That time I threw my scale at the wall

I disappeared for a bit, but only because I’ve been incredibly busy! The last few weeks have been full of work, working out, and as much time spent with friends and family as possible. In some cases, the best way for me to work through things is alone; after all, I’m someone who craves solitude. But, recently, getting out and doing things has really helped me to feel satisfied at the end of the day. Now that I’m really committed to getting in the best shape I can, my evenings are full of burpees, fast feet, sprints, V-ups, and the dreaded pull up bar. I have never, and I mean ever, been able to do a pull up. I don’t know if I’m alone here, but in all my active years, those muscles were never ones I worked on often. But, lucky for me, one of the instructors I really like (his classes are always upbeat, he’s full of energy, and his classes don’t murder my knees) always tries to incorporate pull ups.

This hasn't happened yet but I'm expecting it.

This hasn’t happened yet but I’m expecting it.

How strange, to feel trepidation at something as silly as a pull up bar. Before pull ups, it was push ups. Before that, sprints. But the more I work at something, regardless of how challenging, the more I look forward to the challenge. I think I should probably add mountain climbers and squat jacks to that list. Another trainer that I really enjoy loves to combine those and it makes my poor knees cry. But all this pain and growth has played a vital role in finding and better understanding myself. Who honestly enjoys admitting their shortcomings? Not me. But I have to.

I don’t have great knees, thanks in part to my own stupidity. I dislocated my knee in college one night at like 4:30 in the morning. My leg gave out, completely out of the blue, and I found myself laying on ice in starburst-worthy pain. I looked down, saw my right kneecap sitting at a 90 degree angle from where it belongs, and promptly shoved it all the way back into place. That was the first time I’ve actually been in such acute pain I almost threw up. I then got to drive my car across the parking lot to the first open spot available (I forget why I was all the way up at the full front…something stupid I’m sure) using my left foot, and limped across the entire parking lot screaming bloody murder and leaning on cars. I then hopped up two flights of stairs, wrapped my knee in sweaters and raised it on a pillow, and fell asleep. I called my mom the next morning to let her know what I ‘thought’ happened…like what else do you call the definite dislocation of your knee? After being completely appalled that I hadn’t sought medical attention yet, she drove up and drove me to the hospital, where I’m pretty sure they tortured me, then prescribed me Vicodin and a leg stabilizer. Thanks, hospital. Being the smart person I am, I worked on my healing knee as a server, using painkillers to make it bearable. I do think, to some extent, working on it has helped it from swelling and rebuilt strength more quickly, but I

These are just the injury pictures I had on Facebook. Clearly, I'm not a careful person.

These are just the injury pictures I had on Facebook. Clearly, I’m not a careful person.

definitely notice that my knees respond to high impact body work a lot more quickly.

Other than that, I managed to get thrown from a four wheeler in the middle of the woods directly onto my back two years ago. How I didn’t break my back/neck/smash my head against a tree/crack my head open/etc. is an honest-to-god miracle. The two guy friends I was with, one being my old roommate, thought for a few seconds that I had died. Did I ever seek medical attention? Of course not. What did I do? Get up, ride back to the campsite (aka my roommate’s backyard), take some ibuprofen, and continue to drink and camp with friends. I then went on vacation for a week, during which I didn’t have full range of motion and mysterious swelling in various places on my back. Common sense all around.

Lastly, last summer, in the wake of a break up, I was running a lot to help get me out of my own head and managed to do something to my lower back/right hip that causes me chronic pain and my hip popping out of place for no reason. Out of nowhere, during a run, I felt something, I don’t know, pull or change, and had pain that radiates from my sciatica ever since. I’ve mentioned before that I saw a doctor for it and he came up with a brilliant conclusion (basically that it was all in my head and I’m a big ol’ baby). All in all, I haven’t taken great care of my body from an impact standpoint. Before my injuries, I had 12 years of swimming, four years of tennis, 7 years of ballet, a year of gymnastics, 8 years of

My body's response to more than 5 SF classes a week.

