Thursday, March 31, 2011


No, not to show time, though I am counting down to that too... But I stumbled upon another fun post. So in lieu of being productive here goes nothing:

Ten movies you’d watch over and over:
1. Legally Blonde
2. Happy Gilmore
3. Water Boy
4. Big Daddy (sense a theme with these past 3??)
5. Confessions of a Shopaholic
6. House Bunny
7. Easy A
8. Hot Rod
9. Horton Hears a Who!
10. Pleasantville

Nine people you enjoy the company of:
1. My mom--if only I listened to you more :)
2. My sister, Eleanor--even though I have to love you, I would hang out with you anyway!
3. My Gold's Gym family--you all are AMAZING
4. Katie, my long-time best friend--miss you!!
5. My LOFT family--I love you, but you have to stop my clothing addiction!
6. Melissa, my could-be twin (from another mother...2 days prior)--enough said :)
7. Stacy, my favorite meteorologist friend--you've done SO much for me this year!
8. My redhead partner in crime & cousin, Kaileigh--we're long overdue for a visit!
9. My Newsplex crew--thanks for putting up with me incessantly talking about my training/nutrition!

Eight things you’re wearing:
1. A burgundy top from LOFT
2. Really cute shimmery pencil skirt from LOFT
3. LOFT earrings (sense a pattern yet?)
4. A braided metal bracelet
5. Blue stone ring
6. Bra
7. Panties
8. Neon yellow nail polish

Seven things on your mind:
1. Training tonight
2. I have to go to work soon to unpack some shipment (new clothes yay!)
3. I really need to go to Target
4. Should probably call my mom tonight...
5. What the heck am I doing after graduation??
6. I need a new place to live
7. Less than 11 weeks!

Six objects you touch every day:
1. Cell phone
2. Laptop
3. The pup
4. Coffee cup
5. Keys
6. Gym bag

Five things you do every day:
1. Go to the gym--cardio/training
2. Check blogs
3. Shower
4. Check email/Facebook
5. Procrastinate

Four bands or musical artists that you couldn’t live without:
1. Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. Taylor Swift
3. Chris Brown (good workout music)
4. Bare Naked Ladies

Three of your favorite songs of the moment:
1. Tonight Tonight--Hot Chelle Rae
2. Loser Like Me--Glee Cast
3. What the Hell--Avril Lavigne

Two people who have influenced your life the most:
1. My mom
2. My cousin, Kaileigh

One person who has been nice to you today:
1. I haven't left the house yet...oops!

Well this killed a bit of time. Now I'm off to run errands!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's only fair, right?

Today was a long day, to say the least. Lately I've been waking up a bit earlier so I can get on campus grounds earlier and just relax with a cup of coffee before classes start. Sometimes I meet up with my good friend Stacy and catch up on our daily happenings. She's getting back into fitness/running after having a stress fracture(?) a few months back, and as for me...well you know what I'm up to. And I have to say, props to Stacy who has been ROCKING her diet & exercise! You're lookin' good girl!

Anyways, back to the long day... Well, it was just one of those days--gloomy, rainy, cold. And if that didn't put me in a funk, I had back to back class then work from 11am to about 8pm. Nine hours of exhaustion. I was VERY tempted to skip a class to nap, but I couldn't bring myself to do it--there's only 5 students in the class and one girl already wasn't there, so I would have felt bad for my older professor. Luckily, at work I was doing stock and got to see all the pretty new arrivals at LOFT! I have to restrain myself from buying the entire store breaking my bank on anything other than competition essentials.

As I was standing there unpacking boxes upon boxes of clothing, I didn't know how I was going to get through a workout of any sorts. I'd have to run, and it would be leg day...not to mention my back & shoulders are tense from the past 2 days of workouts. So it came as a pleasant relief when Kevin told me he was taking the night off from training. That means that it's okay for me to do the same, right? My answer: right. In the state I was in, if I did do any working out, I would have probably hurt myself from stupidity/exhaustion.

