Monday, November 30, 2015


Verb-cause (an event or process) to happen.
Noun-the point in time or space at which something has its origin; the beginning of something.

Today is a miserable rainy cold day here in Virginia.  I did not wake up to work out but rather rolled over and turned off my alarm before it had a chance to go off and slept in until 7:45 am.  I spent the day yesterday getting Christmas going in or home.  It was a must as the two year old keeps asking..."Is my christmas ready?"  Breaks my heart every time!  So today I decided I was going to delay my start and enjoy the day putting snowflake flannel sheets on the girls' beds, setting up the winter village that the kids love to look at, and watch a movie with my four year old.  I did not launch myself into this week but instead took a step backwards.

I was reminded last week how my first start on this journey to a stronger me was the Monday before Thanksgiving in 2001.  That day is forever imprinted on my brain as the day I decided to start.  I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting and the leader praised us all for showing up the week of Thanksgiving.  Not waiting for the new year was a huge thing for me...I felt that a change could begin prior to January..I started just hoping for the best.  What I was able to accomplish in those few short days prior to the year set me up for a strong jump into my journey.

I just sat here and went through my food journals from that first year of weight watchers.  It consisted of puffins ceral and milk, english muffin with peanut butter or rye toast with some butter for breakfast.  Soups and sandwiches for lunch always with chips of some kind.  Salad and protein for dinner and a few random nights of pasta.  There was ALWAYS dessert on each day and sometimes more than once.  Some things have not changed.

The start of my day every day is Maple and Brown Sugar Wegmans Weight Control Oatmeal and one cup of decaf tea.  Every day!  Ben made french toast this weekend...I had oatmeal.  I know I love the flavor of it and I know it will hold me until lunch so there is no reason for me to go a different route.  Lunch is always fairly routine...anything in a roll up with either avocado or sour cream involved.   Dinner is salad and protein still.  I save my big pasta nights for a big workout day.  I know how delicious pasta and sauce is and it is definitely a treat when we have it.  Something I work hard for so I can truly enjoy it.  Oh I love you so. Every night consists of one cup of slow churned ice cream.  It is something that my husband and I have turned into our nightly ritual.  We have the dishes done, the breakfast table set for kids and we retreat to our bedroom with our cup of nicely measured out ice cream.

Every day that we are given is still a new start for me.  I still use the daily ques to keep myself in line.  My kids will ask do you need the kindle to log your food or are you headed down to the treadmill...can I play while you run?  I need to be reminded of that start and how hard it always is for me.  The first five minutes of my run each time are not wonderful and I usually want to turn around but when I finish I feel like I have conquered the day.  I also know that starting over is way more difficult than staying where I am.  Every choice is a hard one...I am choosing which hard I want to face each day...and yes it is still a daily choice.  I was tired of sneaking the Halloween candy that I had in the garage that we were going to get rid of...I had to ask my husband to take it into work today...I could have shed these five pounds a month ago if that candy was not here.  If it's here...I will eat it...I won't buy the stuff but I will definitely seek it out in my own home if I know it exists!

Jan 2014-Jan 2015

Start today-it will be scary, annoying, lonely at times, frustrating, tiring but it will also be rewarding, exhilarating, life changing, inspiring, and beyond words worth it.  People will see that you are making this change and results will happen and you will inspire.  You will have people asking what you are doing, how hard it must be, and you can smile to them and say yes it is hard and it is exhausting but it is so very worth it!

Friday, November 20, 2015

What's your goal...did you make it?

I started thinking today about how everyone says set a goal and work towards it...and you will get there.  Well that is not always the case, I try to get to bed every night by 10pm but Big Bang Theory sucks me in every night!  We are approaching the time when we will look back and reflect on the year that has so quickly come to a close and often we immediately think of the things we wish we had finished and the family trips and milestones of our children.

I wanted to take a look at my goals this year for 2015, indulge me for a minute...please do not take this as a "pea-cocking" blog post but rather a true look at what I wanted to do, what I tried to do, what I trained to do and what I actually accomplished.  I figured out in doing this that 2015 was a pretty great year, the training and hard work I put forth led me to many goals and just short of others. Can't believe that a mom with four kids and a crazy schedule was able to focus on all this and get it done.  If I was able to pull this off and keep pushing can too!

