Just Heather


A few months ago, there was a big hullabaloo when some magazine used a cancer survivor’s race photo to make fun of “women thinking tutus make them run faster.” I no longer even remember the magazine nor do I care enough to look it up. But, I did find the whole thing completely ridiculous, even beyond the outrage over it all.

Tutus are not about being faster. Silly race socks are not about speed. A running skirt won’t make me fly. But dressing up for a race makes it a lot more fun. In a costume, I can be someone completely different. I can be a runner — who would have thought?

Today, I visited the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo to pickup my race packet and walked through the vendor booths. I collected a little swag, stopped by to thank McDonald’s for their support of my efforts, and checked out a few shops, not at all intending to buy anything.

And then I saw them. Wonder Woman race socks. Complete with a cape. You guys! I have been wanting these for ages, but I have never found them anywhere and have yet to justify ordering them. But there they were — and I had birthday money in my pocket!

I’m kinda regretting that I didn’t buy the matching tutu, but I am now the proud owner of Wonder Woman socks . And you know what? They will make me run faster. Because this time, I was content to walk this 5K. I’ve been such a slacker about training, but I’m going to give running my best shot anyway.

Because I want to see those capes fly. (Someone take a picture; I can’t actually see behind me.) Whatever it takes, right?



Disclosure: Mcdonald’s of Central Indiana has provided benefits, including free Finish Line 500 Festival 5K registration, an ArchCard, a t-shirt, and giveaway products in exchange for my participation in this campaign.

I was doing pretty well with my kinda, sorta moderation and my barely there, slacker fitness. I had lost 5 pounds in two weeks. And then it was Easter.

Easter candy is my greatest weakness — Cadbury Caramel eggs, Peeps, chocolate bunnies, and the greatest candy ever created, Reese’s eggs. I was doing well with one (okay, two) pieces each day, with a little exercise on the side. But suddenly, it was all just there. Easter baskets full, clearance shelves well-stocked, and my cart suddenly full.

For a solid week, I basically gorged on Easter candy. The good news is, it’s nearly gone, so I can start over again. The bad news is I gained 2 pounds. In a week. Once I realized it, my eating went back to “normal” with candy in moderation.

That’s the key with all of it — moderation. While I once drank soda all day, every day, I now allow myself one every day or so. And while I used to eat candy whenever I wanted, I now try to stick with one treat per day. I don’t have a lot of indulgences, really.

Most of the day, it’s all about the rest of my family. I work to pay the bills. I drive kids all over town. I keep track of the family calendar. I make sure the team uniforms are cleaned in time for every game. Sweets are the one, small thing I keep just for me. A Sunkist to get me going each day and a treat to end each night.

It keeps me sane. It gives me something to look forward to. It gives me a few seconds of bliss in a chaotic day of appointments and kid activities. I just have to make sure it stays that small. So far, so good. I’ve maintained my weight for the last week, even though I still have a few Peeps left in my stash.

The workouts and running that I have to begin again will have that weight back off (hopefully) quickly. And I have another year before the Easter candy becomes a problem again. We’ll deal with Halloween candy when we come to it.



Disclosure: Mcdonald’s of Central Indiana has provided benefits, including free Finish Line 500 Festival 5K registration, an ArchCard, a t-shirt, and giveaway products in exchange for my participation in this campaign.

I go through phases with my fitness goals. I’ll be pushing hard for awhile, and then nothing. The key, really, is getting up again and starting over. And over. And over. It doesn’t matter how many times I fall or how many Reese’s eggs I eat. What really matters is that I get up and start moving again. Eventually.

The hubby wrote about the same thing for his first post — just get back to it, every time. So that’s what I have done all month. I started over again when I decided to run the 500 Festival 5K. I started over again after I was sick for 2 weeks. And, I’ll keep starting all over again no matter how many times it takes.

I don’t consider it yo-yoing at all. I think it’s more about being realistic. There will always be things that get in the way. I will always have times when I just don’t want to. And that’s totally okay. If I beat myself up over it and start to feel like a failure, I’ll fail.

Instead, I just start again when I’m ready.

