Friday, September 28, 2012

3rd 5k Race in the Mornin'

Got everything ready!
 
Running my 3rd 5k race tomorrow morning and the nerves are setting in.  I'm excited but oh so nervous. 
 
 
Why am I nervous?
 
1. Because it looks like it's going to be a big race and I'm worried about parking.  The race is literally 15 minutes from my house but I'm thinking getting there an hour early isn't going to be enough time to get my packet and get stuff back to my car and then get warmed up.  Crazy I know...but like I said I'M NERVOUS!!!
 
2.  I'm doing this race by myself.  :(  major sad face. 
Never done a race by myself and though I've been running on my own lately, it would be nice to have someone there and to not be completely alone.  Wish Miss H would be there to cheer me on. 
 
3.  Nervous I'm going to jinx myself and it be a hard race for me to do.  I'm trying not to think about my time...I just want to run it...but I'm seriously curious if last Sunday's time was a fluke.  Doesn't really matter to me, I just want to finish it, but yet it kinda does.  My goal was to be able to run a 5k by this fall and well that time is here.  Time to do it! 
 
 
Pray for me tomorrow at 8am that it's a great race and that I feel amazing! 
 
Off to bed! 
 
Mama Sarah :)

***Fashion Friday*** Earrings

Fashion Friday - Earrings!!

Are you an earring person? 



Do you treat your earrings like your make up and never leave the house without them?

You should be!

Why?

Earrings make a difference ladies.  They take your jeans and tshirt while running to the grocery store to a different level of casual.  I know it sounds dumb but seriously...even when I'm wearing jeans and a sweat shirt I always have on a pair of earrings (and typically a watch and bracelet too but that's another topic). 

Not only do I look like I actually tried to look nice but I feel better about myself.  Not that earrings have some kind of magical power that you instantly look like a supermodel (wouldn't that be A-mazing!) but there is seriously something to say about how accessories can make us women feel. 

It's like when you put on a suit for an interview...don't ya just feel empowered already because of how that suit makes you feel? 

We stand up a little talker. 
Our posture is better. 
We walk with confidence.
You are demanding people's attention rather than hiding from it. 

No matter what size you are...always put the best you forward! 

I am known for running errands early on Saturday mornings rockin' some jeans, a jacket, scarf, jewelry and some heels while all I'm doing is going to the post office, bank, library, vet and grocery store. 



This is a great example to how I would look on a Saturday morning except with my hair actually done! 

But you know why I do that?  Because I feel in charge when I put effort into what I wear.  I do not wear name brands, or expensive clothes or accessories...but I know how to make it look like I do! 

And you know what...I get a lot more done feeling like that than I do running around in sweats and a tshirt and my flip flops and my hair pulled back.  Plus...I can tell people think I've got it all together because no one else is that dressed up at 9am on Saturday out running errands...and that makes me feel confident! 

I deserve to feel that way and so do you!

Now how do you start with that look...put on a pair of earrings.  I know it may not seem like much, but they make a difference!  I'm tellin' ya! 
Can't stand the feeling of wearing earrings?  You'll get used it, and soon you won't even realize they are there.  I was the same way 5 years ago.

Have a nickol allergy?  Find a pair that the post are made with titanium or pure silver (Premier has them!)...they are out there, don't let that stop you!


with and without earrings

with and without earrings

Can you see the difference a pair of earrings does to my face?  It's almost like it lights it up or something. 
There are days where I just forget to put a pair of earrings on and even though I may have a necklace on and I'll look at myself in the mirror and go man I look tired today...did I forget blush???  And then I realize I forgot my earrings! 

They make a difference!!  A simple touch but a powerful impact. 

So where do you start? 

Get a great pair of hoops.  And no don't go get those little itty bitty hoops that are no bigger than a penny...get a nice size! 

I do not care if you have short hair...even better for you! 

Some of my favorite hoops are from Premier Designs...obviously...but I'll explain why. 


Left pair : matte gold (Pipping Hot)
Right pair :  Silver (companions)

These are the only hoops I wear for many reasons. 

1.  They are not round.  I cannot pull off a pair of round hoops...the things they do to my face are just scary and should never be seen in public.  Some people can pull them off but most can't...I wish I was one of them but I just am not.  Round earrings makes my face look round...and who the heck wants that?? 

***side tip...just because something is the big trend right now...doesn't mean you should do it!***

2.  I like the size of these hoops.  Not too big but not small that you can't tell a difference.  BE CONFIDENT!!!  I'm gonna pick on my BFF right now but she was one of those that always wore the penny/dime size of hoop and one day I just flat out told her..."You need to wear a bigger hoop, it would make a big difference on you"  And she actually took my advice ha! and she did it just the other week I saw her wearing the pair on the left above and she looked amazing!!!  I've never seen her in that big of an earring and I couldnt' believe how nice she looked. 

You don't have to get all crazy with earrings...work your way up but no matter what ALWAYS ALWAYS wear a pair!  If you do...I promise you'll notice a difference when you too forget to throw a pair on some day and your friends will compliment you!

You deserve to feel confident and put together ladies no matter if you are rockin' an amazing dress or sweats!  If you are 250lbs or 120lbs you deserve to feel confident and feel empowered...and earrings are a great first step!  Silly I know but trust me. 
I'm even know to wear earrings when I run just because I think I don't look so scary with a pony tail in! 

