I’m doing a half marathon!

I’m walking it – because to be honest, I think running is for suckers.  Okay, I’m mostly kidding about that, running friends – mostly.  But it’s definitely not for me.

However, I was perusing Target one day, in the fitness section looking at yoga mats and saw this fitbook in the store and ended up purchasing it.  I’d been having trouble tracking my food regularly, and thought having a paper version might help. 1 The basis of this book, is that it is a 12 week (one quarter of a year, almost) system.  You put together your goals and your fitness plan for 12 weeks, and track it every day and every week to completion.

I was then on the hunt for a 12 week fitness program.  I have done several 5ks and I like the races, so I first looked at Hal Higdon’s 5k walking training program, but that was only 8 weeks long. Unacceptable. Then, I noticed his half marathon walking training program, which was exactly 12 weeks!  Perfect – sign me up!

The next day, I calculated when 12 weeks from Monday (the start of the training) was: August 3rd.  I then searched the interwebs to see if there was a half marathon that weekend.  Turns out, there is a Biggest Loser run/walk half marathon and the course time limit is 5 hours.  I’m not really a big fan of the Biggest Loser, because I think it’s a totally unhealthy program, but all the other half marathons around then were 3.5 hour course limits and so off I went to sign up for this one.

I’m in week 9, and completed an 8 mile walk last Sunday.  Other than walking to Bong State Rec Area when I was a camp counselor, I don’t think I’ve walked that long consistently at one time.  But it helps when the view looks like this:

2014-06-29 07.43.09


So, this week, 3 more weeks and then half marathon here I come!



1 It didn’t really help, by the way – I used it for a while, but the shine has worn off.  But, it got me motivated to do this plan, so it’s $20 well spent!


December habit – letting go

I had originally planned on making my December habit one of decluttering, as I do tend to accumulate a lot of “stuff”.  But, to be honest, that was horrendously daunting – an issue to discuss with a professional, I’m sure.  But the sea change habit is “letting go”, and I thought a lot about that on my drive home from North Carolina.

Two things really stuck in my brain: sugar and my need to “be connected”.  I started wondering, out of nowhere, really: could I go without sugar for a year? I’d really thought about doing a whole60 from Dec through the end of Jan, but at the end of the day my demon tends to be sugar.  So that’s the plan for now: no refined sugar.  Alcohol is okay in moderation, but no baked goods, ice cream, sweets, etc. Muffins are basically cupcakes you eat for breakfast, so those are out as well. I’m going to stick with it for the 30 days and evaluate – but I’d like to see what I could do if I stayed off it for a full year.

I’m also basically addicted to the internet, my phone, and most forms of electronic gadgets.  I’ve decided to turn off all electronics at 8 pm, and attempt to be in bed by 9 am.  I’d really like to reset my sleep schedule and have more time in the morning to Get Stuff Done.  I just find I’m more efficient this way.

There are two exceptions to this rule:  one – my old-school kindle; and two – audiobooks on my phone.  Reading is something that’s okay to do to wind down at night, and isn’t really a constant connection use of electronics.  If I’m listening to audiobooks on my phone, I will set my phone into airplane mode so that I am not distracted by the alerts and such from all my social media.

And with that, I’m 6 minutes over my 8 pm deadline, so I’ll write more later about how it’s gone so far!

NaBloPoMo, Day 30

NaBloPoMo November 2013

I’m exhausted, even though I got 8 hours of sleep.  I woke up before my alarm, somewhat on my own, although the dog was being insistent on going out.  I’ve gotten the car all packed, but want to get this out before I go, as I’ll be rolling into Chicago around 8 pm tonight, and I’m sure the last thing that I’ll want to do is write a blog post.

I really just want to lie down and, as my dad says, ‘rest my eyes’ for a few minutes.  I might just do that as it’s a long trip back, although there will be many gingerbread lattes in my future.

What I’ve learned from the last 30 days:

  1. I am not a writer, and I’m okay with that.  that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to say, but I’m not one of those people who have lovely prose.  That probably made it a bit easier, as I didn’t beat myself up for phoning it in half the time. But, I did get the job done
  2. Who knew I’d get 110+ followers in less than 30 days?  Granted, some of these were those “I’m following you because I make money at home!” kind of people, but a good number of them are real people who for some reason actually like this blog
  3. Writing a blog post takes a whole eff-load of time.  My hat is off to people who can do this regularly, and I can see why people make it their full time job.

