Fitness + Weight Loss + Mid Year Update + Creating a Positive outlook

I realize we are going to be half way through the year; I can’t believe it! This year was certainly not what I expected it to be, but nonetheless it still remains a good year personally. At the first of the year I started taking Pure Barre classes up the street from where I live; the thought of running in 8 degree weather was not appealing by any means, but I knew I needed more cardio in the future. After my surgery I knew I was going to have to kick my work-outs up a notch.

Then covid hit; and I haven’t been to a Pure Barre class since the end of February. I am not much of a at-home work outer; I can’t get into it. I have tried numerous times to get into workout DVD with good intention to only have my mind really wonder half way through the work out; then I end up sitting on the couch watching the DVD. It was never a successful experience.

I need to be outside or in a class type atmosphere.

If you’re wondering what I am doing in this photo; I can assure you that I am wondering the same exact thing right now. Am I stating that I only have one mile left to go or am I completely annoyed the the “whipty-doo” springing out on the side of my head. Choice is yours.

When I started running more intensely than I ever have in my life a few months ago; weight melted off me really quick, each week I was seeing a difference. My legs were getting more defined, my stomach looked flatter, and I was just feeling better all the way around.

Then I plateaued for weeks! WEEKS! It felt very discouraging; I like to see results it’s more motivating.

I have read about plateauing many times but I was adamant on not being in that stated of stagnation very long. So I started running longer and harder; pushing myself harder than I should have. Then one morning I woke up to find the bottom of my heal swollen, and I could hardly walk on it for days. This was right before I was about to leave for vacation….plateauing and then not being able to walk was not exactly ideal; but I ended up thinking “this is as good as it’s going to get…I will never see these people at the beach again.”

The thing is I really don’t care about what people think about me, their opinion of me doesn’t really affect my life as much as it used when I was younger. When I hurt my foot and couldn’t run I was moody…edgy…and then I started thinking what example am I setting for Sophia; then when things don’t go your way you push yourself to the point where you hurt yourself. I didn’t want that; it was something that I certainly didn’t want to teach her either.

Sometimes my mentality when myself stems back from my childhood or not feeling good enough for someone that should have loved and accepted me regardless of how I looked. But I wasn’t. Instead, I was tortured by them for years; I was never thin enough…my hair was never long enough…my teeth were never white enough…there was always something wrong with me no matter what. It was an endless cycle of “lets change you,” that went on for years. It was years of spiteful words of telling me that I was obese, I will never get the job I wanted if someone walked in that was prettier or skinner because companies only hire fat people because they have too, it was doing 50 crunches at lunch time while someone sat over me counting, grabbing my arm and saying “look how little you are,” offering money to lose weight, my weigh in every Sunday, the pointing out all my imperfections to only point out someone elses childs perfections to compare us constantly, the pound I didn’t lose going over what I could have done better- toast one piece of bread then slice it through the center to give the illusion of two pieces of bread, the overheard arguments of “no man is ever going to want her with how she looks.” I was tortured for years – it all started around the age of 12; it got to the point where I didn’t even like myself; I couldn’t even look myself naked in the mirror without looking for something to change. The ironic part was when I look back on photos of this time era I wasn’t fat or obese; I was thin…toned, but the only difference is I wasn’t a walking skeleton.

I quit dance, turned down a lead tap role in a musical because I couldn’t fathom the idea of this person watching me (I told my mom that I couldn’t keep up with the audition-she knew I was lying). I wanted this role so badly until I got it. I excelled at tap; it’s the one thing I will openly admit that I was really good at it and I loved it. In the end I was able to make my feet do two different steps at the same time. The owner of the dance company I went to came to me one day offering me a tap position in their company without audition- basically a full scholarship. When I told this person about it they’re response was “it won’t be any different than what you’re doing now; so what’s the point.” I felt defeated; and at the moment I realized that I was never going to live up to the full potiental that this person wanted me to be; I was never going to be good enough..someone else was always going to do it better no matter what.

