#MicroblogMondays // 02

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I survived my first half marathon!!

Not gonna lie…it was ROUGH. I was doing okay until about mile 9 and then I hit my wall. The temperature was dropping, the wind was brutal and my leg muscles were tightening by the minute, but thanks to a new friend, I made it all 13.1 miles! We both wanted to cry when we crossed the finish line, but we held it together. I couldn’t have done it without my accidental running partner and I’m so thankful that fate intervened.

Before the race, I thought, “I just want to get this over with. I’m never signing up for anything longer than a 5k ever again!”

Races are addicting though. I’m proud of myself for finishing, but part of me says, “You did great, but you can do better!”

So, now I’m thinking, “Never say never!” 😉

Say it with me…mod-er-a-tion!

This photo has been making it’s rounds on social media

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and every time it pops up, it annoys the hell out of me!

First off, IMHO, moderation is the key to success. If you can’t eat one small piece of candy without feeling like you need to “work” it off, you may have a problem. If you eat one fun size snickers, it is not the end of the world. You will have enjoyed a piece of candy, realizing that you can have treats here and there and not pay any consequences. You will NOT gain a pound, you will not have fallen off the wagon, you will not have ruined all your hard work!  Remember, you would have to eat a surplus of 3500 calories to gain ONE pound. 3500 calories! To put that into perspective, one fun size snickers is 2.5% of a pound (in layman’s terms, that would be 2 1/2 cents out of a dollar).  Tell me again why I should care about 2.5% of a pound.  Oh right, I shouldn’t.

Secondly, exercise is not a punishment for unhealthy eating! I repeat…NOT a punishment! If you workout to punish yourself, working out will always be just that, a punishment. You should workout because you love yourself and you want to take care of your body as best you can.

Thirdly, if I were trying to work off candy I ate, I would wear my heart rate monitor to decipher how much work needed to be done because depending on your size/weight/age/muscle mass, everyone’s burn rate is different. I could also just take the dog for a walk and probably work off my candy.

This is my take on Halloween candy (or any candy/goodies for that matter). Mindfully have treats. Don’t go overboard, but don’t beat yourself up if you do. Being aware of what you’re putting in your mouth is half of the battle.

And instead of doing these ridiculous exercises, maybe suggest that the whole family do something active together. Go on a hike, a family bike ride, play a game of tennis/basketball, go rock climbing, walk the dog, play hide and seek, etc.

FWIW, according to this stupid chart, I am supposed to do 15 min on Jacob’s ladder and 100 burpee’s.  NOT gonna happen!  I’m going to go into the gym on Monday thinking, “let’s do this!” and get my regular workout in. No punishments. Just taking care of myself! 🙂

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Spring Cleaning (in the Fall)

So, I read about this thing the other day called, a life audit.  Have ya’ll heard of this?!  I don’t think it’s a new phenomenon, I think I just live in a bubble because I’m always late to hear about these things.

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Um, hello, I SO need this!

Upon first reading it (How and Why to Do a Life Audit), it looked hella complicated, but after further inspection, it seems pretty straight forward, albeit time consuming.

Basically, it’s an activity that helps you take stock of where you are in life, where you want to be and whether or not you are working towards your goals.

Even though the task seems daunting, I really need to take the time and effort to do it.

I think I’m having a mid-thirties crisis.  I got married and had babies young and now I’m kinda like, “what’s next?”

I’m pretty much cruising through life on auto-pilot.

Only stopping to pay attention when life demands it.

Focusing on the day to day tasks without looking at the bigger picture.

I’m naturally more of a watcher, than a doer, a think-it-till-it’s-dead kinda person

and I don’t necessarily want to change who I am, but I also know that I don’t want to get to the end of my life only to wish I had gotten off auto-pilot

I need to stop thinking and start doing

Jump off that cliff (with a bungee cord attached of course)

even if I end up climbing back up to the top and leaping off into another direction later

So, yeah…I’m pretty convinced I’m in need of a life audit.

Now to just do it!

“Reasons I procrastinate and don’t get shit done.”  That’s a blog post for another day!  😛

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In continuation of the fall cleaning mood I’m in, on the same blog post I read about the life audit, I also read about a capsule wardrobe.  From what I gather, this is the “in” thing to do right now, but I refuse to believe that is why it’s so fascinating to me.  (Me, jump on a trend bandwagon? Never!)  Anywho, the idea is to minimize your wardrobe to several staple items that you can mix and match to make an outfit for every occasion.  After a year long, trend chasing, over spending, finding my style, shopping spree, I’ve come to the realization that I feel most comfortable and beautiful in classic neutral staples.  I think this is something that I pretty much knew, but I got sucked into the glam of all the fashion blogs and wanted to try something different.  While I’m quite certain I won’t be creating a capsule quite as sparse as some, I do think it will be beneficial to pare it down and get more creative with accessories to spice up my outfits.   After doing some research, the idea of a capsule wardrobe has been around for awhile (1970!) and there are plenty of blog posts out there about it (Project 333 is a blog ONLY about capsule wardrobes! It looks like a great resource and there’s even a Facebook group), but this is where I read about it first and she has a handy dandy wardrobe planner you can download here.

