Tonight marks the last day of my 20s. I’ll be honest. It’s bittersweet.

Part of me is FREAKING OUT. The other part is asking, “DOES THIS MEAN I’M A GROWN UP NOW?”

I don’t know who to listen to.

In true big girl style, my last meal of my 20s went like this: peanut butter straight out of the jar with chocolate chips, water and a late night trip for froyo.

This past year has not gone as I planned/wished/hoped. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve just been re-evaluating my priorities and need to figure out where all the pieces of the puzzle fit.

Where do I focus my time? Efforts? Energy? This is big time grown up shit, people!

Oh, and my ankle gave me a birthday present: an MRI appointment next week. Lovely.


Before I bid my twenties adieu, let’s review my 29 things to do before 30:

  • Continue to work out, eat better, get healthy. – meh. kinda sorta. See every post I’ve written about injuries in the past year.
  • Run a marathon. Shit.
  • Run a half marathon without walking. Shit.
  • Run 100 miles in a month. See above.
  • Run/walk/bike/elliptical/etc 1000 miles in 2012. See above.
  • Run a race in at least 3 different states – check. check. check.
  • Do a duathlon, triathlon or “extreme” race.
  • Complete my work’s Get Well Incentive Program. Holler! I’ll be getting a HSA bonus!
  • Go vegetarian or vegan at least once a week.
  • Write more.Yes. And No.
  • Take a class (or attend a conference). Checkity Check!
  • Network with education professionals- YES!
  • Complete a 365 project. Ha. That’s funny.
  • Document 2012 weekly using my Instax. See above.
  • Make pretty thingsI’ve been knitting/crocheting up a storm!
  • Pay down debt. Making some progress. Still not great, but ok.
  • Create a budget. Ummm…
  • Support local and/or small businessesI could do better.
  • Family time. 
  • Help people. 
  • Friends. Make time for those who truly matter. Reconnect.
  • Faith. Pray. Worship. Devotion. But I should do better.
  • De-Clutter.
  • Find and settle in to an amazing apartment.
  • Get a tattoo… JANUARY!
  • Read. Catch up on RSS feeds. Read books. Read the paper. Read blogs. Avoid JSOnline comments. Those bitches be nasty. And I can’t stay away.
  • Travel. Bonus points if travel involves any of the following: Road trip, Besties, Running, Airplanes, Booze. Wish there were more trips.
  • Make time for me. 
  • Laugh. It’s the best medicine.

Ok, now that I look at the list, I did ok. But I know I could do better.

Where’s the 30 things to do before 31? I’m not ready to look forward to the first year of my 30s just yet. I feel like I’m still finding myself. I need to do more reflection before I plot out the next few years of my life!

Update: 28 things to do before 29

There’s less than a month before my 29th birthday, so it’s probably time to update my 28 things to do before 29. Here’s a reminder:

  • The pounds haven’t dropped but I’ve gone down a dress size.
  • I moved and am temporarily living with the ‘rents until late spring.
  • See above
  • Beep can shake (left paw) and kick (right paw).
  • Officially postponed to year 30. But I’ve already done 2 half marathons this year…that’s gotta count for something.
  • Ack! I NEED to do this in the next few weeks – anyone got suggestions for a tattoo artist in town?
  • I have concepts but haven’t started writing.
  • In July I did 100 miles of activity! WOOT!
  • I’ve done this a few times.
  • I have a couple of leads, but with my new job I’m backing away from a lot of my freelance work.
  • With my new job and increased wages, I’m making progress.
  • Check! I took a Citizen’s Police Academy class!
  • Check!
  • fail.
  • I still have time. Unless one of you guys wants to buy this for me.
  • With my new job, I dress up everyday!
  • Check for acupuncture. Uncheck for yoga.
  • Yes!!
  • Check!
  • Checkity check!
  • Check!
  • I’m so much better at saying NO to others and YES to me.
  • Check!
  • Check!
  • Check! I’ve created a WP theme for my new job!
  • I don’t have the program to do this. But I really really really want to.
  • All my stuff is in boxes.
  • every.damn.day.

100 Mile Challenge, Accepted

One of my long-term fitness goals is to have a single month where I workout (run/walk/bike) 100 miles. This may be a small feat for some people I know who do that much in a week, but for me it’s a BFD.

Take a look at my previous 12 months of workouts on dailymile:

As you can see, I haven’t come close to 100 miles in the past year (the closest I have ever got was June of 2010, with 96 miles).

I know that if I got on my bike more I could probably hit the mileage, I just don’t bike as much as I did when I lived on the east side.

