All About The Week!

July 31, 2014

In honor of my birthday on Wednesday, I am taking a 5-day weekend. I was off today and go back to work Tuesday, so my weekend is well under way. The week has been pretty fun and I had a wonderful birthday. I received a ton of messages, texts, and comments from you guys which consistently put a big smile on my face throughout the day; so much so that my cheeks were hurting, hehe.

Tuesday evening after the work and the gym, mama and I decided to go out since it was her last evening in Charlotte with me. I was spoiled after her staying 5 times. I still cry every time she leaves, too. While we were out, we grabbed an ice-cream cupcake for my birthday! They were from a local ice-cream shoppe and were delicious.
I did not take my birthday off of work since I wanted to do a long weekend. I worked as usual then hit the gym. I felt strong and pushed hard. I did 20 minutes on the StairMill, an upper body weight circuit, then ended with a mile of sprint intervals on the track. Like last week, I pushed my speed to the limit. I was dead after but it felt amazing. However, my right heel was hurting a lot. It is still hurting tonight actually. After the gym I rushed home to finish packing to go out of town. I packed all of my healthy must have snacks, made myself a power smoothie (fresh kale, spinach, flax and chia seeds, orange juice, pineapple, and mango), and then I was on my way.
I drove to Greensboro to spend a couple of days with my fabulous grandparents! When I arrived, my grandmother had a couple of birthday presents waiting for me in "my room". She bought me another bottle of the pineapple vinaigrette I made a couple of weeks ago when she and I went to an olive oil store, and an adorable manicure set. She then told me she found an old photo album when she was cleaning. We looked through a lot of my baby pictures and I loved the ones of she and I in my old Barbie car. I was obsessed with that thing!
I did not sleep well last night so I was up early this morning. I had breakfast with grandma then did some writing while starting the first season of "Breaking Bad". It was a great setup I had going on if you ask me, ha!
Later in the afternoon we ran errands then went to her best friend's hair salon so I could get my roots touched up. I can't believe how my fast my hair is growing either. I cut it at the beginning of June and it has already grown well over an inch. It's volumious too! If there is one thing I love more than big hair, it's bigger hair. I swear by Biotin.

After my hair was finished, we came back home to get ready, then she and my papa took me out for my birthday dinner. We went to one of my favorite restaurants; The Village Tavern. It was heaven in my mouth. I had a bleu cheese wedge salad (wedge salad's are so much cooler than regular salad's by the way) and a chicken dish that had these flavorful black beans.

The rest of the evening was spent talking, making plans, and enjoying time together. Spending time with my grandparents rejuvanates my soul and motivates me to keep working hard. They are my biggest supporters and make me feel like anything is possible. They were not always like that though; I had to prove myself. It's a refreshing feeling! Now I'm off to watch more "Breaking Bad" and try to get a good night of sleep.

Linking up today!

A Quest Nutrition Giveaway for My Birthday!

July 30, 2014

It's my birthday, friends! Today I turn a quarter of century old and I am no longer allowed to say I am in my early 20's. It is bittersweet I guess, but I enjoy growing older. Age does not matter to me; how I feel does! I feel 35 and depending on who you ask I look it too, hehe. 

I love giving to my readers. You guys keep me going and have grown to be such amazing friends. What better way for me to say "thank you" than to give out delicious Quest Nutrition products for you not only to enjoy, but to assist on your weight loss journey and/or keep healthy. 

As I reflect and think about my "birthday wish and/or wants", I find myself not craving material things like I usually do. Purchasing my new car was both exciting and incredibly needed. Since that stress is off of my back, I feel happy and content. 

-- Continue to lose weight: I am down 62 pounds since 11/25/2013 and I have 25 more pounds to go until I am "satisfied" and transition into the "maintaining" stage.

-- Finish my first fictional book titled "Pretty, Lies". I am about halfway finished and then the intense editing and changes will begin. I think if I stay focused big things could come. There is already something in the works. I would also like to send it to 10-15 of my blog readers to read review -- I would like to receive honest feedback on it. If any of my bookworms are interested, please let me know!