I don’t talk about my dance life at all, it’s almost a part of my life that I want to pretend didn’t exist, because when I think about it… I think about what I gave up and how much I didn’t want too. Although it was my choice and mine alone to walk away from it, I still regret it to this day. In fact I don’t talk about my relationship with this person, to anyone, because I no longer have a relationship with them. I walked away from them years ago, I never wanted Sophia to live what I went through, to give up what I did because I allowed someones toxic views to take so much away from me. I want her to have a positive mindset of herself and her body; and if this person was in her life I don’t think it would have been any different for her. There was no way I was going to allow that to happen; I would rather her think the sun shines out of her ass than to think negatively about herself; and think they only way she is valued is how someone views her.

It took years of self discovery to regain myself back, it wasn’t something that happened overnight; and even to this day it will still affects me, but it has taught me some very important lessons; most importantly it taught me what kind of parent I am going to be to my daughter.

So, after plateauing for weeks, I decided to just roll with it. I wasn’t going to get upset over it or worry about it. I will just continue to run and keep doing what I am doing.

I went on vacation with the notion that I was going getting to get up everyday and run…I even eyeballed my running route when I arrived. Did I go running? Yes…..twice lol. I still felt really good although I did love running next to the beach; and made me highly reconsider moving down South in the future (not like next year). I want more heat in my life.

After returning from vacation by first day back running, I did 6 miles. It was really rough but such a great runners high in the end. I am no longer in a plateauing stage, we have moved on from it at which I am totally grateful for.

I don’t own a scale… I never will. So when the neighbor lady asked me how much weight I lost…I made an educated guess based on how old clothes fit on me. Just yesterday I tried on an old work shirt, and I am swimming in it. It just hangs on me, you don’t see my figure at all. However, It’s going to be one of those shirts you keep forever just because it’s comfortable.

Then I recently bough a shirt from J. Crew in my size according my by bust size; and was pretty certain that it was going to fit when I ordered it. I received it in the mail and when I opened and immediate thought “umm..what part of my body does this plan on fitting….” while holding it up. Slightly disappointed I figured lets just try it on for shits and giggles…the worst part is I may need help getting out of it.

Then

I slipped it over my head…and holy shit to my surprise…IT FITS and I have room in it. I even could have went down a size.

These following photos are not edited

I absolute jeans (when I find a pair I like…which is rare) and a t-shirt kind of girl. Always a t-shirt girl. This is the J. Crew shirt that I bought, it’s probably one of my favorite t-shirts that I own.

I had a party a few weeks back that I wore something above my knee for the first time in years. It was sort of strange feeling honestly; kind of like when you forget to put deodorant on. I felt kind of naked in a way, as much as I loved this dress…I kept tugging at it all night.

I always find the fitness to be a very personal journey; one that I am never always too open to talk about but sometimes I am more inclined to do so. Although I run every day I honestly don’t have a lot of goals when it comes to it, I do however find it to be a great stress reliever, especially when we were in quarantine. In the end, I have come to terms that I will never have a perfect body; and I have learned to be kind to myself over the years, especially since after having Sophia. A lot of people get hung up on money, looks- materialistic items, I could careless about any of that. Life is so much more than that.

Summer Plans

I woke up this morning feeling really really good; and I can’t exactly pin point why… but really good. I threw on my running gear…..then Whiskey and I did 5 miles. I was sweaty…hot…. on this chilly Pittsburgh morning…and in dire need of a shower, but it was wonderful feeling.

On my run I started doing a lot of thinking about this upcoming summer and what I have planned, and with everything that is going on it’s really hard to “plan.” Typically Sophia and I spend a lot of nights at Kennywood (local amusement park), but I am unsure if Kennywood is even going to be open. Two summers ago we got Sandcastle passes, but quite honestly public pools kind of give me the heebies if I think about it too much; I think we only went down to Sandcastle a handful of times. So, we are not doing Sandcastle passes, even if it is open.

So if social distancing is still a “thing,” my summer plans are:

  1. There’s this strip along the parkway, that you see people roller blading..running…etc..I love to roller blade (haven’t done it in years) it would be so much fun to roller blade next to the river.
  2. Just get up and go. I love being spontaneous; I don’t like having every aspect of my life planned out. So it’s nothing out of the ordinary for me to go for late night drives. Just jump on the parkway…turnpike and go. With snacks of course, what is a late night drive without snacks.
  3. Hiking, but with tons and I mean tons of bug spray. There are plenty of spots around the Pittsburgh area that look very promising.
  4. The drive-in. I love going to the movies, I think it’s seriously one of my favorite things to do, but the drive-ins are just as awesome. You’re outside (with bug spray)..some people bring lawn chairs…blankets..etc.
  5. I really want to spend a lot of time outside and try to have as much fun as possible.

