My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Feeling frustrated and getting beyond it

So I had an interesting day at the gym yesterday.

It started out really good. I ran into my friend Meggan as we were both going in. Always nice to see friends at the gym.

I needed to get some cardio done and I had some sessions booked with Cody for strength training.

First up was cardio.

I hopped on the treadmill. Sometimes I just power walk on the treadmill, sometimes I run, sometimes I do both. I started out with power walking, then when I felt like I was warmed up, I did a little running. The running felt good. I was even able to increase the speed. I only had about 40 minutes before my first training session, so I spent 35 of it on the treadmill. I was really happy with it.

Then it was time for strength training with Cody. Most of Cody’s sessions are 30 minutes long. They are small group sessions, so a maximum of 5 people. Often it’s just me and Cody, but occasionally other people sign up too.

So first up for strength training was arms. I love a good arm workout. This session was me and another woman. I challenged myself a bit, opting for slightly heavier weights. It was a good session.

Next up was legs. This time there was 3 of us.  In the first set of exercises he gave us, there was one I couldn’t do. I was frustrated by it. I kept trying but just couldn’t do it. He gave me a modification for it, which I was able to do, but I didn’t feel it was doing anything for me. I wasn’t feeling it. In the next group, he gave us, again, there was one I couldn’t do.  And I was feeling even more frustrated. The other two woman were totally getting it, they could do it all, but I couldn’t. I think that added to my frustration.  I managed to get through the rest of the session without breaking down, but it was close.

His next session was abs, which I hadn’t had a chance to try yet and he had openings, so I decided to give it a go. The first thing he wanted us to do was something I’ve never been able to do. A little background first:  When I joined my first gym in 2012, I came across this piece of equipment. I’m not sure what’s it’s actually called, but I called it a leg lift machine. It looks something like this:

Image result for leg lift machine

I actually had a breakdown at the gym once because I could not do it. As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t do it. Never could. Anyway, back to yesterday. He walks over to this thing and almost immediately the panic rushes in, remembering what it was like before. When it was my turn, I tried stepping up into it, and I started shaking and had to step away for a few minutes. I was embarrassed and frustrated all over again. I took a few minutes to calm myself down before coming back. We then moved to the mats. I got down on the floor, ready to work, but once again, frustration that I couldn’t do what he was showing us. They weren’t hard movements, I just couldn’t do them. I tried modifying them, but still couldn’t. I was on the verge of a breakdown and I knew it. I got up and walked out. I knew I had to remove myself from the situation. I was beyond frustrated. I was on the verge of giving up and going home. I posted this pic in that moment:


In that moment, I was ready to give up. But I knew that I couldn’t. I knew that I had to push myself beyond my frustrations. I had to keep going. So I drank some water and walked around the gym until I was feeling better. I never went back into the abs session. I waited until it was over. I had another session following it.

Cody asked if I was okay and I said yes, I was fine. He asked if I wanted to go home and I said no, I was good. I could tell he was concerned, but I think he trusted that I wouldn’t push myself too hard. So we moved on to the next session.

The next session was a back workout. This session also had 3 of us in it. I pushed myself hard, opting to try slightly heavier weights that I used previously. It paid off. I felt like I did really well.

After the session was over, I took a break. Drank more water and used the time to chill. I still had one more session to go.

The last session of the day was a chest workout. This session was just Cody and I. He asked if I was okay, and I said yes, I was good to go. We did a couple new things, and again, I opted to try some slightly heavier weights. The session was good.

By the end, I was feeling much better. I felt like I had moved beyond my frustrations. I was proud of myself for not giving up. I felt that overall, I had a good solid workout. I was tired and a little sore, but left the gym with a smile on my face.


It was good at the beginning, messy in the middle, and good at the end. Some days are like that.

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I’m participating in a webinar this summer called Summer of Success, hosted by Mark Black.  I’ve often thought about doing one of these, but never really had the chance to for one reason or another.  When the opportunity came up for this one, I just couldn’t pass it up.  It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling a lot lately.  I’m hopeful that this webinar will help me move forward.

This week’s topic was on Positive Mindset.

One of things I learned early on in my journey to be a healthier person is that mindset is everything.  If you don’t have the right mindset, you won’t have true success.  I know that’s why I failed over and over again in the attempts I made in my teens and 20s.  Once I changed my mindset, I found the success I desired.

Mindset is how you view everything.

Do you see things in a positive light? Or a negative one?

When something bad happens, do you look for what good might come of it? Or do you dwell on the bad?

Simply put, do you see the glass half-full or half-empty?

