Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: My Growth & Never Giving Up

Alright here we go, my end of the year post. And what a whirlwind of events and emotions was this one for sure. I just read back to what my year in 2014 was until now and the goals I set out are so different than what actually happened in 2015.

So lets recap a bit shall we because the way that 2015 started out and was headed was a great path. I had set up a running plan and even ran a virtual half marathon with Nanci and Corina. Running was definitely going to be one of my biggest focuses this year at the beginning. I wanted to run a 1000 miles and have a sub 30 minute 5k and planned on running the Gasprilla Distance Classic.

OH January held such high hopes and then my world came a bit crashing down in Feb. And it literally did as I had fallen off the ladder at work and sprained, badly my right ankle. I know to some an ankle injury is not a huge deal BUT to me it was everything. It shook me right to my core. The idea of not being able to work out or run was killing me. For days I laid on the couch, just waiting for myself to gain all that weight back I had lost.

Your mind plays some really nasty tricks on you when you are taken out of your routine like that. I was out of running for quite sometime and in March when I went home to New York, I finally started running again. Very Very slowly. But just the idea of putting my running shoes back on made a world of a difference for me. Also at this time, when I was home I had a turn of events happen with my Poppy. He was very, very ill and me being home, being able to care for him and take him places and just be with him, strengthen our relationship even more than before.

It was a true blessing and one of the bet trips I had ever had home. I was exploring more in this month too with clothing and my blog and even set up a Facebook action. Believe me I did not dive into my blog this year as much as I had wanted too and will be a continue work in progress. But through my blog this year I have grown more followers and reached out a bunch of new companies and opportunities, it has been amazing. I even started a monthly post with my dear friend Nanci.

In April, I tested my ankle out a bit more and ran the Iron Girl 5k. That where was when my running finally felt great again. Physical therapy was a life saver for me and got me across that finish line. From there I knew I was going to be okay and running was just going to be bit slower than in the past.

I signed up for some virtual races this year and won a bunch of entries into 5k's. I didn't hit my sub 30 but each one I got better and better at. And right now I am feeling better in my running than ever before to be honest. I feel like I am starting over again, a chance to get it right again and now I have a true and honest love and understanding for running. The accident sucked and it scared me but I am back to a routine and training for a half marathon in Feb. Running is my lifeline and my favorite source of exercise.

This year exercise was a bit tough. I didn't explore or try as hard as I should and I know that.  I didn't stick to a routine or a plan and I lost the muscle and strength I had but I never really gave up because that is the one thing about me, I will not give up!!!

My weight was a roller coaster or everything this year. But even when the scale was up and down and up again, I found a confidence in myself I had never felt before. I truly looked in the mirror and loved how I looked and felt. I even bought myself a bikini and took a picture in it and posted it to Instagram. I fell in love with my body and the journey.

I quit WW just a couple of months ago. The program was amazing but it was not fulfilling me anymore. I was getting too lazy and comfortable on the program, I forgot the points and decided to try counting calories to help with my running and the switch turned out to be perfect. I feel great and 100% less bloated than before. While my middle section is taking its sweet time to go down, I am learning new things about calorie and fat and protein and carb intake. Plus I am never hungry anymore because I feel like I am eating the right amount I am suppose too.

I got a FitBit this year and have become obsessed with it and that too has changed my whole life and brought me closer to my girlfriends back home as we are constantly doing challenges together.

Friends and family wise has been amazing this year too. My BFF got married and I got to see her at least 4 time this year. I love her to death and we are the true testimate that miles or time does not change us. I have grown closer with my friend  Nanci and I am so grateful for our friendship. She is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. James and I also made a new couple friend and our friendship with them is something I can not ever imagine living without.

James and I's relationship truly is better than ever. I feel like we are on a really great path together. We have had our rough patches but there is no doubt in my mind that our love for each other is forever and true. We have many goals TOGETHER for 2016 and 2015 we grew a lot together and made compromises and learned from each other, which has been wonderful. Sure there are times we fight so bad but we never let it get to us, we are in this together.

Work was another big one this year. I have grown a TON in my career. My comfort zone in my job has taken a toll these last couple of months but I am finally feeling at home in my new store and we are crushing numbers from the years path. Plus I am making a name for myself in the company, which will help me in the future. This year I put myself out there and got a promotion and will continue to earn that right every day.

So 2015 had its ups and downs, I turned 30 mid year and I have found a positive outlook on life. I have watched a bunch of shows, found some amazing series and I have read more this year than any other year. I have found a positive outlook on myself and it has changed my every day life. Turning 30 was not bad at all and it was an amazing birthday and has been a great year so far.

Biggest outlook on my year was I embrace changed and despite anything and everything, I never give up!!!

Thanks for being apart of my journey in 2015, for reading along with me and following me through sadness,  happiness and fun.

2016 will be even better for my blog and life and I cant wait to fill you in tomorrow in the start of the new year.

I hope you all had a fantastic 2015 and look forward to brighter 2016. Love you all.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Survived Holiday 2015

Hello world!!!!

I am back and I survived the holiday 2015 season! Holy hell was this one a tough one. I was at work every single day 10 plus hours. 14 hours one day and the so on and so forth. The mornings were early and the nights long. I lived literally on coffee and tuna packets. I threw in some grilled chicken sandwiches, which I have ate one from practically every fast food.

And I am not kidding on that one. It was my go to protein and not so bad for you choice of meal this week. I had one at Sonic, Wendy's, McDonalds and Chick Fil A. I am not proud of the choice but it was the only thing I could to survive lol. And hell I could have ate worse, but I didn't. I did bring some pretzels, cheese sticks and yogurt for snacks too. I was prepared. Breakfast was a bit tough because I was constantly running out the door, so thank god for Starbucks and Dunkin for having great breakfast sandwiches.

I also drank a whole lot of coffee and Spark. Work was truly nuts at times, but my staff was wonderful. They really, really pulled through for me. It was great. It was tough because we were all learning through it together. Everyone had new roles and responsibilities but we came out on top.

The one thing that took a bit of a back seat was my running. I mean working 14 hour days, literally in the store from morning to night made it pretty hard to get runs in and still have time to sleep. So I took the 10 days off of running. I know today when I go back out there to run, it will be hard but oh so worth it. I can not wait to get back to sweating and getting ready for this half marathon.

