Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Don't Wanna!

I've officially been told to clean out my cabinets. Aka, I must get rid of all the "bad" food. Not that I really have anything bad in my cabinets--it's mostly clean despite the lifetime supply of nuts that was gifted to me for Christmas. Oh, and then there's the fruit--that's the main thing I'll miss going into prep. I was recently introduced to some new (to me) fruit finds--hello, dates!--and I'm sure as heck gonna miss them. Great source of energy for the gym, but they have no place in prep. Sigh.

Today was my first official day back at work after Christmas vacay training at Total Performance. I made a trip there after work planning on running 4+ miles. Keyword: planning. That is definitely not what happened. Let me preface this by mentioning that I've been running with my training shoes...and yet I'm flatfooted. Call me a fool! It's taken a toll on my calves/shins--I KNOW the importance of good running shoes. After all, I used to run cross country and track (indoor and outdoor). I just don't like the weight that comes with shoes meant for "stability" purposes. It's like running with a brick (complete over-exaggeration) tied to each foot. Come on now--you'd think that after decades of specially-designed running shoes that they would be able to come up with a lightweight shoe that's both effective and attractive (yes, I prefer my shoes to be awesomely pleasing to the eyes).

But anyway, back to what I was saying I blame wine for my all over the place stream of consciousness, this evening I finally laced up my running shoes again. Literally. The last time I wore them was during the mud run with Megan! And I promptly threw them in the wash to detox them (can shoes shrink in the washer?). Verdict: my shins felt less pressure during my definitely not 4 two mile run, the first mile feeling great. Unfortunately, my lack of a proper hair tie lead me to ending my run early--falling ponytails can be a damper to a run for sure. That, and around that 2 mile mark my legs were feeling the pressure from running in inappropriate shoes for the past couple weeks. Nothing too severe though--I'll be back in action in the morning!

And...back to all things prep--definitely not ready. I hate to be that "after the New Year" girl, but seriously, I'm going to enjoy the last day of 2011 as much as possible. I'm gonna make December 31, 2011 my b*tch--don't know how that's gonna work exactly, but I intend to sleep in January 1...seeing as I have the day completely off. Outdoor adventures anyone?? Oh, and anyone want an endless supply of unsalted nuts? I think I have cashews, almonds, a few peanuts... And you think I'm not serious! Now if only all this wine would go away in the next few days ;)

PS. Sorry for a lack of pictures--my Mac was having problems so it got wiped clean last week. I still haven't had the chance to upload all the pics from my camera--I knew there was a reason I never clear my memory card! I promise that and my music collection will be up to par in no time (hopefully)!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's About Time...

...That I get a second gym membership! Oh, and also that I get back to this blog! Sorry for the long hiatus, I really have no good reason for not keeping you all up-to-date. Well actually, that's not entirely true--I blame long days at work and 2-3 shifts per week in Richmond for my lack of blogging. In case you aren't already aware, I have been working at the Loft in Richmond 2-3 days a week, which meant an hour commute each way, and a total of 4 overnights at my brother's apartment over the course of about 8-10 weeks. Yikes!

New Gym

But back to my first statement--I finally gave in today and joined a second gym! Now, normally this would not be something on my "please purchase" list at all, but Gold's just isn't cutting it for me these days. The hours are not long enough--yes, I generally tend to get in my morning workout around 5am, but any later and it gets pretty busy. That, and I get annoyed very easily, and thanks to the ever-friendly Toni, people now mistake me for being approachable during my workouts. Skip forward to the afternoons and there really isn't a good time to workout because there's always somebody using the equipment I want. Even with the expansion Gold's did last year, there really isn't enough room for non-traditional workouts (aka Crossfit and more agility-based workouts). My new gym, Total Performance, is great (if you live in the Cville area, check it out!)! 24-hour access, plenty of space, less crowded, and lots of familiar (and new) faces! I have the pleasure of knowing the owner who was kind enough to work out a great plan with me, seeing as my Gold's membership doesn't expire until June. This just works out SO well, because I have a couple friends who have been wanting to put me through torture new (to me) Crossfit workouts, and now Pleasants can keep an eye on me while I make my way to the stage.
I should have bought this when I had the chance.
New Competition

Speaking of the stage, I finally figured out exactly when the new competition is--May 5. I'll be competing in my first (OCB) show, and you better believe I'm nervous! All the shows I was looking at prior to this were promoted by organizations on a lesser level than OCB. I already feel like I'm being thrown head-first into unknown territory. Luckily, this time around, I have even greater support from my friends. Last go-round, my friends still went out and drank (which I don't blame them), but they did not understand why I couldn't have "just one drink." Well, it's not just that one leads to two leads to..., but also it's empty nutritional value or straight-up carbs depending on the beverage of choice. This time, it's going to be a little different.

So today I swung by TP (Total Performance) and met up with Kevin--I dropped off my meal plan/workout journal and he's rewriting my plan for the next few months. January starts tapering off all the additional foods I've incorporated into my diet...and the alcohol. I can't lie, I'm going to miss it just a bit--I've gotten used to having a social drink or two or five when out with friends, but I've gone without it before, so I'm sure I can do it again.
A day of cleaning offset by a glass of wine
New Swag

Ha, not really. But with Christmas just a few days ago, it's in good taste that I mention the amazing time I had with my family and friends. I was the difficult giftee for my mom this year, so essentially I got a toyboat load full of money. My brothers each got me giftcards, one accompanied with wine (which must be consumed soon--see above) and one with a decent iPod portable speaker set--hello dance party in the bathroom! My mom got me a couple watches suitable for running and working out (but even though she swears they're different, they're the same model, just different colors and priced differently in accordance). Regardless, thanks Mom! Christmas is not complete without coffee or tea, and lucky me--I got both! Just a lot of little things from the fam, but some of the best gifts came from friends. My bestie, Katie, created the sweetest photo book for me, full of pictures she took from Facebook (can you say stalker?! hehe)--I for sure teared up while flipping through it. The two pictures that really touched me were one taken during her wedding dress hunt (and find!) and one of my sister-in-law and me at her wedding captioned "Past Bridesmaid, Future Maid of Honor." Sweetest gift ever! Oh and not to mention that I'm currently curled up underneath my new warming blanket!! So. Warm. Don't. Want. To. Move. Ever. Apparently I'm easily pleased!
Mom's gift from my bro & sis-in-law--great idea!
Mom: "No seriously, you have to read it!"
Wine cork reindeer from Bestie and Mrs. Cole
Tabletop reading
The rest of my time home was filled with puppy loving, puppy playdates, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, bowling, and bestie time. Unfortunately, I only have pictures of this guy, and not the rest of the festivities...
Everything is better in pajamas!
Fireplace lovin'!
Typical Archie
Showing off his new harness
This is now my iphone background...
"Treat?! For me?!"
This little man needs to come back home with me.
No, eight pictures of my pup isn't too many...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Suspect...The Mailman!

