Sit Up Straight! No, But Really, You Should Do That

Is everybody recovering from their (hopefully) fun-filled Labor Day weekend?

Saturday morning, I opened at work, but I was out by noon and ready to enjoy a weekend! After lunch, I picked up my friend Nouha and we headed out to the store. Now’s the perfect time to buy a bathing suit because everything is on sale. Now is not the perfect time to buy a bathing suit because 1. they are hard to find in the store 2. all products are tossed together in one section regardless of size, shape, and match.

Fun fact: I found the bathing suit of my choice lying on a dressing room bench. It was 75% off and I just so happened to have a gift card, so I spent a whopping $3.44. Time well spent.

After our shopping trip, Nouha and I walked the five mile trek around a local lake. It was hot, but trees shaded us for the most part and things didn’t feel too bad. We rewarded ourselves with frozen yogurt after- mint chocolate chip is amazing! When I got home, my legs were still itching for a bit of a workout, so I took off for a run. By the end, I reached five more miles for a wonderful and exhausting tally of 10 miles.

The ability to walk/run 10 miles = my strength for Saturday.

I came home and grilled up the rest of the tilapia for another delicious meal! As I settled into study for the rest of the night, my parents came home and bullied me into going over to my neighbors’ house to sit by the fire pit. I say this in jest as it did not take much to tear me away from my textbook. It was the weekend after all!

On Sunday, I got to try out my new bathing suit. I had one goal in mind when it came to selecting a new suit: I wanted something I did not need to keep adjusting as I dove into the waves. I am a big beach girl so far as I love the ocean. Yes, it scares me because, sharks. Pools are also very nice and safer because, no sharks.

But there is something majestic about the salty water, the push and pull of waves, and connection to nature. So long as I can see through the water and there isn’t any seaweed hooking its way around me, or, sharks, I’m a happy girl.

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This picture just proves I have a humungous forehead. But at least it’s a happy forehead. Every dive into the wave on Sunday, and trust me, I was in the water for over an hour so there were a lot, gave me my strength.

As far as food on Sunday, I had a toast breakfast before the beach, a deliciously well-crafted sandwich for lunch, and barbecue for dinner (hot dog, grilled chicken, the fixings). On the way home, we stopped at Dairy Queen and I indulged in a blizzard- reese’s cup!

Monday morning, I set my alarm early to get in a workout before work. I started with a dumbbell strength circuit and I was feeling tired. I think it has to do with all the wave-diving of the previous day. I followed my strength routine up with a core circuit. I’ve been more devoted to core strength since I started studying for my personal training cert, as I grow increasingly aware of how important posture is for the body to function.

True Life: I am a sloucher.

Listen to your mamas and papas, folks, and stand/sit/walk with that head held up high and back straight. Damn.

To end things on a high note, I rocked a plyometric circuit that left me nice and sweaty. Before a few hours of work, I showered and stuffed down a peanut butter wrap, feeling strong to start my day.

I was out of work by noon and ready to relax by the pool. I fully intended to swim, but the water was a little chilly and I tried to take things slow by sitting on a raft. Relaxing turned into a full blown nap and I only woke up when a bird cawed loudly in the distance. For my life purposes, I am thankful I did not topple over into the water. For blogging purposes, I am thoroughly disappointed I could not share a story of me tumbling into the water with you.

After my nice nap, it was study time! I have a nice feeling about the nervous, skeleton, and endocrine systems, but the muscular system is still proving to be difficult to comprehend. I’ll get there, I hope.

Dinner was tilapia once again. This piece was intended to be spread over two meals, which means, yay! I don’t have to cook much for lunch. I topped it with thin slices of butter and a lemon pepper seasoning. Since it was a slightly thicker piece, I cooked the fish for six minutes on the first side and four for the second. Perfection! I paired the fish with a heaping portion of broccoli and a sweet potato topped with butter and cinnamon.

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I met up with my friend Molly to walk. We haven’t seen each other since our Californian adventures, so it was great to catch up! I’m not sure how far we got, but I do know there were a ton of laborious hills that left my legs feeling sore today. Chatting away as day gave into night and it was still hot as balls  was my moment of strength for Monday.

