Archive Monthly Archives: November 2015

The gift I gave my mom & what I got in return

On the evening of November 15th,meandmom 8 Awesome Fit School Women crossed the finish line at the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.  One of those women was my mom, Mary.

As you can tell from this photo, I am very proud of my mom.  Her journey to the finish line in 3:36 was not an easy one. She has never been much of an exerciser, so a half marathon goal was a little extreme. The trip to Vegas was my gift to her for her 71st birthday.  Along with a trip voucher, she got a 6-month training plan and race entry (I know a lot of you are thinking, “I’m glad that I’m not her mom”!).

My mom still lives in the rural Pennsylvania town where I grew up.  Since she works as a care-taker during the night, she would drive to a neighborhood track after she got off work at 7am.  Here is where she would power-walk each day before heading home to bed.  This was a whole new routine from her busy, but pretty sedentary lifestyle.

During the 6 months of training, a lot happened.  My mom broke her toe, her husband had some health issues, her knee replacement hurt, and she even got food poisoning the night before the race.  Some great things happened too.  We became closer by talking about training and anticipating having a vacation together, she actually started enjoying her exercise routine, and during her training and during the race, she did not complain once (at least to me!).  Oh, she also lost 23 pounds!

My mom inspired me in a way I never thought possible.  So, if you ever think you are too old, too heavy, too broken, too busy, or too anything, just think of Mary. You can do so much more than you think. Persevere and keep going.  You got this!

Healthy Meal Planning

Goal: Sit down for 30 minutes this week and plan healthy meals and snacks.

Just as you would plan for a fun vacation, take some time this week to plan your meals. The USDA has a free meal-planning table to help you get started at


  1. To help you and your family be healthier:  When you plan meals, you can make sure to include enough foods from each food group. Pay special attention to serving enough vegetables and fruits in family meals.
  2. To help you balance meals:  When you are serving a food with a lot of fat or salt, you can plan low-fat or low-salt foods to go with it. For example, ham is high in salt. If you have ham for dinner, you also can serve a salad or a vegetable that doesn’t need salt.
  3. To save money:  If you plan before you go food shopping, you will know what you have on hand and what you need. Also, shopping from a list helps you avoid expensive “impulse” purchases.
  4. To save time and effort:  When you plan meals, you have foods on hand and make fewer trips to the grocery store. Planning also helps you make good use of leftovers. This can cut your cooking time and food costs.

The Health – Habit Connection

We are all creatures of habit. We get out of bed, brush our teeth, drive to work, eat our meals, and even dress ourselves the same way each day. We also have certain foods we eat each day. Sometimes these foods or beverages are “linked” with certain times of day (like a coffee at noon), other foods or beverages (like always having a doughnut with your coffee), or with an activity (like eating something salty while you watch TV). When we try to change these habits, we sometimes become uncomfortable and maybe even a little irritable. This discomfort will last a few days or until a new habit is formed. The hard part is getting through that first week or so of discomfort. But as speaker Michael Neill says, “You can do hard”.

Pay attention to your eating habits this week, and make one small change to healthier living.

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