What I’m Reading

I’ve always got multiple books going. Typically a suspense, a chic lit type book, a devotion and ……….I think that covers it. If a book is REALLY good then I can devour it in a day or two. I will devote any and every extra second I’ve got to it. Then I go through withdrawals and for many books afterwards, nothing compares to said book.

I have spent this pass year reading as diligently as I could, Jesus Calling.

jesus calling


Well, lately I’ve just had an urge to get into something that deals with overeating and how to approach it with God in mind.  I found this…………

Blank white book w/path

and the second day already has me just blown away………

taken from the book Taste of Truth by: Barb Raveling

taken from the book Taste of Truth by: Barb Raveling

1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.

It goes on to say……



taken from the book Taste of Truth by:Barb Raveling

taken from the book Taste of Truth by:Barb Raveling

She also has another book that goes with it ………

i deserve a donut


So far it has been a thought provoker. A person can lose weight but we have to rehardwire how we think. The foundation can be all cracked up and busted and if we just put new flooring over it to cover it up without fixing it then eventually the busted foundation will start to prove problems again. Weight loss is the same way. You gotta change your mind (not just make up your mind) or eventually old ways and habits will resurface and take over.

What are you reading? How do you renew your mind?



I’m on a mission.  As I mentioned before, I have suspended my coaching and I’m concentrating on losing weight. Something I haven’t done in a long time without combining it with marathon training or some other event going on in my life. For once, it’s all about the losing the gut!


It’s all about the weight loss. I’ve got my Bodymedia going EVERYDAY, I’ve been logging my meals EVERYDAY (20 days straight according to my log).

I’m not going to go into too much detail until Memorial Day. Don’t want to jinx a good thing!!!

I picked up the book The Skinny Rules  by Bob Harper, you know the guy from The Biggest Loser and I must say, I LOVE IT!!  You have to get it. End of story.  The rules rock.  It’s not an end all book but I think it’s pretty close.  Please just go get it. It’s simple and to the point. What I love about it most, is that it’s stuff I’ve heard ALL my life but just wrote it off to “old dieters thinking”, nope it works.  I want to go into more BUT I’m telling you guys, Memorial day is my mini goal date so I want to wait till Monday to see how my progress really is and go from there.

One thing I have learned, squats are no longer my friend.  I’ve tried but as we speak I’m nursing a really aggravated/sore hip. It’s just not worth it. And of course all the workouts I LOVE have squats………..ugh. Maybe once the weight comes off maybe I’ll approach them again.  Until then, I’m steering clear……….unfortunately.

Memorial Day, first mini goal day. Till then, Cheers!

Mental Tricks for Endurance Runners and Walkers

In case you haven’t figured it out yet I love reading, writing, talking,  absorbing as much information about running and any other fitness related thing that I can get into. It’s what I love!  However it’s also a well known fact for myself, I overthink things. If I need to put together a running schedule for myself I get bogged down in it that I become so frustrated that I just want to explode. When I’m running I’m constantly thinking Am I running too fast, too slow, shoud I be doing speed work, am I doing too much mileage, not enough?!  You can see that I am very much a mental runner. It’s who I am, it’s built into me and part of my DNA. So instead of fighting it I work with it.  Last year I discovered the joys of having a running coach. It really has been one of the best things I could have ever done for my running. (YAY Coach James!) I knew instantly when I got my first schedule that I was doing the right thing for me. It allowed me to run without  the pressures of planning.  This mental runner was able to just be a runner!

Well………recently I  came across this …….

Mental Tricks for Endurance Runners and Walkers: How to excel as an endurance runner or walker by following time-tested mental tricks! By Kirk Mahoney

I’m all about anything that will effectively help me stop being  such a head case!  It’s one those things that won’t be replacing anything (or anyone) but rather it gives me another tool to have at my disposal.

Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” The same could be said for running. While running programs and running books often make a bow toward the mental aspect of running, e.g., the hardest distance in the race is the six inches between your ears, they almost exclusively focus on the physical aspect of the sport.

Mahoney, Kirk (2010-07-17). Mental Tricks for Endurance Runners and Walkers (Kindle Locations 2-5). . Kindle Edition.

I have to agree with this.  I get in my way all the time and it’s not a physical thing its that stuff between my ears that holds me back.  I’ve known this for years but another passage in the book really got my attention

A 2007 University of Hertfordshire study by British psychologist Richard Wiseman found that 78% of all resolutions — such as those made by many people at the start of a new year — ended in failure.

