Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 47

Okay, as I have alluded to in previous entries, I have made some changes in my overall diet, mostly because I want to have a healthy relationship with food, which is the ONLY way for me to have a sustainable, healthy lifestyle! 

Until a few years ago, I literally could eat anything I wanted, whenever I wanted, and never really gain any weight.  That is not the case now, and, at first, it just galled me to know that, if I wanted to be a leaner, healthier me, I was going to have to alter my eating habits. Yikes!  That sounded too much like a DIET, which made me feel lonely and overweight.

So here's what I have been doing, instead, that seems to work.  I am eating a lot of lean meat with vegetables.  I am also eating carbs BUT without fat (ex. pasta with tomato sauce, cereal w/skim milk, flavored rice, oatmeal, fruit).  And, I am not completely depriving myself of a special treat if an occasion presents itself (a doughnut with my daughter at school, some Easter candy, etc.)  Everything in moderation!

Also, the running schedule has kept me honest, to a degree!  I have noticed that on the days I "splurge" a little, my run seems hard from the "get go!"  So, I don't splurge very often.  My body is becoming accustomed to being treated with respect, and THAT is joyful!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 45

Wow!  Today marks the third day in a row that I have run! 

That is a first for me BECAUSE it is the first week of this program that I have been asked to do that!  And I have to admit that it sounded a bit daunting, as I have grown accustomed to running every OTHER day!

Here's what happened:  I DID GREAT!  I'm not even kidding.   My heart rate, my stride and my music were all in sync.  It was exhilirating.  I love doing something that is truly good for ALL of me. 

My heart is healthy; my head is clear; my sleep is restful; my energy is up; my clothes fit better; my spirit is joyful, and the Lord is pleased!

It was a good day!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 44

Today, I weighed myself!  I don't do that very often because I do not want to be unhappy with the results.  I know that scales vary and that what the numbers say doesn't always accurately gauge overall appearance of weight loss!

Take me for instance.  I started this exercise program on March 14th and weighed in at 128 pounds - which is heavy for me!  Today, I weighed in at 122 pounds.  Now, that is only 6 pounds, but my body composition would make you believe that I had lost more than that!  And the way my clothes fit tells me, even more, that I need to keep up the good work! 

I am definitely putting in the work, and the results are evident in the way I look and feel.  I don't need a scale to measure my success!

Until next time,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week 7 Schedule

Week 7

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 20 min. Run 20 min. Run 22 min.     Walk easy      Run 24 min.   Run 26 min.     REST
Walk 1 min.  Walk1 min.  Walk 1 min.       30 min.          Walk 1 min.    Walk 1 min.
Run 9 min.    Run 9 min.   Run 7 min.                             Run 5 min.     Run 3 min.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 40

Well, we made it to our vacation destination, but just barely!

My poor hubby had a 6-hour, white-knuckled driving experience, navigating through the pouring rain, in construction zones with low shoulders, pulling a trailer and almost running out of fuel (another nearly disastrous consequence of pulling the trailer)! 

Luckily, when we arrived a little after 10 pm, all of that was just a distant memory.  We were greeted by excited grandparents who were happy to have us there and to share their home and Easter with us!   And our three youngsters were quick to forget about the woes of travel as they raced around Grandma’s house, trying to find their favorite toy treasures, stopping every so often to give grateful leg hugs and ask for cookies!

Everybody slept like logs last night and woke up rested this morning.   And even though we felt rested, my hubby and I weren’t initially sure that we felt rested enough to tackle our running schedule for the day (Run 18/Walk 1/Run 11), especially on Missouri’s very hilly country roads, but we had no choice,  We are on vacation but NOT from running!!

Tracy ran before I did and came back looking refreshed and a little giddy!  He said that the hills were ridiculous but in a good way!  And, guess what?  I believed him! ;-)

So, I took off in the light drizzle, with Dave Matthews singing in my ears, a fine mist on my glasses, Tracy’s directions in my head and joy in my heart.  The scenery was new; the temperature was cool; my legs and heart felt strong!  I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

It was a joy!

;-) Missi

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 39

I meant to get this post done yesterday, but time got away from me, as we are planning a 4-day Easter vacation at my in-laws!!

