When You Think of Things, Do Them

Hello my friendlings. ( <– I probably lost some street cred. with that one.)

I hope you had a nice Tuesday. I had a bit of a chaotic day at work today, I seemed to be bumping into strange little snafus around every corner! Fortunately, it was definitely not just me who was feeling the strange vibes. It’s always a bonus to not feel like the ONLY nutty one around.

Mini Rant/ Word-to-the-wise: About a week and a half ago, I received an e-mail at work that was offering a company step challenge. It’s one of those extended programs that companies can join in on as a team in order to make healthy changes. Every participant is given a pedometer to monitor their steps and there are fun little prizes along the way. I saw the e-mail right away and immediately wanted in. STUPIDLY, I waited, and waited, and waited and didn’t respond so that I wasn’t the FIRST one on board and let the opportunity slip right past my face! I came to this revelation today and flew down to the coordinator’s office to see if I could still sneak my way onto the team. HOPEFULLY they will still let me participate as the actual challenge has yet to begin. It is so “right-up-my-alley” I don’t know how I missed it! And by only a day. ūüė¶ So what’s my word to the wise? DO THINGS WHEN YOU’RE THINKING OF THEM. There have been SO many times that I put things off, or promise myself that I’ll “do it later” and I end up forgetting entirely. It’s THE most frustrating feeling in the world, so spare yourself the agony and just do things when they first pop into your mind! If there’s no particular reason to put them off, then¬†don’t!

Ehem. Sorry about that.

In other news, the weather here in WNY is absolutely ridiculous! It was GORGEOUS and sunny this afternoon (and by “gorgeous,” I mean 45 degrees), but by about 8:00 it was freezing cold and sleeting/ raining/ snowing. The roads are a mess already! Let’s hope things clear up by commute time in the morning!

After work, I made my way over to the gym and raced through an arm/ab circuit and followed it up with about 25 minutes on the elliptical. I really wanted to run again tonight, but for some reason, last night’s treadmill trek left my calves in some serious pain today! I figured I’d go for the zero-impact elliptical today. I ¬†can never really get into elliptical-ing like I do with the treadmill or an outside run. It’s a great exercise and always leaves me sweating and feeling the burn, but I just don’t enjoy it! Not even a little. My arm/ ab circuit was quite a hodgepodge of exercises, but it was a pretty good one and flew by pretty quickly which is always a bonus.

And because I know you were wondering, here’s the song that has been fueling my workouts this week:

Are you embarrassed to know me? Don’t be. Embrace it.

(I may or may not also “sing” along to this song in the car. Loudly. Badly. Happily.)

I hope you have a great night and a wonderful Wednesday!

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Stretch it Out

Greetings!

This morning’s workout was a little rushed, but it was still a good one!

First up, I did a quick 20-minute cardio blast on my new love, the Precor machine. After that, I headed down to the spare room to complete an ab routine of what have been hailed as the “Six Best Six Pack Moves.” (Please note: it is not actually my goal by any means to have a six pack, but¬†some¬†ab definition is never a bad thing, right?).

I did between 25 and 30 of each of the following moves. When I got to the plank, I did 3 “sets” of 1 minute with a 30 second rest in between. I’ve included links to youtube videos of each move in case you’re unfamiliar with any of them!

Once again, I don’t think this one will leave me sore tomorrow (abs are always the hardest section for me to really kill with any moves, I think I need to up the reps.), but I¬†definitely¬†felt the burn.

After all of this was done, I did something that I¬†rarely¬†do: stretch. I don’t know what my problem is, I¬†know¬†how important stretching is and how critical it is to injury-prevention, but I just don’t usually do it! Fortunately, the group classes that I participate in¬†always¬†include a stretching cool-down, but when I’m on my own? Forget about it.

And then I had a revelation.

The other day, I was on the treadmill and my hip was¬†really¬†bothering me. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was, but it was ridiculously uncomfortable and I ended up moving over to an elliptical. It was then that I remembered that the day before, my legs and joints felt very tight when I was elliptical-ing away. I realized that perhaps if I had stretched after my workout the day before, I may not have experienced that discomfort the next day. I then decided to make a¬†conscious¬†effort to¬†always¬†stretch after my workouts and to stop being a lazy dumbo. I know this will be 100% critical when I begin my race training and I might as well get in the habit now, right?

The rest of my day was filled with babysitting (where I made brilliant drawings of Spongebob Squarepants and Barney the dinosaur) and tutoring (where I overcame some serious iMovie obstacles and managed to completed a science project with my tutee).

That’s all I’ve got until tomorrow! Enjoy your night!

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Hello everyone! Thanks for swinging by!

