Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Healthy Train Tuesday: Two Week Catch-Up!

Healthy Train Tuesday


You'll notice that this isn't the usual template. I am trying to change things up a bit. Different questions are good. Breaks up the routine. Also, I didn't want to give two weeks worth on some answers because well it's boring. I'm not totally sure what the different questions should be, so if you have suggestions, lay them on me!

Past Two Weeks Loss: .8 pounds
Total Loss: 71.5 pounds

Starting Weight: 239 pounds
Current Weight: 167.5 pounds

Pounds to goal weight: 17.5 pounds


What I noticed was different about my body:
While I was in Phoenix, I allowed myself to have whatever I wanted. I decided to get it out of my system. I think part of the internal struggle with food is that sometimes we get so focused on what we shouldn't have that it becomes all consuming. So the entire time I was on vacation, I ate what I wanted. My stomach did not like it at all. In fact for the two days after I got back, I spent a good portion of it in the bathroom.

This week, I haven't wanted anything bad.

In other news, I really need to work on my arms. I don't want to do Crossfit. I know some people love it, but I don't think it's gonna be for me. That being said, I need to find something for my arms and tummy. Any and all suggestions are appreciated. 

Personal Goal for this week:
  • Hit four runs and cross train three times. 
  • Allow myself to go 3-4 points above my daily points a day.
  • Be productive every day.
Favorite Quote for this week:

"Let us run with perseverance, the race marked out before us." - Hebrews 12:1

What I’m looking forward to: Change. I can feel it coming. I'm not sure where, but I feel it in my bones.

Happy Tuesday!




Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Mumblings...

I mumble on Mondays. It's a thing. You get used to it.

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I go back and forth on whether or not I should buy a Garmin GPS watch.

(I know this is a first world problem at its finest.)

I use NikePlus app currently and it works well, but I also wish there was a way that I didn't have to worry about my phone being on me....or specifically on my arm.

Also, need to find a good fuel pack. I've blogged about this before, but the issue is that I am short and also short waisted. So I don't want something banging around on my back. I get bruises and they hurt.

I don't like feeling restricted. I think I'm starting to get my fueling down a bit. Now I need to find the right gear combo. Or rather how to wear it and not feel like I'm a pack mule in the process. Does this make sense?

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After my last experience with Southwest, I'm beginning to wonder if we should fly a different airline. The reason we fly Southwest is because they're cheap and we get to check two free bags per person.

But the flip side is that they have really random layovers and now they've lost my luggage.

What do you fly? And why?

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My latest show recommendations are Call the Midwife and Mr. Selfriedge. Both are on PBS.

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The weather is getting half-way decent around here. Bout flipping time.

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People watching is one of my favorite past-times. People watching on the Twitter and Insta' and Blogger set my mind into overdrive sometimes.

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My baby sister went to her first prom this weekend as a sophomore. I don't know about y'all, but where I'm from it is the Junior/Senior prom. The juniors plan and host it for the seniors. The only way you get to go as a freshman or sophomore is if you're asked by a junior or senior.

She looked like a beauty queen and was absolutely stunning. Sometimes I can't believe she is this big.
Getting her hair did. (That's my stylist from home btw.)

She's just so pretty.

Loren with our baby brother and her twin, Will.
Makes me miss home a ton when I miss out on stuff like this.

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Sugar is pooting like it's her job, so I think we are gonna go for a good old fashioned walk.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 26, 2013

On running and how I got started.

My pal Laura, asked, "How did you get started running? I guess I mean at what weight did you start running and how did you build up stamina to be able to run miles? I'm down 30 lbs but still have a L-O-N-G way to go. I want to run because I know it will help but I'm not exactly sure how to start. I know it's more than just walking outside and taking off..." 

Rather than email her back, I decided to blog about it because I am all about sharing the wealth!

So how did I get started? 

COUCH TO 5K. 

Seriously. That is how I got started. It is the best way to train your body to run in my opinion.

You run for a little bit and then you walk for a little bit. The thing about running is that it is VERY mental. So the reason I like this program so much is that it builds up your mind.

If you can run for 3 minutes straight, then the next time when you run 4 minutes straight, you know you've got 3 minutes covered and you just have to work for that extra minute.

The other reason I like it is you can run your music at the same time. I'm not in the runner group that doesn't listen to music while they run. Music motivates me to move. So being able to have my music on made a huge difference for me.

The program continues to build up your time until you're ready for a 5K. 

(This isn't part of the question, but put a race about 10 weeks from the day you start Couch to 5K. It will keep you motivated to run.)

I ran three times a week.

I didn't put a race in front of me. And I'll admit it slowed things down a bit for me. I finished the program in March and started running the Couch to 10K at the end of March of last year. I didn't totally restart the program, but I did start at Week 3-4 because I started training outside. I ran through last summer. I saw my friend Emily run a half-marathon and it planted a seed in me that running a half was something that I wanted to do even though I didn't know it at the time. I just knew that I was so impressed by all the hard work she had done and how great she felt. Later that summer, I started asking a lot of questions and she told me about her women's running group that she was a part of and that I should totally do it.

By this time I had a base mileage of 4 miles. I joined the running group and last fall I ran my first half marathon.  I did one long run a week and then ran 2-3 additional maintenance runs throughout the week of 3-5 miles each time.

At what weight did you start running?

