Friday Five: Spring Forward

7 Mar

I am OFFICIALLY over it.

This morning was the one millionth morning in a row that I had to not wear flip-flops, wear a coat and scarf and yell at the kids to zip up their winter coats.  ONE MILLIONTH.  I’m so over winter.

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Look, I don’t love temperatures over 90 either.  I don’t love temperatures under 30.  Those are excessive and I would prefer we keep it between 45 and 85.  OK?  I can deal with SOME rain. I love a snow day.  A. Singular.  I prefer a routine and happy boring life.

I am officially ready to spring forward.  What am I looking forward to?

1.)  Spring Training

 I work for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  “MS Stops people from Moving” is a tagline the MS Society has used in the past.  That statement hits to the heart of why I need to keep moving.  Because I can.  I must take advantage of the fact that I am healthy and able to RUN, in fact, it would be a sin not to.  I am ready to tackle the road and get back to running outdoors.

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I love this picture I saw Runners World post.
I have it hanging in my office next to a training schedule.

I’m an athlete in training.  The next two months will be serious hard work.  In the end, I think I’m going to shock you and myself.

( If you’d like to support the National MS Society, contact me or visit my personal WalkMS Fundraising page.)

2.)  The Birthdays
My love language must be in planning grand gestures.  I LOVE planning the kid’s birthday parties.  They were born four years and eight days apart so we’ve always done one party for both kids since the Girl was born.  Now that they will be nine and five, they want separate parties. YEAH!  Onto planning two parties… Make that THREE this year.  Yep.  Someone I know and love is turning the BIG 4-0 this year.  I wonder what I’ll come up with.  (insert evil laugh)

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Back when they turned 3 and 7.

3.) FLIP-FLOPS

I am so tired of socks. Sorting Socks.  Hearing DOC complain about mismatched socks.  One pair of socks for work, one pair for workouts.  My toes need to breathe!   Bring on my flip-flops.  (Note to self, schedule pedicure appointment.  It’s been a LONG winter.)

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4.) Spring Activities

Some of my favorite events happen in the spring:  Spring Football practice and the spring football game.  The NFL draft.  Women’s Football Camp. Baseball arrives with all the hope and excitement of the chance of making it to October (#Buctober #Bucn)  Are you seeing a trend?  YEAH.  Spring means the long dreaded winter season is over and football and baseball start back up! I love spring because it is full of hope.  Newness.  In spring, everyone has a chance.  If you work hard in the spring, and you can make it through the heat of the summer, you can have a beautiful fall.
(OK, yes, it’s March.  Mach Madness is ALSO newness.  It’s the last bit of ‘winter’ I’m happy about!)

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Women’s Football Camp at The University of Virginia

5.)  Vitamin D
Sun.  I missed you.  Welcome back into my life.  Warm me.  Make me happy.  Get me out of the dumps I’ve been in.

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So, what are YOU most looking forward to this spring?  BRING IT ON!

Don’t forget to spring those clocks forward!

Sparkle On!

New Addition: Friday Five About Me Edition

28 Feb

Today I’m starting a “Friday Five” series on this blog.  I’m trying to get more consistent with blogging and maybe having recurring features will help me!  Fingers Crossed.

Anyway, Cynthia over at You Signed Up for What, Courtney at Eat, Pray Run DC and Mar at Mar on The Run started this and I hope you’ll visit their pages and the others that have linked up on their pages!

This Friday is a getting to know me edition.  I’ve written about myself, a lot.  Here and here and here…. to name a few.  That’s gross.  Talking about yourself so much.  So, next week, I’ll try to not let it be all about me!

Here are Five Things you might not know about me or that I’d like to reintroduce to my new readers:

Track Suit Friday:  On Fridays I celebrate by kickin’ it Old School with Old School hip hop.  Other folks have Throw Back Thursday, I have Track Suit Friday. Right now, as I write this, I have some Sugar Hill Gang playing in the background.  I really like to workout to old school hip hop too.  Hip Hop BBQ radio is my favorite workout station on Pandora.

What’s your favorite music to workout to?  

