More Blogger Opportunities

Okay friends…today was a pretty blah day. Thing just were kind of a mess, and nothing seemed to be going right at all.

BUT- then, something really exciting happened.

I’ll give you a hint- it has to do with the blog here.

It also has to do with fitness, fitness expos, and blogger meet ups.

Any guesses? (I know I’ve already spammed my Facebook friends about this…but, ya know. 😉 )

Okay, okay…twist my arm! I’ll just tell ya.

I got an e-mail today from the good people over at Fitbloggin.

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And this e-mail from the good people over at Fitbloggin was letting me know that the  voting was now open for their Ignite Fitness competition!

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And guess who’s Ignite Fitness Spark was chosen as a contender?

This girl’s!

Basically, the Ignite Fitness program allows for fitness bloggers and enthusiasts from all over the country to submit a Spark presentation topic/idea to Fitbloggin. They then put them up on their website and allow the public to vote on which 5 minute presentation they would be the most interested in hearing about at the keynote of Fitbloggin 2014.

And mine is up for voting!

My Spark, entitled “9 Miles”, is the 3rd Spark up on the voting webpage- you can read a little more about it here.

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Please, please please…with sugar on top- go to the website and vote for my Spark! If I am one of 7 that receives the highest votes, I’ll get to travel to Fitbloggin for free, AND get a chance to give my 5 minute presentation and share my fitness journey with a bunch of amazing, like-minded people.

How crazy amazing does that sound?!

And to add to the amazing factor, this year’s Fitbloggin is being held at the historic and stunningly beautiful city of Savanah, Georgia!

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So again, pretty please take the time to visit the voting page and give my Spark a read! Then, if you’re feeling generous, help a sister out and VOTE!

The link to the website again is on their main page here.

If you want more info on Fitbloggin, be sure and check it out- they’re an awesome organization! Tickets for the event go on sale this upcoming Saturday, February 1st. If it sounds like something you’d be interested in- sign up!

And come on, it’s Savannah.

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If all goes well, and you guys help me out with a little voting action 😉 – hopefully I’ll be there too!

Please and thank you all, in advance!

Have a fantastic Wednesday friends!

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Planning vs. Doing

Howdy, howdy! How was everyone’s weekend?

Hopefully fantastic!

Ours was- very busy, but rather productive. On Saturday morning, I went home and got organized before heading back out in the afternoon to do a little apartment hunting with Shane.

We were a little worried we’d have to put on our name on some crazy waiting list, but the place we love is only 50% full right now. We were told if we fill out an application, they can hold an apartment for us for 3 months. So I think the plan is to run by and grab one sometime this week/weekend and fill it out so we can start moving in mid April or early May.

It’s super exciting!

Then, after apartment hunting was done, we went back to BB and B for a few last minute additions to our kitchen registry. I have my first bridal shower coming up in February (woohooo!!!), so I wanted to have a good amount of items on my list before hand.

After that, Shane and I met up with some friends for a murder mystery show that was very…interesting.  And we’ll just leave it at that, shall we? 😉

Sunday was spent lounging around and doing some other organizational things. I also made time to get out and enjoy the amazing weather we were having yesterday! Dad and I went for a pre-dinner power walk that ran us about 2.5 miles. It was a perfect cap to the gorgeous day! And a great, very busy weekend.

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Now it’s back to Monday. Errr…Tueaday.

Woah.

I wasn’t ready at all this morning- but I had a little extra motivation to wake up early so I could see my favorite morning news anchor! (I’ll fill you guys in on this a bit more in a few days, I promise.)

I hit the gym at 5:30 this morning for a quick leg/shoulder/back circuit, 15 minutes of the arc trainer and 15 minutes on the stair master.

As far as workouts go- it wasn’t the best. :/ But it was better than nothing. I’ll likely try and fit another in later today.

Maybe this guy?

For this lovely Tuesday there’s something else entirely I’d like to focus on a little bit.

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Ah yes, the subject of planning vs. doing.

I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret- I am a perpetual planner.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m the queen of list making, agenda toting, calendar printing and plan making. I can make plans for days. Business plans, fitness plans, diet plans, goal lists, ect. You name it, I’ve probably made some sort of a list or plan to go along with it at some point or another.

I’m really good about planning. I’m also good about getting excited for new plans to come into effect.

What I’m not so good at…is always following through. I’m always looking for the next best thing, a new plan to create, something that will really work this time- then petering out when I get bored or don’t see what I want soon enough.

It’s a mess.

I taked a little bit about this in terms of fitness in –this- post a little bit ago, but it’s just as true about career goals, wedding planning, packing for trips, ect. as it is about that stuff.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m getting pretty tired of it.

I think it’s time I do a little less planning, and a lot more doing.

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I think Nike is onto something.

I’m still a big lover of lists, don’t get me wrong. And goal planning is great. But planning can’t be something that continually gets in the way of doing, and I’m afraid that’s something I’m very guilty of.

