Goals for 2011 - Let's evaluate my progress

Its June 30, which means 2011 is halfway over. Today seems like a good day to look back at my goals for the year to see how I'm doing. I posted my Goals for 2011 on December 29, 2010. If you missed that post, I'll summarize and comment on my progress. Let's see where I stand...

Finish a 5k by running more than walking - I have 3 races planned in the fall so far and I am training for those now. I began with the Couch 2 5k training and now I'm using an Active.com trainer. I just joined a gym so I can train easier and hopefully get some help & advice. So even though I haven't completed this goal, I am taking the steps to do this.

Control my sugar addiction- This is a constant battle for me. I'm still addicted to sweets but I try to limit these to special occasions and smaller portions. I find that PMS causes me more trouble than any other time. When a craving for chocolate overwhelms me, I am able to control myself by eating a small cookie or brownie, instead of an entire box.

Attend church regularly - I have been attending church regularly since January. It's amazing what you can accomplish when God is in your life. "And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Healthy eating plan - I am able to keep this goal during the workweek more than on the weekends. Our family likes to go out to eat as a family activity and we all know how hard it can be to eat healthy when restaurants offer portions that are too large and with too many calories, sodium, fat, etc. But, I do make an effort to make healthier choices when we are out. If I know we will be eating a higher calorie meal, I try to balance that out with more exercise.

Spend less/Save more - This one is tough. I try to keep spending in control but unexpected things seem to come up. I guess that's why we have an emergency fund. Thanks, Dave Ramsey. I have established an automatic transfer to our savings account on payday, but I know I could do more.  I'll continue working on this one.

So after reviewing my goals, I feel good about my life in 2011 so far. Everyone can use improvement, so I'll keep that in mind in the months to come. I'm happy that I've managed to sty focused on my goals so far. So many times before, my goals for the year rarely fizzle out sometime mid-February. I'll revisit these goals again in December and hopefully be able to give another positive report.

How are you doing with your goals for 2011? Even if you have slacked on your goals, remember every day can be a new beginning. Live life one day at a time and celebrate the small victories.


Running - Ups and Downs

Now that I'm an official member of the MAC, I went to workout after work on Monday. I decided to try a different running routine this time. I used the 5k loop setting on the treadmill instead of setting a specific time to end the workout. I also wanted to test myself to see how long I could run without stopping. I've been doing the run/walk intervals for about a month now and felt the need to challenge myself. I was able to run continuously for 10 minutes! For me, that was great! I also felt like I could have kept going, except my right foot began bothering me. For the last few times I have run on the treadmill, I have had problems with my foot feeling like its going to sleep. This is very irritating to me, especially since I felt like I could run more. Even when I switched to walking, my foot still feels numb. I had to end the workout before the 5k was reached, after about 30 minutes. :( This is the same foot/ankle I have sprained multiple times. I have sent out facebook and twitter comments for any advise from fellow runners. I have gotten several responses. Here are a few of them:
  • Are my shoes laced too tight?
  • Have I been properly fitted for running shoes at a specialty store?
  • Am I stretching enough?
The one I am most guilty of the the second one. I have never been to a specialty store to be fitted for shoes. I usually buy shoes that I like and that feel comfortable. The shoes I use most of the time currently were a gift from my husband for Mother's Day. I suppose if I am going to be serious about running, I should listen to this advice. I guess my main reason for not doing this is the fear of spending a fortune on shoes. I read an article earlier that stated that this is not necessarily the case. If this is the answer, I am willing to do it.

For now, I plan on switching to another pair of shoes that I have and see how that works. I am also going to do less running over the next few days and more cross training, such as Body Pump classes or Zumba.

I am not going to give up on running. I will find out what is causing my problem and find a solution. Walking is fine, but I really want to RUN!

Do you have any advice for me and my running problem? If so, please comment!


Patriotic Service at Church

I went to an awesome church service this morning at my sister's church. Every year they have an Independence Day service to honor all active duty and veterans. I am always touched by their patriotic service.

Edgemont Baptist Church - program

My sister singing a solo at church
 Every year their program is a little different but it it always a touching event. My favorite part is the presentation of the flag of each military branch while the hymn of the branch is being sung. At this time, they ask all those that served or are serving in each branch to stand and be recognized. My husband was a Marine and I'm always very proud when he stands.

