Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Willpower.

Want to know what I did not eat today?

I didn't eat those little Valentine's hearts that were outside someone's office where I had a meeting today.

I didn't eat anything from this bag of candy that was randomly brought to the conference room of a meeting I was it.  Or the tin of cookies.  And by the way, can I just point out again that this is good candy?  Okay?  Peanut butter cups?  M&Ms?  This isn't the rinky dink goods.


I didn't drink any alcohol at dinner.  Not even the glass of wine that I wanted.  I didn't eat the delicious smelling warm bread that was brought to our table at dinner when we sat down and didn't dip it in the olive oil with some cracked sea salt and pepper sprinkled on top.

I didn't start with a cup of the polenta soup (I don't even know what that is, but I wanted it.)  Or try the fried calamari that came out for an appetizer.  I didn't eat a hundred pieces of bruschetta like I wanted to, but had one piece with lots of fresh tomato on it.

I didn't eat all of the cheese and meat off the charcuterie board and eat it in bites with the fresh bread and olive oil.  Instead, I had a couple pieces of meat and a few small pieces of cheese.

I didn't order the pizzas that were on the menu.  Including the special of the day that had truffle oil, MY FAVORITE, along with panceta and rosemary on it.

I didn't get a pasta dish, including the ones where you could combine your favorite ingredients with their homemade sauces.  Or their house specialty that sounded deliciously mouthwatering.

I did get the scallops with fresh vegetables.  I did enjoy the meal and the company very much.  I did go over on my points again today.  But I am proud of myself for all that I did avoid.



The whole way to dinner I prepped mentally telling myself that it wasn't a special meal and that it wasn't something that I needed to eat as if it were my final meal.  It was an Italian restaurant, where there are surely other delicious Italian restaurants.  Yes, the warm bread is intoxicating, but it's warm bread and it will exist again in the world.  It almost threw me off when I smelled it, and I excused myself and went to the restroom (also because I had to go) and talked myself through it a little more.  And this all might sound incredibly dramatic and pathetic to you, because it's bread.  But it's really hard for me and it's what I needed to do.  It's a habit, compulsion, addiction, to eat the food that is in front of me and it feels wrong and uncomfortable - like I am not scratching an itch - to avoid it.

After dinner tonight I texted my friend in California to tell her how good I did at avoiding the foods and she took the words out of my mouth with her reply.  She said "Don't you feel like every time you say no to something you should instantly lose a pound?"

Yes.  I think that is true.  And with the willpower I displayed today, I better wake up with abs.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Southern living - loving the weather!

Before I say anything else, I wanted to write a quick thank you to everyone who has written or texted or messaged me about my post about my body not being the way I wanted and my concern over the numbers on the scale.  I think it is a combination of getting older, less muscle, changes from running, and a number of other things.  However, I want to work on getting back to a place where I feel confident and am at my best running and clothing-wearing self (I miss my clothes that don't fit me right now.)  So, to combat my body woes, I've started to add some weights to my routine.  I know extremely little about weight lifting and I am getting input from some people smarter than me and looking up a lot of online GIFs to explain how to do some of the moves.  I'm determined to learn though!


Okay, back to your regularly scheduled program... I mentioned that the race this weekend was a bit cold standing around in the morning, and I realized afterwards that I should have clarified that.  First off, it was cold.  But nothing like what I was running through last year.  Remember my polar vortex running survival guide?  Yeah, not necessary in Atlanta.  And even though it was chilly in the morning... you guys... the weather this long MLK Day weekend was BEAUTIFUL.  Temperatures of 60-65 degrees and sunshine in the middle of January?!  I will take it!!

Following the race, the weather really warmed up and once I was showered and out enjoying my day, it was windows down and coat off/light jacket kind of weather!

