Half Marathon- Race #3 in 2014

 

So thankful my half marathon goal has been completed–it’s getting hot out there! I ran in the Women’s Fitness Festival’s first ever half marathon, previously it has only been a 5K event. It was also the first race I have run by myself, a milestone in itself. The course wound around downtown Sacramento, through the neighborhoods of East Sacramento and then back to the Capitol building where the finish line waited.

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Thankfully the race started at 7:15AM while the temperature was still bearable outside. As we ran through the neighborhoods of East Sac, it was so encouraging to see so many people out on their sidewalks holding motivating signs and even offering water from their hoses and sprinklers to help cool the runners off. For a brief time I was able to catch a up to a friend running with her daughter, she was an encouragement and even offered a posture tip to help my breathing efforts. I felt pretty good on the course until about mile 11 when it took a bit more effort to move my feet. Since I knew I wouldn’t be setting a personal best time, I decided to run without stopping. Near the end of mile 12, as I was getting close to the finish line, I saw a familiar Pilot in the lane of traffic ahead of me. Mel rolled down the windows and I got some encouragement from my little family as I was in the home stretch. I even felt good enough to sprint for the last .10 of a mile. Later I found out that it had taken Mel about an hour to get to the race as he sat in traffic from the construction on 50 and road closures due to the race. What an expression of love from him, to wrangle all three kids by himself and make the tedious drive to the finish line to show me support. In case you ever wondered, he’s a keeper! Once he found a place to park and made his way to the steps of the Capitol building I was greeted by all four of them and quickly handed over my medal to be inspected by the boys–I’m pretty sure they think that is the reason I run races!

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Almost exactly a year before this race I decided to stop running while pregnant with Daelynn. Both with her pregnancy and with Blessing #3, I experienced a distinct cramping no matter how hydrated I was. I attempted to run again at 14 weeks and felt great during the short run but then was grounded to the couch with 30 minutes of contractions. I didn’t try again after that. My friend Toniya helped me refocus and from the end of my second trimester through my third trimester I worked out with a prenatal workout DVD. I really wanted to complete a half marathon as soon as I could so reasonably. It was a “scary” goal to set while still pregnant, but one that offered me great motivation. I signed up for my 5k while in my second trimester and made tentative plans for a 10K and half marathon following. I am thankful that I was able to start running as soon as I was, and I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to have completed my “scary” goal! On difficult days while I was training, envisioning the finish line and my three kids waiting for me gave me extra incentive to push harder. I finished with a time of 2:20:46, which is 14 minutes slower than my first and best finish time half marathon.

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I don’t have any more racing plans for this summer, but I do intend run at least 2-3 times a week to be ready for a couple of races with friends this fall!

Transformation in 2014- 3 and 4 month update

 

3-4 Months Postpartum Update

Accomplishments/Realizations:

I have had “easy” running days and days that seem hard to run a mile (I think the heat is contributing to that).  I push through, but am not seeing really any improvement on my time like I had hoped to at this point.  This has caused me to step back and appreciate what I have been able to do…run consistently every week except for one since resuming running after Daelynn, add more workouts in my week with the HIT video I do during naptime or with the kiddos, and run in each of my races without having to take walking breaks. I am currently at the same weight 4.5 months postpartum as I was when I ran my half marathon when Micah was 12 months old.  I need to remind my self of these things when I start getting discouraged about how slow I am! So…this Sunday I reach my final distance goal this year of running a half marathon! I am excited and scared. I had a strong 13.2 mile run last week and am hoping for another this coming Sunday.  While I am almost positive I will not be making a personal best finishing time, I am thankful that I am able to complete it, it was a little scary to set these goals while I was still pregnant not knowing what my recovery/life with three would be like.  And really, I don’t think I could be at this point without Mel supporting me and watching the kids while I get my long runs in or run this fast without my friend Dena helping push me speed wise. I will appreciate your prayers for Sunday and will give you an update about how it goes!

