Hiking Mount Nebo

This past Saturday I decided to take the afternoon off from homeworkIMG_20140426_154107_268 and blogging and go on a hike.  My neighbor Adam and I headed over to Mount Nebo for the afternoon to get some exercise, some fresh air and so I could take some pictures, which I also love to do.

Mount Nebo is 12 miles southwest of Russellville, the place I’m calling home for the next few years as I complete my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and 7 miles west of Dardanelle.   Mount Nebo is located just south of the Arkansas River and rises 1350 ft above sea level.  Atop the mountain on the north side there are great views of the Arkansas River and Lake Dardanelle.

Mount Nebo is one of the Arkansas state parks system’s two parks offering launch sites for hang gliding enthusiasts. IMG_20140426_155703_010 The other park offering launch sites for hang gliders is Mount Magazine State Park located high atop Arkansas’s highest mountain, Mount Magazine, near Paris.

If you’ve never visited Arkansas, or this particular area of the state you really should.  The beauty and wonder of Arkansas is waiting and I’m excited for the summer ahead.  Check out the Mount Nebo State Park website here to learn more about the park and why you should plan on visiting.

Now for some pictures.  I enjoyed taking them and I hope you enjoy looking at them.

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IMG_20140426_164009_847   IMG_20140426_164106_547

IMG_20140426_162602_209   IMG_20140426_162357_377

 

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Ways To Fit Exercise Into Your Life

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Take the stairs, which are quick and easy way to fit in a little exercise everyday.

Life is busy with all the things we all have to get done and all the people we have to make time for.  Some people work full-time jobs, have families, go to school, participate in sports, have social events they have to attend.  So how, after all the things we all have to do every day, do we find the time to do them all and still find time to exercise and take time for ourselves?

Today I wanted to share some different links I’ve found that give tips and ideas on how you can fit exercise into your busy life.  Everybody can find the time to exercise, even if it’s 10 minutes.  If your day is full and you say, well I don’t have 10 minutes…wake up 10 minutes earlier and now you do…problem solved.  If there are stairs or an elevator to choose from, take the stairs.  Park farther away when you go shopping and get some walking in.  There are all kinds of ways to fit exercise into daily life.

Most people lack the determination and the “want to” as I like to call it.  Something that I have to remind myself of all the time is this…Nobody forced the fork into my mouth and made me eat what I ate to get fat, and nobody is going to force me to workout and live a healthier lifestyle.  The only person who can do anything about it is…..ME. Illinois Bayou Park 028 You are the only person standing in the way of losing weight and being healthier, nobody else.  Don’t blame your busy life, your spouse, your kids, or anything else for the reason why YOU aren’t doing it.  The only person responsible for you is you…plain and simple.

When you realize that and decide to do something about it then something can be done about it.  Stop making excuses…I’m too tired, I have kids, I work and have a family and many others that we’ve all used at one point or another, but they are still excuses, whether you want to admit it or not.

Enough of being on a soapbox.  Here are some links with tips and ways to fit exercise into your daily life, no matter how busy you are.  🙂

12 Tips To Fit Exercise Into Your Day

10 Ways To Find Time For Exercise

Quick Tips:  Fitting Physical Activity Into Your Day

10 Ways To Sneak Exercise Into Your Day

No Time For Exercise?  Try Our 10 Tips To Get More.

February Accountability Log

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February Accountability Log. Miles – 74.25

This month on my accountability log there were a few bumps in the road, but I still ended for the month with a total of 74.25 miles.  February only had 28 days so it was a short month, plus there were a few snow/ice days where the gym was closed.  Can I say again how ready I am for spring!  🙂

I have also been dealing with some pain in my right foot for a couple weeks and decided to take a break from the treadmill for five days at the end of the month.  I guess my feet aren’t use to all the walking I’ve been doing.

