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Goal Digger

Goal Digger

Hello blog world! We’re almost one month into 2017! How are you doing with those resolutions? Goals? I’d like to take some time out to say that I’ve been more determined than ever to achieve my fitness goals and to categorize my needs over what are just wants. Like I said in my previous post, one huge goal I have for myself is to stop spending ruthlessly and be more mindful of my spending no matter how small the amount is. I’ve noticed even just a month in, that I now have more to spend on things that I NEED and to lead the healthier lifestyle that I want. I live for my boxing classes and if my budget didn’t allow for it anymore….well…just no.

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We all have those things that keep us on our A game, keep us sane, totally relieve us of all the stress that the world causes us…working out is totally the answer to ALL of that. It’s my time to think about NOTHING else but me. It’s actually when I think of my best ideas, my next step forward etc. However, although I know that working out does all of this for me mentally and physically…sometimes it’s really really hard to workout after a long day at work if I didn’t get up early enough to workout that morning. So here are some things I do/say to myself to get me motivated:

1. Why am I doing this?
2. I’m letting myself down if I don’t go.
3. I know that I’m going to regret not going, not if I do.
4. If I go, I’m one step closer to achieving my goals.
5. Working out will make me stronger.
6. If I don’t go, I’m only hurting myself.
7. Going will make me feel good. Period.
8. If I go, all of this stress will melt right off of me.
9. I’m robbing myself of a better lifestyle.
10. Just go! You have 24 hours in a day. You can spend one on yourself.

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Or some other things that I do is put on a goal dress/ piece of clothing that I might have in the closet. That’ll always make me slap my Nikes on faster than anything else. Also, I have way too much activewear in my closet to NOT workout. Also I love Jimmy Johns way too much not workout. And wine. One 6oz glass of wine is about 120 cals.

Even Luigi is a carbovore. But really though, it’s been a work in progress cutting down the carbs and amping up the protein. I’ve been adding more strength training days each week and my diet really needs to reflect that.

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The hardest part is telling that little voice in your head to shut the fuck up when it says, “yes you are really hungry and sure you can have a piece of pizza…or three. YES do have a chip…A CHIP? Yeah that won’t happen. How about half the bag? This little voice is the main reason why I need to be mentally aware of my goals 24/7. Being a part of a great running group (RunJunKeEs), subscribing to health and fitness magazines to constantly be conscious of leading a healthy lifestyle, going to fitness classes, and talking to like-minded people who are fitness-focused are all ways that I’ve set myself up to lose another 25lbs by this summer.

I’m totally in this….and Luigi has my back.

And trolling my selfies for life.

Cheers!!

Christmas Party Marathoning!

Christmas Party Marathoning!

Christmas went as fast as it arrived! It’s my favorite time of year by far, even with all of the stress that it brings. Every single year I realize how truly blessed I am for the family and friends that are in my life. The hubs’ family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve and my family celebrates on Christmas Day so it allows us to spend time with both sides. Let the holiday party marathon begin! We were ready.

 

We didn’t have to prepare much on Christmas Eve, but for my family gathering, I was in charge of the mac and cheese this year…for over 20 people. This is obviously a staple for kids so I could NOT mess this up. When food assignments went out this year, I was shocked to find out that we were assigned an actual food dish (a sign you’re moving up) and really I have no idea how this happened but it did. I mean it’s only mac and cheese, but I’ve never prepared anything for that many people in my life. Suddenly I felt like I was preparing a five-course meal for an army and the whole day relied on the success of my mac and cheese. (Ludacris, I know.)

So I found a crock pot mac and cheese recipe so it would stay warm enough until we got to our destination. Let me tell you, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown with how this homemade mac and cheese recipe was going. It looked like a milky mess, it was overflowing since my dumbass didn’t consider the capacity of my crockpot in relation to how many servings I was making, and the NSYNC Christmas album blaring through the speakers wasn’t even enough to lower my anxiety. Once I mixed all of the ingredients together, all I could do was cross my fingers and wait for the 3 hours it required to cook. Luckily it actually turned into something that looked like a delicious dish of mac and cheese. Yes, that was a long explanation, but it was completely necessary…I couldn’t be held responsible for being the reason why mac and cheese wasn’t on the menu. It turned out to be a big hit (I’m sure the calorie count topped a million per serving, so how could it not?) Holla.

