Friday, November 30, 2012

End of a Challenge

Day 30 #NHBPM:

Well, it's the end of National Health Blog Post Month!

And in actuality, I'm doing this post a couple days after because I didn't have time when I thought about doing it and then forgot when I had time. Figures, eh?

I normally wouldn't have picked a lot of the topics for NHBPM, but I'm glad that I did do them because it made me stop and think. The prompts might not have coordinated with my particular health focus (gastric bypass and a plant-based diet), but I think I was able to substitute appropriately and still do posts that interested myself (hopefully others that read it?).

I definitely would like to do it next year, though at the same time would like to see more substitution options for prompts.

I also didn't really feel a sense of community when doing this -- I was kind of on my own. Perhaps I missed the website where this happened, but there weren't a lot of posts on the Facebook page. I think that would have been nice to connect with other people more. There was the ability to nominate someone for a health advocate award and sadly I didn't because I wasn't aware of 90% of the population blogging!


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Week 2, Day 12:

I've done a great job of getting up early and getting my workouts in! Good thing, too because my evenings are booked.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My One 2013 Accomplishment

Day 29 #NHBPM:

If I could accomplish one thing (anything) in 2013 it would be...

Figuring out what I love to do and make it my life work. 

Pretty simple, eh? Well...it's been an ongoing progress for awhile! Anytime I take the steps to figuring it out, I stop. I don't know if I'm scared to find out what it is and then go do it, or what. I know I'm not really willing to leap into something without financial stability. I would be if I didn't have a $900 student loan bill every month. :)  If THAT was out of the way, I'd be a happy camper. I seriously wish I could just win the lottery, pay off my student loan, and then donate the rest. All I want extra money for is to pay my debt. I can happily live  off the rest of my earnings. I DISLIKE DEBT! I need an anonymous donor!


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Week 2, Day 4  0 to 13.1:

Didn't think I'd go, but I wandered to my complex gym and did my cross training on the elliptical and then my core training (ow). YAY! I was tempted to do the core training and just do a long walk at lunch at work, but instead I did the elliptical. Glad I did!


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Day 29, NaNoWriMo:

This is slowly coming to an end. I will not have met my mark, but I've certainly done better than any other year I've attempted! Still pretty proud of myself! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Not Me, It's You

Day 28 #NHBPM:

Write about how you deal with mean comments / trolls / snakeoil / or bullies...

I use to get really defensive whenever there were trolls and I'd certainly start firing back. When ever there were comments about my weight or appearance I'd get upset, though attempt not to show it. It was all an internal thing.

Since, though; I've realized that it's not about me. It's about that other person. The reason they're saying those things is because they've got turmoil and issues on their side. So rather than let it get to me I actually wind up pitying that other person. What is so wrong in their life that they feel the need to lash out and be hateful and hurtful? It feels good to know that it won't affect me anymore (at least not for long). I'm glad I've found that place of love!


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Week 2, Day 3  0 to 13.1:

I looked at my schedule and realized that I can easily swap out my rest day tomorrow with one I've missed and just keep it at 2 missed! That still sucks, but it's better than tacking on some more!

Last night I looked at my daily schedule and realized that I can streamline it and be more efficient and productive (scheduling is a passion of mine...sticking to it; not so much).

This morning I was going to hit the gym and do a double set of running and cross training. I feel better and do better working out in the mornings (I've known this...I've just been lazy).

But, I got caught up in some last minute freelance and didn't make it out of the house in time, so I went for the alternate schedule and ran outside (running should be outdoors anyway!). First off, BRRR! It was 36 degrees out! TEXAS! ..actually I won't complain. We need a freeze.

I bundled up with the best I had, did my warm up and took off. YEAH! I really need some cold weather gear (why is it so darn expensive!?).

The path I took is .5 miles to the end of the street which is about 10 min of warm up and then it's a mile to the next big street. It goes in a V shape. The first portion is a gentle slope down, the 2nd is a much more steep hill (and vice versa on the way back). I had thought that I would do the 60 on / 90 off routine as pure running intervals, but that hill the last 1/3 of the first mile kicked my butt!


Nike+ is amazing!


Ultimately I went 3.36 miles including the warm up and cool down. I walked 3 times (not including the beginning and end) for maybe 90 sec (I could measure on the link above, but meh, I'm lazy). My speed was 13.4 mph.

Kind of awesome! The hills were what did it in for me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

If I Could Go Anywhere...

Day 27 #NHBPM:

If I could go anywhere…

Of course I'd pick Australia... Who isn't in love with their accents?!
I'd go just about anywhere. I LOVE traveling. I love seeing and experiencing new places. I would definitely say that while there are plenty of states and areas here in the U.S. of A. that I've yet to visit, I'd fancy somewhere out of country. The culture doesn't change TOO much across America, so definitely jet setting elsewhere. The world is pretty darn GI-normous and calls to me to see every beautiful landscape and experience every way of life!

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Week 2, Day 2  0 to 13.1:

It feels like I'm super cheating right now because I've missed skipped two days! TWO WHOLE DAYS! What the heck?! It hadn't even been a week and already I'm skipping!

Well, I am not beating myself up over this, what's done is done, but I AM making sure that I actually put on my gear and go get my run on tonight. And do some extra cross training for yesterday.

Get 'er done! I'm leaving early so I have some sunlight. TAKE THAT, WORK! HAH!

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Eating For Energy:

I should just start calling this eating. Period. I'm still eatin' the regular ol' veggies. I AM IN LOVE WITH SALAD! All kinds...kale, mixed greens, whatever... not so excited for plain spinach, but add spinach to any other leafy green and I love it. I eat salad at least once a day. AT LEAST. Sometimes for lunch and dinner. I've craved it for breakfast, too...which is a sign I'm lacking in some greens. I was really craving veggies last Saturday morning and while everyone was making omelets, I sauteed some veggies and was completely satisfied. Man, I love me some VEGGIES!

That statement makes me happy :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Healthy Interview

Day 26, #NHBPM:

Interview your health...


1. Why are you such a big deal?

Why am I such a big deal? Because I'm basically your everything. You can't live without health! Without health you are as good as done. Gonzo. Your quality of life suffers. Your happiness is nil. Life just isn't worth living without me. I make all the difference in the world. Once people realize what REAL health is like, they will crave it and hopefully stop at nothing to achieve ultimate health. I make or break your world.


2. What do you feel is the most important aspect of yourself? 

There are 5 aspects of me: mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual. I don't think there's one that is more important than the other; they all feed into one another. But, if I had to choose; mental. Without the mental health the others don't come quite as easily. It tends to be what kick starts the others.


3. Where are you currently in conjunction with your maker?

Aside from my maker being lazy on occasion, I've got high marks in the emotional aspect. The mental is probably next, followed by physical (though the fitness part of physical needs a swift kick start). We are slowly working on the spiritual and last is apparently the social, which hasn't seen much attention. She looks like she'll be attempting such things this weekend, though, so I have high hopes. I'd give her a solid 60% on overall health right now.


4. What do you want other people to know about you?

That I matter; that money, power, and possessions mean nothing without me. Work on those 5 aspects of me and you'll be the happiest, most fulfilled person in the world. You don't need gimmicks and fancy gadgets to get me either. Look inward and stick to the natural way of obtaining me.


5. What advice would you give anyone looking to connect with their own health?

Analyze those 5 aspects and figure out where you rate on a scale of 1-10, then sit down and inwardly reflect on how you can make these things better. Don't try to overhaul your life in one big movement, but try to focus on the ones you know you can start now. Need to work on physical health? Start by looking at your diet and activities. Incorporate more fresh, natural foods and substitute for the processed ones. Get out and walk daily or do some sort of fitness DAILY. Need a social life? Invite your friends out and reconnect. Call up an old acquaintance. Join a book club (or other hobby you enjoy) and meet new people. Start meditating and connect to whatever spiritual/higher being you believe in (if that's none, then connect with your own body). There's so many little things you can do! Go out and do them!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

How My Goals Have Evolved

Day 25 #NHBPM:

How have your goals as a patient / advocate / person evolved?

At first my goals were to lose the weight and get sexy skinny! Possibly obtain a hot boyfriend as well...

They started to evolve when I started working out more and realized that I wanted health more than my skinny body and that I desired to be physically fit. This mind shift came about after family members started to pass and I realized that eating and living healthy was a much bigger deal than fitting into a perfectly packaged beauty box. Slowly I grew away from what advertising and marketing has deemed beautiful and have changed my goal to overall health and wellness.