Healthy Eating: Currently the staples of my diet are

  • Sautéed veggis with two eggs
  • Lactations “scones”
  • My “runners meal” a recipe from a friend: sweet potato, kale, chicken sausage, and potato gnocchi- so good!
  •  Lunch time protein smoothie: kale or spinach, frozen mixed berries, banana, flax seed meal, protein powder,  almond milk
  • Turkey Taco meat in lettuce boats
  • Burrito bowls with crockpot black beans
  • Sauteed veggis, chicken and brown rice
  • chai tea, and lots of it
  • Snacks: organic yogurt and granola, banana and peanut butter, almonds and chocolate chips, carrot sticks,  granola and almond milk, rice cakes and peanut butter

Active Lifestyle:  My goal since week three has been to work out at least three times a week, training for a 5K 7.5 weeks PP, a 10K 11 weeks PP, and a half marathon 20 weeks PP.

Week 12–

  • Tuesday- Ran 6.1 miles
  • Wednesday- walked 2 miles, 30 min cardio video
  • Friday- 20 min HIT video
  • Sunday- Ran 6.2 miles in Zoozoom 10K

Week 13-

  • Tuesday- Run 4.2 miles
  • Wednesday-  Walk 2 miles
  • Thursday- 20 Min HIT video
  • Friday-  Run 8.2 miles

Week 14-Only one workout!!! It was the week all three kids and myself got sick

  • Sunday- 20 Min HIT video

Week 15-

  • Monday- 20 Min HIT video
  • Wednesday- Run 4.2 miles
  • Friday- Run 6 miles
  • Sunday- Run 10 miles

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Week 16-

  • Tuesday- Run 7 Miles
  • Thursday- 20 Min HIT video
  • Friday- 20 Min HIT video

Week 17-

  • Monday- Run 4.2 miles
  • Wed- 20 Min HIT video
  • Thursday- 6 mile run
  • Friday- 20 Min HIT video
  • Sunday- 12 mile run

Week 18-

  • Wednesday- 5.1 mile run
  • Thursday- 5 mile run

Week 19-

  • Tuesday  1.5 mile run
  • Wednesday 13.2 mile run

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Weight:

Week 12- Down 1 pound then gained it back later that week, 14 pounds away from goal weight

Week 13- No change, 14 pounds away from goal weight

Week 14-No change, 14 pounds away from goal weight

Week 15- Lost two pounds!!!  Note, this was after a week of only one workout! 12 pounds away from goal weight

Week 16- Lost 3 more pounds!!!! 9 pounds away from goal weight

Week 17- No change, 9 pounds away from goal weight

Week 18-Lost another pound!!! 8 pounds away from goal weight!

Week 19- Another pound lost! 7lbs away from goal weight!

10K- Race #2 in 2014

The 10K has been completed! I am really enjoying running more each month. I love how my “short runs” (3 miles) were as far as I could go only eight weeks ago. I have also been consciously slowing my pace and not pushing myself too fast too soon. I got a little too ambitious with my 5K time goal of setting a personal best time. I took this into consideration when planning out my time goal for my 10K. The first and only other 10K race I have run, I finished in 1:04. I did a few trial runs and decided that I could realistically finish in under an hour this time if I pushed it.

Races take a little extra preparation than normal now that I have three kids, one being a breastfed baby. I didn’t finish laying out clothes, packing the car, and preparing water/milk cups until well past midnight the night before. However, the beauty of being a mom is that I’ve had years of practice with functioning with little sleep. I ate a light breakfast (peanut butter and banana) and my friend and I made it to race and found parking in plenty of time (something that tends to make me a little anxious). A wonderful friend of mine was willing to run with me and also happened to have the same time goal, which made running this race even more fun. Not long before the race was supposed to start, I realized I had forgotten my headphones…that meant no upbeat motivating music to run to as things started getting tough. Lesson learned! What I didn’t know was from about miles 2-5 an older gentleman, who we guessed was in his seventies, happened to run at about the same pace with us…and grunted every time his left foot hit the pavement. Lesson Learned: DON’T FORGET HEADPHONES! Thankfully, as a mom I have learned how to, for the most part, tune out repetitive noises. 😉

Mile 5 I really felt tired and began to slow down a bit. It was definitely a mental challenge to keep pushing to beat my under-one-hour finish time goal. Just as I near the finish line I saw two adorable little boys (and a good looking man holding a little baby in the background) standing on the sidelines with their arms outstretched and huge grins on their faces. How could I not sprint at that point?! I gave them “fives” as I ran past them with the finish line in sight. My friend had already finished, but ran back to finish with me across the line…have I mentioned how wonderful she is yet? My official time…57:42!!! Personal best 10K time!

