Friday, July 1, 2016

Weight Loss Ride or Die: Why you Need One

One of the things my husband and I had in common 12 years ago was our desire to get healthier so we started a diet together. We had a long distance relationship, so our dieting was long distance too. We both got results! Life has indeed improved for us: we are now married parents of 3 wonderful children. We have moved twice and we have seen other changes in life. I have learned that over the years, my husband is my Weight Loss Ride or Die.

A Weight Loss Ride or Die is someone who will support you in your health journey so that both of you will reach your weight loss goals. I understand that this may not work for all couples but so far, it has worked for us.

There are seasons in life (such as the 3 times I was pregnant) that I am not up for the weight loss ride. Still, I find that I can support my husband. He has also had seasons when he was not up for the ride but he supported me in my health goals.

A Weight Loss Ride or Die doesn't have to be an individual but it can also be a group. I adopted this concept after the birth of my second daughter. I joined a weight loss group and lost a great amount of weight. You can see the before and after photos here. I'll be honest and tell you that when I could not longer afford the group, I went at it solo but always with the help of my original Weight Loss Ride or Die. You can see the results I got here.

I find myself in a place where I am not comfortable with my weight because of where I've been. I've been leaner before and I saw my health progressing rapidly. It's hard to let go of that reality. I also find myself aware that as I go to my doctor regularly, I get great advice on how to get back to a healthier weight.

It has been said that "if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." Going together with my Weight Loss Ride or Die has many benefits. I love how we can support each other and we can encourage each other on a regular basis. When I've been down in the past, he has looked me in the eyes and told me, "You've done some great work and you cannot let stress get the best of you. You will get through this and you will be stronger on the other side."

I hope that you can think of a person or a group who can support you on your weight loss efforts. You will find that when you get to your goal, you will have that same supportive human being by your side to celebrate who you've become.

* On a personal note, this is Week 2 of my weight loss program and I'm down 6 lbs. I'm encouraged to get going as I seek to improve my health and get the benefit of better runs this marathon season. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Where I am: a Poem

God knows where I am.
He sees the dishes,
He sees the laundry sitting in the chair
God surely knows where I am. 

When He called me, He asked: "what do you have in your hand?"
I told Him, "diapers Lord. Baby powder and nursing pads." 
I wondered if He made a mistake. 
I know He never does because 
God knows where I am. 

God knows where I am. 
He sees the heartache, the pain the stayed. 
He asked me, "will you forgive anyway?" 
I told Him, "I did Lord. I just keep forgetting I forgave." 
I wondered if He knew what it took
To be called with imperfect flare. 
I know He's God incarnate and
He knows exactly where I am. 

God knows where I am. 
He not only sees my location but
He knows my heart's situation 
every second of every minute of every day. 
I'm glad God knows
That deep in my heart,
there's unending awe of Him
Who calls me His, 
just as I am, just where I am. 
- by Cintia Listenbee

Monday, June 27, 2016

Chevron Houston Marathon 2017 Training Week 1

201 days away! It seems far away but trust me, time flies so I started my (official) training for Houston last Saturday. I never really took time off from running but I did take time to rethink my strategy and come up with a plan that will give me the results I need in January. Before I tell you about that, let me tell you about my awesome running group. 

First run of the season with my running group. Hoo Yah!
We started the season with a 2-mile run. Fort Bend Fit really does take you from couch to the finish line of your race of choice. I ran at a pretty fast pace. Ask me if I can replicate that in November and we'll see if my new strategy pays off. 
Breakfast time!
At the end of the run we had a pretty awesome breakfast. It was also a great time to catch up with friends I haven't seen since January. 

happy runner I am!
I took a hard look at my race finish times, my weight and my average pace for the past two years. I realized that I wasn't getting any faster. I also took a hard look at the past 12 months of my life. I did pretty good with keeping up with training with all I had going on. Still, I am determined to change several things about my training. Here's the new plan:

Nutrition - I am going to treat myself as if I was an elite athlete. My nutrition will have to aid my training. After many attempts to get this done, my husband and I settled with a plan that we can both do and succeed. I am on week 2 of The Shred Revolutionary Diet and he is on week 3. So far, this has been the most success I've had in a while. My goal is to PR my October Half-Marathon and to arrive at the start line of Houston lean and ready to run 26.2 miles well. 

Hydration - I bought a new hydration system, so I will be running with a fuel belt. I will also continue to hydrate well during the day and be sure to drink up my electrolytes. 

