Five Things Friday…On a Wednesday

Guess what day it is?!  Hump dayyyyy.  If you don’t know that reference then we cannot be friends.  I don’t care how annoying that commercial is, it is downright funny.  Lots of new things are going on and I just couldn’t stand to do a wordless Wednesday post so I’m gonna attempt to fast forward to Friday and list five cool things.  Go with it, okay?

  • Boot shopping.  I desperately want tall brown riding boots so that I can make all my Pinterest outfits work.  They are such an important staple to a fall wardrobe (coming from me, who is obviously an expert at fashion) and I just really want them.  The only problem?  My huge calves.  The boots that simply pull on will barely go above my ankle and the boots that zip up only do so about half way.  Curse you, large calves.  I did find a pair I liked that were “extended calf” and they fit really well and left lots and lots of space for my calves to be large.  The only downside is that they were 60 bucks at Payless.  I know 60 bucks is sort of reasonable for tall riding boots, but I have a hard time paying that at Payless since I’m not completely sure about the quality.  I’m going to continue to shop around and hopefully find some that will work for my calves.  1016boots
  • Ragnar Vegas.  After doing my first relay last year (Hood to Coast) which you can read about here, here, and here, I sort of really liked it and told myself if the opportunity came up to do another one, then I would be on board.  Well, luckily Nuun is sponsoring a Ragnar team to Las Vegas this year and I am a team member.  Fortunately some of my Hood to Coast teammates are also on the team and I believe we are in the same van.  We were short a few runners so I reached out to Brennan since I’ve been reading her blog for a while and she is a speed demon and she agreed to do it also!  So much blogger and Nuun love going around!  It will be my first time in Vegas and we won’t have time for much sightseeing but I’m going with the motto You Only Live Once and am going to try to see and do everything I can even if it means lack of sleep.   1016ragnar
  • Going back to school.  Currently I am in a graduate program to get my teaching license in order to teach English for grades 6-12.  Since I decided what to do with my life after my senior year of undergrad had started, it put me behind in the required English classes I needed to take in order to complete the licensure program and student teach next fall.  So, since I have to take just a few more undergrad classes so that I can be qualified to teach, I will be going back to the good ole University of Tennessee this spring.  It will be weird to not have 18 hours and to not live on campus, but hopefully I can just push through these last few classes and be able to rock out my student teaching next year.  Bring it on!  1016diploma
  • Cinnamon bread.  Not sure if any of y’all have ever heard of Dollywood, but it is our local amusement park.  We get season passes every year through my work and take advantage of them as often as possible. We prefer to go in the fall since it is a lot cooler outside and much less tourists.  No matter when we go, we cannot leave without stopping at The Grist Mill and getting cinnamon bread.  Holy cow it is the best thing you will ever eat.  I wish this photo had a scratch and taste option because it is seriously the greatest tasting thing of all time.  If you ever come to the area, do yourself a favor and get some.  Oh, and they are calorie free because I said so.  🙂  1016bread
  • Fat photos/Weight Loss Story.  I added a new tab at the top of the blog for weight loss story.  It has the basic run down of where I came from, where I went to, where I fell back, and where I am going.  It might be able to answer any questions you have had about my personal weight loss journey.  Check it out if you’d like.  But for right now, please tell me how attractive I was during high school.  This picture makes me see my weight loss in my face the most.    FAT

Happy Hump Day!  Now it is your turn!!  Share five things with me and let’s pretend it is Friday!  


Since I’m getting back into the running groove, I’ve been trying to build my legs up and work on my cardio.  As of right now, running 5 miles isn’t a possibility so I’ve been doing other workouts that work on leg strength and heart strength.  There is this neighborhood in Townsend that is built on a massive hill.  If I park at a friend’s house and walk down the hill and around to go back up a hill on the other side then I get in a massive (.4 mile) hill climb for a total of .7 miles.  Not too shabby.  Last week and this weekend I spent time on three separate days doing this loop for at least three miles.  It is great because it really gets my legs going strong and my heart rate skyrockets.  Actually after wearing my heart rate monitor the last time I did this workout, my heart goes about 20 bpm higher than it does during the toughest part of spin class.  That is great if you ask me.

how i feel.

how i feel.

The hills loop around so I also have the opportunity to run down the smaller hill which builds fantastic quad strength.  Loving this workout even though I always feel like complete death afterwards.

LITTLE Chesnut Hill.  The pic makes it look easy.

LITTLE Chesnut Hill. The pic makes it look easy.

