Excuses, Excuses

Everybody’s got them.

I’ve been making a lot of excuses lately. Mostly for me being lazy, not going running or working out. I keep telling myself I will when the weather gets better, but last weekend it was 68 and sunny and I did nothing. Well, I did celebrate Texas Independence Day with some good beer and chili. Yum.

texas beer texas chili

 

I have not been running in a few weeks, and with the beginning of Lent, I’m going to at least try and dedicate myself to keeping up with what I’ve started. Running, working out and eating healthy. No excuses.

What excuses have been holding you back?

On Absence.

You ever have one of those weeks where you start going, and before you know it, the week is already gone and all the little things you love to do in your spare time have just fallen by the wayside?

I’ve had one of those weeks.

I’ve actually had a few of those weeks all strung together.

In typical PR style, this fall has had me running around like a crazy person. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, I love what I do and I am finding time to fill those extra minutes each day with the people I care about as well as the usual meal prep/workout/training programs.

Oh yeah, training programs.

Last time we talked, I had just wrote about taking up running again. Well I did, and I made a big decision last week.

I will be running in the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in February.

New Orleans Half Marathon

I’ve got a sweet training guide, and awesome support community including the newly-returned-to-blogging Allison, my cousin Erin and of course, Adam. (Shameless linking because two of them have awesome blogs of their own.) As well as amazing friends and family who I hope will still be around in February after hearing me talk about running nonstop for three months. (Sorry in advance, y’all.)

If you are a long time reader, you know I come from a big, tight-knit family, including quite a few cousins. Four of us are within a year and two weeks of each other, and these four are going to be running together for 13.1 miles.

(For the record, here’s the order: Julia, Erin, Michael and Kelly.)

I know. It sounds insane. In fact, when Erin first approached me with the idea, I laughed for probably about five straight minutes. Me. Run in a half marathon???? You’ve got to be kidding. I can’t even run 3 miles. 

But then I thought about it.

For a while.

Work picked up again. We signed on a couple new clients and I joined boot camp again. For a six  month commitment this time. About two months in, I thought about it again. And I thought. I wonder if I could do that…. 

It’s really curiosity that is fueling me. Along with my competitive drive. My inner drive to push myself and see how much I can take before I completely melt down? Yeah, That’s a line I’ve been happily walking since high school.

In typical Type-A fashion, I have an Excel spreadsheet with a training plan that incorporates boot camp (and the all important rest day) and it is taped to my fridge. Yes, I am that girl.

I’m still eating clean, though I am increasing my water intake as well as letting myself indulge a little more often now. I mean hey, I am now working out 6 days a week.

Tonight will be a “quick” 3 mile run, and hopefully the park I love will have dried out from the week of rain.

I’m still struggling a bit at the 3 mile mark. But I’ve scheduled about 2 and half weeks of 3 mile runs to get myself comfortable before moving up.

Sunday I take on my longest distance ever at 4 miles.

My biggest hurdle hasn’t been the distance though. I’m trying not to minimize what I’m doing. I know so many people who run long distances that it’s hard to make myself feel proud of running 3 miles when I know people who finished 18 and 20 mile runs over the weekend. Something I’ve got to get better on is not comparing myself to others.

I’m beginning to understand what they mean when they say training for a race like this is just as much about mental preparation as it is about the physical. I’m on my own training plan. This is not about where other people are in their training, but about me.

That’s just what I need to keep telling myself.

So, here’s to an early New Year’s Resolution, Early Birthday and Christmas presents to myself and most importantly: to 13.1.

Ending a Year-Long Relationship

So, in the interest of full disclosure, I feel the need to be honest with y’all.

On Friday afternoon, I canceled my WeightWatchers account.

Between boot camp, the new exercises I’m doing, and the meal plans, I just wasn’t using the tools anymore and I finally decided it was time to stop paying for them.

I did not stop using WeightWatchers because it didn’t work. WeightWatchers taught me about portion control, and gave me a huge step in the right direction when I was ready for a change in my life but didn’t know where to start. Now that I have the ball rolling, I don’t feel the need for the monthly service anymore.

So there’s that. WeightWatchers got me to start cooking my own food, and to start caring what was in the food I put in my body, and how it effected my body.

