Still not running.

Hey guys!  Remember that time I set some solid goals for myself for the rest of the year?  Well, none of them are happening because I'm still coughing like a bad smoker.

I woke up this morning bound and determined to go for a run.  I've been sitting on my rear end for several days now and getting REAL grumpy.  Honestly.  Jamie deserves a medal for putting up with my poor attitude.  So I was actually super pumped to get up and go for a run to get some endorphins pumping into my chubby body.  And then I woke up with a pounding headache, throbbing sinuses, and that damn cough.  I'm so tired of it that I'm actually considering going to the doctor even though I FREAKING HATE GOING TO THE DOCTOR.

So instead of running, I'm blogging.  And complaining to my mom over text.  It's a good thing she loves me unconditionally!

Is anybody out there running?  Tell me about it so I can live vicariously through you!


It's November 4th and 85 degrees.

There are times I really like living in Florida - like when I get to go kayaking on a random Tuesday with Jamie or when my family comes and I get to visit Walt Disney World as though it's a fun destination and not my place of work.

But sweating it out to the tune of 85 degrees in November does not make for a happy Jessica.  So Florida and I are currently fighting.  Of course, this feud doesn't mean that much at the current moment because it's not like I'm running right now.  Nope.  It's November, so it's time for my body to let down all defenses and allow horrible illnesses in.  Two years ago, it was the stomach virus so bad that I called it the Black Plague.  Last year, it was pneumonia.  This year it seems to just be some hateful form of cold or flu that makes my lungs burn a little bit with every cough.  So good.  Just so good.

So why am I sitting here on my running blog when I can't run?  And I haven't blogged in almost two months?  Great question, person I'm assuming is reading this even though part of me thinks only my cat knows I'm blogging!  I think it's because I have to tell myself that once I feel better, I will get back on the bandwagon.

Truth be told, I've been struggling for months.  I kept it to myself because I was trying to be a good little Beachbody coach and make it look like I was doing great and had all the answers.  But I had so few answers.  And the more I smiled on social media and talked about how great everything was, the more I realized that I was losing my own way.  So I stepped away from the whole coaching thing and made the decision to get back on board with Weight Watchers and get myself in line.
Then work happened.  And life happened.  And this stupid sickness that has been bugging me for weeks happened.  And without meaning to, I gained back a few pounds instead of losing them.  I went the opposite direction that I wanted to and I felt like I couldn't make any forward progress at all.  So now I'm putting my foot down.  The likelihood of me exercising today is low - I can't risk getting more sick because I've got several tough days of work ahead.  And I can't lie and say that my eating has been perfect today.  It's been better because I made myself go to the grocery store, but Jamie and I absolutely got Halloween candy on sale and the little pouches of gummy Lifesavers have been taunting me.  But I am putting my intentions for the rest of the year down RIGHT NOW.  Because soon I'm going to kick this stupid illness and get back to kicking ass.

So here goes:
Goals for the rest of 2015:
  • Run three times a week
  • Swim once a week
  • Go to at least one class in the gym a week
  • Eat out less
  • Three things you are grateful for every day
And of course, the most important goal of all: buy and eat this.

What are your goals for the rest of 2015?


The triumphant return of Weight Watchers.

Yesterday's workout:

Today's workout:
Not dying

Quick recap of yesterday: I ate a lot of delicious food at breakfast because... reasons.  Then went to Trader Joe's and bought more delicious food.  I couldn't help myself, there was pumpkin everything.  Then I went to BodyJam for the first time in MONTHS and was so so so happy.

Then I woke up today and realized that I either pulled something jamming it out last night or my back has just suddenly decided to loathe my bed.  Either way, my back spent most of the day randomly seizing up.  So that was super fun.  I had planned on a 3 mile run today, but it wasn't happening with the back pain.  In an effort to see the silver lining, though, I took this unexpected rest day to focus on getting back to healthy eating.  And by healthy eating, I mean trying to follow the 80/20 rule of 80% clean eating, 20% indulgences.  Let's be real, I'll be psyched if I hit 70/30.  I really love processed carbs, kids.

