Saturday, October 31, 2009

Heading out this morning into the sun....

Riding on the diamond waves, little darling one. Warm wind caress her....

Right about now I am running my half!! Here is my playlist I finalized last night--I thought I would share. It starts a little slow, but inspiring, Dreamboat Anne by Heart and Halo by Beyonce.
Then some upbeat happy music from my 20' and some 80's stuff I can really dial into! Some feel good songs that always make me smile and sing (I may actually out there!) and some Christian music around mile 7-9 to give me that boost I will need in my spirit!! (Barlow Girl, Toby Mac) Then back to some of my FAVORITE 80's tunes to carry me home (p.s. Ice Ice Baby is only on here because I can't get it out of my head!)

Enjoy--boy, I am really dated in this playlist aren't I? Any new music suggestions?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Race Goals & some fun

Have I talked enough about my training for the Monster Dash half marathon?? It's tomorrow!!! I have talked about the runs I have done, my food, my music!! What I haven't talked about were my GOALS for the race. It wasn't until I swung over to Mel at Tall Mom on the Run and saw her awesome post on her goals for her half that I realized I should put mine down...on paper, er blogger.

Goal #1: Have a sweet costume

Super hero Cute Gardner

I am leaning toward Cute Gardner for a few reasons: if it rains, the hat is already part of the costume and my little signs all have messages on them! For the super hero: I look a little too jazzercise and the cape, which is YES, pink sequins, isn't working out quite like I wanted.

Goal #2: Get there on time: Get there on time and with enough time to feel prepared and ready. Period.

Goal #3: Run the whole thing: My last long run was 13 miles and I ran the whole way, save for a few quick pauses to take pictures. I know I can run the entire race and with my fuel belt, I won't even have to walk through a water stop. If I do feel like I urgently need to rest, walk or stop I will, but I would like to keep going, even if I just have to slow my pace down for a while.

Goal #4: Not compare myself with other runners: This is between me and my body and me and the clock. I want to feel good, feel strong and feel fast. You can't look at others in a race and compare yourself with them, they are entirely different people! Their shape, size, speed and ability are irrelevant to me and my challenge and success tomorrow!

Goal #4: Give it my ALL: To finish the race and really have given it my all--to be spent! I feel like often in races, I find my comfortable pace (maybe a bit challenging) and stick with that, knowing I'll have a reliable time and feel good. But I know that I can push myself and I know I can succeed at it. I can go faster and faster for longer than even I am aware.

Goal #5: to come in UNDER 2 hours: I would like to come in under 2 hours and I don't really care if it is 1:59:55 or 1:50:55. I believe this is possible. My time on my last long run was close to 2 hours, so I think it is an achievable goal! If not, I will be happy with my time and my finish.

Goal #6: Be happy no matter what the outcome! I have worked hard at my training plan, had some setbacks, went through some learning experiences and feel that the whole experience so far has been wonderful--I WILL be doing this distance race again! So no matter the outcome, if I meet a few or only one of my goals I will be happy with the outcome!

A side note on my Cute Gardner outfit: I LOVE symbolism (I'm a lit major, so sue me!) and I wanted to share the pictures of my gloves from the Gardener outfit. The tee has all sorts of inspiring messages on it and even Fit this on the back! But the gloves are special.

Since we sow and harvest with our physical hands, but we sow and reap spiritually too, I wanted to put a reminder of what the BIGGEST goal for me is today and everyday on the gloves:

Hosea 10:12 says "Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love"

Psalm 126:5 says "Those who sow in tears, will reap with songs of Joy"

Sowing and reaping is such an important concept. What we plant now, we will have as our harvest! We are promised that if we sow and seek righteousness, even when no one is looking, even in the "small" things, we will find God's unfailing love. When we painfully go through a situation or stand in the face of adversity, though there may be tears, we will reap JOY in our lives and in our spirits.

