This is Why…Part Deux

Dear Friends, 

Monsanto=Bad News Bears.

 They are the gangsters of the agricultural world, trying to stomp out local farming…and sneaking GMOs into everything. 

…even though their own people in charge eat organic. There is probably something wrong when the people in charge of a company won’t eat their own product.

Please take a moment of  your time to sign this petition: Tell Obama to cease FDA ties with Monsanto.

Then, pass it on. Please.



Back on the Ice!

I am super excited to announce that I’m back. Back on track that is. I told you about my night of lunges (still feeling the burn from that…oy!).

The next night I was able to make up a few routines set to music-thank God for my year of Jazzercise (shout-out to Renee,  amazing instructor!). The moves consisted of boxing, kicks, crunches, some stretches and dancing like a fool. If felt good to be moving again. I only wish they had a class in the North Country. I’ve been told to try Zumba-also fun, but it’s just not the same.

Saturday, I continued my activity. I went to visit my mother and ended up lugging some heavy boxes and groceries around, playing with our 200+ lb. English Mastiff (Love Griffin!) and the kitties. I then went home, threw on my running clothes and took off for a quick 3 miles before work.

I say a “quick” three miles, but it wasn’t really. I was extremely sore, so getting myself up to pace took some time. I hate to admit it, but I even took a walk break in the middle.  In the end, the 3 miles took over 30 minutes. Not great, but I can’t complain since it was my first run in about three months. Needless to say, I have some work to do. Thank God for some upbeat tunage or I would have been in serious trouble. Confession time: I definitely listened to “Moves Like Jagger” and “Love You Like a Love Song” during this little trek. Don’t judge.

Why am I telling you this embarrassing tidbit? I’m human… it takes time and effort. This first run was rough, no doubt about it. But I’m gonna keep at it. You should, too.

Anyway, Sunday was a huge day for me. I was finally teaching Ben how to ice skate. We went to the open skate at SUNY Plattsburgh… I was super excited as I would be sharing a piece of my childhood with him and possibly starting a new activity together.

Unfortunately, the experience did not live up to expectations; We got there about 5 minutes before the open skate started. When it was our turn for rentals, they were out of our sizes. We were both stuck with skates that were at least a size too big. Not good, especially for someone who has never skated. Even worse, the blades were dull.

When we finally made it onto the ice, it was complete chaos. Tons of toddlers and little ones were pushing around little bars to help them learn, trying to run on the ice and then sliding all over the place, while their parents were… somewhere else. Teenagers were skating in groups of 5 or more, middle schoolers were playing tag (okay, this was not that obnoxious) and some people were just standing in the midst of it all. There was hardly any open space on the ice. In short, it was nuts. The ice was super rough.  I was about half way through a spin when I had to dodge an out of control 8 year old, needless to say, I fell and smashed my knees.  I fell again later, after hitting a crevice on the ice. Ben’s ankles weren’t holding up very well with the giant skates, so he went to change back into street shoes. I took a few more turns around the ice, still dodging small children, bewildered adults and unconcerned parents. I finally gave up with 10 minutes of skating left.

Now, it may just be me, but you’d think that living in a town where it is winter for about 5 months out of the year and SUNY being a big hockey school, that this skating time would be run a little better. Again, that’s just my opinion.

I know that next time I go skating, I’ll probably go to the small rink on the other end of town. We still had fun and got some quality time on the ice in, but it was a bit too crazy.  I’m happy to report that Ben was a quick learner- I was pretty impressed, all things considered. Yeah, my hubs is pretty amazing.

Anyway, the reason I am lumping this in with my activity is that ice skating is an awesome workout. It’s also tons of fun and doesn’t feel like a workout, until later. Yes, you may fall, but you just get back up. You’re in constant (low impact!) movement, using your arms, your core, and your legs. Ice skating is also great for balance. Just sayin’, give it a try!

I’m not sure what I will be doing tonight as my knees are feeling a bit rough today, in addition to   everything else. Even with the little bit of pain, I feel good. I was telling the hubs that I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I have more energy and my whole outlook has changed for the better.