Have a great weekend! 

Think of me tomorrow at 8am as I'm taking off at the finish line with my 3rd 5k this year and the first one that I will run without stopping since June!!! 
Excited and nervous all at the same time!!!


See a pair of earrings you like in this post? 
Email me to get 35% off any pair! 
MamaSarah26(at)gmail(dot)com
*expires October 7th*



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thank you!!

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to all of my readers! 

Thank you so much for checking in with me daily and following my probably more than boring blog!  I'm just starting out but I really truly appreciate you coming to check on me!!  You guys rock!!



Total Randomness

No real point to this post...been feeling kind of blah lately with the cooler weather being around.  It's a double edged sword...I love fall and am excited for sweaters and jeans but makes things that much harder for me as far as getting out and running. 

I'm bummed for many reasons and I'm not sure how to fix the reasons I'm bummed about. 

Cooler weather means Miss H can't go with me on my runs, which totally limits me on how many days a week I can workout. 
Because of the above I'm going to have to suck it up and do workout DVDs which I despise with a capital D! 

decided to do the 30 day shred at 8:15pm last night

I looked thrilled don't I? 
I should be the queen of self portraits in the mirror by now!
I made myself do the 30 DS last night.  I need to get my sweat on and if I can't run I gotta do something! 

 This is when I feel very limited being a single parent and not having the freedom to just go outside and run.  The boy toy (Tony...the boyfriend or boy toy which ever you prefer) is only over 2 days a week which I can always typically count on running on those nights.  But otherwise I'm stuck...I feel terrible asking someone to watch Miss H so I can go run for 30-40 minutes and so I'm forced to do what I hate doing.  ugh!  I know I know...just get over it Sarah! 

Last night was the last night of soccer for Miss H and I'm going to miss it.  I love watching her games and being a soccer mom.  I'd spend every day running that kid around if I could...I love that!  Makes me feel alive! 

Miss H was a great goalie last night!  Stopped two balls from going in the goal! 
Kind of creepy seeing the steam come out of the canning factory behind her though right?? 
She's smokin'!  bahaha...I die...I'm hilarious I know! 

*crickets*
Anyways...even though I'm bummed about some things.  In the past year or so I've really been working on just enjoying things right where they are...especially when it comes to Miss H. 

Saw this the other day on pinterest and then someone posted it on FB yesterday and I love the reminder this is to me.  It is something that took me a while to learn but I've gotten there. 

Being a single parent, at least for me, I have to really make myself focus on letting things sit and doing what I will never get back. 

I'll never get back these moment where Miss H is little.  I so wish I could go back to when she was younger and enjoy her more rather than worry about getting behind on cleaning or laundry or picking up after her every single time she left a toy out. 

Plus I am realizing it more and more now that I need to spend time playing barbies with Miss H or reading books with her or playing games because those are the moments that we get to talk to each other.  That she opens up to me and more than anything I want to make sure that she never stops talking to me.  I want to know everything!  I want to celebrate with her when she succeeds and cry with her when she realizes she made a mistake.  It's all good and it's her growing.  I'd rather her make mistakes and me be by her side than for her to do them later on or hide them from me. 

So the cleaning can wait and the dishes in the sink or putting away laundry (which I'll gladly do)

This baby has been sitting on the floor, the chair, or couch since Monday night I think.  I rock!
Because I will never get these days back of Miss H being 6 years old.  Time goes way too fast and literally she's going to be graduating from high school and off to college like tomorrow and our time together will never be the same.  So I'm enjoying it. 

I'll be sad the day she no longer wants to ride Sandy the horse at the local Meijer. 
That horse has definitely earned it's keep by our pennies. 
My 2nd favorite part of the day...picking her up after I get off work from the sitter. 
Don't know why this is one of my favorite parts, but my heart aches every single time I see her and realize how much I've missed her during the day. 

Love that little girl more than anything.  I may be a single mom and it truly limit what I can do sometimes but I know someday my time will come and she will no longer be at home anymore and I'll wish for these days back. 

Do you struggle with living in the moment with your kids?




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If You Really Knew Me...

If You Really Knew Me...

... you'd know I'm a righty

... you'd know I wear contacts 99.9% of the time (even sleep in them AHHH...don't you dare call my eye Dr!)

... you'd know my love for anything that involves chocolate, pickles, and coffee  (whaat?  I never said all those combined!)

... you'd know how I hate toilet lids being up (open)...you never flush and then leave the lid open...eww that's just wrong and freaks me out!

... you'd know I wore a size 7.5 shoe before Miss H and now I wear an 8 (or size 9 running shoe...yikes that's big!)

... you'd know I have natural curly hair but that it's such a soft natural curl I have to really work for it show up without a lot of product...not fair. 

... you'd know I may or may not be slightly obsessed with the color grey

... you'd know I studied accounting in college...I'm a numbers nerd, Yo!

... you'd know I always sleep with a blanket on even in the dead of summer.  Duh the monsters under the bed might grab my feet if they aren't covered up!

... you'd know I could eat Mexican food every. single. day. 

... you'd know how much I love being a mom.

... you'd know how much I love to be around people but I totally cherish my "me" time. 

... you'd know I love cereal...especially Frosted Flakes.  They're GREEEAAAAT!

... you'd know I'm also slightly obsessed with scarves.  

