Friday, June 28, 2013

Five Things Friday

Happy Friday! This week has been quite a busy one for me with work, and I'm still struggling to move past and let go of some personal heartbreak that it's been a pretty quiet week. The weather has been gorgeous (up until today!) with hot sunshine so I've also been outside as much as possible - I love hot sunny weather; it's helped to improve my depressed mood! Now let's get to the five things for Friday ....

Last night Mercedes and I walked up to the park by my house where they have free live music on Thursdays. The weather was perfect, and I'm trying to get out of the house as much as possible and a free event is the best kind! The band was a country band so I didn't know many of the songs, but they were good. Mercedes behaved the whole time; she didn't bark at any of the other dogs. We'll definitely head up there the next Thursday they have free music. I love that the city does this for the community!

Yesterday it was so hot, humid and windy that I decided to embrace messy hair! Other than when I'm working out, my hair is always down, but yesterday I attempted a messy braid. And the wind helped it become messier throughout the day! Now if only my hair would grow longer.

One of my favorite things I've worn this week. Glad I splurged the $18 on this at Target!!

I've gotten lots of pictures of Mercedes this week. She just makes me feel so much better when I'm feeling down and unloved! She's so cute (and kind of silly looking right after a bath!) and loving.

Victoria's Secret keeps sending me emails reminding me about their swim sale and I kept looking at this one suit that I thought was super cute. I finally gave into their million emails (dang you VS!!) and ordered it. Honestly, their suits fit amazingly and on sale it was a great price. I can't wait to get it and wear it!

The one bad thing from this week is that I have flight funds (is that what they're called??) with Southwest that expire on July 26th from my cancelled Vegas trip. Now, I know this doesn't sound like an issue, but right now I just don't know if I can afford to take a trip and I don't know where to go. I contacted Southwest and begged them to extend the expiration date (since the website says they're supposed to valid for a year not just a few months) but they won't. Boo. I had every intention of using the funds to go somewhere over July 4th, but sadly that isn't happening anymore. So, my dilemma is just to book a vacation somewhere (where??) and try to afford it or just let the ticket funds go which is a HUGE waste of money. What would you do??

I hope everyone had a good week or at least can find some good in it! Have a wonderful weekend!
Until next time~

Monday, June 24, 2013

Just Be YOU

Happy Monday! Can I say that I'm happy it's Monday? Only because last week was a BAD week and I'm looking forward to a fresh start and a new outlook!

This morning I decided to go for a run bright and early. That means before breakfast. I don't know how people go running or work out before eating! I just can NOT do it. I have no energy. My legs feel heavy. My breathing is off. And I just feel tired. I only made it two miles today before I headed back home to get some coffee and food. I hit the gym after breakfast, but I'm a little disappointed since I wanted today to be a four mile run. How do you people do it??

I read this in a tweet yesterday and it really struck a cord with me:
"Don't defend yourself to anyone, just do YOU. As soon as you start defending, you're letting your insecurities get the better of you."

I had a difficult week last week. It's very personal and something I didn't expect. The worst feeling, okay one of the worst, is feeling worthless. That's how I was made to feel last week. I didn't matter. I wasn't good enough or perfect enough. My lifestyle wasn't up to par. I wasn't beautiful enough. My clothes were all wrong. I was defending myself so much and defending those things that just make me me and I felt so worthless. It's taken me awhile to dig myself out of that feeling of worthlessness. To realize that I am enough just as I am. Like I said earlier, this is a new week, a new start and my attitude is changing from last week. I'm letting go and will continue to just be me. The best version of me possible! 

On a fun note, I'm trying out a new look today - leggings! It's taken me a long time to give into the fashion trend mainly because I've never been proud of my legs. I still don't have that "coveted" thigh gap, nor will I ever, but my legs are muscular and I'm happy to show that off! I think I like this look. It's very comfortable and cool! And thank goodness for the Target junior's department - I can find cute clothes that fit me at a good price!

I hope you have a marvelous Monday! And remember to just be you, always!

Until next time~

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five Things Friday

This week has been a difficult one for me. Since last Saturday, I've been so tense, worried, haven't been sleeping and have been just so down that I made myself sick yesterday. However, today is a new day; a start to a new beginning. Time to brush myself off, and move on with life. I need to focus on the good things!

Last Saturday was my first 5k. I'm so proud of running it, finishing with my best time and winning a medal! I was on such a high after running it and I understand why people are addicted to racing now! I'm hoping my next race will be on the 4th of July. What a great way to start the holiday, right??

Summer has finally arrived here in Minnesota and I finally got some flowers on my patio! After work on Wednesday I went to the greenhouse to try and brighten my mood by wandering amongst beautiful flowers. The good thing about waiting this long is that the greenhouse was having a sale and these are the beauties I came home with .... And luckily my neighbor had some extra potting soil for me so I could plant them right away!

