41… it’s just a number… a really sucky number.

Brace yourselves (or me), I turned 41 today… 40 was spectacular with a girls’ weekend and boudoir photo-shoot, but 41?  Not so much… I have a sinus infection, some stomach issues from my weekend o’ Mexican food, and I just feel like those sexy photos were a hundred years ago… and my clothes are telling me they soooo were!

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I started thinking about it over the weekend and realizing that this getting fit and getting healthy stuff is just not going to get any easier as I get older… not. at. all.  So I’m thinking and pondering all of my many bad habits… and realizing that maybe those bad habits – however amusing – have to go… stat.

I’m a girl who loves her beer… no, really… I loooove beer.  And when I drink, sadly, I want to smoke.  Which is both disgusting and detrimental to healthy-girl-Amanda.  So… it’s time to kick that garbage to the curb and move into the light.

I’m sad to see that party-girl go, because she really can be a lot of fun… but I’m also pretty sure that the ‘Manda that will emerge from healthy eating and moving her lazy butt will be even more fun.

I bought my MC Hammer action figure stone-cold sober (not so much for Mr. T – shush)… I made Halloween costumes for my Ugly Doll one clear-afternoon (when I was gainfully unemployed, whatever).  I’ve even danced on tables in New Orleans without an ounce of crummy alcohol or nicotine in my system (approximately 20 years ago)… so I say, bring it, life.  Just bring it… because this girl… has GOT THIS.

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love is in the air…

I’ve been under a lot of pressure at work lately and after a long stressful day, it’s kinda hard to work up love for much more than an ice cold beer or comfy jammie pants.

You feel me?

But today…  I have my happy (jammie) pants on and am feeling a whole lotta love that I thought I better capture for future crank-meister days.

What I’m loving today…

  • being married to a man with such diverse interests and talents… he’s a pilot, he’s a rock star musician, he’s a rowing machine, his beautiful photography hangs in our home, and he makes the most adorable little pancakes…
  • living in a city where I don’t need to own a snow shovel or ice scraper.
  • my new honeysuckle candles from Bath and Body Works… the scent reminds me of walking across the campus at my college during my  last semester.
  • the sparkly hooker-heels Erik gave me for V-day… and the fact that he’s convinced I can rock them in public.

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  • my hot-pink azaleas that are blooming in February…
  • that after several failed and comical attempts, we were finally able to get a paw-print in clay from our fur-baby that I’ll treasure forever.
  • my new Minimus Zero Trail shoes… they make me feel like a ninja.  truth.
  • having a (mostly) four day work week…
  • the sound of my puppy-dog snoring… or the sound of coffee brewing on one of those four work days.
  • counting down the days until I meet up with the TTCC girls in Atlanta for the P!nk concert and some Chuy’s!
  • photos and texts I receive from my youngest brother about his new cat… dude should totally be in stand-up comedy.
  • the hilarious toddlers and grade-schoolers we volunteer with at church… #connectfourchamprighthere
  • that none of my coworkers even questioned why I would be handing out Justin Bieber valentine’s day cards and temporary tattoos to everyone last week.
  • Primal Roots white blend… because it doesn’t get more classy than an eight-dollah bottle of wine.
  • that next month, I’ll go to Disney World for the first time ever!  and we’ll be going with two of the cutest kids we know…
  • nutella… oh, yes… nutella, I do love you… always and forever.

Soooo… what are you loving right now?

Posted in hobbies that keep me out of a jail cell., news and misc updates. | 5 Comments

the “B” is back on Biggest Loser…

And by “B”, I mean Jillian Michaels

(I’ll let you decide for yourself what that “B” stands for, but I’ll give you a clue – it’s not “buttercup”.)

So yeah, I’m finally caught up on the first few weeks of this season’s BL that I DVR’d and realize that after a few blissfully JM-free seasons of Biggest Loser… she’s back.  And, unfortunately,  she didn’t spend any of her down-time in acting classes.  She’s still as overly-dramatic as she was before.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s a total bad-ass and I think she could almost convince me to give up Mexican food and beer if I came face to face with her for any length of time.  But those dramatic facial expressions she does during the weigh-in?  Kinda just make her look like she needs more bran in her diet… am I right?

And wow – what the hiz-ell was up with her during that first workout in the premiere episode?!  She clearly didn’t spend any down-time in anger-management classes either.  I mean, spit-yelling in someone’s face while they’re already pushing their bodies more than they have in a really long time – or ever?  I’m pretty sure that would only motivate me to put a flaming bag of poop on her front door step if it was me.

That whole thing where she kicked most of her team out of the gym was just ridiculous.  For crying out loud – these folks are already overcoming a lot by even stepping foot in a gym in their current condition!  I get that a trainer needs to be firm and not let their client cheat themselves in the workout… I get that some of the contestants walk onto the show with a suitcase full of excuses ready… but wouldn’t it be more helpful to motivate someone by helping them believe in themselves instead of ridiculing them?

