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Friday Favorites: A New Beginning

Friday Favorites: A New Beginning

Hey guys! I know, it’s been a few weeks or so. BUT my life has pretty much been turned upside down (but mostly in a good way). I’ve accepted a new job that I’m pretty much jumping up and down excited for. My last day at the job I’ve had for almost six years is today and while I’m glad to be moving on to a new chapter.

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As my career gets a huge boost, it also means venturing into some new territory and challenges. And this girl is up for it! Ever since I broke the news to my director, I’ve been hitting the gym to clear my head and to help boost my confidence as I become the new kid on the block. To say that I’m pumped would be an understatement. I’m slowly getting back into my running game too. I’ve been cleared by my physical therapist to run as long as my pain level isn’t too high and if I do a number of my PT stretches before and after.

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The weather here in Chicagoland always makes me want to do cartwheels down my driveway. The sun!! Heat!! It exists!! I’ve been taking it slow so I don’t aggravate my injury and to focus on my recovery. I don’t expect to smash any PRs anytime soon, but just to be able to get out there and run is a blessing in itself.

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Also, another Friday Favorite….NEW ACTIVEWEAR. We’ve gone over this, I’m an addict. I’d live in this stuff all day if I could. Oh wait, I pretty much already do. So let’s go over my recent haul….

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Sports Authority is closing a bunch of stores AND I had to return something….so that equals a whole lot of happiness. Those Under Armour knit joggers….ladies….RUN don’t walk….to your local sporting goods store for a pair. Not kidding. They’re worth every single penny. They are so comfortable and great to do yoga, pilates or to just lounge in while overdosing on thin mints and Netflix. (Yeah go ahead and tell me that you ignored that 5-year-old in front of your grocery store selling Girl Scout cookies.) The Nike pro 2-in-1 sports bra tank is amazing too. It seems pricey but think of it this way, it’s a tank plus a sports bra. It’s super lightweight for those really hot, summer training days. You can find links to everything here:

Under Armour Women’s Downtown Knit Jogger Pants
Under Armour Women’s Play Up Shorts
Under Armour Twist Tech Graphic Tank Top
Nike Pro Cool Shorts
Nike 2-in-1 Pro Inside Loose Tank Top

I’ve also been participating in this challenge to bring awareness to suicide of veterans. You may have seen my posts on my social media pages. I challenge all of YOU to also participate! Here’s how it works:

A new video will be posted each day for the next 22 days, each with someone new being challenged.
-video yourself executing 22 pushups to your ability level.
-Post the video to facebook and other social media using the hashtags above.
-Tally your pushups (i.e. a group of 4 people in the video would look like this#88PushUps for #22Kill.
-Call out your friends, family, battle Buddies… The POTUS, anyone… the sky is the limit. The goal is to raise awareness for our Service Members who are battling this demon.

The organizations at the links below are raising the bar in creating a culture that OUR Veterans know their sacrifice was not in vain.

To participate visit
www.22kill.com
Share this noble cause
honorcouragecommitment.org
This organization promotes Veteran Entrepreneurship.
Help spread the word.

I’m currently on day 3, but my first video is definitely a Friday favorite since Luigi attempted to mess up my game….

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend! TGIF!!!

Linking up with Amanda!

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Cheers!

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Fat to Fit: More Gym & Less Tonic

Fat to Fit: More Gym & Less Tonic

So I was reading Kathy’s awesome sauce blog of course at More Coffee, Less Talky, and was inspired to finally do a little update post….you know since this is more of a fitness/lifestyle blog even though a snap of my wine addiction or indulging in too many carbs may sneak in here and there.

I was going through my photos and BOOM exactly from almost one year ago today…I saw a photo that I just could NOT unsee. Now I started a healthier lifestyle back in college as some of you have known and got more into fitness bla bla bla. HOWEVER what I failed to notice after getting married….was that I let some of that weight creep back on. Okay not some, like A LOT. Seeing that was my “oh fuck no” moment. My “no more excuses” moment. My “bitch stop saying this is your cheat day when EVERYDAY has been a cheat day,” moment.

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See that there? That in my hand is some G&T…since then…I incorporated A LOT more GYM and a lot less tonic. See what I did there? Eh??

