Running after ACL Surgery

Running,

I have a very strong love/hate relationship with running. I love it for various reasons:

  • It’s a great cardio workout – I can really get a great sweat and work my legs as well as my stability for rehabbing my knee.
  • It is me vs myself – I am competitive and I love breaking my own personal records, or challenging myself to push out more.
  • The runners high – nothing like it.
  • The perks of toning! – I love having track legs. I want them and need them in my life for vanity reasons.

I dislike it for various reasons as well:

  • It is very uncomfortable when you first start – those first 2-3 minutes always get me.
  • It makes me make oo ahh sounds – When I am pushing myself hard, the sounds just come out. Ha! I pray everyone wears headphones
  • It makes me sweat – I dislike sweating, but there are worse things
  • It is me vs myself – that little voice that wants comfort, she talks to me on the loudest volume setting in my brain. Trap music usually helps soften her voice. If I pretend I am trapping, then I hear her less.
  • It takes up most of my gym time – I run on my lunch break, and I have 1 hour to do whatever it is I need to do in the gym. 30 minute runs are the max that I can get in.

So as my recovery continues, I try to put a day in between running due to it not being 100% the muscles around the knee have to be strengthened and it takes a long time for it to happen. I typically limp the following day after running, and I incorporate some deep stretching to assist with my recovery day. I still go to the gym and focus on other muscle groups for variety.

I will say that I get stronger each week, and I am happy that my therapy is working out. This journey has me questioning if it will ever be 100%. Maybe and maybe not. I am okay with whatever, but I know I am determined to remain active.

Things I do in my spare time

In the midst of being an ambitious 30 something, I tend to pile a lot on my plate. Maybe I am just used to it being full, but as I get older, I realize that there is a good cause for rest and recovery (You read that right). When I am not on the R&R treck, I enjoy doing a few things:

Home improvement: I am ambitious in this area thanks to Pinterest. I want to do all the things! The latest thing I have accomplished, is reupholstering my chairs for my dining table. I want a new dining set, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the current one I have in my breakfast area. I wanted to make it work with what my idea was. My chairs are in need of some repair, I have had the set for at least a decade and with that comes wear and tear. If you add my daughter into the mix, you get what you get. Let me show you my before picture.

Yikes!

As you can see, a travesty. I packed up my kiddo, strapped her in the car seat, made sure I had a full cup of coffee, and we made our way to Hobby Lobby. I found this material here and asked for two full yards of fabric.

When toddlers add sequin to your basket because it’s “pretty”

The fabric was 30% off. I paid 13.00 for my fabric! I then went to Home Depot and bought a good staple gun with staples. Hobby Lobby had staple guns, but I wanted one that would take universal staples, versus being very specific. I always analyze what’s best long term vs. availability. I went to work and followed this guide I pinned to my home-board on Pinterest and…..

Stapling is therapeutic. I’m proud of my recovery and plan to do more rehabbing to the entire set. In due time. The next project? Painting my living room walls.

Cooking – I enjoy cooking as much as I enjoy eating. I love going to restaurants, trying out the food, and then going home to try and re-create it. The whole challenge of trying to nail it gives me this thrill. My latest obsession. Mushroom risotto. A few years back I visited a restaurant that made a mushroom risotto that had shrimp, scallops and spinach. It was everything and more. Risotto is a creamy rice that is similar to grits. If you like grits, you will potentially enjoy the amazing-ness that is risotto. Here is my final outcome of it.

Dancing/Working out I am working out more often now that I have my mobility back to 80% I love pushing my body to grow stronger. I enjoy a challenge. I love to see where I can go! I think I may need to seek out a trainer, I need the extra push and structure that one provides. As far as dancing goes I will Milly rock on any block! I just love to move! Music touches me in a way that makes me want to express who I am and that is an upbeat fun tempo, happy person. So, if you dare, challenge me!

Spend Time with God – This is very important to me. I spend the first few moments of my day and moments before bed to worship, to pray and to seek God in all that I do. He has never steered me wrong. I promise if you have a good prayer life, peace hits you differently. Journaling my thoughts and desires also helps.

