, looked around, and saw a half dozen people standing around me in a circle. I had no idea what had just happened. Everything after that is a little bit of a blur. I know that lots of people were asking me questions. I know that someone gave me orange juice (and I was worried that they'd charge me for it, because I didn't have any money on me that day). I know that someone got a chair for me from the  managers' office... and I know someone asked me about epilepsy and seizures.

From that moment forward, I was convinced that I had epilepsy. I researched it and everything fit. However, lots of testing came first... I had an EEG, an MRI, I wore a heart monitor for a day.. I had an ultrasound of my heart. Everything came back fairly normal. (Can I just tell you that EEGs are the strangest tests that exist? I literally had wires glued to my scalp.) I was told that I probably had an episode of syncope. Basically, regardless of everything that I said, I was told that I only fainted and to not worry about it. Something about how I didn't have enough breakfast, although I had a bagel that day and most of the time, I didn't eat anything.

I continued to have complex partial seizures frequently. Sometimes they were so horrible that I would vomit afterward. It was such a tough experience for me, because I knew that something was very wrong, but I was feeling as though nobody was interested in hearing about it from me.

Fast forward a few months to June of 2009, I had a second grand mal seizure in my sleep. I woke up my roommate with a horrible scream noise when my seizure began and she wrote down everything that she saw. She was well aware of my frustrations with going through a medical challenge with no real answer. I called my mom, who drove me to a different hospital than I had visited the first time. I saw a doctor who quickly diagnosed me with complex partial temporal epilepsy. When I heard that, I was relieved. An answer. Finally. (yes, I didn't know what the hell "complex partial temporal meant", but it was something.)

Since then, I have learned a lot about epilepsy, about seizures, and have felt a great connection to a group of people who also live with epilepsy. I've begun to feel very driven to help other people who are struggling with seizures on a daily basis... and those who have yet to be diagnosed. I mean, I thought I had schizophrenia, a friend of mine thought she had a brain tumor... the fact that we don't talk about epilepsy definitely says something awful. We need to talk about it. The world needs to know what seizure are, what epilepsy is, and what to do if someone has a seizure.

People die from seizures every day. My dad did. He was one of my heroes as a child (along with Abe Lincoln and Laura Ingalls Wilder). The world needs to know how prevalent epilepsy and SUDEP (sudden unexpected death from epilepsy) is. Three million people live with epilepsy... in the United States alone. Something needs to be done.


Last Thursday, on Thanksgiving, I ran a half marathon in memory of my dad. I wore a purple shirt for Epilepsy Awareness with a photograph of my dad on the back.

I wanted to PR in the race, I wanted to do really well... I wanted lots of people to see my shirt and feel like they wanted to learn more about epilepsy.

I ended up getting the PR that I wanted. I finished the race in 2:50.34 which is SIX minutes faster than my previous best time. People commented on my shirt along the way. I was beyond pleased with the race, with my time, with everything.

I ran the race for my dad, for epilepsy awareness... and I felt like my dad was with me the entire time.

November is ending, yes. However, we still must be aware. We have to talk about epilepsy... to learn about it, care about it. It is imperative.

I will continue to advocate for those with epilepsy, for myself. I don't want anyone else to die from a seizure. I don't want anybody to lose a parent at a young age as I did. I don't want people to be afraid of strange feelings, thinking they are something other than what they are. I want everyone to talk about epilepsy, to understand it... it will save so much struggle in the end.

My epilepsy awareness race shirt:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

a little positivity goes a long way

I'm becoming really bad at posting on my blog. I keep thinking about it, but it's hard to actually go through with sitting down and writing down my thoughts when I'm honestly exhausted 95% of the time. Ugh.

When I got a stocking position at work, I went from working mornings to working nights, since I don't have as much senority as the other stockers. It has made my body so confused, because I'm used to getting up early and going to work, coming home, then getting things done. It's pretty tough to change all of that, so I'm definitely struggling to get up in the morning and get things done before work. It is getting a little bit better, though.. slowly. Yesterday and Tuesday, I got up and worked on homework in the morning before class. Tuesday and today, I had personal training sessions at noon, so that forced me to get ready earlier.

Both of my training sessions went very well this week. I went into both of them with a positive attitude. That's not to say that I frequently am negative, but it can be really tough to get a good workout in when I'm being pushed beyond limits that I'm comfortable with. That's the reason that I hired my trainer, though, so I'm thankful for that. I am noticing strength in my body that I didn't have before and I KNOW that inches are coming off of me. It's just that my numbers on the scale are changing so slowly that it's unbelievable. I don't get excited when I weigh myself anymore, which adds to my negativity. I know that is strongly impacted by my eating habits, which are horrendous. I'm trying. Or at least I keep say that I'm trying. It's definitely a struggle ALL of the time.

Anyways, I went into both personal training workouts this week telling myself to try not to complain. That's pretty simple. I complain a lot actually when I'm working out, even if it's just a funny side comment here or there, I feel like I'm too negative and I don't like it. So, it made a huge difference. I also feel like both workouts were extrmely difficult.. probably two of the most tough workouts that I have had in months. Today, for instance, I wasn't 100% sure that I would be able to walk afterward, because I had pushed myself THAT hard. My legs still feel like jello two hours later.. and when I walk, it's more like floating than walking. Hopefully nobody is staring at me. haha.

I think that having a positive attitude definitely impacted my workout, though. I feel like I pushed through some barriers that I couldn't have done last week. I know that feeling sorry for myself has kind of crushed my ability to live up to my full potential. Yes, bad things have happened in my life. I've spent plenty of time feeling sorry for myself because of it though. It isn't fair to me to let the difficult parts of life crush the potential that I could be living to.

I keep trying to think of little things that I can change.

One major goal that I'm working toward is to complete a triathlon next summer. On my way to accomplishing that goal, I found a great local bike shop with really great prices. (now I just need a second job to save money! bahaha.) I also signed up for a "triathlon challenge" at my university's gym. Basically, over the month of October, I will complete a total of the mileage of a triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run)  while at the gym and it will be recorded there. I'm actually really excited about the prospect. if I could just stop eating waffle fries....
...or just keep my food journal regularly as I should.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

sometimes the little steps are more important

I'm embarassed.

It's almost as though I'm on some kind of a roller coaster of life. I'm flip flopping from making healthy choices to making stupid decisions. I've gone from being impressed with my dedication to laying in bed half of the day watching documentaries on my laptop. Not to mention that I am full of excuses and every time that I stop at Arby's or at Steak n Shake, I just think it'll be "just this once" or that "I'm in a hurry today.."

I don't know why I'm doing this. Since the beginning of May, I've been training with Mark at least twice a week every week (except maybe 2). Somehow, I desperately need to change the focus in my mind. I was working on an inspiration wall not long ago, I bought weights and a fitness ball. I got all kinds of fitness/health oriented things and put them in my room. I own 4 or 5 exercise Wii games. I don't know why I've stopped. Beyond working out with Mark, I've been taking it too easy.

There's no excuse for not running regularly, especially when I have races coming up. I know that I'm becoming more fit, but not to the point that I could be. I try to imagine what I'd be like if I actually pushed myself. I'd be somewhere past where I am now. I'd have at least another ten pounds off of me. I'd actually feel better about myself and my life. I'd be less depressed. I'd feel a hell of a lot less sorry for myself. My confidence would be skyrocketing. Instead, some days I just feel like I'd rather sleep all day, sleep until it's time to go to work... or school... or whatever I'm doing that day.

One change that I did make was to start going back to church. That's important and something that I've wanted to do for at least a year now. It was just difficult trying to find a church that fit me. I gave up for a while, but I did find one. It helped that my little sister asked me to be her Confirmation Sponsor, which is a huge deal. I'm really trying to take it seriously and make changes in my life. I'm so glad that I've taken this step because it has brought a sense of peace into my life.

There is just more that needs to be done.

I'm going to meet with a dietician in the next week. I was going to meet with her today, but she wasn't in her office. There is one at my school's gym that I can see for free. I need to get on a food plan, something that I can stick to. Like with exercising, it is so much easier if I push myself to my goals with the help of someone else. If I have someone's expertise, it is easier to do the right things, make the right decisions. For some reason, I don't have the dedication that I should have. I have to get used to the fact that it is okay to lean on something else. I need to let go of some of my comfort foods and branch out to different, healthier things. Instead of eating something quick, I should sit down and make foods, pack my lunch, and take the time to do things that will help me eat healthier. I have made some changes... some positive changes, but more does need to be done. Nutrition is the most difficult part of this whole journey for me and I definitely need to work on it.

I'm also going to try to get back into the habit of working out at least 30 minutes per day. I have to. Whether it's running, lifting, playing a fitness Wii game, or working with my trainer, I need to push myself harder. It's so important.  I want to be athletic. I want to do a triathlon. I want to do huge things for myself. There is not much that is more important to me than to do big things with my life, starting with the races that I have coming up... eventually becoming a triathlete, and maybe more. I'm definitely a goal oriented person.

