Forgot About Dre

This post has taken two point five weeks to finish and publish. This does not mean to raise your standards.

I love the new job. Love it, love it, love it. We’re crazy busy right now, but it’s all going so well.

 The only downside of the job is how much I hate my commute home. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Leaving at 5:30 I’m right in the middle of all the rush hour traffic. My office is 15 miles from my house, yet it takes over an hour most days. It’s heavy traffic, construction, and Ravens/Orioles traffic on top of it. The stadium traffic all gets off at my exits. Why did I want to move to a city again? Haha. I hate driving so much, and my drive home probably isn’t actually that bad, but it really stresses me out. And now that I get home at 6:30-ish, suddenly everything I’ve ever wanted to attend in life is at 6 PM. Sucks.

 I’m doing better at eating healthy although I’d really like to track and see how many calories I am eating per day. I used to be, at best, mediocre at this but the whole tracking every morsel thing is tiresome (mad props to those who faithfully keep it up) and I kept forgetting to track. Some days I’m just like ughhhh sure I had 3 cups of feta in my salad, I DON’T KNOW. Some days, when I’m on my food prep game, I feel like I just might be eating too many calories considering my activity level is somewhat low. Some days, the calories are definitely too little. I keep meaning to do a WIAW to show it all off but..Wednesday keeps catching me unaware. Weekends are still an issue, like they have always been, but we’ll get there. Some day.

 Fitness. Hmm. I’m on the cusp of a new routine. <— That! That is the sentence I believe jinxed the post. I made that proclamation via keyboard then I got knocked down by a sinus infection that just wouldn’t quit and sidelined me for over a week and made me the enemy of all co-workers who sit near me. So, this new routine is walking. My office is on a 2.3 mile loop. It took me a dumb amount of time to realize this. I’ve always loved to go for long walks (now I sound like an on-line dating ad cliche), so the next day I packed a bag and changed at work at end of the day. Of course, I continually run into co-workers after I change. I still feel extremely embarrassed, like I have been caught stealing the Crown Jewels. One girl asked what I was doing, so I told her i was going for a run. Yeah, I straight up lied. What is wrong with me? It’s pretty dumb to feel so awkward about it but rationality isn’t a strength of mine. 

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The route.

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It’s a supremely nice, safe route. I feel really lucky that this is right outside my office. It’s really cool to see all the bikers, runners and walkers out on the loop, so way to go Columbia for helping people stay active. The arrival of pumpkin everything makes me sad because I know I won’t be able to do this walk forever since eventually it’ll be cold. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. The big bonus is that walking the loop twice takes me about 1.5 hours, so when I do get in my car and pull out of the office parking lot, I’ve missed a lot of the traffic. Score! So, weather, preparation (one day I only packed one sneaker. yep), and schedule permitting, I do this at least 3 days a week. While it’s not heart-pounding cardio, I burn over 300 calories according to my Map My Walk app.

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A surprise diversion on the loop. But it’s a fun one. 

I also am trying to get back on the bike. The spin bike. I can’t quite figure out my relationship with spinning. I really like sitting down and spinning away, while playing with the resistance to make the ride harder. I hate the standing up part. I’m SO freaking bad at it. I can manage like 10 seconds total. I know I’m out of shape and so it’s going to be uncomfortable and all that, but sheesh. I really loathe it (the standing up part) more than anything else I can currently think of that’s fitness related. Can I just sit down and spin the whole time? Can that be a class? Normally I’d just toss spinning aside as another Thing That Caitlyn Can’t Do And So Hath Abandoned. So why do I keep wanting to go?  I think it’s all Rev Cycle Studio’s fault. I just love that place. The instructors are all amazing, and so nice. The place has such a good vibe. That makes no sense.  I’m there every Saturday morning for barre with Mary and I just like being at Rev. This is big because as we all know, I hate being anywhere that reminds me how out of shape I am. So if you’re in Bmore and want to join me once a week at a 6 am spin class, lemmmme know. You can kick off your morning with a good, hearty laugh at my performance. 

