Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Change of Scenery is in Order

I have to admit, I've felt a bit lazy today and yesterday. This weekend I went down to visit my mom and my best friend back home in Virginia Beach. Why I decided Memorial Day weekend was a good weekend to go down, I have no idea! Traffic was terrible! I left Charlottesville at 8am on Sunday, made a pit stop at the Williamsburg outlets and got to Virginia Beach a little after noon. Although, I do have to admit that I didn't actually run into any slow or standstill traffic on the way down. Rather, I decided to take a longer route because one of the highway signs said that the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel was blocked because of debris. The longer way took maybe an additional 20 minutes, but when it's that hot outside (in the 90s!), I just wanted to be home already!

When I finally got there, it was nice and relaxing. My mom started my laundry for me (I get spoiled with laundry services when I go home...and since I don't have a washer/dryer in my new place), and we just got to catch up since so much has happened since last weekend. My best friend, Katie, invited me to her family's cookout at 4:30, and I jumped at the opportunity to see her! And her new puppy Delilah! Just a bit of background information--I never had a pet growing up and she had a german shepherd, Abby. Abby ran into a bit of poor health last summer and had to be put to sleep. We were all devastated. I got the news when I was at work and started bawling. I still tear up to this day thinking about her--she was like my dog too. We used to joke that she was my "girlfriend" since I am not in the family and she seriously loved me. She would come up to me before I even got in the door...

I'm glad they found a replacement for Abby and Lilah (Delilah's nickname) is perfect! She's also a shepherd cross and just so curious about everything. So naturally, I had to take some pics with my new "girlfriend"... Don't mind my gross face/hair--I had been in a hot car all day (windows down most of the time til it got WAY too hot.
Isn't Lilah gorgeous?! She loves me!!
Confession: before I got Archie, I had my eye on some shepherd mixes. Unfortunately I didn't have the yard/room for a large dog. But everything worked out, and I'm just love Archie even though he is still "vacationing" with my mom!!!

Now for my next confession: I was so BAD at the cookout! Ate completely off plan! It was so bad that I wasn't even gonna fess up to Pleasants. But I did. He doesn't know how bad the damage was, and I'm too ashamed to say, even on here, but it is out of my system. All I will say is that last weekend I was good, though I probably under-ate on my carb load day and moving day. I didn't even have cake for my graduation! Unheard of, right?! So for as guilty as I felt feel, I'm half-ass justifying it. I know it doesn't work that way...

So why did I crumble? Well, it was a cookout--it was the nature of the event that got me started. And that darn plate of brownies that was staring at me from the counter...that's all I'm gonna say on that. I don't even usually eat red meat, but I ate a burger (before he even started grilling, Katie's dad assured me they were super lean). Gah, kicking myself just writing this now! Also, I got caught up in the excitement of the day--Katie got down on one knee and...OFFICIALLY ASKED ME TO BE HER MAID OF HONNOR!!! The wedding isn't until October 6, 2012, when both she and her fiance will be done with their respective graduate and law degrees, but it's been unofficially known (since we left for college...without boyfriends) that I would be her MOH when the day came. I'm too excited for words! Katie's my BFFTTDID (that's Best Friend Forever Til The Day I Die, for all of you that aren't aware of our soon-to-be trademarked saying** ha)! I love her as much as I love my sister. Although, I never get in fights with her, but I do get in fights with Sissy...
My 18th Bday at PF Chang's with Katie (BFFTTDID).
Aren't we so pretty?!?!
The other reason I gave in was because the stupid scale. I had major losses this week. Down in body fat and lost another 2.2 lbs (I re-weighed myself Sunday morning since Saturday is my last carb depletion day each week)!! I need to remember that I can't celebrate after losses, or there aren't going to be any more to follow. And it's so close to the competition that I don't have room for error.

This just leaves me nervous. I've been trying to make up for the cookout the past day and a half by further cutting my carb intake, hoping things will balance. I missed my second cardio session yesterday since by the time I was back in C'ville (yeah, traffic blew on the way back--TERRIBLE), Gold's was closed. They closed at 2 for the holiday, I didn't get back til around 3:30. It was too unbearably hot to go outside when it wasn't 100% necessary. Yes, it was 100% necessary for me to do cardio, but I would rather not get heat stroke or anything. Okay, that's probably an overstatement, I'm without a valid excuse

I did, however, have an amazing run along the beach in Sandbridge yesterday morning, at the crack of dawn. Literally. I got up at 5 5:30 (after hitting snooze) and was at the beach before 6am--iPod on, headphones in, shoes laced up (coulda done without these), and ready to roll run! Not before a quick sunrise pic though--
Beautiful right? I do miss living down in Sandbridge. Coming down here brings back a lot of memories.We used to rent live in a house 2 blocks back from the beach, right along the Back Bay Wildlife Preserve (think swampy woods--yeah that made for some scary nights home alone) in the off-season. One of these days I will get into my life growing up, but that's a different post. Let's just leave it at this--my mother is the most amazing woman I know, and raising 4 children (all 3-4 years apart) is tough. But now that we've been through those times, we are definitely stronger.

After running down and back along the coast--which wasn't easy, let me tell you!--I took to the streets. The beach run was great, don't get me wrong, and my glutes felt it the entire way (sloping, soft sand makes for a tough run!), but I wasn't at my 30 minute mark and I wanted a bit of hard, level asphalt for a bit. The transition was funny. My body didn't like it. It would have preferred to stay on the beach :) and soak up some sun. When I hit the ground (ha!) running, I made sure to go down my old cul-de-sac and take a look at the house I grew up in. It was bittersweet. If I wasn't running/had my phone, I would have taken a picture of the street sign--Bluefish Lane--but alas, I was running/didn't have my phone. Next time, guys. Next time.

The rest of my "holiday" was spent driving/getting the left side of my body sunburned. Oh, and of course I realized when I was halfway back to Charlottesville that I left all the new workout clothes I had bought from the Nike and Under Armour outlets back at my mom's place! Now that I'm back, I'm more determined than ever to make sure I don't fall off the wagon (or any sort of wagon) again! Gym this morning was calves, abs, and 30 minutes of increasing speed on the treadmill (starting at 7.2, increasing to 9.0). And of course I'll return in a couple of hours for lifting and more cardio :) All I'm saying is I better be down to what I was when I weighed in Sunday or I'll be very angry with myself!! And I'm sure Pleasants won't be too pleased either.

**BFFTTDID has not been copyrighted or trademarked...but it should be (by us)!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I'm up at 6. And the gym doesn't open until 8. I could go outside and run--after all, it did cool down with last night's storm--but I find that I'm less efficient when I run outside. Sure, time goes by faster, because I tend to create some sort of loop, but due to hills, heat, etc., I think I tend to run slower. Significantly slower. This has helped me learn to love the treadmill more though! And I'm not saying I hate running outside, I'm just saying I have to be in the right mood for it. And since this morning it was a bit of a struggle getting up at 6am, it is not one of those mornings.

The later half of this week has been riddled with frustrations, kinda. I'm back in the swing of things at work, and boy were those 5 days of not working heavenly!! I was burnt out just a little bit and was able to come back with renewed energy and a positive attitude--good to hear, right?! At least I think my managers think so ;) So that's obviously not what's frustrating, but surprisingly, it's the gym that has been! Or rather my performance at the gym. It started Thursday evening when I was all pumped to do a leg workout. I don't know if my body is just worn down from all the moving or what, but let me tell you something--I felt like it was 20 times harder than it had to be for all the exercises we did! We started off with seated squats on the rack...and normally, I'm a squat kinda girl! But throw in a weight bench to sit down on (or in my case, a box that was shorter since I'm shorter and Kevin wouldn't let me get away with using the same bench he and Bob were using), and I was a goner. I think the concept of sitting down during a squat is foreign to me, and kinda seems counter-productive. You're sitting down, which means you're resting. However, I neglected the fact that you then have to get off your butt, with the weight, and repeat. I tried negotiating with Kevin to let me do regular squats and I'd make sure they touch the rack every time, but that was a no-go. Grrr.