Rest - I'm giving myself a little grace during the summer but I am going to be super strict with my rest schedule. It's vain to train hard and not to let my body recover. Resting is essential do make this whole thing work. 

Exercise -  I decided to return to my original pace group because my pace hasn't improved in 2 years. Good thing I'm the "over excited member" in the running group so I basically know people everywhere. I'm ready to just face the truth about where I am instead of feeling the pressure to keep up with where I wish I could be. I also decided to swim more this summer and to add resistance training to my schedule. This morning I swam 16 laps in this pool. Swimming has been such a gift to my weekly exercise schedule. It's also extra interesting because of the water aerobics class that meets while I'm training. They listen to Old School R&B and while I'm swimming I can see their dancing feet. Entertaining for sure! 
Swimming in the summer: so far so good!
So this is week 1 of my training for Houston. I hope you know that you can still sign up and join us in January. There's plenty room if you want to be part of the Charity program and you can still sign up for the 5K. Click here for more info. 

I appreciate your love and support as I start my journey to the finish line at Houston. This will be my 5th marathon and with God's help I will finish strong. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer Love of Books

Hello friends! Hope you are having an amazing summer so far! I decided to keep pursuing my passion for reading non-fiction books this summer. A few weeks ago I checked out three books in the library and I returned them all. I could not get into them! I love the authors, I just couldn't stick with it. So I decided to be persistent and I went back to the library. After my kids got more books to read I went back to my search for the perfect summer book. I found a short one and I found the book I really REALLY wanted to read last year. I read the short book in 1 hour (between mothering my kids that is). One down, 3 to go! I picked up the book I really REALLY wanted to read today and I'm thinking I'll stick with it. 
 The worse thing that can happen to me is to get a book just to find out I can't finish it because I don't connect with the author. That happened when I was in France, which sucked cause I was stuck and had to read that book anyhow. I don't have anything against book authors, I just appreciate the fact that there's an author out there for everyone. When I finish my summer reading challenge, I'll tell you what I read and what I thought about the books I actually finish. 
I've been telling my kids that readers are leaders (and leaders are readers) because it rhymes and because I think it's true. I am also teaching them how to gain an appreciation for books. While ebooks are wonderful, I am pushing all of us to love the process of going to the library and discovering new titles. I am teaching respect for books as well as appreciation for the simple pleasure of sitting outside with a great book. 
Like most kids mine ask to watch tv instead of reading. I tell them "the TV thinks for you, books help you think." The youngest one doesn't get it but I hope that she'll appreciate it one day. 
I abide by the same rule. I convince myself that instead of numbing (or should I say, dumbing) my mind with hours of TV, I need to put my wonderful mind to work as I read and discover worlds and ideas unknown. 
Reading also encourages me to write. I haven't started writing this summer yet but I am eagerly waiting to get started. 
• Does the summer awaken your love for books and reading? I hope so!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Mid-year Goals Update 2016

This is a great time of year to review the goals you and I set in January. I asked myself many questions that led me to my goals for 2016. I also looked at my goals as a map. Here's my update:

• Decide where you want to go – I did. I have been revisiting my goals because after the school year was over I felt a little lost. Revisiting my goals also allowed me to find new strategies to get there. Now is a good time to think, "do I need a new strategy?" 
• Follow the map – I can say that because I have reviewed my (Fitness, Family, Faith, Business and Other) goals, I got a new strategy to reach them. Some of the goals I set have already been accomplished but there are many others that are in the process. Following the map I set for myself is a sure way to get to my destination. 
• Expect Detours – who you're telling? Detours have been the word of the year therefore, the need for new strategies. I know there is a lesson in dealing with detours on the way to reaching my goal. I have learned not to get mad at the detour in a way that it paralyzes my progress. As I expect detours I become more flexible and even more determined to reach my goal. 

Here are the three questions I asked myself before setting my goals. I believe they are still relevant now:
• What do I most want to be thankful for one year from now? - I want to be thankful that I invested in my family and in my health. I want to be thankful that I was able to help others through my career.
• Which activities in my schedule aren’t delivering the results I want? - This is a tough one but so worth evaluating. I find that this tough decisions can catapult me into my goals.
• Are you buying what you’re selling? - I am. I totally get the fact that after God, family is the most important thing to me. I totally buy the fact that health is important and it's imperative to invest in it. If I can make it fun (my definition of fun is running marathons), even better!

I want to challenge you to review your goals and to ask yourself the questions that will catapult you to your destination. It's worth it because you are worth it my friend. Have a great day!

Previously in this series:
Goals as a Map
2016 Goals you can Reach
Mid-Year Goals Update 2015