Monday, December 31, 2012

Friend Makin' Mondays: 2013

Happy New Year, everyone! After a crazy morning at work, I'm taking it easy tonight. I went to dinner with my family earlier, now I'm just watching football before I go to bed before midnight (Lame, I know, but I do have work at 6:30 in the morning. =P)
Anyway, I decided to end the year with a Friend Makin' Monday post! I don't do these as often as I would like, but I decided to do one tonight, as a way to look forward to the year ahead! =)
This part is from Kenlie's blog All the Weigh:
If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
1. Share one thing that you plan to do for yourself in 2013. Go back to running. My goal is a 5K on May 4!
2. Share a good habit that you will continue doing into the new year. Monday night Group Core and Group Kick! I love both classes, and the instructor is AWESOME!
3. Do you make new year’s make resolutions? If so, do you typically stick to them? Uh, no. I mean, come on. Do they EVER last more than a month?
4. Do you have any health goals for the new year? Stay injury-free!
5. Share one thing that you plan to do in January. Does going to the movies on Friday count? I really have nothing major planned this month.
6. Do you have any travel plans for the coming year? If so, where are you most excited to go? Nothing yet, but you never know.
7. What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? I went out to dinner with my family earlier. Now I'm just watching a little football. Probably calling it a night early (work in the morning).
8. What are your resolutions for 2013? See #3. 
9. What are you looking forward to most over the next 12 months? Making a comeback to running. A lot of it is riding on my knee, but hopefully I'll be strong enough to start training in March.
10. Share something unique that you hope to do in 2013. Not really unique, but go to the UConn-Rutgers women's basketball game on February 16. It'll probably be the last Big East game between these two in Piscataway (Rutgers joined the ACC).

2012: One Wild Ride

Happy New Year, everyone! Before 2013 comes in, I just wanted to look back at the wild ride that 2012 has been.

The Good:

1) New job! After nine years at Chuck E. Cheese, I finally said goodbye to the place, and moved on to Panera, where it's looking like I will eventually become management.

2) Baltimore and Fitbloggin! This was my first solo overnight trip, and I had a blast! I didn't get homesick once, and in fact, I didn't want to come home!

3) Running not one, but three 5K's. Each had its own challenges, but I finished each race, which is a victory in itself (considering I didn't plan to run ANY last year)!

4) Joining a new gym. I found two new workout addictions in spin and cardio kickboxing, not to mention meeting two awesome instructors who most likely would not have come into my life otherwise.

5) All the awesome people I met! New connections at work, Fitbloggin, and the gym made for some new friends this year!

The Bad:

1) My knee injury. I sprained my knee in a cardio dance class back in August, and it kept me out of the gym for three weeks, as well as ending my running for the year. Not to mention making me a VERY unhappy camper.

2) My dad getting sick again. He's had heart problems for years, but this year, everything went out of sorts. It could have been stress, as well as his medications messing with each other, but he's doing better after a pacemaker procedure two weeks ago.

The Ugly:

1) Hurricane Sandy in October. While my area got lucky, there were towns around me that did not fare so well. It was so heartbreaking to see devastation like that so close to home, and unimaginable that disaster like that was even possible.

In a nutshell, this year had its ups and downs. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and the way this year unfolded made me stronger than I ever thought I could be. I couldn't have scripted it any better if I tried. I hope that 2013 is my best year yet!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Friend Makin' Mondays: Dear Santa

Hi, everyone! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was great! While I didn't do any Turkey Trots (most in my area got cancelled because of the hurricane aftermath, plus my knee isn't in running shape yet), I did do a cardio kickboxing class with Cassie, my other fav instructor and the one who I normally do the class with on Monday nights. After that, it was my pajamas and non-stop sports throughout the day!

I have realized that while this year has been crazy, so much good has come out of it! I have a job I'm finally happy at, I became a runner, I took my first solo overnight trip (and didn't get homesick once!) to FitBloggin and met so many amazing people who share my love of healthy living, and joined a new gym (which brought me to Cassie and Meredith-two amazing women who I can't imagine not knowing now). While I did get hurt, I think I came away from injury being stronger than ever. I am thankful for all that, plus my loving family and my house staying intact after the hurricane (while others were not so lucky).