This is another gem that I found last year a couple of months earlier. HELLO holiday weight gain. You found me….and my gut.

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Now this might seem like a whole lot of bodyshaming, BUT when you’ve worked so hard only to go back to a very unhealthy version of yourself, some harsh reality needs to settle in. It’s a great reminder that it’s so easy to fall back into bad habits and correcting them is the key!

SO since then I jumped back on the wagon and stomped on the last Christmas cookie before my mouth could find it. Fitness is about 80% what you put in your body, folks. Hate to say it.  Ever since then, I’ve made smaller and healthier choices, limited eating out and due to running so much I just naturally ended up drinking more water and avoided alcohol to avoid getting dehydrated during my morning runs. So this happened.

Excuses are so easy too. Believe me, I’ve come up with most of them. “I’m tired. I worked all day. I’m too tired to cook. I’ll kill it at the gym tomorrow. Just one slice of pizza won’t hurt. Just one more glass of wine.”

The excuses slowly came to a stop, I’ve been focused on my goals…and well now this is a body I can be proud of. It’s a work in progress and I’m headed in the right direction.

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I’m proud of it because it says that I’m starting to treat it right, rather than like a trash can. I’ve been up every single morning despite my hamstring injury and working around it. No excuses. No shakes. No special pill. No special diet. No crazy cleanse. Just real food and some hard work at the gym.

Some easy changes I made:

  • Stop eating out (like stop it completely…controlling what is in your food is the most important thing to do) Plus it saves money!
  • Stop rewarding yourself with food…because really, are you a dog? Nope. If you hit a fitness goal, reward yourself with a mani/pedi, a new outfit, etc.
  • Eat on a smaller plate. It tricks the eye into thinking you grabbed more, when really, it’s less.
  • Keep your healthy lifestyle in full gear by staying focused on it every single day. Read a health article in the morning, don’t skip your scheduled workout, get a workout buddy that has similar goals.
  • Accept the fact that not everyday will be perfect. Some days you might slip up, you might not workout as hard as you wanted, but HEY there’s always tomorrow and you got this. It doesn’t mean you failed.
  • Sticking with raw foods is always a safe bet. When grocery shopping avoid the center aisles like the plague…or say…the Kardashians.

Oh and do it for the #@%^ shit you got hot. HA.

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Cheers!

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Birthday Weekend

Birthday Weekend

You guys!!! It’s my 28th birthday!! I was born on February 8, 1988. So many eights! So excuse me while I switch out my running tights for something a little more appropriate for the occasion.

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I believe in celebrating your birthday for the whole weekend…hell for the whole month! Especially if your actual birthday lands on a…Monday…womp womp. This weekend I got to spend time with some of my favorite people which made it really special. The hubs and I met up with my family at my favorite Mexican place, Mago. The margaritas you guys…to die for.

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Another awesome part about your birthday is you get a bunch of birthday discounts. In addition to Victoria’s Secret’s 30% sports bras sale, I also scored some awesome VS workout tights with my birthday coupon. I couldn’t say no.

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My sister and I spent the whole day together shopping and snagging deals. We shopped to severe exhaustion. To the point where even a venti latte with an extra shot couldn’t even save us. I may have spent a lot, but I saved even more so that counts for something right? I’ve become a clearance rack QUEEN.

I also didn’t let the Super Bowl overshadow my birthday weekend…okay it did a little bit. But it just gave me another excuse to inhale more calories. At least I burned quite a few running a Super Bowl Shuffle! I told myself that I was going to take it easy and run it slow…yeah well no that didn’t really happen. Although I did maintain a slower pace than I usually would, I was bad…and I’m paying for it now. My hammie tendon is screaming is quite angry with me. But I figured if I have to stop running while I’m in PT, I’m going to make this damn race count. And I was quite proud of myself. The last downhill was pretty hard on that tendon and I channeled my inner Beyonce and finished strong.

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I just realized something too. You can really tell the difference between a treadmill runner and one who usually runs outside throughout the year. I saw some runners in COATS and it was a beautiful 40 degrees outside! This is another reason why I love running outside throughout the year instead of running on a treadmill. Your body just gets used to the weather conditions which preps you to perform your best on race day.