... you'd know how much I hate, despise, makes me wanna just go buy all new clothes rather than fold laundry AND put it away.  

... you'd know I drive a Honda CRV...but miss my passat. 

... you'd know I'm a total Real Housewives of New Jersey, New York, Beverly Hills, Orange County junkie....don't know why I'm obsessed with those crazies but they make me feel sane!

... you'd know I pretty much only watch reality tv.  

... you'd know I prefer to go to church on Saturday evenings but typically end up going on Sunday mornings.

... you'd know I love getting dressed up but prefer sweats and sweatshirts any day.  

... you'd know I am a "city girl" with country roots.  

... you'd know I am not a morning person

... you'd know how much I love being an aunt...2nd best thing to being a mom!

... you'd know being a mom has made me a softy

... you'd know I brush my teeth every single time I leave my house and when I get up in the morning and go to bed.

So tell me...what's one thing I should know about you?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekly Weigh - In, Picture Overload

So I lost 1.6lbs last week but I'm still in the same area I've been for over a month now so we will see what happens.  Total weight loss is 30lbs so I thought I would post some comparison pics since I haven't since July. 






I can definitely tell a difference in my face and arms! 
  

Starting point till now...lots of inches lost. 
 Even though I may be stuck...I do feel great!  It feels great to get dressed in the morning and know that ALL of my clothes fits me or is too big on me.  I broke out my first winter sweater this morning and I couldn't believe how nice it fit me.  I wish I had a picture of how this grey sweater looked on me before because it fit snug and now it fits exactly how it should fit but sadly I rarely kept any pictures of myself beforehand. 


Blurry picture but I'm rockin' the 14s today and it feels great!  Amazing how good it feels to have pants on that actually fit me and aren't falling down constantly!! 

Last night I ran around 2 miles.  Trying to not push it too hard this week so I am ready for Saturday's 5k. 

Did I mention I love running in the cooler weather??  Even though the cooler weather is making things harder to get outside and run, it's so comfortable to run in! 

Have a terrific Tuesday!!



Monday, September 24, 2012

Fighting Against the Negative Talk

Something that has really been on my mind lately is how during this whole journey so far, I'm slowly working through all the negative talk I've ever heard in my life that's been directed towards me either by others or by myself. 

I am a person that is extremely hard on myself, not sure if this is just who I am or if this is just how I was raised.  I am not one to celebrate my accomplishments much or even give myself any credit to even think that I accomplished anything that anyone else couldn't do too.  It's like nothing is ever good enough or praise worthy and so we just move on.  These very thoughts have been with me on several of my runs lately and I literally fight against them and very loudly in my head praise myself for what I am doing and how far I have come.  This journey has not been easy.  No run is easy and working up to the distance I am at now has taken me a while to get there but I've gotten there.  And some of the toughest battles were the battles going on in my own head fighting against all the negative comments I've ever been told in my life or that I've told myself. 

Lately I've heard from a few people some negative comments in different areas of my life that it was like they were telling me to settle. 

Oh 90lbs is too much to lose, your setting your goals too high...

If running 3 miles is too hard, then don't go so far

You'll be too skinny at your goal weight
(this one cracks me up because my goal weight is what I was my junior year of high school and I was made to feel like I was fat back then but this same person.  Yeah that was hard to hear....instant tears actually is what that does to me.  Lots of pain there.)

I don't think people realize what is coming out of their mouth when they say things like this.  Like I have told many people in my jewelry business...people will try to burst your dream before it has even begun because they either don't have a dream themselves they are working towards or have given up on their own dream and don't want to see someone else succeed.   And it doesn't matter what area of your life you look at it...you'll always get that negative talk. 

All my life I've battled negative talk.  Not until in my 20s did I really know what true encouragement was or even felt like.  And even though it is very tough to take...I've somehow always been either able to "fake" confidence  (fake it till you make it right) or some how I have an inner strength that has gotten me to where I am today and still be a decent human person...at least I think I am. 

I get embarrassed by patting myself on the back or having too much attention drawn to myself...I'd rather just hide quite honestly.  But here in my little blog world for all I know I'm just writing to myself and I'm going to pat myself on the back! 

I've fought against some of the most challenging things thrown at me in just my 29 years of life and I'm still standing on my two feet thanks to some amazing family members who were there when I needed them, friends who were always supportive of me and helped me see the good in myself and my own abilities that I couldn't see yet and still struggle with and my beautiful amazing daughter who I consider my guardian angel.  To you guys...you hopefully know who you are....Thank you!  You have helped bring out the inner strength in myself and help me fight against the negatives I've always heard about myself.  Without you...I'm a little afraid to think about where I might be today without you. 

And to those of you who feel the need to rain on my parade, tell me to not shoot for the stars, or that it's ok if I don't reach my goal.....THANK YOU!

Yes truly...thank you.  Because of your negative comments...when I'm out on a run and feel like quitting...I think of you.  And I get MAD!

Mad at being told I can't do something that someone my same age, height, gender etc etc can do. 
Mad at being told I shouldn't be as skinny as my other family members are...because for some reason..that's too skinny on me. 
Mad at being made to feel I have to always be the fat one. 
Mad that in the mist of succeeding at my goals....I get told to make it easier. 
Mad because I deserve better than that!!  I deserve support and to be pushed to my best and not just mediocre! 

But all this anger that some will probably think is unhealthy....is actually what pushes me to go that much further and harder and it'll make me succeed one way or the other. 

