183.5 miles in 60 days

Yesterday I hit a milestone for the year.  I have completed 3 miles a day for 60 consecutive days!  There has been some jogging in there, but mostly walking.

My Garmin daily step goal is set to 6K because that’s the average number it takes to reach 3 miles.  Of course, I’ve gotten more than that every day.  I would estimate I’ve averaged about 9-10K a day since the start of the year.

As a result, Garmin awarded me the “60-day Goal Getter badge” – woohoo!  This is the second time I’ve earned this repeatable badge.

It’s doubly cool to hit it on a Leap Day and earn the limited Garmin “Take the Leap” badge as well.

Yes, it seems silly for a grown woman to be excited about “virtual” rewards, but the 60 day badge represents so much more than a “steps goal” to me.

I cannot tell you how many days I’ve dreaded showing up for those 3 miles.  There have been some really difficult days that involved some serious pain.  One such day was the hike I embarked on during a snowstorm.  It took me almost 2 hours to complete the three miles because I was wading through calf deep snow.

I’ve been worried that once I hit this mark, I’ll take a day off.  The thought of going for another straight 60 days is a little overwhelming.  Plus, the weather has been a huge obstacle.  It’s only March 1st.  We here in the Colorado Rockies have a couple more months of this at least.

So, it’s obvious I need to focus on today only.  Can I muster up enough to just get it done today and not worry about the next sixty days?  In the wise words of The Little Engine that Could, “I think I can.”

Until tomorrow, I pray you’ll join me in heeding God’s words to not worry about tomorrow, but to focus on dealing with today.

*the mileage in the title only represents the daily “workout” mileage totals and not overall steps (which would be far more than 183.5 miles).

is it still called breakfast at noon?

I’ve been trying to motivate myself to get back on track with eating better since I fell off the wagon on February 13th.  The plan was to resume on Monday (Feb 24th), but I didn’t.

Then, Wednesday morning I woke up feeling absolutely horrible.  I was down most of the day and only got up to use the restroom and do my 3 mile indoor walk (which was torture, but hey, keeping the streak alive).

When I woke up Thursday morning feeling much the same way, I started thinking I’d just wait till the next Monday to work on the food because I didn’t feel like dealing with it.  As I lay in bed, trying to make myself get up, I received a text from a friend asking if I had started back on Monday (I had told her at the memorial that was my plan) – oops.  I fessed up of course.  I thought about telling her I’d changed my mind and would start next week, but I just couldn’t bring myself to type that.  It felt like I was giving up again.

Barb Raveling’s “I’ll Start Tomorrow” chapter from I Deserve a Donut (and other lies that make you eat) echoed in my head.  A battle waged.  Would I concede defeat?

NO!

I knew could do something that day to move me back in the right direction nutritionally.  Last week I read Mastering Diabetes by Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro.  I have been following the “mindful diabetic” (Robby) for a while on Instagram.  His meals are so simple, his enthusiasm is contagious, his exercise regimen is inspiring, and it’s nice to see a diabetic who is thriving.

You may wonder why I would read this book? Diabetes runs in my family – both sides – all “types”.  I was a gestational diabetic (delivered five big babies) and it’s highly likely I’m headed for type 2 (if I’m not there already).

I’m sure I’ll discuss this book more because I’m one of those nerdy people who finds the operations of the human body insanely fascinating.  I LOVED all of the detailed explanations about cells and insulin and case studies.  Plus, I do believe in their program.

Anyway, a suggestion which really resonated with me was to just start with breakfast and make-over that meal for seven days in a row before moving to lunch.  Ironically, I did this many, many, many years ago before I ever read the idea in a book, and it does work if you can be patient with yourself.

I decided that was the thing I was going to do – prepare a breakfast according to the “Mastering Diabetes” guidelines.  Of course, since I’d already implemented intermittent fasting (which they add about 3 weeks into their program), I wondered, “Can I call it breakfast if I’m not eating till almost noon?”

Greens, pineapple, blueberries, dates, and chia seeds 🙂

I suppose I can call it anything I want.  Besides, if breakfast stands for “break fast”, I suppose it applies regardless of what time I eat my first meal of the day.  I tried to load up my serving bowl with whatever I had in the house which qualified.

YUM… and I instantly felt more energized than I have lately.  Then, I ended up eating “lunch” around 3PM, and it was within the guidelines too (mostly oranges).  Dinner? It was not within the guidelines; however, I didn’t get take-out and I finished by 7PM.  So, that was another win.

Unfortunately, at around 10PM I could no longer take the horrible migraine which began to creep in at 8PM and I ended up eating again.  I refuse to beat myself up over this.  I did what I felt like I needed to do at the time and I’m hopeful this will improve if I keep pressing forward.  Since I didn’t eat till noon on Friday, I still had a 14 hour fasting window, which I am perfectly happy with.