And again when that one doesn’t stick. I’m going to keep coming back — not because I still have more weight to lose (I do) or because other people think I should (they probably do). I’m going to keep coming back because fitness is like an old, childhood friend.

It’s always there for me when I need it. It always makes me smile when we reconnect. And it never judges the fact that I haven’t called in awhile. It’s comfortable and comforting and all sorts of adjectives that keep us connected despite the time between our last visits.

But next time? Let’s try not to stay away so long.



Disclosure: Mcdonald’s of Central Indiana has provided benefits, including free Finish Line 500 Festival 5K registration, an ArchCard, a t-shirt, and giveaway products in exchange for my participation in this campaign.

Four weeks ago, I was supposed to start a campaign with McDonald’s of Central Indiana as I began training for a 5K they’re sponsoring this weekend. I weighed in (yuck), started tracking my nutrition and fitness, and titled my first post. Slacker Fitness.

And then I proceeded to do almost nothing for 4 weeks. Do I rock at slacking, or what?

That wasn’t exactly the intention, of course. I didn’t mean to get derailed and literally do nothing. But, that’s a story for another day. My original point was about making real progress with minimal effort. I didn’t start a rigorous fitness program. I didn’t suddenly start training for a marathon. I didn’t obsess over calories or eliminate everything I loved from my diet.

I simply started doing something. Anything. Just a little. I downloaded Quick Fit to my phone and began a daily, 7-minute exercise program. I started running just a little. A mile here, a mostly walked 5K there. And I was paying attention to what I ate again — even if that did mean logging every single Reese’s egg into My Fitness Pal.

And I lost weight immediately. Every day, the scale dropped just a little bit. It was encouraging, and I even through in a 2nd, 4-minute workout now and then. Okay, once. (Slacker, remember?) It all went really well for the first week, but before I could finish writing about it, I was down for the count with the worst sinus infection I’ve had in awhile.

Three weeks later, I’m back in the game. Totally unprepared for a 5K in 4 days, but completely ready to do it anyway. This week, I’ll be chronicling my panic as the race draws closer, finishing with a race recap on Saturday afternoon. After my nap. (Did you know the 500 Festival race started at 6:45 in the morning?)



Disclosure: Mcdonald’s of Central Indiana has provided benefits, including free Finish Line 500 Festival 5K registration, an ArchCard, a t-shirt, and giveaway products in exchange for my participation in this campaign.

Wow. It was a crazy, whirlwind week, culminating in this chaotic day. This is the first time I’ve had to sit down all day — except for the 2-hour interview session for our adoption home study. That was exhausting and emotional and the reason for our crazy week.

It wasn’t all bad, though — all the running around to get our house prepped really upped my step count. I finally managed to get to 10K a few times. As we cleaned and painted all day Saturday, I had my highest step count yet.

It helped to have an outlet for all the stress and worry of the week, too. I ran. I worked out. I threw in some cardio. Sweating out my stress is working for me.

Plus, it gets my heart rate up and burns calories. The Omron Fitness HR-500U lets me monitor my heart rate during a workout. I’m learning a lot of fun activities that really get my heart rate going.

Just Dance 4′s Sweat Mode keeps me in cardio mode but is a ton of fun. I played for 30 minutes on Saturday morning, watching my heart rate hit the yellow cardio zone and stayed there until cool down. And, the video game workout was worth 3000 steps!

This is the last week of the Omron Fitness challenge, and it’s working!. In just a few weeks, I’m down 3 pounds and several inches. There are visible changes in my body already — which is why I love to take before and after photos.

You can see the final results — and have the chance to win some Omron products of your own — at the Omron Fitness Challenge Twitter Party on February 20th, 8-10pm. My fellow Omron Fitness Ambassadors and I will talk about our success, share tips on losing weight in less time, and give away the same awesome equipment I’ve used for the last few weeks.

I’ll continue using my goodies and stick with a similar workout routine even after the Mamvation program has ended. It’s the perfect combination of fat-burning, muscle building, and flexibility for my schedule. Our next cardio day is a 45 minute workout. Lucky for me, Just Dance 4 has a 45-minute option. I think I’ll go with the cardio-boxing style this week, though 80′s-style was a ton of fun!

