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Ahhhhhhhhh, the holiday season. I am sitting upstairs in my sister Christy’s house in Columbus, GA, and I can hear Christmas music & laughter downstairs as they make banana pancakes and scrambled eggs. My little niece Anna is giggling and dancing to the songs. Does it get any better than this?
I am passing on the extra yummy breakfast this morning so I can get my body back on my regular eating plan. I had a bowl of cereal & low-fat milk. But don’t feel sorry for me… I lurve some cereal!!
Last night we all watched Eat, Pray, Love for the first time. While it was very much a chick-flick, it had several moments that made you think & reflect on your own life choices. While we all don’t have thousands of dollars to travel the world for extended periods of time with no strings attached… it does open your eyes to the possibility of living outside of your everyday box. I’m gonna get crucified for saying this, but I am not a fan of Julia Roberts… so it was hard to see past her to the real story a lot of the time.
The 14 mile run that Vero & I did yesterday wiped me out more than I originally realized. After we made it out-of-town to Columbus & ate lunch, I took close to a 3 hour nap. I look forward to the day when going on an extended distance run doesn’t lead to immediate exhaustion. This will come with practice, I’m sure. My body just has to get used to it.
Goooooood news!!! My stomach is getting firmer due to the core strengthening exercises I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. Woohoo!! There is one move that I adore – the plank. I do it three different ways, click here to learn more about this move on LiveStrong.
We will be rolling out of here to head back home in the next few hours. My plans for this afternoon include a nap & writing. Tomorrow morning I promise to give an extended update on my book, plus an excerpt. But before I go for today, I want to leave you with some good news: Looks like they are republishing The CarbLovers Diet book, and I am going to be in it! And… possibly in my bikini! Good times, good times. Will keep you guys posted as I know more. Also tomorrow I get to see & pick out my Birmingham Bombshell photos, and I sooooo excited about it!!!
Thanks for letting me vent during my impromptu post last night. I feel much better this morning after a good night’s sleep. All of the concerns that I mentioned are very valid, but sometimes at night things get amplified in my mind. I am sure that happens to a lot of people, because nighttime is the hardest time to keep your emotions in-check. I am proud to report that I made it through, and writing that post helped me a great deal. I have also come to find that the day after my weekly long run is when I feel the most exhaustion. But today… I feel GREAT!
Turns out I have misplaced my LiveStrong bracelet, so my friend Sarah at work is bringing me another one this morning. I just need that subtle reminder on my body to get me through the multiple pecan pies and sweet potato casseroles over the next few days. But, I am still letting myself have that one piece of pie if I can manage everything else in moderation.
While lying in bed last night, I realized that a lot of my issues have to do with control. I need to be 100% control, if I’m not, I tend to let it get completely out of hand. For example – my office at work is super clean. All of my papers are in perfect angles to my desk, and there is no dust or trash in sight. On the opposite side of the spectrum is my bathroom. I have clothes everywhere and make-up scatters my counter top. Jennifer at work would have nothing to do with that, but Jennifer at home could give a rat’s butt. I’ve noticed that my food & eating patterns fluctuate between those two extremes. It’s never somewhere in between. Maybe I need to learn to relax a little and lose some of the obsession with being perfect all of the time. I am in need of balance. But one thing is for sure – there is no question that I’m on the right path. Now that I’m in this new phase called “maintenance”, it just requires a new mindset. One that I look forward to attaining!
Some good news – I got a lot of writing done last night! I am still participating in NaNoWriMo, but on my own terms. I feel much more comfortable with my new deadlines, and I am making some serious progress. This book is going to rock your socks off.
Here are some fun photos from our Ball at work this past Saturday night. One is of Mike and I, then the other is of me and my sister Rachel. It was so wonderful!
OK – here is what I’ve decided on NaNoWriMo: I am giving myself an unofficial “pass” to extend the deadline until December 15. I can do 50,000 words by then without spreading myself too thin. It is sad to admit defeat, but really I am doing myself a huge favor by giving it some extra time. By November 30, the actual deadline for NaNoWriMo, I am aiming to have 30,000 words complete. This is more realistic with a full-time job, marathon training & the fast approaching holidays. I feel better already!!
It was hard to get up early this morning for my 5.5 mile run with Vero, but once I was up it was totally worth it. The weather was in the upper 40′s and the sun was shining. Just what my spirit needed to kick off the weekend!
Last night was really great. After a busy day at work, I met my sister and Mike at a local specialty grocery store (V. Richards) for a port wine tasting. They were much too sweet, but it was fun to try all the different kinds. A lot of them smelled and tasted like whiskey. My favorites ones were the extra dry varieties that had a lighter body. Most of them were so sweet it was like taking a bite out of a brownie!
