Monday, January 31, 2011

Summer Lovin'

Lately, I can't stop thinking about vacation. Who could blame me? All this freezing rain and wind gets My husband and I have decided that this year we are going to try to go on a nice vaca (just the two of us) with our tax return money. We've tossed around Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Alaska. My vote at this point is the Caribbean. I have been on quite a few cruises and always enjoyed them so we were thinking of going that route. But neither of us are too keen on sitting with people we don't know and trying to strike up conversation every night at dinner with people we'll probably never see again. So now we are looking into all-inclusive resorts.
All this rambling isn't the point of this post, really.

The point is: what better motivation to get into shape is there than the thought of wearing a bathing suit in 5 months? One problem...I don't own a bathing suit anymore. So guess who has spent a lot of time online window-shopping? :)
While the Victoria's Secret Models in the pictures don't do a lot for my self-esteem, they sure do make me think twice about that ice cream craving I've had for the past 2 days. Here are my favorite suits at this point.

Clockwise from top left:
-I just love the t-back look! I think it's so pretty! I've always kind of liked my back, too (weird, I know) so why not accentuate it?
-Aren't the ruffles pretty? I love the femininity!
-Zebra. I don't think I'll ever get tired of it (in moderation, of course). And VS is so great for making push-up bikini tops. I'm loyal to their-uh-support; this one is almost a must.
-I really just love the color of this suit. This style is also a push-up top.

Each of these suits gets pricey but one or two would probably be a good investment!
And who could forget the necessity of the cover-up? Here is my favorite:

Most resorts and cruises have dress codes for dinner. No problem, here! One of my favorite parts about vacation is getting much more dressed up than you would in your everyday life. Here is my idea of the perfect dinner wardrobe for a 4 night vacation:

Clockwise from top left:
-This dress is so lovely! I love that color-it's so sunny and vacation-y! From Ruche.
-I think the word "sailing" is in the name of this dress. Perfect. From Modcloth.
-I love this romper. It's casual, but with the right pair of wedges and bangle bracelets it could easily be dressed up. From Ruche.
-Formal night! This dress is simple, but so pretty! I love the floof on the top. I think it would be gorgeous with some nude/blush pumps and no jewelry except for a chunky statement ring. From Modcloth. imaginary closet is happy now.

What are some of your favorite vacation spots? Do you find that thinking of fitting into a bathing suit helps or hinders your workout process?

Friday, January 28, 2011


Today is supposed to be the third and final day of Week 2. But, my running partner is going to be gone until tomorrow morning. So, we're going to run bright and early on Saturday! As you know if you read my previous post, I'm in a bit of a funk. It's supposed to be a surprising (and refreshing) 63 degrees today so I can't waste that on sitting around inside. I'm considering running the program today anyway and then I'll just have an extra day under my belt. Maybe I'll hook up the running stroller and take my daughter out to be a "running guy" with me.
Ahh...sounds nice.

Thank you all for reading and supporting me! I love reading your comments and they really mean a lot to me. I don't think there is a notification system that will tell you if I respond to one so check back often because I usually do! Thanks for the encouragement and support!
Be lovely!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week 2 Day 2 of C25K and New Shoes

Hello everyone! Yesterday was the second day of the second week of C25K (confused yet?) and I had a lovely gift in the mail! My shoes came in yesterday!! In case you missed it, I ended up ordering the Nike Free Run + and I already love them! As soon as I took them out of the box I was convinced. They are so lightweight! Initially, I was concerned because they're so light and flexible that I wouldn't get enough support but immediately after I put them on that concern disappeared. My feet feel perfectly cradled in these shoes. I feel the support without also feeling the force of over-correction. I wore them around the house the whole afternoon and couldn't wait to take them on a run that night.
We went to the Fitness Club again on Wednesday to run on the treadmills. That was the last day of our free trial so for day 3 of week 2 we'll be back outside again! My feet felt amazing during the run, the only thing that bugged me was that I felt a lot more pull on my calves and whatever muscles are around my shin. I'm not sure if my running form isn't just wrong, though. During my run, it dawned on me that I heard somewhere that you're supposed to actively engage your thighs in the pull upward during your run. I could've completely made that up or been smushing ideas from cheerleading together, but it made sense. I tried that and it really did make a huge difference. I concentrated on using my thighs and glutes and I feel it took a lot of stress off my ankles and heels.
At the end of our run, I was sitting on the couch with my shoes off. It was odd how much my feet didn't hurt. I was so relieved. These shoes aren't miracle workers or anything like that, my feet are still a bit achey today as they always are after I've been on them for a while. But, finding a shoe that works with your foot and not against it seems so important! I have to admit, I'm a bit worried that I'm going to become oddly attached to these shoes. I feel like, in a silly way, they are on this journey with me.
Anyway, now that I've officially been a weirdo.
Let's be real. I've had a REALLY tough past few days. I have gone over my caloric budget the last 4 days in a row and other than the running program, I haven't been doing of my at-home workouts. I don't know what my problem is. I have nothing to blame my lack of activity on. School has been easy as pie (mmm...pie), I'm still very supported. I am going to make myself do a workout today and hopefully that will start the cycle back up again. With all of that said, I do feel more energized than I did when I wasn't running or anything. But I know I can't get to my goal just running 20 minutes every other day.
I've done well today and if I complete that workout I will feel much better about things. My 14 hour semester starts on Tuesday. I'm hoping I can keep up my workout schedule even when I have consistent homework.
Any of you been where I am now? How did you get out of your funk?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

