Category Archives: Summer

New Place, New Place

Image result for new apartment memeIn case you couldn’t care less about my social media channels, you might not know that we just moved away from my favorite city (St Pete!) and down the road to another city, closer to the Kid’s new school. I miss St Pete already, but our new place is super nice. The apartment complex has a pool and a nice gym, and I have a garage to charge Ruby (my Volt).

We’re still trying to unpack, and doing the weird unpacking puzzle where you have to figure out where to put those things that had “a place” before but you don’t have “that shelf” anymore. And getting the – normally conscientious – kid to unpack is like pulling teeth. Teeth that have been soldered into place with the world’s strongest metal.

But…we’ve been there less than a week, so we’ve got time to settle in, and the old place is completely clean and totally empty. So we’re in a good spot, honestly.

Which means it’s time for me to start figuring out my workout schedule. The new gym is really nice, which means I can get my sweat on without paying for bootcamp or spin class or a gym membership, but that also means no one else to keep me accountable to actually DOING something. I tend to over-engineer these sorts of things, so I’m trying to decide if I want to just wing this, or if this is a case where I should set up a full workout schedule with daily plans and a list I can refer to, check off, and post on Instagram.

In any case, I need to make something happen. Maybe it’s time to get back into my Nerd Fitness routine? I do a ton of virtual races too, so I’ll make sure they’re part of my motivation.


The Cake is A Lie

the_cake_is_a_lie_515The cake is a lie. It isn’t even cake. It’s a vehicle to further solidify the truth I have created for myself right now, which is that I’m beyond saving. I’m too far gone. I’ve lost all of my motivation, slipped far from my health and fitness goals, and so now this is what I deserve. I deserve to eat a huge piece of cake, not because I’ll enjoy it but because the sugar will make me sluggish, and I’m not even that hungry, and it’s there so I might as well eat some, since that’s what I do.

And so I go to bed. Another day with too much sugar and not enough movement. Another night I’ve pushed myself to exhaustion before collapsing into bed to lie awake.

It’s become clear that my own well-being isn’t enough to motivate me out of this place. Not right now. And so instead, I’ll do it for her. Because I want to keep letting her spend one night a week in my bed, letting her believe it’s an indulgence for her when it’s just as much a treat for me. Because I want to feel alive and exhilarated and strong through every moment I get to spend with this fantastic kid. Because I want to have the energy to give her the attention she deserves in the precious few hours I get with her during the week. Because I want to keep up with her, challenge her, and teach her to own her own power.

20160523_174544For her, I’ll sleep more. I’ll hydrate more, move more, stretch more. I’ll do more yoga and meditation. I’ll stop mindlessly eating for punishment, for guilt, for boredom and sadness and stress and frustration and social ease. I’ll be mindful, purposeful, and honoring of this one body I have, that I get to share with the most amazing soul to ever walk this earth.

For her, I’ll recommit to my yoga practice, which does my heart and soul so much good.

For her, I’ll go back to Camp Gladiator in June, as planned. I’m scared to go back, terrified of the heat and the difficulty and returning after two months off. I’m worried I won’t be able to do it, that I’m so unfit that I won’t be able to finish the first workout, that the frustration will keep me from going back more than once, that I won’t go back at all. But I will. I promised her I’d go back, and so I’ll go. Because it makes me happier, healthier, better prepared to face the world with m very best.

It won’t be easy. I’m in such a rough spot that it’s going to take near-constant recommitting to my goals. I need to be prepared for gentleness, for patience, and for extra focus on being aware and in the moment as much as possible. But I have to remember I haven’t completely run out of sparks. I did do a half-marathon on an exercise bike to earn my first Hogwarts Running Club medal. (It’s awesome.)

It’s time. Summer is coming. My incredible kid is GRADUATING FROM FIRST GRADE. We’ve got a busy, fun summer ahead of us before starting a whole new school year. We’re looking at maybe moving, in the same area, but to somewhere a little closer to her school or a little closer to my office while still in the school district. My career is really shaping up beautifully, with a job I enjoy and work I am proud of. It’s time.