If you don’t like your circumstances- change them.

If you’re tired of feeling overweight- do something about it.

If you feel stuck at a job you don’t like- start looking for a new one.

If you’re experiencing a negative relationship in your life- either take steps to actively fix that relationship, or move on.

All of this is so much easier said than done. I know that.

Change is hard.

So is staying the same.

Choose your hard.

On that note, I want to leave you guys with some inspirational quotes. (I know, I know.) These are from all over, including pinterest and other forums.

Granted, most of them are fitness related- because this is a healthy living blog and that’s also my main focus right now. I think you’ll be surprised how often “fit quotes” can translate into all areas of struggle in our lives.

Enjoy!

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ACCOUNTABILITY-quote

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Fitness Friday- A Sort Of Workout Review

Hello, hello and a very happy Friday to you all! (If you’re reading this post, get ready to feel like a time traveler…I actually scheduled this bad boy back on Tuesday. Cool, right?)

You’ll have to forgive the somewhat scatter brained-ness of this post, friends. Since I’m basically time jumping over three days, it might all sound a little strange. I’m throwing this together on a Thursday night after having worked late two nights in a row. You’ll have to forgive me.

(Did I say that twice?)

Unfortunately, because this week has been so crazy, I haven’t had a chance to snap any solid photos of my food so far. Which stinks.

But I can tell you that I’m extremely pleased that even through the chaos of deadline, I managed to eat very healthy and still get (as of this morning) 4 solid workouts in throughout the week. I took Thursday off because A) I needed the extra sleep in the a.m. from working late the night before and B) my muscles were on fire.

Which brings me to the reason for this post….after all, it is Fitness Friday!

So, for today what I have planned for you is…another workout review!

Sort of.

This week, I decided to pull an old standby out for my workout on Monday night- and I fell so head over heels in love with it again, that I did it for my workout on Tuesday AND Wednesday as well!

It completely kicked my butt, but in the absolute best way. I have no idea why it’s taken me almost 8 months to pull this DVD out of my workout collection and put it back in the rotation again?

I love it.

I know a lot of people sort of see or hear “tae bo” and laugh at it a little bit- but let me tell you something.

Old school is where it’s at.

Not only that, but this DVD (not actually that old- 2010 I think?) is killer. It’s a total body cardio workout of boxing moves, kicks and cardio calisthenics. It does an amazing job of toning your back and shoulders- two of my favorite areas to train, and also two of the more difficult for me- as well as toning and shaping your stems.

Two summers ago, I did this DVD every day for 2 weeks straight and I kid you not- lost over 2 inches from both legs.

It was awesome.

I love this DVD too because you immediately start moving- the warm up is super dynamic and gets your blood pumping right off the bat. I also love that it’s a solid 50 minutes long, including the cool down.

Time flies through this thing, you guys- it’s so much fun! (I’ve done it 4 times this week and I’m still not tired of it.) It’s also pretty handy at relieving stress. 😉

If you like boxing, kick boxing, body weight training, cardio, sweating your face off, feeling like you got a killer workout….or losing inches….I highly recommend trying this DVD. You can find it online here, along with a ton of other great tae bo workouts from the original- Billy Blanks.

I really want to try his ultimate boot camp workout next. 😉

If anyone is super interested in this workout and lives anywhere near the area, seriously, feel free to hit me up and we can get a mini tae bo fusion class together! Yes- I’m THAT big of a fan.

Or, if that’s too weird, if anyone is just curious about the video and wants a full on workout review- I’m down for that, too.

Have an awesome, awesome Friday everyone!

Another Challenge

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. day! Did anyone have the day off from school or work today? It’s our busiest week of the month, so no such luck over here.

However, it’s also just a regular Monday! Are you guys ready and excited to start the new week off strong?

Just a warning- I won’t be able to post a whole lot this week. It’s our “production” week at work, and we’re trying to get the February issue of the magazine out. This means there will be some longer nights working, and if I want to fit in my workouts- which, ya know..I do- I’ll have to forgo blogging as often.

Before all that happens, I have a couple things to share with you all! Such as this magical purchase I made yesterday at The Fresh Market.

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What you see above is an amalgamation of random “health” related food items- which are all bought in preparation for something rather exciting that’s starting up around here this week.

Chia Seeds.

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Some delicious (or not so delicious) Kombucha.

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I really love the Synergy one with chia seeds in it- the raspberry flavor is out of this world, and I personally really like Chia seeds in my water. The Organic Raw stuff on the other side, however, is a different story. While its choc full of good for me probiotics and other “living organisms” (no joke- it says that on the bottle) I don’t enjoy the taste and really only drink it for the purported health benefits.

However, I also bought something there that I really, really enjoy the taste of…

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Some fresh ground Vanilla Maple coffee! Holy yum, this stuff is amazing. As if it weren’t enough that it’s fresh ground beans (which automatically make coffee taste better) the flavor itself is killer. Everyone at work kept saying it smelled like pancakes in my office today. It was the coffee- go figure.