I spent the afternoon checking out the Red Brick Brewery in Atlanta, which I arrived right in time for a tour of, and then sample some of what they had on tap while enjoying the weather!  It seems like a ton of people had that idea because it was packed and a really fun atmosphere.  There were some food vendors, corn hole, and people were there with their dogs hanging out.  Red Brick is the oldest brewery in Georgia and their most popular beer is called the Laughing Skull.  I am so excited to be trying all of this new stuff in Atlanta and every time I try something new, I think about how happy I am to have these things available to me and who I want to take to do what when they come to visit!

Oh and the weather doesn't hurt either.  I do not miss you, sub-zero temperatures in January!


The beautiful weather continued through Sunday and today, as I flew out to Wilmington, North Carolina for work, we had another gorgeous day!  I had today off of work, but I flew in midday to spend the afternoon in Wilmington because I had heard it was a pretty neat town.  It was right on the water with lots of cute shops and restaurants that I checked out this afternoon, and just really enjoyed the fact that it was January and I didn't wear a coat for a portion of the day!!




Since I was in Atlanta this morning, I worked out there, doing a spin class and some weights this morning.  I had exciting news about the spin class, in that, after spinning for about 5 years, I finally made the investment on spin shoes!  However, I gave them their first test run this morning and I think they are too small as my feet went numb during the class.  I am going to try to exchange them, so more to come in the future on that topic.   Not going to lie, after building up the anticipation for so many years, I was a bit disappointed that my whole life didn't change after wearing them for the class.  They were uncomfortable and distracting, so need to try and fix that!

Also, I've only been traveling for a little bit and I'm already frustrated at how hard it is to eat healthy while on the road.  I had dinner out and just ordered a salad with chicken, but it wasn't as healthy as I imagined it to be, and I obviously cannot stop myself once food is in front of me.  So, I need to try and be careful about what goes down the next couple of days.  My Weight Watchers weeks start on Saturdays, so that's when I "reset" for the week.  I've already used a bit of my extra weekly points drinking some of that beer on Saturday and also out on Sunday night, so I need to stick to my dailies for the remainder of the week.  The struggle is REAL.

That being said, I don't regret the decisions I made over the weekend.  I am new to Atlanta and my goals are more than just to lose weight right now.  They are also to have a social life, to meet people, to explore the city, and to improve my running.  I may eat more than I want this week, but I definitely accomplished all my other goals/did my job this weekend in other aspects!

And you know who else did their job this weekend?  The New England Patriots, baby!  We're going to the Superbowl!  Woohoo!

Now, I don't mean to be more of a fan than I actually am.  I don't watch the games regularly and I can't tell you all sorts of facts about the players or the season.  But, I like to get into things around playoff season so I went to the game last week with the Atlanta Fan Club, and joined again this Sunday night for the championship game.

Since last weekend it was a bit hard to meet people, I suggested on the Facebook group for the event that they reserve a people for all the other people who don't have friends  Patriots friends in Atlanta.  Well, when I got there, I saw that they had taken my suggestion and even made reserved seating.  I could not stop laughing!


It worked out great because I met some really cool people who are now new friends (one of whom works at the same company as I do!), our table all bonded, and the other "solos" (I purposely did not want to use the word "singles table") were all really appreciative that I had made the suggestion.


AND my feeling of being VIP continued when I won a prize during the half time raffle!!  I became the proud owner of a Gronk jersey last night that happened to fit me like a glove.  I am SO excited about this and didn't want to take it off!  I will for sure be wearing it for the Superbowl in 2 weeks.


Sorry I look so awkward here.  I'm trying hard to not think about the fact that the Jersey is a size XXL and fits me so well...

But anyways, I am going to head to bed.  I hope everyone had a great long weekend and took some time to remember why we had the day off.  MLK day is almost more relevant than ever right now with a lot of what has been in the news.  If you are looking for a great article to read, I encourage you to head over to my friend KO's blog Everyday Ambassador and check out this post there.