In the past year it's gone a step further in that regard and I've changed my diet to that of a vegan and high raw and started eliminating the processed "beauty", cleaning, and other products in exchange for home made, natural ones.

It's hard to be an advocate for Weight Loss Surgery at this point when I do believe that individuals could do well on a plant-based diet, but convincing people of this when their doctors insist on high protein is nearly impossible. So, I will just advocate a High Raw Vegan lifestyle and lead by example on the rest of it!

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Week 1, Day 7  0 to 13.1:

We arrived back home today and while I would like to say that I went and did my run today... I didn't. I was exhausted and honestly sat around watching various TV shows and football. I had no energy what-so-ever. I wish I had. Since Friday was the "long day" run, I figured I'd just swap the days, but alas, I did not. So, tomorrow I will be running and probably cross training as well. Double up day! These aren't so hard on my body at this stage.

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Day 21, Meditation Challenge:

Totally didn't realize this was coming up on day 21! I kept thinking it was a full month like the other things. As much as I like these challenges and enjoy meditation, I would prefer less talking. I know that it's supposed to teach you something and put you in the right frame of mind, but I want more meditation time and less learning about it! Probably a good sign that I need to do these more often. :P  Until the next time! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More Hours in the Day...

Day 24 #NHBPM:

"If I had more than 24 hours in a day..."

Honestly? I'd probably just procrastinate longer...or extend whatever it is that I had to get done into however many more hours I had. We tend to do that, as human beings. We know we have until this time to get something done, so we extend the time it takes to get said thing done until the very end. It's something I need to work on. The day before Thanksgiving I worked from home so that I could do some cooking for the next day, clean up, workout, and write. Guess when I started doing those? At about 4PM. I had ALL DAY. I even got up at 6 despite not needing to.

But, when I DO get that "get it done" bug and am Super Jen, more hours usually means some me time. I don't get enough of that during those periods. More time to meditate, do yoga, just relax, and write. More time to visit with the boyfriend, friends, and family would be great also.

So, my answer:

If I had more than 24 hours in a day I'd use it to perform more reflecting me time.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Prepping for the Holidays

Day 23 #NHBPM:

Prep for the holidays -- in a post!

Being that the holidays involve a whole lot of eating and I'm the only vegan in any of the families (and friends, really) that I visit, prepping means that I basically take dishes and/or entire meals that I can eat. Otherwise, I'm left out. Not to say that they wouldn't make something, but no one else would really eat it and I don't demand that they make something just for me. So, I will go find vegan dishes that closely relate to whichever holiday and might be well received by other people. It was my goal to make something that the others might like to eat this Thanksgiving, but I wound up going raw vegan instead of cooked vegan and honestly I didn't even bother asking people to try it. They DID love the hummus as I already mentioned, which I was thrilled about! However, that wasn't raw with the canned chick peas.

Aside from traveling and making sure that I have my vitamins and protein powder, that's really all of the prepping I do. I try to make sure that I'll have fruit and veggies and dark chocolate (for the sweet tooth attack).


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Week 1, Day 5  0 to 13.1:

I made the mistake of telling my boyfriend's brother-in-law that I was training for a half marathon and needed to run today. He insisted that I go out with him. He was in the army for about 7 years and has been running since before then. He loves it and does it probably 4 times a week. A couple months ago he decided that he wanted to do a half marathon and with only 1 week of training ran one. So, yeah, needless to say I was a little scared to go out with him, but I couldn't make up any excuses. I was pretty terrified that he was going to  kill me and that it was royally going to SUCK and I'd be wiped out all day.

Well, it did suck, but I was pretty proud of myself. We walked 1/4th mile and then started our run. I ran for 2 miles straight. I had mentioned I was in week 1 of 24 and it was interval training of walking running (seriously, it was supposed to be 60 sec run, 90 sec walk for 15 min) and so we did interval. However those intervals were run-faster intervals for 1/4 mile. OY!

But, although it was hard, I made it through. He was very patient and gave great advice, plus was very inspiring towards the end of each faster paced interval. Pretty great! I came home and did my core training and went on with my day! Definitely was wiped out by 7PM -- haha.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks for the Changes

Day 22 #NHBPM:

Write about change...

Seven years ago I was getting ready to graduate college with a degree in graphic design. I was dating a guy that I figured would be my husband somewhere down the line. We didn't have the best relationship, but I bottled things up and ignored things. I was extremely overweight and wasn't very active at all. I didn't love myself or other people (except my relatives of course). I wasn't angry, but I wasn't happy either.

Since then I have had weight loss surgery, ended my relationship, started another, moved to Michigan to go back to school, ended that new relationship, learned some wonderful life lessons, lost nearly 200 pounds, gained respect for myself and for other people, and learned to love myself, everyone else, and the world.

There were some hard lessons to learn that might be considered mistakes in my life, but they were mistakes in which I gained so much knowledge about myself and life in general that I wouldn't trade them for anything. I'd gladly do them again because they got me to where I am now. I am more caring, understanding, vocal, and strong. I've grown into a person that I respect and although I still have things I want to work on to better myself, it's pretty incredible to know that I can change and am willing to change.


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Week 1, Day 4  0 to 13.1:

Yesterday I literally procrastinated until the evening. I didn't get my core or cross training in, but figured I wasn't being picked up until about 7am today and could just swap rest days. Unfortunately the boyfriend showed up at 3:30am because he couldn't sleep (I think he was excited to see his family) and that triggered me not being able to go back to sleep. I got up and did the core training, but failed to get in the 20 min of cross training. I figured I might talk my boyfriend into a walk after Thanksgiving dinner but that didn't happen -- haha.


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Eating for Energy:

I have no idea what day I'm on for this...it's all gravy, though. I made a raw vegan dish for myself since I was going to be spending the holidays with the boyfriend's family who are big meat eaters. I made stuffing from ground nuts, celery, herbs, raisins, and pomegranate seeds. SO GOOD! Topping was a cranberry sauce and then gravy made of nuts and mushrooms. Pretty fantastic! Since I made it in advance, though, the gravy wasn't warm from the blender, so that stunk. I also made hummus, which was a HUGE hit. It went before the big feast even started. I figured no one would like it but me (I made it too soupy and thus added in some more tahini, which then became too tahini-y in my opinion), but they seriously loved it. I ran out of veggies and hummus pretty fast. YAY! Also brought some fresh green beans that I lightly steamed in the microwave.

Great Thanksgiving if you ask me!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The A.I.P.T.

Day 21 #NHBPM:

Create a new technology related to health...

The Artificially Intelligent Personal Trainer (A.I.P.T.) is a breakthrough program that will work in conjunction with the Artificially Intelligent Personal Assistant (A.I.P.A) and help users make the best health conscious choice catering to their individual body makeup and biometrics.

The user can either speak to their A.I.P.T (to which they can name him/her) or let the hand held device scan objects via it's optical laser reader. The P.T. will then give (text or speech) a concluding statement of results on specific foods, drinks, or physical fitness related to how it will help or harm the users body, plus give suggestions on healthier options (such as nearby restaurants and grocery stores, quick recipes, etc)

For example, if the user was given the option of a Big Mac vs a salad, the P.T. would scientifically study all components, and list the nutritional values, then give a synopsis of how each would affect the users body if fully ingested. Similarly, given the option of walking the stairs or riding the elevator, the device would spit out the physical benefits of such.

Each week and/or day (depending on the settings or program recommendations) the A.I.P.T will provide a schedule and list of workouts as well as a suggested menu based on the individuals body to keep the guess work and planning to a minimum. It will work alongside the A.I.P.A., allowing work and social schedules to take precedence, while still insisting on physical activity and healthy habits. The A.I.P.T. is programmed to offer suggestions on what to eat when a craving strikes based on what the body is actually missing in it's diet.

The A.I.P.T will continually scan and read the users body and adjust a workout regime and menu based on what is needed to reach optimal health.

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I've clearly been watching too much Eureka.

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Week 1, Day 3  0 to 13.1:

I decided to do my run on my lunch break yesterday because I wanted to make sure I got my grocery shopping (probably shouldn't have waited until 2 days before Thanksgiving) done and was home at a decent hour. Here's to being at work sweaty and gross! I will probably try to do that later in the day from now on...

