Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My run with my four-legged best friend!

Yesterday started as a normal Monday for me, 5:00 a.m. wake up to grade the Health Science courses I teach with my only company, coffee and my dog Brinklee.


8:00 a.m. Make breakfast for the girl and then make her into a $100 dollar bill for the 100th day of school.

Excited for the 100th day of school!
 9:30 a.m. The boy wakes up, breakfast for him, reading books and time to get ready for preschool. 

11:00 a.m. lunch for both kids and off we go to school, but yesterday was different as I grabbed my first kid, my four-legged, furry one and loaded her into the back of the truck. The minute she saw the leash in my hand she started jumping around. She knew she was in for a treat!

We dropped both kids off at school and off we went for our time together. My first kid’s name is Brinklee. Since I have had kids Brinklee is often put to the back burner, but not today. She is the top dog! Brinklee is a 9 ½ year old Golden Retriever. She has been with me since my husband and I met. She has been on more vacations than a human and has also moved more times than most humans. She is my daughter and my four-legged best friend. She always sleeps by my bed and loves our kids. It is an under statement to say she is part of the family and as she ages it saddens me. Dog’s lives are too short and I am going to try to make the most of the time we have with her!

Yesterday was her day! We decided to start our run in the Village of Dunlap. I was unsure how Brinklee would do since she is quite a bit older and quite a bit wider from when we ran before. She hopped to as soon as possible, though. I tried to look for roads that had grassy paths for her to run on as you have to be careful with running dogs on roads or rough surfaces. It is hard on their hips, especially for a large bread dog like Brinklee. Secondly, you do not want their foot pads to become sore or even worse crack and bleed from the rough pavement.

Brinklee and I ran through 20 m.p.h. winds with beautiful sunshine and 59 degree temps. Is this really January in Illinois? She ran like a champ…at least for the first ¾ of a mile. Then the inevitable needed to happen.

She had to take a dump. Like all runners once they get started! What’s with the “shifting of the bowels” when the run gets going?! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. My Great Grandmother, Mina Lunita-May  (yes, that really was her name) always said that and it still makes me laugh!

Then another ¼ mile and a pee break. Then I realized I lost my glove during all of this so back trackin’ we go to find the glove. Found it!

"If the glove doesn't fit you must acquit!"
Again, I couldn't resist! No disrespect intended!
Remember I am a Social Worker that works with victim's rights.
We have to have a silly sense of humor every now and then!

Now my pup is tired. So, I am dragging her the rest of the way back to the truck for a break. Brinklee slammed dunked 1.2 miles in 13:30. The old girl did great and I was so proud! Off into the back of the truck for a drink and I am off again as I am not letting a good running day like this get away!

I felt like Mr. Incredible when he says, “I've still got time!”

I ran all throughout the village of Dunlap and surroundings today. I ran by the coffee shop, the water tower, houses (I was very happy to see "Sold" signs in this economy!), a cute shed that had positive sayings, my friend Anna’s house, down a country road, by dogs, by grain bins, and at least 8 times by the post office.


I ran up hills and down hills. The only thing I like about hills is the fact that it works my "Grande Gluteus Maximus" and let me tell you I have a "Grande" one. I think Kim Kardashian and I were separated at birth.

                                            This picture just cracks me up!

I even talked to Bekah for two miles of it and my husband for another. I heart my new Tuneband and iPhone! The only rough thing was the darn wind. However, every time I would turn a corner I would just think of Jillian Michael’s behind me with resistance bands screaming, “You really think you can do a marathon?!?!” and I pushed harder! Did I mention I register for the Chicago Marathon tomorrow?!

Needless to say, my run today was awesome! I finished my run by literally running right up to the pick-up door of my son’s preschool to grab my cute lil’ guy! 

My son with his wonderful teacher Ms. Morris

 I ran 9.3 miles and it felt great! Plus, I was able to spend quality time with my four-legged best friend. Some days, you really can fit it all in!



Supermom! Yeah, Right...