Now if things happen to go back to more a”normal” state:

  1. Kennywood with Sophia of course, but I am actually dying to go with another adult, because it’s been YEARS since I have rode anything that makes my heart race. I think it’s been about close to ten years. A weekend at Cedar Point would be pretty awesome, I have never been there.
  2. Maybe try to go camping aka “glamping,” I require a shower…bed….sleeping in a sleeping bag on dirt does nothing for me..to many mosquitos and other creepy crawlers..that can crawl in your mouth…all over your body….bite your ass. Oh the mental visual I have isn’t pretty.
  3. Bon Fire…this is my summer love language right here. Nothing gets better than sitting around a bon fire…few beers..and being around other people. It’s like summer magic. I can totally pass on the s’mores…and ust get me a burnt marshmallow.
  4. Basically have fun and laid-back summer, it’s been quite the year and I am craving “normalcy,” as much as possible. I think everyone is.

Dandelion Wishes & Links

I read a quote this week about Dandelion flowers “some will look at these flowers as a weed; and others will look at them as wishes.” At almost 32 years old I will still blow on these flowers and make a wish; it’s just who I am. The past week has been really hard; everything hit at once..last week my one tooth decided it wanted to flair up, so I made a call to my endodontist and he immediately slapped me on antibiotics and steroids. If you’re anything like me that combination is deadly, it makes me so moody and very sensitive; I cried watching The Office. Then while on a run I twisted my ankle chasing after Whiskey, that was chasing after a rabbit at the park, because me yelling her name wasn’t good enough..so lets twist our ankle and step in someone elses dog shit. If that wasn’t enough for one day, I walked around with a hole in my pants in a very unpleasant area, then dropped my berries at the grocery store parking lot. And I’m sorry to say, none of those things was the icing on cake for last week, it just continued to snowball and get worse.

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Angela’s No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

“Bomb..bomb…bomb….bomb..bomb..bomb……” the airport scene from Meet the Parents probably my favorite scene besides “I have nipples Greg can you milk me?” completely ran through my mind while making these No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars. Wait, not the nipples quote but the “bomb..bomb..bomb…” it was that good. I believe I died and went straight to heaven making these bars. They were soo easy to make, it can turn a non-baker…cooker…non kitchen person into a tastebud goddess…or god; and make you melt a thousand times over and over again.

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DIY Floating Confetti Tumbler

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Around Valentine’s Day I came up with the idea of making a Confetti Tumbler for Sophia. I was going to full the inside with her favorite candies, but it just so happens I could not find the right Tumbler any where to get the job done.

Sophia is like me, she loves anything that sparkles..she will say “ooooh mama that’s sparkle (with the emphasis of ‘kle’ sound).”

This tumbler is beyond easy to make, it took no time at all to make it! And I could not be more please on how it turned out.

Plus you can personalize it anyway you want!

What You Need:

1 Double insulated tumbler that twists off at the bottom (I bought this one from Amazon)

Confetti- Any kind that tickles your fancy

How to Make Sparkly Tumbler

  1. Twist off the bottom
  2. Fill with Confetti
  3. Add water right in where you inserted the Confetti
  4. Twist bottom back on tight

And that is all there is to it!

I really wish I would have thought of making Confetti Tumblers as Party favors for her  Confetti Birthday Party and here are the Confetti Balloons just in case you are curious!

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I got most of my Confetti from Michael Arts & Crafts, plus I also had a bunch just hanging around my craft supply box! This would make a really fun Girl Scout project! I mean who doesn’t like sparkly and fun!

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It makes me want to drink out of my Tumbler more…hey…maybe it will convince me to consume more water on a daily basis!

Maybe I should start a Confetti Tumbler business on Etsy!

 

 

My Favorite Cheesy Potato Soup

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Nothing seems to scream winter to me than soup. I am soup gal…I love it. I eat it a lot during the winter mostly, but it doesn’t stop me any other time of the year. There is always an excuse for me to cook soup…I will always find one..

It’s such a comfort food.

Panera makes the BEST Broccoli Cheddar Soup I simply have not conquered the Broccoli Cheddar scene yet..but I’m trying. Anyone have a to-die-for Broccoli Cheddar soup to share?