I'm very emotional about patriotic services and today was not an exception. I teared up several times throughout the service. After the service, we stayed for a potluck lunch provided by the church. I was so happy John and Whitney went with me to this service. It means a lot to me to have my family go to church with me. After church, I treated myself to a nap. Today is a rest day on my exercise calendar, so I don't feel too guilty about that.

My exercise calendar -sticking to it!

Now its time to get ready for my week. I'm getting geared up for a busy work week and making appointments on my calendar to get my workouts in. I have made a decision on joining a gym and will go tomorrow to Murfreesboro Athletic Club to officially join. I feel good about making decisions that will help me reach my fitness goals.

Have a great week everyone!


Friday Family Fun

After work on Friday, my family and I attended a baseball game in Nashville. We went with the MTSU alumni association. Its a great deal! A barbeque dinner was included with our ticket. We usually go to this event every year, and were not disappointed again this year. Here are some pictures:

Me and Jan'a

The girls were too cool to sit with us!

Me and my honey

The girls eating barbeque

I'm glad that even though my girls are almost grown, they still enjoy spending time with us. I love family time!

Have a great weekend!


Weekly goals review

It's almost Friday and I thought now is a good time to revisit my personal goals from earlier in the week.
Here is a link to that post, in case you missed it...http://lovinglifeintn.blogspot.com/2011/06/goals.html

Fitness Goals. I have to say that I am proud of myself for working out this week. I have stuck to my calendar and completed every workout that I planned. That's progress. In the past, some weeks I would only do 1 or 2 workouts, depending on my schedule. My new work schedule rocks too! I do have to work on Fridays now, but I'm much happier and healthier just knowing I'm not overwhelmed by being a workaholic. I am happy that I was able to stick to the fitness plan this week. It's a great feeling to log workouts on my calendar. I am still trying out some of the local gyms in the area. I hope to make a decision by the end of the weekend.

Healthy eating. I have done well with my healthy eating this week. I managed to bring my lunch every day and I made sure to bring lots of healthy, unprocessed food. Today was a little tough because we had an office lunch. It was catered by Jason's Deli. I was glad to see a platter of fresh fruit and veggies to have instead of chips. The sandwich platter was an assortment of different sandwiches and wraps. Lunch was fine, but there were desserts too! A co-worker made a homeade cake that was absolutely scrumptious! I had a small piece plus one chocolate brownie. The next challenge....trying to eat healthy during the weekend.

Time for me. I feel that I have accomplished this goal also. Several nights this week, I took the time to listen to my relaxation music before bed. I also took a detox bath by candlelight. I didn't have time to schedule a massage, but I was able to relax on my own.

So, overall I feel this has been a good week and I applaud myself for staying on track. You Go Girl!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Decisions, decisions

Trying to make a decision about which gym to join is a tough one. I have been using a free pass to Murfreesboro Athletic Club since last week. I like this one but the membership rates are a little high for me.

Yesterday I went to Olympus Health Club to see what they have to offer. It looks like they have about the same things I am looking for but just not as "plush" as the other one. It is a little smaller with less cardio equipment and only one group exercise room, but the difference in price is huge. The only thing about Olympus that I don't like is that it seemed to be more of a guy's gym and for bodybuilders. There were women there working out, but I think the MAC is more of a women friendly place.

Its hard for me to make this decision. But I am giving myself until the end of the day to choose one or the other. I'm ready to choose one and get serious about my training! My calendar tells me I have a cross training workout to do today. Hmmm, what shall I do?


Would this change your mind about smoking?

I have seen headlines and news reports over the last few days about the New Labels on Cigarette Packs to Prevent Smoking . The Federal Drug Administration feels that if they add graphic pictures of the results of smoking to the cigarette packs, that this will have an effect on smokers. I saw a news report that included images of corpses and black lungs. It was not pretty. Do you think new labels would motivate smokers to quit?

First of all, I am not a smoker. I smoked socially in my 20's, but thankfully never got addicted to the nicotine. I have family members that smoke. I know being a smoker is not an easy addiction to overcome. I've seen friends and family try to quit numerous times without success. I don't know what the answer is, but I'm not sure if this campaign will be as successful as the FDA hopes. I think if people are already addicted to smoking, it would take more than grotesque pictures to make them quit. I believe they already know that it is not a good habit and it can cause many health issues. However, it may help those who have not begun smoking yet, perhaps for teens. If they see the damage smoking can do, it might prevent them from starting.

I hope that something can be done one day to improve the lives of others in regards to cigarette smoking. Hopefully I am totally wrong and this will make a difference.

