Hair Hair Hair

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Last April, I looked at photos of myself in 2014, and I really missed how versatile my hair was. During the summer, I wore it curly some days, and some days I wore it straight. It looked healthy, full, and (in April 2016) I felt that I looked good in 2014. After a heartbreak during that summer, I decided that straightening my hair was the only way I looked somewhat attractive.

It never fails to amaze me how heartbreak can completely screw with your head.

S0, in an effort to fix the heartbreak and/or win back the guy, I figured that my ugly curly hair was one of the reasons he and I didn’t work out.

Yeah. Settle down, Psycho.

Of course, in that stupid attempt, I fried the crap out of my hair. I used the 450 degree setting, did it almost every day, and never used heat protectant spray.

Don’t get me wrong, my hair looked great straightened. Then I started curling it with a wand. My poor hair really went through a lot. All of 2015, I just continued the straightened hair thing. No one likes curly hair. Who even has curly hair?

Fast forward to February or March of 2016. I finally got my haircut by Kim (Kevin’s stylist). She said my hair was a little fried and also that it was thin.

Thin?!

I used to have thick hair!

So, I mulled over on that for a month. I stopped straightening it for a few days/weeks, but my hair wouldn’t hold a natural curl. It sat limp and didn’t do anything. I asked Kim’s advice.

Chop. Dat. Off.

Now, I haven’t had short hair since 2010 or something. As I sat in her chair that day in April, I nodded and told her to do it. “How short?” she asked. “Chop all of the damage off,” I advised. “All?” she showed me how far up it went (about a half inch from my shoulders). She decided to cut it a little longer, maybe an inch past my shoulders. Before her first cut, she asked if I was sure. I told her to do it before I changed my mind.

There it went. All of my hair.

When I finally got home to wash it, it felt alien to me. I was used to feel hair on the middle of my back. My hair didn’t require nearly as much conditioner as before. Did it even need conditioner? This was foreign ground for me.

When it finally dried, I was shocked. “That’s it?” I wondered. My hair still looked limp. It was fluffier, sure. It was much shorter, all right. It was still not curly.

So began my journey of bringing my curls back to life.

Enter r/curlyhair. I spent a lot of time on the subreddit trying all of their techniques. I will say, I never did try the Curly Girl Method. I sometimes skipped shampoo. I sometimes used sulfate free shampoo/conditioner. Mostly, though, I followed Kim’s advice.

I used Beach Waves shampoo and Conditioner by Redken, as well as their spray. That gave me volume and some minor curls. Eventually, I got into a groove. This took MONTHS.

My current routine is: wash with the Redken. After the shower, wring my hair once in the sink, then apply Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and scrunch. Then apply Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel and scrunch. Then apply the Redken spray and scrunch. Then apply John Freida frizz Ease and scrunch. Air dry for about two hours. Scrunch out the crunch with a bit more John Freida Frizz Ease.

It took me a long time.

I recently bought a mousse for volume. I also changed shampoo and conditioner for added thickness. Literally started these two a few days ago. The shampoo is OGX Biotin and Collagen. My sister swears her hair is thicker from using it. She has always had thin hair, and I’ve noticed the thickness. She also takes biotin supplements, so it’s probably a mix of both. I’m sticking to just the shampoo/conditioner for now.

I decided last week that I wanted to straighten my hair again. For old time’s sake, you know?

I bought heat protectant spray. I’ve been looking longingly at photos of my long straight hair. It wouldn’t hurt once, right?

So, I sprayed the crap out of it with the spray. I let it dry, because I read you shouldn’t straighten when your hair is wet (with anything).

Then I started with my 200 degree iron.

It took me 20 minutes to straighten, but it had that fly-away, fluffy straight. So I re-straightened with 250-300 degrees and called it a day.

It’s as long as it was nine months ago (in fact, a little bit longer). It feels stronger and healthier.

So, was it worth the 30 minute ordeal?

Absolutely not.

I can’t believe I used to do this regularly.

I can’t say it isn’t nice, because I do like it. I feel more conventionally pretty with straight hair. This also might have to do with the fact that it’s longer when I straighten. I easily lose 3-4 inches (at least) when it’s curly.

