Bicycles and Baggage

spinning

Every January 1st we re-evalute our lives and set resolutions for the year but who says we can’t start anew anytime we want? This past year I think I’ve re-evaluated areas of my life several times. Back in March I started working out and changed my eating habits. In May I left a job and started a new one. In July I started running for real and in December I fell off the healthy eating and workout wagon.

Looking back at how far I’ve come and where I want to go is forcing me to re-evaluate today. So, I’ve let go of some baggage recently and picked up what I love again. Focusing on my health and wellness is priority and I haven’t felt this good in a while.

If I want to change then I have to do something different and last night I certainly did! My friends and I did a spin class for the first time and leading up to the class we all had some fear of the unknown. My fear was, “how can I peddle at full speed for an hour?”

A girl next to me was kind enough to teach me a few tips before class started like the positions on the bike and how to turn the resistance up and down. I also learned how to turn down the resitance after the instructor came around and turned it up! Hehe

The instructor was very high energy, the music was motivating and there are many things I never expected. Who knew you could do push ups and squats on a spin bike? Whatever we were doing worked because I was dripping with sweat. Half way through the class I had this high like I could conquer anything until we had to turn the resistence all the way up like we were biking through mud. If I keep this up I’ll have the best ass in town!

Overall I am very happy that I did it. I felt great during, after and the morning after which is a very good sign. As I was getting ready for work this morning I had the music up and danced around. It was a great start to the day.

Falling Off the Wagon

 

wagon

It’s been atleast two weeks since I’ve blogged and my poor excuse has been because I feel like a failure. All the holiday goodies and birthday treats have certainly caught up with me. I’ve even discovered Smashburger near my office which is not good. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing, but not healthy.

So here I am sitting in my chair with my jeans feeling a bit snug with a plan in my mind to get back on track tomorrow. I’ll be up earlier than usual to get my chunky butt to the gym, eat healthier, and hopefully feel good mentally. It’s amazing how quickly the “voices” come back when you fall off the wagon. “I shouldn’t be eating this but I will.” “I should really go to the gym.” Torture!

Even though I don’t feel great about myself for letting go, I do know that I can start over. Tomorrow is a new day…

The Neptune Ballet and New Friends

birthday party

This past weekend I celebrated my 35th birthday with some really great people in my life.  I had planned a night at a local cocktail lounge for my friends to gather, have some yummy cocktails and just hang out.  The best gift of all was a reminder that I am surrounded by awesome people who support me, love me and know how to party!

I can recall thinking at 1:30am that I didn’t want the night to end because I was having so much fun.  Luckily for me, I had made new friends with grand ideas like checking out the local strip club or the code word “Neptune Ballet”.  It was quite an experience that I don’t plan on reliving!

On Monday (yes, it took 2 days), memories of the night started to come back to me such as commiting to do a mud run in July, what shots I took and planning a pool party.  A commitment is a commitment!

35

monday birthday

It has taken me 35 years to get to where I am today. I’m sure you’re saying, “that’s obvious, Liz” but if I think back to the experiences I’ve had, every one of them has made me, ME!

I heard a great quote from NYC’s Z100 last week:  “If you can look back on the last year of your life and you have made a significant change for the better then it has been a successful year”.  Every year I look back to where I was and where I am.  I never really saw the success because I was blinded by insecurity.  I never appreciated what I did accomplish because I didn’t feel it was anything.

The change in my life has made me see more clearly, appreciate my accomplishments without someone telling me and serves as a reminder that I am pretty awesome.  I have never enjoyed my life as much as I do right now.
I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes. I have no regrets.  Happy 35 to me.

If You Fail to Plan, You Plan To Fail

If you’re starting out this year with a resolution to focus on a healthier you, my best tip is to set yourself up for success. Day in and day out we have our responsibilities like work and family but we forget that YOU are a priority too.  It takes effort to create the time to work out and eat healthy so here are some suggestions to keep you focused on your resolution…

Meal Prep

Preparing your meals in advance has its advantages.  Not only are you saving time during the busy week days, you are also setting yourself up to make healthier choices.  I have made the mistake of not eating several times a day.  My blood sugar drops and my brain immediately starts to think of sugary foods I need RIGHT NOW!  Fast food is the easiest go-to meal for the fix but it won’t sustain you until your next meal, your blood sugar will spike, not to mention it’s really bad for you.  If you have meals prepped to go in the morning to take to work then you don’t need fast food to hold you over.