I started running from day one in my weight loss journey. I was 239 pounds. I also want to add that my sister started running from day one as well. We both know running is something that works for us. 

When I started Couch to 10K, I was down 35-40 pounds.

When I started training for my first half, I was down a little over 50 pounds.

Two things that made me believe that I could do it. The people on Biggest Loser were bigger than me and doing what I was doing.

And secondly, the interval training from Couch to 5K made running feel like it was manageable.

Hope this helps! If you have any other questions about running, let me know! I really do LOVE talking about it!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I eat before I go for a run.

I recently was asked what I eat before go for a run.

Runners are a bit on the superstitious side at times. I know I am If I find something that works for me that doesn't cause me to need to find a restroom in a hurry, while on a long run, then I am all about it.

I also eat the same thing before every run because I am a morning runner with one exception, my long run. The long run is in the morning, but I eat more. (Sorry for the confusion. I'm blonde.)

So what do I eat?

If I eat before a shorter run, I eat either a banana or a breakfast bar with nuts in it. I eat about a thirty minutes before I run.

For my long runs I eat both the banana ANNNNNND the breakfast bar.

Right now, I eat the Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Almond bar. It has almonds, oats, and almond butter in it. (For those of you with allergies, it has nuts, milk, soy and wheat.)

But the point is that I eat a little bit of protein before I run. I know lots of runners that like oatmeal, but I can't do it because of the texture. I'm a bit of a freak when it comes to weird textures.

As far as fuel during my long runs, I like Strawberry Clif Shot Bloks. I have two of them at 5 miles and 10 miles.

I also chew gum when I run. It keeps my mouth from getting dry. If my mouth is dry I think I need water and I slow waaaaaay down.

So yeah. That's what I eat.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend Recap: Arizona!

So after lunch at Chick-Fil-A on Saturday, I came to the hotel for a nap and a shower. (Side note about naps: I either have to take a 30 minute nap or a nap coma of about 3 and a half hours. Anything in between is no bueno. My head hurts and I'm cranky.)

As you can imagine I was a gem when Brandon woke me up for Chinese. As for dinner, it was great going in...coming out...not so much. I found an Arizona State University tshirt at Old Navy for $6. Brandon found a Yoda shirt. You know because he can't buy a Yoda shirt anywhere else. We came home and had an early night.

Sunday I woke up and got dressed and ready for church with Katie and family. It was great! I loved the sermon. After church, we hit up Paradise Bakery which is owned by Panera and is basically Arizona's version of Panera. I had a tuna sandwich with mac-n-cheese and a lemon zest cookie for lunch. Unsweet Tea with extra ice to drink. And it was deeeeeeeeelicious.

Then we hit up the gym. I got in a quick 3 mile run while Katie and her husband did their workouts. Afterwards we hit up the pool. We went down some seriously fun slides and I got a good start on my summer tan!

Katie and I then headed to Old Navy because DUH. We now have two shirts that are the same. I have a feeling that she is gonna wind up being like my sister and text me about something she got and I've already bought it or saw and liked it...states away! We also got to talk blog talk and not have to deal with our husbands look at us like we were aliens from outerspace. I've got a couple of new blogs to read now! I'm really excited because one is an Oklahoma girl and another is a runner! I happen to be biased towards both of those.

By this time Brandon was FINALLY done with his class for the day so we picked up him for some dinner!

We went to the mothership: In-N-Out. Y'all know I appreciate a good cheeseburger and fries. Truly, there is nothing like it. I've had In-N-Out before, but I've never had the animal fries.

Y'ALL. Animal fries are where it's at. For realz.

We might have ordered a second order of them.

After dinner we decided that we probably should go walk some of the damage we did off. So we hit up Tempe Marketplace. As we walked in we saw a picture of a man that looked just like Megan's husband Luke. Minus the sideburns and the necklace, it was totally him.

Then because we had all had a double double and animal fries, we figured we should have fro-yo. I wound up sharing with Katie's youngest, Drew. And y'all, he is the cutest little boy. If my boys look as cute as hers, then I'm sold on boys.

Then we came back to the hotel and passed out.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

I woke up today and went for a six mile run. Met up for lunch at Chick-fil-a and then went back to the pool. I stopped at Quik Trip on the way back to the hotel and got a DP and Cheddar and Sour Cream chips for a snack. The sun is still shining a ton. I'm super sad about going to back to cold Michigan. But I didn't dwell long. I opened up the curtains, let in the sun and I'm watching Ellen while waiting for Brandon to get back from class. 

We're going for a 3 mile run tonight in honor of the victims from the Boston Marathon and I can't wait. I've got my blue and yellow ready to go. We're having Mexican afterwards.

This has been such a great time! The sun has done wonders for my mood and I'm happy.

What did y'all do this weekend?  Happy Monday and Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Because if Snoop Dog can't help you get over yourself, then no one can.

Yesterday when I was on the plane from Atlanta to Phoenix, I started reading the Lysa Terkeust Made to Crave 60 day devotional.

But first a little back story....

These last 20 pounds are hard. And I've read over and over again that when a person loses a ton of weight, the last pounds are the hardest because it is harder to lose weight at that point, but it also determines the girls or boys from the men and the women. Basically, you have to dig deep and work hard and push through some last barriers. Not all of the barriers involve pushing yourself in your workouts harder. Most of them are emotional.

