Monthly Archives: January 2014

enjoying snow days

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Another Wednesday Snow Day! School was canceled because of snow the past two Wednesdays.  In South Jersey, especially my neck of the woods beach, snow rarely effects us. We get cold and rainy weather but not so much of the snow. This year had been a bit different.  Now, the snow doesn’t usually last too long because it usually warms up and is gone in a day or two. Last week, was the first time I wanted to go and play in the snow. Unfortunately, we did not get a lot of snow.  Enough to make a mess and cancel school, but we got maybe two inches.  I decided to go for a walk outside. I needed vacuum bags and the vacuum store is not that far from my house.  I bundled up and headed out.

My walk lovely. COLD but bearable because of my layers. The snow makes everything look so pretty! My walk was just a tad over one mile round trip and even though it was cold and there was snow and ice to trudge through, I enjoyed myself. I need to walk for some of my local errands more often. I usually bundle my errands so I can leave work and make a few stops on my way home but after my snowy walk, I need to rethink how I run my errands.

SNOW DAY VICTORY! 

I am in love with my Polar Loop! Having my Loop on my wrist is very motivational. I love seeing my activity bar fill up. I love racking up more and more steps. I get downright giddy when I hit GOAL!!

GOAL on a snow day (actually two snow days) is a HUGE VICTORY!!

How did I hit GOAL on my snow days??

Shoveling snow, cleaning snow off the vehicles, walking outside, walking inside with my Leslie Sansone videos and yoga.

AND…

PUPPY POWER!!!

Miss Lucy LOVES the snow!! Lucy can never find her tennis ball in the snow. She really is the worst retriever. She loses her tennis balls all the time and needs mom or dad to find them. When it is snowy we switch over to the football which Lucy plows through the snow.  I love the picture above because it shows her ears flapping. Lucy is the cutest ans sweetest dog and I think this picture captures her spirit!’

After outside snow play, outside snow walking, and  inside walking, it was time to relax!! I always have a blanket on my chair. Yesterday, I curled up with my blanket and a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. I am currently about 1/3 of the way through Dance with Dragons (the latest Game of Thrones book) and snow days provide the perfect opportunity to delve into fantasy worlds!!

I had company while I read this week!

Do you enjoy snow days? Or have you been living with too much snow and you’re ready for Spring?

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I will walk 500 miles

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Go ahead and sing it with me. But I will walk 500 miles And I will walk 500 more… Ha. Now try getting that out of your head. image I have never set a mileage goal. Even when I was training for half marathons. Even when I jumped the gun and foolishly said I was ready to train for a marathon. I began consistently walking again after I answered the call for bloggers by JostRunning. What a push they gave me!! In December I began walking on any day I felt well enough to walk. Most of walks were in my living room following along with Leslie Sansone and her Walk at Home videos. December can be cold and I’ve been sick, staying inside has been smart. It was during this time, I rediscovered my love of walking and Walk at Home videos. Way back when my Q was a wee little babe, I discovered a Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds VHS tape at a yard sale. YEP, a VHS tape and I needed to use a VCR. When I first saw the Leslie videos, I thought it was going to be hokey.  I mean come on, walking inside, how is that even possible?!? I was instantly surprised! It was kinda hokey but it was fun and I worked up a sweat! I had a nasty break up with my ex and I forgot all about Leslie Sansone until a few years later when I started back in college. I went back to my videos but never found the time, energy or combination of the two, during my college years. I guess having a baby, a full time job and a full load of classes, left little time for exercise. Fast forward to now. My Q is 14, no longer a baby. I am the teacher, no longer the student. But I am back to walking and following along with Leslie. My “Leslie walks” as I like to call them. This year I am making walking a priority. I like walking, inside and outside, and walking has so many physical and mental benefits. My mind and body will thank me for making walking a priority. My goal for the year is challenging and doable. I will walk 500 miles this year! I am already off to a great start. After a rocky start (still was fighting that funky sickness), I have managed to log 33.3 miles so far this month. I am aiming for 18 more to round at the month. I committed to walking the equivalent of a 5K and a 10K and a half marathon and a full marathon or 48.6 miles. This number gives me a great experience with/for JostRunning and puts a great dent into my yearly goal! I may not have set huge new year’s resolutions but I certainly have a great goal for my physical and mental well-being! Anyone else walking lots of  miles this year!

