First, I want to say thank you to Joanne for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with all of you!  Real quick, I am a mom to an amazing 4 year old daughter who lives in Las Vegas.  I started my blog www.allthingsmommy.net to apply for a bloggers’ scholarship to get me through school and fell in love with blogging!

One of my other new loves is running!  Well, let’s say, I am learning how to run! I have been battling getting back into shape since I had my daughter and decided that since she’s 4 now I probably can’t use the excuse “I had a baby!” anymore…right?? Yeah, probably should stop using that…  So I started a program called Couch-to-5k which basically trains you to run a 5k in 30 minutes over the course of 9 weeks.  The program sets it up to where you are running/brisk walking three days a week and each week it progressively steps you up to longer running times.  Right now I’m in Week 4 and I’m alternating between running for 3 minutes, walking for 1 min 30 seconds, running for 5 minutes, walking for 2 min 30 seconds.  This goes on for about 20 minutes (there’s also a 5 minute warm-up and a 5 minute cool-down period).  I started this program at my park….then the Vegas summer hit and I switched to the gym.  I’m ambitious, not crazy!  I decided that I would get used to running first, and then learn to adapt to the different platforms to run on (street, treadmill, soft track at the gym, etc.) and to also adjust to the different temperatures.  My knees were already starting to get a little sore from running on the street, so switching to the treadmill was best for me as a beginner.   I was amazed at how much easier the running got when I wasn’t gasping for air because of the heat (it was already up to 88 degrees at 6am)!

Also, I have been taking on other fitness challenges.  Joanne introduced me to the 30 day squat challenge.  I’m sure you’ve seen her post about it.  It’s a gradual build with rest days, leading up to 250 squats by the 30th day!  Yep, you read that right, I didn’t add an extra number…250!  I’m currently up to 140 squats and I have to say that it feels great!  I’ve also noticed that it’s helping build up my legs so I can run better.  I’m looking forward to reaching the 30th day, not because the squats will be over, ok that’s part of the reason, but because I’m looking forward to trying and accomplishing another challenge!

Ok, so I’ve started the exercising which I know is usually the hardest part, but for me the hardest part is eating healthy.  Being a divorced mom who works full-time, goes to school full time, is happily addicted to blogging, and having somewhat of a social life with my boyfriend, I have really let the eating healthy part fall by the wayside. So I’ve made a goal to try 2 new healthy recipes a week and sharing these experiences on my blog (full honesty too, if they taste awful you’ll hear about it!) to encourage others to do the same.

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The biggest reason for all of this is my daughter.   I want and need to set a good example for her.  I have always kept her very active, always making sure she wasn’t just sitting around watching tv.  She’s already played 2 seasons of soccer which she liked, but she’s very girly so right now she’s in cheerleading and the class has to run around the gym track two times at the beginning of class.  I’m very proud of her because she gives it her all and I want her to see me do the same.

So check out my blog and see what crazy challenges I’m taking on!  If you know of any, send them my way! 🙂

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~Monika                                                                     Image courtesy of Fiona Childs

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