 No Pink Tuesday:  Living with a girl in this day and age it is really hard to stay away from PINK.  When “The Diva” was born DOC started No Pink Tuesdays, meaning she wasn’t allowed to wear pink on Tuesday.  We made declarations that she was to not be bought any presents that were pink.  Yeah.  That lasted zero actual minutes.  We’re trying hard to keep her life balanced to not allow her to become a walking advertisement for Disney Princesses, we’re hoping for more Sporty Spice than Disney Princess.

Speaking of Sporty Spice:  One of the first blog posts I wrote was about how I was looking for a band of Spice Girls.  I’m building my tribe, little by little.  I’m not trying to glorify the lazy mom, I’m not saying anyone is better or worse than any other mom.  What I’m trying to say in this blog post is that as moms, women, HUMANS, that we shouldn’t judge one another – we should lift one another up and cut each other some slack. And laugh, sing and dance a lot along the way.  (Still admitting members to my Band of Spice Girls.

JOIN US on facebook at the Evolution of Mrs. Aimee C!

I am Bullheaded Unrelenting:  When someone tells me I can’t do something, it makes me determined to prove to them I can.  Nothing really ticks me off more than when someone underestimates me.

What words would you use to describe yourself?

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My Dream:  Every time I volunteer at The Boy’s school or interact with the other boys on his sports teams I have an ache in my soul that makes me want to start a non-profit for elementary and middle school aged boys.  I need to really think about what this looks like and how I would raise the funds to start this program that’s been in my brain for two years.  My unrelentingness needs to come into play here, huh?

Diversity at the school lunch table

Diversity at the school lunch table

What’s your dream?

Well, that’s it.  Enough about me!  Happy Friday!

Sparkle on,

Aimee

Let’s Get PRETTY

21 Feb

Hey Ladies… sorry to any men that read this blog… this one’s just for the ladies in my life.

You know what time it is?  Time to get PRETTY MUDDY Y’ALL.

You may have heard me talk once or a million times about how much I love Mud Running.  Getting muddy.  Breaking out of my comfort zone and getting a wee bit dirty.  I freaking love it.  I’ve done Muddy Buddy, Foam Fest, Color Me Rad and Pretty Muddy.  I have a favorite.  I’m doing it again.  I’d like to do them ALL again, but today I want to talk about something new.

Pretty Muddy.  Wait. I know, I’ve done it before.  I want to talk about something NEW for YOU.  If you’ve never run a 5k, if you’ve never run in a mud/obstacle one, ladies THIS is the one I want you to do.  It is flat-out fun, supportive and filled with girl power.  Everything that makes me want to stay connected to fitness and creating a healthy lifestyle.  I want my friends, coworkers, sisters, cousins, mom, aunts, anyone and everyone  who is ready to start on a fitness journey – I want you to start training now to participate in this run.  This can be the one you will start and finish.

If you can’t walk a mile right now, you can complete this event.  WHY? Because it’s walk able.  No one will judge you for walking this event.  You will walk approximately a 1/4 mile in between each obstacle.  You stop walking and start having a BLAST at the obstacles.  If you can’t complete an obstacle, cheer on your fellow woman, catch your breath and start walking again.

Of course if you’re a marathon runner – you can challenge yourself to run the whole thing and fly through the obstacles.  Your challenge may be in letting yourself get dirty.

This event is geared towards every woman, no matter your fitness level or ability, to push yourself out of  your comfort zone.  The comfort zone is a made up place.  Comfort Zone

Here’s the last new thing.  This year, for the first time, I’m going to let the kids run it with me.  What’s that?  YES.  Pretty Muddy is turning this into a family affair.  For the Richmond, Virginia run, starting at 1:00 p.m. kids, husbands, partners, everyone will be invited to join in.  After talking to the kids, they want to run it this time!  I’m so excited.  They are going to get to see what momma does and why I love these events.  I hope you’ll join us!

I hope so much that you’ll want to join us, that I’ve signed on again to be a Pretty Muddy Blogger AND through my partnership with Girls Gone Sporty I’m giving away two chances to win over on my facebook page.  If you can participate in the Richmond, Virginia run on Saturday, September 20, 2014 (or know someone who would like to) head on over to my facebook page for the details!

See you in the mud!

