Thursday, March 28, 2013

Saving Babies Lives, One Step At A Time

Today marks a day that changed our family's lives forever.  Eight years ago today, a baby was born.  Her name is Kaydence and we try to do what we can in her memory.  She was born far too early to stay here with us. The doctors said there was nothing they could do. The parents were experiencing a nightmare that far too many people have to endure.

From the Team Kaydence Website:

We are the Plunkard family from Evans City, PA. Our journey with the March Of Dimes began in 2005 when our world was turned up side down. On March 28th, 2005 our daughter was born at 22 weeks gestation. She weighed 1lb and was 10 ½ inches long. Kaydence lived for 47 minutes, and since then we have made it our lifetime goal to put a stop to premature birth. That year we joined forces with the March of Dimes, and since then we have raised over $31,000.
We do some fundraisers during the spring to try to raise money for the organization that helped our family members when they needed it. We are forever grateful for the March of Dimes and what they do for families across the country during the darkest days of their lives.

My family will be walking again this year to help in just one way that we can. We will be walking in Pittsburgh, along the city streets with a crowd of thousands as we remember those that are not with us, honor those who received the care they needed to be here and those that are not here with us yet but are fighting to make it.

How can you help? You can make a donation to Team Kaydence as we fight for babies lives. My page is up and ready to accept donations, in any amount.  Every single dollar helps in the fight against premature birth and birth defects.

We are also hosting a Virtual 5K/10K/15K to help in the fundraising efforts for Team Kaydence. You can sign up here and help us help those families that need it or the couples that are fighting to start a family.

If you are local and would like to join us as we walk, let me know, we would love for you to join us!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Setting a Good Pace

I have been busy.  Life, just like for everyone else I know, has been busy.  We have had something to do every weekend, each weekday is full of places to go, work to do, things that need done, etc. Some days I feel like I am on a hamster wheel that won't stop and I can't get off or everything will fall apart. 

I think I can say that things are starting to sort of calm down.  We are getting into a nice, even pace with our schedules.  Strangely enough, the school year is quickly winding down and we have less than 50 days of school left before summer break.  I feel like when summer arrives, our pace will be a dream  The only thing I will have to worry about is going to work and fitting in fun time with the kids. 

I am still working part time between 20-25 hours a week. Chuckie is still doing running club two days a week, Jada has track after school five days a week and dance classes two nights a week.  Lincoln isn't involved in any extra activities but having to take him to school everyday seems like it's an activity.  Chuck's work hours are up and down but always at least 40 a week.

I know this is a normal schedule for so many people but when it is your own schedule, you feel like it is so rough haha.

My car died on me 3 weeks ago so I have been driving Chuck's new (to him) Tahoe that we bought so he wouldn't have to drive his old beater truck.  Guess what he is back to driving?! Poor guy, we bought the Tahoe and 3 days later, my truck died.  We need to have it towed to a dealer to hook it up to the computer system to find out what is wrong with it.  I would like to do that this weekend but finding the time is nearly impossible. However, we need to make the time because he deserves to drive his new car and I miss mine oh so very much!

I'm really hoping the problem with my car is minimal and inexpensive and not the entire computer system that could cost an arm and a leg. I may have to sell a kidney on the black market if that's the case!

The kids are good, we are good, life is good and we are trodding along in the day to day reality of life. I figured I would post this so that you all know that I do other things besides working out, running and fitness challenges!

Monday, March 18, 2013

What is Your Word? A Review and Giveaway!


When I began running and working out more, I struggled.  I would get out on the road and start and I'd have to stop after awhile because I just didn't have the endurance or stamina to keep going.  The advantage to running outside was that I could use visuals to continue on by saying to myself, okay just run to that telephone pole, then that green mailbox, just make it to the top of that hill, etc.

 It actually worked for me and I began running farther and was able to keep going.  However, just those small goals weren't quite enough, I began having to talk to myself out loud.  Some things I would say, you can do this, how bad do you want to fit into your clothes that are too tight and my personal motto, you are worth this!

I was online one day and came across a site that was promoting a company that carries merchandise that is perfect for those that need the motivation to get their workouts in and keep going. Endorphin Warrior is an online company that can provide you with those words of encouragement when you need it most. 

They carry bracelets, rings, shirts, hats and even keyrings.  There are plenty of words or phrases to choose from.  I had a hard time deciding which word I wanted to receive because they are all perfect. I could see that most of the words would inspire me to just keep moving forward.  I chose "Unbreakable" for my bracelet because when I don't feel like working out or I am hurting physically, I push myself to do it.  When life has me stressed out, worn out and feeling down, I just push myself to keep doing it. Here is a photo of my bracelet:
I absolutely love it! It is comfortable, fashionable and lightweight.  It fits great on my wrist and to ensure that everyone can wear theirs, they tell you how to measure your wrist for the bracelets.  I have small wrists so initially, that was something I was worried about.  I didn't want to have a bracelet that was always moving up and down my arm or nearly falling off.  This is just perfect.

