Staying Fit After 30: Diet Counts!

I’ll be honest here.  The past two weeks have been positively lackluster when it comes to keeping up with a workout routine.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve felt like I’m working toward a million goals this week, yet can’t quite find success in any one of them.  Fitness is one of those goals, and I’ll be darned if I let this goal slip away.  After all, I have a wedding honeymoon to look sexy for and a soon-to-be new husband to impress.  Can’t let him think I’m getting married and letting myself go!  

Luckily I’ve been packing mostly clean, healthy lunches and making healthier decisions the rest of the time too.  Now, I did have Chick-fil-a yesterday and a doughnut this morning so it’s not ALLLL clean by any means, but making those healthy switches at least half of the time seems to be keeping me from losing much previous progress.  I plan to continue this healthy trend as much as I can.  And I pray to God this diet works because it sure as heck ain’t delicious.  I sort of force my lunch down my throat some days, but I’ll admit, it feels good to have zero guilt afterwards.  

So, I guess my challenge this week centers around diet.  Choose one meal of the day (I chose lunch) and make sure it’s clean every time. For me, I pack my lunch so this was an easy choice to keep up with.  I believe that the more I eat cleanly, the more motivated I will be to make healthy choices at other times too.  At least that is the theory in my mind ;)  

What meal will you choose to eat cleanly?  Do you have a favorite healthy meal?  I can’t wait to see how this diet effects my body, especially if I can keep my workouts consistent!  Good luck everyone.  Summer is only a few months away!

Weeks 8&9 Rules in a Nutshell
Replace 1 meal a day with a clean one.
Keep exercising when you can! 
Drink water.

Fitspo of the Week! via @brittanysuleiman

FatChick2FitChickVenus Trapped in Mars

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I'm Not the Girl I Thought I Was

I used to think I knew who I was.  I had strong interests and opinions that drove me throughout my teens and twenties, and was pretty certain of the type of life I would continue to lead.  I loved the person that I was, the things that I identified with, that were important to me.  And as I get farther and farther into my life, farther away from those twenty-something years, I am suddenly realizing... I am not the person I thought I was.

This will probably sound silly to most and draw judgement and criticism, but for for the first major part of my adult life, I was super into cheerleading.  I devoted most of my life to being one of the best partner stunters out there.  Everything I did, I did with this goal in mind--what I ate, how I worked out, where I practiced and who I partnered with.  Even after college, I didn’t stray far.  I coached, judged, choreographed, and pretty much figured I’d end up either starting a cheer business or working for one full time at one point or another.  Clearly this was my God given path in life.  Then, I took a “one year” break to focus on school, which has turned into a 4 year break with no signs of an ending.  See, I met this fabulous new guy who I will soon call my husband.  I had time to really cultivate relationships with my girlfriends.  I realized that perhaps the reason why my relationships hadn’t worked out in the past was because the team I was coaching was taking up my whole entire heart, and time for that matter.  Now that I see what it’s like to put your relationship first and have real friends that aren’t high schoolers, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back.  I’ll never say never, but for now, it’s not who I am anymore.  

My Sundays used to be filled with football.  Actually, a lot of days.  I fell asleep to SportsCenter most nights and even tried my hand at commissioner of our fantasy football league.  I’d watch every single play in suspense, jumping and yelling and using wild Italian hand motions I must have picked up from my mother.  I was decked from head to toe in gear and a game’s outcome could pretty much make or break my entire week.  I even called my boyfriend (a Ravens fan) sobbing in tears one time when the Steelers lost, wondering how I would get through life all year.  Truly a tragic day.  It might be due to my wiser old age, or just the fact that we had a stinky year, but I suddenly feel like football is not everything.  I actually enjoy just hanging out with friends and eating tailgate snacks regardless of who is playing or what happens during the game.  I can finally see that there will always be another week, another year, and that every team has it’s time.  Football, like life, goes through ups and downs, and it is nothing to get all upset over.  So, I used to be a hardcore football girl, but it’s not who I am anymore.

For the longest time, I didn’t like kids.  I thought they were annoying and needy, and babies?  Definitely hated ‘em.  Slobbery, poopy, ick.  Then my cousin had a daughter, and I decided that she was actually cute.  Ok, I liked one baby, but just that one.  Then she got older and became a kid and we could do things like shopping and train riding and playing board games.  I guess I didn’t like kids before because I didn’t feel close to any.  Now I enjoy them, even babies, and feel the need to sqeeze each of my friends’ little munchkins any time I can get my hands on them.  I even became an elementary school teacher, and guess what?  There are 8 year olds that are actually super awesome and that I have great conversations with!  Like, I would even hang out with some of them for fun!  I used to hate kids, but it’s not who I am anymore.  

