What are you changing in your life that makes you healthier?

Have you changed something in your life that is making or has made you healthier?  Have you lost weight?  Have you changed your diet?  Are you eating healthier foods?  Have you integrated exercise in your daily life?  Are you overcoming a disease or illness?  We look forward to hearing the faculty, staff, and student stories.

HT Wobble
HT Wobble

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Austin's oldest institution of higher education with roots dating to 1875.
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15 Responses to What are you changing in your life that makes you healthier?

  1. Patricia says:

    I’ve always wanted to run a half marathon. I’m not sure what it was about the task that enticed me. For a long time, I said, “I want to run in a half marathon.” I even picked up local runner magazines to see about upcoming scheduled races. I never took the next step to commit and sign up for one.

    Last year, my husband and I attended an information session on a Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. After hearing Meredith Grower’s story of her battle with Crohn’s disease, we both wanted to sign up and join the race to help find a cure. Life, however, happened and we were not able to do so.

    A year later, we received the notice that they’d be holding information sessions, so we decided to go. Although our schedules are much more hectic this year, we agreed we’d commit to join if our personal schedule didn’t conflict too much with the training schedule.

    Upon attending this year’s info session, we discovered that Meredith’s story changed a bit. I was also introduced to Michael Ginsberg who also struggles with this disease. Touched once again by the shared stories, my husband and I made the commitment to go ahead and sign up to join Team Challenge this year and run in the race.

    Training began three weeks ago. Our training consists of a short run at the beginning of the week, a longer recovery run mid week, and a long run at the end of the week. We’re also encouraged to do some form of circuit training and yoga throughout the week. For me, this consists of two days of 25 minute cardio and three days of resistance training. When I am able, I end the week with some yoga to stretch and relax my overworked muscles.

    I’m also learning that I have to let certain types of foods go. The candy and sugar tend to slow me down and make me groggy mid day (no matter how little I eat). Chips and popcorn are also on my “let go” list. I noticed that I feel much better inside when leave out the processed foods, and stick to veggies, fruits and whole grain foods.

    The older I get, the more into health and wellness I become because I see the importance for it. Although I consider myself very active and athletic, the run trainings are challenging right now. As the training season progresses, I look forward to getting better and better!

  2. Patricia says:

    Well I completed week 3 of training for the half marathon. I am excited to say that I was able to do the 5 mile run we had last Saturday. The weather was great and I made the decision to focus my mind on things other than the discomfort I felt during my run. I kept reminding myself why I’m running, for Michael Ginsberg, and was even able to sprint to the finish. I’m learning that hydration is a very important part of training. This Saturday, we’ll be running a 6 mile loop, and have been instructed to bring a hydration system or we’ll be given one. It is important to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. So if I weigh 120, I need to drink at least 60 oz of water each day. Something else I also learned is that it is possible to over hydrate on water. Although water is good for you and necessary (especially if you’re training for an extreme athletic event), you have to make sure to replace electrolytes into your body as well.

    In addition to making sure I’m drinking plenty of water, I’ve also incorporated Hydrate from the Herbalife 24 line into my routine. I usually carry it to drink during my runs. About 20-30 minutes before I run, I use Prepare from the Herbalife 24 line. When I complete my run, I make sure to drink plenty of H2O, but at the same time make sure I’m not overdoing it.

  3. Patricia says:

    Week four of training is complete and I am moving onto week 5. The training is going much better. Saturday we got up to 6 miles and it felt like an easy run! I continue taking care in what I eat and drink. On long run days, I have a shake at least an hour before my run. I also make sure that I’m getting the proper hydration. In addition to getting plenty of water, I make sure to drink fluids that replace the electrolytes and carbohydrates lost during the exercise. One of the coaches suggested I also take ibuprofen for pain when we get into the longer runs. Since I’m not a fan of medication, I am hoping I’ll be able to avoid that by continuing to attend yoga classes and proper nutrition. My husband and I did agree to get some Herblife Joint Support to assist with the additional stress on the joints from running.

    My honored hero, Michael had to bow out of the race last week because his symptoms started acting up again. I was hoping I’d see him on Saturday, but he didn’t make it to the training session. I know the pain is temporary, so I do my best to focus on other things. In order to keep my mind off the pain that I’m feeling when I run, I decided to use that time to focus my thoughts on God. One of my favorite scriptures to meditate on while I’m running is Romans 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”.
    I’ve also decided to use it as a time to pray for Michael. I’m hoping that will assist in completing the 13.1 miles. As I look ahead, it still seems crazy to run 13.1 miles. But I’ve done half the work already, so I’ll continue to press on!

