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?

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?

5 Things Friday XXIII

Hola and happy Friday! It’s going to be another hot one here, hence why I bought tank tops and shorts at Target yesterday. They are having a huge sale through tomorrow! Anyway, here are 5 things for Friday (I guess technically 6 if you count the Target tip. Bonus.)

1.) Race season: I am running my first 5k of the “fall” season tomorrow, which is actually funny because the high today is 96. I’m sure my time will be slow, but it’s being held at my church and I wanted to take part.

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2.) Sick kid: Emma Kate was home sick from daycare on Wednesday and it was rough on everybody. She’s fine now, just some sinus gunk, but wow I think that day was harder on me than it was on her. Bless it. Any tips for sick kid days when it’s way too hot to go outside and your kid is running around crazy because they don’t’ “feel” sick?

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PS when did my kid turn blonde?!?

3.) iPhone update: Is the new update throwing anyone else off? I don’t like change and I keep forgetting to push the home button to open my phone and it’s driving me bonkers. Although, I was super excited to get rid of the “stocks” app!

4.) Get a check up: On Thursday I went to the dermatologist for a check up/skin check. I haven’t been since I was pregnant (I know I know), but know how important it is. My uncle was recently diagnosed with melanoma, so that was enough to scare me into going. Especially as runners who are outside more than most, it’s super important!

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5.) Snapchat: Did you know I am on Snapchat? I am @HeathersLG. Check it out! I love the filters. If Instagram Stories comes out with filters, I think I will ditch Snapchat though.

QOTD: Do you have Snapchat? Have you been to the Dermatologist lately?

5 Tips for Working Out Without Breaking the Bank

When you think of getting fit and healthy, you don’t have to also see lots of dollar signs. There are ways to be healthy, get fit, and reach your goals without breaking the bank. Check out my 5 tips below:
5 tips for working out without breaking the bank

1.) Really do some thinking about your gym membership.

If you go to your gym 4 times a week and use multiple pieces of equipment, the pool, the childcare, etc. then you should probably stick with it. But, if you go to the gym 3 times a month, or only use it for the treadmill, then maybe you should consider alternative means of exercise. If you only go to the gym for a treadmill, consider buying one for your home. You can find used ones on craigslist, or at a second hand fitness equipment store. If  you lift lighter hand weights, maybe buy a set or two of lighter and heavier weights and a resistance band. If you love yoga but cringe at the thought of forking over a high amount for a month at a studio, maybe buy a mat and download some free yoga videos from the internet.

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2.) Set a budget for races and make finding good/cheaper ones a game.

Let’s face it, racing, especially destination racing, can be pricey! One option is to set a yearly or quarterly racing budget that includes not just entry fees but also what you would spend at a hotel or on transportation, food etc. as well. A lot of times, you can find fun races that aren’t publicized on the big race websites if you do a little digging (hello Google!)  Trying to fit races into your budget is like putting together a puzzle, and can be fun if you are a planner like me. Also, try to find things to help your budget, like run a destination race close to where your aunt lives, and ask if you can spend the night at her house to save money on a hotel. Yes, you may end up sleeping on her couch with a cat on your face, but better than forking out 150+ dollars for a hotel room. Maybe you can find a friend online running the same race as you and share a hotel, or a cab from the airport. Every little bit helps!

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3.) Think of things around your house that could be considered cross training

Look around you, there are plenty of things you could probably do or that NEED to be done that would work up a sweat and be considered cross training. Some things to do are work in the flowerbeds pulling weeds, scrubbing wood floors on your hands and knees, raking leaves, wiping down baseboards, painting your dining room, scrubbing the shelves in your refrigerator (no…I am not listing all the things I need to do…yeah…of course not). Not only will you work up a sweat, but your house will look awesome! Put on some music and maybe add in some lunges or squats as you go.

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Painting a fence counts, too!

4.) Be Social and know your city.

If you did a little research, you may find a hiking trail you didn’t know about, or a walking club for moms that meets every Tuesday morning. Being in the know will help you to make decisions that are right for you and your family. Do you know an elderly lady with a big dog that needs some exercise? Volunteer your time to get to know her and her dog and then take it (the dog, not the old lady) for a run. Introduce yourself to the neighbor who just moved in and ask if they want to go on a walk around downtown with you and you can point out things like the best stores, restaurants, etc. as you go to help them learn their new town. Getting exercise but also helping out someone else makes you feel good. Bonus points!

