Thursday, March 31, 2011

Other forms of exercise other than running....(what? there are others!?)

 This is what I wish I were doing right now:

 Instead, I have been up and at em' since 6:30, but I have been *somewhat* productive and did my Jillian Michael's Yoga this morning. Downward Dog anyone? Speaking of dogs.....

I couldn't leave out Max-man. 

I have been trying to ease my depression over my ankle injury  by doing some cross training at the YMCA, thanks to my friend Phoenix who is letting me *borrow* her membership. Aka, I forced her to give me her card, put it on my keyring, and scan it when I go in and walk super fast by so they don't compare her picture to me and realize I am not her. Don't tell please--it will be our little secret!

So on my off-yoga days (okay so I am super exaggerating here-- I have only done the yoga like 3 times this week) I have been hitting the gym. I have been biking and doing the elliptical enjoying the splendid lifestyle of the Y membership that I have currently. Do a body pump class? Do a Boot camp? Don't mind if I do. Okay, well I haven't but I could if I wanted to (if my damn ankle was better....). I plan on swimming tomorrow which should be pretty entertaining and possibly a safety concern for those who may be around me.  Where can I find some goggles? Would I look more like I knew what I was doing with goggles?? More of a professional swimmer, per se?

In the meantime, we are having our monthly "Chow Down Around Town" dinner tonight which basically means girls dinner at a new restaurant each month. It should be a blast and may help ease my depression over not being able to run and my fear that I may not be able to run in the half marathon at the end of April. Alcohol and gossip tends to do that (ease depression, that is).

Monday, March 28, 2011


I am a huge fan of Skinny Runner, she is not only hilarious but an inspiring athlete! She can run faster than Superman but still calls herself a "normal jogger". Let me tell you folks, normal joggers don't run a 6.22 pace!

So, her brother who is currently training for a marathon is engaged and she is needing help for people to vote for him and his fiance in Crate and Barrel's Ultimate Wedding Contest. If you get a chance, please go vote for him and his fiance Marley so they can win some awesome prizes!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hope you all had a good weekend! We sure did! It always seems like they go by so fast though. We started the weekend off with a bang by going to our friends Phoenix and OJ's for a cookout. We ended up reverting back to 8th grade and the girls went upstairs while the boys stayed downstairs. We played Just Dance 2 on the Wii and got a great workout! I hadn't played it before and must admit it was a blast! It is a Wii game where you dance to different songs against another player, and the person who is closest to the actual dance wins. I will say that I did not preform as well as I could have due to my tendonitis and therefore I couldn't move around as much as I normally could have, ahem, ahem. Or at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. We had a great time though. Later, we beat the boys in charades just like always. They might as well just quit trying!
I did get to wear my new Toms and got lots of compliments on them! A lot of the guys liked them!
The rest of the weekend was pretty much spent here on the couch. The couch and I have been spending a lot more time that I would prefer since my injury, but I am supposed to rest my foot in order for it to get better. It is just very frustrating to know I have a big race coming up and can't prepare for it as I'd like. Ugh!! Today (Sunday) I did get my lazy but off the couch and went to church, lunch with the in-laws, and to the grocery store.

Also-- dinner tonight was pretty fantastic. Good enough to blog about I do believe. If you remember I began thinking about how important it is to eat more healthy, especially organic, non-processed foods. I have been doing my best to stick to this, but sometimes it is difficult to always go for healthier foods, especially when they are more expensive. But in the end it is worth it. And I am hoping that keeping a good diet will help my injury and way to getting back 100% healthy again. Since we had a big lunch with the in-laws after church, I decided to eat a light dinner. It began with a Chobani yogurt which I have been wanting to try. It was kinda expensive, costing $4 for 3 but I hoped it would be worth it--and it was. It was creamy, not too thick, and delicious with real strawberries in it. I definitely recommend it but am hoping the price goes down a little bit.

We also stocked up on lots of fruits and veggies, and I roasted some with this recipe. It was so easy and delicious! Love eating some veggies!