Sundays is my meal prep day.  It’s a day to relax and stay at home which allows the opportunity to get all the ingredients you need, cook them, and portion everything out for the week.  You can find meal prep ideas on Pinterest and one site I like for healthy recipes is www.skinnytaste.com meal prep

Simply make your proteins (chicken, fish, turkey, etc) in big amounts as well as veggies and snacks.  Once they are all made, just portion them out in your favorite containers so you can grab and go in the morning.  I have also read about snack drawers for your fridge for you to grab pre-portioned veggies, humus and nuts.

What you’d find me cooking on a Sunday:  several chicken breasts, roasted veggies and sweet potatoes.  You can also cut up raw veggies for the week to prep salads as you go.

Fitness

At work you have a calendar of meetings, conference calls and tasks so why not schedule your workouts?  This will help you plan out your week, fit the workouts in when you can and serve as a reminder to take care of YOU!  Here is a schedule I put together for a friend…

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In real life, things come up and you can’t make a workout.  Don’t stress yourself out but find something you can do at home!  A lot of people do the P90X or T25 at home so carve out the time and make it work for you!

Goals

Goals are probably the most important piece of the whole plan.  By setting goals for yourself you have something to work towards.  Here are a few goal suggestions:

  • Workout a minimum of 3 days a week for 45-60 minutes
  • Prepare meals in advance and only eat out once a week as a cheat meal
  • Run a mile or 5K without stopping
  • Accomplish 20 pushups, 50 sit ups, etc

goals

By setting smaller goals for yourself that are attainable you will feel the accomplishment.  When I set weight goals for myself it’s self sabotage.  That doesn’t work for me but it may work for someone else so figure out what works for you.

Everything mentioned above is about trial and error.  It works for me to meal prep on Sundays but it may work better for you on Saturdays.  Find a workout you like otherwise you won’t do it.  Set goals that work for you and your schedule but challenge yourself!

Dating Sites: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

shopping

This year, for me, is the year of LOVE.  So it’s time to get serious about online dating and being “available” in general.  If you or someone you know is in the same positiong as myself, here are some tips for navigating the online dating scene.

Online dating is similar to shopping; I am looking for the perfect item that could brighten our day or possibly change our life.  Depending on what your goals are there is a site for you.  My goal here is to break down the old, the new, the free and the not-so free options.

The Old

These sites have been around since online dating began.  I’m sure we’ve all been on them to check out what is out there.  And some window shop even if they are in a relationships.

Match.com – Match is your pretty basic site that charges $100+ for a six month membership.  This site stands out from the rest because of their Stir events.  They host events for you to meet singles.  Pro:  It’s a paid site which usually means people are more serious, their six month guarantee, and Stir events.  Cons:  Stir events are hard to find in smaller areas.

Plenty of Fish (or POF for those well versed in the online dating world) – This site is free, your profile is not as lengthy as Match and did I mention it’s free!?  Pros:  It’s free!  Cons:  I have found the users to be less than ideal because it is free but I guess there’s someone for everyone!

eHarmony – I’ve always felt this was a site for those looking for a serious relationship because you cannot browse for free, the questionnaire is very lengthy and the process is done in steps.  Pros:  Site for the very serious, no browsers and hopefully no fakers.  Cons:  More expensive than Match at $180 for six months.

The New

These new sites offer a quicker process than the older sites in that the profiles are short for our shortened attention span.

Zoosk – This site is free to browse but the inventory is lacking.  I couldn’t find anyone in my area.  Pros:  It’s free.  Cons:  Inventory is low and only way to message people is to pay.

Tinder – If you haven’t heard of Tinder then you probably don’t have Facebook.  This app syncs with your Facebook profile and will match you with people who have similar interests based on your Facebook “likes” and/or mutual friends.  The profile is limited and you choose what pics you want to show.  Set up your radius and the matches are sent to you to easily swipe “nope” or “liked”.  If you both “liked” each other then you can chat within the app.  Pros:  Free, easily grabs photos from Facebook and the private chat without sharing your cell #.  Cons: Known to be a hook up site.

Coffee Meets Bagel – Another app that syncs up with your Facebook has a limited profile and pics you control.  The site will send you a match everyday at noon and you have 24 hours to “like” or not.  They also offer a secure way to chat via SMS.  Pros:  Free and syncs to Facebook.  Cons:  Only one match per day?

I have tried all of these and met someone from most of them.  There are many many more that I haven’t mentioned like JDate or Christian Mingle that are more specific to your needs.  The good thing is that all of these sites now have an app so you can search for your mate or one night stand on the train, in the office or on a rainy Sunday morning in your bed.

Check out this cool infographic below about online dating provided by this blog:  http://blogs.longwood.edu/majs3/2012/11/14/dating-and-social-media-is-it-real/

dating infographic