You Know Me

Thirteen days into the New Year and I’m proud of myself for remembering to pray every night before I fall asleep. Well, almost every night. And sometimes I fall asleep in the middle of the prayer, whoops.

I find myself praying almost every night for God to bring me the man He has planned for me to marry. I know full well I am not ready at this particular moment in time to meet that man, maybe not anytime this year, or even five years. I have no idea what He has in store for me. But I know that God has him in store for me somewhere out there, hopefully praying for me as well.

I have come to notice over the years a pattern, which I’m sure many other women notice in time and either deny it or use it to change. I use my relationships as a form of dependency. I use them for constant attention (physical and mental), someone to run to when life gets hard, a form of temporary happiness no matter how long it might last. But that’s the part I always forget, that type of happiness is always temporary.

Someone once told me that every now and then someone comes along and fills the gaps in your soul that no one else can. Even now, as I lie in bed at night, I am asking for someone to appear to fill those gaps in my soul. Many of us spend the majority of our time and thoughts looking for that one person and thinking about how they will make us feel whole. The one person that can love us unconditionally, knowing everything there is to know about us, even the worst parts, and devote their life to us anyway.What we forget to acknowledge is that God has been loving us unconditionally since before we were even born. He is the One we should be asking to fill those holes inside us.

If you have a minute, go and read Psalm 139. Here’s verses 1-4:

“You have searched me Lord, and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise,
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down,
You are familiar with all of my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue,
You, Lord, know it completely.”

It’s a lengthy one, so I’ll give you the CliffsNotes version. God knows us better than we can ever know ourselves. And no matter how many rights or what kind of wrongs we commit, He loves us unconditionally. He is the only one who can truly fill those gaps that no one else can.

 

What a comforting thought, to think that the man of my dreams will just be the cherry on top of the Love I am already receiving. I would say I can’t wait to meet him, but I can.

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Something Bigger

It is both depressing and exciting that I have had this blog for two years. Mostly depressing, especially since only two posts ago did I talk about New Year’s resolutions, and it’s already that time again. I had some really great advice in that post, if I do say so myself.

I’d like to change the theme of this blog from being a “diet blog.” I hate that it took me until now to realize how lame that sounds. Who wants to read about someone else dieting? I know I don’t. I would much rather the focus of this blog be about my journey of bettering myself. Isn’t that something we can all relate to? I hope that anyone reading this is constantly trying to better themselves, which is also a forever commitment, just like the forever diet (gag).

In the spirit of New Years, yet again this year I said I’m not making any resolutions since my list is always the same. Yesterday I caved and I made a list of 2016 Goals, and ways to accomplish them. Here they are:

 

  1. Love God.
  2. Love my body.
  3. Love my job.

 

Really, the first one should be the only one and the rest will follow. The more shit that happens to me the more I find myself leaning on God for support. I should lean on Him no matter what is going on in my life, good or bad, but the bad always pulls me closer to Him and I am thankful for that.

It upset me a little to read my New Years post from last year, as I had successfully forgotten about all the shitty things that happened to me in 2014, since 2015 was worse. You never know what the future will hold, and a lot of crazy things can be packed into one year’s time. But instead of dwelling on the negatives, I want to acknowledge all of the positive things that resulted from 2015. As I said in my post from last year, there’s no such thing as a “New Year New You,” we are all the result of an accumulation of events that affect us. And each event, no matter how shitty, always has some sort of positive side or outcome. If anything, they cause you to grow as a person in some way or another.

In 2015, although my car accident affected me in a number of ways, I ended up healthy and fine. Not being able to drink for a month was a nice detox, and opened my eyes to other problems I needed to address. In February, I went for my property management license, which led to a promotion in March and put me back at my old property that I had missed very much. A slow but gradual downward spiral led to the end of a two-year relationship in September, at which time I turned to my family and friends for support, gaining so much more happiness and fulfillment than I could have expected from those relationships and conversations.

