A Whole New Year!

Well, I’m a few days late (and a few dollars short), but isn’t that the story of my life? I also haven’t gotten my Christmas cards out yet. However, I knew I wouldn’t get them out in time for any holiday, so they don’t even have a holiday printed on them. Score! Actually they do say the world “love”, so maybe I have until Valentine’s Day to get them out? If I get them out now, I’ll be early! 😉

I suppose I should mention that I say I’m late, because I’m going to chat about 2015, 2016, goals, and all that jazz that most people are already over. I mean it’s January 5th, so a good number of people have already given up on their resolutions. Right?! I’m not one of them (hooray!).

Okay, 2015. Yeah, so last year. I read a few really good blog posts on how to look back at your year, but that seemed like so much work. Instead, I decided I would say this – it wasn’t the best and it wasn’t the worst. Ha! I don’t think my best year has gotten here yet… maybe it’s this year?!

happy-new-year.jpg

Bahahaha! 2014!! I’m really good at leading myself astray. Let’s start with the crappy things that happened in 2015. I have three:

  • I had to say goodbye to some family members. I’m trying to get God to pinky swear that this won’t happy again for a long, long time. If I keep holding my pinky up in the air, do you think He’ll eventually send a mystical one down to pinky swear with me? Likely he’s just up there laughing because I’m a control freak. I’ll never learn!
  • Work stress, anxiety, overwhelm that I keep swearing I won’t let happen but here I am in the first week of January already double booked. I will learn.
  • Overall life sadness. See next paragraph.

So that last one. Yowzers. I’ve really been in a dark place for a long time. My last couple of posts have really hit the nail on the head – negative self talk, stress, anxiety… over and over and over. I just took part in a wonderful Instagram challenge, and it made me realize something HUGE. I kind of quit dreaming for a while there. I really couldn’t see past this point in my life. I mean, I had little dreams… “someday” I want to live on a lake and “someday” we’ll have a family. That’s really it though. My mind hasn’t stretched further than that in a really long time. So long that I found it really hard to stretch it on the final day of the challenge when we were supposed to dream. I’m kind of on a mission now to try to dream and trust that God has more than just the life I’m living now in store for me. #faith

So that was the worst of 2015. Here’s the best! Since I’m lazy and just wanted to do this without using Instagram or Facebook to guide my thinking, here is what I remember of the awesome of 2015:

  • Travel!! Work fun places – Key West, Tacoma, Boston. Vacation – Cancun, Vegas, Cabo.

KeyWestChair

  • We bought a timeshare!
  • We bought a boat! When I love it (most of the time), it’s our boat. When it needs cleaned or fixed, it’s B’s boat.

MeinBoat

  • Ragnar!

I’m sure there’s more, but those are the ones that pop into my head.

Okay, on to this year! 2016! I mentioned on Facebook that this is a big year. 10 years ago I interned at my first accounting firm, got engaged, graduated college, and started my first real job. That means it’s my 10 year anniversary at my firm this year. My nephew was born. I bought my treadmill. I failed my first CPA exam. So many exciting things! (You better believe I just took a 5 minute run down memory lane in my head.)

AlishaWedding

With all of those huge milestones happening 10 years ago, this year definitely has something awesome in store for me. I can just feel it! I think this will be the year that I change my self talk and constant stream of chatter in my head to positive, loving, and joyful thoughts. Maybe I get medicated to make the voices stop? Ha! That was totally a joke. I do think this will be the year that I make peace with my body, my mind, and food. Peace. Joy. Love. Positivity. Calm. I think those are my words for this year.

Notice that I haven’t told you any crazy resolutions yet? I don’t have any! Not a single one. I know what I want out of the year, as I just shared, but I’m not making any goals. I don’t do well with goals. You give me a goal, and I will give myself a ton of mental torture. Instead, I have new thoughts and new words to think about. Cool, right?

Signature

Be Sociable, Share!

From Christmas to Work

And just like that, it’s the last day of the year! Ha – I originally wrote this post on Monday so it said, “And just like that, Christmas is over, and we are back to work!” I’m off of work today though, and more focused on New Years (Christmas was soooo last week), so this sounds better!

Aaaaanyway…

I did so well with my Christmas anxiety! I was able to completely enjoy myself without guilt or mental torture. I had a few moments where I found myself doing the, “why did I say that?” or “why did I do that?”, but I caught myself and told myself to knock it off. Now I’m feeling good about the whole weekend. Hooray!