The first run was 60 sec run, 90 sec walk intervals for 15 minutes. I had already programmed all of the running days into my HIIT timer app. Unfortunately I misread and clicked on the Sundays run which is the same, but for 1 mile. I had guessed on how long it would take to go a mile doing those intervals at about 10 sets and boy was I just OFF. I wound up going 3.04 miles total (that included 10 min walking warm up, 10 min walking cool down, and the 10 intervals of 60/90). I calculated it to be about 2 miles of the interval training and a mile of the walking w/u and c/d. With the other workout before and after I was definitely gone longer than an hour! Oh well...at least I know I can do it.

I will say that I was whining to myself half way through. There was a lot of "man, this is harder than I thought" and "I used to be able to go so much further" to "I'm really out of shape...it's so easy to get out of shape!". Kind of sucked...but I kept going. My pace was much slower towards the end. I should probably slow it down a bit at the beginning.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I had it done, but do I support surgery?

Day 20 #NHBPM:

Write about alternative treatments / regimens / medicine. What do you support? What is crazy?

I'll focus on the world of weight loss in this regard. I had weight loss surgery (RnY Gastric Bypass) because I was severely overweight. Now, I didn't have any health issues aside from being overweight, which I suppose was a miracle in itself. I honestly had the surgery more for vanity reasons than health reasons (I was 24). The second reason was because I wanted to be more physically fit. And the third was to extend my life and better my future through health.

Prior to surgery, I had tried numerous different diets and regimens for losing weight. The best was my freshman year in college...oddly enough. I walked everywhere, had a little routine I did before bed and in the morning (leg lifts, situps, etc), and forgot to eat because I was playing video games all night. At some point I had gotten to a size 16 jeans without knowing it! It was pretty awesome! Though, I wouldn't necessarily recommend the not eating part; just lower the quantity of quality food. After that year, though I slowly gained and gained. I tried Atkins (...there's a crazy regret), Weight Watchers (it'd be okay if it didn't have all those processed WW foods!), and just working out (doesn't mean I can eat whatever I want...). But it never lasted more than a month.

Do I regret having the surgery? Yes and no. I think that if I were to have figured out what I know now about food I wouldn't have needed it, thus giving up the saggy skin, the need to take so many vitamins, and the funky/rearranged insides. But, I wouldn't have probably figured that out without having gone the path I did. And I certainly don't regret my life right now.

Do I support it for others? Also a yes and no. I look back at the weight loss surgery community and kind of cringe. There are so many people that I don't think really need to result to it. I really want to urge them down this plant-based diet path. In my opinion the people that only need to lose 75-100 pounds could easily do so by shifting their diet to natural, whole foods. Forget the diet foods; they're worthless. Go plant-based! Drink green juice! Cut out the processed foods! Eat organic! Try to do as high raw as possible! Even if you're not willing to go vegetarian or vegan, you can still go plant-based and be completely satisfied.

Rip Esselstyn, creator of the Engine 2 Diet
I will say that there are those that are morbidly obese (as I was considered) and higher that need to lose that weight NOW. Although, if you've seen Fat Sick and Nearly Dead you know it's possible to still become healthy at such high weights. But, for those that have tried this and can't discipline themselves enough to save their lives (this isn't a snarky jab, I was there), then do the surgery. There are multiple different kinds now; some that barely change how your insides work such as the Gastric Sleeve (I wish my surgeon did the Duodenal Switch). But the individual needs to realize that it is only a tool (a leaky one at that) and that they need to ultimately change their diet. I DEFINITELY recommend a plant-based diet.

Things I Support:

  • Fresh Fruit (organic if possible)
  • Fresh Green Vegetables (organic if possible)
  • Filtered Water
  • Green Juice (or whatever color it turns out in my case)
  • Daily Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Running
  • Loose Leaf, Free Trade Tea
  • Almond Milk
  • Raw Foods

Things I Don't Support:
  • Processed Foods
  • Soda/Pop
  • Diet Drinks/Shakes
  • Coffee
  • Animal Products (or at least do organic, grass fed dairy and meat, free range and probiotic free chicken, and wild caught fish)
  • Gluten

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Week 1, Day 2  0 to 13.1:

Yesterday felt good. I did 20 min on the elliptical at the apartment gym. I've not been in there forever! I was happy to have gotten home and immediately put my gym clothes on. Originally I wanted to do it during my lunch break, but I was busy with work. Score for getting it done at home! Though, I will admit that when I got to the strength training part I wanted to only do about half and then give up. Not because it was hard; I just didn't want to do the work! Kind of sad...I did do more reps than it said in the end, though. YAY me.

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Inspiring People!

There is this lady; probably my age or maybe a little younger; that I've bumped into multiple times at the complex gym since I've lived here(2 years now). She used to be extremely overweight. I remember seeing her at about 5:45-6PM as I was driving home; she'd be out running. This was about a year ago. After running she'd hit the gym...I remember noticing it was faithfully around 7 every day.

One day I really wish I had told her I was completely impressed with her dedication because she was out running and working out just about every day. I never did, sadly and then I stopped going to the gym. I would still see her out running though for a good month after. And then either my schedule changed or hers did and I stopped seeing her amongst the other runners on the sidewalk.

Last night I spotted her doing her thing running down the street! She had to have lost at least 100 pounds! She was so little! As before, we met up in the gym. Seriously...she looks amazing. Sure, she's got some more pounds to go, but cripes, she looks like she's lost half of herself! Again, I wish I had made mention that she looks amazing and darnit I will next time (I foresee more gym usage with it getting colder). She's kept it up since I last saw her, which is awesome! I couldn't help but think she recognized me and thought "man, she looks the same..." -- HAH...so true...and sad.

Perhaps I can strike up a conversation with her and get to know her. Inspiration buddies! I wonder how long she runs now.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What I Would Change About Healthcare

Day 18 #NHBPM:

Treat the cause and not the symptom.

So often I see doctors passing out medications to treat a symptom, rather than going to the root cause of it. Stomach pains? Here's a pill. A rash from that stomach pain pill? Here's another pill. Migraines from the rash pill? Have another! Before the patient knows it they're on 10 different medications! What was the original cause? Do they even know? Could it have easily been that the individual was eating something the body didn't like?

I often tie these body issues back into food because we're slowly poisoning ourselves with the processed stuff we feed it. I kept wondering why I always had sinus congestion, drainage, and phlegm. I stopped eating dairy and guess what went away? If I happen to eat dairy, I almost immediately get that buildup going on. I didn't notice until I stopped eating gluten that my joints ached and my limbs were swollen (especially the feet and ankles). If I eat it now, the next day I'm all sorts of inflamed and retaining water. Would I have gotten that answer if I went to the doctor? Probably not. At one point the sinus issue was going to get me a sinus scraping procedure. YIKES! Talk about hurt! No thanks...

Food cures all. Look to that before popping pills!


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All Others:

60 minute walk today was broken into two. The boyfriend and I took a long walking route to the grocery store. It took us about 35-40 minutes to get there and then 20-25 to return home at a different route (that is literally all uphill) with grocery bags in tow. My shoulders were pretty sore by the end of it.

I don't know that I'm proud I found this because it IS processed, but I found some gluten free chocolate cake mix. It calls for eggs, but right next to that was an egg substitute that you just mix with water. The ingredients didn't LOOK bad. Guess we'll see!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Strengths & Weaknesses

Day 17 #NHBPM:

I've never been very good at coming up with this type of list, though I do have two that could easily fit into both categories!

Strengths:
Flexibility
Low Maintenance


Motivated/Driven

Kind & Caring
Perfectionist
All or nothing attitude
Obsessive Planner
Good Volleyball Setter

Weaknesses:
Procrastination
Judgmental
Perfectionist
All-or-Nothing Attitude
Obsessive Planner
Emotional Eater
Easily Worked up if Things Aren't Perfect
Slow Runner


Alright, so I bet I could keep going a little bit on this. But some of them might get a little silly (such as the last ones on each list).


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All Others:

Got my walk in today, though I failed to realize that it was 2 miles and not just ~20 minutes. I don't think we went 2 miles. That's okay, though. I walked a lot this week!

Been really hungry this weekend. I don't think I get nearly enough water in during the weekend. I should work on that.

Dive into the depths of darkness in an elevator

Friday, November 16, 2012

An Inspiring Image

Day 16 NHBPM:

Use a picture or video to inspire a post...

More like an inspiring person, but I was introduced to him as an image on a TV screen followed by an obsessive amount online, so you're about to have a ton of pictures to look at.

Meet Oscar Pistorius! You might remember this South African from the 2012 Olympics. When I first saw him on screen I immediately went about learning his story. Lucky for me, they also did a special on him.

