Tell Me Something Tuesday {6}

Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

QUESTION: What are you thankful for this year?

 

Another thankful post that I felt the need to do. 🙂 I have so much to be thankful for this year.

 

My Husband. You know the saying, “when someone else’s happiness is your happiness, that is love.”? It’s the truth when it comes to my husband. He does everything in his power to make me happy, and he always makes sure I know how much he loves me. I’m so grateful for him and his love.

My Daughter. I know these first two things are obvious, but my life wouldn’t be as wonderful as it is without these two people. Sunnie completely lives up to her name every day. She’s smart and talented and compassionate. She brings us so much joy and happiness. I’m lucky to be her mom.

My Job. When I decided to make a career change, I had no idea such a wonderful opportunity would present itself. Going part time and switching jobs was life-changing. It’s given me the balance I needed, and I’m so grateful.

Running. I never imagined I’d be a person who would love to run as much as I do. I was the girl who faked being sick in gym class whenever we had to run.  I was the queen of lazy. And now, I can’t go without it. If I don’t get to run for a few days, my body craves it. It’s a stress reliever and ME time. It gives me something to work towards every week. And because of it, I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in my life.

Books. Relaxing with my book and a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in front of the fire. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Pure bliss. I am thankful for all the authors that feed my love of reading.

Friendships. “Your friends should motivate and inspire you. Your circle should be well rounded and supportive. Quality over quantity always.” I am lucky to have a tight group of friends – people who always support me and lift me up. No drama. Just love and respect. I am forever grateful for these people in my life.

My Home. After living together for 11 years, my husband and I finally decided to buy a house. And it happened to be the house we’ve been renting the past 7 years. It was a long and stressful process. And a lot of work has gone into fixing it up and making it ours. But every minute has been worth it.

My Parents. My life would be a lot more difficult without their help. They watched Sunnie for years while I worked full-time, saving me the expense of day care. Because of them I can have regular date nights with my husband. They spoil my kid because she’s an only grandchild. I am very blessed to have such wonderful parents.

My Cats. I couldn’t leave out my favorite furry babies. They are the cutest, sweetest little jerks ever, and I love them. Life would be boring without them making us crazy.

 

What are you most thankful for this year?

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{Stay the Path} Three Years Later

 

It’s been 3 years since I wrote this post, where I had met my first weight loss goal of 50 lbs and had set other goals for myself. Rereading the post and thinking back over the past 3 years –  a lot has happened since that life-changing moment.

 

Since October 31, 2014

I lost another 25 lbs (and continue to maintain that weight).

I did get my bookish tattoo. I also got a running tattoo the following year. And my Stay the Path tattoo this past year.

Despite never working out in my life, I started running, fell in love with it, and ran in 12 races last year.

I no longer hate summer time. 😉

 

Things I’ve learned in the past 3 years

IT’S STILL ALL ABOUT BALANCE

I may not eat fast food or a lot of pasta or bread, but I still love pizza, donuts, and red wine. If I’m going to work my butt off to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I intend to indulge in the things I love once in awhile. Moderation is the key.

 

MAINTAINING IS HARD

Losing the weight used to seem like the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but maintaining it has proven to be much harder. Not allowing myself to fall back into old habits, always finding the motivation to exercise – it can be really tough. Some days are better than others, as is the case with most things in life. You learn to adjust and find new ways to focus and get back on track when you fall off.

 

LOVE YOURSELF AND CELEBRATE EVERY NON-SCALE VICTORY

Finding my confidence didn’t happen overnight. I have good days and bad days, and I’m still hard on myself sometimes. But the feeling of happiness and contentment I feel with myself is greater now than it ever was. At 36 years old, I’m feeling better then I did for the entirety of my 20’s. I have learned to accept myself, flaws and all, to be proud of how hard I’ve worked and how far I’ve come.

That goes for all the NSV’s that happened or keep happening along the way:

Going from a size XXL to a SM

Being able to shop online for clothes and not having to try something on before buying it

Running 4-5 days a week and averaging a 9 minute mile

Having more energy

Learning to love working out/running and having the discipline to continue doing it (I used to be a big quitter at everything)

I’m not saying I don’t have days where I wish my stomach was flatter, or my arms were more muscular. It’s not a switch that can be turned off – when you’ve been obese for a long time, it is hard to change the way you think about yourself. But in the past 3 years I have worked really hard on the mental part of this journey – it’s so important to give yourself some grace and to be able to love yourself. I will never be able to afford any kind of surgery for my excess skin issue, so I’ve learned to just accept it. The extra skin on my thighs – oh well! I work damn hard for these legs, and I’m proud of them!

I will never have the perfect body, but I choose to see the beauty in my imperfections and will work on being kinder to myself and being happy with how far I’ve come.

