Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Exciting Stuff Coming

Hey, everyone!

I have been a little out of the blogging world the last few weeks.  The holidays and starting this new job has thrown everything out of place.  Things are about to calm down, and my new work schedule is going to kick in next week.  So I will be back to my normal blogging routine.  Sorry for all of you who missed me.  I know you all have.

So, I have some really exciting things coming up starting this year.  I cannot give too many details out, but you will love it, and it does involve giving something away.  You will want to check this out; it is very cool.  I am also going to do more video logs.  I have started a youtube profile.  Heavysteps5k.  Feel free to follow me.  I only have one video right now, but I will get more!

You also need to follow me on Twitter if you do not already.  @cajacrosby DO IT!

So my goal for this week is to add up all the miles I have ran for the year!  I am thinking I will be around 800, but I am hoping for more. That will be fun to add up.

I do have some bad news.  I know I will not make my 100 lbs goal for the year, but that is okay.  I may or may not have to run one day with a tutu.  I have changed my life for the best, and I have lost a lot of weight.  A lot like you all, I am going to take a look at the new year and kick butt and get back on track.  I wish I could tell you more about what I am doing the start of this new year, but it will for sure get me on track and the weight will fall off.  Just stay tuned... I am so excited!!! 

I am going to go run in the morning. Got 4 miles planned, and it will be great!  Oh, and did I mention that I ran 18 miles last Saturday!  18 MILES!  That is the furthest I have ever ran in my LIFE!  Those last three were killer.  Also, I am on track for a 6 hour marathon time.  I am just wanting to finish!  A faster time would be amazing, but just finishing my first will be great. Then, getting faster for my other races will be better. So far I have two marathons planned for 2012.  Little Rock and Chicago.  I am sure I will be talked into doing another! 

You all have a great rest of the week, and I will check in Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Run For The Ranch

Hey everyone, it has been a crazy month.  A new job, sickness, and a half marathon.

I started a new job this month working at Hotels.com as a sales associate.  This is my first sales job to earn any commission.  I have worked the phones and sales, but it was a base pay.  I really like where I work and all the benefits we get.  We even get $400 a year to use on anything health related.  I am using mine for races next year.  I am just getting used to the new job and want to be good at it already.  I know there is a learning curve, but I want to be good at it now, so I can make the money my family needs to survive.  I took a big risk taking this job.  Soooo, it has been stressful.  I used to make my blog posts after my run in the morning, but I have been going into work at 7 am and have not had time to blog, so I am working on making time at night.  I have still been waking up early and running, so no worries there. I have been missing my cross training because of my 7 am work.  That sucks, but I will get back into it next year when my shift changes.

My son decided to bring home some sickness from school.  I was sick for about 2 weeks, and I am still feeling it.  He, of course, was really only sick a day and is 100% again.  I missed about 5 runs and had to leave early on one of my long runs.  Jenn is sick now, so we have been a house of sickness.  Really hoping to be better before Christmas.

Last Sunday, I ran my second half marathon.  It was the Run For the Ranch here in Springfield, Missouri.  It had a large amount of 50 State Runners and Marathon Maniacs.  Camille Herron was even going to run it, but backed out the last minute because of the course.  She didn't want to get hurt so close to the Olympics. Very nice person! It was a 8 lap marathon, 4 for the half.  Wasn't the safest route and had us running on some busy roads and hazardous sidewalks, but the people at the aid stations were great.  One of my running clubs, OMRR, really took care of the people who ran.

It was not my best run ever.  I had ran only once that week and was still a little sick from bronchitis, but I still wanted to run.  I went out way too fast and really bonked the last three miles.  My friend Mike was a God-send and was there with me for most of the race, keeping me motivated.  I should've slowed down, but I didn't.  The last lap was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  Running laps is hard, but doing them while kind of sick and just out of energy was horrible. I did it, though, and was very proud of myself.  I didn't get a PR but treated this run like one of my training runs for my full. 
Still smiles at this point, Mike wanted to kill me though
Jenn on the other hand had an amazing race. She won first in her age group and was the 8th female overall for the half.  She is a rock star.  Ran it in 1:40:41. It was a PR, and she even said she felt really good at the end and possible could've done a few more laps if she wanted to.  She is a natural runner, and I wonder what kind of runner she will be as she keeps getting better.  I am going to make a video about the race later.

She is super cute.   I will keep her.

