Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bad week!

Oh, this week has been bad on the running front. Bad, bad, bad.

Long (and personal) story short: I'm on some medications right now and the side effects are driving me CRAZY. I am not sleeping well and so am consistently tired, but the medications are also making me jittery. The doctor says that running should help get some of the jitters out, but I've been so tired that I've hardly been able to think about going running, let alone get up the energy to do it.

I just need to get to bed early tonight and get up and see how I feel tomorrow morning. If I feel ok, I'll go running. If not, at least I'll try a walk. Baby steps.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Getting Stuff Done: Monday Update

Avast all ye landlubbers! (It's TLAP DAY!!! http://www.talklikeapirate.com/)

So sorry for the radio silence! After starting teaching my own class and taking my own classes, I'd been spending a ton of time preparing lessons and doing homework. It's been insaaaaaane!

However, I have been able to get out and get running a few times. The weather has been pretty nice and I went running along the lake. The last run I did made me feel really good - it had been a while since running made me feel like I accomplished something, versus just making me feel bad for taking time off in July!!

I have to keep focusing on my goal! There's only 5 months and just under a week left until the race!

Weight is also going in the right direction (I'm probably down another 1-2 lbs. since I last updated, but it fluctuates).

So, what have you been getting done?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Another non-Monday "Monday Update"...

I will make the excuse that yesterday was a holiday for why I didn't post... Yes, of course... that's it!

I started teaching (!?!?) this week and am moderately terrified every day I go into the classroom. I'm thinking I'm going to need my runs to take out some of this nervous energy!

I have been getting A LOT of stuff done! Lesson plans, homework, reading, menu plans, cooking, shopping, and, yes, even some running!

Weight has been steadily going down (HURRAH!) and I'm now a total of 16 pounds down from when I began this blog! That's not stellar progress by any means, but it's progress and I'll take it.

So, what have you been doing?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Monday... err... Tuesday Update

How is it almost September?!? Seriously?!

It's been a good week up here! I've done a few runs which were still not at the level I was at before camp, but I feel like I'm making progress. (I never did get my hour run in... it was more like a bad half hour run.) My quick run this morning was refreshing, as I got to go along the lake for part of my run.

Weight has fluctuated a bit, but I'm still about 15 pounds down from when I first started this. Now that I'm cooking for myself, I can control my food a little bit more. Unfortunately, I have a penchant for consuming cheese in large quantities. You win some, you lose some...

I also signed up for a locker and group classes at my university's gym. I have a friend who wants to do Zumba, so depending on how I feel about my teaching load and everything, I'll likely be doing that with her a few times a week.

Classes start soon! AGH!

What have you been getting done?


This weekend, I'm looking forward to some active activities. In addition to my "long run" (which will be less than an hour, I assume), I'll be riding my bike tonight and walking around an orchard to pick apples tomorrow morning.

Bring on the weekend!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Update

Hello everyone, it's Emily!

Sorry for the radio silence last week, but I was busy moving up to Wisconsin and arranging my new apartment! What's the best feature of my new room (well, for the purpose of this running blog, anyway)? A treadmill! While I'll continue running outside for now, this will mean that I can continue running even when it's snowing out (read: I'll have no excuse to stay in bed!). Granted, I could go to my university's gym, but with my class schedule this year, it's not as convenient to get to the gym and catch the right bus home.

I am back to cooking my own food. I had a lovely dinner with my roommate tonight. Oven roasted vegetables and some chicken. Nom nom nom! I'm looking forward to planning my healthy menu and seeing continued weight loss! Now I just have to purchase a scale so I can keep you all updated on how much weight I have lost!!

What have you been doing? Have you been Getting Stuff Done?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Elvis is ALIVE!!!!!!!!

Last night I ran (and by ran I mean ran and walked and ran again and the walked and then ran again and really walked most of it) the Chicago 'Elvis is Alive 5K' with my friend Erin (who is awesome).  Things that are awesome about this race:
  •  It allowed me to take half a day off work to hang out with Erin and the NOT feel guilty about our impressive calorie consumption due to running 5K.
  • It is a non-competitive race, so it's designed for fun and it is OK to walk. Thus, it brings out people of all ages. I was lapped by many old men and small children. I think I should be ashamed of that, but I'm taking it as a badge of honor. :-) (For the record, and to preserve her honor, Erin really runs and finished in very respectable time.)
  • People dress up like Elvis to run the race. (HILARIOUS!) Erin and I did not dress up, but were planning on sequinsing it up until we were DISMAYED to find out we know NO ONE who owns a Bedazzler. How do we not know anyone who owns a bedazzler???
  • At the end, they give you beer and frozen bananas dipped in chocolate. This is brilliant. I can't consume either of said items, but it's awesome in theory.
  • AND-- if you do things with Erin, she is your social media coordinator and tweets, facebooks and takes photos so you don't have to. It's GENIUS. :-)
 Pre-Race photo....I like how the sun makes it look like I'm some kind of superhero who can materialize/dematerialize.

 Fun with shadows. By the porta-pottys. OK, so maybe we could have chose a better location.

We hadn't stretched yet, but we made sure we were IDed and ready for the post-race beer.

Elvis Sighting!!!!!

Elvis Sighting!!!!!

Elvis Sighting!!!!!

Me, at the finish line, wondering why the hell I agreed to run a race.......

Finish line BEER!!! I smile because I'm done. Erin smiles because she knows she gets both beers.
I pout at you, beer to which I am allergic!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Boot camp: the aftermath

I. am. so. sore.

I have been going down the stairs in an incredibly odd manner. I walk like an injured duck. Just getting up from the couch makes me groan. It makes me feel like I'm 80 years old.

Oh, ye lunges and squats, I do not want to do any more of you tomorrow morning.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Update

Hey all, Emily here!

Ah, yes, another Monday... HOW do they keep creeping up on me? Next Monday, I'll be going back up to grad school, so thus starts the countdown, i.e. "PACK ALL OF YOUR POSSESSIONS!"

I've still been doing the boot camp and Zumba with my mom, but not a ton on the running front! At least I'm still moving!

Julie says: I'm doing a 5K Thursday, I'll get some pics and do a post afterwards... if I don't die.

What about you? Link up and let us know what you've been doing!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Boot camp!

My mom has been going to a fitness boot camp that she found through an online coupon company. While I am still at home before going back to grad school, I decided to join her since the instructors allowed us to pay for a half-month.

The class starts about 4 hours earlier than I've been getting up lately... Ouch. I guess it will get me back on track for getting up to get to classes on time!

The boot camp itself consists of 8 stations (they change each session) and you do one exercise at each station, run a lap, and move to the next station and do total of 3 rounds of the stations.

It. Is. Killing. Me.

I threw up in one session and after the other this week and ended up taking a nap both days after I got a shower. Man oh man.

My mom is looking more toned after 8 weeks, and I am hoping that this boot camp will get me jump-started on my exercise schedule again... if I'm not too sore to move. ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Update- Getting Stuff Done


There's not much to update since my "I'm baaaaaack!" post. I'm getting in the workout groove again and figuring out what to do in my remaining two weeks at home before going back up to grad school. So far, the plan includes a lot of sleep, visiting friends, and figuring out how to pack up everything that I brought home... Hmmmmm...


