Wedding insanity has begun…

We are less than a month from my wedding, and the insanity has begun.

Friday, I didn’t go to work (I was on duty on Sunday, and I’ve been told I was hitting it a little hard at the office ūüôā ), so I took off to Charlotte with Michael (a bridesman who has been incredible at keeping me on track), to pick up my wedding dress. ¬† Michael is amazing. We have been friends for like 10 years, and he allows me to be me, which is a quality that is sometimes difficult to find in friends.

Now keep in mind, I haven’t really seen my dress since December, and it was INCREDIBLE. ¬†I really really wish I could share a pic, but I will let you be surprised. ¬†But suffice it to say that I’m feeling REAL body confident – the dress fit like a glove, and really flatters me. ¬†I’m excited to see what it looks like with hair and makeup, and I’m excited to see what Austin thinks, day of. ¬†So from here, I’m having a few alterations done, having the dress cleaned, and that will be DONE!

After driving all over creation to get the dress, we hit the Harris Teeter to order flowers, which is saving us SO much money, and I finished out Friday by hitting a Zumba party at the Cary Y.

Zumba Party

It was really cool because I was able to see other instructor’s choreo and decide what I’d like to steal, and what I can take from their style. ¬†The BEST part though, was the fact that Vinh, a talented young instructor, revealed a coconut bikini and grass skirt, and proceeded to teach ALL of his songs in that. ¬†I was crying laughing, and he wore it to the little mocktail party we set up after, where there was a card waiting for me to wish me the best at my new job.

Cookie Cake

Between all of that, my brother was in town for his orientation at NC State, and we spent a lot of time doing all of that fun orientation stuff, getting him sheets, getting him to where he needed to go and…oh.

I found a house we really really like.

Eep!

I’ll keep you posted. ¬†How was your weekend?

Brother Picture

The definitive list of the 5 best foods ever.

First and foremost, you guys are amazing. ¬†The responses I got on yesterday’s post¬†were¬†nothing short of amazing, and you guys let me know what the hell foods would ruin your entire day. ¬†I have to say, the top food had to be¬†mayonnaise,¬†which ruled supreme as the creamy white food that you guys absolutely love love love to vomit to. ¬†I swear, you guys had me absolutely cracking up.

After this post from the other night, I can’t have you guys thinking that I’m just this negative Nancy who won’t eat anything, so I bring to you, the definitive list of the best foods ever.
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5.  Grape leaves. 

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image via wikipedia.org

I appreciate a lot about Mediterranean culture. ¬†But one of those things that I appreciate more than anything else, is stuffed grape leaves. ¬†These delicious little green cylinders are, in my humble American experience, typically stuffed with a rice creation, and so refreshing. ¬†So usually, if I’m at the mall, and I can’t find anything vegetarian to eat, I will find ¬†a Greek Fiesta and order a side of these to tide me over until I figure something out.

4.  Wine

Red_Wine_Glass

Red wine is a food group, right?  You are mean and rude if you say it is not.  Please leave. (Just kidding!) (Kinda!)

3.  Donuts. 

Donuts

I maybe eat a donut once every 3-4 months. But when I do, it’s really amazing. And I’m not ashamed. ¬†Had one (two) on Sunday, and I promise you, I felt the earth move.

2.  Mashed potatoes.

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image via wikipedia.org

Yassss honey! Unfortunately, because I don’t have a potato masher, I only eat mashed potatoes like twice a year – once at Thanksgiving, and once again at Christmas. I also ate them two years ago when I got my wisdom teeth out from K&W cafeteria, cafe to the stars. ¬†My favorite way to eat them is to mix my corn into them and crunch my way through them. ¬†Thank you God, for this perfect, perfect human interpretation of potato.

1.  Mac & Cheese.

image via wikipedia.org
image via wikipedia.org

Not the boxed kind either. ¬†The black kind, that you bake and there’s cheese going everywhere, the kind that makes you do a dance while you eat it, that’s what’s the best to eat. Thank you Lord, once again, for this amazing invention.

Honorable mentions go to….

>>Chicken friend tofu. ¬†Since I don’t eat chicken, this is about the only friend protein I can do. ¬†And it’s awesome.

>>A cold salad with balsamic vinaigrette on it.   Backflips.

>>Biscuits.  One of the things the south has gotten correctly.

>>Nachos.  No explanation required.