As some of you know, I occasionaly post a Friend Makin' Monday post. This week's topic is a "Dear Santa" theme, so I decided "Why not?" Anyone can dream, right? ;-)

This next part here is from Kenlie's blog at All The Weigh:

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
Dear Santa:  List at least ten things that you may or may not need that you’d love to find under your tree this year! 
1) Maya Moore WNBA jersey. I know I'm not a hardcore Minnesota Lynx fan, but she is my all-time fav UConn women's basketball player.
2) Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor (white)
3) AT&T Go Phone Fusion 2

4) A tank and capris from Lululemon. I know I don't need any more clothes, but I would love a Lululemon outfit. Specifically their Right Round Tank in creamsicle and Studio Crop in black.

5) The NHL lockout to end. This one probably isn't realistic...
6) A black Chevy Cobalt.
7) Gift cards for Surf Taco and YoMon Frozen Yogurt. Yes, I'm addicted to both. No, I don't care.
8) A flat screen TV. 
9) Modern Family season 3 on DVD
10) Kindle Fire HD
I know I probably won't get anything from this list, and that is fine with me. I have had so many amazing experiences and met so many awesome people this year that I'm happy with my life. For me, that's enough of a gift. =)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals: October 2012

Hi, all! Is it really the end of the month already? Well, I guess that means one thing: Foodie Pen Pal reveal!

My box this month comes from Elizabeth over at The Young Retiree! Compared to other packages I have received, the box was small. However, once I opened it, it was loaded. One word: CHOCOLATE!!

As you can see, I got all sorts of chocolate goodies! The one that I am dying to dig into is the chocolate and orange bar. I have never had chocolate and orange together, so this shall be interesting. The Sun Cups should be another interesting one. I never heard of sunflower butter, so we shall see. That's one of the best parts of this program; trying new things every month! =)

As for the program itself, Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean coordinates this awesome exchange! Basically, you sign up, get paired up with someone, find out what they like/dislike, and put together an awesome box! In turn, you get a (hopefully) awesome box too! (More specifics are on Lindsay's blog) The best part is that it's open to everyone, both bloggers and readers! =) So, what are you waiting for? Join in the fun for November! ;-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Two Month Post-Injury Update

Hi, all! I actually wrote this post on Friday (10/26) because a hurricane forecasted to hit my area within the next few days, and if I lose power, I will have no Internet access for days. =P It's only live today because I scheduled it to do so. ;-)

Anyway, I never did a recap for my first month post-injury, partially because I was still coming down from a Fitbloggin high, partially because I really didn't have much to say ("My brace came off! I rock!" doesn't mean much), and partially because I honestly just didn't think of it.

However, I have quite a bit to say two months after I got hurt, so here goes...

I went back to the gym on September 24, the day after I got home from Baltimore and about three and a half weeks after I got hurt. I still wasn't able to do much, but I was able to do a 30 minute group core class with modifications, and 30 minutes on the treadmill. I was close to staying for the group kick class I love, but I knew it was too soon to handle that much impact. 

I did do a Zumba class at my gym a few days after that, and while I enjoyed the class, I still don't feel 100% comfortable in any type of dance class (It was a groove class where I got hurt, after all), and probably won't for awhile. At first, this honestly depressed me, but I realized that I never was the most graceful person, and there are other workouts besides cardio dance that I love and can do without so much worry. 

About two weeks later, I started my spin classes again. While my riding legs are coming back, this is taking longer than I originally thought it was going to. Then again, this is partially because I was just starting to develop momentum in spin when I got hurt. So, in more ways than one, I have to start from scratch. These first few classes are feeling like my first ones ever, but I know I will get to where I was, and get even stronger.

As for my true love, cardio kickboxing, I am FINALLY back to that! I've only done two classes so far, and I have to modify a good chunk of it, but it feels good to be doing the class I was afraid to try but fell in love with again! My first class back kind of felt like my first kick ever, but I'm gaining back momentum kind of fast. This one will be a once a week class for now, but I hope to be able to do two a week again.

Mentally, these last two months have been a lot of rebuilding. The two weeks after I got hurt, I gained six pounds. Naturally, I freaked. I started blaming myself for letting everything happen, but realized that this was an accident, and I couldn't necessarily predict my body moving out of place at that moment. 

