Thursday, April 3, 2014

Healthy LIFE

my fitness journey started almost a year ago. april 8, 2013 to be exact. how am i able to remember the exact date? it was keith's first day of his then new job. prior to us moving out to greenville i had fallen off the fitness wagon. the stress of moving, packing and finding a place to live trumped keeping up with my workout regime. once we moved and got settled in, i figured we had this new life, so it would be a great time to start over with a new me.

laziest, but cutest workout buddy ever ;)

april 8, 2013

i started off with 10 minutes a day. it's all i could find motivation for. i would do pieces of my insanity videos. some strengthening and core. it probably took me two months to make it a routine. two months of light workouts to make it an essential part of my day. but then i realized, "hey i don't have a job. i need to maximize all the free time available to me." i started working out anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours a day. during this time my workouts consisted of any combination of cross fit, dailyhiit, and insanity. no wonder i could workout for 2 hours! i decided i would make working out my life...until i found a job.

well, august 2013, i found a job. and guess what? working out is still every bit as much a part of my life. because i had spent 4 months working so hard to get in shape and lose weight, i wasn't going to stop now. there were still goals to reach. i want to be strong and look strong. i want a six pack. i want to feel confident in my body. so, i still workout.

in december, keith and i ran a 5k. it was a fun run. but it was nice to be able to go out for a 3 mile run and feel fucking awesome. plus, it has motivated me to want to run more. just another type of exercise for me to add to my regime.

the long winter months got tough. motivation wore thin. being inside and frigid cold for 3 months made exercise challenging. it was difficult some days to convince myself to change out of warm, cozy clothes into my workout clothes. but i knew if i didn't workout...that would feel worse. so, as hard as winter was...we plowed through it.

and now, april 2014, one year later. my motivation soars. a day without a workout feels awful. i haven't quiet figured out how to have an active rest day. i know my body needs rest and i do my best to listen to it. i don't have a weekly schedule. i just go with what feels right for that day. i try to workout between 4-6 days in a row before taking a day off. some days are more intense than others. some days are long workouts. some days are short. every day i try to give it everything i've got.

in october i posted my measurements before i started the 30 day real time challenge [RTC]. i never shared with you my 'after' measurements. i will today. they are for me and for you. i am well beyond the 30 day RTC, but it always great to review your progress. i am not a believer in checking in everyday as i feel that can be discouraging if you don't see results 'fast enough' or 'high enough' or 'large enough'. i think it is more important that you are comfortable in your clothes than what the scale says. i'm not much for sharing before and after photos, so this will have to do ;)

before measurements                         current measurements
bust: 34                                              bust: 33
chest: 29.5                                         chest; 27.5
waist: 28                                            waist: 26
hips: 35.5                                           hips: 36
right thigh: 21                                   right thigh: 19.5
left thigh: 21.5                                   left thigh: 19
left arm: 11.5                                     left arm: 12
right arm: 11.5                                   right arm: 13

i lost about 2 inches almost everywhere [wow! awesome!!]. i fully expected to gain inches in my arms and legs due to gaining muscle. so i am kind of surprised that my thighs lost so much. i should check my measurements again in another 3-4 months to note any additional changes.

it's been a year since i began this journey and i am in the best shape of my life. i am still searching for those 6-pack abs. but i think about it, true peak fitness is difficult to achieve. think of ALL the years of junk food and alcohol and couch surfing i have done [more than i care to discuss]. i have given my body some bad stuff. toxic stuff. we all have. so, to erase all of that, to get rid of fat and build muscle, well that is going to take a long time too. and i am in it for the long haul.

and to have a healthy body isn't just all about exercise. i could workout as hard as i wanted to every single day, but if feed my body crap, all my efforts will be rendered useless. abs are made in the kitchen. your diet has to be as great as your workout plan. ask anyone close to me, and they'll tell you that i am kind of ridiculous about what is in my food. when it comes to your food choices, less is more. lisa, [the host that i LOVE], suggested doing a 1-ingredient challenge. so basically you only eat foods that have one ingredient [apples, chicken, lettuce, bananas, rolled oats]. you, of course, can combine 1-ingredient items to other 1-ingredient items [ex: apples, bananas and milk to make a smoothie]. i love this idea. it's tough, but it will tune you into what you really should be eating.