I’ll admit I don’t always have a positive mindset.  I try my best, but sometimes I find myself thinking negatively.  I know I need to change how I’m looking at the situation, but it’s not always easy.  Sometimes I can do so relatively quickly; other times, it takes me a long time to turn my thinking around.

When I first received my cancer diagnosis, I was devastated.  I remember thinking my life was over.  I couldn’t see anything positive about it.  Even as the doctors told me it was caught early and that the prognosis was good, I couldn’t see past the disease itself.  I never feared cancer growing up.  It didn’t run in my family so I never thought to fear it.  I feared heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol because those did run in my family.  But there I was sitting in that doctor’s office hearing the words no one ever should have to hear.  As I slowly told family and friends, did my own research and saw more doctors, I realized it was not as bad as the word implies.  I was lucky.  The cancer was found early, and it’s location meant that it was the type that it did not spread quickly.

The more I learned, the more my thinking shifted. 

The more my thinking shifted, the more I realized I had been given the opportunity to change my life. 

I could continue to be the couch potato and junk-food junkie I had been most of my life, or I could look at this as my chance to make my life better.

I could learn to make healthier choices. I could learn to be a more positive person. I could learn to enjoy exercise (for perhaps the first time ever).

As weird as it sounds, I began to look at my cancer as a gift.  I was being given the chance to become a better person – both mentally and physically.

So that’s what I did.

It’s not been an easy road.  I had a lot of struggles at the beginning.  A lot of things were thrown in my path: nearly losing my dad, the death of my stepmom, the deaths of 2 of my beloved cats, and the death of my mom — all in just over a year.  None of them were easy.  Any of them could have broken me.  But I refused to let them.  I was building a new life for myself.  I stumbled and fell a lot, but I always got up.  I refused to give up.  And with each thing I overcame, I became a better person.  I began to see everything in a different light.  And let me tell you, it really does make a difference.

Friends began to tell me how much of a difference they could see.  Not just in my physical appearance.  I seemed happier.  I smiled more.  I laughed more.  I was more open.  The more I looked for the good, the more I found.  Funny how it happens that way.

Two years ago, my husband and I were in a car accident.  Yes, I was upset about it.  But I surprised myself but almost immediately looking at the good side of it.  It was a single car accident and we both walked away with only minor injuries.  It could have been so much worse.  And I could have dwelled on that fact, but I chose not to.  I chose to see just how lucky we both were.  I think that made a huge difference in the healing.

My journey to be a healthier person has not been easy.  And right now I’m going through a lot of struggles.  I’ve been dwelling a lot on the past.  This week I was reminded just how important it is to have a positive mindset.  It’s always been there, in the back of my mind. And right now the negative thoughts are trying to squash it.  But it’s starting to fight back, fighting to get back to the top where it belongs.  And I’m going to do whatever I can to get it back up there.

I know it’s not an easy road, but I’m determined to get where I want to go.  And I’ll get there.  I’m positive.




New challenges

So we’re a couple of weeks plus into the new year now and I’m doing my best to push myself, but it’s not been very easy.  Running outside here in the winter is not easy.  I don’t mind the cold so much, but it’s hard to run with snow and ice on the ground.  I don’t have gear for that.

Right after the new year, I was able to do a few short runs before we got the first real snowfall of the year.  I have asthma, although it is well controlled.  Most of the time it doesn’t bother me at all.  But it does when it’s really cold.  The super cold air burns my lungs.  That’s why I was only able to do short runs.  Anyway, because of the cold and the snow and the ice, I haven’t been able to do much running outside.  I have been able to walk a bit, but even that hasn’t been much.  I can use the indoor track, but to be honest, I have been a bit bored with it.  And I still haven’t been able to get back into a gym, so I don’t have access to a treadmill.

So what’s a runner to do?

Well the logical answer is to get gear to run outside in.  I’m working on that.  And I’m still working on getting back into a gym too.

So what else do I do?

I do what I can at home.  I work to strengthen my legs to help make me a better runner.  I work on my core.  I do things every day to help me along in my journey.

So with that in mind, I’ve set up some new challenges for myself.  Some daily, some weekly.  Nothing too big.  Just little things to keep me moving and motivated.

I have a small group on Facebook with some friends.  We are all on our own journeys.  We use the group to share stories, offer support, and try to keep each other motivated.  With that in mind, we set up weekly challenges.  Something for us to do each day for a week.  And then the next week, we change it to something else.  Again, nothing big, nothing too hard.  The first week, it was 10 squats a day; the second week, it was 10 lunges a day.  No pressure either.  Do the challenge or don’t, no judgement.

