Not an athlete

I was in a Weight Watchers meeting this morning when I had one of those annoying “a-ha” moments. It wasn’t my normal, early Saturday morning meeting because I walk/jogged a 4 mile event to honor Pat Tillman, an American football player who quit the NFL to enlist in the Army after the events of September 11, 2001. I was feeling pretty good because I was down just over 5 pounds from two weeks prior when I weighed in and I gained weight the two weeks prior to that.

The meeting leader, Marie – who also leads my normal meeting, started the class off by recognizing two women who walked their first 5K event the week prior, then turned to me and asked what event I’d participated in earlier. I told her about the Tillman run and then she turned to the group and said, “I knew she’d been at an event this morning because Denise is so athletic – she even plans her vacations around different outdoor events she wants to participate in.” I couldn’t help myself: I laughed out loud.

Me, an athlete? The girl who was always picked last for every sport in Phys Ed in school? The one who has to find exceptionally flat routes to ride my bike because my legs are so weak that my bike barely moves at all when I have to go up a hill? I can’t even manage to run an entire 5K nor plank on my toes – I am hardly an athlete!

Marie saw my incredulity and said, “Why don’t you tell everyone why you’re laughing, and while you’re at it, tell them what you’ve accomplished since last February?” And I was instantly transported back 15 months in my head, to the day I started on Project: Happy/Healthy Me in earnest.

  • It was uncomfortable to walk 15 minutes on the treadmill at the gym even though my speed was so slow that I was able to read an electronic book at the same time
  • I hadn’t been on my bike in over a year
  • I drove my car everywhere and got angry with TCB if he ever dared suggest that we might walk to the nearby shopping center because I knew it was uphill from our house and I didn’t want to get sweaty

I shared a little of that with the class, then listed some of the things I’ve done since then:

  • Walk for 60 minutes most mornings, usually covering 3 miles, over a very hilly route
  • Finished a Sprint Duathlon last October, including a 12 mile bike ride sandwiched between two running sessions
  • Completed a 5K event every month, either in person or virtually
  • Started taking twice-weekly Pilates Reformer classes and progressed from being able to do approximately 25% of the moves without modification to doing about 70% as outlined by the instructor
  • Formed a walking group at work that covers 1-2 miles a day
  • Began taking the stairs at work, even when my destination is 4 floors above me
  • Choose a local shopping center to walk around every week with TCB
  • Carry reusable bags and walk to do all of our grocery shopping; we also walk to dinner every night

As I spoke I realized that, while I’ll never be at the front of the pack in any of the events I participate in, I can definitely be accurately described as a physically active person, and that feels amazing.

this is what active looks like
this is what active looks like

Project Me: December and 2013 reviewed

My only goal for December was to make an appointment with my therapist to deal with my anxiety and the binge eating, binge shopping, and horrible obsessive/compulsive behaviors that accompany it. I saw my therapist at the beginning of December and just talking to her made things inside my head a lot more calm. She asked me to keep track of my moods, particularly when I’m feeling more anxious than usual, so that we can isolate any common triggers. We also talked about letting things just be and challenging my constant need for order with the thought, “What would happen if I just left that mess over there? Will anyone be hurt? Why do I care what others think?” I’m doing more of both of those behaviors and definitely feel less anxious than I was before our appointment. I’d like to follow up with her next month but my work schedule is a little insane in January, so we’ll have to see.

