how did you do it? and other questions I can’t answer right now

For awhile I will try to keep my posts to about just training and fitness. It’s something I don’t mind talking about – and if I get a chance to sit down and talk to someone about how to improve overall health and wellness and fitness, then I’m super happy to do so. But talking specifically about how I did it is not my favorite topic because I am still uncomfortable talking about myself with someone face-to-face about it all. But I’ll write an email or blog post about it if you ask lol.

I get asked a lot – especially from people who have not seen me for awhile – how I lost weight and got fit. Depending on my mood that day, I will either just say that I worked out a lot, worked with a trainer for a few months, and changed the way I ate or I will take time to explain with details about the (obsessive) running and strength training and learning how to do things properly from a trainer before jumping into it all head first like I normally do. And sometimes I just say, “I busted my ass obsessively” and leave it at that.

My point here is that it’s hard for me to talk about it because I always get self-conscious and a little embarrassed when people ask me about it. In fact, it took me a long time to not say “oh, it’s all because of my trainer” when someone asked about it or told me I looked good/nice/healthy/fit instead of just saying “thank you” and not make an excuse of why it wasn’t me who did the work. And once I hit the 100lb mark, I really cut back on the working out and training because of a lot of emotional and mental health problems and also because I did that in 8 and a half months – and yes, you’re right: that’s batshit crazy unhealthy.

But now I know how to do it right. I’ve spent the last 3 months researching the hell out of it – it is what I do best after all – and learning, learning, learning. I have taken the things I have learned along the way from living through it, from the trainer, from articles, from books, from doctors, etc. and am now putting it all together to keep myself healthy and moving forward with training. I stopped training with a personal trainer months ago and I had to start convincing myself that I was in fact capable of doing it on my own. That may sound easy but it was really hard for me to learn that. Once I conquered that – with the help of an awesome friend and my husband – I was able to put together workout programs, fitness plans, etc. for myself and I now share information with others (DISCLAIMER: I am not a certified trainer yet so it’s just me sharing information with friends…not training them).

That’s all I can say about my training for now. We’ll talk fitness and eating and training more later. And I’ll do it with less text…we definitely need to get some links and photos in here – otherwise this blog is just going to be chapters in a novel. πŸ˜‰



another training session

I write this tonight while sitting on my couch, legs on the ottoman, ice packs on my knees. Another lovely evening at my house. LOL

As I mentioned earlier, this is my first week of official personal training and my last week of training with my son for the race. Yesterday evening’s plans for running and training were completely thrown out the window because it was raining, raining, raining. And since I have yet to go buy a new membership to a gym, heavy downpour = no working out or running. So it was moved to this evening instead. I worked a little later today than didn’t get home until later than normal and since my trainer told me we were running this evening, my husband went running with my son while I was still work. That way, he still gets to run and I wouldn’t have to run twice in one night back to back.

But see, I assumed we were doing a long distance run tonight but my evil trainer (which is what I’m referring to him now, of course with nothing but love) had other ideas. We went for a jog for a “warm-up” – he seriously has a sick sense of what a warm up is, let me tell you – and then went to a quarter mile track here in town. And then he had me do a HIIT session there. It’s a damn good thing I didn’t run with my son beforehand as I had originally planned because I was sucking wind as it was. I don’t think I’ve ran sprints since like junior high. Holy shit, I hurt. And had some side stitches because Lord knows I was not controlling my breathing. BUT!! I did it. I survived another training session.

For real though, it sucks during the session but I feel good when I’m done – that I’ve accomplished it – I made it through and finished. And as I work towards my goals and work through these sessions, I will see results and be super happy about it all in time. Except the homework part – I hate the homework part. Homework is sit-ups and push-ups every night – I hated them when I was in school and I still hate them today. But I’m not being stubborn for once and actually following directions. Shocking, I know.

That’s the update for today. Tomorrow and Thursday my son and I run; Thursday is also plyometric workout day work with my trainer. And then Friday is our off day because the race is Saturday! Holla!

kicking it up a notch

Today (Sunday) was my first day back at it after taking two whole days of rest – no working out nor running on Friday or Saturday. I way overdid it last week while traveling – with running for so long – and my body was definitely letting me know it was time to take a break. So, I listened.

But, today pretty much rocked. It was my first official day working out with newly kinda-hired personal trainer. He has helped me along the way the last year or so but today started our very serious we’re-going-to-get-this-shit-done working out. And today was upper body and arms and he pretty much killed me. Well, in the beginning I was already dying and then he said, “okay, now that we’ve warmed up…we can get started” and you know I thought I might punch him. But I didn’t – I just did what he said and called him names in my head for the next hour. It’s probably a good thing I counted him as a friend before we started this because otherwise I might hate him by the time we’re done. I mean, of course, not really – he’s totally helping me out and teaching me how to do everything the right away which is awesome. And frankly, anyone who puts up with me in the gym or working out while outside wins a gold star in my book. Shocking as this may be, I’m not the easiest person to get along with sometimes. LOL.

After I got home, the family and I went out to run the course for the 5K next Saturday. I wanted my son to get a feel for it – a straight 5K distance through town, not just running around a park, and of course the three hills that are included. We don’t normally run hills so we needed to get some practice. And he did fantastic! I’m so proud of him. From someone who never went (nor wanted to go) running, he is such a trooper. We finished the course in 45 minutes and of course for most runners, that’s way slow, but we don’t care. Especially since last week we did the 5K distance in 51 minutes! Woot! We’re gaining!

