Ruminations (#2 of…)

Awhile back, I wrote a ‘ruminations’ style blog post when I *thought* I didn’t have much to say…or at least not a cohesive thought to turn into a blog post. But once I started writing, it turned out I had a lot more to say than I thought.

…I’m thinking this might be a similar style of post, hence the similar title: “Ruminations (#2 of…)

This guy always makes me laugh. Even when he’s been sick all week, he still knows how to rally like nobody’s business. And I love him even more for it. <3

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I’ve been having *almost* as much fun as our barre n9ne clients have had with the #b9poseadaychallenge we’ve been hosting at instagram this past week. With one more week to go of this challenge, I’m already sad to see it go. Let’s just say, everyone’s creativity is growing by the day. I dig it. And apparently, this just gives me *more* opportunity for selfies before classes start in the morning. ;-)

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Annnd as if I haven’t already been gushing enough about my ongoing love affair with all things barre n9ne, today was our photo shoot — a shoot that my mom did an AWESOME job of as photographer ‘o the day. (loved having her behind the camera!) The shoot itself was a blast, everyone had so much fun together and it just once again reminded me that the instructors of barre n9ne are simply the best, most fun, most supportive, fun and fit group of ladies around. I MAY be biased in saying so, but whatever…details, details. ;-) Once the pics are ready to go, I’m sure I’ll be sharing some here, but for now, here’s a peek at what Jo and I wore for the group shots. Which reminds me that these blue wunder unders are definitely my faves right now (second to the red ones I have!). Love, love, loooove lulu #luluhoarder

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Today was also one of those moments where I was struck by how ‘at peace’ with food I am, lately. You all know I’ve had moments of struggle with food over the years, so to consistently find myself in this spot — this peaceful spot with food — it’s really gratifying. I’m still a dedicated food logger but I’ve definitely evolved from ‘needing’ the log to understand what would ‘fit’ into my food plan for the day, to using it in that fashion as a tool — but not NEEDING it, if that makes sense. In other words, as my body has fully adjusted to my personal ‘number‘ in the past almost year-and-a-half, my mind has also figured out what that number means and isn’t fighting it anymore.

I know that some of you might not relate to this side of ‘me’ — either because you’re not into food logging or calorie counting or whatever, or have had your own struggles with eating (disordered, for example), or maybe you haven’t struggled at all, food-wise — I hope you don’t mind me mentioning these breakthrough moments I’ve had with food here and there. I guess I equate this blog as my own personal journal at times, and I want to document these moments as much as any other meaningful moment in my life so when I invariably have a shadow of self-doubt, I can reference this post as a reminder to take my own advice to heart.

(and wow, that was *quite* the side note/ramble/stream of consciousness thought — sorry!)

ANYWAY — I’m ruminating…or blogging…or something over here — I guess I’m just here to say hi, share a few things on my mind and a couple of things going on with me. I promise to share more workout-y posts this week — perhaps of the running variety even, wouldn’t that be a nice surprise. ;-)

Happy Sunday Funday, friends!
(and Goooo Pats! <—clearly I’m only half-watching the game since I’m blogging at the moment, woopsie, haha)

My voice.

So the past few months I’ve been struggling a bit with the cadence of this blog.  Struggling with it so much so that it caused me to start to question who I am as a blogger.

I was struggling with my voice.

For what seemed like forever (er, 18 weeks), I was blogging almost 100% of the time about running. Training for Chicago was a huge, huge, huge focus for me…for #teamsutera, and I was finding myself, my thoughts, my voice, pretty consumed with it. And not that that was a bad thing at all — because it certainly was not: training for Chicago continues to be one of the proudest times in my life, and one of the most memorable experiences I have ever shared with my husband…y’know, aside from our wedding day, maybe. ;-) But it was because I was so focused on that end goal, that finish line, that 26.2 that awaited #teamsutera on October 7, that it was really all I found my voice focused on.

After that huge, huge, huge high? Well, the dust settled. I found myself almost feeling as if the marathon never happened (talk about run-amnesia, like whoa), and I started to wonder what my purpose was on the blog and where I was going next, or where I should go next. And well, I still don’t have *that* answer, (sorry, friends!) I do think I have the answer on what my voice sounds like.

