5 on Friday Giveaway

I have another 5k tomorrow morning. It is one in my hometown and one I have done every year since it started, even while pregnant. It is mostly a trail race and I like the atmosphere of the race.

I am also going to try something different in my routine. I found a toddler seat for my bicycle on a garage sale site so I am picking it up today after my run. A couple friends (Amanda & Michelle) have started riding their bikes and I want in on their adventures.

Today is my last long run before my half marathon. My cousin sent me the elevation graph for the half and I wish she hadn't. The first part of the race looks to be a slow down hill grade and the last half looks a little hilly. Should make for a good time.

My mom taught Mason how to put raspberries on his fingers the other day. When I gave him a black olive last night before dinner he tried putting it on his finger so I decided to put one on each finger. He is so patient waiting for me to get them all on his fingers and then take a picture.

My favorite part of having a child is watching their mind grow. Mason does stuff daily that I am in awe of because he is becoming a little boy instead of a baby.
Last night he went into the garage to get his chair. He grabbed the chair, dragged it to his sand box and sat there watching the sand and the cars going by. I would love to know what is going on in his mind.
Well I know one thing that was going through his mind - 
"Mom stop taking pictures of me, I am not looking at the camera."

{Four} & {Five}
Giveaway time! So my half marathon is closing in and I am a little nervous. To take the edge off I decided to give some stuff away :) A good playlist is a must I have been told for this half marathon. I am currently in the process of trying to find the right songs and compile a list.
I thought it would be fitting to giveaway {2} $15 iTunes gift cards & a Brady Band.  Two things I will definitely use in the coming week and for my half marathon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Guest Post from Winter

Good Morning! Today I am guest posting over at No Drama Little Mama - cute name right? While I am over there Winter is guest posting here. She had an adorable little girl a few months after I had Mason and she is battling the weight like me and many others. Enjoy!

Hello Everyone! I'm taking over Ash's blog today! She's over at mine, doing the same!

I'm Winter and I blog over at No Drama Little Mama. I'm from the tiny island of Grand Manan, in New Brunswick, Canada. I'm a Registered Nurse, a wife, and I'm a mommy to 15 month old Harper. Also, I'm fur mommy to 2 dogs and 2 cats (Max, Mama, Thor, & Luna).

I'm thrilled to be swapping with Ash, I love her blog, I always find her inspirational. I must say that the Wednesday linkup that she co hosts has been a huge source of motivation for me to lose weight and to get myself healthy. It helps me to feel accountable, and it's wonderful. Every week I find myself consciously making better, healthier choices because I know that once Wednesday rolls around I'm going to have to fess up on the blog! Good or bad, it's always worth it!

When it came down to deciding what to write about, I knew the thing that I'm most passionate about is motivation. I'm actually passionate about it because I struggle with it the constantly.

I have battled for about 8 years with my weight. Ever since I put on my Freshman 15 40. I went from feeling fine about how I looked to hating to see myself in photos. Ever since then, I have had my highs and rock bottoms when it comes to motivation. I didn't want to hate what I saw in the mirror, I just did. I wanted to change it, but you know how society is now...instant gratification or you give up. Obviously it takes more than one trip to the gym to lose 40 pounds! I've joined Weight Watchers a total of 3 times, and have been able to be motivated enough to lose 20 pounds, and then just give up.

After having Harper in February 2013, I knew I had to get healthy. From there it still actually took a long time for it to really sink in as to what I should be doing. I jumped back on the Weight Watchers wagon but it just didn't work for me this time around. 

I gave up for quite a long time. But once October rolled around I rediscovered MyFitnessPal. I was able to lose a bit before the Christmas season took over. In December, I discovered Weigh in Wednesday, and knew it was something I wanted to blog about, but still didn't really get it until after we got back from our vacation in January.

Something clicked while we were on vacation, I believe. I didn't want to go on vacation in a years time and feel the same way. I didn't want to worry about the weight restriction at the zipline place in St. Thomas. I wanted to love my body and myself again. I wanted to be healthy for my daughter and for my future family. I wanted to feel better.