It's good though. Tonight's break I mean. Like I said, my body is a bit rough from the past 2 nights. Also, I've been wearing my cross-trainers to run in. No good. I'm flatfooted so I need that extra bit of support. I noticed last night while stretching that my shins felt a little sore, and today, just running to the store in the rain, I felt the same twinge. I need to just stick with the Vibrams for running. Which is what I'm going to do from now on. I do normally keep 2 pairs of EVERYTHING in my gym bag--2 pairs of shorts/leggings, 2 tanks/tees, 2 sports bras, and my Vibrams & cross-trainers. It's partially in case I ever forget anything and partially because I never really know what I want to wear to the gym. Just because I'm working out doesn't mean that I don't have to/want to look good doing it! And besides, having an extra pair of tights saved me from a wardrobe malfunction the other night. Phew! On the one hand, it will be odd to change shoes part way through my workout, but who cares if it saves me from potential damage.

So I think since I took the night off, I'm going to catch up on the few blogs I have left to read, read a few pages (of Cosmo), and hit the hay. I'm contemplating either: a. sleeping in tomorrow (only class is at 2), or b. getting up early and going to Gold's for some extra cardio. I'm starting to think cardio because I just remembered I have measurements tomorrow. I guess I could always set my alarm and see what happens...

P.S. Sorry no pics tonight, too lazy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Taking the high road

Waking up this morning, two thoughts ran through my head: 1. if I don't find a new apartment/house soon, I'm gonna be homeless at the end of May, and 2. what's today gonna be like? Let me elaborate on both. Recently, I've been looking for places to live when my lease is up and I'm done with undergrad at the end of May. I had just found a space that looked perfect--a cozy old house in my price range, accepts pets, and is pretty much 2 blocks away from my current house. I went to its "open house" yesterday, as the current tenant figured that would be easier. I let her know I was very interested, but last night I got an email saying she found 2 others willing to sign the lease for the 2 open rooms, but if it falls through she will let me know. Gee, thanks for choosing me as your backup plan. Sorry, but I'll take my pride and keep looking; I'm no one's second choice. Hence my next question about what today was going to be like.

I'm a weather weenie, what more do you expect?
Now, I'd actually had a pretty productive weekend--I managed to find a posing coach back home in Virginia Beach!--so it was looking like today could go either way. Granted, one last hurrah of winter was making its way through, so temperatures were supposed to be cold and it was supposed to rain. I had my doubts about this--both the rain and the temperature. Before I go any further, let me just say, if I've learned one thing interning with TV meteorologists, it's this--I can be right about a prediction IF I choose not to verbalize it. The second I do, the exact opposite happens. So as I was getting ready for class this morning, I noticed a tidbit of sun peeking through the otherwise gloomy sky and thought to myself: a. it's going to be warmer than the predicted high of 48 degrees, and b. I highly doubt it's going to rain. And guess what--it was around 55 today and DIDN'T rain. Go me!

It's kind of ironic though, because this morning, I got to ground (aka campus) early to start finish a homework assignment, and when it was complete, I started to write this post. But I stopped myself. At that point, I was still debating the "today" question, and I decided that, although I had reasons to be a selfish pessimist today, I was going to take the high road and be optimistic that today was going to be a good day. Good thing I didn't verbalize that, because it turns out it was a good day! I'd even go as far as to say it was great! (Okay, I know that it's a little superstitious what I confessed earlier, but it hasn't been proven wrong yet). 

So. Hungry. Hippos??
So here I was on the high road--the good thing about the high road is that you're far above the low road, so even if you do want to look down at it, you can't really see anything. Thus, nothing holds you back. I got on the scale this morning, expecting a glimpse of that low road, and it was nowhere to be seen--I finally dropped those last 2 pesky pounds of my spring break vacay weight! And then some! I was a bit afraid that I hadn't because yesterday I could not stop my hunger! I swear by the afternoon/evening I was eating something at each hour mark (it wasn't a lot at a time, but it was something). Now, I know looking at just weight is a no-no because it does not tell you what the composition of that weight is, but hey, the numbers are going down so I'm a happy camper. 