My voice: it’s grateful, proud and loyal.

I am grateful for this life I’ve both built for myself through hard work and as much dedication as I can muster, and for the blessings that have landed at my feet — making me feel utterly grateful and joyful that I am so watched over by Him.

I am proud of who I’ve evolved into: someone who openly shares her motivation, her dedication, her determination, her passion, and does so with joy and pride and courage. I’ve always tried to be as honest and true on this blog as I am in real life and I SO hope that comes through in my voice, truly.

I am (fiercely) loyal to my loves: my husband, my sisters, my friends, my family.

So that’s, I guess, what I’m trying to get at here: my voice in real life is the very same ‘voice’ I try to speak with here on this blog. Everything I do, everything I strive for, everything I believe in, I openly share here — not in an attempt to be this super inspirational bloggy type at all, but because this simply is me. If I happen to inspire you just by being me? Well damn, that’s seriously just awesome…and far more than I could ever ask for from this blog of mine.

(wow, I’m rambling, sorry friends, I swear I have a point.)

So today, I’m here recommitting to this blog, in my own voice, in whatever shape and form this voice of mine takes me running, walking, skipping, jumping, plie-ing towards my next adventure...whatever that may be, because God knows, I have no idea what that looks like yet (!).  And I’m totally ok with that right now.

My voice: it’s me.
…take me or leave me, friends.

Source: etsy.com via Jess on Pinterest

<< Editor’s Note: I do realize this still leaves answers about where I’m going next, but guess what? That’s because I don’t know where I’m going next or what I’m focusing on next! I’m rolling with it, which may be my new mantra for 2013: roll with it. ;-) >>

Embrace focus

Hi friends! I’ve been a little bit distant from this ‘home’ lately but I promise it’s for good reason.

 I’ve been doing my best to embrace focus. 

Focus on the right things in my days, not the minor annoyances and things out of my control.

Focus on staying healthy and fit, even though we’re in the throes of the holiday season where temptation abounds.

Focus on the experience of the holiday season, celebrating with family and friends, loved ones that make my world go ’round.

Focus on the two things I love most fitness-wise: running and barre n9ne. Running because I want to run, not because I need to run. Simply. Teaching as often as I can, and taking a class if I can fit that in too. And watching as the two work effortlessly together to give me the strongest mind and body I’ve ever had.

Focus on gratitude, a regular theme on this blog lately and in my personal life.

Focus on intention — living with intention, always. Working out with intention, always. Showing love through my actions and words, with intention.

So where am I going with this? I’m focused right now. On the right things. And it’s making for a very happy, peaceful, mindful life that I’m growing to love more and more by the day. It’s a happy place to be.

I’m embracing focus. 

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Editor’s Note: And if you want to hear more from me on focus as it relates to focus at the barre? Mosey on over to the barre n9ne studio blog for a peek at the guest blog I wrote there on how to get the most out of your barre workouts — and even if you aren’t into barre workouts per se, the idea behind focusing while doing ANY kind of workout is an important one. A point sometimes lost in the grand scheme of things. I hope you enjoy the post!

Ruminations (#1 of…)

So I’m titling this post ‘Ruminations (#1 of…) for a specific reason (you know me, I always do things with intention, right??).
…I’m leaving myself room to expand on this into a series if I so choose.

You see, lately I’ve been struggling to collect my thoughts, to find focus. There are many reasons for that, none of which I care to dive into here. Generally speaking, you all know pretty much why that is. Why I’ve been so focused on simplifying, finding or re-creating a new sense of balance, etc. So while I’m figuring out my flow over here, I didn’t want to just plain stop blogging entirely. I have lots of thoughts going on, none all that cohesive per se, but some that are totally worth sharing here, in rumination format instead of my usual ‘themed’ posts.

(wow was that a long preamble to today’s post! Man.)

Ruminations (#1 of…)

Seeing this girl absolutely CRUSH 50 miles on Saturday was an honor and a privilege.  Other than inspiring the hell outta me, she also restored my faith in running joyfully, because you LOVE it, above all else. This girl absolutely lives and breathes running…and I adore that in her.

