Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Fall y'all!!

I am feeling the need to do a blog post, but I don’t have any really hot topics to write about so I guess that means you all get a dose of the randomness that lives in my head….lucky you!

First I have to just say that I am soooooooo thrilled that fall has decided to show up again, hopefully to STAY this time!  We say in KS that if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few hours and it will change!  And that was sure true this week!  We had temps in the mid 80’s and it was muggy yesterday…my kids were mad that I wouldn’t turn the a/c back on but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it for just a day or so, especially when the mornings were so nice and cool!  If only my house cooled off that well!  But the cold front we had been promised came through this morning and here is the 7 day forecast….ahhhhhh!  I am a HAPPY girl!!!  :o)

Speaking of not missing the heat…I forgot to mention this in my blog post about the 5k last weekend, but I have to give huge props to the girls that run in the summer heat.  I mean seriously I thought I was gonna die and it was only in the mid 80’s….I cannot even fathom 103+ and humidity….ewwwww!   You peeps are rock stars!  I had a fan pointed right at me Wed am for my c25k session and I STILL had sweat pouring off me….yucko!  I will hit the pavement on the few days we have decent temps and lighter winds (in KS that’s not too often) and just stick with my treadmill on the other days.  I think I have decided I enjoy looking at the outdoors, not necessarily being IN the outdoors lol.

I love all things fall….the leaves, the colors, the crisp chill in the air, fresh air, the smell, the extra layers of clothes (it used to be because the more layers the better I looked, but that isn’t as much the case anymore!) and bundling up, getting the blankets out again, pumpkin flavors….need I say more!

The colder weather has my hands cold and my fingers smaller.  So I am noticing how loose my wedding rings are getting.  They slide around my finger, which is REALLY annoying with all the typing I do.   So it looks as though a ring sizing will be in my near future!   I am trying to hold off as long as possible but I am getting more and more scared that they will slide off one of these times I wash my hands or something.  I would much rather pay to have them resized more than once than to lose them!   I really can’t imagine not having them to wear while they are being worked on though.  I think my fingers will feel naked!

A few weeks ago in anticipation of the delightful fall arrival, I got my first pair of knee high boots (aka “hooker boots” as my teenage daughters call them…how nice of them).   With the weather change, today seemed like the perfect opportunity to wear them for the first time.  I am beginning to quickly realize what I have been missing all this time!!  I absolutely LOVE them!  In the past I haven’t been able to wear them because my calves were too fat…they wouldn’t zip.  But after reading some posts from ladies in a weight loss FB group I belong too, I found I obviously wasn’t the only one to have this issue and that they make “large calf” boots.  There were several suggestions on brands/stores that offer these.  I ended up finding mine at Payless Shoe Source.  I felt better about getting a less expensive pair as my first, just in case I didn’t like them as much as I hoped to (that often happens to me with shoes).  But I am in LOVE…I have no doubt these will be my first of many pair.  For their debut I paired them with a long black skirt, a purple turtleneck sweater and a black coverup light sweater (to hide the fact that the purple sweater is too big and I have it “taken in” with a hair tie in the back LOL) and a fun chunky necklace.  I am having a “skinny” day today (where I don’t feel like I still weight a zillion pounds and feel good in my own skin)….gosh I LOVE those days!

I have been hearing FAB reviews about low-cal yet yummy pumpkin spice muffins so decided it was time to make some for the fam.  I usually try to steer clear of making treats because if they are in my house or around me I can’t stay out of them, so it is just easier to not make them at all.  But after hearing everyone rave about how great they are and the fact that they are calorie friendly, I decided to give them a try.

This may be the simplest recipe on the planet....
1 box spice cake mix
1 can pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce

I put the kids in charge of making these tonight so I didn't closely count how many we got, but I think it was about 40 (we made a double recipe) so that would be about 113 calories each.  They are super moist and yummy!  Very fallish without all the guilt! 

We are planning to hit the pumpkin patch with the family on Sunday and hoping to get family pictures in too!  Hopefully I will be able to post on that early next week.

Happy Fall y'all!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My fourth 5k race of the year

Today I did my fourth 5k race of the year.  Little did I know when I started this just how addicting it really was!  If you would have asked anyone I know if they were willing to bet money on me doing a 5k, let alone multiple ones and especially jogging during any of it you could have made some cha-ching!  

My official time for the 5k today was 47:24. I am proud of that for several reasons...

  • I shaved 10 MINUTES off of my 1st 5k time (just this spring on 3/24)!!! 
  • I jogged 12 minutes of this one today (thank you c25k!) 
  • I kept a good pace during my walking easy feat since it was about 85 degrees out (and I don't do hot...aka anything over 73 degrees), windy and a kinda hilly course (compared to the others I have done...this is flat KS peeps!).
And I have to give a shout out to my awesome hubs for joining in the fun and doing his 2nd 5k and besting his last ROCK babe!  

