Monday, November 26, 2012

On the right track

Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday!  (And NO.  Not because of the fat girl inside of me who wants to stuff her face uncontrollably!)

(Okay.  Maybe that's a little of the reason.)

But really, I love the holiday because it brings so many family traditions!  It means family time!  It is the one holiday that hasn't been overly commercialized!

So here's the recap on the happenings around here...

Thanksgiving morning started off with a bang!  One of our neighbors started a new tradition...she hosted a Turkey Trot.  Each of us brought a can of food as our race entry.  My girls were SO excited to run in their "very first race."  That morning it was chilly, but there was a great turn out!

I decided to run the race with Red Kitty.  She actually did really well despite no previous running.  We finished together at about 45 minutes.  She thought it was the COOLEST THING EVER!  She is already asking when she can run in her next race!  Tata, on the other hand, was quite funny.  She finished behind us with Jason.  As she crossed the finish line, I asked if this makes her want to run another race.  Her response:  "Um.  No.  Not really."  She was by far less than enthused about it.  

After the race, we came home and finished cooking.  We had a delicious spread of food...

Needless to say, I ate way more than I should have!  I tired to be aware.  I knew that I didn't want to blow it over one weekend.  But I also didn't want to deprive myself on the things I love most and only eat once a year.  I feel I did okay....much better than in years past, but there is still room for improvement in years to come!

I told myself I wouldn't step on the scale until Monday (today).  That way, I'd give myself time to adjust after the large meal.  I had also hoped to get in some runs.....but, that didn't happen!  :(  In fact, I've been quite the slacker on my half training over the last week.  But today I started fresh!  The holiday is over...the weekend is's time to get back down to business!

Plus, I wanted to try out these babies:

These are my black friday deal/early Christmas gift from my MIL.  I love them.  Actually, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!  They are soooooo comfortable!  I've been wearing them around all weekend to break them in.  Today was my first time running in them.  I felt amazing!  No knee pain, no shin splints!  Sure, I only went 3 miles...but I really could tell the difference!  Good shoes make all the difference when running!

So long story short:  the weekend was full of so many fantastic traditions (most of which I decided I wouldn't bore you with on here, and instead I'll write about on my family blog).  It was full of delicious food, awesome shopping deals, but mostly.....the weekend is now over.  I am not on holiday any longer!

I even weighed in on the scale to make myself accountable:  Today I was at 158.6.  (Thursday I was 157.4)  So it looks like I'm up 1.2 pounds....not too shabby after all the crap I shoved in my pie hole!

My advice to each of you:  THANKSGIVING IS OVER!  Do NOT allow yourself to continue on through the holidays on a free pass!  Today is Monday.  Today is fresh.  Today you are back on track.....right????

Friday, November 16, 2012


I figured since I was going to Hawaii in May, I might as well try and make the most out of it!  And one of my bucket list items is to run a race in every state in the United States.

So.  I did a little researching, and wahlah!  There is a 1/2 Marathon in Honolulu on Sunday May 26...the day after we arrive.

You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be running in it!  (and it sounds like my mom and hubby are too!!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Because I can

Today was my big, scary long run.

Actually.  I wasn't that scared.  I knew I could go 7, so if I could go 7....8 can't be that much different, right?

Today I decided to eat something before I began my run.  Usually, I just go out and eat later.  But when I ran 7 miles I realized I was lagging for energy a little bit.  So today I started with a piece of toast covered in PB and honey.  (Great for carb, protein, and a little sugar.)

As I ran, I was really enjoying myself.  I paced myself (as I always do on my long runs) and kept my heart rate under the 170 mark.

Mile 1:  a little chilly.  It took about this whole first mile to get my legs warmed up.

Mile 2:  went by in a breeze.  I felt like I was running so slow, but I knew I had to pace myself.

Mile 3:  a lot of this mile was down hill (hence my 10:03 pace for this mile).  I cracked open the sports beans at this point.  (Today was also the first time I've supplemented with something along the run to eat.)