Tonight is our big Gala for work, so I am on-standby for most of the day in case I’m needed. It should be a lot of fun though, and I am actually looking forward to it. However, it’s going to be sooooo nice to have a few days off next week for Thanksgiving!!! It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year.
I have been thinking about my eating plan for Thanksgiving day (& weekend) since I am trying to hit 142 in the near future. I think for the actual holiday, I will probably get in a longer run that morning as well as some extra strength training. As far as eating goes, I will eliminate any snacks and opt for the lighter food options… so that way I can fit in a piece of pecan pie. My favorite!!! Honestly though, I am not going to sweat that day too much b/c I’m already so close to where I want to be.
We are skipping our Asheville, NC, trip this year since Mike’s grandparents are coming here instead. While we love going up there this time of year, it is actually a relief to not have to worry about trying to fit that in to our schedules.
My sister Christy wrote something on my Facebook wall yesterday that made me stop and think. After my post from yesterday asking for NaNoWriMo encouragement, she said that maybe I was putting too much pressure on myself and that I should stop and smell the roses since I had already accomplished so much. It made me realize that I have a whole garden of roses, and it is indeed time to enjoy them. So I’m gonna! Thanks, Christy.
I KNOW I CAN!
It’s Friday… and I’m feeling a bit emotional. It’s a combination of happiness and overwhelm. It’s been a big week on the job, but it’s also been a big week in my personal life with the birth of my new niece, seeing my “I Did It” article in Health Magazine, and also the Birmingham Bombshells photo shoot. All wonderful, wonderful things! I know I worked really hard for a lot of it to happen, but I also feel very lucky too.
I’ve mentioned before that I wrote & directed a short film in 2006 called “Piece of Cake” that starred Mo Rocca (and one of my dear friends Alison Britt starred & produced). Well last night my friend Rebecca, who works in the Sidewalk Film Festival office, came across an old promotional video clip that featured me at one of my heaviest times in life. I remember being under intense stress & pressure, and then turning to food to soothe my nerves. I still encounter similar moments from time to time, but I’ve now learned how to manage my stress without eating.
Speaking of overwhelming & exciting creative projects, my NaNoWriMo pace is not as quick as I need it to be in order to reach 50,000 words by November 30. In fact, I’m pretty gosh darn behind. It is starting to bother me quite a bit, because finishing this book should be #1 priority. I haven’t give up yet though, but I might need some words of encouragement!!
I will be 142 pounds by December 1st at this rate, which will have me at 50 pounds lost on The CarbLovers Diet! My strength training has also been going really well. I have a routine now that takes me about 10-15 minutes to complete, and I am trying to incorporate it 3-4 times a week after my runs. While doing the Birmingham Bombshells shoot, I was so proud of my shapely & muscular legs that I’ve been working so hard for!
Tonight I am heading to Third Friday in Forest Park with my sister & Mike, then tomorrow night is our huge annual gala at work (hence being so busy for the past few weeks). Vero and I are going to do 12-13 miles on Sunday for our long run as well. Between all of that, I am going to ship myself to a local coffee shop and work on my book. I WILL FINISH!!!
Oh Monday. On Sunday nights I dread you, on Monday mornings I welcome you. I swear I spent most of yesterday evening going over my to-do list for work wondering how I was going to get it all done. Now that I am well rested & Monday is finally here, I feel like I can conquer the world. What a difference a day makes!
I am glad that today is an “off” day from exercise. My mind, body and soul needed it. I try to make it a priority to build in two off days a week for anything that I do. Two off days from work, two off days from exercise, two off days from writing, etc. It makes me more productive.
I’ve officially decided to go for 142, which will mean that I would have lost a total of 50 pounds. It won’t take much to do it, so I am going to follow the CarbLovers Kickstart Plan for the next week or two until I reach my goal. Thanks Stephen Vinson for inspiring me to do it!
Tonight is NaNoWriMo write-a-thon part 2… and I have a lot of ground to cover. I still feel good about the probability of finishing! Now I need to decide what I’m going to reward myself with when I do finish.
Writing a book is such an obvious avenue for me, I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before. Maybe because I wasn’t mentally ready to take on the challenge yet. When I made my short film “Piece of Cake” back in 2006, it was my whole world… but almost too much for me to take on. The comfort & solitude of writing is much more my speed these days, and if a movie comes out of it later than so be it.
Tonight is Mike’s first stab at stand-up comedy at the Barking Kudu here in Birmingham, AL! Once he conquers this goal, then he gets to put one item of clothing back on for this Thursday’s bikini photo. GO MIKE!!!!
Long runs are really great, but you do them once a week for a reason… because it drains every ounce of available energy in your body! I feel like jelly. But it was so much fun and totally worth it. We even made pretty good time without even trying. Towards the end of our 10.5 mile run I could feel my legs hardening up, so it was great to get in a good stretch afterwards. I am SO GRATEFUL that Vero decided to join in on the long runs with me… because otherwise it would be sooooo boring without her!