What do you do in your spare time?

Heels, Books, and Planners

I have worn heels! It was one of my goals for 2019 was to wear heels again and I did that.

Now, wearing heels after a knee surgery is an anxiety filled experience, but it can be done. I have been working very hard on rebuilding the muscles around my knee with a regimen of cardio intervals on the treadmill, leg press, and some lunges, and glute exercises. I have my lunch break to achieve all of these moves 3-4 times a week and so far, I have really committed myself to it.

So I am a Happy Planner girl and I enjoy decorating/filling my planner up with many things. I am a visual person and enjoy crafting and sprucing up my planner to make it unique.

I used a template made for an Erin Condren Planner from Victoriathatcher.com and made it my own!

I mainly use it to keep myself accountable for the goals I set out for the week as well as remember things when they need to be remembered. What is in my planner besides roses, dogs, or random themed stickers are:

  • Cleaning list – My house is a whole maintenance job within itself. I did not realize that there is more to a home than equity and paying the mortgage. LOL There is dusting, washing windows, changing out things, and making sure that it looks good. It is a full time job!
  • What’s for Dinner? – Guys I have a meal calendar for what I am cooking for the week. It really helps me in the store when I am grocery shopping and helps me save money through the week by packing my lunch.
  • Birthdays, Holidays, Doctor Appointments – Life SAVER. I mean, between the meetings and various projects I manage at work, my short term memory needs all the help it can get. It helps me stay on track.
  • Book List – I have a book list inside of my planner. I am an avid reader and I can read anywhere between 2-5 books in a month, depending on what is on my plate. I love using my imagination and books serve me well in that department. I decided I wanted to keep track of what I was reading just to get a tally of how many books I will read this year.

Planner template was brought to you by https://momenvy.co/bookroo-review/

Overall, I am a planner, but life will get in the way of your plans and you have to find a way to smile when things decide to rearranges the idea in your head. My goal is no matter how far off the path life decides to take me, by me writing down my goals and plans, it makes me intentional on achieving them REGARDLESS of any hurdles.

Do you have a planner? If you do please share? If not tell me how you do it all!

2018 Recap

2018 was interesting. I started it out with goals, hopes, and a list! Well, when God makes a move or a shift in your life, he makes a move! In 2018 I started out with a few goals let me give you an update on those items:

Create a Savings Plan

I stated in my previous post that I wanted to do a 52 week savings plan of 5,000.00 along with the Dave Ramsey savings tips, and I did that!  Mission accomplished. I am still following Ramesy’s baby steps and I encourage you to buy his book (audio, kindle, nook, hardcover, etc) and participate in one of his financial peace university courses. He is a wealth of resource!

Be more committed to fitness

I did just that.

I was working out 5 times a week, having lunch dates with friends to run hills, eating right, and then………I managed to tear my ACL and partially tear my meniscus in my knee. That had me set back most of  the end of 2018. It was one of the most trying injuries I have ever had. I had a full work load, a very busy 4 year old, and I was in grad school! I managed somehow to do all of it, with a strenuous physical therapy schedule in the mix!

Physical therapy is no fun, but the payoff in the end is worth all of the tears and pain. Also, guess what?! As of Monday, I am back running! This took 5 months to accomplish, and if it was not for my awesome physical therapist at Select Physical Therapy, I would not be as functional as I am today.

I plan on taking the running and getting back into my full blown workout schedule as my progress in physical therapy lets me. My goal? To walk in heels. All 6 ft of me needs to sashay through the Houston streets! Ha! I have also started my new year off with a very basic vegan diet. I am doing it more for spiritual reasons (The Daniels Fast) and, the fast is basically where you only consume, fruits and vegetables. For 21 days you are not to consume any dairy, breads that are not whole grain, sugars, etc. I paired this fast with a journal challenge and devoted time to God. I have lost some weight, and with me not being able to run up until this week, I was concerned that all my hard work in 2018 was being flushed down the drain.

