Sunday, June 18, 2017

It's Humbling

Happy Father's Day!  I hope you were able to celebrate with the man or men in your life that you love.  I had my dad over for lunch and spent the whole day with my husband.  It was nice.  Relaxing.  No fuss.
Dad & I
My biggest cheerleader
Brian & I
My heart
Back to the here is the bare honest truth.  This whole getting my game back on thing is extremely humbling.  I am perpetually feeling like starting all over again is just too much for me and the desire to throw in the towel seems to be nagging at me like crazy.

Discouragement knocks at my door every day and this afternoon I caught myself truly feeling sorry for myself.  Stop everything, get out the violins because poor, poor Tracey.  Oh my, when I realized I was wallowing in self pity, I pretty much slapped myself in the head and said, "Cut the bullsh** and get it together!"
So me!
Last week I set some pretty steep Goals for myself.
In my last post, I said to set realistic goals.  Realistic means ones you can actually attain.  Me?  I had a crazy busy week and planned two runs and two bike rides in one week.  I am lucky I got in one of each.

It's probably smart to a lot of people to set high goals so you can push yourself.  But me, I get discouraged too easily if I don't meet my goals.  I feel like I've failed, even if I've tried to reach them.  It's rubbish, but it's my Type A personality.
Courage.  That's what I need.
I did legs at the gym yesterday and my shoulder is bothering me, so I was going to skip working out today and just do some yoga at home.  Instead, I decided to do an at-home workout, followed by the yoga.  It was great.  I feel energized and encouraged.
I did 10 minutes going up and down the stairs, followed by a circuit of Kettle Bell swings, walking lunges, Kettle Bell Squats and bent over rows, that I repeated three times.
at home Yoga....feels so good.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.
1 Corinthians 12:9-10

I also realize that I'm going to need some help as I work my way back.  Even though my proud self feels like she knows everything, I need someone to kick me in the butt.  I do.  So I asked my friend Ashley to help with me and we have plans for Wednesday.  It feels weird to have a new trainer.  This will be number four.  But I like Ashley, so if I feel like I can trust her after our first session together, I know it will be good for me to work with her.

For me, working with a trainer is less about having someone tell you what to do, and more about having someone to kick you in the butt, to encourage you when you're feeling down and to push you when you just don't want to.  I feel super whiney, so hopefully she won't be annoyed with me.
Looking forward to getting rid of the dueling voices and rebuilding my confidence.

This week's goals are a WHOLE lot more reasonable....

Question for you (answer in the comment section below):
Did you do anything for Father's Day?  What?

Musical notes    
A perfect workout tune for me...

There's Nothing Holding Me Back by Shawn Mendes

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Monday, June 12, 2017


How was your weekend?  We went away for a wedding in Maine and it was amazing.  What a great weekend!

This is Part Three in my series "All or Nothing." Today I am focusing on fitness and exercise. This has been my biggest mental hurdle over the past year because I have been dealing with one injury or health related issue after another, with virtually no relief.  My doctor has given me at least two stern talking to's about overdoing it. I have had to take a MAJOR step back and let my body heal, which has resulted in both some weight (fat) gain, a significant loss in muscle mass, and a blow to my routine.
This was during recovery from my back injury.
What used to be normal is now work. What used to be a warm up is now my work out. While I used to go out for a 30+ mile bike ride 2-3 times per week, I have only been on one this entire season.

I, myself am fighting the all or nothing game. I want to be what I was a year ago. Heck, I'll take where I was six months ago. But that's not the case, so I stand here at the crossroads of "Try again, do it again, it's worth it!" and "Ugggh, I don't want to do this. It's hard."

When my motivation is high, I tend to overdo it. I just got over a migraine that lasted 10 days. And my shoulder has been bothering me for the past couple days.  It stinks to get old.

This post is all about setting weekly, or even daily fitness goals.   If you are just getting started, or are working your way back from injury or medical issues, the key to long term success is to start small.  Don’t set impossible goals you cannot achieve.  Be practical.  It's okay to reach a little, but don't set unattainable goals and set yourself up for failure.
I am thinking one bike ride is realistic and two is probably a stretch, but I am going to try to ride on Wednesday and again on Saturday morning.
I am doing this, starting today.  My nutrition for the weekend was literally off the chart, so today I am going to reign in the food demons and make sure I get my workouts in for the week, and that’s what my goals reflect.

I took the word "vacation" to heart.  I ate and ate and ate.  Rum Raisin ice cream on top and Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl on the bottom with a waffle cone bowl.  OMG, to die for.
For me, the mind game has to some extent been about time. I find myself thinking, "If I can't get to the gym and workout for an hour, why bother" has been a trap.  Truth be told, my weight on the scale hasn't changed more than 5 lbs since Christmas, and that's because I've got my nutrition figured out pretty well. But your muscle mass will diminish if you don't train, and that's what has happened. The rule about muscle weighing more than fat is fact, not fiction. So while the scale hasn't moved around much, my clothes don't fit like they used to.  The image in the mirror is not as sexy as it was. I don't like it.
I got to the gym yesterday and did a push workout.  Just because my nutrition was a mess for the weekend doesn't mean I couldn't work out.  It felt good to be home.
I battle between what I want (now) and what I want (long term). It's a struggle. And the problem is two fold. One: physically, I can't do what I could do or I run the risk of reinjury. Two: I have to turn off the nagging voice in my head that tells me to quit, to give up.  It’s so easy to just let my busy schedule take over my days.

