how to avoid being productive

I took today off since I am going to have a really busy weekend.  My fuzzy brain has started to feel better and I’m hoping I will feel right as rain by tomorrow.

Meanwhile, my plans for today included being HUGELY productive:

I was going to get up early and run

attack the road! this WAS the plan… last night

I was going to go buck wild on my mountain(s) of laundry

I was going to rearrange my living room

I must save EVERYTHING… FYI “rearranging” is code for cleaning

I was going to crock pot some goodness – beef and broccoli for the win (btw, I don’t like that broccoli has “coli” at the end…)

And I was going to sleep in.

So how do you avoid all of this?

I’m obsessed and there are multiple episodes on TNT

*Get stuck in the cycle of reading just ONE more buzzfeed – although this one on marathon training is spot on!

*And I have a cat who believes I should NEVER sleep past 8 am

but he shall sleep the whole live long day
and he shall sleep the whole live long day

I will run later this afternoon and at some point do a load of laundry or two.  I have to – I don’t have anything clean to wear to a baby shower tomorrow and none of my sports bras are clean.  These are somewhat important when running a 1/2 or any distance for that matter but I wanted to drop I was running a 1/2 marathon this weekend <—-shameless plug.

There you go!  Ignore that nagging “responsible” urge and enjoy a day off!

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worth reading for the pic at the end

My motivation is low today.  I have 15 miles to run and all I can think about is how much I would rather sit on my bum on the couch.  But I can’t.  Tomorrow is a fun day with friends and I won’t have time to get it done before I leave.

oh right - this is waiting for me
oh right – this is waiting for me

Don’t I have a hard life?

I also have a truckload of laundry to do, my apartment is messy and I’m even bored with pinterst.  Yet, I’m still not off my hiney.  The rainy weather (and disgusting humidity – what happened to my lovely cool fall temps?!) certainly isn’t giving me any type of boost!  I need to watch the following a few more times:

But I ate pizza last night in order to carb up for today so deep down I am DETERMINED to finish these stinking 15 miles and stick it in the books as a success.  Even if it hurts like hell and takes me a 100 hours to finish.  I just haven’t decided when I am going to put this into action!

Thursday I did finish 5 miles and not even halfway through the first one I wanted to quit.  I didn’t and at 1.64 (yes, I checked) I started getting into a groove.  Thank goodness.  The five miles weren’t as terrible as I first thought they would be and I ran the whole thing and ALL OF THE HILLS.  Trust me, there are some long ones around here.

I got my Aspaeris capris yesterday!  I tried them on and I love them!  I can’t wait to run in them and I’ve already decided to wear them for my next half, which is in two weeks.

this just made me laugh

My dear friend Kara over at Jersey Up made bread recently.  She has taken to making a lot of homemade staples and I am very intrigued.  Check here for the recipe.  I like the idea of making my own bread – it just seems so accomplished!  However, it’s like all of the other things I’ve written on here that I would like to make: laundry detergent, knitting something, ornaments, a quilt and who else knows what I’ve listed.  While these are still on my list of things I would like to try, I’m thinking letting go of some of the guilt at NOT doing them is in order.  Certainly I could make the time to do these things (I watch far more tv than I probably should) but I am choosing how to spend my time and I need to be okay with this.

people are weird

I’m a work in progress.  The boredom I’m feeling today has started to be a regular thing and I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before I start using my time differently.  Restlessness can be very productive!

That’s all I’ve got for today.  I’ve got a couple of hours to build up enough steam to power through the above listed miles so that’s what I intend to do!

And because I like you, here is further proof that people are quirky birds…

sexy dude

I love some good visualizing!

Edited:  My apologies!  I didn’t realize the photo credits were hyperlinks in the original e-mail so I have fixed this below. 

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the incredibly nice and helpful Michelle.  She works in a spa called Skana in upstate New York and she gave me the suggestion of making a health motivation board.  Michelle talked to me about how her knowledge of health and wellness has led her to help clients live healthier lifestyles.  She was kind enough to type up how you can live a healthier life!  Here is the information she provided!

Visualize Your Inspiration for a Healthy Lifestyle

Staying physically fit takes more than just a few good workouts. It also requires you to maintain a strong mental focus toward reaching your goals. Although you likely track your goals on a regular basis, it is also important to make sure that your aspirations remain at the forefront of your mind. For those who are actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle, here is how a fitspiration board can help you to visualize your inspiration.

Clarify Your Goals

The first thing you will need to do as you begin to create a visual representation of your goals is to clarify what it is that you would like to accomplish. Ideally, you should have a combination of short and long-term goals that are challenging yet achievable. Once you have established your goals, decide which one should be the main focus of your board.

