Meaningful Milestones

I received this in an email from MapMyRun the other day:

Congrats On Your 1000th Workout

Apparently, in the last few years that I’ve been “tracking” my workouts (although not all of them) I’ve now achieved 1000 workouts. I think that I probably “workout” about 1000 times/year between teaching and other things. I don’t always count those things, but I’m trying to get better (this year) about actually marking down what I do and scheduling time to do it. I’ve even considered buying a fitness tracker, but mostly I still think that I get by just fine with my Timex.

This email came at an important time for me. I’m still trying to get back into a consistent routine of training again after the holidays. The semester has started back and the weather is getting better. I’m back doing sun salutations now that my leg is healed. And, just this last week, my oldest turned 7!

It all put me in the mood to make some resolutions…..but only some vaguely simple ones:

  1. Do the 10K in March that I’ve been planning to do for months…even though I’m not signed up and I haven’t done that many consistent runs in the last two months.
  2. Have a girls’ night out on every odd month this year to keep my sanity and attempt to get out of the house now and then.
  3. Keep up the pedicures.
  4. Do the 15K in September that I didn’t get to do a few years ago.
  5. Complete the 2018 MapMyRun Challenge for the first time EVER!
  6. Keep journaling.
  7. Don’t give up on myself.

This is close to the time of year when everyone gives up on their resolutions, so it’s only fitting, with as backward as I am sometimes, that I’m just now setting mine.

What about you?

The Home Stretch

Wait a minute…..MapMyRun, Where is my Q3 Performance Report?!

Just this last week I realized that I had never done a post at the end of September about where I’m at and what I’ve achieved so far. I mean I did the Q1 for 2017 and the Mid Year Performance Report, but I have checked all of my emails and there’s no Q3….

So, with just over 2 months to go in 2017 I thought I would give a quick update and set out the plan for the home stretch of this year.

Mileage totals as of October 25, 2017 – 333.7 (prior to today’s run) Mileage consists of runs, walks, jogs, bikes, and swims

Sun Salutation Progress – Today is the “half-way” point to 108, although I do have to modify some of the poses from time to time to accommodate sore shoulders

Lifting – I have successfully completed 3/4 lifting weeks since starting the habits project. It’s all light weight (and I will be doing a video for it in an upcoming WOW post), but it’s something that I am able to keep relatively consistent at the moment.

Swimming – I have only missed one day of swimming since I started (due to shoulder pain) and am working hard on learning to breathe to both sides.

Going forward:

  1. November will bring back 3 days/week running along with Wednesdays being specialized for speed
  2. Mileage goal by the end of the year is 500 (my most mileage ever!)
  3. Weights will remain a Tuesday thing
  4. Swimming a Thursday thing
  5. Still on track to hit 108 Sun Salutations on Thanksgiving Day

Still need to register for my spring race….although it’s been decided. Come back next week for more WOW Yoga videos. Until then:

Where are you at on your 2017 Fitness Endeavors?

A Bedtime and Other Treats for Myself

Accountability is the fourth thing that Rubin writes about when talking about ways to make habits successful. I already know that accountability is a big thing for me. I run better with T and more often when I have paid for a race. I finish projects if someone else is counting on them. I clean my house when guests are coming over. I need someone to hold me accountable!

In some ways my planner can be an accountability tool for me. As a chronic Under-Buyer it doesn’t surprise me that I have had the same planner for two years. I re-purposed it and reused it as different kind of planner for this year. I’m a finisher and the new format allowed me to use all of the pages remaining in the book. So, today I forced myself to do something different as part of my plan for small steps in a new direction. I bought a new planner for 2018.

This would normally happen at the last minute or after 2018 had already started. Why? Because I like to research everything about an item and then weigh the pros and cons and then consider whether I really need the item and finally…..still put off buying it. However, today I looked at a few things. Decided quickly what I needed. And purchased it without hesitation. I’m super excited that it will be here on Monday!

