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Picking a winner

Yesterday my father and I traveled to Maryland for my bi-annual visit with my grandmother. In our typical fashion we picked up my grandmama and took her to one of the local restaurants. Since we didn’t want to be too casual, we selected TGIFriday’s over Panera (we’re so classy).

I sat down, opened the menu, and what did I see? Thousands upon thousands of calories. Seriously, they put them on the menu. I know that there are plans to put calorie content on menus in the future, but Maryland has already started. It was shocking and appalling. The items I would typically consider boasted 1200 calories or more. Well there was no way I would willingly consume my daily caloric intake at lunch. So I scrutinized the menu for an item with a more appropriate amount.

Sad to say there were very few items less than 750 calories. Choosing from these options I found a chicken dish with a side of broccoli and rice that suited my fancy. The other options were not as appetizing (to me at least). As for my family, my father threw caution to the wind and ordered a sandwich with fries. What was confusing about the calorie count was the fact that the menu said his meal was 1250 calories and separately it noted that the fries were 400. I couldn’t tell if that meant it was 1650 or just 1250. Perhaps I’m over analyzing it?

Thanks to this trip, I’m going to start rethinking my restaurant selections. Most of the time when I go out I don’t consider what I’m putting into my body, I just enjoy myself and splurge. As great as that has been, I need to focus on selecting the healthier items. Perhaps this will light a fire under my ass to start cooking more…

What do you think about calorie content on menus? Do you think it will change your ordering habits?

On a happier note, the winner of the Chobani giveaway is…

Congratulations Cheryl!  Please e-mail me with your contact information so we can get that case of yogurt headed your way. For those of you who didn’t win, I suggest getting out to the store and trying a new flavor. Greek yogurt is a fantastic snack option and Chobani has a ridiculous number of flavors to enjoy.

Do I qualify?

A few weeks ago I was out at a festival when I ran into a friend and her mother. I was clad in a tank top and jean skirt (it was hot out) and working on getting a nice burn (sunscreen, I should learn to wear it). Somehow it was brought up that I ran my first marathon and am planning to run another. At this point I noticed my friend’s mother. She was looking me up and down with an odd look on her face. She was judging me. Hard core.

No, I’m not the smallest individual out there. I run next to plenty of women who are 30+ pounds lighter than me and this is something I’ve always struggled with. I’m not particularly quick and I don’t have the physique of a runner. So, should I be allowed to identify as a “runner”?

Now this is something that I struggle with frequently. I will never have that skinny runners body. Non-existent thighs and flat chested?  Yeah right. When I watch others running around me, this is something I always look at.

That and their form. I constantly check people out as I drive by to see their body positioning. Are they over striding? Heel striking? Arms flailing? Does proper body movement make someone a runner? If so, then I don’t qualify on that account either. Although I will admit mine is getting better, I’m more aware of my high arms and make an effort to relax my shoulders.

And then there is the speed debacle. In college, when I was training for 5ks (on a dreadmill), I was able to keep up a much faster pace. I set a 5k PR senior year of college and haven’t come close since. I’ll never qualify for the Boston Marathon (thank goodness I finagled my way in this year), but I’d like to see myself improve.

So what am I? Who knows. For the time being I plan to keep getting out there and doing my thing. People are bound to judge me for it, but such is life.

What about you, are you a runner? What do you think characterizes a runner?

Boob Job

It was seven years ago today (well, yesterday) that I took the plunge and went under the knife. When I tell most people that I’ve had a “boob job”, they assume I got implants. The girls are still rather large and I always make sure they look their best. But I didn’t increase them. I was sixteen years old when I underwent breast reduction surgery.

Let’s be serious, any type of plastic surgery is risky and especially for a young girl. I was unhappy, I didn’t know what I wanted I just knew I didn’t want them. I went into the surgery not knowing the outcome or how I’d feel. I’ll be honest, I never knew what the recovery process would be like.

Waking up from the surgery I was loopy and in pain. I couldn’t look at them for quite a while (showering was not a fun process). It took several weeks for me to become remotely comfortable with what I had done.

Seven years later and I can honestly say I’d do it again.  This time I’d be less naive; ask the surgeon for a smaller set and make sure to douse them daily with Vitamin E to diminish the scars. Some days I’m still not overjoyed with how they look, but I know I made this decision for a reason. I can comfortably run with one sports bra, I can wear most tops without buying up a size, and I can find a bra without going to a specialty store.

Cosmetic surgery isn’t for everyone. I suggest researching extensively before making an appointment with a plastic surgeon. And most importantly, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons (I’m still uncertain if I did).