I have to say that I am really looking forward to it, and so are the kids!  They are at such fun travel ages right now and have been counting down the days until they get to see Papa and Grandma, their aunt and uncle and their cousins.  Of course, there will also be an egg hunt and lots of candy, but those things take second fiddle to just spending time on the farm!

My girls were so excited for the trip that they begged (yes begged) me to let them pack their own suitcases last night!  I made a list for each girl, which she proudly took and then checked off each item as it made its way into the bag!  It was so cute and responsible.  I could hardly stand it!

When they were done, they put their bags by the door "so Daddy wouldn't have to look for them when it was time to load up!"

They're so sweet!

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 37

Here's the deal.  How I look REALLY matters to me! 

I really want to put my best foot forward all of the time, in terms of my appearance.  I cover my legs when I don't have a tan.  I have a modest swimsuit that tries to hide my "fish-belly white" mid-section.  I highlight my hair to cover the grey, and I try to stay in fashion in regards to the size and style of my eye-glasses!  You get the picture.  Perhaps you are the same way! ;-) 

I say that to say this:  My looks really matter to me EXCEPT when I am running! 

In fact, what I look like doesn't even cross my mind while I am running.  I guess that I am so busy concentrating on how much time I have left, what my heart rate is, what song is on the MP3 player, what my next blog post will cover, how grateful I am to be able to run and what a joy it is to be doing something good for my body and spirit that I don't have time to wonder if I look cool or even coordinated!  It's very liberating and very unlike the natural me.  And I love it!

I run like nobody's watching.  I run for joy!
;-) Missi

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 36

Over the course of the last 5 weeks, I have discovered that my favorite parts of each scheduled run/walk circuit are the beginning AND the end!  The run starts with hope and ends with a sense of accomplishment and renewed vigor - not just relief, as in other exercise programs I've tried.

As for the middle of the exercise, well, that is where the joy takes place.  Now don't get me wrong; throughout the program, every step has been a challenge to my body first and then my brain.  But I have found out that during these longer run sessions of 15 and 16 minutes at a time, it has become more of a mind over matter thing!  My brain is telling me that the schedule says 15 minutes, so I have to at least try my best to accomplish the task at hand! 

And guess what!  I do it.  I just keep taking another breath, another step, and another minute goes by!  It's amazing!  

Here's something else that is amazing!  About 13 minutes into every run, I start to feel a little winded and that maybe I just can't do this!  But then, magically, around the 15-minute mark, I feel a warmth come over me.  It starts in my legs and travels up my body, and once my face gets warm, I start to feel like I can do it!  My stride lengthens, and I feel like a runner.  Perhaps this is what they call the "Runner's High!"  I like to think that it is JOY!

Until next time,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week 6 Schedule

Week 6

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 16 min.  Walk easy   Run 17 min.     Walk easy      Run 18 min.    Run 19 min.     REST
Walk 1 min.    30 min.       Walk 1 min.       30 min.         Walk 1 min.     Walk 1 min.
Run 13 min.                      Run 12 min.                           Run 11 min.    Run 10 min.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 34

One Way Running!

Yesterday, I had my first forray into "One Way Running!"  And I have to tell you that it was the most exhilirating exercise experience that I have ever had (and I've had plenty)!  It happened quite by accident and on one of the windiest days that I can remember - and that's saying something for Oklahoma!

Here's how it went down:  Early yesterday morning, I had to take my car (a 1983 Mercedes turbo-diesel wagon with a lot of personality ;-)) to the mechanic for an oil change.  This involved my hubby and the kids following me in his truck so they could then be my ride home.  Well, my hubby had the bright idea to wear his running gear so that he could run back home from the mechanic's, which is close to 3-miles from our house - one way (which is how far we are run/walking in the 30-minute time allotment).

He said that he arrived at this idea because the thought of running against a 40 mph cold northwest wind was daunting.  He figured that the backyard fences lining the road would act as a windbreak.
Back at home, the kids and I were waiting to see how he did, and I was curious as to how he handled the north-westerly winds.  As it turns out, what he thought was going to be a north wind was actually a very strong west wind (the direction he was running), so he had the wind in his face the whole way!  He told me that it was almost too overwhelming at first and that he thought he couldn't do it, BUT then he started  thinking that with each step, he was getting a little bit closer to home.  He had a destination; he had hope; he knew he was stronger and heavier than the wind, and in the end, he arrived home with a smile on his face!

