Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Weekend Report

I have had a really wonderful weekend, I,  for the most part took it easy. No big plans, no where to be.  I love to go, go, go. Travel to new places, find little adventures locally. But sometimes I really need a weekend that runs at a slower pace.

Saturday morning, I woke up around 7 and dragged my butt outside for a 4 mile run. I have to say this was not one of most pleasant runs. For most of the run, I just wanted to stop! But I just kept pushing, I almost feel more accomplished when I push through an unpleasant run, than when I have a really great run. It tests my persistence. I definitely went slower with every mile, but only one mile was outside my Disney pace. So I was overall pleased.

After the run, I took a shower, and drove down to the Athens Saturday Market to buy some fresh produce. It is amazing, how much better vegetables/fruit taste from the market! I got some lovely tomatoes, that I have been munching on for snacks.

Did I mention I have been buying all the Disney movies on blu-ray? I have enjoyed re-watching them so much. Disney is such a nostalgic thing, I remember the first time I saw all these movies! This weekend I watched Hercules and The Hunchback of Notre dame. I may be watching Hercules yet again, right this very second.

This morning I woke up and did this 20 minute yoga video for complete beginners! I have been thinking about what I wanted to do to cross train on non-run days for a while. I thought yoga would be a good option because it is not overly intense, and it won't make me too sore. In fact, the streching should help limber me up.

For a couple of weeks, my right knee has been sore from running, I assume. It never bothers me while running, but it really bothers me after running. Today, it felt so much better after my short yoga session.

I have always struggled with some of the yoga poses in the past, especially weight bearing ones, and today was no different. I had trouble holding downward dog. But I have bought a yoga block to help me modify some moves, and I am sure I will just get better if I keep practicing. I have to say I felt really relaxed after my session. Which is good for me, as someone who struggles with anxiety almost 24/7.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Favorite Things: Podcasts!

I am really obsessed with podcasts lately. I mean first of all they are FREE! Which makes them quite a bit cheaper than my audiobook addiction. And I get to listen to them while I'm commuting to work, doing paperwork, and running. These are a few of my favorites:

1. The Mickey Miles Podcast by Mike Scopa & Michelle Scribner-Maclean
This is the newest podcast that I'm listening to. It is all about running and more specifically running Disney! Which is of course my newest obsession and biggest ambition right now. They have 150+ podcasts on the topic! They outline all the Disney races, how to prepare for races, and give you great information on training and nutrition. A few of my favorite episodes are Preparing for a First Disney run, How to Save Money when Planning your Disney run events, and The Great Star Wars Debate.

This is a podcast I love because Joe Pardo does interviews with people who have achieved their dreams or done something that completely changed their lives. Who doesn't love a good success story? Two of my favorite episodes are Stephanie Kurze: How Television Changed Her Life and Amy Peterman: Blogging about moving changed everything.

3.  The Lively Show by Jes Lively
Jes defines her podcast as being designed to add a little extra intention into your everyday. I love that description and I love this podcast. Jes covers so many topics from facing fears, to debt reduction, and following intutuion. If you want somewhere to start, I recommend the one on self-love and disordered eating (mostly because these topics hit so close to home for me).

This is the first podcast I ever listened to.  I started listening to this podcast years ago when I lived in California. I am a huge history nerd and these episodes are so interesting! If you love history at all. There are so many topics to choose from. They have over 300 episodes, and they update often. It is hard to pick a favorite as there are so many topics, but I do love the ones on the Irish Potato Famine, Building of Disney Land's Haunted Mansion, The History of Feet Binding, and The Fantastic Fitzgeralds.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Eating after Weight Loss Surgery: Tangy, Hawaiian Meatballs

First of all, I have to ask for forgiveness for the poor quality of this picture. I snapped this shot right in my crock pot with my iPHONE! Bad job by me. Just know these meatballs are far more appetizing than they look in this picture. Second of all, the original recipe credit goes to this lovely lady.

Since I had my weight loss surgery, family, and friends are consistently curious about what I eat now. So I thought I would occasionally share with everyone what I have been eating lately. Starting with these made in my crock pot ,tangy, Hawaiian meatballs.

I love this recipe because it is delicious, Pompeii (my stomach) tolerates it very well, and it makes good leftovers that I can take to work for lunches for weeks (since I only eat 4-5 of them at a time). But most importantly it is good protein!