Now that we mention calories, can we NOT talk about how many calories I drank within the past two days? Okay thanks. My cousin has a mean wine cellar in her basement too so how the hell could I not indulge? Wine cals aside, I did minimize the damage done by the countless Christmas cookies strewn about each house we went to for the Christmas festivities. TRAPS EVERYWHERE. I thanked my lucky stars that my boxing gym was open on Christmas Eve to get one kick ass workout in before all of this started.

They’re easier to avoid though while you’re busy talking with your favorite people, like this guy. #daddysgirlforlife.

One of the family traditions is to have a white elephant type gift exchange where the gift could either be awesome or a dud. My inner coffee-a-holic was screaming when I was lucky enough to score some amazing, specialty coffee complete with an insulated travel mug. #winning.

After the gift exchange we had to party hop on over to my mom’s side of the family to not only celebrate Christmas, but to celebrate my cousin’s birthday who was in from LA. Lucky for her, she didn’t have to experience the -12-degree weather!

More laughs were shared, caught up with family, more food was consumed (including my mom’s homemade Swedish meatballs…YUM) gift exchange #2. By this time, I think Josh and I were both going into a food/wine coma. It’s always so hard to leave family, especially since leaving means that Christmas is over! NOOOO!!! Why can’t this holiday just last forever? Everything is sparkly, and I for one could listen to Christmas music all day everyday.

One of my favorite gifts aside from my handy new laptop from the hubs, (it’s so shiny and pretty), are my new rose gold Nike kicks. My sis hit it BIG with this gift. Give me rose gold everything. I was obsessing over these ever since I saw them and now I have them! EEE! I have the best fam ever.

My other fav gift came from my mom. I’ve been eyeing the Marc Jacobs petal to the medal handbag forEVER. And now, thanks to my WAY too generous mom, this baby is in my closet!

The day after Christmas was spent in max recovery mode, meaning getting a normal amount of sleep and running off those wine cals. Did I mention how I couldn’t put on my running shoes fast enough? It was 50 degrees and sunny in Chicago! Whattt?! It was the best ever.

But now, everyone in the house is all “boo Christmas is over” and Luigi is having some serious post-Christmas blues.

Don’t worry Luigi, one of the perks of having a fake Christmas tree is that we can keep it up until March. Baha! I hope everyone got the chance to enjoy the holidays and spent them with loved ones! Let the holiday detox continue!

Cheers!

 

Spreading Holiday Cheer

Spreading Holiday Cheer

It’s almost Christmas. Presents and gift wrapping paraphernalia is everywhere, Christmas movies are on rotation, the NSYNC Christmas album is on queue, and holiday parties have begun. My first Christmas party at my current job was great. I mean, wow. Even with the freezing cold weather, it was worth it. The food and open bar was great, the hubs got to meet all of my coworkers (we played a game where he had to guess who was who based on what I’ve told him), we won $100 for participating in the dance competition (yes that happened), and the view was phenomenal. I love my city.

And victory, I managed to fit into my dress that I scored on Black Friday. (I’ve been avoiding holiday treats like the plague). As much as I’ve hated to admit it, focusing more on my eating habits than counting how many miles I get in each day has paid off a lot more. Shhh…don’t let my Sauconys hear you.

I celebrated by drinking my weight in wine….I mean…I totally monitored my wine consumption. Yes, MyFitnessPal, I only had 2 6-oz glasses of wine…*cough. The hubs and I had a blast.

We got back home at around 3 a.m. and passed the hell out. We were supposed to go to the Bears/Packers game…but I have a rough time wanting to watch a whole game in the comfort of my warm home, so knowing that it was going to be the coldest game in NFL history. Both of us came to a consensus, “fuck that shit” and slept in. With how the Bears have been playing, I would have been tempted to charge the field and punch every player in the face with my frozen fists had I endured that weather only to see them lose. Again.

Instead, this.

 

The hubs and I exchanged gifts already since we’re always so busy to have time to ourselves around Christmas Eve/Day. The guy totally outdid himself this year. He got me a new laptop so I can entertain the idea of my 2017 goal. Write a book. It’s happening guys. I’ve been thinking about it for so long, but I’ll be making it a reality in 2017.  I’m determined to make 2017 the best year yet. I have the foundation already built, I just need to continue that path. From my boss telling me that I’m the best 2016 hire at the company to also hitting quite a few fitness goals I set for myself, focusing on the positive things will only leave more room for good things to happen.