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I wish you guys could smell this through the screen. To. Die. For. Plus, this coffee here was ground fresh by my dad. He was pretty excited to try out the do-it-yourself coffee grinders at the market, and I have to admit he did a pretty great job.

Thanks for the dee-lish coffee, Pops!

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Also, a side note- in case any of your were wondering, Percy Jackson was a major disappointment. No sea monsters at all.

I’m still a little upset.

No matter, however, because I have found several things to take it off my mind!

Like a self-motivated workout challenge, wherein I have to give Shane a dollar for every workout I miss or skip over the course of the next 4 weeks.

Each week, I tell him my workout total (goal), and at the end of the week if I haven’t reached that goal in the 7 days I’m given then I owe him a dollar for each missed workout.

Ooof. I may have over shot with my first number. Let’s just say I may end up pulling some unintended 2-a-days.

I’m also feeling pretty excited about this other idea I had for a challenge…this one focused on nutrition.

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That’s right! I’ve decided to formulate a 4 week challenge for eating clean to go along with my no missed workouts challenge. I’m really excited about this one, mostly because I know as well as anyone that “abs are made in the kitchen”.

I’ve always been better about getting my workouts in then being a stickler about my diet. I might do really well for about a week or two, but I’ll inevitably break and start eating normally because I’m “working it off” in the gym. Well, if anybody else out there thinks like this, I’m sorry to tell you but that just ain’t gonna cut it.

Trust me. I’ve lived it for 7 years.

I’ve finally come to the conclusion that if I’m going to put a ton of work in during the day in terms of workouts and burning extra calories, then I really want to clean up my diet and feed my body the fuel it really needs. So, I’ve decided to “eat clean” for the next 4 weeks and see what kind of impact that has on my fitness goals and my workouts.

I’ll be tracking my food a lot more closely, so you’ll probably be seeing more “food photos” showing up here. It’s just as much to hold myself accountable as it is to show you the types of clean eating foods and recipes I’ll be trying out.

I’m feeling really excited about it, and am very pleased with everything I’ve put in my body so far today!

Breakfast- an egg. Just one “fried” egg (I cooked it in a skillet with some Pam, probably not “clean” enough).

Lunch- pb and banana protein shake.

Dinner- a piece of baked Tilapia with some seasoning and some broccoli.

 

Not bad for day one, right? 😉

If anyone would like to join the challenge, please do so! I’ll be posting updates about it as it goes, so feel free to track progress and note changes over the next 4 weeks and update when I do! I’d love to hear if this works for anyone else.

Alrighty kiddos, time for me to get my workout in for the day- a little kick boxing is always a good stress reliever!

Have a wonderful night 🙂

It’s a Thing

Let me tell you guys something.

I remember some time ago, in the not so distant past, when getting up at 6:30 felt like it was the earliest, most horrifying hour of the morning. 7:00am- piece of cake. But 6:30?

Forgetaboutit.

Fast forward to now- and getting up at 6:30 on a week day throws me for a loop. Often times, if I skip my first alarm and let me second alarm wake me up instead, I’m shocked at how different 6:30 feels than my “first alarm”- aka 5:15.

5:15am. The new normal. If someone had ever told me that I would go to bed every night setting my alarm for 5:15am, I would have laughed.

But here we are, almost 8 months into my first “big girl” job and 5:15 is the usual.

Now, I don’t usually get up at 5:15 (unless it’s for a morning workout) but I still, always, without fail set my alarm for this time.

No matter what.

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I guess it isn’t the worst habit to have? Unless I’m having a rough morning, and end up snoozing the alarm from 5:15 to 7:00.

Yeesh.

The whole point of this story was mainly to illustrate that A) I have issues with the snooze button, and B) I got up yesterday morning for another early workout.

Woop! Another victory!

The workout of choice yesterday morning was actually an older Jillian Michaels workout that I haven’t done in forever- the “second week” workout from Ripped In 30.

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It wasn’t the hardest workout I’ve ever completed, but it wasn’t a joke either. I got a good, sweaty 30 minutes in before 6:15 even showed it’s face.

I’d say that’s a Friday morning win!

I also made an amazing Blueberry Banana Oatmeal smoothie that was oh so tasty.

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I really wanted to celebrate coffee Friday with the rest of my Starbucks gift card from Christmas, but there were some unforeseen circumstances that arose, so that had to be nixed.

Bummer.

After work, I went home to change for another workout until Shane let me know he actually had to work the open casting call for The Amazing Race last night. This guy- can you believe that’s part of his job?

I feel like this post is a bit scattered?

I blame all of the 5:15am alarms.

Anyways, it was all winning yesterday…until Shane and I went out on an adventure.