He's incredible!
"Oscar Pistorius was born without the fibula in each of his legs. His parents consulted with some of the leading doctors in the world before making the heart-wrenching decision to have his legs amputated below the knee. They were advised by doctors that having the amputation done before Oscar had learned to walk would be less traumatic for him and would greatly improve his chances of mobility in later life. Six months later he received his first pair of prosthetic legs and within days he had mastered them."  — oscarpistorius.com
I was thinking about that today as I was walking. MAN, I'm glad to be able to just get up and walk. There was a time where I hated walking...all I wanted to do was sit. What was wrong with me? I'm certainly glad I have since changed tunes. A little less than a month ago I injured my foot and not being able to do simple things like walk (and run, oh man did I miss that) was agonizing. It royal stunk! I complained (to myself) so much!

It's so easy to take legs and feet for granted! This man doesn't even know what it's like and yet he's out there being a rock star and living life to the fullest! Completely amazing. I imagine that this gives hope to so many amputees out there. It certainly put a spotlight on him. He was the first double-amputee to ever run in the summer Olympics!

And did I mention he has an amazing smile? Yeah...he does. And his voice! Oh, to die for!

Don't worry, my boyfriend is okay that I have an unhealthy crush on this man.

I also just found out as I was looking for photos that he was one of the honorees for People's Sexiest Man Alive (honestly I would have chosen him over Channing)! Look at him!


That's a pretty wicked shot. I'm reminded of Terminator.

I love the quote they have on that People link: "Being disabled doesn't have to be a disadvantage."

I am inspired to get out there and be active. I am extremely thankful for my working legs and feet. Even in dirty walking shoes, you are amazing!
 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Decluttering My Attention

Day 15 #NHBPM:

Why I decided to leave an online community...

This definitely ties into my post yesterday and doesn't at the same time.

Look at this little guy. Is he not adorable?? How could you not want a flaming pixel kitten??
 
I used to game. A LOT. When I say game, I mean video games. I loved Massively Multiplayer Online RolePlaying Games (MMORPG) such as World of Warcraft... I was, and still am to an extent, a big geek. I used to play with my boyfriend at the time and we'd log more hours than necessary a day. We had a guild (group of players) that we ran around with and formed a pretty good bond with them. The leader was an old coworker and good friend to my boyfriend, so it was easy fitting in. At this point I don't even know what happened, but somehow things got ugly with some other members and it spilled onto the the guild forums and then the official forums. I have never felt so helpless. I was painted to be the bad guy despite not doing anything wrong. Unfortunately I didn't take that high road and fell INTO the bad guy spot easily by fighting back.

Worst decision. It ate away at me offline, made me completely miserable, and worse yet, it put a huge wedge between my boyfriend and his friendship with his old coworker (who refused to take sides; the wise decision). I let that whole thing ruin me for a good couple weeks. And then I said enough is enough and left the community and whole setting. Looking back I wish I had done that sooner or at least handled it better.

Nowadays I join newsletter and blogging communities. A couple months ago I was getting about 75 newsletters a day. It was stressing me out trying to keep up with them in my inbox, but I HAD to read about these recipes, this life changing advice, what was healthy, a new exercise routine, who ate what and did what yesterday, etc, etc... it was ridiculous. I thought that by reading all of this I would suddenly "find" myself or something would just click. Totally wrong. One day I decided to unsubscribe from every newsletter and blog and only kept a few inspirational ones.

BEST decision! I don't need all of that. I don't need recipes I won't ever use and I certainly don't need to know what someone ate the other day. I've gotten to the point where I know that I need simple, quick, and raw meals to satisfy my schedule and my belly. I'd rather use up what I already have instead of spend money on random items for only one dish. I need to focus on exercise, but not be weighed down by new routines every other day or this new move that is THE best way to get rid of love handles. Focus! One thing at a time! Not 20...or in my case 75.

Declutter. Name of my game of life right there. So much happier!

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Protein Powders:

I have 3 different brands of vegan protein powder at home right now. Vega (Berry), Garden of Life (Chocolate), and one other kind that I will have to go home and look up, but it's vanilla.

I've been trying to drink a scoop every morning and have switched it up. I have noticed that the Vega brand is the only one that leaves me full throughout the morning. The others, I'm pretty much hungry as soon as I get to work. It's the only one that's not raw, though. I'll have to fully investigate it's ingredients.

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My Evening & Shampoo! 

All plans for last night seemed to completely fall through. The movie wound up not happening due to a friend being sick. I decided I'd rather write than make a dish for the Fall Feast here at work today (we had an option to pay $3 or make food) because I lazily didn't want to go shopping for it, then stand around chopping up veggies and herbs all night. I cleaned a little, procrastinated a little, had fun chatting with my cousin, wrote a little, talked with my new little community of fellow 0 to 13.1 runners and then went to bed.

Twas a great evening!

On another note, I have kind of fallen in love with soap nuts. I used castor oil on my scalp the other day (it's supposed to help strengthen, grow faster, prevent falling out, etc) and despite a bazillion washes with baking soda, lemon, and apple cider vinegar could NOT get the oil out of my hair. This morning I was about to call it quits and just use shampoo (I'm on the "no-poo" wagon). I then remembered that I could use castile soap OR soap nuts! I use soap nut powder for my laundry and have been really satisfied with it so far! Sadly the piece of paper that gave recipes for how to use it fell into the washer last weekend and wound up being washed, so I had to roam around the internet to find a recipe.

IT TOTALLY WORKED! Because I have the powder stuff, I didn't have to do the boiling of the nuts to get the liquid (thank goodness; that seems like a chore!). I just added a little bit of water to a heaping teaspoon of the powder and made a paste. Now, this does not foam...at all. It barely covered all of my hair and was basically grit...like I threw chunky, pebbly, sand in it. I massaged as well as possible and let it sit while I washed everything else (they say to leave the liquid version in for up to 20 min) and then rinsed it out. I could tell immediately that the oil was gone. YES! I let it dry naturally without combing and am super excited to also see that there's no static! Baking soda and lemon water rinse wash my hair great, but leave it FULL of static (especially as colder weather settles in).

Again, the small things. :) 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Take the High Road

Day 14 #NHBPM:

Advice for dealing with negative feedback in your community... 


I have been part of one online community or another since I was probably 14 (or younger!). I've definitely gone through the get angry, fight back, make a fool of myself, throw a fit stages and have come to realize that not everyone is going to agree with me. I need to respect other people's positions. I also need to realize that there are people out there who feed on opposition. They literally will argue or berate for the fun of it.

Don't stoop to their level. If you find negative feedback, respond politely (if it's a blatant attack on you or someone else and has nothing to do with the topic just remove it and send them a message letting them know why it was removed). You don't need to apologize for your stance, but let them know that you understand their side and appreciate the comments. If someone is disagreeing with you about knowledge (because I certainly don't pretend to know everything and am often wrong), then go do your homework and get back to them, but never in a matter-of-fact retort if you are correct. And if you aren't, then you just learned something new and should thank them!

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Morning Stuff:
 
Kundalini you are so different! But, good. I like the emphasis on breathing and moving. It kind of reminds me of Pilates...sort of. Not so much work, though I will say my arms are TIRED after this mornings wing flapping.

Hmm, I just looked down to find that my black pants are covered in bright green fuzzies from my sweater. Fabulous. I'll be lint rolling that off all day!

I got to put a shiny, little gold star in my planner for yesterday! Huzzah!

Hey, it's the smaller things. Little rewards! They make me happy.

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Meditation:
 
Meditation was good this morning. I'm a couple days behind, but I haven't had a chance to do multiples in a day yet. Not worried! I'll just keep going and doing my thing until it's over! If I get a chance to do several in a day, then I will.

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Whoa, Energy!

I had a LOT of energy last night while listening to The Daily Love EXTRAVAGANZA. It was refreshing to have that energy again. I ended up prepping my food for today, making quinoa and a cheesey dressing, cleaning the kitchen, and finally putting away all of the winter clothes!

The EXTRAVAGANZA lasts all week and while I am not particularly interested in ALL of the speakers, there are quite a few that I want to hear. It runs from 5-10PM my time, so that kind of takes the entire evening. Good thing it's easy to mindlessly do other things at the same time! Monday I wanted to hear them all and worked on portfolio and resume updates. Last night I actually wanted to write all evening, but also knew that with the boyfriend coming over tonight I needed to get the place in order. I'm actually really glad I listened to the entire 5 interviews because the ones I would have skipped I found more interesting than the others. Probably because I've heard from the others so many times that what they had to say wasn't anything new to me. It was good stuff!