It has been a¬†gorgeous weekend around these parts. Temperatures today reached nearly¬†seventy¬†degrees and it was sunny just about all morning and afternoon. As much as I love this kind of weather, it is a¬†little¬†sad when I realize that it will soon be gone again. Winter warmups later in the season don’t frustrate me quite as much since there seems to be so much less time until long-term relief from the frigid air is in sight! Oh well, I will take what I can get!

NOT to sound like a broken record, but I want my gym floor back. ūüė¶

Granted, it’s great that so many people are discovering this gym and enjoying it’s facilities, but it’s just¬†not¬†big enough for the traffic! Yesterday morning, I knew there would be trouble when I couldn’t find a parking spot. When I finally did, I walked in to the loudest scene imaginable. It was lunacy. There were group exercise classes happening on the main floor! The mats were occupied by one class, half of the weight floor was accounted for by another! All of the treadmills were taken and there were no bikes remaining! All the while, there were two different Les Mills classes running (which are intense and fantastic, but louder than anything you’ve ever heard!). I was losing my¬†mind.¬†

Eventually, I settled in on an elliptical machine and worked very hard to distract myself from the mayhem that surrounded me. Once again, I forgot my earbuds so I was left to my own devices as far as entertainment was concerned. I picked up a Shape magazine and pored through those pages.

I (stupidly) hunted around after the cardio for a place to complete a circuit workout, but since all of the previously mentioned places were still occupied, I grabbed my coat and home I went.

The rest of the day yesterday was spent with my mom and it was a lot of fun! After some random shopping errands, we went out to one of my very favorite restaurants for dinner! (SHOCK OF THE CENTURY: I HAVE NO PICTURES OF MY MEAL. What is this madness?! ¬†Clearly, I must have not had my wits about me.) I ate a very non-diet-friendly meal consisting of one of my favorite appetizers of all time,¬†mozzarella¬†fritta, along with a penne vodka dish for the main event. The mozzarella is essentially breaded fresh mozzarella that’s served with the most delicious pesto and marinara sauces in all of the land. I could eat 100 pounds of it, but then this blog would take a very different turn.

We also rented a Redbox movie from the grocery store last night: Beasts of the Southern Wild.

beasts

 

Source.

I originally heard about this movie when it was featured on a news show that my mom watches a week or two ago. It didn’t sound¬†like¬†anything I had ever seen before and I immediately wanted to rent it.

Incidentally, the film is up for several Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Actress in a Leading Role. The actress is Quvenzhané Wallis who was just five years old at the time of filming. She is the youngest actress to ever be nominated!

The trailer for this movie is spectacular. The music, the voiceover, the scenes that are shown (like the one in the poster above).

A Brief Synopsis:¬†This movie is about a little girl named Hush Puppy and her father who are living in a¬†ramshackle bayou community that will soon be entirely underwater due to the floods. As the father’s health declines rapidly, he works to teach his little girl how to survive and fend for herself. He teaches her to be strong, independent and fearless. At times, his grating manner gets to be a bit much to handle, but the intention of the film is clear– it is the father’s love for his daughter that drives his behavior. He wants her to overcome the looming hardships so he teaches her in the only way that he knows how.

I really wanted to love this movie, but I couldn’t really get into it. There were some moments that were absolutely stunning and some that were heartbreaking. Some lines from the film will stick in my head for a zillion years. The filming was gorgeous and the ideas were fantastic, but by the end of the film, I felt like there wasn’t too much that was actually accomplished. While events were happening and there was certainly some drama, it was actually rather unremarkable. What I¬†will¬†say for the film is that it did serve as a very powerful character study. It left me thinking about the fact that there are¬†people who live the way these characters live. There are people who write down their stories because they are living under the radar and as Hush Puppy said, it’s the only way the scientists will know who they were. Sure, that sounds like a stupid revelation, but how often do you think about people sailing through the bayous in half of an old pickup truck that they’ve converted into a boat and spend their time searching desperately for a way to survive coming disasters? Not too often, I’ll bet. It’s a big, big world out there.

Anyway, I can’t even figure out whether or not I would recommend this movie to you. Perhaps it’s one of those films that you “get” the second time around. It was definitely thoguht-provoking and moving, but as far as a “Best Picture,” I’m just not sure.

If any of you have seen this movie, I’d love to hear what you thought!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I will talk to you tomorrow. ūüôā

Roommate Reunion

Greetings!