The pain is in the arch of my right foot.  It feels like it’s possibly strained, but I’m not a doctor so I can’t say for sure.  So far this month I have backed off on the extreme walking and slowed my pace.  I’ve been thinking I might try the elliptical machine  starting next week to see if that will take some of the pressure off my foot.  I don’t want to stop all together, but I can’t go on being in pain.  Stupid foot!  I wish I could take it off and just put a new one on.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

If anyone reading this could give me some pointers or suggestions on what to do to make the pain stop and go away I would really appreciate it.

Here are a couple links I found on helping with foot pain associated with exercise, some tips, etc.

Managing Sore Muscles and Joint Pain

Foot Pain

February Weight Loss

February has come and gone for 2014.  I wasn’t as successful in February as I was in January in terms of weight loss, but my endurance and stamina have increased and I’ve noticed a big difference.

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March 1, 2014. Weight loss so far, 27 lbs.

I didn’t log as many miles on the treadmill this month, due to the fact there were only 28 days in the month, plus there were a few days where the weather was bad.  I’ll say it again…I’m so ready for spring to arrive.  I’m so tired of the cold weather, ice and snow.

So on January 1 I weighed in at 285 lbs, on February 1 I weighed in at 263 lbs and now as of March 1 I weigh 258 lbs.  So for February I lost a total of 5 lbs, for a total of 27 lbs lost so far.  I won’t say I’m not a bit disappointed since it wasn’t the 22 lbs like January was, but I’ll take what I can get.  Five pounds is 5 pounds…right?

I’m looking forward to March with the hopes of warmer weather, even though there is ice and snow on the ground right now and classes were cancelled yesterday (Monday).  Spring break is the last week of this month and I look forward to the break from assignments and homework.  I do hope the weather is nice though so I can get some walking in at the Bona Dea Trails.  I prefer walking outside in the sunshine and fresh air more than indoors.

Since I have totally changed my eating habits and started exercising I have noticed a significant change in my sleeping habits.  I was a chronic sufferer of insomnia, but since I began on my journey to a better me I have been sleeping better and not waking up tired and feeling exhausted before the day even began.  Now, by the time I lay down at night, after a day of classes, the gym and homework I have no problems with being able to fall asleep.

I’m eating better, exercising regularly, sleeping better and feeling better than I have in a long time and I’m so happy about the results so far.

Here is a link to some tips on sleeping better.

How to Sleep Better

The Scale…Friend or Foe?

Before I started on my weight loss journey the scale was not something that I stepped on very often.  As a matter of fact, I avoided it like the plague.

When I started on this journeyIMG_20140214_183654_765 I went out and bought a scale, since I didn’t have one, and I weigh myself once a week to keep track of my progress.  One problem that many people have is the fact that they weigh to often.  Weighing yourself everyday is not a good idea since the scale can be deceiving and weigh you more one day and maybe less the next day.  I’ve read several different articles on the subject of how often to weigh.  Most of what I’ve read has said to weigh once a week or once every two weeks.

Weighing yourself everyday can get you down or depressed and cause you to “fall off the wagon” and lose sight of your goal.  Another problem that people seem to have is that they want to see instant results.  Just like with weight gain, weight loss takes times.  I look at it like this.  I didn’t gain all this weight overnight so guess what…I’m not going to lose all this weight overnight.

Do not weigh yourself on carpet.  Always weigh yourself of a flat hard surface.  Always use the same scale, preferably only used by you.

Keep in mind that everyday is a new opportunity to do better than you did the day before, or if the day before was a good day then today is day two for another good day.  Keep a positive attitude about it and whatever you do don’t give up.  One of my favorite quotes is this,  “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  Don’t let the scale be the only determinant when it comes to your weight loss.   The things you eat, the way your clothes fit, and the amount of exercise you do are all better determinants than what a scale says.  Keep a positive attitude about the journey and don’t let what a number on a scale says determine your worth as a person.

Here are some articles pertaining to the scale and weighing yourself.

Do you make these 10 common mistakes before weighing yourself?

