Learning To Stop Apologizing

I have a habit of apologizing.  I apologize a lot.  About everything.  Well, not so much anymore, but its been a long road of learning.

My propensity to apologize over everything was pointed out to me by a friend a little over a year and a half ago.  “You start a lot of sentences with ‘I’m sorry’ and often apologize for things that don’t necessarily require an apology.”   Truth.

I am an insanely honest person.  I have no trouble telling it like it is or giving my opinion when asked.  I hardly ever start a sentence with “I’m sorry but…” because A- “but” negates the “I’m sorry” and B- I am usually not sorry for my opinion.  I do however seem to be sorry for everything I personally feel that has to do with myself, personally.  For example, I say “I’m sorry” instead of “excuse me” all the time.  If I am coming out of a door while someone is trying to get in, I’ll say “Oh, I’m sorry” even though I have nothing to be sorry about and really I just needed to say excuse me.  Apologizing when I should be saying excuse me is like apologizing for being in a certain space.  What?  Exactly.  And it’s a funny thing; if someone doesn’t like my opinion, especially if they asked me specifically for this opinion, I don’t care.  But if I think a complete stranger hates me because we both want to use the door at the same time, I get all concerned.   I know the latter situation says more about them than it does me and that is exactly why I am working on these issues.    Sometimes, I have actually found myself apologizing for apologizing.

Thank God for therapy!

I had long forgotten that conversation with my friend until a conversation I was having with my therapist about positive changes I have recently made.  She noted that I have mostly stopped apologizing for every feeling I have and for every situation I am in.  She said that when I first started seeing her I would begin most sentences with “I’m sorry that…” and it almost always had to do with how I felt about a particular situation. (Note: particular situation=R2 for about six months!)  This happened all the time during my marathon training.  I was always apologizing to R2 because I didn’t order a drink or have dessert or stay up late.   By by making time for my training and specifically my long runs, I felt like I was letting him down.  It was in the weeks leading up to my race that my friend made her comment about my constant apologizing.  I wasn’t drinking leading up to the race and we were out to dinner.  I apologized to her for not ordering a drink.  She asked why I was sorry and I didn’t have an answer.  I was just so accustomed to apologizing for everything that I was at the point of apologizing out of habit.  I did not need to apologize because I didn’t want dessert.  Or because I couldn’t stay out late due to an early morning run.

Unfortunately, unlearning something is much easier than learning.  Apologizing became a habit; I was already an over-apologizer and my relationship with R2 just exacerbated it.  I have learned through talking it out that often my apologizing is a way of looking for validation.  For someone to say “it’s okay.”  I know now, I really wanted (read:needed) to hear “its okay” and sometimes the only way I got that was to apologize.  I know now, I do not need to be validated.  At least not in that way.

Apologies are now saved for times when I have to act with class and maturity and truly express regret.   If I come out of the door the same time someone is going in…well, that is just happenstance.  Definitely not something I regret or have to feel sorry about.  And when I WANTED to go to bed early, get up early or skip dessert even though R2 didn’t like it, I shouldn’t have been made to feel bad about it.  Yet, I apologized because R2 made me feel selfish for making these decisions.   I know there is a big difference between being selfish and just making different choices.

I am happy to say that I am not apologizing for nothing as much these days.  Probably because I don’t hang out with or date people that make me feel bad for living and not having to apologize for my choices has translated into not having to apologize for everything I do.  To see if my therapist and I were right, I asked my friend what she thought about my change.  We had dinner last night and I straight up asked her if she noticed a difference.  Her response:  “Definitely!”  She even noted when we headed to the bar and myself and another person were headed for the same seat…aha!…we bumped accidentally and I said, “excuse me” instead of “I’m sorry.”

Like everything else, it is a work in progress…but it is still progress!

I worked for a long time on this post and it still seems scattered to me.  Sometimes I have so much to say about something that I end up all over the place with it.  I would apologize for that, but then I would just be defeating the whole purpose of the post.  Instead, I’ll just post it and let it be 🙂

March Is Over! And Mexico!

I feel like I say this every month, but I CANNOT BELIEVE MARCH IS OVER!

March was actually a really fun month.  I had a TWO WEEK spring break, went to Mexico and had a four day weekend over Easter.  Working in a private school has definite perks!  In addition to all that fun, I had a few really good long runs that are preparing me well for my half-marathon coming up in April.  Oh, and the weather is soon going to be in the 70’s and really…how can you not love that?!?!?!