Ironically this new independence; being single and not necessarily looking for a relationship, and also being financially independent, has made me realize just how far I feel from God. When you realize you have to stop relying on other people and situations to make you happy, you find yourself relying on something bigger. This past summer something said in a sermon hit me hard. At the time I was extremely unhappy and couldn’t put my finger on why. The pastor said, “YOU are not in control of your life… Where will you find refuge? Where will you go?” I was so used to turning to my boyfriend at the time, and I knew in my heart that wasn’t forever. I totally freaked, I started crying in church (so embarrassing), and the worst part was I couldn’t identify where the freak out was coming from. Eventually I realized that if I stripped away all the “things” that made up the facade of who I was…my clothes, my job, my friends, family, relationship, reputation… If all those things went away and I had no one left but myself, where would I find refuge? I had no idea, and that simple thought is terrifying.

 

I’m not afraid of being alone, but I do fear being without God. Empty, purposeless, wandering blindly. This year I will find my path back to God and my true self. That’s got to be the best New Year’s goal I’ve ever come up with.

Tagged , ,

Whole 30 and Late Twenties

It’s been a good long while since I’ve written a post and I think it’s about that time!

I’ve had this blog for a year and almost 4 months now and continue this battle with my weight…if that’s not depressing I don’t know what is. That explains my long hiatus.

The good news is that I dropped 12 lbs between December 2014 and March 2015 and have kept the weight off!

The more exciting news is that I recently started Whole30, which is a 30 day challenge or diet or cleanse, whatever you’d like to call it, and I am currently on DAY 10!!! It’s definitely challenging. I’m not allowed to say that it’s hard because that’s one of the rules.

Whole30 Rules:

1. You do not say that Whole30 is hard.

2. You do not say that Whole30 is hard.

3. Refuse any and all food and drink offerings from friends.

4. Do not step on the scale.

5. Do not tell yourself you look skinnier. You don’t.

6. You can eat as much as you want, as long as it’s Whole30 compliant.

I made all of that up, but if you’re interested, you can check out Whole30 here. 

The real reason I decided to write this post is because I turn 26 in exactly one month. Meaning I will officially be in my late twenties. Meaning I will be an old geezer. A geriatric. A fossil. A coffin dodger. My retirement literally started coming out of my paychecks TODAY. So I’m doing this diet thing and I signed up for yoga to get my ass back into gear. I can’t give up on myself at 26, life isn’t over! I need my golden years to be my thirties, so I can be a smokin’ wife and a cool mom. Are you supposed to leave your early twenties with a bang? Or should I go peacefully? That seems like a silly question.

Back to the fun stuff. My food has been beautiful lately and I want to share..

IMG_1848

For starters, I got all this at Trader Joes for $40 bucks…

IMG_1850

Sauteed chicken and mushrooms with roasted broccoli.. (flavored water, yum!)

IMG_1849

Turkey burger on arugula with avocado and Frank’s, and monkey salad. (I add cocoa powder to my monkey salad)

IMG_1840

Pork chop seasoned, summer squash and onion sauteed, and sweet potato with coconut oil (one of my favorite things because its so sweet!)

IMG_1835

Rob and I made these turkey tacos one night, just ground turkey, seasoned, with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and avocado on top, in lettuce beds. And yes, I ate 4 of them.

IMG_1836

Sauteed sliced chicken breast with summer squash/zucchini and a salad with balsamic vinaigrette and oil.

IMG_1838

Trader Joes sells these chili lime chicken burgers, frozen for only $3.50 for a 4 pack, they’re pretty delish. This was a lunch one day with sauteed peppers on top and a smoothie made with a banana, gala apple and coconut milk.

IMG_1839

Another chicken burger with an egg on top, mushrooms and peppers sauteed, and side salad.

IMG_1830

One of my favorite dinners, sweet potato on the bottom in coconut oil, sauteed onions, chicken, and a “fried” egg on top.