Find Inspirational Images

With your goals in mind, begin searching for images that inspire you to achieve greatness. These can be photographs of you or your loved ones, images found online or pictures that you cut out of a magazine. It is important to take your time to find only the most inspirational images possible that reflect your goals. As you search for images to include on your board, be sure to select one that best encompasses your fitness goals. Then, use this image as the main focus of your board.

Choose a Central Location

For your board to serve as an inspiration, you will need to make sure that it is placed in a central location so that you will see it several times each day. Depending upon your personal habits, this could be in your exercise room, kitchen or even next to your bed. If after hanging for a few days in one area you notice that it is rarely noticed, then feel free to move it to another area of your home.

Reflect and Revise

After viewing your board for a few days, take a few minutes to reflect upon your reaction. Have you been feeling more motivated towards meeting your goals? Does it remind you of the things you would like to accomplish? Then, revise your board as necessary so that it always leaves you feeling inspired.

Here is an example:

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What inspires me to be active and aspire to live a healthier life is the outdoors.  I love to travel and see new places.  To me, there’s no better feeling than enjoying the outdoors.  I’m really inspired by yoga for a number of reasons.  Yoga focuses the mind and body, teaching ourselves to find a spiritual balance.  I also love that yoga can be done anywhere, even the beach!  Yoga is great for beginners and the more advanced athlete.

The outdoors are what I’ve used for the center of my inspiration.  I’ve been taking lessons near my work at New York Golf resort, Shenendoah, as a way to spend more time outside. Golf is great because not only is it less strenuous activity, but you also have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.  Really any activity outdoors can be motivating. You feel like you have more energy when you are out enjoying the warm weather.  I’d like to try more leisurely activities like fishing or kayaking with a friend.

Your body needs nutritious foods as fuel for when you exercise.  A great source of clean eating recipes is Clean and Delicious.  They have delicious recipes along with instructional videos including a clean chicken & veggie stir-fry recipe.  An easy nutritious breakfast for on the go folks are smoothies!  Customize nutritious smoothies to whatever supplies you have on hand!

Making a fitspiration board is one way to stay inspired to live a healthy lifestyle. Over time, your goals will change as you meet each one. Therefore, be sure to add new goals and images as needed to keep your board fresh and your mind focused on always reaching your full potential.

Thanks so much Michelle!  I am currently working on my board as well and hopefully I’ll be able to post it next week!  Readers, I would love to hear about any images you may use to keep you inspired!

you just never know…

Yesterday I woke up and I was CRAB-by!  Great scott!  I’m on duty for work and had a couple of late night calls, had somehow gotten roped into volunteering for work and I had a dull ache in my head that made me want to cancel ALL plans for the day.

Spoiler alert!  I’m really glad I didn’t…

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First up was the 1st Annual (is this possible with the first?) Strip Run 5k sponsored by my office.  The point of the race was to wear extra layers and then “strip” them off as you run at different points of the race.  All the clothes were donated to charity.  While the turnout was small, I think it’s a fun idea for a work-related event.  Unfortunately, it was 34* and the “feel like” was 24*.  It took me hours to get the feeling back in my fingers!

Also, one of my favorite people ever volunteered for the race.  It was so great to see him and catch up!  After our shift was over I bribed him into driving me to Pop City Popcorn downtown.  Oh.my.goodness.  This place is FABULOUS!  I mean, seriously, a whole store dedicated to popcorn?  I got some Irish Creme Caramel popcorn – check out this bag of scrumptousness

oh so tasty!
oh so tasty!

Next I was on my way to a relaxation class.  I considered skipping and going home but I was on a sugar-rush from my popcorn and stuck to the plan.  You guessed it – a good choice!  The meditation session was excellent.  The woman running the class got the same holistic health certificate I am looking into so I talked to her after the class.  She couldn’t have been more encouraging!  In fact, at the end of our conversation she offered me an internship when I get to that portion of the of the program!  I know, crazy!

Then it was back to my apt for the hottest shower ever, a lovely little nap, a surprise visit from a friend and a nice evening at home.

So there you go… I would have sat in my apt all day, feeling guilty for shirking my responsibilities, sorry for myself because I didn’t feel well and lonely.  Instead I said YES and made some quality connections.  Yay!  Three cheers for an unexpected good day and making things happen.

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stress is contagious! fight it!

Yesterday, as I was leaving the office, there was the general hub-bub.  In addition, I felt some angsty vibes.  I am pretty sensitive to anxiety/stress-related feelings so as I was walking out, I had to do a double take as the panic was welling up inside me.  “Am I stressed?  Or am I reacting to the stress of others?”

Of course, there are things/issues occupying my mind but I realized I didn’t have anything to be seriously anxious about.  I walked to the elevator reminding myself that I was picking up on the stress of others and I needed to let it go.  I.was.not.stressed.

