Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Running Buddy

Can tomorrow really be October 1?? You know what that means? Time to crack down and get my mileage up for the T-day 10k!
What better way to start than go for a nice 3 mile run after work in the 70ish degree weather!

I didn't plan on going for a run, but when Devon (who is training for a half marathon) asked me to run with her, I couldn't say no. Between the beautiful weather and my need to get things going for the 10k, it was meant to be! Here's a little pre-run photo. It was really blurry and orange, I tried to edit it but I'm not so good at that. Oh well!

Devon has a Garmin, which was so fun! She could tell me how far we'd gone, our pace, and her heart rate (but she didn't wear the monitor for the run). I have a feeling I'll be getting one of them in the near future! I was never the running accessory type before (just an ipod) but now that i'll be doing more neighborhood and road running (instead of trails with mile markers), I think it would really benefit me.

In other health and fitness news... things have been going well. Diet has been ok. It's so strange to me how some days when I get home from work I'm starving, but then some days I will work out first and then eat around 7:30. I have the same breakfast and lunch, so it doesn't exactly make sense.

My sister floated the idea by me of running a half marathon here in Jacksonville in February. I'm still contemplating it... I like running, and I had thought about attempting a half, but not until 2011. I was intending to do the 15k this March and then decide if I'm 1/2 marathon material. But the more I think about it, the more I want to do it. I guess if Kristine commits to it (and Devon already said she's in!) then I'll do it. I found a local training group, so I think I can do it. I definitely feel like half marathon training would really help me get the last 20 lbs. off, so that's a huge bonus! Hmm.... opinions? encouragement?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This is a test...

If you're reading this, you re-subscribed correctly to my fit blog!
Good job :)

That's all for now (I'm at work, can't blog!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another week in...

So it's been a week since I posted last. Things change so quickly in a week!

Where to start... how about health and fitness?
Well 2 weeks ago I posted that I had a really bad off week, and I was having trouble finding motivation to get myself together. Well, somehow I dug deep inside myself and said get over yourself, and go for a run. For me, the no-nonsense, cut the crap approach has proven to be the way to go. It may not work for everyone, but the hardass technique works for me!
I'm 100% sure that having a job and a schedule has helped, but at the same time, it's complicated things. I haven't had food sitting in front of me all day, but I have been really busy and workouts have been cut short or dropped. I'm trying to stay with a 5x per week for close to an hour each day. I'm keeping my calories in the 1600-1800 range. It's going well.

As I said 2 weeks ago, I can tell when I'm gaining weight because it goes right to my stomach. Well my stomach has gone back down and nothing was added to my hips like it does if I don't work it all off quickly. I'm proud of myself for that!
We've been eating out a bit more because we're running from place to place after work and I just don't have time, so that's new. I have been going online during the day and looking up nutritional information though, so I know I'm making smart choices.

So now onto the big news - our offer was accepted on the house! Our inspection was today, and there were no problems. Sooooooo we're closing on October 23! JJ and I are both so excited. My job is going great, as is his. Everything just seems to be moving right along. How can it already be mid-September? I have to start upping my mileage October 1 for the 10k...and it's still 87-89 degrees at 4pm!

Well with all of those good things, one bad thing must be noted. JJ got me sick :( He's around athletes and students all day long in the nasty training room and on the field, so of course he picked up some sort of cold/flu bug and gave it to me! Last night I did the first 5 circuits of No More Trouble Zones, and I was literally shaking. I pushed it too much, so I'm taking tonight off, hoping to finally rid myself of this nasty bug!

Hope you're all enjoying your fall weather, I'm jealous :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


How did I so quickly forget how exhausting it is to work full time, keep the house clean and in order, take care of the dog, cook dinner, pack/prep lunches, etc.?!
Things are a little different, and I'm sure they'll calm down eventually, but I've never had a 40 minute commute before, so that's a big change. Also, I've never bought a house, so this is new as well. As I adjust to my new job, the stress will subside, but I still have my commute and we're putting an offer on the house Thursday (meeting with the realtor tomorrow to sign paperwork). So the house stress will still be here, but hopefully the process will go smoothly.
I've always been good about getting to bed around 10:30-11 to get in my 8 hours, but last night we were watching the FSU/Miama game until after midnight, so that also took something out of me today. Sleep is so important. I love sleep.
I know already that keeping up with workouts is going to be tough after a long day at work, but I need to do it as soon as I get home so I can then relax for the night.

How do you hold yourself accountable to working out after a long day at work? Do you do it right away, or wait until after dinner?

I think I'd have more energy at night after dinner, but I'm more likely to just do it as soon as I get home. Hmmm

Monday, September 7, 2009

Clearing my mind...