I don’t know how many days I’ll just focus on “breakfast” in the food arena, but I do know I plan to keep “showing up”. Besides, the slight changes I’ve made since Monday, coupled with the walking habit I’ve been building since January 1st, have resulted in a reduction of 3.2 pounds on the scale in 4 days (weighed Friday morning).  I’m headed in the right direction, thank you, Jesus!

So, until tomorrow, I pray you’ll join me in doing what we can today and not get hung up on meal names or perfection.  It’s “Leap Day”, make it count!

out of the whirlwind

I mentioned the other day about how I started walking on January 1st of this year.  By God’s grace, I’ve been able to continue that daily streak.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been nearly as consistent with another daily habit.

And it’s a rather important one, but hey, just showing up and being real over here.

Many years ago, I started completing a “read through the Bible in a year” schedule every other year.  Last year was the first off year I wished I had made it an annual practice instead.  So, this year I was really looking forward to starting on January 1st; however, I didn’t begin until somewhere around the 18th (at least I think that’s when I started).

This was partly due to having kids home from college (read “lack of routine”), being exhausted from the walking challenge, and attempting to follow a different reading plan than I’ve done in the past.

Over the years I’ve discovered that I prefer reading chronologically when I do a read-through and I have a version on my Kindle that I started using a few years ago.  This is a New King James version (pictured left), which is good.

This year I thought I’d change it up.  You see, my mom had told me about the Bible Project’s annual reading plan and I was really excited to do their program because I love their videos. Their version is “sort of” (but not really) chronological so I thought I could make it work for me.

I guess I’m just a bit spoiled by the ease of using my Kindle first thing in the morning because after weeks of trying to follow the new program (and failing to be consistent because it was far less convenient and more time consuming and not really chronological), I decided to go back to the habit of using my Kindle… but with a twist.

I love, love, love the Bible Project’s overview videos, so, when I begin a new book, I seek out their video summary(ies) for that book.  This has been a really interesting addition to the read-through experience.  I did just realize that they have an app now too.  I haven’t had a chance to check it out just yet, but it looks pretty cool.

Most recently, I went through the book of Job (yes, I’m still behind in my reading schedule, but slowly catching up).  I’ve read this book many times over the years and it’s generally felt rather laborious with all the flying accusations and seemingly conflicting messages.  With friends like Job’s, who needs enemies, am I right?!

Anyway, after years of reading and sermons, I get the general theme of the book, but I really like how the guys at the Bible Project sum it up.  Check it out if you’ve got a few minutes!  My favorite part is when God speaks “out of the whirlwind”.

There’s something about reading Job that just makes you tired and thankful.  Most people will never endure the amount of suffering he did… I say “most” because I know there are still plenty of people who have gone through some really horrible things which would rival even Job’s experience.  The grief and frustration in this book are so palpable they are exhausting.  Thankfully, the gratitude comes from realizing that no matter what happens, God is still in control and worthy of our trust.

I wonder if Job’s “friends” fell on their face when God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind.  What an incredible picture.  Even though life often resembles a whirlwind of chaos and pain and frustration… isn’t it nice to know He cares enough to speak to us in the midst of it?

So, until tomorrow, I pray we’ll continue to show up and allow God to teach us to trust Him in every circumstance.

 

 

crying over shoelaces

By the time January 1st rolled around, I was painfully aware of the fact that I couldn’t tie my own shoelaces.  I cannot express how utterly embarrassing this is to admit.  Not only had I gained so much weight over the 14 months prior to January 1st that my belly was a hindrance to the bending-over needed to reach them, but my general flexibility had dramatically deteriorated as well from a lack of activity.

Ugh.

I cried… in full-blown, “Tonya Harding” fashion, pointing helplessly at the laces dangling from my feet.

The last time I needed help tying my shoes was the last time I was pregnant… which was a really long time ago.

Waking up to this realization made me angry.  Yes, I have thyroid issues.  Yes, I have a severely compromised immune system and have been sick (very sick!).  Yes, I’ve been on an emotional roller-coaster, but NO, I was not helpless despite what my lack of effort indicated.

I am not usually a “sit in the mud and sulk” kind of girl, so I have no idea why I seemingly just “gave up” for the better part of 14 months.  That is not me and as 2020 approached, I began to see that I had some decisions to make.  More specifically, there was one thing I vowed to change starting on January 1st (and I hate New Year’s Resolutions).  I was still discouraged just enough to recognize that “the mud” was too deep to change everything immediately, but there was one thing I knew I could do.

