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Something happened today. It was monumental, HUGE. It was everything I’ve ever wanted in my fitness life. I couldn’t believe it happened.

I know as soon as I type the words, and soon as some of you read it you’ll be thinking to yourselves…..that’s it?! Really, but you don’t understand.

I ran two miles today. I ran two miles today, without stopping.

Now before you start clicking onto another site, let me tell you my journey and we’ll see how you think and feel then.

My whole life I have hated running. Hate may not be strong enough, every fiber of my being wanted to simultaneously scream and dissolve into salt whenever I heard words about running the mile or “fun” run, or jogging. I wanted to punch coaches in the face, and scream at them how I just couldn’t do it and bring myself to take one more step. Running made me feel weak, slow, and big. Not only did I have to compete with these short people and their super swift moves, the tall people always passed me too with their gazelle like legs, ug. It made me want to quit everything, go home and live under covers. I hated the days of hell week for volleyball when I would be forced to run a mile under 9 minutes. It was humiliating. It just reminded me again of how weak and slow I was.

You don’t believe me right? How could running ever be that bad? Well I really don’t know how or why. I was told years later that when I was in kindergarten we were required to run around a large grassy area with trees under a certain amount of time. Guess who didn’t make it? And the time we were having club volleyball tryouts and the coach asked us all to raise our hand if we hate running. I was the only one with a hand raised. Guess who didn’t make the team? The under 9 minute mile was a plague over me that Summer. My best friend at the time was one of the better runners on our team. I remember so perfectly when she was asking me if I finally did it this week. After answering no over and over for weeks, and the pure malice behind the question, I took a huge swig of gatorade in my mouth. I pointed my puffed cheeks with liquid at her. And I spit as hard and as far as I could. She didn’t ask me about it again. I wasn’t getting anywhere under 9 minutes. It wasn’t until the assistant coach ran with me, which forced me to do something I never could before. I was never so happy as to hear 8:45 in my life. I was safe from another week.

Believe it or not, I would not run another mile without stopping again until our trip last year to Nashville. That was the craziest feeling, but didn’t stick with it. I think I got too scared of the future, after all how can I continue to conquer me fear if it isn’t in my way anymore? I didn’t run again until a while later when we did The Warrior Dash. That race is fun, but the running was the least of our worries. I’ve always wanted to get back to running running, where I’m actually making progress. Well I guess you could say I made myself do it because I signed myself and the Hulkster up for the Turkey Trot.

At the time, there were 18 weeks to go. 18 loooooong weeks before the race. At first I told myself that I have plenty of time. I don’t need to be so focused on training because I’ve got a while. Well then I got sick, and I got a whole lot of lazy, and then some weeks I forgot or skipped a week. And here I was with 5 weeks to go, realizing the error of my ways. All I could do was just start running again. And so I did. This time with my friend from work. She got me through the longest interval last week- 8 minutes, and corrected my posture. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! So that brings us here today. My moment to shine. I had looked up on my Coach to 5k app to see what the running was today and it said walk 5 minutes, run 20 minutes or 2 miles, I was really nervous. But with the help and encouragement I got from friends and the Hubster- I did it.

Not only did I do it, I hit 20 minutes but wasn’t to 2 miles yet. So I kept going! It’s like a dream I never knew existed.

Now that I’m back down to Earth a little, I feel very proud of myself. Like really proud. I’m usually not proud of myself, so I give myself this one.

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I must say, I’ve been really challenging myself with different types of exercises this week. I ditched my crappy gym for a newer prettier one, but alas Murphy’s law kicks in and I was literally stuck. Not only did we have a flat tire from a screw, the car dealership found ANOTHER tire with a screw in it. We ordered new tires, and waited almost a week for them to get here. By the way, we are a one car family so it was a really big deal not to be able to drive. Turns out the tire place sent the tires to the WRONG store! GAH! I had to bum rides off of coworkers and friends all week. I really really hated it. I couldn’t go to the gym at all. I’ve been improvising with a lot of walking. I’m not a huge fan of walking for exercise in general because it’s just so boring so I switched it up a bit and this is what I came up with.

