Posts filed under ‘Motivation’
Hey dudes! I’m here! I’m alive!
I’m sorry I haven’t updated recently. I haven’t really had the time or inspiration to sit down and write anything worthwhile, and I would rather not update at all that post some half-assed recap of the boring things going on in my life. Unfortunately, I’m worried that is exactly what is going to happen now, but I’ll try to have a point! I promise!
Ali just tweeted me with some nice words and it occurred to me that I should probably put some of the love back out into the blog world, cause that’s how it works, right?
On that note, Ali has been having a shitty week. Please combine all of your fabulous mental powers and send a million good thoughts her way, and then some. Someone as sweet, funny, interesting, motivated, strong and all-around wonderful as Ali doesn’t deserve bad stuff coming her way — I have serious faith that she will ninja kick whatever crap is going on in the face and never turn back, ’cause that’s the kind of badass chick she is. Much love to you, Ali!
Well guys, it’s time to be frank. I have lost my workout mojo. And when that happens, my healthy eating mojo tries to sneak out the back door too.
My pseudo kinda-sorta low-grade knee injury has totally interfered with my running to the point where it can be excruciating to jog across the street to catch the bus. This is extremely disheartening, because I was just starting to feel like I was discovering a new part of myself through running — the total badass, inner fit-chick that was ready to tell my muffin top to take a hike.
I’ve all but stopped running, and I’m sort of depressed about it. I’m also supposed to run a 5k on Sunday, and having not really trained since my last 5k, I’m terrified that I’m not going to be able to do it. I feel like a failure.
I’ve also fallen on my face and skinned my knee — TWICE — in the exact same spot on my knee. The first time was when I was out a few weeks ago with some friends that were visiting (alcohol was involved), the second was exactly four weeks later, just as it was finishing healing, within TWO BLOCKS of where I had fallen the first time. Alcohol was not involved the second time around, but it was after a seriously lame first date. This time, though, I scraped it even worse. I’m having trouble bending my knee because the scab is so huge, and I must have bruised the bone/joint pretty badly because running, bending it or anything similar really hurts. AWESOME.
Have I mentioned that I am a gigantic klutz? Here’s some evidence from college, when a friend and I were goofing around and both tripped, sending her head flying into our coffee table. I still can’t believe someone snapped this picture.
Yeah, I’m sure you can guess which one is me. That face I’m making is pretty priceless. The next day, she came into my room (we were roommates) and ask me if she had fallen. I started laughing and showed her the picture. She was like OH! I was wondering why I had a bruise on my forehead! Thankfully she was okay, hahaha….oh boy. College.
ANYWHO. I have been feeling like a lazy POS. I have been eating things like pad thai and pizza. And even though my self-control regarding drinking has actually been quite good, I’ve still been having one or two throughout the week. I know that’s not bad at all, but when you’re trying to cut back calories, those extra beer cals are just not necessary.
I need to kick my ass back in shape and stop being a wimp.
For a little extra motivation, I picked this guy up from Amazon:
I’m not a fan of dieting at all, but one of the things that attracted me to this book (and Look Better Naked) was that it promotes a healthy type of eating that you can sustain (or at least sustain some form of it) for the rest of your life. I am never going to be a girl that eats rice cakes for dinner. I like food. But I have a problem with how much food, and knowing the difference between occasional indulgences and eating Thai food and/or pizza for dinner 3 times per week. I need to work on this, so I’m hoping this book can at least be a helpful guide — I don’t plan on following any sort of diet 100%, as that is just not me.
I’m working from home today because I haven’t felt well (allergies? congestion? I hope it’s not the beginnings of a cold) and had an interesting break in the day when I started to hear noises coming from my (otherwise very quiet) courtyard. I realized that two of my male neighbors were having VERY LOUD sex. Oh man.
bahahahah. I just realized what an awesome pun that was. Get it? Oh man?
But yeah — LOTS of grunting and groaning. It was pretty hilarious at first, but after awhile I was like AHHHHH this is getting kind of gross and I am trying to work. Trust me, when it comes to getting it on, I am all about it — good for those dudes for getting some “afternoon delight” — but when I start to hear very specific body parts slapping against other very specific body parts, it starts to distract me from work. So I shouted, “CLOSE YOUR WINDOWS!!!” into the courtyard and sure enough, the noises stopped! But not before I called my friend Kati and held up the phone to the window so she could hear and giggle with me first. Hahaha. I am so mature.