There are many goals and aspirations I have for 2017, I’m determined. What are your goals for 2017? I’m all for several smaller, obtainable changes that still make a big impact. Sometimes celebrating the smaller victories are more satisfying and keep you on track. Thoughts? How are you going to make a splash in 2017?

 

Cheers!

 

Christmas Time is Here!

Christmas Time is Here!

So many good vibes this weekend. First, the weekend kicked off with a ladies day/night full of Christmas shopping and seeing Hamilton. I’ve been DYING to see this production and it was nothing short of amazing.

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It was unlike any other musical I’ve seen. My sister, mom and I were laughing and crying by the end of the play. I love the city during this time of year too. Everything is lit up and looks so magical. And I must say, the Broadway tracks that I’ve streamed just don’t have the same swagger that this group had, although it’s still amazing. The mix tape version with artists doing covers of these songs has also been on repeat! Ugh can I PLEASE see this play again without spending a million dollars?

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Going to dinner at the Walnut Room at Macy’s is another tradition that we had to fulfill. There’s nothing like dining around a beautiful Christmas tree to get you even more into the Christmas spirit!! I still can’t believe that the holiday season is officially in full swing. Sparkles are everywhere!

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While the holiday season is defined by spending time with your friends and family, going to holiday parties, sharing laughs and making memories, the copious amount of calories that lurk around every corner is dreadful. There is absolutely no room for excuses when it comes to workouts during this time of the year. If I indulge in a fancy-pants holiday cocktail or a couple of homemade Christmas cookies, you bet my ass will be at the gym err’day.

Not to mention that I got my Christmas party dress in already and I have ZERO room for weight gain. It’s beautiful and it just might be motivation enough for me to turn down my mom’s snickerdoodle cookies. Maybe…

Since I’ve been on my A-game with Christmas shopping (celebrate the small victories) I’ve spoiled myself with a few goodies since I’m feeling like these holiday deals this year are just too good to pass up. This is the time of year where I usually stock up on some more pricey items or if I want to try something new (hellloooo Sephora holiday kits). I think I’ve finally found a winner when it comes to dry shampoo too, I’ll let you guys know how it is once it delivers. I decided to tryout Living Proof’s perfect hair day dry shampoo. My hair is always a mess after I workout so this will be a total game changer if it lives up to the hype. No one has time for two showers in one day. Also, those who are unaware of Nike’s rose gold collection…omg. I don’t know about anyone else, but I need rose gold everything. I fell in love with these Nike Free TR 6 trainers.

 

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Although my feet don’t really like Nikes for long distance runs, they’re great for training and speedwork. Sunday marked Chicago’s first snowfall too so I have a feeling I’ll be spending more time at the gym working on weights. I always slack on my weightlifting during the warmer months because well….who wants to stay inside of a stuffy gym when you could be running around outside in the sunshine? The first snowfall also motivated me to finally breakout all of the holiday decorations. Nothing gets me in a better mood than decorating the Christmas tree.

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What kind of fitness gear is on your Christmas list?! 

Cheers!

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Give Thanks

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving. I can’t believe the holiday season is officially here! Can you believe it?! I have so much to be thankful for..my friends, family, hubby, my health etc…this Thanksgiving I was especially mindful of everything I hold dear in my life. Forget the Black Friday deals and the buy 2 for 1 crap, I’m talking about the stuff that doesn’t come with a price tag. I.e. the calls you get from your parents to see how things are going, sitting down at the dinner table with family you haven’t seen in a little while, making memories with family and friends and holding onto those things for as long as possible. Last week, I lost my baby Apollo. He was pretty much even more popular than I ever was on any kind of social media platform. He was full of attitude as he was fluffy…I still can’t believe he’s gone. It was so sudden. One day he was fine, and then once we got a hint that something might be wrong, the vet told us that his liver was failing and that it was likely cancer. We had the most difficult decision to make…and that was to put him down. He was in pain and with tests, meds, feeding tubes…he might have been able to live another week. I know he would have hated living like that. It was a decision I didn’t even expect to make years upon years from now. He was still so young. Anyone who’s had or has a furbaby knows that they become part of the family pretty fast. They’re there for you through everything and just keep on loving unconditionally. I miss him so much. I don’t know what’s worse, losing him suddenly or having more time with the same outcome.

