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I was busy towards the end of last week and didn’t have time to update with a collection of food pictures, so here we are!

Breakfasts

Whole wheat waffles with a red, white, and blue fruit medley. I tried these with sugar free syrup because it’s 1 point versus 11. Not too shabby.

Two eggs scrambled with a slice of muenster cheese and a cinnamon raisin bagel thin with a smear of cream cheese. Big bowl of pineapple and watermelon on the side.

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Oatmeal cooked in water with mashed banana, cinnamon, vanilla, powdered peanut butter, and berries.

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Simple english muffin topped with peanut butter and banana before a run.

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Lunches

I do love tacos. These ones are stuffed with a combination of leftover chicken and steak with veggies.

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Salads are a go-to lunch for me. This one is chock full of veggies and leftover steak.

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Salad with grilled chicken. So easy, yet, so good.

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Another salad with chopped up deli meat: chicken, ham, salami, and turkey pepperoni.

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Dinners

I love a good caesar salad, particularly with steak tips on top. Mashed cauliflower and roasted bell peppers and zucchini on the side.

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A whopping salad served italian style with deli meats.

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Very into the shrimp these days.

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A salmon salad out with friends.

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It’s been a fine week of dining. What’s on your plate?

 

WW Problem: Going Out to Eat

In my second week of Weight Watchers, I’m down 1 pound.

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I knew I wasn’t going to lose another 6 pounds because that would be a lot after one week of changes. This is more consistent with what a person should aim to lose weekly. Also, I indulged in some pizza and Chinese food this weekend, not a weight loss winning combination, however delicious.

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My workouts have been consistent. I stick to a six-day plan, 3 days of strength training with harder, shorter bursts of cardio like jump roping and spinning, with 3 days of running.

I’m trying to be better about cooking at home on the weekends more often. This is difficult when it’s busy and I’m out and about. I’m pretty good at identifying what’s good to eat on menus, but I always find the healthy stuff is better when I make it myself.

Salads for instance! I went to a restaurant Friday night with my parents and because I wanted some chips and salsa, opted for a grilled shrimp salad. There were five tiny shrimps, lettuce, tomato, and a bunch of onions (blech!). It’s disappointing when you get something unsatisfying for a meal, particularly when you’re paying for it!

On Saturday, my friend and I split a small pizza with a large salad for lunch and then split some Chinese food dishes for dinner. The food itself is indulgent, but we also tried to manage the portions. Still, I want to try to stick to one indulgence on the weekends- at least in one day!

I also went out to eat on Sunday afternoon, which Weight Watchers builds into the plan, but I counted all my extra points for Saturday and didn’t want to go too crazy. I had a salad with grilled shrimp (much better this time) with a cup of soup and one roll because hey, it’s Bertucci’s and their rolls are amazing. I only had a small bite on Sunday for dinner because it was filling though.

I think the important mental note to take away when you’re trying to eat better or following something like Weight Watchers is that healthy living is something you want to be doing consistently. If you like to go out to eat, do so, but also learn to choose those indulgent favorites as a treat, rather than the norm. One meal does not a diet break, but if you view these changes as temporary, your mind will set back to old habits.

Plus, cooking at home can be fun!

Things

A week and a day in and still no celebrity sightings. I’m trying not to be discouraged, but really, you move to LA and you expect to see some random celebrities acting just like you and me, walking down the street. Do I glance over at the cubicle next to me and see my future husband, Chris Evans, at the library? No, instead I get a teen napping on his backpack. At Starbucks do I spot my future BFF Sarah Michelle Gellar ordering the same beverage? No, I get two dudes joking about putting mayonnaise in their coffee. Am I heavy lifting weights next to the man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the gym? Nope, just some old lady who needs help adjusting the seat but then proceeds to do freaking reverse crunches on an incline.

People keep joking that all the celebrities are in Boston, which hardy har- not funny!

For the record, only two of those celebrities are ones I’d like to meet. Spoiler: The Terminator is not one of them.

Again, this lack of celebritydom could be a symptom of my being unobservant, but I just don’t think so. Bring on the celebs!

Back to focus, I’ll tell you a little bit about my Wednesday. A day starting out with this beautiful bowl of oats is always a good one in my book!

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I mixed things up with almond milk, mashed banana, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins, and a dash of maple syrup. Muy delicioso!

At the gym, with my actual new BFF reverse crunching like a pro, I worked through triceps, shoulders, and chest, and I’m already feeling the repercussions. Again, in the best way. Core was pretty crushing with rollouts that did not want to be rolled out, especially at 3 sets of 20 reps. Worth it in the end, I hope. To top off my exercise for the day, I did things old-school and hopped on the arc trainer for a sweaty fifteen minutes- five steady-state, five intervals, five steady-state before calling it a day.