For that, I’ll always recommend WeightWatchers to people who are looking for a place to start their weight loss journey.

Recipe Spotlight: Marinated Shrimp

This is a really easy weeknight meal that tastes delicious. Seriously, it took me less than an hour from the moment I took the shrimp out of the freezer to the moment I put it on the plate.

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You’ll need:

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder (you could also substitute this with 1/2 tablespoon of regular chili powder if you can’t find ancho, but you should be able to find it in the spice aisle at Kroger.)
  • Brown Rice (optional)
  • Jerk BBQ Sauce (optional)

Okay. So here we go.

  1. To thaw the shrimp, put the amount you want in a Ziploc bag and place in a sink of lukewarm water.
  2. Mix together the olive oil, pressed garlic, ancho chili powder and onion powder in a large bowl.
  3. Peel the thawed shrimp and put them in the bowl with the marinade. Incorporate the shrimp thoroughly with the marinade, and let sit for 10-20 minutes.
  4. (At this point, I threw a bag of partly cooked brown rice in the microwave in a casserole dish of water).
  5. Once the shrimp is fully marinated, take a little of the oil from the marinade and throw it in a medium skillet. Put the head on medium high.
  6. Once the oil is bubbling slightly, place the shrimp in it. (I drained off the excess oil and marinade, but you can definitely use it to make a yummy sauce for when you are done).
  7. Cook the shrimp thoroughly, mixing with a wooden spoon constantly.
  8. Serve over the brown rice, or with veggies or even a salad. I topped it with a spicy and sweet jerk bbq sauce I found at my local farmer’s market a few months ago.

Enjoy!

Weigh Ins, Boot Camp and Schedules, Oh my!

Hello, my beautiful (albeit neglected) blog people. I didn’t forget about you!

Work has been insane lately, and my free time in the evenings has now been consumed by boot camp. (Which is AMAZING, by the way)

I just wanted to let you know that I am not dead, this blog is not abandoned, and I didn’t forget about you!

Quick updates:

  • I’m halfway through boot camp, and I feel fantastic. I feel smaller and leaner and actually look forward to my thrice weekly ass-kicking of a workout.
  • I lost 2.6 pounds in the last two weeks. Hooray!
  • Eating clean is hard. Pretty much all of my favorite foods have ridiculous amounts of sodium in them and that makes me very sad.
  • My 5k is only 3 weeks away! May 11 at Fair Park. Woooo!
  • May is getting crazy busy already, so I really apologize if I fall off the face of the map again. Between my 5k, alumni events, getting my car fixed, (hopefully) squeezing in a trip to Austin, and then Free Press Summer Fest, I’m all booked as far as weekends go. Crazy how that happens.

Basically, my point is, I am doing fantastic, I am crazy busy, but loving every second of it. And don’t worry, I am making sure to take time to relax after work and on the weekends, as well as getting enough sleep. I know how that can sabotage any chances I have of getting healthier.

Hope y’all are enjoying the warmer weather!

Until next time…

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5 Reasons I Use Workrave

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Sitting at a desk all day is hard work. And it not only puts stress on you mentally (you know, from working so hard) but also physically. It’s just not healthy for us to sit that still for that extended period of time. Plus the eye strain from staring at a computer all day…it’s just not a good idea.

Which is why I’m really happy I discovered Workrave.

Workrave is a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The program frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit.

I’ve used it for most of this week and I love it. It starts automatically when I boot up my computer in the morning, and every hour I have it set to force me to take a 4 minute break. What’s really nice is you can customize everything. From how long your breaks are to how long you go between them, even if you have them at all. (I turned off the Micro-breaks because I found it distracting to have to stop what I was doing for 20 seconds every 5 minutes).workrave3

I have a few favorite things about it though.

  1. It really does force you to take a break. If your mouse is moving at all during your allotted “break time” the timer pauses and begins to flash. Also it won’t minimize until your break is over.
  2. It gives you 2-3 exercises and stretches to do during each break. I’ve found that I don’t feel as worn down at the end of the day, and my attention span is better in the afternoon now.
  3. Again, it’s super customizable. I find the micro-breaks annoying, so I simply turned them off. Also I can choose how long my breaks are, and how long I go between breaks. It comes with recommended settings. (One 20 second micro-break every 3 minutes, and one 8 minute rest break every 45 minutes.) But I have it set so that I get one 4 minute rest break every 55 minutes. Just enough time to do some stretches and get up to refill my water or go to the restroom.
  4. It counts any time your screen is locked as a break. The whole point is to get you away from your desk, so naturally it pauses when you’re out for lunch, or in a meeting. The whole point is to give your eyes a break from staring at a screen all day.
  5. It gives you statistics about your usage. It tells you how many breaks you’ve taken or skipped, as well as how much you use your mouse and even how many keystrokes you average per day. Nifty!