-- Stay true to myself and not focus on negative things people say. It is a known fact that not everyone will like you. Sometimes a person will not know a thing about you and still not like you. Sometimes people will not understand you or anything you stand for, which makes their "assumptions" completely wrong. There is a quote I like; "“I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” That is something I want to focus on more. Growing a blog, trying to make a name for yourself, and chasing a dream that is not considered "normal" is both very rewarding and hard. As I have been on this wild ride, I have experienced wonderful opportunities and rewards, but also some negativity and hate. However, I am hungry to be more than I am, so I will never give up. 

-- My father's cancer to not spread so aggressively and more cancer treatments become available. (My fingers are crossed; we have been informed by Duke that there are really good medical treatments that should become available soon.)

-- My mother to receive her monthly MS medication (it is $6,000 a month). This wish has been granted! An organization has helped my mother and she will now be receiving her infusions. She gets her first one Friday. Thank you, God! Unfortunately the treatments cannot repair the flares she has experienced the past few months, but they can prevent new lesions, so we're praying for the best. 

-- My words to help and inspire other men and women to live their best, healthiest, and most fearless life possible. Knowing that I help other people gives my life meaning. I want to see everyone be successful; and whenever I can help, I want to do it. 

Now on to the fun stuff about the giveaway:
  • You must be 18 years are older to enter.
  • This is open worldwide.
  • All entries will be verified -- if a submitted entry is found to be false, the person is immediately disqualified and other all entries submitted by the person will be void.
  • The giveway runs from Wednesday, July 30th at 12PM EST to Wednesday, August 6th at 12PM EST. 
  • Winners will be chosen at random via Random.org. 
  • Winners will be announced via blog post on Friday, August 8th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Hump Day Blog Hop - Birthday Edition!

Happy Hump Day everyone! We are halfway through the week and the hump day camel is too freaking cool, so lets have some fun and a blog hop to celebrate.

This is a little different than a link up. To participate, simply add your blog link. There is no required entry or anything like that. This is about networking, making new friends, and finding new blogs.

All I ask:
1) "The Hump Day" blog hop button button be displayed anywhere on your blog page or a specific entry with a link back to me or the weekly co-host. (Please do this. These blog hops take a lot of work and preparation.)
2) You don't have to follow me, but in the words of Blake Shelton: it'd sure be cool if ya did.
3) Please follow the co-host. I love helping and promoting these amazing women in the blog world! I do this to not only meet new people, but help my friends make new friends and readers.
4) Mingle with your fellow Bloggers.

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The Hump Day Blog Hop

Please join me in welcoming this weeks co-host, Leeann @ "Join The Gossip"

Pre-Birthday Weekend Fun with Mom

July 28, 2014

Mom and I had a lot of fun planned for the weekend. Unfortunately, her Multiple Sclerosis had other plans. I really, really want to complain and tell you how this disease ruins everything, all of the time, for fun things I want to do with my mom. It has been this way 9 years now. Not to mention seeing someone you love so deeply in constant pain. I am not going to do that though, it will not solve anything, and at the end of the day, I am thankful my mom is alive and was able to drive down and stay. At least she is staying an extra couple of days since she can't drive home right now. Silver lining, right?

We went out Thursday evening and had a good time. I was off Friday so we slept late; until 10 AM. Mom woke up and not feeling well so she took her medicine and spent the day vegging on the couch. I went hiking. It was a beautiful, warm day, but the hike was hard. I felt more tired than usual after the long week. Though it was difficult, I pushed to the top. As always, it was worth it!

When I got back from hiking, I was pretty tired and looking forward to just relaxing. However, mama was itching to get out of the apartment. I had been wanting to buy a new bag/backpack to use for hiking since the one I had was crappy and bounced off my butt a lot when I hiked (which is so annoying) so we went to the mall. I found one I loved and a Marvel one at that. My inner comic nerd was elated so I had to have it.