Hydration has also been really important to me here lately (as always).  I wake up and immediately crave water and drink at least 120 ounces throughout the day.  I love feeling hydrated and I can usually tell if I’m not getting enough based on the foods I crave.  Usually two water bottles are in my car at all times and they are randomly all throughout my house.  I especially love my Nuun hydration water bottles.  The blue water bottle in the photo is the bottle I used at Nuun Hood to Coast last year.   826nuun

Lately I’ve been loving getting lots of walks in with my Momma and friend Yvonne.  I have also been getting some evening runs in with my friend Deanna who is completely rocking at running!  She runs based on minutes elapsed instead of distance and I love running this way with her since I don’t focus on the miles.  Ashley and I also did a track workout last week and we have one planned for later this week so I will do a post about that once we knock that one out of the park!

work it work it work it.

work it work it work it.

If  you didn’t read this post and you just skimmed through the pics and are now reading this then just know that I’ve been loving running and walking lately and exercise is fantastic!  That’s all.

As of late…

Although I walked in my college graduation just a few weeks ago, I still have three summer courses to knock out before I can “officially” have a diploma.  Summer school is very compacted and requires the hour drive to Knoxville every day.  My boyfriend TJ recently got a new job at my university so we carpool everyday.  He has to get there earlier than I need to be in class, so I spend most mornings from 7:15-9ish in the student recreation center (TREC).  I may have mentioned before, but TREC is gigantic.  It is three floors and takes up a huge chunk of campus in an effort to keep 27,000+ students happy and fit.

I have never ever been one of those morning workout girls.  I like to get my walks/runs/weight sessions in after 3pm.  Well, consider me a convert.  I love getting to the gym early and getting in a perfect sweat that lasts me all day.  TREC has about 12 fitness studios and if they are not being utilized for a scheduled class then students can “rent” them for as long as they need for personal workouts.  These are huge rooms and have great equipment like dumbbells, punching bags, steps, Bosu balls, and a lot more.  Since I sort of like to work out in private, I usually rent a room and spend my morning workout session in there.

big room for this big girl.

big room for this girl.

When it comes to the gym, I never know what to do so I normally just do a bunch of random things that probably don’t go together yet I always leave feeling like I work hard.  Monday I spent quite some time on the punching bag doing some moves that I learned in kickboxing class.  Punching a real bag is way better than the air punch.  Boxing is an intense cardio session.   I also spend time doing 100 jumping jacks and 100 crunches each time I’m in there.  A lot of people will say that crunches are stupid and don’t work, but they are a surefire way for me to feel a burn when I’m doing “ab work” so I always make sure to include them.



Since the room is so large I will often do weighted lunges the length of the room then jog back.  The dumbbells are great also because I can always put them down if the weight is too high.  With weights I do various reps of bicep curls, hammer curls, shoulder press, upright rows, tricep kickbacks, and shoulder shrugs.   I also set the timer and will do mountain climbers for one minute then do “box jumps” on the step.  Again, maybe not the world’s best exercises but it works for me.  Next week I plan on writing down every rep I do so I can share with y’all.

On Tuesday and Thursday morning there is a morning spin class that falls during my gym time.  Those mornings I will go to one of the fitness studios and get a warm up in then head over to spin.  I’ve had some horrible experiences the last three times with spin class thanks to very strange instructors, but I’ll save that for another post.  Regardless, spin is an amazing workout!  I bought my Momma a Polar heart rate watch for her birthday two weeks ago and this morning I used it during Spin just to keep track of my heart rate and sort of gauge how many calories I burn during a typical class.  Today I hit 407, which isn’t too shabby for a 45 minute class.    polar

Although I am not a big fan of summer classes or getting up at 5am everyday, I am thankful that I have that opportunity to get in roughly 2 hours of morning exercise that I would not have if I did not carpool with my boyfriend.  Being on campus early forces me to sweat it out and start the day off right.   Morning exercise has also been a tremendous help in fighting food cravings.

So that is a peek as to what my workouts have been like lately.  One of the greatest things about it is that while yes I am actively losing weight and trying to be smaller, I am working out because I genuinely love it and I love the way it makes me feel.  I can’t even tell you how nice it is to workout and not worry if you are going hard enough because you are worried about losing weight.  I’m working out to feel good which I know will eventually lead to looking good.

Are you a morning workout person? How do you take advantage of gym time?

Moving Right Along

Happy Monday, internet world!  While I’m not necessarily glad that the holiday season is over, I am glad that the crazy weeks are over and that I can get back to a normal schedule.  I start my final semester of undergrad on Wednesday so I will definitely enjoy being on a set schedule for the next four months.

I’m not going to pretend I was perfect during the holidays.  I went to parties and gatherings and yes I ate.  If I wanted a red velvet cupcake, then I ate it.  And I didn’t even feel bad about it.  Backsliding a little bit did put back on a few pounds, but I know that being back on a normal schedule this week will put me back in a good place.

