Monday, January 20, 2014

Let the half marathon training commence!

Last week I finished P90X (review to come later), so I'm back to running! My school schedule this semester works perfectly with my running schedule, so I'm happy to say that I'm starting to train for my half marathon. I'm determined to actually run one this year, since last year an injured knee kept that from happening. My knee is back to feeling normal, and I'm going to make sure I keep up on strengthening and stretching my leg, so I have my fingers double triple crossed that I'll make it to the race in May.

This morning I headed out early for a relatively easy 3 miles, and it felt great! It was about 30 degrees outside, so it was a little chilly, but not too bad. I actually prefer to run in the cold versus the heat, so it was perfect.

As much as I've enjoyed doing P90X, especially since I get to work out without going outside, there's just something about running that clears my head and refreshes me like no other workout. I'm so excited to get back into it and smash one of my goals in the process!

I don't really have any "Motivation Monday" post today, but here's my little plug for running: DO IT! If you are physically able to run and you haven't tried before, just put on a pair of closed-toed shoes of some sort and go for a little run. I totally get that running isn't for anyone, and some people absolutely hate it, but if you haven't ever tried it before I reeeeeally suggest you do! You will reap both the mental and physical benefits.

Have a lovely day!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Motivation Monday: Be Good to Yourself

Happy Monday, everyone!

It feels like an eternity since I've done one of these posts, but I happen to quite enjoy them, so I'm going to do one again! Before I jump into the motivation stuff, I just wanted to say that I started another blog in addition to this one! Click HERE to go check it out! I hope to continue posting on this blog, since my other one is mostly where I write lots and lots about various things in life, unrelated to health and fitness. Sooo yeah, go take a look! :)

Okay, back to some motivation!

The best thoughts happen in the shower, right? No? At any rate, I was trying to think up different messages this morning in the shower for a "Motivation Monday" post, and this happened to come to me.

Be good to yourself.

The health and fitness world is incredibly focused on being better and faster and stronger, which results in a lot of comparison. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing entirely wrong with the health and fitness world - I think that all the encouragement and information that gets thrown at people can be very good and motivating and useful. I just think that it's important to make sure that comparison doesn't take over your life.

It's okay if you don't do every single thing on every single "20 tips to be (fill in the blank - faster, skinnier, whatever)" lists. Trust me, it's okay. It's human to struggle and not be top-notch at everything.

Don't beat yourself up for being human. Instead, celebrate the successes you do have, instead of your shortcomings. Celebrate the little improvements in your life. Focus on the good. Celebrate the fact that you got yourself to workout 4 days last week, instead of 2, or none at all. Celebrate the fact that you ate 4 servings of vegetables yesterday. Set small goals to change one little thing at a time and then feel darn awesome when you meet those goals.

Along with being good to yourself by focusing on the positive, be good to yourself by taking time for yourself. Take a nap once in a while. Treat yourself to some dessert. Make time to do something that you love but don't always have time for. You don't have to be work, work, work, go, go, go, healthy, healthy, healthy 100% of the time. There should be moderation in all things, and you will be better off if you take a break once in a while. I promise!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

What is your favorite thing to do to take time for yourself?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Motivation Post Roundup + Looking Forward to 2014

Happy New Year!

I started off my day with a nice run with my family along the river (if you're familiar with the Boise, Idaho area, we ran along the Eagle section of the greenbelt, by Merrill Park). That section of the Boise river is so pretty, especially in the wintertime when everything is frosted over. Since I was running with other people, I went music-less, which I don't often do. I rarely go running without some kind of music playing in my ear. If I run without music in the neighborhoods, I tend to get bored, but boredom isn't really a problem when I'm running somewhere scenic and different than the usual. Going without music today turned out to be incredibly refreshing. For part of the run I actually ended up running separately from the rest of my family, and it felt amazing to just run through the chilly winter air, by myself amid the bare trees, and let my thoughts flow freely. I loved the time I ran with my family as well, but I really enjoyed the experience of running by myself too. It was a great way to start off the new year!

The beginning of the new year often gets a bad rap, and resolutions (particularly health and fitness ones) tend to be scoffed at. My personal take on it is that resolutions aren't bad, but unattainable ones are. If you set small, measurable goals for yourself, instead of setting out to completely change every aspect of your lifestyle at the same time, you're much more likely to be successful.

I've been off-and-on about making resolutions in the past, but this year I have come up with a couple health-related goals for myself. I made some other, non-health-related resolutions too, which you can check out here, but these are my health-related ones:

1. Run a half marathon. I am determined to finally do it! It's been something I've wanted to do for over a year, but injury and daylight savings has continually thwarted my efforts. I'm going to do my best to actually check this one off in 2014!

2. Eat at least 3 servings of vegetables per day. This one is going to be difficult, I'm not going to lie. I challenged myself to this for a three-month time period last year, and it was hard. I did find, though, that when I was working on that challenge, I ate a lot better overall, since fitting in those three servings left less room for the less-healthy food. Lately I've been eating a lot of processed food (things like protein bars and other granola bars) and I want to do better at eating more naturally. Protein bars are awesome, but I'd just like to eat things with smaller ingredient lists that haven't been processed quite as much. For me, setting a goal to eat at least three servings of veggies with help me avoid the unhealthy food and not eat as much of the healthier processed food. I'm going to do my best with this resolution, but I'm not going to freak out if I only eat one or two servings in a day occasionally.

I wish you all a very healthy and happy 2014! If your resolutions are health-related, here's a roundup of posts related to healthy lifestyle tips and motivation. Even if your goals aren't directly health-related, a lot of it still applies. If you are looking for some easy, healthy recipes to start off your year, check out the "Recipes" tab right below the blog header for a compiled list of my recipes. Enjoy!

Motivation Monday: Healthiness is a Journey
Choose to Live Actively
A Notebook and a Pen
Motivation Monday: You Sacrifice for What You Love
Motivation Monday: Just Because You're Not Sick, It Doesn't Mean You're Healthy
Eating Healthy On a Budget: 9 Tips
Motivation Monday: Getting Away From the Physical
Motivation Monday: Pinterest Motivation
Motivation Monday: Write a Mission Statement
Motivation Monday: General Tidbits About Embracing Life

What are your New Years resolutions?