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!



The Way I Think

Hey. Thanks so so much for all your comments on my last post. Sometimes I wonder why I blog, then I read other peoples blogs, comments on other peoples blogs, comments on my own blog, and…I remember exactly why. To hear I’m not alone. I love social media and I also hate it because seeing everyone’s statuses squealing about getting promotions or getting the coolest job ever, Instagram pictures that feature the hashtag “#engaged” and whatever, gets me reallll down in the dumps. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for everyone and when I comment ‘congrats! happy for you!’ I mean it (most times), but sheesh, I hate that their happiness/success makes me feel like shit about myself. I feel angry and saddened that (it appears) everyone is moving forward yet I am like a hamster on the wheel that never gets anywhere, forever chilling on the very bottom. Being grateful every day is not something that comes easily to me. Neither does self-acceptance (believe me we know, think longtime readers of this blog).

I was thinking today about how I always dwell on all the things that I’m not and all the things I don’t have, instead of all the things that I am and all the things that I do have. What brought this revelation on was when I was at the mechanic/neighbors picking up our plentiful packages [oh the holiday season], and one of the mechanics said to me, “I thought you should know that when your package came today, as so-and-so signed for it, he said ‘Oh good, that means Caitlyn will come by today.’ We all look forward to your appearances because you make us laugh.” I was so stunned/touched by this, I think I stuttered a thank you, resorted to my standby self-deprecating humor bout how that’s the first time I ever heard somebody say they were looking forward to seeing me, we all laughed, I walked away smiling and hadn’t stopped smiling since. Whenever I’m at the neighbors, I am just trying to not be my always awkward self, and I never thought what they might see or take out of the brief exchange because I always just assume my jokes are stupid, that they’re counting the seconds until that awkward neighbor leaves. I always see the worst. I think I’m awkward, I’m always going to be awkward, but that’s not what other people necessarily see. These neighbors don’t know how I see myself.

I pout too often about how I don’t like my weight right now, but I ignore the positive changes I have made.  I was staring at my grocery cart in the check-out line the other day and I couldn’t believe that it was my cart, full of stuff picked out by ME. Two years ago I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you what egg whites were. Or why too much sodium was a problem. Or what almond milk was. Or what Greek yogurt was. and why it was different. Two years ago when I went to the grocery store, I completely ignored the perimeter of the grocery store. I never bought produce. Ever. I bought cookies, crackers, bagel bites, ice-cream, cheez-its, pop-tarts. All I drank was soda, alcohol and the occasional water with Crystal Light. I’m pretty confident that I never, ever, ever hit my suggested veggie intake. Now I fill my cart with egg whites, fat-free Greek yogurt, cranberries, spinach, bananas, strawberries, almonds, carrots. I think and care about things like my veggie intake everyday and make smoothies or small salads to accommodate if I realize it’s low. I pause to dwell on if I am drinking enough water – and sometimes, I even drink more water than recommended. I limit myself to one soda or one Crystal Light a week, and sometimes I go without them.

I get borderline depressed when I look at my bank account and remember how poor I am. But if I frame the situation another way,  I  feel proud that while my bank account doesn’t end with as many zero’s as I’d like it to, I’m living on my own in a new city, paying bills, and am still managing to save something.  When I moved to this city, I lived here for 4.5 months without any income. I’m proud that I managed to make it work and am still here making it work and learning about living on my own. I personally have a lot to learn about how to be an adult and live on my own.

Not only do I tend to have a distaste for where I am in my life and dwell on all the things that I’m presently not, I am guilty of pigeon-holing myself and accepting what I  let myself think I can never be. Make sense? Probably not. I know I hold myself back and don’t take chances because “well, obviously, that’s not for me, that’s for people cooler/more successful/more talented than me. I won’t be able to do that.” It’s sobering to realize I severely underestimate myself and cut myself off from fun things. Shouldn’t I be my own advocate? My biggest  cheerleader? It’s sad to realize I’m always my worst critic – and yes, I know I’m not alone in that. I’m training for a 12 miler in August (!!!!!) which I NEVER thought I’d do. Those kinds of things were obviously for runners only and I can never be a runner because .. hello..look at me, my name is Caitlyn, it’s not in my DNA, I suck at everything forever and ever amen. I’m still not 100% convinced I’ll be able to pull it off but I try to banish those thoughts and just focus on going a teensy bit further than I did yesterday.  I always thought it’d be so cool to be a half-marathoner but never pursued it because of who I thought I was and who I just accept that I am. Lazy, afraid, doomed, terrible at everything,hopeless. Yes, I’m lazy, but I can overcome that. Yes, I walked a nearly-20 minute mile in 7th grade and hated it every second, but why oh why still think about that 10 years later? It was a stupid grade school fitness test, it should have nothing to do with today, and the Caitlyn back then was most definitely not the Caitlyn of now. Thank God.

