Posts tagged ‘motivation’

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

I did it!

2.5 miles down the hatch, plus abs, shoulders + biceps :D

June 2, 2011 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

Flip flop

I’ve been doing just that…flip-flopping…a LOT lately. But it’s all gonna stop today. Take a deep breath and prepare yourselves, ladies..

…cause the gym clothes were packed and brought to work today.

Yeah.

What’s that? You’re not really impressed? Well, hmph. I know Carrots ‘n Cake and FoodFitnessFashion are talking about signing up for marathons, but can’t we just be the tinest bit excited that I got my ass up off the couch?

Please?

In slightly more exciting news, I hit up the new Trader Joe’s on Diversey yesterday. I figured the crowds might have died down after being open for a little while, but the 15-deep line at each register proved me wrong.

source: Nibbles of Tidbits

Trader Joe’s Begins Tradin’ in Lincoln Park – Now Open – Racked Chicago.

Regardless, having my beloved purveyor of all things goat cheese in a much more convenient (and bus route-friendly) spot made me a happy girl. I walked out with just shy of $100 in loot, and can’t wait to scarf down every bite of it.

Well, except for the package of organic strawberries that had mold on them when I opened the package at home! Have you guys ever had that happen? I never know what to do, because I often throw out the receipt, or forget to bring the stuff back before it’s pointless and/or too late. But really, shouldn’t somebody be checking this stuff? I don’t think I should have to make sure the fruit I buy isn’t moldy, but maybe I’m wrong…

I also picked up some of these:

source: Girl with the Red Hair

In case it wasn’t obvious….these are. so. good. Omigod.

I have a pseudo-date tonight with my aforementioned fella. We’re still seeing each other, but have yet to reach that ever so elusive “title”… yet we talk every day, have confirmed we are seeing each other exclusively, and see each other very regularly. I don’t understand men. What the hell?

Anyway, this certain fella has several close friends that are ladies, and I will be meeting one of them tonight. She seems to be concerned that he does not spend enough time with her lately (although she has a boyfriend, as I’ve been told). I can’t help but worry that my eyes will be clawed out.

If they are, expect some really awesome typos in my next post :D

June 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

Hiatus

Friends, I have a confession to make…

I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t been posting much lately. That I’ve gone MIA from time to time. There’s a reason for this.

It has been..gasp…an entire month since I’ve worked out.

Gulp.

I could explain to you how life has been hectic and stressful (it has), with starting a new job and moving to a new apartment. I could explain how I simply feel burnt out, and couldn’t get myself excited or motivated with the usual tactics. I could even tell you about the knee pain that has been plaguing me, with the only solution being a seemingly expensive trip to the physical therapist that I simply cannot afford at the moment.

Unfortunately, these are just excuses. I haven’t exercised (vigorously) because…well, because I haven’t. I’ve chosen not to. There have certainly been days (say, the two weeks I was very sick with a nasty cold/sinus infection) where working out wouldn’t have been an option, or at least a good one, but there have been other days where I simply said, Eh, I don’t feel like it today. I’d rather watch TV and lay around the apartment.

I need to cut this shit out.

I’m running my first 5k in a few weeks, and thankfully I had been training enough beforehand where I feel I’ll still have plenty of time to do just fine, but this is the point where I need to shake some sense into my lazy ass and get it back in gear. I know a huge part of this has been feeling sorry for myself, not being able to fit in all the fun social activities brimming from every corner of Chicago in the summertime AND get my workouts in. Oh, well if I work out after work, I can’t do spontaneous things after work, like beers on the patio or concerts in the park. Well, Laura, figure it out.

I can’t lie to you — I’m freaked out. I’m worried that I’m going to continue to lose my diligence and totally suck at (or even completely bail out of) this 5k, especially after telling almost everyone I know about it. I’m worried I’m going to lose a grip on the progress I’ve made from making healthier portion and food choices, resulting in a ~10ish lb. weight loss. I’m worried I’m going to slip on a bathing suit and feel terrible about myself (again). I’m worried the lumpiness I see creeping up on my thighs is going to get worse.

I don’t like how I feel when I’m not working out, but sometimes — well, I’m a lazy piece of shit. It’s go-time, and I need to keep my eye on the prize and come up with a solution that will work with a) my tendency toward skipping workouts in order to lay on the couch or grab dinner/drinks with friends, b) my busy schedule, and c) my utter hatred of mornings/total inability to wake up early.

