Monthly Archives: December 2012

Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen week 7


Running-RoadThis week’s post is a little different from my usual weekly write-ups. While out on our Saturday run Alicia declared that I am officially a runner. Curious as to what makes someone a “runner”? So was I. So have no fear, we came up with a top-ten style list. On that note I present to you…

The Top 10 Reasons Kathleen Is Now A Runner
A.K.A. – how my life is 180 degrees different than it was a year ago

10. You pack your running shoes on vacation.
This summer I went to California for two weeks. I packed my sneakers in hopes that I could keep up with my workouts. Not only did I keep up, but I ran almost every morning and guess what? Some of my favorite memories from my trip were those runs!

9. You spend more money on race fees than bar tabs.
I’ve learned that races are addicting, but costly. The feeling after finishing a race = always worth it. The feeling after waking up with a hangover from said bar tab = not always worth it.  Road races -1, bar tabs -0.

8. You’ve run in all weather conditions.
Heat wave, slippery leaves, rain, snow- I’ve officially run in every element. And guess what? I survived them all. When I started running I figured that I would end things once it got cold, but here it is, mid-December, and I’m still out there!

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7. Your closet contains more running clothes than regular clothes. 
Slowly but surely, my workout wardrobe is taking over my dresser and closet. But considering that I am wearing it 6 days a week there’s always an excuse to buy more. A girl’s gotta have options for what to sweat in, right?! And I’m not even ashamed to admit that not only do I own spandex running pants… but they are my absolute favorite piece of clothing.

photo-3And perpetuating the issue of too many clothes…

6. You get excited to buy new workout gear.
Besides running my other new favorite pastime is buying new gear. Fitted capris, tank tops, 1/4 zip jackets… I can’t get enough! Every day I feel like there’s some new fitness item that I add to my wish list.  And I’m embarrassed to admit how much I’ve been drooling at the thought of my next pair of running shoes.

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Like a kid in a candy store…

5. You’ve crossed the road “on the fly.”
I’m still a little unclear about what this means- but apparently I did it, and it’s what “real runners” do. So that’s awesome.
Alicia clarifies: Kathleen crossed the road without stopping at a corner, looking both ways, pressing the cross walk light, and waiting for it to turn. Meaning she crossed the road,  not at a corner, when there were no cars coming just so she could keep her pace during her run. By doing this she gave up the convenient opportunity to get a break and stop to wait for the light.

4. You use running as a stress relief.
When you’ve had a long day at work, a fight with your significant other, or just an overall crappy day – how do you deal with it? For the first time in my life when I’m in a bad mood, all I want to do is run. Some of my best thinking has been done in my running shoes. Another plus? The end result is a whole lot better than it would have been if I decided to sit in front of the TV and stuff my face instead.

running_is_cheaper_than_therapy

3. You inspire and motivate others to run.
This one is Alicia’s. I don’t know how much I “inspire and motivate,” I actually think that people just say to themselves, “if THAT girl can do it, obviously I can.” Either way, I like having friends to run with. And I sure as hell have been inspired and motivated by those who have welcomed me into this crazy little world 🙂

2. You’ve run an entire 5K.
I realize that for some runners a 5K is a small accomplishment. And maybe at some point I’ll look back and think it is too. But Thanksgiving morning when I began that 5K and didn’t stop running until I crossed the finish line? Most. Amazing. Feeling. EVER.

1. You actually enjoy running.
I never, ever, EVER thought I would hear myself say these words. There is actually a documented conversation with one of my best friends where I said “I will never be a runner.” But guess what? I am now, and I like it. Turns out I was wrong. But of all things to be wrong about, I’ll take it 😀

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# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: only 2! (And those 2 were TOTALLY worth it)
# of days I logged my meals: not every meal every day…but at least one meal every day this week is pretty good?
# of times I ate chicken: 2
# of “real” pushups: there’s no such thing as “modified” pushups in my diet anymore 🙂

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 6


Stepping-Outside-Your-Comfort-ZoneComfort zone? What comfort zone? Half way through her 12 week program and Kathleen continues to redefine her comfort zone and she gets welcomed into a pretty exclusive club…

After my mini rant/breakdown last week I gave myself a few hours to complain and be upset. I vented, I cried, I rechecked the scale. And then- I got over it because honestly I have no time to sit around and complain. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve got goals to meet here!