Mile 4:  I was feeling great at mile 4....probably because I knew I was 1/2 done!  :)

Mile 5:  More beans were popped.  This mile was tough for me.  It was a steady incline and my hips were sore.  I wanted to walk.  SO BAD!  Luckily, the song playing in my ear kept me going "some times you just feel tired....  feel weak...when you feel weak and you feel like you just wanna give up...  you gotta find that inner do not give up....till I collapse....."

Mile 6:  I popped 2 more beans.  I kept telling myself 2 more miles....2 more miles, it's like nothing.  This is when my Gym Class Heroes came on.... "until the referee rings the bell, until both your eyes start to swell.....give 'em hell.  Turn your head.  Gonna live life till your dead!.....then you say to me THERE GOES A FIGHTER!"  I may or may not have been singing OUT LOUD as I ran this mile.....

Mile 7:  This mile was mostly downhill.  It wasn't too bad.  I was on a busy road, enjoying the cars as they passed.  I'm a people watcher.  And I pretend that others are too.  So running on a public road makes me run better and faster (and not stop) because I always say to myself...'what if your neighbor is the next car that don't wanna be walking!'  :)

Mile 8:  This mile was TRICKY!  I had told myself that after the last climb, it was all downhill.  Only.  I forgot the rather lengthy stretch of uphill that I had to do one more time.  I was tired.  And I was sore. And I REALLY wanted to walk!  So my music yet again got me through it.....thank you Kelly!  "think you got the best of me...think you had the last laugh...think you left me broken you don't know me cuz you're dead wrong!  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger....what doesn't kill you make a fighter....stand a little taller....just me, myself, and I...."

And there you have it.  8 miles, done!

And the best part:  I don't even feel dead.  I feel I can still function the rest of the day.  Yes, I ended up taking an ice bath to help my sore hip.  But other than that, I feel pretty dang great!

Don't get me wrong.  There are days I don't want to run!  In fact, there are many days I have to just suck it up buttercup.  But today was not one of those days.  Today I ran because I can!  Today I marveled at the progress my body has made....I remember back just in July I couldn't even run a minute straight.  Yes.  You read that right.....I couldn't run ONE MINUTE STRAIGHT.  I wanted to collapse and die right then and there on my treadmill!

So no matter where you are on this journey of too can make a difference for yourself!  Maybe you are at the starting line.  Maybe you feel you are re-starting at the starting line AGAIN.  Maybe you are part of the way through but thinking of turning around.  Maybe you feel you are making great progress.  Maybe you have been making great progress and now you've plateaued.  Maybe you are discouraged.  Maybe you are excited.  Maybe you are overwhelmed or scared......

Here's the thing.  I've been all those things!  And truthfully, I still am.  This process of getting healthy is one that takes an EVERY DAY COMMITMENT.  But slowly, as you recommit everyday you realize how much stronger you have become!  You realize you are doing this for yourself!  You realize that YOU ARE WORTH IT!

So get up, RIGHT NOW, and go make today a success!  (Then, come back and tell me about it!  Shoot me off an email, leave me a comment...I want to hear about how you celebrated being you today!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More sixes

It seems there is a lot of six happening around my house right now.  I'm now wearing is my babies sixth birthday!  And lastly, I've got a six mile run up my sleeve when it warms up a little.

I'm excited for todays run.  Real excited to get a good one under my belt.

It's Thursday's run that has me a bit nervous, you know...when I go 8 miles.

Post 6 mile run:  
Todays run was beautiful.  Honestly, if my lungs would have been cooperating I would have said I loved it!  But I was struggling to breath and had to use my rescue inhaler more than I wanted.  Mile 4 was KILLER!  I remember running that mile and wanting to come home and the details from that mile.  It was by far my worst mile, and it was also by far the mile with a HUGE incline!  (Hence my difficulty breathing and slow pace!)

I was hoping to finish under an hour....sadly, I was just shy of that goal.  Here are my splits:
9:38, 9:45, 10:12, 11:10, 10:28, 10:08.  I tried to push really hard that last mile to get under the hour mark but I was exhausted and by that point I just had to focus on putting one foot in front of the other to finish.  