We then picked up a pizza for dinner and a couple of Redbox movies. "Single Mom's Club"; boring, I stopped watching after 45 minutes, but mom liked it. We did not watch "Jack Ryan", which was the one I really wanted to see.

Saturday, we slept really late. Mom had a tough time throughout the night. We finally were up and moving around noon and I decided to take her across the street to this really delicious breakfast restaurant. One can eat brunch at noon, right? Ha. I was craving pancakes something fierce. We needed to go out to get mom medicine anyway. When we get to the restaurant, I find out it is closed down. My luck, right? That's the thing about Charlotte, or any big city sometimes, it is hard to have a favorite restaurant because so many businesses come and go. Since breakfast is served all day at IHOP, we ended up there. The pancakes were really good, but nothing like the restaurant that was across the street from my apartment. 

From consuming that amount of carbohydrates for breakfast/lunch, I was really tired after; super full and super tired. We picked up mom's medicine then went back to the apartment. I worked on my book for a couple of hours then went to the gym for 40 minutes of cardio and an upper body weight circuit. Again, it was not the best workout. The gym was too cold - I hate working out and "cold sweating", I hated all of my music, and it was all I could do to push through, but I did. I was over it.

I came back to the apartment, showered, and got decent. I put on my new outfit that we bought Thursday. I am no fashionita and I openly admit it. My style is faded torn jeans and a tank top. 
Once I was ready, I went to go run a few errands and pick mom up her favorite Chinese dinner. A "Big Bang Theory" marathon was on and she had her favorite dinner brought to her; she may be sick, but that can help anyone, right? I made myself my favorite green smoothie to detox a little: fresh orange juice, kale, spinach, chia and flax seeds, pineapple, mango, and a green apple.

Then I went and met my girlfriend Alexis and her husband Daniel at the movies to see "Lucy". I have been waiting a while for this movie to come out and it was freaking awesome. I don't know how else to explain it. It was brilliant. It makes you think a lot about how we got here and the power of the human mind.... and how little we know about everything. If you have the chance, go see it! Oh and I scored a free drink. I love my Regal card. 

Yesterday I decided to go hiking again. It was a non-lifting day at the gym and I love to workout outside when I have the chance. Back to the mountains I went. It started off as a hard hike. I have been out of it these past couple of days, I admit it. I was bloated, tired, and the weather was so humid and sticky, I couldn't breathe -- we had a big storm earlier in the morning. I debated on turning around many times. The thought of climbing to the top made me cringe. I did not turn around though. I made it to the top and it felt amazing. When I was coming down, I felt energized so I jogged most of the way. Not down the big part of the mountain because I would have killed my knees and fell on my face, but the parts that it was a little more even. I was soaked when I finished and felt really accomplished. 

I went home to clean up after and get ready for church. It was the start of "Love Week" and there was a lot of volunteer things going on it. It was also week two of the #DeathToSelfie series. And I have to say, it was one of Steven's most moving services yet. He never ceases to amaze me.

Once church was over, I picked up my mom and she and I went to this really cool restaurant called "Char Bar No. 7". I have driven past it a lot over the years but had never actually dined there. The atmosphere was awesome with live music, an outdoor lounge, and though it was typical "bar food", the menu had a good variety and it was delicious! I had a really good strawberry and mint cocktail. They are just more fun out of a mason jar.

After dinner, we went back to my apartment so I could rest and get ready for the work week. I am thankful it is only 3 days for me. I am ready for a 5 day break! 

Let's Chat: All About The Week

July 24, 2014

Happy almost Friday! I am so happy it's Thursday evening, my body is aching. This week was absolutely exhausting.  It was all about 12 and 14 hour work days: meetings upon meetings, lunches, visitors, client dinners, and assisting my President (which is part of my normal duties, it was just escalated this week). It was a ton of work because I organized the agendas, meetings, and meals, then attended it all as well. I rocked high heels all week, too! My feet are killing me. I have to say though, now that it's over, I feel accomplished and proud. I truly love our weeks that are a bit chaotic like that.