My body’s response to more than 5 SF classes a week.

cheerleading, and one very sad attempt at track under my belt. My body has straight up had it with my bullshit at this point. So, this means that even though I’d like to go to SoldierFit classes 86 times a week, I have to limit it to 3-5, depending on the impact level of the classes that week. Otherwise my body will most definitely cry foul and I can only assume throw itself into a 300-esque pit.

Which leads to my point (finally, right?): I threw my scale the other day. Not away. Like, at a wall. After losing a disturbing amount quickly thanks to my break up and inability to eat during tumultuous times, I was shocked when it stayed stubbornly at the same weight for not one, not two, but THREE WHOLE WEEKS. Am I fully aware that this is likely due to muscle building and have I measured myself instead? Yes. I’m not an idiot, I know how the body works. But sometimes you just want the numbers to reflect it, weird as that sounds. And treating your scale like a frisbee, as momentarily gratifying as it was, doesn’t actually solve my problem. I’m sure it’s all a part of society, we’re taught that we aren’t healthy unless our weight is a certain number (I feel like women always try to round it to 120 pounds as being that ‘number’ they try to attain…even as a size 2 I was still 125 so I have no foggy notion why this is).

Caaarbs. Carby carby carbs.

Caaarbs. Carby carby carbs.

It’s really hard not to get impatient. I want the strength, endurance, and super fabulous body right now. Of course I do. But that’s not how it works, and the only way I’ll see results is if I keep going in a way that won’t cause my body to start self-flagellation. Will the results be as quick as they have been for others? Of course not. My body is different and, frankly, I love carbohydrates. I’m still craving pretzels like no other for reasons I’m still not fully aware of. I eat gluten (GASP). Once recently, I even put bacon down my feeding hole.

Okay, stop really quick. Feeding hole is disgusting and I apologize for that. Ew, Alyssa.

Otherwise, life has been pretty decent. I ran my first 5k two weekends ago. By ran, I mean jogged half and walked half because HAHAHA I can’t run 3.some miles nonstop yet. It was the Glo Run in Carlisle, PA and it was an absolute blast. My endurance definitely has increased though; another troop I take a lot of classes with told me last week that he’d seen a big change in my endurance already and I almost hugged him. I feel different, energy-wise and physically. My legs are normally where I see changes first and already they’re becoming pure muscle. I have muscles whose names I don’t know that are showing up to the party and helping me rock out the tire flips and 8 zillion squats. I find myself pushing to get just one more push up in before we change stations, even when my muscles are burning and that lazy part of my brain is saying, “He’s counting down from 3, you can stop…stop…ALYSSA JUST STOP MOVING.” It’s a good feeling. I mean, it hurts, but it’s good.

Nicki (left), Taylor (right), and me (where else) at the lake on the Fourth of July.

Nicki (left), Taylor (right), and me (where else) at the lake on the Fourth of July.

Last weekend was the Fourth of July (for anyone living under a rock since the Roman times, who has no concept of the calendar we use today) and it was a lot of fun. Last summer, my friends threw a party at their house and I had to sit through watching my ex and his new girlfriend be super in love for several hours. I had a good time, but nothing can put a damper on that like your ex-manthing’s new girlfriend talking to you about giving him fellatio. Let me tell you. This year, we all have kind of moved up and on our separate ways. I spent the morning/afternoon sitting by the lake at Cunningham Falls, lazily hooping and eating veggie chips. It was absolutely beautiful outside. We moved our party elsewhere around 3pm, due to the need for grilling and poolside nonsense. So, my group of friends and I traversed back to my friend Nicki’s house to grill and blow water out of pool noodles like 6 year olds. And it was just as hilarious as when we were six. Eventually, we toddled off downtown to watch the fireworks (which were astoundingly better than last year), then home to bed. Because even though pool noodles are hilarious, we all are usually asleep by 11 because…adulthood.

I have to note before I end this post that I typed it up yesterday and didn’t finish it until today because, you know, work and stuff, but I went to class yesterday and we practiced running backwards.

We practiced running backwards.

I AM TURNING INTO A SUPERHUMAN…with the hamstrings of a demigod. I also stepped back on the scale today and almost threw it again so I’m thinking it might be time to put it far away in a dark corner where I can’t get on it. I’m going to try and write more in depth about my experience running my first 5k, which is why I didn’t delve too much into it here. To some people, running a 5k is nothing. It’s three miles. But for me, this was about three years of “Oh I think I should” in the making before it actually happened. It deserves its own blog post with its own incredibly inappropriate gifs.