It is pretty amazing to me that I now live in the city where Martin Luther King Jr. is buried and I want to visit the graveyard/memorial in the very near future.  Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekend running recap - MLK 5K & run club long run

As I mentioned, this week I kicked things up a notch from 0 to 60 with my running levels, which is in large part to the fact that I made the decision on Monday to officially join a "training team."  The group is a part of the Running Nerds run club in Atlanta that I had randomly heard about from a runner in Atlanta and had been following on Instagram since August.  The group is all trying to tackle breaking 2:00 hours in a half marathon.

I signed up on Monday and did a workout with them on Tuesday morning for some speed work, then a tempo run on Wednesday (which, meant that I ran hard but not full furce) on my own, and then a easy run on Thursday all per their plan.  The training team is just a small segment of the broader "Running Nerds" run group, and I had my first activity with exposure to that broader group at Atlanta's MLK 5K in Piedmont Park.

This isn't a race I probably would have signed up to run without the group, but since we had a run to do that was at "race pace" and I knew it would give me an opportunity to meet more people, I decided to go for it.   I picked up my packet on Friday night and was excited to see the t-shirt that came with it.  For whatever reason, I love when races give out these shirts.  Fitted, cotton shirts.  I NEVER wear the unisex cotton t-shirts you get at races, and I rarely wear the tech t-shirts.  If I am wearing a tech shirt, I am probably usually wearing either a tank top or a long sleeved.  I love these long, fitted cotton shirts and love the colors/design of this one.


As far as races go, the race itself was... okay?  It had a "cross country" start, which I have never experienced before, but essentially meant that they just let us loose on a field with no official start line.  We sprinted across a field, and up a hill to a path that the course started on.  The rest of the race was along a path within Atlanta's Piedmont Park and was a pretty course, the hills were fine, with a bit of downhill.  And the coolest part was that all along the course there were different groups of drummers banging out some impressive beats that definitely kept you moving.



I wasn't a fan of the start and I wasn't a fan of the finish either, which brought you again, off the path, to finish by first running through mulch, down a short steep hill, and then back across the grass to the finish shoot.  It felt awkward and I am not used to running not on pavement so I get overly cautious.  We've had some cold weather in Atlanta and on Saturday morning there was lots of frost on the grass and some parts of the course, such as a wooden bridge we ran over, were pretty slick.  The race also started about 20 minutes after I thought it was going to start.  Which, just meant a lot of standing in the cold.


But, I did love the drummers along the course and it was fun to have a group of people to stand around in the cold with!  The Running Nerds had a booth at the race, with some hot chocolate and snacks and hand warmers, which were very clutch!  I started to meet some new people both before and after the race, and it was a cool experience doing a 5K with a team like that.  I finished the race in 28:09.


On Sunday morning I was up early again to meet the group that is a part of the training team to do my first long run with the group.  Today's run was 7 miles and I was realllly nervous going into.  The target pace for the run was 10:00/min miles and that was supposed to be a "slow" run.  I have been running more about a 10:40/pace lately on flat and even slower on hills, so I was unsure of what I was going to be able to do.  The run coaches keep everyone together so I was really nervous that I would be way behind and dragging the group back.  [Side note: the nerves didn't stop me from appreciating the beautiful morning as I head out to meet the group!  And yes, I stopped in the middle of the road to take this picture.  Nobody was coming!]


We met up at 8:00 a.m. and went out a little bit afterwards.  For the first half of the run, I was a good visual distance behind the main group, keeping up with them but not too far behind.  I ran with one of the running coaches and she said our first mile was in 9:25 so I felt really good about that!  I actually felt pretty strong for most of the race, and the just tried to focus on staying with the group.  I knew that I was running harder than I would be on my own, but also felt like I had enough in me to keep going for at least the current mile.  I kept waiting for myself to crash, but I think I did okay with how I kept going.

It was really, really cool to see more of Atlanta on foot.  We ran through the neighborhood of Little Five Points, which is definitely something I want to return to check out, through Virginia Highlands, and then finished at a little coffee shop which is exactly where we started as well.  I used RunKeeper to track my run (my Garmin broke in the fall and I haven't replaced it yet) and RunKeeper told me that my splits were 11:08; 9:47; 10:11; 10:42; 9:33; 10:42; 10:55.  Since the coach said our first mile was 9:25, I think the different is from me starting the run a bit early and then waiting at a stoplight.  As well, I know that there were a few stop lights that I was stuck at in the middle miles too, so I think the first 10:42 can be attributed to that.  The last two miles were slower because it was pretty much entirely uphill, which you can see from this chart!


