Tag: inspiration

Lessons we can all learn from ‘My 600lbs. Life’

This past week has been kind of tough for me. On Monday I went to the dentist for some dental work — and after a couple of hours of poking and numbing they couldn’t get my tooth numb. So they did some other work on me that didn’t require much numbing. After about three hours of being in the dentist’s chair as I got up — my back went out.

If you ever want to feel 36 — it’s moments like those that will make you feel like 36. This whole week I have being dealing with a wretched back. A week I was planning on upping my workouts and mileage in preparation for my 50 miler in a couple of weeks. It kinda felt like leaving the car dealership with a new pair of tires and driving over a nail.

Not fun. And, very deflating.

Will this derail my 50 miler? No. Will this derail my weekend run down Big Cottonwood Canyon? No.

Sadly, I’ve been here before. It’s that whole part of being 36 and with some rest, stretches and activity I know I’ll rebound and be back where I need/want to be.

So, this week I’ve focused on what I can do. Running hasn’t been an issue, especially non-treadmill miles — so I’ve dedicated a couple of my lunches to a few “slow” runs. The movement oddly helps the stiffness. I say oddly, because I have no idea the science behind why (remember, I’m a communications major?) it is the way it is.

It’s moments and mild setbacks like these that give me pause and perspective on my journey. I always seem to go back 10-15 years and think of what Fat Josh would do compared to Phat Josh of today. Would I throw in the towel and just give up? Honestly? Probably, yeah. Well, okay, yes he would.

But, when I compare the two Joshs — I really see the Josh that acts and lives and then the Josh that exists and is just “there.” I often wonder if I didn’t make the changes when I did, where I would be right now? I know I wouldn’t be a runner. But, I often wonder would I be in the same boat as many of the people on ‘My 600lbs. Life?’

I was on that road. I was over 400lbs. with no direction or goal on the horizon. I was just there. Addiction had ahold of me and I dealt with my anxieties, fears, depression and uncertainties in a very unhealthy way. Because more often than not I found comfort in food.

I don’t try to ponder much about that road anymore, because that’s not me. And, I believe not the person I was destined to be. But, I bring that up, because I do look at the similarities of my journey with many of the people on ‘My 600lb. Life.’ Not just in how they learned to medicate through food, but in their recovery, self-discovery and weight-loss.

This past week as I have been laid out a bit with my back, I’ve watched a few more episodes of the show — and I’ve noticed more so than anything this is a show much deeper than weight-loss. This is a show about life. And, there are many things in the show that we can learn no matter our weight, fitness level, ability or age in life.

A few themes that popped out to me are …


Find Your ‘Why?’

Each episode usually finds the why fairly easily and early. Some of the whys are as simple as — to be less dependent on spouses, partners, parents or children. You can usually tell if they found a why because when they do — success isn’t far behind. The why is what keeps them on track with the diet Dr. Nowzaradan gives them and what gets them active and moving more and more each day. Invariably if that ‘why’ or purpose isn’t found — those are the ones that take an extra month or two following the doctor’s diet.

‘Whys’ are north stars. No matter the size, purpose or reason of our journey or goal, if we don’t have that ‘why’ clearly stated and focused upon — then what’s the purpose of putting our effort into it?

So find that ‘why’ and hold onto it. And, don’t be afraid that it changes or evolves as you do. You’ll notice that happens a lot to many of the patients on the show. That why will change from a simple desire for dependency to something deeper and richer.

But, find that why.

Believe In Yourself

One of the saddest parts of the show for me is seeing many of these patients struggle with believing in themselves. I’ve been there. Heck, we’ve all been there to different degrees. But, many of these patients seemed to have just completely shut that off completely in their lives.

For whatever reason some patients will have a hard time believing that they can follow Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet — and that will show in their actions. Those are the ones that either gain weight or lose far less than what the doctor expected to lose.

Now flip that same scenario with a mentality of self belief and it’s a different story. Holding a belief that you can do something leads your actions to — well — act accordingly. And, the task gets easier. It makes the temptations of derailment and diversion less appealing, because you hold the belief that you can follow the course ahead.

It’s amazing how far you can go physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, financially, etc., etc., etc. by simply believing in yourself and your ability to do what you need to do. Even if you have to fake it to make it at first (which is a completely different post for another day).

Set Good Simple Goals For Yourself

If you want a good example of goal setting — watch ‘My 600lbs. Life.’ Seriously, I love Dr. Nowzaradan’s simple approach to goals. Based off his experience and knowledge he knows what kind of goals to set for the patients. You would think for many of these patients being 600lbs or more would require wildly specific goals and expectations.

Nope.

His goals for his patients are rather simple. Stick to a 1200 calorie per day diet, get active and lose 30-50lbs (or whatever) within the next month. That’s about it. And, if the patients are true to those goals they’ll meet those goals in order to get their weight-loss surgery.

Watching the show has really made me reevaluate my goals. When I started my weight-loss journey some seven and a half years ago — I basically followed those simple goals for the first couple of months. I ended up losing between 30-40lbs. with those small changes.  Now, granted when you are 400 or 600lbs. it’s easier to get those kind of numbers — that’s not my point.

My point is how often do over complicate our goals? I fall into that trap often. I’ll freely admit. If I am not careful I will put unrealistic expectations on myself to hit certain goals, etc. And, the more complicated I make them — the less likely I’ll hit them.

That is one reason why I’ve had to teach myself (over and over again) to just keep it simple. Focus on what I can control and reasonable do and build on that — keeping the goals challenging, yet simple. Whatever the goal is — inside or outside of the gym — we do a disservice to ourselves with overly specific, unrealistic and complicated goals.

Surround Yourself With The Right People

I love how blunt Dr. Nowzaradan is with his patients. Especially return patients who didn’t hit their goals — or happened to gain weight. Invariably, he asks — who their enabler is. Especially if he knows they don’t drive or walk much. And, yeah, it’s usually a spouse, partner or loved one who’s buying the food.

I’m grateful that I had a good support system around me when I started my weight-loss journey. Besides having parents and family members eager to see me make changes, I found outside of my immediate family many who wanted to support me. Something, I didn’t expect — but look back with gratitude. I couldn’t have had success without the likes of my aunt, grandma, a number of close friends and my trainer. They were my ‘A’ team.

That’s why I feel sad for those patients who don’t have a support system. Not just like mine, but period. I know if I couldn’t have found the needed support within my family or close friends — I could find it by constructing it.

Now, I am not talking about a support system full of cheerleaders. But, a team. I wish the show delved a bit more into this subject because it’s really important for long-term success in weight-loss or any goal. The team should have cheerleaders, but also those who hold you accountable, those who are your emotional support, those who are your partner in crime, etc., etc., etc.

