9 Days to Go!

The ten-day forecast says….

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In other words…perfect.  Let’s hope it stays that way!  I specifically wanted to get married in May because it’s not hot, but not chilly either, and really, I can’t ask for more than mid-sixties. 

So, also, I bought this dress in Napa and I think it’s super cute.  So I took a picture.

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It has some cute pleating on the shoulders.  V-neck wrap dresses are my absolute favorite clothing item ever—I’m pretty sure they flatter EVERYONE, and they’re so comfortable.

Anyway, work was kind of crazy today.  I had to be at an event from 12-1 (my normal lunchtime) BUT I still wanted to go to the gym at lunch.  So, in the morning, I had some Chobani with strawberries and GoLean Crunch before I left.  Then, I went to the gym and did some lifting.  I WANTED to run today, but, strangely, I woke up this morning with shin splints (mostly in my left leg).  Uhh…okay.  After a rest day?  That makes sense.  So, weights it was.  In no particular order…

  • Squats: 3 X 12 @ 115 lbs.
  • Overhead shoulder press: 3 X 12 @ 30 lbs. 
  • Deadlifts: 3 X 12 @ 70 lbs.
  • Upright row: 3 X 12 @ 40 lbs.  (an increase!)
  • Underhand grip pulldowns: 3 X 12 @ 48 lbs.
  • Wide grip lat pulldowns: 3 X 12 @ 48 lbs.
  • Chest press: 3 X 12 @ 50 lbs.

This was kind of a quickie because I was short on time—I had to rush off to a 2 o’clock meeting! 

Luckily, it was a phone meeting.  So had some delicious, delicious spinach with this:

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I really love Newman’s Own salad dressings!  They are super yummy and the ingredients aren’t scary.  I have to say, I think this one is my favorite.  I also had a multigrain bagel with the salad.  (And yes, I keep a whole bottle in the work fridge now.  It’s easier.)

And, for an afternoon snack, name that bar:

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Came home to some fun wedding presents!

A roasting pan!  I predict many, many chickens going in this one.

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And the ice cream maker attachment for our KitchenAid Mixer.  Oh yes.  With summer coming, I will make my own ice cream at least once SO HELP ME GOD before it gets cold again.

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No box is safe in our house, though.

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We’re down to the last two delinquent RSVPers and Tim is going to call them tonight.  It’s been a nice, calm day wedding wise, thank goodness.  I’m really excited to see everyone coming into town for it!  I made mani/pedi appointments (and I’m REALLY nervous about getting a pedicure, what with my black nail and the like), and that’s about it.  We’re getting close, folks!

What’s your favorite salad dressing?

Lunchtime workout

So, lately…I’ve kind of been resenting the gym a little bit.  I have STUFF to do at home, what with, y’know, the wedding and all.  I also admit that the combination of our upcoming nuptials and being so busy/traveling so much have me feeling like a clingy koala bear and I want to spend as much time with Tim as possible.   If I go to the gym…I don’t get home until 6:30, have to shower, and basically make the quickest dinner possible.  Normally I don’t mind, but I just haven’t been feeling it lately.

But, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to work out.  Au contraire!  I’ve been craving a good workout all weekend.  So, today, I randomly decided to work out over my lunch hour!  My gym is only 0.4 miles away (according to Google) from my office, and the weather was nice. 

So, I had a little snack around 11:30:

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And at noon, I changed in my office, ran to the gym, and worked out!

I ran the 0.4 miles to the gym, then 1.5 miles on the treadmill.  (I decided to keep the run short to see how my knee/leg felt.  It felt awesome!  I’m going to try longer tomorrow.)  Then, I hit the weights and did…

  • 3 sets of 12 squats at 95 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 12 shoulder presses at 30 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 10 overhead lat pulldowns at 60 lbs
  • 3 sets of 10 underhand grip pulldowns at 60 lbs
  • 3 sets of 12 upright rows at 30 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 10 deadlifts at 40 lbs.

And sprinted the 0.4 mile back to my office.  All in all, it was quite a good workout—I think I’m going to keep this up, at least for the foreseeable future!  Obviously it won’t work for longer runs, but it’s definitely do-able, especially while the weather is nice.