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Not too long after my race was over, Joel and a couple of his friends also ran in a race. It was only 220 yards, but by the look on his face you’d think he’d just run in the Olympics…ok, as his mom, maybe my face looked the same way too. I hope that he, and his brother and sister, learn to love to be active and have fun doing it, whatever activity they may choose!

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We spent a couple more hours walking around the zoo (a perk of running in the ZooZoom is free admittance that day) with friends and even got to see a tiger up close. It was a pretty awesome and exhausting day!

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For now, I will continue working on running longer distances, and hoping to slowly bring up my speed.  I have already registered for a half marathon on June 8th and will aim my short term goals around being as prepared as possible.  13.1 miles here I come!

Transformation in 2014- 11 weeks Postpartum Update

 

Accomplishments/Realizations:

  • March 15th I ran in my first race of 2014!!! I finished my 5K in 28:36…41 seconds slower than my personal best last April.  I REALLY wanted to beat that time but learned a valuable lesson instead: It’s ok to not be at my pre-baby pace yet.  I trained for and completed my goal of doing a 5K that is good enough for now! I also finished 6th out of 210 people in my age category…not too shabby.
  • That next week I slowed things down and really listened to my body and found it—my “magic pace.”  It’s somewhere in the range of 9:20-9:45 per mile currently and slower than how I was training for the 5K, but it’s the pace that I feel like I can run for miles. I’m going to keep upping my distance and let my pace slowly get faster in time.
  • It’s way more fun to run with other people! The last few weeks I have been running/working out with three different friends and it makes those times even more enjoyable.  I’ve been getting up early to run one day a week and knowing that my friend will be showing up at my door is extra motivation to not sleep in, the accountability has been good for me!

Healthy Eating: Currently the staples of my diet are…I need to change some of these up, any sugestions?

  • Sautéed veggis with two eggs
  •  Salad with chicken, apples, celery, and chopped pecans
  • Steel cut oatmeal with chopped apples, cinnamon, chopped pecans, and yes…a little brown sugar, honey is just not the same to me
  •  Post run smoothie: kale or spinach, frozen mixed berries, banana, flax seed meal, peanut butter, chocolate almond milk
  • chai tea, and lots of it
  • Snacks: string cheese, banana and peanut butter, almonds and chocolate chips, carrot sticks,  granola and almond milk

Active Lifestyle: My goal since week three has been to get out and move at least three times a week, training for a 5K 7.5 weeks PP and now a 10K at 11 weeks PP.

Week 7 –

  • Tuesday- Ran 3.04 miles with stroller
  • Wednesday- 20 minutes of HIT video
  • Thursday- Ran 3.2 miles with stroller
  • Saturday- Ran 4 miles stroller-free

Week 8-

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  • Monday- 20 minutes of HIT video
  • Tuesday- run 2.1 miles with stroller (it was a rough day and very windy)
  • Wednesday- Walked 1.5 miles with a friend and did a 30min cardio video
  • Thursday- Run 3.2 miles
  • Saturday- Run 3.2 miles Shamrock’n 5K

Week 9-

  • Wednesday – Run 3.93 miles, walk 2, and 30 min cardio video
  • Thursday- Run 3 miles
  • Saturday- Run 5.5 miles

Week 10-

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  • Monday- 20 minutes HIT video
  • Thursday- Run 3.1 miles
  • Friday- Run 3 miles
  • Sunday- Run 6.2 miles, my new 10K time to beat in 2014: 1:01:55

Week 11-

  • Monday- 20 minutes HIT video
  • Tuesday- Run 6 miles
  • Wednesday- Run 3.5, walk 1, 30 minute cardio video
  • Friday- 20 minutes HIT video
  • Sunday- Run 7.3 miles

Weight: Plateau anyone? Glad this is not the only way I am measuring success!