4 Signs it’s time to step off the scale.

Remedies For Tired, Sore and Aching Feet

IMG_20140214_183529_744Since I’ve started walking 6 days a week my feet have been a bit sore.  I bought some news insoles for my shoes a couple weeks ago and they helped some, but I decided a foot soak may be good option as well.

I went to Walmart earlier this week and found an amazing product that has done wonders for my feet.  It’s called Johnson’s Foot Soap.  The company is based out of White Plains, New York, and has been around since 1870.  The box says it soothes tired, aching feet, softens corns and calluses and relieves itching and burning.  I don’t have a problem with either of the latter, but my feet have been sore due to all the walking I’ve been putting in.

The results from using Johnson’s Foot Soap; amazing!  After soaking my feet and rinsing them it feels as though I have had new feet attached to my body.  Such an amazing product and I highly recommend it if you have sore or tired feet.

Here are some other remedies for sore, tired, and aching feet.

Home Remedies for Foot Pain

January Accountability Log Total

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Total Miles for January = 76 Miles

So today I want to share my accountability log total for the month of January with you.  My month got off to a slow start since it decided to ice and snow, and then not get above freezing for a week.  This was before the semester at school started so I had nowhere to go walk.  I took that first week of the year to change my eating habits and rid my body of all the bad stuff I had been feeding it.  After the ice and snow melted we did have a couple actual nice days and I took advantage of them and went over to the Bona Dea Trails and walked.  The spring semester started on January 13 so no more excuses for not having somewhere to walk.  Unless it was like today and it snowed, sleeted and iced most of the day and the gym on campus was closed.  I was not a happy camper.  I am SO ready for winter to be over.  I HATE IT!

So about my accountability log, I made the log up on my computer and it only took about 5 minutes to make.  I made it 12 boxes across the top, and 32 boxes going down.  The 12 on the top for each of the 12 months and the 32 going down for the days of the months, plus one extra for the total miles at the end of each month, for the months that have 31 days that is.  😀  It’s an easy way to keep track of my mileage and it keeps me held accountable.

So my total mileage for the month of January was 76 miles!  Out of the 31 days in the month I walked a total of 22 of those days.    I started at 2 miles a day and have worked my way up to at least 4 miles a day.  This is all just walking.  This month I’m going to start weaving in a minute of jogging a couple times each workout.  Trying to build up my stamina and endurance.  I’ll get there, just got to give it time.  😀

Check out these links.  They both have some really good stuff in them about keeping up with your weight loss progress and keeping yourself held accountable.  I’m totally using some of this stuff as well as what I’m already doing.

How to Properly Track Your Progress 

10 Ways to Stay Accountable for Weight Loss

January Weight Loss Total

Happy February everyone!  I can’t believe January 2014 is already over, man how the time does fly by.

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February 1, 2014

Today I want to share with you how my journey to a better me is going thus far.  The first nine days of January I was only able to walk 2 days since the weather was really cold and we had snow and ice on the ground for a week.  The gym on campus wasn’t open yet, since the semester hadn’t started, so it was a slow start for me, but I walked when I had the chance.

The three days before the semester started were actually nice enough for me to walk outside, so on Friday, Saturday and Sunday I walked over at the Bona Dea Trails.  Then Monday rolled around, which was the start of the semester, and I joined the gym on campus and have been going strong ever since.  I go to the gym 6 days a week and have totally changed my eating habits and the things I eat.  Nothing bad in my cupboards.  If it’s not here then I can’t eat it, that’s my motto.

So what are the results of my first month on my journey to a better me?  Well, January 1st I weighed in at 285 lbs, and as of today, February 1st, I weighed in at 263 lbs.  A January weight loss total of 22 lbs!  How’s that for a first month total?  🙂

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January Weight Loss, 22 lbs.

I’ve had several people on campus, that I see on a regular basis, already tell me they can see a difference, and how happy they are for me.  I have more energy during the day, sleep much better at night, and feel better just overall, and I know it’s only going to get better.

So there you have it, 22 lbs so far on my journey to a better me.  Not to bad, if I do say so myself.