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Does this ever happen to you?  I don’t think I am in the minority here.  I’m not sure how and why stress is so contagious but it seems to feed on our insecurities and our desire to want to be part of the group.  I also think our society equates stress with importance.  If you are important then clearly you are going to have higher levels of anxiety because you have a higher clearance level within your world.  I guess?

I’ve thought a lot about balance over the years.  Since I already operate on a higher anxiety level, I’ve realized I need to be attentive to why and how I am reacting to stressors in life.  I always knew physical exercise could be an outlet but I didn’t think it would help ME.  Because, you know, I am so vastly different from the rest of the world!

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Then I started running.  HELLO endorphins!  Wow.  I soon found that running did help to mitigate those anxious feelings.  I slept better, felt better, thought better – I was shocked.  Even now 5 or 6 years later, I am still surprised by how damn good I can feel after sweating my buns off on a run.  Unfortunately, running can’t solve all of my problems (nor can I just drop everything and go for a run *sigh*) and I’ve realized I have to make a conscious choice regarding stress.

Nevertheless, sometimes stress seems to lay it on thick and I’ll feel all wild-eyed, crazy in the wilderness.  Sometimes, it starts to creep up on me and I can feel my heart starting to beat faster.  Other times it’s a sucker punch to the face.  With all of these, the first thing I do is sit up straight and take a few deep breaths.  Then I evaluate: where is this coming from?  Is it really about me?  Am I simply responding to someone else’s stress?  When I figure those out, I start trying to talk myself down to a somewhat normal state.  Then I figure out a time to go for a run.

umm...yes, this is sometimes how I feel on the inside when I'm freaking out!
umm…yes, this is sometimes how I feel on the inside when I’m freaking out!

And yes, I talk to myself a lot!

Seriously, this has helped.  While some stress is healthy, too much can have major effects on your health – mental and physical!  So whether you are prone to anxiety or not, having a plan of combating the “too much stress” zone is important.  Is this a foul-proof plan?  Nope… I still resort to chocolate at times or taking a nap when I don’t want to/can’t deal with the stress around me.  Hibernating works too.  But at least I know I have options in my personal life tool box.

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I’m also proud of myself for getting to this point.  There are still times when I am a basket case but I’ve made improvements!  It hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t been without some heavy conversations with myself.  I also had to let go of some of the shame that comes with admitting that anxiety IS indeed, part of my life and make up as a person.  I’m sure everyone else already knew but I kept trying to shove this aspect of myself under the bed as it seemed so weak and unattractive.  But it’s who I am and fighting a part of who you are is exhausting.  So now, I am working to understand this part of me and come to terms with it.

Maybe something in this post rang true for you!  At the very least, during the sometimes chaos that is the holiday season remember to stop and breathe and not take on the stress of others as your own!  Oh and do something sweaty – that totally helps!

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saturday fall fun!

Saturday a group of friends and I headed out for a fun-filled fall day!  We used to all live here and worked together but in the last two and half years there have been new jobs, marriages, a baby and relocations.  Sometimes it seems crazy how much more life changes now that we are older in a mere two years than it did when we were younger.  Or my perception has simply changed…

We headed out to a local pumpkin patch, corn maze, orchard and yummy donut place called Gull Meadow Farms.  They do a corn maze every year in a new shape and it’s incredible

pretty impressive, no?

Alas, it was POURING down rain!  The corn maze is a muddy adventure on a normal day so we all decided to forgo this aspect of our day.  We bought some tasty homemade donuts, perused the super cute gift shop (of course I bought a bit o’ halloweenie!) and then tried to come up with a new game plan.

I loved this pumpkin – just a bit of muffin top ;)

So what to do when weather is unfortunate?  Wine tasting!  Fabulous idea!  Just a short jaunt away is the cutest little winery.  It’s small and located in the farmer’s home.  For a measly $5 we got to try 8 different wines.  Then if you bought a bottle the wine tasting was comped.  I purchased a semi-sweet white wine called La Crescent.  It was excellent.

gotta love a place where you can drink wine and hang out with friends. oh and the oyster crackers were good, too!

From here, it was onto the main event – Erbelli‘s pizza!  This pizza is fabulous and for two of the hubbies in the group, it’s their favorite place.  Since they don’t have one in their new home bases, whenever we are all together in Kzoo, we plop our hineys down for the long haul of bread, cheese and sauce – both the marina kind and the alcoholic!

sweet, sweet baby!

this little one also decided she was tired of sleeping and wanted to liven up the party with some table-dancing!  She was a hit!  Seriously, kissing baby cheeks is probably one of my most favorite things to do ever!  We hung out here for a few hours and it was a lot of fun.

