Archive | Goals RSS feed for this section

Finding a Passion

13 Dec

I have been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (more about that later, I am loving this book!).  One of the key concepts is to find out what your passions are and make an effort to spend more time enjoying them.  So, of course, I started to thinks about all the things in my life that I am passionate about.  Naturally, cooking healthy food, trying new recipes/restaurants, running and working out made my list.  This was only funny to me because it hasn’t always been that way.

I remember growing up I always had my nose stuck in a book or doodling in my sketchbook.  My parents and younger brother embodied an “active lifestyle” and I wanted nothing to do with it.  My dad would buy me rollerblades, bicycles, and soccer balls to try and bribe me onto outdoor adventures with him.  This ultimately ended up backfiring for everyone on a family trip to Moab, Utah.  I don’t know if you’ve visited the middle of the desert in the middle of July, but it is not my cup of tea.  We had mapped out a ton of great paths around Arches National Park, and I was so hot and bored, and probably out of shape, that I had a literal meltdown then threw my bike on the ground and spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the car crying…Sounds like I was just a little bit of a brat, huh?).  This was the common theme for many years.  Anything outdoors or related to exercising you could just count me out.

Sometime during high school I realized that working out was okay, but I wasn’t an evangelist or anything.  Then in college, I really started to try new activities that I liked.  I lived in Boulder, CO, so I started hiking amazing trails right by my house and was hooked.  I ran around campus because it was so pretty.  I started yoga classes at CorePower to de-stress from school.  I even did workout videos with my roommate in our sorority bedroom.  Incorporating these activities into my life took time, but I am so thankful that I picked up the habit.  Now I thrive off of a good sweat session and look forward to my next long run outside.

passion-running

My whole point is that you can actually develop a passion.  The more time that you devote to an activity the more attached you can become.  Trying something new might lead to your next great passion, career, lifestyle, soulmate…who knows.

What passions have you developed?  Do you make the time to enjoy them?

Pursue your Passion WEB

Advertisements

A beach goal in sight!

16 Nov

Happy Friday!
I can’t believe that November is already going by so fast.  I turned on the radio to Christmas music already, malls are decked out for the holiday season, and I’ve been indulging in the holiday Salted Caramel Mocha at Starbucks a little too often lately.  Yup, I guess it’s that time of the year.  While I do love the holiday season, it’s hard to get motivated when my wardrobe consists of bulky sweaters, stretchy leggings, and huge coats.  Gain a pound here or there?  Add a layer.  Haha, this is definitely not how I want to be approaching this!

What I think I need is a strong dose of motivation.  Annnnnddd, suddenly this week I was given some!  A huge reason to stay motivated, and that is a trip to Cabo, Mexico!  We started an annual beach vacation with a group of close friends last year and promised to do a get away like this each year.  When the planning for the trip started a couple of months ago I wasn’t sure we’d be joining.  There was a big debate about our destination, prices, dates, etc.  Also, I was being reasonable by trying to save money.  But, when the final details were figured out the price was good and I knew we might regret not spending valuable time with our friends.  So, we’re back on board, tickets booked!

Mexico 2012, the annual vacation group

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2012

We are going the first week of February, so that leaves me 12 weeks to get to my goal weight.  I always do so much better with training plans and nutrition when I have an end goal.  I know that being healthy should be an everyday routine, but there’s something about scheduling my weeks for an event that helps me out.

This week went pretty well in terms of activity.  I had a much needed intense cardio session on Monday followed by a relaxing steam room session, cardio and weights Tuesday, missed my workout on Wednesday (boo!), 4 mile run on Thursday, and I have Bodypump today.  As long as I can keep this up through the holidays and eat well then I will be ready to hit the beach in my bikini in February!

CABO Mexcio 2013!

Birthday Bliss

29 Oct

“You’re not getting older, you’re getting better”

Haha, this might sum up my past weekend’s festivities.  As you know from my workout challenge, I was preparing to celebrate my birthday weekend.  Typically I don’t like to make a huge deal out of my birthday, but Ed offered to plan a party and I don’t need an excuse to eat cake and drink wine.

We planned a “hick” themed party at my good friend Lyndsey’s house and set up a tour with Banjo Billy’s (an old school bus that drives around Denver/Boulder and allows drinking on the bus).  I have heard that it’s a blast so thought it would be a good time to try it out.  Unfortunately, we were called right before our pick up and told that the bus had broken down and needed repairs…sad…but at least we weren’t stranded on the bus!  So, at this point we decided to just continue the party outside since it was such a nice day outside and we did some backyard games and grilling.  It was probably pretty funny to see us all hanging out decked out in hick attire for no reason.  🙂

All of my girlfriends dressed up in “hick” attire!

It was so great to see all of my friends in one place, which hardly ever happens with everyone’s busy schedules.  This weekend really showed me how lucky I am to be surrounded by so many amazing people.  I also got to spend time with my family, which tops off a great birthday weekend!