Tonight I'll be missing most of them, which kind of stinks since I don't know any of the individuals and judging by last night will wind up loving what they say. Going to a movie. DARN you Skyfall! *shakes fist*

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Eating Stuff:

As I said, LOTS of energy last night. I've been making green/red/purple/brown drinks and taking 2 small mason jars to work. This has been really awesome. I have one mid morning and then before I go home. I'm still working through the soup, so another soup and salad day (EXCITED!! I love it...). Tomorrow is a Thanksgiving feast. I'm bringing a tabbouleh (which I have to prep tonight before the movie) and imagine I'll be eating just that... Might have to bring something else for myself...

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Just Keep Running...

Look at my new pretty bracelet! I like how I have bought this, but not new running shoes or cold gear yet... One thing at a time...

I'm so stoked that my toe is feeling better! I noticed yesterday that it wasn't swollen and actually looked the same size as the other one. Since having surgery on it in '09 it's actually been bigger with the scar tissue, but it looks NORMAL!

Not sure what sparked it's rapid healing in the past 2 days (perhaps the green drinks?), but I will not complain and just run with it (literally).

Off to buy some new shoes! Amazon.com and birthday gift card, here I come!




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Going PRO! And how to overcomplicate traveling...

Going PRO!


Today my inbox was blessed with a beauty from Marie Forleo (if you don't know this lovely lady and own a business or are thinking of doing so, you should definitely GET to know her). Her MarieTV episode is called Turn Pro: How to Reach Your Full Potential with Steven Pressfield, which I highly recommend watching, even if you're not an entrepreneur or have any desire to leave your current job/situation or just don't want to better your life overall.

I had vaguely heard of Pressfield and actually have his book The War of Art on my Amazon wish/reading list, but beyond that I didn't know a thing about him.

This interview made me really stop and think. I LOVE the idea of going pro in certain aspects of my life. Because, right now, I'm in limbo (from my friend, Stephenie Zamora, which I found ridiculously appropriate and timely after watching Marie's episode).

I'm not "pro" at anything. I've not taken that leap, though I keep thinking I will at some point. I'm apparently waiting for the "stars to align" or some such thing... That could never happen or I could never notice. I need to just DO it.

So, what does this mean? 
  • It means that I'm going to continue blogging daily, because I LOVE it, though I don't know exactly what I'll be blogging about aside from my trials and tribulations.
  • It means that I'm going to drop the Fitter U Challenge because I want to be a PRO at running and attempting to do both will only result in a crap job on two accounts.
  • It means that I'm going to take creative writing SERIOUSLY and do it daily. Because I want to be a PRO at it. I want to finish a book. I want to publish said book. I want someone, somewhere out there to read it and enjoy it.
  • It means that I'm not going to worry about all those other little things I keep trying to add into my life. Write and Run...that's it.
  • This DOESN'T mean I'm dropping meditation or eating healthy, because those are huge perks to my personal life. 
My professional life is suffering from the other "must do this" crap I keep throwing in there because I think it'll make me a better person. They will not be on the back burner anymore! Those other things can go to the back burner!

YEAH!


I feel like there should be a more epic ending to that speech to myself, but it'll do.


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Day 13 NaHeBloPoMo:

Write about what it's like to travel with your condition...

I don't have a condition, but I like to be prepared when I travel. Because I'm a bariatric patient and High Raw Vegan, there's some things---all having to do with consumption---I have to take into consideration. Even when just going to the boyfriends apartment, you'd think I was going away for the weekend the way I prep.

  1. Vitamins -- I take them morning and evening (double dosage! it's a bariatric thing) and have to make sure to pack them. I'd be lying if I said my vitamin stash didn't look like the picture when I travel...
  2. Snacks -- This isn't a necessity, but I do try to pack snacks such as raw nuts, fruit, and raw protein bars. You'd be surprised how hard it is to find raw nuts (usually find them roasted with salt) and vegan items in an airport, let alone a hotel!
  3. Protein Powder -- I pack individual servings plus my shaker bottle.
  4. Tea -- Another thing I can live without, but I do like to bring with so I don't have to go searching or pay for it.
  5. Water Bottle -- I literally don't go anywhere without this sucker...

Again, I don't have a condition; just a need for my vitamins plus being prepared for when hunger strikes and there's not a good option nearby!



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Week 0, Day 2 Fitness & 0 to 13.1:

Supposed to walk for 20 min...I kind of find that a waste of time... so I walked for 50. Had to hit up the bank and then just kept walking until I finally ran into the path I usually take with a coworker. I thought it was going to be cold today, and it's definitely chilly, but it felt fantastic! I wore boots today after testing them with my foot. There's hardly ANY pain! A little, especially when walking down an incline and the foot slides to the front, but I was super excited that normal walking was good! The tennis shoes were great too! I felt it towards the end, but nothing I couldn't handle. YAY!

One thing I tried to focus on while walking was breathing through my stomach (something suggested for running) rather than my chest. It's hard to do. I do it for singing, but I'm not moving at the time and find it easier to accomplish. It seems really weird while moving.Will have to work on it!

I did Kundalini yoga this morning. :)  Thanks GaiamTV for the 30 day free trial! I think I might subscribe when it's over!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Favorite app & then some...

Day 12 NaHeBloPoMo:

My favorite health app / device / game is...

I have a couple! Prior to having this half marathon training, my favorite app was RunDouble and it will more than likely be a favorite in the future again because you can have it set by time or distance. The plans range from Couch-to-5K, 10K Start Plans, and Improver and Event Plans. In each of these plans are various options for distance or time. There are also some fun runs. My heart rate strap isn't bluetooth, but if it were, I could monitor my heart rate as well with this. There are a ton of other different settings and options that I've not fiddled with, but I really enjoyed it while doing the C25K! I played around with the timed and the distance. The only 2 things I was slightly unhappy with was the audio options (there might have been an update to it recently or a setting I am missing) as well as the screen rotation. I like to run to techno and despite having it on shuffle it played the same songs each run. It seemed to just repeat the same set each time it started, which got a little old. The screen only rotates one horizontal way, which if I have it on my arm means the phone is upside down from what I normally have it (I have bluetooth headphones, but I prefer plug in ones when I sweat a lot). It's something I can overlook, though.

Another favorite app that I recently started using and will definitely be using during this 0 to 13.1 training is the A HIIT Interval Timer. This little guy is super simple, though it LOOKS overwhelming at first. I can go in and do my own timed intervals! It's awesome! So I'll make a warm-up, cool-down, run and walk set and then combine them accordingly to make a workout for the day. I started using it on the 3 week training program and will now go in and set them up for the half marathon. It does just a nice little ticking countdown at about 3 seconds and then a tone for when you're supposed to start or stop whatever it is you're doing. It can probably do a lot more than what I use it for, but I dig it.



As for devices, I LOVE my heart Polar Heart Rate Monitor! I could not tell you what model it is, as I've had it for about 5 years. At the time I was much bigger and needed to get the men's version because the chest strap was bigger, but it's at it's smallest setting right now. Eventually I'd like to get a blue tooth one so I can have it monitored on my phone as well. But, I love this little guy. The strap doesn't bug me at all UNLESS I'm doing some sort of floor exercise. Then, it presses into my back, which tends to hurt. I don't mind the watch face on the wrist either, but again, if I'm doing something that requires the use of it, it gets obnoxious. I wish it had a longer range. I've used it during spinning classes where I will just place the watch on the handles and sometimes that is too far for it. Perhaps I just need to upgrade, but for now it does it's job! I like knowing where my heart rate falls and how many calories I'm burning per session.

Of course, none of those apps would happen without my smart phone. :)


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Week 4, Day 22 Eating For Energy:

Have I mentioned how much I love things right now? Things are awesome :)  I feel fantastic!

This morning I made some "green" juice (really, it's red) with vegetables that were getting ready to go bad. I had enough for 2 small canning jars plus a glass for myself. Oddly I've not drank the jars yet. My lunch was SO GOOD...just a big bowl of avocado, hemp, lemon, olive oil, cucumber, sunflower seeds, grape tomato, parsley, nutritional yeast, and lettuce. MAN was it good! I noticed later in the afternoon that I did NOT crave chocolate after the fact. That's always been a weird thing for me. Immediately after eating lunch I crave the chocolate sweets. I didn't...heck I didn't even NOTICE I didn't until a couple hours after. YAY!

