Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday Bonus: I Dare YOU!

I just got this from the very empowering Dax Moy... I had to share it, and to dare YOU to believe it... even just for a moment:

"You're amazing .

How dare you waste that??

You've got the power to make amazing contributions
to the world, to create amazing works of art, to literally
reshape the way in which people live their lives and
change the world for the better.

I know, I know. It's hard to believe, but it's true.

But you don't believe it because, like most people,
you're settling for mediocre.

Settling for average.

Settling for 'ok'.

How dare you, ?

How dare you not use your gifts?

Dare something worthy instead!

Dare to wake up every day and give your all to
whatever task you're faced with.

Dare to share your unique gifts with everyone
you come into contact with, even in some small

Dare to squeeze every drop of happiness and
joy from every situation you find yourself in.

Dare to be the best in the world at whatever it
is that you do.

Dare something worthy ...

I dare ya! : )

P.S - 'Average' may feel safe, it may feel 'ok'
but it's not. It's the most dangerous game you
could ever play.

Average is never remembered, spoken about or
rewarded with the above-average life.

But when you dare to go beyond average....!"

Thoughts for Thursday: Fear

I know it may be difficult to imagine, but sometimes I am at a loss for words. Either I just don't quite feel it, or there's a whole jumble of thoughts racing around my brain, but nothing wanting to sit still long enough for me to get a grip on it.

I've been going through the latter a LOT recently. There's been much niggling at my brain but I couldn't quite make sense of it all. Seemingly disconnected thoughts, patterns, ideas kept popping up and I felt like I was completely missing something.

And I was. I was missing that thread that strung them all together, and it was sitting in front of me like the HUGEMONGOUS 5 ton purple elephant in the room.


It's everywhere! Don't believe me? Just look at how the US economy has taken on a life of it's own: it's now talked about like the drunk uncle that no one wants to deal with, but everyone has an opinion about, and it's never good, and is blamed when things go the way you don't expect them to.

Fear is so much a part of our lives that it's hard to see it: Fear that we have too much weight/clutter/tasks/laundry/bills/pain/anxiety/responsibilities/etc. Fear that we don't have enough time/energy/money/motivation/willpower/love/hope/etc.

Fear stops us from taking that one extra step instead of standing still; picking up the phone to reach out to a friend instead of hiding away in our homes; choosing fruit over fries; saying I love you one more time; planning instead of procrastinating; dreaming and doing instead of doubting.

Fear keeps us stuck in a rut; doing the same thing we've always done so we get what we've always gotten. (A rut, after all, is just a shallow grave with two open ends.)

We are afraid for the times when we're in a valley. We're are afraid we don't have the strength to pull ourselves out, to climb the next mountain to see the clear view.

Situations change. They always do. It's very cliche, but you can't always be standing on top of the mountain. You have to go down into the valley once in awhile - that's the time when you experience change, growth, revelations are made, determination is strengthened, and miracles happen.

Do you know what is more powerful than fear?


Faith in yourself. Faith in a higher power. Faith that a person or thing will placed in your path to help you when you need it most.

How do you build your faith, rather than feed your fear?


It's a common theme amongst motivational speakers because it's true: What you think about and speak about you bring about.

Words have amazing power - don't believe me? Think about the last time someone gave you a compliment. I'll give you a few minutes. You had to really think about it, didn't you? But when you did, it made you smile just a bit, didn't it?

Now, think about the time someone said something hurtful to you. Didn't have to think very hard did you? And it probably brought up the emotions and feelings the same as if you heard it 1 minute ago.

What do you want to give power to: your fears or your dreams?

By saying negative, fear-filled words continually - I'm fat, I'm stupid, I'm lazy, etc. you are only doing one thing: disrespecting yourself, your dreams and your potential.

As the poem says: "You are a child of God. Your playing small does NOT serve the world".

Change your words, change your mind, change your life.

Positive, encouraging, empowering affirmations spoken daily will speak life and power into those dreams and turn them into realities.

You can start with something as simple as repeating "I love and accept myself" to yourself daily.

Whatever you do, make the decision to take a step of faith, fight your fear, and to speak powerful words of loving kindness to yourself.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin in a can...

Also known as the Great Pumpkin Race Recap. :)

Also known as, "How do you keep your friends in suspense? I'll give you the details in a minute."

LOL! I crack myself up.

I'm also not that mean... my official stats are:

Overall placement: 311 (out of 406 finishers... I had almost 100 people finish after me! YAY I wasn't last! :)
Time: 38:08.9 (SCHWEET!)
Placement in age group: 16 (haven't taken the time to figure out how many in my age group there were. :)
Average pace: 12:16.7 (doode!)

Now that we have that out of the way, on the fun stuff. :)

Friday night I went and got my packet after work... whoo hoo! /Another/ bag (to add to the 50 bajillion I've already got! LOL! But WAY better than getting a T-shirt!!)

I tried to bribe the the guy to give me #40 instead, but alas, all the numbers were preassigned. So I was lucky #43 instead. I'm good with that.

I got my stuff together much when I got home, cuz that's how I roll. ;)

I, of course, felt like I was missing something, though Julee would have disagreed since it looked like I had enough stuff for a week! (seriously! I had a cooler bag, a bag w/a change of clothes that I didn't need, fanny pack and jacket. Took us both to carry everything out in one trip!)

I had my knee taped up Thursday (sorry for the pasty whiteness) since it was feeling extra tweaky... was glad I did - I had noooo problems and was nice to not have to worry about it. Also had an ice pack for the way home to keep any potential swelling/stiffness at bay.

That night I did a wee bit of carb-loading - had some pasta with my dinner, but not a huge amount. I was approaching the race as a cross between my usual Saturday morning long walk/run, and something special, which it essentially was. I didn't want to overload my system with starch at one meal, since I'm really not used to it... would probably not be a fun night/morning for me, I'm thinkin'.

