‘Gone to Carolina.

How yinz doin?

{That’s my Pittsburghese!} Since I’m writing in my blog again, that means I’ve returned from vacation to my beloved Pittsburgh and have gone back home to North Carolina {with Wi-Fi.} :-)

I have sooooo much to talk about! I would’ve done it earlier, but I just keep sitting here looking at video clips of Whitney Houston on Youtube. I CANNOT believe she has passed away. My heart is heavy; I’m completely flabbergasted. My favorite clip? This one:

Come on–has anyone in your lifetime ever sang our National Anthem even anywhere close to as amazing as she did in ’91? I’ll answer that–NO. Hands down, this was awesome and how our country should be serenaded!! No matter what she did in her personal life, the lady was musically fabulous and made my 80s and 90s magical. RIP, Whit.

But now, back to my vacay.

I had the time of my life. Honestly, I’m thinking so fondly of it right now that I can hear Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing playing in my head. I must break it up into several posts because there’s too much awesomeness and it would blow my mind to have it all in one.

I’m pleased to report that I managed to work out a lot more than I thought I would. My sister moved back to my parent’s house a few months ago and brought this with her:

Holla!! That’s right, I walked in this beauty was the first thing I saw. You KNOW I’m treadmill-obessed!! This made my day to know that I’d still be able to get in some great runs without venturing out in the Pittsburgh cold or having to outrun unleashed canines.

It’s propped up right against the window so I can get the feel of being outside but stay in and be animal-free. That’s win- win for me!

After unloading the car, I went in search of a special delivery. I ordered a delicious Nike sweatshirt while in NC and was having it shipped to my parent’s house to greet me. There are three porches there and upon search of the third, it was there!

Let me just say this was the first of many Nike goodies to be found during this vacation. And happily this sweatshirt was the only out of the bunch that I paid full price for–I’m all about hunting deals on Nike!

I found these two shirts {the one on the left is a tee and the right is a pro combat long sleeve} at Ross on clearance. Clearance!!!! $4.99 for the tee and $8.99 for the long sleeve. And since I bought them with a leftover birthday gift card, that made them free to me!

I found these following gems at my hometown mall.

As much as I talk about exercise giving me endorphins, you can guess which one I bought… 😉

I didn’t spend the whole first day there shopping. That evening my sister, dad and I ventured over the border to West Virginia to go to the casino.

I was quite sure that I’d win enough money to pay for my ticket to the Fitbloggin’ Conference and to begin studying for my Wellness Coach Certification. This did not go as planned. I only ended up $20 ahead. So I promptly saved that money for a rainy day.

That rainy day was the next evening at a German beer hall. And that story that will be for tomorrow’s post. :-)

What’s your favorite Whitney Houston song? Are you going to Fitbloggin’?

Pinterest made me do it.

After a good nine days, I think I can finally declare this cold/flu-thingie over. I still have some residual sniffles, a cough here and there, and had to get in a wee little nap, but otherwise I’m 99% back to good health.

Numerically speaking, I missed a day and a half of work, one fifth of my next paycheck, slept an additional 57 hours, ate 34 oranges, guzzled 12 shots of DayQuil/NyQuil, sipped 28 cups of hot tea & lemon, skipped out on 15 miles of running and am 1.6 pounds shy of my month’s end weight goal. My head was so foggy that I couldn’t even sit upright long enough to compose one blog entry that would make sense.

My, oh, my am I happy this sick sh*t is over.

I had a lot of great feedback from all of you as far as whether to workout while sick or not. I did use my best judgement and this was not the type of cold where I could muddle through.  That mentality was with me today because even though I was back at 99% I thought, “Maaaaybe I should sit this one out. Wait until I’m completely back to 100% and then put in a hardcore Welcome Back Workout.”

Then I took one look at my fitness board on Pinterest.

My abs or my legs don’t look like this yet.

phat ass
I cannot stand in for her as a butt double just yet.