Time to finish up my work and possibly try to go for a short run to see how the knee is doing. I’m really worried that if it’s still hurting as badly as it was, I’m not going to be able to run on Sunday, and my $40 bucks is going to go to waste. I know it’s nothing to be ashamed of to back out of a race because of an injury, but it’s certainly nothing to get excited about either.
Do any of you have any experience with this situation? I’d love to hear.
Oooohhhhhhhhhh, why hello there.
Yes, I know it’s been awhile. I’m sorry!
I was in a bit of a rut for awhile, you see. With the increasing pain in my right knee, my runs were becoming more painful and less frequent. This was not only frustrating, but also disheartening. I was feeling my motivation starting to wane as the possibility of running slipped farther and farther away, and other things just sort of followed suit.
So I decided to do something about it, and took my sorry ass to the physical therapist’s office. She had me explain my symptoms (excruciating right knee pain during lunges, squats, and going up or down stairs), history of pain (patellofemoral pain diagnosed at 12, brief physical therapy followed, nothing since) and then watched as I walked, skipped, tip-toed and heel-walked (??) back and forth a few times.
The results? Apparently my right leg is functionally shorter than my left, causing me to favor it and tilt my hips to compensate for the height difference. This makes soooo much sense, as I have always had a feeling that something was a little “off” about my gait. She did some stretching, some pulling, some general moving body parts around, then had me do some exercises to strengthen both my hips and my gluteus medius muscles.
I am very, very excited to continue with this and hopefully get to a pain-free place soon!
I went to yoga tonight. To be honest…I’m just not sure I’m ever going to like yoga. I know it’s good for me. I know it relieves stress, improves flexibility and strengthens my body. But I can’t help but find myself thinking, during every damn downward dog, “This suuuuuuucckkkkksss.” Am I crazy? Amy I the only person whose wrists hurt after the third sun salutation? Who looks at the clock on the wall with dread after seeing that there are still 30 minutes left? Parts of the class feel good (I love Warrior 2), but other parts just make me want to curl into a ball.
Oh wait — isn’t that a yoga pose too?
Anyway, I decided to go today since my knee is still hurting, but I was really craving some movement for my body. I’m glad I went. It felt great to challenge myself (my balance sucks) and even better to successfully finish the class with only a few minor adjustments from the instructor. I might go again, but for now, I still have pretty mixed feelings on yoga.
To combat the food rut, I hit up Trader Joe’s Monday night. Oh. My. Goodness. $111 later, let’s just say that opening up the fridge and pantry is a very exciting event right now. I’ll share some of the loot in a later post, but trust — it is good.
With the aforementioned loot, I decided I wanted to get creative for dinner tonight. And so I did — and then some. Y’all, I made homemade pesto. This stuff was so good that I nearly went weak in the knees. In fact, I’m getting a little tingly just thinking about it. But because
I’m too lazy to upload the pictures right now I like keeping you in suspense, the recipe will have to go up in an upcoming post as well. It’s super easy, and super GREEN. Oh my goodness.
For now, you’re just going to have to settle with an ooey, gooey, high protein, single-serving brownie. I know — life is tough.
Start with a few simple ingredients:
- 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin (can sub applesauce)
- 2 T rolled oats
- 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 scoop protein of choice (this is optional; I used chocolate sun warrior)
- 1 egg (can sub flax egg)
- sweetener of choice (I use 1 packet stevia)
- 5-10 dark chocolate chips.
This isn’t my “7 Links” post. Not yet.
So, I’m having a crappy day today. I’m still struggling with the acceptance of an unfortunate situation which I cannot change, and right now, it’s making my day pretty tough. In turn, I’m feeling down about myself, and a lot of negative thoughts are creeping around inside my head. So, in tune with Caitlin and Operation Beautiful, as well as taking my very own words of advice behind the reasons for starting this blog in the first place, I’m going to create my own blogger-tagging post to remind myself of just a few of the many, many reasons I have to be happy. As I said before — sometimes, it’s the little things.
