Tag Archives: goals

taking care of me



August has already been quite the eventful month. I decided to look into a part time job. If you are counting, this makes 3 outside of the house jobs.

  • teaching
  • cleaning, tourist changeovers
  • server, Applebee’s

And don’t forget:

  • mom to human child
  • mom to furbabies
  • wife
  • band booster secretary
  • band mom
  • and I am sure I am missing some…

I have set out to start taking better care of Jen, (no, I will not be speaking any further in the 3rd person….it s just plain weird)

I have walked every day since July 7th. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I did not set out to walk every day for 30+ days. But once I hit day 16 or so, I felt like I could do anything!! And, I figured I could set a goal of continuing the streak until I started back in school September 2nd. At first I kept this goal a secret. I didn’t want to jinx myself. I kept going. Adding one day at a time.

To make this goal a reality, I am having to change the way I speak to myself and out loud. I talk about wanting to get my walk in and not how I “need” to walk. I want to continue my walking streak and as long as I think about it as something I want to do then I will keep on keepin’ on. Some days are hard, not gonna lie. I tell myself to just start moving. I can walk one mile no matter what!!

Two weeks ago, my Q and I started the PiYo program. We set out with the intentions to follow the program exactly the way it is written out on the calendar which was provided. Week one we rocked. Week two took a few twists. Taking on a new job where I am on my feet the whole time changed my thoughts on working out just a bit. I want to do every piyo workout. More importantly, I want to do every piyo workout without injury. That means I must listen to my body and not that tiny voice of guilt from not doing it. Last week, I took one rest day and then doubled up the next day and that was great!! The day I doubled up, I felt strong and ready to tackle it all. The day before when I chose a rest, I was tired and my legs felt tired and heavy.

And then there was Sunday. On Sundays I clean in the mornings but this Sunday, I also was scheduled for a training shift at AppleBee’s (AB) from 5-10pm. Did I mention this was all the night before Q started band camp?!? In between cleaning and showering for AB, I walked one mile in my bedroom. I took that walk low and slow…I use my Leslie Sansone videos but to keep it low, I don’t use the normal intensity. I keep the kicks and knees lower. I wanted to walk to keep my streak alive but I knew I would be on my feet for 5 hours. Keeping it low allowed me to walk and to stretch my legs a bit.

I am learning I can walk every day. I can do the PiYo workouts. I can work a physical job. I can do it all. I think walking every day has been good for me. I am successful in  this goal and I am starting to feel my legs responding. PiYo is hard for me but I modify and I do my best and I cannot wait to see what 8 weeks of this looks and feels like. I am looking forward to the physical changes, I am already noticing the mental benefits of both of my fitness endeavors.

I have walked late at night to get it in. I walked last night at 9:30. It is a wonderful benefit of walk at home workouts….I don’t have to worry about heat, humidity, rain, bugs, dark, etc. Even on the days I have walked late, I have felt like such a rockstar for getting in my walk. I feel like I am doing this great thing for my body. I am now realizing, it is not just my body that is happy for my daily walks!!

My new fitness endeavors are new ways to take care of me!




I like pi….yo


I splurged a bit and bought myself a new workout program.

PiYo.  (click on the word for more information) Pilates, Yoga intensified but still low impact. Watch this video for a quick visual on what is PiYo.

My facebook feed is filled with BeachBody coaches and I have been seeing PiYo craziness for a couple of months. I watched videos, and read status updates of wow. I finally jumped on the bandwagon. One of my bloggy/twitter/facebook friends is a beachbody coach and since I have known her the longest, I asked her like a million questions. Nanci made me feel very comfortable about giving this program a try.

I ordered the program and tried to put it out my head until it arrived.

And then it arrived. And I saw the calendar. There are 3 DVDs with (I think) 8 different workouts. They provide you with an 8-week schedule. Six days a week. I must admit, I was a bit intimidated looking at 8 weeks all scheduled out on a calendar.

I showed my Q the trailer video on youtube and the calendar. She decided to workout and do this program with me. For real, she even cleaned her room to make enough space for us to PiYo. AND, we finished week 1, started week 2 and her room is still clean-ish.

IMG_20140729_155946 IMG_20140728_211139_719

Do you have any idea what an absolute humbling experience it is to workout with a fifteen year old?!?