Can you tell I have been on a kick lately about choices ?
Do you believe that you are sowing and planting now with purpose ?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My weight-loss Journey Part 3

I know this is getting long and it is SUCH an emotional outpouring!! But gaining and losing weight for me was rooted in all my feelings of failure, inadequacy and in not learning to use food properly! start up where I left off, I had decided I needed to change my habits, bought a scale and worked my tushie off on that stupid stair stepper!

I lost 14lbs!!

I felt I was well on my way, but that 14 pounds is where my weight-loss halted. I had started running a bit, but didn't really take any more weight off. Running just made me want to eat more and that, I was soon to learn, was my problem.

I was discouraged and ready to give up after two months with no more loss. That is when a girlfriend of mine who had been doing Weight Watchers, told me exactly how much she had lost. I was astounded. Wasn't Weight Watchers an antiquated system that our mom's and grandmothers worked in the 70's? Little ladies with blue hair, drinking G&T's and talking points & weighing food? I was on my way to find out that NO-- it was not!

WOW...old school WW recipe card...

Two other girlfriends joined WW with me at that time and together we went to meetings in downtown together every Wednesday. I was mortified the first time I saw that I really did step on the scale at the meeting in front of everyone! But it wasn't long till I saw that no one was looking and no one cared. As a matter of fact, it was one of the most non-judgmental and encouraging environments I have ever been in!

Weight Watchers doesn't just have you blindly count points and focus only on food. They also have you do a lot of personal work and create tools to help you succeed on your weight loss journey: they have you describe your accomplishments, write down truths about your journey, come up with situations you may face and solutions for them. They teach you how to visualize and change your thinking about your abilities and how you use food! Below is an example of my original "Winning Outcome" worksheet. I had created my winning outcomes on my own, so I just pasted them there!
I JUST noticed I wanted to go meat free-wow!!

Of course, I learned some of the most valuable information about food and healthy eating in Weight Watchers. A few things that really stuck with me:

1) You can eat what you want.

YOU CAN!! You just have to pay for it. With Weight Watcher points, you bascially get a set amount of points, between 20 and say 35 depending on your starting weight, age, needs, sex and condition (nursing mother etc) and this is a representation of the calories, fat and fiber that you take in daily. That point number also accounts for reducing calories so that you lose.

I spent my first week eating breakfast the way I had FOREVER! Have you heard the statement: if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got? Yeah? Well I was eating my favorite breakfasts like I had always done (Carmel Macchiato and muffin). They were almost HALF my daily points and that first week I spent most of my days hungry or overeating.

It didn't take me long to figure out that I needed to change WHAT I was eating, so I could eat more and still lose. Oatmeal, hardboiled eggs, cottage cheese with fruit or tomatoes, these became my breakfasts and I found that the healthier I ate, the fewer points it would cost and the bigger the result I would see come weigh in day.

2) Portion control is KEY.

This was one of my other big problems: I was eating lean meat and veggies but my portions were out of control!! I would go to the store and buy an 8 ounce salmon steak and eat the whole thing (3 oz for meat yo--remember that!). I had huge portions of everything and it was no wonder I plateaued and wasn't losing anymore! Here are some portion guides:

3) Woman can not live by coffee alone!

Some of you who know me (personally or well or have been reading for a while) will probably laugh, cuz, don't I live on coffee NOW? I drink coffee now, but I also drink water!! You need to drink water to be well, healthy and to lose weight!! Just do it. Aim small at first if you need to and build up, but ideally you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water a day. More if you are working out.

Also, like I said in point one, I had to trash the fru-fru coffees and high sugar, double whip, chocolate caramel concoctions. I learned to like regular coffee with cream (no sugar!!). Whew. What a girl will do to hit that goal weight. I still have the fancy coffee sometimes but now as a treat, and I try to go skim!

Once I learned these few keys for my journey, things really took off. My first few weigh-in took off 4.2 pounds and from there the weight came off steady until I was at my goal weight and eventually achieved lifetime status. I was actively losing weight in the program from September 2004 to June 2005.