This being the last day of the year, I’m also going to take this opportunity to review how I did with my goals for 2013, which were:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – done and dusted; my fasting blood sugar readings this time last year were hovering near 200 (very dangerous) and now they are consistently below 100 and usually closer to 90. [Clinical recommendation for diabetics is fasting/pre-meal readings between 70 and 130, so I’m right in the middle.]
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – done; last time I had blood work done, my triglycerides were below 100 without any medication, so I’m thrilled by that. [Clinical recommendation for diabetics is triglycerides of under 100, so I’m in the clear here.]
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale)  – as of this morning, I weigh 167 pounds with 37% body fat, for a BMI of 29.6, officially Overweight. I weighed in on February 1st of this year at 244 with 49% body fat and a BMI of 43.2, officially Morbidly Obese. [I still have 27 pounds to lose in order to be within the Normal weight range for my height.]
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches – this was the goal I was most concerned about. At the beginning of the month I still had 1-1/2 inches to go and that just didn’t seem achievable to me. I wrapped the tape measure around me this morning and told myself it would be OK if it wasn’t 39 inches or less. I mean, seriously, look at eveyrthing I’ve achieved this year, so if I miss on one out of five, that’s not too bad. I checked in the mirror to make sure the tape was straight, squeezed my eyes shut while I exhaled deeply, then looked down to see the tape end directly below the big “39”, and I cried – I hit it perfectly. I have lost 14 inches from my waist since February. I know it shouldn’t matter so much to me, but it does. It really, really does. So damn proud. [Clinical recommendation for a healthy woman is a waistline measurement of less than 32-1/2 inches, so I’ve got quite a way to go to get there but I am SO MUCH CLOSER than this time last year.]
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – this was my “wild card” goal for the year. There is no quantitative measure to show how much my life overall has improved but here are some important (to me) data points:
    • I’ve made it a point to schedule time with my parents every other month in 2013 and have already set up monthly get-togethers for the first four months of 2014. My life is better when I stay connected with my family.
    • TCB and I have taken more vacations together this year than in any previous year of our relationship. While it’s nice to be able to travel on my own, when we do things together, everything just feels more “right”. We have both scaled back on our volunteer obligations and spend more time together being active every day instead of running around like crazy people trying to fit everything and everyone else in. If it doesn’t tie back to our goal of making and maintaining a happy, healthy family then it goes to the bottom of the list. (And we’re OK when we don’t get anywhere close to the bottom of the list most weeks.) We have subscriptions to two local theater companies and have attended five live productions since October, including one last Sunday.
    • I still fight with my depression but not as much as in the past. I recognize it when it comes much faster than I used to so that I can start to deal with it, and once that’s happened it’s well on its way out.
    • I stopped ignoring my dental problems, had 15 teeth extracted (that’s half of them), and am now on a schedule of regular dental exams and cleanings.
    • I walk a 5K before breakfast, five days a week. I take Pilates Reformer classes twice a week. This year I completed a Sprint Duathlon, Couch to 5K, at least one 5K event every month, and I started a group at work that walks two miles every afternoon.
This is the face of a happy, healthy woman!
This is the face of a happy, healthy woman!

Twenty-thirteen has been an amazing year of becoming happier and growing stronger, and for the first time since 1998 I won’t start the new year with dread and the knowledge that I still need to do something about my weight. It’s funny: once I stopped worrying about the weight and put the focus on my health, everything in my life improved.

I’m going to get off of the computer very soon until next year, so I’ll share my Project Me goals for 2014 in a separate post. Tell me, though, how did you do in 2013 with your healthy living goals and what will you do more of or differently in 2014?

Project Me: October & November review and my goals for the remainder of 2013

[I somehow did not do a check-in for October nor set any goals for November. Can’t fix that now, so we’ll just review how I’ve done with my goals from October before moving on to goals for December.]

My goals for October were:

  1. Stop spending so much time reading other blogs, shopping, and being a social media fan girl and actually start writing here more often – I’ve been a bit better about this and certainly I’ve written more here since setting the goal than I did before, so we’ll call this at least a partial success.
  2. Continue working on eating after 7:00 pm – Well, if you’d asked me before Thanksgiving how I was doing with this, I’d have said that it was firmly in the “win” column, but I’ve been turning to my old way of dealing with stress and anxiety (binge eating); this is not good. It’s always late at night (after 7:00 pm) and it’s always when I’m alone. You’d think the success (so far) of Project Me would have made me more relaxed and less anxious, and to a certain extent that’s true. In some ways, though, it’s actually made me more anxious and compulsive than I was before. I’m at that point now where everyone I meet is taken aback by my slimmer appearance, and most of them remark on the difference. I don’t know how to deal with compliments, particularly not about my appearance, so it produces a lot of anxiety. I’m also obsessing about losing the last six pounds I need to drop before I reach the “Overweight” BMI designation and stop being “Obese” officially. Nothing in my health is going to change in any way from losing those six pounds – it’s just a mental/emotional thing for me and I’m blowing it out of proportion. I must deal with the underlying anxiety in order to keep tight control of my diabetes but it is also a huge source of unhappiness for me and I’m tired of it.
  3. Get my flu shot and figure out what I need to do to get a pneumonia shot – did not do this. Honestly, I never really wanted to, have never done it before, and am fairly certain I’m safe without the shots.
  4. Re-jigger my schedule so that I can fit a weekly strength training session in AND go for an outdoor bike ride -Well, I achieved something close to this – I’m now taking Pilates Reformer classes twice a week, which is great for my strength training needs (and is probably contributing to my fairly drastic drop in body fat percentage). With Pilates early on Sunday morning and Weight Watchers early on Saturday, my only real option for riding my bike is Saturday after WW and that is only possible on days when I don’t have any other engagements on Saturday. I’ve managed a total of two outdoor bike rides in all of October and November and probably two or three more indoor on the stationary bike. Oh well, I’m getting lots of activity now and I’m happy with my body, so I’m not going to sweat this one.

My goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 5 more pounds in 24.5 three weeks (not sure I’ll make this one but I’m sure going to keep trying!)
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches –1 more inch in 24.5 three months (side note: wow, I lost 4-1/2 inches from my waist since August 1 – must have done something right!)(not sure about the likelihood of making this one, either, but I’m going to push hard)
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

So, will I work on for the next 25 days?

  1. Make an appointment with my therapist to deal with my anxiety and the binge eating, binge shopping, and horrible obsessive/compulsive behaviors that accompany it. Period. Yup, that’s it. While the spending and the compulsive straightening up around the house are embarrassing and dangerous for my long-term happiness, the binge eating has the real potential to not just damage my body through higher blood sugars, but also knock me right off track with Project Me. This is a big milestone deliverable and it deserves my full attention for December.

So tell me: what healthy habits are you focusing on for the rest of the year?

Three reasons I’m grateful: The Thanksgiving Day 2013 Edition

  • The love and support of my fabulous husband, known to long-time readers of this blog as TCB (The Cute Boy) or TCF (The Cute Fiance) but just plain Mick to me.

    TCB & I, lined up for the local Thank You Run 5K this morning
    TCB & I, lined up for the local Thank You Run 5K this morning
  • The fact that I walked a 5K with pretty killer hills this morning like it was something I do every day…because I do. I love how strong my body feels when I’m walking – as though I could go on and on forever. One year ago? Not so much.
  • Diabetes. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? The thing is, though, that it was the failure of daily insulin injections to lower my blood sugar readings even the tiniest bit and the realization that if I did nothing I would probably not see my 50th birthday (I’d just turned 45) that pushed me to do something – anything, really! – to change the way I was taking care of my body. Eventually it was that desire for change that led me to launch Project Me and that has changed my world forever.

What are you grateful for this week?

Workout Wednesday: October 30

Exercising with Good Housekeeping by Kevin Dooley via Flickr

I’m still dealing with the same IT band issues I talked about last week. I haven’t done any running or cycling in over a week and still I have pain down my hips and just above my knees. I use the foam roller in the morning and at night. I stretch after my warmup and before I start the fast walking that is now my only form of cardiovascular exercise. I had acupuncture and a 60 minute deep tissue massage to try to break up the lactic acid and huge boulder-sized knots in my legs. And still, the pain. This has got to be one of those Life Lesson things that’s supposed to teach me patience! (I’m not-so-patiently learning to be patient, I promise.)

So, what DID I do this week?

Wednesday – 3 laps on the walking path at work (10,663 steps)

Thursday – 1.85 mile walk in the neighborhood plus 2 laps on the walking path at work (1 mile total) (15,090 steps)

Friday – 3 laps on walking path at work (10.977 steps)

Saturday – 3.46 mile walk in the neighborhood (13,442 steps)

Sunday – Step Out 5K to cure diabetes, picnic in the park with my new Meetup group, plus mall walking! (17,192 steps)

Monday – 3 laps on the walking path at work (10,410 steps)

Tuesday – 2.92 mile walk in the neighborhood (11,918 steps)

My blood sugar readings are good, weight is still coming off (albeit a little slower), and I know that not being able to run or bike isn’t having a bad effect on my physical health, but mentally it’s driving me crazy. If you’d told me in January of this year that my inability to run or bike would be the toughest thing in my life in October, I would have laughed in your face. What a difference nine months can make!

