Friday, April 26, 2013

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! I haven't done one of these High Five for Friday posts in a few weeks and I thought it would be good to do one again and be reminded to be thankful for the little things in life. So, here is my linkup with Lauren for High Five for Friday ....

On Sunday, I posted a blog about where I wanted to let go of the body bashing and hating, and learn to accept and love my body as is. I shared pictures of where my body is at now and didn't do any body bashing, only body accepting. Recently I've come to the conclusion that I can't constantly keep hating on my body, picking it apart; I've come so far and I need to love my body.

I received some awesome feedback from my amazing group of friends on that blog post, but this text happens to be one of my favorites:

Monday was Earth Day. I celebrated by bringing my reusable mug into Caribou Coffee and getting a free coffee of the day! Don't you love how pink and sparkly my mug is??

Mercedes and I have gotten in a lot of play time and, of course, a lot of cuddle time!

I am so in love with this quote. I think it needs to be printed off and go on my inspiration board! I definitely still believe in love although my heart has been broken.

I hope you all had a wonderful week! I'm so happy that spring has finally made it's way to Minnesota, at least for a few days! This weekend I'm looking forward to meeting up with one of my best friends for frozen yogurt and then enjoying the warm weather. Pretty sure the grill will be fired up for the first time this weekend! Have a fantastic weekend!

Until next time~

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Bragging Post and Being Perfectly Beautiful

Lately I've been really down on myself and my progress with my body. Many of my posts discuss how I'm struggling or not happy with something with my body. So, this is the post that I put all that negative talk behind me and do a little bragging. I need to stop hating on my body and picking apart my flaws, and celebrate the progress I've made. I've made an amazing transformation over this past year and I am proud of it

Let the bragging begin!

I used to not wear tank tops because I was ashamed of my arms. They were just so flabby and big. You know that underarm flab women complain about? Yeah, I had that plus more. But now? I have pure muscle tone in my arms. 

How amazing is that? 
I can't wait to see how they continue to build up as I continue to lift weights. I've been increasing my weights and reps over the past couple of weeks and I can see more progress. I can even start to see definition without flexing now. I'm so proud of these muscles!

I'm working on other parts of my body as well and learning to love them. Although some parts, like my stomach, take some work - physically and mentally - for me to accept and love. Don't get me wrong, I am happy with where my stomach is compared to where it was, but I want more definition, more flatness. However, I decided to be brave and show a picture of where I am right now. I can't believe that I'm doing this!!!

By looking at this picture, I realize that my stomach is pretty dang flat. I don't know why I obsess over it so much and hate on myself for what it looks like. I think that's even some definition starting in there! I know Pilates, lots of planks and working with the stability ball at the gym will continue to build the definition and a strong core. But I could probably rock a bikini now! (Holy buckets, that's HUGE progress for me saying that!)

So thanks for letting me brag! I think we all need to stop body bashing and learn to love our bodies. Especially when we work so hard for them. I love working out and I love the way it's changing my body after I've lost the weight. Lifting weights is such a self-esteem booster for me and I'm excited to keep challenging myself with it. 

Don't forget to brag about your progress or what you love about your body. It definitely helps to stop the body bashing and learn to accept your body as it is - which is perfectly beautiful.

Until next time~ 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Comparisons and Cravings

Hello lovely readers!

I've been kind of quiet this week dealing with some personal disappointments and struggles. I have a difficult time not obsessing over things and consistently thinking the worst, especially in matters of the heart. 
But anyway ....

These personal struggles also affect the way I workout, eat and think about my body. I've been getting my workouts in, but not feeling super great about them. I just feel like I'm doing them just to do them, rather than enjoying them. Not pushing myself enough. And then I go to Twitter and I see how people I follow are running 5, 8 or even 15 miles. Working out for hours. Lifting weights like crazy. Seeing the calories they burn blows my mind. They have amazing, lean bodies. Then I feel even more horrible about myself and beat myself up for not working out hard enough, long enough, strong enough. I am so far away from looking like this:

Pinned here

However, then I came across this:

Pinned here

Comparing myself to others definitely steals my joy. I should be happy with the fact that I work out as hard as I can and try to push myself every day. I shouldn't compare myself to others, but rather to who I was a year ago. I've made a huge strides in my fitness and health. I'm not a runner; I'm not good at it, but I'm trying. Those who I follow on Twitter are runners; they are way beyond where I am now. I need to remember that I follow them for motivation and inspiration. They're not perfect either, but they provide great role models for how I want to live my healthy life.