I'm also going to try to cut out fast food. No more. I've got to start packing my lunch, taking the time to write down everything that I'm eating, count my calories, and be dedicated to this. I don't want to be morbidly obese. I don't want heart disease. I don't want to die young. It's beyond important to me that I'm as healthy as I can be.


Today at the gym, I did impress myself. I'm lifting weights with my legs that are two and three times heavier than weights that I lifted just a few months ago when I started working out with Mark. I'm slowly getting closer to my goals. No, I'm not all the way there yet, but I'm working toward it. That's what is important.

It takes little steps to get to the big goals sometimes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

hugeeee breakthrough at the gym.

Today and yesterday, I killed it in the gym. No joke. In fact, you could say I had a breakthrough yesterday that carried over into today.

Yesterday, I had a rough day. Actually, I had a rough week for many reasons... including school, work, being away from my family when family members were very ill, and so on. My stress level was pretty much through the roof. But, I agreed to meet Mark, my trainer, at the gym for a session before my class.

The first thing that he said that we were going to do was the stairmaster for 20 minutes. Then he proceeded to tell me that he didn't think that I'd be able to do it for the entire 20 minutes. I'm a stubborn person, actually. Sometimes, I will go out of my way to prove that I can do something that I've been told I can't or shouldn't be able to do (like move to Florida. ha.). Actually, he went on to say that most of his clients could only do 8-10 minutes on the stair master maximum.

When I got to about 12 or 13 minutes, I didn't think that I would be able to do it. I had almost given up on myself, but for some reason I didn't. At any point, I could have hopped right off of the machine. Actually, I got really mad that Mark didn't stop the machine for me so I could quit. Somehow, I pushed through it. Sweat was coming out of every pore of my body. I had sweat puddles in my hands. That's disgusting actually. That was probably my second biggest exercise related breakthrough that I have had. Ever. Second to Goofy's Challenge in January.

I have so many goals in my life that I don't want to cut short due to obesity. Knowing that obesity has become such an American epidemic, it scares the hell out of me.. knowing that I was close to 200 pounds a few years ago... scares the hell out of me, too. I feel like I'm still fighting my weight and I am. Every day, I have to choose between whether to drink a liter of Mountain Dew or to fill up my water bottle for the day. Between Kath and I, we go through 8 gallons of water in about a week and a half. That's a lot of water. It's a struggle making healthy decisions every day of my life. Actually, there are so many times that I don't make a good decision and it's frustrating. I try to pick myself up and keep going though.

That's what kept me going on the stairmaster. Actually, it was that and thinking about my uncle who was hospitalized for an extremely high blood sugar and a new diagnosis of diabetes. I've always wanted to inspire people. I've wanted to make a difference. Maybe if I keep going, I will continue to inspire people to change their lives. I have so much knowledge that I can share. I'd love it if my entire family could live the healthiest that is possible for them. I'm not saying that it's in the cards for everyone I know to become vegan, but everyone has little changes that can be made. It is for sure a possibility.

I also learned that my little brother wants to run a marathon and that he even bought running shoes.  I'm ecstatic for him. It would be so cool to run a race with my mom and all three of my siblings someday. I hope it's in the cards.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

another day, another work out.

I'm going to pretend to be really full of myself and pretend that I inspire Kath sometimes. I'm mostly just saying that because it's nearing midnight and she's lifting weights. [if i'm wrong, then i'm wrong, but it's doubtful. ha.]

I'm getting back into my exercise regime. Granted, I've been sick and overwhelmed for a few days... and today I have been still a little overwhelmed, though less sick, but I actually spent a good amount of time lifting. I also had a decent lunch rather than eating in the cafeteria, which saves me calories AND money. Yeah me! I didn't exactly eat the most healthily after work, but sometimes splurging is okay, I think. I am recognizing my choice as a splurge rather than a weakness and I'm moving on. So that's a step forward for me too.

I'm working on a research study on obesity. There is actually a section on called eatocracy. That's interesting. Random fact. ha.

I miss running. :( I'm starting to really worry that I won't ever be able to do any races again. That would suck. Too much. There has to be a way to push past the pain and be able to run again. I feel like I've done everything in my ability to let it heal and I'm starting to feel extremely impatient. I'm going to make an appointment to see someone soon. No joke this time. I'm going to follow through in the next week or two, whenever I have a day off from work and school.. or at least a day off from work.

Well... I'm about to fall asleep writing so that's that. Until tomorrow, faithful readers.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Tonight, I'm going to do some lifting with my arms.

Though I am exhausted. One important thing is that I continue to work toward my goals, even when life can be overwhelming. It certainly has been overwhelming for the last week or so. I guess it's good that I've been fortunate enough to be given so many big chances.

Thus, I'm going to do some lifting... only a little bit, because my goals are achievable. It's important that I don't give up in achieving things. & I won't.

... and I continue to try to inspire myself every day. I try so hard. Sometimes, I almost convince myself that I can achieve things.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sick and disappointed.

I am sick today. Actually, I haven't felt this sick since I started my epilepsy medicine. My entire brain aches. I had hoped to get a lot accomplished today, but unfortunately, I did not have the energy. I hardly have had enough energy to get out of bed or even sit up. It's terrible.

I'm just disappointed that I haven't worked out today. I set a one month goal and I'm not going to be able to finish it. That sucks. Eh. Whatever.

Here are my race medals. Just a little photo since I can hardly think enough to write anything of substance whatsoever.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

grumpy gills

Life is exhausting. Sometimes, I do wonder if I have too much on my plate. Maybe I want too much for myself. Maybe my dreams are unattainable. I don't know today.

I don't know why I'm trying so hard to be fit. I don't understand why I read about it, think about it, act on it, spend money on it. I don't know why I love running races. If I didn't spend so much time working out, I'd have an extra 45 minutes to an hour or more to do something else. To eat. Brownies. Cookies. French Fries. Damn it. I just want to eat some brownies.

Ugh. I have nothing positive to say. Today went by too quickly. There's no time left. My time management skills flew out the window. I felt like an idiot in class and had nothing to contribute to discussion, and on and on and on and on.

I'm just a grumpy gills tonight.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

keep on pushing through.

Life is draining.
Thankfully, I didn't get much sleep last night and was able to get a lot done in the morning. Ok, I'm not that thankful that I didn't get very much sleep, but I am thankful that I got to do a little bit of lifting in the morning and I'm going to do a little more before I go to bed tonight. I'm definitely feeling the afterburn from my workout last night. My legs are tired. I'm glad, however, that the pain isn't as bad as I thought it would be. That's a definite sign that my body is improving. Yay for that news!

I'm starting to get a little bit more comfortable in my body. Honestly, I have worn more pairs of shorts in the last two months than I have in the last five years. That's not to say that I'm completely comfortable in my own skin but that I'm getting to that point. I'm so thankful for that. I'm thankful that I have the opportunities that I have been given, even though life is a struggle at times. It definitely is.

I just keep trying to push through.

Monday, June 6, 2011

beyond ambitious

 I just got back from the gym. I had a training session that went pretty well. It was legs, which is usually really tough. Since my legs are the weakest part of my body, my work out was tough. It gets sort of embarassing when my trainer asks me to do a certain exercise and my legs start shaking uncontrollable. I do wish that I had a little more strength in my legs so that I wouldn't have to deal with my legs shaking like that. It's obvious that my muscles need a lot more work.

The workout went pretty well, which was great. I did struggle quite a bit, but was able to push through and complete all of the exercises. I can definitely sense changes within myself while I have been doing these sessions and while I've been exercising on my own, but I wish that changes happened sooner. Hell, I wish that I could wake up in the morning and have the exact body that I want. I have to work at it, though. The most unfortunate part of it all is that it takes such an extravagant amount of time and work. It's not like I can just dedicate all of my time every day to exercise. It's sort of unfortunate, honestly.

I have been working really hard on my body strength. Every day, I've exercised for at least 20 minutes. I'm so glad that I have stuck to this change in my life. It would have been so easy for me to have given up and stopped all of this, especially after all of the frustration from the inability to continue running. I am SO frustrated that I haven't been able to run lately. So. Frustrated. Actually, to the point that it feels like all I ever talk about in this blog is my sprained ankle, wah wah wah. I could have just given up and spent my time laying around, but I haven't. I'm glad with the changes that I have made. I'm also glad that I'm healing a little bit. I'm so looking forward to getting out there and running regularly again.