Beyond the matter of negative, unconscious beliefs contradicting (“counter-intending”) one’s conscious intents, the prefrontal cortex of the brain — just behind the forehead — could be partially to blame for this statistic because this area of the brain deals with several tasks, often simultaneously:

  • resolutions; 
  • keeping us focused;
  •  solving abstract problems;
  •  handling short-term memory. 

 So asking it to ensure that you keep your resolution to run or walk more often could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back — unless you limit your other simultaneous demands on the pre-frontal cortex.

Mahoney, Kirk (2010-07-17). Mental Tricks for Endurance Runners and Walkers (Kindle Locations 285-291). . Kindle Edition.

This is what I got from this statement, overloading ourselves with resolutions, trying to stay focused on day to day task and trying to stay on the latest and greatest diet will eventually set us up for failure. Our precious little heads can only handle so much at one time!  And I am so guilty of overloading myself with wants, wishes and demands.

I must admit, I’m not finished with the book. I have gotten so much out of this little gem already I just had to share it before I could finish it.  Even this first chapter really got my attention.

#6 – Introspection Endurance racing requires introspection. You must be brutally honest with yourself about many things, including:

  • Whether you are completing your core training runs or walks 
  • Whether you are asking for help from training buddies 
  • Whether you are offering help to training buddies and fellow racers 
  • Whether you are paying attention to your running or walking pace 
  • Whether you are hydrating adequately 
  • Whether you are giving yourself sufficient time to recover from injuries 
  • Whether you are taking needed days off Whether you are cross-training 
  • Whether you are completing speed-work sessions and other supplementary runs or walks
  •  Whether you are eating properly 
  • Whether you are getting enough sleep 
  • Whether you are visualizing 
  • Whether you are stretching adequately

 These introspective activities are not necessarily fun. But they are crucial to your success as an endurance racer.

Mahoney, Kirk (2010-07-17). Mental Tricks for Endurance Runners and Walkers (Kindle Locations 197-204). . Kindle Edition.

It’s not a long book, 218 pages according to Amazon, I have no clue. I read alot via my Ipad with Kindle app so sometimes I have no clue how many pages I’m working with.  It’s just enough to read a little bit, think on it , rinse and repeat.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I am.

The Animal in Me With A Dash Of Tina Fey

So many cliches are coming to mind right now….It’s just another manic Monday, time flies when I’m having fun, and there are a few others but they just get cheesier and I’ll spare you of that.  My point is they are all just cliches, not reasons or excuses as to why I haven’t been blogging or logging in my nutrition. I’ll admit mentally I checked out Thursday night.  I picked up a book and read all weekend long, with the exception of running. Meanwhile I’ve missed my Rambling Friday post, no long run post. That’s a lot of thinking just simmering inside this small brain of mine!

So here’s my random thoughts.  Now keep in mind that this is totally my opinion derived from my own personal observations. I have this friend I run with and she’s one of these natural born athletes. She’s never gimped up like I am.  She naturally runs fast (well, faster than me), she can go for hours and never get tired.  We can run a hard 6 miles or more and I would get a text late that evening saying she ran 4 more. Or she went to a 45 minute spinning class in addition to the run earlier that  day. In short, she’s an animal.  Then there’s me.  At one time I like to think I was an animal. I didn’t over-analyze my workouts. In fact I taught aerobic classes as a form of income while I was in college.  Let’s just say to make any significant amount money you have to teach A LOT OF CLASSES! During the summer I would possibly teach up to 7 classes a day. Then I would turn around and do my workout.  I always reasoned that those 7 classes were work not working out.  My point is I didn’t over analyze what I was doing. Like my friend, she just does it and so did I. Now the key word here is DID.  Somewhere along the way I became very cautious. (there’s a point to all of this so hang in there)  .  So what’s my point? My friends casualness about her workouts actually helps her be the animal she is.  Now I’m not saying everyone should just work out furiously all the time but being too cautious can hamper us as well. Maybe she’s working on the glycogen storage which allows her to go longer.  I’m not exactly sure the exacts to make this happen but I can’t help but wonder if there is something to this. Could it be the cross training? Who knows, it’s just a thought. That’s all.

So Saturday I ran 16 miles. Not much to report except I survived!  Actually it really was uneventful. I got started a little later than normal so that I could eat breakfast and let it digest.  That really helped a lot compare to the last couple of weeks when I didn’t and kind of got a little loopy in the head.  Hey it is what is!  On this run I listened to Tina Fey’s new book “BossyPants.” Yes, I believe somehow Tina Fey is my older twin!

 I’m sure just reading the book is fine but she actually narrates the audio book so it was very entertaining. Some of the language is so so but overall for hours of entertainment (and I do mean at least 5 hours)  I recommend it.  I guess the funny part about it all is I can’t help but wonder what other people were thinking when they saw this runner going down the Trace laughing out loud?!  It was a good run.  Felt like a strong finish, I classify it as a good run. A good mental workout as well.