So this month, as I always do mid-month, I went to check my mileage. I saw 48, which is pretty good for me, based on the past 12 months.

I tweeted:

I figured it would be pretty difficult for me to accomplish 52 miles in 11 days. That’s like, 5 miles a day. And it’s like a billionty degrees out right now.

Then, I received the following from @tiffanyannweber:

See our following exchange:
Not one to turn down a challenge, I accepted Tiffany’s challenge to do 100 miles this month, not only to accomplish one of my personal goals, but to raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

Want to play along? Post a comment below and pledge to kick Crohn’s and Colitis in the ostomy bag. Pledge 1 penny, dime, quarter or dollar per mile – and you only have to fulfill your pledge if I break 100 miles this month.

Follow the journey at Dailymile!

C’mon, what are you waiting for?

UPDATE: 28 things to do before 29

We’re 6.5 months into my 29th year of life and I figured it’s about time for an update on my 28 things to do before 29. Here’s a reminder:

  • um… I need to get on this pronto.
  • I moved. I’m now living in limbo.
  • see above
  • Yay! Beep can shake (left paw) and kick (right paw).
  • Officially postponed to year 30. But I’m doing like 3 or 4 half marathons, so that’s gotta count for something.
  • I have a couple of ideas… still pondering location
  • I have concepts but no formal proposal
  • I don’t think this is going to happen. I may need to change this goal to do 100 miles of activity in 1 month.
  • Working on this.
  • I have a couple of leads.
  • Something tells me this won’t happen any time soon. (sadsies)
  • Check! I took a Citizen’s Police Academy class!
  • Check! Just spent a long weekend visiting my sister, and my parents and brother and I have monthly game nights planned.
  • fail.
  • I still have time. Unless one of you guys wants to buy this for me.
  • Been doing pretty good at this as of late.
  • Check for acupuncture. Uncheck for yoga.
  • Check! Update for FitMilwaukee.com coming soon!
  • I need to do this more.
  • Checkity check!
  • Getting better at this – try to take SM breaks on weekends.
  • I’m so much better at saying NO to others and YES to me.
  • Check!
  • Check!
  • I’m so good at hacking, just not creating.
  • I don’t have the program to do this. But I really really really want to.
  • All my stuff is in boxes.
  • every.damn.day.

Update: I had this set up as OL (numbered list) but apparently, it doesn’t want to play that way. suck it.

I never thought I’d be so excited to buy spandex

I just bought these running tights last night… in size LARGE!!! Not X-LARGE… but LARGE!!! I bought spandex and was happy about it.

I remember at the Blarney run thinking, “My goodness, there is no way in hell I will ever wear spandex running tights like Sarah…” The plan was to someday wear running tights like her. I thought someday was years away.

Seven months later, I ecstatically purchased them.

My, how things change.

Weigh in Wednesday: 20lbs!

It’s official.

I’ve lost 20.2 lbs since starting this journey January 6, 2010. Sure, the weight hasn’t come off as quickly as I had hoped, but I’ve kept the weight off, which is a huge accomplishment. I’ve never stuck to a nutrition and exercise plan for this long in my entire life. I’m working out 6 days a week.

I am 20% of the way there to achieving my goal of losing 100 pounds. I hope the next 20 doesn’t take as long as the first, but if it does, I’ll be ok with it. My life has changed for the better.

23 weeks ago, who’d have thought I would be just a month away from completing a half marathon?

And yet, here I am, preparing for my 10-miler on Sunday, and a 12-miler the following week.

Life is good. God is good. I’m so grateful.

5 miles in 81 minutes

Remember when I walked on a treadmill at the RACC expo for 2 hours? I had a distance of 5.6 miles.

Today, I did 4.9 miles in 81 minutes.

In the past 6 weeks, I have increased my speed from 21.5 minute miles to 16.5 minute miles. I shaved off 5 minutes from my speed in 6 weeks. HOLLER.

Here’s some pictures from my walk today. It was gorgeous out. I couldn’t help but enjoy the sunshine!

If you’re viewing this blog in a reader, you’ll probably have to click through to the site to see the gallery above.

Weekend away not so great for the new me

I got back from visiting my friend Holly in St. Louis late last night. I had a great time catching up with her and all my STL friends, but the weekend was not necessarily kind to my new lifestyle.

I tried to eat as healthy as I could (getting a salad instead of fries, a grande latte instead of a venti, etc), but I still made some poor choices. I was on vaca though, so I get a free pass, right? Right?

So I’m home now and working on my food/exercise plan. I’m hoping to join a gym this week and today I spent a small fortune on veggies and other healthy goodness from Whole Foods.