So help me out. Tell me how you climb out of a funk, what you do to get back on track, and how you handle setbacks in that process.


FitBloggin15 Recap – Part 1

Another year gone, and now I’m settled back and home and trying to make sense of everything I did, everything I felt, and everyone I hugged. For now, a more functional recap will have to suffice.


What I Did

I ate wonderful food. I drank great local beers. I saw beautiful street art.

I did hours of yoga, walked 10 miles, did Zumba, did strength training.

I sat in sessions where I cried with pain or hope or joy. I felt proud and scared and inspired.

I hugged people who are painfully precious to me, even when I only see them once a year. I hugged people I didn’t know yet, people who I was only just beginning to make connections with, and who I’ll stay connected to as the year goes on.

I laughed so hard I cried, so hard my abs hurt. I cried so hard I hiccupped.

I WALKED IN A FASHION SHOW, as my tribe clapped and cheered. The generous sponsorship from Soybu meant I got to wear (and keep!) gorgeous, CRAZY comfortable clothes.

I had my butt slapped more than once, by several different people.

I had my picture taken in nothing but capris and my favorite ENELL bra, standing arm-in-arm with several other ambassadors, proud to represent the brand and our own spirits.

I wandered off-site for a yoga class and a sound healing session, both of which left me rejuvenated.

I went to bed early, stayed up late, got up early, and ate a lot of bacon.

I sang along to other people’s lip sync performances until I nearly lost my voice.

I danced so much that I was sore the next day.

What I Learned

I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.

By just being me and seeking my own joy, I’m helping other people to do the same.

I should spend more time on my blog, for my own sake and for the support and love of this awesome community.

I definitely deal with some very real anxiety issues, and need to be better aware of them so that I can ask for help.

The friendships I have forged (and continue to make) as I attend these conferences are life-changing, and stay with me even when I see these people only once a year.

Denver beer is amazing. Really amazing.

Yoga lights up my soul. It’s not a new lesson, but apparently one that needed reaffirming.


The thing about FitBloggin? Somehow, every year, it meets me exactly where I need to be met. I talk to the people I need most, do the things that most need doing, learn the lessons that most need to be learned.

So if you’re on the same journey, looking for the ways and paths and people that can support your growth? Join us. You won’t regret it.



hi. i’m not dead, i swear. although i feel a little like i am right now.

tons of changes going on, so i’ll try to catch everyone up.

struggle: i started feeling sick last monday. by thursday my throat was so sore i couldn’t swallow. the clinic says it’s just allergies, but even after four days of constant decongestants and nasal spray i’m still coughing horribly (and now productively… yay?) so i’m trying to decide at what point i need to go back in. i’m not sleeping well because i cough when i lay down, and then i wake up coughing at least once during the night.

smile: the illness has me super stuffy too, and between that and the coughing my appetite is severely diminished… which is good because it’s making it much easier for me to pay attention to what food actually makes me feel like and why i eat some of the things i do, so that’s been interesting.

struggle: aaron’s new job (he started this week) means he’s traveling a lot. that means i’m essentially on my own with the parenting, house running, life managing business for a good portion of every week.

smile: the travel means it’s just me and evi, which means I’m getting tons of awesome time with my incredible little girl. it also means we moved.

oh hey, we moved.

struggle: the new place is up three flights of stairs with no elevator, which made moving awful. we’re nowhere near unpacked, and it’s up to me and the kidlette to get that done.

smile: the new place is walkable to everything. we walk to school. i walk to the subway. we walk to the grocery store, the park, the vet, the dog park. i’m getting tons of steps in every day, to the point that yesterday’s 14,000+ steps seemed like a let down somehow since i’ve been averaging over 15,000 lately.

so we’re doing a lot of adjusting. we’re learning to live life by a new routine, and it’s sure to come with plenty of challenges. then again, it also means being a lot closer to a lot of our family, and evi getting to spend a lot more time with her uncle and her grandmother. i can’t be upset about that. i’m managing well so far, making weekly plans that include meal planning and daily activities so that i have a game plan for each week. i don’t care if we don’t stick to it, but it’s nice to have a plan.