The opinion in my blog post today is only my own and does not express the opinions of any other person or entity.


Rest Day

According to my schedule, today is a rest day for me. I'm happy about that.

I have been religiously working out 5 days a week now and look forward to those rest days! Especially when I over do it some the day before. I did a running workout at Murfreesboro Athletic Club last night.

I chose a treadmill in the Cardio Theater room. That has to be the coolest thing! It was a good workout for me even though it seemed as my pace slowed down some. The running seemed easier to me. I really love that! I AM getting stronger. I noticed my leg muscles were getting stiff last night before bed and this morning they really feel tight! I need to stretch more, obviously. Mental note taken.

I'm looking forward to going home after work, sipping some herbal tea (or possibly a glass of Merlot) and taking a detox bath while listening to my "chill" music. Ahhhh!

What is your relaxation routine?



It's a beautiful Monday morning. I'm so happy to start my new work schedule today. I was able to have coffee and my healthy breakfast at home this morning.

I also brought my workout clothes with me so I have plans after work!

Here are my personal goals for the week:

  1. Continue trying out different gyms in my area and decide on which one to join! I have 3 gyms that I am looking at and they all have free passes to try them out. I feel making this commitment will help me reach my fitness goals!
  2.  Stay on track with my healthy eating. Weekends seem to be the hardest for me. I brought a bag of salad fixings to work today to keep here.
  3.  Set aside time for me to relax and do something for ME! Is it time for a massage yet?
I'll revisit these goals on Friday to see how I did!
Life is Good!


Zumba to start my day

I started my day with an intense Zumba class at Murfreesboro Athletic Club. I'm really enjoying my 5 free visits pass. The class was alot of fun but much different than my Playstation version. Before the class began, I warmed up for 30 minutes on the treadmill. I think I prefer the live class. The workout is much more intense than the video game. Today I was due for a cross training workout, so this worked out great. Now I'm a hot and sweatty mess! But it feels GREAT to have my workout done by 10 a.m.

After my cool down, I made some iced coffee and a bowl of vanilla greek yogurt with fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Now I am looking forward to spending the day with my daughter, Whitney. We plan on hitting the mall to do some Father's Day shopping for my husband.

Whitney and me!
Have a great Saturday!


Fun Friday

I started the day right at Murfreesboro Athletic Club. I was given a free 5 day pass to check out their facilities. My favorite part of the tour was the Cardio Theater, which is a room with cardio equipment where movies are shown while you work out! It was a little dark in there, like at the movie theater. But it was light enough to see the controls on the machines without hurting myself. I did a running workout, took a shower and headed to work.

I also decided to change my work schedule to give me more time to take care of myself. I used to work 10 hour shifts Monday - Thursday and had Fridays off. This schedule would not allow me to keep up with my workouts like I should. Some nights I would get home and be so exhausted that I would have to go to bed. Now I will be working 9 - 5:30 Monday - Friday. I feel this will work much better for me and I should be able to stay on track better. Workplace stress can be enough to send anyone over the edge. I have definitely felt that way lately. I have found that balancing work and family and whatever else comes up is a challenge. I'm glad I took charge and reduced my work hours so I can feel more at peace with my life.

Do you ever feel like this?? Picture compliments of http://informazone.co.cc/what-is-stress/
 Father's Day is coming up and due to family responsiblities, we felt that tonight is the best night for us to gather for a dinner to celebrate our dad. I'm looking forward to that. We always have a good time together. Be on the lookout for family pictures later.

Have a fabulous Friday!


Struggling to find time

This has been a crazy week. After a long weekend with my family, I'm back to working 10 hour shifts. Its so exhausting for me. I had a doctor's appointment this morning, so I ended up coming to work late and that means working late. I am struggling to find time to work out! My Active.com trainer emails me every morning to tell me what I need to do, but I can't find the time. I love My Active Trainer - it makes keeping up with my workouts so easy. Now, I just need more hours in the day to get it done.

This picture is my motivation!
I seem to go through areas of my life where this is difficult for me. Some weeks are easier and some are not. I would like to be more consistent. I am seriously thinking about trying the running workouts in the morning. If I do it FIRST, then I won't have to make excuses. My issues with morning workouts are:
  1. I'm not a morning person - naturally.
  2. My husband works nights so he is sleeping and I don't want to wake him.
  3. I tend to sweat heavily while working out and it takes me a while to cool down.
On the other hand, here are some pros to morning workouts:
  1. Peace of mind that I start the day off right.
  2. If I workout early, I don't have to worry about planning it for later.
  3. More energy to tackle the day.
I'll think about these things and try to think of solutions to the issues.

