December 11, 2012

Still Here and Still Running!

Hey, ya'll!

It's been far too long since my last post here, and for that I apologize.  I was working 2 part time childcare jobs, but now I'm down to one.  I really enjoy interacting with the kids, but it's exhausting!  (As anyone with children can tell you; that kids take a LOT of work!)  And there are 12 kids at the daycare where I work!  I'm not alone with the kids either; there's always at least one other childcare provider there, and usually 2 others.

Anyway, I've been exhausted but somehow have gotten back into running.  I'm getting used to it again, so my body doesn't have as many aches and pains as it once had.  Which is great!  Although right now, I'm battling a painful case of shin splints.  I'm icing my shins as I type this!  But there's almost no back or shoulder pain anymore, and no more foot arch ache at all, which is such a blessing!
I'm really enjoying running!  I was able to buy a new running outfit that fits me better, so I'm much less self-conscious now, and I look like a hardcore runner!  This inspires me to run harder and be better.
Growing up in Ohio, in the winter months, it was bitter cold and below freezing most of the time, and I was a wimp and could not stand to try to run outdoors.  But here in gorgeous, gray Seattle, I run outside almost every day and I love it!  It's typically in the 40's here in the winter, unless it's snowing, then it's a bit colder.  So I'm usually cold on my runs when I first start, but in no time I'm toasty.  Facing the extreme weather is no longer a daunting, intimidating, dangerous task!   Although, I have yet to get used to the idea of the sun setting at 4:30pm around here in the winter!  So I've been wearing my cool little green flashing LED light clip during those times.  Safety first my friends!

September 25, 2012

I Love My Asics!

This is a similar shoe style to the Asics running shoes that I own, and let me tell you how much I absolutely love them!  I've always needed a bit more stability & support from my running shoes, but I tried a super-supportive pair a few years ago and was immediately plagued with severe shin splints that lasted for 6 months, and only ceased when I switched to a different kind of running shoe. 

I had heard numerous people say that Asics in general had more support and stability than most other brands, which intrigued me.  I'm an overweight runner trying to get back into the habit of running, and so I decided to give Asics a try.  (And it helped that I found them on clearance at DSW shoe store!)  They work great!  No knee, hip, or back pain, and only very slight shin pain.  Yay for Asics!

I've also tried Nike shoes, but they are too narrow and just seem too small for my foot in general.  The Nike shoes I had were very low-slung shoes, and didn't have enough material to completely encase my foot, and when they were tied, it seemed like my foot was going to burst through at any moment.  Very strange, and unfortunate, because I love all things Nike and I especially love their bright, vibrant colors and designs.  *sigh*

Asics look more, how should I say this?  Utilitarian.  And perhaps they are.  It would be nice if I could find some affordable Asics at DSW shoe store that were brightly-colored and super-cool.  Maybe someday I will!

What about you?  What are your favorite running shoes and why?  Have you encountered some shoes that simply don't work for you?


August 31, 2012

North Creek Trail in Mill Creek, WA

A couple of days ago, a church friend and I ran along the North Creek Trail in Mill Creek, Washington.  This 2.5 mile-long trail runs behind the Mill Creek Town Center, a large outdoor shopping & dining complex that is very dog-friendly. 

The trail is relatively flat (except for just a few spots of incline), wide enough to run 2 or 3 people wide, or to run with a dog or two.  The trail feels secluded because it's nestled on the shadowy edge of woods.  This is quite probably my new favorite trail, and the best part is:  it's only a mile or two away from my house, so it's very convenient! 

I was born & raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and there are not many easily-accessible trails.  If you want to find a path or trail to run or walk on, you need to use a high school track, or go to some sort of state or county park.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, there are a tremendous number of easily-accessible trails, parks, and scenic paths to enjoy.  Living here certainly makes it easier to pursue an active, outdoor lifestyle! 