As much as I've struggled with getting hurt, I think I came out of it stronger. Mentally, I realized I am stronger than I think. I didn't give up on my journey, and I can't let my injury force me to do so. Sure, I have to go a little slower and modify workouts, but I get in there and keep moving! One of the songs in my spin class is "Titanium" by David Guetta and Sia, which is one of my favorite songs, and has taken on new meaning since I got hurt, especially the line that goes "You shoot me down, but I won't fall. I am titanium." I was shot down, but I got up. Oh, and I'll keep getting stronger as time moves on!

Marching on, one step at a time! ;-)


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fitbloggin 2012: Sunday

It's been exactly a month since Fitbloggin ended, so I decided today is the day to finally wrap up the recapping!

The only major event on Sunday was the 5K. Before I got hurt, I was planning on running. I ended up skipping both that and the one mile walk, since I was sore and still had to pack before the train left. I did, however, photo bomb the runner's photo. Hey, it's not a complete weekend without a photo bomb. ;-)

After the runners went off, I went upstairs to pack up before breakfast. While part of me was ready to come home, I didn't want the weekend to end! It was so much fun! Well, it was all fun and games until I tried to pack up the swag! It seemed at every turn, we were getting stuff that weekend. I left a good chunk of it behind, since my bags were already bursting at the seams. 

Once I was all packed up, it was time to get some Starbucks (I stuck with a skinny vanilla latte) before going to breakfast. Since this was the last meal of the weekend, it was just continental (bagel thins, yogurt, fruit, etc). Like the rest of the weekend, I spent more time mingling than eating. I would end up regretting not eating so much later on.

After the runners all came back, people started to leave. After some last good-byes, I went back up to the room, got some final pictures, cleaned up the room, and made my way to get a cab to head to the train station. There weren't really too many people left, so I decided to leave, despite my train not leaving for two hours.

Once I was at the train station, it was just a matter of killing time and fighting tears (you read that right) before my train. Eventually, I made my way to the platform, and began my journey home.

Sure enough, once I was on the train for a little bit, I started to cry. I know the whole "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." thing, but part of me couldn't help it. Eventually, my tears subsided, and I started to get excited for going home.

After a two and a half hour ride, I got into New York, and barely made my second train. If there was any sign that the weekend was really over, this was it. 

Soon enough, I was back in Middletown. My parents picked me up at the train station, and asked me what I wanted for dinner. The first thing that popped into my head was Chili's, a clear sign I learned nothing at this convention. (Kidding!)

After a day of traveling with really nothing to eat (I couldn't get anything in between trains because of time), I enjoyed it, but didn't go crazy. I had two mozzarella sticks, a steak, plain mashed potatoes, and broccoli. It totally hit the spot! =)

After dinner, I got a cup of pumpkin Italian ice before going food shopping. Yup, back to reality. Almost. I didn't have work again until Tuesday, so I was able to soak everything in for a day, as well as catch up on SLEEP! One thing that almost no one mentions about Fitbloggin is the lack of sleep! 

Those four days were the time of my life! I was with an entire community of people who are like me! While no two journeys are exactly alike, everyone is on the track to a life of healthy living!

Here's to Fitbloggin 2013 in Portland (I hope)!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fitbloggin 2012: Saturday

Hard to believe it's been a full month since Fitbloggin already! Time does fly!

Anyway, I guess this means I need to finish the recapping, huh? Well, here's Saturday's!

Like Friday, Saturday started bright and early. However, I would be participating in the scheduled workouts (thanks to some motivation and encouragement)! So, it was downstairs to the conference rooms for JumpSport's Bounce Camp!

If this picture was any indication, the room was PACKED! It turns out there were over 100 people signed up for the class, but only 67(I think) trampolines. So, we had to pair up with another person, and alternate doing workouts on the trampoline and on the floor. The trampoline stuff was kind of basic (bouncing, turns, jump squats, etc). The floor stuff ranged from squats, burpees, planks, and the like. After the hour was up, I was sore, but felt GREAT! My first full workout since I got hurt and I LOVED IT!!

