Saturday, April 29, 2017


Yeah, I know that all caps is like shouting out loud.  But, that's what I wanted to do after completing my second Half-Marathon.  Last Sunday...April 23rd.
Wooooooooo hooooooo!

April  of 2016 my friend Connie and I did the Naperville (Illinois) Women's Half Marathon.  We loved it! So, as soon as registration opened for this year's race (which was last spring), we "raced" to sign up.  :)  Pun intended.

Then, last summer we told our walking/running friends about the half and encouraged them to do it.  "You have plenty of time to train for it" we said.  Well, eventually there were 7 of us...pretty much our entire group...that registered for the race.  Then, all of a sudden, winter was winding down and race time was almost here!  Lots of training going on and a "just a bit" of nervousness.  Yikes!

It was a very different feel and completely different dynamics doing this race with a group of friends.  Different, but wonderful! What a bonding experience.
The energy, the anticipation, the nerves, the encouragement, the praise.
Every time I remember this experience, I'm reminded how blessed I am to be surrounded by this group of women.
Want to see a few (or lots of) pics from half marathon day?  I thought so.  Okay!

Pre-race, at the start line.
 The temperature was around 38 degrees F pre-race.  My fingers were SO cold.  But the sun was shining and the temps rose pretty fast.  Ideal weather for a half.
I think there were about 2500 women doing the half and nearly 2000 in the 5k.
In total, almost twice as many as last year.
Our team of 7 post-race, adrenaline still pumping!
From left to right: Me, Shawn, Carol, Michelle (in front), Cayce, Connie & Laurie.
Me with my finishers medal.  That thing is heavy!
Our friend Carol have to leave right away, so we missed her in these photos.  :(

This is my favorite photo.  So fun!

Five of us headed out for lunch after the race.  It was a day for "eat anything you want" for lunch.  Splurge!  I had a burger with fries and it was DE-licous.
We sat there and talked for a long time.  Lots of laughter, too.  We may have gotten a bit loud occasionally.  We got "the look" from a couple a few tables away.  Sorry, but not really.  It was a very special occasion and we were still pumped.
I still smile every time these memories pop into my brain.  Like...right now.
Guess what?  Our next race is two weeks from today.  "Only" a 10k this time.
I'm still amazed that I'm doing these races at this point in my life.  No, I am NOT bragging.  A lot of people do half marathons.
I'm amazed because just a 3-1/2 years ago I was 77 pounds heavier than I am now and had several health issues.  There was no way that I could have walked even a 5k at that time.  I have much to be thankful for and two of those things are the ability and the good health to be able to do the physical activities that I have come to love so much.  And...if I hadn't made the changes in my life that led me to where I am today, I may not have been surrounded be these wonderful last Sunday's photos.  God leads us in ways and directions that absolutely amaze me.  For that, I am so grateful.
May God's Peace be with you all.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Holiday Indulgences and Old Habits

You can probably guess by the title of this post, what I'm writing about today.

Throughout the year I indulge occasionally in some sweet treats.  A few simple carbs, now and then too.  But just a few.  No harm done.
Well, that time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is THE most difficult time for me to resist treats.  They're at work, they're at holiday parties, they're everywhere!
This year I certainly indulged a few times too often.  The result was a weight gain of 5 pounds.  Oh my....that was difficult to write.  Ouch!
I realized how VERY easy it is to give in to those old habits of "treating myself" to unhealthy foods.  Too often.  Bad habits, no matter from how long ago, are so easy for me to fall back into.  I changed to a healthy eating lifestyle in August of 2013, so it's been a few years.  But, oh how easy I can pick up those bad habits.  At those times, it's easy to think of myself as someone addicted to food.  It can be a crutch.  It can be comforting.  It can be so much more (or less?) than a source of nutrition!

My bathroom scale and I have not been buddies lately.  BUT I'm working to change that.  I've lost half of that weight gain and I'm working to lose the remainder.

I, mentally, beat up myself for gaining those pounds.  I'm glad you couldn't hear those conversations with myself.
What if I can't lose those 5 pounds?
What if I gain more weight?
What if I, then, can't wear all the cute clothing I've bought?  My favorite jeans especially.
Buy a bigger size???  No.  Just...NO.

Eventually, I stopped that crazy whirlwind of negative and destructive thoughts. It took a while.

I'm sure I'm not the only person that gained a few, or more than a few, pounds over the holidays.
But, believe me, it's reason for concern and stress for someone like me.  Someone who worked hard and made many lifestyle changes, in order to lose 77 pounds and get healthy.  And working on staying healthy.  Yes, it is work...and always will be.  But it's very important work.

I know that I will lose those few extra pounds.  I know how to do it; I've done it before.  I'll do it again in the future...I'm sure.  This will be a lifelong journey.  And it won't ever be easy.  But it IS doable and it IS worth it.   So. Very. Worth. It.

I love this version of me, so I want to take care of her!  She's worth it.