Sunday, July 28, 2013


Hey! It's your Slactastic-Blueprint-Changer!  Sheesh, sorry for the blog delay (for those of you holding your breath).  A much needed vacation followed by having family in town for this weekend we're in now has been in my way of a good old blog post.  Got some great stuff for you today, though, and some pics, of course. :)

OK, so where to start?  How about at the beginning sort of and then I'll jump around some?

July 15th I started a new program, called Focus T25.  I am blessed to be connected to Nate, a trainer I claim as my own, even though he lives in Florida.  Nate is a Beachbody coach and fitness expert (he owns Underground Fitness Revolution, an awesome training gym in Alachua, FL, in addition to Renegade Nate Fitness, Coaching & Consulting - click here for Nate's Website).

What I appreciate about Nate is that he doesn't mince words, he has a strong and unashamed faith in Christ and he practices what he preaches (except for desserts - lol - but he has a six pack so he's allowed to eat more dessert than me).  He's solidly concerned about his clients getting results and he does not allow for petty excuses. 

Let me give you some history on how I connected with a trainer in Alachua, Florida when I haven't lived or worked in that area since 2010.

As you might recall, in December/January/February I started in a challenge group on Facebook that Nate created and at that time was doing Turbo Fire and running multiple days of the week.  I enjoyed the program and definitely saw results in January once my nutrition got straight.  Nate has always preached the "protein, produce, healthy fats" eating plan, so when he posted a link about Whole 30, I got excited and did my first Whole 30 in February, having NO idea what would happen.

The Whole 30/Paleo way of eating has COMPLETELY revolutionized eating in my heart and mind.  I am no longer a slave to my cravings, yet I eat what I want to.  My wants are radically different than they ever used to be, as I eat so clean most "junk" will make me feel like that, junk.  And who wants to feel like junk?  Not this chick.  Doesn't hurt one bit that since December I've lost a little over 39 pounds.  I'm giving nutrition MOST of the credit here.  Learn more about the Whole 30 here.  Just a side parents started their first Whole 30 on July 1st. I'm SOOO excited that they are both losing weight and winning the food battle.  Planning to interview them via skype later this week to post for you all so we can share their results and you can hear from someone other than yours truly that this plan is amazing!  First step?  BUY THE BOOK.  Here's the link on Amazon:  BUY It Starts With Food.

My vacation started simultaneously with Focus T25!  It's an intense, 25 minute workout 4 days a week, and a double-up workout (50 minutes) on Friday.  Every Saturday is Staturday where you do your weight, measurements, etc.  There is a Facebook page for accountability with people from all over.  I love posting and reading the posts of everyone's daily workouts.  They are taught by Shaun T. (the Insanity guy) and let me tell you, I am DRENCHED after each 25 minute workout.  I really am enjoying the program and am sure it will get me further down the road towards my weight loss goals.  Trying to run here and there as well without overdoing it.  If you're interested in T25 send me a message and I can hook you up with Nate to be your coach, etc.

The first official day of vacation I got to meet the incredible folks who have been encouraging me all of this time.

L to R, bottom row: Nate, Barbara.  Back row: Angela, Clara, Karen, Eliana.
It was amazing to meet these folks as they have ALL had a hand in my success thus far this year.  From challenging me, to supporting me, to checking in on me.  I feel like I've known them forever even though we just officially met week before last.  Was so awesome to put humans with my Facebook friends!  I rely on these folks SO much and many of them are in the new T25 challenge with me as well.

I stayed really close to Whole 30 on vacation.  I had two intentional treats and enjoyed EVERY bite of them.  First was frozen custard.  If you've never had it, you might not want to try it.  It's like the northern version of ice cream or frozen yogurt but SOOO much yummier.  I had it for the first time several years ago in Wisconsin and have been a fan of it ever since, but hardly ever find it in the southern states.  Well...on Amelia Island, where we spent a few days on vacation, they had it at a wonderful ice cream store.  It was so amazing and so worth it.  Actually did not experience any weird side effects from it either which was a bit of a surprise. So good.  The next treat I had were some amazing crab cakes from the Karibrew cafe in Fernandina Beach. They had melted brie and a cranberry chutney on them.  Holy moly.  Another "worth every bite" experience.