I want each one of you who does this following me to list five things that give you confidence and that you really love about yourself. They can be physical (toned arms!), mental (brilliant at math), emotional (supportive), totally random (makes perfectly symmetrical pankcakes) or anything else you can come up with. All that matters is that these things make you, you. I’m sure there are maaaaany more than 5 wonderful things about all of you fabulous bloggers out there, but sometimes we all need just a little reminder — or a kick in the pants! — to let us know how fantastic we really are. This is in no way tooting your own horn or being conceited – just some positive energy to put out into the universe. I can’t wait to hear what other bloggers have to say, and to learn a little bit more about the things that make each of us special and beautiful.
Keepin’ things positive, oh yeah! :)
Please write your own, then tag five other bloggers!
Laura’s 5 Things:
- I absolutely love my green eyes. Most people have brown or blue eyes, but I don’t see emerald pairs like mine out there very often. They make me feel beautiful and unique.
- I love that I’m comfortable enough with myself to say whatever is on my mind without much censoring. While this can sometimes get me in trouble (!), I think it makes up a big part of my personality, and I really like that about myself.
- I have (or at least hope I have!) a natural talent for writing that I wouldn’t give up for anything. It means the world to me that I can sit down and start writing without hesitation.
- I care deeply about and greatly appreciate my friends and family, and try to always let them know. This seems to be a rare thing sometimes.
- I think my girls look pretty great in a low-cut dress :D
Sorry…had to slip that last one in there! Hahahaha.
Now…for the fun part!
Tag, you’re it!
- Ali from FoodFitnessFashion
- Gretchen from Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
- Sarah from Run Sqrl, Run!
- Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers
- Allie from Picky Eating RD
Have fun, ladies!! :)
Tell me, what do you love about yourself?
Good lord, has it been hot in Chicago lately. I have taken to wearing either next to nothing (while at home only, of course), or workout/wicking clothes most of the time because it’s literally like an oven outside this week. Yesterday’s heat-inspired outfit at least looked somewhat put-together:
I feel like my head looks awkwardly huge here…but yeah, that’s my new Lululemon CRB (cool racerback), a hat to cover up the major sweaties/greasies and some cool, comfy LOFT shorts. Flip flops were obviously worn as well.
This was worn as a work from home outfit, but my working was intended to be at the Caribou nearby. Unfortunately, I got there and paid for a drink before finding out that their WiFi wasn’t working! I feel like that is kind of a big deal for a coffee shop where people sit around and work, so I was pretty annoyed that they didn’t have some sort of sign up or something. Small potatoes, but still. Hmph.
I decided to just go back home and finish my work there. I had rented a Zipcar at 6 o’clock to run some errands, so I didn’t want to waste time walking around to another coffee shop when my apartment was much closer. Still though, I hate being cooped up inside all day. At least it was a good day to hide out in the AC.
It was also a beautiful night for colors in the sky.
Isn’t that incredible? I couldn’t believe how gorgeous it looked at dusk.
Even though I have AC in my apartment and it stays pretty cool because it’s so small, I haven’t wanted to use the oven at all — something about hot food or standing over a steamy pot just makes me want to gag. Tuesday night, I made an Amy’s frozen veggie lasagna that was actually really good. I can’t remember what I ate on the side, but it was some sort of vegetable….
The portion size seemed just right (enough to feel slightly indulgent and filling, but not too huge where it was overly filling or had too many calories). The veggie filling was also nicely bulked up, and while I would have preferred whole wheat pasta, the organic ingredient list was nice. I highly recommend it!
Last night, I went all cold and picked up some sesame tofu (marinated but I don’t think they were fried) from the Whole Foods prepared foods case. For some reason I don’t really like the way sesame oil smells, even though I like how it tastes, so the smell kind of put me off and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m so glad I tried it though — it was AMAZING!
(Sorry for all the crappy camera phone pics). I know this doesn’t look like much, but I promise it was delicious. If you see these, definitely give them a try! I also picked up a lemon-lime Zevia because I was craving soda. To continue with the no-cook theme, I made another massaged raw kale salad. This time, it was just kale, olive oil, sea salt, white balsamic vinegar and garlic powder. I topped it with grape tomatoes.