Workout Wednesday: October 23

Exercising with Good Housekeeping by Kevin Dooley via Flickr

My body keeps teaching me lessons in patience – patience and letting go. I have major control issues and they seem to be flaring up more than usual lately, contributing to a feeling that things should be moving faster than they are. I want to be able to run – really run, not my slow, pokey jogging. I want my body weight to drop down into the “healthy” range (I’m clinically obese) immediately, even though I’ve lost over 65 pounds in less than nine months and that’s amazing all by itself. Not being able to run or ride my bike until the soreness in my IT band subsides is kicking my anxiety into new and heretofore unknown levels of craziness, but I’m stretching and foam roller-ing as instructed, and trying to relax and enjoy life in general.

Given all of that, what did my activities look like this week?

Wednesday, October 16 – 3 laps on the walking path at work (13,541 steps)

Thursday, October 17 – 2.5 miles walking/jogging for Up & Running 5K course plus 4 laps on the walking path at work (1 mile total) (17,374 steps)

Friday, October 18 – Walked a mile each way to lunch from work plus 3 laps on walking path at work (12,687 steps)

Saturday, October 19 – Not a darn thing except going to see Priscilla, Queen of the Desert with my husband! (7,183 steps)

Sunday, October 20 – Walked all three floors of our local shopping mall plus 30 minutes/1.8 miles walking on the treadmill at the gym (16,451 steps)

Monday, October 21 – 2.66 mile walk in the morning plus 2 laps on the walking path at work (15,543 steps)

Tuesday, October 22 – 4 laps on the walking path at work ( steps)

I’ve made a real effort to walk every day on the path at work, and to take as many colleagues with me as are willing to go. I’m also standing up for meetings whenever possible to avoid doing nothing but sitting around all day at work. I might not be able to run as much as I feel I ought to, but I’m definitely racking up the overall mileage most days and that’s all that’s required to keep my blood sugar in control, help fight the depression, and get/keep excess weight off. The running bit is for my ego, not my health (another reminder for me) and it’s more important to take care of myself than it is to meet an arbitrary goal.

Workout Wednesday: October 16

Exercising with Good Housekeeping by Kevin Dooley via Flickr

After the duathlon last week, I was really motivated to keep moving and to step up my run training because of my embarrassment over how much I had to walk during the event itself. I wanted to catch up to my Up & Running 5K course classmates who were over a week ahead of me and also run faster, so I decided to run every day instead of every other day as is recommended by Julia, our coach. I tried back to back runs on Wednesday and Thursday and was planning to run Friday as well until I woke up that morning with hips so sore that even fast walking was not something I wanted to do.

Painful lesson learned: respect my body because it does crazy/amazing things and it will go at its own pace and not an inch further or a second faster. Patience and an openness to being humbled by others who are stronger and faster – those are the qualities required to continue my slow and steady progression toward greater strength and more happiness. No room for childish tantrums about what I think I ought to be able to do, just celebrations for the remarkable progress I’ve made in the 8-1/2 months since I started exercising regularly.

So, what did my activities look like this week?

Wednesday, October 9 – 3 miles walking/jogging for Up & Running 5K course (11,658 steps)

Thursday, October 10 – 2.5 miles walking/jogging for Up & Running 5K course plus two laps on the walking path at work (1 mile total) (16,916 steps)

Friday, October 11 – 2.7 mile walk in the morning plus 4 laps on walking path at work (1.82 miles) (17,984 steps)

Saturday, October 12 (my birthday!) – Color Run 5K in the morning (14,446 steps)

Sunday, October 13 – 2.82 miles walking/jogging for Up & Running 5K course plus 6.2 mile easy bike ride (10,768 steps)

Monday, October 14 – 2.28 miles walking (12,580 steps)

Tuesday, October 15 – 2.63 miles walking/jogging for Up & Running 5K course plus 3 laps on the walking path at work (15,683 steps)

It’s still a little amazing to me that activity has become such a big part of my life in the last few months. Not just the “must do serious workouts five days a week” kind of activity but also small things like walking to the grocery story that’s a mile from the house to do our weekly shopping instead of taking the car. Or looking for parking spaces in remote corners of shopping centers when driving is a must. I do need to get more activity into my work day still but at least I’m making the most of my leisure time!