I do need to make sure to bring some kind of powder for my face, some kind of body spray, and a change of undies for next time, though!  (I already keep deodorant and face wipes in my desk.)

I promptly devoured the rest of my lunch. 

Spinach with balsamic…

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A multigrain bagel…

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And Greek yogurt with strawberries and a little GoLean crunch.

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Around 4:00 I snacked on a Chocolate Raspberry Luna Bar.  Is it just me, or are they getting smaller? 0426 005

All in all, I was home and showered by 5:45.  Love the new routine!  I felt nice and cozy and worn out all afternoon, too, rather than antsy and eager to get up and move.

In wedding news, my mom sent me a picture of the flower girl basket she’s devised:

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And we are still waiting on six RSVPs.  Yaaargh.  This is seriously driving me nuts!  DUDE.   

What time of day do you prefer to work out?

Flexibility is fun

Hi, everyone.  The benefit of a Monday off is that every day always feels earlier!  It felt like a Tuesday, but it’s Wednesday!  How ‘bout that.

After being on the road last week, I was craving fresh fruits and veggies…so that was my lunch.  I ate a huge bowl of cantaloupe, a spinach salad, and a pile of fresh strawberries.  (Some went on my Chobani, some went on my salad!)  I also had a sandwich thin with almond butter.  Seriously, since I’ve been home, all I’ve wanted is fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, and eggs.  WTF?  I’ll go with it, though.

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Also, Operation Tooth-Stainy Stuff Free Day One was a success.  No coffee or diet Coke.  Hooray!  One down, sixteen to go.

After work I hit up the gym for the first times in awhile!  It felt good to be back.  The only exercise I’ve done since my half on the 10th was one trail run in Napa with my sister, and lots of recreational walking on vacation.

Unfortunately, when I started running…pain.  My left knee, outside of my left shin, and my left ankle started throbbing.  So, after a mile, I realized, “Hey!  You’re not specifically training for a  race right now!  Go do something less taxing on your leg!” and decided to hit the weights for the first time in for-ev-er instead.  As much as I like having a schedule and being in serious training mode, it’s nice to have a little bit of flexibility.

So, I went to the weight room and gave my upper body a quick  beating like so:

  • 3 sets of 12 overhead presses using 15 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 12 deadlifts using 30 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 12 upright rows using 15 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 12 squats using 25 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 12 bench presses using 20 lb. dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 12 lat pulldowns at 48 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 12 underhand grip lat pulldowns at 48 lbs.
  • 2 sets of 12 reverse crunches holding a 25 lb. plate

Yowza.  My upper body feels like jelly!  It’s been far too long since I’ve hit the weights, but it felt good to do something different.  Also, my arms are really the only flesh that will be exposed in my dress, so they might as well look rockin’. 

I came home and we’d gotten a fun package from My Blog Spark of some most excellent goodies for me to try.  Buckley preferred the box.

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Speaking of which, in honor of Earth Week, visit Cascadian Farm on Facebook and make a pledge to be more eco-friendly!  They will donate $1 to the Organic Farming Research Corporation for every pledge.  Cool, huh? 

Anyhoo.  Have a great night, all!

Do you prefer to be on a workout schedule or do you like going with the flow in the gym?

Girls just wanna have fun

I woke up this morning at 8:30 after having gone to bed last night at, oh…9:30.  I was exhausted!

I put on my running clothes and woke Milhouse up, fully intending to go for a 3 mile dog jog.

Then I got outside.  It was rainy, and windy, and cold, and muddy, and Milhouse started whining to go inside almost immediately.  I thought “I have to run…but I don’t want to!” and had a minor panic attack.

Milhouse dragged me back inside and I had a bowl of Kashi and flipped on a little Stacy & Clinton.  I was already dressed for a workout, so I felt especially bad about skipping.