C25K Update-W1D3 & W2D1

Last Friday concluded Week 1 of C25K. It was such a relief and a small victory to get through the first week! But, I couldn't rejoice long because I knew that Week 2 was going to gradually get more difficult.
I had a pretty rough weekend. I wasn't feeling 100% and I gave in to the temptation that is a Dairy Queen Blizzard. That one treat doubled my caloric intake for that day and set me in the direction to make horrible food decision the rest of the weekend. I was pretty down on myself but my hubby reminded me that I can just start new on Monday.
So that's what I did! Yesterday was Monday and the first day of Week 2 of C25K. We went to the fitness center to run on the treadmills which I'm beginning to enjoy much more. Week 2 calls to add 30 seconds to both walking and running. At the beginning I was really feeling the extra 30 seconds of running, but by the end of it it wasn't so bad. The worst thing about last night's run was the shoes I was wearing. My Nike Shox had been so heavy and were hurting my feet so I switched to my old cheer shoes, also Nikes. The problem with these shoes was that they were probably 1/2 a size too small. My toes were really crammed and I walked away with blisters. Needless to say, I can't wait for my new shoes to get here!

Today I'll leave you with this: Do not allow one bad choice to have the power to control the rest of your choices, your mood, or your weekend. I think this applies to every aspect of life. If you're caught up in the poor choices you've made, you won't be open to allow yourself to make a good choice. Be nice to yourself and move on :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

And the winner is...

The Nike Free Run+ ! I have done a lot of reading about my foot type and pronation and these seem like the best fit for me. I have yet to try them on which may be a bit foolish but none of the stores within a 50 mile radius of me have these available in-store (dumb!). I ordered from Zappos because they have amazing customer service and I know they make returns and exchanges super easy. But I'm not concerned. I've worn Nikes for cheer shoes and I have Nike Shox that I'm currently running in (not a good idea, by the way) so I know what size I need. And I read tons of reviews and had a good review from one of my best friends so I'm confident! I can't wait til they get here! I'll keep you all posted!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Workout Soundtrack

I work the best with music. It helps me block out noises of my domestic surroundings and helps me stay focused on the workout and not what's on Oprah. What might surprise some of you is what I like to listen to. I usually turn on Pandora and take whatever it gives me, but through my journey I have found some favorites. I've put together a list of some of my faves.
In no particular order:

1. Get Your Freak On-Missy Elliot (I recommend the radio version...not quite as crass)
2. Push It-Salt N Pepa (this one is a must have)
3. That's Not My Name-The Ting Tings (I also really like Shut Up and Let Me Go)
4. Shake It-Metro Station (This one is fun for cardio)
5. Girls-The Beastie Boys (duh!)
6. The Way You Move-Outkast (again, radio version is optimal)
7. Magic-B.o.B (this is just a fun song!)
8. Renegades of Funk-Rage Against the Machine (a little bit off the beaten path, but perfect)
9. It's Trickey-Run DMC (hello, who doesn't love this song?)
10. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger-Daft Punk (they probably wrote this song for work outs)

What do you like to listen to when working out?

