Get Paid to Be Healthy

I often hear people say things like “well if I got paid to workout I would do it more often!” What if I told you that there IS a way you can? For doing simple things like walking and writing healthy tweets and getting sleep. Um, yes please! Count me in! This is perfect with the New Year, because hopefully you are already moving more than you were in 2016. I recently stumbled upon an article about a new app called Achievemint that allows you to connect different fitness trackers and social media such as FitBit and Twitter, and it gives you points for certain healthy things you do. The points add up and turn into CASH. Yes, like money deposited into your PayPal account cash. Here is a screen shot to show you what I am talking about:

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So yesterday I did normal things like tweeted a healthy tweet, weighed myself, went to sleep, and walked around (NOTE: I wish I slept 9 hours ha! My FitBit read “laying in bed watching the Bachelor” as actually sleeping. Oops!) and checked my points at the end of the day on Achievemint. I am literally making passive income for just doing my normal thang.

There are so many apps you can connect, like your Garmin, Foursquare, Map my run, My fitness pal, FitBit, and Runkeeper (and lots more!) Connect your Twitter account to get points for tweeting health related things. It really is that easy. If you want to be more active to participate even more in this app you should  learn Modafinilcat closed explanation that will help you keep you alert and more energetic.

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A few more details:

-You can earn up to 80 points a day for for tracked activity like running, biking, and walking.

-You can earn up to 6 points a day for posting healthy things on Twitter, or Foursquare.

-Points expire one year from the date in which they are earned

-Once you reach 10,000 points ($10) you can get paid! Holla!

**If you sign up for an account using my link, you will get 250 points to jump start you! (This is an affiliate link, but hey, you get rewarded, too!) Good luck and make that money!

QOTD: What apps would you connect? Ok, now go sign up, it’s free!

2016 Christmas Gift List

It’s time again for some Christmas gift ideas! This is in no way an exhaustive list, but just meant to give you some ideas for the fitness lover or hard to shop for family member on your list. All of these products are things personally used by me, and some of them may contain affiliate links, while others are things I just love and wanted to tell you about! Let me know if you have any questions and I can try to help you out or find answers. Happy shopping!

1.) Running skirts from RunningSkirts.com. I know I talk about these a lot, but they are seriously my favorite running skirt brand. Pockets on each side to hold keys, tissue etc, sweat wicking, and they have styles with shorts, capris, and briefs. Super comfy and adorable too! They also have shorts (run buns) and capris now, too. The tops are really lightweight, and they are always coming out with new stuff. Right now they are having sales on different days for different items, so go check out their site!

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2.) Resistance bands. Since we just moved and haven’t joined a gym yet, I knew I would need to get a couple of things to get me by for now, and resistance bands were at the top of my list. They are great for stretching, PT, or minor running injuries. For instance, I have hip and IT band issues and strengthening my hips and legs with resistance bands has helped me So much! I use them while I watch TV at night. Super easy.

 

3.) Photo gifts from Shutterfly. These are always a big hit, especially with family members wanting pictures of Emma Kate. We personally order our Christmas cards and photo calendars from here and the quality is great! Also, this time of year they are always having sales.

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4.) goodr sunglasses: This is a start up company I came across, and I am in love with their super affordable and adorable running sunglasses. They don’t slip (really!) and I have worn mine every day. They did a kickstarter campaign in the fall, and I believe in these sunglasses so much that I joined in and pledged. More colors are coming soon! You can get them in orange with free shipping for prime members now, or check out their website for pre orders of other colors.

5.) My ebook or in paperback: I of course had to throw this one in there. Smile If you or a friend are looking for some motivation, encouragement, and a fresh start for the new year, then my ebook may be for you. If you aren’t sure, you can read a sample chapter here for free.

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6.) ZEROWATER water filters: I have used the ZEROWATER pitcher before and was super impressed, but this was my first time using the portable tumbler. It’s pretty awesome because I can now fill up my water bottle anywhere and know that I will have great filtered water! I took it to the gym this morning and it worked like a charm. It combines the top-performing filtration technology with a sleek, convenient design. The ZeroWater filtration system combines FIVE sophisticated technologies that work together to remove virtually all dissolved solids from your tap water, so you taste nothing but the water.

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QOTD: What is on your Christmas gift list?

