Another Great Run

And again, this post will not be about running. And anyone who has been reading my posts for a while won’t be surprised.

About 15 months ago, I posted about my blogging days coming to an end, and you guys, and my fellow Chicks, were the awesomest, wishing me well on my journey.

And then about a year ago, I posted about how I apparently wasn’t out of things to say, and you all were even awesomer, welcoming me home with open arms.

I’m so glad I came back for another year. I got to post about some things I’m super passionate about, like eating local, summer foods, walking, my half marathon plans and my never-ending quest for balance. I got to Secret Santa with my fave ladies. I got more time with all of you!

It was another great run.

I don’t know about all good things coming to an end, but this one is, for me. I’m hanging up my blogging hat today. It’s hard to put into words exactly WHY. It just feels like the right time, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s to go with what feels right.

Thank you for reading my random musings for the last three + years. Scoot has been an amazing experience for me, and I’ll miss it a lot.

 

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XOXO, Bec

Balance, Act 3

So, we’ve reached the final ‘balancing act’. Time to drop the curtain and dim the lights. And are our players happy with how the show went?

Mer

I want to tell you a little story, in which I gained both perspective and also continued with my zen-like attitude that I’m trying so hard to adopt.

Two Saturdays ago the PTO of my son’s elementary school hosted a Color-A-Thon fundraiser. I was one of the driving forces behind said fundraiser, which probably surprises precisely no one. As soon as I saw a fundraiser based on getting children active and having run, I was all about it.

This fundraiser took months of planning.

We had meetings discussing logistics (like volunteers, parking, DJ, refreshments).

We had an amazing kick-off event where the principal and assistant principal were incredible sports, dressing up in funny outfits and getting powdered color thrown all over them.

Our students did an astonishing job raising money for the event. They were pumped! The parents were excited!

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Saturday morning came and the volunteers arrived according to schedule. It was overcast but we were hoping that we would beat any storm that was planning on rolling through.

We set up the course. The DJ played tunes and the kids warmed up, ready to run the mile course. Everything was going exactly according to plan.

And then? Approximately 2 seconds after the run started… the skies opened up. It was a drizzle, then it came down a bit harder, and then a downpour.

I was panicked for a brief moment.

What would the kids think? How would the parents react?

I looked around. Parents shrugged and put up their umbrellas. And the kids? They came flying through the finish line with huge smiles. Bright white teeth against the color staining their skins and clothes. The DJ played Purple Rain.

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It was perfect in its imperfectness.

Of all the things that I thought could possibly go wrong in the day, rain was not in any of the scenarios I dreamed up. The rain enhanced the experience and it was a surreal mismatch of what one would think would be fun and miserable.

Balance.

 

Kyle

Well. We’ve reached the end of this three-installment experiment, and I don’t know that I feel like I fixed my imbalance, I can say that I am definitely more cognizant of the ways I can improve it. At the very least.

1. Last month, meal planning was humming along perfectly and healthy eating was high priority. The last couple of weeks, however, have been so strange. Work schedules and personal commitments have resulted in scrambling in the evenings to make dinners, meal prep has gotten pushed around in the schedule, and the weekends (and honestly, some mid-week days) have been very lax. Mostly out of necessity. I guess that’s sort of the definition of finding balance though – and I wrote about it in my post about Why I Hate Cheat Days. So, more days have been taken away from the strict meal plan and we’ve allowed ourselves some room to just enjoy food again. That’s a good thing.

2. Gym time: Was going really awesome. The training cycle we had started a month and a half ago has been going well, but some physical setbacks happened and some general fatigue got in the way and more rest days were taken. Which, again, is balance – albeit frustrating. We’re regrouping and reprogramming our training for the next couple of months to help us reach our fitness goals and still make sure we’re getting enough rest and recovery time, too.

3. Money, honey. I’m pretty sure this thing has remained constant – still a work in progress, but maybe, finally, getting in the upswing? It’s about prioritizing, really. There are the bills that need to be paid, then there are the groceries to buy. And then there’s the goal-setting and saving that needs to happen to reach those goals. It’s not always (or ever) easy, but it’s not impossible. Like eating an elephant, this one can only be accomplished one bite at a time.