I really enjoyed the fast and being vegan allowed me to try new recipes that brought about a lot of wonderful flavors. I highly recommend trying out black bean vegan enchiladas.

Source: LightOrangeBean.com

This was by far my favorite recipe during this fast. Click for the recipe here. I learned with this fast that the discipline of taking care of myself is as important as my relationship with God. I recommend giving your body a good break from meat if you can manage it.

Utilize my power in saying No

I said no to a lot in 2018 and I do not plan on stopping that this year. It is a powerful thing.

Graduate Grad School

I did it! In December of 2018, I walked across the stage with a Masters in Business Administration.

Had to add my own touch to my cap! Proverbs 16:3

You guys know I wasn’t paying for those expensive photos!

Me, Sharde, full time mom, full time employee, a woman with a torn acl, busy personal life, all the above, managed to make it through. I thank God for giving me the motivation and determination to push through all the trying times with a peaceful mindset. The reason I set out to accomplish this? To show my daughter what black girl magic looks like, to show her that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to despite the circumstances, and to finish what I had started.

So let’s see what 2019 has in store!

2018 So Far

I’M LATE POSTING THIS BECAUSE LIFE!!

There are a few things that I intended on accomplishing this year. I have a list! (The real question is, when do I not have a list?!)

  • Create a Savings Plan
    • I am using the Dave Ramsey methods, and I recommend his book Total Money Make over and the use of his envelope system. This is where you get your power back when it comes to spending and saving money! 51ayznq412bl

 

  • I also upped my 52 weeks savings plan from just saving by what week it was in the year to attempting to take the 5,000.00 52 week money challenge. We will see how this will work out this year. I have faith! If you want to follow it is never too late to save a dollar and some!

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  • Be more committed to fitness
    • I now work out 4-5 times a week. I typically only can dedicate one hour to fitness in my day and I make sure It is worth it. I have a plan and a purpose. I just want to make sure that heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases are kept at bay. I also want legs like I had when I was in track. It is going to happen people! I joke with my friends all the time about how I want to look like edible arraignments LOL. Now even some of them are jumping on that whole snack bandwagon!
    • I follow some pretty inspiring people on the “Gram” @FitfoodieLe @FollowtheLita @MassyArias are a few people who I am truly inspired by. I feel like they offer something I can truly benefit and can learn from.
    • I plan to run 5 or more 5k runs this year as well.
  • Utilize my power in saying No
    • *big sigh* Hi, my name is Sharde and I am a person who seems to over commit myself to everything. I am the go – to in my family, friends, and many others because, well my heart is that big. I sometimes forget about myself in that equation like, how am I going to be at two birthday parties that start within 30 minutes of each other? I have learned to send a “I can’t make it” Or a firm no with zero explanations. I feel empowered and like I am taking care of myself when I use the word no. There has to be a recharge period for me and a reset. If I do not take care of me, how will I be useful to anyone else.
  • Graduate Grad School
    • I do not know if I have really mentioned to anyone BUT! I am in school. Inspiration behind is I intended on accomplishing this in 2014, but God had other plans for me that year. I had my daughter and put the degree on the back burner. I picked it up in the summer last year and I will complete the task this year! So far,  I have been doing great with my studies, and when the time is right, I will make moves that align with my career goals.

So far life has been great this year. I hope to cover some interesting topics on my blog, such as life or responsibility as a single mother, trying to have a fitness regimen while being a single mama, empowering yourself, and learning to go with the flow in those times that things do not go according to our plans.  Hope that someone can take my life lessons and apply them to their life.

Guess Who Is BACK?!

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Yes,

It is I. I went ghost there for a minute, but I really really enjoyed blogging about my life. What am I up to these days?

  1. Full Time Mom -I love every aspect of this job, it is purposed for me to do this. Who knew that when God had plans, he wanted me to do this?! God showed out and I have the best daughter in the world! She is sweet, smart, sassy, and she is my best friend and my heartbeat outside of my body! We dance, do arts and crafts, play, travel, have conversations about My little Ponies and so much more. For 3 she can really tell me how she wants things done.