Since then, I've been able to focus and channel all my wishes and hopes into motivation. I have to say though, it's not always easy. I still have times I just want to give up and eat everything in the house, and then some. So far, since having Harper, I'm down 31 pounds. I'm actually below my pre-pregnancy weight! I have a running streak on MyFitnessPal of over 120 days! The other day, I ran jogged, for 4 minutes straight (I haven't done that since high school)! I'm about half way to my goal weight, though I haven't really decided on one firmly yet. I do believe it's not about the number on the scale but how you feel instead.

So, here are some of the things I do to keep myself motivated and out of the bag of chocolate chips:

- Set your MyFitnessPal alarm (or just your phone alarm) to remind you to track your food!!! Every time you're in there tracking it, have a look at your progress graph. It always motivates me to keep going!

- Set small goals for yourself and write them down. I have mine in my day planner, and I love ticking off each day, because I'm one day closer to achieving my goal. This month my goals are to run with the C25K program and to drink at least 48 oz of water a day.

- Reward yourself. I have been rewarding myself every 5 pounds that I lose with something that I've been wanting. It's a great way to keep yourself working towards your goals diligently.

- If you're really in a rut, I highly recommend investing in a FitBit or something similar. It is so motivating, for me at least, to get myself moving and burn more calories! I believe my record so far is 22 000 steps! Add me on the dashboard if you like.

- Get a buddy, join a group, blog about it! Be accountable to someone!

- Don't be too hard on yourself. We all slip up. Pick yourself up, brush off the dirt, and press forward.

- And honestly, if you can't seem to tear yourself away from your computer screen, go on Pinterest, and start looking at the Health & Fitness category. If that doesn't make you feel guilty for not moving your butt, I don't know what will! (Just stay away from the desserts section! AHHH!).

Thank you so much Ash for swapping with me today! It's been great!

Come on over to my Blog and follow me!
No Drama Little Mama

Thanks Winter! Come by tomorrow for 5 on Friday & a giveaway!

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Weigh In Wednesday - a Gain & a Rut

I stepped on the scale yesterday for the first time in a couple weeks and I was happy to see I was only up about four pounds. I have been very lax with my workouts and my eating. I have not been tracking (Shocker!) and I have been working out once in a while.

I have been getting runs in when I can. I did Yoga Inferno yesterday and twice last week. I like it and I plan on doing it more, but I have to get back into my routine of working out daily. It is amazing how fast you can get out of a habit and how long it takes you to get back into it.

I feel like a big let down for gaining and not being on my a-game. I am sick of slacking and I am ready to get my butt in gear. I have said this a few times out loud and to myself in the last couple weeks, but I need to do something now. I will not let all of my hard work be ruin because I have been lazy.
I am disappointed in myself and I hate feeling this way. Looking at how far I have come helps keep me motivated, especially when I seem to be in a rut. the photo on the left above is from a month before I decided it was time for a change. I remember I ordered 6 dresses trying to find one to wear to a friend's wedding and this was the one that looked the best. I liked it, but I did not feel amazing in it.

Oh and on top of having a rough month eating and fitness wise, I started biting my nails again a couple weeks ago. I am trying to stop again, but it is hard! I have no idea why I started again. I am not happy about it because I liked my nails :(

My little ham helps me stay positive and not give up. I love my cuddles and spending days off with him :) I get to spend all day today with him again. I may even attempt a run with the stroller.

How is everyone doing? I have noticed we lost around 6 people linking up :( makes me sad. I want this link up to be a support type group where we can help and encourage each other! Tell your friends and share on social media ladies :)

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Finally, A Day Off

Ahhh a day off... not just one, but three days off... I woke up with a smile this morning.

Yesterday morning was dreary. It was rainy and cold. The weather man said it was supposed to be sunny and 80. I think I am in the wrong profession. It was around 70 in the morning, the chill was from the wind and the rain.
Mason never misses an opportunity to dress for the occasion so he had to wear shorts. Side note: when did he get so big? He looks like a little boy now, not my baby boy.
I snapped the photo below as Tim and I were going by where Mason and Tim's parents were standing watching the parade. He spotted Tim and wanted to get out of his stroller and get to him. Such a daddy's boy.
As soon as they found us at the ceremony in the park Mason went right for Tim. He even came to me after a few minutes to cuddle up. I think he was chilly and tired. I cherish those times when he wants to cuddle with me now. They are not as often as when he was smaller so I soak up my cuddles when I can. 
Today's forecast is rain, rain, rain with a thunderstorm mixed in. I wanted to get out and run today, but not in a thunderstorm.

