Healthy Living

A hiatus of the mind and the body:

I will be the first to admit it: I have been pretty lazy the past month, and I am completely okay with that.  Sometimes, you just have to give yourself some time off.

Running wasn’t fun or motivating for a while, it had become just a chore.  Workouts weren’t getting me excited for my next bout at the gym.  I didn’t know what to write about.  I just kind of wanted a break.

So, I took one.

This isn’t saying I was unhappy in anyway, I think I just recognized that things had started to shift from passions to items on my to-do list.  After taking some time to reflect on the first two-thirds of the year, I realized that my body had been through quite a bit.  I deserved some time to just slip back into neutral and recharge the batteries.

After about a month off, I started the final third of the year yesterday, went out for a great, fall run; no pressure, no goals, just a run, and kicked off a refreshed mind-set.

Sometimes we need breaks from personal pressures. I, personally, have a very hard time staying in the moment, always thinking about the future and my next run or where my career is going to take me.  Where am I going to go to grad school or where will my next job be?  How will I reach my goals?  I don’t want to be so caught up in the next step that I miss the beauty of getting there.  This is why I sometimes need to give myself time to do a status update on life. 

What have you missed?

A Michigan Society of Association Executives Diamond Award that I took home for my association’s e-newsletter.  It was a big win and a huge honor for my whole team who help put it together.

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George Blaha was the MC that night.  If you are not a Michigan sports fan, you probably don’t know who that is, but to Spartans, he is the voice of Michigan State athletics.  When I bounced across the stage in shock and amazement at our win, I was so excited I didn’t even shake his hand!  When I realized I had passed him by I just turned around and cheered, “Touch Down, MSU!”

I felt like an idiot the whole way home for not shaking his hand. Any respectable Spartan does not pass up the chance to shake George Blaha’s hand!

They always say when God shuts a door…

The very next night, who would happen to be sitting at the next table at the bar, but Mr. Blaha himself.

God had opened a window!

Freaking out, I told Paul that God does not present you with George Blaha two nights in a row only for you to not make up for your social blunder from the previous night.

So I walked up to his table, introduced myself and explained that I was the girl who was too excited to shake his hand the night before, and I just wanted to take the opportunity to do so now.  He couldn’t have been nicer and more congratulatory on my award 🙂 

Other than that, I am down about seven inches of hair. I decided that I needed to refresh my look while I refreshing my mind. I now look more like my mother than ever (not a goal, and not a bad thing, just something I noticed after it was cut).  

With my body and soul restored, I am feeling pretty damn good.

I hope all of you are also doing well 🙂

Cheers!

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As the Sun Sets on Summer…

In typical fashion, summer has flown by almost with the essence that it has been far too short for me to have actually done anything.  Looking back, though, I have done so much.  For being 29, this was somewhat of a “coming of age” summer for me.

First of all: Anxiety medication withdrawals are not fun (at least they weren’t for me).  It was a tough go for about two weeks, at its worst, because I cried all of the time.  I was sensitive, upset for no reason, and there was no telling what would set me into a crying fit.  This is very much NOT like me.  Finally, I am over that hump and feeling like myself again.

I had a few weekends that were tougher than others, especially as it pertained to my weight.  It is hard when nothing fits and that is how you start every day. I was avoiding seeing friends and going out because all I could think was, “nothing looks good on me and all people see is the weight I have gained” (giving way too much power to negative thinking, but I digress).  I am sort of known as the athletic one.  I am always running, doing races, eating healthy, what have you, and all I could picture my friends saying was, “wow, looks like she let herself go”, which wasn’t the case at all!

My dear sweet Aunt Janice, seeing my distress, gave me on thing that I would have never given myself: a shopping trip to get clothes that fit.  Ignore the size, just feel good in the fact that it fits.

She was totally my Richard Gere that night and I her Julia.  We went to a number of stores, and trying on clothes that actually fit and felt good to wear made me feel instantly better.  The next day as I put on my first new outfit for work, I felt more like myself than I had in months.  I wanted to cry out of joy instead of sadness.  It was such a generous and huge gift, not just the clothes, but sense of self and confidence. It is always great to spend time with her, but I will always be thankful for her generosity and kindness.

BUT, now that I have new clothes and have been off of my medication for a month and a half, this past weekend I finally saw my weight start to drop.  It is just a bit every day, but is has been consistently going down daily for 5 days now.  