To those that Miss H has told "Mommy is a runner!!" to and they laugh and go "no she isn't"....HAHAHAHAHA!  I plan on running a 5k in your town...very soon!  :)  This is where my competitiveness comes out...love  it! ha!

I AM capable of losing 90lbs...I've lost 30...I can lose the rest! 
I AM capable of running 3 miles and even more and I'll show you I can! 
I deserve to be a HEALTHY ME where ever that is and it not matter how skinny that is!  My goal is not to be skinny...it's to be healthy for myself and for Miss H!  She deserves a healthy mom.

So to all of the positive and negative comments I have received and I'm sure there will be more, sincerely,

THANK YOU!!!!!! 

You are giving me motivation and to either KEEP SUCCEEDING or to PROVE YOU WRONG that I WILL SUCCEED!!!

Running has been some great therapy and it'll only get better and I'll only get stronger! 

I'm outta here and going for a run....see ya in 3 miles baby!



Crazy Weekend with Surprises!

This weekend was kind of crazy on many different levels!  Fall is definitely here in Ohio and that is making things a little more difficult for me to get out and run.  I can't exactly force my daughter to go ride her bike so I can get a run in, I'm not THAT mean of a mom and I know that the complaining I'd hear how cold it was would totally defeat the purpose of even attempting to workout because it wouldn't last long at all.  Since the cold weather has been around I haven't been able to get much running in and that really bums me out.  I'm worried how I'm going to keep things going with not being able to run, this was on my mind this entire weekend.  Just one of those things where being a single parent truly limits me and what I can do. 

Besides running this weekend we went and purchased Miss H's Halloween costume (which I hate Halloween...hate spending the money on a costume that she will wear 2 times) but Miss H was in heaven with it, so it was worth it.  She wore it most of Friday evening and Saturday morning until she was forced to put on her soccer uniform. 

Princess Hailey
Me Saturday morning. 

Miss H's soccer game...best game she's played all season
After soccer I decided it was time for some Mommy shopping.  I haven't shopped for myself in MONTHS.  I can't remember the last time I have bought something for myself, it had to be before April, and I am desperate for some new pants and to find a dress for some weddings we have coming up.  So after explaining to Miss H what was going to happen on this trip and how this was a mommy shopping trip...we headed out. 

Well let me just tell you that this shopping trip was the best yet!  We headed to a local Kohl's with coupons in my wallet and ready to shop.  I grabbed a lot of things...shirts, dresses, pants, and we headed to the dressing rooms. 

Now if you are a mom and have ever had to take your child with  you into a dressing room...you know how that can go sometimes.  The things that come out of your child's mouth may or may not set the entire dressing room in laughter or making you run out of the dressing room before anyone else realizes it was your child that was saying those things!   I don't even need to clarify...you know what I'm talking about.  You've either experienced it yourself or you've heard another mom threatening her child's life if they don't stop saying how bad something looks or asking why her butt looks like cottage cheese. 

So once we arrived in our little dressing room...I laid down the law with Miss H.  I explained to her that everyone in this room could hear what she was saying and if it wasn't nice she needed to keep her words to herself.  Ok...so ready to try clothes on!

Tried on several tops...some I loved...some I could do without.  I tried on a dress that actually Miss H spotted when we were out looking and LOVED IT!  Even Miss H said "it looked beautiful mommy!"  I felt amazing in that dress!!  Next I tried on some dress pants.  I grabbed size 16, I didn't think I was down to a 14 yet.  I know the last time I was at this weight I wasn't a 14 so there is no way I was one now.  The 16s fit,  a little big but I didn't think they were big enough to go down a size.  They fit better than my other pants so I was happy.  We left the dressing room and I kept thinking...just try on a 14 and see what it looks like...see how much further you got to go till they fit. 

So after telling Miss H we had to try on a few more things and we headed back into the dressing room with 14s and a grumbling Miss H (I just LOVE shopping with her!!!).   So I put them on and they zipped up...perfectly!  A little snug but they fit perfect.  HOLY FREAKING COW!!!!!!  a 14!!!!!  I can't remember the last time I wore a 14, it was probably before Miss H was born.  WOW!!!  Threw those 16s out of the cart and headed out of the dressing room with 14s!!  I was on a cloud nine! 

Me in 14s!  I got home and had to try them on again.  Maybe it was just the mirrors in Kohl's that made them look good??
I couldn't believe...still can't believe it!  But I am rocking those 14s today!!! 

Couple of my other deals I grabbed at Kohl's.  Great tops for layering! 
After a great afternoon of shopping I started thinking again about how I was going to get my runs in.  After trying on smaller clothes I was definitely feeling motivated and wanted to try to get a run in but I wasn't sure how.  The only time I would be alone this weekend was when Miss H was in her Sunday religion class but we typically go to church after that.  Well not this weekend, we ended up heading to church on Saturday at 5pm and this allowed me to be able to get all sweaty while Miss H was in her class Sunday morning.  Perfect!! 

