Valeo Training

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'M GETTING MARRRRRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One of the best days of my life happened last Friday - Mike asked me to marry him!! I am overwhelmed with joy and honored to be able to spend the rest of my life with him and love him more than he could possibly imagine.

The night began with a planned, romantic dinner at Til Midnight restaurant (though it's not far out his character to plan something like this so far in advanced, it did get the wheels turning in my head...) ;) I had all afternoon to get ready for this fabulous date, but of course, in true Jessica-style, I couldn't decide what to wear (Mike kept telling me to 'look purdy'...!) and was running behind - only to find my car stuck in the side of the road in 2-feet of packed snow! After working up a sweat, shoveling myself out (all dressed up and getting really frustrated at this point), Mike decided just to meet me at the restuarant.

We had such a nice dinner - because the weather had been so bad, there was hardly anyone there, which made it special, just the two of us. I kept noticing Mike checking the time on his phone and he even got up once 'to wash his hands' in the restroom...I knew somethin' fishy was going on.
Immediately after the last bite of dessert, Mike threw his credit card down on the table, as if he was in a huge hurry...we had plans to walk around in Centennial Park under the gorgeous lit-up snow flakes. I suggested just going to Prospect Park, since it was closer, but he insited he wanted to go to Centennial 'because there's a gazebo there and it's so pretty.' Hmmm...wheels still turning! :)

As many know, it was REALLY cold that night - and snowed about 2 feet! I came prepared with my snow boots, hat, gloves...but Mike brought nothing, saying that 30 degrees was warm. I guess he can say that, since he spends ALL day, everyday, outside in temps colder than that. :) We were going to swing by my house to pick up a hat for him, but he told me he was fine, and just to go to Centennial Park.

I should mention - after dinner, I went to the bathroom and came out to find that Mike had quickly run outside to the car - he told me he was just starting the car to warm it up, but I later found out that he had put the ring behind my seat, next to my snow boots...once I mentioned that I was going to change into my boots for the walk, he quickly moved the ring so I wouldn't see it! :) Cute.
We arrived to Centennial and it was absolutely gorgeous - a true winter-wonderland! Of course, there were NO paths plowed, so taking a romantic walk around was kinda out of the question. We decided to brave the deep snow, and trudged out way through the 3-foot deep snow banks and had fun running through the park like we were crazy! Mike shouted, come over here! and we ran to the gazebo. He was SOOO cold, so I started hugging him to warm him up...he then began telling me the sweetest things and opening up his heart about how he felt about me, and he said that he knew he couldn't live without me. He then got on his knee and presented me with the ring and asked me to marry him!!! I shrieked and started hugging him - then remembered to say YES!!!! :) It was cute 'cause the only thing he said after was 'can I get up now? My right knee is frozen.' hahhaa - he had been kneeling in the snow the whole time!!
After checking out the ring - it was ABOLUTELY GORGEOUS and he picked it out all himself! - We ran out of the gazebo, hand-in-hand, yelling in excitment like little kids as we ran down the hill. He stopped immediatly to call his best friend, Grant, in CO, as he promised him he'd be the first to hear the news!! It was so fun to talk w/ Grant and share that moment with him!
Mike said he needed a drink (LOL) so let's go to Via Maria...after finally finding a parking spot, we walked inside. The host led us to a room and as soon as we walked in, I saw a huge sign that said 'We hope you said Yes!' and about 40 of my closest family and friends there, cameras flashing and people cheering. It was absolutley AMAZING and I was so overwhelmed with JOY at Mike's THOUGHTFULNESS in knowing how important sharing this moment with people I love, especially my family, is. He put so much love into preparing for that night - I looked around the room and kept seeing faces of people I had just seen hours before - people from the gym, one of my clients I had just seen at noon that day, Kelly, who I had just worked out with and talked about my weekend plans was so funny that they ALL KNEW!!!!
Another wonderful and thoughtful thing Mike did was develop pictures of us - then put them in frames all around the room. It was so cool! He also asked each guest to bring a photo of themselves with me or him and put a copy of the pic into a scrapbook he had out, along with a nice note. I am so excited to see the finished product - what a man I have!!!!

My sister Tara and brother-in-law Mark couldn't be there to celebrate, but were definitely there in spirit. My favorite times were hugging my mom and dad and andee, brooke and immediate family who knows me deeply and the journey it took to get to this place.

I am so so so blessed to have friends and family who would come celebrate with us, who love Mike and I and have spent countless hours praying for us, even before Mike and I ever met.
Mike is the direct answer to my heart's ache for someone who would come into my life and be the physical representation of Christ's love to his people. I am taken back everyday by the things he does for me, who he is, for his thoughtfulness and selflessness and for all the fun he is. I am honored and humbled when I think that I get to marry him!! I love you, Michael, and can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you!!!!

walking in....shocked!
don't worry - i did!!!!me and my pa hugging momhavin' fun w/ friends and bro-in-law, timmike's coworker, stan, sang to us with his quartet!my sistas - minus tarateagan kept rubbing mike's head - funny ;)

new fam!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Yak Trax are traction devices you easily strap onto the bottom of your shoe, providing instant ice and snow-gripping ability. Walk or run with confidence with as much stability as you would on dry ground.

