Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sometimes Plans Change.

Today was supposed to be a running day. Somehow before I even got on the treadmill my foot got a severe cramp from the middle of the top to the bottom. I thought maybe it was my shoe so I adjusted it and hit the treadmill. No luck. The cramp came right back to the point that it brought tears to my eyes and I wanted to quit. 

I stretched. I cramped. I rested. I cramped. Since I was sick of wasting time and of cramping up, I quit. 

Here's the thing though... I quit the treadmill but I hit the bike instead. I have a goal to run three times this week. Now it may only be twice. BUT I think that's okay because it was due to an injury AND I replaced it with biking. I didn't just throw in the towel and say "forget this." I decided to do something that was still active that wouldn't put too much pressure on my foot. I didn't quit and ht the couch. So because I biked for 30 minutes and I'm saying I met my goal. It's not running and isn't nearly as intense but I did something; I kept moving. 

This is a new thing for me. Generally when my plans get goofed up it means that I end up skipping whatever it is that I was planning to do. I'm happy that this was only a minor adjustment and I still got that 30 minutes of cardio done. 

Sometimes plans change. It's inevitable. It's how you adapt to the changes that maters. Sometimes there's a way to do serving even if it isn't exactly what you planned on doing. 

In addition to biking I did two rounds of the seven minute workout, 30DS, and will do 30 minutes of Pilates to unwind later this evening.... After Big Bang Theory, of course! 

Tonight's dinner is homemade butternut squash soup (another skinnytaste recipe), salad on the side, and some roasted asparagus with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. The soup had to simmer for 40 minutes so I let it cook while I biked and roasted the asparagus. My house smells divine and I cannot wait to eat!!

Actually I think my bowl is cool enough to eat now, so I'm off to enjoy my healthy dinner!

Happy Thursday!!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mid-Week and Going Strong

I know it isn't much but this was day two of following my weekly plan without difficulty! I am finding that it is working much better for me to take things week by week. It's much less overwhelming than looking at an entire month at once. It's also easier to plan only a few days ahead of time rather than a month. I usually know what I'm doing for the week so I am not having to make changes. Weekly scheduling seems to be much more effective for me!!

Today I did two rounds of my seven minute workout app, did the 30 Day Shred, jogged for half an hour, and then walked my dogs for half an hour. It takes up a lot of my evening being so active but I am really enjoying it. I burned over 900 calories and spent about 110 minutes being active! Great day!!!

As far as eating, that's been on-point too. I've been eating healthy foods that are giving my body benefits. I've been eating more fruits and veggies again too. I eat small amounts throughout the day which prevents me from getting too hungry... Except after I workout. I've been super ready for dinner the last two nights!!! 

In eating healthier I'm cooking more this week.... Healthier foods too. I'm trying new recipes I found online and the two I've tried thus far have been yummy. Last night I had butternut squash risotto with a salad. Tonight I made Greek yogurt protein pancakes and turkey bacon. I added a scoop of protein powder to the pancakes as well as some fresh blueberries (I used blueberry Greek yogurt too). I topped my pancakes with a little Parkay spray and some sugar free syrup. Delicious!!! I'm pretty sure I will be having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! 

I'm really looking forward to making some butternut squash soup tomorrow evening! It sounds so comforting and like a perfect fall meal. I will be having salad with that too. 

After so much calorie burning I'm pretty tired so I am off to bed!

Hope your week is going well!!!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thank You, Diet Bet!

Last week (or was it the week before?) I posted about motivation. I also posted about Diet Bet. I've since learned that Diet Bet is GREAT motivation!!! My bet (Rebecca's Diet Bet - please join if you'd like, or send me your info and I will invite you!) starts in a week! I'm excited about that....Even though as of now only one friend and I have signed up. I had a lot more interest than that so I hope that more people join us before Tuesday!! I decided to join another bet too. Last week I signed up for Jillian Michaels' bet which is not at a pot of over 200,000 dollars. WOW! There are over 6000 participants involved in that bet. Anyone who loses four percent of their weight will split the total in the pot. Even if everyone reaches a loss of four percent, we will at least get our money back (minus whatever the company keeps for their profit). I'm okay with that. I doubt everyone will reach that goal, but I certainly hope that I do!! I feel like these diet bets are exactly what I needed to get motivated again. Money talks, isn't that what they say? SURE DOES!! Putting money into something makes me more likely to keep up with it. This is only four weeks long. Certainly I can commit to that amount of time. And if I can? It will help me get back into my old healthy habits that I've let slip recently. I blame you, boyfriend... Okay not quiet. He doesn't eat healthy like I generally do and he doesn't exercise, but it isn't his fault. We are not together 24/7. I usually have three days where I don't see him, and two that I have time to workout before I see him. The only really difficult time for me is the weekend.... He's always around and I enjoy my time with him. I guess I'd rather be hanging out with him than losing an our of our together time to workout. That's gotta change. It's an hour. That's not much. He's super supportive and understanding so I know it wouldn't bother him at all if I went out for a run or something. We have walked my dogs together before, so that's an option too. And just because he can eat crap food doesn't mean that I have to. I've gotten better about this... Like we had hot dogs on Sunday. I got him regular beef dogs with white buns, and I had lower fat, lower calorie turkey dogs with whole grain buns. We used half a pack of each and put the remainder in the freezer for next time we have them. He was able to take leftovers for lunch and I had leftovers for me too. Perfect. As long as I manage and plan better, there's no reason that we can't continue doing this. AND he has had some of my healthy foods and not even noticed the difference (like whole grain noodles and lower fat cheese). With a little more effort, I can easily figure out ways to satisfy both of us when it comes to meals. Also? I used to buy chips and things in large bags (he LOVES his snacks - he and my dog Buddy are one in the same, I swear!). Now I'm going to pick up smaller bags just for him. I do not need the extra laying around for me to eat. Or I'll buy him larger backs of stuff I don't like, which means I won't be tempted to eat it. Anyway, back to my diet bet... It has really helped to motivate me -- already!! Of course, as I have mentioned before, this time of year really energizes me too. By putting money into a pot and seeing the potential for a large winning amount, I'm all into it. I'm ready to kick it into gear! I sat down last night and wrote out a list of dinner ideas and workouts. I typically have the same types of things for breakfasts and snacks, and will eat dinner leftovers for lunches. I found some healthy recipes and went to the store after work to pick up what I needed. I even organized my workouts based on how often I am going to do various exercises and went as far as noting on which days I'll do them. Given that I was sick yesterday and am not working out on Sunday (going to a football game!) I think I have A LOT packed into a few days, but I'll do what I can. I'm going to accomplish as much of what I've planned as possible. My goal is to do everything listed but I'm also realistic and accepting of it if I cannot fit everything into a day. Like, today, I have about 140 minutes planned out. I went to the store and now I'm blogging... That's over two hours of various calorie burning activities (two rounds of my seven minute workout, 30 Day Shred, a run/walk, mowing my dog pen, and pilates later this evening. Let's face it, that's a lot to do for one day. The mowing isn't a typical workout thing, but I do wear my HRM because I burn calories I wouldn't normally burn. I'm not worried about that. I'm worried about my motivation to do even 30 mintues of a run/walk after doing 30 minutes of the 30DS. BUT I will try my best, even if I end up walking more than running. Plus...What's 30 minutes? Both the 30DS and the run/walk should go by pretty quickly. I suppose that's about it for now! It's about 5:00 and I need to go get started on my workout so I can get done and make dinner! Have a great week!!! XOXO