I’ve got 11 hours on the road ahead of me, and I’m going to need to decide what my challenge for December will be.  I’m leaning towards 15 min of decluttering a day, but I have a whole mess of other habits I’d like to incorporate into my life:

  • meditating daily
  • another whole30/whole60
  • journaling daily
  • working on my social anxiety CBT
  • 80 other things, I’m sure

When I get home, I’m going to do a few days on the potato hack to reset my body from all the crap I have been feeding it this week, and then I’ll likely start up another Whole60, wrapping it around new years’ eve and into January.

I guess we’ll see what tomorrow brings…

Rebel Wilson is my hero…

I’ll admit I wasn’t all that taken with Rebel in her turn in Bridesmaids, but she stole my heart in Pitch Perfect. She floors me with her confidence and her “so what” attitude about her weight. Yes, she’s over weight, but to her it’s “so what?”  Her characters exude a certainty in who they are and their sexuality that I envy.  She’s not waiting to be thin to dream big; she isn’t hampered by my crushing idea that being overweight is the cause of many of my issues.

She’s also ridiculously smart: she has a law degree and and arts degree.  And she is ridiculously funny.  And she’s funny in part because she doesn’t have any shame about her weight.

I have a ridiculous amount of shame about my weight.  I’m constantly judging myself by that number on the scale, by what I’m eating, or by how my pants fit.  it’s a never ending battle.  I don’t put myself out there in the dating world very often, because I’m convinced that men won’t even talk to me because I am fat.  And in some part of my psyche, I shy away from that attention as well.  When I’ve dropped into the magic land of “Oneder land”, I have freaked out and ended up running to the food to comfort myself, and likely put the weight back on to where I was somewhat invisible to guys.

But Rebel?  She owns that.  She talks to Ellen about how she stuffed cookies from the posh Disneyland club into her purse, and when she got busted by the waiter and was offered a to-go box, merely said “okay!” and brought this gigantic box of desserts around the park.  With zero shame. She goes on Jay Leno and sings Lady Gaga with her “breast voice”, and KILLS IT.

So, I think I’m going to start thinking what Rebel Wilson would do, and care less about what other people might think.  Maybe I’ll even just start calling myself Fat Heather and come to terms with that – and that it’s not the whole sum of who I am. After all, I’m pretty darn funny as well.

And maybe I’ll be a little bit more like this:

I am not a writer

Do you know how hard it is to find “not a writer” images? If you google it, all you come up with are disgustingly positive “I’m a writer!!!” pictures.

I’m not really a writer.  In fact, when I was younger, my sister and I neatly split up the academic subjects: I was the math, science, computer, and yearbook nerd.  She was the English, Social studies, writing and pom pom dance squad girl*.  Whether this was just our natural talents, or it was easier to not constantly compete against each other this way, I’m not sure.  In any case, I’ve always disliked writing, and felt I was never really terribly good at it.  This might make you wonder: “So, why in the world is she doing NaBloPoMo?”

Well, it turns out I have a constant need to improve myself, and I have things I want to say.  I’m also someone you could call goal-oriented and stubborn.  Add all this together, along with the fact that my love for the run on sentence tends to make 140 characters pretty stifling, and we’ve got a perfect NaBloPoMo storm.

I’ve written up a tentative schedule for the month: one topic for every day of the week.  This might not be set in stone, but it makes the task less daunting:

  • Sunday – grab bag / random thoughts
  • Monday – meal planning
  • Tuesday – productivity tricks and gadgets
  • Wednesday – books / movies / tv
  • Thursday – my heros
  • Friday – around the web
  • Saturday – adventures in (hopefully healthy) eating

Since the family is gathering in Asheville for Thanksgiving this year, I may need to preload a couple posts for the 2 days that I am making the 11 hour drive there and back, but other than that, I plan to have new posts each day.

I hope writing will turn out like my love for reading:  any time I was assigned a book for school, wild horses couldn’t get me to read it; but left to my own devices, I will bury my nose in a book for hours.

* To her credit, she did always help me out on yearbook until I graduated, though.

Goals for 2012 (take two)

I had this all complete and formatted and managed to delete the whole thing.  Good going 2012!

Anyway, last year I didn’t have many goals, other than working on my 101 in 1001 list, and when Audra and Paul and I were out for dinner and a movie on new year’s eve-eve, the topics of goals came up and I was inspired with these 7.

