Health

Expecto My Patronus

Real talk: It is dark times for me right now, y’all. Like dementors are sucking out all my body-loving ability, dark times. So I’m summoning my patronus (if you don’t get these references, then please crawl out from under a rock and read some Harry Potter) to help me find my way back to the light. I’m actually writing this while sitting in the waiting room of my gynecologist’s office (who is running very behind). The purpose of my appointment today is to find out how my IUD is affecting my weight. I can’t seem to lose weight and have gained 40 pounds since getting my IUD put in with 25 of that being in the last year. I’m really really frustrated, and I’ve been hating on myself lately. So I’m sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately. I just haven’t felt like a stellar role model and not very healthy. 

Monday night, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror of the gym and was filled with such shame and disgust. I haven’t felt that way about my body in a long time, and it filled me with such sadness. But I haven’t weighed this much in 10 years, and it’s scary. 
Update, I have been diagnosed with PCOS. Apparently, it was being kept in check with hormonal birth control pills, but once I got an IUD there was no more hormonal balance. So all the weight gain is more than likely caused by the PCOS. It’s really frustrating that my body has been working against me the past two years, and I feel like I’ve lost so much progress. But at least I know a little more than I did. Hopefully, I can begin to tackle this thing even though I know it will be an uphill battle. 

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Be Well, Be Happy, Be Balanced

Well hello there beautiful followers. Happy 2017! (I can hear you muttering to yourself, “She’s 27 days behind on that greeting.”) Yep, It’s January 28, and I am just now getting around to writing my first post of 2017.  I even missed the blog’s 2 year birthday – I’m a terribly blog mom. But, I am here now.  I’ve been struggling a lot lately with balance.  By the time I get home from work (which is kicking my ass again) and the gym at night, I have no energy to write. However, I dusted off my old 2015 vision board.  It served me well, and I hope to refocus those goals.  I was dreading this post because I’m ashamed to report that I’m the heaviest I’ve been in a long, long time, even with hitting the gym five times a week. So I’m renewing my goals from 2015.  Last year I got extremely off track because I was busy making a life in a new city.  I love my life here.  I’m happy here, but I reverted back to old eating habits.  Plus I’ve been more social, and I’m terrible about monitoring food and drink intake while socializing. So I’m pledging to you today that I am going to make 2017 a year of balance, wellness, and happiness. Those words are my focus words. My goals.

 

Anyway, after a very stressful week at work, I decided to get out into nature this morning even though it was cold and windy.  I’ve missed being able to hike after work since it gets dark so early in the winter. However, I needed some time with nature today.  I decided to try a new trail that I’ve never been on.  Once I parked, I took off walking without researching the trail beforehand. I decided to pick a path and see where it took me.  As I walked the trial and worked on clearing my mind, I focused on the beauty around me, on the wind, the sun hitting my face. I could feel the tension start to ease away.  I love hiking. I love the community you feel even when hiking alone. This morning so many people were quick to smile and say, “good morning” as we passed on the trail.  At one point, I slightly panicked because I realized that I couldn’t remember the name of the trailhead where I parked, but I continued, confident in the path I was on and that it would lead me to where I was supposed to be.  That feeling, that sureness, is something I wish I could bottle and take a dose of during my most stressful times. I’m glad that I reconnected with that feeling today.

 

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Travel Fitness and Then the Plague