Christmas

Since that little experiment worked so well, I’m trying to calm my work anxiety. It’s bad. I wake up, think about work, and a sense of dread just floods through me. I can literally feel it flowing through my body. Life really shouldn’t be that way! I’ve even questioned myself, “What is it about your work that makes you feel this way?” It’s not the actual work – I think it’s just the expectations I put on myself. I get it into my head that my clients are disappointed, so I have to get things to them today. Then I feel so overwhelmed with trying to get things done, that any extra things that come in through email send me overboard. Everyone is mad at me, everyone thinks I’m doing an awful job, and I’m just a disappointment. How the heck did I get this way?!

WorkTime

To apply my Christmas anxiety experiment to my work anxiety, I need to flip the conversation in my head and think positive instead. Here goes!

Flipping the conversation (more like questioning the conversation):

  • I have so much to get done today/this week! I’m so stressed and overwhelmed! –> What must I get done today, and what can I sit on for a while longer? (I’ve actually been doing this one for a while, it is sort of working.) What expectations am I putting on myself that my clients don’t actually have? Can I check with them to see what their actual expectations are? Remember, your clients are real people who are just as busy, so they are likely going to be understanding if you tell them you need some time.
  • My client doesn’t think I work a long enough day or am working enough. (Sometimes I think this because I count my travel time into my day, so that I’m not really ever on-site at a client for a full 8 hours.) –> Does your client really think this? Have they ever said anything to you to make you think this? Unless a client says something, they likely aren’t even thinking about the times you are coming and going. Your clients are also already aware of your commute, so they understand your hours.
  • So-and-so partner thinks I do awful work and doesn’t think I am enough of a leader or can take on more responsibility. –> Have you ever had a negative review from any partner? Nope! I don’t even want more responsibility since that would be too overwhelming. I just want to calmly go about my work, and then go home and not think about it. I don’t want to live to work.
  • My client doesn’t think I know enough or is disappointed in my work. –> Again, have you ever heard this from a client? Nope! You’ve had clients tell you how much they appreciate the work you do for them and how much of a help you are to them.

I think that about covers the majority of the thoughts that go through my head. Reading back through this, I noticed I switch between “you” and “I” a lot. I actually think that’s how the thoughts are in my head, so I didn’t change it.

StoptheJudgement

Now to think about the positive – the things I love about my job:

  • The flexibility. For the most part I make my own schedule and can make decisions such as the one I made last year to only travel one week per month.
  • My salary. I think I get paid decently.
  • The benefits. I get a lot of vacation time and am encouraged to use it.
  • The ability to work from home. I did it this week! I mostly work at client locations, but I also work at home if I don’t need to be at a client. Working in my PJs is the best!

WorkingatHome WorkinPJs

  • The fun travel. I’ve visited places I have never been because of work. Just this year I added Baton Rouge, Tacoma, and Boston to that list. I also love that I can get away to warm locales when it’s cold here in MN.

LanderCollage2

  • My coworkers! I enjoy chatting with them throughout the day. The partner in charge of my group is also the most supportive and encouraging person I have ever worked for. That is such a blessing!
  • Some of my clients. I have a bunch of clients who are thankful and grateful for the work I do for them – and let me know it. That encouragement makes me feel so great at the end of the day.

There, I’m feeling better already! Seriously, this might seem silly to you, but it’s really become something that’s important to me. I’ve realized lately how important it is to enjoy life, because it really is so short. If you can’t enjoy every minute of a vacation because of these negative conversations that are constantly bombarding you, then something is wrong and needs to change. That’s where I’m at, and this is how I’m trying to fix it – by changing those conversations and replacing them with positive thoughts.

Enough seriousness. I am really looking forward to New Year’s Eve tonight. We are going out to dinner with friends, then back to their house to play games. I had a little anxiety around the evening, because I know getting a cab can be a nightmare, so I wasn’t so sure about even going out or having any drinks. I made a plan not to drink much so that I could drive us home. I still have that plan in the back of my mind, but I want to go with the flow. If I want more than one drink, then we can just wait the extra time for a cab. We’ll be with friends, so no biggie, right?

Have a Happy New Year!

Signature

Be Sociable, Share!

It’s Almost Christmas!

Hello hello! Do you have your countdown on until Christmas like I do?! Only 3 more days! I finished the last of my shopping last night, and I plan on wrapping presents tonight. I’m looking forward to it!

ChristmasTree

Does the holiday give you anxiety at all? I get the worst anxiety. The thought of going away to visit my in-laws for a few days just puts me in a panic. There will be junk food everywhere! There will be drinking, and I tend to drink too much! I won’t get any exercise! I can’t afford for my pants to get any tighter! <– Seriously, these are all of the thoughts that have gone through my head. Not just this year either… it seems like it only gets worse. To the point where I don’t visit very often. It just needs to stop.