Problem: I didn’t have a car

Problem: It was lunchtime and I forgot to bring my lunch to work

Problem: I couldn’t ask for yet another ride, and I didn’t want to pay anymore than I needed to for lunch, delivery is very slow because of the area as well

Solution: I didn’t need no stinkin’ car

Solution: Lunch was on the way, or at least was on the way

Solution: I walked myself to the nearest Tim Hortons and back for lunch

Let me be clear: this was not a leisurely stroll, no sir. My legs were flying, my arms were pumping and I was on the move! The walk was 3.4 miles roundtrip and I did it in 40 minutes. With construction, other cars flying passed me, gravel beneath my feet, wind in my hair, and the determination to get it done. And I did! By the time I got back to work I was sweaty and red but I didn’t care, just another tick to the exercise ticker. And that was just one of my workouts! The others included walking dogs and loading boxes, and doing whatever else I could to get it in.

The tires are finally on our car and we are free at last. I will be hitting up my beautiful gym tomorrow! 🙂

How is this challenge going for you?


I am still very excited to continue the Living and Active Challenge over at Peak 313. I had to take it a little easier than planned because I got a sinus infection but I was able to push through. This challenge not only makes me work physically on my body, but I have to mentally work too with memorizing scripture. I have never been good at that! Old Testament in order? New? Tribes of Judah and Fifty Nifty? I have it all in my head, but scripture for some reason is difficult for me. But I haven’t given up- no sir!

In case you’re involved in the challenge too, good luck! And I would love to hear how things are going! If not, it’s never too late to join in and have fun! I’ll blog more details when I’m feeling better!


There was a time I was what I call “fat.” Yes overweight, yes pudgy, yes pleasantly plump, chica muy gorda, chunky, and all that jazz. I didn’t start out that way, you’ve seen pictures of me growing up when I was so thin people would tell me I needed to gain weight. I had gained a little bit of weight after high school volleyball ended, but quickly lost it when I joined a gym and found exercise fun again. But then I got married, and I didn’t care anymore.

Marital bliss blinded me to the fact that there are trans fats in some fried foods, copious amounts of calories in fast food, and I just can’t eat all the hummus the world has to offer! By the way, that picture was taken before I did Locks of Love the second time. I hardly recognize myself! This was also taken after work, at a job I hated, I’m just thankful for family and friends because everyone there was a bummer.

It was so hard for me to open up to anyone over the issues I was having with food. I went to a young women’s bible study every week and finally mustered up the courage to talk to them. I was shaking as I told them about how I wanted to get healthy again, they embraced me with loving arms. No one had ever made me feel that comfortable and loved as a friend before. At that time I was really trying to eat healthy foods (mostly fruits, whole grains, brown rice, lean proteins, etc.) but my friends set me on a path that would forever help and change me.

I look pregnant don’t I?! Yeah, that’s what everyone thought too, but I wasn’t! This was also at a baby shower (go figure!) and I’m wearing a maternity shirt- Target is deceptive I tell you! All their maternity stuff looks like normal clothes! I’m so embarrassed by this picture, but this is all part of the process!

My friends told me I was eating too much. Too much? What does that mean, I’m tall so shouldn’t I eat more than you? “Well Amanda, even if you eat 5 fruits before lunch doesn’t mean your body needs it. You need to be eating foods that fill you up and help you curb your appetite so you aren’t reaching for anything you can grab at the moment. Fruit processes quickly, no wonder you’re so hungry!” It was eye opening, to say the least. I never really thought to myself that eating so much healthy food, would actually not be healthy for me! So from then on I changed- and this is what I did and do now to this day! If I can do it, SO CAN YOU. Please, let me be your motivator! I know just how hard it is!

