Monday, October 24, 2011

One Week Post 13.1 Miles

One week ago today I was almost in tears due to the amount of pain I was in due to the run/walk I did the day before. If some one would have said you're going to be so sore you will not sleep the night you finished your race and the next day hardly be able to walk chances are I would have said thanks but I guess this isn't for me.  Sunday night my feet hurt so bad it felt like some one was stabbing me with a knife in the bottom of my feet.  I would drift off to sleep only to feel the jab in the bottom of my feet.  I was in so much pain there was no amount of Advil to take the pain away and I had to move from my bed to the couch so I wouldn't deprive Andy, my husband, of the sleep he needed to get the week off and going.

Monday I get up to get ready for work and it's all I can do to move.  The pain is so bad in my butt, legs, hamstrings, and feet that I'm in tears.  Not crying but just tears due to pain.  It literally takes me 15 minutes to walk from my car in the parking lot at work to my desk (usually it's about a 3 minute walk from the car to my desk).  I see my buddy at work and she tells me congrats, asks me how it went, and I start crying just like I did the day before.  The flood of emotions just came over me again.

Monday morning as the day goes on I think, never again will I endure a half marathon let alone a full marathon who am I kidding thinking I'm cut out for this. So Monday comes and goes.  Tuesday still in a lot of pain and I find out from a co-work who is also a track coach that the soles of my feet are probably having an allergic reaction due to being in the shoes for 4 hours, pounding pavement, sweating, etc.  She gave me a helpful hint that if you're going on a really long run to spray your feet with deodorant, spray the inside of your shoes too.  This will help your feet not to sweat hence no itchy, stabbing feelings on the bottom of your soles.  Wednesday I'm still sore but moving around a lot better.  I take my little foam roller into work and use that as my foot rest and while working just roll my feet up and down the roller, stretching out my legs.  Thursday I'm about 95% back to normal and I think I so can do this again.  I can't wait to do another half marathon and I'm back to thinking I can maybe, just maybe do a full marathon when I'm 40 (2 years from now).  Thursday I go for a brisk walk and do about 2 miles in 30 minutes.  Friday feeling 100%, the day was PERFECT and I was kicking myself for not bringing my running clothes to work so I could go for a run during lunch.  I planned on walking but then work got crazy busy and no walking for me.

Over the weekend I thought what is my next goal?  Because I'm the person that if I don't have something I'm working towards it can quickly fizzle out.  So my new goal is to increase my speed and run at a faster speed for longer periods of time.  Keep in mind I'm short and my dad likes to say "Us Syferd's are built low to the ground and for endurance" (LOL).  I'm 5' 3" and in the past the fastest I could run was about 4mph.  Starting today I re-started the couch to 5K program and rather than just trying to run I'm going to run from 5.5mph to 5mph and walk at 3.5mph when the man on the iPod says in his monotone voice "WALK".  So today was my first day of this program and it felt so good.  I got nasty pig sweaty gross.  I think I left a pound of sweat on the treadmill.  I love it!!! There is really nothing better than just getting sick sweaty!!  Most read this and think ewww gross but there are a few that I know will say awww *beep* ya...I love it too!!!

On the days I'm not running I'm going to be focusing on strength.  Strength training and core training is something I neglected in preparing for the race so I'm going to be doing that.

So here's to one goal down and many more to go!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I DID IT!!!!! 13.1 DONE!!! 4:01:39

I did it....OMG just amazing.  I just couldn't ask for a better day and a better race.  The day started very early, we were out the door by 6:45am.  Andy and the kids said farewell after they dropped me off and headed to their destination where they would see me at mile 4 and 8.  Shockingly I was very calm the entire morning before the race.  In every race I've done before (which I've only been able to do 5K's before today) I was a ball of nerves and just so emotional.

7am until the start of the race I spent with my friend Becky and met some new friends as well.  I tell ya runners are the nicest group of people.  We are all one another's biggest fans.  I was starting to get a little nervous but not to bad.  I had to use the ladies room 3 times before the gun went off.  Before the race began they played Jimi Hendrix's version of the National Anthem.  Instantly I thought why didn't I think to download that to my iPod.  The gun goes off and it takes 6 minutes to get from where I was to the start line.  Cross the start line and it starts to sort of break up and who do I see....Daniel from the Biggest Loser season 8.  I said to him Daniel so good to see you do you mind if I run with you for a little bit.  He was the sweetest kid (I can say that because I'm 38 and he's way younger than me LOL). We ran together for about a half mile.  Awesome!!! He really is just so wonderful!!!

Mile 4 I see my husband, kids, mom and brother in law and instantly I'm balling...Hello it's me we're talking about, the BIGGEST cry baby EVER!  I run off the side to give them all kisses, hugs, high 5's.   After I saw them I kind of teamed up with a gal who speed walks half marathon's. She just did one 2 weeks ago in the Quad Cities and it was super hilly I guess.  She said she still had blisters on her feet.  Around mile 6 my hands are so swollen and I notice the bottom of my feet starting to hurt.  I walked probably close to a half mile.  Prior to that I was running 8 minutes walking 3.  Here comes mile 8 and I've looped around the lake and back to where I was at mile 4 where I saw my family.  My husband and kids were still there of course, along with my mom and now my dad was there and he had his video camera.  I can't wait to see his video!  Again I'm sobbing and run off telling them I loved them, thank you and  I'll see them at the finish line.

Oh I forgot around mile 4 here comes the Elite runners.  I'm on mile 4 and he's on mile I think 20 for his marathon....Over achiever (HA)!  He was being escorted by a police motorcycle team.  It was the coolest thing to see.  My mom said he was ear to ear smile.  It was so awesome to be lapped by the Elite!!

By 3 hours into the race my Nike+ sensor was like yea, thanks for playing but I'm done.  HA!  Miles 8-11 were tough.  Lots of walking in these miles.  The soles of my feet were killing me.  Nothing else just my feet.  Note to self...NEVER wear new socks you've not ran in before the day of a half marathon.  So I'm truckin' along and running and walking and marathon runners are coming down on miles 24 and 25 and they are starting to hurt.  My heart just went out to them but I'm also thinking WOW you are just amazing.  What endurance you have to have to run that long.  I'm truly in awe of those that do run the 26.2 miles.  Some day I might just join you!  So I'm running along and the marathon runners who are passing me are cheering me on.  It was awesome.  It was so uplifting and just what I needed to make it to the finish.

I'm coming down the last turn and I see my dad with his video camera with my son and again I..... you guess..HA.  Yes I cry.  I say come on Jack want to run with mom a little bit.  Of course he's on it like white on rice and grabs me by the hand and wants me to go in an all out sprint.  I was like whoa buddy mommy can't go that fast right now.  He had a hold of my hand, I'm crying, he then goes back to my dad and her comes this woman whom I've never met before named Krista.  She's already finished and she grabs me by the hand because she can see how emotional I am.  Of course the crowd at this point is roaring and I'm just overwhelmed with emotions.  She says you're doing awesome.  You're doing it, wait until you finish you're going to feel like a million bucks.  Then we have some talk and coming down the barricades into the finish she lets me go.  She said, "there you go, finish it, finish strong, you're amazing" and she lets me go.

I did it!!! I crossed the finish line, I got my metal!!  I'm just in awe.  Truly in awe.  I did it!!  I did it!!! I still feel like that was all a dream and really this race isn't happening until next Sunday and today was a dream.  Everyone was there to give me hugs, kisses and words of encouragement it couldn't have been more amazing.

I have to tell you that honestly all of you that have supported me were there.  It's because of you I was able to finish this.  In the times where it was the toughest your good thoughts and your support got me to the finish line.

I can't wait to do this again...Not sure if this time is official but according to my text alert my final time was 4 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

24 hours from right now....

I will have completed my first half marathon.  As I look back over this last year I'm just in awe.  I can not believe that one short year ago I was a volunteer taking off the runners timing chips and giving them their metals as they crossed the finish line.  I remember seeing some people just come in ear to ear grin, some come in with pure agony and pain, some with tears streaming down their faces, some very stoic because this is what they do for a living.  It's endless...

I'm telling you anyone can do this and if you don't think you can I dare you to try.  Prove to yourself that you are a failure and that you can't do this and then realize about 3 weeks into training the light goes on and you say you know what..I can do this!!!  Prove yourself wrong.  Anyone starting out I urge you to start with the Couch to 5K program.  That is the BEST way to start and avoid injury and then build from there.

I can't believe how much I've grown personally.  I'm not nearly as thin as I'd like to be but you know what this is a life and my metobalism stinks but you know what I will get to my goals.  I'm reaching for the stars and you know what while I'm not hitting the stars right now, I am on top of the world.

I want to end with thank you...Thank you to everyone for all your support, words, thoughts, prayers, etc.  Really I feel as if I'm cheating you with just a simple thank you but that really is all there is.  I'm humbled by the support.  Truly, my heart is so full of sheer joy and it's because of you!

So for now I bid you farewell, I'm off to sleep, wake up at 5:15am, shower, get all dolled up to sweat it all off, eat some oatmeal, have a cup of coffee, stretch, start and finish my first half marathon.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hip Hip Horray For The Non-Scale Victories!!!!

