Hello. It’s me. With a ton of pictures.

And just like that, another year is coming to an end! It’s been quite a year, lots of bad and lots of good, and a new year is always a nice thing to look forward to! I am hoping to really get back to blogging more regularly and post my spin playlists, food, etc and my journey of getting into tip top shape for my wedding! John and I have moved our wedding date to October 15th and switched our venue (I am the most indecisive person ever) and I am even more excited now! Below are some a ton of pictures to catch up on the last couple of months before this year ends. 

FOOD: (obviously)

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Food from the vegan hotspot by CHLOE
Food from the vegan hotspot by CHLOE
From just a few weeks ago! Have been eating outside every chance I get still!
From just a few weeks ago! Have been eating outside every chance I get still!

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Veggie burger at 5 Napkin (a long time favorite) with Andrea!

The extremely rare occasion I actually meal prep these days.. so simple!
The extremely rare occasion I actually meal prep these days.. so simple!
Looks gross but the best thing evaa.. chicken spedie sub from home!
Looks gross but the best thing evaa.. chicken spedie sub from home!
Dark pic but the delicious gnocci from my cousin's wedding!
Dark pic but the delicious gnocci from my cousin’s wedding!
and the desserts from the wedding!
and the desserts from the wedding!
Easiest dinner ever.. steamed potato with coconut oil, chicken sausage, sauteed bell peppers and runny eggs!
Easiest dinner ever.. steamed potato with coconut oil, chicken sausage, sauteed bell peppers and runny eggs!

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Crazy overpriced avocado toast & latte from the raved-about Bluestone Lane.

The best view ever... diet coke, chips and guac on the beach!
The best view ever… diet coke, chips and guac on the beach!
Fresh veggies & seafood on salad for lunch in Mexico!
Fresh veggies & seafood on salad for lunch in Mexico!
mmmmm ceviche!
mmmmm ceviche!
Pina colada shaved ice!
Pina colada shaved ice!
fish tacoooooos
fish tacoooooos
Heaven?
Heaven?
Our drinks of choice on vaca.. bloody marys and white russians, which couldnt be more random for either of us haha
Our drinks of choice on vaca.. bloody marys and white russians, which couldnt be more random for either of us haha
Vacation breakfast!
Vacation breakfast!
Tamarind margarita, so soooo good
Tamarind margarita, so soooo good
LOBSTER tacos!
LOBSTER tacos!
crab benedict...outrageous.
crab benedict…outrageous. From Philip Marie’s
Work Thanksgiving... holy moly, my co-workers can COOK!
Work Thanksgiving… holy moly, my co-workers can COOK!

FASHION: (because when I’m not in gym clothes, I live for it!)

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MEXICO! (John and I went November 3rd-9th, stayed at The Westin Spa & Resort again and had such an amazing time.. got upgraded to a huuuuge suite, too!)

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Our bedroom in our suite!
Our bedroom in our suite!
Living room!
Living room!
Balcony #1
Balcony #1

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My handsome, sweet sweet dude! <3 <3
My handsome, sweet sweet dude!

My sweet baby Ruby: (So she made 2015 the best year ever actually, and if you’re new to the blog she isn’t my actual baby haha)

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Teaching Spin: (For 2 years now!)

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Okay, so 2015 had a LOT of good to it after all! This is my reminder to myself, and to you, to really focus on the positive in all situations. It is a very hard thing to do and I struggle with it daily, but we are always a work in progress.

Merry Christmas to you all, and may 2016 be an amazing year for us all!

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Christmas 2013

Well, we survived Christmas 2013. And despite my doubts, it ended up being a really good day. A very relaxed day. Even though the restaurant we went to was horrendous, I didn’t even freak out on the waitress like I sometimes never do.

Christmas Eve we ordered our traditional Domino’s pizzas and watched 3 episodes of Breaking Bad, leaving the last one for Christmas. I semi-planned on waking up to run but then decided to set no alarm and rest. Like, actual rest. No worries of working out or reservations or anything. I slept for almost 12 hours, not hearing a peep until 11:45! Heaven. Johnny made coffee and I made some cinnamon buns while we relaxed and opened up our little gifts and stockings.