Interesting part?  I lost 2 lbs while on vacation.  I did not miss a workout and made sure my eating was on track, including veggies at breakfast just about every day (which is hard when you're traveling!). I made some of my own food at my mother in law's house and had plenty of protein, fruit and veggies to snack on.  I avoided alot of processed junk and I'm so glad I stayed mostly on track. I also found an awesome cafe/health food store on the island that made us some amazing really healthy food - and they carried kombucha! Yeah!

Here's a few pics from my trip:

Me and the family at Amelia Island.  Beautiful weather for the few days we were there.

Typical breakfast for me - leftover veggies from the night before (brussel sprouts salad - this one with spicy chicken sausage) with two eggs scrambled.

Chicken salad with diced apple, curry, garlic and sea salt topped with toasted almonds and coconut and a side of fresh GA peaches.

Same chicken salad (on sort of a kick here) and my favorite veggie, sugar snap peas topped with coconut oil, and toasted almonds/coconut.

Me and my wee one at Fort Clinch.

So I am loving T25.  I've completed 2 weeks and here are my stats:

4lbs since 7/15/13
2 inches off my waist
1 inch off my chest
1/2 inch off each arm
1.5 inch off right thigh and 1 off of left thigh

I can REALLY see a visible difference in my thighs (holla!!!) so I was excited to see the tape measure agreed with what the mirror and my shorts were saying.  Hoping that keeps up.  The Alpha phase of the T25 is 5 weeks, then the Beta phase is next and that's another 5 weeks.  I can see myself really meeting my fitness goals with this program and continued, on point nutrition.

Bottom line - if you don't eat right, you will NOT achieve your fitness results.  Period.  Until you're ready to change your nutrition, you are not ready to get fit.  I would honestly say don't even bother looking for healthy weight loss unless you are eating right.  It's not going to happen. And just eating less processed crap isn't going to get you there permanently either.  It's a lifestyle change, and not one you can stop and start when it's convenient.  I love that I don't track the first calorie, point, or whatever, I just eat the right balance of foods and the weight is coming off. I'm never starving and rarely crave anything other people are eating.

My food issues are still in the healing process, but I'll venture to say they are almost there.  This, after 34 years of struggling with it, and 4 years of trying to figure it out, is an amazing thing to be able to say.

Oh - in 1.4 pounds (when I reach 185) I will buy myself a fitbit for fun.  I love being able to see activity, etc. and I do not plan on starting a food log again, though I might do it for a week for fun just to see.

Will keep you all posted on how I'm doing! Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you in any way to get started.  My best advice, in case you're wondering and don't want to ask, is you have to get there with your head first.  When you're really, truly read to DO HARD THINGS then ask me questions.  Until then, it will be a waste of time for us both.

Because this has really been hard...until I got used to it. Then it got really easy and that's where I'm at right now.  Good place to be...

Ending with a pic for you to enjoy, pre church this morning:

Ignore the weird armpit fat...but check out the forearms!  lol.  :D

Happy week to you all!!!


Thursday, July 4, 2013


So today was the big day!  Stephen, my husband, put the last two months of training to the test in his first 5k race!  The 4th of July Firecracker Road Race in our little town, Wrightsville, Georgia.  GREAT benefit of running a local 5k is how familiar you are with the streets and the town overall.

We ran a route I've run a hundred times, that includes a few killer hills.  Fortunately I saw the 5k turnaround marker on the road from last year's race so we have trained on those hills.  There is nothing like running a race on a path you know! That almost never happens.  I literally can look out my front window of my house and see the starting line.

Here's me before the race (forgot to get any other race pics - sorry!)  I love this running shirt.  Didn't have anything patriotic to wear, so I went with being a hot pink/gray ninja today.

The race was fairly crowded, and the weather overcast and in the 70s.  What a blessing for a July race, where without our recent precipitation might have been in the 90s even at 8am.  We set off running and immediately I realized I was going too fast.  Stephen was comfortable and looked at me - I told him to go on ahead.  He can't help that he's 6'0 and 165 and I'm 5'6 and carrying around 188 pounds.  He took off and I paced myself down to around an 11:30 - 12:00 min mile pace.  I knew this wasn't going to be a PR (personal record) day - my PR for a 5k is 32:16.  But given I had been struggling with my IT Band syndrome in my knee for the last few months, I just wanted to be able to finish before it debilitated me.  See, around mile 2.00 - 2.50 my knee has been giving out completely and I am left to limp home.  Also, I had not run in a week.  Over the weekend I indulged in some pizza and ice cream and it took me 4 days to heal my gut enough to even exercise.  Yesterday I lifted weights.  But this would be my first cardio in a week!  I had wanted to get one speed session in before today, but it didn't happen (don't worry - learned my lesson about the pizza!).