Breakfast was vanilla Shakeology with Trader Joe's pumpkin butter blended in - I'm not kidding when I say that I now own everything pumpkin that store has to offer.  Lunch was a bagel thin with roast beef and cheddar, plus some carrots and grapes on the side.  Dinner was tacos with Trader Joe's reduced guilt guacamole.  Otherwise known as my new addiction.  Not pictured here is my new favorite snack, which is an apple and Yoplait whipped Greek yogurt in vanilla cupcake.  IT IS GLORIOUS.

The real goal right now is to get back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon.  I know, I know... this isn't my first rodeo.  For those of you new to my story, here it is in a nutshell: I lost 35 pounds, I became a Leader, I maintained, I gained a little bit back, I lost it again, I came to Florida, I gained 25 pounds, and have been trying to lose those 25 pounds for three years.  It's not pretty and I'm not proud.  But I will say that I have worked harder this year to get back to my goal than I have the whole time I've been in Florida.  Following 21 Day Fix got me back on track with my eating and paying a lot more attention to WHAT I was eating.  I really started looking closely at labels and caring about ingredients.  But as great as that was, it got to me, and I wanted to eat clean 100% of the time.  As it turns out, that sucks.  It sucks a lot.  It means you don't get ketchup and I really love ketchup.  So I spiraled out of control in the other direction and stopped caring at all what I ate!  That lasted about two days before I wanted to die.  Now I'm realizing that Weight Watchers always has been, and likely always will be, my happy place.  I like that it doesn't tell me what I can and cannot eat (because I'm a small child), but it still gives me guidelines.  And that's what I need right now.

In unrelated news, I had a really big interview today for something I am really excited about.  So if you've got some extra pixie dust laying around, please feel free to send it my way!

Tooting my own horn for a change.

Today's run:
3.22 miles in 45:00
Today was my first run since the Dumbo Double Dare last weekend.  I set out to run 3 miles.  I'm grateful that was my only goal because while I did achieve it, most of the run was spent focused on foot pain, shin splints, and asking God why he had forsaken me.  So all in all, it was a great run.
But I did it and I'm proud of myself for that.  Furthermore, I didn't beat myself up about how slow I was or how much pain I was in because I ran 19.3 miles last weekend, damnit, and that's really cool.  Sometimes I don't give myself enough credit.  Does anybody else feel like that?  I tell myself that I don't really "run" because I take walk breaks and because I'm slow.  I tell myself that because I've done so many half marathons (last weekend marked my 11th) it isn't very impressive when I finish one.  WTF?!  Of course I really run!  I'm out there huffing and puffing while other people I know sit on their couches!  I deserve so much credit for stuffing my jiggly bits into workout clothes and busting my butt!  And it's still CRAZY impressive when I finish a half marathon!  I don't care if I run 50 of them - each one is a massive triumph and I earn those medals and all the bragging that comes with them!
This is something I'm working on, really.  I'm working on being better to myself.  The truth is, I've spent the past few months being REALLY hard on myself.  It's one of those tough parts of getting involved in health and fitness - it starts to surround you.  I did the same thing when I became a Weight Watchers Leader.  I was constantly talking to people about weight loss, food choices, meal planning, emotional eating... it started to become my whole world.  Since I thought about it so much, I started to pick my own choices and tendencies apart.  If I talked to my members about meal planning, I told myself I needed to be perfect at it.  If I harped on getting in the Good Health Guidelines (fruits, veggies, healthy oils, lean proteins, etc.) in the meeting, then I better go home and check every single one off, every single day, without fail.  Not very realistic, right?  But it's how my little perfectionist brain works.

I thought with age and wisdom (let's be real, it's mostly age) that I could grow past that and not fall into the same pitfalls with coaching.  But here I am, eight months later, struggling.  I'm not good at eating clean (because cake).  I still don't know how I got through P90X because as it turns out, I kinda suck at following a workout program exactly (because half marathons).  I spend way too much time comparing myself to other coaches and coming up short, which is stupid, but true (because Lindsay Matway).

