Tag Archives: friends

Worrywart

11 Jan

I’m a worrywart:

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I worry about everything, and everyone, pretty much constantly. Usually, it doesn’t really interfere with my life, but sometimes things get a little out of control.

For the past few nights, my worrying has gotten out of control. I know that I sometimes have anxiety issues, and right now I’m trying to get things under control, because at the moment I have a huge knot in the pit of my stomach that won’t go away.

I’m not sure what triggers these bouts of extreme worry and anxiety, but I can tell you that it isn’t fun for anyone. Especially me. I’m constantly on the verge of tears and I’m very, very hard on myself. After not sleeping very well on Wednesday night, I was exhausted last night and I was sure I would fall right asleep. Not so much. Every time I drifted off, my anxiety woke me up and I started panicking. Thinking about things I need to get done, about bad things that could possibly happen, and worst of all: things that I’ve done poorly in the past. I know in my rational mind that focusing on these things isn’t helpful, but I somehow can’t stop it.

The reason I’m writing about this isn’t to get sympathy, but I need an outlet. If I try to discuss these issues with my loved ones, I end up feeling like I’m bothering them (I’m not, I know, but I still feel that way), or realizing how ridiculous I sound. Here I feel like I can let go because if you don’t want to read this, you don’t have to.

So, how can I handle these issues?

Well, I’m not sure, but I’m going to try reminding myself that my rational mind is the one that’s right, and my irrational mind is wrong.

As an effort to make myself happier, here are some things that make me happy.

IMAG0990Holy cow it’s a beautiful day today. I went outside this morning to take out the trash and it was already in the 50’s! Before 8 AM! In January! Zach didn’t wear a coat at all to work, and I just wore a light one. I took the above picture from my office at work (yes, I’m grateful to have those huge windows right outside my office door), the sky was just lovely. I guess there is some rain in the forecast, but I’m happy enough about the warm weather that I don’t really care.

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Friends! This photo was taken at my friend Mandee’s birthday dinner on Wednesday. I had a great time, but I’m anxious to spend more time with these folks this weekend. I’m already texting people seeing what their plans are tonight. I think some hangouts with friends would really take my mind off of some things.

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Running. Since I’ve started running again without pain, I’ve been anxious to do more running. This unseasonably warm weather is making me anxious to get out there and pound the pavement! I think I might take Courtney’s doberman Margot on her first run tomorrow morning. That should be fun!

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Pizza! I don’t know if I’ll be eating any pizza this weekend, but this pizza I had on Wednesday sure was delicious.

See? I’m feeling better already 🙂

 

 

Date Night

6 Jan

Last night, Zach and I went on a date.

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I try to dress relatively nice for date nights. I was trying an experiment with the scarf. Not sure if it worked, but I committed to it and wore it all night.

Zach laughed as I was scrolling through my camera later in the evening, at the sheer amount of photos I took when I was photographing my outfit.

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I’m not really good at taking photos of myself just yet, so I just take a ton and hopefully something sticks.

We went to see This is 40. I really loved it, a whole lot. I already plan on purchasing it on Bluray and watching it over and over again. I looked at some reviews of the movie online, and listened to some reviews from people who I know who have seen it, and I get the feeling that everyone else just liked it — the critics are split 50/50. Some of the negative reviews I’ve heard is that it is just about spoiled white people whining about their lives, but I just really thought it was honest. You can be good looking, have beautiful kids and live in a great house, and not have it all together. It may not be for everyone, but for me it struck a chord in my heart and so I was in love.

After the movie, we went to Outback and sat at the bar. I took my camera with me in my purse, but I’m not a brave blogger yet, and I didn’t whip it out to photograph my food. How do you bloggers do it? I feel so weird photographing everything in public. I’ll get there. Anyway, I will recycle this old photo, because I got the same thing as last time:

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Mmmm, Ahi Tuna!

