My Intention is to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

Thank you for your support.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

September, Sweaty, September

Today is the last day of the Awesome August challenge.  It was great! I’m down four pounds.  More than anything else I am very proud of myself for being consistent with my strength training.  It’s been a month now with working on the fundamentals.  I have been doing three full body workouts a week.  
This is the first time I have really stuck with a weight training plan.  I set up a profile at Body Space at   There is a tremendous amount of great information, training programs, and motivation on this site.  I think I’m ready to work on one of these plans BUT I’m a little apprehensive about working out in the free weights section of the gym.  I have to admit I am still working on building my self-confidence.  It will be okay.

Tomorrow I am also going to get back to my running.  I’m signing up for a November 5K.  I’m not sure how I’m going to do this.  I’m thinking about doing my running early mornings and keeping my strength training after work.  Not sure if I should do both on the same day or alternate days – this would mean I’m working out six days a week.  Right now I’m working on five or six days.  The sixth day is usually water aerobics, which isn’t too strenuous.   We’ll see how it goes.  

August was awesome.  September is going to be sweaty. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Daily Nutritional Commitments -- Part Two

I came up with the idea to establish three daily nutritional commitments (DNCs) from Jill Coleman.  I like her approach and philosophy to keep things simple and sustainable.  At the time I couldn't come up with three DNCs. 

I've been thinking about the third commitment for a few days.  This morning it dawned on me that my third commitment should be maintaining my daily food journal. Whether or like it or not, I do so much better when I keep a record of what I eat. This practice helps me to stay aware and conscious.  There are days I have no idea how little or much I've eaten until I complete my food journal.

I also like the fact that these commitments are not set in stone. I can change them at will.  For now, I think I will set with:

1. Eating breakfast
2. Eating protein with eat meal
3. Completing my food journal

Number three is also going to help me with my weight loss goals.  I need to do a better job of tracking my macros.  I do not eat nearly enough protein on some days.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Daily Nutritional Commitments

I love Jill Coleman.  Yesterday she posted this awesome piece about daily nutritional commitments. According to Jill, DNCs are supposed to be easy to do every day and leave very little wiggle room for getting into too much nutritional trouble.  

When I thought about it, I only have one DNC and that is to eat breakfast every day.  It has taken me a long time to get used to getting a daily breakfast and, to be honest, there I some days I really wish I could skip breakfast.

At any rate, I decided I am going to implement three DNCs as Jill recommends.  Mine are to:

  • Eat breakfast each day.
  • Have protein with each meal.

Truthfully, at this time I am having trouble coming up with a third commitment.  So, for now, I will continue working on these two.  I’d give myself an “A” with number 1.  I still have some work to do with number 2.  I'll give it some thought and see what my third commitment will be.

What I like about I am learning is that when it comes to good nutrition one size does not fit all.  I like to keep my food plan as simple as possible.  One other tip I learned from Jill Coleman’s site is to keep my food plan sustainable.  As I make changes or try new recipes, this is the question I ask myself:  Is this sustainable?  Can I see myself eating like this in a few months? If I can’t see myself doing something long term, I don’t try to force myself into it.  I try it and let it go.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Secret of Success

For the past three weeks I have been giving weight training a try.  I like to train with weights.  I have just never done it on a consistent basis.  Well, I found a full body plan that I like and I have been doing it three times a week.  Right now I am experimenting with the sets and reps.  I started off doing two or three sets of each exercise for 10 reps.  A couple of days I lower the weights and added another set.  A few days ago I read an article about varying the reps.  It’s a good approach for muscle growth.  Yesterday I did three sets varying the reps: 15 for the first set, 12 for the second set, and 8 for the third set.  I’m going to stick with this approach for the week.

I am also concerned that I am not burning as many calories with these workouts.  I usually do 10 minutes cardio as a warm up and a cool down.  Most times I do not have the energy to do any additional cardio after lifting.  However, that is the plan, eventually.

