Excuses, Excuses

Everybody’s got them.

I’ve been making a lot of excuses lately. Mostly for me being lazy, not going running or working out. I keep telling myself I will when the weather gets better, but last weekend it was 68 and sunny and I did nothing. Well, I did celebrate Texas Independence Day with some good beer and chili. Yum.

texas beer texas chili

 

I have not been running in a few weeks, and with the beginning of Lent, I’m going to at least try and dedicate myself to keeping up with what I’ve started. Running, working out and eating healthy. No excuses.

What excuses have been holding you back?

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On Absence.

You ever have one of those weeks where you start going, and before you know it, the week is already gone and all the little things you love to do in your spare time have just fallen by the wayside?

I’ve had one of those weeks.

I’ve actually had a few of those weeks all strung together.

In typical PR style, this fall has had me running around like a crazy person. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, I love what I do and I am finding time to fill those extra minutes each day with the people I care about as well as the usual meal prep/workout/training programs.

Oh yeah, training programs.

Last time we talked, I had just wrote about taking up running again. Well I did, and I made a big decision last week.

I will be running in the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in February.

New Orleans Half Marathon

I’ve got a sweet training guide, and awesome support community including the newly-returned-to-blogging Allison, my cousin Erin and of course, Adam. (Shameless linking because two of them have awesome blogs of their own.) As well as amazing friends and family who I hope will still be around in February after hearing me talk about running nonstop for three months. (Sorry in advance, y’all.)

If you are a long time reader, you know I come from a big, tight-knit family, including quite a few cousins. Four of us are within a year and two weeks of each other, and these four are going to be running together for 13.1 miles.

(For the record, here’s the order: Julia, Erin, Michael and Kelly.)

I know. It sounds insane. In fact, when Erin first approached me with the idea, I laughed for probably about five straight minutes. Me. Run in a half marathon???? You’ve got to be kidding. I can’t even run 3 miles. 

But then I thought about it.

For a while.

Work picked up again. We signed on a couple new clients and I joined boot camp again. For a six  month commitment this time. About two months in, I thought about it again. And I thought. I wonder if I could do that…. 

It’s really curiosity that is fueling me. Along with my competitive drive. My inner drive to push myself and see how much I can take before I completely melt down? Yeah, That’s a line I’ve been happily walking since high school.

In typical Type-A fashion, I have an Excel spreadsheet with a training plan that incorporates boot camp (and the all important rest day) and it is taped to my fridge. Yes, I am that girl.

I’m still eating clean, though I am increasing my water intake as well as letting myself indulge a little more often now. I mean hey, I am now working out 6 days a week.

Tonight will be a “quick” 3 mile run, and hopefully the park I love will have dried out from the week of rain.

I’m still struggling a bit at the 3 mile mark. But I’ve scheduled about 2 and half weeks of 3 mile runs to get myself comfortable before moving up.

Sunday I take on my longest distance ever at 4 miles.

My biggest hurdle hasn’t been the distance though. I’m trying not to minimize what I’m doing. I know so many people who run long distances that it’s hard to make myself feel proud of running 3 miles when I know people who finished 18 and 20 mile runs over the weekend. Something I’ve got to get better on is not comparing myself to others.

I’m beginning to understand what they mean when they say training for a race like this is just as much about mental preparation as it is about the physical. I’m on my own training plan. This is not about where other people are in their training, but about me.

That’s just what I need to keep telling myself.

So, here’s to an early New Year’s Resolution, Early Birthday and Christmas presents to myself and most importantly: to 13.1.

That Time I Started Running

One thing you should know about me is that I love doing things. And more than doing things, I specifically love doing things with other people.

It’s part of the E in ESFJ for me to love being around people and gain energy from sharing common activities, interests and the like.

So while at first I resisted the idea of running, what with having a bum ankle and all, I was so proud of my friends who did get out there and run. Allison has long been a supporter of the idea that you should work out in whatever way fits you. But she’s also in love with running, and that’s contagious. My cousin Erin is also a big runner, and she has (for a very long time) been trying to get me to run a 5K with her, even though she’s about to run her first marathon in December (go Erin!).