I'm definitely working on my time management skills. Today is a prime example. I've been trying to find ways to use every free minute to it's fullest extent. Today, I got up, read some news online while I got dressed, then went to work. I was scheduled until 5:15, but was able to get done about 30 minutes early, so I got to hurry home for my training session. I got home, got dressed, and left within just a little bit of time. I was a little late to my training session, which I was disappointed in, but I'm at least fortunate that I got there and got to work out. Like I said before, my legs were literally shaking at the end of the work out. I know that means that I'm pushing my boundaries and I KNOW that's positive. It's just really tough sometimes, because I want to see changes in me, but they are coming slowly. I'm possibly one of the most impatient people that I know. Quite possibly. I just wish I could have a few extra hours in the day in order to effectively manage my time, in order to reach more of my goals.

I feel that I'm a goal oriented person. Today, though, I've wondered if I've set my sights too high. Maybe my goals are unreachable. Goodness, I hope not. I want to be athletic. I want to run more marathons. I want to be Boston Qualified. I dream of being a certified SCUBA diver, a triathlete, maybe a personal trainer. I want to write novels, to be a professor, to make a difference. I want to organize events for epilepsy awareness.

I hope that one day I can reach all of these goals and more. I want to make a difference in the world. That had been my dream for my entire life. I know that I can reach it. I just have to continue to push myself as hard as I can. There is no option. If I do my best, work my hardest, there is no option but success... at least at some point in the future.

too tired.

I'm exhausted.

Unfortunately, my workout for today has not been anything extravagant. I've just done some stretching. If you can count work as exercise, I did a lot of walking and plenty of lifting. I did some stairs. haha. However, I have been gone for 14 or so hours and I'm exhausted. I have studying to do and sleep to get so I can start it all over tomorrow. I am fortunate to have a job, though, and I'm very lucky that my body works enough to allow me to move all day long.

Also, although I feel like today was a cop out of a workout... by just stretching my aching muscles, that's okay, because yoga is important to so many people. Sometimes, I do need to slow down and look at things through a different light. I am trying.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

running has been a weight off my shoulders...

Good gracious, my body hurts today. I expected to be sore after 10+ hours of work yesterday combined with some exercise and an abundance of stress. However, I didn't expect to be in so much pain. I'm reminded of some of the pain that I was in a few years ago when I weighed 20 pounds more than I do now. I do know that there is still weight that needs to be lost and that I'm definitely not to the point that I need to be at in order to be as healthy as I could be. However, I also hate the feeling that I am in an overwhelming amount of pain that it is hard to walk from my car to my front door. I definitely need to figure out where the pain is coming from. I don't want to be 25 and incapable of movement. That would be awful.

The good news is that the pain isn't to the same extent that it was a few years ago. I used to have to literally crawl to bed after work. That sounds horrendous and I guess that it really was. Thinking back, I guess that I should have gone to the doctor about the pain that I was in. I would have just heard that I needed to lose weight and I have. However, I'm still not even in a healthy weight range. That's scary for someone who hasn't even hit 25 years old yet. Actually, it's terrifying. I look at my family and see obesity running rampant. I don't want that. I already have a diagnosis of epilepsy, a disorder that took my otherwise healthy father's life. I don't want obesity to add to the problems that I'm facing. I can't have that. I'm glad that I've started to make that change, but it is SO frustrating that it isn't easy. The difficulties in my fitness level and my weight loss stress me out more than many other things, besides my GPA. [ha]

I'm just hopeful that I never get to the awful point in which I have to consider weight loss surgery in order to have my health. I'm not at the point right now. Actually, I'm nowhere close. I only have 30 more pounds to lose in order to hit my goal weight. That's not terrible. I'm not terrible far away from being in a "healthy" bmi weight range. That's good news. I can just see a cycle in society and within my own family, which scares the hell out of me. Maybe that's why I turned to running.. as an escape. But that's okay. I mean, hell, if I'm getting healthy, that's what I need. Running has become something of an escape to me, too. I'm glad that I have it, because I do truly enjoy running. I certainly enjoy the endorphins that come from a good long run. I LOVE racing. I love having goals to push myself to. It's fantastic.

That's why my ankle sprain has been so painful [both physically and emotionally]. It really was something that has become a huge part of my life over the past two years. Running changed my life. I just wish I could have it back soon. Actually, I wish I could have it back tomorrow. Now if I could just achieve patience....

Friday, June 3, 2011

the courage to start.

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." -John Bingham
It's been a long day. My body aches from work and my muscles feel like they want to fall off my body. However, they're still there.

My wisdom for the day is that.. sometimes, it is really hard to keep working out, to keep going, to push through. There are days that I don't want to lift weights or move more than I have to. But I do. That's what is important.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

trying to motivate myself to run again.

It seems like my ankle had some kind of horrible reaction to the tape that I was using for it. I have an itchy rash all over my foot and ankle, plus my skin is sort of rough and disgusting. If it isn't one thing, it's another with that ankle. I'm starting to worry that I'll never be able to run again. That's just my negativity talking. I know that I'll get out and run again. Naturally, I'll have to. It's the only way that I will be able to accomplish all of my lofty goals. haha.

I'm at least glad that I've been able to find other ways to get myself to the point that I want to. Weight lifting and other exercises have definitely been making a difference in my life. My body image is getting a little bit better, too. I am getting a little bit concerned about working my leg muscles at the same rate as my arms. Naturally, with grad school, work, studying, and everything else, I don't have time to go out to the gym daily. That cuts out a lot of the machines that I would be using for my legs. I am trying to be able to change up my exercises regularly and still work my leg muscles too. All of the noticeable changes thus far have been in my arms and my stomach, which is GREAT, but I'd like to see changes in my legs too. If I could run again, that would definitely solve that problem, but my ankle hurts every other day.

I'm writing a paper about governmental policy and interventions dealing with obesity in the United States... and naturally, with perfect timing, the food pyramid changed to a food plate today. That will definitely add quite an interesting angle to my research. I'm excited about it for sure. Most of my papers lately have dealt with social media, because that's primarily where my research interests lie, but my class this summer is a comm & government class, so I couldn't really figure out how to fit blogging or twitter into that box. I'm definitely interested in the fitness field (obviously), and learning more about it will definitely just drive that further.

I am interested to see how long this food plate lasts. I don't know a whole lot about it yet, just that it's already being highly criticized. I guess that I will find out a lot more about it while I'm researching all summer long.

I wish I could sign up for some races. I definitely need a race to motivate me. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that I can with the ankle pain that I'm in. I'm considering trying to find a short race- a 5k or something in order to get myself back out there again. I feel like I need to start slowly in that manner. Naturally, combined with lots of ice. haha. Maybe I will look into that tomorrow or Saturday. It's actually not a terrible idea.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Big dreamers can do big things.

I didn't participate in National Running Day like I intended to. Frankly, I am disappointed in myself. I feel like there was more that I could have done to really commemorate the day. My original intention was to go to the gym. Little did I know that my book for class would be a pain in the rear to get ahold of and I had to stay home until the mail came in order to get it and read it before class (yeah.... and it won't even be here until tomorrow anyways. Ugh!!). That excuse is sort of lame. So, I decided to either go to the gym in the morning and come back to study for my quiz [that ended up being postponed] or to just run-walk [i am still trying to allow my ankle maximum healing time] outside for an hour or so in between studying. I ended up pretty much deciding just to run outside for a while nad do some weight training in my apartment in order to save maximum time.

So. I got up, read a little bit, had my vitamins, grabbed some breakfast and a big water bottle, and sat down at my computer to start my school work. About 20 minutes into that, I heard rain. I looked out the window and it was pouring. So, I figured I'd give it an hour and the rain would stop. Then, I heard that it was thundering... then I was reading the news and saw that there were bad storms coming through. So frustrating. Then the ankle pain started.... Needless to say, I didn't make it outside and I didn't make it to the gym. I'm for sure frustrated with myself for not going, because, although some of it was out of my control, I could have made some changes and done some things differently in order to ensure that I ran today, but I didn't. I am trying to take it easy on my ankle, though, because I do want to run again someday. It wouldn't be worth it to push myself too hard and never be able to run again. That would suck.

I am still doing my daily workouts though. I have a little over two weeks left of my month of daily work outs. It was a goal that I set for myself after I read someone else's blog in which they set a goal for a month for themselves. I think that it's an interesting idea to try to change yourself by making a fairly short term goal. I think that it opens a lot of possibilities for learning and changing. After this month is up, I will probably try to continue working out at least a little bit daily, but also adding another month long goal. I haven't really decided what my next goal will be, though. I have a few weeks to think about it though, I suppose.

I do still feel fairly optimistic. I was talking to a girl that I've had in some classes today about fitness, because she said she felt inspired by me when I talked about running Goofy's Challenge in class.. and she was so inspired that she'd decided to do a 5k this summer. Hearing things like that really are touching and inspiring for me. I feel like if I can inspire her in that way, I definitely can do huge things like I have wanted to do since I was a child. I have always dreamed of being huge: a novelist, President, an athlete, and so on and so forth. I already have felt like I can do big things in life, but actually hearing that I've had an influence in that way is a really positive thing for me. I definitely want to continue to be able to inspire people. Anyways, I told her about some of my other goals and relayed my frustrationgs with my ankle, which was cool for me. I don't really feel like I ahve a ton of people that I can talk about fitness with like that, so that was really neat for me. I am glad that I got to have that conversation. I feel like I should be able to reach for a triathlon and reach for completing Boston someday.