  4. Patricia says:

    Training for the half marathon continues. I am beginning to become more comfortable with running 4 miles. This last week we had another 6 mile long run. I was told that once we hit 7 miles (which is this week), that’s when mentally we need to start preparing ourselves. My goal is just to stay focused on other things. I plan to keep my focus off the ankle pain, the leg pain and the discomfort of the long run, and focus on my honored hero, my God, completing the task, the great outdoors. If I’m fortunate enough to run with someone, I’ll focus on our conversation. As challenging as this half marathon training has been thus far, I press on. I know things may become more challenging, but I remember that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!

  5. Patricia says:

    It has been a few weeks, since I’ve blogged. The week before (September 29th) we ran 7 miles. I did not get tired at all. I felt amazing the entire time, and when I completed the run, I was so excited and thankful I did not know what to do with myself.

    I made 8 miles last week ( October 6th) and felt great afterwards. I’m learning more and more about hydration and rest. I’ve learned that not only do I need to hydrate for the current day, but also for the following day. I also need to make sure I am getting a good night’s rest up to 48 hours before the long runs. These are things I never knew. Sure, I knew hydration was important. But I didn’t realize that the hydrating I do today also relates to tomorrow. I also did not realize that if I have a long run scheduled for Saturday, I need to make sure I get plenty of rest Thursday night as well as Friday night. As the week draws closer to an end, the reality of running 9 miles sinks deeper and deeper into my body and thoughts. Am I nervous? Of course! Am I excited? Absolutely! I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I’m also excited to report that my honored hero, Michael was able to complete his 8 mile run! It took him a while, but he did it!

    I hope I’m inspiring someone as I continue this task. This particular training and fund-raising have been the most challenging. But I will not quit until I cross the finish line on December 2, 2012!

  6. Patricia says:

    We banked a 9 mile run last Saturday and I feel pretty amazing! I did a lot of praying and focusing on God to get me through it. I also had the opportunity to visit with one of the coaches on the second part of my run.

    I’m noticing that the negative speak gets in my head at the beginning of the week. So it takes me from Sunday to Saturday morning to prepare myself for the long runs. The shorter runs throughout the week are not as much of a challenge for me anymore. Psychologically, the longer runs are the most challenging. But I have noticed that when I work throughout the week to remove the negative speak and remind myself that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”, and I get it set in my mind that I am doing the long runs, I am better able to complete the task.

    The running is also a great way for me to relieve the stresses of life. I can just get out there and let go of all the mind fodder. I feel less weighed down by the various responsibilities and more relief.

    Overall, the training is going well. The fund-raising has become very challenging. But we press on. This past weekend, we had a Spirit Night at Chick-fil-A. That went well. We are hoping to have another couple of fund-raisers, and hopefully they will turn out well…We are 7 weeks away from the final event. God willing we’ll reach the financial goal and physical goal!

  7. Patricia says:

    Well, I’m over the hump! We put in 10 miles yesterday around Lady Bird Lake. I was so excited and so thankful that I was able to complete the run. The week before, I was in Long Beach, so I missed the first 10 mile run with the team. I was sad that we could not be a part of it. I think I was also a little nervous because while in Long Beach, I only ran 6.5 miles (3 miles on Friday morning, and 3.5 miles on Saturday morning). I couldn’t find a 10 mile loop, so I did what I could.

    When we got back last week, I ran my usual 3 mile and 4 mile runs during the week. On Saturday, we were once again unable to join the team in the long run. I was so nervous yesterday because I was not sure how I would complete this feat of a 10 mile run.

    I think it was becasue I know my husband’s running pace is really fast. I was not sure I’d be able to continue running on my own if I lost him for 10 miles. I kept thinking I’d lose my motivation. I was also nervous that I would not be able to keep up with him and I’d get discouraged and give up. None of those things happened, thankfully. I was able to keep up with him (although I know he slowed his pace down for me). I was able to complete the run without having to stop and take breaks.

    My knees got tight every once in a while, but I just focused on other things. I did a lot of praying during my run as well as praise and worship. My husband and I held conversations every so often. But mostly we just ran next to each other silently. He’d check in with me to see how I was doing, and I’d do the same.

    Afterward, we both admitted that we felt great!

    Anyway, we’re currently 5 weeks away from the half marathon. I still get a nervous feeling in my stomach when I think about running 13.1 miles. But I’m pretty sure I can do it.