Along those same lines, I joined a 3 week challenge put on by my friend Wendy on Facebook.  Part of what drew me to this challenge is that it’s all about glutes.  This one is more challenging, to say the least!  So far, we’ve done all squats, different variations, with rest days mixed in as well.  OMG! My legs burn by the end of each day’s workout.  I’m interested to see what else she has in store for us.  I hope she plans on doing more challenges after this one is over.

I also started doing meditation.  This is a bit out of my comfort zone.  I’ve never done it before, but I’ve always been intrigued by it.  I did a little research on it, and watched a few videos on you tube.  I got a new yoga mat for Christmas, so I figured this would be a good use for it.  I laid down on the floor on the mat, closed my eyes, and just listened to myself breath.  I turned the tv and my phone off so that the room was quiet.  The first time, it only lasted a couple of minutes.  But each day, it lasted a little bit longer.  I tried sitting up, as well as laying on my bed.  The floor seems to be the best position for me at this point.  My goal is to do meditation every day, even if it’s just a few minutes.

I also spend several minutes stretching.  When I first joined a gym, I took a stretch class.  I don’t remember everything we did in the class, but I remember quite a bit.  I stretch for at least 10 minutes, but preferably more like 20.  I’m always looking for new moves to add.  Again, I do this every day.

After stretching, I do at least 1 plank.  Sometimes it’s a regular plank (also called a solider plank); other times it’s a bridge plank.  I hold it for as long as I can.  Some days are better than others.  Sometimes I struggle to get to 30 seconds; others, I can hold a full minute.  Again, something I do on a daily basis, or at least try to.

My goal is to keep myself moving.  I’m hoping setting up these daily and weekly challenges will do that, and encourage me to do more and more.  Hopefully, the things I’m choosing to do will also help make me a better runner.  Time will tell there.  But I’m feeling good about all this.

As I go along, I’ll add things as I think they are needed.  I do have a few things at home I can use to work out — a set of resistance bands, a kettlebell, some dumbbells (2lb, 5lb, 10lb), an aerobics step, and 2 stability balls.  I also got a foam roller for Christmas, which I’m still figuring out how to use.  I am looking forward to nicer weather, where I can be outside again.  But until then, I’ll do what I can inside.  Tyler taught me quite a few exercises that don’t require special equipment.  And there is also you tube if I need more.

All in all, I’m feeling pretty good with how things are going so far.

And it’s a good start to the year.



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“Win the day” part 2

This is a followup to the post I did last month, which you can read here:

My two biggest goals right now are: getting to my goal weight, and completing a half marathon.

Getting to my goal weight I know will take time.  I’m getting there slowly but surely.   While sometimes it does scare me, it doesn’t terrify me.  What scares me about that goal is how far away I am from it.  I’ve come a long way, but I still have a long way to go.

With this goal, I win the day by eating properly and exercising daily.  I win the day each time I step on the scale and see a lower number than the time before.  I win the day each time my clothes fit looser or I need to buy a smaller size.  I win the day with each new thing I do, each goal I accomplish.

But completing a half marathon does terrify me.

Especially since I have that goal set for 2015.

A half marathon has been on my bucket list for a while.  And I had been thinking I was at least a couple of years away from doing it.  But friends convinced me to move it up to next year.  I already have the race picked out that I want to do, although I’m not officially registered for it yet.  It’s a local race, which is important to me.  I also picked this particular race, in part, because it’s not until October of 2015.  Which, in theory, gives me plenty of time to train for it.

A half marathon is 13.1 miles (or 21.1 kilometres).  That’s a lot!  What terrifies me most about it is I’ve never even walked that distance, much less run it!  My longest walk is about 12 kms (which is just under 7.5 miles); and my longest run is 10 kms (6.2 miles).

When I first decided I would do this, I got scared.  Really scared.  I was worried I couldn’t do it.  I was worried I was just kidding myself, that it was a near-impossible goal.  I could hear that little voice in my head calling me crazy for even thinking about it.

It took me a couple of weeks to stop thinking that way.  I told myself that it IS doable, it’s not impossible.  I told myself to do what I did with other goals I’ve accomplished — break it down into smaller goals; don’t necessarily focus on the big goal.  Okay, so maybe right now I can’t run or walk 21.1 kms. But that doesn’t mean I’ll never be able to.

So I changed how I thought about it, and broke it down into more manageable goals.

The end goal remains the same — cross the finish line after running/walking 21.1 kms.

The end date remains the same — October 2015.