Friday, March 25, 2011

You are beautiful!

Recently, I was driving on the interstate here in Birmingham and saw a huge painted sign on a bridge that said "You are beautiful". I smiled to myself and must admit that seeing it made my day. Now, I know it wasn't written directly to me, but to all women and people who see the sign in hopes for them to smile and recognize their own beauty and self worth. After doing a little research, I realized that there are several of these signs all over the city on bridges, the sides of buildings, and other public places written by a mysterious source. The local news has featured stories on the paintings and there has been some debate over whether this is graffiti and should be removed. I don't think a positive message that can become a movement and make a change for others should be considered an illegal crime, especially compared to all of the other more serious crimes that are going on in our world today. Frankly, I think our justice system has much more to worry about. The signs are great and got me to think about how important self worth and self esteem are in women today.

Our society puts such pressure on women to be thin and pretty. We focus on celebrities who have perfect bodies and admire them from afar comparing ourselves and our worth to them. That is not fair! These celebs have endless money and resources available to pay for special food, trainers, and even surgery (!) to make them look that way.  Why are we comparing the way we feel about ourselves to people who we don't even know? We don't even know if they are truly good people, so why the heck should we compare ourselves with them? Our worth has nothing to do with how we look or what the scale reads. Self esteem comes from inside and achieving a certain weight or look will not change that. I hear people say "oh if I could just loose 5 pounds!". Losing 5 pounds will not always be the solution.
Instead of making negative remarks about ourselves in order to produce change, we need to flip it around and feel confident and positive about the great things about ourselves. The more you say "oh I have such big hips!" or "I am worthless!" or "I wish I looked like her!" the more you will feel like crap. I wouldn't tell a friend these things, so why the heck would I tell myself this stuff?? That is not fair to me. If I induce self-loathing, all I am doing is adding to low self-esteem. To create change we must be positive, to encourage and uplift in order to motivate. Instead of tearing down we should should build up. So try to focus on the positive things about yourself and see the benefits begin.  The healthy changes that you may want to happen may just happen. 
On the flip side, we should feel proud of who God made us to be and embrace that.  No one is perfect and we should not expect this from ourselves. Comparing ourselves to others only hurts.  Everyone is different and unique in their own way.  This is special! You are special!
There is a moment going on that is encouraging women to feel this way--happy and proud of who they are.  It is called "Operation Beautiful". The concept is to leave a message for a stranger to find telling them something positive and uplifting. It could be a simple as "you are beautiful".  The goal is to:

"The goal of the Operation Beautiful website is to end negative self-talk or “Fat Talk.” If this little blog only does one productive thing, I hope it helps readers realize how truly toxic negative self-talk is — it hurts you emotionally, spiritually, and physically."

I think this is an amazing concept. I personally plan to strategically place some random post-it notes in public places in hopes to pass this message on. Hopefully it will catch on and make a difference in many people's lives.  I think it already has. Check out the website 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A date with Tom and dinner with Debbie

As some of ya'll may know, I have been planning a big date with someone named Tom for a little while now. The problem is, Tom isn't a cheap date, so I had to plan ahead for our big day together. I have been thinking about it and thinking about it and finally our big day came! Matt even approved (my mom sure didn't)! Soo, without further ado, I am now an official owner of Tom's Shoes! Though they are not the cheapest pair of shoes I have ever gotten, I think they are wayyy worth the price knowing my purchase will add to a good cause. Toms shoes will donate a pair of shoes for every pair that you buy to a child who is in need of shoes. I feel good wearing them not only because they are cool and look good, but some kiddo will benefit from my purchase somewhere in this world. And you get this cool stuff that comes with the shoes. 

I got this cool letter and bracelet from Blake, who I believe is the owner and founder of the company. Yeah, he hand wrote it to me. Matt's sportin' the bracelet now. I think he may have caught the Tom's fever, I saw him eying some of the men's shoes.

Aren't they cute!! They say "the journey is the destination".

