A Strange Development…

So, I’ve always (at least as long as I can remember) gotten the WORST PMS. Irritability, crushing anxiety, loss of energy, acne…you name it, I get it. About a week before my period hits I start noticing EVERY TINY IRRITATION is making me want to throw things, and this feeling of impending doom starts to creep up for no reason whatsoever. I’ve gotten pretty good about recognizing it for what it is over time, so I try to take these feelings with a grain (or really, a huge chunk) of salt, but it’s unpleasant nonetheless.

Well, not to jinx myself or anything, but my chemicals seem to have shifted over the past three or four months. At first I noticed I was having less physical evidence of PMS (my breasts weren’t quite as tender – this was a new development by the way, I had only been introduced to the misery of a week of boob pain within the past year or so – I wasn’t seeing as much hormonal acne, I wasn’t getting quite as much brain fog), but then I noticed that…I wasn’t WILDLY ANGRY? This is pretty easy for me to notice due to my job – I interact with the public, which can be pretty irritating as it is – and I immediately noticed that I wasn’t ready to fly off the handle right before my period hit. And now, here I am 4 days before my next period is due to arrive, and I’m practically elated for no particular reason today. I’m seriously in THE BEST MOOD. No anxiety to speak of, Jeff’s not bugging the crap out of me (bless him for dealing with the PMS monster for the past 10 years), and I feel relatively energetic. I have a few minor symptoms that my lady time (yuck, sorry) is encroaching, but man…I don’t know what this is, but I’m not hating it. (Please no one tell me that this is a symptom of some terrible terminal illness…if it is, I don’t want to know thankyouverymuch.)

BLESS UP!

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Plastic Paranoia

Being the neurotic and anxiety laden person I am, I’ve begun to really start thinking about the amount of plastic we’re exposed to on a daily basis, and the negative effects it has on our health. While I’ve come to accept that some plastic exposure is just going to happen (I’m not about to start eliminating every type of food or beverage in a plastic container), I figure I should at least do what I can to limit my family’s exposure to harmful plastics.

Although most decent quality plastic containers are now BPA-free, I’ve read lots of credible articles claiming that BPA-free plastic can still produce negative, potentially cancer-causing effects. With that in mind, I’ve decided to make some changes in my home:mwga-17-a17_2

I already don’t typically drink bottled water – I typically use filtered water from our fridge, or the water machine at work. But I’ve now swapped our plastic Nalgene sports water bottles with aluminum S’well bottles for both myself and Jeffrey (that one was a no-brainer – S’well bottles may be a bit heavier and a tiny bit less convenient than plastic bottles, but they keep water cold FOREVER).

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I’ll be replacing our mismatched plastic Tupperwear with a set of glass containers. This one hurts a bit, because they’ll take up more room…but it’s for the best, and I won’t have to deal with the ugly, stained, half-melted (I put them in the dishwasher knowing full-well I’m really not supposed to) mess of containers I currently have. This set comes with a good variety of sizes and gets high ratings on Amazon.

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No more plastic cups…I can’t get rid of ours (Jeff refuses to drink out of a real glass unless we’re having a dinner party or something), but I’ve stopped drinking out of the plastic cups we stole from the movie theater (yep) in favor of using a real glass (we have this set). I actually originally did this less for the health concerns and more because the plastic cups were starting to pick up a funky dishwasher detergent taste…yum.

So, it’s not much, and I could be doing a lot more, but these few changes make me feel a little better about what I’m putting into my body. If anyone has any other (realistic) ideas of ways to reduce plastic exposure, send ’em my way!

 

A Secret Tip to Make Time Fly

Or maybe not so secret…

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Get up and walk around! I know there’s tons of articles and studies discussing the importance of moving during the workday (especially if you work in an office), but I had always kind of brushed them off. Well, a few weeks ago I jumped on the FitBit train, and I’ve been getting up and walking at least 250 steps each hour since (I’m a slave to those goals).

Of course, it’s a healthy habit…but I’ve noticed that an entirely unintended side effect is that it makes my day pass so much faster. Whereas before it’d feel like hours for 5 minutes to go by, now I’m shocked when my FitBit buzzes and tells me to get up and move – it usually feels like I just made my last round a few minutes ago!

That’s it – just a quick, simple tip to make the day drag a bit less. Give it a try!