Of course we followed those up with my favorite most-hated leg exercise--box step-ups. Over the course of both the squats and these, there were times when I felt so frustrated that A) I was very close to tears in the middle of the gym floor and had to bite my lip not to, and B) I wanted to run off and hide in the women's locker room. I did neither. I had already done calves that morning (EVERY DAY, y'all!), so we finished up with some good mornings. Those weren't half bad. I don't mind them. Of course, my hips were hating me yesterday--I really need to work on flexibility--but it felt good knowing that something was coming a bit easier to me. All-in-all though, I whined, I talked back, and I felt like a 7-year old throwing a fit because I couldn't do the workout my way. I'm a bit ashamed. But not really--it was hard! And of course Kevin and Bob were there to witness my retaliation. Note to self: don't sh*t-talk on leg day!! EVER AGAIN!
B*tch please, I'm wearing a dress!
Do I look like I wanna train legs?
At this point, I thought leg night was the last of my workout woes, but yesterday was the same story, kinda of. Cardio has been good, been on point, and I've managed to keep up my energy for it. So that's no worry at all. But yesterday we did just biceps, for times sake (and since I was still sort of drained from the previous night). I don't think it was a matter of me not being able to do things, but the weights we were using were pushing me slightly out of my comfort zone, and not in a good way. It wasn't really a matter of sacrificing form for weight, because I could lift the darn things (in this case doing bar curls with the easy bar), but I couldn't fully do the amount of reps necessary. I mean, I guess that's why I have Kevin as a spotter, and he told me just to focus on the negative and he would help me get it up there, but by the end of that, I was starting to feel a case of Jello Arms coming on.

We followed those with some cable curls, and I think I started out too heavy, but at any rate, it just wasn't coming easy. I have an interesting relationship with the cable machines. I really do like them, but there are times when I feel like my shoulder doesn't cooperate with me and the machine, so it's hard for me to rotate my arm into position. If that makes sense. So last night, while we were doing cable curls, it's not that I felt that the weight was too heavy for me to curl, but it was that it was too heavy for my shoulder to adapt to. I asked Kevin if my form looks off, but he said form was good, it was just because my muscles are fatigued. At any rate, when we went to do our one set of concentration curls, me with 10lbs, Jello Arm had fully set in. It was a struggle to get my arm up, and even so, I felt like it came crashing down faster than an anvil in a cartoon. Moments like those make me leave slightly embarrassed--I know I can do so much more, but I end up looking weak. And I don't like looking weak.

Luckily unluckily, it is going to be a few days til I workout with Kevin again. Today he's busy, tomorrow I leave for home (aka Virginia Beach), and on Monday the gym closes early, so by the time I get back in town, I won't be able to get a workout in with him. Sunday is my off day anyway, so it's not like I'm skipping a workout, and I may buy a guest pass at my mom's gym back home--though I hear it's crazy expensive now! If not, I'll just do my cardio by running through the neighborhood (or better yet, early early early in the AM on the beach!), and find something heavy to lift at my mom's place. Hmm, she does have Sebastian (our really fat cat)... And there are currently 2 miniature schnauzers there too--what do you think, chest presses with one in each hand??

Okay, on to more interesting things:
If you have been keeping up with me for a while, you know that I have had some a LOT of issues regarding my posing suit. In that I don't have a suit yet because the lady I gave my deposit to has been ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE about follow-up!!!! I emailed her about 4 times just reminding her to send me fabric swatches! Half of those either didn't get a response or got one...a week or two later. And this lady was recommended to me--by two different people! By the end of last week, I was fed up, so I sent her an email:
Hi _____--

I still haven't heard back from you regarding the fabric samples or my competition date change. I understand that it's a busy time of year with competitions, but I was hoping to at least have received a follow-up from you since I sent you my deposit several weeks ago. This is a great stress to me, especially given that this is my first competition. Unfortunately, I do not think I can continue to do business with you, as I want to ensure that I have an appropriate suit by the time I compete. I would appreciate it if you would refund my deposit.

Liz Kurland
Professional, not bitchy (like I wanted to be/was in my head), and to the point. Her response was that she was cutting the swatches tonight and would have them to me by the next week. Really, you haven't even cut the swatches yet? Do you own a pair of scissors??? Let me just remind you that I put the deposit down the 2nd week of March--March, and this suit was originally intended for the June 12 show that I decided was too early. I even told her I had chosen a later show, I did everything that I was supposed to do, I asked her if 11 weeks was enough time (at the time) to get my suit done, I sent her pictures of what I wanted. And all I got was an email telling me that she had neglected my suit and my money basically. I was not a happy camper. So I did what anyone would do--I stretched the truth and told her I had found another suit and just wanted a refund. Which she obliged, but her last email to me really irks me:
Its been refunded.  Good luck with your show.  Please accept my apology in regards to my dropping the ball with the samples.
So many things wrong with that last sentence. First, I don't think she ever "caught" the ball to begin with. It shouldn't take 8 weeks to send out samples, woman! I understand it's a busy time, but there are no excuses. Second, I can't accept her apology, all I can do it accept my refund (which returned to my bank via Paypal Thursday, thank goodness!). Letting go of all frustration.

Luckily, in this whole mess ordeal, I was able to find another suit, but I want your opinions before I hit the gas with this one.
What do you think?? This suit is from saleyla.com and they have a ton of suits on there for a reasonable price. Also, I like that they have a really quick turn-around time (which is really important to me now more than ever, given the previous suit fiasco), which enables me to wait a couple more weeks and get more accurate measurements to send in. Should I hit "order" or do you have any suggestions for other suit designers??

Anyway, I have officially passed enough time so I can now get ready for the gym!! Today is going to be a back day, I do believe! And in other news, my long-lost amazing friend Cijlvere (pronounced "Silver") is in town last night/today, and I managed to throw on some clothes (instead of pajamas) and go hang out with her for a bit. She follows my blog and stalks my life has been able to stay updated with all my crazy competition ramblings, so we had fun talking/catching up. I got home past my bedtime, but made sure I was in bed by 11pm, so not terrible. But at any rate, Cijlvere is going to be in the audience for my August 6 show, since it will be near to her new apartment!! YAY!!!

I challenge you: Go get your Saturday morning workout on!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What do you mean, I'm doing well?

Yesterday I met with Pleasants to workout at his gym. By this, I don't mean that he trained me, but rather he wanted to see how I was doing with workouts. So I went in for chest and bis, and we tweaked some movements/increased the number of sets I'm doing. And I left in a great mood! Pleasants has been coaching me through my nutrition/prep for 4 (5?) weeks now, and although I can tell a difference between then and now, I cannot tell a difference on a daily basis. I really need to get out of this mindset! In fact, Sunday night I got on the scale (bad Liz! Bad, BAD Liz!!) and was horrified! Granted, Sundays are carb load days, but seeing the weight fluctuation in numeric form is not-so-good for the confidence. I now see why we only weigh Sundays (or Saturday this past weekend). Needless to say, I won't be doing anymore mid-week scale hopping!