After my date with Tom, we had a real dinner date with Matt's mom, Debbie. It was her 25th birthday and we had a great time celebrating it with her. She is such a sweet, wonderful person and I am so thankful to have such a great mother-in-law.
From left to right, Debbie, Nick, Megan, moi, Matt, and Ryan

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And the verdict is...

Tendonitis! After being a big baby I decided to suck it up and go to the doctor today to make sure I haven't hurt my foot too bad. After waiting 1 and a half hours (why do they tell you an appointment time but make you wait so damn long?!) I finnally got x-rayed and met the doctor who informed me that my foot looks okay but that I have Tendonitis. Tendonitis is an infamation of the tendons in the foot, and sometimes the tendons can tear and even break. So he told me to ice, ice, baby, and get some orthopedic lift insoles for my shoes and take it easy from running until the pain is gone. I also have to take some anti-inflammatory meds for 10 days but he feels confident I will be running in no time! He also mentioned that I have signs of Arthritis already in my foot which is kinda scary since it runs in my family. Hopefully I will be able to run for a long time and this won't affect me or become a problem.  I mean, I'm only 27!!

I have to wear my new insoles and running shoes to get used to them to work tommorrow and hopefully I may try to run this weekend if my foot feels better.  Please get better, foot. Please!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What a weekend!

We have had a busy weekend! Friday we hate a date night, Matt and I went to eat at Ezell's Catfish Cabin (sounds very Alabamaian doesn't it!?) and went to see my other husband, Matthew McConaughey, play in "The Lincoln Lawyer". Critics Jess and Matt give the movie 2 thumbs up!! It was not only suspenseful, but also humorous at times. What a great combo!

Saturday I had big plans with Mere to go on a long run and we started out great. Around mile 5 I began to have a slight pain in my Achilles heel/tendon which continued to worsen as we ran. We called the run short at mile 6 (had planned to run 8) and headed to the pool to meet some friends. We had some beautiful weather again this weekend so we took full advantage of it by sitting by the pool sippin' on some Pina Coladas.  Mere has been working on perfecting the Pina Colada recipe for years and I think she's mastered it! They really seemed to help dull ankle pain also. Imagine that! Our friends Amanda, Phoenix, Alaina, Megan, and Maria joined us by the pool. Later that night the boys met up with us and we grilled out at Mere and Ben's house.  It was a fantastic day other than the injury on my foot (which progressively hurt as the day and night went on).

I got to use one of my Christmas gifts Saturday--an embroidered beach towel given to me by my mother. It has a huge pocket on the top/back so it slides onto the top of the chair to prevent it from slipping off and has side pockets for your phone/suntan lotion/etc. It is awesome! You can check it out here and get yourself one.

Today I am nursing my injury with the help of my personal nurse, aka Matt. who has been helping me to ice and wrap it. I am praying it is just a slight sprain or something not serious and it will be better in no time...If not, I am going to have to see a doctor sometime this week and hope there is a miraculous quick cure so I can tie up my shoes and head back out to hit the pavement. I've been taking it easy per my nurse Matt's orders and I have been rotating between laying on the couch and laying out on my beach chair in the backyard. Gotta work on my tan!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Still Slow....

Not mentally. Literally, I am slow. At running. But, check out that 7:14 best pace (who cares if it was going down hill-- it still counts!).

Please note this is Gertrude the Garmin's first blog appearance. I am still loving her like crazy and trying to give her frequent attention.Maybe I should stop eating foods like cheesy homemade potato soup to become a faster runner....I will say 1 week down on the no sweets and I am still making it--haven't robbed a grocery store to wipe out the candy aisle or anything like that. I feel like that's pretty big, right?This is another one of my new found friends--Body Glide. After my long run (okay, so 8 miles isn't that long when you are looking at 13.1) on Saturday I had some major chaffing going on. Wish I had my body glide prior to that run. Oh well. You live and learn.Here is a sneak peak of a BIG surprise that is coming....stay tuned for more details. I know you are on the edge of your seat.Well, I know I won't be winning any awards at the Country Music Marathon but my hopes are high for my March Madness brackets. Watch out people, I came in 2nd place beating all the boys (or all but 1) and am looking for redemption this year to be the winner! My bracket name is "Hoops! I did it again!". I'm so cool, I know.And just because I am random today, I thought I would end with a cute picture of our recent birthday girl and her husband at dinner. Cute pic!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Liver Transplant Benefit