I just like to mix it up a bit. How do you keep workouts fun and fresh?


Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
This Week’s Weigh-In: 192 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: .6 pounds
Total Omron Fitness Weight Loss: 3 pounds
BMI: 27.7



Updated Measurements:
Bust: 38″ (no change)
Waist: 31″ (no change)
Hips: 40″ (-1″)
Thighs: 26.5″ (-1.5″ total)
Arms: 12″ (no change)
Total Inches Lost: 8.5″

This post is sponsored Omron Fitness as a collaboration withBookieboo Blogging Network and Mamavation — a community dedicated to weight loss for women and obesity prevention for families.  I was provided with product and compensation for my time and honest opinions.


In the last week, I’ve pushed myself quite a bit. I upped my weights on the assigned workouts, added a few more, and yesterday, I ran farther and faster than usual. Yet, when I stepped on the scale, it hadn’t gone down much.

A few years ago, that would have discouraged me. Now, though, I know there is more to fitness and weight loss success than a number on a scale. Sure, it’s frustrating to work hard and not lose weight. But sometimes it’s good to focus on the other benefits of fitness.

Here are 5 great ways to tell your weight loss efforts are not in vein:

Measurements: If you haven’t already taken measurements, do it now! Seriously. Stop reading and go measure your chest, waist, hips, thighs, and arms. In just two weeks, I’ve lost 6 total inches. When you aren’t losing weight, it’s great to have definitive proof that you’re still shrinking!

Photos: Before and after photos can really show a difference, even if you don’t lose a lot of weight. Take front, back, and profile shots once every month or two. I’m already looking forward to the “after” pics for my current fitness challenge.

Energy: When you’re working out and eating right, you’ll actually have more energy. Take note of your energy levels — for me, that usually means my desire to nap — to see how much healthier you are even before the weight starts dropping.

Muscles: A pound is a pound is a pound. But, while muscle doesn’t really weigh more than fat, it is more dense. You may be gaining weight in muscle even as you’re losing fat. The full body composition monitor from Omron Fitness has been great for me. It measures not just weight but body fat, skeletal muscle, and more. I’m able to actually see that I’m building muscle and losing fat, even when I’m not losing weight.

Clothing: How your clothing feels is often the first indicator that things are changing — I was down a size long before the weight loss felt significant at all. I focus a lot on how my clothes look and feel to measure my fitness success. The jeans that were getting a little snug already require a belt — I’ll take that kind of loss over a number on a scale any day.

How do you measure your success?


Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
This Week’s Weigh-In: 192.6 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: .6 pounds
Total Omron Fitness Weight Loss: 2.4 pounds
BMI: 27.7

This post is sponsored Omron Fitness as a collaboration withBookieboo Blogging Network and Mamavation — a community dedicated to weight loss for women and obesity prevention for families.  I was provided with product and compensation for my time and honest opinions.

Wow — what a week in the Omron Fitness Challenge!

I’ve been working out. I’ve been running. And, I’ve been trying to increase my step count with the daily use of a pedometer.

That has been a real struggle for me. The goal set for us by Mamavation is 10,000 steps per day. I’ve heard about the 10K step goal many times before, but I’ve never been one to use a pedometer regularly so I had no idea how difficult it would be.

I setup my pedometer, I wore it all day long, and then I proceeded to get frustrated by my less than 5,000 daily steps each day. I set a new, personal goal to increase my steps each day, even if only by a little bit. I gained extra steps each day.

On Tuesday, I decided it was time to make a real effort at 10,000 steps. I spent the entire day on my feet, running errands, doing chores, neglecting my desk work to keep moving. I went for a 2-mile run — and ended the day just shy of 9,000 steps.

So discouraging. As hard as I tried all week, I just couldn’t work a desk job and fit in 10,000 steps every day.

That’s when I set out to learn more about my fancy space pedometer. Turns out, it doesn’t track steps the way you would think. It counts strides — forward motion only, basically. So any baby steps I take doing laundry or on a break at my desk aren’t measured. It also doesn’t start calculating until you’ve walked for 4 seconds — putting away dishes or a quick walk from room to room won’t trigger the pedometer.

