Tuesday, March 27, 2012

i am loved...

I’ve been working in my current store for two and a half years and it’s time to shake things up a bit. Next week, I’ll be transferring to one of our newer stores in Houston and stepping outside my comfort zone to develop into an even better leader than I am today. While it’s hard to say goodbye to all of the wonderful people I work with I am so excited to meet, grow, and develop with an entire new team of incredible individuals. I’ve been touched, moved, and inspired by my team. Last Tuesday they took me out for sushi happy hour where we ate, we drank, we laughed and I cried as they gifted me one of the BEST gifts you could ever give me.

If you know me, you know my favorite place on Earth is NYC. The sights, the smells, the energy, the hustle, the subway, the millions of people! Greece is beautiful but New York is RAD. I LOVE visiting the city and would go every weekend if I could... So they pitched in and bought me a trip to NYC in April! Gasp! Gawk! Ekk! OMG!

I am so humbled by the love, generosity, and sheer appreciation that my team has expressed towards me. What a perfect ending for my time spent in the store. What a perfect company I work for that co-workers can love up on each other so well!

I am grateful. I am happy. I am love.

Friday, March 16, 2012

building confidence...

I have a friend named Stacey. She is RADICAL. Nothing about her is ordinary. She started doing something a while back that I HAVE to share. She would wear red lipstick whenever she wanted to bring out her sassy side. I view her act of self expression as a way to exude confidence. Confidence… something I WANT!

So this past Monday I went out for a jog on the TC Jester bike path. It was HOT. Texas is heating up…as usual. I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt and felt unusually hot. Too bad I’m not in good enough shape to shed my shirt! ::insert laughter:: Uh-oh. I just told myself I couldn’t do something because I’m not good enough. This is one of my trigger phrases. Whenever I hear it I absolutely want to DO it to prove a point. Shit… I have to take my shirt off in public.

It was around mile 2 and I still hadn’t taken it off. The voices in my head we’re pulling me in both directions. Do it, don’t do it, do it, don’t do it. Finally, I hit my breaking point and I stopped and ripped my shirt off, Incredible Hulk style! I ran .4 miles in just shorts and a sports bra. The feeling of wind on my sweaty skin was freeing. Confidence was creeping in. I let a cyclist pass me... That was enough for the day. I put my shirt back on and ran home. What sounds like a tiny step was actually BIG for me.

This little exercise reinforced my weight loss goal and gave me the confidence I needed to stay on track. 

What could you do for yourself that would push you out of your comfort zone? The results could be surprising. You will realize you probably won’t die if you do it (Yes, I feared death if I took my shirt off in public)

New goal: I run a full 3 mile loop at memorial park in shorts and a sports bra by August 2012.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

how to eat an elephant...taking bite sized pieces while tackling a weight loss...

I achieved my goal weight for the Woodlands Marathon and since finishing I haven’t seen the number on the scale decrease. Shedding 12lbs was awesome! My problem has been that I’ve been celebrating that small goal for 7 days now:
Saturday: After the marathon I drank 4 beers and ate a giant salted pretzel
Sunday: My husband and I ordered a pizza
Monday: I ate clean… I think.
Tuesday: I ate clean.
Wednesday: I was offered a cake pop at Starbucks that I couldn’t resist
Thursday: We went out for a happy hour where I indulged in a plate full of sweet potato fries and I drank 3 beers
Friday: We ate Mexican and I just had to put queso on everything.
Last night: I had fries with my grilled chicken sandwich
Today: About an hour ago I downed a bag of jelly beans
Thank heavens it’s not too late! I’ve caught myself in my act. I haven’t regained the weight but if I keep on the way this week has gone it shouldn’t take long to undo my hard work.
We all set out to achieve goals. Sometimes though, we stop when we reach a benchmark and settle for the small victory and magically forget about the big picture. For me, I think I’ve been living in fear this past week of not being able to achieve my 50lbs weight loss goal… self sabotage. Can you think of a time when you’ve sabotaged yourself? Why do we want to keep ourselves from achieving our highest potential?
I’m here to let you know (and take my own advise) that we can’t eat an elephant all at once. My elephant is losing 50lbs. What’s yours? Be patient and kind to yourself on your journey and celebrate the small victories but not for too long. Keep the end result in mind at all times. For me, rewarding with food probably isn’t the best idea. Hmmm… a new pair of Toms, replacing my lost Ray Bans, or allowing myself to buy something new from lululemon could work!
Point of the post… Don’t give up! Set mini goals but stick to your game plan! Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

third time’s a charm...

