Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Health and Fitness including running, cycling, and healthy eating

My 100 Day Running Streak and battle with Endometriosis

My 100 Day Running Streak and battle with Endometriosis

I am looking back at my 2014 training log (what I logged anyway) and it’s tragic. I did a 100 day running streak at the beginning of the year and completed 1 mile per day for 100 days as part of that running streak. By running, I totally mean walking. You see, I had intended then on getting back into running shape. The sad thing is my total mileage for 2014 was 162.1 miles.

Yep.

I only ran/walked an additional 62.1 miles in 2014. In my defense, there are some miles missing and I am not entirely sure why I didn’t log them, but I logged the time and everything else. As I was going through my journal tonight I happened upon some notes that I wanted to share. Before I share them I want to tell you a brief history of why I quit running in the first place.

I was diagnosed with Endometriosis in my early teens. I have a very high pain tolerance but menstruation was extremely painful for me and I would literally vomit from the pain. Along with the diagnosis came surgery, painfully long periods, bleeding outside of my period, and an additional diagnosis of infertility (Hello, three children?!). I often heard that pregnancy can help with the symptoms of endometriosis and it was slightly true for me. After having my boys, I didn’t seem to have as much pain though I can honestly say that labor was easier for me than my periods were.

100 Day Running Streak and my Battle with Endometriosis

After I had my daughter in 2008 the pain came back. I feel like it was a combination of my endometriosis and having a rough cesarian. Due to a complication with the placenta, a portion of my uterus was removed. That of course lead to more than normal scar tissue which when combined with endometrial tissue is painful.

Around 2012 it got to a point where I was consistently bleeding and made an appointment with a gynecologist. She recommended a few things, but we ultimately decided to try an IUD. After a few months, the IUD completely stopped my periods, but it did not stop my pain and random bleeding and I began having other symptoms.

I could manage them as long as I was pretty stationary. As soon as I began moving, the pain and bleeding would begin again. I could not run without pain and I had to wear pads because I would bleed. Even if I walked slowly (we are talking slower than a normal pace) I would bleed. I have notes at the end of my journal entries about my pain and bleeding. Nearly every day is marked with bleeding and pain.

I can’t tell you the number of times I started and stopped training in 2014 after my streak. I knew I was capable of running the goals I had set for myself, but my body had other plans.

I finally had enough in 2015 and removed my IUD. My cycles came back as normal for me as they were before (sidenote I think having the IUD made my PCOS worse. I don’t recommend anybody ever getting an IUD) and my mid-cycle bleeding hasn’t been too much. The pain? It’s still there. If I move a certain way, it is excruciating. I am tired all of the time. But, I refuse to let endometriosis stop me. The best thing is that I am slowly venturing back into exercise. While this may seem silly to some, it has been terrifying to me. As I mentioned, I know what I am capable of, but I am scared that my body isn’t ready.

I am trying to remain positive, and I feel like putting this out there could be a disaster. What if I have to stop again and somebody asks me why? It isn’t easy to say “My vagina bleeds every time I run”.

So, while I am having a great endo-day I will share some notes from my 2014 training log and my 100 day running streak.

Notes from my 2014 Training Log:

“Day 1 of 100 – Can I do it? 100 days; At least 1 mile running/walking everyday. Cycling DOES NOT count.”

“Day 6 of 100 – I know why people quit so easy.. because it is tough and doesn’t seem to be getting easier at times. I thought the only thing saving me is knowing what I’m capable of.”

“Day 8 of 100 – It was a “uhhhh don’t wanna” kinda day.. but I don’t regret doing it. Kept the treadmill at a slow pace again. It helps physically but mentally going slow sucks.”

“Day 20 of 100 – I made a little extra effort to celebrate 20 days straight. My legs were slightly heavy, but I felt fine/great/not bad. I stayed slow and steady. Had a cute little audience watching me..
And then BAM – The negativity..”Wow, your legs are so fat that they have dimples” – A grown ass lady should know tact. I’m unamused, and frustrated that she is always so negative about me, my running, getting into shape, and my body! UGHH! I’ve learned to just ignore the nasty comments, but it still hurts.”

“Day 32 of 100 – Dedication. Got home late after a busy day and squeezed this mile in at 10:30pm”

“Day 100 of 100 day running streak: As my final mile came and passed I thought about all the miles before and my goal for starting a 100 day streak. I wanted to get back into running shape, but my training journal shows that didn’t happen. I took the easy way out and did the bare minimum most days. I walked (slowly) instead of running. I didn’t accomplish my goal. I feel like I did 100 day streak and gained nothing.”

“FEW MONTHS LATER: It feels good to be getting back into running, even if its only .10 or .15 at a time.”

And that brings me to today, here I am again, feeling good to be able to run .10 to .15 miles at a time. Will it last? I don’t know, but I am certainly optimistic. In the meantime, if I stop running, you can just assume it is my reproductive organs to blame.

Do I plan on doing another 100 day running streak? Not anytime soon! For now, I am just building my base.