She’s never been my favorite trainer on the show (I’m “team Bob” all the way), but I’m so disappointed in her this season.  I mean – with this training style she’s adopted – is anyone surprised that her team is down to only one person in just a few weeks?  Uhhhh, probably not.  It’s a bummer for those folks who drew the short straw and got stuck with her as their trainer, but I guess the positive side is that they all seem to be doing well at home.  Maybe she was a better trainer off-camera?

I’m a huge fan of Biggest Loser – we even took the opportunity to sneak onto the Ranch while we were in Malibu a couple years ago…

IMG_5504-2…but I’m not altogether sure I want to continue to watch this season and her flaring-nostrils-of-hate.  I seriously get all tourettes-syndrome-ish every time she comes onto the screen.  Ohhhhhhh, maybe I can make up a kickboxing workout for every time she comes on the screen?

What do y’all think?  Think I’m just being snarky because she’s taking camera time away from my honey Dolvett?

Posted in does whining burn calories?, I heart biggest loser | Leave a comment

will run for chocolate…

I don’t love New Year’s resolutions, but I did commit to running one race per month this year.  January’s event was the Hot Chocolate 5K race in Atlanta this weekend.  I mean – a race for chocolate?  Helllooo, I’m so there!

The 5K was actually sold out when I went to register a couple of months ago, so I had to do a charity entry for an additional $20… but I found a 10% off coupon on the Moms Run This Town website.  I don’t normally shell out that much for a race, but the price of this entry included a technical hoodie for all participants.  When I picked it up on Saturday, I pulled it on and have decided it’s my new woobie.  It’s completely lined with polar fleece – even in the hand-warmer pocket thingy.  It wasn’t at all chilly in Atlanta this weekend (like highs in the 70s), but I snuggled into it every chance I got.

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So, aside from the hoodie hand out, the expo was actually pretty lame.  We had to pay $10 for parking and then when we got inside, they only had 4 vendors there… one of which was a cosmetology school?!

After the expo, we went for lunch and I did some shopping/browsing at fun fitness-gear stores we don’t have in Savannah… like Lululemon and Athleta.  That was mildly motivational since I found an adorable run-skirt that I want, but can’t fit my booty into right now.  And stopping at Lululemon reminded me about my vision board project from last year… it’s probably time to do a new one, right?

Even with a relaxing dinner and early bed time the night before, race day morning was pretty stressful… it seems – in addition to the traffic of 20,000 race participants – we were fighting against bumper-to-bumper Atlanta Falcons play-off game traffic.  Baaah!

Although they like to call this “America’s Sweetest Race”, it was not the friendliest group of race volunteers by far.  I was pushed to the very back corral by a cranky volunteer since the long delay in the potty line put me a few minutes behind the closing schedule of my assigned corral.  So I moved to the back and when the race announcer asked the waiting crowd who was running their first race to raise their hand, I found myself completely surrounded by hands in the air.  Crap.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m always excited when people get into running and doing races, but a huge group of first-timers meant that I would be maneuvering through a lot of folks completely unfamiliar with race etiquette.  In the interest of public service announcements for the running community, let me share a few tips with you:

  • Just like in driving, slow moving vehicles keep right… leave the left area open as a passing lane.
  • Please don’t run or walk side-by-side with 6 of your friends so that no one can get past you… it just makes everyone wish a fast-moving stomach virus on all of you.
  • At the water stops, take your water and keep moving… if you stop right there, you’re blocking everyone else from getting their water.
  • Don’t throw your cup down in the middle of the road… throw it in the trash cans or to the side of the road.  If you throw it in the middle, you’re creating a slip-hazard for the runners coming behind you.
  • Thank the volunteers and the cops working the road closures of the course… even if they’re not at their sweetest when you come across them and they force you into the last corral.
  • If you wear ear-buds for music (or whatever keeps you moving), please only use one earbud during the race so that you can hear people around you in the case of an emergency like “OMG!  That store we just passed has a huge sale today!”.  Safety first.
  • Enjoy yourself, but don’t be a rude butthead to people who are older, slower, chunkier, etc. than you.  Remember karma?  I’ll go ahead and pre wish a fast-moving stomach virus on you right now if you’re that person.

Check it out… this was my favorite runner of the day.  He never once passed me – what’s not to love?  😉

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Okay, I’ve stalled long enough about my performance in the race.. because, well… it was bad.  I could list the 20 reasons I have for sucking wind at this race (hilly course, foot cramp, bad shoes, being 40 and out of shape, missing my iPod, being stopped at a couple of intersections because of the play-offs traffic, etc, etc), but it was just bad.  I wanted to quit about every other step, but I talked myself into sucking it up and finishing… even if it was my worse time ever… EVER.