Sure many of these roles can be held by one person, but if you want success — meet those needs through others. You don’t have to go your journey alone. Your team doesn’t have to necessarily be your immediate family. Just find your team and build it, so they can help build you!

Long Term Success Doesn’t Come Overnight

One thing that interests me in every episodes is how many ‘trail months’ the patient has to do with Dr. Nowazaradan before they approved for surgery. I am not sure if the patients know they have to do a trail month before the surgery, but some get it — and some struggle with it. I’ve seen a few take 3-4 months to “get it.” But, I love how Dr. Nowazaradan acts in these situations — he is easy to praise and has no problem ‘getting real’ with his patient.

Being a viewer, it’s easy for us to judge these patients for not getting it the first time. And, honestly, I think shows like The Biggest Loser have helped shape that mentality for us. We want to see immediate results, we want to see big numbers right off the bat. And, while most patients do see big weight-loss numbers because of the surgery — immediate results and changes in behaviors are not reality.

But, like many of these patients we can learn from them to simply never give up. Take the licks. Roll with the punches. Be open to criticism. And, always have your ‘why’ in view to help you keep going when the ups becomes downs and the doubt creeps in (because they do).

It’s a process.

Have Patience In The Process

Just as I noted above — have patience and trust the process. Change — “real life changing” change takes time. Doesn’t matter what aspect of your life you want to change — it takes time. It takes being honest with yourself and those around you. It takes the ability to build a sound support system around. And, most importantly — it takes you to believe in, trust and expect the best — from you.


Now, I’m sure there are a lot more I could add. And, there are. But, the point I am trying to make is — big changes in life are tough. They’re not easy. They’re difficult. But, they’re doable. They’re achievable. They’re within reach.

You don’t have to be 600lbs or severly overweight to get a lot from this show. Just have an open mind and open heart. The lessons are there. Even if it teaches you compassion and sympathy — that’s a lesson the whole world could learn right about now.

What are your thoughts? Have you watched the series? What do you get out of the episodes?

Thoughts on ‘My 600lbs. Life’

I am not a huge TV watcher. I used to be. If I am going to watch TV it better be something I am really interested in or find value in — because there’s a lot more to life outside of TV. A lot more.

But, that’s a rant for another day.

Recently, I was introduced to ‘My 600lbs. Life’ by my sister. Well, it was actually in passing that I was introduced to it. She was talking about it to another family member and it piqued my interest. Because some seven plus years ago — I was on a road that could have lead to a similar fate.

I was a 400lbs. guy carrying around a lot of emotional baggage — that looked to food for comfort. It didn’t matter the food — I liked it. But, I was especially akin to fast food, junk food and soda. I was a secret eater that wouldn’t bat an eye getting the Arby’s Five for $5 deal — and eating all five sandwiches alone in the car before going home.

My unattended emotional baggage was creating a blueprint to a ‘600lbs life’ for me. And, I feel very fortunate to have woken myself up when I did. But, not only that, but if it wasn’t for the people in my life and those I chose to surround myself with after I made that decision — I don’t know where I would be right now in life?

I don’t want to say that I would be a 600-700lbs. guy, but I know I wouldn’t be who I am physically and emotionally. Running would be just some pipe dream. Luckily, I’ll never have to realize this alternate reality.

But, after catching my first episode of ‘My 600lbs. Life’ a couple weeks ago — I’ve been mesmerized, inspired and emotional watching these journeys.

To give you a little bit about the series. Each episode is a one or two hour documentary following one person’s year long journey through the process of gastric bypass surgery and the subsequent weight-loss. That’s the series in a nutshell. But, of course there are many ups and downs through each episode — both physical and emotional — which you would expect with such a journey.

I love the realness of each episode. There are many raw and real moments that I can relate to from my own journey. But, then there are moments that put me in tears, because I could only imagine the pain (whether it’s physical or emotional) they’re going through.

I’ve gotten a bit emotional at times when many of these patients realize their self-worth, ability and/or determination. Because — THAT — I can relate to. Very much so.

I will always remember those moments — and I had many — throughout my journey. Whether it was losing 30lbs. my first month or realizing I could do a REAL pushup — those moments are crucial for a journey like these. And, seeing these people realize their worth — brings back a lot of emotions to me.

A lot.

Anyways — if you have TLC, I highly recommend you DVR the show. There have been a lot of reruns lately and I have been catching up on most of them while on running. Even if you haven’t trekked a similar path, doesn’t mean you won’t learn something from each episode.

Each episode creates a great blueprint for achieving dreams for anyone. Being extremely overweight isn’t easy. But, so isn’t living a life of unrealized dreams.

I can’t say enough good things about ‘My 600lbs. Life.’ If anything watching these episodes are inspiring me more and more to act more on my dreams than ever before.

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Cory Reese’s Nowhere Near First

I’m an avid reader. I didn’t use to be, it’s something I kind of had to force myself to do, because as a the proverbial fat kid — I’d much prefer the movie over the book … for obvious reasons. The desire really came from watching my Grandma almost always having her nose in a book. So, now, for at least the past 4-5 years I always have a book on my nightstand.

I don’t really have a preference — I just kind of like whatever interests me. How’s that for vagueness? I do tend to love biographies, historical nonfiction and pretty much anything about WWII. Give me a good story — and I’m hooked for the next couple of weeks.

Walt Disney, George Washington, Joseph Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, Jesse Owens, Bart Yasso, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jordan, William Wilberforce, Louis Zamperini and Lorenzo Snow — to name a few — have crossed my nightstand. There’s always something you can learn from each story regardless of background, beliefs or profession. That’s another thing I learned from my Grandma.

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One biography I’ve been waiting for the past couple of months is that of Cory Reese’s book. Odds are if you’ve ran in Utah, especially out on the trails, you’ve heard of Cory. You either know him as Fast Cory, the runner obsessed with Hostess baked goods, or possibly that guy who once ran the St. George Marathon back to back to back or that runner who jumps in all of his pictures.

And, if you’ve actually had the privilege to meet Cory in person, he’s one of the kindest, thoughtful and inspiring people you will know. And, quite honestly, he’s someone I look up to — his charism, writing and wit speaks to me. How can you not feel better about yourself after reading one of race reports? And, how do you NOT feel inspired to hit the trails with all his breathtaking photography and stories?

Anyways — I preordered my book and got it in the mail last Saturday. I wanted to dive right into it, but being the same day as my marathon I couldn’t stay awake long enough to get through the title page. So, I waited until the next day to dive in — and I haven’t been disappointed. Purely inspired — and motivated.

I wouldn’t call this a book review — because I am still reading it. And, please don’t ask me to do a book report — I really sucked at those growing up. But, there were a few things I really, really wanted to share about Cory’s book and story.