Let's face it, I'm doing this blog, sparkpeople, running, healthy eating, etc to lose weight, get healthy, fit and support.

I'm a part of a biggest loser competition on and was kind of disappointed that I only lost 1 pound this last week. There is always room for improvement and I wasn't die hard all 7 days but still I thought more than 1 pound should be lost.

So today I head to the gym...I didn't want to go to the gym but I went anyway. My knee is giving me a little bit of a hard time so I decided I was going to do the stationary bike for a half hour just to get my heart rate up and sweat out some frustration.

As I'm on the bike grumbling under my breath I look down at my legs and I think to myself...Dang these old legs are looking pretty good! Then I realize the biggest change of all.

In the past when ever I would ride the stationary bike my stomach fat would move up and down about as fast as my legs. Well there was no stomach jiggle!

So what was a grrrr kind of work out pepped me right up and made me realize that while the scale doesn't tell me what I want it to doesn't mean that I'm not making progress. So hip hip hooray for non-scale victories...What are yours?

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Dream Almost Gone

Today I thought my dreams were done.  I decided to run to lose weight and prove to myself that I can do this.  Sure I'll never be the skinniest or the fastest but I do deserve to be healthy and fit.

October 2010 my friend and I volunteered at the Annual Des Moines Marathon sponsored by the IMT insurance group.  I made a commitment to do the half marathon this October.

In April I registered for the half.  Today an email comes out saying friends, family, etc can get text messages of how you are doing in your race.  So I go to search for myself and I'm not there.  I freak out.  I call and he tells that yes I did register but it wasn't for the race it was for the pasta dinner the night before.  He then tells me to call the person who organizes this race.  So I get a hold of him and he said he will honor the $50 price (I would swear on my life I paid for this but every financial record from April to now shows that I did not).  Right now is not a good time for me/us to shell out $$ for this race.  I was sooo upset.  I thought everything I've been working for is gone.  Yes I know anyone can go out and run 13.1 miles and that there are many other half's I can do but this one is special to me.  This one is like my baby.  I don't think I can fully describe it but I'm sure you've all had that kind of feeling.  

I posted on facebook what happened and how I was crushed and how right now I just can't put out the money to register.  One of my dear friends who I've known since we were in 6th grade who, came in and out of my life from middle school to high school, re-connected in college to lose touch again and through facebook have become very close and will never lose the connection, bought and paid for my registration fee into this race.  I've always been on the giving end of doing a good thing and paying it forward never on the receiving end.  I am so humbled and I have no words to express my gratefulness.  I'm just touched by how kind people can be.  People truly are a gift.   I'm so blessed and so touched and so moved.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Ode to My Son, Jack

As I shared earlier this week we had some pretty trying times with our newly 6 year old, Jack.

This last week emotionally was probably one of the hardest in several years.  I was so stressed, busy and exhausted.  I didn't make time to work out and I've learned that if mama doesn't work out mama's not nice.  Bless my husband's heart for still loving me after the emotional basket case I was this last week.

So today...I haven't ran since last Sunday due to the above.  Today Andy, my husband, says I want you to run...You NEED to run.   Jack pipes up...MOM I want to run with you!!  How could I get out of that?  Not going to happen.  So we go to Church, go grocery shopping for the week and get home.  I'm wiped out...I lay on the couch and take about a half hour nap.  Jack waking up me a few times saying come on mom we need to go run.  I got up, ate a little lunch because I was STARVING and I said, Jack would you mind if we didn't go?  Mom's tired and I am just not feeling the best.  He has these beautiful huge blue eyes with long eye lashes and he said, mom you promised and I want to go with you..just you and me.  I thought come on Tiffany he's just wanting some time with you and how can I tell him it's important to be active, eat right, etc if I'm not living that life.

So off we went.  He hopped on his bike that is now officially done.  He literally rode the wheels off his bike and it died today. Side story,  Jack's bike is his sisters previous bike so it's pink and purple and he rides that thing with pure joy.  I told him if anyone gives him grief he needs to say real men aren't afraid of pink (LOL).  Jack got on his bike and I started running.  He was so sweet to stay with me and not run off (in the past he's run off) and he said things to me like good job mom, your doing a good job running.  We went up to his school (only about 4 blocks from our house)  and they have a little walking trail and he rode his bike around there while I ran and then there were other kids that showed up so he went and played while I ran around the track.  Here comes this guy who had to be in his 20's with a basketball.  Jack's 2nd love outside his bike is a basketball.  He goes up to this guy like he's his BFF and asks to play with him. So they start shooting hoops.  It was so sweet and the young man was so nice to Jack.

So thank you my beautiful son for being my inspiration today for making me get out there and get it done.  I love you so much!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A follow up if you will....

On Tuesday night I wrote a tough blog about my son and the struggles we've had.  I wanted to follow up with positive news and an action plan.  This won't really have anything to do with running or weight loss but I wanted to update with good news!

We met with Jack's psycharist last night and it was a very productive visit!

I feel as if 1000 pounds have been lifted off of me. We got there last night at 5:15 and talked until 6:30. His doctor is AMAZING!!!

He pretty much summed Jack up in one word = Perseveration "is the repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.[1] If an issue has been fully explored and discussed to a point of resolution, it is not uncommon for something to trigger the reinvestigation of the matter. This can happen at any time during a conversation. This is particularly true with those who have had Traumatic brain injury. Several researchers have tried to connect perseveration with a lack of inhibition; however, this connection could not be found, or was small.[2][3]

Perseveration may also refer to the obsessive and highly selective interests of individuals on the Autism spectrum."

Jack is not like us..."normal" rules do not apply to him and other children with Autism. Everything with him is black or white there is no room for Grey. For example the grocery shopping carts with the cars Jack loves those and he knows they do not go out in the parking lot. That's the rule...We were at Home Depot once and using one of their shopping carts with the Nascar. We had a heavy load and we took it out into the parking lot. He FREAKED OUT. It was unlike any episode I'd seen at the time. So his reaction was to strike against those that broke the rules. Where for us physical violence is not acceptable and it's no big deal that we took the shopping cart with the car out into the parking lot we'll just put it back inside rather than leave it in a corral in the parking lot.

So the action plan... His doctor really feels he needs to be on the waiver for children on the spectrum for state funded services. The services in the state of IA is based on the recipients level of income and assets. Since Jack is 6 he has no income or assets so he'll be covered 100%. What this means he will go on medicade, all of his therapy visits, co-pays, medications will be 100% covered. The waiting list is 2 years long. The way to get around the waiting list is to have an IQ test done and if he doesn't meet a certain IQ level then he'll qualify immediately and we bypass the waiting list. Jack is also on a medication called Namenda. Namenda is marketed for Alzheimer patients and it's in a study to help children with ASD issues. What Namenda does is it takes the brain from firing all different directions all the time to working as one unit all the time. Jack was taking 10 mg 2 times a day and he increased his dosage to 15 mg 2 times a day. This doctor has 99% success rate with this drug in ASD patients. There was a news story on it earlier this year.

The Story from 13/WHO:,0,3693920.story

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A tough blog to write but feel as if I must share

I don't air out laundry on sparkpeople, facebook, twitter, blogger, etc.  However I feel as if I must today.   Warning:  this might seem un-organized as I am pretty emotional right now but it does have a good ending (well for me any way).

So today was just about like any other normal day.  I will confess I was a little hung over today.  I haven't had any real time with my sister in WAY to long and needed some TT time so I grabbed my $2.99 bottle of Tisdale Cab and off I went to her house last night and we sipped and talked for way to long but it was so wonderful to have that time with her and her husband!

So on to why I'm writing this blog...Today was just like any "normal" day.  Wake up about 10 minutes later than I should and rushing to get to work.  I take my gym bag with me because I had planned to run.  I had meeting after meeting today and email after email and just couldn't get away so I didn't get to the gym today.  Leave at 4:15 to get my kids from daycare, beautiful day outside, thinking about taking the kids for a bike ride (they ride while I run)/run while Andy (husband) makes dinner (he's the chef in our house).

I walk into daycare and one of the best teachers stops me and says to me just wanted to let you know that Jack had a really horrible afternoon it was just sad and I cried.

First a super long story super short...Jack will be 6 on Thursday and he is autistic.  His official diagnosis is PDD-NOS.  If you don't know what that is join the club and Google it (sorry bad attempt at humor).  To say at times he is a handful is like saying a category 5 hurricane did a little property damage.  When he's good he's great when he's not good it's down right hellish.

Jack was out on the playground at his daycare.  He was playing and for what ever reason he went after a little 4 year old girl who I guess is super sweet, super quiet, would never hurt a fly.  Jack claims she pushed him down and that set him off.  He bit her 3 times, 2 of the 3 bites left instant bruises, he then got her down on the ground, scratched her face, pinched her cheeks and by the time the teacher was over there to get him off her he had his hands around her neck choking her and this poor girls face was red and she was coughing.

This is not the first time Jack has been violent.  He's has made HUGE improvements in the last 3 years but like I said before when it's bad it worse than the person with no children or people who have "normal" kids can ever imagine.

My husband and I have been sobbing all night long.  Just so sad that Jack was so upset that he thought it was OK to do this.  It's so hard for us to understand because all we do is love on him, get him the best help we can, etc.