Week 7- Down 1 pound, 14 pounds away from goal weight

Week 8- No change, 14 pounds away from goal weight

Week 9- No change, 14 pounds away from goal weight

Week 10- No change, 14 pounds away from goal weight

Week 11- No change, 14 pounds away from goal weight

Transformation in 2014- 6 Week Postpartum Update

Below is an update of my progress in three different aspects of  my short term goals of health and fitness this year: Active Lifestyle, Healthy Eating, and Weight.  The latter is just one of the indicators I will use to measure success or modify my eating/exercise plan. I intend to keep this format and provide updates every 2-6 weeks. I do not claim to be an expert in any of these areas but love learning about them.  If you leave any suggestions in the comments, I would be happy to consider them.  Also, I have gotten permission from my midwife to be as physically active as I have been, I’ve really had to pay close attention to my body to make sure I’m not pushing it too hard so soon after delivering (no pun intended, I don’t have the brain power to come up with another phrase at the moment).

1.  Active Lifestyle: My goal since week three has been to get out and move at least three times a week, training for a 5K at 7.5 weeks PP.

Week 1-2 nothing…or whatever “nothing” looks like for a mom of three 🙂


Week 3 – I started out with Joel sitting in the front of the jogging stroller since I was going so slow

  •  Monday- walk 1 mile
  • Wednesday- alternate walking and jogging each minute for 1.7 miles
  • Friday- alternate walking for one minute and jogging for two for 1.8 miles

week 3 A

Week 3 B

Week 4- It rained this week so I didn’t make Joel try riding his bike yet, the extra 36 pounds on the stroller adds to the intensity of my workouts. 🙂

  •  Monday- jog for 1 mile, walk/jog for 1 mile with stroller
  • Wednesday- jog 2.25 miles stroller-free
  • Friday- ran 2.58 miles stroller-free

Week 5- Worked out a system of running with Joel on his bike, NOT easy for both of us at first, but we worked on some guidelines that made this type of exercise safe and still allowed us to get a work out in.  We have a predetermined route where he rides on the sidewalk while I run next to him in the street.  When he gets tired he lets me know and he stops on the sidewalk not in front of a driveway.  I then run in circles in the street in front of him.  When he is ready to ride again we continue on our predetermined route, until the next break.

  • Monday- Had a huge headache the day before and played catch up on my house this day
  • Wednesday -ran 3.2 miles with stroller with Joel on his bike
  • Friday ran 3 miles with stroller and Joel on his bike
  • Saturday- ran 3 miles stroller-free- it felt great to run at under a 10 minute pace!

Week 5

Week 6- Made Stroller/bike runs work, but also decided running with the two youngest while Joel is in preschool is WAY easier.

  • Monday- Ran 2.75 miles with stroller and Joel on his bike
  • Thursday- Ran 2.1 miles with stroller while Joel was in preschool.
  • Saturday- Ran 3.5 miles stroller-free, created a running mix with songs in order of most BPM near the end of my run to keep me motivated to keep up my pace.

week 6 A

Week 6 C

2. Healthy Eating:  This has been the area that I have been least disciplined in…we were blessed by so many delicious meals, and I enjoyed every bite! I’m working on building a better meal plan. Currently the staples of my diet are:
• Sautéed veggis with two eggs
• Salad with chicken, apples, celery, and chopped pecans, topped with a vinaigrette
• Steel cut oatmeal with chopped apples, cinnamon, chopped pecans, and yes…a little brown sugar (will probably cut this out at some point, right now it’s my guilty pleasur, honey is just not the same to me).
• Post run smoothie: kale or spinach, frozen mixed berries, banana, flax seed meal, peanut butter, chocolate almond milk
• chai tea, and lots of it
• Snacks: string cheese, banana and peanut butter, almonds and chocolate chips, carrot sticks, sliced cucumber, granola and almond milk

 
3.  Weight: I put this last for a reason, I don’t want it to become my focus…someone at my stature and age has a healthy BMI from 108-145lbs. I will not be posting my exact weight, but the differences from one post to the next. After three weeks of weight gain, I decided to add a day or two of High Intensity Interval training (a video I do in my living room) and a day of working out with friends.  I just want to watch my milk supply as I increase the amount of calories I burn each week. 

