Sunday, March 29, 2015

Why You Need A Goal

Goal setting is something that as a teacher I talk about almost daily. Setting short term and long term goals helps me grow as an educator and is something I feel really strongly about that students need to be exposed to-- especially in the age of instant gratification and constant distraction. In my personal life, goals play a significant role in my fulfillment as well and I've come to the realization that goals are an integral part of a happy existence for me.
I hate being bored--as a mother that is rarely an option in the day to day in terms of my activities, but I have found that boredom can take many forms. It can sneak into your life in many places-- maybe your stuck on autopilot at work, or you are bored with the monotony of your daily routine, or you're tired of eating the same old boring food, or doing the same boring workout. A lot of times I think we get blinded by busyness and don't realize we are unfulfilled in some element of our life until a larger crisis presents itself.
I believe goal setting is the key to avoiding boredom and to filling fulfilled and identifying what can help us grow as individuals. It  keeps us vigilant to our wants and desires and ambitions as people and helps to guard our individuality.

(Here comes the obligatory running story...)
After my Disney Race, that I had focused my energy towards 100%, I decided that I was going to take a break from running and tryout a different workout program. I thought it would give me a chance to do something else, create more time in my day, and avoid the onslaught of the hot Texas temperatures that I'm sure are just around the corner. So I started doing the workouts, but I wasn't really into them- they didn't give me the release that running does.  Since I didn't really have a big race goal, I was working towards I didn't feel the need to push as hard as I had when I was training during January and August.  And so a lot of the positive changes I had made in building myself up to get ready for my Disney Race and working towards that goal became less of a priority.
Running gives me that outlet to give myself goals that I can build toward each day, that I feel proud when I accomplish, and that gives me the ability to help and encourage others to go for their goals, too.
I decided after some thinking that I needed running. So I decided that I would set a goal for myself-- a mile a day everyday in April. And then I asked people to join me because I need that accountability and community to encourage me and push me. So now there's more than 10 of us setting goals-- for fitness, and for fun, and for fulfillment. What are your goals? Are you thinking about something you want to do but it seems out of reach or impossible? You CAN do it-- but you have to plan for your success and make little choices each day to reach the bigger goal.

If you want to join us this month starting on Wednesday, April 1st send me a message on Facebook and I'll get you added to the group!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

(Meal) Planning for Success---

Did you realize that about 80% of weight loss is determined by what you put into your mouth. That means even if you are working out like a beast or running a million miles, if you put crap into your body the results that many of us are seeking are going to be harder to come by.
Meal planning has always been something that I struggle with so I often fall into a pattern of just   fixing the same thing and then get bored of whatever it was I was eating and often allow myself to make poor decisions that slow or derail my goals.
I have been working on being much more diligent with sitting down and coming up with new ideas for what I want to eat. I am not dieting so I don't want to eat "DIET" food-- first off it usually sucks and second it's usually not that good for you anyway with the additives and extra sugar that are often put into lower calorie foods.  So I have focused on trying to eat foods that are whole foods, limit the processed stuff I'm taking in, and working on portion sizes. My typical week usually looks something like this
What I have found since I started being more diligent in my meal planning is that I have added a lot of new options into my diet that provide some variety and help me keep from getting bored.

So here's my tips for getting your meal planning going:

  • I always drink my Shakeology for breakfast- Shakeology is a nutrition dense meal replacement shake. On workdays I am always rushing to get myself and Carter out the door on time so we don't get caught in crazy traffic. I don't have time to whip up eggs everyday-- or at least I don't want to make the time to make eggs everyday. Since starting the shakes in January I haven't missed a day (except for the day I had a stomach bug and couldn't keep anything down). It's become my new go to in the morning ( I used to stop at Sonic for a drink every morning). It powers me up, tastes great, and takes about 3 seconds to make and clean up. (Interested in more info? Check out ) 
  • Snacks: I used to be the worst about eating snacks during the day and then being so hungry after school and going crazy before dinner. I have been trying to incorporate snacks twice a day that incorporate a little bit of protein and some carbs to keep me at a baseline so I don't blow the whole day in a few minutes by making a bad choice when I'm super hungry. 
  • Meals: I always try to give myself a decent portion of lean protein, a veggie, and fruit. I have been trying to incorporate more low glycemic fruits, especially in the evening. I really like raspberries. 
  • So how often can you cheat? Aim for one splurge a week. Plan it--- relish it---and then get back on track at the next meal. I have found the more my body has gotten used to healthy food the better choices I have made even at splurge time. The best meal I had in months was a delicious Sea Bass with Roasted Brussels Sprouts at one of our favorite restaurants here in SA.  But remember occasionally we all have to 