In total I lost 35 pounds, on my own and through Weight Watchers!!

I got to the point where I could tell if I was overeating or eating outside of my points because they help you really understand what "full" feels like. You get so used to eating what you should every day that when you eat more--you can tell! Weight Watchers helped me understand WHY I was eating or what I was really feeling. Is it hunger or was it another emotion? Was I using food to forget my feelings or shut them up? These were very powerful things to see in my life.

The girlfriend who inspired me is now a Weight Watchers leader and runs TWO successful meetings in my area!! It really became a lifestyle change for those of us who went through it together and because of her.

This was around my 10% body weight lost goal and in my fave PJ's

I learned how to portion control, how to eat healthy, how to hydrate. I learned how to use food for fuel as my working out became more and more successful and intense. I was running more and started adding classes at the YMCA and toning work at home into my routines.

This added as much change as the weight-loss itself. My body began to change shape with the strength training! My arms, legs and hips were getting smaller. And I was increasing speed in my runs due to the muscle. This is how strength training WON my heart!! I was so thrilled, that I bought hand weights and would stand in front of my full length mirror and repeat:

I am whole
I am healthy
My bones are strong
My skin is healthy, young and hydrated
My arms are toned
My core is centered
My body and my life are shedding their excess!!

This is where my love for affirmations really took off! I still have the original sheet that lists the affirmations above. It hung right next to my mirror so I could speak the words and look in the mirror at the same time!

But at that point, the only true excess I had shed was my weight, there was a lot MORE excess to be shed. Just about the time I achieved my goal weight, I broke off my relationship with the was necessary, it was excess!! The relationship didn't end very well but the important thing was that I was out of it. I actually had prayed a number of times for an "out" if you will, but didn't take the dozen or so that came up. It took an outburst in front of friends for me to have the courage to really say I deserved more. Besides, I don't think that my friends would have let it fly had I stayed with him-- thank goodness for good friends!!

Just about here is where my recovery story would come in! You see, in the middle of my weight-loss journey as I struggled with all these emotions, (seeming) failures and set backs, this relationship is where I traded one addiction for another. My drinking soared to new heights as the numbers on my scale went down. It was too bad actually because all the drinking was using up points --what a bad deal trading healthy calories for empty ones-boo!

The reason WHY I think it took off so, was to really shut out the voice of reason that was telling me to get out of the relationship. I was talking to my Mom about this, not two days ago and recalled a specific instance where me and the boy were in a car, on the way to a vineyard on a beautiful day. My brain was screaming--literally repeating:

I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this.

I should have turned to him and said it, told him to turn the car around and undo what we had done. Instead, I found something that would quiet the voice, or at least "drown" it out for a while. I had shed the weight, but my journey of shedding the excess was just getting started. I am SO thankful that for the past 5 years I have kept the weight off!!

I have had a few ups and downs, everyone does. I have even had to bust out the point book, the scale and start "over" again after a bad week or a tough month, but I am grateful, I have never been more than 5-8 lbs over goal and that has come off in the end. Don't be discouraged if you feel like you are constantly starting over, resetting or reassessing your progress, that's how this thing called life is done.

Getting rid of excess in your life is not always weight or food and sometimes when you think you got one monkey off your back, it shows up in a different area. But if we are honest about looking at our lives and examining our habits, intentions and motives, we can overcome these things that weigh us down and limit us! I did it and so can you! Looking back, in my life, the things that I was freed from and the person that I became through it all was by the grace of God!

Knowing your goals, moving with purpose, self reflection, hard work, good friends, a support system of people to keep you accountable and grace that is new every morning will carry us through the finish line of this journey we are on.

Good luck!!

I would love to hear your own stories so leave a comment or send me an email at

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I have a vision!

