Posts filed under ‘Self confidence’

Like, OMG! Fashion!

FASHION! HAH!

While I definitely think I manage to make myself look at least somewhat presentable most of the time, I’m certain I rarely warrant a, Oh my gosh, you look so cute!  Totally guilty of having a “uniform” and sticking to it. Religiously.

Behold.

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+

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or

Yeah. I am pretty much guaranteed to be wearing some combination of this outfit 8 times out of 10. It’s partially because it’s amazingly versatile — it can work for almost any season, and you can mix and match everything in your closet. But it’s also because it’s what I feel the most comfortable wearing…Cardigans, if picked out and worn correctly! — can complement curves and hide….lumps? Haha.

My favorite spots to score cardis and camis are LOFT, Banana, Gap and J. Crew. All known for their plain — albeit adorable — styles. Eeep.

My work “dress code” is very casual, so while it’s totally acceptable to show up looking super adorable and dressed up — just as it’s totally acceptable (but still unfathomable to me) to show up in ripped jeans and old sneakers — I’m looking to strike a happy medium using clothes I can also wear on the weekends.

BUT.

My other problem is what I wear when I’m not trying to look good and simply aiming for not homeless. My day off/working from home/pre- or post-gym/it’s-Saturday-and-I-have-things-to-do-but-don’t-want-to-shower-because-I’m-going-out-tonight-and-don’t-feel-like-showering-twice-in-one-day … *INHALE* … look is going out in my “nicer” gym clothes (aka Lulu) with brushed hair and some makeup on.

I totally look like this when I hit the gym. NOT.

Are you guys guilty of this? I feel like I’m totally copping out by admitting this, but it’s totally acceptable because it’s all, “Hey! I’m active and physically fit! I ran 77 miles before you even woke up this morning so it’s totally legit to walk around in my gym clothes! Why YES, my hair DOES always look this perfect after I work out…why do you ask?”

Don’t you guys love me? Haha.

Should I just stick with what works? Or try and branch out with some new styles? But I don’t know what to wear. What do normal people wear every day!?? WHAT THE HELL IS A JEGGING? OMG LIFE IS HARD.

(For the record, I totally have a bunch of dresses that I regularly wear in the summer, but haven’t yet mastered the winter dress and tights look, and can’t seem to find a single skirt that doesn’t make me look 1000x ridiculous, so that’s not really an option).

Also, sometimes I wear this.

This was fun.

Please help me.

Love you all.

September 22, 2011 at 6:30 am 5 comments

A weighty issue and adventures in working from home

Hey dudes! I’m here! I’m alive!

peaceful times in WI

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.

hahah -- my ridiculous sad face

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.

ridiculous

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.

KLASSY times, my friends

——

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.

cheers!

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:

source: 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.

Ciao!

September 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm 7 comments

Another anti-dude tirade

Sometimes, everything sucks.

—-pause—-

I’m giving you complete permission to skip this post if my opening line proved to be too cheery for you. I don’t think this will turn out to be a total Debbie Downer, but it’s at least gonna start that way.

A good friend (okay, a very good friend — like best friend) of mine just had a short but intense relationship end. She was under the impression that all the good things it had brought were just beginning (as was everyone else who was witness to this twosome), and didn’t see the abrupt end coming. Her birthday is tomorrow.

source: Texting My Pancreas

That just…that just sucks. I’m concerned for my ability to comfort and be there for her, because this reminds me all too much of my fading but still-recent-enough-to-be-painful breakup, and the best things I can come up with to say do not do a very good job of masking my intense disdain for anything with a penis. Dudes are awful.

This dude doesn’t suck that much, but as whole, most dudes still suck tremendously. I don’t like that this happened so close to her birthday, and I don’t like that he ended things only after pulling both of them past the this-could-still-just-be-a-fling point.

Of course, he still wants to talk to her and like omgletsbefriends.

source: someecards.com

We all know how I feel about that.

I’ll be joining her tonight to hopefully drown some of our sorrows in a messy alcoholic haze, but I’m going to have to do my best to keep my man-hating rants to myself. Bitching about a dude that hairline-fractured (not broke) my heart isn’t gonna do her any good, but it’s hard not to want to scream SEEITOLDYOUSOAREN’THEYALLHORRIBLEOMG

(To clarify, I don’t really hate men. I just think they’re mostly worthless putzes at the moment. This may just be temporary.)

it's fun to break up with people over text message!