An adventure to find a movie we’ve been trying to rent on On Demand for the past 3 weekends.

Until realizing it won’t ever be out on On Demand.

So, we did the next most logical thing.

Red Box.

Low and behold, the red box was completely “rented out” of it. I seriously couldn’t believe it. I told Shane last night that I’m feeling like maybe we aren’t meant to see this movie after all?

The movie, just so you guys know, is….

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters!

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I’ve been wanting to watch this for forever. I think stories about sea monsters are fascinating. I have a thing about sea monsters, mythical sea beings and prehistoric ocean dwelling things.

I dunno. It’s a thing.

I especially love this frighteningly awesome Plesiosaurus.

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While he ^^^^^ probably doesn’t make an appearance in the movie, I still really want to see it! Normally I have much better taste in movies, I promise. My love of sea monsters is impairing my judgement.

I’m thinking we’ll go out in search of a new Red Box tonight- fingers crossed that they have it this time!

As for right now, we’re watching our home team WSU Shocker game. They are playing KILLER lately, and Shane goes to school there, so we’re pretty big fans.

After that, a workout may be in the agenda. We’ll see! 😉

Have a fantastic Saturday night guys!

A Honeymoon In……

Aloha friends! I hope your Thursday’s are going as great as mine is!

Now, first thing’s first- I bet you’re all dying to know how Jazzercise went last night, right? Well I wish I could say it was no fun at all- but that’d be a big fat lie.

We had a ton of fun! It was a pretty small class, mostly because it was right around dinner time, but that was perfect for me. After the nightmare of rush hour traffic we had to face on the highway while going there- it was nice not to feel cramped or crowded.

As far as the class itself went, it was a blast! The instructor was awesome- super sassy and helpful and really, really nice. She made an effort to talk to each student in the room, too. It was a nice touch. Of course, she also had some killer moves.

This Jazzercise class consisted of about 40 minutes worth of the actual “dancing” part. Let me just tell you…I don’t care how silly you think dancing for exercise is- this class was no joke. All of the jumping and high knees and arm swinging gets your heart rate up super high, and for someone like me who’s danced all their life, it was all right up my alley. The last 15-20 minutes of the class are a mix of strength training and ab work, which is a great way to end all of that high intensity running around. All of the songs were pop music and I could sing along with all of them, which only added to the fun.

All in all, I really enjoyed the class and would encourage you to go try one if there’s a Jazzercise studio in the area. No leg warmers required. I’m hoping I can go back for one of their Body Sculpt classes sometime soon, too. It’s mostly strength training, a lot like Body Pump.

Now, my only caveat here if you do go out and try it is that- you might feel a little silly, at least at first. I personally really enjoyed the class. Did I feel as bad ass as I do when I’m doing P90 or doing squats at the gym? No. Did I get just as good a workout in? I’d say so!
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After Jazzercise was over, I headed to Shane’s for our last round of honeymoon hunting. I was really hoping we’d pick and be able to book last night, because I noticed that packages were slowly going up in price the longer we waited.

Well, it turned out last night was the night- we did it! We officially have our honeymoon booked, and I am so, so excited. After much debate and discussion, we finally landed on what I think is the perfect place for us.

Originally, we had talked about going to Disneyworld again. I was the one who eventually nixed this because we’d already been there twice together and I wanted to go somewhere a little more romantic, with less people and a lot less distraction. And less Mickey Mouse.

Then I told Shane I wanted him to pick and just surprise me, to which he said the following.

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So that wasn’t happening. 😉

We toyed around with the idea of the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, the Florida Keyes and Hawaii before finally settling on our top pick. We had lots of friends telling us how wonderful this place was, but it had never really crossed our minds.

Once we started looking, we were sold.

So last night, we officially booked our honeymoon trip to…

Jamaica! (Do you guys know how many times I’ve heard the Bacon/ Beer Can thing since? How about “Slap de bass” from I Love You, Man. Guess. Juuuust guess.)

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Montego Bay, to be exact.

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We chose an all-inclusive resort, for a number of reasons. Neither of us have ever been to one so we’re really looking forward to that! We also chose an all adult resort- also for a number of reasons. It’s also a really new resort, having just opened May of 2010.

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Is it super dorky that I’m really excited about the swim up bar? I’ve never been to one and I think they’re so cool!

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All of the photos of this place just look incredible. I’ve been to the Caribbean twice with my family, but we went farther south and to a much smaller, less touristy island called Anguilla.

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Where I proceeded to get burned so badly that I had sun poisoning 3 out of the 4 days we were there.

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Yeesh. I’ll make sure and lather on the sunscreen for this trip!

Anyway, that’s my exciting bit of wedding related news for today. Tonight is actually my dad’s birthday, so we’re getting ready to head out to dinner to celebrate here in a few minutes. I suggested to Shane that we get another workout date in tonight, but we’ll see…I’m still feeling horribly sore from yesterday’s Core workout!