I feel so terrible for Jack because he knows what he did was wrong.  I told him he was grounded and could not play with my iPod touch or go outside and ride his bike tonight (his 2 favorite things) and I just couldn't hold back the tears in the car and just started to sob in the car on the way home from daycare.  Usually he fights us when we take his favorite things away or try to get him to do anything that he doesn't want to do (simple things like clean up your handful of toys from the living room or put your shoes where they belong) and tonight he didn't.  He knew what he did was wrong and I saw the sadness in his face.  Almost as if he could take it all back he would.

So why does that bring me the past Andy and I would turn to comfort food, wine and/or beer.  Tonight we stuck to our menu (93% lean ground turkey breast tacos) and said we'll drink water from wine glasses.  We didn't break out the wine glasses but we did chug the water like it was the best bottle of wine we ever had!

I really felt compelled to let every one know that I am real..I am a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, employee, and a child of God.  I am very busy with life but know that anything in life no matter how hard if you want it bad enough you will endure the bad as well as the good and you (I) will be victorious!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Remembrance Run For Iowa's Fallen Soldiers

This was a great run.  I was really slow today but I also wanted to reflect and think about what the men and woman have done for our great country and just soak it all in.  I lost it when I ran by the 88 flags that represent each Iowan that has died in this war.

It was so cold and rainy today.  When I woke up I was almost thankful for the rain thinking oh good I don't have to go run the race and then I thought wait a second you selfish little....  Do you know how many are out there right now fighting and running for their lives because they have to and they are doing it for YOU!  Get up and RUN!!! JUST DO IT!!!

It was cold and it was rainy but it was great.  It was an amazing time and I'm so thankful I did it.  Thank you to my friend Shelly for telling me about this race!  My official time was 49:56 and my friend Shelly was at 28 minutes...Who should be running the half marathon here???  I'm so excited for the half.  It's going to take me forever to finish but I'm going to do it.  I am going to finish.

Here are some pics from today's event (yes I finally learned how to upload images to my blog)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm On The Edge Of Glory...

Today's run was this side of AMAZING!!!  All week I've been run/walking (run 10 walk 5) for 40 minutes (45 after the cool down walk) and today my goal was to do 5 minutes of walking followed by 60 minutes of running for 10 walking for 5 and then at 65 minutes cool down walk.  I DID IT!!!  I couldn't believe it.  I finished this week in 5 runs 17 miles and if I'm up for it tomorrow I'll add a few more in the mix!! 

The first 10 minute run was hard!  I am not used to running in the mornings and my weekend running hasn't been all that consistent (that is going to change).  The first 10 minutes my head is filled with all the negative self talk and I have to literally out loud tell myself to shut up.  I said "Tiffany, don't listen to that you can do it, your strong, you've trained.  This is character building, this is when you become stronger." I don't remember if that was the specific words I used...I'm sure I threw in a few swear words too.  I love Jesus but I gotta admit...I like to swear a little at times, well OK...a lot.  

The next first 5 minute walk went by so fast.  I thought only 30 seconds passed.  About 5 minutes into the  2nd 10 minute run the pain goes away, my breathing is stabilizing, I feel relaxed and I'm just running.  I thought this is what I've wanted.  

I don't remember much other than just running and walking until about minute 35-40-ish.  A landscaping crew was out working and one of the men said hi and tried to actually flirt with me.  Made this girl feel good about herself especially since I was such a hot sweaty mess and my shirt was soaked with sweat.  Some where around minute 40 the song "Edge of Glory" comes over my iPod.  Gosh I really <3 some GaGa.  I get to the 2nd verse and my favorite phrase of the song comes on "Put on your shades because I'll be dancin' in the flames" and I start to cry.  Anyone that knows me knows I'm the worlds biggest cry baby.  I am thinking to myself OMG I'm really doing this.  I'm going to finish this run strong and I kept going.  Then the GaGa song "You and I" came over and I just kept running more and kept off and on crying happy tears.  After those two songs it was time for my 5 minute walk.  Minute 50 comes and it's time for the last run of the this leg.  By minute 55 I feel like I'm breaking down.  I slow my pace which is slow to begin with (ha) and the song "I'm moving on" comes across on my iPod.  I don't like country music at all but my girl Connie introduced me to it and I've loved it ever since.  The part of the song:  I've found you find strength in your moments of weakness. For once I'm at peace with myself.  I've been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long I'm movin' on.  I have really overcome a lot personally in the last 5 years. I could bore you with the details but I'll spare you.  I will say I'm so thankful for every negative thing in my life because it's turned into a positive.  In the midst of struggle it's tough but coming out of it and growing is priceless!  Being able to see the good in the bad is priceless.  

So all you little kids with the pumped up'd better run!!  If you don't run get out there and do some kickboxing or zumba just do something!!!  

Happy weekend all 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Running .... Keep Running

The count down is on to the Des Moines Marathon. I'm only doing the half. My goal for this year is to finish. I don't care about the time but just finish. Since hurting my knee in May and going through physical therapy my therapist told me I should not run the whole half to avoid future injury. She said the best training program for me would be to run 10 minutes walk 5 and do that until I finish. Right now I do about an 11-12 minute mile so I'm trying to get my time down to 10 minutes but if I don't no biggie...I just want to do it and be able to finally say I completed SOMETHING.

That has always been my downfall...I have great hopes and dreams for success and go at it hard in the beginning but then fizzle out. I've done this with my weight for years! While I still slip up more than I should I can feel and see a change in me. There is something different this time. This time I'm not going to fizzle out. This time I have made a choice to be stronger to not give up.

All I have running in my head right now is Eminem's song 'Til I Collapse...
'Cause sometimes you feel tired, feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength and just pull that s* out of you and get that motivation to not give up and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.

So this year I finish, next year I run the full 13.1 and when I'm 40 in October 2013 run the full 26.2!

Running...Keep running...If you don't run then move...just move!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I am so thankful that I can run.  In May I injured my left knee because I went took my miles from 3.2 up to almost 5 in one run and come to find out I was wearing the wrong shoes for my feet that didn't support me the way I needed support and they were too small.  Yes I did buy them from a "running" store that was supposed to ensure I had the correct shoes for me.

A little PSA & advertisement for a local small business owner here before writing more...If you're in the Des Moines area you must go to Kyle's Bikes in Ankeny.  They record you running on a treadmill barefoot and slow it way down so they can see how your foot hits and then find the best shoe from there.  I then tried on shoes that were designed for my type of foot, ran more in each shoe, watched how I hit and how it felt for me and then bought the perfect shoes for me.  They spent about an hour with me making sure I walked out with the perfect shoe for me and shoe that would help in getting to my goal of running the half in October.  They even told me to first run a few times on the treadmill and if I didn't like how they felt after those runs to bring them back and they would exchange them.  Needless to say I love them and didn't need to exchange them.

So back to why I'm thankful.....I am so thankful that I have fell in love again with running.  I used to run cross county in high school and I did like it.  I was always near the end of the pack but I always felt so good in finishing and how it felt.  It is also such an amazing support group...Runners IMHO are some of the nicest people.  It's a great way to re-connect with old friends and make new friends.  Today I had the honor of running with my friend from high school, Shelly.  Until facebook and our 20 year high school class reunion we totally lost touch.  Had it not been for these two events I would have most likely gone with out ever seeing her again and I'm so thankful for having these outlets to re-connect (same with many I went to HS with and now I think of the Friday night of our HS reunion and I still can't stop smiling and laughing.  It's like we never missed a beat we just got better!).  I told her I'm super slow and to run a head if she wanted and she ran with me for a while and then went off to her own until the end.  It was so fun to run with her, talk to her, get to know her more outside of a high school setting.  She still looks the same as she did 20 years ago but it's great to see how she's grown into a's been great seeing how all of us grew into great women.

I'm so thankful for my DailyMile family.  For those that don't know DailyMile is an online social network for athletes (in my case I'm not an athlete but I like to play one on TV).  It doesn't matter your skill level it's just a big community of like minded people who push one another to exceed what they thought possible.  I've never met most of them face to face but they are always there for me with a word of encouragement when I feel like I'm not succeeding in my sport and there to cheer me on when I kill a run or a work out.  

I am so thankful that this injury did not totally take me away from running and that I've learned from it.  How to not get injured in the future and how to teach others not to injur themselves.

What I've learned in this journey (not just in running but in life really) be thankful for all good and bad.  In the bad times it is not fun but when you get to the other side and look back you really realize it's all for a reason and when you peel the layers of the onion back you realize it was for your own good, you learn and grow from the struggles.

Frederick Douglass said it best,  "If there is no struggle, there is no progress"

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ode to the outdoors

So I haven't written in a long time.  Way to long.  I have a physical therapy appointment tomorrow and chances are I'm done with PT.  WOOT HOOT!!!  I can say that I have learned a lot about myself coming out of an injury.  I learned too that my injury was due to shoes.  My shoes were to small and not right for my feet.  I now have the perfect shoes and my knee and I are in love again!!

