Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Amazing (?) Grass

Since I've been drinking Green Monsters almost everyday, I decided to get on the Amazing Grass bandwagon and give them a whirl. I looked up on their website where the AG products were sold, and amazingly found that they were available at a health food store a few miles from where I work. The only sample they had was one packet of the Green Super Food powder for $1.50. I snatched it up and put it in my GM this weekend.


Now, I have to say I added crunchy PB to the mix for the first time. But really, I didn't like it all that much! Not sure if it was the PB or the Amazing Grass powder. I'd be willing to give their other flavors a shot, but maybe not in a GM.

Have you tried any Amazing Grass products? If so, what's your favorite?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Different Kind of 5-K

My sister, Kelly, asked me to walk a 5-K with her and her 2 daughters yesterday (her hubby was running in it). The 5-K is part of the Annual Fishers Freedom Festival. Fishers is a cute little "town" in the suburbs about 25 miles from downtown Indianapolis. I really love it here....lots of families and people are always outside doing something. Love that!

I cherish all of the time I have with my nieces and was excited to go to the 5-K, but a part of me really just wanted to be out there running it. I hate that I let my pride get in the way, and really just told myself that life is TOO SHORT and who cares if I can't run in this race? I can still enjoy the time with my nieces and sistah.

My cute carmates - Clare Bear....

...and Gracie Girl.

The Family of Four

Me and the Crew

Clare came armed with her racing gear - Cardinals baseball cap? Check. Snacks for the road? Check. Sippy cup o' milk? Check check and check.

During the race, we passed a lady in a wheelchair - not a racing wheelchair, mind you, but a regular wheelchair. Now, I've never been in a wheelchair before, but I can only imagine how difficult this must be. She kept having to stop and I felt very guilty for hesitating to do the race only because I couldn't run. I'm a true believer in signs, and not to sound preachy, but I do think God put her there to remind me that I need to be thankful I am not more injured than I am.

Today I am thankful for:

- Getting 8 hours of sleep for the first time in weeks!

- Taking a nap yesterday (for one since I had the flu in January...I forgot how much I LOVE them!)

- Green grass

Check out Run to the Finish's Amazing Grass Giveaway!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Me Gusta Enchilasagna

I grew up having lasagna at least once or twice a month - LOVE it. So when I saw this recipe for Enchilasagna, I had to give it a try.

The layering part is SO much fun for me. Like an art project or something.

As you can see, this feeds an ARMY. Even after my serving, I have enough for the rest of the week! Actually, it's nice because I don't really have time to cook during the week. Or....I am just too tired/lazy when I get home from work. ;-)

What is your favorite Mexican dish? Or do you like Mexican food at all? My tummy can be bothered with it sometimes, but in the end I love a good black bean enchillada!

On a different note, my sisters and I grew up dancing to MJ's music. We even had the "Thriller" RECORD. Rest in peace, Michael. I think I'm going to download some MJ tunes on my iPod now.

Today I am thankful for:

- Nip/Tuck on DVD
- "Magic" knee tape (more to come on that later!)
- Michael Jackson's music.....especially "Thriller." And who can forget that VIDEO??!

Check out Iowa Girl Eat's Real Simple & Pure Bars Giveaway!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Baking With Aunt H

First, of all - thank you all so much for your comments on my last post! It's like, free therapy, I swear. :-) I'm just a natural worrier, so I tend to muse things over so long and then I really doubt myself. I will keep you all posted on what I decide (or if!) for sure.

This weekend my niece, Reese, spent the night with me. She is my only niece who hasn't stayed over yet at my new house, and she was so excited.

Guess what I got her to try?!

I was making a GM and, with wide eyes she asked, "Can I have some, Aunt Holly?"

After I picked myself off the ground from fainting, I gladly gave her the glass and eagerly awaited her response. This is the girl who only likes macaroni and cheese or PB&J sandwiches!

After a sip I took the glass back, she asked for another sip. And then another!

I was completely flabbergasted, and I loved showing my sister the picture of what she drank at my house. My sister freaked! lol. Then I assured her how TASTY they are (she still didn't totally believe me, but then at a glance they do look scary).