Together, these two convinced me to get out and try running.

Not on purpose, but by being an example. I saw through Facebook, Instagram, E-mail and everyday conversations. They would always talk about how running helped them relax and set their life in order. Oh, and they were getting in wicked awesome shape, which is always a nice side benefit.

So after I finished my boot camp last spring, I finally felt healthy and fit enough to start running. It was a lot easier to motivate myself because I already felt good about my body. I felt like I could conquer the world after boot camp, so why not running too?

Turns out its not as easy as it seems.

I was used to having my trainer (Hi, Meridith!) encouraging me during boot camp workouts, reminding me why I was there, pushing me when she saw I was slacking (#sorrynotsorry).

You don’t have that when you’re out on a run. You just have yourself, your music and the pavement.

julia after a run

Me and my post workout high.

It was hard. But after searching for a replacement for the post-boot camp high of sweat, adrenaline and exhaustion, I found it in running.

A lot of people run to keep their life in order. A lot of people run to manage stress. A lot of people run to lose weight.

I run for the feeling I get after a run, or any really good workout. Dripping in sweat, gasping for air, feeling the sun beat down on me as I try to control my heart rate.

I don’t feel tired or worn out. I don’t feel pain or fatigue.

I feel powerful.

It’s in those moments when I know exactly how powerful my body is, and I revel in that feeling. I love the feeling after boot camp when I look around and realize that in one night, I did 80 burpees. The feeling after a run after work when I look at the lake I run around, knowing that I did that.

The ache the next morning is just a reminder of what I accomplished.

Do you run? Why? What gets you out there?

(Side note: I am also motivated by select pictures of the monster I call “Fat!Julia”. I must beat her.)

Hello There!

Wow, hi strangers. Sorry about the radio silence. I would say that life has been crazy busy, but I’m trying to stop using that as an excuse so I’ll be honest – I just haven’t had the motivation to write.

Quick Recap:

This summer was fun. I went to the lake with my family, got a nice sunburn (and subsequent tan), ate and had way too much fun in the process and then took up running.

Like how I stuck that in there? Yep, you heard me right. I have started running.

Well. I’ve started pretending to run. I signed up for a 5K in November. I’m hoping the fact that it’s the Shiner Beer Run will help motivate me to get ready for it. I have been really trying to get out to a nearby park to run in the evenings when it’s not too hot, but I never realized how many factors during your day could affect a run. It’s definitely a lot harder than I thought, but I feel really good afterwards.

Right now my PR for distance is 2.39 and my best average pace has been a 13:38/miles. Oddly enough, those occurred on the same run early in July.

julia prior will run for beer

Pretty much, yeah.

Let’s see, what else has been going on. 

I joined back up with my boot camp this week. My second class is tonight and I am -still- sore from Tuesday. Guess I needed to get back to it more than I thought. Woops.

And for posterity, here are a couple “before” pictures and my starting measurements.

Arms: 13.5 inches
Chest: 42.5 inches
Waist: 39 inches
Hips/Butt: 45 inches
Thighs: 23.25 inches

Raise your hand if you were surprised my chest wasn’t the largest. –raises hand–

before texas fit chicks

My session will last through February, so for once I’m actually not really concerned about gaining weight during the holidays.

In the meantime, I am hoping to start posting on a more regular basis. More of the same things as before. Personal stories, recipes, random motivational pictures. You know, the usual, with my own spin on it.

I hope you enjoy!

Ending a Year-Long Relationship

So, in the interest of full disclosure, I feel the need to be honest with y’all.

On Friday afternoon, I canceled my WeightWatchers account.

Between boot camp, the new exercises I’m doing, and the meal plans, I just wasn’t using the tools anymore and I finally decided it was time to stop paying for them.

