That time I had to learn how to spell again : Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud.

Happy Thursday – this week is flyin’ by!  I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for…

Thinking-Out-Loud2

I am like a broken record, and, like, not even a good one at this point; I am moving to Glasgow in …17 Days!! Moving in with my hubby and getting all domesticated, it’s great!  However, the other day my pal asked me if I was ready for the “Queen’s English”.  

ERR.  Record skips.  Um, no.  She was like, “yeah, you know adding in “u” and replacing “z” with “s” and pronouncing it “zed” and not “zee”‘?  

Yeah, I knew this was coming, but I hadn’t really thought about how this may or may not impact me in the long run.  

Admittedly, I am not the best at grammar to begin with, and, honestly, I learned more about the English language and sentence structure whilst learning Spanish and French in school.  

I never REALISED (no  “zee” um, “zed”) that I would have to learn how to drop articles and pick up new spelling at 34!

I’m about to get schooled, yo.

b**ch, please.

Amazon to the rescue!

You can buy just about anything on Amazon.  I actually dislike Amazon, because they dropped me from their associates program and explained their choice by saying  “It’s very important that our members’ websites reflect the high standards we set for ourselves.

my literal reaction to Amazon’s email to me.

I guess by creating the, “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company” they forget that the very people they are using to make more money, are actually customers as well. Quite honestly, if I didn’t live in a town with nowhere to buy anything, I’d boycott them full stop (<—super British saying, btw).   It’s not as if my blog is incoherent or selling crack, but I digress, you can get anything on Amazon, like ‘em or not.  I ordered me some books to edumacate myself on becoming a Brit, which are being sent to me from the US. Go figure.

books collage

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got.  Yeah, this is a pretty disappointing post.  Whatever.

Do you like Amazon? Do you like how the Brits spell or do you like that we shortcut the “u” out of words like favorite and color? How’s your week going?

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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, a week that is very important to me and so many other people throughout the world. An eating disorder is one of the most painful and challenging disorders out there and is also a disease that affects nearly 30 million people in their lifetime.  I am one of those people.  Eating disorder issues have not only been a problem of my own, but also have affected other members of my family and my friends.

I have suffered from bulimia nervosa since the age of 18.  I have also suffered from binge eating disorder since the age of 25.  This is something people who know me are usually aware of, but it is always something that I struggle with and have felt ashamed of for nearly half of my life.

My bulimia was not limited to binging and purging, but also overexercising, abuse of laxatives, diuretics and dangerous diet pills as well as self-destructive social behaviors.

People who have bulimia nervosa judge themselves harshly on their body weight and shape. In order to help them cope with these feelings, they follow a strict diet to try to lose weight. But over time the hunger from the strict diet triggers them to binge eat. After binge eating, they feel out of control, ashamed, guilty, and afraid of gaining weight. This distress causes them to purge, in hopes of “undoing” any possible weight gain from the binge.

My problem wasn’t always obvious to those closest to me, because I had always maintained a normal weight and often times was slightly overweight.  However, despite the fact that I didn’t look sick, I was suffering from a disease that was controlling my mind and body and was deteriorating my quality of life.  Much like an individual suffering from anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia become obsessed with their weight and appearance.  The obsessive nature of an eating disorder drives its victims to a sometimes very dark place; a place where reality is no longer an option and pain and punishment seem like the only feelings possible.  I spent a long part of my life feeling like I should be or was being punished for being less than what I thought was acceptable.  I spent years avoiding social situations, mirrors, and cameras so that I could avoid any form of feedback about myself.  If I could have disappeared, I would have happily done so.

Over the past several years, after the death of my father and my renewed love of fitness, I have learned to come to terms with the value of my health.  By finally shifting my focus to health, I have been able to lead a much more normal life; a life where I feel thankful for the body I am in rather than feeling ashamed of it.

2007             2015

2007                                                                                       2015

Dealing with a person suffering from an eating disorder can be very frustrating.  My eating disorder threatened and destroyed many of my relationships with other people.  I mean, come on, is it easy to sit around and listen to a person rip themselves to shreds verbally? Hell no.  Is it easy to watch a person you love run their body into the ground and harm themselves day in and day out?  Hell no.  Is it easy to feel powerless and unable to help a person you care about who is hurting?  Hell no.  This is why often times an individual suffering from an eating disorder can actually wind up feeling more alone than ever. However it’s important to know that there are things you can do to help yourself if you or someone you love is a person suffering from an eating disorder.

