Couch-to-5k COMPLETE!

Hello there. I, Stevi, have completed the Couch-to-5k training. Yeah look at me go. Well actually I finished it on October 4th, but I haven’t made it to a ten minute mile so I am still about a half mile behind a 5k in 30 minutes. But I dare say that I am actually beginning to *enjoy* running. Crazy right? I never thought I could say enjoy and running in the same sentence. I am finally finding that zone while running where I can just not think, listen to my music, and just run. And I know that if I can do it, pretty much anyone can. I truly believe that. I am carrying a lot of extra weight. You just have to do it the right way and programs like Couch-to-5k are the way to go!

The wall I am beginning to hit that I want to quickly get out of is running at a slow pace. I am running about a 12 minute mile. While not as bad as it could be I really want to get that up to at least a 10 minute mile. Damn muscle memory (an mental barriers) can make speeding up difficult, but I know what I need to do and I am determined to make Friday’s workout the best ever by maintaining the pace that I begin with throughout the 30 minutes. I know I can do it because while running today I dare say it became a little easy. My breathing my fine and so was my body. I knew I could go faster, but kind of had that feeling like when you’re in a dream and you are trying to run and it feels like you are going in slow motion. As always, tomorrow is another day.

Another goal of mine now that I have a steady running schedule is to add strength training to my weekly routine. I know this will only improve my running and expedite weight loss. From previous weight loss failure I know that you can’t do it all at once and maintain it most of the time. So I think it’s good that I have a handle on my diet and running and now can add strength so I can continue to be successful and have this be a lifestyle change and not just a “diet.” It’s all a process and I am so lucky to have support from those around me.

I am almost to a size down in jeans which would be a size I haven’t been in for about 9 years. I will definitely do a happy dance.  Here we go people! Isn’t it amazing when you push yourself to accomplish your goals? LIfe is too short to not try and work for our goals. 

 

 

Proof of our accomplishment: 

 

 

 

Also just for fun a beautiful sunset in the amazing St. Louis that I was lucky enough to capture this shot. While mentioning St. Louis I must say GO CARDS!!!!

 

 

 

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Recovering from a bad workout(s)

Last week was rough. I don’t really know how else to put it. We were on week 7 of the Couch-to-5K program and for the first time I felt like quitting. We were running 25 minutes which we had already done once and have run 20 minutes 3 times as well. So my body could definitely do it, but my mind wasn’t having it. For the first time during this process I stopped and walked for a few seconds during TWO workouts last week. I felt defeated and like running wasn’t for me and maybe I should just quit. 

I decided to reach out to my “running friends” and see what wisdom they could impart on my newbie self. All of them said that what was happening to me was normal and bad workouts happen to even the most experienced runners. This maybe obvious information was extremely helpful to me and helped me realize that I can have a bad workout or two, but that is no excuse to quit. I have made excuses about not working out and not changing my diet for far too long. Excuses are what holds us back from achieving all the things we want and deserve. There is no reason that I cannot run and cannot get to the healthy size I want to be.  So thank you friends for helping me see what I was trying to ignore. 

Because of wise words and digging deep into myself to figure out what was holding me back, I decided to start this week’s workout anew. Yesterday we ran for 28 minutes. I decided to run this time alone for the first time during this process so I could prove to myself that I could do it without my best running mate, my husband, by my side. I put on my iPod and blasted my “Sweatin’ to the Tunes” playlist and ran. The first few minutes didn’t feel good and I thought about stopping for half a second, and then I told that little voice in my head that it was stupid and my body could do this. Then I got into a mode. Not a runners high (haven’t achieved that yet) but I got into a zone where I told myself that nothing was going to stop me. It wasn’t easy per say, but I never felt or told myself I had to stop and I knew that the last two workouts didn’t mean anything because I could totally do this. I visualized my goals being met. For example, fitting into those smaller jeans and feeling amazing. I finished and even though it was a little slower than I hope to be I couldn’t have been more proud of myself. I proved then that bad workouts are meant to be learned from and then forgotten because there is always tomorrow.  Sometimes running is difficult and it challenges me. But the most challenging part as I have said before is not what my body is capable of, but controlling my mind and convincing myself that anything is possible. 

I am becoming a believer. I have never felt better about myself and what I am capable of achieving. This is a slow process, but I know I will reach my goals. 

 

I saw this before my workout yesterday and it motivated me so I thought I would share. I’m a visual and quote person, what can I say? 

 

#fitness #motivation #positivity #workout #exercise #quotes

 

I would still be happy to hear what some of you do after a bad workout? And what helps you get into that “zone” while running? 

 

1.8 miles down, 1.2 to go!

So as you know, yesterday I was slightly terrified about having to run for 20 minutes straight, but you know what? I did it! And the best part was it was so much easier than I thought it would be! I finally feel like for the first time since embarking on this journey 5 weeks ago,  I am actually starting to enjoy running. I can’t believe I just said that, but it is true! I feel like from this point forward I have no where to go but up and that 3 miles no longer scares me. I can’t wait to hit that mark and then keep moving forward. 

Throughout my life for some reason or another I never thought I could run long distances. I sprinted in volleyball practice and was athletic throughout my childhood, but the thought of running miles at a time just seemed impossible. Then I was in a head on car accident in 2008 and broke my femur. After that  I really never thought I could run. I am finding through each and every work out that all of my prior thinking is wrong and the only thing it did was hold me back. Now when I run I remind myself that I can do it instead of telling myself that I can’t. I have no reason that I cannot accomplish my goals. I mean contestants on the Biggest Loser run marathons by the end sometimes. So there is no reason I or anyone else out there can’t do what we set our minds to whether that be running or something else. 