And let's not forget another one of my favorite things about this area:  how mild and wonderful the weather is, so it's much more enjoyable to be outside in the summer and winter.  In Ohio, it's way too hot & humid to be outside for a large part of the summer, and it's way too cold, icy, and treacherous to venture outside in the winter.  I love living here in Seattle!

August 22, 2012

Come On, Punk, Make Me Run!

There's nothing like an upcoming race to kick my booty into running mode, and inspire me to get back into running! 

I'm running the upcoming Iron Girl 5K race here in Seattle, around the beautiful Green Lake.  I'd gotten out of the habit of running, so I'm very thankful for this opportunity to get me out pounding the pavement again!

I've realized something about myself:  I love the great vibes that running gives me, and I love that it's doing great things for my body (like preventing Diabetes and Heart Disease), but I don't really love running while I'm running

I've gained weight recently, so running hurts everything.  My foot arches hurt, my back aches, my shoulders hurt from pumping my arms, and my hips hurt (I think my hips are out of alignment or something).  And I only have 1 single running outfit that still fits me after all the weight gain.  I can barely squeeze into my running outfit, and this makes me self-conscious. 

Because of all these reasons, it's super easy for me to just stop running and not really miss it.  But deep down, in some primal area of my being, that same area where there is a strong, fit gal crying out to be let free, I realize that I do enjoy running.  Sort of.  Enough to keep running, anyway. 

Since I don't obsess about running (like a lot of the more "hard core" runners out there) and I don't particularly enjoy it, if that means I'm not a "true runner", then oh well.  At least I'm still running faster than all those folks still sitting on their couches!  Boo yah! 

July 28, 2012

The "Tone it Up" Girls are Toning Me Up!

If you haven't yet heard of Katrina & Karena, the "Tone it Up!" franchise gals, then you're in for a treat!

I tried one of their workouts for the first time ever yesterday, and it kicked my booty! I'm sore today in muscles I haven't used for quite awhile, so that's great! This workout is called the Beach Barre, and it's like a ballet/Pilates mix. You can watch the video here:

These TIU gals are energetic, fit, and happy. They eat clean and train dirty, and inspire me to do the same. On their site, you can find tons of workout videos, and you can sign up for their meal plan if you so desire. They offer a community of like-minded folks who are "toning it up!"

I know I'm going to stay tuned for their next workout video; will you?

(note: I am not affiliated with Tone it Up, and I'm not receiving any payment of any kind by recommending them. I simply think they're cool!)

April 28, 2012

A First-Time Spinner!

Hi all!
So, I had a new experience a couple of nights ago. I was in the mood to exercise, but it was dreary and approaching dusk outside, and I just couldn't bring myself to leave the house and fight the weather.

But then I remembered my father-in-law has an old stationary bike out in the garage, and I decided to give it a go. I pedaled for about 35 minutes, and my backside was VERY SORE from the hard seat filled with compacted, uncomfortable foam. I was thinking, "how could anyone sit on this thing for longer than just a few minutes?!?"  Yikes, it was a hard seat!

My pa-in-law advised me to adjust the seat so that my leg would be almost fully extended on the down pedal, which I did, but then, after about 10 minutes, decided to lower my seat even more.

When my seat was too high, it felt like I had to rock back and forth on the seat with every push of the pedal, just to make it spin. So I figured that my seat was still too tall, and after I lowered it, it felt better and I didn't have to rock back and forth when pedaling, and my legs remained almost fully extended on the down pedal.

I could almost immediately feel the intense workout my quads were getting! I certainly "felt the burn" within just a couple minutes, which only goes to show how utterly out of shape I am!

So, in my opinion, spinning will give me a great, low-impact cardio workout, working "new" muscles I haven't worked in a long time, while enabling me to be indoors on those dreary days.

I'm a spinning convert! So what about y'all? Do you have any tips or advice for me, a newbie spinner? Please let me know, because I could use all the advice I can get as I tackle this new sport!

