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You Should Do What While Running?

I did something yesterday that I had previously thought would be impossible for me to do. I registered for my first half marathon!!!!

landscape-1476115854-monica

Crazy, right? A year ago, I would have been happy with simply crawling to 4 miles, but in 5 weeks, I will be a participant in the Bass Pro Cohick Half Marathon (and I will crawl to 13.1 miles).

How do you even survive a marathon is the first question I asked myself. Well, I reached out to a few long distance runners I know, and they gave me some pretty amazing advice. And I am here to pass that advice on to ANYONE who likes running, whether that may be a mile every two weeks, or 10 miles a day. A runner is a runner.

Continue reading “You Should Do What While Running?”

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Breath of Fresh Air

I work behind a desk.

Horrible start, I know, but I stand behind the front desk of a YMCA, and I watch in envy as people walk in and are able to move about freely and workout. I continue, though, typing in paperwork, answering the incoming calls, and managing the flow of members. I am so caught up in my little world behind the desk, that when I step outside to leave, it feels as though I’m taking my first real breath of the day.

wind blown

There is a world happening around me, and I am selfish to acknowledge it.

I’m going to be honest, there are days when all I think about is the next thing I need to get done; rushing, hurrying to accomplish something. What I don’t take time to realize is, the world around me will continue to turn, the birds will still chirp in the mornings, and my life is a grain of sand compared to the billions of other lives on the planet. In short, the world will continue to revolve, whether I acknowledge it or not.

Why not breathe in every second you can?

I went running the other day, and in the middle of this grueling 8-mile run, I realized I hadn’t thought about anything the entire run- my mind was clear. (This rarely ever happens, by the way.) Usually, I run to relieve stress and I’m constantly thinking of that stressor throughout the whole run, but this run was different.

running

All I could think of during this run, was how beautiful the day was. I didn’t have a single thought about homework, student loans, work hours or the incessant pain resonating from my feet (begging me to stop, most likely.) I kept looking around at the parks I passed by, the happiness of dogs splashing in the lake, the breeze keeping me comfortably cool and being in awe of the beauty.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

-Psalm 118:24

I stopped thinking of the things I couldn’t control, and started thanking God for giving me legs to run with, giving me strength and endurance, and most of all for the day he so-beautifully made.

Some days, I believe it would be easier to sulk in my own moodiness, but I have to mentally kick myself in the hiney and remind myself that God did not put me on this planet, so I could hate half of my days on it.

Choose to be happier. Go outside and breathe in the almost-fall air. And most importantly, wake up with a thankful heart that God gave you another day on this planet.

Rejoice

A race well ran

A race well ran

If you’re a runner, you have already experienced what is called a “runner’s high”, and for those who haven’t, no, it doesn’t involve drugs. A runner’s high is when a runner experiences the feeling of being invincible, so to speak. The heart rate is up, your feet feel like they’re flying beneath you, and you feel as though you could run for hours. I. Love. This. Feeling.

Continue reading “A race well ran”

The ugly truth: the fit life isn’t pretty

When you google the term “people running” (as I did for the picture in this post, you will find many pictures of super-smiley people who seem to be mid-stride.

Active people running

Looking at these pictures makes me laugh. Call me skeptical, but the models in these pictures look a little too enthusiastic to be in the middle of a heart-pounding run.

Being a runner myself (never exceeding the mediocre amount of 5 miles) I have come to learn the true beauty of running. There isn’t any. This doesn’t simply account to just running. Any sport or physical activity that hard work deems necessary, won’t be easy, nor pretty.

Speaking for the runners everywhere, running does not look like the models in the photos above. Pshh, they make it look easy. If only that were the case, everyone would be a runner. Running means blistered feet, cracked heels, strained joints, shin splints, sweating profusely, and my favorite, the many tan lines from athletic watches.

Any activity requiring hard work, will have its not-so-beautiful aspects, but that is what drives us further. Athletes endure immense amounts of pain throughout their careers, doing what they love. For example, football players take on multiple bruises and concussions, runners get shin splints, weight lifters can have sprains or tears on any muscle. Being fit means putting in the work, day in and day out, simply because it is what you love doing.

I would gladly give up perfectly pedicured feet to be able to pound out some miles on the pavement. A few blisters couldn’t keep me away from a good-day’s run. So, if you are living the fit life, know that you are appreciated, because this stuff isn’t easy!

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

Throughout my fitness/health journey, many people have asked what my secrets are for getting that perfect body. Let me just start by saying, there is NOT a perfect body secret. Every body is different and beautiful in it’s own way. The real secret (which isn’t a secret at all) is to find what works best for your body.

Over the years, I have had horrible acne (still do at times), tasted awful protein powders, tried a billion face washes, moisturizers and lotions, and finally found the right products for my health. Overall, it was a very long process of trial and error.

To answer the questions many have asked, here are a few tips and tricks I live my days by.

  • For minimizing acne, cut out dairy.

This was a hard one for me, because I use creamer in my coffee every morning and milk in my Special K cereal. Instead of dairy milk or creamer, my new found love is Silk sweetened vanilla almond milk. It is non-dairy, gluten-free and soy-free. Plus, it is only 90 calories per cup!!

no cows silk

  • Find a routine that best fits your schedule, and stick to it.

Between work, school, and extra church events, my schedule is packed day-to-day. I found a routine that allows me to workout everyday during my small break between class and work. And to make up for lost workout time, I add a little extra work on the weekends. I know this isn’t ideal for most people with a busy schedule, so set time aside every other day, if not everyday, to get in a workout. Whether that be yoga, pilates, lifting, or running. Find something that fits well with you.

yoga

  • Find the right products.

This is the trial and error section I mentioned at the top. Each product will work different on each individual; you have to find the one that fits you best. Find products that make your body feel good. For example, a moisturizer that makes your skin feel light and bouncy. After years of looking, I came to love Aveeno products for both lotion and daily facial moisturizer.

Aveeno

I have also tried multiple protein powders, each one making me feel more bloated and sluggish than the last, until I found the one I use now, which tastes like chocolate heaven and gives me loads of energy and stamina.

I love every single product I use now, but remember that each product fits a different type of skin or body. Find the products that make you glow and boost your confidence!

Results Don’t Happen in a Day

Results Don’t Happen in a Day

It has been about two months since my Preview Models audition and it is safe to finally say I am seeing results! I know what you are thinking. It’s about time, right? This has been much harder of a process than I had originally thought. 

Throughout these last two months, I have slacked off, lost motivation, and second-guessed if I even needed to lose weight, but then I stopped myself. Was I bringing myself down instead of pulling myself up? I needed to get my butt in gear and build a better version of myself. Thankfully, I have been doing just that. 


I had been so focused on losing weight and getting that perfect body, that I had forgotten to enjoy the pleasures in life. I had realized I was slacking off on writing daily (almost a month of that), I wasn’t keeping up with my prayer life, and I wasn’t enjoying my workouts. They felt more like the chores that I was being forced to do. To say the least, I was stuck in a rut.

I took a day to myself to clear my head, and things have completely flipped. I am seeing results I hadn’t seen before. My workouts are fun and more intense now and I have God to thank for all of it! 

Overall, my weight has not gone down or up, but I have lost about 2 inches on all of my measurements. And thanks to my chocolate fudge protein powder my chocolate cravings have been under control! Now all I have to worry about is avoiding the bread section at Walmart.