I could walk…

…that is, if someone else would lace up my shoes.

It was a humbling moment.  That first three mile walk of the new year was so slow and painful.  And while I’ve sped up some from doing three miles a day (every day) so far this year, I am still experiencing pain most of the time.  Being out of shape is tough, people.  It isn’t for sissies, that’s for sure!  Thankfully, after a few weeks, coupled with paying closer attention to what I was putting in my pie-hole, I was able (with some grunting) to tie my own shoes again.

Most days, it has taken all of my willpower to complete the three miles.  Some days that was the only sense of “accomplishment” I had, but I thanked the Lord for the ability to take each step.  I have no idea if I’ll keep up the “three miles a day” streak indefinitely, but I’m not focusing on that.  I can only deal with today’s decisions, not tomorrow’s.

So, each day I decide if I’ll walk or not… and there have been some really difficult days already… days of pain… of sorrow… of grief… of darkness… of physical, mental, and emotional obstacles.

Some days I do it because I feel like it… some days I do it because it is good for me… some days I do it because the sun is out… some days I do it because I can and I know others who can’t… some days I do it because I want to keep the streak alive… some days I do it because I refuse to let my “can’t want to” brat have the last word… and some days I do it because I just want to make sure I can still tie my own shoes.

It’s about just showing up and asking God for the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  So, until tomorrow, may the Lord help you to take another step in the right direction.

 

just showing up

Yes, it has been a while since I posted out here.  I’ve started posts over and over, but never clicked that little “publish” button.  It’s difficult to explain where I’ve been and why.  Perhaps I’m not supposed to explain at this time.  Perhaps I’m just supposed to show up and let God work out all the other stuff.

I’ve been on a journey.  No, not an entirely positive one, but that’s probably not surprising to hear when someone returns from such a long silence.  I don’t know how much I’ll share because that will depend on what God lays on my heart.  For now, I’m just showing up.

I thought about titling this piece something inspirational like “Finally Getting 20/20 Vision”, but that would hint at a bit more enthusiasm than I’m feeling at the moment.  In reality, I still feel rather “blah” and “uninspired”.  That’s why I’m just showing up.

A new year. New stages of life. And I’m praying for “newness of life”.  I feel as though I’ve woken from a long sleep, far from refreshed, yet clinging to a tiny ray of hope which has somehow managed to penetrate the darkness.

So, my plan is to take you with me, for those who care to come, as I choose life and love.

Until tomorrow – may the Lord give you the strength to “just show up” in your life today.

 

runner girl: week 11 (with juicing)

This was a tough week as I was going through some detox and fatigue.

EXERCISE

Week 11 of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule began ok and then I made some dietary changes which knocked me on my rear (more on that later).

On the 11th, I went for an additional walk with a friend, which felt fine… but the morning of the 12th I wasn’t feeling so well. I decided to take that day off and resume with session three on the 13th. Unfortunately, I felt worse the next day and had been up all night in pain from head to toe.

Apparently I needed the rest because on the 14th I got up and busted out that workout hitting new records for “fastest mile” and “fastest 5K” since I started 11 weeks ago.

I know I did some T-tapp, foam roller, and skin brushing this week but I failed to write down which days I did what, so I’m just not including it in this week’s chart.

NUTRITION

Sunday was day 84 on the nutritarian diet, but I added juicing, green juice powder, and a multi-vitamin on Monday. I’m following Chris Wark’s recipe from ChrisBeatCancer.com. I make about three times his recipe and it produces 30-40 oz of juice. I divide this up into three jars and have it between meals with a scoop of the green juice powder.

It felt like I had a shot of caffeine that first day. Immediately felt more energized. By Wednesday afternoon I was beginning to show signs of detox though. I began running a low grade fever, my stomach was upset, and then I got a fever blister on my face. By Wednesday night I was in pain from head to toe. Everything hurt and I couldn’t sleep. I ended up taking a pain killer, but still only slept a couple of hours.

I decided to press through and keep up with the juice. This required renewing my mind about it because I seriously wanted to quit. I mean, cleaning out the juicer is a pain, and if I’m going to feel crummy too… ack! Lots of prayer and reviewing why I was doing this in the first place. Thankfully, the Lord brought me through.

I would have periods of time where I had outrageous energy and then I would feel so sick I didn’t want to move. By Saturday morning I felt better and even felt like if I didn’t get in some exercise I was going to explode. I started craving the juice and exercise. I even had moments where it seemed my body was “revving”. I haven’t felt that in decades. My overall body temp seems to be running hotter than it has been as well. I’ve thought about taking some temps with my basal thermometer to see if there has been a shift there. I don’t see how it hasn’t shifted because I’m warm all day long and have had to reduce the number of blankets I sleep under or I sweat through my clothes.