Have you heard of vision boards? They are basically a wonderful collage of our visions, dreams and goals to help us better visualize our direction in life. I have 2 vision boards that I have created in the last 7 years or so ( I SHOULD do more!) and they have helped me to see where I want to go and really see what is important to me.

It's a bit like art class!! First thing I do is pick one or two specific things you want to help get a better vision for. Then, get your favorite magazines, a scissors, tape, glue, markers or glitter if you're ambitious and set to work cutting out pictures, phrases, words and examples of the things that symbolize this vision for you!!

My first board was a jumbled hodgepodge of everything I wanted! Oh, and I wanted it now! Some huge goals are on this board: Romance, real men, marriage. Some goals were not as big, but were huge for me: drinking more water, eating fruits & veggies, being fit, being active and having a clean, organized home (from the inside out). Other key phrases stick out: happiness, simplicity, abundance, education.

This was the first board I did and I felt silly at first, cutting and pasting and creating this smattering of my innermost desires only to, what, hang it in my house?! But it wasn't merely the act of looking at it daily (although I did, it hung above my dresser) but it was naming my dreams and goals, giving them a visual home, that made them real for me. It made them things that I could really achieve. Looking at it daily helped also.

Here is part of the second board I created. It is actually on the backside of the first board. Here I am aiming for financial stability, stability in my home and travel!!

Obviously you can see as well that other general encouraging words and words that inspire are on there as well, but phrases like: financial wellness, save money, rock solid retirement, rethink, rebuild, renew are repeating themes. Also travel is another theme on this board. Phrases like: vacation boldly, pictures of a ship, a globe a map, and "urban chic" in front of snowy mountains.

Here is the full board. There are things on there that I have not achieved yet (like getting a VW), somethings that are on the way (Vacay to Germany shortly!) and somethings that I have found are a constant journey like being organized, running and living with confidence.

I find that when the time comes to make a new board it isn't because the old one is outdated or that I have achieved everything I so painstakingly pasted on it, but because my goals and dreams are growing and changing. The relevance of each previous board stays the same, it is if they are the stepping stones on my path!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Douglas Trail Recap!

Good Morning everyone!!

Here is a little recap of my last long run on Saturday! It was a great time, the trail was beautiful this time of year and fun to run since half of it was new to me, it was a bit longer than I thought! There were quite a few trees down along the trail I was tricked by the weather a little, but it was no big deal, just obstacles to overcome (or jump over). Here is the vlog!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Running Tunes I love today!

Running Tunes I love today...or Yesterday rather in ode to my fair Pine Island! Since I am ran in my home town, I compiled some of my favorite running tunes that remind me of the home of Cheese Fest and going to high school here. They sure do take me back kept me trucking on my LAST LONG RUN!

Fallen Angel, Poison
Take me with you, Prince
Life is a Highway, Tom Cochrane
Everybody, Everybody Black Box
Make you Sweat, C&C Music Factory
Welcome to the Jungle, Guns and Roses
Step by Step, NKOTB
3am Eternal, The KLF
Rhythm is a dancer, Snap
Love and Affection, Nelson Oh yeah!! Who is the cute one--Matthew or Gunar?
Informer, Snow
Jump, Kris Kross

Need Proof?

I'm on the right, totally krossed out in my bulls jersey and cross color jeans!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Answering the call

Mom and I were on the town tonight at the New Life Family Services Banquet and fundraiser!! They are an organization that offers pregnancy crisis counseling, pregnancy care, abstinence education, support groups and adoption services and they are all about educating women and men on their choices!! Through practical and spiritual counsel, New Life provides education and support with the hope each client will make a life-affirming decision for their unborn child.

I am a huge advocate for life and I am so excited to be able to attend this banquet and fundraiser tonight and be able to spend time with friends and my Mom at the same time!! The speakers were wonderful tonight, all the women sharing their stories, the guest speaker author, Jon Ensor and entertainment by Michael Pearce Donley.

Here's Mom getting some cheese and fruit!

Before the speakers and after a wonderful dinner--we weren't sure
they were going to feed us--but they did!