I did finish strong and with a big smile on my face… mostly because I was looking forward to my “finisher’s cup” filled with chocolate fondue goodness!  Hot chocolate sauce, banana, marshmallow, rice krispy treat, etc.  Mmmm… now that’s a great reward for stumbling along 3.17 hilly miles.

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So would I do this race again?  Eh, only for the hoodie…

What’s the best race goodie you’ve ever received???

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Posted in does whining burn calories?, I signed up for this!, on the road again., somebody's been shopping., yikes, this is going to hurt tomorrow. | 1 Comment

Happy New Year!

[I know this is late… but since I’m sure one of your resolutions is to be more forgiving/patient, we’ll pretend that I posted this a few days ago instead of 6 days into the New Year.  Mmmkay?]

New Year’s Eve is probably one of my least favorite holidays for a number of reasons…  There’s so much pressure to celebrate in some huge and glamorous way every single year.  It sucks to try to squeeze into something cute for a glamorous celebration after indulging in all the Christmas party food and drinks you’ve been consuming over the last month.  It’s easy to focus on your regrets from the previous year and pin unrealistic hopes on the new year.  We always manage to have neighbors that are amateur pyrotechnicians auditioning for the White House’s independence day fireworks show.  People are always trying to force black eyed peas on you “for luck” (I’m thinking that I’m more lucky if I don’t have to eat those nasty things).  Staying up until midnight is getting tougher and tougher the older I get.  And seriously – Ryan Secrest is totally butchering the New Year’s Rocking Eve program now that Dick Clark has passed on.

This year, I spent NYE day helping my husband repair our boat trailer… and by “helping”, I mean that I babysat the boat out on the sun-sparkled water while he repaired the trailer.   I met a girlfriend for lunch/laughs on a sunny patio and realized four hours later that we should probably get moving.  Erik and I didn’t get out for dinner or drinks… we stayed in with a pizza, bottle of champagne, and some break-and-bake cookies.  We zoned out on TV for a while until I remembered that I had not yet completed my required CBTs for work, so I pulled out my laptop and spent the last hour of 2012 reading about export/import laws, workplace safety, and computer security.  I finished just in time to set my laptop aside, count down as the Times Square ball dropped on TV, toasted the new year, and smooched my hubby.

New Year’s day, we spent the better part of the day cleaning out and reorganizing the garage that was littered with biking, boating, and beaching stuff… storage tubs and boxes that are residuals of a few of our last moves… tools and supplies from all the house projects we’ve had going on in the last year… and about a dozen dirty coffee cups (wth?!).  It was a pretty big task, but is probably one of the best time-investments we’ve made in a long time.  It’s crazy how having the garage squared away has made me practically giddy… but since I have mild OCD, walking in and out of that dark and cluttered space 2 or 3 times a day was adding a lot of unnecessary stress to my day.  

That evening, I met some awesome runner-girls for a run… This was the first run for me in a few weeks, actually.  I figured it was going to hurt and it did… physically.  But mentally?  It was awesome to get back out there… get my head back in the right space about exercise… and give myself a “do-over” starting point for the year.  After the run, we stood around in our sweaty clothes with plastic champagne glasses full of bubbly and toasted to a happy and healthy new year.

bubbly

photo credit goes to Melissa P. 🙂

I didn’t wear a single spec of sequins, blow a horn, throw confetti, or dance on a table this year.  But it was… one of the best New Year’s celebrations of my life.

How did you welcome 2013?

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Posted in news and misc updates., you CAN teach an old blonde new tricks. | Leave a comment

barre fly…

I’m totally addicted to Groupon and Living Social since they introduce me to all kinds of new restaurants, services, shops, etc.  I’m especially excited when I see a deal on cool new fitness classes since that really is my favorite way to exercise…

A few weeks ago, I saw an offer for 4 “Pure Barre” classes at Fit for $40…  The website describes the workout like this:

Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time. Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body.

I took ballet for about 5 years as a kid and have thought numerous times that it’s really a shame that ballet studios don’t have basic classes for adults who have never quite let go of the “I’ll be a ballerina!” dream. That obviously influenced my selective reading of this class description because I zeroed in on the words “ballet barre”, bought the deal, and started practicing my foot/arm positions (which I still totally rock, mind you).  

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I got to the studio early to make sure that I had time to sign up, get changed, and get the lay of the land before we started.  I brought leggings, a fitness tank, my new low-profile shoes, and a light gauzy top that I was sure would make me feel like a butterfly while twirling on my toes in class.  As it turns out, no one was wearing shoes when I walked into the classroom, so I ditched them in my cubby and returned to the classroom to claim a spot on the floor.  Going to a new fitness class is always a little intimidating, but as I looked around the room… I realized I *might* have gotten in over my head.  I was the only one in the room not stretching in positions most commonly found in the complete kama sutra… for real.  This was an INTRO class, for crying out loud!  I’m pretty sure that if you can do the splits and bring your ankle up next to your head, you should not be in an intro-class.  Am I right?!  

