Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Healthy Life: Finding the Balance

Last summer I was on a mission. A mission to hit 18% body fat. I just knew, when I hit that number, I'd finally be 100% happy with my body. During the struggle to hit this goal, a number that I literally snatched out of thin air, I began to have some real issues with food. Restrictive eating was not working for me. Some days I'd make myself commit two a days, killing myself with half assed work outs, because I was energy-less.  Lesson learned: It's better to give 100% for one hour than 50% for two and a half. 

I reached a point where I had to look inwardly and ask myself, 
Why do I feel the need to be smaller and leaner? 
What am I really not happy about on the inside? 

At 6'0 tall, wearing smalls and a steady 4-6 and the occasional 8, why did I really need or want to be smaller? Why couldn't I be happy with what I had already achieved? I had to do some soul searching. I don't want to spend my life critiquing my physique and always wanting to be smaller. To look better. To be blunt, I want my life to have more focus than to simply be aesthetically pleasing. I have more to offer the world than my pant size. Over the last six months, I've allowed myself to maintain. To be happy with the status quo. 

It's really incredible, for me personally given my yo-yo history, to have all of the same cloths fit year to year. To not stress about summer vacation, to not stress about I have to buy something new because XYZ doesn't fit anymore, and it also feels incredible not to be putting pressure on myself to become even smaller, my body goal since 2011. I needed a break. I needed a break from so much body focus. Enter the marathon, another reason why I love running. A goal to focus on outside of physical appearance. It felt like weight loss had become me. A definitive characteristic of my life. That was scary to me.

I'm Leigh Ann. I'm a goal oriented, type A, cafeteria neat freak who is focused at work, and determined to succeed. I'm competitive to a fault.  I dominate on Cadillac night. I can sniff out a bargain and hold on to some dollars. I love to entertain and party plan. I've got an arsenal of fun stories and things I've done that I would NEVER share on social media. I am supportive and loyal to those I love and who love me. If you share a secret with me, I can honestly take it to the grave. 

In my mid 20s, I once lost more than 60 pounds and 15 percent of my body fat. That's not WHO I am.

This all plays into my re-brand here. I need more balance.

I've stopped obsessing about food. I weigh myself meh once a month, and I stay within 3 pounds up or three pounds down of the same number. At social functions on the weekends, I allow myself to sample the appetizers, eat a small dessert, have drinks, but I always make sure my entree is the healthiest option I can muster. My husband and I have a deal, when out to eat, one does not mention the C words: Carbs and Calories. I really truly feel that I'm finding the balance that I need to live my best life

The less I stress about food, the less it controls me. When I stress about food, it controls me. I feel like I can not get enough, and it's not a fun way to feel. I admire people who can count their macros in a healthy way without it affecting their day to day life, I'm just not one of those people.

The one thing I never slack on his a work out. I genuinely love hard exercise. I love whipping my own ass at the gym. I love being strong. I love being fit. I love out running myself. I love being able to use my body in a practical way. I will never have six pack abs, because it's not important to me. What's important to me is that I feel good in my skin each and every day. I still critique myself. I still have the dreaded fat day. I still feel insecure at times, but I'm working towards total self acceptance. Living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. That's the way I want to live my life.

OOTD: All pieces from last summer. That feels purty darn grand

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Monday, July 14, 2014

So Many Options, So Little Time

This weekend was spent getting settled into the new house. We've been fishing cloths out of boxes for a few weeks now, being all unpacked has made the space feel like home. Moving can be a logistical nightmare the do list keeps growing, making the check list seem small. I am a list girl. I like to see things checked off. No one is surprised.

Since we moved, we've been sleeping in a guest room while we got things painted and waited on the arrival of our new bed. I had been collecting little pieces here and there in preparation for our move.

To clarify, when I say we got things painted, I mean our incredibly generous friends who came in the weekend we closed and said, We're here to work now give me a job.  No amount of food and booze that's how you say thank you in the South, made us feel we could thank them enough. I could cry when I think about how much work they took off of our plate. We are incredibly fortunate and blessed with rich friendships. Plus, they tolerated my evaluation of every color in the wheel while choosing a living room color. It's hard to find people who don't mind putting up with your BS.

