Disappointing Turn of Events.

Well. This could be quite disappointing.

As I mentioned before, I’m working on some health related habits. I’m doing the Couch to 5K, going to dance class once a week, and continuing my 3x/week weight lifting habit that I started last year.

Since making these commitments, I’ve followed them completely (yes, I know it’s only been two weeks, but you have to start somewhere….). Then, yesterday, while lifting weights – my right shoulder popped out of its socket. I quickly pulled my arms back and it popped right back in. It scared the crap out of me.

Now, I don’t know what I should and should not do. I have an appointment with an sports medicine orthopedic on Friday. Until then, goals have to be on hold. I’m hoping it’s no big thing (right now it feels like no big thing – it’s only minimally sore). Cross your fingers!!

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Too Many Jeans? No Such Thing.

Ah, jeans. They might be one of my favorite things in the entire world. I own more pairs than I am comfortable saying, and there’s too many to count anyway.

Recently, I did a full on clean out of my jeans. By clean out, I mean I got rid of….not many. Most of my jeans went into storage in our basement. Let me back up.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve put on a bit of weight, particularly since the birth of my daughter nearly 2 years ago. Last fall, I got sick and tired of having a closet full of beautiful clothes, many of which I couldn’t wear because they no longer fit properly. I decided that I should only have clothes in my closet that I loved wearing and that fit, so I began a purge that started with my jeans. I discovered many items I still loved, I just don’t love them on the body I currently have. I decided to box them up in plastic containers and store them for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time in hopes that my healthy changes will allow them back into my life (and my closet).

Since my jean collection was down to only a few pairs after the clean out, I asked for a pair or two for Christmas. My go-to pair (post-purge) are from New York and Company – shocking to me as their pants have never fit me – but these are jeggings, and they’re the perfect combination of stretch and structure. I wear them almost constantly. Naturally, I asked for another pair for Christmas.

My parents got me 2 pairs, but they were both high-waisted (not my fave), so I decided to return them. Yesterday, I popped in to NY&Co on my lunch break to take advantage of their buy one get one for $10 and use my merchandise credit.

Here’s what I tried.

I have been looking for a pair of white jeans. I have a pair I packed up that no longer fits and I’m annoyed that right before I got pregnant I donated another pair I had that would have fit me now. I tried these (Soho Destroyed White Skinny Jeans) but they didn’t really work for me. First of all, they were a bit see through (often an issue with white stretchy jeans). Secondly, they were destroyed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a good destroyed jean, but if I’m only going to own one pair in white, I’d rather not go with destroyed because they will get more wear if I can wear them to work. My office is casual, but I try to stay away from anything ripped or frayed.

Another pair of destroyed jeans, since a pair of destroyed blue jeans are definitely on my wishlist. These are the Soho Destroyed Superstretch Leggings in Force Blue (here). I really liked these, but there were two other pairs I liked better, and my credit only covered those. I couldn’t justify an extra $70 for this pair.

Pair 3 are these Soho Midrise Skinny. I passed because they only had them in an 8 which was too big (talk about vanity sizing…I’m usually a 10 everywhere else but I’m a 6 in NY&Co jeans). Also, the pocket size and placement didn’t do my ass any favors.

This pair hit the jackpot! I find that lighter wash jeans are hard to come by lately and I had purchased a pair back in December that had to be returned, so I was on the hunt for a better option. These jeans were the ticket. I was completely shocked they worked for me – these are the Curvy Legging. I grabbed them thinking why not, and they were perfect. Of all the things I am, curvy – in relation to my lower half – I am not. But for some reason these really just worked.

The second pair I bought was this pair of Curve Creator jeans. They have a cut that works well for those of us with minimal butt, giving a little more shape than most jeans. Win!

Overall, I was happy with my shopping trip. I am definitely going to be keeping my eye on the sales at NY&Co over the next few months; if I can get a good deal, I may scoop up the destroyed pair I tried or another shade of the Curvy Leggings.

Where is your favorite place to shop for jeans?

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Health.

Earlier this week I wrote here about new beginnings: resolutions, changes, and things to improve. One area that I am focusing on – like the rest of the world – is fitness. However, for me, it’s become an issue of health.

I’m going to be frank here. I’ve been an on-and-off athlete my whole life. In high school I played 3 sports, one of which I loved so much I sometimes had to be shooed into the locker room at the end of the practice (that was track and my event was the high hurdles). In college, I was sporadically into fitness. Working life happened and fitness was all over the place. I had bouts of running with months-long runs of weight lifting. Then a drought. Then back again. Then I stopped. Then eventually back to the gym. You get the picture.