IMG_1829

What I eat almost every day for lunch: Tuna or salmon with oil and balsamic on bed of arugula with seasoned veggies.

Looking forward to my “post” Whole 30 update when I am allowed to weigh myself and take measurements and see how my body has changed. Fingers crossed all this hard work pays off! I mean difficult! Challenging! It’s not hard.

Cliche New Years Post

Oh look! Another article in your news feed about how to better yourself in 2015. “Fifteen ways to be happier in 2015.” “Fifty Resolutions You Should be Making This Year.” “The Top 10 Resolutions to Make for Next Year.” You can be a journalist, or even a blogger, and have your own writing style without using a list for every single article you write.

#overit #endrant

I’m not making any resolutions this year. That’s right, I’m so awesome already, I don’t need to change myself. Not really, I just think about last year at this time when I made my resolutions, and the year before that, and the year before that. And how they never happened. And how they’re always the same.

1. Lose weight.
2. Stop biting my nails.
3. Exercise more.
4. Eat healthier.
5. Pray more.

[It’s really sad that “pray more” is at the bottom of that list below losing weight and biting my nails. Probably if that were at the top of the list I wouldn’t need anything else on the list.]

None of these things about me have changed over the last several years. My weight and routines have fluctuated but I am still the same person. New Years Resolutions don’t drastically change who you are just because the date on the calendar changes. You change because of things that happen to you over the course of that year, things that you have NO control over.

I sat down last December, much like in years’ past, and told myself I would lose weight, blind to what God and the universe actually had in store for me for 2014. A stress fracture in my foot, a new job, and most recently, a car accident.

Sometimes it feels like the more determined you are to do something, the more obstacles you find standing in your way. Just when I hit a great momentum of motivation I am stopped in my tracks. The accident left me with a concussion, back pain, a gastrointestinal bleed, and a ulcer (in a nutshell). Last night was my first night exercising in 20 days. The longest I’ve gone since my stress fracture. And there’s not much more discouraging than trying to work out in the gym when you feel tired, fat, and unmotivated.

Spoiler alert: people think that a new year means a new start, but the reality is your life continues the way it’s been going! You can’t change yourself, but you CAN change your attitude. Maybe 2014 wasn’t so shiny for you, I feel ya, man. But 2015 might be better for us if we change our attitudes and outlooks. It really sucks to get back in the gym after 20 days of not working out, but exercise is always the better choice than sitting on your fat ass at home! And sure, life may not always go as you plan, maybe you got laid off or got broken up with, but you know damn well those things always turn into something better down the road. I got into a car accident and got a brand new car, see? Case in point! So keep on truckin’ friend, headstrong into 2015.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Holiday Work Struggle: A Poem.

‘Twas ten days ’til Christmas and all through my office

Were chocolates and cookies and goodies among us

I sit at my desk meal planning and gym scheduling

Only to be showered with gifts and kind gesturing

Gift givers skipping and smiling as they leave

Feeling joyful and triumphant about their good deeds

My grin turns to grimace as the door slowly closes

Knowing the willpower to come will come in large doses

How many calories in two chocolate truffles?

Do I have to count the candy cane and cookie crumbles?

I’ll have to leave work early and wake up before eight

And then run as fast as I can for about three days straight

Maybe if I Christmas shop for an entire day

I’ll burn off that one piece of fudge I’ve been saving for Friday

Then I’ll diet all weekend to prepare for the new week

Because Monday will for sure bring a new treat

Happy Holidays!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Just Keep Swimming

I was just finishing off a bowl of chocolate chunk ice cream and thought to myself, “I should really post on my diet blog again.”

 

Well, here I am, almost 3 months later and zero pounds down. I could blame it on the fact that I broke my foot running the bridge run, but that feels cheap. After giving up the elliptical, treadmill, any body weight training like squats and lunges, and yes, even spin class was making my foot hurt, I decided to try the only other option, swimming.