So tell me, do you need to spring (fall) clean your closet, your life, both or neither?!  If you have it even somewhat figured out, please tell me your secrets.  I’m in dire need of a little direction.

 

 

Sometimes…

…you just have to look and not buy

I never used to be a fan of window shopping.  I mean, what’s more depressing than looking at things you can’t buy?

But, I’ve come to see that it does have it’s place.  If you can’t (or shouldn’t) buy anything at the moment, for whatever reason, it’s kinda fun to fantasize about what you wish you had in your closet.

Just look at these pretties from Anthropologie.  I would like one, or all, of these please!  If I had to pick just one, it would be a tie between the dot blouse and the camo chinos.  Only because our cold weather won’t be around for long and I can wear both of those when the weather is warmer.  The dress would be gorgeous for a spring wedding, but sadly, I have no weddings coming up.

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And while I’m at Anthro, I’ll also take this layered lace tank, this top in yellow, this blue blouse,
these distressed boyfriend jeans and maybe these open toe booties too!

You know, since I’m already dreaming, I’ll just add all of this to my imaginary closet.  I’m not even sure it would all flatter me, but it’s just so pretty I can’t help myself.

Okay, moving on from Anthropologie…

I’ve seen this combo of black & white with green (technically the dress below is navy/white, but it looks black) a few times and I absolutely LOVE it.

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I desperately need a new green cardigan.  I love my dark green one, but it doesn’t quite fit all occasions and my other green one is off a shade or two so I rarely even wear it.  I need one like the color above!  I’ve been looking on and off for probably a year without any luck, but I guess I need to look harder since they are apparently out there somewhere!

I found these two online today.  The JC Penney one (on right) looks pretty good for the price.

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Then of course I had to go looking for a black & white dress too.

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other options…
If you have the funds, this gorgeous Stripmaze dress from Anthro would be amazing as well as this Colorblock Sheath dress from White House/Black Market
Not into stripes?  How about these two polka dot numbers from ModCloth? Hepcat Dress in Black Licorice & Everlasting Loveliness Dress

Favorite Gifts 2013

christmas_listTory Burch fragrance :: Diana glass lens (dslr) :: mirrored polka dot jewelry box
jewelry tray :: Gorjana-Griffin ring :: quick charger
Polar Loop :: Kate Spade mug 

even more gifty goodness…

Photo Credit :: glitter bokeh background

Gettin’ mah groove on

Happy Friday my party peoples!

I haven’t been doing so hot with my 30 day challenge this week (check in update on Monday) and after working out late in the day 2 days in a row, I decided I needed to get my workout in early today.

I was dreading it.  I’ve had a case of the “I don’t wanna’s” lately so today…

I should have run…

but treadmill dancing just sounded like so much more fun…

7 days and counting…

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Woot!  We made it through week 1!

Giving myself a virtual pat on the back because I…

  • drank 48-72oz of pure water per day
  • kept track of what I was putting in my mouth with the exception of Sunday (my free day).  They weren’t always good choices and I had several days this week that made me want to throw healthy eating out the window, but I did practice a little self control
  • made 3 dinners at home, only had breakfast out once (Sunday) and ate lunch at home several days
  • did some form of exercise every.single.day giving me a weekly total of 309 min of physical activity and 2,067 calories burned

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily. –Zig Ziglar

Need to do better…

  • cleaning up my messes in the kitchen.  When it’s a mess already, it’s hard to get motivated to make it a bigger mess.
  • planning and sticking to it.  I plan out my days, but then I don’t follow the schedule and I end up cramming exercise in where I can and many daily chores fall through the cracks.

2013-11-04_0001homemade chicken salad with greek yogurt :: easy way to keep track of my water intake :: cauliflower pizza crust with a bottle of hard cider :: Polar Beat history log

A few observations from the week…

going from not enough water to a good amount, flushed mucho toxins out via my pores.  On day 3 I started breaking out like crazy on my face and considering I had eaten pretty well at that point I was sure that it was all the water I was drinking.  People online say they’ve had the same reaction.

cooking dinner (and breakfast/lunch) creates a huge mess that seems to be never ending.  As soon as I make a dent, I create more mess and my sink is even fuller than it was!

Not eating out or pre-packaged foods makes it hard to count calories.  I’m not too focused on a specific caloric goal per day, but I am trying to be more cognizant of what is going in my mouth and making your own meals from scratch makes it take even longer to input your calories.  Thankfully myfitnesspal has a nifty little recipe calculator that helps ease my pain slightly.