I am already looking forward to the next one and having an even better time.  I was even bummed to hear that there is a 5k I will be missing the weekend my hubby and I are out of town to celebrate our anniversary.  I know, I have LOST IT!  But not enough to change the trip and do the race.  There will always be more!  

Here are a few pics from today...

Before - 

After....with my partner in crime and good friend, Robin.  So thankful to have that girl push me along today!

My official race results:

My heart rate data (love, love, LOVE my HRM!!!!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Being rewarded for working out....ummmmm YES please!

For those of you that know me, you may recall that I am a tad bit PRIZE MOTIVATED!  Just a smidge really (not sure if you picked up on the sarcasm font, but by that I really mean A LOT!!!!)

I found out about this awesome FREE website that will REWARD you with PRIZES for your daily activity.  SCORE!!!  What a great way to be motivated to workout for someone like me who would much rather sit on the couch or in front of the computer!

Basically you get points for the number of steps you take and for each activity you log.  It will also integrate with Runkeeper, Body Media Fit (score for me!) and other aps so you don't even have to manually log all of your activities.  Even better!  And you can add friends and they will also help you earn points.

There aren't tons of prizes but I signed up for a $5 Amazon gift card...I figured that was pretty versatile and something I would actually use.  I have a kindle account, so if nothing else that is about 50% or more off a new book to read.  It takes 2,000 points to earn.  So I figured it would take me a while to earn it.....I think I may be surprised on this one.  I signed up Monday, so this is only day 4 and I already have 488 points so about 24% (and not all have loaded for today).

So check it out if you want a simple way to earn rewards for working out and doing physical activity check out Every Move!


And if you sign up, don't forget to add me (Jennifer Owens) as a friend so we can both earn more points!

Monday, October 15, 2012

What is your level of commitment? (Food for thought – I may be stirring the pot here!)

NOTE:  I started this post a month ago and never got around to finishing it.  My husband knew I had started it and has asked me a few times what ever happened to it, so I decided he must be interested in reading it and I should prob get around to posting it.  So here you go!

I had an epiphany last night, which I credit to my husband.  We were having an in-depth discussion after seeing two The Biggest Loser contestants, Ken and Austin Andrews, speak locally.  My theory is that there are levels of commitment to dieting/changing to healthy lifestyle just as there are commitment levels to a relationship.

DISCLAIMER – this is not a 100% literal correlation between dieting and marriage.  Please do not misinterpret my intention here.  Yes, I understand that there is a certain level of “acceptable cheating” in dieting (you cannot be perfect 100% of the time, in fact “cheat” or splurge meals are encouraged by many diet/health experts) and NO LEVEL of acceptable cheating in a marriage or other relationship.  My main point here is the level of commitment…how easy it is for you to throw in the towel and move on or dig deep and be 100% invested, that if you commit to making changes in your life that you will do anything possible to be successful and not let excuses, situations, emotions, or life get in your way.
  • Dating around – you are not an exclusive couple, you can see other people, you are testing the waters to see where things go, you can walk away at any time with virtually no heartbreak
  • Monogamous/Exclusive – you have committed that you like each other enough to be only with each other, but really no major emotional investment has been made yet, it would be tough if you split now but you would survive.
  • Engaged – you have committed to making a lifelong commitment, you have invested in the ring, but haven’t had the wedding yet, you could still walk away, but with some embarrassment and likely fairly major heartbreak
  • Married – you have made the public commitment to living your life together.  You are deeply rooted together and invested.  You gave vows that you would be honest, committed, supportive, faithful to each other in good times and bad.  You can get a divorce but it will be painful and messy.
The difference is your level of commitment.  I am becoming familiar with many people at various points in their healthy lifestyle relationship journey.  Some aren’t even in the dating scene yet, thinking about the future and hopeful to find what others have found…someday.  Some are just hanging out with their diet, enjoying the "rewards" when it's convenient.  Others are hoping for a committed relationship, hoping they have found the right one but aren’t quite ready to put their chips all in yet.  But I can tell you that I am 100% married to my lifestyle change to become a healthier person.  I go into each and every day working as hard as I can to invest all that I can in the success of this relationship.  I do not half-ass this.  I study, I learn, I push, I try, I want this and I do this.