This week I was also stood up by a freaking OKCupid date who I had not yet met. I’m having a little trouble understanding this logic, seeing as he asked me out, sent me several nice, normal-sounding conversational emails, set up a date, then went to the trouble of emailing me asking if we could postpone (major eyeroll and air quotes here, people) the date — did he Google me and find some horrific picture I don’t yet know exists? Shocker shocker, he was never heard from again (which is slightly awkward as his full name sits prominently at the top of my gchat list now). But clearly he’s an asshole and seeing as I didn’t even waste a leg shave or a swipe of overly expensive lipstick on the bastard, I’m almost glad he showed his true colors this early. But really, guys — what gives? Someone needs to lock these kind of idiots in a cage before they reach breeding age.

source: Street Knowledge Media

On a cheerier note, I got some new glasses! After paying an arm, a leg, and my pinky toe (for a copay, obviously), I am the proud owner of a pair of Oliver Peoples hipsta-nerd glasses. I kind of love them. Everyone may just be being nice, but I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on them as well, which makes me feel a little more secure since they were outrageously expensive and not exactly…neutral looking? A certain dude who shall not be mentioned (and yes, I know you’re reading this) asked me, however, if this was a situation where he had to lie just to be nice. And said that they mask my sweetness, or something along those lines.

Big middle finger.

I like them, so I stick my tongue out at you, sir! I’m a sweet pea, and my glasses ain’t gonna change that.

In conclusion, men are giant babies who deserve to be locked in cages. And I’m getting drunk tonight.

August 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm 5 comments

Night owl

I couldn’t sleep, so I’m up late working and putzing around on the computer.

Three different people I have dated throughout a very long span of time all contacted me within about five minutes of each other tonight (weird), and it is completely distracting me.

And now…I’m looking back on the butterflies and feeling sad. Sigh. I wish things like this got easier. I know I’ve grown up a lot in the past few years, but every time I get my heart broken, I feel like a 15 year-old girl all over again.

Can I send a message out to the Universe — to that wonderful, kind, patient, hilarious and perfect-for-me man out there who is waiting for me, specifically — to hurry up and find me already? This sucks.

August 10, 2011 at 3:27 am 8 comments

Tag, you’re it!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

  1. Ali from FoodFitnessFashion
  2. Gretchen from Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
  3. Sarah from Run Sqrl, Run!
  4. Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers
  5. Allie from Picky Eating RD

Have fun, ladies!! :)

Tell me, what do you love about yourself?

July 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm 10 comments

Candy + My Second 5k

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…

please excuse the scary post-gym look I have goin' on

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.

I did, however, enjoy the smell of meat at SausageFest

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.

Estelle, Amy and me

Aren’t our pink race shirts fun?

I still can’t believe how sweaty we were! Holy unflattering picture.

sweaty beasts

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
It was sooooo tasty. I used about half of the sauce before cooking, and put the rest on after. It made the salmon so flavorful and a little sweet, which really made it special.
The broccoli had some spritzed olive oil and a sprinkle of Pecorino cheese.

 

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!

July 19, 2011 at 3:11 am 9 comments

Linked: A Tale in Forgiveness

This is one of the best posts I’ve read in a very long time. Hell, it’s one of the best essays — not just on a blog, but anywhere — that I’ve read. I fear Heather is going to think I’m going a little cuckoo over all the compliments I’ve paid her over Twitter today, but that’s okay — any girl loves a bit of ego stroking, right? Haha.

When you have a few moments in your day to sit down and really open up to something great, read this. I swear, it was more effective than a $150 therapy session. And it warmed my heart. And I’m gonna read it again right….now.

Linked: A Tale in Forgiveness (& accolade, & giving up, & following your heart)

July 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm 5 comments

Body image and self-confidence, through the eyes of Facebook

Just out of curiosity, do you other bloggers come up with post titles before, or after you write the post? I always seem to write them before — maybe that’s why so many of them suck.