The secret sauce (aka my new plan)

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Earlier this month, I reached out to a friend. You see, my friend Josie, aka YumYucky is absolutely amazing for so many reasons, including have stomachs, greedy children, and is an at-home workout killer. Those at-home workouts Josie kills is why I reached out. I knew I was still sick when I reached out but I also knew after being sick with coughing, sneezing, wheezing and everything in between for 6ish weeks would leave my lungs trashed. I also knew/know I’m completely out of shape. I can thank my lack of movement in the last year and the year of my surgery and recovery. I went to Josie and asked her how she started and if she’d help me come up with a plan.
I am one lucky lady. Josie agreed quickly and came back to me with a “beta” test for a “game” and a side dose of accountability. The game is basically an individual game of earning points. Think weight watchers points without the food or subtraction. I get to decide how I earn points and how many points I’m looking to collect. I can decide on weekly points or daily and I can set and change the criteria for earning points when I see fit.

This week (and last) I could earn the following points:

  • yoga = 1 point
  • walking = 1 point
  • Eats = 1 point {right now, my only food concern is eating according to my doctor – so no berries, no tomatoes, no shellfish, and no peanuts}
  • water, 64oz = 1 point
  • Bed by 11pm (school days) = 1 point

Bonus points:

  • GOAL on my Loop = 1 point
  • Posting a Selfie = 1 point
  • Listening to my body (taking aday off from walking or taking a nap because my body needs it more) = 1 point

What the heck do these points mean?!?!

Well, to be honest. Nothing. Unless you are me! I like earning points! It is motivational to me. Josie checks in with me every few days or I just randomly Facebook message her with my points from the day before. Its a silly little game but it is helping me stay focused on building healthy habits and making ME my best and happiest self.

I have decided to play my game like Rummy 500. I will rack up my points until I hit 5600. At 500 I will reward myself with something small. I am not good at rewarding myself. This is mainly because my budget it super tight. And with it being winter, my husband is not working at all.  (My budget issues/stress/guilt needs to be another post).

So for my first reward, I have decided when I get to 500 points earned I am going to treat myself to a pedicure.

I have been earning points for a little over a week and I LOVE it!! What do you think of my Josie’s game??

My Take…..#HWW (Healthy Weight Week)

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A few days ago on Facebook I came across the picture posted above.

I have dieted before and I suck at it. I probably started dieting before I was ten years old. You see, my mom was always on a diet when I was a kid. Always. And she always threw herself head first into these diets. If pineapple was the latest and greatest in diet trends, my mom put pineapple in everything. Looking back, I realize my mom was hungry and that is why she snapped easily and spoke in harsh tones degrading words.
Often fat and stupid were said to me at the same time. I thought there was something wrong with me. I also thought I was fat and stupid. I’ve since learned that my mom was a very young, single mom and she was always dieting therefore always hungry. I have learned I’m not a nice person when I’m hungry. I’m not letting my mom off the hook but I am 35 (almost 36) years old and I’m not going to continue to blame my mommy. My daughter’s grandmother is so not the same woman that raised me. They may look alike but the grandmother version has cooled her tongue.
Growing up u never thought I was good enough. I always thought I was fat and there was something wrong with me. I wish I could go back and tell me teenage self how awesome I am. I can’t do that but there are things I can do.
I canstop dieting. Actually, I pretty much have stopped dieting. I still need to work on the diet mentality but I’ve made some progress here. I have been on a food elimination for 20 days but for the first time ever this elimination is all about healing my (itchy) body not losing weight.
I can stop hating on my body. So what if I have gained back almost 60 pounds. After I hurt my knee and subsequently needed surgery on my knee and ankle, I lost all my confidence. I let fear and insecurity creep into my head and heart. Not only have I hated on my fat but my injuries. I realize I have been hating on my body for failing me when I should have been at my strongest. I was one week out from my second half marathon and my knee injury sidelined me. I don’t think I’ve fully gotten over it. I am sure that is why it was so important to set a goal of a marathon and just as easy to dismiss that goal when training was too hard.
I want my body to work. When I diet, I am especially hard on my body. I am especially hard on my (perceived) failures and flaws. When I diet, all I see are the negatives. When I diet I lose weight but I gain it all back. When I diet I am so focused on the number on the scale, I am not what I would consider healthy. Not dieting and eating crap is not healthy either and I’m realizing I have been doing that partly as a form of punishment to my broken body parts.
I try really hard to not call myself or my body parts fat. I don’t want my Q to think like I think. I want her to see beauty in every body. Hell, I see beauty in every body but I have a hard time seeing it me. I worry all the time my insecurities could rub off on Q.
Today I was given a gift. Proof that I’m doing OK by my beautiful, smart, sassy, smart daughter (remind me of this next week when she rolls her eyes and is driving me crazy) liked a picture on Facebook.
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She liked this picture. I think she gets it. Did I mention she’s smart?!? Don’t tell her but I am always learning from her.
No more dieting or body hating for me. I am awesome. The only improvement I need is to fix whatever is causing me to itch. And that gremlin I have living in my belly.
I want to feel better. And I want to live a long life. A long, healthy, active life. I want to be like Betty White or my next door neighbor…. 90-something and still moving and grooving. I want to move and groove into my nineties. I want to harass love on my kid and her kids (in about 15-20 years) and their kids.

