Wednesday, September 23, 2015

You know your opponent

As football season is now in full swing I enjoy spending my Sundays laying on the couch falling in and out of sleep while watching these guys do what they do best...well some of them.  I think about the effort that they put forth EVERY play and EVERY practice they participate in.  I think about how they realize that they are getting paid to be the best they can be so they take care of their bodies, treat it like a temple, for the most part, and want to improve themselves day to day. 

I also think about all the time they spend watching past games of upcoming opponents.  Listening to my husband talk about who is going into this week's fantasy line up kills me...the effort and research and mind numbing facts we can spit out on these guys makes me laugh.  I think about how that defensive line watches hours and hours of how their line backer is going to sack the QB and special teams will block punts.  They analyze hours of material to come up with their best game plan of attack.  They have a goal for each game and I am sure they have a huge feeling of disappointment when they come up short.  However...the next week, baring no injury and coach still on board with them, they are out there again...showing what they have worked for.

So here you are thinking...where is she going with this crazy analogy.  Well you are your own opponent.  You already know your weaknesses and your strengths yet we forget to curb our approach to our goals to play off of them.  Today write down a list of things that you enjoy...that you do well...that make you happy.  Then write down a list of things that you can't really get yourself to do.  

Take the I hate to run, exercise or stick with any type of nutrition/fitness program.  Break it up ...figure out one change this week that you can make to turn things around...start to embrace that suck! 

  • If you love to cook but have been making all the wrong things to keep your body going strong....check out a new website for fun recipes
  • If you love to bake yet the cookies are gone in hours after they are made...try some yummy Pumpkin Muffins....One can Pumpkin, one box spice mix...NOTHING else.  Mix and bake and you and your family will love.  IF you can handle putting chocolate chips in go for it...add a cup to the batter...but if you KNOW yourself and that is too tempting...leave them out.
  • If you know that personal fitness is not something you will stick with...find a buddy to help keep you accountable.  They will be waiting on the corner for you to go for a walk, they will be at that class...ready to chat about the day...time you are giving back to yourself!
  • If you know that you like to exercise but just can't motivate yourself to make it happen...find a personal trainer or a local bootcamp so that you know they will help you get moving.  
  • You know motivation is only accessible first thing in the morning...make it happen...GET UP EARLY and get you in before you have to take care of all other issues/people.
  • Candy is your kryptonite...DON'T buy candy for Halloween until Oct 30th...and only buy items you DO NOT like!!  Don't sabotage yourself.
  • Don't have a pity party for yourself because you are going through both mental and physical changes.  Both are going to start really are going to want to stop and not go for the workout...or just eat something in lieu of waiting for dinner.  Stay the course...make the hard choices.
  • Don't go and sign yourself up for a half marathon when you have never run a 5k.  The whole process of transformation is about discovering yourself and uncovering a stronger person.  
  • Don't tell yourself you are never having a cookie or glass of wine again...they become a forbidden item and then you want it even more and will probably binge on a whole box (wine or cookies :))!  
If you put yourself on too steep of an accelerated path this new person is just going to become angry, tired, frustrated and will want to throw in the towel.  You have to give yourself a chance to fly before your clip your own wings.  Take all of these changes a day at a time.  Know that results will come but they won't happen the first day you didn't have fast food for lunch.

Having my husband with me through this journey has been amazing.  We support each other every day...make sure that we both can fit in our workouts, that a healthy meal is on the table at the end of the day...and maybe we are getting enough sleep.  Find someone to walk through the journey doesn't have to be a spouse but someone that you can be accountable to.  Take it slow, remember where your weaknesses lie...and remember that you do have strengths!  More will start to appear as you progress and those weaknesses will fade away.  Start finding the new you today and kick the old you to the curb!!

Embrace the Suck...Choose You!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

a break in routine

My cousin is getting married this weekend and I get to spend the weekend away alone with a friend and then reunited with my family for just about 48 hours.  I will miss the first flag football game and the second weekend of field hockey.  I will miss the Saturday family night of movies or wii bowling.  I managed...not get all my workouts in so that this weekend won't impact my training for my race in a few weeks...or ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!  My husband sent me a email today asking for additional details to who what where and when for the four little monkeys...he is on it!!

So here I sit typing in a very messy house in smelly workout clothes and still haven't packed.  I am still making sure everyone is set for my absence...they will be just's just that guilt that we like to put on ourselves when we leave.  As parents we really like to lay it on we are really letting them down...and the world will end when I am not there to see G1's pick six Saturday afternoon.  The world will be just fine...and so will he.

All of my fitness and goal oriented endeavors are thing that keep me going day to day....and I am SOOOO looking forward to this 48 hours away.  How crazy is it that we only allow ourselves these short little bleeps in the steady flow of life for escape. I need to do better at this.  I need to remember me outside of the crazy fitness train and family chaos and remind myself to just breathe and enjoy the beautiful fall New England foliage this weekend.