Saturday morning arrived way too early, as it does, but I got up, got myself ready, had breakfast, coffee & packed in time for the awesome Julee to arrive. I was sooo happy to have her there with me - not only was it a great distraction and getting to spend quality time with her, it was like having my own staff: chauffeur, paparazzi, time keeper and stunt brain, all in one! LOL!

We arrived, I checked in, headed back to the car to get the final swig of coffee, get my number and sign attached...

I had a few last minute donations and didn't have time to add them to the list. Thank you to everyone who donated!!!

...and fuel up.

The course itself was really interesting - mostly hard packed dirt/road. The announcer guy mentioned it was a 'fast' course, but I didn't believe him... Either way I started out at a fast walk for the first 8-10 minutes and planned do to intervals of 4 minutes of faster walking/running and 1 minute recovery. Not a lot of recovery, but it actually did pretty well. Anywho, I hit mile marker 1 and almost fell over. Not from exhaustion or from pain, but from surprise. I got to it in just under 12 minutes! Seriously!? From just walking?!?! Doode!

I was feeling good overall at that point and had enough room around me that I was able to settle into my own pace and happily go along listening to my music. I passed some people, got passed by others, played back-and-forth with a few more. It was fun. I got a bit worried when I hit the pumpkin patch - the rows were covered in slippery straw and very uneven ground - but that too was just part of the experience.

As I hit the 2nd mile marker I was still stunned by my pace and even more so when I hit the 3rd mile marker.

You see, my goal was to finish in under 50 minutes. As you can see from my time, I not only met that goal, I did it all in under 40 minutes... and probably would have had a time of around 37 minutes if I didn't stop to take this photo...

I just had to do a "aaahhh!! In scary corn field" photo! And the funny thing was, a little way in there was a lady taking a photo of her 2 kids that were tucked in amongst the stalks. I joked with her that there really /were/ children of the corn here! She laughed, I went on my merry way.

I was thrilled & surprised with my time, and had a great time overall. I felt great afterwards - basically the 3-ish miles I did last weekend took way more out of me than this did!

After all the results were posted, and awards were started to be given out for the top finishers, we hit the pumpkin patch to fetch us some happy gourds, then head back home.

The experience was fantastic, the atmosphere was fun and the only "bad" thing I had to say was that I was surprised that there weren't any water stations on the course. Being a bit cooler, we didn't really need it as much, and being in AZ, people are trained to bring water with them everywhere... still it was a surprise that there wasn't any except for in check in/congregating area. I'm really glad I had the experience, and I have to be honest, I'm glad it's over, but for a reason you may not expect.

See, I used to be the all cardio, all the time type of a gal. Treadmill & Elliptical, and occasionally the bike... I was all over it. Weights - ::hiss::

NOW I've moved into more of the all weights, all the time with some cardio thrown in for warm-ups and to keep my endurance up.

The few weeks leading up to this event, I sort of flipped back to Cardio Queen mode. 3-4 walk/run interval workouts a week with 1-2 strength training sessions. It was a nice change, but I've been soooo happy to get back to my 'regular' silliness on the weight floor this week!

Will I do it again?

Probably... I might even be silly enough to work my way up to a 10K or a 1/2 marathon in the future... just to see if it could be done.

Just not any time soon. ;)

Monday, October 26, 2009

If I could turn back time...

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden, Hall of Fame college basketball coach

I know, you're chomping at the bit for a post-race recap and I'm chomping at the bit to share it... and not to leave you hanging - it went great! It was a fantastic experience and I did WAY better than I expected! Not to mention getting to spend some quality time with my bud, Julee.

But as sometimes happens the brain has other ideas. You see, there's been this thought niggling at the back of my brain. with all that went on this weekend, it really moved to the forefront:

Past performance is not an indicator of future results.

How many times have we heard that? Usually it's in relation to money investments - stocks, money market accounts, etc. - where the overall results are are at the whim of the market. Something that did fantastic for the last 5 years can tank tomorrow. Conversely, something that had a low return can soar next week.

It's a lot like life, isn't it?

How many of us are living life, making decisions based on our past performance?

"I've tried to lose weight so many times, and gained it all back/didn't lose/had a hard time/etc!"

...for that matter, how many of us are still living in the past?

"I used to run track and play volleyball in high school!" (Never mind that was 25 years ago and haven't worked out since.)

Heck, I approached my 5K with the same 'past performance/future results' attitude. I was convinced it would take me 45 minutes or more because that's how long it's taken me in the past. I was so surprised by my finishing time that the guy at the end asked if I was upset by my time (I know I had a weird look on my face), and I said no, I thought the clock was broken!

How many times have you let your something from your past hold you back? A success that limit your capacity to push a little more? (There's NO way I could do that again! It was a fluke! Or I already did that once, why try harder?)

Reliving glory days and looking at today with regret for lost endurance/fitness/achievements instead of looking ahead to all the amazing things life has in store for you? (Can I just say that, for the first time, I'm grateful that I wasn't involved in much in high school/college? For me, TODAY is the best of times and tomorrow is even better!)

A fear of failing (again?) keeping you from getting started? A voice from your past - mother, sister, father, friend, stranger - that said your goals were silly, you shouldn't put yourself out there like that, you might get hurt. And you believed them.

Time to let go of the past! It has no bearing on your present or future.

The only good time to look back is to take a quick glance to see how far you've come! Even if it's one step, it's one step more than you did before.

::puts on cheer leader outfit and picks up pom poms::

You can do it! Pick a goal that makes you happy, excited and swell with pride and keep focused on it until you achieve it.

Every day, tell yourself you can do it.

Every day, do one thing that gets you closer to that goal. It doesn't matter what it is, every small step will add up to huge results!

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now go give yourself three minutes of happy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Don't Stop Believing

While this may be the work week wrap-up day of the 'Positive Self Talk' week, it doesn't mean YOU have to stop. Every day is a new day, a new opportunity to amaze yourself, take a baby step closer to the awesomeness that's inside of you.

I wanted to share this fabulous article that I got from Wings For The Heart. The fabulous Victor turned me on to it and I am blown away each week by the content - it always seems to say exactly what I need to hear, when I'm ready to hear it.

