My Left Side Is Rebelling Against Me

I just came back from my first massage in a year (almost to the day) and it made me realize how much has changed. It’s funny what triggers those thoughts! Last year, I got a massage with my mom and sister right before my sister’s wedding. I happened to be at a job that was stressful and that I didn’t love and I had to ask the massage therapist to stop touching my neck because it hurt too much from where I carried my stress.

A year later and I’m in a position I love, I know exactly the muscles that are being affected by the massage, and the tension in my body isn’t from stress, so much as physical labor. As I suspected from recent weeks, my left side has been taking a beating, from my foot to my upper trapezius muscles. No idea why the tension is primarily on one side over the other, especially considering that I’m right-handed, but it happens!

Note to self, get massages more regularly.

This is the face of a happy beach-goer.

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The only decent selfie that was snapped of the four of us celebrating Katie’s birthday!

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My breakfast is already anticipating the July 4th holiday, thanks to the delicious fruit!

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In other news, I’ve been grinding at the gym with total body workouts, including a day of intense HIIT and plyometric strength training so as to rev up the metabolism and burn fat. I also upped my running to three times a week, altering mileage, speed, and incline to mix things up (especially if it’s raining and I’m stuck on the treadmill). I’m still going easy on the lower back exercises- deadlifts, rows, and bridges in particular- but my back isn’t quite as sore as before. In exciting personal gains, I’m getting so much better at the hanging leg raises, and my body is no longer swaying, but is stabilized by a stronger core. Practice does make better!

According to the body fat calculator at work, I’m down 3% since the last time I weighed in, around a month ago. I don’t know how accurate body fat calculators are, but it has showed similar numbers in the past, so I’ll take it!

Like most of the world, I am also obsessed with Hamilton and I’ve been listening to the Original Broadway Cast Recording on repeat all day, every day.

I’ve had to tear myself away from this new book I’m reading thanks to my mom’s recommendation. It’s called Two Truths and a Lie by Katrina Kittle and it’s fascinating. I sat down in my backyard Monday afternoon expecting to get through a chapter or two and ended up reading for the next three hours. Whoops.

It is summer, so it’s almost time for my annual Harry Potter reread! Someone didn’t believe me that there was a July 31st and the only reason I knew for a definitive fact that yes, 100% there was indeed a July 31st was because it’s Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s birthday. Let’s not eliminate such a blessed day!

Writing time! Happy Wednesday, folks!

Tuesday Things

Happy Birthday to my friend Katie! It’s going to be a great year, you maniac!

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Yesterday, I cleaned out my car (it was hot!) and this is what came from it.

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A little healthy snack to share from last night.

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A very hot run, but so worth it on this Tuesday morning!

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And a delicious breakfast post-sweat sesh.

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Who said healthy living wasn’t fun?

Have a wonderful Tuesday, friends!

Weekend Catch Up

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER (The best season in the world!)

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Yes, it was embarrassing taking this picture and hoping the neighbors wouldn’t see.

Doesn’t it always feel like weekends pass by in a whirlwind? And this one had such great weather, I already miss it. Although the weather today is just as nice, which works out because I’m in desperate need of cleaning my car!

Weekend catch-up time! Yesterday, we celebrated Father’s Day and mine happens to be awesome!

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We also celebrated the year anniversary of these two crazy kids getting hitched (and my day of being MOH!)

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Pretty clouds in blue skies.

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Peaceful post-Yoga session or blinded by the sun?

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Happy dog getting pats.

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Sad dog missing his parents.

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Tasty sangria.

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Food.

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Even more food.

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This is actually a throwback from last weekend, but I thought I’d play the sympathy card. I burned my finger straightening my hair. It’s a good thing I’ve got a nurse for a mom… or a mom for a nurse! The things you do for beautification!

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Hope your Monday treats you splendidly!

For Orlando

One of the greatest things in life are the people who share as many differences as they do similarities to help us understand all of these wonderful perspectives in life. We have strengths and weaknesses, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and so many other qualities and characteristics that define humans. These make us who we are.

We then go into the world to explore, succeed, fail, and live. We make choices, actions that define us too, actions for which we should be judged upon. Not who we are, but what we do in this world. The people inside that club in Orlando were celebrating by drinking and dancing; the people in the movie theater were seeking a brief respite from every day life through entertainment; all of those students, both young and old, were learning and growing as they sought their place in the world; people in their places of worship were trying to connect to something they believed bigger than themselves. I could provide more examples across the globe of innocent people trying to live their lives being disrupted in the most violent and terrible of ways because one person or a group of people decided to hate, to allow that hate to consume them, to pick up a weapon, and to destroy.

Unfortunately, we have proved time and again that the love we share after these tragedies, that the prayers we we wish, and the tears we shed are not enough to stop it from happening again. It’s time that we stand up, similarities and differences together, and we make an active choice to say that this is no longer the type of world in which we want to live.

At the very least, right now, let’s focus on the wonderful people who we now consider to be terrible losses. They deserved better. So do we.

On the DL

It’s Friday, folks, and the weekend is mere hours away! I’m still rocking this strange, but persistent injury to my lower back/hip/glutes, so I’m taking it easy on the exercise front. I honestly don’t know what happened, but sometimes, you just need to learn to listen to the body and rest. And believe me, resting is difficult for me.

Last night, we celebrated my brother’s 21st birthday, which is hard to believe and means I’m five (going on six) years past that year!

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My aunt and uncle and cousins also joined us, but we didn’t snap any pictures of them with the birthday boy.

I’m heading out for a walk in a few to stretch my legs and see what the pressure feels like on my back. Have a great weekend everyone!

Happy Birthday!

Happiest of birthdays to this kid:

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Who now looks like this:

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You keep on making your big sisters feel old, but also proud. I can’t believe you’re 21!

In non-related news, I am currently nursing a painful lower body injury that I’m hoping doesn’t last long. I’m not sure what the source of the pain is as it started in my foot and some how traveled up to my left hip and mid-lower back. Ouch! It really flared up when I started to lift this morning, so I stopped and stretched, then stuck to a half hour of cardio to try to warm up the muscles. Listen to your body!

My lunch was this stir fry made with teriyaki ginger chicken meatballs, zoodles, pepper, carrots, and spinach.

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Before I leave you on this Thursday, I saw this post on my Facebook newsfeed and I can’t deny how much I identify with this child.

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Have a drink for Jimmy tonight!

Wednesday Friend Day

Pictures on this gorgeous Wednesday afternoon include this stylistic sky shot of blissful blue:

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And a shoddy nail job:

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I’m blaming the sticky nail polish on this one!

Apparently today is National Best Friends Day, which means I have to honor these people in some way. Hmm.

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I had to throw it back to before the blonde hair, so methinks it’s time to get a new picture, ladies! Happy National BFF Day. I guess you’re cool.

On another note, today I started with a workout focused on the shoulders and ending with a run because it is seriously super nice out! I also met up with my friend Alison for lunch and now I’m typing away in the backyard, soaking up the rays before work!

Go hug your best friend, or at least shoot them a text.