On a lighter note, I had a lovely day with my family and friends. Yes, we ate a bit much, but these things happen. I leave you with this cuteness:

Mardi & his new toy pterodactyl

Have you ever considered going under the knife? What would make or break your decision?


Although I’ve been saying it for several weeks, it is finally sinking in that I will be moving in a month and a half (43 days). Since I will be living in grad student housing, I won’t need to bring any furniture. On the down side this means I need to sell everything that fills my two bedroom apartment. And now, as I look around, it seems like I own far more than I ever knew. Sigh, this is going to be a lot of work. I want to get rid of everything with ample time so I can limit my stress levels closer to the day of, yet how does one survive without any furniture?

Fortunately I don’t have emotional attachments with most of the furniture, but I was informed (by the parentals) that I may need to sell my bedroom set. This is the one piece of furniture I’ve ever purchased on my own and it is gorgeous. We’ve gone through a lot together, that set and me, and I don’t particularly want to get rid of it. What’s worse? I know I won’t even recoup a teensy bit of the price I paid. We’ll see how that one works out for me.

Then, while I was putting away laundry yesterday, I realized that I own too much clothing. Way too much for me to take with me on my cross country journey. So before I put anything into the drawers, I started removing items. When was the last time I wore you? Where did I get you and why? Will I really miss you or am I being overly sentimental? And next thing you know, I had a big ol’ pile of clothes to giveaway. I’m almost positive I could clothe a person for quite some time.

But I won’t lie, it was tough. There are items I’ve been holding onto for ages. The skirt I wore to my sophomore high school homecoming or the shirt I bought with my first real boyfriend. I’ve been holding onto these items for my own personal reasons. And now it is time to let go. Yes, they held great meaning to me, but I’ll always have those memories. It will be better for someone less fortunate to enjoy the clothing rather than wasting space in my dresser. Time to let go, purge myself of the unnecessary, and prepare for the next chapter in my life. Onward and upward, right?

Do you have difficulty letting go of material objects? How do you manage to remain level headed during the process?

Turtle Thursday

I woke up today feeling a bit under the weather, my nose has been running all day and my head is debating whether or not to have a headache. Work was quite atrocious, there were times I wanted to shout at my coworker, “I don’t actually care, I won’t be here in two months!” (He isn’t aware that I’m leaving.) But I made it through, and towards the four o’clock hour I had serious thoughts about going for a run.

Since I’m often foolish, I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to run while getting a head cold. Typically I don’t abide by “healthy medical” practice, I prefer to do things based on my feelings. Which are often wrong… Based on the feedback I received from some fantastic twitter-folk, I decided to go for a slow three miles and constantly reevaluate my physical condition.

These days, Ohio has been kind enough to have the most finicky weather. When I left work it was pouring, but it seemed to lighten up on the way home. By the time I changed and was out the door, it was still determining if it wanted to continue its rain cycle. As I left my apartment I noticed that I started too fast. I had to remind myself that I needed to pace appropriately or I’d be on the ground in a few minutes. Of course that didn’t do much to change my pace, I found that I was feeling decent for most of the way so I didn’t slow myself. When I first began the run, I expected to be going a minute per mile slower than average, just to keep my body happy. Rounding towards home I realized that I was having negative splits. Where was this speed coming from?! Somehow I managed to push myself the entire way without slowing or having my body complain. Mission accomplished, and I’m still shocked that I sped up towards the end without wheezing.

On another note, the Zensah Calf Sleeves I’ve worn for several runs and races, well they are absolutely amazing. I didn’t feel a twinge of discomfort in my calves the entire time. They helped to keep my calves comfortable, which is exactly what I need these days. I hadn’t heard of calf sleeves until recently. After experiencing pain on the outside of my leg while running, I realized I needed a solution. Stretching wasn’t cutting it and changing my stride made me feel like I was waddling… With some research, I realized that calf sleeves were my best bet. Now I can honestly say that they were a lifesaver.

To top off my evening? Well I decided to end today on a high note with a delicious combination of peanut butter, banana, and chocolate. Can you think of anything better? I hope this doesn’t become a habit, that could be delicious detrimental to my health…

Now tell me: What exercise equipment has saved you in the past? And what is your secret nighttime snack craving?

Note: I purchased the Zensah sleeves on my own dime, all praise is solely my unbiased opinion. Of course I wouldn’t mind if Zensah sent me some compression gear to review. (Bright pink is preferable…)