Faith and Endurance: Running the Race

Creating Dreams. Achieving Goals. Trusting God


Filed under: Achieving Goals — jenniferburton @ 4:33 pm

Here I am, in the middle of Week 4 of the Couch to 5K program! I am at the point where I am trying to keep the drive alive! Week 4 is a bit rough on me. After doing day 2, I still can’t seem to get all the way through the 5 minute jog without having to take a breather halfway through. I really am trying to push myself, but maybe those hills (even though they’re not that steep, but just enough to present a challenge) are making things a little harder. I want to conquer them so bad! Will I get all the way through on Day 3? I hope so!

So, I am trying to stay motivated by thinking about Jillian Michaels ( I think she has sort of become me heroine),  and I have actually cut out a picture of a fit woman running, and posted it on my refrigerator. Yes, I really did do that. I wanted to see if it actually would work to keep me motivated. So far, it kinda does. I see the body type I want to work toward, and I have to look at it every day to remind me of what I really am capable of. As my work outs get tougher, I am finding myself questioning why am I doing this, but I then remind myself, I want to be the healthiest and best me. I am doing this for God, for myself, my husband, and my future family. I want to set a good healthy example for my kids in the future. Because obesity runs in my family, I do not want to pass that on to my kids. I don’t want them to grow up, being made fun of for their size and struggle as I have my entire life. Kids need good social backgrounds as the grow up, and something such as obesity can hinder that greatly. If they’re not being active, they’re not as involved and usually socially outcast.

I know that a person should never be judged by how they look, but the truth is, people are mean, and it’s hard to beat society’s standards. People should be able to feel good about themselves. It helps when they have outside support who tell them over and over again how awesome they are. People begin to eventually believe what they hear repeatedly to them. If you’re surrounded by positive people, you’re going to think positive things. If you’re surrounded by negative people, you’ll think negative things. Suggestion and words alone are so incredibly powerful. They can either build a person up, or completely demolish them. Sad, but true.

I am so blessed to have the friends that I do and to help to continue to encourage me, and help keep me motivated. I am purposefully surrounding myself with positive people and people who have the same goals and struggles I do. It’s all about accountability as well. I have struggled with negativity a lot in my past, and parts of me still struggle with that. I want this to help be to be a much more positive person. I want to be a better optimist. I want to know that CAN finish this C25K program and be in the best physical shape in my life! I also want this to help with my personality and have a better outlook on life.


Fighting It June 23, 2010

Filed under: Achieving Goals — jenniferburton @ 8:28 am

As I begin my warm-up for my Week 3 Day 1 run, my heart is already pounding and I have butterflies in my stomach. Why? I’m so nervous about running for 3 minutes straight…wondering if I’ll make it through, questioning whether or not I’m ready to take it to the next level. I think to myself, I could barely get through 90 seconds, so it seems. I continue through my warm-up, convincing myself that I CAN do this. As I am walking, I suddenly realize that my warm-up is taking longer than normal. What happened? I accidentally hit the “pause” button on my C25K app! “AAHHH!” I think to myself. Well…just keep going! I begin to run my first 90 seconds, and it is uphill, and it is cake! I think to myself, wow! ok, maybe it won’t be so bad! Then my 90 second walk comes, getting myself mentally prepared for my 3 minute run. My 3 minute run comes, and what do I do? I MAKE IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH!! YES!!! After that, I have a sense of accomplishment and I’m not nervous anymore! I manage to get through my entire workout!

I’ll admit, the second 3 minute run was a bit tougher, but at the same time, I was fighting more hills. The important thing is that I got through it. I conquered my run. It may not have been at the pace I really wanted it to be, but I got through it. I then had a realization that it is so good to have some sort of coach to push you a little farther every week. Just when you think you’re not ready to move on, chances are, you really are. This C25K program pushes you a little farther, bringing out the potential you don’t realize you already have. You have to keep going. It really is all mind over matter.

