My journey to battle the inner voice that keeps me chunky … Starting with finishing The Rugged Maniac on May 31, 2014

Monthly Archives: January 2014

30 minute bike ride using indoor trainer. Uses c25k program to interval train

10 minutes of planks and other ab exercises, 5 minutes on biceps and triceps.


So my plan is to take the rugged maniac training one month at a time.

January’s goal was to improve my nutrition and to reintroduce my body to being active.

How’d it go?
I’d say I met my goal. I could have done better in some areas. I’m eating cleaner. Way less processed junk, way less sugar and white bread. Over the years I’ve learned that the number one way for me to not eat healthy is to be too rigid. Making a rule that I can’t eat something seems to create a cascade of cravings that always wins in the end. So my approach this month is “one good choice at a time”. My theory is that if each choice is independent of the others than making the occasional bad nutritional choice in no way effects my next decisions. Yes, I’ve made a few not so good health choices this month but I haven’t derailed. I’m still moving forward one choice at a time.

Surprisingly, cutting the sugar and flour had some impressive effects on my over all health. My allergies have improved dramatically. In a month I’ve gone from taking Zyrtec nearly every night year round with daily symptoms to taking Zyrtec once or twice a week. My sinuses aren’t perfect but are much clearer. My gut issues have nearly resolved. My energy level has improved. None of these effects were expected but I’m not complaining.

Oh, and I’ve lost 10 lbs so that’s not too bad either…

Fitness this month has been inconsistent but I was much more active then previously. I did a few run / walks, several walks, went roller skating, did planks or other core exercises most days and am trying to move more and sit less.

For February my primary goal is to begin an organized fitness routine. Let the actual training begin!!! The plan is simple. Cardio at least 30 minutes a day 6 days a week, alternating bike rides (mostly on my indoor trainer) with walk/run sessions using the couch 2 5k application on my phone. For strength training I’m planning at least 10 minutes of strength training with a strong emphasis on core (planks, Pilates) a day. Of course I will also stretch, first of all because I love stretching and second of all because flexibility is a key component of good health and helps reduce the risk of injury.

My plan is to post each days workout here so please add your thoughts, comments and suggestions anytime and if I’m not posting it means I’m not working out so feel free to call me out!

How about you? How are you getting healthier this month? Why not set a goal & post it in my comments so we can get healthier together?

Happy Friday and good health to you!


So often in life we worry about such trivial crap. Little things that don’t really make a difference. We think they do … Until something really important socks you in the stomach. Hitting you so hard you kneel over as of you’d really been hit.

A little over a week ago I sat in my car waiting for a client to finish lunch so we could head into an appointment. Always a fidgeter I glanced at Facebook on my phone, just for a second. In the world of mundane and silly updates and tidbits were the words “The cancer has spread to my spine”.

The words came from a kind and gentle friend. A wife and mom of two young girls. A women who in her 30ish years of life has drawn more than her share of short straws and yet keeps on smiling through it.

I took a long slow breath and shook the shock from my suddenly stiff body. Smiling at my client and cursing my fidgets. The words stung. I wanted so badly for them not to be true but of course they were…

And the worst part is… I don’t know how to help. All the years of nursing, the hospice training… The knowledge means nothing when you are watching a friend endure so much mentally and physically.

What are the right words to say? Does hallmark make a card for that? I’m sorry you are being cheated out of your best years. I’m sure your kids will be okay. There is no good answer. No right words only trying to take it all in and keep breathing through it.

So there are moments. Today my work day derailed a bit and another good friend and I went to visit. To sit and to be with our dear friend, to sit in the knowledge that there is absolutely nothing we can to to fix this situation. But we can chat and we can talk about the future because through it all our bible based hope keeps us grounded. And… We can play cribbage… And we can be…

Just be. Because today we have this moment…


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I reached my first mini weight loss goal and this was my reward, a new miche bag with two covers from a local consignment store!

Have a great weekend!


My son, Zephaniah is an amazing little boy. I am a proud mommy. He makes me smile and I take delight in watching each little step he takes toward becoming the kind hearted, strong young man I imagine he will become. He is quick and highly verbal and pretty much a cool kid (I am not going to tell him all of this however, I’m trying to keep him humble). Zeph is also scared; of the dark, of being too close to the edge when hiking, of falling off his bike, etc, etc, etc… He is only four and a half so fear may seem par for the course but here’s the catch…he reminds me of me… How did it happen that he already shares my propensity for fear? Is it genetic? Did I mess him up already with my abundance of anxieties?