Training began December of 2014 with the goal of completing my 2nd marathon in May of 2015.  I started the year with  my first race, a half marathon in the freezing cold month of February.  My amazing Ragnar team completed our second relay in Cape Cod Massachusetts in May 2015.  Started my triathlon season with a sprint distance in July, I then completed my first ever Olympic Distance Triathlon in August, wow was that a HILLY course.  Finished my triathlon season with a half iron distance in October.  I coached spring and fall running
Running Club 5k
at the elementary school and got to see many kids make amazing strides in running both figuratively and literally.  Ran with my son during the club's 5k, he had a great race, had fun and even managed a PR.  I joined a running mileage challenge group where I was going to attempt to run 2015 miles in the year 2015.  As each of these events approached the individual goal for them became much more extreme competitive nature came POURING out.

NJ Marathon 
After weeks of training for my marathon it was not until about a month prior did I tell myself, I want to try to qualify for Boston.  Again this was my second ever marathon and I though an amazing thing would just happen because I wanted it to.  I worked very hard all those months, was focused and driven but did not train to be Boston ready.  Despite having an amazing PR in February at my half marathon 1:43:03 thinking that would have me prepared for what I needed to get to in my full.  I needed 3:40:00 to make Boston...I crossed the line at 3:40:13.  Some may view that as a failure and for awhile after that race, believe you me, I did.  But I know now that I can train again and will crush that goal...and that time was not failure...that time was amazing and I am proud!

Ragnar Cape Cod
Next up on my list was our second Ragnar Relay.  If a friend every asks you to join their team and complete a Ragnar...SAY YES!  It is the best running experience.  It was just what I needed after my full marathon.  When you go to one of these events you are with people that are just passionate about life and running and their goal is to have a fun time and live life to the fullest.  I feel like our team definitely crushed that goal in Cape Cod.  I cannot wait to do this again with these ladies in 2016.

B2B Half Iron Distance
Half Iron, what was I thinking.  Signed up for that on Christmas Day in my friend's kitchen not knowing what other goal there would be but then to survive and not drown.  I met those goals but also many others.  I managed to not get pulled out of the water for a panic attack, believe you was a close one.  I managed to go way faster on the bike than I thought my legs would be able to push despite a horrible headwind.  I managed to run my second fastest half marathon 1:52:43 which brought me to finish as the 23rd woman out of 359 and 6th in my age group.  I say that the goal of just finishing was met and I cannot wait to make a new goal with another triathlon in 2017...I wonder what that will be?!?!

Now to the mileage challenge.  This goal kills me as I know I am not going to make it.  With all the running I was doing for my marathon training it was looking like a no brainer but then came the triathlon training and less running, added biking and swimming.  I will not make the 2015 goal but I will get as close as my legs will carry me.  Running more than a hundred miles a month is pretty of today I am at 1365 miles this year.  First time I have ever tracked, 2016 will be a great running year I can just feel it.  I am not bummed out on missing that goal...too many other awesome things came out of it.  This is not failure even though a goal was not met.

So why am I sitting here writing about these accomplishments and near short falls...why do I do these monthly challenges and show you pictures of my success, why do I share with you my failures and my triumphs?!?!   I do this because I have never done this before...I am just like you, a parent and a spouse and in high demand from every angle.  I try my best to stay the course but sometimes that course is crowded with legos thrown everywhere, a barbie mine field, rainbow loom explosions, dinner to prep, laundry to put away, kids to bathe and maybe a vacuum to push around the house once in awhile.  I have chosen me as of January 25, 2014 when enough was enough and a change had to happen.  I have worked for this new me every single day since then.  I am just a girl from Jersey who decided her will HAD to be stronger than her won't.

So did I hit every goal this year....nope.  But missing those goals was so much fun I think I'll try them all again!!  I may have learned more about myself in this past year than I have in the past 37 years of my life.  I am capable of many great things, I can do this on my own, I can do this with support, I can and will continue to be strong for myself and for those that I hold so very close to my heart.  They are watching me every day...they watch, they learn, they set their own goals because I do too.

the support

the reason...not the excuse

Embrace the suck, choose you....I promise CAN do this!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How silly of me

These extra post race five pounds are not going away as quickly as I would like.  I did not have a great weekend of eating and only exercised one day...I was beating myself up for not sticking with my will power and determination to really rid myself of these last lbs.