Unfortunately for me (and my waistline) this weekend was somewhat of a free for all.  I didn’t make the time to exercise and I was pretty lenient with my healthy eating choices.  I know that it is all about making lifestyle changes that are easy to stick to, but honestly over indulgence does happen.  Now that the party’s over, it’s time to get back on the band wagon, so to speak.

I aim to make my 25th year the most healthy yet.  I feel like in my early 20s I have hit such highs and such lows in my health journey and now it’s time to take everything that I know and love about fitness and make sure I live the life I say I lead.  I’ve made a list of goals, which I am not going to share right now (mostly because my goals have not changed that much and there are several small steps that I plan to take to be sure I am on the right track to good health).  I aim to reach my goal weight this year and be proud of the work that I put into getting there.

A pumpkin patch adventure on my actual birthday

Thanks to all my loved ones who celebrated with me!

 

Healthy Small Steps

25 Oct

Recently a friend of mine revealed her “dramatic weight loss” ala Biggest Losers style.  She had been consistently working hard for a long time now, but the before and after pictures are always what make people say, “Whoa! How’d you do it?”.  I kind of laughed because that was my first reaction to the photos too, but then I slowed down and realized that I know how she lost the weight, and you can figure it out too.  It is never because of some fad diet or short-term unachievable regiment.  Weight loss is always the same exact method for everyone.  Here are some key tips that I know helped me along the way and have become common sense knowledge drilled into my brain:

  • Consistency is key.  Plan to do the same thing over and over and over.  Whether you are planning on weight training, running, hiking, dancing…anything, you will have to keep at it.  Sure, there will be days that it’s tough to fit in exercise, and that’s okay because if you are making an effort to workout more days than you don’t workout a week then you’re on the right track.
  • Small choices add up to big changes.  Think of all the food related decisions you make in a day.  This morning I had coffee, like I do everyday.  About a year ago I realized how many empty calories were being consumed by this daily habit before I had even finished checking my email.  Since then I have nixed creamer and any sweeteners, I prefer my coffee just black now and it has zero calories!  Now I try to apply this method to every food choice I make…if I am going to have a sandwich on bread then I can cut out the cheese, save some calories, and still enjoy my lunch.  Cut out fattening salad dressings, skip sour cream, butter, mayo…all of these small sacrifices can end up paying off big time.
  • Have some fun!  Working out doesn’t have to be a dreaded activity or else you will never do it.  Find something that you enjoy doing and run with it (literally for me 🙂 ).
  • Grab a friend, having a moral support system goes such a long way.  Find someone, whether it is your friend, significant other, or someone you meet online (of course blogging is great for this!  And when I first started reading health blogs Spark People was a great motivator for me).  Tell people you’re goals and appreciate when they hold you accountable.  My mom has been such a great cheerleader for me, she will text me when she’s on a run to say “Have you gotten in your cardio today?” and just knowing that someone else is rooting for me makes it so much harder to skip out.
  • Mix it up a bit.  This goes along with having fun.  Don’t do something that is stale to you, if you’re burnt out on running add some fun Zumba classes or a weight lifting routine that you tore out of a magazine and have been meaning to tackle…
  • Don’t beat yourself up.  This is a huge one for me because sometimes it’s easy to give up if you are not seeing results fast enough or are just plain exhausted.  As long as you are able to move forward and know that there is always a new day to improve, you will get there.

What are your stand by fitness tips?  How do you overcome the plateau when you’re tired/bored with a workout?

Appreciate what you can do…right now!

2 Oct

I have a good update to start off with: Hudson and I ran 3 miles last night and she did not try to escape from me again 🙂 No tears on this run.  Ran around the lake by my house at sunset, I love these evening runs after work!  And I got to break out my cute new moisture-wicking hoodie from Target.  Love Target.

 

Bet you weren’t expecting so many puppy pictures when you started reading a “health” blog, huh?! 🙂

There has been something on my mind a lot lately…as you know I have been working towards fitness and weight loss goals for a while now.  I have been slow and steady in my results and I am usually okay with that, but sometimes I let that pesky thing called comparison get in my way.  Yesterday I was a little discouraged in my weight lifting class when the (tiny!) girl in front of me was lifting 2x the weight that I could handle.  Then, another friend of mine was recapping her weekend for me and she completed a 1/2 marathon in 1:47 without ever preparing or training for it.  How do these things come so easily to some when I have to work my butt off for 1 extra mile, or 1 extra set, or 1 extra pound?  I start to think to myself that I can’t do those things and it almost seems silly to try.  It’s the mentality of “Screw it!”

But, then I have to take a step back and remind myself that everyone must start at the beginning.  Everyone has their own journey and this is mine.  It might take longer and I will definitely have to work hard along the way.  Rather than being bitter or worse, jealous, I need to appreciate what my body can do and how much work I am putting into my goals.  Keep reminding yourself this lesson because sometimes I need to!  Don’t let comparison take away any of the joy or credit that you deserve.

Happy October!