1.  Run one race per month that is at least 5k distance

Last year, I decided I needed to start exercising.  I took a look at my friends and the ones that were consistent about exercising were almost all runners; I figured there must be something about running that kept them motivated, other than the runner’s high.  What I think it is, are the races – there’s always another race around the corner as motivation to keep training and keep going.  So, this year I’m going to do one race a month, and who knows – maybe I’ll even get to a half marathon!

2.  Finish social anxiety CBT work

Most people who know me don’t think I have any problems talking to strangers; sadly, this is patently untrue.  I have a form of social anxiety that makes it difficult for me to talk to strangers, so I come off as aloof at first, although my friends see me as gregarious.   The whole stranger anxiety thing makes things like work functions, parties, or meeting people at bars incredibly difficult, and frustrating.  My therapist gave me a book a year or two ago and it looked promising enough on the first read to go out and buy.  So now I’ve got to go find out where that book went to in this apartment and work through it.  I’m tired of feeling awkward in social situations with strangers.

3.  Go on 10 dates

The stranger anxiety has done me no favors in my dating life.  In fact, everyone I’ve had a relationship with has been someone I’ve known for a while previously as a friend.  I don’t know how to “give the signal” it’s okay to ask me out, mostly because I’m incredibly anxious about the whole thing.  So, this year I’m going to sign up on some dating sites, and make an effort to go on at least 10 dates this year.

4.  Buy a place to live

When I moved back to Chicago, I didn’t have any idea of the neighborhoods and where I wanted to live.  I’ve been living in a great place that’s nice, has good parking and a fenced in back yard for the dog.  But it’s mostly a single family area, and you really have to drive to get most places.  So, I’ve contacted my realtor and am going to start house hunting for the elusive townhome in the Lincoln Square or Roscoe Village area; hopefully I get this all wrapped up by the time my lease expires in April!

5.  Complete 366 photo project

I’ve tried doing the 365 photo-a-day project before and got frustrated and gave up about 3 months through, because it was so much trouble uploading to flickr, uploading to blogger, et cetera, et cetera.  Enter in the fabulous Kat, who did her 365 project all with her iPhone.  I picked her brain and am unrepentantly stealing her methodology (and blogger theme) and starting off on the project myself, complete with one extra BONUS DAY, thanks to leap year.

6.  Organize 6 brunches

Last year I started organizing Ladies who Brunch as a way to get together with some of my women friends and enjoying my favorite meal. I was hoping to get a brunch a month organized, but I think managed only about 4 or 5. This year, I’d like to aim for once every other month, and look for new places where I can eat brunch in my new sugar-free, refined-sugar free, vegan eating ways. Now, that doesn’t mean we’ll only be going to Vegan places – as long as they have something I can eat, I’ll be fine.  But, since I am organizing this rodeo, I’m sure we’ll be going to a couple vegan/vegetarian places.

7.  Go to church once a month

Since I moved to this apartment, I haven’t really been going to church as much as I used to.  The church that is close by really was suited to families than single folks, and so I went for a while, but just couldn’t continue.  All the other Episcopal churches nearby are not really near by – and parking is a hassle.  It’s almost easier to go to the church I grew up at, and used to go to, in the burbs.  It’s only 30 min on a Sunday morning, but it’s about a 90 min round trip on weeknights if any other functions go on, and what I miss most about going to a church is the sense of community, along with the spiritual fit-ness.  Maybe the move will get me closer to a satisfactory church, but I’ll at least start going once a month this year.

Happy New Year everyone!

My grateful list

I know that Oprah was big on these grateful lists, but lately I’ve been feeling that I have been in a negative frame of mind, and one of the ways to get out of that is to write down a few things each day to be grateful for.  Here’s my list.

  1. I have a fantastic dog who matches my personality perfectly
  2. I have a job that lets me work from home most days out of the week
  3. fuzzy faux sheepskin slippers
  4. I have legs that let me walk and work out and enjoy the weather
  5. I am able to buy a new (ish) car without worry
  6. My dad is doing my taxes for me, and I don’t have to worry about 2 states and 2 jobs of income

* * *

My lenten practice has been sliding lately.  I have been reading (mostly) before watching TV or using the internet, but the NCAA games have made that really hard.  And yes, I know that’s the point, but I’ve been giving myself lots of breaks on this.  Makes me wonder what my priorities list is.

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