OK- I have some confessions to make. First - I hate running. Second - I'm trying really hard not to hate running. Third- I'm not running the Princess 1/2 marathon in February. Before you chastise me, let me explain. The idea of running 13.1 miles has always daunted me. I told Emily, at first, that I'd see how I did and if we could wrangle any advertisers/sponsors and take it from there. At first I thought I could pull 13.1 miles out of myself with sheer spite for those who told me I couldn't do it. Turns out, my spite isn't that mighty. Still, I wanted to keep going. But, now, things are getting complicated with work and schedules and taking some time off to travel to the race in February is looking less and less likely to happen. So I officially threw in my Princess towel. Emily is not so happy with me. :-(


Here is the rest of the story-- The daunting nature of trying to train for the race as taking away my desire to workout. Knowing I can go to they gym and not have to concentrate only on running is renewing my motivation to go to the gym. I didn't realize how much the pressure of trying to make myself a runner was effecting things until 1) I pulled out of the race and 2) I told myself it is OK to walk the 5K I'm doing next week with Erin. I've been dreading this 5K ever since the weather turned upwards of 90 degrees and telling myself I can walk is making me happier.

So, where is all this leading? It's leading to me, still trying to do some running, but also trying to find some workout balance. I have a friend who wants to do the Chicago 1/2 marathon next spring and I haven't totally written that off, but, let's be honest, I probably will. I still plan to do a few posts here on occasion, but mostly you will be hearing from Emily as she prepares for the race, because she is awesome.

What about you? How are all of you doing with your projects?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Music or no music?

When is it time to turn off the music? It occurred to me this month how antsy many people get without music in the background. The campers always requested iPod speakers in the showers and we generally always had music on in the staff office. Is it just a facet of our society today that we have our own personal soundtracks to accompany us wherever we go?

I generally have my iPod in the gym (mainly so I don't hear other people huffing and puffing around me)! I also use my iPod outside while I'm running so that I can listen to the podcast that tells me when to run and when to walk. Sometimes I wonder if I'd be better off using my running time to think and reflect... Maybe that is something that can only be achieved once you are in shape enough to run for long periods without having to think about stopping for a rest.

Do you use music when you work out? For all workouts? Just in the gym?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm baaaaack!

Hey everyone! Sorry for the extremely long hiatus, but I was busy directing an international camp/peace program for about 70 people from 14 different countries. I had extremely high hopes about getting up early and running at least 3 days a week while I was there... It turns that out I was so busy that I was lucky if I got a shower every day, much less a 30-40 minute run AND a shower! Yikes!

Despite being insanely busy with paperwork, I did manage to keep my weight under relatively steady throughout the month. I can't say I ate the best all the time (we had surprisingly good camp food and lots of desserts!), but the overwhleming stress of the month and consistently walking around the campsite to take care of things helped me not gain weight!

I am currently down about 15 pounds from when I first started on the blog! Yay!

Exercise: I have to admit I'm a little scared to get back outside and see how much stamina I've lost... Not to mention the fact that I'm intimidated by the extremely yucky temperatures we've had lately. I'll have to go out early when the sun isn't as brutal! I also started going to a Zumba class twice a week with my mom at her church... Zumba often makes me feel like an uncoordinated giraffe, tripping over my own awkward limbs, but sometimes I can really get in the groove and have fun dancing around.

I'm excited to be back!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Check-In / Getting Stuff Done


Well, this is a momentous week because, as of this week, we get Emily back! WOO HOOO!!!! Having finished her summer programming, we will start hearing from her sometime soon.

As for me-- The busy nature of my summer has made keeping to a workout schedule hard, but I've been getting them in where I can. I'm down now about 17 pounds from when we started this adventure, and I'm starting to fit back some old clothes, which feels good. I binged on S'mores this weekend, but I refuse to feel guilt. It's summer and S'mores are delicious. :-)

How about all of you?

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Post that Doesn't Belong Here - ENOUGH with the Girl Judgement

I’m going to start by saying, this post doesn’t belong here; it has nothing to do with the purpose or goals of this blog.  But I have some things to say, and I needed a forum. 

I feel like this post should start like that scene in ‘Mean Girls’ where Tina Fey has everyone raise their hands to indicate if they have ever had a girl talk about them behind their back, and then to indicate if they have ever spoken about a girl behind her back. (My hand is raised for both, FYI.)

If you would have asked me when I was 16 if I thought girls would still be treating each other horribly as adults, I would have confidently told you no.  I assumed that, by my late 20s, women would have grown up enough to get over it and just appreciate each other for who we are. Sadly, I’m wrong.

As my 30s approach, a line is being drawn I the sand between those of us who are married/unmarried, those who have children/no children, etc. And girl world, which one would have thought would have dissipated during college, is only gaining more strength.  We judge each other on if we are married or single. We judge each other on if we have kids or not, and what choices we make with those kids.  We judge each other on ever minuscule detail of our lives. And, what's worse now is that we push our lifestyles on each other.

When is this going to stop? Keli wrote a little about this when she discussed ending the ‘mommy wars’, but I extend it further and ask all women, moms or not, when we are going to stop acting like children and let each other live our own lives? When are we going to accept that what works for me may not work for you, and that is OK?

Our mothers and grandmothers did not fight for women’s rights so that we could sit around and judge each other on the decisions we make.  They did not fight to gain us the rights to choose our own path in life, be it family or career, just so we could talk about each other’s decisions behind each other’s backs. If you have a career, the whispers say you should have children; if you have children, the whispers say you should have a career. If you have a man, the whispers are that you settled; if you don't have a man, the whispers are that there is something wrong with you, etc.

At what point are we going to stop pushing our values on each other and forcing each other into lifestyles that we may or may not want and simply ask each other this: Are you happy?  

I must get asked 10 times a week by my married friends if I’m seeing anyone.  (For some reason, married people think that single people deserve no right to privacy in the matters of dating.) My answer is always the same, “If it’s anyone you need to know about, you will know.” Everyone hates this answer. They hate it because it’s vague and, for some reason, everyone thinks they are entitled to a front row seat to my romantic exploits because ‘they know better than I do.’  A very good friend spent an entire evening devaluing my life this week, simply because, it is her belief that I 1) must have a man, and 2) if I knew how to (and I quote) ‘catch a man’, I would have one by now.  At no point did she ask if I am happy. (Which I am).  At no point did she ask if I even want a relationship. At no point did she do anything but attempt to push her lifestyle on me. The conversation was awful, and when I tried to confront her about it later (albeit in my I-take-no-shit-so-don’t-eff-with-me format), she admitted no wrong and saw no reason I should have been upset. In fact, I find that if you try to explain to another woman why what they said bothered you, they take it, generally, as an admission that you, somewhere deep down, think they are right and THAT is what bothers you, not their behavior. (Insert hysterical laughter here, and that is me laughing at people who think like that).

Do I have plenty of work to do on my life? For sure. (Don’t we all?) There are many things I would like to improve or change, but that’s part of being human. And, overall, I am extremely happy right now. Which I think annoys other women most of all, and that makes me sad.

My question to her, and to all of you: Are you happy?

Because that is all I want to know. And if not, let’s work on that together.  And you can choose any life you want. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Running outside: How hot is too hot?

Holy heatwave, Batman!!!!

Chicago, like a lot of places these past couple of weeks, as been averaging temperatures well into the 90's, with heat the heat index hovering in between 100-115* F. Even in the mornings, it's in surplus of 80* and humidity levels have been 80+%.

So-- runners out there-- at what point to we say IT IS TOO HOT to run?