So for those of you who are wondering "Where do I start?! How am I supposed to love myself when *I* can't even stand myself sometimes?!"

(you, too can get your own copy of the e-newsletter)

Learning to Love Yourself

Loving yourself can be difficult when you have limiting and
derogatory messages playing in your subconscious mind. Most of these
messages are recorded during childhood, but their effects can be far
reaching! Did you know that you're still being influenced by the
things your parents and others said to you decades ago?

When someone told you that you were no good, you believed them. When
someone told you that you'd never amount to anything, you believed
them. When someone told you that you were stupid or learning disabled
or weird, you believed them. And you still believe them to this day -
even if you're not consciously aware of these underlying beliefs.

Is it possible to overcome old messages and replace them with new,
empowering messages? Yes! Here are three good ways to start:

1) Romance yourself. Think about the last love affair you had. At
the beginning you and your partner probably devoted a lot of time,
attention and affection to each other, right? You felt passionate and
swept away by the beauty of your partner and he/she probably felt the
same about you. One of the best ways to learn to love yourself is to
enter into a similar process - with yourself! Treat yourself like
royalty! Do things that make you feel happy. Hug yourself. Sweet-talk
yourself. Buy yourself nice things. Spend quality time with yourself
simply because you deserve it.

2) Explore your existing beliefs. You may suspect you have old,
limiting messages rattling around in your head but still be unsure
about what they are exactly. In order to discover the beliefs that
are holding you back, you may need to go on an expedition. Begin
exploring your existing beliefs by writing in a journal. Give
yourself prompts or questions like these: "My earliest memory of
feeling stupid was . . ." "My mother always made me feel . . ." "My
father always treated me like . . ." and so on. The idea is to think
back to an earlier time in your life and see if you can discover when
and where your limiting beliefs got started. Then, challenge those
beliefs. Are they still true? Were they ever true? Decide what you
WANT to be true, and begin to replace the old belief by focusing more
on your new and improved beliefs.

3) Emphasize your good qualities! When you have low self-esteem, you
tend to keep focusing on the things that are "wrong with you," and
dismissing the things that you have going for you. Start to turn this
around by praising and encouraging yourself in your self-talk. When
you accomplish something, congratulate yourself! Say things like,
"Wow, I'm really proud of myself for doing that. It wasn't easy, but
I pushed through the rough spots and gave it my best shot." You can
also make a point of simply giving yourself positive self-talk daily.
Recite affirmations like these: "I am a valuable person. I have a lot
to offer the world. I'm talented and successful." The more you do it,
the more you'll come to believe it!


Ready to start/advance your own personal WHY-volution? Make the decision, make the commitment to yourself. Make today your own personal January 1st!

Copy this goodie (also from Wings Of the Heart), put your name on it, sign it, post it, carry it with you, and read it every. single. day.

I __________________________ hereby vow to keep moving toward my
dreams and goals regardless of any obstacles or challenges I may
face. I understand that challenges are transitory and do not last
forever. I vow to use all of my mental and physical resources to
work through them or around them, and I refuse to be intimidated,
discouraged or cowed by fear. I will persevere no matter what,
knowing undeniably that I have the power to overcome any difficulty.
I understand that this focus above any other is enough to carry me
swiftly to the finish line.

Signed and dated: _____________________________

When did this become me?!

I came across a lovely blog post today written by a SparkPeep, INTOTHESOUTH, a little over a month ago.

She wrote out a list of things that she's not, but is working towards. A personal wish list of sorts.

As I read it, I realized that I *am* that person!

-who will go jogging for fun. (not only did I start doing it on my own, I'm now PAYING for the privilege of doing it with other people.)

-who will pick the red sauce over the cream sauce without serious cognitive struggle (it's a preference thing for me, but sometimes the cream sauce still wins... because it's usually REALLY tasty! ;)

-who will ever crave a salad that doesn't have candied something in it and isn't covered in cheese (mmm... candied nuts add a lovely crunch to the salad, but I can do with out either.)

-who won't be self-conscious about working out in front of people in better shape than me (this is still a struggle at times, but for the most part, if I want to be one of those "in better shape" people, I have to suck it up and get'er done.)

-who can give up bread (::eyes the loaf of oatmeal wheat in her fridge:: Still have it, just in limited quantities. I got to the point where I saw the value for me and my goals in cutting back on the starches)

-who can eat broccoli, asparagus or brussel sprouts without some sort of firearm providing my motivation (Doode... roasted brussel sprouts. N-U-M! Why did no one tell me about this before?!)

-who can stop at one bite of dessert (::blush:: I actually left 2/3 of my b-day dessert behind at lunch yesterday. First bite: OMG don't need my hubby any more. 2nd bite: Y-U-M, 3rd: mmm. good. 4th: yeah, that's enough.)

-who prefers the grilled over breaded version (Yeah... no particular reason - either habit or something, but I generally go with grilled)

-who will pick the fruit cup side over fries (depends on the fruit, but usually will pick the salad/veggie/fruit side.)

-who won't make ridiculously bad food choices on vacation without regret (I'm going mostly with the "Without regret" part here. Sometimes I will make ridiculously bad choices, sometimes there's not much choice. It happens, move more later and move on.)

-who can make good choices at fast food restaurants (I defer to the previous response)

-who can slip up over one meal and not ruin the rest of the day (ditto)

-who thinks fat free dressing is better than full fat (this is the only one I will flat out disagree with. Fat/sugar free ANYTHING will never, ever, ever be better [nutritionally, taste, texture, etc.] than full fat. Period. I refuse to eat low fat/fat free dressings because I think they taste disgusting and have ingredients I can't pronounce.* If you're going to do partake, partake in the real stuff.)

-who can relax and not worry that the seat belt on a flight won't fit (I'm very grateful that this hasn't really been an issue for me. At the same time, I don't have to worry about being wedged into the already too small seat, with the arm rests digging into my hips.)

So... yeah. WOW. I *am* that person. It happened slowly, gradually, and took many mindful baby steps to achieve, but I'm there. And 'there' is a very nice place to be.

