Monday, November 28, 2016


I was kicking so much butt this spring and summer: I was working out like crazy (literally six to seven days a week, often for two hours at a time), and I was eating relatively healthfully.

And then I wasn't.

A few things happened: first, I ran two huge races and, while I did really well, also injured myself pretty greatly. Finally in mid-October, I went to the doctor and discovered that as a result of a severe sprain six years ago, a fragment is off my tibia, and now I have fluid in my talus bone, which is causing the bone to swell. I have been in a boot since then, and while I have had it off for two weeks, I have realized that that was a poor choice and that I need to keep wearing it until I can start physical therapy.

Try not to be tooooooooo jealous.
Second, I was working out so much because it gave me something to do. Since I was still relatively new to Minnesota, I knew so few people, and being at the gym gave me human interaction, built-in friends, and again, something to do. Now, I have friends (and the most phenomenal partner), so the gym has become less of a time-filler, for lack of a better word.

Third, I got lazy -- not necessarily with working out (although I haven't been going as much as I would like) but rather with food. I have been quite busy lately, and I have found that Qdoba or Panera are much easier and faster than cooking. Also, my sugar dragon reared its ugly head, and I became addicted to Hot Tamales and all things sweet.

Needless to say, while I was looking (and feeling) utterly amazing this spring and summer, I am looking (and feeling) less-than-stellar now. Because it is starting to affect my mental health and self-image, I have decided that things need to change.

Deciding this in the middle of the holiday season is, admittedly, probably not the most solid of choices. While I really want to do a legit Whole30, I am not going to commit to that right now (and Melissa Hartwig, the founder of Whole30 does not even recommend doing so). Rather, I am going to eat mostly Paleo during the week and allow myself to "indulge" if the occasion arises on the weekends. In addition, I am going to set a workout plan for myself and actually stick to it rather than just go to the gym and "do whatever."

So, here's what this week looks like:
This organized table/spreadsheet should surprise none of you who know me.
In addition to having a specific menu and workout plan to follow for the majority of the week, I am going to restart Sore to the Core. While I think the majority of my stellar results came from eating super well, I also know that my core needs a heck of a lot of work; I generally rely on my cardio (specifically running) to shape my abs, but since I can't do anything of the sort right now, I need to actually do some targeted ab work.

The other goal that I have for myself is to drink more water. This spring, Aly (my sister-in-law) and I did a gallon-a-day water challenge, and I felt so good while doing that. Lately, I have been drinking hardly any water and have instead been surviving largely on coffee (and maybe some wine). So, starting tomorrow, I am going to try and drink five Camelbaks a day. The only difficulty I see with that is school. (And yes, I realize that is a big difficulty.) We have one water filter in the building, and it is quite a long way from my classroom. And I also have limited opportunities to use the restroom (something about not leaving 33 teenagers unattended...). 

But I think I can do it.

I know my skin will thank me.

I really enjoy drinking a glass of wine at night. I have yet to decide how I am going to handle that part of my "lifestyle change." Right now, I think I am going to say it's a-okay, as long as I drink my gallon of water first.

But we'll see.

I think in January I may do a legit Whole30, in which case the wine would be a no-go.

That's a whole different conversation, though. When I did a Whole30 last January, I do not believe I did so in a super healthy way, which makes me hesitant to do a Whole30 again. We'll see how this amended plan goes this month.

Stay tuned.

For now, my ultimate goal is to just feel better. I felt so freaking amazing this spring/summer. I physically felt super good, and I also felt like I looked the best I ever have. While I know that looks are not the ultimate goal, feeling confident and strong is -- and honestly, some of that comes with how I feel I look, how my clothes fit, etc.

I just want to get back to where I was a few months ago. And I know that I can.

Peace, friends.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hello Again


It's been quite awhile. It's been over nine months, in fact. (No, I did not conceive and/or birth a child. I just didn't blog.)

In those nine months, I have been very busy. Here's what happened:

In March, I ran the Get Lucky 7K with MS, a family friend from years ago. Fun fact: she used to be my babysitter! Now we live in the same city again, which is super awesome. I am looking forward to running with her more once we're both healthier (more on that later).

Also in March, SH and I drove down to New Orleans (!!!) and headed on a cruise to Mexico. We hit up Cozumel and Progreso. I love the ocean so much.

In April, I worked out -- a lot.

Straight-up Beast Mode.

I have no idea.

In May, I ran -- a lot. And I looked super buff doing it.

Even though sometimes I literally wanted to vomit. I was running fast, y'all!

In June, I ran the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (the 13.1 version of Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota). I went up there with my assistant principal and her friend, and we had so much fun together -- and stayed in an old brothel! I kicked major ass at this race, PRing by nearly 20 minutes. After, though, I was a hurting unit. But it was so worth it.

I also started working at the gym. I loved it so much that I told them I wanted to spend even more time there. And they let me!

Also in June, my sister came to visit me, and we helped the Twin Cities kick off Pride with the Beer Dabbler. We had so much fun, and I think we're hoping to make it an annual event. (I'm not sure my sister knows this yet, though.)

For the Fourth of July, I celebrated with Jay, one of my very first Minnesota friends.

How cool is this photo?!
Also in July, I headed to Des Moines for 80/35, an annual music festival. I hung out with my best friends in the entire world and had entirely too much fun -- like, entirely too much fun.

In August, my best dude friend came to Minneapolis, and he took me to the Chelsea vs. AC Milan game, the first event at U.S. Bank Stadium, home to the Minnesota Vikings. It was my first big soccer match, and it was so much fun. I'm now a Chelsea fan?

Also in August, I ran Ragnar, a 200+ mile relay race. I accidentally signed up for this after an afternoon of being on a pedal pub. While I was super nervous and knew virtually no one, it turned out to be one of my all-time favorite experiences.

Team Never Trust a Fartlek

Also in August, I went to Omaha/Lincoln, Nebraska, for my sister-in-law's sister's wedding. (Confusing, right? We're all pretty much family.) It was so great seeing my whole fam.

Me and my bro -- digging the aviators. I don't think we've looked this much alike since we were way younger.
In September, I headed to Chicago with two of my best friends in the whole world -- one from Michigan and the other from Massachusetts. We met there for a girls' weekend -- and to celebrate the wedding of one of our dearest Freedom Writer friends. It was such a wonderful time; we only wish KW could've been with us.

Posing in front of the Chicago River, noting how many people were hating on us for being the prettiest people on the planet.

Stuffing our faces with the best pizza imaginable.
Also in September, my boo and I headed to Iowa for a weekend. We hit up the World Food Festival (where a cute little guy called us the "beautiful teacher couple" and J officially asked me to "go steady"), and then we drove down to Knoxville for Peace Tree's annual Brews & Muse (and my sister's birthday party). We had so much fun.

In October, my boo and I won a costume contest.

Look at me I'm Sandra D.

Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson (I didn't know that was her last name until just now).

A week ago, my best Minnesota friend and I flew to Atlanta to present at the National Council for Teachers of English Annual Convention. We had such a wonderful trip to an amazing city, and we kicked so much ass at our presentation.

And just a few days ago, I hosted Thanksgiving. My mom and dad, my aunt and cousin, and my boo and his daughter all joined me. It was such a beautiful day with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world.

So there's a recap of nine months of 2016. This is not at all what I intended this blog post to be about, but if I write the actual entry, this post would be like 1,000,000 times longer than it already is. So, stay tuned for an actual blog post tomorrow morning. :)

Peace, friends.

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