The whole run was in 1:14:02 which averages to a 10:25 min/mile.  At the end of the run, I couldn't decide if I was proud of it or not.  I did not hit the 10:00 min/mile goal, but I also pretty much knew that was going to happen.  So, truly, I think I should be proud of this run.  Especially compared to what I have been running lately, I know I pushed myself and I know that I ran harder than if I were to have run on my own.  What makes me really nervous is that 10:00 min/mile wasn't just the goal, but that was supposed to be the EASY pace.  I ran a 10:25 min/mile but that was pushing it!  And I was still in the back of the group!  So I have mixed feelings.  But I did earn my coffee today!


It was nice to not have to think about where I was going and have a group leading (although a few times I thought I was going to get lost and I think ran harder to try and keep up!)  We hung out for coffee afterwards and I am excited to get to know the group more and do more runs with them!  It also doesn't hurt that they have the same affinity I do for taking lots of pictures :)


I still haven't picked a goal race to work towards, as I am waiting to see how some of my upcoming travel turns out.  However, whatever it is, it will be fun to work towards it with this group!

P.S. Missing my #TeamBABU crew always!!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fitness & food update

Hey guys, so I told you yesterday I would have a more food & fitness-y update for ya and here it is.  So, if you didn't get the jist from my New Year, New You post I got into the whole New Years, starting over type of thing and when I need a reset, for me that means going back to Weight Watchers.  I started counting points again on January 5th and started exercising again regularly.  I was mixing in some swim, spin, running, and taking advantage of the free personal training sessions that came with the gym membership I signed up for in December.

I've been trying to prepare meals in advance and do a lot of cooking as well.  One of the things that I brought back after Christmas break was a brand new crock pot that I got from "Santa" this year (thanks Santa!) I tried it out for the first time last week, trying a recipe from Emily Bites, who has awesome and delicious Weight Watchers friendly recipes up on her site.  Her "Bubble Up Pizza" and "Bubble Up Enchiladas" are both to die for and this week I tried out the Thai Peanut Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken in my new crock pot.  It was SO simple and SO delicious.  At first I was shocked that the portion size seemed so small, but it's been keeping me full when I pair it with a bunch of veggies.  You can barely see it in there, so this picture looks sort of pathetic, I will admit.  But it's good!  A few nights I have had 1.5 servings for dinner and it still works out okay.  Broccoli slaw is a perfectly easy and delicious side to have with these.


I've been back to making myself protein smoothies, on an oatmeal kick with fruit, soup, fruit, tea, fat free hot cocoa, and of course, ample amounts of water..



I'm happy to say that since I have started eating healthier and exercising more, I have lost about 7-8 pounds.  Which means I am (still) about 17 lbs above what was my lowest ever ever (which I think I weighed for about a day in March 2012, and about 10 lbs above where I was comfortable.  However, I have been at this point before and I remember my clothes feeling different at the weight I am at right now.  It's something that has really been bugging at me and weighing on my mind.

Why do my clothes feel so tight when I weighed the same a little over year ago and these clothes fit then? (I know my exact weight throughout history because I have it all logged in my Weight Watchers app.)

I have a few theories and I don't know if they are true are not.  One of which is that all of my clothes shrunk.  Another is that training and running 2 marathons last year changed my body in a weird way and that even though my weight is the same in numbers, my body is wider and bigger.  I have no idea if that is possible or not, but the other day I did a little experiment.

I pulled up this picture from November, 10 2013 at the Stokadathon race:


I tracked my weight on the Weight Watchers app on November 9, 2014 and that number is 1 lb higher than what I weigh today.  However, the other day when I wore the exact same running outfit for my run and took a picture, I feel like I look so much larger!