And there I will be getting to witness a beautiful wedding on a gorgeous day in an amazing setting...two people that will have vowed that they will be there for each matter what.  Thick and thin, filet mignon or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, $1 movie nights or front row at a favorite concert, kids being born or kids being sick, late nights at the office or vacations on the beach!!  Marriage is work but it is there through doesn't take sick days either...that support is never ending.  And sometimes it is silent may think they are checked out...but then they will surprise you with the littlest thing that will just bring it all back together.  Everything in life has a flow to it...and it's our job to make sure to remember give it that chance to come back.  Marriage is a two way street and sometimes the cars are going in opposite directions but will end up at the same location.

We have to remember to give ourselves a is not pinterest or a HGTV is what it is...a phrase I can't stand but so is a beautiful thing and something we all need to appreciate a little bit more.  We are alive and should live each day to the fullest.  We need to remember to breath and take time for those that are nearest and dearest to us.  No one is promised tomorrow...we all are leaving here at some point.  It is how we choose to embrace the time we have now...and the mark we decide to leave.  All this is always so much pressure to try to balance...but when surrounded by the right doesn't seem like that much work...more like fun!

Embrace the suck...choose you...take a break and breath!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Take turns

As you can imagine this phrase is spoken again and again with my four is spoken at play-dates with friends, on the playground with strangers, again with siblings...all day, every day.  It makes me tired trying to negotiate the whole situation again and again and again...but we do this because we want everyone to be happy...everyone to have a chance...everyone to have that sense of fulfillment.

Role this over to your marriage or relationship.  My husband and I don't track who has taken this many hours out of the family train...and who has been gone more over the course of a week.  We can definitely feel it when a part of the train is missing...we may get a little out of line or slow down a bit...but we know that caboose will come right back up the hill and push us if we need it.

hubby and coach
Dedication to a person and to their goals in life is a big ask and need.  After each of my husband's two full Ironmans I told him-after all of that long alone training, family meals with a chair missing, waking up to just you in the bed, staging of cars all over town to get a run in and we'll meet up at point C-you need to do another one.  That pride, amazement and disbelief I felt at the conclusion of both of his races was beyond words awesome.  Knowing all the hours, miles, meters he put into his training blows my mind and the effort he puts forth to kick his own butt each time is something I am striding for.  Knowing he reached a goal that he set for himself and my support of him made a difference in him reaching that goal...that is what it's all about.

We have balanced my running training over the past two years with his triathlon training, successfully.  But this year it was my turn to tackle something bigger and he could not be more on board with this new endeavor.  Not sure he ever thought I'd really go for this kind of a thing...he never pressured me into it...just let the eb and flo of life bring me to this decision and he continues to stand right next to me in's my turn.  

So we literally take turns tag team style.  I come back from my long ride and run and he is staged and ready to head out the door for his killer brick workout.  Our kids know that his third big momma race is just three weeks away and my half big momma race is five weeks away...and we are here and we love them, but right now it is our turn and our training is at a all time high.  They know and can feel the end is in sight.  Moms and Dads need turns too...they need to feel fulfilled, they need to reach new heights, they need to challenge themselves, they need to remember what that adrenaline rush feels like...they need to want to do better for themselves.  Our kids know and feel our love for them...but they also see that we support and love each other no matter what...something I only hope they can bring to a relationship of their own down the road.

Embrace the suck, choose you...and take turns!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

burnt out

Came back from my LONG bike ride this past weekend, 50 miles, it was LONG.  My training partner and I were joined by our coach for the first 40 or so and then we were on our own to finish strong.  Knowing we will have to only do 6 more miles on race day seems extremely manageable...running a half marathon afterwards is another thing!  The training is getting long and not necessarily harder but just more exhausting.  38 days does not seem that long but the idea of keeping up the training for another 4.5 weeks before our taper seems DAUNTING....we are BURNT OUT.  It is only fitting that when I entered our house that day my husband had burnt a tortilla in the toaster oven...the smell of being burnt out lingered in the air.

The month leading up to something big... whether it's a race, wedding, baby being born, school starting, test to be are just done.  You know that you still have to wait just a little bit more for that amazing thing to happen.  In that lag time you need a lot of self talk and building yourself back up.  The idea of throwing in the towel never really comes across my mind but gosh what I would give to go to sleep one night knowing I don't have to set the alarm super early to make it do the keep pushing forward.  Life is just tiring and emotionally and physically draining.  Throw in a big goal and you know a whole new level!

The thing about setting goals is have to work EVERY day to reach them.  There is no snooze button, no day off, no time out.  Please don't take this as me guilting or preaching that what you are or aren't doing is wrong.  This is just a reminder that hard is not impossible and that if you want something enough you will do whatever it takes to make it happen.  

I never liked summer before because I did not wear shorts and the skirts and dresses I wore just made me crazy hot and the chub rub was out of control.  Then came fall..hated that too.  All the cute jeans, boots and cozy sweaters...I would of rather just stayed in my stretched out yoga pants and over sized t shirt.  Winter was jackets and making me appear even bigger than I already was.  Spring...bring out the cute stuff again that I just wasn't going to was not a fun place to be...any season.  I remember I used to LOVE to buy bedding...still do...but I bought my seasonal bedding and LOTS of shoes because neither of those items were limited on my size.