  • I will allow myself a piece of dark chocolate at the end of the night to as a small daily treat if I stayed within my calorie goal or did extra great at my workout. I have found that milk chocolate is my kryptonite-- it'll just be gone. Dark chocolate satisfies the craving but is so much richer that a smaller amount gives me adequate satisfaction (Ghiradhelli's Sea Salt Soiree is our favorite)
  • I try to plan my meals each Saturday and then create a shopping list that I take with me to the store on Saturday morning. It helps shorten the shopping trip and I have a mission instead of just wandering around until inspiration strikes. 
  • I use a spreadsheet template and save my meal plans each week. That way I can easily go back and reference recipes (I link them in the spreadsheet) or look at weeks where I did well and try incorporating some of those same foods if I hit a plateau. 
So that's what I've got today-- make a plan, follow it, and get ready to see some results. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How Did Running Change You?

One of my favorite magazines to read is Runner's World. On the website, they have motivational stories that share how people have been transformed by their running journey. I was reading through them and decided that I should write my own. So here's my story...

NAME: Evie Edwards
AGE: 31-derful
OCCUPATION: High School Teacher
HOMETOWN: San Antonio, Texas ( I guess I don't say my childhood hometown anymore which is kind of weird)
FAMILY: My boys- husband- Cory, Son- Carter
1. What prompted you to start working out?
I started working out in earnest and focusing on my health and nutrition in the fall of 2006. I had spent most of my childhood and my entire college life overweight. I had just started dating Cory and I wanted to feel better about my physical appearance and also feel better physically.
2. How did you start?
 I started working out by attending group exercise classes at the Texas Tech Rec Center- kickboxing, step, spin, weight lifting. I didn't actually start my running journey until the Spring of 2011.
3. Describe your regular workout routine.
 I try to workout ideally 6 times per week. 4 runs and 2 cross-training or yoga days.
3. What was the biggest hurdle to working out and how did you get over it?
Initially it was not having confidence in my ability to complete the exercises or sticking out in class. I started going to the classes though and had so much fun I soon got over those initial insecurities. In running, I really didn't think I could do it initially. My runs were so hard for the first month and full of a lot of self-Doubt. I got through it by just continuing to go out each day and try and looking for small things to improve.
4. What's the most rewarding part of your running life?
 The best part of running for me is working towards a goal and having the satisfaction and pride of saying that you completed it! Nothing beats a finish line high.
5. Did you have a weight-loss goal?
When I started my fitness journey I wanted to lose 50 pounds. I weighed 190 pounds which on my small frame was a lot of weight to carry around. I eventually went down to around 140 give or take a few pounds. When I was pregnant with my son I gained about 45 pounds so my weight loss journey began a new following his birth. I recently have gotten back down to around 145 and hope to continue on with a healthy happy fitness filled lifestyle.
6. What’s the secret to your weight-loss success?
Consistent exercise routines and making healthy sustainable choices in eating have given me the most long-term success
7. What kinds of changes did you make to what and how you ate?
I am most successful when I track what is going in my mouth. I like the myfitnesspal app. I alaotry to focus on getting well-rounded choices that include all the macro-nutrients I need and I also credit Shakeology with my recent success in losing weight.
8. What advice would you give to a beginner or someone just starting out?
Give yourself time to get better. I would say it took me a solid 1-2 months before I actually started to like running. Sign up for a fun race with a friend and commit to training.
9. What are your favorite motivational quotes?
-It always seems impossible until it is done. ~ Nelson Mandela
10. What's your idea of a Rave Run?
I went to New York City shortly after I started running and was so jealous of a race that was going through Central Park and wished I could have been part of it. I hope to run a half-marathon through Central Park one day. I am also looking forward to visiting Northern California this summer and hopefully going on some runs there!