Okay different headband but otherwise, I even put on my little fanny pack thing to make this shiz as real to life as possible.  I know I am crazy (remember when I told you that I have a tendency to overanalyze) but I have been looking at these pictures side by side and trying to figure out why I feel so much larger today when my weight is lower than in that photo.

I feel frustrated because because my body is different than it used to be, I feel like I have more weight to lose than 17 lbs to be at that same point.  I spent the year avoiding the scale for reasons such as these because I didn't want the scale to be consumed by the numbers and I'm 2 weeks in and already there!  I am glad that I weighed myself though because to be honest, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  And it is motivating to see the scale move.  But I'm just thinking too much about the fact that I don't seem to be feeling the same way when I was at this weight before. Grrr.  I guess I just keep moving and keep working hard and see what happens!

I know I go up and down in my motivation at times, but I am feeling really determined right now.  I know it's hard and it's been SO hard.  There is so much delicious-ness EVERYWHERE in Atlanta. So many restaurants I want to try.  And so many social outings that involve food as well.  I went to dinner at Taco Mac this week and luckily they had their menu and nutritional information online so I was able to look up the points of my meal and find something that worked - but that's not always an option.

The real test will be this coming week when I have my first business trip while on this latest kick of exercise and eating healthy.  It's a trip not too far away so I am hoping that there won't be too many tempting treats and I won't have long flights and whatnot to distract me.  But still, being out of a routine is always hard for me.

Anyways, I'm happy I am making progress and will be even happier when I hit a few more milestones and I am looking forward to the fitness routine I am getting into as well!  It's been a while since I've been training regularly and I am enjoying it!  Happy Friday to you all!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Life in Atlanta

Hey everyone, so I wanted to post and let you all know a bit of what I have actually been up to in Atlanta since I got back from the holiday break!  I have been keeping really busy, finding new people to meet up with, starting to see new parts of Atlanta and try new locations and I am slowly but surely starting to "live" here.  In fact, I started the (painstaking) process today of getting a Georgia license and registration for my car.  Things will be OFFISH over here!

So let's just tick through some of what I've been doing since I've been back and some of what I have experienced.  First up, is the one thing I have had planned for months and that I have been looking forward to for so long - going to see my Syracuse Orange play against Georgia Tech!


This outing was the start of a string of girl dates I've been going on, and I am happy to say that they've all gone great and I am hoping to see all of them again :)  I brought a friend from work to the basketball game with me, as she went to Georgia Tech.  We were both good sports about rooting for opposing teams and I was thrilled that Syracuse pulled out the win AND that there were SO many Orange fans at the game!!

I also had girl dates with a couple friends-of-friends, where we took the obligatory "Look _____ - we're hanging out pictures!" to be able to send to the friend who set us up.



I've tried out some new bars in different neighborhoods including a really fun place called Ormsby's with bocce ball, darts, shuffle board, board games, etc. inside.  Since I love games, I was all over that.  Oh, and I should mention too that while I was there I tried boiled peanuts for the first time!  Since I am not a fan of peanuts regular, I didn't have high hopes but I actually enjoyed them!  In addition last weekend I tried out bars with fun names called Mother and Church, and explored a market that I had read about online called the Krog Street Market that had deliciiiious food shops and an ice cream market called Jeni's that has the most insane flavors.  I wanted to eat them all but settled on a turkey sandwich from Fred's Meat and Bread that was delicious.  The line was the longest so I figured I had to try that place and it didn't disappoint.


Another thing I did was this past weekend I found a MeetUp group for the local New England Patriots Fan Club and joined them at a bar to watch the Playoff Patriots vs. Ravens game!  It was SUCH a good game!  I don't always watch football incredibly closely, but this game had me on the edge of my seat.  I didn't talk to a ton of people, but it was nice to just be in an atmosphere of like-minded people.  The energy was so fun and I am definitely going to join for the coming game this weekend too!


