Weigh In Wednesday May 28

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-hosts!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

 Erin @ She's A Big Star

Hey everyone! I'm trying to update from my iPad because my computer charger decided to die on me and I'm waiting for a new one. Classes are finally over so I plan to have LOTS of updates once my computer is back up and running!

For now, I'm off to Cincinnati for the day for my wedding dress fitting.  I'm down about 14 pounds since purchasing it so hopefully it will look better and need to be taken in.

I'm sitting at 202 right now after the Memorial Day Weekend - SO CLOSE! 34 lbs gone!

Will update more tonight but in the mean time, Happy Hump Day!

Tell me what you're most excited about for summer?

Weigh In Wednesday May 21

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-hosts!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

 Erin @ She's A Big Star

Please excuse my absence last week! I am currently drinking from the firehose of knowledge with just three days left of school. I will be MUCH more active this summer when I get a break but until then, I'm sprinting to the finish line. TWO exams left!

In addition to school coming to a close, wedding planning is heating up - three weeks! Right now I'm in the process of tracking down RSVPers which were due on Monday. Next comes the seating chart, finalizing readings, finalizing timing and logistics, and going absolutely INSANE.

And finally Nick moved to Indianapolis and started his new job on Monday! I've been splitting my time between moving things in from my old apartment, studying, getting the new apartment ready, and also going INSANE. 

So basically, I'm insane. Thankfully, I've made an amazing group of friends at school that love me even when I burst into tears randomly like an annoying baby. As the years progress, I'm reminded time and time again that the QUALITY of your friendships are far more important than the QUANTITY. You can't be everything for everybody - especially if they treat you poorly. Be yourself and there will be people who love and respect you for that.


It's fair to say I brought this all on myself but I'm not convinced there is EVER a good time to totally shake up your life so now is as good a time as ever. Things will be so much better on Friday - I'll have all the time in the world to finish up wedding planning and getting the apartment taken care of.

For the weigh in, I left my scale at the old apartment. #unprepared Basically I have stuff in about three or four different places now but I can estimate that I haven't lost or gained any more weight. I've been eating moderately well and working out a fair amount. I do need to get back to running, like NOW.


I started a Sugar Detox with a bunch of ladies through one of my favorite blogs, Four Fit Sisters, on Monday.  The first two days weren't very successful (like running errands until 9pm and succumbing to free pizza for dinner) but now that I'm finally organized, I'm officially starting today. I plan to extend the Detox to the wedding - basically eliminating all added sugar and taking it back to nature. 

The upside to moving to my new apartment is that the gym is ON POINT. It's much better than the one at school and has everything I use at Planet Fitness (bleh yuck boo) minus my beloved dumbbell bars. I'm happy, happy, happy! I love our new apartment -it's our first "home" and we got quite a deal for how nice it is. I think we'll really like it here!

Until Friday and the return of my life:

Have a great week!

Weigh In Wednesday May 13

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-hosts!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

 Erin @ She's A Big Star

Post coming soon

Flying Pig Half Marathon Recap

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Today I'm recapping my very first half marathon which I completed on Sunday, May 4! It's kind of crazy to look back and think about everything that has transpired since I decided to start running. When I started this blog a year ago  (the anniversary of which I let pass unceremoniously) I had just decided to train for my first 5K in June. 

I confess that I have started and stopped running programs in the past a handful of times. I just never enjoyed it and I couldn't get over the mile hump. I think I may have peaked at running 8 minutes straight once. 

Something has changed in the past year. There has been a tremendously shift in my mentality. Working out went from being a chore to something I actually enjoyed. I started believing I COULD do things instead of I CAN'T. I wanted to challenge myself. Most of all, I learned that I'm capable of far more than I've ever held myself accountable for. I want to thank my aunt, most of all, for teaching me that exercise could be fun. Her boot camp classes started as something I absolutely DREADED to something I looked forward to - without her pushing to be better and without my family joining in, I don't think I'd be where I am today.

Last May, I did something I don't think I've ever done. I ran an entire mile without stopping. I just never thought I could, so I didn't. I was never very athletic - I was the slow kid who would rather be inside reading a good book and couldn't catch a ball to save her life.

I suppose I got bit by the running bug after that mile because after numerous 5Ks, a 10K, and now my first half marathon, there's no sign of stopping! 

Now for the recap!

Cincinnati. My hometown. We are a traditional bunch who value family, community, and good beer. Our city is has a small, hometown feel but we are mighty - just check out the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day! Another thing Cincinnatians love is the Flying Pig Marathon.

