Real Talk: Sworkit Review And {Giveaway-CLOSED}!

UPDATE: The winners of the giveaway are Liz, Vanessa, Jessica and Chelsea. Congratulations!  please contact me to claim your prize!!!

Hi Friends!

Hope you’re having a great week so far!

I’m super excited because I discovered a new fitness app.

If you’re anything like me, once the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, getting outside to workout is really difficult. Why? Because motivation disappears. I’d rather be reading a book, curled up under the blankets and wearing my giant XL sweats than venturing outside in a pair of running tights and a moisture-wicking base layer… and let’s be honest, I don’t have the cash for a gym membership right now.

For example, on Saturday, I planned on running. I really did… but it was my first REAL day off in I don’t even know how long and, well… I didn’t feel like doing a damn thing. I managed to venture out to drive the hubby to work, but then I went directly home, popped in a movie and got sucked into being a bum. I know I’m not the only one this happens to.

Anyway, it got to be 4:13 pm and I realized that my plan to get out and run was not going to happen as daylight was quickly fading (and can we talk about how windy it was?!). So, instead of putting on my reflective gear and head lamp, I searched for an alternative.

I found Sworkit.

SworkitRectangleBanner

I downloaded the free version and opted for the 20 minute “anything goes” workout. Before I knew it, I was doing burpees, shoulder clap push-ups (excuse me?!), side planks, tricep dips and a variety of other exercises I probably wouldn’t have thought of doing on my own in that short of time. And I was so glad that I did them.

After m first Sworkit

After my first Sworkit

The great thing about this app is that it does the thinking for you. Each exercise is 30 seconds. If you need it, there is a short how-to video (I needed this for a couple of the exercises). 30 seconds of rest is also incorporated every few minutes. And if it a two-sided exercise (like a side plank), it will tell you when to switch sides. So, basically, you start the workout and let Sworkit do the thinking–and the counting–for you.

image1

It’s also easy to mix it up. You choose the workout length (anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes) what type of circuit you’d like to do (strength, cardio, yoga) and what areas you’d like to work (arms, legs, core, anything goes, boot camp, full body stretch, etc.). You can also customize workouts.

Here is an explanation directly from the Sworkit Website:

What is it?
Sworkit builds randomized circuit training workouts that you can do anywhere. You just choose which part of your body you want to work on and how long you have to work out, and Sworkit takes care of the rest. By providing an actual workout and taking you through the motions, you don’t have to do any other planning or have any extra equipment.
Why Sworkit?
We all have the desire to take care of ourselves and we know that we need fitness to stay healthy. But it’s easy to come up with excuses: “I don’t have the time”. “I don’t like gyms”. “I don’t want to buy new equipment”. “I get bored too easily”. “I travel for work”. “I don’t know where to start”. Sworkit is here to make sure that none of these excuses apply and we can all get a simple workout in whenever we want.
What’s with the randomization?
Workouts can be boring or they can be fun. The reason Sworkit employs randomization is to give the user a new experience every time they workout. This allows for more motivated sessions and provides excitement, and sometimes even pain. Pain is good.
Why circuit training?
Circuit training has been proven to provide highly efficient workouts at a fast pace. Sworkit allows you to choose the total amount of time you want to work out and provides you with the proper exercise timing, rest, and transitions.

Another plus? It syncs with myfitnesspal. I love love love this!

The Pro version has a few more options to choose from, saves your customized workouts and saves your stats (weight, daily/weekly goals, etc.).

iPhone-Pro-Settings

I downloaded the app on Saturday and have done a variety of workouts ranging from a few five minute workouts, to a 20 minute workout. I tried to mix it up to get a complete picture of what the app has to offer. And I was not disappointed. Each sworkit left me feeling accomplished. If I wasn’t sure how to do something, the how-to videos were short and sweet.

On Sunday I did three of the five-minute workouts. Last night, I did two of the ten-minute workouts. The possibilities are endless!

Post ab and back strength sworkits.

Post ab and back strength sworkits.

The most exciting part about finding this app? I can share it with you!

After my first sworkit, I tweeted about my experience and was very surprised to receive an email from the creator, Ryan. He informed me that there is even more customization coming out in December-I can’t wait to see what’s next!

He also thanked me for tweeting, AND gave me some codes to share for a free upgrade to the pro version!

How nice is that?!

