Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I'm So Tired Of Counting Calories!

I'm so tired of counting calories!  There... I said it.  You can't believe I said it, huh?  Yes, I am a weight loss blogger on a personal mission to lose weight, but I AM SOOOO TIRED OF COUNTING CALORIES!  Whew!  Now that I got that off my chest, let me explain.

Now, don't misunderstand me, counting calories has done me a world of good, like weight loss to the tune of 110 pounds good! Additionally, I have gained a better understanding about food and nutrition. What macronutrients are, how they work and how to utilize them within my calorie count and to maximum benefit. Ultimately counting calories has helped me to change my perspective about food and how to use it to fuel my body.  There is some very tangible value to be gained by counting calories.  Would I recommend it to anyone?  Yes, most definitely!  So what's the problem, you ask?

My problem is that, for me, it is just not sustainable.  I can't see nor want to spend the rest of my life counting calories.  Watching, so closely, the food I eat is time consuming and energy draining for me.  Not to mention all the diet rules.  Eat this, don't eat that.  Never eat after this time.  This no good for you last week now its ok this week.  Good grief! Enough already!  I just want to be free from it.  With this lifestyle change, I'm thinking, there must come a point where I develop the skills to trust myself, yes?  I'm just saying, there has got to be another way.
My current book stack.  Reviews coming soon.
When I watch my toddler, sidekick Robin, she eats when she is hungry and stops when she is full. She is not working to clean her plate.  Sometimes I don't think she's eating enough, but her weight is steady.  When she's hungry she requests to eat.  She is in excellent health and has amazing muscle tone for a toddler.  When she wears racer back tops people marvel at her build.  She is strong and fit. Baby girl can squat, plank, push up and downward dog with the best of them.  You've seen her race recap post.  Girlfriend is getting it done.  She doesn't have all the information that I have yet she is fine.  There must be something instinctual about her eating. 

I've been tossing these thoughts around in my head for about a year now.  I know that I want to stop.  I know that I want to move on from being preoccupied with food.  The question is how?  How do I rediscover or learn the skills that I once knew instinctively?  In my search I've come across a few reading resources which I'm going to read. Prayerfully, these resources will be a step in the right direction and I can move on from here.  

What do you think?  Do you count calories?  Are you planning to do it for the rest of your life?

Weekly Workout Recap July 12 -18, 2015 & Half Mary Training Week 4

Sunday - Cross Train / Kettlebells and Swim

After last week's workouts, I decided to do something different for my cross training so I went to the pool.  I wasn't able to swim laps or anything truly athletic, but I was able to bounce up and down, run  and squat in the water with Robin on my back for two and half hours.  I think I did enough to meet my forty minute cross training requirement.  Plus my tired legs and back feel amazing after being in the pool.

I also started WO #3  of The Swing.  The time has increased to 20 minutes and we are now up to equal work for equal rest.  305 swings in 20 minutes is pretty amazing.

Monday - Long Run 5miles

My plan was to start a little early, then run with my running group, but Hubbs had to go into work. Run cancelled! - Trying to make my mantra work or me "Flexible In Life - Flexible Body"  I do not like to get off track. He promised to come straight home in the morning so I could get me run in before it got too hot. Nice Hubbs.

Tuesday - Rest Strength Training & Yoga

Rescheduled make up run  was meh... Hubbs said it was ok to walk and at least I covered the entire distance.

By the time I got home, I was stiff and in pain.  I was hoping that later in the day I would be able to do my swing wo and yoga.  No, ma'am!

Wednesday - Run

Sitting, getting up and laying flat are an issue.  I yield and give in.  NO running today. I need to rest and figure out what is going on here.

Thursday - Cross Train - Kettlebells & Yoga

Feeling a considerably better today, so did my final Swing workout for the week. I'm trying to isolate what is causing this extreme on set of pain so I'm not going to do the yoga. Maybe I'll test it out on the weekend.

Friday - Run

Today is good just a bit of tenderness in my back.  The agility in my back seems to be returning.  I'm taking today off again from the run.  

Saturday - Complete Rest

NSV:  Well, one great NSV came out of this last week.  Honestly, I was in some serious pain for most of the week.  Enough to cause me to stop training and think about not doing the race.  Feeling very upset with all that was on my mind, I indulge in emotional eating.  It never even occurred to me.  The coolest part is I didn't even realize that I didn't use my old standby coping mechanism until I began writing this post.  Progress, Progress, Progress!!!

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Fighting for your dreams can be challenging sometimes, but so worth it when achieved. Having people who have been there and who are enduring similar situations can really help. Join the #teamMirrorWatching community.  Be Inspired, Stay Motivated. We can do this, Let's do it together!