If you haven’t figured out by now, I have intense diet-centered thoughts that have been brought on by all my years of dieting. They either tell me I must restrict everything or judge me very harshly for not following through. I’m just now realizing that people who haven’t dieted for years don’t have these thoughts. It’s mind-blowing.

I’ve thought about how to make this anxiety go away. 1. Flip the conversation in my head. 2. Focus on the positive instead.

Okay, flipping the conversation in my head sounds something like this.

  • There will be junk food everywhere! –> Does that matter? You have the freedom to eat anything you desire. If you desire a cookie, sit down and enjoy one. If you don’t desire a cookie, then don’t eat a cookie and find something else to eat instead. If you feel like you won’t find anything that will nourish you, you can bring along some backup food. (This calms my anxiety – if I know I can have something readily available that I will like and is nourishing.)
  • There will be drinking, and I tend to drink too much! –> You have full permission to drink without guilt or remorse. (Putting guilt and restriction on myself for drinking has often caused me to drink too much. I hate it when people, even myself, tell me what to do and tend to do the opposite.)
  • I won’t get any exercise! –> What a silly thought! Bring along some warm clothes so you can go for a morning walk if you desire. Just because there is no treadmill or gym doesn’t mean you are trapped in the house. You can also find a calisthenics routine that you can (quietly) do inside to get your blood pumping and digestive system moving (my real reason that I love exercise in the morning).
  • I can’t afford for my pants to get any tighter! –> Trust me, if you listen to your body, rather than any false negative thoughts in your head, your pants won’t feel tighter when you get back on Sunday.

This really helps me calm down and realize there are other choices. I don’t need to fall back into the same patterns, or keep thinking with that diet-restriction voice in my head.

On to the positive side!

  • It’s Christmas! It’s a wonderful time of year!
  • You get to see your family AND B’s family in just a matter of days!
  • You get time off of work!
  • Think of the fun you’ll have! Games, seeing people, and playing dart-ball!

In all honesty, I really enjoy my in-laws’ company – it’s just my diet-restrictive mindset that leads me to be anxious or resentful about visiting. I really enjoy when we bake something (did that one year), play games, head on up to the bar to visit with friends we haven’t seen in a while, and play dart-ball at B’s grandma’s house. These are true, pure memories that I let my own self judgment spin into a negative light. Such a bummer. I’m going to really fight it this year!

StayinPeace.jpg

On that note, you have no idea how much better getting this all down made me feel. On to a rocking Christmas vacation!! (Okay, I have one more day of work, but then on to it!!)

Signature

Be Sociable, Share!

This Blog Still Exists! & Cabo San Lucas

Well, hello there! Are you doing a bit of the M&M Santa Christmas commercial, “[S]he doe exist!”? This blog does still exist! I just haven’t visited it in a while. Tis life, friends. However, I think when I don’t blog I tend to overdo it with my Facebook postings and annoy my friends and family. Perhaps I should give those poor people a break, and begin blogging again? That would be awful nice of me!

Edited to add: Then it promptly took me two days to actually write and post this. I rock. :)

To start the fun again, why don’t I talk all about my recent vacation? Because it’s fresh in my mind, and I want to get it all down somewhere so I can remember it forever. Let’s do it!

Yesterday we got back from a one week vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was amazing! This past May we bought a timeshare, and we were able to use it for the first time. I love our timeshare! For people who take annually or more often vacations, and plan to for the rest of their lives, I think timeshares (at least ours through Hilton Grand Vacation Club) are a great investment. I’m kind of going into more detail here because I’ve gotten a ton of questions on it. Basically, until your timeshare mortgage is paid off, you may spend more than you would normally on an annual vacation, but after that it gets way cheaper for you. I could spell it out for you in numbers, but I think that’s the simplest way to put it.

Okay, back to our vacation. We spent the past week at Fiesta Americana Grand. I absolutely loved our resort! At first I wasn’t too sure I was going to since the place is huge, with our room as far away from the pool and main restaurant areas as you can get, but it was fabulous. Although we were up on the highest hill (farthest right top corner in the picture below), we had stunning views and a golf cart service to shuttle us back and forth.

FAGLobbyView

So what did we all do on our vacation? Not much, yet so much! Does that make sense? We spent a lot of time at the pool relaxing, but it was just perfect. Since explaining everything would take forever, and be kind of boring, I’m going to give the highlights that I want to remember forever.

  • All of the wonderful people we met! I think part of the beauty of being somewhere where the majority of the other guests are fellow timeshare owners, is that everyone is super duper friendly. We started chatting with people the moment we got there, and just kept on making new friends. So amazing.
  • The views. I just couldn’t get over how darn gorgeous it was every time we looked out our balcony, the lobby views, and the views during our golf cart ride. Ask the hubs, I kept marveling at the view!