Have a great Thursday night all.

A Fan of Early Morning Workouts

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing today? It’s Wednesday, which means it’s officially half way through the week! Crazy? I feel like it’s flown by.

On to more exciting things- like awesome workouts.

Do you guys not just love it when you get a really awesome workout in? How about when you get an awesome workout in before 7:00am?

Well, this girl got both of these today. I started my morning bright and early (I only snoozed my alarm once- score) at around 5:25am and headed down to the oh-so-dark basement for a kick butt morning workout. On tap for today was a P90x workout called Core Synergistics.
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Sounds innocent enough, right?

Wrong.

Holy moly- my entire body is sore already and it’s not even been 12 hours? My shoulders, obliques, quads- even my back is sore. It’s a 55 minute workout comprised mostly of planks, power yoga, chaturanga holds, pushups, standing crunches and good old calisthenics like mountain climbers, sprints, jumping jacks and something called “the half back” that, while it’s not even close to being the hardest move in the mix, is still noteworthy and is actually my personal favorite because it’s based in athletic training.

Point being, it’s not an easy workout. But it definitely got my blood pumping this morning! I love getting a good sweat in all before 6:30am. On the flip side, I’ve actually found that I have more energy and have been more productive today because of the earlier start to my day- always a plus.

I’m definitely a fan.

My goal for the rest of this week is to get early morning sessions in every day. Hopefully I can keep with it! I’m loving not having to think or worry about my workout after I get home from work.

That’s not to say I won’t also be participating in evening workouts this week, however. I might still sneak in a few extras with my sweetie- those workout dates really are awesome.

Tonight I’m actually going to be trying out a Jazzercise class with my mom and our family friend (who actually bought me those Jazzercise passes for Christmas) tonight around 5:30. I’m really excited to try it out! I totally wanted to wear leg warmers but I was told that’s not really the kind of Jazzercise we’ll be doing.

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Bummer.

After Jazzercise, I’m heading over to Shane’s house to do some more research on where we want to go for our honeymoon. I think we’ve narrowed it down pretty well- thanks to numerous website reviews and advice from family and friends. The only real question now is which resort are we going to (Will it be all inclusive or not? Which part of the beach do we want?) and when exactly we’ll be heading there. I mean, obviously…after the wedding. But when exactly.

So we still have a couple last minute things to think about, but we’re pretty confident we’ll be able to book by the end of the work week. I am so excited! Shane and I have been on several trips together, including twice to Disney World.
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Check out that insane red hair I have going on. Whoa…Little Mermaid, anyone?
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And once to North Carolina to visit his grandparents. We played a mean game of beach football- team USA vs. team Canada. I actually think we lost.
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We also got ourselves some pretty sweet matching sweat shirts.
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We really love traveling together. We actually joke that our very first “date” was actually at the Chili’s To Go in the Atlanta airport on a layover coming home from our first trip to Disney. (It wasn’t our first date, obviously. We’d already been dating for 6 months. But up until that point I hadn’t eaten an actual meal in front of him…mostly popcorn. We watched a lot of movies.:) )

Anyhoo, that’s some exciting wedding news. We’re also getting really close to picking out our invitations, and Shane and I will continue apartment hunting here in the near future.

So many life changes are happening right now, guys. It blows my mind. But I can’t believe how blessed I am by everything that’s happening for Shane and I. We have so much to look forward to, and so many wonderful people to share it all with!

Well I have to run to the bank and figure out some not so fun online banking stuff before heading out to Jazzercise- don’t worry, I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it goes. 😉
Have a great night!

A Monday Post with No Photos

Happy Monday guys!

WOW I can’t even tell you how overwhelmingly positive, supportive and just all around awesome everyone’s response was to my post on Friday. I appreciate every single kind word, text and e-mail I received. It feels amazing going into this big journey with so much support and so much confidence from all of you.

You guys are rock stars. 🙂

Okay, so this weekend was a really awesome one. Too bad I literally got no photos…of anything.

On Friday evening, Shane and I met up with a bunch of his work friends (and I consider them my friends as well) for some end-of-the-week drinks.

I had a “Skinny Sweet Tea” (sorry, no photo…blogger fail) and it was delicious. Shane’s pick, however, tasted like Robitussen.

Yup.

Anyway, here’s a photo of the gang that I 100% stole from Shane’s friend Erika’s Facebook.

Doesn’t this group look awesome?

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I spent most of Saturday getting organized and putting around the house. I ended up having to get in the shower around 4:00 so I could start getting ready. Shane had his Holiday Party for work on Saturday night- I had much preparation to do.

I ended up curling my hair (which I don’t do as often as I should?) but the funny thing was I had just painted my nails and was worried that I’d mess them up. So, I did the only logical thing and asked my mom to help me.

The perks of living at home! (even if just for a little while longer)

My mom hadn’t curled my hair in forever- so it was actually kind of a nice throwback.