Monday morning, I went to purchase drinks and refreshments for the week. Of course with my luck, the flood gates of heaven opened, and I was out in it all day. Wednesday evening I had a strategic planning dinner meeting. I was able to pick the place. We went to a restaurant called "131 Main". I had never tried it, but really wanted too. Simply put, it was great. I am still salivating over my meal! I had a delicious pear martini and the best, juiciest, and most tender steak. The mashed baby reds were phenomenal too. If you are ever in Charlotte, you must try it.
Last week I lost 2 pounds! That brought my total to a 62 pound loss since November 25th. However, I am sure after this week, I gained the 2 pounds back, ha. I was a little off schedule with working long hours, missing the gym some, and eating off of my plan. That's life though and it will happen. I just have to be flexible, find a balance, and always get back on track -- which I do. Tuesday night was one of the evenings I did not have to go to a dinner meeting so I went to the gym per usual. For some reason, I had the BEST work out I have had in a LONG time. I did 30 minutes on the StairMill alternating between 65 SPM and 90 SPM-- I even threw in a couple of sprint intervals at 160 SPM. I did my usual upper body weight circuit, backsquats, then I did a mile and a half of sprint intervals in our indoor track. 

The sprint intervals were the icing on the cake. I ran track in high school. My short, muscular legs were of good use for speed running. I was a fast runner. I never sprint anymore though. When I was heavier, it hurt too much, so I just left it alone. I forgot how high sprinting makes me feel. I literally pushed through my sprints like I was running for my life... and it was incredible. I knew I would not be able to workout Wednesday, so I made sure I pushed myself with a vengeance. Wednesday I was sore. Today I am deathly sore! Talk about hurt so good. The craziest part is that my lower abs were the sorest of all. Running really uses your core so I was happy to be that sore. My core is weak. My legs were also screaming. I couldn't train I was so sore. Delayed onset muscle soreness was in full effect. I will absolutely be incorporating sprints in my weekly training routine now. Lesson learned!

My birthday is Wednesday! I will officially be the big 2-5, which in my opinion, is a pretty big milestone! I will be a quarter of a century old. I will not longer be in my early 20's. I will be 5 years away from 30. Holy crap, where does the time go? I swear yesterday I was boarding a plane for California for my 21st birthday. Since my birthday is Wednesday, my mom came down today and is staying until Sunday. We got the celebrations started early! We went to Kohls and I got a super cute pair outfit: a pair of faded jeans with holes and a fun black tank. After, we went to one of mama's favorite restaurants in Charlotte, "City Tavern". I sipped on a delicious Cosmo, she had her usual Sangria, and as we were leaving, my waiter gave us a piece of chocolate cake for my birthday! We were stuffed so it is in the fridge now. 
Every once in a while, I like to promote my good blog friends, sponsors, and/or anyone else that sticks out to me. I happen to have a few amazing sponsors this month who definitely deserve to be recognized. Please head over to their blog, say hello, and make a new friend. Also, on Wednesday I updated my advertising page, so if you have a blog and/or business and you would like to work together, let's talk!

Maegen. My good friend and former co-worker at Urban Active Fitness. She is a beauty queen (in my eyes and in a lot of pageants eyes as well, ha!) but she is so, so, much more than that. I was really happy a few months ago when she told me she started a blog for one of her classes. Luckily, she still writes even though the class has ended. Maegen writes about a lot of social issues that we as women have to endure in today's world. The standard definition of beauty, unrealistic expectations, and pressures of today's media. We are so much more than our outer appearance, and Maegen's mission to make sure every woman knows that. I am all about empowering women -- I am a total girl's girl, so I want to support and help her every way I can. 

Another inspiring blogger is Jessica. Her blog is named Healthy is Happy. How true is that, by the way? Healthy is happy. Healthy is beautiful. She is really fun to follow because with her, you get a little of everything. She is hardworking, dedicated, and passionate. She is also fun and easygoing. You get inspiring fitness ideas and her journey, along with glimpses into other parts of her life. Not to mention all kinds of business and blog information -- which is personally my favorite. You have to check her out; there is a TON to see and learn from her and her blog.

