Friday, April 25, 2014

Fit and Fab: My Fitness Journey...So Far

I started my fitness journey 5 weeks ago.  I finally got to the point that I was so unhappy with myself, clothes were only getting tighter, and my confidence level was low, that I realized I needed to make a change.  I had to be proactive with my life, my health, and my daily choices.  Having a summer beach vacation is definitely great motivation as well.

I downloaded the free app Couch Potato to 5K and have been running ever since.  Even though I am on my 5th week of running, I am on week 3 of the program.  I repeat each week to help build up my stamina.  It's a great program that gradually increases your running time so you can run a 5K by the end of it.  My goal is not necessarily to run a 5K, but to get fit in the process.

I also started Camp Gladiator this week that is led by a good friend.  Not gonna lie, it's been tough.  But I wanted to work on my upper body to alternate with the running I've been doing.  I have been sore all week, but the exercises are mixed up so we are not doing the same thing over and over again.  Plus, everyone is super encouraging and ready to cheer you on.

We had a timed fitness test today that we will repeat at the end of the month.  By the end of the test, we had done 876 burpees (not really, but it felt like it) and ran/walked 2 miles.  Of course, lots of other exercises were thrown in, some I liked, some I didn't.

And by the end, when I finished my last burpee, amongst the encouragement of others, I was ready to cry.  Not because I was upset or sad, but because I did it.  I proved to myself that I could endure this tough fitness journey by just pushing myself.

I could not have possibly come this far without the support of others.  I've only told a couple close friends what I've been doing.  They are in my corner and have helped push me along.  I thank them and love them for it.  I've joined a fitness Facebook group to stay accountable.  And I've definitely said my share of prayers.  I say them when I run, I say them when I can barely move because of the soreness, I say them all the time because my faith is what's keeping me going.

Of course, Craig has been there every single step of the way.  Most of the time, running right beside me.  He started running a week after I did.  He's enjoyed it too.  I know Craig will always love me, no matter what I look like.  He's known me since I was 12 years old, so he's definitely seen all the changes, transformations, and many hairstyles I've been through.  But he also didn't like hearing me talk so negatively about myself all the time.  So, I really love being able to do this with him.

To date, I've lost 7lbs. and 15 inches overall.  I've seen and can feel the changes happening.  Clothes that were starting to fit tight are now starting to fit loose.  Places on my body that used to feel jiggly, are now feeling firm.  Health issues that I've been dealing with over the past year, are now starting to go away.  My confidence that used to be low, is now starting to rise. Challenges that I never thought were possible to overcome, are no longer a challenge to me.  I drink my daily intake of water, I make better food choices,  I watch my portions, and I've made a complete lifestyle change.

I still have jiggly parts.  I still have inches to lose and pounds to shed.  I still struggle with running and exercise.  But I'm doing it.  I'm pushing myself and I feel encouraged and motivated.  And it's all going to be worth it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lesson Learned #3

Lessons.  Ahhhh, the dreaded lessons of life.  Sometimes we want to learn them, sometimes we didn't know we needed to learn them.  But in the end, we are always glad we did.

I've learned that even though I consider myself a planner, God is the Ultimate Planner.  Sometimes my plans just don't align with His.  He has the tendency to change them unexpectedly, leaving me confused and unsure.  But that is not God's purpose.  His purpose is to make sure we are obedient and have faith that everything will work out as He has already planned.  We may not understand it at the moment, but it will all work out.

I've learned a spirit of discernment is quite a good thing to have.  Not everyone wants to hear or even cares about your opinion.  Some people are so set in their ways, they will just look down on you if you voice a concern or idea.  As bold and honest as I can be, I've learned to stay quiet.  And I've stayed quiet A LOT.  And it's not easy.

I've learned complaining gets you nowhere unless you are willing to make the change yourself.  Eventually, people will stop listening if all they hear are complaints.  Be courageous, make the change that is needed.

I've learned encouragement and support feels so good and helps you along a rocky path.  It's what gets us through a rough day.  It gets us through a rough chapter in our life.  It makes it possible to slay the giant that has become our biggest obstacle.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014

We had such a nice relaxing and uneventful Easter this year.  Craig didn't have to work, I was able to sit with him in church after I sang on the Worship Team, and we enjoyed the rest of the day at home.

Preston had done an Easter Egg Hunt the day before (Kaitlyn says she is too old now) and got plenty of candy.  But they were BOTH ready for the Easter Bunny to visit them....and he did!