I have that exact red Nike sports bra and I am not ready to go running in public without a tank top over it just yet.

And one of my very own pins. Because while I still managed to eat well and healthy while sick, NOTHING takes the place of a good ‘ol sweaty, intense, heart-pounding, muscle-building, fat-melting, making-myself-look-good-in-my-birthday-suit workout.

So yeahhh, that was my motivation today. Thank you Pinterest. I suddenly remembered that this is a #makeitcount year, I need to give every workout my best, and when I’m pretty much fully healed from an illness that took me away from my goals for a week+, I need to shut up, suck it up, and get back to business.

And don’t you know that every time I’m not really feeling my usual Cherie-like I-love-to-exercise ways, I end up having the best workout?! I cranked out a solid run {running the entire time–no walking}, crazy BOSU squats {and yes, I had that butt above in mind}, and some hardcore bi-and tricep bustin’ moves on my power tower. Oh yeah, I’m BACK.

Now I feel like I totally earned my Nike 1/2 Zips. 😀

Don't know why the pink one is so wrinkled!

Had to reverse the pic because it's a mirror shot and I took it after I worked a 10 hour shift. I look bass ackwards!

Anyhoo, today’s lesson is that sometimes you get your motivation from me and sometimes I get it from Pinterest. I say, whatever works!

What’s your motivation this week?

Rewards & Progress Picture Day!

I had today off so it was all about celebrating my milestone and rewarding myself. Yesssss, the weight loss itself it reward enough, but a few nice trinkets wouldn’t hurt. 😉

I don’t believe in food rewards because I’m not a dog, but on this occasion I gave in.

new flavors of chobani greek yogurt
See? It’s just some Greek Yogurt. A totally fabulous food reward if there ever was one. These new flavors of Chobani are the bomb diggity and they help with my sweet cravings and random 4pm snack attacks. I like them all but the Passion Fruit is my FAVE. So today I went back and stocked up on that flavor in particular. Some may find the seeds in it a bit peculiar, but I like the crunchy surprises in every bite!

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t treat myself to a few workout clothes to celebrate the weight loss, so on to my second and real reward.

Nike Sweatshirt, Nike pro combat pants, Nike sports bra
I had coupons in addition to my employee discount, thank you very much, so these were steals! And sorry Dick’s, I actually got the Nike Sports Bra at Marshall’s. I saw it in there on the clearance rack for $10. Compared to the regular $30 it would’ve been, I couldn’t pass it up! And sorry to my particular Dick’s store, as I had to get the sweatshirt at a different one across town. I’ve been looking everywhere for this yellow sweatshirt and my store didn’t have it. Plus it was sold out online in every size but XS! I needed a medium and was happy to track it down. It’s so bright and cheery and just makes you happy so I could see why! The pink running tights were just tossed in for the hot factor. 😉

Speaking of pink and running tights, I snapped a quick pic in the bathroom of one of the stores while I was out. It dawned on me that the exact outfit I was wearing will soon be something that would be okay to wear to work per the new dress code! {Minus the Victoria’s Secret Pink Hoodie, for which I’d substitute a Nike one of course.} And why have I never put running shorts over tights before? {Haha, I guess because I never run outside…} The look is sooooo cute and totally comfortable!

But before I went out shopping today, I decided to don my progress-measuring-outfit to see how things were coming along. I know I’ve lost 75 pounds but I still like to see what it looks like on film. To reeeeally know.  My outfit is pretty ugly, but I like to keep wearing the same thing in these photos to get a better idea. The shirt is always the same, but I usually just wear black or dark pants with it.

OH–and please excuse my face/hair. I am a hot mess in these pictures!! I can really tell a difference, though. I’m my harshest critic, so when I actually see a difference, it must be a big deal!

In the first pic on the left, that was AFTER I had been working out for one year! Yeah, this has definitely been a slooooow process but I really do think it’s for the best.

I like taking these progress pics because I can see exactly where I’ve been and where I need to go. RE: What still needs to be toned!! I’ve still got quite a bit of work to do, so I look forward to the next set of progression shots!