Anyway, after Reese woke me up at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, I thought....what better thing to do with your fun, cool aunt at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning than bake cookies?!

My friend's birthday was Monday and these are her favorite cookies, so I baked them for her and for my pops (for Father's Day). I grew up making these only at Christmas time. But as I get older I realize that life is too short to only bake your favorite things once a year. Are ya with me?

I also grew up thinking this was my grandma's original recipe. My mom burst that bubble when she told me it's actual the recipe of a neighbor of my grandma. Oh well. I still call 'em grandma's sugar cookies.

Grandma's (Neighbor's) Sugar Cookies

3 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine (I used butter)
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

Combine flour, soda and salt in small bowl and set aside. Cream together sugar, margarine and egg. Add in vanilla and sour cream. Pour half of flour mixture and beat together. Pour in other half and beat. Roll out dough with rolling pin and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Let cool and frost away!

In order to prevent snacking on the dough, I had one of these bad boys. Don't hate. The trick worked!

However I wish I could say the same for my lovely assistant.

She begged me to "test" the dough, and who am I to say no?

Fresh out of the oven....

Mmmm mmmmm good!

Today I am thankful for:
- Feeling sore from lifting yesterday (I'm gettin' stronger!)
- My sister who helped me hang pictures in my bedroom (I've only lived here....8 months)
- Ice, cold water

Check out Missy's Amazing Grass Giveaway!

Monday, June 22, 2009

What to Do...

I am not a risk taker.

I never have been, and probably never will be. And I am okay with that. I like my feet on the ground, I like to know tonight what I'm eating for breakfast in the morning, and I like to follow the beaten path.

I am also one of the most indecisive people I know.

But, I am also very unhappy in my job.

Don't get me's a "great" job in terms of stability, the people I've met, and it pays the bills. It's even made it possible for me to buy a home last fall. But at then end of the day, it's a JOB. Not a career; not something I have any passion for whatsoever.

I've thought about a million different things to pursue: returning to teaching, finding another office job at a non-profit agency, personal training, etc. Unfortunately, as a new homeowner I know have to think realistically about finding a career that will, um, help me keep my house. (I don't want Freddie and Fannie gettin' their hands on my home!)

There IS one common tie to the careers I keep thinking about: they all involve helping people in some way. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but that's the "teacher" in me. That's the nurturing side. The one career that I keep debating in my head would be one that will help me keep my house AND help people. I've been thinking about becoming a nurse!

The scary shiz is that I would have to quit my job for 2 years to complete the nursing program. This means: (GULP) loans. I am very blessed in that my parents paid for my undergraduate education, and other than my mortgage, I don't have a current loan of any type. I am TERRIFIED of taking out a loan, especially because I'm not 100% convinced that I want to be a nurse. I love the field of health, helping others, the flexibility of nursing schedules, and the great benefits that come along with the job....but it's scary because I'm not 100% certain. But are we ever certain when we do something outside of the norm?

One day I feel like I could conquer the world, and I am 100% for quitting my job and pursuing my nursing degree.

The very next day I feel like I would be WAY too stressed to undertake something like this.

I just wish someone would tell me what to do! lol. That's always been my answer/response to things: "Just tell me what to do." Like I said....Ms. Indecisive, comin' at ya.

Are you currently happy in your job/career? If you're not working, do you have a career in mind that you think might suit you best?
Check out Missy's Amazing Grass Giveaway!

Friday, June 19, 2009

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Okay, so I ain't Oprah, but a girl has her favorite things....right?

Well, this quiche is one of my favorite recipes - very quick and easy, and again...this girl LOVES her eggs and cheese!


1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsn buttah
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 oz. cottage cheese
2 cups shredded low-fat cheese (I use Colby/Monterey Jack)
6 egg whites
4 eggs
1 small can diced chiles
1/3 cup flour
pie crust (optional)

Makes 2 quiches (6 slices per quiche)

Approx. 265 calories per slice
(*the nutritional information accounts for the pie crust)

Cook onion and butter in small skillet. When fragrant, add in garlic cloves and cook on medium-low heat for 2 minutes. In large mixing bowl, add in all ingredients minus two egg whites. Mix together, and add in onion/garlic mixture. In smaller bowl, whisk two egg whites together until stiff peaks form and slowly fold into cheese mixture. Poor mixture into two separate pans. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let stand for at least 5 minutes.