I finally mastered keeping up with my workouts while on the road. Huzzah! I returned home two weekends ago after being gone from home for 11 days. I know that I’ve written about my struggle to workout while traveling, but I did it this time. I’m pretty proud. Now, I still ate terribly (like a gluttonous pig, actually. Thanksgiving took a toll on my waistline), but I did get in workouts five days a week.  A huge win for me.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I worked out in a hotel fitness center for the first time in my life.  As much as I travel, that’s inexcusable.  I didn’t realize that hotel gyms were havens for middle-aged white men killing the elliptical game and macho younger men who make sex noises while slinging weights around. Oh? Not your experience? Good to know.  However, I did not let that deter me and got in my requisite workout.  After I left the conference, I flew to Arkansas to spend the week with my family for Thanksgiving.  I asked my trainer to send body-weight workouts to complete during that week as I wouldn’t have access to the gym.  I ended up watching my baby nephew two of the days I had workouts. Man, I give big props to all you moms who try to workout at home.  It’s tough.  Hats off to you! My nephew did think that squats were hilarious though. So there’s that.  Once I made it back home in one piece, I immediately dove back into work.  Last week was a busy week (I have a theory that the work universe punishes me for taking any time off). I was trucking along and getting in my workouts.  I even got up early on Tuesday morning to lift weights because I got the opportunity to go see Tony Bennett (PS: He’s amazing! Even at 90!).

 

Then Thursday night, BAM! I got hit with the plague.  Not really.  But I did get really sick Thursday night (and I will spare you the gory details… you’re welcome).  Friday morning I woke up and just didn’t feel right. I felt like my skin was too heavy for my bones.  I was just so so tired. I drug myself out of bed and made it to work.  I lasted four hours and then had to take myself home.  I immediately crawled into bed and slept for two hours straight (I can never nap and rarely do.  This was a sign to me that I was definitely sick).  I couldn’t really pinpoint exactly what was wrong, but I definitely knew something was up.  I stayed in bed the rest of Friday and then slept until 11:30 Saturday (again a very rare thing – especially since I went to bed at 11 pm).  I pretty much stayed in bed all of Saturday.  Finally Sunday, I visited a convenient care clinic.  I had a staph infection and upper respiratory infection.  I got my meds filled and immediately crawled back in bed. I tried to go into work on Monday. I made it to my desk and then immediately ran to the bathroom and got sick. I quickly took myself back home and crawled back into bed.  Luckily, yesterday I finally returned to work and made it the full day (even after dumping coffee all down my sweater upon walking in the building – I can’t make this stuff up).

I know in my head that my body needed rest, but I felt so guilty missing my workouts.  I’ve worked so hard and stayed on track. I was scared that this illness was going to derail me from all my handwork. Crazy, I know. Luckily my trainer talked me down (thanks Dave!) and assured me that my body deserved the rest and that I needed to take it easy.

 

This morning, I got up and did my first workout since last Wednesday night. Whew. It was ugly.  I sweated a ton and struggled with balance, but I got it done. It felt really good to push my body again. Hell, it felt great to be no longer lying in bed. I flew into Atlanta this afternoon and walked around some, but I am definitely tired now. I hope that I keep my energy up and continue to workout on this trip. I’m flying from here to Dallas on Friday to see my dad’s side of the family.  I’ve already looked up gyms near my aunt’s house and hope to buy a one-day pass to get in my workout for Saturday morning. We’ll see.

 

Speaking of balance, you guys know that I have trouble with my ears and therefore, my balance is not the greatest.  When I landed in Atlanta, I took the escalator up to baggage claim from the train between terminals. Well, I got off-balance with my luggage and fell down the escalator! How embarrassing.  Of course I screamed as I was falling, and EVERYONE across four rows of escalators turned around to stare. One really nice man leapt up three stairs to try to save me and scooped my bags up for me after making sure I was okay.  Thanks airport stranger, I really appreciate you and your help. 🙂 Okay. Enough rambling.  Peace out y’all!

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Priorities 

I joined a small fitness group. Two Americans and two Canadians who commit to doing the same workouts for four weeks. We check in with each other almost daily and work with a virtual personal trainer. Pretty cool. Today was my total body strength training day. Total body complete! Confession: I live downtown, and I completely wasn’t thinking about the city closing down roads for a race this morning. The roads around my apartment are all closed off. Normally, I’d let this deter me. I’d say I’ll work out later and then get busy and never get it done. In the small group, we recently talked about prioritizing our fitness. Prioritize my fitness, right? Right!  So I brainstormed a way to get in the row exercise without the machine (my apartment gym is all dumbbells and cardio machines). I decided to do my row with resistance bands and got my workout done this morning. I honestly felt like I worked just as hard with the bands than with the machine. Just ask my hair! 😂 I wanted to share this small victory because it highlights how much a small fitness group I’m in has helped me focus and prioritize my fitness. I hope y’all have a great weekend.