But! What about the gym you used to go to all the time? Yeah. Hmm. It doesn’t make geographical sense to go to the location I used to go to (my gym is a chain), on weekday mornings because I’ll hit tons of traffic for endless miles. I really don’t like the locations near my house and just feel uncomfortable there. So. My gym and I are kind of at a standstill. That I’m still paying for. 

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 Remember that couple I posted about a few months ago? He passed away a few weeks after I posted. His wife wrote an amazing blog entry entitled “Rest In Peace My Sweet Husband” which you can read here. I cry every time. They also blogged their 5 year journey to cancer which is linked at the top of the post. So amazing and so inspiring. Whenever I feel myself being unnecessarily whiny, dramatic, or just acting like a bee-yatch in general, I remember their posts and how Dan lived. At his wedding he hugged me and told me “I’m so happy you’re here today” and meant it. I was a complete stranger! All he knew of me was that I was his now brother-in-law’s best friend who was obsessed with weddings. He visited 52 countries and 44 states in 33 years, and judging by the amazing posts on his Facebook wall, left an immeasurable legacy everywhere he went. It’s weird how much his death has affected me. Sometimes I get both angry and sad that such a GOOD person isn’t here anymore. Like, really? Keep all the jerks around but take him? I can’t pretend to understand now but maybe someday. 

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MIMM: On Turning 25 and Getting Back In The Saddle

If you read this on May 12, then it is my birthday!! 25 and cue the quarter life crisis. I’ve had many a ramble on this here Internet space about turning 25 and “OMG MY LIFE ISN’T WHAT I THOUGHT IT WAS AHH” and “all my friends have their lives together and I don’t!!!” 22-24 was totally fine, but 25 just seems like a different playing field, overall just different. 25 still freaks me out. I’m halfway through my twenties! Eek! Most of my life I’ve felt the number or stage didn’t reflect where I was. I remember doing a free write in high school creative writing class rambling that I couldn’t believe I was a senior. The seniors before me had been so old! They were so mature!  I didn’t feel I looked like they did, knew what they did, or were as cool/sophisticated (ha) as they were. How was I in their position so quickly? I felt being a high school senior was sprung upon me and I hadn’t met any requirements to prove I was ready yet no one had noticed and just made me play the part of one anyway.

I’m feeling okay about 25 (for now). Meanwhile my parents are freaking out more with every passing day. On Easter my dad leaned in to me at church and whispered, “You’re going to be 25 in less than a month. Are you ever planning on getting married? Will I ever walk you down this [church] aisle?” and every time my mom calls lately she asks if I’m “even trying” to get a boyfriend. Now I just roll my eyes and try to shrug it off at how they value 25. I’m a lot happier than I was on my 24th birthday, so that’s what I am using as my measuring stick. Life is long (hopefully) and now I just stick to what’s meant to happen will happen but am finally accepting I likely have to leave my house more for things to actually happen. 😉

Remember my spin class last year? Horrible memories…me being convinced I would die while standing up and spinning so I took off all of my resistance like a genius. Then I woke up the next day and could barely move. Good times! I still think spinning is a work-out I would like, but I’ve been too intimidated, haha. Rev Cycle Studio opened a mile from my house with Bmore’s top cycle instructors and people have the best things to say about it. I would be like “yeah, yeah, i want to go and try it!” and I honestly meant it but was scared. But luckily Rev dropped a great opportunity right at my feet. A beginners class. Free. Saturday afternoon. Boom. They took away every excuse I could think of. I pulled my usual stunt and booked my bike and picked the dead last row in the corner. I got there and they told me there were 10 people in the class so I could move up a few rows. I still wasn’t sure, but with 10 people in the class it would be uber weird to be by myself in the back corner, haha. A handful of staff and instructors showed up and helped us set up our Schwinn bikes. This was fantastic, since there were so few attendees each staff member could spend time with you explaining everything.