I tried out some new running groups, and actually signed up for a full training program with one of them called the Running Nerds.  They have a program with a group of "athletes" (that's what they call us, it feels weird to call myself an athlete with what I do) who are all trying to break 2:00 - hours in a half marathon time.  It is a goal that I have for myself and have had since I ran a 2:03:47 half marathon in Providence in September of 2013, and since I am a little burnt out on the loooong distance training, I decided to just go for it.

However, what I failed to take into consideration is that I haven't been running ANYWHERE near the paces that I need to be for that goal.  It was a year and a half ago that I ran in that time and haven't been focusing on times for the past year whatsoever.  I have actually never even done real speed work or speed training in my life.  The last time that I ran trying to run fast was at a 5K in July when I got a PR and then at the Ragnar Relay in September when I surprised myself with a super fast unofficial 10K.  I am definitely on the slow end and am feeling the pressure and putting anxiety on myself as to whether or not I am going to be an embarrassment through this training program... but I figured I will keep going it and hopefully at least see improvements if I don't get to a sub-2:00 hour half right away and will get me running again!  I have run EVERY day since Friday, which is crazy given the number of miles I had been doing before Friday.  Running with the Movers & Pacers, Run Smyrna, and Running Nerds have all been fun experiences so far and there will be more about that to come!



Being a part of the training team means that there are a number of coaches to help with everything and I met up with one earlier this week for coffee at a place called Amelie's which was super cute and adorable and I wanted to eat everything there!  I settled on a fancy coffee drink while we discussed how I am already super overwhelmed with the training program laid out for us.  I haven't been running a lot, my times are slow, I have other goals I want to do too (Olympic tris, I'm coming for you!)  When I said I was overwhelmed she mentioned something like, "Well, you know how it goes, you don't have to do EVERYTHING on your training plan. You just make it work and do as much as possible."  I was like ummm... I don't know if you know how I work, but I did EVERY mile on my training program for my first marathon except for 2 when I was in Turkey and they literally kicked me off the treadmill because the gym was closing.  And those 2 miles eat away at me mentally to this day.  But hey, the team is super supportive and seems fun and in the same philosophy of my running buddies on TeamBABU -- and plus, the coffee was good!


And in addition to the eating and drinking and running, I also tried out a glorious little thing called "Whirly Ball" which although it wasn't founded in Atlanta, I haven't heard of until I got here.  So I now assume that everyone in Atlanta plays Whirly Ball on a regular basis.


It is like a weird version of lacrosse combined, for some reason, with bumper cars.


You start nice and orderly like that, but trust me, it doesn't last that way for long.  You have this weird little cart that you crank a handle to make move, and you have to scoop up a plastic whiffle ball and throw it into the center part of that yellow board in the back to score.  It is so silly yet so addicting and I cannot stop talking about whirly ball.  Every visitor I have to Atlanta is playing whirly ball.  So, just, be aware, people!

Anyways, there is so much here to see and experience and try out.  My restaurant list grows every day.  My understanding of where everything is and how far it takes to get there... is... ya know... it's coming along.  My network is starting to build and I am starting to scheme about when I can have people over and entertain or throw a dinner party.  My schedule is starting to get FULL, especially with this new training plan I am working off of.  So, life in Atlanta is coming along everyone!

Tomorrow I want to tell you about where I am with my running and eating more.  So stay tuned!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Options overload!!

So, anyone who knows me well knows that I can be pretty indecisive about making sometimes small decisions.  And also, sometimes incredibly impulsive about big decisions.  It is not uncommon to find me spending FAR too long on these decisions and gathering input from all those around me.

"I don't know if I should do the flight that lands at 7:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m...."
"Should I get the soup and salad or the turkey sandwich..."
"Do you think I will need to wear the long sleeve running shirt or be okay with just a t-shirt..."
"Should I Instagram THIS picture... or THAT picture.."

And then you can counter that with:

"Sure, I'll run that marathon."
"Yeah, let's go to Iceland!"
"You recommend this bicycle to buy? Okay, where do I check out?"