I am in love with this outfit. I wish there were a link to where I could buy that dress! I would live in maxis this summer (you know, if money weren't an issue and I could go on a maxi buying shopping spree); so comfortable and cute!

I think Mercedes enjoyed the fact that I was sick yesterday. It meant working from the couch (gotta love working from home!) and lots of cuddles for her!

I have so many favorite quotes that match my mood, but for today, this is a good one.

I hope you all had a wonderful week or if you're like me and struggled, I hope you can at least find a few good things in your week to be grateful for! Have a wonderful weekend!

Until next time~

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekend Recap and My First 5k

Happy Monday lovely readers! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Mine was okay. It definitely had a bright spot that made me incredibly happy and proud - I ran my first 5k! It was a goal I set a couple months ago and didn't think I could do it, but I did, and I'm so happy I made my goal!

The 5k was here in my city so it wasn't a big race, probably only about 60 people or so. I thought a small race would be a good start for me rather than one of the bigger ones in Minneapolis because I get super nervous in situations like that. I woke up early on Saturday morning with a few butterflies flying around my stomach. I forced down a little bit of food, got dressed and headed up to the race. Luckily I had two friends that agreed to run with me so that helped calm my nerves! As we were standing waiting for the race to start and stretching, my energy and excitement hit me; I felt giddy and ready. My goal wasn't about winning anything, just to run the whole way and make better time than I do on my own. I knew I could do it!

The weather was pretty good for the race. Overcast, but not rainy, around 66 degrees. It was pretty humid, but that's expected in Minnesota. The sun came out toward the end of my run so I never got TOO hot. I pushed myself to run faster and not lose sight of the faster runners in front of me. I was surprised to hear Runtastic tell me that at mile one I was at 8 minutes 40 seconds since I'm normally well about 10 minutes! In the end, I finished 13th out of all participants at 27:38. My best time ever!!! I was so proud of myself for finishing like that!

One of the coolest parts, is that I actually won a medal. I won first place for my age bracket. I'm amazed!!

I definitely am addicted to running now. I've already been looking for my next race!!

The rest of my weekend had plenty of ups. Saturday afternoon I went out and celebrated finishing my first race and finally enjoyed a cocktail! I spent Saturday night at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theater in Minneapolis checking out a hilarious show called Lance Armstrong's Steroid-Pumped Comedy Revue: A Cheater's Guide to Winning. Sunday morning I went out for a delicious brunch at Pittsburgh Blue and ended the weekend up at my parents' house to spend Father's Day with my dad with a four-wheeler ride, dinner and a bonfire.

How was your weekend? I hope you have a good week!!
Until next time~

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Running to a Better Mood and Too Restrictive of a Diet?

Today I woke up with sore legs, tight hips and a crabby attitude. Super fun! Probably a good thing I work from home and live with just a dog! This crabby attitude has lessened quite a bit through the day, but that might mean this post ends up being a venting post!

First, I'm on the hunt for an arm band to wear while running and also at the gym to tune out the horrible 80s music that the gym manager insists on playing every single day. I have been to two Targets, Best Buy, two sports stores, TJ Maxx and looked on Amazon. And I still don't have an arm band. All the stores only sell them for an iPhone 5 (yes, the guy at Target told me yesterday that my 4 was TOO OLD for them to sell arm bands for anymore!) or the ones on Amazon are too big for my arm (well, the inexpensive ones anyway). Grrrr. I'm afraid I'm going to drop my phone one day when running! Any suggestions or recommendations on a brand that's good for smaller arms? I really didn't think my arms were that small!

Because of my sore legs, today I decided to put off my planned run and go to the gym to do weights then see how I felt. I warmed up with 15 minutes on the elliptical, then moved onto the cable weight machine to do seated cable rows, lat pulldowns and tricep extensions, with pushups and tricep dips in between each set. I finished up my workout with planks and my mood definitely improved, but my sore legs did not. I felt disappointed that I couldn't get in a run. However, this afternoon I found a burst of energy (somehow shopping at Ulta put me in a good mood; love beauty products!) and felt like going for a run. Our weather has been crazy today with sun, clouds, then a little bit of rain so I ended up getting rained on a bit. I went for a short two miles and improved on my average pace per mile - yes!

I'm starting to wonder if my diet plan is too restrictive. I don't know how people do this. I feel hungry often and think that's why my mood is so crabby today. I went to bed hungry, woke up hungry, got hungry at the gym and it just hasn't ended today. I don't miss the grains and I probably won't add those back in much, but I do miss the dairy. I know my body can't handle a lot of dairy, but I miss being able to have Greek yogurt and cheese. That protein and fat mix I think helped me feel not so hungry. I just don't know what to do ....