 Painting our space made the house feel like ours. It got us to that blank canvas space so that we could make this house our home. Here are the colors I selected:

Living/ Hall

Spare Bath

Master Bedroom

Obviously colors look much different once they're on the walls. However, I have to finish covering the Earth in Damask prints before I can share pictures. Pfff Chevron whatever.

Here's my dilemma, I have two spare rooms that still need painting. I want to pick a neutral color that will work in both rooms. Nothing too dark. If it were only up to me, I'd paint the world Antique White and move on with my day. Boring Betty says hey!

What are your favorite neutral colors?

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

2014 - 2015 Race Goals

Running, training for a race, each run has purpose and a goal.  It's off season down in South Louisiana. The treadmill is boring but the AC is oh. so. nice. I've spoiled myself to watching the news, racing the person next to me, wondering where so and so bought those cute work out pants, running my yap when I see someone I know, and enjoying the ac. The ac ya'll. It can not be underrated.Wednesday night however, I took my cardio back outside. I needed to sweat. I needed to move. I needy that soupy humidity feeling covering my skin. I needed to run.

Last run season was a heart breaker for me. I trained in the heat and humidity for my second half marathon, bound and determined to PR. The weather had other plans. Jazz was a miserable run. I was able to shake off that failure, and continue with Marathon training. Training was tough. There were some hard runs, a few Why am I doing this melt downs, but after each mammoth run I felt more determined than ever to get to the marathon finish. My body had other plans for me.I busted my knee after months of training for my first marathon, on race day, and after that, my heart wasn't really in the run. I went through the motions to get through my last half marathon of the season.I had already paid for the sign up, there was no way I was going to back out. Thankfully, that race gave me the confidence booster I needed when I was able to set a new PR. 

After that last half marathon, I was ready for a break. I had been actively training for some form of a race from July 2013-March 2014. I was injured. I was tired. I needed to miss running to remember why I loved it so much in the first place.

Wednesday evening it was humid, and as I was heading into my last lap, I thought to myself that's good girl you did a lot today.  I was tired. My legs have been sore all week from Monday's leg day, Sprints on Tuesday, and I wanted to bring it down a notch. I wanted to cut out my last lap. I started thinking about that marathon finish line again. Would you quit on race day? Just thinking about getting to the finish gives me chills. It gives me the ability to pick of the pace and empty what's left in the tank. I never feel as great post work out as I do when it ends with a run. 

I'll be your ghost, your game, your stadium.

I'll be your fifty thousand clapping like one.
And I feel alright, and I feel alright,
'Cause I worked it out, yeah I worked it out.
I'll be doin' this, if you ever doubt,
'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.

I got my mind made up and I can't let go.
I'm killing every second 'til it saves my soul.
I'll be running, I'll be running,
'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.
And we'll start a fire, and we'll shut it down,
'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.

OneRepublic- Love Runs Out 
Current Power Song

I'm looking forward to exploring my new neighborhood and establishing new run routes. I'm looking forward to the incredulous feeling, the high, that comes after the mammoth distance. I'm looking forward to the highs, the lows, and solving the worlds problems out on the run. I'm looking forward to the early morning run, the cold run, the freakish January hot run, the camaraderie on race day and all those days leading up to the race.  I've got to find out how it actually feels to cross the marathon finish line. The madness continues.

2014 - 2015 Race Goals

Cajun Cup 10K- November 8, 2014

Beach Half Marathon - December 6, 2014

Louisiana Half Marathon -January 18, 2015

Rock N Roll Half Marathon - January 25, 2015

These three races will qualify me for a Half Fanatics medal

Zydeco Marathon - March 1, 2015

Crescent City Classic 10k - April 5, 2015

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Web Design Reboot: Referral Request and Ramblings

Wednesday, watch out! This week is flying right on by! This has been my first normal week in more than a month, and it feels so great to get back to my ordinary routine. I am such a boring creature of habit. I'm still fishing things out of boxes and wondering where this and that is but overall it's been fab-u-lous! 

