Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Halloween and a Throw Back Thursday?! Instagram be hot like dat fire this day! Halloween has always been a favorite holiday for me. I've long enjoyed getting dressed up and pretending to be someone else for the evening. When I was younger, I cared about dressing sexy, and looking attractive.As I get older, I care about being comfortable and not embarrassing myself. I can tell I'm really getting older now, as I totally skimped on a costume (during party weekend) and will spend my evening logging 4 dreadmill miles as I slept in and rain is a coming!  This was one of those years where the holiday just kinda crept up on me! 

Lame Lady Halloween Costume
My office is having a Halloween lunch party, a-hem junk food eating contest. I've packed myself a healthy lunch and will enjoy a small treat. True confessions: I find gatherings centered around junk food to be uncomfortable. If you don't participate in the calorie free for all, it makes other people uncomfortable and inevitably your choices become conversational topics. However, I don't want to miss out on the opportunity to socialize with co-workers. Occasionally, people will make incredibly rude and insensitive comments as well. I've learned to let these types of things roll off my back. Negative comments about another person's food choices are always a reflection of how someone is feeling about their own choices, and has nothing to do with the recipient personally. Master the art of the awkward giggle and move about your day!

I've had such a great few weeks, I refuse to be derailed! 

How will you avoid junk food this Halloween!? I remind myself eat like crap, feel like crap, eat like crap, feel like crap, eat green, lean machine, lean machine, lean machine RAWR!

Wishing you a safe and Happy Halloween!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trying NOT to take it too seriously

This post has been bopping around in my head for awhile now, occasionally when this happens I have hard time expressing exactly what I'm feeling so hang with me nah! Yes, You read that post title right, I'm trying not to take it too seriously. When I say it I mean food, diet, and micro managing every meal.

One thing I've learned about myself, since deciding to overhaul my life, is that I have a very unhealthy relationship with food. This isn't surprising in the least to anyone who has ever struggled with their weight. Whether you struggle to gain, lose, or maintain. Any struggle in this arena, I believe perpetuates an unhealthy relationship with food. For those of you in the struggle to lose/maintain arena with me, this is how the up cycle goes.... You eat to make yourself feel better, which works temporarily, until you feel poorly the next day, you eat more trash, gain weight, wash rinse repeat. Next thing you know, you're picking apart your body in the mirror with angry frustration. It's an ugly cycle. One that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to completely stop, but it is a cycle I have learned to manage. Baby steps and one day at a time.

For me personally, I find putting pressure on my self to hit certain counts, leaves me obsessing about food. Continuously thinking about where my next meal is coming from and perpetually hungry. Forever tutoring myself over what I can't eat, because I'm feeling deprived, and it consequently makes me feel miserable. Putting pressure on myself this way also made social situations dreadful. I would avoid lunch invitations in the office, find any excuse not to go out to eat on the weekends, or attend dinner at someones home. Constantly hungry and yet always feeling guilty, because all I ever wanted to do was cheat myself. I felt powerless. It was frustrating, and it was humbling. I thought I was past feeling controlled by food.

This would accumulate into binge eating.  I'm not proud to admit that, but that's exactly what would happen. One or two numbers would be off, and I'd think welp there goes the day. As I'm coming out of my summer slump, and the weight is coming back down, I feel I know myself better. I know what I can and can not expect of myself in terms of food. I know with certainty that my weight gain was all me. While no one has said to me, You look like you've gained weight, it was something I could feel. Something I could see on the scale. Sure, it was only 10 pounds, but it always starts when it's only 10 pounds. It terrified me. I am frightened of the old me. I never want to be her again and I will do anything to avoid going back there.I was struggling with personal issues and relied on old habits. The ugly vicious yo-yo cycle. Learning to manage the cycle has been key. Wriggling back out of this weight has been humbling and challenging. Yet, I'm glad it happened. I learn more about myself during struggle than in triumph, and now I feel I can turn to different avenues to avoid the yo-yo cycle again.

I've been able to dig myself out of the gain by focusing on what does work for me.

1. Focusing on fitness. Instead of measuring success based on the scale, I've focused on everything I can do physically. Pushing my body harder each work out. Lifting more weight per set. Challenging myself to see how fast I can run one mile, just because. Exercise makes me incredibly happy. Completing more sets than I did last time, and seeing my body do what it couldn't two weeks prior. Fitness leaves me feeling strong in all aspects of life.