I read Lysa's 21 day devotional on the Bible app and LOVED it. I'm gonna be real honest for just a second. This whole weight loss thing...I haven't exactly relied on Christ as much as I should have. Her 21 day devotional opened my eyes to that tremendously.

So I knew that I needed to bite the bullet and buy her 60 day devotional.

Fast forward to yesterday on the plane. She has a "Thought for the day" at the beginning of the devotional and this was the first thought: "Unsettle me in the best kind of way. For when I allow your touch to reach the deepest parts of me--dark and dingy and hidden away too long--suddenly, a fresh wind of life twists and twirls and dances through my soul." 

HUFF.

And not one of those little ones either.

I'm talking, I sighed audibly, rolled my eyes, and pursed my lips tightly because I was so disgusted that God wanted me to just jump right into things.

And now for a little confessional: Hi my name is Samantha and I am a control freak. (Hi Samantha!)

I also have high anxiety.

When something out of my control happens, I am a hot flipping mess.

Some people struggle with patience or contentment, me I struggle with letting God be in control and just doing His work.

And I am hard core stubborn too. (I've heard it's an attorney thing.)

So when I read that sentence, I heard "DANGER WILL ROBINSON!" and I really thought, man I don't want to think this thought or pray this prayer, because when Jesus messes with me and works on my heart, it does not look pretty.

But I thought, I need to suck it up. And then I got cocky. I thought, He won't mess with me that bad.

Fast forward to me getting off the plane and me finding out Southwest lost my luggage.

ALERT. ALERT. DANGER. WILL. ROBINSON!!!

I was a class A grumpus. I hadn't seen my husband in two days. That is a long time for us, but I was so peturbed about it that I couldn't even enjoy seeing him and loving on him.

I wasn't myself when I got to meet Katie and her husband either. I was a complainer. I don't like complainers.

Katie has a serious heart of gold. I told her Southwest lost my luggage. She asked my shoe size and told me she'd be at our hotel to pick me up for a Target run so I could still run my race in the morning. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. This was the first time we met each other face to face too!

(Important Side Note: The High Coverage Sports Bra at Target is BETTER than the Moving Comfort Juno and it doesn't cost $50 either! #yeahIsaidit #andbythewayyouarewelcome )

And still after all that, you would think I would snap out of it. I knew it too. I commented on how I was annoyed with myself for being such a complainer. I get annoyed with them in life in general and I could feel myself getting ready to get disgusted with myself.

And yet...that night, I went to bed worrying about my luggage and woke up worrying about my luggage.

Brandon rolled over and took one look at me and said, "I can see it in your eyes. You need to go for a run so you will get over yourself about your luggage. It will get here. Stop worrying about it so you can enjoy your trip."

I definitely rolled my eyes and thought, "I shouldn't have read that stupid book."

I got up and got dressed and we hit up the race.

The whole time I kept feeling sorry for myself because I didn't have my running gear with me.

They played the Star Spangled Banner. Cue my first breaking moment. I was nervous about this run because the Pat Tillman race is in honor of a war hero. And in light of this week's events, it made it even more emotional for me.

And in that national anthem, I let go and I just let God start to move in me.

Twenty minutes later and we met Grumpus and her daughter Sourpuss who were so rude they wouldn't move to let a little girl and her momma get out of the corral because the little girl needed to pee.

At that point, I couldn't wait to run because A) I wanted to smoke them and 2) I needed to be with Jesus.

Running is almost a form of church to me. It is my time to pray and think and be with Jesus. I know I listen to rap music and I realize some might find that hypocritical. But when my feet hit the pavement, it is about nothing but me, God and the road. It is one of my ways to worship.

And let me tell you in that run, I just let God have it. I wasn't happy about my luggage.

The biggest reason that I was upset was because I didn't have my shoes.

I thought, if my luggage gets lost or stolen, then please let them take my Chi flat iron and Pandora bracelet, but man don't take my running shoes.

Runners are superstitious. We eat the same, we get dressed the same, etc. if in the past we've had a good race day afterwards.

Well I wasn't in my socks, knee brace, compression shorts, bra, tank, doo-rag, or my beloved shoes and I still had one of the best runs I've had in a long time.

Everything was set up to go so wrong. Instead, it went so right.

And I know that was God being in control of it.

I still had a pair of shoes, legs that worked, and clothes to wear. Who cares if I didn't have the other stuff? And when I realized that at Mile 2, it was so freeing.

Hebrews 12:1 says, Let us run with perseverance the race marked before us."

It doesn't say, "Let us run with Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s, a Moving comfort bra, compression shorts, running socks on in the race marked before us."

It just says, "Run it."

I ran it in 43:55. That is a 9:45 pace.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmhmmmm.

So when I got lost after the race because I left my phone in the car - because at this point, what else could go wrong, was gonna go wrong- I stopped myself and thought, what am I going to do?

Twenty minutes later, I could feel myself starting to get edgy. And then I prayed about it. "God guide me with your wisdom on this situation."

And I looked up and saw someone with an iPhone. Asked to borrow it and tweeted to Katie.

Met up with Katie less than five minutes later. I'd call it the power of Twitter and technology, if I didn't prefer to get hit over the head anymore about giving up the reins to God anymore.

We got into the car and headed to Chick-fil-a and Katie was showing me the sights. She told me about a rap concert that Snoop Dog had at a place in Tempe and her seriously adorable little girl Addison said, "Momma, what is a "Snoop Dog?"