December Goals 2016

It’s the last month of the year! (Insert happy and sad face all at the same time.)  Did you make any big goals for the year? How are you doing with them? What about your November goals? Am I asking enough questions? I’m going to be honest, with the move last month, I didn’t have much time for anything else, and my goals kind of got forgotten about.

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As a refresher, here were my November goals:

1.) Get the house ready for moving: A- Ready or not, it got moved! I didn’t get to comb through everything I wanted to and purge/donate/sell, but I did get most of it done and have only had to get rid of a few things while unpacking boxes. Pretty happy with this one, but also wondering how we have accumulated so much stuff over the past ten years?!

2.) Workout consistently without boot camp: B- Meh. My last week in Mississippi, I did HEAT class and went for a run, but it wasn’t my usual intense 5-6 days of workouts. While I was on the road, I did two hotel gym workouts, and I worked out yesterday in our new neighborhood gym…but I need to get on a schedule and get more consistent. I’m considering starting Orange Theory. Thoughts?

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3.) Get Bella groomed before we move: A+ Bella got a haircut and looks so pretty! One less thing to worry about for awhile. Check!

4.) Change our address on all the things: C- I got our mail forwarded and have changed some of the things, but there are still SO many more things to change address on. I think this will be one of those things I will be constantly doing for months, and doesn’t really get changed at one time (at least that’s what I keep telling myself to feel better mmkk?)

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Moving on, here are my December goals:

1.) Get unpacked: Y’all, we have a lot of boxes to still unpack and go through. A LOT. I think they may be growing at night while I sleep. I am trying to not get overwhelmed and take it one box at a time, but it’s hard to not want everything in it’s place right away.

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2.) Be intentional and present this Christmas season: We have a lot going on this month especially with being new and trying to get settled in, but I don’t want to “miss” Christmas. Emma Kate is starting to understand things about Santa, the tree, etc. and I don’t want to fly through this special time. I mean, we still have so many Christmas movies to watch.

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3.) Get into a workout routine: We haven’t decided what we are going to do yet as far as joining a gym (again, maybe Orange Theory?), so for now I will be running and working out in our neighborhood gym. However, I need to get into a routine and be consistent. I have worked too hard to go backwards.

Are you having a hard time keeping track of your goals or reaching them each month? I have found that printing them out and keeping them in front of me either on my refrigerator or mirror helps! Check out my free fitness and other goal tracking printables here so you can download and print for yourself!

QOTD: Did you meet your November goals? What are your December goals?

Thanksgiving 2016

Hola friends! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. Mine was a little odd compared to previous years, but I am glad I got to spend it with my family. Bobby and I were at my parents from Wednesday until Sunday. My sister even flew into town for a couple of days. Here is a quick recap of what we did.

Wednesday, we closed on our house in Mississippi. It was bittersweet, and the first rain we have had in weeks, so it was fitting for my mood.

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We drove to my parents house in Louisiana, and settled in for a few days of hanging out with family. Thursday included a lot of cooking, parade and football watching, and eating.

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Emma Kate watching the parade

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Emma Kate checking out the black Friday sales in the paper.

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After a delicious meal, we all took naps (as you should on Thanksgiving!) and then I went for a quick 3 mile run.

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After some photos, we went to visit some sweet friends that we are going to miss so much!

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On Friday, my mom sister and I went shopping and to lunch. Then Friday afternoon was spent watching all the Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond Thanksgiving episodes. Best shoes ever! We ate pizza and watched more football that night, after my dad brought my sister to the airport.

On Saturday, my dad and I took Emma Kate to the playground.

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My dad and I also ran a few errands, and then we just kind of chilled the rest of Saturday…and watched more football…and ate more food. On Sunday, my parents went to church while we loaded up the car and said our goodbyes after lunch. It was sad, but my family is coming to Tampa for Christmas so that will be fun!

It was nice to have a few days to rest and recharge before the moving in madness begins this week!

Refresh Summit

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some pictures from this past weekend when I went to Refresh Summit South in Tennessee. Last year I had the privilege of being a speaker, and this year I was a last minute attendee!