Every Day Life Obstacles

I have been asked a lot of questions lately about how I find time to work out, eat right, take care of my kids, clean my house, etc. All of the obstacles that a mom has to deal with on a daily basis. Well, to be honest, I don't find time to do it all. I'm not supermom, my house isn't 'company ready' at any given moment, I don't get all the running in that I would like during the week, I'm not the best at every single thing I do and I don't vacuum in pearls and high heels. And I'm good with that because like a lot of moms out there I do the best I can.

First off, I'm very blessed and thankful to have a supportive husband. If I didn't have Fred's support and encouragement, running would be almost impossible for me. I definitely wouldn't be writing this blog without his encouragement and belief in me. We are in it all together. When I NEED to go for a run, he gets it and helps me figure out how to make it happen. When we begin training for our first half marathon it will take both of us working together. It will not be easy but we can and will make it work.

Have I mentioned I have an 18 year old daughter? Yeah, I do. She's pretty great most of the time. Even though she works two jobs and goes to college right now she still helps out in her free time. She's gone on runs with me, watched her brother and sister so I could go on runs, and she ran her first 5k with me last Fall. Okay, so she ran with me for about a ½ mile and then decided to step it up to her regular pace and leave me behind. It was a lot of fun to do a race with her!

My parents are also amazing cheerleaders! When they aren't 'snowbirding' in Florida during January and February, they live only ten minutes from me. They are always great to let me drop my little ones off so I can go run for an hour or two.

Then there's also my treadmill. It's always there for me whether I want it to be or not. My kiddos are almost 6 and 4 and they hate the jogging stroller. After zipping through snacks in the first 10 minutes, they spend the rest of the time fighting, asking me when we will be done, and fighting. Which ends up defeating the main purpose of running for me: Sanity. So, treadmill it is when I have no one else to come to my rescue. However, both of my kiddos will be getting new bikes for their birthdays so, come Spring, I'm hoping to have them ride along on the trail with me when I run.

Honestly, I have an incredible support system all the way around and I don't know how I'd do it without my family. They all help in some way to get me over the obstacles I face.

That Nasty Little Obstacle Called 'Negativity'

While I was working out at the gym last week, an older, rather grumpy, gentleman asked me, “How can anyone be so happy so early in the morning while working out?”

First, let me explain that it was not early in the morning, it was roughly 9:30am. I woke up at 7:00am to my alarm radio playing Life is a Highway. That's really not relevant but I thought it was weird that I still remember it... Anyway, I scarfed down my Multi-grain Cheerios in Almond Milk, drank my coffee as I ran around the house bathing, dressing and feeding my two younger children. Had to take an extra 10 minutes to explain to my son why he had to go with me and couldn't stay home with Daddy. Followed by fifteen minutes of “Get your shoes and coat on.” set to repeat. Then I drove my girl to school while answering questions like, “Mom, what does fluid look like in your ear? What color is fluid when it's in your ear? Is it pink? Would it be gross if there was fluid in your nose? Knock knock?” After dropping her off, I drove to the gym with my boy. All the while listening to him squeak the squeaky dolphin toy that my mom gave him. (thanks so much, Mom)

Upon arriving at the gym, I check in and head tothe kid care room to drop off my boy. Meltdown ensues because I forgot to let him get the “ticket” (kids care pass) that he likes to take in to whoever is watching the kids that day. FYI, we are the only ones who actually take the “ticket” in with us. I was informed of this during said meltdown. And really, what a perfect time to tell me this tidbit of useless information. Back out to the front desk, get the ticket, back to the kids care room. All is good and well with the world. Now, why the heck wouldn't I be happy???

Of course, I didn't relay this whole story to him. I simply answered, “It's a choice. Choosing to be happy is a lot more fun than choosing to be grumpy and miserable.” I continued my workout getting roughly 6 miles on the bike and then running two miles on the track before it was time to get my boy and go pick up my girl. Pretty successful morning in my opinion!

