Archive | March, 2012

Friday Things

30 Mar

1. I could really use a day off. I mean, I could really really use a day off. But since I don’t have any time off, I’ll just stay in bed as long as I can before I absolutely have to get up for work. Which should be right about now…

2. While everyone else is busy reading The Hunger Games series, I’m working my way through Bethenny Frankel’s A Place of Yes. It’s bascially an autobiography and self-help book wrapped into one. If you like Bethenny or could use some career and life help like me, I suggest you read it.

3. Speaking of The Hunger Games, Jordan has convinced me that we should go see it this weekend. Yes, Jordan. Apparently it’s all people can talk about at his work. Let me remind you, he’s an engineer and works with, basically, all men, so now I’m even more intrigued — what is all of the hype about? I guess I will know by the end of the weekend.

4. Gas prices have risen to $4.20. I drive to work to make money, and by the time I get there, it’s basically spent. I saw it “on sale” for $4.08 yesterday and got excited. 4.08. That’s how much I make in…well, you don’t need to know that :).

5.  I now have a total of 20 minutes to get ready. Looks like it’s going to be a ponytail kind of day.


My Relationship with Running

28 Mar

It runs in the family.

My grandpa ran in college, first at a small school in Michigan and then at the University of Michigan. He even made it to the Olympic trials! Running was a big part of his past.

Then there’s my mom. She ran track when she was younger, and she ran occasional races with her family when she was older, as did my dad when he started dating my mom. My great-aunt — she ran her first marathon around the age of 40. My sisters — they were both built for running – tall, with long limbs.

And then there’s me.

From an early age (thanks to elementary school P.E.), I’ve had a love/hate relationship with running. Running the mile at school was torture — fast kids sprinting past me, a P.E. teacher yelling in my ear, freshly cut grass just conveniently covering the track so that my allergies were at their worst. Oh yeah, those were the days.

Then 7th grade came, and track season began. I wanted to make friends and stay involved in school (and keep up the family tradition), so I joined. I lasted approximately three weeks. As much as I wanted to love it, I hated it. I continued to repeat this cycle in 8th and 9th grade. I guess I just thought something would change, but I ended up being a serial track quitter.

I quit for many reasons, but mainly because my lungs hurt, my shins hurts, my ankles hurt- and my ego hurt. I was not in running shape, and I hated running with kids who were. I couldn’t handle the pressure, physically or mentally.

After high school, I stopped dancing (my main source of physical activity in my younger years) and I turned to the gym for exercise. When I didn’t feel like being cooped up in the gym, my MP3 player and I would run through my college campus. It was a way for me to clear my head. I didn’t run too fast, and I didn’t run too far, but I ran. I didn’t have to compete against boys with 6-minute miles or girls who could leap hurdles taller than me. I just ran for me.

Since my freshman year of college, five years ago, I’ve completed a handful of 5Ks, one 10K and a couple of 5-milers. This May, I’ll be running two more races, each a 5K.

For years and years and years (and especially this past year, since I’ve started blogging), I’ve tried to make myself believe that I have to be a runner. “I have to run track because half of my family did. I have to run in college because all of my friends are doing it. I have to run after work because it’s what all of the bloggers do.”

But the truth is, running still isn’t my favorite. And I’m finally okay with admitting it. It doesn’t make me less of a fitness enthusiast or a blogger or a family member. It just makes me, well, me.

You might remember that one of my New Year’s resolutions is was to run a half marathon. I’ve decided not to pursue that goal. I’ve realized that the only reason I wanted to do it is because my sister is doing it, and I see a million other bloggers doing it, and well, I wanted to do it too.

I will still be running two 5Ks in May, but I will be doing it for fun. My only goal is that I finish, and I’d say that’s a pretty attainable one :).

All relationships have their ups and downs. My relationship with running is proof of that — it’s been rocky. Don’t feel bad if yours has too.

Do you like running?

If you’re a healthy living blogger, do you  feel pressured to enjoy running?





I Want This Time to Last

26 Mar

Over the weekend, Jordan and I bought our very first home-related purchase together.

A Rachael Ray 10-piece Gradient Bubble and Brown Set, in yellow.

For those of you who already have your own homes, this might not seem like a big deal, but for us, it is. We both live at home with our parents. If we don’t count college, neither of us have ever lived on our own, and we’ve never lived together. We are (completely) starting from scratch- in 3 months, 2 weeks and 4 days. And this Bubble & Brown Set is the first addition to our new life together. Reality is sinking in.