I also feel more like me with curly hair. It requires a lot less effort, too (which is fantastic).

So what’s the verdict?

I’ll straighten it occasionally. Not on “fancy” occasions, because then I’ll start to view it like McDonald’s–like some kind of silly, inaccurate reward. (You know when you’re a child and you get McDonald’s once a month or something and you feel like you just won the lottery, when really, you’re totally ruining your body and it’s not at all good for you.)

So, today, January 31, 2017, I have straight hair. Tomorrow, it’ll be curly again, because I’ll get all sweaty from Total Body Cardio.

That’s the other thing: when I work out and get sweaty, I have to wash my hair. I work out every day. I get sweaty about 4/7 days a week. I don’t want to straighten my hair 4 days a week. Once a week is fine. Maybe on yoga days, when I don’t get nasty sweaty.

Then again, maybe just stick to curly.

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Dirty 30 and Yoga

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Okay, so it appears that Eight was just taking its grand ‘ole time, and our stats are actually now available. Since I’m not sure where I left off, I’ll give the last three days.

Friday: 79
Saturday: 89
Sunday: 92
Monday: 93

Yeah! 93, yeah buddy!

I think this is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If my sleep score said 60, I think I’d feel crappy because of the number. If I end up getting lower numbers, I’ll try not to look for a while, because I don’t want how I feel every day to be dictated by a number.

So, yesterday was Dirty 30. It was definitely hard, but I much prefer it to Cardio Fix. I can’t stress enough how badly I hate Cardio Fix.

Today was Yoga. Kevin woke me at 6am. Because I didn’t get up at exactly 6, he decided to snooze it 10 minutes (twice) and let it just go forever. I hate alarms. I especially hate his alarm.

We got up and I had every intention to do yoga. For some reason, my entire body was so stiff. Downward dog was nowhere near as deep as I normally go. So…2 minutes in, I quit. I took a nap on the couch while he did yoga. HEH!

I had breakfast, worked for a few hours, and took a break to do my yoga. I felt the stretches deeper. I’ll try to do Total Body Cardio tomorrow morning, but I think yoga is best saved for when your body is awake and warm. Not cold and sleepy.

I do feel better now that week 2 is over. I only have 7 more days of the fix and I’m done. I have three options once it’s over.

  1. Start again
  2. Get 21 Day Fix Extreme
  3. Do Kayla’s Beach Body Guide

I’m inclined to start again, but seeing as I’m already nowhere near as sore this week (hardly sore), I think I should do Kayla or Extreme. Doing the same exercises is better than nothing, but I don’t feel challenged.

 

 

Muir Woods Trail

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Unfortunately, I have no stats on sleep, because the sheet hasn’t registered our sleep in two days. We’re resetting it today, but that’s pretty crappy.

We did Pilates yesterday and it wasn’t as terrible as the first time. I’m noticing a trend. The first week was absolutely atrocious. I’m not saying it was easy peasy, but it was definitely less rough.

After we finished, I made us cottage cheese pancakes. They were surprisingly delicious. They actually turned into half crepes, half pancakes. I can’t complain, though.

They had no difference in taste, but they had zero sugar and significantly more protein.

Definitely worth swapping real pancakes for.

After that, we wanted to go to Muir Woods, but there was no parking, so we went to the Golden Gate Bridge instead. It ended up being quite a hike there, so that was all we did yesterday. Yesterday was 12,599 steps and 61bpm.

I’m not sure how resting bpm is really measured if you’re out being active the whole day. Right now, I’m relaxing and my Fitbit isn’t on. It’s not registering my resting bpm.

Today, we woke up extra early, drove to Muir Woods and hiked the longer trail. I believe it was 4 miles. It was beautiful. I would absolutely do it again. Gorgeous views, not too rough of a hike, and again, breathtaking.

Afterwards, we came home, relaxed and then took Mogli on a long walk into town. We did a longer walk than usual to tucker him out. As I type this, Mogli is between my legs passed out with his head on my knee. Mission accomplished.

Then…we decided that we had to do the workout. Today was Cardio Fix.

Because we didn’t get enough of a workout in from Muir Woods and our long walk. This (by itself) was 19,000 steps. Sure. Sure. Sure. Ok. Let’s do this.