Happy 2018

Happy New Year, friends – I hope your holidays were joyful, restful, and restorative.

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I just went to look back at my “resolutions” post from last year, and found that…well, there wasn’t one. So that makes my job easier today – no goals from last year to review progress (or lack thereof) on. Last year was a weird one…it felt very eventful, but I don’t feel like anything of much substance occurred in my personal life. Or maybe it just feels that way, since the previous few years were chock-full of milestones (engagement, wedding, new job, first trip abroad, etc. etc.) So, instead of reflecting on the past year, I’ll just move right along to what I’d like to accomplish in 2018.

I’m actually setting resolutions this year, which isn’t something I generally do. But this January, I’m feeling a little mentally cluttered and unfulfilled, and I know there are specific things I can do to remedy this…so I’m going to do my best to. I do want to note that I’m only going to include more personal types of resolutions – so, for example, I’m not going to include, say, re-doing our porch, even though that is one of my goals. These resolutions will be more about keeping myself happy, healthy, and sane, rather than little things I’d like to fix with my home (which will need to also involve Jeff).

So, without further adieu, here are my resolutions for 2018:

  1. Bring less stuff into my home/live with less/use what I have. Over the past few years, I’ve slowly developed a pretty hardcore online shopping addiction. It started somewhat out of necessity – I was truly lacking a lot of practical things that I needed – but devolved into buying all the things, just because they were on sale and/or pretty. Not only is this financially unwise, it’s created a lot of clutter in my life, and it’s starting to make me a little crazy. This was really hammered home after Christmas this year – Jeff and I went all out on gifts for each other (we figure it might be our last Christmas without any little ones to buy for), and while nice, it ended up feeling a bit self-indulgent, and I’m feeling overwhelmed with stuff. So, I’ve decided that this year, I’m only going to buy things that I really, truly need, and instead of shopping sales like a fiending crackhead, I’m going to invest in quality items that will last me years. This applies to not only clothes and accessories, but also home decor – I tend to buy lots of small scale things because they’re more inexpensive or seem like “great deals” in the moment, but buying a ton of tiny things just makes my house look cluttered and cheap. Instead of buying every little pretty thing I see, I’ll wait to purchase larger scale items that I really love and will complement the rest of my decor.
  2. Purge unwanted items. On a related note, it’s time to go through my storage, weed out things that I no longer need or use, and donate them (or throw away anything that’s not fit to donate). At this point, we’ve been living in our house for over 4 years, and there are still tons of things I’ve held onto since we were in our apartment “in case I need them someday.” At this point in my life, I’m lucky enough to be able to let things go, and if I really need them in the future, I’ll be able to replace them with upgraded versions that I’ll actually use. Examples include, but aren’t limited to: old, plastic picture frames from the dollar store, cheap square glass candle holders, undersized, mismatched throw blankets, cheap, outdated “placeholder” decor, damaged Ikea furniture, and the list goes on. Along with the purge will come a reorganization – somewhere along the way, I started throwing things anywhere they’d be out of sight, and I no longer have a dedicated place for everything. This is going to change in the coming months.
  3. Get our finances in order. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that the old Raum finances are kind of all over the place. We’re comfortable in the overall sense and aren’t struggling by any means, but we also don’t have a budget (at all – zip, zero, zilch), overuse credit cards, and never know exactly how much money we have at any given time (due to said overuse of credit cards). We could also definitely be saving more efficiently. I’d like to prioritize paying off any outstanding credit card debt and go back to paying cash for most things (only putting large purchases on credit cards for cash back/points, and paying the balance off right away), and working to combine our finances – with Jeff now making double my income, it no longer makes sense to keep everything separate (plus, we haven’t really functioned as though our finances were separate for years).
  4. Exercise consistently for stress relief. I’ve set fitness goals in the past, but this is different, and possibly my most important resolution: I NEED to exercise consistently (meaning at least 4-5 days every week) to manage my anxiety and keep my mental health in check. This isn’t about training for a marathon, or losing weight, or even being in shape (although that is important to me), this is purely for the purposes of mental health. This means, at the very least, moderate cardio – it has to be in addition to any strength training or core classes I take, and it has to be non negotiable. At this point I can confidently say that the vast majority of my anxiety and depression stems from periods of being sedentary, and I can’t deny it any longer – I need to stay active for my mental health. My end goal is to get over the hump where running is painful to the point where it becomes enjoyable, and then maintain it – I’ve been able to get there in the past, but I always trick myself into thinking I can let it slide for a bit and then I fall into a vicious cycle of not wanting to start up again. No more.
  5. Prioritize my health. It’s not that I’m NOT healthy, per se (I rarely get sick, knock on wood); this is more about maintaining my health with preventative care. I’m famously terrified of anything medical and NEVER go to the doctor, and if we’re going to start a family, this needs to end. I increased my medical coverage for the year, so now is the time to take advantage and start actually getting routine health screenings.
  6. Take care of my stuff. Just like I need to prioritize maintaining my own health, I need to start prioritizing maintaining my material possessions. I’m terrible about letting the condition of my things deteriorate until I simply re-buy it (for example, I bought outdoor furniture covers for our brand new patio furniture this year, but have yet to put it on after countless rainstorms and a handful of snow storms), but I’m 33 freaking years old and I need to cut that shit out. No more being wasteful – I’m going to start putting the work in this year.
  7. Be kinder to myself. As is everyone, I’m my own worst critic (can you tell? Ha!) – this fuels my social anxiety, since I feel like everyone is judging me just as hard as I’m judging myself (even though I know this isn’t logical or true). I need to start accepting myself for who I am and learning to recognize the awesome parts of myself as well as embrace my flaws. I also really want to get to a point where I feel comfortable sharing my true self with others, rather than trying to force myself to be a different version of myself depending on who I’m around. I know this is always everyone’s resolution, but man…self love can be tough, can’t it?