Skip forward a few workout, la, la....manicure that didn't chip within an, la, la....eating some of The Fit Green Goddess's chocolate protein brownies (adapted a bit), la, la...gym! (Sorry for all the la, la, las...just passing the time). Now despite the fact that the type of treadmill I normally use was occupied and the other was broken and had to use another kind, I had a great workout! The treadmill I substituted only goes up to level 8 (or a 7:30 pace), and I was hoping to knock out my last mile at a 7:00 pace. Not to mention, I thought I could change the max speed by pressing "mode" like the machine clearly stated, but instead, this completely created a new workout as I had 1/4 mile left. Are you kidding me, treadmill!? Oh well, I just restarted the machine (which was a whole other task in itself since it wouldn't go back to the main menu for quick start), and knocked out that last 1/4 mile at the 7:30 pace. 

I have to say, I take back all I said about not seeing the results I wanted. I guess I spoke too soon. Today, after my run, I hopped on a stretching machine and could tell my legs were leaner. Not to mention, I had to change from my spandex running shorts (which I hardly wear) to my tights because of a wardrobe malfunction since the shorts were too big. Eek! No one wants to see a spandex wedgie! Even my tights were loose, but at least they weren't going to ride up. I wish I had snapped a pic before I started working out (or even after)--I was rocking my new Nike racerback tank that read "Fierce" across the chest. And seriously, if you ever need workout motivation, just wear a shirt with a motto across it and OWN the words. I have no doubt that I did and I'm feeling great!

Just like this, OBVIOUSLY!
Did I forget to mention today was a back day and I finally fixed my form on deadlifts?! Normally I wouldn't be able to go any greater than 10lb plates before my back collapses in and my form dies. Tonight, not the case. AND we superset them with dumbbell rows! Hell to the yeah (excuse my language)! So needless to say, I left the gym feeling better than ever. My lifting cycle is slightly awry, as I worked bis and tris with Martell and Megan before Kevin left for the weekend. Normally it goes: shoulders, chest, back, bis & tris, legs. So taking into account the pre-worked bis and tris, tomorrow should be a leg day. However, Kevin doesn't endorse this idea since both back and legs kinda beat me up a bit. So that leaves shoulders for tomorrow. I'm sure I'll get back in my cycle just fine, and I'm definitely not complaining that I don't have to do legs tomorrow (especially since it's a HIIT day too)! Now if I can just start seeing those abs shape up nicely...

I'm glad I took the high road today!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

111% Obsessed

I've finally gotten to that point. That point of obsession. 24/7 I eat, sleep, breath and sweat figure competition. It's gotten bad! Seriously! I'm at the point where, whenever I get online, I'm looking up something or other related to my competition. Suits, posing classes, nutritional information, blogs. You name it, I've (at least attempted to) researched it! I swear, the other kids (and by kids I mean college students) in my "Watersheds of Lewis & Clark" class probably think I'm "that weird chick" or that I like girls. After all, when my computer screen isn't lit up with the class powerpoint presentations, it's focused on websites that show competitors in tiny figure suits. Or more specifically, ways I can make my body look like theirs.

So why 111% instead of 100%, or even 110%?? Well, 100% just isn't enough and I just like repetitive digits (I microwave things for 33 seconds instead of's just easier). Let's just say the extra 10% is the extra drive I have toward my goal and the 1% is for good luck. It's weird to think that just a few months ago, this was some crazy idea that I thought about, but was just that--a crazy idea. I had a friend that did a show, and looking at her pics, I was in awe. At first, it was just about looking good. I wanted that body. I wanted to look lean and to own it. Now it's about achieving the goal I've set for myself. It's about bringing out my competitive edge.

Before I go any further, I do want to make a confession. I'm not sure if it will be all that shocking or not, seeing as it's probably very common. Like practically every other girl out there, I definitely have body image issues. Growing up, I was a bit of a tomboy, practicing baseball with my brothers and pushing myself to do whatever they did. "Hey, Nick can climb to that branch of the tree? Oh yeah? I bet I can too!" Every summer, my sister and I would visit my grandma and cousin up in Syracuse, NY. My cousin and I are 11 months apart, the only redheads on our generational line of the family tree, so naturally we got along well together. She kept a little bit of baby fat when we were younger (no offense if you are reading this--love you cuz!), and I was more of the lanky one. One summer that changed--I became the one with a little extra weight and she became the thin girl (to this day, I blame it on my grandma trying to "fatten me up"). It was kinda hard to accept. I was young, so it wasn't like I was about to diet to fix it, but throughout middle and part of high school, I was heavier than I'd wanted to be. That was, until junior year.