        • Focus on feelings and relationships, not on weight and food. Share your memories of specific times when you felt concerned about the person’s eating behavior. Explain that you think these things may indicate that there could be a problem that needs professional help.

 

 

        • Tell them you are concerned about their health, but respect their privacy. Eating disorders are often a cry for help, and the individual will appreciate knowing that you are concerned.

 

 

        • Do not comment on how they look. The person is already too aware of their body. Even if you are trying to compliment them, comments about weight or appearance only reinforce their obsession with body image and weight.

 

 

        • Make sure you do not convey any fat prejudice, or reinforce their desire to be thin. If they say they feel fat or want to lose weight, don’t say “You’re not fat.” Instead, suggest they explore their fears about being fat, and what they think they can achieve by being thin.

 

 

        • Avoid power struggles about eating. Do not demand that they change. Do not criticize their eating habits. People with eating disorders are trying to be in control. They don’t feel in control of their life. Trying to trick or force them to eat can make things worse.

 

 

        • Avoid placing shame, blame, or guilt on the person regarding their actions or attitudes. Do not use accusatory “you” statements like, “You just need to eat.” Or, “You are acting irresponsibly.” Instead, use “I” statements. For example: “I’m concerned about you because you refuse to eat breakfast or lunch.” Or, “It makes me afraid to hear you vomiting.”

 

 

        • Avoid giving simple solutions. For example, “If you’d just stop, then everything would be fine!”

 

     Adapted from: National Eating Disorder Information Center and National Eating Disorders Association.

While I would love to say that I’m “cured” of my issue, I am not.  An eating disorder will sadly never be far from me, but having support and being aware of my ED tendencies does help me to avoid relapsing.  One thing that has really helped me to stay away from the binge/purge cycle has been utilizing the ability to talk about my feelings.  Sometimes I feel like I may be “burdening” my friends, family, and husband talking about how I feel or my anxiety, but I know that just getting those feelings out of me is what is helping to keep me straight.  The truth is we have to feel to heal.  The minute I told another person how I was suffering, I knew it was the first step to getting my life back. I encourage anybody else out there who is suffering with an eating disorder to please talk to someone you can trust and start the path to recovery.  There are lots of resources for friends and family to help a loved one who may be suffering from this painful disorder. Please visit The National Eating Disorders Association’s website for more information on how you can help yourself and others begin the path of health and healing.

Have you or someone you know been affected by an eating disorder? How have you offered support to a friend or family member suffering with an eating disorder? Are you on your own recovery path?

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That Time I Stopped Having Insomnia.

Happy Thursday!  I’m not going to bitch about the snow and cold, it’s ridiculous and I can’t even talk about it anymore.  Even though it’s Thursday, and this day is for linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for…

 

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Is insomnia contagious?  I would think this is a ridiculous question, but my bedroom wall is shared with another insomniac. I have been finding myself, for the last few months, waking up at 2 am and being restless til sunrise.  Now, this could be because there is usually theme music to some sort of period drama blaring through the wall at 2 am, but I’ve lived next to some of the loudest and craziest folks through the years and still got a full 8 hours of shut-eye.   I totally had a  neighbor in New York who got tasered and detained at least once a month.  Anyhoo, whether or not I’m catching the lack of sleep from another person or not, I finally decided to download the white noise app, Sleep Bug:  White Noise Soundscapes & Music Box on iTunes.  Life changing.  However, I did have some bizarre dreams, but I can deal with bizarre dreams vs. horrendous realities due to a lack of sleep.

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Good Morning America drives me crazy; it’s seriously one of the most annoying programs I’ve ever seen.  Sorry if you’re a fan, but I think it’s just terrible.  I guess having studied media, I just can’t stand many aspects of it.   As per GMA had a very important segment (between actual “news”) all on new “bridal trends” this morning. Lace crop tops, rompers, and side bustles with shorts are now in.  Not a fan.  I mean, I got married in a dress that cost less than $20.00 and I think expensive wedding gowns (and weddings in general) are such a waste of money.  Not that I have money, but that’s an entirely different post.  #BrokeAsAJoke

 

not digging it.