To refuel, I loaded up with strawberries and half a banana with some chocolate peanut butter. Refreshing!

I’m on The Order of the Phoenix for my Harry Potter re-read and it’s stressing me out. I’ve been avoiding it for a week and now I’ve just started and it’s stressful. You can’t imagine the pain if you haven’t read it before. There’s just so much angst. I love the book, don’t get me wrong, but boy does it bring out the emotions. I’m anticipating every scene as though I haven’t read it before. (Put in italics because such a notion is preposterous!)

For lunch, I headed back into Hollywood, The Grove area, to meet my cousin and two of her co-workers for an informational lunch. Again, it’s good to have human contact!

Look what I spotted!

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Back to the library to get some work done for this chick, as you probably predicted from my reference of the teen and his backpack. He was sleeping, in the spot that I had deemed mine over the past two days might I add, and I both support and resent him for it. Sleeping is important, but also, one, move and two, Chris Evans could have sat there, you waste of space.

For dinner, I went out with my friend Brad and his twin brother Reid, my new roommate!, at a vegan restaurant in town. Again, I ate vegan and did not have a celebrity sighting. The sacrifices I’m making. Not, I suppose, that celebrity sightings is the reason I moved out here because totally not, but still, it ups my cool factor.

I dined on sesame “chicken,” which was actually yummy cauliflower, brown rice, and broccoli. I have nothing against veganism and will eat a meal as such, but I’m still very much tied to meat and other various animal products. So sue me, but actually, please don’t.

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I’ve been writing and editing like crazy, which is important, and the actual reason for me being out here. Let’s hope that creativity keeps flowing! Secret to success: the more you do, the more that comes.

Weekend Catch Up!

Time for a peek back at the weekend!

Friday morning, started off with a strength workout before work. I ran through a dumbbell circuit before finishing up with a plyometric workout. My breakfast of choice was this egg, cheese, and chicken sausage sandwich with blueberries and pineapple on the side.

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After work, I met my friend Bobby in the city for a concert. On my walk over to the restaurant where we had dinner, I had to stop and capture this moment.

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It was absolutely mesmerizing, this moment where city meets nature.

Dinner before the show was a little unimpressive considering how delicious the dish sounded. I opted for mani mani in a tomato based sauce with peppers, but the fish didn’t have a ton of flavor. I could definitely recreate this at home with the right spice mixture! Sure did look good, though.

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Bobby and I have been fans of Idina Menzel for a long time now. It was great to be able to see her in concert!

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The highlight of the show, and there were a ton of amazing moments, had to be when she called up all the kids to help her sing Let it Go. I seriously almost started to cry. I think I’m going to have to go with this moment, magnified by watching someone so talented do something incredible with that talent, as my Friday moment of strength.

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I was up Saturday morning to work early. I had poached eggs over toast and a banana for my breakfast but didn’t get a picture. For lunch, I munched on a large salad and a turkey and cheddar wrap.

After work, I headed out as the sun began to go down for a magnificent run around a local lake. I don’t know why I don’t do this route more often. Sticking around my neighborhood is more convenient, but this area is still hilly so the terrain prevents a nice challenge, yet it’s not so extreme that I can elongate my run. The lake is five miles around on the nose and I felt strong throughout. It’s strange because running hasn’t left me feeling great after for the past few months, but recently things have improved and I’ve loved it again!

Extra points for running this route…this view after. Not one ounce of alteration.

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This would absolutely constitute as my Saturday moment of strength, sitting on a log and looking out into the water as my body rested.

I had a waffle with a smear of peanut butter right when I got home, then feasted on a salmon salad for my dinner. Later, we went over my neighbor’s house for some s’mores and conversation before an early to bed call for me.

Sunday was busy! I had to open at work so it was a bit of a shock to be called out of bed by my alarm. I had enough time to make eggs and some waffles for my breakfast, which helped me wake up and be okay in the alert world. Right after work, I drove to my friend Erin’s bridal shower, for whom I am honored to be one of her bridesmaids.

Erin is my first friend from college to be getting married. It’s kind of strange for the four of us to be celebrating this momentous occasion, but wonderful too! We had a great day and I think Erin enjoyed herself.

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We didn’t have time for many pictures, but here is a nice one of me and my friend/college roommate Stephanie.