Before bed, I put in a few more hours of studying.

This morning, I woke up and made myself a pancake breakfast. Pancakes, peanut butter, jelly, coconut, and a berry bowl = delicious.

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The cakes with ample water and coffee left me feeling energized and ready to attack my strength workout. Now to get to it!

May Greetings!

It must be the end of the week because I just had to be told I was wearing my sweatshirt backwards. The terrible thing is, I thought it was strange when I couldn’t find the front pocket, but it didn’t alert me to maybe see what was happening. One could say I have so many other things going on, I couldn’t be bothered with such frivolous details. One would be too kind.

The day started off with a little bit of an eff you from my alarm. I thought I still had some time, so I rolled over to lay on my side just as my alarm blared. It was really mean, but it offended me such much, it woke me right up. Nicely played, Siri? *When speaking in terms of iPhones, I just blame Siri for everything.

I got things moving with a body strength workout at the gym. Side step ups are harder than they look, especially when followed by elevated calf raises, two different types of squats, two different kinds of lunges, kneeling kickbacks using a very tight resistance band, and elevated hip lifts on a stability ball. My legs were sore! I also went through tricep dips, push ups, mountain climbers, mermaid raises, sit ups, Russian twists, and roll outs. After, I was stoked to hop in the pool, even though it was a bit crowded and I was wall side in my lane, which in hate because I feel claustrophobic. I also enjoy swimming in the middle lanes of the pool because it has the whole open water effect. I’m a freak, I know. *For the record, if you out me in actual open water, I would panic and drown myself by accident. I fit in a solid mile and left the gym jazzed for the day.

For breakfast, I heated up the new breakfast sandwich machine to excellent results. It’s super easy to use, it’s fast, and you don’t have to do much fussing about, so I can get organized without feeling rushed. This also allows me a little longer time at the gym. Fresh fruit topped off my yummy meal.

 

I was- ok, my mom- was right about the whole fat in my meal thing. A little cheese left me fuller for longer and I didn’t even think of eating again until a few, appropriate, hours later. Lunch was a stir fry with buckwheat noodles,  chicken, veggies, and the aforementioned cheese. For a snack, I had the juiciest orange and a cup of Trader Joes coconut cream Greek yogurt that was incredible. Seriously, it was so good, but it did have a little more sugar than I would normally allot for a snack.

  It was all about the veggies for dinner. I tossed a shaved Brussels sprout salad together for a fresh side,malong with kebabs with grilled chicken, pepper, and zucchini. Because we were going to make it earlier in the week and didn’t, we also had cauliflower au gratin and a side of brown spinach rice. So good!

It’s Friday, friends, which means one more morning until I can sleep in! Also, only a few more hours until I get to see my husband, Chris Evans, up on the big screen again. Avengers Assemble! 

Oh! And happy. May!

An Ode To Sneakers

I have a tough time letting go of sneakers. Think of all the miles and steps they’ve gone on with you. Some painful, some exuberant, long runs, short jaunts from the initial pain to the inexplicable comfort. I love my sneakers, but after a long winter slushing through the snow to get to the treadmill or the monotony on the treadmill, it’s time to say goodbye. I hate fitting new sneakers on my feet and those first few runs. I try to rack up a few miles by walking because inevitably there will be some pain and blisters. Eventually they start to feel normal and you don’t even appreciate how fitted they are to your feet, kind of like how you don’t yearn to feel “normal” until you’re sick. 

  

 Sneakers are definitely replaceable, but as I “run” through them, I like to take a moment to remember and to appreciate every step, every stride, every puddle, every crunch, every minute, every mile. It makes me feel proud every time I get through another pair of sneakers because I know they were truly used. All the sneakers that have now dusted over or gone to the trash, they’re proof of the work and accomplishment of what I have been able to do these past THREE years. The more worn and rundown they are, the harder I’ve worked, the more I’ve achieved. With fitness, just stepping out the door and making it to the gym is an accomplishment. Revel in it. 

