Sunday, February 28, 2010

yummy food

Yesterday Steve and I went to get a new crockpot since it just doesn't make sense for me to make meals for two people in a 7 qt. crockpot. It just makes it more difficult for me to gauge how much to make.

We came home with a 5 qt pot that has these handy little clips on the side to hold the lid on if I need to take it anywhere. I imagine this will really come in handy for tailgating or family get togethers.

To break it in I decided to try out a recipy I got from Prevention RD's blog for Spicy Jumbalaya:
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef or chicken broth
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried basil
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (I left this out)
1 pound 14 ounces turkey smoked sausage, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices (I used pork sausage)
1/2 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups dry brown rice, prepared
(I also added about 1/4 cup Worchestire sauce)
In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, broth and tomato paste. Stir in the green peppers, onion, celery, garlic and seasonings. Stir in chicken and sausage.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken is tender. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook 15-30 minutes longer or until shrimp turn pink. Serve with rice.
Yield: 11 servings.

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It was INCREDIBLE! Steve has already eaten some of the leftovers for lunch today. I plan on taking some for lunch this week. I will say though, this is a spicy dish. If you are a spice wimp then I would approach this meal with caution.
One of the best parts of this dish? If you follow the recipe as it appears on the blog then it only has 349 calories per serving! This is definitely a healthy eating win.

Friday, February 26, 2010

supporting the Fallen Heroes of Georgia

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Yesterday this cute little piece of awesome-sauce arrived in the mail with four safety pins and a note about the event. It's my runners bib for the Fallen Heroes of Georgia 5K that I will be running April 10th! The only other time I can remember having such a strong reaction to a piece of paper was when I got my marriage license.

The note thanked me for registering and asked me to do all I can to spread the word about the event... hence this blog entry.

Although I have talked about this 5K for a while now I really want everyone to understand that this race is so much more than a randomly selected event to mark the end of my C25K training. I specifically chose this race for a few different reasons:

1) It is being held at the resort I used to work at back in high school, in the town where I grew up. I have a lot of insecurities tied to that place and I feel that by doing this 5K there and making a strong, happy memory and personal accomplishment there then I'll be able to let those insecurities go. At least a few of them anyway.

2) All of the proceeds go to helping the children and immediate family members of special forces military personnel who have been wounded or killed in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. I have a lot of family and friends in the military, including my little brother, who have served overseas in this war. I am blessed that all of them have come back safe and sound and cannot even begin to imagine the heartache of the families who aren't so lucky. Running this 5K is my way of showing my gratitude to those who have made sacrifices for my safety and the safety of this country.

3) I don't know anyone who will be participating or volunteering with this event. When I am out on the course I will be on my own and responsible for motivating and encouraging myself. I love my family and am sure that seeing them at the finish line waiting for me will feel great... but the 3.1 miles it takes me to reach them are completely and totally about me and achieving something totally on my own.

I'm really excited about this race and it only increases the closer it gets. Having the bib is really boosting my motivation for training too!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

heading outside

Today was my first attempt at running outside and it felt absolutely incredible! Since I don't have a watch yet to time myself I ran the c25k distance intervals rather than time intervals and I went my longest distance to date. Very exciting stuff.

At first I thought I was going to freeze my tush off it was so cold and windy out. When I got into the workout though I started warming up and the cold wind felt good. It helped me keep from feeling overheated.

Probably the best part of running outside was the fact that I didn't have all of those counters and timers and technological crap in my face psyching me out. I was able to just... go. It was also nice to physically see the distance I ran. The distance tracker on a treadmill can give you numbers but looking at the path and seeing it in a tangible form made me feel really good.

It was hard to keep my pace steady. I kept going super fast and having to bring myself back down to a more reasonable pace. At least now I know that it's an issue for me and I can work on it before April.

Overall a very good day. I've set a small goal for myself too. If I stay on track with the program and make it through week 5 day 3 within the next week and a half then I get a massage!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I finally made it through week 4 day 1!!!