Care to join me?

*This is where I insert the big "but" to cover my, *ahem* [snicker. pun intended.]: The only lower fat dressing I've found that is tolerable, and doesn't have funky chemicals is Newman's Own Balsamic. I only share this in case someone sees me eating it - you can still mock me, but at least I added my caveat. ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday: Continuing with the positive self talk

I was just reading a story from Mike Kramer, Staff Writer at Spark People. He posts some amazingly inspiring, motivating articles, and most aren't about health, fitness or weight loss. They focus on the strength, beauty and power of the human spirit. This article in particular brought me to tears.

It's about the struggles of Wei Jingsheng who was a political prisoner in communist China for years for having the audacity to stand up for what was RIGHT, not what was popular.

While this story may seem out of place on a site dedicated to helping people lead healthy lifestyles, this story embodies that spirit with the simple, yet powerful quote:

"There is power and courage inside each one of us, waiting for an excuse to escape."

You see, for some of us, embarking on a healthy lifestyle IS like being a political prisoner. You may be in a home environment that is filled with foods and devices designed to save you time, to be convenient, to be fast and efficient.

Or You may be surrounded by people who want to help you, who love you, who want to make life "easier" for you by bringing you food to comfort your emotions, but do nothing to comfort your body.

Or those people may say things - little or big things, seemingly helpful but deeply hurtful - to undermine your confidence, to cause you to doubt your own abilities to achieve a goal. Any goal. Big or small.

Convenient. Easy. Doubt.

All things designed to keep you exactly where you are, right now, and never let you move beyond it.

You see, when you make a decision to do something different, to grow, to change, even a little bit, the tiny seed of greatness that's been buried under years - decades even - of muck and hurt and doubt begins to stir.

Now you have to make a choice: Continue on - keep watering that seed until it blooms into the beautiful flower it's meant to be. Or stop watering the seed, pack some more soil on top of it, and continue on your current path.

The good thing (or bad, depending on your perspective) is, if you choose the latter, everything will stay the same. Everything.

If you choose to keep watering that seed, allowing the dreams and goals within you to grow and flourish, allow the WHY-volution within you to break free, you will be taking the road less traveled. It's never an easy path, or a convenient one, and generally not a popular one. In fact you may feel like you're being exiled by everyone around you, trapped in your own deserted island with a population of you. But remember it is the RIGHT path for YOU to be on NOW.

You are the King/Queen of that island - own it and stand proud!

There will be times you don't think you can make it, but remember: "There is power and courage inside each one of us, waiting for an excuse to escape."

Not just in some of us, or in everyone else but you... it's in EACH of us!

You are powerful!

You are courageous!

You can do it!

I believe in you!!!


I leave you with this awesome email I received from Jonathon Roche this morning:

Don't Listen to the Doubters!
"If we listen to the family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers who doubt us, then we will never accomplish anything.

"Many times these people are not trying to drag us down, but are dealing with their own insecurities. So when you talk about walking your first 5K or losing 30 pounds, people sometimes get uncomfortable and react by trying to talk you out of chasing your goal.

"If I listened to the doubters when I weighed 224 pounds (I now weigh 180 and have kept the 40 pounds off for over a decade) and decided to run my first marathon back in 1996, I would not be who I am or where I am today.

"No matter what anyone around you thinks or says, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. You just need to take it one step at a time, stay consistent with your workouts and keep it fun!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Great Pumpkin Edition

In honor of the upcoming 5K, figured I'd make it a theme!

(a photo from a previous year - Yay, get to pretend I'm running away from creepy children of the corn ;)

(What I will be thinking of during the last leg of the race - running on a beach... not of the guy... Unless he's my hubby, then that's a different story. ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Make EVERY week positive self talk week!

Oh wait... it's really "End Fat Talk" week...but I like my title better. ;)

Here's a bit more on it, in case you're wondering what it's all about.

What is "fat talk"?! It's those times when you focus on your flaws (Ugh, my thighs are HUGE!), or dismiss a complement about your looks (Thanks... but I'm so much heavier than I want to be), or overall talk bad to yourself (I'm so fat and ugly!)

But really, it's an even bigger. It's not just what you say about the size of your posterior, it's also about what you say about yourself.

Well, this week, your assignment is to follow a simple rule: If you can't say anything nice (to yourself), don't say anything at all.

Do you realize you have thousands and thousands of stray thoughts that cross your mind every day? Some of them you are aware of - what to have for lunch, how am I going to pay the bills, oh shiny, I like her top but not those shoes, etc.) Then there's the autopilot ones that help you do your daily routines: getting ready in Others aren't quite so obvious, because they're so much a part of your thought process you don't even notice it.

How many times to you say to yourself, "I'm such a goof/dork!" or "I can't believe I'm so stupid!" or worse?

These phrases just slip out without provocation. It's part of the script that's so ingrained in your thoughts, having developed over the years from negative reinforcement, a stray comment you heard once when you were 7, things you've said and weren't challenged so they must be true!

Guess what: they aren't true. None of it.

The mean thing your mom told you. The nasty comment the popular girls sneered at you. The random insult from a stranger.

Just words, based in fear, part of your past that should not be part of your present or future.

Here are some new words for you, based in love:

YOU are amazing!

YOU are beautiful!

YOU are talented!

YOU are powerful beyond measure!

YOU can do anything you set your mind to!

YOU have amazing dreams that you have every right to pursue achieve!

YOU have a WHY-volution starting inside you that's bursting to break free and help you do amazing things!

Yes, I mean YOU! You - right there, reading this, I'm talking to you. Don't let anyone (_especially_ you! ;) tell you anything differently!!!

Here's some resources to get yourself on the positive self talk train!

Post a love note to yourself or someone else:

We Are the Real Deal:
An amazing group of blogs by an equally amazing group of bloggers! They tackle a lot of subjects but the overall message is about radical self acceptance!

One of the awesome WATRD bloggers and her motto: Unapologetically Myself/I am my own superhero.