But I just spent two weeks pretty much unplugged from the coaching world and when I got back, something in me snapped.  I realized that living this double life of being perfect on social media while having a really tough time in my personal life was just dumb.  So I'm knocking it off and being honest.  And I'm also BRAGGING ON MYSELF A LITTLE.  Let's start here.  Today's run was freaking slow.

But you know what?  It was still a run.  Who cares if I'm slow?!  I've finished 11 half marathons and I'm just starting to train for my 12th.  Tonight, that's enough for me.  I'm not perfect, but I'm pretty great anyway.

Welp. Let's try this again!

So... I'm just going to be honest here.  I have been missing this whole blogging thing for a while now.  And about halfway through the Disneyland Half Marathon this past Sunday all I could think was that I really wanted to blog about it.  Because that's how well it was going.

But the truth is, I've been thinking about how to get started on this blog again for months now.  I thought about it on nearly every run that I went on and considered all sorts of big, exciting posts reintroducing myself into the blog world.

Those posts never happened.

So here I am, just quietly reintroducing myself into the blog world at 10:42 pm on a Friday night.  Which I think shows that I am so ready to get back to blogging that I don't even care if I don't do it perfectly.  I definitely don't think it shows that I have nothing to do on a Friday night.

The point is that I am excited to be back.  I'm actually excited for a lot of things right now.  But that's for my next post.  See you real soon, blogosphere!


Sunday Runday!

Today's run:
3.3 miles in 47:00

What can I say about today's run?  Well, let's keep it simple:

Today's run sucked.  I can't even beat around the bush on this one.  It was slow and painful and it was 95% humidity outside the entire time.  It was only about 73 degrees, but because of the humidity, I felt like I was clawing my way through it.  I got side stitches about 10 minutes in that lasted for most of the run.  I think my shoes are getting to the end of their little shoe lives because my feet were throbbing and I had painful shin splints.  Also, every joint in my body was revolting.


I did it.

I did not give up 10 minutes in.  I did not say "it's okay, I'll walk the rest" when my right knee flared up.  I didn't even say "2.75 was far enough" when I got close to my apartment and could have just finished the run early.  I kept going.

It was a tough week for me in the health and fitness world.  I worked six days this week because it's still spring break season and the Magic Kingdom has been a madhouse.  When I wasn't working, I was exhausted and trying to just put one foot in front of the other.  I tried my best to follow the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan, but there were days that one vegetable happened instead of four.  One day a frozen margarita and a slice of cake appeared out of nowhere and forced me to eat them.  That was a tough day.

And can we talk about workouts?  Oh, let's talk about workouts.  Of the seven 21 Day Fix workouts and three runs I had planned for the week, I did three 21DF workouts and one run.  Not my most impressive statistics.

So the fact that I got through the run today after skipping workouts and not eating my best is pretty much a miracle and I will take it, side stitches and all.

Happy Sunday Runday, kids.  Whether your run/workout today is awesome or awful, pat yourself on the back for getting it done!


How is it March 10th?!

Today's workouts:
Upper Fix from 21 Day Fix
3.41 mile run
I'm getting old, kids.  And this time I'm not just saying that because I ordered a cross stitch kit from Etsy (though that did happen) - I'm saying it because somehow, I looked up today, and it was March 10th.  How did it get to be March 10th?!  Seriously, didn't this year just start?  Didn't I just make New Year's Resolutions?  DIDN'T I JUST BLOG?!!
The answer to that, of course, is no.  I haven't blogged in nearly two months.  Have I put it on my to do list almost every day?  Absolutely.  Have I thought about it?  Yup.  But I haven't done it.  Not my proudest moment, but it's not because I was hiding.  It's because, as it turns out, I've got quite a balancing act going on right now.  Working full time job with Disney, trying to get my Beachbody business up and running, getting used to living with Jamie and our fur person, working out more, meal planning, and cooking... WOOF.  Seriously.  I don't know how mothers function.  I can barely handle feeding the cat.

But today I decided to focus on getting things done.  I made a to do list.  I finished half of it.  I'm starting to understand what people mean when they say there aren't enough hours in the day.  So in lieu of discussing how many things are left unchecked on my to do list right now, let's catch up on a few big things that have happened since I last blogged!