For about two weeks I have been struggling with this particular part of the C25K challenge. For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know how difficult this has been for me both physically and emotionally.

Today I finally was able to push through and complete the workout. The resulting emotional high is incredible.

Also, Saturday is my wiegh in day and I am officially down 10 pounds! Clearly this whole eating right and exercising thing is working.

Friday, February 19, 2010

my husband rocks Friday!

It's not really a secret, my husband loves me and is always doing little things to show me just how much he cares. Most weeks that is what I discuss in my MHR posts.

However, every now and then he does something really out of the ordinary and awesome (like when he suprised me with a new coach purse).

Today is one of those days. Steve made reservations for us at an amazing restaurant downtown and tonight we are going to go out for a romantic evening. Check this place out:
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm practically giddy with excitement. It's been quite a while since Steve and I have had the ability to have a night out like this and I am really looking forward to it... to a night where we can just be young and in love without all the worry and stress that has been a major part of our time here in Savannah.

My husband rocks because he has great taste in restaurants and knows how to make me feel really special. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

exactly what I needed

For those of you who don't know, my mother-in-law had surgery this week. Steve and I went to visit her while she was in the hospital and it was a really intense experience. First, just being in the hospital gave me the creeps but seeing her in that bed and in so much pain scared me. We also found out that she has officially been diagnosed with diabetes, a disease that terrifies me after seeing what it did to my grandfather. I kept seeing myself in a similar situation in 20 years if I didn't start making good and healthy choices now.

Earlier this week I also spoke with a few people on the heath and fitness board I frequent about my difficulties with the C25K program lately and how discouraged I have been feeling. They gave me some great advice and really encouraged me to keep going.

Both of these things were exactly the boost I needed to get me going forward again.

I've found a park near my office where I can go to run outside after work instead of always using the treadmill and I really think that will help me a lot. It will also be a good way to avoid rush hour traffic and allow myself to work through any frustrations from work. Steve is completely on board and has even suggested ideas for afternoon snacks and other things to make running after work easier on me.

Finally, one of the blogs I've started reading posted a great strength workout that I think I am going to start using (with maybe one or two modifications depending on the day):

20 dips
50 crunches (any style)
30 push ups
50 squats
50 lunges
Repeat 3 times

Thanks to Run, Sleep, Rinse, Repeat for the suggestion!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

checking in

Notice the complete lack of running/C25K/healthy lifestyle stuff on here the last week or so? Notice the shift from happy and upbeat to completely frustrated and down?

I certainly have and it's annoying. I'm not a pessimistic person and I hate feeling so negative.

Still no progress on the C25K front. The snow and random hotel issues kept me from doing anything this weekend while in Columbus and my old lazy bad habits are creeping back in to finish me off. I don't want that to happen.

After talking with some people who have done the program and others who just enjoy running, I think I am going to try running outside. There is a park not to far from my office so I may attempt to go after work and run there. Considering the frustration I feel when I leave the office, it may be really good for me.

What gets you motivated and pumped up when you feel you have hit a wall?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines' Weekend...

Where do I even start? This weekend was ten kinds of crazy/fun/strange.

First, on Friday Steve and I ended up missing our appointment with the financial advisor in an effort to get on the road on time since we slept in ridiculously late and ran into a few other issues. However, my sweet hubby did manage to suprise me with red tulips for v-day! He gave them to me early since he knew we would be traveling on v-day. They are actually potted bulbs that are blooming still so they are alive and (as long as I keep watering them) will last much longer than cut flowers. One of them actually bloomed over night last night!

Once we finally got on the road it had started to rain. The weather channel said ti was supposed to be a wintery mix and even suggested that snow was possible so we took our time. About 2 hours into the drive it started snowing. Yes, you read that right, about 45 minutes southeast of Macon it started snowing. It kept snowing the entire way to Columbus and got progressively worse the further west we drove. It took us 5 hours to get there and we saw a ton of accidents caused by people not driving carefully and sliding on the ice. This is actually being called the blizzard of 2010 it was so bad. But more about the snow in another post.