My new planner from

And I like the statement on the front. It’s something that I need to keep reminding myself because I sometimes find I’m too worried about the details and not enjoying the moment. So, that brings me to the Foundations and how I’m starting to figure out the habits for me with small steps.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Use my planner….scheduling and accountability will help me track progress better than the less tangible ways I was working through the Happiness Project.
  2. Give myself the gift of sleep by promising to go to bed no later than 1130pm on any night…..including tonight. This will guarantee at least 6 hours of sleep each night (a minimum number for most adults). I’m also going to try to remember to just go to bed when I feel like I’m falling asleep on the living room floor instead of allowing myself to sleep for awhile there and then have to try to re-fall asleep in the bed.
  3. Give myself the power to move. Rubin writes about “Act the way you want to feel” and how she makes herself move because moving makes her feel better. I do give myself permission too often to rest. So, instead I’m going to give myself the power to move. I am scheduling something each day to do to be active. It doesn’t have to be a serious workout, but generally saying I will be “Active” doesn’t always work for me. I need a more concrete plan to stay accountable.
  4. Keep fueling my body. I have mostly given up eating a lot of things that I feel were not fueling the lifestyle I wanted to have. However, I am still a firm believer in mindfulness and listening to your body. I think this also goes to Rubin’s rule of “Act the way you want to feel”. Last night I had a delicious salad for dinner. It was a meatless night for dinner and I had chosen to make salad with lettuces, spinach, pear, almonds, red quinoa, garlic croutons, shredded Cabot Vermont cheddar (a small amount), and Brianna’s Champagne dressing. It was HEAVENLY! I felt so full of energy after I ate it and full and satisfied. I slept well and woke up easily. I went through the first part of my day very alert…..but the muffin I ate for breakfast caught up with me and the Red Robin for lunch slowed me down. I am being more mindful of what is fueling me and what is draining me and I’m choosing the former more and more. Eliminating animal products is not for everyone, but it is for me, for now.

So, that’s my list for now. I’m not tackling unclutter yet. I’m also not done with the book, nor have I defined specific habits of mine that I want to change. But, baby steps….start with the foundation…..start now.

Where would you start?

Join me in naming a foundation to focus on and share it with the group in the comments below.

Getting Better – Tracking

It’s Monday and I only have a few minutes to write this post. One thing I should be better about is scheduling posts, but I’m not and that’s just something that I’ve come to accept about myself. I am a planner, but I’m not a pre-planner.

In Rubin’s book she starts to talk about the things that make a habit stick. The first thing she writes of is TRACKING…..although I’m pretty sure she calls it monitoring. However, for me tracking is the best word for it.

I track lots of things….my mileage and performance on my runs (see my MapMyRun page), how many people view and comment on this blog, my hours working on projects for NETA, my students’ grades…..I’m even guilty of keeping score sometimes in relationships. Tracking progress is supposed to help habits form. So, you’d think that I’d be pretty successful at forming new habits……

The problem is that I don’t always track the things that I’d need to in order to create new habits. These are all things that I need to track for work or want to track because they’re already habit (like running). But, because of my nature as an Obliger, I think that tracking for future progress is harder than anything. If I don’t have someone accountable (like my boss or students) or don’t have a long standing tradition of something (like running), then it just doesn’t happen.

Part of the reason for me picking up this book is because there are some things I need to change about myself. It’s not that I don’t love myself; I do. I just find that I need a change, but maybe haven’t put my finger on which of my habits yet that it is that I want to and need to change.

What kind of tracking do you do in your life?

What habit of yours would you like to change?

Mid-Year Performance Report 2017

Back in April I gave you all the rundown on my Q1 Performance Report. It was a slow start to the year and right around the time I started training with my friend for the 8K we’ll be running in September. Map My Run (not a sponsored post) sent me my Mid-Year Performance Report recently. Here’s a pictorial review of my first 6 months of 2017 from a tracked perspective and not including all of the other things I’ve done.

Not bad that I’ve averaged 1 workout every 2.5 days so far this year. Not every other day, but close!
I’m not a big fan of counting calories, so this one doesn’t matter to me. Plus, I’m not really eating pizza anymore because of the cheese (which used to be my favorite part), so I could care less about this stat. Additionally, MapMyRun doesn’t know much about me so I don’t feel these are accurate results.
Well, I’ve been to LA once and don’t plan to go back, but never visited San Diego….maybe some day, although I don’t plan to run there at this time. 🙂 What I am super proud of here is that I did over twice as many miles in the second three months of the year than I did in the first three. Yippee!
Kind of disappointing that I only exercised for 24 hours over the last 6 months. Although, maybe that means I’m super fast?
Super proud of my fastest run mile! I’ll be 37 years old and I’m running some of the fastest that I’ve ever done! Hoping to beat my youngest brother’s 8K time this September….can I be under 47 minutes? He’s almost 9 years younger than me.
And this last one is a little disappointing as well. I hoped to be much longer in my runs. I actually thought I had done a 6 miler in April or May, but apparently it didn’t calculate that way? Oh well, longer training ahead!

We are less than 7 weeks to race day and the training program is starting to get varied as we move out of that base endurance phase. I’m curious as to what Q3 will look like after my birthday comes and goes!

Where are you in your 2017 fitness goals?

50 Years Stronger

50 years ago in the Boston Marathon a woman attempted to compete. She was attacked partway into the race when it was discovered that she was a woman. Yesterday she completed the same event while running one of her fastest marathons ever. This is the kind of strong that I aspire to….not just for MY BEST BODY challenge, but in life. I aspire to be stronger each day. I aspire to stand up for what I believe in. I aspire to get better with age. Kathy Switzer’s race number (261) was officially retired yesterday after she crossed the line.