As a result, my running has taken a back burner.  I’m okay with it for now.  I’ll get back to it as soon as my body gets used to lifting on a regular basis.  One thing I am continuing to learn on this journey is not to be afraid to try new things.  “You live and you learn” is my motto.  

With this said, I am so happy to say that the scale is moving again.  I lost two pounds! In addition to the weight training, I have gone back to keeping my food journal.  I hate and resent the fact that I have to track my food BUT it is what is needed, for now, if I expect to achieve my goals.  I will keep working, trying, and doing whatever it takes to get fit.

On another note, I joined Healthy Loser Gal's Awesome August Challenge.  I always enjoy her challenges.  I need all the motivation and support I can get.  My goals this month are to:

1.  Weight training three times a week
2.  Meditate for at least 15 minutes a day
3.  Drink at least 64 oz of water
4.  Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep
5.  Try one new recipe a week
6.  Tweet something motivational each day using #hlgAWESOMEAug

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Comparison: Biceps vs. Triceps

I’m really getting into the weightlifting. I think it is becoming my second love. I’ve been doing some research (reading, watching YouTube videos) and trying my best to make sure I am getting the maximum benefit from my workouts. One of the things I am very concerned about is flabby arms. My arms are pretty solid.  I have about 50 more pounds to lose and I don't want to have those batwings that some people get.

When I was home a month ago, my sister commented that my arms looked more tone. One thing I have noticed is that my biceps are more pronounced than my triceps. One reason for this is probably due to all of the plank and the push up challenges I’ve participated in.

So, last night I am reading and discovered that your triceps make up the majority of your upper arm. Who knew?
Yet, people, including myself, always want to show off their biceps. I can see some definition beginning in my arms. Yet, when I am doing tricep exercises, it’s pretty difficult to tell if I’m actually working the muscle.

With my biceps, it’s pretty visual. I guess that’s why the guys in the free weights area look in the mirror. (One of these days I am going to work up the nerve to work in that area. ) Anyhow, I need to keep studying. I also think that as I lose more body fat, my triceps will start to show too. What is all boils down to is clean, healthy eating – my nutrition.

I love Scott Herman on YouTube. He has some great instructional videos on proper lifting form. I can’t do a proper Bench Dip. I'll be working on achieving this.

Another person I really like is Jill Coleman. I like her more for the mental aspect of training. I actually discovered her on Comcast On Demand. I was looking for a quick cardio workout and she had a great beginner’s cardio kickboxing workout. I then started following her on Twitter and found out I really like her philosophy – she tweets quotes from Byron Kate, Miguel Ruiz, and others that I like.

From her I am learning how to be realistic about my fitness goals. While my genetics will dictate most of what my body is capable of, there are things, both physically and mentally, I can do to live a healthy lifestyle and be the best that I can be.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Strength Training: Phase One

Today I finished my second week of consistent strength training. I've been doing a full-body workout three times a week. I have been focusing on form and breathing. I start with 10 minutes on the Spin bike as a warm up. Last week I did two sets of each exercise. This week I did three sets of most exercises.

Leg Press - 195/10 two sets; 210/10 - one set - going to try all sets at 210 lbs next week
Leg extension - 30/10 - going to bump this up to 50 lbs next week
Lying Leg Curls - 20/10 - two sets - working up to three sets
Lat Pulldown - 100/10 - three sets
Vertical Chest - 65/10 - three sets
Tricep Pulldown - 75/10 - three sets
Preacher Curls - 35/10 - working up to three sets
Shoulder Press - 50/10 - three sets
Ab Crunch - 65/10 - three sets -
Low Back Extention - 45/10 - tried one set for the first time today - going to try two sets next week

I am really enjoying weight training this time around. I think it is because I have a clear plan and I feel more comfortable in the gym. I am also taking it a bit easy. Usually, I start of too strong. This time around I am taking my time; stretching and drinking water. I still need to work on getting proper rest. I have been going to bed earlier but I still do not fall asleep until about 11 or midnight.

The downside is that I haven't been running since the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th. I'm planning to get back in gear beginning next week. I really need to sign up for a race so I can stay focus.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

RunnerBox: The Products

There are all sorts of product goodies in this box. It is going to take me a while to get through all these products, so I am going to list them now.