Jonathon Roche's Radio show

Only positive,encouraging, empowering feedback! He also has a daily email list

And I will leave you with this great story I just received:

The nest of young eagles hung on every word as the Master Eagle described his exploits. This was an important day for the eaglets. They were preparing for their first solo flight from the nest.
It was the confidence builder many of them needed to fulfill their destiny.

"How far can I travel?" asked one of the eaglets.
"How far can you see?" responded the Master Eagle.
"How high can I fly?" quizzed the young eaglet.
"How far can you stretch your wings?" asked the old eagle.
"How long can I fly?" the eaglet persisted.
"How far is the horizon?" the mentor rebounded.
"How much should I dream?" asked the eaglet.
"How much can you dream?" smiled the older, wiser eagle.
"How much can I achieve?" the young eagle continued.
"How much can you believe?" the old eagle challenged.

Frustrated by the banter, the young eagle demanded, "Why don't you answer my questions?"

"I did."

"Yes. But you answered them with questions."

"I answered them the best I could."

"But you're the Master Eagle. You're supposed to know everything. If you can't answer these questions, who can?"

"You." The old wise eagle reassured.

"Me? How?" the young eagle was confused.

"No one can tell you how high to fly or how much to dream. It's different for each eagle. Only God and you know how far you'll go. No one on this earth knows your potential or what's in your heart. You alone will answer that. The only thing that limits you is the edge of your imagination."

The young eagle puzzled by this asked, "What should I do?"

"Look to the horizon, spread your wings, and fly."
~ Tom Reilly

Make EVERY week positive self talk week!

I believe in you!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Questions for my runnin' peeps

I'm sure ya'll are sick of hearing about this, but I'm a wee bit excited about the Great Pumpkin Race coming up on Saturday... and nervous, especially about getting stuff prepared for it. Was hopin' I could get some advice from those who have run before me to make sure I don't make some major faux pas on the big day.

Any advice is welcome (except for the advice to sleep in and skip the event. ;)


1) What do you eat?!
Ok, this is kind of a silly one, I know, but figured I'd ask - do you have a "good luck" breakfast?

What I usually have on the weekends when I have a little more time between food and run, I have PB & Toast with some coffee & lots of water. During the week, I usually have a little (like 1-2 spoonful's) of oatmeal & applesauce mixed with 1/2-1 spoonful of protein powder. I can't say either makes me feel on top of the world, but I also don't feel like poo during the run either.

2) What to take?

My list is sort of growing, including my race packet (duh), a cooler for snackies & a baggie of ice for my knee (which has been ::knock on wood:: awesome and I don't want that to change!), my iPod, lots of water, sunscreen, and a shirt to change into afterwards to cut down the stinky factor. Anything thing else?!

3) How early should I get there?!

The official start time is 8 am, and the location is about 45 minutes from my house. I was thinking of getting there by 7:30 - too early? too late?

4) This one is for the ladies:

Ok, this is sorta embarrassing but ya see... I'm, well, 'curvy'. As such, I need to make sure that I have a sung, supportive sports bra to minimize the 'girls' bouncing all over the place. The issue is, with adding running into the mix, and distance over the last few weeks, and the AZ heat (even in the fall), there's been some chaffing issues.


Any idea on how to minimize that?

5) Is there anything else I should know?!

I'm focusing on the fun part - really, I am! It's just good to have some pointers from more seasoned competitors - those things that, when you showed up for YOUR first race, you thought, "DOH! Wish I had _______!"


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Final Countdown!

Today marks 1 week before my first 5K! Eeeks!

I'm excited and nervous, but mostly just looking forward to the experience.

So today I went out for my usual Saturday morning long walk/run at the Rillito... did the whole 3.1+ miles, did it a decent time, but it still kinda sucked. LOL!

See, I started later than I'm used to - usually I'm up and out of the house around 8:30... even with it still being toasty here in Tucson, the temp is usually pretty reasonable around that time. This morning, I took the hubby to the airport (::sniff::) and got to the park around 9:30, and got hit with a blast of hot air.

Holy Macaroni it was already over 80! By the time I got home, it was 88!

And I only brought one bottle of water with me.

::face palm::

Either way, I trudged through, focusing on the desert creatures scurrying along my path, and even stopping to give a wayward pup a drink of water & skritches. All that aside, I still finished in around 45 minutes. The up/downside is that, because of the heat, my heart rate shot up really fast and stayed up for most of the run (usually I average around 158-163 for when I'm running... today it was 165-170). This was the first time I actually doused my head & back a couple of times during the workout to keep my body temp down.


The funny thing is, during part of the trail, my mind kept drifting to, "WHY am I doing this again?!? Oh yeah, to make my body work a little better and to be a better person overall."

That darn WHY keeps poppin' up! LOL!

Anywho, I'm feeling better in general about the upcoming 5K - since finding out that it's going to be on a trail rather than a track, I was extra happy I'd been going to the Rillito River Walk - it has every surface from super duper loose sand to pavement. From that I've learned that loose sand is awesome for the joints and cushioning the landing, it totally stinks for speed. Pavement on the other hand is awesome for speed... but I feel every step, no matter how good my form is.

But because I've been working on all those surfaces at least once a week for the past month, I'm feeling prepared for whatever the race trail has to throw at me. I'm not going for a super duper fast time, but my goal is to #1 - finish and #2 - finish in under 50 minutes.

I know, not setting any land/speed records, but for me, it IS going to be a personal best. AND I'm doing it for a good cause - not only my own health and fitness level, but also an opportunity to raise money for the American Heart Association (In case you missed it the first billion times you can donate here:

Not only am I doing my part to keep heart disease off the list of things to do for my future, I'm also working to keep other people from developing this highly preventable disease.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fired Up Friday: Bonus Why-volution Edition!

Pardon me for a moment while I put on my Motivational Speaker hat and step up on a podium.

There's been a LOT that's been going on in my little world... most of the things I write about barely scratch the surface, or completely gloss over some of the trials, tribulations, celebrations, or general mundane happenings in my life.