Since then I’ve gotten in a 3 mile run with 2 more runs scheduled this week and then 12 miles this weekend.  The marathon is creeping closer and closer.  I always joke that the closer a marathon gets the more anxious I get. The kind of anxious a woman gets when she’s 9 months pregnant and ready to birth a baby (or at least what I would imagine it to feel like since I don’t have children)!

Till next time………


Good to the last drop

 I’m craving.  I’m not hungry at this moment just craving.  Instead of diving deep into the cabinets and eating myself out of house and home I made a cup of decaf coffee.  The first sip of coffee was almost as good as when I open a can of Diet Coke. As I sit here drinking my coffee my nerves are settled no more antsy feelings. I found comfort in my coffee.

I was recently reading my morning devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministry and she talked about finding comfort in her coffee.  In fact a whole devotion was done surrounding the cup of coffee.  Please please know I promise I got more out of the devotional than ” I found comfort in my coffee” which by the way is not EXACTLY what she said but more like “create my comfort in a cup…”  So this is not a profound thing I discovered on my own. In fact, I feel like 99.9% of things I think of have already been covered by someone else. So for future reference, there will be no claims of profound thoughts.  Just realizations.  It’s like an app for your phone.  I’m certain that if I think of something that would make my life easier or more enhanced someone has thought of it and created an app it.  No reinventing the wheel for me!  Anyways…………….

God has a way of talking to me that sometimes I can’t help but say “OH, now I get it!”  I’m pretty sure he rolls his eyes at me a lot. I pray a lot that I not be so hungry. I pray a lot that I stop being so self centered and worrying about the shape of my gut and concentrate on being more of a Jesus girl.  Well it’s kind of hard when I’m bending over and my body doesn’t bed with me because there are fat rolls stopping me! (Did you know that on the news today they actually said women have an average of 13 “I hate my body\” moments a day!?)  Why am I telling you this? Because I had a mini “ah ha” moment tonight.  I realized as I was being antsy and anxious and a little bit worrisome that  I shouldn’t turn to food.  Maybe finding comfort in my coffee is not neccessairly the direction he meant for me but it wasn’t food!  Plus it gave me a reason to go back and reread the devotion.

I copy and pasted the devotion below.  I hope you enjoy it.  I love Proverbs Ministry 31.  Very down to Earth kind of girls.  It’s women you would want to sit down with and share a cup coffee! (p.s. I think maybe that cup of coffee did have caffeine because this post is all over the place!  Oh well, hope you enjoy!) Cheers!

Room for Cream

17 Feb 2011

Marybeth Whalen

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10 (NIV)

“Shall I leave room for cream?” the smiling barista asks me as I place my coffee order.

I smile back at her and nod, anticipating receiving my cup full of dark liquid so I can carry it over to the doctoring station and customize it with a generous splash of cream and two sweeteners.

As I wait in line to create my comfort in a cup, I ponder the barista’s question. I think about the idea of leaving room for cream—not just in my cup, but in my life. I always leave room for cream in my coffee, but I can’t honestly say I always leave room for cream in my life.

Cream sweetens and lightens and richens. How do I leave room in my life for the things that sweeten and lighten and richen? As I pour and stir, my thoughts drift to the last week. I’ve done the have-to’s: laundry, carpool, dishes, exercise. But it’s harder to think of those little extras that fill my cup to the brim… sweet, light, rich extras.

Sweet: Time with friends just laughing and enjoying each other. Turning on a favorite song and dancing in the kitchen. Listening to my children when they talk. Taking the extra time to hear their hearts. Putting fun things I look forward to on the calendar. Turning the pages of a novel just for the joy of experiencing a great story. Pushing pause on my life so I can rest and recharge.

Light: Time in God’s Word, which the Bible says is a light for our path in life. Journaling what He’s telling me and what I’m learning about life. Time to pour my worries and anxieties out to Him, then leave them at His feet. Time to press into Him so I can hear His voice above all the others in this loud, busy world. Stepping out of the rat race and worshiping Him with abandon lightens my load.

Rich: Giving of myself through my time and talent. Tithing regularly to my church. Finding people who need a meal, a donation, a word of encouragement and then making the effort to actually give it to them and not just think it’s a good idea. Surrendering myself to God’s will instead of holding fast to my own.

All of these are things that bring me great joy, that help me reach that place of abundance I believe Jesus wanted us to live in now. Abundance, I am finding, does not come from merely wanting it. It comes from intentionally reaching for it—a result that requires action. It requires leaving room in my life for these things—not packing my life so full of have-to’s that the cup is already full.