Running- Longs runs are good.  One more this weekend and then race time in two weeks.  I am really excited for this race.  My initial plan was to definitely go for a PR but I don’t know if I am ready.  Based on Sunday’s long run, I could come close.  It will really depend on those last few miles.  After Philly, when I was on target to crush my PR only to be bogged down by GI issues, I don’t want to get my hopes up for anything.  The extended weather report says 72, I have a cute outfit, it’s at the University I went to and loads of my friends will also be racing.  Those are all reasons to be excited that have nothing to do with time.  We shall see what happens when I cross the line!

Ballet/Barre-  This is still my favorite workout but I am definitely doing a lot more barre than I am ballet.  For one, it just fits in my schedule better but I also like the combination of ballet work with cardio and other strength moves.  It is the best workout I get for sure!  However, until the half is over, I am taking a break with this because it is really stressful on the legs and I do not want to over-do it.  Once the race is over, I’ll be picking this up much more…especially once school is out and I can go in the mornings.  I cannot wait for that!

Nutrition- I did so well up until Mexico.  Then it was a lot of alcohol and ridiculous amounts of food!  I look so bloated in the photos from the drinking, but seriously…worth it.  Once I got home, I got right back on track.  I feel pretty good although the real test will be race day.  I have been once again consistently training with GU so I hope that helps.  I really think that was the problem in Philly.  My training sucked and I didn’t rely on one product for nutrition.  On race day my body rejected it completely.  Now, I am back to training with GU and hoping it makes the difference.

Sleep- I am happy to report that while I was super busy over break, I did take lots of naps!  This past weekend I made zero plans on Saturday and pretty much slept all day.  I know I will never catch up, but sometimes a true lazy-do-nothing-day is exactly what I need!

Other Life Events-

Mexico was AMAZING!  The resort was just so-so but being there with so many of my friends and such a group of awesome people made for a fantastic trip.  We flew out super early and we were there and on the beach by 10am.  Of course the drinks started flowing right away and the sun was out in full effect!  It was perfection!  I spent all day Thursday and Friday, switching from the beach to the pool, hanging out in the sun and enjoying adult beverages with some of my favorite people.  Saturday was the wedding and we had perfect weather.  There was a ridiculous amount of dancing which I loved and I was so sad when the night ended.  My flight out Sunday was a little later so I got in a few hours of sun before I had to say good-bye.  Before I knew it, the trip was over.  It was definitely a great time even if it was really short!

How about some photos?

Mexico 018 Mexico 028 Mexico 033 Mexico 038

1 2 3 Mexico 061

And I’ll leave you with this gem…my best white girl dance moves in action!

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What was the best thing that happened to you in March?

13 Life Lessons I Have Learned

(Back from Mexico- it was AMAZING!  I’ll be posting photos later this week.)

I write a lot of these posts.  Not sure if they belong on a fitness/health/running blog but this year I decided this is also a life blog.  And on my life blog, the lessons belong!   The first lesson on this list is a lesson I only learned this year, unfortunately.  Had I learned it earlier I may have saved myself a lot of grief.   Anyway, on the plane ride home I started thinking about this very notion and it got me thinking about how many lessons we learn, or re-learn, every day.  For example, I had to learn number three way too early in life and have been reminded far too many times.  I am still working on number six and I often have to remind myself of nine and eleven.  When I was in my teen’s, I thought I would have it all figured out in my 20’s; in my 20’s, I thought I would have it all figured out in my 30’s.  I am so not naive enough to think now that I’ll have it all figured out in my 40’s or 50’s…or ever.  Why?  Well, see number thirteen!

1. No reason to stay is a good reason to go.

2. If you really want something, you’ll make time for it.

3. Life can be taken in a matter of moments.

4. Reading is fundamental. 

5. Invest in your health.

6. You are allowed to say no.  You can also change your mind.

7. A gut feeling is not just a euphemism.

8. There is something really special about a handwritten note.

9. Sometimes, not getting what you want can be a blessing.

10. Rest days are important.

11. You cannot avoid tough decisions.

12. Money is better spent on experiences rather than possessions.

13. No one has it all figured out.  No one.

I would love to hear some of your life lessons!