So, after checking with Ryan,  I decided to share the free upgrade to Sworkit Pro with a few of you lucky readers. I have 4 Pro upgrades to give away!

Here’s How to Enter 

  • Check out the Sworkit Exercise List and leave me a comment, telling me which exercise listed is your favorite OR if there is one you’d like to be added.
  • In the same comment answer the following question: What is your biggest excuse for not exercising?

All comments must be received by Thursday, November 8 at 11:30 pm. Winners will be picked at random.

I will announce all 4 winners on Friday, November 9, 2013.

Sworkit is available for iphone and Android. Download via the App Store or Google Play.

  • As with any new workout, please consult a physician before starting a fitness regimen and be smart.
  • Disclaimer: I received a free upgrade to Sworkit Pro, HOWEVER I was not compensated to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  
Advertisements

Confessions: Words with a Kooky Doctor

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I finally gave in and went to the doctor to see about my weird leg pain…

I don’t have a primary care doctor, so I did a walk-in right after work because I couldn’t get an appointment and ended up getting a full physical because I hadn’t had one in… I don’t even know how long. Shame on me.

Confession: Between work and our road-trip, I still haven’t gone to get the blood work he ordered… hopefully tomorrow? Double shame.

Anyway, while I was there, I quickly realized he had no idea what was wrong with my leg and that he wasn’t going to be much help in that department… he even told me so… but I figured I’d get the most bang for my buck and went on with the rest of the physical.

I mentioned that I had run a marathon and we talked about some health concerns (mostly that I am prone to some wicked headaches/dizziness).

His response? “Well, you’re obviously very healthy. You’ve run a marathon, the proof is in the pudding!” He continued with, “I don’t know what to tell you about the headaches other than they probably aren’t anything to be concerned with, it’s just an annoyance.”

He then asked me about medical history and asked me if I had any symptoms of depression…three times.

First, who says “the proof is in the pudding?”

Apparently, there is proof here.

Apparently, there is proof here (Source: finecooking.com).

Second, Yes– while running a marathon is a good sign of one being healthy, I don’t feel that it is an end-all, absolute indication of one’s physical health being perfect. Not that I have any major health concerns, but I was irked by his assumption and brushing off the one concern I did have…and repeatedly asking if I was depressed… it just didn’t sit well.

Anyway, the rest of the visit was equally enlightening. I discussed BMI with him next…

Side note: When I last saw my gynecologist, she was impressed that I had lost the weight that I have and that I did so slowly… but said it would be beneficial to lose about 15-25 more pounds. I feel like that’s kind of standard coming from a doctor and for all I know, she could be right. Honestly, I would be okay with 10 more pounds.

My current BMI is 28, so I am technically classified as overweight. Now, I realize that this is merely a guideline and even when I was in the best shape of my life, my BMI was close to what it is now.

I also realize that I AM healthy, but, I figured since I was there, I would ask his professional opinion… he is a doctor, after all.

I felt a bit silly asking, but I got it out, “you know, I’m just wondering because my BMI is a bit high… if it’s something I should worry about… I’ve lost about 30 lbs but it’s taken me a really LONG time to do so… and I know that’s a good thing, but at the same time, I don’t know if it’s normal for it to take as long as it did… I’m just wondering–“

He interrupted me (!) and even raised his voice for a moment.

“–You DO NOT need to lose ANY weight. You are perfectly healthy, you ran a marathon, so you’re obviously healthy. But, if you want to lose weight for physical attractiveness, or competitiveness, or whatever reason, the only way to do that is to eat way less and make yourself completely miserable. So if that’s what you want, then by all means, make yourself miserable.”

Cue my jaw hitting the floor.

That was not what I was expecting to hear and I was, for one of the few times in my life, completely speechless. Not gonna lie, it was nice to hear this, but I think he completely misunderstood my reason for asking the question.

I mentioned that my main concern with my current weight is the impact it has on my joints when running and that I know losing said 10+ pounds will be easier on my body, which he quickly dismissed by saying, “Not true.”

He went on to say how the only way to eat less is to know exactly how much you’re taking in and the only way to do that was to count calories (obviously) and then proceeded to tell me it didn’t matter what I ate or where my food was coming from, it only mattered the amount I was eating.

You can imagine my indignation at the last statement. This was a doctor telling me that nutrition value and where food comes from didn’t matter. I almost hit the roof.