And while those things are always in the back of my mind, they are not currently my main focus.

My main focus now is building up my endurance to eventually be able to go that far.  So each month, I set a goal of how many kms I want to hit.  And I will increase that each month until I get to where I want to be.  But then I broke it down even further.  I have weekly goals and daily goals.  Much of the summer, I was doing 5km a day, at least 3 days a week.  When I decided to do the half marathon, my trainer had me up it to 8km a day, 5 days a week.  And that seemed like a lot before I started it.  And now that I’m pretty much used to doing that, I’ll increase it again.  Do I run all the time? No, but I do the best I can.  Sometimes I have to walk.  But what is important is getting the kms in.

Over the winter, it might be a little tougher to get my kms in outdoors.  This will be the first year I will try running outside in the cold.  It might take me a while to get used to that.  So I might have to do a few short runs outside before I can start doing longer ones.  But I’m lucky enough to live near an indoor track, so I can always go there.  And I can always hit the gym for time on the treadmill.  Either way, I’m determined to keep my training going.  Because October 2015 may seem far away now, but time tends to fly by when you’re not looking.

I will also continue with my strength training.  I do as much as can with little to no equipment.  But honestly, I’m looking forward to getting back into a regular gym again.  Hopefully soon.

I’m also looking forward to trying new things in the new year to mix things up and keep myself from getting bored.  I’m hoping to try yoga and maybe even tai chi.

And, of course, I will continue eating as clean as I can.  When I eat good food, I feel good.  When I eat crap, I feel like crap.  And I want to try new foods or revisit ones I think I don’t like.  I started doing that this year, and have really been enjoying it.

All of these things will not only help get me to my half marathon goal, they will also help get me to my goal weight.

Each day, I get up and do the best I can to accomplish what ever goals I’m working towards.

And in the end, that’s how I win the day.

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“Win the day”

this post was inspired by my friend Nick Foley.  Nick inspires me in many ways.  When I’m having a tough time, he always seems to know what to say to make me feel better.  I’m not sure he even realizes he’s doing it.

Next year, Nick will be embarking on an incredible adventure.  He’s going to be riding his bicycle across Canada, from British Columbia to Newfoundland.  You can find out more about Nick’s ride at

When I’m having a tough time with my training, struggling through whatever I’m trying to do, I think of Nick.  I think of what Nick is training to do.  And I think of these words he has said so many times — “Win the day”

I have goals.  A lot of goals.  Some of them are really big.  And these are the ones that scare me.  As Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said:

“If Your Dreams Do Not Scare You, They Are Not Big Enough”

Well let me tell you, my dreams TERRIFY me sometimes.  If I think too much about my end goals, my big goals, I psych myself out.  I paralyze myself.  I get scared, worried that I won’t be able to do what I want to do, worried that I will fail.  And sometimes that prevents or delays me from moving forward.

One thing I’ve learned is to break up the big goals into smaller goals.  I’ve found that I work better, do better when I have goals to work towards. And even better if those goals are more manageable.  So I have small goals, medium goals, big goals, and end goals.

Some of the goals are time-based.  Some are achievement-based.  Some are just things I want to do.

Some are daily.  Some are weekly.  Some are monthly.

By breaking up the really big goals into smaller ones, I don’t get as scared.  And I don’t necessarily have to concentrate on the big goal.  Achieving all the little goals will lead to achieving the big goals.

Will I achieve EVERY goal I set? Maybe, maybe not.  But I’m sure going to try my hardest.  And in the end, that’s what is important.

If I achieve whatever goal I’m working on, I win.

If I do my best and try my hardest, I win.

Sometimes if I’m feeling overwhelmed and unsure of myself, I tell myself that I just need to get through the day.  If I can do that, I win.

So sometimes, that’s how I look at it.

Yes, I have some very big dreams.  And yes, they scare me.

But I don’t have to do it all at once.

I don’t have to finish tomorrow.

The things I’m working on and towards are creating a better life for myself.  You might say I’m training for life.

So each day I get up and do what I need to do to make myself proud.  I work on my goals, whatever they may be.  And if I do that, I win the day.

And that’s the goal – to win each day. 

Do what I need to do that day and then move on the next and the next and the next.

And when I achieve a goal, any goal, big or small, I can look back and be proud.  And know that I won.

I won each day it took me to get where I am.


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In honour of Boston

Before I started this journey, I never really paid much attention to races, not even during the Olympics.  It was just another sport.

When I did my first 5k race, I still didn’t quite get it.

But now that I’m running, I get it.