Remember in my first post about the challenge, I mentioned I was going to use the Lift app.  Well, not having used it before and only hearing about it from my hubby, I mistakenly thought it was just a workout app.  It’s actually an app to help you create good, healthy/productive habits, break unhealthy habits or just anything you want to remember to do on a daily basis.  There are a tone of different goals you can “check-in” with every day such as, taking a vitamin, brushing your teeth (not sure who needs an app to remember that one, but whatevs), getting up on time, inbox zero, spend time with my kids, etc.  Other people can “like” your check-in’s and the app will tell you how long of a streak you have going each day.  If checking in and getting “props” for your check-in’s isn’t enough motivation, you could even promise yourself a reward when you hit a 30 day streak or if it’s something really challenging, a 7 day streak.  My hubs is currently on his 89th day of exercising every day.  On day 100, he’s going to celebrate with a work friend by going out to lunch!  How fun is that?!

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Your turn!  Feel free to check in with your weekly accomplishments and what (if anything) you’d like to improve on.  You can comment, message me or just make a note to yourself.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, but be real.  Give yourself props for doing the things you did well and acknowledge what you fell short on, but then brush yourself off and get ready for week 2!

Day 3 of 30 :: Checking in

Not gonna lie.  It’s day 3 and I already wanna tell this 30 day challenge to SUCK IT!

I’m tired of thinking about my calories/what’s going in my mouth…I just want an unsweet tea (I remedied this one, but I’ll get to that later)…I don’t want to exercise…I don’t want to care about what’s for dinner and make sure it’s healthy/calorie countable…

I have other crap to do!

I’m a horrible multi-tasker apparently.  When I’m thinking about family dinners and exercising, everything else goes to the crapper.  My laundry is taking over and I don’t want to think about how I’m going to sweat today.

Wah..wah…wah!

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I wrote out 5 days of workouts & meals (one off day b/c of Halloween), but I’ve already skipped a dinner and while I’ve been active for at least 30 min for the past two days, it wasn’t what I planned on doing.

Blaaahhhhhhh!

Okay, I’m done whining for now…I think.  Sometimes you just gotta vent (or how my husband lovingly refers to it..whine ;)).  Regardless of my less than stellar execution so far, I’ve stuck to the guidelines I set for myself.

More water…check!
72 oz Monday & Tuesday

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At least 30 min of exercise…check!
Walking on Monday, C25K training & a 7-min workout on Tuesday

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Tracking food intake…check!
you can see my log on myfitnesspal.com (username: katiehigg)

2013-10-30_0003(clockwise) water, almond dream yogurt, smoothie, spaghetti squash alfredo

Remember in the beginning I told you I remedied my unsweet tea problem?  Well, see, there’s a school of thought that says if it’s unsweet, it counts towards your fluid intake for the day and you just need to be concerned with how much caffeine you’re taking in.  And while all of my water logged has been straight water, yesterday I decided I needed an amendment to my rules pertaining unsweet tea.

Amendment: As long as 48oz of pure water is drank per day, I’m allowed unsweet tea.  Preferably decaf, but not a must.

What I wanted to accomplish in these 30 days was to drink more water and less caffeine.  I had gotten into a habit of nursing a large unsweet tea in the morning with breakfast and then not drinking anything else until dinnertime.  Hence probably only getting in about 24oz of un-caffeinated beverage a day.  With my new amendment, I will have to drink 48oz before rewarding myself with some tea.  😉

Moving forward I need to…

plan my day better
plan breakfast better
get at least one load of laundry done per day
not be so hard on myself

How about you?  How’s your 30 days going so far?

30 day challenge

I’ve gotten a little too comfortable being sedentary lately.  Sure I got back on the workout wagon recently, but like always, I get distracted and workouts fall by the wayside.

My eating has also been horrible.  So bad that I can count the number of meals I eat at home during the week…on one hand.   Yikes.  That is no bueno!  So, I thought a 30 day challenge might help me get back on track. *the image below is just for the image, I’m not following that 30 day challenge. My challenge is outlined underneath.*

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30 days of moving :: Instead of aiming for 3-4 workouts a week, I want to be doing something everyday. Walking, running, weight training, dancing, rock climbing, yoga…anything goes! At least 30 min of fitness a day!

30 days of tracking my calories :: This one is harder than the first. It’s just a pain in the buttocks to weigh your food, look up calories and input them. But, I know that it works to keep me accountable and it’s a great tool for seeing how much you’re actually eating. I’m going to give myself up to 4 freebie days. That is approximately 1 each week. I don’t want to use them, but this isn’t my first rodeo.  I know that it’s hard to keep track of calories and sometimes you eat something that you have no idea what calories are in it.