Moving forward, I think just being more aware of the need for balance in these areas of my life will help me make sure I’m making healthy life choices. It will also remind me to not be so hard on myself all the time – and that some setbacks are okay, and even necessary. Ultimately, that’s how we grow.

Bec

Creating balance in my life, it turns out, was different than what I envisioned.

I’ll be honest, I went into this little project with the idea that at the end of two months, I would be the most balanced person I knew, with all my ducks in row, waddling along in perfect, balanced unison.

Reality? My life is still pretty chaotic. My oldest is a high school senior, so there is a lot of prom dress shopping and college planning and summer job interviewing and general busy life stuff going on. My son is finishing up 7th, so there is testing and plans for summer ‘adventure’ camp, in addition to the less often, but still regular appointments with the hand surgeon. My job is high stress at times (this year has been one of those times), and isn’t always something I can leave at the door. And some nights, no matter what it says in my planner, I’m just not going to make it to the gym or cook the world’s healthiest and most delicious meal.

But amid the chaos, I still made time for me. I went away to Portland for the weekend with two of my best friends. I had a lovely anniversary dinner with my husband (19 years and counting!). Our little family all went for a walk on the beach, and enjoyed each other’s company.

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I guess, what I’ve gotten the most from this, is the knowledge that I’m probably never going to have a life that looks all calm and even keel. As long as I’m not stressed to the max and unable to function, I don’t even know if that is the life I really want. I kind of like my chaos.

And really, the whole idea of balance isn’t sitting perfectly still while everything else is perfectly still in this moment of perfectly still bliss, is it? It’s attempting to remain steady while everything moves around you, going with the ebb of the tide, and then back with the flow, staying upright. So, in that sense, I’m doing pretty darn good at this balance thing.

Still, there is room to grow. Learning to let go of ideals that don’t fit or serve my life is a big part of that. And like Cam, I’m learning to say ‘no’ to things. I’m really trying to get better about scheduling things, and looking at that schedule every day, so that I don’t wind up feeling like I’m scrambling. And I really took to heart one of the tips Jenn gave in the last post, about creating a personal mission statement. This goes right along with something I’ve been trying to find in relation to weight loss… my ‘Why’. So, I’m working on those.

Now it’s May, and there are weddings and concerts and friend visits coming this summer. With my girl heading off to college, I’ll be taking every spare moment I can to just be with her, and to treasure them. And hey, there’s still that half marathon that I’m training for. So, is my life going to resemble that vision I had any time soon? Probably not.

But that’s just… my life. And it’s a good one.

A Few Lessons (Finally) Learned

Guest post from my girl Ang, who is a total rockstar, a working mama of two adorable kiddos, and one of the people who constantly inspires me.

I’m writing this on the corner seat of my couch, with a little guy stretched out next to me as his big sister (age 7) reads a book at the dining room table.

This little guy? He’s 2.5 months old.

Everyone’s fitness journey is different and I have had a hell of a time not being my own worst critic since he was born. It feels like I have a million miles to go to get where I want to be, but through that, there have been a few lessons regarding fitness (and hell, probably life in general) I’ve (finally) taken to heart, and I thought I’d share them here.

1. A 32 minute workout can take an hour and three minutes (Yes, this actually happened. I can show you on my Fitbit if you want to see.).

Babies get whiny. Kids get hungry. Phones ring. The world is rife with frustrations and distractions and messes and all manner of Other Things that need to be done.

And the thing is? That’s ok. What matters is being dedicated to yourself enough to finish that workout, that you finish, that you throw yourself into it.  Take life as it comes.

2. That chocolate in the pantry over there (Dove, of course) is absolutely delicious, but you’re going to be hungry in approximately 3.2 minutes if that’s what you choose to eat. Don’t do it.