I have no idea how to do this. If you’ve been reading for awhile but never commented, now is the time…any and all tips, suggestions, stories or motivators are welcomed….Oh hell…PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO DO THIS, GUYS! I NEED HELP!!

Hmph. Well, that’s that :D

In other news, I’m still totally addicted to Greek yogurt. Seriously, this stuff is my crack — I go through a giant tub per week. It’s so delicious! And ya know what else is in abundance in Casa de Laura?

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STRAWBERRIES. Oh. Mah. Gawd. I can’t get enough.

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I had some with oatmeal the other day, but it couldn’t hold up against the creamy Fage 0% I usually roll with…There is almost always a healthy sprinkling of cinnamon, Milk + Honey Cafe Mix Granola and walnuts involved as well.

I’ve also been rolling on the salad wagon lately. Below is my unbelievably tasty mustard maple chicken atop some butter lettuce, cukes, goat cheese and Sabra roasted red pep hummus. Despite the fact that I was pretty hungry a few hours later (no carbs, maybe?), this salad was GOOD.

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Today I mixed it up a bit with butter and torn-up red leaf lettuce, cukes, some pinto beans, goat cheese, baby carrots and some organic chicken breast that I slow cooked last night with thyme, TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute, garlic powder and veggie broth. The chicken was insanely flavorful, and all the flavors mixed together perfectly. As a bonus, the added beans really gave this bad boy some sticking power, but because I am a fatty and seriously can’t understand how anyone can eat JUST a salad for lunch (wtf??), I swiped a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle from a friend, watered down half the can with some hot water from the Keurig, and had at it (only 70 calories! nice!). It was a perfect lunch for a wet, dreary day. I love gloomy weather from time to time, but Chicago has been testing my patience recently…

Anyway, I’m off to finish up the work day. I did some seriously ill-advised shopping last week and came home with far too many adorable dresses, so I’ll be sure to share those coming up here. Thanks for reading my nutty rant, and please do provide feedback if you have any, I’d love to hear from you!

May 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm 4 comments

A bit premature?

I hate to jump the gun, especially because I have a tendency to hop back on the bad habits bandwagon every time I see a hint of progress, but I jumped on the scale Saturday after having ignored it for weeks, and voila! I appear to be about ten pounds lighter.

I’m not sure if this may be partially due to my lack of gym time recently (aka muscle turning to mush), my crazy-busy schedule, my tiny (and therefore barely usable) kitchen or just the fact that I am eating less (both intentionally and accidentally), but I find it interesting nonetheless. A huge change has been my conscious effort to watch portion sizes. In a truly un-Laura-like fashion, I’ve been cutting my beloved hamburgers in half and taking the rest home to enjoy as another meal the next day. This is in direct conflict with the little voice in my head screaming, “Eat this entire plate of foooood!! It’s so tasty!! It will make you feel GREAT!”


Does anyone else grapple with this little voice?

(I swear I don’t have beef-induced schizophrenia.)

Great, now I really want a burger. Shouldn’t have looked up that picture…*facepalm*

Anyway, I titled this post “a bit premature” because I don’t want to get ahead of myself. This new “journey,” if you will, is all about creating small, attainable yet challenging goals for myself and achieving them one at a time. Next on my list is to get back into my exercise routine — no easy feat, considering I’ve been out of commission and permitting my extreme laziness in an effort to get over this cold. I know without a doubt that I could have been back at it several days ago, if not far earlier. I am human, however, and let it get away from me. This doesn’t mean I’ve been “bad” or that I’m an awful person…it simply means my mind and body wanted a break for awhile, took advantage of the livin’ made easy, and will need a little extra push to get back into the habits and routine that I know makes me look and feel the best.

The question is — what will this “push” be?