Food-wise I haven't been doing horrible this week. Eating healthy as normal, but I've been feeling super hungry. Maybe I'm not eating enough calories, and that's an area I'm trying to address. It's a HUGE issue for me getting the "right" amount of calories. 

Today I've been craving sugar, which I haven't in really long time. It started with my coffee. I just really wanted the Natural Bliss vanilla creamer rather than my no sugar homemade creamer. I couldn't get the craving out of my head and that sugar craving stayed with me all day. This afternoon I wanted ice cream or frozen yogurt, but I stuck with some Greek yogurt with all natural peanut butter, stevia, and dark and white chocolate chips.

I also started doing Pilates this week at home in the evenings. I'm hoping that it will assist me with my problem area - my stomach. I still don't see it as amazing or flat (in fact, I beat myself up about it daily), and I'm hoping that strengthening my core will help not only my abs, but also my mindset so I'm not so critical. Any recommendations for videos?

How do you deal with sugar cravings? Just give into them or find healthy substitutes? 

Until next time~

Friday, April 12, 2013

High Five for Friday

Welcome to a lovely snowy mid-April Friday! Seriously, why is it still snowing? Mother Nature really did forget Minnesota this year. All of our snow was melted, the temps were finally starting to rise and I was dreaming of spring fashion. And then this happened ...

Not fun.

This week I've also been sick. It's been a very quiet week for me, but let's see what I can come up with for the weekly linkup with Lauren for High Five for Friday. Something good must have happened!

Since I was sick, I spent lots of time trying to sleep since my body was telling me that's what I needed. I was just so tired all the time! Mercedes makes an excellent nap partner. Can you spot her??

I finally have a printer!! This is seriously the highlight of my week. I haven't had a printer in at least six months. My old one just all of the sudden decided not to print anymore and I tried everything to fix it. But this baby got delivered this week! I set it up all my own with a few small hiccups, but it works nicely.

How cute is this leash hanger? I want to figure out how to make it; I don't think it would be that difficult. I would do pink, of course, but I love it. Makes me laugh!
Love this photo. And I wish I were that girl right now!! I tried to convince a friend to run away with me somewhere warm and tropical, but he didn't take me seriously. Boo on him; who needs him!! So if anyone wants to leave today to go somewhere we can sit on a beach, get a tan and drink some cocktails, I'm ready!
Yesterday I decided to play photographer and take some self portraits, selfies. I feel like a dork, but I really like how they turned out so thought I would share!

I hope you all had a good week. Please check out my other post from the week: Sick of Being Sick and Forcing Workouts. And if you live somewhere warm, can I come visit??

Until next time~

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sick of Being Sick and Forcing Workouts

I've been sick since Sunday. With what? I have no idea. My lymph nodes in my neck are swollen which makes my throat hurt and all I want to do is sleep. I have a feverish feeling that comes and goes, and I'm forcing myself to eat since I don't feel hungry. I slept pretty much all day Sunday and Monday, and still I just feel exhausted. What is going on with my body? I need it to go away whatever this is!

I missed my workout on Monday because of being sick. Sunday was a scheduled rest day luckily so I only missed Monday. I felt so guilty! I know that's weird behavior, but I like going to the gym. I like the feeling of working out and pushing my body. Sitting on my butt, or laying around all day, makes me feel guilty and lazy. Even when I'm sick I guess. I barely had energy to bring my dog on a walk so I knew the gym was out no matter what! 

Yesterday and today I forced myself to go the gym for at least a short workout. Yesterday was okay, but not great. Today was bad. I tried to run, but just couldn't. I got winded and so wore out after a 35 minute hiking interval. What the heck?? That's not normal for me. Today should have been a weight lifting day, but my arms are so heavy and tired that there was no way I could lift weights.

