Leaving myself vulnerable

This post has been on my heart for ages and now I finally feel the timing is right.

You see, I have been invited to speak at two events in the next few months. One is actually next month and involves me flying to O'ahu. I am more than happy to do this and the lady in charge gave me many opportunities to opt out if the expense was too much for me and my family to cover. But the thing is, I signed up to be a Silent No More Regional Coordinator for a reason and to back down from such an amazing opportunity because of the financial cost to my family seems weak. God called me to this work and I have faith in him. He also called me to design this shirt to raise funds for my ministry work. 

Personally, I love the message on this shirt. Life does not get easier, you get stronger.
Grab your shirt today
That is so true. Stepping out on faith and making myself vulnerable not only through writing this post but by standing in front of who knows how many people to tell my story not once, but twice, is not easy. It is hard. Very hard. But each time I tell my story I am getting stronger. Stronger in the faith that God will watch over and protect me. I am doing His work and put all my faith in him.

I will speak on behalf of the Silent No More Campaign and its three goals:
  • To help people touched by abortion find healing, resources can be found at AbortionForgiveness.com
  • To educate society about the harmful after-effects of abortion through our testimonies, found at AbortionTestimonies.com
  • To and discourage people from thinking abortion is a good solution to an unplanned pregnancy.
Since 2003, over 6,200 women and men have shared their stories at nearly 1700 events in 17 countries and all 50 states.

The SilentNoMore.com website has over 2400 stories of regret with over 400 on video.
Silent No More has 17,000 plus members who also regret their abortion, their lost fatherhood or the death of an aborted family member.
We share our stories, because our experience destroys the rhetoric, that women need abortion.
If you feel called to do so, please grab a t-shirt today as my speech next month will cost my family close to $500 for airfare and accommodations alone. And I would by lying if I didn't say I need dear hubby by my side for support. 
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for God's strength.
Daily Bible Verse: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. ~ James 5:16


Stretching your dollar

I get it moms, running a house on a budget is tough. Way tough! I also told myself many times what I hear many of you saying, I just get afford to eat healthy. I can't afford that shake or that fitness program. I have no money for stuff like that.

Perhaps you are like me and do have the money lurking in places you just don't know. And I have found that my shake that I once felt cost way too much is indeed affordable as I am no longer buying generic supplements for women and probiotics as both are contained in the shake AND I am snacking less (and that saves the cost of that food) and I am no longer running to the general store for an afternoon pick me up (and that costs an arm and a leg on Maui).

But sometimes even that doesn't feel like enough when darling daughter's hobby and other necessities in life seem to pile up. I have been taking a good hard look at our budget and how we spend things the past couple of years. I have cut out cable but we do stream Netflix, get the DVD's (although that may be cut out again), and stream Amazon through Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime in itself has saved me money because if I need to buy just one thing, I do. No longer am I buying more just to get free shipping.

I shop smarter. There are things I can get online at the same price, or even better prices. Many of these online retailers are part of UPromise so when I shop through the UPromise link at many retailers, a portion of what I spend goes into a college savings for darling daughter. No, I am not saving thousands of dollars, I don't shop that much, but every penny counts and she already has more saved for her college than I did when I started college. Win-Win. Another way to look at this, having pets is paying part of her college expense every time I buy them food and supplies!

And my Amazon shopping makes a difference beyond me as I have signed up for AmazonSmile and a portion of my purchases goes to support Immaculate Heart Radio. You can set it up to support the charity of your choice and once it is set up, it is there for you every single time and you do not spend more. Your money just goes more and is stretched to help a charity you love. How cool is that?!

As much as I want to say I have no credit card debt, I still have some I am working on getting rid of mainly due to trips to the mainland each summer to see my mom and extended family. It is hard to say no to those annual trips when it is the one time of year we can see everyone. But once again, I book them through UPromise so darling daughter's college savings builds up a bit more and I use credit cards that give me rewards I need and value without annual fees. Sorry airline cards, I would love your miles but I am not willing to pay extra for that privilege. I love the Amazon dollars I earn, cash back, and now Costco rewards. These are things I need and use. Not wasted stuff.

On that note, I will use a credit card, say the Costco card, and immediately pay off the balance just to add in the extra rewards. Those rewards often go to treats during the year or holiday/birthday gifts. It helps a lot to go into the Christmas season and have rewards, gift cards, etc to turn to to cover a good portion of gift giving.

