30 November 2013

i run so i'll be able to keep up with the doctor

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! My Thursday and Friday were spent with the parents and we had a lovely time filled with lots of yummy food (I made a pear pie that was a big hit). My recap of Cleveland's Turkey Trot will be coming on Monday.

A few months ago, a co-worker informed me of a virtual run that was being held in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. Being the big Whovian that I am, I had to sign up. I opted for the 13.1 mile option, figuring I'd kill two medals with one half-marathon. So I was super excited when I got home last night, opened my mailbox, and saw the small package inside.


This was my first Virtual Run, which are races that can be run in any location. Run on the treadmill, walk outside, participate as part of another race, etc. The registration fee generally benefits a charity and after the participation period is over you get a medal in the mail!

There are a few different organizations and websites that host Virtual Runs and now that I have my first medal from one, I see the appeal. I mean, if you're going to run the distance anyway you might as well get some bling out of it, right?

For the Doctor Who Virtual Run, today November 30th is the last day to register, so if you're a geeky run be sure to sign up. The money will benefit the Boston Marathon victims.

Have you ever done a virtual run before?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

26 November 2013

looks like i'll be turkey trotting on turkey day!

I tend to register for race's months in advance (or, in the case of my half-marathon, over a year ahead of time) so the idea of waking up on a Saturday morning and thinking "I'm going to go race in a 5K today!" boggles my mind, let alone deciding that even just a week before.

So I was rather perplexed yesterday when I found myself looking online trying to find a Turkey Trot to participate in come Thanksgiving morning. I mean, that's only a few days away and I haven't been running as much as I probably should be (though the legs are still getting a decent workout thanks to twice-weekly spinning classes at Harness Cycle). But I wanted to do something before the big meal and as the Monday packet pick up/late registration location was super close to work I just ran on over and signed up.

Funny thing is, I would have absolutely no motivation to get up and run 5 miles all on my own but give me a free shirt and a finish line and I'm your gal.

I then came home last night and registered for the 6:30 am spinning class this morning. Plus I have my regular Wednesday 6:30 am class tomorrow. Then the 5 mile run on Thursday.

Oh baby, I'm gonna be all set by the time Thanksgiving dinner rolls around.

How are you staying active before Thanksgiving?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

22 November 2013

getting ripped with jillian

With Thanksgiving next week (I know it's late this year but I'm still all how is it Thanksgiving already?!) and Christmas right around the corner, I figured now was the perfect time to get my butt into gear as we glide our way into the oh-so-tricky holiday season.

Given my extreme love and adoration for Ms. Jillian Michaels, that means that this week I loaded up my Ripped in 30 video and got to work. Her 3-2-1 program -- Three minutes of strength, two minutes of cardio and one minute of abs -- is so perfect because I like doing all of those things but I would not want to do any of them for thirty minutes straight so this way I get a full body workout in a way that keeps me from getting bored.

Ohhhhh, Jillian. It's amazing how much damage you can do in thirty minutes.


She suggests doing her Ripped in 30 workout 5-6 days a week which is easily something I can keep up with. Of course, then comes the question of which day(s) to take off.

This ended up being one of those situations where my body decided for me. I was good Monday and Tuesday with the routine. Wednesday morning I had my 6:30 am spin class and one of the things I love is that my upper body gets worked out as well, which is great, except when I got home that evening and started to do the arm circle warm up my muscles were on fire and basically telling me Oh hell no.

So. That settles that. No Jillian Michaels on days I spin.

This isn't my first time doing Ripped in 30 (although, now that I think about it I don't know if I ever actually made it to week 4 last time) but this is the first time I've taken measurements. I measured Waist, Hips, and Bust and it will be interesting to see if there are any changes by the end.

What's your game plan for staying on track during the holidays?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

20 November 2013

trigger time (which is like hammer time but way less cool)

I think I have figured out that along with having trigger foods I have a trigger time.

See, I can do really, really, really well for the first half of the day. All of my food choices are spot on. But then the afternoon rolls around and I don't know what the hell happens but I suddenly lose all control and go a little, well, crazy.

And when I say crazy, what I mean is I typically eat lunch at about 2:00 and it doesn't matter if I have a decent sized healthy nutritious lunch. By the time that clock shows 3 pm I feel like I'm starving.