#runsherpa duties are no joke. I mean, seriously — it was *such* hard work passing time in between Meaghan’s 12.5 mile loops by basically bar hopping in between loops three and four. <wipes sweat from brow> But seriously, it was SO much fun seeing her pass each loop, giving her whatever she needed in the way of support — healthy bites (fueled by Healthy Bites woo!), gummy bears (so glad I packed those from Scott’s secret stash!), refilling her gatorade, handing her love notes to read along the course and shouting words of encouragement as she jetted off for the next go-round. Jo and I were seriously working hard as can be in this pic, hmm? (note the photo bomb by a certain #teamsutera member…)

It similar running related news — I’m scarily excited to run intervals tomorrow morning. Now that I’ve gone into totally unstructured territory with  my running, and because I have much less time to dedicate to running lately, I gotta make every single one count (#makeitcount!). Plus, I’ve neglected speed work for so long that it’s oddly fun to get to that puketastic/sweatastic point. While I DO miss endurance running, I know I’ll get back to that in a couple weeks once things settle down at the Sutera Manor (more on this later), for now — quick and dirty is the way to go (TWSS). Let’s hope I feel this way post-workout in the am. ;-) (I’ll report back, don’t you worry)

Speaking of endurance…ya’ll have to quit running marathons and writing such inspiring race day recaps. It’s making me want to run another marathon. Wait, I didn’t say that…ohhhh but I did. NO news (yet) buuuut #teamsutera is definitely mulling it over just a teensy bit. Not gonna lie. #arewecrazy #maybebutwhatelseisnew #notcommitting #runsimplyisourmantra

“Me dinner” nights are frickin’ tasty occurrences up in here. Tonight’s dinner was jammed full of veggies, apparently my body was majorly craving them given this ‘kitchen sink’ style stir fry I whipped up. In it you’ll spy: mushrooms, summer squash, yellow beans, tomatoes, chicken sausage (woops, that’s not a veggie) and mashed sweet potato with plain greek yogurt stirred in. I’m pretty sure as soon as I took this pic, my plate was clean. #hungryhorrors up in here.

In other foodie news — pretty sure this will be happening shortly: a red velvet ‘cupcake’ made with red velvet cake mix and a can of pumpkin stirred in. Two ingredients — ridiculously tasty and equally ridiculously low calorie (approx. 150 cals in this sucker…a titch more if you add a tsp of melty nutella on top like mine will have tonight…). 

And because I can’t get enough of barre n9ne – my #b94lyf gush-fest of the night? I am way, way, way too excited to be teaching a heck of a lineup of classes this week due to some subbing I offered up, y’know because I’m such a team player and all. ;-) I’m in the studio every single day this week except for tomorrow. I kinda love it. (and don’t worry, I will not be running a lot this week; nor am I taking any classes this week — teaching a ton means pulling back in other areas so as not to burn myself out…remember: balance is good. I loooove balance.)

Hmm. Apparently I had more to say than I thought. This may not be the most organized or theme-driven posts of all but it still follows my blogging personality quite nicely — goofy, honest, real and still with intention, per the usual. ;-)

(here’s to #1 of___ to come?)

Three years…and full circle

Funny thing. I forgot today was the three year anniversary of this little blog of mine.
(until I read Alicia’s post last night and it jogged my memory…I’ve been following her blog since day 1!)

You see — I’ve been a little bit too busy ‘living’ and have found far less time for blogging lately.
…so when I read my very first post again last night, it dawned on me — I’ve kind of come full circle in the three years since EatDrinkBreatheSweat came to life. 

It was this portion of that post that reminded me of that fact:

So, on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I bring you: EatDrinkBreatheSweat. The reason for the name? Well – before I launched this blog, being the Type-A person that I am, I did some research. What I found was a bunch of weight-loss related blogs and hard-core certified personal trainer-type blogs but no blog for the fitness fanatics that simply love to workout but also know how to enjoy life. So while I truly do love, love, love working out – from running to spinning to stepping to kickboxing and weight-lifting – I also love to eat, drink, and live (aka “breathe”) life to the fullest. Recent events in my life have really taught me how short and fragile life truly is. So why would I want to spend it as a “tortured soul” (more on this in a future post, I promise), never allowing myself to indulge in some of my favorites (wine, chocolate, cheese, pizza, and the list goes on)? Well, I wouldn’t and don’t intend to.