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  1. Part Time Grad Student – I decided to finish my Masters and show my daughter what black girl Magic looks like directly in her household. I only have 6 classes left!
  2. Traveling Often – I have been in and out the country like it was nothing. Flight sales have been ridiculous this year and I love a good sale!
  3. Cooking like Chef Curry – Ayesha Curry that is. I love to cook it gives me joy and I love to eat food. It is my love language TE AMO!
  4. I am a homeowner! Best moment EVARRRR! I mean the fact that I have an ability to provide a suburban lifestyle to my child is priceless. I always wanted to have a home with a deed restriction and HOA fee and look at God giving me my portion and so much more. I am currently obsessed with home improvement. I enjoy the labor intensiveness of it all.

That is the gist of it, and being that I love this time of year, I am knee deep into Elf on a Shelf, Having Christmas explode all over my home, presents galore, and projects with my daughter. We have played in the snow, had breakfast with Santa, built a GingerBread House, made an ugly sweater, took Holiday photos, went to look at lights. You name it we are doing it! This is the most cheerful time of the year for us!

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I have been working out but for the Christmas holiday I have NOT been the most disciplined. So maybe I will lump myself in with the New Year New Me fitness group except, I love fitness and working out so I typically go for the gold when I go! I have been every size from skinny to slim thick, to thick! Either way I’m sexy sexy. It is a mindset!

But that is all for now I look forward to getting back to my blogging.

New Hair Who Dis?

 

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New hair who dis?

I cut my hair into a short pixie hair style. My stylist at Fab the Salon has done it again. She does amazing work and has worked with me being difficult as a client. I am very particular because I wear my real hair and I have been victimized by a previous stylist who was scissor happy but she did that! You can check out her work on Instagram and her website here.

Over all I feel it encompasses my personality. I’m sassy, spicy, energetic, and positive. I have been working on my fitness goals and I am conditioning myself to try to run a 5k with ease. I have come to that point in my life where no pain no gain and nutritional balance is a must. So far I am doing really well.

 

I have been using the Couch 2 5k app and I love it. It is not that demanding and is slowly conditioning me to breathe properly watch my form and run comfortably. The only concern I have is my hair! Once I figure out how to maintain it in between salon visits I should be good. Working out is a must and pretty hair is also mandatory. What is a girl to do?

 

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In baby news, London is saying and repeating words so very clear now. I cannot believe how big she is growing! I love that she is learning about her world and i am there to witness her do it. It’s such a blessing ya’ll.In maturity and growth news. Letting things go that are not in your control and giving it all to God is a HARD thing to do when you are a control freak. We all like to think we have some sense of control, right. Control can mean security. But I have realized in my walk and my experiences that faith in God and Jesus eases that worry, eases that anxiety and I mean on any topic. You just have to get into the habit of casting all cares on him. That has been my best ally in this life. Because I want to have a good life. In order to have a good life (Not to be confused with perfect) I have to place my faith in things working out the way God wants them to and not to my human and flesh expectations. Forgiveness and love wins always. New Personal Growth who dis?! LOL

 

I hope that those who read my blog can find my words and my experiences I share to encourage them in times of need or give them that push that they need to make it through the day. Adjust those pretty crowns and walk like the Queen you are. God does not make mistakes and he believes in his work. So you are perfection in his eyes. Until the next update!

 

Things I’m Doing This Week

The things us parents do,

 

I normally do so much in just one day, hour even week, I honestly look back at things and say to myself how on earth do I accomplish doing all of this?! I just do.

It is Valentine’s week and before when I was not a parent, all I wanted was romance (Who doesn’t like their significant other to show them some love?!). In addition to the singular version of V-day, I now also now have to include my little one into that mix. Including her to me means that I like to dress her up and send out cards to the masses.  So that involves some minor planning. I do not know if I can top last years card. I mean it was pretty ca-yute!