Women Rock: 10K Race Report

I apologize for not posting yesterday, as I had planned. I was "sick" (major tummy issues but no fever and felt fine otherwise - odd) so I didn't get around to posting. So, I'm giving you two posts this evening!  

I suppose I'll start with Friday... I went into the city a little later than I planned, which was fine because I really didn't need to shop so much! I had planned on visiting my cousin on the way, but she had a meeting with her realtor come up so she was unavaiable. I drove straight to the city, and arrived around 4:30 so I checked into my room, and then went out walking. 

I went to the Women Rock Expo to pick-up my race packet (and running jacket, which came with the registration) and see what fun things they had for me to buy. The expo site was about a mile and a half from where my hotel was, so it made for a nice walk. I ended up buying a tank, some socks, cup, and a new WR shoe charm (from BeeCause charms - LOVE them!). Another vendor was there so I picked up a cute 13.1 can koozie, magnet (pink and black polkadots!), and a charm for a necklace. Since my only half marathon was the Princess Half, I'll likely add it to the necklace that I got when I was there. After the expo I walked back to the hotel, making stops in some stores along the way. I ended up buying some popcorn at Garrett and picked up some cute stuff at American Apparel (LOVE that store!). I got back to my hotel around 7:30 and relaxed for a bit. 

I realized that I'd only eaten breakfast and was super hungry. I didn't really feel like going to a restaurant solo so I walked to a Subway (restaurant) about a block away from the hotel. I took my sandwich back to my room and ate there. I chatted with my Mom and boyfriend, and just spent the evening watching TV. I was really tired and ended up falling asleep (TV and lights on) sometime between 9:30 and 10. I woke up around midnight and actually got ready for bed, and slept until my alarm went off at 6:30 Saturday morning. 

Saturday - Race day! I did the Women Rock 10K (part of the Women Rock series, which also included a 5K and a half-marathon) on the beautiful lakefront in downtown Chicago. This was a similar route to other races that I've done and in a similar area. Teamortho is the group that put on this race as well as the Polar Dash, Get Lucky, and Monster Dash (all of which I have done). It starts at Grant Park and follows a trail along the lakeshore, past Museum Campus and Soldier Field. I'm not familiar with the exact half marathon route as I have not done one of theirs (only a 5K, 7K, and two 10Ks). 

I knew what to expect out of the course and it was as beautiful as always (well, except the Get Lucky in March when snow was pelting me in the eyeballs, it was cold, and super windy). Like the others, this was an out-and-back course, which I prefer for races. I like to start and finish in the same area. 

It was a perfect morning for a run! The weather was beautiful; in the low 60s and sunny. The wind was minimal. I ran in compression capris, a running skirt, and the WR tank and socks that I bought at the expo. Oh! I added the new shoe bling to my shoe too. 

The half-marathon started first and roughly half an hour later the 5K and 10K started. We lined up together with 5K participants on one side and us 10K-ers on the other. This was so that we could split off in an orderly fashion when the split came. It went pretty smoothly, although it was as bit clustered in the beginning. With that many people in one spot that's to be expected. 

I had a good run. I am definitely slower than my usual pace and ended up in the 13 minute mile range instead of my usual 11 minute mile range. I haven't been doing much running this summer and I'm a little heavier. It makes sense. I have more weight to carry around, so of course I'm going to be a little slower. BUT I ran the majority of it. I took walk breaks going into and out of the water stations, and a couple other quick ones but I ran the majority of the race. I knew my pace was slow but I didn't care. I knew my time would be slower than usual and I didn't care. It felt good to be out there running; just to be doing a race and getting some exercise! I wasn't in a rush when I ran either. I think because I knew I was slower than I once was, I didn't pressure myself to go fast. I didn't exhaust myself early, which I have a habit of doing. I kept a nice even pace and just ENJOYED the run. I don't do that often enough because I'm always worried about pace and time. It was super nice to just relax and take the time to enjoy running. I needed that. I've missed that feeling and I think I needed something enjoyable to get my heart back into running. 

Upon finishing, the 10K and half marathon runners received neckalces rather than medals (5K runners got medals). I'm not gonna lie, I saw the medals and really wanted one! I love medals and have quite the collection going. There was an option to trade the necklace for a medal (although I didn't see where this was happening), but I don't think I'd have traded. The necklace is pretty. It's a sliver W with a ruby and a (tiny) diamond. I guess the appraisal value of the necklace was $120. I wish we'd have had the option to purchase a medal too. Or that everyone received a medal and we could purchase necklaces if desired....Something to be able to have BOTH would've been nice! I love my necklace and would have loved another medal to add to the collection. At least I have my race bib to add to my book! 

There was a post-race party which was okay. It wasn't packed, but it seemed like most of us waited in line for our glass of champagne and to take pictures with the WR backdrop and men (I didn't do that part) and then took off. The champagne line was rather long but I really wanted my WR champagne glass (not to mention that four delicious ounces of champagne!). There was a DJ playing some tunes, but it didn't seem like anyone was paying much attention to him or the music. Since I did the race solo, I drank my champagne, snapped a couple pics of the glass, and went back to the hotel. I relaxed for a little while, showered, and then packed up to check-out and head home. 

Overall, WR was a great race experience! I really enjoy the races that Teamorotho puts together. I reallly like that they provide running jackets, fleeces, or sweatshirts rather than the typical race t-shirt. I like that they provide nicer items!! Of course they always include a medal (or in this case a necklace) too! Expos are fairly small (compared to Disney - but what isn't!?) but I always manage to find something cute to spend my money on! 

They provide typical post-race snacks (water, bagels, bananas, and sometimes things like champagne or hot chocolate) too. 