This past week I logged a total of 25 miles on the road.  Some of those are walking, some of those are racing, and some of those are running intervals.  But a total of 25 miles isn’t too shabby.  I followed the training plan almost to a T this week, just moved a few days around while still getting the intended workouts complete.

In addition to my training plan, I’m also part of a group that wants to “streak”.  The only rule is that you have to cover one mile per day and doesn’t matter if you run or walk.  I’m on day 7 and intend on making it the entire 365 (Lord willing).  On Friday, I just didn’t want to run/walk/crawl/anything.  Period.  I didn’t want to move my body. After a very late afternoon nap, I woke up and decided to put my big girl panties on and get out there.  It was dark and drizzling so I didn’t want to go down to the bike trail.  What’s a girl to do?  I just strapped on the Garmin and decided to just walk/run back and forth in my driveway.  Even though I probably looked stupid out there, I still got it done.  3 miles is 3 miles, no matter how it gets done.  1613road

On Sunday the training plan called for a 4 mile run.  Yikes.  My boyfriend and cousin wanted to go crawdad hunting so they took me four miles up the road from where they would be at so that I could just run straight to them.  The entire four miles was through the  Great Smoky Mountains National Park and completely along the river.  So peaceful.  While I didn’t run the entire way, I attempted to run .10 mile then walk .10 mile.  I did pretty good at sticking to this interval.  The goal was to maintain a 12:30min/mile which would be 50 minute effort.  I was spot on!  But most of all I was just glad to be done.  It is slightly frustrating that I used to be able to cover this distance over 10 minutes faster than I did yesterday, but that’s just where I’m at and I have to be okay with that.  Time will make me faster.  Effort will make me faster.   1613garmin

Right now, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.  I’m moving right along and learning to love exercise.  If I can just isolate my clean eating, then I would be unstoppable.  The diet portion will take longer for me to get accustomed to, but it will happen.  For today, I’m proud of where I’m at and where I am going.

A Break (Weigh in)

Today is the first day of my Christmas vacation!  See ya next year, UT! I’m looking forward to winter break and having time to relax and not worry about writing 20 page papers and putting together group presenatations.  I have a daunting schedule in the spring so hopefully I will have some major RnR (not rock n roll) time in the coming weeks.

I have incorporated small amounts of exercise into my routine this past week.  I was able to get two three mile walks in which felt great, and I’ve been doing my group fitness instructor training which leaves me a little sweaty.  I don’t want to jump right in to hours and hours of exercise a day because 1) that is unhealthy, 2) I don’t want to get burnt out, and 3) it is completely unrealistic.  Adding in small doses has been pivotal in keeping up with a good exercise regime.  It will take time to build up to where I would eventually like to be, but good things take time. 

matchy matchy to go walking!

matchy matchy to go walking!

Eating has been going great…I eat breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, a snack, dinner, and then one snack a little before bed so I won’t get up and graze in the middle of the night.  This weekend me and my handsome man went out to eat and went to a local basketball game.  I was a little scared about eating out but I did agree before the whole process started that I was allowed one cheat meal per week.  Justification, yes?  I browsed the online menu before we went in so I could pick something relatively low in calories.  But at Olive Garden, that’s really not an option.  I settled for the ravioli and only ended up eating half of my plate.  And two breadsticks.  The best part was that I felt no guilt eating this.  One meal per week isn’t going to kill me and I didn’t even go overboard.  Eating out this weekend taught me that I do have the ability to exercise self control when I execute it correctly. 

homemade turkey parm with a banana

homemade turkey parm with a banana

Christmas came a little early for me this week…Amazon had the Garmin 410 on sale for half price with free shipping so after a little cohersion, I convinced my sweet Momma to buy it for me as my Christmas gift this year.  It shipped the same day I orderd it so hopefully it will be making its way to my mailbox very soon.  Speaking of my Momma, she completed her second half marathon this weekend!  She did the Santa Hustle and set a PR from her last race!  I’m wicked proud of her getting out there and walking the whole thing.  Go Momma!

Drumroll please…..this week’s weigh in.  I wasn’t sure what to expect since I haven’t actually exercised all that much.  My eating has been good but after a huge 10.8 pound loss last week, I wasn’t expecting too much.  So here is what the scale had to tell me this week:

Heaviest weight: 252 lbs
Last weigh in: 232.0 lbs
Today’s weight: 231.4 lbs
Weekly weight loss of 0.6 lbs

Not the number I was looking for, but my body has adapted to a healthier diet and I have not completely incorporated in exercise yet so the number is not that disappointing.  Also, it is “that time” for me right now so water weight could be at a higher level than normal.  Still, any loss is a good loss so I am very happy.