Eden Quiet Moon – Nuts, Seeds, & Dried Fruit
2Toms – Blister Shield
the GOOD bean – Fruit & No-Nut Bar
Fluid Performance – Natural Sports Drink
Smooch – Mango, Pineapple & Banana Fruit Snack
Cherry Bay Orchards – Dried Montmorency Cherries
Kay’s Naturals – Protein Cookie Bites
Rani’s Granola
Jelly Belly – Sports Beans and Protein Recovery Crisps
Nuun Electrolyte Tab
Honey Stinger – Organic Energy Chews
and last but not least, a RunnerBox bandana? I’m not sure what this thing is…. The package says “The Original Multifunctional Seamless Wear."

I’m pretty excited about giving these items a try. I’ve wanted to try the Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews for a while. I’ve had the Jelly Belly Sports Beans. I used them during my Peachtree Road Race. I’ve never seen the Jelly Belly Protein Recovery Crisps. They sound interested. I already use nuun so I could also use an extra tab to keep in my bag.

Well, that's it for now. Off to do meal prep. I'm making my favorite Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Lasagna.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Back to the Box

So from time to time I participate in #RunChat’s Sunday Twitter chats*. Last Sunday I decided to participate in the Sunday chat just because I was still excited about completing Peachtree. Long story short, it was sponsored by Runnerbox that offered a code for free shipping. I decided to order the gift box.

I tried a six-month subscription to Bulu Box. I did discover two products that I have continued to use – Energems and Natural Calm. Overall, I was disappointed. With that said, I have been thinking about trying Runner Box, so this code was right on time. I received the giftbox, $24.95 yesterday. It’s packed with all sorts of stuff.

My first impression is that I should give RunnerBox a try. I initially went with Bulu Box because it was a monthly subscription. RunnerBox is a bimonthly subscription. There’s a “2 Box Starter Pack” I think I’ll order. Now that I am focusing on strength training, I’m looking for different protein and BCAA supplements to try.

It looks like there are about 10 or so products in this box. It's going to take a while to get through all these products, but I am looking forward to seeing what I discover.

*Did I mention I sported a #RunChat tattoo during the Peachtree Road Race?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Peachtree Road Race: What I Learned

Now that I have completed my dream race, I have been thinking about my next running goal. I know I will never be a fast runner. I do know that running consistently will help increase my pace. So, one of my goals is just to continue running and improving my time and pace.

My three takeaways from Peachtree/my first 10k are:

1. Trust my training – As long as I follow my training plan, I will be fine. I was very surprised how well I did. I really did expect to feel much worse than I did. I am sure that some of this had to do with my slow walk to the finish line. I started my training early. This will be my plan of action for my next 10k.
2. Pay better attention to the road – This should really be my number one lesson. There is no way I should have stepped in the puddle of water. I was so distracted trying to avoid the water spray that I wasn’t paying attention to where I was placing my feet. I could have injured myself.
3. Run my own race – Although I did a great job of this on the road, I was so worried before the race. I need to just focus on me and what I am doing. I think this will come with more experience in races.

Part of the hidden curriculum was the support that I received from all my family and friends. When I first started sharing that I wanted to become a runner, I was meant with some discouragement. I know many doubted me. As a result, I have learned not to share my running dreams and goals with everyone.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Peachtree Road Race: I did it!

I did it! 6.2 miles! What an emotional ride it was!

Once my wave gets to the starting line, I remind myself of my strategies and advice I’ve received to pace myself. Thankfully, it was a great day for a race in the ATL. It wasn’t that hot and there was a slight breeze.
Miles 1, 2, and 3 went like a breeze. I ran into trouble about halfway into mile 4 -- due to those darn water sprays! I was trying to get on the curb to avoid the water and accidentally stepped in a puddle of water. I was soooo upset! My right foot was soaked! It was all downhill, figuratively, after that. I tried changing my form a bit but that wet sock keep rubbing against my skin. I ended up walking across the finish line. At first I was a bit disappointed, but I decided I would be grateful that I finished.