Here we are (well our feet are) after accomplishing our run yesterday at the beautiful Forest Park:

 

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So far I am almost 10 pounds down in one month so I can’t complain! I always have to remind myself to take it one day at a time. My competitive nature tells me otherwise, but I can’t be anything but proud of myself at this point. Progress is progress. Obviously today I am on a high and know there are ups and downs to this experience. But today I will enjoy my happiness. 

 

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Overcoming the Mental Blocks of Running and Fitness

Hope everyone had a happy weekend. Now back to the grind! Over the weekend on Saturday we completed workout two in week 5 of Couch-to-5K. The workout was 5 min warm up–8 min run—5 min walk–8 min run–5 min cool down. 

Let me just say this.  If you would have told me 5 weeks ago that I could run 8 minutes without stopping and let alone do it twice in one workout I wouldn’t have believed you. I don’t know if I would have believed you if you told me that last week. 

Which brings me to my main point, the most difficult part for me in this journey so far is the mental aspect of running and of trying to live a healthier lifestyle. I find myself fighting an inner battle on almost every run. I suppose part of that is because I am still training my body to run and every work out is something new and building more insurance.  But there is also a part in there telling me I can’t do it. I never thought I could be a runner. I thought I could work out and be athletic in many other ways, but not running. So every day is a new opportunity to prove myself wrong and challenge myself.

I find that each time it is a little easier to block out the negative thoughts and become in tune with my body, but it is a process indeed. It is amazing all the negative things we tell ourselves. I consider myself to be a very confident person, but I am finding through this journey that I have too much negative self-talk when it comes to workout out and losing weight at this point in my life. Which is silly! I am young and have a strong and capable mind and body. I just have to tell that negative bitch in my head to shut up and prove her wrong. Slowly but surely this is happening. Any tips from long time runners on this issue would be helpful!

Today we are doing the last workout in week 5 which is running for 20 minutes. I am slightly terrified. I know my body can do it I just have to tell my mind that. Updates to follow:) WIsh me luck! In the mean time I will try and remember this: 

 

Don't Give Up!

 

I wanted to share this recipe for Harvest Chicken Salad from The Nature Box that has become a staple in our home during the last month. I love how you can take most things and make a healthy version. So many small changes that can make all the difference. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast (chopped, diced, or shredded)
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced apple
  • 2/3 cup grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup NatureBox Dried Cranberries or Zingy Currants
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Ciabatta bread, toasted, for serving
Directions:
 
1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, red onion, apple, grapes, dried cranberries or currants, sliced almonds, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste. Serve sandwiches on ciabatta bread with chicken salad mixture.
 
 
*I cook my chicken in the crock pot because it makes it so juicy and easy to shred, plus it’s super easy! I also like to use the Hungry Girl flatbread because it’s only 100 calories and delicious.
 
 
Any words of advice for me before the big run today and/or any typically unhealthy recipes that you make healthy with a few simple changes? 
 
 
 
 

The Beginning

My name is Stevi.  I am 25 years old. I am a wife, sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, and friend. I am a social worker with a Master’s degree. I enjoy reading, movies, exploring new restaurants, hanging out with friends, talking, and the list goes on. I also happen to be overweight. I have been overweight most of my life and it is also a part of my identity. This is my journey to change that.

First off, let me say that although the weight loss may be the focus of this blog, the importance for me is not so much the weight as it is my health. I want to live a long and healthy life. I want to have children someday and be able to do all the things with them that I can and not have my physical limits defined by my weight. I love myself and I love my body. I want my outside to reflect how I feel inside. I want to achieve and surpass my goals and overcome mental roadblocks I have set for myself along the way. I do not buy into the mass media idea that skinny=happy or skinny=better. Everyone is different and all of our bodies are beautiful. For me, this is not about being skinny it is about being healthy. I love my curves and I hope throughout this journey they are still there, just more defined and lovely. I do not expect to look like anyone else, but me.

3.5 weeks ago, my husband and I started the 8 week Couch-to-5k running program and tracking our food on My Fitness Pal. Let me just say that I have never been a runner. I played volleyball in high school and could do that all day long, but when we had to run, I hated it. So for me, running=punishment. And as many of you know, running is in huge part mental. During this first few weeks I have learned a few things:

  1. My running form is terrible and I need to work on that
  2. I can and have run for 5 minutes without stopping 2 times in one workout
  3. Running outside isn’t so bad, people don’t really care to stare at you and if they do you will pass them anyway so who cares
  4. Two sports bras are better than one
  5. I might actually begin enjoying this….maybe
  6. It may sound cliche, but you really have to take it one day at a time

I thought this forum would be a good way for me to track my progress and help hold me accountable. Let me just say, that if 4.5 weeks from now I can run 3 miles without stopping I will be screaming from the mountaintop because that will be a huge damn deal for me. Especially seeing as I broke my femur 5 years ago. But, more on that later…

Until then, workout 3 in the 4th week of Couch-to-5k takes place tomorrow. If you haven’t heard of the plan or want to check it out go to:

 

And lastly an inspirational quote because I’m sometimes corny like that.

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I will post more about my eating healthy progress later this week and would love any ideas of things that have worked for you or those close to you. Also any running tips from runners out there?