I am happy that the weekend is around the corner. It seems like I can find more time on my free days. After looking at my trainer calendar, I notice I have gone way too many days without a workout. I'm hoping to turn that around.

Taebo workouts! Maybe I should do more of these instead of just running.

What are your secrets to staying on track with your workouts? I'd love to hear from you!

Father's Day

Do you know the story about how Father's Day began? I've heard the story before because I used to live in Spokane, WA, the town that observed the first Father's Day in 1910. So before you go out to buy a new tie for your dad, how about learning what this holiday is about.

Here is the story: http://www.holidays.net/father/story.htm

I know we have several days until June 19, but I thought we all could use some reflection on this holiday instead of waiting until Sunday to buy a last minute gift or hope the cards aren't too picked over. My dad prefers to have dinner cooked for him in lieu of a gift he will never use. I usually buy him a sentimental card but gifts are totally optional. He enjoys a nice home-cooked meal made by his daughters which usually include a peach cobbler at the end.

My dad is a very special guy and as I've grown older I have realized how great he really is. Of course when I was a teenager, he was the enemy and always seemed to ruin my fun. But as I grew older and had children of my own, I realized just how smart he is and I rely on him for advice very often.

My dad is the handsome one on the left.
Happy Father's Day to all dad's everywhere!!


A wonderful wedding weekend

I had a wonderful weekend in Alabama with my mom and sister. We attended a beautiful wedding and stayed in a great lodge located on a golf course, called Farmlinks in Sylacauga, AL. The lodge had 8 bedrooms so other members of our family stayed there too. The wedding was onsite so it was very convenient. We stayed in the Parker Lodge. It was very comfortable. Here are some pictures I took.
Great Room at Parker Lodge

View from Parker Lodge

We were escorted to the wedding in a golf cart, the VIP treatment! It was an outdoor wedding so we had been praying that the rain would hold off at least until after the ceremony. It did begin lightly raining soon after the ceremony began, but it didn't last very long. The ceremony was beautiful!

After the ceremony, we were transported to the reception area which took place under tents that were decorated beautifully.

Me and my sister waiting for the reception to begin
 The dinner was wonderful. I was happy there were several options to choose from. I decided on shrimp with grits, chicken tenders and lots of grilled vegetables. The asparagus was excellent. The beverages served were iced tea and lemonade served in mason jars, typical for a southern wedding.
My dinner plate - shrimp with grits, chicken tenders with jalepeno sauce and lots of veggies and fresh fruit

The wedding cake!

My mom
The reception was lovely. There was a live band named Act of Congress. I enjoyed watching the first dance of the bride and groom and the dance between my cousin and her dad (my uncle).  It was very sweet!
Bride dancing with her dad
My sister and I decided that our uncle looks a lot like Steve Martin in the movie, Father of the Bride. He didn't seem to mind that comparison. That happens to be one of my favorite movies!

After the wedding festivities, we came back to the lodge to hang out with our family. It was a lot of fun. After a restful night, we met at the Clubhouse for brunch on Sunday morning before leaving Farmlinks. The weekend was a lot of fun, even though the road trip was a short one.


Another road trip

It's Friday and I am spending the day packing for a short road trip with my sister and my mom. We are leaving tomorrow morning to drive to Birmingham, AL for my cousin's wedding. It's been a while since us girls have taken a trip, so I'm looking forward to it. No husbands. No kids. Nice! It will be a short trip since we are only staying one night. But we always have fun, wherever we go. Pictures will follow!

Mom and my sis on one of our other adventures!

My dilemma is wondering if I will be able to workout while I am out of town and what healthy options there will be to choose from at the wedding. I am probably screwed! I scheduled Saturday and Sunday as rest days on my calendar, but having two days off in a row may be too much. I will take some healthy snacks with me, just in case. I doubt the wedding reception will offer healthy options, unless they have fruit. I will definitely have to kick up the workouts after I return, but I will pack my running shoes.

running shoes + pedometer + water = happy

Here are some of the snacks I'll pack:

bottled water
nuts - almonds, sunflower seeds
organic granola bars
fruit- bananas and apples

How do you maintain your healthy lifestyle while on vacation? Do you find it easy or difficult?