A new obstacle for me has been the abduction and murder of Sherry Arnold. She was a wife, mother, a teacher, and a runner. I'm sure her family considered her so much more. Sherry was abducted on a run about a mile from her home in her Montana town. Seven days later, the FBI received a tip and two men were later arrested. This story has been on my mind ever since I first read about it on Shut Up + Run's blog. If it can happen to a beloved woman in her own town, one mile from her home, it can happen anywhere. This scares me, it saddens me, and it pisses me off. After following the story, I feel like I knew her. I have cried and prayed for her and her family. What happened to Sherry has made me afraid to go running by myself. I'm not sure yet how to get over that fear.

There is going to be a virtual run for Sherry on February 11, 2012.

My Personal Obstacle

When I was 22 years old I started to gain weight inexplicably. About 40 pounds in two years. I chalked it up to not eating what I should and not exercising enough. I started weight watchers and jazzercise. Even though I was journaling everything I ate and not going over my weight watchers points, I continued to gain weight. Finally, I went to my Dr. and explained to him what was going on. He asked me a lot of questions and then told me he thought I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS. He told me to go home and research it myself and see if what I was experiencing matched what I found. He also ran some blood work to check my insulin and some other things. A few days later I went back for the blood work results. My glucose level was 3 times higher than normal. My body had developed insulin resistance and therefore was producing way too much insulin. He said that I should begin taking Metformin/Glucaphage to help get my insulin down to normal levels. This would also help with some of the other symptoms I was experiencing such as anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, breakouts, and of course the weight gain. Just to be absolutely positive that this was the correct diagnosis, I had an ultra-sound done of my ovaries. Yep, little cysts all over. Pretty gross. Oh, and there's no cure. Awesome.

I have been taking metformin for 11 years now. I no longer gain weight like I did those two years but I don't take it off very easily either. I still deal with other symptoms of PCOS on a regular basis. Running has given me the power to better manage my symptoms. Running is one of my greatest weapons against PCOS. The 13.5 pounds I've lost in the last three weeks has been an incredible feeling of accomplishment for me. I have tried so many diets out there and been told that low carb is the best way to go with PCOS. I've done low carb diets so many times. I always lose in the beginning and then nothing. The last time, I felt sick the majority of the time I was on the diet. Plus, the small amount of carbs made running much more difficult. That's why I wanted to try juicing and eating more raw foods. I've read about women with PCOS having success with a raw food diet.

Going into Week 4 of the weightloss challenge I'm nervous. I'm wondering if I will plateau due to the PCOS. I'm wondering if the juicing, low calories, and more raw foods will end with the same results as other diets I have done. I'm wondering if I will always have to just accept that this is the way things are for me. I'm wondering how I can get out of my own head.

I'm very fortunate that my symptoms are not as bad as what some women have to deal with. However, having PCOS puts me at a much higher risk for Heart Disease, Ovarian Cancer, Uteran Cancer and Type II Diabetes by mid-late 40's. Not exactly something to look forward to.

So, do I sit in my room and cry all day? It's happened. It would be fairly easy to do on a regular basis. If I let myself think about the possibility of not being around to see my children all grown up I can very easily be sad, depressed, and just plain pissed off at the world every single day. That's not how I want to live my life though. That's not who I want to be. That's not who I am. Everyone has obstacles that they have to deal with in life. Many have obstacles much harder to overcome than mine. I'm not about to let PCOS beat me.

My husband recently stumbled across some articles about PCOS being linked to an iodine deficiency. We've started researching that path. For the first time in 11 years, I'm hopeful that I may be able to stop taking metformin and be rid of PCOS in the near future. What an incredible blessing that would be! I believe firmly that if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. One way or another, I will get through it.

Until then, I'm choosing to be happy. I'm choosing to ignore all the obstacles and stay focused on what is important to me. My family, my friends, being healthy, running, and enjoying my life. Some days will be harder than others. That's life. If there are times when I'm so perky and happy that it's annoying to someone, so what. You never know what someone else may be dealing with so be sure to never begrudge anyone their happiness.