Shamrock Weekend

This past weekend a few of my friends and I traveled down to Virginia Beach for the Shamrock Half Marathon and Marathon weekend.  It fell right on Saint Patrick’s Day which made it that much cooler.  I have gone down to this race three times and it is always a good time.  Even this year, in the very cold, we had a great time.  We drove down Friday night which was great.  We were able to relax Saturday morning before heading the expo.  We had talked about watching the 8k but it was really cold.  And it was so much easier to watch from our hotel room.  You could see the finish from our balcony!

After the expo, we had a late lunch and then headed back to relax before an early bedtime.  This was my friend Lisa’s first full marathon so we made sure she got plenty of rest!  The first alarm went off for my friends Victoria and Stephanie who were doing the half-marathon.  I stayed back with Lisa, so we could walk down to the marathon together.  (I am racing a half in April, so I decided against this race.)  We walked down and met up with my friend Stephanie’s husband Josh before Lisa had to get into her corral.  Once she did, Josh and I headed to the half-marathon finish without about 8 minutes to spare before Victoria crossed the line (1:44’ish- she is awesome!).  I went with Victoria back to the hotel so we could prepare to see Lisa at Mile 12.  Lisa was sending updates so we would be able to run down from the hotel as she passed by.  Shortly before we left Stephanie and Josh came back, which was great; this way, all of us would be there to cheer her on!  As she ran by, she looked happy and strong.  After we saw her we headed back up to the room and I went out for my own run.  I had 7 miles of my own to do and totally wimped out and got on the treadmill.  By the time I was done it was time to shower and get ready to meet Lisa at the finish.

The finish energy was great and we had an awesome spot about 500 feet away with no one blocking our view.  After Lisa crossed the line (4:51!) we headed to the post-race party for a celebratory beer before getting to the hotel and packing up to drive home.

It was a super fast weekend but we had a blast.  And it got me really pumped for the April half-marathon!

sham1

Expo- Lisa and I look so small!sham2

Pre-race!

sham4Post-race!!!

This week, I leave for Mexico.  One of my best friends is getting married and I am one of her bridesmaids.  Currently the weather in New Jersey is 50 and rainy.  In Mexico it is 90 and sunny!  We leave super-duper ridiculously early (think 3am early!) on Thursday morning and I come home Sunday night.  While I am there, I do have to get a run in, but other than that but plans are to relax, relax and relax.  I also plan to take full advantage of my all-inclusive status 🙂

I will definitely post photos when I get back, but until then…happy swimming, biking and running!

 

The Number Means Nothing

scale

During stressful times, like a break-up, some people lose weight.  Not me.  I gain.

In 2007 after my ex-douchebag-boyfriend got another girl pregnant behind my back, I fell into a spiral of drinking way too much, smoking way too much and working out not at all.  Ultimately, it was this break-up that was the catalyst for getting into running and triathlon.  It had been a few years since I had been to the gym; my work-outs consisted mostly of out-drinking my friends and eating as much as I wanted.  I was always athletic and had a high metabolism so even though I ate, drank and didn’t work out, I also rarely gained weight.  Until this time.  During the course of my unhealthy relationship and the subsequent break-up, I had put on quite a few pounds.

Fast forward to last year.

I once again put on weight during the over-the-top-drawn-out-for-too-long-dramatic breakup with R2.  The difference between 2007 and 2012 is that although I had let myself go between the broken foot and broken heart, was that I luckily had not lost all my fitness.  Oddly enough, when I decided to get my butt back in gear this past December, I weighed the same amount as I did when I started my journey in 2007.   The same exact weight.

compare

                                                                                           2007                                                                      2012

Although I hate both of these photos, I posted so you can see how in both of these photos that I am heavier, but it is also noticeable that even just looking at my face, that I look fitter in 2012.  The scale read the same number but you can easily see how different I looked.  And that is just judging on my face.  (Trust me, it was hard enough to post these photos…no full body shots!)

Now, I am going to post a photo of me currently.  I have been working my tail off since December to get back in shape.  I have been on a nutrition plan and in addition to running and swimming, I have been taking barre and ballet classes.  I knew that I wanted to lose weight and get fit before Mexico, so I really buckled down.

thin

In this photo, taken only a few weeks ago, I am only six pounds less than in both of those photos above.