Life is good.  Remember to start planning your goals right now for the new year.  Start now, and let's make 2012 a healthy, great year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Card from the Crosby's
As the year closes during this wonderful Christmas season, we want to share with our family and friends all that has happened this year. It has been a year of many positive changes and accomplishments.

In January 2011, Chris started something simple; he started running. He trained for his first 5k using the Couch to 5k Program. It was a program that lasted for 9 weeks, and it really helped him prepare for the race. In the beginning of March, Chris and Jenn (with the help of his brother Steven and some friends) finished their first 5k. Jenn finished it in just under 30 minutes, and Chris finished at a time of 43:50. Both were extremely proud of each other, and both continued to train and run in different races throughout the year.

After the Couch to 5k Program ended, Chris joined the Jeff Galloway group to keep him motivated in his training. His next big goal was to finish the Bass Pro Marathon. Because he missed a few major long runs in his training due to illness, he decided after his recovery to train for the half-marathon. He continued to push forward all the while fundraising for the American Cancer Society. Chris ran the race in honor of his Papa Crosby and Uncle Drew. He ended up finishing the race in a time of 2 hrs. and 37 min.! Jenn also ran the half-marathon and finished it in 1 hr. 45 min.! Since she decided to support Chris in his running by doing the same thing herself, she has found a talent she never knew she had before. For her most recent race, she won First Overall Female in the Shelby’s Run 10k. The improvements Chris has made are amazing. In November, Chris ran a 5k in 31:07! That’s almost 13 minutes faster than his first race! He has lost almost 90 lbs. since the start of this year and is a much healthier and active person. He continues to improve and is training with Nixa Running Group (one of his biggest support groups) for the Little Rock Marathon in March 2012!

The decision he made to run had an enormous effect on our family. We eat healthier as a family, and we are much more active together. Micah ran his first race with his mom and dad in June. He finished a mile run in 13 minutes! He jogged the whole way, and his parents were so proud of him! Paige and Devon are great cheerleaders as they (as well as Micah) are the major reasons why Chris decided to get healthy in the first place. His success story is inspiring family and friends to find a more active lifestyle, too. For his complete story, you can check out his blog, Heavy Steps. (http://heavysteps5k.blogspot.com)

In others news, Chris (finally) got a new job! He started at the end of November working for Expedia, Inc., Hotels.com division. He’s a sales agent, booking reservations for hotels and receiving commission for those reservations he finalizes. He’s had ups and downs learning his new position. But knowing Chris, he is going to be amazing once he gets the hang of it. We feel blessed that he has found something that he enjoys and is apart of a company that can give him the opportunity to move up in his career.

Jenn is a stay-at-home mother and is still loving it! There is no other place she would rather be than at home with her children. She loves teaching them and making sure they have a safe and nurturing environment as they grow. She loves to support her husband in his career and activities that involve him in the community. Jenn is also a homeroom mom for Micah’s kindergarten class. Her responsibility is to plan (with the help of another homeroom mom) an activity for the PTA’s annual fall fundraiser, 3 holiday parties (Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day), and Teacher Appreciation Week. Being a homeroom mom has helped her meet lots of other moms involved in the school, too, which she has enjoyed.

Micah turned 5 this year, and we celebrated at our house with family and friends. He also started kindergarten last August! So far, he has done really well. His teacher said he listens well to instructions, is progressing in his learning, and plays well with his classmates. He’s even been to a couple of birthday parties hosted by his new friends. Micah is definitely a social person. Almost every day after school, he will ask to play outside with his friends across the street. If they aren’t outside yet, he will knock on their doors to see if they can play. What a go-getter!

Paige is not the social butterfly, but she is very smart. She already knows the whole alphabet, upper- and lowercase letters, can count to 10, and knows several shapes and colors. Chris and Jenn are planning on enrolling her in Preschool for next year. She is still potty training, but for some, the process is longer than for others. She is truly a special and sweet child (notwithstanding the occasional temper tantrum.)

Devon is everywhere! She may be more active than Micah was at her age. If you blink, you might miss her. You may also chase after her before she goes somewhere she shouldn’t. Her vocabulary is growing; she really tries to say the different words that her mother tells her. Oh, and she loves to eat! There is no problem getting her to chow down on what is in front of her. Ever. Just recently, her parents found a cuddly side to her. Both her and her sister love to read books, which is something her mother is very happy about.