I've made both quiches and frozen one of them, and it keeps very well. Crust gets a leeeettle soggy, so this time I made one without the crust - perfect!

What are some of your favorite recipes/things to make?
I like things that are quick, easy, and have a (relatively) short ingredients list. ;-)

I am thankful for:
- Having part-time jobs to earn spending money! (should be SAVING money, lol)
- The Twilight Soundtrack, especially the song "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron & Wine....SO GOOD
- Melty peanut butter (is there any other way to have it?)

Check Out Lucky Taste Buds Awesome, Awesome Giveaway!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Love Betty

Tuesday night my guy friend and I were hanging out, and we (okay, I) had a MAD craving for something sweet.

I try not to keep trigger foods in the house (ice cream, chocolate, candy, etc.) – this is KEY in preventing binges for me. I hope to get to the point one day where I can have those things around…I’m just not there yet.

The one thing I DID have was brownie mix, which I keep on hand in case I ever have to bake something up quickly for a pitch-in or something. So, we decided to whip us up some brownies (FYI: They are the Betty Crocker “Dark Chocolate” kind – SO GOOD!).

I read on Melissa’s blog what one of the infamous New Jersey Housewives was quoted as saying: “I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and I’d be wishing I ate that freaking piece of cheesecake before I saw that bus coming.” I really tell myself pretty much the same thing – although for me, it’d be cookie dough and ice cream over cheesecake. Life is too dang short not to have those brownies every now and then.

After fighting over the middle pieces (both our favorite) I had 2 brownies and my mouth REALLY wanted more. To be quite honest, I really wanted to eat the whole frickin’ pan. :-) But I stopped myself. I was full; not STUFFED, just full and satisfied.

Next time I might eat that whole pan, but for right now I’m pretty proud that I stopped after 2.

What about you? Are you easily able to stop after just one or two of a certain “treat?” Or do you just normally choose to avoid them all together?

I am thankful for:

- Wicked! (I saw it last night for the first time - very good and FUNNY!)
- Good hair days
- A possible change in career? (more to come on that soon!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And the Thunder Rolls

...and by "thunder," I mean my stomach.

I've really been working on intuitive eating lately, fueled (hahaha) mostly by me being sidelined with running. When I was running, I let my mouth get a little out of control with the eating at times. I was still able to maintain my weight because of the calories that running requires, but it still hasn't been good in teaching me to eat only when hungry.

As defined by Wikipedia, intuitive eating is "a nutrition philosophy on the premise that becoming more attuned to the body's natural hunger signals is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight; rather than keeping track of the amounts of energy and fats in foods or satiety levels. It's a process that is intended to create a healthy relationship with food, mind, and body."

This is so sad to say, but I don't know if I have ever only eaten when hungry. Maybe when I was a kid? Even then, at a young age I ate sleeves of cookies (hellllooooo Oreos!) or 3 bowls of cereal as a "snack."

I've always been a routine person, and I take comfort in eating at certain times of the day. I'm still keeping those times (loosely), but at the end of the night (when I'm most likely to binge), for the most part I'm doing really well with listening to my hunger cues. The other night at my sisters I had a small bowl of ice cream, and when I got home my mouth wanted a lil' somethin' somethin'. But I wasn't hungry, so I had a few grapes and a glass of water.

(A lot of the times, when I think I'm hungry I'm really just thirsty (I think). Grapes are perfect at night for me because they quench my thirst AND are very yummy.)

I'm trying to train myself to listen to my stomach growling and really eat only when I'm hungry (it sounds so obvious typed out...duh, Holly!). My question is this: When your stomach growls, do you always listen? Do you let yourself get to this point, or do you prefer to graze and avoid "the thunder?"

I am thankful for:
- Peach Iced Tea
- Air conditioning
- Being able to finally do "real" pushups!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monster Morning

This weekend I decided to try something different for breakfast instead of the normal oats. We keep our house at 74 degrees (which I looooove), but it gets a little toasty in my bedroom at night. So I wanted something cool and refreshing in the morning. Immediately I knew I wanted to try a green monster! I have them for "snacks" almost everyday, but I was anxious to see how this filled me up for brekkie (I had lots of yard work to do - wahoo!). I added almond butter for the first time, hoping that would help.