Okay, I lied, I’m going to complain about the snow.  It sucks.  I’m so sick of it.  Hopefully I won’t be bringing the snow to Glasgow when I move there in 24 DAYS! So excited.  Smell ya later, snowy New England!  Hello …rainy Glasgow.  I will get back to you about which is worse, frozen hellhole snow for weeks on end or consistent rain.  Thoughts?

probably a better plan?

What are you thinking out loud about today? Do you think wedding rompers are cute? Do you suffer with insomnia? How do you manage your sleepless nights? Linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons today!

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4 Things I Learned from My Father

didn’t take his dad’s advice?

Monday, again.  Well, maybe you have it off in honor of our forefathers?  If so, sweet.  If not, bummer – hopefully you get a floating holiday?  Speaking of fathers, I have something I would like to share.  So, as I’ve lamented bitched about for the past few weeks, I am packing up my life and moving to Scotland to live with my husband, Luke, and it’s become an emotionally and physically taxing event.  The reason it’s so difficult is not just because I am leaving the country permanently, but because it’s made me have to face the loss of my father so much more.  For the last several years, I’ve avoided dealing with a lot of stuff (though I won’t say I haven’t made great positive strides for the most part).

I have been living with my mother since my father’s passing.  It’s been a great thing in many ways and probably a not so great thing in many ways.  The ways living with my mother has been great is we’ve become closer, we’ve offered one another support through the loss of my dad, and it’s helped both of us deal with some of our personal issues.  However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, to say the least.  I am feeling so much happiness to finally be moving over to live with my wonderful husband, but I am obviously feeling very badly about moving so far away from my mother (and the rest of my family).  It’s times like these where I really need my father and his sage words of advice to let me know that it’s okay to move on and it’s okay to be happy, but I can’t ask him.  It is times like these that I have to search my soul and hear my father inside it telling me not necessarily what I want to hear, but what I need to hear.

4 Things I Learned from My Dad

Never do anything out of obligation.” This was something I would hear time and time again from my father.  If I was whining about not wanting to do something for someone else or not attending something, he’d ask, “why are you doing it then?”  I’d usually respond, “because they expect me to” or “I don’t want them to be mad if I don’t.”  My father would always say, “doing something because you feel obligated is bullshit and 100% self-serving.  It’s also dishonest and it only makes that person feel like you truly want to do something for them, and by doing this, you’re going to be faced with it over and over again.”  I am not saying that I feel obligated to not move on with my life, but I think I’m feeling guilty and stressed about what I feel is expected of me.  Which, not one person, especially my mother, has placed this expectation on me.  I realize now that I just need to get on with it and do what I want to do for me and for my husband.

Always draw the line.  If you don’t create boundaries, people will never know they have crossed them.”  Man this is so true, right?  If we don’t say “hey! Wtf are you doing?” every now and again, we feel violated.  At least I feel violated when someone goes beyond a place that makes me feel comfortable.  I feel like this also applies to being able to take on more than you can handle.  I feel terrible that there are so many people I have not been able to see or make time for before I leave.  I feel very badly about not being able to say goodbye properly, but I can only do what I can do with the time (and money) I have at the moment.  I know that some of my friends are upset with me, but it’s not on purpose, and I feel like I can’t place more pressure on myself than I already have.  So, I have to draw the line and move on.

Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”  I am a worrier.  I worry about being worried.  Though, seriously, I have legitimately battled moderate (to severe) anxiety my entire life.  However, it’s irrational, and I know it.  I worried I’d never graduate college.  I did, and made the Dean’s List.  I worried I’d never get a job.  I’ve had many.  I worried I’d never pass my Certified Personal Training exam.  It took me 20 minutes and I passed on the first try.  I thought I’d never meet the man of my dreams.  I married him in November. I worried I wouldn’t get my spouse visa to live with him.  I received it a few weeks ago.  Do you see what I’m getting at?  More importantly, DO I SEE WHAT I’M GETTING AT?  I worried myself to the point of tears and insomnia over each of these challenges I faced, and yet, it still worked out.  I absolutely do not believe for one second that my worrying “willed these things into being” — I straight up was irrational and needed to find something else to do with my time.  I’m seeing the error of my ways, for sure.