One last photo from graduation--I do LOVE my dress :)

Back to my workout yesterday, as I previously mentioned, I have noticed results on a weekly (biweekly?) basis, but on a daily basis, I look in the mirror and I don't really like what I see. Yes, I'm quite positive that I have body image issues, but I cannot really help that right now. I don't do anything to harm myself, like drastically cutting calories, so I can honestly say that I'm healthy. Especially this past weekend and the beginning of the week, I was very nervous because I hadn't eaten 100% according to plan. That being said, I'm pretty sure I was under in intake of all my macro-nutrients, so it was probably not that detrimental. But I still felt the mental repercussions, feeling guilty about eating "normal" meals (or, in Monday's case, a protein bar). It's not that I saw some negative results this week, but I just felt off, and it caused me to see all the flaws and all that I think I need to improve on.

That being said, it was such a confidence boost when Pleasants said that I'm coming along really well. Starting so see some lines and cuts in places that weren't so defined before. I've got some major guns popping up, more definition in my chest, legs getting more muscular. I think my legs are my biggest body image issue. To me they just look BULKY. They look like they could use their own diet, haha. I know this is completely absurd, and I'm trying to stay away from that mentality, and I'm just being crazy, right? Right. It was nice to get Pleasants opinion, because he sees me once a week. I see me every day. He's more objective. I'm more subjective.

Haha, that reminds me: he asked if my clothes were fitting differently, to which I responded, "Yeah, I don't have anything that fits!" Which got us talking about how I have leaned down a lot and even with this past rough weekend/start to the week, I'm still getting results, so we are not changing anything until the results stop. And of course, I responded to this, "Well, whenever you see me, I'm always wearing hugely baggy clothes because I can't fill anything out anymore, so it must seem more drastic to you!" It is kind of funny though--I work in a clothing store, and I can't really fit into much there. Some tops, yes, but now even the extra-smalls are too big, and petites are too short. And I'm too small for the size 0s, and they don't carry petite-sized shorts. That, plus I kind of refuse to go elsewhere to buy clothes because my mentality is always "I could get this half-price if it was at Loft."I want to say that I don't need to be buying clothes anyway since I'm only going to shrink further, but I do need to be styled for work. This poses a problem, to which my answer is currently: Dresses! Seriously, they are lifesavers! Even my skirts are too big. I just had to consign some pieces of clothing that I bought only a couple months ago. But I figure it's better to get a return of money than to let them sit, unworn, in my closet for months and months.

Ultimately, I am pleased with my progress. I just have to take a step back from the mirror to really recognize all the progress I've made. And now that I'm all settled in the new pad, I can take this time to relax (and job hunt). And brainstorm some potential redecorating--I really want NEED a new bedding set!!
Pretty much settled in, right? 
The closet is a LOT bigger than it looks--
the doors aren't open fully!
Where the magic happens (on the blog, silly!)
I need something for this wall, but am waiting til I get a new desk.
Any websites (on the cheaper side) that I should check out for full-size bedding? When it comes to your own progress, are you more objective or subjective? How long do you hold onto clothing (without wearing it) before you consign it/give it away??

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Phew! Wait--Now What??

It's been a busy few days to say the least! I haven't worked since Thursday, but in all honesty, I wouldn't have had the time (I purposely requested off Saturday thru tomorrow at noon). Let's see: Friday I signed up for tanning with Megan--gotta get me some color before the end of July--and procrastinated started packing a box boxes. I kept justifying that I really didn't have that much stuff once I moved my furniture, etc. So wrong, kinda.

Sissy and I at Beer Run (don't worry, I didn't drink!)
Saturday I woke up at 6 am, hung around til 7 then took my last run around UVa grounds as an undergrad. Followed up with shoulders and bis at the gym and then waited around until my family got to town. Of course this weekend was filled with lots of eating out--twice on Saturday and once on Sunday. I managed to stay on prep, for the most part. I did eat the goat cheese and walnut halves that came on my spinach salad on Saturday...and I ate the feta and kalamata olives that came on my tuna steak salad on Sunday...but come on, it's college graduation, it only happens once (as an undergrad). Sure, I felt a bit guilty, but it happened, and it really wasn't that bad. Saturday night was sushi, so I got sashimi pieces and seaweed salad--some wise (and delicious) decisions, if I do say so myself!

Saturday night's Sashimi
Okay, okay, on to the things you are dying to hear about! Graduation was SO GOOD, yet SO long. Outdoors. In the blazing sun. But that's part of UVa tradition, and we were lucky that the rain held off. Besides, I'd much rather have graduation outdoors than inside, it's a lot prettier that way. The lawn ceremony took 2 1/2 hours, and my degree ceremony was right after. There were maybe 50 of us graduating from the Environmental Science department, so it went quickly. Now that I look back, it was all a blur, and I spent the better part of the lawn ceremony trying not to fall asleep under the spring/summer heat and texting my mom about her whereabouts and where to eat. But alas, I'm an alumni. Weird words. Yet truth. Here's to the real world!
On grounds before the ceremony
Oh my God--I'm actually holding my diploma!!
After lunch, my mom went with me to Ann Taylor and kindly bought me a suit jacket and dress for my interview today--I didn't want her to leave without getting an opinion from her, since the only interviews I've ever really had were for retail/restaurant jobs. I think the outfit was a winner (or we will see...). My sister wrote me a handmade card--complete with sketches. I teared up--I love my family!
Love you mommy! (Don't hate me for including this pic!)
After the fam left, it was cookout time with Megan, Kevin, and Martell. The menu: turkey burgers, grilled zucchini & asparagus, salad, and vegetarian chili. All great! Props to the grill master (aka Kevin)! Perfect relaxing evening to an eventful weekend!
Bye bye Sissy & pups! Archie is on vacation at my mom's
 house while I get settled

Of course all that relaxing had to end at some point--Monday was filled with moving. A lot of moving. Agonizing moving. In very hot weather. Kevin was kind enough to help me move my big furniture since I don't have a truck and definitely could not do that on my own. An hour to an hour and a half later, and I was moved into the new place. But still not settled. And I don't blame myself for counting moving as my strength training and second cardio--I moved from the second floor of a house to the in-between first and second floor of my new apartment building (aka the first floor is a bit below ground level). So yeah, I had my fair share of stair climbing and heavy lifting. Got a little squished at times but I didn't hurt myself--yay!

Now on to what you are most likely looking forward to hearing about--the interview. It went well I think! A LOT better than the phone interview at least and I conducted myself very properly. Had some questions for the interviewers, which I think reflects well on me. I just hope that my resume and interviews, along with my friend's recommendation, puts me at an advantage. My fingers are crossed! There's no doubt that I need/want this job and this place would be an amazing opportunity to be employed by!

Today is an errand day--and back to work, yuck! I've gotten so used to not working at Loft...but I gotta live, right? My new room is almost all settled--just have to put a few more pictures on the walls (after I find out where to put them). Well, that's my five-day recap! I have some major catching up on blogs to do!!

Monday, May 23, 2011


I'm sore, I'm tired, and I miss you guys! But unfortunately I'm too exhausted to write a post. Moving beats the crap out of you! But don't worry, I will be back tomorrow with a FULL, EXCITING post! Promise!!!

Until then...
Puppy love!
P.S. Archie is at my mom's until a date TBD so he wouldn't get in the way of my moving. I miss him :( The other morning I woke up ready to take him out and forgot he wasn't there. Sigh!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh My Word!

I have been slacking! I promised you all that I would let you know as soon as possible what happened with my phone interview! Well, I got sidetracked with the usual--gym, eating, sleep, texting, catching up on television shows via Hulu, which by the way, Bones was AMAZINGGG!!! Oh, and I was starting to pack, buying a membership to a tanning salon (gotta take advantage of the student price while I still can), and gym-ing it up...again. And again. I have two boxes packed, thanks to the bubble wrap provided by my sister-in-law, Kathy, and the boxes provided by Megan. Thanks girls!