Spinning; who knew? I never thought I'd enjoy it so much and that I would get such an amazing workout from it! Yay!

image credit:

April 13, 2012

205 pounds...and holding!

This is a photo of me, taken by myself (obviously) last week.  I took this picture to show you all what 205 pounds looks like on me.  I am 26 years old, I eat well, and I exercise.  I have gotten back into running during the last couple of weeks, in order to train for an upcoming 5K race.  I am 5 feet 7 inches tall. 

During the last 3.5 years, I have quickly & steadily gained 50 pounds, despite my best efforts to lose weight, or at least to prevent gaining more.  I have stretch marks all over my body, in places I NEVER thought stretch marks could even occur:  the backs of my calves, my inner thighs, buttocks, and yes, even (and perhaps most shockingly!) my breasts.  I look like I've recently given birth, but in fact, I have never been pregnant. 

But, and this is HUGE, my body has been tricked into believing it has been pregnant for the past 3 years, and this is why I have gained so much weight so quickly, and also why I've been unable to lose any of it.  All of this is because I began taking the birth control known as Depo-Provera right before I got married, about 3.5 years ago.  The emotional weirdness and constant bleeding began almost immediately, with the weight gain beginning around the 2nd-3rd month, and continuing to this day.

My Gynocologist (with whom I discussed my weight-gain fears in detail before beginning this medication), said that she herself took Depo and did not notice any ill effects from it, so I should not be worried about gaining weight.  She knew that I was a runner and that I eat fairly well.  And for her, that seemed to be enough.  But not for me.  I mean, really, does the picture above look like the body of a runner?  Maybe a person who's been sedentary all her life and has only recently been running.  But a woman who was young and relatively fit when she began taking Depo three years ago, and who continued running and eating well the entire time she was on Depo?  No, this picture does not look like a person who is committed to fitness.    

My fitness routine was NO MATCH for the insanely strong level of the hormone Progesterone contained in the Depo.  The Progesterone (a naturally occurring female hormone) was so strong and so concentrated, that it tricked my body into believing it was pregnant, and thus to STORE ALL THE FAT IT COULD to prepare my body for giving birth and nourishing the non-existent baby.  And that's exactly what it did.  My body has been storing fat in my cells like money in a locked vault, and the fat cells refuse to let go of that strong grip on the fat they're storing. 

So here's the crux of the issue:  for me, the amount of exercise and eating well I had been doing up until I started taking Depo (which was a lot), was NOT NEARLY ENOUGH.  Even though the drug label just said something vague in the "risks" section about making sure women who take Depo eat well and maintain an exercise regimen, the label made it sound like the amount of exercise I was doing would be more than enough to keep the weight off.  But, as we all know now, it was not.  And the weird thing was that, as I continued to do both running and weight training, that I actually gained a fair amount of muscle, but did not lose any fat (thanks to the Progestrone), so I bulked up, but NOT in a good way.  So part of my weight gain was simply from all the added muscle I had gained, underneath this huge layer of fat.  Oh joy!  Of course, normally a person would lose fat typically at the same rate that they gain muscle, so if there's any "bulking up," (especially in a woman), it is not much at all, and usually it evens out.  But nope, not for me! 

I should probably take this moment to say that there are plenty of women (I think; I have only actually heard the voices of a couple of them), who took Depo and who had a great experience with it, and I am so glad for them.  However, it doesn't take long to see, after perusing any Depo-Provera "feedback" or "review" site, that the overwhelmingly vast majority of women who've been on it for a few months or more, have had any number of horrible repercussions and symptoms, some that they are still battling, even after stopping the Depo.  Perhaps the most vocal women are the ones who've had horrible experiences with Depo, I don't know.  But I know I have 2 female friends who are almost ten years older than me, and they were both shocked when I told them I was on Depo, and they told me to get off of it ASAP!  They had close friends who had taken it and were still reeling from the negative consequences, and they wished I had asked them for advice before venturing on to partake of this drug! 