In the mix:

  • Handful (or two) of kale leaves
  • 1/3 cup vanilla non-fat yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 4 or 5 strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons almond butter
  • handful of ice cubes

You caught me! I've always been a bowl/beater (and I guess now blender?) licker. I want to get every last drop of this stuff!!
(It actually made more than this glass...but I took a big ole' gulp before snapping this picture).

The almond butter made it so smooth and creamy!! More like a "milkshake" consistency than "slushie." I couldn't really taste the almond butter, but it made a definite difference in texture.

How did it hold me over?

Pretty well, I'd say! I was hungry about 3-4 hours later, which is about how I am with my oats in the morning.
I wish I could make these more often for breakfast, but I have to say I missed "eating" something. I tend to gulp the GMs down so quickly, but oats take me awhile and I like that.

Do you always eat the same breakfast? Do you ever have smoothies/GMs for meals?

Edited to add:

Today I am thankful for:

- Tofu.
- Hanging out with my girls tonight.
- Not a lot of traffic coming into work!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Confessional: Reaching a Goal

Have you ever reached a goal, and not known what to do with yourself once you're there?

I remember the day of my sister's wedding very vividly. She was the perfect, most beautiful bride. SO incredibly happy with her new husband (FYI - their 8th anniversary is Tuesday and they still act like newlyweds....LOVE that) and beaming with radiance.

My sistah - she was just a baby!

I was confused, then, after the wedding was over when I saw her crying. I asked her why, was something wrong? "No....not at all. Everything is absolutely perfect. It's just that I've dreamed of this day my whole life and now that it's over....well, I'm kind of sad, I guess," she replied.

This has always stuck with me. I think sometimes when we've reached a goal, or an event that we've looked forward to is finally coming to an end, we (and by "we" I mean "me") don't know what to do next.

I spent my late teens and early 20's being unhappy with my body and weight. I always compared my current weight at the time to when I was grossly thin, and I was never happy. When I couldn't exercise from the fall of 2007 to the fall of 2008, I gained about 15 pounds. During that year I was even more unhappy with my weight - it's hard for anyone to lose weight, but without exercise? Twice as hard (IMO).

I've worked hard in the last 8 months to lose the 15 pounds. With the combination of eating healthy and working out, I've successfully lost the weight and kept it off for about 6 months. But sometimes, just sometimes, I find myself not knowing what to do next.

It sounds CRAZY, I know. I honestly have never been more happy with my body and weight than I am now, but that creepy little voice in the back of my head sometimes tells me maybe it's not enough. Maybe I should lose more. I try really, really hard to ignore that voice - but it's difficult as that's what I've been telling myself for more than 10 years!

I sometimes wonder if those "skeletons in my closet" will ever go away completely. My thinking is about 80% more "healthy" than it ever was in the throes of my ED - but that nagging 20% hangs on and creeps up sometimes.

Like all things in life, I'm hoping the more I practice my healthy way of thinking about food (I NEVER would have touched PB 5 years ago!), the more of a habit it will be. And maybe, HOPEFULLY, I will silence that little nagging voice forever.

Have you ever reached a goal and not known what to do with yourself once it's met? Did you set a different goal, or focus on being happy in the moment?

Three Things I'm Thankful For Today:

- I'm finally getting my car fixed! So it'll look good as new (hopefully).
- "The Hangover." SO, SO funny.
- Sleeping in.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Your Prayers Worked - and I Can Cook?

The surgery went well yesterday and my dad is doing great! Thanks so much for all of your prayers/happy thoughts. I went to visit him last night and he was in great spirits...cracking jokes for the nurses and everything. I also threw some trash on his tray so he wouldn't feel like he was missing out on trashrunning.

I've always been amazed by people who can come up with their own recipes. How do they know what to use? And how much? And how do they know it will taste well together? I've never considered myself a good cook because I don't feel comfortable wingin' it. But last night I did! Kind of.