 

KEEP SETTING GOALS

“You’re never too old to set new goals or dream new dreams”. In order to stay motivated, I have to set little goals for myself all the time. Whether it’s hitting my 5 days of running and stopping for that donut I love. Or after gaining some extra pounds over vacation, setting a goal to get back on track. The reward is always that feeling of accomplishment.

I’m probably never going to run a marathon, which was a goal of mine a year ago. I’ll be lucky if I run a half at some point – right now my hamstring acts up after 4 miles. But I’m grateful every day for the ability to run what I can, and even though I’m not running marathons, I’m getting up and getting out there and pushing myself to be better every day.

I love running, but I do eventually want to try other things. I am not big on strength training (even though I know I should be, because it’s good for runners), but I do have areas I need to work on, my arms being my number one goal.

 

IT’S A LIFESTYLE

It never stops. Three years later I still count my calories daily. I may not count every single thing like I did before, but I still do it for accountability and to keep myself on track. Will I ever trust myself enough to stop? Probably not. And I’m okay with that. It doesn’t take me a lot of extra time to log my food and exercise, and it makes me feel better to continue doing it.

I’ve learned that my body is continually changing, and I’ve had to adjust my diet and exercise accordingly. I constantly change up my diet and try new foods or cut out unhealthy ones. I had to cut my running mileage back due to a hamstring injury that creeps up on me when I overdo it. Our bodies change, and we have to learn to adjust when they do.

It’s a mindset. “Positive Mind, Positive Vibes, Positive Life.” I’ve learned to focus on the positives, celebrate small victories, remove any negativity from my life, and keep pushing myself to be a better ME every single day. Being a better me includes being healthy, and I’ve learned to embrace it. Running has become my stress reliever and something I can’t live without. My body craves good foods and it wants to move daily. All of these things have made me a better wife, a better mother. And it’s changed how I think and how I approach every day – with a happy heart and determination to stay the path.

 

{Stay the Path} Favorite Running Gear

 

I’ve had a few requests for recommendations on comfortable running gear. Having tried several brands of clothing the past few years, I have definitely settled on some favorite items that I wear over and over again.

I find a lot on Amazon, and what I don’t find there, I pick up at our local Dicks Sporting Goods. I usually try to wait until an item I want goes on sale, because you’ll find that the CALIA clothing line tends to be a tad expensive. Both the tanks I listed below are on sale right now!

CALIA Mesh Pocket Capris

Yes, these leggings are pricey, but I seriously wear them for almost every single run. They hold everything in where I need the support, they are comfortable and they breath. They’re worth every penny I spent.

 

CALIA Stay the Path Tank

 

It’s obvious why I bought this tank, but it’s seriously super light and comfortable. I wear it for running or just lounging around the house. It’s on sale!

 

CALIA Move Seamless Tank Top

This was one of the first CALIA items I purchased over a year ago, and I love it. It’s comfortable and flattering. Also on sale!

 

Under Armour Play Up Shorts

I’ve gotten the question about shorts a lot. The thigh chaffing struggle is real, so it’s hard to find comfortable shorts that cover. I have several pairs of these shorts and have never had any issues. They are long enough to cover and prevent chaffing, they fit well and are very comfortable. Another item that I don’t just wear for running – they are lounge/pajama shorts some nights!

 

Run Now, Wine Later Tank

I wear this tank the most. 😉 It’s comfy and I love it. Thank you, Amazon.

 

Under Armour Strappy

 

I hate spending money on sports bras, but every once in awhile I’ll find a good one on sale. I LOVE this bra. It’s padded, it’s comfortable, and I love the strappy detail. And it’s affordable.

 

NIKE Air Zoom Structure

These are my shoes. I have flat feet and knee problems, so I had to find the shoe that would give me the best support. I’ve gone through 6 pairs of these exact same shoes (different colors), since I began running. I love them!

Yes, running shoes are expensive. But your shoes are the most important investment when you’re a runner. You need to have proper support, and you want shoes that will last. With the mileage I put on my shoes, they don’t last more than 5 months, if I’m lucky. But I always replace them as soon as I start to feel like they aren’t doing the job anymore.

I highly recommend going to a specialty shoe store and being fitted for shoes. They will have you try on different brands so you can find the ones that work best for you. There’s such a large variety to choose from, so I definitely recommend trying on different brands. This specific style of Nike is what works for me, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Once I was fitted at the running store, I started ordering the shoes on Amazon to save money.

Flip Belt

I go to the park to run most days, and I hate having to carry my keys during my run. I also hated having my giant smart phone strapped to my arm when I’m running – I don’t listen to music*, so I had no reason to have it on my arm other than to sync my GPS watch to it.

A friend of mine recommended the Flip Belt, and I LOVE it. I clip my car key to it, and put it in a pocket. I put my phone in the other pocket. And my hands are free! I feel like I can concentrate on my run without worrying about dropping something. Or have my phone weighing down my arm. This is the best running accessory!