On Friday night, I was exhausted after a long day of looking at houses. Since JJ was out of town, I had to go alone. It was fun, but I was sad he wasn't there with me. I didn't want to cook for just myself, and my head was still spinning, so I grabbed some Chinese take-out. When I cracked open my fortune cookie, this is what I found:

It says, "You lose nothing by asking, and there is a chance to gain something lasting."
It was the most perfect fortune for me.
Two years ago, I was not the person I am today. I was not self confident at all, I was ashamed of myself, my appearance, and what people thought of me. I know there are people who are confident in who they are while they're overweight, but I wasn't. I couldn't find real, true happiness because I didn't believe I was worth it.

Since losing 80 lbs., I have felt so powerful and self confident. I had many of the same abilities as I did then, but I didn't value them like I do now. I also have added many abilities, like running and other various sports and feeling more comfortable in social situations.

As I said in an earlier post, I approached all of the newspapers and magazines in Jacksonville to see if we could begin a relationship over food and blogging. Folio Weekly responded to my letter, and now I have this amazing opportunity that I'm working so hard on to make into something really special. I know that Ash from 2 years ago never would have done that. I didn't even start telling people about my food blog until a few months in, and now my face is going to be in the paper each week with a piece about what I'm writing and what I think is great food.

As exciting as it all is, I'm starting to get a little nervous. I start my new job tomorrow. It's always scary going into a new job even though I think this is a perfect fit for me. I don't want to disappoint, but I need to be confident in my abilities!
Also, JJ is going over to see THE house tonight. I took his parents and my cousin and her husband on Saturday, and they all loved it as well. JJ's mom said "it's perfect" when JJ asked what she thought, and Jay said it's really hopefully we'll be putting in an offer. At the same time though, buying a house is a huge thing, and it's a little scary too!

I'm trying not to worry, get too excited or scared, but geez, it's a lot to take in. I'm glad I can get it all out here. And I'm glad that it was ONLY 74 DEGREES ON MY RUN THIS MORNING!!! I was still hot and sweaty, and Pumpkin quit on me 2 times, but seriously, 74 with a light breeze is like heaven compared to last week's 80 with 90% humidity. I try to clear my mind while running, but I get distracted running along roads. I miss my trail so much :( Hopefully I'll find something soon that's more trail like where I'm not so worried about traffic.

Well I hope you all have a great Labor Day. I'll try to get a post in if the house status changes and to let you know how my first day went, but I know it's going to be hectic. After work I'm going to profile a honey tasting at a local organic grocery store for the bite club blog! Super excited about that!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Running is Exhausting... just ask Pumpkin!

This morning Pumpkin and I set out for our run around 8am. It was pretty warm, about 80-ish, but not terrible. I decided to take a longer route this morning, a full 3 miles.
We did pretty well for the first mile and a half, but then Pumpkin did the mule, you know, where she stops, put her front paws down and will.not.move.
She's a stubborn little fox! I couldn't get her to budge, so I picked her up and tried to run with her, but that wasn't happening, so we took a minute walk break. Then I set her down, and we repeated the process in 3 minute intervals of running for 3 minutes while I kept telling her 'we're going home!', 'we'll get a treat at home!', and 'we'll go in the car!'
It kept her going, but not for longer than 3 minutes... so we did about 3 miles, but in 36 minutes. We were both pooped at the end, but we made it.
Tomorrow morning I'm going to try to do the same route, but get out a bit earlier so we can beat the sun.

In other news, I think I found THE HOUSE. JJ's in SC until Sunday night, so he'll go see it Tuesday. This afternoon, my cousin and mother-in-law are going over to see it with me. It's so wonderful, cross your fingers for me :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pandora's box has opened - WIDE!

Up until 3 days ago, this was me. Lounging by the pool, reading, and hanging out. Of course I was also unpacking, cleaning, cooking, exercising and blogging, but for the most part, had plenty of time on my hands.

How quickly things can change.

On Tuesday, I got a job.
On Wednesday, I completed a home mortgage pre-approval application.

Thursday (today), I nailed down my future plans with Folio Weekly.

Tomorrow, I'm going to look at houses with a realtor.
Tuesday I begin my job.

Next week, I launch the Bite Club Blog

By the beginning of October, we need to put an offer on a house and have it accepted to get approved in time for the 8k tax credit which ends November 30.

In December, the Bite Club events begin.

Seriously, all you need is a week for your life to go from tanning at the pool to full time job, part time job, 3 blogs, and house search.
And to be totally honest, I am SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean, I'm totally freaked out, but I thrive on schedules, lists, plans and organization.

The only small, little bit of this that worries me is now that I'm so busy and a restaurant profile blogger, I'll be eating out more and I'll have less free time to exercise. However, I'm going to write it in my schedule and exercise so matter what.