It’s funny that in re-reading my words from three years ago, I claimed to live a very balanced, very un-‘tortured’ soul life. Yet, in secret, I was very ‘tortured.’ I loved working out. Loved, loved, loved it. But I hated that I never saw the results I wanted…unless I cut out all of the foods that I loved (wine included). I claimed to eat well and very balanced back then but in theory, I often blew it out of the water on the weekends, only to ‘be good’ during the week and I wondered why I wasn’t a chiseled specimen (lol) given all the hours I spent at the gym back then. (NOT that working out is all about physical appearance, trust me it is WAY more than that to me today…)

But now? I truly *am* the person I claimed I was three years ago.

I am at peace with food. It doesn’t hold power over me like it used to. It doesn’t control me. It fuels me. And yes, it *does* make me happy. But not in a gorge-myself-until-I-want-to-die kind of ‘happy.’ But in an at-peace, intuitive and mindful kind of happy.

I embrace the smarter, not harder mentality in my workouts. I don’t spend HOURS in the gym everyday only to come home frustrated and let down. I run. #simply. I teach barre classes...a style I utterly adore to pieces, something I talk about all.the.time. on this blog. barre n9ne is what works for me, it’s my ‘secret sauce’  — the style of workout that just does it for me, both physically but definitely mentally as well. I’ve never felt more in tune and connected to my own body as I do today. Or more strong

I am ‘breathing‘ far more than I was back then — truly (albeit slowly) getting back to living presently. I’m seeking faith and embracing faith so much more than I was three years ago. And I’m enjoying every last bit of my days, even those days that are so jam packed with STUFF, I seek out those #littlethings to be thankful for.

Which is what I’m doing right now — giving thanks.
…for the past three years — I am so very thankful for a journey that has awakened new beginnings in me and around me at every bend in my path.
…I am filled with gratitude for the beautiful friends I’ve ‘met’ over the years through blogging.
…And I’m finally happy just (be)ing…just Jess. 

 

A scattered blogger.

Sooooo — I’m feeling a little scattered and kinda uninspired as a blogger.
(you may have picked up on that fact based on yesterday’s “up in my head” style post…)

Now. I’ve always said – and still firmly believe -- that I ultimately blog for me, often to just get my thoughts out of my head and onto “paper,” but part of me obviously also blogs for all of you. To share things that I think (hope?) will inspire and uplift you. Which is why some of my posts end up being about perspective, motivation and things like that.

What I don’t do as a blogger is blog “just to blog” or because I feel like I need to keep up with a certain schedule, style of posting or regime. I never want my blogging to feel so scheduled, so downright planned that I’m no longer blogging for me and for you.

I blog with intention, always.

So now that I’m moving into a rather scheduled time in my life - thanks to that little “project” of mine called the Chicago Marathon — I’m sort of wondering where to take my blogging ways from here.

…do I want to share my training plans week-to-week, day-by-day?
…do I want to write about marathon training runs? All of them? Some of them? Just the long runs?
…do I want to spend more time talking about my evolution as a barre n9ne instructor?
…do I want to blog at all?

Of course that last one sorta snuck in there at the last minute. I mean, of course I still want to blog. Right?? I guess it’s been weighing on me lately — how long do I want to sustain this little ‘home’ of mine on the Internet? I LOVE it here, I truly do. But part of me also wonders if disconnecting more and more from all things ‘plugged in‘ is better for me in the long run. I have such a habit of getting totally sucked in – to blogging, to tweeting, to Facebook and Pinterest. Is it too much? Is it worth it?

…for now, the answer is this: I need to get back to better balance. Disconnecting more. Being present more. Not fearing that I’ll be ‘missing out’ if I’m not blogging as regularly or watching my twitter feed as regularly.

But I’m digressing.
Back to the blogging thing — because this blog is still very much “around” as far as I’m concerned. So I guess I’m answering my own question here.

The future of my blog will be all of the things I list above. I may share my detailed training plans for the marathon. But more than likely, I’ll share snippets and highlights (and learnings) only. I may also spend more time delving into how barre n9ne teaching has changed me already and what I’ve learned and continue to learn every single time I set foot in the studio. And it wouldn’t be “me” if I stopped sharing those perspectives and motivational words of wisdom I pick up from all over the place (Dove Promises, anyone?).