The races bibs are always colorful and specialized to the race too, which I enjoy (rather than those drab white and black generic-looking bibs). 

I'm looking forward to my next Teamortho race, Monster Dash, in October!! I'm pretty sure I will be doing WR next year too!! 

Happy Tuesday!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Another Week Come and Gone!

I can't believe my weekend has officially started! I've been ready for it all week! Part of me is really enjoying these four day weeks but I do miss having those hours on my paycheck. I'm sure I'll go back to five day work weeks sometime (sooner would probably be good) and I think it will be an adjustment to get back into it! 

Yesterday's eating and workout were both successful. I ended up doing my seven minute app workout, a run/walk for just over thirty minutes, another round of the seven minute app, and then I mowed the lawn for just over half an hour. I didn't get the entire lawn done, or walk the dogs because it was starting to get dark. 

Naturally it's been raining today so I most likely will not have time to finish mowing. Oh well... Hopefully this weekend! 

My workout was good. That seven minute thing is pretty good! I thought for sure it would seem easy but it actually worked my body so that I could feel it. I think that it would be really good for someone who's only got a few minutes here and there throughout the day. You can do two rounds in less than fifteen minutes. That's it! Imagine doing that twice a day - you'd get in 30 minutes of activity and would be on your way. It's definitely a good thing for people just getting into fitness or who need to get back into it. It's a free app and I definitely recommend it. 

My run went well...I'm definitely not where I once was with running but that's okay. At least I'm out there doing it. I plan to get a run in today (it's not raining THAT hard). I have had to do a little more walking than normal but that's okay. I'm burning a lot more calories(because I've gained weight and because I have not worked out lately, I'm sure that will change as I adjust). I will most definitely not PR my 10K on Friday. If fact I'm sure I will be slower than my last 10K. And? I'm okay with that. I'm back on track and feeling good and that's what matters. I always strive to do my best in races, but right now I'm just happy that I'm getting out there and doing it!!

I will likely not post tomorrow because I'll be busy. I'm heading out of town in the morning to spend some time with one of my cousins and her son before I head into the city. While there I have some things I want to do, including picking up my packet, so I'll most likely be pretty busy. I'm hoping to get a workout in on the elliptical or something at the hotel. If I can time it right, I'd like to do at least a short run tomorrow morning but I'll have to see how the morning goes. I want to be sure I have time to get ready and be on the road to get to my cousin's. I'm thinking a run before that might not happen just because of it being dark and timing and such. I'm definitely planning on a hotel workout, plus I'll be doing a bit of walking tomorrow. I've gotta get some kind of exercise in! 

Saturday I have the race, and then I'll get ready to head home. I'm sure we will be a bit busy this weekend, but I'll try to post my race report on Monday. If I have enough time before check-out maybe I'll be able to do it at the hotel right after the race. I'm not holding my breath on that though! 

I am starting my DIET BET on 10/1. You can weigh-in on 10/29 and 10/30. Because the diet bets only go for four weeks, it will end before the end of the month. I'm hoping to have a decent amount of people sign-up for this because I think it'll be fun and a great motivator! Please feel free to contact me and I will invite you. Or you can search for it. It's open to the public and is called "Rebecca's Diet Bet." Can't wait to see how many people participate and how much weight we lose! 

I also just joined the Jillian Michaels bet - the pot for that is over 80,000 dollars. That is split between everyone who loses 4% of their weight, and about 2700 people have signed up for this particular bet so far. I'm excited and I KNOW that I can lose at least 4% of what I weigh. It officially starts on the 24th so I can weigh in as soon as Sunday. I think it will be good to get a week of this one under my belt so that I know what to expect when mine starts the following week. And why not start motivating myself NOW?! No use waiting until mine starts, right?! I think it'll be fun and I look forward to it!!

I suppose that's it for now - gotta go get my workout done! Have a great weekend! 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Things That Motivate Me.

So latey I've been writing a lot about getting back on track and plans and such. I have confessed not feeling that fire anymore. Well, I'm happy to report it's back. I weighed myself yesterday and saw that I'm the same weight I was about a month ago. Initially I lost six pounds when I started the new med. Or was it four? Something like that. Anyway, I managed to gain it back.

Confession - I started taking Garcinia Cambogia around that time because Dr. Oz said it was okay, and he's a doc, so he should know...Right? Well, I haven't been consistent with taking it so naturally I gained weight back. That's what happens when you do such things. Obviously I didn't take it long enough to notice any major results or lose a lot of weight, but I did feel it working as it was meant to. 

Yes, I've been against pills for weight loss. However, this one was natural and recommended by a friggin' doctor. I'd like to think he's not some guy who's gonna buy into whatever crazy idea just to make a buck. I hold him in a higher regard than that. I think he's legit. 

Anyway, so I wasn't consitent with it and gained back what I lost. Cool. Yesterday I mentioned that I need to look at where I am, not where I was at any other point in my life. That helped me get a healthy perspective, but at the same time I need a goal. I decided that my goal is going to be to get to where I was two years ago. So I changed my FB profile pic to a pic from a photoshoot from that time. That pictures has 93 "likes" as of now. I just posted it last night. I posted it mostly for my own motivation to reach a goal, but in doing so I motivated myself even more. 93 people liked that pic of me.... That makes me want to push even harder to reach that goal. 

I've also decided that I need to stop being so friggin' self-loathing and like myself as I am right now. So I did that too. Today I looked in the mirror and decided that I actually like my body right now, even if it's not where I want it to be. Because I've gained weight my boobs are a little bigger. Wooohooo! My waist is still defined. My booty has gained a little weight, but has been and always will be big. Today I decided that I have a nice curvy figure going on, even if it's not exactly how I want it to look when I'm at my goal. I've got a nice, curvy girl body. The mix of that and 93 people thinking I'm a damn hottie has made me feel better. It may sound vain as hell, but it really drives me to want to be my "hottest." 

Side note, when I reach my goal and stay there for a bit, I'm totally buying boobies. They match my butt really well, actually.

I'm also starting a Diet Bet on October 1st. Instead of thinking of how I'll wait until then to hit it hard, I've managed to give myself incentive to start now. 

I think that MUST have something to do with this motivation I'm feeling. 

Oh! And a friend and I are doing a trail race on October 5th, so naturally I want to be in good shape for that. I'm not much of a trail runner (pavement, please!) so that will be a small challenge for me. I want to be ready for that race, which just may also be motivating me! 