I say "feel like" because obviously I'm not. It's all in my head. I mean, hello, I just ate. Even as I'm starting to draft this post at 2:45 Tuesday afternoon, I just finished a really good salad full of veggies and multiple protein options like eggs and almonds and a Morningstar Chik'n Patty -- I should not be hungry right now yet there is some weird wiring in my brain that is misfiring and trying to convince me that I am.

Now, I will admit that because of shit that has happened over the past year I have more often not given into that tiny stupid voice telling me to eat when I'm not really hungry. It should also be assumed that when I'm giving in I'm not reaching for an apple or banana. Oh, no, I'm going straight for the chocolate which, inevitably, has a snow ball effect into making me undo all of the good choices I had made previously in the day.

Every once in awhile I convince myself that it's perfectly safe to have peanut butter in my apartment. That I can control myself around it. That I won't binge eat and attack the jar with nothing more than a spoon (or, y'know, my finger). So I buy a jar. Or two. Or three. Which, let's be honest, should be a big red flag right there but I choose to ignore it. And I'm good for maybe a day or two. Then, the next thing I know, the jar of peanut butter is gone in, like, a week. Of course I act surprised, I mean, I don't eat that much, maybe a tablespoon here or three but because I'm not actually measuring it it's all guessing and chances are I'm way underestimating.

So then I snap out of it and remember, yet again, why I can't have peanut butter in my apartment and so I throw it all away. Sometimes this includes unopened jars that I just purchased.

And then I think Great! Trigger is gone! I mean, if the food isn't in my kitchen I can't eat it.

Until a month or two later when I convince myself it's perfectly safe and can be allowed back into my apartment and the cycle begins again.

Now being really concious and aware of this, when I went grocery shopping the other week and felt my weird wiring trying to tell me that it's okay to buy regular peanut butter, I stocked up on jars of PB2. No matter how much I love me some nut butter I have never ever felt an urge to binge on PB2. It serves its purpose on my English Muffin or the powder mixed into my Overnight Oats and that's it, which is exactly what I need from it.

Likewise, instead of giving into my 3:00 faux hunger on Tuesday, I came prepared and made myself some (okay, lots of) hot tea and chewed my gum, waiting for it to pass. Because I knew it would eventually.

And it did and I managed to finish the day completely on track. Of course, one day does not success make. I mean, it does for that one day. That one day was successful but if this is like anything else in my life it's going to be a constant ongoing battle where every single afternoon I'm going to have to recommit to my goal. But as long as I keep in my head the reminder of why I want to commit to a healthy lifestyle and continually tell myself that I am stronger than my cravings I can hopefully turn a one day success into a pattern.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

18 November 2013

gladsome

A couple of weeks ago, my cousin Claudine called me to invite me to attend a women's retreat she organizes called gladsome. She felt confident I could really gain something from the retreat (I suspect the thank you card I recently sent her after attending an event at her home had something to do with it) and more than just wanting me to be there, she wanted me to lead a small little yoga/stretch Sunday morning.

This was gladsome's second year and I missed last year and I admit I felt more than a little hesitant about attending this year. Looking back I'm able to recognize the reluctance came from wanting to stay inside my comfort zone. I like my lil cocoon and feel all awkward and introverted around new people, but I decided to take a leap and go for part of the weekend (Friday was my birthday celebration with friends).

I really am so very, very glad(some) that I went. Not only did I meet an amazing group of women and allowed myself to get back in touch with some of my more underutilized creative energies, but I also loved getting to share my story and love of yoga with others.

My own personal practice has been neglected as of late but as I led about eight women through a couple Sun Salutations I was reminded that there was a time where this is something I wanted to do. More than just wanting to possibly be a yoga instructor, after my brief class Sunday morning I think I'd actually make a good yoga teacher. I think I have so much to offer other people but I think only now do I actually really see that.

gladsome is held at this amazing old house in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and as part of the decorating for the retreat, the organizers wrote out inspiring and creative quotes that they put above the fireplace mantel. Before leaving on Sunday we were allowed to take one if we felt so inclined.


I think this may need to become my mantra for my 32nd year.  I don't know if I necessarily try to do it all -- I mean, I'm a single woman raising cats so it's not like I'm particularly stretched thin -- but, instead, I see this more as a call for me to live in the present more.