I do dream big don't I? But, how else is there to dream? I have to be able to have huge dreams in order to achieve big things. All I've ever wanted was to make changes in the world. I know that I can do it. I just have to reach for it and push myself to my limit and beyond.

National Running Day!!!

Heyyyy it's officially National Running Day! Yess!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

putting in the work, waiting on the results.

I feel like I'm definitely on the right track right now. I bought some new weights and started setting up my little motivation area in my room. If I didn't live in a small apartment, I'd go all out and start setting up a home gym (though that would be a huge financial commitment haha), but alas, I do not. All I have is my little apartment. So that's the start of my inspiration area in my room. I moved a bookshelf out of my closet that I was storing shoes on and set up my work out things on it. I have a few sets of weights, a brand new kettlebell, and so on. Exciting! I just want to make my room more "me", I guess. It has been a pretty bland area since I moved in. I threw up my bed, some bookshelves (I'm a book addict, no joke), and filled my closet with clothes, but beyond that, I haven't done much. I'm looking forward to a finished product.

I'm still planning on getting a few miles in tomorrow. My ankle isn't 100% yet, naturally, but it's getting a little better day by day. [then a little worse, then better again.] My run last week didn't kill me and it only hurt that day and the morning afterwards. Thankfully, I have Thursday off of work, so if my ankle does hurt, I should be alright.

I feel like my goals are definitely within reach. Like I've stated recently, I've felt pretty hopeless in the past few months, especially after I sprained my ankle, but it's been getting so much better. I've been feeling happier and been able to sense a lot more possibility. It's awesome. It's even beyond just the work outs that I have been doing- it goes into my school work, my job (sort of lol), my future, etc etc etc. I feel like I can do huge things, which is definitely something that I have always wanted for myself.

I'm trying to focus on what inspires me, especially since I'm going to try to set up a motivational area in my bedroom, focused on what motivates and inspires me. I think that has had an impact on the change in my mood. I'm definitely not complaining about it. I'm also glad that I haven't had to use my crutches in several weeks. I have definitely been surrounded by positivity lately. Yay for me. :)

As I continue to work on my "motivation space", I'll take some photographs to share here on my blog. It will hopefully be in the next week or so... or maybe I'll take and post pictures of my progress as my space changes bit by bit. Hmm...

Workout stats from today- arms and core. I mostly used free weights.

I'm sore and tired. That's about it.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Today, I'm really nostalgic. I didn't put myself into my workout all of the way for a number of reasons. Mostly, I found out that someone that I once knew took her life the other day. I haven't been friends with her in a long time. I haven't talked to year in six years. I wasn't even that close with her. It's just a weird nostalgic feeling to know that she's gone now. I've been thinking about life and death a lot lately and now I sort of feel like it will be on my mind even more.

Oh! Guess what! I used my food journal today! I'm so excited for myself. I brought it to work and wrote down my whole lunch and everything. I do for sure feel like I have crossed a bridge in my fitness journey. I feel like I'm on the right track. I actually talked about eating healthily and exercise at work too. I gave someone who is at a plateau advice on break. It was a pretty big deal.

Anyways, I have tomorrow off! Yay! I have lots of plans to do lots of working out. haha. :) [and studying. and sleeping in. and relaxing. and more! ha.]

something to think about:

To be come fully alive a person must have goals and aims that transcend himself - Herbert A. Otto

a dream is a wish your heart makes... [then you have to accomplish on your own]

Sometimes, I wonder how I got here... to this place in which I'm stuck complaining about my inability to run. I mean, if I backtrack just a few years, I was happy to sit in front of the television all day long eating cookie dough. Let's backtrack even further... McDonalds, Arby's, Dairy Queen... I loved it all. My weight ballooned into obesity while I was still in high school. No wonder I still have issues with food & my insecurities aren't so easy to beat. I just don't understand how I went from that point to this point. I mean, it's not like I spend 20 hours a day at the gym- but I am doing my damnedest to get myself into the best shape that I can. I am pretty sure that one of the  biggest problems is that I can't just make a lifestyle change that easily.

It sounds easy though. Eat right. Buy healthy foods. Get enough sleep. Work out. Pretty simple. I wish that I could do it in that simple of a manner. But, I drive by an Arby's, and all I want is an order of curly fries and a roast beef sandwhich... and hell, while I'm at it, why not a beef-n-cheddar. Might as well go all out. Sometimes, I falter. Other times, I don't. I'm practically food obsessed. It's not as simple as calories in and calories out for me. I have to think and rethink everything... then I feel guilty about it. It's really a terrible cycle.. the kind of cycle that is beyond difficult to pull myself out of. Ugh.

I feel like a peaceful feeling is coming over me, though. I've been doing a better job about food choices, first of all. (yay me!) Second, I've just been feeling more motivated and less hopeless as of late. I've been killing it in my workouts- even just average at home weight lifting with some core exercises (plank, etc.). My body feels like it is on fire and I'm ecstatic about it. I feel really positive about the changes that I'm making... and trust me, positivity is a huge deal in my life.

I just wish that I was seeing the results that I want to see. I wish that I saw huge changes in my weight daily. I don't see much change at all. I know that there are other factors that go into that, but it's still really frustrating. I look at my body and don't see anything that looks different- and I don't feel too positive when I look at myself in the mirror. I'm expecting too much out of myself, I guess. I know that it takes time to see changes. I'm one of the most impatient people that I know, while also being beyond a perfectionist. Is there something past a perfectionist? That would be me. That's where the frustration lies.

HOWEVER... back to my positivity. I look at the changes that I have made, the races that I have done, the medals I have earned, the weight I've left behind, and I'm ecstatic. I have accomplished a lot in a few years. Plus two Bachelors Degrees and the entrance to graduate school... plus many other personal accomplishments. I guess that I've pushed myself pretty far. I can look behind myself and see all of that. I feel like I'm definitely on the right road.. that I can accomplish a lot of things. I just can't give up. No way.

I guess that what I'm trying to say is that I'm one of those people who sets goals. lots of goals. Some of those goals being beyond what regular people set for themselves. I want to be something huge, I guess. I do feel like I can do big things. Right now, I've been feeling a rare sense of motivation.. and possibility for myself. I just hope that the feeling sticks around.

[Kath, me, Aladdin, and Jasmine... four big dreamers.]

Saturday, May 28, 2011

at a turning point.... or a crossroads. if you will.

Goodness. Today, I'm exhausted.

I had a fantastic workout tonight. My day was somewhat... not great. Frustrating and whatever, but I felt like I was able to put a lot of my negativity into my work out. I did a lot of core exercises tonight- planks, crunches, and so on. My abs are definitely feeling a burn, which I am FOR SURE excited about. I do wish I wasn't so exhausted when I came home from work, though, because I feel like I want to be able to incorporate other exercises into my work outs- like different wii activities and whatnot, but it's hard when I'm already exhausted when I walk in the door. Somehow, I am going to need to catch up on sleep and stop being stressed out. (yeah. I wish.)

I'm excited for three days off of work this week. I only have two more days to work and then some time off! Yipee! (though, I'm going to have a ton of studying to do, I'm not thinking about that right now. I'm going to try to focus on all of the positives.) I wish that I had a job with my degree, because I am worn out what what I am doing. However, it's tough to find something that I really want to do while I'm working on my Masters WHILE I am school.

I'm going to try running again on Wednesday. I know my ankle isn't 100%. I know that it might do more damage than good. But Wednesday is National Running Day and I just really feel motivated to run. I'll probably do it at the gym on the treadmill and I will definitely incorporate a lot of walking. It's actually pretty unlikely that I will get many miles in. However, I really just want to start running again. I feel like if my ankle gets too bad, I will for sure have to make some sort of a change- like getting my crutches out again or going to see a doctor again. I'm not that excited about that possibility.

I do feel like I'm turning a page in my life. I'm dealing with a lot of negativity and frustration, but at the same time, I feel like I'm doing a lot of good. I'm making positive changes and trying my best to get myself to a point that I want to be. I have a pile of books about things that I think will help me along this path- books about running, races, triathlons, fitness, health- and other things, like politics haha. I'm trying to be well rounded. I feel like I'm taking the right steps, though it is extremely difficult to get to the point that I want to be at. I never expected it to be this hard. My life is definitely no fairy tale.

It takes a lot of hard work....

Friday, May 27, 2011

life is a marathon.