The Crosby’s are a happy, healthy and blessed family. We hope you enjoyed reading glimpses of our adventure this year, and we look forward to hearing about yours. We wish you a merry Christmas! May the new year bring you hope, love, and many blessings!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

That's how winning is done!

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!

- Rocky Balboa

Keep moving forward.  Attitude is everything!

Friday, December 9, 2011

My First Video

I am going to start making videos as well.  I had a lot of fun making one and think I will be doing a lot more.

Take a look and let me know what you think.
I have been feeling sick this week and took a few days off.  I am going to see how I feel Saturday.  I felt really good all day today at work, but when I got home, my throat started feeling scratchy again.  I am going to get some sleep tonight, and I hope to get my run in the morning!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Different Perspective

As a wife of a formerly obese man, I will tell you how grateful I am that Chris made the decision to change certain habits in order to get his life back. He asked me to create a guest post, so here is my experience.

There were at least a few things that hurt me as I watched Chris slowly spiral down into depression. It was hard for me to see him not do anything to take care of himself. He was eating fatty, unhealthy foods all the time and a lot of it. He wouldn't participate in any physical activity. He wasn't really trying to move forward or in a positive direction. He had no goals. His job was mentally driving him nuts, but playing video games all night wasn't helping him find a better one. And when I say all night, he played until 1 or 2 am, only to get a few hours of sleep and start his insane cycle all over again. It was very frustrating.

Those habits also prevented him from being with the family. He had no time to play with our children or to help me with them after dinner. We really didn't spend much time as a couple except for the occasional date. I had hopes and prayers that he would decide to do something to change. I remember telling my sister-in-law once my thoughts on how taking care of your body is connected to improving your emotional and mental health as well. I was speaking in reference to Chris. I knew that if he starting working out or even just walking 30 minutes everyday, it would help him physically and in other areas as well. I'm not saying running would get him a new job. But, being physically fit and staying active would help him stay positive during times when he felt trapped and hopeless. I hoped and prayed...

And then, a miracle happened. In November 2010, Chris decided to change his life. All he did was decide to run to lose weight and get healthy. But so much more came from that decision...

Besides becoming more physically active, Chris is also very active with the community. He has been a huge help for Nixa Running Group and volunteering for races. With his blog, he has helped several people find motivation to keep working toward their goals or to start new ones.

Besides losing almost 90 pounds, he lost an addiction to video games that took up his family time. He now spends more time with the kids. He'll play with them on the floor and sing silly songs. We even ran a mile race with our son last summer after he trained in a running class. Because Chris decided to eat healthier, now the whole family eats healthier. Since I thought I would support him in running by running myself, I found a talent I never knew I had. We've found something else that we can do together. What he does impacts those around him, especially his family.

Besides getting healthier, he has also created goals for himself. I believe that's a major part of life, working towards something better to improve oneself. It gives us a sense of purpose. Chris has found more purpose in life striving to improve himself and help others.

My husband is my best friend. I have looked back at the "depressed days" (marveling at the improvements I have seen in his, my, and our family's life) and wondered if there was something I could have done to help him make this life change sooner. I knew, though, that this was a decision he needed to make on his own, for himself. If you are close to someone whom you think is in a similar situation as Chris was, please love them by inviting them to do (with you) whatever may be good for them. No matter their response, still love them. They may see their potential in the love that you give and decide to do something for the better.

I love you, Chris.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hard Work = Working Hard

Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking about why something isn't easy.  Why is eating healthy so hard? Why is getting up at 4 am so hard? Especially when you think about how really simple something like not eating extra food is.  Just don't do it, but it is not easy (for me).

Now that I have a lot more people reading my blog, I really have been trying to keep up the positive posts.  Today has been one of those really hard days. I want to be honest and show people who have just started their journey that we all have those hard days, too. Everyone has bad days.

Today, I have wanted to eat everything in site.  I had way too much to eat at dinner.  Why is it so hard?  I guess that is why it's called hard work, because you have to work hard at it.  Truly if it was easy, everyone would be healthy and working out everyday.  It is hard to start; it is hard to eat healthy.

I know some people will disagree and say it is easy. Well good for them.  It is easy for you, and God has blessed you with the ability to be better than most of the world, because I have to work at this.  Daily... Give me a box of Special K, and I will destroy that thing...  It is healthy right?!?!?

