Girl on Fire: My head is in the fitness game

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser November 20, 2014]

I had my final outside run of the year late last week. My neighbors have a chocolate lab, a friendly pup named Diesel, who loves running alongside me in the sunshine, but wasn’t around while my feet crunched on the country gravel.

Since then, winter finally hit Creston, and already I miss being able to be outside and not have my fingers freeze.

Thanks in part to three weddings I plan to attend in 2015, I have been working harder than ever when it comes to my health. And, with three big holidays coming up before the new year, now is as good a time as any to keep myself in check.

My plan is to sign up for a half marathon in early spring. I know of several around that time, such as the Dam to Dam in Des Moines. It would be the perfect time, as it is before any of the weddings, still early in the year and the weather would be nice. Once January comes around, I will be signing up for something!

On top of that, I started CrossFit a few months ago. While it can be very difficult, performing each lift with correct form or just getting in the mental state to work out, the final effect it has on me is almost miraculous. I feel so good knowing I can put my body through work like squat cleans or ring dips, and come out on the other side still in one piece.

I have discovered one of the best ways for me to watch how much I eat and workout throughout the week is by writing things down. I know MyFitnessPal is a great app for your phone, but I prefer the old-fashioned way of writing things down by hand.

One of the most important things I’ve learned these past few months is moderation is okay. It’s okay to sneak a candy bar every once in a while, or chow down on lasagna instead of a salad sprinkled with chicken and no dressing. Those little moments are what make you not hate watching your eating because, even though those foods may not be healthy, you don’t eat them all the time. Without chocolate, I’d probably die.

Another of the most important things I’ve learned is that I’m happy. It was difficult at first, seeing what the scale said or realizing I can’t dead lift as much as the next woman at CrossFit. But, I somehow managed to get over the hurdle and now, as long as I’m trying to be healthier, I will be happy. And, happiness is what has helped me manage to put one step in front of the other and succeed.

I guess what I want to say now is thank you to any and all those people who have helped me on this journey, and those who will continue to help me. In exchange, I support everyone who is in the same position as me. You’re awesome!

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