After the workout, it was time for breakfast. There was an oatmeal bar, with all the fixings, plus yogurt. Yummy! =)

Shortly after breakfast, it was ZUMBA TIME with the awesome Sue (@MrsFatAss) and Sam (@SimplifyingSam)! I had been dying to try Zumba, but never had the guts to, until Fitbloggin. It was hard to believe I almost missed this workout too. It started off okay, since I was able to go slow with my lower body. However, it got to the point where my lower and upper bodies were no longer in sync, so I spent the rest of the class focusing on the upper. It was also a blast!

After the Zumba class, I took a break from the conference activities for a bit. It was at this point I went to the Reebok booth and got my picture with the "I love fitness" sign. I got a free pair of socks too!

I ran and got lunch early (chicken Caesar salad), before going to the awesome Alicia's (@poiseinparma) presentation! 

This presentation was all about taking your online community offline. In other words: blogger meetups! Since relationships are harder to form as adults, these meetups are a way to get to know other people like us. Alicia also gave us a "How To" of sorts as to organizing events. She also gave us tips as to what to expect when planning/participating in these events. I can tell you that I am thinking about doing a meetup in my area. Maybe not in the near future, but soon enough. =) (P.S.- Alicia rocked the presentation! =D)

Lunch came after Alicia's presentation ended. I had my salad, since I heard that lunch was salmon and hummus sandwiches (stuff I don't eat), and we got even MORE swag! This batch was from PuraVit, and was a cute tank top (Mine said "Sweat. It's liquid awesome.") with a jumbo tote bag, plus a coupon to try their fitness clothing site.

Before we broke up for the afternoon presentations, it was time for the annual group picture! Since there were so many of us, they had to take the picture in quadrants, and paste it altogether on the website. Here it is:
(Pic from size pic is there)

The group pic meant the end of the lunch hour, and time for the afternoon presentations to begin!

The first I went to was Meegan (@redstar5) and Tara (@tidbits_of_tara)'s discussion titled "When You Have a Lot to Lose". Even though I don't have as much to lose at this point, I still went to the session and it really did hit home for me, probably more than Friday's. I stuggled myself for so long with being overweight/obese, and it actually wasn't until Robby (@FatGirlVsWorld) mentioned that she couldn't remember a time when she wasn't overweight that I realized I didn't either. Now, coming back from an injury, I do feel like I'm starting over, to an extent. Yes, it was only a sprain, but it's still taking time to rebuild everything I worked so hard for three years to get up to. I realized that I didn't gain weight overnight, didn't lose it overnight, so I won't recover 100% overnight either. Like most people in the room, I ended the session in tears.

After Meegan and Tara's presentation ended, I took another break from the conference activities. This time, I got dressed for the evening reception before the last presentation of the conference, so I could go right to dinner from the presentation. I brought one dress with me, and while it was a little casual, I rocked it and basically screamed: "I'm sexy and I know it!" (Pic to follow-as soon as I can find it on my SD card =P)

The last presentation of the conference was Kelly's (@KellyOlexa) on monetizing the brand. While I write this little blog simply to get my story out there, it was still an informative presentation. There was quite a bit about using social media to interact with companies, as well as being yourself. 

Once Kelly's presentation ended, we broke up for dinner. I went with a group of people to a restaurant down the street from the hotel called Kona Grill. It was a sushi place, with sort of a Hawaiian flair. I had the BBQ Chicken flatbread. Two words to describe it: spicy and huge. The thing was at least a foot long by six inches wide! I only ate half of it, and got full. Wow. Sign of the times. I used to be able to eat a whole one (or something similar) and still eat an entree.

Once we got back to the hotel, it was reception time! We each got a complementary drink, and I decided to take advantage. Since the bar in the room didn't have Malibu rum (I wanted a bay breeze), I settled for a Miller Lite. Unilever sponsored the reception, and was passing out samples of all sorts of appetizers/desserts that you can serve at holiday parties. Mostly, it was a time to mingle with the other attendees, plus photo ops! (I'll have a separate post with all my pics)

The reception ended around 9, but several people were going to the Hooters across the street from the hotel because it was Sue's birthday, and she wanted wings and to watch the Michigan football game. So, I hopped over and joined the party! Oh, I finally got my Bay Breeze! ;-) I nibbled some wings and fries, but kept in control of what I was eating. On another note, Michigan lost the game. =(

I stayed for awhile over there, but eventually, I was getting tired (shocking, I know), and went back to the hotel. It was hard to believe that this was the last night of the conference already! As fast as it came, it went that much faster! 

