13 Life Lessons I Have Learned

(Back from Mexico- it was AMAZING!  I’ll be posting photos later this week.)

I write a lot of these posts.  Not sure if they belong on a fitness/health/running blog but this year I decided this is also a life blog.  And on my life blog, the lessons belong!   The first lesson on this list is a lesson I only learned this year, unfortunately.  Had I learned it earlier I may have saved myself a lot of grief.   Anyway, on the plane ride home I started thinking about this very notion and it got me thinking about how many lessons we learn, or re-learn, every day.  For example, I had to learn number three way too early in life and have been reminded far too many times.  I am still working on number six and I often have to remind myself of nine and eleven.  When I was in my teen’s, I thought I would have it all figured out in my 20’s; in my 20’s, I thought I would have it all figured out in my 30’s.  I am so not naive enough to think now that I’ll have it all figured out in my 40’s or 50’s…or ever.  Why?  Well, see number thirteen!

1. No reason to stay is a good reason to go.

2. If you really want something, you’ll make time for it.

3. Life can be taken in a matter of moments.

4. Reading is fundamental. 

5. Invest in your health.

6. You are allowed to say no.  You can also change your mind.

7. A gut feeling is not just a euphemism.

8. There is something really special about a handwritten note.

9. Sometimes, not getting what you want can be a blessing.

10. Rest days are important.

11. You cannot avoid tough decisions.

12. Money is better spent on experiences rather than possessions.

13. No one has it all figured out.  No one.

I would love to hear some of your life lessons!

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Shamrock Weekend

This past weekend a few of my friends and I traveled down to Virginia Beach for the Shamrock Half Marathon and Marathon weekend.  It fell right on Saint Patrick’s Day which made it that much cooler.  I have gone down to this race three times and it is always a good time.  Even this year, in the very cold, we had a great time.  We drove down Friday night which was great.  We were able to relax Saturday morning before heading the expo.  We had talked about watching the 8k but it was really cold.  And it was so much easier to watch from our hotel room.  You could see the finish from our balcony!

After the expo, we had a late lunch and then headed back to relax before an early bedtime.  This was my friend Lisa’s first full marathon so we made sure she got plenty of rest!  The first alarm went off for my friends Victoria and Stephanie who were doing the half-marathon.  I stayed back with Lisa, so we could walk down to the marathon together.  (I am racing a half in April, so I decided against this race.)  We walked down and met up with my friend Stephanie’s husband Josh before Lisa had to get into her corral.  Once she did, Josh and I headed to the half-marathon finish without about 8 minutes to spare before Victoria crossed the line (1:44’ish- she is awesome!).  I went with Victoria back to the hotel so we could prepare to see Lisa at Mile 12.  Lisa was sending updates so we would be able to run down from the hotel as she passed by.  Shortly before we left Stephanie and Josh came back, which was great; this way, all of us would be there to cheer her on!  As she ran by, she looked happy and strong.  After we saw her we headed back up to the room and I went out for my own run.  I had 7 miles of my own to do and totally wimped out and got on the treadmill.  By the time I was done it was time to shower and get ready to meet Lisa at the finish.

The finish energy was great and we had an awesome spot about 500 feet away with no one blocking our view.  After Lisa crossed the line (4:51!) we headed to the post-race party for a celebratory beer before getting to the hotel and packing up to drive home.

It was a super fast weekend but we had a blast.  And it got me really pumped for the April half-marathon!

sham1

Expo- Lisa and I look so small!sham2

Pre-race!

sham4Post-race!!!

This week, I leave for Mexico.  One of my best friends is getting married and I am one of her bridesmaids.  Currently the weather in New Jersey is 50 and rainy.  In Mexico it is 90 and sunny!  We leave super-duper ridiculously early (think 3am early!) on Thursday morning and I come home Sunday night.  While I am there, I do have to get a run in, but other than that but plans are to relax, relax and relax.  I also plan to take full advantage of my all-inclusive status 🙂

I will definitely post photos when I get back, but until then…happy swimming, biking and running!

 

The Number Means Nothing

scale

During stressful times, like a break-up, some people lose weight.  Not me.  I gain.

In 2007 after my ex-douchebag-boyfriend got another girl pregnant behind my back, I fell into a spiral of drinking way too much, smoking way too much and working out not at all.  Ultimately, it was this break-up that was the catalyst for getting into running and triathlon.  It had been a few years since I had been to the gym; my work-outs consisted mostly of out-drinking my friends and eating as much as I wanted.  I was always athletic and had a high metabolism so even though I ate, drank and didn’t work out, I also rarely gained weight.  Until this time.  During the course of my unhealthy relationship and the subsequent break-up, I had put on quite a few pounds.

Fast forward to last year.

I once again put on weight during the over-the-top-drawn-out-for-too-long-dramatic breakup with R2.  The difference between 2007 and 2012 is that although I had let myself go between the broken foot and broken heart, was that I luckily had not lost all my fitness.  Oddly enough, when I decided to get my butt back in gear this past December, I weighed the same amount as I did when I started my journey in 2007.   The same exact weight.

compare

                                                                                           2007                                                                      2012

Although I hate both of these photos, I posted so you can see how in both of these photos that I am heavier, but it is also noticeable that even just looking at my face, that I look fitter in 2012.  The scale read the same number but you can easily see how different I looked.  And that is just judging on my face.  (Trust me, it was hard enough to post these photos…no full body shots!)

Now, I am going to post a photo of me currently.  I have been working my tail off since December to get back in shape.  I have been on a nutrition plan and in addition to running and swimming, I have been taking barre and ballet classes.  I knew that I wanted to lose weight and get fit before Mexico, so I really buckled down.

thin

In this photo, taken only a few weeks ago, I am only six pounds less than in both of those photos above.

All my hard work and I have lost only six pounds.  But look at the difference in my face. (I really tried to pick three photos with the same head tilt.)  I am clearly more fit in this current photo.  And that is great, but the biggest difference of all?  In the two photos above,  I was not happy.  In the recent photo, I am.   That is a happy girl.  I am two sizes smaller than 2007 and a size smaller than just 3 months ago.  So while the number on the scale doesn’t reflect necessarily where I want to be weight wise, I know the number doesn’t matter.  When I look in the mirror, I see muscle.  I see toned abs.  I see a body that is being worked hard for.  I see confidence.  I see all the things a scale cannot show me.

scale

More important than all the superficial aspects, is that the scale does not measure my health.  The number tells me little to nothing about what is going on with my relationship with food or my digestive health.  The scale is also no indication of my recovery from activity, my stress level or my sleeping patterns.  If I don’t get enough sleep, it is not reflected on the scale but rather, I know by the way I feel.  These are the factors that impact my health far more directly than my body weight.   Individual weight is personalized and unique.  There is not a one sized fits all number that people should weigh.

With all that said, I will admit, I still weigh myself.  Currently, once a week and only on my own scale.  I do not weigh myself on any other scale, ever.  At the doctor, I get weighed backward.  By weighing only on my own scale, I do not have to question or obsess.  My scale is consistent to what I know my weight to be.  And sometimes, the number does frustrate me.  I am still a work in progress.  There will be confident days and not confident days.  Of course, there will be days I look at myself and say “you go girl!” and days where I think “what am I doing wrong?” but it will be based on how I feel when I look in the mirror, not based on how I feel when I step on the scale.  I will not let the number on the scale determine whether I have a good day or  bad day.  I will continue to weigh myself as a way to monitor my weight in general.  Not as a way to determine my worth.

Do you weigh yourself? 

Do you hyper-focus on the number or are you able to see past it?