My girl, Trace. This girl is either going to inspire the hell out of you or make you really jealous. She is plugging away at her fitness and weight loss journey, and every time I see a new picture on Instagram or a new blog post, I am amazed. She really is giving this her all, made it a lifestyle, and has stayed immensely dedicated. Heck, I feel like I am going through her journey with her now. She has stayed that consistent and it has been awesome seeing her transform. She is a great friend of mine with positive energy that is contagious, and watching her succeed and lose weight keeps me motivated as well. She is definitely someone you want to get to know. 

Join the fun Friday linkup's here!

Happiness is a Choice

July 23, 2014

"Happiness is a choice" is the number one quote I live by. I have it written on my white board at work, I repeat it to myself whenever I am feeling down, and I make a solid effort to live by those words. The quote is simple, but in my opinion, it's very powerful.

Many people pour their dependency and need for happiness into their significant other. This is also true for material things, children, food-- the list could go on. However, what I see most is depending upon ones partner. I was guilty of this when I had my first real relationship a few years ago. As a result, it did nothing but tear me down. I let myself go. I let my happiness be decided by another person. One day things were perfect, the next day it was hell. I tried to always be understanding and compromise, but it was never good enough... and that is when I started to lose myself. I started to slowly transforming into someone I was not. When that relationship ended and I was on my own starting over, I realized that if I wanted to be happy, that all I had to do, was simply be.

I decided when I was 14 years old that no matter what happened in life or hardships I went through, I was always going to think positive, solve problems, find resolutions, and live as a happy person. I will never forget the day I decided to change the way I thought and saw life. I was a freshman in high school and I had recently transferred into a new school system and bullying because of my looks and weight was beginning. I was hiding behind my bed my against the wall crying because my former step-father was on one of his tangents. I was so tired of going through so much pain. Even at 14 years old, I knew that this was not was life was about. At the time, I could not control how my step-father acted nor the people at school, but I could control my mind and attitude.

A few weeks ago when I started to sink in a really bad place and become depressed, I tried immensely to tell myself over and over that happiness is a choice. I was fighting a war inside of myself -- my heart had given up and felt hopeless, yet my mind was trying to be logical and remind myself of the mantra I chose to live by. For those few weeks, my broken heart won. My aching heart broke my mind. 

I resulted back into depending upon someone else for happiness. My ex and I were talking, and I was being dragged around through an entangled web of "I love you so much", "I can't live without you", "I'm not sure what I want", "I don't think this is going to work", "You're my best friend and I want to spend the rest of my life with you", "I don't want to see you right now". One second things were great... the next second things were awful. During those few weeks, the only time I felt peace and happiness were when I had hope for our relationship and being told sweet things. The second it went opposite, I was back to my world falling apart. Living through a constant roller coaster of having my emotions and heart thrown around like trash was excruciating.

The Saturday before last, I finally hit rock bottom. I had been void of happiness, positivity, and hope for nearly 3 weeks. Thursday and Friday, things were wonderful. Saturday, things were not. Saturday evening I started to cry because once again my hopes and feelings were stepped on and completely disregarded. I was so damn angry by this point, that I lost it. I was screaming; "Why God, WHY... Why am I feeling this way? Why am I so weak that I am resulting back to a relationship that I knew was never going to work? Why am I letting someone treat me so poorly and drag me around? Why cannot I pull myself out of this?" 

Finally I was not just heartbroken. Finally, I was mad.

I do not know a lot about love, but I do that when someone loves you, they will do anything in their power to avoid hurting you. They will not worry about being "always right". They will NOT keep score. They will not be possessive and jealous to the point of degrading your confidence and breaking your dreams out of their own insecurities. They will be understanding, they will compromise, and you will work together as a team. If you do not have that... run like hell. 