Apparently eating things like this doesn't matter... Grrrr

Apparently eating things like this doesn’t matter… Grrrr

In short, the proof is apparently in the pudding; I am perfectly healthy.

Some Updates:

  • My leg seems to have healed itself and I went on my first run post-race last night. It was only 2.5 miles, but I had no pain. Let’s hope it stays that way.
  • I’m currently experimenting with my diet to see if something I’m eating/drinking is causing the headaches.
  • First experiment: cutting down my coffee intake.
  • Next step: getting the blood work done so I can get an official letter saying that I am “perfectly healthy,” and I can move on to finding a primary care doctor who I don’t find kooky.
  • I’m also going to get my eyes checked to see if the headaches are vision related. I am getting older, after all.

Let’s discuss, what’s the strangest/most outrageous thing a medical professional has said to you? BMI-do you pay attention to it? Any weird ailments? When’s the last time you went for a physical?


Finding a Balance: Burgers and Big Workouts

Hi Friends!

Farmer Ben and I are back from our road trip/vacation down south! Can I tell you a secret? I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much barbecue in my life…I loved every morsel…but I must admit, it is good to be home, sleeping in our own bed and cooking at home. I’ll do a full post on that later…

I need to get something off my chest.

I was perusing instagram the other day and came across a photo of a giant cheeseburger with French fries. To put you in the right frame of mind, the burger was similar to this one, minus the braised kale:

Pictures like this speak to me.

Pictures like this speak to me.

Anyway, my immediate thoughts? “Oh my, that looks delicious!”

Obviously, I was drawn to it and stopped to read the caption and comments.

I won’t tell you who the user was but the caption was something along the lines of “Yes, I ate this…trying to tell myself that my ridiculously long, strenuous workout makes it okay.”

Cue screeching record sound… What?! 

I’m sorry… but that is ridiculous.

Why do you have to do a ridiculously long and strenuous workout in order to justify eating a cheeseburger and fries? Why do you have to burn a million calories in order to enjoy it? Or, make a vow to run a million miles the next day? Why can’t you just eat it and say, “man, that was delicious,” without feeling guilty?

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I am in no way saying that you should go out and only eat cheeseburgers and fries (or whatever your guilty pleasure of choice may be), obviously.

Not at all… but if you eat well most of the time, and yes, if you do ridiculously long and strenuous workouts more often than not (as this person does), then what the heck? Eat a damn cheeseburger!

Occasionally enjoying an “unhealthy” meal is not going to “ruin all of your hard work,” and it’s not going to make you gain 20 pounds or ruin your diet/workout regimen. Depending on the burger and your digestive system, you may be a bit bloated or gassy after…but it’s not going to ruin your overall health plan. It’s about balance, people!

I guess what I found most disturbing was the user who posted this picture. You are a role model in a healthy living community. That is not a healthy state of mind…and it’s a common theme I am finding as I peruse my instagram and twitter feeds of bloggers/people who claim to have a healthy lifestyle…people I look up to!

People would rather drink a protein shake or eat an energy bar full of artificial sweeteners and ingredients they can’t pronounce, than enjoy real, whole foods that happen to be calorie dense. I see more protein shakes with a side of celery or a few apple slices  than real, balanced meals on my feed. WHY?!

When did we get so far away from balance…and eating real food?

Again, I am NOT saying that a cheeseburger and fries is “healthy meal,” nor am I saying that all protein shakes/energy bars are bad…not at all!

I’m just saying, everything in moderation.

Neither of these options is going to completely nourish/sustain a person, especially a highly active person.

Balance is necessary.

When you start looking at food as the enemy or depriving yourself…or even trying to justify what you are eating with ridiculously long and strenuous workouts, then there is a problem…and this I am saying from personal experience.  On the same note, you also can’t look to food for comfort/stress relief…again, it’s about balance.

I am in no way perfect, and I am totally guilty of having that small voice in my head saying, “are you sure you want to eat that? Do you know how many calories are in it?!”

But, I’ve come to appreciate balance and I’ve finally learned the “everything in moderation” principle…Yes, I watch what I eat…but I don’t completely deprive myself and I don’t freak out after eating a burger. I’m no expert, but I think I’m a lot healthier now because of this.

Thanks for letting me ramble.

So tell me, what are your thoughts? Cheeseburgers, yes or no? Are you guilty of trying to justify your meals with workouts?  Favorite food to drool over on Instagram?