1 Oct

I love the start to a new month.  There’s just something about having a clean slate, a whole blank canvas of 30 (ish) days to fill however you please.  I always feel a fresh motivation for new goals and inspirations.  The best part of today is that October is my favorite month.  My mom always says I’m her fall baby.  And it’s true, I love anything spiced with pumpkin, the cool changing weather, colorful leaves, cozy scarves and boots, the excitement of holiday season right around the corner.

You never know exactly what kind of weather the days have in store for you here in Colorado…it literally could be 30 degrees different from day to day.  That being said, we took this weekend to enjoy some fresh air outside while these Indian summer days last.  Saturday and Sunday we went to Clear Creek near Coors Brewery in Golden to let Hudson test out her swimming skills.  Turns out she loves the water and got along with the other dogs at the park (yay!).

playing a little catch after a long swim

Also, this weekend was the perfect time to catch up on some running that I have been not so disciplined about. One (of the many) reasons that I was so excited to get a dog is so that I could have a running buddy.  Hudson has been pretty good on a leash, so I decided to bring her along.  We did a quick loop around a lake near my house.  My pace was good the entire time, and she kept right up with me and seemed to be enjoying it.  We were about 5 blocks from the house and in my head I started cheering “Good job, Hudson, so happy you’re a runner too!  Can’t wait to brag about you to my running friends!”  At that exact moment we did one of those twisty almost trip on your dog moves and I fumbled her leash which smacked onto the ground.  This sent her bolting down the street, leash trailing behind.  I sprinted as fast as I could at the end of my run, literally screaming her name as loud as I could.  I was seriously frantic at this point already imagining Ed and I spending the rest of the day searching the neighborhood for her.  Finally, out of breath and close to tears, I get to our house and there she is sitting on the drive way like, “Hey, Mom, what took you so long?”  Thankfully she figured out where she was (we’ve only had her at the house for 5 days!) and didn’t get hit by a car running across 5 streets.  I am anxious to take her out on a run again just to prove that this was a fluke and from now on we can have awesome runs together.

I guess that I should give an update of my progress on my working out “Project 37”.  Things have actually been a lot harder than I thought.  Between an out of town wedding and adopting a dog, there have been a few days that I missed.  I am upset, but I am not going to beat myself up over it, I’ll just have to tack those days onto the end and finish this goal in November.  I have noticed, though, that when I am too busy or making excuses to not workout, my body is seriously craving some physical activity.  Running got that out of my system this weekend, and today I was back in the gym.  Les Mills BodyPump class (which I had previously done at 24 Hour Fitness) has now moved to my gym downtown.  There was an almost identical class called Group Fitness that I had been going to, the only huge difference is the music.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with BodyPump, it is an hour long class focusing on low weights loads and high repetition movements.  This is a perfect way for me to add strength training to my routine and tone my muscles.

Even when things don’t go as planned, don’t quit. Get it done.

Alright, happy October!  Here are a few of my goals for the **new month!**

  • BodyPump class every Monday & Friday during lunch break
  • Resist as many sugary and overly processed Halloween treats as I can
  • Take advantage of cool evenings to run with Hudson
  • Try new fall recipes (anything with squash, pumpkin, apples…. any suggestions?)

 

“Project 37”

17 Sep

Happy Monday, hope everyone had a great weekend!  This weekend I had a few end of summer BBQs and got a lot of errand running done.  It was nice to hang out with friends and feel a little bit accomplished too!  Fall weather gets me in the mood for baking, so my kitchen got some lovin’ this weekend.  My new issue of Cooking Light arrived and inspired me to use my ripe bananas to bake this chocolate hazelnut banana bread.

YUM!  Bring on fall baking

I also love that the cooler weather has started if only for the reason that it feels great to run outside again.  After months of pounding my mileage on the treadmill I can finally get outside for my workouts without feeling like I am going to suffer some form of heat exhaustion.

I decided on a new short-term goal for myself which I am appropriately calling “project 37” because it will take 37 days to complete.  I am going to work out every single day from now until my birthday.  It doesn’t have to be a huge deal, it can be a quick run, bike ride, yoga class, hike…you name it.  This idea came to me when I was reading fellow Denver blogger Betsy at 365 Days, 365 Workouts.  This blog is dedicated to Betsy working out every single day for an entire year (including her wedding day!).  I admire the dedication and it motivated me to re-energize my fitness routine too.  Thanks, Betsy!

I just want to push myself a little bit more physically and stop making excuses like “I am tired/hungry/bored” after work and prove that I can use my time more effectively to fit in a workout a day.  I’ve also been stuck at this weight for a while now, so I want to kick-start my weight loss again.

Oh, do you think these have anything to do with not losing any weight this week? No, they’re my favorite!

Day 1 (Saturday 9/15): Run 3.5 miles- outside

Day 2 (Sunday 9/16): Run 3.0 miles- outside

See, here’s me running my 3 miles at the lake! Go, go, go.

Ok, wish me luck on this!

Julie