BodyBugg & SparkPeople

So last week I mentioned BodyBugg and Sparkpeople, if not I meant to!  Anyways it’s two items I highly recommend.  BodyBugg is a bit of a splurge but a phenomenal piece of equipment to have in your arsenal. http://www.bodybugg.com/

The bodybugg system uses a patented process to measure calorie burn.
The process is based on:

  • Motion: The armband contains an accelerometer that measures motion from multiple perspectives.
  • Steps: The accelerometer counts steps by measuring the distinct patterns created by running or walking.
  • Galvanic skin response: When you sweat, your skin becomes more electrically conductive. This measurement helps the device understand how active you are.
  • Skin temperature: There’s an electronic thermometer inside your armband that monitors how hot you are.
  • Heat flux: When you move, your muscles produce heat. Your armband measures the heat that’s flowing from your body into the environment

Unfornately the down side is after a couple of months you do have to pay a monthly fee in order to upload the information from the sensor to the online application.  I’ve personally had mine for 67 weeks now.  In the 67 weeks I’ve been on a bit of a weight loss roller coaster.  Due to my hamstring injury I haven’t used mine like I should have.  But I have to say the weeks I did use it I lost weight. It’s great to be able to see exactly how many calories I’ve burned.  Theres no guessing game.  Like I said, it’s a splurge item but highly recommended.

In fact here’s a snap shot of what the upload looks like online.

The second part to this is http://www.sparkpeople.com

It’s free!!  You can log your calories,  get weekly meal plans with a handy weekly shopping list provided.  I know my major complaint is I hate thinking about what to eat. If I think about it too much then I obsess about it. When I obsess about it then I make wrong choices.  If I have a plan then I can make better decisions.  Remember, everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.  Sure I could eat 1700 calories worth of chips and Oreos but it’s not heart healthy and I can’t imagine that I would feel very good just eating that.    Sparkpeople is a nice tool that not only helps but educates as well.

How and Why is SparkPeople Free?

SparkPeople can be free because Chris Downie and his wife were very early eBay employees and are now using their earnings from its success to make the world a healthier place. This is their way to give back and help the world. Thousands of new people join every day and don’t pay a single penny. In fact, the majority of our new members join SparkPeople after hearing about it from their friends.

Another webiste  that I love but unfortunately I can only have so many splurges  is http://www.calorieking.com/ which is great and I highly recommend if you don’t mind spending the extra money.

With all that being said if you have any questions regarding the BodyBugg system please feel free to ask. I love mine.   Some people bedazzle the arm bands.  I’m not going there just yet.  However, in order to get healthy you don’t have to spend the money.  Remember as a general rule,  a mile is a 100 calories whether you walk it or jog it.

“I believe that the Good Lord gave us a finite number of heartbeats and I’m damned if I’m going to use up mine running up and down a street.  ~Neil Armstrong on jogging, in an interview with Walter Cronkite”

On a side note……..I had no sodas today!!  I really, truly believe that sodas make me crave stuff that I actually don’t want.

Everybody’s working for the weekend

The week and weekend have gotten away from me! When I thought about creating a blog I just new posting daily would be  breeze. Umm, not really. Or at least not yet.  This last week has been semi-crazy busy. I never could get my mind around what needed to be done. It seems like someone was having to constantly remind me of something.  Either way, here it is Saturday morning. I’m headed out of town to see my sweet family in Calera, Alabama and there is so much I haven’t done.  However, Monday is going to be a different story. I’ve got to get things on track if I’m going to do another marathon soon.  Either way, theres only so much time in a day.  I use to laugh at people how they  would complain how tired they are and about not getting enough rest. In fact I picked up a motto from race shirt I saw somewhere that said, “You can rest when your dead!”  Lately it’s become, is it 9 yet so I can go to bed?!!

Well I’m off to do a quick cleaning of the house, some laundry, throw an overnight bag together then pick up a king cake and off to Calera I go!

Have  a great weekend!

Happy Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day!!  Today is going to be a visual day. Enjoy.