so, by being physically fit and maintaining a healthy diet, it quickly spills over into other aspects of my life. i sleep better. not that i ever had trouble sleeping, but now i feel like i have a deeper, more meaningful sleep. i am less stressed. again, not that ever feel stressed, but by feeling healthy, the little things in life that i might have worried about, don't seem to wrinkle my feathers as much. i am happier. i am, by nature a happy person, so my being healthier has had an exponentially positive effect on my happiness.

when you feel good about yourself, inside and out, it will transfer to the rest of your life. just the same as if you felt poorly about yourself. that is why the saying goes, "love yourself first...". it's so true. there is only one YOU. love it and care for it the best way that you can.

now that i finally feel "in shape", it is sometimes hard to stay motivated. it's like, "ok, now what?" but i constantly remind myself that getting into shape was just the beginning. staying in shape and staying healthy for the rest of my life. but in order to do that i have to keep goals. for now, i have pretty basic goals. eventually i'd like to take my fitness level to a more competitive nature.
my healthy goals for this year?
run 2-3 5ks [and hopefully an 8k]. try to find another sport to get involved in [biking or kayaking...maybe]. find more local foods to eat. continue to make as much food/meals as we can from scratch. 

i can't really put into words how amazing this journey has been. a healthy lifestyle is just that for life. any other choice is now no longer an option.

except for cupcakes. ;)


Thursday, March 6, 2014

this and that. that and this.

i rarely share with you the "things" we do. i often discuss my thoughts, passions, concerns, and funnies. so, today i thought i'd give you a quick update on what we've been up to this year [can you believe it's already march?!]. our year is off to a slow, enjoyable start [thank goodness].

- during the first week of january keith and i spoke at UNC to a class of med students about my life with epilepsy. it was an awesome experience and would love the opportunity to speak again.

- over MLK weekend we were in raleigh for two hockey games. i was able to catch up with ashley for lunch on sunday at a new restaurant, chuy's. it was delish! [hockey was on a hiatus during the olympics. so we haven't been to a home hockey game in almost a month. that is crazy talk.]

- we've had a lot of snow days. i think we've either been delayed or missed between 7-8 days. it's been fun, but along with the rest of the southeast, i am ready for spring.

- valentine's weekend: keith and i really make no effort to celebrate valentine's day, but this weekend ended up doing lots of amazing things. we started our day with brunch at the scullery, a cute cafe downtown that we've been itching to try. it was so, so yummy [we will definitely be back!]. then we headed to kinston to mother earth brewing, followed by the boiler room for southern poutine and picklebackers. lastly, we got a drink and dinner at villedge, another favorite spot in town. we had a delicious food and drink tour of greenville.

pictures from respective facebook pages
- another great weekend in greenville was spent in the sunshine. we took orso to a new park. we hit some golf balls at the driving range. and ended our day with beers and apps outside at winslows.

- the last weekend of february keith and i took trips, separate trips. he went with the boys to asheville. they ate and drank their way through 13 breweries and countless restaurants. he is still exhausted. i went with the girls on a relaxing beach getaway to topsail beach. we went for runs/walks on the beach, enjoyed the sunshine and beautiful water views. we tried to shop [many stores and restaurants were still closed up for the season]. however, the trailer bar did not disappoint! it was a wonderful weekend to get away and catch up with my girls!

mountain vs. sea views

other things worth a mention:
i am so excited and happy with my physical fitness. i am running a 5k in april [yay!]. every day i feel stronger and more confident in myself. workouts are a vital part of my day. they help me through the best of days and through the crummiest of days. [a much more detailed blog on this is in the works].

i have the desire motivation to do more with my life and time. is it through writing? is it through art? is it through volunteering? is it through more education? is it through starting my own business? all of the above?

and now it's march. MARCH. and it is still freaking cold. what the hell? but the weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend, so we are looking forward to yet another fun weekend on tap [hockey, ECU baseball, driving range, park...basically anything outdoors]. our year hasn't started off too busy, which is good because looking ahead i see many events on the calendar and a crazy, as usual schedule on the horizon. so, we will enjoy these next few quiet weekends while we have them.

i hope your year is off to a wonderful beginning and that you all are staying warm [spring is near...i promise]!