After we were finished, we both took a quick shower and met back up for brunch at the Bottletree Cafe. They specialize in vegetarian and vegan cuisine, but they also have a nice selection for the meat lovers. (Ahem, Mike.) :) I had the Sweet Delta Slinger, which is a halved homemade sweet potato biscuit served with two soy sausage patties smothered in mushroom and sage vegan gravy, with a side of fruit. Vero’s was by far the best – she ordered the stuffed soy sausage balls with havarti cream and a side of greens. It was out of this world!!! Everyone’s food was really delicious. The only regret was not being there in time to have a Bloody Mary, but I’m better off since I have so much work to do today. ;)
I’m gonna have to dig up some energy reserves somewhere, and fast, because this week is going to be jam-packed. Once next weekend passes, my workload should calm down a pretty good deal through the end of the year. I am looking forward to having a few days off Thanksgiving week too… we are going to head up to Asheville, NC, to visit Mike’s family then spend the actual holiday here in Birmingham with mine. The biggest news of all is that my brother & his girlfriend Amber have a scheduled birth this Wednesday! :D This will make me an Aunt 2 times over. We can’t wait for Lilianne to get here!!!
This week is also my Birmingham Bombshells shoot, which I am SO EXCITED about!!! That would be really fun to take video of, if they let me. I’ve got to pick out my inspiration board photos today.
NaNoWriMo is officially kicking my a**, but I am still holding tight. Tomorrow is the 15th, and if I was on track I would be around 25,000 words. I’m nowhere near that amount, but I haven’t given up hope. Being in the office today while it is quiet will help me focus on my writing. I refuse to fail, 50,000 words is going to come out of me by November 30… I KNOW it! It’s all there, I just need to type it out.
OK, so I actually tried to upload a really lame video today but the audio got really off sync while uploading to YouTube. It’s probably better off anyway, as I will have much more exciting things to share as the week goes on. Video camera… ON!
The response from yesterday’s post was pretty overwhelming. I feel surrounded by love and excitement! It was a very busy Friday at work for me, but I was checking in every opportunity I could to see the comments people were posting on my blog and on my Facebook page. I am looking forward to responding to those posts today now that I have some free time on my hands!
This morning I went on a wonderful early morning run with Vero and we knocked out about 4.5 miles. Tomorrow we are going to take on a 10-11 mile route as part of my marathon training. But first, I MUST buy some new running shoes!!! I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without replacing them… it has to be close to 6 or 7 months since I bought my current ones. That’s a big running no-no! I am a firm believer in investing in a good pair of running shoes & replacing them often. It’s the best way to prevent injuries.
Believe it or not, I am really starting to get into my solo strength training sessions. I have found some moves that I really like and I can already tell that my body is responding in a positive way. I don’t really have any goals to get buff or too muscular, I just want to be strong enough to supplement all of the training I have coming up next year. My upper body needs A LOT of work.
I’m going to spend at least 3-4 hours today on NaNoWriMo trying to catch up on my word count. This is a really good day to write since it will be laid-back and quiet for the most part. I may even squeeze in a nice long nap.
I have a new thing I’d like to commit to: posting video clips at least 3 times a week. There’s no reason why I wouldn’t or shouldn’t, so here is me promising to add that new component… starting tomorrow! Why not? I am going to leave the content up to my creativity and whim, depending on the day.
Here are some of the photos I was talking about yesterday with the cut-out Rachael Rays all in my office. My coworkers literally plastered her everywhere while I was out-of-town shooting the segment. Two months later, I am still finding them!
Weigh-In Wednesday #32: 146.2 (Yay!)
Fun Fact: Since I started this blog on March 30 of this year, I’ve done over 225 posts. That’s a lot of writing!!
Looks like Vero may start training with me for the marathon. The rest of our week looks like this:
Today: Solo run after work on the treadmill: 4 miles
Thursday: Speedwork: 2.5-3 miles
Saturday: 4-5 mile run
Sunday: 11 mile run (& a nap)
My strength training is going good so far, but it is leaving me super sore. I’m still not doing a whole lot… just trying to gradually break myself into it. It’s so strange that there are all these muscles in my legs & butt that don’t get used when I run. I guess it’s called cardio for a reason.
The time change has been pretty fantastic. Getting that extra hour of sleep really hits the spot, plus Vero and I have more daylight for our early morning runs. I am sure it will start to get dark again pretty quickly, but at least it’s helped for the time being.
I have a new favorite treat for those of you who are interested: Edy’s Creamy Coconut Fruit Bars. They are a little higher in calories that the pomegranate & acai blueberry (which I usually buy b/c of the nutritional value), but since I have upped my workouts the extra 40-50 calories is OK. They are DREAMY. I love popsicles in general because they take so long to eat and they have lots of flavor. Hopefully I will still enjoy them when the freezing weather starts to creep in!