Finally, I used to think that there was no such thing as commitment before marriage.  I thought I could date whomever I darn well pleased, whenever I wanted to and came to expect the same treatment in return.  If I wasn’t married, I was single.  I took that literally.  That was until the day my heart filled with so much love and awe for this one guy, who is kind of my perfect other half.  I suddenly had zero desire to hang out with anybody else, to look at anybody else, or even imagine myself with anybody else, and the feeling has stuck for 4 years now.  I didn’t believe in love, and now I’m so in love that I can’t believe it.  So, I used to be untamed, but that’s not who I am anymore.  

I could go on... but I’d prob have to divide it into chapters if I did, so I’ll cut it out there.  Are you the person you’ve always been, or are there major beliefs or interests that have changed?  I wonder who I will be in 5 years.... hmmm..... 

Dateless in Dallas

    The Hump Day Blog Hop    Our Three Peas

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How to Juggle

Between my current job, an upcoming wedding, and my quest for a new, closer job, I’ve lately felt myself feeling overwhelmed, like I have my hand in too many different pots, and not not really reaching much in any of them.  So what’s a girl to do?  Reach out to some of her new friends for help!  This post comes from Kari, who I guest posted for a couple of weeks ago.  I knew that she too had many positions and endeavors in life and could possibly hold the key to my mental sanity.  She has some excellent advice to share about keeping things in order when there are so many different things to prioritize!  Take it away, Kari! ;) 

Hey everyone!  It’s Kari from Life. Lived by Kari.! For the longest time I’ve been inspired by celebrity heartthrob, Patrick Dempsey.  Not only is he McDreamy, but I’ve come to discover the man juggles in almost every movie and television show he’s on.  The man has talent.  I imagine that once a producer or director finds out about this talent, they ask him to do it for the camera and he is happy to oblige.  I used to think it was funny and now I’ve come to realize, I do the same thing.
I juggle plates.  However, these plates aren’t the empty ones juggled by McDreamy, they are full of responsibilities, deadlines, and to-do lists.  My plates all have names: medical billing manager, pastor, Etsy shop owner, college student, wedding planner (my own upcoming wedding is enough for that title), blogger, graphic designer, social media consultant and I seem to be adding more daily.  How do I do it?  Very carefully.

I’ve come to realize that I like the juggling, but in order to stay sane in a life of chaos, you have to make peace with it.  So, today I’m going to share with you some strategies for how to juggle and still keep your wits about you.  Sure, there have been times when I feel like losing my mind, but for the most part, I’ve got a pretty good rhythm.

1.       Learn how and when to say, “no.”

This is pretty important.  I used to say yes to everything and then get super stressed out when I have all this pressure to accomplish something I’ve committed to.  However, you know your limits better than anyone else.  So, if for any reason you start to trade a good night’s sleep to be committed to certain opportunities, say no.  You can’t do everything and that’s okay.  The thing is, when people see how well you do what you do, like McDreamy, you’ll start being asked to juggle this thing and that thing.  Juggle what’s comfortable for you and be okay with letting go of the rest.

2.       Give yourself a break.

No matter how much you have to accomplish, always schedule time to veg or do something you enjoy EVERY DAY.  In the evening, I watch at least 30 minutes of television on the couch without interruption.  It’s my way of being able to ignore all the things I need to do just for a little bit.  It feels good to know you get that moment at least once a day.

3.       Make lists.

Lists help me survive.  It also feels really good to be able to cross something off once it’s done.

4.       Keep a schedule.

Work happens from 8am to 5pm for me and then I turn it off.  The evening and weekend is reserved for those other plates I’m juggling.  I also set schedules for the other plates by evening.  For instance, Monday night is the night I do homework for the week.  Then I’m done with homework until the next Monday and can focus on other things.  It works pretty well for me.

5.       Stay organized.
If my apartment is a disaster, I’m not productive.  If I have papers strewn around my desk, I can’t concentrate.  So, keep things tidy and organized and that will remove a lot of the distraction and stress you might feel.  Focus especially on your work space.  If my office is a disaster, nothing gets done and I don’t feel motivated.  Make organization your priority and then get to cracking on the rest of your responsibilities.  I think you’ll find it a ton easier!