Are you guys enjoying these ridiculous pictures of me yet? Cause really I’m just looking for any excuse to flaunt my feminine, delicate beauty all over the internet.

I’m feeling like with the better food and portion choices I’ve been making lately, my mindset is finally starting to change, little by little. Instead of dreaming about the fifteen portions of pizza I can’t wait to gobble up later, my mind is more quickly turning to the more practical option — what can I eat that will make more sense? It doesn’t mean I don’t want these things — hah, I don’t think I will ever stop wanting pizza — it’s just that I’m so supremely tired of disliking myself simply as a direct result of what I have just put in my mouth. (TWSS).

But my thoughts still constantly center around food — What am I going to have to breakfast? What should I make for lunch? Ohhh, pizza for dinner sounds so good. But where? I’ll look at the menu for twenty minutes, drooling over the endless options.

That makes me sound like a total nutjob, yikes. On a sidenote, I’m reading The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler. I’m not huge on diet or hoaky self-help books, but I feel like this book is helping me understand why my mind is always buzzing about food. It suprised me to read the book’s introduction, which interviewed several people who explained that their minds work in a very similar way to mine — always wondering, what’s next? What can I have? I feel like reading this is helping me to become much more aware of this disordered way of thinking about food, as if pizza were suddenly going to vanish from the earth tomorrow, never leaving me with another taste again.

Oh god, wouldn’t that be a nightmare?

Also, I need to stop referring to pizza. What is that, like five times in the last three paragraphs? Get ahold of yourself, Laura!

Really though, I do think about food a lot. One of the interesting quirks about the healthy living blog community is that sometimes it can feel borderline obsessive about food. Many bloggers seem to be straying a little more from the, “Here’s what I ate x3” posts, which I think is a good thing, but for someone unfamiliar with the idea of food/fitness blogging, talking in such excess detail about what you eat, how and why can seem really disordered. I struggle with this a lot, sometimes asking myself why I’m hovering over my dinner, snapping one blurry picture after another for twenty minutes before realizing that my food has already gotten cold.

This, friends, is why I sometimes grace you with beautiful pictures like these, instead.

Uh, at least I think my eyes are pretty?

This brings me to another interesting point though. While on my lunch break, I was reading some of Gretchen’s posts about body image and hiding her intense self-consciousness behind a loud and boisterous personality. I’m definitely guilty of this, and as you can see above, I tend to hide my lack of confidence behind goofy faces and That’s What She Said jokes. I think, Hey! No one will notice that double chin if I’m contorting my face enough to look supremely constipated.

Okay, that may not be my exact thought process, but you get what I mean…

Anyway, as Gretchen has said, looking through Facebook pictures of yourself at different points in your weight is a really interesting process. I’ll find pictures where I’m at a point I distinctly remember feeling fat and horrific-looking, but now I think that I looked slim and great. At many points throughout college, I was eating normal portions, walking everywhere and hitting the rec center to work out most days after class. I did drink a lot of beer and hit up late night pizza joints every once and while, but I also wasn’t sitting at a computer for 8 hours per day. It makes me sad to think that I wasted all that time and energy feeling bad about myself when I should have admired the fun, wonderful person into whom I was evolving.

Conversely, it’s also quite interesting to look at pictures where I was at higher points in my weight. I can notice distinct quirks about how I hold myself, such as covering my stomach with a pillow or awkwardly tilting my head down to disguise my chubby face. I also recall running to the camera in the hands of whoever had taken the photo, checking to see — Did I look fat in that one? — or not wanting to look at all. Unfortunately, I often feel this way now, and realize that there are very few current pictures of me, on Facebook or even from photos taken by friends, because I avoid letting people take pictures of me.

It’s a strange feeling, gaining small but important strides in my confidence as a result of things like training for, and subsequently completing my first 5k. My mother has remarked on several occasional that she notices that I look slimmer — Must be a result of all that running, she says — but when I look in the mirror, all I see is something that needs to be fixed. A work in progress.

I know I have a long way to go before I start feeling comfortable and confident with myself, and I also know that the steps I’m taking now, however incremental they may be, are an important part of getting to that point. All I can hope for now is the motivation and determination to stick to the goals I’ve set for myself, and for the wisdom and strength to keep pushing when life’s inevitable surprises and bumps in the road get in the way.