It took me a while to realize that other people think the name of our marathon is kind of goofy - it seems normal to me because I'm used to passing pig statues on the sidewalk and have a collection of FPM volunteer t-shirts from my high school days with pigs all over them.  

Back in the day, Cincinnati was nicknamed "Porkopolis" as it featured the country's premier hog packing industry - one could see farmers herding piggies down the town streets. Somehow out of that history, the Flying Pig Marathon was born!  (Of course you have the phrase "when pig fly" to tie everything together). Can you tell I'm a history nerd? Much to my surprise, the marathon is only 16 years old - started in 1999. The half marathon is even younger but it's still a big event here.

On Saturday morning, Nick and I went to the Expo to pick up my bib and t-shirt. There were TONS of goodies and vendors! I ended up getting two new headbands because I can't help but spend money. In addition to a tech t-shirt, you also get a really nice pool bag, a poster, and a virtual goodie bag with coupons and such. 

Another piggie! You can see these all over the city. This one features the Cincinnati Skyline including the "crown" on the new Great American building.

As I said in my last post, after the Expo Nick and I met with our priest and then I went to my bridal shower. We had the best appetizers and dessert at the party - hummus and pita bread, spinach dip, mini sandwiches, etc. - perfect for carb-loading (although I was pretty busy running around so eating wasn't a high priority). That night (after a flat tire incident) we just relaxed and I ate some pizza and drank lots of water! (I think this is why I love running...).  

Lucky for me, my maid of honor decided to stay in town to be there for my half. J and Nick woke up sooooo early on Sunday to take me downtown - we left at 5 am. It was great to have their support :) I hate going to races alone.

You can't see them very well but I'm wearing compression socks which I think helped a lot during and after the race! They kept me from swelling and I didn't even notice I had them on. 

The Race

As you can imagine, I was pretty darn nervous for the race by the time 4 am came around Sunday morning. I did get a pretty good night of sleep - sleep never seems to be a problem these days. The worst part about races to me is waiting in the corral area. Everyone is just standing around waiting for something to happen and it's crowded - my inner introvert starts screaming to get out of there! 

I just wanted the race to start! I was in corral G because I wasn't sure where I would finish when I registered - we waited a while to start because there were so many people! I was thankful that the entire race was pretty thinned out.  There wasn't a lot of congestion and you had the freedom to move. Even the water stops went smoothly. Some of the best race logistics I've ever seen!

When we finally made it to the start line, I started to crank my music and we were off!

At this point, the whole experience is a bit of a blur. It went by really FAST! 

The first 6 miles of the races were very similar to the Thanksgiving Day Race I did this year - three big ole bridges which seem like nothing after mile 6-10 of the Pig. 6 miles went by pretty quickly - I think I took some gel around 4.5 miles because I was anticipating the horror that was coming up. 

Miles 6-10 took us up a big ramp and up into the Eden Park/Mt. Adams area of Cincinnati (did I mention Cincy is also called the City of Seven Hills?). Let's just say it wasn't flat. I decided to walk steep uphills because I knew my pace would suffer and I would be less efficient. Walking is ok! 

The upside to the hellish hills was the spectacular beauty of the park and surrounding areas. The Pig is known for having amazing volunteers and entertainment - all along the course there were people cheering you on with HILARIOUS signs and encouragement. I found myself getting a little emotional throughout the race - it's nice to see so many people encouraging others. 

And the outfits. So funny! Many people dress up as piggies, there are tutus (which I'm sad I did not have), and much, much more! Many people run in memory of losses loved ones and raise money for charity as well.

At mile 9, volunteers gave out free gels so I took another gel with water. Which reminds me - the water stops were on point! There was water and gatorade at nearly every mile! After about mile 2 I would grab some water and walk a few seconds to drink. Luckily, the weather was perfect - it started in the 50s and stayed pretty cloudy the entire time so I was never dehydrated or sweating more than I could reasonably replace with fluids.

After mile 10, the hills pretty much stopped and it was downhill from then on.  Mile 11 was a steep downgrade which actually hurt my knees wayyyyy more than running uphill. I was NOT a fan of that mile - I think it definitely played into my ankle soreness and knee discomfort that I'm experiencing right now. BOO downhills.  I thought for sure that would be my favorite part but we literally covered the same elevation in one mile as we did in the previous 3 miles. 