I THINK that the above combo of factors has really helped me to fuel my fire again!! I think that having a race on Saturday and looking foward to some fun stuff this weekend is helping too. My photographer cousin is going to snap some pics of me on Friday which is exciting! Last time I did a photoshoot I pressured myself to get as small as possible and reached my lowest weight. I quickly gained ten pounds back because my habits didn't fit into my daily life plan long-term. FYI - that weight is what I'm at in the picture I just wrote about. Even so, I'll be happy weighing a few pounds more than that. I have a goal set, and I'm going to achieve it. 

In thinking about it, I can't say for certain it's that combo or one of those things that's helped to get me to where I need to be. I really just don't know. I can't say "oh yes, it was this, this, and that." What I do know is that it's like a switch has been flipped again and I'm ready to get it. I've wanted this feeling back for so long and it feels awesome to finally have it back!!! 

Today my eating has been clean, I'm past my usual water intake (which is normally high but it's so high today I've lost count!), and I got enough sleep last night which means in addition to feeling good I really want to go do a kick ass workout. It's much easier to stay on track with healthy eating when you keep it clean. I still have a lot of calories that I could eat today and have eaten more often than other days recently....Why? Because I've been keepin' it healthy!

I suppose that's about it for now! I'm so happy to share a positive update with you!! I have big plans for after this post goes up... I'm doing my seven minute workout circuit, then I will run for at least thirty minutes, do another seven minute circuit, and then I'm not quite sure... I should really mow my lawn but I'd also like to walk to the dogs. I suppose I'll mow first and then if there's time I'll take the children out for a short walk. 

I'm thinking spaghetti squash sounds like a fabulous dinner tonight, which means, I can probably enjoy a protein shake between my workout and mowing (I'll also be counting those calories). I haven't had a protein shake in quite a while so I'm kind of excited about that.

I hope you are having a fantastic week!!!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Diet Bet.

I've decided that I'd like to arrange a diet bet (they seem to be huge right now). If it's something you're interested in, I'd love for you to sing up! I'm looking at interest first, so please e-mail me if you'd like to participate. I would like to start on October first and have the end date be the 31st (just in time to enjoy Halloween candy, right?!). The more people who participate, the larger the pot. People who lose at least four percent of their weight during that time will split the pot (total will depend on the number of participants). I see that most are $25 to join, which is most likely what I would do. I think this is a good way to help me get back into eating healthier again. I think it will help me be more consistent in my workout schedule too. It's no secret that both have suffered recently, so I'm looking for a fun way to interact with some other people while getting back on track! If it's a success, I'll probably arrange one for November too (great way to get a jump start on beating those holiday pounds!). 

Please e-mail me if you are interested at 

I don't have a whole lot of time to post an update today. I have to leave for a hair appointment shortly. My appointments usually take a couple hours so I won't have much time after I get home either. I imagine that by the time I get home I'll be getting pretty hungry! I'll most likely find the quickest, healthiest thing possible. Wish me luck with that!! 

I won't have time (daylight) to get out for a run today. And OF COURSE it's gorgeous out. I didn't end up running yesterday either. I forgot my running jacket and only hand a tank and some thin capris. It was only about 52 degrees by the time I was ready to start. I was super chilled and just could not get warm. I was pretty bummed because I was looking forward to the run yesterday. I would've ran near my parents' house which would've been a change of scenery. However, when it comes to the cold, I'm a wimp. A big wimp. HUGE WIMP. So instead I put on some socks, drank coffee, and chatted with my Mom in hope of warming up. I did - somewhat. I remained chilled for the rest of the evening. I think I may have kept the manfriend awake last night because I was awake a lot (from being cold and from having drank so much water I was up to pee about three times). Oh well... He gets to nap. He can handle it! :) 

Since I have my appointment and won't be home and done with dinner until around eight, if I'm lucky, I'm going to try something else tonight. It won't be intense becuase intense exercise close to bedtime keeps me up. I don't like that idea. I got a pilates DVD for Christmas a year or two ago and haven't used it once. I think I will start doing that at least a couple evenings a week. It's good exercise, and although it's not a huge calorie burner it can help to build muscle, increase flexibility, and I've heard it's fairly relaxing so I'm hoping it will help me start getting to bed a little earlier at night. 

Staying up too late is one of my bad habits that needs to be fixed...One that can directly impact weight loss. SO, I need to get that under control too. I've pinpointed a few areas to work on (more sleep, more exercise, and eating healthier). I really need to focus on balancing that part of my life with the rest of my life. It's true what they say... When are in a relationship with someone you feel comfortable with, you DO gain weight. Well, not everyone, and historically not me... But with this one, I feel like I've gained some weight. I don't think it's just the relationship and I certainly wouldn't change it for the world. We're so good, so right together... I just need to figure out how to balance things better. Once I get a handle on that, things will fall into place much easier. 

I've also decided that I'm starting over. Instead of looking at where I was, the weight that I've gained back, trying to remember what I used to do when I was at my lowest weight, I'm just starting fresh. What worked before may not work again. Trying to get back to that "good place" leads me to become frustrated and I think that's damaging me. So....I'm starting fresh. I can't ignore what I've lost or pretend I haven't gained a few pounds back....But I also can't look at where I was in 2011 and get angry with myself. That was then. This is now. I'm not 30 pounds lighter, but I'm also not 150 pounds heavier either. I have to look at right now and just start again. I'll use the knowledge that I've gained, but mentally my focus needs to be the present and the future. There just isn't room for the past.

Well, I'm off to get my color touched up, a trim, and my 'brows waxed! Then it's home for dinner and pilates. Generally when I'm tired it's super easy to not workout. I'm clinging to the hope that pilates will relax me so that I'll be ready for bed early. 

I hope you are having an excellent week!!


Monday, September 16, 2013

The Weekend Re-Cap.

I'm so tired this afternoon... Wish I could take a nap!! I think we stayed up a little too late last night. There's no time for a nap today! Oh well... That means I should sleep better tonight...Right?! 

I have a chiropractor appointment shortly, then I'm going to run/walk, then I'm having dinner with my parents, and after that I'm headed over to my boyfriend's for our usual Monday night date. We missed it last Monday, which was a little odd. I'm glad to have Monday night wrestling (and now football) dates back!!! 

The weekend was great, as always! On Friday I had my three month post-op visit with my surgeon. He checked out my arms and said that they looked really good and that was about it. They're healing well. He asked if I"m happy with them, and I said that I am very happy with them. He mentioned that I could use a scar cream and that the scars can take about a year to fade. I'm really not concerned with the scars so much. I have times when I'm a bit self-conscious, especially when I catch people staring at them (which isn't often because of where they're located), but most days I don't mind them. Also? I'd much rather have scars than all that loose skin hanging from my arms!! I go back in March for another visit, then I might be done. 