Except I half-assed it. I’m not sorry. I hate cardio with so much passion. Even thinking about it gets my blood boiling. What is the freaking point? Thankfully (but not really), I had back pain from the hike, so I couldn’t do the jumping BS. So, I did high knees by walking in place instead of jogging. I did the side jumping jacks in a dance-esque move. I didn’t do skater JUMPS, I did skater squats.

Because I hate cardio.

Instead, I think we’re going to go for a half hour jog around the neighborhood next time we have to do cardio fix. I don’t mind total body cardio so much, but I really, really abhor cardio fix. I’m sorry, Autumn, but WHAT DA HECK.

Ok.

So, then I made us protein shakes. One scoop of Halo Top ice cream (it’s pretty good), protein powder, almond milk, and one spoon of peanut butter (but the peanut butter without sugar or salt. It’s by Smuckers and has nothing else in it). Kev’s was different, I made his with Skippy’s peanut butter (chockfull of sugar), a banana, and Lactaid.

After my shake, I was no longer hunger. Fuhhhh

Kev made us dinner. He had steak, potato wedges, cabbage and onion, and he made me chicken instead of steak. I literally had one bite of the chicken and maybe three little wedges with a bite of the cabbage.IMG_4053.JPG

My belly is so full.

I just know I’ll be hungry in an hour.

Luckily, I’ll also probably be sound asleep.

8pm on a Sunday. I am the Granny to end all Grannies.

Anyway, here are some photos from today.

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I may have slacked off and not updated on my progress…

But only because I was busy—not because I skipped any of the workouts.

Stats first:

Monday: Sleep – 87, BPM – 61
Tuesday: Sleep – 84, BPM – 60
Wednesday: Sleep – 77, BPM – 60
Thursday: Sleep – 82, BPM 60

Monday was Dirty 30. It was dirty, all right. I don’t actually remember it. Gah! I have to start writing in here every day. Dang it!

Tuesday was Yoga. I will say Yoga is always a lot harder than I think it is. My knees always feel particularly creaky. Also, I am not that flexible yet, but I know I will be if I keep at it.

IMG_3755.JPGThis was Mogli when I was finished yoga – pretty spot on to how I felt.

Yesterday was Total Body Cardio again. I kind of dreaded it, because Day 1 was the day that really hurt me last week. It set the tone for the rest of the week, and it really almost made me want to quit.

I woke up early and did it right away. It wasn’t crazy difficult, but I will say that even the modifications were harder than I wanted. The next day wasn’t terrible, either. I’m not saying I’m fit now, but I think muscle memory is a thing (unless I’m way off on what happened). My muscles didn’t tear as much this time, because they already tore the last time. That’s what I like to think, anyway.

Today was Upper Body Fix, and I’m not anywhere near as sore as last week. The workouts were all right. I still can’t do that many push ups, but I haven’t modified anything for these exercises. IMG_3802.JPG
After I finished upper fix, I saw him lounging like this.

 

 

Oh! and I decided I should probably focus on eating a little healthier SO:

IMG_3782.JPGYes, I made rice (and not the 5 minute kind–though, it requires the same steps, only longer), salmon and kidney beans.

I misread the directions, heh! It asked me to cook it “flesh side down.” I thought the skin was the flesh. So, I actually cooked it skin side down for 5 minutes, flesh side down for 5 minutes, and then just to be safe, I flipped it and cooked it for like 2 more minutes.

So it was pretty overcooked, but it was my first time (without any direction from Any Other Person), and I’m okay with it.

As for the kidney beans…what the heck are you even supposed to do with them? I just rinsed them and put them on the plate. Yeah, it was very bland, but I was getting my protein, so whatever.

I’ll have to Pinterest some ideas, but I’m pretty happy about it. I used to eat cereal for dinner (like two days ago). I’m trying to adult and only eat healthy foods. Apple a day and all that jazz. Apples are surprisingly tasty.

Tomorrow, after I do the lower fix, I’m going to make Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes. They sound terrible, sure, but we’ll see.