NaNoWriMo is going good even though I am a little behind on my word count. For some reason I’m not sweating it, I know that I will catch up. I know I promised some excerpts, and I still plan to do that at some point when I feel confident that it will actually end up in the book I want to write. A lot of what I’m writing is stream of consciousness, so it may not make sense out of context. Also, like I’ve said before, some of the content is highly personal and I’m not yet convinced that it’s for public viewing. Either way I am getting some much-needed practice & discipline out of writing everyday. But most of all, there is a book in there somewhere…
What are the physical & mental limits of a person? In the past 3 or 4 days I’ve had several people express concern that I am doing too much. Juggling a full-time job, a marriage, social life, marathon training, this blog & NaNoWriMo might be more than one girl can take on at one time. Truth is, I do give in a little where it can be taken. For example, I don’t do NaNoWriMo every single day… probably 5 out of 7 days each week for the month of November is going to be realistic for me. I will just have to write a little more on the days that I do. And last night, instead of doing my 10 mile long run, I did 8. I listened to my body’s signals and stopped when I knew I was pushing too hard. If I fall back few miles on my marathon training it won’t be the end of the world. I know I’ll get it done, and I’ll make up for it on the weekends when I have more energy. Also, I try to get in 8-9 hours of sleep a night so I am usually pretty well-rested. I am giving it my all this November because I know it will ease up in December once NaNoWriMo is over.
So how do you know if you are taking on too much? I don’t know the answer to that question. I would imagine if it starts affecting your sleep & overall happiness then you’ve probably gone too far. I live for challenges & goals, without them I’m not sure where my self value would come from. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
The next obvious question is, what about burn-out? I know a lot about that. It’s happened to me many times in the past and I’ve learned from my mistakes. I’m not saying it won’t happen to me again, but I’ve had enough experience with work & exercise to know my limits. I’ve also found that if something brings me joy, it is less likely that I will become tired of it. If I feel like I am doing something because I should be, then burn-out is inevitable. But if I’m doing something because I want to, then it is a whole different scenario. I want to write. I want to be a better athlete. I want to be good at my job. I want to live up to my potential.
I play this fun game (at least for me…) that my friends and family are all too familiar with. It’s called “Future Game”. Each person goes around and predicts 3 positive things in the future for each person present (except for themselves). You are basically pretending to be psychic. But what you are actually doing is providing positive visualization & reinforcement for the other person. It will spark imagination & hope for all who play. And the more creative you are, the more fun it is. Try it! I make Mike do my future game almost every night before I go to bed. It is a great way to end the day on a positive note.
Wow, I feel pretty wiped out… and it is only 8:30 in the morning! Thanks goodness for the time change, though I still woke up at the same time I usually do. I just laid in bed for another hour. I never thought I would see the day when I would be an early riser, and that’s exactly what’s happened to me! These days I would rather go to bed early than sleep late. There is only so much you can do in a day… why waste valuable time? Mike, however, is still in bed.
I keep questioning whether or not I want to attempt the 10 mile run today… if I don’t, then I’ll have to do it tomorrow evening after work on a treadmill. That will be about as fun as it sounds. If I do it today I can enjoy the nice cool weather and scenic route through downtown Birmingham. The only problem is that my energy is pretty zapped and I have a full agenda for the rest of the day. Decisions! The wise choice would be to wait and let my body heal from yesterday, then just get over the fact that I will be bored to death running in place for 10 miles tomorrow night. That is probably what I’ll end up doing.
After checking our official times on the Vulcan 10k website, I found out that I finished 23rd in my age group out of 162 women. The fastest female age grouper in the 30-34 category was 43:53, and my official time was 53:02. In my mind that means that I have a lot of potential to eventually be in the top 3! A long term goal of mine is to do just that, and it seems like it is finally in reach. Vero did even better… she place 10th in her age group with a time of 50:41. Go Vero!!!
This afternoon I am heading into work for a few hours to film/photograph an event, then this evening I have some catching up to do with NaNoWriMo. I was too exhausted to write yesterday so today I have about 3,400 words to get in. Good times. The content I’ve chosen to write about just flows out of me, so hopefully it won’t take more than 3 hours to do.
Do you ever feel lost sometimes? That despite knowing exactly what you want in life you still find yourself wondering if you are on the right track? This could be my exhaustion speaking, but that’s exactly how I feel. I wonder if I’ve made the right decisions. I wonder if there is more I could be doing. I know it is important to seize the day and to savor every moment of life, but questions always seem to seep in on quiet mornings such as this one. There is absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t be happy… but am I? Maybe I just need more rest.