So life is picking up. On the ex front, my body decided it would be a super good idea to start having out of the blue, vivid dreams about him. Like happy ones. I woke up crying one morning because I hadn’t thought about all of those memories in a while – trying to forget, I guess. I’ve had a few others, sporadically, since then and I’m really hoping they stop because they’re creating way too many feelings I don’t want to have anymore. Loving someone who actually used the sentence, “Regardless of my feelings about you, I have to at least see if it can work with ____,”  is only asking for more pain. I also know that I can’t force myself to not love him anymore. Love and betrayal aren’t mutually exclusive. And I’m a person who finds it really difficult to fall in love, but when I do, it’s with all of me.

So pulling myself back out of that is going to take more time than I’d like it to. And for now, I’m going to accept that I still love him and use it to my advantage rather than as an excuse to wallow. I’ll continue to try and send only positive thoughts his way, and use it as a learning experience. If I’ve learned one thing (okay, I’ve learned a lot of things), it’s that I have changed. I’m not the person I was two or three years ago. I don’t have the same low self-esteem I had then. I found my loyalty, fidelity, and, honestly, maternal instincts I didn’t think I had. Somewhere in the last six months, I found my biological clock and now I feel like the crocodile in Peter Pan. I don’t know, that’s a whole other conversation for a different post. Anyway, only three more days until I’m on a plane to Oregon! There will be so much picture-sharing, I almost feel guilty already.

But not.

– a.

West Coast here I commmee!

West Coast here I commmee!

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Queen of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Anyone who has seen my Facebook knows that I went on my first “business trip” (also known as a corporate training) this week to King of Prussia, PA. I’d actually never been to the area before, so I was pretty excited to go on my first trip all by myself. Talk about feeling like an adult!

The training itself was on Service Excellence; I am now one of about 600 Service Excellence Champions (what a name!) for my corporation. That may sound like a lot, but it’s out of 65,000 employees. It was a fantastic opportunity, I loved the training, facilitator, and all of the fabulous people that I met.

Monday

I arrived in town Monday evening, after a pretty eventful morning. I woke up and my car wouldn’t start! I wasn’t home, so I had to call and have roadside assistance come start my car for me. Luckily, it started, but after waiting ten minutes then driving to a gas station…it wouldn’t start again! Turns out, the battery had short circuited, probably from snow coming up and making a mess. My parents were super helpful and got me into our local mechanic and he had it changed really fast. I fiddled around with getting everything together, and then entirely over packed, but finally made my way up to the Hyatt Place and checked in.

HyattRoomCollage

My room was gorgeous! King bed, desk, bathroom with a HUGE shower, a sitting area with a little movable table that I was for some reason totally enthralled by, and a flat screen TV that swiveled. That about changed my life, folks. The second picture shows my shawl on the back of the couch and yoga mat on the floor. I kind of move in, even if it’s for 48 hours.

Unfortunately, I did not take any photos of my first evening. I caught up with my friend Tom (or, as we called him in college, ‘TB’…long story) at ‘The Fox and the Hound’ right outside of the mall. I still feel silly taking pictures of food in public, not to mention photos of myself (especially after a drink or two…I have my mom’s penchant for wine teeth). We had a few drinks, him drinking beer and me drinking a martini and wine, and grabbed a bite. I’m not going to lie, I ate the crap out of some fish and chips (ohh…soooo gooood) and fell asleep feeling pretty fat and sassy that night.

Tuesday

Training started at 9am on Tuesday, and even though the headquarters was only about a mile and a half from my hotel, I wanted to get an early start. So, up at 7…okay 7:15, ran for about a mile and a half on the treadmill in the fitness center, showered, breakfast, then headed out! Aaaand proceeded to get lost. In a mile. Not the headquarters fault, completely mine.

ExerciseRoomFin

Hyatt had a particularly fabulous free continental breakfast with fruit, cereal, oatmeal and toppings, bagels, all sorts of juice, and a “skillet bar” with pancakes and meat/egg/cheese type sandwiches which I am obsessed with and will learn to make at home.