There was a Crock-Pot Potato Cheddar Soup circling the Facebook scene a couple months back that I wanted to try, but I have not had much luck with Facebook recipes. They normally turn out to be blah…

But let me say this…

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My Favorite Cold Pasta

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Long time…no blog post! Before I start talking about my favorite cold pasta in the world, I want to express to everyone that reads my blog & my followers thank-you for being so patient with me. I highly appreciate it. My life is changing, it is something that I am getting used too…slowly but it’s changing. But out of respect for my family I am not going to go into any further details.

In the future I do plan on blogging more and sharing with you, so if you could be a tad bit more patient with me I promise that I will be more consistent.

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Steak & Potatoes Dinner

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About two weeks my friend Paula sent me this awesome email for 3 free meals from Hello Fresh. I was so ecstatic, because that meant 3 nights of dinner that I didn’t have to prepare anything.

Especially around the holidays it can be so crazy that dinner seems to be pushed to the back burner. Or pizza nights become more regular on speed dial.

This dinner was probably the most easiest dinner I have ever prepared. I think the longest part was peeling and cutting the Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans up. Dinner was prepared and served within 45 minutes. And it was delicious!

I do wish that I grilled the steak instead of pan frying it like how I was instructed. But this mama wasn’t staying out in 20 degree weather!

My favorite part was the Sweet Potatoes! I believe I am going start making more Sweet Potatoes with dinner. They were amazing, I could have just made that my dinner.

So if you are looking for a different side for dinner, I would say make the Sweet Potatoes.

Writing about them makes me want to make some now to snack on!

If you are curious on how to make this dinner or just want to try their awesome Sweet Potatoes then check out Upgraded Steak and Potatoes.

How are your holiday preparing coming along?

**This is not a sponsored post.**

 

Mint Hot Chocolate

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I am kicking this season off with Mint Hot Chocolate. I stumbled across this recipe off of Pinterest several years ago. I believe I saved it to my “must try food folder,” never actually  got around to making it.

The intention was there.

The other night at Target I was searching for an Advent Calendar and I came across one that just so happens to be my background in the photo above.

I have no decorations up yet…except for Sophia’s Advent Calendar…so it’s definitely serving a purpose!

On December 1st I made Sophia her first Mint Hot Chocolate!

Did she try it? No.

She said “ew no mama.” I wasn’t expecting that reaction! I think it was the green color…

Thoughts?

So not judging by Sophia’s reaction…the drink was really good…sweet…and oh so easy to make. A great holiday accent!

What You Need: 

2 Cups of Milk                                                          1 tsp. Peppermint Extract

2 Cups of Half & Half                                             Few drops of Green Food Coloring

1/2 bag of White Chocolate Chips                      Crushed Andes Candies & Whipped Cream

Instructions:

  1. Heat Milk and Half & Half in a pot over medium heat; be careful not to burn it.
  2. Add White Chocolate Chips..stirring constantly.
  3. Add Peppermint Extract, then add your few drops of food coloring
  4. Andes Candies and Whipped Cream for garnish (optional)

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Milk and Half & Half are heating up. I stirred mine quite frequently.

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Then I added the White Chocolate Chips. Please stir it constantly…you don’t want to burn the milk of chocolate.

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I put the Peppermint Extract in the mixture. Stir…then I immediately added the Green Food Coloring. I also found that 8 drops of the Green Food Coloring was the perfect mint color.

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Mix the food coloring until well combined. At this point your Hot Chocolate should be hot. If not let it heat up a little bit more…if it’s hot take it off the heat!

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Garnish if you desire an extra kick!

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What do you look forward to the most this time of the year?

Any recipes you would like me to make this holiday season?

Any fun weekend plans?

I’m ‘nebby,’ aka noisy… just throwing in some Pittsburgh lingo…

 

 

Candy Corn Inspired Drinks!

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I love candy corn..wait let me rephrase that. I love the way candy corn looks, but I really dislike the way it tastes. I love the way it looks in a candy dish..maybe even used as a decoration on a cake.

They’re adorable, but I personally don’t eat them.

I thought it would be really fun to do a Candy Corn inspired drink. Non-alcoholic of course, but I am pretty sure we could make it a little more fun! But we are making it kid friendly this time!

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