The past few weeks have been so busy that I've been *trying* to get up early and run/walk before work to make up for some missed workouts in the evenings due to so much stuff going on. But, the past two weeks, I've nixed the outside stuff due to heat. Am I doing the right thing? I see runners outside, looking like they want to die, and I tell myself that I am making the right decision. But then I wonder if I'm just being a pansy.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Serious case of the Mondays - Getting Stuff Done Check In

I can say, with confidence, we have a serious case of the Monday's here. Emily is knee-deep in summer programming and I'm wading through an email/facebook hacking incident. I think it goes without saying, but any emails from stating I'm out of the country and need money are, in fact, fraudulent. Ignore them. OR-- track down who sent them and submit them to public humiliation. Either works for me.

Confession: My running didn't happen last week. I'm going to start fresh today at the gym.

How about all of you?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Check In - Getting Stuff Done

Well, to continue my trend of boring posts, I have little to report this week. Things are going forward, but with not much to report. On a fun note, I'm slowly checking off stuff on my summer checklist, like going to movies in the park, visiting home, etc.

So I turn this post over to you-- How are all you doing? Link up or just leave a comment and say HI. Emily and I love to hear from you. If you feel like sending a shout to Emily, I'm sure she'd appreciate it-- she's slowly getting through the program she is running this summer. I'm sure any encouraging thoughts would be appreciated!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tales of a Running Slacker

So, I've been a bit of a slacker.

I went home to visit my parents in Detroit from last Thursday until Yesterday. Due to packing, getting stuff done to leave, being gone, etc., the last time I went for a run was last Tuesday. Shame on me. I had mapped routs by my parents house to run while I was there, but it just didn't happen. I took the dog for a two mile walk on Friday, but that was it. Shockingly, I didn't gain any weight while I was gone, (YAY!), but the running has suffered. My plan was to get back on the wagon tonight, but friend just offered me a ticket to see U2 for FREE, so, uh, DUH, I'm not running.

So tomorrow I get back on the wagon. Tomorrow I run. I think I'll ease back in with the week 5, day 1 pattern of run 5, walk 3. I'm a little scared that this is going to hurt REAL BAD, but, it must be done.

Next Monday I'll be back on track with getting the 'Getting Stuff Done' posts up, for those of you following along!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Holidays count for blogging, right?

We owe you a post, but Emily is in the middle of running her summer program and I just spent 10 hours on what should have been a 5.5 hour train ride, so I'm deciding that the 4th of July counts as a holiday for bloggers, too.

I hope the Americans are enjoying their holiday, I hope the Canadians out there had a fantastic Canada day! If you are neither Canadian nor American, I hope you are just having a great day. :-)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Getting Stuff Done - Monday Update

It's Monday again. This keeps on happening, like, way faster than it's supposed to. :-)

I had a great week exercise wise and food wise. I reverted back to week 5 of C25K after feeling like I was loosing endurance and ability to sustain a run. I'm going to start from there and move forward again and see what happens. On Saturday, I met up with the Tarnawas at the Botanical Gardens where we walked for an hour, and later that day we went shopping and walked for another hour or so. On Sunday, I went for a 12.5 mile walk with my friend Daniela who is training for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3 day in August. (Wanna do something good today? Support her fundraising for such a great cause!) The weather was perfect for walking and the city was beautiful-- we walked from Ravenswood down to the Lincoln Park Zoo, catching all kinds of sights on the way, including the tail end of the Pride Parade, which made for excellent entertainment.

During the week I was the poster girl for healthy eating, allowing myself a cheeseburger transgression on the weekend and a post-12.5 mile walk desert. I was excited to get on the scale this morning, because as of Friday I was down 3.5 lbs for the week. What did I see this morning?? UP a half a pound from where I was last week. I'm certain this is water related, as I walked a lot, got a lot of sun, and didn't drink as much water as I should have. With or without this rationalization, I'm annoyed.

I'm not sure if we will hear from Emily this week, as she is smack in the middle of her summer program.

How about all of you? How are you doing Getting Stuff Done??

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

150 min per week? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

This week Chrissy, who has been an oh-so-fantastic cheerleader to me and Emily both, raised an interesting question. How do you fit in enough workout time and what do you do to work out when you are not running??

The CDC recommends that all adults take part in at least:
  • 2 hrs. 30 min. (that's 150 min) of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week (brisk walking); OR 1 hr. 15 min (75 min) of vigorous aerobic activity (jogging or running)
  • PLUS muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week that work all major muscle groups.
For additional health benefits, they recommend increasing activity to....
  • 5 hours (300 min) per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity OR 2 hrs. 30 min (150 min) of vigorous aerobic activity.
So, if you are me, you are thinking, 150min per week?? How am I going to find time for that??!!! I wrote a little bit about this issue here.  But, let's think about this for a second....

First, the CDC notes that 10 min. of aerobic exercise at a time is perfectly fine, and, in fact, good for you, as long as you are engaged in the activity for at least 10 min. So, of you walk to a train stop, bus stop, or to work/school every day, that very well may count towards your total!
Second, if you are running (like Emily and I are trying to do) 30 min, 3 times per week, you are getting 90 min per week of vigorous aerobic activity, which is over the minimum 75 min recommended. If you are me, and you are trying to run 4-5 times per week, but are still walking about 1/3 of your 30 min, it seems to me that you are still on target.

BUT....what if you don't want to run? Or, what if you want to get in more of a work out without having to run all the time?

When I met with the trainers at my gym, they recommended I attend fitness classes at the gym. I'm not a fan of group fitness (even though I know the classes are good for you, yada yada yada...), so I tend to use the elliptical machine or the cross training machines when I'm not running. Actually, I like to use both machines to do my warm up/cool down on days I run, as well.

Don't have a gym membership? I'd say exercise DVDs are a great thing you can do at home. If I had enough space, I'd totally do some. 

So, let's throw this question out to all of you and collect some ideas -- What is your favorite non-running / non-walking workout??

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Check In - Getting Stuff Done


No, seriously-- I don't know how Monday is happening right now. Last week was a bit of a fitness disaster, as important things were going on in my evenings when I usually go to the gym, and the rain gods saw fit to make it rain almost every morning when I woke up to try and get in a run before work. It was not for lack of me trying to run, though! I ended up with two runs and one evening of helping a friend spackle / sand a wall, which I'm counting as an arm workout. (What, that TOTALLY counts, right?? RIGHT????) I spent Friday and Saturday indulging in college nostalgia with a visit to my old Alma Matter in Bloomington, IN.There was much eating in this adventure, as well as much walking, so I came out ok in the end.The scale is showing a very very very gradual progression downward, so I can't complain.

I look forward to kicking it back into high gear this week. I went back to a 5 min run / 2 min walk / 5 min run / 2 min walk / 5 min run pattern and it's helping me get back some of the confidence I was loosing by trying for the 20-25 min runs I'm supposed to be doing right now. The counting method suggested by Bix in last week's comments has also been really helpful! (Thanks, Bix) I also FINALLY saw the physical therapist last week, and even after just a few days of the exercises and stretches she gave me, the knee is a zillion times better. It was kinda way better already after working with the trainer at my gym and I almost cancelled my appointment with the therapist, but I'm glad I didn't. It was really interesting for someone who has never 1) done any sports and 2) never been to a physical therapist, to watch someone inspect how I move/run/walk and come up with reasons why things hurt and/or don't move correctly.

Emily Says......

Happy Birthday to me! I am officially the age of decreasing insurance premiums and where I can rent a car without an extra "youth" fee. (Is there anything else cool about being 25 besides that and being able to say "QUARTER CENTURYYYY!" in your best British accent?) My sleep patterns have been all screwy leading up to my month-long camp experience, which starts imminently, so I haven't gotten the runs in that I hoped I would. I know I'll need to go out running during camp or else (a) I will lose everything I've built up until now and (b) my stress level will be off the charts. I'm looking forward to that alone time and to keeping up my stamina! Wish me luck (and pray that I only eat a small piece of birthday cake today)!
How about you?? How are you doing with getting stuff done??