They each got a new bike that they have been wanting.  Kaitlyn and Preston have outgrown their old ones and they love to go outside in the evenings.  They also got new Bibles that are more age appropriate and not too young for them.

Preston's basket was baseball themed with baseball cards, baseball movie (who doesn't love The Sandlot?), and candy.  Baseball necklaces were ordered but unfortunately, didn't arrive in time.  Grrr!  Kaitlyn's basket was just girly-themed with earrings, a jewelry stand, nail pens, and candy also.

The Easter Bunny didn't forget the parents.  Craig got a new movie and his favorite snacks.  I got my favorite snacks and money to buy a handheld water bottle holder.  What a thoughtful bunny!!!

We had our usual lunch of ham, potatoes, deviled eggs, etc.  Of course, hot apple pie was waiting for dessert.  Then, the kids went outside for awhile with their new bikes.

Hope everyone's Easter was just as great!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Break Part 2: Spring Training

Surprise, AZ-home of the Texas Rangers Spring Training!  We were so ecstatic about this day.  We bought our tickets way in advance and were able to get seats 4th row from the Rangers dugout.  We bought new Rangers gear, brought gloves, Texas Rangers baseballs, a sharpie, and we were ready!

The game was at 1:00 pm and we were told to get there early.  It was a 2 hour drive from Flagstaff, so we left by 9 am.  Even though we arrived early, there were lots of people already there.  The fans were already by the fence, hoping to score an autograph once the players came out.  I got our seats and Craig and the kids were quick to join the rest of the fans at the fence.

The players started making their way on the field to do some warm ups.

We did score some autographs.  Yu Darvish was one of them!  Kaitlyn was also able to get her Rangers baseball cap signed.  She was so excited!

Great photo of the players as they came out for the National Anthem.

The game itself was exciting. The Rangers lost to the Angels 12-1, but it was still so fun to see!

There was one point in the game when Bengie Molina, the first base coach and former Texas Rangers player, had a game ball.  You could tell he was looking to toss the ball to someone.  Preston had his glove ready and was standing up and waving.  Molina saw him and tossed him the ball.

We loved the game, loved the seats, and loved the awesome autographs we received.  It's something every baseball fan needs to do at least once.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Break Part 1: The Grand Canyon

Spring Break has come and gone and we are still relishing the great memories.  We had an absolute blast on our trip to Flagstaff, Arizona.  The kids continue to talk about it and we will never get the images of the magnificent things we had seen out of our heads.

We decided to make the 14 hour drive to our destination.  If we were able to drive to California last year, we knew we could make this trip.  We enjoyed checking out a Vintage Car Show at a gas station in New Mexico.

Once we entered Arizona, the scenery was so nice and different than what we are used to seeing.

We loved the welcome sight of snow on the mountains once we reached Flagstaff.  We had a little terrace off of our hotel room, so we were able to enjoy the view everyday.

After a long day of driving, we went to bed early to get plenty of rest for the Grand Canyon!  The Grand Canyon is just over an hour drive north of Flagstaff.  It was very scenic and were so excited to get there.  We decided to do a 2 hour guided motor coach tour of the Grand Canyon so we can learn as much as we could about the Grand Canyon.  Plus, the guides can always give you more info than what you'll find in a book or reading online.

We didn't realize that Grand Canyon, AZ is also a community for the employees of this national park.  There is seasonal housing as well as permanent housing.  There is also a school, library, post office, and other basic amenities.

As for the canyon, it was gorgeous!!!  When you first see it, it literally leaves you speechless.  So many beautiful formations and colors.  To know this was not made by a man, but by our great Creator, is so heart-warming.

We visited the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  In the picture below, the plateau in the distance is the North Rim.  It's only 12 miles away from the South Rim.  However, it is a 4 hour drive to reach it.

This is the Colorado River that runs through the Canyon.  It's usually a pretty blue-green color.  However, because the snow is starting to melt from the mountains and bringing dirt and mud with it, it causes the river to turn brown until the snow is gone.

Of course, we had to get some pics of us with the magnificent view in the background.

One of our stops on the tour had a gift shop.  Kaitlyn and I immediately got hot chocolate and coffee because it was actually a cool morning.  Posted outside the gift shop was this lovely surprise.

We had a great time and the kids were listening so intently to our tour guide.  We actually spent several hours around the canyon because there was so much to explore.  Definitely a must-see for any traveler.