The Peachtree Road Race has been on my fitness bucket list from day one. At the time, I thought it was a long shot. Today I am living proof that all it takes is one step, one day at a time. As I slowly walked to the finish line, I reflected on those times I could barely walk around the block. Now, there I was on a 6.2 mile course. Unbelievable!

This race is sooo much fun that you forget about time. I love all the cheering and I always stopped for the high fives and fist bumps from all the cute kids. As expected, Cardiac Hill is a very humbling experience. Even though it uphill, it's hospital row and there's the Shepherd Center that has spinal and brain injury patients sitting outside cheering you on.

Oh, I almost forget to mention one of the coolest parts of the race. At about 2.5 miles into my race, Meb (winner of the Boston Marathon) passed me. He started dead last and passed me! Unbelievable!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Peachtree Road Race: Tomorrow is the big day!

I'm so excited and nervous. I feel pretty good. I wish my right knee felt better. I broke down an took some Advil. I'll give it a quick icing before heading out. I'm going to take it easy. I have already resigned that I'm going to have to take walk breaks. This race has been on my fitness bucket list for four years. I'm going to have fun and get across that finish line. Hopefully, I will remember to take pics.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Progress, Not Perfection

I have less than a week until the Peachtree Road Race I am on the verge of having an anxiety attack. I am as ready as I will ever be. Today my intention was to run six miles. My knee is not feeling so great so I didn't want to risk injury. I walked about four miles and decided to give my knee a rest.

I am going to continue stretching, hydrating, and preparing myself mentally. No matter what happens on July 4 I am so proud of myself for what I have accomplished. The Peachtree Road Race has been on my bucket list for years. I am going to cross that finish line!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


The Peachtree Road Race is coming up fast and I had to scale back on my running. My left ankle is giving me a little bit of trouble. I think it's my new sneakers. I tried lacing them differently and this seems to help. I also need to pay better attention to my form.

Anyhow, I've been walking. Yesterday I decided I was going to try to run. I took a quick nap after work, woke up, and it was storming! So...I went to the gym and jumped on the Elliptical.

I was planning to run this morning before heading to the airport. Thanks to scattered thunderstorms no can do. I'm torn. I don't do so well with running on the treadmill. So, I guess I will go to the gym and hop on the Elliptical again. I know I need to keep up with my cardio but nothing is going to prepare for the Peachtree but running.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Run, Rest, Repeat

Starting to feel very anxious during these last week before the Peachtree Road Race. I felt really tired on Wednesday. On top of that my left ankle was bothering me a bit. Even though it was National Running Day, I decided the only way I was going to participate was to read my latest edition of Runner's World. I even had to avoid social media because I was felt conflicted about not pushing myself to go out for a run.

I ended up going for a quick 20-minute walk. The next day I was still feeling pretty run down. A huge part of me wanted to push through the fatigue. I decided I needed another day to give my body, especially my ankle a rest. I reminded myself that rest and recovery is a very vital part of training. I'm so glad I did.

I just returned from completing Week 12, Day 1 (run 18 minutes, three times). It felt pretty great. I kept checking in with my body and I felt like I had another mile or so in me. This is a good thing. I am no where near 6.2 miles. I know if I keep up with this pace and listen to my body I will finish without feeling totally wiped out.

I am slowly, but surely learning that resting is just as important as running. The problem is knowing when I actually need rest and when I am just being plain lazy. I will continue praying for this wisdom and trusting the process.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Peachtree Countdown

I went for a walk today and ended up running a little. I decided to run up the little hills for about a 1/4 miles. I did this three times during a four-mile walk. While out out my walk, I saw another person wearing his Peachtree training tee. I felt so grate ful for his smile and encouragement.