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So in light of losing one of our beloved furbabies, Thanksgiving was a day where I really had to take some time out and count my blessings. You never know when someone/something really throws a wrench into your life and you lose something or someone so close to your heart. On Thanksgiving, I had the whole morning to think about everything I was thankful for and did just that during my long run. (In anticipation of the meal that was ahead of me, I threw in some extra miles for good measure). Lucky for me, it wasn’t too windy and the weather was quite nice. By the time I got back, full of sweat, and out of breath, it was time to hydrate and relax while watching the Macy’s Day parade (tradition). Luigi has been kicking it into high gear and making sure he’s been extra snuggly since we lost our Apollo. They were best buds, so it’s been hard for him too I’m sure. But really, how can one NOT laugh at how silly he is? He wins. My heart might be feeling heavy, but it sure is full.

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Running and/or a hardcore gym sesh isn’t just about fitness, sometimes it’s about what it does for your head. It clears it up and kicks those negative thoughts to the curb. I’m a huge advocate of how running is cheaper than therapy. Sad? Go for a run. Frustrated about how a day went at work? Go for a run. Can’t figure out how to solve a problem? Go for a run. Ruined your favorite shirt in the wash? Run fast. Some of my best ideas have come from just sweating it out. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and had the chance to spend some time with their loved ones over some delicious turkey, stuffing, one too many dinner rolls and of course some pumpkin pie. I heard somewhere that the average person eats  over 4,200 calories on Thanksgiving…just some food for thought, not the stomach. Spread the love and make memories.

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Hello Fall Fitness!

Hello Fall Fitness!

OCTOBER. I don’t know about anyone else, but fall is my favorite for several reasons…especially as a runner.

  1. You don’t feel like a sizzling piece of bacon after your long run
  2. All of the hard summer training FINALLY pays off as the fall running season kicks off
  3. Pumpkin everything. No, this has nothing to do with being a runner…just being human.
  4. The running gear I binge bought during the off-season at a steal, I can now wear. Holla!
  5. Runs are much more scenic. Give me all the pretty, falling leaves!
  6. You don’t have to worry about melting into a pile of sweat because you didn’t get up before the sun did
  7. Heat exhaustion after running a half marathon, not so much.
  8. If you stopped to catch your breath…you can actually catch it rather than being choked by the million percent humidity.
  9. New season, new playlists!
  10. Any time is a great time to run!! Early weekend wake-up calls? BYE, FELICIA.

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I’m also super excited about joining a boxing gym again. Running is great for stress, but sometimes you just really need to smack the hell out of something am I right?! I’m so excited to support a local, non-franchise gym too. One of my old trainers decided to go for it and open up his own gym and I can’t sign up fast enough! My abs hurt even when I giggle just a little bit. Dude knows how to work his classes! I’m still recovering from our awards events my company hosted. It’s top-notch food, but also top-notch calories….and that’s not even counting the calories I drank. As they always say, you can’t outrun your fork…and fortunately these events don’t come around TOO often, but when the holiday season comes up and we’re hosting holiday parties or preparing dishes to bring, finding ways to cut out those extra calories is key. Instead of chips and dip, opt for a veggie tray or my favorite, cold veggie pizza for an appetizer.

Recipe:

Produce

  • 1 cup Broccoli, fresh
  • 4 Green onions
  • green/red peppers

Condiments

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise, light

Baking & Spices

  • 1 cup Red pepper, fresh

Bread & Baked Goods

  • 2 Pillsbury (8 ounces/226g) cans reduced-fat pillsbury crescent rolls, reduced-fat

Dairy

  • 8 oz Cream cheese, reduced-fat
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain

I’ve also teamed up with Chobani to feature some of their favorite ways to switch up party platter dishes so they’re a bit healthier.

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If you haven’t tried Chobani Meze Dips, I have to say, they’re delicious. They have a variety of flavors to pair with your favorite veggies you have to snack on. Back away from those chips and eat fresh! The roasted red pepper and the three pepper salsa are my favorites. My usual go-to before trying these out was hummus. The very sad, unfortunate thing about hummus is that it’s fat content is RIDICULOUS. So naturally, I avoided looking at the label. #ignoranceisbliss. Not really…SO I feel like this is a great option.