This 8-month period of engagement is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We’re not quite single, but not quite married either. Our friends and family have been extremely generous and helpful during the wedding planning process. People at church ask about our wedding plans every Sunday- it’s nice. We don’t have any major responsibilities yet- no mortgage, no car payments, no grocery bills. We’re in a state of engaged bliss, and before we know, it’ll be over.

Not that it’s a bad thing (I’m very excited to get married!), but I just don’t want this time to go by too fast. For most of my life, I’ve been rushing my life away. When I was 14, I wanted to date and drive. When I was 16, I wanted to go to college. When I was 18, I wanted to be done with college. Now that I’m 23, I’m living my life from weekend to weekend. I’m rushing, rushing, rushing, and not really enjoying.

Then tonight, my mom said something that changed my perspective in an instant. She told me that my grandma wants to help plan my shower, that she called her today to tell her how excited she is. That she’s really looking forward to that special day in May. That she’s been through a lot this year, and this will be a bright spot in a year of sorrow (okay, I said that).

You see, in the past year, both of my grandmas lost their husbands. Of course, I always thought of them as my grandpas, but many many years ago (58, to be exact), they were in this exact same place. They were getting ready to marry to the loves of their lives. Then, nearly 30 years after that, they helped their kids plan their weddings. Now, almost 26 years later, my grandmas are helping to plan part of mine. But if you ask them where the time went, they’ll tell you they have no idea. I know this, because my grandpa told me so before he passed away. He told Jordan and I to hang onto every moment, because before we know it, that moment will be gone and only memories will remain.

I’m going to hang onto these moments – when I’m sleeping in my twin bed in my childhood room; when we go out to dinner without worrying about bills or kids or bedtimes; when we can just be 20-somethings, in this awkward in-between stage that is currently our life.

Though sometimes awkward and complicated and scary, I am loving this in-between stage. And I’m going to continue to love it for the next 3 months, 2 weeks and 4 days (but who’s counting).

After all, my grandpa told me to :).

Have you had in-between stages in your life?

How did you feel when you moved out of your parents’ house for the very last time?

Five Things Friday

23 Mar

1. Now that it’s practically summer warm outside, I’ve been craving the Whole Foods salad bar like crazy. I’m tempted by it every time I go outside, because my office is literally a few steps away from it. Too bad I can’t afford $9 salads smothered in feta cheese on a regular basis.


2. Tomorrow I’m going back to my former university as an alumni. Alumna? Alumnus? Whatever I am, I’m going. I’ll be speaking to a group of Communication majors, answering any questions that they might have about my job search process, classes that helped me, and life after college. It’s hard to believe that I was in their spot one year ago. I remember feeling terrifed of the unknown future. I’m still a little terrified of the unknown future…

3. I’ve never been into book series that are turned into movies (unless you count my high school obsession with ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’). So naturally, I’m wondering what all of the type surrounding ‘The Hunger Games’ is about. Just when the whole Team Edward/Team Jacob thing was starting to make sense to me, I have to learn about two more teams. Team Peeta? Team whatever the other one is called? Why are we taking sides? I don’t get it.

4. My office is located in an outdoor mall. Everyday, I’m tempted by the window displays when I take my walking breaks. Since I haven’t been shopping since I can’t even remember when, I’m going to do a little more than window shop tonight after work. White House Black Market has a ton of cute dresses that catch my eye every time I walk by, but since I don’t buy $200 dresses, I’ll be hitting up the Old Navy sales racks. Oh yes, I’m living large ;).

5. Two weeks and two days left until Easter. I’m want to make this. And this. And maybe this. Don’t judge.


I Cheated

19 Mar

I’m confused. Is it really March? Because it feels a lot like July. If you’re from the Midwest and having unseasonably warm hot temperatures, you know what I’m talking about. I don’t mind the warm weather, it just makes me a little nervous for what’s to come this summer (considering it’s actually still winter).

The good thing about 80 degree temps is…well, there are a lot of good things. For one, I have been sporting summer clothes for the past week and a half. This means less layers and less laundry for me. Another good thing is being able to go for a walk, or just sit, in the sun. I suffer from SAD in the winter and feel a million times better when I get some sunlight in the spring. Another good thing? Being able to enjoy time with friends and family outside — and that’s exactly what I did over the weekend.

On Saturday, Jordan and I went to his house for an early Easter celebration. Because of conflicts, all of his family won’t be able to get together on the actual holiday, so we had to improvise and celebrate on St.Patrick’s Day. Since it was so nice outside, the kids were able to have an outdoor Easter egg hunt (in shorts and t-shirts, I might add), while the “grown-ups” watched and talked around a bonfire. Jordan and I are now confused as to whether we fit in with the kids or the adults, so he still participated in the egg hunt while I took pictures from the sidelines. Next year, I’m pretty sure he’ll have to stay out of it :).