I have been wearing my bracelet daily for a week and have had no issues at all. It has a snap closure so it is easy to get off and on. 

Endorphin Warrior is also encouraging young kids to run and get physically active by donating $1 from every order in March to support a local youth running club for lower-income kids!  My 12 year old son participates in a school running club so I love that this company is giving back to the community! 

Also, during the month of March, they are giving customers a FREE dog tag/key ring to anyone who places an order on their website!

Would you like to get your hands on your very own Warrior Training Bracelet with the word or phrase of your choice?! I thought is your chance! The folks at Endorphin Warrior and I are working together to give one of my readers their very own bracelet!  Make sure you check out the details below for your chance!

The Giveaway Details:
For your entry into the giveaway, please follow the directions below. I will use to draw a winner.  The giveaway will end on March 31st so be sure to enter today! Please make sure you comment for the mandatory entry.  On March 31st, a winner will be chosen and an email will be sent to get your shipping information along with your wrist measurement and keyword or phrase choice. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen. Thank you for entering, be sure to spread the word!

Mandatory Entry:  Please leave a comment on this post telling me which keyword or phrase you would like to receive. Feel free to tell me why also.

Additional Entries:

Like Endorphin Warrior on Facebook by clicking here and come back and let me know you did.

Follow Endorphin Warrior on Twitter here and come back and let me know you did.

Like Rediscovering Me on Facebook here and come back and let me know you did.

Subscribe to The Balance of Us either in the RSS feed or through Google Friend Connect, the links are on the right sidebar. Come back and let me know you did.

Tweet about this giveaway, you can tweet about the giveaway and come back and leave a comment with the link to your tweet.

An example of a tweet:
"I just entered to win an Endorphin Warrior Training Bracelet at, you should check it out!"


Good luck!!!

Disclaimer: I received an Endorphin Warrior Training Bracelet for reveiw and the winner of this giveaway will receive one as well. I was not compensated monetarily for my opinions and the opinions are my own.  I really do love this product and encourage my readers to get one for themselves.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stepping It Up and Having Fun!

I am so excited and thrilled to get involved in a running event that is like none other!  It is full of fun, mud, slides, obstacles and FOAM!  It is called FoamFest 5K and I am so looking forward to this event!!  It is right up my ally.  I love running, I love mud and who in the world wouldn't want to act like a kid and go through fun obstacles with foam?! 

There are a bunch of fun obstacles at the events that are located all across the country.  You can check out the obstacles here. I have looked at every single one of them and I get more excited each time I see a picture of them!

I can't wait to get a photo looking like this:
I have been running pretty consistently since the fall but I have no idea how exactly to train for this event. I mean, how do you train for going down a huge inflatable slide, trudging through a huge mud pit or running across the water on rafts?!  It sounds hard but at the same time, it sounds insanely fun! 
We are getting a team together to do this event and it is going to be beyond what any of us are imagining, I am sure of it. 
Again, this event is going on all over the country so you can check out if there is a location near you here.  I am doing the Pittsburgh, PA event on June 15th so I have plenty of time to hear about the other locations and train the best I can.  If you would like to join me, please let me know because we are welcoming team members for this epic event!
If you would like to start your own team for your local event, there is a great perk to being on a team!  Any team with 5 or more members, will receive a $10 coupon to the merchandise store! 
If you want to learn more about this crazy event, you can read all the FAQ's here.
Also, here are a few other places you can follow Foam Fest 5K!
So, what are you waiting for?!  Go sign up now!!
 Disclaimer: In exchange for this post, I am being given free entry into this event.  I am not being monetarily compensated and I have expressed my own opinions. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

MAMAVATION MONDAY: Challenges, Weight Loss and A Place for Me

Today marks the beginning of the new two week challenge through Mamavation and I couldn't be more excited to get started.  I decided to go with the advanced workouts because I feel I am in pretty good shape and should be able to push myself through the workouts.  They do not look easy though! 

I am taking part in two other challenges at the same time.  I am doing a challenge on DietBet.  A site where there is an incentive to losing!  That's right, you put money in to the bet and at the end all the people that make it to the goal, win a portion of the pot! The pot is sitting at $880 right now and there are several winners but even if I just make my money back, I will be happy. 

I am also doing another challenge with my friend, Kat, on her Fitness Rebooted group on Facebook.  Some of the best motivators for me are accountability.  I don't want to let others down and so I strive to do well and maintain that level that is necessary to fulfill the challenges. 