Peace, love, happiness,


Monday, January 30, 2012

PCOS and Exercise

This is a subject that I have done a lot of research on because I myself have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). I've been reading up on symptoms and treatments, both conventional and unconventional, for over 11 years now. This topic is very important to me and I feel that all women should be aware of PCOS. It often goes undiagnosed or gets misdiagnosed.

PCOS is a condition that affects 1 out of every 15 women. It causes an imbalance in the woman's hormones. Sounds simple but it gets much more complicated. Due to this imbalance several symptoms can result and a woman may experience all or just a few of those symptoms. They basically include just about everything any woman dreads having to deal with. I have experienced many of them over the last 11 years. Each symptom with an asterisk is one that I currently experience or have experienced.

PCOS Symptoms May Include:

Infertility: PCOS is the leading cause of infertility among women.

Ovarian Cysts*

Irregular or Non-existant Periods

Weight Gain*

Insulin Resistance*




Mood Swings*

Facial Hair Growth (hirsutism)

Decreased Breast Size

Deepening of Voice



Dark Spots on Skin: Mostly around the armpits or under breasts.*

Male Pattern Baldness: Because facial hair growth by itself just isn't mortifying enough.

I mean, really? Any one of these is bad enough on it's own but a combination of them sounds like some sort of bad joke. And what? Puberty and junior high wasn't enough for us to deal with???

I've visited enough discussion boards to know that some women with PCOS also claim to experience abdominal pain during or around the time of their periods. I've only ever experienced the usual cramps, nothing too severe.

Long Term Health Risks of PCOS

PCOS also puts women at a higher risk for several serious health conditions such as Breast Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Heart Disease, and Type II Diabetes.

For more detailed information regarding PCOS symptoms check here and here.

PCOS and Exercise!

By incorporating exercise into your routine you can reduce some PCOS symptoms and risks caused by PCOS. Exercise can result in weight loss which can then help against infertility, heart disease and type II diabetes. In fact, as little as a 5% decrease of total body weight can help with the imbalance of hormones and also with infertility, according to WebMD.

Unfortunately, it has been told to me by my Dr., countless articles, and several books on PCOS that women with PCOS can't just “eat less and exercise more” to get the same results that women without PCOS will get. We have to work even harder. But that's okay, because we are all worth it.

Find an exercise routine that will work for you and stick with it. For me it is running, biking, and yoga on a weekly basis. I have to work out at least four days a week just to maintain my weight. Five or six days a week if I want the best possible results. It has to be a combination of all three for me. If I only do yoga I will not see the same results that I get from running and biking.

I don't work out for hours a day. I can get decent results working out for one hour a day. That might be running for an hour, biking for an hour or a combination of the two. Of course, more is always better. I try to do yoga at home twice a week in addition to the running and biking. I usually run anywhere between 6 and 15 miles per week. This will increase when I start my half marathon training. I bike between 15 and 20 miles per week on a stationary bike at my gym.

I know that low-carb is highly recommended for PCOS. However, I have not had great success with it. I never felt very good while doing low-carb diets. In my next article on PCOS I will talk more about diet and what is currently working for me.

Doctors have yet to provide a cause or cure for PCOS. However, I have found different sites with women claiming to have cured themselves of PCOS with a raw food diet, women claiming to have great success with iodine supplements (read one story here), and a video of a Dr. Jorge D. Flechas MD discussing the cause of PCOS being related to an iodine deficiency. I am currently researching iodine treatment further.

I am not a Dr. but I have been living with a PCOS diagnosis for 11+ years. I have dieted and exercised just to end up disappointed and feeling hopeless. I GET IT. It's taken a lot of trial and error to make a little headway. Do not just accept that there is nothing more you can do. I believe that PCOS can be treated naturally. I no longer believe that Metformin or any other drug is the best route for treatment. If you think or know you have PCOS, do your research. Find out how best to treat your symptoms. Figure out which exercise gives you the best results. Keep trying different ones, switch them up, combine them. Whatever it takes. Don't give up. Don't let PCOS win.

