That Training Session

Dear Erin,

I am so excited for all of your changes in your life, and proud for your leap!
I know it will all end up the way you need it to.

Here is my report on the first (real) day of Personal Training:
Kenya had lots of exercises ready, and we ended up going through a circuit of 15 or 20 of them twice. (Yes, I actually lost count.)
Some of the exercises were really difficult, and some were vaguely familiar and a couple were variations on yoga moves I already knew. I made it through everything, even with a little joking. You know when you watch the Biggest Loser and they have the contestants in a position where their back is against the wall, and their knees are at a 90 degree angle with Jillian STANDING ON TOP OF THEM? Yeah, I did those last night. Just me, with no one standing on top of me. And I almost couldn’t hold the last rep of the second set for a full 5 count. That show is just crazy!
Anyway, when the session was finished she asked me how I was feeling, and asked me to text her if anything we did bothered my back injury. I was feeling fatigued but accomplished when I walked away. However, when I got to the LONG set of stairs to get down to the locker room, I realized I was in trouble! On a dare and a prayer, I made it down the whole set without tumbling, and was more proud of that than the session itself!

This morning I woke up sore, but none the worse for wear. Murph and I even went for our walk to the beach. (Pictured above.)

Today’s Exercise: Mowing the lawn for one hour at lunch. Necessary but not my favorite.

Hope your day, is filled with the joy of knowing you did the right thing for yourself!





Dear Sarah,

I am hoping that Kendra kicked your ass in the gentlest, kindest way possible… well… for a personal trainer.

I ran today. And, man, it felt great.

I am finding that running is like a new friend that feels like you have known them forever. Whenever I run after a long time off, I feel like my heart and head hit a stride that finally connect. (Remind me of that in the future when I get all whiny and talk about how hard it is, ok?)

I’m in a place of shaking up my life at the moment. Shifting from a job of 8 years into the unknown, transforming how I think about my happiness, health and intention. I swear, the feeling of being locked into an unhappy existence for the past few years has allowed me to pack on weight and limit myself so far as to always be feeling like the world rested on my shoulders alone. I can’t count how many times that I have told everyone that I’m doing “ok” or “fine” and washed my emotions down with whatever  could put into my mouth.  The truth is, I haven’t been happy for a long time.

Now, this feeling of general unhappiness has nothing to do with my husband or my man-cub. They are my touchstone and truly the reason I could keep chugging away at the things I locked myself into. And, my family and friends are amazing. I count myself truly blessed to have all of these wonderful people in my life that love me unconditionally.

The fact of the matter is, I couldn’t love me unconditionally. My internal barometer of happiness was so far south that I forgot it even existed.  I felt so disconnected from being able to be creative, to dream big dreams, and to make changes in myself that could result in a different path.

The simple act of throwing in the towel in one area of my life has led to this opening up of so many others. I feel like I want to take photos again. I want to get my ass up and run. I want to eat well, rest well, and take time for me. Why?

Simply because I can.

This is all not to say that I am not scared of what lies ahead. But the fear is tempered by pure, unabashed excitement.

And, I like it.

~ E



Back Update

Dear Erin,

Sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words. Yours sums it up quite nicely.
Good luck on everything, and I hope that early morning run went well.

I wanted to give you an update on my back…
I personally report: the pain level is pretty low – like 4 advil per day instead of 12 (As prescribed by my doctor people, don’t go getting all crazy on me, I don’t self medicate anything not prescribed.)
The Chiropractor reports: everything looks like it is holding into place – and that I can come back in TWO WEEKS (instead of twice a week).
And the Massage Therapist reports: everything seems to be staying a lot looser from the last two sessions – I will go back for another torture session from hell (AKA deep tissue massage) in a MONTH as long as it stays loose.

About the massage therapist. At first I thought this was going to be a frivolous waste of my un-reimbursable health budget. Plus I really dont care for massages. Instead it has been the VERY BEST thing on my road to recovery from this episode. My muscles tend to want to stay in “guard” mode LONG AFTER the pinched nerves have started healing. The deep tissue torture really addresses a lot of those issues.

What does all of this really mean?
I’m pretty sure it means that Kenya the personal trainer is waiting in the wings to KICK MY ASS at the gym tomorrow.
Good thing I’ve been doing my homework.


Get Moving

Dear Sarah,

Your diligence to yourself and our project is inspiring.

I am so excited about your meal plans. I think recipes are in order (seeing as your chili recipe is now my standard).

Headed for a run today at ass-o-clock. I’m thinking that a little weights and sweat will help me get through the day. Ending it off with yoga at 5:30pm.

I wanted to get deeply philosophical about the transition away from my career into uncharted waters.

I think this says it all.

~ e

Planning to Eat

Dear Erin,

As you know, planning my meals is one of my goals. This weekend I sat down and planned several days of healthy meals that were realistic for me to spend time cooking, and even did some of the prep work.