It's so frustrating not being able to run. School, work, running... that was my life for about a year or a year and a half. My ankle is still messed up and I still feel like it isn't a sprain, because it has been so long. I'm just frustrated. I am glad that I have been able to exercise and learn new things about myself. I know and understand the changes that are going on, but I definitely miss the days when I could run.

I do know that my running isn't gone forever. It just feels like it is. There's just nothing quite like running a race... with the crowds and all the energy. I just miss it. I mean, I guess that it's okay for my bank account to not be signing up for a ton of races this summer. I would really just like to be able to run again. It sounds like a broken record, I guess. I want to run, my ankle is messed up, but I want to run. I wish I had something more profound to say, I suppose. I'm still so glad that I got to run the other day, but my ankle is still sore from it. I'm thinking about getting a new ankle brace that is a little bit more supportive than the one that I have. I don't know.

I need to really start focusing on my eating habits. I've been intending to look at some recipes and to go through some of my magazines and books to see what types of food would be good to eat. That's one of the best things about getting running magazines. They always seem to have good recipes and helpful tips for different food items that are fantastic for running. That's also a nice tool that the Internet can provide. Haha.

I've decided a few different images that I want to put up in my room to make it feel more inspired and motivational for me. I'm excited. My days off next week, I'm going to work on that and... well also do a lot of studying. Ugh! I'm over summer school already. It's okay. I'll get through it.

In some ways, I have to remember that my life is like a marathon. It takes dedication and patience. It isn't something that is quickly done. I have to make sure I do it right...

Thursday, May 26, 2011


"The body does not want you to do this. AS you run, it tells you to stop, but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy. It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed. -Jacqueline Gareau

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Elated AND Discouraged

Hello faithful blog readers! (the few and far between.... haha.)
So today was another day that was just like yesterday. The exciting part of my days off from work this week was getting to go to the gym ...and well, class.

I had planed for my Wednesdays to be my really long days in the gym with weight training, cardio (bike or running), and swimming. Ideally, I'd go to the gym a handful of hours before my class in order to get everything in. However, I  had other things in mind for today- like Oprah's final show ever. I couldn't miss it, so I went out of my way to be able to see it. I cut swimming out of my work out today... it helped that my swim suit needs to be washed so I definitely could skip swimming without feeling too guilty. Plus. Like I said... it's Oprah.

I went to the gym and decided to do legs. I've been working my arms for the past several work outs that I've had with my trainer and then my individual workouts haven't been focused on any particular group of muscles. However, I did some ab workouts too. Mostly legs. I noticed that my legs are starting to get a little bit stronger, though definitely not to the point that I want them to be. So yes. I wore myself out on the weight machines. I wish that I had spent more time on them, but I felt like I was on a time crunch. (I went to the bank before I went to the gym and the teller thought it would be a great idea to go on a long list of the things that I should get- like credit cards/direct deposit/whatever. She made me want to switch banks. Ugh.) So yes. I did weights for about 45 minutes, but I really wanted to do at least an hour to an hour and fifteen or something like that.

So. I decided to go for a run... which is a huge deal, as I haven't really run since February at the Disney World Princess Half Marathon... even then, I walked most of that race because of my ankle. Ok I digress. Back to today. I was so slow. (about 14 minute miles) However, I didn't give up. I set of goal of doing a 5k distance run. I accomplished it. I ran/walked it, but still. It was a huge deal for me, considering my inability to really walk or run for a long time. (I mean, I could walk to a point, but I iced my ankle every night for weeks.) I felt great afterwards. Fantastic. Accomplished.

Then I stopped my work out and left the gym. My ankle started hurting the minute I began to walk down the stairs to get my stuff out of my locker. It continued to hurt the whole way home. I iced my ankle through the entire Oprah show. Then I went to class. After class, it hurt worse- and all that I had been doing in class was sitting.. for FOUR hours. I hardly moved.

This is bad. I feel so accomplished, but I also feel like I may have made things worse. But how can my ankle still be THIS injured after three months? That's 12 weeks-ish. 84 days. A long time. Now I'm just freaked out that my ankle is permanently damaged, which is NOT okay. It definitely doesn't fit in my life plan. I guess that I'm going to have to go back to see someone about my ankle. It's free if I go on campus to the health center, but the information I got from them obviously didn't help. The guy I saw there told me that I'd be able to start running short distances in three weeks. Wrong. I just don't know how I can afford to see a legit sports doctor or something. I have insurance, so I guess that I will just have to call around to figure out tho takes it. (of course, it is Indiana insurance... and I've moved to Florida now... soo......)

I just don't know. I was so glad about my run. I am glad. It's huge. But I'm discouraged at the same time.

Major breakthrough. Fitspiration.

What. A. Day.
I'm not exaggerating. I got less than five hours of sleep, due to a combination of a bad dream and a late night of studying. It's going to be a tough semester. I can already attest to that and it's only the second week. Wow. So I woke up super early and decided to just stay up and study more. Ugh. Literally, I thought my brain was going to explode by noon. I'm almost done with my readings but not quite. I'll be able to get it done tomorrow.

I plan to get up fairly early tomorrow and go to the gym... then come back home, study, and watch the finale of Oprah before my class. I mean, it won't be a smart use of my gas to do all of that, but I can't miss Oprah. I've always dreamed to be on her show. Not all dreams come true, but whatever. Maybe someday I will meet her or something. Anyways, she's for sure worth my extra $10 in gas for the day. If the roads I lived on weren't so busy, I would just ride my bike like I did as an undergraduate.

Alright- let's talk about my work out today. It's actually exciting this time. I'm glad that I decided to continue my personal training. I'm a little tight on money right now and I've been pretty concerned about whether it has been worth it, because I hadn't felt that much of a connection with my trainer. However, I feel like I learned SO much over the past few weeks, so I stuck it out another couple more weeks. Today I had a fantastic training session. Wow. I'm super inspired today. My strength is definitely improving and I'm starting to feel a little bit more confident. I pushed through all of the exercises and did not give up or take a break for a few seconds or anything. I also felt like I am starting to connect a little bit better with my trainer. I hit the treadmill today, but went pretty slow. However, I'm excited that I got to go on the treadmill today. My ankle really hurts, but I feel like I pushed past some barriers.

It was super important that I was able to push through the barriers that I pushed through today, because I had a mental breakdown before I went to my training session. I literally could not find my shoes and laid on the ground and cried. Between work, school, working out, and every other little detail of my life, I'm overwhelmed. I felt like giving up on my weight loss plan, my exercise goals, my Master's Degree... everything. I just felt like things were getting really tough and life was starting to feel impossible. I needed to have a breakthrough today and I feel like I had it at the gym. I'm thankful for it. Hopefully the positivity can follow through to tomorrow and after that. I know that I can reach my goals. It's just not easy. It never will be, as I tend to set myself up for the toughest goals out there.

My skin is starting to look sort of saggy. Any suggestions on how to fix that? ...besides gaining a ton of weight back of course.

So I watched the Biggest Loser finale tonight. Wow. Some of those people looked incredible. I was especially suprised by Dan, Don, Sarah, Deni, and Ana. Wow!! I was pulling for Irene and am sad that she didn't win, but she looks incredible. I was definitely reminded of last season's finale and my personal inspiration, Ada Wong. I watched some video footage of her on youtube after I watched Biggest Loser tonight and was super inspired. I feel like we have some similar stories of childhood pain, though definitely very different, and she never gave up. I really would like to be a strong person in that I would prevent myself from quitting... and I'd continue to try to reach my goals. That's definitely what I want for myself. And she's a Boston Marathon finisher... which is definitely a HUGE goal that I hold for myself. Who inspires you?

Alright, well, I have eight billion things to do tomorrow, so I guess I should try to sleep a little tonight. Bye bye blog readers!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

time flies.

When did time start to go by so quickly? I worked this morning, came home, ate, watched a movie/worked on homework, worked out, and now it's almost midnight? Seriously? And on top of that, tomorrow is already TUESDAY? I don't get it. How does time go by so quickly? I feel like there needs to be a few extra hours in the day so that I can get more accomplished. I don't feel like I'm that busy of an individual, but somehow, there is never enough time in the day. I still have lots of studying to do for Wednesday, a homework assignment, AND I have two days of training ahead of me. Then back to work I go... and the cycle continues.

Time management is still my big issue, I guess. I'm doing a little bit better, as I am starting to use my calendar to figure out how best to get things accomplished. Now I just have to put my planning into action. It's that separation that always gets to me. Urgh! lol.

I was reading some research articles and was reminded of  how one of my B.A.'s is in English. I found several spelling and grammar errors in the same article. I don't quite understand how that got by the editors. Maybe I should be a copy editor for a research journal... ha. I just have this thought that those in academia should have some understanding of grammar and their native language. Is that too much to ask? Anywaysssss....