I woke up on Monday morning and was getting ready to go for my run.   I had laid everything out the night excuses to not get these six miles in...not even the 29 degree temperature.  I hadn't weighed myself all weekend because I know that eating pizza and tortellini and Halloween candy will not get me to my goal.  I know not hopping on the treadmill even if for just thirty minutes on a day that I was home with all the kids is not pushing me in the right direction.  I avoided my scale since Friday but it was now Monday and I was going to bite the bullet!

The scale at 6:00 am Monday morning made me had me within a pound of my goal...I was ecstatic...confused...but ecstatic.  I remembered back to my Weight Watchers day that they would say sometimes you needed a big off day to trick your body into letting go of some weight.  I was beyond words excited.  I headed out the door for my was cold but I felt so charged by my early morning finding I didn't really care.  I was proud of me for sticking with it for over two weeks to get these pounds off and knew that the blow up on Saturday was NOT going to happen again.

After my run, which I managed to average a faster pace than normal, I came inside from the cold, gave G2 a big sweaty hug and kiss and wished my hubby a great day at work.  I shared with him how great my run felt...that it was easier than most other days, I was not tired, I felt lighter on my feet.  I then made my Weight Control Brown Sugar and Maple Syrup Oatmeal and cup of Decaf tea and enjoyed my breakfast with G3 and G1.  I was feeling extremely chipper!

I finished up my breakfast and headed upstairs to take my shower and get ready for the day.  I wanted to weigh post run to see the change from the water loss.  Well guess what.  It was back to my original number.  I must have been standing funny on my scale prior to the run...I haven't lost those five pounds...they are right where they have been the whole time.  My mood immediately went to crap.  I was annoyed at myself for the five pounds but more annoyed at myself for letting the idea of that loss dictate my mood for the day.  

I told my husband this story that night...he brought up the point that I didn't look different in the mirror when I thought I had loss the five pounds but yet I was disappointed.  He reminded me that I was the same with or without that five pound loss and or maintenance.  I am in charge of my approach to the day...not the scale.

So here we are Tuesday...and I am logging and drinking water like it's my job.  I am DETERMINED to shed these silly five pounds by turkey day.  I will have success on this scale prior to the holiday but not for it to make or break my day.  I want those five pounds gone so I don't have to stress on a weekend when I want to enjoy time with my family and friends.  There is A LOT of pie at my Thanksgiving...can't pass that up or the candied yams and bacon brussels sprouts!!

Don't let the number determine your mood.  Don't get wrapped up in that.  Remember how you feel when you finish that workout or have a successful day of making the right choices.  If that mood and those actions continue then the number will move on its own at its own pace.

Embrace the Suck...Choose's okay to go slow!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Seasons of Love

Saturday morning and my kids are at each other like mad...and it's not even ten am.  With that comes me trying my best to clean up from breakfast, empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, throw in some laundry, hope that my kids are clean and ready to take on a cloudy rainy Saturday.  We have a football game to support G1 at this afternoon but otherwise just vegging...this is a good thing!

My almost five year old and almost three year old have been asking where all the Halloween decorations are...when are they coming back out...why can't we keep them out all year the scary witch going to eat me...can I have a piece of candy??  Then the four year old has a moment of clarity...and says when is it my birthday yet?  Little do they know how as they grow they will want these seasons to drag ever so slowly...we don't want these birthdays to rush upon us and in a blink of an eye or have their littlest be three years old because it means that part is done, over, no more.  The days of lining up cars and wanting to spend time playing silly games with their siblings are lessening every day.  Their desire to answer the call of their sibling to help or play with them is limited.  

As the mother of this every growing family I need to remember to embrace these moments and try my best to foster fun, love, patience, forgiveness and acceptance within the chaos.  I need to try to make the moments last and cherish them because the next season is quickly approaching, the moment is short lived...some days seems like they will NEVER end and I am reminded of that phrase that all parents with children my age utter.  The days are long the but the years are short.