Mailperson? Not sure if I need to be politically correct here. But regardless, you heard right--I sort of suspect that my mailperson is stealing my good mail. As in, every correspondence from Loft--coupons, Style Rewards, etc. Where are they?! And I'm still waiting for the Pure Protein variety pack that I won a few weeks ago, but they did say it takes 4-6 weeks. So that's probably normal. I just want fun mail instead of no mail or worse--bills! Yikes!

Anyways, I didn't make it for round 2 of cardio tonight, but I was definitely working it at Loft today! Let me tell you--prepping for Black Friday sales is insane! Add in that half the new girls are lazy when it comes to keeping the back room organized and markdowns that were missed from last week and I became a bit more than stressed. If it were any other week, fine! But it's the week of Thanksgiving/Black Friday and we really just need it to run smoothly! ...Not that it won't, but I just get very particular about things sometimes. I got a LOT done though! The store is looking G.O.O.D!

In other news, Fear Factor (FF from now on) audition tape planning is going pretty well! Just need a team name that's sure to wow.

And lastly (yeah, I'm tired--short/pointless post)--can anyone recommend any songs for my gym playlist??

Little Bears of Guilt

I have a confession--yesterday I stopped into work to fill out an expense report and got sucked into helping with store set (aka changing around the entire visual presentation of the store). I actually LOVE the visual aspect of my job, and it definitely helps that corporate sends us documents of how to set the store for the most part. Or at least how to set the new product--the old product is more of a "where do I fit this in" kinda thing. But since I wasn't planning on being out of the apartment for a couple hours, I was starving when I got back. And I had previously purchased a $1 bag of gummy bears from Target earlier in the day. First, I had about a serving atop some frozen FF cool whip. That turned into the whole bag. A food coma and shame immediately set in. I've had prouder moments. Did I mention dinner was Afghan food and a couple beers?

While I'm not on prep, I still get the feelings of guilt when I make such a nutrition faux pas. Today's sole purpose is to combat the excess cals and sugar and attempt to feel better about my waning body image. Luckily, the gummy bears are gone. And I ate the last of my processed food, so upon my next grocery trip, I'm sticking to the perimeters rule--shop the outer walls of the store which contain more real food. Complete with real nutritional value. Oh, and 45 minutes of cardio this morning helped a bit. I think round 2 at the gym is in order tonight. After all, Thanksgiving is coming up and I can't be feeling all gross and puffy before I attempt to avoid the bad foods. Blowing diet for a holiday meal is overrated. As long as there's turkey, I'll be okay (and luckily I hear there's going to be asparagus too!).

Speaking of holidays, my wish list is sort of pitiful. Although I realized today that I possibly want need a new macbook--I'm tired of the spinny beach ball taunting me numerous times a day! Other than that, I repeat--pitiful! (Dear family--if you're reading this, I know that request is far-fetched and don't actually expect a new laptop.) I think my list of gifts to get others is longer than my list for myself, but there's nothing wrong with feeling generous!

Anyways, here's to hoping I make it to the gym for cardio round 2 tonight! I'm off to work--40% off pre-Black Friday?? This must mean that Black Friday deals are going to be crazy good/the store will be organized insanity!

On another note--a friend and I fully plan on getting on Fear Factor! Hopefully more to come regarding this random tidbit of info...

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Made It!

Happy Monday! Good news--I made it through the Crossfit workout my friend put me through, and then some! He was nice enough to send me plenty of links to youtube videos of the workout we would be doing, the Cindy. I am a COMPLETE Crossfit amateur. As in, never done a Crossfit workout in my life up until Wednesday evening. I went into it a little lot wary and intimidated. I walked out of it pretty darn confident...and beaten down physically!


If you're never done Crossfit before, or you've just never done the Cindy WOD, it's this"

  • 1 clean and jerk/press
  • 5 pull-ups (or ring rows upon fatigue)
  • 10 pushups
  • 10 air squats
  • Repeat for 10 sets, increasing clean and jerks/presses by 1 rep each set.
We only did 7 of the 10 rounds, and by the time that last round came around, I was struggling to get the bar above my head for the press portion of the clean and presses. Luckily, I had a decent "instructor" who emphasized the importance of throwing your full body into the movements--after all, it is a total body workout. It's definitely something different than I'm used to, since I lift to target certain body parts on certain days and am unable to "throw my full body into it" for lack of actually working the targeted body parts.

The Crossfit workout was challenging for sure, and although intimidated by some of the other workouts mentioned, I think I would be open to trying another one again. Apparently there's one workout that's purely 150 wall balls--yikes! Although, thinking about it outside of the gym, not fresh after just having gone through my first WOD, it does seem a bit less intimidating. Just a bit though.

Other Fitness Happenings

What else have I been up to since then? Well, checking in/working out with Pleasants, for one. And this was the morning after my Crossfit workout--not my best idea ever. My body fat percentage has crept up just a bit--nothing too alarming, but I really need to focus on adding more protein to my diet. Most days I'm go, go, go, especially when I have to drive to Richmond for work and stay at my brother's apartment overnight. I feel a little ridiculous packing an entire cooler of food for less than 48 hours, especially when I'm not on prep. My nutrition could definitely be better, especially going into the holidays, but I'm making up for it with my energy expenditure--I'm in off-season, and yet I'm still at the gym for 1 - 1.5 hours 7 days a week. I feel very unproductive and puffy when I skip a day.

That being said, I really am trying to embrace my 3 day split, but I tend to enjoy 4 day splits better--chest/tris one day, shoulders another, back/bis another, and legs the last day. Pleasants wants to see me doing a 3 days split of chest/shoulders/tris, back/traps/bis, and legs. I prefer working shoulders separately and don't necessarily think this is impeding my progress, but if it is, I take full responsibility for it.
New shoes make working out that much better!
On top of my muscle-building splits, I've been trying to get the most out of my cardio, and even took it outside of the gym yesterday. Three friends and I went hiking at the local Humpback Rocks yesterday--one of the friends being Jared, the Crossfit warrior (ha!). Umm, let's just say that to him, hiking up this thing is beasting up it and nothing short of running up the last, steepest stretch. Unfortunately, Megan took all the pics and I took none, so I'll have to wait until I get those from her to show you all the amazing view.

And one more thing--I threw up some 35# dbs doing chest press on Saturday! Could have done 40#s but I needed a spot, just in case. Next time!

Thanksgiving Week

Family get-togethers are definitely interesting with my family. And I'm sure this year will be no different. In contrast to last year, I'm actually more excited to work off the food I eat than I am excited to eat it. That being said, Gold's is open at 8am on Thanksgiving day and then normal hours Black Friday. You best believe I will be in there both days doing what I do best!