Okay, now that I've built up the anticipation, the phone interview... I was kinda appalled scared of how nervous I'm sure I sounded, but it went well I think! I was told via email to phone the HR guy yesterday, so I did, but it went to voicemail. I left a message (obviously), and I was prepared when I was calling him. But when he called me back, I was a ball of nerves, to say the least! I stumbled over several answers, because let's be honest--phone interviews are hard! I'm a good in-person interviewer, but you can't judge reactions via phone conversation. However, that being said, I got asked to come in for an in-person interview Tuesday! Any advice on what to wear?? I don't have a suit, but if necessary, I may be able to purchase one, I suppose. I'm just unsure how formal the work environment is these days. I know that my friend that works there dresses just business casual. Hmm...

I'm excited/nervous/giddy/anxious! But it couldn't have come at a better time. I graduate in 2 days! and my parents and siblings are coming in town tomorrow. And of course I still have to be up by 6am and have my check-in with Pleasants at 10am. My mom and sis should be here by noon. I know this weekend is going to be hella-busy, so please excuse me if I'm not prompt with updates until Monday. So until then, have a good weekend. And of course good luck to Stacy who is competing tomorrow--you're going to be AMAZING girl! Have a blast!!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jones Soda

Yesterday amidst my career-(or lack thereof) related freak out, I was drinking a Jones Soda--Diet Vanilla Bean (delicious!) flavored. I haven't had a Jones Soda in a while, but they do this new thing where they have fortune cookie sayings under each cap. I thought it was so appropriate that my fortune, as I was writing cover letters, read:
Financial security is just around the corner.
Fitting, right? It made me smile, and I couldn't help but believe it. The circumstances were more than coincidental and it's not like it was telling me I was going to win the lottery or anything. It was merely saying that my financial woes will soon go away. I'm not superstitious, but I believe it. And seriously, what's the chance that I would get that bottle cap anyway? I hadn't drank soda in forever when I saw the Joneses on sale for $1 a bottle (steep, I know, but SO good). And I grabbed a few--I drank one the day prior, but it was yesterday that I got that exact bottle cap...

Anyway, that leads me to this exceptional news--I have a phone interview tomorrow! At my friend Liz's company. Quick turn-around, right?! I just sent off my resume and cover letters yesterday! So that means tonight I have some homework to do--aka brushing off my phone interview skills since I've never done one before. Anyone have any phone interview advice??? Bonus points if you do!!

The real test will be seeing if this munchkin can actually lift things!
I should have known the day was going to be a good one when I finished my kick-ass leg workout today. It was one of those mornings where I was just in a good mood, feeling motivated, and apparently so was Kevin. I even knowingly did the StairMaster even though I knew it was leg day--gasp!! And I think I have another set of hands helping me move after graduation--my sister is staying with me for a few extra days and she said she'd love to help. LOVE HER!

All my meals went according to plan today, and I especially loved the batch of ground lean chicken breast I made with pie spices. Result: tasted like breakfast food, yum! So of course I had to put a couple of tablespoons of sugar-free syrup on it. Breakfast for dinner during prep? I think YES! My check-in with Pleasants this week is going to be on Saturday instead of Sunday due to graduation, and I'm anxious (good anxious) to see my numbers. I haven't eaten anything off plan this week, so I'm expecting some results. Not to mention I'm now 6 for 6 with workouts and tomorrow is back day. Oh and to continue with my good news--this semester (in which I feel like I slacked off the most) was actually the best semester of my 4 years here at UVa! My two 10 page papers I had to do? Got an A on one and a B on the other! Told ya I'm a good procrastinator ;)

I would love it if you would send some good thoughts my way for my phone interview tomorrow! I'm really nervous and sometimes I think it's hard to judge how well you interview via phone. As a wise person once told me 15 minutes ago, "If it's meant to be, it'll happen." Here goes nothing!!
Dear Jones Soda, I hope you are right!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Since When Do I Get Anxiety Attacks??

I had that total-body experience today and it had me really scared/worried. As you all know, I've been on the search for a job since classes ended and I finally have the time to put into it and I'm graduating in T-minus 5 days. It has been rough--some plans that I thought I would have figured out by now haven't gone my way in the past couple months, so I'm nowhere near where I saw myself. So I've been putting in applications for part-time jobs (hello, waiting tables) as well as full-time jobs, so at the least I can make some money while I find something more permanent.

Well I was working at Loft this morning, and I've been checking out the career website for the company my friend, Liz, works at (hehe, we have the same name!). I was totally not expecting anything today, although she has mentioned there are a few positions that were about to open up at her office, but I received an email from her via my Droid. She said the position was posted and sent me the job description and told me to act quickly. I fixed my resume as of last week, so all I had to do was write 2 cover letters. I don't know what about that email made me freak out, but my heart was racing. I still had 2 hours left of my shift and all of a sudden I felt like I was hit with a sack of bricks. My stomach felt odd, my head felt faint, and I just did not feel good. I wanted to get out of there, and I just needed to sit down, or better yet, lay down. I did manage to make it through those 2 hours, but it left me really wary because I had the same reaction when I went to turn in an application at a restaurant yesterday. I may or may not be tearing up just thinking about it.

I don't know what my lesson in all this is yet, and I can't say that I think I'm just more susceptible to emotions and panic due to my prep, because I don't think that's the culprit. I think being in school I felt cushioned--yes, I wanted more than anything to be done with classes, but you don't really enter the real world until you're out of school, trying to live on your own by your own means, and desperate for a job, any job. On top of that, there's that looming problem of deferred loans--all $15,000 worth of them. And parents wanting to know how the job hunt is coming and sending you links for dead-ends (aka jobs you are not qualified for). And friends and relatives and strangers wanting to know what you're doing with your life. It's all just so much and honestly, I HATE thinking about it all. I avoid it as much as possible. It makes me irritable with my mom, and I end up hanging up on her all the time because I feel like she's overbearing, but I know she means the best. I hate that I do that, but until something comes up, I can't really fix that. I try not to be so vulnerable about it, but it's inevitable.

That's why I'm crossing my fingers that I get this job at Liz's company. I sent in all my cover letters and my resume, and she gave me a stellar reference, so now I just have to play the waiting game. Which means that my cell is glued to me at all times, and I check it every 5 minutes just in case I don't hear it go off yup, I'm that crazy. But anyways, onto other, more competition-related topics... I'm 4 for 4 with workouts so far this week! Everything seems to be going as planned and I'm grateful that I have the resources I do to help me out with this. And everyone's support. I don't think I could do this alone, and I probably wouldn't have gotten nearly as far as I currently am. Nutrition is stellar as well, although I do feel slightly uncomfortably full after my last meal (an hour and a half ago). I made the mistake of drinking too much water during my meal and too fast. I've had that uncomfortable "I have to burp but it's not coming out" feeling since then. One of the worst feelings ever. So I'm lying down posting this. I'm sure the feeling will be gone soon, but lying down sure is making me realize how tired I am...

I think tonight is going to be an early night to turn in. Which is probably for the best since tomorrow is leg day. And knowing Kevin, he will make me hit them hard. Not that I mind--I never mind except for this morning when, doing bis and tris, I may have told Kevin that I really wanted to hit him because my arms hurt so much. Definitely wasn't serious though--I could never hurt anyone and would never lay a hand on anyone :) I just fake the facade--fake it til you make it, right??