 
Week 1- Down 18lbs from the day Daelynn was born,  13 pounds away from goal weight
Week 2- Down 1 more pound, 12 pounds away from goal weight
Week 3- Down 1 more, 11 pounds away from goal weight
Week 4- Up 2 pounds, 13 pounds away from goal weight
Week 5- Up 1 pound, 14 pounds away from goal weight
Week 6- Up 1 pound, 15 pounds away from goal weight

 

Accomplishments/Realizations:

  • I can’t become complacent. I might have only 10-15 pounds to lose, but I am going to have to work hard for every pound.
  • Running with two kids is WAY easier than three, it’s all a matter of perspective!

Tips for Running with Kids

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Running with kids sounds difficult, and let’s face it–It’s not easy most of the time.  However, this last year I decided that I would lead a more active lifestyle and find a way to make it work with my stage of life. Since I’m with my kids just about all day every day I needed to find a way to make my activity of choice work for all of us. My excuses for not running in the past were still there and seemed to grow exponentially now that I was mom.  So, I found a way work through those challenges. I didn’t have all of the answers in the beginning, I learned a lot of these tips from other running moms, and learned some through trial and error. So if you are thinking about running with kids or are looking for solutions to the common challenges…this list is for you!

The following is a list of solutions to the challenges I have faced while running with my kids:

1. It’s Too Hot:

-Dress kids in breathable clothing but pack a light jacket just in case

-Pack a spray bottle filled with water

-Bring a stroller or handheld fan

-Supply frozen yogurt tubes, or other cool snacks

-Provide ice water in sippy cups

-Bring accessories to keep sun out of eyes: hat, sunglasses, adjustable stroller shade

-Run near a water park so EVERYONE can have fun when the run is done

2. It’s Too Cold/Rainy:

-Dress the kids in layers, hats, gloves and blankets over laps, pack a couple extra blankets just in case

-Invest in a rain cover for your stroller, it will also keep your phone protected

-Bring a warm snack, hot chocolate for older kids

3. It’s Too Dark:

-Everybody dresses in bright colors

-Attach flashing lights to your stroller

-Purchase headlights for the kids to wear

-Willing parties can wear glow stick necklaces, bracelets etc

-Run on streets with Christmas lights during December

3. Running is Too boring:

-Play the “Stop Sign” Game (enter in quotes whatever visible landmark is available), as soon as a kid sees a stop sign yell “go mommy go!”

-Bring the kids books to read

-Bring handheld game device, phone, ipad, etc

-Find other moms to run with so you can support and encourage each other…they understand how hard yet rewarding it is too

-If your kids to tend to fight while in the stroller: run with another mom with kids and pair up personalities that get along with each other.   Joel actually asks me to run so he can ride with his friend, lol

4. Too much of a hassle:

-Pack up everything needed in car or stroller for the run: clothing, snacks, drinks, entertainment items ahead of time,

-At the end of a run have a special treat for everyone to look forward to: a healthy protein filled “chocolate milkshake” is what we call that treat in our house

-Kids can watch a special show while mom showers

-Days that I run become Crockpot dinner days

The Goal: Make it as enjoyable for everyone as possible so you are more likely to keep running!

What challenges/tips do you have to add to this list?

From Weight Loss to Healthy Living

Before too much time passed I decided to record my journey from weight loss to something so much more. There is a lot I could include, but for the sake of your time and mine, I will touch on the milestones and lessons learned. First, a brief history of my relationship with weight loss: for most of my life it was pretty simple, if I watched what I ate and exercised, I lost weight. Besides one other frustrating weight loss attempt in my life, I would usually see results within the first week of changing my lifestyle. After Joel, right around 5 months I just started losing weight after not changing my activity level and or what I ate, and by the time he was 9 months old, I was down to my wedding weight (which seems to always be my ultimate goal). After Micah, I assumed the same would happen, but as that 5 month mark approached I found myself gaining weight instead of losing it—I knew something needed to change. So, I started running several times a week, twice a week with some amazing running mamas. Also, after the first week, I began eating much better (For the sake of clarity, eating healthy to me = more salads and organic fruits and veggis, less processed foods, and refined sugar and flour).

August 2012

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This picture was taken in July, shortly before I started my weight loss challenge at the beginning of August.