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You Said it, Kid!!

This is one of my favorite kiddos. Apparently, she can read my mind. 
I now proclaim her mascot of my running adventures.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Check In - Getting Stuff Done


Julie here! And I'll admit it: running is getting the better of me.  I keep trying, and I feel like I'm making no progress. I got to a point where I could run 15 min. without stopping, and I feel like I'm regressing. I hit the 8 min. mark and I loose all steam. I'm wondering if part of it is diet-- I hit a bad string of allergic reactions and defaulted back to some less healthy options this week. Sometimes, for me, this is necessary to get things back on track-- once my digestive tract decides it's not happy with something, it kind of hates everything until I give it a fruit/veggie break, so I wasn't exactly, um, I guess, 'absorbing' much fuel. But, now I'm good, so I need to tighten up the diet again.  That being said, this week I am down .7lbs, which takes care of the .5 lbs I put on last week. I'm hoping to get the running back in shape, too. But, I'm not going to lie-- I keep waiting to like running, and I don't. Any tips anyone has on this are more than welcome!!

Emily says.......

I went for a run in the steamy, steamy morning on Tuesday right before going on vacation . The rest of the week I was at Hocking Hills with my extended family doing hikes but also doing an obscene amount of lounging around. Perhaps all of the laughing and talking burned off some serious calories, because I only gained a pound, even with the copious amount of food that was always being consumed at the cabin! Now I'm preparing for my job directing a summer camp, but I'm back home and can get in my running groove again!

How about you? How are your goals/projects going?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Post-Workout Eats

Hi Everyone! Julie here! 

I work out after work, so by the time I'm home it's time for dinner. I'm super lazy in the kitchen and I never want to cook anything that's going to take a long time. Also, by the time I'm home it's usually close to 8pm and I don't want to eat too much later than that in my evening!

For a long time, I felt kind of sick and not at all hungry after a workout. I blamed this on being out of shape, but it stopped almost instantly when I stared wearing a latex free sports bra.

I started making myself a cucumber and beet salad and it's become my favorite post-workout meal.

I mix together...

1/2 can of beets
1/4 - 1/3 of a can of chick peas (sometimes I use quinoa instead)
1 or 2 sliced Persian cumbers (you can use any cucumbers, I just like the little Persian ones)
2 Tbls. of crumbled feta cheese

Partly due to stuff I'm allergic to and partly due to just plain not liking it, I never use salad dressing. I'm not sure what kind you'd put on this if you wanted to...maybe Greek dressing?  I find that the feta cheese and the beets do a good job of flavoring everything without any additional dressing. Pitfalls of this meal? I tend to be heavy handed with the cheese and it ends up not being as healthy a salad as it could be. A little feta goes a long way, so you really only need a tablespoon or two.....but I tend to 'accidentally' use a lot a little more than that.

What's your favorite post-workout meal or snack?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I Want You To Come Over, But I Don't Want To Kill You: Hosting Someone With Allergies

More than one person I know has told me that they want me to come over for dinner, but they are afraid to feed me due to my allergies. I cannot speak for everyone, but I can say for myself, I never want anyone to be worried about inviting me over or spending time with me! I thought it might be helpful if I put together a list of some 'helpful hints' when hosting friends with allergies. 

Here are few simple things you can do to enjoy your friend’s company without worry! 

  • Make sure your house is clean, especially areas where a guest may be sleeping.  Dust, mold spores and pet dander are common in homes and also common allergens. Help ensure your guests are comfortable with a few simple preparations:
    •  Provide all freshly cleaned bedding for overnight guests.
    •  Ask any overnight guests if they have allergies to pillows—some people are allergic to feathers, others to latex foam, etc.  If someone has a sever allergy, he/she will most likely offer to bring his/her own pillow. Asking them may help remind them to pack a pillow and it shows are a super fantastic friend and host. 

  • Make your gusts aware of any pets in your home. For someone with a pet allergy, knowing ahead of time can help. For some, it will determine if they can stay overnight or not in your home. 
    • If your guest suggests that you go out to eat instead, or suggests something other than visiting your home, please do not take it personally!
    • Keep an eye on any kids who are visiting your home. Kids are not always as conscientious as adults when it comes to avoiding pets and situations that may cause a reaction.  Do your best to help keep kids away from pets you know they are allergic to and alert their parent/guardian if you think you notice them having a reaction. 

  • Ask about food allergies before planning your menu. Most of us with food allergies are just as afraid of being a burden on our hosts as our hosts are of feeding us!  Being asked ahead of time can ease some of the fears on for both you and your guests. A few guidelines to help you have the conversation.
    • Be prepared to let your guest know exactly what goes into each of your dishes.  Someone with allergies is not trying to be rude by asking for details, and they are not purposely trying to weasel that secret family recipe out of you.
    • Make sure you ask if there is anything that they cannot have anywhere near their meals. For some with severe allergies, even having an item present on the table can cause a reaction.
    • In my experience, for most people, the list of food allergies is concise and easy to work around.  If you are hosting someone for whom this is not the case, such as someone with a latex allergy or a long list of food allergies, it may help to ask, “I was thinking of making _________ , will that work ok with your allergies?”  as opposed to, “What are your food allergies?”.  I find the former question much easier to answer than to try and laundry list all the foods I can’t eat for someone.
    • Do not be offended if your guest insists on bringing a dish. This may be them trying to be polite, but it may also be them ensuring there is something that they can eat at the meal.  Your efforts to accommodate them will not have gone unnoticed; it’s just a self-defense mechanism.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask a parent to pack a child’s meal.  If you have a child coming to your home and you are nervous about his/her allergies, ask the parent to pack a meal for the child. I do not have kids, but if I did, I know I’d have no problem with that. In fact, I’d feel good doing it and be glad that the parent is thinking of my child’s safety. As an adult, I’m also not offended at all if people ask me to make sure that I bring my own food somewhere. I usually offer to, anyway, just because I don’t like others feeling obligated to navigate my allergies.  

    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Though you may want to avoid asking for the gory details what happens when someone reacts to something, I know that, personally, I’m never offended by someone asking questions. When my friends ask me things, it shows they are being concerned and considerate.

    Anyone out there have anything to add? Leave a comment! Share your thoughts!

      Monday, June 6, 2011

      Getting Stuff Done- Monday Update

      Well, this week was a tough one for both of us. I (Julie) started into my fabulous yet busy June, which involves a lot of visiting old friends, travel, and eating. I was in Indianapolis this weekend for a 30th birthday party for one of my most fantastic friends/former roommate!! I also had lunch with another former roommate, which was beyond awesome, as my chances to see these fantastic ladies are few and far between these days. That being said, I ate a lot of food. This combined with the fact that being out of town/busy cut into the workouts, I'm up half a pound today. BLARG. I suppose I deserve it. As penance, I woke up early this morning and went for my first ever outdoor run. I walked most of it, but I TRIED, right?? I plan to try again tomorrow, and, if I can keep myself motivated, I might try and do it every weekday morning in addition to getting to the gym in the evenings to do weights. This is ambitious. Not sure how I feel about it. :-) BUT- this month is so insane, I don't see any other way of getting in any decent workout time.

      Emily says.....