Our Signature McDonald’s Meal

Our Signature McDonald’s Meal

ftc-disclaimer

Total blogger fail, y’all. I had planned to start out this post by telling you the results to a Facebook poll about people’s signature McDonald’s meals. Somehow, I either never hit publish, or deleted that post! I can’t find it anywhere!

With that being said, I am often curious about other people’s eating habits. When I am in line behind somebody at the grocery store, I often sneak a peek at the items on the conveyor belt. When they order in front of me at McDonald’s, I listen to what they order. I call this “Food Watching”. Ya know, kinda like people watching, but for foodies ;)

I thought it would be fun to share with you guys what we order at McDonald’s along with the nutritional value of the meal.

Aybra’s Signature McDonald’s Meal:

Aybras Favorite McDonalds Meal

Chicken Nuggets, Kid Size Fry, Yogurt, and Chocolate Milk

Aybras Signature McDonalds Meal Nutritional Value

Losh’s Signature McDonald’s Meal:

Loshs Favorite McDonalds Meal

Chicken Nuggets, Kid Size Fry, Small Drink, Fruit

Loshs Signature McDonalds Meal Nutritional Value

Kaia’s Signature McDonald’s Meal:

Kaias Favorite McDonalds Meal

McDouble, Small Fry, Small Drink, Yogurt

Kaias Signature McDonalds Meal Nutritional Value

Life as a Convert’s Signature McDonald’s Meal:

Ok, I gotta say, my favorites are always switching. I am one of those people that hardly ever get the same food twice in a row. I am currently obsessing over this though:

Life as a Convert Signature McDonald's Meal - Chef Crafted Flavor

Cheft Crafted Maple Bacon Dijon Burger on Artisan with Fries (for the record, only one was mine)!

What is your signature McDonald’s meal order? 

Have you tried the new Chef Crafted Flavors? 

Makin’ Burgers – A McDonald’s MythBusting Experience

Makin’ Burgers – A McDonald’s MythBusting Experience

ftc-disclaimer

A few days ago I got to experience working at McDonald’s. Apparently, I was super excited about it because I shared about it on every single social media account I have. See:
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
YouTube

A group of bloggers (Ashley, Renee, and Stephanie) – not just myself – all got to work together. We were each assigned different stations. I happened to work the table (where the burgers are assembled).  Stephanie worked the drive-thru, Renee worked the table opposite me, and Ashley worked the front counter.

McDonald's MythBusting - Busting some common McDonalds MYTHS

Before we got to work, we had a little sit-down with the Owner, Ray Johnson (far right) and his daughter Mindy, and Director of Operations, Mike Shaffer (far left) and his son Reese.

 

We were informed that this particular location, built in a Chicago style (only about 20 of these exist) makes 3,000 to 3,500 sandwiches per day! Now, we were only there for a short time, but I would bet we made at least 100 burgers. That is not counting the chicken nuggets or salads that were also ordered. During that time I got up close and personal with how each sandwich was made. I just have to thank the worker that guided me through making each burger and told me (many, many times!) what went on each sandwich. She had to stop me or correct me a few times from making the wrong thing. It was definitely stressful making sure that I didn’t send a burger to somebody that had the wrong thing on it.

In my short time there, I was able to bust a few myths:

Despite what many people believe, McDonald’s burgers are 100% Beef.

Chicken nuggets are made with 100% chicken and a tempura batter.

The condiments have an expiration time, meaning once that time expires, they are tossed and replaced with fresh ingredients.

Items that require refrigeration are refrigerated.

The burgers are made to order.

Even the salads are made to order.

and finally, McDonald’s employees are not all young kids or “out of work” adults who only work there for a brief time. The lady that I worked with had been there for 3 years and was quite happy with her job. It allowed her to be home with her children when she needed to and she enjoyed working with her co-workers.

If you got to choose which job you wanted to do at McDonald’s which would you choose? 

30 before 30 – Final Check-In

30 Before 30

A few months after my birthday last year I created a 30 Before 30 list. This was a list of things that I wanted to do/accomplish before I turned 30. Some of these things were to help others, some were just completely selfish, and others were geared towards the blog. I just celebrated my 30th Birthday so I am here for a final check-in to see how I did. (Spoiler: terrible)

30before30.jpg

1. Take a trip somewhere out of Arkansas
Starting off on a bad note here. I did not accomplish this one. Some things came up and I ended up not having the funds to complete this one.

2. Kayak!
I wish I could say this one was done, but not yet… I found a local shop that will rent out Kayaks and one day I plan on going with Kaia to a little river and spending the day learning how to Kayak.

3. Grow my followers (Youtube, facebook, instagram, blog, etc)
Done! I have grown my followers about 500% over the last year. I am nowhere near where I want to be, but I believe in quality versus quantity.

4. Run an official 1/2 Marathon
Womp. Womp.. Didn’t do this. See #18.

5. Perfect winged eyeliner
I decided that winged eyeliner isn’t me, but I am pretty darn good at applying eyeliner to my top now, whereas I used to (and still mostly) only wear it on the bottom.