I don’t know how to measure all that awesomeness on a scale. Do you?
I don’t think I want too much out of life. I do need to be healthier and more active with more consistency but I don’t need to let that turn into a battle with the scale. I hate how dieting makes me feel. So I’m not going to do it.

I have a plan. But that is a post for another day. Stay tuned. I will post about this plan in a day or two.

I miss raspberries!

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Berry LOVE!

I love raspberries!!

But I am currently on a doctor ordered 30-day elimination of my beloved berries, and tomatoes, and shellfish, and peanuts/peanut butter.

I have been itchy for a long time. I blew off the itchies as one thing or another, dry skin from change of weather and what not. I did not realize how long I had been itchy until I started talking to the doctor. Its been months and months and months. Maybe more than a year.

The itching came to a head right before New Year’s Eve when I broke out in hives all on my neck and in my scalp. I went to the doctor and he took one look at me and said I was allergic to something. He asked a few questions and we weeded out an external allergy. I haven’t changed my laundry soap; I have been a loyal Tide user forever. Tide is the only brand I use since Q and AJ have sensitive skin and if I use anything but Tide they breakout! I haven’t changed my body soap or shampoo or conditioner or anything!! Doc said it was more than likely a food allergy.

A FOOD ALLERGY?!?!

I thought my doctor must be CRAZY! I had never had any food allergy. Actually, I have never had any allergy other than seasonal allergies and mold. I think those are the normal allergies.

Today is Day #14 of this elimination. It hasn’t been all that difficult but I do miss berries a lot!

I am doing my best not to Dr. Google food allergies and itching because I am sure I could freak, or gross, myself out. Or scare myself. Have you ever googled a medical condition?!? So totally not a good idea!

Day #14 and I am still itchy. I have been taking the meds ordered and doing the elimination but I am still itchy.

Normally, this lack of seeing any results would make me stop the elimination. Screw it, right?!? It’s not working so why continue?!?  I really want to know what is going on with me so I am staying the course. If after 30 days, I still am itchy, I will call the doc and see what the next course of action is for me. But, I am hoping to not be itchy still in another 16 days. If I am not itching, I get to add back one eliminated item at a time.

In the meantime I can just oogle picturesof raspberries!

I really do miss them!

Do you have food allergies? How old were you when it was discovered? How do you handle your food allergy?

The lessons in a cold

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I’m scared to even think I might be on the road to recovery. I have been sick forever. Alright, not literally forever but its been mostly since Thanksgiving.
The night before Thanksgiving I was a tad sneezy but I completely blew that off and rocked the night away at an Elton John concert. The holiday weekend was a blur of activity, including the hugely important event of the Q-ster’s first day of work. At some point during this weekend I remember feeling rundown. I knew a cold was coming on but I was being stubborn. I was not getting sick.
Sniffles to a full blown cold to upper respiratory infection to a hivey breakout to head cold to upper respiratory infection.
That was the basic rundown of my sickness since Thanksgiving. I had to stop and write it out to believe myself how long I’ve been sick. This post is not to complain and whine about being sick. Well, not really. I was in a bit of denial about how long I’d been sick or just how sick. It seems to be easier to see it now that I am starting to come out of it.
Being sick sucks!!
But I learned a few things….