He wanted me to have the same experience, but without the head-wind, so he and the kids dropped me off at the Wal-Mart Supercenter, where I had the wind at my back most of the way.  The time passed by in a flash.  I knew that I had a one-way ticket home; I just had to fly!  

I felt like a real runner today.  I didn't cover any more ground than normal, but somehow it felt different and the scenery was new with each step!

I definitely recommend "One Way Running"!  It's a joy!

;-) Missi

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 33

Okay, so today I woke up in a particularly good mood, and here is why.  1.  I just got a haircut yesterday, so I'm feeling refreshed.  2.  My darling hubby then highlighted my freshly cut hair, so I'm looking refreshed.  3.  I get to (notice I said "get to" not "have to") run today, and 4.  I know what I am going to make for dinner - Roast Chicken!

Now, all you moms (or dads) out there who are in charge of the dinner plans know what I am talking about.  It's so nice to have a plan for dinner early in the day!  No one likes to be caught off guard with this tired question at 6 pm:  "What's for dinner?"  What's worse is having to utter the even more tired response:  "I have no idea!"  This lack of preparation then leads to making something quick, easy and probably not as nutritious, at least that's the way it is at my house.

Well, not today.  Nothin' says lovin' like a yummy roast chicken with tender potatoes, carrots and onions.  It's good and good for ya!

;-) Missi

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 32

The Red Wheelbarrow (by William Carlos Williams)

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

"The Red Wheelbarrow is a poem by and often considered the masterwork of American 20th-century writer William Carlos Williams.  The 1923 poem exemplifies the Imagist-influenced philosophy of 'no ideas but in things.'"

Yes, I love this poem and had to dissect its simple complexity while completing my studies as an English major in college!

But all of that seems so silly now as I contemplate the wheelbarrow in my own backyard, caked with red dirt, beside the garden shed!  Yes, we depend upon this wheelbarrow for utilitarian purposes, just as the poem indicates, but even more so for joy rides up and down the street!
How long has it been since you've taken a ride in a wheelbarrow!
;-) Missi

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 31

I am writing this in response to something that my darling 4-year-old just asked:  "Mommy, will you play house with me, and will you be the Daddy?

Here was my knee-jerk response:  "Sweetie, I would love to help you get things setup, get your dolls out and stuff, but I'm not very good at playing pretend.  I'm sure your little brother would love to be the daddy.

When it came out of my mouth, I know that it didn't sound mean, and it didn't seem to bother my daughter a bit, but as I sit here and type this, I find that it bothers me.
Mmmmm!  Waffles AND cabbage!  Wow!
Why can't I play pretend?  Or, rather, why don't I want to?   I guess it's because I don't think I know how.  There aren't instructions.  I have to make up my own dialogue, create scenarios and characters, "eat" plastic food, etc.  That just doesn't seem fun to ME, but it does to THEM, and aren't THEY what it's all about! 

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love to play.  The kids can always talk me into Candy Land,  Sorry, Trouble, Lady Bug, Guess Who?, cards or "School" (which, by the way, is what I call "guided pretend," and that doesn't count!).

And, I'm always looking for an excuse to go to the park or play outside, but is that enough?  Well, I'll never know unless I try. 

Starting today, I will try to follow the advise of my sweet, enthusiastic and playful friend, Carey Sue, and "Enter the spirit of the party!" in regards to playing pretend, whether it sounds fun to me or not!

And it looks like I'm going to get my chance.  I've been invited to be the Dragon that guards the castle!

I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 30

Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to take my 4-year-old on a bike (with training wheels) ride.  Since she is getting so good at steering, controlling her speed, staying close to the curb and managing the brakes, I found myself more of an observer this time than a participant (except when we came to a busy intersection).

I say that to say this.  While in this "observer" state, I allowed myself the pleasure of looking around, just because.  That is not normal for me. 

Usually, I am that person who is not very observant of my surroundings.  I can't tell you how many times people have said, "We were right next to you at the stoplight, waving, but you didn't see us!"  And, just the other day, my husband knew the route that I was going to take durnig my run, so he decide to cheer me on with some high kicks and other "fancy" moves.  Well, I'll have to take his word for it because I DIDN'T SEE IT!  I had my eyes focused on something much more exciting - the pavement!

