Outstanding October

I’m sad to see October come to a close as this was a darn good month for me. Let me count the reasons. I’ll keep it simple at five in no particular order because I’m sure you have stuff to do on this most awesome, best holiday of the year.

1. This pumpkin

This beautiful orange gourd-like squash thingie means a lot to me. Sure, it may be just a pumpkin to you, but to me it means that I’m able to exhale this year…at least a little bit. For the past two years, being unemployed, it was a struggle to put food on the table. There was no luxury of buying  pumpkins for decor or to scoop out seeds. We needed milk and bread and such things. “Next year,” we kept saying. Finally this year was our next year. I actually got teary eyed at the store when I put it in my cart. It’s the most beautiful pumpkin ever {which I just stabbed today and scraped out its innards} and I’m so thankful to be in a better place this October.

Apple tarts...

Death by Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes...

Pumpkin seeds from my special pumpkin...I like the baked strings of pumpkin left on there!!

2. Awesome treats

I’m always cooking/baking. But I really step it up in October. I love filling the house with delicious, warm aromas. And now that I finally get the concept of portion control, I realize I can make said delicious treats, still eat some in moderation and not deprive myself.

3. Another red dress

I have a thing for red dresses. I bought this one back in May at H&M on a trip home to Pittsburgh. It slightly fit then, except for my stomach. I’m constantly working on  my pooch. It’s definitely a problem area that I’m always aware of. I tried the dress on several times in the past couple of months, but it still never looked the way I wanted it to. And of course, since I’m my worst critic, it could fit better, but the other day it finally fit good enough to meet my approval and wear it out of the house. This was absolutely a happy outfit/weight/body day. Oh, and bonus–I hit a total of 70 lbs lost since my weightloss journey began in January 2010!

4. National Vegetarian Month

I’m going to say that this month, which was National Vegetarian Month, was 97% successful! That is a huge deal for me seeing as how I used to be a self-described crazy carnivore. I started preparing for this back at the end of August. I ate a lot of vegan foods at first, knowing that if I could like those foods, I could surely do vegetarianism. And it worked! My body felt great to my surprise, I wasn’t constantly having tummy aches and I just felt better overall. Our grocery bill even went down, too! I gave myself a 97% because although I abstained from pork, poultry and red meats, I did have a little seafood this month…probably about three times I indulged in shrimp, fish and scallops. Again, if you knew me in real life, you’d have been amazed at my determination! I actually don’t even miss the meat. So as Nat’l Veg Month is coming to a close, my new way of eating will not! At least not yet!

Love this.

5. Hard work paying off

Yes, I know I just wrote about it. And I probably talked about it ad nauseum. But I just can’t help it. Earning not one, but two, national personal training certifications not only in the same month, but the same week was just kick ass. Who does that? I did! Especially when the pressure was on and I had to. I had to earn the one to keep my job at Dick’s and the other to not have to pay a fee to take it again should I have failed it the first time. I set goals, studied and told myself to go for it. Again, setting your mind to something and accomplishing it is the best feeling and trumps all. This one alone seriously MADE my October.

How was your month? Any high-lights? And importantly…what’s your costume?!

Keeping my eye on the prize…

Yesterday was just one of those days. Try as I may, I could do nothing right in the eyes of someone at work. I know retail is a thankless job most of the time–especially from the customers, but seeing as how we’re still not open yet, the source of the  “thanklessness” wasn’t from them today.

Without going into any detail-detail at all because it’s best that way, let’s just say the events of the day slapped me cold in the face  woke me up and reminded me that I need to keep my eye on the prize. I’m very thankful for my job, but as I remember, this was only one step in my ultimate goal and I need not get complacent with where I am. Retail was, is and has always been my comfort zone. No matter what I do, no matter how I try to stray, no matter what degrees I have, I always end up in retail. This time I’m at least somewhat in the general area of what I want to do with my soon-to-be career, which is getting me through tough days such as this one.

So many times yesterday, I had to bite my tongue while thinking to myself, “I know how to do my job. Actually, I know how to do YOUR job. I’ve done your job before. I’m not an idiot. Please, while coaching, list the positives before you harp on the negatives. THANK your staff for a job well done. I’ve had sweat running down my back since approximately 17 minutes after I got here this morning and I’m working my black ass off. I’m not a mind reader, but I am a damn good worker. No–I’m fantastic actually. I care about what I’m doing and take pride in my work. I wish you’d do the same.”

While I was thinking all of this, I was also mentally thanking this person for inspiring me to get on my game and keep focused on my goals. That’s right–there goes the g-word again. I seriously am sitting down within the next few days and revisiting my goals to make sure I’m still on path and also write down some new ones.

Isn’t that the truth?! Well, at least for me it is–I need to write them down, put them somewhere with high visibility,  look at them often and say them out loud. This includes health/fitness/weight goals and not just work goals. Now that my leg isn’t mangled anymore I can run pretty decently again, there’s no excuse not to be doing it more often.

In the meantime, I’ve baked a bajillion cupcakes to take into work today–there are many people I’D like to personally thank for their hard work {starting with my sausage festers :-)} who need to know that they’re awesome and I still also agreed to go in 4 hours early and work an 11 hour day and then come in for the opening shift the following day. Yup, I’m an awesome employee and no one will ever have me believing otherwise.

Do you write your goals down? What’s the most thankless part of your job?

C’mon, Irene.

Hopefully I’ll be on the road back to North Cackalacky sometime today. But some chick named Irene is trying to throw a wrench into my plans to have a sunny, dry trip home, or even get home at all.