FAGLobbyViewOcean

FAGBalconyViewOcean

SelfieView

  • Taking a catamaran ride and snorkeling. We love snorkeling and taking boat rides, so this was another perfect excursion for us. The hubs even saw his first dolphins in the wild!

CatamaranSelfie

Arch

  • Exploring in town. We only made the 15 minute shuttle ride into town twice, but it was still fun. The restaurants and bars are neat, and we talked to many more people.

CaboWaboSelfie

SenorFrogs

I think the only downside of our vacation was my own attitude. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with needless guilt and anxiety, and I couldn’t let it go even on vacation. I had to set alarms so I wouldn’t “oversleep”, and I kept feeling frustrated that my husband wanted to party with people. “We’re too old for that.” When I finally let my hair down, I did so too much, and then I felt so stupid and guilty on our very last full day. That stinks. This vacation made me really realize that I’m slowly making myself absolutely miserable. I need to let go of all of this perceived judgment and just enjoy the blessed life I have. I think I’ve found my newest goal! I’ll explore that more in upcoming posts. For now, let’s bask in the after vacation glow.

Signature

Be Sociable, Share!

What’s in My Bag

Hello again! I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything in so long. Actually I can, because I have a million drafts that I started and never finished. One is pretty decent, so I may post that in the near future. Or not… we’ll see.

I’ve decided that, in order to be more consistent because I really do like this space, I think I’m just going to work on posting once per week. Who knows what the content will be. Just whatever comes up that week! I’ll probably work on the post all week, since my mind tends to jump around (jump around! Jump up, jump up, and get down!). Ya see?

I’m traveling a lot right now, and I thought I’d share a little bit of my travel routines with you. This one is all about packing! Since I’ve only been traveling a few days each week, and flying, I’m only bringing a carryon. No checked bag for me when my travel is short. Since my liquids/gels are limited to that one quart size bag in my carryon, I thought it would be fun to share what makes the cut in my bag.

My 3-1-1

In case you don’t know what 3-1-1 means, you need to travel more. Ha! It’s repeated constantly in the security line – 3.4 ounces of liquid/gel, 1 quart size bag, and 1 bag per traveler. It’s up to you to figure out what you can all jam into that quart size bag. Here’s what makes the cut for me:

TravelLiquids

1. In travel containers (I recently bought these at Target, and they are amazing on cutting space!)

  • proactiv+ Pore Targeting Treatment
  • proactiv+ Complexion Perfecting Hydrator
  • Herbal Essences Bombshell Babe Blowout Crème (I love this stuff! I bought it when I ran out of detangler and couldn’t find anything else at Target. It must have been a weird day. Anyway, this takes out the tangles, makes my hair really soft, and fights the frizzies.

2. Febreeze (This always comes with me! I like having it in case anything smells musty or to spray down workout clothes that I might wear more than once – think walk in the evening and work out in the morning. I don’t want to smell bad.)

3. Toothpaste

4. ACQUA di GIOIA roller ball perfume (My husband gave me a perfume kit one year for Christmas that included this. I don’t know where I would be without it!)

5. Zit stuff (This may vary. It really rocks having super acne prone skin!)

6. Contact solution (Look at how much space I would save if I didn’t wear contacts!)

7. Face wash (The type may vary.)

8. Smashbox BB Cream (This is a newer purchase. My powder was running low, and a little too light for summer, so I wanted to try something new. Enter this fun BB cream. I’ve been mixing it with my proactiv+ hydrator and like the results. It helps with my super oily skin.)

I love seeing and hearing about what other people cram in their bags. What’s in yours?!

Signature

Be Sociable, Share!

Did You Know That It Was My Birthday?

Before I get into my post, I apologize for all of this jumping around. I’m working on getting everything settled over here.

Similar to Sunday’s post, did you know that it was my birthday on Saturday? Again, you must not be friends with me on Facebook and Instagram if you didn’t know this. Or you live under a rock. Or you’re my dad. Kind of kidding on that last part.

BirthdayRagnar

I turned the big 3-1 on Saturday. Ugh! I have a hard time with this whole aging thing. How has it been 13 years since I graduated high school and 9 since I graduated college?! That makes no sense to me! I’m supposed to be 22 forever! Or 27, as I told everyone this was my 27th birthday. I may lie.

To relieve myself of my serious aging anxieties, I thought I’d share a list (love lists!) of some things I’ve learned in my 31 years. Oh God, how am I this old?!