Come to terms with possessions.  It’s okay to want things and to have things, but make sure you take on a lifestyle you can afford.”  This has never been more clear to me than it has been the last several months.  After losing my job in July, I had to face the reality that I was getting married and trying to relocate on very little money.  I also have to choose between what I NEED to bring with me and what I WANT to bring with me.  In my post the other day, “How To Breakup with Your Stuff” I discussed ways to come to terms with your possessions.  This has been very therapeutic for me.  I used to constantly feel like things would fill a void in my life, and they don’t.  All “stuff” does is clutter your life, collect dust, and make it really difficult to move (around your living space and to a new one).  When I think of the money I’ve spent to try and fill this void I had, it really doesn’t do much for me.  However, that was then and this is now.  In a lot of ways, moving overseas is forcing me to downsize and appreciate what I do have, while also limiting how much stuff I continue to accumulate.  This will be good for my mind AND my wallet.

So even though my father has been gone for over three years, I can still call upon him when I need him most.  Just writing this post out has made me feel better and helped me to place his wisdom into action.

Now to move on with my week!  I hope you’re all having a great Monday and have a wonderful week ahead!

Who do you call upon for advice when you need it most?  What do you feel is your best piece of advice that you give to others?

Favorite Things Friday : Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th from one of the most superstitious women on the planet here!   Whatever, there’s legit crazy stuff associated with this day – probably minus the fact that 13 is Taylor Swift’s lucky number, I couldn’t care less.  She annoys me, sorry.  Just sayin’.

what the?

what the?

I love Friday’s, because I have my indoor cycling class with some amazing people and we turn up to sweat and have a great time.  I had an especially “sweet” playlist today, you know, in honor of Valentine’s Day!  Yeah, I totally played the Spinning approved version of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” – you’re welcome, you guys!

Favorite Things Friday!

1.  This ring my wonderful husband, Luke, bought me for Valentine’s Day.  I am the luckiest in love, really.  I’m not just saying that because he got me jewelry (though it helps, right?), but because he’s always so thoughtful.  Okay, I’m done.

beautimous.

beautimous.

2.  Sweet potato lasagna!  As you may know by now, I am a huge sweet potato fan.  I’ve recently been swapping out lots of pasta for sweet potato.  This week, I made a DEL-I-CIOUS (and super healthy) lasagna using sweet potato in place of traditional noodles.  I will do a separate post on this dish, but it was a hit!

sweet potato lasagna

 

3.  Little Women:L.A. on Lifetime.  OKAY, this show has totally replaced my Honey Boo Boo withdrawals.  I’m a horrible person, but seriously, if watching one (horrendously fake) reality TV  show makes you a that,  I think we all need to reevaluate our definition of a horrible person.  This show is cray cray.  There is more drama and ridiculous s*** going on during one episode of this show than an entire season of Real Housewives.  Also, I’m 5 ft tall, so, I kind of feel like I can relate.

I think I received the same advice.

4.  Daily Burn Black Fire with Bob Harper.  I love Bob.  I have loved Bob since I first set eyes on him.  So, I was over the moon when I found out he has partnered up with Daily Burn to create “Black Fire” a 60 day workout plan.  Every workout is under 20 minutes and kicks your ass.  I’m in love with Bob all over again.  You can try Black Fire free for 30 days too, so why not?

hot.

hot.

I hope err’body has a fantastic weekend and great Valentine’s Day filled with bubbly and chocolates all around; single or taken, okay?  I also hope you’re not superstitious like me and can actually walk past a mirror today.  I’m crazy.

Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?  What’s one of your favorite things from this week?  Do you watch any reality TV that you probably don’t want to admit?

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Jillian Michaels’ Ultimate Beach Body Workout

Beach Body? I’m Buried Alive in Snow!

I know, “beach body season” is sort of an annoying thing to be reminded of, sorry.  However, it is also an extremely motivating thing to be reminded of, you know, speaking for myself, of course.  I wear a bikini, abs for days, or not.  Mostly not, at the moment.  Too many chocolate covered Swedish fish!  Have I ever mentioned on my blog that the World’s Longest Candy Counter is, like, 1000 feet from my house? Yeah, I’m not lying, so in that respect, I have incredible willpower!