This post was meant to be about the iced tea I made last night…but I think it turned out a lot more interesting. Good thing I waited until after writing it to add the title ;)

July 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm 11 comments

TLC

Well, hello there. *Wink*

After my rough evening last night, I felt like I really treated myself well today.

My lunch went undocumented because I scarfed it up so quickly. Seriously — you gotta make this Greek quinoa salad. It’s easy as pie, keeps well, and tastes incredible!

And for the record, Trader Joe’s organic pea shoots are SO TASTY. They’re like a cross between sprouts and sugar snap peas.

I left work a little early because I needed to get to a doctor’s appointment by 5:15. As I mentioned before, I was dealing with some health issues that were really stressing me out. Well, after today’s appointment, I finally feel like I can rest a little easier.

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the view from the beach in Bonita Springs, FL -- my happy place

I’ve always had a lot of moles all over my body, but never really thought much of it. Recently, though, I have noticed that several were oddly colored, oddly shaped, or would get raised or itchy when I would get a sunburn. After silently stressing about it for far too long, I finally went to my doctor and asked her about it, thinking she would shrug it off as nothing.

Unfortunately, she didn’t do that — she told me to make an appointment with a dermatologist right away to have them looked at. I was super freaked out, but didn’t let my fears get too out of control before seeing the derm. Two weeks ago today, I headed to the doctor, unsure of what she would say. After looking at the three or four that I pointed out, she told me that two were unusual looking, but not overtly cancerous-looking. She wanted to remove them anyway and have them biopsied and sent off to a lab to check for cancerous cells.

I don’t know if I’ve told you guys, but I am completely, utterly, absolutely terrified of needles. It’s a legitimate phobia — one that I know is totally irrational, but one that I can’t seem to shake. I’ve gotten much better about it in recent years, but it’s like no matter what my mind says, my body just totally freaks out. What that means? I faint.

Yep, I faint every time I get a shot. So after they injected the lidocaine into the two spots to be biopsied, I laid there patiently in my paper gown, waiting for the procedure to be over, breathing deeply — in and out, in and out. That is, until I started to feel lightheaded…I’ve fainted enough times to know what it feels like before it happens, but let me tell ya — you don’t have much time to get that message across.

Before I could finish my, “I think I feel lightheaded..” sentence, I was out cold.

Oh, and I pissed all over the place.

………..

Yes, let’s just sit here for a second and let that sink in. I peed all over myself and the exam table at the dermatologist’s office.  For the record, I was unconscious, so it wasn’t inentional. I feel lik this is obvious, but just wanted to, ya know, throw it out there. I debated for quite awhile whether I wanted to post about it, since it was pretty embarrassing, but ultimately it was more hilarious than anything. I think the most humiliating best part was having to throw out my underwear, and then being sent home with a pair of bright blue paper underwear, reserved for liposuction patients. In white jeans. My life really should be a sitcom sometimes.

Well, I went back today, two weeks after the pee incident, and received the incredible news that the lab results came back negative, meaning nothing showed up cancerous. One of the moles had “abnormal architecture,” which basically meant it could potentially have turned into something down the road, but it was removed completely so it won’t be an issue. Needless to say, I am so incredibly relieved.

:)

—-

After leaving the doctor’s office feeling like a million pounds had been lifted off my shoulders, I had planned on meeting up with a few friends for drinks and dinner. Sadly, our plans fell through, but I had a serious hankering for pizza since our plan was to hit up Piece in Wicker Park. So… I decided to improvise.


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I toasted a FlatOut Wrap in a cookie sheet in the oven for 5-7 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Then I added all the goodies.

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And cooked it for 7 minutes or so in the oven at 375 degrees. This bad boy started with some Whole Foods marinara, then I added a hefty layer of baby spinach, some sliced red pepper, halved cherry tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese, garlic gold and red pepper flakes.