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So that would be my stocking fillings from John! Haha so great, so ME! 2 avocados, swedish fish for my long run fuel, a cold pack for my leg, and rotting carrots as a joke obvi. And the pink fluff in the back is my new huge robe! I have been saying I wanted a robe for months and kept forgetting to look anywhere for one, but my sweet dude remembered and grabbed me such a fluffy one!

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Ignore how awful I look, but don’t ignore my amazing new fur vest I bought myself for Christmas! I will be buried in this thing one day.

After hours of lounging around, we set out for dinner even though all we wanted to do was stay in our warm apartment. Which is exactly what we should have done. Whatever you do, don’t go to Duke’s on 39th and 3rd avenue. After searching on Opentable for a cheap place that was open, we thought the menu sounded good and came here. The service was the worst service I’ve ever had at a restaurant! And the food was really not good at all, to the point where John and I both felt sick after. Ugh, right? Next year we’ll either be splurging to go somewhere fancy or stay home and eat chinese in our PJ’s! Oh well, it felt good to get kinda dressed up.

Camo/leather sleeve jacket with my fur vest over. Love the contrast!
Camo/leather sleeve jacket with my fur vest over. Love the contrast!

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<3

Ended the night with these sea salt caramels from CVS that are so freaking delicious, and watched the last episode of Breaking Bad. Can’t say I loved the ending but it feels good to be caught up now!

Got my butt up for a 4 mile run through the beautiful park this morning. Definitely need to get back to being more consistent with my running. However, teaching spin so much lately has made my endurance even better and my heart rate is lower than usual while running!

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How was your Christmas??

Spin Playlist + More

Merry Christmas Eve! I started my week off yesterday teaching the 7:00 AM Spin class at the Soho location of 24 Hour Fitness. It was my first time teaching at that location and, as always in my life, eventful. The headset was different than my home gym and ended up not working at all, so I had to yell the whole class over the music. It actually was fine and made my energy come out even more! Only 3 people showed up because of the holiday (i’m assuming) but they were strong & I think I definitely woke them up. The room was SO HOT, like bikram yoga hot. I loved it. The sweatier the better! Here’s the playlist I used twice last week and this morning. I have to work on a new one for next week but this has been a huge hit! Below it will be what we did to each song, in case you want to use this for your own spin workout!

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Turn up the music- Warm-up, gradually add resistance to prepare for 4 songs of hills!

Super Bass- Moderate hill, seated pickups every chorus for 30 seconds

Sleepyhead- Add more resistance to get to a level 6.5-7 hill but moving legs to hit the beat, come up to position 3 for each chorus 

Flashing Lights- heavy hill (level 8-9) with seated pickups every 10 SECONDS! The beat picks up every 10 seconds of the whole song, you move faster each 10 seconds. Should feel really hard by the end! 

Your Body- STAY ON THE HILL. Earn your downhill. Every chorus, turn resistance down and run in position 3. First chorus is 20 seconds, so only take off a little resistance. 2nd is 40 seconds so take off more. Final chorus, fly down that hill for 40 seconds!

When Loves Takes Over- Recovery song. Light resistance, fast legs to flush out the hills. 2 x 30 second pick-ups in the saddle at 0:52 and 2:23.

You Make Me Feel- Run with resistance. Add on enough to make keeping up with the beat challenging. 4 sets of sprints- First sprint (15 seconds) at 0:58 in position 3, back to saddle. 2nd sprint (30 seconds) at 1:42, stay in position 3 and continue to 3rd sprint (15 seconds) at 2:26, back to saddle. Last 30 second sprint in the saddle at 3:00.

Hard- heavy hill climb in the saddle, come up to position 3 for each chorus. Add on resistance before each chorus to end in a level 9 hill!