My Mom and I did some shopping before and after my appointment. Unfortunately we took so much time at craft and home type stores that we never made it to the mall. I had some stuff I wanted to look and and a couple things that I knew I wanted to pick up, but there just wasn't time for that. Oh well... I guess. I got some home decor and craft items which I'd wanted to look at too. I wish we would've had a bit more time to go clothing shopping, but I was getting tired and wanted to get home since my boyfriend was coming over. 

On the way back, we stopped by my house and unloaded my stuff, and then we went to my Dad's business so that I could get my dogs and my car. I headed home and was able to get things put away, pick up a little, and even put up some of my new decorations before my boyfriend got there. Luckily he had a phone call from one of our friends, so he was chatting for a bit. Otherwise I'm not sure I would've gotten everything finished!! 

On Saturday he went left for a while to spend some time with his Dad and his Grandma. While he was gone I... Relaxed a bit and exercised. I could've done some actual cleaning but I got wrapped up in some movie on TV (couldn't even tell you what it was now!) and sat in front of it or the two hours that it was on. I finally decided that I needed to accomplish something! Since it was a gorgeous day outside, I opted for a run! Well...A run/jog/walk. It's been a while since I've been out so it took me a while to find a comfortable pace and settle into it. I went farther than my typical route too... I'd say I logged at least 4.5 miles. 

After my run, I relaxed for a short time (long enough to drink some water, eat a protein bar, and cool down). After that I walked the dogs. We went for a shorter walk than usual (only about 30 minutes), so with the way they walk, I'd imagine we only did a couple miles. They were happy to get out though, and I enjoyed the extra walking! 

A run was just what I needed to get back into the swing of things - in all areas!!! I feel like my focus is coming back and I'm ready to attack. Of course, I have a run this weekend, so maybe that's my motivator!!! Sunday I had planned on running but I decided to skip it, and be super mindful of what I ate instead. 

My legs were super sore from Saturday's running and walking (actually they're still a little sore - but I'm working out today anyway), it was cold, and it was rainy. That combination of things just made me decide to spend the day relaxing. I did some laundry and cleaned a little, but I didn't do anything super athletic. It was the perfect day to lounge around with my guy. I was really careful to not exceed my calories and although what I hate wasn't exactly what I'd call healthy, I stayed under my calorie goal, which felt really good -- especially for a football Sunday!!!  

Today has been a good day in terms of eating - I have plenty of calories left to eat a healthy dinner and still be under my goal. I'm eating at my parents' house, so I hope that my Mom makes something healthy. It would certainly be a nice surprise! I didn't tell her I planned on coming over until just a little while ago, so there wasn't time for special requests! I'm sure I can find some stuff for a salad or some other healthy dinner option, if hers isn't to my healthy satisfaction! Then again, I may burn enough on my run that it will be okay to eat a small portion of whatever she's made. I like to try to eat within my calorie range, and not use calories from exercise, but sometimes there's no avoiding that....Well there is, and that's to plan in the first place. When you fail to plan, such things happen. 

As I mentioned, I plan to run for a bit today (at least 30 minutes; that's my minimum) and I'm also going to do the "Seven Minute Workout" that I read about in a magazine ("Redbook"). There's a free app for iPhone and Android too (I believe), called Bytesize, which shows the seven minute workout. The workout is a series of tweleve exercises. You do each for 30 seconds, and immediately move on to the next. Obvoiusly seven minutes isn't enough in terms of a workout, but I think it will be nice to add to my routine. Today I'm using it as a warm-up before my run. Other days I might do it just to get moving in the morning and burn a few extra calories. I think it will help me get back into my routine. 

Oh! If I haven't mentioned it, I'm not doing my 30 day challenge right now. It was too much to try to get back into so much at once. I'm going to wait a couple weeks, and start it in October. I figure that in a couple weeks I will be back into a workout routine so adding something in will be easier for me. That's my plan anyway!! 

Well, I need to head off to my chiropractor appointment now. I hope you had a great weekend!!! 


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Finding Motivation.

First, let me say I'm sorry I did not post yesterday. As well as getting off-track with other things, I seem to be somewhat off-track with the blog. I guess when you don't have much to say (due to lack of doing what you blog about), it's hard to write. However, I did start another blog last night, where I will chronicle my adventures using Pinterest. If you're interested it is: 

 Motivation. Mine is missing. STILL. It's been missing for a while. I am not sure where it's gone or how to find it again. I NEED to. I want to...Or at least I think I do. Sometimes I think that if I wanted it that badly, I'd just do it. I'm not sure if it's been the weather lately or what. When it's hot and humid, my motivation decreases. I'm at work in air conditioning all day and feel great and motivated. Then I get home and feel blah. Today isn't as warm or humid, so I'll see how it goes. I REALLY hope it's just the weather and now that it's cooling down I'll feel a bit better. Or at least more motivated.

It's not just motivation with exercise either...It's with all things. I have been doing a "little bit" here and there around the house. I'm not motivated to do all that I need to do. I procrastinate until my boyfriend is going to come over and then I go into a cleaning frenzy. So in addition to losing my motivation, I'm procrastinating. I am doing this with everything "oh, I'll do this tomorrow..." or find myself saying "well, I ruined today alrady, so I might as well wait..." 

I'm trying to figure out why I don't feel motivated to do anything. Part of me wonders if it is the medication change. Maybe this new med isn't doing what it should. Or maybe it isn't fully into my system yet... I haven't even been on it for a month yet, and it can take several weeks to get to the fully therapeutic level. I don't feel depressed, hopeless or anything like that. I'm just not motivated to do anything. Well, except craft projects... I've been motivated to work on projects so that's good.

I need to get back into running and such, especially since I have some races coming up!!! I'm not going to do well if I'm not ready to roll! One race is in a week and a couple days. It's crunch time. NOW I feel like I need to get going. Why do I need to be under pressure to get my butt moving to do things lately? At the moment, I just don't know. 

I suppose I need to take some time for self-reflection and self-discovery. Something within me isn't where it needs to be. I'm the only one who can figure it out and change. Obviously I've hit a bump in the road. I need to figure out how to get over it, otherwise I'll remain stuck where I am. I just hope I can do so sooner than later. I'm hoping the weather change helps. I'm also going to try to rekindle my love for working out, because lately I haven't felt it. I need my fire back.. I've gotta find it!! 

How are you doing in your own journey?  