I do want to be clear, I’m not doing a cleanse or a fast. I simply added more nutrition in the form of juice, green powder, and vitamins to my normal eating routine (nutritarian). Since my weight had slowed significantly, and I’m guessing it’s somewhere around my “sticking point”, I thought maybe my body struggles to get past there because it thinks it has to hold onto the fat as some sort of defense mechanism (long story). So, after prayer and research, I’m trying this experiment to see if a larger influx of nutrients will signal it to let go.

As you can imagine, I was nervous about stepping on the scale… I mean, I’m ADDING stuff, not taking things away… and I skipped two whole days of exercise. Plus, the lovely monthly was here in full force on weigh in day…. and I had hardly slept the night before…. oh, and I had potatoes for dinner lol…. So, you can imagine my surprise when the husband told me I had released 1.4 more pounds. Say way?! Thank you, Jesus!

I did take Sunday off from juicing, but resumed Monday morning. I guess it’s time to move on to week 12.

 

 

runner girl: week 10

Still cruising along through this journey. Let’s take a glance at week 10.

EXERCISE

Week 10 of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule I got a little ahead of myself. I think I was all pumped up after last week and then session one felt like a beating. It seemed as though I was trying to race myself and I was supposed to be focused on taking it easy.

As a result, I was all over the place… too fast… too slow… couldn’t find a cadence that felt good… ugh. Seventy two minutes of “I want this to end now”.

I felt better during the next two, but was still pushing a bit… as my pace would indicate.

I did do one pilates workout this week. Thought it might be fun to add in a little arm work, but quickly realized my arms are too puny to do the whole thing.

NUTRITION

Sunday was day 77 on the nutritarian diet. Closing in on 80 days is rather a big deal for me.

When I started with this nutrition plan, I genuinely thought the weight would fall off. I guess I figured it seemed ridiculous that it wouldn’t considering what I’m eating (and even more importantly, what I’m not eating). I decided to step on the scale again Friday and was disappointed yet again. Down 0.2 for the week.

I think I said something like, “Are you kidding me? At this rate it will be five years before I reach a normal weight!”

Oh goodness. So, I spent some time with God about it, hoping for some perspective. I also did the “Tired of the Struggle” questions/verses from I Deserve A Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat). In the end, I am thankful to have released weight, even a little.

I don’t know why I keep expecting it to move faster since my body has declared its resistance to weight loss over and over again. Friday morning I just felt really tired of the struggle and was feeling sorry for myself a bit. If a “normal” person ate this way, the weight would be flying off… not for me though. It seems I will get to claw my way all the way to the end. Even still, that 0.2 is gone and I will do my part to ensure it doesn’t return. I don’t know why God isn’t clearing the boulders out of my way faster, but I will trust in His plan and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I also started asking Him if there is anything I need to tweak a bit.

On Sunday, the husband and I decided to grab a smoothie from Jamba Juice and have a meeting about some family stuff. I stood in line debating which fruit/veggie smoothie I wanted. I felt a nudge toward the one with ginger juice added. Instantly, I regretted this decision because the ginger was so strong and it burned my throat.

You see, I’ve had tonsil issues for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was little, doctors and dentists and orthodontists (and anyone else who actually sees my tonsils) would comment on how crazy inflamed they always were/are. I’ve had strep numerous times.

Anyway, they’ve been irritated lately (more so than usual), which I figured might be an indicator of detox. Anytime I have an infection, my tonsils react first. Well, for weeks the left one has been covered with white spots (yeah, I know it’s gross) – which looking through pictures of throat issues looked like tonsillitis to me.

So, I’m drinking this smoothie and it’s burning the heck out of my throat. I look in the passenger side mirror and there are my enormous tonsils, with the left one covered in white stuff. I keep drinking the smoothie because I’ve gotten used to the ginger and it’s starting to actually soothe my throat a bit. Several minutes later, I feel a pinch and some pain around the left tonsil. I look in the mirror and most of the white stuff is gone… GONE! And my tonsils are now significantly reduced in size.

Now, since I’m actually working on this post after Sunday, I’ll go ahead and finish the story. Monday, we went for Jamba Juice again and I got the same drink. Less burning this time, but by the time I got home my throat felt different. I checked out those tonsils again and discovered the white stuff was completely GONE and my tonsils were pink and barely noticeable. I was shocked.

I’ve been reading up on juicing (in regard to cancer – another story), and had been considering adding this to my dietary regimen. After seeing what that ginger juice did to my tonsils, I’m definitely going to give juicing a try. Hopefully I’ll have more to report on that next week.