This is the hardest part, right? Learning that you can’t outrun bad nutrition. This was my primary mistake when I started working out a few years ago. I ate whatever I wanted, so long as there were sufficient calories left to cover it. No bueno. It took me a while to learn that a treat was a treat for a reason. However….

3. You really, really have to treat yo’self.

Life is too darn short to not have the chocolate sometimes… Just not all the time, dig? Especially when your infant son has been crying for no apparent reason on and off all day and all Mama needs is a glass of wine to tone her neuroticism down.

3b. Life (and fitness) is all about balance, and the scale is an evil wench that likes to skew data mercilessly.

So if it’s been a rough week and you still managed to kill it, nutrition-wise?

Sure thing, lady. Have that margarita and a handful of chips with salsa.  Enjoy that ice cream cone.  Take the rest day. Love yourself enough to acknowledge what you need, when you need it. And remember: any and everything can impact the scale. Don’t obsess. Do you feel happy and healthy? Well, ok then.

Because at the end of the day, you have to take care of you. This is a mantra I have force-fed all of the women in my life: If you’re not taking care of yourself, how can you expect to be a great woman, mother, wife, sister, friend? If your basic needs are not being met – whatever they are – you are lacking and you cannot be your best self.

And all those people – especially your kids – deserve you at your best, whatever that looks like.

In a matter of impeccable timing, my Little Man has just started crying, so I better wrap this up, so I’ll say this:

Love yourself. Take care of yourself. And keep your chin up.

You’ve got this.

See? I’m inspired already!! Thanks, Ang!

Balance, Act 2

A while back, a few of us chicks talked about something that our collective lives were lacking, and how we’d like to try do better achieve something that so many people struggle to find.

Balance.

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A month has passed. How’s it going? We’ll let you know where we’re at. And then, our awesome and super helpful Chick Jenn will share some tips!

Bec

So, going into the month, the goal was less crazy. But, since the universe is kind of a jerk sometimes, and likes to mess with me, life got more crazy. We had our shower, the only one in this 100 year old house, replaced. What was supposed to take less than a week wound up taking 17 days.

4 people. 17 days. 0 working showers. You do the math.

Luckily, we have a membership at the YMCA, which has plenty of showers. So every night, we would all pack up and go over to the Y. And a funny thing happened. Since we were all there anyway, everyone worked out. Weird, huh? And what’s even weirder… they liked it!

Since everyone was there working out with me, I didn’t feel like I was cutting out family time to get a workout in, which was awesome! Was it chaotic to get 4 people packed up, to the gym, worked out, showered and home for dinner? You bet your sweet bippy it was! But, by incorporating family time and exercise, both things were achieved with minimal suffering (although you’d never know the suffering was minimal listening to me whine about my stupid shower remodel).

All of this swell family gym time meant I was moving and grooving right along on my half marathon training plan. The one I painstakingly detailed out for the span of nine months, down to the day. The one I swore I would not change.

Until I had to change it.

I’ll explain more about why I had to make changes, and what they were, in a later post, but let’s just say I was less than pleased. I was SO committed to my plan! It was a very gradual, balanced plan! So when it hit me that changes were needed, there was a part of me that really, really wanted to scrap the whole thing. Including the half marathon. (There’s that black and white thinking we all love so much!)

So I got real with myself. Refusing to let go of something that wasn’t working, or throwing my hands up in the air and saying ‘to hell with it’ just because it wasn’t working the way I planned wasn’t going to get me anywhere. Instead, I did some research, talked to my involuntary running coach (Mer) and reworked the plan. And I accepted that I can only plan so much, so this plan might need adjusting, too. And that’s okay.

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Balance. Or the beginnings of it, anyway. Apparently, I don’t have to do it all at once. (Who knew?)

Kyle

Balance. Where you at?

Well, after a month, it feels like I’ve gotten a lot of things under control. And then there have been a few things that have stayed out of whack.

For the most part, though, it’s been a good start.