I have already lost some weight and I am staying within a range that I am happy with until I really get going.  The DietBet challenge and the two week challenge end at the same time so I am hoping it works well to get the last bit of weight off I need to to get where I need to be for one and it jumpstarts my 8 week challenge to lose 10 pounds.  If I can do that, I will be over the moon happy.  If I don't reach that goal, I still know that I will be more physically fit than I am now. 

I have lost about 3-4 pounds in the last two weeks and I am staying within .5-1lb of that range.  I am happy about that.  I am trying to change my eating habits, which isn't always easy.  My biggest challenge with food and eating habits is my carbs....I love pasta, potatoes, breads, etc.  I do try to switch to whole grain when I can. 

I created my own page on Facebook, called Rediscovering Me. It is a place for me to post things that I want to post and not get annoying on my own personal page. 

This week, I hope to complete all my workouts presented to me for the Mamavation 2 week challenge and continue to run as well.  I have a personal goal and I hope to reach that.  I have been running every other day so I want to continue on that track for a record number of miles in March. 

“This post is sponsored by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I realize that not everyone is like me.  I know that I am one of a many ways ha!  I realize that not everyone wants to hear about my running, my workouts, my health and fitness posts, etc. 

I came across a Facebook status of someone on my friends list and she said,
"I am so sick and tired of seeing people post about their workouts on here.  We get that you are going to the gym and working out, nobody cares!" 

Then, one of those funny e-cards that said,

"Unless you fell and smacked your face on the treadmill, I don't want to hear about it!"
A few people then commented on the post about how stupid people share about everything they do, whether it is running to the store or sleeping 8 hours.  I thought the e-card was funny (it did make me laugh a bit) but it also sort of rubbed me the wrong way.  I understand that there are a lot of people who are not into running or working out and I get that they don't always want to hear about it.  However, isn't that what social media is?!  Aren't these sites a way for us to connect to others, to share what is going on in our lives?  This is a huge part of my life right now.  I am trying to get healthy, I am trying to reach some goals and I am trying to improve myself. 

In the short time since I began running, I have felt my body change, I have felt my attitude about myself change and become just a bit more positive.  I can't help but feel the urge to share that.  Some people on the social media sites are my family and this is the only way we have contact so there are some who may want to know what I'm doing.  It's not like I am sharing any of my bathroom habits or anything. 

I have gotten ridiculed by our friends for the fact that I share stuff on Facebook but I have been in social media circles far longer than Facebook has been popular so I probably have a different way of doing things.  I don't ever say anything to them about it, I just laugh or shrug it off but who cares what I say on there?!  Why does it really matter to them? 

I am on a personal journey.  I am reaching goals, I am feeling confident and I am changing my life and maybe even my family's life by doing the things I am doing.  I am not ashamed of that.  I am not going to stop posting my accomplishments simply because someone is tired of seeing posts about people working out. 

In the past, I probably would have stopped posting my workouts or runs because I would have wanted people to like me and I wouldn't have wanted anyone talking about me but you know what? I don't care anymore.  I am at a point in my life where I don't have the time to worry about what so-and-so are saying about me or if they unfriend me. 

I have a choice to either workout or not workout, to run or not to run.  I have a choice to share these accomplishments or not share them. When I post these things....people have a choice to read them or keep on scrolling, to unfriend me or not unfriend me. I am making the choice to better myself and workout.  I am making the choice to share my accomplishments with the world because I am proud of myself for it! I am also choosing to be unapologetic about it, because I am me.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


As a part of the Mamavation group, I have found some great opportunities to take part in.  I have participated in Twitter parties, which are really fun because the group of ladies are really great and they are so very funny.  The term sistahood is thrown around a lot but it really is a sisterhood of dedicated, motivated and determined ladies.  The ladies are there for you no matter what the issue is.  It doesn't even need to be fitness related for them to be there to listen. 

I took part in a two week challenge in October into November and it was one of the best fitness programs I have ever done.  It was all done at home and we had the chance to work with Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser.  I had access to his workouts on his website and although they were short workouts, they were intense and they worked so many muscles that I didn't even know that  I had!  I lost some weight but even more importantly, I felt my body change.  I was leaner, I was stronger and I was feeling so good. 

I just signed up for another two week challenge that will be starting in two weeks with Mamavation.  I have looked over the workouts and they are not easy.  I don't want an easy workout though because part of pushing myself to do the hard things is that I feel better after doing them and I know that I can do things that I didnt' think I could do. 

If you haven't ever looked into the Mamavation group, you should.  You will not regret it one bit.  This isn't just about weight loss.  It is about being held accountable, being supported, being motivated and changing your health for life....not just a short term craze.