Breakfast:(EarthFare Peanut Butter on 45 calorie bread)

Lunch: (45 calorie bread, light mayo, tomato, turkey and lettuce. 150 calorie cheetos)

Snack (everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial)

Tried the metal water bottle………..ehhh thought my lips were going to stick to the bottle like the kid from Christmas Story.

Dinner…Taco Soup!

+

Soda update: drank 6. Tried not to. Aimed for 4. Tomorrows goal: 4

No workout, way too lazy with all this cold weather.  I gotta be truthful or it doesn’t count. Remeber this is a journey, like a marathon. Only I’m going to all 26.2 miles not just 23)

Need help getting started also?  Some of my favs include:

http://www.sparkpeople.com/

http://www.bodybugg.com/

http://www.calorieking.com/ but I really prefer http://www.calorieking.com/software/ckdietdiarywin.php

I’ll touch on a few of these tomorrow.

Cheers!

It’s a new day!

So just like I promised I’m proud to announce that I actually stuck to my promise regarding sodas. I had 6. My normal average is about 7 or 8. This may seem like a not so big whoop but you have no idea how hard it was to reach for a water rather than a cold can. I wonder how water would taste from a cold can? I wonder if I would like it better that way? Hmmmmm…..I’ll have to try that out!

Anyways, so i also promised myself today I would change my eatting habits. I would like to think today was semi successful. I wanted to take pictures to prove that yes I’m really doing as I promised but the day got away from me and here I am. 9:35 p.m. trying to get my self-promised blog in for the day. Let me do my daily tangent thing here. Every year I do like millions of other people do and find some type of New Year’s resolution and fail to attempt it. Yes, this year I did it again. I decided to

  1. Lose weight (earth moving I know)
  2. Read more
  3. Cook more (we eat out way too much)
  4. journal more (I turned it into a blog, yay me)
  5. work on my relationship with God (this girl needs all the Jesus she can get!!)

So I was listening to Klove on my way to work the other day (it’s a local Christian radio station, http://www.klove.com/) and they promote picking a word that “focuses on your character and creates a vision for your future.” (http://myoneword.org/).  I have looked it up and thought about it. I still like my list but something is to be said for picking and committing to one word.  At first I thought New. I saw where someone had posted on the website that their word was New and it was because  that person was “in desperate need of a new heart, new soul, new spirit, new mind and new life.” I was on board for all except for new life.  Mines pretty good 😉  However, I know that internally I could use some work.  Then tonight I changed my mind and I’m sticking to it.  My word is Promises.  It kind of ties into last nights post.

I can’t stand to let anyone down. I can’t stand to think someone might be upset with me or unhappy with me. So as I stated last night I’m a worrier. I would like to think that most worriers are people pleasers as well. So being one myself I do everything I can and promise myself to do whatever I can. Saying no is not a firm fixture in my vocabulary.  That would mean I would displease someone right?  So after all the promising is done I realize i have over extended myself and then I become irritable. Then I get testy with people. Then I worry that I’ve offended someone. So I get a Diet Coke to take the edge off , take a deep breath in and regroup. The cycle starts over.  See where this is going? I hope so.

So where does a people pleasing/worrier/excessive soda drinker/over-eater go from here?  I don’t know!  I’m okay with that answer. I think I was given this project to find out. I just have to keep plucking away and with time I think I will find that some how everything that agitates me about myself will eventually tie in together and work it self out in due time.  I realize that that statement sounded a little pompous. I realize that it sounded extremely arrogant almost like if I can work all this out I will be perfect.  No, thats not what i meant at all.  The reason I decided to do this blog was to become a better, healthier version of myself.  I believe I have to, that somehow by doing so I will eventually see my purpose for being here. I refuse to believe that my only purpose in life is to work,  be a wife and be a friend. However, If it is, I can’t do it being  the version of myself that I’m  currently in.  I know this sounds extremely self critical but thats one of my finer points 😉  Besides I warned you guys when I did this blog you would get all of me!

“Healthy”

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008.