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The rest of Sunday was spent at my sister’s house having dinner and watching Father of the Bride. I cannot get over how young the entire cast looks in that movie, especially Steve Martin. With the grey hair, I used to think he was so old! Not to mention how young the marrying couple are makes me feel very old. Lauren and I ordered an Indian food spread that included vegetarian samosas, garlic naan, chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, and basmati rice. It had been awhile since I had Indian and I had a real hankering for it. The food was decent, but lacking in spices like my dinner on Friday! It was nice to spend some sisterly quality time together regardless. Sister bonding made up my moment of strength on Sunday- both in regards to my actual sister and my college friends!

I kicked off Monday with another morning workout. I love my morning workouts, though it’s hard to justify waking up so early on days that I don’t have to, which is why they haven’t been happening on a consistent basis. I did a dumbbell strength workout including bicep curls, tricep extensions, alternating front raises, shoulder raises, weighted lunges, and high pulls. For my core workout, I ran through a circuit of kneeling kickbacks, tricep push ups, alternating ankle grabs, crunches, Russian twists, and side plank push ups. For cardio, I did some plyometric work that included box jumps, high knees, skater jumps, and jump roping. To finish my workout, I did a little Yoga with planks, shoulder stands, and a bridge.

My breakfast was delicious! I scrambled two eggs and two egg whites with some cheese, toasted a piece of whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread, and chopped up some strawberries and banana for sweetness.

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I packed a great lunch for work too! It consisted of a vegetable laden salad with chicken and a cup of plain Greek yogurt and oodles of red grapes. Red grapes are huge in my family right now.

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I snacked on a few celery and carrot sticks for an extra veggie kick later in the day.

For dinner, I enjoyed grilled salmon, roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, and buttered, cheesy pasta.

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My moment of strength came during my studying time as it really hits me how complicated and beautiful the body is. The particular moment of clarity was reading about muscle spindles and how they protect the body from overextending its muscles when stretching. There is a stretch reflex that kicks in as you simply lift your leg. I mean, this is simple stuff, but it never occurred to me as to how impressive it all is!

It was a happy Monday and a wonderful weekend. Any moments of strength, joy, food, or exercise you want to share?

Weekend Catch Up

I read a book yesterday. No, like an entire book. I tried to step away, I really did, but the mystery had me wrapped around its tiny little finger. That’s not the worst of it. This book was by the same author who wrote THE BOOK THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED because of the worst ending ever no ending whatsoever. Thankfully, the author decided to conclude this one, and it wasn’t terrible. This is why I shouldn’t read/watch anything. I become so absorbed I don’t want to do anything else. Granted, I did do a few other things of the workout variety, but I need to learn how to step away and let anticipation build. I guess I am just one impatient girl. Maybe Meditation will work?

Anyways, the book was The Secret Place by Tana French and I very much enjoyed the suspense and mystery. The characters had great development and I actually cared about them, rather than just caring about how the mystery would be solved. Right now, I’ve got a few books on Mindfulness and Meditation in my queue, but I am aiming to read a book a day week.

I think the last time I checked in was on Thursday, so we have a lot to chat about. Let’s catch up, shall we?

Thursday morning, I got things rolling with a bowl of peanut buttery oats. I topped the goodness with a spoonful of jam and toasted coconut.

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For lunch,  I went with a slice of leftover pepper pizza and a big salad I put together. I actually had a dream last night that my salad won this major salad competition and if we’re being honest, that would totally happen. My salads are often the envy of everyone who sees them.

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I got things moving with a strength workout using dumbbells and a quick series of planks. After, I went on a casual 8 mile walk with my friend Molly where we stopped for dinner in-between, so I wasn’t too worried about cardio.

This burger was amazing! It was topped with some cheese, bacon, onion rings, and honey barbecue sauce. I shared some of the rings with my friend Molly because they were huge and I am not that big a fan of onions, but everything was delicious. It came with a few potato chips and a side of beans.

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Somehow, Friday and Saturday got thrown together and I only have a few pictures of the meals I enjoyed. I can tell you that on Friday, I had a nice rest day, save for a brief walk I enjoyed just to stretch my legs. My workout on Saturday included a killer body strength workout and a swim.

On one of the days for breakfast, I made myself another smoothie. I tossed together some oats, peanut butter, banana , cashew milk, and ice to create something akin to a healthy, delicious milk shake. It was seriously so good and I will be making it again for sure!

Another day had to have been these scrambled eggs because I have photographic evidence that they existed. A little bit of toast and some fruit that did not make it into the picture completed the meal.

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Lunches included this huge salad with chicken and my current weird obsession- hot dogs. The hot dog must have been on Saturday because I wanted something quick post-workout and before dinner with friends.

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For dinner on Friday, I had um, more hot dogs, though I guess this would have happened before the other hot dog…I’m trying to confuse you so that you don’t judge me for my hot dog loving habits. It’s not my healthiest choice, but I’m not participating in any kind of eating contest, so I think I’m safe for now.