And there you have it…I have a lot to work on in 2018, but I’m excited for a fresh start. Cheers to what’s ahead!

Easy solo dinner

Two recipes in one week – whaaaat?! You’d think I was some kind of food blogger or something. To be fair, this is more of a “non-recipe” than a recipe, and requires basically zero effort.

I eat dinner solo typically twice a week – on Tuesday nights, Jeff goes to Quizzo, which is near our office (we work in the same building), so he usually doesn’t come home before heading to the bar. And then on Wednesday nights, Jeff has a standing dinner date with his mom – I join them on occasion, but they typically eat before I even leave work, so I generally let them have some quality mother/son time alone.

I’m a huge fan of eating “non-dinner” when I’m by myself as discussed here (I love nothing more than a cheese plate, and I’ve been known to eat a full bag of frozen veggies and, like, some popcorn for dinner), but since it became a twice-weekly situation, I needed to figure out something a bit more nutritious and substantial. I went through a brief stint where I was working evenings on Tuesday nights and I’d usually stop by Honeygrow before heading home to finish work, but I’m back to working all days and I figure it’s a little wasteful to get takeout every week when we already eat out or order takeout at least once a week together, and I can just as easily whip something up.

Enter Trader Joe’s Cowboy Quinoa Burger. I originally grabbed a box of these as an impulse buy and didn’t expect much from them, but they’ve become my new favorite convenience meal. I rotate between these guys and turkey burgers (also from Trader Joe’s), but the cowboy quinoa burgers really hit the spot and are actually easier/quicker to throw together. Here’s what I do:

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Take a cowboy quinoa burger out of the freezer and pop it in the microwave for 1 minute. While it’s in the microwave, heat a little olive oil or cooking spray on med-high in a skillet (I like to use my cast iron for this). Separate a sandwich thin (Trader Joe’s makes decent ones, but I usually get the Arnold’s multigrain thins – I find the Trader Joe’s ones are harder to separate and tend to tear on me) and place it cut-side down in the hot skillet. After the minute is up, remove the burger from the microwave and place it in the skillet alongside the burger; season with salt and pepper. Remove sandwich thin to a plate (or paper towel, you do you) once toasted; flip burger after about a minute and top with a slice of cheese (my favorite for this is pepperjack, but I switch it up and use provolone or muenster every so often). Place 4 pickle slices on toasted bun; top with cheesed burger and avocado slices. Add a few dashes of hot sauce if desired. Devour.

I like to eat this with (defrosted) frozen edamame in the shells with sea salt, or sometimes I’ll nuke a bag of broccoli and eat that with it. It’s SO delish, it takes 5 minutes to throw together with practically no cleanup, and it’s relatively healthy. Win!