Daily changes: Since the move, I've yet to hit up the gym for an early morning workout, instead I've been packing a bag and heading there straight from work. We moved about 6 miles from the gym, when previously we lived 1.5. If I head to the gym in the morning, I'll have to shower there to get to work on time. I just can't get down with the locker room yet. 

If you've been reading here for awhile, you know that in January I switched from a small all women's gym, to the city within a city co-ed gym. It's been an adjustment. Hence, my lack of gym selfies on IG. Blogger Problems. All things considered however, I really love the new gym and all that it has to offer. They should have a designated selfie room, since everyone is itching for alone time in this one bathroom to take theirs.Yeah, I see you. Just saying. Drop that in a suggestion box gah!

Speaking of selfies- I haven't been taking many because I have some mirror issues going on to my new house. I have no mirrors hanging on the walls, painting problems, and my bathroom mirrors are beveled so dey look funny. I'm not hiding anything. Promise. This is such a blogger problem it's embarrassing for me to type out. Selfies have actually become another issue with me entirely but I'd like to keep some readers with my rebrand so I'll just keep dat to myself. 

Beveled mirrors are selfie no bueno
Back on topic ADD girl, oh yeah you did have a point to make, The gym after the office is making for a long day away from my baby dogs, so I'll have to get over my locker room phobia sometime in the near future. Shudders. 

Obviously I'm not that pressed for time, however, since this week alone I've managed to get totally caught up with True Blood. OH all my gees. What happened at the end of the last episode was a crime against nature.

Rebrand, I know it's intense today, I'm thinking my little page needs a face lift. A new fresh look to go with this new fresh start! My go-to blog designer has retired, le sigh you are missed, so I'm looking for referrals. I could probably suck it up and learn how to do it myself, but obviously I have HBO shows to catch up on. Anyone out there watch Girls?

Later taters gotta get to work. Dolla dolla bills ya'll!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Good morning!!! Thank ya'll for the warm welcome back yesterday, I'm so touched and tickled. It's nice to know people notice when you're gone and look forward to your return. Cheeseeeeee.

I've been getting the most questions both from Elle Noel readers and people in my real life about our sweet Nola girl. How many marbles did ya'll lose in this move adding in another puppy? You really have two puppies? Really?

Nola is Nacho's litter mate and sister, same date of birth, same parents, although they are slightly different colors. Nacho is a blonde and Nola is a red head. Which is perfect because Nola is a firecracker.

Nola originally went to live with another family who ultimately didn't have enough time to commit to her. They reached out to me, asking if we could find her a good home where she could thrive and be happy. Side note- one of Nacho's other siblings went to a Sole Sista in my run group so it wasn't an odd request.

Nick and I had discussed in passing getting a friend for Nacho at some point. You know when we weren't living in an apartment, under contract on a house with stress coming out of our eye balls. When I was asked if I could find Nola a home, I already knew where she would belong.

The perfect scenario presented itself to us. She was already trained to some degree, the puppies would make perfect companions for one another, and the only child in me desperately wanted to keep Nacho with his sibling. Sometimes life is already so crazy, what's a little more chaos? We closed on our house on a Friday, Nola came home on Saturday. 

Nola is a play on words New Orleans, LA, as we love the city, and it fits into my NN theme. Bringing Nola home with us so soon ended up being the best decision. She is such a smart, sweet puppy. She was the runt of the litter and weighs about ten pounds less than Nacho. Don't let that sweet little face fool you though, girl friend can hold her own. She makes me so proud- girl power! She is an extremely fast learner and wicked smart! 

Nola bonded with me at lightening speed and has become my shadow. She will follow me around all day just to have my companionship. She gets excited when we call her name, and she gets her feelings hurt when she gets fussed. Where Nacho is independent, Nola wants to be in your lap. Nola is patient and quiet in comparison to Nacho. Nacho will be my running buddy, as he loves to explore, while Nola is already such a home body. While they are different, they're already best buds.They play tug of war, keep away (Nacho's favorite game), and cuddle when they think we aren't looking.

Be still my heart I love these baby dogs more than could possibly be normal. Any advice for the crazies with dogs in twos?  

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