That night, I reached my breaking point. I was on my knees on my kitchen floor crying, and a million thoughts were running through my head. I could not believe this is what my life was coming too from all of my hard work this year. I could not believe I had sank into such a deep depression. I sat on my kitchen floor shaking and crying profusely, and I kept repeating to myself, "I just need to go to sleep". I reached up to one of my kitchen drawers to find Tylenol PM. I was so hopeless that I was going to swallow a bunch of them so it would knock me out and I would not feel any pain. I was shaking so bad when I grabbed the bottle, that I dropped it and the pills scattered across the floor. I stared at the pills scattered on my floor for what felt like 5 minutes.

That in itself was very sobering. I quietly said aloud to myself "I have had enough. I am not living this way anymore." I am not going to dismantle all of my hard work. I cannot give up on my dreams. I cannot have someone who does not love me be my dependency for happiness. I picked up the pills, put them in the bottle, and then put the bottle back in the drawer. I took and shower and went to bed. It was about 7:30 PM on a Saturday night, but I had exhausted myself to the point that as soon as my head hit the pillow, I fell asleep.

Sunday morning when I woke up, I thought "Today is the day I am changing my life and I am going back to the woman I know I am". A woman who is working hard to be independently successful, who would never let a person treat her so poorly, a woman who knows her worth, and a woman who always thinks and lives with a positive and optimistic outlook.
That day I went to my favorite mountain and hiked 7 miles. I prayed and got lost in my music the entire time. It was a strong hike and the sun shining on me provided an immense comfort. When I came back home, I took a shower, did my hair and makeup, then went to my favorite church. It was the first time I had been there in a year and a half. After church, I went to a movie. The next day-- that Monday, I was off of work and spent the day reading and sunning by the pool. 

I pushed myself. I made myself go out and do things that I love I do to. Step by step, and day by day, I am feeling happy again. It has been nearly two weeks since I have been back to "normal", and now when I look back, I can't believe I had gotten so weak. 

I know now what happened -- I burned myself out so much that I let a false loneliness consume me. 

Finally, I had enough. I decided I wanted to be happy again. I hit bottom and in my weakest moment, crying on my kitchen floor, I knew that I had to push through this and make my mind be stronger than it has ever been before. It has worked. I am a work in progress, but I do know I am constantly learning and evolving. 

I am grateful that this dark period I lived through only last about 3 weeks, but it was literally the hardest 3 weeks that I have ever had to endure. I never want to live a life without hope. I hated life. I woke up in tears, I cried myself to sleep, I couldn't concentrate, I wanted to be alone at all times... I was simply trying to exist everyday. I do not know who can live their life that way, but I certainly can't.

I am back to blogging, which is such a blessing. I have made so many friends and your emails and support through that time was incredibly reassuring. I am back to exceeding expectations at my job and not having to hide tears. I feel motivated to push hard at my training every evening at the gym. I have made great progress with my first book. I am happy. I am hopeful. And I am this way because I choose to be. No one else in this world can be my major source of happiness. Happiness is my choice. 

The Hump Day Blog Hop!

Happy Hump Day everyone! We are halfway through the week and the hump day camel is too freaking cool, so lets have some fun and a blog hop to celebrate.

This is a little different than a link up. To participate, simply add your blog link. There is no required entry or anything like that. This is about networking, making new friends, and finding new blogs.

All I ask:
1) "The Hump Day" blog hop button button be displayed anywhere on your blog page or a specific entry with a link back to me or the weekly co-host. (Please do this. These blog hops take a lot of work and preparation.)
2) You don't have to follow me, but in the words of Blake Shelton: it'd sure be cool if ya did.
3) Mingle with your fellow Bloggers.

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The Hump Day Blog Hop

Try Quest Protein Bars!

My Weekly Nutrition and Training Plan

July 22, 2014

The below nutrition plan is what I eat Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday during the day I still eat clean but will eat whatever is left over or what I have around my apartment. Two nights a week I have "treat" meals - whatever I choose. They are usually Saturday and Sunday night, but it does vary. I switch up my eating every week. I plan the week before what I want to have for meals, make the grocery list, and prep the food on Sunday's. A lot of times people will ask me if I get bored eating the same thing everyday. The answer is no. It is only 5 days a week that I eat the same thing. I eat to live - not live to eat. It took me a long time to come to that.  I also do this to save money. I live alone so I can't really cook tons of different things during the week because it's too expensive and will go bad. There are also ways you can switch up your eating day to day. Like my Quest Bars for instance; I eat a different flavor everyday, same with my yogurt. You can read here for meal prep ideas!