Hope your week is going well!! 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Weekend Re-Cap

*Written Monday; saved instead of publishing! Oops! 

I apologize for not writing at the end of last week. Honestly? I just wasn't in the mood to sit down and write. I think it was the weather. I wanted to be busy with something! And I was... Worked on some crafty projects, so that was fun. Today it's hot and I don't feel like doing much, as usual when it's hot. I am ready for it to start cooling down. I really find my motivation in all areas in the fall!! 

The weekend was nice... I was supposed to do a mud run but the friend I was going to do it with has an injury and had to housesit, so I couldn't stay at her house. I just didn't feel like doing it solo. I'd have run alone, but I didn't feel like driving a few hours alone, and then having dinner and sitting around at a hotel alone. Just didn't seem like what I wanted to do at the time. So? No mud run for me this year. Oh well... Life goes on. AND I got to spend all weekend with my boyfriend, Little Miss, and some friends, so it ended up working out for the best. 

On Friday I spent some time with my Mom; grocery shopping and just hanging out at her house. Before that, though, we had lunch with my cousin and Little Miss. It was nice to get together for a while. I haven't spent a lot of time with my Mom lately so it felt good to have an afternoon together. That evening, my parents, my boyfriend and I went out to a local pizza place for dinner. It was nice for the four of us to get together and sit and chat. They all get along really well, and it's been a while since we did anything with them. Two meals out in one day wasn't the best for my body, but it was good for my soul to have all that time with loved ones.  

Speaking of my body, my eating habits weren't the best (but not the worst) over the weekend. Stupid TOM. Gets me every dang time.  I did manage to drink more water though! I also fell behind on my workout challenge so I'm just starting it again today...Now that it's hot. And my motivation is lacking again. I was all kinds of motivated at the end of last week and this weekend. And of course, I ran short on time or it rained, or it rained again....And I didn't want to get out and run in it. UGH! 

Anyway... Back on track today - and doing awesome, I must say! 

Saturday my boyfriend and I just spent most of the day hanging out at my house. We were babysitting for Little Miss so she kept us busy. Well, she kept ME busy. He decided to nap for a while in the afternoon - until I sent her in to wake him up, of course! She and I played outside for a while. She had a great time in the sprinkler, then we went to the store, and then got ready for a birthday party. Some friends' little boy turned four last week and his party was on Saturday. The three of us went to their house and I think we all had a good time. It was nice to see some other friends of ours and catch up. Little Miss had a blast running around with the other kids! We stayed a little later than everyone else, so we sat around and chatted with our friends while the Little Miss played; and then fell asleep (I only held her for about five mintues and she was out!). We were home fairly early and after I put her to bed, my boyfriend and I sat up and hung out for a bit before we went to bed. 

Sunday I got up and got Little Miss ready to go home/to church. My cousin picked her up around ten, and my boyfriend and I just relaxed for a bit, and got ready for football of course! I did make a run to the store for a couple things, but other than that we spent the day at home, enjoying sports and food. Actually, we didn't really even eat that much. My boyfriend made a dip in the crockpot, so we had that with tortilla chips, and later we grilled hot dogs (those 98% fat free, low cal hot dogs). 

We both took vacation days yesterday so we sat up for a while before bed. Yesterday we spent part of the day being lazy and just kinda laid around and cuddled. Not gonna lie - it was super nice to just relax. 

My Dad has to fix my garage so we were somewhat productive yesterday. We cleaned up my garage, moved things around, and tore styrofoam off the walls and cleaned up the area a little so that my Dad can start working on it. I also did some laundry, a little cleaning, and after he went home last night I did some crafting. I was going to do more cleaning but didn't get around to doing much of it. Not that there was a lot to do anyway! 

Today was back to work! I had to stop by the gas station and hardware store on the way home, but now, here I am, relaxing for a bit before I workout. I will definitely get back into the challenge (well, start it over!) and will most likely bike for a little while (on the stationary bike).

I have some stuff do to around the house, but if it cools down enough later, I should walk the dogs too. I'm not sure what dinner will be... I'm thinking a grilled chicken and cheese quesadilla with a side of beans or something. Sounds simple, health (due to ingredients I use), and yummy! 

Now that my week has officially begun - here's to a happy, healthy week!! Hope your weekend was great!! 


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Which Track? The Right Track!

After FINALLY getting back on track yesterday, I feel pretty darn good! I think that taking time to put together that challenge schedule last night really helped to motivate me. I did my challenge workout and most of my lawn mowing. I still need to mow in my dogs' pen area, but it was getting late by the time I finished with the rest of the yard. I hope to finish that tonight (if time) or tomorrow night. 

I have a fairly busy evening tonight but I am hoping to get to the rest of the mowing before it gets too late. It doesn't take long but I have other things to get done first... I have a chiropractor appointment that I need to leave for shortly. After that I have a meeting which will last about an hour. I have to pick up a couple things at the store (not doing all of my grocery shopping tonight though; that would just take too long!) before I head home. By the time I get home I'm guessing it will be around 7:30. I will most likely get dinner ready (turkey tacos) and eat before it gets too late. I'm baking some cupcakes for a bakesale/contest at work tomorrow, so after I have dinner I'll get started on those. While those are baking, I'll do my challenge workout.

I'm not mowing today. In thinking about all I have to do and putting time's with it.... It'll be dark before I even start. So, mowing will be tomorrow's super fun activity! 

I know that the calendar I posted yesterday is hard to see (not to mention FULL of typos because I couldn't see well as I was typing!), so I'm just going to summarize my workout last night. 

I did the following: 

50 squats 
5 push-ups
5 tricep dips 
10 curls (okay so I did 20) 
10 seconds of punches. I

It was hard to only do 5 each of the push-ups and dips.... I know I did some extra, but I can't remember, exactly, how many. I think I did 12 push-ups and 10 dips. I didn't write it down, but I know I did over the minimum so I was happy. I know that as the challenge progresses, it won't be as easy, which is why I'm supposed to start small. I couldn't handle that small though. AND the notes I have from the original challenges say to alter them as needed to fit your fitness level (i.e.: if you want to do more, do more!!).

Then I had three sets of the following: 
20 sit-ups 
20 Russian twists 
30 seconds of mountain climbers 
30 second plank 

Between sets one and two I did 10 burpees. Between sets two and three I did ten more burpees. My burpee challenge goal is 100 for the week, which I'm hoping to surpass by doing a minimum of 20 burpees a day. We'll see... As the week progresses fewer burpees may sound like a good idea. I'm not a fan of burpees. They're horrid. Then again part of me likes them because I like how they make my body work. But actually doing them? After the first, I don't know, six or seven, I'm over it. 