If you follow all of these steps and are still feeling overwhelmed, consider letting go of something.  It’s okay to step back and realize things are too chaotic for your comfort.  You are in charge of ensuring your own comfort, so take control of your life and refuse to live every day in anxiety.  Not only is it uncomfortable, it also takes precious time off your life.  Juggle only what feels comfortable and be okay with letting go of the rest.

On the off chance you’d like to keep up with my life of chaos (and how I miraculously seem to make it work), you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Bloglovin'.

Grumpy Friday

I know, it’s Monday.  Don’t get excited.  But I have to address this recurring issue I’m having while it’s still fresh and before it gets any worse.  It seems to be a weekly event and I never see it coming until it’s suddenly here.  I may be the absolutely weirdest person on the face on the Earth, but for whatever reason, I HATE FRIDAYS.  

It’s strange.  I wait all week for the dang day to arrive, wake up feeling all TGIF and “Woo hoo the weekend is here” and sure enough by 6:00 pm, I’m ready to punch the next person who talks to me square in the nose.  What is wrong with me?  Who hates Friday when the entire weekend is before you?  

I’ve been perplexed by the phenomenon for a while now and I’ve come to a few conclusions.  First, I’m exhausted.  And to make it worse, I’m one of those exhausted people who will become a cranky little kid and cry for no apparent reason until someone forces me into bed.  I may think that I want to stay up and hang out and God forbid actually go out of my house on a Friday night, but when the time actually comes, I can’t hang.  This leaves me feeling even grumpier because I feel like everyone I know is out and about having fun, and here I am missing out on something.  

I also have an issue turning off my brain and destressing.  I think I stay relatively sane and manage my stress well during the week because I don’t have a choice and I don’t have the time to let it get to me.  When I get home on a Friday and am finally allowed to rest, all of the stress I’ve been holding in all week comes rushing out of me, and not in a fun let’s have a drink type of way.  It comes out in a stressed out, leave me alone, but I wanna pick a fight with you anyway kind of way.  Yea, I can be a little nuts.  That’s why my fiance has even dubbed a name for my syndrome: GMF, or Grumpy Michelle Friday.  

While I may be able to explain my feelings, I’ve been unsuccessful when it comes to controlling them, so I ask for advice.  Does anyone else suffer from grumpy Fridays?  How do you get out of your bad mood when it’s spiraling out of control?  I probably should just bake this cake ahead of time and have it ready for my fiance on Friday...

still being [molly]  Showered With Design
Mingle 240

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Finding the Peaks in an Uneventful Week

I’ll admit it’s been an uneventful week.  But that’s the beauty of writing.  It’s the challenge to find the peaks in every day that is slowly addicting me to this time consuming, yet soothing little hobby.  

First, since Monday was President’s Day, I got to have lunch with a very good friend (and one of my bridesmaids!) and catch up on all things new.  I love how we get to have these little get togethers periodically, and I will say, this girl is the BEST when it comes to reserving little chunks of her time for friendships.  I guess that’s why we’ve gotten so close despite not meeting until just a few years go. 

Second, I finally got over my illness and got back into my gym routine.  To an extent.  I did miss a couple of days this week, but tried to make up for it the following day.  I welcome March and longer daylight hours to keep my energy going later into the day!

Third, my bachelorette party bikini came this week.  Yes, I’m a crazy crazy girl with a swimsuit addiction problem.  I know I could have waited a few months, but when the sizes I needed ran out, I’d be kicking myself.  I’ve done that with multiple articles of clothing I’ve wanted/tried on, including the first wedding dress I wanted, so I knew i couldn’t procrastinate.  I wish I could show you a picture of MYSELF in this bikini, but turns out Casper-like skin does not look so swell in a white bikini.  Guess I’ll be working on that this month too! ;)

Buy it here.  Just don't show up in it at my party.  Bi*ches.

Fourth,  I’ve sort of had my eye out lately for some printable planners and calendars that I can write all over.  Between my fitness goals, wedding stuff, school, and this blog, my phone is just not cutting it anymore and I feel like I need to organize separately if I’m going to keep my sanity.  I found this one below and thought it was adorable.  It has multiple lines per day plus a place to track your water/veggie intake.  

Fifth, Valentine’s Day at school was postponed to this week.  Got this from a former student who still loves me.  It’s the best Valentine ever.  I’ve got turtle power. 

                  Weekend Block Party Blog Linkup  THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

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And We Have a Wedding Party!