now if i can just stop coughing sometime soon, i might just get through the week.

i’ve also been listening to christie & mara’s podcasts lately, and keeping notes about the things i think and feel while i’m listening. it’s making a big difference for me and i’ve come away with some pretty interesting insights into my own head and how i view self-care. i’m trying to put more effort into my own routine… not just health wise, but also in terms of beauty and hygiene. i want to take more time to do my hair, put on lotion, whatever little things i usually let slide, because they help me feel more taken care of. i need that right now.

evi is doing great with the move. she loves her room, her school, and being able to walk everywhere. other than a few bumps as she adjusts to a new routine, she’s a much happier kid… which i didn’t think was possible. she’s getting more sleep, and so am i, and we’re almost never fighting in the mornings anymore, which was a regular occurrence for a while.

oh! we also have a trader joe’s, an aldi, and a whole foods, and we’ll be getting a wegmans sometime really soon. we had none of those things at the old house, so i’m pretty thrilled.



I originally wrote this post in Italian during the breaks in my management seminar…

Big changes are coming. In fact, they are already here. Everything is moving so quickly, and I’m as scared as I am excited.  Many positive things are coming, but the negatives are frightening. What happens if I can’t do this? I’m afraid to be alone, to lose patience with Evi.

Commute time, so drastically reduced, is going to be incredibly liberating and will go a long way to reduce daily stress … but on the other hand, being a single parent for most of the week, I am worried about my parenting skills. I’m also worried that I will miss my husband too much, that we won’t be able to replace those countless small, seemingly insignificant moments that we share.

I know that am I strong, and I have to believe that I will make the best choices for my daughter, my family, and myself. I have to work more to be in the moment. I have to push for better focus and immediate connection so I am doing my best work in each of my roles. I have to fight to maintain my inner peace. I need to embrace my incredible strength, and place value on my own needs as much as others. I can’t always put myself last, but instead must remember that taking the time to balance myself means I’m better prepared for everything else I am responsible for. I promise to continue on this beautiful path to self-love and self-acceptance, cultivate the love and light that can only expand to everything I touch.

I promise to reach out, to ask for help, to find new solutions, and (especially) to be gentle with myself. I promise to celebrate the little things in life, experience all the little moments, and appreciate every moment as it happens. I will recognize the love and strength within myself and all around me, stay mindful of the incredible positives in my life, hold close all the love in my marriage, and never stop learning and growing. I will make every decision on the basis of radical self-love, eradicating negative self-talk, and honoring my personal brand of brilliance and shine.


The World Peace Effect

I shared this on FB this morning:

I am often critical without intending to be. While paying attention lately I’ve noticed during my commute I have an internal monologue that spends most of it’s time criticizing others – their hair, fashion choices, grooming habits, etc. It’s all appearance based. This morning, as an experiment in LOVE as a life habit, I instead pushed myself to choose one good (honest) thing I could say about each person. A few times I had to reign in my inner critic, but overall it was an absolutely joyous experience and changed the entire vibe of my morning.

As will surprised no one, it made me easier on myself as well. I’m finding more and more lately (often with help from Jen) that once I begin to allow real self-love into my life, it’s spreading like wildfire. Suddenly I’m open to loving others, to seeing the beauty in the neighborhood I love to hate, to spreading kindness (however silent) for everyone I see. Today I feel lighter and brighter.

The ever incredible Karen responded thusly:

worldpeaceIt’s a FASCINATING effect, and really true. Everything about my morning has been more positive thanks to that tiny shift in outlook. It’s going to take practice to maintain, but it’s well worth the work.

And speaking of work, I’m finding my personal (and sometimes unaware of it) team of self-love gurus is growing. As I seek it out, I’m drawn to more and more helpful souls who are sharing some real magic. I know I shared some of my “team” a few weeks ago, but it’s time to give them some more love.