Saturday’s dinner was super special because the core four from college were finally able to reunite to celebrate Katie’s birthday. It came a month and four days late, but I think she appreciated it all the same.

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We started off with Sangria at Katie’s then made our way further into the city to make our reservation in the North End. Things were crazy busy, which is understandable, but we weren’t seated until an hour later, which screams bad customer service. Once we finally did sit, we had to wait along time for our food to arrive, but once it did, it was delicious! I selected the chicken parm with homemade ziti. SO good. You’ll forgive me for not having the time to snap a picture before diving in because we were all so hungry!

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I was up early on Sunday for work, but I somehow had enough time to make pancakes. When I’m motivated for pancakes, I can wake myself up! Oh, I should probably mention that I am now working again…in a gym! This is the perfect way for me to gain experience within a gym culture, while studying for my personal training certificate. So far, it’s been great!

Lunch was a huge stir fry: chopped veggies, grilled chicken, buckwheat noodles, thai peanut sauce. A colorful and tasty delight!

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I went out for a run that felt great while I was moving, then left my stomach aching after. I’m not sure what my deal is and it doesn’t happen consistently, but it has never really happened before these past few months. I think I have to start paying more attention to what I am eating and how much water I am drinking beforehand.

For dinner, I still wasn’t feeling great, but I knew I needed to eat. Once I did, I started to feel better, which is something. It’s strange though because I’ve tried to eat salads or meals with a ton of veggies post-run, but with my stomach issue, those only make it worse. I went with a safe, but far less healthy alternative in a frozen pizza. It hit the spot to fill my stomach at least.

Now into the week, I started my days with scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and fruit. Simple at its finest.

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I started my week of workouts with some strength training. I’m mixing things up a lot starting this week, so there will be new workouts to post, but I ran through each exercise six times at eight reps, upping my weight as I went. The circuit of sorts included bench presses, leg presses, cable shoulder pull downs, cable shoulder raises, deadlifts, shoulder presses, squat presses, rows, tricep extensions, and bicep curls. After, I ran through a core circuit: leg raises, step ups, kneeling kickbacks, grasshoppers, elevated hip lifts, flutter kicks, alternating ankle grabs, hundreds, Russian twists, and planks. For a hit of cardio, I jump roped using the Tabata method (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest) for five minutes, then rode the bike for 15 minutes.

After finishing up, I was ready for lunch. I went with more hot dogs, but I think I have met my quota on these for awhile. The biggest draw for me are the toasted buns. To be fair, I also had a huge salad. See, vegetables don’t usually turn me off during a workout, which is why I am so concerned with my running issues of late.

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For dinner, we grilled up burgers and served them with broccoli and homemade macaroni and cheese. It’s very hard to resist my mom’s macaroni and cheese even when it’s hot out!

And moving onto this morning, we are now all caught up! For breakfast, I enjoyed peanut butter on toast and a plain Greek yogurt with grapes.

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Overall, it wasn’t my healthiest week of eating, but I’m back on track!

The Entertainer

Last night I went to see Billy Joel at Fenway. This is my second time seeing him and he does not fail to impress. Both of my parents are big fans and I started listening to his music on a family trip to Ireland. There is not one song that I don’t like. It’s funny because he could have played a complete different playlist last night that still would have been full of hits.

  
After every song, I kept shouting, “that one’s my favorite!” I don’t think there’s anything quite like hearing a packed stadium of 30,000+ people singing along to Piano Man or an a Capella version of The Longest Time. Even the two songs I didn’t know, I enjoyed. It was a perfect night for an outdoor concert too. Not too cold or warm, a few stars speckled the sky, and a great time with my parents and cousin Maura!

  
  
We started the night by hitting up a restaurant and getting a few drinks. I had a watermelon beer (the piece of watermelon on top was my favorite) and then had a glass of raspberry sangria. For my meal, I selected the chicken and shrimp sesame stir fry that was chock full of peppers, snap peas, and mushrooms on top a bed of jasmine rice. The portion size was just right so that I easily polished it off and washed it down with a soft serve cone in the stadium.

  
My workout for the day was a body strength circuit that had my sweating and sticky before I jumped into the pool to swim a mile. I was feeling strong yesterday and was in the zone and could have swam another mile (at least it yet like it) but I was on no time crunch and had to get ready for the concert! To add to my exercise for the day, we did quite a bit of walking to the concert and a ton of dancing! Once Billy came on stage, I didn’t sit for another two hours.