I did not stop using WeightWatchers because it didn’t work. WeightWatchers taught me about portion control, and gave me a huge step in the right direction when I was ready for a change in my life but didn’t know where to start. Now that I have the ball rolling, I don’t feel the need for the monthly service anymore.

So there’s that. WeightWatchers got me to start cooking my own food, and to start caring what was in the food I put in my body, and how it effected my body.

For that, I’ll always recommend WeightWatchers to people who are looking for a place to start their weight loss journey.

Boot Camp: Not-So-Final Results

So my boot camp ended a few weeks ago, but I’m still sticking to their meal plan and work out schedule as best I can. It’s a lot harder when I don’t have that amazing group of women (and of course my trainer) expecting me at class three times a week.

But here are my results.

I lost 1 inch in my bust, 2 inches from my hips and 3 inches from my waist.

I still feel fantastic (even after the junk-food-fest that was my Memorial Day and then Free Press Summer Fest weekends).

I did gain 2 pounds, but I’m convinced that that’s because I gained a ton of muscle over the past 2 months. I feel stronger, more capable and more confident. I no longer look at those fitness challenges on Pinterest and laugh, in fact, this month (June) I am doing a 30 day squat challenge. By the end of the month I will be able to do 250 squats.

But you’ll notice I’ve very conspicuously avoided calling these my “Final Results”. I’ve rediscovered my love of working out. I’m going to keep going. And I’m going to be putting my pennies in a jar in the hopes of signing up for boot camp on a recurring basis. Because as much as I hated doing burpees, hill runs and tabatas, I miss the way it made me feel – strong.

And if you live in Houston, San Antonio or Dallas, and are looking for a great boot camp experience. I cannot recommend Texas Fit Chicks enough. They are encouraging, supportive and still know how to push you to be your best, all while holding you accountable to your personal goals.

Happy Monday! Oh and here’s a few more pictures from last weekend because I am still recovering. 🙂

FPSF is held in the shadow of downtown Houston. I can never get enough of this skyline.

FPSF is held in the shadow of downtown Houston. I can never get enough of this skyline.

With Adam's sister Allison. Because sweaty music festival pictures are always in style.

With Adam’s sister Allison. Because sweaty music festival pictures are always in style.

4/5ths of the group on day 2.

4/5ths of the group on day 2.

Update:

So I’ve been officially committed back to the Weight Watchers program for five days now, and I already feel so much better.

I haven’t even incorporated any exercise in. It’s really amazing the difference that just tracking what you eat can make. I even splurged this week during my dear friend Pamela’s birthday dinner. (Potato skins, chicken curry, alcoholic drinks and cake!)

I was just really excited about this and I thought everyone should know.

Happy Friday!

casual_friday

– Biggest Loser Family Style – Weekly Weigh In: Week 2

Welcome to week two of my family’s Biggest Loser competition. My parents are actually heading into Dallas this weekend to celebrate two birthdays (My older sister and I are four years and three days apart.) but I thought I’d give y’all a quick update on my weigh in.

I lost 2.9 pounds last week!

Woohoo! It seems like I’m finally back on track after the past few months. Which is quite a relief, considering how badly I let myself get off.

Also, I’m really glad I actually weighed myself this morning instead of waiting until Sunday, we are all going  to a birthday dinner tomorrow night at a Brazilian steakhouse. And yes, I am going to eat my weight in delicious food.

This is why I fully plan on going running tomorrow morning before everyone gets here.

loading weekend

It’s Friday y’all. Time to get weird.

Prior out.

Biggest Loser: Family Style! – Initial Weigh In –

So my family’s biggest loser competition begins today. As I sent in my weight I got a little (okay a lot) frustrated.

I am officially back at my original weight. Booooooo.

Between being sick and eating for comfort and not nutrition, and the holidays, I have not been behaving myself. And I can feel the weight back on.

Sounds like this biggest loser competition is the perfect time to get my ass back in gear. I might do some research into meal replacement shakes, and there will be a kitchen overhaul to get rid of all the fatty holiday foods leftover from the past few weeks.