This workout took less than 20 minutes (including a few rests, about ten seconds, between exercises) and I burned 192 calories. THAT is a lot of calories for something based on body weight training! I think that the cardio portions; climbers, burpees, and the continuous movement from one move to the next really helped keep my burn up. That and it had been nearly a week since I did any kind of a workout at all....That ALWAYS guarantees my heart rate to be higher. I really don't expect to burn that many calories consitently as the challenge progresses, but you never know. 

I will try to keep better track of EXACTLY what I do during these workouts. For example, if I do more than suggested, I'll try to make note of that so that I can accurately blog about it. 

After I completed that workout, I got some water and took a quick rest before heading outside to mow. I must be getting better at my mowing....It took me less time than it did the first time I mowed the same section of my yard (the whole yard minus the dogs' pen). I was done in less than 40 minutes and had a decent calorie burn. I was trying not to let my mind wander and get distracted, so that I could focus more on walking fast! I think I did okay with that, although my mind did wander...Quite a bit, actually. I burned another 327 calories just mowing the lawn (not bad for a 37 or 38 minute walk!!), so I burned over 500 between the two activities and in less than an hour. Not bad, I'd say! 

Tonight, just because of my limited time, my burn won't be as high. I'm not even sure I'll burn as many calories during the challenge workout, but I'll try to push as hard as I can to get a good burn! I'll honestly be happy with a burn of 150 calories during that time. My body tends to adjust to getting back into working out very quickly, so I wouldn't be surprised if it dropped that low. 

Tonight I'm scheduled for the following: 55 squats 
8 push-ups 
8 dips 
15 curls 
15 seconds of punches 

 Three sets of the following: 
40 bicycle crunches 
20 Russian twists 
30 seconds of mountain climbers 
30 second plank 

Again, I'll do my burpees between the sets, with a goal of 20 total today. 

I suppose that it's for now. I need to get ready to head off to my appointment! 

Happy Hump Daaaaay! 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Questioning my Sanity.

It's no secret that my ST routine has been suffering. Heck, cardio has been suffering lately too. My cardio has been a little running but mostly walking, and a little biking. There's nothing wrong with that, however it just isn't up to where I was. The ST part bothers me. So much for that year challenge, huh? I guess I just fell out of the routine and the idea of getting back into exactly what I was doing doesn't sound appealing to me. I was in need of a self-er-vention.

This would be where I give myself an intervention. I need to get back into my healthy routine in general. I've slacked lately. Or I feel as though I have anyway. 

Eating has been good, but after eating out all weekend I'm feeling fat. I'm sure i's from a combination of eating things I don't normally eat, eating out (helllooo sodium), consuming more adult beverages than normal, and TOM is due soon so I'm bloated from that on top of everything else. I feel like I was making good steps and losing weight. Now I feel as though I've taken five steps back. Granted, TOM's pending arrival doesn't help my emotional state so it's best that I don't dwell on those feelings right now. Instead I just need to get back into my normal routine, which will lead to healthier choices. 

First, I've not been good about my MFP tracking lately. I don't think I tracked at all over the weekend, and prior to that I'd miss something here or there. My diligence? Needs to return. With that goes my healthy eating. Now that the long weekend is over I can get back into a normal pattern. I suppose that's not the largest part of me feeling why I am, but it certaily is a huge contributing factor at this point. 

Working out... This needs to happen. I need to be more consistent. I need to be more intense. There are to be no excuses (no matter how tired I've felt lately - wonder if that's the new medication working its way into my system). Of course, I stay up too late sometimes and then try to get up too early, end up hitting snooze, and then I sleep terribly for about an hour. It's probably a better idea to just go to bed earlier, or not try to get up early every day (since I fail at it anyway). 

My cardio has been "okay" but I definitely need to step up the intensity. Walking and biking have been easier for me than running lately because it was SO stinkin' hot and humid. I'd prefer to not feel like the heavy air is going to make me pass out when I run. My most convenient time of day for running happens to be around nine in the morning, when I'm at work. We all know how I am about mornings. That leaves after work/evening as my time to run. It's been way too hot for me lately. A cool front did come through yesterday, so I'm hoping that I can get a few days of running in this week, before it gets too hot. Unfortunately that won't be today because I really need to take the time tole my lawn.... So there's today's cardio.  

My ST has needed work. I came up with an idea... I keep seeing everyone doing various fitness challenges. I decided to create my own, by using elements from those various challenges. Some of them had repeated exercises so I just decided not to duplicate them. I've combined a squat challenge, an arm challenge, an ab challenge, and a burpee challenge to create my own challenge. Instead of focusing on one area, I'm going to focus on all of them. I really need to kick my own arse, so I'm hoping that this will help. I'm really questioning my sanity with this new plan.... FOUR challenges in one? It seems like a lot. It seems as though it could become too much. 

I'm also hoping that it won't be too overwhelming, causing me to get frustrated and quit part way through. I think that happens with me a lot of the time. I'm great at coming up with plans. They look lovely on paper. When it comes to carrying them out I get bored, frustrated, or just plain annoyed and quit. That's why I've, historically, sucked at these types of challenges. That's why I get bored with DVD workouts. They're just too repetitive for me. I cannot stand to do the same type of thing over and over again. I'm the kind of person who could probably change their routine every two weeks. Maybe I should invest more time in doing that! 

Anyway, I'm hoping that this 30 day challenge won't annoy me, bore me, or overwhelm me. I really feel that if I can stick to to it, then I will get back into my usual workout pattern. Maybe I'll get back to loving it again and it will seem super fun again! I'm hopeful. 

I'm trying to figure out a way to motivate myself... I think maybe I'll put some money (maybe a dollar?) in a jar each day that I complete a task, and at the end of the week, if I finish every day I'll put in $5. If I finish out the month, maybe I'll give myself an extra $25 or something. I've done something like that in the past and it really worked well for me.... Might not be a bad time to try it again! On top of that, maybe I'll throw a quarter in each time that I resist an unhealthy snack. That's been hard to do since mid-week last week. I really think that it's due to the fact that TOM is coming. That's usually the case though, so I'm not surprised. It's been too easy to get a pop here, or a some chips there, lately. Last week I was visiting the snack shop at work far too often. No more of that! I made it through today without doing so, so maybe that means I'm on the right track.... Must mean TOM's arriving shortly. 