And this is when I started to full-on panic.  The lady seated next to me gave a small, but kind chuckle and asked if it was my first class. I said “uh, yeah – is the panic written on my face that clearly?”.  She was very sweet and said that the class (like most fitness classes) could be whatever I made of it – to just do what I could and it would get better/easier each time I came back.  I took a few deep breaths and tried not to fidget too badly while waiting for the class to begin.

So… this is definitely not the fun ballet class I envisioned.  It’s even hard to describe what it is, other than to say that you do a lot of small tightly-controlled movements with your arms, legs, and abs… over and over (and over…) again.  One of the hardest parts for me was when we stood at the barre and worked one leg/hip/butt muscle for like an hour (give or take 47 minutes).  We started out with our back to the barre and lifted our right leg (toes pointed) and then pulsed it up and down in a very small arc (like position 1 is only about 3 inches from position 2) for a few minutes, then switched (without stopping) to pulling our heel back and extending, back and extending…. and then tiny circles with our leg extended… and then switching to face the bar so we could do small-controlled leg extensions to the rear and to the side and lifting up and out, up and out.  You probably think this sounds easy, but you would be wrong… so very very wrong.  

I’m certainly not the fittest girl around, but this workout had my limbs shaking so badly that I literally had to tell myself to not pass out.  I think we’ve established in past posts that I would not make a good Survivor contestant (for a number of reasons, actually), but I think anyone going on that show should prep for challenges by taking some of these classes.

Throughout the hour-long workout, we used small kick balls that we squeezed between our thighs as we worked our abs, small hand-weights for the arms (or nothing if you’re wimpy-girl like me), a single exercise tube for stretching our back and some leg extensions, and a thick exercise mat for some of the floor work and for tucking the end between our thighs for yet more squeezing while we did ab work.  Soo, sooo much squeezing the thighs together… seriously.  

We actually used the barre very little… did not do any of the feet/hand positions, no pirouettes, no pliés… and never once leapt around the room to the beat of a tambourine (flash-back to my childhood ballet lessons).  So while it was a great workout (arguably tougher for me than cross-fit), it did not satisfy my inner-ballerina at all.

I still have three classes left in my deal and I intend to use them all with an open mind… but I am definitely not rushing out to buy toe-shoes any time soon.

p.s. the Fit studio is located directly behind Gigi’s Cupcakes… someone is a genius and deserves a big hug… just as soon as I regain control of my arms.

What fun and exciting classes have YOU tried recently??

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Posted in does whining burn calories?, girl-pow-ah!, I signed up for this!, yikes, this is going to hurt tomorrow. | Tagged | 2 Comments

c-c-c-colors…

Who doesn’t love Ice T?  I mean – have you seen his reality show?!  (pssst, if you don’t get this reference, you *might* be too young to appreciate my attempt at humor… sorry and may God bless your precious little heart)

Anyhoo – in completely unrelated-to-the-rapper-turned-actor news, I picked up my race packet for the Color Vibe 5K on Friday… a race I’ve been strangely excited about for months.  Why the idea of having colored cornstarch thrown at me throughout a 5K run was so intriguing is beyond me, but if you’ve seen any pictures from these runs all over the country… you’ll probably find yourself wondering if one is coming to a city near you… (and one probably is… because they are CASH-FREAKING-COWS for the race organizers, but that’s another story that includes crankiness best avoided on a Sunday).

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C-c-c-color…

So I woke up Saturday at 7am with plenty of time to shower, wrap my blonde head in a bandana to prevent staining from the colors, and meet a couple of girlfriends at the Y so we could ride together.  Ten minutes in the car later and we were caught in grid-lock traffic on the road that leads to the one and only bridge that would get us to the island where the race was being held.  We found out there was a wreck on the bridge and the single-lane traffic was backed up so far that we literally only made a few blocks of progress over the next 45 minutes.

We were just about to the bridge 10 minutes after the race was supposed to begin… and realized that if we crossed through the intersection, there’d be no turning back… we’d be stuck on the bridge for however long it took.  So… we did what any three adult women who run only because we know our bodies need it would do and decided to go have mimosas and beignets on River Street instead.

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That may not be colored powder, but it was YUMMY powder!

Yeah, on some level, I’m kinda bummed that we didn’t get colored cornstarch stuck up our nostrils and in our ears… but a lazy morning with a couple of hilarious girlfriends wearing spandex pants in public?  That’s well worth the $40 race fee!

So how was your Saturday???

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Posted in girl-pow-ah!, I signed up for this! | Leave a comment