Breakfast1

So good.

After the training, wherein they served a pretty darn good lunch (sandwich on crusty bread, AMAZING pasta salad, chips, cookies, and soda), I made my way back to the hotel and very quickly found myself bored again. I don’t usually need constant entertainment, but I had left books at home and the only book on my iPad (which I did remember!) is my “Journey to Joyful”, which I just wasn’t in the mood to read. So I spent most of the afternoon and evening reviewing the information I had to present today, practicing some yoga, perusing WAY too many health blogs, and watching Castle. I even meandered to the King of Prussia mall, which scared the bejesus out of me. Alone, with not very much spending money, in a mall with a THREE STORY Urban Outfitters?! Bad news Batman. I checked it out, picked up a work out shirt that could pass as a bathing suit, and headed back to the hotel. I ordered food from the hotel for dinner and was pleasantly surprised.

Dinner

I fought a lot of fried cravings Tuesday night for some reason, even coming to the point of looking for directions to Wegman’s. I knew that I wasn’t hungry and the craving was useless, so I distracted myself by working out (again?! again!) and spending some time in the pool and hot tub. I have to tell you, I missed swimming so much. I forgot to snap a photo of the pool and hot tub, plus I didn’t really want to bring my phone in there, but the pool was a great temperature and the hot tub was huge! I went an hour before it closed for the night so most of the time I was there I was completely alone. I’d love to include the strength workout I did, but I have to look up the names of some of the arm work I did (ha! I didn’t even know what I was doing!). I’m going to look it up and put it in my next blog post though, because I’m feeling pretty sore today.

After that, irritatingly enough, I was still craving something salty, crunchy, and cheesy. Begone cravings! I made a big ol’ cup of tea instead and settled down to watch The Adjustment Bureau and fall asleep.

Wednesday

Presentation day! Started my morning off slowly, checking out and eating breakfast. More fruit, more coffee, and another egg/cheese/biscuit thing. I ended up pulling the biscuit off to save calories but it was still delicious.

Breakfst2

My performance went pretty well! After years in theatre, years public speaking and presenting, and a year and a half facilitating groups to 60 people, I’m pretty comfortable in front of others. We presented ten minutes of the training we’d facilitate on our own back at our respective companies, then gave ourselves a “what I did right, one thing I would change” opinion, then everyone else did. It reminded me a lot of my Advanced Fiction Writing class and made me feel a little nostalgic. Being that I was the youngest person there, I thought I did really well. My main issue is that I speak a million miles a minute and have extremely high energy. The energy is good, but I need to work on balancing between supreme energy and calm efficiency. I never realized until recently how naturally self-deprecating humor comes to me. I’ll make little jokes about myself all the time, which kept the group laughing. I feel pretty confident in my ability, which is wonderful. I could rave about my experience for about three more pages, but I won’t. All I can suggest is that if you have an opportunity to attend trainings for your work to better yourself as a person and employee, do it.

While at the training, I had a Chobani yogurt (the only yogurt they sold, bless them!) and a chicken wrap for lunch. Yum yum!

My drive home was a very long three hours but I’m happy to be home. It’s time for dinner – my mom made frozen pizza. How cruel is she?!

Lastly, I’m also participating in the 28-Day Blog Challenge. Basically, it’s a combination of spring cleaning and general adding to my blog. I want to take this, hopefully, from a twice a month rant-fest to an actual blog, an actual hobby. I’m still going to rant, don’t you worry, but I want to work toward adding a health blog aspect. I’m obsessed with health blogs. So, you’ll be seeing some changes. Like what I write? Share it on facebook! Or Twitter! Or Google+! I’ll end with questions:

What would you like to see more of or less of on this blog?

Have you ever gone on a business trip? How was it?

How would you make this blog better?

More later! – a.

You know what? I have great hair.

For the past few weeks, maybe even months, I’ve been feeling pretty down on myself. Blame it on the weather, my stagnant career situation, the weeks upon weeks I went without running, the spotty male attention, what have you; I still felt like crap. Nothing I put on looked good, no matter how much time I spent on my outfit it didn’t look as good as :insert name here:’s – I was living up to an imaginary standard that wasn’t within my reach at the time. Weirdly enough, I don’t even know why it started. It made me wonder, “is this a normal human feeling? Is it unique to women put on by society to always look better than they can? How can I go back to feeling satisfied?”


