Reclaiming An Active Lifestyle

hiking in san dimas canyonA lot of people hate exercise. But I am not one of those people.

It might not make sense to some people that overweight and obese people love to be active. Despite my weight getting into the upper 300s, I wasn’t opposed to exercising just because it required effort. I didn’t exercise because I was good at hurting myself. When I start an exercise program, I am gung-ho at first – I feel motivated, I prioritize my time to make sure I fit it into my day, and end up with crazy insomnia from all the endorphins. But then I hurt myself, or over-exhaust myself, and it’s hard to start back up again when I’m able.

I’ve been conservative about exercise since surgery, until about 6 weeks ago. My body was losing weight rapidly solely from my food intake, and I was figuring out how much I needed to ingest for general survival. Because I have been so prone to exercise-related injuries, I wanted to wait for intense exercise until I knew I could do it without doing a number on my joints.

During the summer and fall, it was easy to get in some exercise by walking around my neighborhood or while shopping. I won a bike at a blog event in September, so I did quite a few rides on the Jordan River Parkway until the weather got too cold.

working out after gastric bypassWhen my family went to England last month, we did LOTS of walking. Some days, we walked around the city for up to 10 hours a day. I felt like I was in a good place with my body to ramp up the exercise. Doing workouts in the cold are aren’t good for my lungs (it’s a trigger for asthma and bronchospasms, especially when air quality is bad from an inversion). I looked into local gyms, and found out that the Lehi Legacy Center, was not only inexpensive (only $42 per month for a family membership), but there were lots of options to mix up my exercise routine. There’s a really nice pool, an indoor track, a large cardio area, and weight room. So far, I’ve been 11 times in 3 weeks.


When we went to California for Thanksgiving, Taylor and I decided to try to walk a 5k on Thanksgiving morning. All of my friends were doing Turkey Trots, and I know of any going on locally. My in-laws live near San Dimas Canyon, so my husband and I did a lengthy walk/hike of 4.2 miles (well beyond the 5k I’d planned on). I burned enough calories that I didn’t ¬†worry too much about how many calories I ate for Thanksgiving dinner. I did have a reactive hypoglycemia episode after Thanksgiving dinner, but I’ll talk about that more in another blog post.

The next morning I was feeling motivated, so I took a walk up through the walking trail in Heritage Park. I was playing around with the Nike+ app, and wanted to see the differences in how many calories I could burn if I threw in a few bursts of jogging. I haven’t attempted ANY running since 2007, and that was after losing some weight and being on a consistent gym schedule. I was please to find out that I enjoyed it. I could only run 30-60 seconds at a time, but it was energizing. My only complaint was the shoes I was wearing, so I knew I shouldn’t run again until I bought some proper shoes.

New Balance shoes

I started looking at websites to see reviews for running shoes, and was blown away at how many preferences for shoes runners have. I wanted to make sure that I chose the perfect shoe if I was making an investment over $100. Unfortunately, I didn’t have $100 extra bucks in my budget for a pair of running shoes.

I lucked out while shopping at Nordstrom Rack for some Christmas gifts, and found this pair of New Balance running shoes for only $24. They are quite comfortable, and I like the colors. As silly as it sounds, I was already leaning toward a pair of New Balances because they have NB on the tongue (and NB could also stand for Nicole Bullock) ūüôā

I’ve got a long way to go in my weight loss, but I’m so happy that my body is able to keep up with my spirit again. I am naturally a “go and do” kind of girl, and I like that I have the energy to get a lot more done. It’s amazing how much easier it is to get around with 123 pounds off my body.




Wordless Wednesday: Gym Date With My Husband


Color Me Rad 5k Day!

I’ve never been much of a runner, but I love to walk. A 5k has been out of the question for several years. I actually have done a 5k before, back in 2007 when I was in great shape. I was in the habit of multiple gym workouts a week, and I was able to run about half of it. I was about 80 pounds less than I am now when I did that.

When I found out that Color Me Rad was sponsoring the Breathing Space Blogger Retreat I’m on the council for, I looked at the website and thought “That’s really cool. I’ll bet that it would be a lot of fun to do.” But I wasn’t in the mindset of actually DOING a 5k. But peer pressure got the best of me, and I decided, by jove, I’d do it! And who better to accompany me, but my darling daughter and sidekick Rosie?!?