Jumpin’ Jumpin’- take off some resistance but keep enough to run in position 2. Fast run in position 2, fast run in position 3 for each chorus. Add on a little resistance throughout to avoid bouncing while running in 2.

Blurred Lines- light-moderate resistance, fast legs for whole song. Run in position 2 for 30 seconds at 0:50, back to saddle, then run in position 2 for 30 seconds again at 1:54, then down to position 3 for 30 seconds right after. Back to saddle and run fast from 3:30-end.

Pour It Up- Run with resistance in position 3 for whole song. Add on a little resistance to make it more challenging before each chorus!

Hollaback Girl- lighten resistance but keep enough to do jumps. 3 sets of jumps that are 30 seconds long, with 2 counts. Starting at 0:40, come out of the saddle for 2 seconds then back down for 2 seconds and repeat for 30 seconds. 2nd set starts at 1:30; last set starts at 2:24.

Starships- Sprints on a hill! Get on a moderate-heavy hill and get ready for 6 total sprints (THIS INCLUDES THE NEXT SONG!). First sprint is 15 seconds at 1:09. 2nd sprint is 15 seconds at 2:26. 3rd sprint is 15 seconds at 3:12. CLASS CHOICE WHETHER THEY SPRINT IN THE SADDLE OR IN POSITION 3!

Sweet Nothing- stay on the hill, last 3 sprints. FULL OUT SPRINTS FOR LAST SONG! 1st sprint is 15 seconds at 1:03, 2nd sprint is 15 seconds at 2:17 and last sprint is 30 seconds at 2:55.

Forrest Gump- Cooldown.

So fun. And YAY, I figured out how to copy and paste a playlist. Congrats to me.

Sunday night my brother came down and we went to dinner and got froyo after I got out of work. The froyo was necessary at 10:00 PM because dinner was disappointing. We went to Heights Tavern and usually the food is great but it was pretty bad this night. Oh well, my eggnog froyo made up for it! Eggnog flavored anything is my favorite and I wish they had it all year.

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The fact that it was 65 degrees Sunday night and we didn’t wear coats on December 22nd was freaking amazing. Ya’ll know my hatred for the cold. And now we’re back to the cold.

Since I was off from job #1 yesterday, I got to spend the day with my brother and his girlfriend. We had lunch at 5 Napkin Burger (the place I take all my visitors at one point or another!) and another round of froyo that we all ended up regretting. We were so full from 5 Napkin but who says no to froyo? It was great, as always, to spend time with those two. I love them and we always laugh our butts off.

Once I got home last night around 6, I felt like I hadn’t slept in a month. The last week I have been so exhausted, like I mentioned last post, that I fall asleep on the subway and can’t get out of bed when my alarm goes off. I seem to struggle with this every month when I have PMS. I guess extreme fatigue can really be a symptom of it. Anyone else struggle with it? I need some way to deal with it if it is going to happen to me once a month for many years to come. I also probably have low iron levels at the moment since my diet has consisted of mainly sugar this month. Ugh. Gotta get my dang act together! I was going to go to bed without eating dinner but John got my butt up to make something healthy. It ended up being really delicious and I feel a little better today.

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Sweet potato brussels sprouts hash with a runny egg, chicken sausage and hot sauce, plus toast with ketchup. It IS NOT weird to put ketchup on bread.

What are your Christmas Eve plans? John and I are doing our tradition for the last 2 years; order Domino’s and watch random TV. A.K.A what we do a lot of Tuesday nights haha. Sadly Christmas just doesn’t feel like any type of special day anymore. But I truly hope you all enjoy yours and if you get to be with family, cherish every moment. You never know when it will be your last Christmas with family.

Don’t Make Me Laugh.

I am in so much pain right now. A good pain, but a strong one. I worked out with Brenda on Saturday morning, meaning I let her train me and I have never been in so much pain DURING a workout or after. Even after 4+ hours of cycling last week, she beat me to a pulp. More on that later, but let’s discuss the delicious food I’ve had since we talked last!