But all the hard work and hours paid off and I am so glad it is behind me finally.

Christmas was wonderful. I slept in a bit with no alarm. James woke me up to a cup of coffee ready to go, Christmas music playing and a yule log on the tv and presents. He got me a new FitBit which I LOVE and new headphones for running and lots of little things for my stocking.  I was spoiled for sure. We spent the morning going out to breakfast and then took Christmas pictures on the beach, then I took a nice long nap.

Later we met up with our friends and went and saw the new Star Wars movie, which by the way I thought was great. And I am not a fan of Star Wars. It was a perfect Christmas.

Now life can finally get back to normal. I have set up some goals and things I want to get done with this new year, which I will post on Thursday. Now I am spending today just being lazy, relaxing and unwinding. Cleaning up our place and not thinking about work.

Hope everyone had a great Holiday season!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Good, The Bad & Crazy of My Past Week

Hey Everyone!!!

I am over here trying to just get by and all. Honestly it has not been too bad at all. I am holding it together quite nicely but the hours man are they creeping up. I don't even remember what a slow day or 8 hour day looks like anymore and well that is okay. It is only really super intense these next 9 days and then it is semi back to normal.

Half marathon training was a bit tough last week. My hours were much longer than scheduled and with having to commute and by the time I have to be to work and leave work, it made it extra tough. I did not get any cross training in at all. And I only got 2 runs in. One was 5 miles and one was 3.5 miles. I am trying to listen to my body and when it wants rest, I am giving it rest and when it wants to go I am letting it go.  I really did not want to miss a run last week but life got in the way.

On Saturday I just had to go into work earlier because we had some issues and by the time I got to my car and home, I was like the hell with it. I was DONE. My brain and body and heart were not matching. Seriously I just wanted a Subway turkey sub, friends, a bonfire and some wine.

And that is exactly what I did!!! I went over to our friends house, we sat around an awesome fire and listed to music until 2:30 in the morning!!! Way way later than I normally am up, oh and I killed a whole bottle of wine. But I had fun, LOTS of fun. The kind of fun that just awakens the soul. I needed that night.

What I did not need was the hangover I ended up having the next day. Wow, I am seriously 30 years old. But I took a shower, put on my big girl panties and went to town on some water and got a hashbrown from McDonalds.

Yup I have not had one in like 5 years!!!! But it was the best 150 calories I have had in a really long time. It tasted amazing. The grease and everything  haha. I mean sometimes to just need the really crappy food. And that settled my craving for the next 5 years.

And I also managed to work a 10 hour day that day.  So go me haha.

Sunday night I came home, made soup and went right to bed. I was beyond beat. Last night our good friends wanted a chill night, so we went to dinner and had steak and laughs. At work it is so hard for me to eat, seriously I am eating cheese sticks and yogurt most of the time. So when I got home I was tired but the food tasted so damn good. Steak and veggies and two helpings of salad from Cody's Roadhouse. I was finally feeling good again.

It is funny and true to what they say that food really is fuel. Because I felt amazing after!!! I ended up having all this energy and I finished up some shopping and got a mani and pedi. Then I came home got my presents ready to send home and finally fell asleep. Whew.

Next week I am literlly working every single day at least 10 hours. Insane. But I have decided to not put to much presssure on the half marathon training. If I have the energy I will do the runs but if not well I will survive. I still have 2 months to go and I know I an do it.

Today I am off and plan on running a longer run. I seriously just want to run it out. Put some miles under my feet and just go. To make up for the future week ahead.

Also some good from the week is the support from my friends and family, wishing me happiness and well wishes for making it through and to my staff!!

The bad is the hours and the crazy is not being able to hardly see James at all. This year for both of us is insane and he is feeling it too. I cant wait to have Christmas off together just to have a day off.

Alright my loves, here is too another week ahead!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Week 3 of Half Marathon Training

It's funny, usually when I am writing my post for how my week went in Half Marathon training, I am usually half way done with the current week. I seriously can not wait for my life to just get back to some sort of normalcy, even though it has not been that way for months now.

But with the extra long shifts and then life in general on top of it, it is just exhausting but I have to admit that my runs have not been affected much, usually when I am getting my runs in, my body is feeling extra great.

I ordered from a friend of mine, some Advocare Spark to help with a little bit of energy. And I have been trying it before my runs and it defntley does work. It really brings a little pep in my step. I have also brought it to work to help with being sluggish or just keep me focused a bit more.

Week 3 brought 1 cross train day and 3 rest days and 3 run days. I do like the 3 rest days because walking on the floor at work all day is concetrate and it really is doing a number on my legs and foot. So that extra rest day even if it is a work day makes on the difference.

I did my runs on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Tuesday was 3 miles and it was a night run on my day off. It felt good but man I was dragging my feet because I wanted to just stay and snuggle with James all night. But I got it done. Friday was a strange one. I had closed at work on Thursday and didn't get home until almost 11:30, I was tired and passed right out. Well I woke up at 5:00 am and just could not fall back to sleep, so I tossed and turned and said the heck with it and went for my run, early.

I seriously could have been sleeping for at least 3 more hours. The run started off amazing. I was having a true runners high for the first 1.60 miles. No walking just gliding along and then stomach pains happened and it was a pardon the french, an oh shit moment. I had to find somewhere and I had to find somewhere fast. Believe me bushes were looking really good, then in sight a gas station.

After thanking the attendant for allowing my to use the restroom, I set out to finish my 4 miles. My stomach and mojo were a bit off still, but i got it done. And then spent the few hours drinking coffee in my bathrobe before work. It felt great to have it done and over worth.

Saturday I of course planned on running before work, but of course I slept in because of the day before. All good though, I got home later, chugged some spark and ran in the dark. I am not a huge fan of it but these 11-7 shifts kill me. Two more and then I am done. I will run in the morning this week though.

It was a good week despite one day off. The KT tape works wonder and my vitamins help a bunch too. I have been chugging water like crazy and I feel a difference. Plus I seriously think this is what is keeping my semi sane this time of year.