Friday, February 14, 2014

LOVE is a miracle.

i've said it before. and i'll say it again. i don't write about love a lot. however, it is valentine's day. it almost seems fitting. yet, keith and i aren't' big into valentine's day. it's not really "our" day. our days to celebrate love are everyday and of course, our anniversary. we really love our anniversary. our anniversary is so special because our wedding day was so special [but that is a another blog for another day].

this valentine's day got me thinking of how people end up together. how we "choose" our life partner. it really is a mind-blowing feat, if you sit down to think about it. let's look at keith and i, for example...shall we :)

it's really difficult to articulate our life stories without it sounding boring or like a resume. i guess what is so amazing to me is how people meet. keith and i met during one summer [2005] at work. big deal, right? people meet at work [or school] all the time. but what even got us to that point? we had 20+ years of planning to get us there. we had boyfriends/girlfriends. high school. sports. jobs. moving. LIFE.

and even then, once we met, it still wasn't the right time for us.

it took yet another small miracle for us to get together.

after that summer ended, and we went our separate ways and onto the fall semester. during the fall, one day at work, i found all the summer staffs' contact information and keith's name was on it. i remembered how nice and sweet he was so, i thought it would be a good idea to contact him. after that, we spoke sporadically. we didn't actually see each other until december 2005, our first date. and even then, we only went out on a 'date' because keith couldn't make it a few nights prior for my birthday outing.

and we've been inseparable ever since.

can you imagine how different things might be if one of those events had turned out slightly differently?

why do things work out the way that they do?
because that's they way they are meant to be.

what about your love story? think about how you found your life partner and just how miraculous it is. so much happens in our life. nothing is left to chance. we meet amazing people every day for so many reasons. to teach us lessons. to be mentors. to be new friends. to be confidants. to be drinking buddies. there are so many reasons we meet new people.
the person you have chosen to share this life with, it truly was back breaking work for you two to find each other. so hold them tightly, tell them you love them and appreciate them; and are so lucky to have them as a part of your life.

i truly believe that everything in life happens for a reason. including love.
and my love is nothing short of a miracle.

enjoy your valentine's day!!


Monday, February 3, 2014


Photo: enjoying our #snowday walking around the neighborhood.

last week the entire southeast was shutdown. shutdown due to a massive winter storm. winter storm leon impacted nine states. even florida got snow! however, many will say us southerners "overreacted" to a "few inches of snow". those people are also known as the rest of the US. in my little town we got 1" of ice with 4.5 inches of snow on top of that. that is a big deal. mainly because we do not have the resources to deal with that kind of winter weather. we have three snow plows. three. i am sure the city of new york has three snow plows for one city block.

i know that winter weather makes southerners act ridiculous. let's just get that established and out of the way.


we are not well versed in snow. my town's average annual snowfall is 2.5 inches. the national average is 23 inches. so yeah, snow is kind of a big deal. snowfall = snow days. hell, just the threat of snow equals a snow day. it's ridiculous, yet true. the reason this happens is because...

we are unprepared for snow. sure we have some salt to put on the roads. but we ran out of salt during leon. we had none [how does that happen?]. however, in our defense, we really have zero motivation to be prepared for a snow storm. again, our annual snowfall 2.5 inches. it's not much. and typically those 2.5 inches occur over many light snow storms and flurries. so there is no need for a plow or salt. and the best news about snow in the south? it melts two days later. why? because it is now 60 degrees, that's why. we can just let mother nature clean up our snow and ice. we don't have snow storm on top of snow storm on top of snow storm. we slept with our windows open last night. insane.

so, yes, snow makes us ridiculous. we don't claim to be experts in it. snow makes us feel childlike. because snow happens so rarely down south, it is fun for us. it is not an inconvenience. we don't miss too much work or struggle getting around town. it goes away as quickly as it came down. we don't "learn" how to drive on ice and snow pack [because it's dangerous and stupid], but also because we don't have to. by the time we even think about driving in hazardous road conditions, it is already melting away.

needless to say, winter storm leon [yes, they have names now] was fun and exciting for us. most people missed between 2-4 days of work. leon was a different storm. it was a BIG storm. the snow only really started melting because it rained on saturday. 4.5 inches of snow?! wow!
keith and i enjoyed a mini, unplanned vacation. we played in the snow with the dogs. walked the neighborhood many times. watched movies. i completed several projects. on friday [when the roads were clear], we went out for dinner. it was nice to relax at home for a few days. ahhh....i feel rejuvenated! thank you, leon. 

i know people who live in other places will find all of this a bit silly, but when snow is not part of the everyday, it is exciting, debilitating, enjoyable, hazardous, and thrilling.

when things become a part of the mundane, everyday they lose their sparkle. so i guess you could say, in the south, the snow still sparkles.