I averaged an 8:47 minute mile and finished 7th in my age group and 170th overall out of over 400 people. Not too shabby for being injured. My playlist was on point too. An obvious requirement. Everything about this race was super. 😉

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After this birthday weekend fest full of amazingness and calories…I can’t wait to hit the gym tomorrow. #bloatedashell. #toomuchpizza.

This sums up my Super Bowl night.

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But really, that face-off between Beyonce and Bruno Mars during the halftime show….Beyonce could stomp him out with one flick of her heel.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Linking up with Biana today! More birthday updates to come!

 

Cheers!

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Wednesday Confessions…But Can I Run?

Wednesday Confessions…But Can I Run?

So you guys I have some really exciting news. Before I air out my dirty activewear for all to read about, I have to go over my dreaded appointment with my orthopedic specialist.

SO it’s no surprise that I was a nervous wreck waiting for my name to be called to see if my injury is in fact something more serious. I.e. I tore the shit out of my meniscus or something. I was asked all sorts of questions about the injury. “Yep I’m a long distance runner,” “Yes I usually run 60+ miles per month” “Yes I feel like someone jabbed my hammie tendon with a machete at times” “YES I WANT TO RUN AGAIN PLEASE TELL ME I CAN PLEASE!”

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Once all of that was said and done, I went in for an X-ray and waited….my doc came in, let me know that there was no apparent tear…(queue internal celebration.)

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After that huge relief, he continued to put pressure on several points on and around my knee to pinpoint where the pain was (I was able to bite back some obscenities while he hit the source of the pain) and determined that I had hamstring tendinitis and needed physical therapy. With this diagnosis, I then made it quite clear that I needed some answers such as:

Can I make this injury worse by running?

Answer: No. It would just prolong the healing process…

Say whhaatttt?

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Translation: Yes go ahead and run your 5k this Sunday. NBD.

Now I know, I know, I need to focus on healing it before any crazy long runs that I have ahead of me…but I confess….you bet your ass I’m running that damn 5k. All I need is to take a few Aleve, tape that shit up and I’m good to go. I obviously won’t be pushing my pace, I’ll be running at a very comfortable pace.

I confess that after the appointment, I took several pics of said X-ray and even hung it on the fridge. You know because while some people hang their kid’s drawings on there…I have this work of art.

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I confess that I won’t be starting physical therapy just yet because of running the 5k…but I cross my big runner heart that I’ll make my initial appointment next week.

I confess that although physical therapy is ordered for one month, I’ll be going for a few sessions to learn what I need to do and then do the rest on my own. Hell if I’m going to pay someone to tell me how to stretch my fucking legs for a whole month. #nope

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In other unrelated confession news, I confess that I get a little annoyed whenever the hubs asks me what I want for my birthday specifically…so basically all he has to do is hand over the money and wrap it up. His defense is that I’m really particular, my defense is that he’s known me for 10 fucking years. #gettoknowyourwife #ilikerunningshit #nothard

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I really just love it when I can tell that he put a lot of thought into something. He used to write me poems when we first started dating back in the day and it was the cutest thing ever and I still have ALL of them.

I confess I’ve been killing it at the gym err’ damn morning. Not even skipping a beat. Because well.. #goals and hell if I can stop binge eating these things.

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I confess I seriously fist pumped in the air after my first run in a damn MONTH because of this injury. I promised the hubs that I wouldn’t run until it either got better on its own or until I saw a doctor. Well guess what? My watch hit run o’clock as of yesterday morning. I can’t tell you the runner’s high I got afterward either. I’m such an addict…

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I confess that while I HATED not running, I did like that it forced me to pay attention to the neglected areas of my bod. I focused on my upper body and core and this girl is seeing some much-needed results. #jacked

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Linking up with these lovely ladies again!

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Cheers!

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Friday Favorites & Not So Favorites….

Friday Favorites & Not So Favorites….