P.S. Sorry, no pictures! I don't really have many new ones, so I'll have to get on that soon! You know, by being a bit more social/interesting, etc.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hitting My High

Gearing to go! Not 5am--this was actually yesterday, ha!
No, the title is not a drug reference, and yes, it has everything to do with my training and nutrition. Yesterday I decided to go into this week full force, and I'll be damned--I'm not taking any prisoners! Yes, this morning it was a little bit of a struggle to get out of bed after Kevin texted me and decided we should train in the afternoon instead of before the crack of dawn. Yes, I did set my alarm 3 times in separate 30-minute increments (5:00, 5:30, 6:00). No, I did not sleep in past 6am and no, I did not miss the gym this morning. I know what I have to do this week, and this is an especially crucial week because I have family coming into town this weekend and I'm nervous about my meals.

So first, this morning--I have to admit, sometimes I really want to run on the treadmill but the thought of doing 35 minutes in one sitting seems BORING!! Did I let this stop me though, heck no! Being the math-y kind of person I am, I kept breaking down into fractions how much of my time I had run and how much I had left to go. Not necessarily the most fun thing, but it kept my brain busy :) Also managed to increase speed toward the end before my cool down. This was immediately followed by abs and calves and then I was outta there! Not that I'm always itching to leave the gym...that's not the case.

I'm trying, I'm TRYING! Wahhh!
Fast-forward through a day of job-hunting and errands and relaxing and I was ready for round two. Let me pause here for a moment and just say job hunting is terrible! I'm desperate and right now I'm applying for anything! However, there's a huge lack of entry-level positions in the area. All these companies want people with like 5+ years of experience and all I have is my internship to show them. It leaves me frustrated and I try so hard not to think about it because it gets me down. At the same time though, these feelings give me fuel for my workouts, but I'm sure I'd be entirely happier with a real, full-time job!

5pm rolled around and I hit the gym again--this time for 20 minutes of cardio (as prescribed by Pleasants). Hopped on the treadmill and--let's just say, if we were in a boxing match, I totally beat the crap outta that machine! Made another little contest with myself and this time I started out at speed 7.5 for the 1st mile, 8.0 for the second mile, then increased to 8.5 for half a mile and 9.0 until the last minute and 10.0 for the remaining minute (hope you kept up with me there, I know that seems a lil' confusing...). Then shoulders--went pretty heavy and feeling pretty good because of it. At one point we were doing ascending sets with wide-grip upright rows and I accidentally started with my middle weight. Which resulted in me going up for the entire set and the following one as well. It's funny because I didn't actually think it was that much heavier--which is proof that half of lifting really IS mental.

And of course I decided to wait til after my meal to shower, and now there's a crazy awesome thunderstorm rolling through. Or rumbling through. Unfortunately, I do not want to be electrocuted, so I must stay stinky for a while longer. Aside from that, all is good and my meals have also been spot on. And for once, I was NOT TIRED around 2-4pm today! You have no idea how happy this makes me! I'm not normally a very tired person, so the midday slumps were really bugging me!
Archie does enjoy the 2-4pm sleepy-times though!
How do you pass the time during cardio? Do you play any mental games or make challenges for yourself? And any advice for my job hunt (I have an environmental science degree as of Sunday)? Any advice is much appreciated!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend? What Weekend?

It's been one of those weekends--the kind where I feel like I've been at work more than I haven't and it's really not much of a weekend at all. Yesterday, after my 2 posts, I had to head into Loft for an 8 hour shift--which meant no time for a second round of cardio. I didn't get out until 9, and even if the gym was open (which it wasn't), I was so exhausted that I wouldn't have been able to do more than walk on the treadmill. I totally justified it by counting it as my second round of low-intensity cardio by saying that since I was on my feet for those 8 hours and it was our Style Event (read: extra busy), it was definitely a workout. I think sometimes retail counts as cardio, right??

I only got a slight reprieve from the busy store last night--enough time to catch a 9:40 showing of Bridesmaids--SO.GOOD! When it started, I was unsure if I would like it, because it is definitely a different kind of movie--kind of like Juno (which I LOVED/own)--but I more than warmed up to it. It was so awkwardly funny that you couldn't help but laugh and enjoy it. If you like the normal dude humor of movies like The Hangover and Wedding Crashers, then you are sure to love this movie. Can I get a 'yay' for awesome leading female roles?!

Today is my rest-up/fatten up carb-load day, which started at 6am. Still have to be up early to get in my meals even if I'm not working out in the morning :) I don't really mind it though--it's starting to become habitual. Opened at the store at the (not-so) bright and early hour of 9:30, and by the time I got off at 1:15 I was just ready to relax. I had to meet with Pleasants--results weren't too great this week. I gained 0.3 lbs, which he reminded me isn't that terrible since it was my last stress week of the semester. I can only half agree because I know that part of it was (probably) my nutrition on Friday after the race--those darn nuts were not part of my plan!--and I've been a bit sedentary when I'm not working out or working. Let's be honest--sometimes you just need to rest. And sometimes you just need to rest your eyes on a Sunday afternoon catching up on last night's SNL while laying on your bed. But of course, the moment I got up to get into my bed instead of on it, I woke right up. Thus, grocery shopping!

Sunday is by far my new favorite day to go grocery shopping--I've started going to Giant, which is amazing at marking things down. I got SIX things of the leanest ground chicken breast for a total of $9! Add to that a few necessities, some $1 frozen steamer veggies, etc., and I was only $38 poorer. Or as I like to think of it (this time and this time only), many groceries richer!! They also had Jones' (diet) sodas on sale for $1 and since I kinda love them, I had to get a few. Which reminds me, is diet soda bad during prep? Even if I'm still getting in my gallon of water each day on top of that?? I'm normally not a soda person, but sometimes I just need one for the caffeine/artificially-sweetened taste-ha!

Aside from that, I'm so stoked to get into the gym in the morning! I feel like it has been forever, even though it has only been a day. This week I pledge to hit every workout and hit it hard! I need to see results! Maintaining this early on is not in my plan. I know I have what it takes to push that little bit extra :)

What are you excited for this week?!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Back-to-Back Post Saturday

Well I hope you all enjoyed my recap of the Filthy 5K, which I definitely left filthy! I'm posting another blog today because I got a really sweet comment from Kyra of The Get in Shape Girl. Her post was in response to my post a few days ago, and here's what she said:
Hey girlfriend!! Congrats on finishing school. What a huge accomplishment! So aside from the competitions, what's else is going on? Remember to set other goals aside from just competition ones. I've been reading a lot on post-competition emotions. You def need to have a lot of other goals set for yourself because it's easy to become addicted to constantly seeing the results from dieting down and hard training. I just want you to come off of this super-healthy! 
Instead of just replying to her comment (because, let's be honest--we all forget to look at those sometimes), I thought I would make this into a blog. She brings up a lot of good points. I do need goals besides just the competitions, and (since I'm sure we read a lot of the same blogs) I've seen some post-competition blogs too where the competitor feels empty/unsure of what to do next. I do have 10 weeks to go until my first competition (I recounted today!), but I do think it's good to figure out my goals early.

Kyra is right--it is easy to become addicted to constantly seeing results, and I'm one of those people. I strive to do whatever I can to be the best, and when things start going the other way, I freak out and the result is a downs spiral! And then it takes forever for me to get back to where I was, and even then I don't feel the same. It's happened to me before, when I stopped running track my senior year of high school, and I am nervous because these competitions are going to bring me below the weight I was then, and I definitely don't want to gain weight like crazy.