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I found a trail!

5.) Don’t spend a fortune on fitness gear.

This one is hard for me because I love cute running gear! Wait for sales, or free shipping for online products. Sometimes you can find affiliates who are offering discounts on products you love online. Buy the model that is not in production anymore and they are usually cheaper (for shoes). I also take good care of my fitness gear. I wash it every time I sweat in it (totally can’t imagine re wearing sweaty workout gear. ew.) I hang dry everything, and it lasts a long time. Also, when people ask what to get me for Christmas/Birthday, I tell them running gear,  or a running store gift card.

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QOTD: What is your best fitness on a budget tip?

5 Things Friday XXII

We made it to Friday! I know my blogging has been a little erratic the last few weeks and I apologize. I have a good reason, hopefully I will be able to tell you all soon! For now, enjoy my 5 things for Friday.

1.) Hair Help: Confession. I haven’t gotten my hair cut in about a year. I was determined to not “give in” to the frustrating and oppressive heat that usually causes me to chop my hair off in the summer. While I am happy to say I made it through the worst of it, my hair has seen better days. It is so thick, that on my first day back at boot camp on Monday, even with two ponytail holders in my hair, my ponytail kept sliding down the side of my head due to the weight. I had had enough. Even though I was sweaty and disgusting, I drove straight to the salon, got a trim, and asked her to thin the heck out of my hair. When she was done, it looked like a small dog was laying on the mat. I wish I would have taken a picture. Anyway, I feel much lighter and better now that I got some hair help. Anyone else have to get their hair thinned?

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2.) Macros: My trainer at the gym convinced me to try out counting macros. I am usually NOT a fan of counting calories etc, it’s way too restrictive and time consuming for me and I would rather just go by how I feel, but after my last weigh in/body fat test last week I left feeling frustrated. I have lost 3 pounds since May, but my muscle mass has somehow gone done and my body fat is slightly elevated. I’m going to start lifting heavier, and she suggested I just try out counting macros for a bit so I’m giving it a whirl. What I have learned in two days is that I need to eat less fats and carbs but more protein, which I am finding difficult!

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3.) Olympic Emotions: Wow. This week was such a heart breaker for my USA volleyball girls April and Kerri. I really thought they would get that gold. It’s so tough to lose any game, but I can’t imagine losing such a huge match that you have worked so hard for. However, I’m super happy for my gymnastics girls, and proud of how our marathon girls represented last weekend. So inspiring!

4.) Flood Relief: The national news media has done a TERRIBLE job of covering the flooding and devastation in south Louisiana just 45 minutes from where I grew up. Y’all, it’s bad. Over 40,000 homes destroyed, 11 people have died, over 10,000 people in shelters. So many have lost everything. I have had a couple people ask how they can help. If you are local, there are so many places taking up items. Tomorrow, our local Lowe’s is having a “fill a truck” drive all day, and our gym is collecting things like diapers, toiletries, and wipes. My church is also collecting every day, and sending out several relief teams on day trips if anyone is interested in going. Samaritan’s Purse (they do the Christmas child shoeboxes that I love), are sending disaster relief teams and supplies, and you can donate to them online here. Do a google search or go to nola.com to see pictures and other ways you can help.

5.) Happy Birthday: Emma Kate’s birthday is September 24th, but we have decided to have her party early, on Labor Day weekend. We will be having a Frozen themed party at our yogurt shop (get it, frozen yogurt? haha). We are going to keep it fairly simple, just a fun time to hang out and eat some snacks and yogurt with friends. Emma Kate loves princess Elsa so this should be fun!

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QOTD: Any frozen party ideas? Thoughts on the Olympics so far? Do you count macros?

July 2016 Goals

Happy 4th of July! What a special day to celebrate our beautiful country and the freedoms it provides. Be safe with your fireworks!

Half of 2016 has officially come and gone, which means it is time to take a look back at any resolutions or goals you made back in January. How are you doing? In my experience if these are not in your face daily or at least weekly, they will be forgotten about. I hope the second half of 2016 is successful for you!

