It was different then


Life changes you, whether you want it to or not. It’s a good thing, though — life changes you for the better. A few more wrinkles but a whole lot more wisdom. A bigger stomach but a bigger capacity to love and laugh. When we’re open to it, change is a good thing.

Or as Deena wrote in “Let Your Mind Run” (Amazon Affiliate link, read my review here):

The flexible tree puts down strong roots — Deena Kastor

Fairytales and Fitness

Aging gracefully is about being flexible, being open, allowing change, enjoying change and loving yourself. — Wendy Whelan

These were the largest jeans I ever wore — but now maintaining my weight is about being healthy, not looking cute

When I was young, it was definitely dieting — can we say Slimfast? 2 tiny bars and then a regular dinner? Did it work? It depends on your definition of working — yeah, I lost the weight I needed to to fit into my sister’s wedding dress, but it didn’t stay off long.

Even my first go round with Weight Watchers (or WW as it’s now known) — I was determined, and I became a lifetime member the first time round — not many people do that. Again, though, I did it in a way that wasn’t sustainable.

The problem back then was that it was all about looking good, and not so much about feeling good. That’s changed. That’s why this time I’ve managed to keep the weight off (which isn’t to say I never struggle with it — it’s still hard).

Enjoying the process

When I moved to some place where I knew no one for my first job after college, I taught myself to knit and crochet (with help from some coworkers). Back then it was all about finishing. I wanted to get it done, to see how it would turn out. Yes, I enjoyed the process, but it was all about the end result, not so much about the journey.

I was hot and heavy with knitting for a long time, but it kind of petered out when I lived in TX. Oh, I’d pick up my needles now and again, I joined a knitting club at one point, but it was a hobby I’d put away for a long time.

Then some people in my running group decided they wanted to learn to knit. I figured I’d do something simple, but that got me looking through my yarn, looking at patterns . . . knitting . . . and remembering how much I loved it.

The funny thing is, it’s much more about the journey than the end result now. I don’t really need much in the way of hats or scarves or afghans, but I still enjoy simply sitting and knitting. Of course I want to enjoy the finished project, but now it’s much more about the meditative quality of knitting rather than the finished project. Plus I’ve discovered listening to audiobooks while I knit!

It’s different now
Goals, hobbies, jobs . . . they’re always changing. They should be always changing. We should be always changing. That’s what makes life exciting. And scary.

Learning to enjoy the journey, rather than the end result — that’s what ultimately makes us happy.

What has changed for you as you’ve grown older?

What change are you scared to make?

Are you able to enjoy the journey?

Enjoying the journey should always be the goal. The payoff at the end of the journey is short lived, but that journey to get there is long — enjoying the journey will keep you going. — Chocolaterunsjudy


What will change for you in 2019?

bsmallstepsAre you a resolutions/goals person, or do you ignore all the hype of New Year’s resolutions, figuring that resolutions never work anyway?

There’s an old saying from Weight Watchers or WW as they style themselves now:

If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.

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Tweak your life
Whether you believe in resolutions/goals or not, chances are your life isn’t perfect. There’s no need to overhaul your whole life and make lofty resolutions that have no hope of ever being fulfilled.

Some hydrating spa water, but I also go for simple H20

You can change your life with some small tweaks, though, and here are a few I’m doing (some I had already started before the ball dropped on 2019):

  • Drink more water. I don’t drink juices or soda, but I realized how heavily I rely on teas. While there’s nothing wrong with that, plain old H2O does a body good. So I’ve been drinking more of it.
  • Walk more. I wrote about this a while back, how I’d relaxed my walking because I thought I do enough running. Then I realized I really do need to move more, and since the weather is often nasty at this time of year, my treadmill has been getting a workout — a walking workout, that is!
  • Utilize those stairs. I’ll never be Kim @ Runningonthefly, but I decided recently I could use my stairs more. So when I’m pacing around the house because I’ve been sitting too long, I also go up and down the stairs a little. This is one I know I need to build on slowly, because too many stairs too soon can irritate my IT.
  • Preplan my meals. I know for a lot of people this sounds nuts, but it works for me. And of course I’ve gotten away from it. I just plan out my day the night before — and if I feel like changing it — which I often do — I just change it. Having a plan helps me to make better choices, and I suck at following other people’s meal plans.
  • Mindful eating. I don’t read or watch tv while I eat, but sometimes I find myself gobbling down my food when I’m busy — sometimes even when I’m not. We don’t taste our food when we do that, which can lead to overeating! One way I slow down and savor my meals is by closing my eyes — when I’m by myself, anyway.
  • Taking it to the stairs — simple steps!