*No, I don’t listen to music when I run outside. Only when I run on the treadmill. I prefer the quiet when I run – the time to clear my head. 🙂

 

And there you have it. All of my favorite items for running/working out. Once I find something I like, I tend to buy the same stuff over and over, as long as the quality continues to hold up. If you have any questions or have any recommendations for me, please let me know!

Five Things Friday ~ 6-9-17

 

1. this week in reading

It was just okay. I was expecting a lot more suspense than I got – when the suspense finally hit (85% into the book), I had it all figured out.

Another case of disappointing hype. I build a book up in my head after seeing so many friends loved it, and it ends up not being as good for me. This is why I try not to listen to hype!

2. New Books I’m excited about

    

Lots of good ones the past few weeks. 🙂

3. fun thing(s) from the week

I hadn’t realized how behind I am on Friday posts! Since my last post, Sunnie has officially become a first grader. *sob* I love having her home for summer break. Whenever I get a break in the day when I’m working from home, we’ve tried to have a little fun. Either going for walks, going to the park, or going to lunch. She’s had a couple playdates with friends – so far I think she’s loving her summer break!

She had her dance recital last weekend, which meant the official end of the season. We’ll be picking up some summer classes starting at the end of the month, but I’m glad to have a few weeks break from dance mom life. She also tried out for 3 competition teams (Jazz, Tap, and Hip Hop) and we found out that she made all three teams. She’s going to be a very busy little dancer next season.

On Memorial Day we had our first family outing on the boat. It was a gorgeous day to be on the lake, and Sunnie loves ‘fishing’ with her dad.

On Sunday I went on my first fishing tournament with my husband. He’s part of a bass fishing club that participates in tournaments about half the year. Most weekends in the summer he’s in a tournament. On Sunday it rained all day long, and I got my first taste of how hard it is to deal with that (plus high winds) for a 10 hour tournament. Not once did my husband give up trying to catch fish during the miserable downpour. I was impressed with how hard he worked and never gave up, because there is no way in hell I would do that to myself more than once! It was definitely an experience!

4. Fit Readers/Life

The weather has been back and forth again. But it’s been comfortable, and I don’t have to have my air conditioning on, so I’m okay with it. 😉 It’s gorgeous out today, so I fully intend to get outside this afternoon and get some sun! The temps are supposed to warm up into the 90’s starting this weekend.

I’ve been consistent in my running schedule until this week. It is definitely tougher to get outside for a run when Sunnie is home with me. I did take her for her first run last week, where she ran/walked about 2 miles with me! She was so excited about it, and I loved sharing that with her. I have been waiting to run when my husband gets home from work this week so that I can get it done outside instead of on the dreadmill. There is something so unappealing about running on the treadmill when the weather is perfect for it outside! I’m planning on going for a run today when he gets home. If the temps warm up like they say, I’ll be having to use my treadmill in the mornings, because waiting until the afternoon will be brutal in the heat.

5. looking ahead

Today is a work from home day. I got up really early this morning to get my house cleaned and get laundry started. I’ll work for a couple hours and plan on taking a break to let Sunnie play outside for awhile.

Tomorrow I have plans to meet up with my best friend for lunch. We’re going to The Cheesecake Factory, which is my absolute favorite place to eat! I am really looking forward to spending the day with her. I’ll need to get in a run on the dreadmill in the morning to alleviate the guilt from the giant piece of cheesecake I’ll most definitely be eating.

Sunday my hubby is in a tournament, so it’ll be me and Sunnie enjoying the 90 degree day! I don’t know what fun we’ll get into, but we’ll definitely be outside most of the day. Next week I’ll be in the office most days, so I’m going to enjoy as much of the weather this weekend as I can.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Five Things Friday ~ 5-26-17

 

1. this week in reading

Of course I loved it, because it’s Amy Harmon. It was very unique and different than any of her other books, which just made me love it more.

2. New Books I’m excited about

   

I am beyond excited that I was approved for the new Sandra Brown! Starting that baby tonight.

3. fun thing(s) from the week

Monday I went on Sunnie’s class trip to the zoo. She had a blast and we had perfect weather for it.

I’ve been doing some redecorating and organizing at home lately. Purging and getting rid of a bunch of stuff we’ve had stored in our attic. That may not seem like fun to most people, but I love cleaning and de-cluttering my house!

4. Fit Readers/Life

The weather for the rest of the week has been rainy and gross. I have managed to run outside a few days. One day I ran in the rain (which I never do), because I knew if I didn’t go outside I wouldn’t be motivated to do anything all day.  Pretty over all the rain and ready for some sunshine!

5. looking ahead

I’m in the office today, but then I’m off Monday and working from home on Tuesday. Sunnie has an end-of-year party at her dance studio tonight, and my hubby is going fishing. So, I’m planning on going for a run (stay away, rain).  Not a whole lot planned the next few days, because more rain. Yuck.  We’re really hoping the weather turns around so that Sunnie and I can go out on the boat with my hubby on Monday.

 

Have a great weekend!