From Bucket List to Daily Gift

The first of many more successful runs. I am just loving my life and my fitness right now!

Living the Life

One day I got it in my head that I would like to run an official race before I eventually and inevitably kicked the bucket. While I had always had a rocky roady relationship with running, I was unsure where this decision would lead me and was faced with the real possibility that my Pail List would contain an item that I may never cross off.

DSCN0843Yet, earlier this summer, I did indeed get to cross off “run an official race” after completing the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K in Maryland. Despite twisting my ankle a bit I came out of the race with the feeling of glowing accomplishment and a decent time of a bit after 36 minutes.

And then I kept running.

And I compiled a workout playlist

And I bought nice shoes.

And I printed more training schedules.

And I felt good about myself.

And I learned the…

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Yes, It’s Worth It

nothing is worth it

Things have been going pretty darn good for me lately. Pretty darn fantastical wonderful stupendical, in fact.

These past few weeks have seen me exercising like a lunatic, falling in love with the gym all over again, and finding any excuse to get outside and move my body (no matter how embarrassing I may look). And all of my little fat cells absolutely hate me for it; which all my little brain cells love me for it.

Just thinking back a few months ago, I remember trying to hide my general unhappiness with being overweight and out of shape. Mostly, I would eat to make myself feel better about being overweight. Yeah, that doesn’t make sense to me either….though it worked fairly well. While I was eating I felt good. While I was eating I could forget about wherever my worries lay. While I was eating I was content.

And then after the eating I was anxious and worried and disappointed and upset and emotional and disappointed and defeated and sad and angry and disappointed. Which would make me eat more. But eventually everybody reaches their food limit, and there were times when I literally could not continue eating. So then what? Well, then I was stuck with those unhappy thoughts and no way of comforting myself. Cue public service announcement on the dangers of relying on chocolate and peanut butter to solve your problems.

But now that I’ve seen the brilliant and divine light of exercise and healthy eating, I’ve come to a stunning realization.

Eating keeps you happy some of the time; fitness keeps you happy all of the time.

Even when I’m not running around at the gym and shoving apples into my mouth, I find myself in a better mood. When walking around campus, I notice that I’m smiling with confidence. I go home at night and instead of wallowing in self-pity, I do a few jumping jacks and call up a friend. Eating better and exercising has enriched almost every aspect of my life (though maybe not the aspect that involves free time).

While there are days that I struggle and times where I know it’d be so much easier to call up Papa Johns and order myself a whole pizza with mushrooms and pineapple, on most every day, I am thrilled to be alive and actively participating in my life.

It was a tough transition. It is still hard. But it is and will always be oh so worth it.long road worth it

Making My Day and Then Some

While working as a cashier for the school dining hall, I struck up a friendly conversation with a customer, as I am apt to do. I took advantage of his friendly nature to talk about how he was liking school, the first day of classes, and how excited he was to be living in his section of campus. Small talk small talk small talk. Of course, our talk turned to majors. He was a business major and excited to finally be a part of the business school. Small talk small talk small talk. Then, he decided to guess which major I was, and he hazarded the thought:

“Are you a kinesiology major?”

For those of you who are unaware of this field, kinesiology is basically the sports and fitness and physical therapy major of our school.

He thought I majored in exercise.

I nearly died.

“I just thought you looked like you’d be one of those group fitness instructors.”

I actually died.

I mumbled that I was an English and Communications major, but I’m beyond thrilled and proud and pleased and excited and pumped that somewhere in this  mess of a universe someone could find me fit and believe that I held a commitment to my health just by looking at me.

knsc major

Walkin’ On Sunshine

Lately, it’s been hot. Darn hot. In addition to frizzing up my hair, this heat and humidity has banished me to the air conditioned, yet slightly depressing basement in order to complete my workouts.

I’ve been able to run on the treadmill or ellipticize on the elliptical while watching TV, reading a book, or enjoying the hum of the AC unit, but unfortunately I’ve missed out on a lot of green gleeful great things that come with exercising outside.

When I realized this morning that I had a brief window of opportunity to actually workout, I leaped at the chance (I think my feet literally left the ground with excitement), laced up my shoes, and hit the neighborhood trails.

At first, I contemplated running outside, but it was so beautiful and nice and fresh out that I wanted to savor every minute of the bluest skies and cutest bunny rabbits hopping by. So I walked. I walked for 45 minutes. I walked while listening to positive and upbeat music. I walked and waved to neighbors I had long neglected. I walked with a smile on my face. I walked on sunshine.

Yay outdoors!

Yay outdoors!

Exercise promotes happiness, but I’d forgotten that while starring at the dusty yellow walls in my basement. It just took a change of scenery and an excited demeanor to completely reinvigorate my feelings towards exercise. Woohoo!

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Sorry, I would have taken more pictures, but I was busy exercising!

Staying Fit, Having Fun

grumpy cat is fit

 

If you’re not having fun with your fitness routine, why even bother to pursue a healthier lifestyle? I love doing little things to brighten up my exercising routine.

This morning I’m stuck doing all of the chores I’ve neglected over the weekend. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t incorporate some fun and fit moves into my day! I’ll dance around the house while dusting, race to make my bed, and sing while unloading the dishwasher. I’m aware that singing doesn’t really burn calories, but it distracts from my dancing, so I include it.

Every little thing adds up, and if you can add with a smile on your face, that makes the experience all the more enjoyable and can help you stick to your plan.

What do you do to add a dash of fun to your fit lifestyle?

So About This 5K…

As I’ve already mentioned, over the weekend I completed my first official 5K. And I’ve got some thoughts on that. Big, important, healthy, happy thoughts.

IMG_2170Firstly, I rock. Of course there’s that percentage of the population who has been running for years on end and can complete two 5Ks before breakfast, but I’m going to ignore their justifiably lofty opinions. I rock in the eyes of my family and friends and everyone who watched me struggle to get fit and push myself towards this goal. And I can feel this awesomeness spreading throughout my entire being, encouraging me to pursue fitness and continue towards that bright and glorious life I can have if I take this opportunity to launch myself into the healthy lifestyle I’ve avoided for the past month.

Secondly, I haven’t been avoiding a healthy lifestyle since the race (wow, three whole days…). But considering I hadn’t been taking care of myself for a month before this, I’ll take it. I always find a turning point to say, “Alright Katy, this’ll be the last day you ever polish off a bag of Doritos” or “Katy! I just know that come Monday you’ll magically exercise with extreme consistency!” And maybe this is another stupid turning point, but so far it’s fulfilled its purpose only by springing me into a healthy pattern, something I’ve  been craving even more than peanut butter.

Thirdly, I am in love. Again. With life. I go through these glorious periods (usually while riding a fitness and nutrition kick) where I am just so darn grateful to be alive. Where I look at the sky, and see a hopping bunny rabbit in my yard, and smell the freshly cut grass, and cuddle up against my cat, and I have to fight back the occasional tears of joy at simply being around to experience all of life’s little miracles. I can’t even give you a picture to go along with those examples, because there is nothing that beats the feeling of living and experiencing life in real time.

Yes, this level of emotion and gratitude is probably weird, but I am oh so thankful for being able to recognize what I have, because it allows me to say yes to living and appreciate every single moment that I spend in the circumstance of life.

life is beautiful quote

I don’t think followers of this blog have really seen me put together a post while I’m feeling this solidly good about my prospects. But as I’m typing this out, my heart is just beating with giddiness at the very chance to express myself in such a profoundly personal manner and hopefully encourage some readers to examine all of the blessings they are granted just by being alive.

That’s funny, I remember when I started typing this post and it was about a 5K…