And one more catch… It turns out only mommy can help him work out his fears. You see in our family we have the fears and the fear-nots. My husband and my two stepkids, Kailey and Evan are the fear nots. They are ready to try anything anytime. Climb those rocks? Sure. Take that jump on your bike? Sure. Skydive? Good chance, but don’t worry, it’s not an option. Zeph and I, we are the fears. What’s crazy is Zeph has already figured that out. If dad (who he adores, by the way) pushes him to do something he’s afraid of he cries, fusses or explains “I’m just a little kid, I can’t do that”. If mom pushes him to do what he’s afraid of… He does it. Sometimes it’s difficult but he does it. We even have a system. We have silly fears and smart fears. Silly fears are things like walking down the hall in the dark or walking over a grated dock… No real danger exists. Smart fears keep us safe. We listen to smart fears. We tell silly fears to be quiet and we do what we want to do.

The theory may sound a little funny… But the look on his face when he conquers that fear, it is a beautiful thing. “Look mom, I’m a big kid”, he says, his face beaming with pride. And then I beam with pride… Because if I can help him overcome his fear… Well that’s just … Awesome!!!

Yesterday, he overcame a big fear. He learned to ride his two wheeler, with no training wheels. As I watched him I felt my stomach lurch each time he almost fell, those familiar fears returning, but I didn’t let it show, I gave him space, I let him fall, I made a video like any proud mom does. As I watched I realized my four year old can ride a bike. Which is really stinking cool! Plus, he can conquer his fears. He is already beating the same fears that took me … Let’s just say a while. And if he can do it… then so can I.


The greatest discoveries come from confronting your fears, taking a chance, and not being afraid to make a mistake. Mistakes are often the best lesson in life. – Anand Varma National Geographic Young Explorer


The Rugged Maniac left my radar Friday night… Some days it’s hard to keep my goal front and center anyways.  I have a few other things on my plate, a four year old who is in an amazing truth serum, overcoming fears of everything, fit throwing phase; his big brother who loves to incite fits just so he can watch his brother get in trouble, trying to run a business and catch up a stack of paperwork that looks a little like the Eiffel tower… but it’s all good, a normal day until … it wasn’t.  It all started Friday afternoon. The four year old, my hubby and I were headed to Camas to pick up my stepkids from school.  We wanted to do something fun, something different and something that wouldn’t cost a ton of money.  I sat in the car surfing the web on my trusty I-phone for cool ideas.  And then I found it… the Rose City Dog Show… a huge dog show… 175 breeds …$20 for a family admission.  My children LOVE dogs and we had never gone to a dog show so it was a great idea.  We headed toward the expo center and then it got even better, we were so close to closing that all the money takers had gone home… no parking cost and security waved us in… sweet … free is even better than $20.  We wandered around the now sleepy dog show.  Massage… I wasn’t expecting that option … but there it was a booth offering massage $20 for 15 minutes.  My neck had been sore all week so massage sounded AMAZING… but we had these three kids to keep entertained… and I knew my hubby would love a massage too…what if we split one 15 minute massage… 7.5 minutes each?  It was a start right?  And so the end began. I laid face down on the massage table.  Soon my nose was plugged but my neck and shoulders were loose.  As the massage ended and we meandered away I noticed that my throat was sore and my head hurt. Where did that come from?  Oh well,  I just need to flush my system, a bit of fluids and I should be fine.  But, I wasn’t.  Within an hour I felt like I had been attacked by some sort of horrific influenza and by the time I got home I was miserable.  Headache, chills, body aches.  After a restless night I woke up feeling worse. Somehow, the massage had opened the way to some sort of horrific sickness.  My full day of our volunteer ministry and a hike didn’t sound too likely at this point.  My dear husband, who doesn’t believe in sick days convinced me to shake it off and push through which I gradually did.  With our plans altered by my suddenly weakened state we found ourselves having coffee and then headed to Cascade Locks to visit some dear friends who are about to venture to South Korea.  As the day progressed my mystery illness returned.  By Sunday morning my right tonsil looked like a rotting plum tomato, big and red with lots of disturbing white patches.  I hate being sick. Hate…hate…hate being sick. 

But like most things in my life I approach being sick like a task.  I can afford to be sick for the next 36 hours.  In order to get better in 36 hours what do I need to do?  How do avoid the cost of going to the doctor?  I need a plan… and so it was.  My plan was very simple… lots of fluid, salt water gargles, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, garlic. Pretty much any immune booster / natural antiviral / antibacterial substance I could find.  This approach completely ruins any kind of scientific approach.  I have no idea what caused the plum tomato tonsil to turn to a rotten grape tomato by Monday morning but it worked… I wasn’t healed but was healthy enough for a walk on Portland’s waterfront and tonight … I almost feel human.  And I haven’t been to a doctor.  I don’t have a prescription for antibiotics.  Which I like.  Because while antibiotics are life savers they are chemicals that I would rather save for when they are truly needed.  

So that was my weekend.. so much for working out… but at least I feel better… 

Good health to you! 

PS.. No part of this post is intended as medical advice.  If you are ill please contact your physician…