All my hard work and I have lost only six pounds.  But look at the difference in my face. (I really tried to pick three photos with the same head tilt.)  I am clearly more fit in this current photo.  And that is great, but the biggest difference of all?  In the two photos above,  I was not happy.  In the recent photo, I am.   That is a happy girl.  I am two sizes smaller than 2007 and a size smaller than just 3 months ago.  So while the number on the scale doesn’t reflect necessarily where I want to be weight wise, I know the number doesn’t matter.  When I look in the mirror, I see muscle.  I see toned abs.  I see a body that is being worked hard for.  I see confidence.  I see all the things a scale cannot show me.

scale

More important than all the superficial aspects, is that the scale does not measure my health.  The number tells me little to nothing about what is going on with my relationship with food or my digestive health.  The scale is also no indication of my recovery from activity, my stress level or my sleeping patterns.  If I don’t get enough sleep, it is not reflected on the scale but rather, I know by the way I feel.  These are the factors that impact my health far more directly than my body weight.   Individual weight is personalized and unique.  There is not a one sized fits all number that people should weigh.

With all that said, I will admit, I still weigh myself.  Currently, once a week and only on my own scale.  I do not weigh myself on any other scale, ever.  At the doctor, I get weighed backward.  By weighing only on my own scale, I do not have to question or obsess.  My scale is consistent to what I know my weight to be.  And sometimes, the number does frustrate me.  I am still a work in progress.  There will be confident days and not confident days.  Of course, there will be days I look at myself and say “you go girl!” and days where I think “what am I doing wrong?” but it will be based on how I feel when I look in the mirror, not based on how I feel when I step on the scale.  I will not let the number on the scale determine whether I have a good day or  bad day.  I will continue to weigh myself as a way to monitor my weight in general.  Not as a way to determine my worth.

Do you weigh yourself? 

Do you hyper-focus on the number or are you able to see past it?

Checking In- It’s Almost Spring!

I know February is the shortest month, but to me, it always feels so long!  Sometimes I think I suffer from seasonal affective disorder.  By the end of February, I am just at my wits end with the cold and the dark.  I need more sun!  I did just notice this week that is has been light out by the time I get to work (6am) and it is still light out when I get home (4pm) which has been a huge boost.  Even the smallest amount of natural Vitamin D makes me happy!

Running- I finally ran outside this past weekend 🙂  It was amazing.  Even if it was cold and windy, it was still awesome.  I am so tired of the dreadmill!  I plan to run outside this weekend as well, although the weather is going to be a bit colder.  I am pretty excited that I have less than two months until my first half of the year.  More excited that I am going to be super prepared for running than I was this past November!

Ballet/Barre– Last night was the first class I missed since starting.  My legs were a little sore from my Sunday run, mostly from the terrain change I think, and I just didn’t want to push it.  Barre class continues to kick my ass in the best possible way.  I really think this is my favorite work out.  I am so excited to be able to go extra over spring break!

Nutrition- I have done really well.  I am very happy with how my nutrition is going.  The pounds aren’t dropping but the inches are and best of all, I feel better!

Sleep- My goal over spring break is to get 8-9 hours of sleep each night.

 

Other life events-

-I am on Spring Break from March 2-17.  Wooohooo!  I swear Spring Break is for adults.  It is so needed.  Ours is quite long because we have international students.  They travel home to 17 different countries and 6 different continents!  Having a full two weeks gives them real quality time to visit with their families.  Even though I will waitress during this time, and pick up extra shifts, it is still a chance to sleep in.  And for that, I am so grateful!

-In three week, at this very time, I will be landing in Mexico 🙂  One of my very best friends is getting married and having a simple ceremony on the beaches of the Riviera Maya!  Of course, this comes on the heels of my Spring Break, so I wasn’t able to take the full five nights.  This will be a whirlwind trip of only three nights. Nonetheless,  I am excited for the tropical weather and time with some of my good friends!

I’ll end with this, which I just absolutely loved:

beautifulrunner

Finding Time, Making Decisions & Staying Motivated

If there is one question I get asked more than any other, it is, “how do you have/find time for everything?”

notime

The truth is, I don’t have time.  Honestly, I really don’t have the time. And I certainly don’t find time! (If you ever find a way to “find time” please let me know!) So what is my secret?  Sounds crazy, but like most of us that make health and fitness a part of our daily lives,  I make time.  (And I don’t even have kids! It amazes me how working moms/dads keep up with everything…but I know it really is just the same as me.  You make the time!)