Project Me: August review and goals for September

My goals for August were:

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program, be able to jog 30 minutes straight – Done & done
  2. Attend one Pilates Reformer class per week – Also done. (Turns out I really love these classes – who would have guessed strength training could actually be fun?)
  3. Consume no more than 20 ounces of latte drinks each day – I achieved this goal most days this month, and certainly reduced my intake of caloric beverages. [I now substitute iced coffee with an ounce of half and half (20 calories) for an iced latte with 14 ounces of nonfat milk (140 calories).]
  4. Complete six cardiovascular workouts of at least 45 minutes each a week – Um, definitely NOT done. With the training required for my upcoming duathlon, my workouts are now longer (two jogging sessions of ~20 minutes each, sandwiched around biking workouts of between 20 and 45 minutes)

My goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 23 more pounds in six four months
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches – 5-1/2 5 more inches in six four months
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

August was a tough month for me. I signed up for a semi-endurance event that was less than eight weeks away at the time (now only five weeks away!), requiring very specific, somewhat physically challenging, definitely mentally challenging workouts. This, combined with a nasty bout of depression (again!), left me doing the minimum required workouts (five a week) instead of walking or jogging every morning as I had been. I did make the Sunday morning Pilates Reformer class a new part of my routine (hello, strength training) and I finally tried Pure Barre Lite, which turned out to be not nearly as bad as I’d thought (but has me still sore five days later, so it’s going to have to wait five weeks until after the event), so all was not lost.

On the other hand, at my three month check-in with my endocrinologist (diabetes doctor), he officially changed my status in the computerized chart from “Diabetes, uncontrolled” to “Diabetes, well-controlled”, and told me I should stop taking my evening insulin shot because it’s not needed. (I need to continue monitoring my blood sugar levels but if they stay as they are, I will only need to take one pill twice a day!) Given that it was the horrible state of my diabetic self-management that started me on this path to create a healthier life at the beginning of the year, that’s definitely something I’m proud of.

Bottom line: I lost 5 pounds this month but actually gained 0.5 inches around my waist and I know I didn’t do everything I was capable of, exercise-wise, but my overall health is steadily improving regardless of what the scale or tape measure say.

So, what will I be working on for September?

  1. Put nothing in my mouth that has calories after 7:00 pm unless it’s fruit – the evening dessert routine is getting a little out of control. I’m having a large latte (200 calories) plus two macaroons (another 200 calories for both combined) most nights. If I skipped that and either had a piece of fruit or just some plain tea or decaf coffee after dinner instead, I’m pretty sure that would be another pound a week off of my body.
  2. Wear my heart rate monitor for all workouts – need to make sure I’m in the right training zone and getting enough intensity to actually burn some pounds.
  3. Do not buy anything unless absolutely necessary – my addictive personality has latched on to compulsive spending to take the place of my compulsive overeating, and that’s going to be just as damaging in the long run, so it needs to stop. I’m going cold turkey and will use my paper journal every morning to work through whatever feelings bubble up when there’s nothing else to numb them with!
  4. Focus on gratitude – While I’m writing in my journal every morning, I’m going to spend a few moments focusing on what I’m grateful for that day. I have so many great things going on in my life and I need to remember that instead of always looking ahead for “what’s next?”


Alright, your turn: How did you do in August and what would you like to focus on for September?

Half empty or Half full? Neither, actually

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on that link, I’ll receive a percentage of the price you pay if you purchase the product from Amazon.

55 pounds gone, 55 more to go!
55 pounds gone, 55 more to go!

Somehow, in the last not-quite-seven months, I’ve managed to shed 55 pounds of extra weight. I’ve also lost three medications related to my Type 2 diabetes that I didn’t need once I started eating better and exercising every day. (I’m on the cusp of losing one more, too, which will leave me only taking a single prescription.) I’ve also lost the ability to wear virtually every single item of clothing in my closet and chest of drawers. (I’ve developed a much closer relationship with my tailor, too.)

More important (to me) than what I’ve lost is what I’ve gained since February 1st:

  • Better health
  • More energy
  • A daily workout habit that I don’t just enjoy, I actually look forward to*
  • A closer relationship with my husband (we’re creating a healthier lifestyle together)
  • Enhanced ability to cope with my depression (it’s still there but I recognize it faster and seem more able to push through even in the worst of it)
  • Dedicated, pre-scheduled time for me (my weekday mornings are for working out, Saturday at 7:00 am is my Weight Watchers meeting – followed by an hour at the gym, and Sunday at 8:00 am is my loved/dreaded Pilates Reformer class)

* OK, I don’t look forward to the required training workouts for the duathlon I signed up for in October – they stink! – but when it’s just a single workout that I choose, I love it!