I also decided to keep a food journal and begin measuring my food again. This will really help me stay on track until the race. If I can stay healthy and injury-free, I'll give myself a great chance to have a really fun time during the race. I have no time goal (I did but I have been reading that it's a huge mistake to do so for my first 10k). I also read that I shouldn't expect that I will finish is double the time it takes for a 5k. I will finish when I finish. I just want to have the strength and endurance. I just want to cross that finish line with a big smile on my face.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

All Kids Count 5k

I wasn't too sure about this race. I signed up to do it solo. After picking up my bib, I was filled with so much self-doubt.

I acknowledged my fear and gathered my things. I spent a quiet evening home alone watching a movie and trying to calm my nerves.

My training hasn't been the best for the past three weeks. Headaches and fatigue. Now, this stomach ailment. At any rate, I was determined to show up and try.

Well, it wasn't as bad as I thought. My worst fear, being the last one across the finish line, did not come true. What I continue to find is a bunch of encouraging people who are willing to give you a high five, thumbs up, and encouraging words.

I ran the first mile. I took two walk breaks during the second mile. The third mile was rough. My run/walk ratio was probably 50/50. More than anything, I kept telling myself to run my own race and stop worrying about being at the back of the pack. I need to embrace and accept that I am a back of the pack runner.

As long as I finish in under an hour, I'm fine. I am out there doing something I never thought I could do -- running! So what if I'm slow! I did it and I am very proud of myself.

As I just tweeted, it doesn't escape me that in about a month I will be doing TWICE the distance. I will be ready. I need to stay healthy and injury-free.

I also decided to do another month of my plant-based challenge. I also think I need to stay away from eating out. Going home soon and my cousin, who is always so supportive, has already found some vegan restaurants for me to try.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Towards the Finish Line

Boy, oh, boy! I'm still here. I was so concerned about remaining injury free that remaining germ free escaped me. I have been sick off and now for about three weeks now. The last week was the worst.

It started off with a stomachache that turned into stomach cramps, headache, fever, chills, and diarrhea. I was soooo sick! I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance.

So, here it is the night before my 5k and I haven't run in a week and before that it was sporadic. I am not even sure I am going to be able to pull this off. My stomach still feels wobbly. As long as I just eat plain oatmeal and drink water, I should be fine. My aim was to run this one nonstop but we'll see what happens. I going to try to complete Week 11, Day 2 while I'm at it.

Five weeks until Peachtree and I am nowhere near where I'd like to be. I am going to focus on how much I have accomplished and not give up. So, now my aim is to stay healthy and injury free!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Two Months!

I have exactly two months until the Peachtree Road Race! My training is going well. I am started Week 11. Repeating Week 11, Day 1 tomorrow. Although I have three weeks left in my plan, I am no way near six miles. I am barely running three miles. No matter what, I will get across that finish line!

This weekend I had a very unfortunate incident. I have been debating whether or not to blog about it. However, it is part of my journey and I want to be able to look back on it at some point. Anyhow, I'm running, minding my own business. This woman pulls up into a parking space next to the path, gets out of her car, and says, look at that fat stomach! I am not sure why she felt the need to say anything. Part of me wanted to stop and say something but I said a prayer for her and just kept running. Part of me wanted to go all angry black woman at her but it wouldn't have helped anything. I went to my car, text my friend about what had happened, and drove home.

I walked through the door and thought about crying but couldn't. I told myself I was not going to allow some stranger to steal my joy! You cares what anyone says to me. I am doing what I am doing for me, myself, and I! I also reminded myself that I have been very lucky. Most people smile, wave, and give me the thumbs up. There has been much more good than bad. I am doing much better out there sweating, with my fat stomach, than sitting on the couch, with my fat stomach, eating chips and ice cream.

I am so sorry that person felt the need to say anything to me. Maybe she thought I couldn't hear her because I had a headphones. Who knows...who cares.... Anyhow, I just wanted to get that out. I will not be bullied by anyone. Whoever you are, lady, screw you! You do not know anything about my journey!

It also brings home to me just how vulnerable we are when were out. I already felt a little uneasiness because I forgot my pepper spray. Even though the park was filled with people on the fields and playgrounds and I saw a police car patrolling around, I was still vulnerable in that time and space. I've got to do better about keeping my pepper spray next to my keys. What if that lady had come up and approached me? I do not run that fast.