1: enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, or spirit : well

So back to my original topic at hand…………..todays  new promises!

As I was saying, I drank a few less sodas than I have been. I also started cleaning up my nutrition as well.

Breakfast: 2- 45 calorie pieces of toast with EarthFare honey peanut butter spread on.

Lunch: Small serving of cottage cheese, fresh strawberries, 100 calorie bag of cheetos and turkey sandwhich.

Snack: Almonds

Dinner: yikes, um………..susuhi buffet. I know!! I shouldn’t have.  I know.  Rome wasn’t built in a day remember!?!

Hopefully tomorrow will bring a more colorful cheery post!  I hope you all are still on your New Year’s Resolutions.  If not pick a word and commit.  Remember something is better than nothing!

Ciao!

26.2 minus 3

So earlier I posted that I would be going to the Callaway Marathon this past weekend. I did.  I ran. Unfortunately I only ran 23 miles. The race was really low key.  Not a lot water stations. No port a johns. The race was well marked.  However, apparently people flock to this race for the half marathon. Not the marathon. Supposedly about 150 people registered for the marathon. I think 140 finished it under 4 hours!  I only say that because I didn’t see anybody  in front or behind me.  However everything for me was going  great until mile 18.  Since there were no port a potties I had to leave the race course and go to the horticulture museum to use the bathroom. When I came out I noticed i didn’t see the 18 mile sign. No big deal right?  Well I get to 19, 20 still no signs.  I realized that the lovely course volunteers threw in the towel  and decided to go home!! After only 4 hours!  I had no bathrooms, no signs and after mile 21 no water.  So with much trepidation I called my friend and asked her to come pick me up.

Here I am 24 hours later and I can’t help but second guess myself.  I can’t help but to ask myself, did my stomach really hurt as bad I thought? Did I do the right thing? Did my mental strength fail me?  At this point I have to tell myself to let it go.  I can play “what if” all day long but I made my decision at mile 23 and I have to live with that.

Now I’m not a deep philosophical person but i can’t help but wonder how much life and marathons mirror each other. It’s not just running but it’s a way I deal with things. I like to think that I’m not a quitter. I’m not very good at owning my decisions.  Instead I will torture myself till theres nothing left of the issue at hand. I’m a worrier. I constantly worry about EVERYTHING. My mind is always going on about something.  In fact, it’s a sin at how much worrying I do.  I can’t stand to think that I handled a situation wrong. I can’t bare to think someone might be angry at me or unhappy with me.  I hate doing the wrong thing.  I want to do whats right, but sometimes doing whats right comes down to a matter of opinion. Some situations may seem right to one person but ask someone else’s opinion and that situation might be wrong.   My point is only I can look back and decide if I made the best decision for me at mile 23.

Tomorrow is a new day.

To Be Or Not To Be Is The Question!

Just daydreaming for just a moment about my sixth marathon this weekend!  By now I should be use to it but I really have some major butterflies going on with this one. For one thing I feel so unprepared.  Originally I thought I was running a half marathon so I was training for half marathon. Well about 8 weeks ago I saw on my friends Facebook page, who is also running the same marathon, where she announced she’s running her first marathon! I was like “Whoa!  What happen to the just doing a half?!” Apparently I was not paying attention the day I agreed to this!  So now I’m running  a full marathon.  I know for a fact it will take me all 6 hours because I have not been exercising prior to this training because I was out with a bum hamstring. It’s really always something going on with me.

For example, I just recently (after some xrays) discovered I have what you call Lateral Pelvic Tilt. My left hip is pretty significantly higher than my right. Which I think means my left side is weak and my right side is strong and tight.  At this point , I don’t care if my hip is hiked up under my collar bone as long as I can get this 6th medal this weekend.