So I guess this is me, blogging it out, yet again. And coming to my own conclusions on the future and direction of this blog. BUT — I’d be seriously remiss if I didn’t ask you guys what you thought. What would you like to see here at EatDrinkBreatheSweat? Anyone? Bueller, Bueller… ;-)

It was a good day.

<Editor’s Note: This is a long and rambly blog post. I’m apologizing in advance! It took me awhile to formulate my thoughts for this one for some reason. But I promise (hope) it’ll be worth you hanging in there until the end…this is very much a self-reflection style post.)

Actually, today (er, yesterday) was a great day.

It went something like this:

Wake-up at 5am: literally bound out of bed (yes, I *did* “bound” out of bed, Scott can attest to it). Time to get ready to teach my second barre n9ne class. WAY too much energy for a Monday morning, particularly after daylight savings kicked in the day prior. Note to self: if I were not a morning person, I’d be really annoyed by this version of me right about now (visions of Office Space flashed before my eyes at the sheer thought…”does somebody have a case of the “Mondays?” <–said with the most annoying, off-pitchy chipper voice ever). I digress.

Arrive at barre n9ne at 5:30am: get myself settled, turn the heat up, music on, review my notes (briefly). Clients trickle in. My energy picks up another notch. It’s game time.

Teach barre n9ne method from 6-7am: It was even better than my first class, I do believe. I felt more relaxed. I wasn’t worried about the time, or what I was saying or doing. I was simply doing my best to be in the moment, to motivate, to inspire, to get every single person in that room to shake at the barre, leaving nothing but sweat on that studio floor. I walked away from the studio feeling good. Really good.

This feels like a dream…

Get ready for and head into the office (my one day ‘o the week in the office for this week) 7-8:30am: Amazingly, I hit zero traffic *and* I left my house an hour later than I normally do. Whaaaat?? Work my little butt off, knock off a bunch of to-do items, chat up a few coworkers. It’s quitting time before I know it

(again – a Monday that flew by, what is going on here? I must be dreaming…)

Walk out to my car @5pm: I’m sweating. It’s 65 degrees out. In March. My running plans change immediately. It’s rundate time, sister-style. Not the planned hill-style intervals I was aiming for, per the “plan” and all. Nope. Scrapped it. Moved that workout to Friday AM. Yesterday’s weather was legit begging to be run in (“it” told me so, I swear). Banged out a fun 5.5 miler with Jo (thankfully, we wear the same size so the fact that I had zero running gear with me was no big deal!). It was downright muggy. Felt so weird to run in warmth.

(annnnd it’s March and I’m sweating. I must be dreaming…)

Headed home at 6:30pm, dinner-for-one coming right up: Monday nights are my “me time” night. Scott is in a bowling league (yes, he’s totally in a bowling league, and he takes it very seriously thankyouverymuch) so every Monday I’m on my own for dinner. I really embrace this “me time” and make it truly all about me. I made a dinner only I would eat (last night involved shrimp and veggies stir fried and served over butternut squash). I wrote this very blog post whilst eating said dinner (I’m a big fan of using random words like “whilst” now and then, a vastly underused word in my view). I spent time stretching out my hammies and IT band and glutes. I caught up on blog friends. I may have eaten a homemade chocolate chip cookie while blogging. I even worked out a new version of my barre method “plan” for Thursday and Friday’s classes. I can’t even believe how much fun I’m having teaching and prepping to teach (including playlist development! but more on that in a future post…).

This feels like a dream.

And that’s when the concept of this very post hit me (because honestly, I started out having not a clue what or if I’d even blog today): I’m not dreaming. This is my life.

I’m blooming right where I’m planted.
…and this garden of mine is growing by leaps and bounds. <3

(and interesting side note – I first blogged about the concept of “blooming right where you’re planted” almost two years ago to the day — when I first heard the phrase during one of Joel Osteen’s sermons. Two years ago? Well, I feel like who I was then is very different than who I am “blooming” into today. I feel like I’m this refined — or even revised –version of myself.  Not Type A. Not Type B….Type “me.” A “me” I’m really digging these days…)

Sometimes a look back is all it takes to gain new perspective. Something my sister’s post yesterday totally reminded me to do more of (also something we discussed during our rundate – see? running has soooo many side benefits than just the running – and sweating – part!).