So, those are my happy working out updates for today. Later this week I’ll give some stats updates since a lot has changed there. But for now, I leave you with photos from the plane when I flew home Friday evening from Chicago. So beautiful, you’d almost think they were fake!



fitness while traveling

I honestly have never been the kind of person who works out while traveling. In the past I may have made an effort to bring along my gym clothes to go to the hotel gym/fitness center/whatever, but I never actually went. And they just took up valuable suitcase space.

Not very long ago however (seriously, like June), that changed. I’ve traveled a bit this summer and each time have actually gone to the hotel fitness center or went outside and walked and walked and walked – just to see the sights and get exercise. I kind of like it actually, it gives me down time to think while I’m away and I feel good too so that’s an added bonus.

So here I am in Illinois at this workshop for work – it is at this place called the Q Center and it sits on 95 acres of nature. Most of our days here are packed from 8am to 9/10pm (not joking, wish I was) but last night I got some time to go exploring the property and see what’s out there. My plan is to hit the fitness center early morning on Wednesday and Friday to get the training runs in for the week, but last night I scoped out the fitness trail that goes around the property and nearby river. And here’s what I saw:


I tell ya, it’s so much easier to get out do some exercise when that is what you’re wandering through. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I travel to Philadelphia in January for a conference – I’m fairly confident I won’t be seeing anything but cold cityscape – but who knows, maybe that will be cool also. Or I’ll just go to the hotel gym.

I have a feeling that though my scheduled training runs are Wednesday and Friday mornings, I may also end up in the gym Thursday morning as well. I can only sit and learn and collaborate and brainstorm for so many hours a day before going a little mad crazy. I’ll probably end up running on a treadmill at night just to burn off the energy. Or I’ll just go to bed. We’ll see. πŸ™‚

training with my son

I thought it might be best to actually give an update about running for once. You know, rather than writing about randomness or showcasing photographs. I mean after all, part of the goal of my blog was to share with others the journey of becoming a runner while being overweight. πŸ™‚

My son and I are now on our second week of the 4-week training schedule to get him ready to do the 5K with me on August 3rd (the 5th Annual Brew 2 Shoe Race) and he is doing super well. I have to admit, I expected a lot more moaning and groaning about it considering he stays up until 4am and gets up at noon. I mean, he is 15 after all. But, there has been none of that. My biggest problem is teaching him footfall and cadence (the first few times he kinda sounded like a Clydesdale or clodhopper). But I’ve sent him youtube videos about posture, form, running, etc. and work with him while running. The second problem we’ve had is his darn hair. He has my crazy ass thick hair and he is kind of growing it out – so he ends up with a large mop of hair that I just don’t know what to do with while running. We’ve done bandanas and hats but what I really want to do is slap a ponytail on him to get it off his face. He however is NOT okay with this idea – he is still VERY concerned about gender expression and appearance and does not want a ponytail. Sigh. Add that to my list of things to teach him. πŸ™‚

But, I’m still running in the mornings as well – so in the morning I run for about 45/50 minutes and then after work on training days, I run with my son. This causes some tiredness (hence my two-a-days post earlier). On off training days, my son and I are doing lunges, squats, push-ups, and weights. It’s quite the little workout gym factory over at my house these days. But I keep on it with my son so he understands the importance overall fitness when running – it’s not just about the leg muscles after all. And he’s coming around.

The best part of running with him is that I’m guaranteed that 4 days a week, I get him all to myself for almost an hour. No music, no TV, no Minecraft, no Wii, no YouTube, etc. Just he and I talking about all sorts of things ranging from playing games (shocking) to what he remembers as a kid from before his dad and I divorced. Seriously – I wouldn’t trade this time with for the world.

And now, a super awesome photo of my son and me before we went running last night. Love this kid so much. So. Much.

Getting Ready to Run

burning to emerge

It’s been a long 2+ months, I must admit. Many changes – with friends, life, work, service, self-care – some of those changes were good, some were not-so-good. But as I’ve said repeatedly, change is my constant so I go with it as it truly makes me who I am today.

I put myself on a mandated blogging hiatus since October – which was more difficult than I thought it would be as I kept thinking of things I wanted to write about, but could not. The reasons for the mandate was largely because of work and that I really needed to focus on some important tasks and let’s be honest, October is the crazy busy time of the semester for academic instruction librarians.

But, it is time for reprieve and here I am again. I do wish I could write about all the amazing life changes I’ve made these last two months and say that I’m now super healthy, in great shape, totally centered, and thin. But that is not the case. Some of that is true – I am in fact more focused and centered than I have been in a long time. And I have learned some great things about work and life – like which friends you can count on during tough times and who really cares about you, how politics on a campus really affect decisions, how collaboration with colleagues can give super amazing results, how much I miss my best friend who moved to Chicago, and unfortunately, how when the stress really hits me, really hits me, I’m the first person I give up caring for.

Whew. Some of those (especially the last one) are a little depressing. But, also eye opening. I have spent the last two weeks thinking about how I’ve totally thrown my own needs out the window in order to take care of others at times. But the good news is that I am doing so. much. better. than I have in the past. I have made some very smart decisions on what to take on and add into my life and what to say no to and what to get rid of and keep out. I’m actually pretty darn proud of myself on that one.

But, back to being focused and centered. Though I’ve had a few setbacks regarding health and wellness (that’s a whole different post), I’m back on track eating better. The past few days I’ve done well with eating decent, tasty, healthy food (with the exception of yesterday – that was just bad, bad, bad) and this morning my butt was at the Rec (the gym on campus). Yay!

And so, that’s it. Just a short little “hello, I’m back” post for you. I’ve fallen a few notches in my dedication to running, being healthy, and living a centered life but I’m back on the road to improvement. Thanks for reading – I’ll be back to posting photos, quotes, and sharing my crazy with you if you’d like to stay along for the ride.

Let me end with a favorite quote fromΒ White Oleander:

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.”