As part of the Breathing Space registration, I got free entry for the race. The Breathing Space ladies met up before and after the race to cheer each other on and take pictures. We met at Utah Valley University with clean hair and white shirts, and started going in the 9:15 wave of the run. The campus is fairly hilly, but I kept a pretty constant pace of about 3 MPH.

Everyone received a packet of colored cornstarch to throw on other people in the race, and there were 4 color stations spread through the course of the race. I knew I’d be getting colorful with the color powder, but what I didn’t expect was that they’d be spraying LIQUID color at the color stations. The first one was yellow, and they were pretty tame with their garden sprayer tanks. They splashed my shirt but mostly sprayed my arms so the powdered color would stick better. The next color station was crazy – dark green! And they didn’t just spray me with droplets of green, they totally soaked my shorts and part of my shirt. It was chilly outside (about 45 degrees and breezy) so walking in soaked shorts was NOT what I expected.

One of the funnest parts of the 5k was the people watching. Some were wearing long striped socks, others in wigs and tutus. There were moms pushing their kids in jogging strollers, and the kids were getting just as colored as their parents. The second color station was blood red, and we got pretty well soaked at that station too. The color was a little worrisome, because it actually looked like blood on the skin. If you didn’t know that it was part of the race, you would think that someone was bleeding pretty severely. ¬†Station 4 was blue, and I think they sprayed me just the right amount…enough to have some blue stripes of color and fun droplets on my shirt. On the skin, the blue made us look like Smurfs or people from the Blue Man Group. We saw a guy who got soaked in the blue liquid, and he ended up looking like Tobias Funke from Arrested Development. Luckily he wasn’t a nevernude in cutoff shorts.

Finishing the race was such a thrill! I decided to run the last bit, and I was greeted with cheers and high-fives as I ran through the inflatable arch. I was literally covered in colors from the top of my head down to my toes. My running shoes are totally speckled…and I think I’ll keep them colorful to remind me of the day. Surprisingly, I wasn’t sore at all after finishing the race. Little did I know the pain would hit me later in the day with the force of a wrecking ball.

Color Me Rad

I’m so glad I had Rosie do the 5k with me. I know I did it a lot slower than most people (my time was about an hour and 5 minutes). But Rosie kept me going and we had fun laughing at all the funny colored people we saw. It’s funny who everyone looked different, but almost everyone had a smile on their face.

Color Me Rad UtahWill I do another 5k? I’m pretty sure I’ll do a few. It’s hard for me to imagine being fit enough to run a whole 3.2 miles. I’ve had a variety of health issues, and I struggle with frequent hip pain. When I asked my doctor about running, he said I should wait to do a lot of running until I’m closer to 250 (which will be in a few months, at the rate my weight loss is going). I’m planning to do the Dirty Dash in June (another sponsored perk for Breathing Space) and I’m hoping to feel up to running a little more.

Woo hoo! I did a 5k!

Color Me Rad Utah


Winner – Color Me Rad 5k Giveaway

The Color Me Rad 5k entries have been tabulated, and a winner has been selected. Through selection on, the lucky winner is Naked Jen! This woman knows her glitter, and now she’ll be covered in rainbows too!


Thanks to all who entered my giveaway, and thanks to Color Me Rad for the ticket to giveaway. If you still want to go, ¬†you can still register on their website until Wednesday night. And¬†don’t forget that a Color Me Rad race ticket is included in the registration goodies for the Breathing Space retreat.

Now to mentally and physically prepare for a 5k so I don’t collapse into a rainbow-covered heap mid-race.

nakedjen winner

The first few steps

Hollie (who is technically my aunt, but more like a BFF) has been hosting Taylor, Rosie, Clint and I this week. Today and yesterday morning we had good workouts at 24 Hour Fitness. It’s bring a friend for free month, so the timing was great! I did 35 min on elliptical yesterday, then today I did 25 elliptical, 10 bike, and 20 weights and abs. It was so nice to get in a REAL full-body workout today. It’s been months. Afterward we enjoyed smoothies from Emerald Isle, which is far superior to Jamba Juice.

Hollie has also graciously offered to be my weight loss sponsor. She has set a dollar amount for each pound I lose. I’ll report my weight to her, and then she’ll send a check in 10-pound increments. However, if I gain it back, I have to pay it back. It will be nice to have some free money to spend as I wish…new work clothes, new ipod, etc (once I REALLY get down in weight, that is)