I have Yoga Inferno on my agenda today and some treadmill time. There are some shows on my DVR that I need to catch up on so I have to get on the treadmill at some point.

I will admit I have been slacking lately - food and activity wise. I will talk about it more tomorrow for Weigh In Wednesday.

Hope you all had a great weekend and good luck today at work :)

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Weekend Recap... So Far

Is it Tuesday yet? Not many of you are saying this, but I am. Tomorrow is my first of two days off and I am ready for it. After I leave work at midnight tonight I will have worked 39 out of the last 72 hours. I am ready for a day off and a nap.

I worked 4a-4p on Saturday. When I got home I found the boys outside playing and getting some yard work done. Check out those clouds. It did not storm until around 9, but the clouds were scary looking for most of the evening.

Saturday night Tim had duty so we were heading over to the rescue squad for dinner in separate cars. I had my car ready for Mason to ride in, but he had other plans. He ran over to Tim's car, climbed in the driver's side back seat, crawled across the back seat, and climbed into his car seat. Tim came around the corner and said "Well I guess he is riding with me." It was actually kind of cute. He is loving sunglasses this year, which helps because he is not a fan of sun in his eyes. 
I ended up working midnight to 6am on Sunday, slept from 6:15-10:30, went to see Tim & Mason, then back to work for 4- midnight last night.

Tim sends me photos while I am at work of Mason so I can see my little guy. These were the only photos I had from yesterday with him in his patriotic outfit. Yes that is a dust pan, he finds it and pants to pick stuff up with it.
I noticed the stain on his shirt while editing the photo - When I messaged Tim he said it was already soaking. What a great husband - he knows when to treat stains and what to do!

We are going to go to the parade this morning in my hometown. Mason will be with Tim's mom watching the parade while Tim and I are take the ambulance in the parade. Following the parade I have to go to work noon to midnight. Now you see why I am looking forward to tomorrow?

Any BBQs planned for today? We had a little cookout for dinner Saturday night. Like I mentioned Friday this is not a big holiday for us. I think that it has something to do with my job and not always getting the full weekend off.

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5 on Friday

I must have been in a hurry this morning because when we got to daycare I set Mason down and noticed he had not shoes on. Oops.
I should have known something was up when he did not follow me out to the car like he usually does. He just stood near where the shoes are kept waiting. I wish he was more verbal and could tell me he had no shoes on. That would be helpful.

Who knew a mattress could be so much fun? I took Mason's bedding off last night to clean it and while it was off I put the mattress on the floor. Mason loved having it there. He kept running in his room to play on it. Tim wanted to watch Jeopardy so we brought the mattress into the living room.

Mason had a ball for over an hour playing on the mattress. He made us get on the ground with him to play. When he was ready for bed he curled up with a blanket on his mattress. We picked him up and put his bed back together then put him to bed properly.

Mason had corn on the cob last night for the first time. He already had dinner and we had given him a freezer pop so we could eat it. While we were eating and his pop was gone he started reaching for our corn. I ate most of mine and gave him the rest and he actually got the hang of it pretty quickly. He ate the rest of the corn on the cob and was a happy little kid.

We have planned a couple weekends in June & July that I am excited about. We are going camping the last weekend of June with my aunt and uncle. Then hopefully my other aunt will let us put up our tent on her lawn at the lake for the 4th of July.

I am pretty excited about summer now that we have some plans.

No big plans for this weekend. I am working all three days. This is not a big holiday weekend for us, Tim just likes having three days off.

Anyone going away this weekend? Big plans? 

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Yoga Inferno

Guess who got a workout in yesterday... This girl! I tried Jillian's Yoga Inferno workout. It was pretty intense and I was drenched in sweat after.
My poses are not perfect, but I try my hardest with them. I would definitely recommend doing the Yoga Meltdown before Yoga Inferno. The Inferno is a little more fast paced and the moves seem to be more advanced. I am not saying that a beginner could not do it, but I think I am finding it easier knowing the moves than I would if I didn't.

Mason left me alone and played through the whole workout. I was pretty proud of him. He came over and hugged me at the end so I decided to snap a photo. He must have thought it was bright in the living room this morning.