Today started off (a little late) with a solo trip to the gym! (It’s been quite¬†a while since I have been to the gym sans-gym buddy!) At first I didn’t have much motivation. Actually, let’s be honest… I had zero motivation. I was ready to call a quits five minutes into my workout. Fortunately for me, about five minutes into my elliptical time, the motivation to (at the very least) not leave the gym looking like a¬†total¬†sap kicked in and I quickly made a new plan. At first, I thought I’d try one of my cardio machine hopping techniques. That sounded like zero fun and I knew that the bike would be the death of me (I used to¬†love¬†cycling bikes, but for some reason, I have NOT been into them recently!). Then I thought maybe I’d just do a cardio circuit in the spare room after a short elliptical warmup, but I knew I would talk myself out of doing rounds 2 and 3 rendering it a rather pointless workout. All of this thinking took quite some time and I eventually fell into the groove of the elliptical. I decided to just stay put and managed to crank out 40 minutes of high-speed, high-resistance elliptical time!

I left the gym feeling quite proud of my (unintentional) accomplishment !

Later in the afternoon, I met up with my freshman year roommate from college. After a coffee run to Starbucks, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the mall! Since a couple of post-Christmas sales sweeps landed me with some excellent deals, I didn’t buy much of anything tonight, but I did find a couple of cute accessories at Forever 21 for ridiculously low prices!

Check out this waist belt that I got for $2.50!

photo-163

 

I¬†love¬†having fun accessories, but things like belts are typically 12,000 times more expensive than they need to be. Even though some of the clothing at Forever 21 is a little on the cheap side (quality, not price), their accessories can’t be beat!

We also may or may not have hit up the fro-yo counter…

photo-162Oops? Just kidding, that was most definitely NOT an oops. It was delicious. I had a small red velvet frozen yogurt that was topped with Oreos. It was like heaven on earth. I could probably live off of that stuff, but I suppose I probably shouldn’t.

Overall, it was a quite a fun afternoon. (Who could complain when friends, fro-yo and “caf√© mistos”are involved!?)

In other news (AKA a Random Brittany’s Life Aside), last night I had a dream that my teeth were slowly falling out. As soon as I thought the madness had stopped in the dream and that it was just a “fluke,” two more would fall out. I distinctly remember looking in the mirror in the dream and being relived to discover that I didn’t look ridiculous¬†yet. Even without half of my teeth. I was quite distraught when I woke up and decided to look up an interpretation and take it with a ¬†grain of salt. (Thank you, Google, for reaffirming the fact that a sneeze = instant death and also that our dreams may not symbolize the end of the world!). Here is what I found:

teeth dreams

Glad to know that my anxiety dreams are Google-able and right on the money. ūüėČ

Hope you all have a great night and that your dreamland teeth stay right where they’re supposed to!

 

Pizza Muffins and MIA Earbuds

Today was a strange little day indeed. First off, I had to wake up at the crack ‘a dawn for an appointment. Much to my dismay, it wasn’t at the typical location which meant that I had to drive all over and PAY FOR PARKING. Very uncool.

I had been planning to take Chloe to my gym with me while she was home for break and we decided to do that today, but for some reason, when I got back home this morning, I was so tired that I could barely think about standing up straight, let alone dragging myself through a workout. I bummed around the house, took a nap and then met Chloe for a workout around noon.

Of course, as soon as we swiped our cards, I realized that I didn’t have my earbuds and because I have the motivation of a SLUG when I don’t have my jams blasting in my ear, I actually raced home to grab them. The fact that I can only make it about .1 miles without tunes is the¬†perfect¬†illustration of what I have always known: running road blocks are ALL in your mind. Granted, there comes a point where you really are burnt out and simply¬†can’t¬†go on, but that doesn’t happen quickly for most people.

When I returned, the floor was¬†packed.¬†It really does something to my mojo when there are people lurking around EVERY corner. I also hate being that person who leaps onto the elliptical/treadmill that is parked between two other people just because it’s the only one free! Despite that, I managed to get a good workout completed that included 20 minutes at a pretty quick clip on the elliptical followed by a cardio/ ab circuit routine and I thoroughly enjoyed both!

I intended to complete the Best Body Boot Camp workout today, but once I got to the gym, I realized that there were actually several moves that I had no idea how to do and I failed to look at the demo videos before heading out this morning! I shall try again tomorrow!

Next, we decided to try for a walk along the canal path nearby, but unfortunately despite the fact that it was a perfectly beautiful day (perfect for walking outside!), the trail was very, very icy and almost impassible so we turned around pretty quickly. Disappointing!

winter walk

 

Sure, it might not look THAT bad, but trust me. It was quite treacherous!

When I returned home, it was time for some food! I was pretty proud of myself because I managed to incorporate a VEGETABLE! (You probably all know that my dislike of vegetables is my deep, dark secret. It’s the Kryptonite to my otherwise very healthy lifestyle.)