C25K-Week 1 Day 2

Yesterday was day 2 of my C25K training. It was icy and freezing last night and the roads were super slick so we opted to go to the McPherson Athletic Club and run on the treadmills. I was apprehensive initially because I have never been on a treadmill seriously and because working in a gym can be a bit intimidating. There did prove to be some major gym rats there and one chick that looked like Barbie, but I didn't feel inferior or self-conscious. Once we got on our treadmills and I put my earbuds in, I was in my own little world.
I have to say, I enjoyed the change. I feel I ran a lot better when I could set my speed and stay consistent in going that speed throughout the 20 minutes. I feel like when I was running outside I considerably slowed toward the end of my run. Also, because we weren't outside in the cold I didn't have that annoying cold air in my lungs.
We are still going to try to run outside on Friday but we have a free 7 day pass so we'll see!
This morning, I'm feeling pretty sore. I'm definitely going to be doing yoga/pilates for my workout today. I don't think I could handle much more but I don't want to take a complete break.
How are your weight-loss and fitness goals going? Everyone sticking to their New Year's Resolution?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Body Image and the Role Moms Play on Our Daughter's Self Esteem

After taking the proverbial "before" pictures, I put them on the computer and began to look through them. As I scrolled from picture to picture, I narrated with gasps and "Ew!"s. I did not hide the fact that I was disgusted with what I saw in the pictures. When my sweet, 2 year old daughter asked me what I was looking at and if she could also look, I invited her to sit by me and see the pictures. The first thing she said was, "Gwoss!"
I was initially a bit wounded. On one hand, I know children are always brutally honest, but on the other hand I always saw my Mom as beautiful even when she didn't see herself that way. When I talked about it with my husband, he pointed out that she was only copying the emotion that I was displaying.
That hit a real nerve for me. I realized that she was, in that moment, learning what to say about her body by watching and listening to what I was saying about mine. Essentially, when I am allowing myself to call my body disgusting, I am telling her that that is acceptable. It broke my heart.
She is the most beautiful being to me, nothing about her is flawed. It hurts me to think that someday she may look in the mirror and be unhappy about what she sees. It is my job, and now my mission, to teach her to love herself, to love her body, no matter what she sees in the mirror. I am more determined than ever to change my habits and to set a good example for her.
I hope all you Mommas out there are telling your little girls how beautiful they are everyday. I hope you are teaching them how to take care of their bodies, and most of all, I hope you are reminding yourself of your own beauty and cultivating love in your family.

C25K-Week 1 Day 1

As you all know, I ran my first day of C25K last night. It was 40 something degrees and very slushy. We had had a big snowfall last week and the streets were very slushy and icy in patches, the sidewalks were clear, though so I preferred to run there. I ran with a friend (and her dog) and, I have to say, I don't think I would've pushed as hard without her there. I really needed the accountability last night. The first day's program calls for 60 seconds of jogging, 90 seconds of walking, and so on, for a total of 2o minutes (30 minutes if you include the warm up and cool down 5 minute walks which bookend the interval training). By the 4th jogging interval I was really pushing myself. My lungs were burning from the cold air, my legs were heavy and prickly, and I felt I was moving slower than a walk. Of course, a little over half way through, self doubt kicks in. I was really wondering if I was going to be able to complete this program. "What if Friday comes and I'm not ready to move to the next interval program?" "What if my legs quit and I completely eat sidewalk?" "What if I barf?"
As I turned the corner and I saw my house, and the C25K app in my ear gave me the go-ahead to begin my cool-down walk, I immediately thought to myself, "Well, that wasn't so bad!"
It is because of the feeling I had at the very end of the run, because of how proud my husband looked when I came through the door and practically collapsed on the floor, because my daughter keeps calling me a "running guy", that I will go back out on Wednesday and leave all my self-doubt at home.
A few hours after my run last night I was feeling very sore and shake-y. But, this morning when I stepped out of bed, I was surprisingly not as sore as I thought I would be. I can tell my muscles are a bit tight, so I need to stretch, but overall I feel great!
I'm really looking forward to seeing progress as I continue this training :)
I'm feeling lovely today, are you?

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Favorite Workouts So Far

Because I workout at home, I have been using workouts that I've found online, mostly at I've loved each one I've tried so far. I want to share them so those of you who may be working out at home can use this amazing resource as well!

Here is a great overall workout if you don't have any equipment. It hits almost every area and it's challenging enough to keep you on your toes!

This next one is great for lower body. You'll need some light hand weights.

My last workout doesn't have a video with it-just a slideshow. Don't let that stop you, the directions are very easy to follow and once you've done each exercise a few times they'll be easy to recall how to do them next time. This is such a fun arm workout. Again, you'll need some light hand weights. To see this workout, click here.

Hope these are helpful. Happy exercising!