So that being said, here are my (tentative) goals for both now and after the competitions:

  • Compete again--I know there's always the possibility I could change my mind about this, but so far, I'm enjoying my journey to the stage, and I love having things to work for. If I decide I want to continue to do shows, it gives me a reason to maintain a healthy lifestyle and not gain weight like a hippo. I enjoy the lifting I've been doing--it gives me both a physical and mental push--and it is definitely not something I'm ready to give up in a 10-12 weeks.
  • Compete in more 5Ks--I've always been a runner, except for the brief period that I had no motivation to get out there and do it. I like running outdoors more so than on the treadmill (during the winter is another story). I know I will never be at the level I was in high school, because training for races alone is a lot different than running with a team and having certain drills, etc., but I do want to be more competitive with running. That's not to say I'm going to become some ridiculously addicted/competitive person, because after the Filthy 5K yesterday, I do want to enjoy some more fun runs, of which there are a lot in Virginia.
  • Take some nutrition courses--Time allowing. Being in prep has raised a lot of questions that I've never really had before. Why am I eating over a pound of chicken a day and still losing weight? How exactly does carb cycling work? I've heard all the positive results of prep, but are there any negative or lasting implications of this nutrition phase? And my questions are not just restricted to nutrition during prep, but prep is what has inspired my desire to know more about nutrition in general.
  • Become a certified personal trainer--Working out with Kevin and Bob, another of Kevin's clients, has sort of inspired this. At first, I realized I just really enjoy lifting, and I'm not half bad at it. Then I started getting feisty, if you will. First I would ask Kevin to tack on more weight because a set was to light. Then when all three of us were working out together, I'd find myself giving them a hard time pushing them to do a few more reps or a few more pounds. At one point, Bob said, "Geez, I don't think I could ever have you as my personal trainer--you'd kick my ass!" I think he was half-joking and I was pretty hyper at the time for being 5am on a weekday, but for the sake of my argument, I think I want to do this, or at least work in a fitness-oriented environment.
  • Create a nutrition & training plan for post-comp--I'll definitely discuss this with Kevin when it gets closer to the show, but in agreement with Kyra, I think it is good to have some sort of plan. Once I've gone through the experience of the competition, I'll know more about what I would like for this plan to include, but for now, it's really up in the air

Laying all this out makes me feel a lot better. At first glance at Kyra's comment, I got a little panicked and all I could think was "I haven't thought about that! I haven't even competed yet!!" But she's right. It's better to at least have an idea of what I want to accomplish after my competitions than to have no idea at all. And once again, I'm sure these goals/plans are bound to change, but when they do, I'll adapt them--nothing has to be set in stone.

Thanks again, Kyra, for bringing up this good point! I do have to admit that a few of my first thoughts were "I'll get to actually eat in August! And drink!" but I don't want to go overboard with the freedom, and you've definitely helped me put this into a lifestyle perspective!

MGD Filthy 5K: A Review

Let's get dirty! I repeated this phrase on numerous occasions leading up to the much-anticipated mud run that I took part in yesterday. Obviously, this run was more for fun that it was for competition, and I don't see how anyone could run it for time--there were spiraling stairs, slippery rocks, "death-defying" leaps (ha), and narrow trails. It was my first time doing a mud run and I really did not know what to expect except for mud and running.

We're two tough cookies!
At first, I was afraid my friend, Megan, and I would not make it in time--the race was slated to start at 6pm in Richmond and we didn't leave Charlottesville until around 5. Traffic was a b*tch!! But we raced to get there, and when we arrived we realized we weren' really that late--there was still a hugely long line to get our bibs and chips. After waiting in line for a good 45 minutes, we put on our race bibs, checked-in our bags and got pumped to start the race--but not before making a (porta) potty run!

First race run in just a sports bra...
I was impressed with the start of the race--after the 20(?) waves of starts, which we missed, they just opened up the course to all registered racers. Since we had the timing chips, it didn't really matter too much and it lessened congestion. Since I was there to get dirty and have fun, I made sure to run through every puddle, and Megan made sure to splash me numerous times...haha, jerk! I was kinda disappointed in the lack of mud though. I thought there would be more mud and since it had previously rained that day, I thought there would be anyway. But there was actually only one crossing of the James River, some scrambling over slippery rocks (over which everyone walked), one turn-around in the river/on the riverbank, and then a mud pit to crawl through at the end. I may have grabbed a couple handfuls of mud at the turn-around and Megan and I started our own mud war while running. Aside from that, there were areas of the course that went through the woods and they were a bit narrow, making it impossible to pass the walkers--which meant that there were periods of time where everyone was walking.

At the end of the race, I was soooo hungy--I hadn't bothered to pack food because I didn't think I would be in Richmond as long as I was. We left right before 5, so I missed that meal, which I realize I should have eaten before I left, and after waiting in line, running the race, etc., it was almost 9! Needless to say I was HUNGRY!! They gave us a pack of nuts, a Clifbar, and a small Powerade in our baggies, and I was pretty tempted to eat it all. After looking at the nutrition facts though, I decided against the Powerade--what a waste, all sugar!--and the Clifbar--44g of carbs! I debated, both internally & aloud, about eating the nuts, and finally I gave in. I felt a bit bad for doing it--they're pretty high in (good) fat, and I already had my carbs for the day, but I needed refuel, and I needed it then. I texted Pleasants about it, and after I admitted I was dumb for not even bringing a shake, he said I should go ahead and eat the nut then eat some egg whites and/or a shake when I got home. Good thing I ate them, because we didn't get back til midnight!! There was free live music and scrambling competitions and other fun stuff...so we had to get our money's worth before heading back...

That all being said, I had SUCH a good time running the Filthy 5K! It was more of a fun run than a timed run, which is new to me, since I'm so used to running 5Ks for the time. My time was actually twice that of all the other 5Ks I've finished, but I'm not at all worried about it. I enjoyed the company of running with Megan, and I succeeded at my goal of getting super muddy! I don't have a bucket list, but I think I'm going to make one so I can cross these things off of them!

Have you done a mud run before? How did you like it? Did you do it for the fun of it (getting covered in mud) or for the challenge??

P.S. All the pics are from my Droid camera, which explains the poor lighting/quality/shininess!
Rinsing off in the river--the lines for hoses were TOO long!

Monday, May 9, 2011

DONE. And a New Love List

I'm done with my last paper of my undergrad career. Finished with 2 hours so spare (finished around 3, it's due by 5). Turning it in, via an online drop box, was accompanied by an odd feeling. I don't know how I feel!!! My head feels like it weights 10 pounds and there's like 100 bouncy balls in it. I feel lazy. I feel tired I am tired! I want to celebrate, but my celebration is working out at Gold's tonight. Kevin jokingly suggested some heavy squats to celebrate--yeah, right. The bad news about paper-writing is I get so wrapped up and I forget to drink my water! I'm so behind--I'm gonna feel like a whale this afternoon. Oh, and I do have to give a shout-out to my amazing lil guy who was patient with me while I ignored him wrote my 11-page paper.
Archie has a chewing habit, hence the tattered doggy tent
I don't know what to do with myself now. Well, I mean I guess I do. And I do have a lot coming up. I'm just glad that this gives me the time and energy I need to put all my focus and motivation into training for this figure competition and job hunt eek!. I'm not really great with resumes, because even though I know I'm an exceptional worker and have many great qualities, I'm really bad at putting it on paper. Luckily, my friend Celia is going to help me with that when she gets back from vacay this week--she's really good with things like that. For the time-being though, I'm going to look for a part-time serving position at one of the local restaurants. Really didn't want to serve again, but I do know a good amount of people at the restaurants around UVa, so I should be good to go(?).