      Blah. It looks like I need to take another look at my motivation post because I was so unmotivated this week. After my long run on Memorial Day, I lost steam, and no, I don't know why. I did a day of my exercise DVD and did some walking all around a local amusement park, but no more running. Oh, the shame!! I should be back on track starting today though. I have my alarm set and everything so that I go out before it gets too hot!
      In other news, I will be going on vacation this week with some of my extended family (but sadly, without Julie), so I am looking forward to doing some active things with my family instead of sitting inside! Ready, go!

      How about you? How are your goals/projects going?

      Thursday, June 2, 2011

      Running Shoes

      When I (Emily) first started running, the only thing people said we needed was a good bra and some running shoes. I found a bra that works well for me and I thought I was set. However, my current sneakers were ones that I wore for everyday walking as well as running, and I was starting to notice some wear and tear on my shoes:

      I never really thought that it was that hard to pick out shoes, but I figured I had better get some advice from an expert so I don't mess up my feet or knees, and therefore my running goals!

      I went into a local running shop and told them I was looking for new shoes. It's quite amazing when you get into a place that knows what they're doing instead of just walking into a shoe store and picking out the prettiest color shoe! The representative took my shoe, looked at the wear and tear on the shoe, and then evaluated my gait. She measured my feet and then went to pull a few pairs of shoes. I tried on a few pairs of shoes, and then eventually settled on a new pair of shoes:

      Aren't they shiny and pretty?

      I did not know that I had a "neutral" gait, but apparently I do! Thanks to that evaluation, I know that I have a few different options for shoes. I'll need at least one more pair before I run the half marathon, so now I know what to look for and what to purchase!

      I would highly recommend going in to a running shop and getting a shoe fitting!

      Tuesday, May 31, 2011

      JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge 2011

      First - CONGRATS to Sarah, winner of our Girl Shot Shirts Giveaway!

      I (Julie) mentioned previously that I took part in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge as a non-competitive walker/jogger.  As my first race in a very very long time, it was a good 'warm-up', though I use that term loosely, as it was FREEZING. Chicago was pummeled with rain this past week, and had temperatures in the low 40s (Fahrenheit)  on race day. My two race buddies and I debated not going, as it was pouring rain up until about a hour to start time, but I'm glad we decided to go. Due to the weather and the huge crowd, we jogged very little and mostly walked, with a finishing time of 54 min.  As our purpose was just to have a good time, our mission was accomplished!

      Here are some pictures from the race......

       Proof I used a port-a-potty. This is a big deal. (I fear germs)

       Pre-race smiles! (or maybe we were just frozen like that, I'm not sure)

       Keeping warm...

      Run, Julie, Run!! (Ok, we staged this, I just ran for the camera. BUT, we did run a little.) 

      Note: Short people are not good at the 'put your arm out and take your own photo' thing.

      Monday, May 30, 2011

      Getting Stuff Done

      Have you entered our T-Shirt Giveaway yet??? Entries are open through tonight!!

      This week was a little chaotic for me (Julie). I had some appointments throughout the week that interfered with my regular workouts and I had family visiting for the Memorial Day weekend. We ATE like there was no tomorrow, so I'm a little scared to get on the scale. They just left about 1/2 hour ago, so I'm waiting until tomorrow to see how much damage has been done. (Yes, I'm a coward). This week I also participated in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, which is a 3.5 mile race through Chicago. It is a run/walk, so I did it as a non-competitive runner with two fantastic ladies. We tried to run a bit of it, but ended up walking due to it being SO CROWDED we had a hard time navigating the crowd moving at a jog. We finished in 54 min, which is fine by us. I hope that, by the end of summer, I'll be running this sort of thing, but this one was just for fun. Tomorrow I'm back on the wagon with the running and the eating! I'm starting at Week 5, Day 2 again and hoping to move forward form there.

      This week, Emily says....

      This week has been pretty good for running, but not so good on the diet... I decided to only repeat one day of Week 4 and then moved on to Week 5. On Memorial Day, I did the third day of Week 5 - running for 20 minutes without stopping! I was SO proud of myself when I got done! From here, it's only a short leap to running the full 5K! There's a forecast for steamy hot weather this week, so I'm trying to go for my run earlier in the morning that I have been these past two weeks.

      How about you? How are your goals and projects coming?

      Wednesday, May 25, 2011

      Girl Shot Shirts GIVEAWAY!

      Oh yes, you read the correctly-- we have YET ANOTHER great giveaway!!

      I'm really excited about this giveaway for two reasons-- one, Girl Shot Shirts makes adorable, high quality stuff, and, two, the shop is run by a 4th grader. Yes, you read the correctly-- check out her shop announcement:

      I am a fourth grade girl who came up with a great idea. I make clothing items for all things girl. I love sports,art, holidays, friends and so much more. With the help of my parents I set up and printed my original sports and girl themed artwork on t-shirts. Designing and printing my shirts is a whole family affair. I love it when people wear my original designs. When we started printing my designs we decided that we wanted our pieces to be unique and individualized. That is when we decided to repurpose some of the materials. I create fun and unique shirts that any girl would love and wear. I hope to make girls happy and feel good with a great shirt. 

      How awesome is that?? I don't know about you, but in the 4th grade I was too busy reading Bop magazine and doodling Mrs. Julie Ann (Insert Celebrity Last Name Here) on all my notebooks to do anything this awesome.

      Girl Shot Shirts sent me one of these fantastic "I Know I Run Like a Girl" shirts, and it has become my go-to shirt for the gym.  It is comfortable, and the neckline is just right so it doesn't feel like your shirt is strangling you. (Strangling t-shirts is one of my pet peeves-- this shirt passes the test with flying colors!) It would also make a great pajama shirt or just every day shirt, it's so comfortable!

      Luck for one of you fantastic readers, Girl Shot Shirts sent me one "I Know I Run Like a Girl" shirt (size XL)to giveaway!

      Here is how to enter:

      Mandatory entry:
      • Follow this blog and leave a comment telling us what you were up to when you were in the 4th grade. Be sure to leave an email address so we can contact you if you are the winner. 
      Additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each entry):
      • Visit Girl Shot Shirts and leave a comment telling us which items are your favorite.
      • Purchase an item from Girl Shot Shirts.  For each item you purchase, you get an extra entry!
      • Tweet about this giveaway. Leave a link to your tweet in a comment.
      • Blog about this giveaway. Leave a link to your post in a comment.
      Giveaway entries open until 11:59pm Chicago time on Monday, May 30th, 2011. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 31st.  This giveaway is open to anyone, world wide.

      Tuesday, May 24, 2011

      Something is better than nothing!

      Hey, it's Emily!

      I posted earlier in the month about finding time to work out, but what happens when you just can't fit in your workout? Whether it's a doctor's appointment scheduled during your workout time or the last day before a deadline, sometimes your workout just can't happen as planned!

      First of all, when you realize that the workout isn't going to happen, don't beat yourself up about it!

      Try to modify your activities throughout the rest of the day to get more calories burned than usual, doing such things as:
      • Standing up and pacing while you are on the phone. Not only can the movement keep you from getting distracted by things on the computer (guilty as charged!!), but you can burn some calories while walking around.
      • Taking some time to stretch, do sit-ups, or while waiting for anything, whether it's copies or waiting for a pot of water to boil.
      • Using the stairs instead of the elevator (or basically walking anywhere you might normally take a more "convenient" route)
      One "off" day is not going to kill you, just don't let it become a habit! You can always get back on track after a setback.