We finally get to our hotel and go to check in and then we're todl that they are over booked and they are bumping us to another hotel across town. The reason they are overbooked? A bunch of high school kids are in town for some Thespian conference. A) who books a large group like that at a 4 star hotel? B) who the heck in the hotel management approves such a large group of high schoolers at a hotel like that over Valentine's Day weekend? C) why didn't they inform us of this issue when they called us an hour before we arrived to confirm our reservation?

They sent us to another hotel and paid for that night's stay but by the time we got settled into the room and were abnle to get dinner it was almost 8 o'clock and everything was closed because of the snow. It was frustrating to say the least but turned out to be a pretty good night.

The next day we got mani/pedis (that's right, Steve got one too. More men should get them.) and went shopping before going back to our original hotel and getting ready for dinner. There was another customer service issue at the hotel but I'll just leave it at that. We managed to get settled in and ready on time and even got a good table at the restaurant despite all the theatre kids running around. We met our friends for dinner, which was amazing by the way, before heading to a new bar they told us about for drinks.

For the record, if anyone ever asks you if you want to go to an 80's bar you need to say yes. "eighty-five" is the new 80's alternative bar in Columbus and it completely rocked my socks off. We had a blast! The drinks were good and the music was even better. There was a good vibe in the crowd too. When the DJ played "Don't Stop Believin" everyone sang along and danced. It was a really good time.

By the time Valentine's Day actually got here Steve and I were exhausted! We ended up leaving Columbus early Sunday morning and got back to Savannah early afternoon-ish. We watched 500 Days of Summer and had a fruit/cheese/cracker tray for dinner and chocolate truffles for dessert before passing out asleep.

Over all it was a great weekend but now I'm dragging today. It was still completely worth it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

my Biggest Loser moment: part 2

As promised, here is my baggage from earlier today. The rest of the day was about 15 shades of craptastic but I think some of that was from having all of this mess in my head.

I keep trying to figure out how to explain what it felt like this morning but it's incredibly difficult. From the moment I woke up it was a struggle to convince myself to go work out. My own mind had come up with multiple reasons why it was okay not to run today. Then, when I got there, all I could think about was how hard it was and how I'm never going to make it to the end of the program much less actually run a 5K. These intense negative thoughts just kept running through my mind and no matter how hard I tried to counter act it with positive statements I couldn't.

It's one thing to have a negative person around you putting you down. You can ignore them or tell yourself they don't know what they're talking about. It's a completely different thing when that person you are fighting against is yourself and every negative comment or reminder abotu past failures is the god's honest truth.

When I cried on that treadmill today it was because I realized that I don't believe in myself. I don't follow through because deep down I honestly don't think I can do it. I want to but I also care too much abotu what people think of me to put myself on the line and potentially fail.

In my head failure and mockery and judgement for that failure are all 100% certain to occur. Instead of going through that I pull myself out of the situation. I make excuses.

I don't want to do that anymore and I don't want that feeling of fear and insecurity to fuel that fear of failure. I don't want my choices to be made based on my perception of what others may think. I don't know yet quite how I'm going to manage it except for each day going to war with that pessimistic side of myself and considering each workout a battleground. I don't have the option of losing either because by losing I'll be admitting that I don't even have control over my own self and that is terrifying.

my biggest loser moment

On the show "Biggest Loser" they discuss how contestants have to face what got them to the point they are at before they can truly move forward. They can lose every pound of their goal but if they don't face their demons they will put it right back on.

The point where you have to deal with it comes at different times for different people and it isn't just limited to people on the show. Its becoming clear to me that this is something everyone has to go through on their journey towards being a healthy and happy person.

Apparently my day to deal with this is today. It became obvious when I burst into tears on the treadmill before I started my last 3 minute run. The lady on the treadmill next to me was a little freaked out.

