A while back I heard The Color Run was taking place in my city and while I knew I wasn’t ready to run it quite yet, I also knew I wanted to be involved. So I signed up to volunteer.
Those of you that really know me, know that this is slightly a-typical behavior for me. Why? Well I’m a bit of an introverted-homebody. Talking to strangers isn’t my strong suit. Writing to them on the internet, that I can do; but face-to-face small talk usually has me running in the opposite direction. It’s not that I don’t like meeting new people or participating in things, I just, well, I take after my introverted dad more than my extroverted mom, so it’s not always easy for me.
Today though, I had a total blast!
I put myself out there, I participated in life. I had SO MUCH FUN!!!
I was stationed in “color zone 4,” near the end of the race, and it was our job to throw blue powder on all of the runners/walkers as they passed. We cheered and laughed and woohooed.
We turned blue.
I had a blast volunteering, but I’m determined that next year, I’m going to run. I’m gonna make my dad and little sister train with me this year so we can run it together, it’ll be a challenge for me (Nothing for my dad who once ran the Chicago marathon!) – but I’m already excited!
A couple weeks ago, I was crabby and having a bad day and wanted a brownie. I posted so on Facebook and a friend of mine sent me a link to the recipe for some flourless brownies (Click here for the original recipe from Ambitious Kitchen). I didn’t make them then because I was too lazy, but I made them yesterday and man am I glad I did because…YUM. I tweaked the recipe a bit, because I’m not concerned with being vegan, so I added an egg. I also used crunchy peanut butter because I like nuts and dark chocolate chunks because I didn’t have any chips but I had a big bar of very dark chocolate.
These definitely taste like dark chocolate, so if that isn’t your thing, you’ll probably want to add some more honey and maybe a small extra ripe banana or some dates for some extra sweetness. But I liked them just the way they turned out.
Flourless Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
1/2 cup crunchy all-natural peanut butter (smooth would work fine too, or any nut butter for that matter)
1/4 cup raw honey (maple syrup would also work – again if you want it sweeter, maybe go up to a 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg (optional – I think without the egg, they’d end up a little fudgier, like the original recipe – mine were a little more cake-like)
1/2 cup all-natural (no sugar added) applesauce
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used a few squares from a very dark chocolate bar, chopped up. Dark chocolate chips, or regular chips would work to, whatever you like – or omit them all together.)
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You could make these in a 8x8in pan or do what I did and make them into individual muffins – for me, it made 6 good sized muffins.
-Mix together peanut butter, honey, vanilla, egg and apple sauce until smooth.
-Add cocoa, baking soda and salt – stir slowly until well mixed. (I ended up with cocoa powder all over myself, so take my word for it, stir slowly!)
-Fold in chocolate chunks.
-Pour into greased pan of your choice. My muffins took about 15 min. If you use the egg, you’ll want to make sure they’re cooked through, check with a toothpick – if it comes out clean, you’re good to go.
-Allow to cool a bit before digging in.
Today marks 3 months since I made the decision to change my life for good. 3 months of learning, of baby steps, of good decisions. 3 months of clean eating, of hard work, of working out, of sweat and sore muscles.
As of this morning, I’m down: 53.6 pounds!
Obviously, I’m super excited about losing the weight, but what I’m trying to be more excited about are the non-scale victories.
I’m down 2 pant sizes. (I have a stack of clothes I can’t wear anymore because they’re too big!)
I can walk up “the hill” without stopping to rest. (In case I haven’t mentioned it, “the hill” is this long/steep hill I found near my house, the first time I tried to walk up it, I had to stop many times to catch my breath and ease my screaming leg muscles.)
Today I am starting week 4 of T25 (Week 1, I thought I was going to die after every workout – I still feel like that now, but now I like the feeling!)
I’m proud of myself every day.
I’m more knowledgeable about health and nutrition.
I’m inspiring others.
I feel stronger.
Quite simply, I just feel so much better. Emotionally and physically.
And now for something I said I wasn’t going to do. Progress pics. It’s not that I have anything against them in general, but come on, I don’t wanna put embarrassing full body pics of myself online. But, I’ve decided to stop looking at it that way. Its hard for me to see my own physical progress because I look at myself in the mirror every day and really, I feel like I look the exact same.
I have been taking photos w/ my phone just so I can look at them personally, but I know it inspires me to see other people’s progress pics, so I thought I should post them. So please excuse the horrible quality of these photos, the dirty mirror and the dirty clothes in the background – they weren’t taken with the intention of sharing.
Well, now that that’s over with, I just want to say thanks to everyone for all of the love, support and encouragement. It helps keep me going. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m motivated.
Every morning I wake up and tell myself: I can do this.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
The hardest thing for me so far this month has been getting rid of the scale. I know it’s only been three days, but seriously, I usually weigh every morning. I decided this morning to take the batteries out and hide them so I won’t be tempted. Problem solved, lol.
I’m really trying to focus on things other than the number on that dang thing.
Really, October, really? Where has this year gone?!
Today, I had a great N.S.V. (Non-Scale Victory) – My favorite jeans are being officially retired! They’re now two sizes too big and uncomfortably baggy. I’m gonna wash ’em, fold ’em and stick ’em on the top shelf in my closet to save for my “after” pics. (The weird thing about losing weight is what to do about clothes. I don’t really want to buy new clothes, because I’m hoping they won’t fit for long, but at the same time, I do need to wear something.) It feels good to think about N.S.V.s because I’m really trying NOT to focus so much on the scale and just focus on how I feel. I mean, it’s amazing that I’ve lost 40+ pounds in the last two months, but there are so many more important things than the number on the scale!
Surprisingly, I’ve found a really supportive community of weight-losers and fitness enthusiasts on Instagram. Beginning October 1st, I’m participating in a challenge begun by three lovely ladies on Instagram who make up: @theweighout. The point is to make 3 commitments (1. Food 2. Fitness 3. Personal) and challenge myself to keep them in October.
1. FOOD: to continue clean eating and to go meatless 2x per week. 2. FITNESS: to workout 5x per week minimum. 3. ME: to hide the scale (only weigh 1x per week) and to spend more time with friends.
Here’s hoping everyone has an awesome October!
Q: Will you join me in the @theweighout October Challenge? What are your Food/Fitness/Personal commitments for the month?