 

You might be thinking, oh yea! Swimming’s fun! Nope. I remember being a kid at the YMCA one summer and learning to swim was cool because you got a new colored band to wear around your neck for each improvement you made, and at the end of the summer if you swam in the deep end you got a black band, and only the really cool kids had a black band.

 

I also remember one of the most embarrassing moments of my life when I attended a pool party in 7th grade with all my friends (and by friends I mean a bunch of girls who hated each other, because…middle school), all the guys were doing flips off the diving board. Typical Allie move, I decide to try and be cool, one of the guys, and as everyone watches me, I stand at the end of the diving board, muster up all my gymnastics knowledge and coordination, take a big jump and….belly flop.

 

I also enjoyed boogie boarding in middle school, I would go to the beach with my best friend Brittany and we could boogie board for hours and hours, all week long. My entire back peeled off one summer. Only problem was, without my boogie board I felt like I might drown. The worse part was a few times I got sucked under by a wave and salt water would go all up my nose and down my throat and in my lungs and in my ears and eyes and it was just AWFUL. One of the worst feelings ever.

 

Needless to say my entire life I’ve been a nose-plugger. Any time I jump into water, or even dip my head under, I plug my nose with my fingers. Any time I can’t touch the bottom I have what probably constitutes as a minor anxiety attack. No wonder I put off this whole “swimming for fitness” thing for several weeks, but I had no other choice, and finally one day I just went. I swam 25 meters and had to stop to catch my breath. For the first few times I had to stop after every 25 meters and breathe. Oh, I also had my head above the water, like I didn’t put my face in, so my neck was killing me the next day and I also felt like an idiot.

 

This week, in the last 4 days, I’ve easily swam somewhere around 3000-4000 meters. This is after about 6 weeks of swimming at least 3 days a week, but once I finally got the hang of it, I didn’t want to stop. I know, it sounds just as weird coming out as it does to hear it. I actually found a form of exercise I don’t loathe. Isn’t that bizarre? Now you all think I’m a weirdo.

 

Swimming is nothing like any other form of cardio. The best thing is no one knows when you’re sweating profusely. Your thighs don’t rub together and you don’t have to keep pulling your shorts down. You don’t have to bring a towel to wipe your sweat because it’s dripping onto your bike (but you do have to bring a towel, it’s a pool after all). No one’s yelling at you to pedal faster or zumba harder or hold that plank longer. There’s no music, playlists, or “get pumped music.” All I hear is my inhale and my bubbles. And sometimes I don’t hear anything because my ears fill with water. You don’t have to wear makeup or worry about your hair. The makeup will run and make you look like a day-old prostitute and your hair is in a tiny bun in a skin-tight cap. And the very best part? That one-piece sucks in all that tummy. Oh yea baby, it’s like spanxx for your workout.

 

Now I can jump into water and not plug my nose! That’s a huge deal for me. I could probably also not drown now, so that’s good too.

 

I’m addicted and I just can’t enooouuuugh. I just can’t get enoouuugghh I just can’t get enoouuggh.. .

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Getting Over It

Being an adult is like, the worst thing ever. Seriously.

 

How do we become so convinced that waking up before sunrise, putting on uncomfortable clothes, and driving to a job where we do just about the same thing every day is going to be THE GREATEST THING EVER!?!? That was my mindset in high school and college anyways. I used to think that by the time I was 25 I would be living in New York City working some really glamorous job like managing a fashion magazine. I turn 25 in two months and I’m nowhere close to that, and I think it’s because one thing that causes you to be an adult is drive and discipline. And I just don’t usually have those things. That’s hard for me to admit because I know I CAN work hard, sometimes I just choose not to.

 

My bed is just so fantastic. When my alarm goes off in the morning, no matter what time it is, I hate it. I loathe my alarm with every ounce of my being. My mom used to set the vacuum in my room and turn it on and walk out, granted it was about 2:00 in the afternoon and I was still sleeping. These days I find myself waking up to a 5:30am alarm to go to the gym, and SPIN for that matter! What the heck is wrong with me. I woke up at 5am last weekend to run 6 miles with 40,000 people. So many people. So much running. So early. So. So. Early.