Real Talk: Food for Thought

As you know, I recently hit the 17 mile mark (ahem, 18 mile mark!) in my training program. That means I’m officially past the half-way mark. Holy moly! It’s going to be marathon weekend before I know it!

I’m finding that I need to be more careful about what I eat. Not only the day of my long runs, but the few days before and after.

I’ve also found that I’ve hit a point where I need to have something extra during the run. 17 miles (or for me, over 3 hours) is a long way to go with just water. This really hit me during my last two long runs.

I asked some of my friends (on twitter, myfitnesspal and in real life) what they use for long runs.  Thanks to all who responded!

From my running guru friend, Kristy:

Water. I never brought anything with me…When I ran the marathon I had orange slices, part of a banana and a gu. They all agreed with me.

From some MFP running friends:

I’ve used GU gels in the past. They work well for me if I’m going for more than an hour.

I usually take sport beans on long runs.  Anything over 10 miles gets a clif bar halfway.

I have not really used anything. I did try some energy gummy things but they left my throat phlegmy which was pretty gross. The thought of eating actual food during a run isn’t very appealing to me.

Energy Bits every 5 miles and after 10 dates or a slice or two of fresh mango!

I’ve used GU gels in the past. They work well for me if I’m going for more than an hour.

Gu gels or powerbar energy blast chews.

I use Gu gels also. It’s worked the best for me the last couple of years. I’ve tried clif blocks and they work ok (for me).

And from Twitter:

 Jess @Mywalkonmoon:  @IslandBoost is nice b/c I don’t have to take it w/ h2o & not heavy on the belly @HoneyStinger chews for caffeine

Skora Running @skoraRunning: Drink to thirst. Cals from @honeymaxx and regular MCT oil mixed in, couple hundred cals per bottle.

As I mentioned in my last post, the Clif Shots and Bloks I had leftover from a race have worked… but my finicky stomach isn’t happy after the runs, especially immediately after. They work well in a pinch, and heck, they were free! So I can’t complain…but I don’t want to use them all the time. I don’t think my digestive system could take it.

Needless to say, I’ve been searching for something easier on my stomach and a bit cleaner. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I shy away from long/weird ingredient lists and I am not big on artificial/man-made colors, dyes, and ingredients.

Enter ENERGYbits.

wpid-IMG_20130727_101546.jpg

I had heard about this product before from two of my favorite blogs and was actually thinking of trying them. (Shout out to Zee Lemons and Healthy in Detroit!)

Not gonna lie, the only thing that stopped me was the price-tag. $115 for a bag of 1,000…. which, broken down by serving (20-30 bits), isn’t really that much…but to buy a product without trying it…and then getting stuck with something I didn’t like…well, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Then, I recently participated in my first #runchat on Twitter and was tweeted by ENERGYbits when I posted something about long runs.

Long story short, I was sent a sample and was able to try them on my 17 mile run.

wpid-2013-07-27_09-35-06_699.jpg

Before I give you the dirty details, I have to say, I love that this a US company. I also loved that it was founded and is owned by a woman. Not only that, but the staff is so passionate about what they are doing. They truly love and believe in the product they are promoting. To me, that’s a very good sign. Further, ENERGYbits are 100% organic, non-gmo and have 1 ingredient. O-N-E. That’s it!

Here are the nutrition facts (check out all of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids!) taken directly from their website:

bag_new_with_facebook_energy

And here is a comparison chart to other popular products:
Nutritional Comparison Chart

Anyway, I received my sample about four days after my twitter connection. The packet I received was full of information… I was still a bit skeptical because, well…it all sounded too good to be true. I’d read about the benefits of spirulina but… I still wasn’t convinced.

You’re probably wondering, how does algae taste?

Well, as Farmer Ben put it, “it kind of tastes like fish food.” The nice thing about the bits is that, because they come in pill form, you can swallow them as such, with a big glass of water. You can also chew them, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  I swallowed about 10-15 at a time with a few good gulps of water.

In all honesty, taking these during my run was a bit hard. The initial smell was hard to get past…but they didn’t upset my stomach, which is a major plus. Taking these on long runs is going to take some getting used to, but the effects on my digestion are non-existent compared to what other products do.

So, here is what happened:

  • I took 30 bits about 40 minutes before my 17 mile run.
  • I took more about 9 miles into the run (I also had some Clif Shots on this run).