Sunday recap to follow...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Friend Makin' Mondays: Quick and Random

It's been awhile since I did one of these, so I decided to do one tonight. Enjoy!

This part is directly from Kenlie (@AllTheWeigh)'s blog: 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Quick and Random

1. Choose three songs that would be on the soundtrack of your life. "Titanium" by David Guetta and Sia, "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall" by Coldplay, and of course "One Step at a Time" by Jordin Sparks
2. Share the details of one project that you’re currently working on.  I make videos with some of my fandoms, so I'm currently starting up a cast vid with "The Good Wife".
3. If you could learn to do one thing overnight what would it be? Cook. Or at least chop basil and cilantro better. 
4. If you could be a fictional character which one would you be? That's easy. Diane Lockhart from "The Good Wife." She shows everyone (especially the boys) how it's done. Every time.
5. What’s your favorite thing about the month of October?  Pumpkin anything (except pie-never been a real big pie person). I just discovered my love for it after the bread bash at work last month.
6. Share one TV show that you’re embarrassed to admit you watch.  "Dance Moms" after I watched it with my mom last week. 
7. Name one friend that you’re thankful to have in your life today.  Too many to mention! All my Twitter pals have been so supportive this last week after a very hectic week here.
8. What was the most relaxing part of your weekend?  Watching "The Good Wife" last night. Yes, I'm obsessed. Plus, what better way to end a crazy work week?
9. Do you like to dance?  I used to, until I got hurt in a Group Groove class. It's going to take me a long time to mentally be able to dance again.
10.  Share one thing that you’re looking forward to before the end of the year. Does the start of basketball season count? 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fitbloggin 2012: Friday Continued

After a crazy week here, I'm getting back to writing Fitbloggin recaps! I know it's been two weeks since the conference ended, but I'll still write them! =)

After the presentations ended, there was a break of almost two hours for dinner before the keynote. Before we went out (a whole bunch of us were going to a salad place down the street from the hotel), I had drinks with Emily (Fit and Free) and Emily (runningknitwit) to celebrate the first's sixty day binge-free success! (P.S.-The pic is also courtesy of her!) =D

                         (me, @runningknitwit, @FitandFree Emily)

While they had "actual" drinks, I was trying to stay alcohol free for the weekend (This didn't work; more on that in Saturday's post), so I had a strawberry lemonade, which I was craving for a few days. It totally hit the spot! =)

After our drinks, we headed over to Nature's Table for dinner. It turns out this place had so much more than salads! There were sandwiches, wraps, and even rice bowls! I stuck with one of my favs: a big chicken Caesar salad. Before I went back to the hotel, I got a cup of fro-yo to satisfy my sweet tooth. ;-)

Once we were all back at the hotel, it was keynote time. Well, once they got past the techincal difficulties, and after Roni (@RoniNoone, otherwise known as the mastermind behind Fitbloggin) announced that next year's conference will be in Portland (looking like a no-go for me, sadly). 

The keynote this year was different than in the past. This year it was 14 different speakers who had five minute long PowerPoint presentations on all sorts of social networking/healthy living topics. The presentations ranged from a mom training for a triathalon (@christieo), to raising "locavores" (@lifelynstyle), and of course Jack's (@JackSht) hilarious "smack attack" complete with exploding Coke at the end. (Full list of speakers can be found here.) However, it was Hank (@losing100pounds) at the end that had the most hilarious, but awesome presentation. He used Paint to draw all of his slides. I managed to get a pic of one of them:

Once Hank's presentation ended, that ended the events for the night. However, there was an after-party of sorts in the hotel bar with a good chunk of the convention. I had my second strawberry lemonade of the day. ;-) After about two hours of mingling with everyone, it was off to bed for what would be a just as packed second day of events!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals: September 2012

Hi, all! Taking a break from the Fitbloggin posts to share my goodies from September's Foodie Pen Pals!

My box this month comes from Jennifer of JennJillDesigns. It actually came while I was in Baltimore, so it was a nice surprise to come home to!