I actually had wanted number 6 medal to be from Tupelo Marathon this past September. I did the 14.2 “half” marathon a couple of years ago and was hooked!  You start off at like stupid thirty (aka 5:00 am) in the middle of what feels like no where with a cop car lights leading way.  I was told to bring a flash light for this very reason but of course I didn’t believe anyone. Me and several others who didn’t believe the smart ones were left to dodge road kill in the dark in back woods Tupelo.  Best time of my life!  I was done and on my way back home before 9:00 a.m.  Its a very low key race with minimum water stations.   I  met some great people and we all stayed together till the end.  I think it use to be called Bad To The Bone Marathon, maybe I made that up. Either way, the finishing medal for the whole marathon is a skull and crossbones. I want it!  It is mine this year!!  I was attempting it last year when my thirty something body fell apart in training.

Back to the point, so this Sunday I’m headed to Callaway Gardens to run 26.2 miles in hopefully 6 hours.  Okay, Okay, I know. I’m slow.  I know.  Please, I know how out of shape I am.  I’m slowly working on it.  The race starts at 8:00 a.m.  Oh the anticipation. I’ve never birthed a child in my life, but the anticipation leading up to a race is what I would imagine the anticipation for birthing a child would be like. I’m ready to birth this baby and move on! My ongoing joke all week has been Saturday I’ll walk, Sunday I’ll run and Monday I’ll crawl!  It’s really not that bad!  Either way say a little prayer for me Sunday. This girl will need it!

Drinking Problem

Got your attention!  Okay so I don’t have a alcohol drinking problem but I do have a form of a drinking problem. Sodas.  Nothing relaxes me more than to pop a top on a Diet Coke. Nothing taste better in the morning than to open one up, and take it to the shower. Yes, I have a Diet Coke in the shower.  At least it won’t burn me. Have you ever heard of anyone suing McDonald’s because they spilled their soda on them resulting in 3 degree burns? Me neither.  Let me be clear how much of a problem this problem is. Let me count the ways.

1. first thing in the morning as I’m getting into the shower

1. when I get to work

1. around 10ish

1.at lunch

1.around 2

1.around 4

1. for dinner

maybe 1. before bed.

Total 7 (8 some days)

8!!  I’m ashamed.  Some days it’s less and some days it’s more.  But it’s still about 7 too many. However, I do have an addictive personality so to say i’m just going to drink one a day is well, not good. I tried quitting once before and did really well until I went to my mother-in-laws house.  Everybody was popping tops left and right. Really it was like taking Lindsay Lohan to a bar and leaving her there for the weekend!  So, here I am again. I’m sure theres nothing good about it.  Nothing against the Coca Cola Corporation  but when I’m craving Diet Coke and wishing the can was the size of a Colt 45 then something is wrong!   So I’m doing it again. I’m quitting.  How?  I plan on reducing my consumption 25% the first week, 50% the second week, 75% the third week and goodbye Diet Coke forth week! Also to make drinking water more of habit I’ve adopted  new friends.  Meet, Brita and her pal Sippy!

I love Smart Water!  It has a very distinctive taste that I love but I have to admit. It’s not very earth friendly. Neither are my cans of Diet Coke but I did just recently start recycling them!  So starting February 1 the program begins!  In addition to breaking my addiction problem I will also start the process of launching my diet. I also have a couple of other items that I hope to start adding to my blog starting February 1.  So much to do!  Exciting and overwhelming.  I truly think however that in order to do all that I really want to, it’s all about the accountability.  You have to admit when someone is watching you, you do a lot better than when the door is closed and blinds are drawn.   I’m not an exception to this.  Eating wise I do great during the day. As soon as I get home nothing is safe.  Anyways, my point is, I will be reporting TRUTHFULLY the amount of Diet Cokes I drink and the quantity. Sure I could lie, but what good is that doing me?  So excuse as I go close the blinds and finish off my beverage for the evening! Cheers!

More information about Brita Water Pitchers

Brita water pitchers are on sale at Target this week!

It’s Official!

I can’t keep a secret to save my soul!!  I said I wasn’t going to mention my blog to anyone until February 1  so I would hopefully have a little more content on here and I could see if I was going to make a fool out of myself or not.  Well, big mouth here just couldn’t wait. I just had to tell everyone on Facebook.  So it’s official! No take backs.  No, “Well I changed my mind.” The cat is out of the bag!  I feel so much better now.