So what do you think? Is this something you would use? What do you do to help keep yourself alert and energized during the work day?

Biggest Loser: Family Style Week 3!

Okay, I have finally recovered from birthday week, alumni game watches and one very unexpected and exhausting Super Bowl Party.

I gained .4 pounds.

I’m really not surprised, considering all the events, craziness and overeating/drinking that occurred over the course of the week. Luckily I did get another 2 mile run in over the weekend, as well as some stability ball/free weight action. Baby steps.

Did you hear that? 2 miles. 30 minutes. 

And I wasn’t even sore the next day. Granted, most of my “runs” right now consist of walking for five minutes and then running for two. Lather, rinse, repeat. Though I did get my work out on Sunday by way of frantically cleaning my apartment in preparation for the above stated last minute Super Bowl Party. Which was still fun.

5k course

So that’s it for me. In case anyone is interested, this is the 5k I’m planning on doing in March. If you live in the area and will be in town on March 9, you should join us! (My cousin and me, that is…)Have a great week everyone!

2013 Resolutions

Everyone has them, right?

Goals are great. Especially to those of us looking to improve our lives in multiple areas. I’m going to split these goals up into three sections. Wellness, Professional and Personal goals.

Ready? Let’s go then.

Wellness

  •  Get back on track with WeightWatchers. I’ve gotten out of the habit of tracking my food and calculating my daily points and (most importantly) adhering to those points. I’ve still been eating relatively healthy, becomingbut I haven’t had the accountability of the tracking to keep me honest. There have been more cookies and queso runs in my life lately. No more. Back to healthy grains and protein and fiber for me. (Related: I can tell a difference in how I’ve been eating because I don’t feel as good as I used to. I’m tired all the time and my body aches.) It wants the healthy food back in my life.
  • Cook more. You can ask anyone, I love to cook. I really do! I love making things up (as you can probably tell by some of my recipes here) and I love to improvise on recipes to see what happens. Unfortunately I’ve fallen into a rut where I don’t cook very often. I’ll cook o
    n the weekends if I’m not too busy. This year, I’m going to not only use my crockpot more, but I’m going to make enough food that Adam and I can eat our fill and there will still be leftovers. And then those will feed us during the week or on nights I don’t feel like cooking.
  • Eat out less. This is related, mostly because I’m sure if I cooked more often and kept my kitchen stocked with ingredients for easy, quick recipes, I would be less like
  • ly to hit up Panera on my way home from work. I have gotten better about my choices on where I eat out. I’ll pick Panera or Genghis Grill way before I hit the McDonald’s drive through.
  • Drink more water. I keep hoping that if I write this goal in my blog enough, it will actually happen.

Professional

  • Read more. I have a ton of social media, marketing and public relations books on my shelf and in my Kindle. I will read them and make notes on how I can use the ideas in them to help my clients.
  • Attend at least one industry conference. I’m hoping it will be South By Southwest Interactive in March, but the price is pretty steep for that. I would like to go to CERAWeek or OTC this year though.

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Personal

  • Be intentional. I need to take a step back and really look at how my daily actions and decisions are shaping me. I want to live in a way where you can tell exactly the kind of person I am by how I treat myself and others.grateful
  • Be thankful. I think I get so caught up in my work routine that I sometimes forget to be grateful for my life. I got better at it towards the end of 2012, and I want to continue to focus on all the blessings in my life, rather than the negatives.
  • Travel more. I know that sounds really weird coming from the girl who went to Florida, Ohio, Hawaii and whatnot this year alone, but I want to travel even more. I already have a trip to Ohio planned for February, a trip to Missouri in July and then (maybe?) a trip to Hilton Head for September. I fell into a rut where I traveled in 2012, but I feel like I didn’t have very many adventures. Hawaii is really the big one, and then when I moved, that was an adventure for me, only because I didn’t have control over so many different things.
  • Think more. I’m really good at talking. And sometimes, I’m not really good at thinking about how my words, actions or tone will come across.
  • Save more. I’ll admit it. I am terrible at saving money. While I’m not a shopaholic, I do enjoy a good sale and as stated above, I love to eat out. 2013 is the year to hunker down, tighten my belt if need be, and pay down my debt. (Life of a graduate of a private university).