< < Annnnnnd end long rambly but hopefully thought-provoking blog post. >>
(wow, my brain does.not.know.how.to.shut.up tonight).

11, randomly

My longtime blog bud Lee tagged me in this fun little “11 randoms” post that has been making its way around bloggy land. And then Sam and Amanda did. I dig it because it’s given me a chance to get to know some of my best blog friends even better — and I’m getting to know new blog friends better too (lots of FitFluentials in that “new” category!).

So, since Lee, Sam and Amanda tagged me *and* because I like to be random sometimes, I figured, why not?

Here’s how it works – I’m to share 11 random facts about me and then answer Lee’s questions that she posed in her post to those she tagged “it” and then pass this same random “tag” along to 11 more blog friends, giving them some questions you’d like them to answer for you. <—Got all that? I promise, not as complicated as I just made it sound. ;-)

Anyway, here are my 11 randoms (with help from the hubs!):

1. I can pick things up with my feet. More specifically, my big (ugly) toes are surprisingly nimble. My husband thinks it’s weird. I think it’s kinda fun.

2. A few years ago, we were at Fenway Park at my first Red Sox game, ever. It was the 6th or 7th inning and I was getting antsy and wanted to leave. Problem was? It was right in the middle of Derek Lowe’s no-hitter. Kind of a big deal, I guess. Kind of like when I change the channel on Scott during the final moments of the big football game and he misses the winning touchdown. Yeah, that happens. A lot. whoopsie.

3. I eat pretty much anything. I can’t really name one food that I’ve tried and didn’t like. Well, maybe blue cheese. Not a huge fan. I’ll eat it if I must, but I don’t dig it.

4. It takes all of my self-control after I make my favorite bowl of oatmeal *not* to go back into that jar for scoops of a second and third and fourth spoonfuls of peanut butter. ALL of my control. 

5. I’ve never seen any of the classic Christmas movies – think “A Christmas Story”or “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Never had an interest in seeing them. Still don’t. Oh – you can add “Sound of Music” to that list too. No. Desire.

6. I’m a closet Die Hard and Lethal Weapon fan. No shame.

7. I’ve been randomly watching TV shows I’ve never seen before on-demand while on the treadmill. Like I’ve never seen them before in my life but hell, if it’s 45 minutes of entertainment (and gets me through killer interval rounds), I’m all for it. Burn Notice, Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Revenge – all on that list.

8. The first time I said “I love you” to my husband was at the break room at Shaw’s Supermarkets. I’m such a romantic, I know.

9. I can’t stand when there is more than two loads of laundry in the hamper so I’m constantly doing laundry to keep the hamper less than half-full. I get all anxious when it gets too full.

10. I’m obsessed with Mr. Clean cleaning products that are infused with Gain. Smells SO fresh and clean. I use it ALL over the house. Y’know, while in the midst of my cleaning “routine” — my very methodical approach to cleaning the house. I do it in the same order every single time.

11. My favorite kids book growing up to this day? Berenstain Bears “Messy Room.” I *loved* how neat and tidy their room was at the end of the book! <—-hmm, sensing a theme here with the last three “randoms” all relating to cleanliness. I have issues.

And now – the 11 questions from Lee:
1. What was (or is) your major in college? Communications with a minor in Advertising
2. What is your favorite form of exercise? running. and barre classes. wait, that’s two. whoops.
3. What’s your guilty pleasure? Wine. No contest.
4. Do you tell people about your blog or is it sort of secret? At first I didn’t really talk about it much but now I’m much more open about it. I’m really proud of this little home of mine!
5. What food do you hate? As I mentioned above, there really is no food I don’t like enough to say I “hate” it. I’m weird.
6. What’s the last book that you read? “Room” – SO good. Read the entire book on my flight out to Cali last month.
7. Mac or PC? MAC!
8. If you could go anywhere on your next vacation, where would you go? St. Lucia – to re-create our honeymoon. Best vacation ever.
9. What habit that you have would you like to change? My addiction to all things connected (internet, iPhone, blog, Facebook, twitter…)
10. What’s your favorite beverage (alcoholic or non)? Wine. And coffee.
11. What’s your go-to dinner when you don’t want to cook? Faux pizza – made on flatout wraps or naan bread. Yummy and super-fast.