I love how easy this is to make, plus I feel like I’m eating superfood when I make it (I guess I am!). It’s perfect for hot nights.
So this morning, I finally got to see my doctor regarding the knee pain I’ve been experiencing. I’ve had knee problems for a long time, but they’ve never really interfered with my life like they have been doing lately. I know it’s in part due to my increased running, but I know that that’s just what intensified the problem, not what caused it.
I got up early to work from home for an hour or so, then headed out to see the doc before going into work. My doctor confirmed my suspicions in that it’s not my IT band and likely not my actual knee that’s causing the problem, but it’s actually “further upstream” in my hip. My right hip is tighter and slightly higher up than my left, causing a misalignment and subsequent knee pain. Some physical therapy focusing on hip stabilizing and strengthening, as well as strengthening my gluteus med muscles, should really help, so she wrote me a scrip. I can’t wait!
Doesn’t she have such nice handwriting for a doctor? I seriously love my doc — she is a D.O. as well as a licensed clinical social worker, and puts a lot of focus on holistic health, and always recommends natural and healthy alternatives like yoga, whole foods and natural supplements. Please let me know if you live in Chicago and would like a recommendation! I can’t speak highly enough about her!
One item was super-relevant to the doctor’s orders today.
She told me I need to be icing both sides of my knee for 15 minutes every day, twice a day (wow!) so I’m glad this came in the mail. I know I can use frozen peas, but it will be nice to have at least one “real” ice pack since I don’t have any. I still got a bunch of other stuff too though.
I know, I’m insane. Look at all those boxes! But I got some fun goodies, including:
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a book I’ve been wanting to read forever
- A kitchen scale which will not only be useful for cooking/baking (weight is much more reliable than volume), but also occasional portion checking
- A 4-pack of dark chocolate roasted almonds that were WAY cheaper than at the store. Can keep some at work for afternoon snacks, some in gym bag, some at home!
- A (not pictured) locking glass shaker bottle that I will use for transporting smoothies!
- Another fun surprise that will be revealed soon!
Love. Love love love love love. This is a clear case of the wild hair syndrome, but whatever – I know I will use all this stuff, and I am really jazzed about the new book. I’m also super excited that Mel offered to lend me her Hunger Games books! Thanks, Mel!! :)
Just for fun, here are a few more 5k pictures.
This was my post-race brunch:
Not sure if I remembered to mention the bacon in that brunch or not, haha.
I am going to get back to work, but I hope you are all having a wonderful day and aren’t melting in this heat. I’m going to try to make it to the gym tonight as my knee is finally feeling a little better, but I’m still wary of busting it up even more. See ya!
I wanted some candy the other day, so I busted out my candy bowl.
My kind of candy doesn’t look like most candy, though.
There is just something about a big bowl of fruit that makes me smile :D
Oh, hey — you know what else makes me happy? Did I mention I ran my second 5k on Saturday?
It was H-O-T outside that morning, oh my. The race started at 7:30 and it was already at least a good 80 degrees out. I ran with Amy again this time around, which again was such a wonderful part of the experience. We seem to be able to push each other at just the right times and in the right ways — she likes to go faster than I do, and I tend to take fewer breaks, so with that push and pull, we do better together than I think we would apart.
We pushed through the first mile without stopping, but needed a break soon after that because it was so hot out and we were both needing a break. There was an air quality alert over the whole weekend, so the air felt very thick and smoggy — blegh, not the best weather for running.
Thankfully this time around, I had a new tool in my arsenal…
That’s right — I got a Garmin!!! I feel like a total poseur wearing this behemoth around, but it really motivates me to see my pace while I’m running, and pushes me to kick it up a notch when I slow down. It also really surprised me to see how fast I run when I’m on the road and not on the treadmill!
After working my way up to faster and longer runs for months and months at the gym, I can actually keep a pretty decent pace — for me, that is (I am in no way fast, and probably never will be). I had always thought I was much, much slower out on the road though, so it really surprised me to see that my pace wasn’t that far off when I took the Garmin out on its first run the other night. It’s still not as fast as I am on the treadmill, of course, and I need to take more frequent jogging or walking intervals, but I don’t suck as much as I thought I did! Who knew!
