Tag Archives: weight loss

Challenge Obesity 5k – “Race” recap

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Last year, I ran my first 5k race around Lake Como in St. Paul. I was so nervous and anxious the few days leading up to the event. But after I completed it, I felt so good! It started a string of 5k events through the rest of 2012! You can check out my last race in November as well as links to all the other races I completed here.

On my birthday, I made a list of things that I wanted to accomplish over the coming year. One important item on that list was to run the Challenge Obesity 5k again. It would be my one-year anniversary since my first and I could compare my progress. I wanted to encourage others to join me, too. The Challenge Obesity 5K race in St. Paul is one of the least intimidating races for beginner runners. When I was looking for a beginner runner 5k to run, this was the one recommended to me by Jen, a priorfatgirl. Many of the people running it have lost weight or are in the process of losing weight – from 20 to over 200 pounds! It’s actually very inspiring.

While my recent back surgery is forcing me to revise that list, I knew that I still wanted to participate in the Challenge Obesity event. And on Sunday, although I couldn’t run, I was reminded of this inspiration and vowed that I would be running this race every year as a re-commitment and reminder of a healthy lifestyle, while kicking off the beginning of the outdoor running season in Minnesota.

However, it wasn’t exactly ideal weather!

The results page describes last year’s weather as 45 degrees, overcast and breezy. You can check out the photos from that race recap post to see for yourself and compare to this year. I also re-read my recount of being a little warm in the lightweight jacket after I had started running. Back then, I was worried about being cold and wet that day. However, the rain held off until afternoon. This picture posted on the Challenge Obesity website depicts the beautiful spring day it actually was on Saturday, April 21st, 2012:

Weather at Lake Como on April 21, 2012 - source

Weather Conditions at Lake Como on April 21, 2012 – (Source: ChallengeCharities.org)

This year, all week, I was checking the weather forecast for race day. We’ve had some pretty unstable weather this spring including numerous SNOWstorms, one of which occurred last night:

April 22 2013 - Weather in MN, early evening.

April 22, 2013 – Weather Conditions in MN, early evening.

That was just the light dusting in the early evening! This morning, I woke up to this:

Tuesday morning, April 23, 2013

Tuesday morning, April 23, 2013 – Notice the additional snow on the trees, chairs and railings!

But I digress… Back to the race…

The week prior to race day, many forecasts showed 40 degrees and overcast with possible rain later in the morning. “Not so bad!” I thought. “Just a little cooler than last year!” …despite the fact that some snow remained on the ground.

But as the weekend drew closer, the weather predictions changed… including lower temperatures and possible rain and snow. “Okay,” I thought to myself, “I ran in 32 degree weather once and it was beautiful. I can handle this.” But on that particular day that I was remembering, the sun was out. So I just imagined it to be a little chillier and to adjust my race attire, accordingly.

And I use the term “race” loosely… Why?

Because I have not been cleared to run yet.

I would be walking this entire race.

Yeah, I was bummed when my surgeon told me that it would be six more weeks before I could slowly get back into running again. (More on that later this week.) But I also knew that since the surgery, walking on the treadmill a couple of times was the most exercise I’d done. And the furthest I’d gone is 1.5 miles. And even that took me 30 minutes. Obviously, I’m still healing.

The Night Before…

My friend Stacy came to town to join me in the race. The two of us went out to dinner with Rob to Forepaughs, a perfect suggestion on his part! The two of us girls split a small cheese plate, a piece of truffle toast and some po ping pork and even finished with some dessert. I did imbibe – two glasses of cabernet sauvignon. That’s not something I tend to do the night before a race.

Sure, I wasn’t running the thing this year, but I was still nervous. I didn’t know if I could make it the full 3.1 miles or if I’d come in last and hold up the entire working crew. So it was nice to have a night out with Stacy. {And I think it was nice for her to dine somewhere where she wouldn’t normally take her 5-year-old!} And although she and I have a tendency to chat for hours, we didn’t make it to bed too late. 😉

Race Day…

I didn’t get up immediately when the alarm went off, but I think I got ready in record time. I was debating whether to wear just a t-shirt or a fleece vest over my Cuddl Dud and under my lightweight jacket. At the advice of both my husband and Stacy, I went with the fleece vest, knowing I could remove it when I arrived.

