Category Archives: exercising

Runner Bucket List

I remember when I took up running–eeking out those first few steps on the Wii Fit.  They were hard.  And worth it.

It is still hard.  And still worth it.

When I ran those first steps, I never dreamed how important running would become to me.  I never dreamed how the Lord would use it to teach me about Himself.  How He would use it every day to remind me what a powerful, loving, constant God He is.

Last night, I put a few of my thoughts in a video.  It is not very flattering of me, but honestly, it is meant to be flattering toward God, not toward me.

 

Those thoughts, about the Lord and the gift He has given me goes through my mind at least once on every run.  Today,  I formed a few other thoughts that I would never have even thought to piece together when I was taking those first steps in running.  I started to think about Running Bucket Lists.

I started with a 5k.  Next, I did a 10k.  Followed by running across the Mackinac Bridge.  Next month I am going to do my first 10k in a long time to celebrate my Birthday, and then in June, I am so excited to be running a 10k on Mackinac Island.  I suspect the crowning jewel in my running adventures will be a half marathon in September.  Nestled in there is something I never considered doing, but now think every runner should do at least once–a marathon relay race.

Today I had the privilege to run the 4th leg out of 5 with a group of women.  It was extremely nerve-wracking leading up to the race to have other people depending on how well I did, but ultimately, it pushed me to train harder and then definitely run harder during my leg earlier this morning.

Turns out I ran so hard I popped a blood vessel in my eye, but it was worth it.

When God Changes a Mind

All to the Glory of God–that is why I blog and share my story so openly.  I want others to know it is possible to live and parent well with mental illness.  This, by necessity, causes my posts to be brutally honest, and that is not always pretty.
I have always endeavored to live by the verse 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Back in August hubby and I noticed my heart rate had gone down significantly, like the low 40s.  It continued to be so at a number of doctor appointments–and this was all before I started running again.

Then a few months ago, my breathing started to cause some issues every once in a while.  It got more than a little bothersome.  And a little concerning.  One of my care providers took notice and the tests started.  I had an EKG on the spot–which showed the low heart rate–and then a slew of bloodwork.  This was followed up with another doctor appointment, another EKG showing a low heart rate, a heart ultrasound, a 24 heart monitor, another EKG, and a nuclear stress test.

In all of this, I had a lot of fear.  Not of what they would find, but that they would find nothing. I’ve had my share of opportunities to be a medical mystery and I was terrified that would happen again.  Really, really scared.  And scared of the shortness of breath.  My doctor had told me I could run if my breathing would tolerate it, but it ended up curtailed.  I ended up frustrated and scared.

All of the tests are now done.  I went today and got the results; it was a glowing report.  My heart is in great shape.  It recovered beautifully from everything done during the stress test.  The ultrasound showed the heart muscle is in great shape. Blood is flowing really well.

I had stressed my need to run at my first appointment with the cardiologist and did so again today.  He said it is absolutely safe for me to run.

Before the appointment, I had asked the few people who knew about the situation to pray for a solution to it, no matter what it was.  I was still so scared of getting no answers.  As I waited for the doctor to come in, I sat on the table begging and pleading with God for this doctor to know exactly what was going on.  I begged like crazy.  As I sat there pleading, I heard the Lord say, in my spirit, not out loud, “that may not be my plan, wait for it, trust me.”  I ignored what I heard.  It wasn’t what I wanted.  It wasn’t what made sense to me.  Plus, I was too worked up to hear that. And trust isn’t my strong suit.  Trust is too scary.  It takes too much out of my hands.  But I knew I heard it and it stuck there no matter how much I begged for my way.

As the doctor spoke, my brain whispered, “but you’re not getting any answers.  What happens now?”  But the bigger words were those of the doctor.  The words he was using to tell me how healthy I was–how strong my heart was.  I heard him tell me it was okay to run.  He told me my low heart rate was no issue, how it would probably get even lower as I train for my half marathon next year.

And I was okay.  Where there had been fear at not having an answer, there was now joy and even excitement and a knowledge that in a moment the Lord had reached down and changed my heart.  He had stepped in where I thought I knew best and put his best.  And it was amazing.  How many people get the opportunity handed to them as they are training for a half marathon to find out their heart is in great condition and can stand the work set before it?  What a gift I was given over the last six weeks.

Yes, there are still questions.  And I plan on following up with my doctor to get my lungs checked out, but for now, I have been given an early Christmas present and I am going to receive it with open arms.

Psalm 29:11

The Lord gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

 

Tooting My Own Horn

I have shouted it on my Facebook status.  I have shouted it in Facebook groups.  I have texted it all over the world.