Looking at pics, I was TINY. 
I don't know what changed junior year of high school--I was swimming like I'd done the previous 2 years, I was running track like I'd also done. Maybe it was because I joined cross country. XC was challenging to say the least--miles upon miles a day of running. Maybe I was tired of being one of the 2 heavier girls on the team (heavy not meaning fat exactly). Skip ahead to spring and I was down to the lowest weight I can remember during high school--approximately 116 lbs (I'm 5'4"). I remember on the day of Ring Dance (Junior Prom for those of you unfamiliar), I got my hair done and all I had to eat until dinner that day was a yogurt cup and a skinny Starbucks Frappuccino. I know, crazy. But I wanted to look perfect (even though my hair didn't). I kept up that skinny look through the summer, during which I stayed with my cousin in San Antonio and attended a 2 week cross country camp. I thought about everything I ate.

Even here, I felt big...but that's UVa for you. PS, that shirt is
way too big for me. Yet at the time I thought it was too small.
That fall, I peaked during my cross country season. I felt good--swift, strong. But I still didn't feel thin. I knew I was thinner than before, but I didn't feel thin compared to other girls (even though I probably was). As soon as I stopped running for school in the spring (when my coach only started seeing the I--not me--in team), the guilt came back. Not that I was eating a lot before, but I couldn't eat like I used to. And like many girls, the weight "problems" continued in college. I gained weight my 1st (freshman) year. 2nd (sophomore) year, with long-distance relationship troubles, I didn't get any better. Since then, I've been getting more and more in shape, and comparatively I feel good, and yet I still don't.

People ask me if I have been noticing results, and I can't honestly say that I have seen a huge difference. I've been working out with my trainer since June. I've been working toward this figure competition since December/January. Do I feel thinner? No. Do I feel leaner? No. Okay, maybe I have a little bit more muscle, but do I really feel strong? No. Maybe that's what's driving this obsession--I want all that. And more. Do I want to be obsessed about this competition? Maybe. If it means that I get to look/feel the way that others perceive me, then maybe I do want to be obsessed. Is it an unhealthy obsession? I don't think so.

I think part of why I was frustrated at the gym the other night was because of this. I just feel weak still. And I'm impatient. This is such a heavy post, so I appreciate it if you read it all. It's kind of the abridged version, but I think I hit all the main events/points.

I'm 111% obsessed with my goal of my first figure competition. But I don't want to just compete, I want to place. I want to be good at my goal. So if it consumes my thoughts when I'm at work, in class, or out with friends, so be it. My mindset has changed though--I'm doing this to feel strong, not to feel thin.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Domino Effect

Funny how one thing can lead to yet another and all of a sudden your great day turns subpar. Let me elaborate: I currently have an internship at a local news station here in Charlottesville working with the meteorologists (my dream job). Now, television meteorology may seem quite easy to many of you, but it is far from it! News anchors have teleprompters. Reporters have scripts. Meteorologists have train of thought, stream of consciousness. You have to know what you want to say, when you want to say it, and put together these elaborate segments ranging from a few seconds to 2 or 3 minutes.

Now, I'm one of those girls that did a bit of acting in elementary and middle school, and for a few summers, my aunt paid for my sister and I to attend an acting camp for 2 weeks. Even with that "experience" I still find myself at a loss for words while I'm practicing in front of the green screen and scrambling to fill unnatural pauses. It's a lot harder than it looks folks! Recently, I've taken a more laid back approach. The meteorologist I'm interning through has me sit in front of the computer with the show I've created rather than get up in front of the green screen, in hopes that it's partially nerves holding me back.

