Category Archives: get fit

2014 Resolution Results

I had 3 main goals in 2014. First, to start and complete a Project 365 (taking at least 1 photo every day for a year with my DSLR and sharing on my blog). Second, to stop yelling at my kids completely. And third, to make my health a priority by exercising regularly throughout the year (with a measurable goal of running 300 miles in 2014).

Here’s how I did.

  1. Project 365 has been a breeze. There have been at least a handful of shots taken desperately at 11:30pm because I almost forgot, but I have successfully taken a picture every day with my DSLR AND kept up with sharing them in a weekly blog post titled Catch the Moment.   Added bonus/challenge for me – I took them all on the Manual setting! You can review them if you’d like by clicking this link. I plan to make a small photo book with the year of photos. What I loved about it was that it forced me to capture things I wouldn’t normally. Boring moments that are too easy to forget. It forced me to find beauty in the ordinary. I noticed the sun beams shining through the clouds over a sprouting cornfield on my way to work in a whole new way. Doing the project has increased my interest in casual photography and I would like to think that practicing for a year in manual has also increased my skill somewhat.  Success.
  2. Project Stop Yelling has been more of a challenge, but not a failure by any means. I realized about 3 months into the year that PMS has a great deal with my patience and my patience has a great deal with my yelling. I have recognized that my yelling has more to do with how I’m feeling than what my kids are doing. When you find yourself saying things like “stop acting like a 2 year old” to your 3 year old, you have created an “it’s me, not you” situation. I still have some progress to make and I stopped trying to count how many times I yelled but I know this year was much better than last and I think 2015 will be my best year as a mom yet. Progress.
  3. Project Run 300 Miles was destined to fail from the beginning. I had strep twice, the flu, and 3 separate stomach bugs in the first 6 weeks of the year. When I tried to pick it up again in mid-February, a knee injury slowed me waaay down. It’s been a gradual and slow process. Not to say that I have maintained the necessary level of motivation throughout the year to reach my goal of 300 miles, regardless, but the cards were stacked against me from the beginning. I don’t have good knees. I really have no business running. I hate running, until I’m done running. Then I love it. I love the challenge because it’s hard for me and I love the feeling of accomplishment when I run further than I thought I would or could. On a positive note, I did run further this year than I ever have before (my longest run being 3.6 miles) and I did run my first entire 5k in September. My goal was to run 25 miles per month or 300 miles in the year and I ended up with a total of 89 miles ran.  Disappointing. Ultimately my goal was to maintain my weight loss from 2013 with regular exercise and a healthier diet. My goal in 2013 was to lose (and keep off) 20-24 pounds. I maintained a 25 pound weight loss throughout 2013 and the first half of 2014.Right now I am at a 17 pound loss and I am not okay with that. I’d like to get back to a 25 pound loss and stay there.  I’d call this one Breaking Even – a mixture of small successes and disappointments.

I will be building off of these three goals from 2014 as we move into 2015. Photography, Family, and Fitness. Up next on Mommy in the Midwest: 2015 Resolutions. Stay tuned. 🙂

Did you make resolutions? Did you keep them?


2014 resolution check-in

My three resolutions for 2014 and my progress towards them with two-thirds of this year behind me…

1. Stop Yelling.

I decided to try to go an entire year without yelling at Theo and Dexter.  It wasn’t long before I had a couple of relapses and I quickly noticed a pattern.  It wasn’t them – it was me.  I was yelling when I was tired and/or PMSing.  I never put it together before until I started tracking how long it’d been between my meltdowns where I totally lost my cool.  My tolerance and patience is sliced in half when I’m hormonal – who knew?  I know that shaming my kids is not okay. Humiliating them with my size and power is unacceptable.  I’m not doing that anymore, so I call this an overall success so far in 2014.  Not perfect by any means, but better. While I can’t say that I haven’t raised my voice out of annoyance or frustration, I’m MUCH more aware of my own mood and how it impacts my parenting. The result at this point is that I am noticing a calmer tone in the home.