There were ultimately two instructors, Jim and Janet. Janet is a triathlete, and Jim is an accomplished cyclist. At the beginning of the class, Jim explained how to position your body on the bike. Janet primarily lead the class and Jim went around checking on everybody. I remember in the middle of the class thinking “Good God, these two are so kick-ass.” They were so awesome and it was such a great experience for beginners. We did a few climbs and .. guess what .. it was still hard but I managed it much better! I think the Schwinn bike made all the difference. I could see what gear I was at, how far I had gone, calories burned, RPM, etc. Seeing the gear number really helped me for the climbs. Still don’t like the climbs, but I can get through them more easily. I just really like the sitting down part, no surprise there. I still struggled a bit with adjusting my body to the bike. I told Jim (well if we’re being specific, I gasped and panted) that my shoulders hurt and was this normal or was I just being extra wussy? He explained it and helped, but I understand it will still take a few more rides. I walked there and back since it’s only a mile which was great until a thunderstorm rolled in when I was a half a mile from my house with a hoodless jacket. So bad at checking the weather. I sprinted the last few blocks home and my sunglasses fell out of my pocket somewhere which is sad. Anyway…it was marvelous and I am so glad I went! So if you are a Bmore resident who happens to read blogs and haven’t gone yet, go! I’m sure you will be better than I.

I took the day off from work and I’ll probably go back to Rev for a barre class in the morning, then grocery shop, food prep and do laundry. I’m just so crazy. I’ll send you a postcard from the wild side. My mom asked what she could get me for my birthday and I said “protein powder.” Oh how times have changed, haha. I’ll probably go to my favorite bar, get drunk and then ramble about being 25 over a big plate of nachos.

Thanks to Katie for hosting the link-up!

 

I Spent Cinco De Mayo At The Bar(re)

I dunno what it is but…winter. I don’t want to do anything but hibernate in my house in sweatpants and fuzzy socks and just watch all the TV, eat all the bad food and read all the books. Then nice weather rolls in and I’m suddenly thinking “gahhh why are my pants tight?! Why haven’t I been going to the gym? Why have i instead just languished about? Why am I so lazy? SO MUCH TIME HATH BEEN WASTED. Gotta get MOVING.” I’d probably be starring in fitness videos by now if I lived in California.

It was Sunday, I was procrastinating picking out a work outfit and figuring out my work meals, when fellow Bmore healthy living blogger friend Mary posted that she was teaching her first SB Barre class the next day at a new location of my gym that had just opened…aaaaand it was 10-15 minutes away from work. I decided this was perfect because I’d been wanting to try a barre workout…and the best part…it was the first time the class was being offered at the new gym so it wasn’t like I would be a buffalo in a sea of prima ballerinas. It would probably be everyone else’s first time taking the class, too. Hooray.

But first! Before I went to class, I went to the beautiful shopping center across the street which included a Target. I had  a gift card to use, so I threw all this stuff in my cart, then at check-out, the cashier informs me the gift card is for way less than I had thought. Crap. Yes, crap. That’s what I wound up paying for on my credit card. Gahh. Oh well. Great story, yes?

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As described on the website, the Soul Body Barre class is an hour long class that incorporates “principals of Pilates, wisdom of yoga, grace of dance and the body sculpting benefits of traditional interval strength training.” And it was haaaaard. I had my usual “oh crap why did I subject myself to this public display of humiliation? Come on, come all, see the 20 something that can’t figure out how to move her body!” thought train that I have for the first 5-60 minutes of any fitness class I go to. It was pretty hectic for a first class. In the middle of it, a gym manager came in and said there were way too many people. At our gym, you have to register for a class a few hours beforehand (or it fills up), and then check-in 10 minutes before class. If you don’t check-in, the wait listed people will get in. Some registered people forgot to check-in, so a bunch of wait listed people filtered in. The manager sorted it out with who had not checked in and told them they couldn’t be at the barre, but it still was an unfortunate interruption for a few looong minutes. Growing pains for a new class and new location!

Mary pointed out something i’m always lazy about – triceps kickbacks. She reminded us “no swinging”, which is pretty much what I always do and then think “What was I thinking earlier on [in the class]? Exercise is easy, I got this, me so strong.” The barre part was crazy hard. She would tell us what to do, and then demonstrate, and I would think “oh look that’s not that bad”. And then I did…and..burn. Such simple, deceiving movements.  Haha.  I definitely want to keep going to her class. I’m so sore, in a good way! I’ve missed feeling this way.

 

1. barre- yay or nay?

2. how did you spend cinco de mayo?

3. think about how to bottle up the spring energy and hang on to it for winter consumption. your homework. go. 