Miss H getting ready Sunday Morning

Weather Sunday morning...little bit chilly!
Got to church and dropped Miss H off at her class and then I stretched and headed out.  It felt kind of weird walking out of my church parking lot in workout clothes but I held my head high.  Nothing to be ashamed of...I am a runner!  This weekend was great for me to "practice" running in some fall like workout clothes because I signed up to race in a 5k next Saturday and I wasn't exactly sure what to wear that will keep me warm but not hot.  So I started my RunKeeper app and started out.  Wasn't really sure where I was going to go because I've never ran in that area before but I just went with it.  I started out going down a main road and nothing is more motivating than passing cars and knowing they can see you running and you don't want to stop in front of them.  Got to a stop light and headed towards downtown. 

I love running in the downtown of the local towns.  Just so much to look at and keeps me from getting bored and really distracts me from what I'm doing.  I felt good while I was running but I was secretly hoping I would hit a stop light and have to stop but no such luck.  Somehow I hit all of them green and was able to keep going.  However at one point I started to pay attention to what I was doing and realized...I was going fast.  And by fast I mean...Sarah fast.  My legs weren't just slowly moving...I was running!  I couldn't believe it.  At first I thought, man should I force myself to slow down, I don't even know how long I've been going and I think I still have a ways to go to hit 3 miles I can't keep this pace very long.  But I stopped myself and just kept going...just see what happens I told myself!  Something I've learned with running is that your mind and body can be very different at times and not always on the same page and my body had a mind of it's own Sunday morning. 

So I went all the way through downtown and went around a block and headed back in the direction of church and then I realized I was going up hill.  Oh that's why it was so easy...you were going downhill a lot my mind was telling me.  But I wasn't so sure...I was still keeping a pretty good pace and was kind of shocked at myself.  Got back to the main street my church was on and my right shoulder started to hurt.  No idea why my shoulder hurts when I run but I stopped to stretch it out and look at how far I had gone.  I still had just over another mile to go but I had been running for 19 minutes and my pace was around 10:27ish/mile.  And when I started to take off again I started thinking about my distance I had to go yet and my time and it hit me.  

Oh my gosh I'm going to run a 30 minute 3 miler!  No way...that's can't be right I told myself but I just kept going.  I couldn't let myself focus on that.  I needed to focus on running and getting these 3 miles done.  Went past the church and turned down a street that was up hill the ENTIRE TIME!  So I really had to push it and I just kept telling myself...keep going..push harder...your really making some great time..don't lose it now!  I then turned down a side street that looked like it was down hill or at least leveled out to give my legs a break.  Turned around again and headed back towards the main road.  I got to the stop sign and pulled out my iphone and looked at my runkeeper. 

Holy cow!  That is 3 minutes and 92 secs faster than I've ever ran 3 miles! 
I couldn't believe it.  There is no way that can be right.  But I started thinking about my path and it had to be, I knew I went 3 miles and I even had to stop for 1 stop light and I didn't stop the clock for that so it was right.  OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!  WOW WOW WOW!!!  It was great!  I felt amazing and couldn't believe I could do it that fast.  I walked back to my car and now proud to walk into the church parking lock obviously not going to church but I am a runner!  Sat in my car and ate a protein bar and some water and just relaxed until Miss H was done.  And I just kept thinking...what the heck is going on this weekend!  Size 14 and now almost 4 minutes faster???  Weird! 

The rest of the day I felt so good, I was sore but felt so good and strong and because I worked out I was really good the rest of the day.  #1 reason I love it when I can workout in the morning, it keeps me motivated the rest of the day! 

That night I tried a recipe from pinterest....fall comfort food people. 

Chicken and Dumplings
It was amazing.  Not exactly healthy but that's why I eat off smaller plates to make smaller portions.  Everything is in moderation! 

Here is to a great week and prepping for a great race on Saturday and finding new ways to fit running in!!





Friday, September 21, 2012

**Fashion Friday*** Wadrobe 101: Putting it ALL Together

Wardrobe 101 - Putting it ALL Together for 1 Versatile Closet!

For the past three Fridays, we have talked about the basics you should have in your closet to set you up for never feeling like you have nothing to wear!  They were:




With focus on these three areas, you don't even realize how much you have set yourself up for one amazing wardrobe!  Trust me! 

The possibilities are endless ladies and you may or may not even realize it!  But your days of "Having Nothing To Wear" are over!  Especially feeling like you are bored with  your clothes. 

These three areas you can easily take them from dressy casual to dressy by simply just changing your pants, color of top or jacket/cardigan.  It's that simple. 

Here are just a few examples!

On the left..worn with Jeans.  On the Right...worn with black pants
Black cardigan - Marshalls
cami - NY& Co

Little more of a dressier/feminine look with the lace.  Worn with Jeans or black pants really gives you a different look!
Cardigan - Marshalls (best black cardi I've ever found!)
Cami - Kohls

Endless possibilities with just changing the color or jacket you have on! 
Black Cardi - Marshalls
Blue Cami - NY&Co
Kahki jacket - not sure it's old
White cami - Kohls
Are you saying to yourself...but these are so boring Sarah??? 

I didn't say those looks were finished though did I?  Remember me saying that with buying solid colors and purchasing the right pieces for your closet you start with a GREAT BLANK Canvas??? 

Your clothes in your closet should ONLY be 30% of your entire wardrobe!!!  What is the rest???

ACCESSORIES!!!

That my friends is where you take your "boring" blank canvas and have fun with it and can create a different look by just adding some great accessories to them. 

Perfect example!  Oh so boring on the left...WOW on the right. 
Grey Cardi - NY&Co
White cami - Kohls
Scarf - a small boutique at a local mall (Greene)
Look what just adding a scarf, a watch, bracelets and a pair of earrings can add to a "blank canvas"!!! 