1. Stay in your calorie allowance. I joined Livestrong, and used MyPlate every.single.day. I got so into it, I started to not check how many calories were in foods- because I already knew! It was fun coming up with recipes that I love, to make them healthier. What I love about the site is how much they stress the importance of exercise, which brings me to my next point.

2. Exercise. Whatever you have to do to get up off that couch and get moving, do it and do it now. I tried to reason with myself at first thinking that as long as I stayed in my calories I would lose weight and maintain. I did fine for a while, but it wasn’t until I started working up a sweat and strength training that I really got more toned and thinned out a lot. Exercise doesn’t have to be formal either! Some days I turn on my “running” playlist and boogy down while I clean. Pitbull is my favorite to dance to!

3. Don’t do a cheat day. I know this is big in the weight loss community, “Have a cheat day, you won’t feel deprived!” While I think the concept is good for people that have a very hard time sticking to a strict weekly plan, I think everyday should be a cheat day. Meaning, everyday eat healthy foods, but also allow yourself to eat unhealthy foods. If you’ve ever heard of the 90/10 or 80/20 rule, this works much better for me, and others I know. You eat healthy the majority of the day (80-90%) with good wholesome foods, but then for dessert you have a Skinny Cow or a scoop of ice cream (10-20%). Or you wake up and indulge in a donut, because you know the rest of the day is filled with lots of greens and happy foods! See what I mean? This has helped me so much, because cheat days for the people I know- means “gorge yourself so much you feel sick day!” 😦

4. Give yourself a break. You and I both know there are blogs out there that are so strictly regimented with food rules, it’s overwhelming! They have these expectations that everyone will eat vegetarian or vegan, organic, fair trade, locally, naturally, all the time! I’ll tell you how that makes me feel -completely inadequate! Not only can I not afford to eat that way all the time, I would be so concerned over every bite I put in my mouth I wouldn’t want to eat in the first place! Just thinking about my breakfast for example- I had organic vanilla yogurt with organic strawberries, topped with slivered almonds. Well everything was packaged in plastic, I didn’t wash my strawberries that well, and my almonds for sure have some sort of chemicals in them. See what I mean? I need to eat in peace! I can’t be worried about every little thing, because then I would worry about every other little thing in my life! AAHH!!

5. Stay at a constant pace. This has been the hardest part for me. Weight loss is a marathon- not a sprint! There are days I get so down on myself because without even thinking I rush through the drive thru because I’m running late and get a bean burrito. As I’m crumbling up the wrapper I realize- oh my gosh, I wasn’t even thinking about my health. I was most likely in {She-Hulk-Out} mode and all I wanted was food, then and there. But instead of feeling guilty about it forever, I figure out the calories, give myself some credit for at least the beans and cheese having some protein, and plan the rest of my day to supplement the nutrients I need to increase and the calories I need to cut back on. Keeping in mind the goal is always my health, and the race never ends until I’m old and wrinkly. Hopefully I’ll still be kickin it old school with sunglasses doing thai chi with my Hulkster- dare to dream! 🙂

So what about you? What do you do to stay fit?


What a day! I’ve got myself super comfortable on the couch, pretty sore from everything that went on. But it’s a great day to be alive right?

I bought some beautiful organic (hippie as we call it) strawberries at the store and was dying to make a smoothie. This morning when I woke up, I practically jumped out of bed knowing I had everything to make them. I even used unsweetened almond milk, a first for me! I probably won’t use two bananas next time, 1-1.5 is perfect for Taylor and me. There are some days when you just have more energy, and I took it as a blessing today because I needed it! I went to the chiropractor, hit up the gym, went to the library and bank, met my friend for lunch, did 5 loads of laundry, cleaned, and organized!

The gym was so much better than I thought it would be. After several weeks of getting adjusted, working my abs, ice, being sore, using a body pillow, hurting, massage, and doing it all over again, I was finally feeling like myself again. I was also able to complete my intervals on the treadmill. I even ran at 7.0, which is a big breakthrough for me. By the time I got to the library I was a hot mess complete with sweat and a red face. Oops, sometimes I forget how gross I am after I run. Ew, but worth it.