Recently it began to cool down enough to run outside again which is so choice.  I have missed running outside.  I have picked up a running buddy at work.  In the last year she has run 2 marathons and she hurt herself this last time and had to scale way back so now she's on my level (LOL).  We've ran together twice and I'm so thankful for her.  She is just the sweetest person.  Another co-worker started the C25K program based on my raving about it.  She was off to a strong start but then her knee started acting like mine and I told her she has to stop, make sure she's got the right shoes and showed her some of my PT stretches.  Then she caught my sinus infection...Sorry girly.

Today marks a milestone since my injury...20 minutes running up hills with out stopping.  It was a *beep* of a run but I loved it!!  What is that...the more it hurts the better.  The more it makes me internally want to quit the better.  I think I love it because for once I will not give up and that pain is the kick in the ace that I need to get me to the next victory!

My PT thinks I should expect to run the whole half but to finish for sure and that this year is my goal.  I want to finish...I have so much doubt right now but I'm running through it and pressing forward.  Next year I'll do it to run the entire thing then train the following year for the full.  I want to be almost 41 and running my 1st marathon.

Sorry this is short but I just felt like writing a quick not.  Now off to rest and do it all again tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I never thought I'd say this but I'm really thankful for hurting my left knee.  It's not about just finishing but it's about enjoying the journey.  Before I hurt my knee I did love what I was doing but I was out to really just prove more to others that I can do this more than doing this for me.  I thought I was doing this for me but the more I reflect and look back I realize I did this more for others than myself.

While being on the injured reserved list in the beginning I was pissed off that I got hurt but you know what I think that injury was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I'm now re-building and really taking the time to listen to my body and learning when it's OK to run and when it's not or when it's OK to go all out on non run days or not.

While being out of commission I really was aware of what I was eating.  Granted I could have done better but I was in a funk mentally over being injured that I maintained.  The old me would have put a lot of what I've lost thus far back on.  Now I'm writing in my journal almost daily, reading more about leading an active and healthy life, really being grateful during work outs that I'm able to do this.  I live to sweat...The more sweat I get the more I just love it.

Today I was out running and it was beautiful.  A little windy but all good.  I purposefully ran into the wind so I could get more resistance and while running and the wind hitting my face and the sun beating down I was so thankful and I looked up to the sky and spread my arms out and said out loud (yes I talk out loud to myself while running) "THIS IS LIVING" Then to myself I said a little prayer thanking God for giving me the ability and the willingness to run.   Today while running I was doing time goals.  I would pick a mark up in the distance and say by the time my C25K app tells me to walk I want to be at that traffic light or that light pole.  It was a good way to help test myself and keep my speed up.  Now when I say speed know that I'm S-L-O-W!

Over the weekend Andy went on his annual fishing trip with his dad, brother, nephew and uncles and the kids and I were solo.  Usually when he goes on his trip I spend the weekend with my mom and dad.  I love the time with them and so do the kids.  Saturday morning my mom wakes me up at 6:45 (because I told her to so we could get the run in before the storms that were coming) and she woke me up in a manner that took me right back to childhood.  She came in and with her sweet and loving voice while rubbing my back saying "It's time to wake up".  I thought I was 12 again.  Man how I loved that!  So we get up, get stretching and off we go.  My mom can RUN.  I told her she needs to run more often!  Granted I'm super slow right now (doctors orders) but she took off.

This is my mother who one year ago was 90% blocked in 3 of her arteries in her heart.  One year ago she had no idea why she was feeling so crummy.  She would feel ok but then when ever she would go on a walk or take the stairs to her office at work she would have this radiating pain in her chest and back.  My mom was so close to having a major heart attack.  She had a triple bypass on July 1st last year and now she feels like a million bucks!  That woman is my hero.  I love her so much.

OK now I'm crying happy tears so I'll leave for now.  I'm just so blessed in my life, I'm not rich financially but what I do have in life is priceless and I'm so blessed and rich with all the love I could ever need.  I have a husband of almost 13 years who loves me more today than the day we said "I do", 2 parents who showed my sister and I what true love is and what it means to truly love your spouse, my husband's parents who showed him the same and his dad who taught him how to love his wife like Christ loved the Church, a sister who is beyond amazing, she is my rock and although she's 3 years younger than me she is so full of wisdom and at times isn't afraid to share it even when it's not wanted (lol), all of my extended family, in-laws, friends and most of all JC.  For giving yourself for me who doesn't deserve it.

Today while walking into work I think I was grinning ear to ear.  My knee felt great, I felt great, the morning was beautiful, despite the rolling of the eyes I got from my son earlier in the morning the kids were great, they got along and moving along in the AM with out any major blow ups, the air was crisp but warm and it smelled so good outside, just fresh.  Life is great!  It will have it's valleys for sure but for the most part it really is great and in all things negative there is a positive.  I let myself have a pity party but then find the good in the situation.

OK wow that just got way out of hand...Blogger gone wild...Until next time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Are you there blog? it's me Tiffany...

Oh it's been so long since I last wrote anything.  I've missed blogging but just not sure what to say.  Haven't felt like I've had much to say honestly.  I admit it...I kind of went into a funk.  I didn't eat myself out of this funk but I did kind of lose that lovin' feeling.

As I last blogged about I injured my left knee.  I tore my patellar tendon (the tendon that connects your knee cap to your shin bone) in my left knee.  I have been in physical therapy since the beginning of May.  I was cleared to start running again at a very slow and steady pace 2 weeks ago.  I re-started the Couch 2 5K program.

The good in this injury is I learned that do NOT increase your mileage by more than 10% a week.  No matter how good you feel DON'T DO IT (this is me talking to me not me talking to you).  Second and my most proud is my daughter, Anna, who will be 9 on Sunday has decided to join me in training to run a 5K. I'm so proud of her.  It is so wonderful to see her struggle to run through but then to do it and see her face light up when she did it and see how happy and proud she is of her accomplishments.  She is pushing me and I'm pushing her and it's been a wonderful thing to go through with her.  I can't wait to run a 5K together.

Weight wise I've maintained so that's good news.  I hadn't been that great on logging all of my foods but I have re-started my sparkpeople journal and find that while I don't obsess over calories I realize how much keeping a food log helps me stay true to the plan.

This week has been a good training week.  Monday I ran my week 2 day 1 of the C25K and my knee did hurt quite a bit after stretching and I was pretty bummed.  I sent, Connie  my weight loss and running mentor, a text telling her I thought I was about done with this running gig.  But I woke up Tuesday morning feeling great and went to the gym did a 15 minute core class and then did 20 minutes on the bike and felt great.  Today I ran outside.  I don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods but here it's the 2nd day of summer and it feels like October and it should be time for some football.  Back to today...I ran in the chili summer day, with spitting rain hitting my face.  It was so awesome to sweat with the chill on my face.  There is something I love about being a little chilled and sweating.  I am one of those freaks that if the wind is not blowing and it's 25 outside and the walks are clear for the most part I'm running.  I love to run in the cold and I also really love to run in the heat.  Really I just love to get sweaty gross.  The more sweaty I get the better.  There is truly nothing better than finishing a work out and just basking in the glory of hard work and sweat...

Until next time (and I promise I won't be gone for so long this time).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Warning this is going to most likely be a pitty post and I have already decided I won't link it to my facebook page or share because this post is more just for me but I want to write my feelings out rather than stifle them and act negative vs not talking it out. So if anyone reads this it is because they sought out to read it...

While I know that I've worked so hard to get where I am today I also have so much more work infront of me and now with this injury I'm just sad that my training has in the blink of an eye stopped.  I haven't worked out since last Friday and I almost feel like I'm mourning.  Mourning the loss of a dear friend.  Working out has helped me HUGELY with controlling anxiety and depression and while I know my mind is playing tricks on me right now I can almost feel depression coming back and I want so badly to fight it off but I don't know how.  In the old "Tiffany Days" I would eat.  I won't go back there.  I just won't.  Infact today at work we had a large meeting where cookies where given out to everyone.  One cookie seriously was the size of 4 regular cookies.  I wanted to partake but I know once I have one the downward spiral would slowly come back.

So this is me today...It's 12:30, I'm on my lunch break, writing and I'm feeling really sad.  This could also be a side effect of the prednisone too because I'm on that for the next 5 days. 

If anyone is reading this please keep me on your thoughts and prayers.  My head knows that this is temporary but my heart is just broken.

Monday, May 16, 2011

One Step Forward .... Three Steps Back

So as I've shared on Facebook and on dailymile I'm sidelined from running.

On May 7th I went for a run.  It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the perfect morning for a run.  I'm talking even if you hate running this kind of day makes you want to run.  Up until this run I'd only done about 3.5 miles so I thought I'm going for 4 miles.  I headed out to my favorite running spot, Cooper Creek Pond and set out to run.  One lap around the pond is 1.22 miles.  So I'm 2.5 laps in, doing some high 5's with other walkers and runners and think I can go 4 laps.  My lungs I think can handle an ultra marathon its my legs that need to learn to keep up.  By the end of the run I feel great.  Like a million bucks.  I get home get showered and on for my day and as the day progresses here comes the pain in my left knee.  By the end of the day I'm almost in tears and on Mother's Day I was icing the knee and napping all day.