And after a fit of giggles from the adults in the car, I realized, I didn't need all of my stuff to have that moment.

I just need people and I need Jesus.

So what is my point to this hot mess of a blog post?

Well it is this: When you pray for Jesus to unsettle you, get ready because He will. It will be ugly, messy and your worst parts will come out to show for the world to see, but also, you will have great stories and memories made and love shared and learned as well.

And it will totally be worth it.

Happy Saturday!

P.S. Not five minutes after we explained Snoop Dog and his conversion to Snoop Lion, I got a phone call from Southwest saying my bag had arrived and was on its way to my room.

Well played Jesus, well played.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The good ALWAYS wins.

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it." ~Helen Keller

"And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1

SO.

Yesterday, my flight to Phoenix was cancelled. I had to come back to the airport today. Then Southwest short-changed my luggage. I am praying that it is on its way to Phoenix already because they have my running shoes. 

(Yes, I know. I can't believe I didn't wear my running shoes either.)

(And yes, I know, I can't believe I didn't keep my bag with me either.)

(LESSONS. LEARNED.)

BUT.

I met a wonderful couple on the way to Phoenix and we talked movies, tv shows, music, current events, Atlanta, Kansas City BBQ, Michigan winter, law school, blogging, running, and careers. (Hi Stephen and Vicki Leigh!) It is my favorite in-flight conversation I've ever had and it totally made my day.

The Boston PD and FBI caught the marathon bomber. 'Merica!!

The weather is beautiful here in Phoenix.

My pal Katie has already found me a pair of shoes to borrow for tomorrow's Pat Tillman race in case my shoes aren't here in time.

I had pizza and wings tonight for dinner.

I get to have In-N-Out ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND Sonic while I am here.

I'm on break from school.

And even though some of these things are trivial, they are still good.

On days like today, when we all feel like the world is crashing, that is when finding the good counts the most!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday is "Cross-Training" Day.

Cross-training: refers to an athlete training in sports other than the one that athlete competes in with a goal of improving overall performance. It takes advantage of the particular effectiveness of each training method, while at the same time attempting to negate the shortcomings of that method by combining it with other methods that address its weaknesses. 

Five Things I've Noticed Cross Training Has Done for Me:

1. My pace is faster. I started out with lifting weights and then added Jillian Michaels to cross-train. I noticed that I was running quicker. I hit a race PR and realized that I'd shaved almost a minute and a half off my last time. And I kept it up.

2. I am losing inches in my arms and tummy. I've been losing inches all this time, but now my body is really starting to take a "fit" shape. It's awesome because I am losing inches in the hardest place (for me) to lose!

3. Running has paid off. - I don't know if any of y'all have done Jillian Michaels's The Shred, but she has a cardio segment. I felt like I could hang with the entire workout because I had such a background in running. In other words, the two workouts help each other out.

4. I'm not as sore post-run. I am stretching and working muscles that I don't when I run.

5. I feel more rested. I don't know if this is related, but before cross training, I slept best on the nights of the days I ran. Now that I cross train I sleep great all week!

Happy Wednesday! 

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert by any means. These are just differences that I have noticed in myself.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." - 2 Chronicles 20:12

I am holding onto these words tightly today.

Yesterday, when a friend told me about the Boston Marathon, it was like someone sticking a knife straight to my heart. This last year has been so freeing for me, and one of the keys to that freedom is running.

When I think about the running community and what happened yesterday it just makes me so sad. Runners are kind, compassionate, and so loving. When we see each other on race day, we smile at one another because we know the battles we've done to get to that day.

And every runner, no matter how little or far the distance they run, knows about Boston.

Boston is where the warriors of our tribe go to do battle. It is the race to run.

When I think about the community of runners, I think of them in terms of a tribe. Tribal members look out for one another. I also think about Jesus when I think about running because I see Him so often in runners and some of them don't even know it. The correlation between the two analogies is that both are helpers of the highest kind.

Yesterday was not the first time I've seen my people help one another after a race.

And it won't be the last. 

From something that was so awful, I keep seeing so much good. And I'm holding onto the good. I'm holding onto my people and to the love they so selflessly showed others.

I can't run today because I've got to study for finals. So I am going to do what I can. I've got one of my race shirts on and I am looking more forward than ever to run a race this weekend.

I'm praying for the victims, for my people, for the helpers, for Boston, and for our country.

And I'm gonna wear yellow and blue for Boston.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, April 15, 2013

On struggling with grace...

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."  - Ephesians 2:4-9

Grace Greater than Our Sin

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, 
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! 
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured, 
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled. 

Grace, grace, God’s grace, 
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within; 
Grace, grace, God’s grace, 
Grace that is greater than all our sin. 

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Do you ever struggle with giving yourself grace?"

For me the battle is about knowing when it is okay to give myself a break and the difference between that meaning a free ticket.

Jesus died for all of my sins. All of them.

And so it is hard sometimes to know when to be tough on myself and when not to be.

On the one hand, I know that forgiveness is mine, all I need to do is ask for it. And yet at the same time I know that I need to suck it up and make better choices so that I wouldn't land myself in needing forgiveness in the first place. 

I see this thought process translate to the people in my life. When I am hard on myself, I tend to be hard on others.

When I struggle with a particular sin, I do everything I can to cut it out. When I struggle with someone hurting me, I do everything in my power to cut them out of my life.