This past weekend we went to Atlanta to attend a benefit for my cousin Tiffani. She is in need of a new liver and will soon be having a liver transplant. Tiffani is a 20 year old beautiful, sweet, generous person who is very humble. She is one of the kindest people that I know, and I am not saying that just because she is my cousin!! Since she was 11 she has struggled with health problems related to her liver. Within the past year or so she has gotten very sick, and the doctors determined that only a liver transplant would help to make her healthy again.

Currently, she is number four. Literally, on the list. Insurance covers most of her expenses, but not all, so the hospital requires each transplant patient to have at least 2 benefits or fundraisers to help both the patient and the hospital out financially (some goes to the hospital's fund/foundation).

Saturday was her first fundraiser. It was held in Calhoun, Georgia, a city about an hour north of Atlanta. When we arrived at 4:30 the line was out the door with people, and the event wasn't supposed to even start until 5! They had several bands play, a catered meal, a cake walk, an appearance by Elvis (to the delight of many elderly women), and an auction. The turnout was awesome--at one time we were even worried the police or firefighters may show up due to us breaking the fire code by having so many people in the building! The outpouring of support Tiffani has by her family, friends, and community was amazing. It speaks volumes to what a great person she is! Overall, we raised almost $13, 000 which is unbelievable.

Hopefully soon, we pray, that her number four becomes one and she receives a new liver. I can't think of anyone else more deserving than her to live a healthy and long life. Please keep her in your prayers as we wait for this day to come!

Check out this article that was written on her in the local newspaper.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Amanda!!

Today is one of my bestest friend's birthday, Amanda! Hope she has a great birthday and it is as great as she is! Love you girl!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Goodbye Sweets. You will be missed.

For those who don't know, Lent is a Christian tradition which is a time of sacrifice for Jesus for 40 days. The 40 days represent the time that Jesus spent in the dessert when he endured temptation by Satan. Lent for many Christians is used as a time to give up or sacrifice something that they love. It begins today, which is Ash Wednesday and ends on April 23rd, the day before Easter. For Lent this year I have decided to give up sweets. I realize that I have become semi-addicted (maybe I am semi-in denial) to eating something sweet after every meal. Luckily, I am very active and *usually* burn off the extra calorie intake, however, that still does not make my gluttonous behavior okay! So I have made this difficult decision knowing that it will benefit me in the long run and is a great sacrifice for the season of Lent. So, so long to brownies, candy, cake, cookies, and pies. I will miss you, though my waistline may not. To say goodbye I shared a Chick-fil-A Banana Pudding Milkshake with Matt last night and it was amazing. Delicious. Fantastic. Seriously. Go buy one if you are not fasting sweets for Lent and enjoy.

*Matt bets I only make it 2 weeks with no sweets...stay tuned to see how I do!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Funeral and Bachelorette Party

What a strange combination, right? Well, I attended both of these events this weekend.

Sadly, Matt's grandfather passed away Thursday night after battling Alzheimer's, several seizures, and an emergency surgery. I was able to get to know him and see what a wonderful personality that he had. He was one of the most unique, funniest people I have ever met. He loved his family and his cigarettes. Both of which are very important. He was very generous and used to always tell us he would give us one million dollars. It was always fun to spend time with him and his large personality. He will be missed.