We finally asked and they all said YES!  Yea, I know I had originally proclaimed that I didn’t want a wedding party, but it was important to my fiance, and now that I have one, I am finding out how fun having an entourage of girls can be!  I’m still aiming to keep things as low maintenance as possible while keeping the fun factor high for everyone!  

To ask our best buds, we wanted to do something special without breaking the bank.  For the girls, I got them these adorable bow midi rings (the kind that sit on your knuckles) from Forever21 and placed them inside of these fun metallicy cards I found in the Michael’s dollar bin.  I wrote a personal, hand-written message inside of each card along with the phrase “To me, your friendship means a lot.  Will you stand beside me as I tie the knot?”  I used a gold metallic paint pen for that part to give it a lil touch of fancy!  

$1.70 each at Forever21.  Yep, got all 6 for under $12! 
Cards from Michael's dollar bin.  

At the post office, they were adorned with 66 cent stamps (because they’re square) and sent off for delivery.  Did you know they made 66 cent stamps?  Me either.

I sent 6 cards and got 6 positive responses!  You’ll probably be hearing a lot about them in the year months to come.  
Diva in the pink is representing her mama.  Midi rings are just her size ya know!

For the guys, we went the icing route.  It’s funny, memorable, and also affordable, so to me it was a no brainer.  I found boxes as staples that fit an individually wrapped Ice perfectly and wrapped them all nice like a present.  My fiance wrote notes on index cards (because obviously notecards are way too girly) that said “I got down on one knee, now you have to! GroomsMAN?” 

Assemble the boxes (from Staples).
Stuff the bottom with newspaper to keep it secure.
Lay out the tissue, bubble wrap, and ice.
Place in the box.  It's ready to go!

We intended to FedEx them, but found out that was quite pricey, so he hand delivered them to each guy’s doorstep.  Luckily they all live within a short radius of our house, so it was no problem.  He left 7 packages, and got 7 hilarious responses!  

Funniest part: Thanks to crohn's disease, one of these groomsmen cannot drink alcohol, and was given a water bottle with a Smirnoff Ice label slapped on.  Can you tell who?  

We can’t wait for all of the fun to come with this crazy group!  I’d also like to thank Pinterest for these amazing proposal ideas.  Lord knows, I’m not that creative on my own!  

Looking for wedding ideas and inspiration?  Also just found and will be stalking Wedding Wednesdays here and here.  So much good advice to be found!

Dateless in Dallas

The Hump Day Blog Hop    

Weekend Recap: Our Snowy Valentine's

Happy President’s Day!  Thank God for random holidays this time of year to spice things up while we wait patiently for spring.  I swear if I see another snowflake, I might lose it.  I feel like I’ve been stuck inside way too much lately and my motivation to get out and live life as I preach is waning.  

Thursday (yes, Thursday is still a part of this weekend.  Holy crap.), was our big snow day and that one was enjoyed.  Bacon and eggs for breakfast, watching Kelly & Michael, and finally getting bundled up to head out for the day!  That’s right, we weren’t letting our snowed in situation stop us.  We got our koozies, put on our snow gear, and trekked our little selves up the street to the neighborhood watering hole with 2 of our bestest pals who also live nearby.  It felt like college again and it was glorious. 

The next day, we woke up to more snow.  And it was Valentine’s Day!  How awesome is it to have a surprise day off to spend with your Valentine on actual Valentine’s Day?  I’m a morning person so I got up early to set my love’s gifts out on the counter.  I love putting things out for him to discover when he wakes up and can hardly control my excitement as I continue to peek into the bedroom to see if there are any signs of awakening.  Finally, he got up.  He was very happy.

I made breakfast again.  Nothing says Valentine’s Day more than these whispering eyes and heart bacon right? 

He got me this funny card and take out sushi from our favorite spot for a romantic stay at home dinner.  I even opened the Fifty Shades of Grey wine we got at our party.  It was delicious by the way.  

On Saturday, it snowed.  Again.  Ok, now I’m getting a little crazy and grumpy.  I think if I eat more eggs and bacon, I might vomit.  I ate them anyway.  After moping around and whining for a while, I finally asked my baby if he would please play something with me.  He did.  We played personal trainer and client.  I got a great workout in and we did not even get in the slightest bit of a fight.  I was in a good mood for the rest of the day, and I am so grateful to have a fiance who is also a wonderful playmate!  Now, maybe this workout will get me back into this get fit thing I'm trying to do! 

Showered With Designstill being [molly]
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