In pictures, the things that I'm looking forward to:
Sending Thanksgiving cards.
Seeing a lot of this gent--maybe in a less
provocative pose...?
Baking more of these next week!
In less than two weeks I will be on the road going up north, accompanied by these sweet treats. Hopefully I won't get into any of them, because they're not actually for me!

Fun fact: Before you get on with your lives/Mondays--I can't be the only person that still looks for the Indian with the shooting star...
I think he's more common now?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Temporary v. Permanent

Well, not so much temporary or permanent, but rather temporary and permanent. I still haven't readjusted my schedule/time management skills, so it has been quite some time since I last blogged on a regular basis. Add onto that internet connection problems for the better part of a week, too. I promise I'm getting there though--I just recently read skimmed through the 400+ new blog posts that racked up on my Google Reader! Here's hoping that doesn't happen again! And in this new vow, I also promise to get back to commenting SOON!!


Before I really get into the temporaries and the permanents of this post, here's a not-so- brief recap of the past few weeks. Halloween has come and gone, but not without some fun and festivities. A pumpkin carving get-together was a must at Megan's house with a group of old and new friends. As always, my overachieving lead me to this masterpiece:
Hardness: 4 out of 4 pumpkins!
 Let's see that again, shall we! One picture just doesn't do it justice ;)

Now I don't know if it's my old crappy, but cheap apartment, or if it's normal, but this sucker didn't last too long. Started molding and getting smelly after about a week. Finally, when my roommate and I couldn't stand the smell, it died a slow (or fast?) death in the dumpster. But hey, I have photographic evidence of its magnificence and that's all that counts!

More Halloween weekend festivities included a dinner, Guitar Hero, and drinks.
Sometimes I love getting all glam--and not for work!
Insert your own caption here. 
And then of course Saturday night was the night to get decked out! I may have outfit repeated from last year, but I swear I wore it better this year!
Last year.
This year.
Believe it or not, but last year I was also The Little Mermaid one night. Or attempted it. Umm yeah, don't worry--I'm not going to bother horrifying you and embarrassing myself with those photos. Just checked back for them, and not only am I extremely pasty and pretty drunk, but I'm not in the best shape either. Not that I was in bad shape, but I had other goals at the time (aka having too much fun that more times than not involved alcohol).

Retail Therapy?

So yes, Halloween has come and gone and now it's November! Which brings me into the temporaries. As you all know, the full-time job didn't work out, but now I'm working on other plans. This involves a lot of working at Loft, which I DEFINITELY don't mind! For the past few weeks, I have been averaging over 30 hours, which is almost unheard of in retail unless you are a manager. While I'm hoping to make this somewhat permanent (though in another store, same company), I'm temporarily helping out our Richmond store at Short Pump through the holidays. Which means I've been bumped back up to sales lead! Pretty much, this is the only way I can keep that title at this point in time, and since I'm trying to move up and hopefully work my way into corporate, I am more than willing to do anything to get there. Well, anything within reason.
Hello, Holiday!
This is what 120+ boxes of shipment looks like...
For those of you that are not too familiar with Virginia, Richmond is about an hour away from Charlottesville. Luckily, I'm only working there 1-2 days a week and my brother lives downtown there, so I can stay with him when necessary--thanks bro! Also, it helps that I get generously reimbursed for gas. That just means more money for my moving fund!

Which brings me to the first "permanent" of this blog post. I'm looking to move sometime in the new year. I would prefer that it be sooner rather than later, but according to my assistant manager, the company as a whole "cleans house" after performance reviews come out in April. On the one hand, if the temporary traveling sales lead position takes me through holiday, my assistant manager will be on maternity leave soon after so I can remain a temporary sales lead through most of February and into March, probably. From there, April is only a few (short?) weeks away. And my lease goes into May. On the other hand, I would really love to get settled into a new city before then with a new position--I'm hoping a co-manager position. But really it's all up in the air with the availability of positions before April.
Busy schedule + forgetting a paper plate = this.
I'm excited for the coming weeks at work! Holiday is by far my favorite season in retail, although the busiest. Fun colors, fun people (sometimes), and just the air about the season. Slight panic, excitement--it's a bit of a thrill. Add in the excitement of getting to meet the Regional Vice President and possibly one (or two!) of the company's executive directors, and I'm BEYOND stoked! That's something I would not have the opportunity to do if it weren't for my commute to the Short Pump store. It pays to be flexible!

Muscle Mania

My workout program is once again temporarily revamped. For the next few weeks, it's 5 sets of 5 reps, heavy sets! Am I nervous? Nah. Am I amped? Yes, definitely! Although, my first words to this were "Man, now I have to make more friends at the gym, so I can have a spotter when I need one." Ha! I'm really not against making gym friends, but many people who go to "workout/lift grrrrr" spend wayyy too much chatting between sets. And I really don't need anyone ogling me when I'm working out and thinking that I'm coming onto them by asking for a spot. I kid not! The guys at the gym that I frequent think that if you walk one foot closer to them to re-rack weights you are pretty much asking for a comment from them. Uh, let me check--No!

The only thing I'm nervous about regarding heavier lifting is looking more awkward than I already do. I'm about 80-85% sure that I have decent form, but there are some things that have been added to my workouts that I am not really that great at--deadlifts, I'm talking to you! So heavier = more awkward = "Look at that chick that clearly doesn't know what she's doing!" I'll be okay, promise!

Oh, and if that's not intimidating enough, a new friend wants to put me through a Crossfit workout. He said he likes to judge his progress against this video:
As if I've EVER done a clean and press in my life! I may not come out of this workout unscathed! He's putting me through it on Wednesday evening, so if you don't hear from me on Thursday, I died a quick death.

It feels good to be back!
And an epic comeback to Words
With Friends! 126 points!
PS. Look who visited the barber shop!
Half bunny rabbit, half dog.
ALL adorable!
Can you tell what his favorite way to lay is?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WILW: Confused Blogger Edition!

Morning lovelies!

I am ready for the day! Just got back from the gym a bit ago--hit chest and tris, and BOY am I going to feel this tomorrow! Speaking of the gym, my training has been a little weird, but GOOD!! Ever since I postponed on my competition yet again, I feel like I have a renewed motivation. I am excited to get big (muscle, not fat!) and I've been working my butt off to make sure I don't slip too far off track. My goal really isn't supposed to be to lean out at this point, and I really haven't been aiming for that anyway, but at the same time, I do want to see my body fat go down a bit more and I want to see my body mass remain fairly constant.
I'm hoping a low hat will make me
unapproachable to the creepers at the gym...
I have not been hitting any two-a-days, though this does make me feel guilty at times, but my plan right now does not require two-a-days. I'm still sticking to my 5am wake up call, because that's when I feel like I am at my best. Nutrition surrounding my workouts has changed too, and I think for the better. My protein shake has been moved to directly after my morning workout instead of before. Before, I am supposed to have protein and carbs, but I find that 2 rice cakes with 2 tbsp of peanut butter does the job. Although I may cut out the peanut butter, still wary of fats.