In trying to find ways to make my next meeting more positive, Maisie and I decided that I would get back into logging my meals with My Fitness Pal (who has been anything BUT a pal lately). As tedious as the process is, it’s been a good way to keep myself in check this week. I know that I’m not going to spend the rest of my life logging every little thing I eat, so I’m willing to stick it out in the meantime.

Part of the frustration last week came from the fact that since I have been running so much lately, I couldn’t understand how their wasn’t enough cardio in my diet to be making a big enough impact on the scale. One would think that running these nice 2 mile routes every few days would be doing the trick. Turns out that the easier running is getting for me, the less of an impact it’s having on my weight loss. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far? If you want to meet your goals, you have to be willing to move outside of your comfort zone.

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Crappy quality picture, but it was wicked early and my fingers were frozen

Enter interval training. Those nice, “easy” miles I had been “running” (ok, fine, jogging) needed a swift kick in the butt. Moving out of my comfort zone apparently meant meeting Alicia at the beach before the sun rose (did I mention the temperature was pretty close to freezing?). 30 minutes later and a combination of running and jogging up and down the beach and I was having flashbacks to being 40 pounds heavier and just starting out. It was terrible.

The funny thing is that after I recovered later that day, I found myself researching articles about interval running, weight loss, and becoming a better runner in general. Maisie had suggested a sports nutritionist who I might find interesting, so I downloaded one of her books and started reading it. Did I find it fascinating? Yes. Did it make me step back and think about my eating/training? Absolutely. My apologies for throwing out a completely sappy cliche – but I’m really starting to understand that the journey is far more important than the destination. The weight loss is fantastic (and what got me here in the first place), but this “Kathleen” that I’m beginning to unravel? She’s an even greater discovery. As it turns out, I really like exercising, running and pushing my body to new limits. Suddenly I have new friends who share the same interests, my wish list of fitness items is growing, and I’m already dreaming of my next pair of running sneakers. I feel like I’ve been let into a club that I wanted to be part of for so long. Every time a runner passes me and waves, the girl inside me gets a little giddy: I’m officially “one of them” 😀

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Welcome to the “Club” Kathleen

# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: 3! Second week in a row… are we on a downward trend here?
# of days I logged my meals:
6. Painful, but I did it.
# of times I ate chicken:
4
# of “real” pushups:
I’ve forgotten what “fake” pushups even look like at this point!!

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Sorry again for the crappy quality picture, but a little sneak peak into what those not “real” pushups looked like. Let’s just say, they weren’t pretty and we won’t be seeing them again.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 5


Week 5 brought some new challenges that Kathleen wasn’t expecting, as life often does… How do you deal with challenges and obstacles in your life?

It’s a common misconception that when things are going great- they’re going to continue on that trend. When you’re chugging along, picking up steam and liking the results why WOULDN’T this path just continue? Seems logical, right?

Turns out- thinking that way will only get you so far. No matter how awesome the road ahead of you seems to be going, there’s going to be turns, twists and bumps. There will be obstacles, and situations that make you throw up your hands and say “I’m done.” But how you stop and handle them is where your greatness can really shine through.

michael jordan

Let’s take it back to Thanksgiving. The alarm went off at 5:30 am for my last 5K of the season and I woke up feeling different. I wasn’t as nervous (aka I didn’t almost throw up my pre race English Muffin) as I had been for my previous races and I felt almost, dare I say… excited?

While this was my fourth 5K since September, I had yet to run an entire race from beginning to end. The “hitting the wall” that people refer to when talking about running would happen somewhere between mile 2 and 3, and there seemed to be nothing that I could do to stop it. But as with my pushup situation, this just wasn’t acceptable to me anymore. So for the last few weeks I’ve been putting in the extra effort, running with the AHB group, and I knew that my running had gotten stronger. That morning I was determined to give it all I had. I set a good pace, I had a great playlist in my ears, and I soon found myself enjoying the route and the company of other runners. Mile 2 passed, and I was shocked at how great I still felt. The realization that this might actually happen set in and the adrenaline took over. Mile 2 turned into mile 3 and before I knew it, my sneakers were crossing the finish line. Prior to this moment, just the fact that I was entering these races was a phenomenal feeling. And now that I had just pushed myself to complete something that 6 months ago seemed absolutely impossible? It could be the greatest feeling I’ve ever experienced. It took all my willpower to not bear hug the poor sweaty soul next to me at the finish line. (They should probably be pretty thankful for that.)