Breakfast included the usual piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a banana. When my friend Jen arrived at my place at 7am, I grabbed a fleece scarf at the very last second (knowing it was one I could discard if I got hot) and we scurried out the door, stopping at Caribou Coffee on the way. I needed my race morning caffeine fix with my usual Americano!

Upon arrival…

It was colder than we could have ever imagined! 

The wind was whipping across the lake and the sky was more than overcast, with rain, sleet and snow seeming to be inevitable within minutes.

I had definitely under-dressed!

I hadn’t even brought gloves! I remembered the one time I wore gloves during a race that I got so hot and regretted it. So I just didn’t bring them this time. As we stood in line to pick up our bibs and t-shirts, my hands started to get numb. I jokingly said, “Hey, guys. Do you want to just go straight to brunch instead?” Stacy gave me a look like, “Don’t tempt me! You just might talk me into that!” But instead, she offered me an extra pair of stretchy gloves she just happened to have with her. I am so grateful she had those!

pre-race

Stacy, Jen & I pre-race. Believe it or not, that is a lake in the background.

Last year, I loved checking out pictures or signs on the backs of those people who had worked so hard to lose massive amounts of weight. It was so inspiring! This year, a guy was passing out signs and pins so that anyone could write in their accomplishments and display them as well!

Notice how windy it is with our ponytails blown...

Notice how windy it is with our ponytails blown to one side… as I cuddle up to Jen!

I made Stacy and Jen pat the bear's belly for good luck like I did last year. ;-)

I made Stacy & Jen pat the bear’s belly for good luck like I did last year.

The Race:

While this race wasn’t chip-timed last year, it was advertised as such this year. However, we did not receive any chip, nor did it seem like the bib was equipped with anything. And now that I think of it, I don’t remember seeing any start or finish mats either. Perhaps this had something to do with the weather?

In any case, we lined up at the back, knowing that we all planned to walk it. I’m not sure where the actual start line was, but I’m sure it took us a few minutes to cross it after the race began. So if the race wasn’t chip-timed, I’m pretty sure I can shave at least a minute or two off my final “race” time. 😉

And after we got moving, it really wasn’t half bad being out there! Of course, I didn’t become hot nor need to shed any clothing. We felt some sleet on a couple of occasions, although my hat helped with that. And the wind whipped each time we turned a particular corner, but it didn’t last long. Still, the view along the route looked a little bleak compared to last year!

I urged the girls to go on ahead of me, as I knew I’d be slow. I also knew that if I needed to, I’d stop after the first lap around the lake. When Jen finished the first lap, she called me to find out if I had intended to do the second one. I was feeling up to it, so she pressed on, too. Stacy walked with me and as we saw that the clock at the first lap was at just over 30 minutes, I told her that I wanted to finish this thing in under an hour. Not a good pace, by any means, but it was an accomplishment for me just to have walked this far. It was hard to believe that just six-months ago, I had finished running my first 5-mile race in just under 1:10. Now I was hoping to do a little over 3 miles in about that time.

However, when Stacy and I crossed the finish line, the clock was no longer showing a time. I guessed we would just have to wait to see the results later that day…

Jen, Stacy and Carrie post race with hot beverages!

Jen, Stacy and Carrie post-race with hot beverages!

But by the time we got to the car and were making our way to brunch, we each got an email on our phones titled “results”:

Congratulations Carrie on finishing the Challenge Obesity 5k! 
Your Time of 59:34 with a pace of 19:11 per mile, put you in 119 Overall! 
In your Divison of F3539 your Division Place was 17 out of 19. 
Your Gender Place was 82 out of 89. 
Full race results can be found @ www.wayzataresults.com

How cool is that?! This was the first time I’ve ever had race results emailed to me, not having to wait until later in the day when official race times were posted. And I did make that goal of completing the 5k in under an hour. Certainly nothing to be proud of normally, but having had back surgery just six weeks prior, I was just happy to be out and moving and able to complete it at all!