Pilates, Sutro Baths, Land’s End and Cardio Fix

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Data recap for the last two days: Friday night’s sleep was 86 with 27% deep and 73% light. Last night’s sleep was 83 with 20% deep and 80% light sleep.

My resting bpm Saturday was 62 and today is 61.

So, yesterday was Pilates. Pilates is about lengthening and strengthening.

Boy, did I.

I could barely do the part that works both sides of your butt and thighs. My goodness. The pain from the previous workouts has been so intense that this just pushed me over the edge. Insane pain.

After that, we went to the Sutro Baths and then also did the Land’s End Trail. My Fitbit says that we climbed 111 floors. Yes, one hundred and eleven floors. Fitbit also tells me that we took 23, 255 steps all day.

Last weekend we went to the beach and Japantown. I got about 20,000 steps then, also.

I will say that my thighs and butt felt like they were tearing for most of the day. I kept trucking though, and I did cheat.

We had wings from the brewery in our town, some white wine, and also two scoops of dark chocolate and hazelnut chocolate ice cream.

I’m a little bummed, because I feel like I undid some of the work that I’m in pain for; however, I also feel okay about it.

I’m not trying to get into perfect shape overnight. Knowing that, I’m okay with taking the longer journey. We are in San Francisco, and we are being much healthier than our last few months in Jersey.

I must say that I love our little neighborhood. We are blocks away from the train, which means we’re blocks away from all of the shopping ever. Last night I picked up a red, tan and black scarf from Madewell for 40% off. Yes, I love me a steal.

Also, by the time we went to Union Square, a torrential downpour began, and I was happy to try on my Bean Boots.

They kept my feet dry! I can’t say they’re The Most Stylish thing ever, but they kept my feet warm and dry, and I’ve been trying to get Kev to get a pair (that’ll never happen).

Maybe at some point I’ll start reviewing some of the things I wear/own that I actually love. It’s so few and far between.

ANYWAY!

Today I did the Cardio Fix. I’m hesitant to say that I did a lot of the exercises with Kat. Yes, modified versions, because I’m too out of shape to do the Autumn ones. Disheartening? Absolutely.

I will say, though, that it’s just a matter of time. Sure, maybe I did modified burpees, and maybe I couldn’t finish the commandos and had to get down on my knees with Kat halfway through, but I did what I was able to.

I will get stronger. I will be able to do everything as quickly and as accurately as Autumn soon enough.

In the meantime, I’m thankful it’s Sunday and I’m relaxing with Kev and our little Mog-Munchkin. 🙂

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Leg day with a side of Fiona

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IMG_3583.JPGLast night’s sleep score was 80 with 25% deep and 75% light sleep.

My resting bpm was 60 today.

It’s not perfect, but I’ll take it as a work in progress.

Truthfully, today I’m a bit disheartened. The jumping jacks during the warm-ups were painful for my chest, back and thighs. The first exercise elongated the tense and sore muscles. The second one was all right, but I have to admit that I did a lot less squats with knee raises than I’m used to.

I used to power through all of these workouts.

Without sounding like a negative Nan, I feel lame and out of shape.

To most people, I doubt that I look any different today than I looked last summer on the beach.

To me, I’m definitely flabby. My butt isn’t the perky little butt I worked so hard to get. My legs have a little jiggle to them. I’m not anywhere near where I was before.

We don’t have a scale here, and I don’t really want one. Not too long ago, I was crazy obsessed with my weight. Your weight is a number. I probably weigh more than I weighed last summer, but that’s irrelevant. When I was working out every day and eating healthy, I weighed about 125. When I was eating garbage and trying to skip meals, I weighed 120 (on a good day), but I was still a flabby Fiona.

I’d rather be toned, have some muscle and feel good rather than be a small number on the scale and unhealthy. My fitness goals are half vanity and half health.

I feel like people sometimes get caught up on the vanity aspect. “People who work out every day are just vain and in love with themselves.”

That’s dismissive and quite ignorant. There is nothing wrong with doing things that bring you joy. If having a great body brings you joy, why does that have to be negative?

Back to today.

Part 3 of the workout was the hardest. I can only get through almost (try 30 seconds of) the entire split squats. My legs burn and feel like jelly. This was also when I was at my peak and doing it every day for months. UGH.