Nope. Not this one. I think you know the Irene of which I speak, though.

Sooooo… as I was saying, I hope I’m on my way home. I’ve got a meeting with the rest of the My Yoga staff later today and then I need to prepare for my TWO interviews on Monday!!! :-) I would stay after my meeting and get in a steamy and sweaty hot yoga session since I’ll be at the gym, but the NASM trainers worked me HARD for two days at my workshop this weekend and I am in dire need of a rest day.

DC was a BLAST!!! I’m going to break up my days and blog about each one individually as the week continues. I was able to do so many wonderful things that each day deserves its own post! That AND I’m getting sleepy and need to get to bed soon so that I can brave Irene or what’s left of her. So here are some photo teasers about upcoming posts. Pretend like it’s a Wordless Wednesday, but instead a Silent Sunday. :-)

Okay, that’s enough teasers for now. I’ll write all about them soon! This roadtrip made me laugh, cry, sore, strong, question, think, doubt and believe. What a difference a weekend makes.

How was your weekend? Are you dealing with a mean Irene?

That’s right. I RUN this.

I almost wasn’t going to blog today, as I have to wake up in 4 hours to get ready to attend my NASM Live! Personal Trainer’s Workshop, but I couldn’t resist. I just had to shout this from the rooftop:


That’s right–after a LONG 15 weeks of nursing my stress fracture/injury I finally took a little run around here today:

This is a cute park area in my sister’s housing development right outside her door.

I had just finished sampling some of these that I purchased at Sticky Fingers Vegan Bakery today:

and knew that I’d better get my butt moving somehow. I originally just wanted to go do some speed walking {that’s all my legs had allowed me to do as of yet} to battle the cupcake calories. I wasn’t even wearing a sports bra {no bueno} and had my nerdy nighttime glasses on, but as far as I knew I was only walking. I made three little loops and then my favorite running song, Till I Collapse, by Eminem started piping through my iPod.

I don’t know if it was a sign, but my body did. Before I knew it, some sort of calm came over me and I was just like, “I’m ready now.” I sped up my walk and then suddenly it turned into a run. Not crazy, hard, feet pounding, heel-striking {I learned my lesson on that–and OH BOY have I had a loooong 15 weeks to learn}, but controlled, some what gingerly at first, running. I was careful to watch my breathing; hot yoga has been a tremendous help with that. I did one loop of running, walked for a few, ran again, walked a couple more times and than ran once more before a cool down walk. I ran the loop 3 times! This was major!!

For the first time since May 13th {check the calendar–it was a Friday the 13th…joy}, I ran. I missed so much during this summer without running, but I also had so many wonderful things happen due to its absence. But that’s another post for another day. 😉 Thank you thank you thank you to every one who wished me well this entire three months! Especially you, Sara!

But also, for the first time since May, I felt like I was worthy of my blog’s name again. I do run this! 😀

What song is your motivator when working out?

I can let myself go; I just have to come back.

When I wrote about eating, drinking and being married the other day, let’s just say that most of my roadtrip concerned the eating and drinking. As usual, I packed all the necessary items to stay on a healthy eating, waist-thigh-and-stomach friendly path. But somehow, I managed to eat all of this over the span of 4 days:

This is just SOME of it. Grrr. Like I said, I had the greatest of intentions going into the trip. And I do have amazing willpower now. Sooooo, I could have skipped all of this highly caloric, less-than-clean-eating-friendly food. I decided to just go with the “everything in moderation” mindset. While it may not look like it here, I did have a lot of good-for-me-foods too, to balance it all out. I also know that it takes an extra 3,500 calories to gain one pound. So I took one for the team, decided to enjoy my extra 3,500 calories and work off that pound when I returned home.

TO MY HORROR AND ASTONISHMENT, I must have had an extra 10,500 calories because I saw an extra 3 pounds on the scale! But what about all of my walking? I walked ALL OVER DC in the past couple of days! Oh well. I don’t believe in depriving myself anymore. I work hard and know how to lose weight, tone up and stay healthy. So I treated myself. I didn’t fall off the wagon; I stepped off for a few days, willingly. I did enjoy my eating and drinking, but now that I’m home it’s time to get back on track and back on the wagon.

So when we got home on Sunday I made steak shishkabobs for dinner. Lean meat and veggies. My kind of meal and a good way for me to get back to my normal way of eating! A 400 calorie, filling supper was just what I needed!

I went to hot yoga yesterday morning and sweated my butt off. And hopefully, my thighs, tummy, arms, etc… It’s the best 90 minutes to start your day!  I can definitely feel it working right now–hours later!

I hadn’t done it in a few days due to the traveling and missed it! When we were walking around DC I saw this girl {blue tank} on her way to yoga class. There was a studio across from Lululemon and I wanted to go in soooo badly! One thing I loved about the area we were in–everyone was so health-conscious. Walking, running, doing yoga, NOT puffing on cigarettes–I love like-minded, healthy people!  

I came home from yoga yesterday and immediately got on the treadmill. I’m getting better! 2 miles in under 43 minutes is a HUGE improvement for me. I’m STILL walking, but my leg is feeling stronger and I was able to pick up the treadmill’s pace a bit. I figure before I can run, I have to jog and before I can jog, I have to walk fast. So I’m working on that fast-walking thing now! I’m also working on that not-overdosing-on-gourmet-cupcakes for dessert thing. Last night’s dessert?

A yummy peach. And I’m actually diggin’ this more than the chocolate. Yup, I’m back. 😉

Do you stick to healthy eating while on vacation? Do you slip up sometimes?