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Refresh Summit is a Christ centered fitness retreat. A great time of learning, sharing, and sweating with other ladies! After the crazy summer I have had and with preparing to move, it was great to get away and be still as I get ready for a huge life change. We filled the weekend with worship,

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food,

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conversation,

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workouts,

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group fitness,

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country glow zumba,

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and a bonfire with s’mores

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It went by super fast, but was just what my soul needed in this season. I took a long hike by myself on Saturday afternoon, and it was great to just drown out the noise, no social media, no texts, etc. and just walk, pray, and listen. Sometimes I think we are so busy doing all the talking and praying that we forget to just BE STILL and listen. (At least I do!)

I am so glad I got to go back to Refresh and see old friends, and also make new ones!

QOTD: Have you ever been to a retreat or conference? What is your favorite part?

Mizuno Wave Rider 20

I am pretty picky about my running shoes (as any runner should be) and I can be pretty hesitant to try something new. I have worn shoes from Mizuno before but it had been awhile. However, I had heard so many great things about the new Mizuno Wave Rider 20, that I was dying to try them out!

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My shoes came in a beautiful box wrapped in platinum paper. As soon as I unfolded the tissue and saw the gorgeous coloring, I legit let out an audible “oooooo!” even though I was the only one in the house. Well, besides the dog, and she obviously doesn’t wear shoes. (But she did however think I was unwrapping food).

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I immediately laced up and went out for a quick run. Smooth and bouncy would be two words that immediately came to mind. These shoes have a could wave technology that allows for a comfortable ride. It has more cushion in the heel than wave riders of the past, but it didn’t feel bulky at all.

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These shoes also have really great mesh that provide breathability and movement. The wave rider 20 is a neutral shoe, and it is 33% more durable and responsive than previous models (wow!) They come in narrow and wide which I think is great, since people don’t all have the same shaped foot! I personally don’t like when my toes feel cramped, but they felt great in these shoes. I have gotten lots of compliments, and am enjoying getting in some miles in my new shoes.

For more information, photos, and colors (cute ones!) check out the wave rider 20’s on Mizuno’s site and give them a try!

QOTD: When buying a running shoe, what do you look for as the most important feature?

This post was sponsored by Mizuno, however all opinions are my own.

Novmeber 2016 Goals

Another month! October flew by and we are now in my favorite time of year! I may or may not have listened to a Christmas CD in the car on the way home from Disney #SorryNotSorry. I usually hold out until after Thanksgiving, but since we won’t be getting our tree up until the week after Thanksgiving due to the move, it made me happy to have some Christmas going on right now.

Anyway, I feel like I say this every month but November is going to be super busy! We are MOVING at the end of the month and there are so many moving pieces that I am hoping will fall into place. Before we look at my goals for November, let’s check out how I did in October:

1.) Not gain weight: B+ I am giving myself this grade because I am currently up a pound, but I’m pretty sure it’s bloat and water weight coming off from the trip. I didn’t eat all that terrible to be honest. Best way to not stuff yourself silly in Disney? Bring a 2 year old and you will be scarfing down a small plate of food in less than five minutes before you are off chasing them somewhere. We had breakfasts in the villa, and only did two sit down meals. The rest were shared counter service meals and snacks which we brought from home. I had ice cream twice but that’s really it for junky food! I didn’t even get a dole whip (sad panda) Also, we walked an average of 8/9 miles a day and I ran once on my own, so hopefully that helped keep any extra weight away.

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2.) Get organized for Disney: B+ This also gets a B because I felt super stressed right before our trip, BUT, we made it there, and I didn’t forget anything major, and everything was fine! Our plans ended up changing a good bit but not because of lack of planning.

3.) Sell our house: A+ YES!!!! I am happy to announce we are under contract. This was one of the reasons I was a little stressed before leaving for Disney. We had a showing the day I was to drive down to my parents house, but I had already allocated that time to pack, and they ended up staying at the house for 45 minutes! Thankfully they ended up putting in an offer, but I was in quite the time crunch getting the house show ready and then packing up after they left. Anyway, the inspection went well, just a couple of minor things to fix, and we are scheduled to close the day before Thanksgiving. It’s all happening so fast and I have so much to do, which brings me to November’s goals!