30 days of more water, less caffeine :: I have been drinking far too little water lately. I rely mostly on coffee in the a.m. and then unsweet tea with water coming in last. My goal is to get at least 60 oz of water a day.

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I want to challenge myself, but I want to be realistic too.  I know I won’t eat at home every meal, but I’m shooting for at least 3-4 dinners a week at home and less breakfast trips to Panera (their roasted tomato & feta souffle is SO delicious!).  I’m not really going to berate myself too much if I don’t stick to this as long as I can count my calories and stay around goal, I’ll call it a win.

I’m starting tomorrow (no time like the present!), October 28th.  Which as it so happens, is exactly 31 days before Thanksgiving so I can get through my 30 days and then eat my little heart out the next day.  It couldn’t have lined up any more perfect for my little OCD/perfectionist mind!

I desperately NEED some accountability, which I’m hoping to get just by blogging about it, but I’d also love to have some company during this 30 days!  Either in spirit, or by sending me a message or leaving a comment and letting me know you are joining.  Even if you start late, you can still join in!

*We all have different things we need to work on.  This is my personal 30 day challenge.  Joining me doesn’t mean you have to follow my same challenge.  You can choose only part of what I’m doing or completely make up your own!  Doesn’t matter what you follow for 30 days, we can still be each others accountability partner!  🙂

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Tools to keep me on track…

myfitnesspal :: an online tool and also a mobile app to track calories.  If you haven’t used this site, I highly recommend it. Makes counting calories a little less painful.

lift :: an iphone app and online community to track how many days in a row that you work out and offer support in reaching your goals

Waterlogged or Plant Nanny :: iphone apps that helps you track your water intake.  Waterlogged is a clean/simple design and it’s free in the app store, but if you’re looking for a cute/whimsical way to keep track of your water, Plant Nanny ($.99) may be the way to go.

Polar HR monitor & Polar Beat app :: I love seeing how many calories I’m burning.  Nothing like instant gratification!  If you don’t have an iphone, there are many other Polar HR monitors that work with their watches to keep track of your calories burned.

C25K & Sign up for a race :: I started the Couch-to-5k challenge again when I got back on my workout wagon, but since I need some accountability to keep me on my C25K schedule I am going to sign up for a 5k or 10k (depending on how far out the race is and what the local race schedule looks like).

Meal/Workout planning :: I’m not a huge fan of planning, but I know that when I schedule something, I usually get it done. So, much to my dismay, I’m going to plan my workouts for the week on Sunday and plan at least a few days of dinners.  Of course, I know that I won’t always be able to stick with the plan and sometimes I’ll have to improvise, but at least I’ll have an idea of what I’m doing most of the time and I can schedule the rest of my day with fitness included instead of my workouts being an afterthought.  I plan on using something similar to this to schedule my workouts/dinners.  Simple is best.  I just need something to write what’s for diner and what my workout is going to be.

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Hmm.  I think that’s all the apps/tools I’ll be using, but I’ll add to the list if I think of more.  Sorry that they are mostly iphone apps.  I’m an iphone user so those are the apps I use, but I’m sure there are similar ones on other platforms.

To Write Love on Her Arms

This week I came across a pretty awesome website.  It’s called Sevenly.com.  Sevenly highlights a new charity each week and for 7 days, they donate a portion of the proceeds to the highlighted charity.

With [seemingly] a new teen suicide story every week, it’s heartbreaking that these children are hurting so desperately that they feel suicide is the only answer.  To Write Love on Her Arms is “dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide”.

With one kid just entering teenage-hood and another on the cusp, I think a lot about the teenage years.  I know I’ve had it easy up until now.  I know that their hormones are going to start raging and they may turn into little people that I don’t recognize.  My girl, once filled with self love and confidence, may let the words of others tear her apart.  My shy, sweet boy may give in to peer pressure and feel like he needs to do some out of character things to fit in.  Doubts fill my mind. Have we done enough?  Do they have what it takes to make it through the teen years with minimal scarring?  Will they be bullied? Will they stand up for themselves…for others? Will they come to me or their father when they are hurting or will they keep it bottled inside, convinced they are alone in their fight?

Depression is the most common mental illness in America and when left untreated, it’s the leading cause of suicide. TWLOHA is not only bringing awareness to a very real problem, but also providing help and encouragement to those who are suffering.  My favorite line in their vision statement is…

“You are not alone and this is not the end of your story”

Check out TWLOHA and/or Sevenly.com to donate to a cause while also buying cool stuff.  From now until Monday, when you make a purchase at Sevenly.com, they will donate $7 to TWLOHA.  Here are some of my favorite items from both.

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P.S. my little blog is not even remotely big enough for anyone to pay me to say any of this. Mental illness is something that is close to my heart, so when I found these websites through FB, I wanted to spread the word.


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