You want to know who else is a great supporter of Chobani products? Apollo. So…you know they’re good right? #Apolloing

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Overall, if you snack healthy, you feel healthy. Just my opinion. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like slipping into a pair of skinny jeans after eating my weight in chips and salsa. Healthy snack options are always good to have in your back packet whether you want a little something for yourself or if you’re throwing a party. Don’t ask Apollo for any ideas though…he’ll just stare at you in his box.

 

Or….try to steal said healthy snack (not pictured). #Rude.

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Cheers to eating fresh and getting your sweat on!

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Weekend Recap: Fort 2 Base Race…I survived Hero Hill

Weekend Recap: Fort 2 Base Race…I survived Hero Hill

This weekend was nothing short of jam packed full of festivities. I feel like this will be the race that keeps on giving thanks to the hilly course. Sore everything. Can’t I just have a recovery day and work from my bed? Linking up with Biana today!

On Saturday the hubs and I went to a preseason game and while our Bears lost, we still enjoyed the sunshine and overpriced beer. Carbloading like a champ on game day.

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It was supposed to be storming all day…but ummm…well the sunshine was out and I even got a sunburn to prove it. I really think if I were to have a career change, I would choose to be a meteorologist. You don’t have to be right. Ever. This was the “storm” we had to suffer through. LOL.

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I can’t wait until the regular season starts! Although I’ll enjoy the warmer games while I can. December games in Chicago? YEESH. Frozen beer, frozen fingers. The Bears aren’t looking so great this year, but I still have faith!!

 

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The only thing that got on my nerves were a bunch of other 20-somethings seat-hopping. The hubs and I got up during halftime to get some food and by the time we got back to our seats, some other dudes were in them. Zero time for that shenanigans. This happened at least four other times to people in front of us too. #annoying. We didn’t let it ruin our fun though. We didn’t even let the Bears losing ruin our fun. We scored ONE touchdown. That’s all I wanted bahaha.

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After the game I realized how awfully dehydrated I was which is no bueno the day before an 11.5 mile race. The messed up thing was that pop was just as expensive as a medium pop….$5 for a bottle. Insanity.

Once we got home I followed tradition with a pasta dinner, polished my playlist, and went to bed super early for my 3:30 a.m. wake-up call. Why do I keep on doing this to myself? (I always end up asking myself this, and yes I keep on doing it). I don’t know about any other runners out there, but I tend to sleep like crap the night before a big race.

What was even more amazing though was my sister agreeing to tag along to cheer me on! I love my big sis. She’s the best. Really. The Fort 2 Base race is such a great experience though. Those who were running the 10NM race (equates to 11.5 land miles) started at Fort Sheridan and ran to the Great Lakes Naval Base. My granddad was a Marine so I OORAHED throughout that whole race, especially when I saw active or veteran Marines on the course. It was such an honor. They were even along the sidelines cheering us on throughout the whole race and especially when we got closer to the base. At the very end, they have what is called “Hero Hill” and let me tell you…it took EVERYTHING I had left in me. It was the steepest hill I ever ran up and after running through 10 miles of 100 million percent humidity…man it was brutal. But with the help and cheers of active service men and women….I pushed my hardest and crossed that finish line. Hallelujah!!!

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Give me water, give me electrolytes, give me all the salty things. Seeing my sister there at the finish was the best. She’s my biggest supporter hands down. She ran up to me armed with my peanut-butter filled pretzels and water.

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After I salted and hydrated up, a selfie session ensued (of course). I pushed my body SO hard during this race and I have zero regrets. The perfect way to end a race. WINNING.

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I ended up burning 1,800 calories during this race so I equate that to me being able to eat/drink whatever the hell I want for the remainder of the day. Starbucks here I come!

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Needless to say, the latte did not interfere with me totally passing out on the couch when I got home. Perfect way to end a Sunday right? One race down and a few more to go!! My next half marathon will be on September 11th honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in addition to those who are still active and veterans. It’ll be an emotional race, but again, I’m so honored to take some out of my day to stop and appreciate those who put their lives on the line for our freedom. Now it’s time to prep for the work week ahead. I can’t even believe Labor Day is right around the corner!! Let me tell you, I can’t wait for big sweaters, jackets and boots. Yep I said it. I’m still debating when it would be socially accessible to wear my new boots….tomorrow? Please say yes. 😀

Cheers!!

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