Leave me a comment to let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you, especially if you have experience with PCOS!

Peace, love, happiness,



Saturday, January 28, 2012

Last Chance Workout and Week 3 Weigh-In!

Last Chance!!

This morning I was faced with the choice of running in the snow or on the treadmill. Normally, I would go with outside running every time but today I wasn't really up for a snowy run. I love the snow but I twisted my ankle a bit a few weeks ago and it is still a little tender. The possibility of slipping in the snow wasn't very appealing. Plus, I would have been running solo today and honestly, ever since a woman in Montana was abducted from her run several weeks ago, I'm a little hesitant to go it alone. That story has really bothered me and I find myself thinking about her and her family on a regular basis. (I will be picking up some pepper spray for future runs.) Treadmill won today.

My hubby and I worked out a nice schedule for this morning so he would take our girl to dance class while I would start my workout. Then he'd start his torture, er uh, workout when he got home and I would pick up our girl while he finished his workout. (His current torture of choice is P90X.)

I decided to just mix it up and have fun. I grabbed some dumbbells, plugged my iPod into my treadmill and got to work.

Normally, I just hop on and run to get it over with. Today however, I started out with the incline at 5 and a slower running pace while using the weights. I have very little coordination so running while lifting weights, even small ones, is quite a challenge for me... and I imagine pretty entertaining for anyone watching. Especially when Party Rock Anthem came on and I threw in some dance moves for fun.

I have a Pro-Form treadmill with iFit capability. My display screen gives me the option of showing me just incline and speed which is where I set it so I couldn't clock-watch. Five songs in, Rebel Yell by Scooter came on. I dropped my weights and bumped up my speed. I can't hear that song without running!

Forty minutes later, my workout had to be complete because it was time to pick up my girl from dance class. I felt amazing! My face was as red as Bob the Tomato and I looked like a drowned rat! It was pretty gross actually. But in a really awesome way. Must admit, I have a new found admiration for my treadmill now.

Last chance workout complete. Off to weigh -in for Week 3!

Week 3 Results!

Team SMR rocked it out again!

Brandon lost 5.1
Kristen lost 1.4
Danyelle lost 1.2
Fred lost 1.4
Bekah lost 2.5

A total loss of 79.3 pounds!

What are some of your favorite songs to get you moving? I'm always looking to update my playlist! Until next time.

Peace, love, happiness,


Friday, January 27, 2012

Featured Runner Friday!: Meet Michelle

Every Friday we will be featuring a different runner. This week's Featured Runner Friday is Michelle! I hope you all enjoy reading her story as much as I did. She's a really amazing person. She might call herself a 'Hot Mama' but she's definitely a Sexy Mother Runner!

Meet Michelle

Anyone who knows me knows that I have never considered myself a “long” distance runner – or a distance runner of any kind. In high school and college I was a sprinter/hurdler and long jumper. Any event that involved running more than half a lap was not for me. Even running 400s in practice was torture as far as I was concerned.

My feelings about running didn’t change much after my college days ended. I did commit to running the 4-mile race in Steamboat right after college. I managed to do a little bit of training and survive the race, but that was both the beginning and end of my distance running career – or so I thought.

In 2009 – 2 kids and several years later – my neighbor and I decided we wanted to do Steamboat. My husband had been dragging me to watch he and his brothers run in marathons for a couple of years and I guess the excitement of those events gave me the itch to try it again. Rachel (my neighbor) and I signed up for Building Steam to force us to train and get on a schedule. I wasn’t sure what I’d gotten myself into and the first couple of weeks didn’t do much to convince me it had been a wise choice. At first I could barely run a single block on the East Peoria bike trail without stopping. As the weeks went by I gradually made it farther and come June, I made it 4 miles and beat my goal of running the race in under 40 minutes.

I continued running off and on through the rest of the year – not highly motivated but not wanting to lose the fitness I’d gained in training for Steamboat. I ran a couple more 5k races and enjoyed the relative level of commitment needed to finish them. I even started getting a little bit faster! Still, that was as far as I thought I’d take my running career.