Sorry for this post being a bit scattered, it was a pretty stellar weekend! I’m looking forward to hearing about your workouts, your fitness hangups, and what your favorite activity is.  Look for a new post and a possible recipe soon!

I’ll leave you with this quasi-random photo: Some of my best friends and Griffin…circa 2007, stolen from my friend Mel. How can you not love that sweet pup?!

Griffin and the Girls

PS. Another embarrassing Noelle fact: Apparently my right leg is bigger than my left. I am wearing my amazing new boots. The left zips up all the way, the right…doesn’t. Ugh. No big deal.

And Then She Did Lunges… Ouch

Yesterday turned out to be a bit more productive than I anticipated…

I started out on the wrong foot; hitting the snooze button until the last possible minute. Luckily, my husband is very understanding. He got up to make me a healthy breakfast (Oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter and a cup of coffee-to go), packed a sensible lunch (curried vegetables and black rice) and went out to start my car. I don’t know what I would do without this man.

Anyway, it turned out to be a pretty productive day at work, but when 4:00 rolled around,  I was kicking myself for not getting up earlier in the morning to run-I knew that I wouldn’t be home until 9pm (The joys of having two jobs). In short, I was feeling frustrated and angry at myself.

My reasoning?

I can eat well until  I turn blue in the face, but that alone is not going to get me closer to that half marathon. Even if I get up and walk around the office a few more times, or park further away, it’s not going to replace that deliberate act of going for a run. The fact that I haven’t been running exercising lately is starting to wear on me.

I went to my other job and thought about how this week had been a running/exercise flop. When I got home, I made a quick dinner (Annie’s Organic Mac & Cheese-sub Greek yogurt for milk-Yum!) and continued stewing.

And then, something funny happened. I just…stopped. I went into my bedroom, put on some sweats and a t-shirt and got down on my floor. Before I knew it, I was doing crunches. Then push-ups and back extensions. I even did some squats and lunges. I ended with some leg raises. And then, I did it all again. When I finished, my legs felt shaky, I banged my knee on the last set of lunges and I was sweating. But I felt good.

Ben walked in while I was doing my last few leg raises. He was a bit surprised, but it inspired him to do some push-ups and crunches, too. God, I love this man.

Today, I am sore. Walking up and down stairs is pure torture. It’s hard to bend over and my upper body is feeling a bit tender. But it was worth it. It’s a good sore that I haven’t felt in a couple of months.

I realize that this is a very small step, but it’s still that; a step in the right direction.  I know I have a long way to go, but at least I’ve started… Finally.

What are some of the at-home exercises you do? What are some of your work-out hangups?

I’ll end with some clean eating motivation, sent to me by one of my best friends in the world (via tumblr/pinterest).

Remember this.

Until next time. And remember, you can still be My Fitness Pal. Find me, username nre820.

Does Marriage Make You Fat?!

Ah…being young and in love, finding that one person who doesn’t want to change you. Getting comfortable with them. It’s such a wonderful feeling. It’s even more wonderful when you marry a chef… and have a husband who constantly tells you how beautiful you are… but then… a funny thing happens.

One day, you put on your favorite jeans and are shocked to find out that they are a bit tighter than they used to be. Or when you try on your little black dress and notice that it’s a bit snug in areas that you didn’t notice before. And then you put on your favorite sweater that hugs in all the right places…only to find that it is now hugging the wrong places, too.

Welcome to the moment where you start to ask, “what the heck happened?”

I had to laugh a couple of weeks ago when Ben made me get up to go for a walk on a chilly Saturday morning. He pulled the blankets off and said, “Come on, get up! We are going to do something… I’m getting FAT!” 

He then gave his stomach a few good slaps to demonstrate….

I hate to admit it, but I have also gained some weight since getting married. Granted, it’s not an impossible amount of weight, but it’s more than I’d like. Fifteen pounds. Typing that was painful. I think it’s even more painful because I had lost 10 pounds before the wedding.

Again, it’s not a huge amount, but it’s …a lot. I know that there are a number of reasons.