And I pay attention to online specials and free offers that many companies have. I know the value of items and can judge if the value is outweighed by shipping costs.

My strategy involves awareness and diligence. I can't leave things to the last minute. I already have Christmas gifts for some family and focus more on the kiddo's versus the adults. Darling daughter and I celebrated that we already earned our free turkey reward at a local grocery store and are trying to earn just one more so we can get a second turkey for our Christmas dinner but I won't spend just to get the reward. We will only buy our needs so if I don't earn the reward, no worries, I have a plan B.

I buy in bulk and prep many freezer meals and keep the freezer stocked...although I am working on unstocking right now to make room for the turkey. This is a good way to get those veggies at a better price and when they are in a freezer meal, you are not wasting food by it rotting. We buy what is on special and strive to grow some of our own food. It is working. We are doing great with beans, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and a few herbs. This keeps not only us, but our pets, happy. P.S. The last time I harvested my celery I just got the tops off and it is growing again! Did you know that could happen?

We compost and that eliminates the cost of fertilizer and we don't buy much soil for new pots as we are making our own. We reused a cardboard egg carton to start need seedlings in too versus the seed starter cups I used to buy. We are getting smarter!

We live simply and hardly ever go to the theater. I mean, maybe twice a year and I think both times in the past year we had free movie vouchers. I make dinners 99% of the time and this includes making many things that come in mixes from scratch such as pancakes, biscuits, tortillas, rolls, etc. I think the food is better for us and I am certain cheaper in the long run.

I use a refillable coffee cup for my coffee maker versus K-Cups....again 99% of the time. Sometimes I splurge for a nice flavor.

Like an eating plan and all things in life, it is all about balance and not being too restrictive that you can't enjoy life and share what you have with others.

There are some expensive ticket items on our shopping lists from time to time such as my vegan cheese. I don't eat it very much at all to save that cost and strive to buy it, and my vegan butter, when it is on sale. I am looking forward to my vegan cheese enchiladas for my birthday though! That will be my birthday present. And peanut butter....I will pay more for freshly ground peanut butter versus buying the highly processed peanut butter and just eat less of it to stretch out the purchase. And hey! Darling daughter will even eat the "good" stuff. I am looking forward to trying to make my own one day too but I question how big of a savings that would be versus using the grinders at Whole Foods. P.S. Did you know they have a treat bin for kids 12 and under to get a piece of fruit to keep them peaceful while you shop?

What dollar stretching tips do you have? I would love to learn more!!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the rewards in life.

Daily Bible Verse: Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  ~ Hebrews 13:5


Maui Marathon Race Recap

Last Sunday I ran my 10th marathon and my 5th Maui Marathon. It was a day I will always remember. It was an AMAZING race and no, I did not PR but what I did find was something even better than a PR.

Here's my story.

I started training for this marathon in perfect timing. I ran 20 miles on the treadmill in mid June before going on summer vacation. To be exact, that 20  miler was on June 18th. I was on track, focused, and committed. I ran on my vacation as planned and even created my plan to include less mileage during those three weeks on vacay to account for airports and cruising. I ran a beautiful 13.25 mile run in Texas and was happy getting that done. Like I said, I was on plan.

Then I came home and everything changed. School started back up, I may or may have not experienced some post-vacay blues associated with leaving my entire extended family on the mainland once again. You would think with school back in session, running would have got back into my normal groove but it didn't.

School started and so did more mommy duties, mommy duties I am unwilling to give up. Darling daughter joined the cross country team (yay!) and our weeks and weekends got more hectic. Plus, I shifted her weekend horse lessons from Sunday to Saturday to make Sunday's less hectic and more family and God focused. All things I do not regret BUT it left me trying to squeeze in long runs Saturday before horse lessons (and then before cross country!) and I was getting irritable and stressed and realized, I did not want to do this anymore. I decided to NOT run the Maui Marathon. I knew my long run training was off and I didn't want to stress about it any more. I wanted to be a better, more present mom.

I found my happy again and was still running daily and cross training like a champ. I was having fun and feeling so much better about life. I wasn't taking it easy as some of my cross training was intense! I did 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Cize, Country Heat, Insanity, and more. I kinda was insane...insanely happy!