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Speaking of success, let’s see how successful I was with my goals from June:

1.) Clean up my work closet: D: I started on this one, but because it is tucked away upstairs where no one can see, it easily gets neglected. It’s going back on my list for July though!

2,) Cook one new recipe: A++: Why did I give myself 2 plusses? Because I cooked TWO new recipes! I tried out a box from Blue Apron, and cooked two of the recipes myself. I truly love the idea of food being delivered to your door that you just have to cook without buying all the ingredients yourself. However, I don’t truly love the price. Yikes.

3,) Workout 5 times a week: B+: Giving myself a B here because I had one week where I only worked out four times, but otherwise I have been sticking with boot camp very well.

4,) Run at least once a week: A+: Not only have I run once every week, but there were two weeks where I ran twice. Even in this heat and humidity! Super proud of myself.

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July Goals:

1.) Clean out my work closet: Carry over from last month.

2.) Finish boot camp strong with more muscle mass: At the beginning and end of each boot camp cycle, we do a body fat test. Last month my muscle mass % had gone down a tiny bit and my body fat had gone up so I want to correct that!

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3.) Get my eBook launched on time: In case you missed my post on Friday, I will be doing a pre sale for my eBook on my birthday, July 13, for one week before launching officially on the 20th. Hoping nothing gets pushed back and I get all the moving parts in place before launch!

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4.) Read my Bible every day: I was doing well with this at the beginning of the year, but last month things were really nuts around my house with lots of shifting schedules and it threw me out of whack. I need to find a new normal so I can get this important thing into the beginning of my day.

The only reason I have been having pretty good success with my monthly goals is because I put them in front of my face all month so I don’t forget about them. Having a print out each month of my overall goals with action steps as well as my fitness goals to post up on my mirror or refrigerator really helps keep me in check. If you would like a copy of the goal and fitness tracking printables that I created and use, you can sign up for them here. I hope you have lots of success!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for July?

Overall Health and Wellness Tips

Overall health and wellness tips:

1.) Drink Water: I have harped on this several times on my blog, but water is SO important yall! It helps keep our bodies running smoothly, helps flush out toxins, clears our skin, and keeps us feeling full when we want to grab a snack. I shoot for eight glasses a day, and more on days that I do hard, sweaty workouts. Go grab a glass right now!

2.) Wear sunscreen: Spring is here, and if you haven’t already started wearing sunscreen (tip: you should wear it year round), then you need to start ASAP! Make it a part of your morning routine especially on your face! I also am careful to remember to put it on the backs of my hands. I know when I am driving my car they take a big hit on sunny days. Also remember sunscreen expires! If you have a bottle that has been in your cabinet for four summers, I would toss it and get a new one.

3.) Workout: This one is pretty obvious, but how often are you working out vigorously? Walking is so SO good for you, but if you aren’t getting your heart rate up or working up a sweat, you may not be doing your body as much good as you thought you were. A heart rate monitor can help you gauge your workouts. Shoot for five workouts of 30 minutes a week, or four workouts of 45 minutes each, but also walk as much as you can every day!

4.) Healthy eating: You may have heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen” and it’s so true! I know people with great abs who never do a single crunch. There are so many other great workouts that work your abs, and more importantly, it’s what food you are putting into your body. Take baby steps and try cutting out soda and unhealthy snacking during the day and instead drink water and eat snacks like almonds, Greek yogurt, an apple, or string cheese.

5.) Tooth health: This one doesn’t get mentioned as much as it should. Keeping your teeth healthy and strong is SO important for your health! I brush my teeth twice a day, and (try) to floss every day. (Full transparency, I don’t always floss every single day. Working on remembering!).

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Also, strengthening and repairing your weakened enamel is really important. Think about how a moisturizing lotion can replenish your skin. A toothpaste can replenish vital minerals for stronger enamel.

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I have been using Colgate Enamel Health Mineral Repair Toothpaste morning and night, which does just that. It helps absorb things like natural calcium and, with continued use, can help protect against sensitivity and cavities. (Not to mention it makes your breathe smell great!)

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We all get 24 hours in a day, and doing the above five things don’t take a very long time, but yet can have lasting effects on your health for many years to come. We only get one body, so let’s all take care of it the best way we know how!