Of course, as most of you know running one race can start to make you wonder if you’re capable of even more. Late in 2009 I was doing a run on our treadmill. My husband likes to hang around when I’m running. (I think he just wants to make sure I’m actually doing it and not walking.) To get rid of him I turned the TV to “Dancing With the Stars”. As he made his usual jokes about the dancers I mentioned that I’d like to take ballroom dancing lessons. Of course, as anyone who knows Matt will tell you, there’s no way he’d agree to that. Shockingly, he was willing to discuss on one condition: I had to run a half-marathon. I stated…..You Are On.

I signed up for the University of Illinois half marathon in 2010. I honestly never thought in a million years I would even think about doing that! My only goal was to finish, hopefully without walking. I spent several months building up my training until I was able to do a couple of 10-mile training runs on the EP trail, hills and all. Race day was warm and humid. Running through some water early gave me wet socks, which led to a HUGE blister. Still, I made it. I walked a very short distance in mile 11, but otherwise I was very proud of myself.

Now I had the running bug. It didn’t take long to decide that I wanted to do another one and actually “race” to see if I could beat my other time. I signed up for the 2011 Indianapolis Mini-Marathon. It’s a half-marathon that runs a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway about halfway through the race. I kept up my training and with the help of some friends I beat my time by 9 minutes.

Michelle and her husband, Matt

All of the running, encouragement, and goals would have never been set if it wasn’t for my husband AND a special group of ladies that I run with – the Hot Mamas. It doesn’t matter how fast we are or what place we come in, we are all there for each other. These ladies are all faster than me, but they decided to run Indianapolis as a group to help me to my PR. We had a blast. It still hurt like crazy, but it was great to have my team pushing me along.

Michelle with The Hot Mamas

I’ve since finished another half marathon. That one was in Grand Rapids, MI last September. There I learned my lesson about running too fast early in a race, but I still matched my best time ever. Apparently I’m getting this half thing down. So…

There’s a new goal. This April I’m trying to push my limits even farther. I’ve signed up to run my first marathon at the University of Illinois. This is something that I want to do before I turn 40 in November. Again, my goal is to finish no matter what. Wish me luck, and see you at the Finish Line!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

11 Things

This fun little game is floating around in the land of Blog. I've been tagged by Run With Jess.


  1. Post these rules.
  2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  3. Answer the questions set for you in the post you were tagged in.
  4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blog, FB page, or wherever you can grab their attention and inform them of their obligation to the blogosphere.
11 Random Things About Bekah:

1. I was attacked by a doberman when I was 18 months old. Our doberman to be exact. I had to have 375 stitches on my face and head. They were done by a plastic surgeon so when I was little I thought that I looked totally different than I would have otherwise. Clearly, my mom let me watch too much Days of Our Lives...
2. I love coffee and cabernet. Not together...
3. I used to own a coffee house.
4. I write novels in my spare time. I might even try to have one published some day.
5. My best friend growing up was a boy. I've always thought of him more like a brother.
6. My first job was making pizza in my parent's pizza place/bar.
7. My husband and I renewed our wedding vows in a Vegas drive-thru last year to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.
8. I have a very dark sense of humor sometimes.
9. I love snow.
10. I love action movies, especially with tough female leads like Resident Evil and Underworld.
11. I do not watch Jersey Shore because it seriously disgusts me.