I thought it had to be my new running shoes.  Sure they were the same as my first pair but they didn't feel as good as my first pair that I had been properly fitted for before.  So I went to the running store where I bought them and he told me that it wasn't the shoes but that it was my distance.  I did about .75 miles to long and to take it easy, do the bike and elliptical, keep icing, getting chiropractic adjustments and that I should be fine to start running by the end of the week.  Well no such luck.  I did the elliptical and bike a total of 3 times that week and my knee killed every time.  It's just not getting better.

So today I request a half day of PTO and make an appointment to go see this sports medicine doctor that was referred to me by my personal trainer.  He sends me for x-rays and my left knee is not looking so hot.  I've got damage but not so much from my current running hobby but just due to years of wear and tear.  He thinks possible stress fracture so he sends me off for an MRI and I'll know those results with in the next few days.

In the mean time he tells me that I can not work out.  He is ordering physical therapy for me and I'll have to go to the newest YMCA in West Des Moines that has an aquatic treadmill so I can continue to run.  I can't run in my race I was signed up for on Saturday (the WHAMM) and right now the jury is out if I'll be able to do the Dam to Dam in June or the half in October.

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a CRY BABY!  So yes I break down crying in his office.  I was so embarrassed but told him I'll do what ever I can to get back to running and be injury free.  So I had a big 'ol pity party for myself.  I called my husband and then my sister.  To both of them I balled like a baby.  Seriously I felt as if someone told me I lost my best friend.  I sent a text to my fitness mentors text crying.  I went in for the MRI and some how was able to sleep while that machine was making those horrible noises and I limped out of there to my car thinking to myself, this will not win, this will not stop me.  I will not be a victim I will be a winner!  Funny note (or so I think)...Seriously this is my brain process "If Charlie Sheen is a winner than I am too".  He doesn't get to win and I don't!

So while I've taken big steps forward I feel like I've gone three steps back but like everything else life has handed to me I've done my best to take a bad situation and make it good, learn from it and grow.  Some times life hands us lemons and we can either turn our noses up and pucker up with a sour taste or we can make the best lemonade (thinking Iowa State Fair lemonade here).  I chose the ladder!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finally...I'm dreaming.

As a child you always have big dreams and big goals and then something happens in life and things change.  You forget how to dream, you forget how to set goals, you just start living day in and day out.  This was me for years and until very recently.

I'm a consultant with BeautiControl.  I offer a free hour of pampering to anyone and everyone that wants it.  It's my passion.  I have been doing this now for 2.5 years.  I love it!  Last night the president and vice president of BeautiControl was in Des Moines talking to us.  Last night I took something away that has terrified me for far to long.  I have forgot how to dream, I forgot how to really set goals for myself, I forgot how to not only empower myself but others.  From last night going forward I'm dreaming and will live my life to make my dreams come true.  I'm developing a personal business plan to help me reach and attain my goals and truly have the "IT" factor.

Before this meeting last night I've been thinking what am I doing with this running, nutrition and weight loss thing?  What is my goal in it?  In the beginning my goal was one for me.  To lose weight, to get out of that "morbidly obese" category and be at a normal and healthy BMI.  Now I've realized that my goals are so much more than that.  Yes I do want to continue in this journey and continue to lose weight and be healthy for me but I also want to teach woman (men too) who are "morbidly obese" that it is not rocket science on how one loses weight and gets healthy.  This is easy but it's hard.  For years I've destroyed my body with food, alcohol and lack of movement.  Old habits die hard but it only takes 21 days to form a new habit.  21 days is all it takes to start changing your life.  To quote my most amazing dad, Tom Syferd, "Short term sacrifice for long term gain."

So the start of my personal business plan is to do what ever I can to help myself continue to be healthy and also come along side someone or many and help them be the best healthy they can be too!  I'm no longer afraid of success or failure.  I fail daily and I succeed daily.  I have learned that in all the bad things that can happen in your life there is a silver lining.  Some times I've had to look really hard to see that tiny lining of silver but I always find it and I grow in that and take that experience and build on it.

Last night we did this exercise where we had to pair up with a total stranger and stare into their eyes and really look into their soul.  It was AWKWARD but amazing!  Then we had to share with one another what our dreams and goals are and in one year if time and money were not an object what would our goals and dreams look like in one year.  The thing that kept coming to my mind was really mentoring and helping others in becoming healthy and really just to in general help them feel good about themselves no matter what life throws at them.  I know that in the last 2 years my life has done a 180 (in a GREAT way) and I owe that to BeautiControl and what this company has done for me in giving me myself back.  I can tell you that the money is great but it has soooo little to do with the $$ really the $$ isn't even it in the least.   My life has also changed because of the way I'm feeding her and the way I'm taking care of her.  I've found that if I treat my body well that my body will treat me well in return.  I can honestly say that I no longer fear success or failure.  I know that I will be a success and while I'll fall and fail at times I'll get back up, find the learning opportunity in the failure and grow and be even that much more of a success.

So if anyone reads this I really encourage yourself to let yourself dream and if you ever need anyone to talk to know that I'm here because I've been there, done that and I have SEVERAL of the T-shrits and I can tell you the journey is awesome!  All you have to do is start! What are you waiting for?

Lastly...Take 3 minutes and watch this video..It's amazing and something I think we all need to tell ourselves every day!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What a difference a week makes....

I am just so in awe and almost feel like I'm living in a dream land.  Seriously....

This time last week I was so upset thinking to myself "who do you think you are? You can't can't do this".  I REFUSED to let myself believe that so I called my mentor who walked before me just one year ago, Connie.  Connie reminded me that in the times of bad is when the good is formed and to not give up and to get out there and do it again.  So I did just that.  After my awful run last Thursday I decided I was going to give it another go on Friday.  Friday, April fools of all days I decided to take on my longest time run to date.  It was walk for 5 to warm up then run for 25 minutes and not stop.  Still a little pissy from the day before I said to myself, "I'm not going to let this effect me I'm going to learn from it, grow and become stronger."  So I did just that.  I ran all 25 minutes.  I did those minutes on a treadmill.  There was a guy that hopped on the treadmill next to me and I told him, "you're going to hear me yelling at myself telling myself to keep going so I'm just warnin' ya."  He kind of laughed and said "I think that will be good for both of us."

Monday was supposed to start my running club at the gym however it was so cold and windy that we didn't run.  Well the crazy in shape people did but not me (not yet LOL).  I did the an elliptical work out and did some running on the treadmill as well.  Tuesday started my one on one personal training with Tiffany (yes that is one of my trainers names I'm not training myself).  It was just a fitness assessment to see where I started so in 8 weeks we can see how I improved.  I ran a mile on the t-mill in 14 minutes and we did a strength routine.  I was ordered not to run on Wednesday because Tanna, my other trainer, was going to run outside with me today.  So on Wednesday I did the elliptical (oh how I love that machine) for 30 minutes.  Today Tanna took me outside and we ran.  We did 2 miles in 24 minutes.  I was in SHOCK!!  I couldn't believe it!!  Tomorrow I'm thinking I might do the elliptical again and do some other core and arm work...who knows what tomorrow will bring.  I know I'm going to run this weekend..It's going to be soooo nice out!!!!  If anyone reads this and wants to meet up let me know.

To top this wonderful week off I discovered that I've lost 12 inches in just over a month.  Seriously...OMG that just doesn't happen to me.  I think finally I have the formula down.  The formula is there is no formula.  No I can't eat chocolate all day or drink a bottle of wine a night and lose weight and become fit but I don't have to deprive myself either.  Everything in moderation is key.  Also logging your foods is key too.  If you do have a bad meal or day then have it and own it because life is still going to get in the way and if you deprive yourself of what you love you'll become resentful and you won't succeed.  Sure you might lose a ton of weight but as soon as your at your goal if your mindset isn't right you'll start down the path again.  Plus what I've found in this journey is that I really don't want the foods I used to long for anymore.  I used to LOVE Mexican food and the more fried and the more sour cream and guacamole it had the better.  Now I think about it and my stomach almost hurts to think about it.  Now I crave a pear as dessert vs a bowl of ice cream.  When I need the crunch factor rather than eat chips I eat a few almonds.  I call Almonds God's candy.  I love them!

So what a difference a week makes.....What a blessing it is to be a live, to be able to run, to be able to eat, and to be able to share!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not a good run today

So today was my first run that really got inside my head.  It started with me anxious to go work out and get my sweat on and most of all outside.  It was a crisp 40* at 11:30 with little winds so what a perfect time to go running on my lunch hour.  I decided to do my week 6 day 1 run (walk 5, run 5, walk 3, run 8, walk 3, run 5, walk 5 to cool down).

I'm 4 minutes into my 1st run and I start feeling like I'm having a panic attack but I know I'm not.  I'm not anxious at all but have that feeling.  My chest feels like it weighs 1000 pounds and I'm sucking air through a straw.  This wasn't an asthma attack though...I know what that feels like.  So I finish my first 5 minutes and start walking my 3 minutes.  3 minutes flies at warp speed and my C25K app on my iPod says in a manly mono-tone voice "run".  In my head I'm think oh *beep* I don't want to run but I do anyway...About a minute into the run I am feeling awful.  Thankfully I come up on a bench and pause my work out and sit down to catch my breath.  I sit for a couple of minutes and try to relax and take slow deep breaths.  I decide I'm going to walk until I hit my 5 minute mark of my 8 minute run.  Minute 5 left on run 2 of 3 and I start running.  The panic feeling sits in again and by this time I'm talking out loud to myself.  In a normal voice like I was having a conversation with some one.  "Come on Tiffany, you can do this.  Don't be scared.  Look at what you're doing.  Sure you look silly right now but who cares, if anyone is going to make fun of you it's only because they don't have the courage to do what you're doing.  Finish strong, just finish.  Come on, keep it up...."  You get the point...