Don’t worry, I’m not going spoil it for you. Well, not entirely. There’s a video of Steve Harvey that Cory references in his book that, I kid you not, had two other people reference in the past couple of weeks. It’s basically a video of Steve Harvey “preaching” to the audience after a taping of Family Feud.

Give it a listen before I share a few more thoughts …

You gotta jump.

You gotta jump.

You gotta jump.

I’ve listened to this video a number of times and each time, I come away with the thought — you gotta jump. You’ve got to put faith in that parachute opening so you can soar.

And, I really loved the thoughts that Cory shared in his book about this video and message (again, not going to spoil the book — go read it yourself). I love the symbolism behind it in relation to Cory’s jumping pictures — and story. He’s had to take that jump a number of times into an unknown.

It really made me think about my journey. When I made the decision to “jump” on November 11, 2009 (yes, I remember the exact date), I did so not knowing what to expect. I jumped because where I was standing was getting me nowhere towards a future I wanted. I accepted the unknown and more importantly I accepted failure.

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How many of us don’t jump because we’re afraid of failure? Risk can be frightening. Nobody wants to fail. But, if we’re going to achieve the impossible we’ve got to accept the consequences — good or bad. There is no growth when we play it safe.

As I am reading Cory’s book and pondering about these thoughts — I can’t shake the question — “Am I jumping enough?” Am I taking the necessary risks that will get me where I want to be? Am I not trusting my parachute? Am I not trusting my God enough?

While I feel like I’ve jumped a lot in the past five plus years — I can’t help but think — I can jump more.

I am not sure what that exactly means right now. I just know I’ve got to prepare myself for a jump. I’ve got to prepare the consequences and embrace it. And wherever I jump — it will be towards my goals, dreams and desires.

If you haven’t picked up Cory’s book, “Nowhere Near First” yet do so! You can buy it here on Amazon.com.

Thanks for inspiring so many of us to jump, Cory. I can’t wait to finish your book, and maybe — just maybe — you might get a book report out of me. And, if anything you might have given me reason to jump to finish my book.

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The Whole30 Diet: My Whole30 Experience

I’ve been debating when I wanted to share my experience and thoughts on Whole30 for quite some time. I wanted to share it in detail mid-way through my first 30 days, then after my first 30 days.

I could have easily shared my thoughts after my first 30 days. But, knowing I was going to do at least another 30 days — I wanted to wait. If I was going to share my thoughts on Whole30 I felt it would be more beneficial to share them more from an experienced point of view then a beginners. It’d be like going to get running experience from someone who just barely ran their first race.

Now, with that said — I wouldn’t consider myself an expert at Whole30. Like at all. There others much more dedicated and knowledgeable than me. Experts you’ll find throughout the Whole30 community and even amongst my friends. So, I am really speaking from my own experience.

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But, I wanted to share my thoughts on this journey, because a number of friends have asked me about Whole30. And, I guess more than anything this post is a resource for them that I can point them towards.

When I started my first round of Whole30 I weighed 281.2lbs. I had been stuck between 270-280(ish) for about a year and a half or less. I couldn’t get less than 270 and thankfully I never went heavier than 285lbs. I was depressing enough gaining that weight.

It’s been difficult, because having lost so much weight and consistently sitting around 225-235 for a number of years — you fear going back to “Fat Josh.” It’s a mentality I hear is fairly common for individuals who’ve lost gobs of weight. Some of my most depressing nightmares would confirm that.

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A lot of the issues around my gain were due to my thyroid. I couldn’t get it balanced like I was able to for a number of years. Part of that is due to age. But, I hate that excuse. Just because I am in my mid-thirties doesn’t mean I should give up. So, it’s been a fight in the gym, road and even doctor’s office. Pretty much to no avail — or very little success.

I had to fight hard to just maintain and not gain. That’s the curse of dealing with thyroids. You can be trying everything and working out like a beast — but, all be damned if you don’t gain 10lbs. with little no effort. Hypothyroidism is no joke. I hate it.

Anyways — I don’t want to digress too far down that road. But, after going to about 3-4 different doctors — I just kinda decided to go about finding a solution myself. The medical side of things weren’t working in finding a solution. And, I felt like I just had to take back the responsibility for my health problems. I could no problem solely rely on pill bottles and stethoscopes.

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After trying a number of diet plans with some success, the yo-yoing continue more than I liked. So, I just kept looking for a solution. And, that’s kinda how I stumbled upon Whole30.

A number of my friends online had done it — some once, some a number of times. And, a few posted their results. That caught my attention, because the more I looked into the more successful results I saw.

I think when you see these kind of results and cult follows you become somewhat skeptical. I’ve done enough diets to understand that not all diets are created equal. You might have lost 20lbs. this month, but in a couple a months you might find that 20lbs. again — but, it’s identical twin.

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But, there was something different about Whole30 that I liked. Yes, it was extreme, but I saw the wisdom in it. And, I saw components that I liked that I could adopt long term. Plus, it relied heavily on gluten free foods and having issues with my thyroid, I knew I needed to go gluten free for a while to see if that would have an effect on my health and weight.

Which it did.

So after a couple of months of watching others on Whole30 and reading up on it, I decided to take a stab at it. I knew I could do at least a month and go from there. If it didn’t work or benefit me — after 30 days I could walk away from it. But, I was going to give my best for those 30 days.

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And, after those 30 days — I lost nearly 18lbs. Something that hadn’t happen for quite a while. The one aspect of Whole30 that I really like is that you don’t weigh or measure yourself during those 30 days. So when I jumped on the scale I felt like I was weighing in on The Biggest Loser (sans the beeping and commerical break).

But, I knew I had lost a big number even before I jumped on the scale. I had been feeling the change throughout the previous month. Not to mention I could see the difference in the mirror. I was actually losing weight. I was actually not dragging throughout the day. I had energy! Something I longed for, for too long.

Then this past Saturday I finished my second round of Whole30 and weighed in. It was nowhere near my 18lbs. loss from the month before, but I was still down quite a bit and going in the right direction. Not to mention, I was starting to be able to fit back more comfortably in my XL shirts. When you have successes like that — numbers really don’t mean much in the scheme of things.

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I am doing one more month of Whole30 that will take me to my birthday. It wasn’t really planned that way it’s just how it happened when I started in May. But, I love the symbolism behind it — what better birthday gift to give myself, huh?

I’ll get more into what’s after my third round of Whole30 in August later. I may do a fourth round, but odds are I will adapt it some. Probably bring in some whole grains and add some of my Isagenix shakes to the mix. But, we’ll see. Stay tuned into that later.

Anyways, I wanted to share a few tips, thoughts and feelings on certain aspects about the Whole30 diet that would help you decide whether or not it’s something that is right for you. Again, I am not speaking from an authoritative role, just from experience. So please keep that in mind.

