Lexd's Blog

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Building (and keeping) healthy momentum September 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lexd @ 9:00 pm
Tags: , ,

I have an exciting announcement: I’m officially heading back into the career world, baby! 

Monday I begin my gig at a PR firm in Bellevue. I’ll be back to normal working hours, regular commute … ROUTINE. After months of not having a regular schedule, I’m looking forward to this. Can you tell?

Also, the firm has been nothing short of amazing so far. I always have all the information I need, and they are extremely prompt about responding. So far, the expectations of me are made very clear (and I’m still excited), and they seem very eager to make sure that I integrate fully (not necessarily quickly, either). While I predict that I’ll be thrown into things pretty fast (we have a huge event mid next month), they estimate it generally takes six months for people to be fully acclimated. I appreciate that … not only because it helps me put a little bit less pressure on myself, but also because it gives me a goal to beat 😉

In celebration, I definitely went out and spent a few hundred dollars on biz/biz-cas clothes that actually fit. I haven’t had to wear a lot of this part of my wardrobe since Florida (we didn’t really dress up at my former PR gig), and losing 25 pounds has definitely impacted the way they fit me. SUCH cute stuff on sale at GAP! Blazers on sale for 60% off. I die.

That brings me to my next point … I’m kind of worried about this. I’m absolutely positive that working at a restaurant has only helped my weight loss. Sort of counter-intuitive, but I’m on my feet for 6-11 hours at a time, carrying SERIOUSLY heavy stacks of plates. It’s not unusual for me to break a sweat at work. In addition to this, I’ve been pretty good about working out (or at least walking … thanks, shin splints). What worries me about this is that I’m going from being on my feet for a good part of each day to being on my seat for a good part of each day. As far as I’m concerned, this is going to impact weight loss and maintenance. I’m pretty happy where I am, and I don’t want to lose all my hard work!

These are the biggest issues for me:

  • As previously stated, going from “pretty active” to “sedentary”
  • I am sometimes good about eating lunch I bring from home, but being in downtown Bellevue means a LOT of temptation for eating out, happy hours, etc.
  • I am a stress eater. While being a server is certainly stressful, I clock out and forget about it. I’ve had issues in the past separating “at work” time from “not at work” time, and I worry this will cause me to eat out of stress, again
  • Figuring out when the heck I am going to work the gym into my regular schedule
So far, these are the answers I’ve figured out to address these:
  • I don’t know that there’s much I can do about this besides make gym-going a priority. Anyone have experience using an exercise ball at their desk instead of a chair? Every little bit helps, right?
  • Invest in materials to make an EXCITING and HEALTHY lunch, and make it the night before (or a big batch of something on Sunday). It may be a little more expensive to stock things like goat cheese, but probably cheaper (both $$ and healthwise) than Chipotle or Boom Noodle 4 days a week, right?
  • Get serious about finding more productive outlets for stress. Whether it’s blogging, yoga (which is offered at our local gym), lifting, reading, video games … anything besides eating. Also, keep tea on hand. It’s always seemed to help, and hopefully I will begin to choose that over a 5th cup of coffee (yeah … I’m up to 4 a day already)
  • I talked to the guy at the gym, and as predicted, the busiest time for the (tiny) space is after work, 5-8. I have no problem with late-night gym trips, but when it’s all crappy out and I’m warm and cozy in my apartment, full from dinner … it’s a tough sell. Looks like I am going to have to bite the bullet and go before I leave for work at 7. To get a full workout in, that means I will have to get up in the neighborhood of 5 am. The good part about this is that BF is a morning work-out person, and so I’ll have a buddy.
I know it’s easier to keep momentum than to build it initially, so this week I’ve been trying to work out more and clean up the eats. That being said, hormones slapped me in the face and I’ve had a rough two days, diet-wise 😦 I went to the gym yesterday (before working 8 hours, awesome idea), and did this “Spring Leg Workout” from Fitnessista about 10 minutes ago. My legs are all wobbly, but it’s a good feeling! I’m also bringing some food to work tonight so I don’t spring for a burrito out of starvation and hormone-charged judgment.
Currently Loving: “LMFAO” station on Pandora for workout music, the clothes I bought on Sunday and Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Started playing it again, and it’s so nostalgic for me 😀
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Sidelined :( September 24, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 11:02 pm
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I told my sister about my shin splints (she graduated with a degree in exercise science, and is currently training at a physical therapy clinic) last night. They KILLED me yesterday, even after icing. Like, if I took a step too hard, it felt like it would just reverberate up and down my calf/shin. No bueno.