Who is Responsible for Your Actions?

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My Walking Accountability Chart. It only took a few minutes to make on my computer. Now I can keep a log of my mileage for not only the month, but for the whole year as well. Just one way that I hold myself accountable for keeping it up.

I asked this question to someone the other day and they looked at me kind of funny.  They said, “What do you mean who’s responsible?”  They responded, ” I am, of course.”  Almost everyone who is asked this question, would say the same thing, but knowing you are responsible for your actions and taking responsibility to change those actions are two different things.

Many people use excuses to not exercise and make healthier food choices.  Excuses can range from, I’m too tired to exercise to, but without fried foods I would just die.  Which, in truth, you are more likely to have major health problems and could possibly die from years of eating fried foods than you would be if you only eat them once or twice a month, or avoid them all together.  Excuses are used to make your own self feel less guilty about something.  People like to shift blame off themselves and onto other people or things, which in turn, makes the individual feel less at fault about the wrong that’s been done or the bad decision that may have been made.  Taking responsibility for your own actions is very important.  You and you alone are responsible for what you eat, and whether or not you exercise or not.  No one else.

I encourage you to make a commitment to stop making excuses for things you are responsible for.  If you don’t exercise, it’s no one’s fault but yours.  If you don’t eat healthy, or at least cut back on the amount of bad foods, it’s no one’s fault but yours.  Let go of the excuses and challenge yourself  to exercise, live better and be healthier.  No more excuses.

Here are a couple links:

Take Responsibility for Your Health and Weight

This second link has a lot of really good stuff in it.  Really enjoyed reading it.  Check it out.

Take Responsibility for Your Life

Staying Motivated When It Comes To Exercise

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Bona Dea Trails. My favorite place to walk when the weather is nice.

Motivation, by definition, is the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.  Every person is motivated to get out of bed in the morning and start their day.  I know some days are harder than others when trying to pry ourselves out of that comfy spot, but we’ve got to do it.  We’ve all been in that situation of not being motivated to get out of bed, so we all know how it feels.

So what motivates a person to get out of bed instead of laying there all day?  A person’s motivation could be their job and/or making money, or their family and children.  It could even be something fun and exciting planned for the day.  No matter what it is there is a reason that motivates a person to put two feet on the ground and get out of bed.

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My mileage from the gym today.

One thing that I’ve done to keep myself motivated is to take pictures of how many miles I do at the gym.  I will also be taking a picture of myself at the start of every month to track my progress, and to keep myself motivated to keep going.  I also bought a scale and weigh myself once a week.  A word of advice, do not weigh yourself more than once a week.  Give yourself seven days before you step back on the scale.  For some people they may want to weigh themselves every two weeks.

Here are a few tips to help you start exercising, if you don’t already, or if you already do, some things to help keep you motivated.

  1. Set one goal for yourself each week.  The problem many people have when starting to work out or get into better shape is they overload themselves with too many things they must accomplish, and many times end up feeling like a failure and quit.  No matter how small the goal may feel, if by the end of the week you’ve accomplished it, then that makes you feel good.  Then the next week you can make a bigger goal.
  2. Find something that inspires you.  Search the web for weight loss stories.  Reading about other peoples successes can make the road ahead not fell so lonely and like “you’re the only one”.
  3. Post your goal.  You can post a goal online, on your Facebook or Twitter, or you could post it on your refrigerator to keep you motivated as to what you want to accomplish.
  4. Find support.  Search Facebook or the web and find other people who are going through the same thing you are.  Join a online fitness group to talk about your good, as well as your bad days with others.  Finally, follow a blog, such as this one, to help you along the way.
  5. Make a dream a reality.  With summer just a few months away many people begin to think about what they are gonna look like in their bathing suit, or swim trunks.  People find all kinds of things they “wish they could wear”.  Instead of wishing, start working toward the goal.

Here are a couple links that have more ways to stay motivated.

86 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Workout

Get Motivated to Exercise After a LONG Day at Work/5 Tips