I need to drink some juice...I'd rather it not sit around!


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Week 0, Day 1   0 to 13.1:

I just got done putting all of workouts into my little planner that my boyfriend bought for me months ago. He knew I struggled with consistency when it came to workouts, so he thought he'd help me out by giving me a planner, some little gold star stickers for when I accomplished the workout, and then put a reminder in his own phone to check up on my progress the first of every month. Well...it's sadly not been used in several months. Not because I've not worked out (which I haven't lately), but because I had a hard time using the planner, my phone calendar, and a bazillion other things to organize my workouts...so I dropped the planner. But, I still LIKE the idea. I just need to use it ONLY for workouts rather than my every day life as I was trying to do before.

Today is a rest day (hah!)... I actually wanted to head out to walk this afternoon but realized I left my jacket at home and it's kind of cold out (50s!). I'm a wuss, so I will not go without proper gear. And speaking of, I need to get me some new shoes already...plus some cold gear to run in! I think I'll stop by and have the Run On! gang fit my feet for a proper shoe. Maybe Wed... kind of busy tonight.


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Day 8 Meditation Challenge:

Have I mentioned that I wish these were less talking at the beginning and more meditation? I guess I appreciate the lesson and perhaps I should use that time to try to meditate, but I find it hard when he's talking. At least it'll get me used to it daily, right? 


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Day 12 NaNoWriMo:

I'll have a better update tomorrow... 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Shorty

Day 11 NaHeBloPoMo:

Write about your favorite thing that is not health-related but likely improves your life...

Writing. Kind of a given, eh? I won't say blogging, though that is a big portion of my writing, but creative writing. I love it so very much. I sometimes find it hard to do, especially daily. It's a struggle, but when I get the inspiration and am able to create something daily, my mood lifts and it helps other areas of my life that require artistry.


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Day 11 NaNoWriMo:

Gunna get my writing on right after this sucker!


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All Others:

Went grocery shopping and picked up some essentials that I can leave here at the boyfriends. Definitely making sure I do well on the weekends. Feels great! I've officially not "cheated" with gluten or animal products for over a week now! Boyfriend washed his pillows so I've not had any issues with swelling and congestion this weekend. Faaantastic!

Foot hurts a bit today. We were going to go walking, but between my foot and rain showing up, we wound up not doing so.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Walk to Defeat ALS!

That's what I did today. IT WAS AWESOME!


That's my little team :)  I was really glad to have my newly engaged friends in the center come out and run it! I managed to run part of it with my boyfriend as well. Forgot to bring my cloth tape to tape the toe, so I used Scotch...haha. It worked enough, anyway...definitely wasn't so taped after the fact, though...in fact it had completely crumpled and fallen apart. Good to know that actually using the real tape should be decent for running! YES!


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Day 10 NaHeBloPoMo:

Should people post about their (or loved ones) health on Facebook?

I love social networks for keeping in touch with friends and family. I don't necessarily use it for networking and I believe that you should keep your business and personal accounts separate. Talking about your or loved ones health on Facebook is expected on a personal page. It's an easy way to keep people in the know, get support, prayers, etc. I see no reason why sharing would be a negative thing, especially when it's so easy for people to hide updates or ignore things if it does become a problem


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Day 10 NaNoWriMo:

I knew I wasn't going to get anything done today, which is alright. Sunday!


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Day 6 Meditation Challenge:

Wasn't able to meditate this morning either, so double Sunday!


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Eating for Energy & FitterUFitness:

I'm too lazy to see what week and day it is...I forget every day - haha.

I've done such a great job today! Ate clean and raw except for dinner. I found a pizza place that has a vegan gluten free pizza! SO GOOD! I was really impressed with it! There's not another one of those zPizza places around the area, so I didn't even know they existed! But the ingredients are organic, also. They use a lot of veggies, some vegan protein, Daiya cheese, and I can substitute for gluten free crust. I was really impressed. Next time I think I'd remove the zucchini as I wasn't a fan of that veggie (which I'm realizing more and more).

I did run about 2 miles of the 5k and speed walked the rest, so that was awesome! Totally napped a couple hours that afternoon, too.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Then vs Now


Day 9 NaHeBloPoMo:

Tell a descriptive story about a memory...

--

Not a single cloud dotted the beautiful azul sky as boyfriend, his father, and I set out on our first joint hike. I wore a simple gray t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers; two of which clung tightly to my bulging curves. Despite being severally overweight, I was determined to enjoy the great outdoors and make the trek to Horsetooth Falls and back with my fitter counterparts.

Although we had been together for years and took frequent trips to his parents house only minutes from, we hadn't hiked the trails at Horsetooth Reservoir together. Even knowing that I was about to willingly participate in an amount of exercise my body hadn't seen, I was tricking myself into believing I wasn't that out of shape and I could easily accomplish this feat.

2.2 miles was nothing, right?

Wrong.

The trip was agonizing. Beautiful, but distressing. I was panting and wheezing not even half way to the falls. My lungs HURT. My legs HURT and there was nary a real incline or step along the winding path. It embarrassed me to have to pause; to be so far behind boyfriend and father that they stopped to let me catch up. It was especially painful to see a look in his eyes that was as if he were verbally telling me I shouldn't have come. Not that he wouldn't be proud when I finished, but that this was ugly and too much, too soon.

More than once I wanted to turn back. More than once I wanted to just sit right there and wait for them to finish and come get me afterwards. I needed to rest. Heck, I needed to STOP. Would it be too much to have someone carry me out?

It was then, on the way back when I tripped over a protruding rock and went sprawling. My knee and hand were scraped and throbbing, but more than that my pride was hurt. I was really too fat and out of shape to do this. My boyfriend lovingly helped me up and made sure I was okay, which felt more like an insult than anything else. I dusted myself off and tried to fight back the tears as I let them go ahead of me again.

By the time we got back to the house, I was defeated to the point that I wanted to sit on the couch all day. So I did.

--

Fast forward four years...

I felt like I owed it to myself to defeat Horsetooth and it's hiking trails. Since losing all the weight I had been back several times, but today I was going all out. Today, my hike was going to take me from the south end all the way to the north end.

By the time I finished I had hiked over 15 miles. It took me 9 hours to finish, stopping only for lunch and a bathroom break at the north most outlet. I had sadly run out of the 64 ounces of water 3/4 of the way through, but was able to get to the top of the Horsetooth Falls for a quick drink.

It was the biggest triumph to conquer such a task. I couldn't move my arms or shoulders from carrying a backpack all day, but man was it worth it.

I had come a long way; from not being able to hike that 2.2 miles to backpacking 15 along a rocky and steep path that was meant for mountain biking.

What a glorious turn of events.


--


I think about these two events all the time. It's pretty amazing! Especially as I get ready to start training for a half marathon :)

((This is not the same boyfriend as the one from previous, but since moving to Texas we've done a lot of hiking! This one is of us at Red Rocks in Colorado.))



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Day 9 NaNoWriMo:

Well, I did some writing yesterday while at work! YEAH! Not nearly enough to actually catch up, but I will be doing so today as well as Sunday (tomorrow is kind of shot). Thanks to a buddy that gave a great writing tip -- sprints! She does them several times a day...just 10-15 minute writing sprints. There's a Twitter @NaNoWordSprints that sporadically does these throughout the day.


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Day 5 Meditation Challenge:

I had a weird sensation today. I'm in the process of swapping out my summer to winter clothes, which apparently is a daunting task and is taking me forever, so my meditation area consists of my computer chair. I try to make sure I sit tall and rest my hands in my lap... well today; I don't know if I was falling asleep, but I know I was actively, mentally reciting the days mantra and envisioning something beautiful (because, isn't that what we're supposed to do?) when my body did this weird jolt. It didn't hurt, it was just an upright snapping jolt that actually startled me enough to open my eyes. It was seriously the oddest sensation. Not quite like that almost asleep at my desk and then spasm and suddenly become fully awake one either. Weird...


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Week 3, Day 19 Eating for Energy:

I made butternut squash soup! It's great! It's raw and awesome :)  I brought it for all day today (topping it with sprouts, tomato, avocado, and hemp seed) and have a big mason jar left for the weekend. Since I'll be gone a good portion of it, I need to make some green juice also since my vegetables are on the cusp of going bad. I also plan on hitting up Spiral Diner after my ALS walk tomorrow. That place is pretty darn amazing!