1. Meal planning has been ON POINT. Every Sunday, the fridge is full of Tupperware evenly portioned chicken or steak and broccoli. Lunches for the workweek have never been easier, or healthier. Dinners have been planned and if not prepped the night before, at least organized, which makes busy evenings after work and the gym a lot simpler. Meal planning like this has also helped the financial situation, ensuring that our spending is for necessities, instead of last-minute junk because of ill-preparedness.

2. Gym time: awesome. The boy and I started a new training cycle and adjusted our program and while each day is harder than ever before, progress is easy to see. Being able to make strides in the gym is a great release for me after a day at the office. This is one area of my balancing act that I feel really good about.

3. Money, honey. Well. This one is going. Constantly a work in progress, but always seeming to feel like I take one step forward and two steps back. There’s always something that needs fixing or immediate care and that always gives me a hard reality check. But, but making positive changes in other areas of my life, this area becomes more focused and gradually easier to manage. Adulting is hard, but not impossible, and I just have to remember that. Every time I pay bills. Ha.

Reminding myself of the progress I’m making helps me stay positive and find more peace in where I’m at and what I’m doing. Creating a little balance one step at a time.

Cam
Last summer, I had my birth chart read by an astrologer. Yes, I know it’s a psuedo-science, but it’s fun dammit. Within seconds, she was lecturing me about overfilling my plate. Not my dinner plate, although that has been an issue as of late. But my life plate. She said I take on too much and it’s taking a toll on my health. Well, I didn’t really need a psychic to tell me this. Anyone who has ever seen my Google calendar knows I have a tendency to schedule every free moment of my life. I’ve made it my mission this month to say no. That’s it. It seems really easy, right? WRONG. It’s so hard for me. I hate disappointing people. For example, this weekend my family had plans for the zoo on Saturday and the beach on Sunday. I had a cake to make on Friday and homework due today. And still, for some reason, when I was approached to do another cake for Saturday, I contemplated taking on the job.

NO! I had to yell at myself.

That was a few weeks ago. I’ve turned down a couple other activities that I’m really disappointed to miss, and when I see my everyone on Facebook enjoying these activities, I’m going to regret it. However, I have to strive for that balance of work, play, and REST. I’ve never been very good at that last part. On average, I sleep maybe 4-6 hours a night. I fill every moment and I still don’t have time to do all the things I want to do.

This week is my Spring Break from work. I have five days off work and I intend to rest. I intend to say no. And do all the laundry I’ve been putting off.

Mer
Last week I posted about my family’s quest for a new house and my quest for achieving zen-like thinking in regards to do this. What’s been helping me with that?

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My focus has been on beginning each day with gratitude and reminding myself that all things will work out with this. I know that moving ranks highly among the most stressful situations and I can say with much certainty that after we do this, I hope we are in our new house for a very long time because while this is exciting the pendulum has also swung toward the chaotic side.

However, we are very lucky. We are in a good position and we are moving on up! I’m not exactly sure where we are moving on up to, just yet, but we’ll figure it out.

I’m tapping into love every morning; whether it be making coffee for my husband as he runs out the door on his way to work, a kiss from my kiddos, a snuggle with my dog on the couch, or a text from a friend reminding me that I’m as valuable to them as they are to me.

Keeping my routine as similar as it can be with the additional things thrown in is what has been keeping me sane. I’m also not volunteering for every single thing that comes my way (trust me, that’s a challenge) because I can’t add little things into my life right now with a big thing going on. That’s not to say that I’m not overextending myself because I am… but I’m very conscious of what I’m taking on and also what I’m unable to tackle.

Thus far I’ve only had one emotional breakdown and my mom in law was the lucky recipient of that fun little time. While I wailed to her on the phone, she listened and offered up different solutions that only made me feel slightly better. Then she asked if I would like her to pray over me and the situation. That helped tremendously and brought me back to the calmness that I’ve been trying hard to maintain throughout this process. And for that? I’m grateful.