Adam and I looking antique! So blessed to have great friends
to enjoy all the fun in life! Adam is running the Monster Dash too next weekend!


I also bid in their silent auction also and won THREE passes to ROLLER GARDEN! I skated there ALL the time with MNRG and look forward to dusting off the quads for a spin around the rink! What a great night!!

It's time to hit the trail!

I am NINE days away from the MONSTER DASH half marathon (Buwahahaha!) which I blogged about on August 15th!! WOW. How time has flown...

This weekend is my last long run and since I am home visiting, I decided to run the length of the Douglas Trail which is 12.5 miles!! It runs from PineIsland to Rochester and it was a running/biking trail that we ran on in High School Cross Country! I still know the distances out to a number of points and back. I am actually really excited because it is a beautiful trip and I have never ran the whole thing!! I will be sure and take lots of pics!

Me at 13 ON the Douglas Trail for CC pics!

My last long run!

I am prepped for the big run by taking these items with me: Cliff bar shot blocks, an orange, a lara bar, my fuel belt, my Ipod, road ID, phone and camera whew!

Before the run, I am going to start out with some PB & banana toast, a hard boiled egg and Amazing grass!
Afterwards, I am not sure yet, what I will use to refuel, but my Mom better have SOMETHING good waiting for me, that is if she remembers to come and pick me up...this ain't no round trip!

But I do plan on relaxing afterwards with a nice warm bath and some foam rolling!!

Then, next week I get to do the real thing and run my first half marathon!! I am so excited. I have always thought marathoners were maybe a bit looney--awesome, brave, inspiring, but yeah, a tad looney. But this past week, I saw the appeal.

I had a fleeting thought of running either Grandmas Marathon in Duluth or next years Twin Cities Marathon. But it flitted away as soon as it came...we will see! For now, I get to look forward to THIS as my finishing belt buckle:

How AWESOME is that!!! I am not much into skulls, I am more of a hearts and rainbows girl, but I am into belt buckles, and this is such a great one!! Early tomorrow, I hit the trail! Literally!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My weight-loss Journey Part 2

OK! More weight-loss journey love today...I left off in my weight loss journey talking about being in the business relationship where my heart was in it, but it was not the right place, it was not the right partner, nor was it the right time. DustJacket books was a dream, but I was personally downtrodden and emotionally overwhelmed. I was trying desperately go make the relationship with my business partner work and it wasn't.

Cleaning and putting out new stock after a big used book purchase

So, when this knight in shining armor showed up, this boy who brought me gifts and called me sweet names, it seemed like it was an answer to prayer. Really what it turned out to be was one more step down the wrong path. I am SURE that someone out there is thinking:

"Ok, Mary so the other day you were just writing about how your past is part of who you are! How can you say it was a wrong path?"

Just because we come across something that LOOKS good, that LOOKS like we should do it, doesn't mean we should. It may be a job, a car, a relationship, it could be anything! Something that we want or need or something that just seems to good to pass up. But remember all the ways that we can live with and move with purpose. That will help you see if something will lead you down the wrong path in life.

So WHY did I move forward into this relationship? Because I was broken!! My decision to partner with the person I did, left me emotionally broken and vulnerable to this next season of my life. I think sometimes when we are facing challenges and trials in life, one situation could serve to break our spirit in order to put us into an even worse one. (this is a great reason to make good decisions and KNOW WHO YOU ARE) I knowingly settled for a relationship that was less than what I wanted and less even than qualities in a mate I had WRITTEN down years prior. Why? Something in me believed I was never really going to get what I deserved anyway, I had been doing this over and over in relationships of all kinds.

They say that misery loves company and me and the boy, we were miserable together and doing it perfectly. We spent many a night at the local bar after we were off work and what I didn't know was that for my personality I had hit the misery jackpot--we drank together, we fought together, we were lazy together, he controlling and driven by anger and I the co-dependant taking the blame and trying to fix...everything. I was focusing on him instead of taking care of myself, too ashamed to admit yet one more mistake and defeat.