My Q is a typical teenager. She spends way too much time on her bed watching, facebooking, or reading. More often than not, she is reading and this mama who also happens to be an English teacher almost never interrupts her family when they are reading. Q, however, takes after her mama and devours books. She hates to put the book (or iPad) down until she is done.

I am out of shape and getting back to my groove. I struggle through the workouts. And yes, they are around 20-40 minutes and I die. I sweat. I huff, I puff. I curse Chalene Johnson with her perkiness and perfect blond hair. Q just rolls through and she hardly sweats. The day after our workouts, I am tired and Q not so much.


I made a hashtag #meandmyQ – even when she frustrates me with her lack of sweat, I absolutely love working out with her. I am so brutally honest when we workout. “This sucks” “ooh, I like this one” “B***ch” “This lady is crazy” “She wants me to do what” “My belly gets in the way, I have to adjust this pose”  I have worked out without a shirt on, just in a sports bra. I fall over because my balance sort of totally sucks.

Yet, I keep pushing on. I have given up and walked away from too many “hard” things but I have also pushed through serious “hard” things. PiYo is hard but fun. Every time I do a workout, I am surprised when we get to the last five minutes. It sneaks up on me. So far, that last five minutes has caught me off guard every single time.

Working out with Q is pretty awesome. We have a calendar to know what to do on what day, but more than that we have to be accountable to each other. I can’t bluff her with excuses. And even when I am so not in the mood for working out or my joints are achy and I just want to be lazy, I don’t want to give my Q any of those excuses.

Who knew this was all going to happen when I decided to try something new?!?

February walking with Jost


This post should have been written and posted last week but I was in a car accident last week and that threw a big monkey wrench into my plans.  {This post is NOT about my car accident or anything that happened after …that is its own blog post} This post is about my monthly walking goals and my JostRunning commitment.



I started out February with the goal of walking the equivalent of all four races for a total of 48.6 miles. February’s weather was crazy and we wound up with a lot more snow here than we have had for a bunch of years. The smallest bit of snow shuts down everything around here. Added to that, February brought a few opportunities to earn some extra money by teaching a student at his house a few days a week. I jumped on the chance to make extra money.

I did not budget my time very wisely and I realized I was not getting enough miles in each day/week. By the middle of the second week in February I realized I was not going to meet my mileage goal. In the past, this would have caused a complete shutdown and I wouldn’t even try to get more miles. This time I did it differently. When I realized I wasn’t going to hit my goal, I stepped back and evaluated what I could do. I decided I could walk the equivalent of one 5K, one 10K, and one half marathon.

22.4 miles

I walked inside and outside. Yep, I managed to get two lovely walks outside in February.

JostRunning has given me an incredible opportunity. Blogging for JR has helped me get back into a rhythm with exercise. This experience with Jost has revived my love for walking as exercise, walking as meditation and walking as therapy. I am looking forward to warmer months so I can take my walks outside more often, not that I don’t love my indoor walking.

The last 3 months with Jost have been AMAZING!! I am back to walking with more regularity than I have in the past year. I have a few kinks to work out since I was in a car accident but at least I found my walking mojo before that happened!

It’s March and I think I am blogging one final month for Jost. They have a new website…go check it out at JostRunning. Anywho, I will use this month to focus on making sure my mind and body are right after the accident. I will keep you posted!!





disclaimer: JostRunning has  waived registration fees and provided me with free medals in exchange for a blog of my experiences. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are all mine. 

march goaling





I have a love/hate relationship with goals. I set them and then seem to sabotage myself. I don’t set goals saying I will wing it….and I sabotage myself. Last night I sat in my chair with a blank notepad and a sharpie pen. I wrote down what I want to do with this month. I want to walk more, yoga more, strength train more, blog more. I want less stress and less harshness….mostly the stress and harshness I bring on myself. I want less of the ALL or Nothing that I am usually so good with doing.

Last night I sat with my notepad and my pen and wrote out the thing I want to accomplish this month. And since yesterday was a snow day and the weekend was a bust, I am stating my moth for goal setting purposes starts March 4th and ends March 30th. This is a total of 28 days.