Do you reward yourself for reaching milestones? What do you do?

Nike love. #makeitcount.

Nike is launching something big today. As I type this little post of mine, it’s technically yesterday, so we all know what it is by now. But as I type, I can only imagine the things it could be. I’d love for them to announce that for my obsession severe dedication of the Nike brand, I’ve been selected to be some kind of spokesperson and receive one free Nike product every week for life. This girl can hope.

nike clothes nike running nike obsessed

I couldn't photograph ALL of my Nike or you'd really think I was obsessed...

I’ve loved Nike for the longest time, but it wasn’t until I felt worthy of my sportiness that I started donning it. Oh and do I feel worthy now! I’m all about some Just Do It mantra in my life.

I apply it to everything and have been since I started my very first workout on this weight loss journey. It was rough, ROUGH, to exercise at first. Especially that first couple of weeks. I worked out and worked out and worked out. Saw no changes. Nothing happening. It was amazingly frustrating. But even way back then, I kept saying, “Cherie, just do it. Just Do It.” Thank goodness for those three little words, huh?

Three other little words from Nike? Make It Count.

This new mantra was posed to us at the beginning of the year. They asked, “How will you #makeitcount in 2012?”

Since then, not only have I been tweeting #makeitcount all over Twitterville, I’ve been saying it during each and every workout. Because after all, if I’m not going to give it my all during everysingleworkout, what’s the point? I want each of them to count. Big Time. Just like everybody else, I have a busy life. I choose {And don’t get me started on the people that say they don’t have time to workout. It’s a choice. Make a choice to have time and you will. There are a lot of hard working mamas out there who fit it in! Yes, you, Melissa, are one of them! So it CAN be done.} to make time for my workouts and make them über high on my list of priorities, sometimes leaving little room for other things. So I see little reason to lollygag around with my fitness sessions. I want sweat pouring down my back, sports bra and capris sticking to my body, heart making me feel alive and the feeling that I just kicked some serious booty.

Yessiree, that’s the kind of sweat I’m talking about! And when I Just Do It and Make It Count, the sweat just comes naturally.

Also, coming naturally to me, is my inevitable way of making my rounds to the Nike sections at work. {I mean, I have to get to know the other departments of course, right? I want to be a well-rounded Dick’s employee. ;-)} I swear, if I weren’t the Fitness Trainer there, I’d snatch up the position of the store’s Nike Brand Coordinator in a heartbeat! On yesterday’s rounds I found these cool kicks:

Nike Free
Nike Free
And I then needed to “product test” them to ensure I can be knowledgeable about their fit.

Hmmm...which one????

So now I can say with confidence that these are THE most comfortable Nike’s I’ve ever worn. Like buttah! And nooooo, I did not buy them. This was a test, only a test. But you know they’re on the list now! The word on the street is that shortly we’ll be doing away with the standard green polo/khaki pants uniform and allowed to wear the clothes we sell. OH HAPPY DAY!! You know I’m gonna be prepared for that!

The clothes, the look, the fit, the mantras and the positive, inspirational feelings I get are what keep me loyal to be a Nike woman. Their marketers have me believing that I can don this stuff and be a great athlete. That’s their job! And congratulations to them because, doggone it, I sure do feel like I could be! Heck. Everyone buys into something. If you buy your gear at Walmart, then more power to you! Do your thing, girl. I know the clothes won’t exercise for you, duh, but  I say whatever gets you motivated to workout and keep going is never a bad thing. When I put on my tight, black leggings or my little booty Pro Combat shorts, I feel like I’m hot. And if I’m hot, I can run that extra mile and be even hotter.

What’s your go-to mantra to get you through a hard workout?

**Oh, and believe me, these were my opinions. Nike didn’t paid me for ’em. Again, it’d be nice to be paid in clothes and shoes, but yeah, umm, I won’t hold my breath. I need it too much when I’m running. :-)