Finally, after getting engaged, I decided to use a half marathon as a way to both accomplish a new goal and get fit for my wedding, and I buckled down into running. This was probably the most dedicated to fitness I was since high school. I was a true runner for nearly a year, culminating in running a half marathon – with no walking – 2 weeks before my wedding.

Then I fell out of the running habit. Then back into fitness, and again falling back out. For years. I decided another half marathon would do the trick. Then I got pregnant and was so sick I couldn’t keep down water in the first trimester, let alone continue to train for the half. So, once my daughter was born, I signed up for a half again.

Training was really tough. I had a small baby, 4-7 months old during the training period, and I was tired. I sacrificed runs for sleep and relaxation for runs and was frustrated with my lack of progress. As the race approached, I had to come to terms with the fact that I would just have to walk a good chunk of the race – but I was going to do it.

And I did. Then the holidays arrived. And we sold our house. And bought a new one. And moved out, into a hotel, and then into the new house. Then it was summer and it was ungodly hot. Then it was fall and we were soooo busy.

October of 2016, my company offered an incentive to get a health check – for a simple blood draw you could earn a $100 gift card to Amazon. Sold! Unfortunately – or actually, maybe fortunately – my results weren’t as good as I expected. It was a wake-up call. In the interest of honesty, transparency, and accountability, let’s talk actual data.

Blood pressure: 124/72 (goal is 120/80 or less). This measurement has been borderline high at every doctor’s appointment I’ve been to since I had my daughter. That needs to change.

Triglycerides: 180 mg/dL (goal is less than 150 mg/dL). This is a type of cholesterol and mine has been high the last two times it’s measured. High cholesterol raises your risk for both heart attacks and strokes. This measurement contributed to an overall slightly high total cholesterol number even though my LDL and HDL levels were good.

BMI: 26.8 (goal is between 18 and 25). While “losing weight” is not the goal here, I am carrying around more pounds that is necessary for my body. I gained 30 pounds with my pregnancy (160 to 191), lost 35 total after she was born (down to 155), but gained 15 back after I stopped breastfeeding (170). And since then I’ve added another 5ish (175ish) – just in the last two months or so. I know I have an issue with my sweet tooth and that needs to be reigned in. In order to be healthy, I do need to lost just a few pounds. I’d be happy just getting down to my pre-pregnancy weight – but my focus and driver here is a healthy weight for ME.

Cardiovascular health. While the test didn’t tell me anything about this – day to day does. There have been times that I’ve been winded when I most definitely shouldn’t be. I struggle to do things that I don’t think should be a struggle (like carry my 22 pound daughter and a heavy-ish shoulder bag across an airport terminal).

It’s right there. Right in front of my face. I am not getting any younger and staying healthy is not getting any easier. And now I’m a living, breathing example, day in and day out, for a small girl who will learn much of what she knows about health and fitness from her father and I. These things need to change. And I’ve come to realize that part of my problem with a lot of things – fitness included – is that I don’t sit down and really think about how I can make sure it fits into my life and is accomplished.

Last year, I figured out how to fit lifting weights in. My husband gets up and goes to the gym early in the morning so I’m in charge of getting our daughter and myself out the door. Then when I get home, I’m hungry/tired/lazy/etc. I could go then, but it’s not ideal. So, I figured out that a lunch break gym session was perfect. I’ve now been lifting weights on my lunch break, 3x a week, for about 5 months now. However, I think for the last few months, I’ve used this as an excuse for not doing cardio – I was still working out, why did I need to run?

But I do need to run. I do need more cardio. My schedule is allowing me to get back to my weekly dance night, but that’s not enough. I realize the only place cardio will fit is in the evenings, so I am committing to make that happen. That might mean eating dinner at 6pm with my daughter and going running at 8. That might mean letting my husband put her to bed and running before dinner. But if I know what I have to do, I can plan for it in my schedule. Scheduling is what is going to make this work. Every Sunday I will sit down with my calendar and look at the week ahead, then figure out where the cardio listed below is going to fit best and put it on the schedule.