Then it dawned on me.  I can work out inside!  Suddenly, the idea of some indoor, at-home strength training in front of the TV sounded PERFECT.  It’s not running, but I’ve been neglecting weights of all kinds for the last few weeks, and I’ve missed them. 
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I set the oven timer for 30 minutes and grabbed my yoga mat and 2 8 pound weights (the heaviest I have at home, sadly).  I improvised a 30 minute weight circuit, repeating the following circuit 6 times in a row:

  • Weighted squats for 1 minute
  • Upper body move (shoulder press, flies, rows) for 1 minute
  • Abs (bicycle crunches, planks, reverse crunches) for 1 minute
  • Weighted lunges for 1 minute
  • Upper body move (bicep curls, skull crushers, chest press) for 1 minute

0313 002 It was a really great idea and I’m glad I did it!  I would have been crabby and unhappy for the half hour if I had gone running, but I had a lot of fun doing this!  I’ve missed weight training since I’ve been so running-centric lately.   And I must have done something right, because by the end I was pouring sweat and shaky. 

Then I went for a massage.  While the massage itself was great, the whole experience was ruined for me by how pushy they were for tips the whole time.  I’ve worked in the service industry, and I understand that tips are important, but this just came across really grabby to me:

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Combined with envelopes with GRATUITY on them in the rooms, and the “How much gratuity would you like to add?” question at check-out, I will not be going back.  Not worth it. 

At least my legs feel a little bit better.

Then I went shopping.  Ann Taylor Loft had a big sale today, and I noticed they’d gotten more stock in since last time I’d been, so I figured why not.

MAJOR SCORE!  I wound up with a shower dress, a dress for my downtown bachelorette party,  a dress for Napa Valley, a necklace, earrings, and headband for 50% off…which amounted to maybe $15 more than just my first shower dress cost. 

For the shower:

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And for my bachelorette party night out in Chicago:

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And for bumming around Napa Valley:

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I’m definitely a dress person in the spring and summer, so these will be re-worn on our honeymoon and various other ways while the weather is nice.  I hate wearing shorts—I can never find pairs that fit me in both the waist and thighs, so I own a lot of summery sundresses.  I think they’re cuter and cooler than shorts anyway!

I got home and spent the afternoon  watching Precious:

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Good movie, but sad.  As expected.  I also wrote some thank-you notes.

Buckley’s taken up residence on the back of my chair for the time being:

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Tonight?  Homemade pizza for one and bumming around.  Glorious!

Anyone else get any good shopping deals this weekend?

Flashback Friday Vol. IV: How I Got Smart

Sorry guys.  Flashback Friday’s been on hold for awhile because of the holidays, travel, et cetera!  But I’m back, with the story I promised–how I went from skinny fat, injured, and unhealthy, to healthy, muscley, and strong.

So, as you know, in December 2008 I was 150 pounds.  I was also “skinny fat”–the phenomenon where you weigh a low number, but you’re squishy and jiggly still because you have a high body fat percentage and no muscle.  Through Livestrong.com, I discovered the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women.  As you know, I love plans.  Frankly, I was tired of running 6 miles a day, 6 days a week.   And the idea of being “allowed” to eat 2000 calories a day sounded like heaven.  So, I plunged myself wholeheartedly into the program.

And here is where I post progress pictures.  From last year.  In a bikini.  I realize I in no way live up to a lot of the super-fitness bloggers out there, but I am very proud of how my body changed over this program.  Here I am at the beginning:

And the end:

(I cropped my face out for safety reasons.  Also, I look like a huge tool.)

The biggest changes I saw physically were in my upper body.  I still have very well-defined shoulders and biceps even though I lift only once a week or so these days.   My thighs will always be huge, but they definitely got more muscular, and I think I successfully took my waistline in a bit as well.  I also generally looked firmer and less jiggly all over.

But I saw even bigger changes mentally.  This program taught me the following things:

  • It’s okay to eat. Really.  Eat lots of good food.  Your body needs it to get stronger.
  • The number on the scale doesn’t matter. I gained five pounds on this program and my jeans were falling off.
  • Don’t be afraid of the weight room. So many women are terrified of lifting heavy weights, but I was never once treated badly by a man there.  In fact, I got a lot of respect.  I once had two women approach me asking if I could train them!  Just go in with a plan, ignore everyone else, and do your thing.
  • Never lift weights lighter than your purse. Or a Christmas ham.
  • Lifting heavy will not make you sprout a peen. Women develop pretty, feminine muscles, and do not look like men without the assistance of steroids.
  • And most importantly, skinny =/= healthy. Anyone can be skinny.  Being healthy, to me, requires a balanced approach to food and exercise.