QOTD: What is one of the five things I mentioned above that you struggle with?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

5 Things Friday XVIII

Happy Fri-yay! It’s a hot one here. Going to get up to 94! Lots to do today, but I wanted to pop in and share a few pieces of information with you. Have a great weekend!

 

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2.) Dessert or protein shake?: I found an amazing recipe on Pinterest for a delicious protein shake/smoothie that, I confess, I have been drinking 4-5 times a week for the past three weeks. It’s that good. It’s super easy to make (did anyone else know butter extract was a thing?) and it tastes delicious!

3.) Relight: I like nice and bright photos, but sometimes my iPhone pictures come out less than desirable, and some of the filters that look brighter also distort color in a way I don’t like, so I started using a free app called Relight and have had great results! Of course using my “big girl” camera would be better, but this is the next best thing for a quick touch up.

4.) WOW week: I’m old school and still call it VBS (vacation Bible school), but our church is hosting over 1200 kids this week and I have been volunteering some and having a blast! I’m so happy to be a part of a special church with an amazing children’s program. Emma Kate has been enjoying it too (she gets to come since I am a volunteer) and I can’t wait for her to be old enough to attend the “real thing”.

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5.) Bible Study: My small group at church will be doing a women’s Bible study in July and I have been trying to figure out what book we should use. I have a few that seem good I have been looking at but thought I would ask y’all if you have done anything lately you really liked? Looking for something a little on the short/light side for summer. Thanks for any suggestions you have!

QOTD: Did you attend VBS/WOW week as a kid? Any Bible study book ideas?

June 2016 Goals

I know I am a couple days late, but happy June! I am going to tell yall right now this is going to be a CRAZY MONTH for me because of some family things I’m not at liberty to discuss now, but I am still committed to reaching my mini goals. But first, let’s see how I did in May.

1.) Sell items in the garage: A- I’m pretty proud of this one! I got rid of 90% of the stuff in the garage. I sold a few things, and the rest I donate to Vietnam veterans. It felt “cleansing” to get rid of that stuff and not have it clutter up my garage!

2.) Clean up my closet: A- I put all of my winter clothes in bins on the top shelf of my closet, and even went through my things and pulled out items to donate with the stuff in the garage. I still have way more clothes than I need, but it’s a start and I am proud of my progress.

3.) Boot camp 4 times a week: A- I had one week where things were a bit crazy and I only went twice, but other than that I have gone four times every week, and we just started a new two months session. I am getting so much stronger, and have been able to add more weight to the bar when I squat which is so rewarding.

4.) Keep a running base of 6 miles: A+ Done! I ran six miles two weekends ago, and the other weekends were 5 milers and 4.5 milers, so I would call that a win! (By keeping a running base of 6 miles, I had no intention of running 6 miles every weekend, just at least once a month.)

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June goals:

1.) Clean up my work closet: We have a large closet in our bonus room that I have filled with all things related to Disney travel. I have papers, brochures, trinkets, books, etc. and it’s kind of turned into a hot mess up there. Time to clean it out and organize!

2,) Cook one new recipe: I’m going to be realistic here. As I said, June is going to be crazy busy so one new recipe will be a big step for me!

3,) Workout 5 times a week: Again with the busyness about to unfold, I need to stay strong with my workouts and not make excuses.

4,) Run at least once a week: If I’m going to slack on a workouts, it’s going to be on the weekend when I am supposed to run. I just need to stay focused and put action steps in place to set myself up for success in this department.

Free fitness and goal tracking printables

Last month I was really successful with my goals, largely in part because I printed out my fitness and goal trackers to help keep me accountable. Being able to see them every day helped me to remember to get things done. It also made me feel really good about myself and confident when I was able to achieve something!

If you have not signed up to receive my free printables, now is a great time to start! It’s the beginning of the month so there is plenty of time to set a couple of goal for June. Let’s get moving!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for June? Any good healthy recipes I should try? (Preferably chicken related).

Running Day 2016

Hi friends! Today is a big day in the running world. It’s Global running day! What a fun thing to do, celebrate a sport that so many people have come to love and enjoy over the years. I am so thankful for what running has taught me, and the opportunities it has provided for myself and my family. I have gotten to travel, work, and run through the past six years and I am so grateful.