So what does making time look like?  For me, it means sometimes having to give up the opportunity to go out with friends, watch a TV program I like or sleep in on a weekend morning.  I know what needs to be done and I do it.   That doesn’t leave me with much time, especially on the days/nights I work both jobs.  In fact, on those days/nights, I get up at 5am and work straight through (with exception of my commute) to anywhere between 9-11pm.  Since that leaves no time to work out and barely time to shower and sleep, I have to fit my workouts in on days and nights I don’t work.

Rest days?  I’m sorry…what are those?

I don’t think it would be possible for me to hold a schedule like I do if I didn’t want what I get out of it.  I want to be healthy and fit.  I want to look good in a bikini.  I want to get a PR on race day.  It doesn’t mean I love every work-out.  I just really like the results.  That is what makes it worth it.

Being dedicated to something takes motivation.  Motivating myself is not always easy.  In fact, it is rarely easy.  I know that the decisions I have to make every day.  I know these decisions will serve to assist or hinder my  long-term goals.  On days when I really don’t want to work-out, get to the gym or even get out of bed, I remind myself that it is so worth it when it is over.  I am faced with choices and challenges every day.  I am only accountable to myself.  I know the only person I am letting down if I skip a workout, is myself.  One of the ways I keep myself motivated from day-to-day is to have a schedule.  I know what days I have to work, which nights I take ballet and barre and what days I have to run.  For me, it helps to know what each day is going to bring.  I keep a schedule on my calendar at work and on my fridge at home.  More importantly for me, I think about my schedule for the next day each night before I go to bed.  This helps me both get ready mentally for what is ahead and serves as way to remember my goals on a nightly basis.

Here are some of my additional tips for motivating oneself:

  • Set small goals that lead towards bigger goals.  I find that if all I am focused on is the big goal, I get lost and lose patience.  One way I do this is by focusing on the day-to-day and week to week workouts.  I allow myself to get through one run before I think about the next run.  Same with my swims and most recently my barre and ballet classes.
  • I keep in mind that I train for reasons other than just the end result.  For me,  training also builds my confidence.   There is a direct relationship between how fit I am and how good I feel.  When I don’t want to workout, I remind myself of how good I feel when I am done.  When I am exercising on a regular basis, I don’t feel guilty about dessert with dinner or worry about the extra glass of wine.  When I don’t want to work out, I don’t allow myself to talk myself out of it.  Same with racing.  Even when I feel like I am not at my best or when I have anxiety over a race and I am questioning my ability.  I remember that if I’ve trained well, I’ll do well.  I know I can do the distance, so even on a bad day, it’s just a matter of doing nothing more than keeping myself moving forward for a given period of time.
  • I keep it fresh.  I do a variety of work-outs.  I run, use the elliptical, lift weights, swim, take spin classes, dance ballet and take barre classes.  I also do a variety of each workout.  I take different instructors for barre classes and spin classes.  I have my favorite instructors, but they all have something to offer and mixing it up keeps it fun.  While I prefer to free swim, I will also take in my fins or kick-board just for a change of pace in the pool.  I change locations for my runs and do different workouts.  Sometimes I run alone and sometimes with others.  Sometimes with music and sometimes not.  There are days I lift with heavier weights and do less reps and other days where I lift with lighter weights and do more reps.  Whatever it take to keep it from feeling boring.  Different is good!
  • I look in the mirror more than I look at the scale.  I won’t elaborate too much because I am working on a separate post that goes into more detail, but I will say that this was probably the smartest thing I have done when it comes to staying fit.  I force myself to look at myself.  While the number on the scale might not change, I know by the fit of my clothes and I can tell just by looking in the mirror that my body is changing for the better.
  • I just do it.  I don’t skip scheduled workouts (except in case of emergencies or if I am sick) and I put aside distractions.

What it ultimately comes down to is this:  I know I need to make better decisions more often than I make not-so-good ones.  (Skipping my barre class because of a bachelorette party the night before was perfectly acceptable to me.  Using being tired as an excuse to not work out on a regular basis is not acceptable.)  Making good decisions is what will lead to success.  I mean, it is simple.  We begin learning this lesson as babies.  Keep trying until you get it right.  Don’t quit.  Fight for what you want.  Work hard and see results.