1.  I started and finished the 21 Day Fix!  I will admit that I didn't follow it perfectly - but it was damn close!  The one really hard part was trying to balance the 21 Day Fix workouts with my runs because I was in the last stretch of training for the Princess Half.  But even with a few changes in the workout plan and a few slip ups in the eating plan, I ended up losing 3 pounds in the 21 days!  It wasn't a drastic change, but it was progress, and that was all I wanted!

2.  I became an Emerald Beachbody Coach!  Last time I blogged, I explained that I had just become a Beachbody Coach.  At the time, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I just signed up because I wanted to get 21 Day Fix, I wanted to try Shakeology, and if I liked both of them, I wanted to help people reap the same benefits I was seeing.  Now, almost two months later, I realize what a powerful choice becoming a coach really was.  My personal commitment to my own health and fitness goals has skyrocketed because coaching has held me accountable.  My team of coaches puts on monthly challenge groups which have added to my accountability, and helped motivate and encourage me on days that I struggle.  And that's just me.  The really rewarding part of coaching has been seeing my friends and family see their own amazing results.  I had one challenger lose 8 pounds on 21 Day Fix, another lose 9 pounds, and one of my best friends in the whole world lost 15 pounds.   Fifteen pounds in three weeks!  BOOM!  On top of seeing amazing results, some of my challengers have also seen how motivating and encouraging coaches are, and how life changing the challenge groups can be.  These are the people who have reached out to me about becoming a coach themselves.  And THIS is how I became Emerald.  Being an Emerald Beachbody Coach just means that I have brought two people into coaching under me.  So I'm building a team!  This is something that I am ridiculously excited about and have some incredible ideas for.  I'm so pumped about my team I can hardly stand myself.

3.  I ran my ninth half marathon!  Sometimes I can't quite believe that I've run one half marathon, let alone nine of them and a full marathon too.  But the Princess Half Marathon on February 22nd marked my ninth official half marathon.  And coming up in May, I'll be running my tenth!  This continues to blow my mind.

4.  I started a hybrid of 21 Day Fix and PiYo!  I loved the 21 Day Fix, really.  I will admit that I had some ups and downs with it, but that was mostly due to the fact that I am terrible at meal planning, and would let myself get too hungry and frustrated.  That's something I continue to work on.  I bought myself a meal planner and am hoping that helps!  But as much as I loved 21 Day Fix, it does come with a unique problem - it's over in three weeks.  So at the end of the three weeks, I found myself wondering what I would do next.  I knew I didn't want to repeat 21 Day Fix exactly again for three more weeks, especially because it was hard to balance those workouts with running.  So I decided to make myself a hybrid.  For the month of March, I have combined 21 Day Fix with another program called PiYo, which is a blend of Pilates and yoga created by my hero and my nemesis, Chalene Johnson.  Chalene tends to create pretty tough workouts (TurboFire, anyone?) and PiYo is no exception.  But it's a great low impact break for my joints, and a great cross training for my running.  So why did I keep the 21 Day Fix workouts?  Because they're fun!  They're 30 minutes!  I really do love them and plan on using them more in the future.

Well, I think that about wraps up the big highlights of the past month and a half.  In addition to recommitting to my fitness, I plan on recommitting to this blog.  I can't guarantee I'll be blogging daily, but at least a few times a week is the goal.  Fingers crossed!


A fresh start.

Let me start by saying I'm not big on New Year's resolutions.  I never have been.  I generally fall victim to the standard stereotype - I make a resolution, I follow through for anywhere from a week to a month or two, and then I fall off the bandwagon.  Then I beat myself up about it for a while, forget, and make the same mistake the next year.  So it's been a long time since I made a New Year's resolution. 

That changed this year.  To be perfectly honest, 2014 was one of the hardest years of my life.  Some really amazing things happened, but there were also a lot of bad things too.  I hit rough patches all year - in my work life, in my personal life, in my health.  Since coming back to Disney, I've gained about 25 pounds.  I told myself I would get back to my goal weight in 2014.  I tried to get back on the wagon with Weight Watchers and I failed.  I tried to get back to running regularly and I failed.  I tried new workout programs, DVDs, and protein shakes.  And with every single try, I failed.