Jess' Questions For Me:

  1. I know you're a runner - but have you ever watched/cheered at a race? Yes, I cheered for my husband at his first 10k!
  2. Where's your favorite place to run? Hmmm, I really love to run on Grandview Drive. Overcoming those hills is a great feeling!
  3. Would you rather be able to run fast OR far? Far, definitely far. Something about seeing how far I can go, it's exciting.
  4. Name one bad habit that you want to break: Hitting the 'snooze' button when I know I should just get it over with.
  5. If you could trade lives with anyone for just 1 day, who would it be? Whoever is dating Gerard Butler at the time.
  6. Your ideal workout would consist of.... A 5 or 6 mile run, outside on a paved trail with spectacular views, in perfect 60 degree weather and no one else around. Or, any run with a couple of good friends and fun conversation. These are good mental workouts for me, which I find I really need. :)
  7. Name 1 food item that you'd like to magically make "healthy": CAKE!!!!!
  8. What's your favorite distance to run, and why? I don't know. I always feel like at least 4 miles is a really nice distance. It's a good workout for me but doesn't take up too much time.
  9. What's the one thing about running that you DON'T like? Pain! Foot pain, hip pain, shin pain...
  10. What's your favorite cross-training exercise? Biking or yoga.
  11. What sports did you play in high school? Um, P.E.? :)
11 Questions:

1. What is your favorite song to run to?
2. If you could run anywhere in the world, where would you run?
3. What is your favorite thing to eat?
4. What is the longest distance you've ever ran?
5. If you could meet any one person, who would it be?
6. Boxers or Briefs?
7. Do you prefer to run with a group or solo?
8. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? Yes, you have to answer this one...
9. What is the coolest thing you've ever done?
10. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
11. Do you have any Grey Poupon?

I'm tagging:

Any readers who would like to leave their answers in the comment along with:

Danyelle - Sexy Mother Runner

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Surviving the "Dreadmill"!

Surviving the "Dreadmill"!

It is January in Illinois. Days typically look like this...

I wish I was like many of my runner friends who will run in any condition, but I am a wuss about it. I ran one time with my friend, Jess in 30 m.p.h. winds and freezing temps and vowed at that moment to never do it again. To put it lightly, I despised it. That is except for her company while sipping coffee after it was all done. But what choices do we have for all us Northerners? Not to run for 6 months out of the year? Nope. Off to run on the “Dreadmill”.

The “Dreadmill” is my friend, because it is always there for me. It is there for me in inclement weather. It is there for me if I am not able to get out on a run without the kids. However, it is my enemy because the runs on it are so boring and seem so long.  I love running outside! The "Dreadmill" is inevitable for a runner’s survival, though. How do I get through runs on the “Dreadmill”?

First, I cover up the display board with a towel or sweatshirt the minute I get up to traveling speed.

Second, I turn on my iPod and jam out to the best playlist I have.

Lastly, I never look at the display board.  If I am going to run 3 miles, I listen to 12 songs. This has been a fool proof method for me to minimally get in three miles and sometimes four depending on my speed or if I forget what song number I was on!  

So, what do you do to survive your time on the “Dreadmill”?

I would love to know!

~Danyelle :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

SMR ~ The Dreaded Week #2 Weigh In Results!

The SMR Dreaded Week #2 Weigh In and guess what?! Not so dreaded! We all lost!

Here are our numbers:

Kristen: -2.5 lbs.
Brandon: -2 lbs.
Bekah: -1.7 lbs.
Fred: -2.9 lbs.
Danyelle: -4.1 lbs.

We are excitedly already tackling Week #3!

“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” ~William Faulkner

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eating For The Health Of It!

It has been a tasty week at my house this week! We have been trying all kinds of new foods and recipes. If you are going to change your eating habits you better make it fun, right? Luckily, my husband loves to cook. Me, not so much... He's been very excited about cooking healthy meals that don't skimp on flavor.

So, Week 2 of our weight loss challenge brought some delicious yet calorie friendly meals. Sunday he made a Quinoa Tabouli Salad that was filled with flavor but not calories. It had a very fresh flavor to it thanks to the mint and lemon.

Monday night we had broiled salmon with steamed broccoli and a fresh salad topped with alph-alpha sprouts and home made balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Now, my kids have never been really picky eaters but I was still surprised when they proceeded to scarf down this meal. You'll notice that they can't smile because their mouths are stuffed so full. Their table manners are quite delightful.