I don't have time right now to go into it all but I promise to update later when I do. This blog has turned into a great outlet for my feelings and a support system I really need. I know I am going to need all of your support today of all days. Until then, enjoy the song of the day: Fences by Paramore. *please note, this video was the best I could find and was not created by the band*

Monday, February 8, 2010

nobody gonna break my stride... not even me

I'm very easiloy discouraged. I'm the kind of person that when the going gets tough I pretty much pout and stamp my foot.

This is the reason why today was so incredibly hard. Today is my day off after working the weekend (and missing the super bowl) so all I really wanted to do was lay around and take it easy. The thought of running made me cringe because all I could think about was Saturday morning and not being able to finish the workout.

I convinced myself to get out and get to the treadmill though after reminding myself that this isn't abotu finishing the program, it's not about a 5K in April, it's not about other people or any event... it's about me and my body and making myself stronger and healthier.

After some internal debate I decided that repeating week 3 would be in my best interest. Since so much of this is a mental thing I figured giving myself this week to remember that I got this far would be a good reserve to draw on when I do try and move on.

As if to prove a point, my body started screaming at me around half way through. It was as if I had taken a whole week off from running. I honestly had to push through as if this was my first time doing week 3. There were a few good songs today but Emergency by Paramore was by far the most helpful.

All in all I have come to the conclusion that this program is not for the faint of heart or those lacking in determination. I imagine that this is not going to be the first timme where I want to quit but hopefully I can keep my focus and keep moving. A big thank you to everyone who encouraged me this weekend/week. It really helps to knwo I've got such great support behind me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I'm not calling it failure because I learned something

This morning was the start of week 4 in the couch to 5k program. I've been nervous about this week for a while because of the interval durations and the amount of running required but I decided to, at the very least, attempt day one and see how I felt before thinking about repeating week 3.

Pretty much all of the roadblocks I have come up against during this program have been mental. I doubted myself but pushed through and physically proved myself wrong. A lot fo the people I knwo who run and have done this program have said that so many times the fears and hangups about distance running are all in your head.

This morning I ran into my first physical barrier. I wasn't able to finish the workout. My body simply could not do what I was trying to make it do. I did manage to make it more than halfway through (incuding the full 5 and two 3 minute running intervals) though so that leads me to believe that I CAN do it, just not today.

It's no secret that this week was full of fail. I did get myself back on track but there was some serious trash going into my system this week. Last night Steve and I even ordered pizza and wings. Why I thought it would be okay to eat all of that junk 12 hours before I planned on doing a big workout where I needed to push, heck if I know. I blame it on feeling cocky about my success the last few weeks.

The scale doesn't lie either. My weekly weigh in showed a two pound gain. It could be muscle... or it could be pizza, wings, rootbeer floats etc. The world may never know. What I DO know now though is that if I want my body to perform well I have to give it good fuel. That being said, my goal for this week is to be more mindful of what I am eating and give my body the nutrients and fuel it needs to meet the goals I've set.

Monday is my next running day and as of right now I'm not planning on backing down from the week 4 challenge. I know I can do this with the right preparation.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday randomness

It's friday again and I find myself in a really good mood despite the fact that I have to work tomorrow and Sunday.

Today while I was eating lunch I had a sort of epiphany. As this blog has outlined, I am in the beginning/ middle stages of a lifestyle remodel complete with daily fruit/veggie consumption and excercise. As I ate my sandwich topped with all kinds of veggies and drank from my big 'ole water bottle I realized that I was really enjooying my meal. I wasn't disappointed that subway only put a "tiny" bit of meat and cheese on the sandwich... I was glad because that meant there was plenty of room for the incredibly flavorful veggies!

I'm not saying that I don't still crave macaroni and cheese or big fat slices of chocolate cake.... that would be a lie. What I am saying is that I'm no longer anti-veggie or anti-fresh fruit. I'm not feeling punished or deprived by eating good-for-me foods and that makes me smile.