Lessons Learned

So today brought this new blogger some new lessons.

1. Thinking REALLY hard about doing something is not the same doing it.

2. If I’m going to be a healthier version of myself I absolutely must get up in the mornings and get it done.  I realized today  no matter how much i want to sleep in and no matter how much I want to workout after work, it’s not realistic  for me.  If I’ve had a rough day work then all I want to do is go home, put on my comfy clothes and snuggle up on the couch.  This habit is what got me to where I am.

3. If I’m going to blog as much as I would like to then I need to start scheduling my time a little better. Time is not my friend.  Nobody’s fault except for mine.  Nobody makes me stay in bed till 6:30 a.m.  Nobody makes me come straight home after work and do nothing.  I really have no right to get antsy at 8:00 pm. when I realize that I’ve just spent the last couple of hours doing nothing.

All I can say is, tomorrow is a new day.

Soulful Sunday

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (I Corinthians 9:24-27)

This is a verse over the course of many years that I love to read when I need a reminder of why sometimes I do the things I do.

I just started attending a small group in my church that is covering  Max Lucado’s book, Outlive Your Life. I guess in some ways it’s partially responsible for why I started this blog.  I bought the book after I signed up for the group but before I started so that I would know what was going on.  Oh, I forgot to mention the group is also put together for endurance athletes or anyone who wants to join us.  Anyways, so from page 1 till the end I couldn’t get enough of it!  For one thing , it encouraged/ inspired me to up the bar in my life.  I’ve become extremely  complacent with my life and  not to mention self-centered.  My workouts are ehhh, boring.  My day to day has become just that. I wake up, go to work, and go home… The End.  Wow, I’m moving mountains with that aren’t I?  So when I read this, from the beginning its saying “Some people don’t bother with such thoughts. They grind through their days without lifting their eyes to look. They live and die and never ask why.

But you aren’t numbered among them, or you wouldn’t be holding a book entitled Outlive Your Life. It’s not enough for you to do well. You want to do good.  You want your life to matter.  You want to live in such a way that the world will be glad you did.”

Immediately I thought “Yes, Yes!”

In November I ran into a woman who I’ve known for sometime and she’s a go getter.  I’ve admired her because she’s all over the place.  Line dancing, grandmother, received a Ph.d. after most people would  and no telling what else she does that I have no clue but she’s a go getter.  So after not really talking to her for sometime she ask me the dreaded question (for me), “What’s new?”  “Ummmm. You know nothing really but that’s not such a bad thing right? Same old same old,” is what I told her.   She then told me my life was in a rut.  I thought “Really? You think?” To make matters worse, she said it again and told me I needed to get out of that rut right away.

So now, here I am. Reading Outlive Your Life and writing a blog about exercise, diet and my journey to turn my rutted life around. I have a great husband, a beautiful dog, and a great job.  At this current second all my bills are paid (I think) and I have a roof over my head.  How can I feel so……..rutted?  Because somewhere along the way I took my eye off of the prize.  As I was reminded tonight, life is an endurance race.  I only get one life and I don’t want to let it just pass me by.  I was put here for a reason.  How dull is it that I’ve become so self-centered?  And why would I want to become so complacent? It’s boring.

Did I become this way intentionally? Of course not.  God has always blessed me.  I met a great man and married him. I’ve got a great job that helps me provide for our family.  We bought a house, a car and adopted a dog.  We are living the dream.  I have the freedom on the weekends to go to races or just train for whatever race I desire.  God has always been on my side. If I had a want, desire, or dream I feel like God has opened the door to make it happen. And when I reached the temporary prize in my life I lost sight.  I said, “Okay, thanks” propped my feet up and flipped on the TV and checked out.

So I guess the point of all of this is God has been pounding on my door for some time and I’ve been to whatever to even listen.  What is my purpose? Who knows? That’s part of my journey. Will I know at this end of this year when I’m at end of this little project? Who knows?  I just think that life is one of the best races I could ever participate in and just like every race I go to, I want to make the most out of it.

