how bright is your sky?

I’m part of a challenge group on Facebook right now, competing a 60-day exercise journey. On Wednesday, my coach posted a poignant question, and I think one that often slips between the cracks when embarking upon a healthy lifestyle: Why are you doing this?

I think it’s important to be honest with yourself. Maybe you want to be healthy, and that’s admirable. Maybe you just want to look good, and that’s okay, too. Or maybe you want to improve your mental health and change the way you look at food.

To quote my coach: “That reason is so deep within your soul that only you know your true WHY.”


For me, I want a brighter sky (forgive me for the hippie moment, but it will make sense; I promise).

This means: keeping the momentum going and staying uplifted.

I’ve always been a chronic stop-and-start type of exercise/eater. I go through phases, and I think that’s natural. But sometimes it takes me longer to break out of a rut. And it’s almost always related to my mental stability.

Exercise and eating right is 50% mental for me. When I’m sad, I don’t eat well. When I’m stressed, I do stupid things. And when my head is not in the game, that just gives me ammunition to not care.

So why am I doing this? To stay sane. To stay happy and motivated. To feel uplifted in my life. To have a challenge and constantly be working toward something bigger. Notice that I don’t use the word “positive” because I think it’s okay to get down once in a while. As long as you break through those moments.

Ultimately, I want to be in the best shape of my life, and I want it to last. I want to work hard and push through challenging moments. But I can only do that if I take care of my soul first.

Why do you live a healthy life? Why do you exercise? Be honest.


setting goals

I really enjoyed Jenna’s last post recapping the Color Run and her fitness goals. And, like any good blog post, it inspired me to consider my own fitness goals.

Drenched in sweet & feeling strong.

Drenched in sweet & feeling strong.

For a while, I was a runner who would “phone it in.” My goals were simple: I would go running every other day, putting in 3 miles at a moderate pace on a treadmill. It wasn’t inspiring or fun. It helped me maintain my weight, but it didn’t tone my body. And it certainly didn’t challenge me.

At the time, I wasn’t mentally sound. I’d become a sad person, and my body began to resemble those emotions. I was overweight, tired, and unhappy: the beginnings of any typical weight-loss journey.

Then, I found Insanity. In truth, I had it for months before starting the program. Mentally, I wasn’t ready to get out of my routine rut. That was a convenient plan. But then I completed the program from January to March of this year. And I was hooked.

Afterward, I moved into half-marathon training and completed the Pittsburgh Half in May. I got my best time yet, and I credit Insanity and working hard. Since then, I’ve been taking a variety of hip hop classes and other workouts. So I’ve been ready to start a new program like  Focus T25.

For now, that is my goal. For the next 10 weeks, I will commit to this program. But I have a few other fitness goals, too.

Short Term Goals

  • Complete additional workouts on top of T-25. These include: hip hop classes, softball games, and walking.
  • Shed a few pounds, gain strength, and toning
  • Continue eating “clean”
  • Make the workouts “work” for me: fold them into busy days, allow space for social events and hobbies

Long Term Goals

  • Reach my goal weight or below (I have about 7 pounds to go) OR drop a clothing size/inches.
  • Run another half marathon in 2014. Beat my time from last year.
  • Maintain a balance of exercise and healthy eating as I move into a busier fall/winter.

What are your goals?

The Color Run and Goals

For those of you that have never run a 5k but are interested, I would highly recommend The Color Run. It’s a fun run, which means its not timed. AND you get splashed with bright color every kilometer or so. What’s not to love?

I participated this past weekend in Philadelphia, and it was a great time! Around 20,000 runners came out for the event. 


Color Run – Before

The run was really well executed and organized. There was water provided along the route, and it included an awesome loop through Fairmount Park. My only real complaint is that it “started” REALLY early, (5 am wake up call!) but they continued to let folks run way after they claimed they would. If I had known this, I wouldn’t have shown up at 6:30am! But that’s ok because I was in the first heat and got to enjoy the rest of my day. Dyed blue and all 🙂


Color Run – After

I had two great friends to run it with, and we had a blast! We enjoyed an awesome breakfast after, and all in all I’d call it a super fun Sunday. 

More importantly, the Color Run got me thinking about goals. I remember one of my long time fitness goals was to be able to run a 5k like “no big deal”. Running isn’t easy for me, and my first few required quite a bit of training. I’d be pooped for the rest of the day after. But this time was different. I hadn’t run in 2 weeks. That afternoon after the run, I rode my bike 6 miles. It’s amazing how your body conditions and adjusts when you push it and fuel it with good eats. Goal achieved!

So this got me thinking about what other goals I have for eating and fitness. Here are just a few: 

Short-ish Term:

  • I’m almost to my weight loss goal, but still have a little ways to go. I’d like to get to one milestone by Labor Day and another by the middle of November. 
  • Complete the T25 10 week program, while still incorporating running, biking, and yoga. This may not mean that I follow the program to a T or skip a few days. 
  • Eat less sugar. Add more vegetables and fruit in each day.
  • MORE H20!

Longer term

  • I want to run a 10k in early 2014 and then the Broad Street Run 10 miler in May 2014.
  • Find a way to inspire others to be healthier. (This blog may be it!)

Have you ever ran a 5k? What are some of your fitness goals?