I've gotten some good recommendations and advice from the ladies on's health and fitness board about more things to try. But more about that later.

I'll leave you all with my weekly reason why my husband rocks:
Last weekend we went shopping and what did I come home with? That's right, Steve got me a Coach bag. When your husband makes room in the budget to suprise you with a super cute designer handbag he pretty much rocks. :) And it doesn't hurt that he also surpassed the three month non-smoking mark this week too. He just rocks all around!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


While browsing a little this morning after my run I found these little gems:

"Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory." Ghandi

"All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man has taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of your first." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

After such a rough week I found these words really hit home. I hope that by sharing them you will get something out of them as well.

I did make up my run from yesterday this morning. It went well. I managed to increase my speed from the 4.5 setting to the 5.0 setting and make it through the whole workout. Another personal victory was the fact that I completed the workout while someone else was in the gym. I get really self concious when I work out around other people... especially if they are already in shape. It's dumb because the whole point of going to the gym is to better yourself and get healthy, but I always feel like I'm getting the side eye and being judged by other people when I work out.

Today I managed to stay focused and make it through though so I'm proud of myself. Lose my Breath by Destiny's Child definitely keeps it's place in the playlist favorites too. It came on during the last 3 minute run and the lyrics almost sounded like a challenge. "All that talk but it seems that you can't come through". Yeah... it definitely helped me push.

Today was the last of week three. Now I'm trying to mentally prepare for week four and the five minute runs.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

confessions and a day of rest

Today I planned to complete week 3, day 3 of the couch to 5k program. Notice I said planned to.

I didn't make it to the gym this morning for a few reasons. I promised myself that I would keep this blog honest and share both the ups and downs of my training so please prepare yourself for one of the downs.

Yesterday was just a huge ball of FAIL. So many things happened and I got so angry and upset that I came home with my first ever migraine. I was upset enough that I didn't think things through and ended up binge eating. I made tacos for dinner (instead of healthy Greek chicken as planned) and I ate an entire plate loaded with tortilla chips, meat, cheese and salsa. Then I used groundhogs day as an excuse to have a huge root beer float.

All of these things in moderation would have been fine but I definitely did not have them in moderation last night.

In case anyone is wondering, when you spend three weeks eating healthy cutting out a lot of fat, grease and sugars then you go on a binge like that your body pretty much hates you. It can't handle the extra junk.

I went to bed feeling gross and woke up feeling downright sick. My legs were also hurting for some reason as well and I was exhausted. The snooze button won and I skipped the gym.

Now, I may be down, but I am certainly not out. If there is one thing I have learned it's that Scarlett O'Hara was right, "tomorrow is another day". I see where I made my poor choices and I am working today to get myself back on track. A lot of water, plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and some protein will get me back to 100% by the end of the day so that tomorrow morning I can jump right back in where I left off.

I don't work until 1pm tomorrow so I'll have the ability to take it easy after I finish in the gym with week 3. Friday is my usual rest day so this little stumble isn't going to mess with my schedule very mcuh at all. Saturday I begin week 4 and those 5 minute runs!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Thank you Flo Rider

for having the ONLY song on my work out playlist that I could actually stand to listen to this morning. Seriously, no matter what I did I could not find any other song to get me through those 3 minutes of running. Apparently "Oh hot damn, this is my jam" is literally my jam.

This week should be interesting since I am working this weekend. That's right kids... no weekend for me. I get two comp days next week to make up for it but everyone knows that having the day off during the week is not the same as a real weekend.

I'll deal though because the weekend of Valentine's day Steve and I are headed to Columbus to see all our friends! Sooo freaking excited. Also, while we are there, I am going to try running outside for the first time in Lake Bottom park. I used to see people running there all the time and I wished I was a runner so I could say "I'm headed to the park for a quick run". Who knew I would have to move away to finally get off my butt and do it?

Anyway... I hope everyone had a great weekend and is ready for the week ahead. I certainly am.