I broke her recipe in half, so I would not be eating meatballs for a lifetime. Here is my smaller version:

  • 1.5 lb pkg of precooked, Frozen Meatballs (or make your own)
  • Can of Pineapple Chunks, drained yet save the juice
  • 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup White Vinegar
  • 1 Tbl. Soy Sauce
  • A Dash of Cayenne Pepper to Taste
  1. Place meatballs in crock pot and top with drained pineapple chunks.
  2. In a bowl, mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
  3. Pour sauce over meatballs and pineapple.
  4. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until heated through.
  5. Serve warm

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The "Big" 5k

Last week, I decided I wanted to do a 5k over this weekend. So I hoped on and found the "Big" 5k, right here in Huntsville. It was a charity run for big brothers/big sisters. I love that organization, so I thought this race would be perfect.

For a while now, I have been feeling very frustrated with myself during 5ks, because I could not perform in races like I do in my work-outs. It was all mental. There was no reason I could barely run a lick in races, when I have been able to run 3 miles working out many, many times!  So my motivation in signing up for this race was to break that mental barrier.  Therefore, I decided to go alone.

In no way, has doing 5ks with my husband or Jana held me back. But I knew to break this mental barrier, I would need to dig deep and be focused only on myself and my running. I have never done a race alone, so I didn't know what it would be like. 

I had a somewhat fitful night's sleep on Friday. I kept waking up to glance at the clock, terrified I was going to miss the alarm. I guess it was a case of pre-race jitters. My alarm went off at 5:45, and I got up, got dressed, and drove over to Huntsville (the race started at 7).

I tried not to put too much pressure on myself, as I walked the parking lot trying to get a decent warm-up in.  I tried not to think about the race at all. But soon it was time to line up, and before I knew it the start horn blew. I just started jogging. I told myself my first goal was to get to the half  mile mark. It is a pretty short distance, and I always feel better after the half mile mark.

When I got to a half mile, I still felt decent, so I just kept going.  The first mile and a half went by pretty fast. But once I got to 2 miles, it started to feel difficult and I had to dig in. The course wasn't entirely flat, and I hate HILLS (even small ones). But I kept going anyway. 

I once told my husband he shouldn't talk to me when I'm hungry, tired, or going up hills.

When I saw the finish line, I wanted to cry. When I crossed the finish line, I almost did cry. I did it in 49 minutes (a 15:40 minute mile average). I had done it, I had finally broke that mental barrier. I felt amazing. And tired. And sweaty.

I immediately called my husband, mom, and texted Jana the news! I could not wait to share it with them (even if they were still asleep). They were so happy to celebrate with me. I wanted to tell everyone! 

I walked over to the food tent to grab a banana, and a lady I did not know came up to me. She said that she had been walking behind me the whole time and she was so inspired by me. Someone was inspired by little old me. Hearing that made me feel amazing. 

Yesterday was the best day, I have truly never been more proud of myself. This week has truly been amazing! We bought a house and I achieved a personal goal!  I just can't wait to see how I will do in the next race. I guess now I have to work toward finishing a 10k, running!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Home Sweet Home

I don't know any other way to start this post other than to say WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! It is beautiful home, and it has almost everything that we were looking for. No, this is not the house I shared with you a few months ago, that deal fell through, and we were devastated! In fact, before we found this house I was feeling pretty defeated about it all.

Adam found this house on the internet, and he was so excited about it, he went to tour it without me while I was in Memphis. He called me so thrilled about the home, and said I had to come see it that night. So I rushed home! As soon as I walked in, I just knew this was our house. We loved so much about it. So we put a bid in, and it was accepted. OK, it was a little more complicated than that, with some nervous days in between and some countering back and forth. But we got it done.

I have to mention the previous owners last name started with a "M" like ours, and they had a big M on the front door. Which to us, felt like a sign.

It is 2 stories like we wanted. It is spacious. It is in a WONDERFUL neighborhood. There is a fenced in yard, so we can get a puppy soon. I can have my Petit Trianon (home office).  The details are so pretty, like the tiling on the columns that separate the kitchen from the den. There are walk in closets galore and a whirl pool tub. It has this detached extra garage/workshop that will give us enough storage for a lifetime. 

We will be moving in August. In the meantime, we plan to get some painting done. The bedrooms upstairs were children's bedrooms, so they have very LOUD colors. 