Finally, I think that on the weekends, I'll give myself a bonus for drinking my water. I do excellent during the week. I drink more than I need to. That's about all I drink. On the weekends, that changes. I think part of it is time and being busy, part of it is that I have a different routine than I do during the week which makes it harder to stay on track. So, for each cup of water I drink on the weekends, I'll give myself an extra dime. A dime doesn't sound like much, but considering I can drink 20 cups of water on a good weekday, it will add up if I drink even half that on the weekend. I think that will be my weekend goal; 10-12 cups, or half of what I drink during the week. To start anyway... I may beef it up after a couple weeks if I'm successful.

Here is a picture of my calendar:

Are you challenging yourself this month? If not, I encourage you to come up with some kind of challenge for yourself (and a reward too!). 

Wish me luck! 


The Weekend Re-Cap; Tuesday (Long Weekend) Edition

What a busy, but fantastic weekend!! My boyfriend ended up getting a couple extra days off work at the end of last week so on Wednesday night he came over and decided to stay since we planned to head out of town on Friday anyway. I worked Thursday, so he hung out around the house. He took care of my dogs and did a project that I hadn't yet finished (or started, actually). He was going to mow for me but it was crazy hot out, so when I was home at lunch I told him not to do it. Thursday night we grilled out and just hung out around the house. It was and of course relaxing. I love extra time with him, so I was pretty excited about that. 

On Friday we headed to Chicago for the weekend. I was expecting terrible traffic since my cousin and I encountered it the weekend before, but it wasn't bad the entire way there. Of course, it got crowded heading into downtown (on 90/94, if you know what that is like!), which is the norm - especially for a Friday afternoon. I don't know why, but instead of taking the Lakeshore Drive exit I stayed on 90/94 a little longer, which was probably a mistake. I don't even want to think of how much longer it took sitting in traffic than it would've had I taken Lakeshore. I knew better and still I stayed in traffic.... Silly me!!! 

We got to the hotel right around check-in time, and since our room was ready, we were set. We unpacked and I freshened up a bit and then we headed up Michigan Avenue. My BF hadn't been to Chicago before, so it was fun to walk and show him the sites. Until it started pouring. I stopped into Walgreens and picked-up an umbrella, although it was almost too late for that. I guess it helped us to not get quite as wet the rest of the walk. We stopped by Water Tower Place and did some shopping. He wanted a new shirt for the baseball game on Saturday, so we stopped there and into a couple of my fav stores (usual stops). For once I didn't spend a ton of money! Woohoo! I got a couple hoodies at Finish Line and a couple dresses at Akira (favorite), and managed to resist the calls of some super cute things in the other stores that I love. 

 LAfter we shopped for a while, the rain finally stopped. We walked back to the hotel to change out of our wet clothes (and for me to freshen up - again - grrr...rain and make-up!!). We hung out for a bit (trying to find wrestling on TV and unfortunately we did not get that channel), then went in search of dinner. We decided to go to Houlihan's since it was right by the hotel and we weren't sure if it would start raining or not... And it wasn't busy by the time we went. We had a nice dinner and some drinks, then headed back to the hotel. We thought about going to the hotel bar for a bit but we were both pretty tired and just wanted to relax. I ended up falling asleep pretty quickly. 

On Saturday we woke up to rain. I was not happy. The weather had not called for rain, so I was bummed to see that it was raining. I took my time getting ready and we tried to figure out what to do/where to go since it was raining. We ended up just hanging out around the hotel until a little after 11, and then headed to Navy Pier for a bit. We walked around inside, stopped in a couple stores, and had lunch at Harry Cary's Tavern (so yummy!). We also walked around the restaurant and checked out some of the spots memorabilia they had on display. 

After lunch we grabbed a cab and headed up to Wrigleyville. We stopped in another of my fav stores, and a must for me when I got to a game, Wrigleyville sports. We shopped for a bit, then headed into the stadium. We drank a beer and walked around for a while since we were pretty early. Eventually we went to our seats and watched warm-ups and such. The game seemed to fly by (probably because I got a little drunk and wandered off a few times; forgetting where our seats were once - of ALL the times I've been to Wrigley you'd think I wouldn't do that!). The game was great, the Cubs won, and we got to sing "Go Cubs Go" at the end, which I always love! We managed to catch a player, Andrew Lane (bullpen catcher), signing autographs and I tossed my hat up for one, which I got. Yay! 

We hung out outside near a fence for a bit, hoping to get some more autographs, but apparently no one was in the mood. You'd think after a win, they'd be more willing to sign. The last couple years I haven't had the best luck with trying to get autographs. In the past it was a HUGE thing and a lot of players would take the time to sign. Last year one player made a comment about signing six days a week and how he just wanted to go home. He did end up signing, but it took some other people heckling him to get him to do so. This year not one player came over....And it was after a win at home! I heard from another fan that the opposing team was really good about signing autographs. I can't help but wonder if maybe it's the current players...Come on kids, lose the egos. There were children waiting!! 

Anyway, enough about that... After the game we went back to the hotel and hung out for a while. I changed for dinner and we walked up to Gino's East (yummy pizza joint, although I think I like Uno and Due better). We hung out and shared an appetizer, some drinks, and finally ate some pizza. I had one slice because it's way too big for me to eat anymore than that. After dinner we walked back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit before bed. 

On Sunday we slept in for a little while, then got up and got ready to leave. We checked-out just before check-out time and then waited for a year-and-a-half for an elevator. Okay, so that's an exaggeration but it was a good half an hour. That place was definitely busy during check-out!! 

After we checked-out we walked downtown for a bit. We had lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery (another yummy place...but I've yet to find a place downtown that isn't yummy!). Then we walked to Garrett and got some popcorn to bring home (some for me, his grandma, and my grandparents). After a little more walking we headed for home. 

Traffic out of the city wasn't bad at all, so we stopped at one of my favorite outlet malls on the way home. I was on the hunt for some new things for work and he was on the hunt for new shoes. We succeeded and after a couple hours of shopping, made the drive home. We unpacked the car and didn't do much except relax on Sunday night. 

We relaxed all day yesterday too....I think we were both tired from the weekend, that we just hung out all day. It was really nice to spend time together not doing anything, especially after a busy weekend. We had our weekly Monday night wrestling date last night and then headed to bed. 

The weekend was super, super fun and I enjoyed every minute of it (except maybe when I thought the rain would ruin Saturday). It was a fantastic way to celebrate the unofficial end of summer! My boyfriend had a great first visit to Chicago and said that it was the most fun he had at a baseball game! I'm sure we will definitely be making a trip back sometime in the future. I'll be there again soon for races, and hopefully he will be able to join me. I am certain we'll head to another game next summer! 

Hope you all had a fantastic long weekend!