This whole learning to listen to my body means turning off the dueling voices in my head.

Here are today's goals:
Part of my issue has been time and today is no exception.  I am bringing my gym stuff to work, going to the gym on my way home and then to my 4:00 p.m. appointment.
My challenge for you this week is to set some goals.  Make them SMALL and ACHIEVABLE.  If you don't work out at all, don't set out to walk six miles every day.  Try 3-5 walks per week ... maybe 1 - 2 miles per walk.  And, don't forget the weights.  Try a basic introductory workout at the gym like this one from  Best Beginning Weight Trainer Guide with Easy-to-Follow Workout or this one The Complete 4-Week Beginner's Workout Program from  The trick is start small and light.  Do NOT put the maximum amount of weight on the rack, thinking you got it.  If it feels like you got it, take it down at least one notch.  Focus on form over the amount of weight.  You don't want to overdo it and either hurt yourself or quit.

Questions for you (answer in the comment section below):
What did you do this weekend?
What goals do you have for the week?

Musical notes    

This is another MUST have on my playlist.  A definite favorite!

Can't Stop This Feeling by Justin Timberlake
I got the sunshine in my pocket, got that good soul in my feet...

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

All or Nothing: Part Two

All or Nothing...this is a topic I have been discussing with my friends lately and I thought I'd bring up the subject with my readers here, since it seems to be a popular theme.  I wrote Part One earlier this week, where I talk about mindset.  The idea that we have to do it all, or why bother trying seems to resonate with many.  Recognizing and addressing this mindset is instrumental in long term success.  It can be All or Nothing, but it doesn't have to be.

In this post, I want to talk a little bit about nutrition.

Many of my friends struggle with weight loss and talk to me about their struggles.  A few have gone as far as to tell me, "I can't do things your way, I have to do it this way."  And I do understand.  But if you want to lose weight, you have to address your nutrition.  Quick fix remedies that we often try, don't lend themselves to long term or sustainable success.
I have written a lot about nutrition on my blog.  In fact, I wrote an entire series on nutrition last year.  You can check it out here:  Flexible Dieting Basics.  In a nutshell, I keep track of everything I eat and drink.  If it has calories, I track it all: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. 

For people just getting started, you have to realize this is a learning process.  You don't have to do it all or know it all right at the beginning.  You learn how to read food labels, how to truly track your food, or how to assess your macros, you might think to yourself, "I can't do this.  It's too much.  It's too hard."

It's the "all" or "nothing" mindset that defeats them before they are even out of the gate.

If you have not read the first part of this post, I would encourage you to do so.  All or Nothing: Part One.  Starting with and keeping the right mindset about losing weight or getting in shape is critical.  It is a learning process.

So, nutrition.

If you are trying to lose weight and want to do it right, but are susceptible to this "All or Nothing" way of thinking, focus on ONE area to get started.  Where do you struggle?  See if you can work on that one thing.  Here are a couple suggestions.

  • Try JUST keeping track of your food and beverage for a week.  Whatever you eat or drink, add it into MyFitnessPal.  Don't worry about what you eat during the first week, just track it all.  After the first week, start to make some adjustments.


  • Try to increase your protein every day to at least 100 grams of protein.  You'll have to keep track of the protein you eat to reach 100 grams.  Try this: two eggs and / or egg whites for breakfast, at least two protein rich snacks (e.g. Greek yogurt or protein bar), 5-6 oz. lean protein for lunch (6-8 oz. for dinner), and maybe a protein shake post workout.  This should get you there, or pretty close.


  • Think about how to address night time snacking.  Eat a little more during the day so you're not hungry.  Skip snacks that are high in carbs or refined sugars.  Try an apple with peanut butter, or one of those new low sugar / protein ice creams.

I bought a few of these ($4.59 / pint at Big Y).  So far I've only tried the Peanut Butter Cup.  As a person with an ice cream problem, I will be honest... it doesn't really taste like true ice cream.  But it does meet my need for sweet, cold and creamy.  Halo Top Flavors here.  I can eat about 1/2 pint and not feel guilty

  • If you don't eat breakfast, start eating a protein rich breakfast for a week.  Every day, one week, try: two eggs with one slice of whole grain toast  (add some peanut butter if you want), a Greek yogurt with granola, a protein shake.  Avoid cereals high in refined sugar, muffins and bagels.

If you are afraid to move forward because you feel like it has to be All or Nothing, try to change just one thing in your diet.  See how you do /feel after one week.  Make only ONE change in your routine.  In one week, see how it worked for you.  Consider it an experiment on yourself.  Positive results are empowering and give a lot of motivation to improve in other areas.  Let me know how you do, I'll be interested in your results..

Throughout this series, I will talk about other nutritional areas you can begin to address.  Keep it simple and see if you notice any difference.  This is a learning process.  You are learning about nutrition, as well as how what you eat affects you.  

Questions for you (answer in the comment section below):
What is your one biggest nutritional challenge?  (Mine is night time snacking.)
Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Musical notes 
This song has kind of a long intro, but once it kicks in, there is a super melodic beat that is great for running or working out to a steady beat.
Hymn for the Weekend by Coldplay
Oh, angel sent from up above.  You know you make my world light up.  When I was down, went I was hurt, you came to lift me up.  ....  Then we'll shoot across the sky.

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Instagram:  @tracoleman99