Well, yesterday I get part way through the show I've created and I realize: a. I have a lot of excess slides in there that are just redundant and what I thought flows well really doesn't, and b. I'm still struggling! At some point in time, one of the teleprompter technicians came into the room and was listening. He has a radio show and creates podcasts, so I shouldn't be surprised what happened next. He made a comment about how it wasn't bad, and feeling like a failure, I disagreed. Something was said, and next thing I know, there's the whole "It's not as easy as it looks. You try it." And he did. And he breezed through it. And just like that, I turned into that little kid whose brother got more ice cream than her. I'm not proud, but I may have pouted a bit. It's just frustrating! I don't care if he's been doing radio for years, I still felt terrible compared to him. I don't like when people are better than me at things being showed up like that.

So naturally, I went to the gym to get in my workout as I left the station, with the sting of this guys crazy good attempt at forecasting fresh on my mind. I was already NOT in a good mood. But Megan, our friend Martell, and I were working out with Kevin, so I was ready for things to turn around. Did they? Nope. Once again, I don't like when people are better than me at things. I don't know what it is, I'm just really competitive. So after deciding what we were working on (it was supposed to be a back day for me, but the other 2 had just worked that out yesterday), we started with bis and tris. I was last to go, and I was just feeling weak as hell compared to Megan and Martell (okay, Martell is a guy, so he's naturally gonna be stronger, right?). For their 20 x 40lb reps, I was doing 15 x 25 lb reps. It was like I just kept being put in my place. Not cool--I'm supposed to be training for this competition, kinda a big deal, and I'm struggling with weights I should be breezing through. So I left the gym downhearted, disillusioned, and just upset moody and frustrated.

Since then, things have turned around. I mentioned my frustrations and how I felt week to my trainer and he assured me that I am getting stronger and leaner. As he said, the biggest thing is nutrition and drive and determination. And I'm pretty sure I have all 3 of those. I should have taken progress pictures before and during this journey, because I'm not very objective when it comes to assessing how far I've come. But I'm feeling hopeful again, and luckily this was just a momentary frustration rather than a setback.

I'm working out on my own for the weekend and I'm itching to try a kickboxing class, so I'll keep you posted with if I find one and how it goes!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Toss, Turn, Repeat & a Lil' Bit of the Shore

I don't know what it is, but lately I have not been able to fall asleep. I get in bed, absolutely exhausted and tired as anything, and I lie there for 15-20 minutes. At some point, I just get frustrated and take to my laptop, looking up something or other regarding figure competitions and fitness in general. That being said, it's not that I have a lot on my mind and I'm unable to let go of thoughts and stresses before I hit the hay, but I just have no idea what it is! Lucky for me though, I have found some excellent resources for my journey to the stage. Anyone have any thoughts about my inability to fall asleep? I'm kind of wondering if it has anything to do with my training (I usually get to the gym about 8, stay til 10). Sigh, oh well.

So pretty & AWESOME! They're a little purply-blue.
It's been a few days since I've posted, and I promise I've had every intention of doing so because it's been an amazing week at the gym and with nutrition. Even though I still have those pesky 2 pounds to go that I gained on vacation, I feel like I've progressed even further in my training, and I know I'm pushing myself harder. For instance, Monday was my leg day, and I'll be damned if I didn't nail every movement! Not to mention, I superset squats with lunges and sumo squats. F**k yeah! Pardon my language. That's just how I felt at the moment. It may have something to do with the new kicks I've been sporting--thanks, Mom! In addition to my Fivefingers, I now have a new pair of Nike trainers. Let me tell you something--if people suggest cross trainers over running shoes or any other type of footwear for lifting, it's for a reason! I felt the most stable I've ever felt doing squats, and because of that, I was able to sink my weight back on my heels like I'm supposed to and get lower every time. I love the feeling of doing something right!

The rest of the week has had the same trend--busting out some kick-ass workouts. Sometimes I feel like abs fall by the wayside when I'm training, so Monday I made a point to get in some planks between cardio & stretching and my training time. I was feeling those the next day. But not as much as after Tuesday, when Kevin made my training friend, Megan, and I do 6 sets of 20 hanging knee raises with a 20 pound dumbbell between our feet. Intense! We unsuccessfully tried to convince him that a solid 5 sets was just as good, but as he said "Would you rather have $120 or $100?" My smartass answer: I'd rather have $100 if I didn't know there was an option for $120. Not that that statement makes perfect sense, but hey, it was late and it was all I could retaliate with. So am I glad we went for 120 rather than 100? Definitely. I've got that good kinda tension going on in my core, and I'm proud of it!