Hooray it’s Friday! This week has been so emotionally exhausting so I’m really looking forward to this weekend where I can just do my own thing and focus on some changes. BUT let’s look into some of my favorites I’ve come across…especially since I’ve been perusing some birthday gift ideas…28 is around the corner and I’m all sorts of meh about it…

Standing desks: Since I do spend a crazy amount of time at my computer for work, I’ve been looking into these more. Medical experts have even equated sitting too long to smoking. Which I think is a little extreme…but it’s pretty scary. Standing more each day instead of sitting can help tone muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow, pumps up your metabolism and burns extra cals. Ummm yes please. I mean they do look a little bit odd, but I do like the desk converter models that you just set it up on top of your existing desk.

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Backpacks: Yes I’ve fallen hard for this trend and I’ve been looking at so many. Also because I’m a bag whore and can never have too many work bags.

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Music: I’ve really been digging Spotify’s acoustic covers and evening acoustic playlists have been my jam for some time now. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly suggest it. They’re totally on point with their mood playlists too.

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Workout: Well my not so favorite thing is that the tendon in my hammie is still injured and my IT band has been a whiny bitch (going to an ortho specialist on Monday) but KT tape is my savior. It gives me the added support I need throughout the day. Also, this injury is actually proving to be a really good thing for my upper body. #rippedstatus But really, I’ve been popping anti-inflammatory meds like M&Ms…not so good.

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This is my very first, seemingly long-term running injury so this has been pretty rough. As someone who averages clocking in about 80-90 miles per month hitting the pavement…my mental health is slowly on the decline. Running is my release! I NEED my next fix asap. No I’m not an addict…I’m even starting to get jealous of those running on dreadmills at the gym. It’s getting real guys.

I hope everyone is having a great Friday! TGIF! Linking up with Amanda!

Cheers!

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I Confess…I’m Inspired

I Confess…I’m Inspired

It’s hump day already guys and we’re in for another link-up and confession session with these lovely ladies.

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I confess I’m insanely inspired by the morning gym crew. Whenever I try to make excuses not to go, I think of this woman who KILLS it every single gym sesh. Yesterday morning, I decided to go up to her and tell her how awesome she was for coming in every single morning and kicking some major ass and how inspired I was by her. At first she looked at me as if I was 50 shades of cray. She said that she didn’t see how someone like her could inspire someone like me…I asked her what she meant by that and she just replied with, “because I’m almost three times your size.”

I confess….that broke my heart.

I told her that people like her are the most inspirational because I know that taking the first step into living more of a healthy lifestyle is the hardest.

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After our little exchange, I felt like she had an extra spring in her step. There’s nothing like spreading some kind words around and even if it’s just doing or saying something small. It’s like receiving exceptional customer service. Having a complete stranger go above and beyond for you. It doesn’t always come around so often, but when it does, I know that it adds some extra sunshine to my day, so why not do the same for other people?

confettiI confess I need to spread the happy some more. Everyone has this happiness confetti in their pocket and I’m making it a goal of mine to compliment or do something for someone each day. Whether it’s to take someone’s cart back for them at the grocery store or to say, “hey, you there, you look BEAUTIFUL today. I LOVE your outfit. Did you get your hair done? It looks Fabulous.”

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I confess that I also think we need to be a little nicer to ourselves. We can be our own worst enemy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve insulted my body…so…I feel like I need to apologize for calling it so many names. I mean really if it could just learn how to burn more calories while I slept we wouldn’t have so many mean conversations…just saying. Instead, this has to happen on the daily. Because well…#beastmode.

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How are you going to spread the happy today? What is one thing that is awesome about you?! Let me hear it!

Cheers!

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Friday Favorites: Morning Grind

Friday Favorites: Morning Grind

No, not like Miley Cyrus type of getting your grind on, but more like getting your workout done before half of the world wakes up. THAT kind of grind. Ever since I started to amp up my fitness game when I was in college, I had no choice but to workout at night after work/class/internship whatever I had going on during the week. HOWEVER now…that is changing. This week I decided that I’ve had enough of working out after work because you know what happens? Excuses happen. “It’s been a long day, I have to meet up with this person, I have to work on this, I have to work on that” you get the idea. But you know what doesn’t happen at 4:30 a.m. each morning? All of those excuses. Because what the hell needs to be happening at 4:30 a.m. other than kicking my ass out of bed to get my fitness on? So this week I switched to this new morning routine and even though the getting up process is a little hard, once I’m at the gym…I’m LOVING it. My running/cross training game is totally going to reach peak levels. I can feel it. My hubs on the other hand thinks I’m 50 shades of cray, but I’m never turning back.