I ran 3.1 miles (5k) without stopping last night for the first time in a few years.

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And that was after walking a mile.

2015-01-22 20.07.57My legs felt okay this morning, until I did my 21 day fix dirty 30 workout.  That dude is killer and now,  feel every muscle I have ever used!!!  But I did it.  I am back to running!!!

 

 

Not Sleek But Me

I have really turned up the exercise lately.  Truly, it is that and not the medications that are getting me through the hard days, it is the sweat and work.

I am starting to understand why people say “skip the meds, I’ll just wing it.”  But that is another post, so back to exercise.

I am pretty in love with exercise programs put out by Beachbody (Insanity, P90x, PiYo, and others).  Each one offers you the challenge of getting a free shirt if you send them before and after photos and complete the program.

I finally did it!

PiYo.  I owned it, except the days it owned me, but we’ll pretend those days I owned it too, mkay?

Here is me in my free shirt.  I wish I were more sleek but for now I am an extra curvy curvy girl.

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Bit By Bit Step By Step

If you’ve been reading a while, which I hope you have, you know I used to run.  Not fast, most of you could walk faster than I run, but to me, it was running.

Then a medication messed it all up.  I know that sounds lame, how could a medication stop me from running, but it did.  It caused muscle weakness at my extremely high dose.  My doctor had warned me it was a distinct possibility but I didn’t believe him.  Until the day, I was forced to admit, my legs were too weak to run anymore.

The irony?  Running was my main weapon against the Bipolar Disorder.  I would repeat to myself, on a bad day, “outrun the demons.”  And then, the very thing it helped, stole it from me.  I went from training for a half marathon to running maybe two or three sidewalk squares.

Talk about demoralizing.

I got off the medication and I thought, okay, running would come back easily.  It had been somewhat easy after my second and third pregnancies, why would now be different?  But it was.  I didn’t see any progress AT ALL.  I would run inches and have to stop.  My mind would shout at me, “YOU USED TO DO 10 MILES AT A TIME.  YOU WILL NEVER BE A RUNNER AGAIN.”

So, I would quit.  Again and Again.

But today, I went for a walk.  I got up my nerve to try a bit of running.  It felt good.  Over the course of my 2 mile walk, I ran a half mile.  Not much, but enough.  I am so excited.  I am very motivated.  I can’t wait to get out there again.  I’m dreaming again.  I’m thinking about races in September.

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I really want to search for races right now and commit to it.  But I’m scared.  What if I don’t get there and I waste my money?  What if I’m not as far along as I think I am?  What if one of my many current medications sabotages me again?  My mind is not being nice about signing up, making a commitment.

What would you do?  Would you sign up now hoping it will motivate you?  Or do you play it safe and wait until you can run the entire 3.1 miles to sign up?

It’s Getting Real Here Folks

I have packed on a lot of pounds.

I could list off so many excuses.  And I will concede to one.  Some of the psychiatric medications I was on caused hunger.  I didn’t believe it was the meds, but I recently went off depakote and was shocked at how much my appetite immediately decreased.  I dropped 3 lbs.

I have a lot more of than that to lose.  Like 15 times that.

Ugh.

I hate how I look.  I hate how I feel in this body.  It preys on my mind.  I feel horrible about myself.

And as I mentioned to a friend and my hubby, the worst part of feeling fat and ugly as a parent is the guilt over how you are teaching your children to eat, so now you feel fat, ugly and guilty.

So far my girls are all very healthy and strong,  but if my eating is making me fat, what will it eventually do to them?  I can’t face doing that to them.

The time to change is now.

I have successfully lost weight on weight watchers twice.  The second time I added a lot of exercise and it was phenomenal.

So I got back on the treadmill yesterday and today.  Now on to the food.  The best part of weight watchers is the fact that fruits and veggies are not restricted and there is a huge proliferation of recipes to be had.

Here we go.

I have started a pinterest board with recipes that look good, I am exercising and using the fooducate application on my phone to try and make good choices.

This is my before…

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Please pray, wish good luck to us as we undertake this overhaul.  It will truly be a big change, especially for my picky eaters–Sue and Patrice.  I know they won’t like it, but I have battled my weight since fifth grade and I just can’t set them up to do the same.  I have to be strong and smart for my girls.

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(They weren’t that in to getting their picture taken.  Sigh)

Now off to more menu planning and cleaning this house…anybody want to come over and help with that cleaning part so I can continue to obsess over eating choices???  Anyone…at all???

Hodge Podge of Thanks 382 -400

This week’s Multitude Monday’s is going to start with a story about Patrice and climbing and showers and cinnamon rolls.