How do we do all this and try to remember to keep ourselves in check.  I don't know the answer but I do know that we make it work.   It is not perfect, well scripted but it is completed.  The kids make me want the seasons to change because their excitement is contagious, as much as they drain me of energy they fuel me as well.  I guess this is similar to getting yourself back on track physically as well.  As much as we dread the workout, the logging of food...when results are starting to show...when we feel stronger, run faster, do more pushups at once...we know this work on the backend is worth it.  When I pick my two year old up out of his crib in the morning and he initiates a hug and a kiss and says good morning mommy I love you...I know he is learning from me...he is getting stronger, smarter, and sadly older.

Every day is not seamless but it is one more day together.  It is another season we get to spend creating memories and hopefully laughter.  When the new season comes upon us we start the conversations of remember when we did this at Halloween last year...or the year that I was Strawberry Shortcake.  These seasons are not lost on them...they are remembering every little detail with love and smiling as they retell the story for the 100th time.

An important thing that I have found for myself is to set goals outside of the next holiday or vacation with each season.  I need to have something aside from the hallmark singing snowman to look forward to.  I know that my family fills my heart but there is a space that I have to be responsible for as well.  This is a place that gets filled only by me and the growth that I surprise myself with every year.  I need to remember that I am me first and then a mom, wife, cook, nurse, accountant, teacher, therapist, and laundry lady next.

Embrace the Suck...Choose You!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Back at it...again.

So I have watched my scale creep up a half a pound at a time for the past few weeks and there has to be a point in which you say...okay this is enough.  Knowing that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away which is followed by an insane amount of Christmas cookies and other holiday indulgences...I have to get myself in the right mind frame TODAY!

Whether we decide the day is the day when we want to tackle six pounds or sixty...that first day is a tricky one.   Our Halloween candy is sitting in the kitchen filling an entire brown paper grocery bag.  I need to remind myself that candy will exist after today...I don't need to consume it all as if it was it's last day on earth, that is what I did both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.  As amazing as I think that 100 Grand, Almond Joy and Snickers truly taste...the way they make me feel five minutes later is full crap!  My runs are more sluggish, my stomach doesn't feel great, I am more lazy around the house, and my overall motivation is zapped.  It truly does not help that this day is cloudy and a slight chill is in the air.  Wouldn't it be an amazing day to bake something...NO NO STOP!!

So I can still see the wagon, the horse...the items I need to get myself back on...I have not fallen too far away.  I know that a few strong weeks of focused eating...note I am not saying starving-I still eat....and exercise I will drop these silly post race pounds and be at my fighting weight to drop kick the holiday weight gain!  I really do like to eat healthy...I get to eat more...and I need to remember how wonderful it makes me feel.  When I feel good on the inside that confidence comes outside and I am a happier person.

But let's be honest's not fun.  When I worked in the corporate world I knew where the candy bowls were located on the floor, I was in tight with the catering group, I would swing by and grab a cookie or brownie during a training session...I never said NO!  I didn't accept the fact that life is really this for that...If I didn't do the work I was not going to get the reward.  I didn't have that moment of clarity.

These past few weeks I watched as I weighed every morning...or skipped a morning because I knew it wasn't going to be what I wanted to see...the number was not going in the direction I wanted it to.  I was making the excuses.  I was still exercising but I was not tracking and on the ball or making the smart choices.  I was giving myself some slack and telling myself that I worked so hard for all those weeks...this will be okay.  I was hoping that run and bootcamp class covered my intake for the day. 

It is okay to take that break however now I have work to I know I can accomplish but just like that fifth load of laundry sitting at the top of the just don't really want to do it.  I still wish I was blessed with a metabolism that let me just have at it every day and not have to keep in check...but here I am...a busy mom of four kids who has to get her runs in during the early morning hours and leggo the eggo that I would love to devour and stick with my maple brown sugar oatmeal and cup of decaf  tea.  I need to fill up my naglen and get my 32oz in three times a day...I need to not lick the knife of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I made...I need to forget there is every candy bar under the sun in this house and I am not having it.  I need to remember that I am determined, have will power, and am stronger than all of this.  

I have a race I will start training for in eight weeks...I have a new goal.  Without this goal I sometimes lose focus but if I get there...if I shed these few extra post race pounds...I will be ready to tackle this new goal faster and stronger than before.  I need to remember how that feels...that is way better than a snickers bar!

Embrace the suck...choose you...get back on the wagon!!