There is something empowering about running.  And even though I call myself a turtle-pace runner, I feel it every time.  It’s almost magical.

And the “runners’ high” you hear people talking about?  It’s real.

Today is the 118th Boston Marathon. (Sometimes also referred to as “Marathon Monday”)

A year ago, the race was cut short because of bombings at the finish line.  Some had already finished, but many were unable to.

I remember being shocked and horrified as I watched events unfold on tv.

And now that I’m a runner, I’m even more shocked a year later.

I may never be able to run a marathon.

But those that do, inspire me greatly.  More than I can really explain.

So in honour of those running in Boston, I set out to do a special run of my own today.

A little background first.  I have a fear of bridges.  Actually, it’s not really the bridge itself that scares me.  It’s the height.  I’m usually okay if I can only see out across the water.  But if I can see down, see just how high up I am, I’m scared.  Just driving over a bridge can freak me out.

There is a bridge near where I live.  It’s not super high, but high enough.  In 2012, I walked across that bridge with Tyler and Joe.  I was terrified, but I did it.  I even wrote a post about it.  You can read it here:

Last year, to prove to myself I could do it, I walked the bridge by myself.

This year, I decided to run it.  That’s right. I DECIDED TO RUN THE BRIDGE.

I wanted to do something special.

Something I was scared to do.

Something that would take everything in me to do.

So I picked today, Marathon Monday to do it.

To honour runners everywhere, but most especially those running Boston.

So this morning, after my breakfast and my morning coffee, I took my racing outfit out of the closet and put it on — grey pants with a hot pink stripe down the side, and a hot pink shirt.  Put on my yellow hoodie and my magic hat (that’s what I call the hat I wear for races).  Laced up my sneakers.  And headed out the door.

As I neared the bridge, I started to get nervous.  The doubts started echoing in my head.  I tried shutting them out.  I didn’t want to listen to them.

I got to where I planned to start my run.  I plugged my earbuds into my phone, and opened my running app.  My heart was pounding.

I hit start and off I went.

The wind was blowing hard.  Traffic whizzing by me.

I started good.  Then had to dig deep to get up the hill.

I could hear Tyler’s voice pushing me along, encouraging me.  (He’s really good at that)

I’m breathing hard, but I’m not stopping.

Don’t look down! Keep looking forward!

Finally, I was getting near the top of the bridge.  I pause very briefly to take a couple of photos.


Finally going down the other side!

Have to pause to let a bike go by. (The path is not very wide)

I’m down the other side.  Pause to turn around and head back up.

You got this, Coleman! You can do it!

I’m trying to enjoy the view as I’m running.

Another runner passes me.

I’m at the top again, heading down towards where I started.

The runner who passed me is down by the park below.  She sees me up on the bridge and waves.  I wave back.

I make it back to my starting point and decide to do it again. So I turn around and head back up the bridge.

Come on, Coleman! Dig deep!

Back up I go.  And down the other side.

Turn around one more time and head back up.


Up at the top again.  Down the other side one last time, back to where I started.

I did it!

It took me a little over an hour.  And my total distance was just over 5k.

I am so proud of myself!

In honour of Boston, I threw myself out of my comfort zone and did something I never thought I could do.

In honour of Boston, I dug deep and pushed myself hard.

In honour of Boston, today I ran.


When I got home, I posted on my Facebook that I had completed my run.  And that I was writing a blog post about it.

And I got this comment from Tyler:

Way to go Coleman! I received an early morning text from Jim Langille who saw you crossing the Bay Bridge!?!! He sends his best. Looks who’s running to new heights, literally! So proud of you. Did you know it was Boston Marathon today as well? (Probably). There are a lot of inspiring stories in this world Jenn, you should count yourself among them! I’m going for my first run in two months this morning since injury my knee in that 1/2 marathon #soexcited! Don’t ever stop, girl! You’re running for more than just yourself… T

I’m not sure if he realizes just how much words like that mean to me.  He is a great inspiration to me.  And for him to say how inspiring I am is just beyond words.  When I read those words, I cried.  Copying them here, I cried again.

Today is a great day.




The bridge.  (Not the best picture of it)


The view going up the first time.


The view coming back the last time.


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So now I’m a runner

For some reason, last year I made the decision to start running.

I don’t know why.

I don’t know where the idea came from.

But somewhere in the back of my brain I decided it was a good idea.

The weird thing is I’ve never liked running.  Ever.  Not even as a child.  I hated when we had to run in gym class.

So the idea of me becoming a runner is a little crazy.