After we ate, we met some friends out at a bar for some drinks. Here is a photo of my friend Mooney playing pool:

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We had a great time! I love date night. We don’t do it very often, and sometimes we just have at home date nights. It’s something to look forward to!

One more thing I want to mention:

On Friday, I got my Greatist shirt in the mail (along with some cool stickers), which they sent me as part of my Ambassadorship with Greatist. It’s such a great shirt!

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It’s a slim fit shirt (I got a size medium) made of soft cotton. It doesn’t ride up when I’m working out, and it’s really comfortable. The print on the front is super cute and I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on it so far.

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It’s a fun shirt to wear to the gym! You can get one here.

Question of the day:
Where did you go on your last date? 

 

 

 

A Virtual 5k?

18 Dec

I’ll be honest, I haven’t really been in the mood to blog the past few days. Somehow it still seems weird being positive and upbeat online. I’m being positive and upbeat in my real, non-virtual life, though, so I guess it’s time to get a move on.

I read on Julie’s blog that an elementary school teacher in Connecticut is organizing a  5k, 10k or half marathon  (with a virtual component for those out of the area) to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. I’m all for this, and I think I’m going to try to get a few of my local running friends to participate as well. If you’d like to participate, join this Facebook group to stay informed.

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Let’s recap what I’ve been up to, shall we?

I mentioned in my last post that I was still going strong with the Jamie Eason plan, and that I’ve been running without pain.  Today was leg day, and it was rough. I woke up wishing that I had cardio on the agenda, but today wasn’t a cardio day and once I was done with my leg workout I was glad. Leg day wiped me out!

Two things that were on the agenda today were the Abductor and Adductor machine, but I really don’t think my gym has those machines anymore. I’ve read a lot about how those machines are basically useless, so I subbed some exercises for them:

For the abductor, I looped a resistance band around my calves and did traveling side squats. It looks something like this:

For the adductor, I simply did side lunges with the barbell:

I’m not sure if it was exactly what I should have been doing, but I felt the burn. Legs are a hard day, no?

As for #Elf4Health, I haven’t been keeping up with the challenges like I should. Today’s challenge is to treat myself to something I’ve been craving — shouldn’t be too hard to live up to that one, but now I have to figure out what it is I’m craving!

In other news, this past weekend was my Sister-in-Law to-be’s annual Christmas party, aka the best party of the year. The food and drinks were fabulous (didn’t take photos, I’m a terrible blogger). The gift exchange was fun (we do a Secret Santa each year). I got this book, which I’ve been dying to read:

I read Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project earlier this year, and I’ve been very excited for this to come out. If you haven’t read The Happiness Project, I highly recommend it. Even if you don’t do a strict, year-long Happiness Project like Gretchen did (I did not), there is a lot to take away from this book. Once I finish this installment, I’ll review it here.

Also at the party, Zach and I got our annual Christmas Tree photo made:

Photo courtesy of Courtney Bell Photography

Photo courtesy of Courtney Bell Photography

We are a happy couple. 🙂

I’ll leave you with this photo of my bridesmaids (plus honorary bridesmaid, Mandee, minus my Maid of Honor, my sister Michelle) from the party. Love these girls!

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Photo also courtesy of Courtney Bell Photography, but she does complain that this is out of focus. I’ll blame the fact that she’s in the photo for that.

A Non-post

14 Dec

Hiya.

I had planned to do my Liebster Blog Award post today, but in the light of the events in Connecticut, it just doesn’t feel right to be doing any sort of lighthearted blog. So, I just want to say that I hope you all are able to hug your loved ones tonight, and I hope you all remember what a gift it is to have those loved ones here where you can touch them.

My family and friends

My family and friends

Thankful Every Day.