Jenn

Like everyone else on the planet, I suffer from lack of balance in my life. My balance deficit doesn’t arise from commitments of kids and having a family, rather, I suffer from interest overload. Between working, wife-ing, doggy mom-ing, schooling, running, volunteering, yoga, writing, sewing, teaching myself to play the guitar, and learning French via Duolingo, I don’t have much time for balance.

This was a problem. I could tell because my forehead broke out in tiny little stress pimples from feeling constantly overwhelmed. Something had to change. I knew what my problem was, I just didn’t have the tools to see the forest through all my trees. I needed to learn how to thin my forest.

Through my employer, I enrolled in two classes: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity. Here are a few takeaways that have really helped me find more balance.

Accept That Some Things Will Not Get Done. It was so liberating to hear the trainer say that. To hear someone acknowledge that in this era of technology and over commitment, it’s just not possible to get everything done, AND THAT’S OKAY. Some things in life are truly important and focusing on them is what really matters. When you’re eighty and looking back over your life, you won’t be reminiscing about how beautifully you scrubbed your floors (says the girl who spent five years working in a nursing home). Gain some perspective about what really matters to you in the grand scheme of your life.

Create a Personal Mission Statement. Develop a mission statement that speaks to your highest purpose and biggest goals. Your statement is not set in stone it should grow and change with you and your goals. Then, use your mission statement to make time management choices. When faced with a decision about taking on a new obligation, task, or interest, ask yourself if it will serve your mission statement. This is a great tool for learning to say “no” to things. Franklin Covey has an online tool to help you build your Mission Statement.

My Mission Statement

Jenn's Mission Statement

Jenn’s Mission Statement

Roles and Goals. This is a hallmark of the 7 Habits program. It helps you identify what the major roles are in your life and develop goals to be the best you can be in each role. Roles can be things like mother, husband, sister, friend, runner, volunteer, President of the official runDisney fan club, etc. Your roles should serve your mission statement, too. If they don’t, consider cutting them from your life. Then, create some goals to be better in your roles. You might say, “I’m going to be a better runner and shave 7 minutes off my time by adding additional tempo runs in my training plan.” The next challenge is to make time for that extra run in your week, or in other words, making time to execute on your goals. I use a planner to schedule specific blocks of time to execute those goal tasks; what 7 Habits calls “the big rocks”. After the class, I purchased the 5 Choices Planner, and I seriously LOVE IT. I assigned a color to each of my roles, so when I’m planning my week, I can easily tell if I’m giving some attention to each role.

I love this planner because it has worksheets to help develop roles and goals as well as master tasks.

I love this planner because it has worksheets to help develop roles and goals as well as master tasks.

4 Types of Work: Extraordinary, Urgent, Required, Waste.  This technique is from the 5 Choices class. Imagine your time is divided into 4 quadrants as illustrated by the graphic below. The graphic is geared toward work life, but you get the idea. The goal is to live in Q2, extraordinary work, as much as possible. Extraordinary work is things that support your mission statement and roles and goals. Things like training runs and workouts are extraordinary work. Things like household chores are Q3, distraction. Your child getting the flu is Q1. Binge watching Game of Thrones all weekend? Definitely Q4. You want your quadrants to be much more green than gray. If this were a pie chart, you’d want decrease the size of the urgent, required, and waste slices so you can spend most of your time on extraordinary work.

Photo Credit; Franklin Covey

Photo Credit; Franklin Covey

I hope this helps you form a plan to be the best, least-stressed version of you that you can be! Make time to feed your soul and nourish the things and people who are most important to you. Don’t forget to keep perspective on what really matters!

What’s Old is New Again

Back in 2012 PS (Pre-Scoot), I found my magic combination for weight loss/better fitness/improved health.

Weight Watchers. Running. And Zumba.

This combo saw me down almost 60 pounds from my highest weight.

Me, at my lowest weight in years, hanging out with Mer in Jersey.

Me, at my lowest weight in years, hanging out with Mer in Jersey.

This combo saw me finishing my first race ever.

Beyond proud of myself post Atlantic City 7K

Beyond proud of myself post Atlantic City 7K

 

I was feeling better than I had in years.