Sparkle On!

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Celebrate Every Body

19 Feb

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I love this image.  I live in Charlottesville, Virginia, home of the University of Virginia where I worked for eight years off an on.  The UVa Women’s Center and the Intramural-Rec Sports department created a week to Celebrate Every Body.  What a beautiful way to celebrate women and to tackle an issue that hits all women very hard: loving yourself enough to not judge yourself and loving all women to support them and not judge each other. I adore this campaign and I’m so proud of the women that put it together.

I have worked for six different colleges in student development and recreation.  I have served on panels at two of those institutions dealing with eating disorders.  The programs I helped to put together focused on anorexia, bulimia and over exercising.  I worked with athletic trainers, coaches, fitness staff, nutritionists, and student life officials, specifically those working with women in the Greek system, to help educate university women on the support systems in place for women who think they or a friend may have an eating disorder.

There I sat as an obese woman with a secret.  I didn’t love the body I was in and I wished I had the discipline to be anorexic, bulimic or an over exerciser.   I wished they were talking about me.  I wished I wasn’t the fat girl who all the skinny girls were killing themselves not to look like.  There.  I said it. 

Over the past two years, as I worked out in the University of Virginia Rec Centers, I felt as though I was a cautionary tale for the young women working out.  Don’t let yourself go, girl.  Keep working.  Keep exercising.  Don’t get old and fat and have to work this hard to lose an inch.  But that’s not what it’s all about, is it?

I haven’t learned much have I?  When your trainer says to you “Aimee, you’re such an educated woman.  How were you so dumb to let yourself get this way?” Smart, educated women don’t let themselves get this way.  No, I didn’t need to get smarter.  I needed to love myself more.  I needed to have confidence in myself and learn to celebrate my body.

The last two years have been an epic journey.  The biggest part of the journey hasn’t been working out or eating right.  It’s been learning to love and celebrate my body.  That is a daily struggle.  Hating myself for not working out.  Beating myself up for eating extra servings.  Seeing the pudgy belly and flappy arms instead of seeing the muscle growing underneath.  Those are struggles.  First world problems?  YEP.  But they’re my struggles that I battle each and every day.

Whew.  Blogging is therapy.

Anyway.  Remember to CELEBRATE YOU and CELEBRATE EVERY BODY.

Sparkle on, sisters and brothers, SPARKLE ON.

Diggin It: A Sunshine Burger Review

18 Feb

sunshinelogo

Every so often on this blog I get to do reviews for products people send me (like today) and sometimes I love a product I bought so much I want to scream it from the rooftops. I’ve called these posts “Diggin It“…. as in products I’m diggin.    As part of my relationship with Fit Approach, as a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I was given the opportunity to review some Sunshine Burgers.  Lucky for me, Sunshine Burgers are sold locally so I was able to write about my experience with them!  I’m totally diggin’ them.

I received all of the versions of the Sunshine burger, however,  I’ve been on a bit of a “breakfast in a mug” kick lately and when I saw the “Breakfast Hemp & Sage” variety I knew that I wanted to try that in a cup.  (By saw and knew I wanted to try, I mean, I forgot to put turkey sausage on my grocery list and I ran out on the same day the Sunshine Burgers arrived.  That, people, is MAGIC.) I microwaved the patty in between two damp paper towels for about 40 seconds and then broke up the patty and tossed it into a mug with one whisked egg, a tablespoon of grits, a tablespoon of water, and a handful of baby spinach.  I microwave the cup for 1:30 on high and the egg fluffed up, the grits cooked and the Sunshine Burger Breakfast Hemp and Sage was a perfect substitution for the turkey sausage that I had run out of.

         This is where a good healthy lifestyle blogger would post a picture.
             I’m a mom who eats “breakfast in a mug “because I don’t make time to eat
                         breakfast so I certainly don’t have time to take an appetizing picture of my creation.
 Ahem. Bad healthy lifestyle blogger.

Enter Saturday when, after three days of being snowed in with two kids, I was ready to make an easy but healthy dinner.  I turned again to the Sunshine Burgers and found the Loco Chipotle to be exactly what I needed.