23 Nov

I hope your Thanksgiving went well! Mine sure did, everything went really well.  I took Wednesday off of work to prep for the big day, and I sure am glad that I did! Thursday was pretty relaxing, up until right before the meal. After I put the turkey (15 lbs) in the oven at 11:00 AM (anticipating a 4-4 1/2 hour cook time), Zach and I just relaxed and watched Sons of Anarchy repeats. My beast of an oven managed to cook my entire turkey in 3 hours, however, so I panicked a little! The internet told me to wrap the turkey in several layers of aluminum foil and a towel to keep the warmth in, so that’s what I did. It worked out pretty well.

The rest of the meal was great. I actually didn’t eat very much, I had a bit of a nervous stomach. I did get to have two desserts though:

I wish I had more photos of the meal itself, but between running around to get everything on the table and cooking, I didn’t stop to snap many photos, so here is a collage of some of my photos from yesterday:

 

I read a lot of posts yesterday listing what everyone was thankful for, and they were great! It’s inspiring to hear all the positive things in people’s lives. I have a few things I’d like to mention that I’m thankful for, even though it’s a day late 🙂

My family. I have the best family there is, and I don’t get to see them nearly often enough, but they are the best, most supportive family a girl could have

Zach. I never knew what it truly meant to be “in love with your best friend” until he came along. I couldn’t be happier that I get to spend the rest of my life with him.

My kitties, even the fat, grumpy one !


My health. Sometimes I’m down on my body for various reasons, but it’s good to remember that I have my strength, and that’s all that is important.

My friends! I have the best friends around, truly! I got so many supportive texts, tweets and Facebook messages yesterday, because everyone knew how nervous I was to cook my first full Thanksgiving meal. I appreciate it so much!

I’m thankful for a billion more things, but I think I’ll stop there for now.

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In other news, I’m still going strong on the Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer, and I’m happy to report I’ve dropped a few pounds. I’m a cardio junkie, it’s true, and I’ve always heard that if you keep the cardio to a minimum, you can actually lose more weight (if you do it right). I think the fact that I’m lifting heavy and not focusing on the cardio (although I did do some light cardio here and there) is really showing me that I don’t have to do cardio every single day to see results. This is really helpful for being able to stick with the plan!

I signed up for Lindsey and Ella’s Elf for Health, which sounds SO fun! Basically, they are hosting a six-week challenge that starts the Monday after Thanksgiving. I really love blog challenges, but I don’t always stick with them (ahem, the October Yoga Challenge — although I did do WAY more yoga that month, and Carrots n Cake’s plank challenge), I’m really going to try to stick with this! It may be easier because the coolest part of this challenge is that you get a buddy to pair up with for each round! If you think you might be interested in participating (you don’t have to have a blog to participate!), click on the button below:

 

 

Question of the Day:
How was your Thanksgiving?

What do you do to stay on track with your health and fitness over the Holiday season? 

Good News!

4 Oct

Good news! Waking up earlier proved to work out for me making it to the gym. I really do think setting my alarm earlier is the answer, because I like having a little time before I head out the door.

This morning, I set my alarm for 5:25 AM (it has been going off at 5:45) and those extra 20 minutes really helped. I got up and got dressed, then I was able to drink a glass of water, have a banana, read some blogs and then search for a good strength routine in my old magazines before heading to the gym.

I hit the treadmill first thing. My goal was 3 miles at half-marathon pace (9:40/mile), and then weights. Well, for some reason I was just not feeling the running so I did 1.5 miles and then told myself I’d do the rest after I hit the weight room.

I know you guys love it when I post photos of my treadmill display. I’ m a little worried about not running outside very much lately, but I’m doing all my long runs outside, so that should be ok for the half.

After that little run, I headed down to the weight room to do this power-pairs dumbbell workout that I found in the December 2010 issue of Women’s Health. It was TOUGH. One of the trainers saw me doing it and came over to ask to have a look at the rest of the workout. He said (and I quote), “I like that! It looks hard!” — he was right. It was a toughie. I did three rounds of 12 reps of each exercise (it calls for 15 reps, but I used heavy weights — 10 lbs for most of the moves, 8 for the others). I was definitely sweaty and out of breath when I was done.

