RESTORED_ME's SparkPeople Blog RESTORED_ME's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community This finish line... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Aug 1, 2013 I will be closing my Sparkpeople account. I've reached the proverbial finish line with SparkPeople and it's time for me to begin a new race. <BR> <BR> I've learned SO much from this experience and from the incredibly resilient, determined, sincere people who are the SPARKS in the SparkCommunity. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Continue to run... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 22:21:27 EST Farewell to the SPARK.... What a ride... I've enjoyed my Spark experience, but it's time to say farewell to the Spark. <BR> <BR> My health and fitness are central priorities in this season... spiritually, physically, and mentally. It's time to shift things for the BEST season of my journey. Sometimes shifting requires cutting out/off certain people, places, and things so that other aspects/areas can grow. Change is a good thing, especially when the change promotes growth. <BR> <BR> Keep sparking, keep running you r... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 22:03:06 EST The BIG picture <img src=""> <BR> Aug 2004/Dec 2009 (top) <BR> Aug 2012/July 2013 (bottom) <BR> This has been a long process from 330+lbs... my scale didn't go higher than 330, so I really don't know my highest post-preg weight. <BR> <BR> Some of you asked, "How did you do it? " <BR> <BR> I finally surrendured to consistency after I made a lot of mistakes. Early on, I explored every yo-yo diet & quick fix imaginable. For me, that approach didn't/doesn... Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:35:44 EST Progress monitoring on July Goals So far I am on track for my July goals: <BR> <BR> I won't report on the weight loss til the end of the month <BR> I am drinking more water than any other liquid <BR> So far, I've included line dancing and speed work into my regimen <BR> <BR> Ending each day with at least a 300 calorie surplus, 500 if its a workout day, has been pretty consistent... on the days that I track my foods <BR> NO FAST FOOD (with the exception of Subway & iced Starbucks coffee)? The one day that I cheated on this... Wed, 10 Jul 2013 13:05:47 EST Pre-July Tune up <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So far I am on track for my July goals: <BR> <BR> Having said all that, here are my July goals: <BR> Lose 5-7 lbs (10 lbs would be SWEET!!!!) <BR> Drink more water than any other liquid <BR> Mix up my workout regiment to include yoga, swimming, and more strength training <BR> Punch up my road work to include 2-3 days of speed work <BR> End each day with at least a 300 calorie surplus, 500 if its a workout day... Sat, 29 Jun 2013 21:20:10 EST There is no finish line... "You can be transformed. Not overnight, but over time. Life is not a race. Neither is an ultra-marathon, not really, even though it looks like one. There is no finish line. We strive toward a goal, and whether we achieve it or not is important, but it's not what's most important. What matters is how we move toward that goal. What's crucial is the step we're taking now, the step YOU'RE taking now." <BR> <BR> -Scott Jurek, Eat and Run <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 26 Jun 2013 23:50:41 EST NEW MONTH, NEW GOALS, NEW VIEW As I prepare to enter July, I am ready to set new goals for the latter half of this year. I'm finally at a place where I can say exercise isn't an issue. I routinely workout 3-4 days a week and actually feel awkward if I don't get enough miles under my feet or sweat on my brow. <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> I've devoted countless hours into running/improving my runs. It's time to devote a comparable amount of energy into my nutritional approach. With the support of my Timex h... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 12:56:03 EST 13 in 2013 DONE!!!!! <img src=""> <BR> I did it! I ran 13 races in 2013... and I still have 1/2 the year to go. With everything that's been going on with work, family, etc. , I totally stopped counting but just kept running my races. <BR> <BR> The rest of the year, I will be running & basking in the overflow. <BR> #11 Ridge Run 5k <BR> #12 Allstate 1/2 marathon <BR> #13 iRun Against Diabetes 10k <BR> <BR> I can do all things through Christ who strengthens... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 19:39:03 EST The power of the mind & the spoken word <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> How true this is.... every time I think "I can't make it", I find the work harder than if I reframe my thoughts. When I focus in on what I want to accomplish or what I am targeting, I've found that I often surprise myself. Either way, my mind directly contributes to what my body & my will are able to accomplish. <BR> <BR> Here are a few of mine: <BR> <BR> Sprints: Knife-hands, wide stride (this helps me... Thu, 20 Jun 2013 01:11:20 EST Believe it! