Because it’s the Holiday Season!

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In the spirit of the holiday season, I thought I’d share what I’m thankful for:

  • My family- we’re all close and we all generally get along= success! (we all have a great time)
  • My good knee (and health in general)- because without it I’d be walking on my hands
  • The close relationship I have with my husband. I know he will be there no matter what and he’s always my #1 fan.
  • My sisters- yes this goes back to family, but you ladies without sisters don’t know what you’re missing. It’s like having a friend that you know has to love you no matter what.
  • My friends. Love you ladies. I don’t have many, but the one’s I do have are amazing. I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies any day!
  • Financial stability. Money, or lack thereof, is REALLY stressful, and we’re in a great place now. Breath in, breath out.
  • Travel. I’ve always loved to travel, whether it be to a neighboring city or across an ocean. Over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to travel to California (Sacramento, LA, San Diego), Athens, Hawaii (Kauai and Honolulu), Jacksonville, Asheville (numerous times), Orlando, Gatlinburg, Atlanta, Tampa, Amelia Island, Ponte Vedra, Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, Charleston, Blue Ridge, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Liverpool, Germany, Belgium, and road tripped across the country (twice!) and up to New Jersey.
  • Cold weather. We don’t get it much here- but when we do I soak it in. (and I get to wear cute scarves and boots!)
  • My 2 fluffy doggy daughters. They’re so well behaved and always there for a good snuggle and unconditional love.
  • The mistakes I’ve made. I know this sounds weird, but making mistakes taught me so much and made me the person I am today.
  • The opportunity to get an education (twice!). Going along with the making mistakes theme….I’m back in school and I’m really very lucky to have the ability to do that with the support of my husband.

What are you thankful for this year?

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Body Acceptance

Today, as I sat in Panera eating my convenient “healthy” lunch and emailing potential internship leads, I began slowly eavesdropping on the conversation in the booth next to me. Sat deep in lunchtime discussion were two, well-dressed, fashionably accessorized middle-aged women. They obviously both took care of themselves and were picking at salads. However, their discussion made me sad. They spoke of their weights and hatred of how they looked and how much they wanted to weigh. They went on discussing how to cook fish without adding fat and which green beans have the least amount of calories. What made me sad was that this isn’t an unusual occurrence. This is normal, everyday conversation for many women; and yes I’m guilty of this too.

I always hoped that as I grew older it would be easier to love my body and accept how I look. It’s clear, though, that even 2 completely beautiful, thin 40-something women still don’t feel happy with how they look and hope to be thinner. Imagine what these ladies could accomplish if they had all the extra time spent worrying about weight loss? Maybe body hatred should stop. I don’t want to obsess about weight. It’s such a waste of time. I will enjoy my 180 calorie baguette with my soup and learn to embrace the one body I have in this life and you should too. In the end, our aim should be about happiness, acceptance and health; not the number on the scale or being a size 2.

Buying Experiences (Not Stuff) in Your 20s

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In your 20s buy experiences not stuff. I wish I could find the article where I read that last year because it really stuck with me. In your 20s you generally have a lower income, more time and less obligations. I think it’s incredibly important to collect your pennies and experience life and find out who you really are; buy that plane ticket, go to a concert, camp in the woods, hike that trail, travel the world, sign up for that dating website, road trip with your friends, rent that cabin for the weekend with your girlfriends. Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping, but there will always be stuff: bigger TVs, fancier phones, trendier shoes. One day, we will hit our 30s and 40s and have kiddies to chase after, deadlines to meet, and older parents to help. Yes, I should probably be paying more towards my student loans and our carpets REALLY need replacing, but that can all be dealt with later; we will buy a house that’s bigger and has lovely wood floors for our future family. Until then, me and the man I love and my friends I adore will be learning and experiencing life together.

Since reading the article, I have:

  • Travelled Space-A
  • Visited 5 countries
  • Taken numerous road trips
  • Explored my city
  • Learned (am learning) photography
  • Reunited with my besties numerous times
  • Bought concert tickets to my favorite band
  • Stayed in an oceanfront hotel
  • AND have a major trip in the works!

Obviously I have a lot more to experience, and thankfully I have 26, 27, 28 and 29 to enjoy! What experiences have meant the most to you in your 20s?

Best x.

Mastering Life?

Today was a perfect Thursday. Class, good news, perfect paper thesis developed, life planning + downtown pub date followed by decaf espresso and a stroll downtown = yes! It was a delightful evening.