The Hulkster and I have been focusing more about working hard to get organized as much as possible. Just this year we made a goal of getting rid of clutter, and living a more simple life. It has helped us so much to know where things are, keeping us from being greedy, and giving us more mental clarity. We’ve given away so much to charity and it’s felt good knowing somewhere someone is benefiting from the clothes, shoes, kitchen supplies, electronics, toiletries, etc. we’ve donated. As I was organizing today, I kept thinking of more items I could give away and stopped myself. But then I considered it again, and I’m glad I did.

You see, I was in denial. I was still in “fat Amanda” mode. I was thinking I was bigger than I actually was. And I needed to stop. Other people out there may need the clothes I’m keeping- and I wasn’t letting myself give them away simply because I won’t let myself be the size I am. I put on a pair of capris I haven’t worn in years and let it sink in. I’m not fat anymore, I am the smaller size I am now. And then I decided to let go.

These cut off jeans/jorts are my favorite. They are ridiculously comfortable. Seven for All Mankind is my favorite brand in the world, and I was drooling over them when I bought them almost 6 years ago. They treated me well, and I them. But they just too big for me now, they are getting holes too big, and it’s time to move on.

It’s crazy to get attached to clothing I know, but I think when I was overweight clothes were my security blanket. I could put them on and not feel as big as a house. I could hide my tummy with flowy shirts and forget how much I didn’t like the way I looked. They allowed me to be in denial, but now they are different. Now they allow me to accentual the features I like, they allow me to show the progress I’ve made with hard work, and they make me feel good for being me! Those bags of clothes are my bandages, my security blankets, but now they will help someone else in need.

Are you good at getting rid of clutter and old clothes? Do you still feel like your old size even if you’ve lost weight?


Hey Everyone! We just got back from dinner, completing a very l o n g day! We both woke up this morning deeply entranced in dreams. Mine was about Shawn Johnson getting engaged (random…) and Taylor’s was about our niece Ashlyn pretending to be locked in a freezer only to scare him from sitting on top while he tried to get her out. Now that is much more realistic! (Shawn, call me!) I have such a hard time waking up, and being in a dream literally makes me unable to speak. It might as well be Zombese (the Zombie language of course!) I’m speaking! I can’t think, I can’t hardly move, and I certainly can’t speak clearly. It’s just enough to put my arms stretched out in front of me to guide me to the kitchen. We scarfed down leftover banana bread, dropped the Hulkster off at work, and I headed to the gym to have a rematch with the ‘mill.

What? Is there something on my face?

After Tuesday’s failed attempt to run even remotely close to where I was a month ago, I was determined to do better. I tried to watch Ellen, but it was a rerun, I eventually found a Food Network Cake Challenge. Normally I want to hurl at the thought of food at the gym, let alone running thinking about food, but the cakes were supposed to be shaped as bugs. How less appetizing could it get? As I ran I tried to focus on how much I was happy they finally hired a better MC, no don’t cut the fondant that way(!), and that is the ugliest cake I’ve ever seen, rather than the task at hand. I was rewarded with getting back to a 5 minute interval. I was so glad I could get back on that horse! Er..treadmill.

When I got home, all I wanted to do was go back to sleep! But there was work to be done and lots of planning for upcoming events. I’m pretty much a jack of all trades at my work, so event planning is right up my alley for work requirements. We’ve got a BBQ going on soon and I’m really excited! Anything social is like, I don’t know, my favorite thing ever. Especially girls’ night out! If I wasn’t an adult and married, I would so have sleepovers with my friends. Hmm, I guess they are married too.  Well I’d figure out something! I stopped at home to not smell like a {She-Hulk} get cleaned up. Guess who is a the little exercise encourager?

Haha! Both our cats love the Wii Board, it’s so funny and cute!

Off to Sam’s Club for stuff galore, but I had to make a pit stop at their Food Counter for pizza!

The trick for me eating just one piece, is eating an apple before I go.