Still too broke to buy some cute new Lulu gear…although I’ve been eyeing this bad boy for quite some time…Not sure how I feel about calling the color “toothpaste” though :/

A few random thoughts and images to occupy your brains on this loverly Monday afternoon…

  • There is a rather interesting debate/comment thread going on over at The Frisky right now. I’ve been a reader for quite some time, and, as many other regular readers may have noticed, their content appears to be going through a transition right now. The site was bought and has been shifting writers, strategy, tone, etc., and their readers have been letting them know in the comments. The site editor, Amelia, wrote a letter from the editor to address some of these issues, and the conversation going down in the comments is really heated. If you’re a regular reader, or even if you’re not, you might want to check it out! The conversation is centering on the expectations of writers/bloggers in regards to nasty comments, criticism, constructive vs nasty, and feminism. Interesting stuff!
  • I like to make silly faces:
  • I spent a good 15 minutes last night packing my breakfast and lunch for the day. This morning, I forgot the best part — the salad! :( Sadz.
  • Tina over at Carrots ‘n Cake is doing a blogger bake sale. Even if you, like me, are not a big sweets person, I’m sure you’ll still find something to drool over — I’m eyeing the soft pretzels!
  • Before moving the other week, I caught Molly snuggling with my teddy bear. Too funny!! (insert crazy cat lady joke here)image
  • I’ve spent a day back “home” at my parents’ house the last two weekends — one for Mother’s Day, one for an ill family member (happy times, sad times). While I was waiting at the train station to head back into the city, I had a lovely view of the adjacent park and the river. Excuse the poor photo quality, but it was still lovely!
  • imageI bought some cute organic mini peppers the other day. And lots of cucumbers. That is all.

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Have a great rest of your day, lovelies!!

May 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm 7 comments

This…

..is what I’m doing right now:

Snugglin’ with this goofy lookin’ guy and catching up on blogs. Aren’t we quite the pair?

I was just reading Julie’s sweet post about how, no matter how foul her mood, she is always cheered up instantly by her Viszla pup, Sadie. While I’ll admit that having two cats can sometimes be a slight (okay, a huge) pain in the ass, I’m still thankful for them most of the time. They are such sweet, playful and cuddly kitties, and they are always there when I need company or just a good snuggle buddy.

Okay, I know — I am a crazy cat lady. Bear with me anyway?

I’ve been very stressed out this week due to my shifting living situation. The apartment that I will be moving into (or would like to be, at least) isn’t 100% available yet (the current tenant is still waiting on word from her new apartment…it’s so complicated!), so I am on pins and needles waiting to hear that my rental will go through. If it doesn’t, I may be homeless in a few weeks!

It is also the last week at my current job, which I absolutely love, so I am stressed and sad and not handling it very well. I’m so grateful and thrilled to start my new job, but it will be hard leaving a place and group of people (I’m looking at you, Kara) that I have grown to love.

Thankfully, though, the gym is always there. After receiving a particularly horrible text message from my particularly horrible roommate, I was furious, stressed out and wanting to strangle someone. So I hopped on the treadmill, turned up my iPod and ran my fastest mile to date! It was awesome. I have never felt my blood flowing through my body like that, and I felt like I could squeeze every ounce of energy from the day’s stress into energy for my legs. After two more, I hopped off feeling lighter — physically and mentally.

Sweat > therapy.

I have been lazy and haven’t been cooking anything exciting this week. I’ve also been eating much less than usual due to stress (this is unusual for me — it takes a LOT to get my mind off of food!), so I don’t have too many exciting eats to share this week! On the way to a friend’s house tonight, though, I did stop at WF and picked up some delicious-looking and in-season strawberries and mangoes! I also grabbed some salad fixins. VERY excited to incorporate those into some meals, ASAP — my body needs fruits + veggies, stat.

While I was strolling the lovely WF aisles, I also snagged a quickie dinner at the hot/cold bar. I had some marinated green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes and carrots, a bulgur + quinoa salad, some rosemary-garlic tofu and some yellow daal. The daal was definitely my favorite! It was so flavorful and creamy, I wished I had gotten more. Next time! I also sipped a guava Kombucha. All was scarfed up much too quickly to snap a pic :D

Thanks for hanging in here with me while I get my life figured out, guys….I hope I haven’t bored too many of you to tears! More fun stuff to come soon, I promise!

April 12, 2011 at 11:51 pm 2 comments

Big changes

Howdy!

This is my friend Amy. She makes me smile :)

Hi Amy!

We decided to put on some cheap (and not so flattering…) sunglasses after a few beers and have a photo shoot. This is why we are friends :D

My life is going through some crazy transitions right now, and one of which involves this lovely lady above! I will be moving out of my current apartment soon, and Amy might be a new roommate. Thrilled doesn’t do justice to my excitement about this!

The issue, however, is that my current lease is not up until August 31. Amy’s is not up until July 31. And, well….as I may have mentioned before, I don’t exactly love my roommates.