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Good news?

I’ve always felt that you can’t do better in life than learn what you’re good at, develop your passions and try things that scare you. I’ve found what I’m good at, accounting (I know, lame) and the corporate world scares me, which is good. But I feel like I’ve been in school forever. I started college in 2006, got a dumb bachelors degree and dipped my toes into a few different fields before finding accounting. I’m ready to work (and my student loans are mounting). Today I spoke with my professor/unofficial mentor and asked him one questions: should I get a masters degree?

These days it seems like you can’t get anywhere without a graduate degree. Bachelors degrees are becoming practically obsolete. It’s probably just a way to dig deeper into students’ pockets, but it could really look good on my resume. I’ve already applied and I think I have a good chance of being accepted. Plus a masters in accounting only takes one year. On top of that, my teacher practically assured me that I would get a graduate assistantship next year! This means FREE tuition plus a monthly stipend. This is HUGE.

I’m feeling rather accomplished today.

Best x

My Blogilates Fit Journal is Here!

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I got my Blogilates fit journal in the mail and I’m so excited for the New Body Make Over! Cassey Ho’s community of followers are starting the  12 week challenge on December 1 or January 1 (depending on whether or not you want to commit for the holidays). I think I’m going to use the print outs for December since it’s a very busy month for me and I’ll start the challenge full force in the new year. The journal is super cute and I can’t wait to use it. The material is a little cheaper than I expected, but for the price it’s acceptable. I got the meal plans sent to my email and they look very straight forward and impressive. Her workout calendar for beginners also looks very doable and versatile. I’m going to fit in a few pilates sessions each week with my running schedule.

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MFP: My Fitness Pal or Problem??

We’re all familiar with the common calorie counting/food tracking app My Fitness Pal (MFP). I’m sure you’ve used it at least once before to count your calories or track your weight loss progress. I’ve been a user of MFP on and off for probably 5 years or so now. I’ve tracked countless triumphs along with even more failures, and each time feeling a little more guilty than last time resetting my current weight back to my highest (sometimes even higher).  No offense at all to those that have successfully used MFP to lose weight. Some people have AMAZING progress and their dedication to their diet and exercise program is impressive. But, today I’m going to write about the problems that I’ve encountered personally with MFP:

1. It Creates and Unnatural Relationship with Food: When using MFP I find myself adhering too strictly to the calorie counting rules. I obsess over each bite and track even 1 potato chip. I find myself panicking over my calorie allowance to the point where I would feel depressed and defeated if I went over my daily allowance by even 20 calories. 20 calories! I also feel completely lost if there’s no way to count how many calories are in the food I’m eating (at restaurants without published nutrition facts). For me I develop disordered eating patterns and become a crazy person!

2. It’s Easy to Manipulate in your Favor: I’m 30 calories over-no problem I can just track the miles I walked in the grocery store as cardio! – No. This is stupid. Also, you can easily choose the listing that has fewer calories to make you feel better.

3. Scale Obsession: MFP mostly tracks your progress through weight when in actuality there are many other indicators of healthy weight loss (waist circumference, inches lost, body fat percentage, how your clothes fit, cholesterol level etc.) The weight you track on the scale doesn’t distinguish between water weight, fat or muscle loss.

4. The Whole Eating your Workout Calories Debate: After much research, it’s pretty obvious that you are indeed supposed to eat back your workout calories otherwise you are eating less than your BMR which is unhealthy. Mentally though that’s easier said than done. When you have to enter your calories after working out you feel like you are just undoing your burned calories.

5. It Doesn’t Distinguish Between Added Sugar and Natural Sugar: I always end up feeling bad because I go way over my allowable sugar grams. BUT sometimes it’s just from sugar in fruit like bananas and apples. I don’t think the natural sugars found in fruit are anywhere near as detrimental to your health and weight loss as added sugar in, say, a cookie.

So there it is, my 5 biggest problems with the My Fitness Pal App. I’m not insulting anyone that has success with weight loss using this app. I think it’s amazing when people are able to find that tool that really works for them, it just isn’t for me. That being said, I do enjoy some features. For example, I love calculating the calories in a recipe through MFP. It’s so easy to use. Also, I like to use it to keep track of my weight over the years because it can create graphs for you and it’s cool to view your weight loss that way. I’m interested to see what people’s opinions are on the popular app though and if anyone else feels the same as I do?