THAT right there shows exactly why you should only invest in a few key pieces in your wardrobe because THEY are not what will make your outfit....your accessories will!!!  I could change up my scarf and jewelry on the picture above and get a different look every single time!

It makes a difference!  This top is actually a Michael Kors top that I bought at Marshalls.  Doesn't look so hot does it even though it's a BIG label  all by itself does it?  Nope!  But when I add my scarf from Kohls to it....hello I look a whole lot more put together!   
Most of the time I don't LOVE what I'm wearing until I've added the accessories to it and then I'm like "OH! this is a really cute outfit"! 

Next week I'll show you more ideas on how to add accessories to your blank canvas' to really change them up! 

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Getting Back into What Works!

Yesterday I wrote about how I have gotten way too comfortable lately and have caught myself slacking off and falling back into hold habits. 

Bad Sarah, Bad!!!

It's way too easy to do when your feeling good and EVERYTHING you wear is too big.  Major problems I know but it's made me get too comfortable and I have no business getting comfortable when I still have 60lbs that I want and need to lose.  I think I need to go shopping for some smaller clothes!!!

So, yesterday I got back on track and this morning the scale dropped a pound!  What did I do?

I wrote down everything that I ate and stayed within my calorie intake that I am wanting to eat in a day and drank a lot of water. 

I "thought" I was being good before and didn't have to write down what I ate each day but it actually makes a huge difference.  Seeing how many calories I have left and knowing how many meals I still have ahead of me makes me question any cheating I might try to do.  I also have been slacking on my water intake.  Still drinking water but not as much as before and I think that makes a huge difference. 



Last night after Miss H's soccer game we rushed home and got her in the shower and thanks to the boyfriend being around, I was able to head out and get a good 30-35 minute run in before it got dark out. 

Anyone else hating how early the sun is going down? 
I don't know what I'm going to do when it's getting dark at 5:30pm!   

It wasn't a great run, I was in pain after a mile.  My legs were so tight and I never thought they were going to warm up but I pushed through it.  Once I stopped I realized that my problem may have been because my shoes laces were really tight...dumb move on my part, ERR!  But either way I did it and felt great afterwards. 

This morning I wore a black sweater dress I haven't worn in years.  I bought it for my BFF's wedding 4  years ago this November I believe and it fits me better than it did back then! 


Side view
Front view
Here's to getting back on track! 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Feeling Waaaay Too Comfortable

I guess one of the hazards of losing weight is becoming comfortable at a new level.  Along with being in a plateau right now, I think I'm feeling way too comfortable where I am. 

I feel great, I really do and that's great and all but it's not really.  It's not making me make sure I watch what I put in my mouth or making me count how many calories I eat in a day. 

I've let old habits sneak back in and that's got to stop NOW! 

So I'm starting back up again and using my friend that I think helped me more than I realized before was the "My Fitness Pal" app on my phone.  I use this to track everything that goes in my mouth. 



It holds me accountable to what I want to eat daily and I think that has made a huge difference in getting where I am today.  Yes I've lost around 30lbs but I still have 60lbs more I want to lose and I can't be getting comfortable now.  We aren't even half way there yet! 

Tonight after soccer I'm hoping to beat the sun going down and having time to get in a 3 mile run! 

I refuse to get comfortable at this point!  No way!



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Answering Your Questions

Recently I've been getting a lot of questions of how I started out running and how I've gotten to where I am now.  So the lazy butt I am I thought I'd kill 2 birds with 1 stone!  I'm awesome, I know! 

Did/Do I follow any kind of training program?
 No I did not, but I wish I would have.  A great one is the Couch to 5k training program.  I've heard lots of people use this to start and they have had a lot of great success with it.  There is even a cool app you can buy for a couple of bucks that will tell you exactly when to switch from walking to running!  I swear I love me some technology some times! 

Couch 2 5k app...download it...it's awesome!

Why do I wish I had followed a program?  Well because I think it would have helped me build up my endurance more.  I like how this program focuses on running for a certain amount of time and not so much distance.  I think starting out, focusing on how long (as in time wise) you can run is better than distance but I really think it depends on the person.  In my opinion...distance comes with time, but that's just me.  I know for me, I really wanted to be able to run 3 miles, so distance was my focus, but now it's flipped to time goals, kind of backwards if you ask me.  I'm a loser, what am I say?  :) 

How did I work up to running 3 miles?
Well, I started out walking 3 miles every single day and they weren't just your leaser walk, it was a hard core, break out a sweat, your arms are flying so much you look like your going to take off soon, kind of walk.  Get the picture??  My shins killed me but I walked through them.  Next thing I know, the shin splits were gone!  One day I was walking and just kind of felt like I should try running and I did!  And I was surprised how good I felt while running and I thought "I can actually do this!" 

Now I could only do 1-2 blocks at a time at first but I worked my way up from there.  Each week or every couple of days I'd try to go further and see how I felt.  Setting small goals helped...Get to that mailbox or that house, or the end of this block and then I'll see how I feel. 

I really paid attention to how my body felt.  I learned to "check-in" with my body and see how it was really doing.  Start from my feet and move up my body.  Do my feet feel ok?  Yup they feel pretty good.  Do my ankles hurt?  Nope ankles don't hurt.  Do your shins/calves hurt?  Yup there's pain there, but it's not bad pain...keep pushing.  etc etc.  I learned what was normal discomfort and what wasn't. 