Since changing this up though, my energy has been through the roof! I honestly can't remember a day since Kevin moved that I had stayed at the gym until 7am. I usually get there right before 5:30 and am done by 6:30-6:45. Well all this week, that has changed. The clock hits 7 every morning and I am either still at the gym, or just leaving--gotta love it! Part of this, though, is because I'm no longer wary about being on time for my job (because I am no longer "stuck" in it). And speaking of which, some job related stuff actually made it's way to my WILW list! I meant to do a post last week, but I'm still catching up on reading blogs, and was trying to scratch that off my to-do list before I posted again. So without further ado, I give you:

WILW: Confused Blogger Edition...
This week, here is what I'm loving:

  • My Loft manager, Caroline--I can honestly say I have never had the pleasure of working with a manager sweeter and more accommodating than Caroline. When I was going through the difficult time with my failure at a full-time job, Caroline was so understanding. And the sweetest part is that she totally didn't have to be. I felt like I had left her high and dry to replace me when I had only just stepped into my leadership role at Loft. I kind of felt like I had let her down and put her into this time crunch of a situation to find someone to replace me. But when I approached her that fateful Monday that I decided the full-time job just wasn't my thing, she was so compassionate that it's not even funny. Side note: when I get super stressed out, my emotions go haywire, so what I wanted to be a normal conversation with Caroline turned into exactly what I expected, a bawl-fest on my part. Word had already spread a bit that I was unhappy at my new job, but this was when I decided that throwing in the towel was the hard but better decision. I asked if she would give me more hours at work while I figured things out finding a new job (she had already found a replacement for me, as was expected), and she assured me that she would. She is even keeping me in my leadership role while my replacement finished training and my assistant manager goes on/comes back from her vacation (so another 2 weeks-ish). I couldn't ask for a more generous manager!
Eating noodles out of a cup on break.
I forgot a plate!
  • The job hunt...kinda--It's official, Charlottesville has a major lack of full-time employment, or anything remotely relevant/worth my time to apply for. In my job search, I have come to find that most posting on online job search websites are: a. scams, b. too good to be true, or c. attempts to lure college grads into a subpar job for little money and long hours. Fail. And while I do have a 4-5 hour long interview with a new home company coming up, I think it's in my best interest to work toward my medical sales certification. This is where the "love" part comes in--medical sales is a lucrative job, and I've applied for some positions, but they all ask me follow-up questions including the dreaded "Are you certified for this position?" My answer has typically been "No, but would definitely obtain such certification upon hiring." Wishful thinking, but not what they want to hear. So, I've decided to be proactive, and with the (financial) help of my mom, a training packet is currently en route to my apartment. I have to pass a test in order to earn my certification, and seeing as I haven't taken any anatomy classes since high school, it was only practical to purchase the training kit. Don't worry--this isn't a scam, it's one of the 2 certifications possible that most companies look for. So slowly but surely, I am getting there!
  • A life/job-search related decision--In addition to good ol' Cville having no relevant full-time jobs, it has been losing its appeal to me. I think I'm ready for some new adventures (well, as adventurous as one can be when they don't care for drinking and are pretty much a homebody nowadays). I have been realizing a few things:
    • Most of my friends are trickling out of town, such that in a couple years, I probably won't have many friends here my age since most of the ones I know are students at UVa.
    • Charlottesville is not a young city, with the exception of the University. It's more of a city where you would settle down with your family. There are not many "young jobs" as I like to refer to them, and almost anything I find here will have me in a similar situation as the job fail--working with all married women/people, and most with kids. Not that I have anything wrong with any of that, but I would prefer to have some people my age with whom I hang out.
    • I feel claustrophobic here. I know that last year around this time I had already made the decision that I was staying, but I just want out. I've heard on numerous occasions that "Charlottesville is a small town" and while I don't do anything crazy to get a reputation, I don't want my resignation to come back and bite me in the butt (although I do not plan on pursuing a job in the same field--EVER).
That being said, I have officially expanded my job search outside of Charlottesville and actually outside of Virginia. I don't think Charlottesville has enough opportunities at this point in my life, I know that I don't want to be back home in Virginia Beach, and I definitely don't want to be in some small rural area, nor do I want to be in Richmond. But I do want to remain somewhat close to some of my family, so we will see. I plan on having the medical sales certification taken care of in a month, and then I will start applying elsewhere (not that I'm not applying for anything now). 
  • Fall weather & flavors--and actually being able to enjoy them (kinda)! I have yet to order a salted caramel mocha at Starbucks, though I desperately want to! But my room is adorned with seasonal scented candles, room spray, etc. My oats are decked out with pumpkin flavors galore! I have a loaf of sweet potato bread somewhere in my kitchen (shhh, don't tell anyone!). Overall, fall is treating me pretty well, although I could do without all the dreary rain!
Beautiful fall morning!
Followed by a cloudless night :)
  • Holiday season--yes, it's officially that time in retail land. Holiday 1 came upon us just the other week, and so far I am loving what I am seeing! That being said, it's taking a lot of restraint to not buy everything in sight! I gave myself a $200 limit, but I really need to start saving money since I have no idea where my job hunt will take me. And I'm in the mood for some out of town roadtrips in the coming months! 
With all these life changes in store/in progress, it's hard to look past a day at a time currently. So with that said, I do not know when and where my first competition will be, but I know that as the pieces of my life start to fall into place, my training, motivation, and energy can only get better. 2012 is the new year for my competition, and I can only imagine how much stronger--both physically and mentally/emoitionally--I will be when I finally step foot on that stage!

What are you loving this week? Have you ever decided your city didn't have enough to offer you and made a life transition--how did it go??

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Little Puppy That Lost Her Way

There once was a little puppy. Her name was Liz. She thought she knew what would make her happy, thought she would set some goals along the way. What she didn't realize was that she wasn't considering what made her happy, but she was only considering what was expected of her. She followed along on that misguided journey for a few sad, lonely, frustrating weeks, until she confessed to herself that she couldn't do it; this person she was trying to be just wasn't her. So she strayed off the path and found herself in the middle of the jungle. She was surrounded with the twists and turns of knotted vines and no path to follow. And that's when it clicked--she had to make her own path, and get to her destination on her own time. After all, she was only a puppy, so she has her whole life ahead of her, right??

In case you hadn't guessed, I've found myself standing off the path to my goal. In more than one aspect of life. But before I get into the nitty-gritty details of it all, I want to let you know that I am/will be okay. Worrying doesn't do much good, so I'm finding the optimism in everything.

The Job

I don't think I've ever been more wrong about something in my entire life. I've been gone from Blogger for the better part of 3 weeks now, and having just skimmed back over my last post, I must admit that I was wrong. The new "A-mazing" job? Not so much. As much as I tried to convince myself that I was that person that could handle sitting in front of a computer hours on end, working on a billable hours paradigm, and not interacting with people on a regular basis, I just couldn't do it.