1. Always drink red wine before white wine when drinking at home, or at someone else’s house. That way, by the time you get a little sloshy with your glass, you won’t stain the carpet. I learned this one the hard way.

Annnnd, that’s it! Hahaha. I seriously had “2.” written and stared at it forever before I decided I really didn’t know much else. It’s nice to have just one quality piece of advice to give though, right?

All joking aside, I just happened to be running during the time the clock changed from the 14th to the 15th and my birthday. I also happened to lose my music about this time, so I had to think about something to relieve my anxiety about not having music. I decided to think about everything I am grateful for now that I’m 31.

1. First, and foremost, I’m so grateful for God in my life. He’s the one who has given me this incredible life, and the one I stop and thank every day for all that He’s done.StayinPeace_thumb.jpg

2. My husband and family mean the world to me, and I also pray every single night that God will keep them safe and with me for a long, long time to come.

BSBoatSelfie

3. My house, my career, and my lifestyle. These can be bunched into one. I’m so thankful that my husband and I have careers that pay us enough that we can own a home and live a comfortable lifestyle.

4. Nature. It would be weird not to be grateful for nature while running at night on a road next to the Mississippi River. I love nature. I love basking in the beauty that God has created. It’s just amazing and breathtaking.

PicMonkey-Collage_thumb.jpg

5. Legs that can run! (And my health). Although I’ve had minor, weird health issues, these are just that – minor. I have overall good health, which allows me to run, walk, sit, stand, play, jump, etc. I’m going to expand more on this topic below, but I’ve realized I’m so grateful for my health and body and want to take the best care of it.

6. Ragnar, friends, and people I can connect with. I’ve been noticing a lot lately that I need more connection in my life. I really love the times I’m with my book club, Ragnar people, or just with a friend, since I feel so connected and fulfilled. I’m grateful for all of these moments, and these people, and want to add more of them.

RagnarTeams

I’m sure there’s more, but this was all I could remember right now.

I do want to expand more on number 5 above, as I said I was going to. I’ve slowly been having these crazy realizations lately about bodies and my body. Some of it happened at Ragnar. Don’t judge, but I had these negative thoughts going into Ragnar that I would be one of the biggest girls running. I obviously don’t have a typical runner’s body, and I’m carrying a lot of extra pounds on my frame. When I got to Ragnar, however, I realized there were girls of every body shape and size there. There were girls with bodies bigger than mine who looked so comfortable in their bodies and clothes. It sort of dawned on me that this is possible. It’s possible to love your body at any size. It’s just a body! I listened to this podcast from Chalene Johnson earlier this week, and it seemed to click more for me. I can love my body, be grateful for my body, and work to treat my body with love and respect with my diet and movement. I want this to keep clicking with me, and to keep moving forward with this. Fingers crossed!

Signature

Be Sociable, Share!

Did You Know That I Ran Ragnar?

Did you know that I ran the Ragnar Relay the last two days? If you had no clue this happened, then you are definitely not friends with me… on Facebook and Instagram that is. 😉

RagnarTeam2015

Since my thoughts are so hard to organize and put down in words, I’ve decided to make a nice list for you. #crazythoughts

Before I list about my Ragnar love, maybe I should clue you in on what exactly Ragnar is. I’m still completely surprised that people who know me don’t know about Ragnar. I have a little bit of love for this annual relay. Just a little. The Ragnar Relay is a 12 person, 2 day, 200 mile relay race. I have ran the Great River Ragnar Relay every year since 2010, so this was my sixth time running this awesome event! How it works is you split up your 12 people into 2 vans – runners 1-6 and runners 7-12 or van 1 and van 2. The first van starts, the first runner runs a specified course to a specified exchange where they slap off our nifty Ragnar slap bracelet to the second runner. The van leapfrogs in front of the runner to cheer and then meets them at the exchange so the second runner can get out and the first runner can get in. The van continues to do this until they are out of runners, where they slap off to runner 7 and van 2 does their thing. At this point, van 1 gets to take a break, rest their legs, get some sleep, eat some food, and get ready to do it all again when van 2 is done. This is repeated until everyone has run their specified 3 times. Then you meet up, run through a Ragnar inflatable symbol arch, get a medal and team picture, and eat pizza (and drink a beer if you want). The Great River Ragnar Relay goes from Winona, MN to Minneapolis, MN. Although it starts and ends in MN, it’s actually mostly in WI since the course crosses the river from Winona, and then doesn’t cross back into MN again until Stillwater. Hence the name Great River.

Okay, let’s list.