I’ve had a really busy 2 weeks. I let “time” be my excuse for not running or sleeping enough, or mentally preparing myself for my big race. Thursday, I took a minute to realize my marathon was in less than 48 hours. :: insert freak out moment :: I shared with my co-workers that I was nervous, I didn’t feel prepared. Then, out of nowhere, the universe sent me my inspiration. Three of my favorite runners in Houston popped into our store. Dave, Doan, and Lisa all entered the store within 15 minutes of each other! I’ve met them over the past 3 years working at lululemon. My job allows me to meet and connect with the coolest people on earth and I could not be more grateful. Their presence in the store Thursday morning gave me the confidence that I was ready for this marathon.
Friday night my husband and I drove up to the Woodlands, Texas. It’s not a far drive, maybe 40 minutes, but I wanted to not feel stressed about potential traffic on I-45 Saturday morning and catch a few extra minutes of sleep. My running partner Blake and his wife Shannon (the love of my life) also drove up Friday night and we stayed at the same hotel. Blake and I have been training for this together and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. Training with someone holds you accountable for each other’s success and keeps you from giving up during training runs and races. Get yourself a partner if you don’t have one! I’m always available J
I laid out my outfit Friday night, drank about 6 liters of water, and got in bed. My nerves we’re preventing me from sleep. I woke up three times to check my phone for the time. It felt like Christmas morning. I had my alarm set for 5:15am but at 4:56am I decided I could wake up and start preparing myself for 26.2miles. I put on more glide than ever before, laced up my sneakers, and waited patiently for Brett to wake up. Here we go!
Blake and I got to the start line, I’d eaten 4 shot blocks (Black Raspberry w/ Caffeine are my favorite) and we stretch a little as runners all around us we’re buzzing with anticipation. No turning back now. GO!
The first mile we saw a man with a prosthetic leg and that was enough for me to know I would do this marathon right. At mile 2, we had two young girls FLY by us (they we’re running the half) and this inspired me to raise athletic children (when we get there!) We skipped the first water station at mile 3 (something I wouldn’t recommend to first timers but Blake and I had trained without taking water so early on) We grabbed a cocktail of water and Gatorade at every other water stop from there, with the exception of the last stop. Along the course I saw a lot of road kill (from birds and squirrels to snakes and turtles.) I made it a game to point it all out. I’m sure Blake had had enough of that by mile 23 J
I used every person on the course as inspiration. At one point I asked Blake, why do we do this when so many people don’t? We concluded that running is our therapy and crossing the finish line means everything. Future blog topic: why we run.
I kept waiting for that “wall” you hear about. It usually sets in around mile 19 for me but on Saturday it never came. I had great energy and was pain free. I ate my shot blocks approximately every 2.5.-3 miles, before I was actually hungry and that helped in sustaining energy. At just past mile 24 I realized that I could finish this race faster than my first marathon time of 04:44:52. Now, I’m not one to “race” per se. I run marathons, I don’t race them. But a fire lit inside of me and without thought my legs began to pick up pace. “Left, right, left, right, left, right, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale,” were the words flowing through my brain. I was passing other runners. They we’re cheering me on. Spectators we’re surprised I had that much energy left. Sh*t, so was I! Where was this coming from?
I have to say my least favorite part of a marathon is mile 25.5 to the finish line. IT TAKES FOREVER! I always feel like it should come sooner than it actually does. Right around this point though, I heard my name called and it was Lauralea and Danielle (two amazing individuals I am lucky to get to work with but more importantly call my friends.) They jumped off the sidewalk and started running with me. I started to cry. I was so excited to see them. They gave me the shot of extra love I was in need of. I’m pretty sure the only thing I said to them though was “holy sh*t, I’m running fast and I don’t know how!” They sent me off with more cheers and I made my way into the final part of the course.
There we’re so many folks cheering finishers on near the end. My body took over as my mind started melting down. I began to cry, not because I was in pain but because I was in shock. I didn’t think I would take 15+ minutes off my 2nd marathon time. I crossed the finish line and couldn’t control the flow of tears. Brett was there and I ran to him and shoved my face into his chest. He probably thought I had broken my foot or something but it was serious tears of joy.
I didn’t beat my 1st marathon time but that didn’t matter. I was just 3 minutes shy, finishing at 04:47:22 with a 10:58 average mile. I was 23/46 in my age group and I’m pleased about that!
The most exciting thing about this race was that I know (had I not high tailed it for the last 2 miles) that I could have ran further on Saturday. I felt amazing and could have gone 30-40miles. I have a goal of running two ultra marathons by 2020 and it was one of those really scary goals for me, but now I know I can do it. My runner’s high will take me there J
Thank you to everyone who supports me, both in running and in life. I wouldn’t be where I am without you.
Next marathon, JUNE 17th in Canton, Ohio! Goal time: 4:40:00.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

don't pig out after your workout...

I used to eat more because I thought, “Well, I work out every day! I need that extra energy!” WRONG. Don’t negative your hard work at the gym for an extra basket of chips and salsa. If you want to transform your body fill it with nutrient dense food post workout but don’t go overboard. It’s just not necessary.

I would go for an 18mile run and come home, eat a HUGE breakfast, eat a big sandwich for lunch and a whole pizza for dinner. I didn’t think anything of it because “I ran 18 miles this morning and I can eat ANYTHING I want!” The joke was on me.
People often ask me, “How did you gain 30lbs while training for a marathon?” Well, now you know! My relationship with food and its connection with working out were ill. I didn’t respect the hard work I put into my workouts or my long runs to honor my body with good foods and only what my body needed of them.
Do workouts make you hungry? Heck yeah they do! How can you break the pig out cycle? Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to alter this pattern:
1.      Get this App: My Fitness Pal. It’s free and lets you track your calories and exercise. Best part is that it creates community and accountability! You can add your friends and hold each other accountable for your fitness goals.  Best way I can describe it to you is that it has made me not want to screw up or let my friends down. Find it in your app store.
2.      DRINK WATER ALL THE TIME. Glue a bottle to your hand. It is so easy to confuse being hungry with being thirsty. Sometimes all our body needs is a little H2O.
3.      Post workout eats- eat a small protein packed snack that leaves you satisfied but not full! (I like peanut butter and banana, or a piece of grilled chicken that I already have stored in my fridge)
From now on I am committed to respecting my body (loving my body!) enough to not negative my workouts.