I've been noticing at work that a lot of runners like to wear their race shirts after the race- out in public even. Well, naturally, I enjoy wearing my race shirts everywhere that I can. The unfortunate part of that is that many  of my race shirts are long sleeved and now that I live in Florida... there is only a limited time of the year that I can logically wear them. Unless I turn up my air conditioning REALLY high and then pretend I'm back in Indiana for the spring, fall, or winter. Good idea?

I'm excited to be able to hit the gym tomorrow and Wednesday. I don't know how I will find the time to get everything done that I need to get done between now and Thursday when I go back to work again, but somehow... there has to be away! It's almost like I went back a year to my schedule that I was in when I had three part time jobs and went to school as an undergraduate, except now it's one part time job that is extremely exhausting and only one summer class... and I'm trying to exercise more. Maybe it's the exercise. I don't know. It just feels like time has shortened in the last year. Hmm...

I did a pretty good job eating today. I actually didn't use my food journal, oopsies. I'm going to figure out how many calories that I actually consumed before I go to bed, but I watched what I ate and didn't go too out of control... I think. ;) My dinner was colorful, though, which is usually a positive thing. (unless it's like... a pizza or something with extra grease. oh gross.)

Allllrighty. Well, I'll have something new and exciting to talk about tomorrow evening after my gym date and Biggest Loser! Woo hoo!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

trying to find motivation. again.

I feel like I'm waiting for my muscles to gain strength, but that they aren't getting any stronger. I feel like they are just getting weaker each time that I wake up in the morning... each time that I try to work out again, my muscles fight a little bit harder. I feel like giving up just a little quicker day by day. Maybe I'm not giving myself adequate rest time, but it isn't like I'm going over the top with my workouts at all. ALSO, I'm not losing weight very quickly... which could be due to a number of factors, such as my diet and everything. I'm frustrated with my eating for sure. Though I know all of the good habits and how to follow a healthy lifestyle, I still don't follow the rules. I just feel like it isn't really fair. Whine whine whine. I think that I whine too much in the blog. Maybe in general too. I don't know. Something to think about?

One thing that I'm thinking about doing is actually putting up posters and images of people and things that inspire me. For instance, maybe a triathlon picture on my wall or something like that. I feel like if I surround myself with things that inspire me, I will be better able to find the drive to push through the tough times. I had a pretty motivationless time for a while recently and I'm feeling like I'm getting my drive back. However, I feel like it is possible that I could easily lose my drive again. I want to ensure that I remain positive and focused on my goals.

Also. I'm going to reinstate my old friend the food diary. I don't understand what is so hard about writing down my daily calorie intake every day. I've been pretty good about it and then I quit. I think that it really does make a big difference when there is something that I really want to eat that has way too many fat calories. Bad food & good food, blah blah blah. Why can't I just skip the cheesecake or the Coke on my break and eat carrots. Food is food. It's just such a struggle for me to say no to temptation sometimes, I guess.

I don't want to be deathly thin. I'd actually rather just be in a healthy weight range. I want to be healthy and in shape. I want to be athletic. I want to be a marathoner, triathlete... I don't know why it's so hard to get to the point that I want to be in. Urgh. Actually, I really just want to be able to do a pull up.

I hope that tomorrow I can get over this funk that I'm in. If not tomorrow, then definitely within the next little while. I plan to make a list of all of the things that I can do that will help me to be more motivated. Hopefully so.

Oh. And an update on my ankle... definitely not better. I do NOT want to go back on crutches. I need to be healthy again. I need to get back into running. Need need need. I guess that what I mean by "I need" is that "I'd really like to...."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

another day another workout

I am getting pretty good at working out at home with my weights. I've been calling to mind some of my old work outs from w hen I was on the swim team in high school. I don't know why I have been so exhausted lately... it's been a struggle to just stay awake for normal hours, let alone to actually get myself to go to the gym. That has been impossible. I have just been exhausted lately.

I'm going to try to work out a physical schedule for my life starting next week... a schedule that I can actually get things done without worrying about the process of doing it. I need to get things done rather than to just talk about getting things done, which I have been doing.  With school, work, and exercise, I have been totally worn out every day... and it's just going to get worse as summer gets more intense. There are ways to lessen stress levels, which is really important. My stress level has been riding high for a long time. It's something that I have sort of accepted, but that's not okay.

Today at work, I was a stocker. That was tough. I was constantly running around trying to get stuff, but there was always something else needed. Constantly... all day long. I felt like I was working out just walking back and forth everywhere in the place. What a day.

I'm reading a book right now in the Sookie Stackhouse series... when I was reading the books last year, I got really overwhelmed with it and had vampire dreams. However, right now I'm having dreams about work, which shows the exhaustion that I'm dealing with. After I finish the book though, I'm definitely going to read one of my many accumulated running books. I could use some inspiration for sure.

At least I'm in a better mood than I was in yesterday. Ha. That's something. Only two more days of work until my Friday (which means training, homework, and class! lol...)

today is almost yesterday..


Today was just another day. I really wanted to go to the gym, but instead I took a nap after work. I'm pretty disappointed about it, but what the hell... I guess I just needed the sleep. I feel like I've fallen behind in a lot of ways lately- sleep, reading, socialization, money... it's been rough. So yeah. I slacked a little bit.

Tonight for dinner we had turkey tacos. Yum! ...and semi healthy. I was thinking about how I used to eat TONS of food and when I would have cow [beef] tacos, I'd fill my tacos up all of the way. Today however, I listened to my stomach and stopped eating when I was full. Yeah me!

This is.. day four of thirty one days of consecutive exercise. Today I did some drills that I learned from Mark and pushed myself pretty much to my limit. However, most of my focus was on arms again. I need to learn some at home leg exercises I guess. I did do some crunches. I definitely need to switch it up though soon. I have some books about exercise that I want to read.

I want to do this, I want to do that. Time management will be the death of me, I swear. I need to figure out better how to figure out what is most important and execute my activities due to that. Something for me to work on, I guess.

Tomorrow my mom has a half marathon! I'm super jealous. It's been way too long since I've raced... and subsequently too long since I've run. I wish it could be easier. I guess I'm going to have to go get my ankle looked at again, because I just feel like a sprain would not take this long to heal.

Well, tomorrow is another repeat of today, which was a pseudo repeat of yesterday, so off to bed I go.

This is my mom and I at the Disney World half marathon in January.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

grumpy. :(

Today was super stressful. I'm actually really glad that I got up early in order to work out rather than to wait until after work becauase... it's close to 11 and I just got home. I ended up working late and my body hurts from being at work for close to 12 hours.

Anyways, I got up early and lifted weights for about 25 minutes & then did some wall sits and planks. It was a fairly easy work out, but the good news is that I DID it. I got myself up and exercised when I really just wanted to roll over and turn my alarm off. In a sense, I started my day off right by doing that, because I had a positive attitude when I got to work (after my break was an hour late, my positive mood disappeared, but that's a different story) and I actually ate really healthily today.

I've struggled a lot with healthy eating. I mean, I know what is good and I know what is bad... and I know how many calories I should eat and so on and so forth. I definitely have the knowledge. However, having the knowledge and doing the right thing are two completely different issues. That's where my problem lies. It's really tough for me to be able to cross into DOING rather than just knowing. When I work 12 hours... I really want to stop and get some fast food on my way home. Today I didn't, although I really wanted to. I could go for some french fries and chicken nuggets! However, my sweet roommate made me some fish and a small baked potato while I was driving home, because she is awesome (and she knew I was in a bad mood)! I'm really thankful for that.

Tomorrow will be a new day. I really hope I can run in the next two weeks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day Two of one month challenge

My ankle's progress: no progress at all.
Today's work out: okay.

This is day TWO of my one month of working out every day. It went okay, I guess. I wasn't that entusiastic about going to the gym today, because I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night. However, I made a commitment and I definitely intended and still intend to keep to my promise to myself. Since I promised it too all of you loyal blog readers, I guess that I will intend to keep the promise to you as well. :) ha.

First, I did some weight lifting exercises. I should have taken my camera in order to fully show my work out of the day, but alas, I did not. However, Google Images is here to help out in a crisis.

I spent about 30-40 minutes lifting weights. I tried to push myself to my limit without hurting myself. I attempted to use my knowledge that I picked up from my training sessions in order to really exert myself to the fullest. I really struggled with one particular machines. I felt like my arms were getting stronger until yesterday, which was "upper body day" with my trainer. The machine that I really struggled with was a bicep machine, which was also something that I had a hard time with yesterday. I don't know why my biceps are so weak. I guess it's something that I'm going to have to focus on.

I've noticed that, in my training,  I have been focusing on specific muscles each day. I've never really done that while working out by myself. It might be something for me to think about though... or at least look into. Maybe if I specifically focus on legs one day and arms another day... then core a third day, that can help me to equalize my work outs so that one part of my body doesn't get left out. I don't know though. I guess that I don't know a whole lot about exercise in general, beyond running.

I do want to expand my knowledge base though.