Average pace:  10:14 min/mile.  

I just compared my last 6 mile run to this one and was surprised that despite feeling like it was a slow run, I actually shaved 2.5 min off my overall pace.  Maybe I am getting faster even if it doesn't feel like it....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Beautiful moments.

I love beautiful moments!

Beautiful moments like these...

Before going to the store, I had my regular 8's on.  You know, the ones I wear comfortably.  (Without needing to unbutton when taking them off.)  I realized they were getting a little lose and wanted to "try" the next size down.  But it didn't dawn on me that the next size down was a SIX!  A blasted SIX!

When I tried these babies on I stood there shocked.  Seriously.  I was stunned beyond belief that I, Alisha Bowling, fit in a freaking 6 jegging!  I stumbled out of the dressing room in a daze.  Who woulda thunk that I could get to be a size 6?!

People, size 6 was my 'well maybe one day if I work really hard a size 6 will be my goal size'.  I'm at a SIX now.  (And I didn't want to tear the tags off because really I wanted to shout from the roof top to the entire world that I AM A SIX!)

I've come a long way from my 20's not so long ago.....

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lets be honest.

It is always easier to blog when things are going great.  You know, when I'm losing!  When I'm eating great!  When I'm doing what I know I need to do.

It is not always easy to blog when I'm not.

I've been struggling a bit.

Okay.  That's a lie.  I've been struggling a lot.

I haven't been able to quiet the negative self talk.  Which then causes me to enter "the cycle."  Let me describe it...maybe you can relate?

Negative self talk....negative self talk makes me feel like crap....I feel like crap so I reach out to food....I reach out to food and I feel like crap....I feel like crap so I don't exercise as much....the scale goes up....negative self talk happens.....rinse and repeat.

I've done a lot of thinking since my last post.  And I decided more than anything, I want people to know I'm normal.  I have bad weeks (or bad months!).  This journey has not been a straight loss for me.  I've hit major bumps, and I still continue to hit them from time to time.

I have hit a bump now.

And the last thing I wanted to do was blog about it because honestly, I felt dumb.

I mean really.  Who gets into the 140's and then gains all the way back up?  Me.  I do.  I did.  And I have been VERY hard on myself for it.

Sure, I could make you a million excuses:  school is hard, my life is full of stress, etc, etc, etc.

Ultimately, it hurts to know that I was so close YET AGAIN and then I fell into the self sabotage mode.  I've been down on myself for not finishing what I was SO CLOSE to finishing.  Really down.  But I've had a few ahh-ha moments I want to share.

1.  I may be frustrated with where I'm at in the moment, but that doesn't take away what I've done up until this point.  I have lost a lot of weight.  And I've managed to keep most of it off.

2.  I need to find joy in this journey.  My focus this next week is to find the moments when I can appreciate exactly where I'm at TODAY.  Sure, I may not be where I hoped to be.  But I'm a crap load ahead of where I used to be!

So while I intended to stop blogging for a while, I realize I actually need it.  I need to stay focused.  I need to STOP GAINING!  I need to be grateful for how far I've come.  And although I have to re-lose weight AGAIN, this is what the journey is about.  There isn't a finish line.  Rather, there is a lifetime of work ahead to maintain my health.

So no matter where you are in YOUR journey, take a fresh look at yourself TODAY.  Be proud of who you are!  And no matter what, DON'T GIVE UP ON YOURSELF!  I realize it's easy to do (stupid negative self talk!).  But really YOU deserve the best!  You DESERVE to hit your goals!  Maybe life has gotten hard for you too, that doesn't mean we give up on our goals.  Maybe we have to adjust the "finish date" but that doesn't take anything away from the end goal!

Continue working toward being the you you want to be and before you know it, you'll be there!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


It probably won't come as a surprise to the few who read this, but I'm taking a break from the blog for a bit.  My mind and head aren't in a very good spot and the last thing I'm going to do is come here and whine and complain about it.  That's not why I set this blog up.

Right now my head is jumbled.  And I have to work things out for myself.  I have to find me again.  Maybe it will take a day.  Maybe a week.  Maybe it will be a month.