I find that the more you put in the effort and hard work, the more easily you will choose wisely when it comes to making decisions.

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How do you make time for you?  How do you motivate yourself?

What We Should Learn In School

Found this gem on Thought Catalog.  (LOVE that site).  I loved this post so much and related to it in so many ways, that I decided to add my own commentary as it relates to me.  My thoughts are in red.

1. Keeping close track of your bank account and preparing a detailed budget is the most practical kind of math you will ever know.  Unless you intend to be a Mathematics major, there is no reason the every day student has to know Algebra and Trig.  No one is ever going to stop me on the street and ask me how to plot a point.  We should be teaching students from a very young age about savings accounts, budgets and credit card spending.  Luckily, I had financially aware parents who DID teach me about money from a young age.  I credit my ability to manage a budget and keep a savings to my parents.  Their teachings are also why I have an amazing credit score.

2. People who have to leave your life for one reason or another do not automatically leave your social circle, geographic location, or local haunts. It is imperative to learn how to deal with them without making a mess of yourself as quickly as possible.  I really need to learn to deal with this; I still run from aisles when I see people I know and don’t like or don’t want to talk to.

awckward

3. If you wear an amazing outfit and no one got to see it, you can wear it again, guilt-free.  Definitely.  Same with photos.  If there are no photos, it was like it was never worn.

4. Learning to cook basic meals for yourself instead of consistently relying on pre-made stuff is, beyond better for you health-wise, an extreme relief for your wallet. Yes. YES, YES, YES.

4. There are going to be horrible roommates in your lifetime, and learning to extricate yourself from those living situations, a) gracefully and b) with security deposit intact, is an art everyone should practice. My ex-roommates list of awesome qualities included: leaving shit in the toilet, not taking out the trash for days, turning the heat up to hell and having sex on my couch.  She was also the most financially irresponsible person I ever met.  She didn’t pay bills most of the time because she “didn’t want to” and after I moved out (deposit in tact!) she proceeded to not pay rent to 4 months.  I bet my landlord regretted letting her stay and me leave.  How am I sure of this?  He asked me to come back after he kicked her out.  It gave me great satisfaction to say, “sorry, I bought a house!”

5. If you don’t learn to fix minor problems — electrical, automotive, or otherwise — you are likely going to be exploited by people who know how to do them and want your money.  True.

6. Shopping around for any big purchase is always the best decision, even if you fall head-over-heels for the first thing you see.  The prom dress I ended up with was the first one I tried on.  However, I didn’t want to just get the first one I tried on, so I went ahead and shopped for a few weeks.  Then, when I ended up with the first dress, I knew it was definitely the right one.

prom2Still friends too!

7. There is no reason to eat less than you actually want to eat while out to dinner because you want to impress someone or make them think you’re more dainty. They’re going to find out you eat entire large pizzas by yourself sometimes anyway. I eat like a pig and figure if you can’t handle it, I am not the girl for you!

8. Everyone wears their jeans at least five times before washing them, it’s perfectly okay and it doesn’t make you dirty. If you say you don’t, I will think you are a liar anyway.

9. Breaking up with someone is difficult and messy, but the best way to do it is always to be up-front and honest with them as soon as you know it’s over. Dragging it out may make it slightly less hard on you, but it makes it excruciating for the person you’re dumping. If R2 had done this, it would have saved me a lot of pain.  I have never and will NEVER do this to someone.

10. Having a good handshake and a trustworthy smile will be one of your greatest professional assets. (In fact, there should have been a semester-long class in how to handle the first five minutes of any job interview.) I judge people by their handshakes.  True story.

11. Learning how to do your own taxes is essential — even if you ultimately end up paying someone else to do them. You should always know what is happening to your money. Check and check!

12. The differences between political parties are not always very clear, but there may be key issues to be tuned into that can change a lot, especially when you are voting in local elections.  Know why you are voting.  Regardless of party lines, just know why you stand where you stand without regurgitating MSNBC or what your parents have always told you.

13. Voting in local elections is important, in many ways more important than voting for the President. I believe every vote counts…but it DEFINITELY counts where you live.  And if you pay taxes, even more reason to vote.