And the last problem was that my daily stride isn’t the same as my purposeful stride. So, taking 10 steps to measure my stride length for the pedometer resulted in a much higher number than most people. I took a few different measurements and finally landed on a number that I think is counting more accurately.

And, yet I’m still not hitting 10K every day, but that’s okay! My goals are mine. My progress is for me to measure. Sure, I’m taking part in a fitness challenge with 24 other people and being watched by entire community. But, at the end of the day, it really only matters if I’m happy.

No one can make me lose this weight except me. And, getting frustrated is the first step to giving up. I can’t let that happen. I have to remember that everyone is at a different level. Everyone has a different lifestyle. There’s no one size fits all weight loss plan.

But I can make my own.

That’s why I’ve updated my personal goals in the Omron Fitness Dashboard, focusing on a weekly step count instead of a daily stresser. It’s also why I’m content with just making progress, even if I’m not all the way there yet. And, it’s working!

I’ve lost 2.5 pounds this week and 6 inches so far in the challenge. More importantly, I feel good. My clothes are getting looser already, and I’m more motivated than ever to reach my goals. My goals.


Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
This Week’s Weigh-In: 193.2 pounds
BMI: 27.7
This Week’s Weight Loss: 2.6 pounds
Total Omron Fitness Weight Loss: 2 pounds


Updated Measurements:
Bust: 38″ (-3″)
Waist: 31″ (-1.5″)
Hips: 41″ (no change)
Thighs: 27.5″/27″ (-.5″ total)
Arms: 12″ (-1″ total)
Total Inches Lost: 6″

This post is sponsored Omron Fitness as a collaboration withBookieboo Blogging Network and Mamavation — a community dedicated to weight loss for women and obesity prevention for families.  I was provided with product and compensation for my time and honest opinions.

I’ve spent the last week getting prepped for the real meat of the challenge. Stepping on a scale for the first time since before the holidays was the first goal, and now that I have my fancy space scale from Omron Fitness, I’ll be doing it a lot more frequently.

This scale measures not just weight but bmi, body fat percentage, muscle something or other — I guess I have a little more reading to do. I’d tell you what my numbers were, but since I don’t even know what it all means yet, it’s basically meaningless for now.

I do know that it means I have some changes to make. I’m starting small — baby steps, really — in both fitness and nutrition. When I try to make too many changes at once, I get overwhelmed and give up. I’ve started wearing a fancy space pedometer, and though I haven’t made it to 10K steps yet, I’ve improved every day. I think if I can get to the point of actually wearing it all day, I’ll be a lot closer!

I’m learning to take short breaks to walk around. It’s a good chance to step away from work and de-stress, in addition to adding to my step count. The hubby and I are planning to start taking a daily walk as well.

I also began the fitness challenges from Mamavation’s personal trainer. They officially start today, and last week I did a few less reps and lighter weights to ease into it. I’m really looking forward to tackling the full workouts this week. I just need to figure out how to work in running still.

I hate the cold. I hate the snow. I pretty much hate running. But running outside in the cold with snow on the ground? It’s pretty much awesome! I’ve also learned that I just have to make myself run. I don’t like it, and I don’t want to do it, but I feel so good when it’s done.

I’ve never — not even once — finished a run and thought, “Wow. I wish I hadn’t done that!”

And, I feel the same about eating healthier. I’ve never regretted a salad — not ever — but for some reason it’s rarely my first choice.

So, Saturday’s lunch was a grilled chicken salad. Last night, we had salads with our dinner. And today’s brunch was filled with fabulous greens and included a side of fruit. Okay, and a fabulous hot chocolate.

Baby steps, people. I’m getting there! I have to allow myself the occasional treat if I want the changes to stick. It just means I’ll have to skip my bubble bath chocolate tonight. And, it gives me a little more motivation to work it all off before dinner.


Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
This Week’s Weigh-In: 195.8 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: -.8 pounds
Total Omron Fitness Weight Loss: -.8 pounds
BMI: 28

This post is sponsored Omron Fitness as a collaboration withBookieboo Blogging Network and Mamavation — a community dedicated to weight loss for women and obesity prevention for families.  I was provided with product and compensation for my time and honest opinions.