Here are some of my ideas…

  • Go vegetarian or vegan approximately 1/3 of every month (just to switch things up a bit)
  • Eat mostly organic or natural foods (no artificial fillers, preservatives or other yuck)
  • No more fast food
  • Cut back on eating out
  • Pack lunch the night before
  • Meal plan a week at a time
  • Make better choices
  • Still enjoy my favorite foods, just less of them (PORTION CONTROL)
  • Continue drinking lots of water
  • Do yoga with my #fitmke #wlc buddy at least twice a month
  • Go to the gym 2-3 times a week (working up to 4-5x/week by April 15)
  • Workout with a partner 1-2x/week
  • Try some workout dvds (yoga, pilates, 30 day shred)
  • Run a 5k in 2010 (RUN… not walk)
  • Keep a food diary and work hard to have a balanced diet
  • Buy new gym shoes and workout clothes
  • Not be afraid of the scale… which means I need to change the batteries.

I’ve also joined DailyMile… you can follow me here. I tried SparkPeople but I think it might be too much for me to keep up on.

And so it begins…

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions… to me, it’s a bit cliche. Besides, if you want to make a change in your life, why should a day on the calendar dictate when you start? When you’re ready to make the change, make it. JUST DO IT. Waiting “one more day” or “starting Monday” just gives you a crutch to hold on to — holding on to the old habits you’re trying to stop.

And yet, here I am, writing a blog post on New Year’s Day. I disgust myself.

I actually started making some changes a couple of weeks ago, but those were more for health reasons than anything else.

And my health is why I’m doing this.

I’m making a life change, and I need you all to hold me accountable, mmmkay?

Here’s a back story on the health issues I’m dealing with:

Over the past few months, my lack of energy and continual tiredness was attributed to my new work schedule – 5am to 2pm weekdays. Even though I was getting plenty of sleep, I never felt 100%. I could take a 4 hour nap after work, wake up to eat supper and then go back to bed and I was still always tired. Then, the coldness kicked in. I was always cold at work, home and everywhere else. It became the norm for me to keep my scarf, hat and coat on at work… and this was soon joined by a blanket on my lap. My skin always felt warm to the touch to others and I never had a fever. I took my temperature multiple times a day because I was convinced I had some type of infection. Why else would I be so cold so much of the time?

Conversations with family and my Twitter friends led me to wonder if something bigger was going on. Luckily, I already had my yearly physical scheduled for the following week, so I just toughed it out until that appointment.

My doctor confirmed what friends hypothesized – I probably have a thyroid problem. Numerous blood tests later, I found out that not only did I have hypothyroidism (with a TSH count of 10.2, normal is 0.4-5.0), I was also very anemic.

No WONDER I felt like death. Seriously, if I had to guess what death felt like, it would have been how I’ve felt for the last month or so.

Looking back, the symptoms started this summer… but I attributed them all to my work schedule and a changing routine. My symptoms didn’t come on suddenly – I was just ignoring them.

My doctor also suggested I get tested for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing when you sleep. Yeah, super scary. My uncle has it and I’ve heard it can run in families. Awesomesauce. Sleep apnea can also be caused by being overweight, which I am. My doctor and I decided to wait to do that testing until I have the thyroid and anemia issues under control. Baby steps.

I also had high blood pressure for the first time ever. I am about the age that my mom and her brothers all went on high blood pressure meds, so I’ve always been closely monitored. My doc thinks it could have been a result of another medication I was on, so she ended up taking me off it. Hopefully that plus weight loss will do the trick.

Can you say scary? All these problems coming at me at once?

Obviously, I need to change my life.

I’m not a skinny girl in a fat girl’s body. I’m a fat girl in a fat girl’s body. I will always be a fat girl, no matter what my outward appearance looks like. I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I’m stressed, depressed, happy. I love rich, tasty food, forget about the calories. Sometimes, it just doesn’t matter.

But now, it does.

I am committing to living a healthier life. I am committing to document my journey by writing this blog. I am committing to losing it without losing me.

I want to lose the bulky weight, the plus-size clothes, the getting-short-of-breath-when-I-walk-up-a-flight-of-stairs. I want to lose it all…. but not lose who I am in the process.

This is where you come in.

Hold me accountable.

Don’t let me lose who I am.

Encourage me when I fail.

Praise me when I triumph.

I’m not planning on making any crazy goals, like “lose 50 pounds by summer.” But, if that does happen, I won’t be upset. I just want to get to a healthy weight, no matter how long it takes me to get there.  I will be outlining my goals in a future post.

So that’s it. I’m committing to losing it without losing me, will you commit to holding me accountable?