Anyhoooo, we arrived at the party just in time for dinner, prize drawings and speeches. We sat with essentially the same group that had gone out the night before, give or take a couple people.

After getting our butts handed to us doing the dollar dance- where we could have won $100 if we’d just out the dollar on our butts instead of our heads!( It’s not a long story, but…it’s more involved than I care to be currently. Maybe if I had a photo?) It was time for a couple drinks and some real dancing.

After a couple hours, one very nerve racking Shocker basketball game (everyone was watching around a table on someone’s cell phone. It was hilarious.) and a solid performance of both the Cupid Shuffle and the Wobble- it was time to head out.

We ended up going for one more drink at a local sports bar called the Fox and Hound with our friends Katie and Spencer. I know I’ve mentioned them before (Katie is a game night hostess extraordinaire) but just for clarity- Katie is Shane’s television co-host and Spencer is her fiancé. They’re both a lot of fun, and really wonderful people- we always have a blast when we get to spend some time with them!

So naturally, we had a blast on Saturday night!

Sunday, Shane and I went to the 11 o’clock service at the church we’re getting married in. It was really nice, because we got to hear Pastor Paul (pre-marital counseling/ wedding Paul) preach- and his sermon was exactly what Shane and I both needed to hear that morning. It was a really nice moment. Then, afterwards, we met with the pianist at the church who will be playing some of our wedding music. He was wonderfully nice, and I think I may have also found someone to play guitar and sing one of the other wedding songs- score!

Shane and I went for brunch after church, and then my mom and I actually wound up at Bed, Bath and Beyond to get more wedding registry information and to put a couple more things on my preliminary list. I’ll tell you what- there’s nothing quite as overwhelming as a wedding registry.

Especially in a store as big as BB and B.

Yikes.

However, we made some good head way, and I’m very excited about the things that we picked out. 🙂

Alrighty kiddos, that about does it for me tonight. We have the Golden Globes taped and I fully intend to watch it- before everyone’s Pinterest memes ruin all of the craziness for me.

Also on the agenda, a workout…of some sort. I haven’t decided what yet! I think I need another “set in stone” plan- those always seem to work best for me, takes all the guesswork out!

Have a great night everyone 🙂

A Big Announcement

(*Disclaimer- this gets a little heated, for me. It’s way more serious than I intended, but I promise it ends on a positive note. I think I just had more to say about all this than I first realized?)

Alrighty kiddos, today is Fitness Friday! Who else is excited?

I know I did my fair share of teasing you guys yesterday, but it was all in love. The truth is I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not I really want to publicly share what was inside that little package with you all today after all.

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Let’s get really honest for a second.

Listen- I know that you open yourself up to criticism when you put your life in a blog, or an online journal or what have you. Inevitably, there will be people that make snarky comments, scoff at your so-called “expertise” and who want to make you feel small because they A) don’t want you to succeed for one reason or another, B) are jealous, or C) they really think you’re a dumb dumb dumby and that you have no business giving advice or sharing your story.

Yikes.

I think what I’m sort of getting at here is that I’m not perfect. I still have a lot to learn about a lot of things, and just because I’m on here writing a “healthy living blog” doesn’t mean I think I know everything about health and fitness and nutrition. Far from it.

I didn’t go to school for that. It isn’t the career that I have, or the field that I’m working in.

I’m a fitness enthusiast. I love all things fitness- healthy eating, sweating like crazy, tracking my water consumption and my steps, logging workouts, doing super hard workouts, healthy recipes…

Yeah. I really love all that stuff. A lot.

Does that mean my eating is super clean and my workout record is perfect all the time?

Are you kidding?

Of course not.

I have slip ups. I go through periods of time where I don’t eat as healthy and don’t workout as hard or as often. I hit plateaus. I get discouraged, fall off the wagon and wait  way too long to get back on.

But what I’ve come to realize is that this behavior isn’t unique to me. That probably describes 90% of us.

And I think that’s a good thing.

I’m a fan of the culture surrounding fitness. I like inspiration and motivation and new workout ideas and fit quotes as much as the next person.

But sometimes I think we have problems crossing the line between motivation and degradation.

Arguing endlessly over who’s mode of training is the best, P90x vs. Insanity, yoga pitted against boxing, what foods you should and shouldn’t be eating or whether or not eating 6 small meals a day is better than eating 3 normal meals a day…it’s a little bit insane, if you ask me. I know so many people who don’t even want to start a workout program period because they think they’ll be teased over it, or told it isn’t good enough.

Come on, guys.

I’m going to say something. I know a lot of people will disagree, and that’s okay. I’m going to say it anyway.

Fitness can not be about one upping each other. It has to be about support and encouragement. This isn’t to say a little healthy competition isn’t always a great thing- I happen to love competition. I’m talking about workout shaming and “clean eating”/ macro counting shaming.

You know what I’m talking about.