  • Peanut Butter Creme cookies. I haven't had these type of cookies in a LONG time, so this was awesome. They will be rationed. ;-)
  • Veggie Soup mix, complete with alphabet and number noodles. I can't wait to make this, especially with colder weather coming.
  • Apple Blueberry Granola. This will be awesome with vanilla yogurt. =)
  • Peanut Butter Clif Bar. I love Clif bars. I love peanut butter. That is all.
  • Two dark chocolate bars, one with raspberry. I can't wait to dig into these.
If you want to become a Foodie Pen Pal, check out more info from Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean! This program is open to blog readers in addition to bloggers! Putting together the box every month is as fun as getting one! =D

Fitbloggin 2012: Friday

Hello, again! It took me a few days, since I'm getting back to a normal routine, but here is Friday's FitBloggin recap (well, part of it anyway)!

Despite not going to bed until late on Thursday, Friday started bright and early at 7:00 a.m.! My roommates were going to the Workout of the Day (WOD), which was CrossFit. However, I couldn't do it, since I was still in the recovery phase of my injury. So I had breakfast at the time they were in the workout. I tried quinoa for the first time, and surprisingly, I liked it! There were also turkey sausage meatballs, which weren't bad, probably would have been better if I had them first thing in the morning.

After I ate, I went up to the hotel gym to get my WOD in. I was still recovering, but this was a fitness convention, and I had to do something physical! So I hopped on a treadmill and walked for a half hour. The treadmills, along with all the cardio machines there, are beautiful! Touch screens and iPod chargers! I wish they had these babies at my gym here!

Despite my known hatred of treadmills, the half hour went fast. I wasn't exactly a speed demon, but for my first post-injury workout, I'll take it:

After the workout, I went back to the room, changed, and got coffee from the Starbucks across the street before the day's presentations started.

Before the first presentation, I checked out the expo and got even MORE swag! This time, I got a cookbook, a Pilates DVD, measuring spoons, and quite a bit of chocolate milk. It was at the expo where I ran into Margo (@BrooklynFitChik) 
and she talked me into trying the trampolines, since I was still a little hesitant to doing them. After a few minutes, I realized I would be okay for the  Saturday BounceCamp, as long as I didn't attempt anything too crazy.

The first presentation I went to was the self-acceptance discussion with Karen, Mara, and Shauna. This was one I really wanted to go to and it hit home for me big time. Even though I lost so much weight, I was still struggling with loving myself. I hit a big turn around recently, but since I got hurt, I was struggling a little bit, but not enough to give up. I walked away from the discussion realizing that if I didn't love myself, then I would have let my injury get the best of me, and start spiraling downward again.

Between sessions was lunch. I just had chicken and salad, with a piece of bread from a sandwich. Simple and healthy, but delicious!

After lunch was more presentations. The second of the day for me was a driving blog traffic one with the awesome Emmie (of Skinny Emmie)! The room was packed, and the presentation was awesome! I got a lot out of it, especially how to share. I try to share other people's content as much as possible, and have "share buttons" on my blog (which I apparently had the whole time and had no idea--Good thing I went to Emmie's presentation!).

Right after Emmie's presentation ended, Carla (@MizFitOnline) had one on attracting media and freelance writing. In a nutshell, her presentation had the message of being yourself and be prepared for a whole lot of no's before a yes. She was great too!

After a short break, I went to Amy's (@FatGirlsCanRun) presentation on building your brand. One of the key points of her presentation was figuring out your target audience. Honestly, I'm still working on this one. I'm not exactly targeting a specific demographic, just want to get my story out there. Another good point was "personifying" your brand. My "brand" apparently is "cutesy healthy living lover" (what I came up with based on the presentation). Amy also pointed out that you are not your brand. For example, I am a crazy fangirl who makes fan art and videos based on some of my fandoms. By the end of the presentation, I realized that "One Step at a Time" will be my brand forever, since my healthy living journey will continue for the rest of my life, and that I live one step at a time.

The last presentation of the day (before the keynote) was Kara (@fatwmnonthemtn), who spoke about reaching out and connecting. Part of Kara's own journey (120 pounds lost!) was working for a cause bigger than herself. Back in 2009, she did one charity event a month, ranging from 5K's to a dunk in a freezing lake. She also said that sharing your story was important, because it can inspire others to make a change as well as it just making a difference, no matter what you take on. This was a presentation that I wasn't originally planning on going to, but I was glad I did!