If I can marathon train in the summer then I know I can do this.

Hope everyone is having a great week!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Week 2 of Half Marathon Training

Good Evening all my lovely friends and family.

I am so bad that I have been posting this so late, but geez work has been so busy and by the time I sit down the last thing I am doing is my computer, but I wanted to update how week 2 in my half marathon training went.

It went sooo well. And the main reason was because I had a nice and calm week at work. Things Remembered gave us 3 days off last week and it was glorious. It seriously was exactly what I needed. Just having one extra day goes such a long way. I kicked off the week enjoying two rest days in a row.

I spent my Sunday, just kicking back and relaxing. I literally spent the day being lazy and cozy. Monday I used as a rest day because I worked and then really wanted to go and see the new Hunger Games movie, which was fantastic. I recommend seeing a movie on a Monday night. Just push all responsibilty aside and just go with the night. I went to Panera before hand and got popcorn and had an awesome night. James stayed home and I just went by myself.

Tuesday was my second day off, so I took my run downtown in hopes of seeing all the Christmas light, which weren't up yet but I had a fantastic run. Seriously my favorite place to run always. The water looked gorgeous and it was windy and just great. My body felt awesome, I had a Spark before and it made a world of difference. It was just one of those runs I had a runners high well after. I got  my long run in that day, which was 4 miles.

Wednesday called for a cross train which I did on the bike and got my 30 minutes and then some in.

Thursday was Thanksgiving and it was the Turkey Trot!! I had a blast that morning seeing my friend Nancy and my boss Jen and her family. I even dressed up and got into the spirit. So proud of how it came out because I made it myself.

Friday, I used as my rest day because it was so busy at work and  wanted to just to come home and unwind. Black Friday isn't too crazy at my store but it is busier than what we are used too.

Saturday morning I had planned to get my 3rd run in for the week in the morning. But because on Friday we were so busy I literally had no time to drink water and felt it the next morning being dehydrated and needed water to settle my headache. So I had to AGAIN run when I got home from work. This time I was not going to go on the tredmil, so I sucked it up and hit the dark. It was not bad at all though. Running at 8 at night is tough for sure, but I got it done and celebrated with some wine and chicken.

Week 2 was great success!

I am half way through week 3 and I do like the idea of having 3 rest days, just with work it works really nicely. It makes my legs stronger.

Hope everyone is having a great week also!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

What We Are Reading: November

It is one of my favorite posts!!!! And I figure better late than never at this point haha. Geez life and everything seriously got in the way this last month. I thought I wasn't reading all that much but indeed I actually was this past month since October.

My most recent books included...

I LOVED this book. Much more than I thought I would. I do not own my own business but I found this book to be very inspiring. It had a lot of great stories from women who own their own business and how they rose above. Even though I work for a corporation, being just my own boss in life, it really rang true. Between this book and How to be BadAss, well they have really changed my outlook on being positive in all things. I highly recommend this book and be your own #GirlBoss.

Just like the last book I read from James Patterson, with the same feel, I read this book in one day! It was quick and easy but the ending just happened. The chapters were short and you knew the ending was happening and then it was over. No real explanation just over. It was a fun read and I love books like this from James Patterson. I love the short and sweet chapters because it makes it quick and I feel like I am really accomplishing a book. The story was heart warming and I love the past and present implications it had. I also hear that this book was a movie too.

I have read the other bestsellers from this author and really loved them and this book did not disappoint. It took me a little bit to dive into this book. I had a hard time getting into the story and I had to keep putting it down and then picking it up. BUT once I picked it up I got really into it. It had a really interesting story behind it. The main character was a bit of a baby for me. She was whiny, but the other characters were amazing. The depth of the story and how it played out made me extremely happy and that main character I was not happy with, I ended up loving!! And she had me cheering for her and her happiness. This really was a great book, I recommend not giving up with it.

Because it was Halloween time and I really wanted to take a walk down memory lane, I ordered this book from online since I LOVED it so much as a kid. I remember taking this book out of the library and reading each story and just falling in love with the short stories. I would read aloud the really scary ones and rereading the funny ones to my grandparents. I got the book and all those awesome memories came flooding back. AHH the memories. This book is great have for me as just a memory alone.

And my final book, which I just finished today and LOVED.

Nancy over at This Crazy Life of Mine highly recommended this book to me. I was waiting forever for it to come at the library and it finally did and I was thrilled. I started it the beginning of the month and I finally had some time to finish it. Another great and fast read. OH man was this book juicy!!! It followed a group of women and how their lives all intertwined without even knowing it. The last few pages of the book I LOVED and couldn't have asked for a better way to end the book, I mean seriously I was blown away. I  have never read anything from this author and now she is on my list of authors I love. I can not wait to read more from her. Make sure you check out Nancy's blog because she has the best recommendations. And go out and take out this book now!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Successful First Week Of Half Training

Okay so I survived my first week of Half Marathon Training and what a week it has been.

My life is all over the place right now with work. I am putting in a ton of hours, usually my days can go between 8-10 and then some. Then by the time I get home it takes on another 1/2 hour, believe me the last thing i really want to do is work out or run But I am trying my absolute best.

This week was a bit different than the rests because I have only had one day off, which was yesterday. See life is out of control.

But per schedule it gives you 2 rest days, 2 cross train days and 3 run days. Out of all of those days, I know that the run days are the most important and I should never miss them. Now because my work is crazy, I will take an extra rest day and miss a cross train day because running around the store is defintley a cross train day for sure.

And that is how this week panned out.