 

Bridge Run1Bridge Run2Bridge Run3

Pretty cool though right?!?! They have a saying that goes with the Bridge Run that’s “Get Over It!” Super corny but, sometimes you really do just have to suck it up and get over it. And I did, and I have been continuing to find the adult in myself and stop whining about how I hate mornings and just get over it and go to the gym. Well, I will probably always whine about mornings but at least my boyfriend calls me a lazy slob a lot less when I get up at the same time he does to work out.

 

On a side note, three days after I ran the super cool Bridge Run, I found out I had a stress fracture in my foot! That’s what I get for not training and pushing myself too hard. So for a few weeks I am limited to only spin classes and upper body workouts, but I’m just going to get over it and do the best I can. I’ve gotten back to the point where if I skip a day at the gym I feel miserable and disgusting. That’s a great place to be because you don’t dread working out every day, you actually feel better and almost look forward to it. Almost. Holding yourself accountable works way better than any friend holding you accountable, once you start feeling guilty about not working out you’re on the right track. So glad I’m back on that track.

 

I don’t know if I will be at my peak of fitness by summer, but at this point I’m happy with myself for trying to be healthier and learning about how to take better care of my body. Find your reason to get up before sunrise and the workout will be worth it! Even if it’s so that you can drink beer that night…..yes, that’s my motivation most days.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

A New Struggle

As if THE Struggle wasn’t enough, I had my free one-on-one consultation at my new gym last week. This should be motivating and uplifting right? WRONG. The trainer, Leslie, told me to stop eating carbs again. Just when I started thinking carbs were okay, she tells me “Allie, if you cut carbs out of your diet, I can guarantee you will see pounds fall off.” Well I’m not going to argue with a professional trainer.

Thankfully, I left for a mini-vacay in New York City the next day, which meant CHEAT WEEKEND!! And oh, did I cheat…burgers, fries, cheese, gnocchi, tacos, pizza, beer, liquor, and more beer (see pictures below, if you dare tempt yourself). I was fully prepared to gain at least 5 pounds once I got home. I didn’t factor in that we probably walked every street in Manhattan, so shockingly I didn’t gain any weight.

blogpic2Chezz. blogpic3Tacuzz. blogpic4Ahmletzz. blogpic5Pastuzz. blogpic7Sugazz.

Monday morning I started this terrible, awful, no good, very bad diet, that consists of eggs and fruit for breakfast, a big salad for lunch, and lean meat and veggies for dinner. I am allowed to snack only on natural, unsalted nuts, fruit, and natural peanut butter. I am avoiding salt and sugar as much as possible. So naturally, I got to work today and saw a pack of saltines in the breakroom and ripped into them. They were stale and disappointing, it was a sign I suppose. Also, on Monday, a resident brought a dozen cookies into the office and placed them on my desk. I had one, there was no resisting. You tell me which one looks more appetizing:

blogpic6blogpic

Yea, that’s what I thought. You would cave too.

The good news here is that I have lost 3 pounds in the last 3 days on this terrible, awful, no good, very bad [but effective] diet. Leslie also talked me into unlimited spin classes, so by summer I’ll be Adriana Lima’s twin, y’all.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Breaking Point

Things that happened this week:

1. I started “lifting heavy.” RAWR.

2. I bought a fitness class groupon.

3. I joined a gym.

WHOA, ALLIE! That’s a lot of fitness-y things you did this week!

I know, thanks!

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she looks in the mirror and says, “THAT’S IT MAN! I’m not gonna look like this anymore!” This special time has come more than once for me, I’d say this is probably the third time I’ve had one of those serious talks with myself. Better late (or again) than never!