So now my hard work has paid off...I can go into my newly purged closet and put clothes on my body that fit AND bring me joy.  Knowing that I worked my butt off, literally and figuratively, makes them feel even better on my body!  It is not only about how these clothes fit but it's about how I feel.  It's about putting something on and feeling so good in it that you just smile because that pair of jeans you bought a million years ago in the hopes of maybe one day fitting...and then today is the day-they fit.  And the bigger reward of managing to pull this off while raising my four kiddos and supporting my husband with his goals of another Ironman...and getting myself to tackle a half iron distance...craziness.  I don't think I deserve a medal but a big grin across my face in a dressing room every once and again will do.

So the burnt out will resurface again but I know that I can stifle it down quickly...I know that I am stronger than giving into that temptation.  I will continue to control my controllables.  I will drink my water, do my workouts, get my kids where they need to go, read books to the littles, help the bigs with their homework, make dinners...get through the day...I am not going to try to compete with anyone but me...I am hard enough.  Please know that I have my fair days of crappy food eating...but I know that I will have to make up for it. There is a price for everything-a price I will continue to pay.  I know that every early morning long boring swim and humid as heck run or bike will continue to keep me pushing forward.  There will be times of set back, too many brownies eaten, beers consumed...but the next day is the new day.  The next day we get to make the better, smarter choice to choose you...and put a huge grin across your face.

Embrace the suck...choose you...and smile...the burnt out feeling will pass soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

We all know better

My house is less full than it was last week, the noise level is somewhat softer and the trips to the grocery store don't receive as many stares of people and questions of...four kids...are they all yours?!?!  It's nice and comforting to know that my little two pack miss their big two pack.  When everyone is back together at 4pm for the most part nice words are exchanged and you can see they truly missed each other.  

In day three of this new routine I am trying to get rid of all the junk that has accumulated over the past year.  Broken toys that are never going to be fixed or that crucial other piece found are making their way to the garbage.  Bags of clothes and toys for donation are in my near future...once I can stop typing!  As I look at all of their items throughout the house I find myself saying...If this is really important to you then you should have taken better care of it.

There it are responsible for what is near and dear to you.  For many years I was not near and dear to me.  My family was not the something that was taking me away from me, not sure what was...I just didn't see myself anywhere on the radar...I was busy with many things...but they were the wrong things for me.  I know some of you that may not have known the before Julie think I am this crazy fitness person...and the ones that knew the before me are hopefully proud of the me that has evolved.  Either way...the before or after me...this is me and I am not giving up again.  I am still in amazement that I wake up every morning and try my best to make the right choices, get my workout in, and stay focused on the goal.  I am addicted to the new me, good bad or indifferent.

Now don't for one second think that I am over the top crazy-crazy yes...but not insane...I just know that I like to eat yummy healthy food and there is a price for that if you want to eat that and feel strong and healthy at the same time.  That is the price I am willing to pay. I am willing to bike and run in darkness so that I can get it in before my husband goes to work.  I am willing to not eat dinner with my kiddos and let my hubby have a night with just them while I hit up the pool and swim and eat alone at 8:30pm.  I have developed a new relationship with fitness during this whole process-I love how it  makes me feel.  I have found what works for me and I am willing to take better care of me.  

And the working out has become a passion for me.  I LOVE to run in the early morning when it's still a bit cool and the sun is just breaking through the clouds.  I really feel like that time is a gift to me every time.  I come back sweaty, winded, and energized-walking in the door it's still silent and I feel like I just stole that time from the day for me.   No questions were asked of me in that time...I made the decisions.  Biking took time to come around to but knowing that I have grown in strength here makes me smile when I am on it.  When I come down a hill and am staying in my aero bars and not afraid of the speed that I am in control of...makes me happy.  I live in a beautiful place and on these new rides I get to see some amazing things.  Swimming still has to warm up on me but I no longer dread it...that is progress.  All these bits are having me take better care of me.

So maybe you haven't started your fitness part of the journey and you are still working on the nutrition side of your transformation.  I will say that is definitely the most important could work out till the cows come home but without a solid base and control in your diet you will not have success.  When you start on the fitness side...find something that makes you smile, something that won't drag you down when you think about going to start.  When you find your passion you will find your success..and then taking care of you won't be so much will all just start to unfold in front of your eyes.  Share it with a friend...start a challenge...something that keeps you coming back for more!

But please don't stop.  Keep up that HARD HARD can make you even stronger than you are today.  And with every day that you try you will inspire someone else to do so as well.  We all need some help and any positivity is welcome...but please keep the negativity to's hard enough to do this on our own...we don't need to bring each other down-just raise each other up.  Believe in YOU! Continue to make sTRIdes to find that person that IS within you and dying to get out and shine.  You are beautiful today and will be beautiful tomorrow but how you feel on the inside can finally match the outside!

September 2 2013-G4 Baptism
Embrace the suck...choose know better!