My legs are just sore.

I had leftover chicken stir fry with a protein shake and…a scoop of ice cream. Yeah, looking at my flabby butt in the mirror tonight, I definitely am not thrilled about the ice cream, but c’est la vie.IMG_3584.JPG

IMG_3588.JPGI wanted to take Mogli for a walk to the park, but it started raining three blocks in. We climbed the mountain back to our house in the rain (thankfully, I brought an umbrella).

So, day 3 is down. If I remember correctly, tomorrow is Pilates.

I’ve decided that once the 21 days are up, I’m going to do the Bikini Body Guide that I did for two weeks a couple of years ago. That was much rougher than the 21 day fix.

Also…it’s only 27 minutes.

HEH!

Day 2 -Quite Sore

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Last night I got 8.5 hours of sleep. Kevin got this nifty sheet that measures your sleep. So far, my average is about a 79 out of 100. It’s considered average. Last night my score was 85. There was a second sleep score that was 39. Upon further inspection, Mogli took a nap in the bed between 9:46 and 11:46. He fell asleep as soon as his body hit the bed. Poor guy. Also for the first time, my sleep was 30% deep and 70% light. Usually it’s around 20% deep. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with The Fix, but after I finished making pancakes and scrambled eggs for us, I mentioned my sleep score to Kevin and he joked that it was obvious I had great sleep last night. LAWL

My heart rate has bugged me since I quit working out. My resting bpm was between 57 – 59 from June to October. A few weeks after not doing the workouts, my heart rate climbed to 60, 61, 62 and even 63.

It’s normal. Those are healthy ranges. I know. Blah blah.

It’s also true that your heart rate can be lower. Runner’s have lower heart rates. Elite athletes, etc. I know I’m not in that boat, but you know what—I liked my 57-59.

Since moving to San Francisco, I’ve had daily workouts. Yes, walking up and down the hills to get to and from everywhere takes a serious toll on my shins and calves, but they’ve acclimated now. The hill to our house is still something I’m not used to. That being said, my heart rate on Tuesday was 59. Yesterday and today it’s back to 60, but let’s just say I’m a little smug about this recent change in events.

Back to this morning.

“Sore” is an understatement. My thighs felt like heavy bricks. Every time I had to go from standing to sitting was followed by a loud groan. Every time I noticed my posture had gone to crap, I straightened up and felt each one of my abs rip apart my stomach. Just imagining doing the next workout was enough to make me reach for the pain reliever.

I know, I don’t typically do that, but I couldn’t fathom working through that pain.

Day two wasn’t as terrible as I imagined, though. Don’t get me wrong, the jumping jacks hurt my legs and stomach, and the jogging in place ripped up my thighs, but it was easier. The workout is focused on arms and abs, so it was manageable. Autumn said something about wanting something you’ve never had, that you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.

Armed with the knowledge that I have done it before, I pressed on. The pushups were a killer. I was able to do 20 before. I could only do 4 before I dropped to my knees and cried my way through the 60 seconds. Excuses soared through my head as fast as I could refute them.

Me: You’ve done this before! You can do it again.
Quitter: Yeah, but you’re so out of shape now.
Me: Is that all you’ve go—
Quitter: You should just quit. This hurts too much.
Me: You can do it
Quitter: Yeah, but what if you can’t…
Me: Other people have done it. People morbidly obese. People much older. Peop—
Quitter: Just stop

I paused a handful of times, and I’m not proud of it. When I got to the scissor twists and the circle crunches, I was convinced that my stomach lining was literally tearing as I twisted.

It wasn’t as horrible because I didn’t have to work my overworked legs.

It wasn’t as horrible because there were only two rounds to repeat twice.

It wasn’t horrible because it really was 60 seconds of fighting with myself to just get it done.

It wasn’t as horrible because I didn’t quit. If I quit, it would have been harder. I would have to admit that I failed. I would have to come up with a big enough excuse for not having done it. I think working out is mostly fighting the urge to quit. Your body is surprisingly resilient. It’s your brain that you have to convince.