Saturday night we went and celebrated Ang B.'s soon-to-be tying the knot. We started off at Rogue Tavern which we have previously visited for Megan's bachelorette party. It is a bar/restaurant in downtown Birmingham which has a great atmosphere with live music. We started off with dinner and drinks there and headed to the Lakeview Disrict which is a nearby area with lots of cool bars. We went to Innisfree Pub and danced the night away. After Innisfree closed some of us headed next door to Nana Funks but didn't stay for long. We had a blast and it was great to spend some quality girl time with Ang and some of our close girl friends. Ya'll know I love my girl time! Here are some pictures from the evening.
The Bride-to-be and I
She is ready to go-rain or shine!
From left to right, Mere, yours truly, Pam, Maria, Phoenix, Bethanny, Ang, and AnsleyMaria Maria and I Merenara and Phoenix

Mere and Ang in the bathroom stall, umbrella open. I have no idea how this happened. But it is hilarious.

RIP Treadmill

It has been an eventful week in my little running world. First of all, to start with the good news I received my second present in the mail on Thursday. It came in a very large package which was a little weird....

Its a mini laptop, I mean Garmin GPS watch! Though it looks like a laptop on my arm, it is actually very light-weight. The Garmin watch will locate my position and will track my run, time, distance, and pace as I go. I can set different programs such as with a "ghost runner" that I can race as I go. There is a newer model which is smaller and more sleek, however it costs a LOT more! So I will sacrifice my fashion during my runs to have a great technology and a "trainer". Please excuse the low battery sign on my arm and be assured it has been properly charged. I have named her Gertrude because she isn't the cutest thing but we still love her.
Now to the sad news for the week. My treadmill is donezo. I had a very long run on Saturday (8 miles) on it and around mile 7 it started to smell and cut off. It refused to work again and actually started smoking when I turned it on later. After calling the company and multiple repairmen, I determined it was beyond worth fixing. It was fixable and the motor is still under warranty, however the cost for labor and parts that needed replacing along with the motor would cost around what I paid for it almost 2 years ago. So that makes 2 ellipticals and 1 treadmill I have killed in the past 2 years and 3 months. Seriously. I need to increase my budget for exercise machines with better warranties. Clearly I use them frequently.
So to the summary of my runs this week. I ran a total of 21.6 miles.
Monday-hit the TM for a quick 3.2 mile run/30mins total.

Wednesday-Ran 6.4 miles in historic Trussville/60 mins. I was planning on running a 10k Saturday and this was the course. I wanted to check it out before the actual run. It was a nice course and I will probably make this run more frequently now.
Thursday- Ran 4 miles in the neighborhoood/44 mins. Tons of hills in my neighborhood. This was a tough run for some reason. Just wasn't feelin' it that day.
Satuday-8 miles total- 7.25 on TM/.75 outside--UGH! The weather turned into crap so the 10k didn't happen. I hit the TM for a long run. I feel like the first few miles always start off so tough and it sure did this day. Around mile 3 I almost quit and called it a day but stuck with it. Started to feel better around mile 4 but it wasn't much longer than that when the TM died on me. I figured I could quit but only had 3/4's of a mile to reach my goal of 8 miles so I strapped on Gertrude and tested her out. I was doing good too, Gertrude told me I was running at a 9:24 pace.
RIP treadmill. You will be missed. Now onto a new one...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's Gracies birthday but I get the present!

Today is my baby Angel, aka Gracie's birthday! She is 6 years old!! We got her when she was only 6 weeks old and I can not believe how time flies!! We celebrated by going on a run and eating cake. Well, I ate the cake.

Gracie says: "I'm how old?!?!!"
Since it is Gracie's birthday, I decided I should treat myself to a present (or two--stay tuned for present #2). What could it be???
Why, it's new running shoes!! My old Saucony's were beginning to hurt when I hit about mile 5ish so I knew it was getting time to get some new ones. I switched brands and went with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS. I ran in them today and liked them so far. They have much more support than my old Saucony's and I hope they hold up for the longer runs.

Here's what they look like on my feet, cause I know you care....

And here I am modeling them for you, also in a new skirt from Old Navy which I love. It is super cute and fun to run in! (sorry the picture is like 250145 miles away, I had to use the self timer and a shelf). Okay please don't think I'm going crazy Charlie Sheen style.

So Happy Birthday to Gracie!! Anyone else have a birthday coming up that I can celebrate by getting more presents?!