2. Allowing a cheat day. One day a week, usually Sunday, I allow myself to cheat. I don't think about calories or carbs, and I don't feel guilty. In day to day life, eliminate trigger foods, stop buying it. If you don't buy it, you can't eat it- a-hem peanut butter. I have not purchased peanut butter since August. I've been sticking solely to PB2. Surprisingly, I don't miss it one bit.

3. Focusing on all of my wonderful qualities that are not physical, and the things I can control. Things I can control: how I feel, choosing to be happy, choosing to see the good in all situations, being kind and thoughtful towards others, and the positive energy I bring into my space. When I'm happy it's easy for me to do well with food. Food has no power over me.

4. Looking in the mirror each day and naming five things I love about appearance regardless if I'm having a fat day or a skinny day. Shutting down negative self talk is essential for me to succeed, making a concentrated effort to talk to myself the way I would talk to my friends.

5. Refusing to let a number on the scale or a tag in my pants define my mood. Last month, I found myself beating myself up over buying a size 8 and not a size 6. Shut it down. The world doesn't give two shits what the tag on the inside of your pants says, and neither should you.

Looking for the positive in every set back has been great for me. I've learned more about myself in the last few months than I have in the last few years. I am so proud of myself for shutting this cycle down and not self destructing as I would have in the past.Will I ever be completely satisfied with my body? Probably not. I'd love to tell anyone struggling, You'll reach your goal weight and life will change. You'll be so happy with your body and it will be easy to maintain. Unfortunately, that's not true. I know this will be a life long struggle for me. My hope is that one day I can be completely happy in my own skin. To me, that's the ultimate prize.

Presently, I'm focused on keeping my calorie and carb counts low. I'm not aiming for any specific numbers per day. Just eating when I'm hungry and making healthy choices. The crazy part? I'm struggling to reach 1200 per day, and I'm not even hungry. I am a firm believer that weight loss ten times the mental challenge, than it is a physical one. Never underestimate the power of positive thought.

Ran 7 Miles before Breakfast = Feeling like the baddest chick in town

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DIY- Vanity Make Over

My only DIY post- I shouldn't say my only, but they will be so few and far between you'll forget about this one should I ever decide to do something like this again. Back in July, my family got together at my G's house and while we were there, decided to help her clean out her garage. During this process there were so many goodies my cousins and I were itching to take home, as my G no longer had use for these items. 

There is one piece in G's garage that I have had my eyes on for years. I was about 10 years old when I first asked if I could take it home, and the response was if you can get it out, then it's yours! The vanity had been sitting in the garage supporting other odds and ends that are no longer useful daily just taking up space. This trip, I was finally able to take the vanity home with me. G thought I was crazay for wanting to put this furniture in my house, and honestly none of my cousins fought me on it either. Perks of being the oldest (a-hem the most crazy). I've always seen something magical in this piece of furniture, I knew a little TLC could bring it a long way.

Fast forward to October, the vanity is sitting in my kitchen collecting MY junk. Feeling like the joke was seriously on me, I decided to get my rear in gear and take control. First things first, I searched the blog world for inspiration. I like clean crisp neutrals, with feminine accents and after a few quick Google searches, I discovered the perfect color for my piece. Losing approximately three hours of my life buried in Virginia's blog Live Love DIY, I ultimately decided to use the same color she used on this piece.

Mr. Noel lent me some man muscle and together we dug in to sand down the vanity, which at one point was lime green. Gotta love the 70's baby!

I followed Virginia's suggestion then priming, painting, and sealing the vanity. I know this furniture will be a high traffic zone for me as I fully intend to use it daily.

Primer: Zinsser 3-2-1 
Paint: Behr Marina Isle Sealer: Polycrylic Protective Finish High Gloss
This project was incredibly easy. I completed one step per night over the course of the last week, so it never felt overwhelming. Probably the biggest issues with this project, was finding a mirror to go with my new vanity. I have to give props to Mr. Noel who spent nearly all day Saturday searching for the perfect mirror with me. He stood with me in several stores while I debated finishes, shapes, sizes, and ultimately what would look the best in our current living situation, easily transitioning in the future. In the future, I may find a larger mirror and use this one else where. 

My running shoes never see the inside of the closet :)
I found my hardware at Lowes, Straburst Mirror from Target, paint and supplies from Home Depot. I used a $3 sample of Behr Flat Paint in Marina Isle for this entire piece. The most expensive part of this project was the mirror, all and all this project cost me just shy of $80. I absolutely adore this table. It's extra special to me as it belonged to my Grandparents, and I'm so happy to have it in my home. It makes me feel like a part of them is with me always. I am 100% cheesy and sentimental, you know you love it! 