From Max Lucado’s book Outlive Your Life, “Here’s a salute to a long life: goodness that outlives the grave, love that outlasts the final breath. May you live in such a way that your death is just the beginning of your life.” Salute!

Max Lucado Outlive Your Life

Happy Saturday!

Oh happy Saturday!! I love Saturday mornings and who doesn’t!?  Some people watch cartoons, some eat pancakes, some go for donuts. Believe it or not there is a whole population that wakes up at stupid thirty on Saturdays (when normally Monday through Fridays it’s all they can do to drag themselves out of bed at 6 a.m.) and make their way out  because somewhere just outside their door waits a long run or race of some sort.  This population gets more done before 9 on Saturdays than most people do all weekend.  Why?   Everybody has their own reasons. Some it’s a tradition. There’s a local guy that goes to a race EVERY Saturday!  It’s a tradition for him. I know several people who do it so they can eat a little more in the afternoons. That’s okay too. So how might you get a “running tradition” of your own?

  1. Motivation
  2. running shoes

Need a training  plan? Here’s a few I suggest. Just remember one foot in front of the other. It’s a gift to run.

Cool Running\’s Couch to 5k training plan

Runners World Training

Hal Higdon Training Website

Jeff Galloway Training Website

Also, thanks to Complete Running Network they have 100 tips for beginner runners.  I personally find #1, #3, #35, & #77 are the ones I agree with most. Enjoy!

100 Beginner Running Tips

A New Journey Begins

Hey there! I’m Brandy
I love running.
I love reading and researching the latest and greatest on all things health related.
I love helping and inspiring others to workout.
I love football and baseball!
I love (and I do mean love) food!
I love cooking.
I love to eat!
I love googling.
I love using exclamation points!
I love God along with my goofy yet wonderful husband Marty
and our just as goofy yet wonderful dog Lexi.

—————————————————————————-

For some time now I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog. I read so many blogs regarding exercise, dieting, cooking, etc. that it inspired me to want to write about it as well but I always thought, “what can i do different that nobody else has?” The million dollar question, I know. Well, like the Windows commercial where the people get these great ideas about making the system better and then the commercials do a “flash back” with some fabulous looking person coming up with the idea. Yep, well just imagine that for me! Instead for me, it’s more like God reached down and thumped me on the forehead and said, “Duh!” I thought I can do a blog that helps me get my passion back while maybe helping others! Is it any different than anyone else’s? I’ll let you decide. So here we go!

In 1995 I started my Group Exercise Instructor career as a Step instructor. From there I experimented with Fitness Pageants (please, hold the laughs). Since1999 I’ve ran who knows how many 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, triathlons and 5 marathons all while continuing teaching various classes over the years. However, in the last year or so I’ve continued something that resembles training but I’ve lost my passion for what I love. As I go on my daily runs it’s become more of a chore rather than what it used to be, an escape from the day to day chaos. I still read about it, think about it, plan for it but I don’t really enjoy it. In addition to all this I’ve managed to put on more weight than I feel comfortable with. I gained it after I got married so I always joke with Marty that when I said, “I do” he handed me twenty pounds at the altar!

My goal is to take a journey over the next year with the simplest diet and exercise in order to rekindle my passion and to become a healthier version of myself. In the mean time, I hope you will also find inspiration in the journey as well. I plan on taking you with me grocery shopping while on a budget and into my kitchen to fix a healthy but easy meal each week. I plan on showing you workouts that don’t require you to break the bank in order to fit back into your skinny jeans (right now my skinny jeans is some skinny girl’s fat jeans). I feel like less informed people have attempted a whole lot more than I’m attempting. I don’t want to just look healthy and run miles after miles like a crazy woman (although that is debatable). I want to create a lifestyle that I can carry way into my golden years. I look forward to my journey and please feel free to suggest or request any ideas that you may have. I’m always open to constructive criticism, but go easy on me I’m new at this (you know, blogging)!