It’s not easy, but it’s simple

When describing my experience to others, I’ve kinda adopted this as my motto. The Whole30 isn’t easy. It’s not. It’s hard to give up bread, cheese and other delicious dairy products (I’m looking at you yogurt and ice cream). Then there’s the whole sugar thing. The first couple of days being off the added sugar nearly killed me. It wasn’t fun.

But, it can be done, because it’s simple. Very simple. If you follow the guidelines and rules — you’ll find success. Your own success I should say, because no one is going to have the same experience. The simplicity is what drew me to the diet. I like simplicity. I value simplicity. Especially when you can easily equate — this + this – this = this result.

Simple, simple, simple. But, it will take some initial willpower to begin and determination to continue it throughout the whole 30 days. Especially if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have total control of the food offered.

Find support in others, don’t go about it alone

When I started my weight-loss journey, I started it alone, but I didn’t go it alone. One of the first things I did was build a support team around me. This included family members and close friends. Some were there as cheerleaders, others as examples and others to keep me accountable. It took a village to get me where I am now.

The Whole30 journey is no different. Build yourself a support system that can help you succeed. There are a number of Whole30 forums online and on Facebook that are great resources for accountability. But, look closer to home as well. If you can — find a family member or friend that will do the program with you. Your odds of success are much greater when you have a partner in crime alongside you.

That’s not to say it can’t be done going solo, but there’s really no reason to when you have amazing support systems all around you.

Do your homework before diving

I will be the first to admit that I didn’t understand the Whole30 completely when I dove into it in mid-May. I was drinking my black Postum for the first couple of days. Postum has barley — which is not Whole30 compliant. Oops.

That kind of speaks to the complexity of the diet, but also the need to do your homework about what the Whole30 is. It can be overwhelming for some (or all). But, if you do your homework and read up on it — it really simplifies the whole thing. At least for me.

You don’t need to buy the book to do the Whole30 (though I highly recommend it) or get two friends to get two friends so you can get free product. The Whole30 is very much a culture welcoming of anyone and everyone who wants to do it. It’s essentially “free” (I put free in quotation marks, because we all know nothing is absolutely free. I mean you have to buy or grow your food, right? That’s definitely not free) to join or do.

But, if you’re going to succeed you gotta know what you’re doing. Here are a few resources that I leaned on for help, especially during the first half of my first 30 days.

The Whole30: The 30-day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom (the book!)
Welcome to the Whole30 Program (always a good place to start, eh?)
Whole30 Program Rules
 (great resource — study and memorize these)
Whole30 Program Downloads (seriously a great resource — it’s all there!)
Nom Nom Paleo (they have some AWESOME recipe ideas)
The Nourishing Home (another site for great recipe ideas)
Good Cheap Eats (yet another great site for recipes — there are BUNCH of good sites FYI)
Of course there are LOTS of Whole30 Pinterest boards.
Blogger Testimonials — you can read some here, here, here and here. There are tons more all over the internet.

Don’t let the information overwhelm you. Just do it. And, continue to learn as you are doing it. The goal isn’t to just change your eating habits for 30 days — it’s a changing your eating habits for a lifetime.

Plan and prepare ahead — make it a routine

In the past most diets I’ve followed could be adapted on the go. It’s harder on Whole30 to do that, because you need more control than most diets to assure what’s going into your body is compliant to the diet. Like for instance, if I was road tripping with family and we stopped at McDonald’s for lunch, I knew what I could and couldn’t eat according to that diet. But, with Whole30 — I’m pretty sure the only thing I could eat is — ummm — ice water.

I did Ragnar when I was in the middle of doing Whole30 and I had to adapt and prepare. I brought along a lot of sweet potatoes, grapes, bananas, apples and oranges along with a good stash of Larabars. It was tough, because it would have been easier if I relied more on a Subway or gas station for food. But, I made it work by simply preparing ahead.

The same principle is true in the day to day aspects of Whole30. Planning and cooking ahead will save you from temptation. But, even beyond that — getting yourself into a routine is even better.

I am a creature of habit so eating basically the same thing every day doesn’t bore me like others. I’d boil some hardboiled eggs on Sunday for the week and pack a couple for a meal along with a few bananas, grapes and whatever other fruit and veggies I found in the fridge — usually an apple, orange or green peppers. Then I basically ate the same thing for lunch every day between a salad or steak and a sweet potato. The same thing went for breakfast and lunch — with the addition to the occasional omelet or scramble.

The predictability helps a lot. I can cook my meats ahead of time or cook double for lunch the next day. And preparing enough meals throughout the day protects me from temptation of snacking or getting a Slurpee.

Fueling for workouts and runs is fairly easy

One of the biggest worries I had going into Whole30 was fueling for races. Especially for during races, since Clif Shots and GUs are non-complaint to the diet. And, after running seven races over 13.1 miles and numerous 3-5 miles since beginning my journey I can say affirmatively — it was a non-issue.

First off — pre-race carbs loading for most runners is kinda a sham. If you’re eating a balanced diet of good whole foods you don’t have a need to carb load. Sure that’s not fun, especially looking forward to pasta night at the Olive Garden before the big race. But, it’s just not needed.

One thing I have done though is to make sure I am fueled properly before a race. My pre-race meal usually consists of a sweet potato and some steak. And, then in the morning I’ll eat my usual banana and maybe a half sweet potato if needed. Of course alongside my usual water.

During the race, I’ll carry some raisins and almonds in my pocket in case I need some quick energy mid-run. I’ll also carry a banana if I know the race won’t have them at aid stations. I’ll usually eat this about halfway through my run (6.5 miles during the half). I found that I really don’t need much while I’m running, but I do need energy perks at certain points of my run to keep from bonking.

After my race or long run is complete I then usually eat another banana and the other half of my sweet potato that I stash in my drop bag or car. Then, just drink lots of water. I do find that I still can mindless wander around the kitchen after a run looking for food — so I make sure to be around plenty of bananas, grapes, watermelon and apples (all favorites for me after a summer run).

Really though — the key is fueling is more in the timing than it is in what you’re fueling with. Well, that is important too, but my point is that you don’t need energy drinks, sports drinks and other gels to fuel properly — it can be done simply. Just make with a bit more effort on the when and how.

Sugar is in pretty much everything we eat

One of the biggest things about Whole30 is the elimination of added sugar. That’s why you’re eating whole foods and not processed foods that sit on the store shelves for months. Because those processed foods are (more than likely) full of sugar — whether it’s white sugar or “natural” sugar like honey. Whatever the source — sugar is sugar.