This book changed my life, and I’m so glad I did this program.  I can’t recommend it enough.

How do you achieve a balanced healthy outlook?  Do you ever struggle with it?

Banana Face

Today’s post title is brought to you by my morning snack.

I brought a banana and a teeny raisin box for a morning snack today, and I suddenly remembered that my mom used to do this for me when I was little to make fruit-eating fun.  She would even give them hair, and buttons out of raisins.  What a mom!

Banana Face was delicious, anyway.  Raisins and bananas are a good combo!  When I was little I’d always get fruit salads from dessert made of chopped apples, banana slices, raisins, and peanuts.  I wish I had an apple and another banana to make one!  Talk about nostalgia.

Today’s run was supposed to be a 3.5 miler on the treadmill.  But I got to the gym and it was insanely crowded–all the treadmills were full, and the track was closed for track practice.   I stood around for a few minutes seeing if anyone would hop off, but it didn’t happen.  So…I juggled and decided to make today tomorrow’s weights day instead!  Voila:

  • 10 minutes on the elliptical at butt-searing resistance
  • Squats, 3 X 12 at 135 lbs.
  • Overhead shoulder press, 3 X 12 at 20 lbs.
  • Lateral raises, 3 X 12 at 20 lbs.
  • Deadlifts, 3 X 12 at 40 lbs.  (the heavier weights were ALL being used!  Weird!)
  • Upright rows, 3 X 12 at 40 lbs.
  • Reverse crunches, 12 @ 25 lbs. (these killed my back for some reason, in a moderately uncomfortable way, so only one set.)
  • Prone jackknives, 2 X 12
  • Swiss ball crunches,  2 X 12

It wasn’t what I was planning, but it wound up being a nice little full body workout!  I already feel a little wiggly.  I’ll get to the 3.5 miles tomorrow.

Anyway, lately I have been feeling a little…rundown?  I don’t think that’s the word, but I was super tired yesterday and I’m really quite tired again today.  Plus, I woke up with a stuffy nose this morning, which is never a good sign (although I feel fine otherwise).  Friday and Saturday are going to be rest days to the max after tomorrow’s run.  I want my legs to be nice and fresh for Sunday’s 10K, and I feel like I need lots and lots of sleep before then.

Also, random note: I’ve given up my lunchtime Diet Coke.  I got into a two-a-day habit for awhile, but I’ve gone back down to just one for the last two weeks and I’m feeling good.  I know none is best, but that never seems to stick for me.  One is better than two!

In wedding news, I asked my mother to take charge of finding me some earrings.  I bought a pair, but I wasn’t crazy about them, and she is great at finding jewelry.  Plus, with her job, she basically shops 5 days a week!  She sent them to me and they came today.

What do you think?  I really, really like them.  I think they’re fancy enough that I don’t need a necklace, but not so busy that they’ll take away from my dress or fascinator.  Go mom!

What is your mom really good at? My mom is a great jewelry matcher and banana face maker, obviously, but she is also a really talented baker!  Her caramel brownies are to die for.

Fast Friday

Quick update! We have houseguests a-comin’.

Today was crazy insane busy at work. No lunch, so I left at four.

The theme of the gym today was REST YOUR LEGS. I did the super-speedy Fitnessista Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps Workout.  Minus the dips, because for some reason dips scare the bejeezus out of me.

Then I left under the guise of going to the grocery store before our friends showed up.  I happened to make a quick stop at TJ Maxx, and found a pair of Cole Haan Nike Air dress shoes for $29.  No idea if they’re authentic, but they’re definitely comfy!  Woo.

And also my super cute (AND OMG comfortable) new Clarks came from Zappos!

I both love and hate Tim for buying six boxes of Girl Scout Cookies from someone at work.

I can avoid the Thin Mints and PB Sandwiches no problem…but PB Patties are the best.

Anyway, off to straighten up.  What’s your favorite cookie?