Sunday- Rest Day
Monday- 3 miles after work in the dark. Stayed around a 13 minute mile. My legs were tired but I got it done, I stayed with in the 3:1's too.
Tuesday- Per schedule rest day and it was great. Had a half day at work, came home and napped and then just unwind the rest of the night
Wednesday- After work, I got my 30 minutes of cross training in. I went to the gym and used the bike and the elliptical.
Thursday- Used as another rest night. Long week and day and I just wanted a night to have fun. James and I went out to dinner, and I ended up going to bed early and sleeping amazing.
Friday- Finally my day off!!!! Had a perfect day off. Went to Walmart and got Adele's new cd ( amazing by the way) Returned library books, went to lunch with Bubba, went to Target and spent way to much, but it was so nice to treat myself. AND got my 3 mile run and the best run I had in a long time. Since technically I was suppose to run on Thursday and cross train today, I did the run instead. It felt really good and I felt super rested.
Saturday- I had planned since I was working 11-7, I was going to run before work. That way I didn't have to worry about it when I got home. Wellllll see my bed was so comfy this morning and it was the first time I could sleep in forever, I mean I really wanted to take advantage. So I hit snooze, well really turned off the alarm and vowed when I got home from work, that is when I would run and it would have to be the treadmill, which as you know, I hate more than anything BUT I wasn't going to give up. So I got out of work late, of course, and I came home, changed quickly and went straight to the gym. Despite the fact James already had dinner made for himself and I wanted to sit down. I hit up the dreadmill and watched the newest Grey's, which is also finally getting good. The 3 miles were tough because I am constantly looking at the how far I have gone, next time I need to bring a towel to cover with it. The only thing I liked was controlling my speed, but I got the 3 miles over and done with.

The main thing is I didn't give up and believe me every day I wanted too. I just wanted to say I do not care and I am done and I could figure it out. But I didn't and I wont. I know the next couple of weeks will be tough, but I can adjust and move on.

So here is to another successful week of craziness.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Training for my 8th Half Marathon

Good Sunday Evening Everyone!!!

Pretty fun and exciting stuff happening on the run side of my life.

Today, started my week 1 of Half Marathon Training.

So if I ran a marathon and tons of 5k's and halves, why am I training for one?? I know I can run, I know I can run the mileage and get it done. But I need the structure. I love the routine. I need to know everyday what I need to be doing. It holds me accountable and allows me to never give up.

I know if I didn't set out a plan and stay on track with it, I would let the rest of life pass around me and then I wont get it done. I really want to have a great experience with this half. It is my turning point, since coming back from my accident and just making it through life through that.

I went on to Pinterest and found this really great 12 week plan. Which has 3 runs a week, 2 rest days and 2 cross train days. Cross train days will be done in gym, I want to work on strength training on those days and the bike. My longer runs as the time increases will be done on Saturday's because that is when the half marathon will land, trying to set my mind set up with it also.

My rest days are Sunday and Thursday, which is nice because Sundays are usually my day off and I can just truly rest and stretch.

I am excited for this half training. I am going to try to stay as close to the training as I can, but already tomorrow I might have to switch some things as I may have a really long day at work.

But life and running go along perfect with that right, making adjustments and just not giving up.

I will be blogging this weekly so I can see my progress and accountability!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Soup

If there is one thing I love for lunch or dinner is SOUP!!

My top 3 soups are French Onion, Tomato and Broccoli and Cheese. And I never really eat them because they are so high in points or calories. They are definitely a treat when I get them out and ironically all my favorites are at Panera. But this post isn't about my love for Panera, it is just about soup.

On Sunday, I was looking through my Pinterest for some good soup recipes. I was really in the mood for using my crock pot and making soup so I can have it for lunch for the week. I found this one where I had all the ingredients, which is rare in my life lol.

And it was so easy and simple.

3-4 chicken breasts
1 package of frozen corn
8 cups of chicken broth
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red onion, diced
1 1/4 cup of BBQ Sauce
Salt and Pepper and Garlic Salt to taste

Add all to the crock pot.

Cook on low for about 5 hours.

Take the chicken breast out, diced or shred, then add back to the soup and stir.

I measured out 2 cups for 255 calories and that was one serving.

Then add some clinatro, shredded mozzerella cheese and I topped with a bit more BBQ sauce.

It was sooo yummy and filling and ended up having a ton of protein. James even liked it.

It is the perfect time of the year for soup and for when I am starting to put in some crazy hours, this is just perfect to come home too and have for the rest of the week or the nights when you just do not want to cook.

I paired with some biscuits too.

Here is the recipe I used too if you want some more guidance.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup

Friday, November 6, 2015

My Whirlwind..Scratch That, HURRICANE of a Week

Good Friday Morning.

Oh my gosh it has been a little over 9 days since the last time I had checked in. Remember when I would write every day. Remember when I had the time to do so.

Yeah me neither. Life is pulling me in a million and one directions. You should hear the ongoing fights I have in my head on what I should get done now and then. Believe me sleep and resting seems to always win first.

That basically has been my life since the last time we had chatted. Halloween for us was something super simple. I worked in the day and then just made it nice and comfy on the couch and called it a night. We ordered some pizza and watched Sons of Anarchy. Which, could be my new favorite show and we are on the final season. I hate to see it leave, it AGAIN, has been a show I didn't think I would love, but oh man...and look at this sexy man...

There is just something about a bad boy for sure.

Then came this week. I knew this week was going to be long, but I guess I wasn't sure how long it really, really was going to be...
hSunday at work we had our annual Holiday Floorset. Well up until my promotion, I was prepared to do the one at my old store. I knew it was going to be a long day, but man was it ever. The new store is way different than my old one, which brings me to long nights. I worked from 645-815. Almost 14 hours with drive time. I was tired and hungry and my body ached. I could barely move when I got home because I was constantly just moving the whole day with setting the new displays. We got it done, but god it took forever. Then the rest of the week I was going in early, every day to get the store fixed up, shipment, my paper work, etc.  I have to go in early because it is seriously the only time I can get stuff accomplished and I STILL feel like I got nothing done.

So when I come in super early, still means I have to work my full shift. So the days become 10 or 9 hour days. Which, yes, I get it, it is this time of year, but by God, really the first week of November!! I am seriously just waiting anxiously for the end of December!!!

I clocked in at 53 hours this week. It is a nice testing point for what the holiday will be bringing me. I have not worked out at all this week. I did do a quick one mile run to our friends house the other night because they invited us over for dinner. So to get my work out in, I threw on my running clothes and ran. It felt so good to sweat. Working out was hard this week for me to just adjust. I hate to make excuses but I was just so darn tired. I try, but by the time I got home, I was beat and with the time change, I was just off.

I mean, I work my Ass off at the store, so I am so tired. But I will do much better next week. I guess I just needed to focus on one thing right now. I am off today through Sunday, so I will be running at some point every day, walking around and getting my sweat on and then setting up a schedule and sticking to it.