From Sunshine Burger:  Our Loco Chipotle is our NEWEST item. It is for the individual who wants MORE: it is 50% bigger than the South West, it is made with sprouted rice, it has more black beans, adds in some hemp and chia seeds and the chipotle pepper dials up the HEAT.

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The hubs version, on a bun.

I used the foreman grill, heated the patty up for seven minutes, placed it on a bed of baby spinach, topped it with even MORE heat by using a local condiment called Mad Hatter Habanero Pineapple sauce, some homemade hot peppers (I wish my friend sold these hot peppers so I could sell them to you.  These babies are in my top five favorite food groups.) some Fire and Brimstone hot sauce and some cheese.  (The Mad Hatter sauce that I love and the Fire and Brimstone can be purchased around Virginia, Maryland and DC from Relay Foods!)

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My spicy creation (served alongside an Italian sausage.)

I can’t wait to try the other versions we received.  I personally like the veggie burgers, they are better than most  frozen ones that I had ever tried.  The hubs, however, felt like I was “trying to tell him something.”  I’ve been so good with hiding the healthy, but veggie burgers filled with hemp seeds and sprouted rice was a little too in your face.

How do you like your veggie burgers, either in your face or subtle?

I was given the Sunshine Burgers to review however, all opinions are my own.  And the hubs.  His opinions are his own too. 

Chugga Chugga

28 Jan

All aboard the motivation train!

WHEW it feels so good to be back on the workout express.  Yesterday I had a fantastic workout and today my body is feeling it.  I love that feeling and didn’t realize I missed it so much.  

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Yesterday I had a very early day at work (6am, y’all.  I had to pick up my boss at his house at 6am.  That is BRUTAL.)  Because I started early, I was finished early, so I got to hit the gym (No, I’m not technically a member anymore. Yes, I snuck in. Don’t judge me!)  Unfortunately, every single treadmill was full so I worked out on a new machine called the Lateral Trainer (this link is not an endorsement, I just want you to see this contraption!)  This baby is an ass burner. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  Seriously, the way your legs move really burns your quads, hamstrings and glutes in a really great way.  I really like this machine.  HOWEVER, the cross fit circuit I put myself through also included squats, kettle bell swings and ball slams all of which also work those big leg and bootie muscle groups so I was hurting by the finish.  

The crossfit circuit I adapted for the program I’m following and added in the ball slams because 1.) I freaking love them and 2.) I was so excited that the gym bought them that I couldn’t NOT use them in case they find me out and I can’t get back in.  

15 squats

10 push-ups

20 20lb kb swings 

20 16lb dynamax ball slams

(Repeat ex 4 times)

 

I finished back on the lateral trainer for five more minutes and with some ab work.  Finishing that felt totally badass.  I was floating all night.  This morning, totally different situation.  I can tell it’s been nearly a month.  All muscles hurt.  This is NOT a complaint.  This is AWESOME.  I can’t wait to sneak in go back today. 

 

How are you moving today?  

Sparkle on!

Aim

 

Be Stronger Than Your Excuses

26 Jan

The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.
Dr. Seuss

I have had such a hard time getting going this winter. I am doing so great at clean eating, gluten free and sticking to my daily eating plan. However, I have not been running, lifting or doing much else at all.

I am in a winter funk. New job, new routine, kids back in school, kids out of school for “snow” (we haven’t had much snow but schools are canceled anyway), it’s cold out…same as everywhere, but COLD, and we had a long lasting stomach bug. All valid excuses.

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I’ve been preaching for two years that you have to be stronger than your excuses. So what’s my deal? I lost my gym membership when I changed jobs and the amazing team I had helping me at Clay ended when the contest ended. I fell into a fitness depression and frankly I’ve been having a pity party.

Well, what am I going to do about it? I’m committed to losing these next seventy pounds. I’m committed to running a 10 miler and eventually a half marathon. I’m committed to being in the best shape of my life. So, to do all of that, I have to be committed to getting out of my own funk and laziness and start to move again.

I need to start back at the beginning with home based workouts. I’ve found an at home crossfit workout program that I’ll be adjusting to my skill level and follow over the next month. Most of all, running begins once again.

Here we go!

Help cheer me on?

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