I iced regularly my shins and my knees and feet (because I have Plantar Fasciitis).  That helps a lot with just working through the soreness! 

I also learned once I started running further distances that I couldn't run every single day and that was ok.  If I wanted to get a good run in on my "run days" my body needed a rest day and so I let it have it.  On my rest days though, I took my walks again.  Rest doesn't mean do nothing always, sometimes it does but not always. 

Next thing I knew I felt good when I started to run and literally next thing I knew I could run a mile!  It happened just like that over a little over a month and then it was 1.5 miles and then 2 miles and so on. 

Learn early that your MIND is your worst enemy.  It will tell you, that you are tired WAAAAAY before you are actually tired.  This is where it becomes important to start checking in with your body to really see how you are feeling. Best tip anyone ever shared with me when getting through my mind battles!  I've gone on runs and literally was almost having a fight with myself that I COULD go longer and I pushed through it! 

What's helped you stay motivated and have fun with running?
Having a running buddy helps a ton!  Find a friend or join a local running group (for you locals check out Up and Running they have running groups and training workshops they hold).  For me running with my BFF or my sister helped a ton and they made it easier!  Don't be afraid to ask them to run with you.  My sister was my biggest fear to ask her to run with me because she IS a runner and has been since high school and I knew I'd be a lot slower than her and I hated the fact that I'd slow her down.  ASK ANYWAYS!  They don't care and she said I, yeah me!?, motivated her to get out and run because she wasn't feeling very motivated yet.  She didn't care we went slower, it was still better than nothing for her.  SO ASK! 

Set running dates with people.  I run Saturday mornings with my BFF and it holds us accountable.  And seriously, running with someone is so much easier than running without someone.  No idea why...so frustrating let me tell you but it is what it is! 

How I have had fun with running is I've not taken it to seriously and I've set reasonable goals.  My goal in April was to be able to run a 5k by this fall and I definitely beat that!  It took me longer than mosts probably because I couldn't run every day and never knew when I would be able to run but I did it due to being a single parent and never knowing Miss H's would get on her bike for me or how long she'd let me go.  But no matter what that didn't stop me, anything was better than nothing!

I signed up for races pretty early on.  Could I run the whole thing, nope.  Did I care...nope!  I pushed myself pretty hard and I was happy with where I was at those 2 races.  Now I'm itching to sign for another or 3 of them! 

Has running helped you lose weight?
Yes it definitely has but you will never lose weight with running alone.  What you put in your mouth will make a huge difference!  My friend Brian always reminds me of a great point (and he's lost 50lbs!) is when you want that snickers bar or ice cream you have to think of how long those calories would take you to burn off.  Putting it in those terms makes you realize it's probably not worth the 300calories you will consume in a couple of minutes that will take you 30-60 minutes to burn off.   That's definitely made me question what gets put in my mouth.  

How have you not lost motivation when you've gained or not lost any weight in a week?
This is where I think when you decide to really go for your goal of weight loss or getting physically fit, you have to be honest with yourself.  I knew starting out that this was going to take me at least a year to lose all the weight that I wanted to lose, if not longer.  I knew I would have moments where I would slip up or gain weight.  It's just not realistic and I think, telling yourself that it won't happen is just setting yourself up for disappointment.  It has taken me 10 years to put this weight on, it comng off in a year or so I would say is pretty dang good (which is my goal)!   And so what if you slip up, tomorrow is a new day and you have another chance to start.  I also think it helps to exercize daily because when you get your sweat on, it really makes you question what you do.  I know after I've done a work out I feel amazing and don't want to undo what I just did. 

If you have more questions or commets, please feel free to email me at MamaSarah26(at)gmail(dot)com or leave one in the commets! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Learning to Pay Attention to My Body

During this whole process since April I have really learned to listen to my body.  Knowing when to stop eating and knowing when I'm really full and that doesn't mean stuffed! 

Learning to eat everything within moderation.  Sarah if you had ice cream yesterday you really shouldn't have it today! 

But I've also learned the difference between pain and soreness.  If you've been reading my blog at all, you've probably read at least once that I have Plantar Fasciitis. 

What is that?  Well according to webmd.com  "Plantar fasciitis (say "PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus") is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia camera is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk."

What causes PF? 
Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if:
  • Your feet roll inward too much when you walk (excessive pronation camera). 
  • You have high arches or flat feet. 
  • You walk, stand, or run for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.
  • You are overweight.
  • You wear shoes that don't fit well or are worn out.
  • You have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles.
I fit about 3 or 4 of those causes perfectly thanks to my high resting arch and I wear dress shoes a lot, or I used to until last September, now it's just too painful to do. 

That's why you see me posting pictures of this a lot

wearing my boot while watching Real Housewives of New Jersey
I was really worried when I first started out walking back in April that having PF, would limit me in exercising and even cried on some walks because it hurt so badly and was mad because by the time I was actually motivated to do something I now might be limited in what I can do.  However, running in fact doesn't make my feet hurt at all.  As long as I wear my boot regularly, it doesn't bother me. 