Smart Choices When Eating on the Go

One of the biggest things I've learned in the short time that I've been watching my calorie count is that you can blow your whole day on one bad choice. For example, last week I went to Sonic to use a coupon for a buy one, get one free burger deal. We were short on time and cash so it seemed like an easy fix. I got a regular burger with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and mustard. I split a Dr. Pepper with my husband and I gave myself about 1 cup. I also took about 1/4 of his french fries. The hamburger was 560 calories, the Dr. Pepper was 100 calories, and the fries were 112 calories. The total of my meal was 772 calories. That may not seem like too much but that was over half of my daily budget. And I felt yucky and sluggish for the rest of the day. The rest of my day was shot and I went over my daily budget by 174 calories.
In comparison, today we went to Arby's for lunch. Knowing how tough my "Sonic day" had been, I tried to make better choices. I got a Jr. Turkey Ranch sandwich, a side salad (with light ranch dressing) and a diet Dr. Pepper. My sandwich was only 220 calories, the side salad with the dressing was a total of 145 calories, and the diet Dr. Pepper was, of course, 0 calories. My total caloric intake for that meal was 365 calories. I was completely full at the end of it and I didn't even finish my salad. Lesson learned!

I'm also learning quickly about empty calories. I only have a limited amount of calories I can consume per day, why waste them on foods that aren't doing anything to fuel my body? If an ice cream bar is worth 180 calories but only goes against all the work I'm doing with my workouts, why would I choose to eat that instead of a spoon of peanut butter? The peanut butter still curves my craving, it's still sweet, but at least it's packed with protein!

I'm looking forward to our next shopping trip. I'm really interested in getting healthy snacks so I can graze through the day and keep my metabolism going. I love the idea of healthy trail mixes and smoothies I can slurp on in class. Anyone have any healthy and yummy recipes?

As I mentioned in my last post, tonight is my first night to train with the Couch to 5K program. I'm a bit nervous but only because I don't know what I am capable (or incapable) of. I'm going to take the advice of my wise Daddy and make sure I at least finish the exercise, even if I have to walk when it's telling me to jog. Really hoping I can give you all a good report this time tomorrow!
Stay tuned and be lovely!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I took the dreaded "before" pictures 2 nights ago. After looking through them I've opted not to post them until have an "after" to go with. I'm all about honesty, just not quite ready to put myself out there like that. I'll take another one at the 4 week mark and if there's good improvement I'll consider posting them side by side. We'll see.
In other news, I have been using the Lose It! app on my iPhone and I love it! It counts your daily caloric intake and you can add exercise and it calculates how many calories you've burned. Each day it tracks your progress and you can customize your caloric budget based on your weight loss goal. Mine is set to lose 1 lb per week and to eventually lose 15 lbs. This restricts my diet to about 1,335 calories per day. That is below the recommended amount for my height and age, but I never feel starved so I'm going to roll with it! It is teaching me a lot about smart meal choices and portion control. I'm also understanding what they mean by "empty" calories. I've been using this app consistently for a week today. Time to hit the scales!
I've also been doing some workout routines that I found on I'm loving them. I'll do a separate post about that later.
First day of Couch to 5k tomorrow! Wish me luck, and as always, be lovely!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Perfect Training Shoe

As many of you know, I was born with clubbed feet and have to take extra care of my feet. I have never let my limited mobility hinder me in athletics and I'm not going to start now. Because of the kind of training I'll be doing it is important for me to find a supportive, but cushioned shoe. I have a high arch and my feet are slightly wide (not to mention a size 5...yick). I'll be running but I'll also be doing some toning exercises and light calisthenics so I don't want a run-specific shoe. And, silly as it sounds, I care what they look like. Here are 3 pair that I have been considering. If anyone has any feedback, please share.
New Balance WX812BP-$89.95

Reebok RunTone Action W-$99.99

New Balance WR7500-$74.95

Yes, my favorite color is pink.

Jan. 13, 2011

Hello, all! It's been a while since I've posted. Once school hit hard that is where my priority was!

I'm going to be starting a new workout routine on Sunday, but I must say, I'm so excited about it that I want to start now! I'm going to be doing the Couch to 5K running program with a friend. The goal of the program is to be ready to run a 5k (3 miles) in 9 weeks. I've never been an avid runner but one of my goals is to run a race so I figured the 5K would do =)
I'm also going to be doing toning and strength-training on my off days. I have taken the past week or so to begin stretching and eating well to sort of prep myself for what is to come.
My goal is to lose about 10-15 pounds which probably seems like vanity, but I know what my body is supposed to carry and I'm really tired of feeling so sluggish and squishy! Before I had my daughter I weighed a fairly consistent 103 lbs. I don't expect to get down to that weight again, but if I tone up I know I'll look and feel ten times better!
I'm going to be blogging a few times a week to document my progress and also for some accountability. I've considered posting before and after pictures--we'll see. All of my workouts will be done at home so I'll be posting the sources of my routines.
Thank you for the support and, as always, be lovely!