But then it hit me...I wanted to run the marathon and give my cross training the true test; after all, I am a Beachbody coach. I wanted to really tell you more about this training and maybe part of me wanted to show you how it does make a difference.

I went into the race with the mindset, it it okay to walk. Do your best. Have fun. And I knew something BIG was going to happen. I didn't know what. I didn't expect a PR but I hope my human frailty didn't block out the BIG that I felt in my heart was on the verge of happening. I believed this to my core and was shaking with excitement on race day morning wondering what it would be.

After chatting a bit with friends and hubby, I parted and found my peaceful corner to reflect, pray, and center myself before the race start. I enjoyed the fire dancer and couldn't wait to get this show on the road. Everyone was saying it was a bit chilly. I felt it was muggy and warm and wondered if my thermoregulation was already out of whack due to hormones but hey, I can't control hormones so I let that go.

And then....the race started and off I went. I realized I once again started a wee bit fast and focused on easing up my pace and continued to run happy. I felt strong and my legs were happy. The miles seem to fly by and I knew I was running a good pace for me at around 9'30" miles. I knew I could go a bit slower but definitely did not want to go faster. I sipped on my SOS at aid stations. I prefer this over the Beachbody Hydrate just because it has  more sodium in it. I am a salty sweater and know I need that extra sodium to avoid taking salt tabs and having salt-related issues.

At mile 7 I ate one of the dates I packed. I didn't feel I needed it but felt I should consume something. I was still feeling strong and happy and was about to approach the hilly part of the course. I made the choice to run the hills and fuel again (beyond my drink) after the tunnel when the course flattened out. I was carrying food I need to chew versus gels due to me thinking I wasn't going to race and hadn't practiced much eating on the run on land versus the treadmill and did not want to choke. Not a good thing.

The half marathon point arrived and I ate a graham cracker and another date on the run. The graham cracker was a bit harder to consume but I knew it was a good fuel for me as I often eat them on long runs on the treadmill. It was just harder to manage on the roadside. My pace was on target for a 4 hour 20 minute marathon but I knew this could change. The hills slowed me down a bit but not much.

Before I knew it I was at 16 miles, still holding a happy pace, and then it hit me. I just ran the longest run in who knows how long. I turned off my music and started saying the rosary with the idea to complete it and then fuel some more. I made it about halfway through and at 16.25 miles it came to my heart to walk a bit and fuel now. I ate my second graham cracker and a couple of dates while walking, texted my friend where I was on the course for her timing purposes, heard some drums, and started running again. I was feeling good but felt now was the time to incorporate a run/walk plan.

And I did. I walked when I wanted to and tied it into eating another date or just walking to stretch out my legs. It was all under control and I wasn't walking because I had to but because I wanted to.

At mile 21 I was still feeling amazingly strong and it dawned on me. My core and upper body strength were strong. I always felt weak at this point with an aching back wishing the CamelBak wasn't on me. Not now. It didn't bug me one iota. I stretched my arms a couple of times and kept on going.

The walking breaks were slowing down my overall pace and in marathons, I am always slower the second half. I plan to work on that. Trust me, I do.

The final mile came and I was still feeling in control of my body. Yes, I was slower but I felt strong and capable if that makes any sense. The final half mile was in sight, an amazing song I love came on, and I flew to the finish line one happy runner.

My time, 4:47:51. My slowest and strongest marathon. I finished strong and had more energy in my reserves. I was hesitant and at mile 16 decided to stop racing and turn my run into a training run. My gut knew this was my longest run in who knows how long and I wanted to be smart. Perhaps some may say I played it too safe but I am happy with my race.

I found that my cross training paid off. My last three long runs in the double digits prior to race day were the 20 miles on June 18th, 13.25 miles on July 2nd, and 10 miles on July 23rd. I should not have been able to run a marathon like I did. Not based on my running alone. As a running coach, with that running prior to race day, I am not sure I would tell the client to go ahead and race. In the almost two months heading up to race day I did not have one single double-digit run. Worse, very few days were over 5 miles. It was purely the cross training that I did that carried me to the finish line....not faster, but stronger. That means something, y'all. Something HUGE.