This morning, she said she’d thought about it overnight, and that I really need to stop running for right now. And by “running,” she meant “any activity with impact.”

On top of that, I’m having shoulder issues (trying to rehab an old rotator cuff injury), and a cyst developed underneath my thumb joint on the inside of my left wrist … so we’re trying to get that to go away by having my dad adjust the wrist, elbow and thumb.

That being said, these are the things I can’t do at the gym right now:

  • Run
  • Walk
  • Stairmaster
  • Weighted lifting for legs (body weight exercises only)
  • Lifting for arms/back/shoulders that requires rotation of my shoulder
  • Anything that puts pressure on my left wrist (including cycling, yoga and Pilates)

As you can imagine, that makes crosstraining difficult when I’m working out 5-6 days a week. So, I might actually hit the pool a few times.

I’m a pretty decent swimmer, and have done laps occasionally in the past just to shake things up. I was actually swimming a lot in high school, after I tore up the ligaments in my ankle and was trying to rehab it (it still clicks to this day). See, the water reduces the pressure on joints, but provides a decent amount of resistance. It’ll probably be good for my shoulder, too.

But, I dislike sharing lanes with people in the pool, and the whole “my hair is sopping wet so am I do I shower here or drive home with a wet swimsuit riding up my ass” conundrum. AND I have to find a one-piece swimsuit because I don’t think I can do laps in a two-piece. And that’s just going to be ugly.

Any other suggestions? I have exercise ADD, so this is going to make things pretty tough :-\

Currently loving: Faux Tan self-tanner by Bare Escentuals, my dog (always, but particularly today), Jersey Shore

image from neate photos

 

Whirlwind September 23, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 11:09 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Many apologies for the lack in posting. It’s certainly not for lack of things to write about. In fact, things have been CRAZY.

Instead of writing some 1,000+ word post that nobody will get all the way through, I figured I’d just kind of do a bulleted list. I’m in PR and social media, see … bullets are our lifeblood.

Anyway:

  • Working from home is not the party people make it out to be. (Well, people who don’t work from home seem to think working from home is awesome.) It is really hard to do full-time, both because of distractions, and the temptation to work ALL THE TIME. As with anything, you need a freaking break every once in a while.
  • Behold: If you live solely on credit for a month, your credit card bills will reflect that. I don’t know how this one got past me, but I choked when I looked at my credit card bill this month. And then promptly created a payment plan for myself.
  • Live music is awesome, whether it’s in a coffee house, at a festival, or at a concert. I experienced all three in the last two weeks. I also forgot how many bands there are in the Seattle area … and how many of them are good. Les Marseilles (sp), for instance.
  • I am repeatedly disappointed with the Redhook Brewery in Woodinville. The last couple times I’ve been there, the food has been subpar, and the service was terrible. Honestly, their beer isn’t good enough for me to put up with that. This did not change at last weekend’s SausageFest event (Yes, “sausagefest”). They had ONE beer tent, and the event was held at the brewery. Are they serious? Poor planning. 6,000 people, 1 tent.
  • At said festival, I definitely tried a beer called “Meat Hook.” It was a bacon-infused ale. First taste: Pleasantly smoky. Aftertaste: “I just ate bacon and now I have reflux” taste in my mouth. Would not drink again. So, I retaliated by eating a bacon-wrapped meatball instead.
  • My 360’s hard drive is having problems. While this has freed up a considerable amount of time, it is also SO frustrating. I just hooked it up again, dammit!
  • I am officially making a goal of running in the Seattle Rock n’ Roll Marathon next summer. I did the maths, and I have time to do the couch to 5K plan (I’m in week 4 right now), the couch to 10K plan, and then a half marathon plan before then, with a couple weeks of breaks/fun runs.
  • That being said, my shin splints are just getting worse and worse. It hurts so badly to run some days (like today). I’m rocking the post-workout stretching and icing to try and help it, and as I start to run longer (and further) I’ll probably have my sister tape them to see if that helps.
  • I discovered today that hanging out on the elliptical for about 15 minutes after a run does a pretty good job stretching my shins and calves out. I’ll try that, too.
  • I got hired at a local restaurant/bar last night to pick up a few shifts a week. I worked a “follow” shift last night, and even though I was on my feet for 6 hours straight, I had SO MUCH FUN. I forgot how much I enjoy serving.
  • It’s a tequila bar, so I have a lot to learn.
  • My dog is the best coworker ever. He may not answer phone calls or help me proof my work, but when I am freaking out about something stupid, he gives me a “shut up already” look. When I’m legitimately upset, stressed and freaking out, he knows that it helps if he comes over to cuddle. Also, he’s always hungry, so he reminds me to eat. I just wish he wasn’t so gassy all the time. He can’t help it, he’s just getting old.
  • LDRs still suck. Looks like early 2011 before BF will be up here. It’s a hard balance to strike. We are saving so much money and paying off so much of our debt in our current arrangement. I guess it’s just sort of a “how long can we put up with this” situation. 😦
  • Rehabbing my shoulder is not going well. I’m pretty much constantly in pain when doing upper body workouts, so it’s been a challenge to keep motivated. Stupid scar tissue.
  • I put this up on Facebook … and I know a lot of people say this … but I really have the absolute best group of friends a girl could wish for. From my best friend of 18 years to people I met in college (and those in FL of course), no matter who I hang out with or what we do, I usually end up relaxing, laughing until I cry, and having so much fun. I love them so much. This was a huge reason I moved back to Seattle, and it’s proving to be 100% worth it.