My eating has been good too. I have brought my lunch every day. Usually just a sandwich, because it is quick and easy. I have brought my breakfast every day too. Not great, usually a piece of toast or something or yogurt. My coffee game is strong, with a cup on my ride in and before I open the store, going to Dunkin Donuts! I seriously love that there is one in the  mall.

If you are ever shopping at Countryside Mall, please feel free to win me over just bringing me a coffee, iced or hot with skim milk and 3 splenda :0)

My weight has been good too. I feel good, granted how tired. I lost 2 pounds this week, not sure if it was water or what, but the scale said a number. The scale is going down slowly but hell I am fine with that, its making its way down. I am feeling better in my clothes again too. I put on a pair of jeans the other day, not just leggings, which hell day off weekend, that's where it is at.

But I feel good, I have to incorporate more veggies for sure. I have been a bit lack luster on those this week and fruits, so stocking up on those is a must.

I promise this week I will get back to my typical posts and have more food related and running. I start my half training plan on the 15th, so like I did in the past, I will blogging daily about that.

Hope everyone has a great day!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Weekend Off

Happy Wednesday Everyone!!!!

Can we please acknowledge that in 3 days it is Halloween and more importantly the end of the month of October!! Meaning the end of the year is even closer. God, I literally feel like it was just February.

Time seriously just needs to slow down!!!

But while I am here lets recap what I have been going on lately.

As of last week, I had a pretty busy end of the week. Thursday and Friday I had travel days with work.  I went to Tallahasse and Gainsville and Ocala in those two days, doing store visits with my Boss. It was an awesome learning experience for me. She taught me so much in those two days alone and I learned a lot of what it was like to be a traveling supervisor and what to expect when going into visits. We stayed the night at a Hilton and it was really nice, but I just could not sleep. I ended up getting up super early, which made for a super long day. By the time I got home on Friday, I was beyond beat. I ended up crashing into a nap and then just laid around the rest of the night.

No grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry or anything I was hoping to do. Which to be honest felt great. James brought home Chipotle and we watched Sons for the whole night. Then came my weekend off, which was FANTASTIC. I mean one of those weekends, I truly, truly needed.

On Saturday, I got up and went for a run. My body has been battling a bit with me lately. So I set out for 3 miles. I ended up running the first mile, then walked a 1/2 mile, then ran to 2. Then walked the last mile. I was having calf pain and shin splints and everything else in between. But at least I got active and out there.

Then I spent the rest of the afternoon with Nanci! We had a great time. We went to the Tampa Bay Reading Festival, which was small and I thought for sure they would have more books for sale, but hardly any. The weather was perfect and we got a coffee before hand, which of course is something we do. And we literally chatted the whole time. We hadn't seen each other in forever, so it was amazing to catch up. Then from the Festival we went to the Saturday Morning Market, we walked around and Nanci had never been before, was I was so happy to show her how fun it is.

Then we went to lunch and had the best sandwiches at Locale Market. I got a grilled turkey panin, which now is my favorite way to have a turkey sandwich. We did more talking and walking and ended back at the market to get some produce. I love getting produce from the market because it really is much cheaper. We still had some time before we had to leave, so we sat in the grass by the water and continued talking.

Nanci is truly an amazing friend to me. We have only really known each other for a short time,  but we feel like we have been friends forever. She is so easy to open up too and we have so many things in common, I really value our friendship. I hope you have friendships like that in your life.

Then we said goodbye and I headed to the grocery store. I crashed when I got home, we did a lot of walking and it felt awesome. Then James and I wanted to have a really chill night. We got PDQ for dinner, went to Bath and Body Works so I could take advantage for there awesome candle sale and then ended with Yogurtology. That is always the best ending to a date night.

Sunday, James took me out for breakfast. It has been our new thing to do in the morning before football on Sundays. I love it. I LOVE going out for breakfast probably even  more than I do going out for dinner or lunch. Then we drove around some beach areas, looking for possible places to live in the next year :0) Then it was Football time with our friends.

I was a bit tired and lazy, and James had wayyyyy tooo much fun, if you know what I mean, watching the game lol. I laid down for a bit and then had some retail therapy at Target.

Then I started my work week at my new store. My first day went great. The drive was not bad at all. It made for a long day but I know this will be all worth it. IT is truly different then what I have been used to all these years, but it really is good. I am so excited for this new adventure and ready to take it on.

Working out has been good the last two days too. Despite wanting to just relax when I got home on Monday, I had a snack and went for a walk. It felt good to get my legs moving, I do not sit at work and constantly moving, so it sucks to work out, but it really does make a huge difference.

Yesterday, I was at my old store, training the new store manager and then came home, had a snack and then went to the gym. I wanted everything to say no, but I didn't and now today I am off and taking advantage of laying around and just relaxing and later going for a run.

Tomorrow is weigh in day and let you know how My Fitness Pal is working out for me.

Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Positive Thinking Brings Great Change

Positive Thinking and Hard Work goes hand and hand and it goes a long way! I am proof of that!

I got a promotion at work. I am currently moving up in my company. I am going from being the store manager in St. Pete to the store manager at the Clearwater location. It is a higher volume store and busier and it looks awesome being the store manager of it. I want to move up in the company and this is defintely a great stepping stone for me to do so.

I, officially start there on Monday. It is a little bit of a commute, only 30 minutes. It really isn't that bad. And now the weather is amazing and I don't mind driving because it isn't that  hot anymore.

So I am off to new beginnings and challenges. This coming week will be a bit different, I have to plan more and move my work outs around and I am excited for that. I embrace change and I am ready to take it on!!!

Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Energies are contagious…:

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Race For The Cure, Painting With A Twist & Mama Visit

Hi Folks!!!

It has been quite a week since the last time I posted. But first let me take it back to a race that I did the beginning of the month. I won an entry from Nanci on her blog, to run the The Race For A Cure 5k. It was a glow run, meaning a night run and you can wear lighted up material and glow items. I really, really wanted to run this race because it was in downtown St. Pete, which as you guys know is probably my favorite place to run. Plus the atmosphere and ambiance and everything was just what I wanted from a run.