A couple of months ago, some guy tried to abduct this 18 year old girl who was jogging in her neighborhood. She had a pocket knife on her. Who knows...maybe she was trying to start a confrontation....

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Black Beans and Brown Rice Extravaganza!

Well, I decided I was gradually ease into the 28-day challenge. I want it to be a lifestyle change, not a diet or a challenge.

Sunday I made Engine 2's Black Beans and Brown Rice Extravaganza It's yummy. There's a lot of chopping but it is well worth it!

Sunday I threw in some salsa. Yesterday I ate it without any topping or dressing. Tonight I sprinkled a tablespoon of Bragg's Apple Cider vinegar in my bowl. This is definitely something I will add to my rotation.

Next I'm going to try making the Plant-Strong Burgers using lentils.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Engine 2 Challenge

I am thinking about starting the Engine 2 Diet Challenge. I watched Knives over Forks a couple of years ago. For the most part, I have been semi-vegetarian. I really do not like meat, never had. I just do not like the texture. However, I do like a nice burger. I also like chicken and fish.

Right now, I probably eat red meat once every two or three months and chicken two or three times a month. Well, I take that back, I eat turkey sausage almost every day for breakfast. Other than that, I get most of my protein from beans and protein powder.
Today I felt like crying. I’m sick and tired of being tired. I know a lot of it has to do with my consistent running. The other part is my thyroid. I am convinced this increased dosage is doing nothing for me. If I go back, she’s only test me again and probably give me another increase.

So, I have been researching thyroid function to see if making any nutritional changes might help. This is one of the reasons I am thinking about doing the challenge. I have already tried a few of the recipes. I especially liked the Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Lasagna. I think it will be challenging and interesting to see if I can get more sustained energy from eating a plant-based diet.

Well see….

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Brings Hope

Today was a beautiful day. Easter has always been my favorite holiday. I love the message of resurrection, renewal, rebirth, and hope. How light comes from darkness....

Today I tapped into that message of hope and checked off a goal on my fitness list. For the longest time, one of my goals has been to be able to run around this loop at Wills Park. This is the path I usually walk. I know that in order to prepare for Peachtree I need to be able to run uphill. It was my intention to try running around this loop in June.

Last night I spent some time catching up on my blog reading. I read something about how running is also mental. So I spent some time visually myself running around that loop. For whatever reason, when I woke up this morning, I decided to give it a try. I did it! I really took my time, checked in with my body, stayed present with my thoughts, focused on my breathing, and run around that loop 1.25 times. So, now my next goal is to do two laps. Before my race, I will complete four laps.

Today was a real confidence-builder for me. For the first time, I believe I can be well-prepared for this race. I know it is a little out of my reach, but I can do my best to be as prepared as possible.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Peachtree Road Race Training

Check out what I received in the mail today!

It’s really starting to sink in that I am going to do this. The Peachtree Road Race has been on my bucket list since I started my fitness journey. This year is the first year I have had the courage to go after it.

I am so excited and nervous. Tomorrow I finish Week 9 of my training plan. I’m running about three miles. I have five weeks left in the plan and 11 weeks left until the race. I pray I’m able to run/walk/crawl 6.2 miles by then.
I went into Big Peach Running today. They’re always so nice and friendly. I went in to purchase some NUUN to help me with my hydration goals. One the guys asked me what I was training for. Me? I felt like a real runner. One of these days it will sink in that I am a runner now.

So, we chat about Peachtree and he gives me the best advice ever – HAVE FUN! He told me the funniest story about supporting a friend during her first Peachtree. She told him to go ahead and run his race. He waited and waited and waited for her at the finish line. She finally shows up all happy. He was so worried. She was having a blast. She stopped for a doughnut and a beer along the course. She did exactly what he advised her to do -- have fun!

In the end, that’s what it’s all about. I am having a wonderful adventure. While I want to be prepared and take my training seriously, I do not want to forget to enjoy the journey!