And something BIG did happen. God touched my heart and revealed Himself to me in an AMAZING way. As I prayed along the course I thought of all the people I have prayed for and felt their presence alongside me too. I was not alone. I am never alone. None of us are. I can't even begin to express this experience in words but it still does, and will always, bring me happy chills whenever I reflect on it. I am so lucky to be called to run for God, to run for Toby, and to run to make a difference in this world that seems so messed up at times with so many people hurting.

What is next?

My 11th marathon on January 15th. As of today my marathon training is back in full swing with runs getting longer and cross training staying a central focus. Imagine what I can do when I keep God central in my life, run my long runs, and cross train like a champ. Now that will be a fun story to tell but we are all going to have to wait a wee bit for that ending.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my 10th marathon and my very quick recovery post race.

Daily Bible Verse: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11


3 sleeps until the Maui Marathon

What a crazy time it has been. My training is completely unconventional and I seem to have caught a bit of a cold bug BUT taking today off of work and resting, resting, resting seems to be helping big time. I didn't sleep much but I did stay lazy on the lounger per darling daughter's instructions and binged on NCIS. And I think she will approve of my warm Epsom Salt soak in the tub doing my personal development reading for the day. I strive for 10 minutes a day and today I did a whole whopping 30 minutes....pretty much until the water got too "cold" for me.

AND...the weather here as been BEYOND crazy. I am talking thunderstorms, lightning (yes, those are weird on Maui...well, at least until the past year or so and then it has just been weird), flash flood warnings left and right (never knew my phone gave alerts like it does!), a tornado, landslides, road closures, etc etc etc. All I can say is thank goodness I am not the race director of this race as I would be a basket case. There is road work along one segment of the course and a landslide (or two) on another. Cars stuck in water. Stress. Stress. Stress. But he may be more of a chilly type of guy than I am. I hope so. I don't want him overly stressed pre-event.

The good is I hear the weather should be done with its craziness tomorrow, which is good. Darling daughter has the Front Street Mile Saturday, dear hubby and I have packet pick up, and the Maui Marathon is Sunday. Woo-hoo!!!

This is definitely going to be a just enjoy the experience race. Go with flow race. Be happy race. At least, that is my plan because I do have lots of variables coming into play. Obviously the weather and its impact on the course. The new start and finish lines that kinda mess with my race course mindset. That is the downside of running a race for the 4th time (if I am remembering right). You get used to the course and minor switch up's can mess with you but then, they are really minor and I may like them. Female mother nature may also NOT be on my side. I am hoping for the best because I tend to have 10-12 hours of pure torture each month where I can't wander to far from a ladies' room. Those hours on the cruise ship were torture! My poor daughter had to be dragged away from fun so many times for me to tend to nature but all was okay. I just don't want to be hitting the porta potties every hour along the course but good thing I am not striving to PR. And honestly, it is all out of my control. But I do have to ask, why do marathons and female mother nature like to try to collide so many times for me?!

On the bright side, I am itching to run. I have been sticking to just a mile days all week and my cross training has been yoga and one 10 minute ab session yesterday. I was really trying to rest up as much as possible to combat the urge I had to run 20 miles since I decided to go for it and race two weeks ago. That would have been a bad idea.

I have faith I am trained well. I have been working out hard and am in the best shape ever. Really, I am. I have much more upper, lower, and core body strength since like forever and I can't wait to see how that helps on the race course. Plus, if I decide I can use this as a training run and add back in all my cross training PLUS long runs and run the Maui Oceanfront Maui come January.

Maui Marathon, see you in 3 sleeps!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for growing self esteem and confidence.

Daily Bible Verse: When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. ~ Psalm 56:3


If Girls Ran the World Update

It is almost October...kinda, sorta...and I am stoked to be part of this campaign through SweatPink.

I am also stoked that thanks to a wonderful supporter, Jeremy, I have already raised $43.76 of my $250 goal. That is WAY cool but I still have a ways to go and need your help to get there.

I am raising money for Save the Children.

From their website, Save the Children "invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. By transforming children's lives now, we change the course of their future and ours."

They operate in 120 countries, providing support for health, education, protection, disaster relief and so much more. This fit well with my desire to help the whole world....to extend my corporal acts of mercy to all the corners of the Earth.

I am also committed to running 125 miles in October so you can envision it as a sponsorship of $2 per mile. If I raise more than $250, I will run more! How about that?!