Things You May Discover By Running Ragnar (Even After 5 Years)

1. You can chafe anywhere and everywhere. This was a biggie for me! I chafed my undercarriage… like “down there”. I was too hot and sweaty to change out of my running clothes after my first run, which was a huge mistake. One I’ve made before, so I knew better. This lady is not wearing undies for a while. Let her breathe! Is this too much info for you to know? Too bad.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – don’t go into this race dehydrated. I’ve learned in the past that just a butt ton (technical term) of water is needed when running this race. From my experiences, the best way I’ve learned to remember to hydrate during Ragnar is to always keep my water bottle with me. When I get out of the van to cheer on other teammates, I will always take my water with me. That reminds me to drink and refill while we’re stopped. My water is always next to me in the van as well. Dehydration is not something to laugh about, especially on a challenging course like Great River Ragnar. Which brings me to my next point –

3. Walking breaks are needed in the heat. I didn’t mention that on Friday, when we started the race, there was a heat index of 104. On Saturday it was in the 90s. HOT and humid. This was a very hot year and, as I mentioned above, Great River Ragnar is a challenging course. I don’t think there is a single leg of this relay that doesn’t have a pretty big hill. There are just a ton of monster hills since we run through the river valley. When the heat is so intense, your heart rate is gonna go up, and walking breaks will be needed. It’s just a fact. We encouraged everyone on our team to take them without shame. Unfortunately there were a lot of people who might not have followed this advice or the note above to hydrate religiously, and there were a ton of people taken away by ambulance. Even at the end of the race there were a few ambulances that came screaming in to assist with heat exhausted runners. It’s a serious and scary thing, and I’m glad most of my teammates took it seriously.

RagnarHeat4. The heat will really slow you down. I’ve seen this to be true for myself, but I didn’t realize how much it impacts everyone’s pace. As I just noted, walking breaks are needed and encouraged when it’s so hot outside. It was actually really interesting to see how much it affected pace times. A ton of teams (it was described to me as about a third by a teammate) actually didn’t run the race the traditional way, but had to have 2 people running at once and 2 vans running at once so runners weren’t actually handing off to each other in order to end the race before they tore it down. My teammate even told me he talked to a team who had placed in the top 3 last year were doing that this year. Just nuts! It’s also the latest I’ve ever gotten done with Ragnar – after 7pm.

5. When you are exhausted, you can fall asleep anywhere and at any time. This one was pretty funny for me. I literally fell asleep in the McDonald’s drive thru after we had placed our order but before getting our food. I was that tired and exhausted. It was also 5:15am, and I had been awake, running and in the heat, since the previous 6am. Where we finally took our sleeping break? On an un-air conditioned middle school gym floor. Too tired to care. I also only slept there for about 2.5 hours, but somehow woke up refreshed. That should be another bullet point.

RagnarResting6. There are people who do not fall in love with Ragnar and want to quit and/or don’t want to do it again. This one completely surprises me, although I’ve heard it before. We had a bunch of newbies on our team this year, and I heard from another teammate that a lot of them wanted to quit and go home and/or don’t want to do it again next year. I admit, if this Ragnar was your first, it would be a tough one to fall in love with because of the extreme heat. It was probably the hottest Ragnar I’ve ever experienced, although others have been pretty hot as well. Still! I love the camaraderie and hanging out with my van and teammates. I love the bonding. I love becoming so close to complete strangers that it’s hard to believe you were strangers to each other just 2 days ago. I love that, when you’re taking a walk break, you might have other runners or other vans stop and ask you if you need water or help. Everyone looks out for each other. I love the challenge and the feeling of pride and fulfillment by finishing a run and meeting that challenge. It makes me sad to hear that other people don’t see this or feel this and are turned off.

7. I’ve met so many amazing people by being teammates. This might be the plus side of people not wanting to run again. Let me explain how I got into Ragnar and how my team has changed over the years. The first year I ran Ragnar, my aunt had noticed that I was (newly) into running, and some of her friends were putting together a Ragnar team. I joined that team, knowing only my aunt, although we hadn’t ever hung out just the two of us before. From there, my love affair of this race began! We kept the core group of me, my aunt, and two friends for the first four years, adding and subtracting other new friends along the way. Last year my core group decided they weren’t going to run again, so I found myself without a main team. Luckily, we had found a new teammate and friend the year before who wanted to run again, so we went about building a new team. We only found 6 of us, so we joined up with another group of 6 who were looking for another half. This year, that friend and I plus three new teammates and friends from last year, made up a whole team of 12. My first year and last year I only knew one person on my team. Now I have all of these people I know! Plus some other crazy things – a lot of these random adds, like the friend that I built a new team with last year and this year, were from Facebook! Just posting that our team needs a runner or two has found us so many new teammates and friends! Another person that we had added to our team from Facebook a few years ago and ran with us for a few years but then stopped came back to us this year. The other 6 that we joined last year? That came from another MN blogger who I knew and saw my posts on Twitter or Facebook about needing runners – her husband was captaining the other 6. This race is just awesome for bringing people together and making new friends. From complete strangers to good friends in 2 days.