Adam and I laugh about how empty our house is going to be for a while. How little furniture we actually own. How it will take years to fully furnish and decorate the house. But it will be fun, and I can't wait to share everything with you guys! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

National Civil Rights Museum at The Lorraine Hotel

The morning after Glow in the Park, Jana and I went to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel (Where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated).  I was so excited about this visit. I typically do a lot of the trip planning when I go out with my friends. I had sent Jana a list of things we might want to do, including the civil rights museum, thinking she would never pick the museum (although I was most hoping to visit the museum out of all the options).

But Jana who is a museum/history nerd just like me said, "I would really like to do the museum, but I'm thinking you want to do such and such instead." I was so excited to tell her I wanted to do the museum too. Nerds unite!

But really the civil rights museum isn't nerdy it all. It is touching, moving, and sobering at times.  I learned so much that I didn't know, and it made me think differently about what I already knew. It was also sad to be reminded how much my home state of Alabama was involved in the controversy. While I love Alabama with all my heart, we continue to lag in making social progress at times.

Some of my favorite exhibits included a Montgomery bus replication with the statue of Rosa Parks. I walked up to the front of the bus, and as soon as I did a voice hollered, "move to the back of the bus." It scared me to death. After the man said it many times, a narrator informed me, if  I hadn't moved to the back of the bus by this time, I would have already been arrested.

I was also captivated by the end part of the tour which leads you into the Lorraine Hotel and the actual room where Martin Luther King stayed his last night. The have replicated it the way it was the day he was assassinated. Very haunting. 

We really enjoyed our visit to the museum, and I would highly recommend going if you are ever in Memphis.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Glow in the Park

Everybody I had the best Friday night with my girl, Jana, in Memphis! We met up so we could do a Glow/Foam run, Glow in the Park.  A foam run was on her running bucket list. So this was a must do for us both. 

Friday afternoon, I wrapped up everything at work, and I hopped in the car to drive the 3 hours to Memphis. I was so tired, I so wanted to go home and take a nap. I was so worried I wouldn't have energy come race time. But I was just in a sullen mood because I was tired. I knew as soon as I got to Memphis I would be A-OK. And I was.

I got into town a few hours before the race, so Jana and I just hung out in the hotel room for a while, resting and catching up. But before we knew it, it was time to head off to the race! We got there and donned our silly, warpath paint. I got it all over my car (Thank goodness it came off with a little water, I thought Adam might kill me if I came home with a green/pink, spotted car).

We named our team, E.T. Foam Home (how awesome are we?)!!  

We "wogged" this race. I think we ran about a half mile, even up a big hill (we were super proud). Considering all the stops we took in the glow tunnels and foam cannon, we probably finished under 50 minutes, and we were no where near last!

We have come so far. We barely survived that first 5k, and now we are both running at least 3 miles three times a week. I'm so proud of us.

P.S-Did I mention we ran under the amazing, full honeymoon?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kayla's Graduation Party

A few months ago, I had decided I wanted to do something special for Kayla's graduation, and I had the idea to throw her a little party. Which is exactly what we did! We rented out a room at a local hotel. It was actually a lot nicer of a room than I was expecting.

I had gone a little nuts the week before buying up all these pink/zebra decorations. I just couldn't help myself. Kayla wanted food from her favorite restaurant, Tamolly's, and they brought over the best fajitas & queso dip. Everyone loved the food. We finished off the meal with these adorable cupcakes from the same bakery that made my wedding cake all those many moons ago. I heard the cupcakes were delicious. 

We had a great time hanging out with everyone. We even broke out Mario Kart 8, which Adam and I had bought on our way down to Texas for the sole purpose of playing it with the nieces.  We all played it together when they came to stay with us in California a few years ago. That game just has the best memories for us all. We wanted to relive that. 

And it was AWESOME!

Although it was a fast trip, we really enjoyed our trip to Texas. Anytime spent with the girls is worth it!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Five Month Surgiversary

This weekend I celebrated my five month surgiversary A.K.A the day my stomach adapted its own personality and the name Pompeii! I almost forgot all about my surgiversary. Sometimes I struggle to remember how long it has been, having to count on my fingers to configure the date.  As time goes by, the newness of this change continues to wear off, and it is just a part of my daily life. My new reality.

