Repeat After Me: It’s Just a Number

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Later this week I’ll share my goals for September and tell you how August went…but before that, a confession.

I was feeing pretty good about my August goals. Would I give myself a 100% for hitting all my fitness goals and eating perfectly? Nooooo way. But overall, I felt like I was moving in the right direction. While I’m still not seeing the numbers I want on the scale, I’m seeing some downward motion. I’ll take it, right?

Wrong.

My husband got a new fancy FitBitHR this weekend, and with it an Aria scale. I’ll be doing a full review of it soon, but it’s pretty cool: it connects with your FitBit and sends your weight and body fat percentage straight to your device for easy tracking. I was  excited to hook it up with my FitBit…until I realized the scale I had been previously using was way, way off. Turns out I’m several  pounds heavier and my body fat is 10% higher than what my old scale was telling me.

I’m not going to lie, guys. I was really upset. I realize this sounds a little silly as I didn’t actually gain any weight. But now I feel even further from my goals. Do I adjust my goals to my new starting weight and body fat, or do I adjust my timeline? Or do I just curl up in a ball and eat a lot of mac & cheese? (I know, I know, not a viable option).

Then my “memories from this week 2 years ago” popped up on my newsfeed, reminding me that this weekend in 2013 I ran a 10k…only I was given the wrong bib color and ran a full 10 miles before I realized I was on the wrong course. That’s right, I ran 10 miles and didn’t really notice how far I’d gone. I can hardly make it a mile right now. Just…ugh. That memory coming back to me was just the icing on a cake that I CAN’T EAT BECAUSE SUDDENLY I’M HEAVIER THAN I THOUGHT I WAS.

I am trying to remind myself: it’s just a number. The numbers on the scale don’t define me. But it’s still disappointing and frustrating, especially after a full month of working fairly hard on my goals.

I think I need a non-weight milestone so that I’m not living by the numbers on the scale. What other things do you watch besides the scale?

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Running on a Disney World Vacation

My favorite vacation spot is Disney World, so I thought I’d share my favorite places to run while visiting. Many of the resorts have running paths and most of the deluxe resorts have gyms, but these are the places I’ve enjoyed running the best. I ran them all with my jogging stroller–with mixed results.

First off is the Magic Kingdom area. Bay Lake Towers and The Contemporary have great running paths throughout the resort, labeled with these cute little signs. Fun, right?

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The Bay Lake Tower/Contemporary paths are a breeze with the stroller, as they’re entirely paved and quite wide.

I also love running from Bay Lake past the Magic Kingdom–it has the best views. The path leads from the resort, past the Magic Kingdom entrance and underneath the monorail track before it dead ends with a beautiful view of the Grand Floridian.

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While the views are great, it’s not the path to take if you’re going for a steady pace. Depending on the time of day, the path can get crowded and it offers little shade, so it’s best to run it early morning or in the evening. It is almost exactly one mile from the door of Bay Lake Towers to the end of the path.

The only part of this path that gave me problems with my stroller was the section with the commemorative bricks–it made for a very bumpy ride for JC. Luckily, he’s a bit of a thrill seeker so he was fine with it.

If nature is your thing, be sure to check out the fitness/jogging paths at The Wilderness Lodge. The sandy soil path that leads to Ft. Wilderness is my favorite, as it makes you feel like you’re out in the middle of nowhere, not smack in the middle of Orlando. All the noise of the resort melts away and you can be one with the trees, the fresh air, and…whatever made this paw print.

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Some of the paths also offer great views across the lake to The Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower.

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The stroller was a little challenging on this route–it’s doable but it made for slow going. I also have a pretty heavy duty stroller, so that made it easier.

The last route I’m going to talk about at the Boardwalk resort–my favorite path heads down the boardwalk and then past The Beach and Yacht Club. There’s some little hills, which seem bigger when you’re doing it with a stroller, but the scenery is a nice distraction. There’s also some signage that tells you about the routes and the distances. They are placed on a couple of different locations around the path. I also really like to walk this path at night–there are some great spots to take in the fireworks from Epcot.

boardwalk running trail

I know sometimes you don’t want to think about running and exercising on vacation, but I always seem to be preparing for a race while I’m at WDW–and I’ve learned the hard way what a week or two skipping runs can lead to. Plus, if you exercise while you’re on vacation, you get to eat more things like this:

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And isn’t that what vacationing is all about, anyway?

Do you exercise on vacation? Where is your favorite place to run at Disney World?

Table for One

My husband recently travelled for work– which has, in the past, led to some really bad food choices for me. I get lonely and stressed out when he’s gone and I tend to make myself feel better with mac & cheese therapy.

This time around, I was determined not to let that happen. I’ve been doing really well with my food & fitness plan so far this month and I didn’t want to screw it up. So I put extra effort into my planning and made some of my favorite healthy snacks and meals for one.

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I did meal prep so that everything was ready-made and easy and I wasn’t tempted to go somewhere and eat something greasy and covered in cheese. I made a batch of homemade salsa–the recipe I use makes a huge amount so I knew I’d have plenty even after he came home. I also made my favorite protein balls–they taste like cookie dough so it keeps me from making a dozen cupcakes and snarfing them all myself.