The weather was perfect. We finally had a nice little cold front come throughh and down by the water and the air cooler and no sun, it was my favorite time of night.

I took advantage of the glow items and dressing in pink. I got my skirt from Michaels, for super cheap. I loved it and it was comfortable and the sparkle of course was right up my ally.

I had the best time!!! I ran the race like I did the one prior, with out my GymBoss and just running the first mile non stop and then walking the water stations. I had worked a full 8 hour shift the day also and then the run, so my legs were defintely a bit more tired than normal. But everything around me pushed me forward and I had a great race. I completed it in the same time as the week prior, so that was confortening. Slowly and surely I will get back to where I was, but also I will get that sub 30 minute 5k.

Running this race changed something in me. It made me feel alive. It could have been the weather, or the time of the night, but the people running and the feeling you got from those around you, the survivors, everyone in general, it just really touched me. It made me fall back in love with running again even more.

Since this race, I have been running a bit more. Running on my days off, even if it is just 2 miles and doing at least 4 on one of my days off. Running is so much for me. I ran 4 days this week and then have had 3 rest days because I feel like I am coming down with a cold. So I have been so tired in the morning and just feeling yucky, but tomorrow I am back at it.

And just to update my life, nothing really exciting going on. My mom came down for a visit this week and we had an absolute blast.

We spent lots of time outside at the pool and on the beach. We did a Ghost Walking Tour, which was fun, downtown St. Pete, lots of walking and some scary stories, but it was defintely a fun thing to do this time of year.

We also did Painting With A Twist, which was sooo much fun.

My mom was having a great time. We brought some pretzels, hummus and carrot sticks and Skinny Girl margarita.

The instructor was so much fun and had us all laughing. It was a perfect night and my mom and I did so good. I loved our our paintings came out.

I am surprised how well and easy it was to do.

My mom and I had a great mother and daughter bonding time and a Girls night out. Actually all week we really had a great time together. I hate to see her go, but it just makes for our time together again that much sweeter.


It was the perfect part of my week.

Hope everyone is having a great week and weekend!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

What We Are Reading: October

Hey Everyone! So it is that time of the month with my Favorite post I do, with Nanci, our what we are reading post!

Okay, so I have to admit, this one will be short and sweet because man oh man, I have not put a lot of effort into reading like I have really wanted too. At night when I normally would read, I am now catching up on my T.V. shows on Hulu or James and I are now watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix, which by the way is my New Favorite show, why did I wait so long to watch it.

So my one book that I had read and finished was The One and Only by Emily Giffin

I really enjoy Emily Giffin and her books, I have read a couple of them in the past and really loved the characters and the stories that went along with them. This book, I had some really high hopes for because I heard so much hype around it when it came out around last year. My cousin even said it was a great book to read. Okay, so I enjoyed the book, but it was really just ehhhh to me. The one thing I liked was it involves a lot of focus around Football and when I was reading it, it was the start of football season, so it fit perfectly.

The  main characters were very bland and it didn't have a whole lot of personality. And not to give away too much of the plot, the book went one way I really didn't think it should have. Yes, there was a love story aspect to the book, but it was a weird love story, almost creepy.

The character I enjoyed more was the main characters best friend, it should have dealt more into her. The book and chapters became predictable and in the end, you just knew it was going to happen that way. No punch which I have had with Emily Giffin before. It was a nice and easy read and yes, entertaining.

I am glad I read it, but I defintley recommend her older books instead.

What is your favorite Emily Giffin books?

Make sure you head over to Nanci's and say hi and see what she is reading too!!!

Have a great Sunday and I hope you can curl up with a good book with us too.

I know I am diving into some fun ones coming up!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My First Week Counting Calories with MFP

Good Wednesday Morning Everyone!!!

I am off from work today and could not be happier!! Mainly because the beginning of the weeks now have been crazy for me. October is a quick and fast and LOTS of going on for me month, and Monday and Tuesday at work this week, was a little hetic. Lots of paperwork, interviewing and I had a travel day that involved two stores. I want to be a DM someday and I know this would be my life, so I enjoy it, but when it isn't your normal, whew it knocks you out.

And today I have no big plans for the day, except to finish a book, get a run in and a nap. The simple things for sure.

But I wanted to pop in and tell you all how much I am Loving using My Fitness Pal to count my calories and how much I am enjoying counting my calories in general. I have been using the app and counting my calories for roughly a week now. It was not hard at all to start. Counting calories and Weight Watchers are VERY similar.

When I signed up for MFP, they asked your current weight, which for me is 169, your height, gender and activity level. I said slightly active because of work, I am moving and grooving on my feet for 8 hours a day. And then there is my exercise I do after. I figure the extra is just a bonus. They asked a range I wanted to lose, I said around 15 pounds would be awesome, I just want to be in the 160's by the new year is what I am aiming for.

Once that was done, they set me up with a calorie goal. Mind is 1490. Then I linked my FitBit to the app so it could track my steps and movement, rather than my phone, because especially at work, I don't carry my phone with me all the time. Then the fun began.

The MFP app is so easy to navigate and use. You can download the app, which I highly recommend and also go to the website. You type in what you are eating and then they give you a million results and you find the one that matches. The best part is you can also scan your food, just like Weight Watchers, BUT MFP actually has practically every single food! Where at WW, you would scan something and they did not have it in their database. Which was super annoying.

Then you log it. And I have vowed to LOG EVERY SINGLE THING. I mean I am logging spices I use on my food, well most, not hot sauce. And you would be surprised the calorie countent on items. Here is the deal before WW I never had a diet in place, I just took diet pills or just didn't care. Then I went to WW and learned soooooooo much. I learned how to read labels and how to actually understand a serving size and I learned how to cook and make great choices. NOW, I am using everything I learned from WW and applying it to calories.

I thought it was going to be super hard, but it has been quite easy. And on Saturday I ate out with James and went to a burger place, which had the burger already logged in their database. I over guessed on the sides and I am happy with that, because it is better to be over than under. Which I would do a whole lot with WW. I have used the MFP reciepe builder too, which is really awesome because I can just scan the ingridents and bam there it is. OR even cooler, you can search for the recpipe you and it imports it into the MFP for you!!!

