Vacation. Need.

Warning: random blabberings ahead. Only way to describe my need for a vacation is just, NEED. This week did me in on all fronts and I am beyond exhausted. I was expecting some good news on Friday and when it got postponed, I had a breakdown. A private one, until I texted my brother who always makes me laugh hysterically. Not only did he make me crack up, but he also Venmo’d me a very specific amount of money to get some froyo to make me feel better. photo 2

So sweet, right? It cheered me up a ton but on my way to Orange Leaf, I got sucked into Pinkberry. The horror. I haven’t had Pinkberry since I first moved to NYC over 3 years ago, because it just wasn’t close to as good as the others and not to mention it’s not self-serve. This was a new location and the signs for the chocolate chip cookie drew me in. I planned to just get a taste but the flavor was SO good. I may have to incorporate them back into my froyo rotation.

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Waffle cookie, cookie dough, almond roca (DELICIOUS), coconut flakes and thin mint crushed cookies made this the best bowl of froyo of my week. I’m such a fro-hoe.

ANYWAYS- about those vacations I need. This is the best year ever because I am going to Costa Rica in August and Mexico in November and neither trip cost me an ounce of debt because I had saved up for them both. But I started thinking that I really needed to get away before August. Like, REALLY NEED TO. I want to rip my hair out on a daily basis thanks to stress and since it doesn’t seem to be getting warm here anytime soon for me to take a quick hour trip to the beach, I started to do some research. Every year at the end of May, there is a conference held for Spinning in Miami, the WSSC Conference where you can earn the points needed to keep you a certified Spin instructor. I started thinking that hey, Brenda and I could go down for 1 day of the conference and then stay another day for the beach and maybe we both wouldn’t go completely crazy in the next few weeks? She agreed, and my co-worker/friend Sharde also decided that she will tag along, but without the spin part. So, a mini girls vacation in a manageable distance of time was born.

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Those are the classes that Brenda and I are signed up to do at the conference. I am looking so forward to learning how to become a better instructor! Equally as excited to lay on the beach and finally see Miami! What am I not looking forward to? Flying. I haven’t flown in 5 years and I am PETRIFIED to say the least. Any tips or fellow scaredy cats out there? I’m gonna need some Xanax.

Just to prove that I still do eat my veggies, I have to share with you the salad that I am completely obsessed with that I need to recreate on my own because I can’t keep spending $13 on lunch every day.

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Chop’t is officially the best salad joint in the city. Expensive as hell, yes, but the salads are gigantic and the mixes are the bomb. I get the cobb with grilled chicken, chopped up bacon, avocado, blue cheese, tomatoes, romaine, red onion and I sub the hard boiled egg for roasted broccoli. They give you a couple of thin pieces of flabread and I get the tex-mex ranch dressing on the side to dip. The way they chop it all up together (hence the name) makes every bite so flavorful!

I have been so great about mindful eating the last few months, but I definitely let it slip a little this week and honestly? It’s okay! This will happen. The thing I feel the best about is that it isn’t making me frantically open up the MyFitnessPal app and start obsessively counting calories again. I actually don’t think I ever even did a post on how I stopped because I didn’t want to jinx myself, haha. I used it for 4 years and would recommend it to ANYONE to assist in your weight loss journey, or even weight gain if that’s what your goal is. But I needed to know that I could maintain my weight on my own and start to build a better relationship with food, and I did it. And of course there is going to be setbacks here and there because this is it. For life. I’m in it forever, and that means failures. I’m dragging my tired ass to Trader Joe’s after work tonight to get some healthies for the next few days until I go out of town to Binghamton. And then after my half marathon next weekend, I am going to eat either a burger or chicken wings and then die. And then come back to vegetables. Sounds good. Give me a week.

Other random things? I haven’t strength trained since January and my glutes and hip are suffering. I also run once a week if that and I really miss it. Teaching spin 4 early mornings a week (and then going into work until 7 PM or later) is making running next to impossible to fit in, but at least it’s so much fun to teach. I do miss the serenity that a lone morning run brings you. If only there were more hours in a day. Once I get my life figured out here (hopefully THIS WEEK) I will have to make more of an effort to strength train though before I need a hip replacement before I’m 30.

What was your last vacation? I haven’t taken an actual vacation in almost 4 years!

Ever been to Miami?

Are you scared of flying?

Recovery Week?

I say recovery week with a question mark because I had no intentions of barely working out this week. I guess my race last weekend really sucked every ounce of energy out of me because I was flat out exhausted to the point of falling asleep on the subway every night this week! I sometimes forget 9.3 miles is only a little shorter than a half marathon! Besides my short recovery workout Monday morning and teaching Spin Tuesday morning, I rested until today. And I feel ready to rock. I did rock, a 3 mile run and taught a Spin class. Boom!