  • The Event: 2013 Challenge Obesity 5k
  • The Location: Lake Como – St. Paul, MN
  • The Date: Sunday, April 21, 2013
  • Night Before Dinner: Split with Stacy: Small cheese plate, truffle toast, po ping pork, dessert. Two glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pre-race Breakfast: Peanut Butter toast and banana
  • My Time: 59:34
  • The Weather: Freakin’ Cold! Mid 30s (but who knows with wind chill), overcast, some sleet.
  • Attire: running pants, long sleeved Cuddl Dud shirt, fleece vest, hat, fleece scarf, magic gloves.
  • General Feeling: Sad to not be running, but happy to have walked the most I had since back surgery. Re-inspired by all the runners who’ve lost weight!
  • Uniqueness: Challenge Obesity – people of all shapes, sizes and abilities.
  • Size: Approx 125
  • The Goods: t-shirt
  • The Grub: Water, hot chocolate, hot cider, bananas, apples, cinnamon raisin rolls.

Have you ever under-dressed for a race or other event before?

Have you done repeat races to check your progress?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Losing Weight (or Maintaining) without Exercise

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It can be done.

Although, if you can exercise, you should. That cardiovascular exercise is good for your heart and lungs. But if you can’t, that’s no reason to give up.

I feared gaining weight back when I stopped running (and working out at all, for that matter) in December due to back problems. But I’ve been mostly maintaining. I’ve been fluctuating between the same five pounds back and forth.

Without exercise, I need to be more diligent about what I eat. Sure, in less than a week and a half, I’ll be having surgery on my back. So I could just give up for now and say that I’m gonna “start again” when it’s over… or once I’m off pain medication… or once I’m feeling better… or once I can start running again. We can always say that we are going to start over “when”.

But this is my life, not a diet. I’m not on a diet. I’m learning to make healthy choices every single day. And for me, a healthy choice is sometimes an indulgent one. I believe anything can be enjoyed and fit into a weight loss program if not consumed in excess. It was when I had the all-or-nothing mentality and was totally restrictive that I failed.

So for the days leading up to my surgery, I’m going to document what I’m eating… Good and bad. Not for you to analyze, but for me. I can analyze when I’ve made good choices and when I should make better ones. I’m finding that I’m more aware of what I’m eating when I have to take a picture of it, too!

And since I’m still getting used to this plan to document my meals for about a week, I’ve forgotten to take a few photos but that’s okay.

And with that, here are Sunday’s eats!

Breakfast

Fiber One 90 Brownie

Fiber One 90 Brownie

I also had a banana (not pictured). Oh and I had a few sips of Dr. Pepper before I stepped out the door. {For the past several months, I’ve had very little pop, er… soda, whether it be regular or diet. It’s something I’d like to cut out completely, or at least keep to a very minimum.}

Lunch

I met my friend Sally for lunch at Cafe Latte in St. Paul. We each ordered a pizza. I didn’t take a photo, but you can check out what they look like on their website. I think they are about 8 or 9″ pizzas. I got the Sonoma Pizza, which was made with basil marinara sauce, spinach, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, feta and mozzarella. If you make homemade pizzas at home, I highly encourage you to combine these toppings! I ate a little more than half of the pizza.

Dinner

Yes, I went out again for dinner. While we do eat out often, it’s generally not twice in one day. Rob and I dined at The Lowry in Uptown {Restaurant Impression to come soon!} I sipped on a Surly Abrasive, a local Double IPA. (not pictutred). It’s quite hoppy and I always feel like DIPAs whet my appetite. Then, I devoured this salmon dish:

Salmon

Salmon fresh Scottish Fillet, oven-roasted asparagus, potatoes, tomatoes & olives

It’s some of the best salmon I’ve had in a really long time. It was seasoned perfectly and I loved this combo of vegetables! I would get this over and over again when I go to The Lowry, but there are too many other things on the menu I’d like to try.

Dessert for me was a Founders Breakfast Stout. This stout is bigger and has much more flavor than a Guinness and gets it name from it’s upfront coffee flavor.