And the 11 questions from Sam:
1 – What is your #1 go to workout song? Anything by David Guetta, often in heavy rotation at barre n9ne!
2 – If you had to choose 3 foods to eat for the rest of your life (and nothing else) what would they be? Peanut butter, oatmeal, pizza. Oh wait, and chocolate. Sh*t, that’s four. I’m failing this quiz already!
3 – If you were given an unlimited vacation budget – but it had to be used on ONE trip – where would you go and why? Unlimited budget. Hm. I’d have to say – a tour of the major wine country regions of the world – Cali, Italy, France, Greece. OMG amazing.
4 – What are you more afraid of: snakes or spiders? Spiders.
5 – Puppies or kitties? Do you have any? Kitties! I have two and love them as if they were my kids.
6 – What dead rockstar would you bring back if you could? Hm, maybe Frank Sinatra? He’s not really a rockstar though, huh? Totally bombing this quiz, lol!
7 – What is the most random thing you collect (or have collected?)? Wine corks!
8 – What one article of clothing (or accessory) do you have to wear every single day? My wedding and engagement ring
9 -If you could only eat FRUITS or VEGGIES, but not both, which would you choose? FRUIT
10 – Beach or mountains? Why? Beach, beach, beach. My idea of bliss. The sound of the ocean lapping the shore? Nothing better.
11 – What is your favorite band EVER? Hm. Hootie and the Blowfish? They were awesome back in the day.

Questions from Amanda:
1 – What was the first concert that you ever went to? Boyz II Men – screamed my head off!
2 – If you were on Death Row, what would you choose for your last meal? Hmm either our homemade pizza or filet mignon and a *really* good cabernet sauvignon
3 – What was your most favorite Halloween costume that you have worn? Hm, I didn’t really ever get into halloween, not even as a kid – my mom was kind of against it. The first time I finally did trick-or-treat, I was a cowgirl and felt pretty rad, so let’s go with that.
4 – Which actress would you like to star as you if you had a movie made about your life? I’m totally blanking on actresses I like – maybe Sandra Bullock??
5 – If you could open any type of business what would it be? co-owner of barre n9ne?? I kid, I kid…no, not really ;-)
6 – You have a free plane ticket to go anywhere in the world, but you can only stay there for 24 hours. Where are you going? Greece!
7 – What is your favorite TV series, past or present? Friends!
8 – When did you first feel like a runner? I honestly don’t know if there was an exact moment – maybe when I ran my second (not first) half marathon?? Someone else asked me this the other day and I didn’t really have a good answer for them either.
9 – What is the last thing that you splurged on? This past weekend in Boston was a splurge, absolutely!
10 – Night owl or early bird? early bird!
11 – What is one thing that you wished you would have learned to do? I always wish I learned to dance as a child – I have ZERO rhythm as an adult, it’s terrible.

SO! That’s me – 11 randoms. Rather than tagging 11 of you, I’m gonna go on the honor system here. I think everyone ought to do one of these posts — they’re actually a ton of fun to write (especially with your husband sitting over your shoulder yelling out random things about you). ;-)

Paying it forward – my way.

A big reason I tend to write with such passion on this blog?

Paying it forward – my way.

Sure, I may not be certified to be your personal trainer. Or offer you RD-approved nutrition tips and tricks for healthy eating. But what I can offer? Personal experiences that have evolved me into the woman I am today: the fit, healthy, strong, happy and confident woman I am today.

This confidence and strength didn’t happen overnight. Don’t let me fool you. It’s taken me years and years to get to a place where I can look in the mirror and say “I like that person smiling back at me, today.” This is my proudest moment to date: the day I stopped being afraid, the day I befriended the mirror, the day I fell in love with myself. A day I never thought I’d ever see — something only dreams could possibly be made of.

So I pay it forward – my way.

On this blog. I write from the heart. I draw from personal experiences alone. I strive to help others in any way, big or small, that I can. And, if something I say on this blog resonates with just one person. Just once. I’ve paid it forward.