So what, you’re big into weight lifting or think Crossfit is the only path to health that there is. Someone you meet tells you they really love Zumba, or maybe Jazzercise.

Give that person a high five. They are doing something good for themselves, and they are enjoying it.

Because that’s the key, isn’t it? Yes- I can pretty much promise you that a round of power hour at Title Boxing is going to burn more calories than a 30 minute session on the stationary bike.

But guess what?

POWER HOUR BURNS ZERO CALORIES IF YOU’RE TOO AFRAID TO GO TO IT. 

Any super intense, -my-lungs-are-burning-I’m-swallowing-sweat-I-want-to-die  workout will not work for someone that doesn’t want to go to it. Consistency is so important. Not everyone wants to feel like their lungs are going to explode when they hit the gym- while others do.

The only thing I’ve found to consistently, without fail work time and time again is to find a workout you enjoy doing, that you’re excited about, that you can feel and see positive changes with- and do that.

Just do it. 

You will never see me toting one specific type of exercise or diet program (paleo vs. low carb) on this blog. What works for me might not work for you. Yes, I’ll do/create workouts, take classes and use DVDs and provide my personal take on them- but these are only suggestions.

Let me let you guys in on a little secret– over the past 7 years, I’ve shelled out a lot of money on the fitness industry. I’ve done it all. Sought advice and program consultation from professionals, seen nutritionists, bought a gazillion workout DVDs, tried a ton of “weight loss products” and I have a subscription to every major fitness magazine out there.

(Please, don’t ask me how much money I’ve spent. It’s too painful.)

I’ve spent years trying to follow “the next big fitness trend”. I’ve tried a bunch of different types of healthy eating. I have run the gammit- from running 9 miles a day, nearly starving myself and treating exercise as punishment to actively avoiding physical activity and eating whatever I wanted. neither of these feels good.

Neither does chasing fitness fads.

Struggles with body image, weight loss, weight gain- I’ve done it all, guys.

And I am so tired.

I’m tired of the constant struggle. I’m tired of seeking new ways, new products and new fads. I’m tired of shelling out money left and right because I keep thinking someone else is going to have the answer, just to be patted on the head by the “professionals” and the “experts” because I’m not doing the right type of workout, or I’m not eating what I should as often as I should. Heaven forbid I don’t get the perfect ratio of carbs to fats to protein on any given day.

It’s just exhausting.

So, I made a decision.

I’m ready to be the expert. I’m ready to be my own expert.

The idea of becoming a personal trainer is an idea that first came to me probably 2 years ago. Before then, I had never even considered it. But it kept coming up, and it was something in the back of my mind that I could never quite squish down.

It kept peeping its head out. I kept shoving it back.

There were a bunch of reasons why I did that. Probably the most obvious one being that I didn’t feel ready. Being a personal trainer means being knowledgeable in all aspects of the field, being confident, and telling others exactly what to do so they could accomplish their own fitness goals.

Well, I couldn’t even accomplish mine. How was I supposed to instruct someone else?

Fast forward another year or so and I’m still knee deep in this same struggle. Then finally, one day, I realized that if I keep waiting and keep waiting until I figure all of this stuff out- it’ll be too late, and the dream will either be impossible or simply implausible.

I also decided that if I was going to do this, then I was going to completely, 100% immerse myself in the experience.

I’m not someone that fitness comes easily to. I work hard, really hard at it. I can’t let up. Healthy eating and exercise are married to my life- and it’s something I have to think about all the time.

This was standing in my way.

And then I realized something.

How many of my clients will feel, or will have felt, just like that? How many of them will feel as overwhelmed and discouraged and defeated as I have at times?

I realized that my past experiences, defeated as I may have felt in the midst of them, are what give me a unique perspective.

Not only will studying for my certification get me closer to this career goal, but it will get me closer to where I want to be with my fitness goals.

In the end, I just want to be someone that people trust. Honest. A resource. I don’t want to just know the information, I want to live it and share it. I want to go through it.

In this way, I can experience the training, implement the ideas and go through the process as I’m studying- effectively giving me exactly the experience a training client would have.

This was a really exciting prospect for me.

So, after much debate and lots of prayer, I did it. 

I bit the bullet, and with this really scary and big decision made, I ordered my Certified Personal Training study materials and books two weeks ago through my chosen certification, the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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I chose this specific cert for a number of reasons, the primary being that it’s one of the oldest certifications in the industry and has some of the strictest standards for passing. It’s one of the hardest exams given, and it focuses largely on athletic training and functional fitness which I find fascinating- and functional training has long been a favorite of mine. (Hello, P90x)

I did my research- 6 months worth– before making the final decision. I’m feeling very pleased with it so far.

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The exam takes around 6-9 months to study, and I’ll have go get re-certified in both CPR and AED before hand, which admittedly I’m not looking forward to.

But I am so excited about everything else.