I stopped taking Depo just over one year ago now, and so far I have been unable to lose weight.  As a matter of fact, I am still gaining weight, but not as quickly, which is a HUGE BREAKTHROUGH!!!  Since moving to Seattle, I have only gained about 6 pounds in the 4.5 months I have lived here.  That may or may not sound like a lot of weight gain to you, but to me, it is a fantastic development.  That means, at least I HOPE it means, that the Depo is draining from my body enough to stop me gaining lots of weight. 

I guess the moral of my story is this:  that the amount of exercising I was doing was not enough; NOT NEARLY ENOUGH, to prevent huge weight gain, like the drug label (and my doctor) said it would be.  So, for anyone contemplating (or already on) Depo:  are you working out and eating right like it's your job?  If not, then Depo may cause you to gain large amounts of weight and make it stick around for at least a year afterwards.  Oh, how I wish my doctor had talked me out of using Depo!

April 5, 2012

"Free Them" 5K Run for World Concern!

On May 12th, I will be running my first 5K (or race of ANY kind) since 2007.  This race is to support a GREAT cause:  World Concern Ministries, who help battle poverty and exploitation in areas like Haiti & Africa!  You can click here to go to my fundraising page and donate whatever you feel inclined to donate towards this worthy cause of saving people from the ravages of poverty.

World Concern helps rescue people from poverty on numerous levels, including bettering their lives by providing wells for clean drinking water, educating children and oppressed women, teaching women marketable skills like sewing or jewelry making to sell for money, and even giving out small business loans to help local people start their own businesses and help pull themselves out of the sticky mire of poverty.   I really admire how World Concern acknowledges that there are many battle fronts to pursue in fighting the war on poverty, and how a many-faceted approach is probably the best for creating lasting change.

Currently I am training for this race, but I recently returned to running after quite the hiatus, so I can only run for a few minutes before taking a walk break.  My goal is to be able to run the entire 5K without stopping to walk or rest, so we shall see!

This race conveniently coincides with my new aggressive plan to lose weight and get back into shape.  But I don't believe in coincidences, so I feel that this is meant to be, and that I am going to 'kill two birds with one stone':  get into shape again, and raise money for a worthy cause by training for (and then finishing) a 5K race.

Will you please think and pray about whether or not you should donate to my cause, or if you're inspired, please go find a service organization you feel strongly about, and get involved with them somehow and help change the world (or at least your small corner of it!)

And, if you're the praying kind, please pray for me and my fitness journey, that I will (finally!) be able to start losing weight, now that it's been a little over a year since I've been off of the Depo-Provera birth control shot, since that's what caused me to gain about 55 pounds in the last two years.  I have desperately tried losing weight before, and was completely devastated that after 5 months of hardcore exercise and eating healthy.  During those five months of working out for 1.5 hours five days a week, I did not gain any more weight, but I did not lose a single pound, because the Depo was still coursing vigorously through my system, and it was doing its job of tricking my body into thinking it was pregnant, thus storing all the fat it could, and hanging onto it with a vise-like grip.

So, this is a great opportunity for me in a couple of ways, because I am excited to raise money for a cause I believe is producing real, positive change in the world, while also encouraging me to get in shape with a specific goal in mind.  Won't you join me and the revolution against poverty and pain?  Donate to my page, or find your favorite charity and get to work!  God bless you in your efforts!

March 29, 2012

Starbucks Gone Buggie!!!!

Giant coffee retailer Starbucks is generating negative buzz with the revelation that some of their drink & food products contain a red food coloring made from squashed insects!  This article is one of many stating that a Starbucks spokesperson confirmed the usage of "cochineal extract — made from the bodies of ground-up cochineal beetles" in at least two well-known Starbucks products:  the Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino, and the Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.  