However, we were talking beach bods and nothing makes you more sexy and confident than just ROCKING your swimsuit, regardless of your size. Confidence is sexy no matter what the tag of your two piece says, right?  Correct!  However, I know I could always use a little push after my winter hibernation to get “bikini ready”.  The routine I’m sharing with you today was designed by none other than the wonderful, ass-kicking queen of fitness; Jillian Michaels!

This plan will target lots of muscles in less time.  For these circuits, you want to complete each move for 60 seconds with a 60 second recovery period; repeating the circuit three times for a total body blast. I use my GymBoss 2 Interval App (because it’s so handy!)  You will also need two sets of weights ranging from 5 to 10 pounds.

Ultimate Beach Body Workout!

1.  Chair Pose Climb.   With feet together, arms extended at sides, palms facing thighs.  Squat as you raise arms overhead (1). Then, bring arms down to your sides as you jump up (2).  Land in starting position (if this move is too tough, skip the jump and squat, rise up, and repeat) (3).

Jillian Michaels chairpose

Chair Pose Jump

2.  Falling Push-up.  In push-up position with knees on the ground, shoulders aligned over wrists.  Bend elbows out to your sides (1).  Forcefully push off the ground (2).  Return to starting position (3).  You can use your knees to modify the push-up position move.

Jillian Michaels  Bikini Workout Shape Magazine

Falling Push-Up

3.  Cheer Jump.  Standing with feet together, arms extended at your sides and palms facing thighs.  Jump up, clap hands overhead as you enter an inverted “V” shape,  Land in starting position.

Jillinan Michaels Bikini workout Shape magazine

Cheer Jump.

4.  Deadlift To Hammer Curl.  Standing with feet close together, hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended at your sides and palms facing thighs.  Keep you back straight and your weights close to you body, bending forward from your hips (1).  Rise up, bend elbows, curling weights toward your shoulders (2).  Extend your arms to the starting position.

Jillian Michaels Bikini workout Shape Magazine

Deadlife to Hammer Curl

5.  Jumping Plie Row.  Standing with you feet wide and toes turned out, hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms extended in front of you and palms facing your body.  Bend your knees (1), then jump up while bending your elbows out to the sides, drawing weights towards your chest until your upper arms are parallel to the ground (2).  Land in starting position.

Jillian Michaels Bikini working Shape Magazine

Jumping Plie Row

6.  Superman Angel Fly.  Lie facedown with your legs extended hip-width apart on the ground behind you.  Holding a dumbbell overhead with both hands, arms extended and palms facing each other,  Lift arms, chest and legs (1).  Transfer weight to your right hand and bring your arms behind your back.  Then pass weight to left hand (2) and bring your arms overhead again, passing weight to your right hand,  Continue, lowering your chest and legs between each rep.

Jillian Michaels bikini workout Shape Magazine

Superman Angel Fly

7.  Rotating Goblet Squat.  Standing with you feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly out, and hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest, elbows pointing down.  Squat deeply (1), then jump up as you rotate to the left (2) and land facing the opposite direction.  Squat and repeat in opposite direction.  Continue alternating directions.

rotating goblet squat

Add this routine into 3 days of your weekly fitness routine from here on out and be you will be beach ready in no time!  I love Jillian Michaels, she’s awesome and she gets stuff DONE.  I don’t know about you, but she’s one of my fitness heroes; regardless of how much flack Jills receives, she is effective, passionate, and I have her back no matter which muscle group I’m working!

Do you have a favorite routine that gets you ready for Summer? Do you love Jillian Michaels?

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Social Media and the Non-Fitness Enthusiast.

Happy Tuesday!  Wow, I have been so busy the past few days and have another killer week ahead of me.  That being said, I REALLY wanted to linkup with Jessica Joy and Jill for #DishTheFit, but did not have the time to really carve out the best post for it. This week’s optional topic is “Conversations with NON-FITNESS Enthusiasts“.   What I did do was go back through my archives and found the following post about “fitness motivation”.  Now, it may not be along the lines of what the rest of our #FitFam will be talking about today, but I think that it’s an important element of dealing with newbies or non-fitness folks in a social media world filled with fitness enthusiasts.  What I am talking about in this post is the type of messages the fitness community can send out that may hinder any chance of motivating the non-enthusiast population.