I feel the need to mention that I had worked both jobs the day before. This means that I worked from 8 am until after 11:30 pm. It also means that I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, which I mentioned in my 17 mile post.

I also feel the need to mention that after my post-run shower, I received a phone call from my boss begging me to go in to job number 2. And it wasn’t an easy night. I, once again, didn’t get home until late. You can imagine how thrilled I was to be called into work after running 17 miles.

  • I took the last of my bits about 30 minutes after arriving at work and didn’t stop moving all night.

I won’t tell you that I felt an immediate surge in energy, because I didn’t. BUT, I made it through a 17 mile run on very little sleep. I also made it through a (super insane) Saturday night dinner shift after running the furthest distance of my life. I did both of these things without crashing.  Yes, I was tired…but I made it through an extremely long and strenuous day better than I should have.  I still had pep in my step–after 17 miles and a night spent entirely on my feet.

I will also tell you that, although I was sore, I wasn’t as sore as I expected. I’ve felt worse after shorter runs.

I recovered faster from that 17 mile run than I have from some 6-8 mile runs.

All of these things speak to me.

image

Love this!

I recently ordered a full bag of ENERGYbits with my own money and am applying to be an ambassador for the company, because, well… I’m finally convinced.

Side Note: I ordered these on Friday afternoon, standard shipping. They arrived today (Monday). LOVE THIS!

Will this be my only pre and during workout fuel? For short runs, yes. For long runs, not yet…but maybe someday. BUT you can bet that I will be incorporating this into my regular regimen. I am not big on powders, vitamins and supplements…I’d rather get my nutrients directly from the source.

This is a food, and your body digests it as such.

If you have any questions about ENERGYbits, feel free to comment or shoot me an email and I will answer as best I can…If I can’t answer it, I will find out for you.

If you’d like more information about ENERGYbits, visit their website: http://www.energybits.com/

UPDATE: If you’d like to order ENERGYbits, you can use discount code “NoellesNotebook” for 25% off your total order.

Have you ever tried algae? What did you think?! What is your favorite way to fuel?

*DISCLAIMER:  ENERGYbits provided me with a sample of their product for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.*

UPDATE: If you order ENERGYbits using my discount code, I do receive a little bit of money, however all opinions are still my own.

I am not a doctor, I am simply writing about my personal experience, as with any food or supplement, don’t forget to consult with a medical professional.


GBN-Marathon Training Update

Wow…how long has it been since I’ve done a Gross But Necessary Post?! I guess it’s time to get back in the habit! As this is a marathon training update, it’ll be a little different than previous GBN posts, but you still get the gross pics. Lucky you!

When I last updated you on training, I was working on saying no, scheduling, upgrading my gear, listening to my body and ditching my scale. I’m now about half-way through my training…all I can say is, HOLY CRAP!

So how am I doing?

wpid-IMG_20130709_212311.jpg

Sweaty Mess?

1. Saying no. I’ve gotten a lot better at this, but I’m still overbooking. I’ve got to stick to my guns and be more firm, but it’s coming along.

2. Scheduling. This goes hand in hand with number 1. My work schedule has been pretty nuts, so I’ve had a hard time scheduling my runs…but I’ve been doing some night running and even dragged my butt out of bed for a quick 6 am run! It’s a miracle!

I’ve already made sure that I have the days of my 20 mile runs off…. I just don’t think I’ll be up for a night of work after running that far.

Glowing!

Glowing!

3. Upgrading my gear. This is taking me longer than planned. Right now I’ve got the new kicks and the CamelBak…I need to save up more tip money for the rest of the gear I want.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s

4. Listening to my body. As I mentioned before, I’m still having some foot issues, forcing me to skip some of my training runs (a week and a half!)… this has been so frustrating! But I’ve been really good about stretching, taking a day off or rearranging my runs if I need it (grr…), and wearing proper shoes, even if it means that I have to wear sneakers to job 1, which I’ve been doing a lot lately. I’ve also been mindful of the heat…I’ve been doing some late night runs simply because it’s been hot and humid.

After a (still very humid) night run.

After a (still very humid) night run.

I’ve also been working on hydration and fuel and got a super exciting sample that I’ll be trying out on my long run this weekend…I can’t wait to share the results with you! I’m starting to figure out what foods my body works best with, and (a little bit to my surprise) all of those giant salads I’ve been eating seem to really help. Eat your veggies!

A simple green salad topped with yellow carrots, scallions and a mustard vinaigrette.