Backtracking to last week, I was so exhausted from my 3 spin classes in 24 hours that I took Wednesday and Thursday off to rest. Wednesday night my brother came down to the city so we met up in Brooklyn for pizza and froyo/Shake Shack. Grimaldi’s for pizza of course, 2 pies for the 3 of us. Demolished.

Pie 1 of 2.
Pie 1 of 2.
My 2 favorite guys in the world!
My 2 favorite guys in the world!

On the way back to my brother’s car we passed Orange Leaf and since I was on an antibiotic last week, I figured I HAD to get my yogurt intake for the day. Right?!

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Sadly I barely made a dent into it. I wasn’t crazy full from the pizza but my appetite just isn’t as raging since I’ve been running less. Even tons of Spin doesn’t make me as hungry as running! Anyone else?! The boys got Shake Shack shakes and John literally ordered a double burger too. After 6 pieces of pizza. No words.

Friday I was off from job #1 but job #2 I had at 6:00 PM so I got to sleep in a little and then busted out 1 of my finals. My class Friday night was so great again! I am loving teaching cycling SO SO much and right now since I’m just subbing I have no classes scheduled this week and I’m so sad. Hoping someone will need a sub!

1.5 mile treadmill run first then class!
1.5 mile treadmill run first then class!

After class I went back home to finish another final and get to bed relatively early for my morning session with Brenda!

Saturday morning was so beautiful and I was so grateful to be off from work to enjoy it. Saturdays have a great feel to them when you don’t have to be stuck at a desk all day! I ran 3 miles first to warm-up and then Brenda put me through absolute torture. It looked like this:

  • 1500 meter row in 6 minutes. Broken into 500 meters in 2 mins, rest, then repeat 2 more times. I was almost in tears halfway through minute 1.
  • TRX squats (20), TRX bodyweight rows (10) , tuck jump to squat thrust x 15— repeat this circuit twice. The bodyweight rows were INSANELY hard!
  • Assisted pull-ups w/ a band. In a nutshell, I could basically not even do 1 WITH the band. Hardest thing ever, great thing to work towards!
  • 3 sets of 10 lat pulldowns w/ 72 pounds (random weight but on a machine)
  • Ab circuit: full sit up w/ legs on the ground (pilates move) on the way back bring your legs back and then reach up to touch toes x 15; feet in TRX strap, bring legs to chest then pike x5, feet in TRX strap, brings legs to chest then spread legs apart x10

Sorry if my descriptions are weird, not sure of proper names just yet! All I can say is that besides my shoulders/lats/forearms/every inch of my arms being insanely sore, my abs have NEVER felt sore from a workout before. I wanted to punch her in her face, naturally. It hurts so bad to laugh, cough and sit up. I will definitely be repeating this circuit on my own!! She is AMAZING at what she does. If you are in the NYC area and want her info to get training with her, let me know!!!!

No better way to start a weekend than sweating with your best friend. The rest of Saturday was spent brunching with John at Grey Dog, of course. Afterwards we got coffee and walked around for a few hours, before deciding to go home and just relax since it was pretty cold out. I got pretty wild and made a big bowl of chicken noodle soup and ate it in bed. Have you ever heard of such a wild Saturday night?!

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By the way, Progresso chicken noodle is really good.

I also had a few bites of a chocolate chip cookie dough Questbar after. After 3 bites I realized I could NOT bare the taste of it anymore. Over the summer I loved them, but I was also still using a lot of artificial sweeteners. Now that I eat mainly real food and only really use stevia in my coffee in the morning and that’s it, it tasted awful to me. It also upset my stomach within minutes. Not knocking but all in all they are a pretty fake food and I will not be ever buying them again!