The bulk of my running will be done on my treadmill at home but I am hoping to hit the roads some with darling daughter now that she is falling in love with cross country running....although I may need to bribe her with a trip to the coffee house afterwards to get a cup of coffee for me and a nice fresh baked pastry for her. Hey, girls gotta have fun!

But I also am teaching her about charity through the gently used items we donate, contributions to charities, Med Packs, Action Packs, and I am thinking we need to do a "penny jar" with all October contributions going to this cause.

I love running for a cause. Won't you donate today? Every little bit helps! Thank you and may God bless you.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for Jeremy's donation and for yours!

Daily Bible Verse: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. ~ James 2:14-26


Feeling egg-celent!

You gotta eat your protein!!!

For who knows how long, I wasn't getting enough protein. I don't really want to look back into it and find how long because it will only highlight how long I was being foolish. 

Protein is important for repairing tissues and is a building block for strong bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, hair, nails, and blood. Protein is also important in enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.

Are you getting enough? I found out I wasn't when I took a good hard look at my eating plan and realized I may have been getting 1-2 servings of protein and day and a million servings of carbs. And when I look at the signs that you may be lacking protein red flags were BLARING! Here are those signs:

  • You experience anxiety or depression (amino acids fuel the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine that prevent depression and anxiety) - CHECK
  • You recover slowly from injuries (protein fuels muscle recovery and regrowth) - hmmm….the pesky hip????
  • You are losing hair or it breaks easily (protein supports collagen production in the hair, skin, and nails) - CHECK
  • You are having a hard time focusing or staying focused (amino acids support brain performance) - CHECK
  • Your muscles always ache (protein helps muscle recovery and aids in repair)
  • Your nails are brittle or breaking (protein supports collagen production in the hair, skin, and nails) - CHECK

Now I start each day with a serving of protein (2 eggs) versus my traditional start of the day with carbs and fruit. I still eat my serving of fruit!!! And sometimes I add some veggies to my eggs especially when I am eating a hot breakfast at home. At work I traditionally bring two hard boiled eggs.

And eggs are an egg-celent source of protein. Each egg contains 6 grams of protein PLUS 5% of vitamin A, 2% calcium (good for dairy free me), 11% vitamin D (good for me again since I had to be put on supplements last year to get my vitamin D back up there), 10% vitamin B-12, 3% iron, 5% vitamin B-6, 1% magnesium (which actually can help keep anxiety at bay!), and 1% potassium.

Now let's talk the iffy side of eggs....cholesterol. Eggs have had a bad rep and I have to say, if you have cholesterol problems talk to your doctor about eggs and whether or not you should include them in your diet. For me, I do.  They are a good portable source of protein that is friendly on my budget. And eggs DO have nutrients in them that can actually lower your risk of heart disease.

Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all diet for all of us but I have noticed a huge difference in my energy, life, hair, nails, etc. when I increased my protein intake and eggs, like a I said, have been an easy and affordable go to. But nothing in my life is set in stone and I would love to hear how you get your morning protein? And I do not want to turn to bacon and sausage.....

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for a more energized body.

Daily Bible Verse: Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? ~ Matthew 6:26


Fitness after 40

Oh my! Where did time go? In so many ways I feel I am or should be still in my more youthful days but those 40's snuck up and kicked me in my butt.

Let's be honest. When we get older, things change. Perhaps you are experiencing some of the same symptoms, ladies. Hair is getting a wee bit thinner and maybe a few grey hairs are sprouting out of nowhere. Skin is changing - maybe drier, maybe a few wrinkles, spots? Your menstrual cycle is changing, your energy levels are low, and as much as you focus on eating healthy and clean, you are gaining a few pounds. Not much maybe but you feel a bit softer. You used to be much more fit looking eating junk and now, what's up?

Life changes and I hate to tell you, you need to change with it.

For years I have been reading about the importance of strength training for women and their bones. I told myself lifting my child counted and didn't do much more. I ran, and ran, and ran, ate well, and was not where I wanted to be. I was softer and....tired.

A few months ago, by the grace of God, I finally decided to do something more. Invest in myself. Yes, invest in myself and my health. Financially invest in me to actually buy a better shake and fitness programs versus doing bits and pieces from magazines and buying the cheapest dairy free protein powder I could find. After all, I had a budget. I was eating "well" and turning to quick fixes and cravings in the afternoon hours to give me energy to drag my butt around through evening chores. I was miserable trying to be happy.