And then, I decided to add jumping into the mix. As in jumping right off that wagon and fleeing into a field of cookies. (Poetic license there, but you catch my drift).

That’s the thing, though. The rational thought is, if something is working, why would you stop doing it?

Because, life.

#soreal

#soreal

And then, I convinced myself that this combo, that was working for me, must have been inherently flawed, otherwise it would have kept right on working. And then, I though maybe the combo wasn’t flawed, I was.

In the following four years, I tried a lot of other things. I went to experts who told me that ‘diets don’t work’ and ‘Weight Watchers doesn’t work’. I tried tracking on My Fitness Pal. On paper. In spreadsheets. Not tracking at all. I tried 30 day walking challenges, and squat challenges. I tried to start running again. A few times.

And then, about a month ago, I decided to try this combo.

Weight Watchers. Running. And Zumba.

And it’s working.

#BOOM

#BOOM

 

And I’m working it.

Me and my workout buddy, Pitbull.

Me and my workout buddy, Pitbull.

 

I don’t know if this perfect combo will stay perfect forever. But I do know that right now, it’s working. I feel accomplished, and proud of my efforts. I see the effects on the scale. I see myself finishing races (we’ll talk more about that later) with that beaming look on my face.

For now, I’m partying like it’s 2012, and I’m loving it.

 

Balance, Act 1

Isn’t it funny how you think you’re the only one that struggles with something and then you mention it and a bunch of people are like “ME, TOO!” So, when I recently said I was having some serious issues with balance, it wasn’t really a surprise that there were others in the same boat.

So, we decided to write a series of posts about our lives, and their current level of unbalance, and how we’re going to work toward better balance. And if you too are find yourself saying “ME, TOO!” to any of our tales, you should join us in the comments, tell us why you’re feeling off balance, and together, we’ll all try to achieve a bit more of this.

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Bec

Does anyone know where I can acquire some balance in my life? I swear, I’ve looked high and low, but I just can’t seem to find any.
balance

Ohhhhhh. I see.

Balance is something I always seem to be struggling with. I am a VERY black or white individual, something I learned last year is a common characteristic for adult children of alcoholics. It is ALL. Or NOTHING. EVERYTHING, all at once, or complete shutdown. Go big or go the hell home. Like, every few months, I literally become this insane self drill sergeant.

“Alright, you maggot, get to work. Clean up your diet, cook a healthy and delicious meal every night, get up at 4:00AM every day and work out, drink 100 ounces of water, MINIMUM, put on a full face of makeup every day, and perfect hair, and pearls, clean out the closets, and the garage while you’re at it, organize your bills, get that planner filled up with color coded notes, make time for family and friends, be the perfect employee and DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY.”

Since doing EVERYTHING, all at once, isn’t sustainable, I just wind up a quivering ball of failure-type feelings on my couch, feeding my kids chicken nuggets and using my planner as a Ben & Jerry’s coaster so that I don’t drip on my sweaterpants. Hindsight being 20/20, this is about the time I look back and realize that I totally set myself up for failure but making a plan that lacked a key element.

Balance.

And had I tried a more balanced approach, there’s a good chance I would have accomplished significantly more. And been less crazy.

So, really, that’s what I’m working on. I have my shiny, pretty planner, which is a good guide. I’m working on making reasonable plans, and doing my best to stick with them. I need to learn to let myself off the hook when I am not perfect, and allow good to be good enough.

Less crazy.

 

 

Kyle

Finding balance? Nah. Creating balance. That’s what I’ve got to work on. Like, a work life balance. Which is not to say I work too much, but rather that I am really struggling right now to keep my work and my volunteering and my personal life in harmony.

Too often, I feel like I’m giving more of myself to one of these areas than the others and while sometimes that’s required, it’s not usually proportionate.

And even worse, when I realize I have too many things juggling in the air, I get that feeling that says “I don’t want to do ANY of this stuff. I want to be an ostrich instead.” Usually that results in procrastination and ultimately more stress because I didn’t get my ish together.