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Monday, July 13, 2015

My Lifestyle Change Is Changing My Life

You may have heard me mention it here and there in my Weekly Workout Recaps but I figured it was time I spoke up and told you directly.  I am taking on the challenge of running my first half marathon!!  (Deep breaths to calm the anxiety)  Yup, September  12th, 2015 I will be running the Divas Half Marathon in Atlanta and I am looking forward to getting my crown and tutu!!!! It looks like it will be a fun race despite my nerves.

Since you have been following my journey, (and if you are not you can here), you will know that this is major for me. Heck, everything in my life right now is major. It's a new life.  A life I would have never had if I hadn't made a decision to change. It hasn't been a bed of roses and it has taken longer than I would have wanted, but honestly, I'm glad the process has been slow.  What started out only as a quest to lose weight has turned into so much more. I have learned and discovered things about myself that I never knew.  I've developed mental fortitude in areas that needed mending.  I can let go.  I can forgive.  I have garnered courage and ferociousness.  I have gained my freedom.  My mind has peace and I have healed!  Far, far more has changed than the weight I have lost.

When I started out on this journey I was looking for more and better however this is not a life I saw myself having.  I never wished for it.  I didn't know I wanted it. Even when I was younger and smaller I didn't have these kinds of pursuits.  As I have said many times before I had no idea an athlete was inside of me.  It is that athlete inside me that is teaching me what I am made of, showing me what is really in me and propelling me forward in all aspects of my life.

So yes, a freaking HALF MARATHON! Am I nervous? Most definitely.  About what exactly?  Everything!  The training is uncomfortable and the not knowing is uncomfortable and I'm learning to be uncomfortable with that.  My comfort zone was trying to kill me lol.  I'm learning how to 'woman up' - have courage in the face of the unknown (fear) and do it anyway.

Have I arrived yet?  Yes and no.  I'm in a new space in my life.  Things that used to matter no longer matter.  My focus has shifted and continues to shift.  I have new interests and pursuits that I am delving into and I don't want the journey to end.

My lifestyle change has given me a peek at life without limits.

Weekly Workout Recap July 5 - 12, 2015 - Half Mary Training Week 3

Since I have talked you up already I'll keep my training brief, brief.  Please know that there was lots that happened this week in training land.  Maybe I'll get to explore some of it with you at another time.

Sunday - Cross Training

30 minute cycle ride w/Robin.  Part of the bargain was that she could ride her bike when I finished my workout.  She is getting better.  Take a peek here.  Kettlebells The Swing workout # 2 which you can view here.

Monday - Long Run

Sun salutations
4 miles - Grueling because of my new sneakers.
There was an awesome little girl out walking with her family who decided to run along next to me for about a mile.  I marveled at her ability begin only about 6 or 7.  I can't wait till Robin gets to that age.  This little girl got me through it.
Later that night I was in fetal position in the bed with a massive head.  After much pain and thought I realized I hadn't eaten for hours lol!  One bite and I was feeling a world better.

Tuesday - Rest

Kettlebells -The Swing #2 I upped my Kettlebell weight to 20 lbs from 15 lbs which took my bpm up about 15-20 points during the swing. Can I tell you that when I rub my hand over my arms I am already beginning to feel shape and firmness. I would take a pic, but you couldn't see it under the fat.  However, for proof you can ask Hubbs.  I've been showing him my muscles lately.
Do you think he was laughing at me?
Twist and Bend Yoga I've been using yoga to cross train but also to help connect with my body.  I'm loving it.  

Wednesday - Run - family issues (no run)
3.5 miles 

Thursday - Cross Training 

Kettlebells - last day of swing.
Make up run - which was truly a walk.
 30 Minutes for the Hips, Hamstrings and Lower Back by David Procyshen.  It was a heavenly 30 minutes.  He also has a 50 minute video for Deep Release of Hips, Hamstrings and Lower Back.  I can't even imagine.

Friday - Run
3.5 miles - I did pole to pole.

Saturday -  Complete Rest - greatly needed.

So that is what I've been up to this week.  What about you?

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

When Was The First Time You Thought You Were Fat?

This poster caught my attention.  "I wish I was as fat as the first time I thought I was fat!"  Isn't that the truth.  Do you remember when you first thought you were fat?  For me this statement immediately summoned a memory of full color and detail.  I was eighteen years old and abroad in business school.  I remember I was wearing a size four navy, wool skirt with pinstripes and a camel colored wool blazer.  I weighed 135 pounds just up from 129 pounds.  One of my friends said with disgust, "Gina, you are getting fat!" If I had only known.

If I had known what I now know about life, people and how heavy I would get over the years that comment wouldn't have taken such a root.  Nothing and I mean nothing was jiggling on that body. It was as close to slim perfection that I will ever come and I didn't even work for it.  It was all genes and nature and I didn't even appreciate it.  What I would give to have that body now! 