Thanks to walking the uphills and mini rests in the water stops, I still had plenty of energy for the final two miles.  The final mile was my least favorite because I knew the finish line was coming up but I wasn't sure how far it was ahead (at this point my Nike Plus app was being a ninny and told me I had already finished 13.1 miles - YOU LIE!). I wanted to kick up my pace but I also didn't want to burn out too soon either.  

Nearing the finish line, I saw spectators handing out little cups of beer (just like at the water stops) which made me laugh. I was so close to grabbing one! Kept trucking along and then I saw my fiancĂ© with his parents and my maid of honor. I booked it for the finish line and before I knew it, I was DONE!

I finished shy of my 2:30 unofficial goal at 2:24:11 but I was still really excited and proud! 

As soon as I stopped running, I knew I had to keep moving. We could NOT stand around. I needed to walk and then stretch. I started to notice the aching in my legs and shoulders but I didn't feel bad - I actually felt pretty great! Maybe I held back a little bit because of the hills. Really, I just wanted to finish! Now that I know I can do this, I can start working on speed.  

I spent the rest of the day pretending I wasn't tired. It was Nick's birthday so his family had people over for brunch.  Nick's mom also supplied me with the recovery goods: classic Lay's and chocolate milk that was better than Kroger brand - AMAZING.

Overall, I loved my half experience - I'm glad I chose to do it in my hometown! Many of my classmates ran the Indianapolis Mini on Saturday so I missed out doing that with everyone but it was worth it! I'll definitely be back next year.

So what's next?

Most of my soreness has worn off and I'm ready to get back into the gym and back to training. My left ankle is being a little stubborn - it still feels a bit unstable but it tends to flare up randomly anyway. my knees are hanging in there - still popping and cracking like always.  

Since I'm already conditioned and trained for a half, I decided why not just do one more?  I will be running the Indianapolis Women's Half Marathon in a month  - June 7th which is also a week before the wedding.  Am I crazy? Maybe a little.

After my second half, I'm going to take a little break from running to focus on leaning out and lifting - I'll just be running for maintenance.  I'm considering trying Crossfit this summer once Nick and I move to our new apartment. There is a great summer special for students at a local box so now's as good a time as any! I've been wanting to try it for a long time.

In August, I will start training again for my next half - probably at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I'll find a few 5K/10Ks as training races and take it from there. 

Is a marathon on my bucket list? Yes. I don't think I want to commit to that until I have a few more halfs under my belt, though. I want to get stronger and faster before I even think about dropping the money and time required into training. Clearly my thinking has come a LONG way because I never ever would've admitted that before now. 

The goal now is to continue to lose weight, get lean, get faster, and get stronger! My nutrition is continuing to improve, I'm cutting out the artificial sweeteners and sneaking vegetables into everything I possibly can!  Just making the small changes. I'm not going to lie, I still make mistakes and eat things I shouldn't. Sometimes I convince myself it's ok to buy a bag of potato chips (a major trigger food for me) or eat some pizza. Everyday I'm getting a little better, though, at making smarter choices and controlling my disordered eating (i.e. emotional bingeing and late night snacking). 

So that's where I'm at. I'm really optimistic about my plans for the rest of the year. Completing this half marathon was a really proud moment for me - I wonder what else I could achieve if I just try?

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Weigh In Wednesday May 7

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-hosts!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

 Erin @ She's A Big Star

Sorry for the late start today! Didn't have my pictures uploaded to my computer this morning and then had class.  Struggles.

This past week/weekend was HUGE! I had two practicals last week and then a busy weekend. Saturday I woke up bright and early to make the drive back to Cincinnati - probably one of the last times before the WEDDING.

Thanks, Starbucks!

Nick and I met with our priest to start planning the ceremony and do some marriage prep.  It's all getting VERY VERY real and I couldn't be more excited. Now we are trying to narrow down the readings, figure out who will do those readings, and choose our music. It's actually really fun because we get to tailor our Mass to us and our marriage. There are so many beautiful scriptures and messages  though so it's hard to choose! 

Later that day I had my bridal shower with friends and family - even some of my friends from school came all the out to Cincinnati! It was a lot of fun! I don't think I've ever been so excited to get new towels and pots and pans before.  In all my excitement, I didn't think to take pictures so I'm hoping my aunt was able to get some.  My MOH has everyone write down Words of Wisdom for the bride which were fun to read.  Many people said "Never go to bed angry" or some variation of that. Another said to find things you like to do together but also have your own hobbies and activities. There were really sweet ones and some saucy ones, too! So great to hear advice from women I really respect and admire!