I've heard about Yak Trax (and similiar items) before, but never tried them out, opting instead to brave the snow and ice on my own...until I realized my runs were more about bracing myself not to fall than actually getting a good run in. I've been using these all winter this year and am amazed at how comfortable and steady they are. I honestly can run on any surface and not feel like I'm going to slip! I'm recommending them to everyone!!!

Here are some cool features:
* Made for stability on ice and packed snow
* Provides 360 degrees of traction
* Made with high strength, abrasion resistent 1.4 mm steel coils (not spikes, that can dull).
* The heavy-duty natural rubber material easily conforms to the shape of your boot or shoe.
* Easy on, easy off
* Can be worn in temps as low as -41 degrees Farenhuit.
* Ultra-light, walk or run naturally (even on sections of pavement that are clear).
* Ideal for walkers, hikers, runners, hunters, those who work outside or simply anyone needing to feel more secure walking across areas like a parking lot!
Check them out online at: or buy them at your local sporting goods store. I bought mine HERE last year, for about $15.

Thursday, December 11, 2008



Study Suggests Sugar May Be Addictive
Finding might yield new insights into eating disorders, experts say

By Amanda Gardner, HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Science is verifying what many overeaters have suspected for a long time: sugar can be addictive. In fact, the sweetener seems to prompt the same chemical changes in the brain seen in people who abuse drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

The findings were to be presented Wednesday at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology's annual meeting, in Nashville. "Our evidence from an animal model suggests that bingeing on sugar can act in the brain in ways very similar to drugs of abuse," lead researcher Bart Hoebel, a professor of psychology at Princeton University, said during a Dec. 4 teleconference.

"Drinking large amounts of sugar water when hungry can cause behavioral changes and even neurochemical changes in the brain which resemble changes that are produced when animals or people take substances of abuse. These animals show signs of withdrawal and even long-lasting effects that might resemble craving," he said.

Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, added: "The big question has been whether it's just a behavioral thing or is it a metabolic chemical thing, and evidence like this supports the idea that something chemical is going on." A "sugar addiction" may even act as a "gateway" to later abuse of drugs such as alcohol, Hoebel said. The stages of addiction, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, include bingeing, withdrawal and craving.

For the new research, rats were denied food for 12 hours a day, then were given access to food and sugar (25 percent glucose and 10 percent sucrose, similar to a soft drink) for 12 hours a day, for three to four weeks. The bingeing released a surge of the neurotransmitter dopamine each time in the part of the brain involved in reward, the nucleus accumbens. "It's been known that drugs of abuse release or increase the levels of dopamine in that part of the brain," Hoebel said.
But it wasn't only the sugar that caused this effect, Hoebel explained -- it was the sugar combined with the alternating schedule of deprivation and largesse. After three weeks, the rats showed signs of withdrawal similar to those seen when people stop smoking or drinking alcohol or using morphine.

The scientists next blocked the animals' brain endorphins and found withdrawal symptoms, anxiety, behavioral depression and a drop in dopamine levels. In other words, they confirmed a neurochemical link with the rats' behavior.

But longer periods of abstinence didn't "cure" the rats. Instead, there were long-lasting effects with the animals: They ingested more sugar than before, as if they were craving the substance and, without sugar, they drank more alcohol. The researchers speculated that some of these brain changes may also occur in people with eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, although more research needs to be done to confirm the effects in humans.

"Some say it's easy to lose weight -- you just have to shut your mouth, stop eating so much," Aronne said. "I tell them a good way to overcome global warming is if people made less carbon dioxide by breathing less. Obviously, that's absurd. You can't do it because you feel uncomfortable.

"The same thing is true of eating," he added. "Fattening food has an impact on the regulating mechanism that breaks down your sense of fullness, makes you feel an urge to go back and get that blast of sugar and this creates the vicious cycle of weight gain that we're going through."

Visit Overeaters Anonymous for more on food addiction and eating disorders.

Friday, December 5, 2008


"Even in a country like the USA where fitness has become an obsession, most people exercising do not seem to think it illogical to drive automobiles to gyms while doing their best to avoid walking”
~Dave Wilson quotes

Thursday, December 4, 2008



Last month, Dr. Harvey B. Simon celebrated the 30th anniversary of his running streak.
In other words, he has run every day for 10,987 consecutive days. The last time he took a pass — he was feeling a bit sore after a marathon — was Oct. 30, 1978.

Read about his dedication to daily exercise HERE.