Featured Fit Friends Friday: Dacia from Run. Ride. Repeat.

Not only is it my birthday-eve, but it’s Friday too, AND… it’s time for Featured Fit Friends Friday! I really look forward to these because I get to learn so much about the inspirational people I’ve “met” through, of course, twitter! And these people so deserve a virtual high five for inspiring so many! Dacia was probably one of the first people I “met” when I re-dedicated myself in December 2012, as she was on Weight Watchers at the time too, I believe. In February 2012, she hosted the Monica’s Birthday Challenge, and I actually won it! I have to sincerely thank Dacia for that because it kept me on track for a two solid months and no doubt played a huge role in getting me to where I am today! So xxx’s and ooo’s, Dacia! Now read on to see how “fantabulous” she is!

Dacia from Run. Ride. Repeat.

Name: Dacia….pronounced Day-sha, the CIA makes a SHA sound like in the names Tricia or Marcia
Blog: Run. Ride. Repeat.
(My first blog, which is still up although I don’t use it anymore, is Thirty-Four and Fabulous)
From: Philadelphia originally, but I am a military wife and currently live in Pensacola, FL

Why did you start blogging? What is the goal/purpose of your blog?
I started blogging back in February of 2011. I had hit rock bottom. I was completely miserable. I was morbidly obese, I had no self-esteem, and I just hated my life. The notion of creating my own happiness, being the master of my own fate, taking control, and being accountable finally set in, and I knew that I was the only person that could turn things around. So I started a blog to help keep me honest and on track and also as a way to ask for help and support when I needed it most.

How did you come up with your blog name?
I love to run, I love to bike, and I try to do both things as much as possible.

When not blogging, what do you do?
Currently, I work as a business analyst for a regional university. My husband and I have been married for 8 years, and although we don’t have any children, we do have two dogs that we treat like they are our babies. As far as hobbies go, I’m pretty boring. I like to keep active, drink beer, go to trivia night, and listen to music.

Are you attending (have you attended) any blogger conferences?
This year will be my first- Fitbloggin’ 2013 baby!

Have you met up in person with anyone you’ve met through your blog or other social media?
Yes, I have. Last year I met Krystle from Skinny Jeans Dreams and Jen (@mendingjen) from Listen.Learn.Move.Mend in NJ. While in TX, I met up with Veronica (NewVeronica2011) twice, and we actually did a 5K together, which was awesome. I have met Dani (@IrishEyes1982) from Weight Off My Shoulders [who was featured last month here!] and Melissa (@alifetimeloser) from A Lifetime Loser up in Boston just last month, and I met Jodi (@jodippls) from 13.1 Miles to Disney once I moved to FL. I love the amazing people I have met through social media and know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

What things have learned from blogging that you would like to share with other bloggers?
I feel like I have learned a lot more about myself and what my goals and dreams are because of blogging. So, I guess I would say to always be your true self when blogging. Write what you want not what you expect will please others. It’s amazing how much you can learn if you just write openly and honestly.

What is your favorite fitness activity?
That’s a tough one. I love cycling, running, boxing, Nia, and yoga (to name a few), but all for different reasons. I don’t think I could pick just one.

Have you always been an active person, or is health/fitness something you found later in life?
Growing up I was pretty active but then a back injury in my early twenties changed that. Not because I wasn’t able to be active, but because I was afraid. After time I became very sedentary and gained lots of weight, which made me even more sedentary, which led to more weight gain- it was a vicious cycle.

What’s your favorite fitness gear?
Hmmm…I would have to say my Brooks PureDrift running shoes and Lululemon yoga and running gear.

When did you start running?
January 2012 I ran my first mile ever. Then I started the Couch to 5K program in February, and ran my first 5K in May 2012. Since then I have ran 5Ks, 8Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, 4 milers, 5 milers, 10 milers and half marathons. This year I hope to run my first full marathon.

How many races, if any, have you run?
I think I am up to 19 since May 2012.

What was your favorite race?
3M Half Marathon in Austin January 13, 2013.