Sunday morning I woke up planning to run 8-9 miles. I woke up exhausted, sore beyond words, and nothing in the world sounded better than going back to sleep and just spending the morning in bed with John. Something we never get to do! It felt amazing and I felt no regrets. I have 2 races this weekend and haven’t been running much at all, but I have no worries. I’m enjoying the rest of the year before I get serious again with training and it feels good! After snuggling for a few hours, we made our way to brunch at Brindle Room. A weekend with my 2 favorite brunch spots is THE BEST. We were ready to gnaw our arms off by the time we got there since it was 1:30 and we hadn’t eaten anything yet. He got his burger and fries, I had my favorite smoked pork hash and for “dessert” we split the banana challah french toast with nutella and fruit. YUM.

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my cute date
my cute date

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To avoid the food coma we were about to slip into, we walked around for quite awhile and did some shopping at Marshall’s. I got a new really big pot to make chili in, fleece lined leggings to run in, Nike training gloves (my hands get SO sweaty when I lift and hurt) and Nike dri-fit slight compression socks. I live and breathe for Marshall’s/TJ Maxx, dudes.

It started to snow around 4:30 so we made our way home and did a huge load of laundry. Our bag weighed probably 30 pounds and we have to lug it 2 blocks so we counted that as our workout. We worked up our appetite for dinner finally around 8:30 and got 2 human-sized pieces of pizza. $3 each. Can you seriously beat that?!

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(Don’t worry- I peeled off my cheese. Sigh 😦 )

Ha! So big
Ha! So big

Not the best pizza ever but good for being so cheap and huge.

And the weekend ended with setting up our first ever NYC Christmas tree that my roommate decorated so beautifully!

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So there ya have it. A solid week of workouts and not-so-healthy food. That’s what weekends are for!

Christmas Week & Cookie Recipe!

So I had figured this Christmas would be extremely depressing given that it was my first Christmas without my grandma, and while I definitely had some tears I also had some fun! I know it’s exactly what she would have wanted. As I get older, I truly am learning the real meaning behind holidays and it’s not what gifts you receive; it’s who you spend that time with. A little re-cap, shall we?

After almost 2 weeks of being sick and barely working out, I finally felt like I could breathe enough to get in some sweat sessions this week. Let me tell you, they felt reeeeeal good. I mean, I can barely walk and that’s how I like it! Life these days feels really weird if I’m not sore. Sunday I ran 3 miles and did Level 1 of Ripped in 30. After working all day, I came home and whipped up these cookies for my co-workers and they were a huge hit!

mmmm
mmmm

White Chocolate Cranberry Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I used GNC’s pumpkin flavor, on sale now!! but vanilla would also work!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4-5 packets sweetener (I used Splenda)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 (or more) TBSP’s white chocolate chips or chunks
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin

Mix dry and wet separately  then combine. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I made about 14 large sized cookies out of the dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes. If you choose to not use protein powder, they may take a little longer. I know cooking with protein powder tends to make things burn faster!

These come out the consistency of a cake/muffin but my co-workers loved them (and they don’t always love my healthy concoctions!) and I obviously did too!

Christmas Eve I worked all day and then ran a delightful 3.5 miles that evening. Later on, John and I decided to do what we did last year on Christmas Eve; order Domino’s. Before you judge me, hear me out. I used to LOVE Domino’s back in my extremely unhealthy eating days… loved their wings, pizza, and breadsticks. I went a long time without eating it, but recently I fell in love with their pizza again and have been ordering a much healthier version. I get mine with no cheese, and extra jalapeno’s! They have changed their pizza a lot and mine has virtually no grease and with the no cheese option I am saving a ton of calories. Pizza without cheese seems weird, yes, but I swear it’s good. I put crushed red pepper and garlic powder on it and dip it into hot sauce. I like my food VERY spicy.

The smell from the heat of the jalapenos is enough to make most people cry.
The smell from the heat of the jalapenos is enough to make most people cry.