And then I did something different. I learned to eat better. Not a diet. A eating plan. I committed to not only running every day but doing 30 minutes of cross training every day. And I committed to varying that cross training to keep me into it and not bored. I tried things that "scared" me and things I thought I couldn't do.

I bought the better shake. I bought workout programs. I got a workout streaming service. I bought weights. I bought resistance bands and I am using them all.

I do yoga, weight lifting, cardio of all sorts, plyo, tabata, dance...anything and everything. I am having fun. I am finding my happy. And most importantly, I am finding a fitter me. I am finding muscles I honestly never knew I had. Yes, I "knew" I had them but thought I just would never be able to see them. I just wasn't one of those lucky gals.

But the thing is, luck has nothing to do with it. Hard work does and having a good eating program and fitness plan. Changing things up. Keeping your body guessing and working. Keeping yourself engaged, motivated, and committed.

The fitter body is cool but what is better is the more energy. I am a better mom who can play more and better. I am a better wife who is more confident. I love where I am today and just want to say, you can be fit after 40. You can GET fit after 40.

Are you ready to invest in yourself?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the support of others.

Daily Bible Verse: For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. ~ Ephesians 5:29


Anxiety Relief...please

Years ago I was having stomach issues and cut dairy out of my diet. At that time, I was visiting my mom and was probably at or about the 1 month dairy free mark. I know, what does this have to do with anxiety? Hang tight and I will get to it.

We were sitting at the dinner table eating a wonderful cake that my mom's friend made and all of a sudden I felt a rush of heat go up my left arm, my head got fuzzy, my heart started racing, and it just built and built until my whole body was shaking out of control. I tried laying back in a chair. I felt that was going to kill me. I tried calming myself thinking happy thoughts but I panicked. What was happening to me???

I ended up going to the ER via ambulance and they said anaphylactic shock due to the dairy my mom found out was in the cake. It was a dairy bomb but this made no sense to me but we then became overly careful about what I ate.

Once back home my doctor scheduled an appoitment with the allergist to see what was up. He didn't think it was a dairy allergy (me either) and I told him he wouldn't be able to figure it out. He was being kinda snotty with me so I returned it with a challenge. They started the allergy test for essentially everything and left me laying in the room. I was lounging on my belly playing Hay Day and then it happened....the EXACT same rush of feelings I felt visiting my mom after eating the dairy bomb cake.

I got myself to the door and calmly told the nurse I needed help and everyone came in and guess what....they had NO idea what was happening. No allergic reaction. No anaphylactic shock. The best the allergist could come up with was I was having some sort of adrenaline response and jokingly said no more cake or allergy tests for me. I went home feeling a bit shook up...and annoyed.

The next morning I headed out with my daughter to do chores and was almost down the hill driving when it hit me again. I didn't like this. I was driving! I pulled over and tried to reach dear hubby and no luck. I ended up calling for help and was brought to the ER. This time the "episode" lasted longer and rolled in and out like waves. They ran tests. Looked at me and confirmed some sort of adrenaline response. Dear hubby (we finally got a hold of him) asked if it was "only" panic attacks and I should just chill. Thank goodness the doctor stressed that panic attacks are not just a weak mind but could have underlying issues and never should be taken lightly. So panic attacks.....my episodes had a name and I didn't like it. After all, how is cake, laying quietly, and later, running a source of panic?

I asked my doctor this at my last physical and she was amazing. Panic attacks often happen when we are at peace and can happen when we are sleeping. Yep, been there, done that. I am not sure she or anyone really knows the why but essentially, those impacted need to learn to cope and please don't tell me just relax. It isn't that easy.

Over the years I have found a few things that do help when an attack hits.
  • I do repeatedly tell myself I am going to be okay. I have learned from past experience that my body will come out of this okay.
  • I pray and ask God for His strength.
  • I fan myself with my hand BUT if I have air blowing on me (such as in the car) I have to get that airflow off of me...immediately!!
  • I try to calm my breathing.
  • I repeat relax, relax, relax. Yes, I can tell myself to relax but don't you try to tell me that. 