However, I never forget my weekly Wednesday weigh ins, and I am happy to report I have lost 120 pounds. I am well under 300 now, and that feels so freakin good. While I still feel fat (and I am still fat), I no longer feel like the obese elephant in the room these days. I blend in better, I'm less scared of what people are thinking of me. 

I was always so worried about what people thought of me.

I have had so many non-scale victories this month:

  • Fitting into a size 18/20 Top
  • I No Longer Snore, Not Even a Little Bit (Adam says sometimes he has to check to see if I'm even breathing). 
  • No More Heart Burn (I used to think I was a fire breathing dragon disguised as a human)
  • No More Sciatica!!!!
  • Having More Energy
  • Being able to run 2-3 miles consistently

The only negative so far is I have noticed in the last couple of weeks that my hair is thinning. Which is really common after surgery, I won't lose it all, and it will grow back. It has been somewhat distressing to me because growing up a fat girl, I used to feel that my hair was my only positive asset.  So I'm afraid to lose that asset. Plus, I'm just a normal girl, who frequently fusses over my hair anyway.

I would much rather have the health benefits I'm seeing now and deal with a little temporary hair loss, then have lush hair, and still weigh nearly 400 pounds. It can't be all weight loss, rainbows, butterflies and ponies, I guess. 

Most days I just feel so happy/grateful/overwhelmed that I was even given this opportunity to start all over again.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Weekend Report

I successfully finished my first week of Summer Day Tx, and it was totally exhausting. All I could envision doing this weekend was sleeping, but I really didn't do much sleeping whatsoever. I kept pretty busy. 

Saturday, I woke up bright and early and decided to go ahead and knock out my workout. I wanted to run outside since I've been doing more treadmill work outs lately, due to the heat. My weather app said it was 73 outside, but it did not feel 73! I was sweating buckets! #humiditykills. After I ran my 2 miles (so happy I'm a little under the pace I need for Disney), I had to lay down on the grass in the shade to cool off before I could walk the half mile home!

After my workout, Adam and I went house hunting. We are still not out of the running for our "dream house" but because the process continues to drag on (my own personal version of Chinese Water Torture), we know it is best to keep looking.  We found some duds and some hits. But it did make me hopeful that there are other wonderful houses out there for us. 

My mom and I had made a movie/dinner date for Saturday night. I was almost to tired to go but I really wanted to see Maleficent, so I decided to suck it up. As we were walking up to the theater,  my mom mentioned there was a tornado warning to the north of us, but I just figured it would all be "OK."

Halfway through the movie, someone stood up in the theater and told us there was a tornado pretty near by. So we walked out to check out the situation, and we were smack dab in a severe thunderstorm, it was nuts! There was no tornado, but it was storming so hard it would have been impossible to drive in.  We had to get a refund and wait it out. I thought we were going to be trapped in the theater all night long! Luckily, it slowed up about a half hour later, and we were able to sneak home before the next big storm came.

Later on today, my mom and I plan on catching the 2nd half of the movie. I can't wait, it is really, really good! Angelina Jolie as Maleficent is just perfect. I also plan on doing laundry and grocery shopping, and just getting ready for week 2 of summer day Tx and my teenage group!

I hope y'all have a great week my little chickens!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Kayla's Graduation

We returned Sunday afternoon from a whirlwind trip to Texas. It seemed likes every trip we have taken to Texas in the last year has been a whirlwind. Like leave Thursday after work, drive until Midnight, stay in a hotel, get up early the next day, and do more driving. Just to do it all over again. 

The trip was for our youngest niece Kayla's graduation, so it was a million times worth it.

Can I just take a minute or two as an uber proud Aunt to say how happy I am for her? Because I am so stinkin' proud of this girl.  This girl has been through so much that I'm not willing to share because this blog is not the place to air all the dirty family laundry.  But instead of letting it take her down, she rose above it, managing to graduate from high school a WHOLE year early. That is dedication. 

We also got to spend time with our other niece, Cassie. She is just as amazing. She just wrapped up her freshmen year at Texas A&M, is a Dorm R.A., and a manager at Chick-fil-A. She is a beautiful, smart, hardworking, amazing young woman.

Their future is so bright, the whole wide world should have to wear shades.  How did we get so incredibly lucky to have them in our lives?

Congratulations to my little K-Bear!