Oh yeah...and there were AMAZING cupcakes!

After the bridal shower, it was time to get ready for my FIRST HALF MARATHON which was the next day.  I'll have a recap post up tomorrow with all the details.  The good news is that I survived! Sunday May 4 also happened to be Nick's 24th Birthday so we had a great time celebrating after my race. Happy Birthday to Nick! I got us tickets to my other boyfriend's concert in August - LUKE BRYAN! 

Now for the weigh in. Gained 1.5 lb this week which I suspect is from tapering and probably some inflammation/water retention from the race. It's disappointing but I'm sure in another day or two I'll be back to losing again.  Doesn't help that I wanted to eat everything right after the race!  I got back on track on Monday and things have been good since.

Weighing In
Height: 5'8"
SW: 236.2
Last week: 204.2
This week: 205.6
Change: +1.4
Total Loss: -30.6

Will have a post up about the race tomorrow!  Hope you all have a great week!

How do you recover from long runs/races?
What are you most looking forward to this summer?

Vega Bar Review

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

***Disclaimer: The following post is a review for Vega Bars. I was given the opportunity to participate in this review through my Sweat Pink ambassadorship and was provided with several bars to try out for this purpose.  I received no other compensation for this review and the opinions expressed in this blog about this product are 100% my own honest, unbiased opinion.***

Recently I was given the great opportunity to review the new line of Vega nutrition bars! I've tried the Vega protein powders several times now and I'm a big fan. Now I'm just trying to figure out which flavor I want to invest in.

Nutrition bars are a great option for when you're on the go or super busy like me. I'm not always prepared when hunger strikes in the middle of a lecture or study session so I need something that I can carry with me at all times and quickly pull out of my bag - enter Vega bars!  

It's really hard to find a protein source that is "clean" - meaning it contains very no processed or artificial ingredients. The closer to the earth your food is, the better! While  the Vega bars do contain more ingredients than I would prefer, they are a pretty great option compared to other bars.  I love that all of their bars are non-GMO, gluten free, and contain plant-based protein. 

Vega is releasing four sets of bars:
The Vega Snack bar was one of my favorites - I tried the Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts and Sea Salt & the Cranberry Almond flavors. Both bars featured that coveted salty-sweet mixture that I love in a snack - it satisfies my sweet tooth and also provided protein and crunch. I would highly recommend these bars for a mid-afternoon snack to power through the work day.

Vega Sport Protein was also another great bar from Vega! Often times protein bars taste artificial - the sweeteners they use are very pungent and the protein itself tastes terrible. Not here - I love the texture of this bar! It's very smooth and reminds me of homemade cookie dough. I tried the Chocolate Coconut and the Chocolate Mint - mint is my favorite and almost reminded me of a chewy thin mint cookie!

Vega Sport Energy is suggested for use mid-workout. It's mostly composed of nuts and fruit to provide quick energy. Personally I don't eat during workouts - during long runs I use gels because I'm not comfortable chewing while running and I don't usually need fuel during a workout.  I used this bar as another snack option before or after a workout. Chocolate Coconut Almond and Cherry Almond were the flavors I tried and both were equally delicious! I love fruit and nut bars because they are simple and don't have a bunch of extra ingredients. They are also moist and chewy which is a nice texture difference compared to your standard nutrition bar.

Vega One is an all-in-one meal bar. I tried Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cherry Almond. This bar had the longest list of ingredients by far and was pretty high in calories - 270 calories - which makes sense as it replaces a meal.  I wasn't a big fan of these bars because they were more dense and tasted like a typical meal replacement bar. I don't like to replace meals with bars or shakes - I end up feeling hungry quicker and unsatisfied. Just a personal preference!

Overall Opinion

Pros: I love that the bars are non-GMO, gluten free, and plant-based. All of the flavors were delicious! I've had a positive experience with the protein powder so I trust the company and enjoy their products!

Cons: I wasn't a fan of the Vega One bar but I don't ever use bars for meal replacements because it doesn't fill me up. I also think there is a significant amount of refined sugar and processed ingredients in the bars. I've seen cleaner versions. I also have no experience with the old product to compare the two.

I enjoyed reviewing the Vega Bars and I would probably purchase them down the road if I saw them in stores. They are perfect for a quick snack or workout recovery and taste delicious but I am hesitant about the extra sugar even if it is organic. My favorite bars were the Vega Energy Protein and the Vega Snack bars!