But what about PREVENTING attacks? I have a few things I feel help with that.
  • I eat balanced meals throughout the day. The better my eating gets, the less frequent the attacks. I honestly feel my daily shakes (video link) are making a HUGE difference. Email me to learn more about them or if you want to give them a try. I have deluxe 6-day sampler packs available!
  • I hardly drink alcohol any more. It also helps with my sleeping and better sleep may be helping keep attacks at bay.
  • I keep an eye on my coffee (caffeine) intake as I have found too much during certain times of the month can intensify symptoms/attacks. To be honest, I do notice more symptoms during that premenstrual time and wonder if there is a hormonal element at play.
  • I exercise daily.
  • I stay hydrated.

There are other things I do and have read could help but don't know for certain as it is harder to test.
  • Keep a thought journal.
  • Daily gratitude and positive thinking.
  • Talk to others about what you are feeling. I have a wonderful friend who I have called or texted more times than I want to admit about the fuzzy brain or other odd feelings I feel and she is great at reminding me that my worries are just that...worries...not reality. It helps.

But most importantly I want to say, keep a sense of humor and know that a panic attack doesn't make you weak. For so long I didn't want to tell anyone this was happening to me because I felt silly or ridiculous that my body can get all crazy and my mind so irrational over nothing but it isn't nothing. It is something. What causes the attacks may vary from person to person but there is something causing it. It isn't you. I have ideas of life events that may be playing into my anxiety and panic attacks and that does give me a good foundation of understanding that makes it a wee bit easier to remember to love myself in those moments I need it the most.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for peace and serenity.

Daily Bible Verse: Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.  ~ Matthew 14:22-29


If Girls Ran the World

In case you missed it, I have been fortunate enough to "work" with If Girls Ran the World through my SweatPink ambassadorship with the mission to raise money for Save the Children. You can read more in my initial post HERE but in a nutshell, my October goal is to run 125 miles and raise $250 to well....Save the Children.

Rewind many, many years ago...okay, maybe not that long...and I was a young, caring child watching TV in the living room while lying on the floor. The blue carpet, the wood paneled walls, the plaid couch, and me seeing commercials about children in poorer countries needing our help. Hungry children. Sick children. Children in need and it touched my heart. Their commercials saying that you could help a starving child by sponsoring them for pennies a day was something I wanted to do. I told myself, when I am older, I am going to do that! I am going to make a difference.

Those commercials are no longer seen by me. Not necessarily because they aren't there but this now older lady in her 40's has no cable but still wants to change the world - one life at a time - and children...and women...still hold a special place in my heart.

How amazing is it that I now have the opportunity to do something. Yes, I can and have been making donations to make a difference but now I have the chance to take that small ripple of action and make it a wave. Won't you join me today?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all my blessings and all the opportunities God gives me to make a difference.

Daily Bible Verse: If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. ~ Isaiah 58:10


A New Path....again

On August 8th my marathon training path changed. You can see that post HERE but in a nutshell...I dropped the Maui Marathon due to new priorities in my life.

Those priorities haven't changed, but I have. I am dedicated and focusing each and every day to building a better me. My own personal mission and campaign -- #buildingabetterme -- seriously, you should jump on board with this because you won't know where it will bring you until you try.

A week ago I started Insanity. I actually purchased this program weeks ago and it has been sitting in my house.  My plan was to start it post marathon but then it hit me, I am not running the marathon so I  might as well start it. My plan was to do the 8 weeks and started it 100% committed last Monday and then today happened.

I am still 100% committed to Insanity and my workout program but you see, my #buildingabetterme is transforming me in amazing ways. It hit me today. Run the marathon. Go for it! Even if it is a run/walk plan. Do it. Why? Because it could be....are you ready for this....FUN! I am not tied to time goals. I have been the less stressed mom I want to be. I haven't been agonizing over long runs...and haven't really been doing them...but I have been working my booty off in my cross training.

For 4 months I have been running daily and cross training daily (well, almost daily with cross training while on vacay in late June and early July) and I have been pushing myself more these past 4 months than ever before. I kinda wonder what impact that has on me. The running, the cross training, the better nutrition. How will this impact performance?

I am not expecting a PR and I realize I may have to walk. That is okay. I WANT to go on this journey now. I WANT to see what impact cross training has on marathon training. I WANT to keep my faith and go 26.2 miles with God by my side leading me each and every step of the way. I WANT to do a marathon with no other thing in mind beyond enjoying the journey.