I've been drinking protein powder infused beverages in the morning and I kind of see a big change in attitude and energy the past couple days. Diggin' it!

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Others:

About to go have my health care advocate look up a good podiatrist for me. I shall be visiting them next week!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dear health...

Day 8 NaHeBloPoMo:

Write a letter to your health...

 --

Dear health,

I want to thank you for allowing me to get up freely and unhindered to experience the beauty and adventure that every day has to offer. Thank you for being so willing to put up with my mental, eating and fitness issues; continuing on with only slight hiccups, but subtly reminding me that I can do better. I appreciate those little hints as to what does and doesn't cooperate with my mind and body.

From here on out, let's work together, striving to connect on a permanent level. I want to better nurture you, health. In return I know that you will unconditionally give ample amounts of energy, strength, flexibility, wisdom, and radiating beauty.

Together, we can make a better person, inside and out.

Love,
Jennifer


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Day 4 Meditation Challenge:

I was not able to get my meditation in yesterday morning and went to bed super early last night, therefore tonight I'm in for a double session! I was going to do one and started it this morning, but decided to pause and wait because I was distracted and not giving it my full attention.


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Day 8 NaNoWriMo:

Oh my word am I so far behind! ...seriously behind. I don't even know if I can catch up at this point. I'm not quite sure what I need to do in order to do so! It'd take days! LOTS of writing! I bet I could do a lot of it Sunday, but that's day 11!

I figured I might be doing too much with all of these challenges plus the every day things, but I was HOPING that I could make time for writing. I just haven't been! I should go see how many words per day I'd need to write in order to catch up....

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Week 3, Day 18 Eating for Energy:

We had a coworker come in from out of town and usually we wind up going out for lunch or ordering in. The first day I talked about having a gluten free, vegan pizza, which was delicious. Yesterday I had Chinese, which wasn't so delicious. It was vegan, full of veggies, but I had rice with it and it made it too heavy. Granted, I didn't eat it all and kept it for lunch today, but still.

Between that and eating some gluten free wraps with avocado, vegan cream cheese, and sprouts at home; I've noticed aching in the knees and a build up of mucous. Not pleasant. I did throw away the cream cheese. I had bought another brand that I saw at the store last night and when I got it home was thoroughly grossed out at the texture... the other one at least had cream cheese like texture! But, I realized after eating the wrap that it was all truly gross. What IS soy anyway and what is tofu (aside from soy)? I took one look at the tubs contents and kind of wanted to just get rid of everything I ate. It just reminded me of some kids cooking experiment...or Play-Do. How did I expect my body to digest that grossness!?

So, yeah...adventures in gluten free, vegan, and cooked does not always make me or my body happy. 9 times out of 10 it does the opposite.

On a future note, I set up a Girls Night towards the end of the month in which we are all bringing our favorite dishes to share. I'm bringing a massaged kale salad :)  Not sure on the dressing yet, but it will definitely be avocado based. I might also do a tabouli with hemp. Shall introduce my ladies to the fine tastes of raw vegan!


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Week 3, Day 18 FitterUFitness:

Another one that has taken a back burner. I'm definitely feeling it in the back area, though I do make sure to get up and stretch while at work. I've got my organizational tools at my desk today so that I can better set aside time for this and the others that are falling behind!

I did go ahead and make a restart date for the 19th :)  Along with the running challenge!





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Other Updates:

I finished up the questionnaire for the 0 to 13.1 challenge. Also printed off all of the workouts, warm-ups and cool-downs, which was a feat in itself considering many of them were online video sessions so I had to watch them to figure out what some of the exercises even were, lol. Next week I will start Week 0 and then the official 24 weeks will start on the 19th!

Last night I went home with intentions of getting stuff off my to-do list such as laundry (including getting out the winter stuff), dishes, and reconciling the credit card account (I share it with the boyfriend in order to get uber amounts of frequent flyer miles). Instead I watched Eureka and went to bed... This morning, however, I woke up with MASS amounts of energy. I did the dishes (all of them; including the produce bags that I hate washing and have left out forever), organized piles of clothes to wash, organized the winter clothes so that I can easily hang them tonight (closet is organized by every day clothes on one side and work clothes on the other and then by jackets/sweaters, pants/skirts, undershirts, tops, dresses, and THEN by color...it might seem like a lot, but it's helpful!). Plus I got some other random cleaning out of the way and was still able to get ready and to work on time. GO ME!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Be mindful...

Day 7 NaHeBloPoMo:

Be mindful. Write about what helps you stay centered in the present...

Meditation has been a really helpful tool that I attempt to do each morning. It let's me start my day calmly, which tends to carry throughout.

It took me awhile and sometimes I still find myself struggling with it, but I try to remember that I can't change the past and worrying or stressing over the future is ridiculous considering it's impossible to predict. So I live in the NOW and do what I can NOW in order to make that future bright and beautiful. It's all about the now and present. If I forever focus on what could have been and dream about what might be, my life will pass me by and I'll lose all of the wonderful moments and people that surround me. Just that thought saddens me and reminds me to stay focused here on the present.

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All Others:

So, as I keep stating, all other things have been going as planned with the exception of fitness and being behind in my word count. I'm hoping tonight I can catch up some, but my to-do list is long. I don't plan on attending volleyball because I wouldn't be able to play anyway.

I was out late last night at trivia with a group of friends. Subsequently there was some national news going on. I didn't get home and in bed until midnight, which made 5am come a wee bit too soon. I actually woke up at 4:45, but promptly reset my alarm for 6. Didn't get meditation in, but I hope to before bed.

Trivia was at a bar and I'm happy to say that I only had water the entire time. I didn't feel like wine and to be honest the thought of it brought the memory of a horrible headache, which made it easy to say no. I had Whole Foods for dinner, which, again, I ate clean and fresh foods; albeit a lot of them and it cost me a fortune! I need to remember I can add olive oil after the fact and not pay for it's weight.

Found some vegan, gluten free cookies and chocolate. The chocolate intrigues me because it's only 3 ingredients that aren't processed and the cookies are free of EVERYthing. Clearly they're baked, but they might help with the occasional sweettooth.

Got the 0 to 13.1 program content yesterday! I literally checked my email every 30 min checking for it. Haha...

I thought I would be able to start today, but foot aside, she actually has us doing a Week 0 first and some mental writing exercises (from her free running ebook) before that. I had finished a lot of the exercises prior to this, which is helpful! Now I just need to finish them up, get some new shoes, a new foot, and I'm ready to rock!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Abundantly thankful

Day 6 NaHeBloPoMo:

Write a #ListOf3 Things that you're thankful for / excited about / or inspired by...

I realize this is Day 5's, but I didn't have anything to talk about for either options on Day 6 and I wanted to do both Day 5!

I am thankful for my health. All things considered, I'm very glad that I can still walk, run, throw a ball, and most importantly breathe—all without real hindrances. Even as I continue to improve aches and pains, my skin, my energy, and other smaller aspects, I am still happy with my health.

I am thankful for choices. I have the choice to eat and do what I want. If I choose to eat poorly, that is my choice and I cannot blame anyone else for my health.

I am inspired by the Earth. It probably seems rather silly to say, but the beauty, strength, and love that the world has, is such an inspiration. I aspire to be beautiful inside and out; to learn and nurture; to leave a piece of wisdom for the future; to love unconditionally; and to live without fear.


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Day 6 NaNoWriMo:

Needless to say, this has fallen by the wayside! I hope to try to play catchup, but cripes... I fear that I will only continue to not reach the daily goal and eventually give up. I'm happy to hear that my boyfriend is still at it (though I think he's behind as well) and refuses to give up!

I am going to a trivia night at 9 tonight and I think I'll just hang out after work and write until that time. Should give me plenty of it!


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Week 3, Day 16 Eating for Energy:

Had a long talk with my boyfriend last night because he's been noticing a change since I became vegan and gone High Raw. I don't have as much energy...there seems to be something missing. I had that DHA level issue once I went raw and perhaps it's still plaguing me. But he's right. There has been something off. Now, I like being vegan and I love eating as raw as possible for health, sustainability, and humanitarian reasons, but there is something going on.

It could easily just be that I am not working out. Before when I had super amounts of energy I had the workout aspect of my life down and just needed to get a handle on the eating part. I worked out quite a bit and it always gave me lots of energy. He used to beg me to try to get more than 5 hours of sleep (5-6 seemed to work for me). Now, I get 8, and I'm still tired all the time. I don't have the energy to get up in the mornings and hit the gym like I used to. So what gives?