After the Easter egg hunt, Jordan and I went inside for some dessert. Yes, you heard that right.

I cheated. Jordan and I talked about it, and since that was the only Easter he was going to get with his family this year, we felt that it was okay that we both cheat on our Lenten resolutions. He gave up pop, I gave up desserts, and we both caved. But just for the evening. I’m not going to eat it again until I celebrate Easter with my family, on Easter Sunday! The good news is, after I ate that plateful of desserts (plus a small piece of cake – a couple of birthdays were also celebrated that night – yes, I was a pig), I didn’t want anymore. I think I have finally broken my sugar addiction, and even when I can eat desserts again, I’m going to try my best not to eat it every night!

After celebrating with Jordan’s family, we went over to our friends’ new house to catch up over a bonfire and s’mores (but I did not partake in those). Our time was cut a little short when it started to thunderstorm, but by that time, I was exhausted and more than ready to call it a night.

I don’t like when good weekends have to end, but I suppose they all do at some point. Now that ‘The Bachelor’ is over, I have nothing something else to look forward to on Monday nights- ‘Bethenny Ever After.’ In fact, I think she’s calling my name right now :).

How’d you spend your weekend?

Have you ever cheated on anything?


Part II: Is My Workout Making Me Sick?

17 Mar

Thank you for all of your advice on Wednesday’s post! I’m feeling much more like myself now. In the past couple of days, I have had time to consider all of the factors that may or may not be making me sick.

1. Sleep: Between Sunday’s incident and this unseasonably warm weather that we’ve been having, I’ve been sleeping terribly at night. I didn’t think I’d have to sleep with my windows open and nothing but a t-shirt on (to keep myself from waking up in a pool of sweat) in the middle of March. I love this weather, but it’s really strange. Lack of sleep is beginning to catch up with me.

2. Allergies: Normally, I get allergy shots every four weeks, but I’ve been way behind lately. When I’m not consistent with my shots, my allergies are worse than normal, and I feel drained. Sometimes, this makes me sick. Between this and the strange weather, it doesn’t surprise me that I felt kind of blah this week.

3. Exercise: Many of you asked how hard I’ve been working out, and suggested that I should back off a little. The truth is, I’ve been much more lenient with my workouts since I began working full-time. I’m lucky if I make it to the gym four times a week. With that being said, I workout after work, before I eat dinner, and then I don’t eat dinner as soon as I get home. Plus, I have been taking (pretty difficult) strength training classes twice a week, and my muscles are much more fatigued because of it.

4. Stress: I’ve had a lot on my mind. I know that this can also put stress on my body.

After considering all of the factors, I’ve realized that I’m the one who’s making myself sick. I’m not getting enough rest, I have a lot on my mind, and I’m not fueling properly before and after my workouts. At this time, I’m going to hold off on supplementation and see how I do this week with more sleep and healthy snacks before and after my workouts. Hopefully, I’ll feel a lot better!

Thank you for all of your help :).

Is My Workout Making Me Sick?

14 Mar

I’ve always been hesitant to strength train because cardio is my passion. But lately, I’ve been strength training two to three times per week. The more I do it, the more I love it. I can feel my body getting stronger; I can see my body getting stronger. I like the results.

I don’t, however, like the way I feel the day after.

I have flu-like symptoms. I’m chilled, my throat hurts, my head hurts, and I’m exhausted. I’m achy. My muscles are sore from working out, of course, but I also feel like they are fighting off some kind of virus — the same way I feel when I’m getting sick.

I have a weakened immune system because of my allergies, but I never knew that a tough workout could trigger an illness . Maybe I’m not refueling properly afterwards? Maybe I’m not getting enough sleep? Okay, I have definitely been lacking in the sleep department this week. I don’t usually feel this way after I finish my cardio workouts, though, so what is it about weight training that’s making me feel this way?

I turned to Twitter for help, of course (because where else would I go?…).

Glutamine supplementation was recommended. From what I understand, glutamine is an amino acid that supports the production of muscles and helps to support the immune system. Sounds good, right? Well…apparently it’s a topic that’s debated often. Glutamine is found in many foods- chicken, beef, fish, eggs, milk, cabbage and dairy products, just to name a few. It’s a debated topic because many people think that glutamine should be consumed naturally, rather than in a pill or powder form.

Maybe that’s not the only solution to this little problem though? Have any of you ever experienced this? I need advice.

Or maybe I just need a nap.