I have a very, very bad habit of reflecting on the past or looking forward to the future. It's hard for me to feel grounded and in the moment as I feel constantly anxious about something but nothing that is ever happening right then and there. I'm a day-dreamer as well (big surprise I'm sure) so it's not uncommon for me to be thinking about something far off in the distance and thereby be mentally checked-out from wherever and whatever I'm doing at that moment.

Just imagine how different my life and perspective would be if I put that same level of passion and energy into whatever I'm doing in the here and now. More than that, yes, there are things about my life I would like to change but I have to approach life as it is not how I want it to be. Sure, I can always make choices and do things that set that change into motion, but I also have to make choices and decisions based on where I am in my life right now.

So from now on that means choosing to do what I can and being where I am as fabulously as possible.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

15 November 2013

set SMART goals

I spent part of yesterday working on a Scrabble-themed bulletin board that encourages the students at our college to set SMART goals and after putting the whole thing together I realized the same technique and method of thinking can be applied to healthy living, weight loss, exercise, etc., as well. So, hello blog post.


Having goals are great. Obviously. Like I'm going to stand here and tell you don't have goals.

But merely having a goal isn't always enough to follow it through to completion. You also need a plan of action to keep on track and that's where the SMART technique comes in. (This is not my invention, by the way. I'm not nearly that clever. It is, instead, a management criteria most often used for developing projects or employee evaluations and was apparently first coined in the early 1980s. There's your #themoreyouknow moment for today.)

S is for SPECIFIC

I recently gave a presentation discussing brand development where I said You can't effectively market something if you don't actually understand what it is that you're trying to market. Setting goals and objectives works the same way. You can't effectively achieve a goal if you don't understand the full scope of that goal. So when setting your goals, be specific and think in the terms of the W questions: What do you want to achieve? Why do you want to achieve it? Who can help you? When would you like to achieve it by?

Any goal can be broken down in this manner: You want to 10 lbs because it will make you feel better about yourself or give you more energy or be more active, etc. You hope to lose this weight by the end of the year and the people who can help are supportive friends or family or the team at Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or your friends on SparkPeople/MyFitnessPal.

M is for MEASURABLE

How will you know when you've achieved your goal? What is the ruler of measuring progress and success? With weight loss it's pretty easy since you have the scale, but what about other goals? Like, I would like to get stronger, especially in my upper arms. But just saying "I would like to get stronger" doesn't fit the Specific criteria mentioned above and it's so vague it would be pretty hard to measure so I could say something like I want to be able to do 10 swings with a 20 lb Kettlebell. That's a goal that can be measured as I progress in repetition or weight of the Kettlebell.


A is for ATTAINABLE

This is a tricky one because you want to challenge yourself and aim high, but you also don't want to aim too high because when it becomes apparent your goal is way outside of your reach it may leave you frustrated and wanting to just screw the whole thing. So be realistic. Like, I have a 10K coming up in a few weeks and while I would like to finish in an hour I know that's not going to happen. That would be an unrealistic goal and I'd probably risk injury in an attempt to meet it. But a realistic goal is saying I want to beat my previous 10K by, oh, five minutes. Having an attainable goal means not settling for below your abilities but also not setting yourself up for automatic failure.

R is for REWARDING

Technically speaking, in the original SMART criteria R was for Relevant but the criteria is pretty flexible and I like rewarding instead because I feel it helps keep me motivated when things are a bit of a struggle. Many of the SMART attributes cross-over with each other and this kind of goes along with the Why do you want to achieve this goal bit from being Specific. Don't just set a goal because it sounds good, set a goal that has personal meaning. Like, getting healthy will help you be around longer for your kids or you want to complete a half-marathon just for the sense of pride it will bring or you want to lose weight to fit into a fabulous wedding dress. Then, when things get rough (and they will) or you feel yourself wanting to give up (and you will), go back and remember that initial reward you are striving for.

T is for TIME

This goes a bit with the Specific part and When you would like to reach your goal because you need to have some kind of time frame of completion otherwise you can't really measure your progress. So PR-ing at your upcoming race in a month or 10 lbs by the end of the year or whatever. But also think outside the box a little and think about what you can do right now to help you achieve your future goal. Maybe your time frame is still several months away but are you making good choices at this moment that will inch you closer to that goal?

In other words, do something today that your future self will thank you for.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

13 November 2013

trente-deux

Has it really been a whole entire year since my last birthday? My, my how time has flown.