The last time I blogged, I was 2 days in, so I was still in reading mode, and trust me--that was more boring than anything. I almost fell asleep numerous times! When I was finally done with all my reading (by Thursday), I was given bits and pieces of tasks, no real guidance, and I would only get tidbits of training at a time. Then I would have a dozen bits and pieces of tasks thrown at me, not knowing how to prioritize these since I was so new, still no guidance/training, and did I mention it was the end of the fiscal year?? Definitely not the best time to hire a new employee.

I started realizing my doubts the first weekend--I worked at Loft all weekend, but I couldn't help but compare my fun, interactive Loft job with my face-to-face-with-a-computer-all-day-every-day job. People kept asking how it was, and I didn't know what to tell them. I hadn't done much, I didn't know what to do, and I felt like no one had the time to tell me. By Monday morning, I left the gym BEFORE 6 (I had gotten there around 5:20!) feeling unmotivated, and I sat in the car, on the phone with my mom bawling my eyes out.

For as much as parents do not want to hear their children cry, they do not want to hear that their child doesn't like her first full-time job. So as my mom started to react to the situation: "What!? You just started there--you can't not like it when you have only been there a week!!" I proceeded to hang up on her (note: not a proud moment there, but it's become habit when I'm frustrated). I drove the really short drive home feeling so alone and so miserable and fighting back the tears that came out anyway.

At work that morning, I felt more tired than ever, more run-down than ever, and generally not in a good mood. And nothing changed from the week before, except that I was given longer tasks and the one girl on my team that works remotely every other week was in the office. I kept having to tell myself that I just had to make it through to this upcoming weekend (I'm going out of town for a fun visit!). But as much as I told myself I could do it, every day I got further in, the more miserable I was feeling, the more alone, and the more tired/unmotivated/frustrated/stuck. I was even lashing out at friends and family. I was a non-stop complainer (of which I'm generally not).

By last weekend, I had let word loose at Loft to my assistant manager that I didn't like my new job. I wasn't looking to stay in my sales lead position, because I know how that works and I didn't want to be an indian taker-backer (for lack of better phrase). I had actively started applying for any and every full-time job I could last Monday, and by Tuesday morning, I already had a phone interview set up. I felt like that was definitely a sign.

I stuck it out through the weekend, and by end of business Monday (3 days ago), I realized I couldn't keep deluding myself. I may be a people-pleaser, but sometimes I just have to do what's right for me. I honestly could not picture myself working at that company for 6 months...a year. I realized that I wasn't stuck--I have control over my life. The job had me so stressed out that I was unnecessarily checking work email at 11pm, in the middle of the night when I got up to use the bathroom, and over the weekends. I was having legitimate nightmares about it. And my training went to crap. True fact: I've only been in the gym in the evenings mayyyyybe twice since I started the job. Granted, I only skipped one morning...

So Monday night, I realized I could only be mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy if I did what's best for me. In this case, that was sending in my resignation. After going into Loft, crying to my manager, asking her if she could give me some hours next week while she is on vacation. And of course she said yes. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful manager, it's not even funny. I know I can't continue with my sales lead job past the 2-3 weeks I have left to stay in it, but I know she will definitely help me out.

As for the other boss--she completely understood too. She said I was doing a great job, but if I'm miserable doing a good job, then she understands. I didn't burn any bridges, but I'm not going to put this on my resume any time soon. So now, I'm back at Square One, and I don't even have a sales lead role to look forward to. But as I said earlier, it will all work out.

The Competition/Training

In light of the recent events and the blow to my motivation, I am once again postponing my competition date. I realize and am willing to admit that I lack the motivation that I had for what was supposed to be my original competition date back in July/August. Then, I lacked the money. Now, I lack the motivation (and the money will become an issue again...student loans have to be paid back starting November!).

I met with Pleasants today and we are going to go with a bulking phase and settle for a competition in the new year (hopefully Spring--and I'll be competing alongside my friend, Toni! Although she does bodybuilding, not figure). I'm much more calm about this decision because it was exactly that--a decision. It was a conscious choice on my part, not because I can't afford it, but because I want to be my best and I think that I need to go this route in order to get there.

I think this has been one of my proudest moments in recent time. I know that everyone says that you're supposed to get a full-time job right out of college, etc etc, but I don't think that's the course for me. Yes, I would love a full-time job, but not in my field. I'm an interactive person. I'm a people person. I would rather be happy making less money than miserable making more money. And to be honest, I wasn't making all that much for the depth of work that I was doing.

I do want to do a quick shout-out: I haven't kept up with much blogs (I promise to catch up soon!) but I checked to see how Lacey's competition went the other weekend. I was so sad to read that pneumonia kept her from the stage, but her attitude surrounding the whole thing was so calming and inspirational. She recognized the work she put in (trust me, we all recognize the amazing work she put into her training!), but in the end she had to do what's best for her. I like to think that I took a page out of her book and gained the courage I needed to make my own decisions this week.

I may be that little puppy off the path, but I am still on a journey. Some journeys take longer than others, but I still see my destination, and I will make the best of the path I follow until I get there!

I have missed you, my blogging family! So glad to be back!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Single Digits and Firsts

Goodness, I am SO behind on blogging, and after only 2 days of work! First of all, let's talk about:


Umm, the new job is A-mazing!! Sadly, my work assignment manager was not in the office Monday morning because her son was home sick. But of course, I got the welcome email and another listing tons of materials I should read up on via the EPA website. Needless to say, it's been an overwhelming influx of information. And yet, I love it. The rest of my time was spent making address labels for a conference to be held in Puerto Rico. Tedious, yet it was my first "billable task" so I'm sure I will always remember it.

Yesterday was much the same, except I met with the HR manager and got to fill out LOADS of paperwork. Anyone know how to fill out a 401k?? I meant to call my mom to figure that out last night, but I had a very frustrating night at Loft. My home to-do list is not getting any smaller anytime soon...

The Most Frustrating Night Ever

Some people are just extremely inconsiderate and selfish. My frustrations last night stem from last week when my assistant manager at Loft was making this week's schedule. I had previously talked to my manager about helping out and working some evenings while they find a replacement for me. My manager asked if I was able to work a couple of nights from 6-9 while they do. Well, my assistant manager refused to take into account that if she put me on the schedule for 5:30, all I would have time for is the commute between the two places. And of course, that's what she did.

I had about 2 seconds to run into the neighboring Panera and grab a salad, even though I have about 10 pounds of cooked food in my fridge at home--yeah, I'm not about to pack 4 meals a day. I hate spending money on food when I don't need to. On top of that, I was already supposed to be on the clock, so I didn't even have time to eat it. I had to wait til my 2 closing associates got to the store and I ran to the back and stuffed my face. But that wasn't the end of it.