So back to the 5k — the Garmin helped keep us from taking off too quickly after our walking intervals, which was important because again — IT WAS HOT AS HELL OUTSIDE. There was a decent breeze, but the sun was really just beating down. The distance indicator was what really helped, because for whatever reason, there didn’t seem to be a 2 mile marker! When you’re new to doing races, that 2nd mile mark is a really important motivator.
Even though we stopped at the water station almost at the start of the second mile, Amy and I started to feel a little lightheaded and she even said she started to shiver by the end of the second mile, so we really had to step it down a notch which was somewhat disappointing to both of us. Before the race started we had both said we wanted to beat our last time, but would still be thrilled just to finish. At this point, we were both saying how glad we were that we hadn’t committed ourselves to beating the first time, haha.
A few walking breaks and lots of back-and-forth inspirational yelling, we got about halfway through the second mile and really started to slow down.
On a side note: Amy kept thinking I was saying, “You’re doing great” when I was actually saying “We’re doing great!” which cracked me up because had I said “you’re,” I think it would have sounded so condescending! If anything, she is a better runner than I am!
This was where the people started lining up along the course and were cheering us on, which as I explained after my last/first 5k, meant the world to me. I wanted to hop over and kiss them, I was so grateful!!
Unfortunately, there was also a huge soccer game or some sort of event going on, so at certain points around the course, we would pass a big tent of people grilling hot dogs and burgers. Seriously, guys — when you’re hauling your semi-out-of-shape ass through the last leg of your second ever race at 7:45 in the morning in 90 degree heat, the absolute last thing you want to smell is a friggin’ smoking piece of meat. I kind of wanted to vom.
When we finally got to 2.75 mi, we started to perk up again, and then — like magic, we passed a setup where a group of people were playing Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry, and as we were passing them, we heard, “Go, go go go Johnny, go!” Amy and I both got huge grins on our faces and got ready to finish strong. Even though we were huffing and puffing and feeling like we were going to absolutely die, we ran our fastest to the finish line.
And then, we immediately collapsed onto the ground.
They had medical personnel ready at the finish because it was so hot, and they also had fan/misting stations and tons of water and ice waiting. Amy and I both said we felt like we might puke or pass out (not really, but kinda….), so we grabbed some water and just sat immediately to catch our breath. We must have really looked like we were in bad shape, because some guy ran over and asked if we were okay. We half panted, half answered him yes, but apparently didn’t sound very convincing, because he asked us again! Haha. Had I had the energy, I would have laughed, but all I could do was chug water and, you know..not die.
He offered to grab us popsicles, which we gladly accepted, so after he bolted in the other direction and returned shortly after with the 911-popsicles, we hoisted ourselves up and found some shade to cool off. Amy’s temporary roommate (who is from Paris!!! How neat!) was nice enough to come out and cheer us on, so she joined us for a popsicle and some post-race treats as well. The poor girl had to sit there and watch us pant like overheated dogs though! Hah.
Aren’t our pink race shirts fun?
I still can’t believe how sweaty we were! Holy unflattering picture.
I am so, so glad I bought that visor last week; it really helped to keep both the sun and sweat out of my eyes, and it’s from my favorite brand — Mizuno!
We walked around for a bit and took in the post-race sights and goodies. I stopped at the New Balance tent where the guy on staff told me I desperately need physical therapy because my glute meds are insanely weak. He was super attractive and was sitting there telling me that my butt muscles were inadequate. This was sooo awkward.
When I finally got home around 10, I immediately hopped into an ice cold shower and rinsed off, then climbed into my bed and positioned myself directly next to the air conditioner. After sleeping for a good hour and 45 minutes, I climbed out of bed and made myself the perfect post-race treat: a Fitnessista Green-a-colada!
Into the blender went Fage 0%, unsweetened original PureAlmond, a stevia packet, unsweetened organic shredded coconut, frozen pineapple chunks, frozen mango chunks, vanilla SunWarrior and a big ol’ handful of spinach. It was so insanely tasty I could barely contain my delight. I totally slurped this bad boy down. What do you think of that color? Gross or delectable?