Now, I could write 8-10 paragraphs about sugar and how it’s the leading cause of the obesity epidemic in our country. But, I’ll pass on that here. If you really want to know the stranglehold the sugar industry has on this country all you have to do is turn on Netflix and watch documentaries like — Fed Up, Sugar Coated or That Sugar Film — to name a few.

I will refrain from further comment, because I could seriously go on a whole 8-10 paragraph spiel about sugar.

Read your labels religiously

I’ve had a few people ask me for tips to the Whole30 diet. And, my response is usually — “read your labels.” Seriously, that will save you more than anything. If you can’t pronounce what’s in your food — don’t eat it. And, odds are it’s just a substitute for sugar anyways.

But, I found that the more I read labels the more I didn’t eat boxed or labeled foods. I started leaning towards more fresh food — fruits, veggies and meats. Not only was it easier for me to keep thing simple, but I knew exactly what I was eating — because I was eating exactly what I was looking at.

The more I read labels I also knew which processed foods I could eat — there were plenty of times that Larabars saved my life. Especially during long runs. Most Larabars are Whole30 compliant — so I knew right away what I could and could eat.

Reading your labels should be a practice we ALL do. Not just because we’re doing Whole30, but it really is eye opening to discover what is going on with our food. You’d be surprised what food companies are throwing in seemingly healthy foods. Whether it’s hidden sugar or substituted chemicals and additives — why do our bodies need crap like that?

They don’t.

Read your labels.

It’s okay to have a sweet tooth

Okay, that header is a BIT misleading, but not really. Of course you’re not going to be downing Cinnabons and chocolate cake while following the Whole30 plan. But, if you’re like me and have a wicked sweet tooth — it can be cured.

When I am craving something sweet I indulge myself — like a banana (naturally), a cup of strawberries, maybe some watermelon or my ultimate favorite the past couple of months — grapes. I can’t tell you how much I love grapes. I eat them like I’m pregnant with twins.

But, the body craves certain nutrition for many reasons. And, it’s important to listen to that. And, usually when we’re craving something sweet, it’s usually because our blood sugar has dropped and we need a pick me up — or simply habit.

You don’t have to answer that craving with cookies and milkshakes — when all it needs is a little boost via some nutritious whole food.

But, boy oh boy — I’m craving some grapes right now just writing about them.

Little changes, make big differences

This is true with pretty much any diet — but, there are certain aspects of the Whole30 that I found successful. And, really, it was because of small simple changes. Changes both physically and mentally.

For one, I love that you don’t weigh or measure your progress during the 30 days. You go off of your success during the diet by feel and look. You can tell how you’re feeling. You can see it in the mirror and feel it as a whole. For being someone who’s lost 150+lbs. — I needed this reprieve from the scale. It’s too easy to be held captive by it while losing weight.

Why?

Not only does it enslave you. But, it can also stress you out. Which — well — for most of us means we’d end up eating our stress. I mean, I would. Nothing tastes better than a stack of stress pancakes … well except for how skinny tastes. I really love that Whole30 focuses to eliminate as much stress as possible so that you can focus on you. And, that’s the whole reason you’re doing all this, right?

Secondly, making small changes to your eating habits will bring about big differences. Again — this is true for any diet. But, learning to obsessively read your labels will help you make good food choices. Simply resolving to cook your own meals, will keep you from the pitfalls of eating out. And, eating small meals throughout the day will keep your energy levels up and away from non-compliant foods.

Small and simple changes, small and simple changes — that’s all it takes.

Make up your mind that you’ll succeed

There are a lot of rules to the Whole30 diet. So much so that it can be somewhat daunting for some people. And, I get that. I was one of them. It took me a while to finally commit to doing it, because I was somewhat overwhelmed with everything I’d have to do.

But, I made up my mind that I’d do it. I saw my other friends’ success and I felt if I gave it my all, I’d reach that kind of success. Besides, I had nothing to lose. Nothing else had worked for to that point in trying to regulate my thyroid. So why not?

I didn’t go into the Whole30 blindly, I read everything online and understood this isn’t the diet for everyone. There were some people who didn’t seen a lot (or any) success during their 30 days. And, I get that. Totally get that. Because, that’s been me with my thyroid the past couple of years.

So, I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t see those results. But, I was still going to give the diet at least 30 days to see what happens. Even if I “failed” (I hate using that term) I knew I could still come away from the experience with something. Whether that’s a new perspective, direction or insight. You really have to learn how to accept failure and how to use it for your benefit in order to truly succeed.

Geez, I feel like Tony Robbins right now.

But, seriously, decide now that you’ll see success — in whatever shape or form. And, you will.

Just do it

There’s power in doing, right? So, just do it. Learn as much as you can about the diet and practice what you learn. One thing I found worked for me, especially during the first couple weeks of the diet was to constantly read Whole30 blogs, forums and articles — so I could immerse myself in the mentality and culture. And, it helped.

It might be hard for the first few weeks, but just keep doing it. Keep following it and by the time you realize it — you’ve created a habit. The lifestyle has become who you are and it’s easier to resists temptations, because (at least for me) sugar cravings aren’t as intense. And, can easily be satisfied with a banana or a cup of grapes.

As I said before — there’s a power in doing. It’s really that simple.

There is probably a lot more that I could add about my experience with Whole30. I have nothing to complain about. Well, maybe except my lack of nacho consumption the past couple of months. But, really — it’s not been that bad. I will say this though — I used to eat a lot of cheese. Being lactose intolerant that was kinda stupid. But, that’s a post for another day.

I’ve mentioned this above, throughout this post and throughout my experience. The goal of Whole30 isn’t to just crash diet and change your eating habits for JUST 30 days. It’s about resetting your health. It’s about creating new healthy habits. It’s about weaning yourself off sugar. And, helping you recognize what you’re putting into your body.

Your health is your responsibility. Nobody else’s. Nobody forces you to eat anything — besides yourself. What goes into your body is really up to you. And, I think this concept really resonated with me, because I’ve had so many issues the past couple of years with my thyroid.

I looking to doctors for a solution, when really I just needed to take back that responsibility and change how I was fueling myself. My thyroid has responded positively. A lot of that I believe is because my body reacts negatively to gluten (typical thyroid reaction). So, when I finished with my third round of Whole30 — I’ll continue that aspect in my diet.

But, don’t be afraid to do it. Especially if you are seriously about changing your health or righting a ship that’s gone wayward. It will make a difference. It might not be THE difference, but it will make a difference.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about my experience. I also Instagram some of workouts and meals on @fight4phat — and sometimes on @josherwalla. So feel free to check them out if you wish.

PEACE OUT.



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#FitnessFriday: On the homestretch of my second round of Whole30

It’s been an emotionally strange week. Obviously the high point being the 4th of July on Monday. After that — it’s kinda progressively gotten worse. And, the low point (hopefully) being what happened in Dallas last night. My head hurts. My heart hurts. My being hurts.