Weekly Workout Recap June 29 - July 4, 2015

Week 2 Half Mary Training

Sunday - Cross Train

To cross train I did my usual 1/2 hour ride with Robin in the trailer.  Limey was looking so cute I figured I'd give her a little photo shoot. When we arrived home Robin was asleep so I hooped for a few minutes then tried out a new Kettlebell program called The Swing by Tracy Reifkind.  Today was the first day and I plan to repeat the same 10 minute workout two more times this week.  I have ordered the book and will probably do a review. We will see.  It looks promising. See below or here.

Monday - Long Run 4 miles

"If you want to change something you have to change something."  I am a true believer of this statement by Chelsea Johnson, whom I interviewed for Meet The Amazing Chelsea. Check it out!

Yes, it seems so ridiculous that a long run would be 4 miles, but right now that 4 miles might as well be 10.  I am struggling to run the first mile in fact, I'm walking.  I can't seem to catch my rhythm till almost one and a half miles in.  On this run in particular once I finally caught myself and had an immediate urge to go potty.  I was just getting into the groove, but I just had to go.  Once I got back out on the course I was the last one running.  I didn't want to hold up everyone (we have a no woman left behind policy) so I finished up.  I had only done three miles and it was almost dark.  I decided I would continue on for my last mile and told everyone to go on and leave.  I would be ok.   This lady right here in the pic decided she would run with me so I wouldn't be out here by myself in the dark.  Mind you I run like a 15 min mile and she runs a 9 minute mile.  The gesture was so generous I figured I better do my best to keep up or at least not stop running. loool.  I made it the rest of the way, even with my lungs on fire.  It felt good to be challenged so I asked her would she be my half coach for the long runs and she accepted.  Thanks Alicia sooooooooo much!!

Tuesday - Rest Day

Today was my rest day, but I used it to do a bit of stretching and strength training.  I did my very, very slow sun salutations I told you about here. Doing slow sun salutations are really helping with my lower back pain and stiff hips.  Then I finished up with a second day of The Swing Kettlebell workout.

Wednesday - Run (Rained Out)

Wednesday's three mile run was rained out.  I was kinda looking forward to itbut hey.  I decided to do some Sun Salutations and call it a wrap.  Robin wanted to do some yoga with me and I had the perfect program for her, Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventures.  I found  it on YouTube sometime ago and had been waiting for the right time to introduce it to her.  

I put it on and she wanted to use my mat.  Long story short, I ended up having to participate as well.  What a workout.  Up, down, round and round we moved as we acted out the story.  I was panting lol but I was glad I did it with her.  I had to refocus her a few times and but she was really proud of herself in the end.  

I have included it below or you can view 'Stella The Stick Insect' here.  I'm sure we will be doing 'Norris The Baby Seahorse' next week.

As you know I am always searching for inspiration to stay motivated.  This week I found this interview by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition with Tennis Legend Serena Williams.  Who as I write this post has just beaten her elder sister Venus Williams at Wimbledon 2015.  Congrats Serena!

You can view below or here.

Thursday - Cros Train

I used today as a make up day for Wednesday's rainy day and you can see how it went below or here. I rounded out the day with the final installment of The Swing workout.  


I showed up for this run earlier and with a far better attitude and with goals in mind to accomplish and things went well. 

Finally, my workout week was over and I was ready for what I have started calling my weekend wind down treat.  A nice little yoga session.  Normally I do an hour of Restorative Yoga but I thought I would try another video by the same instructor Lisa McLeod called Bed Time Yoga.  I totally enjoyed it and ready for bed.

Saturday - Complete Rest

Saturday was the 4 of July and it was raining cats and dogs.  Robin asked to do some exercise so I found these two videos on YouTube.

This video was great because it identified the different parts of the body, 
how they work and how they are used.  Robin loved it.

This video was just pure fun.  Jumping and dancing around to a cool beat. 

Here you can find the beginnings of my Toddler Exercise Playlist.  I will be adding more as we try out more exercises.  Hope you enjoy.

Oh, I have an NSV (non-scale victory):  I'm sure you remember reading about my bike seat issues at the beginning of my biking career. Well, I'm pleased to announce that I have gotten used to the seat and riding doesn't hurt like it used to.  I have removed the gel seat and I'm riding wonderfully without it. That or my lady bits parts have gotten tough in which case I'm not sure that is a good thing loooool!

Did you experience an NSVs this week?

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Do You Want To Be Special?

I know, right? What kind of question is that?  You have your game face on right now, which says all is well and I have it all together.  How dare I ask such a question!

Well, one of the reasons I ask is because the phrase "Be Yourself" had been bubbling in my spirit for awhile now so I thought I would let it out with a little creativity (the poster below).  The other reason is because I am a very private and protected person (you would never guess so with all my business on display on this blog, lol) who has an exterior that says I've got it all together.  When in reality sometimes that may not be the case, so I too needed to hear these words.