However, level 2 of the 30DS irritated my PF, more than I would have ever expected and after much hesitation and not wanting to feel like a quitter...I took a break from the 30DS this weekend.  I'm listening to my body and since my feet are kind of important and I don't want to end up with surgery, I'm listening loud and clear to this pain! 

I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to do the level 2 of the 30DS.  Hopefully I will someday.  But I do plan to do level 1 again starting this week after a few more days of resting and icing and hopefully the pain will be gone. 

I'm not quitting.  In fact this weekend I ran a little over 5 miles and it felt amazing.  Running is where my heart is right now and I love it.  I can't believe that just came out of my mouth...wow!

Saturday morning I went out for a run and the temperature was the coolest I've ever ran in.  I took this picture too late after my run because it was actually in the high 40s when I headed out. 

Saturday run....I was actually out running a little over an hour earlier than this picture was taken. 
It was chilly out!!!  I wore running capris and a long sleeve T-shirt and I was cold at first during my run but towards the end I was hot and annoyed with my long sleeves.  I hate running in cotton tshirts, I need to go on the hunt for some long sleeve running shirts for this fall.  Yes ladies....cotton is actually a lot hotter to run in even though it's "breathable" it's hot and if you ever run in an actual running shirt, you'll notice the difference right away! 

I absolutely loved my runs this weekend.  I ran by myself, at my pace and I was out alone with no music, barely anyone outside yet and it was perfect.  I was with my own thoughts. 

Saturday morning  was thinking about all those people running the local air force marathon this weekend and how next year I want to do the half marathon.  I can do that.  I know I can.  It was a great run Saturday morning. 

After my run I showered and ran to Starbucks and got my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season


And then I headed out to the soccer fields to watch my baby girl do cartwheels in the goalie box.  That's my girl! 

Sunday morning I ran again.  Feeling very determined and wanting to go a new route and push myself.  It was again, very chilly out

Sunday Run
But it was perfect.  I love running outside when it's chilly out.  I started out walking and thinking about where I wanted to plan my route out and when I kind of had an idea I took off running.  I met a few guys running a long the way and they gave me one of the best "good morning" greetings I think I've ever gotten from other runners. 

They treated me like I was a runner.  "Good Morning, isn't it an awesome morning for a run...people are missing out"  And even though I could barely say "morning" to them...they were right.  And I was out there catching in that awesome morning for a run...I was doing that! 

I went down a country road on the edge of town and then turned into a newer subdivision and ran around that some.  Thinking about how far I was from home and how cool it was that I did that by running.  My legs felt great, my feet felt great and I had my groove.  Even just thinking about this morning it's giving me chills again now how great it felt. 

I turned out of the subdivision and headed down the street with the sun in my face.  It felt good against my face with the chilly air.  I turned again down into another subdivision and then curved into another private community.  Slowly everyone was waking up and heading out to church I would guess as most people were dressed up in their minivans and cars.  I ran past my street and turned away from it and kept going.  I was going to hit 3 miles, I had to, but I felt great and it made me nervous I was only at 2 miles and I started to feel let down with myself.  But I didn't let that ruin it, 2 miles is great I told myself...and this has been a great run.  I got to the end of the street and turned back around to my house and this was the hardest part of the entire run.  But I wanted it bad, I wanted to finish strong and keep going and pushing through it.  I had no idea how long I had been running or how far I went because I left my phone/ipod at home and so I knew I couldn't stop, not yet, I had to be close to a good distance. 

I stopped right at my street and walked home and looked at my shadow on the sidewalk and felt proud.  I told myself, Sarah, you just had an amazing run.  You felt great during the whole thing!  I felt strong.  Oh my gosh did I feel strong.  I can't even describe how strong I felt but it was amazing. 

I walked into my house and sat down for a little and was trying not to let myself go get in my car and drive what I just ran.  I wanted to be satisfied with how well it went and not need to know the distance....but that only lasted maybe 15 minutes and then I needed to know.  So, I jumped in my car and got to the end of the street and set my odometer in my car and started off. 

I was scared.  I didn't want to see 2. any kind of miles...I wanted to see 3 something.  I'm so over 2 miles and want 3 to be my new thing.  It crept up to 1.5 miles and I started thinking abut how much further I had to go and wasn't sure if it was going to be enough and started to get a knot in my stomach. 

2 miles hit....could there really still be another mile left?  I wasn't honestly sure...tears started to come and I was afraid.  I have no idea why I was so nervous but I was almost afraid to look down in my car to see what the number was.

I turned out of the private community and slowly went down to the end of the street and right at the stop sign it hit....3.1 miles. 

I did it. 

I have no idea idea why that number means so much to me but it does.  It's like it finally makes me a legitimate runner or something.  I laid my head down on the steering wheel and just smiled and fought back happy tears. 

I did it! 

It was one of the best runs I've ever had.  I didn't cut back on my route, I actually made it longer while I went.  I didn't let any soreness make me think I should stop...I pushed through and I felt AMAZING!! 

I needed that run as much as it needed me I think.  With feeling somewhat defeated by my feet not letting me do level 2 of the 30DS...I needed to feel like I could still do something.  And right now...running is what I can do.  I need it.  I need that quiet time where all I hear is my feet on the road and my breathing and my thoughts. 

Even though I was beating myself up Friday and Saturday for not doing the 30DS, I did what my body loves me to do and that's running.  I needed that!  Listening to your body sometimes may suck...but sometimes it sets you  up for something great as well!!