True confessions, I'm already plotting other pieces that I can breathe fresh life into. Don't worry though, running and all things weight loss will forever dominate this blog. 

Are you a do it your-selfer?!

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Blogging Fail, Life Win

Monday Monday you strike again! No no no, I need ONE more day! We had another wonderful weekend spent running, shopping, cleaning, and enjoying family and friends. This weekend was up there in terms of favorite weekends in recent memory. It was relaxing, fun, and I got a lot accomplished. All of my favorite things!

I got in my longest run post half marathon, a 9 miler. The run itself went better with each passing mile as I began trusting my legs with each passing step.The weather was cool and crisp- perfect for running. Days like this one remind me why I love running so very much. I was able to book end my run with two of the Sole Sistas randomly meeting up on the road. Running with company is so very much more enjoyable!

Technical Difficulties (a-hem bathroom break)

Saturday morning, I usually try and update Instagram, my post run ritual. This week, I made an effort to disconnect.  I truly worry that social media is destroying interpersonal communication, and I like everyone else, can be guilty of gluing my eyeballs to the phone. Instead of worrying about the digital world, I focused on the real world around me. I enjoyed a wonderful coffee date with a group of the Sole Sistas. These women make starting Saturday so much fun. I can hardly remember a time when I would have dreaded starting a Saturday at 5am, and now I can't imagine not kicking off my day this way!

My husband and I spent Saturday searching for the perfect item to complete a home project I've been working on the past week. I'll give ya'll those details tomorrow.

Then it was Halloween party time. Unfortunately, this is the only picture to document our festivities this year...

We're classy
Sunday we had friends over to cheer for our Saints! This was my cheat day and it was a doozie. My husband made his infamous corn and crab biqsue with "whole butter" aka real butter which apparently he has been missing from his diet as of late. He's so deprived let me tell ya. I'm going to have to work extra hard in the gym this evening, and every day this week. 

While this weekend was a blogging fail in terms of pictures and social media documentation, it was a total WIN in my book!

Do you ever try and disconnect from the digital world?

Weekly Work Out Goals:

Strength Training

4 Mile Run

7 Mile Run

4 Mile Run

Cross Training

14 Mile Run (New PR Distance)


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Friday, October 25, 2013

Workouts, Food, Running- Story of My Life

Mernin ya'll, it's Friday time again! Woop Woop! Best day of the week! I apologize for my radio silence yesterday, busy is an understatement. The things we have to do for money!Ridiculous!

Workouts- I have been feeling the early morning work outs! I put in three early mornings Wednesday- Friday and two afternoons Monday and Tuesday. The past few weeks, I've been an almost always afternoon girl, but this week it's been on at 5am! I have cut out all two a days at present. I'm really focusing on working smarter not harder. My overall focus right  is just no to take things too seriously, which I'm incredibly guilty of. Instead, I'm focusing all of my energy into one intense hour and a half work out per day. I feel pretty fantastic rolling into the weekend nothing new there

Food- I find the more I think about it, the hungrier I always am. I've taken some pressure off focusing on certain numbers and have come in really low in calories every day this week. Which is BONKERS. If I plan for 200 more calories per day, I feel relentlessly hungry, but if I don't put too much thought (I will always put some thought into it just not obsessing) into what i'm eating, I come in under and wait for it... I'm not hungry. I'm really trying to focus on overall lifestyle commitment instead of focusing on singular challenges and specific diets. When I find myself planning strict meals, I begin obsessing about food and where my next meal is coming from. I'm going to elaborate on this idea next week. It's what I planned to talk about yesterday, BUT anywho it will get done.

Running- I still don't feel quite recovered from Jazz Half. When asked what hurts, I can't even pin point one problem area. Left hip, ball of left foot, right calf, right ankle.... poo yi I'm falling a part. I don't feel like any ONE injury is holding me back just not quite fully recovered. I've actually run negative splits all week long as my run starts I trust my legs? As the run goes on I trust them more, and end with a bang. This is always my goal when training, so there's a positive in the long Jazz Half recovery. This week's long run is a 9 miler. I'm thinking I'll run the same route I ran during half training for the 9 miler when the dew point was 78, 90 something degrees, and threatening to rain the whole run. Redemption run time, oh yeahs!

Writing this post makes my life look so boring. Run, Work, Eat, Repeat. Honestly, I couldn't love it more. I feel more alive in my routine than I ever did before. Don't be afraid to do what's best for you!

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