I can hear the old me … the extremely overweight, couch potato, junk food loving, old me … saying things like “you are insane!” and “what the hell are you thinking?” and “you’ll never be a runner!”

But I’m not listening to her.

The new me … the healthier, active, good food loving, new me … thinks this is a great idea.  It can only help me along my journey.  Already I’m feeling more motivated, more empowered, better in general.

What I didn’t realize when I decided to do this was just how much there is to learn about running.  Proper shoes, proper technique, proper breathing, the right gear.  So much to know.  So much to learn.

I used to have super wide feet, and I could only find 1 shoe that fit.  And they were not proper running shoes.  I discovered that the hard way.  My feet have shrunk as I’ve lost weight, which is a good thing.  And it has taken a while, but I finally found shoes that work well for running.  (Look for a post detailing that story soon)

When I started running last year, Tyler helped me with technique and breathing.  I think both have gotten better.  At least I hope so.

When I started running, I was doing it on the treadmill.  The first time, I lasted 30 seconds.  Then I got to a minute.  The first time I ran 5 minutes, I was so excited! And so exhausted!  And this was before I got the right shoes.  I ran outside a couple of times, doing one minute on/one minute off.  It was hard! Most of the running I did, though, was on the treadmill.

Near the end of summer, I injured myself.  I was pushing myself hard, trying to make myself go faster than I was ready for.  I strained the arch on my right foot.  After getting custom orthotics, and taking a few weeks off from running, it started to get better.  It’s the kind of injury that can take a long time to heal.  I was lucky.  It was too severe.  The orthotics did the trick.  I always have them in my shoes when I’m running.  And if I’m going to be walking long distances.

I eventually got my treadmill time up to 20 minutes.  I was so proud of myself for that.

But I was just itching to try running outside again.  The problem, of course, was the snow and ice Mother Nature bombarded us with this winter.  It seemed like it was never going to go away.  The last time I had done any running outside was in November at my last race of the season.

Lucky for me, our local wellness centre has an indoor track for walking and running.

So I started going to the track.  At first, I just walked around the track, doing 5k.  My time was getting better and better.  So I decided to try running.

That first time around the track was hard.  But I figured it probably would be.  I even wrote a post about it.  You can read about it here:

The first time I ran the entire 5k without stopping, I felt like I was on top of the world!  I was tired and a little achy, but it felt so good.  I was so proud of myself.

I kept running around the track.  Not every day, but pretty close.  And my times were getting faster.  I was really amazed.

As much as I was enjoying my time around the track, I still badly wanted to go outside to run.  But Mother Nature kept pounding us with winter.  No fun.

Finally, a little over a week ago, I tried my first outdoor run.  We’re lucky that the city put in a path along the water where we live.  It’s a great spot for walking, running, biking, even just sitting on one of the many benches.  I used the walk to the path as my warm up.  I started my running app, which has my running playlist linked to it, and off I went! It was slow, but I expected that.  It’s one thing to run around a track, it’s another thing to run on uneven ground on a winding path.  I was so proud of myself when I was done.

This is what I posted as my Facebook status that day:

I went a little out of my comfort zone today.

I laced up my sneakers, put on my sunglasses and magic hat, and did a 5k run along the waterfront. All running, no walking. It was a little slow, but I’m okay with that.

Then I walked to the coffee shop for a post-run coffee, which is, of course, the best coffee of the day.

After sitting and chatting a while in the cafe, I started the walk home. As I was coming up the hill on Bridge Street, I couldn’t help but reflect back on the first couple of times I walked up that hill and how difficult I thought it was. And today, I walked up it like it wasn’t even a hill.

As I leisurely walked the few blocks to my house, I noticed a little swagger in my step. And again, couldn’t help but reflect on how difficult of a walk I once thought that was. And I smiled.

Amazing how times have changed.

What a great day. — feeling awesome.

It really was a great day.  One of the best days ever.

Here’s another update I posted this week:

A few things happened on my run today:

For some unknown reason, my phone died a little past the halfway point. I had a full charge when I left my house, so it shouldn’t have died.

When my phone died, I didn’t stop. I kept on running. Even though I no longer had music, nor a way to tell how far I was running, nor how long I was running. I kept right on running, only stopping once to wait for a light to change, until I got to the coffee shop.

After my post-run coffee, as I was heading home, I RAN up the hill on Bridge St. Yes, the hill I once had trouble walking up. The hill I once thought I’d never to used to. Today, I ran up it.

Today’s run was a good one.

Since then, all my runs have been outside.  I’m still slow, but that’s okay.  I know I’m adjusting to a new running environment.  