I don’t really know. Sometimes it feels like I have work/life vertigo. Not so much with the balancing.

Maybe it means scaling back the things that I’m involved in (I don’t wanna.) Maybe it means using better time management and organization tools (I know this works for me.) Ultimately, I know that as much as I would like to rope my boyfriend into helping keep me accountable, it’s really just up to me to figure it out. He’ll help, I’m sure, but really, I gotta figure it out myself.

So, I’ve got myself a planner and the month of March promises to be one that gives me a chance to get a few things in order. I’ve got a couple of concrete goals for the month, some financial, some related to volunteering, others related to work. If I can’t create balance right away, I can at least create some organization, and that’s a start. From there, I can asses and regroup. And in all of this, I’ll remember to breathe.

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Cam

I’m not good at balance.  As a member of the ADHD community, I’ve always operated on a need to do now basis.  That is, I procrastinate until the absolute very last minute and then spend all my energy completing that necessary task, sometimes to the point of physical exhaustion (staying up all night to finish a running costume, anyone?).  To make matters extremely more time consuming, I’m a perfectionist and will spend way too much time on said task until I am absolutely satisfied.  I can say with all confidence that I have the absolute worst time management skills. I’d be totally fine with this non-strength because as a perfectionist, I always (well, mostly always) fulfill my obligations.  As I get older, however, my body can’t keep up with my last minute lifestyle.  I’m in my last quarter of graduate school, I teach full time, my kids play soccer and take karate, I have animals and laundry and dishes, I make fancy cakes on the weekends, and I’m supposed to be preparing for the many races I’ve already invested literally thousands of dollars in.

 

I haven’t ran in months (excluding a very painful Star Wars weekend).  I haven’t actually worked out once this year.  My body is soft and achy and I’m tired.  Logically, I know I need it.  Right now I’m in survival mode and exercise isn’t on my list of obligations to others.  But it should be on my list of obligations to myself.  There’s probably a very extensive explanation for why I spread myself so thin. I’m sure my therapist has some theories.  Whatever the reason, I need it to be different.  I need me to be different.  Because this frantic way of living in the extremes is so damn tiring.  I’m seeking ways to meet myself in the middle.  I want to get organized.  I want to start running again.  I want to start writing again.  I need to find a balance between what others need from me and what I need from myself.  I don’t have a plan yet (big surprise) because I feel like everything in my life is important.  There isn’t any time to trim, but there is space for rearranging.  I’m going to Tetris the shit out of this.

Mer

Do you ever feel like you’re balancing twenty plates on your hands, feet, and head? That’s basically what I’ve got going on at the moment.

I don’t share every portion of my life on Scoot a Doot because that’s not the platform for which we created a blog. However, suffice to say, there’s a lot going on right now and my main issue is that I’m not in total control of it all.

And honestly, there’s not way I COULD be in control of it all. There are many factors that are totally out of my control. My child getting sick and not being able to go to school for 3 days, putting the kibosh on anything and everything that I needed/wanted to get done?

That is not something even my superpowers can change.

My son needs me to rub his back, kiss his head, and tell him that everything is going to be all right. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing for him. He’s the number one priority and all other things fall by the wayside.

So what happens when there are three or four things that are all volleying for that number one position in the priority line? What then?

Well, I don’t know. I’m trying to figure that out. I know that eventually everything will get done; but being the perfectionist that I am, I want everything to be done the right way, not just the easiest way.

Going forward, my main focus in regards to the priorities will be to first think rationally, then emotionally. I’m a fairly rational thinker but when it comes to stressful situations, the emotions like to be front and center and I’m not talking about the loving, sweet kind.

I cannot control every situation, but I can control my reactions and how I handle things.

I know what to focus on and what to let go. 

So, do you feel us? Tell us! We want to know how you create your balance, or how you’d like to try!

The Biggest Loser and Katie K

This is going to be one part ramble, one part product review. Just to set expectations. And those two things might not seem related, but I’ll explain.