It feels good to feel like myself again.  Looking back, I wish I had never begun my medication, or wish that I had had a doctor who was more familiar with the medication I was being prescribed. I firmly believe that only psychologists should be prescribing medications in this class, not the GPs always get it wrong, but it is better left in the hands of those who specialize in it. Not all medications in this class affect people as it did me, and they work wonders for many people, but I just don’t think it was the best choice for me.

I have never taken for granted being a happy person; I always have been and I have always been thankful for that.  It was so hard having Paul see me cry and be so upset, I just wanted to reassure him that, “this is not me off of medication.  This was not me before, this will not be me now”.  Thank God he is such a wonderful man.  He just held me and assured me that he knew that it was just a phase and my body needed to readjust again. 

It is good to know that I am still a happy person, I just needed to work things out to get through some dark days. 

I have also learned further how to stand up for myself and protect the life that I lead.  No one deserves things that make them unhappy or threatens their well-being.  I read a great quote yesterday that said:

“No” is a complete sentence.  It requires no explanation or justification.

It is ok to say no and to build boundaries to protect the life that you have built.  Sometimes, there is just not a healthy place in your life for some people.  

There have been so many things that I have wanted to write about, but just haven’t sat down to get my ideas out. I will get back to my regular randomness, I promise 🙂  For now, I just wanted to update on my “progress”, and who knows? Maybe someone out there is struggling with the same thing and this can help spark a light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope you are all well, readers, and had a wonderful send-off to summer this past weekend!

 

 

 

 

A few lessons I am just now learning:

I saw this posted by my aunt on Facebook, and just reading the bullet points made me love it.

Some of these are hard lessons to learn, and even harder to implement, but in my eyes are imperative for a happy, satisfying life.  I think I am going to print this out and remind myself of it daily.

http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/01/18/10-choices-you-will-regret-in-10-years/

Happy Friday!!!! 

A Few of My Recent Adventures

Some times you are just too busy living life to document it.  A double edged sword for someone like me, but here is a quick recap of what I have been up to:

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Some beer garden action in Ann Arbor for a dear friend/aunt’s birthday. What an amazing night. The weather was beautiful, the food was amazing, and the company was second to none.

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Date night with Paul for Lansing Restaurant Week… the day after restaurant week ended…

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This is his best pose…

We were all excited to go to the Wrought Iron Grill in Owosso for restaurant week, only to realize that restaurant week had ended the night before.  AMAZING food was still consumed, and I would highly recommend this charming spot if you are ever in Owosso, MI.  Although, I am not sure why most people would be.

This dinner alone should have its own post, because it really was like a  bad (or good) Seinfeld episode.  

Let me just start with, our waiter was super cool, after we broke him in, and the food was really really delicious, but the service was terrible!  We opted to sit outside on the patio, but regretted that decision because our waiter was a little too lax.  We didn’t even get greeted or get water for 15 minutes (first world problems, I realize, but this is all going to show a point).  

Our waiter offered us “coke products”, to drink and we had to snag a beer list from him (that never happens… turns out he didn’t think we were 21… thank you?). When Paul asked what was on tap, the waiter said, “it’s all crafty stuff” as if we would not recognize anything they had.  If you know anything about Paul, you probably know that he is obsessed with craft beer.  It is his hobby, his passion.  We asked for the beer list, and got it 10 minutes later.  The first world problems continued when we ordered our beers (a snifter, not a pint, the waiter asked) and it was given to us in bottles…. typing this all sounds so ridiculous, but again, I am just making a point.  Beer like the one we were drinking tastes different in a snifter (all 12% of it), and really needs to breath.  But, 10 minutes later we got our snifters.  This was all happening, mind you, while the waiter was fawning all over his buddies at the next table.

Me, being the nice person I am and not wanting to offend the waiter, told Paul that we should move inside.  We had already been there about 35 minutes and hadn’t even ordered yet (not due to us not knowing what we wanted, I assure you).

When the waiter came back, who really was a very nice guy, I told him that we wanted to move inside because I was getting cold.   He said, “oh, no problem, I can just turn on one of these heaters”, pointing to the massive propane heaters they have on the patio.  I looked to Paul for support, and he just laughed at me and kept on drinking his beer, (he loves to see me in awkward situations).  So the waiter drags this massive heater over to our table, and it won’t start.  The tank is empty.  All I could think was, “God is going to make that thing blow up to punish me”.  With no luck, the waiter picks up ANOTHER heater and drags it over to our table, which still wont light.   This goes on for a good, awkward, 5 minutes or so.  I finally just told him not to worry about it, feel free to spit in my food and thank you so so much.  (Yeah, I totally looked like that high maintenance bitch).