As I alluded to earlier, I did not suffer from this affliction yesterday evening, and I am so thankful that my eyes landed on the most interesting cluster of Irises that I have ever seen.  Now, Irises are a relatively common sight in the Oklahoma landscape, but they are usually purple, yellow or white, not so with the ones I saw yesterday.  I would attempt to describe them, but I'll let the picture speak for itself!

Odd and beautiful, huh!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 29

Okay, so I've been running around my neighborhood for the past 4 weeks, and it has been a wonderful experience. 

I have enjoyed this exploration of my neighborhood.  I've counted the well-manicured lawns.  I've taken note of who parks in the street.  I've veered off the original loop in hopes of finding a hidden park nestled in the far reaches of our subdivision (to no avail).  I've watched the trees turn from bare branches, to blossoms, to leaves, and I've even seen God's amazing sunrise promise and felt His sunset kiss, all in the confines of my safe little neighborhood!

It's been great, to say the least, BUT it wasn't enough for today!  I needed something more.  I needed to get out of my comfort zone.  Guess what I did?  I left the neighborhood!  I became a stoplight jogger.  I made eye contact with other joggers.  I made it home in one piece, and I'll probably do it again!

I can't wait till next time!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 5 Schedule

Week 5

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 12 min.   Walk easy  Run 13 min.     Walk easy     Run 14 min.    Run 15 min.     REST
Walk 1 min.   30 min.       Walk 1 min.       30 min.         Walk 1 min.    Walk 1 min.
Repeat 2X                        Repeat 2X                             Repeat 2X      Run 14 min.
Run 4 min.                        Run 2 min.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 27

Okay, so today was a little bit of a challenge for me.  I was definitely off of my game and feeling a low-grade level of discontentment rising up in me all day.  In short, the joy was just not there.  I even struggled a bit with my run (which is normally one of the most joyful parts of my day)!

Still and all, even with my sourpuss baseline, I was able to enjoy some wonderful surprises that God threw at me today:  hunting down garage sales with my kiddos, finding and playing at a new park, eating a yummy taco dinner with homemade tortillas and reading the first chapter of Donald Miller's book Blue Like Jazz.

Tomorrow will be better because God promises that "Joy comes in the morning!"


Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 26

Have you ever noticed that the more you have to do, the more organized you are, and the more organized you are, the more you don't mind having one more thing added to your day?

Conversely, if you don't have much to do and are "planning" a day of "maybe I'll do this," then an unexpected "something" thrown at you could possibly put you into a tailspin!  Boy, have I been there a million times!

That's why I really like to make a list of things to do for each day, ahead of time, because if I have a list, then I have a plan, and once I have a plan, then I am organized, and once I'm organized, I won't get caught offguard with a last-minute detail! 

Nice theory, but putting it into practice on a regular basis takes more than a list; it needs an assist.  Thank you Holy Spirit for helping us when we're overwhelmed, over taxed and unorganized.  You're the deep breath, the count to 10 and the silent prayer we need each day!

We sing your praises!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 25

Here's a little something that I have known about myself for most of my life but have had a hard time admitting:  I don't like to try new things if I don't already think that I am going to be good at them!  Sounds weird, I know, but that's who I am!

Well, I don't really want that to be who I am anymore.  It's very limiting; it's not very fun; it robs me and others of joy and it's not really a behavior that I want to model for my children!

That being said, I tried something completely new today and did something super awesome:  I caught a fly ball!!!  For those of you reading this who know me intimately, this is huge.  Way back in the day, when I was eight and deciding what sport I wanted to play, I chose soccer because I knew that I was fast and that the ball was big and "softish."  I was terrified to play softball because a hard ball (yes, softballs are hard) being hurled at me at break-neck speed was extremely unappealing!

Turns out; it's super fun and quite a sense of accomplishment to catch and field a baseball (which is all we have for a hard ball right now), and it was incentive enough for my 6-year-old (who can already throw and catch like a pro) to catch her first fly ball as well!

I hope we can do it again tomorrow!

:-) Missi

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 23

Congratulations!  I say that to all of you who have decided to go on this joyful jogging journey with me!

