Hello all! Sorry for the impromptu vacation – life has been both up and down the past few weeks and somehow mindbogglingly hectic. I think I made that word up. I’ve been trying to fit a solid workout in before work almost every day, which is great for my health, but leaves little time for blog updates. And by the time I get home from work I’m usually exhausted and just want a book and a nap.
Plus, every year right before Spring arrives, I go through a couple weeks of being down. Call it seasonal depression, call it hormones, who knows. But I’m generally very unhappy and very unmotivated. I work really hard to bring myself out of it, and usually I’m back to my normal self within a month. Not sure why it happens, but it certainly didn’t help my writer’s block. I talk about this because as someone who currently works in mental health, I think it’s important to communicate these feelings. By burying them, we’re making the problem worse and increasing the already ludicrous stigma people have of them.
I’m sure everyone gets down every once and a while, or maybe you’re one of the surprisingly large number of those who suffer from seasonal or year-round depression. I have to tell you, the one thing that makes me feel better, that’s a reprieve from the "I don’t want to feel this way anymore", is being outside and being with others. Two weekends ago, I believe, I spent the afternoon outside actually getting a bit of a sunburn (this is exciting for me) and drinking coffee with a friend, then went to the park in Frederick and sat on a bench and read "Brave New World" for the first time since high school. It was beautiful. I watched the likely hundreds of people in Baker Park that afternoon enjoying themselves. Funny how nice weather can bring just about anybody outside and in a good mood.
Where is your favorite place to be when it’s nice outside?
I went hiking for the first time in a long while last week as well. One of the things I really missed from living in PA was my access to hiking trails; I used to live about ten minutes from Caledonia State Park and hiked there on a near daily basis last summer. I moved back to Maryland and thought the nearest hiking trails were at Harper’s Ferry – which I’ve hiked a few times now. Turns out, I have very nice access to the Appalachian Trail only fifteen minutes from my driveway. So I spent about an hour feeling the trails out, both North and South, to see how tough they’d be. I like really steep, rocky trails every once and a while, but I’m definitely more into ones that let me enjoy myself and don’t have me sweating too much.
What kind of trails do you enjoy when you go hiking?
I’ve also been struggling a bit with my weight loss – I’m working out now up to five days a week, and still haven’t seen very much weight loss. Now, I know that it very well could be muscle gain. But, being honest here, it is a little disheartening sometimes when you jump on the scale two weeks later and don’t see a change. I’ll have to find a way to keep my head up.
How do you deal when you’re unsatisfied with results?
However, on a positive note, I do definitely feel my legs muscles coming back to par. And I’ve been killing tricep dips – I’ll post the soreness-inducing workout with my “Pesto Stuffed Chicken” recipe in my next post. Speaking of food, I’m very into Chobani with Q’ia again. Q’ia is an organic mix of hemp, buckwheat, and chia seeds we get from the local organic store, M.O.M. I usually use peach Chobani – the meal is pretty filling for regular mornings, though I noticed that I have to eat something right after working out if that’s all I eat beforehand.
Tonight, I’m back to trying new recipes. I’m combining an idea I saw on the Cooking Channel (I hate admitting this, but I love ‘Brunch at Bobby’s – he makes great meals) and a meal I repinned on Pinterest. The idea: Jalapeno pesto. The meal: Pesto Stuffed Chicken. I’m going to combine and make a basil-jalapeno pesto and stuff chicken breasts with that. I’m going to try to go super light on olive oil, maybe switching with a little lemon juice, and follow Bobby’s lighter hand with pine nuts to save on fat. I know it’s healthy fat, but it’s a lot of fat nonetheless. I have chicken breasts thawing at the moment, so you all will be privy to the glory (or terror) later tonight or tomorrow.
Lastly, one big shout out to friend and former roommate Anne: thanks for the comment. I needed the reminder; it acted as the kick in the butt I needed to open up Windows Live Writer and start blogging again.
I’m going to go enjoy this bizarrely nice weather (it was literally icing yesterday and today it’s in the 50’s and sunny) and make me some pesto!