In these 28 days, I want and will do:

  • daily yoga pose – I have chosen a super easy pose but one that will allow me to sit in the pose and do some daily soul-searching or meditation. I have chosen Reclined Bound Angle pose and I will do this every day, either first thing in the morning or before bed on days I don’t do any other yoga practice. Oh yeah, there will probably be no pictures of this…it isn’t about seeding a difference after 28 days, it IS about feeling a difference.
  • sign up for and attend YIN yoga every week. As a birthday gift from my homegirls, Heather and Deb, I am signing up for an 8-week YIN yoga class
  • Attend ONE free yoga class at the Hindu temple
  • #walkathome for a total of 25 miles
  • walk outside (or on treadmill if weather sucks) for a total of 21+ miles (or 3 5Ks, and one 10K)
  • Get Stronger – I recently purchased a book called “100 No-Equipment Workouts” and you guessed it, there are 100 different workouts. To get stronger, I will do a minimum of 12 NEWs (No-Equipment Workouts)
  • Food Journal – no calorie counting, no guilt, just a log of what I am eating. It is time to seriously find out how my belly reacts to foods and to also figure out what is going on with my itchies and my gremlin.
  • 10K Steps per day. I am human and while I want to get to 10K every day, life does happen. These goals are not about perfection. These goals are about progress so I am aiming for 21/28 days with 10K steps.
  • Enbrace #wycwyc – let go of guilt and let go of perfection. Add in movement where and when I can. Bring down my kettlebell. Add in pushups, squats, pullups, planks, bridges, KB swings whenever possible. I want to make #wycwyc a habit…a random habit, but a habit nonetheless.
  • Blog ~ I think 8 blog posts in 28 days is a reasonable goal.
  • Do one active activity each weekend day. This active activity does not need to be exercise for exercise sake (but that would count) but activity for the sake of getting off my ass and doing something, anything!
  • Practice my new ukulele. My daughter gifted me a ukulele for my birthday and I want to learn to play the dern thing.
  • LOOP GOAL – I wear my loop every day but I don’t hit goal nearly enough. I am aiming for 14/28 days at GOAL.
  • Each of the above bullets correspond with a point earned towards my big Rummy points goal.

So there are some goals for the next 28 days. I need to get off my tushy, stop typing and go get moving! It’s time for some walking!!

let’s talk about food.


Big Man is making dinner tonight.

This is indeed a rare treat!!

I have pretty much taken over the reigns in the kitchen…would you believe when we first met, Big Man did all the cooking and I burnt water. Now, I love putting together meals and menu plans. I love food more than possible. I learned how to cook by watching Paula Deen and Emeril on foodnetwork. And, I got good at it!

I have tried all sorts of food styles and types (usually to go along with whatever “diet” I was trying at the time. Over the last 5 years, I have tried Weight Watchers, blindly cutting calories, nothing but hoping the weight would come off, Visalus, and a gaggle of other diets. With each one, I had initial success but nothing lasted.  I tried to fit in my favorite food, or modify them to be lower calorie, or only have them once in a while. None of that worked.

I recently read an amazing book, It Starts With Food (ISWF) and my mind has been opened! I have a formal book review coming tomorrow night but tonight I want to talk about food and a little bit about my Whole30 experience.

Today is Day 22 of my first Whole30 Challenge. I chose to do the Whole30 after reading ISWF, and as cliche as it is, I started my Whole 30 on January 1st!

Initial worries:

  • coffee with NO cream or creamer or splenda
  • was I going to be hungry?
  • was food going to be boring?
  • was I going to be hungry?
  • where’s my coffee?!?!
  • what am I going to eat?!?
  • how is this going to work with family meals (we make it a point to eat dinner at the table together every  night while we can. I know as Q gets older we will not always have this time)
  • really, only 3 meals?!
  • can I do this!?

I have logged everything I have eaten since January 1st. I am using myfitnesspal…my username is mendingjen if you use MFP too! When I am finished the whole30 and I have a bit of time, I may write up a day-by-day food diary for the blog but for now, check out MFP. If we are friends you can see my food logs.

Feast your eyes on this instead!