Apparently this switch to insect parts is part of a Starbucks initiative to become more "natural" and use more "natural" ingredients.  Well, I guess insects are "natural" in the sense that you can go out in the backyard and step on one, and it's "natural" because it's outdoors in a natural setting.  However, adding ground-up insects to your "fancy" treats is pretty gross, especially when Starbucks could use something else for the red food coloring, like red beets, black carrots or purple sweet potatoes.  These vegetables are natural, too, and I'm sure can even be grown organic.  If Starbucks wants to become more eco-friendly and natural, while appealing to the health-conscious masses, then perhaps they should get a clue and use organic produce in their products, instead of disgusting squashed up insects!  Yuck!  

Now to add another twist to this interesting situation:  do you know what Vegans and Jews have in common?  No, this is not the start of some weird racial joke.  Vegans hate what Starbucks is doing, because insects are part of the animal kingdom and certainly NOT vegan, and Jews cannot eat insects because they are not Kosher.  So there are a lot of angry people out there right now, who may stop buying Starbucks' products altogether.  

I occasionally give my patronage to Starbucks and I'm not ashamed of it.  But I very much prefer the smaller, locally-owned coffee shops, because they typically have nicer quality of products, more options (like more flavors), they remember me and my order, and they offer financial incentives like frequent customer punch cards, reduced-price daily drink specials, and sometimes they give me a discount just because they're feeling particularly happy or generous that day.  Does Starbucks EVER do anything like that to keep me returning?  Nope, never.  As a matter of fact, Starbucks insists on charging me an extra 60 cents just for soy milk instead of dairy milk.  I've suspected for some time that I might be slightly lactose-intolerant, because sometimes ice cream and milk make my stomach upset.  So I always choose to avoid that by drinking soy milk.  But Starbucks punishes me for my lactose-intolerance (something that is NOT my fault and I wish I didn't have to deal with) by charging me MORE for soy milk.  That is stupid, not to mention rude, because soy milk does not cost any more to purchase than dairy milk does.  So jacking up the price for soy milk makes no sense and causes me to choose to purchase my coffee treat at someplace other than Starbucks, a place that does NOT charge me extra for soy milk.  

On a related note, my husband is deathly allergic to dairy and thus dairy milk, so he does not enjoy coffee and really does not care for tea.  He enjoys hot apple cider, which Starbucks claims to carry.  But Starbucks' apple "cider" is not really cider, it is plain old apple JUICE, in all its over-processed, over-sugared, over-filtered glory.  Starbucks buys apple "juice" and passes it off as apple "cider," but there is a huge difference between the two (in harvest process, quality, health benefits, and taste), and so my husband no longer buys his apple "juice" from Starbucks, who is simply trying to be cheap and cut corners.  You can read a brief article here about some differences between apple juice and apple cider.  So we are just an example of yet two more customers Starbucks has lost.  

What about you?  What do you think of this new development of squashed-up insects as food coloring?  Is it gross?  Do you not care?  Let me know!

image credit:

March 28, 2012

Lemon Water: A Metabolism Increaser?

I've been reading a lot of health articles lately that talk about various ways of revving your metabolism. And increasing your metabolism is important if you're trying to burn fat and lose weight.

Your metabolism regulates how quickly your body burns calories, so knowing how to manage your metabolism is important to many people, including those trying to lose weight and diabetics, who depend on keeping their blood sugar stable to avoid metabolic highs and lows. Some of these ideas for increasing metabolic rate sound kooky, but others sound interestingly enough to pursue. An idea that is especially intriguing to me, mostly because of its ease of use, is putting squirts of lemon juice in drinking water to help rev your metabolism.

This article here speaks of putting lemon juice in water or tea to help speed up metabolism and thus burn more calories. But how much does lemon water supposedly raise your metabolism? I think that no one knows for sure, and perhaps it's only a negligible amount, but a lot of people swear that it makes a measurable difference. Others, however, (and this certainly seems like the more logical, convincing argument) state that there is no proof whatsoever that lemon water boosts your metabolism or helps you lose weight in the least.