If you started this program with me on March 14th (and are following the schedule to the letter), then tomorrow, you will undertaking three, 9-minute runs, each separated by only 1 minute of walking.  This means that you (and I) will be running 27 of the 30 minutes.  And if you will recall, 30 minutes of running is the ultimate goal of this particular program - so we're not far off after tomorrow!

I don't know about you, but that makes me feel AWESOME!  I hope that you are enjoying it as much as I am! 

Incidentally, no matter where you are in regards to the schedule, you are to be commended for your efforts.  Each step leads to another step, to another minute, to another mile, and I am so proud of you for going for it!

If you would, please take a minute to send me a note about how you are doing.  I would love to hear from you!

You're beautiful!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 22

Hey, I want to tell you a secret.  Lean in a little closer.  A little closer than that.  Yeah, that's good!  Are you ready for it?  Here goes:  "Kids love to help!" 

It's true!  They love to pitch in, to be counted on, to feel responsible and like the task could only be completed because they helped!  It's a precious, natural resource that needs to be tapped, yet, for some reason, we grown-ups, all too often, try to squelch it.  We don't mean to, but we do! 

Here's an example of how we often squelch their helpfulness!  My beautiful children are still young, so they offer to help all of the time - making cookies, washing windows, putting away their laundry, raking leaves, watering the garden, cleaning up the garage, dressing themselves (this mainly pertains to my two-year-old), mowing the lawn (see picture insert), you name it!  Sounds like a recipe for success, and many times it is, but other times, I brush off their offerings because I am in a hurry; it's easier to do it myself; it's above their skill level, etc.

I know I'm not the only one who does this or else we wouldn't have a bunch of preteens, teens and grownups who don't offer their help anymore.  Somewhere down the line, someone either said or implied that no help was needed, so, now, the once-happy helpers have to be bribed to pitch in!

Well, I for one, am going to make a concerted effort to fortify the "happy helper" bone in my children because it's beneficial to everyone.  Heck, it never gets old feeling needed, included and responsible.

Food for thought,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 4 Schedule

Week 4

Monday        Tuesday      Wednesday      Thursday         Friday          Saturday        Sunday
Run 8 min.    Walk easy   Run 9 min.        Walk easy    Run 10 min.    Run 11 min.       REST
Walk 1 min.   30 min.       Walk 1 min.       30 min.         Walk 1 min.    Walk 1 min.
Repeat 3X                        Repeat 3X                             Repeat 2X      Repeat 2X
Run 3 min.                                                                     Run 8 min.      Run 6 min.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 20

"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy!"

Thank you, John Denver, for those magical words and for a beautiful song!  It was on my mind all day today, especially during an outdoor birthday party when I literally did feel "sunshine on my shoulders" for the very first time this season.  The temp was in the high 80s, and it was so fun to pull out a sleeveless shirt and let that Vitamin D soak in!

Even more so, I would like to say thank you to God for this delightful day of sheer spring giddiness and spontaneity - for running around at the park, playing catch, blowing bubbles in the backyard, grilling kabobs and having dinner outside!  You didn't have to make coming out of hybernation so much fun, but you did anyway!  I love you!

Feel the joy!
;-) Missi

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 19

The spiritual gift of complaint!

I used to have it.  I still do if I try really hard!  Wait, that's not really true.  I should have said; I still do if I don't try really hard ! ;-)  Are ya feelin' me!

Here's the deal.  A little over two months ago, our Pastor (Craig Groeschel of Life Church) presented an amazing series called "I Quit".  One of the sermons was titled "I Quit Complaining."  I can't explain it, but that message REALLY spoke to me.  I hadn't really thought of myself as a complainer before, and if I had, I would have thought myself justified.  Not anymore.

When I really made a concerted effort to evaluate what was coming out of my mouth, I found that I was a bit of a mutterer - complaining under my breath and punctuating my annoyance/frustration/laziness with heavy sighs and internal eye rolls!  I was also really good at cloaking my complaint with sarcasm or passive aggressive digs.  It wasn't very becoming!

Well, I am happy to report that with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have made a concerted effort to improve in this area, and I think that I have been successful (for the most part).  My first step was to regulate the words that came out of mouth.  Turns out; it's a lot of fun to sprinkle words of life onto (and into) someone and watch him/her blossom! 

I'll let you know how step two (letting people off the hook) is going when I have a few good examples under my belt!

Bye for now,