Well, time for dinner - told you I was hungry! Tonight will be a stir-fry of sorts with chicken, seasonings, cauliflower rice, zucchini, red peppers and summer squash. Maybe an odd combination, but it tastes good! And I know it's only Tuesday, but I'm so looking forward to this weekend. I have my first 5k, going out to lunch with amazing friends to celebrate and so much more going on that excites me so much! It's going to be great!

This was so true for me today!

Do you think eliminating whole food groups from your diet is too restrictive? 

Until next time~

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Striving for Perfection

Here's a little secret - I'm not perfect. Shocking! I am a perfectionist though, and I struggle when I'm not doing something "perfectly." This doesn't apply to all areas of my life, but it definitely applies to my fitness and healthy eating. It doesn't make things easy; it drives me crazy often because I suffer from a lot of guilt when I'm not doing things "perfectly" or even getting the "perfect" results I want. I'm sure this strive for perfection drives some of my friends crazy, too!

Running right now has been a huge focus of my life. I want to become a runner. I guess I am a runner now! I've been out running as much as possible with this craptastic weather in Minnesota (sorry, sick of chilly, windy, rainy weather!), but I never feel as if I have "good" runs. Not that I even know what a good run is! I feel good while running and I think I do great, then I get home, check my time and average pace per mile and get disappointed. I want to be faster. I want to be able to run longer. I just want to be great, and I feel so far away from "great." What is great? Who am I comparing myself to - marathon runners? I started running outside not even a month ago and I know it takes time, but I'm struggling with being okay with how I'm doing. I have my first 5k coming up this Saturday and I'm anxious about it. I want to run fast and finish faster than any of these times: 

And then just keep running after the race to prepare for the next one! Yes, I think I'm going to become addicted to running races!

I struggle with perfection in my eating habits, too. Right now I'm cutting out grains, dairy, alcohol, legumes and enjoying lots of fresh veggies, fruit, eggs, nuts and meat. But I'm not perfect at this. I crave things such as Greek yogurt and real tacos. When I give into those cravings, I feel guilty. That dang food guilt haunts me! And sometimes I feel as if other people judge me as well. Judge me because of how I'm eating and then judge me if I eat some cheese or chocolate. I want to eat "perfectly" in my diet, always being healthy with every food choice I make, but sometimes that's hard.

I don't think my body will ever be "perfect." I don't even know what that means. I do know that I've made such strides in my progress with my body. The strength it is has amazes me. I love feeling strong, feeling fit and knowing that I can accomplish anything - like running a 5k! I have muscles and I'm so proud of them. Not perfect, a work in progress, and I'll keep working at it!

Love lifting weights and feeling strong!

And I'm starting to really see progress in my stomach - my most hated area. It's getting flatter and has a lot more definition. I still don't love it, but it's getting better! This is definitely an area I struggle with for perfection. I want my stomach to be flat with muscled definition, not a 6 pack, just flat with definition. Does that make sense? I suppose it's getting there. Some days I'm happy with it, other days I just hate it and think I have so far to go. I'm honestly scared to share this photo; I just don't think my stomach is flat enough to show. Ugh.

The pic on the left is from April 21, right is from today - getting smaller!

Are you a perfectionist and does it make you struggle with feeling good about workouts, your body and food choices? How do you get past that guilt or those struggles and just accept the things are?

Until next time~

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Well, it's been a long time since my last post. To get back into the blogging habit, I thought I would start with something easy - Thursday Thoughts! I've seen quite a few bloggers do this post and think it's kind of fun to read what their thinking and up to during the week. 

1. I found my favorite Pandora station to listen to while working out - Katy Perry Radio. Yes, all sugary pop music! As cheesy as it sounds, it's full of upbeat songs that keep me going. I've had to hit "thumbs down" to a few Lady GaGa songs (eww, sorry) but hopefully they've gotten the hint and will stop playing her. Otherwise it's a great station to get through a run!

2. Running is going well. I got out four times last week and just once so far this week due to my travel schedule and the sad, rainy weather. My goal is to get out every day for the rest of the week though. I'm now making the whole 5k without any walk breaks so I'm proud of that!

3. I would really like a heart rate monitor like this one. But I can't justify the price right now. :( So if anyone would like to buy me a present!!

4. I've been completely grain free for three weeks now! I've also only had dairy occasionally and will be cutting that out {almost} completely now that I've figured out how my body responds to it. Alcohol has also been on my "no" list for these last couple of weeks as well (just for a few weeks to break a bad habit). I'm sleeping so well finally and my energy levels are more consistent throughout the day so something is working!

5. Currently reading: Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism by Maria Emmerich. I'll share my thoughts on it soon!

6. This cloudy, chilly, rainy weather is making me depressed. Might need to go on vacation just to find some sunshine!

7. Desperate to wear this dress .... C'mon sun, shine!!

8. And lastly, these "fluffy cows" crack me up!! Hopefully you find as much humor in them as I do. 

I hope you enjoyed my Thursday Thoughts! I'll get back to regular blogging soon! Until next time~