So does lemons and/or lemon water (or tea) have any real effect on your metabolism? Is it worth adding lemons to your daily diet, for any reason?

Well, there seems to be one thing that both camps agree on: lemons contain Ascorbic Acid, which aids in digestion and is also a diuretic, which decreases bloating and water retention. So, if using lemon water, you may lose weight at first because your bowels will get clear. Lemons also contain high levels of Vitamin C, which aids in immunity and helps rid your body of free radicals. So the jury is still out on lemon water actually helping to increase your metabolism.   You can read an informative article here about the many health benefits of lemons and lemon juice, and how other cultures have used lemons for health for centuries. 

Most research says that it will not increase your metabolism, but it may still be a beneficial choice for you to add to your healthy eating regimen. Since I tend to have sluggish bowels, I have decided to drink lemon water to help me alleviate bloating and stay regular. I have only been drinking lemon water for a couple days now, but so far it seems to be working in keeping my bowels functioning well.

image credit: Lemon, Copyright © 2009 Thomas Sawyer,

March 20, 2012

My Inspiration: New Running Shoes!

I had just gotten back into a regular running when the Great Seattle "Snowpacalypse" of 2012 happened a couple months ago.  Because Seattle does not use salt on the roads (for fear of contaminated runoff entering Puget Sound), this meant that, even after the roads became passable about three days later, that the sidewalks, curbs, and front yards sat stagnant, piled high with mounds of sticky white fluff.  The sidewalks were buried under massive snow, and the roads were mushy & slick.  So I could not exercise outdoors for quite some time, which, of course, meant that my newly re-acquired running routine ended practically before it began. 
Then, during the two meager attempts I made at running a couple weeks later, the arch in my right foot burned like it was on fire, and my toes on both feet felt like they were slamming into the toeboxes of my shoes. 

Needless to say, I desperately needed new running shoes!  The old Nikes I wore had been around for about a year, probably longer, and my right foot had been hurting every time I ran, even sometimes while wearing normal shoes.  But, how could I possibly afford new running shoes (typically around $100 for a decent pair), when my husband is still out of work, we're depending on my in-laws for basic financial needs, and I'm working three days a week doing church childcare?  The answer:  I had to wait until that glorious day when we FINALLY sold our house back in Cincinnati, Ohio.  And, praise the Lord, it finally sold and we were so very blessed because we made enough of a profit from it that I was able to completely pay off my two student loans!  I owed so much in school debt that we would have been saddled with this debt for probably the next thirty years to come, so I am SO THANKFUL to God for bringing the right buyers for our house!

Okay, back to running shoes.  The picture above is my new pair of Asics running shoes.  I had never worn Asics before, but had done some research online and discovered that, apparently, lots of podiatrists recommend Asics to clients with foot/arch problems.  I also discovered that Asics embeds some stability support in most of their shoes, so they contain, by default, a good level of stability straight out of the box!  This is huge for me. 

I had been to a specialty running store in Cincinnati, and was promptly told that I was a severe over-pronator whose arches practically collapsed ENTIRELY with each foot fall, thus I needed the most stability-formulated shoe on the market, which conveniently, were also the most expensive (of course!).  They also talked me into buying some supportive in-soles to put in my shoes, which cost another $45.  See a pattern here? 

Those shoes gave me crippling shin splints so consistently, that I was forced to stop running for a month while my body healed.  I never, EVER wore them again, and decided to go in the complete opposite direction, buying the most cushion-y shoes I could afford:  Nike Air Gel.  These shoes were great for a few months, but then the cushion wore out, they stretched out, and my feet began sliding around inside them.  So those got demoted as well, and I now use them only for walking. 