Founders Breakfast Stout

Founders Breakfast Stout

Snack

With all that dining out, I probably didn’t need an evening snack, but I’ve been pretty good about taking a little wedge of the Double Cream Brie leftover from my canceled Open House, rather than eating the whole wheel.

DCB & Crackers

What are Ancient Grains, you are asking? Here’s what the box top reads:

Ancient Grains

These crackers are delicious and we have a big box of them {leftover from the canceled Open House}. I really have to pay attention to the number of cheese and crackers I eat because I’m a cheese fanatic. {Hey, it’s a given. I grew up in Wisconsin!} So I made my snack into a pretty plate and even got inspired by the picture on the box:

Ancient Grains Crackers topped with Double Cream Brie and tomato

Ancient Grains Crackers topped with Double Cream Brie and tomato

I estimate that snack to be close to 300 calories (the size wedge I cut was about two servings). That’s a little much for a snack, but better considering that I could have just brought the wheel of cheese, box of crackers, a plate and a knife into the living room to sit in front of the TV.

Overall, the day wasn’t perfect, but I’m glad I got some fruit, veggies, protein and Omega-3s in there!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy salmon? If you have a recipe, please share!

Cheers~
Carrie

Think You Can’t Run? Watch This and Tell Me You Can’t.

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I recently saw this video of a Disabled Veteran who was told he would never walk, unassisted, again.

He surprised everyone that by doing yoga, he did learn to walk again… And in the process, lost 140 pounds in under a year.

Check out this inspirational transformation.

Then, tell me that you can’t run.

If you are all inspired by this man, consider joining me to Challenge Obesity on Sunday, April 21st in St. Paul, MN. It’s a walk-run event, so don’t even think you have to be “ready” to run it. But there’s no reason not to start the Couch to 5k program now…

What sorts of things have inspired you in your life?

Cheers~
Carrie

Challenge Obesity

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I have some goals I’ve set for myself this year. One of them is to run the Challenge Obesity 5k in St. Paul, MN for a second time. It was the first 5k race I’ve ever run.

However, the most important part of this goal is that I want to get as many people as possible to run the race with me!

If you’ve never done a 5k race before {walk or run}, this is the one for you!

When I set out to run my first 5k and wanted to find a race that was not intimidating, I was recommended the Challenge Obesity 5k by Jen, a priorfatgirl.

She was right. There were people of all shape, sizes, ages and abilities. The staff was very helpful. In addition, I felt inspired. Many of the people participating were people who had lost significant amounts of weight. They had photos of themselves or the numbers of pounds they’d lost written on their backs. I honestly can’t recall seeing this at any other races I’ve done recently. Those people inspired  me. I want to give back by inspiring you!

I’m asking you to Challenge Obesity with me this year.

Whether you want to give a 5k a shot for the first time, used to run or tried to at one point and want to get back into it or are a seasoned runner who just wants to support newbies, I encourage you to join me.

And by joining me, I mean any of the following:

  • Join me and we can decide to have t-shirts made for our group and/or a place to go to breakfast or brunch to celebrate post-race.
  • If that isn’t your style, just sign up for the 5k and stop by to say “hi” before the race!
  • Or sign up for the race {or any other race near you} on your own. If you want to remain anonymous, but are inspired by this post, by all means, just do it! Although I’d love to know about it, my true intent is to encourage and inspire as many people as possible.

If you are afraid to run a race, please know that this one is a run/walk. Also, you’ve got some time. The race date:

April 21st, 2013

I’d love to know if you are going to participate! Just email me at UncommonWine at yahoo dot com today letting me know your commitment. Then, send me another email once you’ve registered.

Still not sure?

Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you how I used the Couch to 5k program to start running. Or just look how cute this dog is running:

Isn’t (s)he cute?

In the meantime, what inspires you?

Cheers,

Carrie

They Resonate

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I interrupt the post that I promised you today about my Chicago birthday dinner to bring you these important messages that resonated with me this week:

 

Fat Girl Wearing Thin – On Aha Moments

Jen, a priorfatgirl – On Support

Elle, another priorfatgirl – On Desire

Mizfit – On Treats

 

Please take a moment to read what they’ve got to say. Then come back and let me know which post resonated with you and why!