Ok, speaking of workouts from magazines. Sarah (of SarahFit.com) did a video once about magazine workouts and how there is always one move that is just impossible to do. This workout was no different.

If you click up there where I linked to the workout, there is a video showing a fitness model doing this exercise and she seems to have no problem, but I could NOT do it. I can do those hamstring curls on the ball, but I need my arms out for stability. Adding in the dumbbells, I was all over the place. If you have a minute and the equipment, give it a try and tell me in the comments below if you could do it. Maybe I’m just a mess!

After that, I did get back on the treadmill, but I cut it short about half a mile because it was getting late. Oh well!

Rewinding to yesterday, I don’t know if you remember a couple months back when I wrote about how I had to get my learner’s permit because my Pennsylvania license had expired before I switched to West Virginia. Well, yesterday I finally bit the bullet, left work a little early and went to take my driver’s test. I’m happy to say that I passed with flying colors! I’m a licensed driver again!

After Zach and I got back from the DMV, I was starving, so I ended up not getting in my run for yesterday. I made dinner, and then we walked over to the Dog Park, where Margot (Courtney’s doberman puppy) had her Dog Park debut. Puppies can’t really go outside or be socialized with other dogs until they are 16 weeks old and have had their final Parvo vaccination. Apparently Parvo can live in the ground for a very long time. I had no idea!

I felt a little creepy going to the Dog Park without a dog of my own to contribute, especially since I’m a HUGE dog lover and I knew I would be petting everyone’s dogs like crazy! I wish I had some photos to show of the dogs I met, but they all moved so fast it was hard to get a photo, but here’s a photo of my other friend Courtney’s dog when she was all worn out from chasing a ball:

Yes, I have two friends named Courtney who have Dobermans. No, it’s not really that confusing — unless I’m blogging about them! Here’s a photo of Courtney Bell’s dog Margot for comparison:

Photo courtesy of Courtney Bell

So, you see, it’s completely different! The dog park was so fun. I met: a Newfoundland named Fat Head (he was awesome and loved the other dogs, but all the other dogs were afraid of him), two bulldogs, a puppy named Miko who was the same age as Margot but a quarter of her size, three chihuahuas, a bunch of mutts and a black lab that carried a soccer ball around in his mouth. It. Was. Awesome. I left wanting a dog RIGHT AWAY!

The walk to the dog park was about a mile, uphill, and then we walked back so yesterday ended up not being completely sedentary. I’ll tell you what, the sunsets here have been amazing lately:

Red sky at night, Sailor’s Delight. Red sky in morning, Sailor take warning.

I’m so excited for date night tonight! Registering at Macy’s and dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s (can’t wait for that salad bar!)

Question of the Day:
Do you have a dog? What kind? Can I dog-sit him so I can go to the dog park without being that creepy dog-less lady?

Post-vacation weight gain

4 Sep

I had the best of intentions for this blog while I was on vacation. I was going to post a few times, filling you in on my awesome adventures.

However, like I like to say, “Life got in the Way”

The vacation started off with a bang, with Zach asking me to marry him. After that, my goal to have a stress-free vacation was pretty easy, because I was floating on cloud nine. I’ve always assumed that Zach and I would get married, but the fact that he planned this all out and bought me a gorgeous ring made me feel incredibly special. Now, I get to plan a wedding! That’s actually not something I ever thought that I’d want to do, but recently the idea is growing on me in a big way.

We had the best time. Our house was out of this world incredible, with a pool, a hot tub and direct beach access. Besides a rainy day trek to the Aquarium and a night out for dinner, we spent most of  our time lounging around the house, alternating between the pool and the beach. For your viewing pleasure (and mine), here are some photos:

From top left, our beach, the sunrise, some boys lounging by the pool, sunset, more pool and our last evening at sunset.

Since we’ve been back in town, the weather has been overcast and very humid. I think now that my beach trip is over, I’m ready for cool fall weather!