My birthday started bright and early with a 6:30 am spinning class at Harness Cycle. The class was led by the newest instructor, Meghan, and she gave us a great ride and it was a perfect start to my birthday. The fact that the studio is so close to my apartment makes those early classes feasible, since I get home at about the same time I'd be getting up anyway. On Facebook, the other 6:30 am instructor, Katie, who I absolutely adore, told me she'd help me rock the shit out of 32. I fully plan on taking her up on that offer.

On my way into work I took advantage of the free drink courtesy of my Starbucks gold card.


Yay red cups and peppermint mocha! Especially on the first day we Clevelanders are seeing snow this season. (I promise, Northeast Ohio, I did not request the white stuff. Trust me on this one.)

The rest of the day was, y'know, the rest of the day. Lots of birthday love from friends and family which is always appreciated. I was able to attend a soon-to-be monthly meet-up of Cleveland-area librarians which was fun.

I always tend to get a bit, well, nostalgic around my birthday and this year is no different.

This year, man. This fucking year.

It started out well, being thirty-one. Things seemed to be moving in a positive direction. That lasted for, oh, about eight weeks. Then there was work drama which was closely followed by boy drama. Take work drama and boy drama and combine them and they turn into weight drama.

Today, at 32 and one day, I weigh about 15 pounds more than I did on my birthday last year.

And I don't really care.

It's not just about redefining progress and my list, although of course that's part of it. It's more...like, I look back at who I was at 22 and I was a bit of a mess and making bad decisions that, luckily, I no longer make. The first time I did Weight Watchers I was in college and got down to about 220 lbs by my 22nd birthday. I weigh, oh, roughly 10 lbs less than that now. In the grand scheme of losing over 100, a mere 10 lbs is pretty negligible so, in essence, I weigh about the same as I did ten years ago.

But while the physical essence of myself is almost identical to what it was a decade ago, the mental and emotional is a complete 180. Before, I got down to 220 and still hated what I saw on the inside so I gained it all back plus some. Now, though, I look in the mirror and I see a warrior woman who has done amazing things with her life and will continue to do so.

More to the point, though, I don't have to look into the mirror to see her. I know that I am her. I move through life with a graceful, genuine confidence I've never had before. Okay, so I'm 32 and single and have been single for going on five years now (true story), but my relationship with myself is better than it's ever been and that trumps all the boy drama and weight drama and job drama.

So bring on 32, baby. Show me what you got. I guarantee I'm up to the challenge.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

11 November 2013

sunday runday

I have found that after a race my body needs time to recuperate before running again. With 5Ks and 10Ks it's usually only about a week or so but apparently after a half-marathon it's more like a month, which is how long it had been since I went for a run prior to this weekend.

With the Christmas Story House 10K just a few weeks away I knew I had to get out there and start training, but every time I went out or hopped on the dreadmill I just felt awful and not at all in the mood to run. So, I stopped trying to force myself, knowing full well that my body would let me know when it was ready.

As soon as I woke up Sunday morning I knew. The voice of my mind and body were speaking loud and clear and I fully intended to follow its heed. Bundled up, ever grateful for the long-sleeved tech shirt I got at last year's Nature's Bin 5K, and headed out.

Not only was it cold it was super windy and near impossible to run against the wind, so I kind of let it guide my course. It was short and sweet -- only about 2 miles -- but it was just nice getting back out there after so long.

After, I headed over to Beachwood Place for some shopping and my run combined with walking around a mall for about 2 hours helped me get over 12,000 steps on my FitBit! Here's hoping that walking motivation continues into this week.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

09 November 2013

thigh gaps and why chip wilson isn't wrong

This week, there were two very interesting stories in the news related to clothes and plus size shoppers.

First we start with Abercrombie, a brand (in)famous for being very vocal about not wanting plus size shoppers in their store as several months ago the CEO Mike Jeffries stated that he only wanted the cool kids wearing their label and he doesn't consider plus size women cool.

That is, not until the traditional cool kids suddenly decide they don't want to wear Abercrombie anymore. The popularity of the brand is declining among teenagers so now all of a sudden Abercrombie in what can only be described as an act of sheer desperation has suddenly realized there is an entire market of shoppers it has been ignoring.

