Sick In Bed

How does one spend their day off from work due to a federal holiday? If you’re me, you spent the day in bed with horrible abdominal pains. All I could do yesterday was lay in bed, watch movies, and sleep (thanks to pain medication). It hurt to sit up, it hurt stand, it hurt to roll over from side to side. I could hardly eat. I cried several times from the pain (I’m a wuss when it comes to any sort of upset stomach or abdominal pain). I’ve had abdominal pains on many occasions, but not even my prescribed medication for this such issue helped me yesterday.

This morning I woke up and tried to get ready for work. When I took a shower the pain came back in the same area. I tried laying down for a bit afterward to see if it would go away, but of course, the pain stuck around. I decided to do something that I hardly ever do…I called-in sick to work. I try to only do such a thing when I am 1) in a lot of pain and/or 2) very, very nauseous. I don’t let other sicknesses, like a cold, keep me from work. I know sick time is supposed to be used when you are sick, but I always feel bad for having to call-in. However, as I have been told recently, we need to take care of ourselves first so we can be healthy and strong enough to take care of others.

So I’m spending today in bed, again. I am feeling slightly better than I was this morning, but definitely not my usual 100%. I just want to rest up and try to beat this sickness so I can return to work tomorrow.

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02.21.2012 at 12:25 PM Leave a comment

Love The One You’re With

I would say my Valentine’s Day this year was pretty amazing. No, I didn’t receive flowers, a box of chocolates, a stuffed bear, an expensive dinner at a fancy restaurant, or jewelry of any kind. But you know what, that is fine with me. I got to spend a wonderful evening with the man I love.

At work earlier that day we had an employee potluck. Because February is hearth healthy month, that became the theme of the potluck. Employees were encouraged to bring dishes that were “heart healthy” (some ended up being healthier than others). I helped plan this event and also made some of the decorations to put in the break room. Overall, the potluck was a success! Several employees participated, resulting in many dishes. I made homemade cupcakes with homemade frosting. Not the healthiest thing I could have brought, but when my first dish turned out horrible in taste and texture, I was glad I also chose to make cupcakes for the event.

When I got off work I went over to Drew’s and he made us a very delicious dinner. We had his special crouton-crusted chicken with pasta, salad, veggies, and crescents. Yes, it was a feast! (And no, I did not count Weight Watchers Points that day…nor a few days prior…I am going to have a bad weigh-in on Sunday.) We also watched the film What’s Your Number?. It wasn’t as good as the book (which I read earlier this year), but it was still pretty cute. Plus, I enjoy Chris Evans as an actor (yeah, Captain America!).

Drew did get me a present for Valentine’s Day. On Saturday we visited a local furniture warehouse (one of their many locations) to look at furniture for the new place we will be getting soon (eeee!). Well, they have artwork hanging around in the showrooms/displays that can actually be purchased there at the store. I saw a beautiful picture/painting replica with flowers and I mentioned how lovely it was. He purchased that picture for me (well, he said for us because it will be going into our place) and surprised me Monday night. I cannot wait until we start looking for our new home.

02.16.2012 at 6:57 AM Leave a comment

Squeezing In More Cardio

On my days off from work I like to try and schedule an extra cardio session at the gym. I’m usually over at Drew’s place on these days and therefore can utilize the gym located in his apartment complex’s clubhouse. It isn’t a very big gym – two elliptical machines, two treadmills, a few weight machines, and some free weights – but right now it works for me. I did have a membership at a local gym for over a year, but since starting my [current] job last August I had been utilizing the tiny gym at work for part of my lunch hour. When the new year started and I deiced to do the 90-day ChaLEAN Extreme program I stopped using the gym at work and actually spent my lunch hour eating a lunch rather than quickly devouring a greek yogurt + banana post-workout. Still, there are days when it feels nice to do a little extra exercise and take advantage of the cardio machines.

This morning I braced the falling snow (not as bad a last Friday) and walked over to the apartment gym. With two magazines (the February issues of Self and Shape – from the library), my iPod shuffle (I always bring it in case others are being loud in the gym), and a full water bottle I was ready for some workout action on the elliptical. Because most people are at work around 10am on a Tuesday the gym was, for the most part, all mine. 🙂

Here’s my gym workout for today:

Elliptical – 30 minutes – level 10 – random setting*

Elliptical – 15 minutes – level 6 – random setting

Treadmill – 15 minutes – 5.0 incline, 3.9 average speed

*the elliptical has different settings to choose from, such as manual, hill, and random (varying intensities)

I didn’t intend to walk for a bit on the treadmill, but I was in the middle of one of the magazines so I decided to finish it while I was there. I tend to reserve my magazine reading for the cardio machines, unless they are food/cooking magazines.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with my cardio for today. I want to get back into running, but I’m waiting for spring when the weather outside is much more favorable. I still have my ChaLEAN Extreme session to do (I’m on the second month – the PUSH series) later on today. I’ve been noticing a bit of a change, especially in my arms. Bring on the sexy muscle!