Lost 1 pound in the month of August…feeling a little frustrated (One pound after all of this effort?!!!!)

September 2012

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I decided I needed to make some additional changes. I ran/walked a 5k, pushing the boys in the stroller, in around 40 minutes. I went gluten free for 4 weeks. I lost another pound in the first week and then one more pound that month, bringing my grand total to 3 pounds. This was a turning point for me, It had now been two months of running multiple times a week and eating healthier and had only lost 3 pounds!!! I wanted to give up, why work so hard and deny myself delicious food if I would only struggle to lose weight? Running with kids is not easy in many ways, it would be so much easier to just stop working so hard. Here is what I decided:
1. Going back to what I was doing before is not an option, I was only getting more unhealthy
2. I want my kids to grow up with two active and healthy parents, if I was going to stop running what activity was I going to do to replace it?
3. Life lesson: Do the right thing even if you don’t receive immediate gratification. There’s something to be said about doing the right thing “wrong,” but, I was not going to stop eating healthy and exercising, something I knew was right.

October 2012

I started running a little closer to home with a dear friend and her kids one day a week. I set the goal to run a 10K the next month and started longer runs (5-6 miles) on the weekends. I lost three more pounds! I was up to 6 pounds total, never thought I would be so excited about 6lbs lost after three months of hard work.

November 2012

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I completed a 10K with a time of 1:04. Lost 3 more pounds!

December 2012

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Ran 8 miles on my 29th birthday, it felt so good to hit that new milestone. Lost another 3 pounds! Signed up for my first half marathon on St. Patrick’s Day, I was going to have to step up my long runs!

January 2013

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When I found out I was pregnant I readjusted my running goals, and listened to my body. I ran a lot slower and didn’t reach any new running milestones, but I was happy. I was perfectly content to jog/walk the half marathon or cheer on my friends from the sidelines in March. When I miscarried I took a week off to heal, then I started training again. I lost 4 pounds this month.

February 2013

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This is a picture taken with my baby sister, who is all grown up now!
This month I began to really feel good about my improvements in running. The challenge of training for a half marathon was keeping me motivated to set goals and reach them! This month I lost 5 pounds!

March 2013

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By Micah’s first birthday, I had beaten my prepregnancy weight by 1 pound and decided to keep working toward my wedding weight (8 more pounds). I also stopped breastfeeding Micah, and found that my appetite decreased a lot. Finished my first half marathon in 2:06! What a milestone to reach!

April 2013

I set my new running goal: maintain running two 4 mile runs with the kids during the week and run one long (6-8 mile) run on the weekend. I lost 2 pounds this month.

May 2013

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I started this month by going on a three day detox where I consumed four meals of just fruits, veggis, and healthy fats and vitamins every day. It was a CHALLENGE to complete, I never really felt hungry, just nauseated and had a huge headache from what I hope was toxins being released and flushed from my body. Mel did this with me and we found it to be a huge bonding experience. The second night I struggled mentally and physically and he was strong enough to keep our household running. He also suggested that we memorize scripture during this process. We started memorizing Ephesians 4, a chapter about unity and maturity in the body of Christ. I lost 6 pounds this month! WEDDING DAY WEIGHT!

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May 2012/May 2013 (yes this is the dress I wore to my wedding shower six years ago!)
At this point, I realize that there is one way I have been measuring success—losing weight and getting down to a number that I weighed in my “prime.” Recently, I’ve seen this concept of mine challenged, and it’s made me think. My new goals include running several times a week, but also incorporating some type of resistance training in the weekly rotation. It’s possible I could even gain a little weight doing this, but that’s ok; it will be the right kind of weight. I’m trying to retrain my brain to not equate “healthy” to the lowest weight I have been in my adult life.

Here are my greatest lessons learned/ goals for healthy living, beyond weight loss, continue :
1. I need to do the right thing even when I don’t see immediate results
2. I want to be more intentional in how I treat my body, what I put into it (mostly organic minimally processed food, but ice cream Sundays are ok sometimes 🙂 ), and what cleaning products and personal care items I am using (going a little crunchy here). My goal with this is to set a good example for my kids and others, and to have a body that is healthy and able to serve others for the Glory of God.