I used Caitlin's Turkey Bacon Egg White Mini Quiche Recipe as *inspiration*, lol. Except...I didn't have turkey. Or bacon. So I opened my fridge and pulled out random things I love.

- 1 egg and 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup monterey/cheddar cheese (shredded)
- approx. 1 tablespoon chopped onion (I had some leftover)
- 1 tspn. minced garlic
- salt & peppah to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped brocoli

Just mix it all up, pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, and....


These were SO good. I basically love anything with cheese and eggs, though. You just can't go wrong there...right?

Have you ever cooked without a set recipe? More of a recipe gal/guy?

TGIF!!! I think the roomie and I are going to see "The Hangover" this weekend. It's supposed to be hil-freakin'-larious!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Secret

I just finished reading "The Secret." I've only had the book from my friend for the past 3 months! Has anyone else read it?

Basically it talks about how positive thoughts and affirmations have a dramatic effect on our lives. It's all about the Law of Attraction. For example, if you are constantly focused on things you DON'T want to happen to you, those things will happen. And vice versa.

I'm not sure I buy into all of it (especially because I don't believe material things make anyone happy, and a portion of the book talks about how it is possible to obtain "things" by willing them), but I love how it focuses on optimism. I've always considered myself to be somewhat of an optimist, but this gets clouded by all of my worries and anxieties.

A perfect example of this is all of my running injuries. I get soooooo stressed at every ache and pain, that I'm almost afraid to walk and feel pain somewhere (like right knee). I do wonder if I focus on my knee (or whatever) getting better instead of worrying about it getting worse - will that really help?

Along the same lines, I've seen and heard that it's helpful for everyone to remind themselves everyday of things they are thankful for in their lives. I remember hearing this on Oprah yeeeeeears ago - pre-Dr. Phil days even! I think it's a wonderful idea, yet I've never actually tried it. So here goes....

Three Things I am Thankful For Today:

- Thursdays...they are my favorite day of the week!
- Getting to leave work an hour early today
- All of the rain we got yesterday and are getting today that helps my flowers outside look so darn pretty

What are you thankful for today? Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist?

**Please say a prayer or send good thoughts for my dad today. He's having surgery to have a pacemaker put in. Basically his heart rate is extremely low - in the 30's! I always thought this was a good thing (I have a low HR, too), but the pacemaker will allow his heart to work more efficiently and give him more energy. He's just excited he'll be able to run afterwards and continue trashrunning. :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Walkin' on an Incline...

*to the song of "Workin' on a Gold Mine*

I've been racking my brain trying to think of exercises I can do that won't make my knee worse, but will also work up a sweat. I've been swimming, doing the rowing machine, walking, and using the elliptical, then the other day it hit me: why not try walking on the dreadmill on an INCLINE?

I remember reading about how Angela from Oh She Glows was coming back from her injury, and she really focused on treadmill walking on an incline. Let me just tell is INTENSE!

I walked last night for 1.5 miles at a 4.0 mph pace, switching between 8% and 10% incline. YOWSA! I was SOAKED when I was finished...and my knee didn't hurt one bit!

I also found this article that describes the benefits of walking on an incline, some of which are:

- It challenges the cardiovascular system without requiring speed; ideal for people either not in the mood for speed workouts, or people who cannot ambulate swiftly due to orthopedic conditions.

- Because an incline challenges the heart at a slower walking pace, this means less impact on knees and hips.

- The slow nature is good for people either just getting back into exercise after injury, or for people new to exercise who don’t want to pull a muscle at faster speeds.

- Provides a stretch to the calves and Achilles tendons

- A great alternative for people suffering from heel pain (plantar fasciitis) because of the minimized heel-strike impact, and the stretching of the foot with each step

According to Spark People, I also burn 274 calories if walking at a 4.0 mph pace on a 10% incline for 30 minutes. This seems high to me, but I know after my heart was pumpin' last night that it "ain't no joke!" (as dear Jillian would say).