I’m focusing on two things for the foreseeable future (as well as continuing to lift weights 3 days a week):

  1. Do the couch to 5K program. When I started running before my very first half marathon – this is what I did. For me, run/walk is so easy. Which makes this workout not intimidating. Which makes me want to do it because I know I’ll be successful. I started this the week after Christmas and my goal is to complete the program. When I complete the program, I should be running about 3 miles. My goal will then be to consistently, over the next 2+ months, to run 3 miles 3 times a week. Once I’ve gotten consistent there, I’ll bump it up to 4 days a week. Once I’m running 12 miles/week consistently, I’ll determine the next goal/challenge. It might be more mileage, it might be a race, or it might simply be trying to improve my mile splits. For now – the main goal is to simply follow and complete the Couch to 5K.
  2. Dance. I discovered a love of dance in my 20s and about 2 years ago I signed up for membership at a dance studio. I pay for 5 classes/month but I’ve generally only been doing 1/month at best. This is a waste of money and every time I go I am so happy that I did. I am making it a goal to attend 1 dance class/week. If I can do 3-4 classes per month I will feel I’m getting my money’s worth – and it’ll take me even closer to my goals for my health.

I’ll update here as we move along. I’m doing well so far but it’s obviously quite early. I’m hoping this keeps me accountable! Are doing anything to improve your health in 2017?

Notice.

Image result for 2017

Another year has come and gone. As we usher in 2017, most of us are thinking about resolutions, new beginnings, what we’re happy about from 2016, and what we’d like to change in 2017. I’m not immune to this thinking and the start of the year has got me thinking about things I’d like to do differently in 2017. There are, of course, a lot of them.

Something I try and do every year is to pick a word for the year. Last year it was “slow”. The year before, “focus”. This year, I’m picking “notice”. I still like the notion of slow – particularly because I’m not very good at being slow – but I’d also like to expand on it, which is why I think “notice” is a good one for 2017. I want to not only slow down and notice things, but I want to notice things like the little pleasures that are easily missed, when I’m off track on a task or project, when I’m moving too fast, what things make me happy. If I can make it a point to just notice more, I am confident I can be more present.

The first thing that’s been on my radar (and noticed, if you will), is this blog. I’ve always felt a pull back to it but never made the time to actually put that into action. With a new year and a fresh start, I’m putting new eyes on this blog. It’s going to be about a lot of things – habits, self improvement, everyday life, motherhood, fitness, fashion, and anything else on my mind. I hope you’ll come along with me on my journey into 2017!

If you picked a “word of the year” – what did you pick?

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The Bad Days

Bad days. We all have them. We all wish we didn’t. But as in all cycles of life there has to be the bad to balance the good, and in these pockets of “F*%K!!” that we feel on those bad days, there is opportunity.

Yes, you read that right. Opportunity.

I had one of those crappy, no good, very bad, horrible icky days this past weekend. And really, on a weekend? Not fair.

I knew it was going down in a landslide at about 5am. The entire day was going to be a bust before it had even began.

It started with the crying. My darling daughter, who I will refer to here in this space as Bug (the nickname she’s somehow gotten at home), woke up for her “middle of the night” feeding at 4am. I, with my super strength mommy nose, thought I smelled something stinky. Not wanting to put Bug back in her crib with a dirty diaper, I decided to change it.

There’s a reason I don’t normally change her in the night unless she really needs it. She wakes up. A diaper change is an invitation to open her eyes and play. When I put her back in her crib, she was fully awake. (Side note – the dang thing wasn’t even dirty after all. It was likely what I lovingly call a “trapped toot”).

So she babbled. For an hour. Then it got more urgent, alerting me to the fact that this child was now overtired and was about 5 minutes away from a meltdown. 5 minutes was generous because it only took about 2 before she was in a full-fledged breakdown. No amount of patting without picking her up was going to work. My husband and I spent the next hour trying to calm her down and get her to sleep. In typical Bug fashion, as soon as we’d put her down she would wake up and scream.

Eventually, my husband decided sleep was most important and let her sleep for the next hour on his chest.

2 hours, from 4am-6am, is all it took to set the mood.

The rest of the day was shot. When it was time for Bug’s nap at 9am, she wasn’t interested. I tried to go for a run and the trail was flooded. I went to a different point on the trail and it started to rain heavily and I was soaked. One little thing after another after another.

I. Was. A. BEAR. To everyone. I was a crappy mother and a crappy wife and an all around crappy person for the moment. I recognized this.

And I saw the opportunity. It took some prodding from my husband, who said I needed change my mentality because bad things happen. I thought long and hard about why I was having such a hard time getting out of the funk. I recognized a part of it came from being tired. When I’m tired my mental capacity tanks, which is especially detrimental when I feel like I have a lot on my plate.