I was feeling sleepy this morning and took my time getting out of bed. Somehow it seemed easier at 5. I eventually got up and grilled up some French toast. In my batter, I tossed an egg, an egg white, a splash of milk, cinnamon, and vanilla together, soaked the bread, and fried it up. I thought I would get a little fancy with my topping and mixed a fourth of a cup of plain Greek yogurt and two tablespoons of dark chocolate peanut butter together. Combined with blueberries and banana, it was quite tasty. I ended up having too much for the toast, so I just ate the rest of it as a parfait.

  
As I enjoyed my breakfast, I watched a clip of Amy Schumer on Jimmy Fallon’s show talking about how she engaged in a bread eating war with Mindy Kaling and sexted from Katie Couric’s phone when she got up to use the bathroom. Comedy right now is huge, especially as people realize that women are actually funny. I am actually going to see Amy’s movie that comes out tonight, which she stars in and wrote. I think it’s so important to have celebrities, especially female, get so much positive exposure for being smart, funny, confident, and strong. And she was just nominated for an Emmy for her show Inside Amy Schumer, which is great!

Now onto a day of studying, writing, and exercising! Happy Friday!

Unplugged: But Not On Purpose or In An Artful Kind of Way

I was digital-less for about two hours yesterday and I was pretty sure the world was going to end. Actually…it wasn’t that bad. Before I headed out to meet my friend for lunch, I wanted to update my phone to get some new music on there for a run later in the afternoon. I’ve had some trouble with my phone syncing to iTunes for awhile now, but with some persistence, it usually works. Not so much this time.

The phone was three-quarters of the way through the update when it decided the phone was no longer plugged in and demanded that I do plug it in. Well, I hadn’t touched a thing. I tried to re-plug it in and it told me to restore it, then proceeded to say that it needed to be plugged in to be restored. Um. My phone was gone. There was probably a way to fix it at some point, but I was running short on time and was planning on getting a new phone the next day anyways.

Phoneless, I met my friend Molly for lunch. Everything was fine and I was barely thinking about it until I realized I couldn’t snap a picture of my lunch when I tried for you fine people. Hmph. It was a tasty meal with chicken curry, green beans, carrots, baby corn, and a side of pad thai. I don’t eat Thai food frequently, but I do enjoy it a lot. There’s always a ton of veggies involved, so it makes the other indulgences not seem so bad.

After lunch, Molly was kind enough to trudge over with me to the mall. Let me tell you, getting a new phone is a hassle. It’s fine. I’m okay with it. I just didn’t expect my current phone to go down as it did. Whatever. First selfie on the new phone.

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Once again equipped with my lifeline, it was time to walk. Rain was threatening, so I put my phone into a plastic baggie into another bag and prayed for the best. We did bring an umbrella solely to cover our electronics for extra precaution. How have we fallen so far down?

Our walk took us in the way of ice cream, which I will never complain about. I chose a flavor that had a vanilla base, fudge swirls, and peanut butter cups. Uh huh. It was divine. More walking entailed after with a little drizzling, but nothing extreme. It wasn’t necessarily hot out so much as humid, so by the time I arrived home, I was sweaty. I still had a run on my mind, especially after I pulled out an old iPod and threw a new playlist together- no, I’m not running with my new bad boy, I think it’s too hard on it’s joints, er, systems.

My legs were a little sore from the past few days of workouts and from walking, but I took off strong from the start. I ran three miles straight, walked up a gigantic hill, then ran another mile or so. Overall, it was a five mile trek that left me hot, sweaty, and feeling strong. My mom did not want me sitting on the couch once I got home because I was covered in and dripping sweat.

IMG_3343 For whatever reason, I most always feel strong during my run, but I feel terrible after. It’s a stomach thing. I chugged a few glasses of water and tried to eat something to recover, but my appetite was null and my stomach was having none of it. I didn’t even feel hungry later. It was a good-looking meal though.

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I need to get back into a more realistic routine, but last night, I got into the writing flow and I couldn’t very well stop it. I’ve started writing a book based on my experience with my weight and weight loss with lots of encouragement from my parents and my Grandma and it’s coming together pretty well. I’m excited about it. By means of an outline of sorts, I actually developed chapter titles that sum up what I want to cover throughout. I don’t lead a scandalous life by any means, but I do think it will be fairly interesting. Who knows?

I woke up a little later than usual this morning and had eggs on the brain. I fried up two with a chicken sausage and a whole grain english muffin. Strawberries and blueberries made an excellent accompaniment.

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Before a swim and a body strength workout later this afternoon, I picked up where I left off last night and started to write some more. You can blame that for the delay in my post this morning. Exciting things are happening today, so I will be back tomorrow morning to check in with you all.

It’s almost Friday! Yay!