When that happens, I can try to add the cream but it will only spill over, wasted. It starts when I leave room from the beginning or take a moment to pour out what is already too full. With a little thought and a little effort I can learn to hear Jesus ask me, “Did you leave room for cream?”

And I can smile back at Him and say, “You better believe I did!”

Dear Lord, I want to live the life of abundance You called me to—a life that is sweet and light and rich. Help me remember that I have to leave room in my life for abundance or it will always elude me. Help me to seek You first and let You show me how to leave room for cream. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

Visit Marybeth’s blog

The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen

She Reads a division of P31 for fiction fans

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity
because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide
at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can’t compete with prices offered by
huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and
every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Application Steps:
If you brew coffee at home or order a cup at a coffee shop today, while you’re waiting for it spend time praying for God to show you ways you can leave room for cream in your life. Resolve to think about having an abundant life every time you fix your coffee.

What does an abundant life look like? What would fall in my sweet, white and rich categories?

Power Verses:
Psalm 65:11, “You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.” (NIV)

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

© 2011 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Matthews, NC 28105
877-P31-HOME (877-731-4663)

Soulful Sunday

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (I Corinthians 9:24-27)

This is a verse over the course of many years that I love to read when I need a reminder of why sometimes I do the things I do.

I just started attending a small group in my church that is covering  Max Lucado’s book, Outlive Your Life. I guess in some ways it’s partially responsible for why I started this blog.  I bought the book after I signed up for the group but before I started so that I would know what was going on.  Oh, I forgot to mention the group is also put together for endurance athletes or anyone who wants to join us.  Anyways, so from page 1 till the end I couldn’t get enough of it!  For one thing , it encouraged/ inspired me to up the bar in my life.  I’ve become extremely  complacent with my life and  not to mention self-centered.  My workouts are ehhh, boring.  My day to day has become just that. I wake up, go to work, and go home… The End.  Wow, I’m moving mountains with that aren’t I?  So when I read this, from the beginning its saying “Some people don’t bother with such thoughts. They grind through their days without lifting their eyes to look. They live and die and never ask why.

But you aren’t numbered among them, or you wouldn’t be holding a book entitled Outlive Your Life. It’s not enough for you to do well. You want to do good.  You want your life to matter.  You want to live in such a way that the world will be glad you did.”

Immediately I thought “Yes, Yes!”

In November I ran into a woman who I’ve known for sometime and she’s a go getter.  I’ve admired her because she’s all over the place.  Line dancing, grandmother, received a Ph.d. after most people would  and no telling what else she does that I have no clue but she’s a go getter.  So after not really talking to her for sometime she ask me the dreaded question (for me), “What’s new?”  “Ummmm. You know nothing really but that’s not such a bad thing right? Same old same old,” is what I told her.   She then told me my life was in a rut.  I thought “Really? You think?” To make matters worse, she said it again and told me I needed to get out of that rut right away.

So now, here I am. Reading Outlive Your Life and writing a blog about exercise, diet and my journey to turn my rutted life around. I have a great husband, a beautiful dog, and a great job.  At this current second all my bills are paid (I think) and I have a roof over my head.  How can I feel so……..rutted?  Because somewhere along the way I took my eye off of the prize.  As I was reminded tonight, life is an endurance race.  I only get one life and I don’t want to let it just pass me by.  I was put here for a reason.  How dull is it that I’ve become so self-centered?  And why would I want to become so complacent? It’s boring.

Did I become this way intentionally? Of course not.  God has always blessed me.  I met a great man and married him. I’ve got a great job that helps me provide for our family.  We bought a house, a car and adopted a dog.  We are living the dream.  I have the freedom on the weekends to go to races or just train for whatever race I desire.  God has always been on my side. If I had a want, desire, or dream I feel like God has opened the door to make it happen. And when I reached the temporary prize in my life I lost sight.  I said, “Okay, thanks” propped my feet up and flipped on the TV and checked out.

So I guess the point of all of this is God has been pounding on my door for some time and I’ve been to whatever to even listen.  What is my purpose? Who knows? That’s part of my journey. Will I know at this end of this year when I’m at end of this little project? Who knows?  I just think that life is one of the best races I could ever participate in and just like every race I go to, I want to make the most out of it.

From Max Lucado’s book Outlive Your Life, “Here’s a salute to a long life: goodness that outlives the grave, love that outlasts the final breath. May you live in such a way that your death is just the beginning of your life.” Salute!

Max Lucado Outlive Your Life