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I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane and see what I have done thanks to running over the past six years. You can check out how I was bit by the running bug here.

Bobby and I ran our first half marathon in January of 2010 at Walt Disney World during the year of the sleet and ice. It’s a wonder I ever ran another race again!

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At that point I still wasn’t convinced I wanted to run a full marathon, so I ran more halfs and shorter distance races in 2010, but ultimately signed up for the full for 2011.33044bcb

We had an amazing time running, but weren’t ready to sign up for another full just yet. That race was hard, but we continued to run all year, and my blog began to pick up some steam. In February of 2012, I was invited to attend my first race as media, and had a blast working with runDisney for the first of many times.

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I ran the Princess 5k and half, and then had more opportunities to work with brands that year. We started traveling to more races, and even ran at the beach in Florida.

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I also began working with RunningSkirts.com that year as a sales rep, which afforded me the opportunity to work race expos and then run the race. I traveled to Florida, Rhode Island, and Missouri among other places to work and run.

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Unfortunately I also struggled with a couple of injuries that sidelined me along the way, but I always came back to running. In the spring of 2012, Bobby and I did something pretty goofy….we signed up to run Goofy! We ran the half marathon on Saturday and the full on Sunday, which also happened to be the 20th anniversary year of the marathon, and still my favorite race medal.

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I had conquered the toughest challenge runDisney had, and thought I was done with full marathons. I started doing a little bit of weight training, and in the fall of 2013 was asked to be a blog ambassador for Under Armour, and even got to visit their gorgeous facility in Baltimore.

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I also had the opportunity to travel to Disneyland a few times, and even take my mom there at the beginning of 2014.

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Speaking of 2014, runDisney decided to throw a curve ball and create the Dopey challenge: 5k, 10k, half and full on back to back days. Of COURSE we had to sign up for the inaugural year. I know they never say never, but I don’t plan on doing that one again.

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I was also photographed and interviewed for the front of the sports page of the Orlando Sentinel newspaper for my Dopey costumes, so that was pretty cool.

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Ok, so NOW I’m done with full marathons! I was so tired during Dopey then flew to CA that week to run Tink with my mom. I chalked it up to all the running and flying, until I went home, and took a pregnancy test.

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I announced babyM in March, but it was hard to keep a secret when my whole family when to Disney to run the Glass Slipper Challenge in February. They knew, but no one else did, and I was SO sick. I was terrified someone would find out!

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Unfortunately I had bad round ligament pain and couldn’t run for almost the entire second half of my pregnancy, so obviously there was no racing or traveling, but I kept up with my blog and got to virtually meet a ton of awesome people, and I started working with my favorite shoe brand, ASICS.

Shortly after Emma Kate was born (like a couple months after) ASICS asked me if I wanted to come run the LA marathon with them in MARCH. So, another marathon, and I would be 5 months postpartum. SURE! It ended up being one of the hardest but BEST experiences of my life for so, so many reasons. I had an amazing and special time in LA and am so thankful for the opportunity.

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I ran many more races in between all of this, but there are too many to list! Having a baby definitely forced me to cut back on my travel that first year which is totally fine, but I’m hoping to get to venture out further again to new places very soon.

So far in 2016 I ran the WDW half, the Castaway Cay 5k, Rock n Roll New Orleans, the Glass Slipper Challenge, the Crescent City Classic 10k, and another local 5k. I was also asked to be an ASICS ambassador, and a RunningSkirts ambassador, two of my favorite brands!

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I even placed 2nd in my age group only running 1 day a week thanks to boot camp at my gym and all my new friends there.

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Whew! The past 6 years have been so much fun and full of running. Never did I think my life would revolve so much around this, but I am happy that it does. I run for my health, my sanity, the people I meet, the experiences I have, and because it just makes me a better person. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 years hold.

You will now be rewarded for making it to the end of that long post! Today, ASICS will be giving away 1 pair of shoes for every 100 uses of the hashtag “#WeRunJune1” on Twitter. Be sure share to tell them what you run for with the hashtag for a chance to win!

Happy World Running Day!

QOTD: What is something you wouldn’t have done/experienced if not for running or working out?