Riding my runner's high :)

Riding my runner’s high 🙂

I continued to ride this high for the rest of my long weekend. And by ride, I actually mean run because I went for a run again on Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday. 10 miles in 4 days? I’m sorry, but who kidnapped Kathleen and replaced her with this girl? And despite the fact that it was a holiday weekend of family, friends, and eating I went into my Monday meeting with Maisie feeling pretty confident. That is until the scale showed that I had only lost 1 pound. The high I had been running off of from Thursday disappeared in a cloud of frustration. This back and forth business is disappointing, annoying and is beginning to make me wonder how much more I can take.

At this point I can take one of two paths. I can say, “This is as good as it’s going to get” and accept my body the way it is now (which, don’t get my wrong, I’m incredibly proud of). Or I can take a timeout, work through the positives and negatives of the past week, and learn from my experiences. This journey isn’t just a 12 week quick fix – it’s a life change. And therefore not all of the obstacles I face are going to fit nice and neatly into one box of answers.

So I’m putting this all into perspective. I’ve already accomplished some amazing things. I look and feel like a completely different person from a year ago. I’m making changes that I know will have a lifelong impact. And despite the occasional bumps such as this one, I wake up every day incredibly proud of myself. Even rockstars have less than stellar performances once in a while. It’s only human. But how they pick themselves back up shows how truly great they are 🙂

Ashley Simpson post getting caught lip-syncing on SNL

Ashley Simpson post getting caught lip-syncing on SNL… see even Rockstars (if she can be considered that) have bad days!

# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: 3! Apparently behavior modification charts DO work?!
# of days I logged my meals: 0. Factor to look into regarding my 1 pound loss?
# of times I ate chicken: 2
# of “real pushups”: Too many to count! Woohoo!

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com

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Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 4


Kathleen faces down measurement week and continues to discover all of the different ways to measure progress.

Ahh, measurement week…

20121206-065110.jpgA necessary but nerve wracking event. I knew I had been working hard the last few weeks, but there’s nothing worse than psyching yourself up for disappointment. The good news? I was anything BUT disappointed. The inches are still melting away (Where DO they go, Nikki and Alicia?!). I’m down another 4 pounds and are you ready for the best part? Ready? READY?

I. am. NORMAL!!!!

Not obese, not overweight, just plain old average/mediocre/normal body fat percentage. “What’s up now? Not this girl’s body fat, that’s for sure!” I’m pretty sure I spent the rest of the week reminding myself of this at every opportunity possible. Every mirror I passed, every pair of pants I put on, every workout I finished a little voice in my head said “You rock, normal girl!” Who knew that being just plain old average could feel THIS good?

I feel as though I am at a point where I need to insert a disclaimer. I realize that so far my posts may be making this seem like one easy, breezy road. So let me be clear: not every day is a piece of cake. There are days when I am ready to throw the heaviest weight possible at Alicia and walk out the door. When I’m running against the freezing cold wind on a COMPLETELY empty beach I think to myself “What the hell am I doing out here?” In a moment of weakness a meal consisting entirely of several types of cheese and cupcakes sounds like a perfectly good idea.

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Hello… Anyone out there? Nope, just me, running all alone

The difference between the girl I was back then, and the girl that I am today is that before I’d quickly give into those thoughts. “Stay in bed, you deserve it!” “You’re right- it’s WAY too cold to run today.” “Indulge yourself, we’ll make it up tomorrow.” And now? I’ve worked far too hard to stop and give up this easily. I know I’ll regret a night of careless eating, but I’ve never once regretted a workout. I’ve never come back from a run and thought, “well that was a terrible idea.” I feel stronger. I feel braver. This is my life, and it’s completely in my hands.

On that note (at the time I’m writing this), Thanksgiving is a week away. A holiday that revolves around food and indulging, excellent. Conveniently, this little experiment is going to take me through ALL of the holidays (Thank youuu Alicia). So if there is ever a time to test my strength and motivation, this is it. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous. I read a magazine article the other day that said that the average American will gain .08 pounds over the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. While that seems pretty miniscule, it’s .08 pounds more than I’m willing to sacrifice. Maisie and I are making plans to prepare me for success, but to not feel like I’m sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else enjoy themselves. So bring it on, Thanksgiving. At least all the turkey will break up my chicken meals for awhile 😉

# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: Only 4! (documented, anyways)…Does this mean I could be close to ENJOYING this?!?!

# of days I logged my meals: 3

# of times I ate chicken: 4

# of “real” pushups: 5? 6? It’s quite possible that my pushups outnumber my eye rolls this week!

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

www.AHealthyBalanceInc.com

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