a week in review

This past week, I started a new job, which I’m using as my excuse for not having blogged. In recap, I went to a book signing to pick up Sarah Michelle Gellar’s cookbook and kind of met her. I say kind of because I was flustered, had no idea what to say, and freaked out a little. It’s unnatural to meet a celebrity who means a lot to you, particularly for playing my favorite character of anything ever, Buffy, and them having no idea who you are. What do you even say? She was very nice, but my instinct was to push my friend Brad out of my picture, so I can’t really say the same about myself. We’re calling it my Selina Meyer moment. If you know me, feel free to text and ask to see the picture of me pushing him because it PLAYS OUT THE ENTIRE THING. #embarrassed.

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Friday was momentous because it was a day off. I took advantage by eating a great breakfast, fitting in a solid workout, grocery shopping for the week, and then watching the entire new season of Grace and Frankie. Jane Fonda + Lily Tomlin = epic. But maybe I should have done more with my life.

On Saturday, I was up early to go to Six Flags with my friend Brad (it’s a wonder that he still wanted to hang out with me). I like to think of myself a roller coaster connoisseur, but the first ride we went on, which spins you 360 while hurtling head first down a bunch of drops, made me rethink my entire life. The thing about Six Flags is that they have cool rides, but the longest lines and terrible guest service. I’m a Disney girl to my core, so I guess ambiance is more important to me than I thought. We were there from open to close, 11 hours, and only got on six rides.

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Sunday, I enjoyed an Easter meal with my cousins Meghan and Sebastian. It was a hard decision between sweet and savory, and then pancakes and french toast, but ultimately it was the french toast that won out. It was delicious!

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But I felt very full.

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There must be something to that carbo-loading theory though because once I digested and hydrated enough, I had a wonderful, strong run. Maybe it was the sun.

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It was a productive afternoon of meal planning, exercise planning, cleaning, and online shopping. I needed new sneakers, both for work and for play (running and general living).

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So far, I’ve been successful with my morning workouts. I love the feeling of having finished my workout.

Now onto Tuesday!

Apocalypse Scares and Food Photos: Just Another Tuesday

It was only a few weeks ago that I was thinking to myself how nice it was that we haven’t had any apocalypse scares as of late. My uncle would ruin this on Friday night when he told me that people were now focusing on September 23 as the end of the world. I will say that he himself did not believe it, but that all of the eery coincidences were curious, as they always are, that leave you with at least a speck of ack-what-if!?

It’s not that I’m actually scared of the apocalypse or that I believe any of the “facts” that go into it, but no doubt, whenever that date people zone in on comes to pass, there is a nagging fear in the back of my mind. It’s embarrassing. I happen to be a sucker for conspiracy theories. Again, not because I believe them, but because it makes for an intriguing story. Usually I just stick to reading Dan Brown books for my fix.

The reason I thought of a pending apocalypse in the first place was because I was watching Buffy and for a second I thought, well this isn’t that bad, but then I remembered that Buffy doesn’t actually exist and I’m not certain I trust any human enough to save the world as I would Buffy. And even though I adore Sarah Michelle Gellar, I do have the ability to separate character from actor and I don’t think she would be up for the task, at least alone. Unless of course she or someone else have already been doing that for years without us knowing, in which case, thanks bud!

So maybe there is an apocalypse scheduled for tomorrow, but probably not. There’s nothing any of us can really do at this point, so we might as well just go on living per usual until we can’t. That does mean that you can have extra ice cream tonight (or your treat of choice) just in case. At the very least, we have a few things that we can be thankful for to ease our minds as we continue onto our potentially fiery deaths.

  1. I’ve experienced mild celebrity with my blogging
  2. Donald Trump could not be made president
  3. I will not have made it to 26 and will therefore not have to come off my parents’ health insurance
  4. Chris Evans won’t have married anyone else
  5. No more snow to shovel
  6. I am finally blonde
  7. No more reality TV
  8. Since we’ll all go out together, Heaven will be way more fun
  9. There should be unlimited free wifi in Heaven (right!?)
  10. No more damn apocalypse scares

It is possible that my priorities are different than yours and that’s fine too. In all seriousness, I suspect that tomorrow will come and go and we will (mostly) all be fine, unless something personal happens to you or me, in which case, I’m sorry.

For the record, apocalypse is a difficult word to type and I feel like my fingers got in a nice workout.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll continue onto our regularly scheduled blogging. Yesterday’s workout consisted of a dumbbell strength circuit, a body strength circuit, and a swim. I was pleased to find that I wasn’t experiencing any pain after my long run, but the swim was a good antidote to easing sore muscles anyways.