Dear Abercromie: We are not a consolation prize. You don't get to tell us you don't want us and then change your mind when

It's like the a sorority (and I use this as an extreme example knowing most aren't like this) going after the niece of the famous actress and ignoring all of the other girls at the rush party. Then, when the sought-after niece chooses to join another sorority, turning to those other girls and saying "Oh, don't be silly! We wanted you all along!"

Yeah. No.

Then we have athletic brand lululemon whose founder Chip Wilson recently stated: "some women's bodies just actually don't work [with lululemon clothes]. It's about the rubbing through the thighs and how much pressure is there."

Wilson was referring to the debacle back in March where some of their pants were notoriously sheer. Like, bare it all in yoga class while in Down Dog sheer. At the time, lululemon stated some of the problem of the sheerness could be traced to shoppers buying sizes that were too small for their body.

Okay. Now. I'm about to make a rather controversial statement right now, but I'm going to own it:

Chip Wilson isn't exactly wrong. 

I know it's quick to jump on the soap box and get all mad at the man who is seemingly fat-shaming yoga practicing women everywhere. And perhaps his words could have been a bit more, well, diplomatic. But the fact remains that what he said is not incorrect.

And to prove my case I'm going to give you two personal examples from my own life:

If there is one thing you need to know about me it's that I have a flair for anything vintage but especially vintage fashion. In fact, just the other week I took a What Character from the Whovian Universe quiz are you and it came back a Weeping Angel, the description even mentioned "your unique, vintage-y style" so you know it has to be legit.

But I digress.

When it comes to vintage and/or retro clothes I absolutely adore and love full-skirt dresses. You know, very 1950s Betty Draper kind of things that flounce and bounce with layers of crinoline underneath.

Here's the thing: skirts like that look absolutely awful on me. They make a girl with full hips look even hippier. And I don't mean the Woodstock kind (though, well, I am a little crunchy granola but whatevs). The cut of those dresses truncates my torso and blech. I continue to try those dresses on because they are so adorable but I never come home with them. Instead I have a closet full of Joan Holloway-esque pencil skirts which look absolutely devoon on my figure.

Now. Am I going to blame the clothing companies, both vintage and contemporary, for producing a faulty dress? Am I really going to call up Ralph Lauren and bitch him out because the dress that looked absolutely fabulous on the hanger looked absolutely horrid on me? (And, seriously, that one dress really did look so cute.)

Of course not. Why?

Because, and I quote, my hips "just actually don't work" with that style of clothing.

It's not that there is something wrong with my body or that all of the full-skirt designing designers are out to get me. Same with skinny jeans: I just can't wear them because I end up with a bizarre inverted triangle look  but that doesn't mean the denim industry hates me. We're just two puzzle pieces that don't fit together.

That's my first story. For my second story I'm going to go back, way back, back to when I was in college and wearing Lane Bryant jeans. I don't know what it was about those stupid jeans, maybe it was the material or the quality or maybe it was my size 20 thighs, but I was constantly creating holes and patches in the inner thigh area. Constantly. The fabric would just get worn from the natural friction. Or, as Chip Wilson said, "It's about the rubbing through the thighs and how much pressure is there."

Ladies. Look. Let's all be honest with each other here, okay? Thighs touch. It happens. And if you have thighs that touch, and especially if you have large thighs that touch, there is probably going to be rubbing. I know it and you know it so let's just get that all out of the way. I didn't wear skirts or dresses for years because of this issue. It wasn't until I discovered the magic of Spanx and finally had an undergarment that acted as a sort of buffer that I felt comfortable.

While we would all like to believe that if you're spending $100 on yoga pants or $50 on a pair of jeans that they quality of material and construction would be enough to withstand that sort of thing, we all know that's not how the world works. The amount you pay for an article of clothing has absolutely nothing to do with the ultimate quality and you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise. Those $100 pants may very well be made with $5 quality fabric. So even though I was paying an arm and a leg for jeans coming from a clothing store that only sold to plus size women, the rubbing through the thighs was a very real issue that caused problems with the clothing regardless of who the brand marketed itself to. So, yes, businesses and brands DO have to take responsibility for using low quality material and basically extorting their customers just to turn a profit.

But in the instance of yoga pants, stretchy material can only stretch so far before the natural holes in the stitches of the fabric pull themselves apart. For instance, I am currently wearing a pair of fabulous Old Navy athletic pants that I adore. They are solid black, no sheerness.