      Monday, May 23, 2011

      Getting Stuff Done + Giveaway Winner and COUPON CODE!!!

      Happy Monday!

      First, our T-Shirt Giveaway winner is Diana. Congrats! Diana, you will be hearing from MK Design Haus soon with details regarding your prize! Didn't win? NO WORRIES! MK Design Haus is offering a special discount code just for our readers!! Use code RUN4IT to get 5% off your order now through 5/31/2011.

      We will have YET ANOTHER giveaway later this week, so stay tuned!!!

      Last week I (Julie) started out really great until the weekend. I ran 5 days this week, completing the week 4 of the C25K program twice in full, and tossing caution aside and running for a full 15 min non-stop on one occasion. I had two events with lots of eating over the weekend which, with the exception or a cake splurge, I thought I made decent choices, all things considered. Except my scale does not agree. This week I am participating in the Chicago JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge through my work. It is a 3.5 mile walk/run (I'm registered to walk) through the city. I'm just doing it for fun-- I'm not ready to run/race yet, but I figured it was a good way to start myself into these sorts of things. Over the weekend I have some family in town so I'm hoping I manage to make it through without gaining back all the weight I've lost. (Seriously.....if you know my family, you now this is a real concern.......we like to eat...)

      Emily says....

      This week had some give and take. When I started running outside, it was very discouraging, but Friday's run was much better! I think I'm going to do Week 4 over again, because I could never complete the second 5-minute run, but I did come very close! Every now and then, I am spicing up my "off" days with a workout DVD, which gives me some nice variety. I also need to start a strength routine. Hmmm... I should get working on that! Weight has stayed largely the same, due to me going out to eat with friends and family now that I'm back in town. That will change soon, and I should be back on the weight loss track by the next check-in!!
      **Edit** I finished a Week 4 run this morning! Woohoo!!

      How are your goals and projects coming?? Let us know. (New to "Getting Stuff Done"? More info here.)

      Sunday, May 22, 2011

      Adapting: Getting My Diet Back on Track

      **Don't forget to enter our t-shirt giveaway, entries end at 11:59pm Chicago time, tonight!!**

      I’ve mentioned a few times that healthy eating has been hard from me since developing the latex allergy.  As noted in this post, a number of fruits and veggies are related to latex, so my healthy options are more limited than they used to be.   I’m SUPER lazy in the kitchen; I hate ‘cooking for one’, so I’m really good at opting for easy, not-healthy options like pizza, take-out, or mac-n-cheese. These are all rough on the wallet as well as the jeans-size. Actually, the only thing I do enjoy/do well in the kitchen is bake, but we won't even go into that here... :-)

      Back in the days when I was at my most fit and thin, here is an example of my diet on an average day:

      Raw almonds, 100 calorie pack of cookies, or Triscuits

      Low-fat yogurt (usually strawberry or lemon) OR low fat string cheese
      Raw veggies (usually carrots and celery)

      Grilled chicken breast or whole wheat pasta in tomato sause
      Steamed Veggies (usually green beans or zucchini)
      Brown or wild rice, or sometimes baked potato

      Melon or fruit
      Sometimes low-fat ice-cream

      Here is what that diet looks like if I cross out everything that I can no longer eat due to allergies:


      Raw almonds, 100 calorie pack of cookies, or Triscuits

      Low-fat yogurt (usually strawberry or lemon) OR low fat string cheese
      Raw veggies (usually carrots, celery, or mixed peppers)

      Grilled chicken breast or whole wheat pasta in tomato sauce
      Steamed Veggies (usually green beans or zucchini)
      Brown or wild rice, or sometimes baked potato

      Melon or fruit
      Sometimes low-fat ice-cream

      It’s a bit complicated, because if you were dutifully cross referencing my list with the list of latex reactive foods, you notice that some things I didn’t cross out are on the list. Like I mention in this post, not everyone reacts to all the foods, and, sometimes, a person reacts to more foods that others. This being the case, there have been times where I’ve had to go a week at a time without eating any fruits or vegetables in order to calm a bad reaction back down to a manageable state.

      What does all this mean? I eat a lot of carbohydrates.  Part of my goal with getting fit and training for the ½ marathon is finding a way to make my new dietary restraints less limiting.

      Let’s complicate things even more! Did you notice I crossed off yogurt? Most low-fat yogurts are labeled to contain ‘other fruit juices’.  Frequently, those ‘other fruits’ are pineapple.  If I want to eat yogurt (which had never really been my favorite, so I have to be really trying to behave myself to try), I get plain yogurt and flavor it with a little bit of fruit jam (I'm not hard core enough to eat plain yogurt with no flavor). I've recently started eating some Greek yogurts, which are really high in protein and (generally) not sweetened with pineapple, so that has been a great discovery!

      For the most part, I only need to re-vamp the early part of my day to accommodate my new diet. The items that I used to eat for dinner and snacks are mostly ok, it’s breakfast and lunch that need some help.  So far, I’ve worked on eating more oatmeal and high fiber cereals for breakfast and/or lunch. Prior to starting my big ‘get fit’ crusade, I was eating a lot of muffins and bagels which, though delicious, are not so good for the waistline.

      Slowly but surly, I'm making progress. My next goals are  1) to eat more lean proteins, 2) monopolize on the fruits and veggies and I can eat, and 3) replace potatoes and other starches with whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.

      Help me out! What are your favorite fast-and-easy, yet healthy dinner recipes?? Forget about allergies, share what you are cooking! I’ll steal your ideas and make them work in my own, special, latex-free way!  

      Friday, May 20, 2011

      Inside and Outside

      Hey, it's Emily again! Sorry I've been kind of MIA, I moved back to Ohio from Wisconsin for the summer and finished up final exams in the last two weeks. It hasn't left me a lot of time to blog! Thanks to Julie for picking up the slack!

      **Don't forget to enter our t-shirt giveaway, ending May 22!**

      Oh, the sheltered world of the gym. I had been using the gym at my university, but since I’m back in Ohio for the summer, I have no free access to a gym. I am seriously going to miss the treadmill.

      What? you may say, She is going to miss the treadmill? Who actually likes treadmills anyway? But, as someone who loves to have control, the treadmill was great for me because:

      • I could see exactly how far I had gone
      • I could choose exactly how fast I would go
      • I could control the incline
      • I could look at average pace, calories burned, and other fun stats like that
      • The treadmill was inside, in a (mostly) climate-controlled environment

      I went out walking with my mom on Wednesday. She’s working toward a different goal (hiking), so we walked a hilly route for about 3.5 miles before I started out on my “run.” I had ABSOLUTELY no idea how different running outside would be. I had to keep a strict eye on the second hand of my watch, I had no idea how fast I was going, and I did not get too far before I realized I had been pushing too hard - I was completely out of breath and my legs were not happy. UGH! How frustrating!!

      It’s not like I can avoid this transition to outside, but I was not prepared for it! Now that I know what I am facing, here’s how I’m going to fix some of the things that I didn't address before transitioning outside:

      • I will use a podcast or my own mix of music that will tell me when I should be running/walking. This will allow me not to focus on my watch, but to focus on the road, my pace, and my breathing.
      • I will map out my run ahead of time on Google Maps, runningmap.com, or something similar, so that I know the mileage for different roads (and then I can figure out how fast I need to get down certain roads to maintain the pace I want).
      • I need to keep the weather in mind! It’s been chilly here lately, so I had to borrow a long-sleeved running shirt from my mom the other day. I know it will start getting pretty muggy and warm in the mornings, so I’ll make sure I’m out and running before it gets too hot! (I also need to not avoid going out when it's raining!!)
      Does anyone have more advice for this transition from inside to outside?