 

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See. this is going to be tough.

This year I decided to make a card myself and take cute pictures but my little toddler would not comply! I opted to use an old photo and make my own card.

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My sister thought that this little creation was so good, that she suggested I start a small business and make invitations and such.Possibly! On top of that, most schools and daycares are big on V-day so, there is a teacher gift as well as kiddo gifts (candy) involved. Since my little one is a toddler I wanted to incorporate a Toddler friendly inexpensive Valentines environment.

I decided to create a vision of sorts of course for Valentines day and that for me requires a vision board. My form of a vision board is Pinterest. It’s free and FULL of creative ideas. If I want to bring an idea to life, chances are Pinterest can help me find the tools and resources to bring it to life. It is seriously the best! So on my baby board (I think that I should create a toddler board at this point because my baby is no longer a baby anymore *sniffles*) I pinned a few ideas.

Teacher Love

you're the balm printable tags - skinny

 

 

For the daycare instructors, because they are the best, and take care of my love all day, I like to show them appreciation. So I decided to give them some flavored lip balm and print out this item on card stock. I found the idea on Pinterest via the Simple As That Blog  just in case you want to snag this idea and use it for yourself!

I also pinned some pretty cool ideas for Toddler V-day ideas. I am not a fan of giving my little one candy, due to the high content in sugar as well as the majority of candy being a choking hazard. So I opted to give out squeezable Apple Sauce packs. This is what the finished products will look like for her class:

Toddler Valentines Gifts

 

I found this wonderful free Printable (Applesauce not included lol) at the Funky Polkadot Giraffe Blog. To us Toddler moms this is epic! I love this idea! It’s perfect it’s not messy like cupcakes and not a choking hazard! It’s also extremely COST EFFECTIVE. So London will have about 5 Main Squeezes this year. I think her teachers will love me!  Her TEACHERS LOVED IT!!!!!

They also made me this for her. It was so wonderful!

 

 

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I will be def putting this little gem up in my home!

So this is what I am working on on top of other things. I also have to carve out time to spend with God, Choir Practice, Working out, Working, Cooking, Cleaning, Dog-Momming, Personal Life, and watching TV! Whew Can I do it? YES. And if it doesn’t all get done? Pray to God to help me prioritize my life. God has it all and I go to him for EVERYTHING!  Take Care loves!

Battle of the Post Holiday Weight Gain

Weight Gain meme

 

Did any of you over do it like me this past holiday and gain weight like me?

Who am I kidding? With me breastfeeding for the majority of 2015, I let my eating habits go awry, anything and everything I wanted, I ate inhaled. Now all that post baby weight I lost, is pretty much toast. I’m back to my normal weight which is not bad, but for me, I know that I can do better. I can tell by the bloat that the carbs I’ve been inhaling are not doing my body any good. So, it’s time to get my food portions and meals in order. I’m not going to go on a juice or tea detox, because it takes a lot to oil this 6 foot machine! I am just going to do some meal planning and eat less processed foods, eat more veggies and fruits, and drink more water. I’ve done this before if you have been following my blog posts.

I am also back in the gym! I started back last week and it felt glorious! The Fitbit is the reason ‘m back full fledged.

Fitbit

Image Source: FitBit.com

I bought a Charge HR(In purple!!!!) to inspire me to get off my butt and on me feet as well as track my heart rate. What I didn’t think would happen was my competitive spirit to kick into full blast! On the Fitbit app you can add friends, and can challenge them during the week, cheer their progressions and taunt them in competitions. It’s an amazing device and they have many different kinds.I got this one on sale during the holidays and I must say it’s one of my best purchases in 2015.You can check out the various Fitbits here. Today I did about 45 minutes of intervals on the elliptical, as well as took 5 flights of stairs back to my desk and took the 15 minute ab class they offer at the gym at work. I also make sure to track my food and connected my Fitbit to the wonderful app MyFitnessPal which helps you track your food and helps you set goals for eating. Before I put something in my body I will put it in MyFitnessPal to see if it’s a good food or a bad food. Food planning helps and they even help you set goals for exercise and things. I really love the app and it helped me lose 25lbs a few years ago. I am SO excited that I am back on track and I can bring you guys some great fitness content and potential yummy recipes  soon. I am so happy to be on my journey again!