    Training aside, I’m also getting nervous about the fund-raising portion. We have been working hard to raise money in order to meet our goals; and although we’ve been truly blessed thus far, we’re still far away from 100%. Since we have no control over who says yes and who says no, we decided that we’ll continue working hard and put it in God’s hands. If it’s His will, He will make a way. So I’ll thank Him in advance…

  8. There are only 2 more weekend long runs left until we leave for our CCFA half marathon. I cannot believe it is almost here. Last weekend we ran 9.3 miles for our long run. I felt great after the run. I noticed later in the day, however, that I did not hydrate well enough the day before because I felt dizzy and overheated. I also had a headache. I don’t think I ate enough after the run either, which probably contributed to the side effects.

    The run itself was not so bad. Most of it was a flat run. There were some hilly parts, though. Toward the end of the run was the steepest hill I thing we’ve ever had to run. I just kept telling myself that I could do it. I kept telling myself that I’d tackled more hills in my life than this, more challenging than this. Those said hills were the spiritual hills set before me to make me stronger, make me better, prepare me for something God had in store for me. I kept telling myself that physical hills had nothing on the spiritual ones and that I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    This next weekend we do our longest run, 11 miles, before we head to Vegas! I am very excited. I remember watching Legally Blond and the main character stating the following, ” Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Although I get nervous about the long runs, and have to take the entire week to mentally prepare myself, I know one thing to be true: these runs are extremely helpful for me. No matter what situation or circumstance I’m dealing with for the week, I am able to just let go once I get in my runner zone. I am able to experience peace and calmness of mind. I am able to experience that joy from just letting go…

    I look forward to the longer runs and cannot wait for the final run in Vegas!

  9. Well, my 11 mile run is over. I completed the run in 1 hour, 49 minutes and 18 seconds. The race is 2 weeks away and I am ready to go! I’m so excited and glad to be a part of Team Challenge. I have always been the kind of person that keeps my commitments no matter what. Looking back, I was a little nervous about my ability to keep those commitments because every time I started my runs, the idea of doing a 13.1 mile run seemed inconceivable to me. I now know that there isn’t anything I cannot do. I have no reason to be afraid or worry about any goal I set for myself. I love running and am thankful for the gifts and abilities God has given me. I am thankful for God’s provision in allowing me to participate in this race; and I cannot wait until December 2 when I join with several like minded people, who not only raised funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation, but also helped raise awareness for the 1.4 plus individuals dealing with this disease.

  10. We completed our final training run last Saturday and now we’re T-minus 6 days until race day! I cannot believe we are so close already. Earlier today I emailed all my donors thanking them once again for their support. I shared that there were so many times during the long runs and fund-raising when I was ready to throw in the towel. In those moments, I had to let go of my feelings, remember why I committed initially and ask God for strength.

    The last run was only 7 miles. Although we’d completed 11 miles the week before, I was a little nervous. I never know how I’ll feel on the day. I felt great. My knees were a little stiff and sore, but I just kept reminding myself that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, then I continued thanking Him for strength as I kept running forward.

    In my final week of training leading up to the race, I reflect back on this journey. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to raise money and awareness for this disease. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to run for my honored hero, for the individuals that supported me, and those that deal with this disease. I am so thankful for the challenges I faced during this journey. Though they were just those, challenges, they not only made me stronger, they also showed me what I am capable of, what I need to work on, as well as reminding me of who I am.

    I know how much blood, sweat and tears I put into this; and crossing that finish line will feel amazing. I am truly inspired by my team and by myself. I only hope that I along the way I was able to inspire others…

  11. I FINISHED! I completed my first half marathon in 2 hours 8 minutes and 6 seconds. The experience was AMAZING! Not only was I able to hang out with and get to know some incredible people from my team, but I along with 1000 other CCFA participants raised almost $4 million for Crohn’s and Colitis!

    I will most certainly run again, although right now, my body needs a break. If anyone is interested in staying active throughout the holiday season and getting a head start on 2013, feel free to join me and some awesome Herba-friends for a Fit Camp this Sunday December 9th. Email me for more details!

  12. Becky says:

    It is inspiring to see your perseverance and drive, Patricia! Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  13. If anyone is interested in getting your exercise on during the weekend, I attend a weekly fit camp on Town Lake. It’s 3-4 every Sunday, at Butler Park (the area between Daugherty Art Center and the Long Center right next to the hill).

    We focus on getting our 20% (exercise), then move to our 80% (nutrition). It’s fun and free! If you’re interested in joining the party, let me know! “Investing in one’s health is like investing in one’s wealth. What you do today, will determine tomorrow’s outcome.” Unknown

  14. Still leading a weekly fit camp. Every Sunday 3-4 between Daugherty Art Center and the Long Center. The workout is completely free. There’s a post workout recovery party, free for first timers, $5 for returning guests.

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