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Now, this is a health and fitness blog, so let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Weight Gain. I didn’t practice much moderation while I was away. I was happy and relaxed so I ate (and drank) whatever I wanted — and a lot of it.

I’m not terribly proud of this, but the important thing is to recognize it and move on. The other thing that happened was that I didn’t get my exercise in like I would have liked. I went for a run three times, once on the beach (that’s hard!). We got home Sunday evening and I haven’t done a bit of exercise since. I’m not going to panic, but I just don’t feel like I have it in me right now. I need to get on a plan, and quick. So, I present you with my my Plan to Lose the Vacation Weight and Prepare for my Wedding:

  1. Resume counting calories: As we know, no amount of exercise will cancel out a poor diet, so my first goal is to resume counting calories using My Fitness Pal. I have been successful using this app in the past, but once you reach a comfortable weight, there comes a time when you have to toss out the calorie counter and go with your gut, so to speak. I’ve done that, it worked, but now I need to lose a few pounds so I’m back!
  2. Get back on my training schedule: This is going to be hard. Exercise is a habit, and once you break it, even for a short amount of time, it’s hard to get back on track. So I will make my training schedule for the rest of the week and I will stick to it. I will report my food and exercise here to be held accountable.
  3. Cut back on alcohol during the week: Since vacation was a bit of a drink-a-thon, it won’t kill me to stop drinking alcohol except on the weekends.
  4. Reduce sugar and grains: As we all know, this is a sure-fire way to lose weight. I’ve become quite accustomed to dessert, and I’m going to have to start subbing fruit instead.
  5. Greatly increase my strength training: Even though I only want to lose a few pounds, I’ve noticed some extra flab and even after I lose those 3 or so lbs of vacation weight, I want to gain some muscle. So I will devise a strength training plan that I will stick to for 6 weeks. I will post a plan here tomorrow.

As a way to be held accountable, here are my stats:

My comfortable, usual weight is 148 lbs. This morning, I weighed in at 151.7. Not terrible, and definitely doable. The main issue I have is that I have some flab, so the strength training in addition to my half-marathon training will help with that.

Question of the Day:
What do you do when you know you need to lose a few pounds? 

Beach Bound!

26 Aug

Just a quick post from the road. We’ve only been driving for 2 hours (6 to go!) And I’m already going stir crazy. I do not like long drives! Zach is driving and my friend Ashley is riding shotgun. She just got back from 2 months in Uganda, and last night is the first time I’ve seen her. She promised that she will run with me at the beach.

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Making do with what I have…

16 Aug

Recently I finally made it to the new local food market in my town: The Wild Ramp.

I wish I had taken photos, but here is how it works. The Wild Ramp is a locally owned, non-profit market. All the produce is local (it seems that the farthest anything had travelled was Athens, OH), and most of the people who work there are volunteers. The produce is grouped by farm, so there may be, for example, tomatoes on several different tables. When you pick out produce, you also have to take a bar code sticker to the register so they will know which farm you are buying from. The best part: $0.90/$1.00 goes directly to the farmer, as opposed to buying local produce at the grocery store, where maybe $0.20-$0.30/$1.00 goes to the farmer.

Click on this image (from the wild ramp blog) to be directed to their blog.

The most surprising thing that I found was that it wasn’t all produce. There was locally made tofu, veggie burgers, local eggs (they have a place in the front where you can donate your used egg cartons), even local meat! I bought some local tofu, I can’t wait to try it!

I also bought some tomatoes and peppers, and a few other things I can’t mention because they went to my Foodie Pen Pal this month.

For $50 and 1 volunteer hour per month, you can become a “Friend of the Market”, which I absolutely plan on doing. The perk (although, I think the real perk is helping to support a sustainable local resource for healthy food) is that you can call ahead and have your food ready to pick up when you stop by. You also get a subscription to their newsletter. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this resource so close by! Huntington, WV is really moving up in the healthy food game. I wish Jamie Oliver could see us now!