Stretching is oh so important!

Recovery cashew butter and banana chocolate protein shake.

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10-in-4 Good buddy

On September 19, I started the 10-in-4 challenge with Dave Smith and some Fit Bottomed Girls.  I love the Fit Bottomed Girls site and (shameless plug) I actually wrote a guest-blog piece for them last August and was featured as one of the 5 Real FBGs in April 2015. Yeah, they totally rule! But, fast forward to September 2016, and I am embarrassed to say that I have let my healthy living take a back seat and no longer be a priority. Although I’ve never been happier since moving to Nashville, I constantly choose convenience over healthy. It is so easy to do with so many processed foods readily at our fingertips. Plus, I indulge in way-more happy hours (there is so much good beer here!) than I my waist-line will allow.

 

Fast forward to four weeks later. I am proud to say that I lost 10.5 pounds and 1.25 inches from my waist, 1 inch from my hips, and 3 inches from my belly bulge that was making me look pregnant! The plan was about being mindful of portion sizes and really planing out your meals for the week. Being prepared helped me tremendously when days got busy. I already had a meal plan in place and my exercise mapped out. I felt like I was letting myself down if I didn’t stick to it. Plus, I had some amazing accountability in the group.  I think I learned some takeaways from the four weeks, and I am interested in seeing how I apply them on my own.

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Morning Run

We all know that I’m not a morning person. I set three alarms and hit snooze on all three more than once. I’m terrible about waking up with an alarm, and I calaculate a bare minimum morning routine so I can maximize my snoozing. However, tonight I’m going to my first Predators hockey game so I knew I needed to get my cardio over this morning. Ugh. So I threw on my spirit animal tee for extra motivation and laced up my sneaks. And! I had a great morning run, and the city was pretty. Word up! Happy Tuesday my friends. 

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Monday, Monday

Last week was a rough week in the romantic department. My confidence (and my heart) took a blow, and I am really fed up with the single life right now. I got stood up twice last week. The first one was kind of not a surprise, but the second one hurt (a lot). Yesterday was emotional, and I’m just kind of over being alone right now. I’m having a lot of self-doubt about a decision I made to end a relationship that I didn’t want to end but knew it was the right thing to do. I still love him.  Yes, still. Being single during fall (and the holidays) is always a little less fun for me. The state of dating right now is abysmal. Technology has killed romance. So I’m embarrassed to say that I came home from work tonight and just laid on my bed in my dark apartment wallowing. Dramatic, perhaps. But my heart feels like shit, and I’m allowed to be sad from time-to-time. However, my workout routine gives zero fucks for my pathetically sad heart. So I’m writing out this confession and then hauling my ass to the gym to lift weights. I’m in a strength-training pact with two other women and our virtual trainer has encouraged us to “kick-butt” in the gym this week (he’s Canadian). Luckily, last week I got in leg day before being stood up for the first time. The second time (different guy by-the-way), I actually drove to meet him. Luckily, I was pretty near a YMCA when I realized he was bailing. So I drove to the Y, cried in the parking lot, and then dragged myself inside for some cardio.

 

So yeah, I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself right now. But I’m signing off and heading straight to the gym. Pity party over.

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Sundays are for Hiking, Football, and Meal prep!