I'd love to say that 2015 started and everything immediately changed, but to be honest, the first week or two of January 2015 were just as bad as 2014.  Jamie tried to tell me that we just had to get through the last of bad stuff, but I felt like the year was doomed right off the bat.  Turns out Jamie was right (don't tell him) because January 2015 was actually the start of some great things.

I broke my vow to not make New Year's resolutions.  I did make some resolutions this year.  I made them quietly, in my head, and did not share them right away.  But now that I'm making progress on them, I feel like it's okay to let them out.  So here goes nothing.

My Resolutions for 2015
1.  To get back into the health and fitness industry.
2.  To become a Les Mills instructor (especially for BodyJam).
3.  To get back to my goal weight and help others do the same.

When I made this list, my idea of getting back into the health and fitness industry and help people reach their weight loss goals was going back to Weight Watchers.  I have missed being a Weight Watchers Leader so much for the past few years and I was set on getting back to it.  But the reality is, a lot of things need to happen in order for me to be a Leader again.  I need to get back to my own goal weight first, which will take months of hard work - it's work I'm ready to do, but it's not easy, and it won't happen overnight.  Plus, it would mean needing to find a Weight Watchers center that needs Leaders, and making those meetings work with my ever changing schedule with Disney.  That's an obstacle that is much harder to overcome than my weight because it's something I don't really have control over.

Meanwhile, something came onto my radar that I was very intrigued by: a Beachbody program called 21 Day Fix.  The program combines 30 minute daily workouts with a simple nutrition plan centered around clean eating.  And when I say simple, I mean simple.  The nutrition plan comes with color coded containers for different food groups (green for veggies, purple for fruits, etc.) and guidelines on what goes into each container.  Once you understand what food goes in what container, the premise is easy: if it fits into the container, you can eat it.  The 21 days is so that the workouts and the clean eating become a habit.  It's not a cleanse, it's not a crazy crash diet, it's not one of those things that makes you cry and binge eat cake later.

I wanted to try it.  I wanted 21 days of easy nutrition and short, doable workouts.  What I really wanted was 21 days of results - something I hadn't been seeing in months of half assed running and sometimes kinda showing up to the gym.

What I got was even more than that.

I decided that if I was going to resolve to get back to my goal weight this year, that I needed to go all in.  So not only did I buy 21 Day Fix, but I bought the Challenge Pack for 21 Day Fix, which combined the workouts and nutrition plan with Shakeology, a superfood shake created by Beachbody.  I've wanted to try Shakeology for years and could never get over the sticker shock of it being $130 for a month.  Then I realized that my Dunkin' Donuts budget was more than $130 a month.  Well, damn.  That's sobering.  So I quit Dunkin' Donuts (I'm so sorry, DD) and bought Shakeology.  And I didn't just buy the Challenge Pack.  I made a decision that I have been toying with for years.

I've already met my New Year's Resolution to get back into the health and fitness industry and to help people lose weight.  I'm now officially a Beachbody Coach.

Was this a tough decision to come to?  Absolutely.  I have known a lot of Coaches over the years who are like pushy car salesmen.  I don't want to be a pushy car salesmen.  But I've also known Coaches (like my personal Coach) who aren't pushy.  They're caring.  They're supportive.  They're encouraging.  And THAT is the kind of Coach that I wanted to be.

I miss being a Weight Watchers Leader so much, but with my schedule and current location, it isn't feasible. I want to become a fitness instructor, but I'm still a work in progress. Beachbody lets me coach while still being a work in progress. In fact, I think it makes me a better Coach because let's face it, I'm not perfect - you all know that. I've got pounds to lose and bad habits to break out of. But I'd love to lose those pounds and break those habits with people I love by my side, and I'd love to help those people do the same. So if you're interested in joining me, in making 2015 the year that you see progress - please reach out.  If you're not interested, don't worry - this blog will have Beachbody stuff added to it, but it will also still be filled with running, sarcasm, and silly pictures.  But get ready for some serious progress pictures too. 2015 WILL be my year!