 

Ten Years

What is wrong with me? I post “why I’ve been blogging less but oh don’t worry I’ll still be around!!!”…then I run away. I suck.

I thought the internet was lacking in a sentimental post so here I am to save the day and make all the readers in the place with style and grace…cringe. In the spring of 2004, I was in 8th grade. Throughout grade school I played field hockey (fall), basketball (winter), softball (spring). I mostly did it because my friends did it and I had (still have?) FOMO- fear of missing out. Softball was far and away my least favorite, so I finally decided to ~live for me~ and quit so I could enjoy the remaining of my 8th grade days because I assumed life would be SUPER stressful in omg high school. I think I announced my retirement in a dramatic AIM away message. Maybe with Something Corporate lyrics.

Suddenly I had hours free! So much spare time! It was wonderful….and it jumpstarted the problem I’d have for the next decade. Too much spare time, nothing to do, so I started eating. I ballooned. I’d always been tall for my age, but by 8th grade, everyone had grown and I had stopped. At 5’2 (maybe 5’3 if you’re in a generous kind of mood). I graduated as the 11th shortest girl (I commemorated this in my diary so that’s how you know it rocked me to my core) and undeniably a little bit bigger. I remember my mom asking me once “You’re eating again? Are you sure? There’s a pool party coming up.” I was like “What? Yes I am hungry. I’ll be ready for the pool party, GEEZ MOM.” Lo and behold, a few weeks later, I wasn’t ready for that pool party. I didn’t go in the pool. I wore a two piece but never took my cover-up off. When my friends went in the pool, I sat or went to the bathroom to pretend to fix my hair or something.

I quit softball and filled my spare time with mindless snacking. A habit I have yet to break.

It’s hard to accept that it’s been ten years since that spring. I’ve written over and over in lengthy, painful, rambling posts about how I feel my weight and eating habits have held me back. It’s sobering to realize that a whole decade passed where I hated my body, ate more because I hated my body, and yet I didn’t have “it” to change. “It” meaning: the willpower, the mental fortitude, the knowledge of nutrition or how my body worked, the desire to learn all that, etc. I was miserable for so long about how my body looked so I’d eat to cheer myself up after a dismal shopping trip with my mom when I wanted to wear cute, stylish clothes that hugged my body and instead went with flimsy, flowy blouses or to fill a void when I saw my friends in relationships. Whatever. The list and the drama can go on (and probably does in multiple posts on this blog).

I’ve officially been blogging about my grand weight loss attempt for a year. I’ve done really well, then let myself have a reward “just one cheat day” on a Saturday which turned into a Sunday resolve of “ehhh just make it a cheat WEEKEND” that turned into eating poorly on Monday and Tuesday, but I couldn’t re-start healthy eating and living on a Wednesday! That was dumb! So NEXT MONDAY it would begin! Or when I didn’t feel like prepping healthy meals, figuring out what groceries I needed and then actually grocery shopping.

I’ve re-started with the resolve, then stopped, then taken forever to re-start again so many times over the past year. This particular winter has been brutal when I just couldn’t make myself get up to go to the gym and so hibernated in my house binging because it was too cold! The last week has been better, and I realize NOW that I really can’t let myself off the hook too much with “cheat days” because otherwise it just turns into one big, binge-y freefall. Should it have taken me so embarrassingly long? Probably not.

The last year has been one of so much learning, so much stopping, and eventually re-starting. All that matters is the re-start happens and I’m a lot more motivated than ever. Realizing it’s been a DECADE like this helps. Turning 25 in May helps.

It’s been 10 years but it won’t make it to my favorite number 11 🙂

It’s The Freaking Weekend

…..I love them so much, yet they are one of my roadblocks in getting fit.

So I used to struggle with eating healthily during all days of the week but the work week was really hard. Preparation is not my thing. Thinking ahead? Nope. Never has been my style. I wouldn’t pack enough food and I’d get hunger headaches and slump around the office for hours that felt endless or I would just get Skittles and an Almond Joy bar from the vending machine.

I’m finally, finally, finally getting better at eating healthy doing the week. I plan out all my meals and get ‘er done. But now, the weekends. Suddenly I’m 100 times worse on the weekends than I ever was during the work week.