My last walk I have to keep talking to myself and I'm finding that having a conversation with myself is actually helping me stay relaxed and my breathing under control.  I get to my last run and do all 5 minutes. I think by the end of that 5 minute run I wasn't even really "jogging" but I didn't stop.  I did the 5 minute cool down walk and I was fighting tears.  Seriously fighting tears.  How was it that less than 45 minutes ago I was so eager to get out there and run but now I feel like a pile of dog poo?  Do I really think I can do this and be a "runner".  I hate that I let this self doubt talk to me.  Seriously...why do I let myself do this to me?  Ugggg

I sent a text before I went out to run to A, B & C (for your privacy I'll spare the full names but their names do each start with an A, B and C) asking should I run and all 3 said yes.  I sent C a text when I got done saying it went bad and I started to spew via text and I was so upset I had to go to another room and call her and chat for a few minutes.  She ensured me that what I'm doing is good that it isn't something that is going to come over night that in these bad runs is where good athletes are formed...that this is when character is built and to not give up.  Of course me I cried.  I have been at this for almost 6 months and I'm ready to feel like I'm really getting some where.  I know I know I always preach...slow and steady wins the race...Hell, C started where I am now a year ago and is now an amazing athlete who is more beautiful and strong on the inside than on the outside.

So while today was a bad run tomorrow is a new day...I'm going to sleep and wake up knowing that I built my character and will be stronger because of this run today

Friday, March 25, 2011


First I'm going to copy and paste what I posted on the website I use to log all my work outs (dailymile)

I DID IT!!! Personal record met! Today's run was to walk 5 to warm up then run 20 minutes and then cool down. I was TERRIFIED to run this. For years I have talked myself into failure and not been successful with weight loss and fitness goals. Not this time. It's been hard for sure but it's been so worth it! I am so proud of myself and just almost in disbelief that I'm actually doing this. I really thought being fit, being lean, having clothes that are flattering and not just a tent to cover the fat was great for those that did it but I was not meant to be one of those. That I wasn't good enough to achieve that. I'm so sad for my past self. I can't believe that for all these years I've lied to myself like that. The good news is that I'm doing it now and I can't look back but can only press forward!!

To expand on that thought...I'm now thinking to myself what has held me back?  I don't know what did because it's not like I grew up with my parents who told me I was fat and ugly.  If anything my parents molded me to be a very strong and self confident person.  I raised knowing that what ever I wanted to do was attainable but that I had to do the work. 

Since becoming a mother I've had issues with "me".  Finding out how I as a person and not just a wife and a mother fit in and belong.  Once you have kids you life becomes about them and not about you.  They need us 24/7/365 and while it's the most rewarding thing to be a parent it really is draining and it's so easy to lose who you used to be before children.  Now that my kids are 8 (almost 9) and 5 (almost 6) I'm finding out each day more and more me. 

10 years ago I was all about the next good time. Every weekend was a celebration of food and lots of booze.  Now life is still a celebration just with more healthy foods and wine (he, he...but not to much wine).  We used to eat and drink so much I think we put our favorite pub owners son through college or at least one year.  I wish I could have that time back and live our lives now back then but we can't live in the past we can only press forward.  I'm so thankful that I've changed now and not when it was to late.

So now I think why now?  First and foremost for my health and the health of my children.  How can I raise Anna and Jack to be healthy when I am not.  Second...I want to be able to run, play, make my kids chase me.  Third so my clothes flatter me rather than act as a tent to hide the blubber.  To have the confidence on the inside that I appear to have on the outside.  Last but not least to honor God and to use my body as His temple! 

So on that note...Here's to the journey, the hard work, the turmoil, the struggle and the joy to push forward!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So I'm doing the whole Couch-to-5K program right now to help me ease into distance running and I'm having a hell of a time getting past 5 minutes of solid run time.  Granted I know that I'm not built like most runners.  I still have A LOT of weight to lose but I figured by now I should be able to run more than 5 minutes and not feel like I'm going to puke.

So my question is this....Am I afraid but just don't know it? Am I not running correctly?

The gym I belong to (Jack's Gym @ Wells Fargo) has a running club and they are starting outdoor group runs in April.  This will be lead by one of the trainers that works there.  There are 5 trainers total at the gym and 2 of them have qualified to run in the big dance...BOSTON!  In April I am going to start doing personal training with them.  I'll do the group run on Monday at noon, personal training with them on Tuesday.  PT will just be strength and cardio mix.  Run one on one with the trainer and Thursday and Friday will be my own gig.  Friday I'll run more to keep with the Monday, Wednesday, Friday run schedule.

I'm hoping this will help me.  Come hell or high water I am doing the half marathon in October.  Even if it means I have to walk most of it...I don't care...I'm finishing!!  My goal is not to walk or to walk just a little.

One of the things I'm working on that is really building my character is giving myself the benefit of the doubt.  I have a very hard time giving myself credit and I'm also afraid of success.  I know that is so stupid isn't it?  My failure of success is once I hit that goal then what?  What will be expected of me?  What if I gain it all back?  I realize these things are all dumb and "self doubt" but these are fears I've had.  I'm breaking these fears down slowly but surely.  I guess you could say the fears are breaking down like my weight....slow and steady!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

One Bite at a Time one Decision at a Time

I recently found a blog created buy this awesome woman named Jen.  The name of her blog is Prior Fat Girl She sells all kinds of cool items and she recently ran a sale so I bought a couple of things.  One of them being a plastic bracelet that says "One bite at a time one decision at a time".  This is soooo me!  I had to get it!  That is how I'm WINNING in this race is by taking this one bite at a time and one decision at a time.  Like many I'm human and I've fallen but rather than beat myself up I get back up and get back to work.

I've recently had some pretty emotional things happen to me personally.  I don't really want to bore you with the details but it's been a rough go lately.  All in all on the food end I've done good.  Not great but not horrible.  In the past when I would get like this I would just PIG out and have no regard for what I was feeding my body.  I think this time around rather than fall so deep into a depression and food coma because of the decisions I was making I came back around faster than in the past.  Don't get me wrong there were times I wanted to face plant into the worst food possible but I resisted.

Last week I was not able to run or work out until Friday thanks to mother nature.  Friday came and I knew I could work out and I killed it on the stair climber.  Mom, dad if you're reading this close your eyes because I'm going to say a bad word....I love that bitch...The stair climber.  I love to just get all sick and gross and sweaty and just go after it.  Friday I did 73 (I think) flights of stairs in 30 minutes.  It was so therapeutic!

Today I realized I really need to do more core work so I did our 15 minute core class that is held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before I ran.  Today I wanted to run outside but I forgot my running pants.  It was just a tad bit to cold to run outside in shorts today.  I did the treadmill today.  It was tough!  I am doing the Couch-to-5K running plan and I'm on week 4 day 3.  Needless to say I'm going back to week 4 day 1 so today really was week 4 day 1 and Wednesday will be day 2.  It starts off by walking/warming up for 5 minutes then run for 3 minutes then walk for 90 seconds run for 5 minutes walk for 2.5 minutes run for 3 minutes then walk for 90 seconds run for 5 minutes and then cool down/walk for 5 minutes.  Today I was hurting hard core at that last 5 minutes and I wanted soooo badly to just stop running.  I think my heart rate was up in the 180's.  I have 3 women in my life that I consider my fitness and nutrition mentors, they are Connie, Brooke and Amber.  So in my head I'm chanting "WWCB&AD"...."What Would Connie, Brooke & Amber Do?"  They would run through it just to prove themselves wrong, that they are strong enough and that they can do it and if they were beside me helping me get through this work out they would be yelling at me (in a good way) to push through it and to do it and finish strong.  So that I did...I finished strong.  I ended this run with a lot of emotions.  Happy that I did finish strong but also scared with that little person in the back of your head that says do you really think you can do this?  Do you really think you can run a half marathon in October?  I'll tell you the answer to this question at first was...I'm not sure, I don't think so and then in the next breath I told myself to shut the *beep* up and that yes I was going to do this and nothing is stopping me.

Friday is payday and Friday it will be official...I will be signed up for the Des Moines Half Marathon that will take place on October 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Spark

If you've been following me you know I love the website I recently downloaded the book "The Spark" and its the best thing I ever did! I just came across a section that has slapped me right across my face (in a good way) & I had to share.


"One of the reasons we focus on taking small steps instead of plowing full steam to reach big goals is this: we know that major life breakthroughs are the result of building consistency and momentum in all of the cornerstones.
1. The Aha Moment. When you realize something for the first time.
2. The WooHoo. When you have taken action amd want to celebrate (ie. Me running 5 minutes with out stopping)
3. The Breakthrough Point. When you string together enough small steps made up of aha and woohoo moments you start stacking the odds in your favor. Now its a virtual guarentee that you are closing in on a breakthrough point."