Part of today's 1st meal: goldfish-shaped sandwich thin :)
So I briefly mentioned nutrition--what of it? Well, Kevin and I finally sat down and found some good websites for nutrition plans. I had kind of been at a loss of where to look, but now I know why. I had been googling search terms such as "figure competition nutrition" and "figure competition diet" when I probably should have been looking up "bodybuilding nutrition." So what took me a few weeks to kinda-sorta find took him, oh, probably about 10 minutes, if that. Fail on my part. Pretty much, protein is key. Good thing I like chicken and fish and ground turkey. We're starting off having me eat only carbs in the morning (but let's be honest, there's no protein bar that doesn't contain carbs, so in that regard I cheat an hour before my workout) for this first week. From there, we will tweak it and see where I end up. He also suggested grapefruits as a morning snack because they are supposed to help burn fat(?). My response: I hate grapefruits! Or so I thought. I bought one the other night and just got around to eating it and I have to admit I really enjoyed it it's not that bad as I made it out to be. Funny how taste buds change over the years.

Currently, I'm procrastinating doing schoolwork before my class cooking some protein for the rest of this week--ground turkey and boiled chicken. I decided to experiment with the ground turkey and do something a little different. First of all, let me say I'm a minimalist when it comes to cooking--I just throw a spice on and it's done, ready to go. So today was no different, except that I added a little bit of an odd ingredient to the ground turkey--apple pie spice. This spice pretty much consists of cinnamon, nutmeg, and some other ingredient along those lines. I was well aware that this would either turn out pretty good or absolutely terrible. So which was it? Pretty good! It sort of tasted like a breakfast food. But that just shows what difference a simple spice can make.

Cheers! ...Though no booze for me.
Anyway, I'm excited to get back to the gym tonight, though I have to make sure I get a good cardio workout in, because I've been slacking just a tad bit on those. And hopefully, I'll be able to get a good night's rest, aka fall asleep quickly and painlessly tonight! Also, a few gym buddies and I are instituting Jersey Shore (haha) style family dinners, and it's my turn to cook next. So if you have any somewhat simple recipe ideas, please send them my way! I found a recipe for this Sweet Potato Chili, but I'm open to suggestions.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?

Although I'm sure there actually is a Sesame Street somewhere on earth, that is not my true intent for this blog. In lieu of the weekend, I present: My ABCs.

A. Age: 21
B. Bed size: Full, nothing less will do.
C. Chore you dislike: Picking up after my roommate, cleaning up dog poo.
D. Dogs: My adorable 5-month old miniature schnauzer, Archie.
E. Essential start to your day: Make bed, weigh in, make breakfast, make coffee, shoot the breeze before class.
F. Favorite color: Judging by the clothing in my closet, purples & blues. But I'm also a fan of vibrant colors like reds and oranges.
G. Gold or silver: Silver--goes with more.
H. Height: 5’5"
I. Instruments you play(ed): Played violin 4th-6th grades, but I was never a fan of using the bow, so I quit. Maybe that's a sign I should have taken up guitar...
J. Job title: Full-time student, meteorology intern at a news station, sales associate at Loft
K. Kids: N/A
L. Live: In a large, old house in the university area of Charlottesville (until May, then gotta find a new place).
M. Mom’s name: Joan
N. Nicknames: Liz, Lizzy, L, 
O. Overnight hospital stays: In (approx) 3rd grade for dehydration. During vacation on spring break aka Easter weekend. Fun times. Stayed away from Easter candy for years because I swore it was the culprit.
P. Pet peeves: Unpredictable personalities. See previous post about my personal gym ones. 
Q. Quote from a movie: Something from an Adam Sandler movie. Too early to think.
R. Righty or lefty: Righty.
S. Siblings: My older bros, Alex & Nick, and my younger sis, Eleanor.
T. Time you wake up: I have my alarm set all week for 8am. Earlier if I have to work at Loft before class.
U. Underwear: VS: hiphuggers, "cheeky" panties (as VS likes to call them). Different for the gym, but not disclosing that.
V. Vegetables you dont’ like: beets, cooked carrots.
W. What makes you run late: My puppy, traffic.
X. X-rays you’ve had: only the ones they take regularly at the dentist. Never had any major injuries that required one.
Y. Yummy food you make: Peanut butter blossom cookies. But I give them away instead of eating them.
Z. Zoo animal favorites: Giraffes, lemurs or other cute monkeys.