I know that the problem is too much free time, which makes me laugh because I love the weekends for that very reason.

On weekends I really just…have nothing to do. So I eat. It’s something to do. And what I eat on the weekends, I guarantee, is never healthy. It’s always a “bad” food choice and it’s always a LOT of it. I know binge-eating is one of my problems. I know I’m eating because I’m bored, but I can’t seem to talk myself out of it. I knew it was a bigger problem than I thought it was when I woke up last Saturday morning and thought “Oooh. I can go to CVS and buy some unhealthy snack to eat today. My roommates are still asleep so they won’t see me come back into the house with it.” A low point. I’m planning on sneaking back in with junk food, like I’m smuggling drugs. I didn’t want to be caught and I didn’t want to feel ashamed. Way to be, self. Way.to.be. That’s also another alarming facet – that I willingly leave my house to buy bad food. And I don’t talk myself out of it for the 2 blocks that it takes to walk there.

It’s a problem, and I know this. I know it when I’m shoving food down my throat and I feel worse afterward, but then the next weekend rolls around, and lo and behold, there’s bored Caitlyn. I don’t talk myself out of it because I want to do it and I declare that “I’ll burn it off!!! I’ll work-out extra hard!!”

The obvious solution seems to be – well, don’t be bored. Get a hobby moron. Do something. I already read a lot but even I can’t do that for however many waking hours I have.  I need a lot of alone time but maybe too much is too much on the weekends? Last year I used to go to the mall a lot, but this year I am on a girl on a budget. And it’s cold. I thought about going for a run a time or two, but then I’m all “Um well I don’t know where to run so that’s out.” I’ve lived here a year and a half now, and I still don’t know any running or walking routes.

It’s a low point and I’m just…over it. Over constantly putting myself in these positions and giving in and not overcoming. I’m so over figuring one thing out (like healthy eating during the work day) and then another thing comes popping up worse than before. Blah. I know this is all me and I’m forever writing posts like “wah I know it’s my fault but it’s hard and I can’t figure it out and I keep doing it”. I know.  That’s about all I have to whine about today.

WIAW: Messy In Execution

Happy WIAW, people!

Sorry for lack of posts. I have a bunch of posts sitting in drafts that I very nearly almost published but the gloom and doom was too much even for me. Contrary to what those posts would have you believe, the world has not stopped turning and here we all are.  Hi.

Breakfast:

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a breakfast that lights up a work day. 

Overnight oats in a mason jar. Cute in theory but messy in execution. That’s my life theme: messy in execution. I’m still so enamored by my overnight oats. So easy and versatile. This batch is Thin Mints Overnight Oats. I was on the phone with my eye doctor in PA, telling him that I lived in Maryland now but I LOVED his practice so so so much that I don’t want to look anywhere else and oh I only have one trip home scheduled in February and I need my yearly appointment, and then the secretary tells me he is booked through end of April. What the hell? You are an eye doctor in suburban Pa not Planet Hollywood in Vegas. Why was I boring you with this? NO not because I hate you,I remember now. Right. So I was on the phone with the eye doctor and I accidentally repeated a step because I was just OMG SO shocked at my eye doctor being A-list suddenly and put the peppermint extract in twice and HOLY strong. It still wasn’t a lot at all but I am a weak woman, friends. It was still really good, filling, chocolate-y and I look forward to repeating.

Lunch:

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I’ve been really craving Chipotle. Like every day. One fine day it dawned on me that Chipotle burrito bowls contained ingredients I had in my refrigerator and I could manage to throw together something resembling it. Verdict: not bad!! It’s pretty hard to mess up but I was trying to make sure the ingredients were healthy. In the mix is lettuce, spinach, carrots, almond slivers, roasted mushrooms, cheese, rice, guacamole, and leftover chicken.

Snack:

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Lara Bar in an artistic photo. The point of the bar being arranged with my work notes is to show the juxtaposition between this exciting snack and boring stock numbers of the books we publish. Although I prefer stock numbers to long-ass ISBNS any ol’ day. In case you were wondering. You weren’t. Next.