I’ve been trucking along and doing the best I can to get by though, and for the most part things have been fine. Recently, however, things have taken a turn for the worse. I’m naturally somewhat of an anxious person when things get stressful, and the relationship (or lack thereof) between the troublesome roommate and I is making me physically ill with stress. Not only does coming home when I know she is there put a knot in my stomach, but she is also disrespectful and even took something of mine (a coach purse), then lied about it when I asked (nicely) for it back.

I’m feeling like I can’t live here anymore, but am not sure if I can afford to move out.

BUT. I am a happy, goofy, hilarious and fun person that is generally positive an optimistic about life.

Those last two are pretty weird, huh? I was trying to emphasize the “goofy” part, hah! Say hello to my friend Amanda in that last one — she is pretty fantastic!

I truly believe in the mantra that if you don’t like something, you should change it. Instead of sitting around feeling miserable, you can get up and do something about it! Life doesn’t always (or really, never does) go as planned, but if you are flexible, positive and willing to go along for the adventure, everything will be okay and turn out exactly like it is supposed to.

Because my current roommate situation has gone from “nuisance” to something that is actually interfering with my happiness and living of my daily life, I have decided to look for a new place to live ASAP as a temporary solution.

This freaks me out for a number of reasons: 1) moving is expensive, 2) living on your own is expensive, 3) I have a lot of stuff and moving is a HUGE pain, and 4) I’m not sure how exactly this will work out. I will have to coordinate the timing of my moving out with someone new moving in to takeover my lease (and who knows how difficult a person will be to find), and I also have to talk to my roommate about doing this. Since she is the type of person that seems to need to control everything, I’m not sure how this will go. I just know that I need to get out of there for the sake of my sanity, and that I cannot afford to pay for 2 apartments at once.

Wish me luck.

Another big change that I’m beyond excited about is that I (officially) have…

…drumroll…

A NEW JOB!

I’m keeping the company name under wraps (at least for now) because I haven’t really ironed out how comfortable I feel about sharing that sort of thing, but it’s for a large and well-known company in Chicago that I’m thrilled to be joining. My start date is April 25; I’ll be part of the editorial staff and will finally be back on salary, something I haven’t been on since I moved from Madison and switched jobs back in June. It’s been a looooong time coming, friends.

Big changes, but happy changes. I hope I can keep improving my life everyday and continue to be the happy, downright KICKASS chick that I know I am (she’s just been hiding from satan roommate).

I’ve had some delicious eats recently, but I’ve scarfed most of them down before thinking to take a picture! (bad blogger!) Salads are back in my life, and I’m so happy about it because I think a big salad a day is what makes me feel the best. In today’s mix:

  • huge handful of arugula
  • huge handful of TJ’s organic broccoli slaw
  • sliced leeks (soo crunchy and add a huge pop of taste without being too onion-y)
  • sliced 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1/4 avocado cubed
  • a few shakes of ground flax
  • 3 oz grilled chicken
  • TJ’s lemon pepper seasoning
  • big dollop of TJ’s Mediterranean hummus

It was DEEELISH. It was so crisp and fresh tasting, but I feel totally satisfied afterward. I also have an orange to munch on later. I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture, but I’m sure I’ll have the exact same lunch tomorrow! :)

I made an internet pact with my buddy Mike last night that we would both hit the gym today, since we’ve both been slacking this week. The universe must have answered my prayers yesterday when I was talking about lacking motivation, because it arrived to my doorstep yesterday in a shiny little package!

I wish it had been SHAPE or Women’s Health, but hey, I’ve always said that the ladymags are the best way to get my butt to the gym when all else fails.

See ya on the flip side!

April 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

It’s been a few days…

…since I’ve been to the gym (due to a cold and plain old indifference) and I am in a slump. Big time.

While I know I will feel 1000x better after a workout, the mere thought of tying on my sneaks and hitting the treadmill is torture. I’ve hit a wall.

What to do, blog friends?

April 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment

Cheesehead

Hello friends! I am such a bad blogger lately, my goodness! Can you ever forgive me?