>>Green beans.  I can eat these any way you fix em.  Except with bacon on them.

So let’s hear it! ¬†What are you favorite foods!?

The definitive list of the 5 worst foods ever.

So, in addition to having a horribly irritable stomach, which I’ve shared with you time and again, some may say that I’m a picky eater.

I don’t consider myself a picky eater, especially since I eat a wide variety of weirdly healthy things, but since I was a kid, there are some foods I find absolutely reprehensible, and today, I share these foods with you.

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5.  Cauliflower.

Cauliflower
image via wikipedia.org

There is literally NOTHING that I find okay with cauliflower.  For one, it is a strange color, and for another thing, it looks exactly like the wart on the back of my hand after the dermatologist tried to burn it off.  Why would I want to eat that?  Fun fact:  the only thing fun about cauliflower is nothing.

4.   Broccoli.

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image via wikipedia.org

The green, less-disgusting (but still disgusting) cousin to cauliflower, I hate this more than you could ever know. ¬†The absolute worst way that it’s cooked, is when you’re at a cafeteria-type place, and they cook it by simply boiling it until it’s so floppy that you can’y even get it to stand up straight on your fork. ¬†ADDITIONALLY, when you eat it, it completely tears your stomach into 16 pieces. No thanks. ¬†The only way broccoli is delicious? ¬†No way.

3.  Mealy tomatoes.

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image via wikipedia.org

The only time I ever feel like no one cares about me is when I’m eating a salad, there’re tomatoes on it, and the tomatoes are mealy. ¬†It sorta tastes like someone sat on the tomato and then left it out for a day or so before chopping it up and putting in on your salad.

2. The gourds.

image via wikipedia.org
image via wikipedia.org

Now I don’t mind any of the gourds in a bread. ¬†And pumpkin, zucchini, or squash do just fine when you just throw them in a crockpot, and by the time all is said and done everything in there is the same texture. ¬†But when the gourds are only slightly sauteed, and their mushy gushy seeds kind of just hang off of your fork? ¬†Consider my entire meal ruined.

1. Mushrooms.

image via wikipedia.org
image via wikipedia.org

I cannot stress to you enough how badly my life is ruined once a mushroom is introduced into the mix of anything I’m eating. ¬†You know what mushrooms taste like? ¬†Exactly what they look like. ¬†Which is a grey blob from deep in the pits of hell. ¬†The worst part is, that since I’m a vegetarian, everyone assumes I must love mushrooms, and they punish¬†me by offering me a giant mushroom on a hamburger bun. Literally that portabello mushroom sandwich you just offered me? ¬†Just cost you our friendship.

**Honorable mention**

>>I wanna give a shoutout to¬†yellow mustard and to effing¬†pickles even when you didn’t want pickles or mustard on your sandwich for¬†ruining¬†every sandwich the two come in contact with.

>>Another extra special shoutout goes to fruit in my chococlate, without which none of this would have been possible.

>>And finally, I want to thank¬†citrus flavored desserts for making dessert taste like the 409 that you’d use to clean your stove. Sick me out.

Come on, let’s hear ’em! ¬†Comment with the list of foods you¬†hate. ūüôā¬†

My version of clean eating and how it worked for me.

Last weekend, I ate like an animal.

I listed some of the things I ate here, but in case you forgot, they were not limited to:

>>Cheesecake flavored frozen yogurt

>>A plate full of 2 different types of mac + cheese

>>An incredible cheesecake made by a supervisor of mine.  It was one of those dense, heavy numbers that made you feel like you might have a heart attack, but it was really delicious at the same time.

>>Baked beans, the really sweet kind.

>>Deviled eggs (god bless those, how are they so good?)

>>10,000+ pounds of chips + guacamole.

So needless to say, by the time Monday rolled around, the clean eating idea that I’d been bouncing around in my head was really starting to sound like a good idea, and I just went for my version of clean eating.

My version of clean eating goes a little something like this…

>>No booze

>>No coffee

>>Nothing that comes prepackaged. ¬†For me, that means a lot of stuff that I shouldn’t be eating anyways, like my oatmeal bars that are packed with sugar, or my Fiber 1 bars that are the same, had to go.

>>Focus on things that come from the ground, not from a can or something.

So my meals looked a lot like this…

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And this to combat my diet soda bubbly cravings….

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And this to make sure I didn’t grab a frozen burrito or a Fiber 1 bar on my way out the door on the way to work.