Post-work snack:

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Smoothie bowl. I used to overthink smoothies but I finally realized that they also are hard to mess up. In here is mango, strawberries, blueberries, vanilla greek yogurt, unsweetened vanilla almond milk,  spinach, vanilla protein powder, xanthan gum. Ignore the lone strawberry. I accidentally excluded it from the blender so I just plopped it on top for decoration (and later consumption).

Dinner:

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SO. I baked chicken Sunday night and took this photo. I ate Steamfresh vegetables on the side. The rest of the pictures were taken Monday, hence the leftover chicken appearing in my lunch bowl. I felt that I needed to explain. This chicken doesn’t look that great but it’s deceiving you. I so wish I could remember where I found it. But it was some olive oil, dijon, honey. Then plain bread crumbs. I threw almond slivers on top. My co-worker tried it and proclaimed it “amaze balls.” Success. When pre-heating the oven to make this, I accidentally set the fire alarm off. I was flipping out and it took eons to turn off (translation: probably 90 seconds). I don’t understand why it went off, as I was only setting it to 375 degrees and it was the first time it was being turned on in hours. The stove scares me enough, and now the oven is turning against me too. Fine.

Thanks to Jenn for hosting!

Welcome 2014

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014. To quote one of the great philosophers of my time, Hannah Montana, “let’s make it rock.”

I wasn’t going to do one of these but I’ve read so many great posts that I wanted to try. I don’t think these are anything horribly drastic but they are all important. Plus, I find I need things written down otherwise I forget. The food & health ones are the most important overall, buuuut obviously I want to focus on them all.

 

Baltimore:

I live in a city like I’ve always wanted to! I need to take advantage of this more rather then just being content to hang in my house all the time.

Look for opportunities to volunteer…and get involved.

Be more social and become more proactive at finding more friends here.

 

Career:

Get a new job that I like, is an advancement  from where I am now and will teach me new skills.

Learn to handle things better in the workplace. I take it all so personally and recent events have affected me way too much.

Learn tactics to communicate better with leadership/executives in the workplace. I’ve let many issues or incidents that upset me slide, because I didn’t think I could address them with my superiors. I thought i was too low on the totem pole and couldn’t bring it up. I need to figure out a way to discuss them in a professional way.

 

Financial:

Pay cash more often to hold myself accountable. While out shopping, I’m way too liberal about tossing items in my cart because…hey! i have my credit card.

Make more money. 🙂

Contribue to my 401K. I don’t right now because my salary is so tiny that I need it all, but  I know it’s important.

 

Food:

For some reason, I really hate food prep/cooking/baking. It makes me so anxious (?) and I find that I just cannot wait until it’s over and done. Really weird. Get over this.

Become better at packing food for work (breakfast, snacks, lunches). I’m horrible at planning. More on this later.

Prepare better dinners. I often mail it in at dinner because for reasons above.

Try a recipe from Pinterest/Instagram/blogs once a month.

Figure out how to meal plan. Ginger and nutmeg has been sitting in my cabinet forever, buuuut I can’t remember why I have it. I write down on my grocery list to buy this stuff because i see a recipe somewhere along my lengthy Internet trail. Then I can’t remember what the recipe is or why this stuff is in my cabinet.

 

Health:

Lose weight.

Continue to develop healthy habits.

Work harder at winning everyday battles between old binge-y habits and new healthier habits.

Become more educated on my body and healthy eating.

Stop being so afraid of the weight room at gym. One way to do that is become more educated on what those OMG so intimidating machines do.

Incorporate variety into work-outs.

Work out on weekends. I do this like once a month but it could be more.

Successfully complete the Charles Street 12 miler and  Baltimore Half. Do not worry about times, just focus on crossing finish line. Do not have panic attack if it takes 10 hours.

 

Organization:

Uh, pretty much be more organized. Be neater.

 

Social:

Try and attend church more regularly.

Be more proactive at finding friends and being more social.

Stop holding myself back.

Be nicer and more compassionate.

Try not to have a breakdown over turning 25 (!!!!!) and do not dwell on what my life isn’t. For example, I alway thought I’d get engaged at 25 and I’m pretty sure that won’t be happening soooo I just need to let go of what I thought would happen. Live more in the moment.

Have a great year 🙂