  

Weekends always pass by so quickly in a wonderful way. I’ve had a great weekend of friends, family, food, exercise, and fun, starting on Friday morning with a workout and a bowl of oats. For my workout, I ran through a dumbbell strength routine before finishing up with a sweaty Plyometrics workout. Oatmeal included dark chocolate peanut butter, blueberries, raspberries, and coconut. So delicious!

 

I followed my oatmeal up with leftover pizza and a fresh salad for lunch.

 

 

For dinner, I met up with my friend Molly for our favorite meal at Border Cafe, the blackened salmon salad with warm tostito chips and margaritas of course.

 

 

Saturday was move in day for Lauren and Nick, so I know I needed a substantial breakfast to get going. Peanut butter pancakes are a jewel of life. Fresh, tasty, and nutritious!

 

 

A quick hot dog on a toasted roll and salad helped me refuel.

 

  

After the move, I took myself over to the gym-damn the snow for foiling my plan to run outside!- and started with a stretch session and some Yoga. On the treadmill, I ran 4.1 miles and felt sweaty and tired by the end, looking forward to a full day of rest on Sunday!

My dinner was this delicious stir fry made with veggies, whole wheat bow tie pasta, and chicken meatballs in a Thai peanut sauce. Yum!

 

Before grocery shopping on Sunday, I woke up to some poached eggs over toast. Buttery, warm, and oh so good.

 

 

For lunch, I met my friend Katie in the city. The sun was shining and the air was chilly, with a touch of warmth. I got a barbecue pork sandwich and we split some fries. After, we meandered our way over to some stores and I bought two new shirts, new socks, and a giant coffee mug. 

  

We also stopped into Ben and Jerry’s for some disappointing ice cream. The flavor was halted by the ice chips swirled inside and the taste was not fresh. Disappointing! I have high standards for my ice cream people. 

When I got home, I went on a walk with my mom and the dog before setting up in the kitchen for a veggie chopping session. It is so much easier to chop veggies for lunch in advance so I can just toss everything together in a jiff! So much more to do at night than be making lunches. I was able to get all of my laundry done on Saturday so Sunday was just a relaxing night before the week ahead.

What’s the best thing you did this weekend?

I Am Runner

Like many, I have a love/hate relationship with running. It’s more complicated than the old love when it’s over, hate to do it relationship we had in the past. Truth be told, I’ve always wanted to be a runner. Even in the days when I never thought I could run down the street never mind a mile, I always envied those who were “runners.”

Running for me isn’t always easy. There are days when I feel like I could go on for miles, then days when a jog around the block hurts. This week, I’ve experienced both situations. Saturday, in the pouring rain, I had the best run of this short spring season. Unable to fathom the treadmill, I threw my hat on and trekked outside, having the time of my life. Today, on this beautiful, sunny day, I felt like I was going to break apart with every step. The weather apparently has nothing to do with how well I run.

I’ve learned the hard way that a number of random factors affect my run. This can range from how much I eat, when I eat, and how my stomach handles what I’m eating. Hydration, per usual, is a must, but it is challenging to find the right amount that you’re body is spongy and energized, but not so much that you have to pee within the first five minutes and this dilemma distracts and plagues you the whole way through, preventing you from finding that groove. What exercise I’ve done the day before is often a factor, and perhaps the split squats I tried yesterday have to do with the tenderness of my thighs today (thanks bro). 

Sometimes, a good run just flows when emotions are high and positive and you’ve found the right mix of music (Hello The Climb). There are days when I know without a doubt that I can run up that long, looming big hill to get back to my house, and days when I need to walk it at a slow pace. Days when not even the catchiest of musicals, of which in my head I am always the star, can’t inspire me to love that I’m running. When a good story idea pops into my head and infiltrates every other sense so I go on auto drive as I flesh out ideas, are days when I know I have good mojo.

Regardless of the outcome, the distance, the timing of each mile, the feeling at the end of each run is the same: success. So even if there are days, like today, when in order to get myself outside, I need to say “just one mile,” then in order to keep going, find random landmarks to push past. Maybe it was the sun shining, the Frozen soundtrack blaring, or even the promise of the weekend approaching, but today, when every step was painful and somewhat slow and I was running for the end, I made it through five miles. 

Five ugly miles, but it was worth it. If only because I can.

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