As my assistant manager was leaving, she mentioned that the floor cleaning guys were coming that night and gave me some papers with an inadequate explanation of what I needed to do when they got here. All I knew was that they were coming at 8, which is when we close. Well, of course they get there at 8:05 and sign the papers and ask if it was okay if they quickly grabbed food before they started. I didn't have to be there while they were cleaning the floors, but I had to be there to give them the keys and physically watch them lock me and my closing associates out of the store. Well, they asked when we would be finished (aka what time they should be back from grabbing food), and I said 8:30. Um yeah, they didn't show back up til 9:05! Then they took their sweet time bringing their stuff in. The guy apologized for "being a few minutes late," and instead of grabbing quick food somewhere in the shopping center, they went down the street where it supposedly took "20 minutes to make a burger." Buddy, I know bullshit when I hear it.

Needless to say, I was NOT pleased and I was definitely not expecting to work a 12 hour day. It would have been nice too, if I had a heads up of the floor cleaning guys before I walked in the store yesterday. I am so sorry for venting, but it was just not the kind of night I needed. I physically and mentally do not have the energy for that crap! I am going to have a major sit-down with my manager today--she has me on the schedule again for 5:30 next Friday. There is no way I'm going through a night like last night again. It's NOT OKAY!


Still getting used to working out alone, but Toni has jumped in some days so we get to workout together. What a sweetheart! I find that although I can't lift quite as heavy, I take very little rest periods which is helping keep my heart rate up. And fatiguing my muscles quicker. I'll take it!

Weight it going down, even though I somehow accidentally snuck an extra meal in yesterday. Don't let that fool you, I was starving and stressed! On top of that, I also accidentally doubled up my workouts on Monday and did a chest workout alone in the AM and shoulders with Toni in the PM. So I guess it somehow evens out. I will be ready to SLEEP this weekend!

I'm still getting used to timing my meals at the new job--I don't want to seem like I'm taking advantage of anything by eating multiple times. But we do work through lunch, which I actually prefer, because I don't need an hour to eat. Give me 5 minutes, and I promise I can scarf down more (prep-friendly) food than you can imagine! I guess I'll feel it out, but for a couple weeks I'll have to adjust meal timing. I'm thinking if I make at least one of my meals a protein shake, it will be a bit better.

One thing I'm sad to see go--my gallon water jug! I don't want new coworkers to think I'm crazy before they've really gotten to know me, so for at least the meantime I have switched to a more appropriate liter water bottle. I will admit, it's easier to schlep around!!

Oh, and the "single digits" in my title--I'm down to (less than) 9 weeks until the competition! I. WILL. BE. READY!! You can bet on that! Just need my love handles and hammies to shape up PLEASE!

I realize pictures are pretty absent today, my apologies! With all that's been going on, I do not have time to do the whole paparazzi shindig!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Let's Fall Into Fall!

Yesterday was a turn for the colder--a nice reprieve from the dog days of summer if you ask me! It marked my last weekday of "freedom" before I enter the world of work. Though, if you've been following along, you already know that I don't mind ;) It also marked the first of many days in the gym without my trainer, Kevin.

If I Gotta Do It Solo...

I'm gonna make the best of it, duh!! And let me tell you, yesterday morning I realized it's not going to be as easy as I thought. Walking into Gold's at 5:30 was weird, knowing that I don't have anyone to joke around with--okay that's not fully true, Toni & I are pretty silly sometimes. Yesterday was a shoulder day, so I wasn't expecting it to be too tough of a workout, but mind you that working with a trainer means having a spotter aka lifting a tad heavier. First set of shoulder presses was with 20s, and while challenging, I felt like I could go up in weights. So naturally, I moved up to 25s for my second set. Or at least that's what I was hoping...

I wasn't even one rep in when my arm started going downnnnn. Complete fail. Insert frustration here. Especially since I've busted out sets with 30s before. So yeah, working out alone is going to be a bit more difficult than I had hoped. But it will be doable I'm sure. I moved back down the the 20s and finished my last 2 sets--awkwardly embarrassed, hoping no one witnessed my utter failure.

All that aside, I got through the rest of my workout yesterday, complete with abs, and finished up with intervals on the treadmill:

  • 5 min warmup @ level 7
  • 30s on @ level 9
  • 90s off @ level 7
  • Repeat 6 times
  • 1 min cool down @ level 7
I do realize I could have made this a bit more challenging, but lately I've been in less of a treadmill mood and more of a stairmill/elliptical mood. Like I said before--baby steps!

Last This Friday Night Day

Katy Perry's song isn't as catchy if you change the main chorus... But I promise I had almost as much fun yesterday as she has in the song. Maybe a little less eventful. My friend Stacy asked me to join her in a mini road trip to Short Pump, a really nice mall in Richmond, yesterday. She had to get her wedding ring inspected (apparently she has to do this every 6 months), and it so happened to be a good excuse to go shopping. I really didn't need that much, but wanted to check out the Dick's Sporting Goods down there--everything in Richmond is at least twice as big as in Charlottesville. After a little perusing, she ended up with a cute pair of red flats, some MAC makeup, and some Bath & Body Works goodies. 

I, on the other hand, was trying to be good and only left with a new pair of compression shorts (because  apparently I can't have enough!) and 3 mini candles from B&BW. I had to be good considering there was a pair of boots waiting for me at Loft with my name on them and I had yet to go to Sam's Club to try to find prep-friendly food in bulk.

Did I mention the mall we went to was dog-friendly? Archie would have loved it! We even stopped into the Doggy Bakery to get a treat for Stacy's dog, Maggie. And of course, I found the PERFECT birthday "cake" for the pups!
Awww! Mark your calendars: Archie & Murdoch entered
this world on Columbus Day!
On the way back to town, we were greeted with this skyline:
Fall(ing) sky
It was pretty (cool)--it looked like it was going to rain, but the sky wasn't dark enough. I didn't even mind yesterday's overcast skies--it was a welcome break from the unseasonably hot days earlier this week. And perfect bulk shopping weather haha.

Last year I borrowed stole my mom's Sam's Club card--she never uses it, and my grandma always renews it for her. I decided that I might as well put it to good use so those membership fees don't go to waste (or so I tell myself). Unfortunately, my last experience at Sam's was less than stellar--they didn't have anything I was looking for, and it was a crazy busy Friday night back in May. I literally just left my empty cart where it was in the store and walked out. It was impossible to navigate and the lines were not just one but TWO miles long!

Because of that Friday night experience, I was hesitant to go yesterday, lest I end up in the same situation. I figured it was safe though since it was about 5:30, so people were probably at home getting dinner ready before going out and doing their Friday night thang. For once, I actually assumed right! AND they had all the items I was looking for! Last time I went in, they didn't even carry egg whites, but this go-round they do!! So of course, I stocked up on those suckers, an ungodly amount of chicken breasts (which are currently in the slow cooker), turkey tenderloin (to switch things up a bit), broccoli, pickles, multivitamins (hello, 3 month supply!!), spinach, and gum. I think that's everything. Food to last OVER a week, all for $90. And to top that off, I found out that they sell 5lb bags of MuscleTech protein powder for ~$34. Never tried the brand, but the stats didn't look bad, and you really can't beat that price. Next time, I will be taking that home with me. Just warning you...