Photo: I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think he likes the snow. #snowday


Thursday, January 30, 2014

PET peeved.

how many of you have a pet? a pet that you take outdoors? well, do you have a neighbor/friend/family member that has a pet that goes outdoors?

i thought so.

these are just my thoughts on an unleashed issue...
if you don't have your own pet [typically a dog] that goes outside, you at least know someone who has one. i actually have two dogs that go outside. so now you know one person with an outdoor pet!
i take my two dogs outside multiple times a day to walk them and let them take care of their "doggie business." they both are on a leash, for a variety of reasons. aside from it being the law, i do it to protect them. they both listen very well, but after all, they are dogs. and who knows what will distract them in this great, exciting world. or what will heighten those animalistic instincts. i am not willing to take that risk.
however, a lot of other people in my neighborhood do not walk their dogs on leashes. this really bothers me. i find it unsafe, for many reasons. many times i have been outside with my dogs and leash-less dogs have come running up to us. this often scares them. so now they are on-guard and perhaps aren't as eager to meet this new dog who just startled them. aside from that, if your dog is off running around the neighborhood, aren't you worried about them getting hit by a car? gosh, i would be! there is plenty of fast traffic through our neighborhood and we live off of a major road. it is a dangerous world for a dog who could easily and quickly wonder away from home.

now, most of us live in a place that has a leash law. what exactly is a leash law? it is a law that explains the rule requirements of your pet wearing a leash.

this is the leash law for the town i live in:

"Greenville has a "leash law" that prohibits owners from letting their dogs run free at any time. Owners are required to keep dogs under control when walking and to have pets inoculated [vaccinated]. It is wise to consider the responsibility in having a pet. Please understand the cost and care involved BEFORE you adopt an animal. Consider and plan appropriately what you will do with a pet if you cannot take it with you when you move."
[however, this really could be very subjective because nowhere does it say that the dog has to be restrained. it just says cannot run free. so technically, the dog does not have to be on a leash.]

here are some other leash laws:

raleigh, nc:
"It is against the law for domesticated animals such as dogs and cats to run unrestrained within the City Limits. They must be confined to their guardian's property or walked on a leash. Guardians of dogs and cats can receive a misdemeanor citation for allowing their pets to run at large."

new york city:
"...all dogs must be restrained by a leash or chain not more than six feet in length when the animal is in a public place (except in designated off leash areas)."

"The owner of a dog must restrain his or her animal by a leash, confined within a crate, cage or vehicle, or confined on the owner's premises."

leash laws exist for a reason. mostly for you and the dog's safety. here are some of the things that could go wrong during an unleashed doggie walk.
  • fido sees something exciting and chooses not to listen to firm commands of "leave it", "stay", "come" or whatever else is being yelled at him. he is off to the races. have fun chasing him. again.
  • fido loves to greet new humans, but not all humans like to be greeted by fido. fido is so happy to see a new human, he jumps up on them [since he is not being restrained by a leash]. the human gets upset. ugly words ensue.
  • fido has his walking route memorized. he runs ahead, while not paying attention to traffic....need i say more?
  • fido meets new dogs, who are on leashes. they are not amused at being ambushed by some random dog. ugly words ensue. 
i am sure fido is a wonderful dog who always listens. or is always nice to new humans and other dogs.

but it only takes one time. one time of fido running away never to be found again. one time of fido trampling over an unsuspecting human. one time of fido chasing something he shouldn't. one time of fido greeting another dog by means of an ambush.

because after all, fido is animal. and no matter how well the humans think they have this animal trained, he will never lose his animalistic instincts to kill, protect, and chase.