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In other news, my training this week is going well. I’ve had two really good runs in a row, so I  think I’m bouncing back from whatever was holding me back last week. Also, I had a really good night sleep last night, although I don’t know if the reason I slept well is particularly healthy:

After work, Zach and I went grocery shopping. Once I got home and got my run out of the way, we had some dinner and rather than clean the kitchen, I asked Zach if he wanted to go out for a drink. We decided to head over to a nearby bar which has a really nice patio and a couple of our friends were already there. Once we sat down, more and more friends kept showing up! It was a really nice evening, but I stayed up too late and had a few too many drinks. So I think maybe the sleeping well had more to do with being a little tipsy than actual, quality sleep. But it felt great, so that’s that.

Last night made me really look forward to my upcoming beach trip. Everyone who was at the bar last night will be at the beach except for one person, and it made me think about how much I’m going to enjoy sitting on the patio of our beach house, listening to the ocean and talking with my good friends. Just 7 more work days to go!

This morning, because I still don’t have a coffee pot, I made instant coffee from a sample that I got from Taster’s Choice, and it’s not bad! How’s that for making do with what I have?

Question of the day:
What’s your local source for fresh produce? 

No Sleep ’til….

9 Aug

I did not sleep well last night, and that is the second time this week. I’ve had some serious issues with insomnia in the past year or so, but lately it has been very much under control. I hope this doesn’t mean my insomnia is returning.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m in my first week of half-marathon training for the Herald-Dispatch Half Marathon on November 7. I’ve had to juggle  some workouts around already because of not getting any sleep on Sunday night. I had just gotten caught up and then I ended up not getting a workout in this morning because I didn’t sleep well last night. Sigh.

I still owe myself a 3 mile run and a strength session or yoga before the weekend arrives — no problem. I’ll either get something in this evening or (if I sleep — knock on wood) do that at the gym in the morning.

Speaking of evening workouts, I have been doing more and more evening workouts lately, and for someone who is usually very adamant about working out first thing in the morning, I’ve been enjoying it. When I got home from work yesterday, I was hungry and a little cranky so I just didn’t feel like running before dinner. I scraped together a quick dinner of tacos (no photos, because it wasn’t terribly exciting) and sat down to do some reading.

About an hour after I ate, I decided I actually did want to go for a run after all. It was so humid! I ran my favorite 3 mile course, from my front door to the end of the park and back. I stopped at the halfway point and debated calling Zach and asking him to pick me up. It turns out that my dinner wasn’t as digested as I had thought, so I was running in the heat with a brick in my stomach.

I was SO sweaty, I literally had sweat dripping down my face. That never happens to me, and I’m secretly really excited when it does. Gross, I know, but I basically think the more you’re sweating, the harder you’re working. Anyway, after sitting down for about 5-10 minutes, I felt like I could probably make it back and I slowly jogged the last half home. It seems like I’m having more bad runs than good lately, and I’m excited to get that one really great run in soon.

Abby at Back at Square Zero is hosting a really great challenge this week. The LadyLike Challenge was born when Abby read something in Fitness magazine about how competitive women are over looks, weight, clothes, etc. She challenges us to do three things this week:

  1. Compliment a stranger
  2. Compliment a friend
  3. Compliment yourself

I think this is such a terrific idea. It really bothers me how much girl-on-girl hating I see on a day-to-day basis. I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I have surrounded myself with a really great group of girlfriends who don’t feel the need to compare themselves to one another based on looks. It makes me so happy that I can hang out with this group of girls and know that they aren’t thinking about my clothes, or if I’ve gained a couple of pounds. It does wonders for your self-esteem. Anyway, enough about me….

I urge all my female readers to take this challenge, either formally by checking out Abby’s post and tweeting at her about it, or just thinking about the ways you can be nicer to the females around you. Think of how successful we could be if we weren’t constantly worried about competing to be the prettiest, or skinniest. 🙂

Question of the Day:
Are you a morning exerciser or an evening exerciser?