Why I shared this little section of this book is because this is what is becoming my life and I'm loving it. This is so much better and fulfilling than any food or snack (not quite ready to say red wine...I kid).

This is my is a roller coaster filled with ups and downs and I wouldn't have it any other way. This journey has also made me realize just truly I am blessed and how wonderful life truly is and the best part...I feel like it's just begining.

Monday, February 28, 2011

So Blessed

Sorry for being absent.  I haven't felt like I had much to share or inspiring.

I realized today that I am so blessed beyond measure and I have to write about it.  I'm not going to lie and tell you that I had the glass as half full outlook this whole time because I have not.  Yesterday I was on the fine line between sanity and going totally nuts.  Needless to say I cried so much yesterday that I had two puffy eyes this morning.

We realized recently we owe close to $1000 in medical expenses from last year.  We also need to have repair work done on my Lady Bug (VW Beetle) that is about $500.  Then over the weekend our fridge which is probably about 30 years old decided to quit working and then my husbands wonderful Uncle Donnie passed away last night.

That sounds like a bad country western song right?  WRONG.  Praise God for tax return season.  We are getting enough back to pay off all of our medical expense, get my repairs done on the car, get a new fridge and save for another emergency.  Because as you know Murphy's Law will strike again and when you least expect it!

So how does this all entail me being a skinny girl trapped in a fat body....through all of this I did very little emotional eating and I worked out like a crazy woman!  I think the treadmill and stair climber have had their fair share of me.

I am doing the Couch to 5K program to help build my endurance and strength to become a half marathon runner and today I started week 4 day 1.  It called to walk for 5 minutes to warm up, run for 3 minutes, walk for 90 seconds, run for 5 minutes, walk for 2.5 minutes, run for 3 minutes, walk for 90 seconds, run for 5 minutes, and then cool down for 5 minutes of walking.   This fatty hasn't ran for 5 minutes straight since high school (coming up on 20 years...where did that time go).  Today was so emotional for me with this run...I did something a year ago I never dreamed of...I ran for 5 minutes 2 times and 3 minutes 2 times. It was tough and I wanted to quit and I swore I was going to puke but I didn't.  Thank God for running on an empty stomach (well several hours after my egg beater omelet) because I would have lost it.  Plus with the outflow of blessing that I realized we have with our tax refund being able to help us out.

Good news today too....Andy found out that the tumor in his leg was not cancerous and he's healing well.  He is still having a hard time getting around but he's healing and will have a full recovery.  At this point in time he's set to go back to work on March 14th.

I've realized that no matter what life throws at me I can't turn to food to solve my problems. I need to turn to the Lord first, healthy foods and then the treadmill

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Frustrated with myself

Why do I have to have such a love affair with all food good for me and all food bad?  Since last week I've gained 7 pounds.  I've still been working out but no matter what I put in my mouth the work outs don't matter. 

I admit I've been emotional eating and comfort eating because it's been easy. 

As you know Andy had the tumor from his left thigh removed last Friday.  The surgery went well and he's at home recovering very nicely. 

I've had a lot of wine to drink, a lot of good for me food to eat and a lot of bad for me food to eat.  I hate this love hate relationship I have with food.  I hate that it's so easy to just fall back.  I really wish the taste of wine would make me want to vomit (not that I drink that much but still) and that the taste of bad food like mexican would make me want to vomit. 

So off I go...Off to kill myself in the gym I head.  Today is my first day back to work since Andy's surgery so back on track I head too with food. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fake it until you make it....

This has been a tough week for me.  As I've shared we found out recently that Andy has a cancerous tumor on his left leg.  It is cancer but it is not in danger of taking his life.  He has surgery on Friday in Iowa City and once the tumor is gone he should be cancer free.  This is good news....  Why then am I kind of sad?  I guess it's because I don't want to think about the "C" word and my husband in the same light.  Something happening to him would rock my world and not in a good way.  I love him so much that I can not imagine what life would be with out him.  He is so young (42) he shouldn't have cancer of any kind. 

So this week food wise...I admit...I've emotionally ate.  The good news I have not gone off the deep end.  So I'm learning and this is a process not something that will be fixed over night. 

I have not missed a gym day and I don't plan on it either.  If it were not for the gym I think I'd be really low right now.  Monday I did the C25K (Couch to 5K) work out for week 2 day 1.  Tuesday I decided to add the SparkPeople 28 day challenge again and I did day 1 of that work out and 25 minutes on the elliptical.  Today I did Day 2 of the 28 day challenge and I did the C25K week 2 day 2 today.  The sweat has been my therapy.

PS.....I am so thankful it's going to be nice out this weekend.  I can't wait to get outside and RUN! 

PSS...I was irritated today that my lunch room did not have cottage cheese...damn it don't they know I'm obsessed with it and they need to keep it stocked at all times just for me!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ode to Cottage Cheese, Celery & Peanut Butter

Oh how I love thee... You make a perfect lunch for me.

So you guessed it...right now I'm eating cottage cheese, celery and peanut butter.  So good!  I seriously think I could eat a tub of cottage cheese a day! 

Food wise this past weekend.  Not great but not horrible.  Andy made the BEST steak EVER on Saturday.  I swear that man is the best cook.  I'm so blessed to have a man that is not only passionate about me but about his food that he serves his family.  I'm also blessed to have a man that cooks period.  My mom used to tell me while growing up "You'd better hope you find a man that likes to cook."  Luck me, I did!  I don't mind cooking but I don't enjoy it near the amount that Andy does. 

Yesterday was the Superbowl.....To say I'm a happy girl today is an under statement.  I love love love the Greenbay Packers.  Sad that the season is over but as a fan of the Packers I'm just thrilled. 

I'm doing the couch to 5K running program.  Today started week 2 day 1:  walk for 5 minutes, run for 90 seconds and walk for 2 minutes, continue for 20 minutes then do a 5 minute cool down.  HOLY COW that extra 30 seconds of running is tough but it feels so good!  I seriously love this.  I can't wait to continue on this journey and see what is front of me.

I'm not a big fan of Oprah but thought this was a good quote:

"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it."

-Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I really dread writing today however I am doing my best to write every day so I can hold myself accountable.

I fell..I fell hard today.  This has been one of the worst days I've had in a VERY long time.  Tonight for supper I fell face first in a pizza.  I only at 2 pieces and 2 pieces of cheese bread.  Still very bad but in my  "fat" days I would have eat almost half the pizza and several more cheese sticks.

Today was one of those days that I wished I was 8 years old and my worst thing that happened to me today is I didn't get to check out the library book I was hoping for.

1st.... the un-welcome monthly visitor showed up (it should be mandatory that once you're done having kids this part of being a woman is over too)

2nd....Andy was honest with workman's comp several months ago about his hip injury that lead us to find out that he has a cancerous tumor in his leg and the wonderful workman's comp denied his claim saying his injury was not work related (if you want the full details just ask and I'll tell you but I'll spare the details for now).  So we turned in all the medical bills to our insurance company, Coventry, and they paid most of his medical bills.  Fast forward to Monday...we get a message on our voicemail saying this is so and so with Dr. ____ and we have an outstanding medical bill from November that we need taken care of ASAP (not in those exact words but you get the point.)  So Andy calls our insurance provider.  Coventry goes on to tell him that doctor is an out of network doctor and they are not going to pay for those visits.  HELLO my husbands employer sent him to that doctor because it was a work related injury.  So guess who is stuck paying $1000 to a doctor that we've never had a relationship with...YEP...The Lehman's.  Please let me bend over and pull that $1000 out of my *beep* for you.   So we're screwed from workman's comp and we're screwed from our insurance company.  This is what you get when being honest.  The man wonders why there is fraud?  Damn us for being honest and NOT trying to cheat the system.

3rd...I don't post a whole ton on Facebook or here about the issues we have with my son, Jack (I don't like to post "bad news" or be a downer, for me most of the time the glass is half full).  I love that little man with all my heart and soul but he is a tough nut to crack.  98% of the time he's perfect and precious but that 2% of the's tough.... He is just like any other normal 5 year old boy but he's also on the very high end of the autism spectrum.  Today at 11:15 I get a call from his preschool teacher  (Jack is in his 3rd year of pre-school with the early childhood special ed through the DM School district) telling me that Jack can not get on the bus because it is not safe for the other children or the bus driver.  Meaning that Jack was in the midst of a violent rampage.  So I have to leave work, get him from school, take him back to daycare and go back to work.  Jack has been having some pretty serious fits lately.  Just  being nasty to Anna (our 8 year old) and just causing a lot of disruption.  Tonight was haircut night for us.  Jack marches into the salon and gets a sucker.  Fine but then he wanted another one.  I told him no that he could get another one once he was good and got his hair cut.  When we put the suckers up where he couldn't reach them all hell broke out.   The ladies that cut our hair got to see in the flesh what it looks like when he's having a meltdown.