This was also in my calorie allowance so I ate with gusto, and remember I’m tall so I have to eat more. It’s a pity huh?

I picked off all the olives in case anyone was wondering…:)

I didn’t realize how much we actually needed from Sam’s until I got there. Food, office supplies, can you believe how expensive Brita filters are? I was pleasantly surprised how helpful one of their employees was to me. I told her we needed hot chocolate packets, but they can’t have artificial sweeteners in them. She walked up and down the aisles with me, pointing out different brands and checking the labels with me to make sure. Turns out the only brand that didn’t have AS is Quik, however it was only sold in a tub. No bueno. How refreshing to have someone go that far as to walk around with me, and not relent until I was happy with our search. I hope she gets a raise or something.

Anyway, got back to work, worked hard until I babysit adorable kids, then we met my bff and her hubs for dinner. How much easier is it to eat better while dining out when I’ve worked out? So much easier! It’s like a triple decker of help. Workout= happy feelings of life in general, which leads to: wanting to be healthier, which = living healthfully. Just making that small step of going to the gym this morning, helped me this entire day. I challenge you to try it and see how it effects your day!

Ok be honest: What is your favorite Sam’s Club/Costco food? Mine hands down- Costco pizza is legit, and the churros!!!


Ok you guys, I have to say on the emotional scale I was hitting high numbers of “oh crap she’s gunna punch someone in the face” mode. It started with volleyball yesterday. I must say first that I am a very competitive person. I know playing on a league is supposed to be “fun” and everyone is supposed to have a good time. I’m working on it slowly, but I just get so into the games. I turn into a raging crazy lady and afterward I can’t believe I didn’t kick the ball across the field just to be mean. It was really frustrating to lose, even if the team was undefeated. I just hate losing you know? I was all excited too because my back wasn’t hurting and I wasn’t sick. Argh, it ended up with me holding back tears behind shades as I walked, sulking to the car after it was over. Then, this morning I went to the gym. I was oober excited to run again. I wasn’t super sore from the night before, I hadn’t gone in like a month (eesh!), and I really wanted to know if I was still on the right track because we’ve got that Warrior Dash in about 2 1/2 weeks! AAHH!

It turns out I could barely run one of my intervals I’ve been doing in the past. Then I was plagued by stabbing pain cramps in my side. I tried to just push through the pain, “get going and they’ll go away!” I thought. “Yeah. Right. {She-Hulk}. And while you’re on that treadmill, turn around so I can kick you square in the butt.” At least that’s what the treadmill told me. True story…in my head! Argh! It was so frustrating! I was thinking I wouldn’t be “that bad,” it’s not like I’ve gained weight or anything. Sigh. So I got a text from the Hulkster while doing weights. Which by the way, about killed me as well. I’m so weak again! It was a general text like he usually sends. The, “How’s it going honey? I love you! Getting some reactions done like a boss,” type thing. I told him how annoyed I was about my hopes and dreams being washed away with sweat and almost tears.

Me: I’m so out of shape!

Him: Gotta get back on it! It comes back surprisingly well!

Me: I hope so, I was very discouraged (still trying to not cry in front of that man on the rowing machine)

Him: Honey it’s your first day back, last week I couldn’t finish a 5 minute interval  (yesterday he ran a 10 minute interval)

Me: Oh ok, well I feel a little better then

Him Just keep your head up and keep going!

Me: I will thanks honey

And that’s all it took. A little encouragement. A little, “you can do this dang it!” So I got on that stair master, put on some Jay-Z, and didn’t even hold on! I bet I would have given someone a high five if they were next to me, thankfully no one was, lol. But doesn’t this happen to everyone? Don’t we all get down because we “used to be better,” we used to be thinner, younger, or in my case faster?! But focusing on the negative is only going to make you more negative. Give yourself a break. And now that I’m thinking clearly, it was just my first day back! Watch out Day 2, I’m comin fo ya! 🙂

Ever have one of these days? What was your help in making it better?



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