After I finished lifting, I went down to the pool. I really wanted to do some cardio- biking or running as well as going to the pool, but I had to cut something out. Unfortunately, I left later than I should have in order to get everything done that I wanted to have done and still make it to class. I chose to not cut out my first day of class, so something else had to go. This time, I cut out the cardio. Yesterday, my healing ankle tendons popped when I was trying to put my shoes on, so they are not feeling too good today. Sadly for me, that means putting off running even longer than before.

Actually, I'm pissed about it. I haven't run in months and I feel like I lost a part of my identity. Fortunately, it's a part of my identity that I know that I can regain. I just have to be careful about it. I definitely don't want to lose running for ever and I am a little concerned that I will just get pissed off and go for a run. That would be an unhealthy choice... yet something completely within my personality. We will see.

I did not count my laps at the pool today, though I wish I had. I probably swam something around 1000 or 1200 meters, which wasn't quite what I usually do, but, again, I had class tonight and was crunched for time. I ended up in a lane between two really fast, really amazing male swimmers. They probably swam two laps for my every half lap. I would have stopped and stared, but I feel like that would have been awkward.

SO: in conclusion, I went to the gym for about an hour and a half... lifted weights and swam. Tomorrow I work from 10:30 am to 9:30 pm so the gym is a little bit out of the question. Instead, I will be pulling out my Wii and playing Wii Biggest Loser Challenge in honor of the Biggest Loser finale next Tuesday.

 [this is my shameless plug to everyone: VOTE FOR IRENE.]

Well... that's it. Thanks for enjoying my blog. Or not enjoying it. Or... whatever.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I am CHANGING........

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to do something BIG with my life. I remember being in first grade and planning my run for President. I also wanted to be the first female Major League Baseball player, while writing lots of inspirational novels, and changing the world like Mother Theresa. So now, I sit here, 24 years old... not in the Major Leagues and definitely not Mother Theresa. I have started two novels, but haven't finished them. I also am over 10 years away from a possible run for Presidency. So what am I doing with my life?

I feel like I'm at a crossroads. I don't really know what I'm doing with my life sometimes. I don't know where to begin or where I'm headed. I just know that I still want to do big things. So I'm going to try to change my blog a little bit. I started it to share my journey to 1000 miles in a year, which I didn't quite meet, because of a number of reasons. However, I think that I want to ensure that I continue my journey towards HEALTH. In my research (ha. Now I for sure sound like a graduate student..), I have started to fully understand how important it is to not "diet" and to focus on a lifestyle change. That is something that I really need to work on. I haven't been obsessed with dieting, I guess, but I have a tough time looking at things as exercise and healthy eating as a life change. I have often considered it as more something that I can quit or move on from.

So in that case, I'm making a few short and long term goals.
  • 30 minutes of exercise daily for the next month.
    • actually my long term goal is to work out at least 5 days a week for the remainder of the summer.
  • Find a triathlon for next summer. I am pretty positive that I will be able to find one either in Florida or in Indiana so that I either don't have to travel for or will be able to (hopefully) have family there.
  • Run again. Although my ankle isn't so sure about my running goals, I need to start running again. Maybe just a few short runs to start off, but I really need to run again. I miss it. :(
  • Meet with a dietician on campus. I can see one for free as a student and I think it could be really useful.
Non fitness goals:
  • Join a softball league. I've wanted to join one for more than a year now. I played softball for most of my childhood until I graduated high school. I really miss it and, though I never was very good, I think it is something I want to do again. I've looked into it briefly since I moved, but I never really found anything. That's something that I want to do with Katherine if at all possible. 
  • Blog every day.
  • Study for at least one hour a day. I need to make sure that my GPA is as good as it can be, because I KNOW that if I push myself really hard, I can accomplish things.
  • Read for fun. :) and for learning.
  • Swim regularly. For real. I miss swimming and Florida is so sunshiney and I feel like I just don't take advantage of it.
  • Write!!!
I feel like I am changing quite a lot since I started working out with Mark. He really has pushed me pretty hard. My training sessions are tough, which I anticipated,  but I definitely did not think about how my body would feel afterwards. Though my weight loss is slooow, it is there, and my body is definitely changing, which I love. I feel a little bit stronger.. it hasn't even been a month or anything, but I'm happy about my progress thus far. Today was definitely a HARD session, but I did it!

Physically, I'm changing. I need to change my mindset too. I have to figure out a way that my mind can start to think in more positive ways and that I can look at things differently. It's definitely something that I need to work towards, because I have a very negative attitude sometimes. I hope that I can get there...

I feel like some of my goals are reachable, but it will be really hard. I want to be something that people can look up to, which is something that I don't feel like I have right now. I want to be an inspiration. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Goals and such

Alright, so who watched Biggest Loser last night? I did! (and my roommate did! lol) I'm getting excited for the finale, but I'm getting pretty into it. Obviously, I'm not at the same point in my life that those competitors are at in theirs. However, I do take a lot from watching the competition on tv. I feel like I've learned a lot through the show and I've become pretty inspired through watching weekly. I feel more driven, I guess.

For the past few years, most of my drive has been toward the same things, running, school, work... in that order. Recently, I feel like it has shifted a little bit. Actually, when I firt sprained my ankle, I felt like I lost a part of my identity, which seems a little bit silly. However, when so much of me was focused on running, I really needed to redirect my energy. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it literally took me months to figure out what to do with myself. I'm starting to figure it out, but I still haven't run again, which does disappoint me in myself to a point.

I signed up for a personal trainer a few weeks ago, totally expecting to be thrown on a waiting list. Nope. Twelve hours later, I got a phone call. No exaggeration. I barely had enough time to really think about it before they called me telling me that I was at the top of the list and I'd get a trainer assigned to me THAT day! Wow.

I haven't made an official decision about how I feel about my trainer yet. It's hard because of time constraints, so I haven't gotten to spend a LOT of time with him in the gym. However, he definitely does push  me beyond where I would normally push  myself... and I've actually learned a lot about working out and fitness in the past few weeks. However, I'm hoping that it gets a little bit better in the next week when school starts up again and we can get into a little bit of a more regular schedule.

However, as a goal oriented person, I have a number of goals for the next year, including my second Goofy's Challenge and a triathlon... on top of school, writing, working, reading, and so on. I also really want to join a softball league. I miss softball so much... I never was very good at it, but it was something that I thoroughly enjoyed for many years of my life. I want to be a part of a team like that again, but I don't know how to go about joining a league like that.

Sometimes I worry that I'm TOO goal oriented.. or perhaps TOO much of a perfectionist. For instance, I'm in the midst of a two week break from school before summer classes start. In these two weeks, I have a list of books that I want to read, pounds to lose, workouts to accomplish, on top of my usual work shifts... and the list goes on. When I look at my long term goals- like run across the country for epilepsy awareness or do an ironman... or write a memoir... I feel like I always have something to do next and I don't really take it easy. I don't know why my mind works the way that it does and I haven't ever spent a significant amount of time thinking about it either, I guess.

Anyways, today I spent an hour in the gym doing weights with my trainer, followed by an hour swimming laps in the pool.. an exhausting combination. My body is worn out.

until next time.....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

journeying toward health... or something..

I miss running!!!!

Sprained ankle, school, work, stress... it doesn't seem to ever end. Fortunately, I have gotten myself back in the gym and have gotten myself to move my body again. I haven't really run though. I mean, my new trainer had me run once on the treadmill for like ten minutes, but I guess that does not really count.

I thought about running today... and yesterday... but I just haven't done it. I feel like I'm scared. That doesn't make sense though. My ankle feels so much better than it did- though not 100%. I haven't had to take pain meds regularly... I can walk without much limping. I just feel generally better than I have in months. Yet, I can't bring myself to run. Maybe it's just a barrier that I need to work through, I don't know.

I'm pleased with my progress though. I've used the bike, the stair machine, the pool, and lots and lots of weight machines. My body is starting to look a little bit better and it has only been a few weeks. I guess that it doesn't always take much... just a little effort. My concern is that I may get too comfortable with my way of life and quit working out. Hopefully that doesn't end up being the case. What is important is to make health a part of my identity rather than a habit. I'm not sure how to go about doing that, but I'm trying, I guess. I've been trying to sort out my identity for a while now. Trying to figure out who I am has proven to be one of the more difficult tasks that I've set myself up for. It's just going to take a lot of time. I know that one thing that I really want is to be healthy. That's what I'm working toward. It's been a really long journey thus far, though.

Well, the goal for the next few weeks is to actually run a few miles again. I think I really need it both for my psyche and for my training. Ha. Naturally, as a perfectionist, I have a number of goals that I need to strive for.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

...when you wish upon a star...

Okay this is depressing. I haven't blogged in months. I haven't run in months. I have hardly moved in a long time. I gained weight back that I didn't anticipate gaining back. I can't believe that all of this happened.