In a world that is constantly bombarding us with messages which suggest we would be better off being anything but ourselves I'm here today to reassure you that you are the perfect you.  I heard someone say recently that 'your freak is your money maker' lol.  Translated, that thing(s) about you or your experiences that you are trying desperately to hide or change are your passport to fulfillment and success in life.

So, please stop comparing yourself to others.  Find some time to have a good look at yourself.  Learn to appreciate the varying aspects that amount to you without discounting anything.  See your stunning beauty, your incomparable worth and your inconceivable value and embrace it.  That is you. The one and only you and you are already Special! 

"Your freak is your money maker!" click to tweet

Weekly Workout Recap June 21 - 27, 2015


We started off the week with a bang. Robin and I headed off to Silver Comet Trail for the first time to meet up with a riding group. SCT is a beautiful covered trail which at one time was a railroad trail which ran from Georgia into Alabam.  The trail is famous for being flat.  Let me tell you, nothing is flat when you are pulling a toddler in a trailer! We missed the group because we  were running late. Nevertheless, we were not deterred.  I pumped up the tires, packed and hitched the trailer and off we went.  The group had mentioned that they planned to do 10 -20 miles so I estimated that I could do 10 miles and then see how I felt.  

We ended up do almost 15 miles which was great and we were beating the heat.  Not even a mile in. Robin was done and wanted to get back to the car. I pressed on and eventually we saw a playground which we stopped to allow her a break and have a snack.  Working out with your toddler doesn't come without its own unique challenges, but there are ways to address it which makes it more doable.  I keep saying I'm going to write a post on it.  I need to get on with it.  

We started at 8:30 am and back lunching in the car by 11 am.  Workout and play done!


Monday was interesting.  I usually ride on Monday morning after I drop Robin off to school, but lately it has been in the 90's at nine in the morning.  As I mentioned before in my post Get Ur Freak On I tend to have challenges with dehydration.  That together with knowing I had to run later I didn't think riding and running in the extreme heat on the same day would be a great idea.  Instead, I headed out to the Barnes & Noble to scope out some books. I've got a few things on my mind pertaining to the topics of the books.  I'll tell you more about this later.

Notice Rule #1 To Working Out.  Never Skip A Monday!!  So tell me why later in the day, when it was time to go running, I was trying to make like I was so busy with a post that I couldn't go.  I had taken my clothes off and was relaxing around the house when hubby asked what was happening. Long story short, he kicked me out the house and I went running.  Thank goodness for accountability. Not to mention I really do enjoy getting out there.  I tried to hang close to Chelsea of Meet The Amazing Chelsea on the run which made me run faster and further than I intended.  Sometimes you just need a little extra motivation.

By the way the post turned out great. Are You A Body Positive Athlete? was an interview piece I did with the founder of Body Positive Athletes, Leah Gilbert. Leah has a transformational concept which has been a game changer for me. .Great read and very positive!  Pop on over to check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Tuesday - Rest


OMG!!! Is the only way to describe what happened on Wednesday.  The short version is that I got my butt handed to me by the Panola Mountain Panola Shoals Trail.  Well to be clear, I knew the trail was hilly but I chose it because it has gotten so hot in GA and this trail is woodsy and mostly covered but it was a beast nevertheless.  The views are lovely and when the trail opens to the lakes it is spectacular.  The real beast was waiting for us on the Alexander Lake Loop.  Now I have walked this portion of the trail and it can be challenging walking but we were riding in the opposite direction and Oh Man!  Challenging does not begin to describe the experience.  As a beginning leisure rider I pride myself on having road my bike the entire way during my Duathlon; having scaled the hills in Arabia and Stone Mountains respectively but this monster on Alexander Lake Loop was mammoth.  I rode maybe a quarter of the hill and had to concede to walking my bike. The first time I've had to do that since I started riding.   It was just that steep.  When I reached the top I had to stop for a minute to hydrate and catch my breath.  I felt like I had asthma.  My chest was pounding, ears ringing and I was making a silent plea for Jesus to help me!   My friend made it to the top successfully, but was speechless for a good ten minutes trying to catch herself.

After the mammoth monster everything seemed like it was downhill on the way back. Lol!  We covered both sides of the South River Trail to get in an exhausting 11 miles.

Thursday - I listened to my body which was screaming "Not Today!" lol


Hike and bike day was fun.  I rode to Stone Mountain from the village and then around it. That was about seven miles.  It was my intention to hike to the top, but I only made it to the rest stop.  I was short on time. Wink! The climb was tougher than last week, but hey, what can I say.

Friday night I did my usual Restoration Yoga routine so I could have a complete day of rest on Saturday.

Saturday - Rest

And that's a wrap!
Did you try anything new this week?

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