So the Bite Club.... I don't want to get into the details of it too much on here now, but I will definitely post and link on this and my cooking blog when it's up and ready.
Basically, 6-8 times a month I'll be doing Restaurant Profiles (not reviews), as well as food and wine events, beer and wine tastings and brewery tours, and then in December, the Bite Club, a once a month foodie dining club will begin. I'm going to be the face of the club, the culinary brains if you will. I'm so excited for it! I envision myself as a Padma... always looking hot and put together, slim and sexy, but still eating. How will I do this? Small bites and portions, lots of exercise, and healthy choices! Of course I won't always get to choose what I eat, but I can control how much I eat and drink. This will be a true test of will, but I know I can do it! And now that I'm going to be the face of the club and I'll be a public figure, I especially want to lose a little more weight, get my running amped back up (to really, REALLY burn calories) and really practice portion control.

I am so excited, a little scared, but I feel like I've worked so hard so I'm going to enojy this. All of it! I'm so excited about the new accounting job... and a house is just so wonderful..... and the blogging and Bite Club are really just fun hobbies and passions turned into amazing semi-careers!

Ok, I'm just going to say it once... and don't tell anyone... I'm really happy we moved to Jacksonville :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


YAY!!!!!!!!!!! JJ and I officially both have grown up jobs and we're both making salary. HOLY CRAP!!! I GOT THE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
JJ's got night practice all week, and travelling ALL weekend, so we can't formally celebrate until next weekend, so we broke into his giant Yuengling tonight when he got home.
Florida gets 1 point for having Yuengling. Something we couldn't get in Indiana!

So let's see... the job! The company is a plywood and cabinet company. I'll be doing all of the accounting, bookkeeping type stuff, plus some HR work. I'll get my own office!!! with an attached bathroom!!! I've been talking to the owner's wife because she's in HR and recruiting, and she's so nice, and the owner, her husband, is great. Best part - their son works for them, and he has a chocolate lab named Lily, who I met today, and who is also a regular at the office! YAY!

I am SO happy to have this job for so many reasons. Not only so we can BUY A HOUSE, but also because I absolutely need a schedule. I need to plan things. I need to work all day, come home and make dinner, work out, watch TV and relax. Then my weekends are long runs, food shopping and errands, church, and friend time. I'm so happy. So so so happy!

So I have 5 days of unemployment left. I'm going to meet with the food blogger magazine people this week, and maybe do a little new job clothes shopping, but mostly get moving on the house search!
Thank you all for your best wishes and positive thinking. It really means so much to me!

Next up for Ash - scoping out some 5k's for October to get me back in race mode. Then some longer races hopefully around Jan/Feb to get me ready for the 15k in March.
Can you believe it's already September?!?!?! I'm so happy, I NEED for the weather to cool down...

180 - and what would you like to see?

Yesterday was a great day, a 180 from the Ash last week. I didn't get up and go on a run, which is bad, but I did do Banish Fat/Boost Metabolism, which is a 45 minute cardio beat down, so I don't feel too bad. My eating was great, and even though I was at a social gathering with tons of great food, I didn't over-do it.

On the job front, I went and took a series of skills tests for a potential employer, and they said my scores were off the charts! The tests weren't very hard, but they were timed, 5 minutes for 30 questions, so you had to book it. I still feel proud of myself for that because for the past month, I haven't had to think... haha.

The tests were for the accounting professional, so the first was vocabulary, the second was coding, next was following directions and last was math. I got 2 100%'s and the woman said she can count on one had the number of people who have finished the math test in 10 years, so I guess being an accountant matches my skills (but I didn't get a 100% on that) or vocab, I left 3 blank.

Today I have what I hope is a final interview with them at 3pm, so send me good luck thoughts! I really think the job will be a good fit for me!

Yesterday I had a long talk with my older sister, who is definitely one of my best friends. We're very much alike in our thinking and priorities in life. She was in Cincinnati for a wedding and stayed with my parents, and my grandparents are also there. She told me that they all were talking about how they all think I've adjusted so well to moving here because it was a huge step for JJ and me. I mean, I had my sob fests, but I think after a week I kind of got over it. I don't know if that's the norm or if maybe I am taking it like a trooper, but I just feel like I'm doing what I have to do. Did I want to move here, of course not! But I did. And why make myself upset and stay in a negative mindset (like I did the whole first year of Bloomington). Instead, I've tried to fill my calendar and social life with hanging out with JJ's family his friends, making new friends myself, joining in activities and going to JJ's. I also found a church and have been going there regularly, and have been working on ways to get myself invested in the city (the magazine possibility).... so maybe I am doing a good job at adjusting myself to living here, but is there really any other way?

I am hoping to start blogging more. It FOR SURE helps me stay on track. Do you guys want my blog to be updated more? Would it be good to blog my 3 daily meals? Take more photos of my day? Do more posts on food and fitness? More exercise reviews? Healthy product reviews? Nutritional info on meals? I'm kind of just wondering what everyone wants to see on here. I'd love to do it all, but I don't know if that makes things less interesting?