Have you ever walked on the dreadmill on an incline? Or tried an exercise/workout that was VERY intense...when you thought it wasn't?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Clean Eating Challenge

Heather at Hangry Pants is doing a Cleaner Life Month Challenge, and it's got me thinking about how I can clean up my life/eating. I've decided to start my own challenge, but of course I tweaked it just a little bit. :-)

A big part of my problem is that eating processed foods (cereal, bars, ice cream) can lead to binges, and I find that they aren't as "filling" as other options (like nuts and nut butters). So my challenge is similar to my ELC (Eat Less Crap) week. I am going to snack on only fruits, veggies, dairy (LOVE my greek yogurt!) and nuts/nut butters. I've actually done this the past 2 days, and it's amazing how "clean" I feel. Plus, who doesn't want to eat yummy fruit during the summer time?!

When I tend to eat processed foods, it actually makes my mouth want more. I've definitely learned that eating sugar leads to eating more sugar (for me)! What's interesting is that after a few days of avoiding these foods, I don't really find myself craving them all that much.

Do you eat a lot of processed foods? I have to admit, I LOVE the Weight Watcher "Cookie" Ice Cream bars....they are heaven on a stick! And I can't get enough cereal.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Let's Talk Trash

We call him the Trashrunner.

I know so many children say this, but I truly have the best dad in the whole, big, wide world. He is one of those guys who puts money in people's expired parking meters, always thanks fans of visiting teams at Colts games (they always think he's being sarcastic - he's so not!), will pay for people anonymously if waiting in line somewhere, and he does so without ever wanting to be thanked or called out. In fact, he doesn't like the recognition at all...he says it "ain't no thang" (my paraphrasing).

In addition to the numerous things he does, he's also been a runner for almost 40 years. He's completed 14 half marathons and one full marathon (at age 50 - he totally rocks!). What's interesting is that he's not like most runners, who are constantly striving to improve their time or lengthen their distance. What makes a "good run" as defined by my dad is how many bags of trash he can collect.

He was recently recognized in this article in a local newsletter/publication. He says this week he's been stopped by so many people, thanking him and acknowledging him for the work he does for our community. His response to everyone? "Slow news week!"

My dad doesn't run for his weight, looks, or to keep that farmer's tan going. He runs because he can do something positive for his health AND clean up the community to boot. He is truly inspiring me ALL THE TIME, and you will never, ever catch this girl throwing trash out of her car window.

Who are the people you look to as examples in your life? Do you know any trashrunners? If you have lots of trash in your area, don't tell my dad...he'll be on the next flight there.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Blame it on the Alcohol

I might have had a little too much fun on my birthday....I woke up at ten in the morning and have to be at work by eight! Hmmmm. THANKfully my boss was very understanding. How old am I again??!

I had a little help from my nieces and nephew blowing out the candles on my cake. They were glad to volunteer as they knew they would get paid with cake. I had not one, but TWO pieces of this yummy stuff! And some Edy's "Take the Cake" ice cream (mmmmmmm). No guilt here! I remember birthdays when I didn't even eat cake because of the guilt. No way to live, I tell ya!

Me and my fellow Geminis! My neighbor, Doug, was born on the same day as me. How cool is that?!

Take One....

Take Two....
Blame it on the 'tron....
Dancin'! I just love to dance.
I had such an amazing birthday. Thank you so much for the b-day wishes!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Go Shawty...'s my birthday! I'm gonna party like it's my birthday...

The big 2-9! I have a feeling I will be 29 on my birthday for the next, oh, 10 years or so. :-)

Not that 29 is old (!), but I don't feel 29. I feel more...21, maybe 22? Maybe 22 since I am a wee bit better at controlling my alcohol.

Just for shits and giggles, here is a throwback to 1986. Don't you love my Dorothy Hamill haircut?! THANKS, mom. I'm on the far right, and those are my two sisters.

And here we are, with slightly better hair, in 2008.

I just love birthdays...I know so many women dread getting older, but like my dad says - birthdays sure beat the alternative. :-)

Hope you all have a wonderful June 4th! I'll have some cake for ya. Maybe even 2 pieces.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Patella WHAT?!

Patella Femoral Mal alignment. Basically? My knee cap done got crooked.

The X-ray below isn't mine, but it's pretty much exactly what the X-ray of my left knee looked like.

I guess it's not supposed to look like that. :-)

I went to my orthopedic surgeon last Thursday, and one of the first questions he asked was, "Have you been doing any squats or lunges lately?"