I don't think that is what a good friend would do. And yet, I do it more and more.

I realize that it is important to have people in my life to lift me up. But I think that the people who lift me up and encourage me will also be the ones who love me and challenge me when they know what I'm doing isn't producing the best version of me.

Does that make sense?

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Favorites

These are just a few things I'm enjoying this rainy Friday afternoon...

1. Starbucks - What is it about Starbucks that we love so much? For me, it's a warm caramel apple spice with a piece of very berry coffee cake. And the music! Oh the music...This is the only place that I can listen to music and it not disturb me while I study. I can just think with a clear mind. How does Starbucks do it?

2. The hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus - Lately, I've been struggling with loneliness. Law school is hard. And one of the things that makes it hard is that it basically is a big old gossip mill. In my opinion, the amount of gossip it is worse than the doctors from Grey's Anatomy and high school combined. I don't really have anyone that I can just call and be like, "Hey, I need to just vent" and that person get where I am coming from and the conversation just staying there. Don't get me wrong, I have been part of my fair share of the gossip mill. Who hasn't if they're being honest? But my point is that I miss good solid friends just being down the road. I'm really trying to be better about this.

All of my best pals are across the country and sometimes it just really sucks. Anyways, I figure I'm not the only person who struggles with this and so I wanted to pass along the lyrics to What a Friend We Have in Jesus. It's very old school, but I love it because it was written by a son for his mom who lived in Ireland, while he lived in Canada. And after some prayer and time with Jesus, I'm feeling much better. 

What a friend we have in Jesus, 
all our sins and griefs to bear! 
What a privilege to carry 
everything to God in prayer! 
O what peace we often forfeit, 
O what needless pain we bear, 
all because we do not carry 
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? 
Is there trouble anywhere? 
We should never be discouraged; 
take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Can we find a friend so faithful 
who will all our sorrows share? 
Jesus knows our every weakness; 
take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care? 
Precious Savior, still our refuge; 
take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? 
Take it to the Lord in prayer! 
In his arms he'll take and shield thee; 
thou wilt find a solace there.

3. Being a part of the planning committee for my high school reunion - I know lots of people aren't crazy about these things, but I guess I'm the oddball. Don't get me wrong, I loved college far more than I ever loved high school. I just think going home and seeing the place with the people you last saw it with before we "became adults" is something very unique and not to be missed.

4. Vintage Tees from Old Navy - I am obsessed with the vintage tees from Old Navy right now. Every time I go, I pick up a new color. They're so soft and the colors are so vibrant!

5. Having the iPad on the Kitchen Counter - We recently took the Coffee Maker off our kitchen counter because it basically sits there and collects dust unless our parents are in town. So we cleaned it up, put it away, and it freed up a ton of space! I put the iPad there and it has been wonderful. We can cook and keep up a recipe right there.

What are your favorites this Friday?

Happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What I wear when I go for a run in springtime.

Last fall, I wrote this post about what I wear when I run. I am a slacker and didn't write a post about what I wear in the winter time. Since, we are staying in Michigan, I'll have time for that post later.

DISCLAIMER: There are things that I've tried and liked. There are also things that I've tried and not liked. This is my current combo that works for me.

This go-round I'm gonna start with my feet and work my way up.

1. Running Shoes - I currently run in a size 9B Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s.  Notice how specific that was? I was fitted for them. If you're curious about what that experience is like, read this post.

Me Post- Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5K!
2. Socks - I like FitSok and Balega. They are low-cut and don't sink down into my shoes when I run. They also have great support! Find what works for you! I know lots of people like the Target Champion brand as well!

3. Compression capris - In the spring time, it can still be a bit chilly when I start running. So I keep my muscles warm with the capri, but when I warm up, I still have some breathing room at the bottom since the capris aren't a full pant. I like wearing compression pants, shorts, or capris because they hold my jiggle still. Running is mental enough as it is, I don't need another issue to cloud my mind on my "off" running days. Brand-wise I like Old Navy and UnderArmour. I've worn the Target brand, but feel like they lose their elasticity too quickly.

4. Fuel Belt - I am actually in the market for a fuel belt without a water bottle as a part of it. I was just talking to my running coach about it this Sunday because I need one since I'm doing runs that require me to fuel again. She had one on that had no water bottle. She and I are short waisted. We both talked about how the water bottles bruise us. In fact, after my halr-marathon last fall, my legs felt fine after a day and a half, but my back had a bad bruise that hurt for two weeks where the water bottle hit. I don't need a water bottle because any time I do a long run, there is always water provided. I carry Clif Shot Bloks, kleenex, and my car keys in my fuel belt.

(If you're a runner and have a good recommendation about this, send it my way!)

5. Sports Bra - I wear the Moving Comfort Juno. Moving Comfort is awesome and they have bra types for all. They are a bit pricey, but they have sales regularly.

6. Tech Shirts - Shirts as in plural. Like I said earlier, I start out cold, so I usually have on a tech tank top and a tech long sleeve shirt. The long sleeves get rolled up on occasion if it turns out to be warmer than anticipated. I have no preference on this brand so long as it is a tech shirt and relatively cheap, I'm down for it.

7. iPod - I never leave home without my tunes. I plan to post a playlist soon!

(If you're a runner, I need recommendations for headphones. I just haven't done this yet!)