Dinner was homemade chicken parm, whole wheat penne, and sautéed spinach.

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I’ve decided my next read would be Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. I read it in high school and loved it, so I’m curious to see how I feel 8 years later. I cracked the book open as I dug into this plate of magnificent peanut butter pancakes this morning, leaving both my mind and tummy happy.

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Check back in again tomorrow for more adventures, probably.

Finding Strength: Uphill, Downhill, On the Way

As of late, I’ve been fascinated with strength. It wields so much power, both in the physical and emotional state. Through my emotional strength, I built physical strength. I don’t succeed if I don’t have the two strengths combined.

Picture this: you’re running; it’s hot; it’s uphill; it’s downhill; it’s uphill again; your legs say no more; your mind says stop; you stop.

Picture this: you’re running; it’s hot; it’s uphill; it’s downhill; it’s uphill again; your brain says no more; your legs stop; you stop.

Two scenarios that happen to me all the time when I run. Sometimes, it depends on the sneakers or the playlist. It could be what you had for breakfast or how much water you had during the day. It’s having to use the bathroom or the workout from the day before. Sometimes, it’s necessary to stop. Sometimes, it’s necessary to keep going. I can’t tell you what’s right in each situation. It’s a matter that relies on the mind-body connection. That connection deserves to be strong.

Strength does not just mean you have the will-power to go to the gym or that you lift heavy things and put them down. It doesn’t just mean that you avoided eating the cookie or you burned 400 calories on the elliptical. Strength does not just mean success and it does not just mean overcoming failure. Strength for you, does not mean what it does for me. It’s immeasurable. It can’t be defined. Strength is your own to build, to learn, to discover.

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Strength is having the will to lead a happy and healthy life to the best of your ability and to what you can control. To quote my favorite show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which you’d know if you were paying attention!), “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.” So let’s live it our way.

If I did the math right, which could very well be wrong, then my 26th birthday is 80 days away. I decided to do something productive about it.

Every day, for the next 80, I want to reflect on at least one thing in which I found strength. At the end of each post, I am going to share what I found strength in that day. I would love if you would share along with me. It can be anything that makes you feel happy, strong, healthy, and powerful. It does not have to be about exercise or any other subject in particular. I know it won’t always for me.

Today, I ran 6 miles. Some of it was uphill, some of it was downhill, and some of it was flat. My legs were beneath me, my mind was above, and my spirit within. That run, during and after, gave me strength because it’s the first time I ran in weeks (maybe months) that I didn’t feel like I was struggling to get through. I didn’t feel the need to walk or to give up. I pushed through this block and I found my strength again. It feels good.

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Let’s go for 80 days strong!

I’ve Got That Boom Boom and That Sass

When you read my title of this post, please do so to the tempo of Britney Jean Spears’ “I’ve Got That Boom Boom.” It’s relevant to a piece of this post.

Who’s the dumb-dumb who got burned in all the wrong places? That would be me. I actually put on sunscreen this time too, but it was the spray kind and I slathered it on the beach, which means it went flying everywhere except for my body. Now I’m left with weird and painful stripes of red.

Note: Ibuprofin works like a beast. My favorite thing ever created.

With all my recapping and busy time, I haven’t had a chance to talk about exercise in awhile. Things were a little murky even before vacation because I came down with the sniffles, if you’ll recall. Once they cleared, I attempted a workout, but had to take it easy because I was still feeling weaker than usual.

Vacation happened and even though there was a lot of walking, I didn’t do anything exercisey except for that magnificent hike that left my thighs burning for days after. I’m sure it also had to do with my sitting on a plane for five and a half hours.

I got back into the flow of things on Friday with a strength and plyometric workout. On Saturday, I fit in some Yoga and a walk/run that felt a little sore, but good to move. I’ve been trying to do more Yoga, even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes and on my own.

Since I had to work in the morning on Sunday then head up to the Cape for a day after, I woke up super special early to fit in a morning workout that consisted of strength training. It felt good to be up and moving early again, though not enough to do it on a consistent basis when I don’t have to. So long as I fit in exercise at all!

On Monday, I was able to get myself up again because I wanted to try out a Yoga class they offer on the beach! I think I romanticized the idea too much in my head because even though being outside and by the water was spectacular, walking in the sand is hard enough. Trying to do all the poses definitely challenged me. I also would have liked to have done it a little earlier in the morning so that the sun wasn’t quite at full blast. Regardless, it was an amazing experience!