I guess that’s all for now. Back to a semi-regular posting schedule 😀

Currently Loving: C20 coconut water (best I’ve found so far), The Vampire Diaries (I’m so sorry, I got hooked and couldn’t help it), rainy weather (there’s something that is just so comforting about the soft patter of Seattle rain), hearing the high school baseball games through the open window as I lay in bed tonight (the park is across the street from our house), surprise “I love you” text messages from BF 🙂

image from the Seattle P-I

 

New Goals September 8, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 5:03 pm
Tags: , , ,

So, I’ve said it out loud a few times in the past couple days, and nobody laughed (including myself).

I AM GOING TO RUN A 10K IN THE NEXT YEAR.

I know this sounds ambitious, particularly because I’m only on day 3 of my entire “Couch to 5K” workout, but I agree with many others online who have tried the program (and who have kept running as a result). It’s something I can actually do, and that I can see myself sticking with.

Why? A few reasons:

  • It is interval training, which is my favorite way to make long workouts seem shorter (and still keep them effective).
  • Theoretically, each week I will be seeing forward progress. I know I’m not the only person who is motivated by results (regardless of whether it’s weight loss/gain, moving up weight loads lifting, or increase in flexibility … isn’t that what it’s all about?), and I know I’ll be excited when I can run longer, faster (even if it’s just an extra 30 seconds!).
  • It’s only three days a week. That means I can do whatever else I want on the other days, hence helping address my workout ADD. The only thing I have to be careful with here is not killing my legs with spinning/stairs/lifting on the “off” days.
  • Perhaps the most important: It is session 3 and I am still looking forward to running today. 😀

“Well, Lex,” you might say, “a 5K is pretty different than a 10K … you know that, right?” Yep, I know. But, if I can run 3.1 miles at a decent clip after working through this, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to tackle anything. And, I want to say I’ve run a 10K. That is a BIG deal to me … and I think it’s a great goal. It makes me excited to work harder! I’m still checking out local 10Ks here in Seattle to set as my goal race … any suggestions? There’s no “TrackShack”-esque entity up here.

Currently loving: Hootsuite (this is work-related, but I LOVE this tool), chia seeds (finally found them at our local PCC), and a short work week!

photo from Foto43

 

Attack of the Snack Monster July 18, 2010

Filed under: food,other — lexd @ 6:42 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I have been outrageously snacky today. I had a solid breakfast (2 eggs-in-a-basket) and was fine … and then for some reason the snack monster reared its ugly head about 30 minutes ago. This is not me being modest … in the last half an hour, I’ve eaten:

  • String cheese
  • Piece of toast w/2T of hummus
  • 3/4 c. watermelon
  • Finger swipe of peanut butter
  • 2 bites of leftover cubed steak
  • 1 c. Frosted Mini Wheats (the tail end of the box) with almond milk, flax seed and 3/4 c. blueberries

I’ll also probably snag a piece of the parmesan cheese pretzel I brought BF from Mellow Mushroom Friday night (he just heated it up).