1. My activity level has gone down. I am typically an active person. The months before the wedding, I was not only working my regular job, I was also working as a waitress 4-6 nights a week and in the process of moving. This may not seem like a lot but there were many nights where I literally ran my butt off. I have sweat less during a hardcore workout in 90 degree weather.

On top of the two jobs, I was also running an average of 3 miles a day… in addition to going for walks when I had a free moment.

After the wedding… I hit a wall. I decided that sleep was more important than that morning run and soon, I didn’t even bother setting my alarm any earlier than absolutely necessary. I also started working less. The restaurant is seasonal so as the season wound down, I didn’t need to be there every day. Once it closed, I was only working a desk job until a couple of weeks ago.

2. I indulged too much. I have mentioned before, I try to eat clean and I try to eat healthy, but too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. I am kicking myself for all of those times when I thought “this is so good… I’ll just have one more piece/bite/scoop.” Clearly, they added up. Not that I am making excuses, but I know that this partially stems from the fact that I absolutely hate wasting food. Growing up, money was tight, so you ate what you were given. It has been permanently ingrained to clean my plate. Luckily, they have this wonderful invention called Tupperware/tin foil/saran wrap that I have (slowly) gotten better about using. Let’s hope I keep remembering this.

3. The Holidays. See Reason Two. I know, blaming the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas!) is cliche. But seriously, I am around good food all of the time. It’s even worse during the holidays. For some reason, I thought it was okay to pig out…because it’s cold out, because I subconsciously think that I will never eat those delicious Thanksgiving/Christmas treats ever again and because I have to try everything I bake… a few times. I paid dearly for this, too. I don’t think I will be able to eat any cookies for a long time.

Luckily New Year’s Eve was a pretty good day for me food-wise and I avoided stuffing myself. I’ve been back to my food journaling ways (reminder: find me on my fitness pal! nre820) for a week or two now and am holding myself accountable for everything, including real portion sizes and water intake.

4. Winter. I started running again-and loving it!- in October but once daylight savings hit and the days got incredibly short, I basically gave up. I don’t mind running in the cold and I don’t mind running in the dark but I HATE running in a combination of the two. Being a bit low on funds at the moment, a gym membership is not in my budget, so I need to get creative.  It’s something I am working on, and it’s going to take time.

5. I stopped paying attention. This whole being newly married thing can be a bit distracting. I’ve focused on having fun and enjoying the time with my spouse, even if it is just lounging around in sweat pants all day. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but there has got to be a little bit of focus in there.  I’ve been so happy with Ben during our time together, I hadn’t noticed either one of us had gained weight.  I guess that’s why they call it “happiness weight.”

Before we got married, Ben and I were pretty active, going hiking, going for walks, running together… We are now getting back into that…slowly but surely.

6. I stopped making goals for myself. As I mentioned before, I’ve always been a pretty active person, and I’ve always had goals for myself. Most of them have not been weight related, rather, they have been fitness focused. Examples: run a 5k in under 24 minutes, bench press my weight, get through that Jazzercise routine without tripping over my feet, use a heavier set of weights, run the Army Ten Miler (done in October 2009!), you get the idea.

The last year or so, I haven’t really laid out any definite fitness goals for myself. That’s going to change. I don’t usually make definitive new year’s resolutions, but I do make goals.  One of them is as follows:

I want to do a half marathon in either April or May (depending on which race I choose). I know it’s going to be a challenge because I am going to have to train through the winter. This will mean getting up early and facing freezing January mornings. It will also mean that I am going to have to consistently increase my mileage, something I haven’t done in a couple of years.  When I officially sign up for a race, I will post the details. I’m also going to continue on my clean eating track. I want you all to hold me accountable!

With that in mind, I want to come up with a few other fitness goals for 2012. And I’ll need your help with suggestions. Feel free to post a comment with your thoughts or let me know what your goals are for the year.

In other news, I finally figured out how to add the subscribe button, so you can subscribe via email! Feel free to enter your email in order to follow me on this journey!

Oh, and also, happy new year!!!

Happy New Year!

Have a great day everyone! New post coming soon!