I had the opportunity to watch last night’s episode of “Losing It with Jillian Michaels”. It was an amazing episode, which actually took place in our lovely Goodlettsville, TN.  She yelled at this family,mainly the father until she was blue in the face. She knew what he was capable of. She had to make him realize that. I love Jillian, and she is such a motivator. She pushes people to their maximum potential. She sees what they have the ability to do, and she works hard to draw that out of people. They hate her at first for it, but ALWAYS end up thanking her later. We all need someone like that in our lives, and we need to be better at convincing ourselves of what we are really able to do. Jillian also believes in mind over matter. You really have to set your mind to it, and be committed. We have to learn when and where to push ourselves to the next level. If it begins to get a little easy, it’s time to kick it up a notch, to the next level. We don’t want our bodies to get used to the same routine, otherwise, the work outs will no longer be effective, or as effective. Just take a moment and think to yourself, “Am I reaching my maximum potential?” When you’re in your work out, and you feel your body getting tired, which you may be getting tired, but at the same time, you’re making your body stronger. It is so important to be observant of yourself and what you are really capable of doing. Ask yourself how badly you really want this. If you really want it bad enough, you will follow through with it. Convince yourself that you CAN do it!!

Ever since yesterday, I am even more motivated to continue to push myself through this. There was a hurdle I had to jump over, and I did it. I still have 2 more days of this week to get through, but after seeing my ability yesterday, I’m not worried about it. The persistence and consistence is really beginning to pay off! I just can’t get over the sense of accomplishment I was feeling yesterday, and I am so looking forward to getting more of that in the near future!


A Need for Courage June 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferburton @ 6:05 pm

Today I have officially finished 2 weeks of 5K training, using the Couch to 5K program. What an accomplishment that is. Along with that, I have also completed 2 weeks of working out at Curves. I think my body has a mixture of thanking and cursing me at the same time. I am proud of myself of what I have been able to accomplish these last two weeks. But, the truth is, it’s only the beginning. It will be a challenge on the road ahead.

Part of that challenge will begin next week, as I will take on the third week of the Couch to 5K program. I’ll be honest with you. I am scared to death…very nervous. I felt I was pushing hard with alternating running for 90 seconds, then walking for 2 minutes. Parts of me wasn’t sure if I would make it through the work out every time or not, but I did make it! Next week will begin alternating running for 90 seconds, walking for 90 seconds, running for 3 minutes, and walking for 3 minutes. 3 MINUTES?! What happened to 2 minutes???? Yeah, that’s the part I’m scared about. Can I make it through? 90 seconds felt as though it was tough enough to get through! Remember, I have hills in my neighborhood! Not huge ones, but enough to present a challenge!

Have you ever been in an argument with yourself in the middle of your work out? “I don’t know if I can do this!” “You CAN do this, and you WILL!” “You’re not pushing yourself hard enough!” “I don’t know if I can hold out any longer!” Yeah, I’ve had that argument with myself all too often, and even today, thinking about next week. Even today, in my Curves workout, I was having a little bit of a hard time. I was tired. I have to think to myself that I am pushing myself just hard enough to keep it challenging.

I know that I am working toward a better body and a better lifestyle, and it’s going to take some challenges and some hard work to get there. That’s what makes it so worth it in the end. Part of me thinks it’s too hard and I want to quit, but the bigger part of me tells me to shut up and stay on track. I am solely relying on God for strength and endurance to get through this. He is my biggest motivator to be the best me, and who He wants me to be. I know He is my biggest cheerleader, and that is what matters most. I pray that I can make it through next week with the 3 minute run. I’m still nervous, but I at least have to try.


Making Progress! June 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferburton @ 12:52 pm

I am making progress! Since I have started blogging, I have dropped about 3 pounds. I am currently on Week 2 of the Couch to 5K program and also in my 2nd week of Curves training. I have decided to join Curves and the Curves Smart program because it really is a neat thing! It is personalized to your body and your needs. It’s amazing! I am feeling really good, and I am constantly just a hair sore in various places, so I’m getting a good work out every day. Jonathan, my husband, has even mentioned he’s already noticing slight differences in my shape already.

Recently I had mentioned about my energy levels being low and not sleeping well throughout the night. I got a call from my doctor the other day and found out that my Vitamin D was low. So, in response, she prescribed prescription strength Vitamin D supplements that I have to take once a week for 3 months, and then I have to go back to check my levels again. I took my Vitamin D for the first time yesterday, and last night was the first time I was able to sleep solid in a while. It was amazing. I still need to feel it out for the week to notice a significant difference, but so far, things are looking really good. I’m also back on multivitamins to make sure I get everything I need each day for maximum performance.

Also, I had to go to the grocery store yesterday, and just to let you know, Kroger is having some awesome sales on their fresh produce right now! Cucumbers and 1lb. bags of baby carrots are on sale for 10/$10!!! Bananas are $0.39 p/lb. The majority of their produce is on sale, so I would take advantage of that before it’s done! I saved nearly $30 on groceries yesterday!