A simple green salad topped with yellow carrots, scallions and a mustard vinaigrette.

I’ve been taking the CamelBak out on my medium and long runs…I don’t know how I ever ran without it.

wpid-IMG_20130710_192553.jpg

5. Ditching my scale. July is flying by and I’ve stuck with not using my scale. I’ve been eating when I’m hungry and eating quality whole foods, save for the ice cream the hubby and I treated ourselves to twice. I’ve been feeling pretty good.

Confession: I did weigh myself once in a moment of weakness. And you know, I was exactly the same weight.

Overall: Not gonna lie, I had a mini-inner-freakout last week about having to take some time off to rest my feet, but I took another look at my training schedule, talked to my boss at the restaurant about time off for my long runs coming up and just took a deep breath. And you know, I’m feeling pretty good. Right now, my goal is to finish injury-free. I know I’m not going to break any records, but it will be a personal record for me. And that’s the most important part.

I was feeling a bit nervous about my 17 mile run this weekend, but I’m just going to take it one mile at a time.

How is your summer training going?! Anything you’re struggling with?

Happy Running!

Noelle


You’ve Got to be Kidding Me

So, you probably know that I am semi-obsessive about reading ingredient labels and doing research on food…

You may not know that I don’t much pay attention to the actual nutrition label: fat content, carbs, etc.–unless it’s the vitamins and minerals portion–Instead, I try to eat whole foods, meaning that I try to know exactly where my food came from and exactly what I’m eating.

In the summer, most of our meals come straight from the garden.

Don’t get me wrong, I still eat cheeseburgers and drink a beer now and then, but I pay attention to where it’s coming from. This doesn’t mean I have free reign, and I try to eat what’s best for my body…it’s about balance… you get my drift.

So allow me to vent for a moment…

I work with mostly males at both of my jobs.

Needless to say, the girls are a pretty close-knit group in both places, so as you can imagine I always sometimes notice what they eat. I also know when one of them is looking to lose a few pounds.

There are two women in particular that seem to be on the diet cycle at one point or another (also, can we talk about how I hate the word diet?).  Because I am “healthy,” they’ll talk to me about what I eat–mostly because, I’ve managed to lose a few pounds.

I always tell them the same things; stay away from diet anything, use real ingredients, don’t buy pre-packaged items, cook at home,  you get the idea.

They nod their heads in agreement.

But then… I see what they’re eating.

One of them drinks a daily Slim-Fast, eats a fat-free yogurt chock-full of fake sugar and artificial flavors and then goes out for fried food on Fridays. This makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

The other visits the vending machine for a bear claw. FROM THE VENDING MACHINE! It probably doesn’t even taste that good…but the thing that really kills me? It’s not once or twice a week, but EVERY DAY. EVERY SINGLE DAY!

And then… they wonder why they don’t feel good…why they’re tired, why their clothes don’t fit.

Call me crazy, but eating a giant fried pastry everyday can’t be good for you.

Again, I do not claim to be an expert in this area, and I am far from perfect. But I’ve found that eating well works. Period. I don’t eat well 100% of the time, but I do more often than not… I’m not a size 4, but I’m healthy.

Seeing this constant food craziness gets to me.

End Rant.

What are some of your “diet” pet peeves?


Real Talk- Legs.

I’m back!

As much as I loved sneaking off to the city for a couple of days with the birthday boy man, I have to admit, it is nice to be home. It felt so good to put on my super-soft, enormous sweats (They have always been big, but now they are …even bigger!) and a t-shirt and crawl into my own bed.

Don’t get me wrong, NYC was great. We ate and drank and walked and walked and ate and watched and walked all over. But there’s just something about coming home, dumping your stuff in a pile in the middle of the floor and immediately putting on those previously mentioned sweatpants. 

Say it with me, “Aaaah…”

Anyway, I know we have a lot of catching up to do. I’m working on a couple of posts…one I am having an especially hard time writing because it’s something very personal…and I am honestly unsure how exactly to approach it. In the end, I’m sure I’ll choose my normal verbal-vomit, dump whatever comes to mind out on the page screen approach. And that’s fine.

Before I do that, there are a few things I really need to get off my chest.

Allow me to give you a play-by-play of something that happened to me on Saturday.

Prepare for a rant.