So now that I've discovered Asics, which come very highly recommended, I hope that my search has not been in vain!  I've only worn my new shoes three times so far, but they do seem to be the perfect balance of cushion and support for me.  And my arch has not hurt at all, so YAY for that!  And, perhaps the BEST part about all of this?  I found my new, super-cute Asics on sale at DSW for around $75.  I will never pay $100 for "too much" shoe ever again!

February 27, 2012

Just Received my Road ID in the Mail!

Hello to all of you!  The above picture is the Road ID slim from a very cool company called Road ID.  You can click here to go to their main site and see all of their products.  I am, at this moment, the very proud wearer of one of these awesome safety bracelets.  A purple version of the above bracelet adorns my wrist as I type this post. 
I had seen a Road ID product review on another runner's blog, and wondered if the company could send me a free bracelet in exchange for a written review on this blog.  Long story short, they did!  They allowed me to customize my own Road ID slim bracelet with 5 lines of text including my full name, emergency contact phone numbers, and with the words "Faith, Hope, Love, Victory" in the last line as my motivational phrase, because those faith-fueled words inspire me to find my best potential in all aspects of life. 
You know those common "causes" rubber bracelets that you see everywhere?  Especially the very famous yellow "Livestrong" bracelets?  Well this little Road ID slim is comparable in size, width, and weight to those other bracelets.  But with one very important distinct addition:  this lightweight little baby has a thin stainless steel wrap-around plate on it that holds your contact information.  The stainless steel plate is finely and precisely laser-engraved and has a lifetime guarantee, meaning that they will replace it for free if you somehow manage to scrape it up beyond recognition.  I do not foresee this happening in the near future for anyone, especially me.
I have not worn it running yet, but I have taken it on a couple walks with my canine companion, and I have been wearing it to wash dishes for the past couple of days in a row.  It seems sturdy, like it's not going anywhere, and it's so lightweight that I forget that I'm wearing it most of the time. 
I love how slim it is, and that it looks like the "causes" bracelets.   I also love that it's rubber (silicone, I think), and it does not stain, stretch, or scratch easily.  It seems like it will wear very well and not fall apart anytime soon.  Of course, I will need to wear it on several sweaty runs before having a clearer picture of how it performs, but I forsee it being my new favorite piece of jewelry.  I love that it's a safety precaution designed to keep me safe, but also that it's so cute, fashionable, and sporty.  That's definitely a bonus!
So this is my first review of the Road ID slim.  I will write another after I've worn it longer. 

January 18, 2012

Here in the greater Seattle area, there has been an almost historic amount of snowfall in the past few days, and it's going to continue for a few more days.  This area will most likely not recover from the massive amounts of snow until early next week, that's how much snow we're getting!  And it's currently snowing outside, still!
This picture was taken 2 years ago at the Steven's Pass ski area, a local ski resort.  See how high the snow is piled on the side of the road?  That is only a fraction of the amount of snow that is falling here now!
Because of the severe snow emergency in the area, the authorities have been asking everyone to stay off the roads and not drive if they do not need to.  So needless to say, Eric & I have not left the house in about 3 days, and most likely will not for another few days.
Being stuck indoors has put a serious cramp in my exercise agenda!  Not to mention that there's about a foot and a half of snow and ice covering all surfaces!  I cannot (and will not) attempt to run outside in these conditions.  So I have been forced to find other means of exercise, even if it means doing jumping jacks & push ups in the bedroom. 
I have also taken our dog on a few romps in the snow, to a neighborhood park.  He has taken to jumping into the snow piles and tunneling around in them.  He behaves like it's Christmas morning every time he plays in the snow, and it inspires me to be more active and to enjoy the little things in life, especially this "snowpocalypse" that has wrapped this entire region in a blanket of white. 
So, maybe I can't get out of the house and exercise as much as I'd like to right now.  So what???  I'm going to enjoy the little things, the rest, and the time off, and decide to get back into it hardcore once the roads and the sidewalks emerge from their frozen slumber.  No guilt here, just joy!