Really I get so angsty about how I’m not where I want to be, but I don’t stop to think about where I am, compared to where I  have been. Sure it’s not as fast and the results aren’t as sudden as I’d want them to be, but they are there. The littlest of results. Things – good things – will happen if I keep chugging along. Even if it feels like I’m getting nowhere. Good things are there. I just have to pay more attention and readjust what view I’m looking at.

What I Ate Wednesday, I Finally Made Bean Salad Edition

Here we are at Wednesday again, and it’s time for WIAW. I went home this weekend, went grocery shopping and …. bought a can-opener I can use! Now I can finally make  that elusive bean salad I’ve been dying to bring for lunch at work. This was my favorite lunch in high school. My mom would make it on early Monday morning for me to take for lunch all week. I would pick this lunch over the buffalo chicken wraps from the cafeteria. THAT is love, devotion and how you know it’s good. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between. I’ve always assumed it was somewhat healthy, but as I wrote about on Friday…I have no freaking clue. Anyway. I’ve started timing out my meals. I’m a compulsive snacker and stuff-my-face-when-I’m-bored couch lounger so I figured it was something new to try.

Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons (congrats on your big news!) for letting this rookie crash the partay again.


Enough chatter. Let’s do this.


Breakfast, 8:45 :

Yogurt bowl – Vanilla No-fat Chobani, Cinnamon crumble granola.


Morning snack, 10:30:

Can’t.get.enough.mango.slices. Spontaneous grocery store purchase that actually worked out? Score. Sweet, delicious and so good. Also mixed in this bag are peach slices. Yum!


Lunch, 12:30

Reunited with my bean salad after the lost college years. After I finished preparing this, I kept muttering to myself “Look at all the colors! It is SOO colorful.” Clearly my salads with lettuce weren’t doing it for me.  This recipe features: dark red kidney beans, cannellini beans, black beans, orange pepper, red pepper, carrots, and celery. I think that’s it. With 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil and a lil bit of salt and pepper sprinkled on top.  Just as good as I remember it.


Afternoon snack, 2:30



Dinner, 6:00

Lasagna my wonderful mom sent back with me. And a big piece of banana bread she also sent back with me because it was a Big Piece of Banana Bread kind of day.


To really throw you for a loop, here’s What I Drank Tuesday. This Dr. Oz detox drink– grapefruit juice, apple cider vinegar and a little drop of honey. It’s not good. But after you have a Big Piece of Banana Bread kind of day, you kinda should finish a drink like this.


Serial Grocery Store Dater

Attempting to get up earlier each morning so eventually I can begin running before work is not going well. Why did I wait until this week to put my flannel sheets on my bed? They are sooo comfortable. Can anyone tell me why it takes at least 45 minutes to an hour for me to fall asleep because I’m hot (and when I’m hot I can’t sleep) and just cannot get comfortable, but when my alarm goes off, suddenly I am the most comfortable person in the world and I’m cold and I just cannot get up out of bed when I’m cold and feel so comfortable? So screwed up. I read that when you fall back asleep for a few more minutes, it does not help at all so even though I am armed with that knowledge, I just love to lay in bed and not get up ever. Flannel sheets for the freaking win. I actually hit “snooze” for an hour Tuesday morning. I sure can do whatever I put my mind to 😉 Yesterday we were supposed to get snow around 7 & snow, coupled with my fear of driving, is the best motivation to get me out of bed. I want to get to work before any snow.