Friday, January 24, 2014

letter to a person on their first day here


kid president put out a new video yesterday. [what? you haven't heard of kid president!? check out his facebook page and youtube page and then come back.] the premise is that this 9 year old [maybe he is 10 now] and his brother-in-law film these funny and silly, yet extremely inspirational videos. i believe they made a video explaining who they are, how they got started, and why they do it.

anyway...yesterday's video is called a letter to a person on their first day here. basically it is an inspirational and instructional life manual for a newborn. kid president explains many things a person will see here, the people they will meet, and things they should do. here are the pieces i took away from it.
  • lots of things that will happen here [singing, dancing, laughing, gross things, awesome things]. 
  • there are plenty of reasons to dance, you just have to find them. 
  • you will meet lots of people. some are nice and some are not. just because some people are not nice, doesn't mean they can't be. 
  • we should give people high-5's just for getting out of bed.
  • treat everybody like it's their birthday, even if they don't deserve it.
  • the biggest mess-up is not forgiving each other's mess-ups.
  • amazing things are going to happen every day.
  • you are awesome. you were made that way.
  • you were made from love, to be loved and to spread love.
  • love is louder. let your life be loud.
  • corn dogs rule.
  • "we're really glad you're here." we don't say that enough to each other.
  • you are going to be important and do a lot, but don't get too busy.
  • you're awake. you're awesome. live like it.
at the end of the video kid president posed this question: what do you think the kids need to know?

that is a very difficult question to answer, especially after watching his video because he seemed to provide all the answers. it mentions the good stuff and some not so good stuff. there are many things kids need to know coming into this world about this world, but here are a few of my thoughts on what i think #thekidsneedtoknow.

1. ask lots of questions. this world is a huge place with so much to offer you. if you don't ask questions and inquire about the world you live in, you will never learn about it and never gain the opportunity to explore it. learn as much as you can.

2. people will support you. this world is filled with amazing people who already love you [mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousin, future friends]. value these relationships and allow them to offer you advice about this world. after all, they have been living in it a lot longer than you have.

3. be respectful. respect your environment, your community, your family and friends, your teachers, your school...basically everything in your life. show it respect. if you respect the things around you, it will honor you the same respect.

4. be ambitious. have big goals and big dreams. reach for the stars. never stop dreaming. dreaming allows to you be creative and provides motivation.

5. remember that disappointments happen. this big world is also a cruel world. bad things happen. remember that through all the bad and negative things, awesome things happen. life isn't always sunny. and even in the darkest of days, you can find sunshine. the gloomy days are valuable too. they teach you how to be strong and how to deal with adverse situations.

6. keep your cup half full. have a positive attitude and outlook on life. no matter what happens, find the good in any situation. life can get tough, but if you are always looking up and always trying to reach your goals - it can be difficult to slow down a positive and motivated person! and being happy makes this life worth the ride.

as kid president said, being a person is tough sometimes. we don't have all the answers, but we try our best. every day is a miracle. enjoy it. embrace it. love it.

i am really glad you are here :)


what are you words of wisdom to the kids? what do you think #thekidsneedtoknow?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

twenty fourteen

it's a new year. time to set new goals, challenges, and dreams. i have LOTS of them for this year.

1. stay right. i have worked really hard at my physical health. i eat well [most of the time] and obsess over what is in our food. i exercise religiously. even though i do not see these lifestyle choices changing, i feel that it is important to always have goals. i want to stay focused on this aspect of my life because it is so important to me. which leads to me to resolution #2.....

2. run some races. i have been exercising using HIIT since april. i am ready to challenge myself even more. i want to do that through running [a sport i used to love]. my goal is to run at least two 5ks [if not more] and one 10k. i have been very fickle about road races the past few years, so i think i need to start small.

3. write professionally more. i enjoy writing so much that i want to continue to share it with the world [and it wouldn't hurt to earn some money from it either ;) ].

4. expand the blackout community. sharing my journey through life with epilepsy has been amazing. i want to continue to share my story, while creating a community that fosters education and awareness. 

5. open my own business. this was a resolution from last year. and even though it has not come to fruition yet, does not mean that i changed my mind on it. the timing wasn't right. 2014 is the year!!!

6. financial freedom. last year i suggested that i wanted to achieve financial responsibility. we are financially responsible. but i would like to build our assets and plan for the future. and i think that will give us the financial freedom we desire.

7. pay it forward. through random acts of kindness. through doing the right thing. through sending a card. i just want to put more goodness out into our world.

8. travel to somewhere new. we love to travel, but often go to our favorite places over and over again. i want to see some new places this year!

i think that is a good list to start with, don't you?

what are your goals, challenges, and resolutions for 2014?!!