I think this snack rampage is the result of a few things:

  • Crazy workout yesterday. At the very end of my workout (went back to the Couch to 5K), I was at 8.5 mph! I sort of thought I was going to throw up afterwards and couldn’t even “walk it out,” but it turned out fine. I also upped the weight on all my strength training, and my arms/chest/back are killing me!
  • Aunt Flo is due in town later this week
  • I came up way short in calories yesterday, even though I never felt hungry after eating
  • Anxiety and stress from packing (our apartment is an absolute PIT right now, but I’ve packed 8 boxes already)

I probably should have gone to the gym earlier, in order to temper my hunger … for some reason working out tends to make me less hungry for the rest of the day. Maybe later tonight … BF and I are considering going to see Inception (which is amazing because we NEVER see movies in theaters), or maybe spending a little extra cash at Publix and making something fun and super yummy for dinner tonight. Gotta budget — we’re choosing one or the other.

Speaking of something super yummy, I wanted to share the recipe I made off the top of my head last night. If you’ve never stuffed chicken breasts before (or pork chops, Costco has SUPER thick ones that are perfect), I highly recommend it. It’s a good way to take something that is normally really “blah” to about an 8 on the flavor scale. My favorite combination is asparagus and a really melty cheese like Gruyère … but I didn’t have either of those on hand. So…

Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts (serves 2)

3/4 c. cooked broccoli

2 T. shredded/grated parmesan

4 T. shredded Italian cheese mix

Pinch Italian seasoning

Garlic powder and salt, to taste

Olive oil

Chicken stock

White wine

Red pepper flakes

Lemon

All I did was cook the broccoli, chop it up, and then mix it with the two cheeses, Italian seasoning and garlic salt. I butterflied the chicken breasts and then put half of the stuffing in the middle of each breast. I also topped mine with red pepper flakes (BF is not a fan). I pulled the top part back over and secured it with some toothpicks, and seasoned the top of the chicken with some olive oil and salt.

Then, I put them in a glass baking dish (I had to use a pie pan, since some of our stuff is packed, grr), and added a couple of tablespoons each of white wine and chicken stock to the dish. I covered the dish tightly with foil, and put it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Once I pulled them out, I plated the chicken breasts, pulled the toothpicks out, and drizzled some fresh lemon juice on mine.

The nice thing about this recipe is that you can substitute just about anything. No broccoli? Try cooking up some spinach, asparagus or chard and using that instead. Instead of Italian seasoning, you could use oregano or parsley. You can also vary the types of cheeses, but it works best if the mixture consists mostly of a cheese that melts well (so … don’t use 6 T. parmesan). I bet a smoked mozzarella would be tasty!

Hope everyone’s having a wonderful weekend!

Currently loving: That I’m FINALLY full, jeez; throwing stuff away/donating stuff that we’ve been holding on to unnecessarily; date night at home tonight 🙂

EDIT: Scratch that about the pretzel. BF just put the last bite in his mouth, and then tried to take it out and offer it to me as I looked at him mournfully. I love him, but I’m not a baby bird … no thanks!

image from pinkyjane

 

Well, you only get ONE July 5, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 8:36 pm
Tags: , , , ,

As I type this I am post-weights/yoga session sweaty. (And my laptop is really warm too … which isn’t exactly helping things.) For breakfast I had a bowl of museli with almond milk and a huge pile of strawberries and blueberries. Lunch was an enormous salad devoid of meat, cheese and bread (my three weaknesses).

Before you tell me to shut up and quit bragging, there’s a reason I’m telling you this. During my yoga session today (YogaDownload.com detox yoga #3), I realized something. I’ve finally come into the stage where I want to take care of myself, and my body.

I was raised in a household that relied mostly on alternative medicine. Not to say we didn’t go to a doctor when we were really sick or anything … my parents were just hesitant to hand out medicine for each little ache and pain. Their philosophy was that you should try and treat the source of the problem, not just mask it with medication. At the time, as my head was pounding because I’d been to Starbucks twice, not eaten breakfast and gotten two hours of sleep the night before (high school was a bitch), I hated it.

“Look what modern medicine can do!” I always protested. “I don’t have time to address the problem, so it gives me a way to get through the pain until I can!”

That didn’t fly very often.

When I finally moved to college, I was all about meds (OTC stuff). I took terrible care of myself freshman year. I managed to eat decently most of the time, but I drank way too much coffee, way way too much alcohol, didn’t get enough sleep and wasn’t exercising enough. As a result, I was constantly sick, hungover, bloated, dehydrated … and generally toxic. I remedied this with a variety of things like NyQuil, DayQuil, Tylenol, diuretics, and occasionally Adderall.