I am not alone in this process; you are not alone.  We need to continue to work hard at this hard work of living healthy.  The people out there who make it look easy really work hard at making it look easy! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Blind Leading the Blind

I may or may not have got lost this morning.  I may or may not have cut through someone's back yard.  I may or may not have jumped a fence.  Today's 10 miles was an adventure. 

I am one of the slowest in my running club and the slowest training for a full.  So that someone is with me throughout the run, someone will start with me, and then I will meet another person on our route to finish the run with me. The first 4 miles were not bad at all, and Amy ran with me.  We had good conversation and the miles went quick.

I met up with Mike right after.  He is training for the half marathon and had to run 6 miles. It was his longest run to date, and it was fun to run with him.  I knew the route really well for the first few miles.  It was after the Nixa Center that we got lost.  We did find Mike's wife, and she ran with us.  She wasn't sure of the route either, and she hung back for us.  I thought I knew the route, but I got turned around.  We were running and chatting.  We should've come up on the road, and it just seemed like we missed it.

Then we came up on Hightower road; it was way in the wrong direction.  We were supposed to follow a road through a neighborhood and meet up with the street the center is on.  At this point, I knew we were going the wrong way, and I thought we just went too far, but we just went the wrong way completely.  I saw a big field, and I thought it was the elementary school.  If it was, we just needed to run down Hightower and then come out to the track and onto the road we were supposed to be on. But when we got to the end of Hightower, there wasn't a path or track on the field.

So like normal people, we thought it would be a good idea to cut through someone's back yard and jump their fence. So we did, and I realized that the field was part of the center.  We were nowhere close to where we were supposed to be.  We were so turned around.  The good thing is that we still got our miles in.  So we laughed and cruised in our last two miles.
This might've happened to me.
It is always an adventure.  I was really happy for Mike as well.  That was the furthest he has ever gone and did really well.  Finished really strong.  I am glad I was able to help him through those last few miles. 

I am also very blessed to be a FitFluential Ambassador, and many of my fellow ambassadors have made similar posts to my Get Motivated post.  Please go take a look at their posts, and get some good ideas if you are wanting to get started on your fitness journey.

Colleen from Irondiva
Matthew from The Athlete's Plate
Samantha from Because I can
Toni from Running, Loving, Living

I will post more blogs from my good FitFluential friends throughout the weeks to help you all get some good tips on starting your fitness journey!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Roll Playing

I have been at my new job for a week now.  The training lasts 5 weeks, two weeks in class and three weeks in a training pod.  I have never really worked this kind of sales before. I am not going to lie.  I am pretty nervous, and to do good at this job, you really have to be confident.  So I have been taking every opportunity I can to practice the process.  No better time to practice it than on a run.

This morning while we were running, Amy was pretending to be callers to Hotels.com and requesting a room.  I had her pretend easy calls, just to practice the wording, and then I had her be someone who wasn't really interested in booking at that time.  It was a lot of fun, and it made the miles go by so quick.  I was able to do more to be ready and successful at my new job, and I was having a great run.  I am for sure going to do more of that while we run.  I have to be good at this job or my family doesn't eat.  I don't get the 3-6 month learning curve most have before they make the money.  I have to be good at it now.  So I need to go above and beyond.

I have a 10 mile run planned in the morning.  I am excited to rock it.  I have my half marathon coming up in two weeks.  I am really excited about this whole training process for my full marathon!

Get Motivated

It was about a year ago when I hit rock bottom.  I weighed over 330 pounds.  I wasn't happy, and I wasn't being a good husband or father.  I hated my job and lacked the confidence in myself to even go look for a new one.  I sat behind a desk all day at work and then came home and played videos games until very late at night.  I knew I needed to change, but I was afraid.  I didn't really know how to start.  Then, I saw a video created by Ben Davis.  It was his story of going from a 360-pound overweight, lazy gamer to losing 120 pounds, running a marathon and completing an Ironman.  WOW...  That sounded a lot like where I came from, and if he could do it, so could I.

Christmas 2010, 333 lbs.
That is when I became inspired.  I wanted to change but still had no idea how or where to start.  I decided I was going to run.  My family laughed when I said "run!"  I would not run a mile in high school.  What made me think I was going to stay with it now?  I was determined to do it, though.