So there you have it! What are your 2013 goals?

New Year’s Resolutions 2013

Okay. Last year I made some new year’s resolutions. And I don’t think I did too hot on them. Whoops.

But the wonderful thing about a new year, is you get a new chance to fail at new resolutions.

Fireworks by Richard J. Carson

  1. Cook more. Eat out less. This will help my waistline, my cooking skills and my pocket book.
  2. Cut back on caffeine. I know. I know. I say this every year. Do I get points for determination?
  3. Pray more. This has nothing to do with getting healthier, unless you count the health of my spirit. In 2013 I will start going to mass every Sunday, pray more often and read my bible more
  4. Start paying back my savings account/put money away for a new car/something awesome. Let’s set this at a concrete goal of $3,000 added to my savings account by Christmastime 2013. That would pay back what I spent moving in July.
  5. With that in mind, I want to make a serious dent in my student loan debt in 2013. I know I can’t pay it all back, as it is almost as much as my yearly salary. (Private university. Ouch.) But I want to make progress. I paid back about $7,000 in 2013. Let’s see if I can do better in 2013.
  6. Rededicate myself to the Weight Watchers plan. I’ve kind of unofficially fallen off the wagon. And while I track my food on some days, I don’t weigh myself as often as I should or take full advantage of the program. By the end of 2013 I hope to have not only reached my goal weight (150lbs) but to have passed it.
  7. Let the people in my life know how much I appreciate them. I am sarcastic, cynical and slightly argumentative by nature. I love being right. But I love my friends and family more. And I’ve come to a slow realization that I might not be putting that across in the way I interact with them. Here is my last and most important resolution. I resolve, in 2013, to love more. Love myself enough to grow as a person, and love others enough to treat them with the respect and care they deserve.

And yes, I do have several smaller, more materialistic goals for the year. If you want, they are listed below.

  • Successfully relaunch the University of Dayton Alumni Association – Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter and attend the ALC in Dayton in September.
  • Get a raise at my current job.
  • Move into a different apartment. One on the second floor and with more storage space, please.
  • Join either PRSA or Social Media Club.
  • Attend at least one industry conference.

Nerdy, right?

What are your new year’s resolutions?

Warning: this update contains adorable kittens

Don’t worry friends, I didn’t forget about you!

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There is always room for a picture of my 5 month old kitten cuddling with a tiny stuffed bird.

Things have been absolutely insane lately. Here’s what’s going on:

  • Traveling for the holidays
  • I was named the Chapter President for the University of Dayton Alumni Association in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and then promptly asked to plan a Christmas service event as well as re-engage the entire group online.
  • Co-chairing a committee to put together two amazing toy drives this week, one today and one tomorrow to help Christmas happen for some amazing local kids. If you are in the DFW area and are free tonight or tomorrow night, you should join us! (Find out more info at the link above.)
  • The holidays.
  • Booking a trip to Ohio in February. Yes, I know I’m insane.
  • Helping a friend move.
  • And work. We just signed two new clients (YAY) and I’ve spent every remaining minute writing content strategy for them, which I actually really enjoy doing so it’s okay.

If you live in the Dallas area and are free tonight or tomorrow, click the picture for more information on how to get involved in Operation: Social Santa.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all the things I’m doing and I’m super passionate about all of this, but it’s simply time consuming and I didn’t want y’all to think I have completely abandoned this blog. I have not. I am still sticking to my WeightWatchers, I just am struggling with finding time to write about it regularly.

Things will get better after this week. I hope. I have a few recipes I need to write-up (a  couple are zero Points+ recipes, yay!) and I will get back on track with you soon.

Until then, stick with me, please?

(PS: Today is 12/12/12! This is the last time the date will be all the same number in our lives. Pretty cool, huh?)