Simple steps to a better life
Some people love those big, scary goals to motivate themselves. Sometimes I do, too. You can never go wrong with small steps to a better you.

What small changes are you making in 2019?

Do you have any big goals for 2019?

Or are you completely happy with your life as it is right now?

Big, hairy, audacious goals are wonderful. Without the small steps you most likely won’t meet those goals. So dream big, but start small. — Chocolaterunsjudy

1 Way to Stay Motivated

It’s quickie Friday! I’ll bet most of you are deep into the Holiday Hustle, as Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunnercalls it. I’m not, but the last couple of weeks were a bit tiring with Gizmo and that inherent stress. He may not be completely back to normal; it could be his new normal — but he’s a whole lot better!

So how do you motivate yourself to stay active when you’re crazy busy, you’re tired and the couch is calling, and the sun is nowhere to be found?

Fairytales and Fitness


Yes, we are all perfect just as we are

Surround yourself with motivation
I like to pick up inexpensive motivational saying tchotkes and have them around the house where I’ll see them often. Homegoods, TJMaxx, and Marshalls are all good sources.

In my bedroom — I see this before going to sleep every night

You are what you surround yourself with
The more positive thoughts we have, the more positive our outlook on life. So why not surround yourself with positive affirmations?

There are lots of preprinted cards you can pick up, too. I got Louse Hay’s Power Thought Cards on Amazon here (Amazon Affiliate link). When I remember, I change out my cards.

I may love a bit too many things

Love is all around
I struck out at Homegoods looking for love-themed inspiration, but I found a couple of plaques at Marshalls.

Do you have a favorite positive saying/affirmation?

Do you try to accentuate the positive?

How do you motivate yourself when you’re feeling unmotivated?

What you dream about, you bring about

5 Reasons Love is My 2019 Word

ballyouneedisloveEvery year I choose a word to focus on; a word of the year, if you like. Usually at some point it just pops into my head at some point, but I must say this year that didn’t happen. I did find myself thinking about the word Love on one run, nothing else has popped into mind, so I’m going with it.

Love: it’s a good word, isn’t it? It’s all you need and all around, after all.

Fairytales and Fitness

Previous words:


Self Love
Not too long ago I wrote about how important self love is (read it here). If you don’t love yourself, you will never be able to change whatever in your life you want to change (assuming you want to change something).

If you don’t love yourself, you will never appreciate what you do have and find happiness. It all starts with self love.

Love Your Life
We all have bad days, weeks, months, even years. Life happens and it ain’t always pretty. Here’s the thing, though: we only have one life. Hating your life is just a waste of time, don’t you think?

That doesn’t mean you have to love everything about your life, and it also doesn’t mean that you have to accept everything about your life. You have the power to change. If you don’t come from a place of love in the first place, though, that change is unlikely to stick.

Finish lines are fleeting. You have to learn to love what gets you to the finish line.

Love the Process
This is one that doesn’t come easily to me. Enjoying the process without getting hung up on the end result. I chose to do this, right? The good and the bad — it’s all part of the process.

Learn to love the process and the end results will take care of themselves.

Decluttering, using things from my travels — a few things that make a house a home!

Love Your Home
This one really doesn’t come easily to me. I would rather do almost anything than clean and declutter. When I do those things, though, I am happier. I have made a lot of progress this year — but there is still lots more work to do before I really love my whole home.

As with loving yourself, though, loving your house, warts and all, is the key to loving your home (see what I did there . . . house vs home?).

Love Others
Love starts with yourself, but it will spill over into all areas of your life. The more you love yourself, the more you can love others — warts and all.

Have you ever picked a word to concentrate on for a year?

Do you have a 2019 word? What is it?

What are of love do you need to work on?

I believed and I did it; crossing the finish line after 18 miles

Looking back and forward
2018’s word was Believe (you can read that post here). In rereading that post, I was only signed up for one half when I wrote it — The Cape Cod Half Marathon (read about it here), which was part of the AMR retreat. And yet I ran 2 other halfs (here and here) and an 18 mile race (read about it here).

Guess what? I’m only signed up for one half in 2019, too, and I’m not even sure I will make it to the starting line due to circumstances beyond my control — although I would definitely still love to.

2018 broke my Half PR streak, but there were still enough PRs to make me happy. I had to dig deep and really believe to tackle my longest race in one of our hottest summers ever. There were quite a few curveballs on the personal front. Here’s what I wrote last year about Believe:

Even without a plan, I believe that 2018 can be a great year filled with new challenges to conquer, more fun with friends, and yes, hopefully more hiking, too!