Anyway, now I’ve got the running bug.  I’m slow, but I’m still running.  And that’s what matters.  A mile is still a mile, no matter how fast or slow it is.

Look for more running related posts soon!



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Today’s workout – February 25th

Ok normally I don’t write a post specifically about a workout, but I’m making an exception today.

Today I had a great workout. I rocked it! I’m so proud of myself.

Instead of going to the gym, I decided to go to the wellness centre and use the indoor track. I set a goal of doing 5k no matter how long it took. I was a little worried I would have a hard time, but I was determined to do it.

I haven’t been pushing my cardio very hard lately. I’d been doing an hour on the treadmill or elliptical and then done. And to be honest, I’ve been bored. I have been wanting to get outside, but the weather has been preventing it. But hopefully Spring is on the way and I can get outside. In the meantime, I think using the track is a good alternative.

So anyway, back to the workout.

According to the info at the track, you need to walk almost 10 laps to equal 1 mile. So that meant I’d need 30 laps for 3 miles or 5k. A little daunting, but I was determined. I even wore my new pink sweats and pink shirt. Sort of matches my pink running shoes and pink hat.

So I start by walking the first lap. I have some of my favourite music playing on my phone and my yellow duckie earbuds in my ears. At the start of the second lap, I start jogging. Now I’m not very fast. In fact, there was several walkers going faster than me, but I was jogging. And it felt good.

I went around 6 times before I needed a little break, so I walked the next lap.  But then I went back to jogging.  I was struggling a bit, but I didn’t give up.  I kept at it.

Another lap, and then another, and then another.

When I felt like giving up, I could hear Tyler telling me I could do it, that I was doing great.  It was almost like he was right there jogging next to me.

Another lap and another and another.

The music I was listening to was really helping.  I skipped past a few slower songs so I could keep the pace going.

Another lap and another.

I was trying not to pay attention to the time.  I picked a spot as my starting line and would count the laps as I went.

Another and another and another.

And finally I hit 30 laps.  And then walked one more for good measure (and to cooldown).

And then I looked at the time — 1:07:23.  Not my fastest, but not my slowest.

But the time didn’t really matter.

What mattered most was I jogged almost the entire thing.

And that made me extremely proud of myself.

I made a goal.  And I did it.  And I didn’t give up.


Am I sore? Oh yeah.

Does it matter? no, not really.

Am I going to do it again? Hell yes!

There’s no stopping this skinny bitch!


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I’m in control …

And I have been from the start…

But I just figured that out.

I’ve been trying to write this post for a while now. But every time I started, I just couldn’t find the right words. Very frustrating when that happens.

And that’s part of the reason I haven’t posted anything recently. There are things I want to write. Things that are stuck in my head, but I just can’t seem to get them out on paper or, in this case, on the screen.

When I started this journey in 2009, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I knew that I had to make changes, but didn’t really know how to do that. I sort of winged it at the beginning. First changing how and what I ate, and then just moving more. Those were really the only things I knew for sure. I didn’t know how long it would take to get to my goal, and I didn’t know exactly how I would get there. I just knew that I had to start small. More than once I felt lost, unsure of myself. But somehow I managed. The universe tested me repeatedly, and while I stumbled, I never gave up. Admittedly, I came close a few times. But I knew my life depended on me continuing, so I kept at it.

And then things seemed to calm down. The universe appeared to be leaving me alone. I was making bigger strides. I joined Quinte’s Biggest Loser, found a gym, made some new friends. And while I still wasn’t sure I knew what I was doing, my world was expanding and I was slowly gaining more knowledge. And then I met Tyler. Sometimes I think meeting him was the universe’s way of saying sorry for all the trouble and here’s some extra help for you. I was very nervous when I asked him to take me on as a client, but I somehow knew he was someone who could really help me. And I knew I really needed the help. Together, I made even bigger strides. I learned more than I thought possible. Tyler taught me so much … about fitness … about nutrition … about myself. And in the process, we became good friends.

And then we were forced to change gyms. While I was worried about what that would do to my progress, Tyler was confident we would be fine. He, of course, was right. There have been other small challenges along the way, but with my new-found confidence (sometimes my own, sometimes borrowed from a friend), I tackled each one as they came. And learning more and more with each one.

And then the universe decided to throw a huge challenge at me. Tyler decided to go back to school … Across the country. While I was (and still am) incredibly proud of him for making that choice, I was worried I wouldn’t do as well without his help. He said we would still work together, it would just be online. He would send me workout videos, I would send him weekly and monthly progress reports, and we would video chat whenever possible. I was thrilled he still wanted to help, but I was still worried. I was worried he wouldn’t have time once school started. I knew school and work would take up a lot of his time. I told him repeatedly that his school and job were way more important than helping me. And I meant it (still do). So the new system worked for awhile, but as I suspected, it became too much for him. And while I was heartbroken about it, I understood.