So that was my day today.  99% of the time I have a very blessed and charmed life but today was just one of those days that just can't end soon enough.  The monthly visitor will end, I will return to my normal upbeat self, the medical bills will be paid, and Jack will be a great little man again.  Thank goodness God gives us a chance to start over every day.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today is a "Work Day"

So on Monday I preached how living healthy and working out is work and it's necessary?  You may not want to do it but really you have to in order to sustain your life.  That is me today.  I think it's related to all this snow and cold we have right now.  I didn't get to work today until 9am so today was kind of off.  I was *this* close to not going to the gym today but I thought to have to practice what you preach.  I'm not even sure if many read this but I do and writing this down is serious for me because I hold myself accountable and I know that if some one else reads this and is hoping to be moved how can I help that person move if I don't do it?  How is me skipping today going to slow me down in my goals to a healthy and fit life?  How is skipping today going to help me run my half marathon on 10/16/11?

So I did it....  Today was day 2 of week 1 of the Couch to 5K program.  Once I hit the treadmill I knew it was going to be a good work out and I was thankful to be there.  On Monday I shared I increased my running speed from 4mph to 4.5mph.  Today I increased my speed from 4.5mph to 4.8mph.  When it was the 90 seconds of walk time I did 3.1mph vs the 3mph.  I know that's a little lame but the running is hard core! 

I must confess I did treat myself to a  tall skinny mocha today from McDonald's.  I loved it but it didn't love me.  When am I going to learn that my body just can not take sugar any more.  HA!  I haven't had one in AGES so once in a blue moon isn't to bad for me.  I did count for those calories and I did burn them off so it's all good.  Other wise in food news today I've been very good.  Really the food thing is getting easier and easier all the time.  My body just doesn't crave the bad for you food anymore.  I do however log everything that touches my lips.  I didn't do this while recovering from having my tonsils removed..HA what was I going to write down...I consumed 500 calories in apple juice today and the rest of the day water. 

If you are reading and you want to track my food that I eat feel free to find me on and my user name is TIFANO.  If you don't use sparkpeople I would encourage you to do so.  It's amazing and best of all it's FREE!  LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE SparkPeople.  I'm reading the book "The Spark" on my iPod Touch too.  Great book

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Note to self....

Just Say NO to high fiber oatmeal and almonds mixed.  I'll spare you the details but my breakfast sidelined me today so I've decided today is my rest day.  I'm feeling fine now but taking it easy and sticking to the BRAT diet.

Tomorrow back to running provided I can get to the gym.  We are in the midst of a blizzard in Des Moines so who knows if I'll be able to get out tomorrow to hit the gym.  These are the days I wish I had a treadmill at home.  Regardless I'll do cardio of some form tomorrow.

Hope you're having a great day!

Monday, January 31, 2011


"Euphoria: is medically recognized as a mental and emotional state defined as a profound sense of well-being.[1] Technically, euphoria is an affect,[2] but the term is often colloquially used to define emotion as an intense state of transcendent happiness combined with an overwhelming sense of contentment."

This is what Wikipedia says is the definition of Euphoria. 

Despite the news of my husband finding out he has cancer in his left thigh I feel very Euphoric today.  Back story on Andy's leg.  The bad news: It's cancer the good news: once the tumor is removed (02-11-11 is surgery date) he will be cancer free.  We are so thankful that if he has to have this terrible disease in his body that God is good and allowed this to be the best of the worst kind of news we could expect. 

Today is my first day back to work, back to the gym, back to a real routine.  It feels good to be back! 

Today I dominated the treadmill.  I wish I would have brought my outdoor gear so I could run outside because it was decent enough to do so and will be the last time for a while before it is decent enough to do so.  I decided that I was going to start over on the couch to 5K program.  So week 1 work out is walk at a brisk pace for 5 minutes then run for 1 minute walk for 90 seconds repeat for 20 minutes end by walking for 5 minutes total time 30 minutes.  Do this 3 times this week. 

In the past (like in December) I would walk at 3mph and run at 4mph.  Today I thought I want to see what I can do so I still did my walking at 3mph and bumped up my running speed to 4.5mph.  I know to most this is child's play but for me..this was good news!  I'm thinking Wednesday I'm going to bump my speed up to 5mph

Weight loss while out on medical leave was 12 pounds.  Now the key is to keep those off. 

My thought of the day:  If dreading eating right or working out think of it like this.  Why do you go to work?  Or if your a homemaker why do you take care of your children, clean your house, pay the bills, etc?  Because you have to in order to survive.  When it comes to being healthy, being/becoming an athlete and weight loss this also becomes a job and like work (in and outside the home) it is rewarding.  Rewarding with a paycheck, job well done, clean home, great kids, money in your checking/savings account.   Work  is necessary in order to survive.  So before you put that bad food in your mouth or chose the couch over the treadmill think of how this will maximize your performance to get the best  results.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Needtobreathe - Garden

My prayer is that this song becomes everyones prayer. I hope everyone listens to it with their eyes closed and open mind. All that we do on this earth is to glorify the King. May every piece of food you put in your mouth and every action/step make you think, how is this going to glorify the King. How can I use myself and my body to help further the Kingdom. If you're reading and you're not "religious"/Christ follower (I hate that word, religious) think of how will the food you put into your body further your legacy. How will your actions affect those that you think are not watching (ie..our children).

Everything we do to better ourselves needs to be selfish but realize that "YOU" are just a tiny piece in the puzzle. What we do in life has a long term effect for good or for bad.  It is OK to be selfish.  If being selfish means you need to work out for 30 minutes a day so you can go out there, have better focus, more energy, be happy, etc.  Who really does that effect?  Sure it effects you but in the big picture it effects our loved ones because we will be more attentive to their needs, our employers because we'll be more productive at work and probably a little more nice to be around.   If being selfish means you need to spend 20 minutes more a week searching for healthier recipes so you can feed your body what she needs vs. junk food then so be it.  Again, who is to benefit here?  You, your loved ones, friends, and employers.  All of which will benefit from you being selfish and from you taking time to get your self right.

So do it....Go to the "Garden" pray that you die to yourself so that love can tell it's tale!  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Not much to do with a skinny girl trapped in a fat body but....

As a woman it really is such a shame that we don't put more value on ourselves and consider ourselves more successful and worthy.

We (men too) are beautiful creatures created in God's image.  I know there have been times that I don't feel like I'm beautiful, valued, worthy, successful, etc.   Where I have learned to love myself no matter what condition I'm in is in the times of struggle.  I am so thankful for every psycho moment I put myself through and those that love me the  most.  In the midst of the struggle it's not fun but it took those struggles to get me where I am today.

WARNING:  Deeply personal moment about to come out:

I hate the fact that it took my husband telling me "Tiffany, I love you and will never leave you but if you keep this up I can't guarantee that I will be in love with you forever."   This was back in 2004 by the way...

In that moment I think it's fair to say that I hated him for saying that to me HOWEVER it was the best thing he said to me.  It smacked me right across my face and forced me to get help for myself.  If I didn't get help for myself my life would be worthless.  What good would I be to a man that committed to love me and be with me forever, what kind of a woman would I be,  what kind of child would I be to my parents, what kind of sister would I be to my sister, what kind of mother would I be, what kind of a friend would I be?  Even bigger what kind of child of God would I be?

Now can I say since I've received help with therapy, Rx, vitamins, diet and excersize that life is a bowl of cherries and all is great and wonderful...NO but what I can tell you is that I embrace the hard times and look for the silver lining in everything.  From everything bad there is good.

Just remember that no matter what you are worth it, you are worthy, you are a success, you are beautiful, you are strong.  If you don't feel that way please I urge you to get help and know that if you ever want to talk I'm here too.  Not that I'm all wise and worthy but I am a good listener and do have a little insight.

To quote the great Stuart Smalley, "I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

shake and bake

How does one be healthy 7 days post op?

As you know I had my tonsils removed on January 11th.  Here it is January 18th and I'm still in a lot of pain but getting back to 100% slowly and surely.

I kind of have joked that the upside to this surgery is weight loss.  Well weight loss I have succeeded at thus far.  Since January 11th I've lost 11 pounds.  Granted this is not a healthy way to lose weight but heck I'll take it.

During this time I've still made choices on what to put into my body.  Granted my diet right now consists of jello, yogurt, sherbet, mashed potatoes and other soft foods.  I realize right now that I could feast on ice cream,  heavy mac and cheese, etc.  Don't get me wrong I have but in very small doses.  Not only because I just can't eat it but I don't want to over do it.

Something that I've learned is that my body can't take the bad for me foods much anymore and honestly that makes me happy.  I really long for the day that I can eat a salad, salmon, chicken, green beans, etc.

I have been following doctors orders and not working out but I'll be honest it's KILLING me.  I miss my sweat so bad.  I can't wait to get my fat ace back into the gym and kill her!  So that I'm not a total bum while recovering I have been getting up every day, showering, putting on make up, doing my hair, going for little walks around the house, today we went to the apple store to learn about using some software so I got that little walk in.  After the apple store I did come home and sleep for about 2 hours.  So I'm still moving and still getting lots of rest just like the doctor ordered.

So I just read this and really it doesn't make much sense and I'm rambling but oh well...This is me...I'm all jacked up on pain meeds (to the toon of "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" when Ricky Bobby's son says "I'm going to come at you like a spider monkey, I'm all jacked up on Mountain Dew Chip.") 

Until next time...get out there, eat well, work out hard and watch "Talladega Nights"