14. Credit cards are almost never worth it, except in the rare instances they are necessary, in which case they should be used with extreme caution and attention to the fine print on the agreements. I have always known this and yet, I got into debt.  Working on getting out.  Getting out is a whole lot tougher than getting in.  Beware.

15. A credit score is a thing, and you have to maintain it. And if you just accrue a bunch of debt in the early days of adulthood and are really bad about paying it off, it’s going to be terrible and take a lot of effort to fix.  One of my proudest accomplishments in life has been keeping a high credit score, even through debt and some college repayment issues.

16. Flossing is extremely important, arguably more so than brushing, and your dentist is going to be able to tell when you go and you’ve only actually flossed for approximately three days before your appointment.  I know how true this is but I hate flossing. And that is just the truth. I do it anyway, but I seriously hate it.

17. There is nothing unhealthy, weird, or dirty about masturbating.  Who cares what anyone else does in their own bedroom?

18. Everyone should have condoms at their disposal, and no one is a slut or gross for having them. If we listened to more of this and LESS of Teen Mom, we might not have a teen pregnancy epidemic.

19. Traveling is very expensive, but there are many ways to make it less so. There are dozens of websites which will allow you to find cheap boarding, discount flights, transportation shares, and other people who speak your language.  A life well traveled is a life well lived.  Spend money on memories, not things. 

arubaAruba 2007

20. The metric system is a thing you should be vaguely familiar with, even if you live in stubborn, standard America.  I have no clue.

21. Borrowing and loaning money amongst friends is a very dangerous endeavor, and should only occur if there is a profound level of trust between the two parties. If you end up on weird terms with someone because of money problems, it was your own fault for agreeing in the first place.  Could not agree more.

22. Being on the lookout for good happy hours or specials at bars is an essential component of being an adult with an active social calendar, unless you are a secret millionaire who is happy paying 12 dollars for a cocktail. Especially when you have the bedtime of a preschooler.

23. There are some people who are going to need to get cut out of your life, and doing it for your own mental health doesn’t make you a bad person.  I have done this.  It has made me a better person.

24. No one’s choice of career is inherently better or more deserving of respect than anyone else’s. Thank you!

25. The only way to be sure you’re not going to get something you want is by never asking. Exactly!

What do you think?  Anything to add?

Winner, Winner & What’s In My Gym Bag?

Found out yesterday that I was the winner of Kim’s knock-knock give-away 🙂

I love the knock-knock stuff and could really use this after the past month I have had, so I was double excited!  What a great way to start off a Monday morning!  And a great reason to check my mail 🙂

Recently, Nicole posted that she would need some help with what to pack in her gym bag.  I realized when listing my items…mine might be a little ridiculous!  I use a simple ADIDAS bag; it is usually stuffed with little room for anything else.  No wonder it is so heavy!!!!  The thing is, I get ready at the gym so often (sometimes for work, sometimes for after work, sometimes on weekends) that I had to buy double of the important things to have when getting ready.  It just became too much of a nuisance to keep packing and unpacking.  And it was beyond frustrating when I would forget something; especially if it was something I couldn’t be without.

In my gym bag-

Main Part-

  • Extra socks, underwear, a regular bra and sports bras.  Pretty much the worst ever when you forget to pack those!
  • Sliders to wear in the shower.  I would rather go to work like a sweaty pig then dare step in a gym shower without shoes.
  • Hair-dryer and flat iron.  I wouldn’t subject anyone to what my hair looks like without them.
  • Lotion.  Big bottles. Two of them; in case one runs out.  Because I am obsessed with lotion.
  • Towels.  I forgot my towels once.  I dried off with a single t-shirt that I luckily had in my bag.  It was not fun.  I never forgot towels again.
  • Change of clean clothes.  Bet you had that one guessed.

Side pocket-

  • Hair ties.  At least 342 of them.
  • Shower needs: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razor.  You aren’t supposed to shave in the gym showers.  But since the rules about walking around naked in the locker room and sitting on the benches without a towel get broken all the time by women who have disgusting hygiene, then I figure what is the big deal if I shave my legs in the shower?
  • Small bottles of lotion.  Listen, I said I was obsessed.
  • Deodorant.  I try not to smell.
  • Advil.  If I have a headache and plan to go from work to the gym, I won’t go.  But in the time it takes for Advil to kick in, my commute from work to the gym is over and I am ready to work out!
  • Gas-X.  Why more people don’t take this before running, I will never understand.
  • Make-up.  Sometimes, I get fancy.