It took about 3/4 of my freshman year to realize that waking up without a hangover/being sick/etc was VASTLY superior to having some sort of malady all the time. I continued to treat my body pretty badly, but it was at that point that I began to make some slight lifestyle changes.

Fast forward seven years later: Today. The changes have been more noticeable in the last year, but I’ve been gradually making some lifestyle changes that reflect how I’m beginning to feel about my body … that I need to take care of it. I eat better; mostly when I’m hungry, and what I want to eat. Even if that means a slice of apple pie on the 4th of July (guilty), I go for it. Treating your tastebuds every now and again is as much a part of taking care of your body as giving it what it needs to function (IMO).

When I do have health issues, I’m hesitant to take anything at first. I like to give my body some time to figure out what’s wrong and address the issue, instead of jumping the gun and suppressing it right away. Because really, if you’ve got a headache because you’re dehydrated, that headache is still going to be there when the Excedrin wears off in 6 hours. And, if you haven’t hydrated, it’ll come back even worse.

Not only am I officially losing weight, but I can tell my body feels better when I work out. I’m starting to see some definition in my legs, and I really find myself enjoying the relaxation period at the end of yoga sessions. I’m stronger, more flexible, and less achy.

Please don’t think I’m on my soapbox about this, because it’s your decision how you want to live, and how you want to treat your body. Everyone has a different level of functionality, and mine may be different than yours. My intent with this post is to point out what’s in the headline — you only get one body. How are you going to treat yours?

Currently loving: My new iPhone (I know, like 5 years behind everyone else)!, YogaDownload.com Detox classes (mayjah twists), that the Vitamin Shoppe by me has coconut water!

image from lululemon athletica

 

Getting back up to speed June 7, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 2:48 pm
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It’s been a little crazy lately, but I’m proud to announce that Kirby the corgi is back at home, rocking the three-legged/cone-headed look like he was born to do it. There was a scare on Saturday (his kidneys stopped working and they had to put him on a dialysis machine), but he rallied like the stubborn pup he is. I talked to Dad_D when he came home yesterday, and he said Kirby already has the stride down. He’ll wear a cone for 2 weeks, when the stitches will finally come off, and his normal badassery will commence. Phew. 🙂

Also, I have finally experienced surfing. A couple friends and I did a team lesson through the Cocoa Beach Ron Jon on Saturday, and it was FANTASTIC. They provided us with long foam boards, rash guards and some basic tips … and we spent the majority of the 2 hour lesson in the water. I’ll be honest, I probably could have used some more time doing pop ups (going from laying on the board to crouching on it) on the beach, but it was HAWT and I couldn’t wait to get in the water. One hour and 15 minutes later, I conquered the board and stood up for the first time! From then on out, I was able to stand every other turn. I got beat up pretty good (lots of sand burns on my knees), but I am so glad I did it. Alas, there are no pictures of us in action. I highly recommend Larry, our instructor. Super chill guy and so supportive even though I was all over the place.

I am pretty sure I need a chiro visit STAT, though.

I am also proud to report that BF is currently really embracing a fitter lifestyle. I’m not sure what changed, but he’s been to the gym 3 times in the last week, and he even got up at 6 am on Sunday to go golfing with some friends. I picked up some chocolate All the Whey protein powder for him last week, and he’s been taking it after every workout … and he just bought 4.4 more lbs on Amazon. He’s even been tracking his eating and water intake through MyPlate. And, I mentioned that I wanted to start trying portobello mushrooms in place of meat in sandwiches, etc … AND HE SAID THAT WAS A GREAT IDEA. (This, coming from a 100% meat and potatoes kid.)

Even after just one week, I can’t tell you how much easier it is to make good decisions about food and exercise when you don’t have to do it on your own. Makes me a happy girl, for sure 🙂

Coming up this week, I’m hosting book club on Tuesday night and hitting up not one but two happy hours on Thursday. And, the Orlando Predators are playing the Spokane arena football team on Saturday, so BF and I are meeting up with some friends. Should make for a good time.

Currently loving: The coworker who brought in The Pioneer Woman’s french breakfast puffs and cheese grits for me!!, how clean my desk was this morning, Last.fm (yes, I am probably the last person to discover this)

surfing image from mikebaird (clearly not me in the image)