I kept trying to write answers to those questions but, in all honesty, it made for a long-winded and boring set of estimates with only one good joke about men posting pictures of themselves on Instagram. When it comes to others and what’s so-called normal, my guess is as good as yours. But it doesn’t change the fact that I have felt like a fat spotted pony in a dress more days than not for a while. It made me unsure, grumpy, jealous, and tripled my “get ready” time. None of those are things I want – I’m notorious for getting ready in ten minutes max, twenty if I have to shower. And frankly, when I don’t feel so great about myself, I seek attention elsewhere.

I’m not one to expect male attention, even from the guy I’m sleeping with (seeing? spending time with? I don’t know the proper grammatical ethical term, nor do I care), when I’m out and about. I am very good at entertaining myself. But the past few weekends, I watched myself get upset when I was all but ignored, heard myself bitch, whine, moan, and complain and then shut up the second he paid attention to me. I wanted to kick myself! I am not co-dependent when it comes to a good time! 

Maybe it was a dangerous cocktail of low self-esteem, too much alcohol, and a questionable ‘relationship’ that’s making me turn into this humped drunk crone waxing poetic about how life isn’t fair. I use the term relationship as loosely as humanly possible, but I’m not sure what else to call it and writing “questionable situation in which I spend time with the same guy every weekend” takes too long to write over and over again. 

But the past two weeks, after a weekend chock full of moping, grumping, and generalized annoyance with myself, I have begun to slap myself back into shape. I droned on and on over how I was going to do this and that in the new year and you know what? I haven’t written a blog post until now, hadn’t exercised, ate out…ohhh…almost every day, and wasn’t expanding my horizons. And as much as I could eat goat cheese on top of fried pita bread EVERY DAY (go to Main Cup in Middletown and get the Build-Your-Own-Bruschetta…immediately), I knew it was only pulling me down further.

So, back to the (freezing) sidewalk did I trot. I have been, almost unintentionally, been running a mile and a half every other day. Not the three miles I was over the summer, but I also haven’t had any shin splint issues yet either. I’m forcing myself to get up Friday mornings and go to seven a.m. yoga even if that is the only time I go to yoga that week. I’ve been making my own meals – trying to keep emphasis on things that are green and steamed. I hiked Harpers Ferry’s Maryland Heights Trail again and you know, it’s still my favorite trail for a work out. My butt was sore the next day, but that is totally okay

Image

It was freezing up at the top and SUPER windy so we only admired the beauty for a few minutes before sneaking back into the trees. But it was so worth it. Always is.

And strangely, ever since I started putting my focus back on bettering myself rather than trying to force having a good time (and actually just pulling at my shirt for three hours), I’ve noticed things. I go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, get more done, feel more satisfied, and feel more sure of myself. I eventually want this blog to turn into something more than just my place to journal out thoughts that feel repetitive, I want it to actually be a blog. I want to post pictures of my life, of the fancy food I make that’s only 300 calories and has cheese, and describe the beautiful twists and turns that make life interesting – especially in your 20’s. So, readers, I’m breaking the fourth wall here but, thank you for putting up with my ups and downs and my long-winded inner conversations. I promise that I have a life. I do things, fun things. Sometimes even every day. And I want to share them with you! And I will. Because even though I may have gotten a bit of a late start to my resolutions, I actually am working on them now.

I’ve been hounding a manager for a social media coordinator position now for almost a week. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily positive, but at least he knows that I’m really interested in the position

And this is that point where I wrap up by actually getting to the point of the title – last night I was driving home from work and checking my makeup (totally normal habit at 11:30pm on a Tuesday night) and had this moment of self-assuredness. Maybe I won’t like myself every day, maybe I’ll feel fat and unattractive more often than not sometimes, but I have AWESOME hair. I elicit hair envy. And you know, that perked me right up. So I flipped up that mirror and actually focused on the road. That shit’s covered in deer.

– a.