I’ve been wanting to mix things up a little bit with exercise, so on Tuesday after work, I decided to try a kickboxing class. It went by a different name on the schedule, so I didn’t even know it was kickboxing until I got there. I think watching Buffy inspired me to act a little kick-ass and I had a blast. My punching and kicking skills could use a ton of improvement, however, but at least I still have my sass to back me up.

The workout was great, but it didn’t put me through the ringer like I enjoy in my exercise, so after, I went upstairs to fit in a kettlebell strength workout. At the end, I did a quick core circuit that included dual moves like mountain climbing push-ups and sit up Russian twists. They were grueling, but awesome!

Tonight, I knew I wanted to fit in a run and some more Yoga, but with the humidity levels going crazy outside, I decided to take it into the treadmill. It’s not my favorite to do, but I got a good rhythm going with my new playlist and fit in a half hour run that left me nice and sweaty before I dropped into Yoga class. I always forget how much I like Yoga until I do it, but it’s one of those things that I will let slide in order to fit in more intense workouts in a shorter amount of time. I’m working on it!

Even though everything has been amazing, positive experiences, this summer has felt a little off when it comes to routine. I left my job and started a new one- which by the way, I am loving- then went on vacation before I felt settled. It’s always surreal to make changes and I am not complaining, but I haven’t felt as productive in other regards of my life, like studying and writing.

We’re back on track as they say and I am hoping to get going on a few new ideas I have regarding the blog. Keep checking in!

What got your heart pumping this week?

All My Friends Are On TV

Some random thoughts for the morning: To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books of all time and the sequel comes out today. I’ve been hearing mixed things and some intriguing rumors that make me want to ignore the book. I will probably end up reading it anyways because my curiosity is piqued, but I won’t be happy about it. I have a funny relationship to any kind of media I love. I want more- cough Harry Potter cough- but I also don’t want to mess with it. Too much of a good thing. In the end, I suppose we have to trust the author…

Speaking of unhappy, I had to clean my room and fold some laundry last night, which I do enjoy because it means productive Netflix time, but the account was down for some reason and I couldn’t watch Buffy. It’s cruel to deny someone an episode of their current show once they are used to having it at their fingertips. Low on the scale of dire issues, I know, but still. I ended up finishing the current season of Veep instead and it was excellent and I laughed a lot, so I guess it’s all okay.

Part of the delay to sleep was also a Twitter conversation I was having with my friend Stephanie. You can always tell when I’m writing because my favorite procrastination strategy is to tweet. We were talking about our love for television and I do think I get too invested, but it’s the nature of the beast in a lot of ways. In my defense, I want to write for television, so really, I’m just doing research. In many ways, Netflix has changed the way we watch TV and it’s not for people who have no self-control. I try not to let myself watch too much because once I get invested in a show, I can’t stop. A couple of summers ago, I flew through 30 Rock then Lost. Lasts year it was Orange is the New Black and Gilmore Girls. I watched The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but that was just the one season, so no harm. Now I’m rewatching Buffy and I want to slow down to savor it, but it’s also just sine asylum to watch just “one” more. Don’t get me started on the sorrow if ending a show. In some ways, these characters, like in books too, become friends and it becomes personal. Unless you think that’s crazy…

Anyways, I woke up to my alarm tired this morning. I’m not waking up at five since I no longer have to, but I do want to continue my morning trend of workouts. Seven should be a much friendlier hour, except when you stay up too late the night before. In my defense, a lot of that time was spent writing the book I’ve started about my weight loss journey, but some of it was also just me browsing the internet. This is a big no-no, I know. I just need to get used to my new routine and be vigilant about following it.

It took me a little longer to get out of bed, but once I did, I was hungry. It was hot out and I wasn’t in the mood to eat a ton, so I decided to try my hand at smoothies. I’m not a big drinker of things. I stick to water, tea, coffee, and the occasional adult beverage, but usually I prefer to eat my calories. I pulled out the blender and threw in some chopped strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, half a banana, half a cup of plain Greek yogurt, half a cup of unsweetened cashew milk, baby spinach, two tablespoons of oats, and a dash of cinnamon. I can see how smoothies can quickly become calorie bombs, but I kept my fruit portions low, to what I normally eat. It turned out great! I paired the smoothie with a single piece of almond buttered toast for a satisfying breakfast!

  
I have a swim on the workout menu today followed by some much needed body strength exercises. I woke up with some soreness in my legs, but nothing that won’t be solved with a few laps and some stretching. 

Official Day One of studying for my Personal Training Certificate has successful, though the second chapter seems far more intimidating. Something about joints and muscles and all that stuff that I will need to ready and study and read and study because science is not my strong suit. Good luck to me…

How’s everyone else’s Tuesday going?