I have felt overwhelmed and so incapable of stuff at many, many times in my life. I have almost always felt that I am not enough. Not good enough. Not fast enough. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not inspirational enough. Not enough.

I am done with that way of thinking. I am done trashing myself. I am ready to MAX OUT in my life, push myself farther, put my full faith in God, and see what happens at the end of the road. If I stay on the sidelines afraid I will get nowhere.

Yes, my training has been unconventional but I have been following what I need to do in my life. If I have been called to give this marathon a try, which I believe I have since it came to my heart, I will. If nothing else, there will be a story to tell at the end of the day. A journey being documented. A broken girl finding the pieces of her life, pulling them back together, and showing her everything is possible with God by her/my side. I will remain faithful and if that marathon takes me 6 or more hours, that is 6 or more hours I can spend with God and truly reflecting on how much He has blessed me.

I will be running (and walking I am sure) the Maui Marathon on September 18th for God, for Toby, for my daughter, in memory of my dad, for myself to continue to heal my wounds, to overcome anxiety, to overcome depression, for all those lost souls to abortion, for the love of women and children everywhere. And I will be doing all of this with the support of my hubby who will also be running but at his pace. His pace, his race. My pace, my race. Both of equal value no matter who crosses the finish line first (and it will be dear hubby).

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for a loving husband who supports my crazy, changing mind.

Daily Bible Verse: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11


August Training & September Goals

Aloha y'all!!!

How is it going? I have been crazy busy with darling daughter back in school, working, and watching not one but two hurricanes swirl around us. It is hard to not become complacent when we keep lucking out time after time. But the big word there is luck. I know that we won't always be lucky so I am trying very, very hard to stay focused on Hurricane Lestor and not totally forget about that storm as I look out at the most beautiful blue skies today.

So let's talk training before anything could change and I end up sitting here powerless wondering why I didn't sit my booty down and write. Grab a cup of coffee and sit with me. I just grabbed mine! And a date...the edible kind. I keep a bag in my fridge of pitless dates. Yumminess at my fingertips!!! They are my treat after some of my intense workouts, like today's that left my arms feeling like Jell-O still even though I finished about 30 minutes ago. But let's rewind some more.


I initially cringed when I saw I only ran 89 miles in August. My second lowest mileage month this year. eek! Coming from a girl who was logging miles like crazy this can be hard to swallow but my goals changed this month and ultimately, I know I am in 150% better shape. The best shape of my life!

I may have not logged 100's of miles on the treadmill but I have logged a ton of cross training workouts ranging from yoga, to weight lifting, to general cardio, to plyo, to tabata, to dance, and more. I have logged many 2 hour workout days that may only have a 10K run but an hour of additional workouts - some hardcore, some recovery - so I am not complaining. Not one single bit. I am learning not to focus on the one data mark of miles run to bigger data marks of lives changed, including my own. I wish I could easily see the data on Daily Mile on how many workouts I did in August because I know that benchmark will knock my socks off. Maybe I will add that to a September goal....better workout data analysis.

I also set up my home office in August and I am LOVING having a space dedicated to my work as it is my passion to help others and to change the world for the better. It is my zone. My spiritual, fitness, work, and family managing zone. My work zone. My power area. And having this space has not only increased my productivity but my motivation. Now that is cool! Seriously moms, when you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of your family!!!

In addition, it seems I became a member of a planning committee for an awesome event to take place on Maui in January and I will be a guest speaker!!! Oh my!!!! I was happy to hear that my speaking time went from 15 minutes to 5 minutes. I can do that! And my lectoring at mass is doing a good job of prepping me to speak in public.

This is all part of my #buildingabetterme campaign that covers all aspects of life. But let's move back to fitness....

My September fitness and nutrition goals:

  • Eat according to plan while following at least the 80/20 rule but striving for 90/10
  • Run daily
  • Workout daily
  • Drink my nutrient-dense shake daily
  • Have a blast leading my Beachbody Health Bet Challenge group
  • Devote 10 minutes a day to personal development
  • Help 3 people achieve their goals
  • Get ready for If Girls Ran the World and my October events -- I will tell you  more later, I promise!

Phew! That is a lot!!! I better get cranking, rocking, and rolling!

How was your August? Any amazing September goals?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the generosity of others.

Daily Bible Verse: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother. ~ Proverbs 10:1