Instant Happiness

I swore that this week, I was going to start waking up early and hitting the gym before work. To the surprise of exactly no one, I haven’t succeeded in dragging myself out of bed in time to work out yet, but I did pull it together enough to suck it up and run to the gym for a quick workout during lunch today. And, you guys…it was like magic. Prior to leaving, I had been struggling to keep my eyes open and even felt like I had a cold coming on, but once I got moving, I felt like a totally new person. I’m still a tad bit sniffly (these things miraculously cleared up a cold in literally ONE DAY last week, so I’m going to whip them out when I get home), but I’m wide awake and in a fantastic mood now. I always forget how much simply moving my body can affect my mood and physical well-being until I do it, and after I’m always like, “duh!!”

A couple other things that can snap me out of a “blah” mood almost instantly:

– Listening to music

– Drinking a nice cup of hot tea or coffee

– Watching one of my “happy” shows (Sex and the City and The Kitchen are frequent go-tos, but I have a long list)

– A hug from Jeffrey

– Chatting on the phone with my mom

– Taking a long, hot shower and then wrapping up in my comfiest jammies

Pretty standard stuff, but exercise is generally the most effective – the hardest part is just getting myself to get up and get moving (that whole “objects at rest wish to stay at rest” deal is legit). Here’s to hoping I can keep it up throughout the winter to ward off the seasonal slump…

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Lentil Pasta (plus a recipe!)

Have you guys tried red lentil pasta? I was a bit skeptical at first, but after hearing several rave reviews, I snagged a box of this from Amazon (I was having a hell of a time finding anything other than chickpea pasta at the store – which I also snagged and have yet to try – but it turns out Trader Joe’s sells red lentil pasta for something like 2 bucks a bag, so Amazon proved to be unnecessary). Red lentil pasta is just that – pasta made from 100% red lentils. Nothing else. The calories are relatively similar to traditional pasta (about 200 calories per 2 oz serving), but the noodles are packed with protein and are gluten-free. I’m by no means a gluten hater, but let’s be real – traditional pasta isn’t exactly health food.

The texture of these noodles is pretty close, if not totally spot-on – they’re a tiny bit denser than your typical pasta, but if I didn’t know they were different prior to eating them, I’m not 100% sure I’d be able to tell. I also haven’t noticed any “off” flavors or aftertaste at all – it just tastes like pasta to me. If you’re a picky eater and you’re worried about flavor, I’d recommend using them in a more flavorful sauce or dish – since they’re pretty neutral, they don’t add much additional flavor to your recipe.

Speaking of flavorful recipes, I figured I’d use this opportunity to share one of my favorite, crazy simple weeknight dinners. It’s delicious, takes under half an hour to throw together, and it can be customized in infinite ways, depending on what you like/have in your fridge. Plus, it’s healthy to boot! Win-win-win (win).

Veggie-Packed Pasta Bake

I used the lentil pasta here, but you can also use traditional pasta (I love penne for this), spaghetti squash, or veggie noodles – you do you. I’m also not above using jarred sauce as a shortcut – as I’ve mentioned before, I’m obsessed with Rao’s (especially the arrabiata sauce), but your favorite sauce (or homemade, if you’re feeling ambitious) will work just as well. For veggies, I used onion, mushrooms, spinach and roasted broccoli this time, but whatever you have in your fridge is fine. If you can dream it, you can eat it.
Ingredients

8 oz pasta (of your choice – if using spiralized noodles, I’d say 3 or so medium sized zucchinis or equivalent would do, or 1 spaghetti squash, roasted and scraped)

1 jar pasta sauce

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz button or cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 head broccoli, chopped

1 bag baby spinach

Shredded mozzarella cheese

Grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 425F. Place broccoli on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper; toss to coat. Roast in pre-heated oven for around 20 minutes, or until charred.

In the meantime, cook pasta including to package instructions. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high until hot, add onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes or until soft. Add mushrooms and season with salt & pepper; cook about 5 minutes or until mushrooms have started to release their moisture. Add spinach to pan and stir until wilted; add sauce and stir until heated through. Add broccoli and pasta; stir until combined.