  • Emmie, who is inspiring in her giving spirit and makes me envious of her incredible fashion sense.
  • Katie (Fat Girl PhD), who helps me remember that the scale is stupid.
  • Heather, who inspired my daily mantra: “My body is not a tool or an object. It is a messenger of love.”
  • Jes, who taught me to love my body RIGHT NOW.
  • Karen, who keeps me grounded in the important basics of self-love.
  • Christie, who is getting me closer and closer to peace with food.
  • Deb, who makes me stronger every day (and whose name I secretly say as all one word. She’s Debroby, not Deb.)
  • Erin, whose yoga sessions this month are helping quiet my busy head.
  • Mara, who always knows just what I need to hear and helped me name my inner critic.
  • Mel, who has me up and moving every day with her #walkwithmel challenge.
  • Cassie, who’s got me going strong on the #SuperSummer challenge.
  • Danielle, whose TruthBomb emails are as powerful as they are simple.
  • The Brave Girls Club, who sends me love notes at all the right times.
  • Notes From the Universe, which reminds me I’m small.

I’m SURE I’m forgetting people, but as it turns out the list is growing every day. There are just so many messengers of LOVE out there. Reach out, open up to the possibility of them, and BOOM! They’ll come at you from all sides, like a whirlwind of long needed hugs.


A Whole New Week

Maddie the Coonhound - maddieonthings.comHey, did you know it’s JUNE? Cause whoa… it’s June. I’m trying to sort through all sorts of things about that, including what to call this month. Mindful March and Metamorphosis May set me up for wanting month names. I’ll have to think about that one, and I’m open for suggestions.

I’m also super scattered right now, so we get a bullet list.

  • Emmie sent this newsletter out today, and it was awesome. I’m definitely dealing with trying to redefine myself, both online and off, right now. I’m not actively losing weight right now either, although I’d like to. My focus is shifting to happiness and overall health, versus a number on a scale. It’s a nice, long overdue change, but it makes blogging feel… weird. I think I just need to settle into a new spot with blogging.
  • Katie (Fat Girl PhD) posted about the problem with scales. After that leading to a weird binge reading of everything she’s ever written and then stalking all of her social media accounts, I sat with it a bit. And, as should be no surprise by now, she’s so right. The scale is full of crap. Right now I feel better than ever, and I nearly derailed that feeling by stepping on the scale to see a gain. Well yeah. I’m eating food. I’m lifting more. I’m happy. Screw the scale.
  • Enter Heather Waxman with The Spiritual Diet. Wait, no. Start with The Healing Detox. I really did follow the post advice. I honest-to-god set myself a calendar appointment so that every day my phone reminds me that “My body is not a tool or object, it is a messenger of love.” I try to remember to make choice with LOVE in mind, and so far it’s making me very happy.
  • And then Jes. Jes, who taught me to love my body RIGHT NOW. Who promptly inspired my craziest Instagram post ever.

So how am I doing? I’m doing Pilates or yoga or strength training (plus at least a mile of walking for #walkwithmel) every day. I feel awesome. The physical activities I’m choosing make me sweaty. They make my body happy. They also fill my heart and soul. That’s BIG. Thanks to my incredible Pilates instructor, I spend every Sunday morning feeling amazing (if in some serious (good) pain) and getting gentle, much needed reminders that I AM ALLOWED TO TAKE UP SPACE. In fact, I need to.

I’ve joined up with Cassie’s #SuperSummer Challenge, which is helping me stay focused on ME. I spend a lot of time hashing out my issues and celebratory moments with my virtual bestie. Things are good. This is shaping up to be an awesome summer.

Joyful June? Joyous… jubilant… just… jump… juice… okay, now that’s just getting silly.



Two really cool things happened today, and I’m still trying to figure out which one is cooler. One involves a positive body image moment, and the other was an awesome parenting moment (and a good smoothie recipe)!

Me 8.11.12

Body Image

I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror at the library, and I liked what I saw. It’s a big deal for me, especially on a day when I didn’t make any particular effort to dress flatteringly. I was spending several hours at the library with Evi (something we’re trying to do every Saturday morning now since she loves books so much), so I just put on my comfy jeans and favorite tee. It was just nice to look up and realize I liked the way I looked.