But lately, it feels like the poo has hit, well, _all_ the fans - some of it good, some of it not so great, most of it scary.

It's times like this that I need to start listening to my own advice, because I'm told I have some pretty good stuff. ;) I encourage others to dream big, set big goals, say affirmations as if you've already achieved the goals! Who cares if you can't fit into any of the clothes in your closet right now - tell yourself you look fantastic in your size 8's! Who cares if you can't pay the bills this month - tell yourself every day that you are financially free with enough money to share and to spare!

Or in my case, I haven't finished my PT cert yet, and I'm telling you all I'm opening a full service fitness center.

::deep breath::

As happens, when you make a decision, allow a dream to grow within you, when you make it public, focus your efforts on it, the universe conspires on your behalf to help you achieve it. That conspiracy comes in many forms - small signs to keep you inspired, placing people in your path that can help, small windfalls just when you need it most.

This week has been full of those moments - generally small things that happen when I'm in the midst of freaking out but trying to remind myself that it's only a situation, and situations change.

Case in point, I recieved this email today from Jonathan Roche, my fave inspirational trainer:

Destined for Greatness!
I saw these words on the burp cloth that Karen pulled out for Benjamin (now 4 months) this morning and I loved seeing it.

When we are young we are told that we can do anything we set our minds to and are given the impression (and it is true) that we are Destined for Greatness. But somewhere along the way we pull back on shooting for the moon and instead just go with the flow.

What big dreams do you have asleep inside of you? Have you dreamed of finishing a 5K, a 10K or even a marathon? Have you dreamed of having unlimited energy and/or being a healthy role model to your kids? Every one of us has had big dreams at some point and everyone of us has the strength inside to accomplish anything we set our minds to. You were "Destined for Greatness" when you were born and I think today is the day to begin dreaming big again and then making it happen. Yes you can!

This made me think of when I started my Mary Kay Business many moons ago. My director asked me what 'Little Girl' dreams I'd forgotten about and would like to achieve. I honestly had no clue where to even start looking for those dreams, or how to come up with new ones.

When I met my hubby, he asked me where I saw myself in 5 years. I had no clue.

I read Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, and he said to at least start out with a 1 year goal, and break it down to 9, 6, and 3 month goals. But what do I pick?!

My hubby started with his now mentor, John DiLemme, and he said to "Find your Why... NOW!" But... but... What if I don't know it?! ::flop::

This process has made me realize that the habit of living day to day, not seeing beyond tomorrow, or only looking forward to friday, the next week, the next pay check, the next holiday - that is a learned behavior.

Then it hit me: If I learned how to STOP dreaming... I can learn to START!

It's not that we don't have hopes and dreams, it's that we've learned to put those dreams aside for the "greater good".

As children we were given unlimited encouragement and permission to dream fantastical dreams!

"What do you want to be when you grow up?!"

"I want to be a fireman! And live on a ranch! With purple ponies and a HUGE waterfall! And walk on the moon!"

"That's fantastic! You can do anything you want to do! The sun and the moon and the stars are the limit!"

Then somewhere along the way, limits and boundries were put on our dreams. We were told that it was silly to want (fill in the blank)... or, out of the deepest love and concern to not think of such things, you're fine just the way you are.

So you stop sharing your dreams, or you stop dreaming all together.

One day you realize that your biggest dream is that the dog hasn't dug up the yard and that your kids have actually put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

You start thinking, "This is as good as it gets. Who am I to think that I can do something great?!"

To quote the awesome Marianne Wilson: Who are you NOT to be?

EVERYONE has seeds of greatness inside them! Everyone!

One of the things I loved about the Mary Kay business was being told that there was room for everyone at the top, and it's the same with life.

EVERYONE deserves to be great! If you dream it, you can achieve it.

So what long forgotten dreams are stirring in you right now?

Don't shake your head at me, saying you don't have one...I know you do. Problem is, you're so used to ignoring it that it scares you to dare to face it.

But you can do it! There's a compelling WHY, a huge dream, a pretty, pretty princess, handsome prince that deserves greatness inside of you clammoring to get out!

Say that dream out loud! Give it room to grow! Find your WHY and start your own WHY-volution!

I believe in you!

Be prepared to be amazed!!!

::Bow:: There's books & CD's for sale in the lobby. Thank you & have a great day!

::steps off podium::

Best. Day. Ever.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.

- Mark Twain

"Integrity is who you are when no one is watching you." Taken from my dad's signature line

I had a fantastic birthday! It wasn't because of the huge party, because there wasn't one. It wasn't due to the hugemazing cake, though I did enjoy this little gem (Things I need to do more often: have petit fours! I always forget how fun and enjoyable they are until I have one.)

And it wasn't because the hubby and I had an awesome dinner,

complete with flaming cheese

(dinner is ALWAYS better when danger is involved... and seeing the ::whoomp:: of flames always reminds me about how the restaurant caught on fire in Greek Town, in downtown Detroit... but I digress.)

It also wasn't because I got tons of expensive gifties. Because I didn't... I got less flashy, but more deeply significant pressies which I totally love!

My birthday was awesome amazing because I received gifts that can't be wrapped, or put in boxes and topped with bows. Those gifts came, in no small part, from folks who are reading this right now, and people I have never met.

You see, I learned some amazing things about myself and those around me on Wednesday. I learned that maybe, just maybe, the things folks have been saying about me are true: that I really /do/ know what I'm talking about, that I have more influence than I know, that sometimes the smallest, simplest acts can have greatest impact.

After asking a simple, albeit complex, three letter question of one of my fabu sparkbuds, Deb. I was overwhelmed by not only her response, but the response of the people who read her blog. One word made all the difference.

The word was: Why

And the response was fantastic and humbling!

If you get a chance, go swing by and read her amazing progress, especially the Week 5, Day 3 and day 4 entries.

Deb summed it up perfectly: "Do not underestimate the power of the WHY!"