If your pan is oven-safe, sprinkle pasta/sauce/veggie mixture with shredded mozzarella and grated parm (if your pan isn’t oven safe, transfer to an oven-safe dish before adding cheese). Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and has started to brown.

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What in god’s name is going on with my skin?

How does my skin know when summer’s over?

Why is my skin FLAWLESS all summer long, and then the second the leaves start to turn, I look like a pox has been thrust upon me by some type of evil witch?

At first, I figured it had something to do with the temperature – that was the only thing that made sense, but I always had a nagging doubt in the back of mind mind, because I actively moisturize all year round and my skin isn’t any drier or less dry in the winter than it is in the summer. BUT, this year the acne came back before the temperature changed AT ALL. What IS that? I always thought it was strictly hormonal (and it probably is, judging by the type/location of said acne), but then, like…why was my skin perfect all summer? Was I not a woman this summer? Did my hormones take a summer vacation?

Diet? I think not…my diet isn’t the best (nor is it the worst), but either way, it’s relatively consistent. No changes there.

When I say my skin was perfect this summer, I assure you that I am not exaggerating. Nary a blemish to be found. Acne scars disappeared as if by magic. I’m a lifelong faithful foundation wearer, and I considered many days going completely makeup-free (and some days I did just that)!! While my skin usually clears up incrementally during the summer months, this year it was better than it’s been since I was (miraculously) a totally fresh-faced teen. I experienced a brief glimmer of hope that this would be the year – that somehow, 32 and a half was the magical age at which acne would cease to kiss my face and from this moment on I’d have clear skin forevermore. But no. Practically the second October hit, my skin went back to normal. And normal sucks.

I know what you’re thinking – “Go to a dermatologist, ya turkey!” but you guys…I’m JUST NOW working up the courage to go to a normal doctor for the first time in my adult life (other than emergencies)…you’ll need to give me a moment to incorporate specialty medical professionals into my situation. So…I don’t know. I’d ask what miracle products everyone uses, but I’m skeptical regarding their effectiveness for my particular situation (as am I weary of being offered various MLM products) – I’ve tried most types of treatments, and nothing topical will cure this if it’s hormonal anyway. Birth control isn’t an option because of the whole possibly making a baby situation, so…I guess this is just my skin. Cool. Wish for a miracle for me? (Not really – don’t waste your miracle wishing on my dumb skin which is mostly fine save for some relatively mild annoying monthly acne. Use it for something cooler.) Okay bye.

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What I ACTUALLY do to stay in shape

Can I be straight up with you for a second? I’ve said a lot of sarcastic things about diet and exercise (most notably this and this). And I am not, by any means, saying this to imply that I have a killer bod or that I’m in amazing shape IN ANY WAY (I’d say I am extremely average, shape-wise). However, I’ve been consistently, slowly losing weight for the past 8 months or so, and I generally feel pretty great these days. I’ve lost a total of about 20 pounds so far, and I’m proud of myself. I’m not going to now, and will never, post “progress pics” (nor do I have progress pics”), but I thought it might be genuinely helpful to share what’s actually worked for me: a normal, lazy woman who loves to eat all kinds of food and and drink beer. I’ll never do some kind of intense workout plan like Beach Body or Crossfit, and I honestly don’t feel the need to be that cut or jacked. I don’t think that fad diet plans work, at least over the long-term, and to be frank, I feel like I’ve gained better, faster results doing what little I’ve been doing than a lot of people I know who follow very specific, rigid plans.

As a disclaimer: I’m not going to claim to know a lot about the science of fitness, and it’s extremely possible that I’ve just been lucky, or that my specific body type just reacts better to the way I’ve been doing things than others’ might (or that I have some kind of terrible disease that’s causing me to slowly waste away). If you’ve found something that works for you (even some crazy fad nonsense), by all means, keep doing it. I just know that I’ve personally thought it was frustrating seeing all these cuckoo for cocoa puffs fitness regimens and lifestyles and feeling hopeless and not knowing where to start. I just want other women to know that it’s possible to get into decent shape while maintaining a normal, low-key lifestyle.

So, here’s what’s been working for me over the past several months:

Walking: Aaaand I sound like my Grandmother. Seriously though, I attribute a good chunk of my weight loss to simply taking more steps during the day. I take my dog on a long walk every day the weather permits (we walk for a minimum of 40 minutes each day), I park comically far from whatever store I’m going to, I purposely walk around excessively while running errands.