I was all, “Why in the HELL have I waited so long to do this?!”You like my Blue Steel look guys?

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You might be wondering why I’m making such a huge deal about this. Well it’s not just because of the obvious reason of reaching fitness goals, but it just starts the day off in the best possible way. (Minus being a sweaty mess..make sure to shower)

I’ve read some pretty interesting articles/studies regarding the most successful people and everything they do even before they bite into a piece of toast that morning and exercising is one of them. Why? Well here are some benefits you can take away while counting those early morning reps instead of counting little sheep in bed.

  • Helps reduce stress throughout the day
  • Improves your sleep
  • Lower blood pressure throughout the day (therefore improving sleep)
  • Better sleep is believed to result in less stress…less stress may also positively affect your weight (helllooo stress eating anyone?)
  • I personally felt more alert throughout the day and didn’t even need that second or even first cup of coffee. Had my protein shake and I was out the door and going to work!

According to Business Insider, In a poll of 20 executives cited by Vanderkam, 90% said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, for example, wakes at 4 a.m. and is in the office no later than 7 a.m. Meanwhile, Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read, and Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30 to jog. So about those bananas?

If you’re not a morning person, don’t fret, it’s not everyone’s thing, it’s just worked wonders for me and if you’re into the idea of switching over to morning workouts too, I suggest trying it! As I always say, there’s never really a time where I regretted working out and I felt really shitty afterward. It’s a mood booster!

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Linking up with Amanda today!
Cheers!

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Weekend Recap

Weekend Recap

If you’re one of the lucky ones to enjoy today off, I envy you! But on with this weekend’s recap because while it was a tough one, I had some pretty awesome quality time with the bestie and fam.

Friday night was spent at home with the hubs and me trying to get him to drink one of my green smoothies…nope he wasn’t having it. I get an “A” for effort right? He probably thought I was trying to poison him. But really he’s been poisoning HIMSELF with all of that Pepsi crap! Yes, that will be my argument next time I stick a glass of green stuff in front of him. I’ll probably get the same look again. You know, like I’m cray.

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You know how I bitched and moaned about my hammie tendon being all strained and whatnot? Yeah well it’s still strained…BUT it’s getting a lot better. HALLELUJAH. On Saturday morning I was dying to get into the gym. I focused on stretching, my upper body and core. You know you run a lot when the second you walk into your gym that’s only a mile away from your house, people are asking where you’ve been and why haven’t you been out running around as usual. #injuredasshit although it’s tough not running, it’s pretty much forcing me to focus on areas that I’ve ignored for some time. I swear nothing feels good to expend all of that built up energy and stress! BOOM. Killed that workout! Now ask me if I could use my arms AT ALL….after taking this post-gym selfie of course.

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Although I had a great workout at the gym, I was thrown into a panic when I found out that I forgot my earbuds…that meant working out to the crap the gym usually plays and apparently being subjected to being approached by dudes who assumed it was a match.com meet-up hour. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for a friendly chat while lifting some weights, but once you start dropping some lines with the clear intention of wanting to do something else…BYE, FELICIA. Let me finish my workout please. K, thanks.

I’ve been motivated more than ever to focus on what I’m putting into my body and exercising each day. I mean, you only get one…so don’t treat it like a trash can. As I’m facing and coping with a lot of rough family health news, I want to make sure that I’m doing everything I can to stay healthy myself. And that goes for physical AND mental happiness. Connecting with the most important people with your life while hitting those fitness goals = one happy lady!

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Running has always helped with finding my happy place in a world full of chaos so it’s been tough knowing that I can’t just go and lace up my running shoes for a 10 mile run just because I feel like it. It’s even harder when I got these suckers delivered to me and I can’t run in them just yet! Look how pretty!