Other side pocket-

  • Goggles, swim cap and fins.  I don’t like any of my swim stuff to touch anything that is non-swimming.  Oh, to be so Type-A.

 

Ok- so fess up!  Are you an over-packer?  Do you use a gym bag at all?  Pack and re-pack or have doubles of things?

Checking In & Staying Accountable

When I first started this blog (broken record- how many times have I started a post with this sentence?!?!) I did it as a record of my training and progress as I dove into the world of running and triathlon.  I have spent much of the last few months re-reading my old blog entries.  Mostly because I wanted to remember how awesome it was when I was blogging but also because I knew it would motivate me back into my training.  It was really fun to re-read all my race posts; it was especially great to see how far I have come over the years.  It definitely did the job of motivating me.  But you know what wasn’t fun- seeing how statistical I had become.  Holy shit, I kept track of ever step I took!  Or at least it seemed!  I did weekly reviews, months reviews, broke down my mileage for swimming AND biking AND running.  I really feel it is important to keep a training schedule and I still think it is important to keep track of my miles, but I also think I took it to a level of crazy before.  In planning how I was going to approach this year, I knew staying healthy and uninjured were at the top of the list.  That meant following a good nutrition plan, not pushing too hard and following the 10% rule like it is my job.  Obviously, this means I have to keep track of things as I go along.  But more than that, I need to stay accountable.  Which brings me back to the exact reason I started this blog.  As a record of my training and progress.  I don’t need to do specific re-caps.  But I do need to stay accountable with at least a monthly post of where I have been and where I am going.

So where was I in January?

Running- I ran consistently two times a week building a base throughout the beginning of the month.  Towards the end, I threw in a third min-run as I began to get into my half-marathon training schedule.  Right now, my “long” runs are still short and I am working on speed and consistency.  As the mileage builds, I will focus more on endurance.  My runs thus far have been good for the most part and I am pretty excited to see where this training cycle takes me.

Ballet– I am loving these classes.  I take one ballet class and week and one Barre class a week.  When I get  rare Monday or Friday night in, I do an extra one.  Ideally, I would be doing two of each a week, but unfortunately a schedule like mine isn’t very accommodating.  I am looking forward to Spring Break when I can pick up some more classes.  If you are looking for a new way to strength train or just a new activity, I high recommend a Barre class.  I cannot believe how much my body has changed in just six weeks.  My weight hasn’t dropped all that dramatically, but I see and feel such a difference!

Nutrition-  I have been using My Fitness Pal to track what I eat.  Accountability matters most here.  I don’t put the cookie in my mouth because I know I have to write it down.  I don’t have the second glass of wine (or even the first lately) because I don’t want to use my calories for it.  I am eating so much smarter this year because I know I have to own it every single day.  This isn’t new information; it is a n0-brainer being accountable for what we eat will result in eating better.  With that said, I am always amazed at how much I change when I practice this on a daily basis.

Sleep- I am pretty sure that as long as I work two jobs and have to get up at 5am for the first one, I will never get enough sleep. Maybe I can catch up on Spring Break?!?!?

Resolutions- I am trying.  In January I finally set up my guest bedroom so that was a huge check off my list.  I haven’t read a single book but I did pay off more debt.  I also continued my promise of only paying cash for everything.  If I don’t have it, I need to either pick up another waitressing shift, or not have it until I can better afford it.  The only purchases I put on my credit cards are online purchases.  The only other way I will use my credit card are for big purchases (new appliances coming soon and hopefully new living room set) and real emergencies.

Other life events-

-As you already know if you read my blog, my friend Jessica lost her battle with CF two weeks ago.  Sadly, last week, only a week after Jessica passed away, my friend Will lost his battle with lung cancer.  It has been an emotionally tough month for me, but I have been blessed overall and that is what I am focusing on right now.

-I am really excited that the Raven’s won the Superbowl.  Joe Flacco grew up a few towns over, went to school with my cousin and is married to a friend of our family.  I don’t follow Pro sports all that much (I love college sports) but I do cheer for the Ravens, so that was an exciting game 🙂

Do you track what you eat?  How much you exercise?

What do you focus on when you are going through a tough time?