RagnarTeams

8. I don’t think I ever want to quit. I’ve thought in the past that this could be my last year of running Ragnar. Now I just don’t want to quit. I might be completely addicted. It’s so strange too. Last year, and leading up to this year, I had kind of gone lukewarm about Ragnar. Yeah, it’s great, but it’s such a challenge. I’m not really loving running these days. I think switching from pushing myself to only run without any walking to planning and setting my pace time off of run/walking made a huge difference in my attitude. There wasn’t that feeling of failure if I took a walk break. With the heat and seeing how it affected everyone else, I also didn’t get that feeling of failure or letting everyone down by not hitting my pace time. Taking that away made me love it again. Now I don’t ever want to stop.

I was thinking about going to 10, but this is so long already! I better stop. Most of you probably haven’t made it this far. If you have, thanks for listening to my love affair! Now I’m going back to my couch to read and relax before my massage later today. I’m just a tiny bit sore, and can’t wait for it to be massaged away. Main sore areas – calves and back. Don’t tell my husband that I’ve been exaggerating the rest. 😉

Signature

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Be Sociable, Share!

Back From Vacation

I’m back from my week of vacation! I kind of feel like I could use another week off. Such is life.

We spent last Saturday through yesterday morning at a lake about an hour away from our house with a bunch of the hubs’ family. His immediate family (minus a few), two uncles + wives, and cousins + spouses and kids. It’s always fun, but always exhausting as well. Every year I eat and drink too much and don’t get enough sleep. I also get a tan and make silly memories. Good times.

BStacyLiquorStore

I’m trying now to think back to the highlights of the week. I think they would be floating on tubes on the sandbar and everyone freaking out about a screech owl who visited the resort. I think those are definitely my top 2! I heart floating.

So before I left, I visited the doctor and got that CT scan to see if they could pinpoint my inflammation. The CT scan came back normal, which both frustrated and relieved me. I made that meal plan for vacation, and that was the last you’ve heard from me. Welllll, I didn’t stick to my meal plan AT ALL during vacation. My stomach actually felt better! Kind of. It hurt really bad on days where I really overate, but that’s to be expected.

So what gives? I think stress, overeating, a bad diet, etc. all caused the inflammation, gas, and pains. Basically my crappy habits plus a ton of stress. Fun fact – when you’re stressed, your body doesn’t digest food but holds onto it until you’re no longer stressed.

Where does that leave me now? I’m not going to go all crazy like I was thinking before this vacation. I’m still going to work at eating slower and with more intention, but I’m not cutting out all the fun foods like I had originally planned. I might have gone a bit crazy sauce when I decided that. :) I obviously need to deal with stress better as well. I’m going to start taking my AdvoCare Clear Mood daily, cut back on some stimulants (switching to AdvoCare Core instead of MNS 3), keep exercising on the daily, and start taking real lunch breaks away from my desk and any other distraction so that I can eat with intention and attention. Boom. Easy plan!

I totally just ate breakfast at noon. This day is already going too fast!!! I better go soak in the rest of my last day off.

Signature

Be Sociable, Share!

Digest This!

I’m back with a stomach update! Well, not so much. A slight update and more of a plan.

I just got a call from my doctor’s office that my CT from yesterday came back normal. If the problem persists, I should go back in. Lovely. While I’m relieved that there are no major problems, I’m also very frustrated. My stomach is bloated and gassy right now!

Maybe this is all in my head? I feel slightly crazy. Then again, my husband can attest to my bad gas, so I know there is something wrong. It could just be diet related though! That’s where my updated plan comes into play.

As I mentioned on Monday and again yesterday, I already had a plan of cutting out processed foods and dairy for a while to see if there is a relief to my inflammation. Today I decided to bite the bullet and remove gluten as well, and to concentrate on eating smaller portions and slowly (those last two are known to help aid digestion). I just might go insane. Haha. Totally kidding. This isn’t a big deal for me, except that I’m going on vacation tomorrow through next Saturday with my husband’s family. Since they don’t (and I don’t expect them to) eat clean, dairy-free, and gluten-free, that just means I have to make all of my own meals. In a random kitchen where I don’t have my own spices, dishes, will have to buy all of my ingredients, etc. Not ideal, and might be annoying for everyone else, but not the end of the world.