So, I get 1490 a day and then I get "extra" for exercise, which I can eat also. I am trying not to eat all the exercise back because quite honest I don't need it, I am not hungry because I am actually eating what I am suppose to be eating. I really, truly believe I was eating under with WW and because I was so active it was not doing anything for me. And then I would eat my Activity Points back and then some and it was making me gain.

But with MFP this whole week, I have been under my calorie count with the activity and felt great. I have not felt hungry or miserable and I have still been eating the same way I did with Weight Watchers, BUT I am definitely making even better choices because I am truly tracking everything, even if I don't want too. Because I am done lying and hurting myself. I would get so ashamed when I would eat all my points and then some, that I would keep going and stop tracking.

I just wasn't motivated anymore and since MFP I have been motivated. I love tracking again, I love making choices and looking at my carbs and how much I am eating for the day and I love my progress. And I love seeing it is making a difference in how I view food again.

I am looking for nutritional information on the websites to places, even my favorite coffee. I am ordering smaller portions for less calories, but enjoying it and not just saying YOLO. For example on Saturday, we had a break in the weather and I really wanted to try the new Toasted Graham Latte for Starbucks. I looked up the calories and a tall with non fat milk was 190 calories, sure I wanted the Large and Yes on WW I would have gotten and not tracked it and would justify well it is my treat drink for the day because I am going to run later. BUT I order the tall and I was completely satisfied.

And enjoyed every last drop. I don't need the super huge size. I don't need the fancy drink and if I want it, I will just order the small to settle the craving. Also at dinner that night I ordered a sangria. I ordered only one and I was truly happy with that and stuck to water for the rest of the night.

Also my cravings have  been down too. Which is a HUGE win because I had my TOM this week too, which made me super nervous, I would just go to town. I normally snack and pick my way through the kitchen, grabbing little handfuls of things. But I didn't at all. I had my sweet treat a night and I was happy and fine and I wasn't hungry.

I even weighed myself this morning and I am at 168.6. Heck that is a nice little loss, but I will weigh in officially tomorrow morning. I want to do Thursdays from now on. It works better. But if I don't want to weigh in one week, well then so be it.

I am really happy on this new journey for weight Loss and I believe it will get me over this plateau for sure. I am still undecided if I will continue to keep my WW. I have until next week to decide, but I am sure you can guess which route I am going to take.

Alright, so now that I have rambled on and on for the morning. Thanks for reading and even more Thanks for continuing to be apart of my Journey.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 
South of the Border Hash Brown Bake, 1 serving(s)159230153441
International Delight - Pumpkin Pie Spice Gourmet Coffee Creamer, 2 Tbsp (15 mL)30600200
Dunkin' Donuts - Pumpkin Coffee K Cup, 8 oz200000
Splenda - Splenda Packet, 3 packet1230000
Yoplait 100 Calorie Greek - Caramel Apple, 5.3 oz cup10012012907
Add Food  303440274548
Marketside - Spring Mix Organic, 2 cups (85g)9101220
Organic - Cherry Tomato, 4 tomatoes800000
Goya - Canned Chick Peas (Garbanzos), 0.06 cup13301450
Kraft Calorie Wise - Balasmic Vinagrette, 1 fluid ounce494403754
Peppers, sweet, red, raw, 1 tablespoon310000
Celery, raw, 1 tsp(s)000020
Sweet Peppers, 1 gms000000
Kaiser - Roll, 1 rolll16730363101
Homemade - Chicken Breast (Grilled), 3 oz1400327720
Aldi - Gucamole, 2 TBSP603511050
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese - Cheese, 0.25 cup831751350
beefsteak tomato - Tomato, 0.25 medium610051
Wickles - Pickles, 8 slices60160030014
Add Food  5985921411,37121
Nature's Own - Honey Wheat Light Bread, 2 Slices8019151302
Fit & Active - Turkey Bacon, 3 slice750564050
Campbell's Healthy Request - Minestrone Soup (Condensed), 1 cup180381882010
fresh express grams - sweet & crunchy, 42.5 grams10101101
Kraft - Parmesan Reduced Fat, 2 tsp20211800
Kraft - Mayo/ Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp35230951
Walmart - Tomato, 0.25 tomato610021
Angie's Boom Chicka Pop - Boom Chicka Puff Sweet Barbeque, 14 grams70941801
Walden Farms Calorie Free - French Onion Dip, 1 tbsp.00001050
Sunset Farms - Mini Cuccumbers, 1 MINI CUCCUMBER1530102
Philadelphia Cream Cheese - Pumpkin Spice, 8 g20120251
Kameda Baked Frosted Rice Cakes - Rice Cakes, 1 package (12g)501021553
Add Food  5618617241,80722
Special K Pastry Crisps - Cookies & Cream, 1 Crisps501011534
D'lites Emporium - Vanilla Ice Cream, 0.5 Cup50621353
Menchie's - Hot Fudge Topping - Sugar/fat Free, 2 tbsp9000000
Rainbow Sprinkles - Sprinkles, 2 tsp.4062004
Add Food  23022528811
Your Daily Goal1,73221658872,30065
*You've earned 242 extra calories from exercise today
If every day were like today...   You'd weigh 163.6 lbs in 5 weeks 

Your Food Diary For:

Friday, October 2, 2015 
International Delight - Pumpkin Pie Spice Gourmet Coffee Creamer, 1 Tbsp (15 mL)15300100
South of the Border Hash Brown Bake, 1 serving(s)159230153441
Yoplait - Greek 100 Whips! Coconut Macaroon, 1 Container10015095012
Splenda - Splenda Packet, 4 packet1640000
Dunkin' Donuts - Pumpkin Coffee K Cup, 14 oz400000
Jordan's Skinny Syrups - Skinny Syrups-sugar-free Blueberry, 1 tablespoon000000
Add Food  2944502440413
365 - Organic Red Seedless Grapes, 0.5 ounce930023
fresh express grams - sweet & crunchy, 0.5 ounce300030
Vegetable - Tomato, Whole Fresh, 0.5 raw840163
Fit & Active - Turkey Bacon, 3 slice750564050
Kraft - Mayo/ Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp35230951
Nature's Own - Honey Wheat Light Bread, 2 Slices8019151302
Kellogg's Special K - Sea Salt - Cracker Chips, 28 (chips)12021422201
Add Food  33050121486110
Turkey Chili , 2 serving(s)6026315551,0329
Rice - White, medium-grain, cooked, 0.5 cup121270200
Breakstone's - Sour Cream, Fat Free, 32 g (2 tbsp)30501252
Add Food  7539515581,05711
Water - Municipal, 16 cup (8 fl oz)0000760
Tootsie - Caramel Apple Pop, 1 lollipop6015101510
Trader Joe's - Speculoos Cookie Butter Cheesecake Bites, 1 piece (25g)901061557
Oreo Thins - Thins, 1 Cookies35520243
Add Food  185308117020
Your Daily Goal1,75021959882,30066
*You've earned 260 extra calories from exercise today