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1.) Get the house ready for moving: This one is going to be a doozy. We have packers and movers coming, but there are things I want to take with us that I don’t want them to pack and fragile/valuable things as well…so I have to sort through everything/throw things away etc. before they get here. We will be at my parents over Thanksgiving and then in a hotel for about three days before we get into our new house, so I need to think ahead for things for Emma Kate etc. for that trip. (Oh did I not mention? We put in an offer on a house in new Tampa and are closing November 28th! Praying the inspection goes well on Monday!)

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2.) Workout consistently without boot camp: Now that my beloved boot camp session is over and I’m not joining the next one since I’m moving, I need to hold myself accountable for working out. I can still do my HEAT classes at the gym and of course run, but I will need to lift on my own so I don’t lose the muscle I have worked so hard for.

3.) Get Bella groomed before we move: I know this seems silly but I have so many things to do before we go and Bella needs a haircut! It may be awhile before we find another vet so I want her to have a fresh cut right before we move.

4.) Change our address on all the things: This will be our fourth house, and definitely one of the things I dread most about moving. All the paperwork like forwarding mail, changing addresses on all the things, credit cards, auto bill pay, anything I buy online, etc. etc. Hopefully we will be in this house for a good long while!

Free fitness and goal tracking printables

Do you have a hard time sticking with monthly or smaller goals? You can download my FREE printable goal fitness trackers here to help you stay on track for this month!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for November? When do you put up your Christmas tree?

Body After Baby: Two Years

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back another day!

I know it may seem a little odd to do a body after baby post so long after giving birth, but for me personally it has taken this long to really feel good about myself. I wanted to be sure other women know that if it doesn’t happen in 3, 6, 12 or 18 months, IT’S OK. Slow progress sticks around better for me anyway as opposed to a quick fix, and I much prefer lifestyle changes instead of “diets”.

For a quick refresher before we dive into the now, let’s take a look at what I looked like one month postpartum below:

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and then again six months postpartum below:

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and now (2 years postpartum) below:

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Also here’s a shot from the day I had Emma Kate (9/24/14), and then from August of this year:

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When I was 12 months postpartum, I was one pound over my pre pregnancy weight, so I weighed 151. At the time I was happy with that, but what I didn’t realize then was that I wasn’t in the best shape when I got pregnant…so getting back to my pre pregnancy weight still wasn’t my “happy weight”. I wanted to be stronger and have more muscle. I wanted to feel better, to be the best mom I could be.

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I am now sitting at 143 pounds, so I have lost eight pounds since probably about mid June (yes I sat at 151 from last September until this June, fluctuating a pound or so here and there). So what changed? Well, a couple of things.

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(The above photo was taken on day FOUR of eating out at restaurants for every meal. If only I had been able to take photos at the beginning of the trip!)

1.) I amped up my workouts. I was doing bootcamp 3-4 times a week and running 1-2 times a week while resting 1-2 days. It just wasn’t giving me results as fast as I would like, so I moved up to bootcamp 5 days a week and running once a week, sometimes twice. I also started running stadiums on Wednesday mornings before class. Some weeks I do take off two days, but I aim for only one day of full rest. My current schedule looks something like this:

Sunday: OFF

Monday: Boot camp

Tuesday: Boot camp

Wednesday: Stadiums and sprints at the track, HEAT class (like Orange theory)

Thursday: Boot Camp

Friday: Boot Camp

Saturday: Long run

As much as I enjoy racing and will continue to do so, it just isn’t working for me right now to run tons and tons of miles to get faster for longer distances. I would much rather be strong than fast, so it is what it is.

2.) I cleaned up my eating. I seriously loathe counting calories, but knew I at least needed an “idea” of how many calories I was eating in a day, so I counted calories for a week or so (as well as macros) just to get a good starting point. What I realized is I don’t get enough protein, and I was eating too many carbs and fats, as well as overall calories. Lots of snacking folks! After counting on My Fitness Pal, I felt like I had a firm grasp on my hunger cues, and about how much I needed to eat a day to still be able to workout hard and not feel weak.

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So what happened? I started eating foods that filled me up more to fuel my tough workouts instead of empty calories. I stopped eating late at night, and I was just more mindful in general. Do I still eat candy and drink alcohol? Heck yes! But for example…if I know I’m going out with friends that night, I am more careful during the day and the day before. It’s seriously all about planning ahead and meal prep these days, and it really does pay off (I talk about meal prep more in my book!)