Granted there is a lot more that goes into it than all of that, but pretty much I struggle with indecision sometimes.  When there are lots of options in front of me I stall.  So when you give me a single decision to make - "Do you want to go to Iceland?" then I can just say "Sure!" without another thought, rather than, "What country do you want to go to?"

So, one of the things that I am getting used to in Atlanta, and mind you, this is not a bad problem to have, is that there SO MANY OPTIONS!!  Literally, when you've lived in a small city for a long time like Albany decisions can get pretty easy.  And even then I still struggled sometimes.  Happy hour was a choice between 5 bars.  Dinner was a choice between a few different places I liked.  Shopping was a choice of which of 2 malls did I want to go to.

And now, omfg, there are a million hundred choices for everything!

I've been feeling this way since even before I moved here when I was trying to explore neighborhoods and everyone and their mom who had ever had a layover in Atlanta was telling me what the new up-and-coming place to live was and where I should absolutely get an apartment.  It was incredibly overwhelming and I made that choice on a whim.  And frankly now that I am here, I don't know if it was the right now.  Which I'm struggling with, but dealing.

But now, I'm trying to get myself settled and get into some routines and join some different groups/fitness programs.  And there are like 3 different major triathlon clubs, 15 different running groups, fitness classes and studios at all times of day and in every different neighborhood.  And all of this is almost paralyzing to me!  What do I do?!  Which do I sign up for?!  Which of these things hold my future best friends and running buddies who will make running fun again!?  Which thing will determine my future?!?

And all I can really fall back on, is who the heck knows.  I guess the good thing about making a choice is that you can always make another one.  The worst that can happen with most of this is that I will lose money.  And money is money.  Yes, it's important and I don't take that lightly.  But it's not the end of the world (hopefully.)

I found myself today highly stressed over decisions and choices that should NOT have been stressing me out.  I was up all last night, unable to sleep, thinking about things that should not have been causing me that much distress.  And granted, part of this is just who I am as a person.  I overthink EVERYTHING and always have.  Every cryptic or one word text message is a matter of an extensive analysis and could have 100 different dramatic meanings.  Every ache or pain is the cause of a budding tumor or signs of a coming fatal diagnosis.  Things in my life get highly scrutinized and analyzed when given the opportunity.

So today I found myself taking some of my old marathon training mentality and mantra of "run the mile you're in" and applying it to other aspects of life.  I used to tell myself this during long runs.  Don't think about the miles you've done or the miles to go, just run the mile you are in and enjoy it and feel it and experience it.  This helped me when I do long flights - don't think about the 8 hours you've been on the plane or the 6 more you still have to go, just figure out what you are doing in this hour/moment to pass the time and focus on that.

Today I told myself don't stress and overanalyze what will happen in the next few weeks or months about the choices you are making.  Don't worry about what you did last year or last week.  Just make a decision that is best for today.  And tomorrow we'll make decisions for tomorrow.   It seemed to help and I ended up on a 6-mile run with a new running group and meeting some new people, which I can't really complain about!

I hope you guys had a good day and if you're still reading this, I'd love to learn what you do when you are overwhelmed with decisions and choices.  Even if they are all good choices or viable options that could make you happy - how do you decide the route to go?  How do you choose your adventures?  Happy Monday!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Holiday Break 2014 Recap!

Now that everyone I know thinks I'm about to jump off a bridge or something after my last post, I figured it would be good to follow up with something a little happier, shall we?

My holiday break was really nice and filled with lots of trips and meet ups with friends and loved ones throughout the Northeast.  I flew into Boston on the 20th to be able to attend my big sister's 30th birthday party!  Seeing her become a mother over the past few months has shown me that she is exactly where she is meant to be in life as she reaches this milestone year.  Seeing her being the best mommy to those two cute little peanuts, somehow everything just feels right.  My sister is 30 and she is a mom to twins and she is doing amazing at it all.