I would love to hear thoughts and feelings about this topic.

Fitness Motivation:  What Works, What Doesn’t.

Motivation:  The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. As defined, motivation, can be twisted and turned any which way to suit the person who is doing the “motivating”.  Think back to a time when you were motivated to make a decision:  What made you change your attitude about something?  Were negative or positive messages used to help you make your decision?  When it comes to fitness motivation, what kinds of messages help (or harm) you the most?
Happy Monday!    I hope that you all had a great holiday and/or holidays last week!  So, this week is the end of the road for 2014.  January 1st is a clean slate for many, many people, and this year will be no different – I am sure of it!  Being that it is the beginning of a new year (and a time when people are looking to make positive changes)there is no end to the messages and advertising that will be thrown our way regarding self help   However, not all of the messages that will be delivered over the next week will be conveyed with the tactful sensitivity they should be.

fitness humor

they found this post humorous, do you?

The above photo really upset me when I saw it.  Not only did this post make me really upset, it actually made me “unfollow” this account on Instagram.  This account labeled this photo as “fitness humor” while trying to sell their product which promotes weight loss.   I guess I probably wouldn’t have found this post as offensive if I hadn’t seen this one from the same account just days earlier:

apparently pregnancy is okay to '#bodyshame

apparently pregnancy is okay to #bodyshame

This is NOT okay!  I mean, maybe I am being overly sensitive, but I find this incredibly insenstive on SO many levels.  Do I think that the company behind these posts are bad people?  No, I’m not saying that.  However, I do think that you have to be very careful how you choose to “motivate” people.  See, I was always taught (and admittedly, I haven’t always FOLLOWED this mantra) “you can’t build yourself up by tearing others down.”

I work with people to make them healthy above and beyond any other benefit.  In fact, when I became a certified personal trainer I agreed to a code of ethics which places clients health, safety, and privacy first.  Never, anywhere in my training for any certification I hold, was I encouraged to belittle another person as a form of motivation.  I guess that is why I found these posts to be so offensive.  These messages are everywhere and, I feel, any motivation being pulled out of them is from the attitude of shaming they promote.    It’s no secret that we need an attitude makeover as a society, because we all spend too much time comparing ourselves to others, ripping ourselves apart, and feeling like we’re not good enough.   How can you blame us when messages like these are thrown our way all day, every single day?!

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Making another person feel badly about what they look like and who they are is NEVER going to be the correct way to motivate them to feel better about themselves.  Period.  The issue of obesity is just part of this.  We’re told day in and day out what is beautiful, attractive, and acceptable whether it’s our body type, race, gender, or any other characteristic of ourselves.  I hope that one day those of us out there trying to “help” others better themselves focus on all the things that are great about you as a motivation to take care of yourself, not as a way to bully you into finding yourself unacceptable so you’ll make changes.

Again, this issue is SO much bigger (pardon the pun) than the surface I am scratching, but change comes from within each of us.  One person at a time, we can fight back and start to define beauty, acceptance and most importantly HEALTH the way it should be defined.   To hell with what a lingerie company says is sexy or how a weight loss supplement company tells you is how you should look; they don’t get to decide how you feel about yourself.  Only one person is in charge of you, and that’s you!

I am wishing everyone out there a happy, healthy, and empowering 2015.  Live without limits and remember, above all else, you’re amazing!

Do you ever see “fitness motivation” memes or posts that really “grind your gears”? Do you think people should take them with a grain of salt or do you think they really can be harmful and hurtful (regardless of their intention)? Join the conversation with Jessica and Jill and #DishTheFit!

xoxo
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Just Keep Spinning

Happy Monday!  Maybe it’s deja vu or something, but it seems like every Monday we have another blizzard to contend with.  Seriously, Monday sucks enough, am I right?There’s really no need to dump ANOTHER foot of snow on top of us!  Is it weird that I’m looking forward to living in a place where it rains 300 days a year?  Yeah, that’s just crazy, but oh well it’s happening.

my future.

So, let’s regroup! Today is cold and dreary and my car looks like an m-f igloo, but whatever, I’m going to pull through and get things done.  Starting with my workout!