Whew! There was A LOT going on Friday! And I'm not even up to the keynote yet! That will be in my next post! =)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fitbloggin 2012: Thursday

It's been three days since Fitbloggin ended, which has given me a good amount of time to soak in the weekend's events and write a recap (or at least attempt to).

I'm actually writing a post for each day, since there was SO MUCH going on!

Since I got hurt, I was a little less excited to go because I was afraid I would miss out on half the fun. Boy, was I wrong!

From the moment I arrived in Baltimore on Thursday afternoon, I was PUMPED!! I met up with Patty (@PattyAizaga), who was on the same train as me (total coincidence). We dropped our bags off at the hotel and spent the afternoon at the Ripley's Odditorium across the street from our hotel. That was a lot of fun, and both of us can say we went to a Ripley's!

Once we were done over there, we went back to the hotel and waited for her room to get ready so she could check in (I couldn't because my roommates weren't there yet). Once that was done, I chilled with her until my roomies came a little while later. 

The first to come in was Emily (@FitandFreeEmily), who booked the room in the first place. Once she checked us in and got the keys, it was time to unpack, settle in, and of course tweet ;-). Emily (@runningknitwit) and Vicky (@crazedmom) came in later, and I actually didn't meet them until after the "official" welcome party.

Registration and the welcome party were a few hours later. After checking in, we got our swag bags. Let me just say: HOLY COW! A full duffel bag with snacks, stickers, and even an apron! Oh, and who can forget the official FitBloggin shirt? (BTW, mine ended up being too big and I couldn't exchange it. New PJ shirt!)

After we got our swag, we went over to the Reebok table to get some more stuff: crossfit sneakers and a workout tank! My sneakers were pink, and the one thing I've been wanting for a long time was pink workout shoes! I think once I get them more broken in, I'll use them for my spin classes.

Then came the welcome party and badge decorating. I was a first time FitBloggin attendee, so I had a star on my badge. I still went crazy decorating it though. If it's one thing anyone who's worked at Panera knows, it's how to decorate a nametag. ;-)

The mixer itself was relaxed and fun. I got to meet several bloggers who I've follwed since I started my crazy journey, as well as some new ones. I didn't feel shy or nervous, like I usually do in new situations. I felt right at home, kind of like I was with family.

After the mixer, there was a presentation by Susan Ito (@foodiemcbody). Her one woman show was just amazing. It was pretty much a show about someone who went from being overweight to a triathlete. A lot of us were in tears by the end.

Since the presentation didn't end until almost 9, most of us were starving after Susan's show! A group of us went to a restaurant called The Greene Turtle, which was an experience in itself (I'll save that for a future post). Anyway, my dinner was just grilled BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

I got back to the hotel around 11:00, and all of my roomies were sleeping. After a quick phone call home, and some tweeting, I was too. 

Friday recap to follow... =)

Monday, September 24, 2012

I am stronger than I think!!

It took me until Saturday at Fitbloggin to realize this (and I will have a full recap soon, I promise!), but I think this sums up the weekend as well as my journey as a whole:

I am stronger than I think!

During the convention, Reebok had a booth with all sorts of signs that you could write on, and I chose the "I love fitness because..." one. While thinking about what to write on it, I realized that everything I went through to get to this point, both mentally and physically, has made me much more stronger, more than I thought was possible.

So that's what went on the sign.

After I wrote on it, I got my picture with it:

I also made this my profile pic because I'm basically declaring that I am stronger than I ever thought was possible. 

Now that I look back on this weekend, even with my injury, I still got to try two new workouts: Zumba and trampoline camp. I thought I wouldn't be ready to do either of them physically (still sort of healing from my sprained knee), but with a little modification (and some people telling me I could), I got through both and had a blast! 

Tonight, I made my way back into the gym for the first time since I got hurt, and rocked a tough core class! Did I have to modify? Yes, since I still can't quite handle high impact. Did I let that stop me from getting a good workout? No way! 

Mental toughness and strength is as important in this journey as the physical, and these last few weeks especially, as I work to come back from injury, I proved to myself that I am stronger than I think!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Injured...and miserable as anything

Hi, everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. Well, at least better than mine.

On Thursday, during my cardio dance class, I must have moved the wrong way, and twisted my left knee. I thought it was just something I could walk off, and finished the class before limping out of the gym.