This finally cracked the guy and he decided he liked us.  It was almost like we had to prove ourselves as cool for him to want to serve us.  After that he was great.

And then, toward dessert, Paul decides to have a serious talk… about our aging dog.

I am not a crier, but he just said the words, “so, while things are good and he is healthy, I think we should talk about what the plan should be for when Max dies.”

I immediately bust out into sobs, tears running down my face, and I can’t even form sentences.  The poor waiter came back, who we had just gotten to like us, and looked at us like Paul had hit me or something.  It was a smart move on Paul’s part, really, because I told him what medications to feed me and what to do with Max once that does happen, because I will be incapable of taking control of the situation.

I continued to cry the whole way home… the ENTIRE 40 MINUTE DRIVE…poor Paul looked like he had just set off a bomb on a school bus full of kids or something.  My crying only stopped once we got home and I got to snuggle my puppy (my aging, 10 year-old puppy, who is in perfect health, btw).

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Puppy and me the next day, living the life 🙂

Ok, so that was that adventure…. moving on…

The next day, Paul and I headed to the Tiger’s game with my BFF, Liz, and her husband.  I am not going to lie, I don’t remember much after the ball park margaritas started flowing, but I do know that it was a very fun time, and my sweet sweet man bought me everything that was requested from my drunk mouth (a soft pretzel, nachos…) I mean, why else go to a ball park?

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This weekend, I have a half marathon coming up, a family function (pseudo family, but I have adopted them), and more adventures to follow.

I always aim for my summers to be full of adventures, but this one really has been.  I have spent time with so many great friends, made new friends, and done a lot of cool stuff.  And August is only going to be busier!

I hope everyone is well 🙂 Happy last day of July!

My Adventures in Normal, IL, and Unexpected Inspiration

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Notice the, “You’re Beautiful”, note on the building 🙂ImageImage

I had the pleasure of traveling to Normal, IL, this past week for work, and I must say, it was quite a pleasant surprise. 

If you know anything about the mid-west, a.k.a. the Bible Belt, you probably know that there are some spots in our fine cluster of states that aren’t so exciting. I expected Normal to be one of those spots.  It was actually like a mini-East Lansing, with it being a college town, home to the beautiful Illinois State University,and a small downtown with a friendly, artsy feel.

I took my phone with me on my morning run and snapped some photos of ISU’s amazing campus!

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I could study here…

 

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These banners were all over campus, and I just thought it was a great message.

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Basketball stadium

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One of their buildings is a castle… that’s all I’m saying

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I was sure to get some strength training in after my 3 mile run/tour of Normal. The Marriott in Normal is an immaculate facility, btw.

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Most of the writing on the bathroom wall was like this.. I would say 99% positive. Who doesn’t want to pee in an environment like that?!

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Seriously, between this, the beautiful message, and the sweet message on the bathroom wall, I am convinced that Normal has the nicest graffiti in the world!

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Once you use the term “this one goes to 11” you are automatically one of my top ten favorite people

I was in town for a social media conference, with the key note speaker being Thomas Ian Nicholas.  You might know him as the kid from “Rookie of the Year”, or that guy from the “American Pie” movies.  

I wasn’t exactly sure why he was there, but went to the concert his band played the night before he presented (AWESOME MUSIC, more on this later), and learned that he funded his whole European tour through social media.

As soon as he hit the stage the morning after the concert, you just knew he was a cool guy.  He stated, early on in his presentation, that he was going to tell us how he took his social media skills to 11.  Immediate. Stamp. of. Approval. and. Lifelong. Support.  (if you don’t get the reference, you need to Youtube, “this one goes to 11” and click on the first result.

You’re welcome.

But not only was he smart, funny, down to earth, and entertaining, he is completely passionate about what he does.  

His band doesn’t have a record label, and is completely funded by him.  Nothing is more refreshing than seeing someone live out their dream and making it work without compromising themselves.  It was such a breath of fresh air.

Upon getting home, I dug even deeper into his music and I love it! (Thomas Nicholas Band… I highly recommend).  It was just a good reminder that you can live a life that is fueled by creativity and passion.  It was actually more like a swift kick in the ass.  Instantly someone to follow. 

It was all in all an amazing two days, but it was good to be home…. except Max insists on guarding my car for a good 45 minutes whenever I arrive home from a trip as if he is going to keep me from ever leaving again.  You’ve gotta love his devotion 🙂Image