This week felt very holiday-spirited to me despite being miserable from the draining stress of my job. Retail during the holiday season after 10 years just doesn’t get easier. If anything, getting older just makes it harder emotionally. Lots of love was in the air and some of my co-workers gave me very nice gifts and cards. Plus I received a card in the mail from one of my favorite people I don’t get to see enough since she lives in Alaska, a.k.a Rochester, NY. I came home to it after one of the worst nights this week and it made me feel so much better knowing that in some of the toughest times of my life (not just because of work!) I have really great people supporting me.

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When things are really tough, just try to be extra kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for missing workouts or slacking off on eating healthy (um, hello. I’ve eaten so much sugar in the last week it’s really almost embarrassing.. almost.). Just do your best to make as many good choices as you can, and know that you have what it takes to get back to being more consistent. Also, get a mani/pedi.

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Ignore my ugly feet please. No amount of pedicures can help them. I seriously thanked this woman about 215 times. It was the ultimate thing to get at the end of a long week, except my week is not over because I work all weekend. The only thing Christmas means to me these days is a guaranteed paid day off of work and eating good food.

I crawled in bed at 10 last night and was absolutely starving, having not eaten since like 5:30. I grabbed the leftovers of my turkey chili, toasted a piece of bread and put some sea salt on it and ate it cold. Desperate times are actually pretty delicious 😉

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And last but not least, an early Christmas present from the great people at Fitletic! I have wanted to try a running belt for so long but every time I try them on at a store and run around with it (please tell me I’m not the only one who literally tests out running items in the store?) it felt awful. Bulky, not tight enough, too tight, etc. They sent me the Neoprene Double Pouch with a hydration add-on bottle. I will do a full review next month after some more runs and after I use it in my next half marathon! I tested it this morning though and can say I did like it!

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The fact that this outfit had me drenched in sweat 6 minutes into my run means it was almost 60 degrees and it’s December 21st. WTF.

Enjoy your holiday weekend, loves!

What do you do to treat yourself during tough times?

Have you ever ran with a belt/hydration belt?

Stress.

Ugh, today has been stressful since the minute I opened my eyes. I woke up 3 hours past my alarm, at almost 8:00 A.M. when I really need to be leaving for work by 8:10 and when I really needed to be running 5 miles this morning. Almost nothing in this world stresses me out more than missing my alarm and missing my workout. I work 9:00 A.M. til almost 7 and so by the time I get home it’s 8 and the chance of me working out is about 3%. I just do NOT like PM workouts unless it’s a class but my focus needs to be on running right now with my upcoming races. I have felt so on edge and emotional all day, and that’s because a morning workout helps me deal with my anxiety 100x better than if I haven’t. I also have homework after work and don’t want to be up late so that I miss tomorrow’s morning workout. I know this is totally #FirstWorldProblems and annoying of me to complain about, but do any of you feel me? I just HATE being thrown off my schedule.

I know a few miles are better than no miles, so I will aim for 3 tonight and try to shut the hell up with my whining. Deal? Great.

Another problem with missing my AM workout? I swear I crave sugar all day long. A morning workout wakes me up for (most of) the day but oversleeping leaves me feeling super tired, cranky and hungry. I know better than to gorge on sugar all day, but not without reminding myself several times how nasty I’ll feel if I do. It’s a struggle, and I don’t always win but I’m in survival mode trying not to cave. Some days are easier than others while living the healthy lifestyle, so don’t get down on yourself when the bad days come up. How you handle them is the true test to your strength, and will power is like a muscle; it gets stronger with use! Have a little sugar, but not too much.

You know what really makes me feel a ton better? A big veggie-filled salad with crunchy, homemade croutons and a healthy dose of hot sauce (I’m aware that part may make me a weirdo). I decided to save a few bucks and use a coupon for a chopped salad at Subway and fulfill that need. I went with the pulled pork salad with most of the veggies (except olives & banana peppers) and avocado. The pulled pork is so good but the avocado/guacamole was SO watery I scooped all of it off. This put me in a worse mood than I was already in.

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NOTHING about that salad looks appetizing but besides the guac, it was.

Raspberry cheesecake cookie for only 200 calories? That’s a little somethin’ sweet to make me happy for a few minutes.

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Cheered me up for a few seconds anyways.

Doesn’t everyone agree that I should be able to leave work early so that I can get in a workout before 8:30 PM? I think so.

At least tomorrow is a new day.

How do you cheer yourself up on a bad day?

Are you a morning or evening exerciser?

1st spin class!

Yes, I finally took my first spin class. After what seems like forever of putting it off, I dragged my extremely stressed out and frazzled ass there last night. But first, what’s really important… delicious food. Particularly, the delicious food I ate yesterday.