Since he wants to try to eat healthy also, he asked that we see a nutritionist together. There's a holistic one not far from where I live that has great reviews and does a Master Blueprint (I think that's what it's called) where they study your bloodwork and your body and base your nutrition off of what your body actually needs. Now, that is something I'm really interested in and I had an extensive blood panel done before, but the doctor wasn't a nutritionist, therefore we didn't look into that.

I think we'll look into it and see what my body is missing having gone High Raw Vegan.

I did make a green protein smoothie this morning. :)  So, if it's protein that I'm missing, I'll at least try to add in some vegan powder to supplement!


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Week 3, Day 16 Fitter U Fitness:
 
My foot feels so much better today! I don't know why, but it makes me happy. Tomorrow I'm supposed to start my half marathon training! We'll see how that goes.

I picked up some weights last night and did a couple sets of the FUF (haha). My arms are such weaklings!


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Day 2 Meditation Challenge:

I had a better time concentrating today without a cat sitting in my lap. However, the mantra was three words rather than 2 and I kept mispronouncing the last one (I was sitting too far away from the speakers to hear him when he said it). Does that mean it doesn't work? LOL...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Health Activist Soapbox & Another Challenge!

PLEASE NOTE: I'm not pretending to be a scientist, doctor, or nutritionist; these are MY thoughts, beliefs, and views. I am always open minded for information.

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Day 5 NaHeBloPoMo:
 
Why I eat a plant based diet...

It's natural.

If only that word actually held weight with everyone. It doesn't, however, and unfortunately the word has been slightly skewed, especially here in the United States.

The human body is made to process the food that Earth provides. Humans have not evolved to any point in which our system has changed in that regard. It takes a LONG time for that kind of evolution. Clearly industrialization has evolved, but processed, man-made foods are harmful.Our body does not know how to properly digest. Ever thought about what a gummy bear is made of? I have no idea...same with a Twizzlers. Yet, I ate them and I expected my body to know what to do with it. Eating these types of foods can result in them literally being stuck in your intestines for DAYS. Fish will rot in your body for up to five days. That's gross! Think about all the other food that is just sitting in there, waiting to be passed...

On a plant based diet (especially a raw vegan one), I don't have these problems. My body functions and processes food as it was meant to.

Yes, I realize I have had an issue since going this direction, but I do not believe that it is the fault of the diet so much as a fault of what I did to myself in the past. I ate all the wrong foods and became extremely obese. I then went for surgery to help me with this, which has completely rearranged my insides. My body doesn't quite digest like the normal anatomy, which makes me extremely sad that I didn't find this lifestyle prior to, but c'est la vie.


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Day 1 Meditation Challenge

So excited for this and dreading it at the same time. Last challenge I remember them being like 45 minutes long. Since it was literally my first time attempting to meditate this was near to impossible and I freaked out and had to quit 5 minutes in. I was worried that these would be too long as well and that I'd want to quit or not have time to do 45 min every day (I really need to learn to MAKE time for these important things!).

Happily, I found that they weren't long ENOUGH. There is about 5 minutes of explanation at the beginning and less than 10 (or so it seems) of actual meditation and mantra. I actually wanted more at the end!


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All Other Challenges:

Things are still chugging along! Nothing to report, really. I was able to order a gluten free and vegan pizza for lunch. Clearly not raw, but FANTASTIC! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bags & Headaches

Day 4 NaHeBloPoMo:

Write about what’s in your bag / purse / backpack every day...

The bag and purse I carry to work Monday through Friday kind of differs from my weekend one only because I have the items readily available. I also have bought extra items that I just leave at work so I don't have to bother carrying so much.

My bag that contains:
handwritten journal
challenge paperwork
water bottle
Kindle (not every day)
lunch
snacks


My purse contains:
cell phone
billfold
Tylenol
Hair tie
various lip colors

...alright, so my bag and purse are really boring! I do drink tea every morning while driving to work (sometimes green juice). Sometimes I have a bag of workout gear, especially on Wednesday for volleyball practice. 


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Day 4 NaNoWriMo:

I'm trying to play catch up right now as we watch some football. Good stuff.


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Week 2, Day 14 Eating For Energy:

Yesterday we wound up leaving the After Halloween Party early because I had a horrific headache. I still have one this evening as well. I'm assuming it's from the drinks. I barely had 2 little plastic cups full (in fact I lost one cup somewhere - haha) of the white. I did try some homemade sangria... perhaps it was the mixing that got me? I don't know. I've had a TON of water and made sure to drink a ton before going. 

I had some interesting dreams all morning that consisted of me drinking delicious water. Needless to say, I realized my body was trying to tell me something and I got up at 5 and drank a ton. Been drinking ever since! Sadly it's not really helped.

Been impressed with my weekend consumption :)  My salad was fantastic. I had some store bought hummus, which, again, I was completely unimpressed with! ARGH! I need to just give up and make my own...it's just so time consuming (and I'm lazy). 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Updates & Conversations

This morning we had our Operation Kindness Shelter Orientation. It's a no kill shelter not far from my place. I nearly missed getting up! I had set my alarm for 6, but either I slept through it (has never happened), miss set it (I know I checked...), or somehow turned it off? I do remember waking up and thinking that my friend from France was still here and that we were late!

I woke up only because my boyfriend called to ask a question. Lucky me!

It was good, though I was a little annoyed by a child there who's mother was content with letting her run all over.

I was also not too fond of using choke chains on the dogs when walking them. We used them on our dogs on the ranch when training them to walk along side us, but that was for training and being on a ranch, we never had to use it beyond. But, they are cheap and easy to get on the dogs... I was quickly scheming up fundraising events to get them better options...or pondering how much it would cost if I went out and bought them on my own.

Anyway, the facilities are way awesome. It's sad to see them in little kennels, but there's only so much that can be done. The kittens were awesome :)  I foresee many pit stops after work to play with them.

My own cat was very interested in figuring out what smells I had going on my shoes and clothes when I got home -- haha.


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Day 3 NaHeBloPoMo:

A post about a conversation with your doctor...

There is kind of a huge lead up to this conversation, however if you wish to read about it, you can do so here. There are some prior posts and posts after that talk about it as well.

Long story short, I started going to a woman's specialist doctor in order to diagnose why I had been on my period for over a month, had no energy, and was seemingly PMSing (as my boyfriend can attest). We did extensive blood work to figure out that my DHA levels were extremely low to which she put me on a hormone cream to correct.

But, since this was a new doctor I wanted to have a talk with her about natural health care. I had honestly hoped to find a naturopathic doctor, but sadly my health insurance didn't cover it (and there's only a couple in the Dallas area).

I'm all about natural cures and not pumping ones body full of, what I consider, toxins. I'm also vegan and practice a high raw diet. It's quite a controversial topic, but I, like other raw food eaters, don't think that the human body needs as much protein as we're lead to believe And I highly am all for eating what the Earth provides. It's what our bodies were made to eat; not animal flesh or processed foods. That is, of course, another blog post all together.

Anyway, this new doctor prescribed more protein. She said I could easily substitute with vegan protein powders as many of her vegan patients do. I was kind of disappointed to hear that she thought I needed more protein, despite my levels being perfect and having been High Raw (if not 100%) for months. It really makes me wonder about our country. We are so food and business driven here and the Beef industry as well as others have their hands in EVERYthing. It's a wonder we're all large and sick.


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Day 3 NaNoWriMo:

Haven't written today yet...errrm. I have a Halloween party tonight. I might have to crank out extra words tomorrow!


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Week 2, Day 13 Eating For Energy:

I made this massaged kale salad last night with an avocado, lime, lemon, cashew, and seasoning dressing. Added in some grape tomatoes, onion, hemp, and sunflower seeds. SO FANTASTIC. It made a ton, so I had 3 meals out of it. Literally all I've eaten today, I just realized. Oh well.

I bought some organic wine (red and white) that has only natural occurring sulfites (I remembered what I was looking for in a wine as soon as I read it on the label!). Oddly the brand Frey was the only one at this small Whole Foods that had it. Everything else just said organic grapes and then listed sulfites on the back. Hopefully this brand is good? It was on sale and only $10 a bottle...haha.


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Week 2, Day 13 Fitter U Fitness:

Haven't done anything today. Sadness. Perhaps I can get the boyfriend to go for a bike ride or a walk (foot pending) tomorrow.