      Wednesday, May 18, 2011

      The Last Hurrah - Binge Eating & Diet Sabotage

      **Have you entered our MK Design Haus T-Shirt Giveaway yet?? Open until 5/22**

      Hi- it's Julie again. You've been getting a lot of me, but I promise, I haven't shoved Emily in a closet or anything. You will be hearing more from her soon! 

      I've been thinking about how our brains play into our fitness a lot latley.

      Mostly I've been thinking about the idea of the 'last hurrah'.  You know what that is-- the 'I ate really poorly this yesterday/today/this week so I might as well call this my 'last hurrah' and eat junk until __________ when I start over for real,' reaction to eating poorly.  Or, even on a smaller level, 'I already ate the _________ today, I might as well eat the ___________." (If you are me, both those blanks are probably filled with the world 'cake').

      The first time I was ever put on a diet I was ten years old, and in the almost two decades since then, I still can't figure out exactly why our brains work in this self destructive way.  For most of us, we know that what we are eating at the time is not good for us, and, for most of us, we know the consequences. And yet, I have the 'last hurrah' dialogue in my head at least once every two months.

      I wish I had a some magic answer to put here right now regarding how to avoid this, but the truth is, I don't.  But, I have learned a few things over the years that help.
      • Avoid people who want to sabotage you, especially during the first month of your healthy eating. I find that if I can get a good month of good eating under my belt, I'm less likely to go on a junk food binge.  Partly, this is because I'm doing well and don't want to mess it up, and partly because once I've put good food in my body for a month, junk food just makes me feel gross and sluggish and I don't really want it. Avoiding our saboteurs is sometimes easier than others.   For me, my saboteurs are mostly a few of my close friends who have never had to diet and are magically thin without really trying.  They find people who count calories or who have to choose their foods/beverages carefully irritating because they don't understand how one glass of wine or one scoop of ice-cream can really make a difference between success and stagnation for someone struggling with weight. They are the chief advocates of, "Come on, enjoy it now, start tomorrow...." Trying to have a heart-to-heart with them about how and why you choose the foods you do can sometimes help, but sometimes, I have to chose to not see them. This is more difficult if your saboteur is a spouse or significant other. Maybe I'll do a whole post about diet sabotage soon and we can all discuss this together. 
      • DO hang around people who support your eating! Friends and family who know you are trying and very quietly, without being nosy jerks, support you are the greatest asset in avoiding junk food binges. Like, the friend who will make a healthy dinner the night you come over, or the co-worker who makes sure the cookie plate is not in front of your desk.  Last week, my coworkers were amazing in this respect-- there are constantly cookies/treats on the end of my desk for people to munch on when they enter our suite. They know I try not to eat them, and last week there was a strawberry on the cookie platter. One of my co-workers dabbed the strawberry on every cookie so I couldn't eat them. (I did warn others, don't worry. I didn't let any other possible allergics fall victim to the strawberry venom.) :-)
        • Don't let your diet kill your social life. This is hard, especially considering I just said that part of my method of avoiding mass junk consumption is to avoid certain people at certain times. And, honestly, I usually do have to go a little under the radar socially for the first month or so of my diet to get things started. Once I'm doing well, I'm far less likely to make poor food choices.  Also, make sure you are on a plan that lets you be social. Even if you lose weight a little slower than with a really strict plan, you have to be able to function in all areas of your life or else you will not be able to maintain the weight loss.  I've dropped a lot of weight fast on a few occasions, but as soon as I resumed my life, it all came back 
        • Food is Medicine, Not Fun. This sounds lame, and it's only partly true, as, especially us Americans, love to use food as recreation.  BUT-- it is a mindset that can lead to better food choices while being social. If you can look at a menu in a restaurant and choose with that mantra in your head, you are less likely to be tempted by the delicious mac-n-cheese or other diet-destroying dish.  Also, it is a phrase I throw out at some of my saboteurs.  They know when I say it, they are starting to push the line between being nice and being a jerk.  They may not understand how they are being jerks, but they know enough to change the subject once I say it. Thinking of food as medicine also helps me focus on letting the situation be fun and not the food itself. As great as great food can be, the fun part of going out or being with friends should be the friends part.  
        • If you are going to hurrah, hurrah on something that is worth it.  Sometimes, we all need the day or meal where we eat what we want, even it if sets us back a little. Make sure you pack that day or meal with things you really love so that you feel satisfied, not just whatever junk is around. Even better is if you can plan for it-- like, a two weeks ago I had a birthday dinner  for a friend. I ordered a delicious, DELICIOUS cake from one of my favorite bakeries for this event, and I did not want refrain for having some.  Knowing that, I planned to eat really well the day before and after to make room for some of my caloric transgressions at the celebration. I also pregamed for the event by reading the online menu for the restaurant and noted a few of the less-horrible for me options so that I was not sucked in by the cheeseburger, but still ate something delicious. Something else I've learned to do when I know I'm going to eat poorly for a day/meal is to go grocery shopping the day before so that the next day, my fridge is full of healthy things and I won't be tempted to make one night of bad eating into a week of bad eating. 
        What are some of your tricks to avoid the junk-food-binge??

          Monday, May 16, 2011

          Getting Stuff Done + T-Shirt Giveaway!!!

          It's Monday again, even though I'm not sure how it happened.

          First, I'm please to announce that the winner of the Suits Me Swimwear giveaway is 'FallingLadies'.  Ms. FallingLadies-- you did not leave an email address!! Please contact me before Friday, 5/20/11 or a new winner will be chosen.

          Second....our weekly updates....

          My week has gone well. I was ridiculously scared to start week 4 of the C25K program because it has 5 min running stretches, as the 3 min stretches in week 3 were conspiring to kill me. BUT-- I realized that if I took my speed down, I could do them without fear of death. So, I'm running a lot slower than I'd like right now, but I'm able to do longer stretches, which is more important at the moment.Weight loss is still slow-but-steady at a pound-ish a week, I'm down a total of 8lbs since I started trying to loose weight a couple weeks before we stated this blog and the running process.  This week, I think the greatest thing for me is the amazingness (is that a word? it is now) of my friends and family who are being SO SUPPORTIVE of this process.  Seriously. There aren't words for all the support I've received since this started, and if karma is real, everyone should be getting a delivery of a million dollars and a house-broken puppy that cleans floors and windows. 

          Emily moved this week. (GAH! We all know what that's like!) So, between moving stress, finishing her semester, and eating all her food to clean out her fridge, she hopes to have maintained her current weight and will resume trying to lose once the dust has settled. And, for a moment I will digress and brag about my cousin being awesome-- because you must know that she is back in her hometown for the summer playing a pivotal role in an international children's project that promotes peace keeping and international understanding. She is awesome.

          How are your goals/projects coming? Link up and let us know! (New to "Getting Stuff Done?" Welcome! More info here.)

          But wait, there's more!! We have another giveaway!

          Like many of you, I spend more time than I care to admit trolling around etsy.com. On a recent peruse, I fell in LOVE with the "Bake, Eat, Run" T-shirt from MK Design Haus. It pretty much explains how I got into this whole running mess to begin with. I was even more excited when I found out that, not only do they make awesome shirts, but MK Design Haus donates 10% of each purchase to charities in their local area.

          Mary of MK Design Haus is giving away the T-Shirt of the winner's choice from her shop!!