This week, my plan will be off a little. I am working longer hours, attending meetings, client dinners, and things like that. I will be eating restaurant food more than normal and missing the gym some. I will try to keep my schedule as healthy as possible though!

Total down (since 11/25/13):  62 pounds!

Meal 1 (7:15 AM)
Green Power Smoothie and Almonds/Walnuts
1 cup of orange juice with extra pulp (yum!) with fresh spinach and kale, frozen pineapple and mango, 1 tablespoon of flex and chia seeds, and one fresh green apple cut into pieces.

Meal 2 (9 AM)

Meal 3 (12 PM) -- will vary this week
I am attending a lot of "lunch" meetings so my menu will vary; I will try to order a salad if the option is there.

Meal 4 (3 PM) 

Gym 4:30-6PM

Meal 5 (6:30 PM) [Post workout]
1/4 cup of plain grits with 2 tablespoons of turkey bacon pieces

Meal 6 (9 PM) -- will vary this week
I will be attending client dinners some, so I will eat out if so. If not...

Bed time 11PM
Sunday: (Weight Circuit + squats) - done!
-30 minutes of cardio: StairMill (90 SPM regular work and 70 SPM with skipping every other step, 60 SPM for resting work - alternating all 3 levels every 3-4 minutes. Rest work is only 1 minute)
-Weight Circuit:
   -Shoulders: 3 x 15
   -Back: 3 x 15
   -Biceps: 3 x 15
   -Chest: 3 x 15
   -Triceps: 3 x 15
-Back Squats (4 x 15. Two sets of 55 pounds and Two sets of 75 pounds)
-15 minutes cardio: Elliptical (Incline 9 and 12, Resistance 10)

Monday: (None) - Working late and client dinner

Tuesday: (Weight Circuit)
-30 minutes of cardio: StairMill (90 SPM regular work and 70 SPM with skipping every other step, 60 SPM for resting work - alternating all 3 levels every 3-4 minutes. Rest work is only 1 minute)
-Weight Circuit:
   -Shoulders: 3 x 15
   -Back: 3 x 15
   -Biceps: 3 x 15
   -Chest: 3 x 15
   -Triceps: 3 x 15
-15 minutes cardio: Elliptical (Incline 9 and 12, Resistance 10)

Wednesday: (None) - Working late and client dinner

Thursday: (Weight Circuit + squats)
-20 minutes of high intensity interval training: Tredmill (Work: 3 minutes at 3.2 speed and 12 incline and rest 2 minutes at 3.4 speed and 0 incline. No holding onto the tredmill at all)
-10 minutes of cardio: Elliptical (Incline 9/10, Resistance 10)
- 3 sets of 45 second planks
- 3 sets of "Russian Twists" with a 10 pound weight plate
- 3 sets of 20 crunches
- 3 sets of 20 heel touches
- 3 sets of  10 elevated leg crunches
-10 minutes cardio: StairMill (5 minutes at 80 SPM and 5 minutes at 60 SPM. No holding onto machine)
Friday: (Hiking)
10 miles of hiking at Crowder's Mountain

Saturday: (Weight Circuit)
-15 minutes cardio: Elliptical (Incline 9 and 12, Resistance 10)
-Weight Circuit:
   -Shoulders: 3 x 15
   -Back: 3 x 15
   -Biceps: 3 x 15
   -Chest: 3 x 15
   -Triceps: 3 x 15
    Sample workout
-15 minutes cardio: Elliptical (Incline 9 and 12, Resistance 10)

Try Quest Protein Bars!