What will you be doing 50 years from now?

How strong can you get?

Read the whole story here…

TOLT #57: But I Won’t Do That!

You all remember the Meatloaf jam from back in your middle school days…..I will do anything for love…..but I won’t do that!

Well, welcome to another TOLT hosted by Amanda at Running With Spoons. Today I want to expand off of my post from Monday and continue with a series on my own Happiness Project: MY BEST BODY.

I’ve spent a little more time considering my post and my goal and what I will do moving forward and I’ve come up with only three things so far that I promise not to do:

  1. Take before and after photos
  2. Go on a diet
  3. Use exercise as punishment or food as a reward

These are three things that align pretty well with my own living principles as well as some of the tenets of yoga.

Ahimsa – Cause no harm

I, as a fitness professional, know that dieting is harmful to the body. I hate the fact that this simple little four letter word that means all of the food you eat has become something so vile and negative that I have to make a statement about how I won’t go on one. Technically we’re all on a diet…..we all eat. I decided not to harm myself in other ways during this adventure by being mindful of my workouts, checking in with myself on the regular through meditation, and keeping in mind that this is a journey of my whole body getting well….not just trying to get thin.

Santosha – Contentment

I need to remain content as I travel this path. It’s okay that right now I am battling my body, this too will get better. It’s okay that I will never again be a size 2 Juniors. I’m 36 and have two children and care more about being able to someday do a pull-up than to bare my midriff for attention. This is a project and a process, I have to be ready each day to face the challenges with an air of contentment: I AM.

Svadhyaya/Satya: Self-Study and Honesty

I paired these two together because they both also encompass the idea of non-judgement of myself and others by living who I am and by learning about that. This is why I don’t need before and after photos…..I have before and during and after blog posts. I have my meditation journals. I can track my fitness and all of the other measurements I will use along the way. However, as I track I need to go back to Santosha and remember to be content with the progress that does and doesn’t come.


On a side note, I found myself trying to do number three a lot this week. Yesterday I ate a snack with my little guy. I had a super hungry moment (most likely fueled by the Prednisone) in which I ate the snack so mindlessly and then had the thought pop into my head “Thank goodness I’m going for a run now”. Bad me! But I also need to be kind with myself in my thoughts…..I need to avoid falling into the disordered eating traps of rewards and punishments that come with food and exercise. This project needs to be about me being well and functioning.

I can’t guarantee that this is going to work and I’m still in the process of defining my plan, but this was the next step.

Have you ever entered into a Happiness Project?

How do you incorporate the yoga principles into your life challenges?

What won’t you do?

Recaps and Updates

Here we are, the last day of January and my Day Thirty Post! One thing I need to do this year in order to keep with all of these resolutions I made is to make sure to check in and recap what’s been going on each month and update myself and those of you reading on how my progress is going. I’ve written about this in the past in regards to progress tracking and benchmarking.  So, here we are on the last day of my 30 day challenge and I thought a nice little recap was in order. Here are my 30 days of resolutions:

  1. See the world
  2. Follow through and finish what I start
  3. Face my fears
  4. Get some more education/professional development
  5. Accept responsibility for my mistakes, take ownership and ask for forgiveness when necessary
  6. Embrace my love of the scale
  7. Compete
  8. Reconnect
  9. Prepare
  10. Write more
  11. Read
  12. Make new things to eat
  13. Ask “Why?”
  14. Bump up the mileage
  15. Get the photos under control
  16. Go pro!
  17. Rest
  18. Get wet!
  19. Relish sweetness
  20. Treat myself to gear
  21. Awareness – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate
  22. Strength – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate
  23. Flexibility – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate
  24. Balance – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate
  25. 3 better yoga poses
  26. Clean out the friendship fridge
  27. Fitness measures outside of running and yoga
  28. Just Say No!
  29. Be someone
  30. Check in!

By the way, my January mileage is in and I finished at 26.87 miles. That puts January 2016 as 5th highest mileage of my last 12 months and 2016 as 5th highest mileage in the last 5 years. See more at my MapMyRun page and check out my running goals by clicking on Day 14 above.

Are you still sticking to your resolutions?

Have you defined them fully yet?

What will your 2016 look like?

Flashback Friday and Benchmarking

Sorry in advance that this post will be a little long. Yesterday got away from me and now I’m playing catch up, but here’s what happened.

I really wanted to post yesterday for Throwback Thursday and just slap some photos up here and tell you a story about benchmarking and where I was, am, and where I hope to be. However, I chose instead to take my kids for an enormous walk to a local park (almost 3 miles away) to play for a little while in the middle of the day. It was both a good and a bad idea. It was HOT and HUMID, but I kept the same pace (15:01/mi) on the walk each way. The kids had fun and E took his “morning” nap during our walks. Ike and I had a great time chatting when we could hear each other over traffic. And I got the burn back in my legs that I’ve been longing for. The double walk also put me within reach of my weekly mileage goal and with another just over 3 mile walk this morning, I should meet it without problem.