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It was SOOOOOOOOO good. Just what I wanted, and healthy to boot. I didn’t calculate the calories, but now I’m sort of curious. Certainly it’s gotta be better than restaurant pizza, anyway ;)

After taking some time to clean up (but I’m still not even close to being finished) and letting my food settle, I got myself ready for the gym and headed out the door. Unfortunately, the sky was green and I felt a few rogue sprinkles coming down, so I dashed back inside and grabbed my umbrella. The last time we had a big storm, I was unprepared…

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hey, baby

I thought I looked too hilarious and SOAKED not to take a picture. Check out those sexy raccoon eyes! ;) Hubba hubba.

Anyway, I got about ten feet down the street toward the gym when it started to pour. The sky turned black and the wind picked up out of nowhere, it was so neat. I love storms, so instead of giving up and going back home, I decided to wait under an awning for the storm to pass, or at least for the rain to slow down. It took a good ten minutes before my umbrella would have even made a difference, so I was really proud of sticking it out and keeping up wtih my commitment to hit the gym.

Because my legs are still having issues (shin splints, IT band and knee pain, blegh), I decided to take it easy and read my new issue of Women’s Health on the recumbent bike for a good 40 minutes, then I hit the elliptical for another ten. By that point, it was actually hailing, so everybody at the gym was just glued to the windows, mouths agape. Let me tell you — this was good motivation to stay at the gym and keep working out! Haha.

I did some wall squats, which I’ve read are easier on your knees and also strengthen your gluteus medius, which is supposed to help with knee pain. I also did some hip raises (I’m pretty sure my hips are super weak because my running gait is all sorts of wrong) and shoulder + chest exercises. Finally, I finished off with a good ten minutes with the foam roller of death. It hurt, but I could tell I needed it badly. I really need to get one of my own for home.

When I got back, I needed a snack and couldn’t figure out what I was craving at first. After looking through the fridge for a minute, I decided to top a toasted Kashi waffle with some whipped cream cheese and a little fig spread, then topped it with a sprinkle of chia seeds. This was beyond delicious — I think I could eat this every day of my life and not get sick of it.

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eattttt meeeee

Sorry my pictures are kind of blurry — I’m not quite sure why I’m still so sucky at snapping my food!

Speaking of which, I realized I never posted pictures from my dinner with Allie and Mel at Karyn’s the other night. I had two undocumented (aka too delicious to remember to take their picture) drinks — a caipirinha and a Sazerac, and we shared an arugula, potato and Daiya pizza to start.

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I had two slices, and while I’m not a huge fan of Daiya, this was pretty tasty. The heaping mass of fresh arugula really made it fresh and delicious.

For my main meal, I had their “chicken” drumsticks. They were served with barbecue sauce, which was sweet and delicious, and reminded me of Sweet Baby Ray’s, and some spinach and sweet potato hash. I ate the whole thing! The chicken was made out of seitan and was perfectly crispy on the outside, and very “meaty” on the inside. I was surprised by how good they were.

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cute little "drumsticks!"

Again, sorry for the blurriness. But how lovely is that presentation?? I think I moved it around a little bit before taking this, so it didn’t look quite as asymmetrical when they first brought it over ;)

Anywho, I’m going to get a little work done, then hop in bed with my book. I’m currently splitting my time between The Hunger Games and More Than It Hurts You. They’re both excellent and I can’t wait to finish them.

Thanks for all your kind words and comments lately — you guys are so great :)

June 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm 8 comments

Grocery woes + Greek quinoa salad

Hi friends — happy Thursday!

pretty, huh?

I had another impossible time waking up this morning. I stayed up late talking to the guy I just ended things with for a couple grueling hours. He informed me yesterday afternoon that he may be moving to Portland in a month and I was completely flabbergasted. He is still intent on becoming friends, and while I really do care about him, I’m just not sure I can do it. We’ve been doing this awkward back and forth for awhile now, and it’s getting exhausting, so I’m really not sure what to do. I think I still see him as someone I dated, and don’t know if I could maintain the distance to be okay with being just friends. You know, not kissing or holding hands…etc. :(

Have you ever decided to become friends with someone you dated longer than a quick fling, but not long enough for a full-fledged relationship?

Anywho, I’m totally exhausted. We finally got off the phone at 1:30 in the morning, and after that I proceeded to tackle the horrific mound of (stinky) dishes in my sink. I don’t like this living alone thing — I’m turning into a freaking slob! I’m rarely home these days because who wants to sit home by themselves in the summertime when you could be out having fun? But that means I’m dashing in and out, and never spend any time cleaning up. Who wants to come over and help? :)

After getting the news about the guy’s potential move, I was totally bummed out, so naturally, I went grocery shopping.