I’m not a very political person — mainly because I don’t believe politics today (especially in our country) don’t represent our best interests aaaaaaand do nothing to unite us as a country. But, that’s a post for another day that I’ll probably never write.

But, what’s happened in our country the past few days isn’t about politics. As much as many have tried to make it such, it’s not. It’s about life. About respecting every life. Black, white, brown, blue, etc., etc., etc. Whatever you want to “label” it. All lives matter, because we’re all brothers and sisters.

I just wish — no pray — this doesn’t further divide us. The fabric of what makes America great has already been weakened time after time. Moments like week need to unite us. We need to come to the table with compassion, understanding, respect, love and sympathy. Especially empathy where possible.

I don’t want to see this country divided anymore. It shouldn’t be. It can’t be. I hope we use this past week as a testament that real change is needed and wounds, emotional and physical, need to be healed together.

I still believe in America. I still believe in this country. I still believe in people. Now is the time to come together.

Anyways.

As you can tell that’s been on my mind a lot — especially the past 12 hours or so. I had to stop running because it just made me sick to watch the news. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t move.

I made up for that run this morning with a good three miler. It was an emotional run, mainly because of everything on my mind. I am glad I have running in my life, because it’s a great “ME TIME” exercise that I can do to get lost in thought.

Mainly so I can think things out and process them. I did it when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, again when my Aunt and Grandma passed away and whenever I need to get away. Running really is my therapy and equalizer.

I haven’t had as large of a running week as I wanted. I had a strained calf that was giving me problems earlier in the week so I rested it a couple of days. And, then I had a family obligation on Wednesday night. I’ll have a good 5-6 mile run tomorrow morning and then a high mileage week next week around 25-30 miles.

At least that’s the goal. I might want to push 35-40 if I can. But, we’ll see how I feel, especially with the calf. I am not too worried about it. But, we’ll see.

The one thing I am really looking forward to this weekend for is my niece’s baptism. I am so proud of her, it’s been fun watching her grow into the young lady she is now. She is one of the sweetest, kindest and smartest kids. I love her to pieces and I can’t wait to be a part of her day tomorrow.

Anyways — have a good weekend. Be safe. Have fun. Especially all those who are running all the races out there. I am jealous. But, I’ll be where I need to be.

Plus, I have the Utah Midnight Run next Friday night — so I can’t be too disappointed, right?

HAPPY WEEKEND! GO RUN!


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The success of the Pod Bash network has been pretty amazing. And, yesterday the server crashed because of the demand and views. A pretty good problem to have, right?

Anyways — the AIIA podcast will be out a bit later this afternoon. I’ll make sure to post it here and on the Runcast USA Facebook page as well. But, I apologize for the delay. But, really, thanks for listening! It’s been amazing to see the numbers for the AIIA podcast!

[LINK COMING SOON]


ParkHoppers

I posted this on Monday, but I’m sharing it again — JUST — in case you missed it. But, I was a guest on The Park Hoppers Podcast this past week talking about RunDisney races, Dole Whips and my overall Disneynerdness. It’s a pretty fun episode.

You can catch The Park Hoppers every other Sunday on PodBash. And, if you’re a Disneynerd, like myself, you will not want to miss it. Give it a listen here …


PHATGRAMS

Consider myself impressed. #chubbingtatum #impresseduncle

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Who needs fireworks to end the 4th when nature already ended it perfectly. #4thofjuly #sunset

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

It’s been a tough week run wise for me. I didn’t run as I wanted to on Tuesday or Wednesday due to some family obligations and a strained calf I wanted to rest. Then last night my only excuse was I was glued to the TV watching the events in Dallas unfold. I just felt sick. Not just for the officers, but the families and nation as a whole of what’s been going on the past couple of days. But, this morning I determined myself to make up for that lack of a run. And, I did a three miler on the treadmill — not as fast as I wanted to (the calf was still a bit tender), but it felt good and gave me sometime to process my feelings and emotions. It just saddens me that we are a nation so divided. I can’t help but think of those words echoed by Abraham Lincoln over 150 years ago. We can’t stand like this. We’re better than this. 😥😥😥 #prayfordallas #prayforamerica #prayforhumanity #prayandgettowork #running #fitness #workout #5K #whole30 #round2 #day22 #diet #exercise @fight4phat @josherwalla

A photo posted by @fight4phat on


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I have about a week left until my next weigh-in. As you are probably aware of — I am in my second round of Whole30. I lost 17.8lbs. during my first round — and this round? Not sure? I feel like I’ve probably lost another 5-10lbs? I don’t know? I feel like I am lowballing that, but I don’t know?

And, I don’t know if I care either?

Why don’t I care? Because I know how I feel and look in the mirror is different. I have more energy than I did a month and a half ago and I feel great. It’s not hard to see the difference when you look at pictures from a few months ago to now.

I posted one above from a race in March next to last weekend’s 13 Miles of Freedom. It should be noted that my brown shirt in that picture is a 2XL shirt and the white one is a XL. And, I’m pretty sure I am not sucking in my gut in that picture from last weekend either. I think?

I can’t tell you how great it feels to have found a solution to my thyroid issues. It’s been a tough two years. I’ve tried everything — or dang near everything. I’ve gone to doctors, tried diet after diet and at times lost hope. I felt like I was going to have to deal with gassed out thyroid the rest of my life.

But, after finding the Whole30 Diet it’s worked. And, I think one of the reasons why — is the no-gluten allowance. There is strong correlation between hypothyroidism and gluten intolerance — especially if you have Hashimoto’s Disease.

I am not sure if I have Hashimoto’s? I haven’t been diagnosed with it. But, it’s pretty apparent my body has been affected by gluten. It could also be dairy — which I shutter at, because that means no cheese. And, a life without cheese scares me.

But, then again — I am lactose intolerant. So it’s probably best I don’t eat cheese for the benefit of everyone sharing an office, room, living space and/or car with me. But, let’s not go there.

I am curious where I am at right now. Again, I don’t know where I am? I don’t expect another 17.8lbs., but I’d love to see another 10lbs. or more. I weighed in at 263.4lbs in June, so I’d love to be in the 250s — if not the high 240s.

But, we shall see.

I am going to do one more round of Whole30 that will take me to my birthday (August 15). I would love to be in the 240s if not 230s by then. But, we’ll see. I don’t want my eagerness to build up to disappointment, especially when the goal is long term sustainable health. I think it’s just exciting to see results, because I haven’t had them for such a long time.

Anyways.

After August 15th, I am planning on adapting the Whole30 program. I will continue to eat whole foods and follow most of the diet. But, I am planning on adding some dairy products (well the stuff I can handle) and I do want to try some gluten free bread options. I am so new to the whole gluten thing I am not sure what I am doing?