I may not be perfect, I may never be perfect, and there are certainly a lot of changes I’d still like to see, but it’s good to know I’m in an accepting place.

Pirate Smoothie for DinnerParenting

Tonight for dinner, the kidlet asked for a monster smoothie. Yes, she knows it has spinach in it (which, for the record, she hates in any other form). She wanted “veggies & sweet” so she asked for a monster smoothie and picked out her own ingredients, then dubbed it the pirate smoothie.

Evi’s Pirate Smoothie

– half a frozen banana
– 1c frozen spinach
– half a green apple
– 1/4c mango passion juice
– 1T wild flower honey

We blended it up and she proceeded to happily drink up the entire thing. She loved it, and so did I! I was so proud of her for choosing something healthy and listening to what her body wanted, and the smoothie turned out surprisingly delicious. She celebrated her “pirate smoothie” with her best pirate sneer.

Evi's Pirate Smoothie Sneer


Taste the rainbow…

Taste the rainbow summer dinnerIt’s hot and muggy out, and the last thing I wanted to do after a heavy lunch out was cook or eat anything heavy.

Enter the “Taste the Rainbow” summer dinner…

1 low carb whole wheat tortilla (Trader Joe’s)
1Tbsp ranch yogurt (I mixed a packet of ranch dip mix into a 16oz container of plain fat free Chobani)
1 baby carrot
half of a small/medium summer squash
a small handful of spinach

I spread the ranch yogurt on the tortilla, then used a vegetable peeler to cut up the carrot & squash. I hand tore the spinach on top then dropped on just a little bit more ranch.

Add a side of sweet red cherries, and it made the perfect summer dinner…. good enough to make a reappearance in tomorrow’s lunch.


Check In

Fit for the gamesI’m almost a week in and still going strong on the new, reduced cal plan. I’ve also made some workout changes in light of this article, which talks about shifting away from certain weight machines in favor of free/body weight workouts.

FOOD: I’m still no hungrier than I have been, and still not seeing any physical issues like headaches, dizziness, weakness, or over-tired. I’m having an increasingly easy time making better and better food choices, since limiting my calories means choosing the most filling, satisfying foods to make up those calories. As such, I’m seeing a HUGE decline in my cravings fro sweets and alcohol. I had a beer the other night and it was awesome, but did not automatically spark the wanting of another one as it had done before this cut back. I had a serving of dark chocolate at lunch today and again, no immediate craving for more. I followed it up with spicy black bean soup too, which helped a lot in terms of resetting my palate. I’m definitely eating a lot more vegetables, fewer carbs, and more protein. I know it’s something I could do without limiting my calories, but at least right now it’s too easy for me to fill up a larger calorie goal with the wrong foods. When I know I have a very limited amount, it’s much easier to choose the foods I know will keep me going.

EXERCISE: I’ve stopped doing the leg press in favor of squats. They don’t feel as effective overall, so I may up the reps there. I’ve switched away from most of the arm machines too, and while on paper it looks like I’m not working as hard since I’m using MUCH lower weights, I’m feeling it a lot more. I’ve also mostly gotten rid of a seriously pesky soreness in my left shoulder that was really bothering me. It took me weeks to figure out that it happened after I used the chest incline press machine. Tossing a medicine ball, which I combine with squats, is working much better without making it feel like my shoulder is broken somehow. Also, despite doing the same number of sets/reps, it’s taking me less time… so I’m able to fit 15-20 minutes of cardio in at the end. To help me stay on track with free weights and the like, I ordered The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Sexier, Healthier YOU!, suggested by a fellow early-morning gymrat.

Speaking of which, I’m doing intervals of 3.5mph and 6mph. I’m only able to do about 15 minutes most mornings, so I’m doing a little over a mile in that time, which is the best consistent speed I’ve ever had. I’m wondering if I could maintain those intervals for a longer time, and I’m considering attempting my first ever treadmill based 5K this weekend.

I’ll get back on the scale and take new measurements on Friday, so we’ll see if this new plan is showing fast results. Even if it’s not, I like the way it’s making me feel, so I’m sticking with it for a while.

What works for you? What makes you feel your best?