‘Tis the season. BULKING season, that is 😉

After sleeping in on Christmas morning, I headed down to Central Park for a run. A little background on my bladder; it’s basically non-existent. I swear. I have to pee at least every hour and that’s if I’m not drinking water or coffee. Since I usually am, I have to pee twice an hour if not more. So from my apartment to Central Park, it’s anywhere from 20 minutes to 40 minutes, depending how long I have to wait for the train and how slow it decides to go. First thing I have to do before I start running is find a bathroom. Generally not too hard in NYC, but many places are closed on Christmas Day so I had to get creative. The Time Warner building (aka Columbus Circle) is my go-to but they were closed, so I headed to the hotel that is connected called the Mandarin Oriental. Their lobby is located on the 35th floor (!!) and it’s a place I am definitely adding to my list to go have a drink! The views are amazing. So was their bathroom, to get back to my original point 😉

Creepy face, but my favorite winter running gear! The vest makes me look pregnant, but it's warm so YOLO?
Creepy face, but my favorite winter running gear! The vest makes me look pregnant, but it’s warm so YOLO?
The huge lobby. This picture does it no justice.
The huge lobby. This picture does it no justice.
The bar/lounge area with the view.
The bar/lounge area with the view.

Once my peeing dilemma was solved, I ran an amazing 5 miles in the park. It was the perfect weather and totally sunny. I did a lap on the reservoir and it ended up being an obstacle course run, full of jumping over puddles and tourists (sorry I’m not sorry to the tourists I probably knocked over- watch yo selves.)

Beautiful!
Beautiful!

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After a shower and some relaxing, I headed back down to the park for a stroll with John! We also did this last Christmas, so I guess this is now a tradition. It was getting dark, but we walked for awhile with some coffee and started to freeze to death. I completely hate winter and temperatures that get below 50. I also voice this opinion quite frequently and loudly, so it was a miracle John wanted to take a winter walk with me 🙂 I guess it was his Christmas spirit!

Central Park getting dark around 4:30. Another reason I hate winter.
Central Park getting dark around 4:30. Another reason I hate winter.
Walking action shot of John while he probably ignores my complaining.
Walking action shot of John while he probably ignores my complaining.

Last year we ate Christmas dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in the city, 5 Napkin Burger, which I have wrote about several times. We kind of just stumbled on it last Christmas and since it was open we ate there. This year we made a reservation for the Union Square location, mostly because we were too lazy to figure out what else was open. Upon entering, who do I run into other thannn.. my best friend Brenda and her boyfriend Eddie! Legit, great minds think alike. Us 4 made some fools out of ourselves when we saw each other and had the whole restaurant looking over at us, which is prettttty typical. They were just getting done eating so we ordered our food and got our fat Christmas feast on.

Romantically lit onion rings.
Romantically lit onion rings.
My usual- veggie burger with extra pickles (bun removed) and sweet potato fries!
My usual- veggie burger with extra pickles (bun removed) and sweet potato fries!

Delish as always.

The day after Christmas I was supposed to go upstate to see my family, but I woke up feeling really sick (again) and decided to stay put. Not the best idea to travel on a (dirty) bus for 4 hours when I’m still sick, plus they were getting hit with a big snow storm. I spent most of Wednesday sleeping, except for the one meal I ate all day at a diner near me.

Fav diner meal. 2 eggs over medium, bacon, homefries doused in ketchup and hot sauce :-)
Fav diner meal. 2 eggs over medium, bacon, homefries doused in ketchup and hot sauce 🙂

More napping, then I finally made myself do Level 1 of Ripped in 30. That diner meal literally held me over all night (I ate it at 2 PM) so it was the only thing I ate all day! Sleep just sounded way better than food for once in my life.

Yesterday was more sleep, cleaning, Levels 1 AND 2 of Ripped in 30, and the return to healthier eating. My abs are SO sore today from both rounds of Jillian and I’m lovin’ it. I ate like a pig all week but the workouts balanced out some, so my pants aren’t too tight 😉 As all of us are, I’m certainly ready for a new year and toning it up! It goes without saying that this year was really hard and awful for huge chunks, but I am picking myself up from the ground and determined to make 2013 better.