What I have learned so far:

  • I have not felt deprived.
  • I have enjoyed the food I have been eating. Its pretty and delicious!!
  • I have increased my veggie intake by at least double.
  • I am not snacking, but I have had the occasional snack (when I determined I was truly hungry)
  • I have made huge progress in eating what my body needs not what it thinks I want.
  • I do 1000% better with sweets when I just don’t have any to begin with (insert pasta or bread in place of sweets and it works the same)
  • I can drink black coffee but not every coffee. I like black tea.
  • I like peppers and mushrooms.
  • I can see myself eating like this (not as strict) for the long haul.
  • I miss cream in my coffee. I think I can do without the splenda but I miss cream coffee.
  • I like cashews, especially when paired with a banana.
  • I can sit at the same table while my husband and daughter eat pizza, and eat meat and veggies.


I have one full week after tonight. And I am ready for it!!


Does whole30 scare you? Have you conquered the whole30? What is your favorite veggie dish?

goals, music, and food (Updated)


August Goals.

  1. Blog every day for Janice’s challenge
  2. Yoga every day 21 days of yoga. {After I fell asleep on the couch after posting, I realized every day may be too much. So, I updated this goal. EVERY day is more of a challenge than I want right now. My goals are to be gentle and accepting – not strict and unreachable}
  3. 30 minute walk, minimum 21 walks (inside or outside)
  4. 21 other workouts – I have a pinterest board full of workout ideas and I have a ugifit and access to kettlebells and I have dvds.
  5. track – my food, my activity and how my belly feels (I am terrible at tracking but doc wants to see if we can pinpoint what might be causing my bellyaches PLUS, I am a Weight Watchers member so I should use the tools. )

Just decided to reward myself. Not sure what the reward will be…something cheap…maybe something yoga related or new headbands.

Click the pic above for info about Janice’s challenge,

Day 1: Your 5 favourite workout songs and why?

This is sort of a hard one for me for a variety of reasons. I have very eclectic taste and some days I feel like No Doubt, some days its Snoop Dogg (who is now Snoop Lion), some days its Pink and some days its The Band or some days its Iron Maiden or Green Day or…or…or.

And usually when I work out, I just pick whatever album I am feeling. Or I just listen to the radio. Music becomes background noise and if I am really into my workout – I don’t even “hear” the music. Sadly, it has been a long while since I worked out worked out. And my current workouts of choice, as I fight and claw my way back to a regular fitness routine, are walking and yoga.  Walking is usually with the dog or husband so I don’t listen to much music, and I just decided to give audiobooks a test drive. I will have to keep you posted about my entrance into the world of audiobooks.

Ok and on to the food portion of this blog post:

I love foodie pen pal.

What is better than food in the mail?!?

Wait, don’t answer that question…unless your mind is in the gutter, like mine.

My new friend, Stephanie, who doesn’t blog, sent me a fan-freaking-tastic box of goodies. Wisconsin-Local goodies. I never knew Wisconsin had maple syrup. I haven’t had much of a chance to dig in to this box but I am looking forward to it!! Husband is too! He can’t wait for pancakes!!

#WW, week 14: keep moving forward



I know the scale is not a true measure of my success but seriously, WTF?!?! Can that stupid thing ever cooperate. I would be totally content in any downward movement of the scale. Even a little ittybitty -0.2 would be better than a gain.

gain, loss, gain, loss, loss, gain, gain, gain, loss

14 weeks and I am only down about 5 pounds.  I know, I know, a loss is a loss and at least I am down something. I am making progress in some areas and just because the scale is not very cooperative does not mean I have not been very successful.

In the past 14 weeks, I changed in many positive ways. I have worked on and have been improving my health, physically and mentally.  I joined a freaking gym and I have started a new workout plan and I am loving it.  Lifting weights has helped me not miss running. Hell, let’s be honest, moving my body without running has made me realize, I don’t really miss running at all.  While not perfect, I am learning how to fuel my body. I am eating better, I am not perfect at this but I am making progress. I am eating less sweets and junky foods. And, I am sleeping so much better.

I have lost a few inches across my belly button and boobs.

But the scale has been stubbornly uncooperative.

I am moving on.

I will keep plugging along.

The scale is bound to catch up.

I am going to continue logging my calories on MFP but I will be better about logging my points on WW.  I will continue to make better food choices and hopefully, less of the bad choices. I will continue to workout.

I will focus more on my May goals. I have been slacking with the stretching – sort of half-assing it but I know I need to be better at it. My body will thank me and I am sure those few minutes can be meditative if I let it be.