          Here is how to enter:
          • Follow this blog! Leave a comment saying that you follow AND which item from MK Design Haus you would choose if you win. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner. (This entry is mandatory)
          For additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each entry):
          • Follow @JVdesigns on twitter and tweet about this giveaway! Leave a link to your tweet in a comment.
          • Purchase an item from MK Design Haus. Leave a comment saying what you purchased. You get an additional entry for each item you purchase!
          • Blog about this giveaway! Leave a link to your post in a comment.
          • Link up to today's "Getting Stuff Done". You will automatically be given an entry in the giveaway if you link up.
          This giveaway is open to US residents only.
          Giveaway is open until 11:59pm Chicago time, Sunday, May 22, 2011. I'll announce the winner on Monday, May 23, 2011.

          Sunday, May 15, 2011

          Check Out Our New Look!

          **If you haven't entered our giveaway yet, it's not too late! Entries open until 5/15!** 

          Do you SEE how pretty our blog is??? 
          THANK YOU SO MUCH to Melissa for the facelift!!

          Thursday, May 12, 2011

          Cut Out the Fitness Noise- Making a Workout Plan that Works for You

          **If you haven't entered our giveaway yet, it's not too late! Entries open until 5/15!**

          I can't tell if this issue is just me being a little bizarre, or if it applies to more of us.

          Does anyone else have a hard time filtering out the fitness noise?

          Like, there are so many sources telling you to do so many things in so many ways and you almost don't want to do any of it because you can't do all of it?? And then, if you're me, you just get angry at everything, because, well, that's what I do.

          I've been feeling that a lot latley. 

          I mentioned in a recent post about my knee injury that I met with a trainer at my gym to set up a fitness program.  She was really nice, but she made me the least realistic plan ever. I left kind of angry, but mostly because I felt like if I didn't go with the new plan, I'd never lose weight or get anything accomplished, which is kind of how I think the fitness industry wants me to feel.

          When the meeting started, I told her that I have my cardio plan, but I needed some guidance in terms of adjusting my weight regiment  and stretching. She was really adamant that I add some of the gyms fitness classes into my regime.  She cited sound reasons for this-- varied muscle movement, a variety of cardio, stretching and strength, etc.  I left with a plan has me running four days a week, doing weights 4 days a week, and attending fitness classes, including cardio, strength and yoga, 5 days a week.  The weights and the running I'm fine with, but adding in fitness classes, though I'm sure it would be extremely beneficial, makes my daily workout about 2.5-3 hours long.

          More problematic is that I can't lay on my gym floor. The floor in 2/3 of the gym is made of rubber, which contains latex, so I can't sit or lay on it. The other area is carpet, and this where the classes take place. Thought the carpet is latex-free, it is walked on by everyone who waked on the rubber and rolled latex heavy mats, balls, etc., all over it.  This concept is really hard for some people to understand.  Even when she was showing me stretches, half of them involve laying down, and I just can't do it while I'm there. I can do it at home, but by the the time I get home, it's a little too long after my run to be as beneficial or to help my knee. I know I should have stopped her immediately and told her to show me something else, but she was really having a hard time understanding what I was telling her, and just kept suggesting I lay on a towel, so I just let her do her thing, knowing we were wasting time.(In her defense, she was really sweet, she just didn't get it.)

          The trainer also put me in two dance based fitness classes, as they lay on the floor the least, but, uh, to be honest? I'd rather be locked in Guantanamo than dance. I'm a hazard to anyone with in fifty feet of me if I dance. And I hate it. Back in my musical theater days, every. single. choreographer I ever worked it threatened me within an inch of my life, thinking it could somehow make me coordinated. I actually made the Guantanamo comment out loud during our discussion and it confused the poor girl even more.

          On my way out, the trainer asked if I felt good about the plan and how excited I was to start. I was honest and said I didn't think the plan was realistic at all. I think I hurt her feelings and I felt a little bad. She then started spouting about how following would lead to 2lbs a week in weight loss and how great a balanced program it is, blah blah blah.

          And that's when my brain freaks out.  I start to think, "I HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO DO THIS OR I'M NEVER GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT AND I'LL BE STUCK LIKE THIS FOREVER."  When the truth is, I don't. Would it be ideal? Yes. But, I work. I try to have a life. I have a ton of boring, everyday stuff to do, like, laundry and cleaning my bathroom. Doing my runs and some weights 3-4 times a week is enough.  Is it perfect and balanced and everything a fitness instructor dreams of? No. But it is on par with the recommended amounts for the average person. And it is a healthy amount.  Even if I managed to find a way to pull off her plan for a the next 10 months while I train for the 1/2 marathon, I will immediately gain tons of weight as soon as I stop, because it is an unrealistic amount of exercise for a person who works full time.

          I'd like to be able to say that this whole, kind of funny, story is simply just one experience with one trainer at one gym, but I don't think it is. I, actually, really like the culture of my gym and all the people who work there. I believe this is the nature of the fitness industry-- to somehow trap you into thinking you must make it your life or not have it at all. Like, if you aren't at the gym 3 hours a night, you are somehow a failure who is going to be fat and die of diabeattack (that's my own person combination of diabetes and a heart attack).

          I'm working on filtering out this noise and doing what I know works.  I'm trying to be open to learning new things without being forced into a plan or agenda I don't want or can't do. I'm trying to remember that one does not have to do ALL to do SOME.

          Tuesday, May 10, 2011


          (Hey, it's Emily!)
          As I've reflected on my progress thus far and how much I have to do to be ready for a half marathon, I thought… Holy moly, I have such a long way to go!

          Monday morning at the gym, I started week 4 of Couch to 5K and I struggled. A lot. The fear that I won’t be able to run a full mile without walking started to creep in. In elementary school, I wasn’t the fastest at running the mile, but I ran it. I think I finished it in about 10 minutes. Now? Not so much. Including the walking warm-ups and jogging, I’m averaging just under 14 minutes a mile.

          Even if I get down to 13 minute miles, it would mean that those 13.1 miles of the half marathon will take me just over 170 minutes (2 hours and 50 minutes). If I think about how quickly that time passes while I’m driving or working throughout the school day, well, that’s not so bad. But put me on a treadmill and say, “3 hours, go!” and that’s a whole different story. That’s a real hit to my motivation.

          The reason why I have not consistently stuck to an exercise regimen is that it’s extremely hard to keep up my motivation. If pounds weren’t falling off as fast as I desired or I skipped a workout, it was easy enough to say something like, “What’s the point?” or “Well, I didn’t go yesterday… and today I’m SO tired, so I’ll go tomorrow.”

          As Zig Ziglar said, "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." Here are some things I use to keep me motivated:
          • I have a printout of my workouts that I can “x” off when I complete them. After a tough workout, it feels SO good to cross it off and it’s a tangible sign of my progress.
          • I have an inspirational drawing. I found a picture of Belle (the Disney princess) drawn as if she were a runner (with modern running attire and headphones, no less), printed it out, and added my own artwork so that it looks like she’s about to run to the Cinderella castle at Disney World. I colored it in and have it hanging in a place where I see it every day. The visual representation of my goal (running the Disney Princess Half Marathon) reminds me that I have something very exciting in my future!
          • Supportive people. I couldn’t do this without all of the support I have from friends and family. The fact that my cousin Julie (and likely, a few other people) will be running with me, keeps me on task. I can’t let them down!
          • Personal goals. While running the half marathon is the overarching goal, my personal goals for weight loss and becoming healthy give me a different aspect of the running to focus on.
          What are some things that cause you to lose motivation? What motivates you to continue your workout regimen?