Cheers~
Carrie

Local D’Lish Cooking Class: Healthy Cooking for One

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I loved the last cooking class I took at Local D’Lish so much that I wanted to do another one! In fact, when the opportunity came up to take a class from the same instructor, Kate Moore, I suggested the Healthy Cooking for One class to my single friends.

We all know that it’s hard to cook for one, or even two, without having a ton of leftovers. My husband hates leftovers (except for a couple of dishes), so I wanted to learn how to pare things down, too.

I was surprised that Kate recognized my friend Jared and I from our previous class! She told us that she didn’t know which class it was that we attended, but that we would recognize a few things she likes to do in all classes. But truly, I believe that the more you hear something or see something done, the more you really understand and remember it.

Kate in action

Kate was her usual fun, quirky relaxed self. Her main goal is to empower people in the kitchen. I love that! I am becoming more and more comfortable with whipping up my own dishes and not having to follow a recipe exactly as written, or even use one at all! From experience, as with anything else, the more you do this, the easier it becomes.

Her handouts always include extensive information. While she doesn’t follow her packet from start to finish in class, it’s excellent to bring home and use as a reference.

Kate’s life experiences make her more than qualified to teach a class such as Healthy Cooking for One. She lost over 50 pounds just by cutting portions by half, eating twice as slowly and enjoying real food!

Her formula for a meal for one:

vegetable + starch + protein

=

1 to 1.5 cup veggie + .5 to 1 cup starch + 2 to 4 ounces of protein

~

I thought that in the past year, I’d come to learn true serving sizes. For the most part, I have. However, this class made me realize how little I really need to buy when I shop. Some examples:

  • 1/2 of a small potato is a good portion size for one person
  • 1 egg = 2 ounces protein
  • pasta or rice for one person = about a half cup

Kate is great at showing how to make one dish with a particular ingredient and then take anything leftover of that ingredient or reuse it in a different way later in the week.

“It really doesn’t take very much product to cook a meal for one person! Minimize leftovers so each meal is fresh and different to keep your palate interested,” she said.

In both classes I’ve been in, Kate has made a Bean Dip to start. She knows her students are hungry and wants to tide them over in class! Her handout gives a list of flavor profiles, so that you can make this bean dip at home with a variety of beans and spices depending on your your mood or what you have on hand. Which dip she makes is dependent on what fresh ingredients Local d’Lish has that day! As students, we get to taste it every step of the way, so we can understand the importance of seasoning.

Kate asked me something I liked about the last class and I told her that she made the best dressing I’ve ever had! She then inquired if I made it at home after class. I told her I did, but that, although good, it didn’t turn out as yummy as hers. She said, “Well, let’s take this opportunity to practice!” She had me come up in front of the class and put the herbs in the food processor and taste and adjust!

She also taught me (er, the class) to start learning how much a measurement is… to just count. Pour olive oil into a quarter cup and count while it’s coming out. That way, you’ll have an idea about how long the stream takes when you are pouring the oil into a food processor. She said you can do that for anything when learning measurements and becoming more comfortable with winging those.

In this class, she also made her own Herbed Boursin. I totally fell in love with this store-bought cheese spread when I studied in France. My host family would serve it after almost every meal. But the one that Kate made one is even better! Everyone in class went crazy over it. The dish was empty before dinner was served.

Just like the dressing I posted from the last class, you make the herbed cheese by using a base and adding directional herbs:

Herbed Boursin as taught by Kate Moore

  • 1 eight-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup chopped herbs (50% parsley and scallions/garlic, 50% directional herb)
    • directional herb = the herb you want as the dominant flavor. I think Kate used sage in this class.
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • optional: citrus zest or juice to taste

Put everything into a food processor and mix. {Kate suggests that if you don’t have one you can finely mince all the herbs by hand and fold them into the softened cream cheese.} As always, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper or more herbs. *Option: Swap cream cheese for butter to make a compound butter. It will freeze beautifully!