Getting specific, identifying the reasons WHY you're doing something, what your end goal /really/ is, these are all keys to keeping on track, doing what you need to do to get the results you want... and it's something that at _least_ 20 people are now on the path to discovering.

So really, for my birthday, I started a WHY-volution!

And as a shameless plug for my hubby and his business coach & mentor, a free e-book and cool stuff to help you start your own personal WHY-volution:

Be prepared to be amazed!

ps: Just so you know, here's the first draft of _my_ WHY:

My WHY is to be, and help others become the Change they wish to see in the World.
To help other people by freely sharing my Knowledge & To Open and Operate "Firecracker Fitness", the first CrossFit Affiliate/hybrid Gym that is also a full self development center! This will not just a Gym to work the body, but a gym with Mental, Emotional, and Physical training, as they all go hand in hand.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday: Are You Healthy?

I wanted to share a snippet of an email I got from Leanne Ely - the Dinner Diva, she of and flylady fame... she totally rocks and love her take on food, attitude and health.

Note: My apologies to all the guys reading this - I was going to change all the "women" to "people" but didn't. Feel free to substitute at will. ;)

1)A healthy woman is AWARE. Her mouth is a treasure, not a trash can. When it is time to fuel up, she chooses food that will nourish her body so she can nourish herself first, THEN the people in her life. Her nutritional needs are NOT on the bottom of the list! [Personal note: nourishing food does not equal boring, bland food. Food is meant to be enjoyed and savored! With little time and a bit of imagination, nourishing foods CAN be amazingly tasty! S.]

2)A healthy woman TAKES THE TIME. Contrary to what we think (that we don't have time), we all have the same 24 hours in the day. Taking 5 minutes to make a nutrient packed salad or waiting 5 minutes in the drive thru amounts to the same amount of time?one of those choices has huge dividends, the other one just offers a huge backend!

3)A healthy woman is CONSISTENT. It's not about being on a diet to lose weight to get into your smallest pair of jeans. Consistently eating well means you are consistently doing something proactive to affect the quality of your health. Nutrients feed your body's cells, giving them life and giving you vitality and energy!

4)A healthy woman is APPRECIATIVE. Good, healthy food eaten with a happy, grateful heart makes all the difference! When you eat poorly, you feel guilty. We all do! We vow to better next time, but next time doesn't come. Appreciating what YOU DO FOR YOURSELF (via healthy eating) will change EVERYTHING! Your energy levels, the sparkle in your eyes, the constant smile on your face?people will wonder what you're up to!

5)A healthy woman MOVES her body! We need this--it is nature's best anti-depressant! Endorphins ladies, endorphins! You feel GREAT after an invigorating walk! You can give yourself hearty congratulations and high five yourself?yes you can! Doing something and moving is like the frosting on the healthy woman's cake. Yes, you can do this. Yes, you DO have time!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Birthday Addition

YAY! I made it to 40... feels... well, kinda like 39. LOL! Looking forward to a nice low key day... and if that actually happens, well, I'll be thrilled! LOL!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And geese...

I've seen this one before but just got it again and love the message/lesson... had to share!

The Geese are starting to Fly...

Are You?...

What Can You Learn From Geese?

There's power in a gaggle of geese that you just don't find in a lone goose

For example...


As each goose flaps its wings, it creates lift for the bird following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if one goose flew alone


Those who share a common direction and sense of unity can get where they're going
quicker and easier because they're drawing strength from each other


When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of
trying to fly alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the
lifting power of the bird in front


Stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go; be willing to accept their help and give help to others


When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position


It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. People, like geese,
are interdependent on each other


Geese look after each other. If one gets sick or wounded, two geese follow it down to protect and feed it until it either recovers or dies


Stand by each other in difficult times as well in good times

And when you hear those geese honking... they're offering encouragement to their leader, something everyone - not just leaders - needs!


*LIFE* for my friends.......past and present. (Borrowed from my buddy MaryAnn)

Life is a blend of the good and the bad,
A bit of the glad and a bit of the sad'
A pinch of contentment, a time of unrest,
A dash of the worst and a lot of the best'
A little of failure, a little of luck,
A bit of disaster and plenty of pluck':
And who would live long must be willing to know
Winter anad summer and sunshine and snow.

Life is a mixture of laughter and tears,
Hope and despair are a part of the years:
Someone is born and then somebody dies,
Someone is foolish and someone is wise"
Someone is false to us, someone is true,
Now it is play and then tasks we must do:
Who grows to manhood must learn how to take
Joy with its laughter and care with its ache.

Life is a blend of the good and the ill,
And we must bear what shall come by His will:
There must come tears to the brightest eyes,
Care visits the rich and the strong and the wise:
No one escapes when the rain pelts down,
Today you may smile but tomorrow may frown;
So stand to your portion of sorrow and strife,
And know that it's all in the battle called LIFE!


Monday, October 12, 2009

The next 40...

So here I sit... I'm on the eve of the eve of my birthday where I turn the big 4-0 and honestly, I feel like that kid on the Disneyland commercial. (pssst... are you asleep? I'm too excited!)
"Don't just count your years, make your years count." Ernest Meyers

I'm not sure exactly why I'm feeling this way - I guess most people look at big milestone birthdays with either dread or anticipation. It's either a reminder of things that you haven't done, achievements/goals not met, or it's a fresh your own personal January 1st to write your success story, to see the road that's wide open in front of you, ready to blaze your own trial.

Either way it's got me in a planning type mood, and looking forward to the awesome things to come!

Yes, there are a few things that I can look back on and feel that tug of regret for things undone, unseen, unaccomplished. But at the same time, I feel like I'm finally figuring out what it is to be "Me". These last many months, I feel like I've given myself the best gift I can possibly receive: A new life... and a life that is worth living.

It started with the quest to lose weight, and it lead me to that all too true, yet cliche saying: I got out of it so much more than I had planned for.

I found health. I found fitness. I found a passion that I had forgotten about. I remembered how to dream, and have slowly peeled away the layers of fear to dare to achieve those dreams. I have learned that pushing myself is difficult yet infinitely more rewarding than pushing the button on the remote. I have said goodbye to people and things from my past, and hello to an amazing future.