It’s time to get back to what works for me. Salads, low-fat proteins, light workouts and keeping consistent with my weekly weigh ins.

Apologies for the profanities, but I’m upset at myself, as I should be. Last week I committed to running the local Leaping Leprechaun 5K in March and then the Austin Capitol 10K in April, so there’s a lot of work still to do and I have a plan on how to do it. As soon as this snow melts. I promise. Allison offered her services to hold me to that.

Onward!

[[UPDATE: I have since been to the store to get new jeans (old ones were worn thin) and ended up walking out with 2 pairs of size 10 jeans. WHAAAAAAT. Yeah, that’s right. Size 10. Eat it, scale.]]

2013 Resolutions

Everyone has them, right?

Goals are great. Especially to those of us looking to improve our lives in multiple areas. I’m going to split these goals up into three sections. Wellness, Professional and Personal goals.

Ready? Let’s go then.

Wellness

  •  Get back on track with WeightWatchers. I’ve gotten out of the habit of tracking my food and calculating my daily points and (most importantly) adhering to those points. I’ve still been eating relatively healthy, becomingbut I haven’t had the accountability of the tracking to keep me honest. There have been more cookies and queso runs in my life lately. No more. Back to healthy grains and protein and fiber for me. (Related: I can tell a difference in how I’ve been eating because I don’t feel as good as I used to. I’m tired all the time and my body aches.) It wants the healthy food back in my life.
  • Cook more. You can ask anyone, I love to cook. I really do! I love making things up (as you can probably tell by some of my recipes here) and I love to improvise on recipes to see what happens. Unfortunately I’ve fallen into a rut where I don’t cook very often. I’ll cook o
    n the weekends if I’m not too busy. This year, I’m going to not only use my crockpot more, but I’m going to make enough food that Adam and I can eat our fill and there will still be leftovers. And then those will feed us during the week or on nights I don’t feel like cooking.
  • Eat out less. This is related, mostly because I’m sure if I cooked more often and kept my kitchen stocked with ingredients for easy, quick recipes, I would be less like
  • ly to hit up Panera on my way home from work. I have gotten better about my choices on where I eat out. I’ll pick Panera or Genghis Grill way before I hit the McDonald’s drive through.
  • Drink more water. I keep hoping that if I write this goal in my blog enough, it will actually happen.

Professional

  • Read more. I have a ton of social media, marketing and public relations books on my shelf and in my Kindle. I will read them and make notes on how I can use the ideas in them to help my clients.
  • Attend at least one industry conference. I’m hoping it will be South By Southwest Interactive in March, but the price is pretty steep for that. I would like to go to CERAWeek or OTC this year though.

colossians

Personal

  • Be intentional. I need to take a step back and really look at how my daily actions and decisions are shaping me. I want to live in a way where you can tell exactly the kind of person I am by how I treat myself and others.grateful
  • Be thankful. I think I get so caught up in my work routine that I sometimes forget to be grateful for my life. I got better at it towards the end of 2012, and I want to continue to focus on all the blessings in my life, rather than the negatives.
  • Travel more. I know that sounds really weird coming from the girl who went to Florida, Ohio, Hawaii and whatnot this year alone, but I want to travel even more. I already have a trip to Ohio planned for February, a trip to Missouri in July and then (maybe?) a trip to Hilton Head for September. I fell into a rut where I traveled in 2012, but I feel like I didn’t have very many adventures. Hawaii is really the big one, and then when I moved, that was an adventure for me, only because I didn’t have control over so many different things.
  • Think more. I’m really good at talking. And sometimes, I’m not really good at thinking about how my words, actions or tone will come across.
  • Save more. I’ll admit it. I am terrible at saving money. While I’m not a shopaholic, I do enjoy a good sale and as stated above, I love to eat out. 2013 is the year to hunker down, tighten my belt if need be, and pay down my debt. (Life of a graduate of a private university).

So there you have it! What are your 2013 goals?