I just need time.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Eyes wide opened.

My eyes have been opened.  Wide opened.

As time passes and I continue to work on losing weight, sometimes I forget how far I've come.  Sometimes I get used to my body and forget how big I used to be.

While out hiking with the family, I was carrying Bubba on my back.  I was calculating how much the carrier weighed, how much he weighed.  Then I realized that if I carried him, the carrier, AND my 5 year old daughter I would weight just about what I was at my highest (230+ pounds!)

I even walked down the path for a bit carrying them both just to really feel what it was like.  

It was heavy.  

And honestly, I can't believe I was carrying around that amount of weight on a daily basis.

So while my journey may be slower than I hoped for, I can sit here and realize that I have made significant progress.  I have worked hard to shed the weight of 2 children (and a carrier).  I have worked hard to become healthier, and I haven't stopped.  

Sure, there have been times I've been sidetracked.  There have even been times that I gained some of it back, only to have to lose it again.  But I think if we are all being honest, that is the typical path of life.  Losing weight is not a destination.  There is no finish line for this accomplishment.  

Instead, it will be a life long change of lifestyle habits.  It will be a life long focus on continuing to stay healthy.

I get asked a lot, "how did you do it?"

THERE IS NO MAGIC RED BUTTON TO PUSH!  I did it by walking.  A LOT!  And eating foods that are good for my body.  And walking a lot more.  And now I've added in running.  The big secret is the one we all already know.....healthy eating; eating fewer calories than you burn.  

So while sometimes I might get discouraged at what I don't yet look I was amazed at just how far I've come!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I have neglected my little blog.  (And coincidently, I have neglected myself.)

I've been in a funk.

We went up to SLC to visit family a few weeks back and ever since I came home I haven't been myself.  I've found myself diving head first into candy bowls, I've found myself making excuses as to why I don't need to run.  I've found myself averaging less and less steps daily.

Then, I realized:  THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!

This is exactly what I did last year.  Halloween came and went and I decided that I could move less and eat more.  The weight came on and I did nothing about it for 7 months.  This is exactly what I do when I am SOOOOOOO close to what I have considered impossible for quite some time now.

You see, I have always said I wanted to see 145 on the scale.  But I never really knew if that was possible.  So each time I get close (this year, I've been closer than EVER!) I enter into self-sabotage mode.

It's depressing.

It's humiliating.

It's frustrating.

So here I am.  Now.  Again, losing the weight I've already lost.  Luckily, I caught it this time.  I am only up a few.  And now I'm working back down to where I need to be...back to where I thought was impossible.

Because ultimately, my goal for January 1, NEVER have to make another resolution to lose weight again!

I've got some work to do, but I have put my head down and I am gonna get there!

Days like this help.....(short story that I definitely want to remember)...

Today I set out to run 7 miles.  (My longest run yet in my training for the 1/2 marathon.)  I was feeling good, a little chilly, but good.  That is, until mile 5 hit me.  At 5.5 miles I started the uphill portion of the run.  And I think it was knowing that the remainder of my run would all be uphill that had me worried. I was struggling.  I was thinking about walking.

I honestly thought in my head 'who would even know if I walked a portion right now."

It was at that moment that 3 city workers stopped the work they were doing on a golf course and came to the edge of the street and began clapping.  (Well, 2 were clapping and 1 was giving me a thumbs up and yelled "You can do it!")

It just so happens that at that exact moment, the lyrics to the song in my ears were "I have been blessed, and it feels like I found my way.  I thank God for all I've been given at the end of every day.  I have been blessed."  

It's safe to say that my eyes began filling with tears.  I realized how far my body has come.  I realized that just back in July I couldn't even run 1.5 MINUTES without dying!  Now I was running miles and miles.

I felt blessed.

And I finished the run strong.

I love the tender mercies that get me through the hard times in makes me feel not so alone even when difficult challenges lie ahead.  (in my runs, and in my life in general!)

Hopefully you can take a step back and find the tender mercies in your life as well, because I promise they are there!

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