I don’t have it all figured out. I know it will take me longer than the normal 6-9 months to study because I work a full time job and I’m smack in the middle of planning the most important day of my life. The biggest, and in my opinion, scariest move for me was to make the decision at all, buy the materials and know that this is in my future. It’s coming.

It’s just a matter of when.

My books arrived on Tuesday, and I’ve been jumping out my skin and going back and forth trying to decide if this was something I wanted to share or not. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be, or if there would be ridicule involved.

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Then I sort of realized- so what. The good always outweighs the bad, and besides that, the point of this blog was never to build myself up and make me feel awesome.

It’s always been to inspire. That was always the hope.

I know this post sort of seems jumbled. It’s half rant/half announcement. But it’s so important to me that I’m honest with you guys. I want to share this journey with you because I know there are others out there who have similar stories to mine, and who might feel as discouraged as I did once.

My one hope is that through all of this- this journey, the blog, my story- I can inspire someone.

And I hope you’ll all join me for the ride! 🙂

Things I’m Loving Thursday and a Hint

Aloha friends! It’s been 3 days since my last post, which I am so sorry about.

I know I haven’t been updating this here blog as often as I usually do- this has been a crazy week! First full week back to work and all that jazz. 😉

However, I wanted to take the time to post today for sure because I have a fun post scheduled. And, I have an even more exciting post scheduled for tomorrow…which involves a big announcement for FBB!

But for now, on to the fun stuff!

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 Things I’m Loving Thursday (usually, this is on a Friday, but the english grad in me loves some good alliteration)

 My fiance

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This isn’t a surprise, but I wanted to bring it up because a) it’s true and b) I wanted to brag a little bit. I mean, really…how cute is he?

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Shane and I had our first of three premarital counseling sessions last night, and it was so much fun. Our Pastor asked us a bunch of questions about how we met and started dating, our story, ect. We had a blast reminiscing, and we were reminded of a lot of the fun things we’ve gotten to do together in our 4 and 1/2 years.

We made it through a lot to be standing where we are now (granted, these are stories for another post entirely) but I can only say that I am so blessed to be marrying the man of my dreams. 

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True Life: I’m marrying my first crush.

All joking aside, one of things our Pastor pointed out to us yesterday was that our being together isn’t a coincidence. I was created to fit with Shane. God was working in our lives and in our relationship before we even knew one another- and that is such an amazing thing to see.

He’s my best friend. The best person I’ve ever known and the kindest, most generous man.

Plus, he’s without a doubt the funniest person you’ll ever meet.

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Ever.

I’m a blessed gal, friends.

Wedding Planning

We’re starting to buckle down now! Looking at invitations, making our wedding registries, preparing to book our honeymoon and apartment hunting. It’s getting so real! I’m also starting to think about my bachelorette party and bridal showers, which are such fun things to be planning for! I’m totally loving it. 😉

My Fitbit

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I bored you guys with how much I love this thing last week, so I won’t bore you again. But it’s awesome. It’s a great motivator and it just makes you want to do good things for your body!

 Workout Dates (P90x)

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This week, Shane and I have already had 2 P90x workout dates- and we have another planned for tomorrow. (You like our various weights scattered everywhere? You also can’t see my running up and down the stairs here, but I totes was) We did Plyo on Tuesday, Shoulders and Arms yesterday and we will be getting our Legs and Back on tomorrow night. So fun!

Seriously, I highly reccomend workouts with your significant other. It’s a lot of fun, makes the time fly by and a little extra time spent together is never a bad thing!

 Green Tea

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Have you guys tried this Yogi tea before? If you love green tea, or even if you just tolerate it, this is a must try. The blueberry flavor is perfect, and with all the great things that green tea does for the body, you really can’t make a better beverage choice in my opinion!

Multivitamins

I’m digging this Active Metabolism vitamin. Plus, it’s a rockin lime green color. The only thing I don’t love about it is how nauseous it makes me. But the pros outweigh the cons, so I guess I’ll have to tough that part out! Does anyone have any advice on how to take these so they don’t make you feel so sick? I’m all ears!

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Bed, Bath and Beyond

Yeah, you heard right. I’m all about the BB and B lately! We started playing around with our wedding registry here and I’m obsessed. Plus, now you can do almost everything online! Combining my love of online shopping with planning my wedding? Get outta town. 😉

Exciting Secret Packages

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This, friends. This is what I am super duper loving today. I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting this little package is!

What’s inside it, you ask?

Well, I can’t tell you. Not until tomorrow. BUT I can give you a (big) hint…

It’s a big deal for me, and for FBB in general.

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Any guesses?

Looks like you’ll have to check back in tomorrow to find out for sure! 😉

Until then, have an awesome Friday-eve. Get a good sweat in, relax, take a load off- whatever it is you have planned for tonight, I hope it’s all great! I myself have a martial arts inspired workout on the agenda, and then a little more Bridal Shower planning.

Catch you guys later!