After a couple of weeks, I started noticing that I could SEE my muscle more in my arms, abs, and legs. It was under there the whole time, it was just hidden. Smile

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I have been able to go up in weight when doing a lot of exercises, and I don’t tire out near as easily. It’s such a good feeling to be able to add that 25 pound plate at the squat rack, or use heavier dumbbells for bicep curls or kickbacks.

The beginning of November marks one year of boot camp, and if you look back and read my 12 month body after baby post, you will see I was just about to start boot camp and had a “we’ll see what happens” attitude towards it. Never did I think I would end up falling in love with it and making great friends at my gym.

I started really PUSHING myself at boot camp this summer, in spite of having been going since the end of 2015. I began not just doing the bare minimum, but really pushing myself to my limits and taking it seriously. I work out way too hard to ruin it with a bad diet or injury, so I am more careful with everything I do now. I have lost fat, gained muscle, and still managed to lose weight in the process. I honestly am not as concerned about the number on the scale though. I just want to feel good in my clothes, and have energy and confidence.

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I want to be a good role model for my now two year old daughter, and teach her to work hard for the things in life she really wants. I want her to learn discipline, self love, and respect for her body. I want to run races with her, teach her how to lift, and help her find her passions.

To all the new mamas out there or mamas about to have babies, I know, I KNOW, it’s so much easier said than done, but you can get to where you want to be. Don’t get bogged down in a timeframe. Enjoy your baby, and get back to working out when YOU feel ready. It may take you two years, it may not. Don’t let the amount of time it took me scare you. But just know if it does take two years, that’s ok. Do the best that you can, making small changes one at a time. Make your health a priority, and please don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can’t do it all on your own. We are all in this together, and other moms understand the best just how stressful it can be, so lean on each other. If you don’t have someone who supports you wanting to get healthy, FIND SOMEONE. In real life, online, at the gym, at church, etc. Find your people. You can do this. Be BRAVE! You can have a great body after baby!

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So what’s next for me? Sadly, this round of my beloved boot camp ends November 4th, and then I move to Tampa. I’m sure things will be up in the air for awhile until I find a new gym home. I hope I can find a new boot camp class as awesome as the one I have here, but it’s highly doubtful any group can compare. Smile I look forward to having more racing opportunities in Florida, and making new workout friends. Who knows what’s next? It will be a fun ride to find out.

QOTD: How long did it take you to get your body where you wanted it after having a baby? What worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you?

October 2016 Goals

Hey guys! Already into another month! I must say, even thought it’s October it doesn’t feel very fall-ish around here. We had a couple of days of temps in the 80’s, but otherwise we are still in the low 90’s with the heat index. This however hasn’t stopped me from using my pumpkin spice coffee creamer and burning my pumpkin candles!

As far as goals go, I feel like the past few months have been difficult to really discuss because I was keeping our big move a secret. But now, I can share more about my goals since the cat is out of the bag! Let’s take a look at my September goals before seeing what I want to accomplish in October:

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1.) Stick to what I have been doing: A+ I am SO proud of myself for how well I have been sticking with my workouts and healthy eating this past month. I went to boot camp 4 days a week, HEAT once a week, ran stadiums every Wednesday (except the day EK was home sick), and ran 2 out of 4 Saturdays. I have been rewarded with feeling great and losing another couple of pounds. I am down 8 pounds since the end of June! I plan to share more about this in a body after baby post that will either be up at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

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2.) Make cupcakes for Emma Kate’s birthday: F Yall I really dropped the ball on this one. Emma Kate’s birthday was on a Saturday, so that meant I needed to bring cupcakes Friday. That week was super hard for me as we were dealing with some things having to do with our store, and I just did not have it in me to make cupcakes from scratch. I still brought treats for her class, but they were store bought. Womp womp.

3.) Start walking Bella again: B+ On the days it has been cool enough to do so, yes we have walked. As I said before, it’s still really hot here and I don’t want to burn her feet, but we walked twice this past week when the weather was nice. This will become more frequent as the weather changes!

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Oh October. You are going to be quite the challenge for me. This is going to be an odd month because I will be gone 4 days this week, and also a week at the end of the month when we take Emma Kate to Disney World, so I won’t be home as much to do things in my normal routine. But that’’ absolutely will not stop me from trying to meet some goals!