I was pretty proud of myself–I made it through most of his trip without bingeing on anything too bad. I did struggle with getting my workouts in. I underestimated how tired I’d be after being on my own with my five-year-old and by the time I got him to bed,    all I felt like doing was vegging out with Netflix. It was only a couple of workouts, though, and the first I missed all month, so I’m not beating myself up and promised myself I’d add what I missed to another workout.

All in all, I feel pretty good about how I stayed on track. Now, the trick is not rewarding myself with that cupcake…

How does your eating and exercise change when your schedule is disrupted? How do you handle it?

Tuesdays on the Run: Fall and Winter Race Wish List

It has been far too long since I’ve searched online for prospective races. I have to admit, it was kind of euphoric to go to Run Georgia and window shop for the rest of the year. After almost a full year off of running, I’m so ready to start easing my way back into 5k races. I will be slow but I’ll be doing it!

My area is full of awesome races in the fall and early winter, but I’m keeping myself to a maximum of one 5k a month through the end of the year–if even that. I’ve narrowed down my wish list, and I’ll choose by the end of the month which ones are going to make the cut.

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September:

Diva 5K: I’ve always wanted to run a Diva race.They’re a little pricey but they look like so much fun!

BackPack Love 5K : I ran this last year (it was actually my last race, yikes) and while it’s a tiny, local race it supports a good cause and it’s close to where I live.

Run for the Redheads 5k: This race supports ape conservation and I love the name and T-shirt design. Sometimes, that is all I’m really looking for in a 5k.

October:

Wanderlust Festival: This “triathlon” of a gentle 5k, yoga and meditation sounds so appealing to me. It has a totally crunchy-granola-hippie feel to it, but I feel like it would be awesome if I could gather together a group of girlfriends to go with me.

ATC 5k: The Atlanta Track Club is such a great organization and I love running their events. And this race goes through some of my favorite parts of the city.

Princess & Pirate 5k: This one is local, on Halloween and it would be fun for me and my kid.

November:

Lanier Under the Lights: I ran this one a few years ago and it was awesome. I’m not usually a fan of night races but this one brings you through the “Magical Nights of Lights” Christmas light display. It’s worth staying up past bedtime and I think my son would love it.

December:

Barb’s 5K (part of the Jeff Galloway race weekend): I love Jeff Galloway and while I’ve never had the chance to participate in his race weekend, I can only imagine it’s fantastic.

November and December are easy enough to choose–I already had to narrow them down because the holidays are crazy busy.  Now I just have to pick for the fall.

Which ones would you pick? What races are you registering for this fall? If you want to see my big race wish list, come visit me on Pinterest

Today’s post was brought to you by Tuesdays on the Run, a link up hosted by My No Guilt Life, Run the Great Wide Somewhere, and MCM Mama Runs. Go check them out and see where they’re running this fall!

Before and After Photos & Numbers: Do You Share?

We live in a very visual world, especially when it comes to social media and fitness in particular. As a writer at heart, I struggle with that–especially when it comes to photos of myself where I don’t look my best. As in, the before pictures.

Before pictures, especially when you have long-term fitness goals, are a great tool. Not all progress is gauged by the scale and it’s awesome to be able to actually see the progress. I took before pictures, recorded my weight and body fat percentage, and then tucked the photos away. I don’t know if I’ll ever show them to anyone but myself–they are far from flattering. I took them in a bikini (and I haven’t worn in a bikini in public in a decade) with the thought that if I do manage a fantastic transformation, posting the before and after shots would be okay. Hey, a girl needs lofty goals, right?

I’m the same way with numbers. I’m happy to share what I’m trying to accomplish: lose 20 pounds and get to 24% body fat. But I’m hesitant to offer up exactly how much I weigh, and where that 20 pounds will land me at. It’s not that I’m embarrassed by my weight–it’s just that poundage can be deceiving and looks different on everyone. Suffice it to say that 20 pounds will bring me to my happy weight, and that’s what I’d hope for all my friends and readers.

So I want to know: when you share your journey, do you lay it all out there, keep everything under wraps, or do you try to find a happy medium like I do?

August Goals

I can’t believe it’s August! I mean, really. Where did the year go? We still have one more month of summer before my son starts school, and we’re going to make the most of it!

I’m really happy to be settled enough that I can actually set goals that I think I’ll accomplish this month. First, my fitness goals.

August 2015 Fit goals

I’m really, really working towards cutting soda completely out…but it is my biggest vice. My mileage goals are small, but it’s the first time I’ve been able to think about mileage all year, so I’m pretty excited. My weight loss and body fat % goals are part of longterm goals: my “happy” weight of 130 and 24% body fat. And I’m researching gyms in the area with class options. When we lived downtown, I got spoiled by having a ton of different classes at all hours of the day available to me, and I’m struggling a little bit to find ones that work for me now that we have moved.

Because I define “healthy” as more than just “fitness”, I like to set “happiness” goals as well–things that make my life better or that make me happy. This month:

Aug 2015 Happiness goals

I love photographs, so I want to get my favorite ones hung up in our new house. I want to make sure we get some screen -free family time in this month as well as some dates with my husband–we tend to let those fall by the wayside when things get hectic. And I want to plan our winter vacation–we usually travel around the holidays and it gives me something to look forward to!

What are your August goals? Do you have goals for fitness or personal goals as well?