Before my weight-loss journey--
my only picture at a national monument-Doh! does this intertwine with my weight-loss journey? I was unhappy and I was loosing myself in food, I had gained 10 pounds since opening the store, I never worked out, I was stressed out more than I had ever been and I was drinking to escape all that was wrong in my life. That and I wasn't addressing any of the core problems that my weight gain was just a symptom of! One afternoon in the store, I actually had a customer ask me if I was pregnant. When I said no, she asked if I was sure. THAT was my last straw. Did I want things to change? Desperately! Did I know how to change them? Not the slightest idea.

I left my business after a year and a half, relinquishing the remainder to my partner. I was able to then devote myself entirely to being miserable. Adding to my layoff, my partying, my weight gain, my unhealthy relationship now, I gently placed a failed business on the shelf next to all the other failures in my life.

I wanted to change SO MUCH and it took me a while to really decided how I was going to. I would have to change how I lived and at that point, I only vaugly understood what that meant. I knew I needed to lose weight & I was unhealthy, but Ithink that if I had know the FULL extent of what I was going to have to go through for health, I would have been more discouraged to start! Thank God I did, I had people like my Mom to tell me the truth: I weighed too much and I HAD to change.

My Mom! My biggest fan: by me in the good and bad, always cheering me on.
This is Mothers day brunch!

So, I bought a stair stepper for 50 bucks off of craigslist. I didn't know anything about gym equiptment--I was a former high school runner-- mediocre at best. What I knew was that it was cheap, it would make me sweat and I could fit it in my bedroom! Looking back I have to laugh at me up there stepping away for an HOUR at a time like it was a treadmill--it was the most boring workout ever!! I decided to cut out a lot of crap from my diet: cookies, sweets, junk food, fast food, bar food. I switched to chicken, fish, and veggies only for dinners and tried to eat healthy, that is as best as I understood it.

Up until that point, I didn't own a scale!! I found out my highest weight when I was at a local clinic donating plasma. So, I bought a crappy scale and started to see what the stair stepper and the salmon diet would do. I would sit in my room stair-stepping away, watching wheel of fortune, watching the minutes and calories on the machine go up little by little! It was such a hard workout and I would just keep chugging along. I didn't start cross training, biking or walking or anything, I just mindlessly suffered up there on that machine, waiting till I could go to the kitchen and eat dinner. Food was still such a huge motivation for me! It really is funny looking back but I felt so alone in my journey and so baffled by what I could do to move forward.

Here I am after some of my loss--the whole time, it was like
something was missing from my life!

I had a pair of pants I called my goal pants: I snagged them from a free box in the laundry room and they were a pair of gray, straight and very plain Old Navy dress pants. Standing in my bedroom next to the stair stepper, I struggled to get them over my thighs and hips (just barely) and unable to bring them anywhere close to buttoning or zipping and told the boy "I WILL fit into these pants one day. I WILL". And I hung them in my closet with all my other clothes. There they sat for another year.

to be continued....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Enlyten Strips: And the Winners are...

And the Winners are....

Missy over at Missy Maintains!
Stephanie at The Skinny Plate
And Junghwa!

Each of these three winners will receive a weeks supply of Enlyten Strips (that's 2 cassettes!) of their choice!! Please be sure and email me so we can get these sent out to you!!

A BIG THANK YOU to the readers and winners and thank you to
Ryan at Enlyten for this generous offer and giveaway!

Here I am about to take my
electrolyte strips after a fast 3.5 miles!! I love them and you guys will too!

Be You-- tiful!

Today is National Love your Body day. Women all over are embracing their bodies, just as they are: flat, round, creamy, steamy, flaws,wrinkles, paunches, puckers, dimples, pimples, freckles! The good the bad and the this is why I have a gym membership! I spent all morning thinking about what it means to LOVE your body, and here is what I came up with.