Completely pointless, and yet, I share this with you. Enjoy! Have an amazing Saturday! On today's agenda: work at Loft, some homework, and gym.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Irish Have Taken Over Charlottesville

Au revoir my good friend!
...Or so I assume by the complete lack of gym-goers tonight. Seriously, I got to Gold's around 8pm, and it was practically deserted. As I mentioned on my Facebook earlier tonight (gotta love technology), "Dedication is: being one of the few people at Gold's Gym on St. Patrick's Day." I had the choice of almost any treadmill my heart desired! Luckily, my favorite one was still free. In case you were wondering, based on a prior post about how much I hate(d) treadmills, I have had a change of heart. Or rather, I was forced to have a change of heart. I realized the elliptical just wasn't doing much for me cardiovascularly. I didn't feel like I was exerting myself at the level I should be. What about the StairMaster? Well, when the elliptical went by the wayside, so did the StairMaster. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a great workout, but in all honesty, the treadmill does more for my body. Not to mention it brings back memories of when I was actually good at running high school cross country and track.

Since the gym was practically empty, I also decided to get back to jump-roping for the first time in months. I highly advise the use of jump-roping as a suitable form of cardio. Not to mention it works your core (keeping you abs tight), your calves (all that jumping), and your arms (all that rope twirling). So after 3 1/2 miles on the treadmill and 10 sets of 111 reps jump-roping (I guess you would call them reps...or jumps?), I was ready for a back workout. All in all it went pretty well...with the exception of dead lifts. As usual. I don't know what it is about them--I start off in good form (and trust me, Kevin corrected my form like 10 times tonight), but not even halfway through, I get fatigued and my form crumbles. Not to mention, tonight I was particularly sweaty, which was just distracting. Anyway, I decided tonight, instead of just rambling on about my workouts, I'd try something new/fun and list my personal pet peeves about working out. Here goes nothing!

1. Having an itch you can't scratch because you're in the middle of a set (i.e. nose, ear, etc.)
2. Terrible form on dead lifts, or any exercise (I just get so frustrated! I should be able to do this right by now!)
3. Sweat dripping in my eyes (I'm sorry, I won't be caught dead in a thick sweatband)
4. Terrible music (you know, those songs that you hate yet know all the words to)
5. Unevenness (mostly my shoulders--I can see it, yet so hard to correct/takes too much thought)
6. Lack of energy (not to be confused with lack of motivation. In this instance I refer to the times when motivation is there, but I'm running on empty)
7. Having to go to the bathroom in the middle of cardio (it's inevitable sometimes!)
8. Baggy clothing (I have one or two shirts that are kinda baggy, and running in them is just really frustrating because they move around a LOT)
9. My ipod (this includes the excessively long earphone cord and the inability to smoothly/swiftly change songs mid-stride)
10. That one hair that never seems to stay pinned back (seriously, almost every time!)

There were a few more I thought of when I was in the shower, but it's late and my brain has decided it's done for the day. Hope you all are having a wonderful St. Paddy's Day! Have a drink for me!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vacations are SABOTAGE!!

My handsome guy a couple months ago! 
Good news, I'm back! It's been quite some time since I've posted on here. First, I had a hectic week between work, schoolwork, and the internship getting ready for Spring Break. Then, Spring Break was here and I was on my way to New Orleans and Palm Beach, Florida, but not without a quick stop home first to say hi to my mom. And to drop the pooch off (thanks, Mom, for puppy-sitting!).