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Since I have quite a few miles until my other kicks are out of my rotation anyway, these will be my official marathon training shoes. It’s definitely nerve-wracking knowing that I have quite a few half marathons and one marathon already set in my calendar since it’s so easy to re-injure myself one hitting the pavement once again. It just means I have to work that much harder to make sure that doesn’t happen. I’ll be beast moding it all the live long day and every day going forward.

I couldn’t wait until Saturday afternoon since that meant I could get my hair done. FINALLY. Any girl knows that a hair appointment can really make you feel like a whole new person. What is it about cutting off those dead ends? I got those low-lights out and let me natural blonde shine a little more. Hellloooo sunny side up blondie!

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That night was followed by the most delicious salmon dinner in the world with the bestie and seeing The Forest with my sis. This movie definitely lived up to my expectations. It was freaky and made me jump at every little unexplained noise in the house once I got home. Damn those jump scares…

Sunday I got some quality time in with my parents and my sister. We went out for some breakfast and then shopping. I scored the best tank EVER in addition to some essentials. If I ever have a treat, these mint chocolate Quest bars are my JAM.

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It was negative degrees outside in Chicagoland on Sunday so it also called for comfy sweaters and my favorite Refresh Mint tea from Starbucks to defrost after going from store to store. Also, just look at that selfie rocking my best Blue Steel. Okay I’m done.

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I hope everyone had a great weekend! Linking up with Biana today!

Cheers!

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Words Of Wisdom

Words Of Wisdom

So today is Friday and the end of a tough week with some soul searching. I leave you with this!! Take risks, live life to its fullest and have ZERO regrets! We’re meant to live outside of our comfort zones in order to achieve greatness so smash through your comfort bubble and do something this weekend that’s a bit scary!

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What can you think of today that would totally be outside of your normal routine that you could also benefit from?? Unplug the TV? Leave your phone at home? Talk to a relative that you haven’t talked to in a long time? Apply for a new job? Start eating healthy? Be fearless no matter how small or big the risk is. 🙂

Cheers!

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Confessions of An Injured Runner

Confessions of An Injured Runner

So over the weekend I started to experience some pain with my hamstring tendon…for anyone who has experienced a strain in this tendon…you also know that it hurts like a bitch. It pretty much makes working out and running impossible. So here are my confessions as of late since I’ve had to succumb to being a lazy couch potato until this pain subsides…and it better be SOON.

::I confess I’ve been coloring. You know in one of those coloring books for adults that are all the rage these days. You guys, if you haven’t snagged one of these yet, what the hell are you waiting for? It’s like I can pretend that I’m no longer an adult for a few hours while I color inside the lines snuggled up with my blankets. Can someone PLEASE bring me some fruit snacks?!

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::I confess the only good thing about this injury is that the hubs is willing to shovel the snow in these subzero temps. And of course I’m unable to help at all due to my weakened condition.

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::I confess that I’ve never been so annoyed in my life not being able to workout or run. I have way too much built up energy and I have nowhere to put it. Whenever one of my fav songs comes on I’ve had to resort to jamming out like this…

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::I confess that not being able to workout also means me being a raging, irritable biotch because of it. Working out = stress relief = people live another day without facing my wrath. Today is not that day.

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It really makes me feel all the feels. I prefer to sweat those feels out, lift heavy stuff and call it a day. But no…#fuckinginjury

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::I confess not working out feels like not showering in the morning. I feel gross, dirty, unkempt…UGH make this go away! I’ve learned my lesson to cross train more in between runs I swear!!! I can’t Kanye shrug my way through another week of this.

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::I confess I secretly want every other runner’s legs to blow out as well as I see them happily running by my house because I’m jelly to the max about it. Okay not really…I’m just watching out my window…just wishing that happy runner was me…*sniffle

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:: I confess I’m now cursing my cocky “I never get sick/injured” self for downgrading on my health insurance. I’ll be paying off future med bills for life if this is more of a serious issue #brokeassbitchstatus.

So here’s to hoping that I get to hoard newsfeeds sooner rather than later with post-run selfies. Send good vibes this way and hope this hammie gets its shit together asap!

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Linking up with these lovely ladies this week!

humpday

Hashtaghumpdaysm_zpsc121607a

Cheers!

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