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Now listen, I didn’t get overly creative with my meals, but you really can get insane with this stuff. ¬†There are Pinterest universe’s dedicated to the art of clean eating.

My verdict?

Well first, let me disclaim this by telling you that I’m not your doctor, so don’t go doing anything stupid to your diet just because I said so. ¬†Do what WORKS for you, okay?

>>It’s a little time consuming because it involves a decent amount of prep and planning. ¬†But your food¬†should be time consuming. ¬†Your meals should not be as easy as tearing open a package or flipping the top to a can. ¬†So yes, it’s time-consuming, but in the best possible way!

>>Though it’s time consuming say, the night before, your meals can be pretty grab-n-go the following morning. ¬†Once I did things like prep my fulls day’s worth of meals before, like oats and salads, they were really fast to grab the next morning, and usually only required a little bit of heating.

>>Even though I’m usually good about my water intake, it definitely increased since I wasn’t doing coffee or drinks with a lot of artificial crap in them! ¬†I had a lot of fun with it, and infused water with fruits, and took mason jars full of water with me to work that I could sip on. ¬†I also sipped on Kombucha and club soda whenever I got a hankering for something bubbly.

>>When I got the urge to eat something sweet, I reached for fruit, and it seemed to do the trick.

>>Toward the end of last week, my stomach was really very upset because of the sheer volume of fiber that I was unknowingly consuming. ¬†That was one of the bigger downsides – my body wasn’t really down with absorbing those levels of fiber, so I was very uncomfortable toward the end of the week. ¬†I should have laid off of the leafy greens for a day or two between big salads!

Overall, I loved it, and even though I said I was only gonna do it for like a week, I’m interested to see if I can try for another week!

What sort of eating plan do you try to follow?  

Friday Night

Sorry about my late post, but I woke up this morning at 6:30 on the couch. ¬†Last night, I laid down on the couch after a long, long week around 8, and woke up around 6:30am. ¬†Fully clothed. ¬†But here’s a little recap of what we did to escort out a really crapptastic week.

Just to be clear, I love this blog, and nothing about this blog was craptastic. ¬†It was just a craptastic work week, and one of those weeks I wanted to lay down on the couch for like 16 hours straight. ¬†Which I pretty much did last night. ¬†I stopped by the hoose (house) first to grab the camera, and snapped a quick pic of the dog, who’d shoved herself into the cat bed on my way out. ¬†Look at that face?

DSC_0044We met up at North Hills for some drinks.

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And I met up with Matty, a co-worker, and we processed the week, and he helped me play with my camera and some of its filters.

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DSC_0055I’m living in my Fabletics Kingston Hoodie – their company is going to start thinking I am homeless and I have no other clothes. ¬†But to clarify, I¬†do have the sweatshirt tied around my waist now. ¬†Oops!

DSC_0058And to finish off the night, instead of eating a real dinner, Matthew twisted my arm and forced me, under threat of grievous bodily harm (GBH for short), to eat half of his strawberry shortcake.  Oops again!

How is your Saturday going, beautiful people? 

 

Part 2 – Would I train with an overweight trainer?

So before we get started on all the dramz, lookie at what Mama Chelsie sent me yesterday! I was laying on the couch yesterday, when she sent me a gorgeous pic and a recipe of what she’d made for dinner. Since I had nothing for lunch today, I decided to give her recipe a whirl, put a little more of a spicy twist on it, and pack it for lunch. I hope it’s good, cause it’s all packed up now!

photo 1

photo 2

So the way it all works is really easy. One can of seasoned black beans, drained, and I smooshed them all up in a ziplock. I mixed the smoosh up with an egg, some paprika, some garlic, and some hot pepper, added a half-cup of bread crumbs, and I grilled it up with some olive oil. With my refined palate, I added a dab of ketchup to eat it with tomorrow, and I’ll let you know how it turns out. But it smells BALLER. And in case you forgot about Chelsie, she’s the mom who helped out with my post last week. Click to read, it’s super, super good, plus there are pics of my super cute niece on there!

But moving right along.

Yesterday, without any prodding or judgement, I asked you all if you would work out with an overweight personal trainer. ¬†The answers ranged from “absolutely not,” to “why not,” to one particularly sweet answer from one of my campers, and here it is.