I noticed I was feeling mad at myself for not prioritizing my half marathon training (I’m running a half next weekend but my training has not gone well due to – well – having a 7 month old and working full time). I was bummed that I wasn’t prioritizing my health and exercise because it’s so important to me that I model that for my daughter. The reason I hadn’t been prioritizing is because I felt like I couldn’t work out unless it was half marathon prep and many times there weren’t enough hours to slog through those longer runs. I also recognized that I was feeling overwhelmed by a major project at work that I felt behind on. I had wanted to do some work on it Saturday and hadn’t gotten to it because of other tasks. I asked el Hubs to be in charge of Bug so I could do some work.

90 minutes later I was a new woman. I was happier and less anxious, and more likely to let things roll off my back. I took a step back and listened to what was really going on and realized that while I couldn’t go back and change my training, that the worst thing that happens is I walk a lot next weekend. I also realized that I could do something about the work stuff, and made it a priority to do so.

The rest of the day was fun. I got on the floor and played with Bug. I felt happy and back to my normal self. I got to enjoy the evening with one of my best friends who came over for dinner and some wine. I only hope that the next time this happens, I can remember what worked for me and make it work again. Because this sure as hell wasn’t the last bad day.

Tiny Moments, Huge Impact

Since becoming a mother, I’ve been thinking a lot about moments. You hear so many things before you have a child. Everyone tells you how tough it is, and how stages seem like eternities when the baby won’t sleep, or wants to eat all night, or won’t nap long enough for you to even take a shower. People make it sound like a hell that has no end. And then you hear all the mentions of how they grow up way too fast, and it’s gone in the blink of an eye.

In my short 7 months of experience, one of my favorite sayings rings true, and it encompasses both sentiments: the days are long, but the years are short.

Man. The number of times I’ve repeated that to myself since becoming a mother this past March. The number of times that’s crossed my mind each day.

Little moments

I’m living for the moments. The only way for me to feel like time is slowing down a little bit is to find those moments. You know the ones. Where you’re wrapped up in what you’re doing, and you feel the joy of that exact minute, and you try and hold onto it just a little bit longer. Every day, I look for those moments. By doing that, I’m feeling like I have a little more control over the speed with which my little lady is growing up. So much happens this first year, your baby is a different baby from one month to the next – and sometimes even from one week to the next.

Yesterday, I took an extra 2 minutes to take some video of my daughter eating her rice cereal before bedtime. I will want to remember that one day. I took an extra 5 minutes to kiss and cuddle her while she was on the changing table. I kissed her like crazy until she was caught up in a fit of giggles, and my heart expanded so much from the joy of that sound that I wasn’t sure it’d be able to stay in my chest. Those moments bring tears to my eyes. And I’m trying to find them and desperately hold on to them before they pass. I kept her up 10 minutes later than she probably wanted to be. But those 10 minutes were worth it.IMG_9349[1]Having these moments, they allow the tougher ones to pass with less fanfare. As a new mom, you have so many “when will this end?!!” moments. But finding the tiny little minutes to just drink in this baby – who won’t be a baby soon, who won’t smell like her baby self, who won’t curl up perfectly in my arms with her head on my shoulder – are helping to put the tougher moments in perspective.

She’s so little. And she won’t be for long. I need these memories seared in my brain because yes, the days are long….but wow, the years are so, so short.


It won’t be like this for long, One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
Yeah this phase is gonna fly by, He’s trying to hold on
It won’t be like this for long.

Aaaand I’m Back.

Well, well, well. My first post at the new blog. I’ve tried this blogging thing twice before (well, two times where I was serious about it). My last blog failed because it was about something very specific – fashion – and I couldn’t get my brain around how narcissistic it felt. And it was a giant pain in the ass to have to take pictures so frequently. So, after a sad little attempt to keep it going after the lustre died, I just let it go. I also got pregnant and had a baby not long after so maybe that was a good thing.

I’ve also tried once before to lifestyle blog – but I never kept with it. However, looking back at my previous blog, what really stuck out to me was the writing. I really like to write, and I’m not too shabby at it. And it was so fun to see my writing come through in a way it couldn’t in my fashion blog. So I’m going to try this again.

The first blog failed due to inability to be consistent…the second blog I was consistent for years but the content wasn’t ideal for me. This time, I’m going to try and find that consistency again without the constraints of being a “certain kind” of blog. I’m just going to write. And if I want to write about fashion, and post mirror selfies of my outfits, I’m gonna. If I want to talk about the most random of things, I will do that too. This blog isn’t gonna fit in a box any more. Here’s to new beginnings!