February 10, 2011. The best day that I was having in a long time. I was so close to my race-day goal weight that I could scream. I was only... twoish weeks away from the Princess Half Marathon and SO looking forward to it. That day, I went to Disney with my best friend, Katherine. We went to see ToonTown before it closed the doors. After that, we went to EPCOT to walk around the world and see the different sights. (yes. I work for Disney. Yes I still love to visit the parks. Blame my mother.)  So, we stopped in the UK to visit our friends Pooh and Tigger. Walking out, I noticed some really drunk and belligerent people yelling about something. They sounded like they were going to have a fight. So in watching them, I failed to notice a curb quickly approaching... until I fell off it, spraining my right ankle.

That sucked. I could hardly walk for days. I went to the campus health clinic to find out that I should not strain myself for 8-10 weeks, but maybe I could jog leisurely in 3 or 4.

Then I got sick. I didn't get out of BED for a week. I missed classes. I didn't study. I hardly ate. I didn't move. All that I could think about was the pain in my ankle, the fever of 100+, and my misery. (and I watched Ellen and Oprah a lot.)

So a week later, I was starting to feel a little better... all except for my ankle. All I could think about was the half marathon. I made a decision that I got a LOT of criticism for. I was going to run the race.

If you know ANYTHING about me, you know that I am stubborn. If my mind is set, I'm doing something. If you tell me not to do something, I'll push myself HARDER to do it. If you tell me that I'm wrong, I will prove to you that I'm right. No exaggeration. I'm a pain in the ass. So all of the criticism just pissed me off further, but did nothing to change my decision. So I ran the race.

It was the same route as the half marathon that I ran at Disney in January. I started off okay, able to run. I stopped at a port-a-potty, which was a HUGE mistake. I picked the shortest line with the person who had to take the longest time period to go. I'm not kidding. By the time it was my turn, nobody who had stopped at the same time as me was still there. My mom passed me right off the bat.

I ran with Katherine, which was good. Like I said, we started off strong, at a decent pace. We stopped for just a few pictures, but, naturally, we sloed down over time. My ankle and knee were both bothering me. (I think that I strained my knee a little with the Goofy's Challenge thing two months before.) Then something happened to Katherine's foot and she could hardly even keep up with me. We ended up slightly ahead of the pacers and ended with a really terrible time.. almost embarassing.

Since then, I've slid into a kind of helplessness. I lost my running, which felt like it was most of what I had. It's been a really hard few months. My ankle still hurts an it doesn't really feel like a simple sprain that will just heal up quickly. I'm tired of being unable to run. I'm just really tired of being so helpless. It's gotten better in the past couple of weeks. I have gotten a personal trainer at the gym on campus that I use and I hope that helps. I'm hoping to be able to run again soon.. I miss distance running. I miss pushing myself. I miss having things that I KNOW I'm capable of. It's hard waiting, but I feel like a change is around the corner.

I just wish patience was my forte.

Now for a few photos-

This is the last picture before I fell off the curb. How depressing.

After the race with my mom, sister, and Katherine. With Aladdin and Jasmine.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Setting a few goals for myself.

I've been thinking about my blog a LOT lately, but I haven't been actually writing in it. I'm a little bit disappointed in myself about my lack of blogging.

I have set a few goals for this year that I had decided that I was not going to post for fear of publicizing my failure, as I did last year. Anyways, I've come to the conclusion that, by not publicizing my new goals, I am absolutely setting myself up for failure.

So here are my new years resolutions, if you want to call them that, or personal life goals:

  • 1,000 miles this year.
  • Run another full marathon.
  • Run several times a week. Push myself.
  • Get myself to a pool. I miss swimming.. and it is great exercise.
  • Update my blog regularly.
  • Stay caught up in my classes.
  • Learn good ways to manage stress.
  • Go to the gym!

I'm really apprehensive about going to the gym to work out. I have a really great facility that I can use for free at my university. However, I'm so self conscious about my weight and my work outs, that I feel like I want to trim off a few more pounds before I step foot in a gym. That sounds a little crazy when I think about it, but I did set a goal to lose 8 more pounds before I go to the gym. Hopefully that helps me gain a little more confidence.

I'm going to write my recap from the full marathon this weekend. Look forward to that!

Oh also, for accountability reasons:
Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 59.69 miles/ 33 days
To go: 940.31 miles/332 days

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (part 1- half marathon)

I feel like the last year of my life has been consumed with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. I've been thinking about it constantly, talking about it, avoiding thinking or talking about it, or generally, stressing out and worrying about it. I've been nervous, excited, proud, anticipatory... and now it's all over. I'm ready to do it all again.

I ran Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge. The majority of the people that I told about it were concerned or judgemental of my choice. In fact, I was a little concerned about it, myself. 39.3 miles is a lot to run in 2 days. My training was a little less than par, especially last semester, my first in my master's program. I was consumed with school and I ran, but my mileage was short and my pacing was weak. However, I'm not the girl that quits... anything. Ever.

Thursday and Friday

The expo was really exciting! I got my bibs, shirts, I bought some running gear- and a t-shirt to wear after the race and show off. It says "I did it. Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge." It finally started to feel real... that the weekend was right around the corner.. that my first full marathon was a few days away & that... I needed more time to train for sure. However, time was over at that point, so I had to do with what I had.

I was very excited at that point, though.. and nervous. Excitement and nerves were my strongest feelings.

.the night before.

My mom flew in Friday morning. I met her at Downtown Disney Friday afternoon. My friend, Katherine, my mom's friend, Jen, my mom, and I had dinner together and talked about the race. I decided to carb load and ate a huge portion of macaroni & cheese with a LOT of cheese (ha)- definitely not in my regular diet anymore, lol.

We went back to the hotel and tried to go to sleep early. I definitely had trouble falling asleep, but since we had to be on the bus to EPCOT, I had to put in the effort. I ended up sleeping off and on, but definitely did not get the sleep that I had wanted to get myself through the night.

.half marathon.

The alarm clock went off at 3 am. Exhausted, I was glad that I had set out my clothes and put my pins in my bib the night before. So. Glad. I got dressed as fast as I could and we went out to the bus stop. It was COLD... and early. We watched a few full busses go by before one stopped and picked us up. However, waiting ended up being worth it, because, instead of riding a Disney bus, we rode a charter bus to EPCOT.. and ended up with soft, comfortable seats. The traffic was ridiculous. I was, and still am, very thankful that Jen let us stay at her hotel room for the weekend. Driving would have been insane.

We got to EPCOT and started toward our corrals. I said bye to Kath, as she didn't run, but was spectating both races. (She made a cool sign and lots of strangers took pictures of it!!!) Jen, my mom, and I hiked something close to a half mile (I'd guess) to the starting corrals. It was ridiculous. I didn't realize how long a walk that it was going to be. When we got to the corrals, the three of us split up. I went to mine and tried to get as close to the front of it as possible, as I had already heard that some people walk the majority of the race and take up a significant part of the road. I didn't want to get held back.

It was pretty chilly outside. Granted, it was a(n earrrrly) Saturday morning in January, so I should have expected for it to be cold.

Disney always starts things off right, so the send off was incredible. Each corral got their own countdown and fireworks, which was awesome... Also, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy were at the start line sending people off, so, naturally, I stopped at the beginning for a photo op with the four of them in it.

The first mile of ANY run, whether a training run, a short run, or a race, is always the most difficult for me, so I always push myself as hard as I can for the first mile. However, the Disney World half marathon was pretty awesome in the entertainment field. From bands, to cheering sections, to awesome mileage signs, everything was really neat to see.

Knowing that I was doing Goofy's Challenge, I had no intention of getting a PR. In fact, I did not have any goal time set in my mind at all. I took my camera with me and just wanted to have fun. I stopped for almost every photo opportunity that I came by. I had a ton of fun stopping to see the sights, enjoying the characters, and just running with happy Disney fans. I talked to a lot of really neat people along the way.

At mile 10, I stopped for a photo opportunity with Tigger and Eeyore and... all of a sudden, I saw my mom running up. She had not stopped for pictures, as she had set a finishing goal and wanted to hit it. However, we decided to run the last three miles together and finish together. Beforehand, we had joked about how we would each be watching the other finish the race.. so we both ended up compromising and finishing as a team.

My favorite part of the half marathon was running down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. A lot of people were really excited to run through the castle, and I was too, but there was nothing quite like running onto Main Street and seeing ALL of the people cheering for the runners. I knew Kath would be there and found her talking to another spectator... she wasn't even paying attention and would not have noticed that I was there had I not stopped!! haha. As with every other race that I have run, the best part of the race is the spectators and the people cheering. It was the same way with this race... and the most abundant number of spectators were on Main Street. It was incredible.

Here are some pictures from the half:

I'm going to update about the full marathon later. I decided to split it up so it would be a little bit easier to write. :)