Do you struggle with your weight?
Not so much now as I did when I was obese. Right now I am about 10 pounds overweight, and although I would love to get to a healthy weight, I don’t really put too much pressure on myself to get there. I eat really good, nutritious foods, I am active, and I am happy. So what’s ten extra pounds in the grand scheme of things? I focus on my training, my diet (meaning the best foods I can eat to support my training and recovery), and finding balance between being active and being social. That’s really what’s important to me now.

What is your eating philosophy?
I follow a whole foods plant-based diet. I would say vegan, and usually do because it’s much easier to say and have others understand, but being a vegan is more than just what you eat. Also, being a vegan does not necessarily mean you eat healthily either. I can eat french fries all day long and still be following a vegan diet, but I’d be very unhealthy. For me, I try to eat as much whole foods as possible and limit the processed junk. I try to cook my meals and snacks at home, but I’m a human, so of course I do go out to eat a couple times a week. I found through the process of mindful eating that following a plant-based diet works best for my body. Once I made the switch, I knew almost instantly it was the right thing for me- I have energy all day long (and I drink little to no caffeine), I sleep like a baby, I’m regular, and I can train harder and I recover faster than I ever could on an omnivore diet. I am also the healthiest I have ever been too in regards to cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and those things. I kind of feel like I hit the jackpot because I love what I eat, and I feel great- win, win.

Favorite snack: I love the combination of apples and almonds and usually have both for my morning snack. I also love sprouted grain toast with raw almond butter and a banana. Yum!
Favorite breakfast: I like steel cut oats, they are my typical weekday morning breakfast but I do like to splurge every now and again and make pancakes for breakfast.
Favorite lunch: This really depends on the season. During the warmer months I usually eat a big veggie-filled salad for lunch. During the colder months I make soup, stew, chili or really anything warm. Lately my lunches have been leftovers, but one of my favorite things to make is the Minnesota Winter Chili recipe from Scott Jurek’s book Eat and Run. One pot makes like 10 servings, so I freeze them up into individual portions which makes lunch super easy.
Favorite dinner: This is a tough one because I love to eat, and I love to cook. We eat dinner at home 6-7 nights a week, and we are always trying out new recipes. If it’s just me, I usually will eat a baked potato and some steamed broccoli or I make up some pasta with sautéed veggies; mushrooms, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, tons of garlic, etc. but if I am cooking for me and my husband, I would say my favorite meal is curry. It’s such a versatile dish, there are so many styles of curry out there, it’s easy to make, and I love spicy food so I would have to say it is one of my favorites.

Favorite sites/blogs you like to get recipes from on the internet?
I do go to a lot of vegan websites for recipes, but I have gotten pretty good at veganizing most things (especially baked goods), so I will really look anywhere for recipes. A few of my favorites are; Oh She Glows, Happy Herbivore, JL Goes Vegan, No Meat Athlete, and Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Forward.

Favorite blogs in general?
Wow! That’s probably the toughest question so far. I think I have like 50 blogs on my blogroll, plus more that I subscribe to. I read so many. But I would have to say my favorite is James & Jax. James is my real life best friend, and the person who encouraged me to start blogging and join twitter- both of which have drastically changed my life. She is an amazing writer, and I love being able to hear her stories every day- especially since we live so far apart.

Do you use any smart phone apps that you find helpful?
I have so many apps and rarely use any of them. I did use the C25K app from start to finish with that program, and once in a while I use my Strava running and cycling apps, but that’s about it.

Are you a product or fitness ambassador?
Nope, but I would love to be.

Are there any other tips/advice/achievements you would like to share?
For me, the hardest battle was not to get sucked up into the success of others. Our journeys are personal. No one else lives in our body, no one else can walk in our shoes. I used to measure my success against the success of others and that was a slippery slope. I cannot be, and should never strive to be, better than anyone else. I can only strive to be better than the person I was yesterday.

Besides her blog, you can also find Dacia here:
Twitter: @Run_Ride_Repeat
Facebook: dacia.lee.18 or Run.Ride.Repeat
(I have a pinterest, instagram and dailymile accounts, but rarely use them. I stick to FB and twitter.)

I hope you enjoyed getting to know the fascinating Dacia! You can also check out other Featured Fit Friends Friday bloggers here. If you would like to be featured on Fit Friends Friday or know someone who would, contact me!

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for my Sparkly Soul giveaway in honor of my birthday!

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