In other news, I bring to you Love List #2:
Me & Sissy--Game ON girl!
  • Being done with college--This has to be top of my love list. It's now been a few hours since I initially started this post and it's finally kicking in--I'M DONE! I'm graduating in less than 2 weeks!!!! With this comes feelings of anxiety, happiness, and a whole lot of freedom. I'm especially glad that this gives me all the time and focus--both mentally and physically--I need to prepare for these competitions!**
  • Deciding to do 2 competitions--That's right, I said it. I am unofficially officially doing 2 competitions. They are 2 weeks apart, but after talking to Pleasants yesterday, we think it is a good decision. I say unofficially because I have yet to register for them, but I finally got in contact with the commissioner of the Old Dominion Classic and he added me to the mailing list to keep me updated with competition info. The second one is actually the original show that I was going to do that was pushed back to the first weekend in August. My original reason for not wanting to do this show was because of the date change, but with all of my timing issues, it makes sense to do both.
  • Results--This is week 3 of my new nutrition plan (well, week 2 if you don't count my carb depletion), and I hate to sound vain, but dang I look good! I also lost almost 3 pounds this past week as well as about 4 percent body fat, all while maintaining my muscle mass! Results? Heck yes! And I can see greater definition, which is always a plus. Keep it coming! Pleasants says I should be between 108 & 112 lbs by the date of the competition, and I know it's doable. My petite sister, Eleanor will be jealous! 
  • Working out with Kevin--Yes, I also have to add this to the list. Kevin is always the one that pushed me that extra bit during each set, each and every rep. He knows when I'm bullshitting and calls me out on it. He also lets me do what sometimes, like when I want to go up in weight during good mornings, showing up both him and our other workout buddy, Bob (in terms of % weight increase). Sorry boys, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do ;-) He also doesn't let me say things like, "I'll probably suck during the first competition, so I'm doing another one 2 weeks later to make up for it." Thanks for the support, Kevin!
  • Beach--Right now I am craving beach time! My absolute bestie, Katie, just graduated from JMU, and although I could not attend the event/festivities on Saturday, I am SO excited for her! She's attending WVU for grad school and I know she's going to kick some ass! So right now, she's back home in Virginia Beach and I'm stuck working and trying to find more work--yuck! But I know we will soon be reunited! I absolutely cannot wait to hang out with her--and her amazing fiance, Tommy!
  • Actually having time to watch TV at night--Now, I normally don't do this, but lately I do have time to sit lay down and watch some faves--How I Met Your Mother, anyone??
  • Katie & I--Only besties have this type of bond!
  • Waking up between 5-6am--I actually enjoy waking up this early because it makes me feel like I have control over my day. I get my workout in and, although I do tend to have a midday slump, overall I feel more energetic. Not to mention I get to see the sunrise and I get the sidewalks all to myself (for the most part).
Okay, you're turn! I'm going to turn my Love List into a weekly occurrence (hopefully), so if you would like to join in post your own love list in your blog and keep the optimism coming! I hope you enjoy these little tidbits of insight into my life. Next post: summer plans! Happy Monday night!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Whirlwind Week

As always, I first want to apologize for my absence. This time I really don't have much of an excuse except that final (papers) have made me extremely lazy. Instead of catching up on my blogs when I'm not writing not at work, I've been catching up on some TV shows online, and then some. That doesn't mean that I haven't gotten my workouts in, because I have, and I'm feeling really good about hiring Pleasants to do my nutrition work. Makes life so much easier.

Earlier in the week, Wednesday/Thursday(?), I was having a few wrist problems which was impacting my lifting--I think I slept on it wrong or tweaked something in my wrist a day prior. Pleasants gave me something to put on it, and the next day it was fine, phew! In other gym-related news, I'm getting used to waking up before 6am to get in my workouts and start my daily meals. Thursday and Friday, Kevin and I worked out at 5:30am, and I stayed a bit longer to work abs, calves, and do first-round cardio. This also gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get my paper done (the one that was extended to Friday). Once I sat down and actually banged it out, it only took maybe a little over an hour to complete. You best believe there was a smile on my face as I walked (instead of drove) on grounds (campus) to turn it in to the professor in person. I wished him an enjoyable summer and was on my way, listening to Selena Gomez's "Who Says" on repeat. Don't judge, it's such a cute/catchy song!

Then yesterday, I woke up at my prescribed 6am, threw on clothes and hopped in the car to head to the gym. As I turned in, I got a bad feeling--the parking lot was EMPTY. Luckily, I immediately realized my mistake--it was Saturday and the gym does not open until 8am on Saturdays, duh! But then I had to figure out what I was going to do instead. I contemplated waiting til 8am and going then. I contemplated running around the neighborhood. Running won--I didn't feel like sitting around because there was a good bit I wanted to get done that day. BUT, it was chilly and I really didn't feel like running my normal loop. So as I was passing Washington Park, I decided to do a stair workout. The only problem? The stairs there are awkwardly long, so I was taking odd strides and had to make sure to do an even number of sets and break it up so I was starting off on the opposite foot each time. All-in-all, it helped though--I mean stairs are still stairs, and I do feel like I got a good workout.

I also treated myself to a new pair of booty shorts by Nike. I just had to--I'm shrinking too much for my current getup and I kinda wanna show off what I've been working for, not gonna lie! Following that, I had an epically unhelpful trip to Sam's Club--they didn't have anything I was looking for--bulk egg whites anyone??--yet I did stumble upon something I wanted and didn't think to look for. That thing being bulk sugar-free coffee syrups--jackpot! With two flavors in hand, I walked out a bit happier. And then the greatest thing happened--I was hanging out with a friend, and she happened to be puppy-sitting for her friend, so I got to hang out with a puppy! Okay, yes I do have a puppy that I love and adore and makes me laugh, but there's something about larger breed puppies that makes them adorable as well. This one, named Tank, was a pit bull/shepherd/lab mix and so sweet! We wrestled--I think he won because he's just too cute to lose.

When I finally got to the gym, I was definitely in a good mood, fresh with memories of puppy play and coffee (haha). When I got on the treadmill for my last cardio of the day, I actually managed to run a 7 minute mile! I cannot recall the last time I even wanted to do that! I wasn't planning on running at this pace for as long as I did--in fact, I even went over my cardio time for a couple minutes just to finish up--but I got going and it felt good and I was rocking my new shorts, so I thought, "Hey, why not see if I still got it??" It's no sub 6-minute mile like I ran back in my glory days, but I'll take it! After all, I'm not training for a race, I'm training for a figure competition.

I wasn't intending this post to be so lengthy, but when I'm gone for 3 days, I guess I can't expect any less. Other key things from this week--my poor, poor girls continue to shrink, and I decided to be social the past two nights! Friday night was very low-key and I only stayed out for about an hour--long enough to meet a friend's new boyfriend. Last night got a bit lengthy, as I lost track of time having a good time drinking water with some great friends I have neglected.

It was a bit of an awakening being at bars last night, for a couple reasons.

Where you could find me, most pre-prep nights...

  1. "Ohhhh, that's how I act when I'm drunk." --One of my friends recently turned 21 and I have dubbed her the new drunk version of the old me. It's interesting seeing drunk people from a sober perspective. And yet completely entertaining.
  2. When you know all the bartenders at your favorite bar and you haven't seen them in forever a while, then you order a water, you have a lot of explaining to do. I generally try to sum this up in a few short words--"I'm not drinking til the end of July/beginning of August. I'm training for a figure competition." But then both they and surrounding eavesdroppers drunk boys want to know what that is, want you to flex, give you all their attention until you walk away uninterested. Okay, that last part was directed mostly to the surrounding drunk boys. My bartender friends are awesome and, even though they could totally win in an arm-wrestling match, I always appease them by flashing my guns when they ask, awkward as it is.
  3. When you go to a bar that you frequent in a pretty small college town, you are bound to run into the person you have no desire to see. Which results in a conversation similar to this: Boy: "Liz!!!! **insert huge pick-up hug here** What's going on? I haven't seen you in forever! By the way, I got a new phone, so I don't have your number...and I don't think you have mine anymore??"Me: "No, don't think I do... (And don't want it)" ...Time elapses and a half-hour later he comes back over, says he's leaving and mentions not having my number again. Awkward. So I unenthusiastically give it to him, to which he replies that he will text me--what, no phone calls these days?--yawn. Buddy, if you couldn't already tell, I really do not want to hear from you. There's a reason that A. I don't have your number and B. you haven't heard from me, oh, and C. this is me being nice, now please go away before I'm not. And by the way, your girlfriend is really pretty. Gag, wannabe cheaters.
  4. I really cannot do this often. I left a bit later than I intended and by the time I got home and got in bed it was 1am. 5 hours of sleep is NOT enough. Lesson learned. 
But at the end of the day/night, I have a very rewarding and pleasant week! I'm down another couple pounds and am interested to see where my BF% and BMI are at when I check in with Pleasants later today. And he said we're cutting carbs even more, so that should be interesting! Ta ta for now my bloggie loves, gotta get my workout on!