You guys, I am a food hoarder. Some people stockpile shoes (although I do tend to do this too…) — I stockpile groceries. I have enough food to feed 50 people for a week. It doesn’t help that it’s nearly impossible to leave Trader Joe’s without spending at least $50. I left with lots of tasty produce, some quinoa (theirs is always cheaper), some frozen fruit for smoothies (ditto — you won’t find cheaper pineapple and mango anywhere else), their amazing chicken meatballs, some Kona coffee (!!) and a few other random things that I can’t remember. I think the bill was something like $83….ugh. But I can’t help myself!!!!!

I also picked up this nifty reusable insulated bag, even though I already have like 38492340239450 reusable grocery bags. Again, friends — hoarder, I tells ya. HELP ME STOP.

After feeling crappy about everything all day (despite being able to work from home – aka Starbucks), I headed home, noshed on a small banana, cleaned up a bit, and tossed on my gym gear after winning an internal battle of whether to go or not. It was absolutely insanely gorgeous out last night, so it would have been the perfect time for a run, but I’m starting to think that I overtrained and gave myself shin splits.

I’m not exactly sure how one can overtrain for a freaking 5K, but I guess these legs are not ideally suited for running on hard surfaces. This totally bums me out, because for the first time in my life, I’m actually enjoying running outside. I’m considering asking my GP to refer me to a physical therapist so we can take a look at what is causing my knee pain, as well as this shin-splint-y feeling. Have any of you guys ever had shin splints?

I got on the scale this morning for the first time in ages. I’d been avoiding it because, due to my total (okay, not total, but certainly not up to par) lack of exercise commitment, I was almost certain that I had gained some weight. I’ve also been feeling pretty down on myself, self-image-wise, and my clothes have been feeling a little snug, so I really haven’t wanted to stare those numbers in the face. But I think it’s important that I know so I can get myself back on track.

Bad news: I had gained some weight, as I thought.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Good news: It wasn’t that much. If I can hop back on the exercise train and get my freaking act together, I think I should be okay. Right now, I just want my goals to be about eating and feeling better (e.g. getting more protein so my hair stops clogging up the drain in the tub — ugh, gross) and fitting comfortably (and feeling fabulous) in my clothes. Eventually I think I do need to set a general poundage goal, but I’m still unsure of how I feel about that. We’ll have to wait and see.

So, um, I’m kind of thinking I need to get myself out on some dates again. But I’m tired of meeting morons and jerkface buttheads (I’m so mature). Chicago ladies — where should I go to find some eligible bachelors that aren’t of the John Barleycorn persuasion? I live in the ultimate no-man’s-land, straddling Wrigleyville and Boystown. To the east, there are gay — albeit gorgeous — men as far as the eye can see. To the west, it’s the land of the Bro-skis, a class of men so undesirable that I’d rather spoon my cats for the rest of my life. Waaaaah.

I’m crazily excited for my lunch today. I packed a salad consisting of butter lettuce + radicchio, a Greek quinoa salad I threw together, tomatoes, leftover avocado and some organic pea shoots. I grabbed a banana to have on the side. Here’s how you make the Greek quinoa salad (makes about 4 servings):

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked
  • a bunch of full-fat feta (as much or little as you want)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced/diced
  • 1/2 can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • drizzle of red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Mix everything together in a large bowl and keep in the fridge, covered. It should stay good about 4-5 days. This stuff is great because it makes packing a lunch SO easy. I topped my salad with it today and can’t wait to try it out with some olive oil vinaigrette as a dressing. Lots of fiber and protein, too — yum! Feel free to tweak the recipe as desired — you can add onions, olives, whatever floats your boat. I recommend using the full-fat feta for two reasons: 1) I think low-fat cheese is disgusting, and 2) low-fat cheese doesn’t have enough flavor, so you end up using more anyway. If you really like the low-fat stuff though, go for it.

I’m off to finish the day. Have a good one!

June 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm 5 comments

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