It was great to spend some time snuggling with those little peanuts in the morning too and I fall more in love with them every time I see them.  I then spent the next few days in Rhode Island, working and hanging out with my mom and getting ready for the big shibang of Christmas 2014.  Which, went off without a hitch per usual with lots of silliness, desserts, chaos, and bows.






Right after Christmas we celebrated "Christmas Surprise" with my friends at a local bar, which is now an annual tradition for us and it involved lots of shenanigans per usual.  And selfies.





For organizing this festival of fun, my friends so graciously gave me a bottle of champagne, which I devoured on New Years and absolutely loved.  If anyone else is interested in a game of "Christmas Surprise" please let me know and if you gift me champagne, I just might organize it for you.


The day after I headed back to my sister's for Christmas celebration round 2 with my dad, which had unseasonably warm weather and more selfies involved as well.







Duck face starts early on these days.


I also cannot get enough of these little faces.



The rest of the weekend and beginning of the week was spent hanging about, being lazy, before I head out to Albany to spend a couple nights with my friends there, including New Years Eve.  It was great to fit so much time with friends into a short period of time.  Dinner with one group.  Drinks with another.  Breakfast with some friends.  Lunch with more.  That sort of thing!  I even was able to catch some out-of-towners who were only around for 24 hours just like myself.


In fact, I'm rather impressed with just how many people I did get to see while I was in Albany, especially given that my New Year's Eve itself was spent doing a whole lot of this.


Yup, that's me, on the couch, in PJs, with a plate full of desserts and a dog wrapped up in a blanket just guzzling sipping some champagne.  There was also pizza.  And a blanket.  And some non-sparkly wine.  So, be jealous.

All in all, it was a really nice night staying with my friends who I lived with for a couple different times during my move last fall.  Even before I was moving, a favorite Friday night of mine would be to go to their house, drink wine, watch movies, and sleep over in the extra bedroom.  So New Year's wasn't anything special, but it was special.  They indulged my need to discuss the past year, talk about goals for the next year, and we speculated about where we'd be 10 New Year's Eves from now (which, was a scary exercise!)

In the morning I drove back East and met up with friends to jump in a car and head North for a ski weekend in Vermont!  The weekend was fun and my first time skiing in years, but I was impressed with myself with how I did.  There was lots of laughter, drinks, beautiful mountain views, food and shenanigans, which always makes for a good time.  I was with my friends E and James, whose wedding I was in this past summer, and Meag and her fiance Jon, whose wedding I have the honor of being in this coming summer!  The ski trip also included many of Meag & Jon's friends from Boston, so we were able to meet a lot of people who are important in their lives and will also be at the wedding in September!










I did mention there were shenanigans involved, right?  Lesson learned on this trip... for anyone who ever wants to take a casual group setting just hanging out up a MAJOR notch, try out a game of "Dodge Beer" and please be prepared for insanity and bruised elbows.







You've seen E and Meag on the blog a number of times before, as they are part of the group of 5 girls who we have been best friends since kindergarten.  Up until this past spring E was living in Boston, as Meag still does, so we were fortunate enough to get to see one another pretty often.  Now that we are all plane rides away again, it was really nice to spend some quality time not just with them, but with their significant others as well.  I've known these girls since we were little kids so to now be at the stage where we have husbands and fiances still blows my mind, but it means so much to me to have our family of friends expanding each year!  I cannot wait until September!!

On Sunday, we skiied a bit in the morning and then all shuttled back to Boston where E, James, and I caught our flights back home to our respective places.  I got back to my apartment late and barely pulled the wet clothes out of my suitcase before falling asleep.  It was a long and exhausting - mentally and physically - week prior but with a lot of goodness.

I hope that you had the chance to take a break this holiday season, see friends, loved ones, family or whomever is important to you.  I hope that you are as lucky as I am to have such wonderful people in your life who care for you, comfort you, make you laugh, and make you chug beers as fast as you can while ping ping balls are flying at you (see "Dodge Beer" above.)  Happy holidays from hungry twenties!