What is your "awakening" when you go out with friends during prep/when you haven't been out in a while? Any awkwardness, like during my night?

What made your week that much better??
Me and my momma!

Lastly, Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you so SO much!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Man Overboard!

The phrase seriously sums up how I feel tonight. I woke up early to get in my abs/calves/1st cardio, and when I got home I was feeling very much awake. As the day went on, I took some time for myself--the calm before the storm (of final papers)--and pretty much just watched online TV. Oh, and I had my interview &I made a trip out to Target--Archie got some new treats and bones that he is LOVING!!!
Archie's EXACT reaction...

My second round at the gym was at 4 for legs--hit them HARD. And silly me didn't think "Oh today is leg day and I have to work afterward for 4 hours so I probably shouldn't wear heels." Nope, I wore them--as I was driving in the car I realized my mistake--I could feel a little tightness as I stepped on the gas/brakes as necessary. And then, with 15 minutes to spare before I had to be on the clock at LOFT, I whipped out my 9 ounces of chicken and broccoli. I'm a bit afraid of what happened next--I DEVOURED it! All of it! Yesterday I was having a hard time finishing even 8 ounces, and yet today I almost still felt hungry. Almost--it was actually water that I was "hungry" for.

It had to be the combination of my ass-kicking workout (thanks, Kevin!) and my refuel afterward, but my energy levels rapidly sank like a hit ship. Faster than the Titanic--that's how quickly. I honestly have no idea how I managed to get through work. But I did, so no biggie! I'm taking all of this as a learning experience though--I mentioned to Pleasants my energy drain and he said that's bound to happen with the carb unload (which is Wednesdays through Saturdays). I mean, it definitely makes sense, but if anything I wouldn't expect to start feeling the dragging sensation until Thursdays. Interesting.

Tomorrow I have a 5:30 workout, so I should probably get in bed soon (I'm currently on the bed, but I don't think that's the same thing). I do want to share with you a delightful little picture that will soon be talked about again on this blog for sure...
See what that says on that little package there?! STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE COFFEE!!!! I have yet to mention that I LOVE strawberries! In fact, I'm actually (more than) a bit bummed that I won't be able to eat any during the prime strawberry season (May) this year. Back home in Virginia Beach, we have an agricultural area called Pungo filled with farms and tons of strawberry patches. Memorial Day weekend they even throw a festival--The Pungo Strawberry Festival. I can't tell you how sad I am that I won't be able to indulge in a strawberry shortcake or a strawberry daiquiri--I wasn't of legal age last year, so this would be the first year I could actually try a fresh one. SIGH. There's always next year, and as far as I know, I'm not going anywhere.

But anyway, I'm excited to try the coffee--just have to get through the bag that I'm currently working on--Hazelnut Cinnamon. And doesn't the sugar-free syrup look good too?! Vanilla! Not sure if it will taste alright with the strawberry shortcake coffee, but you know I'm still going to try it (just in case)!
Fave! I loved her as a little girl, and still do!
In fact, aside from Ariel, I wanted to be her!
P.S. I've read a lot of blogs that have May promises/resolutions(?), so I'm totally on board with this idea (okay, yes, this is contradictory to the blog title--but that refers to my energy)! In case you haven't already figured it out, I'm trying to be more optimistic while maintaining my oh-so-subtle sarcasm. I've even incorporated 5 smiles in today's post--6 if you count yours if you are currently smiling or at any point did smile while reading this.

Can you find all 5 smiles?? Two of them are a little bit tricky. Are you doing anything special for May? Are there any fruits you love or things you would love to do but have to miss this month??

I hope you all have wonderful dreams about being your favorite childhood storybook characters tonight!

P.P.S. Shout-out to Brantley over at the Newsplex! Miss you already, you mentor, you (and our coffee club "meetings"...because everyone knows coffee means business)!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You have to be kidding me...

I want this keyboard--especially love
the "enter" key!
A BIG uh-oh! So the past few days, more than one of my meals has been egg whites. Now, the carton of liquid egg whites says 1/4 cup is 1 egg. This seemed like a hell of a lot of a bit too much food to me, so I just googled the conversion. What did I find? 2 tablespoons is 1 egg white, 3 tablespoons is one whole egg. I've been eating too much!!! I kinda felt that I was eating too much anyway, but then again, I'm used to eyeballing it, which is me ultimately estimating how much, say, 3 ounces is (I was probably "measuring" out half of that and calling it 3 ounces). WAHHHHHH--I FEEL FAT! But you know what, it's okay, because: A. it's protein and B. at least I found out early on. See, I can do this whole optimism thing! :)

I do want to apologize for being MIA for two a few days, but I was really stressing my entire grade final paper for my biometeorology class. Good news though--the due date got pushed back to Friday (of course I found this out in class when I was freaking out all morning yesterday). I had to miss a cardio sesh because of it, but it's okay, I'll make it up, even if a day late. Which reminds me, I had an amazing run outdoors this morning--I managed to catch the sunrise & it was BEAUTIFUL!! Put a smile on my face for sure--I do believe it is going to be a good day (even though it is my last day at the newsplex, tear, tear).

Typical nice day in Historic Downtown Charlottesville
And I'll be done with all my papers, a.k.a. the semester, a.k.a. COLLEGE, by Friday night! Only three papers between now and then--not too bad. It's hard to keep up with reading/writing my blog(s) though, so I apologize in advance if you don't hear from me a whole lot this week. I do want to let you in on a little piece of info though--I have an interview tomorrow morning! Okay, so it's not for a "career" job, but it will work out well til I find one of those. Charlottesville has an amazing Historic Downtown area, which is full of restaurants and small businesses, and the occasional yoga studio, etc. Well, long story short, a friend from back home now lives here and he recommended me to his boss...andddddd he's 99% sure that I have a job hostessing/waitressing at the restaurant he works at! In the Charlottesville restaurant business, working downtown is practically the most desirable area to work--big $$ to be made, especially during the summer when you can sit outside and enjoy a nice meal in beautiful weather. So wish me luck, but it looks like I'm golden for this one!

"No mom, you're wrong--
I own this bed!"
In other news, little Archie has had a BIG week! He's learning to go potty like a man ;) and he taught himself to jump on the bed--which is pretty high for him. Now that I think about it, that could be a bad thing, the jumping, but it's still exciting. I remember when he wasn't able to walk up stairs on his own just a few months ago... My little gentleman is growing up so fast! Then one day he's going to go off to college and I'll have an empty nest... Oh wait, he's a dog--scratch that!

Edit: I'm thinking of purchasing a tub of powdered egg whites to cut down on cost since I go through so many. Has anyone tried this? Am I able to cook them on the stove top (adding water according to directions) just like I would normal egg whites?? I'm having a hard time using google to answer this question.