Well, I was wrong. I ended up calling out of work on Friday, since my knee still didn't feel right. After a whole day of no change, I ended up going to the hospital, which made me scared as anything, since I was fearing the worst for over a day: a ligament tear.

After two hours, and a few X-rays, I was diagnosed with a sprained knee. Not as bad as I thought, but still not fun. I spent so much time crying because for the first time in, well, a long time, I was forced to stop going. No gym, no work, nothing. I spent a good chunk of the weekend in bed watching Glee, eating, and icing my knee.

Slowly, but surely, I'm on the mend. Of course, it'll be some time before I can get back to the gym 100%, and I think even then, it'll be modified more so than in the past.

Then there's the Fitbloggin trip I have coming up in two and a half weeks. I still plan on going, but modifications will be a must. I can't do any of the scheduled workouts, but they do have a gym at the hotel, so I can at least go on a treadmill or do some upper body strength moves. The 5K is looking like a no-go, so I'll probably end up doing the one mile walk instead.

Oh, the rest of my running plans for the year are shot to hell. I was orginally planning a 5K yesterday, but I never signed up for it. Kind of a good thing, actually. The Fitbloggin 5K was planned for months, but it's not happening either. I had two more races on the fence for the end of the month, but by the time I'm healed, I won't have time to properly train. So, no more racing for the rest of the year.

I plan on being back to work tomorrow, but I'll have to wear the brace on my knee, and probably be forced to be the dishwasher, but small steps at a time. Eventually, I will be physically back to where I was.

If I got anything out of this, it was that I am not invincible. Oh, and that I can't keep going non-stop anymore. I was sometimes doing two classes a day, four or five days a week. Now, it's looking like one class (two if one of them is core), and three rest days a week, at least for a little bit.

Kisses and hugs,


Friday, August 31, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals: August 2012

Hi, all! Happy Foodie Pen Pals Reveal Day! =D

My box this month comes from Shannon at Edible Obsessions. She said in the note that she got me a lot of stuff that can travel easily, since I was running a lot. Let's take a look at what came in the box:

  • Coconut water. I honestly have yet to try it, but can't wait to!
  • Dried fruit bars (2 strawberry, 2 boysenberry). One word: Yum!
  • Chocolate Cherry Kind bar. Also yummy.
  • Balsamic glaze. Good for chicken or steak, but a little goes a long way. ;-)
  • Peppermint gum. Gum is always a good thing.
  • Zucchini relish. Never tried zucchini, so this will be interesting to say the least.

Another month I'm happy with my box. All stuff I would not have thought to get myself, and that's the beauty of this program! For more info, and to sign up, check out Lindsay's page over at The Lean Green Bean! =)

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Tonight's post is inspired by the Natasha Bedingfield song "Unwritten." The song came on my iPod while I was on my way to the gym for my cardio dance class, and I thought to myself "This could make for a good post."

So, four hours later, I put the song on, and let myself soak it in as I wrote this post.

For those who don't know the song, here's a link to listen to it on YouTube, and one for the lyrics.

I won't break down every lyric of the song, since the post would take forever to write, not to mention ages to read, so I'm just going to pull my three favorite verses and work with that.

1) The opening verse:

"I am unwritten,
Can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning
The pen's in my hand, ending unplanned."

This is one of my favorite song openings, and think that it fits my life right now. Sure, I may be 27 and three years into a weight loss journey, but my life is just truly beginning. I've done so much, especially in the last year, and so many changes have happened, that it feels like a new start that was years in the making, and may not have happened if I didn't lose all this weight.

2) First verse of the pre-chorus:

"Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you can not find." 

Now that I think about it, my life before the weight loss was me being voiceless (figuratively), and seeing the world through a dirty window. It took a long time, but I was able to open it, let brightness in, and live a happier life as a result (in more ways than one).

3) Third verse of the chorus:

"Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten."

In the last three years, I truly have started to embrace life, and step outside my comfort zone. This is especially true over the last five months, as I made a major change in my life by changing jobs, while at the same time starting my journey as a runner and planning a solo overnight trip. While I may not know what the future holds, I know that my story is far from over.

Anyway, just thought that I would give you this untraditional look into my life, while showing just how much a song can relate to life, no matter how big or small.