8. Arm Band - I recently spent a little more money on an armband from Target. You can find it here. I had to get a new one because I now have an iPhone 5. Yes, I know that I run with an iPod and an iPhone. I run my NikePlus app on my iPhone and listen to music on the iPod. I don't run both on my phone because I have my phone on me for safety purposes and when I run for a long time it really runs down my battery.

9. Doo Rag and Ponytails -My hair is finally long enough for baby ponytails. I still wear my doo-rag. It is pretty gross at this point, but I don't care. I've had it since the beginning of my running journey and now I just can't part with it. I know some runners like Bic Bands and they support a good cause.

If you have any questions, please do NOT hesitate to ask! I love talking about this!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On farting rainbows and sunshine and unicorns.

I saw a post on Instagram the other day about how some bloggers are too rainbows and sunshine. For me, that is totally and completely true.  I post a lot of happy pictures.

And do you know what my response to those that are critical of that?

SO WHAT?

 I am so tired of Satan winning the battles that rage in our minds on a daily basis.

If you look at a picture of a woman with her best hair day and a cute outfit on Instagram and wish you could look like her or see kids dressed up in the cutest matching outfits and their hair is all in place, do yourself and me a favor, remember something: It is a single moment in time.  

The woman on the other side of the screen has her own personal set of "trouble spots" she is trying to hide JUST LIKE YOU. But for that moment, she is happy and wants to share her happiness with you. And those outfits their kids have on could have been a gift from a family member and that momma just wants to show how cute they look!

You know my other gripe? If I am having a good hair day or I like the way I look in an outfit, the entire world is gonna know about it. Or if the dogs did something funny or God finally decided to give into my grumbles about winter and allow spring to come on its merry way, then heck yes I'm gonna share it.  But I don't show you tons of pictures in my sweats, it doesn't make me less human or real. It is just my personal preference.

Happiness and life's wonders are few and far and between in this life.

So we have to choose to find the joy in life EVERY SINGLE DAY.

And when I have a good moment, I want to share it with the world. I want anyone who looks at my picture to feel the sunshine and happiness and wonderful that I feel. I think that is what the inventors of Instagram had in mind when they created it. They want people to share their lives with one another, to connect.

Also? Remember that there are so many things about you that make you wonderful. There is no one in the world like you.

DID YOU HEAR ME??

NO. ONE.

And that is no mistake. That is God at his finest and most intricate work.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14 NIV)

Decide you're going to win the battle of your mind.

If you have to, name five things that you love about yourself right then and there!

Do NOT let Satan come in and steal that feeling of happiness and replace it with envy, jealousy or bitterness.

Fight Satan back and CHOOSE JOY and share in the little bit of sunshine that person is trying to share with you!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Healthy Train Tuesday: NEVER give up!

Healthy Train Tuesday

This Week's Loss Gain: 1.8 pounds
Total Loss: 68.2 pounds

Starting Weight: 239 pounds
Current Weight: 170.8
Pounds to goal weight: 20.8
What I could have done differently in the past two weeks: Normally when I hit a milestone, I have a big meal during the next week, but that's it. I still lose weight. It's like the milestone pushes me further. This time, the week after I hit my milestone, it was Easter week. The last time I ate this poorly was when I was home for Christmas. So while I have no idea what I weighed last week, I'm sure I wouldn't have been happy with it. I had Mexican and a huge Easter dinner. Yeah. Not good.

The other thing that really messed with me is my new target number of 26. I don't know why, but seeing that number really messed with my head. I don't struggle with the scale. I see the scale once a week and that's it. But the target point number of 26 messed with me. When I am having solid weight loss each week it is because I give myself grace and allow myself to go over a few points each day, if necessary. I don't beat myself up about it. I see it as a challenge to get rid of it with more running and more cross-training.

But that being said, I knew that this part of the weight loss was going to be a battle for me. I'm getting down to my last pounds and it seems like it would be easier. I've been doing this for over a year now. I know the process, but that is when I think we are (and I am!) at our (my) most vulnerable. I find it analogous to coming forward and speaking up on your beliefs about being a Jesus follower. Every time I speak up, I feel like the next day, sometimes that next hour, I am tempted by Satan to see just how serious I am. This is the time when I have to decide how bad I want it.

How bad do I want to be healthy?
How bad do I want to be in the best shape possible?
How bad do I want to lose the weight?

I don't want y'all to think that I am being hard on myself. I'm not. I just think that it is important that others who are in this fight see that I struggle too. Fattitude is still an issue for me sometimes.

The important thing is because I have been doing this for over a year, I know what I need to do to move forward and take back the loss.

I still have a lot to be proud of, but I still have work to do.

I believe that I was made to be healthy.
I was made to be in the best shape possible.
I believe that I was made to lose this weight. 

I was made for more.

What I craved this week: Cokes. Seriously, the craving is still there and while it isn't as bad as it was, it is still there. It translated into other forms of sugar. It is a long hard process to get over these cravings.

What I noticed was different about my body: When I give myself grace aka allow myself to go over my daily point goal by 2-3 points every day, I do much better with my portions and self-control. I don't have an urge to eat everything in sight. I talked about this a bit above. So that is what I am going to do. Again.

Workouts I did this week: One long run, and a walk. The workout department sucked this week because of a hellacious project I had due.