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere, and crete a life worth living, a noble life. Pain is a fact; our evaluation of it is a choice.” ~ Jacob Held <BR> <BR> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 01:00:54 EST 2nd Half Marathon (#12 of 13) ... I ROCKED!!! To GOD be the glory! I finished my 2nd half marathon smiling, injury-free, and with energy to spare. My goal was to finish by 3:15:00 so I could beat my time from the January half (3:18:54)... God enabled me to CRUSH that time today. I cleared the course in 3:03:59!!! I am extremely grateful to God and all the ladies of BGR-Chicago who showed up today. Every one was exchanging high fives, encouragement, thumbs up. .. LOVE! I am SO amped right now, getting fit never felt so good. Thank you Fat... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 22:19:32 EST iRun Against Diabetes Virtual Run <BR> <BR> iRun Against Diabetes Virtual Run <BR> <BR> <BR> What is a virtual challenge you might be wondering. A virtual 5K/10K/Half marathon is a race that you can choose to run on your own, with a group, as a team or as part of an organized race. All you need to do is walk, run or crawl your way to the completion of 3.1, 6.2 or 13.1 miles. After you have completed your distance, simply go this website and log in your time via the CONTACT page and you are done! It is THAT simple. Each r... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 00:32:52 EST 1st race anniversary Today I ran my anniversary race.... I beat my time from last year but it was bittersweet. <BR> 2012 0:45:34 <BR> 2013 0:44:04 <BR> <BR> 1 mi 12:46 <BR> 2 mi 17:19 *I stood waiting for another runner for almost 5 minutes... o_0 * <BR> 3 mi 12:32 <BR> 4 mi 11:43 <BR> <BR> I could have cleared the course in 40 minutes. I could have beat my previous time by at least 5 minutes opposed to 1:30. I will not cry about this, but I am really bummed out about it. I totally prepared my mind and body to... Mon, 27 May 2013 13:46:27 EST Train Your Brain to Run Your Best I recently read an article that really resonated with me... Two things really stood out for me as key components in successful (and less than ideal) runs and races; focal points and critical thinking. <BR> <BR> Train Your Brain to Run Your Best <BR> "Reciting positive thoughts is fine, but to really run your best, you've got to shout down your inner critic." <BR> By Michelle Hamilton; <BR> May 17, 2013 <BR> <BR> "If you focus on results, you take yourself out of the now," says Stan Beecham,... Wed, 22 May 2013 16:38:50 EST Exceeding abundantly.... Last year, in April 2012, I set out to complete "12 in 2012".... I was a new runner. I set this goal to give myself a reason to run... as if my life, health, & strength weren't valid reasons. Smh <BR> <BR> I ended 2012 with 16 events under my feet along with an incredible amount of miles earned during group runs, solo runs, and the aforementioned events. By the grace of GOD, HE allowed me to discover & witness a running support group in action at my 2nd or 3rd event (the Disco Dash). He has ... Mon, 20 May 2013 01:32:09 EST My 1 year running anniversary.... My 1 year running anniversary was on April 16th... it came and went in the midst of the Boston Marathon bombing. There was too much grieving going on among the running community to take the time to celebrate the fact that I met another milestone in my life. I've officially been on my running journey for OVER a year. Thank God for progress, patience, and persistence. <BR> <BR> <BR> My next milestone is to beat my time from the 1st 5k I ran in 2012. I cleared the course in 0:45:34 despite ... Wed, 15 May 2013 13:26:53 EST 8 and 9 of "13 in 2013" are DONE!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 1 Corinthians 9:24, 26-27 KJV/Amplified <BR> "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.... I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but like a boxer I discipline my body by hardships..." <BR> <BR> Hardships are often misunderstood. The knee-jerk response is 'why me?' Or, 'what did I do to deserve this?' ... Mon, 6 May 2013 03:04:00 EST We who run... We who run... <BR> <BR> We run solo, in pairs, or full groups... <BR> We run in the rain, sleet, snow, and sunshine <BR> We run at a pace just above our power walk, or we trot, jog, and sprint our way to the finish <BR> We drop the weight of emotional eating, baggage, and unhealthy habits <BR> We run while enjoying the highs, enduring the lows, and embracing the journey <BR> We clear practice runs, 5Ks, 7Ks, 8Ks, 10K, 1/2 marathons, marathons, and ultras <BR> We sweat, cry, and sometimes fa... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 14:19:47 EST Surprising myself... #7 of 13 DONE! I totally surprised myself with this one... I ran my fastest mile (so far) at 11:49min/mi. I finished the 8k course in 64minutes with energy to spare. <BR> <BR> Seriously, I decided that I would see if I could cover the equivalent of a 1/2 marathon in a day and I almost did it: <BR> <BR> I walked to and from the race course (almost 4mi) <BR> I cleared the course (5.6mi) <BR> I drove home, ate, showered, changed, and ran again (4mi) <BR> <BR> Throughout the course of the day, I covered 12.9... Tue, 9 Apr 2013 16:11:16 EST #7 of 13 in 2013 #7 is just over a week away and I am SO glad the weather is beginning to feel more like spring & less like winter. <BR> <BR> This week, I've been surprising myself. I've been preparing my mind for my upcoming shift in training for my next 1/2 marathon. I have to start incorporating speed work into my training plan and I know I am ready. I averaged 13:30min/mi on Tuesday and 12:31min/mi on Wednesday and both runs were just over 3 miles. <BR> <BR> For my 1st 1/2 marathon, my only goal was t... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 03:00:20 EST All smoke aside... I need an intervention. Ok.... opposed to composing a smoke screen, I am sending up a SERIOUS smoke signal. <BR> <BR> March has been less successful than I wanted it to be. I was totally dissatisfied with the visual progress pictures that I took at the beginning of the month and my measurements weren't spectacular although I'd lost weight from the previous month. <BR> <BR> I let a tinge of disappointment practically derail my dietary train. I think I've eaten worse in the past 3-4 weeks than I have in months. I ... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:57:51 EST #5 & #6 of 13: DONE!!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> These two runs were great.... #5 was completed with my son and he ran his fastest mile thus far. <BR> <BR> As for #6, my pace partner and I started together, paced together, finished together! 0:57:14, 13:10min/mi... we have the exact same finish time! Talk about team work... <BR> <BR> A few of the ladies in the C25K cohort that I am training ran this 7k with me. I am SO proud of my C25Ker's who ran this event. W... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 20:20:12 EST Running on purpose... This year is going by so fast.... I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that race #5 & #6 are both scheduled for this week and I will be right at the hump of 13 in 2013! I gave myself an entire year to accomplish this feat and I think I can beat it by the end of June. <BR> <BR> I am learning that I need a purpose for running. While I love the feelings associated with a good run, as well as the health benefits, I still struggle with running just for the sake of running. For whatever reason, ... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 01:11:32 EST Worthy of the RESET option <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Things have been really busy on my end... with work, illness, and weather-related challenges I only ran 13 times in February. Blah! <BR> <BR> I'm somewhat torn between whether this is a good thing or a slump. I ran three events in January and the final event was my 1/2 marathon. I completed one 5k in February and started leading a C25K cohort. Honestly, my weekly runs have been their runs and I didn't atte... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 20:49:33 EST March Lower Body Challenge!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Visualized Goals: <BR> <BR> SERENA-STATUS GLUTES! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> SERENA-STATUS THIGHS! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Fri, 1 Mar 2013 19:00:02 EST Meeting my needs... <img src=""> <BR> It's official, we are breaking up... my long-term relationship with Lane Bryant has run its course. I can't wear their tops because they don't carry a size 12, anything bigger than that is too big and/or looks slouchy, and I have NO intention of trying to make this relationship work. :-) <BR> <BR> I told the clerk this was my last time seeing her in this store and she said, "You're losing weight, but you'll always be bu... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 18:44:56 EST #4 of 13: 4 down, 9 to go <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Slow and steady, I will win the race set before me. <BR> <BR> I really eased up on my personal mileage goals after completing my 1/2 marathon. I also significantly slowed my pace to faciliate the C25K cohort that I am leading. I didn't think that this would have much of an impact on my overall running capacity... I was only 1/2 right. <BR> <BR> Today, I ran at race pace.... but I struggled to maintain my former... Sun, 17 Feb 2013 01:56:40 EST Doing my 1st works over... Now that my 1st half marathon is over, I am leading a 9 week C25K group with a flock of newbies! Oh joy! I mean that, sincerely. I am excited about helping others accomplish their goals... especially when they put forth their best effort and challenge themselves to accomplish more than they imagined. Today marked Week 2, Day 1 for these ladies and they are on a roll. Last week, they covered 1.86miles and this week they covered 2.4miles! <BR> <BR> My next 1/2 marathon is in June so I have ple... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 22:01:18 EST RECONNECT, REVIVE, RESTORE: Lent Observance: Feb 13-Mar 30 Its time to reconnect, revive, restore some things spiritually and naturally.... Wed, 30 Jan 2013 14:26:35 EST The essence of the group run experience... If pictures say 1, 000 words, here are 4, 000 <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 23:44:57 EST I am officially <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Miracles, signs, & wonders... my Father answers my prayers. I completed my 1st 1/2 Marathon today (with gravy); 13.3mi in 3:18:54! The course was scheduled to close in 3:30:00. I finished before the cut off & I was NOT dead last. The wind was in my favor, I am injury free, I enjoyed the highs & lows of this race. God answered those prayers. <BR> <BR> Running a 1/2 marathon was nothing like what I expected... <BR>... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 00:42:21 EST #3 of 13... my 1st HALF-MARATHON #1 of 13 was a brisk, January 5k... not a big deal. I ran at an easy, but steady pace to gauge my goal for the rest of my 5K's. <BR> <BR> #2 of 13 was an unseasonably balmy, January10k... a bit of a big deal. This was my 2nd official 10K and I beat my 1st 10k by several minutes! <BR> <BR> #3 of 13 will be a snowy January HALF MARATHON... what a HUGE deal for me. This will be my 1st half marathon and I am looking forward to finishing the race injury-free and SMILING! <BR> <BR> A seasoned, u... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 16:53:20 EST Unfinished... I am... <BR> A work in progress <BR> A transformation in process <BR> An ever-evolving creation of the Father <BR> I am unfinished Thu, 17 Jan 2013 22:18:10 EST #2 of 13 in 2013: DETERMINATION <img src=""> <BR> The results are in... I achieved my 10k PR yesterday! 1:22:12 was my official time. I started my prerace pep talk with prayer and EVERY body part lined up an stayed in agreement (hallelujah). While I didn't hit 1:20:00, I did shave over 3 min off my time from the Perfect 10 in November and I have NO complaints. I ran my race, pushed the limits of my pace, and trusted God to do His part. My average pace was 13.01mi/min (5... Mon, 14 Jan 2013 23:51:40 EST #2 of "13 in 2013": Determination <img src=""> <BR> The results are in... I achieved my 10k PR yesterday! 1:22:12 was my official time. I started my prerace pep talk with prayer and EVERY body part lined up an stayed in agreement (hallelujah). While I didn't hit 1:20:00, I did shave over 3 min off my time from the Perfect 10 in November and I have NO complaints. I ran my race, pushed the limits of my pace, and trusted God to do His part. My average pace was 13.01mi/min (5... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 23:21:24 EST 3 the hard way... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As I approach #2 of 13, I'm thinking.... "You just had to take on 3 the hard way? A 5k in the winter... ok, that's reasonable considering your practice runs are usually least 4mi. A10K in the winter... that's a little out of the box, but you've been increasing the distance on your long runs so it should be fine. A 1/2 marathon in the winter? Your FIRST 1/2 marathon? Now, this is TOTALLY out of the box! What on eart... Wed, 9 Jan 2013 08:54:00 EST #1 of 13 in 2013 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 1st 5k of 2013 <BR> New Years Virtual Run (0:40:32) <BR> <BR> I am totally pleased with my time for this 5k... 5k goal for 2012 was to complete the race course in under 40 min. I did that... twice. <BR> <BR> So, with this being a virtual run, I am pleased with my pace and I look forward to clearing a 5k in under 35 min by the end of 2013. <BR> <BR> #2 of 13 is a 10k this weekend... the goal is to finish sub 1:... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 02:45:16 EST She-roes... My arms and abs aspire to be on their level on day. Every time I strength train I get a little closer to achieving my aspiration. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> ***Disregard the misspelled "university" at the top of the pic Sun, 6 Jan 2013 18:39:21 EST Starting right on track... For the 1st time in EVER, I tracked my food for the day and MET all the goals. Yipee! <BR> I am ready to drop these last 76lbs and I realize this will take DAILY commitment to my goals. <BR> <BR> I ran today (of course) and I will keep running 4x/week. <BR> <BR> I will run 1007miles this year... 2013 divided by 2 = 1006.5miles <BR> I will incorporate MORE fruits & veggies on a daily basis. <BR> I will consumer MORE water (at least 136oz/4 of my reusable bottles) on a daily basis. <BR> I wi... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 22:38:17 EST Reflections without regrets... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As I reflect on 2012, I become misty-eyed and somewhat overwhelmed... God does answer prayers. At 7am, 60+ African-American women of all shapes, sizes, and shades descended on Oakwood Beach (in the cold) to celebrate the end of 2012 and the... beginning of 2013. I am fairly new to the running experience, my 1 year runniversary is April 8th, and I distinctly remember being ready to quit while plodding through 18-2... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 12:56:45 EST Never compare YOUR journey! Food for thought as we enter 2013... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 31 Dec 2012 00:03:24 EST Farther than before... Farther than I have EVER ran before... 9.28 miles in the snow! <BR> <BR> 3.82 miles shy of a half marathon. I am on my way to complete my 1st 1/2 marathon! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <em>366</em> <em>366</em> <em>366</em> <em>366</em> <em>366</em> <em>366</em> <em>366</em> Sun, 30 Dec 2012 01:17:42 EST Victories beyond the scale... from suffering to HOPE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am amazed at the # of people who approach me and ask how I've lost weight or ask for weight loss tips. I am blown away when they ask how I became a runner and if I can help them get to their next level. Sometimes, it makes me bubble over with glee... other times, I am so humbled I could cry. <BR> <BR> Me? <BR> The lady who only planned to run for survival? YES <BR> Who? Me? <BR> The lady who once weighed so m... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 23:38:53 EST Taking care of what has been borrowed... If we remember that our bodies are borrowed vessels, we can see how the work we commit towards keeping our bodies healthy is done unto the Lord. While we may be working out to lose weight, feel better, look more attractive to others, etc., our first priority is to remember that the opinion of others (and ourselves) is a small matter in comparison to that of God. Being able to live a long life with a desirable quality of living is a blessing/inheritance/reward that only God can grant. <BR> ... Wed, 26 Dec 2012 22:47:54 EST My shameless plug is reaping HUGE support! Early in December, I posted a shameless plug about my "13 in 2013" among my circle of friends & acquaintences. I posted, "So... who's got $5 on my 1st half marathon? You know you want to support a worthy cause, but you aren't ready/willing to run in the race. I got you! I'll run the race if you contribute to the charitable donation. Hey, don't feel like you have to limit yourself to $5... by all means, you can contribute more... any donations that exceed the cost will be applied to the NEXT e... Sun, 23 Dec 2012 20:47:04 EST 240 by Christmas? Hmmm, Christmas is 3 days. I just completed 8.19mi... <BR> Sunday: 4mi <BR> Monday: Maybe I will walk 3 miles.... <BR> Tueday: 5mi <BR> <BR> Honestly, I have 4lbs to lose by Tuesday in order to make this goal a reality. <BR> <BR> What shall I do in the event that I don't make weight??? <BR> <BR> I shall press on. I shall recalibrate my goal... 240lbs by New Years? Maybe. <BR> <BR> 240 by my 1st 10K for 2013... definitely. I am going to be smart about my food choices, drink plenty of wa... Sat, 22 Dec 2012 16:42:33 EST Never alone.... <img src=""> Fri, 21 Dec 2012 21:38:24 EST From size 28 to size 16! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I was in Lane Bryant doing a reality check/size check after a morning run. I was able to put on a size 16 jeans without pouring myself into them. On a whim, I asked for a pair of pants in the largest size I've evver purchased... a size 28. I stepped both feet into one leg of the pants. I have ALL of me standing in ONE leg of pants in the largest size I bought post pregnancy! <BR> <BR> While I have not arrived, ... Sun, 16 Dec 2012 20:46:01 EST Just for me... When I am running, I let go of everything, I mean EV-ER-Y-THING except my desire to RUN. <BR> When I run, I run with NO regrets. <BR> When I run, I run with the intention of releasing stress, fears, doubts, anxiety, disappointment... <BR> When I run, I run to RELEASE, RELAX, and REALLY do something for me. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I don't need anyone's approval of my stride... I focus on being approved by me & by God. <BR> I do... Wed, 12 Dec 2012 01:40:13 EST Staying on course... As of late, running has seriously become a metaphor for my Christian journey & the life that I am to live... The location of the finish line is determined by the event coordinator... it's not recommended or suggested, it is determined, prepared, and demarcated even when the runners can't see it, are ready to give up, are injured, etc... the finish line does not move. The only way to finis......h the course is to finish the course. Period. You can cry, sweat, vomit, crawl, walk, limp... I've s... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 00:55:28 EST