2. Run 300 miles.

Pretty much a major fail. My plan was to run about 2 miles three times a week all year.  Lofty, but that’s what dreams are, right? I blame the practically immediate demise of this dream on an uncooperative body.  I had two bouts of strep throat, a stomach bug, and THE flu in the first 6 weeks of 2014.  When I tried to get back to running in February, I had intense knee pain.  I injured myself somehow, to the point that standing up from a chair or walking from one end of my office building to the other was painful.  I had pain-free days here and there into the springtime, but I averaged just a handful of runs per month.  August has been my best running month all year with my longest run ever – 3.55 miles.  The day after that, my knees and ankles told me to back off and then the humidity here got ridiculous. I have slacked waaay off the last couple of weeks, but I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine of three runs per week soon. Not anywhere close to reaching my goal, but it hasn’t been completely forgotten.

3. Take a photo every day and document them weekly on my blog.

I have completely kept up with this. I have take every picture I have posted and every picture has been taken with my DSLR. No cheating! (This is not a requirement of the project, but a challenge to myself).  I can’t wait to compile the year of photos into a little book. The bonus is what I hope is an improvement in my photography skill and knowledge. My interest for the hobby has certainly grown, if nothing else.

So there you have it — did you make resolutions and have you kept them? I guess you could say I am at about 1.5 out of 3?



a 2014 weight/fitness resolution check-in

I had big dreams for 2014.  Big dreams for myself in 2014.  I got on a roll with running in 2013 and completed Couch to 5k. Running had always scared me because of my less-than-stellar knees.  No, I didn’t play sports…no I didn’t have a car accident or an injury. I just inherited really crappy knees.
So I was surprised that the more I ran, the less they bothered me.  Maybe getting 25 pounds off was what helped my knees.  Who knows.  I learned to like running. I won’t say I loved it. I kind of hate it during but love the feeling of accomplishment afterwards. It’s euphoria when I am able to push myself to meet or surpass a goal. I’m not and don’t ever plan to be a long distance runner. The furthest I’ve ever ran continuously is three and a half miles.  I was completely okay with that distance, but I wanted to just be consistently getting good, challenging exercise.
For 2014, I planned to run 25 miles per month or a total of 300 miles this year.  Unfortunately, in the first 6 weeks of 2014, I also experienced some unplanned obstacles. Like 2 separate stomach bugs, the flu, and 2 separate rounds of strep throat.  I ran 15 miles in during the month of January somehow but obviously fell short of the 25 mile goal I needed to hit to stay on track for running 300 miles for the year.
February rolled around and I ran again but there was trouble. Not far into my run, I had a debilitating pain in my left knee.  I tried to walk it off and run again but the pain got worse. Nothing popped or snapped, I never knew where the pain was coming from or why it was happening. I gave up after three attempts that day and decided to let my knee rest. That week, my knee hurt… all the time.  Standing up from my chair at work. Walking towards the back of the grocery store.  I was really worried. I continued to rest it. I ran once in March and it was a little better, but still hurt. 
By this point I was wondering if my running days were over. I was debating seeing an orthopedist but didn’t have much luck the last time I went to one. They wanted to do an MRI that would be $1800 out of pocket and we were in the middle of moving so I put it off and eventually my knees stopped bothering me as much. 
I fell in April, badly scraping both knees, which gave me another excuse not to run. About a week after the fall, I noticed that I hadn’t had any (internal) knee pain. I waited for another week for the scrapes to heal and could no longer resist the urge to run.  I was able to run over two miles and have been running off and on ever since then, but not with the consistency I would like.  Some days my knees hurt a little, some days they hurt a lot.  Occasionally…rarely, they don’t hurt at all.  
I’ve given up on my dream of running 300 miles this year – obviously – but I still like getting some exercise every day one way or another. Lately it’s been too humid for me to run. I’m just not that hardcore and it’s too hard to breathe.

My weight has crept up a little as I haven’t been watching what I eat as well as I used to. Well – I’m still watching. I’m still using MyFitnessPal to log calories and exercise daily.  I have just been eating a lot more of what I WANT than what I should.  My original goal was to lose 20-24 pounds and last year my weight loss hovered around 25-27 pounds.  I’m back to about a 21-22 pound loss, which is okay, but I liked 26 a whole lot better! 

So I’d love to hear any ideas people have about keeping motivation high long-term in order to keep the pounds AWAY long term.  Maintaining just isn’t as fun or rewarding as losing, ya know? Neither is gaining.  If anyone has had long-term success at keeping weight off, please feel free share your tips and secrets. It’s so easy to slip into old habits.