Yesterday, Patrice woke up with quite the runny nose, so she and I stayed home from church. I hate the thought of being that mom who brings their child to nursery only to make all the other kids sick, so we stayed home. I straightened up the kitchen and then decided to enjoy a leisurely shower.

Patrice is a climber, but I thought I had everything blocked off.

I was wrong.

I come out of my shower refreshed to find a little girl on a chair at the counter, finishing off two, count them two, cinnamon rolls from Ikea, a dum dum sucker she found in her sister’s Valentine’s Day candy bag, and a sleeve of saltine crackers.

She handed me what was left of the rolls and crackers, the sucker, which she had unwrapped and was eating properly, was hers!

My dum dum sucker. I opened it, I'm eating it

That was at about 11:30 am. Patrice did not eat again until 8 pm. All offers of food were turned down!

382 (112). Nice hot showers
383 (113). Little girl surprises after said shower
384 (114). Little girls strong and healthy enough to get into trouble
385 (115). Wonderful weekends meeting new friends
386 (116). Comfortably wearing a size 8 pair of jeans for the first time in 8 years
387 (117). Pretty new shirts
388 (118). Lovely paintings around my home that were painted by my mother-in-law
389 (119). Friends, on-line and in the flesh
390 (120). New projects at work.
391 (121). Understanding new projects at work
392 (122). Meetings at work getting postponed when I am not ready to handle them
393 (123). Yummy cucumber water
394 (124). Worrying about getting my workouts in, rather than getting out of my wheelchair
395 (125). Talking about running 1/2 marathons instead of learning how to walk again after an MS attack
396 (126). Buying me a punching bag for exercise rather than making sure our house is handicap accessible
397 (127). New medications working
398 (128). Side effects subsiding
399 (129). Colorful rice
400 (130). Being able to pray again.

For what are you thankful?

Running Like Crazy

UPDATE–I FINISHED THE WHOLE CHALLENGE A DAY EARLY!!!!!!!

I know it has been quiet here on the blog…

As you may know from twitter and facebook, I have been running, and crunching and pushing up and biking and insanitying like crazy.  All in the name of a fitness challenge…I know I keep talking about it.  I love it,  but man, it is taking up a lot of time lately.  Thankfully my dear hubby is very supportive of my fitness work.  He has done most of the parenting and family stuff so I can run, ride, crunch, all of it.  Only 2 1/2 more days. 

300 crunches, 5 miles running and 72 minutes other activity (Insanity workout) to go…It is a crazy balmy day for the first day of winter here in the mitten so I am even hoping to get outside to run tonight.  I don’t prefer running in the dark, but I don’t want to miss the chance to be able to say I ran outside in the mitten the week of Christmas.

So please bear with me for a few more days as all I talk about is working out…

I promise I will share pictures of our Christmas tree, as soon as we get a computer up and running at home…

Merry Christmas!

Weight Loss Wednesdays Week 3

Time for my last chance workout before I do my weigh in.  Here’s hoping this week is better than last.  But regardless, I am proud of how hard I am working.

I am up to consistently running 5k on the treadmill.  A few weeks ago, I thought I would never get to that distance on the treadmill.  It is amazing how much further you can go if you cover up the display on the machine.  Watching the time and distance makes it feel like you aren’t making any progress at all!  Covering it up and then telling myself I can’t peak until a commercial on tv really helps.  I am then pleased with my progress toward the goal, rather than sure I will never make it.

I did 10 miles again this week on the treadmill.  I only have 50 situps left in the challenge (total to be done is 500).  I still have a lot of pushups to do.  Those babies are hard!  Doing 5 sets of 10 makes my muscles hurt for a couple days!  That’s a good thing, right?

I’m hoping to run a 5k this weekend with my sister.  (Hear that kids, if you get over your colds, we can go see Grandma with two doggies).

How are you doing on your goals?  Do you have a weight loss and an exercise goal?  Or just one or the other?  I am finding it helpful to have both so even if one doesn’t go so well, I have hope of doing well with the other!

Wish me luck with my workout and weigh in. I’ll be back later to do an update 🙂  See how others are doing too.

A Fit and Fab Giveaway from Worthy of the Prize Ministries

I was doing some blog hopping today to tell some bloggy friends about this award I gave them.  And I found this giveaway.

As you know I have been trying various things to keep myself mentally and physically fit.  I have been running and doing Jillian Michaels 30 day shred.  I have also been doing a twitter project reading a chapter of Proverbs every day to match the date.  I was wondering if there are other ways to blend my physical health with my spiritual health.  Worthy of the Prize Ministries has figured it out! 

See what they are giving away here and check out their site here.