02.07.2012 at 3:02 PM Leave a comment

Try, Try Again

Over the past several years I have struggled with losing weight. I have lost anywhere from 10 to 50 lbs during various times in my teenage and adult life. Unfortunately, those losses never quite stuck.  I have lost weight, gained weight, lost it again…. You get the idea. For my first weight loss during high school, I simply ate less and moved more. Then college happened. What a weight-loss roller coaster! My biggest loss, 50 lbs, occurred during the summer before my junior year. I managed to lose all that weight in three months, only to return to college in the fall and gain back 20 lbs in one month. During that time I had developed a very unhealthy relationship with food.

From the end of college until now I have tried losing weight a few more times. I started paying more attention to calories and the concept of calories in vs. calories out. I started exercising regularly and tracking calories through sites like SparkPeople and MyFitnessPal. I found success in these two programs and managed to lose between 10 – 20 lbs at different times. However, I always managed to gain the weight back. I seem to have a “happy weight” that I continuously gravitate to and, although it puts me in the “normal” BMI range, I am not satisfied with my weight and my body. I know I need to work on my self-esteem and body image, but sometimes that is easier said than done. I am envious of women who have wonderful body confidence and wish to have the same self-love one day.

In the mean time, I’ve decided to try something different in terms of weight loss. At the beginning of February I joined Weight Watchers, after discussing it with one of my co-workers who started the program in January. I always told myself that I would never sign up for a pay-to-use program. I mean, why pay for something when programs like SparkPeople are free? I enjoy(ed) SparkPeople and the many services and features they have available, but sometimes you just need to try something new. So, with that, I am giving Weight Watchers a shot.

Wish me luck! 🙂

02.05.2012 at 8:51 PM 1 comment

Things I Love: Book Fairs

I have always been a big fan of reading, ever since I was a young girl. I remember reading books like The Green Mile by Stephen King for pleasure while I was in high school. Unfortunately, when I went off to college, my desire to read beyond course readings and textbooks took a steady decline over my four years. As the intensity of the school work increased (senior thesis, anyone?) and the required reading became longer and more complex, I found myself frequently choosing a mindless television show over reading for fun. Since graduating, moving to Colorado, and discovering the local library district, my love of reading has reignited. I tend to visit the library about 3 or 4 times a month, picking up books (mostly nonfiction), audio books (good for my work commute), and magazines. Occasionally I will pick up a movie or two and I’ve recently discovered how to check out ebooks for my NOOK tablet. The library is one of the greatest free resources out there.

Although I use the services at the library regularly, I also enjoy building up my personal book collection. I try not to buy too many books unless 1) it is a book I checked out from the library, read, and really enjoyed or 2) they are super cheap. That’s why I love attending book fairs. Drew and I are both book fans, although my book collection is nothing compared to his. At the moment his two bookshelves are full and he has stacks of books just hanging out until we move and can afford a few larger bookshelves.

Yesterday the library branch that I frequent most often was holding a used book fair. All paperbacks were selling for $0.50 and all hardcovers for $1.00 – a very good deal! Combined, Drew and I picked up 26 paperbacks and 2 hardcover books for a total of $15.95 with tax. Out of curiosity, I went through and calculated how much all the books would have cost if we purchased them at their respective cover prices…and came up with a total of $245.56! What we ended up paying was a darn good deal if I do say so myself. Of the 28 books we got only 4 of them were for me (3 paperbacks and 1 hardcover). The gems I picked up were Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, The Lost World by Michael Crichton, The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, and Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus.

Now I have a few more books to read and apply towards my book goal for this year.

01.29.2012 at 11:54 AM 2 comments

National Peanut Butter Day

Today is National Peanut Butter Day!

This morning I enjoyed a delicious bowl of overnight oats with peanut butter, one banana, and cinnamon mixed in. Yum! It’s been a while since I’ve had overnight oats.

And no, the peanut butter love did not stop there.  I also had a peanut butter and jam sandwich for lunch. What can I say, I’m just diggin’ the pb these days. 😉

01.24.2012 at 8:12 PM Leave a comment

Maple Snickerdoodles & Toffee Butter Cookies

Below are two cookie recipes that I used for my Christmas 2011 tins, both from Kim at Lovin’ From The Oven. The maple snickerdoodles had just the right hint of maple and were very delicious. For the toffee butter cookies I followed the recipe posted on Kim’s blog, but upped the amount of toffee bits from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup. The cookies came out extremely soft (even a week later) and had a mild sweetness that I enjoyed.

    

Check out the recipes for Maple Snickerdoodles and Toffee Butter Cookies over at Lovin’ From the Oven!

01.08.2012 at 11:48 AM Leave a comment

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