Personal Goal for this week:
  • Hit all of my runs.
  • Do The Shred 4-5 times.
  • Give myself some grace.
  • Finish my school projects for this week.
Favorite Quote for this week: 

What I’m looking forward to: Losing weight, being done with these projects and Phoenix!!

Frame of Mind: I really hate how I struggle after every milestone. I almost don't want to celebrate it sometimes. I still struggle with wanting to celebrate with food. I think it is somewhat part of the Southern culture.

Someone dies. We eat.
Someone graduates. We eat.
Someone gets married. We eat.
Someone gets good grades. We eat.
Someone gets a job. We eat.
Someone has a bad day. We eat.
Someone sees family. We eat.
Someone hits a weight loss milestone. We eat.

It is a cycle. Now for almost half of those, my choices are better, but some of them are not.

It is still a struggle and the fight continues on!

How did your week go?

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weight Watchers and Fitness: What do you want to know?

Hi y'all!

I want to do a series about Weight Watchers and Exercise and how both have helped make a happier, healthier me.

Is there anything specific y'all want to know?

So far I am thinking about doing:

  • "Week in the Life of a Person on Weight Watchers"
  • Finding the Right Exercise for You
  • Cross Training- What I've Noticed
  • What I Wear When I Run -this changes based on season
I think I will post one of these posts a week that way they are spread out. It gives me time to write them and y'all don't get bored with fitness posts over and over again.

So come on! What do y'all want to know?

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weekend in Pictures.

This last week I had a doozy of a project due at school. It was due on Friday morning. I was finished with it early Thursday evening. But when I woke up Friday morning, I was still  happy happy happy.

After class, I ate lunch with my honey and my best pal B at this new salad place. It is worth noting that we also got a Starbucks in the same shopping center. This place already has a nail salon. No joke, I foresee a lot of quality time in the future. If my hair stylist moved to the area, I'd basically live there. No lie.

And speaking of my hair stylist...I got my hurr did on Friday afternoon.

I love it and it looks amazing! (I'm thinking this might be a new headshot for my blog!)

Friday night we went out for some Mexican. We finally found a decent Mexican restaurant. This was my date night outfit. I know what you're thinking, "Brandon got himself a hottie!" 

This is a better shot of my hair. This is also why I don't do the duck lips look. It's because I do it the best. And Kim K cries about it. 
I also have documented proof that I've been doing it longer. I was five years old here and thought I was a boss and tv star.
Saturday was spent doing more homework, going for a walk, watching a certain dog fight a nap on and off for about two hours.

Miss Sugar Ann has a sassy attitude. I have no idea where she gets it!

She finally passed out with Paisley by her side. It was precious.

Today I woke up for my long run. It was 8 miles that included 2 miles of hill repeats. My Nike GPS was crappy during the hill repeats with exercises in between the hill repeats and so I had to modify my run which I hate doing. My time is still getting better and I can't wait to try out the longer runs where I just run straight.

Came home and Brandon had prepared a rack of ribs, potatoes and veggies. It was delicious. I took my usual post-long run nap coma and we made a run to Old Navy. Came home and had a salad. We watched a little bit of Castle and now we're watching the ACM's getting ready for the week and doing more homework.

Hope your weekend was great!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A few little things I am loving this sunny Thursday afternoon...

Hi y'all,

I've been and am still knee deep in the land of the #lawschoolprobz for the past few days.

ANYWAYS.

I wanted to share some posts that I am loving lately...

Blog Posts...

1. This post by Beth Moore. She often hits the nail on the head and this post was no different. It spoke to me about so many different things including my path as a future attorney. I still am going back and re-reading it a week later. http://blog.lproof.org/2013/03/what-would-you-look-like.html

2. Yesterday my girl, Kodi, posted these two articles on Facebook and I immediately re-posted them. I thought my home church might blow up when they saw them, but thankfully, last I heard the place is still standing.

http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/2013/04/the-biblical-definition-of-marriage-and.html?m=1

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-obryant/thoughts-on-marriage-equality-from-a-bible-thumper-in-the-deep-south_b_2973415.html

They sum up my feelings on the matter.

3. As you know I am a lover of the Mama they call Boo. And her book comes out in two months!

Actually, if you want to know the truth, I run a half on June 2nd. Real Housewives of New Jersey returns that same night. And her lovely book arrives on my doorstep two days later.

HOT DOG Y'ALL!!

I am going to be emotionally spent that week to say the least. Too much wonderful in three days.

ANYWAYS.

(I really do apologize for my digression(s). The digression is especially obnoxious when I am hair-brained and running on questionable hygiene habits. )

Again. ANYWAYS. This blog post contains a link to the first chapter of her book and I am so excited to read her book.

http://boomama.net/2013/04/01/only-two-ish-months-away/

Music...

1. I think I have a slight case of nostalgia because I cannot get enough of the Summer Hits of the 90s station on Pandora.

2. Mama's Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert. It is so good that I even get to add this bad boy to my running playlist.

I was pumped about it. Brandon, clearly could care less as evidenced by our conversation we had earlier in the car today...

Brandon: (as the song is playing) Do you always have to bounce around like that when you sing to a song?
Me: Yes...but only in the car.
Brandon: Why do you bounce around because it is embarrassing?
Me: I have to determine if I can add it to my running playlist.
Brandon: And this is your method?
Me: Yes. Do you know how hard it is to find a song to add to a running playlist that is country?
Brandon: No, but I know how silly you look doing it. 