On another note, I am really having to make a conscious effort to make sure I drink at least 64 ounces of water. It’s harder to do when I’m busy, mainly because I just don’t think about it. So, that is something I am still working on to be consistent with. I have been much better recently, though. Another thing I am struggling with, as I am making my food journal on, is that how do I get all the veggies and fruit, along with the carbs, protein and fat grams per day without going over my calories?? That’s a tough one. If you have any suggestions, please share! If I stay on the lower side of my calories, I don’t get  enough fat or carbs for the day, but if I within range of what I need in fat, protein, and carbs, I’m on the higher end of calories or go over. I’m trying to stay as close to 1200 each day, but the last few days I’ve been eating over 1500, but I’ve met my individual nutritional goals set out for me by the website. If you have more sparkpeople experience or more knowledgeable about balancing this out, please comment and let me know. I am all about learning health tips.

Anyway, all in all, I am pretty much on the right track. Week 2, and I am being persistent, and results are already beginning to show. My stress levels have dropped drastically as well. Also, if you have a testimony or story you would like to share with me…please do!!! I love to hear about these things because it is encouragement and motivation for me! God is awesome, and we are certainly blessed! 🙂


…It happens…. June 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferburton @ 7:42 pm

What a weekend! Saturday morning, I went to the farmer’s market and managed to get some fresh produce, then I went to Curves for a work out, which was great! I went home in time for lunch, and I did eat some pasta. But afterward, my hubby and I decided to do some hiking at a state park, that was up the road from where we live. We hiked for about an hour and a half. I LOVED IT!! Of course, I have always enjoyed the outdoors, but just about any outdoor recreational activity is a great work out, burns a lot of calories, and it lets you enjoy the scenery while you’re doing it. However, we did end up eating at a cook out later that evening. So, yeah, I did consume quite a few more calories than I probably should have. Today, I’ve had nothing but carbs, which was cereal this morning and more pasta for lunch.

I am a little disappointed in myself because today I had a bit of a loss for energy after my hubby and I sat and watched a movie after church while eating our pasta lunch. However, we are trying to hold out until Tuesday, when we get paid, to go to the store to get the groceries we need to restock. So…maybe it’s partially an excuse, and partially a ligitimate thing. I had laid out the chicken for dinner, but not really much of an option for lunch choices. So…I did fall off the band wagon just a little bit. I haven’t had any fruit or veggies today, which is awful…and no protein on top of that. Yeah, I feel almost sickly for not doing so. It’s amazing to feel the difference those foods can make when you go with or without it.  I am hoping to make it through the rest of this evening okay, and HOPEFULLY not gain anything. I’m not exactly expecting to lose, but I need to really work at it this week to make up for my losses over this weekend.

Along th way, I have decided that I wanted to do more hiking and other outdoor activities this summer. I’m going to pick a place for us to go every weekend, or Saturday for us to go hiking, canoeing, maybe some white water rafting, and hopefully some camping one weekend. It’s a great way to help keep me active and enjoy my summer. Since we don’t have much money, those things are great inexpensive things to do and we will have a blast. There are plenty of places in TN and KY, which we have yet to see, and would like to go back. The beach isn’t really my thing, so I feel like I’m not really missing much. I love the sounds of nature surrounding me.

I have calculated that cross country hiking for 2 hours will burn well over 800 calories, and canoeing for 10 miles will burn over 1,000 calories! There’s no telling what some of these other outdoor activities can do. You’re getting a major work out, and not really realizing it! It is important to drink plenty of water and granola bars, or food with protein and carbs to keep your body fueled for these activities, otherwise, you’re not going to think of them as being that much fun later on. So, if you do decide to go out and do these things, be careful and consciencious of what you need along with what your activity is. Please be prepared. On top of doing these fun things, if you’re not already into them, you will be…it’s like a drug…you’ll become addicted.

There’s nothing like sitting at the edge of a bluff you just hiked up to, taking a drink of your cool water and resting for a moment while looking in awe of the breathtaking scene, of which our Father has created for our enjoyment and as a reminder of how big He really is.


Just. Breathe. June 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferburton @ 3:17 pm

Breathing has got to be one of the most essential aspects of working out. Not only is it important to breathe, it’s important to breathe correctly. When you are doing strength training exercises, you need to inhale while drawing back or relaxing and exhale while you push or pull, what ever the exercise you may be doing.  If you do not breathe correctly, you may easily hurt yourself.