A Gloomy but Lovely Weekend Recap

July 20, 2014

When I first started my blog last summer, my biggest reason was because I wanted a "scrapbook" of my life -- written memories and pictures. I really enjoy looking back; seeing how I and my life has changed. I know a lot of people do not like recapping their weekends because they may not be eventful - I understand that. However, I want to record it all; even the most mundane of days... and I have to say, this weekend was definitely one of those, but I really, really enjoyed it. Ha!

Friday consisted of work as normal, then the gym. I weigh on Friday mornings and I lost 2 pounds for the week! My total loss since November 25th is now at 62 pounds. Yay! I was pumped about my loss this week, but I was feeling really sore from my long run on Thursday, so cardio at the gym was tough. I pushed through 45 minutes on the Elliptical, backsquats, and an upper body weight circuit. 

After the gym, I went to local restaurant and met one of my old friends for a drink. He is moving to Charlotte in a few weeks and had some questions about the area. I feel like a Charlotte veteran now that I have been here 4 1/2 years. I only had one drink because I was sweaty and tired. I went grocery shopping after then I arrived home, I was down for the count.

Saturday morning, I had hiking on my agenda. It is becoming frustrating to plan hikes right now because the weather is so crazy; rain in the forecast constantly. It rained on and off most of the day and it was super gloomy. However, I was not mad about it because I was still really sore. I felt fatigued all day. 

I decide to go see "Sex Tape". I love Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel so I was excited to see this. In my opinion, it did not disappoint at all! Cameron and Jason had amazing chemistry. I literally laughed the entire time. I am not huge on comedy's, but this movie was just as good as "We're The Millers". 

Once I finished at the movies, I came home to shower and get ready. Then I was off to church. I was elated to go because it was the start of our 5 part series #DeathToSelfie. Yes, I know -- I am in big trouble! Ha! It is not what you think though; it's the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis. The service was incredible. My favorite words from the sermon: God cannot bless your mask. God cannot bless who you pretend to be. 

I usually attend church on Sunday evenings, but because I had a hike planned for today, I decided to go last night. When I got there, I could not believe how crowded it was. I was worried that I would not be able to get a seat in the auditorium and would have to go to an overflow room. I did not want to do that because I truly wanted to feel this message. I said a quick prayer when I was in line, and then when I walked into the auditorium and a staff member came up to seat me, he placed me in the THIRD row. How awesome is that! On top of that, the girl he sat me beside knew me from Facebook and my blog! That is the fourth time this year that has happened and it makes my heart smile. Her name is Brooke. She is also a Beachbody coach. I had an amazing time sitting with her and I think we are going to have a great friendship. (Hi Brooke!)

Once church was over, my girlfriend Alexis and her husband Daniel, and I went to "The Melting Pot" for Queen Feast-- which is Charlotte's Restaurant Week. We enjoyed a lovely 4-course meal. I thought someone was going to have to wheel me out of there when we finished, I was stuffed. I ordered a "Zen Master" cocktail, made with cucumber vodka of course, and it was superb. For our dessert, we ordered creme brulee as our fondue and there are just no words... food porn at it's finest.

I checked the weather forecast before I went to sleep last night, and the weather was going to be worse than it was Saturday, so I decided to once again ax my hiking plan, and sleep in. This morning I slept in until almost 10, which was heavenly. When I woke up, I ate a quick breakfast, then cleaned the apartment and did laundry. Once I finished, I decided to take a break and watch "My Best Friend's Wedding". Can you believe I have never seen that movie? I know, I know. What is wrong with me?! I am not really a fan of romantic comedy's and I was only 8 when the movie came out, so that is probably why I never saw it before today. I really liked it, but I wanted it to end differently. My take? Thank goodness for gay best friends, ha.

After the movie, I ran by Old Navy for a new pair of workout pants since I had to give a few pairs of mine away -- they were getting too big. Yay! I scored a cute new pair, then I went to the gym. I felt rejuvenated and strong so I had a great workout. I finished soaked in sweat, just how I like it.
Now I am off to conjure something for dinner, watch True Blood, then get to bed. I have a long 4 days coming up at work. I will be attending a lot of meetings, dinners, and working long hours.

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