I have a good reason for it though, I swear. Well, multiple reasons…one of them I mentioned here :) My, er..romantic life has taken a turn for the interesting. I’m not quite sure how I feel about sharing the details of this little situation with the world (and world meaning the three people that are reading) for fear of upsetting my future lover/boyfriend/fiance/husband (if you’re reading this — sorry future lover/boyfriend/fiance/husband! I love you!…I think), but here goes…

I happened to go out on two different first dates with two different people in the same week…and liked both of them. YEESH! It has been so much fun so far getting to know both of these people (and again, I reiterate — this is not meant to be malicious! It just happened that way!) but it’s hard to tell at the moment where things will lead…so for now, I’m just having fun, and boy, let me tell you — it has been fun!

No, not in that way you perverts…I have remained *chaste* and simply enjoyed some lovely goodnight kisses! :P

Anywho, between spending time with these two gentleman, gym time, work and fun (see below), I feel like I barely have a minute to myself these days! For example, my Saturday was filled with this stuff:

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Believe your eyes, that is green beer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as tasty as it looks (do

esn’t it kinda look like Green River soda??) because it was Miller Light! Blegh, I HATE light beer, and would much rather drink something that doesn’t taste like stale water. Thankfully, a few (or 10..) of these made their way to my belly:

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Unfortunately, there were still a few more of these:

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Neat can though, no?

We started the day off early (9am!!) with some drinks and a walk down to see the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade. It was so much fun walking around the crowds with everyone dressed up for the holiday. We have a lot of Irish people here (myself included), so Chicagoans REALLY take the holiday seriously! I couldn’t help but laugh though — the entire city seems to have decided that last Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day…not the actual holiday on Thursday! People were drinking all morning, afternoon and night (my neighbors, for example, decided to start the morning off at 6am with “Come On Eileen” playing at full volume below my bedroom…lovely) and needless to say, this town was toasted.

I can’t say I wasn’t in on the fun…

I spent most of the afternoon swigging Guinness and who knows what else, then planned on heading home around 6 to take a nap. Then my brother called and invited me to meet him at an Irish bar downtown…and I couldn’t resist (he even offered to pay for my cab — what a guy!). I stayed out much later than I had intended, as well as drank far more than I should have. I still had a great time and didn’t get sick, but I was in bed — dead to the world — by 9:30 pm and felt like I had been run over by a car, truck, train and bus (all at once, of course) the next day. It was a plain bagel and 37 glasses of water kind of Sunday…

Buuuut — I still got to watch them turn the Chicago River Green!

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After my epic day Saturday and useless day Sunday, I really needed a good workout today. After stopping home for a quick snack and to feed the kitties, I tied mah shoes and headed out the door. Boy oh boy was this a good workout! I can really see the value of rest days (although unlike my tactic, you’re only supposed to take one or two, not like…eight…) if every workout of mine was like the one today!

I felt like I had endless power in my legs that carried me through a 2.5 mile run (far for my pathetic running butt) with lots of super-speedy intervals. I felt amazing! Afterward I mishmashed a strength workout together that seemed to incorporate a lot of what I’ve been learning from Women’s Health lately. I did some upper back schtuff, squats + lunges, bicep curls, shoulder presses and even PUSHUPS! I can do pushups now! It never ceases to amaze me when I can feel AND see myself getting stronger, and it really is the best motivation evah.

Can you tell I’m in a good mood?

Said mood is surprising, considering I was in the foulest of foul moods earlier today. Really, I wanted to rip somebody’s head off…Amazing how a little sweat can turn things around, eh? :)

When I came home, I really wanted something satisfying but loaded with protein since my diet was WAY out of whack this weekend. I came up with this:

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It may not look like much, but let me tell you — this bad boy was tasty. I had originally planned on nuking some frozen broccoli, but when I took it out of the freezer, it was clear that that stuff wasn’t going anywhere except for the garbage. I hate freezer burn!

While I cooked a little bit of whole wheat pasta, I heated up and pulled apart some chicken I made last night for chicken tacos (boneless skinless organic thigh meat, simmered with onions, cumin, paprika and cayenne) and defrosted some chopped spinach. When everything was ready to go, I mixed the pasta with the chicken and spinach, then topped it with shredded cheddar, shredded lite mozzarella and a little (okay, not so little) blob of soft goat cheese, then nuked the whole mix for another minute to melt the cheese. After it heated up, I stirred it together then topped it with Garlic Gold.

Ohhhhhh man. Have I mentioned that this girl loves cheese? Yeah, because I love cheese.

Delish and easy, just the way I like it.

Now I’m off to have a glass of Zinfandel then get ready for bed. I have a chiropractor appointment bright and early!