So basically I was on my own. I had gained a lot of knowledge in a year and a half, but wasn’t completely sure what to do with it all. Tyler did leave me some stuff before he left. And I had the videos he sent me. But I was feeling lost. I always tried to do my best. I had a few friends that worked out at the same time as me, and that helped. I would ask them questions. They would help me with my technique, and give me a spot when I was dealing with heavier weights. But slowly, those friends disappeared for one reason or another. And then I was left to myself. (They didn’t completely disappear out of my life, they just weren’t working out at the same time, or they were no longer at the same gym, or life just got in the way.)

I still tried the best I could, but I started to struggle. It seemed that the harder I tried, the more I struggled. And more often than I want to admit, I wanted to give up. But I kept going, determined to prove the naysayers wrong. It’s been a battle though. Mostly a mental one. I’ve had so much support around me for so long, that I haven’t been able to figure out what to do without it. Okay, it’s not completely gone, I know that. But it’s not there every day. Does that makes sense? It does to me, but maybe not to everyone. Maybe you need to be in a situation like mine to truly understand. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, even though I was struggling, I kept going and doing what I could. And the weeks and months went on.

So now it’s a new year. And I’m still trying to figure it all out. But something has changed. I feel more determined somehow. I know I need to make some changes, and I know I need to figure out how. I need to tighten up my nutrition. I need to add new exercises to what I’m already doing. I need to remember why I started this journey. I need to remind myself that I’m doing this for me. I’m the one in control.

I’ll repeat that — I’M THE ONE IN CONTROL. And here’s the thing — I always have been, I just didn’t realize it. That may sound odd. And you might be thinking, how is it that I didn’t know. But remember, this has been all new to me. Most of what I’ve done in the last few years, I had never done before. And while I’ve had plenty of help along the way, I’m the one who’s been making the decisions. Someone would tell me what they think I needed to do, and I’d say okay and do it. I trusted them to point me in the right direction, but I always made the choice to go there. Okay, sometimes I needed an extra push or two, but I’d like to think that if I didn’t want to go, I wouldn’t have gone.

I was smart enough to know I couldn’t do it alone. I was smart enough to find people to help me. And I’d like to think I’m still smart enough to know those things. But most of all, I hope I’m smart enough to remember that I’m the one in control. This whole process is up to me. It’s great having people help me and support me, and I definitely need both, but in the end, it’s all up to me.  In the end, I’m the only one I have to please, the only one I have to answer to, the only one I have to make proud.  Me and only me.

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Skinny Bitch is back!

And that’s a good thing!

In case you hadn’t figured it out, I’m “skinny bitch” LOL. It’s a nickname Tyler gave me. And I love it! I was on the elliptical one day and he was on one of the treadmills behind me with another client. He turned to his client, motioned towards me, and said “look at that skinny bitch up there!” When he told me about it afterwards, I thought it was funny and I’ve totally embraced the name!

Having said that, though, I haven’t felt much like “skinny bitch” lately. The slump I was in really had me out of sorts. I didn’t have control of my food. And I didn’t feel like my workouts were as good as they could have been.

But I think I’ve come out of that slump now. I feel like my last few workouts have been really good. I’m feeling lighter mentally. And although I’m not sure I have complete control of food again, it’s definitely a helluva lot better than it was. I even noticed today that I had a little swagger in my step LOL.

It’s feel great to be out of the place I was in. I don’t like when I’m there. I’m getting better at getting myself out. Or at least I like to think I am. I think the farther along I go in this journey, and the more challenges I face, the easier it is to get myself out of a slump. In theory anyway LOL.

A journey like mine is not easy. It’s fucking hard! There are days when part of me just wants to give up. But on those days, I try to remember why I started this in the first place. I think about all the things I’ve accomplished. And I keep fighting. I keep moving. Sometimes it’s still hard and I still feel like giving up, but I don’t. When I’m in a slump, it’s even harder, the negative voices in my head are louder. And I have to use just about everything I’ve got to keep going.

But I keep going. And that’s the point. I keep going. I might stumble occasionally. I might have to climb a wall or go through an obstacle course. But I keep going. This skinny bitch keeps going. Because I have goals to meet. I have things to accomplish. I have a better life to live.

Watch out world because Skinny Bitch is back!

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