You know what? Except for the hiking, I was right on (although at least there was some hiking). And here’s what I believe about 2019: no matter what happens in 2019, with the right attitude, I will love 2019, I will accept the highs and the lows, and no matter what life throws at me, this too shall pass.

What you need this holiday!


I know how much trouble I have coming up with gifts for the males in my life, and if you’re a non-runner, you probably have trouble coming up with gifts for your runner. I am joining Fairytales & Fitness for  Fridays with Fairytales & Fitness, a link up for healthy liftestyle bloggers, to share five things I’ve been loving lately — and I’m sure your runner will love, too.

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It was a Nor’Easter, y’all, so I was entitled to my Temper Tantrum (buff) on my hat!

Skirt Sports, Of Course
You knew I had to go there; I’m a Skirt Sports Ambassador. Temper Tantrum is on sale until Dec. 9 — up to 50% on some styles you’ll find here! It got me through almost all of my longer races this year. My code 522CRJ should work for an extra 15% off, but if not, it’ll work on non sale items.

Yoga for Runners Flexibility Toolkit
Running Buddy J turned me on to Yoga for Runners HQ. While I liked the first program, I have to admit that getting in a 45 minute yoga routine isn’t easy. Unless you go to a class, of course, and then somehow an hour seems too short.

The Yoga for Runners Flexibility Toolkit (read about it here) seems just right. Each practice is approximately 15 minute and aimed at:

  • Adductors and groin
  • Ankles
  • Calves
  • Chest and shoulders
  • Full body stretch
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings and lower back
  • Hip flexors and quads
  • Hip mobility
  • IT band
  • Side body stretch
  • Yin Yoga

I suggest signing up for emails so you know the next time they run a sale.

Keeps me warm but allows in a little air, too

Pony Tail Fleece Lined Hat
I wrote about how much I loved this hat I bought at the Cape Cod expo, and I’m still loving it and definitely want to get more. I was sad that they weren’t on sale on Cyber Monday, but it’s a small company and each hat is hand made so I understand. Find your pony tail hat here.

Grid Vibe
I bought my Triggerpoint Grid Foam Roller at the same expo and it’s gotten a lot of use since then. I wish they had had the Vibe Plus available there. I can’t really justify getting another foam roller so soon, but anything that will massage me I’m on board with. You can buy direct from Triggerpoint hereor from Amazon (Affiliate link) here.

AMR Retreat
This is a big ticket item, to be sure. Maybe your runner has been very, very good this year. There are retreats on both coasts. You’ll learn about nutrition, foam rolling, how to psych yourself up, and more.

You’ll run a race, you’ll eat good food, and you’ll meet a lot of other runners and who knows, maybe even find your new BRF (although I didn’t, people have). Despite a Nor’easter, this was still one of the most fun halfs I have run. Find out more about AMR retreats here.

Which of these gifts would you like?

What are you giving the runner in your life this year?

What gifts would you add to my list?

5 Questions . . .


. . . You Don’t Want to Ask Runners!

I’ll bet at one time or another you’ve been asked one of these questions. It probably made you either or laugh or throw up your hands in despair.I am joining Fairytales & Fitness for  Fridays with Fairytales & Fitness, a link up for healthy liftestyle bloggers, to share five questions I’ve been asked — and am pretty sure you have, too, if you’re a runner.

Fairytales and Fitness

Yes, we’ll run in weather a lot of people won’t even walk in

You know it’s going to be __________ out, right?
Fill in the blank: raining, snowing, hot, cold, windy. Yeah, we’re runners. We obsessively check the weather. So yes, we already know it’s not great weather to run and yes, we’re going to run anyway. Don’t rub it in. Maybe have a cold or hot drink, as is appropriate, waiting for us when we get back.

Did you win?
As applies to a race, of course. And unless our first names are Shalane, Meb, or Des, no, we’re never going to win a race. My Dad wonders why I would race if I’m not going to win.

At least this one actually was longer than a half . . .

How long is this half marathon?
The same length as the other 20 halfs I ran. D’oh. This of course apples to a race of any length no matter how many of them you have run.

You’re done running now, right?
Mr. Judy tends to ask me this after I’ve run my last goal race for the year. He seems to think the running simply stops when I’m done racing. Of course if I stop running, I won’t ever be racing again. Running may suck up a lot of my time, even in my off season, but it also makes me a nicer person. You’re welcome.

Do you really need more _________?
Shoes, socks, clothes, hats, gloves. Why yes, yes I do. Remember how running makes me a nicer person? So don’t worry about the number of my shoes.

Which is your least favorite question?

What question would you like to be asked about your running?

What question do you always get asked about your running?