March 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm Leave a comment

My workout story + the importance of *FUN* in your health/fitness routine

well, hi there!

Naomi from OneFitFoodie had a great post today about doing what you love to achieve your fitness goals. (She says she’s “preaching,” but I’d hardly call it that!). This is something I truly believe in, and will also be the first to admit that it is something I need to be reminded of regularly.

When I first started exercising in high school, I had every ounce of motivation I needed just in going to the gym. I had never exercised (consciously) before, so the results (even with just 30 min of easy cardio a few days per week) were noticeable pretty quickly. I found the new activities fun and challenging, and loved how great I felt for the first time in quite awhile.

But as anyone who has ever attempted to lose weight knows, a plateau eventually came and my body wanted to stay at its “set point.” From what I understand, your set point can change and be budged with some hard work, but after losing a certain amount of weight, your body starts to say, “Nope, I’m done.”

This is why motivation is HUGELY important, because when that plateau hits, the looser jeans or slimmer face aren’t enough because that’s where it (albeit temporarily) stops. You’ve got to find a way to keep moving, new ways to change up your routine, and new reasons to focus on why making your health a priority is so important to you. And one of the easiest, and longest-lasting ways to keep up that motivation is by making achieving your goals fun. You have to love what you’re eating and thoroughly enjoy (or at least somewhat enjoy!) your workouts. Plain and simple, you will not stick with anything if you can’t find a way to enjoy it.

My workout routine, while still challenging, is beginning to feel somewhat repetitive. There could be a few reasons for this: I do the same thing on every gym day (work, gym, dinner, shower, bed – repeat) and it gets boring at times; the sun still sets before I leave work, so heading home in the dark can be kind of a drag; or perhaps I’m just afraid to shake things up and see where I can push my mind and body to next.

While I’m sure all of these things contribute to my little fitness rut, I’m pretty sure the last one has a lot to do with it.

I’ve never been thin. Save a few childhood years when just about everybody is a beanpole, I spent most of my adolescence as a chubby, albeit sassy kid. The weight loss in high school was hugely motivating, and while it ultimately sparked my interest in food (okay, that interest was always there), fitness and healthy living, I still had a lot to learn. I thought that my newly-slim figure was permission to begin eating whatever I wanted again. Obviously, this didn’t work, and I began slowly gaining weight though my freshman year of college. While I didn’t gain the “freshman 15,” I did arrive back home that summer plumper than when I had left.

The “cycle” began again when I was home for the summer, where a boring summer office job and few friends in town meant I quelled my boredom by hitting the gym every day on my way home from work. I wasn’t aware of any weight loss this time around, but many of my friends commented that I looked thinner when I went back to college in the fall. Again, though, I eased up on both exercise and healthy eating habits, and slowly filled out again.

My biggest battle, therefore, is consistency. Taking care of yourself by eating proper portions of healthy food and exercising regularly is rewarding, but sometimes…well, you just want to throw your hands up in the air and shout, “ENOUGH ALREADY!” I love healthy food, but I sometimes feel I can become obsessive and hyper-focused on what I eat when I’m trying to maintain a healthy diet. And that’s just no way to live.

A hard lesson I’ve had to learn is that you need to treat yourself regularly, but you must build those treats into your overall health and fitness plan. A glass of wine means a little less pasta at dinner, or 3 days at the gym instead of 4 one week means squeezing in a little extra time at the end of each of those 3 workouts. That extra skip day, of course, would be for a manicure or massage :)

I’m still trying to figure out how I can have a big, juicy burger once in awhile though! Alas, a work in progress…

One of the reasons I love blogs like Carrot’s ‘n’ Cake, EatLiveRun, Peanut Butter Fingers and food.fitness.fashion. is because they all focus on living a life with balance and moderation. Julie from PBF has admitted regularly that she is a maniac about sweets and carb-y cereals, Tina and Ali (CNC and FFF, respectively) are both regular beer drinkers (women after my own heart) and Jenna from ELR quite possibly posts the most delicious recipes I have ever come across. These ladies know how to do it right, and I love them for that.

My workday is finally starting to wind down, and I plan to hit the gym with a new goal in mind: try a machine, exercise or routine I have never tried before. I haven’t decided what it will be yet, but I’m hoping a little butt-kicking is exactly what I need :)

Cheers!

February 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

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