11. What's your must-have running gear?
I love the Brooks Ghost series of shoes and my Nike+ Running App on my iPhone. I also love CW-X tights (capri length) and Feetures Moisture Wicking Socks and Sweaty Bands headbands. Other than those things I'm a minimalist!

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Most Magical Run on Earth!

I wanted to take few minutes to debrief my Disney Run before all the magical details escape my memory. To start off, this whole Disney Extravaganza started last year when Mary and Amanda had started running and completed their first half marathon here in San Antonio, which gave me the umph to get off the couch and lace up my running shoes again because I spent most of that race jealous that I wasn't running with them. We decided that we should probably go ahead and go somewhere pretty awesome and that perhaps a destination run might have to become and annual tradition.
For literally years, I've been eyeing the ads in Runner's World for the Disney Princess Half or the Tinkerbell Half Marathon and Mary and Amanda are Disney aficionados so the choice was a pretty natural one for all of us.

When we were perusing our options of races we settled on doing the Glass Slipper Challenge which consisted of running a 10K on Saturday and a Half Marathon on Sunday. We signed up on one of the most chaotic days of my life as Cory and I  were trying to move out of our house, but it was necessary since these races sell out FAST. And then all there was left to do was wait...oh and train my ass off.

I did two races to prepare for Disney the Chosen Half Marathon in October and the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in December. Both were underwhelming performances for me time wise at about 2:15. In January I decided to join a Beachboy accountability to group to help me prepare for success at Disney because I was tired of not feeling good about the effort I had put in on Race day. So from January to Race Day I was diligent-- workouts 6 days a week, great nutrition, drank my water, Shakeology every day. I could feel myself getting stronger and faster the closer we got to race day.

The theme of the Disney trip was get up before the sun. So I got up at 4:30 the day of my flight and managed to escape any crazy polar vortex delays and made it to Orlando about 1:00 Eastern.  Friday was Expo Day. Here's some pics
New Balance Expo Fun

Costume Fashion Show for Amanda's Parents the Night Before Race 1

Saturday: Enchanted 10 K
3:30am Wake Up Call. We were out the door by 4 and freezing our butts off at the start by 4:45-5am. We decided that since we all run at different paces we would run the 10K together and stop for character pictures during this run because I was set on running the half on Sunday seriously. We dressed as the 3 Fairies from Sleeping Beauty for this one thanks to Mary and Amanda's excellent crafting skills. Other than a cold start this was a great run which mostly wound through Epcot.

We spent the rest of the day shopping for spaghetti fixins for dinner and soaking in the Hot Tub. 

Sunday: 3:15am Wake Up. I needed some SUPER strength to pull off day three of Middle of the Night Wake Ups-- hence the costume-- also I wanted real running clothes---Sorry people who are girlier than me but a skirt is not appropriate attire for kicking ass.  

We had a longer walk to the start line, but it was at least not as cold on Sunday. Since I was in an earlier corral, I had to part ways from Mary and Amanda on the way to the corrals. Here's us all dressed up and ready to go

The race went spectacularly for me. I felt strong as we started and was keeping a consistent pace around 9 min miles. I skipped most of the character stops for the first half of the race because the lines were INSANE. I did stop to get a castle picture in the Magic Kingdom and then stopped some during the second half of the race because the lines were mostly non existent. 

I have one question-- WHERE'S THE RUM?

So I finished the race in 2:04. Ten minutes faster than the same distance two months before. I felt great about my performance and enjoyed getting to spend some times with two of my best friends. 
Following the race we went to Epcot and had cocktails and pastry--and felt zero guilt. By the end of the day we figured we done a full marathon.