Prepping ahead of time allowed me time this morning to make one of my most favorite breakfasts – beets and eggs.  This is a recipe that I adapted from Animal Vegetable Miracle (a book I highly recommend by the way). It basically has sauteed beet greens and stems with some sort of onion and canned tomatos (in this case the last can from my own garden last summer), with some hot red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.  After the greens are all cooked up, I remove half for another meal, and poach an egg on top, leaving the yellow runny so I can mix it in. YUM!! Here is the version from the book. Normally I only do one egg, but my other meals are pretty calorie low for today, so I snuck this second one in today.

Also, I overslept, but I am going to go to the gym at lunch instead! Small victories.

Hope you are moving forward.


We walked to the beach!

Dear Erin,

Murph and I walked to the harbor this morning – just a couple of miles, but we didn’t have a lot of time, and it was lovely weather.

Next scheduled gym time…tomorrow morning.
Murph won’t mind because he likes to sleep in on Saturdays.

Today’s lunchtime mission, get those bike tired filled up!!
Weekend frowny-face, it looks like it is going to rain a lot, so no gardening time (I have to draw the line at mud).

I want to hear all about the Y-fit…post soon!



April 17, 2012 - murph
Dear Erin,

I feel super guilty when my schedule makes it so the only time I can get to the gym is before work.
The Murph looked so disappointed in me when I left the house without him this morning.
He does not give me the same look when I run out to the store or the chiropractor before work, as I am not wearing exercise clothes.
Smart dog.

I went anyway. Yay for being home from the gym and showered for my day before 7:30 am!


PS This picture is from our walk on Tuesday.

First Personal Training Session

Dear Erin,

Actually, it WASN’T my first personal training session. We will start next week. It was a session to set up my “settings” on the fancy Milon Training Circuit that my gym has in addition to their free weights and nautilus machines. It’s 17.5 minutes, and there are several weight training machines, plus four minutes on a stationary bike, and 4 minutes on an elliptical machine.  All of the machines are set up with back support in just the right spot, so its a perfect way for me to get in a little weight training along with my cardio, safely.  The cost of the circuit is included in my gym membership, although I did have to pay a one time fee for the “smartcard” that records how the machines should set your height and weight levels for each item. It also records your workouts so you can track your progress over time (or your trainer can stalk you and see if you’ve been doing it). Overall, I really like the trainer, and we set up a regular appointment for Wednesday evenings, so now I will have to work out before I can go have my regular wednesday night playdate with my friends.  A perfect reward.

Lets take a minute away from the gym and talk about before pictures.  Someone told me that if I am going to start going to the gym all the time, I should really take a couple of before pictures. Sister, I am here to tell you, every picture of me taken in the last 6-8 years is a BEFORE picture. Even the really flattering ones. Even the ones I really like.  Here’s one of me spinning (A good friend took it, and I really do like it):

No, not THAT spinning. If I had done a lot of THAT spinning, I wouldn’t be needing a personal trainer at the gym. I look perfectly presentable, I am out in public, interacting with strangers, demonstrating how to do something I actually really enjoy, and I’m fine with public speaking. But lets get a closeup on that face:

Girl, seriously, I love me, but its a BEFORE picture.

Speaking of spinning, the kind that DOESN’T result in making yarn, riding the stationary bike at the gym today made me resolve to get my actual bicycle out of the garage this week and fill up the tires and ride it around the neighborhood like I did when I was a kid. Because that was FUN!

Wanna know what else I did tonight? After the trainer was done with me, since I was at the gym anyway, I walked another 40 minutes on the treadmill. Pretty fast.

And Murph and I went for a walk before work this morning, so I am pretty exercised out.

I leave you with this – Sarah’s Gym Tip of the Day: Right Said Fred and Aqua should probably NOT be right next to each other on your workout playlist.



Dear Sarah,

Miss me? I know… I bet writing letters to yourself is not a ton of fun. 

I am sorry. I miss you!

I have been inundated with work and life and resignation.

I saw that my event counter has turned the page to the 5 month mark.

Time waits for no one, and I am no exception.

I have started to think about my former resignation to live a life that was unhealthy, and not fulfilling. I never made a conscious choice for that life. I allowed it to happen to me. The unwanted pounds, the bad habits, the food medicating. All of it.  The not making a choice was a HUGE choice. It was a glaring, screaming, unhealthy choice.

I have recently started to think about how powerful my choices are. How they line up like little soldiers to defend me. They fuel me with confidence, allow me to run faster, train harder, and take leaps of faith when I normally would hide under my choices and eat.

I am ready to jump again, and I feel great. I am for sure scared. And I am for sure super excited.

I’m thinking of taking the sage advice in the picture.

Here’s to new beginnings and great choices.