Before the worst :)
I've never really been a vacation person. Yes, I've had those "family vacations" in which you visit some family member or other and you get spoiled all week between your family and which ever member you are visiting. However, I'd never had the "I'm doing this on my own" vacation, and I was pretty pumped for the opportunity. Except for one little thing--HOW was I supposed to stay on track with my training and my biggest worry most importantly, my nutrition. After all, I was going to be in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. And that can only lead to one thing--flashing boobs an unnecessary, excess consumption of empty (alcoholic) calories. Sheesh! I wasn't even given a fair chance of surviving the week! 

Oh, guess I did get in a bit of exercise...
Let's start with my intent to workout: I went into the week hoping to workout in the hotel exercise room for the 3 days I was there and workout at the Gold's Gym in Palm Beach for the rest of the duration. Did that happen? No. Let's see, the first morning, I did workout at the hotel, and it felt good--HIIT and some random moves with dumbbells (it was all they had). The next morning, even though it was supposed to be open at 7am (and I got there at 8am), the room was locked! Jerks! From there, I had a few days off until Friday in Palm Beach, where I took a tennis lesson. Here's the lesson I learned: I suck at tennis. I'd rather run. Or lift. Yes, lift--perfection! Saturday, despite really REALLY wanting to check out the Gold's down there, I went to the country club gym after an HIIT run outdoors--ah, the gorgeous Florida air/weather/environment! It was a'ight. Nothing special. I did have one of the men that worked there come up and tell me that I was working the hardest he's seen anyone workout there. But that really isn't saying much, because most of the people that live in this country club community are OLD. O-L-D, old. So I'm pretty sure it's really easy to workout harder than them, oops, did I just say that out loud??

Nutrition: I won't go into too many details, but let's just say the first half of my week (in New Orleans), while my food consumption was fairly decent, my alcohol consumption was most likely off the charts. Okay, slight exaggeration, but the drinks there kick you on your ass! First of all, ALCOHOL. Second, SUGAR. It's like they didn't even know how to make a drink without adding all this unnecessary sugar. And for someone who rarely eats added sugars in her diet, I was done for with the first drink I had! The second half of my week, I cut back dramatically on the alcohol (poor, poor liver!), but it was impossible not to eat while staying at a big-ass mansion beach house on a country club/beach club resort. The good news is I didn't have to pay for practically anything, but the bad news is, gulp, I gained a few pounds.

Some healthier meals (well, coffee wasn't a meal, but a travel necessity): gumbo & anti-cobb salad (aka a very fruity salad).

You have to admit this is hilarious.
Okay, okay, I know: Bad, BAD Liz! But hear me out. First of all, it's super hard to adjust to three long car rides (15 hours, 12 hours, 14 hours). Not only did I have to succumb to the places the other girls wanted to eat (KFC buffet, anyone? Okay I may have said fine to that just because it was a funny sight), but do you know just how BORING long car rides are, let alone three of them?! It's not that I ate particularly unhealthy, but it was that I ate too much because country clubs add ALL these unnecessary courses to your meal. No, I do not need a (multigrain) bread basket, hors d'oeuvres, AND a salad bar BEFORE my meal! Geez people, how can you eat like this on a regular basis?! 

The experience has gotten my ass in line though--by that I mean, I'm at the point where I realize just how close my competition is. Albeit, it's still many weeks away, but I need to be on no less than my A-game ALL. THE. TIME! How is it going so far--great! I have officially dropped the weight I (briefly) gained and I'm actually asking for butt-whooping gym sessions. And so far, so good! I haven't cried (haven't actually done that at the gym yet), I haven't let myself do the "easy" routines, and, most importantly, I haven't quit! As I said to Kevin last night: If I didn't wanna do it, I would have just stopped. But I told myself I'm doing a competition, and I'll be damned if I don't do everything in my power to do it! And not only do it, but do it well. So that's where I stand now, after my weeklong setback--more determined than ever! And more sober--I promised a friend I would go out with her on St. Patrick's Day, one of my fave days, and since I can't back out, I'm gonna go (without drinking). Hello figure competition, I will kick your ass!

They always want to cop a feel!