I ❤ naps!
I was stubborn and I didn’t rest enough when I first noticed I was rundown. But I’ve learned my lesson on rest. I’ve been wearing my Loop, which monitors my sleep along with tracking my steps, calories and activity. I plug my Loop bracelet into my computer and it uploads my info into an online program. Today I went peeking at my sleep numbers.
WHOA!!
I’ve been in the 1-4 hour range almost every day in the last 4 weeks. NOT even close to enough sleep to heal a sick body. Since I’ve been sick, I really like knowing how much or little sleep I am actually getting each night. I never thought about the amount of sleep I actually get. I only focused on getting to bed by 11 on school nights so when the alarm rings at 6:15 I can bounce out of bed. Or so the theory goes. HA!
I missed a few day of school but went back on Wednesday. On Wednesday I walked into my house after school and made a beeline to my bed. I napped for over and hour and a half. I love naps!! I will continue to nap and catch up on all the missed sleep.
There is only one goal!!!
On new year’s eve eve I broke out in hives. This was the second time in two months I was all broken out and itchy on my neck. The last time I got so fed up, I chopped off 16 inches of hair. It was drastic but itching was only part of the reason my hair went and that’s another story and probably not very blog worthy. Anyway, I broke out in hives and went to see my doctor. Talking with him made me realize I had been itchy for longer than I could remember and at times and in places it had been really bad. Doc is convinced its a food allergy. I am now 9 days into a doctor ordered 30-day elimination of tomatoes, berries, peanuts, and shellfish. Doc also prescribed an antihistamine, an acid reducer, and a steroid. Fun.
The day after I started all the meds, I woke up with a head full of snot. Sorry for the image but that’s what it felt like. I suffered for a few days before I got more meds from doc. And I stayed home from school for two days. When I went back, I napped after school.
After six-ish weeks of sickness my lungs are trashed. My already out of shape body feels even weaker and more out of shape.
My one and only goal….to heal my body.
Healing my body will be a slow process. Six weeks of chest and head colds have left my lungs pretty trashed. I still have a cough and a wheeze and walking up the stairs at school is enough to take my breath away. I have some allergy that makes me itchy all over with occasional breakouts in hives. I still have my stomach gremlin causing me pains and issues. I still have a knee and ankle that need attention, even two years after surgery.Those are three rather big “problems” that need to be addressed. I need to pay attention to my body, listen to it and do right by it. I will add in slow movement when and how I can. Yesterday was a very active day. According to my Loop, I hit 10k steps and my activity goal. I didn’t even “exercise” yesterday. I woke up and felt good so I started the day with a round of sun salutation and meditation. At school, I feel good enough to walk around during all my classes. Those little things added up and just before bed I was super close to hitting goal on my Loop. I marched around my house and did a few squats to get to goal.
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The lessons I’ve learned being sick….
1. Rest is a wonderful splendor. Naps are not for children and I over much need them! Sleep will help the healing process.
2. Listening to my body. My body know exactly what it needs (slow movements, nutritious foods, kindness and love) and my only job, my only goal, is to give my body what it wants and needs.
3. I’m embracing #wycwyc and #rethinkyourday because those little movements and small changes add up to healthy habits.

I hope all my friends have fared better this winter than I have.
Xo

14.42

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In early December I answered a call for bloggers from the wonderful ladies at JostRunning (I will call them JR or Jost from here out). The Jost ladies were looking for bloggers to run or walk and promote their virtual races. I applied in a whim, as you know I haven’t been my most active. This seemed like a great opportunity to get myself moving again.
If you areas my last blog post, you know December was rough for me. I had a chest cold for weeks. As chest cold was winding down, I got hives and a head cold. Oh yeah, I start the new year feeling like death.
But, back up a bit. December 17th o received my race number and on the19th I started walking. At home, in my living room with a Leslie Sansone gentle walk DVD. I went outside also, but I was slow and steady. Still sick but still walking. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fast but I logged some miles in the last weeks of December.
Thru fitfluential I met a new friend who lives only one town over. We met for a walk in the woods and logged 3.28 miles in one session. Walking and talking are two of my favorite activities and its even better when I can combine the two! Plus, meeting a new friend makes for an even better walk! Thanks Angela!!

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I’d like to say I knocked it out of the park. I did not. I set out to walk 22.4 miles to complete my December Jost goal. I only completed 14.42 miles. I’m calling this a win. I walked 14.42 miles than I did the months before. To be honest, the last time I logged any real miles it was October.

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Just check out this race bling. Beautiful. Ribbons with the dates. and a handwritten note sent with each medal. Classy and awesome.

JostRunning has given me something more than just a chance to blog about virtual races they have given me a chance to come back to walking. Maybe one day I will run again but for now, I have my walking and I have virtual races and I have a new goal.
walking
Walking is a fantastic exercise. Way back before I had knee and ankle surgery and before I was training for half marathons, I was a walker. I walked everywhere in my Birkenstocks because they were the only shoe that didn’t hurt my feet. I also walked at home using Leslie Sansone dvds. I loved it. I could walk in my little room I shared with Q in my grandparents’ house. Obviously this was before I met Big Man. I may have gotten busy with life and new and flashier exercises but I’m back to what was good to me. Good for me.
Virtual Racing
I’ve done two virtual races before but neither were quite like JostRunning. Most virtual races are random….for a quick fundraiser or holiday. Jost has races every month. In December there were 5 races to choose from. In January there are different options for each week.

I’m still working on consistency so I am going to ad up all the races and get a total number of 48.6 miles for the month. I’m ready to earn some medals.
New Goal
Because of the walking I did the last part of December, I decided to set a yearly walking goal. 500 miles in 2014. This is a pretty big goal for me but I really think its doable, challenging yet doable.

Its January and I’m ready to set to my January walking goals with Jost. Will you join me?!?

disclaimer: JostRunning has asked me to blog about my experiences participating in their virtual races. I will always blog my thoughts and exactly what happens….as can be seen by 14.42 miles as opposed to 22.4. I will always be honest and all opinions are totally mine.