Your Food Diary For:

Saturday, October 3, 2015 
If every day were like today...   You'd weigh 160.1 lbs in 5 weeks 

Your Food Diary For:

Sunday, October 4, 2015 
International Delight - Pumpkin Pie Spice Gourmet Coffee Creamer, 1 Tbsp (15 mL)15300100
Dunkin' Donuts - Pumpkin Coffee K Cup, 8 oz200000
thinkThin - Protein & Fiber Hot Oatmeal Farmer's Market Berry Crumble, 1 Bowl (50g)1903321014010
Starbucks - Grande Blonde Roast, Sugar Free Vanilla, Nonfat Milk, 16 oz2500203
Splenda - Splenda Packet, 6 packet2460000
Add Food  2564221215013
Smart Balance - Smart Balance - Buttery Burst Spray, 10 sprays000000
Nature's Own - Honey Wheat Light Bread, 2 Slices8019151302
Vegetable - Tomato, Whole Fresh, 0.25 raw420132
Laughing Cow - Creamy Queso Fresco Chipotle, 21 g (1 wedge)351221901
Borden - Pepper Jack - Fat Free, 1 Slice (21g)303042701
Dole - Tomato Vegetable Soup, 1.5 cup120271260012
Pepperidge Farm - Goldfish .4 oz, 0.4 oz50721950
Add Food  319595141,28818
Crockpot Ranch Chicken, 1 serving(s)23284308842
Spices, garlic powder, 1 tsp1020120
Spices, onion powder, 1 tsp820020
Priano-Aldi - Butternut Squash Risotto, 1/4 Container16033244003
Veggies - Zucchini, 2 Cup (Sliced)40804224
Tootsie - Caramel Apple Pop, 1 lollipop6015101510
Add Food  510687391,32419
General Mills - Fiber One 90 Calorie Cinnamon Coffee Cake, 1 bar901830858
Yoplait Whips - Pumpkin Cheesecake , 1 Cup10015095012
Honey Cubbies - Honeycrisp Apples, 1 apple802200016
Krunchy Melts - Meringues, 8 pieces (22g)9022012022
Almond Breeze - Unsweetened Vanilla, 1 cup301311800
Yoohoo Singles - Chocolate Flavor Mix, 1 packet5100350
Add Food  3957961137058
Your Daily Goal1,49018650752,30056
If every day were like today...   You'd weigh 163.9 lbs in 5 weeks 

Make Additional Entries

Your Food Diary For:

Monday, October 5, 2015 
Splenda - Splenda Packet, 2 packet820000
International Delight - Pumpkin Pie Spice Gourmet Coffee Creamer, 1 Tbsp (15 mL)15300100
Dunkin' Donuts - Pumpkin Coffee K Cup, 8 oz200000
Thomas Light - English Muffin, 1 muffin10026151601
Peter Pan - Reduced Fat - Creamy, 1 Tbsp100774752
Fit & Active - Apricot Preserves, 1 Tbsp1050000
Banana - Bananas, 100 g892001112
Add Food  3246381024615
Laughing Cow - Creamy Queso Fresco Chipotle, 21 g (1 wedge)351221901
Organic - Cherry Tomato, 4 tomatoes800000
Marketside - Spring Mix Organic, 0.25 cups (85g)100030
Flatout - Flatbread Light Originial, 1 flatbrad9014292500
Starkist - Tuna Creations-Lemon Pepper, 1 pouch8011183400
Campbell's - Vegetable Beef Soup on the Go, 1 Container508129403
Add Food  264245311,7234
Quest Nutrition - Peanut Butter Whey Protein Powder, 30 grams11021231901
Silk - Chocolate Cashew Milk, 1 cup90182120016
Pam - Certified Organic Olive Oil Cooking Spray, 1/5 Second spray000000
Fresh Finds - No Salt Seasoning, 1/4 tsp510000
Grimmway Farms - Baby Carrots, Cut and Peeled, 3 oz. (85 g)35801655
Idahoan - Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes, 1/4 cup mix.1/2 cup prepared11020324502
Fit & Active Aldi Brand - Rotisserie Flavor Turkey Breast Tenderloin...amm, 5.5 oz.17965296601
Peppers, sweet, red, raw, 15 g(s)510011
Peppers, sweet, yellow, raw, 23 g(s)610000
Trader Joe's - Crumbled Goat Cheese, 1 oz. (28g)801531051
Crouton - Crouton, 2 tbsp30510650
Hormel - Real Crumbled Bacon Bits, 1 tbls250231900
Fit and Active - Fat Free Zesty Italian Dressing, 2 Tbsp (30mL)153003602
Trader Joes - Organic Sriracha and Garlic Bbq Sauce, 1 Tbsp25600956
Kroger - Fat Free Cool Whip, 2 tbsp.20400102
Add Food  7357618622,39137
Quaker Oats - Chewy Caramel Apple, 1 Bar901821808
Yoplait Whips - Pumpkin Cheesecake , 1 Cup10015095012
Doritos - Spicy Nacho, 0.25 oz (28.3 g)35421480
Stauffers - Bite Size Shortbread Cookies, 1 bag601121504
Add Food  2854861222824
Your Daily Goal1,91523964962,30072
*You've earned 425 extra calories from exercise today
If every day were like today...   You'd weigh 160.9 lbs in 5 weeks