Today I started out my day with a hike at a local park. It was exactly what I needed after a really long week where I didn’t get to be as active as I wanted. It’s Sunday and the Cowboys were playing a noon game. So I decided to listen to the game while I was hiking. It was great until I would yell out during good plays (or bad) and startled strangers on the trail. Then I went to the grocery store with the game playing in my ear. Well, there were a couple of bad plays so there I was, standing in the coffee aisle, cussing. I startled the hipster next to me. So I quickly moved on.  I get to the check-out line and am waiting on the people in front of me to check out. Cowboys intercept the ball in the end zone, and I let out a big whoop! The cashier jumped out of her skin. I gave her a sheepish grin and apologized. I told her I was listening to the game, but I took my headphones out while checking out. Needless to say, I should probably not watch football in public. I get a little too into it. And while we are on the subject of the Cowboys, is it too much to ask to date a Cowboys’ fan once in a while? I seem to never date a Cowboys’ fan. The new guy I am talking to is not a Cowboys fan and was teasing me during the game today. But that’s okay I guess. He’s cute. Haha.

After I finished my hike, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on food to meal prep tonight. Tomorrow, I am starting a new clean-eating challenge with the Fit Bottomed Girls and Dave Smith. I think it is pretty doable and being in a group setting will provide some much needed accountability. My entire week is planned out, down to the water and exercise for each day. I already have my breakfast and lunches prepared for the next four days. I feel ready. Even when work gets super busy, I should still be able to heat up my pre-prepared meal. I’ve got this! It feels nice to be back in charge of my meal prepping again. I’ve gotten so lax and let being busy overcome my healthy habits. So I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress.


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Ache

It’s been one week since the end of my  relationship with the boy. I haven’t really spent a lot of time home alone. My week was full of either working late and then hitting the gym or going out with friends as a distraction. This past weekend, I went back to Arkansas to visit my family for my nephew’s first birthday. I drove down Friday and stayed until today. On my way out of town this morning, I had brunch with some dear friends that I haven’t seen in a while. My weekend was filled with family and love. It was a good weekend. There was no time to feel sad or be mopey. Then, I spent two hours catching up with my friends this morning. Our brunch was full of laughter and comraderie. 

I knew the drive home was going to be tough. There would be plenty of time for me to turn our relationship over in my mind and for me to think about what could have been. And anytime I spend the weekend with family, it’s always a little hard coming home to an empty apartment so I knew that plus my heartbreak would make today doubly hard. I will say, driving through Arkansas did not make me nostalgic or homesick. I most certainly miss the people in my life from there, but I do not miss living in Little Rock at all. At least I can be comforted in the fact that every time I visit Arkansas, I am certain that my move last year was the right choice. I know that even now when I’m missing having family close by as salve for my broken heart. 

However, even being secure in that knowledge, I am having trouble falling asleep tonight. I’m sad. I figured I’d get these words out to unburden my heavy heart a little. To ease the effects of my sadness. Tonight, I’m thinking about the physical sides of emotions. I’m not talking about arousal or sexual gratification. I’m talking about the actual physical ache you can feel in your heart when it’s breaking or yearning for someone to return your love. I’m talking about the nausea associated with that heartache, the hot-searing pain of the tears running down your face, and the breathless tightening of your chest as you long for him to tell you he made a mistake and can’t live without you. It’s amazing really that emotions can translate to the physical. 

Perhaps I should be embarrassed at my willingness to express such raw thoughts on the World Wide Web. However, I’ve tried to keep this blog honest and authentic throughout. So, I ask for a little patience and understanding as I work through this latest “challenge.” 

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The third night. 

When I think about you, as I have so much over the last three nights, my stomach gets all twisted up in knots and my heart drops into what feels like the abyss. Do you find yourself thinking of me too? Thinking on if things could ever be different?   Do you listen to our playlist at all and get lost in the emotion represented in every song selected because I chose each one for you? Or do you not let yourself get “carried away” with emotion and resolve to forget me for good? I shouldn’t be writing out every emotional torment, but damned if I care. So as I prepare for another night of a shattered heart’s slumber, I can’t help but hear the X Ambassadors in my head: “If you love me don’t let go….” 

PS: This video is entirely too fitting. https://youtu.be/mak_Cu9Wl6w

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