Spinning and Lifting

SPINNING!  I did an hour long aerobic ride with a soothing playlist to really get my mind and body working together.  Also, I just attended a Spinning workshop on Saturday and it totally made me love it even more.  I know a lot of people do not like Spinning, but seriously, it saved my life.

I followed my long ride up with some awesome arm and back work, because lately I’ve been slacking on lifting and that just makes me feel less awesome, and believe me, most days I don’t need any help in that department.

so true.

Breakfast

My breakfast today was my “PB and J” smoothie.  I love this smoothie, because it makes me feel like a kid again.  I always loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but ONLY with strawberry jelly.  My dad always hooked me up.  My smoothie has all the essence of the sandwich but without the crust.

  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tbsp of PB2
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Lunch

Lunch was a quick wrap filled with veggies and roasted red pepper hummus and a half of a Pure Protein S’mores bar.

lunch

my photography gets progressively worse…

 

Dinner

For dinner I am having Skinnytaste’s Crock Pot Creamy Tomato SoupThis soup is SO delicious and it is so much lighter in calories and fat than your typical creamy tomato soup or bisque.  It takes like 6-8 hours to be perfect so I’ve got that going on right now.

I know I talk about Skinnytaste’s soup recipes a bunch, but it’s because they’re so terrific!  If you’re a fan of soup, but you’re trying to watch your calories, Gina’s recipes are where it’s at.

gina’s photo is MUCH better. visit her site.

How was your Monday?  Do you like Spinning?  What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?

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Sports Illustrated is full of more BS than Bathing Suits

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED : Breaking Boundaries?

So first, happy FRIDAY!  How’s it going?  I just got back from teaching a cycling class at the gym and lifting some weights, feeling pretty good.  I sat down to eat breakfast and check the news, like I normally do.  There’s lots of interesting (and not so interesting) things going on in the world today, did you know?  Isn’t there always?  I’m sure, unless you’re totally shut off from technology, you’ve probably heard about this controversial Sports Illustrated cover that just hit the shelves.  People are pissed off about the cover, because the model is too provocative, yadda yadda, yeah, she’s cool, whatever.  What I’M most annoyed about is the fact that Sports Illustrated has this arrogant boastfulness going on because they officially have their first “PLUS-SIZE” swimsuit model featured in the magazine.  Introducing, Robyn Lawley.  Ms. Lawley is 6’2 and a US size 12 (AU size 16).  Please.  Oh yeah, this girl is really setting SI into a new level of body acceptance.  It’s not her fault she’s stuck in this controversy.  I mean Robyn Lawley is gorgeous and has an amazing figure, but c’mon, you and I both know she’s NOT plus-size by any real standard.

Robin Lawley

oh yeah, really pushing those barriers, SI. (photo credit, Sports Illustrated)

What exactly IS plus-size?

By definition, plus-size is:  (of clothing or people) of a size larger than the normal range.  Hmmm, interesting.  By definition, normal is:  conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.  By definition, typical is:  having the distinctive qualities of a particular type of person or thing.  Okay, you get it, I won’t define each word within the definition of normal.  However“plus-size” in itself is such a patronizing word because it flat out is defined as being larger than the “normal” size, which is technically the typical size of the American female.  If the average US woman is a size 14, then it seems to me that the usual, typical, and expected “norm” would actually be plus-size in itself, no?  This is crazy, isn’t it?  Like, who the hell really comes up with this crap?  They either need to get their facts straight or change the definition entirely to something a little less contradictory and insulting.

More BS than Bathing Suits

Not that I follow the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition announcements much, but I do recall all the Kate Upton hoopla, and backlash from the fat shaming community she received after she the landed her SI cover.  I have said this before, but I think people should be proud of their figures, regardless of their size.  I think that self-acceptance is key and that we cannot get caught up in the whirlwind of media pressure to look a certain way.  However, HOW can the folks at Sports Illustrated honestly call Robyn Lawley PLUS-SIZE?  It’s just insane, seriously.  I mean, it’s Sports Illustrated, so whatever, but I can’t help but get continuously annoyed at a magazine that will take a HUGE (no pun intended) leap forward by featuring a plus-size swimwear company featuring plus-size model, Ashley Graham, for the first time, but not have Ms. Graham as an actual model IN the magazine.  I keep telling myself I’m not going to continue to get annoyed by these things, but it’s SO infuriating.