My Fitness Pal: I think this app is 80% of the reason I’ve continued to keep the weight that I’ve lost off, and gradually lose more. I log everything I eat, every day. I’ve read so many times that keeping a food diary is essential to weight loss and I was always skeptical, but it honestly makes a huge difference to see what you eat every day in writing…especially since the app tracks your actual calorie intake measured against your daily steps and activity level. I’ve been slipping a little lately and not logging things that I count as “little things” (a starburst, a cup of coffee, a bite of ice cream), and it makes me feel more guilty than I’d prefer to admit. I’ve decided to give myself a little leeway over the holiday, but once January hits I’m full steam ahead strict until the wedding. I’ve been about a million times more mindful of what I eat since I started using this app. Highly, highly recommended.

Eating what I want in moderation: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…if you’re going to be successful at maintaining any sort of healthy lifestyle, you have to be realistic and kind to yourself. Yeah, I log everything I eat, and seeing the calorie count staring me in the face makes it a lot harder to eat a 2 pound bacon cheeseburger. But, I still basically eat what I want to eat – I just try to be reasonable about it. “Everything in moderation” is a super cliche thing to say, but it’s so, so true. I try to eat healthfully the majority of the time, but if I’m out having fun, I eat what I want. Maybe I only eat HALF of the two pound bacon cheeseburger (MAYBE). Either way, I don’t feel (very) guilty about it. Life is to live.

Not eating until I’m sick: Speaking of maybe only eating half that cheeseburger…I’ve come to realize that it’s not necessary to eat an entire huge portion of everything that’s given to you. I realized that I’m usually satisfied with half to three quarters of what I’m served at restaurants. Home girl loves to eat, so at first it kind of killed me to not scarf down everything in front of me, but once I realized that if I eat slowly and enjoy my food, I can stop when I’m full and feel good about it. It makes me feel less bloated and uncomfortable, and it makes me feel better about letting myself indulge occasionally in less healthy foods. That said, there are days when all you need is to eat a whole pizza by yourself. And that’s okay.

Limiting meat intake: I’m not a vegetarian by any means, but I don’t eat a lot of meat. I eat a ton of fish/seafood, and I eat some kind of poultry or red meat maybe once or twice a week. This isn’t really something that I’ve done on purpose; I just happen to like a lot of naturally meat-free foods. I think it helps, though.

Moving around: This sounds ridiculous, but I just try to move more in general. I’ll dance in the shower, or do little exercises while watching TV or listening to podcasts. I’ll walk to the grocery store if I only need a few things instead of driving. I get really bored while doing traditional exercise or going to the gym, so I try to fit in activity in other ways. I do still go to the gym, but I don’t spend a ton of time there and I’ll go weeks or months without going at all…so if I use the gym as my end-all be-all, I usually end up failing pretty quickly. Come January I’m going to sign up for a personal trainer (my work offers them for free with our gym membership), but that’s a wedding-specific situation.

Cooking: Cooking what you eat instead of eating prepared or restaurant food is just healthier most of the time. You know exactly what you’re eating and how much, so there are no surprises. Cooking is therapeutic to me, and I enjoy making the majority of our meals. We order takeout once a week on average and go out to eat a few times a month, but I try to cook as much as possible.

Weighing myself on a regular schedule: I weigh myself every Tuesday morning before I leave for work. I think that consistency is key here – weighing myself at the same time of day on a regular schedule prevents me from seeing fluctuations caused by water gain or loss, and it prevents a lot of frustration. As a result, my weight is pretty consistent each time I weigh myself – I usually lose between a half pound and a pound a week. Sometimes I maintain the same weight or gain a little bit, but the consistency over several months has kept me from freaking out when that happens.

That’s about it. I do run a little and I dabble in various plyometric exercises (by “dabble,” I mean I follow a workout I found online a few times a month), but I’m not very consistent in my “workout” schedule at all. I eat ice cream more days than not, I love cheese, and I watch a lot of TV. I’m hesitating to post this because it’s probably dumb. But I like to see real, honest advice from real people who have full-time jobs and a life. If this was awful and annoying and you hated it, please let me know and I’ll never ever post anything like it again (it’s likely that I won’t anyway, haha).

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