Now that I’m writing this post, I’m realizing how extensive this class was! She made a bunch of different kinds of dishes to demonstrate the speed and ease of putting something healthy together. The Toasty Garlic Tomato Kale made us drool! My friend Jen said, “Wow, now I know what to do with kale besides make kale chips!” Kate recommended serving the Toasty Garlic Tomato Kale over rice with a fried egg on top. Oh yeah, baby.

Speaking of eggs, she told us we all needed to practice flipping an egg in the frying pan. Jared was up to the challenge:

Kate showing Jared how to flip an egg (uh hem, without a spatula)

During our break, Kate kept encouraging us to give it a try, that we had nothing to lose. Only one other gal was brave enough. I just wanted to try it at home. My fear? That I’d flip it on myself , burning myself in the process and ending up covered in egg yolk. Yeah, didn’t want an audience for that!

Jared’s attempt to flip! SUCCESS!

Kate made cabbage two ways. One was an Asian Slaw and the other was just sautéed with butter, sage and apple. That cabbage in my CSA box always sits in the fridge too long before I end up using it or throwing it out. I never thought to sauté it. The flavors were soooooo good!

At the end of class, Kate served up everything she made Family Style for us to eat:

Salad greens with the dressing I made!

Leftover Bean Dip, Toasty Garlic Tomato Kale, Kale with Potatoes & Herbs

Asian Slaw, Sauteed Cabbage, Sauteed Veggies, Ginger-infused Rice, Chopped Fried Eggs

My beautiful plate: A little bit of everything

If you haven’t taken a cooking class yet, I highly recommend it. I also recommend taking one with Kate. You’ll learn so many tips and walk away with not only with a pleased palate, but also with a new sense of, “Hey, I can make that, too!”

Please share your favorite, easy go-to recipe for one or two people!

Cheers~
Carrie

New Year’s Resolutions

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Ahhh… New Year’s Resolutions. I hate ’em. I haven’t made one in years. The ones I did make, I left in the dust before the first quarter was even over. I have yet to hear someone on New Year’s Eve say, “Let’s toast to my completion of last year’s New Year’s Resolution!”

I know, I know. After the holidays are over, it’s the time of year when there is less going on and it’s only natural at the start off the New Year to start thinking about how we can better ourselves and our lives in the upcoming year. But are New Year’s Resolutions really worth it? Do they, more often than not, get lost in the shuffle and eventually just make us feel bad for not accomplishing them?

It’s not New Year’s Eve, so why I am discussing New Year’s Resolutions?

Well, because today is my birthday and I want to put a new, positive spin on the old New Year’s Resolution!

Throughout the blogosphere, I’ve seen many posts on bloggers’ birthdays indicating what they want to accomplish in their next year ahead. Posts titled “25 things to do while I’m 25” or “30 things to do before turning 30” pop up just about everywhere.

I love these!

While, at first glance, most of these birthday posts look just like wishlists of things the bloggers want to do over the next year; they are really much more than that. The idea is to think about what you really want out of life. What do you want your daily life to look like? What do you want to accomplish or enjoy in the year that lies ahead?

So instead of resolutions {which are often vague to begin with and can make us feel bad if not completed}, I’ve created a list of things I want to do within the next year. The thought of these things makes me happy, not anxious. I’m going to post these elsewhere on the site and cross them off all year long. Feel free to join me!

This list includes fun things I want to do as well as personal and fitness goals. I quickly threw this together, so I’m sure more will end up on my bucket list later.