Any time The Biggest Loser comes up in conversation, there are usually a number of people saying “I love that show!” and an equal number of people saying “I hate that show!!” And, I get both sides, honestly.

I am in the love camp. I have watched almost every season. I love Bob. I miss Jillian. I newly love Jen. I’m okay with Dolvett, and I tolerate the other trainers that have rotated through the show over the years. Ali Vincent will always be my favorite winner, and Abby Rike will always remind me that you can live through anything.

But, the show is definitely controversial. There was a frenzy of backlash about the show when Rachel Fredrickson won in 2014, and numerous contestants have spoken out about their experience on the show. It sets unrealistic ideals, and possibly unattainable goals. I have my own issues with the show (why do the female contests have to wear sports bras at the onset when they are heaviest, but get to wear tank tops toward the end when they are leaner? Humiliation factor?)

But overall, I don’t watch the show to learn how to lose weight. I don’t aspire to be on the show, although if Jillian wants to come train me here, I’m all for it. I take the show for what it is. “Reality” TV, for entertainment purposes. Mostly, I watch for the moments where you see people do things they never through they could do. Every time one of them maxes out the treadmill, I get butterflies. Every time a contestant gets to Onederland, I shed a tear. And every time the contestants’ families see them during makeover week, and they look so proud, I think “I want that.”

Biggest Loser isn’t perfect, but it gives me hope. It keeps me remembering that anything is possible.

Me, at the top of a mountain. Anything is possible.

Me, at the top of a mountain. Anything is possible.

Which brings me to Katie K. I love this company. No controversy here, I am so very proud to have been an ambassador for this amazing, growing, female-owned company for the past year. I love their line. I love that their sizes range from Small to 3X. I love that their products are well made, affordable and trendy.

As a plus sized athlete, I also love that Katie K  has things like thumbholes and patterned pants and burnout tees IN MY SIZE.

All the pretty colors

All the pretty colors

So, when I got the opportunity to review the Katie K Urban Capris, which just happen to be the capris the female contestants on the Biggest Loser are wearing this season, I jumped at the chance.

You guys, these pants are like a dream come true for me. I’ve worn them to Zumba, and running, and they are VERY comfortable. But, where as most comfy pants aren’t the best for working out in, these are also incredibly functional. There was no riding up, or down. I didn’t have to stop and adjust the legs or the waist. From the Katie K website, the material is Mid-weight Semi Compression 88% Polyester/12% Spandex Peach Brushed Finish. The Peach Brushed Finish is the best part. These are SOFT.

Rush Hour Long Sleeve in Cobalt, Urban Capris in Black

Rush Hour Long Sleeve in Cobalt, Urban Capris in Black

Along with the pants, I’m absolutely loving the Rush Hour Long Sleeve top. It comes in Cobalt, pictured above, and Rose, which is a bright pink. Complete with thumbholes, this is another really comfortable piece of workout wear. It’s Lightweight Compression 90% Polyester/10% Spandex Brushed Jersey, and again with the soft. And I’m a texture snob, so when I say they are soft and comfy, I mean it.

In the interest of keeping things honest, these products were provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

So, if you’re a plus sized athlete and you want to be comfy and fabulous while you work out, I highly recommend Katie K Activewear. Or if your not plus sized. See how that works? You can also use my code, BEC15, for 15% off and free shipping. And, I get no special credit for telling you this, except maybe your undying love and devotion, but right now, the code EXTRA50 will get you an additional 50% off of sale items (including the Urban Capris) and free shipping. I get no sales credit with that code, I just like you and I want you to get a good deal. I don’t know when that one ends, so if you’re into sales, hop to it!

Being a Katie K Ambassador for the last year has been awesome. They were with me when I climbed a mountain (a smallish one, but still) last summer.

Defining brave, and proud

Defining brave, and proud

They were with me when I restarted my journey to 13.1.

C25K, W1D1

C25K, W1D1

And they will be with me when I finish it, whenever that is.

So huge thanks to K for giving me this opportunity, and letting me show how I #definebrave.