The sooner I suck it up and fight through the pain, the closer I am to being strong enough to not feel this extreme pain.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew just how bad it would hurt every single time I had that extra side of mashed potatoes. I knew it every time I shoveled that extra dark chocolate kit kat into my mouth over winter break. I knew it during every moment that I felt like “…you really shouldn’t eat this crap” but then did anyway.

I knew this moment would come back one day. I knew I was going to start working out.

I also knew that I wasn’t going to make any excuses for myself. If it hurts, then maybe I shouldn’t have quit. If it hurts, then maybe I won’t quit again.

I do feel stronger, but I still feel like a bloated little blob. All of me is still so sore.

Tomorrow is leg and butt day. I also remember that tomorrow is Autumn’s favorite little “BONUS ROUND” with her kickbacks.

Leg day is (far and away) THE hardest for me (if I remember correctly), but it’s also my favorite. I always knew that if anything was kicking my butt into shape (literally), it was those 30 minutes.

Anyway, day two is done, and it was bad, but it’s done, and that’s good enough for me.

Motivation Beyond January

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Most of my growth occurs during times when my life is pretty unbearable. I find weakness of character revolting. When life gives me lemons, I don’t make lemonade. I find other lemons to spite the original lemons, and I make lemon meringue pie and tell the other lemons to kick rocks.

If there is one thing that propels me forward, it’s the negatives.

There are a number of ways to handle the negative circumstances in your life, and the only way I’ve ever handled them has been to fight back what brought me down. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I never sat around and cried because I felt like my life was in shambles (and it absolutely was at the time), but it didn’t last longer than that night.

The next day, I’d be up trying to figure out how to screw over whatever screwed me over to begin with. How could I avenge my own sadness? How could I make it rue the day I was put down?

It takes longer than a day, and it’s not a quick fix.

I had to be better than I was before. The old me may have gotten stuck in this circumstance, but the new me wouldn’t.

I never realized that this is what drove my actions, but I realize it now. Everything had to change. I pride myself on not ever changing, but the truth is: I am constantly changing. My fundamentals remain: I’m ambitious, determined, goal-oriented, yada yada

Everything else has to be calibrated, though—and regularly.

Last summer, I started doing the 21 Day Fix. My coworker suggested it, so Kevin and I started it. I was skinny fat. You know, when you eat decently, but you cheat sometimes, and you have zero muscle tone. Totally out of shape, but looking average.

I started in May and I didn’t stop until October. Obviously that was more than 21 days. My mom joined me in July and kept at it until October, as well. Yes, my mom who was totally out of shape did it with me. She also grew to like it. Every single day.

I haven’t done any workouts since October. It’s safe to say my muscle tone is diminished, and I am a blob. I’m muscle-less and tone-less, and weak. I can barely do the warm-up without wanting to quit.

I started Day 1 today: Total Body Cardio. It was rough. There were moments in the workout where I stopped to catch my breath. I finished it, though. I didn’t finish it because I’m in shape. I didn’t finish it because I’m skinny. I didn’t finish it for any reason except my own motivation. I wanted to get back to where I was in October. It was incredibly hard. My legs feel like jelly and I can hardly lift my arms. I’ll definitely feel the burn tomorrow.

Here’s the thing, though: I feel good. The 30 minutes are over. The sweating is done. The overheating is gone. All that’s left is me. I could have quit during the first five minutes. I could have said, “I can’t do this. Who cares what I look like or how healthy I am?” I easily could have thrown in the towel.

Autumn, the woman who does the fix, says that strength doesn’t come from what you can do; it comes from doing what you thought you couldn’t do. I wasn’t able to do some of the exercises with an 8lbs weight. I had to use the 3.5lbs. I didn’t make that an excuse to just quit. I actually rolled my ankle during the second exercise.

I didn’t quit.

My ankle is fine, and I took my time during that exercise the second time.

 

I’ll update once my 21 days are up. Maybe in between.

Adopt, don’t shop

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I hate to be that person, but I’m going to be that person. (Because I am that person.)

I think everyone needs to understand the importance of adopting a dog over buying a dog. Also, if you’re going to say you “adopted” a dog from a breeder, you didn’t. You bought a dog the same way you’d buy a handbag or a pair of Nikes. You didn’t have to look at a large room of dogs that are confused and wondering why they’re sitting in cages for weeks, months, or years.