Things are not perfect, however. I still struggle with my almost pathological fear of allowing myself to be vulnerable (or anything less than 100% perfect at all times) and that worries me a lot. Last week I was all set to take a Pure Barre Lite class at the center near my house before I saw the girls heading into class and chickened out. They were all in great shape physically and very petite, so I convinced myself that I couldn’t bear the humiliation of being the only obese person in class.

Interestingly, I’m in the middle of reading Dr. Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, [affiliate link] where she spends many, many pages extolling the virtues of releasing the need to be perfect in order to fit in (or even trying to “fit in” at all). I’ve also recently started following Jia Jiang‘s blog where he not only talks about living life without letting fear of rejection get in your way but actually goes out and courts rejection whenever possible. Once I stopped mentally berating myself for being weak, I started thinking about what these two people – both of whom came into my life, albeit only virtually, at the same time – would tell me about my Pure Barre (non) experience.

I’m pretty sure Dr. Brown would tell me to stop feeling shame about my fat self and how I got this way and also that if the class is for me then no one there will expect me to be anything that I’m not and, in fact, they’ll actually love me as I am for who I am and what I bring to class. Jia Jiang talks a lot about viewing rejection as an important milestone on the journey to eventual success, and that the rejection itself says as much about the other person as it does about the person or concept being rejected. In light of this, I’m guessing that he would tell me to give Pure Barre a try because even if it ends up as badly as I’m afraid it will then I’ll be one step closer to finding a strength & flexibility class that I will love. So, I’m going to class on Wednesday morning and we’ll see how it goes.

I’m learning that this “building a healthier, happier life” thing isn’t for wusses, and the physical discomfort involved is the very least challenging part of what’s required.

Workout check-in: July 7

I thought it might be helpful for me to share what I’m doing for my workouts.

I usually alternate between walking  about 45 minutes at a brisk pace through the neighborhood and walking 3.2mph for 45 minutes precisely on the treadmill at the gym. Last week I walked outside five days and hit the treadmill for a 45 minute walk once. They burn a similar amount of calories and have the same positive effect on my blood sugar readings so it’s really more about what strikes my fancy that day. Some days I want the fresh, cold air and pretty scenery and some days I want to be very precise in my time and energy expended. Giving myself that flexibility is an important part of my “just get some exercise every day” commitment to myself. I also walked a 5K during July, as I had done in May and June, too. I’d originally intended to run the July 5K but that wasn’t in the cards and I’m totally OK with that.

In addition to my walking workouts, I also managed one Couch to 5K jogging session, on Sunday. I am definitely not getting in the three running workouts that are supposed to be part of the Couch to 5K program – more like one per week – but I’m not finding them difficult to do on a less frequent basis than is recommended, either, so I’m not really worried about it. The reason I’m not running more frequently is only mental, I know this. My body doesn’t hurt during or after running workouts, I just don’t like them. I have promised that I’ll finish the training program, and I will, but I don’t know where my running will go once that’s finished.

Given where I am with my workout routine, it’s easy to see why the latest Couch to 5K coaching tips from Mo Langley , 10 Tricks For Sticking To It, really resonated with me.

Now that you are well on your way training for the Thanksgiving Day Dana Point Turkey Trot, you’re starting to really feel the benefits of exercise. You feel more energized, you’re clothes are starting to fit differently, and your overall confidence is improving. Don’t lose your stride! Keep exercising and don’t let excuses get in the way of your well-being. Stay on track with these simple tips:

1. Start Looking at Exercise Differently.  All movement is exercise. People need to give themselves more options. Take the dog for a walk, bike to the store or take five-minute stretch breaks. If you don’t count something as exercise unless it happens in the gym, goes on for 30 minutes or requires a shower afterward, you’re missing some of your best opportunities to stay active.

Click through to see the rest of Mo’s training tips on the Dana Point Turkey Trot website.

I know I’ve been guilty of not giving myself credit for having “worked out” if I never went to the gym or laced up my sneakers, how about you? Anyone else struggle with the mental aspects of a form of exercise you’re trying to work into your routine? I’d love tips for overcoming my antipathy for jogging, so please share what you’ve learned!

[If you’re wondering, no, I am not being compensated in any way to share Mo’s training tips, I just think she’s got a great approach to helping folks go from inactive to moderately active all while keeping it fun.]