I've been pumping myself full of coffee to get through the day and get my work done, but still, all I want to do is curl up under a blanket and sleep. And I wish I had someone to take care of me. Most of the time I'm perfectly content happy being single. But when you're not feeing well, all you want is for someone else to run to the store for you, to make or bring you dinner, go get you frozen yogurt to soothe your throat, and just tell you that it's okay to skip the gym and take a nap! Mercedes at least makes a good nap partner; I guess I can be grateful for that!

Do you force yourself to workout when you're sick for days or do you just rest? I feel as if my body says no to working out, but my brain says "maybe this will give you energy." Yeah, I'm a little addicted to the gym!

Until next time~

Friday, April 5, 2013

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! The sun is shining, temps are finally starting to creep above freezing and most of the snow has melted. Thank goodness! I was ready to run away to somewhere warm and never return. I might still plan on doing that before next winter (I'll come back and visit, no worries, Mom!), but at least I feel better now about living in Minnesota; for a few months at least! :D

This week has been a typical week. Let's see what I can come up with for the weekly linkup with Lauren for High Five for Friday ....

Easter was on Sunday. I spent the weekend up at my parents' house. On Sunday, we did the typical church, big delicious dinner and just spent the day together as a family. I made these cute chick deviled eggs for Easter dinner.

I finally found some Quest bars. My friend and co-worker told me about these amazing protein bars awhile ago and I've been wanting to try them. I picked up every flavor the store carried. I love how low sugar they are (1 gram!) especially compared to other protein bars, and that I know what all the ingredients are in them. Next week I'll be traveling for work so these will be great to have along for the trip when everyone else is eating fast food! I'm still on the search for the cookie dough one to try it.

How cute are these flats? I found them at DSW and just love the bright colors. I think flats look great with skinny jeans and can't wait to wear them! I just hope they don't hurt my feet; I have the worst feet in the world.

Mercedes has found her new favorite toy. Such a cutie!

Yesterday I had a great workout. I challenged myself to run as much as possible. I logged 3.8 miles on the treadmill and ran most of that with some short walk breaks. It felt amazing! I followed that up with arm weights. I'm so excited to see definition in my body; weight training is doing it's job.

I hope you all had a good week! Please check out my other post from this week: Food Noise.

Until next time~

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Food Noise

My mind is boggled with what I like to call "food noise." It's my own fault. I'm constantly reading on new food fads - how to eat clean, the paleo diet, gluten free, what to eat for a flat stomach, how to properly fuel your body, etc. However, I read so many different "food lifestyle" plans that my mind is full!

Are carbs bad? No, there are some good ones. Oh, wait, this website says stay away from all carbs. Even fruit?? Oh, I can have berries. What about oatmeal? Oatmeal good, no oatmeal bad.
Eat low fat. Wait, eat fats. Healthy fats anyway. Is bacon a healthy fat?? Okay, that's a no. :)
Eat grains, stay away from grains. Quinoa is good, no, wait it's bad. 
Only eat fruits and veggies with lean protein. But don't get too much protein. How much is too much protein??
Gluten is bad for everyone. Wheat gives you a wheat belly. What the heck is wheat belly??

Awww!! It gets to be too much! Everyone has a different diet food lifestyle plan. And everyone differs in what is good and what is bad! So how do you know? What food noise do you believe and follow??

I'm still figuring this out. There are certain blogs I read that I love and think they give great advice, and others, I find some of their advice confusing. And it all gets boggled up in my mind as noise that I obsess about at times. 

What I'm doing now is trying to listen to my body and give what it's craving. If it's craving sugar and carbs, I feed it fruit as my afternoon snack with some peanut butter. I eat whole grains when I'm really hungry and I know salad and a piece of lean meat won't cut it. 

I'm eating clean, but not to extremes. But I do eat things and think, crap, I shouldn't have ate that. That doesn't fit into my healthy food lifestyle. I hate that guilt though. I dislike feeling as if I can't have treats or "bad" food in moderation in my mind. 

I'm not perfect, that's for sure. I like my coffee with cream (that I made homemade and is clean!), my vodkas or margaritas, and I love having a piece of dark chocolate daily. I know that means I'm not eating super "clean" as those clean dieters will tell me, but right now I'm trying to find a balance. Trying to sort out what I believe and what I think is bull from all the food noise out there. 

Do you find that there is too much food noise? Too many "diets"? How do you choose what advice to follow and what to throw out? 

Until next time~