I started telling everyone that I was going to start running and getting healthy.  I have tried to lose weight before, but nothing stuck, so I planned.  I wanted to start after the new year and to be really ready.  I started researching what works.  I talked to a nutritionist.  I found a beginner's running program.  Because I was telling everyone what my goals were, friends started giving me tips and advice.  I asked for running shoes and a scale for Christmas. January 3rd came, and I felt prepared and went for it.

This coat was a 3XL.
It has not been easy, and I still have a little ways to go. But it has been almost a year, and I am still doing it.  There have been several things I wish I knew before I started, and I wanted to share some of them with you.  I hope my story has motivated you like Ben Davis motivated me.  If I can do it, anyone can.

This is all from the point of view of someone who started at a beginner's level and is still progressing.  I am not a professional by any means, but these seven tips below are things that helped me and things I hope help you.

Make a Plan/Goal
Plan it out.  You can't just wake up and say you are going to start being healthy and expect to stay healthy without a plan.  Do not get me wrong; it is a good thing to be inspired as a start, but you need to put some pen to paper.  Plan out meals, workouts, and strategies to keep you going when it gets hard. Put your plan/goals where you can see them. Read them daily.  Remember how you felt when you set them!
Tell Everyone
You will be surprised at how willing people are to help you, how ready they are to be a motivator and a support.  You will also be surprised to find out how many people have been there and have lost the weight and changed for the better.  Some of the best advice I received was from friends who knew what it was like to start running extremely overweight. I would've never known it if I didn't tell people.  Part of my telling everyone was starting this blog.  It has turned into much more, but it started out as a way for my friends and family to check up on me and make sure I was getting my daily workouts and runs in.  If I didn't post, people asked me about it and checked if I worked out or not.  Also, a lot of people sometimes just need someone to do it with.  Several of my friends started working out the same time I did to support me and get their health in order.

Join a Gym or Club
The best thing I did was join a gym and find a running club.  It was very intimidating for me when I first joined the gym, because I felt like people were judging me, but I made friends quickly.  For the most part, people do not judge you. They mostly do not even notice you, and if they do, they are excited that you are working out.  I made friends quickly in my boot camp class, and they were a major support to me.  I joined Nixa Running, and they are all a bunch of running crazies that love me for me!

Plan Out and Buy Your Meals In Advance
Jenn and I make a shopping list every Thursday and shop for a whole week's worth of groceries.  We plan out breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks.  That way we are not tempted to go out to eat, and we know how many calories we are putting into our bodies.  Plan healthy meals and make sure your portions are under control.  Talk to a nutritionist or research online what you should be eating.  I am still learning how much I should eat for how much I run.

Sign up for a 5K
Once you sign up for something, it will help you stay motivated to get every training run in.  I started the Couch to 5K program.  I knew I had to run 3 times a week.  I wanted to be ready for my 5K and was really motivated to run every single training run. Once you run the 5K, sign up for another. When a 5K becomes easier, look for bigger races.  I remember my first 5K; I prepared for it like it was a marathon.  I carb-loaded the day before.  I created a facebook group and invited all my family and friends.  Now I sign up for 5K's all the time.  Always have something to work towards, and it will keep you out there on the road getting your miles in.

Do Not Let A Bad Day Ruin You
You will have bad days.  You will feel like you have failed sometimes.  Do not let that get you down.  I have had days where I felt like garbage and wasn't good enough.  Why am I working out? It isn't helping me...  I am so hungry...  Everyone does so much better than me.  Guess what? We all have bad days.  Get up and keep going.  Do not look for excuses to quit.   Remember where you came from and the big picture.  You didn't put that weight on overnight, and it will not come off overnight either.  I have to remember this daily.  As my good friend Shannon would say, "Suck it Up!"

Treat Yourself
I am not talking about with food.  If you reach a goal, go get that thing you have been wanting.  You have worked hard.  This helped me a lot.  I knew that if I reached a weight loss goal or a running goal, I was going to get something cool.  Treat yourself!
I treated myself with a Do Life sticker.
I am so glad I have changed my life.  I love living healthy.  It has improved me in so many ways.  I am a better father, employee, and friend.  I have met so many people I would have never known otherwise.  My son talks about running marathons now instead of video games. I got a new job.  We eat healthy as a family.  My wife discovered a natural talent for running.  (1:45 half marathon!)  So many great things have happened because I decided to change.  Your health does affect so many things in life.  Get motivated, and start today!