I do not LOVE my body. There are times when I feel at odds with it: it doesn't look or feel the way I want it to, it lacks the energy I need or sabotages a perfect outfit. But there are days when I really do like it also: when my hair lays just right, when my muscles carry me farther than I thought, when I find the willpower and my body follows without my asking. And I take care of it, I reward it and treat it with love and kindness: good nourishment, rest (some days more than others) and a bit of pampering now and again.

But I do not love it.
I am grateful to it.
I treat it with respect.
I will take care of it.
But I do not LOVE it.

People talk about their bodies being temples, but of what? Temples of their own skill, physique or desires. My body is a temple to the spirit that is within me! That spirit is what is going to last for eternity and what will remain long after my body has gotten old, wrinkly, tired (more tired) and returns to the dust. Loving my body will accomplish nothing because when it is gone, it will have been in vain. We should not get too attached or in love with this is fleeting and that includes our bodies in all their states: hot ones, little ones, round, tall, big boned-- you name it. It's just a house for the spirit inside me. That is where the true person is--the person I am and the person I am in Christ! We are closer to death now then we are when we die...our spirit is alive if we have Christ in us and that-- that is a reason to celebrate!

Like I said above I think we should take care of the body we have, we are asked to take care of it and be good tenants!!

So eat right, exercise, rest and do all the great stuff we do to show gratitude and respect to our tired eyes, pretty face and hard working legs and arms. Embrace Fat Talk Free Week and encourage each other to think positive, be well and have a good self image. These are ways we can be good to our body AND our soul. As for me, I have other things to love and cherish that will be around for a lot longer than this body, no matter how fit it gets.

Moving with Purpose

At a group fitness class once, the instructor was watching me and came over while I was doing lunges. He told me that I wasn't focusing on the exercise--I was like "Are you serious??" We were doing a ton of weighted over head lunges and he saw that I was losing my balance a bit. He called me out on my focus. I wasn't dailed in he said, I wasn't digging in deep to the exercise. He was 100% right. I was thinking about the pain in my legs, about the other people in the class, about dinner. I was not moving through the lunges with purpose, I was just getting them done and not very well.

How do we move with purpose not only in your workouts, but in life? To really walk, run or work with your focus solid and with true purpose?

Always have a goal in mind: Many of us have dreams or goals that are far away and feel like dreams! This is good, but in order to reach these, we have to have smaller, more actionable goals. If my overall goal is to eat healthy, a few smaller more actionable steps may be: take a cooking class, plan my meals, always shop with a list. These will help bring you closer to your big goal.

Be in the moment: There is so much to stimulate us in this world that it can be easy to lose focus. I am guilty of it, I leave one thing to do another or have so much on my mind that I don't know where to begin. So, pick one thing to do and focus on it. Feel what you are doing right then: the way your hands hold the barbell, feel the power in your legs when you move. Focus on the details of what you're doing and be there only.

Don't be busy for the sake of being busy: You can spend your whole life on committees, working hard, running from one event and cause to the next. But do they have meaning to you? Or are you just busy with being busy. Pick one or two things you have true passion for and invest in those. There are things in this world that will last longer than the dust and sun and those are what we should invest in and do.

Stop, assess, re-center, move: Take some time every now and again to see if you have gotten off track. Maybe you are caught up in a really good thing, but when you assess the situation, you see that it isn't leading you to your goals. At that point you need to assess whether or not your goals have changed or if you need to alter your steps and get back to your own purpose. Then, move forward.

Be true to who you are: It can be a HARD thing to do, it took me many years. But learn who you are, learn how you work and what you need and then be true to that. If you don't, moving with purpose will seem vague and empty. If you believe in prayer, use it!! Above any person, God knows who you are, he made you--seek after him to see who you are and what you should be pursuing. Then, be true to that, to who you are and what you believe. Then you will be successful at moving with purpose through life!

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