 

 

New Year! New Goals!

Image provided by: http://www.padhokhelo.com/

 

It is a New Year! We are blessed to see another day. We are also blessed to make some new focuses and goals!

I know we all have something we are grateful for in this new year. I know I do. I have a few goals that I want to accomplish this year and I think that they are manageable I just have to put in the work. Because without works, you cannot have anything right?

Goal number 1,  To start a gratitude journal

  • My goal is to write at least 5 things I am grateful for everyday. I think this will help me to be more optimistic and more faithful with the blessings and things I already have!

Goal number 2, Save Money

  • I have to focus on saving more money because my future goals require capital. I want to focus on more of what I need vs more of what I want and that is to be as debt free as possible. It just will put me in a better position to have funds for the home I dream of owning one day.
  • Nwo youot only does saving money help out a good home down payment, it will also benefit me to have additional funds to travel with my little. I started out doing a few challenges and one of them is the penny challenge. I can save a total of 667.00 for the year. That is basically a good flight somewhere cool or fun for me and the little to go with a little extra change left over for a fun souvenir! I have family and friends all over the United States so this would benefit me greatly to visit my loved ones.  How the penny challenge works is you save a cent a day. So day one(January 1st) you save $0.01 cent, day two save $0.02 cents and you add more cents as the year progresses. You end up with approximately $667.00. You can save backwards (start off at $3.67 and work your way down to $0.01 if that helps you) too and even up the ante to a dollar a day if you want to save let’s say $6,667.00 (WOW! Right!).
  • Another way to save is to to the weekly dollar saving plan. There are 52 weeks in a year and each week you add a dollar accordingly. So week one is $1.00 and week 2 is $2.00. by the time you are done with the year you should have saved $1,378.00 which is substantial.Check it out here on how to get started with this challenge if you are interested  You can even save it backwards to save the larger amounts first and work on the smaller amounts last.

Goal number 3, To be a healthier me

  • The best gift you can give your family is a mentally, spiritually, and physically fit version of yourself. A lot of people think that the physical aspect is the only thing you have to work on but no, renewing our mind, our faith, our perseverance, our peace, our personal selves is the best gift we can give to ourselves and those around us. So I plan to devote more time to praying, reading my bible, fasting if needed, and I also bought a fitbit to increase my daily activity to try to maintain the physique I am at at this point in my life.

Goal number 4, To have more peace

  • I refuse to let anyone try to mess up the peace I have in my life I have learn to not be influenced by others and the emotions or actions they try to inflict in my life. Peace is priceless. I will not allow any other person’s dysfunction or disobedience to God to encroach or try to take up space in my life. God has been too good to me for me to mess up the blessings he has given me and will continue to give me in my life.

Make sure you write your goals down and have them somewhere were you can view them everyday. Also make sure you have a plan! Make sure it is obtainable! You can even go as far as tracking your progress, or creating a vision board (A modern day vision board would be Pinterest)

I have noticed on some social media sites, that there are people being critical of others for wanting to improve themselves for the better for the new year. When I see such criticism I ask those of you creating goals or writing them out socially to refer to Jeremiah 17:8 “Such trees are not bothered by the heat.” You are the tree and the opinion of others should bear no weight on your goals. Also, if you see a person trying to claim or wanting to do better for the new year and you know that they are struggling in certain areas, be that friend that encourages them when their endurance gets low. It makes a difference. You could single-handedly be the catalyst for their growth. That’s all I have to say about the berating of those with goals and dreams for the New Year.

 

What are your goals for the New Year? Feel free to share. I think 2016 is going to be an amazing year, a lot of work,but amazing nonetheless!