Monday, April 29, 2013

Stripping Down

I was picking apples out at the grocery store when an older woman told me I have beautiful hair. I smiled, said thank you, and bit my tongue before telling her that I hadn't showered for the day. I continued on, weaving my cart in and out of the zoo that takes place while shopping on a Saturday morning.

Not only was my hair unwashed and makeup left at home, my outfit looked like a walking scrapbook - flip flops from high school, soccer shorts from junior high, and t-shirt from a race I ran in college. 

Some people would never leave the house without their hair curled and MAC makeup on, while I'm all out and about looking

No one is 100% accepting of their body and image. We all have things we wish we could change but some of those things are just who we are. The things you might hate about yourself are the things that others wish they had. Hate your curly hair? The girl with straight hair would switch with you in a flash. 

Being envious of others is natural but it's a beautiful thing to be able to say you are content with who you are. It's a challenge but one I think every person, male or female, should take up. On the flip side - give compliments. The world needs to hear more positive words being spoken by the people that grace it. 

Accept yourself. Love what you have and work with it. Dress up when you want to but know when to tone it down. Give your skin and hair a break once in a while. Throw on sneakers instead of flats. Put your hair in pony. Wear a sweatshirt that is 3 sizes too big. 

But always, always, always...wear deodorant. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

When Life Gives You


A voice - worship. 

An early morning - make it count.

A sunny day - take off your shoes.

A challenge - run with it. 

A curveball - catch it and keep playing.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


"Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice." 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Favorite "R" Word

I always have a routine. Making lists, staying organized, and color coding are all things that put me in my happy place. Routine follows me everywhere and is involved in almost 99.9% of the things I do.

I wish at times I wasn't this way as being structured comes with challenges. For instance, I cringe at the words: "go with the flow", "see where the wind takes you", and "we don't know where we are going, how we are getting there or when we should leave, but we will figure it out".

When these situations arise, the only thing I can do is take a deep breath and, well, go with the flow.

I love being healthy. I love learning about nutrition and fitness and the newest diet fads that DON'T work (hint...hint). I can't wait to get home at night so I can start a bath and open my book (Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights by Eric Hutchinson), highlighting and scribbling away and soaking in as much information as I can. I search the internet for new recipes, new blogs to follow, and new work out clothes to drool over and wish I could afford.

I get approached by friends quite often with questions like how often should I run? What do you eat? What is this Foam Roller thing you always rave about? How did you survive eating no candy on Easter? I LOVE when I can educate others on living out a healthy lifestyle and the support I give them motivates me to keep eating clean and exercising daily. First thing I tell them is it starts with, you guessed it, a routine!

Morning: Within 20 minutes of waking up, I eat. A typical breakfast for me looks likes this:

One sliced banana, a cup of strawberries, and a sprinkle of PB2 on top to make this party complete.

After breakfast has settled, I turn up the music for that extra "push" to the gym and lace up my sneakers. I always switch up my workouts, going through the cycle of lifting and running and biking and Pilates. I plan my workouts weekly to give me something to follow.

Side note: Thanks to Taylor for the candid shot of me. Please excuse the facial expression as I wish I had a reason to give you of why I look like that...

Post workout snacks are key. I usually reach for an apple and Almond or Peanut Butter to get some protein in my belly!

Afternoon: Lunch varies for me depending on what my tastebuds are craving. It could be a sandwich or a shake, a salad or leftovers. Either way, this is the last meal of the day where I eat fruit. 

After lunch it's off to work I go! I pack with me a snack and usually eat it around 3pm to keep my metabolism going and my stomach from rumbling. Oh, and my Camelback travels with me like it's my child. I try to refill it 3 times a day to make sure I'm getting enough water. 

Snacks I typically bring are: carrots, almonds, raisins, or a Lara Bar. 

Night: Living "in the city" means that my commute is 30 minutes and even longer if there is traffic. Working late means my stomach is literally screaming at me to feed it by the time I finally walk in my door. Since I don't sit down to eat until 7:45-8, I tend to gravitate towards meals that are quick to make and easy to clean up. My "staple" dinner meals are Tilapia with veggies, Chicken with veggies, or a big salad with Chicken and Edamame. Boring? Slightly. Healthy? Yes. 