But, the biggest thing I will continue to do is watch the added sugar on EVERYTHING. I’ll continue reading my labels and staying away from sugar substitutes. I know that has had a big impact on my thyroid as well. So, I am just staying clear.

I am also planning on taking more Isagenix products. I had a lot of success on their products a few years ago, especially their morning shakes and Want More Energy supplement. But, I haven’t totally decided how I am going to incorporate all of that into a revised Whole30 diet plan.

Heck, I might just keep going?

Who knows?

But, for now — I just feel AWESOME!



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#FitnessFriday: Losing weight, feeling great & in a good place … PLUS … Bart Yasso, Big Cottonwood and WEDDINGS (but, not my own)

Excuse the long title — but, sometimes, I can’t help myself. So much to cram into one title — you know? I still haven’t stepped on a scale (next week after my 30 days is up I can), but I know I am losing weight. Mainly because of how I feel and look. I’ve gotten a few comments from people asking if I am losing weight. So that’s a good sign.

Plus, June is in full swing and tomorrow I am running one of my favorite races in Drop 13 down Big Cottonwood. I’ve probably talked about the race to exhaustion. But, that’s okay — I love it — a lot. Then next Friday and Thursday is Ragnar — another favorite.

But, between all of that my little brother is getting married next Thursday — so lots and lots going on in the next couple of weeks. I am also his best man — so I’ve got his Bachelor Party tomorrow night as well. It’s going to be a busy day with races and parties.

Anyways — lots of fun stuff going on. Plus, I’m in my last week of Whole30 — I’m eager to step on that scale and see what kind of progress I’ve made. And, not to mention the episode of Addict II Athlete (AIIA) featuring Bart Yasso is out today. But, I’ll cover all of that below.

I hope you have an awesome Friday and even better weekend of running. Whether you’re running Drop 13, Utah Valley or around your neighborhood — HAPPY RUNNING!


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This is a treat. This past weekend Coach Blu and I had the opportunity to interview the Mayor Running — himself — the legendary Bart Yasso. Well, okay, I didn’t really interview Bart, it was all Coach. But, I did get to share a little bit about my own journey — which was pretty cool.

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to have Bart Yasso in town or on your podcast and I am glad that AIIA was able to get him on their show, because his journey is very much the same journey as many of the athletes in the program.

I am not going to give the story away — because I want you to listen to the episode. And, even if you have heard his story or read his book before, it’s still a great episode. One of the best AIIA episodes to date.

Give it a listen …


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I have probably talked up Drop 13 to death by now — and that’s okay — this is my blog. And, if you’re reading this you’re obviously still reading along — so I haven’t completely lost you.

But, I am really, really, really, really excited to be running down Big Cottonwood Canyon tomorrow. I ran 10.1 miles down the canyon last week — partly in preparation for this week — but also because I really, really, really love the canyon.

I have prioritized my goals for tomorrow — and they’re fairly simple. They are —

  1. Give my full effort.
  2. Finish between 2:35-2:45.
  3. Have fun.

My third goal sounds kinda phony — but, if I am not having fun running or chasing my goal then what’s the point of running? Seriously? I run because I love it and it’s fun for me.

But, with the way I have been feeling the past couple of weeks while on Whole30 along with my training, I feel good about flying down the canyon, especially in that 10 minute range. I don’t feel like it’s a stretch, but it will take some effort.

Eventually, I’d like to run a couple sub-2:30 half marathons before going for a sub-2:20 at Nebo. I feel confident about that especially as I continue improving my health and fitness. Odds are I am going to go beyond the 30 days of my Whole30. It’s not that hard — and I love munching on fruits and veggies anyways.

Anyways — while I am looking forward I am focusing on the task at hand, I want to do well while continuing to build my stamina while getting leaner.

But — really — it’s all about BIG COTTONWOOD OR BUST, BABY!


PAST DROP 13 HALF MARATHONS

This is my second time running the Drop 13 Half Marathon. Last year I made it a priority to run it because I love the course and canyon (I think I’ve explained that to exhaustion). But, since it’s the same day as the Utah Valley Marathon it’s been hard to choose between the two the years before.

But, last year the course held my year’s best time of 2:37:11 as evidence in my Instagram post from @joshruns180.


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It kills me not knowing exactly what my progress is with Whole30. KILLS. ME. All I know is how I feel and look has changed — for the better. I have more energy, less sugar cravings (almost none) and I feel lighter.

Not only that, but I’ve gotten a few comments from family members and co-workers about my weight-loss. That’s a good indication that there’s actual progress being made.

I hate guessing how much I’ve probably lost — because I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment when I hop on the scale. But, I’d probably put it somewhere between 15-20 pounds? So, calculations should put me probably somewhere around 263-258lbs–ish?

Again, I hate putting a number to it.

But, as I have mentioned before I am planning on doing another round after I finish my first 30 days next Thursday. I am going to fuel and eat as clean as I can during Ragnar, but I am not going to worry too much about it since I’ll be starting it with my sister the following Monday.

I just need to exhibit enough willpower to not just splurge. So, I’ll be packing plenty of bananas, grapes and apples with me — not to mention almonds and raisins. But, I am not going to worry too much about places like Subway where I can control my fats and dairy on the sandwich. 

Anyways — I love feeling a difference being made after the past couple of years of yo-yoing with my thyroid. I go in a couple of weeks to get things checked out again. So, I’d love to see what the doctor has to say about what’s going on within my body.


PHATGRAMS

What’s better than one stud muffin? TWO stud muffins! #chubbingtatum #elijees #prouduncle

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

I think I’m being followed by a Storm Trooper? #starwarsmobile

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

Can we take a moment and talk about tonight’s sunset? #utahsunset

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

Full of class even if he misplaced his bifocal and top hat. #chubbingtatum

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on

Well, I think this turned out great for both of us. #calliekoko #unclejosher

A photo posted by Josher (@josherwalla) on


FOR THE LOVE OF COOKIE BUTTER

I made this a couple of years ago — and periodically I rediscover it. It still makes me laugh quite heartedly. Oh for the love of Cookie Butter … give it a watch …


A photo posted by Runcast USA™ (@runcastusa) on

Big Cottonwood, Friends & Bart Yasso!

What a fun weekend! It’s finally June and summer has made its’ presence felt. I’m digging the heat. I actually really love dry heat. Well, I should say within reason. It has been 90 degree the past few days — anything hotter is not my favorite and one of the many reasons why I could never live in Vegas or Arizona.

But, we’re getting in the swing of the running season and that excites me more than anything. My ultra/marathon training has begun and the next 3-4 months are focusing on getting ready for them — Big Cottonwood Marathon, Huntsville Marathon, St. George Marathon and the Pony Express 50!