You completely overlooked all of the dogs on death row.

See, there’s this thing called euthanasia and many shelters employ it, because they are overcrowded with these four-legged creatures. They’re overcrowded, because people breed their dogs.

“But Fido is so cute; EVERYONE will want him.”

Except everyone doesn’t want Fido. People end up charging less than they wanted, and sometimes they even give away puppies. Sometimes, it works out, and a puppy is adopted by a nice nuclear family, and they all live happily ever after.

But sometimes a sick, twisted individual gets his hands on a free dog, beats him with a baseball bat, burns his paws and throws him in a freezer thinking he’s dead.

Yes, that happened.

The puppy survived and has some permanent issues.

I know you’re going to argue, “so what if I paid $1200, it’s not that puppy’s fault that he was born to that breeder.”

Absolutely not your adorable puppy’s fault, but you’re perpetuating a problem.

Fido wouldn’t be $1200 if no one wanted him. Fido would be in a shelter, and Fido would be $300. You could adopt him there and support your local shelter and shelter puppies.

In case you think I’m just making this up and you feel judged.

  • 2 millions dogs are euthanized per year
  • 70 million stray cats are in the US
  • The cost of spaying or neutering your cat or dog is less than taking care of a kitten or a puppy for one year.
  • Homeless animals outnumber homeless people 5 to 1
  • If you think it’s cruel to neuter or spay your pet, imagine how cruel it’ll be when you have to put down her babies
  • Approximately 55% of dogs and puppies entering shelters are killed, based on reports from 1,038 facilities across America. Source: National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy – Shelter Statistics Survey

If you don’t believe me, please click the following links. These are the animals that you are technically letting die, because you decided you needed to have that purebred imported from North Carolina with the blue eyes.

http://nycdogs.urgentpodr.org

http://www.dogsindanger.com

https://www.facebook.com/PetsOnDeathRow/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/Urgentdeathrowdogs/

https://www.facebook.com/Shelter-dogs-in-danger-556692771047036/

They are puppies. They are adults. They are innocent, and they are being killed.

If that’s still not getting to you, follow @Chl0ster on Instagram. Talk about a wake up call.

Shelter dogs are not bad dogs, either. You don’t just adopt a dog and then expect them to be perfect. When I first got Mogli, he growled and didn’t like to share his toys. I thought he had a mental problem. He also didn’t like eye contact and was very timid.

It turns out, Mogli is incredibly vocal, and loves to play. He shows all of his teeth when I ask him to go for a walk, because he’s smiling. Some dogs smile when they’re excited! He’s also terrified when I have hiccups. He doesn’t like the vacuum cleaner, but he’s come around to the hair dryer.

All dogs have their quirks—from a shelter or not.

Obedience training, playing with them, and taking care of them will ensure that you have a good, healthy dog. They’re not inherently bad, because they’re in a shelter. They’re behind bars, because no one wanted them. You can’t write off all dogs in a shelter, because that’s not fair. It’s definitely not a reason to buy from a breeder or to breed your own dog.

Mogli is my favorite dog ever, and he’s better than any other dog I’ve ever met. He’s a huge cuddly baby, he’s a protector, he’s got a crazy set of lungs, he’s a runner, he’s a lover, and we saved him from death row. Gloucester County is one of the biggest culprits of euthanizing dogs. I like to think that Mogli knows we saved him. I don’t know where he came from. I don’t know who abused him. I don’t know who starved him and didn’t love him. I don’t know any of his history.

But I do know that I get to write his future. I do know that he’s infinitely happier that I’m his mom.

My point isn’t to shame the people who bought a pet—we don’t always make the best choices. I just hope one person out there decides to visit a shelter. There’s no reason to buy a designer dog. Your pet isn’t superior, because you know his bloodline.

I get that you won’t love your bought dog less after reading this, but I hope it prevents you from buying another dog. I hope you go to your local shelter and take a gander. I hope you rescue a dog from death row.