Now that I've relieved all my over-enthusiasm about bulk grocery shopping, something to which I previously alluded:

 Sorry about the grainy pics, but it's overcast here again today, which means indoor iphone pics = much worse than normal. And side note: I normally don't wear lounge pants with boots, but I was just too over-zealous to show you my greatest steal in recent time. Those boots you're looking at? Yeah, they currently sell for $179 at Loft online. My store is not fortunate enough to sell boots, but some lady returned these. They're size 7.5 which is a half size smaller than I normally wear, but when I put them on, I felt like Cinderella--they fit PERFECTLY!! How much did I pay? Oh, after tax, only $56.

Nope, that's not a typo! Working at Loft, whenever we meet our monthly sales goals, every associate gets two coupons for an additional 40% off one item (on top of our generous employee discount), but they can only be used in the associate's home store. Which means they can't be used online. Which made me completely frustrated...until that lady returned these boots. You should have seen me when I saw them come into the store--I was like a kid on Christmas opening a box with a puppy inside! Yeah, that's a LOT of excitement to live up to. I seriously cannot wait to wear these! I'm going to be the overprotective mom though and make sure not to wear them anywhere they may get ruined though, haha.

Here's to the Future!

Aka Monday. Aka Liz's first day at her first real job. I woke up today thinking it was Sunday, after getting slightly confused as to whether yesterday really was Friday or if it was Saturday (hope you followed that). I had a mini freakout moment where all I could think was "I have so much to get done!!!!" Then I remembered that it was Saturday, DUH! But regardless, my to do list was still the same size. I've actually managed to get through a bit of it today:
  1. Light a Fall-scented candle. CHECK--pumpkin spice is currently burning on my desk.
  2. Cook massive amounts of protein. CHECK--the turkey tenderloins came out of the oven a couple hours ago and the chicken is still cooking away in the slow cooker.
  3. Check-in with Pleasants. CHECK--BF% and BMI% went down. Body fat more so than BMI, i.e., still maintaining muscle mass! Trouble areas have again been pinpointed (stupid side obliques!) and WILL be trained daily!
  4. Trek to Target. Repeat after me: "Mousse, draino, sweetener." CHECK--even had coupons for 2 of those 3 items. Score!
  5. Stop by Lowe's dang it! CHECK--this has been on and off my to-do list since I moved into the new apartment. I NEEDED paint swatches to find a new color for my walls. Grabbed numerous ones and have it narrowed down to 3 possible colors, though one is a definite frontrunner. Oh, can anyone vouch for that primer and paint in one thing?? I'm contemplating buying that when I make my color decision so I don't have to do like 4 coats on these terrible brick-red walls! I figure that will knock it down to 2 coats (and only 1 gallon...?) of paint.
I'm leaning toward the middle small one...
Currently, the draino is working away in my shower (it's about time!), my chicken is almost done and ready to be portioned, and my belly is full of broccoli and a green protein shake (courtesy of my bulk supply of spinach). And of course my candle is burning away, making both my nose and me VERY happy.

What are your favorite seasonal scents?? The other candles I bought are the following aromas: lavender macaroon, salty caramel, and apple crumble. But I do love me some pumpkin!

What is your most recent shopping steal?? Do you like to buy in bulk??

Lastly, WHO WANTS TO HELP ME PAINT!? Kidding of course!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Bittersweet

So this week has been a bit crazy for me. Sure, I was at my mom's through Monday morning, drove back to Charlottesville on Monday, and have been working ever since, or so it seems. But I feel like I haven't had many free moments--and I don't really count the time between my morning gym session and work as free time, because half the time I'm prepping food, getting put together for work, and catching up on all things internet-related. And then there was yesterday, when I fell asleep at 10 am for an hour. Much needed! All craziness aside, this week has had it's moments.

The Good

Workouts have been spot-on this week! I haven't been lifting as heavy as I normally do, but I'm making each and every rep count. I'm trying to adjust to not working out with Kevin every day, which means I haven't had a spotter. Hence the lighter lifts. But, it's still heavy for what I can do on my own. And if I grab weights and they're too light, I just do more reps and count that set as a warmup. There ya go!

Needless to say, this week and last have been a transition period (before the actual transition). I've done a lot of workouts on my own, getting used to what my body can do without a set of hands to catch me if I mess up. I'm also really bad at making up workouts out of the blue (except for leg days--I got those covered), so I tend to have to write everything down, or find workouts online. Recently, I'm really enjoying Jamie Eason's workouts on Though I think I may have to move into her Phase 2 workouts soon... Having something written down doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to do those exact exercises, but it lets me know what muscle groups I have to train, and this is the point where I've asked Kevin for some substitutions.

It's not just workouts that have been good, but nutrition is getting there too! Yes, I may have slipped up a teeny bit and had some peanut butter in my oats in the morning, but those are healthy fats, right? Or so I tell myself... But I'm not taking any fatty acid supplements, so it might balance out? At any rate, the little peanut butter I had left is gone, and I turned my stash of peanuts into peanut butter via my Vitamix. Don't worry though, this new PB will promptly be given away (as a going away gift). I did attempt to make it a bit healthier but throwing a scoop and a half of protein powder in there! ;)

The only thing I've really been having problems with lately is water intake. I'm still not getting enough plain water. If I count all the liquid that I'm consuming--coffee, diet sodas (to keep me awake/active at work), protein shakes--then it comes close, but I don't know the last time I've actually seen the bottom of an empty water jug. Oops! Pleasants even told me I looked flat when I met with him on Monday! Harsh words!!

But today was leg day & I killed it! Box step-ups--you are officially my b*tch! Please note that I absolutely HATE step ups. I beg Kevin to not do them in order to avoid them. And normally I'm good and I actually get away with not having to do them and replacing them with lunges instead. But once again, since I'm going to be on my own now, I decided it was time to SUCK IT UP, stop being a baby, find the damn box and get to stepping. As uncoordinated and wobbly as I was (and trust me, it didn't help that the box was wobbly--but I needed it near a wall just in case!). Three sets later and I'm still alive! *High five*

On an unrelated, yet still good, note--I won a free pair of pants at Loft on Tuesday! I got to choose any pair I wanted--too bad there were only a few styles I'd actually wear in my size... But hey, they fit better than my old (too-large) jeans do! Pictures to come, obviously!