Since I’m a girl scout, I’m prepared! Here is my menu plan for the upcoming week:

  • Sweet potato burrito bowl
  • Spaghetti squash with meat sauce
  • Mushroom (as the bun) hamburger & sweet potato fries
  • PB chicken salad
  • Hummus chicken & zucchini
  • Tuna, avocado, & quinoa macaroni casserole (think tuna noodle casserole but avocado instead of mayo and quinoa pasta instead of regular)
  • Leftovers (I’m hoping there will still be some random leftovers)

For breakfast every morning I’ll have my usual – egg, avocado, & (now) gluten-free toast. For lunch I will have leftovers from dinner the night before. For snacks I will have almonds, fruit, and zucchini with hummus. See, totally doable. And I’m allowing myself wine. It wouldn’t be vacation without a few alcoholic drinks! Wine doesn’t hurt my stomach, so it’s all good.

Okay, I’m off to vacation myself. Peace!

Signature

Be Sociable, Share!

More Tummy Time

Hello hello! I keep getting the days of the week confused this week and thinking it’s later in the week than it actually is. It’s finally Thursday! I swear, I’ve thought it was Thursday twice already this week. Only one more day, and then I have a week off to spend at a lake!

Back to what I left off with on Monday. I went to the doctor Tuesday about my tummy troubles. I’ve been bloated and gassy nearly every day for the last month. Just gross. The doctor asked me a bunch of questions, including my family health history, then ordered a blood and urine test. The blood test came back high in C-reactive protein (at least that’s what I think she said… aided by Google), which indicates I have inflammation somewhere. She just told me to take ibuprofen and left it like that over the phone.

That didn’t sit well with me! I don’t like to be just told a fix to the problem, without fixing the underlying cause of the problem. With the help of this website and this article, I was able to determine what might cause inflammation and what I can do to heal it and prevent it. Here are things I’m removing from my diet to reduce inflammation:

  • Trans fats (hydrogenated oils)
  • Processed convenience foods
  • Foods with refined carbohydrates

That means, just like I indicated on Monday, I’m cleaning up my diet a lot. I’m pretty much following an AdvoCare advocated (haha) lifestyle of clean eating (no processed crap) and reducing my alcohol intake as well.

Okay, this was all determined Tuesday. Now fast forward to yesterday. I get a call from the doctor’s office indicating that the doctor had made a note to schedule a CT scan. Oh thank God! She does want to look into it further and not just stop at ibuprofen. I feel really comforted by that. I scheduled the CT scan for bright and early this morning.

Then I got to thinking… do I really need this scan, or would it just be frivolous with my Google earned education yesterday? You know who can easily answer that question? Nurse Mom! Nurse Mom says absolutely, I should definitely get the CT scan if the doctor recommended it. It would be good to know what’s going on inside my belly. Then she proceeded to tell me that I have a family history of Celiac and ulcerative colitis. I totally answered all of my doctor’s family health history questions wrong! Note to self: Have Nurse Mom fill out a family health history form so I can have all of this written down and know the right answers.

Isn’t it funny that I worry about going to the doctor or getting scans for frivolous reasons? I think that’s because I didn’t go in for much as a kid. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. I have to remind myself that I am not feeling 100%, so if it means wasting a little time to feel better, then go for it! Besides, my insurance covers a good portion, if not all, of every visit. I’m really happy that I’m going to get to the bottom of this. I just want to feel awesome so that I can be awesome!

I had that CT scan this morning after feeling like absolute crap yesterday. It was kind of an interesting process. I had to get to the office at 7:30am to sign in and get this special drink, “the CT drink”. I had already heard from Nurse Mom that it cleans you out, so I kept calling it the poop drink. I’ve got class (and ass). :) I was then supposed to get the scan at 8:30am. Yeah, I didn’t get called in until 9! I was not a happy camper since I forgot my book and was really bored, but I made the best of it by playing on my phone. I did not sit and complain loudly the whole time like another lady in the waiting room. Wow, that lady was upset about everything! She had nothing positive to say about her life. Sad.

Anyway, after I got called back, they had me put on a gown and pants for the scan. Then I got an IV of dye that makes you feel warm all over and like you’re peeing your pants. Fun! And then it was over. I hope they call sometime yet today with some results. I’m also crossing my fingers that there are some results. My luck it will be nothing. Maybe it’s all in my head? (My husband says no, you stink.)

So that’s what’s up with me! I’m hoping to come back tomorrow to tell you (me?) about any results and how I’m planning to bring all of my own food for meals on vacation. Fun stuff… not. I’d rather eat what everyone else is making, but tummy says no. More tomorrow!

Signature

Be Sociable, Share!