1.) Not gain weight: I am a realist, and I know it will be very difficult to lose more weight this month with two trips. I absolutely plan to indulge at Disney and on my trip week, but I also plan to keep up with my workouts, so I will be happy to just maintain this month.

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2.) Get organized for Disney: We check in the 26th but are leaving on the 25th, and other than some dining reservations and some fastpasses, I haven’t really done any organizing or preparing for our trip. I know it’s going to sneak up on me, and I don’t want to forget anything important especially since it’s Emma Kate’s first trip.

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3.) Sell our house: Yall, this is a big one. We are praying so hard about it. We really, really need our house to sell like…yesterday. I’m starting to get discouraged, because we are running out of time. I know there isn’t much I can “do” for this goal, other than pray really hard and try and spread the word. If you are looking to add to your prayer list, we would appreciate all the help we can get!

Are you trying to reach your goals but struggling to remember them or make them actually happen? Check out my FREE exercise and goal tracking printables!

QOTD: What do you do so you don’t gain weight on vacation? Do you have any October goals?

The Bridge 5k 2016

A couple weeks ago, I ran my first 5k since this past spring. Since I haven’t been running much, I knew there would be no PR but I really wanted to participate because it was being sponsored by my church, and was for a good cause:

The Bridge exists to build a bridge of hope and encouragement to our surrounding community. Proceeds will be used to provide equipment, materials, and training to address recidivism among men currently or previously incarcerated in correctional facilities in central Mississippi.

I signed up on a whim the week of the race, and was up bright and early Saturday morning. I went by myself which is fine, but I left a little too early and got bored standing around waiting to start.

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The race was set to begin at 8:00, which is late for Mississippi in September. It was hot and humid yall. I did a little warming up and then hung out around the start line. At 8:00, it was announced that they had blown a breaker so we would be starting late. Great. It was getting hotter and hotter by the minute, and my once ready to run and warmed up body was getting tight. Oh well.

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We finally began at 8:17. There was a 5k and 10k option, and after standing around in the 94% humidity and 83 degrees, I was so glad I opted for the 5k! The race was pretty small (just over 100 in the 5k and 10k) and I had no grand illusions of doing well or placing. I was dumb and went to a hard boot camp class the day before where we did lots of running, and my legs were definitely not feeling fresh (totally my fault).

We took off, and I noticed I was about the 4th female back after about .25 miles. We went down a big hill which I knew meant we would be going back up after the turn, so I decided to not push too hard on the front end. I had my music playing and just hung out behind this one guy for a while, kind of zoning out. Two girls passed me, and then I passed then just before the turn around. At this point, I wasn’t sure if there were any girls ahead of me because I hadn’t paid attention to the people coming back the other way, and I saw at least two girls going straight for the 10k course. I felt it a very strange feeling to be the possible lead female, and it made me chuckle in slight embarrassment because with the time I was running I should NOT have been in the front. I made my way up the second hill and when I had a half mile left I started to really fade. I felt like I was going to throw up and my face was so hot it felt like it was on fire.

All of the sudden, a girl sprints past me. Hmm. Well, if I was in the lead I wasn’t anymore. Oh well. I had about .35 left and was SO ready to be done. I had slowed considerably, and another girl goes by. Well. That’s what I expected so I wasn’t upset. I turned the corner and got to the last straightaway and saw the girl in front of me had slowed down considerably. I gave it all I had and sprinted past her to the finish. Turns out, I was second overall female which means I WAS leading all that time haha!

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I finished the race in just over 28:00. Everyone was saying how much slower their times were because of how oppressive the humidity was, so at least that made me feel a little bit better. Some cheerleaders from the local high school were there, and they did some cheers while we waited on the last 10k finishers and the awards.

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There were a bunch of door prizes, but sadly I didn’t win anything.

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The pastor of my church got up and said a few words about the money we raised and how it was going to a good cause in the community. Then the awards were handed out.

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I was second overall female and first in my age group (which I thought was weird because in most races I have run, if you win an overall award, you are taken out of the age group category for winning?) Either way, I was proud of my accomplishment despite it not being a great time for me in the race. I truly gave it my all with what energy I had that day. I also really liked the hand carved awards!

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QOTD: Do you race when it’s hot outside or wait for cooler weather? Any races coming up?