Jillian Michaels, anyone? That evil bitch! lol

Truth be told, I have never really done squats or lunges before the 30-Day Shred. I'm not saying my running technique or muscle imbalance hasn't played a role in my knee trouble, but I do think the squats and lunges gotta go! At least for now.

He also gave me a prescription for physical therapy, which I had been hoping for. I went yesterday and my PT is SO, so nice! I explained to her my $$/insurance situation (LSS: my insurance sucks and I'd have to pay out of pocket for PT appts., so I can only go to her 2 or 3 times) and she was very understanding. She said I could even just phone in my symptoms and explain to me things over the phone!

My doctor says it's okay to run (if I "take it easy"), so I've been "ralking" (run/walking). But I'm not sure how comfortable I feel running if my knee feels achy. It's not a pain, just a general achiness. Do any of you run with achy knees?

I'm continuing to swim, do yoga, bike, and strength train. I'm really trying so hard to avoid weight gain during my last (year long!) running hiatus. I haven't weighed myself in almost 3 weeks, right before my last run. The curiosity got the best of me things this morning and I stepped on the scale (grrrr). I gained nothing at all! I am the exact SAME weight as I was before my last run.

So I'm trying to take this with me that I don't need running to maintain my weight and "control" my eating. Sure, it is HARDER for me (especially mentally), but this reaffirms the fact that it is just about moving and sweating. And eating less crap...which I'm trying to do during the week at least.

It's just so interesting how our bodies surprise we tend to think (or maybe it's just me) things that simply aren't true. Like, "Oh, that cookie will spoil my whole day," OR, "If I can't run, why bother working out?" I am working to change all those silly ways of thinking. Progress, at least!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June is Busting Out All Over

Thank you so, so much for all of your kind words regarding the death of my grandpa. He was truly such a special person....a "man of few words," but we all listened when he spoke. Saying he'll be missed is a huge understatement, but I know he is happy and at peace now. And I *might* even cheer on the Cubbies in his honor this year. :-)

(Side note: My dad has been a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan since birth as he was named after Stan naturally my sisters and I are huge Cards fans, as well. My grandpa is a huge Cubs fan, and there was always humorous banter at family gatherings surrounding the rivalry.
At the funeral, my dad was the last one to speak. After the lovely things he had to say about my grandpa, he said, "Now I'm going to do something you've NEVER seen me do before."

And he went and grabbed my grandpa's Cubs hat and put it on.

My dad asked that everyone stand, and in honor of my grandpa (a lover of all things baseball AND music), sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." I don't think I've ever sang this song through tears before, but I know my grandpa would truly have loved this. Especially my dad wearing a Cubs hat. Why didn't we get a picture of that?!) it's been a rough week for obvious reasons, but also I've been very reflective of what I want to do next in life. And, no, I don't mean what race I will run next (although I'm already thinking of that, of course!). This sounds very cheesy, but whenever there is a death that hits close to home, it just really makes you realize how life is too short and we all should spend our time doing things we love.

I am very, very unhappy in my current job. It's boring, it's your typical "office" job, and it's just not me. Sure, it's pretty good money and has allowed me stability to purchase a home - which is wonderful - but I need to be in a career when I'm either a. not in an office and/or b. am helping others and making a difference.

I keep thinking about going into nursing, and I'm looking into an accelerated program (for those who already have a bachelor's degree). There are a few schools I'm looking into and I hope to meet with some advisers soon.

I'm anxious to hear what they have to say, since I know the program is very competitive and this one (*shrinking down in her seat*) didn't attend class all that much in undergrad - smart, huh?! My GPA isn't horrible, but it's not the best - and definitely not what I was capable of achieving. Ugh....why do I like beer so much?! ;-)

Change is so incredibly scary for me....but in a way I know that if I don't get out of my comfortable job now, I'm not sure I ever will.

Here are two pictures taken at my grandparent's 60th Wedding Anniversary celebration in February. I love the first picture because a. the look on my face is hysterical and b. my grandpa was tickling the little ones...he just loved to tickle.

Happy Monday....I LOVE JUNE!!! There is a very important birthday this week (ahem). ;-)