After some putzing around the apartment, I cleaned up a bit then met up with my sister-in-law Lisa and my friend Allison for brunch around noon. We hit up Jack’s on Halsted and I feasted on 2 poached eggs, a piece of whole wheat toast, some fruit and some breakfast potatoes. I also snuck a few of Allison’s fries, and treated myself with a victory mimosa :) I earned it!
Allison and I wandered around DSW for a bit after to escape the intense midday heat, and I walked outta there with two pairs of shoes! One was a pair of sandals that were on clearance that I have already worn three times. The other was a pair of Saucony running shoes that I thought were great in the store, but I realized after testing them on the treadmill that they don’t provide the cushioning/shock absorption I need on my forefoot, so they will have to be returned. I’m not at the point in my running yet where I can run in a minimalist shoe, so the bouncier, the better!
Because I am out of my mind, I went home, changed, and went to the gym! I had so much energy after the 5k and nap that I really wanted to hit the treadmill and do some body resistance exercises. Probably not the smartest choice, but oh well. I only did about two miles and kept it really leisurely on the recumbent bike while reading Redbook. The real magic happened when I did some glute med-isolating exercises, per Mr. Sexy New Balance Man’s instructions, and then some serious foam roller
torture therapy. My IT band was obscenely tight, as were my hips, so I could tell it was desperately needed. I took my time and stretched after, and felt immensely better. I think that’s why I’m not really sore today.
Thankfully, this guy arrived in the mail while I was at work today:
That’s a Tiger Tail! I got one per Tina’s recommendation so I can foam roll in-between gym visits, and I’m so glad I did. It can’t quite match up to the giant foam rollers they have at the gym, but I just don’t have the space for one of those right now, so this works great. As a bonus, it works on my neck and shoulders, which feels like a great, deep-tissue massage!!
After the gym yesterday, I made a nourishing meal that my body was really craving.
Salmon! I defrosted a wild Alaskan salmon filet from Whole Foods while I was at the gym, then when I got back, I preheated the oven to 375 and heated up a skillet. After warming up some Pam spray, I seared both sides of the filet for about 30 seconds, then popped it into the oven on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Before putting it into the oven, though, I crushed some black pepper and sea salt on both sides, then topped it with a simple lemon butter sauce:
- 1T butter, melted
- juice of half a lemon
- salt + pepper
- 1T honey
Well, this was a looong post and I need to get to bed and snuggle with a very impatient kitty. Keep your eyes peeled for a seriously sweet recipe on my next post…
Have a great night, and if you’re from Chicago, make sure to look at my Chicago Blogger Meetup post!
No wonder I woke up feeling like death today.
Or, more specifically,
I have a teeny apartment, and two kitties. Indoor dust and dander is bad enough as it is…yeesh. I need to vacuum more frequently, but sometimes I honestly think vacuuming makes it worse!
Dinner last night with my family (for Dad’s birthday) was great! We went to this old school Italian place in Little Italy called Salatino’s — note the checkered red tablecloth! The weather was perfect so we sat outside and enjoyed each other’s company as well as the nice breeze and the great view of the city. I ordered their homemade rigatoni dish, with San Marzano tomato sauce (the best kind!) and homemade sausage. I initially ordered it with whole wheat pasta, but at the last minute switched it back, thinking the boxed whole wheat wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as the homemade. I was right!
The portion was huge! I think I ate between 1/3 and 1/2, but I wasn’t paying super close attention because we were having such a good time. I also had some rapini that I ordered on the side for some green. It wasn’t that great — too much olive oil, no salt and red pepper flakes — whaa?? Weird preparation.
I also sipped on a glass of prosecco throughout the night, and nibbled on 3 small pieces of tomato sauce-dipped bread. YUMMM.
Going to pick up my race packet (!!!) after work today, then hitting up the grocery store because I ran out of veggies — even my frozen backup stash!! Heavens no. Instead of writing down a second list to copy what I had on my dry erase board, I just took a picture on my phone. Because I’m cool like that. And lazy.
Technology: 1, Laura’s handwriting: 0. (Do you like how it says email grandma? Haha)