I read this post last week, and decided to try it out. This girl sounds like she knows what she’s talking about, and I want to look beefy, okay? Not really, I just want to be healthy and get in shape, and I agree 100% with her entire post. So on Monday I started trying to “lift heavy” like she talks about, which basically  meant using more weight on the machines in my tiny gym at my apartment complex. I felt a little sore after a couple days, #winning. Then I found this groupon thingy for 30 fitness classes for 20 bucks!! So I bought it, of course.

I was supposed to get 10 classes from a gym just down the street from me, so I signed up for one, printed my voucher and marched in there at 8:15 ON MY DAY OFF, yup. They informed me that they weren’t honoring the groupon anymore, but that I could still attend the class that day and they would give me a couple more to make up for it. (Awesome, right? By the way, the gym is Chucktown Fitness and I highly recommend it!)  The class kicked my booty and on top of that every staff member working knew my name by the time I walked out the door. And no, that’s not because I was so uncoordinated or just incredibly awesome at the workout, they are just super nice. (But for the record, I was incredibly awesome at the workout, the trainer told me so.)

I was so overwhelmingly impressed by this gym that I actually went back the next day and joined! And it gets better…I went to ask a trainer to show me how to do something and he worked with me one-on-one for 30 minutes until I couldn’t walk anymore. Lunges for days.

Today I feel like I’ve put in such effort this week, and not just because my legs are sore every time I move them, along with my triceps, but because my whole mentality has changed (besides the pizza I ate last night). I keep wanting to see a change in the scale or in my measurements but I know that’s unrealistic. I’m going to have to have many more weeks like this one and slowly things will change and I will feel better and better about myself! After all, it’s not for anyone but myself and my body. Fitness should be self-improvement, not comparing yourself to others and setting goals based on how someone else’s body looks.

blog1

Bottom line is, I hope I want to put on my bikini in May. Fat chance, sista, but we gon’ keep workin’.

Tagged , , , , ,

Temptations

I’ve found that the harder I try to lose weight and “be good,” the more random people make it challenging for me. I made note of a few examples over the last week or so.

First, one fine Monday, I had a particular hankerin’ for Wendy’s, as I sometimes get. What? I enjoy their “sea salt” fries and floppy burgers every once in a while, okay? I told myself that what I really needed was quarters to do laundry, and used Wendy’s as an excuse to ask someone behind a cash register for laundry change. Two birds with one stone, people. I also said to myself, “Self, you don’t have a lot of money right now since you’re saving up for your New York trip, so let’s keep this order sweet and simple, under $3.” No big, that’s what value menus are for. With all of this churning in my dieting brain, I ordered a Jr. Cheeseburger…NOT a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, just to clarify. And a value fry. And a small diet coke, just for kicks and giggles. The lady told me my total would be six dollars and something. I said no, no. Just take that drink off, I didn’t need the carbonation anyways. She then told me my new total was four dollars and something, whatever lady, just give me my burger before I change my mind about this trip entirely. I asked the not-so-friendly worker if she had any quarters and she answered, “I already closed my drawer.” Oh, awesome. So I drive away and when I get home I see that there are actually TWO Jr. Cheeseburgers in the bag. And I DEFINITELY did not eat both of them. Nope, definitely not. And in case you were wondering, that meal was 940 calories.

Second, I joined some friends at a restaurant/bar downtown this past Sunday to watch some rugby. Well, I just went because Rob bribed me with brunch. My dieting brain + hunger pangs told me to get the ham and cheese, which sounded like a simple sandwich that would satiate me until dinner. My “ham and cheese” was plopped in front of me, the “sandwich” was actually two giant pieces of texas toast with about half a pound of ham in between, melted cheesy deliciousness covering the entire square footage of the sandwich, and a perfectly cooked duck egg on top. It looked incredible, but all I saw was CALORIES CALORIES CALORIES. Funny enough, one of the guys with us looked at me and said, “Allie, you won’t eat that whole thing.” And I replied, “Challenge accepted, sir.” And so it goes…I ate the whole darn thing. And it was SOO GUD.

I'm not even sorry

 

As my friend Abby would say, the struggle is real.

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,