Considering I’m still considered overweight but I am very healthy and teach Zumba and am becoming a personal trainer I would say I would pay a person who was overweight because the weight doesn’t mean anything. I have a dangerously slow metabolism which makes it extremely hard for me to loose weight consistently unless I’m working out all day basically, but I still know how to help others to be successful, ya know?

God. I tear up when this beautiful girl says this.

Here’s my take.¬†

Would I work out with an overweight personal trainer?  

Yes.

I am very fit, and very active now, but if I ever freed up some of my time and got into weightlifting, I would employ the help of a personal trainer. ¬†Damn right I would allow an overweight personal trainer to train me, and here’s why.

I’m not perfect, and I don’t have x-ray vision. ¬†Can I tell if someone is healthy by the way they look? Can I tell if they know what they’re doing? ¬†Can I tell really much about them? ¬†Not a ton.

I’m not overweight, nor have I been. ¬†I’ve lost weight, gotten fitter, and learned to love my body. If, when I was in my transition period, someone had not given me a chance, I wouldn’t have had the strong Zumba following I have today. ¬†I appreciate folks who stuck around while I figured things out, and I would do the same for others, especially given if they know what they’re doing.

I am a counselor.  Do I need to have gone through a divorce to counsel a divorced couple?

Does a heart surgeon need to have had a heart attack to successfully operate on patients?

To raise funds for Haitians in the earthquake last year, need I have been a direct victim of its devastation?

I think you know where I’m going here. ¬†And I don’t hate or fault anyone for their opinion. ¬†But for me, if Bre wants to train me? ¬†Bring it on sweet pea. ¬†I know you know what you’re doing. ūüôā

Can I shop in peace?

I taught a class yesterday morning, like I always do on Saturday mornings, and then headed into Fleet Feet Raleigh to moonlight for the weekend (which I love doing btws).

I ran after class, so I was smelling extra ripe, so I decided to jump in the shower after class to spare my coworkers the pain and suffering of having to smell me for 5 or 6 hours.

This is all to say, I wasn’t looking particularly fine on Saturday afternoon.

Midway through the afternoon, I headed to the mecca for health-conscious 20-somethings, moms with tattoos, and people who smell like patchouli.

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Duh.

And I was ordering my pizza sandwich, the sandwich that I eat when I’m feeling like pizza but when I know I don’t need it, when this short sorta frumpy guy sidled up to me.

“Just cause you pretty doesn’t mean you can hold up the line.”

[Polite laughter]

“So what do you order?”

I told him with a polite smile glued to my face.

“So what are you, some type of vegan or something?”

And then his creepy friend rolled up and smiled in a creepy fashion.

“Are you a student athlete?” [He looked my body up and down.]

And the conversation went like this, me politely laughing and trying to ignore Dumb and Dumber whilst they looked my body up and down, a body that, I might add, was barely showered and not looking its best.

I can not express to you how painful it was to get looked up and down while I just tried to order my sandwich.  Seriously.  Can anyone else empathize with me? Can I shop in peace?

Piggybacking

PS, piggybacking was the buzzword of the century when I was in college.  Seriously.  But moving right along!

Piggbacking off of my emotions regarding Rachel Frederickson’s weight loss, I’ve noticed this really weird phenomenon regarding women and their weight.

We can’t win.

In college, I gained a pretty decent amount of weight, which I‚Äôve been really open about here.¬† But I supposed a lot of people I‚Äôve known in the recent years might not know that.¬† So anyhoo, at the end of my freshman year, I was at Cram Jam, which was, coincidentally, a late night brunch so you could have fuel to study.¬† I ran into this girl, Kea, who I‚Äôd known in high school.¬† Kea greeted me by grabbing my stomach, and practically yelling, ‚ÄúMan, you‚Äôve put on some weight.‚ÄĚ

The day of Elon’s graduation, I actually graduated wearing this cute slinky skater dress because I couldn’t zip up the floral strapless garden party dress that I’d been intending to wear.  Another blow.

This is what I ended up wearing at graduation when I discovered the dress I wanted to wear wouldn't zip up.
This is what I ended up wearing at graduation when I discovered the dress I wanted to wear wouldn’t zip up. Ouch!

So in my mind at that point, I’m thinking that if I lose the bit of weight that I needed to, the comments should stop, right?

Well.