Hair Appointments...

I have one tomorrow!! Gonna get my hurr did. And it just pleases me to no end. 

What are you loving today? Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Healthy Train Tuesday: I messed up my weigh-in routine.

Healthy Train Tuesday

This Week's Loss: N/A ... I messed up my weigh-in routine this morning. I hopped into the shower before I weighed and I never consider what I weigh after I get ready in the morning to be accurate because my hair is always fixed curly on Tuesdays. When I fix my hair curly, it is always still a little damp until later in the day. Damp=Water and Water=Higher Weight.
Total Loss: 70 pounds

Starting Weight: 239 pounds
Current Weight: 169 pounds
Pounds to goal weight: 19 pounds


What I craved this week: Sugar. I know it has to do with my body having withdrawals from Cokes. It also didn't help that I bought three packages of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs.

What I noticed was different about my body: Getting rest is important for my body whether I am huge or small. After my long run on Sunday, I felt more sore than usual. I didn't get my nap almost immediately and it made a huge difference. I finally got a chance to lay down early Sunday evening and my body felt so much better. At the same time, I really liked being on the go that day. So it is a balancing act that I will need to figure out. 

Workouts I did this week: Three runs and two days of Shred. I was so disappointed that I fell off the Shred train. Watching Friday Night Lights was funner. Thankfully, we finished watching that on Sunday night. It is also a good thing because I have major projects due within the next few weeks. The biggest bear is due this Friday, so if I am scarce around here, that's why.

Personal Goal for this week:
  • I switched my point break down to where I use my activity points first and then my flex points. My goal this week is the ultimate: to use neither.
  • Run three times (including an 8 mile run!)
  • Do the Shred 5 times. I have decided that the cross-training is effective, but I need to give my body a break somewhat especially on my long run day. On my shortest run day, I will do the Shred because I like doing each level for ten days. Plus with finals, I feel like this is manageable time-wise. After finals, I plan to go back to doing it every day of the week whether I run 10 miles or not.
Favorite Quote for this week:
 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” - John 20:26-29

What I’m looking forward to: This Friday at 9am. No joke, I can't wait for this beast of a project to be gone. I still have a lot of work ahead of me after this project, but it is manageable from there on out until finals are over. It also helps that I like the projects I'm working on after Friday. I also am looking forward to my hair appointment on Friday.

Frame of Mind: I have a to-do list that I draft every morning and it keeps me going. I also have less exposure to The Twitter and Insta' during finals time. And you know what? My mind is somewhat clearer about the world around me and my life decisions. There is something to be said for this and I am still trying to figure out what that means.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Re-Cap and An Introduction

Yesterday I got up earlier than usual on Sunday to get in my run. As I mentioned earlier in the week, we had been invited to one of my law school buddies home church and family home for Easter lunch. She also started running with the running group I'm a part of yesterday. So we headed out bright and early to get in our long run for the week.

It poured the entire time I ran and I was miserable. I hate running in the rain. I don't like rain a whole lot period except when I am sleeping because hello, BEST SLEEP EVER. Other than that, I'm out on rain. It cleared when I was finishing because that is how these things always work. I also had to re-start my iPod three times because it was acting spastic due to the rain.

We raced home and I hopped into the shower to get ready. Brandon made us wonderful smoothies that included frozen strawberries, mangos, peaches and pinapples, one container of greek yogurt and a half cup of milk. Ice and a little bit of water of course. It's 4 WWPlus points. We headed to church. The service was wonderful and the church has a lovely bay window where the pastor stands.

Afterwards, we headed to R's parents' house. We had appetizers that included a veggie tray, a fruit tray, and a cheese and crackers tray. For Easter dinner the menu included turkey, ham, carrots, green bean casserole, and rolls. The desserts were cupcakes that were either German Chocolate, Strawberry cheesecake or Red Velvet cake, vanilla oreos dipped in pink dyed milk chocolate, Russian teacakes, and turtle cake. I ate way too much and it was all soooooooooo good.

But the best part was being around a family. I had such a great day watching everyone love on each other and hearing all the family stories was so fun. I missed my family a ton yesterday of course, but being around R's family eased that pain. I don't know if she will ever know how much her simple invitation blessed me.

We went home and watched the rest of Friday Night Lights, had dinner and then I went to sleep. All in all it was a great Easter.

*******************************************************   

I realized that I haven't done an introduction post in quite some time. So for those of you that don't know me here is a quick little intro.

My name is Samantha and I'm the writer of the ruby Turtle hippie times. I'm a Sooner. My love for my alma mater knows no bounds. I'm a runner and I am on Weight Watchers. If you're curious about my weight loss journey, click here.

My husband's name is Brandon. We are native Oklahomans. But we currently live in Michigan. I'm in law school here. We have two bulldogs, one is a Frenchie named Paisley and the second is a Boxer named Sugar Ann.

We currently feel like God is calling us to stay in Michigan post law school. We expect the next few months to be interesting because when God moves, it is never dull.

I hope y'all stick around for awhile.

Happy April!


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Hi y'all! The name's Samantha. You can call me Sam if you like. I am a lover to a boy I met at Falls Creek in the summer of 2005, that is a student of Jesus, a Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I'll be Sooner dead, Democrat by party, blonde to the core, and oldies but goodies kind of girl.
The Ruby Turtle Hippie Times
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