"The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd." - James Crook

Of the things I'm looking forward to is my upcoming 5K (I just saw some photos and I get to run through the corn maze! Schweet!) And I'm still doing fundraising so feel free to swing by and drop a few dollars in the till. :)

It's one of the markers that has made me realized that I've gone beyond the "weight loss" aspect of this journey and have moved into the "what next" part of it.

I've had the whole "it not being about the weight/the number on the scale any more" and what that really means to me niggling at my brain. It's fodder for a future entry, but for now it's just got me thinking about what I want to accomplish for the next 12 weeks that stands between now and 2010.

Oddly, one of the things I keep coming back to is the number on the scale.

You see, I have a confession: the scale hasn't moved more than 1-2 pounds since July. The Body fat % has dropped, the muscles have tightened and the endurance has improved, but the number hasn't changed. It's been between 151 and 153 for nearly 4 months. It's not that the number itself makes me unhappy, it's more the fact that the 10 pounds of fluffy padding around my midsection is preventing the world from seeing my fabu abs.

So, among other things, the goal of these next 12 weeks is to rid my body of those 10 pounds of body fat. I have to say, while I would LOVe to see the number on the scale hit the low 140's, I'd be fine with it staying where it is, and the fat taking a hike.

And yes, I fully realize that I am embarking on that goal at a time that includes Halloween, Thanksgiving (and a 2 week parental visit), Christmas, New Years and all the other (Finger quote) diet killer (unfinger quote) events that can miraculously emerge around this time of year.

Oh wait... I'm not on a "diet".

(And I'll let you all in on a secret: those events were always there. You're just hyper aware now that you're paying attention. ;)

I have planning to do for my workouts and nutrition to meet this goal, and planning for the other 2-3 goals I have on the board, but all in all, I feel confident that things will work out just fine.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Great Canadian Adventure

Figured I've been back for a few days now, it's time to do a quick recap. :)

The trip could best be described with this phrase:

People make plans.
God laughs.

That's pretty much how the whole thing went. Granted, I didn't have the best attitude going into it... and saying that I behaved badly would be an exceptionally nice way of describing my behavior over most of the week. (I saw the best artsy plaque that I wanted to get: I /do/ have my Big Girl Panties on... they're just in a bunch!)

But rather than dwell on the crankies and every little nit-picky thing that didn't go well (most of it having to do with mis-/non-communication), I'm chalking it all up to a life/learning experience - what I need to do, what I need to work on, and things I never, ever want to do again.

The trip wasn't a total bust - in fact, there were several moments that I look back on with much fondness.

First off, just the fact that I was able to be in my hubby's home town with him made it very special. I got to see areas that he would frequent, places he'd go to with his parents, even sat in the same booth that he & his parents would occupy during their regular brunch at Humpty's.

I also got to experience the phenomenon that is Timmy's... Or Tim Horton's for those who aren't in the know. ;) Granted I got to experience it a few more times than I wanted, but for those of you who have heard the rumour: It's true! Canada IS run on donuts! LOL! And they make a mean cruller, too. Though the hot cocoa and I don't really get along... a small scoop of it in my coffee is fine, a whole cup... not so much.

I got to see the most awesomest person E-V-E-R!!! With the trip that almost wasn't, the hubby and I had a fantastic trip to Lloydminster - getting the alone/re-connection time that we so desperately needed. What was waiting for us in Lloyd was the amazingly awesome Ramona! ::squee! happy dance!:: Getting to visit with her, even for a few short hours, was all I had hoped it would be: fantastically low key and "normal". Getting to have coffee/lunch with my new, life long sister-friend helped recharge my batteries in more ways that I could imagine, and helped unbunch those Big Girl Panties so I could relax and enjoy the rest of the visit. :)

We were then able to get a short visit with the second awesomest person - the hubby's Niece. Her wonky work schedule kept her from meeting with us earlier, but a mad dash and a cuppa tea later, I got to meet at least one person from Norman's family. She's fantastic - she just graduated from HS and is getting started on a naturopathic type program with school.

Over the weekend I got in the super duper quick 2 hour tour of the West Edmonton Mall and still managed to get in a loopdy-loopdy-loop roller coaster ride, a sea lion show and an amazing noodle bowl lunch. Alas, didn't get a photo _on_ the pirate ship since it was closed for an event.

(that's my hubby nomming on the nummy Spicy Thai soup)

And got to watch the Oilers (oh yeah, and the Flames... ;) season opener (in Canada, at a Boston Pizza, having a Chicago style pie... something seriously wrong with that. ;) This is one of those good/bad moments - good because I got to kick back and enjoy a fun night... bad because, well, you ever seen Canadians watching hockey? I thought soccer fans were... 'passionate'. They're TAME! LOL!

(that's the awesome scarf my cousin knitted for me last year. Saved my neck!)

And the extra bad happened when the Oilers' goalie got afflicted with teh dumb in the last 40 seconds of the game & the Flames took advantage of it to win the game. ::bangs head on table::

All in all, it was an ok trip, and I'm glad I went - life lessons and all. If it weren't for the weather, I would love to have stayed longer... and could almost be convinced to move. You see, I don't deal well with the cold. At. All. There's a reason I moved from Michigan to AZ the first chance I got. But having gone through Ontario, Quebec and now part of Alberta, it reminded me of what I love about Canada (ok, maybe not Quebec... LOL!) It's a little difficult to put my finger on. There's just enough of a European influence in the food, culture, and way the cities are set up that makes it very inviting and comfortable. There's just enough of what's familiar to make an easy transition.

But it's still cold.

Unfortunately the eating options were less than stellar, and trying to fit in MY workouts around 3 other people's schedule just didn't happen... aside from the leaf crunching, I didn't get any focused workout time in... and it's leaving me feeling less than confident about my 5K in a couple of weeks. This week has been a combo of getting my endurance back up, resting and detoxing from all the cr@p I ate last week.