I didn’t have any concrete plans for running this weekend on Friday. It was probably going to be 6-8 miles around my neighborhood. Nothing too fancy — just get my miles in. But, when I got word that a group of friends was running down Big Cottonwood Canyon on Saturday morning I quickly changed those plans. I can’t miss a good Big Cottonwood run. I just can’t. I love that canyon. I live for that canyon.

So on Saturday morning I met up with Meridith, Shelley, Monte, Robert and others at the Park n’ Ride and drove 10 miles up the canyon. I really didn’t need 10 miles. My training only called for about 6-8 (depending on which training plan you’re looking at). But, I knew I could do 10 miles — especially 10 downhill miles. Plus, it’d be a great training run for the Drop13 Half happening this weekend.

As much training as I have done — it’s mainly been on rolling hills or flat surfaces — not downhill. Which is unusual for me because in the past that’s been my default choice. Besides the Ogden and Provo Half Marathons — I just haven’t ran much downhill. So this really was good training for me — I have to train my quads how to prepare properly.

I wasn’t sure exactly where I was pace wise and kinda came prepared to run solo. But, when we started running the gazelles went off blazing and a little group of four emerged — me, Dith, Shelley and Alicia. We ran about the first mile or two together and then the group became a party of two — me and Shelley.

Supporting “The Dith” while getting a little support myself! #run4dith #sportsbro #notclevage #myonlypatchofchesthair

A photo posted by Joshua Sn❆w Hansen (@josherwalla) on

I love running with Shelley. Especially down Big Cottonwood Canyon. We ran the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half together last year — and had a BLAST! Then again — anytime you run with Shelley you have a blast — race or not.

We ran pretty strong and average around a 12 minute mile — some stretches were faster than that, especially around the “S-curve” in the canyon. But, I felt strong and had good energy. Two of my biggest worries about doing Whole30 while running.

I did slow down some around mile 8-10, but I kinda of expected that, because I am trying to transition my running from run/walk method to pacing. So, I resorted to a run/walk method for those miles — while pushing the minutes in between the walking. That transition has been easier than I thought — it’s just building the stamina back to where I need it to be.

So this mishap happened today, but Josh says I get my hard core runner badge now!

A photo posted by Shelley Halverson (@sunriseshelley) on

Anyways — did a total of 10.1 miles in about 2:05-10 hours — not bad. I feel good about that. I wasn’t wearing my Garmin to track it so I don’t know the specific mileage and pace. I haven’t worn my Garmin now for over a year — not sure when I will start doing that again? But, I am starting to feel the tug to do it. Maybe after Ragnar? But, we shall see.

But, I had a blast running the canyon and especially with Shelley. She even biffed it at one point — I am proud of myself for not laughing, because I have a problem with that — but, luckily she was okay. Especially since she did it while walking. She did scrape her knee and pants up. I told her she earned her “badass runner” badge — and a Slurpee.

I don’t know if she got her badge yet, but I know she did get her Slurpee.

It was also a lot of fun running (literally) to a number of runners from Run4Fun and some of my other Facebook running groups. I ran into four runners from the groups down the canyon. It was fun. And, proof that Big Cottonwood is THE PLACE to run for a great training run here in the SLC area.

And, lucky me — I’m going back this weekend!

DROP 13 OR BUST, BABY!


AIIA PODCAST WITH BART YASSO!

Had an amazing opportunity yesterday afternoon to join Coach Blu from Addict II Athlete interviewing the Mayor of Running — and Chief Running Officer — Bart Yasso. I got the opportunity a couple weeks ago to join Bart for lunch after the Ogden Marathon which was a really neat experience. But, getting a second chance to meet him and to record a podcast — wow.

My friend Angie Pace text me on Friday morning after I had posted the AIIA episode online and told me that Bart was going to be in town and if we could make it work — we should try to set up an interview, because of Bart’s background and reasons he started running. I won’t tell the whole story here — you’ll have to listen to the podcast yourself. 

But, it’s an amazing story. Amazing. Both Coach Blu and I were in awe of how he rebounded from struggles in his youth to become an elite runner and eventually now — the Mayor of Running.

The episode will go live in a couple of weeks. Make sure to stay tuned in here and on social media for the release date. You really won’t want to miss this episode.

But, a BIG thank you to Bart for spending the time with us yesterday. And, of course Angie for making the connection. I sure love the running community. Everyone has a story and a reason — and we’re all better when we share it with others.


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AMAZING! There’s a new podcast from Addict II Athlete out today. The Runcast swapped weeks with AIIA due to some technical difficulties. But, we’ll be back this week with special guest and Pod Bash resident psychiatrist — Dr. Matt!

But, don’t overlook this episode it’s powerful. Coach Blu interviews his brother-in-law and fellow AIIAer, Jarom Thurston. They talk about his involvement with AIIA and the inspiring stories behind the athletes. Great, great episode!

Give it a listen …


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This week begins a string of consecutive race weekends for me. I’ve got a race every weekend for the next month. And, if you extend that until August — it’s 6 out of the next 7 weekends. The only weekend I am missing is July 9th, because my niece is getting baptized and I want to make sure I am not late for it. So I’m just staying closer to home that weekend.

But, I am excited for Drop13 this Saturday. This is one of my favorite races down one of my favorite canyons. I ran it in 2:37 last year — I am not exactly sure if I’ll match that this year. But, as I am losing weight and running more consistently I know I’ll surpass that at least once or twice this year.

The goal on Saturday is a sub-2:50. I think and feel like I could sneak into the 2:30s, but I need to race smart to ease myself back into there. But, after Saturday’s run down the canyon — I think I could? I don’t know? I just want to run — and do my best.

And, really, that’s all you can expect and be proud of, right?

Either way — I’m excited for Saturday!


STREAKIN’ THROUGH JUNE!

As I’ve noted last week I am run streaking this month. So far, so good. I’ve done 16.5 miles since June 1st — and planning for good mileage this week. Especially with my race on Saturday.

One thing I am planning on incorporated this week is at least one or two runs during my lunch hour. I am not sure of the route yet, but I’ve got plenty of places to run on campus — not to mention the avenues around campus. That would be good hill training. I’m hoping to do 2-3 miles during the hour. Luckily, I have access to a shower close to my office.

But, the key this week is consistency and preparation for the Drop13 Half on Saturday. I’m excited for this week — especially with how energetic I’ve been feeling doing Whole30 the past couple of weeks. It’s helped me a lot.

THE STREAK GOES ON!


2016miles

RUNNING MILES

122.55 miles

RACE MILES

77.9 miles

WALKING MILES

684.01 miles

TOTAL MILES TO DATE

884.46 miles

MILES TO GOAL

1782.54 miles



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