Of course, all good things must come to an end.  Our lovely fall day had to come to at least a partial close – the friends who live an hour away had to boot-scoot.  Hugs were exchanged and it dawned on me in that moment how stinkin’ lucky I was/am!  The small group of us that were left headed to another locale to finish out the night and I ended the eve feeling fulfilled.  Maybe this sounds a bit hippy-ish but I can’t help it – I’m realizing more and more how important it is to be grateful and live in the moment.

the four of us – happy to be together for the day!

awesome day with awesome people!

i didn’t drop off the face of the planet

Yowza!  It’s been DAYS since I last posted.  I wish I could say I was whisked away on a whirlwind, surprise vacation but ummm… no such luck!  Instead I have been enjoying a summer cold (boo!), countless headaches (boo again!), waiting on a text that never came (oh yeah, men kinda suck sometimes) and working.  Oh and sad – my favorite ornament was my first moving casualty

so sad… yet fitting…

Yes, none of these sound very fun and they haven’t been.  To help balance these unfortunate things I did the following:

Headed over to IKEA!  It’s about a two and half hour drive and it was fantastic!  I know many people don’t like the manufactured element of IKEA but in all sincerity it is really helping me to define my new space.  I was also selective with what I purchased.  I was nervous when I hit the showroom floor I would want to buy everything!  Just the opposite though!  It helped I had my awesome friends, Meagan and Larissa there to help navigate.

Then thankfully, Meagan say this tasty place and we decided to cap off our EXHAUSTING IKEA trip with some sugar… DELISH sugar in cupcake form :)

how do we pick?!
so we each ordered a different one and then split them in three – there was Grumpy Cake, Chubby Hubby and Tiramisu. they all rocked!

The next part of the trip was almost more than I could handle… blogger world mecca… TRADER JOE’S!  Yay!  I was completely prepared to hate Trader Joe’s and call it pretentious to anyone who would listen.  This was not the situation though.  I loved the variety of products, found the prices to be extremely fair (read: cheap!) and everyone was so polite.  It may sound dumb but the employees as well as the patrons were really nice and joked around with me about how much in awe I was of my shopping experience.  Manners and politeness go far with me and all too often I find this lacking in my shopping experiences.  The most negative thing?  It’s two and half hours away!!  Bummer!

take me to your leader!

Moving update… well, I haven’t actually moved anything yet. In fact, I keep bringing things INTO my apt rather than taking them out – this is bad form!  As I mentioned earlier, I am looking forward to crafting a space that is relaxing, a bit beachy and comfortable.  I want to bring in some elements of nature without sacrificing elements of my personality (yes, I have things that I am attached too!).  I’ve been all over the web and pinterest and I have connected on a deeper level!  Aside from IKEA, I visited Lowe’s for some succulents!  I don’t have much a green thumb, so cool looking plants that behave like cacti?  Perfect for this girl!  I’m creating little pots of them mixed together.  I like the zen-y feeling of them :)  Tomorrow I pick up my key and start to make this move happen.  Stay tuned!

the succulent I’m holding is called, “Baby Toes” – I know, kind of creepy, eh? I didn’t know this when I bought it!

Running… oh running how you vex me so!  Actually, I am being completely dramatic.  Running has been going pretty well.  Last Thursday I had a fantastic 7.5 miler.  It felt great.  The runner’s high lasted well into the next day!  The night before I walked 5 miles and the “high” from the walk certainly didn’t make me feel as good as the running one.  Some cold sickness hit after this so yesterday was my first taking it back to the streets session.  They weren’t fast miles but they were solid.  I did 4 miles and all of them were negative splits.  Yay!  I also walked a mile home after this.  Walking a mile home after running has become a norm for me and one I appreciate.  It gives me time to process my run, cool down my muscles and relax.  My legs are not as tired after running anymore and a lot of muscle soreness is gone too.  I recommend it!

Oh!  I also joined a weight loss challenge!  Check out Run with Jess!  Some are working on losing a “marathon” – 26.2 pounds and others are working on a “half” – 13.1.  Me?  I am working on these pesky 10 pounds that seem to want to be my bestie for life.  It’s been going on for a week and I have managed to shed a pound.

I’m also fascinated with the color aqua.  Obsessed would be a better word!

loving the aqua nails :)  and did you notice the aqua pot in the plant picture?!

So what am I doing about the above listed things that AREN’T going well?

1) refocusing on training and moving/getting settled.  This always helps when my personal life is on the fritz and it allows me to build my confidence after some a wee bit of (possible?!) rejection.  Also, overanalyzing is the pits!

2) I’ve rested up and getting rid of the cold

3) I put my mouth guard back in at night.  Super unattractive but my teeth feel better and I had less of a headache this morning.  Last night I woke up and I was clenching my teeth together so tightly I tasted blood.  The guard went in at this point.  Considering I’ve had a headache almost everyday for the last two weeks, this was an improvement.

4) I’m trying to glue my heart back together – I’m talking in the literal sense here.  I really like this ornament and even though it won’t look perfect I think it adds to the charm and seems to fit me and who I am all the more!