Lunch Time

In addition to some broccoli that I “steamed” in the microwave (seriously, those steamer bags are the greatest!), I also threw a 100-calorie multigrain english muffin into the toaster oven and topped it off with some sauce and cheese. Talk about elementary school throw-back! English muffin pizzas, anyone? Delish!

That’s about it for tonight! See y’all tomorrow! = )

On Location

Hello friends!

Thanks for coming back again! Being away from home riiiight before the big 5k day should be interesting indeed. I just downloaded the Map My Run app and I’m hoping to find a manageable, decently nearby trail to hit up, but we will see. (Also, there is an elliptical machine here, but it DOESN’T WORK. I was so bummed when I made that discovery because the machine itself is on the back porch with a BEAUTIFUL view. So sad.

Due to that unsuspected snafu in my workout plan for this morning, let’s talk about food instead. Breakfast was delicious and filling. Oatmeal with fresh peaches and a pinch of brown sugar plus a Raspberry Chobani! (I don’t think I’ve ever tried the raspberry before today, but it was just as enjoyable as the rest of them are.)

 

Peach Oatmeal Breakfast So the¬†food portion of this meal was perfect. It was seasonal and fresh and delicious. The COFFEE, on the other hand was a disaster and a half. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong, but the only coffee pot on hand here is one of those cup-by-cup Keurig machines (which I swear are cooling in theory than they are in actual practice). Anyway, we also don’t have any milk or sugar yet, so it was too strong to begin with and I had NOTHING to dilute it with! Ick. Better luck tomorrow I suppose!

And for lunch…

This is one of my very favorite staple lunches that is SO easy to make! Nothing more than sliced avocado and tomato on whole wheat bread! A banana on the side makes it even more filling. This was so summery and delicious I was a very happy camper.

So, I suppose that’s all for now my dearest readers. I will be back with more tonight! Hopefully with some ridiculous story about how I rigged the elliptical up to my car and managed to get it working. Only not really.

 

 

A Very Rocky Start to an Otherwise Lovely Day.

Well friends, it’s bound to happen. Sometimes even your BEST laid workout plans completely fail and you feel like a fool, give up and go back to bed ¬† move on with your day and hope things run smoother tomorrow.

So this is how I *planned* for this morning to go: I would wake up at 8, head to the gym for an hour or so (just enough time for my Couch-to-5k run for the day and hopefully squeeze in some legs and arms). Then I figured I’d get ready for the day, head to Starbucks and work on my responses for an application for a little while before work which wasn’t until 1:30. Sounds fantastic, right?

Well here’s what actually happened. I woke up at 8 (got that part right). Got alllllll ready for the gym and went to head out the door. But wait. Where were my keys? NO WHERE to be found. Searched high and low, called my mother at work after convincing myself that they were in her car (which wouldn’t have helped me a stitch anyway because she works about half an hour away). Decided to just run around the block instead. (Planned run = 25 minutes long, Brittany’s run = 6.5 minutes long (at a staggering .0005 mph pace with flailing arms and bad posture)…legs hurt, arms hurt, soul hurt, life hurt. Came home ENTIRELY annoyed. Many minutes later, FINALLY located the AWOL keys, made it to the gym, jumped on the elliptical with an interval workout in hand. Couldn’t for the LIFE of me get the SPM (strides per minute) up to the suggested pace, felt like a failure. Finally made it back home and decided to call it a quits for the day.

On the bright side, the elliptical still assured me that I had burned about 350 calories which is promising. Also, it seems highly unlikely that TWO workout mornings in a row could *possibly* go that wrong (so things are looking up for tomorrow!)

On the other bright side, the breakfast I had when I returned was quite a treat. Vanilla greek yogurt with chia seeds and a crumbled peanut butter cookie on top. (Although, might I point out that on my way home from the gym this morning, I stopped at the grocery store to grab a couple of Chobani yogurt cups ONLY TO LEARN THAT the local Chobani supply is very, very short. Evidently the Chobani people decided to open a new, closer plant, but it didn’t open in time to supply the ENDLESS DEMAND fueled by Chobani’s sponsorship of the Olympics! Very sad. I KNEW CHOBANI BEFORE IT WAS A FAMOUS. I had to resort to Brand X, but even despite my complaining, it was very delicious ūüėČ )

So moral of today’s story my dear readers. Sometimes workouts suck. Sometimes MORNINGS suck! They don’t go the right way, everything feels wrong and you can’t find your keys. Give yourself a break and don’t let it muddy up your day. As it turned out, the weather was lovely and I had a perfectly nice day at work so all is well that ends well.

Until tomorrow…