When I was younger, I looked in magazines and constantly felt inadequate.  I have since decided I don’t give a sh** so much, but there are still so many people out there who do compare themselves to ridiculous and impossible (hello, photoshop?) ideals of beauty.  Both Ashley Graham and Robyn Lawley are gorgeous and have amazing figures, and at the end of the day they are both featured in the pages of Sports Illustrated between its covers.  However, wouldn’t it have been nice to have the woman pictured below on the cover instead of keeping her confined to an advertising campaign?  If Ashley Graham is good enough for your advertising demographic, Sports Illustrated, then she is good enough for your actual content pages, in my opinion.

Why can’t this girl make the actual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition? (photo credit Swimsuits For All)

Okay, I’m done.  Just needed to vent.  Thanks, you guys!

Will this s*** ever end?!

Do you feel that the definition of “plus size” is ridiculous? Does the fact that a very tall woman who is a size 12 is considered “plus size” get under your skin? Do you care?

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How to Breakup with your Stuff

Linking Up and Breaking Up.

A great thing about blogging is OTHER bloggers.  I LOVE linkups, and was happy that over the past couple of weeks, by expanding my personal blog reading horizons, I’ve been introduced to some fun new places to interact with other bloggers!

Today, I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for…


Thinking-Out-Loud2

 

How to breakup with your stuff.

For those of you who don’t know, I got married back in November.  My husband, Luke, is Scottish.  So, right now, I am in the process of packing up my life to move to Glasgow to live with him.  When I say “pack up my life” I literally mean, sift through the remains of all my days.  I have come to terms with the fact that I am somewhat of a hoarder.  NOT like a hoarder who hasn’t found their bed in a decade, but in the sense that I keep a whole lot of things I needn’t be keepin’!

After losing my father to cancer in 2011, I started to realize just how crazy “things” are.  I mean, not to be morbid, but staring at all of my dad’s belongings really made me think, “why do we need all this crap?”  Sure, some things make you happy (for a while) or enhance your health, but honestly, I’d say (purely speaking for myself right now) that 95% of what I’ve been holding on to for the last decade or so, has got to go, like, right quick.

stuff

Life liquidation.

I know there are a lot of tips and tricks out there for sifting through your years (or decades, in my case) old crap.  However, my situation is that I am leaving the country and most of my belongings have been lingering at my family home for decades.  I know, it’s terrible, but whatevs, I’m dealing with it.  You may not be moving to another continent or even leaving your current place of residence, but if you’re looking to make some space and declutter your life, here’s my tips for success.  Since you know, I’m finally successful at getting rid of s***.

  • If you haven’t used it in 18 months, toss it.  Also, if you cannot see a use for this in the coming 12 months, toss it.  
I have literally had this in my possession for 24 years.

I have literally had this in my possession for 24 years.

  • If it’s from an ex, you should have burned that item the minute they burned you.  Laugh, rip, burn.  Repeat.  Actually, just get a shredder, no permit required.

hell. yes.

  • I know they say, “some things never go out of style” — yeah, some things really do.  If the only time your clothing item in question could be given any sort of love is for a casting call for a movie made 2-3 decades before today’s date, toss it.  Of course, there are exceptions…
decide, you will.

decide, you will.

  • It’s of sentimental value.” “My grandma gave me that for my sixth birthday.” Okay, believe me, my house is practically flammable at the moment packed with these types of items.  What are you to do when faced with this dilemma?  I was a super nerd, and hit up google to see what professional organizers suggest you should do with items like these.  Check it out.

So, as you can imagine, I’ve been having a deranged photo shoot and texting my childhood friends all kinds of cray items.  I think that doing this is SUCH a good idea.

bye bye.

bye bye.

I haven’t limited my digitization of goods to just toys and clothes, no, I have been burning old CDs and DVDs to my spare hard drive as well (I totally need my Cardigans tunes!)  I also realize that, I’m probably the only person in the free world who has not burned my CDs and DVDs to an external drive.  I feel like such a winner, because I have finally joined the audio/visual club!

john bender gif

Do you keep a lot of stuff? How do you determine what stays and what goes? Do you think I’m crazy?

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