Through the weekly barre n9ne rundates my sister and I host at the studio. To help other beautiful, strong, fit women recognize their own inner strength through running. My heart soars every time I hear them talk about building up their run-durance, doing the run/walk thing and sticking to it, feeling proud of every minute they ran vs. walked. It reminds me to always stay humble, to always appreciate and show gratitude for my own ability to walk, to run, to race – 5ks, 5-milers, half marathons, and soon – a full marathon.

In the barre n9ne studio and on the barre n9ne challenge forum – our budding little home for words of encouragement, inspiration and rounds of applause as each woman achieves a new milestone. It could be sticking it out during the shake at the barre; or losing an incredible amount of inches after their own 60-day challenge (like mine); or learning to love their food log for the tool that it is — a tool of empowerment, where food becomes a tool, a fuel-booster, and not something that controls you in any shape or form.

And, as a FitFluential Ambassador – something I haven’t delved into too much just yet on the blog, but let me tell you – in the short time I’ve been a proud member of this community, it has opened my eyes to a whole new world of opportunity to continue to pay it forward.

…which is what this blog is all about – my “audition” if you will, to pay it forward on a much grander scale. To write for a broader audience than my own – drawing from my personal experiences that have lead me to this place: a place of strength, passion, and conviction.

Because if this blog — EatDrinkBreatheSweat – stands for nothing else – it stands for breath(ing): Breathing in your own inner beauty. And drawing strength from it. Breathing in every moment of your day as if it were your last. And showing gratitude for each day. And, Breathing through those moments in life that become life changers, evolution-drivers. Much like the moments I’ve described above that brought me to this amazing place I am in today.

Paying it forward – my way.

New “things”

2012 – its finally here. Welcome!
New year, which only means one thing up in here:

No limits.
Leaping without looking.

In keeping with my mantra for the year, I thought I’d jot down a few new “things” happening for me this year (yes, new things happening already – just a half day into the new year…what? It’s how I roll ;-) )

New “things”:

I’ve moved! Well, my blog has moved – and it’s only taken me over two years to get it done. But it’s done. You can now find me here:

EatDrinkBreatheSweat.com

So please, kindly redirect your RSS readers to my new domain if you don’t mind :) And, please do expect some fun changes coming to my little corner of the ‘net this year, I have big plans!

I quit. Yup, I have a new job, as I alluded to in my last post. I’ve found a job that will give me much better balance (something I’m craving in a big way) *and* will challenge me (something I’m also craving). I’m anticipating a lot of “out of my comfort zone” moments as this job will entail some travel (to Cali where the company is based) and a slightly different role than I have now. But, it’ll also give me a chance to regain a semblance of balance that I’ve been missing in the past year given that not-awesome 3+ hour commute everyday. Which means 3 hours back in my day four days a week (working from home) *and* a chance to push myself career-wise which I need. Win-win in my book. I’m equal parts anxious, equal parts excited-as-hell to get going (I start Jan 9)! And funny enough, I’m now back on a very parallel career path as my sis which is kind of neat – I’m sure she’ll be teaching me a LOT about balance while traveling, right sis??

I’m a leader. New Years Eve marked the start of something new that my sis and I are leading at barre n9ne. Some of you may have seen our tweets on our inaugural b9 rundate — a twice per month rundate we’re leading with fellow barre n9ne-rs just before the 8:30am class on Saturdays. We plan to do them each Saturday once the weather gets better, but figured twice a month this winter is a great starting point. And guess what? The b9 ladies were AWESOME and ran the 3-mile loop we created like champs. It was such a fun way to kick off the “last chance workout of 2011″ in style, and has given Jo and I a chance to pay it forward, b9-style. Something we both really want to do, as much as we can in 2012 given how life-changing barre n9ne has been for both of us. So, you can expect much more excitement on the barre n9ne front in 2012, this is just the start. (weeeee!)

2012?  So far, you’re showing great promise – I’m mightily impressed. Let’s keep it up, shall we? Remember: no limits, no boundaries, lots of leaping. Let’s do this.

*****Editor’s Note: One more “new thing” to add to the list: I created a Facebook fan page for the blog (another “at last” thing scratched off my list!)! C’mon, you know you want to mosey on over to Facebook and “like” me, right? http://www.facebook.com/EatDrinkBreatheSweat