I’m currently sitting in the airport in Charlotte and will have to go and find a family restroom to commandeer soon to pump as Eli didn’t want to nurse before I left this afternoon. I am on my way to Memphis and may not finish this post before I get there, but here’s where I am at today (yesterday and today actually).

Fort Fisher Aquarium


Do you know this girl? I used to. This is me on St. Patrick’s Day 2010. This is a little over a month before I got pregnant with my first child and I was still very new in my relationship with my now husband. This is a genuinely happy smile of a young woman (aged 29) who has been through a divorce, left grad school, moved half way across the country (ALONE), suffered a bad relationship, quit her job, met a guy, started grad school again and is truly in love with herself and her life.

I was teaching fitness classes for 8 hours a week when this photo was taken. I had lost all of the weight from my depressing first marriage. I was happy, healthy, and had the whole world in front of me. I was excelling at school and working on a research project. I had a boyfriend who made me happy and I was okay with life. This is where I want to be, but with my Master’s, a husband, two kids, a new house, and a million part time jobs.

So, like I said the other day, I am going to start with the physical and here is how I am going to get there. First, I am going to practice my yoga EVERY DAY! I am reading a great book by Amy Weintraub called Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga. I am not reading it to find out how to solve my depression. I actually checked it out at the library to help write the Yoga Manual for NETA that I’ve been working on since September last year. I figured I’d just give it a great read while I still had time on my loan. Something I read on the plane today really resonated with me and that is that I can do something every day and it will change me. It can change me in the moment by redirecting me or giving me new purpose or focus. It will change me overall as it can help me to give up negative self-talk and addictions over time.

I was over at Fit, Feminist and (almost) Fifty again the other day and read about how Tracy has broken up with chocolate. Chocolate of all things! Can you imagine the liberation?! I keep a bag of chocolate chips in the freezer for the daily handful(s) to help me through. Wow! How amazing would it be if I didn’t feel the urge to shove some mini morsels in my mouth every day? I want my yoga practice to do that for me. I want to do that for myself.

Second, I am not going to limit myself. I don’t like the words “going on a diet” because you have nowhere to go but OFF. I refuse to limit myself to “good foods” and to label any food as bad. I will just be more mindful in all of my daily choices from food to drink to activity and even how I socialize. I found myself the other night trading one bad habit for another. My husband went out to dinner with his brother as kind of a preemptive “reward” for watching this kids this weekend while I’m out of town. Okay, okay, I know that’s a bad way to put it, but it’s honestly how he sees it. Anywho, while he was out to dinner enjoying a 6 course wine tasting meal I was at home trading my choco chip face stuffing habit for binging on blog reading. I’m not going to limit myself to x amount of time in front of the computer, but I’m already good about not watching tv hardly ever, so I’m going to try to be more conscious about not trading one bad habit for another.

Thirdly, I am going to keep myself accountable. I am going to try and enjoy the journey (Thank you Lisa) by keeping track of who I am and what I’m accomplishing along the way. Another blog I like to read Mommy Shorts, has a little contest going on right now where you should be rewarding your self by taking pics of you with your kids and the chance to win a new camera.  This is similar to the Dove Love your Selfie campaign that is going on on the Today show. I am hardly in any photos with my kids because no one thinks to take them of us and I have started to hide behind the camera. I am going to take and post more photos of myself and my progress. I refuse to hide from who I am.

My little fireman

This was me the other night with Ike. He’s big into trains and firetrucks and other boy things right now. There was a small leaf fire in a neighbor’s backyard and my husband snapped this photo of us watching the fire trucks. After I saw it last night I almost cried. This is a girl with a fake smile who is not happy with where she is at. When I look at this picture I feel sad. I don’t even see the cute and so funny little boy who has helped to make my heart complete.

Benchmarking is kind of like goal setting, but gives you a place to track a little more. I was going to post some pics of me in the past and how I’d like to look like parts of those previous selves. However, I think it’s much more important for me to measure my success not by my waist size. So, here are the benchmarks for 2014 that I can measure regularly:
-Stick with the yoga daily
-Complete 1000 miles of walking or running
-Take pictures regularly that are a real representation of who I am and what my life is

As I go to save this post I am taking my last shallow breath. I’m going to let it out slowly to make sure that all of the negativity goes with it. When I wake up tomorrow to teach yoga all day, I will first make time for myself and my yoga practice. When I get done with this post I will walk around to make better choices with my time. When I am done teaching tomorrow I will go for my run and explore Memphis. When I end this year I will be three steps closer to being whole again.

How will you measure your 2014?