On Sundays I usually bake enough Chicken Breasts to get me through the week. I add them to salads and sandwiches at lunch and eat them whole for dinner. 

Snack: 5 egg whites before I clean my face, brush my teeth, and shut down all the apps on my iPhone! 

There is my almost daily routine. As a disclaimer, what I eat and exercise works for me but might not work for you! I'm sure I eat certain foods at the wrong time or run too often, but let's remember my degree is in Elementary Education, ok?! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Day

I wake up, anxious for something marvelous to happen to me like being approached with a writing job or a tall man with good morals standing at my door with Starbucks and a smile. But the sun goes down and the covers come up as I say goodnight and wait for tomorrow to be "the day."

This weekend was "the day."

I began to see why I'm here. Why I dusted off INDEPENDENCE and used it to move 900+ miles away from home. I know life isn' meant to be figured out because where is the fun in that? But this weekend, it was like a big wave of "you are where you need to be" came over me and I felt content. I felt recharged and that I could move forward knowing that my feet are placed where they need to be. 

I woke up Saturday morning with a clean slate. I had the whole day to do what I wanted, and so I did. I laced up my *new* shoes and went for a 5 mile run at the park. Can I just say how freeing it is to run when I want and how far I want -- no training schedule to follow! I sat at the coffee shop for a couple hours after, writing for Styled With Strength and catching up on the latest breaking news in the world of Facebook -->insert sarcasm<--.

What next? Go to the mall? Clean my house? Drive to Boulder and go hiking? I'm 24, living in Denver, so why not go hiking and increase my chances of getting killed by a Mountain Lion? It's a crazy thing, being able to "just drive to Boulder and go hiking" simply because I can. I still can't wrap my head around the fact that I live in one of the most beautiful states and have access to things I never had growing up in the Frozen Tundra. 

I hiked, and hiked, and hiked. The silence was overwhelming yet thought provoking. Ever notice how we hate silence? If you don't believe me, try driving next time without the radio on. We don't like it because it makes us think --- work, family, friends, things we are lacking and things we want. For me, that silence made me think about me. How selfish does that sound, huh? 

I no longer want to wait around for things to happen and why would I want to? It would make no sense for me to not take full advantage of where am I now with what I have. Hello actively waiting! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Half Marathon Hangover

My calves have never been so tight, my left knee feels like it's going to pop out and my right ankle is causing me to walk the opposite of normal. I like to call this feeling the Half Marathon Hangover.

The week leading up to race day was more stress-filled than I would have liked. No matter what time I went to bed, come 6:45am, I was up and making a cup of coffee. My mind would start going, thinking about the race and if my knee cap was going to stay under my skin and if I was going to finish and what kind of beer they would serve at the end.

This run was different in a couple ways...

1. I wasn't in Fargo, ND, running amongst family and friends.
2. HiLls. The whole 13.1 miles. Up and down, up and down.
3. I didn't know a single soul running with me. Although there was "that guy" who would high five every person he passed. This made me smile - I love "that guy".
4. We started in downtown Littleton and finished in downtown Denver. Yeah, that was pretty freakin' cool.
5. I have never gone into a race with an injury so I was very close with my friend Anxiety for the past month.

Accessorized with a stress rash on my arm. How cute!

Foam rolling is quickly becoming second nature to me. Wake up, roll. Eat lunch, roll. Put on my pajamas, roll. 

My race was at 8 and my alarm was set for 6, so when I woke up at 4:30 you can only imagine how happy I was. God must have known I needed to see this kick butt sunrise to make up for it though!

Running hair is tough. If I put it in a ponytail, it flails from side to side and ends up smacking me in the eyes a time or twenty but if I put it in a braid, I feel like I am five years old and going to school. I settled on a Ballerina bun which was anything but stylin' but hey, long hair don't care (I still don't get why people say this but it fit so perfectly here sooooo yeah). 

Awkward family photo minus the family. 


Disclaimer: I did not eat all this food but I did eat half of it and I loved every bite! 

Hydration is key ; )

So thankful that Taylor was there to cheer me on! 

Runners had to take the Light Rail back to Littleton and let me just say that the smell in that thing was anything but pleasant. Although it would make a great plot for a deodorant commercial! 

Hot tub post race was absolute perfection

Now you know how to get a Half Marathon Hangover! Happy running!