My stunning work lunches have been put on a halt all week since I have been unable to get out of bed early enough to go to grocery store. The lettuce from last weeks attempts has browned so I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast and lunch again. I did however pull myself out of bed yesterday morning and go to the grocery store so today produced a breakfast and lunch that I was fervently hoping would become staples.

Is this strange…I have three grocery stores I shop at. They’re all different chains, ha.

1) The grocery store down the street from work. It’s so easy to drive to and just convenient for when I really need groceries, but didn’t get up quite early enough to go to #1 or #2.. They also have the hummus I like.

2) A grocery store 3 minutes from my house. I like their lean cuisine / smart choice / healthy choice frozen selection best. This is where I get my lettuce. This is the store I went to yesterday morning.

3) A grocery store 5 minutes from my house (just down the road from #2, actually) that I went to this morning. Here is my favorite place to get my strawberries, apples, grapes and carrots for my salad and hummus. They also have a good frozen dinner selection.

Is it strange going to multiple grocery stores? Do a lot of people do this? I feel like I’m on The Bachelorette….I have a different connection with each store, they’re all so special to me, but all offer something different. 

Courtney at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life and many other food bloggers I stalk, always seem to have yogurt bowls for breakfast or a snack. So what if they all use Greek yogurt? I like regular yogurt, surely Greek yogurt won’t be a problem.Come to think of it, most people seem to eat Greek yogurt. My roommate Dana can’t get enough of it. I will totes like it. So yesterday I bought a big thing of Chobani vanilla yogurt.

Here is my yogurt bowl:


Yeah, I got overzealous and there’s a lot in there. This breakfast is perfect because I bought SO much granola when I was making my fruit & granola concoction. So I dumped in there vanilla Chobani, granola, strawberries, and a little hint of ground cinnamon. Greek yogurt is…different. I don’t think I hate it, I think it’ll take some getting used to. I don’t know what’s different, but it is somehow. Whenever I look down at it I think of sour cream, which skeeves me out since I hate sour cream. I need to stop thinking of it as sour cream.

This is my salad.


I totally and completely gave up on the idea of making my own salad dressing. So I bought Newman’s own lite honey mustard since it appeared to be the healthiest. I like this dressing so far. However, I repeated my past mistake and drizzled the salad dressing on the night  before. My lettuce was all stuck together and a little wilted. Also in the salad is cut-up string cheese and sliced almonds.

Happy Valentines Day! I hate this holiday.

Here’s a beautiful love story regardless: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/liveblog/wp/2013/02/07/when-bill-met-shelley-no-disability-could-keep-them-apart/



Aloha to My First Aloha Friday!!

Lunch Break Post

I’ll have a longer post later tonight, I just figured I’d hammer this one out during my lunch break since I never have anything else to do during it besides eat and sit on Pinterest.

If you remember me bragging about creating an apple wrap, this is kind of an update. No, I haven’t gotten the lemon juice cap off yet. No, I still can’t wrap a wrap.

So I gave up.

Now I eat this.


Gorgeous, right? You’re dying for the recipe?! Of course you are.

So I decided the apple wrap wasn’t working for me, and the reason why was that I didn’t like the wrap part of my wrap. So one night I got creative. It’s taken a few combinations but this is what I’m sticking with.

My little concoction is comprised of: peanut butter, granola, apple slices, strawberries and grapes.

First, I spread peanut butter on the bottom of the container. Then, I chop up the apple slices and sprinkle them on top. Next comes a layer of granola. After chopping up the strawberries, I dump those in and top it off with grapes.

I’m very particular about that order as after a few attempts at it, I decreed that strawberries and grapes did not go with peanut butter as well as apples did.

I’m thinking about someday adding blueberries and bananas, although I can’t remember if I actually like blueberries or not..This takes maybe 7 minutes to create and is SO good. I’m damn proud of myself. AND, I think this is kinda healthy. What’s annoying is how fast the fruit goes bad. DAMN YOU LEMON JUICE. I think the lemon juice is the key to the problem. I hate, hate, hate driving in my city and going grocery shopping so this is kinda a problem. If you were wondering why the container was half full, my hatred for going grocery shopping and driving in my city also answers that question. I gotta make this stuff last!

Anyway, progress for real! I actually create something for my lunch everyday as opposed to just buying it someone to create it for me!