I believe that when you are committed to a relationship via marriage that you don’t stray.  If you are “married” to changing your lifestyle to getting healthy, you don’t accept a cheating mentality.  (Again, see my disclaimer above – not a 100% literal translation to real marriage here!  Think high level concepts here people).  I feel that your level of commitment determines your success.  Everyone has crap that life throws at them – stress (a multitude of causes here!), sadness, frustration, health issues, etc.  And of course some people get dealt these things more than others (life is TOTALLY not fair!).  It is how committed you are to overcoming it, getting through it and dealing with it that sets you apart from others.  If you are not ready to be married, then by all means don't walk down the isle.  But if you truly want the happily ever after, you say the vows and commit. 

As with any marriage, I am not going to kid myself or you by telling you that every day is sunshine, rainbows and roses.  It’s not.  Far from it.  I have tough days.  I have days I overeat or am not strong in my food choices, days I am not happy with or proud of myself.  I have days I don’t want to work out, I sleep in or skip a workout altogether.  But someone wise once told me “It’s marriage, not heaven.” Meaning it isn’t always going to be perfect.  You take the good with the bad because that’s what you signed up for and committed to and YOU DON’T QUIT!  

Do I believe that you have to work at it and invest to make a relationship work?  ABSOLUTELY!!!!  The honeymoon doesn’t last forever. There will be days that are frustrating, challenging, and occasionally downright painful.  But if you are in a marriage you have to choose to push forward.  You committed to NOT giving up.  You have to continue to want to make each day better than the last.  You have to work to grow into a better person.  You have to continue to stimulate the nerves and keep it fresh, exciting and interesting.  It takes thought, effort, and conscious decision to remain committed to one another.  You cannot get complacent or stop investing in continuing to make it strong or it will fall apart and die.  You can have an “off day” (or even an “off phase”) and realize that you need to reset your navigation to get back on track.  If it's not working, don't just head to divorce court the next through the problems and get back on track!  The faster you right the ship, the less change it has of sinking. (enough cheesy cliche's yet?)

It is a tough balance to be a wife, a mom, an employee, a friend, AND commit to improving yourself but I will tell you that I want this relationship to work.  So I commit to it.  I take time for myself now so I can be around for my family for years to come.  I do what it takes to keep it on track.  If I have an off day, I don’t give up.   I reflect on the good days and the successes I have had to get my head back in the game and I right my course.

I often feel very out of balance.  I fight feelings of selfishness, inadequacy.  I feel as though I am not doing a “good” job at any of my jobs (wife, mom, employee, friend, housekeeper, therapist, etc).  There just isn’t enough of me to go around.    Am I sacrificing time with my family to fulfill my selfishness of wanting to become skinny(ier)?  But then I remember WHY I am doing all of this….FOR MY FAMILY!  I conquer my fear of failure and the unknown so that I can be a role model to them and be around to enjoy time with them for MANY years to come.  I want to see my three girls graduate college, get married, and enjoy time with my grandchildren (when I am NO younger than 45), I want to enjoy our empty nest years and retirement with my husband!  I want to live, laugh, love, enjoy life, travel, experience and explore!  But I can’t do that being a fat, lazy, depressed lump on my couch…that isn’t living a quality life with my family.  So I have “divorced” that previous lifestyle and remarried for my soulmate – a new healthy lifestyle where I can enjoy all of those things and more and where I am most importantly, happy with myself.

So I ask you, how committed are you to a healthier lifestyle?  Are you willing to make the commitment and get married?  To put in the work and effort to reap the benefits of a beautiful relationship…to change your life and the lives of those around you?  Are you just talking the talk or are you walking the walk too?  Are you testing you toe in the waters, or are you diving into the deep end?  Are you letting your fears of failure or rejection hold you back from your true potential or are you pushing through the fear to realize that you are stronger than you ever thought possible?  To quote a Tim McGraw song “How bad do you want it?”  Are you willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone?  Are you willing to do things you don’t want to do to get where you want to be?

I have news for you… ARE strong.  You CAN do this.  Let go of the fear and the uncertainty and take a chance on being successful.  Throw the excuses away and stop letting things get in your way.  Commit to it and just do it…get "married" already!  And even when you think there is no one else, believe in yourself and know that I believe in you.

This quote seems to perfectly summarize what I wanted to say (so why did I need to bore you all with a 5 zillion word blog entry?)

I hope you get what I am trying to say with all my ramblings.  I am sure not everyone agrees with me on this one.  I may regret posting this later if the comments blow up with rants of how stupid I am for dreaming this egghead idea up.  There are some things I just prefer to avoid talking about (cough, cough - politics) because it just causes people to disagree and usually leads to a heated argument, hurt feelings, etc.  I typically avoid conflict like the plague.  But you may be able to tell I am rather passionate about this topic.  I am not here to stand on my soapbox and preach that I know all because if there is one thing I am certain of, it’s that DON’T know it all!  These are only my opinions based on my own experiences.  I would love to hear if you agree or disagree with me on this one, respectfully of course.

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