I posted a Transformation Tuesday photo yesterday on Instagram of my brother and I. Here is another one with a different before photo. My brother has been away for a couple years and while he was away he lost over 50 lbs (I am not sure of the exact number). I told him yesterday when he was at my house that we needed a photo for comparison.
There is over a 100 lbs difference in these photos between the two of us. That is crazy!

I worked over night so I am going home soon to sleep most of the day away. I am planning on doing Yoga Inferno when I wake before going to get Mason from daycare.

I hope everyone has a great Thursday! One more day til Friday :)

Have you tried either of Jillian's Yoga Dvds? Thoughts? 

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Vega Sport Endurance Gel Review

Have you ever tried endurance gels? Have you ever heard of them? 

I had heard of gels before training for my half marathon. I was not sure of how they worked or if they really worked. When the opportunity to test and review a sports gel came up I jumped at the opportunity. I am training for one of the biggest events in my new, healthier life. I wanted to see if the Vega Sport Endurance Gel would help in that training process.
Fuel Your Better
I am learning how to increase my stamina and endurance. I am still not quite sure how I ended up signed up for the half marathon, but it is pushing me out of my comfort zone and I am enjoying it. Don't ask me if I am enjoying it when I am on mile 6 in a longer run, but after I will say I enjoyed it.

Pushing myself and running more and more is showing me that I am capable of a lot more than I had thought.

The first time I tried the endurance gel was on my first 8 mile run. It was small enough that it actually fit into my small "key" pocket in my compression capris. Around the hour mark I got thirsty so I had one of the local police officers bring me water. #dispatcherperk I also had the gel. I was nervous about the taste, but it ended up being pretty good. It reminded me of raspberry jam. I was surprised when there was actual seeds in it.

I do think it helped give me energy to do another 3 miles. I was a skeptic, but this changed my mind

I also brought the gel with me yesterday on my 8.5 mile run. I had it at the hour mark again. Yesterday I was a little off. After mile 5 I felt like a turtle stampeding through peanut butter. The endurance gel helped me push through and keep running. Before having the gel I was trying to figure out the shortest route back to my car, but after having the gel I figured I should do more and go farther. I need to get these long runs in and push myself, even on tough days.

I would recommend this product to others. I think it is a great option for an athlete. Vega Sport makes more products for before, during, and after your workouts.

Some Nutritional Facts:

Plant Based

100 calories per pack
1g of fat
2g of fiber
17g of sugar

Dairy free
Soy free
Gluten free

I am very happy that I opted into this review opportunity. I am now a big fan of gels for my long runs. I really like the Vega Sport gel because it actually tasted like raspberry jam. I also like that it is low in calories and is an option for many people. I am not concerned about soy, dairy, or gluten, but I know a lot of people are.

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Wednesday Weigh In

I am not sure what is going on with me the last two weeks, but I feel out of my groove. I have not been getting in regular workouts. I have been running which is good. I ran yesterday and it felt amazing! After mile 5 I felt very slow, I even stopped at a grocery store for a water. It felt good to get out and run and that is what I enjoyed.

After my run I got to hang out with a cool kid wearing his sunglasses. He hated sunglasses last year. I hope he continues to like them this year because he could use them when the sun is in his eyes.

I went to Target the other day and bought a bunch of t-shirts. Their shirts this week are 40% off which makes them in the $5-$6 range. I might go back for more. I saw a striped shirt and wanted to buy it. My mom always told me not to wear horizontal stripes because they would make me look wider. I decided to go for it and I like it. This is the first striped shirt I have owned I think. Another victory with this shirt is the size. I am in a size large here. When I would buy shirts from Target before losing the weight I would have to grab the XXL shirts and sometimes they were too tight. This shirt fits great and is not too tight, it actually has quite a bit of room.
Never mind the unmade bed behind me there is still a dog fast asleep in it. 

I am trying to get my mind back on the wagon. I need to start working out again. I am still debating a 24 day challenge with Advocare - I am trying to figure out when I do it so it doesn't interfere with my race and a camping weekend. I may have to just jump in and deal with it for the camping weekend at the end of June. It is tough this time of year to try something for 24 days.

Maybe I just need to try something new with my workouts. I did 10 days of Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred, but it took me over two weeks. I need something to get hooked on. I have a couple ideas - I have two Jillian workout dvds that I have not tried yet.

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