Here are more facts:

http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/stop-animal-abuse/fact-sheets/animal-shelter-euthanasia.html

http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/facts/pet_ownership_statistics.html

https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-animal-homelessness

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/12-alarming-facts-about-pet-homelessness/

 

 

Happy birthday bby

Today is my best friend’s birthday (not my BEEF, Emily). I met one of the best people last year in a pretty peculiar way, but I’m incredibly happy that I did, and I’m extremely happy that I get to call him my boyfriend.

I’ve learned a lot about him and a lot from him in the last year.

Before I sound too cheesy and lovey, I’ll get right to the things I’ve learned from him.

1. Be nice. Sometimes people will be impolite. Sometimes they’ll be downright mean. They’ll be cruel and unfair, but that’s not a reflection of you, at all. Be the bigger person. Be the better person. Forgive and forget. At the end of the day, you don’t want to regret something you said or did. If you get down to the level of a twelve year old, do you really feel that great about yourself an hour later? A moment of smugness for putting someone in their place doesn’t solve anything. People won’t change because of you. They’re more likely to see reason through kindness. If they don’t, it was never your problem/battle to begin with. No matter what happens in your day, you should be nice. There’s never a reason to be anything but.

2. Try to see the good in people. Not everyone is terrible, and sometimes, people can really surprise you. Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in an idea of someone that you fail to see what’s actually there. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone is cut out to be your best friend, and that’s okay. You’re allowed to have some friends who don’t know every detail of your life. You’re allowed to talk about shallow things.

3. Say hello. There are billions of people in the world. You’re bound to meet some duds, but there are also some decent people in the world pool (see what I did there). People are noticeably happier when you smile and say something. If you can brighten just one person’s day, why wouldn’t you? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always do this, but it’s something I’m working on.

4. Try new things. I don’t like to admit this, but most of the time I don’t like to go out and hang with people I don’t know. I always worry that we’ll have nothing to talk about. As an introvert, I value meaningful conversations. I don’t like sports talk. I don’t like weather talk. I don’t like news talk. Without fail, every time we end up somewhere, I hit it off with people, and Kevin is the one asking to leave (granted its 1am and time for bed). There are the occasional times when I do want to go home, but the track record of times I’m having a good time far surpasses the others.

This extends beyond social gatherings, too. I did my first 5k last year with Kevin. We trained together, but we slacked towards the end. When we did the race, Kevin didn’t let me stop. No matter how slow our pace got, we weren’t allowed to walk.

I notice this trend throughout our relationship. We try something we’re comfortable with, and then we push beyond what we think our limitations are. You’re a lot better than you think you are.

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Yes, it’s all small stuff. Traffic. Workouts and arguments. Messy hair. Sand in your shorts. Life is too short to get upset about things. (I say this, but it’s certainly something I have to remind myself of on the reg.)

6. Be patient. Wait. Obviously with the little things. Kevin never gets angry in traffic, where I lose my mind if someone doesn’t use a signal. Beyond even the small stuff, wait. Try to wait.

Your job will get better or you’ll find another one. Complain when warranted, but trust that it’ll get better.

Kevin took me ice skating for the first time in New York City, and it started to snow; it was perfect. I have a list of firsts that I’m glad I’ve never done with anyone else. I’ve always known that patience in life was a good virtue to have, but–as corny as it sounds–now I know that good things come with time. Trust that your patience with all of the idiosyncrasies in your life is worth it.

7. Let go. You can’t control anything. I’m very much still learning this. You can only control and take care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise and maintain a healthy spiritual life. Just know that everything else is not yours to control.

8. Everything will be okay. Even the things that aren’t okay will someday be okay. Your attitude dictates how you’ll feel; however, one fact remains: everything turns out okay in the end. Sorry to spoil the ending. Even if things turn sour for me today or next week, I know that it’s not permanent. Kevin may not always be around. I may lose many things, by it’ll be okay. This is something I learned last year, but it’s true.

There are a ton of other things I’ve learned from Kevin, but this will have to suffice. I’m thankful that I get to spend two birthdays with this happy little clam. He’s the most positive person I’ve ever met, and the jelly to my peanut butter. I’m incredibly thankful that he was born today.

I love you, Kevin. I hope you have the happiest of birthdays, and that you only change for the better.