6. 30 Good Deeds
Done! Out of all of the things I wanted to do, I am the most glad I finished this one. Deeds ranged from paying for the next person in line, to pumping gas for people and giving large tips to waitresses. Of course this an ongoing one.

7. See a show
Nope! Didn’t do it.  No reason why not.. just didn’t happen :)

8. Memphis Zoo
This one was actually planned before my birthday, but never actually happened. It’s still in the works.

9. Run a 5K with Losh
Done! It was so much harder than I thought it would be as our stroller had 3 out of 3 flat tires! Despite being tough, it was fun and I want to do many more.

 

Ready….set….go…. #running #runchat #wheelchairrunning #orstrollerwhatever

A photo posted by Life As A Convert (@lifeasaconvert) on


10. See an Arkansas waterfall

Not yet..

11. Find a boyfriend?
Done! There was just something about going into my 30’s and still being single that was kinda depressing. While I didn’t go out looking for a boyfriend, one happened to fall perfectly into place in my life.

12. Get a pedicure (seriously, I’ve never had an official one)
In my defense, I did try to do this twice, but each time the salons were closed! 

13. Learn to French braid / cornrow
A month or so after making this list I ended up putting Aybra’s hair into dreadlocks and this became irrelevant (kinda). Once she gets older, if she decides she doesn’t want her hair in dreads anymore, I will take them out (hopefully without having to cut them out) and then have another go at this goal.

14. Increase my emergency savings fund!
Done! I still don’t have as much as I would like, but I am making progress. Baby steps, right?

15. Learn more about photography
I am on track with this one. I’ve been learning a lot about my camera and how to take better pictures with it. I think I want to expand this to say “Learn how to edit” also. I have a lot of pictures that just look boring to me, but know they could be amped up with some editing.

16. Pinnacle Mountain!
No. This is said to be a somewhat steep and rocky trail to the top of the mountain. I have to either go without Losh, or find a backpack to carry him in, and neither of those have happened yet. I’m debating if I want to just take him and carry him in my arms as far as I can, or see if my sister will watch him while I go. I just really hate doing things where he has to be left behind. Then again, I don’t want to put him, or myself, into a dangerous situation.

17. Attend a blogger event
Done! I’ve attended a few. Had a blast. Can’t wait to go to more. 

18. Regain fitness
Major fail here. I started taking some birth control to help with my Endometriosis and one of the side effects was weight gain. I’m talking massive weight gain here! I quit taking it, for that and other reasons. Though, I have slowly been losing weight the past few months, it has been hard (I also have PCOS and it is hard to lose weight, tho I can “maintain” a weight fine..) It isn’t as quick as I like, but I’d like to lose a few more pounds before jumping back into running. It’s just so depressing to not be able to run as fast as I used to!

19. Volunteer at soup kitchen
Not done.

20. Volunteer at animal shelter
Done! This is one of the most fun things to do as volunteer work. Being able to walk the dogs and play with them is a blast. Highly recommend volunteering at your local animal shelter. 

21. FREE HUGS!!
I’m still trying to talk my kids into this one. I want to hold up a FREE HUGS!! sign, but there isn’t really an area around here to do that as people don’t really walk around in our area. I need to travel out of town to do that, which isn’t really a problem, but has been conflicting with schedules. 

22. Start/Keep a Bible Study Journal
Done! I am slightly behind on it, but I have started one, and kept up pretty well with it. I am the kind of person that enjoys checking things off of a list and I created my new planner worksheets to include a little “scripture book” that I can color in when I have read my scriptures for the day, so that is motivation to read and study.

 

  I started a new journal when I began reading with my new chart. ❤ 📖   A photo posted by Life As A Convert (@lifeasaconvert) on


23. Read classic novels

I did not touch a single one. However, I did read a LOT more than normal for FUN and I still have a little pile of books on my night stand waiting to be read.

24. Record a prank video
Done! I’ve recorded little pranks throughout the vlog, but haven’t recorded a video that only contains a prank.

25. Write a poem for the blog
Done! I was surprised I actually did this one.

26. Create a Painting for the house
Nope. I had it in my head that I would go to one of those painting classes where you hang out with your friends and everybody paints a picture, but one, I have no friends that can go, and two, I have nobody to watch my kids.  I did receive a nice canvas quote from my secret sister and that has been added to my house.

27. Memorize 30 scriptures
Done!

28. Geocache!
This is in the works! I’ve gotten some information and we will be heading out on our first cache hunt soon. We will be incorporating these into our school year.

29. Re-brand the Blog (custom header/buttons/etc)
Semi-done. I do not have new buttons/heads/etc, but I did re-brand and figure out my niche across social media.

30. Visit Egwa!
This one changed over the year. It is no longer relevant.

As I finish writing this post, I am thinking that perhaps I should do a “After the Final” check in once I have completed every single thing on this list. Just because I am now 30 doesn’t mean that I suddenly changed my mind on completing these.. It just might take a while longer. I may just have to challenge myself to see if I can finish up this list while I am still 30.

Have you done anything on this list? or.. What is one thing you would like to do before your next birthday?