Running also requires steady breathing. You need to control and pace your breathing. If you do not, you will get light-headed and pass out due to the loss of oxygen to your body. When you control your breathing, it helps with your lung endurance, and keeps your heart rate steady. It also will help build your stamina. Controlling your breathing is not easy starting off.

When you begin with running, you need to count your steps while you breathe (at least that’s what I do because it’s easy). I inhale through my nose 4 steps and exhale out my mouth 4 steps. It’s not easy to stay on 4-4. If I feel I need to shorten it, I do 3 and 3, but I will NEVER go less than 2 and 2 when it’s absolutely necessary. If you are breathing that heavily, you need to slow down, otherwise you just might meet the ground soon, and we don’t want any injuries.

With breathing it is important to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This is has been a struggle with me in the past, but you do not dehydrate as easily if you do this. Also, if I don’t do this I realize I end up coughing a lot after my work out and my voice is out of whack, and that’s no fun. So, yes this is something that I am currently working on, and I can already tell the difference in how affective it is ,than the way I was breathing. I last much longer in my work out. One thing that might help is if you practice taking in some deep breaths while sitting to exercise your lungs a little. In through your nose, and out through your mouth. Use a clock, and inhale/exhale every 4 seconds, and see how that works.

Some people may breathe correctly naturally, and that’s great! I wish I could, but I have to work on it. Oh, well…another learning experience for me! 🙂

Oh more thing…if you are working out outside, please wear sunscreen. I do every day. 😉


Being Honest with Myself June 9, 2010

Filed under: Achieving Goals — jenniferburton @ 6:03 pm

Ok, so maybe I haven’t been completely honest with everything. As far as eating everything by the book..well..I’m not really. I eat healthy things, but there are a couple of particular things I eat just a little too much of. Crackers, mainly, and sometimes bread. There. I said it. I love bread, and it’s so hard to stay away from it. I realized how much more calories I probably take in a day when I snack on some crackers or the occasional slice of bread. And, if you dip them in anything or add to it, think about how much MORE calories you are probably taking in. So. what should I do? The answer is…portion control. I love to snack, and I do like to eat, but I have got to watch my portions! I think this is probably one of the most common evils among EVERYONE, unless you’re in a 3rd world country. Americans love to eat, and they love to eat a LOT!

So..what am I going to do about it? I am going to make a point to start writing a food journal. Yes, it’s a little extra work, but I have the time, and it will most likely be worth it. It’s like keeping up with a check book. You don’t really realize how much you’re spending unless you write it down. Your memory can deceive you at times. It does me. Fortunately, I also have a kitchen scale that I bought not too long ago. I will be getting this sucker back out to properly weigh my food, to get the portion sizes I need. If you were to see what the serving sizes were for some of the foods you ate, you’d be in total shock! It is important to weigh out your food and watch your portions. That way, if you do want to cheat a little, get the right serving size, and you can track exactly how many calories you’ve taken in. I know that when it comes to meats, most serving sizes are anywhere from 3-4 oz, usually depending on the meat. White meats will have more leniency than red meats. Red meat, such, as venison would be an exception to that, and possibly buffalo meat. veggies and fruit are usually at 4 oz. per serving. If you were to look at the food guide pyramid and measured everything out, you might get a better idea if you’re getting exactly what you need. I know that I would. If you are a person on the go, then prepare your meals ahead of time…preportion them and have them ready to go for the next day.

There’s another thing that is so important when it comes to food consumption and grocery shopping. You have got to read your labels. It has become a habit for me to read labels of almost everything I pick up, until I have it memorized. Grocery shopping is a little habitual for me anyway because I get mostly the same things. However, PLEASE read your labels! Take note of calories, fat grams, saturated fats, sugar, carbs, and sodium. Try to consume as little of MSG as possible. Stay away from anything that ends in “ose”, such as fructose. Stay away from hydrogenated oils. If sugar, salt, syrup of any kind, and if it says “enriched” stay away from it if you can. I know that some of this is hard to avoid, but at least try to ween yourself from it. Your grocery bill may be a little higher, but I’ve always said that it’s cheaper than medical bills in the long run. There are ways of shopping cheap, and eating healthy at the same time. Oh, yes..the microwave is not that great to use either. Food can be chemically altered, nutritionally, depending on how it’s cooked. Potatoes, for instance, have different nutritional value, just between being baked and mashed. One is better than the other…however, at the moment I can’t remember which, but look it up.

Anyway, so please be very conscious of your intake and what you buy at the store. Read your labels, and it can help to keep a journal and portion your food. That’s what I’m going to have to do, so that I may properly track my calories. Are you with me? 🙂