After losing the weight, I got a few backhanded ‚Äúcompliments‚ÄĚ from folks that would get filed in the same manila folder entitled ‚Äúrude-ass comments that people need to keep to themselves.‚Ä̬† One was when I saw a guy who I hadn‚Äôt seen in a while at the gym who stated ‚ÄúI wasn‚Äôt sure that was you!¬† I knew you‚Äôd lost a ton of weight, but I couldn’t recognize you!‚Ä̬† But the amount of weight I‚Äôd lost wasn‚Äôt like hundreds of pounds, so I‚Äôm guessing he was just saying that for dramatic effect.¬† And most recently, a superior of mine directed my direct supervisor to grab me an extra brownie after I went for the salad in the conference room, as she was ‚Äúconcerned about my weight.‚ÄĚ

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take a whole lot of stock in what folks say about my weight, for larger or smaller, however I really feel like I can’t win between a girl physically grabbing my belly, and then the uncomfortable levels of attention I started receiving upon losing just a little bit of weight.

So how do you comment on someone’s appearance without making it about a number on the scale?

  1. Don’t mostly.  Seriously, if you’re not good with your words, just don’t say anything.
  2. Try to avoid the words skinny, fat, or anything that is indicative of a number.  One of the nicest compliments I received was from my dad, when he told me how strong I looked after a stint at the camp.  I won’t ever forget that!
  3. If you‚Äôre truly concerned about someone‚Äôs weight, for bigger or for smaller, ask if they‚Äôre okay.¬† ‚ÄúAre you okay?¬† I‚Äôve just been sorta worried about you lately!‚Ä̬† Please avoid announcing to the room that they could lose a few or they could eat a brownie.¬† If someone‚Äôs truly sick, your offer of a brownie really isn’t going to help them out.¬† Just FYI.

So what do you think?  You ever feel like you just can’t win?

Weekend update! We heart DC!

If you’ve been following along about anything here on the blog, you’ll know that I’m absolutely enamored of the District of Columbia. ¬†So best bud Scott invited me up, and Friday, after work, I took off, and made the trip, that was a little over 4 hours. ¬†Not a bad drive, right?

So Friday evening, me and the bestie braved the cold, and met some Elon friends out, and just enjoyed some tasty drinks.

The next day, we braved the cold temps and wind yet again, and hit this spot called Pound the Hill, a coffee bar that turns into a wine bar in the evenings.  We went earlier in the day, so we missed the wine, but enjoyed some ah-mazing treats nonetheless.

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Dear Scott, in front of Pound the Hill in DC. ¬†It’s right next to a yoga studio – how genius is that, right?

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The space is small, but extremely warm!  These DC coffee shops get packed!  Best to get there early, grab a seat, and stay there.

P1020101Menus. ¬†And I spotted Nutella. ¬†Well, say no more, if there’s Nutella involved, I need to taste these.

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A Nutella latte with skim to cut the sweetness!  It was delicious Рhot and creamy!

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The holy grail of things to eat! ¬†This sandwich was a Nutella, banana, and honey sandwich. ¬†SO sweet, but good if you’re into that….which I totally am. ¬†If you don’t have a sweet tooth, just skip this one. ¬†But I loved it.

I packed my running clothes. ¬†I have big news,¬†I’m running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on April 13th, and it’s time to up the mileage. ¬†The wind slowed down, and Scott provided me with directions to get to Capitol Hill. ¬†So off I went. ¬†Are you ready for this?

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In one of the greatest cities, in the greatest country in the world, I got to run to the Capital building, peek a few blocks down to see some monuments, and run back. ¬†The run totaled about 4 miles or so, and I didn’t feel too chilly, despite some good wind.

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Next, we hit a birthday party, where the girls based it around the coolest theme.

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So this doesn’t look like a whole lot of pizza right? ¬†Well, that’s because the girls made 5, yes 5 (?!) pizzas, allowed us to taste each one, and then paired each pizza with a beer. ¬†Very cool, and I was impressed by how much DC folks, friend’s of Scott’s were so welcoming and seemed to enjoy meeting me and hearing about what I did. ¬†Seriously, DC folk seem like nice, genuine, kind people.

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And finally folks, no post would be complete without a picture of a pup, right? ¬†This guy, Fitzgerald, was the dog of the house where we were staying. ¬†I’m glad I left little Coco behind – she had not yet received her ThunderShirt, and the long car ride, plus Fitz’s high pitty energy would have freaked her out. ¬†But I’m glad to be home with my lady.

So folks, what did you do this weekend?  Fill me in!