My husband and I try to have a 'date night' once a week. This week our oldest daughter babysat for us so we could go out. When we were faced with the decision of where to go
eat dinner we both were baffled for a minute. Finding a restaurant that really serves healthy food in the Midwest is not easy.

Finally, I decided that miso soup sounded really good. So, we decided to hit up our favorite sushi restaurant. We each ordered a cup of miso soup, a salad and then split a California roll. One of our favorite meals at one of our favorite restaurants plus no guilt. Winner, winner, sushi dinner!

After hearing and seeing Fred's excitement about his 7 day juicing adventure, I have been tossing the idea around in my head. I decided to give it a whirl. I started my juice fast on Wednesday morning. I still had my coffee with half & half first thing because, well, I'm not really safe to be around without it. Then I got a quick lesson from Fred on how to use the handy dandy Jack Lalanne juicer. Which was actually kind of fun. Clean up is pretty easy if you do it right away.

The rest of the day was nothing but fresh juiced vegetables and a little bit of juiced fruit. Here's the part where I'd love to say that I felt great, refreshed, energized, but I can't. I didn't feel bad by any means but I felt hungry... and maybe a little cranky, and just the littlest bit whiney. I found myself several times standing in front of the fridge just staring until I reminded myself that there was nothing in there I could have unless it could make juice. Originally, I thought I'd just do 2 or 3 days of the juice fast. After further consideration, and a bit more whining, I decided 1 day was plenty for me. I'm a wuss, what can I say.

I still plan to juice regularly as part of my diet. I know the benefits are amazing. You still get the nutrients you need but because it's liquid your body can absorb them better. So, you are getting the full benefit of the fresh fruits and vegetables. I might give the juice fast another shot sometime. I feel like I didn't stick with it long enough to really give a chance. If you are interested in finding out more about Jack Lalanne, all of the amazing things he accomplished and juicing, go here. Another great source of information on juicing is the documentary 'Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead'. It follows a man who embarked on a 60 day juicing fast in order to heal himself.

Fred and I went to a friend's 40th birthday party on Friday night. Only Fred and my closest friends know this, (well, and now all of you) but I LOVE cake. Birthday cake, wedding cake, President's Day cake, whatever. If it's cake, I want it. Let's face it, I didn't get my curves from eating tofu for the last 35 years. Well, this birthday party had cupcakes. A whole tower of them. Lots of yummy, pretty, delicious cupcakes. All different flavors. I wanted to whisper sweet nothings to that tower of cupcake goodness until it agreed to go home with me. I held my ground however. All of Team SMR was present and no way was I going to eat one bite of cupcake the night before our weigh-in. Instead, I took two to go. Not going to lie. I plan to devour those cupcakes later today. I'm committed to eating better and being healthier for the long haul. Every once in a while though, you just have to treat yourself and eat the dang cupcake.

Get Into The Groove!

Making myself exercise this week was about as easy as herding cats. I ran with my Sole Sisters on Monday night and then hit the gym a couple of times. That was it. I just could not get into the exercise groove this week. This has been such a cold week here, I think my body is set for natural hibernation. All I want to do is snuggle under some blankets and sleep away the cold. With a chocolate cake. Maybe some chocolate chip cookies too. Instead, I'm heading out for a run before weigh-in today. I think it's going to be about 20 degrees out. I don't want to know the actual temp in case it's colder than that.

Overall I feel really good and thinner. I'm looking forward to the weigh-in. A little nervous about the 'Dreaded Week 2' though... really hoping I don't have a gain. Especially since I have been so diligent about my diet and nutrition this week. That would be disappointing. I'm staying positive though and know it will be just a minor bump in the long road ahead.

I will post the weigh-in results of Week 2 later today! If you have not already made an account on Blogger and clicked 'Follow' on our blog site, please be sure to do so! Not only will your coolness factor be raised by at least 30 points, but you will also get an update every time we post a new blog. Plus, you will be eligible to win cool stuff from our Giveaway! Who doesn't want cool stuff? We love to hear from our readers! Drop us a line. :)

Until next time, peace, love, happiness!