I slept in and got to make one of my favorite breakfasts: protein pancakes. The recipe I use is basically just my oatmeal mess but with added egg whites and made into pancakes. I used mostly wheat bran in yesterday’s batch which came out amazing. Topped with banana, peanut butter and sugar free syrup. Egg-nog flavored coffee on the side.

Kept me full until I had a little snack at 1. Greek yogurt with raspberries.

And a new-to-me protein bar that I am really digging. No funky protein taste, only 120 calories, very low sugar.

After eating this, I had an unpleasant conversation at work which left me upset and therefore with a crippling stomach ache that lasted for over 2 hours. Anxiety flares up my stomach issues like no other. After lots of water and a few hours, I finally ate my real lunch. Left over ahi-tuna, spinach, sweet potato & mustard.

I skipped my walk home to take the bus (ew) and make sure I got my ass to midtown in time for spin class. I chomped on a giant pear on the way.

I am 96% sure the guys sitting next to me were taking a picture of me on their iPhone while I was eating this. Their phone was up in the air and I know I pull the “I’m just texting” when I’m really taking creepy pictures of people.

I was nervous to say the very least about spin class. I got an amazing deal for a 2-month membership at Gold’s Gym and my plan is just to take a few spin classes and finally try Body Pump before I decide if it’s the gym I’d like to join since I’ll be working in midtown shortly 🙂 I warmed up with 10 minutes on a Precor elliptical (WAY better than any other I’ve used!) and then got into the room early. The instructor was an awesome girl who showed me how to adjust the bike according to my height and how the resistance knob works. The bike was very basic and definitely uncomfortable, which I had anticipated. The class had about 10 of us total, some men and some women. I took a picture of the room to send to Caitlin to prove I was there since I have chickened out of going about 89 times.

I’m creepy. Anyways, the music started and we were off for a bike ride. I was sweating within 5 minutes. Drenched by 10! I loved the seated sprints, semi-liked the standing jogs in position 3, neutral about the standing jog in position 2… HATED THE JUMPS! The 4 second count jumps weren’t so bad, but the 1 second and the 1/2 seconds? Forget it. I did as many as I could but just made sure that even if I had to sit back I kept peddling. At first I was really shocked by how weak my legs appeared to be; I run all the time and do tons of squats and lunges via Jillian Michaels, but I couldn’t hold a sprint or a jog in the standing position for the full 30, 45 or 60 seconds until halfway through the class. Just like that, I fell in love about halfway through. I haven’t ever in my life sweat that much for anything. The floor around my bike was literally drenched, as was everyone elses. It was AMAZING! The music was fun and I was totally singing along, and before I knew it she announced that it was the last song. Seriously, 50 minutes flew by like nothing. Again, this picture can’t even touch on how sweaty I was.

I love running, but I am planning to have an affair with spinning. Don’t be hurt running; it will only strengthen our relationship in the end 😉

It more or less feels like I had the roughest sex of my entire life (that’s probably TMI, but if you know me you know anything goes and comes out of this mouth!) and sitting at my desk all day hasn’t been fun. But it’s been a reminder that I’m stoked to get better at it and plan on returning tomorrow for a 5:00 class. Working out that late on a Saturday? I must be in love.

Dinner last night is not pictured because I inhaled it. I had 3 egg whites and 1 fried egg on whole wheat toast with organic ketchup, and another piece of whole wheat toast with goat cheese & honey. So simple but so good. Unfortunately even though my endorphins were high, I gave in a bit to the stress I had had that day and ended up eating a few whole wheat wraps with peanut butter, bananas and honey plus a small oatmeal cookie from Trader Joe’s. Nothing crazy, but not needed because it was eaten after dinner when I wasn’t hungry. First time in a week giving in to stress eating though, so I’m making progress!

Today I overslept thanks to my late night workout (I was up most of the night unable to sleep, I have to get readjusted to night-time workouts!) so I thought I’d make today my rest day. Turns out, my legs wanted to run 2.08 miles on my lunch break so I let them have what they wanted. 9:36 pace in a winter fashion coat because I was just anticipating to walk? I’ll take it. Sorry that my cute coat is now a little sweaty inside though…

Tonight is consisting of Caitlin, Erica and I taking on NYC. We are eating dinner at Angelica’s Kitchen and bringing a few bottles of wine because they are a BYOB! I love that concept. We are planning to get pretty wasted and celebrate my new job, Erica’s boyfriend coming home from Alaska SO soon, and Caitlin’s general fabulous-ness and her trip to Germany next week. I have 4-5 miles to run tomorrow if the hangover isn’t so bad, but I’m not holding myself to it. Tonight is about being 23, living in NYC, and pretending like booze is water. Once in awhile, this is needed.

Are you a spinner? What is your favorite thing about spinning?