Here we go! In no particular order…

  • Do a Beer Run
    • There is one at the end of every summer right here in Minneapolis!
    • But there are also City Running Tours that include beer stops as well. I’ve been too chicken to try these out yet. I have a fear of being too slow to keep up with everyone.
    • These races and tours are supposed to be FUN, so I don’t want to do one alone. Won’t you join me!?
  • Do a Color Run
    • I just learned about these this year! I wasn’t available the date one came to Minneapolis, but I want to do one within the next year.
    • This is a fun run where participants wear white and are doused with color at different intervals on the route.
    • There are two companies that run them: The Color Run and Color Me Rad.
    • This is an un-timed fun run, so it’s another one I do not want to do alone!
    • I will go to another city if there isn’t one in Minnesota or the date doesn’t work for me next year. Let me know if you want to do it together. Let’s get a team going!
  • Complete a 5-mile race
    • I have this booked for October 20th.
    • I have no time I expect to beat, I just want to finish!
  • Incorporate weight-lifting into my fitness routine
    • This is in the works! I’ll post more about it in the coming weeks.
  • Run a 10k race
    • While my focus this winter is on HIIT and weight training, I still plan to run a 10k in spring.
    • Have a 10k race to recommend? My only requirement: I have got to know that I won’t come in last.
  • Take a trip abroad to a country I’ve never been
    • This rules out Provence and Sicily from this poll.
    • Sorry, we can only choose one international destination per year. Unless, of course, there’s any part of the world that wants to sponsor us and let us blog our way through our travels for tourism promotion! 😉
  • Use my Bahamas Cruise Gift Certificate
    • I earned a certificate for a cruise in the Bahamas doing Wine Tastings.
    • This is how Rob and I plan to get away this winter!
  • Reach my goal weight
    • This means losing approximately 35 to 40 more pounds within the next year.
    • I’ll have to ramp it up a bit since it took me a little over a year to lose 35.
  • Read more books.
    • Reading is one of my favorite things to do and over the past few years, I’ve forgotten that love.
    • I grew up reading a lot, so when I saw a 10-to-12-year-old boy sitting at a beauty salon waiting for his mon the other day reading an actual hardcover book instead of playing around on a Smartphone, I was reminded of it.
    • The reading of blogs, magazines, Facebook and surfing the web has replaced my reading of actual books.
    • “Read more books” is such a vague goal, so I need to quantify it somehow. Maybe:
      • Have a book with me at all times to read if I end up having to wait somewhere.
      • Read before bed five nights each week. {It really does help relax me before bed anyway!}
      • Commit to reading 12 books per year. That doesn’t sound like much. But really, I have let reading fall to the wayside. One book per month is realistic.
      • Join a Book Club, perhaps? But then, I couldn’t necessarily choose the books.
      • Suggestions?
  • Run around Lake Calhoun
    • It’s approximately a 5k.
    • I live in the Twin Cities metro area. There is absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t have taken advantage of this already.
    • Once I complete that, it’ll be easy to run the other nearby chain of lakes, too.
  • Run in Eau Claire, WI
    • UW-Eau Claire is my alma mater. I have fond memories of the place and I rarely get back there.
    • Inspired by Liz, I’d love to run past all of my favorite haunts and residences there.
    • Eau Claire is absolutely beautiful this time of year, especially when the leaves are falling.
  • Run the Challenge Obesity 5k in April
    • This is where it all began – my first 5k!
    • It’s the perfect race for beginners – not intimidating at all.
    • I want to encourage as many people as possible to join me!
    • Think you can’t run? Neither did I. Start the Couch to 5k program NOW!
  • Write more concise posts
    • Yeah, you know this is not a strong point of mine.
    • Starting next month, I’ll challenge myself to do one day a week under X number of words or choose one week per month where EVERY post is under X number of words.
    • “X” has yet to be determined. Ha!
  • Create a written bucket list
  • Organize Rob’s favorite recipes in one place
    • I want go-to meals on hand so I don’t have to think!
  • Do something {even a little something} for someone else – every single day
  • Organize Music
    • Would you believe that I have never owned an iPod?
    • I do have an iPhone now, but for music, I really only use Pandora.
    • I just bought my first few iTunes this year!
    • I want to get all of my old CDs uploaded and recycle them.
  • Put together a wedding and honeymoon album
    • Our Wedding and Honeymoon took place in 2010.
    • Just because we didn’t have a traditional wedding, doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a photobook of these memories!

Have you created a Bucket List?

If so, name one thing you plan to cross off within in the next year.

If you’d like to help me or join me in accomplishing/doing any of these fun things on my list, just let me know. It’s going to be another fantastic year!

Cheers~
Carrie