However, if I take the leg cuff of the pant and pull it and stretch it, I can clearly see my hands and fingers underneath. These pants are solid black because I'm wearing the correct size, which in this case is an XL. But if I were to go back and pick up a L or a M, the stretchy material may allow me to get into the pants but there will be patches of sheerness. It's how it works with this type of fabric. I'm not saying that actually was what was happening with the lululemon yoga pants, I'm just saying it's possible. That the particular statement regarding women not wearing the correct size and ending up with sheer pants was not coming out of left field.

Was Chip Wilson calling women fat? Maybe. I can't speak for Chip Wilson and the rest of the lululemon brand. I don't know what the motivation or agenda was behind his comments and I can appreciate why it seems easy to accuse him of fat shaming his clientele. And I also know that he's made other very controversial comments in the past (after posting this someone alerted me to his comment about breast cancer) so he's not entirely innocent and I'm not defending every comment the man has ever made ever.

But what I am saying is that when I examine this specific comment with logic and a bit of personal perspective I can, clearly, think of multiple instances where what he has said has happened to me.

We have to pick and choose our battles and for me Chip Wilson's vague maybe he did maybe he didn't comments are not one of those battles while Abercrombie actually say we were not wanted and then trying to pretend it was some weird game of telephone miscommunication is worthy of whatever snark it has coming its way.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

04 November 2013

dear yoga

I know I've been a little distance these past few weeks. We make plans and then I flake out at the last minute. We don't really talk any more and I've been seriously neglecting our relationship.

First, I need you to know that you are amazing and awesome and there is nothing you could have done any different.

Second, I also need you to realize that it's not you, it's me.

Well, me and my new girlfriend spinning.

I realize how ridiculous it sounds but I really do feel like I'm cheating on you with spinning. You have been such a huge and instrumental part of my life for the past two years and have assisted me in so many ways and then along comes these shiny new bikes and strong beats and high-resistance climbs and you just really didn't stand a chance.

In some ways it makes me a little nostalgic. I mean, remember back when we first met and we were hanging out two or three times a week? You got me out of bed before work for ridiculously early workouts and it completely boggled my mind because I don't even like getting up to do workout videos in my own home that early, let alone getting up and getting in my car and driving somewhere.

But you made me feel so good both body and soul that I was willing to do it for you and now spinning is doing the same. Not only in terms of multiple classes in one week but really early classes, too. I've been attending the 6:30 am Friday class the past few weeks and now I'm signed up for the 6:30 am Wednesday morning class and I'm so looking forward to having that ride before heading off into work and the rest of my day.

We've been through this before, you and I, back when I was first introduced to running and we got through that and I have no doubt we'll get through this eventually, too. (Plus, if it makes you feel any better I'm kind of cheating on you and running with spinning so you're in good company.)

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

01 November 2013

i never thought I'd say this

But I'm thinking of cancelling my Weight Watchers subscription.

I still entirely plan on tracking what I eat, however, for this past week I've been counting calories instead of points and using MyFitnessPal instead of the WW app and it's been, well, liberating. I like seeing the whole picture of what I'm putting into my body and if my focus really is to be health and happiness instead of weight loss then understanding nutrition is a key component of that. For whatever reason it's worked, too. It makes me make healthier choices because they are healthier for me. I don't have those extra flexible 49 weekly points and while those always came in handy when I followed Weight Watchers, now I think in terms of just today because that's all I have.

Like, yesterday when I wanted a Reese's peanut butter cup for after lunch. Well, I have to budget for that. Before I probably would have used some of my extra points and chosen the soup I'd been eating that week for lunch. Instead, I brought in a salad. It might seem inconsequential but for me it's a big deal to think in those terms.

Also, what I pay for a monthly pass to Weight Watchers can be turned into four spinning classes at Harness Cycle. It's like when Carrie Bradshaw tells someone that when she first moved to New York she spent her money on Vogue magazine instead of food because she felt it fed her more.

So that's where I'm at. I have a couple weeks to decide before I'm charged for next month.

In other news, as of today I've been soda free FOR ONE WHOLE YEAR! (I actually had completely forgotten until Sissy sent me a text asking about it. She's about a week behind me so she knew mine was coming up.) Considering how much pop I used to drink it's crazy I don't miss it at all.

Happy belated Halloween! How did everyone do? I'm going out in costume tomorrow night and I can't wait to put the whole thing together and take pictures to share with all of you!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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