I was determined to finish this race, and honestly completely fine with Stephen being faster than me, but I did NOT want to stop and walk due to my knee.  So I prayed.  And some friends were praying for me as well.

As I watched Stephen's bright red shirt disappear ahead of me, I focused on the road.  I know this road well - and was enjoying running in the middle of the street vs. the sidewalk where I normally run.  The sidewalk is actually pretty dangerous, lots of dips and cracks and overall uneven.  I focused on my music and my pace, and ignored the throngs of people who sped out from the starting line like firecrackers.  I knew I would be seeing some of them again. {insert evil laugh here}

As I got to the 1 mile point, I saw the race's winner who had already doubled back.  I love seeing these super fast people.  It is encouraging to see the race would have an end.  Even if I was THAT far behind him!  As I neared the killer hills, I decided to ignore them and did some people watching and speaking here and there.  I blew a kiss to my husband and told him he was doing GREAT!  At the turnaround point, I grabbed a water, took a gulp, tossed the rest and headed back up the hill.

At that point I saw what you always see around mile 2 in a race.  A bunch of people walking.  They had started out too fast and could not continue running.  I think this is usually caused by lack of consistent training, and even more of a lack of keeping your own pace.  If you are competitive at all it is tough to keep your own pace in a race.  I'm mildly competitive, but have my priorities straight.  Finishing and running the whole thing is above winning to me, or beating anyone in particular. I could have run super fast intervals probably faster than I finished this race.  But it has always been important to me to run the whole time.  I feel more accomplished as an athlete then.  Personal preference!  Many of those who stopped to walk may not care that they are walking.  In fact, Jeff Galloway created an entire method around intervals.  Those who train using his plans do walking/running intervals for the entire race.  It really all comes down to what is important  to each individual.  My goal is always to run the whole way and always will be!  I'm glad we all have different goals - it is my favorite part of racing (the passing at the end).  This is why my Garmin Forerunner 305 is my friend that I just cannot run without.  I can look down and see where I am, that I'm too fast or need to speed up, and it encourages me to keep going. 

One by one I passed people.  Even though I'm not a fast runner, because I keep a consistent pace, I am able to pass many of those people who started out too quickly towards the end of the race.  This is the part that keeps me going when it gets tough.

My knee began hurting around mile 2.3.  It was mild so I kept going and prayed I could finish.

In the last quarter of a mile, I passed around 10 people of all ages.  I was burning it to that finish line, wanting to throw up, but determined to finish and then let my knee hurt.  I passed a few people I had "picked" out earlier on and fell in line behind an old man that I didn't feel like smoking (hey I have a heart).

I crossed the finish line to see my smiling husband waiting for me with a water bottle.  I finished in 36:34.  My Garmin also said it was 3.17 miles. :)  Nothing more irritating than a mis-measured course!  haha.  4 minutes slower than my fastest time.  But all things considered, I'll take it! 

So my husband, the new runner, at 39 years old, finished in 30:54.  I was blown away by his time for his FIRST race!

Overall I will tell you I don't love racing.  This was my 10th 5k race.  I've had some awesome races, and some very challenging ones.  I do not like getting nervous before a race, and I don't plan on collecting any medals, so for me, I would prefer to run my streets on my terms, during normal days and however fast or slow I please. But something about a race makes you strive for something, be it a new personal record or in my case today, just finishing something in spite of injury or pain.

Today though, today was the MOST special race I have ever run.  Because I was incredibly proud that after being a runner for 3 years, my husband finally agreed to let me train him.  And that in 8 weeks, he managed an amazing first 5k time, better than any time I've ever registered in my 10 5k races!  He had to walk for a few feet here and there as his calves were cramping, so he said his next goal is to run without stopping.

Then at lunch he asked me what I would be training him for next.

Lord I love this man!  And I am beaming with pride right now, so proud of his hard work, dedication, and excited to get to spend more time with him training and getting fitter and faster.  I plan to weigh less than him eventually (for once since we met 14 years ago).

Today I'm thankful for my independence from sugar, processed food and junk.  So thankful I feel free to eat as much of my healthy food as I want!  The sugar dragon is officially slain, and I am on my way to the 170s very soon!

Looking forward to the next race with my honey.

Happy 4th all!  Be safe.