1. I love boots. Especially tall boots. I just love them. And how they look.

2. I have big calves and always have. This makes buying and wearing tall boots very difficult. Sometimes impossible. So, you know that when I found a pair at Target last year on clearance for $20 that I had to have them. It was the last pair, and I could actually zip them all the way…okay, most of the way, but it was close enough that I bought them. And wear them often…even though they only zip most of the way.

3. I really love the way jeans look with tall boots. But I hate that I have to stuff them inside my already over-flowing boot leg.

4. That being said, I decided that I needed to find a pair of skinny jeans.

4b. I currently own two pairs of jeans-one that I saved from a few years back and one that I purchased…so I figured it was okay for me to buy a few more pairs. Both pairs are boot-cut, size 8.

5. I’m not a huge fan of skinny jeans. I don’t know why…But I decided that if I want to wear my boots as comfortably as possible, that I should get a pair. Give them a go, if you will.

It’ll also save my boot-cut jeans from getting super wrinkly if I decide to wear a few times between washes…not gonna lie, this happens often.

6.  On Saturday, I went to the mall to find an over-the-shoulder bag for our trip and decided that I would also find at least one pair of skinny jeans.

7. Instead of finding a cute pair of skinny jeans, I discovered that my previously mentioned big calves prevent me from being able to wear skinny jeans. Period.

8. This discovery is really depressing. I can’t make this stuff up…and furthermore, who would make this up?!

Seriously, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gone down so many pants sizes or what, but most of the jeans I tried on I couldn’t even pull up all the way. Apparently if you wear anything below a size 12, you have chicken legs…or something.

I know what you’re thinking, Home Girl is in denial about what size she wears! 

For all of you thinking that,  I can tell you, every pair of boot-cut jeans I tried on, in the same size fit perfectly. But I wasn’t looking for boot-cut jeans, was I?

So no, it was NOT because they were too small or I couldn’t get them over my hips (which,yes, can happen and I am sure if you’re a bit curvy you can relate-you move up the size chart and move on with your life), but because apparently I have such monstrous calves that I could only get them up to a certain point until they got stuck.

9. Yes, the jeans got stuck on my calves, so much that I couldn’t pull them up all the way, no matter how hard I tried, and then I had to sit down and use both hands to peel them off. Try doing that in every store. Talk about a workout!

10. This initially made me feel like a freak! I had to do this little dance, not once, not twice, but over ten times in ten different stores…with numerous brands of jeans. I even tried going up a couple of  sizes in some stores, with the same result! I left the mall empty-handed (well, except for the bag I initially set out to get…which was also a huge disappointment–it broke!) and extremely discouraged. No wonder I can hardly ever find tall boots!

11. Why do clothing companies think that all women are created exactly the same? Why do clothing companies think that all women have tiny non-existent calf muscles?! Why does the “ideal” woman have to fit a certain image or set of measurements?! 

12. I’m 5’4″ and a size 8, however I’m also very curvy. And I have short legs. And big calves.

I have big boobs and a big butt…even after losing thirty pounds.  I’m not going to give you my measurements, because it really doesn’t matter and I think that would be a little creepy…but I will tell you that even after losing that much weight, my bra size remains the same… my hips and butt are smaller, but they are still very much there. And I am okay with that. So is my husband.

13. I run. Yes, I am a runner. This means that I have big legs. Big thighs and yes, apparently monstrous big calves. That doesn’t mean that I am “fat,” it means that I have muscle.  I admit, I was fat, but that is not the case anymore.

14. Growing up, I always had an issue with my legs. I wouldn’t wear certain things because I didn’t want to accentuate them and I was extremely self conscious–especially as a teenager.

15. Now, as a 25-year-old woman, I am embracing my body. This is what keeps me working to improve myself both physically and mentally. God gave me this body for a reason, but I know that He expects me to take care of it. This is why I work out and aspire to be better.

I know that I have my trouble spots, but I’m not focused on them. I know that I embrace my curves, my muscles, and even those giant calves.  I know that I am healthy.

My “big” legs carry me through long runs, giant hills, fast runs, mud and snow,  new challenges and every day life and I am so blessed to be able to use them to their maximum capacity. And I will continue to do so as long as I can.  

image

After an awesome workout... check out those gams!

So, I guess this is my way of taking a stand against those in the industry who try to make me conform to a certain size and shape. If you can’t make pants–or any clothing, for that matter–that work with my body, then I won’t wear them. Thanks but no thanks.

I am not a perfect creation, but I am perfectly me.