The Bad

I really REALLY need to go grocery shopping! Unfortunately, I have to wait til tomorrow (stupid bills due last week!). So this means I've been compromising my nutrition for things I actually do have. Let's see--I ran out of egg whites Tuesday morning, I finished the last of my chicken yesterday, and I only have one serving left of Swai for today. Oh, and I'm down to my last bag of broccoli. 

Note to self & to others: eating chicken at 8am in place of egg whites may make you want to vom. I think this was actually the reason for my sporadic 10am nap yesterday morning. Or the combination of chicken and coffee. This morning, I subbed swai for egg whites. Yes, pathetic. And let me tell you something--egg whites are much more filling, in my opinion! Maybe that's why I feel like I just ate a vegetable baby--too many veggies to replace the lesser volume of food. Grr!

Oh, and shakes made with water < shakes made with unsweetened almond milk. So watery & bland. I went as far as to throw half a cuke in my shake earlier, and while it wasn't bad, it didn't do anything for the texture. But believe me, when I get a free chance tomorrow, I am heading straight for Sam's Club--stocking up on chicken breasts, egg whites, and veggies, among other things. Oh and better be ready for me--I have a shopping cart all set, I just need to click "Order." Where do clothes fit into this paycheck??

The Bittersweet

Yesterday morning marked my last workout with Kevin. And today is his last day in Charlottesville--he leaves tonight. I'm not really an emotional person (aside from all the employment/$$ issues I had this summer), but I would be lying if I said today is not a sad day. I started working out with Kevin last year--sometime in June. He's been the most accommodating (and only) trainer I've had--he's worked around my school schedule, he worked around my internship (and job and class schedule--simultaneously), and most recently he's worked around my crazy, ever-changing Loft schedule. He's gladly taken peanut butter cookies off my hands when I'm in the mood to bake but am not able to eat my creations. He became a regular at Sunday dinner sponsored by Megan. He helped me out during my move from the house to the apartment--and that was not fun in the hot late-May weather! And he's helped get me in the best shape of my life. He doesn't let me make excuses and encouraged me to do a competition before I even seriously considered one.

But alas, I'm losing a great trainer and friend. And although I do have others to workout with--hello, Toni, Megan & my brother, Alex!--it's going to take a lot of getting used to. The gym is going to feel like a completely different environment, and I don't know if I'm ready for that. But regardless, I have a goal and I WILL be ready by November 19th! And Kevin, I fully expect you to be in the audience--or else!!

Tonight is Kevin's send-off dinner, and tomorrow will be a lonelier day in the gym.

Have you had to part with a great trainer? How did you handle it--did you go the rest of the way on your own or find a replacement??

Monday, September 12, 2011

Archie Says Goodbye to Boyhood

Poor little poochie--Saturday Archie & his brother, Murdoch, got fixed. The vet and even the SPCA down in Virginia Beach was charging an arm and a leg and your first-born child to neuter just one of them! So in an effort to save money, and give to a local(ish) non-profit business, my mom took both of the boys to Prevent-A-Litter (aka PAL) in Richmond. Contrary to the neutering quotes both of us had gotten from our respective vets--me: ~$250 & my mom: ~$400--both the dogs only cost $60 total. Don't you just  hate when you're charged an unnecessarily absurd amount of money for something that actually only costs a fraction of the price? I don't get it...
My mom saw this in the paper Sunday.
Too funny/coincidental!
Anyway, since Richmond is about halfway between my mom's house and my apartment, and the dogs' surgeries were supposed to take all day (well, in order to make sure they're okay afterward), we decided to meet up in Williamsburg and do a little shopping. Aka have a mother-daughter day. Aka a LOT of driving: Charlottesville-->Williamsburg-->Richmond-->Williamsburg-->Virginia Beach. I may have fallen asleep in the passenger seat on the way to pick up the dogs after our shopping excursion--that rarely happens!

The Prime Premium Outlets at Williamsburg (they just renamed them) are normally hit or miss and rarely anything in between. Shockingly, Saturday was an in-between day. No real clothing bargains to be had--but at this point, I only really look at the athletic stores + JCrew anyway. However, there were a lot of random sales, meaning I walked away from the outlets with:
 That is:
Two new pairs of very "Fall" heels...
Three pairs of Reef sandals ($5 each!!)
A new mug for my oats...
And only the cutest, softest moose EVER!

And that purple Puma tank, which doesn't really need its own close-up. But was a steal at $11. Not bad at all. All courtesy of my momma. This, coupled with a Target trip (courtesy of my own bank card), and I made out pretty darn nicely!
$25 desk--yes please! Assembling it myself: priceless.
Oh yeah, see that stein on the shelf? That was filled with this bad boy minutes prior to this photo being taken:
Who said steins are just for beer? And who says you actually had to be a Darden student to get one of those? ;) Don't worry, I didn't steal it. But this reminds me--I got new protein powder Friday! I ran out (and was also getting sick of the flavor I had) on Wednesday and didn't have time to get more til Friday after work. Enter Cafe Mocha flavor--umm, delicious (doesn't even begin to describe it)!!

Getting a little side-tracked here. Back to the weekend! Sunday, more time was spent with the pups, and I hit a new recent low weight-wise! 122.2! Body fat is decreasing steadily& BMI is staying pretty decent. Meaning? Losing fat & maintaining muscle mass!! Please note: this is the first time I have actually disclosed weight on this blog, because I'm still pretty conscious of it. However, being that my goal is to get on stage and strut my stuff in front of numerous strangers (& friends), I feel it is necessary to start holding myself accountable this way. Thoughts??

So of course I celebrated how any crazy sane person would--with a run through my old neighborhood. Talk about humid! I'm also not one to workout in just a sports bra and shorts, but I had to given the weather. Baby steps people, baby steps! It was a little wet from sprinklers, so these suckers were retired to the patio to dry out stay out of reach of the hungry pups.
It was such a serene morning to run, and I passed some VERY patriotic houses. My fave was a yard that had numerous small flags adorning the grass. And the cars. And the house itself. I desperately wanted to take a picture, but I only had my ipod on me. Bummer!

The rest of the day was spent running errands, pampering the pups, and hanging out with an old high school friend that I hadn't seen in 4 years. Loads of fun! Even had a photo shoot with Archie. Don't let the pictures fool you, these were taken by professionals ;)
Someone wants a belly rub!
Murdoch doesn't like when Archie
gets all the attention. 
Nom, nom, nom.
So much love in this picture...
Sorry to jump around a bit, but I'm seriously shocked that in 2 weeks I've managed to attain what previously took me about 8 weeks. Definitely a good feeling, and only makes me more anxious/excited to see what I can accomplish in the next 10 weeks!

Which reminds me of this little conversation tidbit from Sunday night hanging out with my friend (who's in the Navy):
So how many pull ups can you do?
Umm, first set...about 10. Goes downhill from there.
Wow, I thought you were gonna say like 2 or 3!
Yeah, I don't pretend to be badass. I just am. Kidding (about the cockiness)!